Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 45

Fig. 1 Lake & River System of Antarctica
The greatest invasion danger to the United States is not what vast amounts of money are being spent on in the name of "security."

It is not terrorism or disease which the media incessantly talks about (Obola: Art Thou Dying Properly?).

Nor is it anything that causes us to have the most expensive spy system in the world (Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion) or the most expensive military in the world (American Feudalism - 6).

Fig. 2 Location of Lake Vostok
No, we know that sea level rise (SLR) is the greatest danger in the long-run, but we don't know that it is also a short-run danger because of something which we habitually ignore (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States, 2).

That short-run danger (Fig. 1) is lurking in the shadows under the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland.

Under Antarctica is a lake and river system that could be the size of the largest river basin, the Amazon.

Its largest lake, Lake Vostok, is under the Totten Glacier Catchment (compare Fig. 1, Fig. 2, and Fig. 3, and see Video 1 below @ 3.30).

According to the two videos below, large lake and river systems are under both of those ice sheets.

In accord with that:
UCL Professor Duncan Wingham, who led the team, said: "Previously, it was thought water moves underneath the ice by very slow seepage. But this new data shows that, every so often, the lakes beneath the ice pop off like champagne corks, releasing floods that travel very long distances.

"A major concern has been that by drilling down to the lakes new microbes would be introduced." he added. "Our data shows any contamination will not be limited to one lake, but will, over time, extend down the length of the network of rivers.

"We had thought of these lakes as isolated biological laboratories. Now we are going to have to think again."
(Antarctic Subglacial rivers, emphasis added). Lake Vostok, under the Antarctica ice sheet, is a lake which is about as large as Lake Ontario.

Fig. 3 Totten Glacier Location
It is only one of about "400" Antarctic subglacial lakes we know of (see Lake Vostok).

A large concern is that something is holding back the water of some of those lakes.

Should the ice dam or other impediment on some of these subglacial lakes and/or rivers give way, the water could be released in a cataclysmic surge as has been the case in geologically recent times (e.g. "Pulse 1C", which caused a 1m / 3 ft. of SLR "in a few years or less" ... The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

Warming of the subglacial lakes that are nearer to warming ocean waters along the coast, could also cause melting or weakening of glaciers from underneath them (basal melt).

That happened about 7,000- 8,000 years ago when 100,000 km3 of water caused a 1m / 3 ft. SLR "in a few years or less."

An ice dam gave way and a large lake flowed into the ocean (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

Antarctica's Lake Vostok, one of about 400 subglacial lakes, has about 5,400 km3 of water itself (Lake Vostok).

If the other subglacial lakes have an average of only 237 km3 each (100,000 − 5,400 ÷ 399 = 237), that adds up to 100,000 km3, which is the amount that caused that 1m / 3 ft. SLR about 7,000- 8,000 years ago (and don't forget the additional water in the vast subglacial river system that "rivals the Amazon").

We know the calamity to civilization that such a surge would cause (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44).

Video 1: Amazon-sized river system under Antarctic ice sheet ...

Video 2: Lake / river systems under Greenland ice sheet ...

Friday, June 26, 2015

ObamaCare: Good Foreign Policy - 4

A Heart Grown Cold

In this series I have been looking at aspects of the inexplicable word storms crossing America from left to right and from right to left.

While, as usual, the world is watching.

That is why I used the word "inexplicable."

Some of our conversations and deeds perplex the humane minds of the world because those conversations exhibit the crass, careless, brazen, and psychopathic aspects of a culture that cares nothing about anything else except their own exceptionalism.

Even though:
"Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness."
(Martin Luther King Jr.). As Senator Bernie Sanders points out:
“The Affordable Care Act has made modest improvements in American health care since it took effect. Twenty million Americans have gained insurance under the law, including young people who can stay on their parents' policies and others who may no longer be denied insurance because of pre-existing conditions. The law also has expanded access to primary care to some 4 million more Americans through community health centers that also provide dental care, low-cost prescription drugs and mental health counseling.

“But the United States remains, shamefully, the only major country on Earth that does not guarantee health care to all its people as a right. And because of the profiteering of the pharmaceutical industry and private insurance companies, the United States spends almost twice as much per capita on health care as any other nation, while our life expectancy, infant mortality and preventable deaths are higher than most other countries. If our goal is to provide high-quality health care for all Americans in a cost-effective way, we must move toward a single-payer system.

“The health insurance lobby and other opponents of single-payer care make it sound scary. It's not. In fact, a large, single-payer system already exists in the United States: It's called Medicare. People enrolled in the system give it high marks. More importantly, it has succeeded in providing near-universal coverage to Americans over age 65.
(Medicare for All). What Dr. King and Senator Sanders are expressing is their hurt due to U.S. policy that is:
"A disregard for human suffering in the pursuit of profit."
(David Puttnam). This is the core lack of values that is at the heart of the demise of American reputation (Decline of U.S. Reputation - Why?).

Supreme Court Decision In King v. Burwell

Yesterday's U.S. Supreme Court decision in King v. Burwell was the talk of the town, but so much of that talk was more evidence of the dumbing down of the U.S. public.

It was a simple case of statutory construction, that is, the strange way of saying one government branch interpreting a statute written by another branch of government must do so with intellectual honesty and respect:
It is ... the Court’s task to determine the correct reading of Section 36B. If the statutory language is plain, the Court must enforce it according to its terms. But often times the meaning—or ambiguity—of certain words or phrases may only become evident when placed in context. So when deciding whether the language is plain, the Court must read the words “in their context and with a view to their place in the overall statutory scheme.”

When read in context, the phrase “an Exchange established by the State under [42 U. S. C. §18031]” is properly viewed as ambiguous. The phrase may be limited in its reach to State Exchanges. But it could also refer to all Exchanges—both State and Federal—for purposes of the tax credits. If a State chooses not to follow the directive in Section 18031 to establish an Exchange, the Act tells the Secretary of Health and Human Services to establish “such Exchange.” §18041. And by using the words “such Exchange,” the Act indicates that State and Federal Exchanges should be the same.
The Court ... must do its best, “bearing in mind the ‘fundamental canon of statutory construction that the words of a statute must be read in their context and with a view to their place in the over all statutory scheme.’”
(King v Burwell, 576 U.S. ___ , 2015, emphasis added). The inability to read in context is a problem of reading comprehension.

Good reading comprehension is composed of being able to comprehend the totality of a text and the proper impact which subtextual components should have.

The rabid myopia which engendered the notion that Congress' use of those four words should mandate the destruction of the health care of thousands or millions of Americans is shameful and violent.

Blowhard Presidential Candidates

One has to wonder about how much the American reputation has suffered in the eyes of the world since psychopaths have chosen to make their way into public life (When You Are Governed By Psychopaths - 2).

Country after country has called in the U.S. Ambassador for an explanation as to why a "freedom loving" country has to disrespect its own citizens as well as the citizens and governments of "its friends" by spying on them.

Oh, I get it, "the constitution is so quaint" in the


Today the murdered are being honored in Charleston even as others debate whether the flag of the hatemongering and warmongering racists of long ago should be honored by flying their battle flag today (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 10).

The previous post in this series is here.

Senator Sanders:

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR - 8?

Fig. 1 Arctic sea ice extent / area 6/27/15

In this series I have pointed out that sea level rise (SLR) projections must consider acceleration of the volume of ice sheets that are entering the oceans per year.

The old way of linear projections, by older software models, has been proven to be wrong.

Those models have consistently underestimated the rate of SLR caused by loss of ice volume on Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets.

So, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheet volume loss, in terms of contribution to SLR, is now determined by rate of acceleration of ice volume lost per year.

If the old models continue to be used, their linear formulas will faithfully underestimate the rate of loss of ice volume at the ice sheets of both Greenland and Antarctica (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7).

The exercise becomes, then, an issue of how much acceleration of ice volume loss is taking place (ibid, cf. The Evolution of Models, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10).

II. "Doubling" Is Another Way of Saying "Acceleration"

In general, acceleration is difficult to determine using only a year to year basis.

An alternate method of projection has been expressed by top scientists in terms of "doubling" of ice volume loss over some span of time:
The effect that 2, 3, 5, 7, and 10 year doubling has is that it determines when SLR reaches the 1 m / 3 ft. level:
10 yr = 2067
7 yr = 2055
5 yr = 2045
3 yr = 2035
2 yr = 2031
(The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR - 5?).  We focus most on 1 m / 3ft. because it is a point where many locations that are tidal will experience serious problems, especially with coastal infrastructure and ports (The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First).
(The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR - 7?). That "1 m / 3ft." level of SLR will be reached at a time that is dependent on the rate of acceleration of ice volume loss.

If acceleration of the amount of land ice which reaches the ocean, in the form of melt water or icebergs, doubles each two years from now on, then that "1 m / 3 ft." level of SLR will take place circa 2031, but if it doubles each 10 years from now on, then that "1 m / 3 ft." level of SLR will take place circa 2067.

III. Catastrophe Is What We Want To Avoid

Since that "1 m / 3ft." level of SLR is the catastrophic level, that is what we must keep our eyes on.

What will happen at that level and above is "unthinkable" (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States, The 1% May Face The Wrath of Sea Level Rise First, Why The Military Can't Defend Against The Invasion, Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization, 2, 3, 4).

It would change civilization as we have known it (Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 44, Will This Float Your Boat?, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11).

IV. The Wildcard Is "The Surge"

I found scientific papers which examine the evidence for historical surges in SLR (The Surge: A Forgotten Aspect of Sea Level Rise).

Surges or "pulses" are abrupt increases in acceleration of SLR.

The evidence indicates several surges in SLR (e.g. "Pulse 1A ... 1B and 1C") in the paleoclimatology records of ice cores, soil strata, etc. (ibid).

The larger the increase the slower they tend to be, taking more time to happen.

The only surge I am interested in is "pulse 1C", a "1 m / 3 ft." SLR which took place about 7-8,000 years ago, which left marks and other evidence in North America.

It is the most interesting surge, because "1 m / 3 ft." of SLR was all said and done in "a few years or less" (ibid).

Two vast lakes of melt water had been held back from entering the ocean by an ice dam which eventually collapsed as temperatures warmed, releasing all that water into the ocean.

There are no vast lakes now, but there are hundreds of "moulins" where melt water flows under Greenland's ice sheet and then disappears (The Question Is: How Much Acceleration Is Involved In SLR? - 4).

It is not known whether or not the water is being captured in sub-glacial canyons, thereby creating lakes, or is flowing out into the ocean.

Similar events now take place in Antarctica too (ibid).

V. We Know Less About Critical Issues Here Than There

As late as 2005, it was written:
"In spite of its importance, the mass balance (the net volumetric gain or loss) of the Antarctic ice sheet is poorly known; it is not known whether the ice sheet is growing or shrinking."
(The Agnotology of Sea Level Rise Via Ice Melt). We know more about the ice caps on Mars it would seem.

Yet, Greenland and Antarctica have enough ice sheet volume that if only 1.14% of their ice melts or otherwise makes it to the ocean, we will have the catastrophe that a "1 m / 3 ft." SLR can bring about (Why Sea Level Rise May Be The Greatest Threat To Civilization - 4).

We seem to know more about other planets, moons, comets, and the like, than we know about the planet where we are (You Are Here).

VI. There Is Some Uncertainty About "When"

The non-linearity mentioned in the Introduction means that we are made somewhat uncertain as to the timing of events by the nature of those events.

Notice Fig. 1, which shows that this year's Arctic sea ice extent or area was the lowest on record for several months, but has, as of a few days ago, fallen into second place (but "it ain't over 'til its over").

The year of record for lowest extent, 2012, was also a year of extreme melt events on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet.

During the years since then, we have not had those same record breaking events.

The point is that there are both surges and then non-linear years (not the same ice volume loss as the year before) following surges, where ups and downs take place.

Having said that, it is not the same as saying the ice volume loss stops.

Loss continues in a non-linear fashion, but overall there is an acceleration in the loss of ice volume in both Greenland and Antarctica (the ice volume loss graph line trend is upward).

VII. Conclusion

Even though there have been popular events such as the Papal encyclical, the view from astute observers is still quite pessimistic realistic (Greenland & Antarctica Invade The United States - 2).

Realistic in an extinction kind of way.

The previous post in this series is here.

David Puttnam on climate change:

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Saint E & V

"I want to dedicate this song to Mr. Rupert Murdoch" - Eagles

Dirty Laundry


I make my living off the evening news
Just give me something
Something I can use
People love it when you lose
They love dirty laundry

Well, I coulda been an actor
But I wound up here
I just have to look good
I don't have to be clear
Come and whisper in my ear
Give us dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em all around

We got the bubble headed
Bleached blonde
Comes on at five
She can tell you 'bout the plane crash
With a gleam in her eye
It's interesting when people die
Give us dirty laundry

Can we film the operation
Is the head dead yet
You know the boys in the newsroom
Got a running bet
Get the widow on the set
We need dirty laundry

[Instrumental Interlude]

You don't really need to find out
What's going on
You don't really want to know
Just how far it's gone
Just leave well enough alone
Eat your dirty laundry

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down

Kick 'em when they're up
Kick 'em when they're down
Kick 'em when they're stiff
Kick 'em all around

(Kick 'em when they're up)
(Kick 'em when they're down)
(Kick 'em when they're up)
(Kick 'em when they're down)

(Kick 'em when they're up)
(Kick 'em when they're down)
(Kick 'em when they're stiff)
(Kick 'em all around)

Dirty little secrets
Dirty little lies
We got our dirty little fingers
In everybody's pie
We love to cut you down to size
We love dirty laundry

We can do the Innuendo
We can dance and sing
When it's said and done
We haven't told you a thing
We all know that Crap is King
Give us dirty laundry

"I want all of your mind" - St. Vincent 
(impersonating propaganda journalists)

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 10

Time for symbolic racism to go away
During this series we have seen the science come to life.

I am talking about the social studies by social scientists who have ways of looking at society and culture with a microscope, as it were.

While it is easy to find scholarly papers on the subject (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 3, as that link / post shows), it is not so easy for journalists and laypersons to detect symbolic racism still flowing throughout our culture.

As I wrote in the previous post:
I began this series, on April 28, 2014.

Like you of course, at that time I had no idea that the Ferguson phenomenon would begin some months later on August 9, 2014.

In fact, by the time of the Ferguson phenomenon, I had already posted about half of the posts now contained in this series (Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
(Symbolic Racism: A Look At The Science - 9). The many police killings of unarmed black men brought out one type of criticism of symbolic racism, and now the mass-murder in South Carolina has brought out another type of criticism.

In the case of the police killings, it was difficult for many citizens to see the dynamism at work (because of underlying symbolic racism, and a cultural belief that the police are always doing the right thing).

The killing of black Christians in their church while they practised their religion, and prayed, was much easier for most people to diagnose.

There was an American Awakening.

Now, even better, we see a traditional American response with the energy directed toward removing a symbolic racism icon in South Carolina (S. Carolina Flag Change, NY Times;).

And in Mississippi (Mississippi Flag Change: Guardian).

Other public figures, from the President to the state's two U.S. Senators and Mitt Romney, have also called for removing the Confederate Battle Flag from state official locations.

They see the proper place for it as a museum of history (Take Down the Confederate Flag—Now, Top Republicans Call For Removal Of Confederate Flag At South Carolina Capitol).

I am glad that Dredd Blog was out in front on this issue, posting about it well in advance of these developments.

I am also glad to see official improvement from denial of one aspect of the problem into correction of that problem.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Peak Kleenx

Today a poem by Beatnik Elise Nada Cowen:

Rookie [@ Civilization]

No love

No compassion

No intelligence

No beauty

No humility

Twenty-seven years is enough

Mother--too late--years of meanness--I'm sorry

Daddy--What happened?

Allen--I'm sorry

Peter--Holy Rose Youth

Berry--Such womanly bravery

Keith--Thank you

Joyce--So girl beautiful

Howard--Baby take care

Leo--open the windows and Shalom

Carol--Let it happen

Let me out now please--

--Please let me in

(that poem is believed to have been her last)