Posts filed under “Science”

How Bad is BP Deepwater Horizon?

Here is a decidedly contrarian viewpoint, from University of Alabama Professor Dr. Roy Spencer.

Prof Spencer notes that the general commentary regarding the BP spill as “the worst environmental disaster in history” is wildly overblown. His graph below is designed to put this spill into perspective.

Now, before you wail that he is a global warming crank — he claims “global warming is mostly natural, and that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions” — I have a serious question about the chart below. Is it true? Does it accurately portray the state of global oil spills?:

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Assuming it is accurate, the chart itself is intriguing — and should touch off a broader discussion of Oil production and usage.

Note: I know I am going to get bombarded with emails about Spencer. Regardless of whether he is an industry hack, a science denialist, etc. (and he more or less is), I am referencing his data, not him. Unless you can demonstrate that the data underlying the chart is false, the rest of his background is irrelevant.

If his data is accurate, then the above is a fascinating chart . . .

Category: Contrary Indicators, Energy, Science, UnScience

Human Capital “Density”

All those forecasts of the end of cities have yet to come to fruition. Perhaps the following chart, via Richard Florida (The Atlantic) helps to explain why: >

Category: Psychology, Science

The Hottest Known Planet is Doomed

That hottest known planet may be its shortest-lived … This NASA artist’s concept image shows that the hottest known planet in the Milky Way galaxy may also be its shortest-lived world. The doomed planet is being eaten by its parent star, according to observations made by a new instrument on NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope, the…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend

Oil Slick Moving North?

Here is some scary news: The Gulf Oil leak has developed a tail. This suggests it is catching onto the loop current, which could take this around the Florida peninsula and up the East coast. Check out these NASA photos: Oil Tail Below Spill Loop Current The hell with this . . . I am…Read More

Category: Energy, Science

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Vaccine-autism claims, “Frankenfood” bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public’s growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress. hat tip boingboing

Category: Really, really bad calls, Science, Weekend

Ripening Stars Near Rosette Nebula

How cool are these photos? Photo courtesy of NASA Photo courtesy of ESA

Category: Science, Weekend

Interactive Climate Data Map

Cool map from Vizworld: >

Category: Science, Weekend

Planetary Playthingie: AstroTour

Very cool way to play with the solar system: Hat tip GMSV

Category: Science, Weekend

The Return of Collision Detection

Clive Thompson is blogging again. He is a science writer, and publishes frequently about gaming, technology, science, and other fun items for Wired and the NYT. His blog is Collision Detection. If you recognized his name, Clive is the person who turned us on to the idea of Agnotology. He fell off the blogging wagon…Read More

Category: Science, Technology, Weblogs

A Guide to the Cosmos

Via the NYT discussion of “Far Out: A Space-Time Chronicle,” we get these outstanding photos, an “an exquisite picture guide to the universe by Michael Benson, a photographer, journalist and filmmaker, and obviously a longtime space buff.” The Andromeda Galaxy Cat’s Paw Nebula The colliding Antenna Galaxies Carina Nebula (note the eerily suspended Bok Globules…Read More

Category: Science, Weekend