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« Science: May 2012 | Main | Science: August 2012 »

Science

Another Good Reason to Stop Shaking People's Hands

So you don't get their ebola cooties.

On Monday Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni advised people to avoid shaking hands, casual sex and do-it-yourself burials to reduce the chance of contracting Ebola virus.

It's bad enough that handshakes are often awkward to synchronize and you risk having to touch someone's clammy hands-of-questionable-cleanliness. Now you could end up with liquified organs, too. It's just not worth it. Keep your hands to yourselves. Polite nods should come back in fashion.


By min | July 31, 2012, 12:49 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link



Perhaps Its Name Was Prophetic

Cause it's looking like Greenland will soon be green, afterall.

The Greenland ice sheet on July 8, left, and four days later on the right.
An estimated 97% of the ice sheet surface had thawed by July 12. Photograph: Nasa

The Greenland ice sheet melted at a faster rate this month than at any other time in recorded history, with virtually the entire ice sheet showing signs of thaw.

The rapid melting over just four days was captured by three satellites. It has stunned and alarmed scientists, and deepened fears about the pace and future consequences of climate change.

In a statement posted on Nasa's website on Tuesday, scientists admitted the satellite data was so striking they thought at first there had to be a mistake.

...

It was the second unusual event in Greenland in a matter of days, after an iceberg the size of Manhattan broke off from the Petermann Glacier. But the rapid melt was viewed as more serious.

"If you look at the 8 July image that might be the maximum extent of warming you would see in the summer," Zwally noted. "There have been periods when melting might have occurred at higher elevations briefly - maybe for a day or so - but to have it cover the whole of Greenland like this is unknown, certainly in the time of satellite records."

So, if you live near the coasts, i would suggest looking for a new place to live. Or start construction on your underwater habitat.


By min | July 25, 2012, 3:16 PM | Science | Comments (0)| Link



Never underestimate the lure of hippie punching

Paul Krugman points to an article by David Roberts on how the experts of a decade ago vastly underestimated the amount of energy gains to be had from renewable sources and increased energy efficiency.

Roberts thinks the reasons are due to the distributed nature of renewables, making estimations of innovation and usage difficult. Krugman says it's industry capture. But we shouldn't neglect the basic fact that solar and wind power are associated with dudes who also build houses out of used tires, and there's a natural tendency to dismiss them as cranks, especially among pundits but even possibly among the type of industry experts that Roberts is citing.

Anyway, it seems like Roberts has some good news for us.


By fnord12 | July 23, 2012, 12:16 PM | Liberal Outrage & Science | Comments (0)| Link



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