NASA’s Blue Marble 2012 Is A Fake

NASAGoddard has just celebrated on Twitter the fact that “Blue Marble 2012 with nearly 3.2 million views is now “one of the all time most viewed images” on @flickr http://bit.ly/xBOuD8“. That’s nice apart from the fact that it is a fake.

Even the Bad Astronomer was half-fooled initially, perhaps by the enthusiastic caption that still refers to a “hemisphere. However, as it should be clear given the relative size of the USA to the rest of the world, the “blue marble” does not show a hemisphere, and should be considered as “a picture taken with a huge huge fish-eye lens“.

A quick trip to Google Earth shows how a real Blue Marble would have looked like, minus the clouds:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This story has however a happier ending in the newst “Blue Marble”, the one showing Africa.

I can happily report it is the way it should’ve been . See Google Earth again:

Nice to see somebody at NASA still interested in the real world.

Preventative Nobel Peace Prize a Sign of the Times

After a (disastrous) preventative war in Iraq in 2003, we are going to see a (potentially disastrous) preventative Nobel Peace Prize awarded to Al Gore and the IPCC on December 10 at a ceremony in Oslo.

Why can’t we deal with real-and-present problems, and have to make up fantasies of new ones, I wonder?

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What will people make of our climate change circus in 50 years’ time is anybody’s guess.

Surely though, they will still question what Al Gore and the IPCC had actually done, by the middle of 2007, to deserve a prize. No Kyoto-II agreement has been reached yet, no CO2 emission cutting program has been implemented by any Government yet, and no “smoking gun” for greenhouse-gas-induced climatic change has been found yet.

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Things are actually a-moving, and the still-ongoing Bali conference may come out with a document asking developing countries to develop rather less. Who would have thought that “global warming” rhymes with “neocolonialism”?

And yet, there is some hope. The bandwagon has become so huge, it will be next-to-impossible to steer. Expect ridiculous targets nobody will ever try to reach, set for times unbelievably far in the future.

Until one day, the Sun will cool us down, and so will die the mad dream of anthropogenic climate change.

Venus Forecast

In a few years, the old ideas of Fred Singer will come back into fashion.

Venus’ retrograde rotation, incredibly massive atmosphere and relatively young (<500 million years) surface will be elegantly explained by the crash of a massive satellite half a billion years ago (with subsequent melting of much if not the whole crust, and humongous outgassing).

Current lead-melting surface temperatures will be just as beautifully explained by simple adiabatic processes.

The role of CO2 in the heating of the atmosphere via some “greenhouse effect” will be seriously reconsidered and almost completely dismissed.

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Some quick computations:

Ratio of available solar energy Venus/Earth: 190%

Earth, surface pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 288K
Venus, 50km altitude pressure: 1000 mbar; temperature: 330K
330K/288K = 114% < 190%

Venus, surface pressure: 90,000 mbar; temperature: 735K
Temperature of terrestrial air compressed from 288K/1,000mbar to 90,000mbar: 887K
735K/887K = 82.9% < 190%

Far from showing any CO2-induced global warming, Venus is much cooler than expected, likely because of the high-altitude clouds that prevent us from looking at the surface.

Tits In No Danger of Getting Own Cartoon

Countless movies and documentaries are boringly dedicated to the apparently highly-moral lives of penguins.

Why not European penduline tits then?

Here’s why…from this week’s The Economist:

[...] both males and females [of the European penduline tit or Remiz pendulinus] abandon their offspring, a strategy that, perversely, increases the number of chicks they have overall [...] in between 30% and 40% of cases both parents desert the clutch [...] both males and females can mate and lay eggs with up to seven different partners in one season

I’d say, the chances of any producer selecting Remiz Pendulinus as the inspiration for next big-budget cartoon, are pretty much zero…

ps More on low-morality birds: Promiscuous Mama Birds Bank on ‘Nannies’

Grey-sky Hubris on The Economist

If the effect of clouds on climate is “obscure” and “little is currently known about where [aerosols] end up in the atmosphere” (as recognised on The Economist’s “Grey-sky thinking”, July 5, 2007), what kind of hubris is necessary to state, as at the beginning of the article, that “the general trends [of climate] are clear”?

Late-XIX-century physics looked pretty much complete too, apart from the obscure problem of black-body radiation, solved by Planck in 1900 by discovering the hitherto completely unknown world of quantum physics.

Save the Planet, Freeze Hell Over!

Dear Friends and Colleagues

With carbon dioxide levels shooting up to unprecedented levels, it is high time we group together for a concerted action against the huge amounts of climate-change-inducing emissions…from fires in Hell.

Known GHG polluter, local manager and evildoer Mr. Lucipher can indeed be stopped…all we have to do is abolish taxes, defeat prostitution or whatever else will make the place of eternal damnation turn into a glacial wasteland!

Gulf Stream Myths

Myth #1: The Gulf Stream will fail if a massive outpour of freshwater will come out of Greenland glaciers due to increasing temperatures.

Answer: No, it most definitely will not. As explained by Carl Wunsch, Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Physical Oceanography at the MIT in Cambridge, Mass. (USA), in a letter published on The Economist:

The Gulf Stream is a wind-driven phenomenon (as explained in a famous 1948 paper by Henry Stommel). [...] Shut-off would imply repeal of the law of conservation of angular momentum [...] focusing on near-impossible Gulf Stream failure is an unproductive distraction

Myth #2: The Gulf Stream is responsible for the milder weather in the United Kingdom and part of Northern Europe than North American regions at similar latitudes.

Answer: No, it most definitely does not. As explained by Richard Seager, Senior Research Scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, in an article published on American Scientist:

That the Gulf Stream is responsible for Europe’s mild winters is [...] nothing more than the earth-science equivalent of an urban legend.

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Seager’s comments are particularly telling on how current Climatology is self-destroying by way of catastrophism:

Pretty much everything we had found could have been concluded on the basis of results that were already available [...]

All Battisti and I did was put these pieces of evidence together and add in a few more illustrative numerical experiments. Why hadn’t anyone done that before? [...] The blame lies with modern-day climate scientists who either continue to promulgate the Gulf Stream-climate myth or who decline to clarify the relative roles of atmosphere and ocean in determining European climate. This abdication of responsibility leaves decades of folk wisdom unchallenged, still dominating the front pages, airwaves and Internet, ensuring that a well-worn piece of climatological nonsense will be passed down to yet another generation.

Sustainable People

Planet-wide Overpopulation?

(a) Acres needed to feed a person at US dietary standards = 1.2 (= 0.49 hectares)

(b) # of people = 6.5 billions

(c) Land needed to feed them = (a) * (b) = 31.5 million sq km

(d) Land available = 74 million sq km (from Wikipedia = half of the planet’s “dry” land area)

—-> “Current occupation index” = (c) / (d) = 42.4%

In other words, even if all humans were fed according to US dietary standards, there would be space for 15 billion people.

Even by being very conservative on the figures, it is hard to imagine why the planet would not be able to feed 10 or 12 billion humans.

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Interestingly, in an article published in Nature (“The end of world population growth” Nature 412, 543-545, August 2001), Lutz et al. forecast a maximum of 8 billion people, around 2075.

And I haven’t even mentioned likely, incremental agricultural improvements.

Planet-wide Overpopulation, then? Not at all.

And there goes another myth of contemporary catastrophism…