Cave Climate Conclusions Compromised

first_imgWidely used to infer past climates, isotope measurements from stalactites and stalagmites in caves can mislead researchers.They are among the most useful storytellers of earth history: speleothems, or cave formations. Scientists collect samples from stalactites and stalagmites, take them to their labs, and measure the fractions of stable oxygen and carbon isotopes found in their inclusions of crystals of calcium carbonate or calcite. From these crystal balls, the scientists look far into the past, envisioning climate change and long ages. What could be more straightforward? The data prove it.A funny thing happens on the way to the lab. The isotopic fractionations become altered. Here’s what a team of speleologists (cave scientists) conclude from expeditions into a couple of caves in Hungary.Speleothem deposits are among the most valuable continental formations in paleoclimate research, as they can be dated using absolute dating methods, and they also provide valuable climate proxies. However, alteration processes such as post-depositional mineralogical transformations can significantly influence the paleoclimatic application of their geochemical data.Climate scientists know about some of the alteration processes, but this team points out new ones that have not been appreciated. The paper in Nature‘s open-access journal Scientific Reports concentrates on one alteration process—the transformation of amorphous calcium carbonate (ACC) to nanocrystalline calcite—but suggests there are other factors that, if not properly accounted for, can have “serious consequences” on the interpretation given the data.Here’s the basic problem with ACC: it depletes the fraction of stable oxygen-18 ions (δ18O) before transforming into crystalline calcite. This happens within a few hours or days, potentially giving wrong readings in the lab when the speleothems are measured. The scientists, therefore, might be measuring different values in their refrigerator samples than the crystal as it was forming in the cave long ago. If they expect their measurements to represent a “proxy” (a measurement standing in for something else, like climate), they could be fooling themselves.Detection of ACC is rather difficult in cave deposits, as ACC can undergo transformation to calcite in minutes in a hydrous environment, and even stabilizing compounds like Mg or organic matter are only capable of extending its stability to some weeks. Taking into consideration the general precipitation rate (0.1 to 1 mm per year), the collection of carbonate in appropriate amounts for mineralogical or geochemical analyses requires several months. Over the course of such a long collection time, however, the original ACC can be transformed into calcite. Although ACC preparation in the laboratory is a routine procedure, its synthesis requires conditions distinctly different from those to be found in natural cave environments, e.g. mixing of CaCl2 and NaCO3 or (NH4)2CO3 solutions. Hence, the preparation conditions and characteristics of synthetic ACC render it inappropriate to function as an analogue of its natural counterpart, thus it cannot provide the information sought.The scientists observed ACC forming onsite in the cave on special collection surfaces. The ACC can exist in open or closed systems, depending on whether the inclusions become embedded within the dripwater, reaching equilibrium. The researchers in the lab will not always be able to tell whether calcite from which they obtain δ18O measurements reflect actual conditions in the cave or altered conditions when the ACC lowered the value during crystallization. The conclusions on which they base dates or paleoclimates could be in error.If this were the only worry, perhaps scientists could learn to correct for it by identifying other proxies for the presence of ACC. Unfortunately, this is not the only concern. ACC formation is a function of temperature, conductivity, pH, CO2 concentration, degassing rate, evaporation rate, drip rate and other factors. Unless these factors are known and controlled, and unless researchers gather their data in actual cave environments, they could be misled.The team also notes that scientists get different equations whether they use theoretical analyses, experimental techniques or empirical observations.Uncertainties in the estimation of ACC amount is a major weakness in the fractionation calculation, hence the verification of calcite-ACC fractionation estimation requires independent information provided either by experimental studies or by natural analogues. The experimental determination of ACC-water oxygen isotope fractionation representative for speleothem formation is challenging because (i) ACC rapidly transforms to calcite during the preparation and (ii) laboratory ACC synthesis requires physical and chemical conditions distinctly different from those found in a cave environment. Available estimations of δ18O differences between crystalline and amorphous carbonates formed in natural environments suggest that the crystalline carbonate is several ‰ more enriched in 18O than its amorphous counterpart (dolomite, aragonite, Mg-calcite).What you actually get may not be what you believe you got. Different caves and different forms of calcium carbonate may give very different results. The paper sounds a warning call to researchers:The present study provides direct evidence for relatively 18O-depleted ACC formation in caves at about 10 °C. Since the δ18O value of inclusion-hosted water may carry significant paleoclimatic/paleohydrological information, it is important to note that its use is limited by the cave environment.The authors add one more source of uncertainty: microbes. They toss out that potentially significant alteration right at the end of the paper, after summarizing reasons why you can’t trust the values in this “most valuable” method of inferring paleoclimates and dates. Oh, and don’t forget the unidentified organic compounds in the dripwater, which can vary significantly from cave to cave and also affect ACC formation.A number of experimental studies have shown that the formation and stability of ACC may be influenced by the physical parameters of the ambient environment and the chemical compositions of the parent solutions. In natural cave environments the most important factors might be the cave temperature, drip water pH, as well as concentrations of Mg, SO42− and organic compounds in the solution. A comprehensive study is suggested to cover several cave environments with different temperatures, ventilation degree, soil characteristics, drip water chemistry and carbonate growth rates in order to determine the exact factors governing ACC formation. The transition from ACC to calcite has been shown to take place in several steps with intermediate hydration states and mineral phases like vaterite. Investigations on the ACC-calcite transition and its governing factors require monitoring of mineralogical changes at high temporal resolution. Additionally to the inorganic factors, the role of microbial activity should also be investigated. Amorphous carbonates are ubiquitously secreted by living organisms in sedimentary environments, hence microbial mediated carbonate precipitation is also a potentially important process in ACC formation, whose exploration requires systematic biological/biochemical investigations.It appears that climatologists leaning on cave data know a lot less than they thought they knew. This final paragraph almost makes it seem like it’s time to toss out the equations and interpretations and start over. Isn’t that implied by “a comprehensive study is suggested” using “systematic biological/biochemical investigations” in multiple caves with varying conditions?Reference: “Formation of amorphous calcium carbonate in caves and its implications for speleothem research” by Attila Demény, Péter Németh, et al., Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 39602 (2016), doi:10.1038/srep39602, published 22 Dec 2016.Remember this paper the next time you are presented with scientific “facts” that prove a scientific “consensus” of one sort or another. The conclusions of any empirical study cannot be divorced from the assumptions that go into those conclusions. A consensus is most dangerous when the conclusion is decided in advance, and scientists within a preferred paradigm go out looking for evidence to confirm it. (Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Flydubai crash

first_imgA FlyDubai Boeing 737-800 operating flight FZ981 from Dubai to Rostov-on-Don in southern Russia has crashed while aborting its second approach for landing in bad weather killing all 62 passengers and crew on board. Air-traffic control, local emergency services and the airline have confirmed that the Boeing 737-800 jet crashed near the runway.According to Aviation Herald the 737-800, registration A6-FDN had aborted the first approach to Rostov’s runway 22 at 01:41L due to weather and entered a hold initially at 8,000 feet, after 30 minutes at that altitude the aircraft climbed to 15,000ft. After about 2 hours of holding the pilots commenced another approach to Rostov’s runway 22.However at that time the winds were gusting 42 knots (78km/hr), According to Aviation-Safety.net ADS-B data recorded by Flightradar24 show the aircraft descending to an altitude of 1550 feet when it began to climb again at 3nm (5,6 km) short of the runway.It reached about 3975 feet until the aircraft entered a steep descent before impacting airport terrain.However the Rostov branch of the Emergencies Ministry told media that the aircraft’s wing touched the runway, causing the aircraft to break apart and burst into flames.The 737 had sufficient fuel for another 2 hours of flight and could have easily diverted to another airport as an Aeroflot flight had done earlier.FlyDubai is a Dubai based low cost airline formed in 2009 that operates to 95 destinations with 50 aircraft.Up to today’s crash it had a perfect safety record.CCTV camera footage posted on YouTube claims to have captured the moment of the explosion as the aircraft impacted the ground. See the video here:last_img read more

UAAP Starting 5: Week 10

first_imgThe Final Four is complete with Ateneo, De La Salle, Adamson University, and Far Eastern University heading to the playoffs.That, however, wasn’t the only thing to happen at the end of the UAAP Season 80 men’s basketball tournament. ADVERTISEMENT Ateneo suffered its first defeat after going undefeated in its first 13 outings while University of Santo Tomas finally won a game after a 0-13 start.And with all that out of the way, here are the top players by position in the final week of eliminations.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSSEA Games: Philippines picks up 1st win in men’s water poloSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutCenter: Ben Mbala (De La Salle Green Archers)Ben Mbala. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/ INQUIRER.netBig Ben Mbala exacted revenge on Ateneo in the final game of the elimination and he did it the only way a Ben Mbala does and that was to dominate. MOST READ In the two games Far Eastern University played this week, Tolentino was the unquestioned offensive focal point as he averaged 17.5 points and a respectable 7.5 rebounds.Forward: J-Jay Alejandro (National University Bulldogs)Jay Alejandro. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netJ-Jay Alejandro played his last two games in the UAAP, and walked off the collegiate league leaving stellar numbers.NU’s heart and soul did what he does best in his final week with the Bulldogs and that is by filling up the stat sheets. Alejandro averaged 16.5 points, five rebounds, three offensive rebounds, and 8.5 assists on his way out of NU.Paul Desiderio (University of the Philippines) Paul Desiderio. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netPaul Desiderio likes to score, and that statement is indisputable.And he did that in UP’s last week in Season 80.Desiderio matched his career-high of 30 points on Saturday when he lit NU up in the Fighting Maroons’ 106-81 win.And for his weekly average, Desiderio scored 23 points a game. Guard: Juan Gomez de LiañoJuan Gomez de Liaño. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netDesiderio isn’t the only one who likes to score for the Fighting Maroons.Rookie Juan Gomez de Liaño does too.In the two games UP played this week, Gomez de Liaño breached 20 points twice and averaged 21.5 points with 9.5 rebounds.Honorable mentionsSteve Akomo (University of Santo Tomas Growling Tigers)Steve Akomo. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netUniversity of Santo Tomas won its lone game of Season 80 thanks in large part to its starting big man.Steve Akomo is the owner of this year’s highest single-game rebounding total of 20 boards, and he did that once more in UST’s 88-85 win over University of the East while also scoring 18 points and blocking six shots.And Akomo’s mark of six blocks is tied with Mbala and Issa Gaye’s record for most in one game. Ricci Rivero (De La Salle Green Archers) John Lloyd Cruz a dashing guest at Vhong Navarro’s wedding CPP denies ‘Ka Diego’ arrest caused ‘mass panic’ among S. Tagalog NPA Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:00Chief Justice Peralta on upcoming UAAP game: UP has no match against UST01:37Protesters burn down Iran consulate in Najaf01:47Panelo casts doubts on Robredo’s drug war ‘discoveries’01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games Ricci Rivero. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netIt seems La Salle has settled with Ricci Rivero as its secondary offensive option.And although Mbala’s 20 field goal attempts against Ateneo were almost 30 percent of La Salle’s total output, Rivero still had plenty for him as he put up 13 and making seven of those. Rivero also got to the line for his fair share of charities as he went 5-of-7 from the stripe. Overall, Rivero finished with 21 points, five rebounds, and two steals. Japan ex-PM Nakasone who boosted ties with US dies at 101 QC cops nab robbery gang leader, cohort Elite rookie Jose vows to work hard after signing 3-year max dealcenter_img Stronger peso trims PH debt value to P7.9 trillion Read Next For the complete collegiate sports coverage including scores, schedules and stories, visit Inquirer Varsity. With a second straight MVP in the bag, the La Salle center went crazy and dismantled Ateneo in every statistical category.Mbala registered 28 points, 19 rebounds, six steals, six blocks, and a big defensive stop down the stretch to preserve the Green Archers 79-76 win over the Blue Eagles.Forward: Arvin Tolentino (Far Eastern University Tamaraws)Arvin Tolentino. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.netArvin Tolentino has often been an unassuming player, to the point of being lackadaisical that his head coach Olsen Racela repeatedly challenged him to give more effort. Well Tolentino may be lackadaisical, but his numbers aren’t.ADVERTISEMENT LATEST STORIES Kammuri turning to super typhoon less likely but possible — Pagasa Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Typhoon Kammuri accelerates, gains strength en route to PH View commentslast_img read more

Travelling lawyers bringing legal services to Northeast BC

first_imgFORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — Two Vancouver-based lawyers will be hitting the road in a 24-foot RV to bring legal services to residents in Northern BC over the next few weeks.Two of the three founders of Reach Legal, which was launched last month, will be clocking more than 2,500 kilometres over 10 days this month to bring much-needed legal services to residents of underserved communities. Reach Legal operates on a web-based platform to offer individuals and businesses across the province convenience, flexibility, and options when choosing a new lawyer.“We believe that all BC residents should have access to specialized legal services, regardless of the size or location of their community,” said Erin Brandt, one of the lawyers behind Reach Legal, and the official route planner for the RV trip. Lawyers Erin Brandt, left, and Paula Krawus are travelling Northern B.C. in The Law Bus. Supplied photo.The “Law Bus” journey will visit communities from Williams Lake to Fort Nelson, including: Quesnel, Mackenzie, Tumbler Ridge, Dawson Creek, Fort St. John and Chetwynd.“In smaller communities it can be a real challenge for residents to find expert legal representation. In some cases, it’s practically impossible,” said Simon Kent, another of Reach Legal’s founders.Kent cites examples of cases where a community may not have two lawyers available for a divorce case, leaving one spouse without representation. Reach Legal hopes to fill this gap with its innovative plan to offer legal services via video conferencing and other mobile options. The legal team said it will travel as needed for court appearances, and is also planning to provide support for their fellow lawyers already practising across B.C.“Lawyers in smaller communities are often asked to take on complex cases that require specialized knowledge outside their primary practice area, simply because there are no other local options,” said Brandt. “We hope to act as a bridge for these lawyers, connecting them with legal professionals who can consult on specific cases and specialized areas of law. The idea is to build a stronger community of legal professionals in these regions, by supporting what is already working.” The Reach Legal RV’s itinerary is as follows: Tuesday, May 8: QuesnelWednesday, May 9: MackenzieThursday, May 10: Tumbler RidgeThursday, May 10: Dawson CreekFriday, May 11: Fort St. JohnSunday, May 13 – Tuesday, May 15: Fort NelsonTuesday, May 15  Thursday, May 17: Fort St. JohnThursday, May 17: Chetwynd (tentative)last_img read more

Three Moroccans Among the Top 100 Most Powerful Arab Women

first_imgTaroudant – The Arabian Business Magazine listed three Moroccan women among the CEO Middle East list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women released in early March, 2014.One of the youngest names on the list, is Moroccan Maha Laziri, founder of Teach4Morocco, who ranked 17th.The magazine ranked Moroccan feminist writer and sociologist Fatema Mernissi 42nd and the head of the International Centre for Biosaline Agriculture (ICBA), Ismahane Elouafi 73rd. UAE’s first female minister, Sheikha Lubna Al Qassimi, tops the CEO Middle East list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Arab Women.Moroccan women have always been listed on the rankings of highly educated and influential women in the world.According to the recent list of ‘Top-20 Most Influential Women in Science in the Islamic World’ conducted by Muslim-Science.com, Ismahane Elouafi, food safety champion, is among the eight scientists listed under “the shapers” category, being the only North African woman included in this ranking dominated by Pakistanis.Moroccan Hafida Torres Balalioui, Adviser at COPO, (Council of all People’s Organization), and a Board member of AMCN (American Moroccan Competencies Network) Organization, was among the 2013 ‘Extraordinary Women”.Last year, In honor of International Women’s Day, the Moroccan professor, Majida Bargach, who is interim director of the University of Virginia’s Center for International Studies, has also won the Extraordinary Achievement Award in Education.The world statistics show that women outnumber men all over the world, yet only few of them are recognized for the prominent role they play at every level and their contributions to the progress and well-being of their societies.The Middle East leading magazine ranked the Arab women according to the influential role they play in their societies and the impact they have in their field of work.© Morocco World News. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributedlast_img read more

Contrast this with senators and congressmen who st

first_imgContrast this with senators and congressmen who stay in office for decades on end, selling all sorts of favors, amassing multi-million dollar campaign funds, and making themselves rich in the process. Most of them never really go away. At this point, our philosophical forefathers would be looking for places to buy torches… and they would be ready to beat anyone who called a system that supports such shenanigans a democracy.#4: Citizens chosen for positions like overseer of the marketplace were chosen completely at random. The word democracy is held in awe these days. Mention it almost anywhere and you’ll get instant nods of approval. People actually believe that democracy gives us harmony and peace, not to mention wealth. They are sure that it is the ultimate and inevitable end of human development, created by the wise and noble Greeks and given to us, the enlightened society that took it to the ends of the Earth! But if the ancient Greeks could see what we call ‘democracy,’ they would spit at it. They’d probably want to burn it down. As many problems as they had (and they had plenty), they were not fools, and it wouldn’t take them a day to condemn what the West now worships. Why would the old Greeks be so upset? Let’s take a look at their (Athenian) system and see how our modern form stacks up: #1: Greek citizen assemblies met 40 times per year in an open, public forum. Any citizen could speak and any citizen could vote. A vote of those present was final. Have you paid attention to the DC crowd lately? Have you noticed that they never leave? Instead, they slide back and forth between congress, commissions, agencies, lobbying firms, mega-corps and media. Have you noticed how often their children marry each other? Imagine choosing the boss of the IRS at random. We all know what would happen: You’d get a housewife from Portland one year and a plumber from Topeka the next. And they’d act like humans, rather than unfeeling automatons. The sanctimonious abuser state would crumble.#5: At the beginning of their democracy, the citizens of Athens were divided into ten tribes (and NOT along regional or family lines). This was done specifically to break the power of the aristocratic families. Because of this, the Greeks would be insulted when you assured them that we have “the rule of law.” They would say that when people can’t know the law, they are living in a tyranny, and no amount of fancy argumentation would convince them otherwise. And, again, they would be right. If you are ignorant of the law (80,000 pages of government-speak) but are still subject to punishment under the law, you are living in a tyranny. The founders would have no confusion about that.#3: A Council oversaw the daily affairs of the democracy. Each of ten tribes provided 50 men. But, only one tribe’s men (50 of them) served at any one time, and only for one month. (The Greeks had ten months in their year.) And once any person served as a Councilor, they were forbidden from serving again for ten years. That’s called “aristocracy.” However, people who are emotionally bound to the system can’t see it. The Greeks certainly wouldn’t be fooled.Losing Our Religion Do you remember a haunting song from the 90s called Losing My Religion? If so, cue that up in the back of your mind, because that’s what stands in front of the people of the West. The majestic “Democracy” that was supposed to be our savior is actually an abusive fraud. It’s time to let it go. That’s not easy, I know, but it needs to be done. Will you take the first step? Paul Rosenberg FreemansPerspective.comcenter_img Under this arrangement, playing tricks became almost impossible: as soon as the first of the month came along, the next tribe could turn your tricks around and do worse to you. If you were to take an ancient Greek to see “our laws,” they’d be looking at more than 80,000 pages of almost indecipherable language. (And those would be only the Federal laws.) The citizen is clearly unable to participate or even to understand what’s going on. Just this fact would cause the “fathers of civilization” to pronounce our system a fraud, and rightly so. The citizens are non-participants.#2: Laws were inscribed on stone pillars (stelae) and posted in prominent locations so that everyone would see them. Contrast that with what passes for (American) democracy now: Only special people are allowed to attend the assemblies. On top of that, there are far, far more meetings than anyone could hope to follow: General sessions, meetings for dozens of committees, party caucuses and more, running at all hours. No one person can come remotely close to keeping up with it all. Greek laws were accessible to every Greek. Not only were they required to be posted, but this requirement also guaranteed that there couldn’t be too many of them. Look at the Presidential lineup: Bush – Clinton – Bush – Obama – Clinton? – Bush?last_img read more

USA Today published an opinion column by President

first_imgUSA Today published an opinion column by President Trump Wednesday in which the president falsely accused Democrats of trying to “eviscerate” Medicare, while defending his own record of protecting health care coverage for seniors and others.The column — published just weeks ahead of the midterm elections — underscores the political power of health care to energize voters. But it makes a number of unsubstantiated claims.Here are 5 points to know1. The political context: Health care has emerged as a dominant issue on the campaign trail in the runup to the November elections. According to the Wesleyan Media Project, which tracks congressional advertising, health care was the focus of 41 percent of all campaign ads in September, outpacing taxes (20 percent), jobs (13 percent) and immigration (9 percent). Democrats are particularly focused on health care, devoting 50 percent of their ads to the issue, but health care is also a leading issue in Republican commercials (28 percent), second only to taxes (32 percent).Perhaps sensing that Democrats are gaining traction, Trump has decided to go on the attack, targeting the Democratic proposal known as “Medicare for All.”2. Cost of the plan: Trump claims that expanding the federal government’s Medicare program would cost $32.6 trillion over a decade. But as Business Insider reports, that would actually be a discount compared with the nation’s current health care bill.Trump’s figure was calculated by the libertarian Mercatus Center, but he fails to note that total health care spending under Medicare for All would be about $2 trillion less over the decade than currently projected. The federal government would pay more, but Americans on the whole would pay less.Remember that the U.S. already spends far more per person on health care than does any other country. And when you count the tax break for employer-provided insurance, the federal government already pays about two-thirds of this bill. But because of the fragmented private insurance system, the government gets none of the efficiency or buying power that a single-payer system would provide.3. Health care rationing: Trump claims — with no supporting evidence — that “the Democratic plan would inevitably lead to the massive rationing of health care. Doctors and hospitals would be put out of business. Seniors would lose access to their favorite doctors. There would be long wait lines for appointments and procedures. Previously covered care would effectively be denied.”Detailed implementation of any single-payer plan would of course be subject to substantial negotiation. But the Medicare for All bill drafted by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., states explicitly that “Nothing in this Act shall prohibit an institutional or individual provider from entering into a private contract with an enrolled individual for any item or service” outside the plan.4. Pre-existing conditions: Trump notes that as a candidate, he “promised that we would protect coverage for patients with pre-existing conditions.” In fact, Trump and his fellow Republicans tried — unsuccessfully — to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which guarantees insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. GOP plans would leave it up to the states to craft alternative protections. In addition, Republican attorneys general have sued to overturn Obamacare’s protections, and the Trump administration has declined to defend them.America’s Health Insurance Plans, the trade group for the insurance industry, warns that ending the Obamacare guarantee could result in hardship for the estimated 130 million Americans under 65 with pre-existing conditions.”Removing those provisions will result in renewed uncertainty in the individual market, create a patchwork of requirements in the states, cause rates to go even higher for older Americans and sicker patients, and make it challenging to introduce products and rates for 2019,” AHIP said in a statement in June.5. Strength of Medicare: Trump writes that “Democrats have already harmed seniors by slashing Medicare by more than $800 billion over 10 years to pay for Obamacare. Likewise, Democrats would gut Medicare with their planned government takeover of American health care.”He is repeating a claim that was widely debunked during the 2012 election. The Affordable Care Act actually strengthened the solvency of Medicare, but it has since been weakened again by the GOP tax cut.The president is trying to play on the fears of seniors — who vote in large numbers — with the claim that any effort to improve health security for younger Americans must come at their expense. But that is a false choice. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more