Inside science news

You can't keep a good scam down - or out

At www.physorg.com/print250746994.html ... the Nobel scientist who warned the world of thinning ozone in the atmosphere has died - and suddenly all the hype has resurfaced, namely that human use of chloroflourocarbons was causing the ozone hole. It's amazing how many times something can be debunked and yet it will regurgitate endlessly - something that happens all the time with CAGW. Shoot something down in flames and turn your back - and they are up and at it. In the late 20th century the Sun was very active.

A bright streak and a pale red dot

The police received a number of calls concerning a huge fireball that crossed the sky from Scotland to Devon around 21.40 on March 3rd, escribed as incredibly bright - see www.bbc.co.uk/news/mobile/world-17248959 and www.physorg.com/print250164570.html. This follows several fireballs seen over North America during February - but where do they come from? It is only a matter of weeks since the passage of an asteroid that came relatively close to the earth, in astronomical terminology that is, but might there be a connection? Was the asteroid a defunct comet?

Fakegate ... get up to speed (and sustenance for the science buffs)

This is really climate change but it is also having a look inside science, hence the heading. Fakegate has dominated the blogosphere for the last fortnight. Very little about it has hit mainstream media but one place to look is http://wattsupwiththat.com (a lot of posts) and for those seeking a shred of amusement, always the best option, go to http://climateaudit.org/2012/02/25/gleick-and-americas-dumbest-criminal/.

How contrary views are suppressed

At www.newgeology.us/presentation36.html there is an article by a scientists who has worked at the US Geological Survey for over 40 years and is the author of 100 refereed articles from 1950 to the present etc. He accepts Plate Tectonics as a working hypothesis but he now realises one component of the theory, mantle plumes, is quite wrong (in his opinion, I should add). He was surprised at the antagonism his scepticism produced - and clearly it is not just climate science that generates bad feeling or brickbats instead of honest evaluation of new ideas.

Science and Dogmatism

Another example of scientists driven by dogmatism  - defending the consensus at all costs and attacking new discoveries without bothering to pause and think, stop and look, or evaluate the 'what if' factor. Dismissing something out of hand is a trait surprisingly common among scientists in senior positions - and those clinging to their coat tails. The latest example is at www.thunderbolts.info/wp/2012/02/02/painted-into-a-corner/ where Rens Van der Sliujs draws our attention to the rock paintings collected by Anthony Perratt in New Mexico and Arizona.

Wegener

At www.physorg.com/print244918262.html ... there is a piece that describes how modern Plate Tectonics has migrated from the idea originally proposed by Alfred Wegener in the early 20th century. Wegener proposed' continental drift' - he had it wrong after all, they say. In fact, since his work was published under the title, 'The Origin of Continents and Oceans', Wegener's hypothesis has been consistently under attack - and continues thus. Modern scientists are convinced they know more about everything than their predecessors - but is this true?

The dark one, the bright one, and a volcano that has popped up on the sea bed off the Canaries

A huge asteroid will fly past the earth on Tuesday November 8th, some 400m in girth. It is very dark - the colour of charcoal. It also seems to be porous - see www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111101134315.htm

The bright one is the currently active Sun. One region is alive with sun spots that are currently pointing away from the Earth. Within a week or so the orbit of the Sun will bring them into alignment with the Earth - but will they remain as active? See www.physorg.com/print239560785.html

Antarctica in the News

There is a fun post at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/09/07/frozen-global-warming-research/ a post by Willis Eschenbach, in a dry style. It seems that because of faith in AGW the Americans did away with their ice breaker fleet some years ago. At some later point they found they needed an ice breaker in order to bring in supplies for their team of scientists studying the effects of co2 on the Antarctic ice sheet and hired one from Sweden - and this has been the situation for the last few years.

Tiljander lake sediment data

Proxy data known as the Tiljander series, named after the original researcher on lake varves in a Scandinavian body of water, pops up in the new sea level hockey stick model in spite of the controversy that exists, as pointed out by the original research and by Steve McIntyre and others in a series of searing demolitions of its use in Mann hockey sticks - upside down. Now, the myth is that this particular series of data is used bottom up for a reason - to produce a desired result (eliminating the Medieval Warm Period).

When scientists and the powers that be get miffed by the little people

An interesting story at www.physorg.com/print227783739.html where scientists working on genetic modification and improved seed research associated with the 'green revolution' in the hope of inventing the Mark 2 version have pubicly criticised a spot of down to earth on the ground and get your hands dirty bit of homespun improvised rice growing improvements that began life in Madagascar under the auspices of a priest.