Wednesday, April 01, 2015

It's not only Warmists who do crap science

Two of the biggest predictors of health are both politically incorrect to mention:  IQ and social class.  But ignoring them leads to all sorts of foolish conclusions.  Causes and effects are regularly mis-identified.  The misidentification can be rather hilarious  -- as below, where eating your greens is said to add 11 years to your life.

The African-American in the woodpile below is social class.  Middle class people are much more likely to follow official dietary advice and are also healthier. They are also healthier if they DON'T follow dietary advice.  So in the study below both the longer lives and the vegetable-rich diet are effects of social class.  There is no reason to believe that the diet had any effect on longevity.

The reasons why middle class people live longer are probably multifarious, with less risky lifestyles and more use of medical services being two such factors.  On the other hand there seems to be a general syndrome of biological fitness, with better health and IQ being connected -- meaning that high IQ is probably an  outcome of generally better brain health.  And smarter people are more likely to get rich and be middle class.  So there are a lot of interwoven effects there -- but diet has got nothing to do with any of it.

A study found that pensioners who regularly ate spinach and other leafy greens stayed sharper for longer.  Men and women who had just one or two helpings a day had the brainpower of people 11 years younger.

The US researchers said that something as simple as eating more greens could help protect against the onset of Alzheimer’s.

The researchers, from Rush University in Chicago, quizzed 950 men and women about their diet.  The volunteers, who had an average age of 81, then did a battery of mental tests every year for up to ten years.

The brains of those who ate leafy green vegetables, such as spinach and kale, aged more slowly, the Experimental Biology conference in Boston heard.  The effect was big, with the slowing of cognitive decline equivalent to 11 years, on average.

It is thought that vitamin K, folate or vitamin B9, and the natural colourings lutein and beta-carotene were behind the effects.

Researcher Dr Martha Morris said: ‘Losing one’s memory or cognitive abilities is one of the biggest fears for people as they get older.... ‘Our study provides evidence that eating green leafy vegetables and other foods rich in vitamin K, lutein and beta-carotene can help to keep the brain healthy to preserve functioning.’

She now wants to find out just how these nutrients nourish the brain. [I'll bet she does]


The Earth is getting GREENER: Researchers reveal huge expansion in world's trees

A BENEFIT of more CO2 in the air

The world's vegetation has expanded, adding nearly 4 billion tonnes of carbon to plants above ground in the decade since 2003, thanks to tree-planting in China, forest regrowth in former Soviet states and more lush savannas due to higher rainfall.

Scientists analysed 20 years of satellite data and found the increase in carbon, despite ongoing large-scale tropical deforestation in Brazil and Indonesia, according to research published on Monday in Nature Climate Change.

Carbon flows between the world's oceans, air and land. It is present in the atmosphere primarily as carbon dioxide (CO2) - the main climate-changing gas - and stored as carbon in trees.

Through photosynthesis, trees convert carbon dioxide into the food they need to grow, locking the carbon in their wood.

The 4-billion-tonne increase is minuscule compared to the 60 billion tonnes of carbon released into the atmosphere by fossil fuel burning and cement production over the same period, said Yi Liu, the study's lead author and a scientist at the University of New South Wales.

'From this research, we can see these plants can help absorb some carbon dioxide, but there's still a lot of carbon dioxide staying in the atmosphere,' Liu said by telephone from Sydney.

'If we want to stabilise the current level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere - and avoid the consequent impacts - it still requires us to reduce fossil fuel emissions.'


What Time Is It? Time to Start Arctic Drilling

While the U.S. is enjoying a boom in oil production, it has been no thanks to Barack Obama's policies -- as federal lands remain closed, the growth is almost entirely on private lands.

Yet no good thing lasts forever, and even the government says we should be prepared. The Associated Press reports, "The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study submitted Friday."

It takes years from exploration to first barrel on the market, so best to get started. Thanks to economic growth in China, India and elsewhere, fossil-fuel demand is expected to grow -- in spite of leftist climate alarmism.

So why the Arctic? The AP says geologists estimate it "holds about a quarter of the world's undiscovered conventional oil and gas deposits." More oil drilling has never been a policy goal for the Obama administration, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. That said, an Energy Department study is hardly going to persuade Obama to open up the spigots.


There are heaps of "fossil fuels" that were not produced as fossils

Evidence from other planets in our solar system continues to prove hydrocarbons (so called 'fossil fuels') are abundant outside earth's biosphere and are not the product of decayed organic matter. The following BBC article shows this. hydrocarbons on Titan

 Dropping a robotic lander on to the surface of a comet was arguably one of the most audacious space achievements of recent times.

But one concept mission being studied by the US space agency could top even that.

Scientists are proposing to send a robot submarine to the oily seas of Saturn's moon Titan. The seas are filled not with water, but with hydrocarbons like methane and ethane.

These compounds exist in their liquid state on the moon, where the temperature averages -180C.

The plan is funded by an initiative called Nasa Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC), where researchers are encouraged to think out of the box.

"That's quite liberating," says the scientist behind the project, Dr Ralph Lorenz, who is outlining the concept here at the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference (LPSC) in Texas.

"You can take a step back and really let your imagination run riot."

But Dr Lorenz believes the mission is eminently achievable with the right resources, timing and technology.

Unmanned underwater vehicles (UUVs) are now widely used for military purposes, by search teams, in oil exploration and scientific investigation. So existing technologies could be adapted for use on another world.


First three months of 2015 show fewest U.S. tornadoes in three decades

Yesterday, the Daily Caller reported that the Weather Channel's chief meteorologist, Greg Forbes, said the number of tornadoes so far this year has been 27, with "only four tornado watches" issued, and zero touching ground in March, the fewest in nearly three decades.

Unlike hurricane season, there is no official start or end date for tornado season. What is remarkable is that "this is the slowest start to the year, tornado-wise, since the 21 tornadoes were recorded through March 12, 2003."

February was also statistically important as there were only two tornadoes reported during the entire month. "According to statistics kept by Dr. Forbes, only three other Februaries since 1950 saw two or fewer tornadoes in the U.S.: 2010 (1), 2002 (2) and 1964 (2)."

Greg Carbin, a warning coordination meteorologist at NOAA's Storm Prediction Center (SPC), said "only four tornado watches were issued by the SPC for January and February combined." The last time there were this few tornadoes was in 1985, nearly 30 years ago, when only two tornado watches were required.

So far this year, the SPC has gone 51 continuous days without issuing "either a tornado or severe thunderstorm watch through February 25. This was the longest such watch-less streak since late 1986," according to Carbin.

The cause of this tornado drought is the "bitter cold, snow and ice" that began in early 2015, mainly affecting the Eastern portion of the United States. Coupled with the lack of moisture moving up from the Gulf Coast, and an altered Jet Stream, you have the perfect ingredients for little to no tornadoes.

"The rise in mainly weak tornadoes detected in recent decades due to meteorological and technical advancements such as Doppler radar and social media, as well as larger spotter networks, the three-year period from 2012-2014 was considered the least active three-year period on record dating to 1953," according to Carbin.

In other words, as technology improves and remote areas become more populated, people are utilizing their phone's cameras and posting videos to social media sites like YouTube and FaceBook, as well as media outlets.

Tornadoes haven't necessarily increased in frequency, but rather denser populations, tornado chasers, and advanced technology are documenting smaller, weaker tornadoes that would have gone unnoticed (and thereby uncounted) in previous years.

As for the rest of the spring and summer, meteorologists "cannot predict how the rest of the year will shape up, tornado-wise. The final tallies depend on how persistent the western ridge-eastern trough pattern described above remains into the spring, as we head toward the April-June U.S. tornado maximum."

Carbin said in a statement that, “We are in uncharted territory with respect to lack of severe weather. This has never happened in the record of [Storm Prediction Center] watches dating back to 1970.”

"Once the jet-stream pattern changes, allowing warmer, more humid air into the central, southern and eastern U.S. in spring, severe thunderstorms will follow suit," The Weather Channel reported.


No comments: