TERRAFORMING TERRA We discuss and comment on the role agriculture will play in the containment of the CO2 problem and address protocols for terraforming the planet Earth. A model farm template is imagined as the central methodology. A broad range of timely science news and other topics of interest are commented on.
Saturday, January 31, 2015
Rise in Sea Level More Intense Than Previously Understood
Essentially the first hundred years measured gave us around one solid meter of sea level rise. That is certainly respectable but less that predicted. Since then we had the half degree warm up that finally bit in around 1990 and we have since had surge over the past twenty five years. That may now be reversing though.
In the meantime the data continues to make it difficult and all controversial. What is clear though is that a global drive to correctly reforest everything while integrating it with agriculture is mankinds future.
I personally would like to see restoration of sufficient snow pack on the Athabaska. It happens to water millions of square mile of farmland. This is a real challenge,.
Rise in sea level more intense than previously understood
Rise in sea level more intense than previously understood Posted by TANNBreakingnews, Climate Change, Environment, Oceans 1:30 PM The acceleration of global sea level change from the end of the 20th century through the last two decades has been significantly swifter than scientists thought, according to a new Harvard study. “What this paper shows is that sea-level acceleration over the past century has been greater than had been estimated by others,” said Eric Morrow, a recent Ph.D. graduate. “It’s a larger problem than we initially thought” [Credit: Robert Kopp]
The study, co-authored by Carling Hay, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences (EPS), and Eric Morrow, a recent Ph.D. graduate of EPS, shows that calculations of global sea-level rise from 1900 to 1990 had been overestimated by as much as 30 percent. The report, however, confirms estimates of sea-level change since 1990, suggesting that the rate of change is increasing more rapidly than previously understood. The research is described in a Jan. 14 paper in Nature. “What this paper shows is that sea-level acceleration over the past century has been greater than had been estimated by others,” Morrow said. “It’s a larger problem than we initially thought.” “Scientists now believe that most of the world’s ice sheets and mountain glaciers are melting in response to rising temperatures,” Hay added. “Melting ice sheets cause global mean sea level to rise. Understanding this contribution is critical in a warming world.” Previous estimates had placed sea-level rise at between 1.5 and 1.8 millimeters annually in the 20th century.
Hay and Morrow, however, suggest that from 1901 until 1990, the figure was closer to 1.2 millimeters per year. However, everyone agrees that global sea level has risen by about 3 millimeters annually since that time. “Another concern with this is that many efforts to project sea-level change into the future use estimates of sea level over the time period from 1900 to 1990,” Morrow said. “If we’ve been overestimating the sea-level change during that period, it means that these models are not calibrated appropriately, and that calls into question the accuracy of projections out to the end of the 21st century.” Hay and Morrow approached the challenge of estimating sea-level rise from a new perspective. Typically, Hay said, estimates of sea-level rise are created by dividing the world’s oceans into subregions, and gathering records from tide gauges — essentially yardsticks used to measure ocean tides — from each area. Using records that contain the most complete data, researchers average them to create sea-level estimates for each region, then average those rates to create a global estimate. “But these simple averages aren’t representative of a true global mean value,” Hay said. “Tide gauges are located along coasts, therefore large areas of the ocean aren’t being included in these estimates. And the records that do exist commonly have large gaps. “We know the sea level is changing for a variety of reasons,” she added. “There are ongoing effects due to the last ice age, heating and expansion of the ocean due to global warming, changes in ocean circulation, and present-day melting of land ice, all of which result in unique patterns of sea-level change. These processes combine to produce the observed global mean sea-level rise.” The new estimates developed by Hay and Morrow grew out of a separate project aimed at modeling the physics that underpin sea-level “fingerprints.” “What we were interested in — and remain interested in — was whether we can detect the sea-level fingerprints we predicted in our computer simulations in sea-level records,” Morrow said. “Using a global set of observations, our goal has been to infer how individual ice sheets are contributing to global sea-level rise.” The challenge, Hay said, is that doing so requires working with “very noisy, sparse records.” “We have to account for ice age signals, and we have to understand how ocean circulation patterns are changing and how thermal expansion is contributing to both regional patterns and the global mean. We try to correct for all those signals using our simulations and statistical methods, then look at what’s left and see if it fits with the patterns we expect to see from different ice sheets. “We are looking at all the available sea-level records and trying to say that Greenland has been melting at this rate, the Arctic at this rate, the Antarctic at this rate, etc.,” she continued. “We then sum these contributions and add in the rate that the oceans are changing due to thermal expansion to estimate a rate of global mean sea-level change.” To the researchers’ surprise, Hay said, it quickly became clear that previous estimates of sea-level rise over most of the 20th century were too high. “We expected that we would estimate the individual contributions, and that their sum would get us back to the 1.5 to 1.8 mm per year that other people had predicted,” Hay said. “But the math doesn’t work out that way. Unfortunately, our new lower rate of sea-level rise prior to 1990 means that the sea-level acceleration that resulted in higher rates over the last 20 years is
Average Life Expectancy Heading for 100
This is a remarkable claim and i hope is not caused by blind linear extension. Every other expectation is for running into a biological plateau. So if we do things within a reasonable framework it is believable that the average will plateau between 85 and 90.
On the other hand biological remediation is also on the way over the next decade. This could make this prediction work out. We certainly see plenty of effort on the problem and serious success. However such a change would need to take the maximum up over 125.
Way more important however, this will also demand restoration of physical strength. Thus a hundred year old man will need to be robust as well. This also suggests that continuing education will become critical.
Average life expectancy heading for 100
Average life expectancy heading for 100
Previously unthinkable longevity milestone looms with average child born within next generation expected to live more than a century
By John Bingham, Social Affairs Editor
3:55PM GMT 15 Jan 2015
Living beyond 100 will become the norm for children born within the next generation, official projections show.
According to estimates published by the Office for National Statistics the average life expectancy for newborn girls in the UK is on course to reach just under 97 years and four months within just over two decades.
Baby boys born in 2037 will expect to live until 94 years and four months on average – with many living much longer.
The projections, contained in a new report analysing the make-up of the British population, means that typical life expectancies would have increased by around a decade since the 1980s.
It is also now predicted that average life female expectancy will reach the once unimaginable milestone of 100 in 2057.The dramatic improvements in life expectancy, alongside mass immigration and a baby boom, have contributed to a surge in the population, which has grown by almost eight million since the 1980s.
But the ONS pointed out that people living longer will further add to the pressure on the NHS and care services.
“With life expectancy increasing, the UK’s population will age,” it explained in a commentary.
“This will affect a number of policy areas, including pensions and the health service – particularly because healthy life expectancy is not increasing as quickly.”
70000 Year Old African Settlements
It is surprising that they can pin down the time period so well. Even better they used a non robust tool kit to take dangerous large animals and this was seventy thousand years ago. Of course, they may well have had the capacity to mind influence their game which makes the process easy.
It certainly begs the question of what the Clovis hunter was doing 12900 years ago. The difference is glaring
What this means of course is that plausibly all Africa was populated already with significant villages everywhere it was viable unless they chose not to.
Much better though this gives us a snapshot at 70,000 years which is 130,000 years after the initial establishment of humanity in South Africa. The real question becomes whether expansion took place globally already. I now suspect that it did for at least Eurasia. We need to locate more fluke locations.
70000 Year Old African Settlements
Friday, January 16, 2015
70,000 year-old African settlement unearthed
During ongoing excavations in northern Sudan, Polish archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology in Poznań, have discovered the remains of a settlement estimated to 70,000 years old. This find, according to the researchers, seems to contradict the previously held belief that the construction of permanent structures was associated with the so-called Great Exodus from Africa and occupation of the colder regions of Europe and Asia.
The site known as Affad 23, is currently the only one recorded in the Nile Valley which shows that early Homo sapiens built sizeable permanent structures, and had adapted well to the wetland environment.
This new evidence points to a much more advanced level of human development and adaptation in Africa during the Middle Palaeolithic.
Locating the “village”
“Discoveries in Affad are unique for the Middle Palaeolithic. Last season, we came across a few traces of light wooden structures. However, during the current research we were able to precisely locate the village and identify additional utility areas: a large flint workshop, and a space for cutting hunted animal carcasses, located at a distance” – explained project director Dr. Marta Osypińska.
The researchers are also working on a list of animal species that these early humans hunted. Despite the relatively simple flint tools produced using the Levallois technique, these humans were able to hunt both large, dangerous mammals such as hippos, elephants and buffalo, as well as small, nimble monkeys and cane rats (large rodents that inhabited the wetlands).
This year, the researchers intended to precisely date the time period in which the Palaeolithic hunters lived here, using optically stimulated luminescence.
“At this stage we know that the Middle Palaeolithic settlement episode in Affad occurred at the end of the wet period, as indicated by environmental data, including the list of hunted animal species. But in the distant past of the land such ecological conditions occurred at least twice” about 75 millennia and about 25 millennia ago. Determining the time when people inhabited the river bank near today’s Affad is the most important objective of our project “- said prehistory expert Piotr Osypiński.
The Polish team is working with scientists from Oxford Brookes University, who are helping to analyse the geological history of the area. The results will help determine climatic and environmental conditions that prevailed in the Central Nile Valley during the late Pleistocene and hope to identify factors that contributed to the excellent state of preservation at the Affad 23 site.
Doctors Confessing to Intentionally Diagnosing Healthy People With Cancer to Make Money
The idea that so much of medicine has been turned into a racket is horrifying. Yet here we are with the natural consequence. Only a doctor who knows it is all a fraud would cross the line and sell such a scheme. After all, his patients are usually elderly and vulnerable and will go soon enough anyway.
Also look at the money this guy was pulling in. That alone tells you he is sick.
I have noticed in Canada that most doctors have been able to adjust their hours to actually have a life. Medicare makes that possible as they all pay. When i grew up back in the fifties, every last doctor worked long hours hoping that enough patients would pay their bills. That insanity ended fifty years ago.
Doctors Confessing to Intentionally Diagnosing Healthy People With Cancer to Make Money
It happens more often than you can imagine, but more Doctors are finally getting caught in the act of misrepresenting their oath and fraudulently diagnosing healthy patients with cancer to turn a quick buck from kickbacks on chemotherapy poisons.
Why shouldn't Doctors lie when the entire cancer industry is one gigantic fabrication from start to finish?
Is it any wonder that cancer societies worldwide put a far greater financial initiative on chemotherapy and radiation research than disease prevention techniques? Preventing disease doesn't make money, but treating disease certainly does.
Take Dr. Farid Fata, a prominent cancer doctor in Michigan who admitted in court one year ago to intentionally and wrongfully diagnosing healthy people with cancer. Fata also admitted to giving them chemotherapy drugs for the purpose of making a profit.
Were his patients shocked? You bet they were. Who would ever suspect a Doctor of faking a diagnosis to collect money. It's unconscionable.
Yet it happens with cancer and almost every disease that medical doctors can generate income through kickbacks and commissions based on the volume of patients treated with specific pharmaceuticals. Like anything people are used as a commodity.
"Many of these unscrupulous Physicians are like businessmen without a conscience. The only difference is they have your health and trust in their hands--a very dangerous combination when money is involved," said Dr. Sayed Mohammed, a retired Oncologist who admits seeing the trend more than a decade ago.
"It is my choice," Fata said on Tuesday of his surprise guilty plea, which included rattling off the names of numerous drugs he prescribed for his patients over the years.
In each admission, he uttered these words:
"I knew that it was medically unnecessary."
Fata was charged with running a $35-million Medicare fraud scheme that involved billing the government for medically unnecessary oncology and hematology treatments.
The government says Fata ran the scheme from 2009 to the present, through his medical businesses, including Michigan Hematology Oncology Centers, with offices in Clarkston, Bloomfield Hills, Lapeer, Sterling Heights, Troy and Oak Park.
According to the government, Fata had a patient load of 1,200 people and received $62 million from Medicare; he billed for more than $150 million.
U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said she plans to seek life in prison for Fata, calling his case is "the most egregious" health care fraud case her office has seen. She said Fata not only bilked the government -- which is typical in such cases -- but he also harmed patients.
Lying with Statistics
Prostate cancer is another great example which doctors falsely give prognoses about without giving patients the facts. A prostate (PSA) blood test looks for prostate-specific antigen, a protein produced by the prostate gland. High levels are supposedly associated with prostate cancer. The problem is that the association isn't always correct, and when it is, the prostate cancer isn't necessarily deadly.
Only about 3 percent of all men die from prostate cancer. The PSA test usually leads to overdiagnosis -- biopsies and treatment in which the side effects are impotence and incontinence. Repeated biopsies may spread cancer cells into the track formed by the needle, or by spilling cancerous cells directly into the bloodstream or lymphatic system.
More than 90% of Doctors who encourage cancer treatment for prostate cancer will generate a commission from each treatment the patient receives. It proves risky and often deadly in the long run for most people who don't understand how to take care of their health and are persuaded by false statistics.
Dozens of excellent large studies have been done on men who have had cancer discovered in their prostate with a biopsy. In over 97% of the cases this cancer either never spreads outside of the gland to cause harm or the patient dies of something else long before any evidence of cancer spreading outside of the prostate occurs.
In that 3% where cancer is aggressive and harms the patient, it has already spread beyond the limits of surgical resection long before discovery; thus, these men are not helped by surgery either.
After at least seven years of post-college graduate medical education on the emotional, mental, and physical condition of the human being, you would expect a physician to be a powerhouse of goodwill for his or her patients.
Unfortunately, too many doctors fail to keep the welfare of their customers at the forefront, as their main concern. The needs to boost their own egos, self-preservation, and the quest for more money often result in inappropriate care and harm to the patient.
Most women are often told that hysterectomies lead to many different cures for cancer and other ailments. This is misrepresenting the truth. The research done so far has demonstrated no improvement in survival regardless of the aggressiveness of many of these unnecessary treatments.
Breast cancer screenings also result in an increase in breast cancer mortality and fail to address prevention.
Despite no evidence ever having supported any recommendations made for regular periodic screening and mammography at any age, malicious recommendations from the Society of Breast Imaging (SBI) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) on breast cancer screening are now suggesting that breast cancer screening should begin at age 40 and earlier in high-risk patients.
Published in the Journal of the American College of Radiology (JACR), the recommendations released by the SBI and ACR state that the average patient should begin annual breast cancer screening at age 40. They also target women in their 30s if they are considered "high risk" as they stated.
The rate of advanced breast cancer for U.S. women 25 to 39 years old nearly doubled from 1976 to 2009, a difference too great to be a matter of chance and more about diagnoses.
A disturbing study published in the New England Journal of Medicine is bringing mainstream attention to the fact that mammography has caused far more harm than good in the millions of women who have employed it over the past 30 years as their primary strategy in the fight against breast cancer.
It always has been and always will be about the money. It is not time to recognize the trend?
Chemotherapy Does Not Heal the Body -- It Slowly Destroys It
Chemotherapy boosts cancer growth and long-term mortality rates. Most chemotherapy patients either die or are plagued with illness within 10-15 years after treatment. It destroys their immune system, increases neuro-cognitive decline, disrupts endocrine functioning and causes organ and metabolic toxicities.
Patients basically live in a permanent state of disease until their death. The cancer industry marginalizes safe and effective cures while promoting their patented, expensive, and toxic remedies whose risks far exceed any benefit. This is what they do best, and they do it because it makes money, plain and simple.
The reason a 5-year relative survival rate is the standard used to assess mortality rates is due to most cancer patients going downhill after this period. It's exceptionally bad for business and the cancer industry knows it. They could never show the public the true 97% statistical failure rate in treating long-term metastatic cancers.
If they did publish the long-term statistics for all cancers administered cytotoxic chemotherapy, that is 10+ years and produced the objective data on rigorous evaluations including the cost-effectiveness, impact on the immune system, quality of life, morbidity and mortality, it would be very clear to the world that chemotherapy makes little to no contribution to cancer survival at all.
No such study has ever been conducted by independent investigators in the history of chemotherapy. The only studies available come from industry funded institutions and scientists and none of them have ever inclusively quantified the above variables.
Why? Money, greed and profits run the cancer industry--nothing else. The cancer establishment must retreat from the truth to treat cancer because there will never be any profit for them in in eradicating the disease.
There is no governing body in the world that protects consumers from being subjected to these toxic therapies or even known carcinogens in our foods our environment, because that too, will prevent the profits from rolling in.
It's a business of mammoth proportions and must be treated as such. The most powerful anti-carcinogenic plants in the world such as cannabis must be demonized and be made illegal because they are so effective at killing cancer cells without side effects.
Cannabinoids are so efficient at treating disease, that the U.S. Government patented them in 2003.
If a "magic bullet" were used FIRST by orthodox medicine, meaning the cut/burn/slash/poison 'treatments' were avoided, a 90% true cure rate would be easy to achieve. But the fact is that the leaders in the medical community have absolutely no interest in finding a "magic bullet."
A "magic bullet" would cost the drug companies hundreds of billions of dollars, and patients would have less hospitalization and less doctor visits, etc.
You might ask your oncologist why your chances of survival are only 3% (ignoring all of their statistical gibberish such as "5-year survival rates" and deceptive terms like "remission" and "response"), when your chance of survival would be over 90% if they used something like DMSO.
Actually, bring up DMSO to any oncologist and most of them won't even talk to you about it. Why? Because DMSO is a natural product, cannot be patented and cannot be made profitable because it is produced by the ton in the wood industry.
Dr. Farid Fata is only a consequence of the system. Like him there are thousands of legally practicing Doctors and oncologists in the United States and abroad who are guilty of the same crimes, but because they fly below the radar, they are never caught.
As we continue playing this charade of making the public believe that poisons treat cancer, people will continue to die, and Doctors will continue to make money up to the day of their patient's death. Every once in a while, we may catch a few (of the many) like Dr. Fata, who self-destruct due to their own greed.
We will claim they are outlaws, banish them and tarnish their reputations based on a perception that a healthy person should never be unnecessarily subjected to chemotherapy for money.
So we can harshly judge and legally prosecute the Doctor who falsely prescribes poison to a healthy person for money, but we proudly accept the Doctor who prescribes poison to an unhealthy person for money. I find that truly mind blowing.
Friday, January 30, 2015
Dolphins Have Human-Like Intelligence and Their Own ‘Language’
We are slowly filling in the blanks in terms of understanding Dolphin communication. They will become our allies in the Oceans I expect.
They certainly have sufficient mental equipment and their own language thus self teaching also becomes possible. This has been a dream for a long time and there is much to be done.
In the meantime we need to end the despoliation of our oceans once and for all. Unfortunately that will not happen soon.
Dolphins Have Human-Like Intelligence and Their Own ‘Language’
Dolphins are one of the most amazing and intelligent animal species on the planet. Their playful nature, friendly behavior and remarkable intelligence make people all over the world adore them. Moreover, it appears that dolphins demonstrate skills and awareness previously attributed only to humans.
Scientists at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia in the US, used MRI scanners to map the brains of dolphins and then compared the received data with that of other intelligent mammals, particularly primates. The scans showed that dolphin brains are up to five times larger for their body size compared to other animals of similar size. At the same time, their neocortex, a part of the brain responsible for higher thinking and emotion processing, was particularly large.
“If we use relative brain size as a metric of ‘intelligence’ then one would have to conclude that dolphins are second in intelligence to modern humans,” said Lori Marino, a neuroscientist at Emory University, and one of the world’s leading dolphin experts.
The same study also concluded that dolphins exhibit a number of human-like skills, such as comprehension of symbol-based communication systems, mirror self-recognition, and an understanding of abstract concepts.
“Dolphins are sophisticated, self-aware, highly intelligent beings with individual personalities, autonomy and an inner life. They are vulnerable to tremendous suffering and psychological trauma,” said Marino.
The findings of the study suggest that it’s unethical to use dolphins for our entertainment, keeping them in captivity in water parks, and killing them for food, as is currently happening in several countries in the world such as Japan, Peru, Solomon Islands, and the Faroe Islands where thousands of dolphins are killed every year. In this regard, Thomas White, a philosopher at Loyola Marymount University and the author of the book In Defense of Dolphins, said that “they should be treated as “non-human persons” and granted rights as individuals.” With India having already passed similar legislation, we are beginning to witness a paradigm shift in the mainstream on how we see these beautiful creatures.
DECIPHERING THE DOLPHIN LANGUAGE
It is a wide-known fact that dolphins use sound for orientation in space (via echolocation). However, it appears that they also have their own system of communication. Dolphins use a range of sounds and vocalizations, as well as physical contact and postures to communicate their emotional and physical state. They can also learn to read each other’s behaviors and signals to coordinate a number of activities such as feeding on fish or swimming together.
Scientists are trying to come up with a device that could decipher the sounds produced by dolphins. Jack Kassewitz, a researcher based in Miami, decided to use CymaScope, a device that makes sound visible, for just this purpose. He recorded the sounds produced by a dolphin when “seeing” objects, then turned them into images and showed them to the same dolphin again, this time without sound accompaniment.
The results showed that the dolphin managed to recognize the objects that corresponded to the images with an 86 % accuracy. Moreover, when the researcher showed the same pictures to another dolphin, it recognized the objects with the same accuracy! This suggests that cetaceans use sounds to communicate with each other in a similar way that we use words. Now, Kassewitz’s ambitious project titled SpeakDolphin is aimed at deciphering ‘dolphinese’ and starting basic communication with these amazing animals.
DR. DENISE HERZING’S HUMAN-TO-DOLPHIN TRANSLATOR
(The following is an article written by: James Vincent of The Independent) Researchers testing a real-life human-to-dolphin translator have reported the first successful use of their technology in the wild, with a bottlenose dolphin pointing out a piece of nearby seaweed to a scientist in the water. “I was like whoa! We have a match. I was stunned,” Dr Denise Herzing, the director of the Wild Dolphin Project and creator of the device, told the New Scientist.
Known as the Cetacean Hearing and Telemetry device (Chat), the translator uses a pair of hydrophones (underwater microphones) to capture the range of clicks and whistles made by dolphins. Rather than directly ‘translating’ these vocalisations into human speech, Dr Herzing has been teaching the dolphins a limited vocabulary defined by humans. This helps to simplify the massive range of noises made by dolphins, who produce sounds at frequencies up to 200 kilohertz – roughly 10 times higher than humans can hear. Dolphins, who are highly social animals capable of tool-use and self-recognition in the mirror, use signature whistles to refer to individuals within a pod and echolocation clicks as sonar, bouncing sounds off their environment as a hunting aid.
Dr Herzing has developed eight “words” that use dolphin-like vocalizations to refer to elements of the animals’ environment such as ‘seaweed’ and‘bow wave ride’ (when a dolphin rides the wave created by a boat). In her breakthrough moment with a pod she has studied for the last 25 years a dolphin made the unique whistle associated with ‘sargassum’, a type of seaweed. However, no one can say whether the dolphin was actively pointing out the vegetation, and the word has only been heard once.
Dr Herzing will be collaborating with Thad Starner, an artificial intelligence expert from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, to develop Chat, with the pair hoping to eventually begin analyzing the sounds made by the dolphins and creating a rough inter-species dictionary.
For more on Dr Herzing’s work and the amazing vocalisations please watch the video below:
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