In a new paper in Science Express, Karl et al. describe the impacts of two significant updates to the NOAA NCEI (née NCDC) global temperature series. The two updates are: 1) the adoption of ERSST v4 for the ocean temperatures (incorporating a number of corrections for biases for different methods), and 2) the use of the larger International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI) weather station database, instead of GHCN. This kind of update happens all the time as datasets expand through data-recovery efforts and increasing digitization, and as biases in the raw measurements are better understood. However, this update is going to be bigger news than normal because of the claim that the ‘hiatus’ is no more. To understand why this is perhaps less dramatic than it might seem, it’s worth stepping back to see a little context…
Global temperature anomaly estimates are a product, not a measurement
The first thing to remember is that an estimate of how much warmer one year is than another in the global mean is just that, an estimate. We do not have direct measurements of the global mean anomaly, rather we have a large database of raw measurements at individual locations over a long period of time, but with an uneven spatial distribution, many missing data points, and a large number of non-climatic biases varying in time and space. To convert that into a useful time-varying global mean needs a statistical model, good understanding of the data problems and enough redundancy to characterise the uncertainties. Fortunately, there have been multiple approaches to this in recent years (GISTEMP, HadCRUT4, Cowtan & Way, Berkeley Earth, and NOAA NCEI), all of which basically give the same picture.
New research shows that text-based communications may make individuals sound less intelligent and employable than when the same information is communicated orally. The findings imply that old-fashioned phone conversations or in-person visits may be more effective when trying to impress a prospective employer or, perhaps, close a deal.
Vocal cues “show that we are alive inside — thoughtful, active,” said Nicholas Epley, a professor of behavioral science at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business and one of two co-authors of the paper, “The Sound of Intellect,” published in Psychological Science this month. “Text strips that out,” he added.
I've done some research in this area as a subset of looking at non-verbal communication channels. It is very difficult to say anything definitive, but usually the greatest amount of information wins ... audio conveys much more than just text. Of course there are many reasons for using text over voice.
The normal approach for explaining the increasing frequency of extreme weather events has been to note the weather of any single event is too difficult to assign, but climate change has increased its probability. A few researchers have been working towards more specific attributions by focusing more on thermodynamics. (via the Weather Underground)
from the paper (Nature Climate Change via The Guardian)
In most of these cases, the result of these studies will be a description of the large-scale patterns, the anomalous SSTs, and the relation-ships between the atmospheric circulation, storm tracks, blocking, temperatures and precipitation, and perhaps extremes. If considered, these studies will undoubtedly conclude that greenhouse-gas forcing or aerosols played little or no role in the circulation changes, although claims otherwise are sometimes made.
Instead, with regard to climate change, the questions to be answered could be:
• Given the weather pattern, how were the temperatures, precipitation and associated impacts influenced by climate change?
• Given a drought, how was the drying (evapotranspiration) enhanced by climate change, and how did that influence the moisture deficits and dryness of soils, and the wildfire risk? Did it lead to a more intense and perhaps longer-lasting drought, as is likely16,17?
• Given a flood, where did the moisture come from? Was it enhanced by high ocean temperatures that might have had a cli-mate change component?
• Given a heat wave, how was that influenced by drought, changes in precipitation (absence of evaporative cooling from dry land) and extra heat from global warming?
• Given extreme snow, where did the moisture come from? Was it related to higher than normal SSTs off the coast or farther afield?
• Given an extreme storm, how was it influenced by anomalous SSTs and ocean heat content (OHC), anomalous moisture transports into the storm, and associated rainfall and latent heating? Was the storm surge worse because of high sea levels?
In other words, given the change in atmospheric circulation that brought about the event, how did climate change alter its impacts?
To summarize, therefore, at least in the present state of knowledge, in our view a more fruitful and robust approach to climate extreme-event attribution is to regard the circulation regime or weather event as a conditional state (whose change in likelihood is not assessed), and ask whether the impact of the particular event was affected by known changes in the climate system’s thermodynamic state (for example sea level, sea surface temperature or atmospheric moisture content), concerning which there is a reasonably high level of confidence. Such questions immediately lead to a physically based approach that is strongly linked to the event in question. Although such questions differ from the conventional ‘frequentist’ approach, they are perfectly reasonable from a Bayesian perspective, which can accommodate questions about single events18. Because the questions are posed differently, their answers have a different meaning and focus more on impacts. That is still useful information.
The Big Bang only produced hydrogen, helium and a bit of lithium - all of the heavier elements, oddly called metals by astronomers, had to be synthesized in stars. The first generation of stars are thought to have been very massive, burning brilliantly creating heavier elements and then exploding spreading materials for subsequent generations of more conventional stars.
here's the paper for those who follow astrophysics
EVIDENCE FOR POPIII-LIKE STELLAR POPULATIONS IN THE MOST LUMINOUS LYMAN-α EMITTERS AT THE EPOCH OF RE-IONISATION: SPECTROSCOPIC CONFIRMATION
DAVID SOBRAL1,2,3 , JORRYT MATTHEE3 , BEHNAM DARVISH4 , DANIEL SCHAERER5,6 , BAHRAM MOBASHER4 , HUUB J. A. RO ̈TTGERING3, SE ́RGIO SANTOS1,2, SHOUBANEH HEMMATI4
1 Instituto de Astrof ́ısica e Cieˆncias do Espac ̧o, Universidade de Lisboa, OAL, Tapada da Ajuda, PT1349-018 Lisbon, Portugal; FCT-IF/Veni Fel- low.
2 Departamento de F ́ısica, Faculdade de Cieˆncias, Universidade de Lis- boa, Edif ́ıcio C8, Campo Grande, PT1749-016 Lisbon, Portugal
3 Leiden Observatory, Leiden University, P.O. Box 9513, NL-2300 RA Leiden, The Netherlands
4 Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, 900 University Ave., Riverside, CA 92521, USA
5 Observatoire de Gene`ve, De ́partement d’Astronomie, Universite ́ de Gene`ve, 51 Ch. des Maillettes, 1290 Versoix, Switzerland
6 CNRS, IRAP, 14 Avenue E. Belin, 31400 Toulouse, France
Faint Lyman-α (Lyα) emitters become increasingly rarer towards the re-ionisation epoch (z~6-7). However, observations from a very large (~5deg2) Lyα survey at z=6.6 (Matthee et al. 2015) show that this is not the case for the most luminous emitters. Here we present follow-up observations of the two most luminous z~6.6 Lyα candidates in the COSMOS field: `MASOSA' and `CR7'. We used X-SHOOTER, SINFONI and FORS2 (VLT), and DEIMOS (Keck), to confirm both candidates beyond any doubt. We find redshifts of z=6.541 and z=6.604 for MASOSA and CR7, respectively. MASOSA has a strong detection in Lyα with a line width of 386±30 km/s (FWHM) and with high EW0 (>200 \AA), but it is undetected in the continuum. CR7, with an observed Lyα luminosity of 1043.93±0.05erg/s is the most luminous Lyα emitter ever found at z>6. CR7 reveals a narrow Lyα line with 266±15 km/s FWHM, being detected in the NIR (rest-frame UV, with β=−2.3±0.1) with an excess in J, and also strongly detected in IRAC/Spitzer. We detect a narrow HeII1640$\AA$ emission line (6σ) which explains the excess seen in the J band photometry (EW0~80 \AA). We find no other emission lines from the UV to the NIR in our X-SHOOTER spectra (HeII/OIII]1663A>3 and HeII/CIII]1908A>2.5). We find that CR7 is best explained by a combination of a PopIII-like population which dominates the rest-frame UV and the nebular emission, and a more normal stellar population which dominates the mass. HST/WFC3 observations show that the light is indeed spatially separated between a very blue component, coincident with Lyα and HeII emission, and two red components (~5 kpc away), which dominate the mass. Our findings are consistent with theoretical predictions of a PopIII wave, with PopIII star formation migrating away from the original sites of star formation.
Hanna K. E. Landenmar, Duncan H. Forgan. , Charles S. Cockell
United Kingdom Centre for Astrobiology, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Abstract Modern whole-organism genome analysis, in combination with biomass estimates, allows us to estimate a lower bound on the total information content in the biosphere: 5.3 × 1031 (±3.6 × 1031) megabases (Mb) of DNA. Given conservative estimates regarding DNA transcription rates, this information content suggests biosphere processing speeds exceeding yottaNOPS values (1024 Nucleotide Operations Per Second). Although prokaryotes evolved at least 3 billion years before plants and animals, we find that the information content of prokaryotes is similar to plants and animals at the present day. This information based approach offers a new way to quantify anthropogenic and natural processes in the biosphere and its information diversity over time.