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Humans Found to Erode Soil 100 Times Faster Than Natural Causes Alone

Posted By Jngraves on 25 Jan 2015

It is a well known fact that deforestation and agriculture increases erosion above its natural rate. However, accurately measuring the natural rate of erosion and how much human land use has accelerated this rate, becomes an increasingly arduous task for geologists. Inevitably this makes environmental decisions like setting allowable amounts of sediment in fish habitats, extremely problematic.

New research on the Roanoke, Savannah, and Chattahoochee Rivers along with seven other large river basins in the US Southeast, has for the first time, precisely determined this mixed rate of erosion. The new study is going to be presented in the February issue of the journal Geology, and is supported by the National Science Foundation. From this new research, scientists have now made a startling discovery that the rates of hill-slope erosion before European settlement were about an inch every 2500 years, while during the period of peak land disturbance in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, rates spiked to an inch every 25 years. Continue Reading

THE SURPRISE: NOT THE RECORD, THE REACTION

Posted By John Moser on 6 Jan 2015, Napa California

It shouldn’t surprise anyone that we have again set a record for heat in 2014. Last year was officially the hottest year on record for the entire world and was 1.1 °F above the 20th century average. According to an article by Brian Kahn in Scientific American, the last hottest record was in 1998 which was 1.0 °F above the 20th century average.

What should surprise everyone is how we are reacting to this. The release of this information from one of the four major agencies meticulously tracking global climate date (NASA, Hadley Center, and NOAA) is barely making a headline. Why? Continue Reading

 

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  OUR REALITY

EDITORIAL

By John Moser

May 18, 2018

When I first saw the election results on the night of Mr. Trump’s victory on November 8, 2016, my jaw dropped and my heart sank like a runaway nuclear reactor burning through the Earth’s core to China.  I had been so proud of my country all my life; I always felt I would be willing to die for my country.   I no longer feel pride for the United States. I feel embarrassed to be an American.  It reminded me of my early childhood as I watched a late 1960s episode of Batman when the Joker had taken over Gotham City and had seemingly convinced common folk of his “good” intentions. These naïve citizens were all in as they were blind to his intentions in spite of the obvious:  his clown outfit, his haunting laugh, and his history of devilish intent.    Any dunderhead watching the Batman series (including a five year old like me) could see through the Joker’s lies; yet the viewer could only laugh at the oddity of such an episode and felt helpless as we were unable to jump into the screen and spill the beans. Oh, how we need Adam West now.

It wasn’t as if I was shocked that Trump won; I was shocked at the process more so.  How could anyone like Mr. Trump get so close to leading the world into the third decade of the 21st century? Continue Reading

Terrorism in Paris: A Chance to Unify?

Posted By John Moser on 28 Jan 2015, Napa California

Shortly after 9/11, bedlam took place throughout the world. The stock market plunged, liberalization of laws designed to protect Americans from foreign terrorists such as the Patriot Act were instituted to rid the world of foreign Islamic terrorists, and a war was started against Iraq and Saddam Hussein who served as a convenient target to avenge the despicable act by terrorists. It was just 19 terrorists that led to Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, waterboarding, long lines in airports, the Iraq War, and ultimately a larger presence in Afghanistan. It led to more insecurity and made us question the very freedoms that has allowed us tremendous advantages as a civilized country. Disunity and an “us versus them” mentality gripped our world. We were determined to get rid of them, whoever they were.Continue Reading

NASA Contributing to Valuable Atmospheric Data

Posted By Jngraves on 13 Jan 2015

NASA has bestowed two Earth science instruments for NOAA’s space weather observing satellite called the Deep Space Climate Observatory (or DSCOVR), set to launch in January 2015. One of the instruments called EPIC (Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera) has a 30 centimeter telescope that measures in the ultraviolet and visible areas of the spectrum, and will image the Earth in one picture providing valuable atmospheric data.

Currently, to get an entire Earth view, scientists have to piece together images from multiple satellites in orbit. “Unlike personal cameras, EPIC will take images in 10 very narrow wavelength ranges,” said Adam Szabo, DSCOVR project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “Combining these different wavelength images allows the determination of physical quantities like ozone, aerosols, dust and volcanic ash, cloud height, or vegetation cover. These results will be distributed as different publicly available data products allowing their combination with results from other missions.”

These data sets are of interest to climate science, hydrology, biogeochemistry, and ecology. The data will also cater insight into Earth’s energy balance.