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CARBON DIOXIDE LEVELS:  DO WE EVEN CARE?

By John Moser

Posted on May 27, 2018

Editorial

It is now May 2018 and our atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) levels as of April 2018 are 410.31 ppm.  This compares to CO2 levels from the pre-industrialization period (1700 AD) of 278 ppm.  This rise inCO2 has predominantly occurred since 1950 (310 ppm).  In 1950 CO2 was 11.5% above the historic baseline average and today atmospheric CO2 is now 47.5% above it. Over the last 68 years the average rise in atmospheric CO2 has been 1.94 ppm/yr.  In the last 10 years, the growth rate in atmospheric CO2 is accelerating and is closer to 2.3 ppm/yr.  Atmospheric CO2 levels are the highest they have ever been in 800,000 years.

Similarly, global temperatures have risen to 0.9˚C above the 1951-1980 mean.  Of the 136 years of recorded global temperatures,17 of the 18 warmest have come in the 21st century (with the other one coming in 1998).  Through studies of tree rings, corals, and ice core samples we have also been able to see that in the last 1000 years we are approximately 1.3 ̊C above the global average. Keep in mind that ice ages occurred with a mere change of 4-7  ̊C in atmospheric temperatures.  Also, atmospheric surface temperatures are rising at a rate ten times as quickly as temperature rise that occurred during recovery from ice ages in the distant past.

In the meantime, we are seeing no sign of real mitigation of the foundational problem: the output of CO2.  Here are the facts: Continue reading

PRESIDENT TRUMP:  OUR REALITY

By John Moser

Posted on May 18, 2018

Editorial

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. Continue Reading

2300 Separated Children: We All Are To Blame

By John Moser

Posted on June 26, 2018

Editorial

It is disturbing enough to see 2300 defenseless children removed from their parents’ custody.  What is worse are the reports that many of these children may never be reunited with their parents again. Never.  As of this writing, the government reports that a little more than 500 have been reunited.  The recordkeeping was so bad that border agents simply uprooted the families willy-nilly based upon the stroke of Donald Trump’s pen to destroy the lives of children who cannot even spout the words “Make America Great Again.”  Children in one area and “offending parents” in the other. The psychological pain and torture for these children are beyond comprehension. It is downright disgusting and inhumane. It is easy to blame President Trump for this mess; instead we should all be blaming ourselves.  And these types of stories will continue as long as we prefer to think in terms of ourselves (Americans) in an isolated world where fantasies of our own making (call us a seriously flawed Fantasy Island) rule in our heads. We would like to think of our country as 1950s Eisenhower Era of post-World War II where anything we do requires no consent by the rest of the world.  This is the way Republicans view our world and they want us to go along for the ride. This is not the 1950s; it is 2018. We are to blame—not  Continue reading

ONE DECISION AWAY FROM TYRANNY

By John Moser

Posted on June 12, 2018

Editorial

When scholars someday look back at the decline of the United States, they may conclude Donald Trump was the responsible party (or at least the lynchpin or at the very least the straw that broke the camel’s back). Trump is one man, but he is only one man who requires support from a majority of US citizens. That is all he needs to destroy this country.   The greatness of our Constitution that we so proudly proclaim to other nations could be no more. Our forefathers predicted a man like Donald Trump could salivate over power and abuse that power in ways that could destroy the sanctity of the country. We have realized this and have worked hard to fight tyranny, as can be seen in our Revolutionary War in which hundreds of thousands perished.  The last significant fight against tyranny involved an amendment ratified in 1951 limiting the terms of a President to two. The Constitution has a series of checks and balances on this power, but, most importantly, this power grab must be supported by a majority of Americans. Until now, I felt relatively safe from tyranny. Donald Trump is the figurehead of a country that has made a series of blunders that led to his rise. 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.