Shukla’s Gold: The ‘Largest Science Scandal in US History’ ?

Sure looks like it. This is what happens when government money tries to buy its own ‘science’.

“But his first, far bigger mistake, was his hubris in organizing the letter in the first place. It drew the attention of Shukla’s critics to something which, presumably, he would have preferred to keep secret: that for nearly 14 years, he, his family and his friends have been gorging themselves on taxpayers’ money at IGES; and that this money comes on top of the very generous salary he receives for doing much the same work at George Mason University (GMU).” click here for full article

Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection

Echazú A, Bonanno D, Juarez M, Cajal SP, Heredia V, Caropresi S, Cimino RO, Caro N, Vargas PA, Paredes G, Krolewiecki AJ. Effect of Poor Access to Water and Sanitation As Risk Factors for Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infection: Selectiveness by the Infective Route. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2015 Sep 30;9(9):e0004111. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004111.

BACKGROUND: Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are a public health problem in resource-limited settings worldwide. Chronic STH infection impairs optimum learning and productivity, contributing to the perpetuation of the poverty-disease cycle. Regular massive drug administration (MDA) is the cardinal recommendation for its control; along with water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) interventions. The impact of joint WASH interventions on STH infections has been reported; studies on the independent effect of WASH components are needed to contribute with the improvement of current recommendations for the control of STH. The aim of this study is to assess the association of lacking access to water and sanitation with STH infections, taking into account the differences in route of infection among species and the availability of adequate water and sanitation at home.

METHODS AND FINDINGS: Cross-sectional study, conducted in Salta province, Argentina. During a deworming program that enrolled 6957 individuals; 771 were randomly selected for stool/serum sampling for parasitological and serological diagnosis of STH. Bivariate stratified analysis was performed to explore significant correlations between risk factors and STH infections grouped by mechanism of entry as skin-penetrators (hookworms and Strongyloides stercoralis) vs. orally-ingested (Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura). After controlling for potential confounders, unimproved sanitation was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of skin-penetrators (adjusted odds ratio [aOR] = 3.9; 95% CI: 2.6-5.9). Unimproved drinking water was significantly associated with increased odds of infection of orally-ingested (aOR = 2.2; 95% CI: 1.3-3.7).

CONCLUSIONS: Lack of safe water and proper sanitation pose a risk of STH infections that is distinct according to the route of entry to the human host used by each of the STH species. Interventions aimed to improve water and sanitation access should be highlighted in the recommendations for the control of STH.

Chronic Undernutrition Increases Susceptibility to Dental Fluorosis

This study is a good example of how the interpreters assumptions affect the conclusions drawn. Even at low concentrations fluorosis was observed in a portion of the exposed population.

M.E. Irigoyen-Camacho, A. García Pérez, A. Mejía González, R. Huizar Alvarez. Nutritional status and dental fluorosis among schoolchildren in communities with different drinking water fluoride concentrations in a central region in Mexico. Science of The Total Environment. Volume 541, 15 January 2016, Pages 512–519

Poor water quality and under nutrition are important factors affecting the health of many communities in developing countries. The aims of this study were: i) to describe the fluoride water concentration and the hydrogeological conditions in a state located in the central region of Mexico ii) to measure the association between undernutrition and dental fluorosis in children living in communities with different drinking water fluoride concentrations in a state located in the central region of Mexico.

Methods: Field work was performed in the region to identify the prevailing groundwater flow characteristics and water wells were sampled to analyze water fluoride concentration. Children were selected from three communities that had different drinking water fluoride concentrations (i.e., 0.56, 0.70 and 1.60 mg/l). Fluoridated salt was available in these communities. The Thylstrup–Fejerskov Index (TFI) was used to assess dental fluorosis. Categories four or higher of this index involve changes in the entire tooth surface (ITF ≥ 4). The weight and height of the children were measured. The assessment of undernutrition was based on the World Health Organization criteria: children were classified as being at risk of low-height (Height-for-Age Z score < − 1.0 SD) and having low-height (Height-for-Age Z score < − 2.0 SD) for age and sex, the same cutoff points of the Z score were used to classify risk of low-weight and low-weight children.

Results: In the region the mineralization of the water captured by the wells is the result of a reaction with volcanic materials. The water fluoride concentration in the region ranged from 0.2 to 1.60 mg/l. A total of 734 schoolchildren participated in the study. The percentage of children in fluorosis categories (ITF ≥ 4) was 15.9%, 21.1% of the children were at risk of low height-for-age, and 8.0% had low height-for-age. The percentage of children with fluorosis (ITF ≥ 4) was 6.3%, 9.1% and 31.9% (p < 0.001) and low high-for-age was 2.9%, 2.5% and 8.4% (p < 0.001), for the communities with F concentrations of 0.56 mg/l, 0.70 mg/l and 1.60 mg/l, respectively. The logistic regression model showed an association between dental fluorosis (TFI ≥ 4) and low height-for-age (OR 2.27 p < 0.001) after adjusting for sex, number of teeth erupted, source of drinking water, use of fluoridated toothpaste and tap water fluoride concentration in the community.

Conclusion: Children with low height-for-age were more likely to have dental fluorosis in the TFI categories that affect the entire tooth surface. The results suggest that subpopulations with chronic undernutrition are more susceptible to dental fluorosis.

Water Vapor Cools the Earth Surface via Changes in Heat Capacity

An important but very technical point regarding lapse rate as it relates to a theoretically pure (N2) atmosphere is discussed here

At issue is the relevance of the  Arrhenius radiative greenhouse theory. The Maxwell et al gravito-thermal greenhouse effect is replacing “Arrhenius” as the best science-based explanation.   

UV Irradiation Effects Free Chlorine Consumption

Zhang TY, Lin YL, Xu B, Xia SJ, Tian FX, Gao NY. Effect of UV irradiation on the proportion of organic chloramines in total chlorine in subsequent chlorination. Chemosphere. 2015 Sep 29;144:940-947. doi: 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2015.09.074.

This study investigated the changes of chlorine species and proportion of organic chloramines during the chlorination process after UV irradiation pretreatment in drinking water. It was found that the UV pretreatment could enhance the percentage of organic chloramines by increasing free chlorine consumption in the chlorination of raw waters. The percentage of organic chloramines in total chlorine increased with UV intensity and irradiation time in raw waters. However, for the humic acid synthesized water, the percentage of organic chloramines increased first and then decreased with the increase of UV irradiation time. The value of SUVA declined in both raw and humic acid synthesized waters over the UV irradiation time, which indicated that the decomposition of aromatic organic matter by UV could be a contributor to the increase of free chlorine consumption and organic chloramine proportion. The percentage of organic chloramines during chlorination of raw waters after 30-min UV irradiation pretreatment varied from 20.2% to 41.8%. Total chlorine decreased obviously with the increase of nitrate concentration, but the percentage of organic chloramines increased and was linearly correlated to nitrate concentration.

Sea Level Dropping in Nain, Canada

Nain canada sea level
The mean sea level trend is -2.02 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.74 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1963 to 2010 which is equivalent to a change of -0.66 feet in 100 years.

Environmentalism Gone Mad

There is another side of the story.


Barnes and Noble:

In the mid-2000s he began researching the claims by the environmental movement and the UN that the release of carbon dioxide by modern civilization will lead to catastrophic global warming. This book is an account of his personal journey of discovery.

In Environmentalism Gone Mad, Dr. Carlin documents the dysfunction of the modern environmental movement-demonstrating the need of a major course correction to steer it back to reality.