US Chamber of Commerce confirms: Ms. Mary Landrieu (MS) needs to be replaced

Businesses and business organizations such as this buying elections can expect their public support to continue to fall while their rich-get-richer and the poor become poorer. Free-market capitalism is a good thing, but not when it is abused.

“Rob Engstrom, the US Chamber of Commerce’s national political director, recently told a gathering of trade association executives that the Chamber planned to endorse Louisiana Democrat Sen. Mary Landrieu in her reelection bid this year. The endorsement, reported by the New York Times columnist Joe Nocera, could decide the balance of power in the Senate and preserve Sen. Harry Reid as majority leader. “ click here

Correlations between solar activity and Earth’s surface temperature

科学通报  2014, Vol. 59 Issue (14): 1284-1292    DOI: 10.1360/972013-1089
地球科学 论文 |地球物理学
赵新华*, 冯学尚*
中国科学院空间科学与应用研究中心, 空间天气学国家重点实验室, 北京 100190
Periodicities of solar activity and the surface temperature variation of the Earth and their correlations
ZHAO XinHua*, FENG XueShang*

文章导读 考察了太阳活动与地表温度变化在数百年尺度上的周期性和相关性, 发现二者具有显著共振周期和较高相关性, 太阳活动对地表温度变化具有“延迟”和“积累”双重效应.

基于太阳黑子历史数据、太阳总辐照(TSI)重构数据和实测地球表面平均温度数据(全球、陆地、海洋),利用小波分析和交叉相关分析等方法,考察了太阳活动和地表温度变化在数百年时间尺度上的周期性及相关性. 主要结果有:(1) 在所考察的时间范围内,太阳活动(包括黑子和太阳总辐照)存在4个置信度高于95%(白噪声)的主周期变化,分别为11 a周期、50 a周期、世纪周期和双世纪周期,全球温度存在64.3 a的主周期变化,接近太阳活动的50 a周期;(2) 太阳活动与全球温度变化具有22,50 a的显著共振周期;(3) 太阳活动与地表温度长期变化的相关性高于其短期变化的相关性,以黑子为例,它与地表温度年均值的相关系数为0.31~0.35,11 a滑动平均值相关系数为0.58~0.70,22 a滑动平均值相关系数为0.64~0.78,太阳总辐照与地表温度的相关性高于黑子与地表温度的相关性;(4) 太阳活动在近100年里有明显增强,它与全球温度(包括陆地、海洋)近百年的升温是一致的,太阳活动与海洋温度的相关性略高于太阳活动与陆地温度的相关性. 这些结果表明,太阳活动在百年时间尺度上对于地表温度的变化具有不可忽略的影响.

Obama admin attempt to nullify immigration laws very bad for America

“President Barack Obama is reportedly intent on granting temporary amnesty and work permits to possibly eight million more illegal immigrants once Congress goes on its August recess after this week, and Sessions said Congress has a chance this week to “make it exceedingly difficult” for Obama to go forward with his plans. “ click here

Every American regardless of political party should oppose this action.

Unstated bias in sea-level rise signal paper

If enough assumptions are made in models just about anything can be linked to anything else. A common unstated bias is assuming a phenomena is anthropogenic. It can certainly be assumed but such an assumption should be clearly state when no evidence is provided to support the claim.

B. D. Hamlington, M. W. Strassburg, R. R. Leben. W. Han, R. S. Nerem, K-Y. Kim. Uncovering an anthropogenic sea-level rise signal in the Pacific Ocean. Nature Climate Change (2014) DOI:doi:10.1038/nclimate2307

Iternal climate variability across a range of scales is known to contribute to regional sea-level trends1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, which can be much larger than the global mean sea-level trend in many parts of the globe. Over decadal timescales, this internal variability obscures the long-term sea-level change3, 6, 8, making it difficult to assess the effect of anthropogenic warming on sea level. Here, an attempt is made to uncover the sea-level rise pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean associated with anthropogenic warming. More specifically, the sea-level variability associated with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation is estimated and removed from the regional sea-level trends computed from satellite altimetry measurements over the past two decades. The resulting pattern of regional sea-level rise uncovered in the tropical Pacific Ocean is explained in part by warming in the tropical Indian Ocean, which has been attributed to anthropogenic warming9. This study represents one of the first attempts at linking the sea-level trend pattern observed by satellite altimetry to anthropogenic forcing.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Acetochlor in source water and drinking water, China’s major cities

Yu ZY, Jin F, Li HY, An W, Yang M. Residual levels of acetochlor in source water and drinking water of china’s major cities. Huan Jing Ke Xue. 2014 May;35(5):1694-7. [Article in Chinese]

The concentration levels of acetochlor were investigated in source water and drinking water from 36 major cities in China by solid phase extraction (SPE) combined with gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS). Acetochlor detection rate was 66.9% in all the 145 source water samples collected with an average concentration of 33.9 ng L-1. The average removal rate of acetochlor was limited through the drinking water treatment process. The detection concentration of the northeast region was the highest. The concentrations of acetochlor detected in lake were higher than those in river and groundwater as source water. The detection rate and concentration of Liaohe river watershed and the coastal watershed were the highest.

Health risk of pharmaceuticals in Dutch drinking water

Corine J. Houtman, Jan Kroesbergen, Karin Lekkerkerker-Teunissen, Jan Peter van der Hoek. Human health risk assessment of the mixture of pharmaceuticals in Dutch drinking water and its sources based on frequent monitoring data. Science of The Total Environment. Volume 496, 15 October 2014, Pages 54–62

1-s2_0-S0048969714010377-fx1 SOTEN

The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is a topic of concern. Previous risk assessments indicate that their low concentrations are very unlikely to pose risks to human health, however often conclusions had to be based on small datasets and mixture effects were not included.

The objectives of this study were to a) investigate if pharmaceuticals in surface and polder water penetrate in drinking water, b) assess the lifelong exposure of consumers to pharmaceuticals via drinking water and c) assess the possible individual and mixture health risks associated with this exposure.

To fulfill these aims, a 2-year set of 4-weekly monitoring data of pharmaceuticals was used from three drinking water production plants. The 42 pharmaceuticals that were monitored were selected according to their consumption volume, earlier detection, toxicity and representation of the most relevant therapeutic classes. Lifelong exposures were calculated from concentrations and compared with therapeutic doses. Health risks were assessed by benchmarking concentrations with provisional guideline values. Combined risks of mixtures of pharmaceuticals were estimated using the concept of Concentration Addition.

The lifelong exposure to pharmaceuticals via drinking water was calculated to be extremely low, i.e. a few mg, in total corresponding to < 10% of the dose a patient is administered on one day. The risk of adverse health effects appeared to be negligibly low. Application of Concentration Addition confirmed this for the mixture of pharmaceuticals simultaneously present. The investigated treatment plants appeared to reduce the (already negligible) risk up to 80%. The large available monitoring dataset enabled the performance of a realistic risk assessment. It showed that working with maximum instead of average concentrations may overestimate the risk considerably.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Optimizing back-washing in dead-end microfiltration

N.G. Cogan, Shankararaman Chellam. A method for determining the optimal back-washing frequency and duration for dead-end microfiltration. Journal of Membrane Science. Volume 469, 1 November 2014, Pages 410–417.

Microfiltration is used in a variety of industrial and municipal water purification settings where one of the main concerns is fouling from the particulate matter that is removed from the water. Our focus has been on developing a unified model that captures fouling behavior in a consolidated manner rather than describing individual blocking regimes using power law models. The unified model provides greater insights into fouling mechanisms so that a deeper understanding of flux decline can be obtained. Moreover, by characterizing both forwards and backwashing behavior together, mathematical theory is available to develop strategies that increase the effectiveness of microfiltration in conjunction with backwashing used to regenerate the filter. We present a very simplified model that was developed to provide details regarding the mathematical analysis and how optimal control theory can be used to predict the timing and duration of backwashing that will optimize the overall water flow through the membrane. We use optimal control theory to derive an analytic solution to the optimal problem and develop a strategy to implement the solution. The model estimates of forward operation are compared with experimental data for constant pressure filtration and indicate that the model is able to capture the basic processes. More interestingly, the optimal control solution and proposed implementation strategy are consistent with empirical demonstrations but provide mathematical evidence that the flux may be increased dramatically by precise timing of the forward and backwashing cycles. Model predictions can be evaluated during pilot-testing that often precedes microfilter regulatory approval and plant design.

Click here for full paper (fee).