Monthly Archives: July 2013

XKeyscore: NSA tool collects ‘nearly everything a user does on the internet’

The NSA has denied under oath that this is being done:

“A top secret National Security Agency program allows analysts to search with no prior authorization through vast databases containing emails, online chats and the browsing histories of millions of individuals, according to documents provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden.” Click here….

So much for the honesty and credibility of the National Security Agency. How sad this is…

Delaware temperature trend does not indicate catestrophic “global warming”

Projections into the future using computer models can certainly be done. They can be very impressive with animations and bright colors. But do they correspond to the reality of the climate system? No. It takes great faith to believe such model projections when predicting the future.

Delaware is planning for the future. So let’s take a look at the historical temperature record below.The wide variations in mean temperature from month to month (even more variability if actual daily data were plotted) during this period when atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased leaves one with the impression that CO2 has nothing to do with the climate reality in Delaware.

Delaware temperatures

March 2012 extreme heat due to natural variability

Randall Dole, Martin Hoerling, Arun Kumar, Jon Eischeid, Judith Perlwitz, Xiao-Wei Quan, George Kiladis, Robert Webb, Donald Murray, Mingyue Chen, Klaus Wolter, and Tao Zhang. The Making of An Extreme Event: Putting the Pieces Together. Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. 2013 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1175/BAMS-D-12-00069.1

We examine how physical factors spanning climate and weather contributed to record warmth over the central and eastern U.S. in March 2012, when daily temperature anomalies at many locations exceeded 20°C. Over this region, approximately 1° C warming in March temperatures has occurred since 1901. This long-term regional warming is an order-of-magnitude smaller than temperature anomalies observed during the event, indicating the most of the extreme warmth must be explained by other factors. Several lines of evidence strongly implicate natural variations as the primary cause for the extreme event. The 2012 temperature anomalies had a close analogue in an exceptionally warm U.S. March occurring over 100 years earlier, providing observational evidence that an extreme event similar to March 2012 could be produced through natural variability alone. Coupled model forecasts and simulations forced by observed sea surface temperatures (SSTs) show that forcing from anomalous SSTs increased the probability of extreme warm temperatures in March 2012 above that anticipated from the long-term warming trend. In addition, forcing associated with a strong Madden-Julian Oscillation further increased the probability for extreme U.S. warmth and provided important additional predictive information on the timing and spatial pattern of temperature anomalies. The results indicate that the superposition of a strong natural variation similar to March 1910 on long-term warming of the magnitude observed would be sufficient to account for the record warm March 2012 U.S. temperatures. We conclude that the extreme warmth over the central and eastern U.S. in March 2012 resulted primarily from natural climate and weather variability, a substantial fraction of which was predictable.

Click here for full paper (early release).

Dental fluorosis a public health problem in Mexico

Betancourt-Lineares A, Irigoyen-Camacho ME, Mejía-González A, Zepeda-Zapeda M, Sánchez-Pérez L. [Dental fluorosis prevalence in Mexican localities of 27 states and the D.F.: six years after the publication of the Salt Fluoridation Mexican Official Regulation.] Rev Invest Clin. 2013 May-June;65(3):237-247.

OBJECTIVE: To identify the prevalence and severity of dental fluorosis in communities located in 28 states of Mexico.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The National Dental Caries Survey 2001 (NDCS2001) data base was analyzed. The information of 26,893 students, ages 12 and 15 years old, of 27 states and the Federal District was examined. Dean’s dental fluorosis index was applied by standardized examiners. The fluorosis prevalence and the Community Fluorosis Index (FCI) were calculated.

RESULTS: The fluorosis prevalence was 27.9% (95% CI 24.4, 28.5). A statistical significance difference in the fluorosis prevalence was observed among the states studied (p < 0.0001). The lowest prevalence was detected in Morelos (3.2%) and the highest in Durango (88.8%). In 18 (64.3%) of the states included more than 90% of the participants showed very mild or lower levels of the dental fluorosis index. A low level of the FCI was found in the localities belonging to 19 (67.9%) of the states studied (FCI < 0.4). The lowest FCI was found in Colima, Yucatán and Morelos. The highest FCI were found in Durango, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes and San Luis Potosí (1 ≤ ICF). This information indicates that in these states dental fluorosis is a public health problem.

CONCLUSIONS: Two-thirds of the states had localities with low prevalence of dental fluorosis; however, approximately, one-third of the states investigated the fluorosis levels showed the need of a reduction in fluoride exposure among the young population.

A warming world will not necessarily result in more climatic variation

The findings of such a study as this is in part determined by the arbitrary construct imposed for the analysis….which is a “central trendency surrounded by variability”. The climate itself does not actually behave in this fashion, and so right from the beginning there is a correspondence problem in this analysis. No one every experineces average weather. Be that as it may, the analysis suggests that the so called “warming world” does not necessarily result in greater variability.

“Dr Huntingford added, “Our findings contradict the sometimes stated view that a warming world will automatically be one of more overall climatic variation.”” Click here for the news article.

Chris Huntingford, Philip D. Jones, Valerie N. Livina, Timothy M. Lenton and Peter M. Cox. No increase in global temperature variability despite changing regional patterns. Nature(2013)doi:10.1038/nature12310

Evidence from Greenland ice cores shows that year-to-year temperature variability was probably higher in some past cold periods1, but there is considerable interest in determining whether global warming is increasing climate variability at present2, 3, 4, 5, 6. This interest is motivated by an understanding that increased variability and resulting extreme weather conditions may be more difficult for society to adapt to than altered mean conditions3. So far, however, in spite of suggestions of increased variability2, there is considerable uncertainty as to whether it is occurring7. Here we show that although fluctuations in annual temperature have indeed shown substantial geographical variation over the past few decades2, the time-evolving standard deviation of globally averaged temperature anomalies has been stable. A feature of the changes has been a tendency for many regions of low variability to experience increases, which might contribute to the perception of increased climate volatility. The normalization of temperature anomalies2 creates the impression of larger relative overall increases, but our use of absolute values, which we argue is a more appropriate approach, reveals little change. Regionally, greater year-to-year changes recently occurred in much of North America and Europe. Many climate models predict that total variability will ultimately decrease under high greenhouse gas concentrations, possibly associated with reductions in sea-ice cover. Our findings contradict the view that a warming world will automatically be one of more overall climatic variation.

Click here for full article (Fee).

Arsenic exposure effects in cultured human cells

Fei Zhao, Paul Severson, Samantha Pacheco, Bernard W. Futscher, Walter T. Klimecki. Arsenic exposure induces the Warburg effect in cultured human cells. Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology, Volume 271, Issue 1, 15 August 2013, Pages 72–77.

Understanding how arsenic exacts its diverse, global disease burden is hampered by a limited understanding of the particular biological pathways that are disrupted by arsenic and underlie pathogenesis. A reductionist view would predict that a small number of basic pathways are generally perturbed by arsenic, and manifest as diverse diseases. Following an initial observation that arsenite-exposed cells in culture acidify their media more rapidly than control cells, the report here shows that low level exposure to arsenite (75 ppb) is sufficient to induce aerobic glycolysis (the Warburg effect) as a generalized phenomenon in cultured human primary cells and cell lines. Expanded studies in one such cell line, the non-malignant pulmonary epithelial line, BEAS-2B, established that the arsenite-induced Warburg effect was associated with increased accumulation of intracellular and extracellular lactate, an increased rate of extracellular acidification, and inhibition by the non-metabolized glucose analog, 2-deoxy-D-glucose. Associated with the induction of aerobic glycolysis was a pathway-wide induction of glycolysis gene expression, as well as protein accumulation of an established glycolysis master-regulator, hypoxia-inducible factor 1A. Arsenite-induced alteration of energy production in human cells represents the type of fundamental perturbation that could extend to many tissue targets and diseases.

Click here for full paper (fee).

Manganese effects on cerebral trace elements in birds

Xiaofei Liu, Nan Zuo, Huanan Guan, Chunran Han, Shi Wen Xu. Manganese-Induced Effects on Cerebral Trace Element and Nitric Oxide of Hyline Cocks. Biological Trace Element Research, August 2013, Volume 154, Issue 2, pp 202-209.

Exposure to Manganese (Mn) is a common phenomenon due to its environmental pervasiveness. To investigate the Mn-induced toxicity on cerebral trace element levels and crucial nitric oxide parameters on brain of birds, 50-day-old male Hyline cocks were fed either a commercial diet or a Mn-supplemented diet containing 600, 900, 1,800 mg kg−1. After being treated with Mn for 30, 60, and 90 days, the following were determined: the changes in contents of copper (Cu), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), calcium (Ca), selenium (Se) in brain; inducible nitric oxide synthase-nitric oxide (iNOS-NO) system activity in brain; and histopathology and ultrastructure changes of cerebral cortex. The results showed that Mn was accumulated in brain and the content of Cu and Fe increased. However, the levels of Zn and Se decreased and the Ca content presented no obvious regularity. Exposure to Mn significantly elevated the content of NO and the expression of iNOS mRNA. Activity of total NO synthase (T NOS) and iNOS appeared with an increased tendency. These findings suggested that Mn exposure resulted in the imbalance of cerebral trace elements and influenced iNOS in the molecular level, which are possible underlying nervous system injury mechanisms induced by Mn exposure.

Click here for full paper (fee).