Daily Archives: July 12, 2013

Janet Napolitano resigns as Homeland Security chief

Ms. Janet Napolitano has resigned as Homeland Security chief (click here).

How anyone could imagine that she has something to offer the University of California educational system is beyond rationality. Clearly, someone (or several people) with great influence wanted her out of that position, and is giving her a place to land. I have nothing personal against Ms. Napolitano. Having watched such political appointees come and go over several decades, you begin to get a feel for how the Democrat political system works behind the scenes.

 

Lowering salt intake may be hazardous to health

An Institute of Medicine report funded by the Centers for Disease Control has found that lowering salt intake may have no benefit, and that lowering salt intake too much may be hazardous to health.

Click here for the report. Click here for a news article on this report.

There is no enforcable drinking water limit in the United States for sodium (click here).

 

Toxicity of ingested industrial fluoride

Richard Sauerheber. Physiologic Conditions Affect Toxicity of Ingested Industrial Fluoride. Journal of Environmental and Public Health 2013. http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/439490

The effects of calcium ion and broad pH ranges on free fluoride ion aqueous concentrations were measured directly and computed theoretically. Solubility calculations indicate that blood fluoride concentrations that occur in lethal poisonings would decrease calcium below prevailing levels. Acute lethal poisoning and also many of the chronic effects of fluoride involve alterations in the chemical activity of calcium by the fluoride ion. Natural calcium fluoride with low solubility and toxicity from ingestion is distinct from fully soluble toxic industrial fluorides. The toxicity of fluoride is determined by environmental conditions and the positive cations present. At a pH typical of gastric juice, fluoride is largely protonated as hydrofluoric acid HF. Industrial fluoride ingested from treated water enters saliva at levels too low to affect dental caries. Blood levels during lifelong consumption can harm heart, bone, brain, and even developing teeth enamel. The widespread policy known as water fluoridation is discussed in light of these findings.

Click here for the full paper (Open Source).

Glacier melt slowing down in Glacier Bay Alaska, British Columbia

A lot of claims have been made regarding glacier melting. Well, this paper finds a deceleration of glacier melt in the Glacier Bay area of Alaska and British Columbia over the past 63+ years.

Austin J. Johnson, Christopher F. Larsen, Nathaniel Murphy, Anthony A. Arendt, S. Lee Zirnheld. Mass balance in the Glacier Bay area of Alaska, USA, and British Columbia, Canada, 1995–2011, using airborne laser altimetry. Journal of Glaciology, Vol. 59, No. 216, 2013 doi: 10.3189/2013JoG12J101

The Glacier Bay region of southeast Alaska, USA, and British Columbia, Canada, has undergone major glacier retreat since the Little Ice Age (LIA). We used airborne laser altimetry elevation data acquired between 1995 and 2011 to estimate the mass loss of the Glacier Bay region over four time periods (1995–2000, 2000–05, 2005–09, 2009–11). For each glacier, we extrapolated from center-line profiles to the entire glacier to estimate glacier-wide mass balance, and then averaged these results over the entire region using three difference methods (normalized elevation, area-weighted method and simple average). We found that there was large interannual variability of the mass loss since 1995 compared with the long-term (post-LIA) average. For the full period (1995–2011) the average mass loss was 3.93 ± 0.89 Gt a–1 (0.6 ± 0.1 m w.e. a–1), compared with 17.8 Gt a–1 for the post-LIA (1770–1948) rate. Our mass loss rate is consistent with GRACE gravity signal changes for the 2003–10 period. Our results also show that there is a lower bias due to center-line profiling than was previously found by a digital elevation model difference method.

Click here for full paper (Open Source).