Monthly Archives: May 2017

Santer et al Study Illustrates Weakness of Climate Science “Peer Review”

This statistical manipulation essentially done quickly in response to a misquote from a government administrator’s statement does not qualify in my view as peer-reviewed science regardless of who is listed as a coauthor.  It simply illustrates the political bias and favoritism given to certain points of view regardless of the science. For rebuttals refuting Santer et al click here and here.

Benjamin D. Santer, Susan Solomon, Frank J. Wentz, Qiang Fu, Stephen Po-Chedley, Carl Mears, Jeffrey F. Painter, Céline Bonfils. Tropospheric Warming Over The Past Two Decades. Scientific Reports, 7, 2336, 2017.

Satellite temperature measurements do not support the recent claim of a “leveling off of warming” over the past two decades. Tropospheric warming trends over recent 20-year periods are always significantly larger (at the 10% level or better) than model estimates of 20-year trends arising from natural internal variability. Over the full 38-year period of the satellite record, the separation between observed warming and internal variability estimates is even clearer. In two out of three recent satellite datasets, the tropospheric warming from 1979 to 2016 is unprecedented relative to internally generated temperature trends on the 38-year timescale.

Indirect Wastewater Reuse Along the Yangtze River, China

Wang Z, Shao D, Westerhoff P. Wastewater discharge impact on drinking water sources along the Yangtze River (China).Sci Total Environ. 2017 May 17;599-600:1399-1407. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.05.078.

Unplanned indirect (de facto) wastewater reuse occurs when wastewater is discharged into surface waters upstream of potable drinking water treatment plant intakes. This paper aims to predict percentages and trends of de facto reuse throughout the Yangtze River watershed in order to understand the relative contribution of wastewater discharges into the river and its tributaries towards averting water scarcity concerns. The Yangtze River is the third longest in the world and supports more than 1/15 of the world’s population, yet the importance of wastewater on the river remains ill-defined. Municipal wastewater produced in the Yangtze River Basin increased by 41% between 1998 and 2014, from 2580m3/s to 3646m3/s. Under low flow conditions in the Yangtze River near Shanghai, treated wastewater contributions to river flows increased from 8% in 1998 to 14% in 2014. The highest levels of de facto reuse appeared along a major tributary (Han River) of the Yangtze River, where de facto reuse can exceed 20%. While this initial analysis of de facto reuse used water supply and wastewater data from 110 cities in the basin and 11 gauging stations with >50years of historic streamflow data, the outcome was limited by the lack of gauging stations at more locations (i.e., data had to be predicted using digital elevation mapping) and lack of precise geospatial location of drinking water intakes or wastewater discharges. This limited the predictive capability of the model relative to larger datasets available in other countries (e.g., USA). This assessment is the first analysis of de facto wastewater reuse in the Yangtze River Basin. It will help identify sections of the river at higher risk for wastewater-related pollutants due to presence of-and reliance on-wastewater discharge that could be the focus of field studies and model predictions of higher spatial and temporal resolution.

Accountability Need on News Media Leaks Damaging to US National Security

“In statements largely unreported by the news media, former CIA Director John Brennan testified on Tuesday that, in his assessment, recent news media leaks concerning classified information are “very, very damaging” to U.S. national security.” click here

Lake Erie Microcystis Bloom Shutdown of Water Supply, Toledo, Ohio

Steffen MM, Davis TW, McKay RM, Bullerjahn GS, Krausfeldt LE, Stough JMA, Neitzey ML, Gilbert NE, Boyer GL, Johengen TH, Gossiaux DC, Burtner AM, Palladino D, Rowe M, Dick GJ, Meyer K, Levy S, Boone B, Stumpf R, Wynne T, Zimba PV, Gutierrez DB, Wilhelm SW. Ecophysiological examination of the Lake Erie Microcystis bloom in 2014: linkages between biology and the water supply shutdown of Toledo, Ohio. Environmental Science and Technology. 2017 May 23. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.7b00856.

Annual cyanobacterial blooms dominated by Microcystis have occurred in western Lake Erie (USA/Canada) during summer months since 1995. The production of toxins by bloom-forming cyanobacteria can lead to drinking water crises, such as the one experienced by the city of Toledo in August of 2014, when the city was rendered without drinking water for > 2 days. It is important to understand the conditions and environmental cues that were driving this specific bloom to provide a scientific framework for management of future bloom events. To this end, samples were collected and metatranscriptomes generated coincident with the collection of environmental metrics for eight sites located in the western basin of Lake Erie, including a station proximal to the water intake for the city of Toledo. These data were used to generate a basin-wide ecophysiological fingerprint of Lake Erie Microcystis populations in August 2014 for comparison to previous bloom communities. Our observations and analyses indicate that, at the time of sample collection, Microcystis populations were under dual nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) stress, as genes involved in scavenging of these nutrients were being actively transcribed. Targeted analysis of urea transport and hydrolysis suggests a potentially important role for exogenous urea as a nitrogen source during the 2014 event. Finally, simulation data suggest a wind event caused microcystin-rich water from Maumee Bay to be transported east along the southern shoreline past the Toledo water intake. Coupled with a significant cyanophage infection, these results reveal that a combination of biological and environmental factors led to the disruption of the Toledo water supply. This scenario was not atypical of re-occurring Lake Erie blooms and thus may re-occur in the future.

Fluoride kidney toxicity

Antonio LS, Jeggle P, MacVinish LJ, Bartram JC, Miller H, Jarvis GE, Levy FM, Santesso MR, Leite AL, Oliveira RC, Buzalaf MA, Edwardson JM. The effect of fluoride on the structure, function, and proteome of a renal epithelial cell monolayer. Environ Toxicol. 2017 Apr;32(4):1455-1467. doi:10.1002/tox.22338

High concentrations of fluoride in the body may cause toxic effects. Here, we investigated the effects of fluoride on the structure, function, and proteome of a cortical collecting duct epithelium in vitro. Kidney tubule cells (M-1) were chosen because the concentration of fluoride in the kidney is 4-5-fold higher than that in plasma. Mouse M-1 cell monolayers were incubated in fluoride-containing media, and the amiloride-sensitive short-circuit current and transepithelial resistance were measured. The Young’s modulus of the epithelium was determined using atomic force microscopy, and the effect of fluoride on epithelial structure was assessed using scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and immunofluorescence. Differences in the expression of membrane proteins were evaluated using proteomics and bioinformatics. Fluoride exposure reduced both transepithelial Na+ transport and resistance. The IC50 for fluoride was ∼300 µM for both effects, and the half-times for the decays of ion transport and resistance were 8.4 h and 3.6 days, respectively. Fluoride treatment did not affect the sensitivity of Na+ transport to amiloride. The Young’s modulus of the epithelium was also unaffected by fluoride; however, the functional effects of fluoride were accompanied by marked structural effects. Proteomic analysis revealed changes in expression of a number of proteins, and particularly mitochondrial proteins. Treatment with fluoride had profound effects on the structure, function and proteome of a model cortical collecting duct epithelium. Significantly, however, these effects were produced only at concentrations considerably higher than those likely to be encountered in vivo.

Health Care Premiums Doubled Under ObamaCare

“HHS spokesperson Alleigh Marré stated, “With data that shows average premiums doubling nationwide and Americans paying nearly $3,000 more for health insurance per year, this report is a sobering reminder of why reforming our healthcare system remains a top priority of the Trump Administration. The status quo is unsustainable.” ” click here

Fighting Terrorist Groups will Take Cooperation

” “This moment in history calls for us to strengthen cooperation as both Israel and America face common threats from ISIS and other terrorist groups, to countries like Iran that sponsor terrorism and fund and foment terrible violence, not only here but all over the world,” Trump said at a welcoming ceremony at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. ” click here

“Trump issued an urgent plea to the leaders of more than 50 Muslim countries to join a “coalition of nations who share the aim of stamping out extremism and providing our children a hopeful future that does honor to God.”click here