Earth Sciences

Torvosaurus tanneriThe specimen of Torvosaurus tanneri is currently on display in Madrid, Spain.

The genus Torvosaurus includes a unique species of megalosaurid therapod dinosaur.

Torvosaurus are found in the Morrison Formation, western United States but spread widely with specimens of the same species being unearthed in Europe in the Lourinha Formation near Lisbon, Portugal.
Though environmental activists are aghast that Republicans now control the White House, the Senate and the House for the first time since the 1920s, at least a few have come to some self-awareness that non-stop lobbying against jobs and poor people, and for higher regulations and cost, are to blame for why their candidate lost.

What they don't realize is that there is actually a great deal of opportunity for environmentalists during the Trump years. In most ways, he is a lot more like Democrats than he is like Republicans, they just need to stop being against everyone and everything except higher taxes and more federal rules.

It may be time to mix it up, when the writing is on the wall that being "anti-" is not working for anything except their bank statements.
Something is wrong in the Arctic

It has long been predicted that as the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere climbs, so too will the average global temperature, with the greatest temperature increases being seen at the poles.  This year, the polar amplification effect is in full swing, with exceptional global losses of sea ice.
Sea ice hits record lows

How can we predict the climate so far ahead when we can't do an accurate weather forecast even ten days ahead? Well it is remarkable that we can forecast our weather even one day ahead, and by looking at how the forecasters do that we can begin to understand how the models can work over longer timescales. When I was a child in the UK in the 1960s, with our unpredictable weather, a cautious person would take rain gear with them almost no matter what the forecasters said. Even as late as 1987 we had Michael Fish's famous weather blooper. This broadcast is so famous here that it starred in the Olympics 2012 opening ceremony.

Across Europe, town and city councils are becoming increasingly interested in energy decentralization, i.e. in producing power closer to where it is consumed, which could reduce energy costs for citizens who already feel their economic backs being broken by political beliefs about alternative energy that doesn't involve nuclear.

Heidelberg is a city in Germany with a long-running energy company that has managed to keep costs lower than centralized schemes. The city-owned company is responsible for managing gas, heating, and the water and sewage systems. They even have a plan to migrate more to renewables in the future.
Dear Mr. Trump, Please Can We Study Our Climate?

To the President-elect,


    please consider that if climate scientists of the past had not been supported by wealthy patrons we of the 21st century would know little if anything about how to warn people that a hurricane, storm surge or tornado is imminent.
Back to Square 1 - First Steps in Climate Science

Step 1 - we humans discover that the Arctic accumulates more heat on a summer's day then the equatorial regions.

Step 2 - we realise that our atmosphere is heated not so much directly by the sun but by heat from the surface.

George Best not the footballer  circa 1580

Step 3 - we discover that heat and light are two separate forms of radiant energy

Donald Trump has just been elected as US president, as a Republican climate skeptic. So if you are from the US you may get the impression that this is a political debate between “lefties” who think climate change is real and “righties” who think it isn’t. But it’s only in the US that there still is a political debate at all. Here in the UK for instance it has cross party support, and we have a right wing government who have just ratified the treaty. For us, it was a matter for debate a decade or two ago, but the debate was already over some years back. We've decided action is needed, and there were many things we could have done, but the main thing was to do something, and the Paris agreement was what they came up with.

The Alps are steadily "growing" by about one to two millimeters per year. Likewise, the formerly glaciated subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia are also undergoing constant upward movement.

This is due to the fact that at the end of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) about 18,000 years ago the glaciers melted and with this the former heavy pressure on the Earth's surface diminished. The ice reacted rapidly to climate change at that time whereas the Earth's crust is still responding today to this relatively sudden melting of ice. During the LGM the Alps were also coated with an ice cap that temporarily reached far into the alpine foreland.

The extent of glaciation was much smaller here than on the subcontinents of North America and Scandinavia.

Atmospheric scientists at the Desert Research Institute (DRI) have turned their attention toward the growing e-cigarette industry and found that toxic aldehydes, such as formaldehyde, are formed during the chemical breakdown of the flavored e-liquid during the rapid heating process (pyrolysis) that occurs inside e-cigarettes or electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS).

Since the dose makes the poison, is this a concern? Not really, but in the modern world of International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) hazard assessments, risk has become irrelevant and the presence of any compound, even in trace levels, is declared carcinogenic if the levels are within seven orders of magnitude, so 10,000,000 to 1.