Understanding the Earth’s climate system is a fundamental part of any atmospheric or Earth science curriculum. When talking about climate, it is important to remember that climate science incorporates the description of key variables and concepts, climatic zones as well as climate change and its implications to society.
Essentials of the Earth’s Climate System, by Roger G. Barry and Eileen A. Hall-McKim, is a comprehensive introductory textbook that covers all aspects of the climate system. It is specifically written for a one-semester course in climate science and does not assume prior knowledge beyond a basic understanding of scientific principles. Mathematical equations are mostly omitted in favour of a combination of descriptive texts and colour figures that illustrate most concepts.
Designed for coursework, each chapter starts with an outline of the key concepts and finishes with a brief summary as well as review questions. While most questions require the student to explain a specific process or highlight important aspects, there are also questions that encourage students to work with freely available climate data and to explore climate phenomena. The text itself is divided into short sections, each covering one concept, variable or aspect of climate. These paragraphs are densely packed with facts, scientific theory and applications, but remain easy to read due to the accessible language. Even experienced scientists will find new and relevant information in this book, so that it might serve as a short reference. Throughout the book there are a multitude of text boxes that provide additional information about important scientists or interesting climate features and events such as the Tibetan Plateau or the Dust Bowl. This encourages students to do further reading.
California is in a catastrophic drought (XKCD) leading to massive wildfires.
Source: XKCD (as always)
NASA has released some stunning pictures of pyro-cumulus clouds (or towering fire clouds) as they were taken by the MODIS satellite and photographed by a fighter-jet.
Source: NASA (acquired July 31, 2014)
During the last 3 billion years, life on Earth has survived 7 mass extinctions. In each one more than 70% of the Earth’s species vanished. While the dominant species were wiped away, life recovered and vacant niches were filled by evolution. Some of the prominent victims of mass extinction live on in radically different form and ecological function like birds: Think about dinosaurs and birds.
Needless to say, if the the human race stays around for long enough, we might also face such an event. Additionally, a lot can be learned from the thought experiment, how we might cope and what strategies we might develop in order to survive.
Unfortunately, “Scatter, Adapt, and Remember ” by Annalee Newitz cannot live up to its promising title.
Source: Spurious correlations - http://www.tylervigen.com
On the other hand: more science funding, means more PhD students, implies more misery…
For details see: http://phdcomics.com
But seriously - A message from the creator of these graphs (BBC):
1) Be critical of statistics that you see
2) Look for a causal link or mechanism
3) Demand a little bit of scientific rigour in showing that there’s a strong, statistically significant correlation
Or in other words, when you make a computer data-mine hundreds of data-sets and calculate correlations you are bound to find some interesting correlations.
Study: Black college grads have double the unemployment rate | Al Jazeera America -
At age 33 and boasting an Ivy League graduate degree, Kitama Cahill-Jackson never thought he’d end up a security guard.
But after years of layoffs and coming in second in job interviews, the Emmy Award–winning documentary filmmaker took the job.
Cahill-Jackson dreamed of a career as a news producer. But now, after years of unsuccessfully searching for journalism jobs, he said he can’t even look at the news.
“When I got to work at 4:30 in the morning, I would listen to NPR. I don’t listen anymore because it makes me sad. That’s the career I didn’t have,” he said.
“I don’t read the paper because it breaks my heart. It breaks my heart that I put on this uniform every day and come in here, and I’m not seen as a professional. I worked so hard academically, and for all of that, to work at a job that only requires a GED.”
Cahill-Jackson is among the more than half of black college graduates who are underemployed, according to a study (PDF) released by the Center for Economic Policy and Research this month.
Recent black college grads ages 22 to 27 have an unemployment rate of 12.4 percent, more than double the 5.6 percent unemployed among all college grads in that demographic and almost a threefold increase from the 2007 level of 4.6 percent, before the Great Recession took its toll on the U.S. economy. More than half of black graduates, 55.9 percent, are underemployed.
Even for those who enter the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields, areas where grads are the most needed and paid the highest, African-Americans still have a 10 percent unemployment rate and a 32 percent underemployment rate.
The study’s authors blame racism, a faltering economy and an unequal playing field.
(Source: so-treu, via scinerds)
Lets have an honest debate about anthropogenic climate change: