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Member since: 2002
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the internet of ransomware things

Study investigates collapse of natural or social systems

A tipping point is a critical threshold at which a dynamical system undergoes an irreversible transformation, typically owing to a small change in inputs or parameters. This concept is very broad and can refer to the extinction of an animal or a plant species, the depletion of a water source, or the financial collapse of an institution, among many other natural and social phenomena.
"But what our study showed, and this is its main contribution, is that for certain cyclical phenomena, the dynamics of the system last for a certain time after the tipping point, and this persistence may mask the transition itself," Medeiros said. "Take an endangered species, for example. It may have passed the point of no return and become irreversibly doomed. Nevertheless, individual members of the species continue to exist and reproduce in the wild. This transient effect conceals the fact that in the long run, the species is already extinct. In our study, through numerical simulation, we succeeded in observing this transient effect following the singularity that configures a tipping point."
Thus, the fundamentals of a phenomenon change irreversibly at the tipping point, but owing to a kind of "residual effect" the process appears to retain its original characteristics for a time, masking the transformation that has occurred.

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-05-collapse-natural-social.html#jCp

Hundreds of dead sharks washing up on Bay Area shores

For seven weeks straight, hundreds of sharks have been washing up dead on the shores of the San Francisco Bay.
Sean Van Sommeran, executive director and founder of the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation, says he's been getting calls daily since March of reported sharks washed up along the waterways of San Mateo County, Alameda and even Lake Merritt.
"We cant actually keep up with the volume of calls we get on a day-to-day basis," Van Sommeran said.
Several types of marine life have been turning up dead, including rays and large fish like halibut. But primarily, Van Sommeran has been seeing hundreds of leopard sharks washing up. He estimates the number of dead and dying sharks in the bay could be in the thousands.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg," Van Sommeran told SFGATE. "We're only seeing a fraction of the actual losses."

video at link

Major Report Prompts Warnings That the Arctic Is Unraveling

The Arctic is warming more than twice as fast as the rest of the planet, suggests a huge assessment of the region. The warming is hastening the melting of Arctic ice and boosting sea-level rise.
The report, compiled by more than 90 scientists, documents the myriad changes already under way across the Arctic because of climate change—from declining sea ice and melting glaciers to shifting ecosystems and weather patterns. From 2011 to 2015, the assessment finds, the Arctic was warmer than at any time since records began around 1900 (see 'Arctic warming').
Sea ice continues to decline, and the extent of snow cover across the Arctic regions of North America and Eurasia each June has halved as compared to observations before 2000.
The findings come from the Snow, Water, Ice, and Permafrost in the Arctic report, a comprehensive assessment compiled every few years by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, the scientific body that reports to the governments that make up the Arctic Council, a forum for issues affecting the region. The last assessment came out in 2011.


If there's life on that world, something potentially catastrophic is happening to it.

We've all read the reports, or seen the media discussion. Except it can be a little hard to grasp the sheer magnitude of what our species has accomplished. Dire warnings that we've crossed 400 parts-per-million of atmospheric CO2 (a level last seen tens of millions of years ago) may sound pretty bad, but it takes a little intellectual imagination to really grasp what's going on.
Let's give that a shot.


Except that is for an average output, spread across 263 years. Estimates of today's CO2 production go as high as about 40 billion tons per year. That'd take something like ten billion acres of forest burning each year, which is about 42 million square kilometers. The entire continent of Africa is a mere 30 million square kilometers. So this, plus another third, on fire, each year:


meanwhile, in Europe...

In the waning days of 2016 we were warned: save the data

At first, the distress flare of lost data came as a surge of defunct links on 21 January. The US National Strategy for the Arctic, the Implementation Plan for the Strategy, and the report on our progress all gone within a matter of minutes. As I watched more and more links turned red, I frantically combed the internet for archived versions of our country’s most important polar policies.

I had no idea then that this disappearing act had just begun.

Since January, the surge has transformed into a slow, incessant march of deleting datasets, webpages and policies about the Arctic. I now come to expect a weekly email request to replace invalid citations, hoping that someone had the foresight to download statistics about Arctic permafrost thaw or renewable energy in advance of the purge.


Nine lines of evidence for climate change


So what is the evidence?

The research falls into nine independently-studied but physically-related lines of evidence, that build to the overall clear conclusion that humans are the main cause of climate change:

Simple chemistry that when we burn carbon-based materials, carbon dioxide (CO2) is emitted (research beginning in 1900s)
Basic accounting of what we burn, and therefore how much CO2 we emit (data collection beginning in 1970s)

Measuring CO2 in the atmosphere and trapped in ice to find that it is indeed increasing and that the levels are higher than anything we've seen in hundreds of thousands of years (measurements beginning in 1950s)

Chemical analysis of the atmospheric CO2 that reveals the increase is coming from burning fossil fuels (research beginning in 1950s)

Basic physics that shows us that CO2 absorbs heat (research beginning in 1820s)

Monitoring climate conditions to find that recent warming of the Earth is correlated to and follows rising CO2 emissions (research beginning in 1930s)

Ruling out natural factors that can influence climate like the Sun and ocean cycles (research beginning in 1830s)

Employing computer models to run experiments of natural vs. human-influenced “simulated Earths” (research beginning in 1960s)

Consensus among scientists that consider all previous lines of evidence and make their own conclusions (polling beginning in 1990

The President was in high levelmeetings all day

There was definitely no golf played.


Meanwhile, the rape of Queensland intensifies

MUMBAI: Adani Group Chairman Gautam Adani, whose USD 22 billion Carmichael coal mine and port cum railhead project in Queensland is being opposed by some people, says he is hopeful of starting it by August this year.

He was flanked by the premier of Queensland Anastasia Palaszczuk, who was in town leading a 25-member delegation of mayors and state officials after visiting the Mundra port and solar power farms of the Adanis in Gujarat over the weekend.

Adani said he expects the first coal to come out of the mines by 2020.


The Adani group entered Australia in 2010 with the purchase of the greenfield Carmichael coal mine in the Galilee Basin in central Queensland, and the Abbot Point port near Bowen in the north.

Echoing Adani's confidence, the premier sounded sanguine about securing the pending federal approvals anytime soon as her country's national parliament is in session now and is keen to begin a debate on the project.

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