Solar activity heads for lowest low in four centuries



The sun's activity is in free fall, according to a leading space physicist. But don't expect a little ice age. "Solar activity is declining very fast at the moment," Mike Lockwood, professor of space environmental physics at Reading University, UK, told New Scientist. "We estimate faster than at any time in the last 9300 years."

Lockwood and his colleagues are reassessing the chances of this decline continuing over decades to become the first "grand solar minimum" for four centuries. During a grand minimum the normal 11-year solar cycle is suppressed and the sun has virtually no sunspots for several decades. This summer should have seen a peak in the number of sunspots, but it didn't happen.

Lockwood thinks there is now a 25 per cent chance of a repetition of the last grand minimum, the late 17th century Maunder Minimum, when there were no sunspots for 70 years. Two years ago, Lockwood put the chances of this happening at less than 10 per cent (Journal of Geophysical Research, DOI: 10.1029/2011JD017013).

                                             Snow fell in Egypt for the first time after 100 years

   Little ice age


The Maunder Minimum coincided with the worst European winters of the little ice age, a period lasting centuries when several regions around the globe experienced unusual cooling. Tree ring studies suggest it cooled the northern hemisphere by up to 0.4 °C.

But Lockwood says we should not expect a new grand minimum to bring on a new little ice age. Human-induced global warming, he says, is already a more important force in global temperatures than even major solar cycles. Temperatures have risen by 0.85 °C since 1880, with more expected, according to the most recent assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

There may still be noticeable consequences. For instance, long term cold winters in the UK are common when solar activity is low. And less solar activity can slow the jet stream, triggering a suite of interlinked extreme weather events like the Russian heatwave of 2010, and the devastating floods in Pakistan that same year.


   Isotope trail

There have been 24 grand solar minima in the past 10,000 years. Their history is reconstructed by looking for isotopes like carbon-14 that cosmic rays generate in the atmosphere. Solar activity boosts the solar wind which deflects cosmic rays coming at Earth, so less solar activity means more cosmic rays and more of these isotopes.

How the isotopes vary over time can be measured by looking at things like tree rings, which absorb carbon-14, or ice cores, which accumulate beryllium-10.


                                    Recently published planetary EM index that tracks the solar cycle

The current long-term decline in solar activity set in after the last grand solar maximum peaked in 1956, says Lockwood. The decline has accelerated recently, and the absence of sunspots this summer has set alarm bells ringing.

The precise extent to which solar cycles influence global temperatures is still debated, including whether the recent decline may have helped cause the current hiatus in the pace of global warming.

"Mike is probably right that there is a chance of the sun returning to a level of activity similar to the Maunder Minimum," says atmospheric physicist Joanna Haigh of Imperial College. But she adds: "Even under the most optimistic scenario [of minimal global warming and a deep solar minimum] the solar cooling would only just offset greenhouse gas warming. So no ice age."

It is more likely that it will simply reduce the warming a little, and set us up for greater warming if it receded.

   Deep Solar Minimum

April 1, 2009: The sunspot cycle is behaving a little like the stock market. Just when you think it has hit bottom, it goes even lower.

2008 was a bear. There were no sunspots observed on 266 of the year's 366 days (73%). To find a year with more blank suns, you have to go all the way back to 1913, which had 311 spotless days: plot. Prompted by these numbers, some observers suggested that the solar cycle had hit bottom in 2008.

Maybe not. Sunspot counts for 2009 have dropped even lower. As of March 31st, there were no sunspots on 78 of the year's 90 days (87%).

It adds up to one inescapable conclusion: "We're experiencing a very deep solar minimum," says solar physicist Dean Pesnell of the Goddard Space Flight Center.

"This is the quietest sun we've seen in almost a century," agrees sunspot expert David Hathaway of the Marshall Space Flight Center.


Quiet suns come along every 11 years or so. It's a natural part of the sunspot cycle, discovered by German astronomer Heinrich Schwabe in the mid-1800s. Sunspots are planet-sized islands of magnetism on the surface of the sun; they are sources of solar flares, coronal mass ejections and intense UV radiation. Plotting sunspot counts, Schwabe saw that peaks of solar activity were always followed by valleys of relative calm—a clockwork pattern that has held true for more than 200 years.

The current solar minimum is part of that pattern. In fact, it's right on time. "We're due for a bit of quiet—and here it is," says Pesnell.


But is it supposed to be this quiet? In 2008, the sun set the following records:

A 50-year low in solar wind pressure: Measurements by the Ulysses spacecraft reveal a 20% drop in solar wind pressure since the mid-1990s—the lowest point since such measurements began in the 1960s. The solar wind helps keep galactic cosmic rays out of the inner solar system. With the solar wind flagging, more cosmic rays are permitted to enter, resulting in increased health hazards for astronauts. Weaker solar wind also means fewer geomagnetic storms and auroras on Earth.

A 12-year low in solar "irradiance": Careful measurements by several NASA spacecraft show that the sun's brightness has dropped by 0.02% at visible wavelengths and 6% at extreme UV wavelengths since the solar minimum of 1996. The changes so far are not enough to reverse the course of global warming, but there are some other significant side-effects: Earth's upper atmosphere is heated less by the sun and it is therefore less "puffed up." Satellites in low Earth orbit experience less atmospheric drag, extending their operational lifetimes. Unfortunately, space junk also remains longer in Earth orbit, increasing hazards to spacecraft and satellites.

A 55-year low in solar radio emissions: After World War II, astronomers began keeping records of the sun's brightness at radio wavelengths. Records of 10.7 cm flux extend back all the way to the early 1950s. Radio telescopes are now recording the dimmest "radio sun" since 1955: plot. Some researchers believe that the lessening of radio emissions is an indication of weakness in the sun's global magnetic field. No one is certain, however, because the source of these long-monitored radio emissions is not fully understood.

All these lows have sparked a debate about whether the ongoing minimum is "weird", "extreme" or just an overdue "market correction" following a string of unusually intense solar maxima.

"Since the Space Age began in the 1950s, solar activity has been generally high," notes Hathaway. "Five of the ten most intense solar cycles on record have occurred in the last 50 years. We're just not used to this kind of deep calm."

Deep calm was fairly common a hundred years ago. The solar minima of 1901 and 1913, for instance, were even longer than the one we're experiencing now. To match those minima in terms of depth and longevity, the current minimum will have to last at least another year.


In a way, the calm is exciting, says Pesnell. "For the first time in history, we're getting to see what a deep solar minimum is really like." A fleet of spacecraft including the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), the twin STEREO probes, the five THEMIS probes, Hinode, ACE, Wind, TRACE, AIM, TIMED, Geotail and others are studying the sun and its effects on Earth 24/7 using technology that didn't exist 100 years ago. Their measurements of solar wind, cosmic rays, irradiance and magnetic fields show that solar minimum is much more interesting and profound than anyone expected.

Modern technology cannot, however, predict what comes next. Competing models by dozens of top solar physicists disagree, sometimes sharply, on when this solar minimum will end and how big the next solar maximum will be. Pesnell has surveyed the scientific literature and prepared a "piano plot" showing the range of predictions. The great uncertainty stems from one simple fact: No one fully understands the underlying physics of the sunspot cycle.

Pesnell believes sunspot counts will pick up again soon, "possibly by the end of the year," to be followed by a solar maximum of below-average intensity in 2012 or 2013.




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The Sun's Magnetic Field is about to Flip




   According to NASA the sun is about to flip upside down and it could happen any day now


Something big is about to happen on the sun. According to measurements from NASA-supported observatories, the sun's vast magnetic field is about to flip.

"It looks like we're no more than three to four months away from a complete field reversal," said solar physicist Todd Hoeksema of Stanford University. "This change will have ripple effects throughout the solar system."


The sun's magnetic field changes polarity approximately every 11 years. It happens at the peak of each solar cycle as the sun's inner magnetic dynamo re-organizes itself. The coming reversal will mark the midpoint of Solar Cycle 24. Half of "solar max" will be behind us, with half yet to come.

                                                                  Todd Hoeksema

Hoeksema is the director of Stanford's Wilcox Solar Observatory, one of the few observatories in the world that monitors the sun's polar magnetic fields. The poles are a herald of change. Just as Earth scientists watch our planet's polar regions for signs of climate change, solar physicists do the same thing for the sun. Magnetograms at Wilcox have been tracking the sun's polar magnetism since 1976, and they have recorded three grand reversals—with a fourth in the offing.

Solar physicist Phil Scherrer, also at Stanford, describes what happens: "The sun's polar magnetic fields weaken, go to zero and then emerge again with the opposite polarity. This is a regular part of the solar cycle."

A reversal of the sun's magnetic field is, literally, a big event. The domain of the sun's magnetic influence (also known as the "heliosphere") extends billions of kilometers beyond Pluto. Changes to the field's polarity ripple all the way out to the Voyager probes, on the doorstep of interstellar space.


When solar physicists talk about solar field reversals, their conversation often centers on the "current sheet." The current sheet is a sprawling surface jutting outward from the sun's equator where the sun's slowly rotating magnetic field induces an electrical current.

The current itself is small, only one ten-billionth of an amp per square meter (0.0000000001 amps/m2), but there’s a lot of it: the amperage flows through a region 10,000 km thick and billions of kilometers wide. Electrically speaking, the entire heliosphere is organized around this enormous sheet.

During field reversals, the current sheet becomes very wavy. Scherrer likens the undulations to the seams on a baseball. As Earth orbits the sun, we dip in and out of the current sheet. Transitions from one side to another can stir up stormy space weather around our planet.

Cosmic rays are also affected. These are high-energy particles accelerated to nearly light speed by supernova explosions and other violent events in the galaxy. Cosmic rays are a danger to astronauts and space probes, and some researchers say they might affect the cloudiness and climate of Earth.

The current sheet acts as a barrier to cosmic rays, deflecting them as they attempt to penetrate the inner solar system. A wavy, crinkly sheet acts as a better shield against these energetic particles from deep space.

An artist's concept of the heliospheric current sheet, which becomes more wavy when the sun's magnetic field flips.

As the field reversal approaches, data from Wilcox show that the sun's two hemispheres are out of synch.

"The sun's north pole has already changed sign, while the south pole is racing to catch up," Scherrer said. "Soon, however, both poles will be reversed, and the second half of solar max will be underway."

When that happens, Hoeksema and Scherrer will share the news with their colleagues and the public.







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Cooling Of North Atlantic



Explosive: Max Planck Institute Preliminary Forecast Shows 0.5°C Cooling Of North Atlantic SST By 2016!


It’s not a secret that scientists and politicians have been deeply disappointed by the spectacular failure of climate models. 98% of the long-term climate models failed to project the 16-year warming stop, all having overstated the warming.

So maybe it should not come as surprise that recently the German government quietly put out a bulletin  describing a midterm climate forecasting system that is raising some eyebrows.



The first 4 pages of the bulletin discuss and extol the then-upcoming IPCC AR5. Pages 5 – 7 then describe three projects that aim to answer some open climate questions.

   Project MiKlip first result shows cooling North Atlantic

The most interesting project among them is the Midterm Climate Prognoses project (MiKlip) described on Page 6 of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) bulletin. Page 6 shows the above chart and poses the question: “How warm is it going to be in 10 years? Business and policy need reliable climate forecasts.”


The bulletin adds that ”in business and politics there is an increasing need for reliable forecasts for climate developments in the range of years up to a decade.” 


And to fulfill that midterm need the German government is funding the MiKlip 10-year forecasting system, which comprises 60 individual research projects. Excerpts from page 6:


It is mainly about computer simulations that use recorded measurement data. … The MiKlip projects have been taking place since spring 2012. The first tangible results are expected to be available in September 2014. … Compared to the long-term scenarios, the results should be more exact. … The model will not deliver a forecast such as the weather at a specific location in a few years. Instead it looks more at the probable mean temperature in Europe in a certain month.”



The above chart on page 6 is a plot of North Atlantic temperature anomaly with respect to the 1971-2000. The chart comes from the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology. The caption reads:


Test forecast with the first MiKlip forecast system. The figure shows the anomaly of the sea surface temperature from the mean in the North Atlantic with the observed data shown in black from 1990 to 2011. White and orange show the test forecast beginning in 2012. Multiple decadal simulations are conducted for forecast in order to take the uncertainty of the initial conditions into account. The mean of the simulations is depicted by the white curve. The confidence intervals of the forecast (%) are shown in orange.” 

Again we have to stress that this is only a ”test forecast” with the first MiKlip system. But even so, the preliminary result is interesting in that it points to a serious drop in North Atlantic sea surface temperatures, which of course would have major global climate repercussions, especially in combination with a negative PDO and low solar activity.


So why are we being told that warming is continuing unabated when clearly it is not, and is not expected to for another 10 years at least?

And why is the German government funding the MiKlip models to start with? Is it because the 100-year climate models have been such a huge failure? Obviously they have been. And if the 100-year climate models failed spectacularly for even the first 10 or 20 years, then how can they be regarded as reliable for longer terms?

MiKlip is an important step back towards responsible and serious climate modeling and a sign that governments are finally abandoning the failed long-term models, having recognized that over the mid-term they are grotesquely flawed and have been terribly misleading, e.g. see here.


MiKlip is a nice step away from the dubious 100-year climate fortune-telling (which is naively, simplistically and solely based on the concentration of a single trace gas) and a real step back towards sound science. We are very much looking ahead to the first results.




 Source:

BMBF Miklip page - http://www.fona-miklip.de/en/


plan for validation - http://www.fona-miklip.de/en/257.php

For a better look at the actual data - http://www.climate4you.com/SeaTemperatures.htm#North%20Atlantic%20(60-0W,%2030-65N)%20heat%20content%200-700%20m%20depth

http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com





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Has global cooling begin?



   Arctic ice caps grow by 60% in a year

The arctic will be "ice-free by 2013." "An ice-free Arctic is] definitely coming, and coming sooner than we previously expected." These were but some of the breathless pronouncements made by scientists, climatologists, and even NASA over the last decade or so. All the while, the summers were getting colder and the ice caps more voluminous — quite a bit more, apparently.

According to a report in the Daily Mail, the Arctic ice cap grew by nearly a million square miles from 2012-2013, an increase of 60% year over year. This sharply contradicts earlier reports of doom-and-gloom and a climate change-induced apocalypse (not to mention, hyperbolic and slightly-ridiculous Hollywood blockbusters ).  Back in 2007, the BBC — in a report echoed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center — touted the following headline: “Artic summers ice-free by 2013”.

NASA satelite images showing the spread of Artic sea ice 27th August 2012. Courtesy of the Daily Mail.

                             The same Nasa image taken in 2013. Courtesy of the Daily Mail.

“Scientists in the US have presented one of the most dramatic forecasts yet for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice,” said the BBC’s science reporter, Jonathan Amos.

“This is not a cycle; not just a fluctuation. In the end, it will all just melt away quite suddenly,” said Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

Across the pond, the Obama administration has made climate change — the new, politically-expedient term for anthropogenic “global warming” — a central tenet of his NASA policy, eschewing existing plans to return to the moon or anything more tangible anytime soon.

And yet even the National Snow & Ice Data Center was recently force to admit  that “August 2013 ice extent was 2.38 million square kilometers (919,000 square miles) above the record low August extent in 2012.”

Was this an expected regression to the mean or part of a greater trend?

You may have noticed that we experienced an unusually cool summer — and, like me, you might have felt like we skipped summer (and all the outdoors fun I’m used to).


“August 2013 was the coolest since 2004, while the summer as a whole was the coolest since 2009,” noted the Washington Post (certainly no climate change skeptic).

Skeptics have long argued that global warming — or “climate change”, anthropogenic or not — is a natural phenomenon and part of a cyclical trend. The scant evidence to support a consistent warming pattern, in fact, led to activists adopting the more inclusive “climate change” terminology — the theory being that rising levels of CO2 and man-made pollutants cause wild weather patterns and gross temperature fluctuations.


But this new data would indicate that we’ve actually entered a period of sustained cooling (a concept that’s been around at least as long as its warmer cousin).

“We are already in a cooling trend, which I think will continue for the next 15 years at least,” said Anastasios Tsonis of the University of Wisconsin.

The Daily Mail invited a comparison with the cooling period from 1965 to 1975, which led scientists to predict a new ice age.

I don’t subscribe to either apocalyptic extreme — a global meltdown or new ice age — but I would caution against committing billions of dollars on plans to combat a scenario that’s far from certain (despite the loud protests of celebrity endorsees like Al Gore and even Harrison Ford).


Governments around the world have dumped precious resources into fixing a phenomenon that has probably ceased of its own accord (whether humans contributed to its rise or decline or had no effect whatsoever). Meanwhile, investment firms (like Al Gore’s Generation Investment Management ) make a fortune selling bogus “carbon credits,” and the entire racket rests on guilt — making prospective clients (i.e., everyone) feel guilty for their own “carbon footprint.”

And this is all based on the theory (yes, the theory) of anthropogenic global warming, the most visible evidence being the supposed melting of the polar ice caps. I’m a bit skeptical, myself (in case you hadn’t figured it out), and I don’t think we can afford to waste money that we don’t have on such a shaky presumption.





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Russian Meteor



   NASA cannot monitor most potentially devastating asteroids

Although the 150ft (45m) rock will zoom harmlessly by our planet on its record near approach in February 2013, it is just one of up to a million "near-Earth objects" which astronomers believe could one day pose a serious threat.


A program set up by NASA to monitor so-called "NEOs" a decade and a half ago has so far tracked fewer than 10,000, meaning the vast majority are still hidden.

Most of the larger specimens, which could have the potential to wipe out entire continents, have been found but even small asteroids like 2012 DA14 could be powerful enough to destroy an entire city if they plunged down to Earth.



Now experts are calling for greater monitoring of small NEOs measuring less than a kilometre across, and for a contingency plan in the event of a likely impact.

UK Space Agency engineers travelled to the United Nations this week to seek a deal with colleagues from around the world and hope to come to an agreement before Friday. The first goal is to secure funding for asteroid monitoring from countries other than America, which pays for the majority of the current program.

   2011 EO40

The meteor fireball, also known as a superbolide, was seen over Chelyabinsk in the south of the country near the border of Kazakhstan and around 900 miles east of Moscow.

It exploded over Russia's Ural Mountains and is the biggest space rock to have hit earth in more than a century.
The 10,000 tonne rock, measuring around 55 feet in diameter, created a huge hole in a frozen lake when it crashed into the ground.

Over 1,000 people were injured by the exploding rock and scientists managed to recover more than 50 tiny fragments of the meteor, allowing them to study its contents and origin.

Nasa scientists at the time said the shockwave caused by the crash was greater than 30 Hiroshima nuclear bombs and was so powerful it travelled twice around the world.

The Russian meteor hit the Earth just hours before an asteroid called 2012 DA14 was spotted nearby but the two incidents were not found to be related.



Professor Carlos de la Fuente Marcos and his brother Raul from the University of Madrid identified 20 possible sources from a cluster of asteroids dubbed Chelyabinsk asteroid family.

They told The Telegraph: 'The most probable parent body for the Chelyabinsk superbolide is 2011 EO40. Under such conditions, the cluster cannot be older than about 20,000–40,000 years.'

However, the only way to confirm this theory, claims Marcos, would be to go into space and take samples of the 2011 EO40 asteroid.

German scientists are also set to publish finding later this year that claim the meteor was made of a stony material called chondrite breccias.Most asteroids are made up of boulders, dust and ice.

Professor Carlos de la Fuente Marcos added that another similar incident is 'unlikely' but smaller fragments might crash to Earth as the asteroid continues its orbit.

The meteor caused widespread property damage in Chelyabinsk city, with health officials saying that 46 of the injured remain hospitalised.

The debris narrowly missed a direct and devastating hit on the industrial city which has a population of 1.13 million but spread panic through its streets as the sky above lit up with a blinding flash.



Paul Chodas of NASA's Near-Earth Object Program Office said at the time: 'We would expect an event of this magnitude to occur once every 100 years.'

He told the Wall Street Journal: 'When you have a fireball of this size we would expect a large number of meteorites to reach the surface and in this case there were probably some large ones.'

Viktor Grokhovsky, who led the expedition from Urals Federal University, said that 53 fragments of the meteor had been plucked from the ice-covered Chebarkul Lake.

The local governor estimated the damage at 1 billion rubles (£21.5million) and said he hopes the federal government will provide at least half that amount.

Lidiya Rykhlova, head of the astronomy department at the Moscow-based Institute for Space Research, said experts have drafted a program that envisages building powerful telescopes, including space-based ones, to warn against potentially dangerous asteroids, comets and other threats.

As it raced through the sky, the 50-foot wide chunk of space rock compressed the air ahead of it, creating the enormous temperatures that meant it exploded in a fireball somewhere between 18 and 32 miles above the ground at around 9.20am local time on 19 February.

Although some debris fell to earth, ‘whipping up a pillar of ice, water and steam’ and creating a 20-foot-wide crater, the damage in nearby towns was actually caused by shockwaves created by the meteor breaking the sound barrier and then exploding.


The city of Chelyabinsk, 900 miles east of Moscow and close to the Kazakhstan border, took the brunt of the impact

Collectors from around the world will be keen to get hold of a piece of the meteor. Film director Steven Spielberg is a noted collector. In October a 9in piece of the Seymchan meteorite found in Siberia in 1960 sold in New York for $43,750 (£28,200).

Astronomers have also revealed that the meteor could have hit UK cities if it had hit at a slightly different time of day.

   Russian Meteor Shock Rippled Around Earth, Twice

Although interesting, other astronomers suspect that the projected orbit of the Chelyabinsk asteroid and its similarity to other known near-Earth asteroids is more of a coincidence rather than the smoking gun.

“I think that the resemblance of orbits is coincidental,” said David Nesvorny, of the Southwest Research Institute in Boulder, Colorado. “It is not obvious to me why (the Chelyabinsk meteor) cannot be a fragment that was produced by a collision in the main asteroid belt, and evolved to its impact orbit by a few planetary encounters.”


The de la Fuente Marcos brothers admit that further observations of asteroids in the candidate cluster are needed to refine their orbits, but the ideal method to confirm the nature of the Chelyabinsk meteor would be to compare samples of fragments of the Russian “superbolide” and compare it with samples returned from 2011 EO40. A cheaper, though less accurate, method would be to gather high-resolution spectra of reflected light off those objects in the hope of understanding their composition. Only then will the true nature of the destructive Chelyabinsk meteor be identified.









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Global warming debunked



Practically everything you have been told by the mainstream scientific community and the media about the alleged detriments of greenhouse gases, and particularly carbon dioxide, appears to be false, according to new data compiled by NASA's Langley Research Center. As it turns out, all those atmospheric greenhouse gases that Al Gore and all the other global warming hoaxers have long claimed are overheating and destroying our planet are actually cooling it, based on the latest evidence.

As reported by Principia Scientific International (PSI), Martin Mlynczak and his colleagues over at NASA tracked infrared emissions from the earth's upper atmosphere during and following a recent solar storm that took place between March 8-10. What they found was that the vast majority of energy released from the sun during this immense coronal mass ejection (CME) was reflected back up into space rather than deposited into earth's lower atmosphere.


The result was an overall cooling effect that completely contradicts claims made by NASA's own climatology division that greenhouse gases are a cause of global warming. As illustrated by data collected using Sounding of the Atmosphere using Broadband Emission Radiometry (SABER), both carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitric oxide (NO), which are abundant in the earth's upper atmosphere, greenhouse gases reflect heating energy rather than absorb it.

"Carbon dioxide and nitric oxide are natural thermostats," says James Russell from Hampton University, who was one of the lead investigators for the groundbreaking SABER study. "When the upper atmosphere (or 'thermosphere') heats up, these molecules try as hard as they can to shed that heat back into space."

   Almost all 'heating' radiation generated by sun is blocked from entering lower atmosphere by CO2

According to the data, up to 95 percent of solar radiation is literally bounced back into space by both CO2 and NO in the upper atmosphere. Without these necessary elements, in other words, the earth would be capable of absorbing potentially devastating amounts of solar energy that would truly melt the polar ice caps and destroy the planet.

"The shock revelation starkly contradicts the core proposition of the so-called greenhouse gas theory which claims that more CO2 means more warming for our planet," write H. Schreuder and J. O'Sullivan for PSI. "[T]his compelling new NASA data disproves that notion and is a huge embarrassment for NASA's chief climatologist, Dr. James Hansen and his team over at NASA's GISS."

Dr. Hansen, of course, is an outspoken global warming activist who helped spark man-made climate change hysteria in the U.S. back in 1988. Just after the release of the new SABER study, however, Dr. Hansen conveniently retired from his career as a climatologist at NASA, and reportedly now plans to spend his time "on science," and on "drawing attention to [its] implications for young people."

   CO2 is a vital nutrient for food crops

As it turns out, CO2 is desperately needed by food crops, and right now there is a severe shortage of CO2 on the planet compared to what would be optimum for plants. Greenhouse operators are actually buying carbon dioxide and injecting it into their greenhouses in order to maximize plant growth.


The science on this is irrefutable. As just one example, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food says:

CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient.

If you want to understand why CO2 is an essential nutrient for food crop growth, check out  this informative slide show.

It explains that "CO2 may be repidly depleted during crop production" daylight hours, because the plants pull all the CO2 out of the air and use it in photosynthesis.

The CO2 found in modern-day atmosphere is 340ppm. But food crops would grow far faster if the concentration of CO2 were closer to 1000ppm, or roughly 300% higher than current levels. In fact, most greenhouse plant production causes a "CO2 depletion" to happen, shutting down photosynthesis and limiting food production. As the "Carbon Dioxide in Greenhouses" fact sheet explains:

Ambient CO2 level in outside air is about 340 ppm by volume. All plants grow well at this level but as CO2 levels are raised by 1,000 ppm photosynthesis increases proportionately resulting in more sugars and carbohydrates available for plant growth. Any actively growing crop in a tightly clad greenhouse with little or no ventilation can readily reduce the CO2 level during the day to as low as 200 ppm.

Thus, greenhouse plants are "running out" of CO2. They are starving for it. And when you add it to food crops, you get higher yields, improved taste, shorter flowering times, enhanced pest resistance and other benefits.

   Why we should pump carbon dioxide into greenhouses

This brings up an obvious answer for what to do with all the CO2 produced by power plants, office buildings and even fitness centers where people exhale vast quantities of CO2. The answer is to build adjacent greenhouses and pump the CO2 into the greenhouses.

Every coal-fired power plant, in other words, should have a vast array of greenhouses surrounding it. Most of what you see emitted from power plant smokestacks is water vapor and CO2, both essential nutrients for rapid growth of food crops. By diverting carbon dioxide and water into greenhouses, the problem of emissions is instantly solved because the plants update the CO2 and use it for photosynthesis, thus "sequestering" the CO2 while rapidly growing food crops. It also happens to produce oxygen as a "waste product" which can be released into the atmosphere, (slightly) upping the oxygen level of the air we breathe.

This is a brilliant solution because humans want to live on a world with low CO2 that supports frozen ice caps in order to keep ocean water levels low, but they want to eat a volume of food that requires high CO2 for production. The answer is to concentrate CO2 into greenhouses where food production is multiplied by CO2 nutrition.

I'll bet you've never heard Al Gore talk about CO2 as "nutrition." He declares it a pollutant and wants to tax you for producing it. But CO2 is actually a key nutritive gas for food crops. Without carbon dioxide, we would all have starved to death by now.

   Shutting down power plants to destroy America's power infrastructure

The U.S. government's solution to power plant emissions, however, is to just shut down coal-fired power plants, causing rolling blackouts across the USA, especially during hot summer days. The EPA has forced hundreds of power plants to shut down across the USA, achieving a loss of power infrastructure that vastly exceeds what would even be possible by an enemy invasion of high-altitude warplanes dropping bombs.

The EPA, under the excuse of "saving the planet," is destroying America's power infrastructure and leading our nation into a third-world scenario where power availability is dicey and unsustained. It seems to be just one part of the overall plan to gut America's economy, offshore millions of jobs, put everybody on welfare and destroy small businesses.

But what if we harnessed coal-fired power plants instead of shutting them down? What if we used them as "CO2 generators" that fed CO2 into vast greenhouse operations that produced organic, high-growth foods that could feed the nation? Coal-fired power plants can produce both electricity and food nutrition at the same time.

Better yet, if you combine this concept with aquaponics, you get simultaneous production of plants and fish while using no soil, no GMOs and one-tenth the water of conventional agriculture.

See, the solutions to all our problems already exist. The only reason we are suffering as a nation is because political puppets try to brainwash us into believing complete falsehoods like, "carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant" or "the people don't need healthy foods; they need medications and vaccines." When societies believe falsehoods, they crumble and collapse.

That's where America is headed, of course. And it's all being accelerated by deceptive bureaucrats who want to convince you that growing real food is bad and we should all be punished for exhaling carbon dioxide, an essential nutrient for food crops. Carbon dioxide is not the enemy it's been made out to be. It's actually plant nutrition that helps regrow rainforests, food crops and wetlands. In fact, higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere would make the planet more lush and abundant in terms of plant life, forests, trees and food crops.






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Plants' Reactions To Climate Change



A team of researchers writing in May 12's issue of the scientific journal Nature Climate Change detail how climate change and global warming will impact on global biodiversity by the end of this century.

These specialists warn that, as far as they can tell, the environmental and weather changes set to take place in the years to come will affect over half of the plants now growing in various parts of the world.

By the looks of it, nearly a third of all common animal species will also be harmed.

The researchers explain that all these plants and animal species are to experience a dramatic loss in their overall population as a result of their being left without about 50% of their climatic range.


“Our research predicts that climate change will greatly reduce the diversity of even very common species found in most parts of the world. This loss of global-scale biodiversity would significantly impoverish the biosphere and the ecosystem services it provides,” study leader Dr. Rachel Warren explained.

“There will also be a knock-on effect for humans because these species are important for things like water and air purification, flood control, nutrient cycling, and eco-tourism,” said specialist further argued.

Plants, reptiles and particularly amphibians are expected to be at highest risk. Sub-Saharan Africa, Central America, Amazonia and Australia would lose the most species of plants and animals. And a major loss of plant species is projected for North Africa, Central Asia and South-eastern Europe.

But acting quickly to mitigate climate change could reduce losses by 60 per cent and buy an additional 40 years for species to adapt. This is because this mitigation would slow and then stop global temperatures from rising by more than two degrees Celsius relative to pre-industrial times (1765). Without this mitigation, global temperatures could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2100.

The study was led by Dr Rachel Warren from theTyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at UEA. Collaborators include Dr Jeremy VanDerWal at James Cook University in Australia and Dr Jeff Price, from UEA’s school of Environmental Sciences and the Tyndall Centre. The research was funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

“The good news is that our research provides crucial new evidence of how swift action to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gases can prevent the biodiversity loss by reducing the amount of global warming to 2 degrees Celsius rather than 4 degrees. This would also buy time – up to four decades – for plants and animals to adapt to the remaining 2 degrees of climate change.”

The research team quantified the benefits of acting now to mitigate climate change and found that up to 60 per cent of the projected climatic range loss for biodiversity can be avoided.

Dr Warren said: “Prompt and stringent action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions globally would reduce these biodiversity losses by 60 per cent if global emissions peak in 2016, or by 40 per cent if emissions peak in 2030, showing that early action is very beneficial. This will both reduce the amount of climate change and also slow climate change down, making it easier for species and humans to adapt.”



Information on the current distributions of the species used in this research came from the datasets shared online by hundreds of volunteers, scientists and natural history collections through the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF).

Co-author Dr Jeff Price, also from UEA’s school of Environmental Studies, said: “Without free and open access to massive amounts of data such as those made available online through GBIF, no individual researcher is able to contact every country, every museum, every scientist holding the data and pull it all together. So this research would not be possible without GBIF and its global community of researchers and volunteers who make their data freely available.”

   From University of East Anglia: http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/2013/May/climate-change-warren-common-species









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'Sun Dog' appears in the sky



Drinkers at Havana's famous saloon bar Sloppy Joe's can't believe their eyes as 'sun dog' appears in the sky


Those having a beer at Sloppy Joe's Bar in Havana Cuba 13 April 2013, will be hoping they wake up tomorrow remembering their time there.

For above the newly-refurbished and somewhat iconic bar, high in the sky occurred an atmospheric phenomenon known as a 'sun dog'.

The sun was surrounded by a bright ring, caused by a refraction of sunlight by small ice crystal in the atmosphere.

Bright spark: An atmospheric phenomenon known as a 'sun dog' is seen in the sky over Sloppy Joe's Bar, Havana, Cuba

The 'sun dogs' are red in shape, and they number around the outside of the sun, joined together by a white circle that is often labelled a 'Mock Sun'.

This event normally occurs when the sun is low, although it can happen at other times of the day, but the 'dogs' will be less striking and probably not as bright.

Put down your pint: The rare halo around the sun is caused by the refraction of sunlight by small ice crystals in the atmosphere

It is the crystals that refract the sun's light at an angle of 22 degrees. However as the crystals lower and disperse, they become vertically aligned, striking the light horizontally, and this is how the sun dogs are formed.

The famous old-town saloon bar, once frequented by the likes of John Wayne, Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable, has only just reopened after 50 years.

It's a sign: Sloppy Joe's will be hoping the act of nature above its very own roof can bring it good luck

And the new owners will be hoping the fantastic spectacle seen above the bar will be a sign of good things to come.

Careful: People look up to the sky, though with a hand for a shield as the sun dog is particularly bright

Sun dogs are visible all over the world and at any time of year regardless of the ground level temperature.

In Europe and North America one will be seen on average twice a week if searched for.










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Four asteroids flash past Earth in one day



Earth is experiencing an unusual cosmic bombardment as four large asteroids pass it in just one day. Fortunately astronomers don’t seem to joking when saying none are expected to pose danger.

The largest is 4034 Vishnu, which is 800 meters across – the length of the Burj Khalifa in Dubai – though much greater in mass. In comparison, the Tunguska meteorite that devastated hundreds of miles of Siberian wilderness when it landed in 1908 was estimated to be no bigger than 100 meters. The asteroid that may have led to the extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago may have been up to 10 kilometers across.


But Vishnu 4034 – which was discovered in 1986 – will pass nearly 23 million kilometers from the Earth’s surface. The closest of the four, EN 89, will be just over 5 million kilometers away from the planet. The asteroid was only discovered a fortnight ago.

Although in everyday terms, the asteroids, ancient cosmic bodies that did not form into planets, will be a distance away, they are still classed as Close Approaches by astronomers. In total several hundred of them happen each year, but it is unusual for so many passes to happen over the course of one day.

The closest large asteroid to pass Earth this year was the 50-meter DA14, which flew 27,600 kilometers from the surface in February. Remarkably on the same day, an asteroid of up to 20-meters penetrated the atmosphere and exploded over Chelyabinsk in Siberia.

                           Orbit Diagram. Image from nasa.gov

On average, asteroids of that size enter the atmosphere every 10 years. Those such as the Yucatan meteor that may have ended the Mesozoic Era, are expected to impact the Earth once every 20 million years.

While, the paths of many asteroids can be charted centuries ahead (and could even be destroyed if they head for the Earth) many, like the Chelyabinsk Meteor, are not detected until they enter the atmosphere – rendering the planet potentially vulnerable to impacts millions of times more powerful than the worst nuclear explosions.

But, some are taking a more positive attitude to asteroids. Earlier this year, Astrorank, a company that evaluates the make-up of asteroids in view of future space mining operations, said that 4034 Vishnu – which is composed largely of platinum and nickel-iron – is worth around $40 trillion dollars, more than half of the world’s gross national product last year.

   "Are We Entering the Danger Zone?"

Is there a genocidal countdown built into the motion of our solar system? Recent work at Cardiff University suggests that our system's orbit through the Milky Way encounters regular speedbumps - and by "speedbumps" we mean "potentially extinction-causing asteroids".

Professor William Napier and Dr Janaki Wickramasinghe completed computer simulations of the motion of the Sun in our outer spiral-arm location in the Milky Way that revealed a regular oscillation through the central galactic plane, where the surrounding dust clouds are the densest. The solar system is a non-trivial object, so its gravitational effects set off a far-reaching planetoid-pinball machine which often ends with comets being hurled into the intruding system.


                    Number of  NEA is dizzyingly grew in the last three decades

The sun is about 26,000 light-years from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy, which is about 80,000 to 120,000 light-years across (and less than 7,000 light-years thick). We are located on on one of its spiral arms, out towards the edge. It takes the sun -and our solar system- roughly 200-250 million years to orbit once around the Milky Way. In this orbit, we are traveling at a velocity of about 155 miles/sec (250 km/sec).

Many of the ricocheted rocks collide with planets on their way through our system, including Earth. Impact craters recorded worldwide show correlations with the ~37 million year-cycle of these journeys through the galactic plane - including the vast impact craters thought to have put an end to the dinosaurs two cycles ago.

Almost exactly two cycles ago, in fact. The figures show that we're very close to another danger zone, when the odds of asteroid impact on Earth go up by a factor of ten. Ten times a tiny chance might not seem like much, but when "Risk of Extinction" is on the table that single order of magnitude can look much more imposing.


You have to remember that ten times a very small number is still a very small number - and Earth has been struck by thousands of asteroids without any exciting extinction events. A rock doesn't just have to hit us, it has to be large enough to survive the truly fearsome forces that cause most to burn up on re-entry.

Professors Medvedev and Melott of the University of Kansas have a different theory based on the same regular motion. As the Sun ventures out "above" the galactic plane, it becomes increasingly exposed to the cosmic ray generating shock front that the Milky Way creates as it ploughs through space. As we get closer to this point of maximum exposure, leaving the shielding of the thick galactic disk behind, the Kansas researchers hold that the increasing radiation destroys many higher species, forcing another evolutionary epoch. This theory also matches in time with the dinosaur extinction.

Passage DA14 occurred the same day as the Chebarkul hit by another asteroid

Either way, don't go letting your VISA bill run up just yet. "Very close" in astronomical terms is very, very different to "close" in homo sapien time.

The characteristic spiral arms of the Milky Way regions where stars and gas are a little closer together -- waves of higher density than elsewhere in our galaxy's disc. Their additional gravity is normally too weak to alter a star's path by much, but if the star's orbital speed happens to match the speed at which the spiral arm is itself rotating, then the extra force has more time to take effect.

Simulations completed by Rok Roskar of the University of Zurich, Switzerland, show that a lucky star can ride the wave for 10,000 light years or more. Our sun is an example, with some measurements implying that the sun is richer in heavy elements than the average star in our neighbourhood, suggesting it was born in the busy central zone of the galaxy, where stellar winds and exploding stars enrich the cosmic brew more than in the galactic suburbs. The gravitational buffeting the solar system received then might also explain why Sedna, a large iceball in the extremities of the solar system, travels on a puzzling, enormously elongated orbit (arxiv.org/abs/1108.1570).

The cosmic panorama at top of page is courtesy of the Galactic Legacy Infrared Mid-Plane Survey Extraordinaire (GLIMPSE) project and the Spitzer Space Telescope. The galactic plane itself runs through the middle of the false-color view. Spitzer's infrared cameras see through much of the galaxy's obscuring dust revealing many new star clusters as well as star forming regions (bright white splotches) and hot interstellar hydrogen gas (greenish wisps). The pervasive red clouds are emission from dust and organic molecules, pocked with holes and bubbles blown by energetic outflows from massive stars. Intensely dark patches are regions of dust too dense for even Spitzer's infrared vision to penetrate.











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Earth's magnetic field overdue a flip




The discovery by NASA rover Curiosity of evidence that water once flowed on Mars - the most Earth-like planet in the solar system - should intensify interest in what the future could hold for mankind.

The only thing stopping Earth having a lifeless environment like Mars is the magnetic field that shields us from deadly solar radiation and helps some animals migrate, and it may be a lot more fragile and febrile than one might think.

Scientists say earth's magnetic field is weakening and could all but disappear in as little as 500 years as a precursor to flipping upside down.

It has happened before - the geological record suggests the magnetic field has reversed every 250,000 years, meaning that, with the last event 800,000 years ago, another would seem to be overdue.


"Magnetic north has migrated more than 1,500 kilometres over the past century," said Conall Mac Niocaill, an earth scientist at Oxford University. "In the past 150 years, the strength of the magnetic field has lessened by 10 percent, which could indicate a reversal is on the cards."

While the effects are hard to predict, the consequences may be enormous. The loss of the magnetic field on Mars billions of years ago put paid to life on the planet if there ever was any, scientists say.

Mac Niocaill said Mars probably lost its magnetic field 3.5-4.0 billion years ago, based on observations that rocks in the planet's southern hemisphere have magnetisation.

The northern half of Mars looks younger because it has fewer impact craters, and has no magnetic structure to speak of, so the field must have shut down before the rocks there were formed, which would have been about 3.8 billion years ago.

"With the field dying away, the solar wind was then able to strip the atmosphere away, and you would also have an increase in the cosmic radiation making it to the surface," he said.

"Both of these things would be bad news for any life that might have formed on the surface - either wiping it out, or forcing it to migrate into the interior of the planet."

   RIGHT HERE, RIGHT NOW

Earth's magnetic field has always restored itself but, as it continues to shift and weaken, it will present challenges - satellites could be more exposed to solar wind and the oil industry uses readings from the field to guide drills.

In nature, animals which use the field could be mightily confused - birds, bees, and some fish all use the field for navigation. So do sea turtles whose long lives, which can easily exceed a hundred years, means a single generation could feel the effects.


                                                                  Mars' northern hemisphere

Birds may be able to cope because studies have shown they have back-up systems that rely on stars and landmarks, including roads and power lines, to find their way around.

The European Space Agency is taking the issue seriously. In November, it plans to launch three satellites to improve our fairly blurry understanding of the magnetosphere.

The project - Swarm - will send two satellites into a 450 kilometre high polar orbit to measure changes in the magnetic field, while a third satellite 530 kilometres high will look at the influence of the sun.

   DESCENT INTO CHAOS

Scientists, who have known for some time the magnetic field has a tendency to flip, have made advances in recent years in understanding why and how it happens.

The field is generated by convection currents that churn in the molten iron of the planet's outer core. Other factors, such as ocean currents and magnetic rocks in the earth's crust also contribute.

The Swarm mission will pull all these elements together to improve computer models used to predict how the magnetic field will move and how fast it could weaken.


                                                                        project Swarm

Ciaran Beggan, a geomagnetic specialist at the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, said studies have also refined our understanding of how the field reverses.

They have focused on lava flows. When these cool and form crystals the atoms in iron-rich molten rock align under the influence of the magnetic field, providing a geological memory of the earth's field.

But that memory looks different in various locations around the world, suggesting the reversal could be a chaotic and fairly random process.

"Rather than having strong north and south poles, you get lots of poles around the planet. So, a compass would not do you much good," said Beggan.


While the whole process takes 3,000-5,000 years, latest research suggests the descent into a chaotic state could take as little as 500 years, although there are significant holes in scientific understanding.

"Although electricity grids and GPS systems would be more vulnerable, we are not really sure how all the complex things that are linked together would react," Beggan said.







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The Universe Is A 'Giant Brain'



Yet more evidence emerges that our universe is a grand simulation created by an intelligent designer

There's a lot of buzz in the news about a new scientific study that statistically supports the idea that our known universe is actually a grand computer simulation. This is mainstream science, and the idea isn't a whacky as you might first suppose. I've actually written about this several times in articles about consciousness and the nature of reality. This news, by the way, also supports the idea of a Creator who brought this universe -- and everything in it -- into existence by design.

A new scientific paper published in arXiv and co-authored by Silas Beane from the University of Bonn reveals strong statistical evidence that our reality is, indeed, a grand computer simulation. The title of the paper is Constraints on the Universe as a Numerical Simulation.


   Here's what it means in layman's terms

Here's the super easy way to understand all this. Your computer display screen has a finite number of pixels available, and this is called the "screen resolution" such as 1920 x 1440. This means there are 1920 pixels across and 1440 pixels vertically.

Everything you see on your computer screen must be drawn and depicted using these pixels, and nothing can be displayed that's only half a pixel. For example, you can't draw a vertical line on the screen that exists between the pixels that are hard-wired into the screen resolution. Everything you view on the monitor -- a computer game, a website, even a video -- is essentially transposed onto the "lattice" of pixels that exist in your hardware.

Your hardware, in effect, has a hard-wired "resolution limit" which defines the smallest size of any object that can be depicted on the screen.

Now, zoom out to the "real" world in which we live. Here in the real world, we think that there are no pixels and that we can move fluidly to any location we wish. We are not digitized being, we think; we're analog beings living in a fluid world without the pixelation of a computer screen, right?

Not so fast. As it turns out, our "reality" is also pixelated, just at a very fine resolution. This study out of Bonn revealed that the energy level of cosmic rays "snaps to" the "resolution" of the universe in which we live. The very laws of electromagnetic radiation, in other words, are confined by the resolution of the three-dimensional simulation we call a "universe."

The existence of this construct, if proven, also proves intelligent design by a conscious Creator who built the universe to begin with. This is the upshot of this scientific discovery that most scientists refuse to acknowledge. But the conclusion is inescapable: If our universe is a carefully-constructed simulation, then by definition there must have been a purpose behind its construction as well as a Creator who built it.

For the record, my personal belief is that the Creator set all the physical constants in the universe and then initiated the so-called "Big Bang" and let things play out from there. I do not believe our Creator "tinkers" with the universe at a micro level on a day-to-day basis. But I do believe there very well may have been individuals throughout history who found ways to "bend the rules" of the Matrix ever so slightly and thereby perform the very kind of miracles we see described in ancient texts.


   "The structure of the underlying lattice"


The authors of this new paper describe their conclusion as following: "The numerical simulation scenario could reveal itself in the distributions of the highest energy cosmic rays exhibiting a degree of rotational symmetry breaking that reflects the structure of the underlying lattice."

This "underlying lattice" is what I'm describing as a "resolution" of our physical simulation.

There's other evidence of this, too: Plank's Constant, for example, is by itself yet more evidence that the physical universe in which we live is quantized to a particular resolution. In fact, even light behaves in a quantized manner, which is why "light packets" are called quanta.

Our universe, it turns out, is digital, not analog. Heck, even your DNA is digital, not analog. You are a digitized physical being imbued with a non-material consciousness that transcends this physical simulation. Realizing this is a lot like taking the red pill in The Matrix and being shown that the universe you thought was real is actually just a grand computer simulation.

Of course, once you grasp that we are living in a grand simulation, the next obvious question is: Who built it?

   Intelligent Design


One obvious answer is that we built it! Not "we" the humans here on Earth, but rather the "we" which is a highly advanced civilization of seemingly supernatural beings with incomprehensibly powerful technology. We collectively built the simulation, the theory goes, and then agreed to selectively insert our consciousness into the simulation in order to have a "human life experience" on this planet. But that's only one possibility from all this.

Another possible answer is that HE built it. Who is He? He is God, our Creator. He is a consciousness with literal God-like powers who is omnipresent and all-powerful. He created our universe (i.e. designed and then launched the simulation) while providing a mechanism for free will consciousness to "wake up" inside the simulation in the bodies of newly-born beings. Upon death in the simulation, your consciousness leaves the simulation and returns to its source, which is the actual reality that transcends this one. This is possibly why people who have survived near-death experiences consistently report their experience as being a "hyper reality" that feels like it is "a thousand times more real than life on Earth."

For the record, I have always believed in a supernatural Creator of our universe; our God. I also believe -- and have good evidence -- that God is an all-loving being and that the overriding purpose of our existence in this universe is to express our free will and thereby have a self-aware experience which advances our knowledge of who we are. More details on this below...

   What would be the purpose of intelligently designing a grand computer simulation?

If our universe was consciously created, then it must have been created for a purpose. In his book Proof of Heaven, near-death survivor Dr. Eben Alexander, a neurosurgeon, describes the purpose in great detail on page 48 of his book:

Through the Orb, [God] told me that there is not one universe but many -- in fact, more than I could conceive -- but that love lay at the center of them all. Evil was present in all the other universes as well, but only in the tiniest trace amounts. Evil was necessary because without it free will was impossible, and without free will there could be no growth -- no forward movement, no chance for us to become what God longed for us to be. Horrible and all-powerful as evil sometimes seemed to be in a world like ours, in the larger picture love was overwhelmingly dominant, and it would ultimately be triumphant.

The primary purpose of life in this realm, it seems, is to experience personal growth and learn how to overcome Evil. This explains why we all seem to be surrounded by so much evil on a day-to-day basis. We are drowning in evil precisely because our souls chose to be here and learn how to defeat it.



Upon our death, we are judged by a higher power, and that judgment takes into account our performance in these areas. Did we achieve a measure of self-awareness? Did we work to overcome evil? Did we express love and compassion and help uplift others with knowledge and awareness?

As you've probably already figured out, the vast majority of humans fail these tests. They die as bitter, selfish, substance-addicted, greed-driven minions of evil who mistakenly thought they were winning the game of life while, in reality, they were losing the far more important test of the Creator.


   What this means for your life

So what does all this mean in terms of the way you live your life here on Earth? If you believe the universe really is a grand simulation created by a higher power, then it forces you to rethink your philosophy on the purpose of life.

Some might say this is the perfect excuse to resort to selfish hedonism and turn your entire life into one vast entertainment parade. But that seems to be the wrong conclusion from all this, precisely because it ignores the importance of personal growth. I do not believe our universe is a childish playground; I believe it is a serious test of spiritual strength. You may or may not agree with all my points, but here's my philosophy on what to do with this realization:

#1) Don't chase material things that aren't even real in the first place. You are living in a simulation that's as un-real as an old 8-bit Atari computer game. Your focus on trying to collect money and wealth in this world is about as foolish as trying to collect gold coins in a role-playing computer game.

#2) Live your life to WIN the simulation. "Winning" means persistently working to defeat evil, demonstrate love and help awaken others. Rack up your "karma" points, so to speak. Because that's how you will be judged once your earthly life comes to an end.

#3) Know that your behavior is being watched, recorded and judged. There are ultimately no secrets. You will, in time, face judgment on all your actions, and it's even possible that an entire civilization of advanced Creators will review your actions with you. (This is what is often described by those who survive NDEs.) Your actions in this simulation are recorded on your soul for eternity, so make them count. Don't do anything your soul would feel ashamed of.

#4) Know that death is not final. What matters far more than staying alive on this planet is living your life with principle. Your decisions (ethics) survive your human life! I would rather die defending principles of love and enlightenment than compromise those principles to save my own skin in this simulation. Life is fleeting, but the record of your morals and behavior lasts forever. If all this starts to sound a little Biblical, that's because the Bible is, I believe, based in part on information provided to us by the Creator of our grand simulation.

#5) Realize that your consciousness is eternal and you almost certainly "agreed" to come here and experience this life as a spiritual test. With that in mind, do your best to achieve success within the test by demonstrating behavior based in high spiritual principles.

   Conclusion: Has science proven the existence of God?

If all this science is true, it would mean that science has proven the existence of a Creator (as well as intelligent design).

This is certainly not the intention of science, as much of modern-day science seems to be dead-set against the idea of intelligent design. Yet even if the entire universe can be traced back to the Big Bang and Inflation Theory (with Inflatons) there is still the lingering question of "Who or what initiated the Big Bang?"


If you really look deeply into the laws of physics, by the way, you will discover that the so-called universal constants that drive the underlying mechanics and energies of our universe have been intricately fine-tuned precisely to give rise to a universe that can support biological life. Change one of these constants just slightly and stars don't form. Change another constant and the universe flings itself apart before life can form on any planets. These are at least six physical constants that appear to have been delicately tuned, selected or somehow "set" sort of like a universal control panel with properties and parameters.







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Storm Clouds Crawling With Bacteria



Hailstones: A Window into the Microbial and Chemical Inventory of a Storm Cloud


The storm clouds in Earth's atmosphere are filled with microbial life, according to a new study.

The research, published today (Jan. 23) in the journal PLoS One, revealed that hailstones  drawn from storm clouds harbor several species of bacteria that tend to reside on plants, as well as thousands of organic compounds normally found in soil. Some of the bacterial species can seed the tiny ice crystals that lead to rain, suggesting they play a role in causing rain.


"Those storm clouds are quite violent phenomena," said study co-author Tina Santl Temkiv, an environmental chemist at Aarhus University in Denmark. "They are sucking huge amounts of air from under the clouds, and that's how the bacteria probably got into the cloud."


   Abstract

Storm clouds frequently form in the summer period in temperate climate zones. Studies on these inaccessible and short-lived atmospheric habitats have been scarce. We report here on the first comprehensive biogeochemical investigation of a storm cloud using hailstones as a natural stochastic sampling tool. A detailed molecular analysis of the dissolved organic matter in individual hailstones via ultra-high resolution mass spectrometry revealed the molecular formulae of almost 3000 different compounds. Only a small fraction of these compounds were rapidly biodegradable carbohydrates and lipids, suitable for microbial consumption during the lifetime of cloud droplets. However, as the cloud environment was characterized by a low bacterial density (Me = 1973 cells/ml) as well as high concentrations of both dissolved organic carbon (Me = 179 µM) and total dissolved nitrogen (Me = 30 µM), already trace amounts of easily degradable organic compounds suffice to support bacterial growth. The molecular fingerprints revealed a mainly soil origin of dissolved organic matter and a minor contribution of plant-surface compounds. In contrast, both the total and the cultivable bacterial community were skewed by bacterial groups (γ-Proteobacteria, Sphingobacteriales and Methylobacterium) that indicated the dominance of plant-surface bacteria. The enrichment of plant-associated bacterial groups points at a selection process of microbial genera in the course of cloud formation, which could affect the long-distance transport and spatial distribution of bacteria on Earth. Based on our results we hypothesize that plant-associated bacteria were more likely than soil bacteria (i) to survive the airborne state due to adaptations to life in the phyllosphere, which in many respects matches the demands encountered in the atmosphere and (ii) to grow on the suitable fraction of dissolved organic matter in clouds due to their ecological strategy. We conclude that storm clouds are among the most extreme habitats on Earth, where microbial life exists.


Copyright: © 2013 Šantl-Temkiv et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. }


   Living on a cloud

In the past, researchers have found bacterial life in clouds that drift over mountaintops. Bacteria have been found as far up as 24.8 miles (40 kilometers) and may even survive as spores into space, Temkiv said. [Holey Clouds: Gallery of Formations Cut By Airplanes]. 


Bacteria Pseudomonas syringae, serves as the nucleus for the formation of crystal snowflakes and hail. Owner photo: Shawn Doyle and Brent Christner, Louisiana State University

Temkiv and her colleagues wanted to see if bacteria lived in the violent storm clouds that hover above the Earth's surface. To find out, they studied 42 hailstones that had formed in a thunderstorm over Ljubljana, Slovenia, in May 2009.

After carefully removing the outer layer and sterilizing the hailstone, they analyzed its chemical composition.

The team found thousands of organic, or carbon-containing, compounds — nearly as many as found in a typical river, Temkiv said. In addition, they found several species of bacteria that normally live on plants. Some of the bacteria make a pinkish pigment that allows them to withstand the punishing ultraviolet rays in the atmosphere.

Some of bacteria found are ice-nucleators, meaning they can act as seeds for ice crystals to attach to in the clouds above Earth. When these same ice crystals get large enough, they fall as rain or snow, depending on the air temperature.

The findings suggest that bacteria could influence weather patterns, possibly making rain, Temkiv said.

"They may be growing in clouds, increasing in number and then modifying the chemistry in the cloud but also in the atmosphere indirectly," she told LiveScience.

The researchers think the bacteria come from the air hovering just above Earth that gets swept into the storm clouds through updrafts. That would suggest the atmosphere is a thread that can connect distant ecosystems, and that certain bacteria may be better at colonizing faraway environments, Pierre Amato, a researcher at France's Blaise Pascal University who was not involved in the study, wrote in an email. 



09.03.2012. Hawaii was recorded hailstones with bacterial nucleus, 10.8 length and a width of 5 inches. Source: NOAA and Live Sceince

"Clouds can be thought of as transient ecosystems selecting for certain [types of bacteria] that are better fitted than others, and that can thus quickly disperse over the globe," Amato said. "Understanding how microbes disperse is relevant, of course, for epidemiology, and also for microbial ecology."











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