sebastian huvenaars

Lives in Netherlands Brabant, Netherlands
Joined on Jan 22, 2007

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On article This is the first ever photograph of a black hole (634 comments in total)

To add some context to this miraculous image, here's Phil Plait explaining black holes in an episode of Crash Course Astronomy:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZWPBKULkdQ

"Plait has worked as part of the Hubble Space Telescope team, images and spectra of astronomical objects, as well as engaging in public outreach advocacy for NASA missions.

...

During the 1990s, Plait worked with the COBE satellite and later was part of the Hubble Space Telescope team at NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, working largely on the Space Telescope Imaging Spectrograph."

Link | Posted on Apr 11, 2019 at 10:24 UTC as 51st comment
In reply to:

D Gold: 27 years ago I was a skeptic. Then I took a contract position on a NWS , (National Weather Service), modernization project called AWIPS. I spent 4.5 years in Boulder and working with the Environmental Research Lab and our beta site in Norman Oklahoma and met many dedicated PHD scientists.

One in particular was the SOC, (Science Operations Officer), at the beta site I worked at where we tested all the new systems. He had helped develop some of the global warming theories of that time and lived in the world of science when it came to climate and meteorology every day. His explanations over that time helped me understand 2 things.
1. Climate change is happening and is going to be a real problem for humanity on a global scale.
2. These scientists do not have a political agenda, though the GOP has one. I was republican at the time but I realized I was wrong.

FWIW,

"Tourism and Events Queensland has issued a positive update"

Of course "tourism and events Queensland" says such things. The irony of an organization depending on the wellbeing of the reef luring people to take a plane and come see it... crazy times.

Anyways, kudos for naming your source.

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2018 at 23:32 UTC
In reply to:

onda: Climate change doesn't "cause" forest fires, but it certainly intensifies them. The direct cause of fires can be anything creating combustion, whether an engine spark, lighting strike, campfire, gunshot, etc. etc. But once the fire is set, drought conditions exacerbate the effects. Drought in the west is more pervasive due to climate change. That conclusion is based on the scientific process --- the same process that saved your ass from polio, chickenpox, cancer, and other diseases. Climate science is also transparent because the scientific process is about truth; their studies also point out data gaps and shortcomings in their models.

Climate change is an existential threat. There are other existential threats too - like choosing to ignore science and facts to pursue a political agenda. Our children will be the worse for it.

"Let's see what "empirical science" (not models) show"

Yes! lets...

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Global_temperature_record

https://www.climate.gov/news-features/understanding-climate/climate-change-global-temperature

https://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/features/GlobalWarming/page2.php

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2018 at 13:15 UTC
In reply to:

onda: Climate change doesn't "cause" forest fires, but it certainly intensifies them. The direct cause of fires can be anything creating combustion, whether an engine spark, lighting strike, campfire, gunshot, etc. etc. But once the fire is set, drought conditions exacerbate the effects. Drought in the west is more pervasive due to climate change. That conclusion is based on the scientific process --- the same process that saved your ass from polio, chickenpox, cancer, and other diseases. Climate science is also transparent because the scientific process is about truth; their studies also point out data gaps and shortcomings in their models.

Climate change is an existential threat. There are other existential threats too - like choosing to ignore science and facts to pursue a political agenda. Our children will be the worse for it.

Hi abrux, science did. Of course you're free to propose an alternative reason. Still, it has been roughly 200 years since we started to discover how man alters the climate and we're still waiting for a paper that confirms your doubts. But even so, it's always good to delve a little deeper into what we have learnt so far as it is super interesting stuff. Geology, chemistry, biology, ecology, climatology, physics... they all offer cool insights into the working of our extraordinary little planet.

Link | Posted on Nov 21, 2018 at 13:04 UTC
In reply to:

Jozef-S: As far a global warming is concerned, scientific consensus has been settled 30 years ago. Just look up scientific journals in geophysics that publish research on the subject.
The remaining questions are, When, How Fast and How Severe.

Sadly, all the noise is funded by corporate interests.

That's all true, but not in a timescale that matters to us. It'll take millions of years to store the emitted carbon back under ground if we let it to plants.

Until that day life on this planet will be put under ever increasing stress, which, combined with our population growth will cause trouble. The problem is multi faced so let's try and tackle as many sides as possible.

Increasing the most important heat trapping gas in our atmosphere by more than 40% is not normal. Never in known geologic history did the planet warm so fast. The few events that came close wiped out most life on Earth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian–Triassic_extinction_event

We have the technology to make energy without emitting tons of heat trapping gas. It is now in many cases cheaper then setting fire on dug up fossils, it also gives us cleaner air and takes energy production away from the handful of cooperations that control it now. Advantages that outweigh the struggle of implementation I think.

Link | Posted on Nov 20, 2018 at 10:39 UTC
In reply to:

Jozef-S: As far a global warming is concerned, scientific consensus has been settled 30 years ago. Just look up scientific journals in geophysics that publish research on the subject.
The remaining questions are, When, How Fast and How Severe.

Sadly, all the noise is funded by corporate interests.

"Wasn't it 40 years ago they were saying Global Cooling and Ice Age?"

Yes! But is was a minority group that proposed the idea of runaway cooling through aerosol dimming of the atmosphere. And for a while they were right, post war development created lots of aerosol pollution which stopped or even reversed the warming trend up until the mid 70's.

Still, a majority of scientific articles projected that the CO2 forcing would overcome aerosol dimming, which is exactly what happened in the decades that followed.

This graph is a good illustration of the above:

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

The reason that we keep hearing about the cooling theory is that blogs keep on using it as a tool to try and question science... Which is a bit unfair given that the scientist that worked on the cooling theory never questioned observed reality and were perfectly okay once their hypothesis didn't play out.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 20:53 UTC
In reply to:

Marty4650: There are really only two ways of looking at this:

1. These disasters are the direct result of Climate Change. We blame Trump for not doing enough to combat climate change, and anyone who thinks this isn't the real problem is a fascist, a racist or an ignorant rube.

2. The earth's climate has been changing for the past 4.5 billion years, and human activity probably has some effect on those changes. It is probably a good idea to stop building houses so close to major forests, in river flood plains, or along coastal areas prone to hurricanes and flooding. It really makes more sense to modify our own behavior than to try to fight Mother Nature.

You can count me in group number two.

Hi Marty, there are vastly more ways of looking at it, which is never a bad thing. Your view corresponds with current available knowledge to a certain degree, but important aspects of the overal situation appear to have escaped you.

Climate has always changed indeed, but also had physical reasons for doing so. The physical reason for the currently observed change is a sharp increase in heat trapping gasses in our atmosphere.

Thinking in sides is exactly what makes discussing this subject so troublesome.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 17:21 UTC
In reply to:

D Gold: 27 years ago I was a skeptic. Then I took a contract position on a NWS , (National Weather Service), modernization project called AWIPS. I spent 4.5 years in Boulder and working with the Environmental Research Lab and our beta site in Norman Oklahoma and met many dedicated PHD scientists.

One in particular was the SOC, (Science Operations Officer), at the beta site I worked at where we tested all the new systems. He had helped develop some of the global warming theories of that time and lived in the world of science when it came to climate and meteorology every day. His explanations over that time helped me understand 2 things.
1. Climate change is happening and is going to be a real problem for humanity on a global scale.
2. These scientists do not have a political agenda, though the GOP has one. I was republican at the time but I realized I was wrong.

FWIW,

"How did the ice ages end without AGW?"

Milankovic cycles, which describe wobbles in Earth's orbit around the Sun.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milankovitch_cycles

Once the planet starts warming, self reinforcing feedbacks kick in and further take the climate into a warmer state.

Based on this knowledge, we predict Earth to very slowly cool at this moment. The reason that this is not happening is that we are out-forcing these astronomic cycles by increasing heat trapping gasses in our atmosphere.

This has happened before, only then the cause was increased volcanic activity which set fire to coal seams and release large amounts of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere over a relatively short period of time (but still way slower then we are replicating today). Wiki describes the events in a bit more detail.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Permian–Triassic_extinction_event

This is something we should not want to replicate.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 13:04 UTC
In reply to:

Kenferg1: Correlation is not causation. No one disputes climate change. We dispute that there is overwhelming evidence of man-made climate change. The best evidence I see of man cause climate influence is the concrete jungles that act as heat sinks.

"If co2 is warming the globe more cattle will actually heal the land and cool the weather."

@foto64: How?

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 09:50 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

"That is my last advice to you."

Sneaks out through back door... (but still no links though :)

I think you're right steelhead.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 09:24 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

Or a fact. I knew the story, could be true indeed. When new ways of measuring sea surface temperature came along, old ways had to be adjusted for. This is fairly common in science. It was something like that am I right? Do you have the link to the specific case? It's interesting stuff.

Now back to that paper I asked you for.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 00:40 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

That's a story. I asked for a link to a paper supporting your view on how man does not affect climate.

Link | Posted on Nov 19, 2018 at 00:27 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

No I mean scientist who back up their papers with real world measurements that can at all time be refuted by better papers or measurements. Do you have any?

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 23:51 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

whoa...

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 23:49 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

"Do your homework yourself"

I have done my homework, and found that your claims don't match up with current scientific knowledge. Which is why I am asking you.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 23:29 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

@foto64 Yes certainly. I've been reading up on this subject for the last few days and can imagine the difficulty of coming up with a fitting way of dealing with natural* areas.

Clearing leafs, dead wood and undergrowth harms the forest's ability to hold moisture or regenerate. Something that is important in trying to protect native species and prevent California from turning into a desert.

The warmer climate also allowed insect plagues to survive milder winters which is causing lots of trees to die. Sparing saplings is a logical solution to these die backs.

On the other hand. The extra biomass functions as fuel in the event of forrest fires, which is sort of okay when things contain a reasonable amount of moisture but are pretty dangerous under an unusually dry climate.

Point being: It's not easy to find ways to adapt at this point.

*which is excluding the town of Paradise.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 23:24 UTC
In reply to:

mmarian: I agree that wild fires have nothing to do with politics and should never be used for cheap point scoring. But responsible long term managment of forests is critical to how quickly and how far blazes spread once they are started. And using these tragic blazes in California as a tool for spreading the propaganda about man made global warming and quickly jumping to conclusion that CO2 is solely responsible for the devastation is sad and pathetic. The science is still divided what is causing the climate change, if the climate actually changes at all long term, whilst the propaganda machine has always been united on whatever agenda they wished to push down our throats. And this photographer is unfortunatelly not exemption.

"I am saying that the man made climate change is not a settled science and propaganda is not science."

Hmm okay. I'm willing to believe this when you show me a scientific paper that explains how man is not affecting the climate. Thanks :-)

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 23:00 UTC
In reply to:

Foto64: The Data shows that the vast majority of California fires are man made. Things like car exhaust and camping fires etc. So start punishing these people and put the fear of god in them and maybe they will be more careful.

https://www.abc10.com/article/news/local/wildfires/a-history-of-californias-wildfires/103-615612991

They were before. Struggling to run from them or contain them is what's new.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 22:53 UTC
In reply to:

Roland Karlsson: Climate change is for real, and it do make weather drier and warmer, so wild fires get worse. No doubt about it. But this is a VERY slow process. So eventually we will get problems. Mean temperature is rising one degree every one hundred years. This is totally masked by normal variation, so no one can detect this during a life time without using advanced measuring methods, like satellites.

The hot, dry weather we see in California now is due to normal variation in weather. It do have very little to do with global warming.

Sorry, this is not normal. A degree in one century is unheard of.

Earth is complex, and natural variations are a fact indeed. Still the underlaying principle is that our planet is gathering more energy because we add a gas that traps energy. This is manifesting itself in all kinds of ways.

One of which, a dryer US west coast. I read that climate models struggled to find consensus about that area to get dryer or wetter, turns out to be dryer. This means that efforts to counter the die off of trees by allowing undergrowth is now causing problems. These are hard decisions to make, as one leads to the possible desertification of California and the other poses wildfire risks as we have come to learn.

Here's a graph that shows the rise in temperature over the last century, including variations:

https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/global-temperature/

Still the overall trend is up.

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 22:51 UTC
In reply to:

mcshan: Interesting the Woolsey fire was mentioned. Didn't scientists (!) accidentally cause that fire?

Haha yeah sorry I was hoping for you to post a link to back that up :-)

Link | Posted on Nov 18, 2018 at 22:18 UTC
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