Tag Archives: politics

What are the chances?

Figuring the odds of Earth’s global hot streak

First, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration calculates global average temperature going back to 1880. That’s 135 years. So if no other forces were in play and temperatures last year were totally at random, then the odds of 2014 being the warmest on record are 1 in 135. Not too high.

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A bad record to break

2014 Was The Hottest Year On Record Globally By Far

As the JMA graph shows, there has been no “hiatus” or “pause” in warming. In fact, there has not even been a slowdown. Yes, in JMA’s ranking of hottest years, 1998 is in (a distant) second place — but 1998 was an outlier as the graph shows. In fact, 1998 was boosted above the trendline by an unusual super-El Niño. It is usually the combination of the underlying long-term warming trend and the regional El Niño warming pattern that leads to new global temperature records.

What makes setting the record for hottest year in 2014 doubly impressive is that it occurred despite the fact we’re still waiting for the start of El Niño.

Chickenhawk Nation

The Tragedy of the American Military

Not your usual left-wing rant. The blame is thoroughly bipartisan. Even Bernie Sanders takes a hit.

The American public and its political leadership will do anything for the military except take it seriously. The result is a chickenhawk nation in which careless spending and strategic folly combine to lure America into endless wars it can’t win.

The Day The Soviet Union Dropped A Nuclear Bomb On Its Own Citizens

The Orenburg Oblast Blast

The article originally identified the bomber as a Sukhoi T-4, an aircraft that did not fly until 1972. The mistake was obvious to me from the picture, which has not (as of today) been replaced. That is not a bomber from the early 1950’s. The bomb was dropped from a Tupolev Tu-4, the Soviet copy of of the U.S. B-29 bomber, which was used in the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

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