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Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 06:57:33 PM »
In the US, the 7 day moving average for daily new cases has been rising slowly since hitting 55,552 on March 16. It is now 67,904.

The 7 day moving average for daily deaths continues its slow decline and now stands at 763.
The data for the 7 day trailing average for daily new cases from is really close to your figure (68,142 on April 10).

Ditto for deaths - your figure 575,612, worlometers 575,595 on April 10.

But the 7 day trailing average for daily new DEATHS is very different. From worldometer data I get a figure of 1,013 per day and decline has stalled, while you quote a very different figure of 763.

Something is wrong somewhere.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by Shared Humanity on Today at 06:39:21 PM »
I'll take the...W.H.O. (0.23% - Ioannides - over those guys.

The U.S. has had 575,612 confirmed COVID deaths since the beginning of the pandemic. Excess mortality suggests this is an undercount of around 80,000 but let's assume every COVID death has been properly attributed.

An IFR of 0.23% would mean that 250 million Americans have contracted COVID, 76% of 328 million Americans. This is quite simply not the case.

The study is flawed.

The rest / Re: Astronomical news
« Last post by Sigmetnow on Today at 06:24:06 PM »
A new documentary highlights the visionary physicist Gerry O'Neill, who popularized the notion of space settlement.
A new movie brings to life the legacy of a physicist who has played an influential—but largely unheralded—role in shaping the vision of space settlement.

The documentary The High Frontier: The Untold Story of Gerard K. O'Neill takes its name from the 1977 book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space authored by Princeton University physicist Gerard K. O'Neill. The movie will be released on April 17, and it's an excellent film for those seeking to better understand the future humans could have in outer space.

O'Neill popularized the idea of not just settling space, but of doing so in free space rather than on the surface of other planets or moons. His ideas spread through the space-enthusiast community at a time when NASA was about to debut its space shuttle, which first flew in 1981. NASA had sold the vehicle as offering frequent, low-cost access to space. It was the kind of transportation system that allowed visionaries like O'Neill to think about what humans could do in space if getting there were cheaper.

The concept of "O'Neill cylinders" began with a question he posed to his physics classes at Princeton: "Is a planetary surface the right place for an expanding industrial civilization?" As it turned out, following their analysis, the answer was no. Eventually, O'Neill and his students came to the idea of free-floating, rotating, cylindrical space colonies that could have access to ample solar energy. ...

Trailer video in the article.

There will be a free, live premiere of The High Frontier on April 17 — see
Beginning the following day, it will be available as a video-on-demand from Amazon, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu, Fandango, and Microsoft Stream.
Arctic sea ice / Re: 2021 Sea ice area and extent data
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 06:14:54 PM »
NSIDC Peripheral Seas A bit more

NSIDC PERIPHERAL ARCTIC SEAS - ICE AREA:  3,747,061 KM2 as at 10-Apr-2021

- Area loss on this day 49k, 30 k more than the average loss on this day (of the last 10 years) of 19k,
- Area loss from minimum on this date is 637 k, 108 k, 20.4% more than the 10 year average of 529 k.

- Area is at position #4 in the satellite record

- Area is  29 k MORE than 2020,
- Area is  229 k MORE than  2019,
- Area is  70 k MORE than 2016
- Area is  730 k LESS than 2012
- Area is  295 k LESS than the 2010's Average
On average 12.1% of melting from maximum to minimum done, and 152 days to minimum

Projections. (Table JAXA-Arc1)

Average remaining melt (of the last 10 years) would produce a minimum in Sept 2020 of 0.07 million km2, 0.01 million km2 below the 2018 minimum of 0.08 million km2.
click images to enlarge
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« Last post by kassy on Today at 06:06:16 PM »
Hard choices emerge as link between AstraZeneca vaccine and rare clotting disorder becomes clearer


In their paper, Greinacher and his colleagues also speculate about a possible mechanism. Vaxzevria consists of an adenovirus engineered to infect cells and prompt them to produce the virus's spike protein. Among the 50 billion or so virus particles in each dose, some may break apart and release their DNA, Greinacher says. Like heparin, DNA is negatively charged, which would help bind it to PF4, which has a positive charge. The complex might then trigger the production of antibodies, especially when the immune system is already on high alert because of the vaccine. An immune reaction to extracellular DNA is part of an ancient immune defense triggered by severe infection or injury, Greinacher notes, and free DNA itself can signal the body to increase blood coagulation.


Greinacher and his collaborator Rolf Marschalek, a molecular biologist at Frankfurt University, are also calling for tests of a simple solution: halving Vaxzevria's dose. In AstraZeneca's phase III trial in the United Kingdom, a small number of people accidentally received a lower dose and had fewer side effects in general; perhaps the lower dose is less likely to trigger the kind of strong inflammation that boosts PF4 antibodies as well, the researchers say. And unexpectedly, those people were slightly better protected, perhaps because high levels of inflammation can actually block the formation of antibodies, Marschalek says. “Part of the problem might be that they just overdose” the vaccine, Greinacher says.

The fact that more common side effects appear less frequently at half a dose does not mean the same is true for the very rare side effects, Cox cautions. But if the hunch proves correct, what looked like a terrible blow for one of the world’s most important weapons against the pandemic might be good news in disguise: Supplies of the vaccine could vaccinate twice as many people—with fewer side effects.
The rest / War, War, War
« Last post by vox_mundi on Today at 05:49:51 PM »
War, War, War

It's that Season again; and those who have squandered humanity's future on the 'Great Game' are dusting off their toys and setting up their pieces on the playing field.

Other threads cover some of the precursors to wars, like inequality, overpopulation, and economic or political rivalry, maybe this should cover, what Carl von Clausewitz had said - "diplomacy by other means." That and mans inhumanity to fellow man.

War is not inevitable, but I wouldn't sell it short



Russian Armor Floods Toward Border With Ukraine Amid Fears Of An "Imminent Crisis"

Trains loaded with large amounts of Russian military hardware, including tanks and other heavy armored vehicles, as well as heavy artillery, appear to be streaming toward the country's borders with Ukraine. There are unconfirmed reports that the scale of these movements is so significant that it has, to the dismay of Russian farmers, disrupted shipments of tractors and other agricultural equipment ahead of the spring harvest season. U.S. officials are now worried that a new major round of fighting between Russia and Ukraine may be imminent as a ceasefire is at risk of expiring tomorrow.

It's not entirely clear when the Russian buildup began, but video footage and other imagery reportedly showing armored vehicles and other military equipment on trains heading toward southwestern Russian has been appearing on social media since at least March 27, 2021. There have also been sightings of large ground convoys and groups of aircraft.

This includes at least one clip of a trainload of 152mm 2S19 Msta-S self-propelled howitzers, BMP-3 infantry fight vehicles, and other military vehicles, crossing a bridge that now links Russia to the Crimean Peninsula, and footage of what appears to be the same train in the Crimean city of Kerch. Russian forces seized this region from Ukraine in 2014 and the Kremlin subsequently annexed it.

... Though the new Russian military buildup is clearly at least a message meant for Ukrainian authorities, what the Kremlin's exact plan is remains unclear. The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine, which includes representatives from Ukraine, Russia, and the multinational Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), reportedly failed to agree on the terms of an extension of an existing ceasefire agreement in Donbass beyond April 1.

... Ukraine is not a NATO member or otherwise a formal American ally, though they are an important regional security partner, and it's unclear how willing or able the U.S. government would be to prevent any new major incursion by Russia into Ukraine.


Turkey Confirms 2 U.S. Destroyers Are Headed For The Black Sea Amid Russia-Ukraine Crisis


Russian Gunboats Head To The Black Sea To Join Military Buildup Near Ukraine

The Russian Navy is sending 10 vessels, a mixture of landing craft and small gunboats, from its Caspian Sea Flotilla to the Black Sea. The deployment is ostensibly part of a larger series of readiness drills, but comes amid a continuing and worrisome Russian military buildup near the country's borders with Ukraine. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, or OSCE, has also said there has been a spike in GPS jamming in the region, which has impacted its ability to monitor the situation as part of an existing agreement between Russia and Ukraine. All of this only further fuels concerns that a significant escalation in the conflict between these two countries may be imminent. ...


Kiev estimates there are now 85,000 Russian troops between 6 and 25 miles from its border and in Crimea.



U.S. And Chinese Carrier Groups Mass In The South China Sea

The northern reaches of the South China Sea have become very busy as of late with two U.S. carrier groups and one Chinese carrier group in the region.

Tensions between China and its regional neighbors in the South China and Philippine Seas increased markedly this week. Naval exercises by both the United States and China have massed an unusual number of warships in the South China Sea at a time of renewed diplomatic friction as concerns over China’s territorial ambitions grow.

The uptick began late last week. The War Zone reported that China’s Liaoning Carrier Strike Group (CSG) maneuvered through the strategic Miyako Strait on Sunday, just southwest of Okinawa. Since then, a separate point of tension between China and the Philippines over a 200 ship mass of fishing vessels identified as part of China’s People’s Armed Forces Maritime Militia (PAFMM) led to a series of heated diplomatic exchanges between Manila and Beijing.

Open-source intelligence analysts tracked the movements of the Liaoning carrier strike group this week as it appeared to traverse the Luzon strait, the body of water that, along with the Bohai Channel, separates the Philippines and Taiwan. This crucially strategic area is also the primary boundary between the Philippine Sea and the South China Sea and connects the greater Pacific to the northern reaches of the South China Sea.

By April 10th, analysts flagged one Type 055 Renhai class missile destroyer and one Type 052D Luyang class destroyer splitting from the group and heading north towards the Taiwan strait:

Imagery derived from the European Space Agency’s Sentinel-2 satellite identified an unusually large number of military vessels in the South China Sea on Saturday:

Yesterday the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group and the Makin Island Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) conducted a coordinated exercise in the South China Sea. The TRCSG consists of the USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71), Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 11, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52), Destroyer Squadron 23, and the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Russell (DDG 59). The USS Makin Island's group also consisted of amphibious assault ships the USS Somerset and USS San Diego.

... The Taiwan area has also recently seen an increase in drone incursions. On Wednesday, Taiwanese official Ocean Affairs Council Chair Lee Chung-wei addressed the drone issue, describing them as circling the island. He declared a willingness to shoot them down, stating “if we need to open fire, we will open fire.” Additionally, China has recently invested heavily in coastal bases, such as a massive new helicopter base directly across the strait of Taiwan that could prove essential to a major offensive against the island.

Meanwhile, the week saw a near-constant stream of Chinese overflights of Taiwan’s air defense identification zone. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of National Defense, there have been 46 overflights across the southwestern portion of the Taiwan Strait. These flights have included as many as fifteen People’s Liberation Army aircraft at one time, including 8 J-10 and 4 J-16 fighter aircraft in one incident.


meanwhile ...


Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« Last post by kassy on Today at 05:38:49 PM »
The general food prices are off topic unless they relate to climate change.
Antarctica / Re: Halley base shut down and new crack in Brunt shelf
« Last post by grixm on Today at 05:25:32 PM »
Does my eye spy more cracking?
Arctic sea ice / Re: 2021 Sea ice area and extent data
« Last post by gerontocrat on Today at 05:16:01 PM »

The first image attached is of the 2021 maximum compared with previous years. 2021 was 8th lowest in tyhe satellite record, while 2020 was 22nd lowest. This suggests that, at least in the High Arctic, the 2020-21 refreeze was less of a recovery than that of the previous year.

The second image is the March monthly averages graph, and just shows that in the High Arctic not a lot goes on as far as area and extent is concerned.

The third image shows the plume of projections. The difference between 2012 and 2020 is at this time of year is pronounced, that makes the final result of 2012 even more extraordinary.

Antarctica / Re: Pine Island Glacier (PIG) Calving and Discussion
« Last post by grixm on Today at 05:14:21 PM »
New images, with some highlights of extensions that wasn't pointed out yet
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