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Messages - vox_mundi

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1
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 03:18:11 PM »
James' model has a period over the summer where he can't reconcile the death data with the case data, and this is because much of the infection is happening in Spain rather than the UK and most of the people travelling and their immediate contacts aren't particularly vulnerable.


There might be a Spain travel effect as you say but I would note that log scale makes discrepancy at low end look worse. Current small looking discrepancy with deaths higher than middle of band while cases below middle of band is much worse in absolute numbers.

Also I would attribute more of this to pubs being opened from July 4 resulting in a lower average age of infections and hence a lower fatality rate.

At the time James had a fixed fatality rate, he has now changed to a slowly declining rate. The model doesn't know about different age groups but does pretty well despite this.

Fully agree that when hospitals are packed, it spreads and gets into care homes where fatality rates are highest due to age and vulnerability. There just isn't enough places to go for step down care let alone such places with good protective measures to stop virus spreading.

Sequencing data shows that 75% of the virus circulating was a recent Spanish import. No doubt it was being spread in pubs, but the reason there were infected people in pubs to spread it was that they had caught it in Spain or were part of an outbreak caused by someone that caught it in Spain.

Pre-vaccine James' model bundles changes of mortality in with case ascertainment. That copes fine with the modest drop from first to second wave, but can't cope with the size of effect caused by a couple of months of the epidemic going one way in the young and the other way in the over 60s. I think the vaccine effect will actually be a bit sharper and a bit deeper than James' assumption, but that it'll cope even if he doesn't decide it needs tweaking

James' being a rather better modeller than the professional epidemiologists, he just stopped paying attention to the death data and accepted it as a necessary consequence of a simple model. The MRC model, which has the same virus model as James but splits out the demographics into 56 buckets, broke under the strain and they stopped publishing it for a couple of months because they couldn't get results they believed out of it. Others did really silly things like take it as proof that the virus had got a lot less deadly, or was being transmitted a lot less than it actually was or the false positive rate was hugely greater than it actually is and got what would happen in the autumn spectacularly wrong. They also gave Boris the ammunition with which to get it spectacularly wrong too.

Not knowing about the ages is actually a strength of James' model. Splitting the data into demographic buckets multiplies the parameters by N^2, while multiplying the data available by N and increasing the noise level in the data. The overfitting to which MRC is prone is a consequence of having three thousand times as many parameters to fit as James does.

James did a blog on how much his R and the SAGE R diverged over the summer, http://julesandjames.blogspot.com/2020/09/sage-versus-reality.html
and I reckon its a decently close fit for James picking up the four-fold increase in circulating virus due to Spanish imports that SAGE's modellers missed. Back in September I thought it was Eat Out to Help Out, but that looks marginal now that sequencing data shows the effect of travel was vastly greater than I realised then.


2
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 02:43:29 PM »
SARS-CoV-2 Escape In Vitro from a Highly Neutralizing COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.28.424451v1

Three mutations allowed SARS-CoV-2 to evade the polyclonal antibody response of a highly neutralizing COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

ABSTRACT

To investigate the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in the immune population, we co-incubated authentic virus with a highly neutralizing plasma from a COVID-19 convalescent patient. The plasma fully neutralized the virus for 7 passages, but after 45 days, the deletion of F140 in the spike N-terminal domain (NTD) N3 loop led to partial breakthrough. At day 73, an E484K substitution in the receptor-binding domain (RBD) occurred, followed at day 80 by an insertion in the NTD N5 loop containing a new glycan sequon, which generated a variant completely resistant to plasma neutralization. Computational modeling predicts that the deletion and insertion in loops N3 and N5 prevent binding of neutralizing antibodies.

The recent emergence in the United Kingdom and South Africa of natural variants with similar changes suggests that SARS-CoV-2 has the potential to escape an effective immune response and that vaccines and antibodies able to control emerging variants should be developed.

Thanks for posting this, Vox.  The findings are important and disturbing, but not surprising.  After repeated passage in cell culture, with incubation with highly-potent immune serum, the virus acquires resistance to the antibodies present.   The acquired mutations confer resistance to some but not all sera from other recovered individuals.

Study of the acquired mutations might give us an early look at mutations that may develop in the wild.  This could give a heard start on developing the next generation of mRNA vaccines, which would probably be multi-valent, to cover more mutant strains as well as the original.

We should note that this is very much "gain of function" research.  Dangerous?  Quite possibly, if the mutant strain escapes the lab.  Worth taking the risk?  I'm inclined to think so, assuming solid lab containment protocols.

3
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 20, 2021, 02:55:01 PM »
Quote
Vaccination rate has slowed sharply from 100-150k per day to less than 50k per day
I stand corrected, above are the numbers for first shot, most of the immediate activity is now second shot of the the first eligible wave. This chart gives the full picture of vaccinations, with the lighter color showing the second shots.

4
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 17, 2021, 09:14:40 PM »
Epidemiology of post-COVID syndrome following hospitalisation with coronavirus: a retrospective cohort study

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2021.01.15.21249885v1.full-text

The study looks at what happened to everyone admitted to hospital during the first wave in England, and compares outcomes for about 5 months afterwards with a matched cohort. There is quite significant long term health damage associated with having been in hospital for COVID.

Quote
766 (95% confidence interval: 753 to 779) readmissions and 320 (312 to 328) deaths per 1,000 person-years were observed in COVID-19 cases, 3.5 (3.4 to 3.6) and 7.7 (7.2 to 8.3) times greater, respectively, than in controls.

Quote
Of 47,780 individuals in hospital with COVID-19 over the study period, 29.4% were re-admitted and 12.3% died following discharge

Thats about 5000 excess deaths.

Quote
Respiratory disease was diagnosed in 14,140 individuals (29.6%) following discharge, with 6,085 of these being new-onset cases; the resulting event rates of 770 (758 to 783) and 539 (525 to 553) per 1,000 person-years, respectively, were 6.0 (5.7 to 6.2) and 27.3 (24.0 to 31.2) times greater than those in controls.

More likely to have an existing respiratory problem recur, and much more likely to acquire a new one.

Quote
Those with COVID-19 received post-discharge diagnoses of MACE, CLD, CKD and diabetes 3.0 (2.7 to 3.2), 2.8 (2.0 to 4.0), 1.9 (1.7 to 2.1) and 1.5 (1.4 to 1.6) times more frequently, respectively, than in the matched control group.

More likely to suffer from heart, liver, kidney problems as well as acquire diabetes. It doesn't mess up the other organs at the same rate as the lungs, but it messes them up.

Quote
Individuals requiring ICU admission experienced greater rates of post-discharge respiratory disease and diabetes than those not in ICU, but the opposite was true for rates of death, readmission and MACE.

Its not just those that were in ICU having all the problems afterwards.

Quote
Rates of all post-discharge adverse events were greater in individuals with COVID-19 aged ≥ 70 years than <70 years, while rates of all events other than diabetes were greater in the White ethnic group than the Non-White group (Supplementary Table 4). However, the rate ratio of adverse events (contrasting COVID-19 cases and matched controls) was greater in individuals aged <70 years than ≥ 70 years for all event types (Figure 3), with the biggest differences in rate ratios being observed for death (14.1 [11.0 to 18.3] for <70 years versus 7.7 [7.1 to 8.3] for ≥ 70 years) and respiratory disease (10.5 [9.7 to 11.4] for <70 years versus 4.6 [4.3 to 4.8] for ≥ 70 years).

In absolute terms, long covid hit the older patients harder, but in relative terms, its the younger ones who have the most elevated risk.


5
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 16, 2021, 12:44:20 PM »
In February 2020, I was still a lurker, and I was reading this thread with great interest. Thanks to many of you, I think in particular (but there are many more) of Tom_Mazanec, Vox_Mundi, Archimid and Sam who fought hard to make us understand the gravity of the situation and propose solutions. Thanks to your work I was able to prepare very early. Being a very enthusiastic person, I equipped myself without measure, which then allowed me to distribute many liters of hydroalcoholic gel, nitril or latex gloves, masks, wipes and many cleaning products effective against viruses to two doctors in my city, to a group of liberal nurses working in the city, to nurses working in hospitals, to neighbors, to delivery men and of course to my family. And I am sure that many ASIF members and lurkers have done the same thanks to you my friends.

I don't know where all these virus mutations will lead us but I just wanted to thank you for all of this. I don't know if it was very effective, but the look on the faces of the people to whom I distributed all this material in February and March 2020 when they had nothing, well it was worth it.

One last little message: Sam we miss you a lot and we still need your advice, come back soon!

PS: Again a last little detail, to those who proposed bourbon and hot whisky with honey and orange, I regret to tell you that it is not very effective against covid, but if you add coffee and whipped cream it becomes very good.  ;D

6
The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 14, 2021, 06:35:25 PM »
Dear Tom,
You wrote:
'be cause & gerontocrat:
I notice that the most cogent arguments you can make against my linked article are, basically, to foam at the mouth
.'
While it is true that you have engendered a certain amount of gnashing of teeth and foaming at mouths, the reasons do not include acknowledgement and frustration by the devastating strength of your argument.
Indeed, quite the opposite.
I draw to your attention the concept of Logical Fallacies, linked here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
In the interests of saving time, I direct you to the fallacy of 'False Equivalence:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_equivalence

Equating BLM protests against extra judicial killings of an identified group with a mass insurrection based on anger against a legal election is an example of a false equivalency.

It is an easy trap to fall into, one that you are regularly ensnared by, but the moderators of this forum have wisely requested we do not take it up with you.

Regards,
Sebastian

7
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 13, 2021, 05:25:21 PM »
UK deaths today 1,564.
To put that in perspective, an equivalent figure for the USA based on population would be around 7,500.

8
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:13:14 PM »
You should follow the link and watch the video to see yet another reason for why perhaps the USA should be put on suicide watch.

Covid-19: Alabama crowds ignore coronavirus to celebrate championship

Fans of the University of Alabama football team gathered in the streets of Tuscaloosa in Alabama, ignoring social distancing. They were celebrating the university's third national championship in the past six years.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-us-canada-55641084


9
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 10:01:35 PM »
Modelling conformational state dynamics and its role on infection for SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein variants
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.16.423118v3
Quote
Rafael Najmanovich (one of the paper's authors):
N501Y that we predicted to be more infective, could be one mutation away from N501W that we predict to be even more infective.
https://twitter.com/RNajmanovich/status/1348992630122835972
Quote
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.16.423118v3.full.pdf
The mutation that favours the open state the most in our calculations is N501W... The mutation N501W is predicted to have the largest effect in augmenting the occupancy of the open state relative to the wild type. This mutation is associated with stronger binding to ACE2 (Δlog10(KD,app)=0.11) relative to the wild type Spike (but lower than N501Y). Furthermore, N501W appears to have increased expression relative to the wild type with a Δlog(MFI) of 0.1 compared to decrease in relative expression of -0.14 for N501Y. The authors note that changes in expression correlate with folding stability. However, even with a Δlog(MFI) of -0.14, N501Y is viable and spreading. Therefore, N501W might be even more stable and infective

10
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 08:25:46 PM »
Quote
"can cause certain hysteria"

Nobody needs your snobby patronizing, we can handle ourselves. Grow up, and stop dragging discussion off-topic.

11
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 12, 2021, 07:57:05 PM »
Palmer, don't forget you attacked first, and you got a response accordingly. Regardless, you are only getting more emo and off-topic. It sounds like you need to relax, maybe some alcohol or something. Then try to see if you can discuss the topic without attacking others.

12
The politics / Re: The Trump Presidency
« on: January 10, 2021, 09:31:11 PM »
What we need is a "get off my plane" moment

https://youtu.be/jw3PJftd-_E?t=12

13
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 10, 2021, 02:03:22 PM »
Confirmed Reinfection with B.1.1.7
https://academic.oup.com/cid/advance-article/doi/10.1093/cid/ciab014/6076528
  • Guy has antibodies from mild infection 8 months ago.
  • Recent sera test shows antibodies were maintained
  • Guy gets reinfected, this time with new variant, B117
  • Much more severe disease 2nd time
Quote
"In this case the initial illness was mild, and the reinfection with the new variant was critical/life-threatening ...Rapid work on learning about immune, vaccine and diagnostic escape is needed, as are data on severity of illness caused by VOC- 202012/01."
  • Patient: 78 year old man (hemodialysis patient), positive PCR on 02/04/20. (Mild illness, fever only, uneventful recovery).
  • Initial Ct ~26.
  • Routinely screened between 05/05/20 - 01/12/20, all negative (22 tests).
  • IgG/IgM detectable on 6 occasions between 04/06/20 - 13/11/20 with no evidence of antibody waning.
  • 14/12/20 positive PCR (Ct ~28)
  • Patient presented with 3 day history of shortness of breath. Brought in by ambulance, severe hypoxia leading to intubation.
  • Whole genome sequencing of April/December samples confirms reinfection.

14
Historical snowfall in the center of Spain. Madrid paralyzed, airport closed.

Weatherman says it will keep going on until tomorrow, probably the most intense snow storm here since 1960’s. I indeed have not seen anything like this in Madrid before. People can use the skis in the street!! In fact it is the only practical transport way right now.

https://english.elpais.com/spanish_news/2021-01-09/storm-filomena-sees-10-spanish-provinces-on-alert-madrid-grind-to-a-halt-and-barajas-airport-closed.html

Below a guy on a sled pulled by dogs, quite the view in Madrid, from a video posted on Twitter:

https://twitter.com/hombremontana/status/1347636995133218820?s=21


15
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: January 03, 2021, 07:15:30 PM »
SARS-CoV-2 Escape in Vitro from a Highly Neutralizing COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma
https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.28.424451v1.full.pdf
Quote
Summary: Three mutations allowed SARS-CoV-2 to evade the polyclonal antibody response of a highly neutralizing COVID-19 convalescent plasma.
  In conclusion, we have shown that the authentic SARS-CoV-2 virus, if constantly pressured, has the ability to escape even a potent polyclonal serum targeting multiple neutralizing epitopes. These results are remarkable because while escape mutants can be easily isolated when viruses are incubated with single monoclonal antibodies, usually a combination of two mAbs is sufficient to eliminate the evolution of escape variants and because SARS-CoV-2 shows a very low estimated evolutionary rate of mutation as this virus encodes a proofreading exoribonuclease machinery.

  The recent isolation of SARS-CoV-2 variants in the United Kingdom and South Africa with deletions in or near the NTD loops shows that what we describe here can occur in the human population. The ability of the virus to adapt to the host immune system was also observed in clinical settings where an immunocompromised COVID-19 patient, after 154 days of infection, presented different variants of the virus including the E484K substitution.

  Therefore, we should be prepared to deal with virus variants that may be selected by the immunity acquired from infection or vaccination.[/quote]

16
Ultimately, a society does need to address the question as to what lengths they should take to protect their most vulnerable. When should a nation decide that the cost to do so outweighs the rights of the individuals who impose this cost on a nation.

This is, in fact, one of the discussions we are having on this thread.

I think you paint her too positively.  She was actually much worse.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nationalreview.com/2008/06/dark-past-jonah-goldberg/amp/

https://www.courierherald.com/letters/hitler-the-ku-klux-klan-and-margaret-sanger/

My point was not to paint Margaret Sanger in a favorable or unfavorable light. The point of my comment was that this discussion of sacrificing individuals for the sake of society (in this case the weak, old and infirm to protect the economy) is not new. I thought to provide some historical context and make clear this is the conversation we are having on this thread.

This type of inquiry raises difficult questions. What aspects of society are so sacrosanct as to require the sacrifice of categories of individuals? Is it just the economy? And who decides when the costs of protecting citizens are excessive? Is it the Wall Street types who base it on the value of their portfolio or is it based on a more concrete sense of the economy, it's productive capacity, the ability to satisfy the needs of a nation's residents.  And if the economy deserves protection so that it is able to provide for the needs and wants of a nation's residents, how do we decide that one group's need to protect their portfolio, disregarding the impact on the vulnerable, outweighs another group's need to be protected from a deadly pandemic, disregarding the damage done to investments.

17
The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: December 31, 2020, 06:40:57 PM »
That's very worrying to hear that many enough morons of such kind are present here.

I recommend to use a distinct name that makes it harder to find out for the mob to know who's on the other end. I was not always happy with his moderation but any kind of violence, be it physical or mental is unacceptable and it would perhaps be really good to know who is who.

I'm sure @bk is lurking here as well hence "gute Besserung" and stay in control, nobody and nothing is worth it to lose one's peace of mind.

Happy New Year @all


I wish you that “Corona” becomes a beer again in the new year,


that when you meet again you can take a step forward instead of a step back,


that "positive" will again be something exclusively positive,


that "tests" take place again mainly in the education system,


that "isolate" again mainly applies to buildings and power cables,


that you can celebrate Carnival again with a "mask",


and that "Donald" remains a lame "Duck" forever!


 ;)

18
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 31, 2020, 01:55:23 PM »
12-31-20 [Preprint]
Transmission of SARS-CoV-2 Lineage B.1.1.7 in England: Insights from linking epidemiological and genetic data
https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-12-31-COVID19-Report-42-Preprint-VOC.pdf
Quote
The SARS-CoV-2 lineage B.1.1.7, now designated Variant of Concern 202012/01 (VOC)... There is a consensus among all analyses that the VOC has a substantial transmission advantage, with the estimated difference in reproduction numbers between VOC and non-VOC ranging between 0.4 and 0.7, and the ratio of reproduction numbers varying between 1.4 and 1.8. genetic diversity of this lineage has changed in a manner consistent with exponential growth... VOC has higher transmissibility than non-VOC lineages... data indicate a shift in the age composition of reported cases, with a larger share of under 20 year olds among reported VOC than non-VOC cases... increased susceptibility of under 20s, or more apparent symptoms (and thus a propensity to seek testing) for the VOC in that age range.

Quote
Figure 4. Age distribution of S-gene negative (S-) and S-gene positive (S+) PCR-positive pillar 2 cases from the SGSS dataset (not adjusted for TPR). Case numbers are weighted to compare Scases from each NHS STP region and epidemiological week with an equal number of S+ cases from that STP and week (a case-control design), and standardised for differences in the age composition of each STP area. (A) Age distribution of S- and S+ cases. (B) Ratio of S- to S+ proportions of cases in each 10 year band. Results shown are for weeks 46-51. Ages were capped at 80. 95% empirical confidence intervals calculated by bootstrapping over STP areas and weeks, and sampling variation within STP areas and weeks.

19
From the streets: midwest and midatlantic USA

It's sinking in, now everyone i talk to knows someone who died and a few more who have had it. People masking up that didnt b4. People are digging in for the long winter, stocking up, hunkering down, nesting at home.

Just had another person i knew die, high nineties, had the extermination camp tatoos from a long time ago. Him and his wife didnt take it serious, kept going out to restaurants and the like ... she survived without hospitalization, he went in and died. Their daughter is in cancer therapy, no immune system to speak of, hadnt seen her parents for much of the year. She went to the hospital with her mother to see him the night before he died. Here's hoping she didnt catch it although she aint expected to survive the cancer for long.

Places are shutting down. Nobody on the roads unless they have to be. Regardless of official lockdown, more and more are making the calculation that stayin home is the best choice whether or not any stimulus checks ever show up.

Seeing a lot of vaccine resistance in the small towns and forgotten places. They watched the pharm companies kill a great many over the years with opioids, lying about them every step of the way. They watched the insurance companies jack their premiums and raise the prices of medications outta sight.  They aint sure that the vaccine will really be free, and they are damned sure that they will have to pay if they suffer side effects. Firemen and the first responders, first in line, are assenting but not enthusiastically.

sidd

20
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 28, 2020, 01:26:44 AM »
S-variant SARS-CoV-2 is associated with Significantly Higher Viral Loads
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.24.20248834v1
https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.12.24.20248834v1.full.pdf
Quote
This analysis suggests that patients whose samples exhibit the S-dropout profile in the TaqPath test are more likely to have high viral loads at the time of sampling. The relevance of this to epidemiological reports of fast spread of the SARS-CoV-2 in regions of the UK is discussed.

...The significant difference in population median Ct value, between S-dropout and S-detected samples, represents between 10 and 100-fold increase in target concentration for S-dropout.

...Therefore, our observed cluster of S-dropout samples at Ct less than 15 corresponds to a conservative estimate of a significantly larger population of infectious subjects that have an increased viral load up to 10,000- fold higher. Such capability of increased transmission has been ascribed to an S ‘variant of concern’ apparently spreading throughout the South-east of the UK, and possibly beyond

This same mutation, N501Y, is also in the SA variant.

21
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 20, 2020, 12:15:30 PM »

If B.1.1.7 has got that advantage due to being more infectious rather than jumping into a risky demographic at an opportune moment, its only a couple of months before the rest of the country is in the same mess as the part thats just been put into Tier 4. Yorkshire now (3% B.1.1.7 according to the press conference) is about where London would have been 2 months ago.

I don’t think it will take that long. The super spreaders are already on their way:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/traffic-tier-4-london-south-east-b1776612.html

 and if you take a look at the MSOA area distribution map there’s a clear correlation between case number increases and the main rail and road routes out of London:

https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map

My home town has a direct rail connection to Euston and our rate, though still pretty low within Tier 2, has taken a tick up in the last couple of days. Last night’s Tier 4 exodus will inevitably add to the R up here around New Year. Not good!


22
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 20, 2020, 03:34:03 AM »
The report on the new UK variant.
https://virological.org/t/preliminary-genomic-characterisation-of-an-emergent-sars-cov-2-lineage-in-the-uk-defined-by-a-novel-set-of-spike-mutations/563

Quote
Recently a distinct phylogenetic cluster (named lineage B.1.1.7) was detected within the COG-UK surveillance dataset. This cluster has been growing rapidly over the past 4 weeks and since been observed in other UK locations, indicating further spread.

Quote
The two earliest sampled genomes that belong to the B.1.1.7 lineage were collected on 20-Sept-2020 in Kent and another on 21-Sept-2020 from Greater London.

Quote
As of 15th December, there are 1623 genomes in the B.1.1.7 lineage. Of these 519 were sampled in Greater London, 555 in Kent, 545 in other regions of the UK including both Scotland and Wales, and 4 in other countries.

Quote
The B.1.1.7 lineage carries a larger than usual number of virus genetic changes. The accrual of 14 lineage-specific amino acid replacements prior to its detection is, to date, unprecedented in the global virus genomic data for the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex fractions quoted upthread were likely based on very small numbers (I suspect 3% = 1 detection in 30 samples) and error bars wide enough to make them completely useless for quantitative analysis. There's enough detections from London though, plus some information about how the level varied over time from the press conference to get some useful analysis.

https://twitter.com/BristOliver/status/1340383349756612610

In London, B.1.1.7 is 28% of genomes in the week of 18th-24th Nov, and 62% in the week of 9th-15th December. That gives R of 1.13 for the rest and 1.66 for B.1.1.7 and enough detections to pull the error bars from sample size down to maybe R of 1.0-1.2 on the rest and 1.4-2.0 on B.1.1.7  Thats horribly consistent with what an infectious advantage should look like.

If B.1.1.7 has got that advantage due to being more infectious rather than jumping into a risky demographic at an opportune moment, its only a couple of months before the rest of the country is in the same mess as the part thats just been put into Tier 4. Yorkshire now (3% B.1.1.7 according to the press conference) is about where London would have been 2 months ago.

23
Policy and solutions / Re: Robots and AI: Our Immortality or Extinction
« on: December 16, 2020, 08:17:24 PM »
Years ago I was hitchhiking in NZ (where I was living) and this car slowed down and started to move off the road (in my direction).  I was delighted until the person in the driver's seat 'totally' took her eyes off the road and was looking at something in her lap.  It was very nerve wracking, even as the car proceeded to come to a stop just in front of me and to the side. (Yes, I got further away from the 'parking area on the side of the road' while this was happening.)  Approaching the stopped car, I realized it was an American car (steering wheel on the left side) and the person in the driver's seat was actually the passenger who had looked at a map as her husband, looking where he was going, steered and stopped.  I had not given a fleeting glance at the 'passenger' who never looked away.

I have no doubt my reaction to the first vehicles on autopilot I see will be the same. 
Quote
"Your Honor, I'm suing the Defendant because their autopiloted vehicle scared the s**t out of me."

"Just as EVs are required to broadcast sounds as they slink silently through parking lots, I hereby order all autopiloted vehicles to have signs posted on sides and front stating, 'Beware: vehicle is recording your reaction to discovering this vehicle has autopilot.'  As to your claim, you can do your own laundry."

24
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 15, 2020, 12:34:17 AM »
Well Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!

You lock down adults but keep the kiddies in School....basically feeding the virus on 'receptor site poor' immature lungs & what is going to happen?

What! The Virus mutates to better infect a receptor site poor environment.....fancy that!

But then what happens when this new strain hits 'Mature' Lungs with their full compliment of receptor spikes?......Oh Yeah! it infects Reeeeaaal fast & Reeeeeaaaal well...

London & the SE sees a new mutation rapidly spreading there.....

25
Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: December 14, 2020, 03:30:58 PM »

You really made me laugh this time. So predictable,  so not science.
Good to know, that's what the Pansa is all about  ;D

Quote
In Briner, the chart is in the lower panel of figure 14.

Thanks, i have found it now - so it is doctored after all.  ::)

Quote
You spend time like high priests in the inquisition to track down where that annotated graph came from.

Perhaps you should spend more time to check your sources. IMHO, the figure you showed is grossly misleading.
a) In the form you presented it, it is not contained in the Briner et al (2016) paper. It contains additional information which should at least be noted (if you quote something and change it, it is common [scientific] practice to say what you have changed).
Otherwise it is misleading - that the figure in its revise beauty does come from known denier-plattforms is telling enough.
 
b) The revised figure is also misleading, because it compares apples to oranges.

The Holocene Climate Optimum (HCO) is indeed an interesting period. It imho shows how sensible our climate system is, even  to minor forcings (that is how I read kassy's post as well, but i might have read it wrong).

If we want to compare it to what is happening now, we have to keep in mind though: During the  HCO earth's climate system had plenty of time to find its quasi-equilibirium - until the forcing changed again.
 
Currently we are fare from that equilibrium. On the contrary, we are still  increasing the forcing. Especially those parts of the climate system that are known as slow feedbacks (the GIS for instance or to a minor extent the ASI) have just started to change. 

Comparing the current changes of the GIS to the end-result of the changes forced during the HCO is, again, misleading: if we pretend that we are comparing like with like.

But that is exactly what the revised figure from Briner 2016 is meant to say: Hey, there is not much to worry about , the climate changed much more even  in the recent past ... . It completely ignores however that most of the slow feedbacks (GIS, WAIS, etc. ) are still to come.


You used the figure and said: "That figure also puts the current ice losses at the GIS in some perspective..."

Well it puts it into a perspective, but in a skewed one ... thats not science either.




26
The politics / Re: Brexit...
« on: December 13, 2020, 12:10:37 PM »
I am fed up watching Brexit play out in the way I had hoped it wouldn't, but feared it would.

So, in case we forget to laugh at the madness, I offer a quiz.

Now, this is mainly for British citizens hoping to get a new Irish Passport, and is motivated by the spike in such applications in recent years. Think of it as a cultural pre-qualification questionnaire.  But others might also wish to evaluate their eligibility.

I will post Model Answers later, for those who get stuck. Or my fellow citizens may also wish to suggest their versions...  ;D

_________________

Q1: Please explain why the 6pm national news is broadcast at exactly one minute after 6pm?
Q2: Sean: "You wouldn't put the kettle on would you?"
Mary: "I will yeah"
Is Mary going to put the kettle on for Sean?
Q3: “Mammy is after going to get the messages.” Explain.
Q4: Give 5 examples of where/when you can apply the word 'yoke'
Q5: The immersion. Discuss.
Q6: In the event that you lose your passport, should you
(a) report it lost and apply for a new one
(b) apply for a temporary passport or
(c) pray to St Anthony?
Q7: A local man becomes successful. Discuss the reactions that this may elicit among his neighbours (300 pages or less)
Q8: Where were Miley and Fidelma caught?
Q9: Give 6 examples of how to use 'grand'
Q10: "Bye bye bye bye bye bye bye" is an appropriate way to end a phone conversation, yes or no?
Q11: What does 'put the delph in the press' mean?
Q12: How well should you have known someone to attend their funeral?
Q13: Fill in the blank..."roll it there ___"
Q14: If you are living in one part of the country, having grown up in another part of the country - which is 'home' and which is 'home, home'
Supplementary question - What is the difference between going 'out' and going 'out, out'?
Q15: Can you explain where yer man from up above lives ?
Q16: Aoife's leaving cert is next week. What concrete steps can Aoife's grandmother take to ensure her success?
Q17: Bridie: "Are you going to take the dog for a walk at all?" Dónal: "I'll do that now in a minute."
When will Dónal take the dog for a walk: -Now -In a minute -Other - please specify.
Bonus Question: Conjugate the verb 'to be' in the present continuous tense.



27
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 12, 2020, 05:02:42 PM »
Yesterday I was in Atascadero and Paso Robles , two cities in northern San Luis Obispo County Ca.
Although San Luis county is in the Southern Calif. block of counties that have been ordered to shut down indoor dining there is a coordinated revolt and restaurants are still open to indoor dining. Paso Robles has been leading the case numbers for San Luis County for some time but leaving your restaurants open with the current surge in Southern Cal is  an invitation to get a Christmas surprise.
The county board voted to support the business owners and the police and sheriffs say they won’t enforce new restrictions. The county board later said they don’t have authority over state regulations but the business owners are hearing what they want to hear.
From a local paper”San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ian Parkinson and District Attorney Dan Dow on Tuesday both said they won’t strictly enforce the new state coronavirus rules or pursue criminal charges against residents who violate the stay-at-home order.

“Families and businesses in our county are struggling to keep their head above water and survive financially,” Dow said. “There is no sense in labeling a business owner or a business as a criminal for choosing to keep their business open in a manner that adequately protects their customers — who, by the way, are not being forced to enter their business.”

Read more here: https://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/article247780705.html#storylink=cpy

The counties of Ventura, Santa Barbara, and San Luis Obispo still do have intensive care beds available but if S.D,L.A. San Bernardino and Orange Counties fill their ICU beds the state ,I believe, would like to have the ability to send cases north. We are not acting like we are one country, one state or even a region ( Southern Calif. ) .  Every man for himself , and have a nice dinner.

28
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 07, 2020, 01:53:03 AM »
I lucked upon this Quora post about Covid.... he gives references for these numbers but the post is worth reading for anyone who thinks the death rate is what matters most and because it is "low" we shouldn't panic too much...

https://www.quora.com/How-can-a-disease-with-1-mortality-shut-down-the-United-States/answer/Franklin-Veaux

29
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 07, 2020, 01:13:05 AM »
The Swedes should hang tough. Herd immunity is just around the corner.  8)

And if not, a continued hands off approach would make for a good case study.  ???

30
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 06, 2020, 08:51:05 PM »
Other sources are saying the same thing. Here is one from Heise:

"While the pandemic spread around the world in spring 2020 and the number of deaths rose steeply in many countries, Germany appeared to be much less affected. The number of reported corona cases even rose exponentially at times. But some miracle seemed to ensure that a disease from Covid-19 in this country had potentially less fatal consequences.

"'Why are so few Germans dying from the coronavirus?' NBC News wondered. No other large country comes close to Germany: high case numbers, only a few deaths. What was that? Was it the higher number of intensive care beds or the later onset of the pandemic? Or did the death rate in Germany only look lower because it had been watered down by a large number of tests?

"The business magazine Forbes reported at the end of March: 'Compared to other countries, Germany remains an outlier in terms of a very low mortality rate from coronavirus cases and minimal numbers of COVID-19 patients in severe or critical condition.' In Italy, according to Forbes, the death rate was twenty times higher.

"The comparatively low number of German Covid victims did not go unnoticed by Time Magazine either: 'With more than 63,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 as of March 30, Germany is one of the countries most severely affected by the pandemic according to official statistics.' But the fall mortality rate is one of the lowest in the world. Time believed that the high German test frequency was one of the main reasons for this. So was the low mortality just a statistical artifact?

"Have the Germans broken the curse of the catastrophe, asks the New York Times in view of the great numbers. Or is it because of the efficient tracking of cases of infection by the health authorities? It is also possible, according to the Times, that Germany is protecting its older population better and that primarily younger people were initially infected. But the Times also has another theory: 'It is quite possible that Germany will simply be later.'

"(...) After almost a year of the pandemic and now almost 20,000 people who have died in Germany in connection with Covid-19, nobody is talking about a German exception anymore. The country still has a relative advantage because the situation is relatively less devastating than in other countries. But Germany has already caught up a lot. And the curves that show the number of deaths continue to point steeply upwards.

"As reported by the Federal Statistical Office, the number of deaths in the first week of November was five percent above the average for the years 2016 to 2019. In October the number of deaths in Germany was already four percent, which corresponds to 2,777 people, above the average of the previous year four years. This excess mortality began with a surge in the number of all deaths from around mid-October.

"In the same period, since around mid-October, the number of corona cases and, with a two to three week delay, also the number of corona deaths rose sharply. In the first week of November (45th week) there were 1,067 reported Covid-19 deaths. In the last week of November (week 48) there were already 2,101 deaths. The number of corona deaths has almost doubled since mid-October. Since the beginning of December, the four highest daily death tolls since the start of the pandemic have been reported. (As of December 5th).

"(...) According to data from EuroMOMO, excess mortality was 'extremely high' in mid-November (week 46) in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland, in France and Austria it was 'very high', in Spain and Portugal it was 'high'. In all of these countries, the second wave started several weeks earlier than in Germany. It is therefore to be expected that the probability of significant excess mortality in Germany will not decrease in the next few weeks. (...)"

https://www.heise.de/tp/features/Ende-des-deutschen-Corona-Wunders-4981392.html

I note that the cited "efficient tracking of cases of infection" is not efficient anymore. I know of examples from the last weeks where people were told to notify their contacts themselves after they or their children were tested positive, or could not reach the health department (of my region) at all for 2 days. New cases have plateaued but haven't gone down after 4 weeks of a "partial lockdown" which is now being tightened in some regions and individual cities.

31
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: December 01, 2020, 12:26:01 PM »
MRI scanning patients inhaling xenon shows up long term COVID injury to lungs not caught by other scanning techniques.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-55017301

Just proof of technique so far, but opens up a way to characterise long COVID and to research treatments for it.

32
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 29, 2020, 05:07:04 AM »
A good article about the challenges the Victorian Govt, Australia, had during the second wave in Melbourne.

In essence, the right wing Murdoch media attacked him throughout the event, lied, made false claims and wanted the economy opened up the entire time.

Worth a read.

https://bylinetimes.com/2020/11/27/how-dictator-dan-defied-a-dangerous-murdoch-media-and-led-australia-to-covid-victory/

33
The forum / Re: Arctic Sea Ice Forum Humor
« on: November 28, 2020, 09:26:26 PM »
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2020/nov/27/a-dog-pissing-at-the-edge-of-a-path-wins-oddest-book-title-of-the-year-diagram-prize
A Dog Pissing at the Edge of a Path wins oddest book title of the year

Anthropological study of metaphor takes 2020 Diagram prize, pulling ahead of Introducing the Medieval Ass in public vote


‘Practically a perfect Venn diagram of an ideal winner’ Photograph: Nils Jorgensen/Rex/Shutterstock
Quote
"A Dog Pissing at the Edge of a Path" has beaten Introducing the Medieval Ass to win the Diagram prize for oddest book title of the year.

Both books are academic studies, with the winning title by University of Alberta anthropologist Gregory Forth. It sees Forth look at how the Nage, an indigenous people primarily living on the islands of Flores and Timor, understand metaphor, and use their knowledge of animals to shape specific expressions. The title itself is an idiom for someone who begins a task but is then distracted by other matters.

Runner-up "Introducing the Medieval Ass", sees the University of Melbourne’s medieval historian Kathryn L Smithies explore “the ass’s enormous socio-economic and cultural significance in the middle ages”. Other contenders included Classical Antiquity in Heavy Metal Music, Lawnmowers: An Illustrated History and The Slaughter of Farmed Animals: Practical Ways of Enhancing Animal Welfare.

The prize, run by the Bookseller magazine, was first established in 1978 to reward the year’s strangest book title.

“I thought it would be a closer race, but A Dog Pissing is practically a perfect Venn diagram of an ideal winner,” said Tom Tivnan, the prize coordinator and managing editor of the Bookseller. He said it combined “the three most fecund Diagram prize territories: university presses (a tradition dating back to the first champ, 1978’s University of Tokyo-published Proceedings of the Second International Workshop on Nude Mice); animals (like 2012’s Goblinproofing One’s Chicken Coop or 2003’s The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories); and bodily functions (such as 2013’s How to Poo on a Date and 2011’s Cooking with Poo).”

34
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 27, 2020, 11:35:53 PM »


Drugs Hyped as Coronavirus Treatment Linked to Psychiatric Disorders, Says EU Agency
https://www.politico.eu/article/drugs-hyped-as-coronavirus-treatment-linked-to-psychiatric-disorders-says-ema/amp/

Chloroquine and a related compound, hydroxychloroquine, have been associated with cases of psychiatric disturbances and suicidal behavior after being given to COVID-19 patients, warned the EU’s drug regulator today.

My first wife and I went to Africa for three months and she used Chloroquine for her antimalarial drug.
I used Doxi.

Before we left we both trialed Choroquine because the doctor said it is best to find out about side effects before leaving.
I took it and I became extremely angry and almost bashed a co-worker. I am not an angry person, never have been barring that two week period, but on that drug, I had some seriously awful anger problems which taught me a lot about how people can have anger problems and how they can lose control. I stopped taking the drug, the anger left me forever... which I great.

My wife had no side effects..... until we got to Africa.
In the first month, she went from weird dreams to full on hallucinations and extremely erratic behavior. She was full on crazy, and I could tell many stories about the entire experience. It took me three weeks to convince her to stop taking the drug, and when she did, the side effects never left her. This drug is, in no small part, the reason that marriage ended. She never really recovered mentally or emotionally from using that drug for 10 weeks way back in 1999.

This is not an uncommon story and I seriously wonder how the hell such a shit drug with such terrible side effects has lasted so bloody long in circulation. It shouldn't ever be used.... ever.

35
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 24, 2020, 02:32:56 AM »
The origin of the virus is actually quite important.  Not just politically, but also in tracking the mutations of the virus, and the outward spread, etc etc etc.

The country that released this virus is also blocking access of foreign reporters, so it's very difficult to get any information on what is actually happening in China right now.

Not true. I just read a report by a Dutch journalist about her quarantine experiences upon entry into the country:
https://www.trouw.nl/buitenland/quarantaine-werkt-ze-zouden-het-in-nederland-eens-moeten-proberen~b5d5ec87/

And "released" ??

But origins are interesting. I saw a report that this virus had been in Italy since September.

Just to double down on the word released..... it is not released.

While the origin of the virus matters, it isn't for political reasons as you infer. Politics should be done to reduce the case numbers, manage the event, and bring it to a point of relative control. China has done that.... and the places that should have done it and had the resources to do it, failed because of politics.

The science is tracking the mutations backward, and it is beginning to look like it didn't start in China, but that has yet to be determined. I wonder how quiet the noise will be if it is determined that it started somewhere in Europe?

And tracking mutations moving forward matters, look at the mink situation, and don't kid yourself into thinking that was a fluke. That will happen repeatedly most likely.

So yeah, tracking it matters a lot and it is happening in a good way.
The politics of this situation is abysmal and has allowed this virus to remain with us forever.
And people will still talk blame......

36
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 21, 2020, 09:41:02 PM »


Re: Pathogens and their impacts
« Reply #355 on: December 31, 2019, 04:43:15 PM »
China Investigates SARS-like Virus as Dozens Struck by Pneumonia
https://dw.com/en/china-investigates-sars-like-virus-as-dozens-struck-by-pneumonia/a-51843861

Chinese health authorities on Tuesday said they are investigating 27 cases of viral pneumonia in central Hubei province, amid online speculation that it could be linked to the SARS flu-like virus that killed hundreds of people a decade ago.

Wuhan health officials issued an emergency notification on Monday after local hospitals treated a "successive series of patients with unexplained pneumonia."

Of the 27 reported cases, seven are in a critical condition and 18 are stable, the Wuhan Municipal Health Commission said on Tuesday on its Weibo social media account. ...

A 2003 outbreak of the highly-contagious SARS virus was covered up and killed hundreds of people.

--------------------------

We are approaching an anniversary. It has been quite the ride.
I think it does seem like people are letting their guard down and n-95 quality masks are by far a minority of PPE worn.
I think we will have a blog running  a year from now, I hope Voxmundi stays healthy and spiritually up to the task.

37
Consequences / Re: Climate change, the ocean, agriculture, and FOOD
« on: November 21, 2020, 07:52:08 PM »
Global warming has morphed into a quasi-heat machine as global temperature for the first six months of 2020 registered 1.3°C above baseline, a number that has new significance ever since the IPCC Special Report/2018 about the risks of exceeding 1.5°C.

Accordingly, it is generally acknowledged that 2.0°C above baseline is, in Dr. Carter’s words: “Out of the question, a catastrophe!”

Carter: “A world at 1.5°C is a disastrous world, no question.”

Carter: “2°C is an impossible world.”

The problem arises because global surface heat is accelerating, not decelerating. Atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration, accelerating like never before, is widely acknowledged by scientists throughout the world. New research published only a couple of weeks ago shows atmospheric carbon dioxide now at the highest level in twenty-three million (23,000,000) years.

Carter: “That’s insane! It’s absolutely climate crazy!”

Adequate food and water are the main risks to human survival in a world of collapsing ecosystems. It’s a known fact that excessive global heat causes multiple levels of damage to crops. Regrettably, with the world already at 1.3°C above pre-industrial, another 0.2°C pushes some crop growing regions into flashing red zones.

“We’ll lose food production at 1.5°C.” (Carter)


38
Voxmundi, I do the shopping and today the toilet paper and paper towel shelves were mostly empty. The other thing that is unobtainium are quart canning jars.  I mean none , anywhere. Lids are hard to find also. I wonder whether the garden seed companies will keep up next spring? Hint hint I think getting next years gardens seeds better get done soon.
 Food preservation is pretty basic stuff, how well are people prepared ?

https://www.post-gazette.com/life/dining/2020/10/15/shortage-Mason-canning-jars-Pittsburgh-COVID-19-Pasqualinos-Bridge-City-Brinery/stories/202010150014

39
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: November 17, 2020, 05:56:28 AM »
Been running  5 day averages for two counties in Iowa (I walk to work and cross into the second) 20.000 population.   So basically add up five days of each, divide by 5 days and multiply by 5 to get to 100K.   Getting between 190 to 210 new cases each day per 100,000.  Winnebago and Hancock.  We are where the worst bin stretchs from NoDak, SoDak western Minnesota and then NW Iowa to the middle of the state in the John's Hopkins County Map.   Still can not believe how many do not mask.   

 Presently I am one removed from a positive (person I care for, work with or are exposed to someone positive) 5 different ways.  I did get a PCR done 5 days after the most possible problematic one.   Knock on wood.

Back in 200-2004 I used to remark in restaurants in Canada and USA, "That is kind of like asking if I want to swim in the pissing or non-pissing section of the swimming pool (smoking vs. non smoking).   Shit, there are churches that have masks on one side and no masks on the other, but then are intermingled for coffee.   At least 95 y.o. dad did not go last week.  Losing ability to remember all of address or phone #. but still more compis mentis than  Missouri Synod Lutheran pastors.     

peace out, off to work

40
The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: November 14, 2020, 07:49:49 PM »
Gandul - feel free to call me silly names as long as you don't disrupt the forum I am tasked with moderating (the Cryosphere section).

I would beg you to be less stoic, Oren.  Permitting gross incivility to remain anywhere on the site presents an example to some of what will be considered acceptable.  And a needless warning to others about what they may be subjected to.

It's a bit like magnanimously allowing weeds free reign over a square foot of your garden.  Or tolerating just one crack house on your block to flourish.

Human communities are fragile things.  Like a garden, they must be tended to thoughtfully, or they will perish.

41
The politics / Re: Poll: Spread between Trump and Biden (popular vote)
« on: November 12, 2020, 02:46:18 PM »
I noticed four of us voted 12-16%.
Sorry for you...

For me?   No, I'm not the one you should feel sorry for.  After all, I don't live in the USA.   I voted high because I had hope for the USA.  That hope is dead, sorry.   If 'we' should feel sorry for anyone it's the people who will have to live in the USA.   

42
The forum / Re: Forum Decorum
« on: November 07, 2020, 11:58:25 PM »
when is a troll not a troll ? When he trolls the ASIF ... b.c.

43
The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 06, 2020, 04:26:27 PM »
I'm delighted for my dear late Georgian friend , Shanti , who passed last year . It was trump winning wot killed her .. she was a big fan of Bernie and lost heart with the dumb bald rump taking the WH . Her spirit will enjoy the swing in Georgia as much as I do .
p.s. Happy birthday Shanti !  :)

44
The politics / Re: Elections 2020 USA
« on: November 06, 2020, 02:47:40 PM »

45
The rest / Re: What is your likeability?
« on: November 05, 2020, 06:49:42 AM »
worth  a reply i guess.
I have a high like ratio on this blog.
About .5
In the real world my views are  marginalized and I find it hard to relate to the "normal" person I encounter.
Because.
First and foremost I have what they call Asperger syndrome this simply means  I dont think like "normal" person. I/100 ...
2nd is IQ apparently mine is something like 2 sd to the right . another 1/100....
On this forum both of my differences are approaching normal hence what I have to say often resonates  with  the average person on here.
What does  my high like ratio mean to me ?
It makes me feel I am among my peers and a valued contributor with views worth considering rather than feeling alone in an incomprehensible uncomprehending world .

46
Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: October 30, 2020, 03:08:26 PM »
So far though, the reality is that there has been no significant increase in methane emissions over the Arctic (at least up to 2017), and nearly every major study that's looked at the topic in detail disagrees with the clathrate gun hypothesis too.
That's not to say I'd personally rule the hypothesis or the significance of the current field observations, but they definitely require some context.

I agree, and I doubt anything has changed much since 2017.  I periodically check surface-level maps of methane concentrations from Copernicus.  So far arctic ocean emissions seem to be dwarfed by arctic landmass emissions:

Methane at surface [ ppbv ] (provided by CAMS, the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service)
https://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/charts/cams/methane-forecasts?facets=undefined&time=2020102900,3,2020102903&projection=classical_arctic&layer_name=composition_ch4_surface

47
Antarctica / Re: Ice Apocalypse - MULTIPLE METERS SEA LEVEL RISE
« on: October 28, 2020, 02:17:14 AM »
The linked article presents new evidence that the increasing 'Atlantification' of the Arctic Ocean is beginning to release increasing quantities of methane from associated hydrates in the continental slope of the East Siberian coast.

Title: "'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find"

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/27/sleeping-giant-arctic-methane-deposits-starting-to-release-scientists-find

Extract: "Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.

High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change."

See also (& the associated image):

Website Title: "The ISSS-2020 Arctic Ocean Expedition"

https://www.aces.su.se/research/projects/the-isss-2020-arctic-ocean-expedition/

Extract: "The International Siberian Shelf Study (ISSS) Program is a Russian-Swedish led international collaboration that spans back about 15 years. The overarching aim of the ISSS Program is to investigate cryosphere-climate-carbon couplings on the extensive East Siberian Arctic Ocean Shelf.

The central focus of the ISSS-2020 expedition is one of the biggest open challenges in climate change science; understanding subsea and coastal permafrost thawing, hydrate collapse and the processes that result in releases of potent greenhouse gases such as methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide.

The expedition will run from 26 Sept – 4 Nov 2020 and will depart from and return to the White Sea port of Archangelsk, the cruise track stretching across the entire Arctic rim of the Eurasian margin."

48
Permafrost / Re: Permafrost general science thread
« on: October 27, 2020, 04:57:15 PM »
But we have to wait for a peer-reviewd paper next year to find out how whoops! it really is.

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2020/oct/27/sleeping-giant-arctic-methane-deposits-starting-to-release-scientists-find
'Sleeping giant' Arctic methane deposits starting to release, scientists find
Exclusive: expedition discovers new source of greenhouse gas off East Siberian coast has been triggered

Quote
Scientists have found evidence that frozen methane deposits in the Arctic Ocean – known as the “sleeping giants of the carbon cycle” – have started to be released over a large area of the continental slope off the East Siberian coast, the Guardian can reveal.

High levels of the potent greenhouse gas have been detected down to a depth of 350 metres in the Laptev Sea near Russia, prompting concern among researchers that a new climate feedback loop may have been triggered that could accelerate the pace of global heating.

The slope sediments in the Arctic contain a huge quantity of frozen methane and other gases – known as hydrates. Methane has a warming effect 80 times stronger than carbon dioxide over 20 years. The United States Geological Survey has previously listed Arctic hydrate destabilisation as one of four most serious scenarios for abrupt climate change.

The international team onboard the Russian research ship R/V Akademik Keldysh said most of the bubbles currently are dissolving in the water but methane levels at the surface are four to eight times what would normally be expected and this is venting into the atmosphere.

At this moment, there is unlikely to be any major impact on global warming, but the point is that this process has now been triggered. This East Siberian slope methane hydrate system has been perturbed and the process will be ongoing,” said the Swedish scientist Örjan Gustafsson of Stockholm University in a satellite call from the vessel.

The scientists – who are part of a multi-year International Shelf Study Expedition – stressed their findings are preliminary. The scale of methane releases will not be confirmed until they return, analyse the data and have their studies published in a peer-reviewed journal.

But the discovery of potentially destabilised slope frozen methane raises concerns that a new tipping point has been reached that could increase the speed of global heating. The Arctic is considered ground zero in the debate about the vulnerability of frozen methane deposits in the ocean. With the Arctic temperature now rising more than twice as fast as the global average, the question of when – or even whether – they will be released into the atmosphere has been a matter of considerable uncertainty in climate computer models.

The 60-member team on the Akademik Keldysh believe they are the first to observationally confirm the methane release is already under way across a wide area of the slope about 600km offshore.


The latest discovery potentially marks the third source of methane emissions from the region. Semiletov, who has been studying this area for two decades, has previously reported the gas is being released from the shelf of the Arctic – the biggest of any sea.

For the second year in a row, his team have found crater-like pockmarks in the shallower parts of the Laptev Sea and East Siberian Sea that are discharging bubble jets of methane, which is reaching the sea surface at levels tens to hundreds of times higher than normal. This is similar to the craters and sinkholes reported from inland Siberian tundra earlier this autumn.

49
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 26, 2020, 06:46:49 AM »
Melbourne Update
Zero cases today, less than 5 per day (seven day average) for a week, no deaths for a week.

And on Wednesday we are effectively open again with some basic rules like masks and the number of people in shops restrictions in retail shops etc.

We will be in what we are calling Covid Normal from now on.

110 days from 700 a day to zero and open again.

We will soon be able to fly to New Zealand, travel inter state, and soon some other Covid free countries that are "local".

50
Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: October 24, 2020, 03:19:21 PM »
^ ... and it's only October  ???

Why does the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) hate our president?

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