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The rest / Re: Archaeology/Paleontology news
« on: Today at 09:16:04 AM »
Thomas Becket: Alpine ice sheds light on medieval murder

Ancient air pollution, trapped in ice, reveals new details about life and death in 12th Century Britain.

In a study, scientists have found traces of lead, transported on the winds from British mines that operated in the late 1100s.

Air pollution from lead in this time period was as bad as during the industrial revolution centuries later.

The pollution also sheds light on a notorious murder of the medieval era; the killing of Thomas Becket.


Becket was beheaded in a brutal attack at Canterbury cathedral on 29 December 1170.

Now scientists have found physical evidence of the impact of the dispute between Henry and Becket in a 72-metre-long ice core, retrieved from the Colle Gnifetti glacier in the Swiss-Italian Alps.

In the same way that trees detail their growth in annual rings, so glaciers compact a record of the chemical composition of the air, trapped in bubbles in the yearly build-up of ice.

Analysing the 800 year-old ice using a highly sensitive laser, the scientists were able to see a huge surge in lead in the air and dust captured in the 12th century.

Atmospheric modelling showed that the element was carried by winds from the north west, across the UK, where lead mining and smelting was booming in the late 1100s.

Lead and silver are often mined together and in this period, mines in the Peak District and in Cumbria were among the most productive in Europe.

The researchers were able to match the physical records from the ice with the written tax records of lead and silver production in England.

Lead had many uses in this time, from water pipes to church roofs to stained glass windows.

But production of the metal was clearly linked to political events according to the authors of this latest research.

"In the 1169-70 period, there was a major disagreement between Henry II and Thomas Beckett and that clash manifested itself by the church refusing to work with Henry - and you actually see a fall in that production that year," said Prof Christopher Loveluck, from Nottingham University.

Excommunicated by the Pope in the wake of the murder, Henry's attempt at reconciliation is detailed in the ice core.

"To get himself out of jail with the Pope, Henry promised to endow and build a lot of major monastic institutions very, very quickly," said Prof Loveluck.

"And of course, massive amounts of lead were used for roofing of these major monastic complexes.

"Lead production rapidly expanded as Henry tried to atone for his misdemeanours against the Church."

The researchers say their data is also clear enough to show the clear connections between lead production rising and falling during times of war and between the reigns of different kings in this period between 1170 and 1220.

"The ice core shows precisely when one king died and lead production fell and then rose again with the next monarch," said Prof Loveluck.

"We can see the deaths of King Henry II, Richard the Lionheart and King John there in the ancient ice."

Permafrost / Re: Arctic Methane Release
« on: Today at 09:12:39 AM »
Intensity of past methane release measured with new, groundbreaking methods

A novel approach to geochemical measurements helps scientists reconstruct the past intensity of the methane seeps in the Arctic Ocean. Recent studies show that methane emissions fluctuated, strongly, in response to known periods of abrupt climate change at the end of the last glacial cycle.

"Previously, when dating the natural release of methane, we used to measure mostly carbon isotopes. But now we know that carbon isotopes alone can't tell us the full story of past emissions of this greenhouse gas." says professor Giuliana Panieri, from CAGE Centre for Arctic Gas Hydrate, Environment and Climate at UiT The Arctic University of Norway.


The study in Scientific Reports highlights the potential of sulfur isotopic signature (δ34S) in foraminifera, as a novel tool for reconstructing the intensity of CH4 emissions in geological records. This can also, indirectly, help date the release.

"This is the first time that sulfur isotopes are measured in foraminiferal shells from methane seeps. The samples were collected from a well-known site of present-day methane release, Vestnesa Ridge. Here, gas has been seeping into the ocean at least from the Last Glacial Maximum: some 20,000 to 5,000 years ago." says Panieri.

"How did methane in the sub-seabed respond to previous global warmings? Was it merely bubbling up, or was it released in a constant and abrupt jet, strongly emitted into the water column?"

These questions are important in the provinces of large gas hydrate accumulations, such as Vestnesa Ridge.


"The combination of carbon, oxygen, and sulfur isotopes found in foraminifera allows us to reconstruct the flux of methane released in the geological past. This represents a fundamental advancement in studies of past climate. It offers the opportunity to study the connection between methane seepage, climate, and underlying tectonic processes with a new degree of confidence." Says Chiara Borrelli, first author of the study and researcher at Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Rochester, USA.

"Our study shows that there was a strong methane fluctuation at the sampling site, responding to known periods of abrupt cooling and warming, at the end of the last glacial cycle."


 However, the traces of oxygen isotopic signature δ18O in benthic foraminifera can, as shown in a newly published study by Dessandier et al. in Geo-Marine letters.

"If we have a large amount of δ18O in the foraminiferal shells, we can say that the source of methane is the gas hydrate dissociation," says Panieri, who also co-authored this paper.

"We found a significant enrichment of δ18Oin all foraminifera samples characterized by depleted δ13C. These results mainly come from the precipitation of authigenic carbonates around the foraminiferal shells, so-called secondary overgrowth. These methane-derived carbonates are characterized by a heavy oxygen isotopic signature. This signature can only be explained by dissociation of gas hydrates because gas hydrates are naturally enriched in 18O due to their ice-like physical properties." according to Pierre-Antoine Dessandier, a postdoc at CAGE and first author of the study.


"Consider secondary overgrowth on foraminiferal shells: It is a minuscule carbonate deposit. Before CAGE it was considered to be a contaminant in the samples. But new technology opens new doors. We have discovered that the presence of the secondary overgrowth in itself is an indicator of methane release. Something that previously was considered an interference, and caused samples to be thrown out with the thrash, is, in reality, an unknown book, containing enormous amounts of information in itself." says Panieri.

The benthic foraminiferal δ34S records flux and timing of paleo methane emissions (OA)

New 3D View of Methane Tracks Sources and Movement around the Globe

NASA’s new 3-dimensional portrait of methane concentrations shows the world’s second largest contributor to greenhouse warming, the diversity of sources on the ground, and the behavior of the gas as it moves through the atmosphere. Combining multiple data sets from emissions inventories, including fossil fuel, agricultural, biomass burning and biofuels, and simulations of wetland sources into a high-resolution computer model, researchers now have an additional tool for understanding this complex gas and its role in Earth’s carbon cycle, atmospheric composition, and climate system.

Since the Industrial Revolution, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled. After carbon dioxide, methane is the second most influential greenhouse gas, responsible for 20 to 30% of Earth’s rising temperatures to date.

“There’s an urgency in understanding where the sources are coming from so that we can be better prepared to mitigate methane emissions where there are opportunities to do so,” said research scientist Ben Poulter at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 08:35:32 AM »
El Cid, Indeed an interesting situation in Iceland. I think first and foremost it proves that there aren't loads and loads of asymptomatic mild cases. In your estimate it's up to 3 times the confirmed cases, though I also suspect that many of those who tested voluntarily felt something that triggered them to do so.

As to the fatality rate, I think you are optimistic. It takes 2-3 weeks to die, not 1, according to the statistics I have seen on this forum. That new Orleans ER doctor wrote 5 days to symptom onset, and then 10 days til ARDS, which is not yet death. Elsewhere I recall 17 days til death. So the Iceland story is not over yet, but it certainly deserves to be followed closely.

Sigma_squared, thank you for these detailed studies and presentations.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 07:23:19 AM »
Maybe this belongs in the "stupid questions" thread, but how do you look at the data to estimate the asymptomatic cases?

As others have said, I don't think there's any way to estimate the asymptomatic cases from the high level data.

Here are some more slides and commentary from the Harvard presentation. In each slide, 'asymptomatic' seems to have a slightly different meaning, based on the evidence for it and the conditions of the study. Each case seems quite specific and idiosyncratic, so even generalizing greatly from these documented situations seems difficult.

Meyerowitz and Richterman



[13:28] Slide 15

So a preprint posted earlier this week describes the early epidemic in Italy, during which they screened asymptomatic contacts of known COVID-19 patients. They found that viral loads from these asymptomatic individuals were similar to those from symptomatic patients, although the caveat is that we don't know whether these individuals were asymptomatic or presymptomatic, as we've seen in a number of other studies that presymptomatic people can have high viral loads, particularly in the couple days preceding symptom onset.

[13:59] Slide 16

With that in mind, this is a somewhat provocative study that looked at just over a thousand patients in China with suspected COVID-19, who had both a PCR and CT chest performed. A small subest of these patients, 15 people, noted again by these horizontal lines, had a negative PCR followed by a positive one, with an average of five days between the tests. 93% of these patients had abnormalities on chest CT at the earlier time point, suggesting the possibility that in suspected cases who are PCR negative, CT findings may be helpful in further stratifying clinical suspicion.

[14:35] Slide 17

And while identification of viral RNA is variable, as I described, there's relatively little information to date about how well this correlates with shedding of actual viable and hence infectious virus. This is again a preprint, posted of 9 mild cases in Germany. In these mild cases, they found live virus in the sputum only up to day 8, and while isolation of live virus correlates with PCR positivity, as seen in the right, PCR remained postitive at times for weeks longer. Live virus shedding in severe cases has not yet been described.

[15:10] Slide 18

This study published last week in Emerging Infectious Diseases evaluated 468 confirmed transmission events of SARS-CoV-2 in mainland China to estimate the serial interval, which is the time between symptom onset in the transmitter and symptom onset in the transmitee. They found a mean serial interval of about 4 days, and importantly, their analysis estimates that 12.6% of transmissions are presymptomatic, an important finding when it comes to infection control in the population level within our healthcare facilities.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: Today at 05:49:03 AM »
[ADS NIPR VISHOP (JAXA)] Arctic Sea Ice Extent.

March 30th, 2020:
     13,621,422 km2, a small drop of -6,604 km2.
     2020 is now 5th lowest on record.
     In the graph are the today's 20 lowest years.
     Highlighted the 4 years with September lowest min (2012, 2019, 2016, 2007) & 2020.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 04:07:58 AM »
“Logarithm graphs coming soon”
Graph below.

Cartoon below.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 02:53:03 AM »
El Cid is an perennial optimist on almost all questions.

Your bounds from Iceland are very similar to what I found for Korea.

Many are pinning their hopes on the significant  hidden cases hypothesis that we have very limited evidence for. Perhaps when a reliable antibody test is widely instituted we will know
Until then it is not a good idea to base responses with the potential for  the deaths of millions on such a baseless hypothesis.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 01:24:47 AM »
^ France will start including C19 deaths in nursing homes later this weeks. They are bracing the people for a huge jump.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 01:21:36 AM »
   ^^ .. and not a bomb dropped .

I bet the choir weren't wearing face masks .

Somewhere in the world of 'twits' I saw the national logarithmic graph highlighted ' not mask wearers ' and 'mask wearers' .. simple .
Especially important for all medical  and care sector staff from before 'D' day .

UK .. numbers of deaths outside hospital to be added to total .. so far only deaths in hospital have been reported . This may well be true in Spain too .. b.c.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 12:44:33 AM »
It seems to me that people using shared corridors and lifts, and pushing at internal doorways would find it much harder to avoid exposure to other people's bugs. I doubt anybody has the statistics, but it could well be that apartments, halls of residence, nursing homes have a higher rate of infection.

Could effective quarantining come down to whether you have your own door to the outside?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: Today at 12:35:11 AM »
^ It's not always provided.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 11:05:46 PM »
Model Cited by White House Says 82,000 People Could Die From Coronavirus by August, Even With Social Distancing

President Donald Trump's decision to extend social distancing guidelines until April 30 came after officials reviewed 12 different statistical models, said Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, during a Sunday press briefing.

But standing in the Rose Garden, Birx also mentioned another model, created independently, that "ended up at the same numbers." That analysis, which is publicly available, paints a grim picture of what's to come in the US, even with social distancing in place.

As of Monday morning, it estimates that more than 2,000 people could die each day in the United States in mid-April, when the virus is predicted to hit the country hardest. The model, which is updated regularly, predicts that 224,000 hospital beds -- 61,000 more than we'll have -- will be needed on April 15, when the US is estimated to reach "peak resource use."

And assuming social distancing will continue through May, it finds that, by August, around 82,000 people in the US could die from Covid-19.

Birx, pointing to the model on Sunday, said "you can see the concern that we had with the growing number of potential fatalities."

... "Even with social distancing measures enacted and sustained, the peak demand for hospital services due to the COVID-19 pandemic is likely going to exceed capacity substantially."

No state, no metro area will be spared," ... Deaths could be higher if states don't enact social distancing measures -- or if people don't follow them.

... "Our estimate of 81 thousand deaths in the US over the next 4 months is an alarming number," the researchers wrote, "but this number could be substantially higher if excess demand for health system resources is not addressed and if social distancing policies are not vigorously implemented and enforced across all states."


FEMA Sends Refrigerator Trucks to NYC to Serve as Temporary Mortuaries for Coronavirus Victims

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending refrigerator trucks to New York City to serve as temporary mortuaries for deceased coronavirus patients, Thomas Von Essen, the agency’s regional administrator, said.

“We are sending refrigeration trucks to New York to help with some of the problem on a temporary basis,” ... Von Essen said the military has provided 42 people to the Manhattan Medical Examiner’s Office where there is a “desperate need” for help in Queens.

When asked whether Madison Square Garden would be converted into a temporary mortuary, Van Essen ruled out that idea.

De Blasio said the city is preparing for a “horrible increase in the number of deaths.”

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 11:05:00 PM »
Yes, the testing in Iceland is impressive.

I haven't read about it in depth, but I'm imagining that all that testing meant that they were also tracking cases, isolating contacts early, getting people who needed it medical attention early...

All those would lower the numbers.

There is not absolute CFR for this or any other condition. It always depends on how well the systems to control spread (especially, in the early stages at least, through testing, tracing contacts, and isolating those contacts) and to quickly hospitalize people who are infected are working.

Iceland may show (so far) best practices, and the results those practices can get. Unfortunately, it is far to late for most other places in the industrialized world to imitate those practices. And most of the developing world will not be able to do anything like what they did in Iceland.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:53:02 PM »
Probably the most accurate representation of infection to test ratios  and death rates to resolved cases is the numbers from Korea ...

No. Iceland is where you go for data. They already tested more than 3% of the total population, far more than anywhere else.
Data here:

1086 cases
30 hospitalized (ie. 3% hospitalization ratio!)
10 intensive care (= 1% needing intensive care!)
2 dead ( = 0,2%)

This tells you that there are many more mild and asymptomatic cases than previously believed and both mortality and hopsitalization ratio is much lower than envisioned by most people...

Policy and solutions / Re: If not Capitalism... then What? And, How?
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:49:38 PM »
Vrettos interviews Hudson:

"Marx was the last great classical economist."

"today, the role of the landlords played in the 19th century of stifling industrial capitalism is being played by the banks and the rest of the financial sector. Right now the collectors of land rent, which was the main focus of the labor theory of value to isolate what was unnecessary, is being paid to the banks as mortgage interest."

"This industrial capitalist economy is wrapped in a financial sector composed of debt and property claims. These are external to the economy. They slow it and ultimately cause a crash."

"the word “gospel” was the “good news.” That good news was that there was going to be a debt cancellation. "

" the Ten Commandments were very largely about debt; that “one shall not covet the neighbor’s wife,” that means you don’t make a loan to the guy so he has to pledge his wife as a debt slave "

" “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s name in vain” meant that a creditor couldn’t swear that so-and-so owes you money if he didn’t. All of this had to do with fact that the great destabilizing factor in society in the first millennium BC was debt beyond the ability to be paid, leading to bondage of the debtor, and ultimately forfeiture of land to wealthy creditors eager to grab it and do as Isaiah accused, join plot to plot and house to house until there were no more people left in the land."

"What early modern scholars could not believe, until our Harvard group began to compile the economic history of antiquity, that canceling such debts actually was what maintained stability. "

" Jesus went back to the temple in his hometown to give a sermon, and unrolled the scroll of Isaiah to readd the passage about the Year of the Lord – meaning the Jubilee Year – and said, that he had come to proclaim this year ... a lot of families got very angry and chased Jesus out of town. They didn’t like his message. The Pharisees in particular got upset, and complained to the Roman that Jesus wanted to be King. Well, the reason they said was that they knew that Rome hated kingship. Roman tradition as written by Livy and by Dionysius and Halicarnassus described Servius as cancelling the debts, and most other kings of trying to keep the oligarchy in its place. Rome grew by making itself a haven for immigrants, whom they attracted precisely by keeping the oligarchy in its place."

" the oligarchs took over and throughout the rest of Roman history down to the empire, the great fear was that somebody would do what the kings did: cancel the debts and redistribute the land to the poor. Julius Caesar was killed for “seeking kingship,” meaning that the Senate worried that he was going to cancel the debts after decades of civil warfare over this issue and the assassination of Catiline and other advocates of debt cancellation."

"what made the West “Western” was that it was the first society not to cancel the debts. It was to prevent this that oligarchies opposed a central authority. "

" if you want to conquer a town, the way to take it over is to promise to cancel the debts. The population will come over to your side. And conversely, he said, if you’re defending a town, cancel the debts and they’ll support you against the attacker. So that was one of the reasons that debts tended to be canceled by one group or another ... Here you have the imposition of a military force – really NATO – to enforce debt collection, not only from individuals but on debt entire countries. The job of the World Bank and IMF is to impose such heavy debt service on countries, and indeed to impose it in dollars, that countries have to earn these dollars to pay their debts. They can’t simply print the money to pay these debts like America can do. They have to obtain dollars by steadily lowering the price of their labor. "

"The World Bank is effectively part of the Defense Department. Their heads are usually former Secretaries of Defense, from John J McCloy, the first president, to McNamara and subsequent heads. What the United States discovered is that you don’t need to go to war to control other countries. If you can have them accept the assumption that all debts should be paid, they will voluntarily submit to austerity, which is class warfare against their own labor force."

"you can’t have a pro-financial free market – free of government regulation and its own public infrastructure and credit system – unless you’re prepared to assassinate everyone who wants a strong government. When they went to Chile and supported Pinochet, U.S. officials provided a list of who had to be killed – land reformers, labor leaders, socialists, and especially economics professors. They closed down every Economics Department in the country, except for the one at Catholic University, the right wing economics department teaching Chicago School neoliberalism. So, you have to be totalitarian in order to impose a free market pro-financial style – which, under today’s circumstances, means pro-US."

"You have the history of Western civilization now being taught almost everywhere as if what created civilization was the rule of contracts, not canceling the debts. So, you’ve created an inside-out view of history. "

"That’s what most U.S. arms are for: not really to use. You’re never again going to get Americans to be drafted and go into the army to actually, use them. These arms are not for fighting; they’re for making profits ...You don’t actually use the arms. You just pay to produce them and throw them away. It’s like what Keynes talked about, building pyramids in order to create domestic purchasing power ... Countries that don’t have Pentagon capitalism, like Russia or China, are able to produce weaponry that outshines America. Even broke Iran, can make missiles that apparently get right through the U.S. defenses in Syria and Iraq "

"Krugman serves in effect as a bank lobbyist – not only here, but in Iceland and other countries. To me, the current economic squeeze is that Obama didn’t let the banks collapse ...He kept their bad, outrageously priced loans on the books and evicted 10 million families. He called them “the mob with pitchforks,” and Hillary called them “deplorables.” That shows you where the Democratic Party is at, and why it was so easy for Donald Trump to make a left wing  run around the Democratic Party. That is how right wing Obama was. His legacy was Donald Trump  "

"The reason he’s [Krugman's] so well-popularized by the pro-financial class is precisely because he doesn’t understand money. "

"There was no question who the “lesser evil” was. It was Donald Trump."

"The good thing about writing down the debts is that you wipe out the savings on the other side of the balance sheet. Some 90 percent of the debts in America are owed to the wealthiest 10 Percent. So the problem is not only the debt; it’s all these savings of the One Percent! The world is awash in their wealth. If you don’t wipe out their financial claims – which are the basis of their wealth – they’re going to take you over and become the new financial Lords, just like the feudal landlords. The banks are the equivalent of the Norman invasion. and the conquering landlords that reduce the economy to a peonage!"

"So America, which people used to think was the most progressive capitalist country, suddenly becoming the most neo-feudal economy."

"today’s religion has become a handmaiden of wealth and privilege, and of “personal responsibility” to make people pay for education, health care, access to housing and other basic things that should be a public right."

"Today they’ve separated religion, as if only spiritual and has nothing to do with the economic organization of society. Religion used to be all about the economic organization of society. So, you’ve had a decontextualization of religion, taking away from analyzing society to justify the status quo by teaching that if things are the way they are, it’s because God wants it this way. That’s saying that God wants the wealthy and privileged to exploit you"

" it’s clear that the Democratic Party will be torn apart, and this means the end of it if he’s [Sanders'] not the nominee."

A good analysis of the 2008 crash by Bezemer[2009]:

Hudsons version of the road to serfdom from 2006 telling of doom to come:


The rest / Re: Good music
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:37:03 PM »
Yeah they were lovely with all the projections and crescendo´s.

Pandemic metal part 3. Oldie but goodie.
Queensryche - Spreading the disease

Religion and sex are powerplays
Manipulate the people for the money they pay
Selling skin, selling God
The numbers look the same on their credit cards
Politicians say no to drugs
While we can pay for wars in South America (Old song  ::) )
Fighting fire with empty words
While the banks get fat
And the poor stay poor
And the rich get rich
And the cops get paid
To look away
As the one percent rules America

Spreading the disease
Everybody needs
But no one wants to see
The way society
Keeps spreading the disease

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:23:38 PM »
ty uniquorn,

your movie may be the best i have even seen on asif
i'm alarmed even more than i was.
great work, i have low bandwidth but i think it would be a travesty for you to remove it. it is the highlight of the whole i'm going to watch it again...and again...
i wish i could post it in every forum i could find, even FB :)


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:23:08 PM »
Is it too early to call daily peak globally (at least for this season)? I think so. There has to be at least a couple more days of a downward trend. But at least after weeks of fear, quarantines and horrible news, we are starting to see some good news, or more like a light at the end of the tunnel.

Not even close.


Consequences / Re: Global recession
« on: March 30, 2020, 10:08:53 PM »
Coronavirus US Job Losses Could Total 47 Million, Unemployment Rate May Hit 32%, Fed Estimates

Millions of Americans already have lost their jobs due to the coronavirus crisis and the worst of the damage is yet to come, according to a Federal Reserve estimate.

Economists at the Fed’s St. Louis district project total employment reductions of 47 million, which would translate to a 32.1% unemployment rate, according to a recent analysis of how bad things could get.

The projections are even worse than St. Louis Fed President James Bullard’s much-publicized estimate of 30%. They reflect the high nature of at-risk jobs that ultimately could be lost to a government-induced economic freeze aimed at halting the coronavirus spread.

“These are very large numbers by historical standards, but this is a rather unique shock that is unlike any other experienced by the U.S. economy in the last 100 years,” St. Louis Fed economist Miquel Faria-e-Castro wrote in a research paper posted last week.


Macy’s will start furloughing most employees this week as it copes with significant sales losses

Macy’s said the majority of its 130,000 employees will be furloughed beginning this week as it copes with significant sales losses during the coronavirus pandemic.


Amid outbreak 49% of companies considering layoffs, more than one-third freezing new hires

Nearly 50% of companies say they are at least somewhat likely to conduct layoffs over the next three months due to coronavirus COVID-19, while more than one-third of firms (37%) say they have already instituted a hiring freeze.

That’s from an online survey of more than 250 companies, varying in size and sector, conducted from March 20–26 by Challenger, Gray & Christmas, the oldest outplacement firm in the U.S., which works with companies on transitions services for employees. At that time the survey launched, coronavirus cases had just passed 18,000 in the U.S.

Forty-nine percent of companies told Challenger, Gray & Christmas they are very or somewhat likely to conduct layoffs in the next three months, while 11% reported they have conducted permanent layoffs; another 7% have conducted temporary layoffs.


Alcohol shouldn't be a problem. We make a lot of plum and fig wine but only one gallon of grape. Though it will be weaker if the sugar runs out. Anything that's undrinkable gets turned into eau de vie. If that's undrinkable it makes a good handwash. No shortage of vinegar either, some if it cider.
We'll go with chestnuts rather than acorns.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 09:15:20 PM »
The Desire for Information: Blissful Ignorance or Painful Truth?

Recent work has found that people at times prefer less information, even when this means they might not be able to make fully informed decisions. However, little is known about the prevalence of such avoidance. Who are the people who choose blissful ignorance over facing reality?

Are some people generally averse to learning information that could be painful, or do most people have some areas of their lives in which they would like to face the truth and others in which they would rather remain uninformed? To address questions such as these, and measure individual preferences for obtaining or avoiding information, researchers crafted 11 scenarios involving three domains—personal health, finances and other people's perceptions of oneself—in which there was information that could help the respondent to make better decisions but might be painful to learn. For each scenario, over 2,000 respondents indicated whether they would want to receive information or to remain ignorant.

The study showed that the desire to avoid information is widespread, and that most people had at least some domains, be it their health, finances or perception by others, in which they preferred to remain uninformed. The study also showed that the desire for information was consistent over time; those who expressed a preference for avoiding information at one point in time expressed similar preferences when asked again weeks later.

Furthermore, how people responded to the hypothetical scenarios predicted real consequential decisions they were presented with to receive or avoid obtaining information.

Although information may feel painful in the moment, such knowledge often leads to better decisions in the future. The researchers found that people who are more impatient are also more likely to avoid learning information, preferring to avoid the prospect of immediate pain rather than make better long-term decisions. Information is also uncertain in that it can be either good news or bad news, and survey respondents who were more willing to take risks with monetary stakes were also more likely to want to learn information, risking bad news for the possibility of good news.

The study, "Measuring Information Preferences" is published in the journal Management Science.

Science / Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: March 30, 2020, 09:03:57 PM »
Thank you wolfpack for this posting and the impressive graph.
I wonder why just the first three months of a year are so horribly noisy. Was it like that already years/decades ago?

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 08:56:49 PM »
Is there a way to see how many people are tested in Italy and New York ?

In the last few days, New York state has been testing about 15,000 people per day and Italy about 30,000 people per day.  Daily numbers here:  (tamponi = swab tests)

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 30, 2020, 07:39:58 PM »
NSIDC Total Area as at 29 March 2020 (5 day trailing average) 12,579,677 km2

Sea ice area loss almost stalled
Total Area         
 12,579,677    km2      
-308,174    km2   <   2010's average.
 133,875    km2   >   2019
-601,134    km2   <   2000's average.
 Total Change    -3    k   loss
 Peripheral Seas    -4    k   loss
 Central Seas___     1    k   gain
 Other Seas____     1    k   gain
 Peripheral Seas          
 Bering _______     1    k   gain
 Baffin  Bay____    -1    k   loss
 Greenland____     2    k   gain
 Barents ______    -5    k   loss
CAB Seas         
Beaufort_____    3    k   gain
CAA_________    1    k   gain
East Siberian__    2    k   gain
Central Arctic_   -2    k   loss
Kara_________   -3    k   loss
Laptev_______    0    k   gain
Chukchi______   -1    k   loss
Other Seas         
Okhotsk______    6    k   gain
St Lawrence___   -4    k   loss
Hudson Bay___   -1    k   loss
Sea ice area loss on this day 3 k, 2 k more than the 2010's average loss of 1 k.

- 2020 Area  less than the 2010's average by 308 k.
- 2020 Area  MORE than 2019 by 134 k
- 2020 Area is less than the 2000's average by 601 k
- 2020 area 4th lowest in the satellite record.
ps: Missing updates of NH daily extent

Missing for the third day.
Sent e-mail yesterday to NSIDC also mentioning that all else seems to be updated OK.
NSIDC have sent an answer
Thank you for contacting the NSIDC and for letting us know about this issue. We are currently looking into it to try and resolve it.

The linked reference (& associated article) indicate that recent studies of glacial earthquakes associated with Thwaites Glacier Calving events can help to improve projections of future ice mass loss from this key glacier:

J. Paul Winberry et al. (15 January 2020), "Glacial Earthquakes and Precursory Seismicity Associated With Thwaites Glacier Calving", Geophysical Research Letters,

We observe two (~MS 3) long‐period (10–30 s) seismic events that originate from the terminus of Thwaites Glacier, Antarctica. Serendipitous acquisition of satellite images confirm that the seismic events were glacial earthquakes generated during the capsizing of icebergs. The glacial earthquakes were preceded by 6 days of discrete high‐frequency seismic events that can be observed at distances exceeding 250 km. The high‐frequency seismicity displays an increasing rate of occurrence, culminating in several hours of sustained tremor coeval with the long‐period events. A series of satellite images collected during this precursory time period show that the high‐frequency events and tremor are the result of accelerating growth of ancillary fractures prior to the culminating calving event. This study indicates that seismic data have the potential to elucidate the processes by which Thwaites Glacier discharges into the ocean, thus improving our ability to constrain future sea level rise.

Plain Language Summary
Thwaites Glacier is one of the largest sources of Antarctic ice mass loss; however, the physics of the processes that control its discharge into the ocean remains incomplete. The long‐term stability of glaciers, such as Thwaites, that discharge directly into the ocean is linked to the rate of calving, the process of iceberg production. Spaceborne observations are crucial to understanding the calving processes; however, the typical repeat time of a satellite imagery is much longer than the typical duration of a calving event (minutes to hours). Increasingly, the seismic signals generated during calving are being used to complement other observations. For larger calving events, seismic energy can be recorded by remote seismic observation (hundreds to thousands of kilometers away from a glacier). While these glacier earthquakes are now regularly used to study calving in Greenland, only a limited number of glacial earthquakes have been observed in Antarctica. We show that Thwaites Glacier has now begun generating glacial earthquakes similar to those observed in Greenland. Additionally, we show that enhanced rates of fracturing can be seismically observed before the event. Our observations open a new avenue for understanding the behavior of Antarctica's leading source of mass loss.

See also:

Title: "Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica is Now Causing Earthquakes"

Extract: "Combing through seismograph readings collected in West Antarctica during a large calving event at Thwaites on February 8th 2014, a team of researchers found evidence of two low frequency earthquakes, each about 10-30 seconds long. Their hunch—that the quakes came from the calving—was confirmed when they matched the seismograph readings with satellite images taken on the same day.

They also discovered high frequency blips of seismic activity that chirped on and off in the week preceding the event. Glaciologist and lead author of the study, Paul Winberry, explained to GlacierHub that in these short bursts they were actually “hearing all these little cracks start to propagate.” It was the sound of countless cracks forming and popping apart, heralding the large break about to come.

Thwaites is the only known glacier in Antarctica to exhibit seismic behavior, whereas glaciers in Greenland have been recorded causing earthquakes for some time. This difference can be explained by the fact that the majority of Greenland’s icebergs capsize when they break off into the water. The result is a more boisterous form of calving that produces detectable earthquakes. Why Greenland’s icebergs capsize and Antarctica’s do not has to do with the physical makeup of each landmass’s ice sheets and where they start to float on the water."

The linked Nature article discusses an ozone hole that has currently formed over the Arctic, and that this hole is worse than what happened in 1997 and 2011.  While a temporary Arctic ozone hole would not likely have a meaningful impact on climate change; nevertheless, it is discomforting that this event is worse than all previous events, and that if it is prolonged, or if future such events happen more frequently, this might have an impact on Arctic wind patterns; which might then have an impact of Arctic sea ice flow patterns.

Title: "Rare ozone hole opens over Arctic — and it’s big"

Extract: "Cold temperatures and a strong polar vortex allowed chemicals to gnaw away at the protective ozone layer in the north.

A vast ozone hole — likely the biggest on record in the north — has opened in the skies above the Arctic. It rivals the better-known Antarctic ozone hole that forms in the southern hemisphere each year.

Record-low ozone levels currently stretch across much of the central Arctic, covering an area about three times the size of Greenland (see ‘Arctic opening’). The hole doesn’t threaten people’s health, and will probably break apart in the coming weeks. But it is an extraordinary atmospheric phenomenon that will go down in the record books.

The Arctic experienced ozone depletion in 1997 and in 2011, but this year’s loss looks on track to surpass those. “We have at least as much loss as in 2011, and there are some indications that it might be more than 2011,” says Gloria Manney, an atmospheric scientist at NorthWest Research Associates in Socorro, New Mexico. She works with a NASA satellite instrument that measures chlorine in the atmosphere, and says there is still quite a bit of chlorine available to deplete ozone in the coming days."

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 06:30:49 PM »

A planeload of desperately needed medical supplies arrived from China to New York on Sunday, “the first in a series of flights over the next 30 days organized by the White House to help fight the coronavirus, (... and dig them out of a hole to save tRump's ass)” Reuters reported.

Let’s hope that equipment works, unlike this stuff from China sent to Turkey, Spain and the Czech Republic — who collectively had to throw out thousands of tests sent by China because they don’t work. Oh, and the Netherlands also announced late last week nearly half of its Chinese masks (600,000 of 1.3 million acquired) are actually defective.

Meanwhile, the federal government is beginning to release gear from “a beleaguered national stockpile.” As of Saturday, the Washington Post reported, Massachusetts had received 17% of its requested equipment; Maine, about 5%; and Colorado, enough “for one day.” Florida, whose governor enjoys a good relationship with President Trump, has received a whopping 200%, with more on the way. (... maybe the others didn't kiss his ring)


President Trump said today on Fox when asked about Chinese misinformation about coronavirus,

“They do it and We do it… Every country does that.”


BTW, you are being tracked: ... “Government officials across the U.S. are using location data from millions of cellphones in a bid to better understand the movements of Americans during the coronavirus pandemic and how they may be affecting the spread of the disease.”

While currently 'Big Oil' is not leading the charge into renewable energy; however, their eventual adoption of more renewable energy would speed the transition to more sustainable power infrastructure.  Thus, 'Big Oil's currently wavering investments into sustainable energy is not good news.

Title: "Big Oil's interest in renewable energy investments expected to waver: report"

Extract: "Budget cutting in response to the twin challenges of COVID-19 demand destruction and low oil prices mean the world's oil and gas industry will likely spend less on renewable energy going forward.

"In a US$60 per barrel oil price environment, most companies were generating strong cash flow and could afford to think about carbon mitigation strategies," said Valentina Kretzschmar, vice-president, corporate analysis, at Wood Mackenzie.

"But now ... all discretionary spend will be under review — that includes additional budget allocated for carbon mitigation. And companies that haven't yet engaged in carbon reduction strategies are likely to put the issue on the back burner.""

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 05:00:42 PM »
Crew from Two Russian Submarines Quarantined

The crew from two Russian submarines have been placed in quarantine after a visitor to one of the vessels was found to have met with someone that tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).

The nuclear-powered Orel has a crew of around 110 sailors and sails as part of Russia's Northern Fleet. She was based on the Kola peninsula in Russia's northwest at the time of the contact, and the crew of a nearby submarine and the personnel on a floating workshop have also been quarantined, according to The Barents Observer.

Russia is currently building 16 medical centers, with a total capacity of 1,600 beds, with construction workers deployed around the clock in three shifts. The first medical center, in Nizhny Novgorod, will be commissioned by April 20 this year, and eight of the centers will also have medical equipment. All are expected to be operational by mid-May. Each facility will be from 5,000 to 12,000 square meters, and construction will be completed within 40 to 56 days. The staff for the centers are currently undergoing special training at the Military Medical Academy.


Now Both Aircraft Carriers In The Western Pacific Have COVID-19 Cases, Raising Readiness Concerns

Two sailors onboard the Nimitz class aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan, which forward-deployed in Japan and presently pier-side there, have tested positive for the COVID-19 novel coronavirus. This comes just a day after the U.S. Navy announced it had quarantined the entire crew of another aircraft carrier, the USS Theodore Roosevelt, on their ship in port in Guam after a number of sailors contracted the virus. The War Zone had already warned that the Roosevelt's predicament could be an ominous sign of what's to come for the Navy. If Reagan is sidelined, as well, the service would have no carriers presently deployed in the Pacific region that can actually operate.

... There are now fears that the virus could spread further among personnel on Guam as individuals from the USS Theodore Roosevelt are brought ashore for treatment. "We’re fucked," one servicemember reportedly told The Daily Beast in regards to the developing situation there.

... The U.S. military as a whole may be heading toward a concerning drop in readiness, too. The 1918 influenza pandemic had similarly significant impacts on the Navy, as well as the Marines and the rest of the U.S. armed forces. That virus killed more American service members than had died in the fighting in World War I.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 04:27:38 PM »
An Experimental Peptide Could Block COVID-19

A team of MIT chemists has designed a drug candidate that they believe may block coronaviruses' ability to enter human cells. The potential drug is a short protein fragment, or peptide, that mimics a protein found on the surface of human cells.

The researchers have shown that their new peptide can bind to the viral protein that coronaviruses use to enter human cells, potentially disarming it.

The MIT team reported its initial findings in a preprint posted on bioRxiv, an online preprint server, on March 20. They have sent samples of the peptide to collaborators who plan to carry out tests in human cells.

... Studies of SARS-CoV-2 have also shown that a specific region of the spike protein, known as the receptor binding domain, binds to a receptor called angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2). This receptor is found on the surface of many human cells, including those in the lungs. The ACE2 receptor is also the entry point used by the coronavirus that caused the 2002-03 SARS outbreak.

Pentelute's lab, performed computational simulations of the interactions between the ACE2 receptor and the receptor binding domain of the coronavirus spike protein. These simulations revealed the location where the receptor binding domain attaches to the ACE2 receptor—a stretch of the ACE2 protein that forms a structure called an alpha helix.

The MIT team then used peptide synthesis technology that Pentelute's lab has previously developed, to rapidly generate a 23-amino acid peptide with the same sequence as the alpha helix of the ACE2 receptor. ... One advantage of such a drug is that they are relatively easy to manufacture in large quantities. They also have a larger surface area than small-molecule drugs.

"Peptides are larger molecules, so they can really grip onto the coronavirus and inhibit entry into cells, whereas if you used a small molecule, it's difficult to block that entire area that the virus is using," Pentelute says. "Antibodies also have a large surface area, so those might also prove useful. Those just take longer to manufacture and discover."

They also synthesized a shorter sequence of only 12 amino acids found in the alpha helix, and then tested both of the peptides using equipment at MIT's Biophysical Instrumentation Facility that can measure how strongly two molecules bind together. They found that the longer peptide showed strong binding to the receptor binding domain of the COVID-19 spike protein, while the shorter one showed negligible binding.

One drawback of peptide drugs is that they typically can't be taken orally, so they would have to be either administered intravenously or injected under the skin. They would also need to be modified so that they can stay in the bloodstream long enough to be effective, which Pentelute's lab is also working on.

G. Zhang et al. The first-in-class peptide binder to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, bioRxiv (2020)


COVID-19 patients often infected with other respiratory viruses, preliminary study reports

About one in five people with COVID-19 are also infected with other respiratory viruses, according to a preliminary analysis led by Ian Brown, MD, a clinical associate professor of emergency medicine at the Stanford School of Medicine.

In addition, the analysis found that about one in 10 people who exhibit symptoms of respiratory illness at an emergency department, and who are subsequently diagnosed with a common respiratory virus, are co-infected with the COVID-19 virus.

The findings challenge the assumption that people are unlikely to have COVID-19 if they have another type of viral respiratory disease.

"Currently, if a patient tests positive for a different respiratory virus, we believe that they don't have COVID-19," ... "However, given the co-infection rates we've observed in this sample, that is an incorrect assumption."

"Hospitals don't have unlimited access to COVID testing," Brown said . "In some cases, a patient with respiratory symptoms may first be tested for a non-COVID virus. If there is a diagnosis of influenza or rhinovirus, or other respiratory virus, a hospital may discharge the patient without COVID testing, concluding that the alternative diagnosis is the reason for the symptoms."

Higher co-infection rates in COVID19.


Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 04:05:36 PM »
Concern as Powers Handed to Hungarian Prime Minister to Counter Covid-19

Sweeping new powers to fight the coronavirus outbreak with an open-ended mandate have been secured by Hungary’s Prime Minister, Viktor Orban, after parliament passed a law submitted by his government with a strong majority of the ruling Fidesz party.

Orban, who has gradually increased his power during a decade in power, had asked for an extension of a state of emergency that would give his nationalist government the right to pass decrees to handle the coronavirus crisis.

... Today is the day an EU member state becomes a full-on dictatorship, as Viktor Orbán will seize unlimited power in Hungary.


A motorsport chief, Helmut Marko (age 76), has revealed he suggested that his Red Bull team’s drivers should try to become infected with coronavirus as it is the “ideal time” with the season on hold.

(... I think Helmut should go first)


A couple in Northern Ireland who were married for 53 years died within hours of each other after contracting coronavirus.

Christopher Vallely, 79, and his wife Isobel, 77, died over the weekend in the same room at the Mater hospital in Belfast.



Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 03:49:05 PM »
Johnson & Johnson says Human Testing of Its Coronavirus Vaccine to Begin by September

Johnson & Johnson said Monday human testing of its experimental vaccine for the coronavirus will begin phase 1 human clinical study by September and if successful it could be available for emergency use authorization in early 2021.

On top of a lead vaccine candidate, J&J said it has two back-ups. The company said it began working on COVID-19 vaccine development in January.

The company said it is also increasing its manufacturing capacity with a new site in the U.S. and additions to existing sites in other countries to produce and distribute the potential vaccine quickly


FDA issues emergency-use authorization for anti-malaria drugs amid coronavirus outbreak

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) on Sunday issued an emergency-use authorization for a pair of anti-malaria drugs as health officials work to combat the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) said in a statement that the authorization would allow 30 million doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate and 1 million doses of chloroquine phosphate to be donated to the Strategic National Stockpile. The doses of hydroxychloroquine sulfate were donated by Sandoz, while the chloroquine phosphate was developed by Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

The products will be "distributed and prescribed by doctors to hospitalized teen and adult patients with COVID-19, as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible," HHS said.

President Trump has repeatedly touted the anti-malaria drugs as a possible coronavirus "game changer," despite warnings from health officials that not enough is known about their effects on COVID-19.


Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 03:32:05 PM »
Very on point.

I don´t think anyone suggests a ´Covid-19 disaster regime´ for AGW.

It´s more like learning from the mistakes.

This is a relatively simple problem.

After it was clear the was a new SARS variant arguably we could all have gone for the best practices. This includes more testing then was done but also realizing that in the current set up this still was likely to fail.

Next step would be to educate the public. Possibly tell everyone to wear a mask (to lessen the spread of what you for whatever cough or sneeze up).

The countries that did rather well are those who knew the reality of SARS like outbreaks. Here in the west many just did not see it coming. Ideally governments have someone looking at the near and further future but the focus is very much on the economy and that not even in a good way like investing in science needed for renewables because that is knowledge we can use in the future but just looking at another corporate handouts and some social programs to gut.

One problem is that the fight for old basic rights has long been resolved so most people have never been on the barricades and they take everything for granted. By and large the public has been educated to be uncritical consumers.

Our elections boil down to simple choices and hardly any debate is technical because that is boring.

So we pick someone because we lake him more or he is alarmed by the same things or whatever.

Meanwhile big business has all these lobbyists directly working to change laws to their benefit and that is usually not the benefit of us all. And off course there are these revolving doors like Wall Street - Washington and back.

We should recognize that we have only one planet and thus we have to live within our means.

When we know that agriculture is not sustainable we have to make it sustainable.
When we know we are mismanaging water we have to fix that.
When we have rampant chemical and plastic pollution we have to fix that.

And with all the tipping points you really want to control the carbon problem before it gets out of hand.

In the Netherlands we had a lot of discussion and farmer protests related to the nitrogen problem. No one adresses the wider issue. They might not like the limits imposed by the nitrogen laws but if your soil runs out in 30 years then you don´t really have a farm to pass on.

We are ignoring so many problems and many will hit at once.

The main thing is to take down concentrated wealth not just for the money but also to break down monocultures which make us a lot more vulnerable. We need all the variety we can keep so changing the system to promote small scale sustainable farming.

But mostly just start doing something.
Going by the principle that you cannot cheat physics so no book keeping tricks.
Absolute budget absolute goals.

Also simple goals like what does it look like in 20 (or whatever) years and can you live in that?

We can learn that ignoring real problems leads to more really big real problems that we have trouble handling hence prevent what you know we must prevent but of course the people deciding on those things are in a totally different bubble.

Maybe the lesson is not to ask what the world can do for you but what you can do for the world.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 03:16:34 PM »
This made me do a sad-smile when i saw it

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 02:57:42 PM »
Austria to Make Basic Face Masks Compulsory in Supermarkets

Austria will require the public to wear basic face masks in supermarkets, where they will be handed out probably from Wednesday in a bid to slow the spread of the coronavirus, Chancellor Sebastian Kurz said. "It’s not part of our culture, and it will be a big adjustment for us, but it’s necessary that we take this step to further reduce transmission," he said.

"These masks are handed out in front of supermarkets it will be compulsory to wear them," Kurz said, adding that the aim in the medium term was for people to wear them in public more often as well. The so-called MNS masks are below medical-grade, he said.


Slovenia banned citizens from traveling around the country and made mask use mandatory from Monday on. Under the new measures, people will not be able to leave their municipality of residence and will have to wear masks and gloves in most indoor public spaces.


Doctors in Germany called for a "massive expansion" of production of personal protective equipment on Monday. "Politicians and businesses must now address the lack of protective equipment by all available means," read a statement issued by the Marburger Bund, the largest doctors’ association in Europe.

"A lack of adequate protective equipment must not put the health of people who want to help other people with all their might, at risk," said Dr. Susanna Johna, the chair of the group, which represents around 70% of hospital doctors in Germany.


Spain Passes China On Number of Cases

Spain's total number of coronavirus cases rose to 85,195 from 78,797 on Sunday, the country's health ministry said, as the infections surpassed China, which reported 81,470, according to the latest data.

The death toll from the virus in Spain rose to 7,340 on Monday from 6,528 on Sunday, the ministry said.


Fears of a Second Wave of Infections in China

Concern about a second wave of infections is growing in China amid official pressure to resume normal life, according to Al Jazeera's Katrina Yu.

"In Wuhan, some shops are open, and malls are starting to open their doors. People who work in essential industries, such as the cement, steel and car industries, are starting to go back to work," Yu said from Beijing.

Yu said officials are under "tremendous pressure to resume normal life" as President Xi Jinping travelled on Sunday to a port and an industrial park in eastern Zhejiang Province to inspect the resumption of work.

"He wants to get the economy going after two months at a standstill. And because of this urgency, there are fears it may be too soon and could result in a second wave of infections," she said. "Officials are also under pressure to keep numbers down, and that's causing fears they may not be transparent when it comes to reporting new cases."


India: No plan to extend coronavirus lockdown

India has no plans to extend a 21-day lockdown to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the government said, as it struggled to keep essential supplies flowing and prevent tens of thousands of out-of-work people fleeing to the countryside.

Cabinet Secretary Rajiv Gauba told ANI, a Reuters news agency partner, that there was no plan to extend the shutdown beyond the three weeks, rejecting reports that a prolonged closure was likely.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi ordered the country's 1.3 billion people to remain indoors until April 15, saying that was the only hope to stop the spread.

Defying the lockdown, hundreds of thousands of workers who live on daily wages left big cities like Delhi and Mumbai on foot for their homes in the countryside, many with families.

Thousands mob New Delhi bus terminal after lockdown announced


Lockdown in India hits HIV patients hard

India's ongoing strict COVID-19 lockdown has widely affected HIV-positive and chronic patients with critical conditions who are facing problems accessing health services.

With 21.4 million Indians living with HIV, according to the National Aids Control Organisation data in 2017, India is believed to be home to the third-largest population of HIV-positive people in the world


Developing Countries Face Economic Collapse in COVID-19 fight: UN

The coronavirus outbreak threatens to disproportionately devastate the economies of already impoverished countries as they gear up to tackle a health crisis with extremely limited resources, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has warned.

The socioeconomic hit on poor and developing countries will take years to recover from, UNDP said in a report released on Monday, stressing that income losses in those countries are forecast to exceed $220bn. Nearly half of all jobs in Africa could be lost, it also warned.


Russia weighs nationwide coronavirus lockdown

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin asked regional governors to consider introducing a partial lockdown to halt the spread of coronavirus after Russia recorded its biggest rise in cases for the sixth day in a row.

Russia's official nationwide tally of coronavirus cases rose by 302, taking the total to 1,836. Nine people across Russia have died, the authorities say.

Authorities in Moscow ordered residents to stay at home from Monday, their toughest move yet after the number of official cases in the Russian capital passed the 1,000 mark

The isolation rules will be policed by a system of facial recognition cameras placed throughout Moscow. The lockdown also coincides with the start of a "non-working" week announced by Russian President Vladimir Putin last week.

Mishustin said he thought the measures now needed to be rolled out nationwide.


Lockdown in Zimbabwe likely to hit vulnerable people hard

Zimbabweans rushed to supermarkets on the eve of a three-week lockdown imposed by the government on Monday to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The threat of the new disease could not have come at a worse time for millions of Zimbabweans already struggling with a deepening economic crisis bringing soaring food prices, stagnant salaries, water shortages and daily power blackouts.

Many fear steps to curb coronavirus will hit vulnerable people hard.


Super-Spreader: UK PM Johnson's Adviser Isolating With Coronavirus Symptoms

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's senior adviser, Dominic Cummings, has begun self-isolating with symptoms just days after the British leader tested positive.

A Downing Street spokesman said Cummings, widely seen as one of the most powerful men in the government, had developed symptoms of COVID-19 over the weekend.

Johnson on Friday became the first leader of a major world power to announce he had tested positive for the virus. His health minister, Matt Hancock, also tested positive and the government's chief medical adviser, Chris Whitty, is self-isolating.


Israeli PM Netanyahu's aide has coronavirus

An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has tested positive for coronavirus but initial findings indicate she had not posed an infection risk to the 70-year-old leader, according to officials.

As a routine precaution, they said Netanyahu was scheduled to undergo a coronavirus test by Tuesday.


Guatemalan deported from US tests positive

A Guatemalan man who was deported from the US last week has tested positive for the novel coronavirus, according to a spokeswoman for the Guatemalan health ministry.

The 29-year-old was deported last Thursday on a flight chartered by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. The flight had at least 40 others on board.


EasyJet grounds fleet, furloughs cabin crew for two months

British low-cost airline EasyJet said it had grounded its entire fleet of over 300 aircraft and reached a deal with its cabin crew for employees to be furloughed for two months under a government job-retention scheme.

The airline said there was no way to tell when commercial flights could restart.

... The UK's National Health Service (NHS) is asking airline cabin crew who have been laid off during the coronavirus pandemic to go to work in temporary new hospitals being built to treat COVID-19 patients.

The NHS said airlines including easyJet and Virgin Atlantic are writing to thousands of staff — especially those with first aid training — asking them to work at hospitals being built inside convention centers in London, Birmingham and Manchester.


A recession in Germany in the first half of this year is "inevitable" due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the country’s council of economic advisers. Output could shrink by up to 5.4% this year, while in the best-case scenario, gross domestic product (GDP) could drop by as little as 2.8%. That best-case scenario would be dependent on a short time frame for coronavirus-related restrictions on businesses, and a speedy economic recovery, the council said.


More than one in 10 medium-sized companies are threatened with bankruptcy due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Eric Schweitzer, the president of the German Chambers of Commerce and Industry (DIHK).

"What is worrying is not only the absolute number of feared bankruptcies, but also the rapidly rising concrete worries of insolvency within the last three weeks," said Schweitzer, referencing an unpublished survey involving a total of 15,000 companies. Additionally, 40% of medium-sized companies in the travel and hospitality industry are in acute danger of declaring bankruptcy, he said.


In Germany, asparagus might become a rare delicacy this year. The harvest relies on experienced eastern European teams of farm laborers. But border lockdowns and travel bans have starved German farms of labor just as the harvest is due.


Coronavirus Pandemic Not Keeping Swedes at Home

Arctic sea ice / Re: The 2020 melting season
« on: March 30, 2020, 02:56:42 PM »
One thing that is different, or that I haven't seen before, is the large leads that have developed since feb15 making their way around north greenland so early in the season. With >80km/h winds forecast on apr1 we are likely to see them open up more.
Kaleschke SIC leads, oct1-mar29
Anybody else with historical perspective on how unusual it is for (what I think should thick) ice just north of Greenland to be fractured this early in the season?  Seems very strange and significant to me, but I don't have the years of observation to compare it to.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 02:03:20 PM »
Goldman Sachs: Coronavirus crisis game changer for oil sector

The coronavirus pandemic and resulting plunge in crude prices will result in a leaner, stronger oil industry but raise the risk of shortages further down the line, Goldman Sachs analysts said.

"If pipelines get clogged up as refineries shut down, inventories cannot build, reducing the cushion and creating a very quick risk reversal towards oil shortages," Goldman said in a note.

This would in turn cause an oil shortage, pushing prices above the Wall Street bank's $55 a barrel target for 2021, it said.

"This will likely be a game changer for the industry," the bank said.

"Big Oils will consolidate the best assets in the industry and will shed the worst ... when the industry emerges from this downturn, there will be fewer companies of higher asset quality, but the capital constraints will remain."

Oil has been hit disproportionately by the "coronacrisis", sending landlocked crude prices into negative territory, Goldman said.

"Paradoxically, this will ultimately create an inflationary oil supply shock of historic proportions because so much oil production will be forced to be shut in," it added. "The oil price war is made irrelevant by the large decline in demand and has made a coordinated supply response impossible to achieve in time."

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 02:02:14 PM »
Europe might be peaking in the number of new cases due to social distancing efforts, but the disease is yet to peak in number of hospitalizations or deaths.  I think there is a second bump up from family infections, then the third bump from overwhelmed healthcare.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:41:39 PM »
This tweet has the latest charts from the Financial Times.

The FT graphics are free to read on their site:

These ones are similar but better:

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:41:24 PM »
@pietkuip what WaPo forgets to mention is that, in countries like Taiwan or Singapore, kids can go to school 'normally' but following significant protection measures and equipment. That's how they contain it.

This is not just some journalist. This is a leading epidemiologist:

Don't think that you know things that he forgot.

Experts are humans subject to bias and mistakes.  Any expert not recommending mask use has succumbed to fear/propaganda.

This ends when masks are required for anyone interacting with others.  Healthcare workers can work a whole lifetime with extremely infectious diseases without getting infected. Masks are one of their primary tools. Mask use can be done systematically to prevent disease.

Humans are trainable, especially when highly motivated to save their lives. We have the tools to train humans at massive scales. There will be many slip-ups and noncompliance, that is true, but the perfect is the enemy of the good. Universal mask use can do so much good. They may buy us the time and flexibility we need until a vaccine gets here.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:35:54 PM »
Thanks, piet, for the article.

And thanks, oren, for this:

On a personal note, I am known among my friends and colleagues as an alarmist of sorts. Of course to myself I am known as a realist-optimist who is simply aware of the impending issues. I assume most posters on this forum are more alarmist relative to their circle of acquaintances - it comes with the subject matter.
Knowing this tendency, when coming up with truly staggering alarm I tend to question and re-question it to make sure as much as I can that I am not crying wolf...

Pretty much where I am, and well stated.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:32:30 PM »
We can discuss eternally about this
I will just bring some not so distant facts.
History lesson: Taiwan identifies first case Jan 20th.
After an initial expanding contagion and two weeks of stopped activity, this is restarted with a lot of measures in place. (for more measures watch the video above).
Current Taiwan numbers (Mar 30) and some of the measures taken in early Feb.

Science / Re: 2020 Mauna Loa CO2 levels
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:14:45 PM »
Yea I feel like we've beat this drum a lot -- these initial weeks, months are way too early to decipher any Coronavirus impacts on CO2(a well mixed gas).  Look how noisy the data is the first 3 months of both 2019 & 2020 at Mauna Loa.

Consequences / Re: COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 01:02:36 PM »
@pietkuip what WaPo forgets to mention is that, in countries like Taiwan or Singapore, kids can go to school 'normally' but following significant protection measures and equipment. That's how they contain it.

Consequences / Re: Places becoming less livable
« on: March 30, 2020, 12:45:30 PM »
Extreme, high temperatures may double or triple heart-related deaths

The highest temperature on earth in the last 76 years, 129 degrees Fahrenheit, was recently recorded in Kuwait. Given the consistently high temperatures in Kuwait (average ambient temperature 82.2 degrees Fahrenheit), researchers examined the relationship between temperature and more than 15,000 cardiovascular-related deaths in the country. All death certificates in Kuwait from 2010 to 2016 that cited "any cardiovascular cause" for individuals ages 15 and older were reviewed for this study.

Compared to the number of deaths on days with the lowest mortality temperature (average daily temperature of 94.5 degrees Fahrenheit, when the fewest people died), when the 24-hour average temperature was extreme (109 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), the investigators found:

Overall, a 3-times greater risk of dying from any cardiovascular cause;
Men were more affected by the extreme temperatures, experiencing a 3.5 times higher death rate;
The death rate among women was nearly 2.5 higher;
Working-age people (ages 15-64 years) had a death rate 3.8 times higher; and
The death rate was just over 2-times higher for people 65 and older.
To examine the effects of temperature on its own, the investigators adjusted for other environmental factors such as air pollution and humidity. Higher temperatures affected both genders and all ages differently.

The forum / Re: Suggestions
« on: March 30, 2020, 12:16:15 PM »
I can't be wrong, as I don't have an opinion on whether people should wear masks or not. I just have an opinion on whether that discussion should take place in the COVID-19 thread, especially if it involves endless vitriol.

But I'm wrong on many other things, of course.

Policy and solutions / Re: Lessons from COVID-19
« on: March 30, 2020, 12:13:23 PM »
What lessons do we learn from this?

If you want a), b) and c), you need less people in the world.  Those less people will consume less energy, less food and produce less waste and less emissions.

The system requires, no, demands more consumers, and growing consumption rates. Why is that?

The rest / Re: Good music
« on: March 30, 2020, 12:09:11 PM »
Thx! I love Godspeed You Black Emperor had half forgotten about this.

Arctic sea ice / Re: 2020 Sea ice area and extent data
« on: March 30, 2020, 11:59:55 AM »
JAXA ARCTIC SEA ICE EXTENT: 13,628,026 km2(March 29, 2020)

Only made one day as #1

- Extent loss gain on this day 69k, 101 k less more than the average loss on this day (of the last 10 years) of 32 k,
- Extent loss from maximum on this date is 820 k, 517 k (171%) more than the 10 year average of 302 k.
- Extent is 4th lowest in the satellite record,
- Extent is 150 k less than 2007
- Extent is 908 k less than 2012
- Extent is  69 k less than 2016
- Extent is  39 k MORE than 2019
- Extent is 313 k (2.2%) LESS than the 2010's average.

On average 3.0% of melting from maximum to minimum done, and 169 days to minimum.

Projections. (Table JAXA-Arc1)

Average melt from today would produce a minimum in Sept 2020 of 3.98 million km2, 0.80 million km2 above the 2012 minimum of 3.18 million km2.

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