Hearing restoration with gene therapy – I knew this day would come

For me, this is a profound moment. It will be even more profound if many people can benefit from it.

Some of you may know that I suffer about an 85% hearing loss, and even with powerful hearing aids I still have very poor hearing which has gotten almost non-functional over the years. It makes me a social hermit since I don’t function well in public. It is part of the reason I became a broadcaster, because I had such a terrible time in college lectures and with language requirements in the school of science. In broadcasting, I only had to talk to the camera or to the microphone. It was a job that was not only a dream come true, it brought me out of my shell that many hearing impaired people live in due to the social isolation it brings.

I started losing my hearing as a child due to being treated with the antibiotic Tetracycline, which is known to be ototoxic. By the time I was 10, I needed hearing aids, but fortunately, I had formed my primary speech skills. Many other people who lose hearing as children aren’t so lucky as I and have speech problems as a result.

I knew this day would come, I predicted that gene therapy to treat cochlear nerve deafness would be coming over 10 years ago. I can only hope I can be able to take advantage of it someday. I won’t hide my own selfishness, I want to be one of those people.

Fully functional <i>(Image: Steve Gschmeissner/SPL)</i>

Fully functional hair cells in the cochlea (Image: Steve Gschmeissner/SPL)

Deaf people get gene tweak to restore natural hearing

People who have lost their hearing will be injected with a harmless virus carrying a gene that should trigger the regrowth of their ears’ sensory receptors

IN TWO months’ time, a group of profoundly deaf people could be able to hear again, thanks to the world’s first gene therapy trial for deafness.

The volunteers, who lost their hearing through damage or disease, will get an injection of a harmless virus containing a gene that should trigger the regrowth of the sensory receptors in the ear.

Continue reading

Posted in Science | 98 Comments

America’s Power Grid at the Limit: The Road to Electrical Blackouts

Powerlines, CA Article CaptionBy Steve Goreham

Originally published in Communities Digital News.

Americans take electricity for granted. Electricity powers our lights, our computers, our offices, and our industries. But misguided environmental policies are eroding the reliability of our power system.

Last winter, bitterly cold weather placed massive stress on the US electrical system―and the system almost broke. On January 7 in the midst of the polar vortex, PJM Interconnection, the Regional Transmission Organization serving the heart of America from New Jersey to Illinois, experienced a new all-time peak winter load of almost 142,000 megawatts.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Energy | 61 Comments

The Empire of the Viscount Strikes Back!

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Professor Shaun Lovejoy, as he continues the active marketing of his latest paper purporting to prove that “the world desperately needs to drop the skepticism and change course – humanity’s future depends on it”, writes in a hilarious op-ed at livescience.com:

“The majordomo of this deniers’ hub [Watts Up With That] is the notorious Viscount Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, who – within hours [fast on his feet, that Viscount is: strong in him the Force must be] – had declared to the faithful that the paper was no less than a ‘mephitically ectoplasmic emanation from the Forces of Darkness’ and that ‘it is time to be angry at the gruesome failure of peer review’.”

The Professor describes this as “venom”. No, sir, it is eloquence in the service of truth. Perhaps he would prefer a scatological rather than an eschatological metaphor. Happy to oblige. The scientific merit of his paper is aptly described by the third, eighteenth, first, and sixteenth letters of the alphabet, taken sequentially. Or, if he prefers it up him palindromically, the sixteenth, fifteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth.

Let me put on my major-domo’s tails, white starched wing-collar, maniple, and white gloves, polish up the nearest silver salver, and, Jeeves-like, shimmer in to address some the fashionable pseudo-physics in Professor Lovejoy’s latest Technicolor yawn.

After deploying the hate-screech word “deniers”, he wheels out Svante Arrhenius, who, “toiling for a year, predicted that doubling CO2 levels would increase global temperatures by 5-6 Cº, which turns out to be close to modern estimates”.

The Professor is perhaps unaware (for he does not seem to be aware of all that much in the realm of physics) that Arrhenius is known to have made errors in his line-by-line calculation of the warming effect of CO2 (actually performed at intervals over the long Arctic winter, not over a whole year). He had, for instance, relied on defective lunar spectral data.

Continue reading

Posted in 99% certainty, Opinion, Science | 146 Comments

Best Dana-dodge™, ever

You just have to laugh. After being taken to task yesterday on the removal of IPCC language that was done purely to bolster his own lame argument about how preventing global warming is the “cheap” option, Dana Nuccitelli responds to the challenge from Dr. Richard Tol in comments at the Guardian article with the patented Dana-dodge™. As Tol notes,

Here is how Dana handles Tol’s charge about removal of the IPCC language, it’s hilarious!

 

Continue reading

Posted in Alarmism, IPCC | 44 Comments

Claim: Odds of storm waters overflowing Manhattan seawall up 20-fold, new study shows

I think I know a practical reason for this, which I’ll cover in a post later, but I’d like readers to weigh in first.

From AGU:

Newfound rise of storm tides by almost a foot since 1844 adds to risk from sea-level rise

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Maximum water levels in New York harbor during major storms have risen by nearly two and a half feet since the mid-1800s, making the chances of water overtopping the Manhattan seawall now at least 20 times greater than they were 170 years ago, according to a new study. Whereas sea-level rise, which is occurring globally, has raised water levels along New York harbor by nearly a foot and a half since the mid-19th century, the research shows that the maximum height of the city’s “once-in-10-years” storm tide has grown additionally by almost a foot in that same period.

Continue reading

Posted in Alarmism, Climate News, Sea level | 63 Comments

Alarmists are just now discovering ‘Dynamic Atolls’

Satellite picture of the Atafu atoll in Tokelau in the Pacific Ocean. Image: Wikipedia

From the “we told you so” department, WUWT Reader Paul Carter says in Tips and Notes:

A new study shows that Pacific Islands are resilient to sea level changes.

“Dynamic atolls give hope that Pacific Islands can defy sea rise”
A study by Paul Kench, Professor, School of Environment at University of Auckland.

“It is widely predicted that low-lying coral reef islands will drown as a result of sea-level rise, leaving their populations as environmental refugees. But new evidence now suggests that these small islands…”

Continue reading

Posted in Sea level | 89 Comments

March 2014 Global Surface (Land+Ocean) Temperature Anomaly Update

INITIAL QUESTION

Once upon a time, the NCDC published its monthly global land+ocean surface temperature anomaly data around the 15th of the month. They have recently relaxed the dates of their monthly global state of the climate updates. The NCDC are now showing on the webpage here that they will be publishing their monthly global updates around the 22nd of each month. Because GISS is still updating their data around the 15th of the month, it seems like old news when I wait a week for the NCDC data before publishing these updates.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Hiatus in Global Warming, NASA GISS, NCDC, UKMO HADCRUT4 | 41 Comments

Some hype sorting on the claim that Asian pollution is intensifying Pacific Storms

Is Asian Pollution Intensifying Pacific Storms? Separating the Hype from Reality.

By Cliff Mass

The media over the past week have given a lot of play to a paper in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS)  that claims that Asian pollution is enhancing storms over the Pacific Ocean, with effects extending globally.

We are talking headlines in hundreds of major media sources around the world.  As illustrated below, the headlines have been pretty scary.  But as I will show below, the PNAS paper really proves no such thing and this situation is another example of unhealthy and counterproductive hype and exaggeration in the media.
Continue reading

Posted in Aerosols, extreme weather | 24 Comments

Climatologist Judith Curry levels both barrels against alarmist climate science

Guest essay by Larry Hamlin

Alarmist claims: inference from incomplete, inadequate and ambiguous observations

Climate scientist Dr. Judith Curry has recently posted a number of sharply worded essays providing stinging critical rebukes of assertions of climate harm by alarmists derived from biased and highly selective reading of the UN IPCC AR5 reports.

In an April 21 posting she says the following regarding the so called ‘facts’ cited by climate alarmists to try to make a case for man made climate harm:

Continue reading

Posted in Alarmism | 93 Comments

Dana Nuccitelli’s lie of omission in the Guardian

In Bjørn Lomborg’s  latest oped: Global Warming’s Upside-Down Narrative Lomborg points out the following:

  1. The IPCC says unmitigated climate change will cost 0.2-2% GDP/year in 2070.
  2. The IPCC says climate policies in 2070 will cost more than 3.4% and likely much more than that.

This is why climate mitigation makes no economic sense: the cure costs more than the disease.

But, wait, “Skeptical Science” tank driver Dana Nuccitelli has an op-ed today in Guardian where he claims the IPCC uses only a select range of measures: the 0.2-2% is expressed in “annual global economic losses”, while the other is expressed “as a slightly slowed global consumption growth.”.

He only achieves that by cutting out the actual quote from IPCC report, as you can see in the screen cap helpfully provided by Lomborg in his Twitter feed that compares texts. Note the ellipsis:

Continue reading

Posted in Climate News | 50 Comments

New paper finds solar UV-B output is correlated to global mean temperature

Map of correlations suggest it may be affecting biomass and planetary albedo.
From the Hockey Schtick:

A paper published today in Methods in Ecology and Evolution describes a new satellite dataset of solar UV-B radiation for use in ecological studies. According to the authors, “UV-B surfaces were correlated with global mean temperature and annual mean radiation data, but exhibited variable spatial associations across the globe.” The finding is notable, since climate scientists dismiss the role of the Sun in climate change by only looking at the tiny 0.1% variations in total solar irradiance [TSI] over solar cycles, ignoring the large variations in solar UV of up to 100% over solar cycles, and which according to this paper, correlates to global mean temperature. Thus, the role of the Sun and solar amplification mechanisms on climate is only at the earliest stages of understanding.

In the supplemental information (SI) I found this correlation map, which was telling for me. Note the red of highest correlation – mostly in the tropics. This suggests to me that UVB is playing a role with ocean biomass, possibly modulating algae/plankton, which in turn changes the albedo, and absorption of other solar wavelengths into the oceans (which then affects nearby land-mass temperature).

UVB_to Temperature-quadmap1

The authors write: Finally, we mapped the four types of local spatial association for each pair of compared variables to show how the strength and type of spatial association vary geographically. Areas with non-significant relationship or negative (inverse) spatial association (Low-High, High-Low clusters) indicate locations where our glUV data provide new information (variability) that is not captured by considered existing climate variables. Below is an example of a LISA map for the above mentioned comparison of annual UV-B radiation versus annual temperature (Figure 4a in the manuscript).

Here is the press release:

Continue reading

Posted in Albedo, Biomass, Science, Solar | 84 Comments

Multi-million dollar global warming disaster epic ‘Years of Living Dangerously’ beaten in TV ratings by ‘Bob’s Burgers’ reruns

UPDATE: Showbuzz weighs in with an actual ratings number for “Years of Living Dangerously” and it’s mind blowingly low. Even this blog reached more people on Sunday. See below.

Showtime’s “Years of Living Dangerously” aired Sun, Apr 20, at 10:00 PM and didn’t even make the top 100 cable TV shows this week and was beaten in its time slot by a re-run episode of the animated cartoon Bob’s Burgers. Ouch!

years_dangerously
Above: Image from the Showtime website advertising the series

According to the producer, this docudrama got the “big budget” treatment to the tune of $20 million. Looks like nobody cares.

Here are the top 50 from Sunday, with link to the full top 100:

Continue reading

Posted in Alarmism, media | 119 Comments

Believers in global warming unchanged since 2001, 1 in 4 Americans don’t buy it at all

One in Four in U.S. Are Solidly Skeptical of Global Warming

Nearly 40% are “Concerned Believers” in global warming, others are mixed

by Lydia Saad, Gallup

PRINCETON, NJ — Over the past decade, Americans have clustered into three broad groups on global warming. The largest, currently describing 39% of U.S. adults, are what can be termed “Concerned Believers” — those who attribute global warming to human actions and are worried about it. This is followed by the “Mixed Middle,” at 36%. And one in four Americans — the “Cool Skeptics” — are not worried about global warming much or at all.  (see graph)

Continue reading

Posted in Global warming, Opinion | 61 Comments

A speech from the president on Earth Day – with warming as the topic

While Dr. Roy Spencer reports on a number of politically incorrect cartoons about Earth Day, saying,

“I mostly find Earth Day just plain annoying for the rank hypocrisy on display. A state-sponsored religious day of worship, along with all of the 1st Amendment-violating regulations to codify it. “

In response, the president has weighed in with a short speech. Continue reading

Posted in Global warming, Humor, Politics, Satire | Tagged , , , , | 65 Comments

Scientists with frickin’ weather control lasers in their heads

From the University of Central Florida

‘Dressed’ laser aimed at clouds may be key to inducing rain, lightning

UCF, Arizona researchers extend length of high-intensity laser with hope of stimulating showers

The adage “Everyone complains about the weather but nobody does anything about it,” may one day be obsolete if researchers at the University of Central Florida’s College of Optics & Photonics and the University of Arizona further develop a new technique to aim a high-energy laser beam into clouds to make it rain or trigger lightning.

The solution? Surround the beam with a second beam to act as an energy reservoir, sustaining the central beam to greater distances than previously possible. The secondary “dress” beam refuels and helps prevent the dissipation of the high-intensity primary beam, which on its own would break down quickly. A report on the project, “Externally refueled optical filaments,” was recently published in Nature Photonics.

Continue reading

Posted in Technology, Weather | 51 Comments

Today’s Antarctic region once as hot as California, Florida

From Yale University, where that means that even though Earth 40-50 million years ago had a completely different arrangement of continents and climate, it still somehow will “underscore the potential for increased warmth at Earth’s poles and the associated risk of melting polar ice and rising sea levels”. Note that in this paleoreconstruction below, there is still a southern ice cap.

SIA3657[1]

The PR reads:  Parts of ancient Antarctica were as warm as today’s California coast, and polar regions of the southern Pacific Ocean registered 21st-century Florida heat, according to scientists using a new way to measure past temperatures.

Continue reading

Posted in Antarctic, Paleoclimatology | 56 Comments

Idiots on parade: Portland water bureau’s tenuous grasp of science

From ARStechnica and the stupid, it burns, department comes this ridiculous story of a bureaucrat gone off the rails. See the video that set off this pissing match below.

The city of Portland, OR will empty a 38-million gallon reservoir after a teenager allegedly urinated in it, according to the Associated Press. It’s the second time in three years that Portland is flushing its Mount Tabor reservoir after a urine-related incident.

The reservoir is open-air and sits exposed to all of nature, leading many parties to question how necessary a draining would be, or how polluted 38 million gallons of water can really be by a single man’s urine.

Continue reading

Posted in Government idiocy, Ridiculae | 124 Comments

Ouch. Corn biofuel could generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline

From the “we told you so back in 2010″ department and the University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Study casts doubt on climate benefit of biofuels from corn residue

The fuel could generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline

Corn+Gas+Tank[1]

Lincoln, Neb., April 20, 2014 — Using corn crop residue to make ethanol and other biofuels reduces soil carbon and can generate more greenhouse gases than gasoline, according to a study published today in the journal Nature Climate Change.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Agriculture, Biomass, Energy | 75 Comments

Tornado season so far may be the slowest in a century

While there continues to be wailing about how climate change is supposedly making the weather more extreme, Greg Carbin, the man in charge at NOAA’s Storm Prediction Center (SPC) sends along this graph and says:

Likely the slowest start to tornado activity in any year in modern record, and possibly nearly a century!

And he has the numbers to show why:

Continue reading

Posted in extreme weather, tornadoes, Weather | 50 Comments

Ice dating from Krypton

Here’s something useful that works like radiocarbon dating, but on ice. Since it is cosmic ray based, it makes me wonder if it could be used to reconstruct the cosmic ray record to test Svensmark’s theory of cosmic ray modulation of climate. How it works (graphic from Argonne National Laboratory):

Kr is a cosmogenic isotope produced in the upper atmosphere. Its analysis allows age determination for:

  • dating polar ice to study the climate history of the Earth, and
  • dating old groundwater to study the source, sink, and flow pattern of aquifers.

The applicable age range of 100 kyr – 1 Myr  is beyond the reach of 14C-dating.

From Oregon State University   CORVALLIS, Ore. – A team of scientists has successfully identified the age of 120,000-year-old Antarctic ice using radiometric krypton dating – a new technique that may allow them to locate and date ice that is more than a million years old.

The ability to discover ancient ice is critical, the researchers say, because it will allow them to reconstruct the climate much farther back into Earth’s history and potentially understand the mechanisms that have triggered the planet to shift into and out of ice ages.

 

Continue reading

Posted in Antarctic, Paleoclimatology, Science | 41 Comments