New Study Indicates Many Scientists Clueless to Cause of Climate Cycles

Now, two first-of-their-kind studies provide new insight into the deep history of the Greenland Ice Sheet, looking back millions of years farther than previous techniques allowed. However, the two studies present some strongly contrasting evidence about how Greenland‘s ice sheet may have responded to past climate change – bringing new urgency to the need to understand if and how the giant ice sheet might dramatically accelerate its melt-off in the near future.

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The two new studies were published in the journal Nature on December 8, including one led by University of Vermont geologist Paul Bierman. The other led by Joerg Schaefer of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University.

Bierman and four colleagues – from UVM, Boston College, Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, and Imperial College London – studied deep cores of ocean-bottom mud containing bits of bedrock that eroded off of the east side of Greenland. Their results show that East Greenland has been actively scoured by glacial ice for much of the last 7.5 million years – and indicate that the ice sheet on this eastern flank of the island has not completely melted for long, if at all, in the past several million years. This result is consistent with existing computer models. Since the data the team collected only came from samples off the east side of Greenland, their results do not provide a definitive picture of the Greenland ice sheet.

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The other study in Nature – led by Joerg Schaefer of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Columbia University, and colleagues – looked at a small sample of bedrock from one location beneath the middle of the existing ice sheet and came to what appears to be a different conclusion: Greenland was nearly ice-free for at least 280,000 years during the middle Pleistocene – about 1.1 million years ago. This possibility is in contrast to existing computer models.

“These results appear to be contradictory” UVM’s Bierman says. He notes that both studies have “some blurriness,” he says, in what they are able to resolve about short-term changes and the size of the ancient ice sheet. “Their study is a bit like one needle in a haystack,” he says, “and ours is like having the whole haystack, but not being sure how big it is.”

Both Studies Analyze Cosmic Ray Bombardment in Bedrock

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Both teams of scientists used, “a powerful new tool for Earth scientists,” says Dylan Rood, a scientist at Imperial College London and a co-author on the Bierman-led study: isotopes within grains of quartz, produced when bedrock is bombarded by cosmic rays from space. The isotopes come into being when rock is at or near Earth’s surface – but not when it’s buried under an overlying ice sheet. By looking at the ratio of two of these cosmic-ray-made elements – aluminum-26 and beryllium-10 caught in crystals of quartz, and measured in an accelerator mass spectrometer – the scientists were able to calculate how long the rocks in their samples had been exposed to the sky versus covered by ice.

UPDATE: New Study Suggest Cosmic Ray Origin Now Include ‘Dark Matter’

Observing the constant rain of cosmic rays hitting Earth can provide information on the “magnetic weather” in other parts of the Galaxy. A new high-precision measurement of two cosmic-ray elements, boron and carbon, supports a specific model of the magnetic turbulence that deflects cosmic rays on their journey through the Galaxy.

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The data, which come from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aboard the International Space Station, appear to rule out alternative models for cosmic-ray propagation. By ruling out these models, the AMS results support the alternative explanation – a new primary cosmic ray source that emits positrons. Candidates include pulsars and dark matter, but a lot of mystery still surrounds the unexplained positron data.

The majority of cosmic rays are particles or nuclei produced in supernovae or other astrophysical sources. However, as these so-called primary cosmic rays travel through the Galaxy to Earth, they collide with gas atoms in the interstellar medium. The collisions produce a secondary class of cosmic rays with masses and energies that differ from primary cosmic rays.

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To investigate the relationship of the two classes, astrophysicists often look at the ratio of the number of detection’s of two nuclei, such as boron and carbon. For the most part, carbon cosmic rays have a primary origin, whereas boron is almost exclusively created in secondary processes. A relatively high boron-to-carbon (B/C) ratio in a certain energy range implies that the relevant cosmic rays are traversing a lot of gas before reaching us. “The B/C ratio tells you how cosmic rays propagate through space,” says AMS principal investigator Samuel Ting of MIT.

Previous measurements of the B/C ratio have had large errors of 15% or more, especially at high energy, mainly because of the brief data collection time available for balloon-based detectors. But the AMS has been operating on the Space Station for five years, and over this time it has collected more than 80 billion cosmic rays. The AMS detectors measure the charges of these cosmic rays, allowing the elements to be identified. The collaboration has detected over ten million carbon and boron nuclei, with energies per nucleon ranging from a few hundred MeV up to a few TeV.

The B/C ratio decreases with energy because higher-energy cosmic rays tend to take a more direct path to us (and therefore experience fewer collisions producing boron). By contrast, lower-energy cosmic rays are diverted more strongly by magnetic fields, so they bounce around like pinballs among magnetic turbulence regions in the Galaxy. Several theories have been proposed to describe the size and spacing of these turbulent regions, and these theories lead to predictions for the energy dependence of the B/C ratio. However, previous B/C observations have not been precise enough to favor one theory over another. The AMS data show very clearly that the B/C ratio is proportional to the energy raised to the -1/3 power. This result matches a prediction based on a theory of magnetohydrodynamics developed in 1941 by the Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov.

These results conflict with models that predict that the B/C ratio should exhibit some more complex energy dependence, such as kinks in the B/C spectrum at specific energies. Theorists proposed these models to explain anomalous observations – by AMS and other experiments – that showed an increase in the number of positrons (anti-electrons) reaching Earth relative to electrons at high energy. The idea was that these “excess” positrons are – like boron – produced in collisions between cosmic rays and interstellar gas. But such a scenario would require that cosmic rays encounter additional scattering sites, not just magnetically turbulent regions. By ruling out these models, the AMS results support the alternative explanation – a new primary cosmic ray source that emits positrons. Candidates include pulsars and dark matter, but a lot of mystery still surrounds the unexplained positron data.

Igor Moskalenko from Stanford University is very surprised at the close match between the data and the Kolmogorov model. He expected that the ratio would deviate from a single power law in a way that might provide clues to the origin of the excess positrons. “This is a dramatic result that should lead to much better understanding of interstellar magnetohydrodynamic turbulence and propagation of cosmic rays,” he says. “On the other hand, it is very much unexpected in that it makes recent discoveries in astrophysics of cosmic rays even more puzzling.”

More Hints of Exotic Cosmic-Ray Origin

Observing the constant rain of cosmic rays hitting Earth can provide information on the “magnetic weather” in other parts of the Galaxy. A new high-precision measurement of two cosmic-ray elements, boron and carbon, supports a specific model of the magnetic turbulence that deflects cosmic rays on their journey through the Galaxy.

dark-matter3-science-of-cycles

The data, which come from the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aboard the International Space Station, appear to rule out alternative models for cosmic-ray propagation. By ruling out these models, the AMS results support the alternative explanation – a new primary cosmic ray source that emits positrons. Candidates include pulsars and dark matter, but a lot of mystery still surrounds the unexplained positron data.

The majority of cosmic rays are particles or nuclei produced in supernovae or other astrophysical sources. However, as these so-called primary cosmic rays travel through the Galaxy to Earth, they collide with gas atoms in the interstellar medium. The collisions produce a secondary class of cosmic rays with masses and energies that differ from primary cosmic rays.

interstellar-collision-science_of_cycles

To investigate the relationship of the two classes, astrophysicists often look at the ratio of the number of detection’s of two nuclei, such as boron and carbon. For the most part, carbon cosmic rays have a primary origin, whereas boron is almost exclusively created in secondary processes. A relatively high boron-to-carbon (B/C) ratio in a certain energy range implies that the relevant cosmic rays are traversing a lot of gas before reaching us. “The B/C ratio tells you how cosmic rays propagate through space,” says AMS principal investigator Samuel Ting of MIT.

Previous measurements of the B/C ratio have had large errors of 15% or more, especially at high energy, mainly because of the brief data collection time available for balloon-based detectors. But the AMS has been operating on the Space Station for five years, and over this time it has collected more than 80 billion cosmic rays. The AMS detectors measure the charges of these cosmic rays, allowing the elements to be identified. The collaboration has detected over ten million carbon and boron nuclei, with energies per nucleon ranging from a few hundred MeV up to a few TeV.

The B/C ratio decreases with energy because higher-energy cosmic rays tend to take a more direct path to us (and therefore experience fewer collisions producing boron). By contrast, lower-energy cosmic rays are diverted more strongly by magnetic fields, so they bounce around like pinballs among magnetic turbulence regions in the Galaxy. Several theories have been proposed to describe the size and spacing of these turbulent regions, and these theories lead to predictions for the energy dependence of the B/C ratio. However, previous B/C observations have not been precise enough to favor one theory over another. The AMS data show very clearly that the B/C ratio is proportional to the energy raised to the -1/3 power. This result matches a prediction based on a theory of magnetohydrodynamics developed in 1941 by the Russian mathematician Andrey Kolmogorov.

These results conflict with models that predict that the B/C ratio should exhibit some more complex energy dependence, such as kinks in the B/C spectrum at specific energies. Theorists proposed these models to explain anomalous observations – by AMS and other experiments – that showed an increase in the number of positrons (anti-electrons) reaching Earth relative to electrons at high energy. The idea was that these “excess” positrons are – like boron – produced in collisions between cosmic rays and interstellar gas. But such a scenario would require that cosmic rays encounter additional scattering sites, not just magnetically turbulent regions. By ruling out these models, the AMS results support the alternative explanation – a new primary cosmic ray source that emits positrons. Candidates include pulsars and dark matter, but a lot of mystery still surrounds the unexplained positron data.

Igor Moskalenko from Stanford University is very surprised at the close match between the data and the Kolmogorov model. He expected that the ratio would deviate from a single power law in a way that might provide clues to the origin of the excess positrons. “This is a dramatic result that should lead to much better understanding of interstellar magnetohydrodynamic turbulence and propagation of cosmic rays,” he says. “On the other hand, it is very much unexpected in that it makes recent discoveries in astrophysics of cosmic rays even more puzzling.”

Powerful Punch of Gamma Rays Found in Mysterious Fast Radio Bursts

Penn State University astronomers have discovered that the mysterious “cosmic whistles” known as fast radio bursts can pack a serious punch, in some cases releasing a billion times more energy in gamma-rays than they do in radio waves and rivaling the stellar cataclysms known as supernovae in their explosive power. The discovery, the first-ever finding of non-radio emission from any fast radio burst, drastically raises the stakes for models of fast radio bursts and is expected to further energize efforts by astronomers to chase down and identify long-lived counterparts to fast radio bursts using X-ray, optical, and radio telescopes.

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Fast radio bursts, which astronomers refer to as FRBs, were first discovered in 2007, and in the years since radio astronomers have detected a few dozen of these events. Although they last mere milliseconds at any single frequency, their great distances from Earth — and large quantities of intervening plasma — delay their arrival at lower frequencies, spreading the signal out over a second or more and yielding a distinctive downward-swooping “whistle” across the typical radio receiver band.

“This discovery revolutionizes our picture of FRBs, some of which apparently manifest as both a whistle and a bang,” said coauthor Derek Fox, a Penn State professor of astronomy and astrophysics. The radio whistle can be detected by ground-based radio telescopes, while the gamma-ray bang can be picked up by high-energy satellites like NASA’s Swift mission. “Rate and distance estimates for FRBs suggest that, whatever they are, they are a relatively common phenomenon, occurring somewhere in the universe more than 2,000 times a day.”

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Efforts to identify FRB counterparts began soon after their discovery but have all come up empty until now. In a paper recently published in Astrophysical Journal Letters the Penn State team, led by physics graduate student James DeLaunay, reports bright gamma-ray emission from the fast radio burst FRB 131104, named after the date it occurred, 4 November 2013. “I started this search for FRB counterparts without expecting to find anything,” said DeLaunay. “This burst was the first that even had useful data to analyse. When I saw that it showed a possible gamma-ray counterpart, I couldn’t believe my luck!”

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Discovery of the gamma-ray “bang” from FRB 131104, the first non-radio counterpart to any FRB, was made possible by NASA’s Earth-orbiting Swift satellite, which was observing the exact part of the sky where FRB 131104 occurred as the burst was detected by the Parkes Observatory radio telescope in Parkes, Australia. “Swift is always watching the sky for bursts of X-rays and gamma-rays,” said Neil Gehrels, the mission’s principal investigator and chief of the Astroparticle Physics Laboratory at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. “What a delight it was to catch this flash from one of the mysterious fast radio bursts.”

“Although theorists had anticipated that FRBs might be accompanied by gamma rays, the gamma-ray emission we see from FRB 131104 is surprisingly long-lasting and bright,” Fox said. The duration of the gamma-ray emission, at two to six minutes, is many times the millisecond duration of the radio emission. And the gamma-ray emission from FRB 131104 outshines its radio emissions by more than a billion times, dramatically raising estimates of the burst’s energy requirements and suggesting severe consequences for the burst’s surroundings and host galaxy.

Two common models for gamma-ray emission from FRBs exist: one invoking magnetic flare events from magnetars — highly magnetized neutron stars that are the dense remnants of collapsed stars — and another invoking the catastrophic merger of two neutron stars, colliding to form a black hole. According to coauthor Kohta Murase, a Penn State professor and theorist, “The energy release we see is challenging for the magnetar model unless the burst is relatively nearby. The long timescale of the gamma-ray emission, while unexpected in both models, might be possible in a merger event if we observe the merger from the side, in an off-axis scenario.”

“In fact, the energy and timescale of the gamma-ray emission is a better match to some types of supernovae, or to some of the supermassive black hole accretion events that Swift has seen,” Fox said. “The problem is that no existing models predict that we would see an FRB in these cases.”

The bright gamma-ray emission from FRB 131104 suggests that the burst, and others like it, might be accompanied by long-lived X-ray, optical, or radio emissions. Such counterparts are dependably seen in the wake of comparably energetic cosmic explosions, including both stellar-scale cataclysms — supernovae, magnetar flares, and gamma-ray bursts — and episodic or continuous accretion activity of the supermassive black holes that commonly lurk in the centers of galaxies.

In fact, Swift X-ray and optical observations were carried out two days after FRB 131104, thanks to prompt analysis by radio astronomers (who were not aware of the gamma-ray counterpart) and a nimble response from the Swift mission operations team, headquartered at Penn State. In spite of this relatively well-coordinated response, no long-lived X-ray, ultraviolet, or optical counterpart was seen.

The authors hope to participate in future campaigns aimed at discovering more FRB counterparts, and in this way, finally revealing the sources responsible for these ubiquitous and mysterious events. “Ideally, these campaigns would begin soon after the burst and would continue for several weeks afterward to make sure nothing gets missed. Maybe we’ll get even luckier next time,” DeLaunay said.

Russian Scientists Use Cosmic Rays to Forecast Hurricanes

Scientists from the National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Russia) appear to have found a way to better predict hurricanes by measuring changes in the atmosphere which precede giant atmospheric vortexes with air pressure subsiding to the center with very high speed of the airflow.

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This can now be done with the use of a ‘muon hodoscope’. Muons are a byproduct of cosmic rays particles. A hodoscope is a type of detector commonly used in particle physics that make use of an array of detectors to determine the trajectory of an energetic particle – in this case cosmic rays.

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Lead researcher Professor Igor Yashin of Moscow Engineering Physics Institute states: “The hurricane muon hodoscope is able to observe and analyze – on a real-time basis, modulations of the flow of secondary cosmic rays on the Earth’s surface provoked by processes in the heliosphere, magnetosphere and atmosphere of Earth. The uniqueness of our hodoscope is that in the real-time mode, it allows reconstruction of each muon’s track and obtaining muonographs.

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It is hard to overstate the necessity of precise hurricane forecasting. Before artificial satellites, the only way to track hurricanes was via airplanes flying above the cyclones. But even today, satellites can’t provide comprehensive information. For example, they can’t detect the inner barometric pressure of the hurricane or the exact wind speed. Moreover, thick clouds obscure nascent cyclones from satellites. Despite the availability of satellite systems, sensors, and radars, aviation still plays an important role in forecasting.

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According to scientists, the new hodoscope provides precise forecasts. To watch the atmosphere over Russia, which spans 10,625,447,387 miles (17.1 million km), the need for four hodoscopes are required. Considering that hurricanes are a fraction of that size, and the majority of tropical cyclones are formed between 10 and 30 degrees of latitude of both hemispheres, the number of hodoscope necessary to monitor this territory is low.

“Muon diagnostics developed at MEPhI offers the possibility to model the flow of cosmic rays in the atmosphere and magnetosphere. But to study such processes, it is necessary to create a network of similar, adjustable muon hodoscopes. Such hodoscopes were developed at MEPhI,” Yashin says.

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It’s All True…Everything! But Not Necessarily New – Cosmic Rays,Radiation,Earthquakes

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As mentioned in my last article, I am catching up on recent disclosures and it appears some scientific releases have come out sooner than I had expected. I am going to lay this out with the most recent article and then venturing backwards two or three weeks. The reason for this title is a nod to a few colleagues working under the NASA/NOAA umbrella, who have respectfully challenged my research (which is appropriate and necessary), even though uncomfortably harsh at times,  and now have to ease-up a bit since they just happen to be the source on a few items.
Note: Although peer-review can be quite challenging, and on one or two personal occasions ‘humiliating’, it is absolutely necessary to weed-out insubstantial conjecture from theory or at least hypothesis.

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The first of which caught my attention is NASA’s release concerning galactic cosmic rays. This will not be news to you me, and all those who have followed my research over the last 10 years, and even further hints of such going back 21 years during my research of the Sun-Earth connection. Recent released data from both NASA and NOAA now affirming the real-time consequences of Earth’s weakened (and weakening) magnetic field is allowing extensive measures of solar and galactic cosmic rays to enter Earth’s atmosphere. I would suggest the only reason this would be considered ‘news’ is because NASA says it news.

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The FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is the biggest player forcing this to the front. Real and hard hitting data covering the better part of a decade, provides a daunting picture of commercial airline operatives such as pilots, attendants and frequent flyers traveling at altitudes of 35,000 feet or above. The threat is even greater for flight paths near the magnetic poles, because the momentum shielding by Earth’s magnetic field is at its weakest.

Going back to 2008, airline flight crews were currently classified as “radiation workers,” a  federal designation that means they are consistently exposed to radiation. Flight crews on high- latitude routes, in fact, were exposed to more radiation on an annual basis than nuclear plant workers. Move forward 9 years with new instruments and natural evolutionary causes, radiation exposure may have doubled.

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But increased radiation is not only a threat to high flying humans (haven’t decided if pun intended or not just yet), it is perhaps the most instrumental impetus of natural cyclical flux of warming and cooling trends which has a direct causal effect on Earth’s mantle and literally, down to her core. From here, I could jump right into Earth’s coming full magnetic flip, which as I have documented fully as part of my research, a great many of you will have firsthand experience of its latter phase, selfishly to say – I will not be one of them as it comes in the 2060’s. But hey, we all have are time in history. “I was alive and fine in sixty nine.” Uhh, that would be 1969 when I was just a baby (or so).

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But there is more pressing recent disclosures I wish to address. The acknowledgement of what is being called “fracking” and its man-made ‘moderate’ earthquakes. I use the word ‘moderate’ indicating earthquakes have gone beyond 2.0, 2.5, or 3.5, now ranging into the high 4’s and being felt in multiple states. The cause of these quakes is a term I have made popular (so they tell me) calling “fluid-displacement” as the cause. Whether it is forcing fluid out, or forcing fluid in, it is the sudden shift on tectonic plates which cause the rattle. Perhaps oddly, so-called fracking had nothing to do with my original theory of fluid-displacement – it was historical analysis of both a full solar eclipse and full lunar eclipse. My research clearly showed a greater than theoretical corroboration of natural events, namely earthquakes and volcanoes, occurring  within 14 days prior to, or 14 days after the full eclipse.

More Coming…..

Side Note: Thank you to all those sending me your happy birthday heraldings. It always feels good knowing someone remembers you enough to just say “hey, you’re still around.” And for those of you who know me perhaps a bit more, it really does warm my heart. And for those of you…oh boy really didn’t want to go there…who have really shared some tangible time and space in my life…well darn it, you simply and truly brought a smile to my face, and yes on occasion, a tear to my eye.

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My Two Girls Alexa and Sophia now 8 and 4

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And Of Course My Ageless Wife and Mother Elly

From high school friends and foes, to college roommates and frat bros (not sure how I feel about the frat period, early 20’s young dumb and full of – oh whatever. I think most of you who are hovering around my age will agree…the foes are few or none, and whatever time we spend together in this day seems to take on a time-warp when a few quality minutes or hours make up for years or tens of years as if we had been in touch somehow in some-way as if it were hidden along some-kind of small celestial portal…Warning, Mitch appears to be slipping into some heavy-heavy esoteric mindscape – Oh what the helion, might as well finish this thought. What if we discover there really is some factual data around ‘string theory’, bosons, and firmions.

What if there is such a place! and along the walls of this portal we see the face of our friends, foes, roommates, family and extended family. In that very moment we realize in less than a flash, every single person place and thing was tied to us from the beginning and I do mean the ‘beginning’.

 

I have never said this publically before. My children would at times ask me: “where did I come from.” Of course my first reaction was: “Oh honey, Alexa has a question for you.” And then she would ask: “how did you and mom meet, and why did you have me?” To my surprise, I wanted to answer this question. Without hesitation, my answer just came out effortlessly. “Alexa, me and mommy didn’t choose you – you chose us. And every single day I thank God, and you, for looking down from the heavens and deciding along with your angels that you chose us to come into this world. The days that I fail you as being your dad to help you experience the challenges of this Earthly life, eats at me every time. So every time I see you trying to figure out this world, I am too and I’ll never ever forget your first hours in this life. I would stare at you all night not wanting to miss a single second, and I might add your mom would laugh at me because sometimes I would put a mirror under your nose to make sure you were breathing. But honestly, to me during this time I knew without a single doubt you could see and speak to the very place you just left. In fact, I wrote about this experience to all the members of daddy’s work. And guess what, other moms and dads had a similar experience. So any of those times dad yells at you, it’s either something you did scares me, or I don’t know quite what to do, and sometimes I even scare myself.”

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Okay folks, it’s time to get back to science. If you can, help support our work with your donations. There is a lot to say and time is not necessarily on the best of sides.

Cheers, Mitch

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