GOP takes climate change denial to the next level

The GOP's war on science gets worse, writes Elizabeth Kolbert, noting that the House GOP cut $300 million from NASA's budget for earth sciences (including climate) on the childish old theory that ignoring a problem will make it go away. That same week The New Yorker, for which Kolbert writes, came up with an evenContinue reading “GOP takes climate change denial to the next level”

NASA vs. Ted Cruz: Round One

Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) has been spoiling for a fight with NASA administrators every since GOP triumphed in the elections last fall. He has taken the helm of the Senate subcommittee that overseas NASA, which flies under the awkward moniker of the Space, Science, and Competiveness Subcommittee. Cruz has made clear when he took over thatContinue reading “NASA vs. Ted Cruz: Round One”

NASA vs. NOAA: battle of the winter forecast charts

The headline exaggerates, of course, but doesn't in fact mislead. Here's a graph of a NASA climate model, depicting a forecast of precipitation in the U.S. for the next winter. Colors tell the story.  In truth, it's a little hard to decode the anomalies chart, but this turns out to be just one of eightContinue reading “NASA vs. NOAA: battle of the winter forecast charts”

NASA’s $800 million question: Where is the CO2 going?

A week ago tonight, NASA put about a half a billion dollars on a chip fired into space. The mission for the OCO-2 satellite? To find out where the carbon dioxide we emit is coming from, exactly, and where it is going, exactly, and why the uptake varies so enormously from year to year.

It’s one of the biggest questions in climate science.

That’s one cool looking rocket: launch of the OSO-2

Wish I could be there: Twas the night before launch… #OCO2 is ready for its 5:56am ET launch! Watch live:  — NASA (@NASA) July 2, 2014 Will do my best to cover, as I did once before  – even if it meaning staying up to all hours. 

NASA: Stellar womb gives birth to monster star

From an ALMA (ESO/NRAJ/NRAO)/NASA press release: Observations of the dark cloud SDC 335.579-0.292 using the Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter array (ALMA) have given astronomers the best view yet of a monster star in the process of forming. A stellar womb with over 500 times the mass than the Sun has been found and appears as theContinue reading “NASA: Stellar womb gives birth to monster star”

NASA drops another climate satellite in the ocean

Two years ago I observed the launch of a NASA satellite, called the Orbiting Carbon Observatory, intended to help scientists understand the wide variation in uptake of carbon from the atmosphere by the earth. I wrote about it for the Santa Barbara Independent. At an impromptu press conference held after the OCO crashed into the SouthernContinue reading “NASA drops another climate satellite in the ocean”

Reasons to love Barack (vol. 9003)

Despite the Obama's inability to nudge this country, far less the world, towards climate sanity, there remain plenty of reasons to love the guy. Here are a couple of examples I've been meaning to post: In the popular inside account of the 2008 campaign, Game Change, we learn what happened at the crucial meeting onContinue reading “Reasons to love Barack (vol. 9003)”

Our galactic neighbor, seen as never before

Science fans and Internet junkies no doubt have been caught glimpses of the latest set of images from NASA's astonishingly far-sighted WISE (Wide Infrared Survey Explorer) mission.  Here's my personal fave: our closest galactic neighbor, Andromeda. Although about 2.5 million light years from our sun, this galaxy is actually bigger than the Milky Way, expertsContinue reading “Our galactic neighbor, seen as never before”