Links for November 25th

  • BBC News: CO2 climate sensitivity ‘overestimated’
    Of all that is very clearly known about global climate change, the one connection that is not well understood is the quantity of climate forcing that results from each unit of CO2. That is, exactly how much additional heat can the atmosphere store for each each ton of CO2 that is added to it? One new study proposes that the existing model might be too pessimistic, basing that on the authors' theory that the last ice age wasn't as cold as has been believed. Their theorized rate of increase is still globally catastrophic, but comparatively speaking, it would be good news. The team's paper is published in Science magazine.
  • Wikipedia: Franksgiving
    In 1939, President Roosevelt made the annual declaration of a day of Thanksgiving—as had been done such President Washington—but selected the third Thursday in November, rather than the traditional last Thursday. That was at the request of retailers, who didn't want to violate the taboo of starting Christmas sales before Thanksgiving, but were worried that the fourth Thursday would fall too late in the year—November 30—to give them enough sales time. The moved date split the country, both along partisan lines and along state lines. Many states declared Thanksgiving holidays on the third Thursday, some on the fourth. This was repeated in 1940 and 1941, but it was settled by Congress, who officially designed the annual holiday as being the fourth Thursday, as of 1942.
  • American Radio Relay League: US Amateurs Now 700,000 Strong!
    There are more ham radio operators in the U.S. than ever before. Over 700,000 now. When I got licensed, in the early nineties, there were just under 500,000 licensed operators. I was one of the first people to get a codeless license, meaning that I didn't need to learn CW (aka Morse code); if that new class of license hadn't been established, I couldn't have passed the test. These days, I don't think CW is required for any of the three license classes—Technician, General, and Amateur Extra—which has surely helped this surge in licensing. (Fun fact: Long-time ARRL president Harry Dannals, aka W2HD, is a Charlottesville resident.)

Published by Waldo Jaquith

Waldo Jaquith (JAKE-with) is an open government technologist who lives near Char­lottes­­ville, VA, USA. more »

5 replies on “Links for November 25th”

  1. What’s so special about Thursday. They could have made it Wed. and people would’ve gotten a 5-day holiday. I just wish something could be done about the dubious term “Black Friday”. Does anyone think that Walmart has been losing money the first 11 months of the year?

    I remember well the American Radio Relay League as my father was in frequency management for VOA for a few decades. I recall seeing the ARRL pubs lying around although I doubt I read them much. Waldo is probably the only one here that knows what a QSL card is. My father probably had the world’s largest QSL card collection until I donated most of them to some radio museum a few years back.

  2. There are actually a few other hams who are regulars here. I never got a single QSL card, and certainly never printed up any of my own. I was only interested in ham radio as a means of internet access (via packet radio). As soon as I got access via UVA, I lost all interest in ham radio.

  3. It’s also terribly embarrassing for climate change chicken littles when a volcano spews out more CO2 in a few hours than all of mankind could possibly hope to in a decade. Bloody inconvenient, those volcanoes.

  4. If that were true, that would be embarrassing. But you’re off by two orders of magnitude:

    “A lot of climate skeptics claim that volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans do,” [volcanologist Terrence] Gerlach said. “They never give any numbers, but the fact is you will never be able to find the volcanic gas scientist that will agree to that,” he said.


    While there is uncertainty in the measurements–researchers estimate between 0.13 and 0.44 billion metric tons per year, with their best estimates between 0.15 and 0.26 billion tons–even the highest end of the range is dwarfed by anthropogenic emissions of 35 billion metric tons in 2010.

    Gerlach noted that human land-use changes alone, which include deforestation, release 3.5 billion metric tons per year. Cars and light-duty trucks produce 2 billion metric tons; even cement production produces 1.5 billion tons. Any of these by itself is still several times higher than the annual emissions of all of the world’s volcanoes .

    Pakistan or Kazakhstan each produce about the amount of CO2 as volcanoes do each year, Gerlach noted in the article.

    As Gerlach points out, for volcano CO2 emissions to match human emissions, Mount St. Helens would have to erupt every two and a half hours.

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