Hysteria as a response to snow


As with many things Charlie Brooker was there first. The video below was from three years ago. #Snowmageddon has become a staple story in the UK with the first winter snow.

What might be inter­est­ing is what snow ter­ror tells us about cli­mate change.

There’s an inter­est­ing news story from 2000, with an awful head­line but a couple of inter­est­ing quotes.

According to Dr David Viner, a senior research sci­ent­ist at the cli­matic research unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia,within a few years winter snow­fall will become “a very rare and excit­ing event”.

Heavy snow will return occa­sion­ally, says Dr Viner, but when it does we will be unpre­pared. “We’re really going to get caught out. Snow will prob­ably cause chaos in 20 years time,” he said.

So apart from the quotes com­pletely dis­agree­ing with the head­line in the story, has Dr Viner’s pre­dic­tion come true? Does global warm­ing mean we’ll freak out when snow comes?

In the Telegraph Boris Johnson has just pos­ted: It’s snow­ing, and it really feels like the start of a mini ice age.

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Tentative Astronomical World Heritage Sites


I’m mak­ing a note for myself here, but other might be inter­ested. It’s occurred to me there’s a very easy way to list sites on the tent­at­ive world her­it­age lists with an expli­cit astro­nom­ical con­nec­tion. Just search for the word astro­nomy on the list. It’s not rocket science.

It’s not per­fect either. The list­ing for Herat is tan­gen­tial to astro­nom­ical her­it­age, but other entries are obvi­ously rel­ev­ant, like Astronomical Observatories of Ukraine and The Cape Arc of Meridian, South Africa.

One or two are new to me, so I have some read­ing to do.

#blog   #AstronomicalHeritage  

Embedded Link

UNESCO World Heritage Centre — Tentative Lists
UNESCO World Heritage Centre

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Some splendid lunar animations


I’m work­ing on a talk today. At one point it threatened to be inter­est­ing, but I think I’ve got that under con­trol. Something that might spoil that plan though are some lunar anim­a­tions from NASA. You can Dial-A-Moon at their web­site and down­load anim­a­tions of lunar phases and libration.

Libration is inter­est­ing. It’s the wobble in the moon as it gets pulled around in orbit. The down­load­able anim­a­tions bring this out nicely and NASA has gone to some lengths to make them as usable as pos­sible for people. You can down­load the files in vari­ous formats from http://j.mp/dialamoon or watch them via YouTube.

#blog   #moon   #astro­nomy  

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