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By Mark Wadsworth blog
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Science news.

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1. From the BBC:

“Distant starlight gets stretched by the expansion of the Universe and shifts into the infrared region of the spectrum. We call it redshift,” explains Richard Ellis, a University College London astronomer who’s impatient to explore the end of the dark ages.

“The limiting factor we have with Hubble, for example… It’s also not a particularly large telescope. It’s been a pioneering facility, for sure. Amazing pictures. But the diameter of its mirror is only 2.4m, and the power of a telescope scales with the square of the diameter of the mirror. And that’s where JWST comes in.

Why doesn’t he just say “the power of a telescope scales with its surface area”? That’s easy to understand and makes sense. He’s trying to sound too clever for his own good.

2. Also from the BBC:

The UK is having the warmest New Year’s Day on record, with new high temperatures set for the second day in a row, the Met Office says. St James’s Park in central London saw temperatures of 16.3C (61.3F) on Saturday as 2022 was ushered in…

The previous New Year’s Day record was set in [drumroll please...] 1916, when it reached 15.6C (60.1F) in Bude, Cornwall.

It would appear that average temperatures are going up slightly in many places, but the constant cherry picking is like the boy crying wolf, I believe it less all the time. 0.7 degrees per century doesn’t strike me as too catastrophic. It would be just as easy to cherry-pick the other way and list all the places where New Year’s Day was colder in 2022 than it was in some other random year like 1916.

Similarly, there have been a lot of forest and brush fires in recent years. If somewhere has a particularly big or damaging fire, then they are quick to shout about it as if it had never happened before.

But what about all the places which have had large fires in the past which didn’t have any fires at all in recent years? Do they mention those? Nope. That’s just what forests do – they burn down every few decades and then grow back – or else there wouldn’t be any forests left. If we stopped chopping them down, there would be as many trees as there ever were.


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