Evolution and Global Warming are facts, not theories!

Hand Evolution by Megan Godtland

Science and Reason, use them to guide your life.

Microwave Earth by Megan Godtland

Scientists Stats

Welcome to those interested in Science!

Global Warming Is A Fact! Climate Change Is A Fact!
Burning Fossil Fuels Is The Major Cause Of Global Warming!
Only 24 of 13,950 peer-reviewed climate articles reject climate change!
That's only 0.17 percent! Where would you place your bet?

Sioux Falls Scientists is a group made up of people who love science as well as those interested in science, and scientists themselves. This website provides news articles, movies, courses and books that describe how science works and the latest discoveries of science, especially the latest discoveries in the fields of evolution science and global warming. Located in Sioux Falls, SD, the Sioux Falls Scientists have meetings and social gatherings where people of free thought and open minds meet and share ideas, share what they have learned about science and share what they think about the latest science discoveries.

To become a member of this group join
Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com

Our meetings and social gatherings are posted at Sioux Falls Free Thinkers on Meetup.com. Sioux Falls Free Thinkers Upcoming Events can be seen on the Meetup.com Calendar.

Second Free Thinkers Meetup of the Year: Discuss First Two Weeks of Billboards and TV Ads

Location and Time to Be Announced

The Billboards and TV Ads are bound to create controversy. Share what you have heard.

What more can we do! Ideas please!

The Facts Behind The Hate!
To see what the billboards look like:

Dale Hemming
Founder of Sioux Falls Free Thinkers

The Sioux Falls Scientists group will never have any dues. Membership is not required to attend our meetings. This group will probably never have any formal rules except treating other members and their opinions with respect and giving everyone equal time to speak. This group will never purge members for expressing their opinions or for forming their own group of people interested in science in general or in a particular field of scientific study. The only loose requirement is that members, and those attending our meetings, have an interest in one of the subjects of the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers websites.

We look forward to seeing you at one or more of our events and meetings!

Breaking News!

1-18-17 2016 confirmed as the hottest year on record
2016 confirmed as the hottest year on record
The global average temperature in 2016 was 1.1°C higher than pre-industrial levels and about 0.07°C higher than the previous record set in 2015. Last year was the hottest year on record globally, beating 2015’s exceptionally high temperatures, the World Meteorological Organisation said today. The global average temperature in 2016 was 1.1°C higher than pre-industrial levels and about 0.07°C higher than the previous record set in 2015, the organisation said. Along with record temperatures, other long-term indicators humans are changing the climate reached new heights in 2016, including levels of greenhouse gases and melting ice, the WMO said. The analysis is based on data from the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre, the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

1-18-17 For three years in a row, Earth breaks heat record
For three years in a row, Earth breaks heat record
Climate change, El Niño drove 2016’s high temperatures. Climate change and remnant warming from the 2015–2016 El Niño helped make 2016 the hottest year on record. For the third year running, Earth’s thermostat broke a new record: 2016 was the warmest year since record-keeping began in 1880. Spurred by climate change and heat from a monster El Niño, the global average surface temperature last year was 0.94 degrees Celsius (1.69 degrees Fahrenheit) higher than the 20th century average of 13.9° C (57° F). That slightly edges out the previous titleholder, 2015, by 0.04 degrees C (SN: 2/20/16, p. 13). Eight months during 2016 set new all-time highs, including July, which was Earth’s warmest month on record, scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA reported January 18. (Webmaster's comment: Don't worry Twit Trump, you'll fry right along with the rest of us!)

1-16-17 Global sea ice is at lowest level ever recorded
Global sea ice is at lowest level ever recorded
The area of ocean covered by floating ice is at its lowest since the satellite era began, and probably the lowest it has been for thousands of years. It’s a new low point. The area of the world’s oceans covered by floating sea ice is the smallest recorded since satellite monitoring began in the 1970s. That means it is also probably the lowest it has been for thousands of years. The latest observations from the US National Snow & Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, show how the ice extent has fallen to a new low this year. In the Arctic, the low in sea ice coverage is a result of both global warming and unusual weather events probably influenced by global warming. But in the Antarctic, the current low in seasonal sea ice could just be a result of natural variability. The extent of Arctic sea ice should be growing rapidly during the northern hemisphere winter. But not only has the Arctic been warming rapidly, this winter repeated incursions of warm air have pushed temperatures even further above average.

Global Sea Ice Extent 1978-2017

12-24-16 Arctic heatwave could break records
Arctic heatwave could break records
Temperatures at the North Pole could be up to 20 degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve, in what scientists say is a record-breaking heatwave. Climate scientists say these unseasonably warm weather patterns in the Arctic region are directly linked to man-made climate change. Temperatures throughout November and December were 5C higher than average. It follows a summer during which Arctic sea ice reached the second-lowest extent ever recorded by satellites. Dr Friederike Otto, a senior researcher at Oxford's Environmental Change Institute told BBC News that in pre-industrial times "a heatwave like this would have been extremely rare - we would expect it to occur about every 1,000 years". Dr Otto added that scientists are "very confident" that the weather patterns were linked to anthropogenic climate change. "We have used several different climate modelling approaches and observations," she told BBC News. "And in all our methods, we find the same thing; we cannot model a heatwave like this without the anthropogenic signal." Temperatures are forecast to peak on Christmas Eve around the North Pole - at near-freezing. The warm air from the North Atlantic is forecast to flow all the way to the North Pole via Spitsbergen, giving rise to clouds that prevent heat from escaping. And, as Dr Otto explained to BBC News, the reduction in sea ice is contributing to this "feedback loop". "If the globe is warming, then the sea ice and ice on land [shrinks] then the darker water and land is exposed," she said. "Then the sunlight is absorbed rather than reflected as it would be by the ice." Forecasting models show that there is about a 2% chance of a heatwave event occurring every year. "But if temperatures continue to increase further as they are now," said Dr Otto, "we would expect a heatwave like this to occur every other year and that will be a huge stress on the ecosystem." (Webmaster's comment: We've hit the global warming tipping point. It has now gone into positive feedback. Billions are literally going to roast to death by the end of the century. We are the creators of our own extinction as well as the polar bears and reindeer.)

12-12-16 Glacier melting’s link to climate change confirmed
Glacier melting’s link to climate change confirmed
Study finds warming ‘virtually certain’ to blame in many cases of dwindling ice. Shrinking glaciers such as Nigardsbreen in Norway are virtually certain to be victims of climate change, new research shows. The decades-long dwindling of glaciers is “categorical evidence of climate change,” a new study affirms. The link between global warming and glacial retreat had previously garnered only a “likely,” or at least 66 percent probability, rating from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Comparing the long-term decline of 37 glaciers, researchers estimate that all but one are “very likely” – or with at least 90 percent probability – the result of climate change. Natural variability and complex dynamics make sussing out climate change’s role in glacial retreat difficult. Earth system scientist Gerard Roe of the University of Washington in Seattle and colleagues calculated the natural ups and downs of well-documented glaciers from around the world. The researchers then noted how far the glaciers have drifted from that natural variability and compared that trend with changes in the nearby climate. For 21 out of the 37 glaciers, the researchers say it is “virtually certain” that climate change caused the glaciers’ retreat, the researchers report December 12 in Nature Geoscience. Glaciers hold about 75 percent of Earth’s freshwater and their decline serves as a canary in the coal mine for climate change.

11-16-16 China’s space station now has insects, weeds and rice on board
China’s space station now has insects, weeds and rice on board
The Tiangong-2 space station includes experiments in growing thale cress, an edible weed and rice in microgravity. INSECTS, weeds and rice are growing on the Chinese space station, and could pave the way for future food sources for astronauts. China’s Tiangong-2 space station launched on 15 September, and two astronauts have been living there since mid-October. The station includes experiments growing thale cress – an edible weed – and rice in microgravity. Chinese news sources are reporting that the cress has flowered and some of the rice plants are 10 centimetres tall. The station also hosts an experiment designed by Hong Kong middle school students involving six silkworms, which previous studies have suggested could be protein sources for long space journeys. Five of the silkworms have spun cocoons. When the astronauts return to Earth, which is expected around 18 November, they will bring cress samples back with them. The rice experiment will continue for several months. This is not the first time we’ve grown food in space – astronauts on the International Space Station ate lettuce grown in orbit. But the Tiangong-2 experiment lets scientists on Earth control the incubator environment remotely.

10-27-16 World wildlife 'falls by 58% in 40 years'
World wildlife 'falls by 58% in 40 years'
Global wildlife populations have fallen by 58% since 1970, a report says. The Living Planet assessment, by the Zoological Society of London (ZSL) and WWF, suggests that if the trend continues that decline could reach two-thirds among vertebrates by 2020. The figures suggest that animals living in lakes, rivers and wetlands are suffering the biggest losses. Human activity, including habitat loss, wildlife trade, pollution and climate change contributed to the declines. Dr Mike Barrett. head of science and policy at WWF, said: "It's pretty clear under 'business as usual' we will see continued declines in these wildlife populations. But I think now we've reached a point where there isn't really any excuse to let this carry on. "We know what the causes are and we know the scale of the impact that humans are having on nature and on wildlife populations - it really is now down to us to act."

8-16-16 China launches world’s first quantum communications satellite
China launches world’s first quantum communications satellite
The Quantum Science Satellite will test quantum entanglement over record distances and could lead to a global network for secure quantum communications. China has just launched the world’s first quantum communications satellite. The 600 kg spacecraft blasted off from the Jiuquan Satellite Center in the Gobi Desert at 0140 local time. The satellite is both an extreme test of the weird properties of quantum mechanics, and a technology testbed for what could be the start of a global, unhackable communications network. Officially known as the Quantum Science Satellite (QUESS), the mission has been renamed Mozi after the ancient Chinese philosopher said to be the first in history to conduct optical experiments. A team led by Jian-Wei Pan of the University of Science and Technology of China in Hefei will conduct their own experiments with QUESS, using photons to test quantum entanglement – in which the quantum properties of two particles are linked even when separated – over a record-breaking 1200 kilometres. The team will also test quantum key distribution, a form of secure communication in which the laws of quantum mechanics prevent eavesdroppers from snooping in. If successful, they hope to create a communications network. “For sure, we will launch more satellites to construct a quantum constellation for global coverage,” says Pan. (Webmaster's comment: This acheivement is so cutting-edge it is beyond cutting-edge! The Chinese are racing ahead of America in leading scientific achievements.)

Of Special Interest

1-11-17 Space travel's mental health toll could endanger long missions
Space travel's mental health toll could endanger long missions
A review of NASA research highlights the risk that prolonged social isolation poses to long-distance space missions, as well as other dangers like radiation. ISOLATION, radiation and other dangers could interact to pose a major risk to mental and physical health on long space missions, according to the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The academies regularly review NASA’s research on how being in space affects health. Their latest report looks at eight recent studies on the dangers of long exploratory missions or a Mars trip. “Two of the most critical issues are the radiation exposure beyond low Earth orbit and the psychosocial effects of confinement and isolation,” says Carol Scott-Conner at the University of Iowa, chair of the committee behind the report. She calls them “potential showstoppers” that could cause missions to fail. Astronauts bound for distant destinations would share a small space with a few fellow crew members, and would be away from friends and family for years. They are also likely to be working hard, with their sleep patterns disrupted, and will lack real-time communication with Earth, all of which could affect mental and physical health. The report points out that it is hard to foresee and study how these and other challenges may aggravate each other. “It seems like all of the risks could potentially interact,” says Scott-Conner. NASA hopes to use genetic studies to understand each astronaut’s susceptibilities. This may make it possible to tailor space travel to take account of individuals’ needs.

12-16-16 Some of the things we were told to avoid
Some of the things we were told to avoid
Deep space could be too dangerous for manned exploration. A NASA-funded study found that astronauts who flew to the moon were four times more likely to die from heart disease than those who only traveled as far as low Earth orbit, where the International Space Station is located. Researchers believe this is due to their exposure to deep-space radiation, which has also been linked to chronic cognitive impairment and ­dementia—or “space brain.” These obstacles will have to be overcome before astronauts can attempt a mission to Mars. “We’ve probably underestimated the impact of deep-space radiation,” says Michael Delp, lead author of the NASA study.

10-21-16 Astronauts’ ‘space brain’
Astronauts’ ‘space brain’
Astronauts on a years-long trip to Mars may have more than just boredom to worry about: They could end up with “space brain.” One of NASA’s biggest concerns about taking humans to the Red Planet is the danger of excessive exposure to cosmic radiation, reports NBCNews.com. To investigate, researchers from the space agency exposed rats and mice to fully ionized oxygen and titanium particles, which are similar to the cosmic rays that would bombard astronauts on lengthy space flights. The rodents developed brain inflammation and other neural damage, and performed poorly on tests of memory and learning—a condition researchers called “space brain.” Studies involving animals often fail to translate to people, but brain cancer patients who have received high-dose, photon-based radiation treatment have developed similar cognitive problems. In another worrying sign, the radiation-zapped rats and mice also displayed heightened levels of anxiety and stress. Such conditions, says study leader Charles Limoli, could reduce astronauts’ capability “to operate efficiently over the course of a deep space mission.” The only way to block out cosmic radiation is with more efficient shielding material, or an electromagnetic field to deflect the rays. NASA is exploring both options.

What is our Universe Made of?

1-12-17 No sign of seasonal dark matter after four years of searching
No sign of seasonal dark matter after four years of searching
The XENON100 experiment just checked up on a controversial claim that dark matter comes and goes with the seasons - and found nothing. Dark matter has just suffered another blow. Only one experiment claims to have seen signs of the mysterious stuff, and now the massive XENON100 experiment has failed to find any evidence for that signal. This may put the controversial signal to rest once and for all – but some say it’s not that simple. Dark matter is a mysterious substance that makes up roughly 23 per cent of our universe. We know it’s there because of the gravitational force it exerts on normal matter, but it’s devilishly difficult to detect. Myriad experiments have been trying to do just that, most buried deep underground to block out troublesome cosmic rays. But while there have been a few tantalising hints here and there, nothing has reached the threshold required to count as detection – with one exception. In 1998, scientists at the DAMA experiment buried deep in Italy’s Gran Sasso mountain claimed to have detected dark matter in the form of a weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) weighing around 10 gigaelectronvolts (GeV). The rate of recorded blips as particles collide with the nuclei of the detector material varied with the seasons. The DAMA scientists attributed this to the Earth moving through a “wind” of dark matter as it orbits the sun. DAMA’s signal was unmistakable, but many physicists argued that other factors besides dark matter could explain it. It didn’t help that the DAMA team refused to share their data publicly or collaborate with other researchers, making it more difficult to test those claims.

1-10-17 XENON100 experiment contradicts suspected signal from DAMA/LIBRA
XENON100 experiment contradicts suspected signal from DAMA/LIBRA
A search for dark matter by the XENON100 experiment has found nothing. Photomultiplier tubes within the detector, shown above, detect light produced in interactions possibly caused by dark matter particles. Chalk up one more loss for physicists searching for dark matter. Scientists with the XENON100 experiment have largely ruled out another experiment’s controversial claim of detecting dark matter. XENON100, located in Italy’s Gran Sasso National Laboratory, aims to directly detect particles of dark matter — the unknown substance that scientists believe makes up the bulk of matter in the cosmos (SN: 11/12/16, p. 14). In their new analysis, published online January 3 at arXiv.org, XENON100 scientists looked for an annual variation in the rate of blips in their detector, a tank filled with 161 kilograms of liquid xenon. Such a signal could be a hallmark of Earth’s motion through a prevailing wind of dark matter particles as the planet makes its yearly jaunt around the sun. Another dark matter experiment at Gran Sasso, DAMA/LIBRA, claims to have found strong evidence of a yearly modulation, but other experiments have failed to replicate the result. (Webmaster's comment: Once upon physics claimed there also also had to be an ether for light to travel through space space. I think dark matter is soon going to join that imagined material in the dust bin of history.)

12-15-16 First test of rival to Einstein’s gravity kills off dark matter
First test of rival to Einstein’s gravity kills off dark matter
A radical new model of gravity seems to account for bending of light by distant galaxies without invoking extra unseen mass whose identity remains mysterious. A controversial approach to gravity that challenges Albert Einstein and suggests dark matter doesn’t exist has passed its first test. The vast majority of physicists agree that gravity acts according to rules laid down in Isaac Newton’s law of gravitation and Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Yet observations of the universe show that the motion of the galaxies can’t be explained by the gravitational pull of all the ordinary matter out there – hence the belief in unseen, dark matter that exerts its own pull. Now, a team of astronomers studying the distribution of matter in more than 30,000 galaxies say their observations can be explained by an alternative theory that does away with dark matter. If this “modified gravity” is correct, it would up-end hundreds of years of fundamental physics. Margot Brouwer at Leiden University, the Netherlands, and her colleagues looked at the gravitational lensing of these galaxies – the way they bend the light of more distant galaxies as predicted by Einstein’s theory – to measure their dark matter content. To their surprise, they discovered the observed lensing could just as readily be accounted for by a new model of gravity, without invoking dark matter.

12-13-16 Shadows of two failed searches loom over physics
Shadows of two failed searches loom over physics
There were no detections of dark matter particles this year and no signs of supersymmetry. The failure to detect dark matter particles suggests scientists might need new strategies for unlocking the secrets of the cosmos. Scientists, like athletes, are obsessed with experiencing the thrill of victory. Just as they fear the agony of defeat. And in the wide world of science, thrills make news much more often than the agony. Winners get the publicity, losers can’t get published. But sometimes the defeats deserve to make news too, especially when highly publicized experiments fail in their quest. Data reported in 2016 have forced physicists to face the prospect of just such a failure—not once, but twice. Dark matter, supposedly the most abundant form of mass in the cosmos, declines to show up in devices designed to detect it. And it refuses to appear in experiments constructed to make it. For decades, physicists specializing in subatomic particles have expected to find an entirely new species of matter, a type never seen on Earth, swarming throughout the vastness of space. Galaxies rotate too rapidly and clump too closely if the only source of gravitational force is the matter that glows in visible light. Something else must be out there — an invisible, unidentified source of gravity that does not glow like stars or gas. In fact, most (roughly 85 percent) of the matter in the cosmos, astronomers have long known, must be dark. Billions of these dark matter particles ought to be passing through your body every second. Your body wouldn’t notice, but large, sophisticated detectors should record a vibration or flash of light when a dark matter particle collides with an atomic nucleus in the detecting material. (Webmaster's comment: The universe is not only stranger than we think, IT IS STRANGER THAN WE CAN THINK. The smarter chimp has its limits.)

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Welcome to those interested in Science!.