01. January 2005 · Comments Off on Top Science Stories Of 2004 · Categories: Science!

Discover magazine has published their list of 100 Top Science Stories of 2004. Many of them I find quite exciting:

2. SpaceShipOne Opens Private Rocket Era
19. Two New Elements Discovered
36. New State of Matter Could Lead to Practical Superconductors
65. Black Holes Revealed As Forces of Creation
82. Astronomers Measure Cosmos Width: 156 Billion Light-Years
83. Atomic Clock Shrunk

Of course, their top one I don’t. Neither does Richard A. Galen:

Evidence of global warming became so overwhelming in 2004 that now the question is: What can we do about it?

* Deep in the article, Discover points out that Swiss researchers claim the summer of 2003 was “the hottest in Europe since 1500.”

* Wait. What? Since 1500? What was going on in 1500? Were oxen — the SUVs of the age — belching greenhouse gasses at an alarming rate? The Renaissance was in full bloom, but did Leonardo da Vinci code for global warming?

* Maybe there’s nothing we can — or need to — do. In the 42nd -biggest science story of the year, the Discover magazine editors, without any sense of irony, write that 620 million years ago, “the global Marinoan glaciation — a great environmental calamity … entombed the planet in ice for several million years.”

* A major shift in weather that apparently occurred without the interference of human — or almost any other type of — beings.

* The 77th-biggest scientific scoop of the year was that the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago caused a “nuclear winter” which allowed the land to begin warming after about five years but which kept deep ocean temperatures well below normal for “another two millennia.”

* If that is the case, then NASA’s recent announcement that an asteroid measuring a bit more than a quarter mile across might collide with the Earth on April 13, 2029, would repair whatever atmospheric damage the Mullmobile has been doing for the past five years.

* Last one: The 95th most important science story of 2004, according to Discover Mag, holds that 30,000 years ago, humans arrived in North America over a land bridge from Siberia which existed “before glaciers closed off the route at the height of the last ice age.”

* No global warming 30,000 years ago, no casinos on Indian reservations in 2004.

* See the pattern emerging here? Cold weather — bad. Warm weather — good.

* One of the few things former Vice President Al Gore and I agreed upon was whether or not there is global warming. We parted company in that I think global warming is a good thing. I don’t like cold weather. Most people don’t like cold weather.

* It’s why they made Florida.

Comments closed.