Quote; "Senior managers at the National Toxicology Program (NTP) released the preliminary results of their cell phone radiation study late last week. They were so concerned about the elevated rates of two types of cancer among exposed rats that they felt an immediate public alert was warranted. They considered it unwise to wait for the results to wend their way into a journal sometime next year. Not surprisingly, the NTP report generated worldwide media attention.
There were some startling reactions. Both the American Cancer Society (ACS) and Consumers Reports immediately shelved their long-held, wait-and-see positions. In a statement issued soon after the NTP’s press conference, Otis Brawley, ACS’ chief medical officer, said the NTP results mark a “paradigm shift in our understanding of radiation and cancer risk.” He called the NTP report “good science.”
Consumer Reports said that the new study was “groundbreaking” and encouraged people to take simple precautions to limit their exposures.
However, much of the mainstream media saw it very differently. This was apparent at last Friday’s news briefing where the skepticism among reporters was palpable. The Washington Post ran its story under the headline, “Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? Don’t Believe the Hype.”
One question on many people’s minds was why, if cell phones cause cancer, there hasn’t been an uptick in the incidence of brain tumors in the American population. For instance, Gina Kolata, a science reporter at the New York Times, gave the NTP study zero credibility. In a short video accompanying the Times’ news story, Kolata said that there is “overwhelming evidence” that cell phones do not lead to cancer. “Despite the explosion of cell phone use,” she said, “it looks like the incidence of brain cancer has remained pretty much rock steady since 1992.” The “bottom line,” she concluded, is that, “You can use a cell phone without worrying.”
There’s More Than One Type of Brain TumorThe issue of whether brain tumor rates are static or rising is more complicated than Kolata would have us believe. It’s true that the overall incidence of brain tumors has not been changing much, but a different picture emerges if one looks, carefully, at the data.
The histogram below helps tell the story. It’s based on brain tumor data from The Netherlands. The black segment of each column tracks the incidence of glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), the most aggressive and deadly type of brain tumors. While the total incidence of all types of brain tumors in The Netherlands rose at the rate of only about 0.7% per year, the increase in GBM was about 3.1% per year —that is, the incidence more than doubled over the period 1989-2010. (Follow the thin red line we superimposed on the histogram to track the trend.) This is a statistically significant increase. At the same time, the rate of all the other types of brain tumors went down; these changes are also significant. The higher incidence of GBMs is being masked by the lower rates of the other types of brain cancer.
GBMs Are Also Rising in the U.S.A similar trend is occurring in the U.S., according to a team from the University of Southern California Medical School in Los Angeles. The USC researchers looked at the incidence of brain tumors in three “major cancer registries” over a 15-year period (1992-2006). In a paper published in 2012, they reported that GBMs had gone up while the other types had gone down. The study showed “decreased rates of primary brain tumors in all sites with the notable exception of increased incidence of GBM in the frontal lobes, temporal lobes and cerebellum.”
The increase in GBMs in the temporal lobe (the region of the brain closest to the ear and potentially to a phone) was seen in all three registries, ranging from approximately 1.3% to 2.3% per year, a finding that is statistically significant.
Some anecdotal evidence from Denmark also supports a rising incidence of GBMs. Back in 2012, the Danish Cancer Society reported a spike in GBMs. The Society quoted a neuro-oncologist at Copenhagen University Hospital as saying this was a “frightening development.” There wasn’t much of a follow-up other than the society’s removal of the news advisory from its website. (See our “Something Rotten in Denmark.”)
Cell Phones Linked to GBMsPerhaps, the increasing rate of GBMs seen in the U.S., The Netherlands and Denmark is due to some unknown factor. But, whatever may be going on, GBMs are on the rise.
While most cell phone epidemiological studies do not break out the risks for different types of brain tumors, Lennart Hardell of Örebro University Hospital in Sweden has done so. “We have consistently found an increased risk for high-grade glioma, including the most malignant type, glioblastoma multiforme grade IV [GBM], and use of wireless phones,” he told Medscape earlier this month. Hardell’s epidemiological studies were instrumental in IARC’s decision to classify RF radiation as a possible carcinogen.
In an e-mail exchange with Microwave News, Hardell confirmed the Medscape quote. He added that he has also found that, in an analysis of 1,678, patients with GBMs in Sweden, those who used wireless phones had shorter survival times.
How Big Were the Increases in Tumors in the NTP Study?Another media skeptic, Seth Borenstein, a reporter at the Associated Press, posted a video in which he called the increase in cancer in the rats “very slight” and therefore the cancer risk “very small.”
This is in line with the report the NTP posted online last week in which it called the incidence of tumors “low.” But some observers think the cancer rates among the rats are in fact higher than the NTP is saying.
At the press conference, Joel Moskowitz of the University of California, Berkeley, School of Public Health pointed out that a number of the exposed animals, but none of the control rats, developed abnormally high cell growth rates —hyperplasia— in the same type of glial and Schwann cells where tumors developed in other animals. (An audio recording of the press briefing is available here.)
Moskowitz calls the hyperplasia cells “precancerous,” as does John Bucher, the associate director of the NTP, who released the study on Friday. It is commonly believed that hyperplasias will likely later turn into malignant tumors. Moskowitz estimates that while the NTP found tumors in 5.5% of the exposed male rats at the end of the experiment, when those with hyperplasia are included, the rate goes up to 8.5%. “That’s a remarkable finding,” he told Microwave News.
“I totally agree with Joel,” commented Ron Melnick, who led the team that designed the NTP study. “He has a valid argument.” Melnick also pointed out that, “The study had low power and was more likely to show no effect. The fact that it did makes the results more compelling.”
If the exposures had continued for longer than two years, the results may have been clearer. During the study planning phase, Melnick argued for running the experiment for at least another couple of months. If he had prevailed, the status of the hyperplasias would have been clearer. He was overruled.
“It might be that extending the observation until the rats die, tumors could arise from some of the observed hyperplasias,” said Fiorella Belpoggi of the Ramazzini Institute in Bologna, Italy, where she is the director of research and the head of pathology. “But,” she added, “the NTP results are indeed sufficient for considering cell phone radiofrequency radiation as carcinogens.”
Belpoggi and her colleague Morando Soffritti recently released their own large animal study which showed that another type of non-ionizing radiation, ELF EMFs, can promote cancer. They are also in the midst of their own large RF animal study, but it has been delayed by a shortage of funds." Go to: http://microwavenews.com/news-center/ntp-and-brain-tumor-rates For full article.
Quote; "Effect of radiofrequency radiation from Wi-Fi devices on mercury release from amalgam restorations
Dental amalgam is composed of approximately 50% elemental mercury. Despite concerns over the toxicity of mercury, amalgam is still the most widely used restorative material. Wi-Fi is a rapidly using local area wireless computer networking technology. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study that evaluates the effect of exposure to Wi-Fi signals on mercury release from amalgam restorations.
Standard class V cavities were prepared on the buccal surfaces of 20 non-carious extracted human premolars. The teeth were randomly divided into 2 groups (n = 10). The control group was stored in non-environment. The specimens in the experimental groups were exposed to a radiofrequency radiation emitted from standard Wi Fi devices at 2.4 GHz for 20 min. The distance between the Wi-Fi router and samples was 30 cm and the router was exchanging data with a laptop computer that was placed 20 m away from the router.
The concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva in the groups was evaluated by using a cold-vapor atomic absorption Mercury Analyzer System. The independent t test was used to evaluate any significant differences in mercury release between the two groups.
The mean (±SD) concentration of mercury in the artificial saliva of the Wi-Fi exposed teeth samples was 0.056 ± .025 mg/L, while it was only 0.026 ± .008 mg/L in the non-exposed control samples. This difference was statistically significant (P =0.009).
Exposure of patients with amalgam restorations to radiofrequency radiation emitted from conventional Wi-Fi devices can increase mercury release from amalgam restorations." Go to: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s40201-016-0253-z
Quote; "“The data shows major reorganization of the cloud system… I consider this as the most singular of all the things that we have found, because many of us had been thinking the cloud changes might help us out, by having a strong feedback which is going the other way instead of amplifying it.” — climate scientist Veerabhadran Ramanathan
“Our results suggest that radiative forcing by a combination of anthropogenic greenhouse gases and volcanic aerosol has produced observed cloud changes during the past several decades that exert positive feedbacks on the climate system. We expect that increasing greenhouse gases will cause these cloud trends to continue in the future, unless offset by unpredictable large volcanic eruptions.” — Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record (emphasis added).
Scientists now have a satellite record of cloud behavior over the past few decades. What they’ve found is that, in response to Earth warming, cloud tops are rising even as clouds are forming at higher altitudes. This traps even more heat at the Earth’s surface. In addition, storms are moving north toward the poles, which means more sunlight hits the temperate regions near 40 degrees latitude both in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. This northward movement of storms also causes the Earth to warm more rapidly. In the past, scientists had hoped that changes in clouds would shelter the Earth from some of the greenhouse gas warming caused by fossil fuel emissions. What we are finding now is that the opposite is true. The way clouds change as the Earth warms appears to be increasing the intensity of greenhouse gas warming.
Sowing the Clouds With Doubt, Denial and False Hope
Will the impacts of human-caused climate change be as bad or even worse than we feared? Will the Earth warm as rapidly or more rapidly than climate models suggest?
These are critical questions. Ones that revolve around the issue of how sensitive the Earth is to the added heat build-up initiated by a large and growing pulse of human-emitted greenhouse gasses. One whose answer will have lasting consequences for all those currently alive today and for many of the generations to follow. For if the answer to this question is yes, then we have responded too slowly to what is now a swiftly worsening global climate crisis (and, according to a new observational study, that answer appears to be, with growing certainty, YES).
(A new study has found that human forced warming drives the storm track toward the poles. This increases drought risk for places like the US Southwest. It is also a part of a larger cloud feedback that is found to have caused the Earth to warm more rapidly. Image source: LANCE MODIS.) In relation to these questions is a noted relevant scientific uncertainty over the behavior of clouds in response to warming. Mainstream science has long produced state of the art climate models showing that changes in clouds due to Earth’s warming was likely a heat-enhancing (positive) feedback overall. And paleoclimate studies have tended to support the kinds of Earth System sensitivity to heat forcing that would result. But due to the fact that cloud behavior is difficult to model (and confirm through observation), there was a decent level of uncertainty in the science over the issue. And it is this seeming gap in our physical understanding that has spurred a big controversy circulating among climate change skeptics/deniers and the mainstream scientific community.
On the deniers side are people like Judith Curry, Roy Spencer, Richard Lindzen, and Anthony Watts (and their fossil fuel backers) who have broadly asserted that clouds respond to warming in a way that alleviates some of the added heat. The group also claimed that the cooling impact of clouds (negative feedback) was strong enough to reduce the Earth’s overall sensitivity to human greenhouse gas forcing to significantly less than the widely accepted 3 C Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity range (ECS — or about a 3 C warming over an approximate 100 year period for each doubling of CO2, or approximately double that warming over the long term). On the other side are the mainstream scientific heavy weights — including notables like NASA GISS’s Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann of Hockey Stick notoriety — along with a large and growing body of studies producing evidence to support the cloud model essays.
The upshot has produced what could best be called a debate enabled to sow doubt (climate skeptics/deniers tend to receive funding from fossil fuel think tanks and other political bodies, which is a marked and glaring conflict of interest) between actual science and what might well be characterized as an intentionally misleading industry PR campaign.
(Climate change is a very serious threat. It threatens the existence of coastal communities like Miami, Norfolk, and New York City, it’s putting the US Southwest into an increasingly dangerous drought and water shortage situation, it’s driving vector driven illnesses like Zika out of their tropical zones, it’s threatening the stability of global food supplies, it’s forcing mass migration on a scale worse than warfare and conflict, and it’s pumping up the intensity of the most extreme weather events. Despite glaringly obvious trends revealing worsening climate states, just 41 percent of the American public views climate change as a serious threat. This is in large part due to confusion sown by climate change skeptics and deniers. Image source: Gallup.)
Wrapped up by this doubt-sowing were a number of scientists who simply seemed to hope that something (even changes in clouds) would give humankind enough time to make the tough policy choices needed to respond to human-forced warming. This group included a number of well-intending individual scientists who simply appeared unwilling to unequivocally accept the stark implications coming from the model assessments and from the paleoclimate proxy data.
Unfortunately, uncertain understanding of how clouds respond to warming has served either as false comfort or fed into yet one more climate change skeptic/denier based doubt-sowing delaying tactic for much-needed global policy action on climate change.
High Clouds, Middle Latitude Drying Enhance Human-Forced Warming
Now, a new observational study headed by Joel Norris has helped to clear up some of this uncertainty. The study used satellite based observation of cloud behavior over the past 25 years to confirm that alterations in Earth’s cloud cover is producing an amplifying feedback to human caused climate change. In other words, the heat provided by human fossil fuel emissions is forcing the clouds to respond in ways that warm the Earth even faster.
At issue are two big mechanisms. The first is that warming up the Earth’s atmosphere is observed to be forcing the storm tracks toward the poles. This pole-ward movement is resulting in less overall cloud cover for the middle latitudes. Less cloud cover in this region reduces the coverage of bright, reflective clouds which, in turn, generates a loss of Earth reflectivity (albedo). As a result, more of the sun’s rays enter the Earth’s lower atmosphere in this zone which causes the atmosphere to heat up.
The second big cloud feedback mechanism was an observed increase in upper level cloud formation. This is important because high level clouds act as a blanket, trapping more of the Sun’s heat in the atmosphere. What the study found was that cloud tops were both rising even as the number of clouds at higher altitudes was increasing.
(Higher cloud tops and less cloud cover in the middle latitudes means that the Earth warms faster due to human greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, a poleward movement of the storm track facilitates drying across many continental regions including Brazil, the US Southwest, Europe, and parts of Africa, Asia, and Australia. Image source: Evidence for Climate Change in the Cloud Satellite Record.)
This combination resulted in an observed increase in radiative forcing on the order of 0.39 Watts per meter squared. That’s about a 12 percent increase above and beyond the base additional greenhouse gas forcing currently provided by human beings. In other words, the way clouds respond to human greenhouse gas emissions caused the world to warm up even faster.
In addition to these changes that add heat to the Earth System, there is one noted significant knock-on effect. Loss of clouds in the middle latitudes results in less rainfall for places like the Amazon Rainforest, the US Southwest, and large parts of Europe, Africa, Asia, and Australia. In this way, shifting storm tracks are an enabler not only to amplified global warming, but also to the increasingly prevalent and severe droughts and wildfires that we are now seeing in many of the most highly populated parts of the world." Go to: https://robertscribbler.com/2016/07/15/clouds-of-denial-clear-as-rising-storm-tops-middle-latitude-drying-found-to-speed-global-warming/
For full article.