The Higgs Boson, The Future of Fire, a Missing Lake, and 'what global warming looks like'

Happy belated 4th, readers!  Here are a few new Nooze tidbits for you today: From Seth Borenstein with AP, a look at how this summer's heat may well be the new norm:

This US summer is 'what global warming looks like'

WASHINGTON (AP) — If you want a glimpse of some of the worst of global warming, scientists suggest taking a look at U.S. weather in recent weeks.

Horrendous wildfires. Oppressive heat waves. Devastating droughts. Flooding from giant deluges. And a powerful freak wind storm called a derecho.

These are the kinds of extremes climate scientists have predicted will come with climate change, although it's far too early to say that is the cause. Nor will they say global warming is the reason 3,215 daily high temperature records were set in the month of June.... Read more.


Chris Engle of the Petosky News wonders where a local lake went:

Foch Lake future uncertain

MONTMORENCY COUNTY — Steve Ciszewski stands on the shoreline of Foch Lake, recounting 25 years’ worth of fishing trips with his kids and camping with his buddies during bow season.

The way he describes the rise of a full moon over the flooding in a sky unobscured by the glow of city lights — the closest town is Vienna Corners 11 miles away — will give you goose bumps.

Every sportsman has his “spot.” This is his.

The shoreline under his feet, however, is no longer where the lake begins. It’s now 100 yards out, and in between is a bleach-white forest of what used to be flooded timber and feet-deep muck that will swallow a shoe with one misstep. Clam shells, mud-filled glass bottles and water lines 5 feet high on bone-dry stumps are evidence of where the lake had been.... Read more.


And Kirk Siegler with KUNC radio reports on the pricetag of wildfires - and a growing desire to curb those numbers:

In Colorado, a Push to Control Wildfire Costs

It’s already shaping up to be an expensive firefighting year. The tab for fighting two of the state’s worst blazes – the High Park and Waldo Canyon fires – is now approaching $40 million and climbing.

 Most of that will be borne by us; the federal taxpayer.

The US Forest Service spends about $3 billion annually fighting wildfires. Efforts to shift some of that financial responsibility to residents and communities in the fire-prone forests are often met with a cool response. But there are signs that could soon change... Read more.


And Ron Seely at the Wisconsin State Journal reports on the discovery of the Higgs boson (aka the "God-particle"), the local members of the team that tracked it down, and why these scientists say the event felt "like being at Woodstock!"

UW-Madison scientists front and center for historic Higgs boson discovery

At a moment in science history that many are hailing as one of the most important in a century, UW-Madison researchers were front and center, playing lead roles in a discovery that takes modern physics to the very edge of human understanding.

Scientists from UW-Madison were deeply involved in figuring out the physics and building and operating the $10 billion machine used to discover a particle believed to be the so-called “God particle,” responsible for giving matter mass and shaping the very early universe.

How important is the particle, known as a Higgs boson?... Read more.