Dust flux, Vostok ice core

Dust flux, Vostok ice core
Two dimensional phase space reconstruction of dust flux from the Vostok core over the period 186-4 ka using the time derivative method. Dust flux on the x-axis, rate of change is on the y-axis. From Gipp (2001).

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Annual post on Arctic sea ice

Once again, it's time for The World Complex post on Arctic sea ice extent, viewed through the lens of a reconstructed state space.

The minimum extent for sea ice this year appears to have been reached on September 17. This extent is marginally below the extent from last year.

This figure has not changed significantly from last year. We see no evidence of a breakout out from the declining trend line. The slope of the trend line I have drawn is a little shallower than it was last year.

As before, I do not see any evidence to cause me to discard the hypothesis that the change in ice extent since the mid-1980s represents a change from one area of stability to another. What is still uncertain is whether this new area of stability represents a brief respite in a function that is heading to zero, or whether it is a part of normal long-term cyclical behaviour.

The horizontal lines labelled 2015 and 2016 show the level of the ordinate of the state space in those years. 

Friday, September 26, 2014

Gold still number one . . .

. . . in exploration expenditures, according to Wilburn and Stanley (2014).

It's been awhile since I updated this info here, and actually forgot about it when the data became available earlier this year amidst my life falling apart and my relocation to China.

Gold is still the principal goal of exploration--but my eyes may detect a long-term trend. Mayhap that dominance is decreasing. It is still a long way from the heyday of life when expenditures on gold exploration were dwarfed by exploration for base (pdf) metals.

The copper results have not been reported independently since 2005, so I have assumed that Cu expenditures are 58% of total base metal exploration costs since then--that number representing the average value for that ratio over the preceding nine years. The exploration expenditure on copper over the last nine years is therefore an estimate.

Reference: Wilburn, D. R., and Stanley, K. A., 2014. Annual Exploration Review 2013, Mining Engineering, v. 66 (5); 18-39. Lots of other good info in this article (subscription required)

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lands that time forgot--urban farms in central China

The rapidly growing "wealthy" areas of China have surrounded and bypassed pockets of underdevelopment in most major cities.

Some of these areas are about 2 km on a side, but surrounded by 8-lane highways. The farms themselves look rustic, but they are surrounded by apartment blocks.

Less than a kilometre from major development . . .

Charming, rustic scenes not far from the latest shopping malls!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Gold-USDX index fails at neckline

Some months ago I charted what looked like an inverse head-and-shoulders formation shaping up on the gold-USDX index product graph.

I don't know what the rules are about deciding when the formation has failed. The index has bounced along the neckline three times without penetrating it, which suggests to me that the formation is no longer in play.

Anyway, today there are more local celebrations, as this is the anniversary of the Japanese invasion. More fireworks and street food.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Harvest Moon

I've been showing the Chinese this video of Harvest Moon by Neil Young, and telling them it's a song about the same moon as the Mid-Autumn Festival.

Comments range from "It's a nice song; I like it," to "They shouldn't kiss in public."

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Chinese gold and silver

Just a few shots of gold and silver artifacts from yesterday's trip to the Henan museum.

Henan museum, in Zhengzhou.

Gold belt ornaments from late Spring and Autumn period (771 - 476 BCE)

Gold grave goods, western Han Dynasty (206 BCE - 25 CE)

Gold ornaments of the Eastern Han Dynasty (25 - 200 CE). I think these were 
cast using the lost wax method. 

Tang Dynasty (618 - 907 CE) silver pot with lid.

Tang Dynasty silver clamshell-shaped boxes, a vase, and cup and bowl.

Gold (inner) coffin and silver outer coffin, northern Song Dynasty (960 - 1127 CE).
This dynasty was ridiculously wealthy compared to earlier dynasties.

Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644 CE) gold phoenix ornament 

Golden armbands, Ming Dynasty

Golden ornaments and hairpin, Ming Dynasty.

And here is one that I somehow missed.

Clearly the fascination with gold and silver is not a new phenomenon among the Chinese.

Apart from the gold and silver ornaments, there were a great many wine vessels. So wine was pretty important too.