Interesting news this week about climate change!

Your weekly update on the climate science debate — and the loosely associated agitprop campaign.

(1)  The Antarctic Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapse: Media recycles photos and storylines from previous years“, Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 17 April 2009 — Worth a look at this first-rate example of media manipulation.  The antarctic Wilkens Ice Shelf breaks up repeatedly, each time a warning of global warming.

(2)  Plankton May Influence Climate Change Says UCSB Scientist“, U of California Santa Barbara, 5 May 2004 — Another of the many and subtle ways the Sun influences Earth’s climate. 

Here are a wonderful pair of articles showing the horror of global warming!  As always, ice melting proves global warming — but cooling is not evidence against global warming.  Hat tip to Watts Up with That.  No excepts given.

Excerpts

(1)   The Antarctic Wilkins Ice Shelf Collapse: Media recycles photos and storylines from previous years“, Anthony Watts, Watts Up With That, 17 April 2009 — Worth a look at this first-rate example of media manipulation.  The antarctic Wilkens Ice Shelf breaks up repeatedly, each time a warning of global warming.

Those masters of disaster are at it again, and it appears our friendly scientists at that National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) help this story along each year. Note the dates for these two stories {about the Antarctic ice shelf “on the verge of collapse”} are a year apart, but use the same photo.

… Ted Scambos lead scientist at the U.S. National Snow and Ice Data Center} said something similar in 1999:

“On the southwest side of the peninsula, the Wilkins ice shelf retreated nearly 1,100 square kilometers in early March of last year [1998], said Scambos. … Within a few years, much of the Wilkins ice shelf will likely be gone” (source)

But, as can be seen from the following January 1996 and March 2008 images, there has been hardly any change in a decade. Look at the photos below from the appinsys web site …

(2)  Plankton May Influence Climate Change Says UCSB Scientist“, U of California Santa Barbara, 5 May 2004 — Another of the many and subtle ways the Sun influences Earth’s climate.  Excerpt:

Plankton appear to play a major role in regulating the global climate system, according to new research.

David Siegel, professor of geography at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and director of the Institute for Computational Earth System Science, made the discovery with his former Ph.D. student Dierdre Toole, who is now based at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

In an article in the May 6 issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters, the scientists explain their research in the Sargasso Sea, approximately 50 miles southeast of the island of Bermuda. Siegel’s research group has been making observations at this location since 1992.

… According to their research, it appears that phytoplankton produce organic sulfur compounds as a chemical defense from the damaging effects of ultraviolet radiation and other environmental stresses, in much the same way as our bodies use vitamins E and C to flush out molecules that cause cellular damage.

Siegel and Toole found that ultraviolet radiation explained almost 90 percent of the variability in the biological production of DMS. They showed that summertime DMS production is “enormous,” and that the entire upper layer of DMS content is replaced in just a few days. This demonstrates a tight link between DMS and solar fluxes.

“The significance of this work is that it provides, for the first time, observational evidence showing that the DMS-anti-oxidant mechanism closes the DMS-climate feedback loop,” said Siegel. “The implications are huge. Now we know that phytoplankton respond dramatically to UV radiation stresses, and that this response is incredibly rapid, literally just days.”

He explained that the findings give new impetus for scientists to re-examine the DMS-climate feedback hypothesis. And the DMS-climate feedback may also play out under possible global warming and climate change scenarios.

As the Earth’s ozone shield thins and greenhouse gases increase, higher ultraviolet radiation will reach the surface layer of the oceans. The findings indicate that phytoplankton will then produce more DMS in response to this increased ultraviolet radiation, causing increasing cloudiness and mitigating the effects of global warming. However, Siegel is careful to note that while the process may mitigate global warming it will not reverse the trend.

The project was funded by NASA.

The article under discussion:  “Light-driven cycling of dimethylsulfide (DMS) in the Sargasso Sea: Closing the loop”, Geophysical Research Letters, 6 May 2004.  Abstract.

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4 thoughts on “Interesting news this week about climate change!

  1. Also interesting this week: “Industry Ignored Its Scientists on Climate“, New York Times, 24 April 2009 — Front page — Except:

    For more than a decade the Global Climate Coalition, a group representing industries with profits tied to fossil fuels, led an aggressive lobbying and public relations campaign against the idea that emissions of heat-trapping gases could lead to global warming.

    “The role of greenhouse gases in climate change is not well understood,” the coalition said in a scientific “backgrounder” provided to lawmakers and journalists through the early 1990s, adding that “scientists differ” on the issue.

    But a document filed in a federal lawsuit demonstrates that even as the coalition worked to sway opinion, its own scientific and technical experts were advising that the science backing the role of greenhouse gases in global warming could not be refuted.

    “The scientific basis for the Greenhouse Effect and the potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied,” the experts wrote in an internal report compiled for the coalition in 1995.

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    Fabius Maximus replies: At this late date, given all the research that has been done to show the frail underpinnings of the evidence for large-scale anthropologic global warming, its is absurd to say “potential impact of human emissions of greenhouse gases such as CO2 on climate is well established and cannot be denied.” There is a large body of peer-reviewed research showing a good basis for altnernative explanation, no to mention the evident methodological flaws in the AGE research (such as refusal to release data and methods, making replication impossible).

  2. President Obama must hurry to pass energy legislation to restrict production of carbon dioxide. Arm twisting is in full force on Capitol Hill, turn permanent energy scarcity into a reality. Many lawmakers appear naturally reticent to sign the death warrant to American industry, but the US President and Congressional leaders insist it is necessary.

  3. President Obama must hurry to pass energy legislation to restrict production of carbon dioxide. Arm twisting is in full force on Capitol Hill, to turn permanent energy scarcity into a reality. Many lawmakers appear naturally reticent to sign the death warrant to American industry, but the US President and Congressional leaders insist it is necessary.

    Behind the scenes, recent scientific findings that reveal a cooling Earth must be suppressed for the good of the world.
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    Fabius Maximus replies: I believe your last sentence overstates the significance of the data. The temperature trends remain inconclusive, and I do not believe data is being surpressed.

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