TapeCutter writes: In 1958 the US National Academies of Science (NAS) warned the US government that they had detected a robust AGW signal, they have not change their mind on that claim for 57yrs. Like the modern day Al Gore, Frank Capra publicized the possible effects in a popular documentary. Today we have news of a study from Melbourne University claiming the effects of AGW first became evident in the mid 20th century.
In other words the NAS could not have picked up the signal much earlier than they actually did. The fact that the last serious scientific objection to AGW (as a theory) was overcome in the mid 20th century by improving spectrometers in heat seeking missile was a remarkable coincidence, NAS took full advantage of that opportunity.
TapeCutter writes: Gavin Schmidt from realclimate has published an excellent opinion piece on the narrative of the scientific heretic and it's appeal to journalists and the general public.
Quoth TFA — "This idea of knowledge sitting on a knife edge ready to flip whenever some new observation or insight arrives, is the reason why science is so exciting and fascinating. That is the reason why science deserves to be the story, and why journalists should be continuously searching for the 'front page' thought that will allow this story to be told to a wide audience. But all too often the real story is neglected in favour of a familiar well-worn, but inappropriate, trope."
TapeCutter writes: In a paper soon to be published in the Astrophisical journal Australian researchers have estimated the entrophy of the universe is about 30 times higher than current estimates. For those of us who like their science in the form of a car analogy Dr. Lineweaver compared their results to a car's gas tank. He states, "It's a bit like looking at your gas gauge and saying `I thought I had half a gas tank, but I only have a quarter of a tank."
TapeCutter writes: After the devastating firestorm in Australia, there has been a lot of speculation in the press about the role of climate change. For the 'pro' argument the BBC article points to reaseach by the CSIRO. For the 'con' argument they quote David Packham of Monash university who is not alone in thinking "...excluding prescribed burning and fuel management has led to the highest fuel concentrations we have ever had...". However the DSE's 2008 annual report states; "[The DSE] achieved a planned burning program of more than 156,000 hectares, the best result for more than a decade. The planned burning of forest undergrowth is by far the most powerful management tool available... ".
I drove through Kilmore on the evening of the firestorm and in my 50yrs of living with fire have never seen a smoke plume anything like it. It was reported to be 15km high and creating it's own lightning, there were also reports of car windscreens and engine blocks melting. So what was it that made such an unusual firestorm possible and will it happen again?
TapeCutter writes: A recent slashdot story reported on an article by the ex-editor of New Scientist, Nigel Calder. RealClimate have taken issue with what they call "bizarre calculus that takes evidence for solar forcing of climate as evidence against greenhouse gases for current climate change". They have posted a rebuttal to Calder's article that basically concludes: "No trend = no explanation for current changes".
It should also be noted that Calder's article ended with an advertisment for his new book "The Chilling Stars".
TapeCutter writes: M. Mann and co. over at RealClimate have started a disscussion analysing the contents of the recently released IPCC SPM. They intend to write a series of articles going over the report chapter by chapter and answer readers comments. So for the dwindling army of "skeptics" and those who want to know more, fire away, but please respect the "dinner coversation" atmosphere.
TapeCutter writes: Australia's ABC reports — "The Nine Network is taking a small newcomer to court, alleging a breach of copyright for producing its own TV guide that allows people to record programs and watch them later. It's a case of David and Goliath." — Not so long ago ( before a certain free trade agreement ), Australians had the right to record TV for personal use and other "fair use rights", the laws have now been harmonised in accordance with the FTA. For those interested in Australian politics it will come as no surprise that Ruddock is handling the copyright angle in the government's current push for media reform.