Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Reform the IPCC

ABC provide a brief report titled Review calls for UN climate shake-up on the findings of the Inter Academy Council (IAC) report on IPCC structure and process. The complete IAC report is available HERE, and HERE
 Yesterday we highlighted missing opinions on the IPCC process by Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, who stated "The IPCC “peer review” process is not like the one academic journals use, in which reviewers actually have the authority to recommend rejection and require changes; instead it is more like a limited, voluntary public comment process. Since the IPCC gives Lead Authors the sole right to determine content and accept or dismiss comments, it is more like a weblog than an academic report."
Based on the IAC report findings it seems like McKitrick's comments had some merit.

Readers may be interested in an overview of the reports' findings by climate researcher Roger Pielke Jnr titled 
"Report of the IAC Review of the IPCC". This highlights the following statement from the report "If adopted in their entirety, the measures recommended in this report would fundamentally reform IPCC’s management structure while enhancing its ability to conduct an authoritative assessment."

Interesting considering ABC yesterday featured a report with the rather "optimistic" headline: 
UN hopes science review eases climate scepticism that quoted head of the Nairobi-based UN Environment Program (UNEP) Achim Steiner as saying "I'd be surprised, though I don't know, if there are fundamental changes" to the way the IPCC works, he said. 
Seems like someone is in for a rude shock. 

Here are a few headlines from other sources:
Telegraph (UK):  Flawed Science
New York Times: Flaws Found in U.N. Climate Structure
The Hindu:  Sharp criticism for IPCC leadership
Times of India: Pachauri-led IPCC needs fundamental reforms: UN panel
AFP: UN climate panel ordered to make fundamental reforms

Update: Dr Roy Spencer add his thoughts...Dump the IPCC Process, It Cannot Be Fixed

From the vault - how many little horses?

ABC News Online – 10 June 2008
An online reader pointed out an error in a story dealing with the development of a management plan for brumbies in Kosciuszko National Park. The reader observed that the number of horses should have been reported as 1,700 and not 17,000.
RESPONSE: The ABC acknowledged the error, corrected the figure and added an Editor's Note.

"From the Vault" - digging up past corrections and clarifications from the ABC archives.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Missing Voices: IPCC more like a weblog than an academic report

Ross McKitrick, professor of economics at the University of Guelph, has an interesting article in a Canadian newspaper that would interest ABC's audience. Titled "Fix the IPCC process" it outlines problems with the IPCC review process. We wonder if ABC's opinion site "The Drum" will be posting a copy?

Here's an extract:
"The IPCC “peer review” process is not like the one academic journals use, in which reviewers actually have the authority to recommend rejection and require changes; instead it is more like a limited, voluntary public comment process. Since the IPCC gives Lead Authors the sole right to determine content and accept or dismiss comments, it is more like a weblog than an academic report."

Read more: http://opinion.financialpost.com/2010/08/27/fix-the-ipcc-process/#ixzz0y1qEL7sN

Update: ABC cover the release of the IAC report, the subject of McKitrick's comments, HERE

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Before the ABC: an occasional snapshot of news in the days BABC

Missing News: Spencer and Braswell

Roy Spencer and William Braswell have a new paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research. Entitled “On the Diagnosis of Feedback in the Presence of Unknown Radiative Forcing“, this paper puts meat on the central claim of Roy Spencer's most recent book: that climate researchers have mixed up cause and effect when observing cloud and temperature changes. As a result, the climate system has given the illusion of positive cloud feedback.

Roy Spencer discusses the paper HERE (extract below). We wonder if ABC science will break out of their climate alarmist mould and provide any coverage.

Feedback in the Real World
As we show in the new paper, the only clear signal of feedback we ever find in the global average satellite data is strongly negative, around 6 Watts per sq. meter per degree C. If this was the feedback operating on the long-term warming from increasing CO2, it would result in only 0.6 deg. C of warming from 2XCO2. (Since we have already experienced this level of warming, it raises the issue of whether some portion — maybe even a majority — of past warming is from natural, rather than anthropogenic, causes.)
Unfortunately, there is no way I have found to demonstrate that this strongly negative feedback is actually occurring on the long time scales involved in anthropogenic global warming. At this point, I think that belief in the high climate sensitivity (positive feedbacks) in the current crop of climate models is a matter of faith, not unbiased science. The models are infinitely adjustable, and modelers stop adjusting when they get model behavior that reinforces their pre-conceived notions.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Last word on ABC's Climate Time-lie: "Ordovian"

ABC's final word on its Climate Timeline

incompetence has become the chief characteristic of journalism, displacing laziness
after Kingsley Amis

ABC of bias

ABC unleashed have a piece by part time journalist, blogger and apparent climate non-sceptic Margaret Simons looking at ABC Bias. The article, titled "Bias allegation rumblings still a constant at your ABC", makes light of our complaint about ABC's "A journey through climate history". We posted a reply on the site but just in case it fails to get up here's a copy...

Thanks for noticing Margaret. Readers might be interested in the full correspondence behind the complaint about ABC's climate time "lie" available at the blog ABC News Watch (http://abcnewswatch.blogspot.com/).
(See list below) The simple aim of ABC NEWS WATCH is to publicise the errors, omissions, and substandard reports produced by the News service of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). In doing so we hope to provide an independent check or audit on ABC news articles and in doing so improve the standard of ABC news reporting. Readers will find a rich collection of posts that demonstrate ABC bias or simple lack of competence in its climate change and other news coverage. What ABC has chosen not to report on in regard to climate science is particularly damning.

Our investigation into ABC’s climate time line "A journey through climate history" included an FOI request, turned down by the ABC (ABC is exempt from FOI for program content), for correspondence, relating to the production of ABC's defective time line. If ABC want to demonstrate there was no bias in the production of its online presentation why not release the emails? On this we encourage ABC employees interested in truthful journalism to leak the documents to the press. Its no climategate but I’m sure it would be revealing of ABC’s internal workings.

Margaret neglected to mention that the ABC’s Independent Complaints Review Panel did in fact find that parts of "A Journey through climate history" were biased. Quoting the panel’s report: “In the Panel’s view, the Complainant’s specific assertions of bias in relation to links to the topics: the Medieval Warm Period, the Great Global Swindle and An Inconvenient Truth, do not require each item of portal information, or its links, to be balanced or impartial. As Section 18.6 (of the Editorial Policies) indicates it is the platform content overall (ABC Online) which must demonstrate that no bias has occurred in its presentation of information and viewpoints. Therefore, individual material and its links can lack impartiality in its presentation.”

Margaret regarded the process as pythonesque and downplayed the implications. Having intimate knowledge of ABC’s complaints process we can truthfully attest it is much more like “Yes Minister”, with ABC Audience and Consumer affairs playing the role of the crafty  Sir Humphrey Appleby, hell bent on denying errors, bias or lack of balance through artful use of ABC’s editorial policies.

The implications of ABC Groupthink on the publics knowledge of Climate science are devastating. In taking a premature position on climate science while the debate continues ABC have shut the door to the contest, thereby denying its audience a full view of the field of play, one in which it is becoming increasingly obvious that organisations like the IPCC have over exaggerated the role CO2 plays in dangerous man made climate change.

Productivity Survey Update: taking the source into account

Stories per staff member per day versus day in June
We recently completed a productivity survey of ABC News. This used ABC’s news archive to determine the output of ABC News for the month of June in each year of the archive (2003-2010). Staff figures were obtained from ABC annual reports.
The survey found the following:
  • Total stories posted in ABC News Archives for June 2010 was 6666. This is the lowest on record.
  • Staff levels for June 2010 were estimated to be approximately 942.33 based on previous growth trends - the highest on record.
  • Match high staff numbers and low output and its no surprise that ABC news productivity for June 2010 was at a record low of just 7.07 stories per staff member for the month.
Like other news agencies ABC supplements its news with material from third party agencies. The ABC obtains its additional news material from Agence France-Presse (AFP), APTN, Reuters, AAP, CNN and the BBC World Service. As our survey looked at the total number of stories in the ABC archive and did not take the source of the news article into account it appears we have over-estimated ABC’s productivity. To see by how much we looked at every story in the last full week of June 2010 and found the following:
Total Stories  1477
 ABC              1073
BBC              5
AFP              94
AAP              134
Reuters         128
Combined      43
On average about 20% of ABC’s weekday material is sourced externally. This jumps to an astonishing 60% on weekends (might as well broadcast Reuters directly rather than keep the weekend staff on). This averages out to about 30% of stories being provided by external agencies.
Based on these figures it appears we have overestimated ABC’s productivity by about 30%. The number of stories directly produced by ABC News for June 2010 would be about  4840. This also means ABC’s productivity further plummets to just 5 stories per staff member per month, or about 1 per week! Poor value for money by any account.

ABC’s new marketing campaign is now inviting its audience to “join the conversation” or enter something new. We think a more truthful slogan may be “ABC News: now doing much much less, with much much more.”

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Where to put Chris Uhlmann?

Last month we covered news that Gai Brodtmann, wife of ABC24's political editor Chris Uhlmann,  was running for the ALP in the seat of Canberra. It now seems that Gai Brodtmann has won the seat of Canberra despite a swing of about 6% against the ALP on primary vote (congratulations Gai). However given ABC's Editorial policy states:
4.4 Conflict of interest
4.4.1 There should be no conflict between the private interests of ABC staff and their official duties. The outside activities of staff, including financial, personal and political relationships, must not compromise the editorial integrity of ABC programs. Staff are expected to arrange their affairs in a manner that will prevent conflict of interest.
it seems that ABC will have to find Mr Uhlmann a new position. Given Chris has stated “It’s a perfectly reasonable thing to raise and I have no problems with people raising it at all."; we are interested in readers suggestions of where ABC can fit Mr Uhlmann to minimise the risk of a conflict of interest arising. Here are some suggestions:
Gardening Australia
Host of ABC3's Prank Patrol
ABC Sports commentator
Play school presenter
Sunday Arts
If you can find a spot for Chris let us know.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

ABC's biased timeline

ABC sent us a copy of the "Independent" complaints review panel (ICRP) report into our complaints about ABC online feature "A journey through climate history". Remarkably the report found the presentation was indeed biased "Therefore, individual material and its links can lack impartiality in its presentation."
Sarc on - Yes our climate timeline is as biased and unbalanced as a Kerry O'Brien interview, but what are you going to do about it? Send a complaint to the "I"CRP? Sarc off
Due to FOI legislation we can't even request information used to produce the presentation. Remember this was put together using tax payers dollars.
Unbelievably ABC "I"CRP did not uphold the complaint as it claimed that the rest of ABC's climate coverage is balanced (even ABC's Chairman Maurice Newman  disputes this). ABC somehow even believes that its audience members will take the time to read and understand the implications of the presentation's fine print: "Whilst the ABC cannot guarentee the accuracy of information external to the timeline, we have endeavoured to provide accurate and relevant links wherever possible". With 7 errors already noted ABC can't even get its timeline right, let alone the links, none of which are critical of the IPCC's position.
We argued that the links for the feature page on the medieval warm period, that ABC initially placed in the wrong year, were biased. We did not request that the ABC remove these links, simply that they add one that provides an alternate viewpoint inline with ABC's commitment to impartiality. This was  CO2 science's Medieval Warm Period Project that has collated over 500 studies that demonstrate world wide effects of the MWP.  However Groupthinking ABC public servants have left its audience with three highly biased references-Real Climate, Wikipedia and a blog piece that features the debunked hockey stick graph. None of these now even support ABC's text that had to be amended following errors identified in our initial complaint.
We now invite readers to take a closer look at ABC's presentation and if they find further errors, please take the time to inform the ABC about them.

Update: ABC claimed its timeline didn't count as news so could not be assessed under section 5 of its editorial policies. If our complaint had been assessed under section 5 ABC would have been upheld the complaint as the ICRP agrees the timeline is biased. Here are a few more non news timelines recently posted by the ABC as news:
Women in power: Gillard joins burgeoning club

Monday, August 23, 2010

From the vault - elementary counting

702 ABC Sydney – Afternoons – 6 September 2007
The complaint
A listener complained that reports of the numbers present at a student demonstration were
exaggerated and inconsistent with reports on other news services.
While it was made clear in the report that the figure of a thousand demonstrators was an
estimate, the ABC acknowledged that the figure cited was inaccurate and subsequent reports
had put the figure at around 200-300 demonstrators.
"From the Vault" - digging up past corrections and clarifications from the ABC archives.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

NEWSFLASH-ICRP findings -A Journey through climate history

Screen shots from ABC's A journey through climate history. Note the different treatment given to Al Gore's Film as opposed to the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle". No mention of the British court case that found errors in Al Gore's movie. This formed one of our complaints of bias.

NEWSFLASH. ABC will shortly be posting a media release about the results of the Independent Complaints Review Panel's deliberations on our complaint of bias in ABC's A Journey through climate history (or the climate time lie). ABC require confirmation that complainants have received a copy of the complaint prior to its formal release of the report on the ABC website. Here's a copy of a letter sent to Mark Scott ABC Managing Director. The complaint was not upheld, we assume the full report will be available soon and we will post further when ABC make it available. It certainly makes for an interesting insight into ABC's bureaucracy. UPDATE-scanned copy reproduced below.

RE: ICRP Report: A journey through climate history.

Dear Mr Scott,
Just a short note to inform you I have received your letter of the 16 August relating to the ICRP report about ABC Online’s “A journey through climate history”.

I note that the report supports my contention that “A journey through climate history” provides a biased view of climate change events, and had the complaint been weighed under ABC editorial policies Section 5, it appears the complaint would have been upheld.

The ICRP report contends the biased view in “A journey through climate history” is balanced by other coverage provided by the ABC and as such, under section 7, lack of balance in this case is provided for under the pretext that ABC maintains “balance” from a network perspective. However given ABC’s Chairman Maurice Newman’s recent comments that ABC’s coverage of climate change amounted to “Groupthink” and based on my own investigations (ABC New Watch) I see little to indicate ABC has provided balanced coverage on this issue. “A Journey through climate history” merely serves to confirm ABC’s Groupthink position on climate change.

As an example of continued Groupthink I note ABC comments to the panel to specific omissions from the timeline on page 5 of the report. In relation to the Ordovician Glaciations (which ABC omitted from the Timeline) ABC claim “that scientists no longer consider there to be any inconsistency between the carbon dioxide record and the timing of the Ordovician ice age.” ABC quote a New Scientist article in support. I attach a recent paper published in the peer reviewed journal Geology that clearly shows, contrary to ABC opinion, there remains considerable debate on this point. We find it troubling, but not surprising, that the ABC have sought to mislead the panel on this point.

ABC’s latest promotion invites Australian’s to join the conversation. I’m not sure Australian’s want to be part of such a one sided conversation. As Maurice Newman stated:
“At the ABC, I believe we must re-energise the spirit of enquiry.  Be dynamic and challenging – to look for contrary points of view, to ensure that the maverick voice will not be silenced.  There should be no public perception that there is such a thing as an “ABC view” – we must be neither believers nor atheists but agnostics who acknowledge people have a right to make up their own minds.”

(The attached report is: Did intense volcanism trigger the first Late Ordovician icehouse? Geology; April 2010; v. 38; no. 4; p. 327-330; DOI: 10.1130/G30577.1)

Scanned ICRP report below:

The report was written by "team" member Susan Brooks.

Missing news: Link between Vic Bushfires and dangerous anthropogenic global warming busted

Nothing on ABC thus far about a new study that busts the widely promulgated myth that the disastrous 2009 Victorian Bushfires were caused by man made global warming. This one however will be hard to ignore the Abstract states:
This study re-evaluates the history of building damage and loss of life due to bushfire (wildfire) in Australia since 1925 in light of the 2009 Black Saturday fires in Victoria in which 173 people lost their lives and 2,298 homes were destroyed along with many other structures. Historical records are normalised in order to estimate building damage and fatalities had events occurred under the societal conditions of 2008/09. There are relationships between normalised building damage and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation and Indian Ocean Dipole phenomena, but there is no discernable evidence that the normalised data is being influenced by climate change due to the emission of greenhouse gases. The 2009 Black Saturday fires rank second in terms of normalised fatalities and fourth in terms of normalised building damage. The public safety concern is that of the 10 years with the highest normalised building damage the 2008/09 bushfire season ranks third, to the 1925/26 and 1938/39 seasons, in terms of the ratio of normalised fatalities to building damage. A feature of the building damage in the 2009 Black Saturday fires in some of the most affected towns – Marysville and Kinglake – is the large proportion of buildings destroyed either within bushland or at very small distances from it (<10 m). Land use planning policies in bushfire-prone parts of this country that allow such development increase the risk that bushfires pose to the public and the built environment.
Crompton, R. P., K. J. McAneney, K. Chen, R. A. Pielke Jr., and K. Haynes, 2010 (in press): Influence of Location, Population and Climate on Building Damage and Fatalities due to Australian Bushfire: 1925-2009. Weather, Climate, and Society.More at Roger Pielke Jnr

Instead of reporting on this important study ABC promote alarm with this misleading headline"UN climate scientists link Russia, Pakistan calamities". The necessary studies have not even been undertaken. Talk about jumping the gun

From the vault - an expert afterall

702 ABC Sydney – Breakfast – 21 September 2007
The complaint
A complaint was received regarding a Dr Karl segment about global warming science. The segment focussed on the work of Professor J Scott Armstrong, and in particular his assertion that poor forecasts have been made by global warming experts. The complainant’s two primary concerns with the segment were that:
(i) Professor Armstrong’s scientific credentials were questioned on the grounds that he is a professor of marketing, and
(ii) his argument that “forecasts by experts have no value”, criticised at some length by Dr Karl, was taken out of context.
The ABC agreed that there is evidence to indicate that Professor Armstrong is a recognised expert in forecasting, and this should have been mentioned during the segment. The complaint was therefore upheld on the grounds of unfair treatment. The ABC also agreed that the statement “forecasts by experts have no value” was taken out of context. Professor Armstrong’s thesis was, rather, that an estimate made by an expert was still only an estimate, and not to be confused with a formal forecast. The complaint was therefore upheld on a
second count on the basis of factual inaccuracy. An apology was sent to the complainant.
"From the Vault" - digging up past corrections and clarifications from the ABC archives.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

ABC Science: a case of blind leading the blind

File:Pieter van der Heyden 001.jpg
In a week that saw publication of a paper that demolished the statistical methodology of  tree ring based palaeo-temperature reconstructions once and for all, shredding the infamous Hockey Stick like a straw in the process; a week that saw publication of a paper pouring ice cold water on IPCC predictions of alarming sea level rise ; a week that saw publication of a paper that sends IPCC climate models back to the chalk board, ABC Science ignore choose these highly newsworthy papers that falsify elements of the IPCC hypothesis in favor of those spruiking alarm. Firstly promoting deeply flawed work on Antarctic Sea Ice (currently at record levels) and secondly promoting an opinion piece by a non-scientist that warps the scientific method "placing science in a social, political and cultural context (ed. - what a load of post modern drivel)".
This week surely breaks the back of any claims ABC had for balance and lack of bias in its coverage of climate change science.
This quote by Karl Popper aptly describes ABC's myopia:
"Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve."

Update you can add a new paper to the list: "Influence of Location, Population and Climate on Building Damage and Fatalities due to Australian Bushfire: 1925-2009" "there is no discernable evidence that the normalised data is being influenced by climate change due to the emission of greenhouse gases."

Monday, August 16, 2010

Big Tim and Mrs Pailing beat Academy to the punch

In a report titled "Scientists unite in fresh warming warning" ABC's PM interview ANU's Prof. Kurt Lambeck about a new pamphlet from the Australian Academy of Science (AAS) spruiking climate alarmism. Professor Lambeck sees the "quality of the science improving with time" and with the publication of papers such as:
"A statistical analysis of Multiple Temperature proxies: Are reconstructions of surface temperatures over the last 1000 years reliable" by McShane and Wyner recently published in the Annals of Applied Statistics; and
"On the Diagnosis of Radiative Feedback in the Presence of Unknown Radiative Forcing" by
Spencer, R. W., and W. D. Braswell in press at the Journal of Geophysical Research,
"A Critical Review of Global Surface Temperature Data Products" by Ross McKitrick SRN working paper,
"Panel and Multivariate Methods for Tests of Trend Equivalence in Climate Data Series" by Ross McKitrick, Stephen McIntyre and Chad Herman in press at Atmospheric Science Letter, 
"Reconstruction of regional mean sea level anomalies from tide gauges using neural networks" by Manfred Wenzel and Jens Schröter published in the JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH, VOL. 115, C08013, 15 PP., 2010

we can only agree. It is surprising however that the AAS and ABC have chosen to ignore the results of all these and other publications that challenge the IPCC's position.

The AAS rest their case on four principals:
1. The physical principal of the greenhouse effect  - that shows temperatures will rise with increased concentrations of greenhouse gases. However for CO2 this means a rise of about 1 degree for each doubling of CO2, hardly alarming.
2. The record of the distant past - which includes the surprising finding passed over by the AAS that temperature and CO2 are disconnected. For instance a major glaciation occurred during the Ordovician at a time when CO2 concentrations were about 5-10 times current levels.
3. Measurements of the recent past (the last 100 years)  - which are currently no higher than the well documented medieval warm period about 1000 years ago, and are tainted by Urban Heat Island effects; and
4. Climate models that erroneously assume high climate sensitivity to CO2 increases.

According to Prof Lambeck it took the AAS 8 months to put its pamphlet together. Surely a waste of AAS money given its alarming claims were put to bed by a series of mere cartoons published over a year ago. Firstly, on the science by  "We're not scared anymore Mr Gore" featuring Mrs Pailing, and secondly on the policy response to climate change by "The Prince of Precaution" featuring Big Tim's little monster. Surprisingly ABC have assisted somewhat in their publication. Limited hard copies of both remain available through Little Skeptics Press.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Missing News: Hockey Stick smashed (yet again), McIntyre and McKitrick vindicated

Climate scientists have greatly underestimated the uncertainty of proxy based reconstructions and hence have been overconfident in their models.
Missing News: ABC are yet to cover an independent statistical analysis of multiple temperature proxies undertaken published in the peer reviewed journal "Annals of Applied Statistics" that finds:

"We find that the proxies do not predict temperature significantly better than random series generated independently of temperature. Furthermore, various model specifications that perform similarly at predicting temperature produce extremely different historical backcasts. Finally, the proxies seem unable to forecast the high levels of and sharp run-up in temperature in the 1990s either in-sample or from contiguous holdout blocks, thus casting doubt on their ability to predict such phenomena if in fact they occurred several hundred years ago."
From the conclusion...
Research on multi-proxy temperature reconstructions of the earth’s temperature is now entering its second decade. While the literature is large, there has been very little collaboration with universitylevel,
professional statisticians (Wegman et al., 2006; Wegman, 2006). Our paper is an effort to apply some modern statistical methods to these problems.
While our results agree with the climate scientists findings in some respects, our methods of estimating model uncertainty and accuracy are in sharp disagreement.
On the one hand, we conclude unequivocally that the evidence for a ”long-handled” hockey stick (where the shaft of the hockey stick extends to the year 1000 AD) is lacking in the data. The fundamental problem is that there is a limited amount of proxy data which dates back to 1000 AD; what is available is weakly predictive of global annual temperature. Our backcasting methods, which track quite closely the methods applied most recently in Mann (2008) to the same data, are unable to catch the sharp run up in temperatures recorded in the 1990s, even in-sample. As can be seen in Figure 15, our estimate of the run up in temperature in the 1990s has a much smaller slope than the actual temperature series. Furthermore, the lower frame of Figure 18 clearly reveals that the proxy model is not at all able to track the high gradient segment. Consequently, the long flat handle of the hockey stick is best understood to be a feature of regression and less a reflection of our knowledge of the truth. Nevertheless, the temperatures of the last few decades have been relatively warm compared to many of the thousand year temperature curves sampled from the posterior distribution of our model. 

Natural climate variability is not well understood and is probably quite 

large. It is not clear that the proxies currently used to predict temperature  

are even predictive of it at the scale of several decades let alone over many  

centuries. Nonetheless, paleoclimatoligical reconstructions constitute only  

one source of evidence in the AGW debate.

The paper is titled 


Northwestern University and the University of Pennsylvania

ABC provide the following response 20/8/2010:
Thank you for your email.

The team responsible for the timeline have advised me that the climate change timeline records events in climate change history that can be described as: a significant geophysical or climatic event; a human event that can be understood in the context of climate history; a hypothesis or discovery that has contributed significantly to our understanding of climate science or that has provided social context around the debate over climate change.

The paper that you refer to, while no doubt contributing to the debate over the accuracy of climate modelling, has yet to have made any significant impact in any of these areas.

The climate change timeline was developed as a feature for the launch of
the ABC environment portal in the lead up to December 2009 Copenhagen conference. The team responsible for the timeline have also advised that they are not currently adding to or amending any of the data.

Thank you for contacting the ABC with your concerns.
Yours sincerely,
ABC Audience and Consumer Affairs

To which we replied:

Sadly that ABC Science have deliberately chosen to ignore the paper reflects poorly on their capacity to recognise significant develops in science as they arise. I feel ABC Science may benefit from the following quote by Karl Popper:

“Whenever a theory appears to you as the only possible one, take this as a sign that you have neither understood the theory nor the problem which it was intended to solve”

Please pass this on.
Thanks for your time

Saturday, August 14, 2010

More Ice Islands

The Advertiser Friday 5 August 1892
LONDON, August 3.The barque Alice, from Auckland to New York, has arrived in port after aterrible voyage. She was locked whenrounding Cape Horn between a sheet of solid ice on her port side, while an iceberg 40 miles long and 400 ft. high occupied all the sea room to starboard. The Alice only escaped from this perilous position with great difficulty.

The Brisbane Courier Wednesday 4 May 1870
This mass has received the various denominations of an immense iceberg, an ice island,' groote ijseland,' and a connected mass of icebergs. Its elevation in no case exceeded 300feet, but its horizontal dimensions were sixty miles by forty.

The Sydney Morning Herald Monday 17 April 1893
LONDON. April, 15.
A Dundee whaler reports that thewhaling expedition to the Antarcticwlrjch set out from the Falkland Islands has proved a failure. Plenty of whaleswere met with, but they were not of the Greenland kind. An iceberg 50 miles in length was seen.

The Advertiser Monday 3 April 1893
LONDON, April 2.
The ship Clan Macleod has arrived atNew York from Melbourne, and reports
having passed in the Southern Ocean an iceberg 15 miles long and 200ft high.

Vast iceberg seen fromWyatt Earp
The Argus Friday 2 April 1948
ICEBERGS UP TO 20 MILES LONG WERE AMONG THE UNFORGETTABLE SIGHTS of the Antarctic seen by members of the Australian expedition who returned to Melbourne yesterday in the Wyatt Earp. This picture, taken by the official photographer with the expedition, shows a huge iceberg off Macquarie Island. see image above

Sydney Morning Herald Monday 2 January 1893
During the morning saw a great number of bergs, and at noon were about five miles from an ice island. The side next us was over five miles in length N.N.E. and S.S.W., and from 50ft to 400ft. high. It was across our course, so hauled to the north and steered northtill 6 a.m. nest morning. When passing this ice island we could see that it extended a long way to the South east.

The Argus Monday 24 March 1952
Anchorage, Alaska, Sunday
THREE men who made the first successful plane landing on afloating island of ice in the ArcticOcean, camped today 60 miles fromthe North Pole. The U.S. Air Force,which has named theisland Fletcher's Island, hopes to make a "semi-permanent" weather station there.

The Mercury Tuesday 25 May 1954
'The Mercury" Special Service
NEW YORK, Mon. - The world's northern-most inhabited island normal population: 12 men and one dog- has been abandoned and its residents sent back to their home bases, the UnitedStates Air Force announced yesterday. The island is "T-3" - or Fletcher's ice island - a floe of flat-topped Arctic ice that has floated around the North Pole region with U.S. Air Force scientists aboard it for the past two years.

The Mercury Tuesday 27 April 1948
MELBOURNE, Mon.-An iceberg,estimated to be three miles long and rising 300ft out of the water,was sighted off Capetown two weeks ago by the British ship Condesia, which berthed, at South Wharf to-day.
It is very unusual for such a huge iceberg to be so far north at this time of the year.

The AdvertiserWednesday 25 November 1903
On November 7 when in latitude 43.29 deg. south and longitude 103.24 deg. east,the officers of the ship Dimsdale, which arrived at Port Adelaide; from New York on Monday, sighted a magnificent iceberg a few miles from the ship. The berg was first seen by the man on the look-out at5.30 a.m., and at 10 o'clock the ship passed within half a mile of it. It presented a beautiful, though awe-inspiring, appearance as it towered in a jagged mass high above the ship. The officers estimate that it was a third of a mile long and over 180 ft. high, and was the largest they had ever seen. It was not nearly so broad as long, but no accurate idea of its magnitude in this direction could be obtained.

Mammoth Iceberg Adrift In North Atlantic
The Canberra Times Saturday 18 December 1875
NEW YORK, Wednesday.
All ships in the North Atlantic have been warned, to follow their courses, with extreme caution to avoid a mammoth iceberg which has drifted into one of the main northern shipping lanes.The iceberg was last reported 270 miles south-east of Argentia, Newfoundland, and drifting south-east at 30 miles daily.
The United States Coast Guard has been trailing the iceberg since it broke away from icefields, north of Newfoundland, 13 days ago.
Search for more at http://newspapers.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/home

Friday, August 13, 2010

Before the ABC: Ice islands

Satelite image from August 5th showing the newly formed ice island.

THE ARGUS Wednesday 8 February 1911

The ice floe upon which an entire fishing village has been carried from the neighbourhood of Bjorko Sound has become stranded near the island of Seibkar.
There are 253 men and a number of horses on the floe. Despite the fact that the temperature is 18deg. below zero, the fishermen refuse to abandon their huts and horses and an extraordinary fine catch of fish which they had secured. Their position is not dangerous at the present time.

Before the ABC: an occasional snapshot of news in the days BABC