Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Missing News: Great Barrier Reef - no net decline between 1995 and 2009

Another story missing in action. This one about a paper published back in March in the journal PLoS One. The paper titled Disturbance and the Dynamics of Coral Cover on the Great Barrier Reef (1995–2009) by Kate Osborne, Andrew M. Dolman, Scott C. Burgess  and Kerryn A. Johns includes the following findings (below), that appear to contradict recent claims reported by the ABC made by a certain coral whisperer.

"Monitoring data collected annually from fixed sites at 47 reefs across 1300 km of the GBR indicate that overall regional coral cover was stable (averaging 29% and ranging from 23% to 33% cover across years) with no net decline between 1995 and 2009."

"Crown-of-thorns starfish (Acanthaster planci) outbreaks and storm damage were responsible for more coral loss during this period than either bleaching or disease despite two mass bleaching events and an increase in the incidence of coral disease. "

"While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980's suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995." 

"This study indicates that at the scale of the whole GBR there was no net decline in live hard coral cover between 1995 and 2009."

"Surveys in 1998 and 2002 identified large areas of reef where coral was bleached. Our results indicate that mortality was not widespread or severe at depths of 6–9 meters. "

 "The impact of bleaching and coral disease, to date, was not severe on our sites."

ABC's war on Science

Australian Climate Madness start a new series of posts under the header ABC's war on Science. There is no end to the war stories (best of luck keeping up with the deluge Simon).  Here's a link to Part 1.

Readers here are invited to explore our missing news which captures just some of the stories of ABC's many victims in its on going campaign or unreason. See also our series of posts looking at ABC's handling of climate science in particular HERE.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Missing News: Hurricane activity all time low

Nothing thus  far on ABC News about a new paper published in the journal "Geophysical Research Letters" by Dr Ryan Maue of Florida State University titled Recent historically low global tropical cyclone activity (doi:10.1029/2011GL0477110 - in press), that finds that since Hurricane Katrina, global tropical cyclone frequency and energy have decreased dramatically, and are currently at near-historical record lows.

ABC have previously covered news on tropical storm activity:
Climate change to increase bushfires and cyclones

I guess the headline "Hurricane activity at all time low" doesn't really gel with the ABC's climate change sale pitch.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Media Watch Dog

Gerard Henderson sweeps a lovely cover drive to the boundary to chock up 100 posts on Media Watch Dog.
Congratulations Gerard!

To see the Issue 100 follow the link (HERE).

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Missing News: Arctic sea ice loss not just reliant on temperature

Back in 2007 when Arctic Sea Ice hit its lowest level in the satellite era ABC reported:
"Sea ice in the northern hemisphere has plunged to the lowest levels ever measured, a US Arctic specialist says, adding that it is likely to be part of a long-term trend of polar ice melt driven by global warming."

Like many aspects of climate science it seems the real story is a little more complicated, as suggested by a new study currently under open review at the journal "The Cryosphere". The paper is titled Recent wind driven high sea ice export in the Fram Strait contributes to Arctic sea ice decline (Link HERE). 

Interesting ABC Science has failed to provide any information about the unique method of peer review at The Cryosphere that makes reviewers comments available for scrutiny.

The review process involves:
The Cryosphere has an innovative two-stage publication process which involves a scientific discussion forum and exploits the full potential of the Internet to:
  • foster scientific discussion;
  • enhance the effectiveness and transparency of scientific quality assurance;
  • enable rapid publication;
  • make scientific publications freely accessible.
In the first stage, papers that pass a rapid access-review by one of the editors are immediately published on the The Cryosphere Discussions (TCD) website. They are then subject to Interactive Public Discussion, during which the referee’s comments (anonymous or attributed), additional short comments by other members of the scientific community (attributed) and the author’s replies are also published in TCD. In the second stage, the peer-review process is completed and, if accepted, the final revised papers are published in TC. To ensure publication precedence for authors, and to provide a lasting record of scientific discussion, TCD and TC are both ISSN-registered, permanently archived and fully citable.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg: the secrets of my success

In conversation Coral Whisperer Prof. Ove Hoegh-Guldberg reveals the secrets of his publishing success:

Marc Hendrickx

I'm not getting nasty Ove, I'm merely pointing out some facts. Let's again examine these. For your last 10 papers listed in The Web of Science here is your author position.
1. Validation of Housekeeping Genes for Gene Expression Studies in Symbiodinium Exposed to Thermal and Light Stress: Last author out of 4
2. Mesophotic coral ecosystems on the walls of Coral Sea atolls: second last author out of 7
3. Ocean acidification and warming will lower coral reef resilience: last author out of 7
4. Coral reef ecosystems and anthropogenic climate change: first of one
5. Revisiting climate thresholds and ecosystem collapse: fifth of 12
6. Regulation of Apoptotic Mediators Reveals Dynamic Responses to Thermal Stress in the Reef Building Coral Acropora millepora: last of 6
7. Climate change impedes scleractinian corals as primary reef ecosystem engineers: second of 12
8. Complex Diel Cycles of Gene Expression in Coral-Algal Symbiosis: last author of 10
9. Gene expression profiles of cytosolic heat shock proteins Hsp70 and Hsp90 from symbiotic dinoflagellates in response to thermal stress: possible implications for coral bleaching : last author of 5
10. Shallow-water wave lensing in coral reefs: a physical and biological case study: second last of 8.

Based on the evidence it seems a reasonable contribution from OveH for 30% of these, but it appears only a token contribution for 70%. Most of the these where Ove's students are the lead author.

Congratulations Ove you are the master of the publish or perish system. Is your name there:
1. Because of a sizeable contribution to the work?
2. As a token thankyou from grateful students?
3. As a means to allow a softer journey through the review system for students yet to get a name for themselves?, or
4. Because you insist on putting your name on all your students papers, afterall where would they be without you?

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg
Director, Global Change Institute at Univers…
about 12 hours ago
Marc - I am surprised that you are not aware the last author position on publications in many fields (such as marine and molecular biology) goes to the head of the laboratory or research group. This is to recognise the effort that these individuals put into the science, but also as recognition of the funding, experience, and infrastructure that invariably goes into a project. In our field, this is not insubstantial and my calculations have revealed that studies involving molecular biology or field work can often require substantial costs in terms of materials and supplies required to do the science. Obtaining that funding is not an easy task as I'm sure you know.
Life is too short to keep justifying myself to you Marc. Despite your continual insults, my track record and the cohesion of my research group ( some of the finest young biologists in Australia) does speak for itself.
Anyway, enough of this - I have a lab group to run, papers to write, and an institute to direct.

Marc Hendrickx
about 11 hours ago
So it was number 4 then! And these are papers you claim as your own. Shame Ove Shame.

Marc Hendrickx
about 11 hours ago
In geology we generally take credit for our own work, and not the work of others. If there has been administrative assistance it typically gets a place in the Acknowledgements.

Unjustly appropriating the work of others is one sign of workplace bullying. I pity his personal assistant and his students!
Read the whole conversation at The Conversation.

ABC Productivity Report Update-free fall continues

Past the midway point of June with 3455 stories posted thus far. Equivalent stories posted for the same time period last year, which was ABC's lowest ever output, was 4168. ABC missing over 700 stories in 2011.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Missing News: Greenpeace involvement in IPCC report on renewable energy

The Australian has a balanced report on the recent discovery that the key recommendation from a recent  IPCC report on renewable energy was provided by Greenpeace. The ABC has nothing.

Greenpeace's key role in UN climate study

THE United Nation's peak climate change body has become embroiled in new controversy over its use of Greenpeace and renewable energy industry propaganda in a landmark study on alternative energy.
A headline briefing on the IPCC's special report on the potential of renewable energy, released in Abu Dhabi on June 9, said close to 80 per cent of the world's energy supply could be met by renewables by mid-century, if backed by the right enabling public policies.
Release of the full report this week showed the assumption was based on a real-terms decline in worldwide energy consumption over the next 40 years and was the most optimistic of the 164 investigated by the IPCC.

The issue was discovered by Steve McIntyre, famous for debunking another IPCC totem the Hockey Stick Graph. Steve has a number of posts on the issue:
IPCC WG3 and the Greenpeace Karaoke
Responses from IPCC SRREN
IPCC Sabotages an Interacademy Recommendation
Pachauri: No Conflict of Interest Policy for AR5
Lynas’ Questions
Judy Curry also has an interesting series of posts:
McIntyre and Curry are among the missing voices at the ABC.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Solar minimum and its affect on climate, the other side

Latitude-time plots of jet streams under the Sun's surface show the surprising shutdown of the solar cycle mechanism. New jet streams typically form at about 50 degrees latitude (as in 1999 on this plot) and are associated with the following solar cycle 11 years later. New jet streams associated with a future 2018-2020 solar maximum were expected to form by 2008 but are not present even now, indicating a delayed or missing Cycle 25. Image and text from:

ABC belatedly reported (borrowing from AFP) on a study that suggests the sun is entering a quiet period similar to the Maunder Minimum, which was a 70-year period when hardly any sunspots were observed between 1645 and 1715, a period known as the 'Little Ice Age'. ABC's report provided reference to a recent study by Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf based on the results of climate modelling that indicated the potential affect on global temperatures may not be significant with just   "a 0.3°C dip by 2100 compared to normal solar fluctuations."

In the interests of balance (lacking in the ABC's report) we decided to ask a real solar scientist. It seems the impact of reduced solar activity may be more significant than the ABC's one sided report suggesting more research is required.

Email sent 15/6/2011
ABC  News cite a paper by Georg Feulner and Stefan Rahmstorf to suggest that a solar mimnimum would reduce global temperatures by 0.3 degrees by 2100. see GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 37, L05707, 5 PP., 2010 doi:10.1029/2010GL042710 On the effect of a new grand minimum of solar activity on the future climate on Earth
"Here we use a coupled climate model to explore the effect of a 21st-century grand minimum on future global temperatures, finding a moderate temperature offset of no more than −0.3°C in the year 2100 relative to a scenario with solar activity similar to recent decades. This temperature decrease is much smaller than the warming expected from anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by the end of the century. "
I am interested in your opinion on the evidence for a future solar minimum based on recent results in the news and its affect on global temperature for a news story.

Marc Hendrickx

Received  15/6/2011
Dear Marc Hendrickx,
I have had a fast look at the paper, and as far as I can see the authors are only looking at solar irradiance changes, and effects like the one that I have been involved in, like an amplification of the solar signal caused by clouds and cosmic ray modulation, is not taken into account. We known with good confidence that the terrestrial response to the solar signal is 3-7 times larger than from solar irradiance alone (see for example the work of Nir Shaviv, attached-Using the oceans as a calorimeter to quantify the solar radiative forcing-doi:10.1029/2007JA012989). Now if such effects are taken into account the result would be very different (larger solar influence). So I do not think that the present work is the particular helpful in understanding the solar impact in near future. It is only an estimate of the impact of solar irradiance as determined from numerical modeling. In the coming years the sun will show by itself how important it is.
Best wishes,
Henrik  (Svensmark)

We have requested ABC amend their story.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Missing News: the (little) ice age returns

With the tumbleweeds rolling down the corridors at ABC news and its staff locked in a Groupthink hugfest wrapped in the warm blanket of so called settled science, the sun shines in:

Science reports:

End of the Sunspot Cycle?

Things may be about to get very dull on the sun. Three different measurements of solar activity, reported by scientists at a press conference today, suggest that the next 11-year-long solar cycle will be far quieter than the current one. In fact, it may not happen at all: Sunspots, the enormous magnetic storms that erupt on the sun's surface as the cycle builds, might disappear entirely for the first time in approximately 400 years.

The Register explains...
What may be the science story of the century is breaking this evening, as heavyweight US solar physicists announce that the Sun appears to be headed into a lengthy spell of low activity, which could mean that the Earth – far from facing a global warming problem – is actually headed into a mini Ice Age.

The Christian Science Monitor expands... 
A sun with no sun spots? What that could mean for Earth and its climate.

A long quiescent period also could provide an unexpected, natural laboratory for investigating often-discussed but poorly explored links between sunspot activity and global climate.
The most oft-cited example of a shutdown in sun spots is the so-called Maunder Minimum, a 70-year period that began around 1645. Sun spots virtually vanished from the sun's surface. The decline coincided with a climate period known as the Little Ice Age, when temperatures fell substantially in various locations around the globe and different times during the time span.
Researchers have been looking at this correlation with an eye toward figuring out whether and to what extent seemingly small fluctuations in sunlight that come with changes in the sunspot cycle may affect Earth's climate.
Update: ABC post this story written by AFP...(note the slant, they could have asked a real solar physicist)

Lies of the climate commission: Part 6 no islands evacuated

Climate Commissioner Tim Flannery (who has not published any peer reviewed papers on climate change*), recently stated:
Prof Flannery said while climate change would be a significant issue for the region over the next century, its effects were being felt in other parts of the country today.
“There are islands in the Torres Strait that are already being evacuated and are feeling the impacts."

There are in fact no islands in the Torres Strait that are being evacuated. Another falsehood from the climate commissioner, that has slipped under the ABC's news radar.

We put the following question to the climate commission:

Climate commissioner Tim Flannery is quoted as saying: 
“There are islands in the Torres Strait that are already being evacuated and are feeling the impacts."
There are no islands in Torres Strait that are being evacuated due to climate change. Can the commission clarify what the commissioner means by this false statement? Given the commission is supposed to "Explain the science of climate change and the impacts on Australia"; will the commission issue a correction to the commissioner's false and misleading statement? 

*Let us go and explore the Gold standard for collecting and collating peer-reviewed scientific information,Thomson Reuters Institute for Scientific Information, and see how many times that this climate science  ‘expert’ has published on climate change in the expert literature since 1956.  If he were a bone fide expert then he would be listed in the ISI Web of Knowledge many times under papers in which he has tested his ideas with the expert scientific community. Search term author "Flannery T"  and topic  "climate change" reveals one entry, just one! -  A book review! (That misrepresents the book!) So no peer reviewed publications in climate change! Little wonder he keeps telling untruths.

Title: The real environmental crisis: Why poverty, not affluence, is the environment's number one enemy
End Game
Author(s): Flannery, T
Source: NEW YORK REVIEW OF BOOKS   Volume: 52   Issue: 13   Pages: 26-29   Published: AUG 11 2005
Times Cited: 0
Document Type: Book Review

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Record low

ABC News make the record books posting just 63 stories to its news archive for Sunday June 12, 2011. The lowest number of stories posted on a Sunday in June in its News archive ever. We have had to amend our y-axis twice in the past week to account for ABC's disastrous productivity decline.
For comparison, the record high for the second Sunday in June, was in 2004 when ABC News posted 169 stories. ABC found over a 100 more stories in 2004 with 225 less staff.
Staff in 2004: 735.04
Staff in 2011: 960.84
ABC News: doing much much less, with much much more of your money.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Missing News: Climate models exaggerate climate sensitivity

Professor Richard Lindzen has documented the path through peer review for his latest paper written with Yong-Sang Choi. The paper titled "On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications" has been accepted for publication in the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Sciences.
ABC NEWS once again miss the opportunity to scoop its rivals and have thus far not mentioned the study. The abstract concludes: "The results imply that the models are exaggerating climate sensitivity."

Not like this isn't worth reporting! Richard Lindzen's account of the submission process including links to peer review comments, and the various versions of the paper, including the version accepted for publication can be found HERE.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Fossils uncover a different take on climate change

Seems the influence of ABC's climate Groupthink diminishes in proportion with distance from ABC's Sydney headquarters. Thankfully there are still some independently minded ABC presenters left in the bush, pity this won't be repeated on local radio in Sydney .

Fossils uncover a different take on climate change

Referring to the renowned Vostok ice core graph Dr Deacon explains how "about 800 years ago the sea levels were rising at about 14 millimetres per year."
"Well currently the sea level is rising arguably between one and three millimetres per year, so its rising very very much slower than it was at that time... carbon dioxide wasn't driving the changes in any of those plots and is probably not driving it now."
"So really if you're going to say that we actually have man-made global warming that has a runaway greenhouse where sea levels are rising faster than ever, absolutely not."
Dr Geoff Deacon will be presenting his lecture 'What fossils tell us about sea-levels and climate change' at the WA Museum in Geraldton on Thursday June 9 at 7.00pm and Friday June 10 at 10.00 am.

To read and listen to the rest follow the link above.

H/T Geoff Brown

Thursday, June 9, 2011

ABC NEWS Productivity Survey Week 1- the decline continues

ABC's news productivity remains in free fall, with 2011 figures worse than 2010.  In the first week of June 2011 ABC news posted 1622 stories to its online Archive.
For the comparable week in the year 2005, which also started on a Wednesday, ABC produced 1931 stories with 756 staff. This year it was 1621 stories with 961 staff*. That's 309 LESS stories with 205 MORE  staff!

ABC NEWS giving you much much less, for much much more!

(*based on our staffing model. 2010 staffing was 947.36 from the annual report p.192)

Death threats a beat up

Turns out the recent claims aired by ABC news (twice) and others about death threats to Australian Climate Scientists is a beat up, based on just two threats, one posted in 2006-07, and the other an offhand remark made in person, 12 months ago. The threats so innocuous they were not officially reported to police.

Today's Telegraph have the facts. We look forward to seeing ABC's correction, or will they let their audience continue to be mis-informed about the nature of the threats?

Carbon death threats go cold

CLAIMS prominent climate change scientists had recently received death threats have been revealed as an opportunistic ploy, with the Australian National University admitting that they occurred up to five years ago.
Only two of ANU's climate change scientists allegedly received death threats, the first in a letter posted in 2006-2007 and the other an offhand remark made in person 12 months ago.
Neither was officially reported to ACT Police or Australian Federal Police, despite such crimes carrying a 10-year prison sentence.
The outdated threats raised question marks over the timing of their release to the public, with claims they were aired last week to draw sympathy to scientists and their climate change cause.
The university denied it was creating a ruse, maintaining the initial report, in the Fairfax-ownedCanberra Times last week, failed to indicate when the threats were made.Reports also suggested the threats had forced the ANU to lock away its climate change scientists and policy advisers in a high-security complex. The Daily Telegraph has discovered the nine scientists and staff in question were merely given keyless swipe cards - routine security measures taken last year.

Tim Blair has more under the header...False Alarmists

UPDATE May 3, 2012. Claims Debunked! 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Rapid Sea level rise a figment of ABC Groupthink alarmism

Sea level projected to 2100-likely further rise of 17.4 cm by 2100

ABC's Climate Groupthink propaganda machine goes into hyperdrive to support the government's carbon tax, with a report titled "Report outlines worst-case climate damage". Once again little inquiry by the ABC, who are happy to beat the alarmist drum for a government desperate to regain some credibility in the politics of climate change - by being seen to be "doing something", anything. (Ed...Doesn't matter that its proposed tax will do nothing for the environment, in fact it will harm it by reducing our economic capacity to pay for looking after it. The tax will do nothing for global temperatures, it will do nothing to reduce sea level, it will do nothing to reduce "carbon pollution". It's a "feel good" tax that will make no one feel good. Its long term outcome will be one big step backward into a third world lifestyle for all Australians)

ABC's sensationalist report states:
The report, titled Risk to Coastal Settlements and Communities, was commissioned by the Federal Government and assesses the potential damage caused by a worst-case scenario sea level rise of 1.1 metres within 90 years. 
The report identifies $226 billion worth of assets at risk of erosion or being wiped out.
It found up to 274,000 homes are at risk of inundation and erosion along with over 8,000 commercial buildings, and up to 35,000 kilometres of roads and rail around the country.
Sounds pretty scary, but just what has sea level been doing over the last 100 years or so? Based on historical  observations is a rise of 1.1 m realistic? The graph, above, from wikipedia shows sea level rise for the last 120 years (thats 4 climate cycles). If we extrapolate the observed trends 100 years into the future, out to 2100, we can see that (if these non-alarming trends continue) we can expect a further rise of just 17.4 cm! Thats less than the width of an ipad, less than the length of a brick!

The results of such a rise over the next 90 years will be insignificant. ABC's activist reporters appear to have mistaken reality for a Hollywood disaster movie.

One fish, two fish, a red fish, a blue fish

A certain lack of inquiry by the ABC exposed by this post from Watts Up With That...

Data for study based on TWO fish sample size: challenges to Australia’s Climate Comission go unanswered

In a recent ABC story on the study, much was made of the threat of fish dying from hot ocean water when in fact the sample size of the component of the study which looked at the physiological stress on fish consisted of only TWO fish.
The authors admitted: “This result may reflect the small sample size of our experiments, and further work is needed to determine the effect of increasing temperature on swimming activity in banded morwong.”
(See abstract and full text of study here in Nature Climate Change)
Unfortunately Dr Thresher of the University did not inform the listeners to the ABC of this significant limitation to the study and its findings.
and ABC didn't bother to ask!

Here's a few extracts from the paper showing the number of fish used for a critical part of the study was 2 (n=2).
"This thermal limit is also suggested by results from preliminary (n=2 fish) activity experiments for fish from the southernmost (coldest) population where we observed fish performance at the species’ typical spawning swimming speed (~1ms−1; period of highest activity) and temperatures ranging from 11 to 18°C (thermal range at sampling site, see Methods)."

"Spawning swimming speeds were determined in the field, off the southeast coast of Tasmania (seeSupplementary Fig. S1), using fish fitted with telemetered accelerometer tags. Preliminary observations of swimming performance in the laboratory were conducted at 11–14°C, 14–16°C and 16–18°C for each fish (n=2 fish and >12 trials, weight=1.8 and 2.7kg), following the procedures described in ref 30."

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Missing News: Little Ice Age

"Vikings arrived in Greenland in the 980s, during a warm period like the present."

ABC seem to have a problem reporting on studies that support natural climate variability. According to prevailing ABC Groupthink, climate change is all man made and it's all due to CO2. It's no surprise then that ABC have not covered a recent study that finds a cold snap in Greenland in the 12th century may help explain why Viking settlers vanished from the island. Thankfully Reuters thought it was newsworthy:

Greenland cold snap linked to Viking disappearance
(Reuters) - A cold snap in Greenland in the 12th century may help explain why Viking settlers vanished from the island, scientists said on Monday.
The report, reconstructing temperatures by examining lake sediment cores in west Greenland dating back 5,600 years, also indicated that earlier, pre-historic settlers also had to contend with vicious swings in climate on icy Greenland.
"Climate played (a) big role in Vikings' disappearance from Greenland," Brown University in the United States said in a statement of a finding that average temperatures plunged 4 degrees Celsius (7F) in 80 years from about 1100.
Such a shift is roughly the equivalent of the current average temperatures in Edinburgh, Scotland, tumbling to match those in Reykjavik, Iceland. It would be a huge setback to crop and livestock production.

Scientists have previously suspected that a cooling toward a "Little Ice Age" from the 1400s gradually shortened growing seasons and added to sea ice that hampered sailing links with Iceland or the Nordic nations.
The study, by scientists in the United States and Britain, added the previously unknown 12th century temperature plunge as a possible trigger for the colonies' demise. Vikings arrived in Greenland in the 980s, during a warm period like the present.

Read the whole article via the link above...


Friday, June 3, 2011

Frances Bell

Scanning over ABC's news archive for Thursday's stories this empty "News" item caught our eye under the headline Frances Bell:
(Screen capture from ABC website 6:46am 3 June 2011)
Frances Bell is the ABC's state political reporter in Western Australia for radio and hosts the WA Stateline program on Friday nights at 7.30pm on ABC1. What news do you have Frances? We hope it's all good, but until it actually contains some news we are unable to include this story in our count of articles for our productivity survey. Count for 2 June down 1 to 278.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Missing News: North Atlantic storm frequency spurious

ABC thus far have not reported on a recent study by Gabriele Villarini, Gabriel A. Vecchi, Thomas R. Knutson and James A. Smith recently published in the JOURNAL OF GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH. The study asked the question "Is the recorded increase in short-duration North Atlantic tropical storms spurious?". The authors found the answer is: yes.

Here's the abstract:
The number of North Atlantic tropical storms lasting 2 days or less exhibits a large increase starting from the middle of the 20th century, driving the increase in recorded number of tropical storms over the past century. Here we present a set of quantitative analyses to assess whether this behavior is more likely associated with climate variability/change or with changes in observing systems. By using statistical methods combined with the current understanding of the physical processes, we are unable to find support for the hypothesis that the century-scale record of short-lived tropical cyclones in the Atlantic contains a detectable real climate signal. Therefore, we interpret the long-term secular increase in short-duration North Atlantic tropical storms as likely to be substantially inflated by observing system changes over time. These results strongly suggest that studies examining the frequency of North Atlantic tropical storms over the historical era (between the 19th century and present) should focus on storms of duration greater than about 2 days.

ABC have previously shown an interest in studies looking at North Atlantic Storms (HERE and HERE) so we look forward to their coverage of this story that debunks much said on the ABC about the relationship between NA storm frequency and climate change.

image problem - on the back burner

About our inquires about it's problem coordinating headlines and images on the ABC environment site ABC recently replied (13/5/2011)
"ABC Innovation has advised that stories from across the ABC that are filed with no image are randomly assigned an image on the Environment portal from a pool of images. I understand relevant ABC Innovation staff are aware of the discordant match-ups that this system has produced and have been working on a solution. The examples published on your website have been brought to the attention of ABC Innovation management."

We initially advised ABC of the issue on the 4th of April. It's now June and the problem is still not fixed!
ABC's lobster harvester in action.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Productivity survey for 2011

Our survey of ABC news output starts today with weekly updates commencing from next Wednesday.
The survey represents a measure of the productivity of ABC News and is based on the number of unique news stories recorded in ABC's News archive and the total number of news staff as reported in ABC annual reports. Last years survey (see chart below) revealed an alarming drop in output despite increasing staff numbers. Will the trend continue in 2011?