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Climate-change Scientist: Freedom Of Information Laws Harmful To Research

May 26, 2011 by  

Climate-change Scientist: Freedom Of Information Laws Harmful To Research

Nobel laureate scientist Sir Paul Nurse believes Freedom of information laws are being used to harass scientists.

“I have been told of some researchers who are getting lots of requests for, among other things, all drafts of scientific papers prior to their publication in journals, with annotations, explaining why changes were made between successive versions,” Nurse told guardian.co.uk. “If it is true, it will consume a huge amount of time. And it’s intimidating.”

Nurse’s comments come as a reaction to a Royal Society Study on how to make scientists’ work more readily available to the public. The study, which will likely be published next year, will cover how “digital media offer a powerful means for the public to interrogate, question and re-analyse scientific priorities, evidence and conclusions.”

Nurse claims that disclosing their research through Freedom of information laws can be a hindrance to scientists, asserting that “at times this appears to be being used as a tool to stop scientists doing their work. That’s going to turn us into glue. We are just not going to be able to operate efficiently.”

“Scientists are going to have to get used to the idea that transparency means being transparent to your critics as well as your allies. You cannot pick and choose to whom you are transparent,” Tom Ward, pro vice-chancellor at the University of East Anglia, told guardian.co.uk.

“Increasingly it is going to be an issue for anyone working in contentious areas. Part of retaining the public’s confidence and trust is transparency and openness, and scientists should accept that that is part of the price of having the people’s trust.”

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  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    Scientists Debunk Theory on End of ‘Snowball Earth’ Ice Age
    ScienceDaily (May 26, 2011) — There’s a theory about how the Marinoan ice age — also known as the “Snowball Earth” ice age because of its extreme low temperatures — came to an abrupt end some 600 million years ago. It has to do with large amounts of methane, a strong greenhouse gas, bubbling up through ocean sediments and from beneath the permafrost and heating the atmosphere.
    Permian-Triassic extinction event
    The main physical evidence behind this theory has been samples of cap dolostone from south China, which were known to have a lot less of the carbon-13 isotope than is normally found in these types of carbonate rocks. (Dolostone is a type of sedimentary rock composed of the carbonate mineral, dolomite; it’s called cap dolostone when it overlies a glacial deposit.) The idea was that these rocks formed when Earth-warming methane bubbled up from below and was oxidized — “eaten” — by microbes, with its carbon wastes being incorporated into the dolostone, thereby leaving a signal of what had happened to end the ice age. The idea made sense, because methane also tends to be low in carbon-13; if carbon-13-depeleted methane had been made into rock, that rock would indeed also be low in carbon-13. But the idea was controversial, too, since there had been no previous isotopic evidence in carbonate rock of methane-munching microbes that early in Earth’s history.

    And, as a team of scientists led by researchers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) recently reported in the journal Nature, it was also wrong — at least as far as the geologic evidence they looked at goes. Their testing shows that the rocks on which much of that ice-age-ending theory was based were formed millions of years after the ice age ended, and were formed at temperatures so high there could have been no living creatures associated with them.

    “Our findings show that what happened in these rocks happened at very high temperatures, and abiologically,” says John Eiler, the Robert P. Sharp Professor of Geology and professor of geochemistry at Caltech, and one of the paper’s authors. “There is no evidence here that microbes ate methane as food. The story you see in this rock is not a story about ice ages.”

    To tell the rocks’ story, the team used a technique Eiler developed at Caltech that looks at the way in which rare isotopes (like the carbon-13 in the dolostone) group, or “clump,” together in crystalline structures like bone or rock. This clumping, it turns out, is highly dependent upon the temperature of the immediate environment in which the crystals form. Hot temperatures mean less clumping; low temperatures mean more.

    “The rocks that we analyzed for this study have been worked on before,” says Thomas Bristow, the paper’s first author and a former postdoc at Caltech who is now at NASA Ames Research Center, “but the unique advance available and developed at Caltech is the technique of using carbonate clumped-isotopic thermometry to study the temperature of crystallization of the samples. It was primarily this technique that brought new insights regarding the geological history of the rocks.”

    What the team’s thermometer made very clear, says Eiler, is that “the carbon source was not oxidized and turned into carbonate at Earth’s surface. This was happening in a very hot hydrothermal environment, underground.”

    In addition, he says, “We know it happened at least millions of years after the ice age ended, and probably tens of millions. Which means that whatever the source of carbon was, it wasn’t related to the end of the ice age.”

    Since this rock had been the only carbon-isotopic evidence of a Precambrian methane seep, these findings bring up a number of questions — questions not just about how the Marinoan ice age ended, but about Earth’s budget of methane and the biogeochemistry of the ocean.

    “The next stage of the research is to delve deeper into the question of why carbon-13-depleted carbonate rocks that formed at methane seeps seem to only be found during the later 400 million years of Earth history,” says John Grotzinger, the Fletcher Jones Professor of Geology at Caltech and the principal investigator on the work described. “It is an interesting fact of the geologic record that, despite a well-preserved record of carbonates beginning 3.5 billion years ago, the first 3 billion years of Earth history does not record evidence of methane oxidation. This is a curious absence. We think it might be linked to changes in ocean chemistry through time, but more work needs to be done to explore that.”

    In addition to Bristow, Eiler, and Grotzinger, the other authors on the Nature paper, “A hydrothermal origin for isotopically anomalous cap dolostone cements from south China,” are Magali Bonifacie, a former Caltech postdoc now at the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, and Arkadiusz Derkowski from the Polish Academy of Sciences in Krakow.

    The work was supported by an O. K. Earl Postdoctoral Fellowship, by the National Science Foundation’s Division of Earth Sciences and its Geobiology and Environmental Geochemistry program, and by CNRS-INSU (French research agency).

    The above story is reprinted (with editorial adaptations by ScienceDaily staff) from materials provided by California Institute of Technology. The original article was written by Lori Oliwenstein.

  • http://aol.com sean murrey

    This climate change is a lot of bull.

  • http://marcum1@wildblue.net coal miner

    website

  • http://certus-certus.blogspot.com Raymond Harbin

    THE TRUTH IS THAT ANY INSIDE INFORMATION OF GLOBAL WARMING SCIENTISTS IS BAD FOR THOSE INVOLVED, IN WHAT HAS BECOME VERY PLAINLY COVERT DATA MANIPULATIONS. THOSE GUILTY OF DROPPING LOW TEMPERATURES FROM LISTS OF ANNUAL TEMPERATURES RESULTING IN HIGHER THAN ACTUAL NUMBERS GOING IN THE RECORD BOOK– HAVE BEEN REPORTED AGAIN. AFTER ERUPTING IN FALL OF 2010. USA OBSERVERS CALLED THE EVIDENCE “THE SMOKING GUN.” THE BRILLIANT CLIMATOLOGIST AND THE G-WARMER’S WORST NIGHTMARE, DR. PATRICK J. MICHAELS OBSERVED “NOT A SMOKING GUN, BUT A MUSHROOM CLOUD.”

    THE ATTITUDE OF THE CLIMATE CHANGE PROPONENTS BEGS THE QUESTION:

    “DO THE AMERICAN TAXPAYERS WORK FOR THE GLOBAL WARMING G-WARMER RESEARCHERS? OR, ARE THE RESEARCHERS EMPLOYED BY THE TAXPAYERS? IF THE LATTER IS TRUE, COMPLAINTS ABOUT THIS PROFOUND AND EXPENSIVE STRUGGLE TO PROVIDE ANSWERS TO CITIZEN’S QUESTIONS, ARE OBVIOUS AND FANCIFUL RETREATS FROM THEIR JOB DESCRIPTIONS. WHY WOULD THESE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS WANT TO HIDE THEIR METHODOLOGY AND DATA FROM THE CHECK-PAYING PUBLIC?

    ““GIVE US YOUR BILLIONS AND BE QUIET– WE HAVE NO TIME FOR HANDOUTS OF INFORMATION TO YOU; WE WILL TELL YOU WHAT WE WANT YOU TO KNOW. “”

    NOT VERY INSPIRING OF CONFIDENCE, IS IT? AND WHAT OF THIS NEXT PARAGRAPH? CONSIDERED BY MANY GW CRITICS AS THE PREAMBLE TO THE G.WARMERS CONSTITUTION:

    “. . . {GW RESEARCH} SCIENTISTS SHOULD CONSIDER STRETCHING THE TRUTH TO GET

    SOME BROAD-BASED SUPPORT, TO CAPTURE THE PUBLIC’S IMAGINATION. THAT, OF COURSE, ENTAILS GETTING LOADS OF MEDIA COVERAGE. SO WE HAVE TO OFFER UP SCARY SCENARIOS. MAKE SIMPLIFIED, DRAMATIC STATEMENTS, AND MAKE LITTLE

    MENTION ABOUT ANY DOUBTS WE MIGHT HAVE. . . EACH OF US {TAX SUPPORTED GW RESEARCHERS} HAS TO DECIDE WHAT THE RIGHT BALANCE IS BETWEEN BEING EFFECTIVE AND BEING HONEST.”

    READER, DOES THIS SOUND LIKE CLEAN, CANDID, CREDIBLE, CONSCIENCE-MANDATED SCIENCE TO YOU? LET ME OFFER A HINT: THIS DESERVES THE NAME “SCIENCE” IN THE VERY SAME SENSE THAT VOODOO AND ASTROLOGY DESERVE THE NAME “SCIENCE.” THE WORD “SCIENCE” DERIVES FROM THE LATIN “SCIRE”, MEANING “TO KNOW”. THE DICTIONARY SHOWS NO ALTERNATE MEANING OF “TO LIE.”

    MOREOVER, IT IS A DREADFULLY FEEBLE THEORY THAT ADMITS, UP FRONT, THAT IT CANNOT SURVIVE AND PROSPER APART FROM DISHONESTY AND DECEITFULNESS.

    THE ABOVE QUOTE IS FROM A “DISCOVER,” ARTICLE IN 1989; THE SPEAKER: STEVEN SCHNEIDER, CAREER PUBLIC TROUGH DINER, CLIMATE RESEARCHER AND THE PRIME CHOREOGRAPHER OF THE GLOBAL WARMING BALLET. SCHNEIDER, HAS YET TO SEE THAT VERIFIABLE FACTS NEED NO SUPPORT FROM BUREAUCRATIC LIES OR CORRUPT AND SYCOPHANTIC MEDIA FRAUD.

    EARLIER, SCHNEIDER ATTEMPTED , BUT COULD NOT GENERATE PANIC, OVER “GLOBAL COOLING.” (RESEARCHERS EARN NO INCOME UNLESS THEY RESEARCH–OR APPEAR TO BE) FOR THE PAST TWO DECADES AND UP TO THIS DAY, BURNING QUESTIONS SUCH AS “THE SEX LIFE OF AN ITINERATE , CROSS-EYED AMOEBA.”– OR, “WHY DO DOGS PREFER STEAK OVER SPINACH AND TURNIPS?” — CAN GENERATE FEDERAL GRANTS OF HUMONGOUS DOLLARS BECAUSE OF THE CURRENT BOTTOMLESS–PIT FAT NATURE OF THE U. S. TREASURY.

    WE WERE NOT SO RICH AS WE ARE TODAY IN THE EIGHTIES. GRANTS WERE HARDER TO GET FOR PROFOUND QUESTIONS SUCH AS– “WHY IS IT GETTING SO DAMNED HOT.”– WHEN THE GRANTEE HAD JUST GONE THROUGH 1 MILLION DOLLARS ON “I’M FREEZING, IS THIS THE BEGINNING OF A NEW ICE AGE?” IT PROBABLY COMES AS NO SURPRISE THAT MANY FEDERALLY SUPPORTED “RESEARCHERS” BOTH CREATE AND MAINTAIN THE BURNING ISSUES THAT SCORCH TAX PAYERS POCKETS. THERE IS NOTHING SO REWARDING AND COMFORTING AS SOLVING A NON-EXISTENT PROBLEM FOR A FAT INCOME.

    DID YOU KNOW THAT OVER 400, 000 SQUARE MILES OF CONTIGUOUS AREA IN THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE HAS EXPERIENCE ABSOLUTELY NO WARMING AT ALL DURING THE OFFICIAL PERIOD OF “GLOBAL WARMING” ( MEANING THE WHOLE GLOBE SINCE 1930)? YOU MAY HAVE HEARD OF THIS MYSTERIOUS, UNHERALDED CONTIGUOUS AREA; IT IS CALLED THE 8–STATE SOUTHEAST USA. THE GW RESEARCHERS AND THEIR GEE WHIZ COMPUTERS DON’T HAVE A CLUE AS TO WHY THIS IS SO. THIS IS JUST ANOTHER SUPER DUPER, COMPUTER BLOOPER TO ADD TO THE GROWING LIST.

    DID YOU KNOW? THERE HAS BEEN A CONSTANT DEBATE AMONG ALL SIDES OF THE CLIMATE ISSUES ASKING– RESOLVED– A WARMER ATMOSPHERE WILL INCREASE CLOUDINESS AND CONSEQUENTIAL RAINFALL; 64 QUADRILLION DOLLAR QUESTION: AT WHAT POINT DOES THE CLOUD COVER BUILD-UP, REDUCE SOLAR RADIATION AT THE EARTH’S LOWER ATMOSPHERE AND SURFACE, RESULTING IN THE HALTING OF ANY EARTH WARMING? (THIS IS CALLED A “NEGATIVE FEEDBACK.”)

    G- WARMERS DON’T LIKE TO TALK ABOUT SUCH SCARY SCENARIOS AND THEIR FEARFUL CONSEQUENCES– SO YOU ALMOST CERTAINLY HAVE NOT HEARD THE RESEARCHERS OR THE SHOW’S SENIOR BARKER, AL GORE, BRINGING THIS SUBJECT UP. THE GUESSES (THE ONLY ANSWERS AVAILABLE) HAVE RANGED FROM ABOUT 2 % TO 4% INCREASE IN MIDLEVEL CLOUDINESS WILL STOP THE WARMING. AGAIN, THE GEE WHIZ COMPUTERS ARE USELESS WHEN ASKED TO ANSWER AT WHAT POINT THE PERCENTAGE OF INCREASED CLOUDINESS WILL PRODUCE THE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK, CUTTING THE HEAT OFF– MAY AS WELL BE ASKING THE COMPUTER , “HOW MANY BUBBLES IN A BAR OF SOAP?”

    READER HAS ANY OF THE ABOVE PARAGRAPH EVER APPEARED IN THE YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER OR TV NEWS, ORIGINATING AS A NEWS BUZZ FROM THE G-WARMING CROWD?

    DOES THE NAME MICHAEL MANN MEAN ANYTHING TO YOU? MANN IS AN UPPER LEVEL G-WARMER WHO WAS UPSET WITH THE VERY EXISTENCE OF A HISTORIC CLIMATIC PERIOD BEGINNING NEAR 900 AD AND ENDING ABOUT 1350 AD. THIS ERA IS KNOWN IN CLIMATE CIRCLES AS “THE MEDIEVAL WARM PERIOD,”( MWP). WHY DID MANN’S MIND DEVELOP SO MUCH BITTERNESS FOR THIS QUIET, HARMLESS HISTORICAL INTERLUDE? ENDLESS RESEARCHERS VOUCH FOR ITS EXISTENCE AND SOCIETAL RESULTANT CHANGES, INCLUDING: PALEO-BOTANISTS, GEOLOGISTS, POST-GLACIOLOGY STUDIES, TREE-RING SPECIALIST, PERIGLACIAL GEOLOGISTS, OCEANOGRAPHERS, AGRICULTURAL EXPERTS, AD INFINITUM? BUT WHY DID HE DESPISE THE VERY EXISTENCE OF THE MWP? SIMPLY BECAUSE, MANY RESEARCHERS DECLARED THIS 4–500 YEAR INTERVAL, WAS 2-3 DEGREES F WARMER THAN OUR PRESENT G-WARMING— WITH ABSOLUTELY NO INCREASE IN ATMOSPHERIC CO2. THIS TIME AND PLACE WERE A CONSPIRACY TRYING TO PUT DR. MANN OUT OF WORK!! MANY OF MANN‘S G-WARMING COLLEAGUES
    JUST LAUGHED THE NOTION OFF AND WENT BACK TO THEIR PRIMARY WORK OF CORRUPTING DATA.
    .
    THIS REQUIRES THAT I MODIFY AN OLD ONE LINER FROM SATIRICAL POET, SAMUEL BUTLER: “ALTHOUGH GOD CANNOT CHANGE THE PAST, G-WARMER RESEARCHERS CAN; THIS IS APPARENTLY THE REASON HE TOLERATES THEIR EXISTENCE.”

    I HAVE STUDIED WEATHER AND CLIMATE FOR 53 YEARS. I FIND IT EASY TO BELIEVE THAT MOST OF THE AREAS OF THE EARTH HAVE WARMED A BIT SINCE THE 1930s– BUT NOT VERY MUCH, AND EVEN A TEN-YEAR OLD CHILD KNOWS THAT 1.6 DEGREES F. PROVIDES NO GAME WINNING ARGUMENT–ESPECIALLY, IF SOME OF THIS TINY INCREASE IS “PROBABLY CAUSED BY FACTORS OTHER THAN CO2 ATMOSPHERIC DEPOSITION.”
    ( A QUOTE FROM THE MOST RECENT IPCC (G-WARMER’S) REPORT.) WHAT IS LEFT OF 1.6 F. AFTER DEDUCTING AN APPROPRIATE FRACTION THAT IS NON-CO2 RELATED??

    ABSOLUTELY NO ONE KNOWS. AND IF THESE RESEARCHERS WANT RESPECT THEY MUST NOT ACT AS IF THE GAMES IS OVER AND RECOGNIZE THAT AN AWFUL LOT OF BRILLIANT CLIMATOLOGISTS AND PALEO-CLIMATOLOGISTS SEE THESE RESEARCHERS AS BEING FAR TOO DEEP IN POLITICS TO BE EFFECTIVE SCIENTISTS.

    IF THIS CROWD WANTS RESPECT, THIS IS WHERE THEY NEED TO WORK.

  • http://certus-certus.blogspot.com Raymond Harbin

    A bibliography on the above comment is available for the interested– send request to: raymondharbin@ bellsouth. net

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