There is so much being written about climate at the moment that it is difficult to know what to put up. One thing I am NOT putting up is any of the "defenses" by the IPCC and others in answer to "ClimateGate". Why? Because I have yet to find ONE such defence that mentions a single scientific fact. All the defences are solely ad hominem. They say that something is right because of who said it. Such arguments are among the classic informal fallacies of logic and deserve no respect from anybody at any time. So on to some more factual reports and commentaries -- JR
More acidic oceans DON'T dissolve shellfish
Big blow to a big scare. Another simple theory does not survive an encounter with reality
In a striking finding that raises new questions about carbon dioxide's (CO2) impact on marine life, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) scientists report that some shell-building creatures -- such as crabs, shrimp and lobsters -- unexpectedly build more shell when exposed to ocean acidification caused by elevated levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2).
Because excess CO2 dissolves in the ocean -- causing it to "acidify" -- researchers have been concerned about the ability of certain organisms to maintain the strength of their shells. Carbon dioxide is known to trigger a process that reduces the abundance of carbonate ions in seawater -- one of the primary materials that marine organisms use to build their calcium carbonate shells and skeletons. The concern is that this process will trigger a weakening and decline in the shells of some species and, in the long term, upset the balance of the ocean ecosystem.
But in a study published in the Dec. 1 issue of Geology, a team led by former WHOI postdoctoral researcher Justin B. Ries found that seven of the 18 shelled species they observed actually built more shell when exposed to varying levels of increased acidification. This may be because the total amount of dissolved inorganic carbon available to them is actually increased when the ocean becomes more acidic, even though the concentration of carbonate ions is decreased.
"Most likely the organisms that responded positively were somehow able to manipulate…dissolved inorganic carbon in the fluid from which they precipitated their skeleton in a way that was beneficial to them," said Ries, now an assistant professor in marine sciences at the University of North Carolina. "They were somehow able to manipulate CO2…to build their skeletons."
Organisms displaying such improvement also included calcifying red and green algae, limpets and temperate urchins. Mussels showed no effect.
"We were surprised that some organisms didn't behave in the way we expected under elevated CO2," said Anne L. Cohen, a research specialist at WHOI and one of the study's co-authors. "What was really interesting was that some of the creatures, the coral, the hard clam and the lobster, for example, didn't seem to care about CO2 until it was higher than about 1,000 parts per million [ppm]." Current atmospheric CO2 levels are about 380 ppm, she said. Above this level, calcification was reduced in the coral and the hard clam, but elevated in the lobster
The "take-home message, " says Cohen, is that "we can't assume that elevated CO2 causes a proportionate decline in calcification of all calcifying organisms." WHOI and the National Science Foundation funded the work.
More HERE (The rest of the article is a collection of ad hoc theories designed to rescue something for global warming. The factual bit is above)
Dutch study: Gore Wrong on Snows of Kilimanjaro
Newspapers and news sites in the Netherlands today extensively broke the news of the findings of a research team led by Professor Jaap Sinninghe Damste — a leading molecular paleontologist at Utrecht University and winner of the prestigious Spinoza Prize — about the melting icecap of the Kilimanjaro, the African mountain that became a symbol of anthropogenic global warming.
Professor Sinninghe Damste’s research, as discussed on the site of the Dutch Organization of Scientific Research (DOSR) — a governmental body — shows that the icecap of Kilimanjaro was not the result of cold air but of large amounts of precipitation which fell at the beginning of the Holocene period, about 11,000 years ago.
The melting and freezing of moisture on top of Kilimanjaro appears to be part of “a natural process of dry and wet periods.” The present melting is not the result of “environmental damage caused by man.”
Professor Damste studied organic biomarker molecules in the sediment record of Lake Challa, near Mount Kilimanjaro, and reconstructed the changes and intensity of precipitation in this part of Africa over the last 25,000 years. They observed an 11,500 year cycle of intense monsoon precipitation. In the dry period between 12,800 and 11,500 years ago, Kilimanjaro was ice-free. At the end of this period, a dramatic climate change from very dry to very wet took place — driven by changes in solar radiation — resulting in the creation of an icecap. At the moment, this part of Africa seems to be at the end of a similar dry period, resulting in the disappearance of the famous icecap.
DOSR calls Al Gore’s iconic use of the melting cap of Kilimanjaro “unfortunate” — since it now seems to be mainly the result of “natural climate variations.”
The journal Nature published the highly technical article by Professor Sinninghe Damste’s team. The website of Elsevier magazine — the Netherlands’ most circulated political weekly — broke the news as follows: “Dutchman discredits Al Gore’s climate evidence.”
Posted by John Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here