Um, I do like my new category of “climate snarking”, since it allows me to offend people but get away with it because I’m being ironic. Or something. Anyway: Natures Climate Feedback blog has undergone a quiet revamp. Perhaps they have been listening to Eli? Unlikely I know – no one else does (remember, this is ironic). Anyway, I *still* wish them well, and clearly they have been listening to feedback, and they still have the good taste to include me on their blogroll, but despite that I’m still going to criticise them for silently revising their list of “core contributors”, from the original: John VanDecar, Jo Thorpe, Patricia Romero Lankao, Michael Oppenheimer, Kevin Vranes, Hans von Storch, Heike Langenberg, Olive Heffernan, Oliver Morton and Roger Pielke, Jr. to the current: Hans von Storch, Heike Langenberg, Olive Heffernan, Oliver Morton, Paty Romero Lankao and Roger Pielke, Jr (get your copy of the original list from before it gets updated…). What I’m criticising, BTW, is the silence rather than the revision – in the absence of an explanation rumours are bound to swirl.

That means (apart from Nature folk) the only climate scientist they have is von S. Who is without doubt a top-notch climate scientist. But whose recent posting there did its best to associate him with the Dark Side.

My suggestion is that they get someone good (von S?) to do a nice posting on “how attribution of climate change is actually done” ‘cos I don’t think there is any good public-type explanation of this (you can of course fight your way through the IPCC version but thats hard going).

[Update: a note that Nature has a post on “teething troubles” -W]


  1. #1 Eli Rabett

    Speaker to Mice As a member of the Rabett species, Speaker-to-Mice is extremely dangerous and always ready to fight depsite the fact that he is a diplomat.

  2. #2 Thom

    Nice post, Stoat. Yes, I think it’s important that people listen to someone like Von Storch, even if he seems a bit out there on occassion. But that is the wonderful thing about academic science–people are allowed to say/write things that you don’t agree with.

    You have to provide them the freedom.

    And it is because this system exists that I think it’s even more horrific that we get these illegitimate skeptics and corporate-funded pundits butting in. They exploit the normal back and forth in science for their own financial purposes.

  3. #3 Hank Roberts

    Do they have anyone there covering the ANDRILL work? The silence is deafening; I’ve seen mention the program’s researchers had a couple of big meetings, lots of structure on the Andrill website set up for sharing information — and nothing in the news since those teasers from months ago that the results were horrifying and the cores were on a slow boat to the USA. That was from March 8th:

    “This time we were able to drill into layers representing the period between five and 12 million years ago,” Andrill team member and geologist Lothar Viereck-Götte …, who calls the results “horrifying.” The data suggests “the ice caps are substantially more mobile and sensitive than we had assumed.” … The cores are still on a ship bound for Florida, where Andrill researchers from around the …,1518,469495,00.html

    Why so quiet since then? A big meeting on this was happening last week in Florida, or scheduled to happen.

    Did they strike oil?

    – May 8, 2007

    [Errrm, “horrifying” sounds like hype to me. I haven’t seen the actual results, but then I wouldn’t have been looking out for them -W]

  4. #4 Steve Bloom

    Hank, wasn’t it clear that they were just divvying up the cores for detailed analysis (an interesting-sounding process from a psycho-social standpoint, but that’s another story)? My ignorance about this subject is near-total, but my impression from reading sediment analysis papers is that there is generally a considerable lag between acquiring cores and submission of papers. It sounds in this case as if the general comments that have been made so far may have been just the result of eyeballing. But as noted, I know nothing. William, OTOH, could get an answer to your questions on his next tea break since he shares an office with some of the researchers.

    [We’re not much involved in the ANDRILL stuff -W]

  5. #5 Steve Bloom

    William, why exactly do you conclude that there was a change in authors? There is a new “recent contributor” category, but AFAICT it may not show those other folks simply because they have yet to contribute anything.

    [When I wrote this, they still called it “core contributors”. In fact that list still exists, at But while KV and MO are on the page, they *aren’t* in the Core list in the sidebar, which is idential to what is now the “recent” lists. So I think they are in flux at the moment -W]

  6. #6 Hank Roberts

    I realize it’s too early for publications from the Andrill meetings; I was hoping someone was blogging from them. Some news is showing up:


    …. the newly recovered rock core stretches more than a kilometer (three-quarters of a mile) in length. It tells the story of episodic changes of the Ross Ice Shelf and the ice sheets feeding it, with more than 50 oscillations in the ice margin over the last 10 million years.

    Some intervals when the ice shelf disappeared were probably during past times when our planet was 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (3.6 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) warmer than it is today – “much like it is predicted to be in the next 50 to 100 years by many climate models,” Naish said.

    If we’re going through this 2- to 3-degree (Celsius) warming in the next century, as has been predicted, we want to get a sense of how the ice sheet will react – and how fast it will react – by looking at what it has done in the past,” Powell added. “The world was only about 5 to 6 degrees warmer (Celsius) on average when there was no ice on the Antarctic at all. A couple degrees change can lead to quite dramatic changes across the world.”

  7. #7 James Annan

    My suggestion is that they get someone good (von S?) to do a nice posting on “how attribution of climate change is actually done”

    Rather than hoping that someone will read your blog and act on it, why don’t you ask von S to do it for RealClimate?

    [I’m too shy :-) Anyway, I don’t think von S likes us -W]

  8. #8 James Annan

    Shall I ask him for you? “My friend over there …” :-)

    Of course he’s not the only one you could ask…

    _I’d_ quite like to see some of the D&A people explain what it is they think they are doing :-)

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