Interesting article from The Economist science section about establishing the presence of shy animals in rainforests by examining leech blood.

A highlight comes from one of my relatives:

They also found genetic material from the… small-toothed ferret-badger, which is (apparently) impossible to distinguish from the related Burmese ferret-badger without getting close enough to handle it.

Comments

  1. #1 Russell
    2012/05/06

    None the less, all Burmese frettchendachshunds know the difference.

  2. #2 Graham Thompson
    2012/05/06

    This is interesting and relevant …

    An internal study by the U.S. EPA completed by Dr. Alan Carlin and John Davidson concluded the IPCC was wrong about global warming.

    [Its clearly not relevant. This is a blog very largely about GW and yet you picked one of the few non-GW to put your spam into.

    As to interesting: your nonsense was ripped apart by DC ages ago -W]

    One statement in the executive summary stated that a 2009 paper found that the crucial assumption in the Greenhouse Climate Models (GCM) used by the IPCC concerning a strong positive feedback from water vapor

    [Oh come on, we aren't children here. Go peddle this twaddle at WUWT or somewhere where they believe that the WV feedback is deliberately built into GCMs. It isn't; it just naturally emerges -W]

    is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative. Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect, not a warming one. Carbon dioxide also causes a slight cooling effect but it so small it could never be measured by man’s instrumentation.

    EPA tried to bury the report. An email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Dr. Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbade him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues. In a March 17 email from McGartland to Carlin, stated that he will not forward Carlin’s study. “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator (Lisa Jackson) and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” A second email from McGartland stated “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”

    McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Dr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to the EPA’s current position. Yet this study had its basis in three prior reports by Carlin (two in 2007 and one in 2008) that were accepted. Another government cover-up, just what the United States does not need.

    Eliminate this regulation immediately. This is a scientific tragedy.

  3. #3 Graham Thompson
    2012/05/06

    This is interesting and relevant …

    An internal study by the U.S. EPA completed by Dr. Alan Carlin and John Davidson concluded the IPCC was wrong about global warming. One statement in the executive summary stated that a 2009 paper found that the crucial assumption in the Greenhouse Climate Models (GCM) used by the IPCC concerning a strong positive feedback from water vapor is not supported by empirical evidence and that the feedback is actually negative. Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect, not a warming one. Carbon dioxide also causes a slight cooling effect but it so small it could never be measured by man’s instrumentation.

    EPA tried to bury the report. An email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), to Dr. Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst at NCEE, forbade him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues. In a March 17 email from McGartland to Carlin, stated that he will not forward Carlin’s study. “The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The administrator (Lisa Jackson) and the administration have decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision. …. I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” A second email from McGartland stated “I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change.”

    McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Dr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to the EPA’s current position. Yet this study had its basis in three prior reports by Carlin (two in 2007 and one in 2008) that were accepted. Another government cover-up, just what the United States does not need.

    Eliminate this regulation immediately. This is a scientific tragedy.

  4. #4 Harry
    2012/05/07

    Makes a change from the boring trees and flowers at JEB. A nice hungry leech to start the day.

  5. #5 Eli Rabett
    2012/05/07

    Alan Carlin, David Schare, what other EPA folk are charging the US government for their moonlighting activities?

  6. #6 Nick Barnes
    2012/05/07

    “Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect”

    ROFLMAO.

    Also: this leech study is awesome.

  7. #7 Deep Climate
    2012/05/07

    #4 Eli

    Carlin retired some time ago. But the log of his external communication in his last few months at the EPA would be interesting.

  8. #8 adelady
    2012/05/07

    “Water vapor in the atmosphere causes a cooling effect”

    ROFLMAO. +1

    Also: this leech study is awesome. +2

    When I first saw this study it left me slack-jawed in admiration. One of those Brilliant! moments. So obvious when you think about it once it’s done – but it takes near-genius to actually _think_ of it in the first place.

  9. #9 Phil.
    2012/05/09

    The leech study is fascinating, reminiscent of the concept is Jurassic Park, mosquitos in that case.

  10. #10 Jim Bouldin
    2012/05/12

    It’s a presence/absence indicator at best, and even at that, a time-limited one, albeit better than none at all. As the article says, it’s a “proof of concept” and that concept is whether or not blood DNA of various animals survives for any length of time in the host. As is usual in the popular media, The Economist screws up the meaning in their headline, because such analyses cannot by themselves give a count of the prey base. The PCR DNA amplification process precludes that entirely.

  11. #11 Jim Bouldin
    2012/05/12

    It’s a presence/absence indicator at best, and even at that, a time-limited one, albeit better than none at all. As the article says, it’s a “proof of concept” and that concept is whether or not blood DNA of various animals survives for any length of time in the host. As is usual in the popular media, The Economist screws up the meaning in their headline, because such analyses cannot by themselves give a count of the prey base. The PCR DNA amplification process precludes that entirely.