I'm sure you can guess what the suppressed report says about the link between hurricanes and global warming.
Jim Giles at Nature reports (subscription only):
A statement on the science behind the politically sensitive issue of hurricane activity and climate change has been blocked by officials at the US Department of Commerce, Nature has learned.
Work on the statement began this February after complaints about the actions of political appointees at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), an agency that falls under commerce-department control. NOAA researchers accused the appointees of ignoring - on the agency's website and at press conferences - the possibility that global warming could cause hurricanes to become more intense or frequent. The agency was also accused of preventing scientists who believe there might be such a link from speaking out (see Nature 439, 896-897; 2006).
The link is a sensitive issue because of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina and the US government's reluctance to restrict the greenhouse-gas emissions that are driving climate change.
NOAA officials denied both of the accusations from researchers. But e-mails obtained under freedom-of-information legislation by the environmental group Greenpeace USA, based in Washington DC, show that several NOAA scientists told their seniors that the agency was not properly representing hurricane science. The scientists' complaints prompted the creation of an internal seven-member panel charged with preparing a consensus statement on the views of NOAA researchers on hurricane science. A draft seen by Nature states that global warming may be contributing to hurricane intensity and that further research is needed to clarify the issue.
The document was finalized by the panel in mid-May and was due to be released to the public and the media in time for the start of this year's hurricane season in June. But panel chair Ants Leetmaa, director of NOAA's Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory at Princeton University, New Jersey, received an e-mail on 18 May from a commerce-department official informing him that the document needed to be made less technical and was not to be released. Leetmaa says department officials have not responded to his efforts to contact them since.
When asked about the document, NOAA administrator Conrad Lautenbacher told Nature that it was simply an internal exercise designed to get researchers to respect each other's points of view. He said it could not be released because the agency cannot take an official position on a field of science that is changing so rapidly. But panel members contacted by Nature, including Leetmaa, disagree strongly with this interpretation. Internal NOAA and commerce-department e-mails also discuss the timetable for the document being "cleared" for "distribution". The draft states that it refers to the "current state of the science" and does not contain "any statements of policy or positions of NOAA".
The article continues with more on the muzzling of scientists.
Hat tip: Paul Thacker.
Speaking of climate change, I notice that Greenpeace is a big supporter of wind power. I am curious, has anyone done even a cursory study to find out if tapping all that energy from the wind will contribute to climate change also? After all, convective heat transfer is much more efficient than conductive, and it seems to me that the wind turbines will decrease the convective effect.
Why haven't there been any studies to address this? Or have there, and I just have not found them?
Or have there, and I just have not found them?
Due to your student status, you have a free sub to ISI. Use it. You'll find something there.
I think the way things work Ben is that we - humanity - typically overshoot the mark both coming and going. At the moment there's insufficient installed wind power around the world for many people to be asking those kinds of questions. If and when we ever see sufficient wind power drawn to have a possibly significant effect on regional climate .... it'll be too late to stop lots more installations and effects before we get any kind of a grip on the matter.
On the bright side there is, like solar, vastly more of the resource available than we would need to be drawing were we to be supplying even 100% of current energy use with it. Here for instance is an interesting graphic, courtesy Tesla Motors, depicting the available supply of solar energy.
Well, the graphic is here anyway: http://tinyurl.com/j4y9e
well, I searched for a while but found nothing. Come on, somebody here would know if this research exists.
The effect of wind turbines should be recognized as a local effect within meterological weather scaling. Convection as in the ITCZ is global. The impact wind turbines would have is increase the laminar sublayer, and push the wind upwards. Some energy may be lost to turbulence, and the average local weather condition may be to grow warmer as direct local convection is necessary to address the increased conduction at the ground surface.
Ben -- Try this.
For additional references, back up to "~keith/wind.html" and follow the links there (I can't post two links without getting stuck on the spampaper).
your question is old news.
That's more like it, thanks.
Dano, the effect of ben's question was not to get an answer but to sidetrack the discussion about NOAA muzzling a number of its scientists. It was very effective.
Dano, the effect of ben's question was not to get an answer but to sidetrack the discussion about NOAA muzzling a number of its scientists. It was very effective.
D*mmit! I usu. see thru those tactics.
I'm very, very angry.
John Fleck had a piece yesterday about escorting reporters thru NASA.
That may have been the effect, but it was not the intent. I'm not that clever at trickery. I didn't see much to discuss in the post, it is what it is, but I did have a question about windfarms and this seemed like the place to get the quickest answer, which it was.
On the other hand, I suppose I do have a question about the post. I'd like to know more about the scientists who were supposedly muzzled.
"I'd like to know more about the scientists who were supposedly muzzled."
You mean like "Whether they voted for John Kerry in the last election"?
Chances are they did (everyone knows most scientists are lefties) but that does not mean their complaint of "misrepresentation of hurricane science" is not true. In fact, that complaint should be considered entirely on its own merits, divorced from details about those who brought the complaint.
Voting for Kerry is one thing. Being tools of International ANSWER is another. I'm just curious. Yes, it should stand on its own merits, but I'm not entirely clear on the merits, and I'd like to know something about the character of those involved.
In support of Ben, his question has arisen in my mind as well. After all, are we not in a similar position to early combustion engine advocates, in that the impact of a huge number of advocated items has not yet been researched? Thanks all for the links that show that this question has not been ignored.
Ben said: "I'd like to know something about the character of those involved."
The "character" of those involved is irrelevant to the question of whether or not the Bush administration suppressed information. To decide that, you look at the facts of the case (not whether the scientist goes to church on sunday or whether he/she belongs to a "left-wing" organization).
To suggest otherwise is absurd.
There is such a thing as "objective reality".
Not everything is "he said, she said" (or in this case "Left said, Right said")
I apologize for feeding the putative trolls. However, if either Ben or fatfingers were sincere in their curiosity, I would recommend they e-mail the blog host, otherwise you may gain the reputation for thread hijacking.
For this to be reported in Science is whistleblowing. Those who have reported the 'muzzling' think this needs to be made known in public's best interest. Last I checked, neither political party has cornered knowing what is best in the country's interest; and the whistleblower has taken a serious career risk in doing so.
Troll? Sorry for the hijacking, I suppose it's true.
On the other hand, if those scientists were hired back during the Clinton/Gore years, that makes things more interesting, just as if scientists hired during the Bush years were of the opposite opinion of things. The NOAA is a political body wether people here like it or not. The bureaucrats working there are appointed by the Federal administrations and they hire the scientists. There's no getting around that. I work at the University of Washington, which should be less of a political institution, and see plenty of knee-jerk politics among the faculty all the time (I'm guilty myself).
Changing the subject again Ben? OTOH what do you have against Reagan scientists
"The NOAA is a political body wether people here like it or not. The bureaucrats working there are appointed by the Federal administrations and they hire the scientists. There's no getting around that. "
This sounds to me a lot like the "Everyone does it so just get over it" claim that we have heard so much lately. It's just so much hooey, little more than an excuse.
Sure, all bureaucrats are partisan to a degree, but the ones in the Bush administration have a long and unprecedented track record of misrepresenting, censoring and/or suppressing scientic information. That's not a partisan claim. That's a fact.
The scientists (whistleblowers) are not the problem, the bureaucrats are and trying to change the subject is not going to work because a large number of scientists in the US have had about all they are going to take of this crap.
See, ben the flaw in "your" argument is that you have to show the outcomes have been affected by the things you allege but can't show.
See, if your fave scientists actually had empirical evidence, models, testable hypotheses, anecdotal evidence, scribbling on a napkin, well then you could point to their work and make an argument. But you can't. All you have is the vast array of scientists across time and nations showing pretty much the same thing. Oh, and your handful of fave scientists pouting.
IOW, you ain't got sh*t nothin' for an implied argument here. Nada. Squat. Zip. Poor ben.
So you weren't aware Ben that most educated people and scientists do indeed vote against the GOP? Why not do a little research into that while you're at it, it's not like it's any kind of mystery. It was true of journalists too they used to reckon, back before Rupert came to power.
"It's not what you know, it's who you know!" say all the good folk who know nuthink.
Ben: your comment about wanting to see more background on the scientists is a very strange one. However if you are really interested in following this line why don;t you post a message on your own blog.
Dano, I did not allege anything. I only supposed the possibility. Yep, bureaucrats are partisan, and they are also a problem. I don't have any problem with the scientists in question because I don't know who they are. Neither do I trust them. Really, I have no opinion on the matter whatsoever on those accounts. I'm just curious if their complaints are legitimate or not. Until I know one way or the other, I will reserve judgement.
Claim of status as a scientists does not make a person politically impartial, nor does imply inherent scrouples. If someone is blowing the whistle, I need to know something about them before forming an opinion.
What good would posting on my blog do? Nobody reads it. It's just an insignificant gun blog.
I want to see evidence that ben doesn't kill puppies and kittens. Claims of status as a human being does not mean one does not kill puppies and kittens. Certainly we should not trust him. He is a puppy and kitten killer, just like his idol Bill Frist.
Folks, this clown is dragging you around by your noses. Fact Ben, NOAA in this administration is suppressing science.
Folks, this clown is dragging you around by your noses.
Nah, Eli. His poor job of tap-dancing and vapor-thin argumentation is fun to read. This is the best they can do? Ben, isn't there some water thing in the Physics basement that needs cleaning or something?
This line of ben's is a non-sequitor.It seems to be a well-trodden GOP path to discredit dissent.
We got a reminder of this during the FOX-TV Warren attempt to ambush Clinton on security 'neglect'. Clinton brought it right back to following the most informed source, Clarke.
When Clarke left the Bush Admin after being squeezed out, he made it very clear that he'd given lots of warnings about the threat of Al Qaida well before 9/11.The Bushies immediately dismissed this along the lines of what would you expect from a Clinton appointee.
However, as Clinton made clear on FOX, Clarke was appointed by the Reagan Admin, confirmed again by Bush I and then by Clinton. If he had any allegiances at all they were probably on the Right.
Er, I'm not trying to discredit anything. I just want to know the truth. As far as I can tell, it is more likely that Tim's story is fair and correct, but I'm not going to go touting it until I know for sure. I used to think John Lott was a genuine source for our side of the gun control debate. Good thing I didn't buy that one lock stock and barrel. Why should I trust these other folks on face value?
Ben , Your talking as if wind power is regulated.
Do you think 300km/hr winds in the recent hurricane katrina had any regulation ?
No.. It's controlled by weather patterns and convection of water from south to north and vice versa.. to do with currents and many other factors.. saying will we run out of wind is like saying will we run out of sun in the near future..if we use to much solar energy not in the next few billion years anyway... And even then we wouldnt be able to sufficently use 100% of the energy regardless. (barely 1% if we are lucky)
As long as theres an atmosphere there will be allways be winds to carry around weather systems
did you also know that places like the east coast of south america (patagonia regions) it creates its own winds just from the depth of the mountains ? (so much wind in fact it tears away mountains..and brings weather systems to north american much like it does in himilaya's.
As allways Neo Cons and their supporters will allways detract from the real issue. The reality is there are many lags, wags and uneducated parochial dead heads who will gobble up all the standard cliche's and platitudes about the wisdom ,efficency and all the demonised functions of western government.
Well they ought to be gobbling them up ben. Cause theyve been getting them with their milk for decades.
rhetoric never = fact.
Back to the topic at hand.
Given that government scientists tend to have a fairly long career in that workplace (Hansen, for example, has been at NASA since the Reagan years at least), but their managers are temporary (the gentleman who denied access regarding the hurricane 'talking points' was previously employed in Bush's 2004 re-election campaign), and since political alliegance has been a litmus test for the current US regime, political interference in science is a given. How long before there are mass resignations, I wonder? I wouldn't trust anything scientific coming through a press officer at NOAA or FDA, but I'll trust what's published in the journals, and look for sudden pauses in the research.
The Bush appointees like to talk about bias in various fields, but omit that, for example, 80% of economists surveyed in 2004 reported they would vote for Kerry and that Bush's economic proposals were unsound. (and that was their strong point). Given their lack of interest in science or objective reality, it's no surprise they have little support amng those who are interested in this fields, who at best hope to be ignored for the next several years.
Freedom of Information is a wonderful tool to detect baloney and information constipation. It should be illegal.
I wouldn't trust anything scientific coming through a press officer at NOAA or FDA, but I'll trust what's published in the journals, and look for sudden pauses in the research.
As allways Neo Cons and their supporters...
Neo Con? Moi? Heh, but no.
Ben , Your talking as if wind power is regulated. Do you think 300km/hr winds in the recent hurricane katrina had any regulation ? No.. It's controlled by weather patterns and convection of water from south to north and vice versa.. to do with currents and many other factors.. saying will we run out of wind is like saying will we run out of sun in the near future..if we use to much solar energy not in the next few billion years anyway...
That has absolutely ZERO to do with what I was talking about. All I mentioned was a minor concern about small, in fact very small, changes in convection reducing the heat transfer between the lower atmosphere and both the upper atmosphere and the ground/sea etc. If "small" changes in CO2 concentration can have such a big impact on global temperatures, then we ought to be concerned about anything man does to climate processes and how they will in turn, you know, affect the climate. Convection is an extremely efficient mechanism for heat transfer, so if you modify atmospheric convection, you might want to consider the effects this could have on global temperatures. Sheesh.
Keep throwing spaghetti against the wall ben. Who knows, your ship may come in some day and a bit might stick. OTOH, why do you think we are interesting in cleaning up the mess you put on the floor.
To return to the topic under discussion, the Bush administration has been surpressing information from scientists at NOAA for a long time now, all you have to do is go read Rick Piltz's blog.
Fine then, how about this? Why did the NOAA have to correct an earlier statement that tried to purport a "consensus" on the hurricane issue?
I don't know if you were attempting a link to Rick Piltz's blog, but if you were, it's not working.
Hey, that's not fair. I was getting back on topic. Isn't that a valid question? If not, why not? Dano, you're being a bit of a wiener.
Distract away? Give me a break. What? Do you want me to just do the typical "Bush is a wimp" comment where you all pat yourselves on the back for a job well done and there's no questions asked?
And don't make the mistake that I'm a Bush supporter, I'm far from it.
MNDean, yes I was, I must have malformed the URL which should be http://www.climatesciencewatch.org/
As to why NOAA was forced to issue a correction you might guess because the Senate and various organizations were tearing new holes in Conrad Lautenbacher
A point that Roger Pielke Jr. appeared to have missed.
Hmmm, that is interesting, Eli.