Thursday, January 11, 2018

Missing News: Quality control needed in environmental research

Another missing story:

The need for a formalised system of Quality Control for environmental policy-science


Research science used to inform public policy decisions, herein defined as “Policy-Science”, is rarely subjected to rigorous checking, testing and replication. Studies of biomedical and other sciences indicate that a considerable fraction of published peer-reviewed scientific literature, perhaps half, has significant flaws. To demonstrate the potential failings of the present approaches to scientific Quality Control (QC), we describe examples of science associated with perceived threats to the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), Australia. There appears a serious risk of efforts to improve the health of the GBR being directed inefficiently and/or away from the more serious threats. We suggest the need for a new organisation to undertake quality reviews and audits of important scientific results that underpin government spending decisions on the environment. Logically, such a body could also examine policy science in other key areas where governments rely heavily upon scientific results, such as education, health and criminology.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Missing News: Solar impact on climate seven times greater than climate models suggested

Wow, Great Story from Graham Lloyd at the Oz about a new paper by an ABC missing voice Henrik Svensmark:

The impact of changes in solar activity on Earth’s climate was up to seven times greater than climate models suggested according to new research published today in Nature Communications.
Researchers have claimed a breakthrough in understanding how cosmic rays from supernovas react with the sun to form clouds, which impact the climate on Earth.
The findings have been described as the “missing link” to help resolve a decades long controversy that has big implications for climate science.
Lead author, Henrik Svensmark, from The Technical University of Denmark has long held that climate models had greatly underestimated the impact of solar activity.
He says the new research identified the feedback mechanism through which the sun’s impact on climate was varied.
Read the rest at the link above, or at you won't read this on "our" ABC.


Increased ionization supports growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei
H. Svensmark 1, M.B. Enghoff 1, N.J. Shaviv2 & J. Svensmark1,3
Ions produced by cosmic rays have been thought to influence aerosols and clouds. In this study, the effect of ionization on the growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei is investigated theoretically and experimentally. We show that the mass-flux of small ions can constitute an important addition to the growth caused by condensation of neutral molecules. Under present atmospheric conditions the growth rate from ions can constitute several percent of the neutral growth rate. We performed experimental studies which quantify the effect of ions on the growth of aerosols between nucleation and sizes >20 nm and find good agreement with theory. Ion-induced condensation should be of importance not just in Earth’s present day atmosphere for the growth of aerosols into cloud condensation nuclei under pristine marine conditions, but also under elevated atmospheric ionization caused by increased supernova activity.

Friday, November 17, 2017

ABC alarm: OMG Coffee will be gone!!!!

ABC post this alarmist piece from activist Molly Harriss Olson, CEO of Fairtrade Australia and New Zealand.

Why your morning coffee will taste different and cost more

Molly's introduction:

The countless cups of coffee downed during the UN's COP23 climate summit in Bonn may seem insignificant.But if coffee consumption has any message, it is that climate change is personal.
Worldwide, more than 2.75 billion cups of coffee are consumed every day. Half of all Australians love a good coffee to kick-start each morning. Yet, as climate change influences weather patterns around the world, coffee yields and quality are already suffering, and pests and diseases are on the rise.

"Already suffering". Simple Fact check using production figures from the International Coffee Organisation shows production figures over the last few decades have improved significantly, during a time of rising temperatures.
Testing my morning brew reveals a good tasting cup of joe.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Anti - science

ABC cover the idiot Greens extension of a ban on GM crops in SA. The report lacks any inquiry into the long term consequences for SA. Looks like they'll be starving in the dark.

LINK to very ordinary report that does not ask any hard questions:
Genetically-modified crop ban extension in South Australia to 2025 passes Upper House by single vote

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Missing News: Killing an Australian Icon

No mention by the ABC of news from Alice Springs about the administrative murder of a great Australian icon:

Rock climb mostly closed


The Uluru (Ayers Rock) climb was closed for parts 229 days of the 273 days between January 1 and September 30 this year. That’s 84% of the days.

The reasons for the closures include wind, rain, storms or extreme temperatures, according to Parks Australia, the Federal instrumentality that manages the park. The climb is opened again when rangers deem it safe.

In January and February the climb was closed from 8am every day “due to heat” and longer on 52 of the 59 days in those two months.

A Parks spokeswoman says the climb is closed “for people’s safety” for the following reasons: If the temperature reaches 36 degrees or above; there is a greater than 20% chance of rain within three hours; there is a greater than 5% chance of thunderstorms within three hours; the estimated wind speed at the summit reaches 25 knots or above; more than 20% of the rock’s surface is wet after rain; cloud descends below the summit or for cultural reasons, for example, during a period of mourning.

During the height of the tourist season the climb was closed at some time during the following number of days: May – 20 days, June – 26, July – 10, August – 29.

The climb is now always closed at night, from about 5pm to 7am.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Quote of the week

ABC's James Glenday:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a media outlet fighting for readers must be in want of a clickable headline quote."
Could not have described ABC News more succinctly. Its mediocrity is palpable.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Missing News: What temperatures are BOM recording?

The Australian have been covering and interesting and newsworthy story concerning problems BOM have in recording temperatures (eg Push for probe into weather stations failures). This is their basic role, you'd think by now they could get it right.
Given the importance of temperature in the land of droughts and flooding rains we are astounded that the ABC has failed to provide any coverage.

Jennifer Marohasy has an important series of articles on her blog that outline the problem. See...

Two Decades of Temperature Data from Australia – Not Fit for Purpose

Are Recordings from Electronic Devices Comparable – or Not?

Vindicated: Bureau acknowledges limits set on how cold temperatures can be recorded

Vindicated: Bureau not following WMO guidelines

Bureau Management Rewrites the Rules – Again