Earth Science: August 2007 Archives

A Question Of Priorities

Space program lunacy, opinion, LA Times

"It's easy to be mesmerized by the promise of deep-space exploration by astronauts in otherworldly space suits. After all, the "Star Trek" franchise didn't hook its followers with tales of white-coat scientists crunching numbers over slide rules. But NASA's idealism is seriously endangering the world's ability to track its own changing and more dangerous climate. Indeed, one of the most popular complaints about space exploration is that it wastes billions of dollars that could be better spent on problems here. With global warming an increasing threat, NASA has a chance to prove what it has long asserted that a space program provides practical benefits to Earth-bound humanoids."

NASA Solicitation: Disaster Roundtable

"NASA Headquarters (HQ), Science Mission Directorate, Office of Applied Science Program, plans to continue it's participation in the National Academies, Disasters Roundtable (DR). The DR provides a multi-disciplinary forum for discussions of urgent and important issues related to natural, technological, and other disasters. It emphasizes the exchange of ideas and facilitates personal working relationships between the federal agencies, the private sector, and experts in related fields of science, engineering, and health."

Scientific secrecy is a danger to all, editorial, Boston Herald

"The number changes dont greatly affect worldwide averages - but they reveal a disturbing arrogance among scientists in the community of global-warming true believers. ... Science is not supposed to work by secrecy. Stonewalling by NASA will only increase the number and fervor of the skeptics."

Editor's note: I have to wonder NASA hasn't hammered back on this topic. Oh wait, I already know why. Every time something like his pops up - and NASA sits on its hands - the critics are emboldened when the next chance to slap the agency emerges (usually a week later). Indeed, they go out looking for more things to throw at NASA - and it is hard to blame them for doing so since NASA makes itself into such a good target. And when something really bad gets out into the blogosphere/news arena and NASA does manage to complain - no one listens. Or if they do listen they just respond by heaping more upon NASA since they know NASA will just sit there and take it - or try some sort of limp spin control.

Where is the 'strategic' communications we've all been promised? Why isn't anyone using that nifty new Message Construct?

Doesn't this agency have a spine any more? Or has NASA just decided to give up as it turns 50?

Reader note: "Funny you should use that word to describe the new communication strategy!Ian Murphy used that same description on Friday during an interview for the SpaceTaskForce podcast. Check it out at"

Our Spin is Better Than Yours: NASA's Hype Gets the Third Degree, Wired

"Let's say the temperature average for the last decade is 14.438 degrees celsius, roughly the average temperature of the last five years of the 1990s. Obviously it's going to be higher, but this works to illustrate the degree of NASA's error. That temperature of 14.438 degrees celsius becomes becomes 14.443. That's how important NASA's error is. That's the difference between a fraudulent hype and and total irrelevance. Point zero zero five degrees. I think my "spin" is a whole lot more truthful than Greg's."

NASA Weather Error Provokes Tempest in a Teapot, Wired

"In short, it wasn't a big deal. The changes were not, as described by and repeated by the Wall Street Journal, "truly astounding." There was a legitimate, small mistake that NASA, when notified, quickly corrected. End of story."

NASA Revisions Create a Stir in The Blogosphere, Washington Post

"NASA has slightly revised its record of average annual temperatures in the United States since 2000 -- modifications that researchers say are insignificant but that some conservative commentators and bloggers have seized upon to assert that global warming has been hyped as a problem. The revisions, which were first posted on the Web site of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, stemmed from an error noticed by Canadian blogger and global warming skeptic Stephen McIntyre. James Hansen, director of the institute, said McIntyre brought the error to the institute's attention, and the error was corrected."

Red faces at NASA over climate-change blunder, The Star

"But the revisions have been seized on by conservative Americans, including firebrand radio host Rush Limbaugh, as evidence that climate change science is unsound. Said Limbaugh last Thursday: "What do we have here? We have proof of man-made global warming. The man-made global warming is inside NASA ... is in the scientific community with false data." However Stephen McIntyre, who set off the uproar, described his finding as a "a micro-change. But it was kind of fun."

1934 and all that,

"Another week, another ado over nothing. Last Saturday, Steve McIntyre wrote an email to NASA GISS pointing out that for some North American stations in the GISTEMP analysis, there was an odd jump in going from 1999 to 2000. On Monday, the people who work on the temperature analysis (not me), looked into it and found that this coincided with the switch between two sources of US temperature data. There had been a faulty assumption that these two sources matched, but that turned out not to be the case. There were in fact a number of small offsets (of both sign) between the same stations in the two different data sets. The obvious fix was to make an adjustment based on a period of overlap so that these offsets disappear."



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This page is an archive of entries in the Earth Science category from August 2007.

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