Pesticides and the Great Barrier Reef: Extensive new data and analysis and increased concerns (a note from Jon Brodie)

As a result of an extensive research and monitoring program funded by the Queensland and Australian Governments over the last 5 years  a greatly better understanding of the risks to Great Barrier Reef ecosystems from pesticide residues is now available and in the process of being published in the scientific literature. Most of the papers are or will be published in special issues of Marine Pollution Bulletin and Agriculture Ecosystems and the Environment. Some of the MPB papers are already published online and the rest from both issues will follow over the next few months. While the complete set is still uncertain (due to reviewing still in progress) the following are already out:

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A new low for Arctic sea ice

AFP: September 11, 2011

PARIS — The area covered by Arctic sea ice reached it lowest point this week since the start of satellite observations in 1972, German researchers announced on Saturday.

“The extent of the Arctic sea ice has reached on September 8, with 4.240 million square kilometres (1.637 million square miles), a new historic minimum,” the University of Bremen’s Institute of Environmental Physics said in a press release.

The new mark was about half-a-percent under the previous record low set in September 2007, it said. Continue reading

Pacific leaders identify climate change as a major priority.

AUCKLAND (AFP) – Pacific leaders identified climate change as the greatest threat to the region, ordering officials to start work on plans to help people forced to relocate by rising sea levels.

The 16-nation Pacific Islands Forum on Thursday said the impact of climate change was already apparent in countries such as Kiribati, where some villagers have had to abandon their homes as the seas rise, and finance was needed to help them. Continue reading


Drowning out the truth about the Great Barrier Reef


The Conversation.  Aug 30, 2011.  MEDIA & DEMOCRACY, Click here to get a copy of this article to republish.


MEDIA & DEMOCRACY – Ove Hoegh-Guldberg dives into the media’s coverage of an Australian icon’s future.

One of the most straightforward climate change storylines is the link between global warming and coral reefs such as the Great Barrier Reef.

When our reef waters get too warm, corals sicken (bleach), often causing disease and death. And when the corals go, many of the other organisms go with them. At the current rate of ocean warming, we will soon exceed the critical temperature at which this happens every year, causing the Great Barrier Reef to rapidly degrade. Continue reading

Jim Hansen’s Conservative Climate Plan

I found this post by Jim Dipeso (shown), from almost a year ago (October 2010).  It reminds us that the carbon tax is not a left-leaning proposition, and in fact is much more consistent with conservative ideology.  Here in Australia, we have it quite back-to-front in a spectacular way.  Opposition Leader Tony Abbott from our conservative Liberal National Party coalition supports direct action (Government intervention), while Prime Minister Julia Gillard is pushing a carbon tax, which depends on the dynamics of business markets to solve the problem.  Maybe they should elect for a re-start, shake hands and swap policies.  It is too confusing otherwise!

There is what Jim Dipeso said on a Republican website in the United States:

As a climate change activist, climatologist Jim Hansen takes his activism a step beyond where most would be willing to go.  Continue reading

East coast in Irene’s path, scrambles to prepare .

Sydney Morning Herald, August 26, 2011

UPDATE:  See Scott Mandia on CNBC talking about Irene, the flood risk and other issues.

The north-east seaboard of the US, including Washington and financial centre New York, rushed to prepare for a possible mauling from Hurricane Irene that will hit the coast this weekend.  From the Carolinas to Cape Cod, more than 50 million people were potentially in Irene’s path. States, cities, ports, industries, oil refineries and nuclear plants scrambled to activate emergency plans, while residents stocked up on food and water and worked to secure homes, vehicles and boats. Continue reading

Suspension Of Arctic Scientist Suddenly Lifted

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–August 26, 2011.  A top federal Arctic scientist is returning to work today after six weeks on administrative leave without any charges being leveled against him, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER).   Meanwhile, the agency which suspended the scientist is itself under investigation for mishandling the matter.

On July 18, 2011, the Bureau of Ocean Energy, Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEM) suspended Dr. Charles Monnett in connection with an ongoing Interior Department Office of Inspector General (IG) investigation.  Continue reading

The Atlantic: Michael Mann cleared (Again).

James Fallows

UPDATE:  See Peter Sinclair’s insightful on the phony case made by the denialists and their inability to accept the results of the NSF inquiry:  “Climategate” Debunked Again. Climate Deniers: Mike Mann born in Kenya“.

JAMES FALLOWS – Aug 24 2011 – James Fallows is a national correspondent for The Atlantic and has written for the magazine since the late 1970s. He has reported extensively from outside the United States, and once worked as President Carter’s chief speechwriter

In my article a few months ago about the importance of China-US efforts to find cleaner ways to use coal — because both countries, like it or not, are going to keep using coal, and because if they don’t find ways to reduce its carbon emissions, nothing else done about climate change will count — I quoted the Penn State climate scientist Michael Mann(right).

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Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.

By Joe Romm on Aug 22, 2011 at 12:08 pm

NSF Inspector General:  “Finding no research misconduct or other matter raised by the various regulations and laws discussed above, this case is closed.”

Reconstruction of Northern Hemisphere temperatures, Mann et al.

Two things we know with extremely high confidence:

  1. Recent warming is unprecedented in magnitude and speed and cause (so the temperature history looks like a Hockey Stick).
  2. Michael Mann, the lead author on the original Hockey Stick paper, is one of the nation’s top climatologists and a source of first-rate analysis.

We know these things because both the Hockey Stick and Mann have been independently investigated and vindicated more times than any other facet of climate science or any other climate scientist (see links below). Continue reading

Even more voting opportunities.

Worried about climate change? Furious about the carbon tax? Confused about the science? Walkley-award winning journalist Michael Bachelard will lead The Sunday Age team investigating the 10 most popular questions on OurSay which will be featured and updated on The Age’s Climate Agenda website.

Go here to vote which question you would like to have investigated.  The one starting “There are some very vocal and seemingly influential climate change sceptics …” is a particularly interesting question in the light of what we have seen over the last 12 months!