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Captain Bligh's Logbooks To Yield Climate Bounty

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the ball-bearing-ink-smears dept.

Earth 232

Pickens writes "The BBC reports that researchers are digitizing the captains' logs from the voyages of Charles Darwin on HMS Beagle, Captain Cook from HMS Discovery, Captain Bligh from The Bounty, and 300 other 18th and 19th century ships' logbooks to provide historical climate records for modern-day climate researchers who will use the meteorological data to build up a picture of weather patterns in the world at the beginning of the industrial era. The researchers are cross-referencing the data with historical records for crop failures, droughts and storms and will compare it with data for the modern era in order to predict similar events in the future. 'The observations from the logbooks on wind force and weather are astonishingly good and often better than modern logbooks,' says Climatologist Dr. Dennis Wheeler from the University of Sunderland. 'Of course the sailors had to be conscientious. The thought that you could hit a reef was a great incentive to get your observations absolutely right!' The logbooks will be online next year at the UK's National Archives."

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232 comments

Captain Bligh's Logbooks To Yield Climate Bounty (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29664683)

no comment!

Bligh was a genius (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665189)

The mutineers were really the scum of the earth. They ended up knifing each other to death on the island where they settled. Bligh on the other hand made the most spectacular sailing feat of all time in order to get to Fiji, in a small boat with hardly any provisions. (The accusations against him btw are largely based on legend, not fact.)

Re:Bligh was a genius (4, Insightful)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665387)

He was probably not much worse than the average captain of the time and nowhere near the league of George Vancouver when it
comes to being a heavy-handed hardass. But genius or not, he was no saint, never really learned to balance power and personality - witness his
time as Governor of New South Wales - and obviously didn't learn enough from Captain Cook about leading men.

Re:Bligh was a genius (4, Interesting)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665497)

All rational research points out that he was no worse than the average captain. There are multiple reasons we remember him as being evil, but all stem from the fact that Fletcher Christian's family was reasonably well off, and was able to pull off one heckuva PR campaign against him. Bring that through to modern times when people used that telling to create movies, and the idea of Bligh as a despot is cemented.

In addition to all (save one) of the mutineers being killed violently by their brethren, let us also remember the 250 years of child rape perpetrated on Pitcairn Island.

Re:Bligh was a genius (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665777)

Actually all the evidence points to Bligh being the very opposite of a despot. Check out the number of floggings on the voyage. (pretty much none, in an era where weekly floggings were the norm.) He was not in fact a harsh disciplinarian, and neither was Cook, who was his mentor. Of course the type of voyage they were doing was not routine, and so the crews were not the usual scum of the earth. I think the problems was that Cook had the strength of character and leadership to cope with any problems, while Bligh did not. Obviously Fletcher Christian became a problem.

Blighs voyage to Timor in an open boat rates as one of the greatest navigational feats of all time.

Re:Bligh was a genius (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665835)

In addition to all (save one) of the mutineers being killed violently by their brethren, let us also remember the 250 years of child rape perpetrated on Pitcairn Island.

I'm thinking of it now.

giggity.

Re:Bligh was a genius (1)

haruchai (17472) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666279)

Right, it must have been genetic - those freaks of nature who developed the mutineer gene and the closely-linked child-rape gene.

Good thing they mutineed and fled otherwise, their nasty deviant genes might have contaminated the upper crust who only suffered from the benign flogging gene, press-ganging gene and last and of course least, the colonize-the-bloody-heathen-wogs gene.

Re:Bligh was a genius (2, Interesting)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666417)

... but all stem from the fact that Fletcher Christian's family was reasonably well off ...

I agree that the Christian Family were reasonably well off and more than that, Bligh managed not only to inspire his men to munity against his command of the Bounty, he also caused the colony he was sent to govern to rise up in armed rebellion [wikipedia.org] . The real question is not whether Bligh was despotic or not, it's why the British authorities saw fit to appoint a man, who had proven himself a singuarly ungifted commander, to be the governor of it's most far flung colony. If you were on a board of directors, would you appoint the CEO of one of your failed subsidiaries to the same position in the principal company?

You'd think that after 1775 they would have realised that the heavy handed approach to colonial government wasn't going to work. OTOH the choice of Bligh's successor (Lachlan Macquarie) shows that maybe, just maybe, London did learn that appointing a talentless despot like Bligh to a position of authority had been dumb move.

Still, I did enjoy your revisionism quite a bit. It would be amusing to see you try to save ... I dunno ... say Saddam Hussein's reputation. If you are feeling up for the challenge that is. ;)

Re:Bligh was a genius (1)

gmhowell (26755) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666563)

Go read a book. (Preferably one written without the Christian family's tract being the sole primary source) Seeing Mel Gibson as Christian, while I'm sure it gave you a stiffy, is not an accurate portrayal.

Go spend a little time in Tahiti and tell me you wouldn't like to go native.

As far as the rebellion, your own link provides plenty of information indicating that success on the part of Bligh was nearly impossible given how many factors were stacked against him.

Re:Bligh was a genius (4, Insightful)

TheDugong (701481) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666587)

(Slightly under half of) the sailors were inspired to mutiny by Tahitian pussy, or lack there of after five months of it. Bligh was too nice in letting them live ashore with the Tahitians, having relations with them, and not flogging them enough.

The Rum Rebellion happened because he tried to remove the advantageous position some people in the Sydney colony had. This position would be called a monopoly nowadays.

So, maybe not a genius, but he tried to do the right thing(tm).

We'll only read about it if they support AGW (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665193)

If the logbooks don't support human-induced climate change, the media will ignore them.

Don't you DARE call it "science" when skepticism is met with derision.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665209)

Yeah that's unfortunately true. I'm sure it will be bias somehow and support climate change, since the BBC is reporting on it, though.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665575)

It will be biased, that's why they should let Fox report it. At least then it will also be entertaining, which is what we Americans really want.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (-1, Offtopic)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665261)

This comment, in conjuction with Darwin, made me think of something. No political(?) implications here, just a thought:

If it doesn't support evolution, the media will ignore them. Don't you DARE call it "science" when skepticism is met with derision.

Again, I'm not taking sides, or endorsing a viewpoint. Just mentioning that I've heard something to that effect before.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (2, Informative)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665767)

There was plenty of skepticism about evolution (or at least, Darwinian evolution) when the theory first appeared. But it's been vetted for 150 years now, and with modern forensics, DNA sequencing, and even the observation of speciation events, there's really no credible evidence disproving the central tenets of Darwinian evolution. Though there have been some huge advancements in our understanding of it. For instance, while IANAEB, it is my understanding that evolutionary biologists no longer view evolution as a straight-line sequence from simpler animals to more complex ones, like Darwin did. Instead, we now know that our understanding of what constitutes a "species" is pretty arbitrary and creatures in the wild cross species lines quite often. Instead of a tree coming up from a single ancestral organism, life is more like a complex web, with some branches ending, some continuing, and some merging back into the main trunk (or another branch).

And don't even get started on the tags, they just make it more confusing!

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665847)

Well, there is nothing wrong with skepticism about evolution either, other than it being a bit fruitless.

Skepticism != doubt. Doubt can be rational or irrational; skepticism is by definition rational. I think that's the point that the grandparent poster was trying to make. Doubting the evidence of the theory of evolution would be irrational and factually wrong. But being skeptical about the theory of evolution would mean refusing to believe it in the absence of evidence for it, which is sort of vacuous since there is no such absence.

And, unlike with evolution, there is still some room for rational doubt about human-induced climate change, particularly on some of the finer sub-questions such as "how screwed are we?" And skepticism in open questions of science is always warranted.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (3, Insightful)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665435)

And would you ever admit that you're wrong if the logbooks do support it? We already see from the tone of your statement that you've already decided that there is no climate change.

You can't keep calling it skepticism when faced with a continual stream of evidence, that's called denial.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665621)

And exactly how do you know this, you presumptuous little twat? And who's we, exactly? Oh, I get it. You're so full of yourself that there's enough of you there for two people!

Here's a tip. Wanna save the world? Reduce the population. Start with yourself by making out with a loaded shotgun.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666117)

Gun love in the NRA usually involves pointing guns at other things. So if that was really his bent, making out with his shotgun would be more likely to involve pointing it at you.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666403)

Haha you called someone ELSE a twat.

That's my LOL for the night.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666085)

I am sorry but there has NOT been a continual stream of evidence at all. There have been a lot of claims made (completely unsupported by any scientific research) and a great deal of BAD science along the lines or correlation equals causation. Personally I don't know one way or the other whether there is human induced climate change as their has been a lack of any quality research on the matter. I do know however polution is bad and whether climate change exists or not we should clean up our act.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (4, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666127)

You can't keep calling it skepticism when faced with a continual stream of evidence, that's called denial.

You can't keep calling it skepticism when faced with a continual stream of carefully selected evidence, that's called denial.

There, fixed that for ya!

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (1, Interesting)

Artraze (600366) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666405)

For the last decade there has been no global warming, at all, while producing more CO2 than ever. During that decade we have taken measurements with the goal of testing global warming, and found none. These measurements are taken from all over the world, and are the most accurate and analyzable (for sources of error, etc.) that we have or will have. The have uncovered _global cooling_.

Scientifically, this _necessarily_ throws global warming into serious doubt. The assertion that global warming exists cannot be made without correcting the errors in the old GW model to properly align with our current observations. The idea that some old temperature logs made with an uncalibrated thermometer by someone without a particular interest in accuracy could overshadow careful modern measurements is a sick joke.

The real deniers at this point are the ones that insist that global warming is a fact.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (4, Informative)

Capsaicin (412918) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666449)

For the last decade there has been no global warming, at all, while producing more CO2 than ever.

1. 10 years of noisy data is not significant enough to reverse the significance of the warming trend over the entire instrumental record. 2. The last decade as shown a warming trend of 0.11C/decade [realclimate.org] .

Scientifically, this _necessarily_ throws global warming into serious doubt.

So long as science relies on whacky stuff like statistics, no it doesn't.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666649)

Climate ain't just about temperature, Go do some studying and come back when you've done some learnin'

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665447)

Cute, but you're already reading about it.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0, Troll)

s-whs (959229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665479)

> If the logbooks don't support human-induced climate change, the media will ignore them.
> Don't you DARE call it "science" when skepticism is met with derision.

Whatever.

Just about all the skeptics I've heard talk or read something from, are complete and utter fruitcakes. People from unrelated disciplines or not having any decent science background, let alone the ability to analyse and reason above the level of a 5 year old toddler. I don't mean to imply that those with a science background can/do analyse/reason. I've seen plenty of those (PhDs, professors) who are quite close to being morons. I don't know where they got their degrees, but nowhere good I'm sure...

When and if there are skeptics that provide good arguments, they should be heard. I don't think any of the skeptics I know of, provide arguments that are worth listening to, and the arguments given can easily be discounted.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665785)

Most of the cogent skeptics out there seem to be skeptical of either AGW, not GW itself, or are merely skeptical that we should do anything to stop it, arguing that it's a net boon to mankind for the climate to be a bit warmer. But yeah, anyone who argues that the climate isn't warming on average at this point can be safely ignored.

Re:We'll only read about it if they support AGW (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665953)

Exactly, who has heard that the ice melt across during the Antarctic summer (October-January) of 2008-2009 was the lowest ever recorded in the satellite history?

The paper Tedesco M., and A. J. Monaghan, 2009. An updated Antarctic melt record through 2009 and its linkages to high-latitude and tropical climate variability. Geophysical Research Letters, 36, L18502, doi:10.1029/2009GL039186 gets no mentions.

More here:

Antarctic Ice Melt Lowest on record [worldclimatereport.com]

In before the global warming discussion (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665207)

I'm sure that this is going to devolve (pun intended) into a discussion about global warming (an argument often put against global warming is that we just don't have enough data to prove it exists). Regardless to how people feel about said subject, I hope you guys focus on how cool it is that we're preserving old information from paper-rot.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (1)

Anonymous Monkey (795756) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665355)

Agreed. This is science taking from it's environment and making something more (Primer quote). It's shows that if you look at what information you have from a different perspective you can find lost of intriguing patterns and learn lots of new things. It is amazing what you can learn by throwing data into a spreadsheet and then looking for order.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665381)

I'm more interested in:

1. The slow move to calling it "Global Climate Change"

2. The fact that this summer was the third coldest summer of all time

3. Winter is lasting longer and winter is coming faster in the northern part the US

4. We have routinely been well under average for temps

5. We're now going to use completely unscientific accounts from long ago to see just exactly why "Global Warming" isn't working out the way that they wanted.

--

Yes, it's very cool and I can't wait to check it out.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (2, Informative)

andymadigan (792996) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665609)

All of what you state is true for the Northern U.S., but could be explained by ice melting as a result of global warming. Climate change is on a massive scale, and it will affect different parts of the world differently. Even if humans aren't causing global climate change, cleaning up the air is a GOOD THING for our own health.

The work in climate engineering (or whatever it's called) is good too. We shouldn't assume that the Earth will always be habitable by humans without us needing to fight for it. None of this is going to make us 'poor' either, that's a lot of hooey. The economy runs on work, any kind of work will do. It might mean some businesses fall while others are created, but that's how capitalism works.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666339)

Work generally creates value that people are willing to exchange goods or money for. There is no direct value generated by cleaning up the environment or lowering the earth's average temperature.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666397)

We're now going to use completely unscientific accounts from long ago

How are Royal Navy log books "completely unscientific"? The age-of-sail professional navies had a paramount interest in accurate weather recording and prediciton. The men doing the measurement and recording had an even greater personal interest in maximal accuracy.

The tools used were standardized throughout the organization and improved using feedback from ships encountering the whole gamut of weather conditions. There were no agenda to skew the weather data from reality.

I'm sure you do not understand what "scientific" means. You are confusing it with TV-induced fantasies.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (4, Interesting)

je ne sais quoi (987177) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665669)

I agree completely, it's really cool regardless of the outcome. Some of this type of historical data has already been used: Records of bird migration in particular are useful because the date is known precisely and the record doesn't rely on a measurement, i.e., all you have to do is answer the questions does the bird in question migrate earlier or later than previously, and how much so? Some examples are the snow goose [springerlink.com] (pay link, sorry) from the Hudson Bay Company and other [usgs.gov] records. Here's a full article [pnas.org] that shows that birds are migrating to and from the UK an average of 8 days earlier than 30 years ago.

Also, some evidence of hurricane patterns [wikipedia.org] is from Spanish records of ships in the Caribbean from 1500 to 1600.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (1)

reub2000 (705806) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666625)

I wouldn't use the sporadic sighting of hurricanes by ships to try and construct patters of hurricanes. The data is way too incomplete to get any real idea of what is going on.

Re:In before the global warming discussion (3, Insightful)

JonBuck (112195) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665883)

The thing is, those logs have already survived decades on a medium that requires no special equipment to read. How many records have we lost over the past 40 years simply because of changing hardware and file formats? In that time we've gone from delay line/ferrite core memory to 2TB hard drives. To say nothing of thousands of different file formats.

Call it a digital dark age. Will someone be able to read this post in 50 years?

the little ice age (1, Interesting)

alen (225700) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665217)

didn't the little ice age end last century? that means the world is supposed to be warming unless the ice age temperatures are considered normal?

Shhh! (3, Insightful)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665275)

It common knowledge that nothing on this planet ever changes. Most certainly not the temperature or weather!

Of course, three thousand years ago, the Sahara was a savannah and not the desert it is today. But we all know that's just the product of oil companies' propaganda.

Re:Shhh! (1, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665363)

We generally know why the climate changed in the sahara region just as we know pumping enormous quantities of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere causes a warming tend. Non-anthropomorphic causes of warming do not satisfactoryly explain the current warming tend.

Re:Shhh! (2, Interesting)

Das Auge (597142) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665521)

"Non-anthropomorphic causes of warming do not satisfactoryly explain the current warming tend."? You do know that this isn't the warmest the Earth's ever been, right?

I like how a less than one degree of change over the past 200 years is clearly not normal. What's even more interesting is that pro-global warming charts only go back 200 years or so (some go back 500 years). And not say...back past 10,000 years ago. Which was the end of the last ice age. Of which there have been many.

I'm not going to go so far as to say with 100% certainty that mankind isn't responsible for any of the warming. However, until you (and pro-global warming people like you) even acknowledge that the planet changes its temperate most of the time, I just can't take you seriously.

Re:Shhh! (0, Flamebait)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665559)

You do know that this isn't the warmest the Earth's ever been, right?

There was a cause for that warmth, the current warming trend can not be explained by natural causes. The warming trend is explainable when human emissions are taken into account.

I like how a less than one degree of change over the past 200 years is clearly not normal.

it isn't normal if the possible causes have been ruled out.

I'm not going to go so far as to say with 100% certainty that mankind isn't responsible for any of the warming. However, until you (and pro-global warming people like you) even acknowledge that the planet changes its temperate most of the time, I just can't take you seriously

Most competent "pro-global warming people" acknowledge tat the Earth's climate changes however, those changes require a cause. Asteroid impacts, volcani activity, large quantities of greenhouse gases all can cause these changes. Until you admit that this is the case, *you* should not be taken seriously.

Re:Shhh! (1, Informative)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665711)

Climate fluctuates in thousand-year cycles. The Romans in England grew wine grapes, and the Vikings had dairy farms in Greenland. Vinland was in Labrador. In between, there were some nasty cold spells. A little warmer is better than a little cooler, from the point of view of crop growth if nothing else. If the climate were to warm a LOT, I might be worried, but the current evidence does not, on balance, suggest any substantial warming, James Hansen's frauds to the contrary. And the current extended "solar minimum" would seem to indicate that slightly cooler temperatures are more likely than any warming.

Re:Shhh! (1)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666071)

Most competent "pro-global warming people" acknowledge tat the Earth's climate changes however, those changes require a cause.

OK, wise guy, what caused the Early Medieval Warm?

Re:Shhh! (1)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666203)

how do you know the CO2 rise is man made in the first place, and not oh say from the oceans which are the largest stores of CO2? everyone who's sane agree's the climate changes, whats not clear is that it's man made or that we even need to do anything about it. we don't have the kind of grasp on how climate works to be able to make such massive calls - we can hypothesis, but the pro global warming camp seem to jump instantly from hypothesis to theory instantly if it fits their world view, but dicredit anything that disagree's as funded by the man.

Re:Shhh! (1)

retchdog (1319261) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665797)

They do acknowledge that; have extremely elaborate physical and statistical models for it; and do the best they can with data from a huge number of sources. That you believe otherwise about these things, almost invalidates anything you have to say. I mean, you're not even saying that they're wrong; you seem really to be saying that they haven't even thought of fitting a model like f(x)=c*sin(a*x)+b*x.

Re:Shhh! (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665829)

Interesting that we only have climate data going back 200~500years yet I have a picture showing it go back 5million years. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/60/Five_Myr_Climate_Change.png [wikimedia.org] Damn science, able to figure things out without people actually being there and measuring it at the time. Who knew that paleoclimatology was a whole science. Troll :/

Re:Shhh! (2, Interesting)

totally bogus dude (1040246) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666271)

I think you got the wrong end of the stick there; they weren't claiming such data doesn't exist. They were pointing out that "pro-climate change people" tend to use graphs that only show the last few hundred years, because when you look at graphs that go back a significant period of time the current warming trend suddenly stops looking abnormal and alarming.

Re:Shhh! (1)

styrotech (136124) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666427)

You do know that this isn't the warmest the Earth's ever been, right?

Yep. It was a lot warmer back in the days before all that carbon we're releasing got sequested underground as oil and coal.

Unfortunately all the ecosystems and species adapted for those conditions aren't really around anymore - they eventually got replaced by ones better adapted to cooler conditions.

I'm not going to go so far as to say with 100% certainty that mankind isn't responsible for any of the warming. However, until you (and pro-global warming people like you) even acknowledge that the planet changes its temperate most of the time, I just can't take you seriously.

Huh? Of course the climate changes a lot naturally - it always has. The issue is how fast change is happening and how disruptive that change will be to societies and ecosystems. Obviously the faster it changes the harder it will be to adapt and the more damaging the change will be.

The Earth and life in general eventually adapts just fine, but it is usually always at the expense of the predominate species (ie us this time around). I'm sure humans as a species will adapt too (we're like that), but it could be very costly in the meantime.

Re:Shhh! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665561)

Non-anthropomorphic causes...

Anthropogenic.

There are some good arguments against the IPCC's report(s). And hasn't there been a cooling trend for the last decade or so?

Re:Shhh! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665855)

Nope there has been a warming trend. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/7/7e/Satellite_Temperatures.png [wikimedia.org] But don't let satellite imaging fool you I'm sure the devil is playing tricks on our billion dollar incredibly accurate satellites. And I hardly see any correlation between those three lines.

Re:Shhh! (1)

sadness203 (1539377) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666209)

Hey! I was born the same year these three lines started... So I can clearly see a correlation between this graph and my hotness.

Re:Shhh! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666515)

We have graphs going back 5million years. The satellite temperatures are just super accurate. Also the GP made a comment about specifically the last 10years. I was responding to that. I wouldn't make use of just this graph trying to prove global warming trends generally. Good job attacking something unrelated fallacious bastard.

Re:the little ice age (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665311)

Even if that were true, anthropomorphic greenhouse gas emissions would exacerbate any non-anthropomorphic warming effect. It would be like claiming that the thermostat in your house is slowly increasing the temperature in your room so therefore there's no harm in raising the thermostat further.

Re:the little ice age (1)

TheGreenNuke (1612943) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665667)

It would be like claiming that the thermostat in your house is slowly increasing the temperature in your room so therefore there's no harm in raising the thermostat further.

But I don't see any harm in that. I may actually like a 1 degree annual average increase. Possibly improve my comfort, and possibly save me some money if spaced correctly (when considering the air conditioning). Thanks for the idea.

Re:the little ice age (0, Troll)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665885)

If we had a one degree annual increase for any length of time we'd all be dead pretty fast... I guess this is a troll but still I see people that really believe that a few degrees don't matter. It is hard to tell if people are trolling you or not when your opposition is so incredibly dumb.

Global climate change is true! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665229)

Global climate change is true. Even if it's not true causing pollution is not good. Hopefully these logs will provide support for global climate change but if not it could be argued that reporting techniques of the time were crude.

Re:Global climate change is true! (5, Insightful)

tnok85 (1434319) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665265)

<quote>Global climate change is true. Even if it's not true causing pollution is not good.
Hopefully these logs will provide support for global climate change but if not it could be argued that reporting techniques of the time were crude.</quote>

I like this train of thought. You can't lose. "Hey, if this supports our theory, then it can be hailed as definitive proof. If it conflicts with our theory, well, they were wrong, and it'll be easy to discredit."

Re:Global climate change is true! (1)

orangesquid (79734) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666613)

Agreed that the GP is using faulty logic. However, "Even if it's not true causing pollution is not good" is something worth studying further.

Oceans fix CO2 and plants metabolize CO2 to O2 (well-known facts). CO2 is a greenhouse gas of sorts (known fact). Humans pump out a not-insignificant amount of CO2 through industrial processes (known fact). Whether we're messing up the climate or not is something we can never really prove, either way; rather, it's a question of whether investing the money in improving industrial processes to be more efficient in their recycling of CO2 production. I think the whole climate change propaganda is missing the point on this.

Not old enough (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665255)

We need transcripts of the logbooks of 16th century pirates and merchants, to accurately measure the temperature when pirates abounded.

Re:Not old enough (1)

ciaohound (118419) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665279)

Yes, and it would be really helpful if those pirates kept detailed records of atmospheric CO2 concentrations as well.

Re:Not old enough (4, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665325)

i refuse to buy into this bullshit that CO2 is evil - CO2 is a key component to beer, and nothing related to beer can be evil, so shove it.

Re:Not old enough (0, Troll)

mister_playboy (1474163) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665427)

Plants make use of CO2 in photosynthesis, and they (along with other producers such as algae) are the ultimate basis of all biological energy on Earth. Frankly, I find it a bit impressive to believe that all the world's various plants can survive on the small fraction (~0.25%) of the atmosphere that is CO2.

CO2 is 400ppm (1)

bobbuck (675253) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665887)

Not to be a jerk, but it's really less than 400 parts per million. 0.04%

(I know, you want me at your next party...)

Day 322 - Shore leave. (2, Funny)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665329)

The climate on shore is, well, far from dreary. Safe to say all hands finding no restrictions to exploration of terrain. Clear, smooth and moist in all the right places.

ARRGH!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665361)

There be too much booty!

it's all about the snowfall (4, Funny)

stokessd (89903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665391)

There's little hope that the log books had accurate temperature readings, but the climate change could be inferred from things like snow depths on fiji. In fact I'm pretty sure the average snowfall on fiji has remained pretty constant in the last couple centuries, potentially refuting this whole global warming thing.

Sheldon

Re:it's all about the snowfall (0)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665453)

Do you have any evidence to back up your assertion? The whole point of this work is to gather more data and possibly confirm or refute your hunch on the matter. Climate science can not rely on a hunch, it needs data and that means utilizing data from every source we can.

Re:it's all about the snowfall (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665547)

Whoosh.

Re:it's all about the snowfall (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665597)

Please note that s/he said "fiji", not "Fuji".

Re:it's all about the snowfall (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666003)

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Does_it_snow_in_fiji

Re:it's all about the snowfall (1)

st0nes (1120305) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666615)

Even today most ship weather observations are little better than estimates, especially when it comes to wind speeds. The officer of the watch looks at the sea state and makes an estimate based on the Beaufort Scale. Sea temperatures are measured from an engine room intake that is often in a "hot" area such as a seperator room, so aren't spectacularly accurate, either. Cloud taxonomy and coverage are subjectively estimated by looking at the sky, and so on. Atmospheric pressure is usually fairly accurate because there is a requirement to have barometers checked for annual surveys. I refer to merchant ships of which I have experience, not naval. I should imagine that three hundred years ago weather observations, whilst not useless, should be regarded with some sceptisism and certainly not considered accurate.

A small glitch in the weather readings (1)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665445)

Captain Bligh's log for April 28, 1789 contains only this scrawled entry:

"I'll see them all hanging from the highest yardarm in the British Fleet!"

Shock Horror - the climate changes! (0, Troll)

novae_res (1651425) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665475)

Have any of these climatologists considered climate change is a natural cycle of the planet? The ice record reveals that the extreme swings which our planet undergoes in each cycle are perfectly natural. And the evidence clearly shows that CO2 levels increase after warming occurs, not the other way around. This whole pseudo-science is fundamentally flawed. The idea that we as humans can control or even reverse this process is highly egotistical, and perhaps even delusional, for a single super volcano can produce more CO2 and other pollutants than we can collectively in 20 years. Now I do agree that excess energy consumption and general pollution should be reduced as that impacts all of us, but all this climate change propaganda drives me nuts!

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665551)

The idea that we as humans can control or even reverse this process is highly egotistical, and perhaps even delusional, for a single super volcano can produce more CO2 and other pollutants than we can collectively in 20 years

I think your post is egotistical to assume that we don't have an impact. Facts:

1. Trees take CO2 out of the atmosphere. We have a lot less trees today because of human activities.

2. Fossil Fuels when burned release CO2 into the atmosphere. We have been burning it relentlessly for the last 100 years. Without human activities, all this CO2 would be trapped in the earth.

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (1)

kenwd0elq (985465) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665773)

Of COURSE human activities have an impact on CO2 levels. It's just that, compared to NATURAL causes, the anthropogenic factors are relatively small. Primitive "slash and burn" agriculture probably released FAR more CO2 than our more "refined" techniques do today. Trees? North America probably has more forested acres now, under cultivation, that EVER grew wild. I agree that we need to reduce CO2 produced from burning fossil fuels, but I would further suggest that petroleum is too valuable as feedstocks for chemical processes to be wantonly incinerated for fuel. We should be heating our homes with electricity - from NUKES! Or solar-power satellites.

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665645)

I think what the climate change people are saying is that the movement from world cold to world less cold is faster then in our past. Maybe it is the other way from what the dinosaurs had. I do not know why they care so much about CO2. We need to deal with the other pollution 1st.

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (1)

jfengel (409917) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665807)

Have any of these climatologists considered climate change is a natural cycle of the planet?

Why... no! No they haven't! Thank you for bringing that to their attention.

How astute of you to see what none of the several thousand PhDs working the subject for the last few decades have noticed. I'm sure they'll get to work on your brilliant insight right away.

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666213)

Responding only cause you got modded up

Of course they considered it, the ice records to which you refer were constructed by climatologists. I mean... it was their idea.

The evidence doesn't show that, it shows temperature increases out pacing co2 but the co2 increases first according to ice cores. http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/6/63/Co2-temperature-plot.svg [wikimedia.org]

Calling it a psuedoscience is just name calling.

A super volcano has a massive cooling effect, they throw up a ton, many tons of sediment and global cooling gasses into the atmosphere this basically shadows the earth and cools the earth, krakatoa is a good example. Next when volcanoes produce a lot of co2 they do not produce more than mankind does and they don't produce a lot of other greenhouse gasses we do. We make 120x the CO2 vs all the volcanoes (including underwater). http://environment.about.com/od/greenhouseeffect/a/volcano-gas.htm [about.com]

Egotistical? Hell I bet if we set our minds to it mankind could cut down every tree on the planet in a half dozen years. We've wrapped the planet in wires. Built cities so wide spread that at night (on the dark side..) when you look at the planet from space you clearly see lights across the whole damn thing. We could easily extinct almost any animal we choose in a year. Saying humans can't have an impact because the world is so big is very 1800s of you but I assure you it isn't still true.

Propaganda? When is the last time 1000s of scientists got together and lied? Hell pretty much ALL scientists (over 95%) in agreement. NEVER.

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (2, Insightful)

misanthrope101 (253915) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666513)

Have any of these climatologists considered climate change is a natural cycle of the planet?

Do you seriously think that hasn't been considered? Seriously? Do you seriously think that climatologists all over the world are so mind-numbingly stupid that that hasn't occurred to anyone? Yes, that has been addressed, time and again. We are *worsening* and *accelerating* the warming. No one has said that climate never ever changed until humans screwed stuff up. The only way you can ask that question is if you've only gotten your information from right-wing BS sources like Beck.

The idea that we as humans can control or even reverse this process is highly egotistical

The idea is that we are having a negative impact on our environment, and that we should try to minimize that as much as possible. No one said we can master global climate and roll back the clock. The simple acknowledgement that human action can degrade the environment in which we live is not egotistical--it's pretty much the opposite of that. It's not arrogant to say we have the capacity to damage our environment. If you think we can have no impact on the environment, then sit in a closed garage with a car running for a few hours. Should you turn off the car and open the garage door, or would it be arrogant to think you can avoid killing yourself by cutting back on the pollution you're pouring into your immediate environment?

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (3, Insightful)

rsclient (112577) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666571)

No, they're all thick as posts. So dumb, several types of rocks have more intelligence. They are so woefully short of understanding their instruments, they regularly burn down their labs. They have so little knowledge of the animals they study, they leave out saucers of milk for the lions. Heck, most of the vulcanologists think the red oozy stuff is badly made jello!

And they thank you for pointing out that you, a mere Slashdot reader, have managed to understand more about global climate change in five minutes of careful study (six, if you include the fox news commercials) then they've learned in ten years of careful data collection and vigorous debate. Wow! What a champ you are!

Re:Shock Horror - the climate changes! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666639)

Hell no they haven't considered that, they would all be out of jobs.

Even modern data isn't accurate (4, Insightful)

Ritchie70 (860516) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665493)

I hit a reference to this in the Analog magazine I'm currently reading:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf [wordpress.com]

Entitled "Is the U.S. Surface Temperature Record Reliable?" it reviews the accuracy of the current US surface temperature measurement network and finds it woefully lacking for the sort of analysis that results in things like 0.7 degree changes over decades.

As a quick summary, there are the following issues with the temperature measurement methodology:

1. The measuring statements are often either surrounded by asphalt or in the air path of air conditioning exhaust or other hot air.
2. Data points are often not collected, and the missing points are created by interpolation.
3. Exterior finish specification changed from whitewash to latex paint, and that change has a significant impact on measurement results.

Re:Even modern data isn't accurate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665723)

If I recall correctly, the Australian pan evaporation rate data suggests it is getting warmer, and they are some pretty accurate data.

Re:Even modern data isn't accurate (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666045)

Watts spent most of his meteorology time as a TV weatherman, so he assumes everyone else has just heard of the urban heat island effect. In fact it makes little difference and NASA already corrects for it. He's like the Kent Hovind of meteorology.

Re:Even modern data isn't accurate (5, Informative)

Tracy Reed (3563) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666077)

Modern data IS accurate. The report you linked to is not. You are going to LOVE this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P_0-gX7aUKk [youtube.com]

That weather station location study discussed in the video you linked to attracted the attention of NOAA who wrote a reply:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/oa/about/response-v2.pdf [noaa.gov]

Those white boxes which make up the old style weather stations that Anthony Watts (the guy who did the video you linked to) is investigating are called "Stevenson screens".

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevenson_screen [wikipedia.org]

They form the oldest weather network in the US. They have been replaced with much newer units. The stevenson screen setups don't even have anemometers.

But the data from those stations are only a very small fraction of all of the weather measurements taking place on earth. Satellites have been used extensively:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_measurements [wikipedia.org]

As have radiosondes attached to weather balloons:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Radiosonde [wikipedia.org]

as well as many other natural indications.

Quoted from the above linked video:

> In order to test the validity of Mr. Watts' accusations,
> the NOAA scientists made a comparison of
> temperature trends, using Mr. Watts' data. Two graphs
> were plotted using the same technique. One analysis
> was for the full data set of 1221 US weather stations.
> The other used only the 70 stations that Mr. Watts and
> his volunteers classified as "good" or "best". If climate
> denier theories are correct, the temperatures at the
> optimally sited stations should be markedly different
> from the data as a whole. In fact, the curves show
> virtually no difference. That's right. Even using the
> cherry-picked stations listed in Watts' publication, the
> data -- according to leading scientists at NOAA --
> shows no evidence of distortion.

I agree, climate change isnt real (troll) (0, Troll)

bug1 (96678) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666205)

I feel sorry for all these climate change people, they have all been sucked in. As you point out, the data that climate change bases its information on might have been influenced by external events (like hot air, CO2 etc).

I even heard a rumour that all this climate change shenanigans is just a cover story being driven by lobbyists from the Dutch Windmill Company Pty Ltd, apparently they have some patents on windmills and they have executing a now 30 year plan to destroy the oil industry, an industry that is essential if we are to maintain our mass produced throw away culture.

Time to get my grant boilerplate updated (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665533)

I will be applying for "Maritime Paleoclimatology Researcher" grants now.

And This is How the Data Will be Used (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29665571)

Multiply the rate of natural disasters from the time period by the percentage of warming since then, and immediately use it to SCARE THE SHIT OUT OF EVERYONE.

filtered for quality too (5, Funny)

danlip (737336) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665653)

The thought that you could hit a reef was a great incentive to get your observations absolutely right

And filters out the data of the people who got it wrong!

Limited use (3, Funny)

SEWilco (27983) | more than 4 years ago | (#29665793)

Too bad it's of limited use. Day 175: No breadfruit.
Day 176: No breadfruit.
Day 177: Breadfruit.
Day 178: No breadfruit.

Captain Bligh's powers of observation ... (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666067)

... left something to be desired as far as the morale of his crew was concerned.

The Odyssy of Odysseus (2, Interesting)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 4 years ago | (#29666441)

Hmmm, my analysis of The Odyssy (written in the 9th century BC), suggests that the climate in the Mediteranean was pretty much the same as today while sea levels have gone down dramatically in some areas and up in others.

what a pity (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29666511)

I was planning to submit the background story of my current AD&D 1e character. Yes, we still play 1st edition, and that's actually what makes me eligible, duh!

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