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CIA Teams Up With Scientists To Monitor Climate

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the with-my-little-eye dept.

Earth 417

MikeChino writes "The CIA has just joined up with climate researchers to re-launch a data-sharing initiative that will use spy satellites and other CIA asets to help scientists figure out what climate change is doing to cloud cover, forests, deserts, and more. The collaboration is an extension of the Measurements of Earth Data for Environmental Analysis program, which President Bush canceled in 2001, and it will use reconnaissance satellites to track ice floes moving through the Arctic basin, creating data that could be used for ice forecasts." Even though the program is "basically free" in terms of CIA involvement, the Times notes: "Controversy has often dogged the use of federal intelligence gear for environmental monitoring. In October, days after the CIA opened a small unit to assess the security implications of climate change, Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said the agency should be fighting terrorists, 'not spying on sea lions.'"

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Climate change is a security threat (3, Insightful)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662138)

Well, considering that anthropogenic climate change is probably a bigger threat in the long run than terrorism it's good that the CIA is helping.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662288)

Yeah, I have to say I'm surprised anyone would object to CIA involvement. I think it's very important we keep a watch on the climate. After all, the climate has been acting pretty suspicious lately, and has been looking, dare I say it, more swarthy. Plus, I heard that the climate was recently spotted in Yemen.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (5, Funny)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662412)

Perhaps the CIA is just trying to infiltrate the climate to overthrow it and replace it with a more US-friendly climate.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662796)

All you jokers in Florida better hope they aren't working out of North Dakota.

Fixed it for you (-1, Redundant)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662480)

Plus, I heard that climate was recently spotted in Yemen.

I think it is better like this.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

DeadDecoy (877617) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663286)

I knew those clouds were up to something, blocking satellite images and all. And here I thought the CIA was shady.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662400)

I actually disagree with you on your assessment of the risk, there is no really good scientific evidence of a threat from CO2 (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence of a link).

However: I am STILL 100% in favor of this and think it's awesome, forget about global warming, think about all the good date we are going to get about things going on in the world. This is data that can have lots of uses, helping us figure out exactly what does go on in the world. I mean, can getting a better idea of how cloud cover works, and how ice flows move ever be a bad thing?

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662454)

Seeing as how the scientific consensus is that there is a link between CO2 and global warming, YOU are the one who needs to prove there isn't one (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence that there ISN'T a link, as 'a definite link' is what the facts show.)

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0, Flamebait)

Tdawgless (1000974) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662666)

Actually... you're accusing CO2 of a crime. You need to prove it's guilty. It doesn't need to prove it's innocence; It just needs to discredit you.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

I cant believe its n (1103137) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662688)

Seeing as how the scientific consensus is that there is a link between CO2 and global warming, YOU are the one who needs to prove there isn't one (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence that there ISN'T a link, as 'a definite link' is what the facts show.)

CIA: Pics or it didn't happen.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1, Informative)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662722)

No, the onus is on the scientists to provide evidence to support their claims, as it always is. You don't ask scientists to prove that God doesn't exist, do you? There can be no such proof.

While we are at it, it is important to look at what scientists do claim, and you will not find anywhere a scientific consensus that CO2 is going to cause some kind of global calamity. What you will find is consensus that CO2 does affect the global temperature. What you will not find is a consensus on how much it affects the global temperature. Global warming has become a kind of a scare in the mind of the public that is detached from the scientific reality.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (2, Insightful)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662876)

No, the onus is on the scientists to provide evidence to support their claims, as it always is.

And that's what they've been doing.

Global warming has become a kind of a scare in the mind of the public that is detached from the scientific reality.

I'd say that's more the case with denialists and conspiracy theorists like yourself.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (3, Informative)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662948)

What you will not find is a consensus on how much it affects the global temperature.

Wrong. Climate sensitivity is expressed as the temperature increase due to a doubling of CO2. Modern estimates [wesleyan.edu] assign a maximum likelihood value of 2.9C, with a 95% confidence that it's less than 4.9C but greater than 1.7C.

Bullshit (1, Insightful)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663492)

Did you read the DRAFT paper you cited. It is amost all statistical handwaving, and profers nothing to the even the existance of "Climate sensitivity", which an input parameter of a Computer Model, not a fact of life.

Taking the existance of such a parameter is to assume the whole AGW thesis, hook, line and sinker. To attempt to estimate its value is like trying to guess the body-temperature of a Jaberwocky. What the paper is is a fairly naive demonstration that AGW Scaremongers estimate is untenable.

On the other hand the IceCore data strongly suggests that CO2 level lag, not lead temperature. Further the fall of 0.8dC over the last 8 years, which cause such anguish to Jones and Mann strongly suggests the whole thing is flawed.

Now it has taken us 9 months to find out the the H5N1 flu scare was vastly overblown, but I see no resignations at CDC or WHO, about 14 months for us to understand that the Financial crisis was caused by Bankers Behaving Badly, and inadaquate Regulatory Agencies and fraudulent Credit Rating Agencies and nothing hase been done about Naked Shorts, Mark-2-Market and Flawed Debt Consolidation and no one from SECC or Moody is in the dock.

It is time to WAIT 10 years, and gather all the raw climate data we can, insure it is properly processed and ignore the shrill cries of the media and bought Snake-oil salesmen.

Finally, Follow the Money and the concept of Wold Government so more corrupt third world tin-pot dictators can bilk us.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (2, Informative)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663050)

No, the onus is on the scientists to provide evidence to support their claims, as it always is.

That's what thousands of articles in peer-reviewed journals are -- which, like it or not, is the standard for science in this modern world.

The ball is in your court.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1, Insightful)

Totenglocke (1291680) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663030)

Well seeing as how we have evidence of "OMGZ CO2 is teh EVIL!!!" scientists 1) oppressing scientists who disagree with them 2) ignoring data that doesn't suit their agenda (such as ignoring 75% of the temperature recording stations in Russia) 3) blatantly alter data to show the outcome they desire (such as the one scientist who's email showed that he added X amount to the recorded temperatures to show an upward trend), I think the burden lies with you to show that there actually IS real evidence and that not all pro-global warming scientists are lying scum with a political agenda.

As for CO2 and "greenhouse gasses", I recall reading research findings that there have been no changes in upper atmosphere temperatures -- which is exactly what "greenhouse gasses" would cause (heat is trapped and the upper atmosphere warms first, then things below get warmer)....thus showing that there is no such thing as a "greenhouse gas" because the "greenhouse effect" only occurs in actual greenhouses, NOT with the entire planet.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (3, Insightful)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663308)

I'm going to ignore the rabid conspiracy theories you're presenting. As a scientist who sees a lot of evidence [dumbscientist.com] that our CO2 emissions are changing the climate, you'd probably just dismiss me as lying scum with a political agenda anyway.

But just in case someone else reads this, greenhouse warming models [atmosphere.mpg.de] predict cooling [realclimate.org] and contraction [sciencemag.org] of the stratosphere. The cooling is predicted to be strongest between altitudes of 40 and 50km.

The quick explanation is that greenhouse warming shifts the effective radiating layer of the planet to a lower altitude. As a result, the surface warms but the stratosphere cools. In fact, I consider this good evidence for the link between CO2 and increasing global temperatures. No other single cause warms the Earth from the surface like a greenhouse gas. (For example, an increase in solar illumination wouldn't have this effect.)

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Insightful)

mevets (322601) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663370)

Mod parent up. Do you know how much money oil companies have had to pay to break up this global warming conspiracy. Thanks to their tireless efforts we can now see what a charade it all is.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663116)

No question there's a correlation. Throughout geological time temperature and CO2 have moved together. Of course this time it's different because, ah, just because.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

dbIII (701233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663352)

It won't work - this is a "meta" question about the relavance or irrelevance of facts. These people consider science in paticular and reality in general to take second place to fixed points of philosophy. Anything that changes is considered to be impossible in the neatly created world of Christianity Lite (now with 99% less New Testament!).

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663434)

Seeing as how the scientific consensus is that there is a link between CO2 and global warming, YOU are the one who needs to prove there isn't one (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence that there ISN'T a link, as 'a definite link' is what the facts show.)

Well, how about the FACT that we've gone through periods of warming and cooling over that past 150 years. Yet the percentage of CO2 is exactly the same. That certainly doesn't sound like a link.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662464)

I actually disagree with you on your assessment of the risk, there is no really good scientific evidence of a threat from CO2 (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence of a link).

Yeah, who cares what those rubes at the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the UK, the US, and many others have to say? (every national science academy statement being in agreement, none opposed)

Re:Climate change is a security threat (3, Insightful)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662564)

Yeah, who cares what those rubes at the science academies of Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Russia, Sweden, the UK, the US, and many others have to say? (every national science academy statement being in agreement, none opposed)

Yes, you are right. I don't care what their opinion is, I want to see the evidence. Scientific opinion is known to be inaccurate, wildly so at times.

Let's be honest here: when a scientific academy 'endorses' global warming, what are they saying? Have they done their own research? Usually not. What they are saying is that they agree with what the IPCC report says, which is reasonable. And frankly, the IPCC report draws no connection between CO2 and world calamity.

I'll repeat that again, because some people have trouble with this concept: the IPCC report draws no connection between CO2 and world calamity. If you've heard of New York being flooded when the glaciers melt, it wasn't based on any real scientific research. It was some weird propaganda that you picked up somewhere.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Insightful)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662806)

I'll repeat that again, because some people have trouble with this concept: the IPCC report draws no connection between CO2 and world calamity. If you've heard of New York being flooded when the glaciers melt, it wasn't based on any real scientific research. It was some weird propaganda that you picked up somewhere.

Okay, something we can agree on. The estimates at the 2009 AGU Fall Meeting placed an estimate of ~1.2 meters of sea level rise by 2100, though it varies around the globe due to factors like the gravitational attraction of the glaciers that are melting. People who quote estimates of ~20 meters are simply calculating the volume of the glaciers as a whole, which is absurd because even our most pessimistic estimates don't allow glaciers to completely melt in less than ~500 years.

But even a 1.2 meter increase in sea level would bring substantial economic hardship. For example, a storm surge in New York up to a level that would now be considered "once in 100 years" would happen every ~5 years.

While this doesn't sound as melodramatic, it's a real threat, and it's not the only one. I worry that the most damaging impact of abrupt climate change will be unpredictable changes in precipitation patterns. If a substantial fraction of the world's farmlands experience droughts because water is falling in areas that are currently deserts, serious disruptions of the global food supply could result.

If people are willing to kill for territory and nationalism now, imagine how much more aggressive starving people will be. This is what worries me. Not the immediate effects of climate change, but their secondary effects on international relations.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662842)

Yes, you are right. I don't care what their opinion is, I want to see the evidence.

Boy, too bad we don't have things called "journals" that contain many thousands of research papers on various aspects of the topic so that you could read what they all have. Sure sucks that "journals" don't exist...

Meh, conjecture and amateur disbelief without having read any actual research papers (let alone thousands of them) is probably better, right?

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Interesting)

khayman80 (824400) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662644)

I actually disagree with you on your assessment of the risk, there is no really good scientific evidence of a threat from CO2 (and I seriously doubt you can show me any good evidence of a link).

I've tried to condense [dumbscientist.com] the science into a (hopefully) accessible summary, complete with dozens of references to genuine peer-reviewed scientific articles showing the seriousness of the threat posed by CO2.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

omb (759389) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663098)

I am all for as much modern climate data as possible, provided by the CIA or NASA, what I do NOT want is more on the AGW bandwagon cooking the data.

It is now clear that the data in th IPCC was heavily cherry picked and the pie was then cooked. We need accurate raw data and to have it all analysed impartially.

After ClimateGate several researchers Burt Rutan and Dr. Monckton have done that and come up with widely different answers 0.6dC/centuary with data that looks normal so it is time for Congress to insist on an impartial re-eveluation.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662488)

As a resident of Wyoming, Barrasso's stance doesn't surprise me one bit.
Wyoming is heavily dependent on it's energy resources industry. Coal, natural gas, oil. We've got enough oil locked in the green river shale oil deposit to meet the nation's appetite for the next 194 years (at current usage), but getting to it is going to take a lot of time and research, and if public opinion shifts too far away from oil then no one will invest enough to make it a reality.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662728)

As a resident of Wyoming, Barrasso's stance doesn't surprise me one bit.
Wyoming is heavily dependent on it's energy resources industry. Coal, natural gas, oil. We've got enough oil locked in the green river shale oil deposit to meet the nation's appetite for the next 194 years (at current usage), but getting to it is going to take a lot of time and research, and if public opinion shifts too far away from oil then no one will invest enough to make it a reality.

The issue I take with that approach is that there seems there should be a point when a person or group of people should drop their self-interest and think about everyone, or in the AGW case, everything else.

Before someone tries to troll me, i've already showered. I'd rather be a hippie than an irrational layman.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662900)

The issue I take with that approach is that there seems there should be a point when a person or group of people should drop their self-interest and think about everyone, or in the AGW case, everything else.

You're making the unwarranted assumption that doing something to prevent AGW is more beneficial to everyone and everything than not doing so. That has not been established.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662990)

The issue I take with that approach is that there seems there should be a point when a person or group of people should drop their self-interest and think about everyone, or in the AGW case, everything else.

You're making the unwarranted assumption that doing something to prevent AGW is more beneficial to everyone and everything than not doing so. That has not been established.

The dangerous outcomes of AGW are well scientifically founded. The results are far more reaching and serious than a state missing some revenue from sourcing its fossil fuels.

Let me guess... you don't believe those facts... That's your own doing. I bet you don't doubt anything else from scientific research that has made your life MORE convenient.

There is a big difference between Truth(whats happening) and what you want. I have this talk with my daughter all the time. Sometimes it isn't how you want it. That's life.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (3, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662554)

Please tell us about this warming threat.

Remember that you implied some sort of danger, so you cannot possibly be talking about sea level rise: IPCC gives lowball of 19cm and highball of 59cm over 100 years, or between 0.19cm/year and 0.59cm/years. Might happen, but its not a threat to human life. Just walk away, folks.

Maybe you are talking about drought? No, rainfall will increase if it gets significantly warmer.

Heat stroke? OK maybe, but offset by less hypothermia.

So tell us, what THREATS are there that are comparable to terrorists?

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662680)

Maybe you are talking about drought? No, rainfall will increase if it gets significantly warmer.

You are under the impression that warming affects the various parts of the globe in the same way and this is distinctly not the case.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663056)

I didnt imply any such thing, and the fact that changes at location X will be different than at location Y does not support the notion of a "threat" on par or greater than terrorism. The movie The Day After Tomorrow was fiction, folks. People wont be running for their lives away from gradual warming.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663246)

does not support the notion of a "threat" on par or greater than terrorism.

Funny you mention terrorism as more people have died from Fireworks accidents than terror attacks. 9/11 was about 6 months worth of drowning accidents in the US.

The movie The Day After Tomorrow was fiction, folks.

Indeed. You won't find many climate scientists that weren't completely pissed off about that dreadful movie.

People wont be running for their lives away from gradual warming.

Recipe for frog soup. Of course if you're living in Florida or other low lying lands around the world you might want to raise your house a meter or two.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

vadim_t (324782) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662698)

So tell us, what THREATS are there that are comparable to terrorists?

Well, Katrina seems to have caused quite a bit more material damage in New Orleans than what happened on 9/11, and killed quite a few people too.

From a look at the wikipedia page, it seems levee construction was started about 40 years ago, and still not fully done at the time of the disaster, and technical problems were known for at least 20 years or so. So I wouldn't put that much faith into everybody just building a higher wall.

Also, even if the sea rises very slowly, it's not just going to start slowly flooding things, the big problem will be a higher sea level combined with an unusually strong storm.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663094)

Weather is not Climate, and a warmer world means less Katrina's due to increased wind shear. [sciencedaily.com]

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Insightful)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662746)

Remember that you implied some sort of danger, so you cannot possibly be talking about sea level rise: IPCC gives lowball of 19cm and highball of 59cm over 100 years, or between 0.19cm/year and 0.59cm/years. Might happen, but its not a threat to human life. Just walk away, folks.

The next IPCC report will almost certainly have a higher forecast, as the research that's come out since then has shown those numbers to be significant underestimates. Expect a median forecast of about 1m in the next report. And the rate speeds up over time; the equilibrium rise for a 2C warming, historically, appears to be 6-9 meters.

Maybe you are talking about drought? No, rainfall will increase if it gets significantly warmer.

Both flooding *and* drought are forecast to increase (on average) in a warming world. Which you're likely to get depends on where you are; some regions will get both. Yes, you're absolutely right that warmer SSTs = more precipitation. But warmer surface temperatures also mean faster evaporation (dessication of soil, plants, rivers, lakes, reservoirs, etc). It also means less snow pack, meaning river flows will vary more dramatically between seasons (ice keeps many important rivers from drying out during the summer).

Heat stroke? OK maybe, but offset by less hypothermia.

Heat stroke, hypothermia, drought, and sea level rise -- that's all you've got? How about greater range for malaria and dengue-fever carrying mosquitoes? The spread of pine bark beetles? The loss of almost all of the world's coral? The loss of keystone species of calcium carbonate-shelled microorganisms? The complete loss of habitat for arctic sea ice-dependent species? Increased risk of extinction for 20-30% of species studied? More rapid intensification of hurricanes (i.e., less warning)? Increased risk of wildfire? Increased growth of ragweed? Increased spread in seaborne pathogens like V. parahaemolyticus? Increasing risk of drought and flood causing more crop failures (and the consequences of that)? Radical changes in ecosystems, including thousands of species of plants and animals already found by studies to be migrating poleward? Seriously, I could spend all day on this.

It's not that a warmer climate is somehow a "worse" climate; it's a climate that neither life on this planet nor the way we've laid out our non-mobile infrastructure is adapted to.

Humans will adapt, esp. us in the first world who have the resources for it. But this will come at the cost of economic growth; we'll be spending our resources to break even (for a random example, to get water to the increasingly-dry and already water-unsustainable desert southwest). Humans in poorer regions will have a harder time of it, and non-human species will suffer the most. We're basically recreating the PETM [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Climate change is a security threat (4, Insightful)

joocemann (1273720) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662818)

I have an alternative question.... how serious is the threat of terrorism?

The chances of you dying from heart disease is way higher. The chances of you dying from eating a peanut is higher.

But, I can throw around numbers and give ignorant analysis too.

AGW will produce a 4 degree net increase (no source cited) --- but will yield a 15 degree local increase in the middle east. This will drive the terrists from their homes and they will have no choice but to end up on the freedomland. God bless it. And then since they will be here, the terrism goes up 100 fold! OH NOES!

Also, the warm temperatures inspire Obama to relax enough to let it slip that he's a muslim... and then, not only that, but that he's a terrist! Then the hussein obama nukes us all!
OH NOES!

Go eat some peanuts.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (2, Insightful)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663108)

I have an alternative question.... how serious is the threat of terrorism?

Eventually a radical group will get their hands on a nuke (either from a supporting nuclear power, or made in a basement somewhere), so you tell me.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662820)

No, rainfall will increase if it gets significantly warmer.

Please provide proof that rainfall will increase globally when the globe gets significantly warmer.

So, what happens to all of your precious farms and soil when it rains significantly more? Flooding is not some simple matter. Topsoil is lost. Crops don't grow. Less food for people, less food for livestock. Soil pollutes the waterways, and fish can't breed. Overall, a bad situation.

When the temperature increases, crops and livestock will need MORE WATER.

Meanwhile, other areas of the world will receive less rain. Freshwater supplies will drop. Again, crops won't grow. Livestock won't have enough water.

California's farming industry (the largest in the United States) is currently severely impacted due to a lack of water. Not enough snow over the last few years means not enough water for the crops. It's a bad deal.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663172)

So, what happens to all of your precious farms and soil when it rains significantly more? Flooding is not some simple matter. Topsoil is lost. Crops don't grow. Less food for people, less food for livestock. Soil pollutes the waterways, and fish can't breed. Overall, a bad situation.

"Bad Situation" does not imply a "threat" on the level that the poster was suggesting. Will people be running for their lives away from these gradual changes?

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0, Troll)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662848)

The IPCC report is out of date on the subject of sea level rise. Current estimates are 1-2 meters by 2100. That doesn't sound like a lot but how much land does Florida and the gulf coast lose if sea level rises 3+ feet? And don't think it stops in 2100. It will take several hundred years for the climate and sea levels to reach a new equilibrium.

Re:Climate change is a security threat (0, Troll)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662864)

Well, considering that anthropogenic climate change is probably a bigger threat in the long run than terrorism it's good that the CIA is helping.

Note also that while the evidence strongly supports the anthropogenic contribution to climate change, the security threat posed by climate change and the national security reasons to monitor, understand, and prepare to deal with the effects of climate change are independent of whether or not it is of anthropogenic origin.

The effects of climate change, not its causes, are the source of the security threats.

Re:Climate change is a security threat,jordanshoes (1)

PUGH1986 (1714184) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663002)

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Climate is hoax-friendly (0, Troll)

Adolf Hitroll (562418) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662142)

get a life, think real, fuck off otherwise.

I don't know about this, (1)

Icegryphon (715550) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662162)

I don't know but those sea lions might be planning a jihad attack. [bbc.co.uk]

I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (3, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662184)

"...Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said the agency should be fighting terrorists, 'not spying on sea lions.'"

I sincerely doubt the CIA is going to put terrorism intelligence-gathering on the back burner in order to free up resources for this initiative. I also wouldn't be surprised if this Senator was one of the many who called for heads of the CRU scientists; and now he's quashing an attempt to make this research more transparent (not that there was really anything over which to call for the heads of the CRU scientists, unless you were part of a conspiracy circle).

Re:I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662334)

Maybe he's just scared that the CIA will get indisputable photographic and video evidence of Republicans molesting and outright raping those poor sea lions.

Re:I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (1)

mobby_6kl (668092) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662472)

>I sincerely doubt the CIA is going to put terrorism intelligence-gathering on the back burner in order to free up resources for this initiative.

No, of course not. They'll just have some of the more prominent heret^Wunbelie^Wdeniers assassinated, set up a nuclear reactor in the arctic to melt a few glaciers, and then shoot down the weather satellites and replace them with their own birds. Once this is done, they'll go back to their usual routine of getting blown up by double agents, setting up death squads, and overthrowing unfriendly governments.

Re:I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662596)

Once this is done, they'll go back to their usual routine of getting blown up by double agents, setting up death squads, and overthrowing unfriendly governments.
 
Uhm, you do know felix leiter was a fictional character, right?

Re:I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (0)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662568)

"...Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming, said the agency should be fighting terrorists, 'not spying on sea lions.'"

I sincerely doubt the CIA is going to put terrorism intelligence-gathering on the back burner in order to free up resources for this initiative

I'm all for transparent oversight. Clearly we agree that if the CIA were to free up resources in this way it would be a bad thing, and since we jointly pay the bills, I assume we'd agree that someone could look in from time to time and make sure that this didn't happen.

I also wouldn't be surprised if this Senator was one of the many who called for heads of the CRU scientists; and now he's quashing an attempt to make this research more transparent (not that there was really anything over which to call for the heads of the CRU scientists, unless you were part of a conspiracy circle).

How is this quashing? And since when is anything the CIA does 'more transparent'. I missed that, I think.

And I can think of a myriad of reasons to 'call for the heads', so long as that means 'replace these people with actual scientists'. Honestly, who would be against that kind of a move at this point? We don't exactly need to worship these men and women. There are many others who can and will do this work, and hopefully they will do it in such a way that is open to, and can withstand, scrutiny. Because that's what we're going to need if indeed real changes are necessary.

Re:I don't know, sea lions can be trouble (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662740)

I sincerely doubt the CIA is going to put terrorism intelligence-gathering on the back burner in order to free up resources for this initiative.).

Since the 'spy' satellites are of course not in a geosynchronous orbit, they are often left unused for huge portions of their orbits as they move across uninteresting* parts of the surface.

*to the intelligence community

Some people... (1)

nametaken (610866) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662204)

...just don't know when to shut their mouths. I'm pretty sure when the CIA needs their satellites they'll use their satellites. In the meantime, lets maximize our investment and use these things in their downtime for something useful.

Re:Some people... (0, Troll)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662238)

I would almost think this would be the perfect opportunity for all those whining senators and representatives over the CRU not-debacle to institute some governmental oversight.

Re:Some people... (1)

magsol (1406749) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663038)

Ok seriously, I'm tired of being modded troll when I actually had what I thought was a valid point. It would seem to me that the men and women of Congress would be jumping all over the opportunity to implement some governmental oversight on a hot-button political topic.

"Shouldn't be spying on sea lions" (4, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662214)

What, so now freaking sea lions have more privacy rights than we do?

Re:"Shouldn't be spying on sea lions" (2, Insightful)

Bragador (1036480) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662370)

I wanted to mod you insightful instead of your current "Funny" status that you currently have.

Instead of having these guys spread the fear of terrorism and spy on us, they actually get to help science.

I can't believe people are angry over this.

Re:"Shouldn't be spying on sea lions" (1)

electricprof (1410233) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662614)

Actually, the major ISP's have been reading the sea lions' email for years. The penguins on the other hand ...

Re:"Shouldn't be spying on sea lions" (1)

michaelhood (667393) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662830)

What, so now freaking sea lions have more privacy rights than we do?

CIA is not allowed to operate their imaging stuff over the US.

Of course if the NSA already is sniffing your traffic, that probably isn't relevant. :)

Re:"Shouldn't be spying on sea lions" (1)

PPH (736903) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663472)

Not just privacy. You try to chow down on endangered salmon the way they do with impunity and see how fast the game department Tasers your ass.

Straw Man (2, Insightful)

P0ltergeist333 (1473899) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662240)

An unreasonable assertion with a lack of any pertinent information. Seems to me the Wyoming Republican expects you all to fall for his straw-man argument.

The real reason for this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662242)

The CIA is not going to let the arctic or antarctic go commie.

imaging issues (2, Insightful)

girlintraining (1395911) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662244)

I can only assume -- or hope, that the data has been sanitized before release so that the image quality has been significantly degraded to not reveal the full capabilities of said satellites. The capabilities of those satellites are a closely-guarded national secret, and for good reason.

Re:imaging issues (1)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662726)

The CIA is always protective of their secrecy, and they're being cooperative, so will obviously degrade the image quality, since you don't even need commercially available quality (0.5 meter) to measure ice flows. Plus exporting anything higher resolution (finer resolution technically) than that out of the country is illegal anyway.

I would assume also that any images that show a feature that might indicate *when* the image was taken, such as an identifiable ship, would be held back as well. These guys don't tend to be too lax about these things -- I'm a little surprised they're going along with this at all, even though these precautions can eliminate the security threat.

But, we have reason to suspect... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662246)

that the sea lions are in possession of WMDs. If we let the ice melt these terrorists win.

Classic Misdirection (2, Funny)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662262)

Of course they would admit they aren't spying on sea lions. They are in fact spying on Penguins! I saw the Documentaries titled "Madagascar" and I know for a fact that Penguins are very elusive and deceptive creatures. We need to keep an eye on them at all costs, lest we fall into their trap for world domination.

I'm glad they are keeping it undercover as a climate operation. The less we really know, the less the penguins know.

Re:Classic Misdirection (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663110)

I saw the Documentaries titled "Madagascar" and I know for a fact that Penguins are very elusive and deceptive creatures. We need to keep an eye on them at all costs, lest we fall into their trap for world domination.

We've actually started crowd-sourcing that operation to Nickelodean [nick.com] . It's a clever Government/Private Industry initiative.

Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming ... (3, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662292)

... should add "Em" to the beginning of his last name. Either he's genuinely too stupid to understand how climate change is a national security issue, or he's grandstanding. I'm having a hard time deciding which. ("Both" is also a possible answer, of course.) I'm sure he was one of those who, during the Bush administration, thought anything the CIA did was just fine and dandy, since "Thou shalt not question the Executive Branch in Time of War(r)(tm)" was pretty much the Republican Eleventh Commandment until January 2009. How quickly things change.

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (2, Interesting)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662432)

The biggest mistake we make about climate change is to think of it as a short term issue. Its not. You can't look at the climate over a year or a decade and make statements about global climate change.

So yeah it is a security issue, but on the scale of the next 50 or 100 years. I don't think it is appropriate for the CIA to work on issues over that time scale.

Having said that, the CIA apparently has remote sensing assets which can contribute to the long term picture of global climate. Using data from those assets in other domains is appropriate.

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (3, Interesting)

Rei (128717) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662520)

There's also the issue that things just keep speeding up over time. For example, the Copenhagen's (failed) *goal* was to limit average global temperature rise to "only" 2 degrees celsius. Well, that'd mean "only" about 1 meter of sea level rise over the next hundred years. But the equilibrium sea level rise for a 2C temperature rise, historically, is 6-9 meters. It takes several hundred years for the planet to reach its sea level equilibrium, but we're talking about (among countless other things) 1/4 of the land mass of Florida going underwater. 1m is mostly just the everglades.

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663136)

[...] but we're talking about (among countless other things) 1/4 of the land mass of Florida going underwater.

You say that like it's a bad thing...

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662536)

Countries worldwide are lining up to fight water wars; some current civil wars, such as Darfur, can be traced directly to scarcity of water. Canada is making territorial claims to the Northwest Passage which a number of other countries dispute -- nobody cared before the ice started melting, but now it's a different story. This is the reality right now, not in 50 or 100 years; how is keeping track of it not part of the CIA's job?

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662832)

So yeah it is a security issue, but on the scale of the next 50 or 100 years. I don't think it is appropriate for the CIA to work on issues over that time scale.

Why, of course. Long term thinking? Who needs that? I mean, it's not like long term thinking like agriculture helped anyone, right?

And who needs enough data to look for patterns and all that good stuff? That involves brain cells. I forget that we're in a country where we think with our guts.

Re:Senator John Barrasso, Republican of Wyoming .. (1, Informative)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662450)

Either he's genuinely too stupid to understand how climate change is a national security issue, or he's grandstanding.

Color me stupid, if you like, while I color you wrong.

Climate change is not in any way a national security issue unless all issues are national security issues, at which point the term has basically zero meaning.

Cue the conspiracy theory nut-jobs... (3, Funny)

Jawn98685 (687784) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662350)

...in three, two, one..
"Oh my god! The CIA is in cahoots with Al Gore to advance their socialist, commie, enviro-facist agenda!"

Re:Cue the conspiracy theory nut-jobs... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662550)

Bite me, asshole. You imbeciles who support the myth of global warming want to make it seem like those of us who don't are somehow "weird" but it is YOU who are the stranger in a strange land, it is YOU who has the problem, not US. The vast majority of people, when you show them the email evidence, come to the entirely rational and reasonable conclusion that global warming is a scam. The fact that Gore and groups like Greenpeace and the World Wildlife FUND are positioned to make billions or even trillions of dollars off this scam is what makes it all the more appalling. So again, BITE ME ASSHOLE. You want to support the case for global warming? Well how about you use actual SCIENCE and not made up numbers and personal attacks?

Re:Cue the conspiracy theory nut-jobs... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662622)

Would you at least agree that if Global Warming is a myth, we should still be searching for alternate energy sources besides Oil & Gas, and that improving recycling would be beneficial to society?

Re:Cue the conspiracy theory nut-jobs... (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662772)

This is one of the few things Neocons and environmentalists are in general agreement; alternative energy is the way to go. Just for completely different reasons and by completely different methods.

Re:Cue the conspiracy theory nut-jobs... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662794)

Recycling is classic feel good hippy kookery, but by all means "we" should be searching for alternate energy sources, so long as by "we" you mean PRIVATE INDUSTRY, and not "we" the taxpayers. I am sick and tired of being taxed to death by scammers who promote hoaxes like global warming in order to squeeze more money out of those of us who have actual jobs. You want to save the world? Then GET A JOB, you smelly hippy! After all, someone has to pay for all the global warming hoaxes, welfare cheats, socialized health care scammers, and unemployed university drop out, dope smoking losers.

Mod Parent "-1 Redundant" Please (-1, Redundant)

aquatone282 (905179) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662584)

Seriously, how predictable and cliche can you be?

Industrial behavior has climatic effects, so... (3, Insightful)

soup_laser (616676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662368)

tracking climatic effects should show industrial behavior. Tracking industrial behavior of foreign countries sounds like the business of the CIA to me.

Re:Industrial behavior has climatic effects, so... (1)

thered2001 (1257950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662730)

I agree. Climate change, in general, has many socio-political effects...right up the CIA's alley. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but at one time they employed more economists than field agents.

The CIA Should Be Involved (3, Interesting)

CodeBuster (516420) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662428)

In some sense the climate change issue involves intelligence and security concerns because the purported effects of climate change could become the impetus for future wars, terrorism, and social instability. Should the CIA pour significant resources into this? Perhaps not, but some minimal level of observation and planning is probably a wise investment of agency resources against future potential problems. Nobody, least of all the CIA, likes to be caught flat footed when a crisis suddenly hits; especially if the crisis could have been managed with better early intelligence analysis, response planning, and warnings.

Re:The CIA Should Be Involved (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663076)

What? No it shouldn't. What does the CIA have to offer climatology?

The articles talk about satellite data, but satellite data is collected by the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO), not the CIA.

If we don't spy on sea lions . . . (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662430)

. . . how will we know if they have armed themselves with frickin' lasers?

Intelligence has it that sharks are selling them.

Re:If we don't spy on sea lions . . . (1)

R3d M3rcury (871886) | more than 4 years ago | (#30663164)

No, no, no! You're falling into a trap. The sharks provided the documentation that the sea lions were getting frickin' lasers so we'd go take them out and then the sharks would end up with all the fish!

Don't believe the shark propaganda!

Important to note (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662452)

That they aren't going to take a single new additional picture. This just allows the scientists to look at pictures after they have already been taken. This is getting an additional bang for our buck. We have already paid for these pictures, getting another use from them is a great thing.

Re:Important to note (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662720)

Each picture is scheduled and processed for a specific purpose. They don't take images of ice flows for intelligence gathering. And if they take a picture of something it means they're not taking a picture of something else. I recall reading somewhere that they once imaged New York, then swung around and imaged Los Angeles a few seconds later. So it's not like there's nothing they could be doing as it passes over one of the poles.

But the main reason to not do this is to hide what our collection capabilities really are. Clinton, and now Obama, don't seem too concerned about that though.

not free (2, Insightful)

ncohafmuta (577957) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662458)

Even though the program is "basically free" in terms of CIA involvement

nothing's free. man hours aren't free. somebody has to task those satellites. this isn't SkyNet.

Re:not free (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662654)

As far as I can tell, they're just going to share with scientists imagery that they're already taking, not offer to take photos on request.

Re:not free (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663240)

Yeah, it seems some things in the world are in fact free.

Building the Trust (-1, Troll)

Maltheus (248271) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662542)

Given the ClimateGate scandal, do they really think teaming up with the CIA is going to bring people back into the fold? Why not cut their losses and move onto the next scare tactic already? You know, like bee extinction, hamster encephalitis (the next monkey pox) or cyborg terrorists. Surely they can think up brand new ways to sucker us out of our money.

Re:Building the Trust (1)

riverat1 (1048260) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662684)

The only scandal in "ClimateGate" is that people think it affect the scientific conclusions about anthropogenic climate change.

Re:Building the Trust (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662958)

"ClimateGate"? Seriously?

Awsesome 7p (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30662546)

It a break, if knows for sure 3hat troubles of those real problems BSD sux0rs. What accounts for less you down. It was shit-filled,

One Phrase (2, Insightful)

The Wild Norseman (1404891) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662620)

One phrase comes to mind and that is "plausible deniability."

CIA Dude: Hey, we're not intentionally spying on your country from our satellites. We're tracking migratory patterns of pigeons and their nests in and around your capitol buildings. Completely innocent, I assure you.

While we're at it ... (1)

abbynormal brain (1637419) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662692)

... why not set up public kiosks where we can swipe our credit cards and get to use CIA satellites for limited times (kind of like the pay-per-use telescopes at famous tourist spots)?

What would you look at with your 2 mins?

Playing soon near you (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 4 years ago | (#30662824)

"The CIA ... on Ice"

Comedians needed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30663374)

The C.I fucking A. ?

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