19 Apr 2008, 1:12pm
Latest Fire News
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W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking Site

Today the Western Institute for Study of the Environment added a a new sub-site: W.I.S.E. Fire Tracking. The goal is to provide daily updates of large wildfires in the western U.S.

Any questions, suggestions, and/or especially information regarding active wildfires will be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you,

W.I.S.E. Admin

19 Apr 2008, 12:28pm
Latest Climate News
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Will the weather break a record for coldest April 19 and 20?

by Michael Rollins, The Oregonian, Friday April 18, 2008, 1:08 PM [here]

The big question on everybody’s mind as they watch their natural gas bills go up and shiver at assorted baseball games and soccer matches this Saturday and Sunday? How cold is it anyway?

Pretty darn cold, at least in terms of the record book.

The record low high temperature for April 19 is 47 degrees, set in 1961. The forecast for Saturday calls for a high of 48. The record low for that date is 31, set in 1982. Tonight’s forecast calls for an overnight low of 36 and 33 Saturday night.

The record low high April 20 temperature is 42 set in 1963. The forecast for Sunday calls for a high of 49. The record low for April 20 is 33 degrees, set in 1975.

Before we break away, the record high for Saturday was 80 in 1956 and for Sunday, 84 in 1956. Hmmm. Sounds like a nice April back then.

Admin note: It is currently snowing here at W.I.S.E. World Headquarters in the Willamette Valley. Daffodils, irises, and cherry, peach, pear, and apple blossoms appear to be withering due to repeated drenches of snow, sleet, hail, and freezing rain. The blooms were already two weeks later than average. The global cooling so much desired by knee jerk liberal boneheads and urban yokels swimming in dumbfounding gullibility is here. Hip hip hooray.

19 Apr 2008, 12:18pm
Latest Climate News
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Light snow falls on Portland-area hills, Seattle region sees inches

by The Oregonian and The Associated Press, Saturday April 19, 2008, 7:21 AM

Light snow fell overnight at higher Portland-area elevations and forecasters say the region should brace for low temperatures and possibly more snow through the weekend.

The Portland area is expected to approach record cold for the date, with a high of 48 anticipated today, one degree short of the record low high temperature for this day. [more]

19 Apr 2008, 12:13pm
Latest Climate News
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Solar Cycle 24: Do we count Tiny Tims?

Listing posted on Solar Science blog [here]

Another week of excitement as the second solar cycle 24 spot appeared…and then disappeared just as rapidly.

I can’t help feeling that with an unprecedented amount of high technology monitoring the Sun with ever higher resolution, the criteria by which a sunspot is defined has become radically weakened to such an extent that it all becomes meaningless.

On Climate Audit commenters noted that the criteria for naming hurricanes had become so weakened that practically any frontal wave in the Eastern Atlantic that persisted for more than a few hours got a name (the so-called “Tiny Tims” of the hurricane season).

So it appears to be with sunspots and Solar Cycle 24. … [more]

19 Apr 2008, 12:07pm
Latest Climate News
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Wikipedia’s Zealots - Caught Falsifying Information to Support Alarmist Position

By Lawrence Solomon, Financial Post

Listing posted on ICECAP [here]

Kim Dabelstein Petersen. She (or he?) is an editor at Wikipedia. What does she edit? Reams and reams of global warming pages. I started checking them. In every instance I checked, she defended those warning of catastrophe and deprecated those who believe the science is not settled. I investigated further. Others had tried to correct her interpretations and had the same experience as I—no sooner did they make their corrections than she pounced, preventing Wikipedia readers from reading anyone’s views but her own. When they protested plaintively, she wore them down and snuffed them out.

By patrolling Wikipedia pages and ensuring that her spin reigns supreme over all climate change pages, she has made of Wikipedia a propaganda vehicle for global warming alarmists. But unlike government propaganda, its source is not self-evident. We don’t suspend belief when we read Wikipedia, as we do when we read literature from an organization with an agenda, because Wikipedia benefits from the Internet’s cachet of making information free and democratic. This Big Brother enforces its views with a mouse.

While I’ve been writing this column, the Naomi Oreskes page has changed 10 times. Since I first tried to correct the distortions on the page, it has changed 28 times. If you have read a climate change article on Wikipedia—or on any controversial subject that may have its own Kim Dabelstein Petersen—beware. Wikipedia is in the hands of the zealots.

19 Apr 2008, 12:05pm
Latest Climate News
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Yale “Conference of Governors” on global warming is a massive flop

Listing posted on Tom Nelson Blogspot [here]

Only a lonely quartet of governors showed up (and even Arnold Schwarzenegger was late):

Joining Rell and Schwarzenegger in signing the declaration on the stage in Woolsey Hall were Govs. Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Kathleen Sebelius of Kansas.
Note that all 50 governors were invited, and careful weasel wording earlier this week suggested that as many as 10 governors would participate.

This event was supposed to convince us that U.S. state governors care deeply about global warming; to any thinking person, this event indicates just the opposite.

19 Apr 2008, 12:02pm
Latest Climate News
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“Global Warming” Scores a ZERO in the Latest ABC News Poll

Listing posted on Tom Nelson Blogspot [here]

ABC and the Washington Post polled Americans about the most important issue to them in the upcoming elections. The economy ranked #1 with 41%, Iraq #2 with 18%, Health Care #3 with 7%, Terrorism/National Security #4 with 5%, Immigration and Ethics followed with 4%, Education and Morals with 2%, Environment and Global Warming continue to receive a 0%.

19 Apr 2008, 11:57am
Latest Climate News
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Our Climate Numbers Are a Big Old Mess

By PATRICK MICHAELS, Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2008

President George W. Bush has just announced his goal to stabilize greenhouse-gas emissions by 2025. To get there, he proposes new fuel-economy standards for autos, and lower emissions from power plants built in the next 10 to 15 years.

Pending legislation in the Senate from Joe Lieberman and John Warner would cut emissions even further – by 66% by 2050. No one has a clue how to do this. Because there is no substitute technology to achieve these massive reductions, we’ll just have to get by with less energy.

Compared to a year ago, gasoline consumption has dropped only 0.5% at current prices. So imagine how expensive it would be to reduce overall emissions by 66%.

The earth’s paltry warming trend, 0.31 degrees Fahrenheit per decade since the mid-1970s, isn’t enough to scare people into poverty. And even that 0.31 degree figure is suspect.

For years, records from surface thermometers showed a global warming trend beginning in the late 1970s. But temperatures sensed by satellites and weather balloons displayed no concurrent warming. …

Then it was discovered that our orbiting satellites have a few faults. The sensors don’t last very long and are continually being supplanted by replacement orbiters. The instruments are calibrated against each other, so if one is off, so is the whole record. Frank Wentz, a consulting atmospheric scientist from California, discovered that the satellites also drift a bit in their orbits, which induces additional bias in their readings. The net result? A warming trend appears where before there was none. …

There have been six major revisions in the warming figures in recent years, all in the same direction. So it’s like flipping a coin six times and getting tails each time. The chance of that occurring is 0.016, or less than one in 50. That doesn’t mean that these revisions are all hooey, but the probability that they would all go in one direction on the merits is pretty darned small.

The removal of weather-balloon data because poor nations don’t do a good job of minding their weather instruments deserves more investigation… For example, weather stations are supposed to be a standard white color. If they darken from lack of maintenance, temperatures read higher than they actually are. After adjusting for such effects, as much as half of the warming in the U.N.’s land-based record vanishes. Because about 70% of earth’s surface is water, this could mean a reduction of as much as 15% in the global warming trend.

Another interesting thing happens to the U.N.’s data when it’s adjusted for the non-climatic factors. The frequency of very warm months is lowered, to the point at which it matches the satellite data, which show fewer very hot months. That’s a pretty good sign that there are fundamental problems with the surface temperature history. …

But every climatologist must know that Greenland’s last decade was no warmer than several decades in the early and mid-20th century. In fact, the period from 1970-1995 was the coldest one since the late 19th century, meaning that Greenland’s ice anomalously expanded right about the time climate change scientists decided to look at it. …

This prompts the ultimate question: Why is the news on global warming always bad? Perhaps because there’s little incentive to look at things the other way. If you do, you’re liable to be pilloried by your colleagues. If global warming isn’t such a threat, who needs all that funding? Who needs the army of policy wonks crawling around the world with bold plans to stop climate change? … [more]

14 Apr 2008, 1:20pm
Latest Forest News
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In Memorium: Helen Finney

From ABC Alaska News [here]

Alaska Women in Timber, former Ketchikan City Council member and a co-founder of Alaska Cruise Lecturers Helen Finney died Feb. 25, 2008, in Ketchikan. She was 79.

She was born Helen Ruth Yaw on Nov. 9, 1928, in Sitka, to Caroline (Witzigman) Yaw and Les Yaw, a director of the Sheldon Jackson School during the 1930s and ’40s, and later, manager of the Sitka Pioneers Home.

She attended Sitka High School, Cornell College of Iowa and Washington State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in communications.

She also was a teacher, cruise lecturer, political activist and advocate for Alaska who lectured on Southeast history and geography for 30 years. Her community service also included stints on the Alaska State Board on Post-secondary Education, Alaska State Parks Advisory Board, Ketchikan Children’s Home board, Ketchikan Gateway Borough Planning Commission, and the board of directors of Ketchikan community radio station KRBD.

While at WSU, she met Don Finney, a forestry major at the nearby University of Idaho. He had spent a summer working on the green chain at the Ketchikan Spruce Mill and had decided to return to Alaska when he graduated. They were married on Dec. 18, 1951, at the Sitka Presbyterian Church. … [more]

11 Apr 2008, 11:28am
Latest Forest News
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Property Rights Champion Dorothy English Passes Away

Dorothy English, the “poster child” for property rights in Oregon, passed away Thursday at the age of 95.

Mrs. English gained statewide notoriety for her long battle to regain the rights to use her property that were taken by the State of Oregon and Multnomah County. She served as a spokesperson for Ballot Measure 37 (2004), the landmark property rights measure approved by Oregon voters in 2004, and was the first person to file a Measure 37 claim.

Eventually, Mrs. English secured a $1,150,000 judgment against Multnomah County for the loss to the value of her property caused by Multnomah County regulations. To date, Multnomah County has not paid the judgment, and the case is on appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals.

Dorothy leaves behind a daughter and son-in-law and many grandchildren. She touched the lives of many Oregonians, who will all miss her dearly.

4 Apr 2008, 1:19am
Latest Wildlife News
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Scientists: Tahoe Wolverine not from state

San Francisco Chronicle, Thursday, April 3, 2008

The mysterious wolverine captured in photographs from a remote camera in the Tahoe National Forest is not a native of California or Washington, U.S. Forest Service scientists revealed Wednesday.

A DNA analysis of scat collected near where the feisty predator was photographed last month revealed that the animal is a male that shares genetic traits with wolverines in the Rocky Mountains, but it was not clear exactly where it came from or how it got to California.

“This is just one gene we’ve looked at and this one is most prevalent in the Rocky Mountains of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, but it can also be found in lower portions of Canada and Alaska,” said Michael Schwartz, a research ecologist and the genetics team leader for the Forest Service’s Rocky Mountain Research Station in Missoula, Mont.

“While we can’t rule everything out, we know that this type never occurred in the historical California population and it does not occur in the contemporary Washington cascade population,” he said.

Cameras set up in the forest north of Truckee last month twice captured images of the wolverine, which some speculated could have descended from the historic population that once roamed the Southern Sierra Nevada.

The last documented California wolverine was killed off around 1922. Despite several reported sightings over the years, many believe the California wolverine is extinct.

The new findings do not shed much light on where the wolverine that was photographed came from or how it ended up in Tahoe. The nearest known resident population is about 600 miles northeast in Idaho’s Sawtooth Range.

“I don’t think I want to speculate at this point,” Schwartz said.

Wolverines have been known to travel great distances, but the farthest any particular animal has been documented going is 235 miles, Schwartz said.

The other possibility, Schwartz said, is that the wolverine was a pet or captive that was released into the Tahoe National Forest. … [more]

Managing our forests will curb climate change

By Bob Zybach, Opinion, Eugene Register Guard

For Oregonians with a strong interest in doing something about global warming and climate change, the logical starting point is our forests. That is where most of the carbon is, and where the most immediate and profound actions can take place to affect statewide carbon dioxide emissions.

Here are five practices that can be implemented within a few months or years. These practices would achieve dramatic results in Oregon’s efforts to address this issue: 1) Prevent forest fires by rapid response and 2) by mechanical thinning to reduce ladder fuels, 3) by salvaging dead trees, 4) by planting new trees and 5) by creating log banks. … [more]

2 Apr 2008, 11:12pm
Latest Fire News
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Senators grill Forest Service on attrition rates among its Southern California firefighters

By BEN GOAD, the Riverside County Press-Enterprise Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Forest Service will be fully staffed this Southern California fire season despite the exodus of scores of agency firefighters, the nation’s top forest official said Tuesday.

But lawmakers at Tuesday’s hearing on the Forest Service’s budget said they remain troubled by the high attrition rate of first-year firefighters, and one agency critic said the problem is far worse than officials admit.

Agriculture Department Undersecretary Mark Rey acknowledged that the agency has a problem retaining personnel in the region, particularly as entry-level firefighters leave in droves to take better-paying jobs with municipal fire departments or with Cal Fire, the state’s firefighting entity.

Nearly half of the Forest Service’s first-year firefighters in Southern California — 46.6 percent — left the agency’s employ in 2007. The national attrition rate is 26.6 percent, according to a Forest Service report presented to lawmakers at a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Agriculture Subcommittee.

The San Bernardino National Forest and adjacent Angeles National Forest — two of the nation’s most fire-threatened forests — had the most resignations of any of California’s 18 forests last year, according the Forest Service report.

Rey announced that the agency is working on a plan to reverse the Southern California trend. But he also said that recruitment levels nationally are sufficient to fill the vacancies created by departing firefighters.

“These positions have to be filled, and the pay scales have to be comparable,” Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said as she left the hearing.

Under sharp questioning from Feinstein, the subcommittee’s chairwoman, Rey vowed that the agency would indeed fill the positions funded for the region in the federal budget.

But Casey Judd, business manager for the Federal Wildland Fire Service Association, a firefighter employee group, said he doubts Rey will be able to keep his word.

“For him to promise that they could staff at the funded level is just irresponsible,” said Judd, who attended the hearing but did not testify. … [more]

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