8 Jan 2010, 4:14pm
Forestry education:
by admin
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Ancient Anthropogenic Fire in Harlem

Back before Harlem became a borough of New York City, indeed before NYC ever existed, Manhattan Island was home to the Lenni Lenape, or Delaware people. The Delaware, as did other Algonquins, burned their habitat annually to induce open fields (cultivation by fire). These they planted with corn, squash, beans, and other domestic crops.

Or so has been hypothesized. Two researchers from UC Berkeley, William T. Bean and Eric W. Sanderson, devised a unique method of testing that hypothesis through the use of modern fire behavior models. Their report on their findings, Using a spatially explicit ecological model to test scenarios of fire use by Native Americans: An example from the Harlem Plains, New York, NY, has been added to the W.I.S.E. Colloquium: Forest and Fire Sciences [here].

Their findings in a nutshell:

Our model results indicate that by controlling fire frequency in the pre-settlement Harlem Plains, the Lenape people could control the structure of the landscape. Van der Donck’s claim that they cleared the land every 20 years does not appear to be supported by our model results. For the land to be a “plain” or “grassland” the landscape would have had to been burned at least once every 10 years and, depending on initial condition, would have yielded a mosaic of vegetation types. Burning every year overwhelms succession through disturbance and keeps the landscape in a grassland steady state.

Our results suggest that the hardwood forests of the northeast required significant maintenance in order to keep them clear and open—escaped fires and lightning strikes would not suffice to maintain a savanna or grassland. We believe this adds to the consensus that, while individual historical accounts may be suspect, the evidence continues to suggest that Native Americans were using fire to control their landscape, not only in the western and plains states, but also in the northeast.

Bean’s and Sanderson’s research constitute a novel use of modern fire behavior models, to “predict” the past rather than the future. The potential application of this technique is far-reaching.

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29 Nov 2009, 3:54pm
Climate and Weather:
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More On Climategate

The full import of Climategate is slowly creeping into the Dead Tree Press, aka the Main Stream Media. The Blogosphere is miles ahead of the DTP/MSM, as usual though.

We mentioned several web sites with up-to-the-minute posts and discussions about Climategate in a previous post [here]. Another is Climategate at Watts Up With That [here], a compilation of all the related posts there.

The word “Climategate” was coined at WUWT by a commentator, Bulldust, the day the CRU email dam broke (11/19/2009) and the global warming hoax was exposed. The discussion there has been excellent and comprehensive, with links to the other leading climate realist sites.

Here are some of the latest musing from the Web:

Climategate: The Silence is Deafening from the Corporate Media

J Speer-Williams, Infowars, PrisonPlanet, November 29, 2009 [here]

By now most of us in the alternative media are aware of the some 61 megabytes of global warming research data of emails, documents, and computer code released by whistleblowers (or hackers), that have exposed climate scientists, at the University of East Anglia in Great Britain, as the frauds they’ve proven themselves to be.

This decade of emails and documents clearly concludes that global warming scientists have manipulated scientific data to “hide the decline” in global temperatures; and the fact that, there has been no statistically significant global warming for fifteen years, but our world has experienced a rapid and significant cooling for nine years.

So breath-taking has been this leaked data, to date, it has produced some startling headlines in the alternative media:

(1) Climategate: Greatest Scandal in Modern Science!”

(2) “Climategate? Smoking Gun? Blood in the Water?”

(3) “Global Warming Scientists Seek to Protect Their Government Funding by Corrupting the Peer-review Process.”

(4) “Climate Bombshell: Hackers {or Whistleblowers] Leak Emails Showing Conspiracy.”

(5) “Email Leaks Turn Up Heat on Global Warming Advocates.”

(6) “Climategate Scientists Caught Red-handed in Monumental Fraud.”

(7) “Bad Scientists? No Criminals!”

Now, these global warming scientists, who have been so severely exposed for the frauds they are, are crying, “Persecution!”. While their own emails prove they have been very busy planning how best to get tenured professors fired, who will not shallow the rotten fish of anthropogenic global warming, how to black-ball them from scientific journals, and prevent them from participating in the peer-review process. …

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