2011-02-05 05:28:15Amazon drought 'severe' in 2010, raising warming fears -- BBC Article
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

What follows are the introductory paragraphs of "Amazon drought 'severe' in 2010, raising warming fears" by Richard Black posted on Feb 3, 2011 on BBC.

"Last year's drought in the Amazon raises concerns about the region's capacity to continue absorbing carbon dioxide, scientists say.

Researchers report in the journal Science that the 2010 drought was more widespead than in 2005 - the last big one - with more trees probably lost.

The 2005 drought had been termed a "one in a century" event.

In drought years, the Amazon region changes from being a net absorber of carbon dioxide into a net emitter. T

he scientists, from the UK and Brazil, suggest this is further evidence of the Amazon's vulnerability to rising global temperatures.

They also suggest the days of the Amazon forest curbing the impact of rising greenhouse gas emissions may be coming to an end.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12356835?print=true

2011-02-05 05:32:03Richard Black
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

How does the sceintific community rate Richard Black as an environmental reporter?

2011-02-05 05:40:21Amazon-Gate
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

The last section of Black's article addresses Amazon-gate and includes rather chilling quotes form Dr Simon Lewis. it reads as follows:

Closing the gate

The likely fate of the Amazon under climate change came under focus early last year when, as one of a series of attacks on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the Sunday Times newspaper accused the panel of having included an unsubstantiated claim that up to 40% of the forest could be affected by climate change in future.

Some Amazon rivers saw their lowest level for decades in 2010 It used quotes from Dr Lewis in support of its claim.

In fact, Dr Lewis was concerned about the region's vulnerability and had sent the newspaper a sheaf of scientific papers to back the case.

He told the newspaper that the IPCC had sourced its statement to a report from environmental group WWF, when it should have referenced the scientific papers WWF had used in its report.

"In fact, the IPCC's Amazon statement is supported by peer-reviewed scientific evidence," the Sunday Times acknowledged in its apology.

Commenting on that so-called "AmazonGate" episode from the perspective of the new research, Dr Lewis noted: "The notion that the Amazon is potentially very vulnerable to droughts linked to climate change was reasonable and defensible at the time, and is consistent with the new findings. "

If greenhouse gas emissions contribute to Amazon droughts that in turn cause forests to release carbon, this feedback loop would be extremely concerning.

"Put more starkly, current emissions pathways risk playing Russian roulette with the world's largest rainforest."  

2011-02-05 06:05:58Joe Romm's view
perseus

owlsmoor@googlemail...
78.143.201.72

Joe Romm has had it in for Richard Black, but then Joe is quite a climate hawk even by our standards

richard black bad science reporting

This is Richard Blacks response:

2011-02-05 20:16:10
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.230.64

Badger, Richard Black has it pretty much right. Warmer than average sea surface temperatures in the tropical Atlantic and Eastern tropical Pacific Northern Hemisphere summer shift the "rain-making engine" north (and west) of the Amazon amplifying the dry season. The Hadley model which predicted die-back of the Amazon by mid to late century is the only current one which accurately simulates the current Amazon rainfall regime. The others tend to under-estimate actual rainfall.

And worse is the study by Peter Cox and associates that decreasing aerosol pollution in the Northern Hemisphere will amplify drought in the Amazon, by causing further warming in the tropical Atlantic. http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v453/n7192/abs/nature06960.html 

2011-02-06 11:17:22drought and Black
Stephen Leahy

writersteve@gmail...
208.74.213.18

Tht it bit cheeky but deserving of Black to remind everyone of how the Sunday Times deliberately misquoted Lewis to amp up their angle. And how the mighty Sunday Times was forced to apologize. However the author of the piece is still Science Editor there.

My take on the Amazon drought for IPS is that we can look fwd to a big pulse of CO2 over next few years. But the larger concern regards the Amazon's ability to continue to generate much of its own precip and what the heck is happening in the other big forests. 

2011-02-06 19:00:22
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.194.164

Stephen, you mean like this?: Widespread crown condition decline, food web disruption, and amplified tree mortality with increased climate change-type drought - Carnicer 2010 http://www.pnas.org/content/108/4/1474.abstract

Someone on another blog linked to the full study. Not good!. 

2011-02-08 07:07:37thanks Rob
Stephen Leahy

writersteve@gmail...
208.74.213.18
Missed that one... not good indeed.