PLEASE NOTE:


*

CCNet 26/2001 - 14 February 2001: NEAR-SHOEMAKER SPECIAL IV
-----------------------------------------------------------


"We are not the agency that has the responsibility for protecting
the Earth, but we do consider it a responsibility to learn as much as we
can about these [NEO] objects, and what you're going to hear today
is the beginning of that process ..."
--Ed Weiler, NASA Associate Administrator for Space Science,
31 January 2001

http://near.jhuapl.edu/media/eom_events/jan31_pc_transcript.html


"The confluence of events that resulted in NEAR-Shoemaker's landing
on Eros is amazing. In its infancy the Earth was bombarded by visitors from
space, asteroids and comets that brought their supply of organic
particles that led eventually to life on Earth. Yesterday, that life
returned the favor. NEAR-Shoemaker's landing on Eros was a thank-you note to
those ancient asteroids and comets, and what they left us."
--David H. Levy, 13 February 2001


"The NEAR-shoemaker mission went down in history as the first
mission to return high quality scientific data on the surface of an
asteroid, and to perform a controlled landing and takeoff. It is,
therefore, perhaps rather unfair that the mission has been cited by the
current day solar system environmental lobby as the first incident of
asteroid littering, a problem which today has spoiled the surface of many
NEAs."
--Megan W. Ghette, in: A History of Early Space Exploration,
July, 2298.


(1) NEAR SHOEMAKER UPDATE
    Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

(2) NEAR SHOEMAKER MISSION COULD BE EXTENDED
    Space.com, 13 February 2001

(3) JPL NAVIGATORS GUIDE NEAR TO HISTORIC LANDING ON ASTEROID EROS
    Ron Baalke <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

(4) ENCORE FLIGHT MULLED FOR AMAZING ASTEROID LANDER
    CNN, 13 February 2001

(5) RELAUNCH OPTIONS?
    Benny Peiser <B.J.Peiser@livjm.ac.uk>

(6) SPACECRAFT MAY GET EXTRA WEEK ON ASTEROID
    CNN, 13 February 2001

(7) ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY CONDEMS NEAR-SHOEMAKER MISSION FOR ASTEROID
LITTERING
    Megan W. Ghette <M.W.Ghette@meteor>

(8) PLUTO: HAYDEN PLANETARIUM WON'T BEND UNDER PRESSURE FROM DPS EXECUTIVES
    The New York Times, 13 February 2001

(9) PLUTO CONTROVERSY AT THE HAYDEN PLANETARIUM?
    http://www.aas.org/~dps/nfc/01.html

(10) IT MAY BE NOW OR NEVER FOR A MISSION TO PLUTO
     The New York Times, 13 February 2001

(11) THANK-YOU NOTE AT RENDEZVOUS WITH EROS
     David H. Levy <david@jarnac.org>

(12) "LIFE ON EROS" - THE ETHICAL DIMENSION OF SPACE EXPLORATION
     Andrew Glikson <geospectral@spirit.com.au>

(13) PLANS FOR NEAR?
     Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

(14) SPECTRAL SEQUENCE OF PLUTO SUPPORTS RECLASSIFICATION
     Mark Kidger <mrk@ll.iac.es>

============
(1) NEAR SHOEMAKER UPDATE

From Ron Baalke <baalke@jpl.nasa.gov>

http://near.jhuapl.edu/

NEAR Shoemaker Update
February 13, 2001

The NEAR mission operations team disabled a redundant engine firing today
that would have been activated if it became necessary to adjust the
spacecraft's orientation in order to receive telemetry from the ground. But
because NEAR Shoemaker landed with a favorable orientation, and telemetry
has already been received, it is no longer necessary to move the spacecraft
from its resting-place on the surface of Eros.

==================
(2) NEAR SHOEMAKER MISSION COULD BE EXTENDED

From Space.com, 13 February 2001
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/near_extension_010213.html

By Leonard David
Senior Space Writer
posted: 04:00 pm ET
13 February 2001    

NASA is studying an option to continue operating the NEAR Shoemaker probe on
Asteroid 433 Eros for an extended period, beyond the February 14 cutoff date
that had been planned earlier.

"An option is to continue running on the surface from seven to 10 days,"
said Don Savage, a NASA spokesperson.

An announcement on whether the mission will be extended is set for 1:00 p.m.
EST (18:00 GMT) Wednesday at the Applied Physics Laboratory, which operates
the mission for NASA. Engineers and scientists there also will announce a
decision on whether to re-launch the spacecraft for a brief photo cruise
across the asteroid's surface.

SPACE.com will offer full coverage of the news conference, including
streaming video, starting at 1:00 p.m. EST.

Scientists are delighted with the high-quality, close-up images of Asteroid
433 Eros that NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft transmitted as it floated to a
historic landing on the rocky surface nearly 200 million miles (322 million
kilometers) from Earth on Monday, February 12.

NEAR Shoemaker was not equipped with landing gear for the first-ever,
odds-against spacecraft rendezvous with an asteroid. The daring dive was
called for as the spacecraft's mission drew toward an anticipated close,
with the mission out of money, the spacecraft out of fuel and NASA initially
denying more "listening time" on its network of deep-space radio antennas.

Now there is talk of gathering more data and extending the mission, with the
operational probe already sitting on the surface of an asteroid.

Possibly to be kept in operation at a low data rate is the X-ray/Gamma Ray
Spectrometer (XGRS) that is onboard the parked spacecraft, Savage said.

Monies to operate the spacecraft for the longer period would come out of
reserves built into the mission, Savage said.

Re-launch decision unclear

Re-launch of the spacecraft from Eros, allowing it to fire its thrusters a
final time to skim across the asteroid's surface and take more close-up
images, was still under discussion through Tuesday.

"A number of options are out there and we expect to hear and review all of
them soon," Savage told SPACE.com.

Telemetry has been received from the probe. All indications are that onboard
equipment is functioning well. The craft's solar panels are soaking up
plenty of power.

A command that was input into the spacecraft prior to touchdown -- a
sequence that would have fired off the probe's engines on Wednesday -- was
disabled shortly after landing, said Michael Buckley, a spokesman for APL.

"Right now, we're trying to assess how healthy the spacecraft is and what
can be done to obtain more telemetry, and more information from NEAR
Shoemaker," Buckley told SPACE.com.

According to sources close to the project, the option to blast off from Eros
is being heavily discussed. New data on remaining fuel onboard the craft is
being assessed. Early indications are, however, that little fuel remains to
attempt the liftoff.

If enough fuel were available, due to the asteroid's weak gravity field,
NEAR Shoemaker could hop high over Eros while snapping yet more images,
according to SPACE.com sources.

NEAR team spokeswoman Helen Worth told one online space site that it was
"highly unlikely" the re-launch attempt will be made.

A similar type maneuver was done in the 1960's with the robotic Surveyor
moon lander.

On November 17, 1967, ground controllers fired Surveyor 6's engines for 2.5
seconds. The craft lifted off the lunar surface and moved a short distance
from the original landing site within the Moon's Sinus Medii region. The
craft moved all of 8 feet (2.4 meters) from its first touchdown spot.

Other final decisions on what can be done with a still-working NEAR
Shoemaker are to be detailed at the news conference tomorrow.

Copyright 2001, Space.com

===============
(3) JPL NAVIGATORS GUIDE NEAR TO HISTORIC LANDING ON ASTEROID EROS

From Ron Baalke <baalke@zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>

MEDIA RELATIONS OFFICE
JET PROPULSION LABORATORY
CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY
NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION
PASADENA, CALIF. 91109 TELEPHONE (818) 354-5011
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov

Contacts: JPL/ Martha Heil (818) 354-0850
       Applied Physics Lab/Helen Worth (240) 228-5113
       Mike Buckley (240) 228-7536

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                        February 13, 2001

JPL NAVIGATORS GUIDE NEAR TO HISTORIC LANDING ON ASTEROID EROS

With fingers flying across calculator keypads as new guidance data flowed
in, JPL space navigators yesterday used fast math, and lots of it, to help
carefully nudge NASA's NEAR Shoemaker spacecraft to its historic touchdown
on the surface of asteroid Eros.

The success of the landing, and the spacecraft's continuing communications
with controllers via NASA's JPL- managed Deep Space Network, astounded even
the most optimistic of scientists and engineers associated with the mission.

"Unbelievable," was how deputy navigation team chief Jim Miller of JPL
described the landing and the fact that the spacecraft is still alive and
communicating with Earth.

NEAR Shoemaker project managers at Johns Hopkins University's Applied
Physics Lab (APL) in Laurel, Md., reported today that the team is assessing
the overall health and performance of the spacecraft and evaluating ways to
gather additional information from the craft. A decision on how to do that
could be reached as early as today, mission managers said.

Eros is about the size of Manhattan Island. NEAR Shoemaker landed on a
rock-strewn plain of the asteroid at 12:02:10 Pacific Standard Time (3:02:10
EST) on Monday, Feb. 12. It had slowed to a gentle 1.9 meters per second (4
miles per hour) just before finally coming to rest after a journey of 3.2
billion kilometers (2 billion miles).

Cheers and congratulations filled the NEAR Shoemaker mission operations
center at Maryland's APL yesterday as images and engineering data arrived
from the spacecraft. APL built the spacecraft and manages the mission for
NASA.

The NEAR Shoemaker navigation team at JPL is headed by Bobby Williams and
includes Miller, Bill Owen, Mike Wang, Cliff Helfrich, Peter Antreasian and
Steve Chesley. JPL's Dr. Donald Yeomans serves as the mission's radio
science principal investigator, and JPLers Jon Gorgini and Alex Konopliv are
team members.

The last image from NEAR Shoemaker was snapped a mere 120 meters (394 feet)
from the asteroid's surface and covers an area 6 meters (20 feet) wide. As
NEAR Shoemaker touched down, it began sending a beacon, assuring the team
that the small spacecraft had landed gently. The signal was
identified by radar science data, and about an hour later was locked onto by
NASA's Deep Space Network antennas, which will monitor the spacecraft until
Feb. 14.

NEAR Shoemaker's final descent started with an engine firing at 7:31 a.m.
PST (10:31 a.m. EST), which nudged the spacecraft toward Eros from about 16
miles (26 kilometers) away. Then four braking maneuvers brought the
spacecraft to rest on the asteroid's surface in an area just outside a
saddle-shaped depression, Himeros. When it touched down, NEAR Shoemaker
became the first spacecraft ever to land, or even attempt to land, on an
asteroid. The success was sweetened by the fact that it was not designed as
a lander.

The spacecraft spent the last year in a close-orbit study of asteroid 433
Eros, a near-Earth asteroid that is currently 316 million kilometers (196
million miles) from Earth. During that time it collected 10 times more data
than originally planned and completed all its science goals before
attempting its descent to the asteroid.

For mission updates, images and other information, see
http://near.jhuapl.edu .

JPL, a NASA center, is a division of the California Institute of Technology
in Pasadena.

=========
(4) ENCORE FLIGHT MULLED FOR AMAZING ASTEROID LANDER
 
From CNN, 13 February 2001
http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/02/13/near.landing.01/index.html
 
February 13, 2001
Web posted at: 1:02 p.m. EST (1802 GMT)

By Miles O'Brien
CNN Space Correspondent

LAUREL, Maryland (CNN) - What next for NEAR-Shoemaker? On the morning after
the NASA robot ship made the first landing on an asteroid, mission
scientists were trying to figure out how much more science they could
squeeze from the small craft.

One of several options being debated: firing up the thrusters for a short
encore flight. But NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous) managers said that
would happen no earlier than Wednesday.

Instead, they planned to spend Tuesday looking at the data stream sent from
their half-ton spacecraft, some 196 million miles (315 million km) away.

The information so far indicates NEAR-Shoemaker is alive, well and
generating plenty of power from its solar panels. It is an astounding
outcome no one predicted. The vessel was not designed to land.
 
The team is taking its time deciding on a possible liftoff from the asteroid
Eros, an oddly shaped space rock 21 miles (34 km) in length.

Once they fire the rocket thrusters, there is a strong likelihood they will
not hear from the probe again. A second landing might very well damage the
craft or knock its antenna or solar arrays out of alignment.

There is little time for debate. NASA will cut off NEAR- Shoemaker's access
to the tracking system known as the Deep Space Network at on Wednesday at 7
p.m. EST, ending the five-year NEAR mission.
 
The NEAR team, located at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in
Laurel, Maryland, conducted the asteroid landing to gain "bonus science"
after an already successful mission.

During its yearlong orbit of Eros, NEAR-Shoemaker beamed a colossal amount
of information about the asteroid, including 160,000 images of its surface.
It was 10 times more data than scientists anticipated.

The automobile-sized craft sent back about 100 images during its descent on
Monday, offering the closest look yet at an asteroid. The images are able to
resolve objects as small as a centimeter.

Copyright 2001, CNN

==============
(5) RELAUNCH OPTIONS?

From Benny Peiser <B.J.Peiser@livjm.ac.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, February 13, 2001 8:12 AM
To: Andrew Cheng <Andy.Cheng@jhuapl.edu>
Subject: RELAUNCH OF NEAR SHOEMAKER TOMORROW?

Dear Andrew,

Can you confirm the story reported on Space.com about considerations by the
mission team to relaunch NEAR tomorrow?

Regards, Benny

----------
From Andrew Cheng <Andy.Cheng@jhuapl.edu>
To: Benny Peiser <B.J.Peiser@livjm.ac.uk>
Sent: 13 February 2001 15:18
Subject: RELAUNCH OF NEAR SHOEMAKER TOMORROW?

We are discussing that now amongst ourselves - the spacecraft is apparently
fine, but we are also considering a request from our science team to make
some measurements on the surface.

Andy

=============
(6) SPACECRAFT MAY GET EXTRA WEEK ON ASTEROID

From CNN, 13 February 2001
http://www.cnn.com/2001/TECH/space/02/13/near.landing.02/index.html
 
February 13, 2001
Web posted at: 7:26 p.m. EST (0026 GMT)

By Miles O'Brien
CNN Space Correspondent

LAUREL, Maryland (CNN) -- The NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft may remain on the
surface of the Eros asteroid longer than originally planned.

NASA is expected to announce Wednesday that the NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid
Rendezvous) mission will be extended another week to allow time for the
robot ship to collect more readings about the constituent properties of the
asteroid, sources told CNN on Tuesday.

Because NEAR is on the surface of Eros, scientists believe it will take
remarkably accurate readings using a gamma ray. That data will be sent back
to Earth using NASA's Deep Space Network.

Officials are also expected to announce at the Wednesday news conference --
scheduled for 1 p.m. EST -- that NEAR could take another short flight after
the weeklong observation stint.

Mission managers spent Tuesday in the control center at the Johns Hopkins
University Applied Physics Laboratory looking at the data stream from their
1,100-pound spacecraft 196 million miles away.

The information scientists have seen so far indicates NEAR-Shoemaker is
generating plenty of power from its solar arrays. Such a feat has surprised
scientists -- the vessel was not designed to land.

The team is taking its time deciding on a possible liftoff. Once they fire
the rocket thrusters, there is a strong likelihood they will not hear from
the probe again. A second landing might very well damage the craft or knock
its antenna or solar arrays out of alignment.

The asteroid landing idea was an afterthought to an already successful
mission. NEAR-Shoemaker spent a year orbiting the asteroid EROS, beaming
back 160,000 images. It was 10 times more data than scientists anticipated.

The hundred images sent back during the descent offer the closest look yet
at an asteroid. The images are able to resolve objects as small as a
centimeter.

Copyright 2001, CNN

==============
(7) ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY CONDEMS NEAR-SHOEMAKER MISSION FOR ASTEROID
LITTERING :-)

From Megan W. Ghette <M.W.Ghette@meteor>

"The NEAR-Shoemaker mission".
An excerpt from "A History of Early Space Exploration" by Megan W. Ghette,
Jul, 2298.

At the turn of the last millennium the National Aerospace and Space
Administration of the former United States of America launched one of its
most daring unmanned space probes NEAR (Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous,
later renamed NEAR-Shoemaker). The objectives of this mission where to
perform a flyby of the asteroid Miranda before rendezvousing with its
primary target Eros. The mission was an unparalleled success and despite an
initial malfunction of the spacecraft's boosters that caused it to fly past
its target, it finally went into orbit on February 14th, 2000. It should be
noted that this day was known as St Valentines day and was banned in 2178
after it sparked demonstrations against the gene reproduction laws which had
been introduced to safe guard the human genome. It says much about the
capabilities of NASA's mission control that they not only placed the
spacecraft in orbit around Eros but also managed to make the first landing
on a solar system small body on Feb 12th, 2001. Their remarkable
achievements, however, did not end there and on February the 14th, St
Valentines day, the NEAR spacecraft managed to take off from the surface of
the asteroid in one more spectacular gesture in its 'love affair' with the
asteroid.

The NEAR-shoemaker mission went down in history as the first mission to
return high quality scientific data on the surface of an asteroid, and to
perform a controlled landing and takeoff. It is, therefore, perhaps rather
unfair that the mission has been cited by the current day solar system
environmental lobby as the first incident of asteroid littering, a problem
which today has spoiled the surface of many NEAs.

It is a fitting tribute to the men and women who worked on this pioneering
mission that the NEAR-Shoemaker spacecraft on Eros is today the only NASA
probe that has a status as a site of special solar system historic interest
(SHI). Hopefully this will protect the spacecraft and the site from the fate
of the voyager and ranger probes that fell victim to antiquity dealers in
the early part of this century.

===========
(8) PLUTO: HAYDEN PLANETARIUM WON'T BEND UNDER PRESSURE FROM DPS EXECUTIVES

From The New York Times, 13 February 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/13/science/13PLUT.html?pagewanted=all

ICY PLUTO'S FALL FROM THE PLANETARY RANKS: A CONVERSATION
 
News that astrophysicists at the American Museum of Natural History do not
consider Pluto a planet spurred more than 100 e-mail messages, some
critical, some supportive, to Dr. Neil de Grasse Tyson, director of the
museum's Hayden Planetarium. The museum is now considering changing its
exhibits slightly to explain its views to confused visitors.

One e-mail correspondent was Dr. Mark Sykes, chairman of the Division of
Planetary Sciences at the American Astronomical Society and an astronomer at
the Steward Observatory in Arizona. The division's executive committee was
considering drafting a statement criticizing the
museum's exhibits. Dr. Tyson told Dr. Sykes to be "wary" of drawing
conclusions based on what he had heard in the news. Two weeks ago, Dr. Sykes
visited the museum to view the exhibits. Following are excerpts from a
conversation between Dr. Sykes and Dr. Tyson afterward:

DR. NEIL de GRASSE TYSON: People are wondering, what do astronomers call
planets, and of course, as we know, the definition of planets has changed
over time. The Sun and Moon used to be planets. We're trying to teach the
public about our subject, so we said, What's the best way to convey the most
amount of information?

What we decided was rather than count planets, which we don't do out there,
rather than saying who is a planet and who isn't, we say that the solar
system has families of objects, and when we organize the information,
organize the members of the solar system, in families.

Then the very mention of a family conveys information. So we have the
terrestrial planets, and any time we talk about Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars,
we mention the grouping. And then we talk about the asteroid belt, and then
the Jovian planets and then the Kuiper Belt of comets, including Pluto
that's orbiting out there.

DR. MARK SYKES The consensus exists. Unanimity may not, but I think
consensus does, and the consensus is that people feel Pluto should not -
it's fine to call it a Kuiper Belt object - but we should not remove its
designation as a planet. People are thinking not families, not groups, not
cousins. They're thinking planets. When you make visual representations of
planets that exclude Pluto, you are being incomplete.

When people come in, they are expecting to see what astronomers think. What
you've got up here is not what astronomers think.

DR. TYSON It's what some astronomers think.

DR. SYKES Some astronomers that I can think of, that I can put on one hand.

DR. TYSON The point is, if we say, this is a planet, there's no information
in it. There's no educational information.

DR. SYKES Yes, there is educational information.

DR. TYSON What does it say? If I say, it's a planet, what does that tell
you?

DR. SYKES It says it's got properties that make it distinct from other
objects.

DR. TYSON And so does Ganymede and so does Io. Europa. [Ganymede, Io and
Europa are three large moons of Jupiter.] You can't get more distinct than
that.

DR. SYKES You're an educator. What do you tell about Pluto here? All you say
in your entire exhibit is that it's an icy world. This is just like all
these other guys so we shouldn't distinguish it and hints there is a
justification for what you're doing, but you arrive at that by not saying
things about what we know about the object which make it distinct from all
the other guys. I would say were Pluto discovered today and known to have a
moon and an atmosphere, I think that it would be designated a planet and not
just given a minor planet designation.

DR. TYSON Aren't there your contemporaries who would say that differently?

DR. SYKES Well, yes.

DR. TYSON Not a few, but many. Because there's some legacy thing going,
because of course we've lived with it for 60 years, and there's a dog named
after it. It's in our culture. It's there.

DR. SYKES There are noncultural things as I've listed its properties. It's
got nitrogen ice caps. It's got seasons. It's got a moon. It's got an
atmosphere. It's got a whole suite of properties which distinguishes it from
what we know about any other Kuiper Belt object, and just to blithely say,
Well, we're just not going to tell you about this and we're just going to
lump it in with these other guys, is, from an educational standpoint,
irresponsible.

DR. TYSON I would submit to you that, regardless of what the I.A.U.
[International Astronomical Union] says about how the word "planet" is
applied, the word "planet" does not convey enough information for it to
teach people about the stuff in the solar system. . . .

DR. SYKES If Pluto were 10 times its size, how would you treat it?

DR. TYSON I think if it were still ice, we'd still say, orbiting with the
icy objects.

DR. SYKES Pluto is thought of as a planet. So why not icy planets. Pluto.

DR. TYSON With a class of one?

DR. SYKES Class of one. Sure. Why not?

DR. TYSON It's historically dangerous to do that. I read a lot of history
about how science has come from discovery to acceptance and to start making
classes of one is a dangerous thing.

Let me tell you what we're planning to do. Of the e-mail I got which was
from colleagues, about two-thirds had this knee-jerk "how could you do
this?" and then I explained what we actually did, and then it was softened.
But about one-third was supportive.

So of those inquiries, I think the most useful of the recommendations was,
since people come in with this expectation that Pluto is a planet and then
it's sort of not there . . . that we owe it to the visitor to explain what
we did and why we did it.

What we're thinking of doing is preparing a piece that would go on our
kiosks, just to give a more full discussion of Pluto and what the
discussions were.

DR. SYKES But most people won't see that.

DR. TYSON And in addition, we're thinking, we don't know how it'll work,
we're thinking on the railing, because as you saw, you have the four
terrestrial planets and Jovians suspended, we're thinking of putting a
little sign saying, "Where's Pluto?" Because that's where people see all the
planets lined up and then we get to address this.

And it's an occasion to respect the expectation of the visitor combined with
having an excuse to bring up some of these other arguments that are out
there.

Copyright 2001, The New York Times

=============
(9) PLUTO CONTROVERSY AT THE HAYDEN PLANETARIUM?

Notes from the Chair of the Division for Planetary Sciences of the American
Astronomical Society

From http://www.aas.org/~dps/nfc/01.html

On January 31st of this year, I traveled to New York City to see the exhibit
at the Hayden Planetarium, which purports to have removed Pluto from the
list of planets, and to visit with its director, Neil Tyson. Having
reflected on the matter for several days now, it is my opinion that the
issue at the Hayden is more one of poor pedagogy than a clarion call for
controversy.

The exhibit on planets at best confuses those who look closely enough to
catch the inconsistencies. Contrary to what has been reported previously,
those who do not look closely, may view the exhibit and have no idea that
the Hayden is trying to advocate that Pluto should no longer be designated
or thought of as a planet.

To explain how confusion arises for the attentive and how people can walk
through the exhibit without having their preconceptions challenged, one
needs more description of the exhibit than has been reported in the media.
From outside, the Hayden Planetarium has the appearance of a large sphere
suspended within a tranparent cube with some large planets suspended outside
the sphere. On the ground level, below the sphere, there is an exhibit
titled "Planets" in large vertical red letters. To the right of the title is
a diagram which shows different classes of astronomical objects seen at
different spatial scales, arranged vertically, with the last group
representing planets. What is shown is a schematic of the planetary orbits
of our own solar system out to Neptune. None of the orbits are labeled. A
non-astronomer visitor may very well take it to represent solar systems in
general and not our own specifically. The second panel ("Our Planetary
System") lays out pictures of our planets horizontally with vertical
clusters of points for the asteroid belt, Kuiper belt, and a round cluster
representing the Oort Cloud (which gives the odd impression that there is
some cloud in orbit about the sun...). The only individual bodies that are
identified are planets - including Pluto. I watched a teacher lead her young
(first grade?) students straight up to this panel and identify aloud each
planet as such (including Pluto). So the Hayden has provided a pedagogical
tool promoting the "nine planets" viewpoint.

It is not clear to the general observer that Pluto's absence in other panels
has any significance. The attentive might suspect something is going on. If
the Hayden had wished to present a message consistent with Tyson's public
statements promoting the "demotion" of Pluto, it would have removed the
pictoral identification of Pluto from the horizontal display of planets in
"Our Planetary System" - thereby increasing the immediate impact and
awareness of the Hayden's peculiar view of the solar system.

Moving on through the walkaround "powers of ten" exhibit in which the huge
sphere comprising the central space of the planetarium represents the Sun,
the terrestrial planets are presented along the walkway attached to the
railing in their heliocentric order (from left to right as you face the
"Sun"). The Jovian planets are suspended from the ceiling continuing their
heliocentric progression from left to right. Despite the "powers of ten"
theme, many people might expect Pluto to appear beyond Neptune (that seemed
to be the feeling of the NY Times photographer who was there with us). Only
if you knew that Pluto's size would put it among the terrestrial planets
would you wonder why it is not there. Had the Hayden ordered the terrestrial
planets by size, then Pluto's absence would be more apparent to people.
Personally, if the purpose is to promote an understanding of relative size,
I think it would be more interesting to include Pluto, the Moon, Ceres, and
some Galilean satellites with the terrestrial planets.

When designing an exhibition, one needs to understand and take into
consideration the expectations of the viewer. Given an opportunity, the
viewer will see what they expect to see. The public arrives expecting to see
the solar system as it is generally viewed by the astronomical community. At
present that view is represented by the formal designation of Pluto as a
planet by the IAU for the past seventy years. It is the view that visitors
to the exhibit learned in school.

At the moment, the represetation of the planets at the Hayden Planetarium is
inconsistent. They need to decide what message they want to give to the
public and do so in a clear and open fashion. They can do this by adding an
"Icy Planets" category in which Pluto alone resides, including its orbit
where appropriate, and adding a little model of it in the "powers of ten"
area (perhaps based on the HST imagery). Alternatively, they can remove
Pluto from the "Our Planetary System" transparency (leaving the captions the
same would be fine). In this case, scientific and pedagogical integrity
would require that they prominently notify the public that they are taking
an advocacy position to remove Pluto's planetary status and acknowledge that
at present the IAU officially designates Pluto as a planet. I would
recommend that they put up a sign which asks the question "Is Pluto a
Planet?" with side by side paragraphs, one being YES written by an
identified advocate of that position, the other being NO written by an
identified advocate of that position. Then the public would have at least
some information on which to base an evaluation of Hayden Planetarium's
presentation.

Mark V. Sykes

February 7, 2001

============
(10) IT MAY BE NOW OR NEVER FOR A MISSION TO PLUTO

From The New York Times, 13 February 2001
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/02/13/science/13MISS.html

By KENNETH CHANG
 
Depending on what NASA decides at the end of the summer, scientists hoping
for a close-up look at Pluto may have to wait another 10 to 20 years - or
they may have to wait a very, very long time.

"I don't think we'll have a Pluto mission if we don't do it now," said Dr.
Michael J. Drake, chairman of NASA's solar system exploration subcommittee.
"You've got to wait another quarter millennium, for all practical purposes."

Some three billion miles away, Pluto is the only planet in the system that
has yet to receive a spacecraft from Earth. But because of cost overruns,
NASA last October canceled its only Pluto mission, the Pluto-Kuiper Express,
which had been in development for years.

Then, after lobbying by space enthusiasts and planetary scientists, the
National Aeronautics and Space Administration in December put out a call for
new proposals for a mission that would reach Pluto by 2020 and cost less
than $500 million.

The deadline is March 21, though NASA officials stress they have not
committed to flying a mission to Pluto.

There are two main reasons for the hurry. One is the alignment of planets. A
launching in 2004 or 2006 could take advantage of big gravitational boost by
swinging around Jupiter. But then Jupiter moves too far out of position, and
alternate routes to Pluto are either much more expensive or much more
indirect.

Also, Pluto is on the outward leg of its elliptical, 258-year orbit. The
later a spacecraft launches, the farther and longer it will have to travel.

There might also be less to see.

As Pluto moves farther out, temperatures will drop so low, to around minus
380, that its tenuous atmosphere of nitrogen and methane may freeze and fall
to the ground. Some estimate that most of Pluto's atmosphere will disappear
by 2020.

Getting to Pluto on a budget is the main challenge. Once there, the
spacecraft would not try to land or go into orbit around Pluto, but just
zoom by at some 30,000 miles per hour, taking measurements with instruments.

"This is a first reconnaissance mission," said Dr. Alan Stern, director of
the Southwest Research Institute's space studies department in Boulder,
Colo. "This is like Pioneer 10 and 11 to Jupiter and Saturn, like Mariner to
Mars. The only difference is that it's a longer cruise."

Copyright 2001, The New York Times

============================
* LETTERS TO THE MODERATOR *
============================

(11) THANK-YOU NOTE AT RENDEZVOUS WITH EROS

From David H. Levy <david@jarnac.org>

Dear Benny,

   In a few hours, Carolyn Shoemaker will be arriving here from her Maryland
visit, where she watched the incoming images and shared the excitement of
the NEAR-Shoemaker demise. Tonight she will join Wendee and me here as we
continue our own comet search program.

  The confluence of events that resulted in NEAR-Shoemaker's landing on Eros
is amazing. In its infancy the Earth was bombarded by visitors from space,
asteroids and comets that brought their supply of organic particles that led
eventually to life on Earth. Yesterday, that life returned the favor.
NEAR-Shoemaker's landing on Eros was a thank-you note to those ancient
asteroids and comets, and what they left us.

David H. Levy

=============
(12) "LIFE ON EROS" - THE ETHICAL DIMENSION OF SPACE EXPLORATION

From Andrew Glikson <geospectral@spirit.com.au>

Dear Benny,

What a shame NEAR-SHOEMAKER is not equipped with an automated biological
test facility since, at least according to certain panspermia notions, the
possibility can not be ruled out that Eros is populated by budding microbes,
if not by loving mermaids ...

Such bacteria, residing in deep Erosian fractures and deriving energy by
exothermic reactions, i.e. breaking down mineral-locked H2O molecules to
combine the oxygen with chondritic iron, may now be in mortal danger from
terrestrial contamination introduced by NEAR - not having been advanced
enough to develop planetary defense systems to deflect impacting
anthropomorphic space ships ...  The same applies to potential Martian
microorganisms, whose existence is widely held to be possible and even
probable by exobiologists.

This kind of humor or irony - depending how one wants to look at it - may
not be readily appreciated by space colonists.  However, sterilization of
the landing modules has in fact been widely discussed and attempted by NASA
scientists in connection with earlier Lunar and Martian missions. Assuming
that microbial life does exist on other bodies of the solar system, as is
widely held, there is nothing to guarantee that such extraterrestrial
microorganisms may survive human encounters. In principle, if and when
science fiction becomes science fact and anthropomorphic space ships land on
remote havens of life in the universe, ethical considerations regarding
indigenous life on Mars or Titan may not rate at any higher priority than
has the fate of the American Indians or the Australian aborigines.

These were colored and, according to certain criminal 20th century
ideologies, inferior races.  In a similar vein, some may argue that as a
"superior" or "God-chosen" race so-called Homo Sapiens may be inherently
entitled for such conquests.  Fortunately for such extraterrestrial
inhabitants, but less fortunately for us, long before this scenario is
likely we may have stripped our own planet from its nowadays rapidly
diminishing ozone layer, rendering it unsuitable for all but the more
primitive life forms.

Good planets are hard to come by.

Andrew Glikson
Australian National University
Canberra, ACT
14-02-2001

=============
(13) PLANS FOR NEAR?

From Michael Paine <mpaine@tpgi.com.au>

Dear Benny

The Space.com story that you posted indicating that NEAR might be relaunched
seems to have changed. I cannot find any reference to this idea.

In any case, I would have thought that having a radio transmitter 'attached'
to an asteroid for several months would be very useful for refining the
techniques of astrometry (optical and radar). It was Alan Harris from JPL
who suggested to me when researching my Space.com story last year
( http://www.space.com/businesstechnology/technology/asteroid_defense_000211.html )
that one of the first things that might be done with an Earth-threatening
NEO would be to attach a radio transmitter to it so that its orbit could be
determined precisely.

regards
Michael Paine

P.S. A new NEAR relaunch story is at
http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/solarsystem/near_extension_010213.html
My comments still stand!

MODERATOR'S NOTE: The original relaunch story by Leonard David (as posted
yesterday on CCNet) couldn't be retrieved on the Space.com website because
the first paragraphs of his story were erased, for unknown reasons, shortly
after the news broke.

=============
(14) SPECTRAL SEQUENCE OF PLUTO SUPPORTS RECLASSIFICATION

From Mark Kidger <mrk@ll.iac.es>

I was interested by the comments posted by Joe Rao on CCNet which reported
that Clyde Tombaugh had made on reclassification of Pluto and other
astronomical "anomalies". Among the points raised was the jumbled state of
the spectral sequence. This is actually a beautiful example of
reclassification given that initially the sequence was a nice, neat A, B, C,
D, ... Then it was realised that "B" was actually earlier than "A" and that
many types (C, D, E, etc.) were either mistakes or duplicates. It was also
noticed that some types had been missed, so "W" and "O", for example, were
tacked on the front. In the end only vestiges of the original order remained.

In other words, we got W, O, B, A, F, G, K, M, R, N, S because people *did*
realise that their original classification was wrong and set about
correcting it! Clyde Tombaugh picked an interesting precedent.

Mark

--------------------------------------------------------------------
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Information circulated on this network is for scholarly and educational
use only. The attached information may not be copied or reproduced for
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The fully indexed archive of the CCNet, from February 1997 on, can be
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DISCLAIMER: The opinions, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in the
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*

CCNet CLIMATE SCARES & CLIMATE CHANGE - 14 February 2001
--------------------------------------------------------


ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM WORSE THAN POLITICAL SPIN DOCTORING?


"A part of the Antarctic normally icebound in February is now
virtually clear water, a UK sailor has reported. He said he had also
found an ice shelf in "dramatic" retreat. The reports will fuel concern
that the Antarctic is being seriously affected by climate change."
--Alex Kirby, BBC Online News, 11 February 2001


"The 20-year temperature trend over Antarctica derived from the
satellite data was a cooling of 0.042C per year, while the 20-year
temperature trend derived from the station data was a cooling of
0.008C per year. "The slight cooling of the entire ice sheet observed in
both in situ and satellite records during the last 20 yr is intriguing,
since during the same time period a general warming is being observed
globally."
--CO2 Science, 7 February 2001


"There's a spate of stories by Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, the
London Times and The Washington Post among others that report a recession
in the remote Antarctic Pine Island glacier. Despite protests by Andrew
Shepard, who is senior author of an article in the February 2nd edition
of Science upon which these reports are based, each and every story
either link his findings to global warming or indicate a possible
relationship. "We don't have any evidence to suggest change of
climate," Shepard tells Reuters. This is guilt by implication -
imputing something when there are no facts to support it and despite expert
testimony to the contrary."
--Greening Earth Society, 7 February 2001



(1) BBC LAUNCHES LATEST SCARE: ANTARCTIC ICE SHELVES "COLLAPSING"
    BBC Online News, 11 February 2001

(2) ANTARCTIC SEA ICE TRENDS
    CO2 Science, 7 February 2001

(3) RECENT TRENDS IN ANTARCTIC SURFACE TEMPERATURES
    CO2 Science, 7 February 2001

(4) SIMULATED CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE EAST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET
    CO2 Science, 7 February 2001

(5) IS THE NORTH POLE MELTING?
    John L Daly, 10 February 2001

(6) THE ABRUPT END OF THE LITTLE ICE AGE
    CO2 Science, 14 February 2001

(7) U.N. PANEL USING FLAWED DATA ON GLOBAL WARMING:
    The Inquirer, 13 February 2001

(8) CLIMATE-CHANGE SCIENTISTS CONFRONT AN ANCIENT ELEPHANT
    TechCentralStation, 12 February 2001

(9) GLOBAL WARMING IN A POLITICALLY CORRECT CLIMATE
    CO2 Science, 14 Februyary 2001

(10) ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM WORSE THAN POLITICAL SPIN DOCTORING?
     Greening Earth Society, 7 February 2001

(11) GLOBAL WARMING'S DIRTY NEW SECRET
     Fox News, 9 February 2001

(12) AND FINALLY, BAD NEWS FOR DOOM-MERCHANTS: IT'S ALL IN THE BRAIN!
     BBC News Online, 5 February 2001

(13) UNDER THE BOTTOM-LINE: VALENTINE KILLJOYS WARN AGAINST DANGERS OF
KISSING
     ABC News, 14 February 2001
=======


(1) BBC LAUNCHES LATEST SCARE: ANTARCTIC ICE SHELVES "COLLAPSING"

From BBC Online News, 11 February 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1162000/1162806.stm

Ice surprise for UK sailor
There are reports of ice shelves in Antarctica collapsing

By environment correspondent Alex Kirby in Nairobi

A part of the Antarctic normally icebound in February is now virtually clear
water, a UK sailor has reported. He said he had also found an ice shelf in
"dramatic" retreat. The reports will fuel concern that the Antarctic is
being seriously affected by climate change. But they will be dismissed by
those who question the evidence that global temperatures are rising. The
sailor, Sir Peter Blake, was talking via satellite telephone with the
conference here of the United Nations Environment Programme (Unep), which
ended on 9 February.

FULL SCARE at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_1162000/1162806.stm

==========
(2) ANTARCTIC SEA ICE TRENDS

From CO2 Science, 7 February 2001
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2001/v4n6c1.htm

Reference
Watkins, A.B. and Simmonds, I. 2000. Current trends in Antarctic sea ice:
The 1990s impact on a short climatology.  Journal of Climate 13: 4441-4451.

Background
In the words of the authors, "it has been suggested that the Antarctic sea
ice may show high sensitivity to any anthropogenic increase in temperature
due to the 'albedo-polar ice cover-temperature' feedback loop."  This
climate-model-derived prediction posits that "any rise in surface
temperature would result in a decrease in sea ice coverage," which would, in
turn, "lower the mean albedo of the high latitudes, resulting in an increase
in the solar radiation absorbed at the surface thus causing a further
temperature rise," which would imply that "high latitudes would experience
[the] greatest change from any enhanced greenhouse warming."  Hence, if
you're looking for early-warning signs of a CO2-induced increase in global
temperature and its effects on sea ice, Antarctica is the place to do it.

What was done
The authors analyzed trends in a number of Southern Ocean sea ice
parameters, paying particular attention to data obtained from the Defense
Meteorological Satellite Program Special Sensor Microwave/Imager over the
period December 1987-December 1996.

What was learned
The authors observed statistically significant (at the 95% confidence level)
increases in sea ice area and total sea ice extent between 1987 and 1996;
and combining their results with earlier results for the period 1978-1987,
both parameters showed increases over the entire 1978-1996 period. In
addition, the authors indicate that the 1990s exhibited increases in the sea
ice season length.

What it means
To find just the opposite of what the climate alarmists predict should be
occurring as a consequence of the ongoing rise in the air's CO2
concentration must be a real blow to them.  And this is not the first such
blow.  We reported the similar results of another Antarctic sea ice study
just a few months ago (Recent Trends in Antarctic Sea Ice Extent), as well
the finding that Antarctica has cooled slightly over this period (Recent
Trends in Antarctic Surface Temperatures).

Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


===========
(3) RECENT TRENDS IN ANTARCTIC SURFACE TEMPERATURES

From CO2 Science, 7 February 2001
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2001/v4n6c1.htm

Reference
Comiso, J.C.  2000.  Variability and trends in Antarctic surface
temperatures from in situ and satellite infrared measurements.  Journal of
Climate 13: 1674-1696.

What was done
The author assembled and analyzed Antarctic temperature data obtained from
21 surface stations and from infrared satellites operating from 1979 to
1998.

What was learned
The 20-year temperature trend over Antarctica derived from the satellite
data was a cooling of 0.042C per year, while the 20-year temperature trend
derived from the station data was a cooling of 0.008C per year.

What it means
"The slight cooling of the entire ice sheet observed in both in situ and
satellite records during the last 20 yr," in the words of the author, "is
intriguing, since during the same time period a general warming is being
observed globally."  In view of what we report in our editorial of 15 June
2000 (The Global Surface Air Temperature Record Must Be Wrong), however, the
author's finding is actually only to be expected!  Indeed, its veracity is
confirmed by the author's observation that "the slight cooling detected in
the entire Antarctic region is compatible with a slightly positive trend in
the sea ice extent that has been observed from passive microwave data."
 
Copyright 2000.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


===========
(4) SIMULATED CLIMATE CHANGE ON THE EAST ANTARCTIC ICE SHEET

From CO2 Science, 7 February 2001
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2001/v4n6c2.htm
 

Reference
Nslund, J.O., Fastook, J.L and Holmlund, P.  2000.  Numerical modeling of
the ice sheet in western Dronning Maud Land, East Antarctica: impacts of
present, past and future climates.  Journal of Glaciology 46: 54-66.

What was done
The authors used a new 10-km by 10-km data set on ice sheet bed and surface
topography for western Dronning Maud Land as input in a time-dependent ice
sheet model, which they used to simulate changes in ice sheet volume for
this region of the East Antarctic Ice Sheet under six temperature forcing
scenarios (5C instant warming, 5C slow warming, 10C warming, 5C instant
cooling, 5C slow cooling and 10C cooling) over a period of 20,000 model
years.

What was learned
The model yielded a long-term response that required something on the order
of 20,000 model years (and perhaps longer) for the ice sheet to fully
respond to the six temperature perturbations.  The authors thus conclude
that the East Antarctic Ice Sheet "may still be adjusting to the climate
change that ended the Last Glacial Maximum."

By the end of 20,000 model years, the 5C warming and cooling scenarios
produced changes in ice sheet volume that varied by only 1 to 1.5% of the
initial ice sheet volume, suggesting that "the investigated part of the
[East Antarctic Ice Sheet] does not appear to be very sensitive to present
or future climatic changes."  Results from the 10C warming and 10C cooling
simulations produced larger initial fluctuations in ice volume, but quickly
stabilized and returned to near initial conditions at the end of the 20,000
years.

What it means
The results of this study deal a severe blow to climate alarmists who
predict catastrophic melting of the polar ice sheets as a consequence of
CO2-induced global warming.  Even with computer models - which they
generally use as the basis for their claims - such a scenario seems a
virtual impossibility.  In addition, this study demonstrates the difficulty
of ascribing recent trends in ice sheet volume to anthropogenic activities,
in view of the long time period required for the ice sheet to come to
equilibrium following the end of the last glacial maximum.
 
Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


=============
(5) IS THE NORTH POLE MELTING?

From John L Daly, 10 February 2001
http://www.microtech.com.au/daly/polar/arctic.htm

The Top of the World:
Is the North Pole Turning to Water?

by John L. Daly

Introduction

The `Arctic' is a general term applied to all the lands, ocean, and ice
north of the Arctic Circle at 67N. It includes the northern Canadian
Archipelago, most of Greenland, the Norwegian Sea, the Arctic Ocean, and the
northern coastlines of Russia, Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska.

As the above extract from 1817 shows, the ebb and flow of Arctic ice extent
and mass is nothing new, as can be expected from such a dynamic and changing
ocean/ice environment.

This is also the region which climate models indicate will receive a much
larger warming from an enhanced greenhouse effect than would occur in lower
latitudes. `Global Warming' is therefore not expected by greenhouse models
to be evenly distributed around the globe as the term would suggest. Rather
it is heavily biased toward the high latitude and polar regions as clearly
indicated by predictions of up to 8C polar warming in this map of 21st
century global temperature change during the northern winter from the Hadley
(U.K.) climate model.

There are two good reasons for this high latitude bias in a theorised
enhanced greenhouse world.

Firstly, the infra-red (I.R.) absorption bands of carbon dioxide lie in the
12-16 micron wavelength band. The wavelength of strongest I.R. emission from
polar ice lies in or near this band. This means that CO2 has its greatest
absorption of I.R. radiation at sub-zero temperatures. At warmer
temperatures, the typical wavelength of strongest I.R. transmission is less
than 12 microns, and therefore much less affected by CO2. At temperatures
around 15C (the average surface temperature of the Earth), the strongest
emission wavelength is around 10 microns, a wavelength which is largely
unaffected by greenhouse gases, the so-called `radiation window' of the
atmosphere where IR radiation from the surface can escape freely to space.

Secondly, the most powerful greenhouse gas in the atmosphere is water
vapour, representing over 90 percent of the natural greenhouse effect. Water
vapour shares many overlapping absorption bands with CO2 and therefore an
increase or decrease in CO2 has little effect on the overall rate of I.R.
absorption in those overlapping regions. However, in the Arctic and
Antarctic, the air is very dry due to the extreme cold, allowing CO2 to
exert a much greater leverage in the dry atmosphere than would be possible
in warmer moister climates at lower latitudes.

It is claimed by the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) that
global temperature has risen +0.6C 0.2C during the 20th century [6]. For
this to be directly attributable to the enhanced greenhouse effect (i.e. be
human induced) that warming would have to follow the greenhouse
`fingerprint', namely strong warming at the polar and sub-polar regions,
much less warming in the tropics and sub-tropics, and the least warming in
equatorial ocean regions where water vapour saturates the absorption
wavebands to the point where changes in any of the other greenhouse gases
has little additional effect.

That claimed 20th century warming is based on thousands of weather stations
worldwide, most of them located in cities where local heating from
buildings, roads, and other structures (the Urban Heat Island Effect)
creates an artificial warming creep in the long-term data. The deficiencies
in this `surface record' has been highlighted in numerous articles and
papers, including one by  this author [2].

Those deficiencies in the surface record notwithstanding, the global pattern
of warming during the 20th century does not fit the classic greenhouse
fingerprint. The Antarctic continent shows no overall warming since reliable
records began there in 1957 as suggested by this temperature record from the
South Pole itself. Indeed, the South Pole appears to have cooled, not
warmed.

There has been localised warming in the 2% of the continent represented by
the Antarctic Peninsula, and cooling over most of the remaining 98%.  In the
Arctic, there are regions which show warming (e.g. northern Alaska and
north-western Canada), and other regions which show either no warming or
even cooling (north-eastern Canada, Russian Arctic, Greenland and the Arctic
Rim, comparative graphs below).

Taken as a whole, there is no significant Arctic-wide warming evident in
recent decades. According to many station records there, the warmest period
was around 1940, not the `warm' 1990s.

But now, a new spectre has emerged in the popular imagination - melting sea
ice.

FULL ARTICLE at http://www.microtech.com.au/daly/polar/arctic.htm

=========
(6) THE ABRUPT END OF THE LITTLE ICE AGE

From CO2 Science, 14 February 2001
http://www.co2science.org/journal/2001/v4n7c3.htm

Reference
Schuster, P.F., White, D.E., Naftz, D.L. and Cecil, L.D.  2000.
Chronological refinement of an ice core record at Upper Fremont Glacier in
south central North America.  Journal of Geophysical Research 105:
4657-4666.

What was done
A 160-meter ice core removed from Wyoming's Upper Fremont Glacier in 1991
was meticulously studied by means of electrical conductivity measurements,
scanning electron microscopy, energy dispersive analysis, and isotopic and
chemical analyses.

What was learned
It was determined, in the words of the authors, that "the termination of the
Little Ice Age was abrupt with a major climatic shift to warmer temperatures
around 1845 A.D."  They also note that "a conservative estimate for the time
taken to complete the Little Ice Age climatic shift to present-day climate
is about 10 years."

What it means
These results demonstrate that a very significant climate warming occurred
over a very short time span about a century-and-a-half ago in an alpine
region of central North America. In addition, it is clear - occurring when
it did - that this dramatic rise in temperature was a natural event, not
forced in any way by human activities. Were such an event to occur today,
however, it would be heralded by CO2-hating climate alarmists as undisputed
proof that humanity had caused it. And they would have absolutely no trouble
convincing almost everyone that such was true, as they have already
convinced many that the non-warming of the past seventy years was the most
dramatic climate change of the past millennium (see our Editorial of 1 July
2000 There Has Been No Global Warming for the Past 70 Years)!  Of course,
the climate alarmists would still be wrong; but what would it matter?  They
would have gotten their way with the world.
 
Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change


========
(7) U.N. PANEL USING FLAWED DATA ON GLOBAL WARMING:

From The Inquirer, 13 February 2001
http://inq.philly.com/content/inquirer/2001/02/13/opinion/PATTERSON13.htm

By Tim Patterson and Tom Harris

OTTAWA, Ontario - If the United Nations' climate change meeting starting
today in Geneva is anything like previous sessions, the developed world can
expect to be harshly condemned for its alleged contribution to global
warming.

A working group of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change last
month set the stage by confidently asserting that human activity is a major
cause of climate change. This month, another working group will sound the
alarm about the apocalyptic destruction that climate change will wreak on
humanity and the world around us.

Sea levels will rise and small island nations will be submerged. Droughts
will ravage the land and extreme weather and disease will threaten millions
in the developing world. Whole ecosystems will be at risk due to the
inexorable march of mass extinction of plants and animals.

The only conclusion to be drawn: We in the developed world must drastically
alter our economy or fossil-fuel-produced greenhouse gases will all but
destroy the planet.

While all this makes good news copy and excites environmental groups, it
bears little resemblance to what climate science is really telling us. The
work of last month's working group was seriously flawed in many ways - but
none was more atrocious than its claim that the 1990s was likely the warmest
decade, and 1998 the warmest year, in the last 1,000 years.

Although the data on which this is based apply only to land in the Northern
Hemisphere, the U.N. panel uses it to imply a global trend.

This relatively new claim is based on a paper published in 1999 by Michael
Mann of the University of Virginia that itself was flawed. Mann completely
ignored the major climate-changes that occurred in the Medieval Warm Period
and Little Ice Age - both of which occurred long before humans began burning
hydro-carbon based fuels.

Mann's research was primarily based on an analysis of tree rings, a
notoriously inaccurate indicator of climate trends. Tree rings are laid only
during the growing season, not the whole year, and they do not even record
night temperatures since photosynthesis only occurs in the daytime.

In addition, tree rings are influenced by numerous factors other than
temperature - including rainfall, sunlight, cloudiness, pests, competition,
forest fires, soil nutrients, frosts and snow duration. And of course trees
only grow on land, so tree rings tell us nothing about the maritime climate,
the prime determinant of climate conditions throughout the world.

Nevertheless, the U.N. panel chose to cite this sensationalist study while
ignoring the enormous amount of contradictory scientific literature, not to
mention the well-established historical record. Watch for similar propaganda
coming out of the second working group.

Abdullahi Majeed of the Maldives, a low-lying archipelago in the Indian
Ocean, is one of the six vice chairs of the session, and he'll lament that
the melting of arctic ice caused by climate change is raising sea levels and
submerging his island nation.

The deterioration of coral reefs in the Maldives and Barbados also will be
blamed on the West as well; again due to increases in ocean temperature
caused by - you guessed it - climate change.

This may be a good tactic for countries seeking to extort billions of
dollars in compensation, but it is certainly not good science. Just as the
melting of ice cubes in a glass of water does not cause the glass to
overflow, so too the melting of polar sea ice will not result in ocean level
changes. Even if the entire Antarctic ice pack melted there would be no
impact on sea level.

Only if massive quantities of inland Greenlandic and Antarctic glaciers
melted would we see sea level rise of the order required to submerge coastal
settlements. This did not happen even when the Earth was over 5 degrees
warmer 5,500 years ago, and that was the warmest our planet had been in
120,000 years.

The U.N. panel's propaganda machine excels in the production of news media
sound bites and sensationalist reports that exclude common sense and the
views of dissenting scientists. It is unfortunate that its knowledge of
climate science, economics and intellectual honesty are not equally well
developed.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------
----
Tim Patterson is professor of earth sciences at Carleton University in
Ottawa, Canada. Tom Harris (tharris@iosphere.net) is an Ottawa-based
freelance writer and speaker.

Copyright 2001, The Inquirer

===========
(8) CLIMATE-CHANGE SCIENTISTS CONFRONT AN ANCIENT ELEPHANT

From TechCentralStation, 12 February 2001
http://www.techcentralstation.com/EnviroScienceTechnology.asp?id=21

By Kenneth Green, Senior Environmental Scholar
Competitive Enterprise Institute

Sometimes, reality enacts a great folktale with stunning clarity. That's
what happened at a Rice University-James Baker Institute conference on
climate change a few months ago, when six reputable scientists brought the
story of the blind men and the elephant to life in a spectacular fashion.

For those unfamiliar with the story of the six blind men asked to identify
an elephant, here's how it goes. A certain Raja called for six blind men and
had them led to different parts of an elephant, asking them to explain what
an elephant is like. One man feels the elephant's trunk, and says, "It's a
giant snake." Another touches the elephant's flank, and says, "It's a wall."
A third blind man touches a leg, and says, "It's a tree." The other blind
men pronounce that the elephant is like a spear, a rope, or a fan, touching
the elephant's tusk, or tail, or ear. In their dispute, the blind men take
to railing at one another, to the Raja's great amusement.

The climate change conference enactment of this folktale began when Dr.
Theodor Landscheidt from the Schroeter Institute for Research in Cycles of
Solar Activity in Nova Scotia took the podium. Dr. Landscheidt put up many
impressive charts, and argued that his research strongly suggests that the
cause of the warming observed in the 20th Century was not greenhouse gases,
but clearly results from an increase in the output of radiation from the
sun.

But immediately after Dr. Landscheidt finished, Dr. Judith Lean, a research
physicist with the Naval Research Laboratory, presented her most recent
findings, arguing that whatever the cause of 20th Century warming was, it
was not an increase in solar radiation. Dr. Lean's charts suggested that net
solar output simply hadn't changed as much as the temperature had, and so
changes in solar output could not be the sole cause of observed 20th Century
warming.

Next on the podium was Dr. Willie Soon, an astrophysicist with Harvard
University. Dr. Soon showed many charts suggesting that changes in the
Earth's average temperature correlate with the frequency of sunspots. Dr.
Soon's conclusion was that the likely cause of 20th Century warming was not
increased solar radiation, but rather, was due to increased cosmic ray
activity and its impacts on cloud formation.

Shortly after Dr. Soon finished, however, Dr. James Kennett with the
University of California at Santa Barbara presented his findings. Dr.
Kennett's research led him to argue that the cause of 20th Century warming
was not solar radiation, nor cosmic rays, nor the traditional greenhouse gas
such as carbon dioxide, but was due largely to the release of methane from
deep-ocean pockets of methane hydrate.

Finally, Dr. Thomas Crowley of Texas A&M University took the podium with
equally impressive charts and argued that his research strongly suggested
that the warming of the 20th Century could indeed be blamed on the
traditional greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide, methane, chlorofluorocarbons,
and the like.

But Dr. Crowley's claims were clearly at odds with those made on the
previous day by Dr. James Hansen, sometimes called the Father of Climate
Change. Dr. Hansen, whose congressional testimony in the 1980s galvanized
political interest in climate change, argued that the main cause of 20th
Century warming was not the traditional greenhouse gases, as he'd argued for
nearly 20 years. Rather, Dr. Hansen suggested that his latest research
indicates that the cause of observed 20th Century warming is actually soot
and other urban air pollutants, including methane.

It goes without saying that these six credible, reputable scientists, who
all subject their work to scientific peer-review and publication, can't be
equally right. It's also obvious that the policy prescriptions that would
flow from believing any one of them to be right would do little to produce a
positive outcome should any of the others turn out to be correct instead.

Advocates of rapid action on climate change like to portray the science as a
done deal, and suggest that scientific understanding of climate change is
sufficient to guide policy action. But a Western version of the elephant
folktale better characterizes the situation. As poet Geoffrey Saxe explains:
"So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween, tread on in utter
ignorance, of what each other mean, and prate about the elephant, not one of
them has seen!"

TechCentralStation 2000

=============
(9) GLOBAL WARMING IN A POLITICALLY CORRECT CLIMATE

From CO2 Science, 14 Februyary 2001
http://www.co2science.org/book/books.htm).

Current Book Review
Mathiesen, M.M.  2000.  Global Warming in a Politically Correct Climate: How
Truth Became Controversial. Writers Club Press, iUniverse.com, Inc.,
Lincoln, NE.

Over the course of the past three decades, several environmental issues have
made their way to the forefront of public concern. In the 1970s it was DDT.
In the 1980s it was acid rain, asbestos and the ozone hole. In the 1990s
global warming dominated the scene.  How each of these issues moved from
research laboratories and scientific journals onto the political stage is
the focus of this fascinating new book by M. Mihkel Mathiesen, which
includes a foreword by Zbigniew Jaworowski, former head of the United
Nations Committee on Atomic Radiation.

According to Mathiesen, the transformation of a relatively obscure
scientific issue into a major concern of the everyday citizen - which
ultimately can lead to binding legislation - follows a three-step process.
The first step is a press release from an environmental interest group,
government bureaucracy or high-profile scientist or politician, which calls
attention to a new (or not so new) environmental phenomenon that is painted
as likely to have catastrophic consequences if something is not done to
avert it. The designated culprit is characteristically associated with
economic growth, and the issue raised is often framed in terms of good
(nature) versus evil (industrialized man).

The second step is characterized by intense political activity and media
reporting, which Mathiesen says is characterized "not by balance and
critical analysis," but by elimination of any conditional language in the
original press release, which technique serves "to enhance the emotional
response and intensify political action." This heightened political
awareness then helps to secure funding for additional expensive studies, and
legislation is proposed to counter the perceived threat.  A series of
political debates and press reports follow, tending to focus on worst-case
scenarios of the perceived threat, while research inconsistent with such
scenarios is "studiously ignored."

The third and final step is to enact legislation to avert the predicted
catastrophes, which step, according to Mathiesen, often occurs before
legislatively-commissioned study results are available. And when the results
of such studies finally do come in, they are typically largely ignored,
regardless of their content; for the debate is effectively over, and the
issue is dead.  Shortly thereafter, however, a new threat is identified. And
the process repeats itself.

In analyzing the politicization of DDT, acid rain, asbestos and
stratospheric ozone depletion in chapters 2-5, Mathiesen delivers compelling
arguments for the validity of his three-step process, revealing how each of
these four issues progressed from obscure hypotheses into legally-binding
legislation. Then, in chapter 6, he dissects the politicization of global
warming, which is still ongoing, as the United States and a host of other
nations have yet to ratify the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.

Illuminating the workings of his perceived three-step process, Mathiesen
begins chapter 6 with a review of the "sensational opening" of the
politicization of global warming, reminding us of NASA scientist James
Hansen's proclamation to the U.S. Senate in 1988 that he was 99% certain
global warming had begun. Thereafter, a flurry of international political
activity followed; and carbon dioxide - a benign colorless, odorless,
tasteless trace gas of the atmosphere and all-important plant nutrient - was
labeled an industrial pollutant capable of raising global temperatures to a
degree that would lead to catastrophic environmental destruction.

Mathiesen continues his treatise on the politicization of CO2-induced global
warming by carefully detailing how, in spite of considerable sound research
debunking numerous aspects of the issue, step number two has proceeded
inexorably on its way. Heightened political awareness, fueled by
scare-mongering predictions from organizations such as the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change, have helped secure worldwide funding for global
warming-related research to the tune of over 5 billion dollars annually,
with the United States accounting for just under half of that amount in
1999. He also describes how relentless media coverage has led to several
international actions to avert the perceived catastrophes, culminating with
the development of the infamous Kyoto Protocol.

The third step, enacting legally-binding legislation to avert the disasters
predicted to accompany global warming, has not yet been accomplished in the
United States; and there is some doubt the U.S. Senate will ever ratify the
Kyoto Protocol, as Mathiesen correctly points out that such action would
take a big bite out of the country's economy, while having no discernable
impact on climate. He then proceeds to outline what he considers to be fatal
flaws in the greenhouse hypothesis, asserting that variable solar activity
is the more likely cause of historical climate change. Mathiesen concludes
his book with a final chapter on political correctness and the roles of
several interested parties in the global warming debate, including advocacy
groups, industry, bureaucracies, scientists, lawyers, politicians, the media
and the public.

Political correctness as a driving force in the three-step process of
transforming a scientific issue into an effective lever for political action
is the theme that permeates Mathiesen's book.  He argues it has successfully
eroded and undermined true science in several important instances over the
past three decades, because of "the collective results of a number of
interested parties following the path of least resistance in pursuit of
monetary gain, power and prestige at the public's expense without any
accountability for their individual contributions."

We agree. And we think you will too, when you acquire and read the book for
yourself, which can be done by visiting iUniverse or Barnes & Noble on the
internet or by going in person to select Barnes & Noble retail stores. After
all, we don't want you to take our word for anything.  "Read it yourself!"
is our motto. Make up your own mind.

Dr. Craig D. Idso
Dr. Keith E. Idso
 
Copyright 2001.  Center for the Study of Carbon Dioxide and Global Change

=============
(10) ENVIRONMENTAL JOURNALISM WORSE THAN POLITICAL SPIN DOCTORING?

From the Greening Earth Society, 7 February 2001
http://www.greeningearthsociety.org/Articles/2001/vca4.htm

There's a spate of stories by Reuters, Associated Press, BBC, the London
Times and The Washington Post among others that report a recession in the
remote Antarctic Pine Island glacier. Despite protests by Andrew Shepard,
who is senior author of an article in the February 2nd edition of Science
upon which these reports are based, each and every story either link his
findings to global warming or indicate a possible relationship. "We don't
have any evidence to suggest change of climate," Shepard tells Reuters. This
is guilt by implication - imputing something when there are no facts to
support it and despite expert testimony to the contrary.

It appears that coverage of climate change nowadays seizes upon any
scientific finding that seems to be consistent with warming and
automatically assumes a relationship. Thus, after quoting Shepard, Reuters
reports just one paragraph later, "Researchers say large chunks are breaking
off of Antarctica for several reasons, some due to global warming ... if the
ice melts it could not only raise ocean levels but could shift ocean
circulation and weather patterns, bringing drought, severe storms and the
wider spread of tropical diseases."

AP's coverage quotes Jane Ferrigno of the U.S. Geological Survey as saying
this is "a yellow warning flag." Having manufactured that fear, AP
concludes, "Melting all the Antarctica ice would cause a global sea level
rise of 240 feet." Thus the scientific equivalent of a snow flurry is hyped
into something like an Ice Age. The fact is, the Science article's authors
conclude that if the entire Pine Island system (which isn't anchored on
land) melts, the rise in sea level would be 1/4 inch! How, pray tell, does
AP manage to magnify potential for sea level rise by a factor of 12,000?
What we have here is a nonsense calculation assuming an entire Antarctic
meltdown, something that would require at least 100,000 years and which is
impossible within the time frame of the Fossil Fuel Age.

Alright, we'll admit one could argue that what is going on at Pine Island is
happening all over Antarctica, and possibly is symptomatic of global
warming. It's pretty easy to check that premise, but it proved too difficult
for the reporters involved or else the outcome proved to be inconsistent
with all of the gloom-and-doom patina applied to this study.

Two independently collated studies of the entire Antarctic temperature
record - one by reknowned NASA scientist James Hansen and the other by the
UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) - show identical
results: No Antarctic warming in the last forty years. In fact, as shown in
our figure, since 1979 there has been a statistically significant decline in
Antarctic average temperature. Go figure (or don't, depending upon your
predisposition).

Figure 1. Annual temperatures averaged over the region from 64S to 90S
latitude, which wholly encompasses Antarctica, shows that there has been a
statistically significant decline in temperatures since 1979 (data from
Goddard Institute for Space studies,
http://www.giss.nasa.gov/data/update/gistemp/).

We here at Greening Earth Society are not the only ones to notice this. The
soon-to-be-released Third Scientific Assessment of the IPCC says:

Some important aspects of climate appear not to have changed.

* A few areas of the globe have not warmed in recent decades, mainly over
some parts of the Southern Hemisphere oceans and parts of Antarctica.

* No significant trends of Antarctic sea-ice extent are apparent since 1978,
the period of reliable satellite measurements.

============
(11) GLOBAL WARMING'S DIRTY NEW SECRET

From Fox News, 9 February 2001
http://www.foxnews.com/views/junkscience/index.sml

 
Global warming pushers should be choking on soot this week. Instead, the
global warming-friendly media is choking a potentially devastating story.

"Soot may be responsible for fifteen to thirty percent of global warming,
yet it's not even considered in any of the discussions about controlling
climate change," says Stanford University professor Mark Jacobson.

The familiar black residue coating fireplaces and darkening truck exhaust is
second in importance only to carbon dioxide as a cause of global warming,
according a study by Jacobson's published this week in the prestigious
journal Nature.

Though Nature issued a news release to spotlight the study, no major media
outlet reported it - not the Associated Press, Washington Post, or New York
Times, all of whom typically miss no opportunity to trumpet gloom-and-doom
stories about global warming.

But that's the problem. Jacobson's study raises serious questions about the
theory that humans are measurably changing global climate.

Jacobson ironically offers the study as a reason to accelerate efforts to
control global warming. But his study actually illustrates the utter folly
of the Kyoto Protocol - the 1997 treaty not yet ratified by the U.S. Senate,
which calls for drastic reductions in carbon-dioxide emissions (read "energy
use") among developed nations with the aim of avoiding climate-related
calamities.

Global-warming alarmists claim humans are raising global temperatures by
burning oil, gas and coal. Such combustion releases carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. The added "greenhouse gas" absorbs solar radiation, thereby
"unnaturally" warming the atmosphere.

Unchecked carbon-dioxide emissions will cause global temperatures to rise by
as much as 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years, according to the
alarmist United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
This temperature increase is predicted to cause all sorts of problems, from
severe weather-related events to higher sea levels to the spread of
infectious diseases.

The predicted rise in global temperature is not based on scientific
evidence, but rather on mathematical models that rely on crude assumptions
about the numerous and complex factors that affect global climate.

The IPCC explicitly admits a lack of knowledge about climate factors,
stating that there is "low" or "very low" scientific understanding of nine
of the 12 factors thought to affect global climate. For two factors, there
is "medium" understanding. The IPCC says there is a "high" level of
understanding only for the greenhouses gases, such as carbon dioxide,
methane, and nitrous oxide.

Enter soot.

The IPCC acknowledges soot may affect climate but downplays it anyway. The
IPCC classifies soot in the "very low" category of scientific understanding
and says that soot isn't a very potent trapper of solar radiation.

But Jacobson says that soot combines in the atmosphere with dust, sea spray,
atmospheric aerosols and chemicals. The resultant particles - call them
"soot-plus" - absorb much more solar radiation than plain soot.

The IPCC hypothesizes carbon dioxide is the most important contributor to
global warming, trapping solar radiation at a rate of 1.56 Watts per square
meter. Methane is rated second by the IPCC at 0.47 Watts per square meter.
Jacobson estimates the rating for soot-plus is an astounding 0.55 Watts per
square meter.

Here's how soot-plus is a show-stopper.

There is general agreement that global temperatures warmed from 1910 to 1940
and cooled from 1940 to 1975. Temperature changes since 1975 are hotly
disputed. The IPCC says global temperatures have warmed. But this claim is
based on surface temperature records that are biased upwards by temperature
readings from urban areas where concrete and asphalt absorb heat.

Other climatologists point to satellite and balloon temperature measurements
that are unaffected by the so-called "urban heat island effect" and report
no significant warming global warming since 1979.

So despite the steady increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases during the
20th century, there has been significant no warming trend since 1940.

The IPCC tries to account for this discrepancy by saying an increase in
atmospheric aerosols - dust from volcanic eruptions and sulfates from fossil
fuel that reflect solar radiation - masked the post-1940 warming effect of
the greenhouse gases by providing a cooling force in the atmosphere.

Accepting the IPCC's explanation for the sake of argument, the heretofore
ignored existence of soot-plus exactly offsets the cooling effect of the
aerosols - and the IPCC is back to needing an explanation for why global
temperatures aren't rising with greenhouse gas concentrations.

So the IPCC models that assume global climate is very sensitive to
greenhouse gases and predict a 2.5- to 10.4-degree increase in temperature
over the next 100 years remain seriously flawed.

University of Virginia climatologist Pat Michaels says Jacobson's study
bolsters his prediction of only a 2.5-degree Fahrenheit increase over the
next 100 years. Atmospheric physicist S. Fred Singer says the predicted
temperature increase is likely to be even less.

The larger question, though, is how much confidence should be placed in IPCC
forecasts that completely overlook possibly the second-most important
manmade impact on climate?

Under the Kyoto Protocol, carbon-dioxide emissions would be reduced to 1990
levels by 2010, which would require a 30 percent reduction in energy use.
Should we reduce energy use and risk harming the economy based on
predictions of global warming that are so lacking in understanding?

Certainly more research is needed to confirm soot is the dirty secret that
undoes global warming hysteria. Meanwhile, the soot-plus hypothesis should
bar the rush-to-judgment the global warming pushers want us to make - if
only the media would tell someone.

- Steven Milloy is a biostatistician, lawyer and adjunct scholar at the Cato
Institute and publisher of Junkscience.com.

Copyright 2001, News Digital Media

==============
(12) AND FINALLY, BAD NEWS FOR DOOM-MERCHANTS: IT'S ALL IN THE BRAIN!

From BBC News Online, 5 February 2001
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1154000/1154043.stm

Brain scans spot 'happy thoughts'
Brain scans could reveal whether you are pessimistic

Visible changes in the way the brain works give clues to physical
differences between optimists and pessimists, scientists find. There are
many people who react to the same scene in an entirely different way - some
negative, and some positive.

FULL STORY at
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/health/newsid_1154000/1154043.stm

==============
(13) UNDER THE BOTTOM-LINE: VALENTINE KILLJOYS WARN AGAINST DANGERS OF
KISSING

From ABC News, 14 February 2001
http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/Holiday/antivalentine010209.html

"Avoiding a Virulent Valentine" - "By not kissing that special someone,
you're also not exposing yourself to the 500 or so bacteria in your
partner's mouth, and you're not letting viruses in either. "Kissing is
a great way to pass a virus," explains Dr. Lewis Smith, a professor of
medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago. When an infected person
exchanges fluids, or even touches, his or her partner, they basically set up
their true love for total viral attack."

http://abcnews.go.com/sections/living/Holiday/antivalentine010209.html


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