The main argument in the introduction to my list, that some people such as Andrew – the initiator of my project – just didn’t seem to get is that within science, confidence is increased through rigorous testing and retesting, coupled with many other independent studies consistently coming to a very similar result. This is very different to the “confidence” one could draw from the book I discussed in the list’s introduction or Andrew’s list both of which instead rely on many assorted ideas, all of which together disagree on the opposing conclusion drawn from a wealth of information but all of which fail to agree in content.
There isn’t much confidence to be drawn by many different ideas grouped together but there is in one idea backed up by a wealth of consistent evidence (all of which has been tested through rigorous scientific methodology).
Likewise, this robust idea is not degraded by a handful of “broken” studies that no longer sit in wall of understanding (beautifully explained in Marc Roberts, Frank and Associates comic below).
They say that “one bird in the hand is worth two in the bush”. I couldn’t agree more. By Andrew’s own admission, his list doesn’t represent a unified theory but exists only to demonstrate that such papers exist (as discussed in the introduction of my list) and it seems, in my opinion, to be another example of Ernest Reedham’s obsession with broken bricks in the above comic.
For that reason, I’m done with Andrew and all this pseudo-sceticism nonsense. My project will continue, but without further discussion regarding Poptech, Andrew or his devoted fan Adam Jayne.
That put aside of the latest 100 papers to be included in the unified list, now 400 strong, I came across some really interesting reads, the top ten are;
– McSweeney and Coomes (2011) PNAS – Where the is so much negativity around climate change, this paper stands as a positive example
The Columbian Encounter and the Little Ice Age: Abrupt Land Use Change, Fire, and Greenhouse Forcing
– Dull, Nevle, Woods, Bird, Avnery and Denevan (2010) Annals of the Association of American Geographers – This paper suggests anthropogenic greenhouse force may have played a role deeper in human history than currently discussed. This is also the theme of the following paper;
– Ruddiman (2003) Climatic Change
– Lee and Jetz (2011) Proceeding of the Royal Society B – My ecology background coming through – something that I’ve discussion in Innovation is Key and The Human Island; climate change on it’s own is a difficult one to assign risk to various species, but it further complicated by other human impacts, such as land use change. Which is also discussed in the following paper;
– Oberle and Schaal (2011) PNAS
– Eliason, Clark, Hague, Hanson, Gallagher, Jeffries, Gale, Patterson, Hinch and Farrell (2011) Science – More on species dependent response to climate change and with salmon being very important in many ecosystem for the transfer of oceanic nutrient fertilisation of temperate forests, this is worth further investigation.
– Dawson, Jackson, House, Prentice and Mace (2011) Science – Interesting framework for ecological management under a changing climate.
– Field, Lobell, Peters and Chiariello (2007) Annual Review of Environment and Resources – Further explores the dynamic relationships between climate, land use change and ecology. Both from a research perspective and future potential human activity pathways (ie. biophilic initiatives, bioengineering / geoengineering, rehabilitation and new avenues of prosperity = more work / wealth options) this is a fascinating area of study.
– Lawrence and Chase (2010) International Journal of Climatology – More on land use change and how important it is, not only to species persistence, but to the changing climate itself.
– Langley, McKinley, Wolf, Hungate, Drake and Megonigal (2009) Soil Biology and Biochemistry – The Anthropocene hydrological and nutrient cycles are likely to be different to those we’ve experienced in the Holocene. In this paper the soil carbon and nitrogen cycles are investigated.
As I’ve discussed previously, Nature have a new journal, Climate Change, which I’ll be keeping an eye on and I’ve also stumbled upon yet another new peer-reviewed journal; Greenhouse Gases: Science and Technology. With any hope these publications won’t only continue to build on the wealth of evidence we already have for anthropogenic climate change, but what positive actions we can undertake to improve our activities to produce a prosperous anthropocene that we can take pride in (for it is unlikely we can keep CO2 concentrations under 450-500 ppm, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t act and that the future needs to be one of hardship – we simply need to listen to the ol’ grey matter in our noggins rather than the noisy little band of pseudo-sceptics).