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Deaf Scientist in the UK involved in Nobel Prize Peace Award

andrewmanning.jpgDr Andrew Manning, a Deaf scientist from New Zealand, currently working in the University of East Anglia was involved with the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his work, he makes measurements of both carbon dioxide (CO2) and oxygen (O2) in the atmosphere. Carbon dioxide, produced from burning fossil fuels, is the most important greenhouse gas contributing to climate change. These measurements help us to understand the global carbon cycle, and this information can then be used by climate scientists to help predict future climate change. Then the results of his research can be used by the governments of the world to hopefully make the right decisions for maintaining a healthy planet that our children will inherit from us.

Without wanting to sound cheesy, we at GOD have to say congratulations on his contribution to what has to be the most important topic facing the world today. Deaf achievements are not noted enough, and often hidden from view, which leads more negative people to resort to putting us down. Incidentally, Dr Manning has a Deaf sister, Victoria was the driving force behind the New Zealand Sign Language Act 2006, which grants NZSL official language status.

Source:
Deaf Academics, David McKee

Further Reading:
Nobel Prize
All Nobel Peace Prize Laureates
An Inconvenient Truth
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCC expresses surprise and gratitude at announcement of Nobel Peace Prize
Al Gore - Wikipedia

Comments (12)

Bloody Oaf! Great one. On us Deafies!

Nice one!

Rock on, doc! Congrats.

His sister caught my attention too since she made a short film and a documentary about NZ Deaf community. I would be thrilled to know how I can view them or what it is called.

@ Tony B, came across that when writing this post. Seems to be called "Land of the Deaf", there's an article here.

Isn't it great that NZ deaf children have some one to look up to... who do we have?

When growing up in 70's only Deaf person I knew off is the Deaf wrestler Alan Kirkby and the Incredibale hulk star Lou Ferrigno :-(

@ Fintan - I agree re lack of role models generally known out there, and we haven't even begun to scratch the surface. This lack of knowledge also leaves scope for others to put Deaf people down, and their achievements, not to mention a detrimental effect on children and young people.

There are successful people out there, and more needs to be done to highlight this. On the other hand, I do think that many Deafies in the UK are not pushed to their full potential, be it lack of access, being pushed hard enough, inspiration or just plain apathy.

We need to do more about this.

cheers.. it is great to hear some good news rarely seen or heard loudly in the mainstream sector AND deaf mags...that deafie can be high achievers...
the probs are our hearies hate us at being one - they have a need to patronise, be charity workers and make us bloody hopeless by the denial our access needs to communicate our thoughts and actions - not all hearies just the bad ones urmm rNID is an exemplary example that cannot let go and give us deafie the role.

wow no bottle Jen today!

Congrats to the guy.

As for CO2, it is one the most natural gas there is because earth itself produces nearly 94-97% of the gas naturally. CO2 is emitted from decaying vegetation and animals. The ocean and land hold large amount of CO2 that is released and absorbed all the time. It is incorrect to say that CO2 is produced only from burning of fossil fuels. Each human being and animals produce CO2 simply by breathing it out. We inhale oxygen (air) and exhale CO2. There are 6 billion people on the planet and many billions of animals that are exhaling CO2 all the time.

@ McConnell - recent BBCi article quotes that the ocean is soaking up less CO2, research from same university as quoted in article.

Not sure why you put that out, Alison, but it is well known that the amount of CO2 sequestered and released from the ocean is related to temperature of the ocean water. The warmer it gets, more it releases CO2. The cooler, the more it stores CO2. But the opposite is true on land. More vegetation plants grow in warmer climes which means more CO2 is stored and eventually released over time when it dies and decays. Despite that, ice core data have shown that increase CO2 occurs after when temperature warms up...as much as several hundred to a few thousand years later. A lag time. Temperatures go up then CO2 concentration goes up, and not the other way around.

* Indermühle et al. (GRL, vol. 27, p. 735, 2000), who find that CO2 lags behind the temperature by 1200±700 years, using Antarctic ice-cores between 60 and 20 kyr before present.

* Fischer et al. (Science, vol 283, p. 1712, 1999) reported a time lag 600±400 yr during early de-glacial changes in the last 3 glacial–interglacial transitions.

* Siegenthaler et al. (Science, vol. 310, p. 1313, 2005) find a best lag of 1900 years in the Antarctic data.

* Monnin et al. (Science vol 291, 112, 2001) find that the start of the CO2 increase in the beginning of the last interglacial lagged the start of the temperature increase by 800 years.

The ocean is one vast temperature sink and takes hundreds to thousands of years to warm and cool off. This is common sense physics at work when considering thermodynamics.

McConnell - what you've described are just that - the natural cycle of CO2. No-one is arguing that.

However global issue is focused on many things, one of where the burning of fossil fuel, throwing in *extra* CO2 into the atmosphere does actually have an effect - it's adding more CO2 into the atmosphere.

Yes one could argue that fossil fuel are just natural CO2 from million of years ago...but at the same time, Earth used to be mostly just CO2, and little oxygen...plants etc soaking up CO2, and giving out oxygen giving us life today.

Those CO2 trapped into fossil fuel, are taken out of atmosphere - giving us what we have today. Now we're releasing it back into the atmosphere and people would be daft to dismiss that as nothing.

No-one actually know what the effect of this would be, but one thing is clear - it's going to affect everyone on the planet however much people might like to deny it. After all it's a vast complex eco-system that no-one actually understand but I'm all for senisble eco-management instead of just saying "what-oh Watson, let's go and burn up more oil!"

@ McConnell, we get one earth, and we should treat it with respect and responsibly, for future generations. Scientists are not politicians and don't make up stuff for the sake of it, to sell some spin. Even if something is pointing at a possibility, we need to wake up and respond. The earth is not disposable, and no alternative is going to be handed us on a plate.

Asked a post doctoral scientist - who works in the field of measuring ocean change - to help here. He is a scientist first and foremost, and an opinion I trust.

"As for CO2, it is one the most natural gas there is because earth itself produces nearly 94-97% of the gas naturally. CO2 is emitted from decaying vegetation and animals. The ocean and land hold large amount of CO2 that is released and absorbed all the time. It is incorrect to say that CO2 is produced only from burning of fossil fuels. Each human being and animals produce CO2 simply by breathing it out. We inhale oxygen (air) and exhale CO2. There are 6 billion people on the planet and many billions of animals that are exhaling CO2 all the time."

Of course, a lot of CO2 is exhaled by animals and absorbed by plants - but these are generally in equilibrium - the amount exhaled by animals is the same as that absorbed by plants - hence there is no overall contribution to the atmosphere. The exception to this is the fact that there is a seasonal cycle to the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. This is due to the fact that there is more vegetation in the northern hemisphere than the southern hemisphere (more land) (hence more CO2 absorption over land during northern hemisphere summer). This variation is small, however, compared to the century long trend in CO2 caused by human/industrial CO2 emissions. Here is a graph of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere - the undulations are that seasonal cycle.

"Not sure why you put that out, Alison, but it is well known that the amount of CO2 sequestered and released from the ocean is related to temperature of the ocean water. The warmer it gets, more it releases CO2. The cooler, the more it stores CO2."

This is true - but there are also other effects that are important - for instance - the phytoplankton that live in the top part of the ocean absorb CO2. When they die, they tend to drift to the bottom of the ocean - locking that carbon away on the sea bed. This is an important part of ocean carbon storage. Increased levels of atmospheric CO2 can inhibit this pump, because the surface waters of the ocean will contain more CO2 - and CO2 in water makes water more acidic - and phytoplankton are unhappy in acidic water - so tend to die off before they multiply - hence the pump works less effectively. The paper you refer to is not talking about this - but about recent trends in the uptake of CO2 by the North Atlantic ocean. The main message of the paper seems to be that less CO2 is was absorbed by the North Atlantic ocean from the mid 90's to 2002-2005 because there was less stirring of the ocean by the winds. Stirring mixes absorbed CO2 down into the deep ocean , allowing more to be absorbed from the atmosphere. Lack of stirring means less is absorbed from the atmosphere. It's not known whether this lack of stirring was caused bt global warming. In other words - the warming effect on CO2 absorbtion is well known - but it's the other significant effects that have got oceanographers and climate scientists worried.

"But the opposite is true on land. More vegetation plants grow in warmer climes which means more CO2 is stored and eventually released over time when it dies and decays."

This is one possible hypothesis - but as always, life is more complicated than this - some plants grow better in a warmer climate, others will suffer or die. Anthropogenic climate change will likely result in changes in rainfall patterns/intensity - hence some plants will suffer water shortages and some will rot in flooded ground. Some plants do grow better and faster in an atmosphere with higher CO2 concentrations - but it's by no means a concensus as to whether this means that, overall, plants will absorb more CO2 as the temperature goes up. It's a complex system - and we don't know whether it's a plus or a minus term in te Carbon accounts yet.

"Despite that, ice core data have shown that increase CO2 occurs after when temperature warms up...as much as several hundred to a few thousand years later. A lag time. Temperatures go up then CO2 concentration goes up, and not the other way around."

Ice cores do show this , but this evidence is somewhat misleading. Firstly, one has to approach the dates associated with ice cores with some caution, since working out the age of a layer of snow several hundred metres beneath the surface, is not a simple process. There is a large lattitude for error and uncertainity. Setting that aside, the observation that changes in CO2 concentrations in the past followed changes in temperature is entirely plausible - there are well known mechanisms for this (for example, the warming of the oceans will release CO2, as the poster mentioned at the beginning) - however, this observation in no way rules out the possibility that temperature can rise as a result of increased levels of CO2. In fact there is a mountain of evidence and observation to suggest that it does. So to say "Temperatures go up then CO2 concentration goes up, and not the other way around." is not correct.

More about this here.

I'm sure all the papers the poster refers to are correct, but they don't invalidate the hypothesis that increased levels of atmospheric CO2 result in global warming.

"The ocean is one vast temperature sink and takes hundreds to thousands of years to warm and cool off. This is common sense physics at work when considering thermodynamics."

This is true - but the world is more complicated - unfortunately, the ocean is not well mixed and is too slowly moving to abosorb the extra heat from the atmosphere that will accompany global warming.

Real Climate is a really good site - it analyses many of the common myths surrounding anthropogenic global warming.

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