Climate scientists need protection from pirates

From the truth is stranger than fiction department…

Image from - click for source - originally from "church of FSM"
Scientists ask for escort in Indian Ocean due to pirates

From the Independent By Roger Maynard in Sydney

Scientists are seeking the help of the Australian and US navies to repel Somali pirates who are threatening one of the world’s key climate monitoring programmes.

With about a quarter of the Indian Ocean currently off-limits to marine experts, Australian researchers have asked the navies to help them plug a critical gap in their study of international weather patterns.

They hope to deploy about 20 robotic instruments in a no-go area north of Mauritius. The instruments, which record ocean heat and salinity patterns, are programmed to submerge and eventually resurface to upload their data to satellites.

But with piracy in the western Indian Ocean making it too dangerous for commercial or research vessels to deploy the robotic devices, Australia’s government research department, the CSIRO, hope naval forces will help them out.

full story here

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July 18, 2011 12:12 am

Just more proof that Big Oil is behind the Somali Pirates.
I heard the head Pirate has 1/2 interest in a Mobil on the Run if Mogadishu.

Rob Schneider
July 18, 2011 12:31 am

Or proof, due to the correlation, that the IPCC is funding the pirates.

July 18, 2011 1:04 am

OMG I can’t believe they made an article from a joke made up by Pasterfarians. The graph is a unashamed copy.
You should probably mention this is taken from the church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster before you upset the Pasterfarians.

Mike McMillan
July 18, 2011 1:23 am

Is that Pirate number raw or adjusted for rising sea level?

July 18, 2011 1:57 am

Note that the last point on the chart is for the year 2000 and there were an estimated 17 pirates. In the past decade, the number of pirates has been increasing (Somalia) and global warming has stalled.
They had better go in there and wipe out those pirates before we plunge into another NH glaciation, eh? ;o)

July 18, 2011 2:20 am

Is it a question of real scientists or are they just afraid of competition …? [ Sorry, couldn’t resist … ;o) ]

Paul Nottingham
July 18, 2011 2:20 am

x axis needs looking at

John Marshall
July 18, 2011 2:50 am

Since the EU has taken command of the Royal Navy in the pirate patrols it has applied a human rights law into the patrols. Ergo the RN are no longer allowed to sink the pirate boats which was a great deterrant. Now pirates find it more profitable and can afford bigger, faster boats which don’t get sunk by the RN. They run home and then the RN is not even allowed to shell them from sea. Agressive treatment of pirates is against their human rights. Typical EU left wing liberal rubbish.
I would expect the US Navy will still sinking them.

July 18, 2011 2:53 am

My god… I think you’re on to something…. Climate scientists are reformed pirates!!! The ones that didn’t reform want revenge… It ALL makes sense!

Bruce Cobb
July 18, 2011 4:23 am

Now they know how WE feel.

July 18, 2011 4:46 am

I’m appalled that the WUWT community has risen as one to condemn the implied death threats against the climate scientists who go into harms way to deploy these much need probes. 🙂
Oh, these must be Argos floats, of course. There are thousands out out there, they probably don’t even send an engineer to deploy them any more, let alone a bona fide climate scientist.
This does have me thinking – how hard would it be for a pirate to go looking for, capturing and holding an Argos float for ransom?
“Fork over the money or we’ll decalibrate its salinity sensor!”
It would make for an interesting “Float of the Month” column at the Argos website.
Or a wall decoration in a Somali cantina.

July 18, 2011 4:51 am

That´s older than dirt.
This is a more recent and funnier study:

July 18, 2011 5:02 am

Paul Nottingham says:
July 18, 2011 at 2:20 am
> x axis needs looking at
No it doesn’t, note the label says “approximate”. Well, in that sense, it deserves looking at.
It reminds me of PDQ Bach’s sheet music saying “1807-1742?” which is cleared up(?) at his official biography . One of the greats of the 18th, 19th, 20th, or 21st centuries. Or maybe not.
Those unfamiliar with PDQ may want to start with Prof. Schickele’s Bio available at the same website, which means it’s hard to start there unless you know about which says in part:

The conspiracy of silence that has surrounded P.D.Q. Bach (1807-1742)? for two centuries began with his own parents. He was the last and the least of the great Johann Sebastian Bach’s twenty-odd children, and he was certainly the oddest.

One of my few music CDs that failed over time is a PDQ Bach disk! Next time I’ll paint the edge with a green marker.

July 18, 2011 5:43 am

I note the X-axis on the graph is logarithmic. This should have been labeled as deciArrrrs.

July 18, 2011 5:43 am

This is old post and joke from the Flying Spghatti Monster site, a very funny site that lights up alot of things.

July 18, 2011 6:04 am

this looks like the source of this “story”,eleven days prior to the Independent piece:
5 July: MSNBC Live Science: Charles Q. Choi: Somali Pirates Thwart … Climate Research?
“The piracy is impacting our ability to make measurements over the ocean that have been going on for well over 100 years in a lot of cases,” said researcher Shawn Smith, a research meteorologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee…
The scientists detailed their findings in the July 5 issue of the journal Eos..

July 18, 2011 6:34 am

If pirate boats are not being sunk is this a form of redistribution of wealth and support for the pirates at the expense of everyone else.

July 18, 2011 7:26 am

so our CSIRO wants to give the pirates some target practice?
isnt that nice of us taxpayers to be funding this…
whats wrong with ARGO?
ah yes it isnt producing the results they want is it…

July 18, 2011 7:47 am

The “Cuban consumption function” is my favorite example for meaningless correlations. 😉
PS: I fell prey to my browser’s autocomplete function when posting a previous version of this comment. I would appreciate it if you could remove that one so my email address is not displayed unadorned on a popular website for harvesting by spambots. Thank you and apologies for the inconvenience

July 18, 2011 8:15 am

I thought that when pirates retired they became Peers. Or did retired Peers become pirates. Gilbert and Sullivan plots can be so hard to unravel…
*** Fight Global Warming, Become a Pirate! ***

July 18, 2011 8:34 am

Found it, the original inverse plot of pirates to global temp, enjoy:

July 18, 2011 8:49 am

John Marshall
July 18, 2011 at 2:50 am
No way! Holder would have the Captain and crew court martialed, with the NY Times cheering on.

July 18, 2011 9:12 am
The claimants were the owners of two parcels of bio-diesel, with a declared value of over US$13 million, which had been shipped onboard the vessel. The defendants were their insurers. Masefield’s primary claim was for an actual total loss (“ATL”) in the sum of US$7 million, representing their net loss after giving credit for the proceeds from the disposal of the recovered cargo at Rotterdam. The claimants asserted that an ATL occurred when the vessel was hijacked because, in terms of s57(1) of the Marine Insurance Act 1906, they had been “irretrievably deprived” of the cargo, notwithstanding its ultimate recovery. In the alternative, Masefield claimed on the basis of a constructive total loss (“CTL”) within the terms of s60(1) of the 1906 Act, contending that the cargo had been reasonably abandoned because its actual loss appeared to be unavoidable.

July 18, 2011 9:21 am

Brad Wardell did a correlation between pirates and Global Warming several years ago. It still works after all this time! Correlation is not causality.

July 18, 2011 9:25 am

Avast, lest ye CERN data be flushed down the scuppers.

July 18, 2011 10:28 am

Ric Werme says:
July 18, 2011 at 4:46 am
“…they probably don’t even send an engineer to deploy them any more, let alone a bona fide climate scientist…”
A scientist worth his salt would figure out how to engineer a disposable design into a sonobouy specification. A single P-3 Orion could deploy more of them than you could imagine. The scientists would be rewarded with gobs of raw data that would keep them in research grants for analyzing the data for years.

July 18, 2011 11:15 am

The interesting thing about the Pastafarian Pirate theory of climate is that, unlike the greenhouse theory, it has predictive power. The world stopped warming during the decade when the Somali pirates started increasing. Coincidence? I think not!

Bob Shapiro
July 18, 2011 1:06 pm

Paul Nottingham says:
July 18, 2011 at 2:20 am
“x axis needs looking at”
It still needs looking at. Specifically, the leftmost value is neither the highest or lowest value, which it should be. (35,000 is less than 45,000 but more than 17.)

Dale Wyckoff
July 18, 2011 3:12 pm


July 18, 2011 5:47 pm

Rather than “Gilbert and Sullivan” pirates think of a combination of carjacking and house invasion, with the any police response hundreds of miles and hours/days away.
The pirate danger is very real, the scientists are very wise in wanting protection in that area. As skeptics we cannot simultaneously condemn scientists for lack of real world data AND for wanting to stay alive/free while collecting the data.
The article states that the buoys are, in fact, automated, but that they need to be put into place.
What the CSIRO personnel are up against:
The death toll for piracy is at 60+
There are about 19 ships and 500 people being held hostage right now by various Somali gangs.
Think of the media frenzy if a Boeing 747 or Airbus A380 with a full passenger load was to be captured and held for ransom: it would be non-stop 24/7 coverage. Because the hostages have been captured over a long period and the “giggle” factor associated with the word pirate there is a tendency to minimize the danger and horrors these people are facing.

July 18, 2011 6:07 pm

Bob Shapiro says:
July 18, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Paul Nottingham says:
July 18, 2011 at 2:20 am

“x axis needs looking at”

It still needs looking at. Specifically, the leftmost value is neither the highest or lowest value, which it should be. (35,000 is less than 45,000 but more than 17.)

“Should be”? Perhaps on a scientifically credible graph that would be true, but this graph is a parody and was never expected to appear in a peer reviewed paper. Well, perhaps in a paper reviewed by the author’s peers and published in a humor journal.
Or perhaps in a letter to the Kansas School Board.
May you be touched by His Noodly Appendage.

Patrick Davis
July 19, 2011 7:47 am

As I have said before, hungry, disenfranchised and poor people will do desperate things. I am waiting for the first report that the humanitarian crisis, a REAL crisis, building in northern Kenya will be attributed to AGW. There is drought, the region IS drought prone…but the biggest “problem” is COST of food, not scarcity. It’s there, just needs to get from where it is to where it is needed.
Even people in Addis Ababa are going hungry. Why? Not drought…PRICE! Its too expensive to eat there now.

July 19, 2011 9:06 am

No doubt they’re worried the pirates will be attracted by their valuable cargo of carbon offsets.

July 20, 2011 11:20 am

Only 17 pirates in 2000?
Seems low, somehow.

July 21, 2011 4:50 am

mojo says:
July 20, 2011 at 11:20 am
> Only 17 pirates in 2000?
> Seems low, somehow.
The number has been increasing hyperbolically since then.

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