Quote of the Week: 'global warming stunts black holes'

It appears “global warming” is now the most potent force in the universe, according to a scientist from the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics. An actual scientific paper preprint published in the Cornell University science archive makes the connection to black holes in the title, and includes “climate change” in the abstract.

Sigh. It isn’t even past coffee on Sunday morning and already we have our winner. This one… is weapons grade stupidity. I would not believe that a scientist from a prominent research institute could utter such a statement had I not read it in a prominent science magazine. It’s another “Vinerism” in the making: Children just aren’t going to know what black holes are.

It immediately reminded me of the famous line uttered by Tom Cruise in the movie a A Few Good Men:

“Should we or should we not follow the advice of the galactically stupid!

But then again, this is The New Scientist. Read on, emphasis mine.

Something must have limited the growth of these black holes. Now Takamitsu Tanaka at the Max Planck Institute for Astrophysics in Garching, Germany, and colleagues have a climate-based explanation.

Black holes need cool gas to grow so this would have slowed down the growth of other black holes in smaller protogalaxies, even as the growth of black holes in the most massive protogalaxies continued apace (arxiv.org/abs/1205.6467v1).

“This global warming process could have basically quenched the latecomers,” says Tanaka. “The early ones end up being the monsters and they prevent the overgrowth of the rest.”

Tanaka probably should have said the “galactic warming process”, and maybe he did, and this could is a misquote by the unnamed author of the article at TNS. UPDATE: This line from the abstract tends to suggest it was a deliberate statement from the scientist:

Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.

Either way, it shows how global warming on the brain tends to create an environment for such ridiculous comparisons to make it to press.

I decided I should make a screencap of the paper abstract, becuase I have a feeling it will disappear:

Next I suppose we’ll be reading comparisons of the “global warming process” to problems at the atomic interaction level, such as maybe the sun is now producing fewer neutrinos or some such rot. Don’t laugh, it could happen.

Read The New Scientist article here.

Unfortunately, comments are only allowed from subscribers, so if there are any subscribers out there, please leave a comment pointing out this idiotic comparison. Better yet, write a letter to the editor of the magazine.

In the meantime, feel free to use this motivational poster:

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Jeremy

*blink* *blink*
So now our CO2 emissions control one of the more powerful forces in the universe?
There is nothing CO2 can’t do.

Isn’t New Scientist the same taboid that gave AR4 the scoop on Himalayan glaciers disappearing by 2035?

I think its pretty obvious to Mr. Tanaka that Mentos makes up most of the missing mass of the galaxy. If we look at earth’s CO2 as a big bottle of soda, dropping the galactic Mentos is playing obvious havoc with super nova/black hole creation.
While I am not sure this explanation would satisfy Max Planck, I think the mentos theory will appeal to Doug Plank, the hard-hitting ex-defensive back of the Chicago Bears.

To be fair, Tanaka might have made the comparison facetiously and New Scientist, being New Scientist, took it seriously.

Mike Spilligan

Astounding – but slightly OT; my QOTW would be: …this is commonly referred to as ‘research’. There will be plenty of opportunities to use that one again.

Leon0112

It has to be a misquote. The journalist at NS screwed up.

jaymam

At this point, the phrase “galactic warming process” exists nowhere but on this site.
“This global warming process could have basically quenched the latecomers” is quickly propagating around the Net.

Kevin Kilty

I am more inclined to believe that the journalist misquoted…the journalist has “global warming” on the brain.

Tanaka HAD to have been misquoted, and abetted by sloppy and ignorant editing.
Great QotW, though!!!
PS. Limiting comments to subscribers means limiting intelligent discourse and transparent interchange. Is this where a Science magazine wants to go? Non subscribers will remain so if the publication removes “hooks” like comment submissions, that would have repeatedly attracted them.
Looks like editorial sloppiness also translates into managerial ineptitude!

Alex

I would not call him stupid, he managed to drop THE “scientific” buzz word into the mix in a totally unrelated area and probably got more attention for it.

….better yet…..cancel your subscription.

I think you’re being a bit harsh. Japanese researcher working in Germany reported by a journalist who doesn’t understand English in a magazine that doesn’t understand science….

All hail CO2 – if our planet’s CO2 can control one of the most powerful forces in the Universe, I know where my prayers are going!

TG McCoy (Douglas DC)

Poor editing at New Scientist IMHO…

Leon0112 says:
June 10, 2012 at 7:27 am
It has to be a misquote.

It is.
In this instance, it’s “Should we or should we not follow the advice of the infinitely-in-multiple-dimensions stupid!”

Steve

Grantsmanship.
Phrases to put in your paper if you want to be published.
Phrases to put in your grant proposal if you want to actually get the grant.

J Crew

Could it be a few astrophysicists have picked up on how to get wider recognition and seemingly unending grants by having the right conclusion? A type of cancer spreading among scientists?

Jim Clarke

I guess astrophysicists can speak with as much certainty about stuff that don’t really know, just like climate change scientists. Basically, this guy is making a WAG, but still speaks with total authority.
While it is out of my league…I didn’t know that black holes needed cool gas to grow. I thought they only needed available mass. Who would of thought that massive gravity wells were so selective in their accretion.
Also, I would think that the local ‘climate’ of a massive protogalaxy would be far hotter than the climate of a smaller one.
Shows you what I know.

Annabelle

I’m also voting for “This is what is commonly referred to as research”.
Such delicious irony.

DirkH

“Next I suppose we’ll be reading comparisons of the “global warming process” to problems at the atomic interaction level, such as maybe the sun is now producing fewer neutrinos or some such rot. Don’t laugh, it could happen.”
No we won’t; for that would open up the question of whether the sun influences our climate. Such a link must always be denied by the IPCC climate scientists and their media. The sun is taboo.

Luther Wu

Steve says:
June 10, 2012 at 7:59 am
Grantsmanship.
Phrases to put in your paper if you want to be published.
Phrases to put in your grant proposal if you want to actually get the grant.

________________
Agreed…
with an eye to the present state of the scientific/political world, I don’t believe for a minute that Takamitsu Tanaka was misquoted.

Tom i Oslo

I think you all are a little unfair. New Scientist is really a dating site. The magazine is only a cover so there i really no need for them to be to scientific.
http://dating.newscientist.com/s/a/17833

harrywr2

“Misquating Tanaka”
Actual quote from actual paper.
http://arxiv.org/abs/1205.6467v1
Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.

I’m a New Scientist subscriber, so I left a comment.

timetochooseagain

There is a reason Lubos calls them “Nude Socialist.”

Ric Werme says:
June 10, 2012 at 7:41 am
I think you’re being a bit harsh. Japanese researcher working in Germany reported by a journalist who doesn’t understand English in a magazine that doesn’t understand science….

That could also describe a typical inanimate-object-as-temperature-proxy-study team…

Lars P.

I love the abstract :
“Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change , in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs. We present two specific models with global miniquasar feedback that provide excellent agreement with recent estimates of the z=6 SMBH mass function.”
Well it shows that global warming is hindering BH growth, such a pity, as said above it becomes clear that children just aren’t going to know what black holes are.

DJ

8:50am, Sunday, 6/10/12….. Sorry jaymam, it’s there. I just read it, as advertised.
What’s wrong with Tanaka’s viewpoint is that if he is right, then Global Warming is a GOOD thing, otherwise there would be an out-of-control proliferation of black holes.
If in fact New Scientist has misquoted him, then they’ve reduced themselves to the level of scientific integrity and understanding of Time magazine, or Newsweek. Or Real Climate.

Are “stunted black holes” a bad thing?
Personally, I always found the idea of them lurking around out there, sucking everything up, a bit scary.
I think I might stick to my SUV and stunt them a bit more to be on the safe side.

Gary

I love WUWT but the readiness to heap on the scorn without looking or seeking to understand is beginning to undermine the solid foundation of the site. I’d hate to see WUWT ruin it’s good reputation built on solid reporting and facts by getting in the habit of taking cheap shots at every comment out there.
Take the time to try to understand what is being said before flinging scorn and make sure of your target – whether it is the scientist, the New Scientist or whether the New Scientist is simply misusing information that makes sense in context.
“Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.”
Making fun of things that are actually correct in context undermines WUWT.
REPLY: I probably should have made the abstract part of the original article, that is now rectified. The money quote from the abstract is:

Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.

So, I think the scientist deserves scorn for trying to link the “climate change” phrase to something otherworldly and temporally almost at zero hour for the universe, but TNS even more so for editorial failure. – Anthony

EternalOptimist

Tanaka -neat name. Like something from a Bond movie, or Flash Gordon.
Colonel Takana: General Kala! Black Hole approaching!
Kala: What do you mean, “Black Hole approaching?”
Colonel Takana: On a Hawkman rocket-cycle. Shall I inform Karoly?
Kala: Imbecile! Karoly would shoot you for interrupting his peer reviewing with this news! Fire when Black Hole’s in range!
[Black Hole escapes]
Kala: It’s escaping, idiot! Dispatch war rocket CO2 to bring back Its body

All this from New Scientist about black holes but nothing about carbon’s effect on white holes? Is this a clear case of hole color prejudice?

BarryW

Come on. The abstract said globally warm, warming in a spherical volume. Climate referred to the conditions around the black hole. Tanaka said nothing wrong. The incompetents at New Scientist have CAGW on the brain and didn’t even understand what he was talking about. They just knee jerked when they heard climate, global and warming used in the same paragraph. And I used to read that mag.

Gary says:
June 10, 2012 at 9:04 am
Making fun of things that are actually correct in context undermines WUWT.

How is “Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs” correct in context?
Scratch that — how is “…miniquasars…globally warm…” correct in *any* context?

Pamela Gray

The use of the word “global” is a very poor choice technically speaking (not to mention geometrically speaking) in the context of gases and black holes. Technical writing, be it for research or manual reporting, requires clarity, not color. Technical clarity comes from three methods: Organization, sentence structure, and word choice. This effort fails at least on word choice.

View from the Solent

Is not the universe expanding, leading to overall cooling? Culminating in heat death of the universe?

Chuck L

I wonder if the MSM picks this up? What a hoot that would be! 🙂

kim2ooo

“it becomes clear that children just aren’t going to know what black holes are.”
I’m sacred now…Oh wait…I never knew what Black Holes were in the first place.
Does anyone?

Gary says:
June 10, 2012 at 9:04 am
“Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.”
Sorry, still doesn’t make much sense. It sounds like an ad for some special cooker or something.

“Our calculations paint a self-consistent picture of black-hole-made climate change, in which the first miniquasars – among them the ancestors of the z 6 quasar SMBHs – globally warm the IGM and suppress the formation and growth of subsequent generations of BHs.”
@Gary: so, are you saying the terms “climate change” and “globally warming” are usual terms of reference in this subject?
I’m not disputing, just asking for clarity

Richard Cain

The €uro is in meltdown. Rio +20 is a farce waiting to happen. So what do “scientists” do when they need sponsorship? Scare the [snip . . kbmod] out of gullible voters so that they support politicians that want to save the planet and tax us more and more based upon the fraud that pays the “scientists” to produce yet more fraudulent research …. for the children. I worked for such a man, and utterly despised him.
But it is the politicians that are most to blame. Without cataclismic global warming there is no need to tax us to hell.

Richard T. Fowler

Gary, the title of the paper, per the link by harrywr2, is:
“X-ray emission from high-redshift miniquasars: self-regulating the population of massive black holes through global warming”
I mean, really…. massive black hole … MBH … Mann, Bradley, Hughes ……….
MBHes regulating their own population using “global warming ….
If that doesn’t beg for parody, I don’t know what does.
RTF

It may have been a correct quote but the term is out of context. Remember, global is often used as a synonym for “total” and “all.” So, IOW, a “global” effect can be meant to say an “everywhere” or “all-encompassing” effect. His usage just happened to trip over a buzz word. My 2 cents.

ferdberple

So it is gravity, not CO2 that drives temperature after all.

pat

Japanese into German into English likely left a bit of the meaning on the editor’s desk. What an embarrassment. I suspect auto-translation.

“There ain’t no squiggly, red lines under any words, so I guess that means it’s good science.” –Cletus Dootweiler MD, DDS, PhD, ASCAP, BMI

Brian H

Jim Clarke says:
June 10, 2012 at 8:04 am

While it is out of my league…I didn’t know that black holes needed cool gas to grow. I thought they only needed available mass.

A large pool of cool gas is needed, as hot gas is (necessarily) expanding and exiting the neighborhood. Chowing down local stars isn’t enough; they’re just minor debris in the mass represented by large cool gas volumes.

Jimbo

I have heared that to get funding it’s best to link it to global warming. 😉

Mark Bofill

I read this and tried to shoot myself in the head. As luck would have it, global warming has warped the nature of reality, changed the laws of physics, and the gunpowder in the bullet would not ignite. …. There is no depths to which these guys will not sink, and apparently that’s a good strategy. I seem to remember some WWII leader who wrote a book that mentioned speaking to the lowest common denominator.

3x2

Oh my…