Daily Archives: September 2, 2011

Spencer and Braswell 2011 Paper Has Not Been Rescinded

The editor of Remote Sensing has resigned, apparently over publication of the recent paper published by Spencer and Braswell.  Click here for prior post on this paper. Click here for editor resignation.

Let me give you an innocent by-stander’s perspective (mine).  The paper was published and I made a note of it on this blog with a link to the paper via the journal web site. Very soon after that, I received a forwarded email from someone I do not know, and the forwarded email contained a message attributed to Kevin Trenberth (whom I have never met) saying that he (Trenberth) could not believe that the paper was published, and suggesting it was published only because that journal does not deal with climate much….

The weekend after the paper was published, access to the Spencer/Braswell paper via the Remote Sensing journal website was blocked, and then was restored a day or so later.  A reader emailed me about this. A copy of the paper could be downloaded from the author’s website (whom I have never met). So I changed my links on this blog to go to the author’s site so readers could get the paper (click here).

So, as I see it, someone had their sites set on Dr. Spencer and Dr. Braswell with regard to this paper….so if it ever was published it would be blocked or attacked….and/or discredited.

Checking his website today, Dr. Spencer stands by his paper, and has not withdrawn the paper (click here).

Intimidation like this, to force out an editor, is not science. I see no scientific reason to not allow this work to stand on its own.


When is a hurricane not a hurricane? When it is tropical storm Irene

Click here for a very good analysis of hurricane tropical storm Irene. It clearly shows what several competent meteorologists were saying as Irene came ashore and traveled up the coast…..

Some got it right, but we were repeatedly told a different more alarming story by others and the news…..it looks as if it was possible to get this forecast right…..where were the news reporters obtaining their information?

Wang et al 2011: Hypertension incidence after tap-water implementation: A 13-year follow-up study in the arseniasis-endemic area of southwestern Taiwan

This is a provocative study suggesting that exposure to high concentrations of arsenic in drinking water can have long-term effects many years after the drinking water exposure is reduced. Of course, the primary confounding factor would appear to be the potential exposure from other sources of arsenic (diet, air, dust, etc.) during the intervening years. In addition, the applicability of studies in Taiwan to the United States is an issue of ongoing debate.

Wang, S.L., W.F. Li, C.J. Chen, Y.L. Huang, J.W. Chen, K.H. Chang, L.Y Tsai, and K.M. Chou. 2011. Hypertension incidence after tap-water implementation: A 13-year follow-up study in the arseniasis-endemic area of southwestern Taiwan.Science of the Total Environment, Aug 21. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2011.07.058

Abstract: Hypertension is the leading cause of cardiovascular disease worldwide. Long-term arsenic exposure has been linked to increased risk for hypertension; however, little is known whether a previous exposure has lingering effects on hypertension after the exposure being reduced significantly for decades. The study cohort was established in 1990 in an arseniasis-endemic area of 3 villages – Homei, Fuhsin, and Hsinming in Putai Township located on the southwestern coast of Taiwan, where residents were exposed to artesian well water (median level=700 to 930μg/L) until early 1970s. The original cohort consisted of 490 non-hypertensive residents over 30-yrs-old and 352 of them were successfully followed up in 2002/03. Arsenic concentrations in the artesian well water consumed by residents during 1960s were used to indicate the previous exposure while urinary arsenic species measured in 2002/3 was used to represent current exposure. Hypertension incidences were 27.4, 65.6, and 69.1, per 1000person-years for men aged 35-49, 50-64, and 65-74years, respectively being higher than the corresponding rates of 25.1, 46.1, and 57.2 in a community-based longitudinal study. Cancer was the major cause of the total deaths (17/30=57%). Diastolic blood pressure was shown to increase with an increased cumulative arsenic ingestion from drinking water (β=0.27, p<0.001). The incidence was increased by 2.43-fold in subjects of As(V)≥2.67μg/g creatinine as compared to those of As(V)<1.20μg/g creatinine (the third vs. first tertile; p=0.047) after adjustment for conventional risk factors. This study suggests that three decades after cessation of drinking artesian well water, residents of the endemic area are still at increased risk for developing hypertension, particularly those who excrete high amounts of As(V).

Click here to obtain the paper (fee).


Giles et al 2011: Iron and aluminum based adsorption strategies for removing arsenic from water

A general review paper on arsenic removal, though it does not have much to do with environmental management….

Giles, D.E., M. Mohapartra, T.B. Issa, S. Anand, and P. Singh. 2011. Iron and aluminium based adsorption strategies for removing arsenic from water. Journal of Environmental Management, Aug 24. doi:10.1016/j.jenvman.2011.07.018

Abstract: Arsenic is a commonly occurring toxic metal in natural systems and is the root cause of many diseases and disorders. Occurrence of arsenic contaminated water is reported from several countries all over the world. A great deal of research over recent decades has been motivated by the requirement to lower the concentration of arsenic in drinking water and the need to develop low cost techniques which can be widely applied for arsenic removal from contaminated water. This review briefly presents iron and aluminium based adsorbents for arsenic removal. Studies carried out on oxidation of arsenic(III) to arsenic(V) employing various oxidising agents to facilitate arsenic removal are briefly mentioned. Effects of competing ions, As:Fe ratios, arsenic(V) vs. arsenic(III) removal using ferrihydrite as the adsorbent have been discussed. Recent efforts made for investigating arsenic adsorption on iron hydroxides/oxyhydroxides/oxides such as granular ferric hydroxide, goethite, akaganeite, magnetite and haematite have been reviewed. The adsorption behaviours of activated alumina, gibbsite, bauxite, activated bauxite, layered double hydroxides are discussed. Point-of-use adsorptive remediation methods indicate that Sono Arsenic filter and Kanchan™ Arsenic filter are in operation at various locations of Bangladesh and Nepal. The relative merits and demerits of such filters have been discussed. Evaluation of kits used for at-site arsenic estimation by various researchers also forms a part of this review.

Click here to obtain the full paper (fee).

Plastic bottle chips found to remove arsenic from water

Plastic bottle pieces coated with cysteine, an amino acid, will revome arsenic from water….click here.