Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Human rights are bad for health

No, it's not the results of some new sociological research, just the latest foot-in-mouth episode from this gaffe-prone government. They seem to be running at more than a clanger per day, actually, but I'm certainly not going to blog all of them...

This latest one was from the Education Minister (who inter alia is trying to force "patriotism lessons" on all pupils, to the understandable nervousness of all the neighbouring countries who remember what happened last time...):
"Human rights are important, but if we respect them too much, Japanese society will end up having human rights metabolic syndrome."
Well, there's not much risk of that with people like him in charge.

It may be significant that the Japanese word "人権 (jinken)" is commonly translated as both the fundamental "human rights" and the rather more conditional "civil liberties". Similarly, "権利 (kenri)" is translated as both "right" and "priviledge". I'm not sure how well differentiated these ideas are among the population at large, if at all.

Monday, February 26, 2007


The EGU sessions are up. I've got a couple of posters in CL20 (probabilistic climate prediction), and was interested to note the following:

From Chris Forest's abstract:
"The estimated 90% range of climate sensitivity is 1.9 to 5.0 K (including expert prior)."
From the abstract of his GRL paper on the same topic, published last year:
"The estimated 90% range of climate sensitivity is 2.1 to 8.9 K."
That was based on a uniform prior, which as little as 12 months ago was such an automatic choice that it literally went without saying. In fact the GRL paper contained results with both uniform and expert priors, but it was only the former that featured in the abstract.

Looks like a step in the right direction to me...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

NewScientist slams "misleading" IPCC

I've only just read this, and I'm surprised there hasn't been more made of it in the blogosphere. This is from the editorial of NS on the 10th Feb, a few days after the IPCC released its SPM:
There is, though, a thin line between being conservative and being misleading, and on occasions the summary crosses that line.
There is a further feature in the magazine (Fred Pearce, natch) which describes their complaint in more detail. They have several grumbles, the bit that I know most about is the hypothetical shut-down of the overturning circulation in the North Atlantic:
Researchers at the UK's National Oceanography Centre, Southampton, will also feel overlooked. In 2005, they reported that the Gulf Stream slowed by about 30 per cent between 1957 and 2004. The Gulf Stream is a key feature of the world ocean circulation system, and any failure could have huge and unpredictable repercussions for world climate. But the IPCC summary insists that "there is insufficient evidence to determine whether trends exist".
That's a reference to the paper I blogged about here. I think it is fair to say that no-one, including the authors of the paper itself, actually believed it right from the moment it was published, and I think that more recent analysis has in fact debunked it fairly clearly. What the IPCC says is that a gradual weakening of the circulation is expected, which would offset some (but not all) of the warming that would otherwise occur in that region. The literature is very clear about this, and I don't see how they could possibly have said anything else.

On sea level rise, Pearce says there should have been more made of the hypothesis of rapid ice sheet loss, which is something I don't know much about. His other complaint is about carbon cycle feedback, and on this I think he is wrong (but I'm not 100% sure) - the IPCC projections actually include what work has been done in this area. It's not a huge effect in addition to the existing uncertainties, in any case.

It's not clear to me why Fred Pearce thinks he knows more about climate science than the several hundred working scientists who compiled the report. RealClimate were quick to jump on the Fraser Institute and Wall Street Journal for their unfounded post-IPCC criticisms. What odds an article about this NewScientist slur?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

A bright idea

One of the interesting ideas that Stephen Schneider proposed was that new efficient technologies should be imposed via legislation if they were sufficiently superior to existing ones. The threshold at which he claims this is justified is a 7% return on investment and/or an 11 year payback time - I'm not sure how those numbers add up, but never mind! My first instinct was to think that there should be no need for such rules, as the new technology would surely be rapidly adopted, but I suppose the real world doesn't work that way.

In fact, one clear demonstration that the real world doesn't work that way is the widespread continuing use of incandescent light bulbs, despite low-energy ones being far more efficient and cheaper overall. So I was interested to see that Australia is intending to phase out incandescents completely over the next 3 years. I've been buying low-energy bulbs gradually to replace existing bulbs when they blow in our house - with electricity at ¥25 per kWh, a 40W bulb will cost ¥1 per hour which adds up to ¥1000 per year at 3h use per day. An efficient bulb would only cost ¥200 to run over this time, saving its full ¥800 cost in the first year. Even in countries with less astonishing electricity prices, the payback will be acceptably rapid for well-used lighting. The bulbs themselves last longer too.

Actually I'm mildly sceptical about the magnitude of these savings, especially in colder climates when the "waste" energy is actually turning into useful heat. But in Japan in the summer it's not merely wasted but even adds to the airconditioning load.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Gary Bellamy on global warming

There was an unusually good program on global warming on Radio 4 last week. Better than their usual stuff anyway. Catch it quick as I think it might not be available in couple of days.

SPM overload

Last week was unusually lectureful. First, Thomas Stocker - who I suppose one could call a big cheese from Switzerland (and who was a Coordinating Lead Author for Chapter 10 of the AR4) - was visiting Tokyo University to give a series of lectures on climate science (I think he was funded by this program which supports a lot of visits from abroad). He is an unusually good lecturer - this skill is rarely explicitly taken into account in terms of career development, so it is a nice bonus when a good scientist is also a good speaker. The first lecture covered oceanography and contained a very nice presentation of lots of stuff I should have known but have pretty much forgotten. My sideways path into climate science means I don't really have quite the background in geophysical fluid dynamics that most colleagues seem to.

After lunch, several researchers also had an opportunity to present some of their research in front of the assorted graduate students and researchers who attended. I gave a slightly revised version of my "Can we believe in high climate sensitivity" talk. Note that the statement I describe as "blatantly false" (p19 on that pdf) is directly lifted from Chapter 9 of the AR4 (2nd draft), but it will be another few months before I find out if it has survived into the final version. Whether or not it is edited out, the real problem is of course that it underlies so much of the research (in fact I spotted essentially the same sentence in another paper just last week, which had been co-authored by one of the Ch 9 authors).

On Friday morning Thomas gave an outline of the processes behind and science contained in the recently-released IPCC AR4 SPM. He brought up one or two interesting points that I hadn't noticed - for example, I'm surprised that the hockey stick stuff hasn't attracted more attention, as the new statement "the warmth of the last half century is unusual in at least the previous 1300 years" seems a weakening of what has gone before and deliberately avoids using the calibrated IPCC probabilistic language. We'd already talked enough about climate sensitivity so that didn't come up again, but it was interesting to hear about the debates that had taken place over the precise details of the wording in various other places. I do like the way the IPCC present temperature ranges for each scenario this time, rather than lumping them together into an overall range - this emphasises much more clearly the extent to which these futures are a matter of choice versus chance.

Straight after this talk, we rushed across Tokyo to another presentation, this time by Stephen Schneider. And he started from the IPCC SPM! However it wasn't just about climate science but rather a "what should/can we do" sort of thing aimed at a general audience. To be honest I thought parts of it were a bit parochial - the internal politics of California are of limited interest and relevance over here, and boasting about his "more efficient" car in front of an audience of whom probably 95% arrived by train (and many don't own a car at all) seems rather misjudged. But still, he had some nice anecdotes and his message was predominantly up-beat and enthusiastic. He also didn't dwell much at all on the "catastrophe" angle, in fact explicitly said the truth was well to the centre of what both the alarmists and sceptics were saying.

After the lecture there was very limited opportunity for audience questions, and then the remaining time was given over to a "panel discussion". This seems a rather Japanese concept, and consists of a few hand-picked invitees giving pre-prepared statements and answers to pre-prepared questions. This time they were chosen to be "young" (and repeatedly and patronisingly reminded of that fact, despite their ages ranging up to almost 40), presumably so as to represent the future. It was notable that when asked what they were doing themselves to reduce GHG emissions, only one of them actually spoke in terms of personal life (switching off lights and computers, riding a bicycle more) and the others put it all in terms of their research. These glitzy presentations in rather opulent surroundings (no fewer than 3 screens and projectors) with guests flying around the world always seem a bit hypocritical to me, but I still I go to foreign meetings - my journey matters!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

"The topic of foreigner crime is taboo in Japan"

This really is a story that just won't go away.

The publisher of the "Gaijin Hanzai" book has now given an interview on Japantoday, perhaps the most risible statement of which is the title of this post. Sure, it's such a "taboo" that official figures are released each year and make headline news throughout the press.

Such a "taboo" that "cracking down on foreign crime" is a centrepiece of every politician's manifesto here, and they are about to introduce RFID-chipped identity cards for us so we can be remotely tracked wherever we go.

It's such a "taboo" that some town councils are willing to make rules which forbid universities from accepting foreign students for fear of the crime they would bring (OK, that was just the once and it was quickly overturned - but it still happened only a few months ago, in the 21st century, in a developed country).

Such a strong "taboo" that the Governor of Tokyo made a speech to the Self Defence Force telling them they had to be prepared to round up illegal foreigners in the event of an earthquake, because they will surely riot (for some context, after the 1923 earthquake here, military death squads colluded in the murder of thousands of Koreans).

The only taboo seems to be a direct comparison with the Japanese crime rate, which shows that in fact the "foreign crime" rate is entirely unremarkable in comparison to that of the Japanese (indeed if you want to break it down by nationality, British residents have a crime rate roughly 15 times lower - yes 15 times lower - than the natives).

I'd welcome any attempt to break down this last great taboo concerning foreign crimes. I don't think that showing pictures of (consensual) inter-racial couples on the streets of Japan together with racist abuse is really an most constructive or honest way of approaching it though. If you want to discuss predatory and abusive sexual behaviour, the introduction of "women only" carriages on the Tokyo underground is not because of foreigners.

As always, Debito has a more complete take-down. Maybe, just maybe, he'll get a column in the Japan Times about it.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Japanese Govt condemns scurrilous publication

Just when you thought the Gaijin Hanzai thing had died down, the Japanese Govt has written letters to the author and publisher, demanding an apology for the "groundless claims" and "disrespectful descriptions" contained therein.

Oh no, actually that letter was in relation to a scandalous book which dared to state the obvious about poor "birth-giving machine" Princess Masako. There's still been no peep about the racist magazine in the Japanese press.

Funnily enough, another old humdrum story of everyday ignorance and racism got a new airing recently. This concerns an advertisement for English teachers in some out-of the-way place, with the job requirement: "Blonde hair blue or green eyes and brightly character". Well that rules out old baldy here (on two counts). As someone pointed out, most schools don't actually want English language instruction, they want a stereotypical gaijin so that the kids learn to not be scared - it's an acting job, not a teaching job. Anyway the advert came and went ages ago, there was a fuss on the whinging gaijin mailing lists (can you tell I'm a member?) but just now some journalist decided to write about it for some reason. The minor back-story is that the Bureau of Human Rights in Japan basically blew off the complaints that were made at the time but suddenly decided to get all investigative on the very day that a journalist started poking around several months later...that's your taxes working for you, folks (the resident-in-Japan ones).

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cherry blossom in Kamakura

Spotted at the bus stop:

It is "Kawazuzakura" (Kawazu Cherry), which seems to come from Kawazu, down the road in Shizuoka (in fact it has its own kawazuzakura festival). The much more common Yoshino cherry are still a long way from flowering though.

Meanwhile, this year sees the latest first snowfall in Tokyo since records began in 1876. Not that there's been any snow yet (and indeed no sign of it coming), but in 1960 the first snowfall was on the 10th Feb. There were actually a few flakes in some areas 3 weeks ago - including here, only 50km away from central Tokyo - but apparently not in the crucial place where they measure these things.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Them and us

Mainichi is a mainstream news company in Japan, which publishes a daily Japanese-language newspaper and has both Japanese and English language web sites. Crime by foreign residents is a greatly hyped issue in the media here for various reasons, so when the latest foreign crime figures were released, it was hardly surprising that it hit the headlines. Japanprobe, who helped to bring the racist "gaijin hanzai" magazine issue to prominence, noticed an astonishingly deception in Mainichi's coverage:

Here is their Japanese version of the story - headlining a 35-fold increase in foreign crime over 15 years in the Chubu area, and omitting to mention that the primary reason for this is simply that there has been a massive increase in the number of foreigners living in such rural areas (relevant quote from unrelated discussion: "In the past 19 years of moving back and forth, I have seen the JET [foreign English teaching assistant] program go from 1 teacher in my prefecture to over 250 today").

The English version of the same story instead leads with the large drop in crime in Tokyo, and although it does also report the increase in rural areas, it at least finds the space to mention the obvious fact that this is basically due to the increased number of foreigners living there.

In fact, there has been a large overall drop in the foreign crime figures over the last year, and anyway any half-way competent analysis would show that the crime rate of foreigners is lower than that of Japanese anyway, and any long-term upward trend is just because there are many more foreigners here than there used to be. According to this link UK ex-pats have a crime rate barely one-tenth that of the natives! (Of course we tend to be educated professionals rather than enslaved factory workers on so-called "training courses".) And the widely reviled US military are comparably well-behaved, despite basically being 25 year-old testosterone-filled sociopaths of modest educational attainment (only joking, the handful I have met have invariably been polite, friendly, model ambassadors for their country, if slightly more boisterous than most Japanese).

As you might have guessed, what pisses me off isn't just the distortion in the news presentation (no real surprise there) but the fact that Mainichi are trying to hide this from the foreign residents, by providing a much watered-down version of the story in English. Like the publishers of the gaijin hanzai magazine ("In principle it is a magazine written in Japanese and sold in Japan. Then, it’s for Japanese people to read it.") they obviously don't want or expect us to understand what they are saying about us behind our backs. Surprise!

BBC staff to strike

They are the BBC. That is what they do. :-)

(Those outside the UK might not have heard their rather smug and self-satisfied marketing campaign, one example of which can be found here.)

Snow-covered England

The BBC has a set of pretty pictures from the Great Snow Disaster of 2007.

I particularly like this one:

which has the caption "The sun shines on snow-covered rooftops in Newcastle."

Looking out the window here, it is rather brighter. I'd still call it "cloudy" though! Having not been back to the UK in winter for the past 6 years, I must have adapted to the extra photons.

Carl's picture of snowmen is good too - hat-tip crandles in the comments here.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Branson pickle

An interesting prize on offer from Richard Branson: $25m for a method to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. It's not clear exactly what he wants for the money (other than perhaps some good press and an excuse to keep his planes flying). I would have though that any economically efficient CO2 extraction system would make plenty of money anyway - if we could extract CO2 by algaculture, for example, it would probably be better to burn the resulting biodiesel than store it and burn fossil fuels. Same goes for the windmill-powered sequestration that Roger Pielke has promoted here (ie why not just use the wind power directly, as I mentioned in the comments to those posts). Admittedly, direct air capture provides a hypothetical mechanism for reversing an overshoot more rapidly than the ocean can soak up CO2.

Robin Hanson (of prediction markets fame) is a strong advocate of prize-based (as opposed to grant-based) research. I'll be interested to see if he makes a comment...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

We want snow!

That's the marketing slogan of Japan Rail for their winter skiing package holidays. Last year there wasn't a problem, but it seems particularly apt this year. Sapporo has just opened its snow festival and the ice sculptures are all melting. It usually looks like this.

A few weeks we happened across a temporary outdoor skating rink in Yokohama. I'm not sure what the motivation was, but it was a warm day and the skaters were splashing through puddles.

Meanwhile, in the UK, we have:
Heavy snow causes travel problems

Travellers are battling transport problems after heavy snowfalls across large swathes of England and Wales.

The deepest snow recorded so far fell in Worcester, where 10cm (4in) is lying and overnight temperatures plummeted to -4C (25F). Elsewhere, 5cm (2in) has fallen in Benson in Oxfordshire and 4cm (1.5in) in west Wales, south-west London and Wiltshire.
4cm of snow and the south of England shuts down :-)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

“Nigger is not an offensive word in Japan”

So says the publisher of this distateful magazine.
"This is not a racist book, because it is based on established fact," Saka said. "If we wanted to be racist, we could write it in a much more racist way"
The "Established facts" include a picture of an inter-racial couple with the caption "Oi nigger! Don't touch that lady's arse!" (Pic here. "Nigger" is explicitly written in phonetic form in the katakana ニガー, and the overall phrasing is probably a bit rougher than I've translated it.)

Around the world, it's been featured in The Guardian, The Times, The Scotsman, Yahoo News, ABC News, the People's Daily (China), Khaleej Times (Dubai) and most recently on the English-language Japantoday news site. As far as I can tell, there's not yet been anything in the Japanese-language press, however. In a country that republished "Little Black Sambo" a couple of years ago, perhaps I shouldn't be surprised.

Family Mart are now pulling it off their shelves, but Amazon say that since it's not illegal in Japan, they will continue to sell it. I'll continue to not shop there. It's now up to 700 on their sales ranking - but maybe this is mostly increduous foreigners, since the "customers also bought" list contains books on learning Japanese.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Goukaku shimashita!

That means "I passed" and the kanji version is 合格しました. What this means is that my JLPT level 2 test results just arrived. I got 250 points out of 400, which is 62.5%, just scraping over the 60% pass mark.

The breakdown was:

77/100 Kanji and Vocab
59/100 Listening
114/200 Reading/Grammar

which was pretty close to what I thought, plus one or two lucky guesses. I'm not sure whether I should be more pleased to have passed or to have accurately predicted my result :-)

Monday, February 05, 2007

An inconvenent hanami season

The cherry is out already in Ueno Park (central Tokyo)! That's remarkably early - the article itself says by about a month, but I reckon it's more like 6 weeks or so. I understand that the first blossom has been gradually getting earlier over the last few decades but nothing close to this extent (this says by 5 days in 50 years). There are a few people coming over for a workshop next month. It will be disappointing if the blossom is all over by then.

It's a real harbinger of earlier Springs to come :-)

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Some IPCC SPM comments

I'm not going to give a broad overview, as there is is already a plethora of rather boring bloggorhea (sorry guys, but it is :-) ) on the subject. Go and read RC if you want the "consensus" view. Or just read the document itself, it's simple enough. I'm just going to pick out a few bits that are particularly interesting to me.

1. First, they predict continued warming for the next 20 years of "about 0.2C per decade", up from a "likely" range of 0.1-0.2C in the TAR. That change is not really surprising - it had been clear for some time that the actual warming rate was closer to the upper than the lower end of the TAR range. I don't know the history of the TAR but I guess that their selection of endpoints for their range owed as much to rounding as a deliberate selection of 0.15C as a central estimate. Even back then the recent trend was above 0.15C and forecast to increase over time, especially under the implicit assumption of no volcanic eruptions (a big one could knock as much as 0.1C off a decadal average temperature). This new estimate is still a long way short of the probabilistic predictions that have been published though (at least, 2 such papers that I recently re-read).

Apparently there is a new Science paper which talks of a recent trend of >0.2C per decade. Every time I've looked at GISTEMP (eg here) it shows just a bit under 0.2C to me, so I'll have to check exactly what this new paper did. Anyway, "about 0.2C per decade" is fine by me.

2. On climate sensitivity, there is the much-leaked change from 1.5-4.5C (TAR) to 2-4.5C (AR4) at the same "likely" level. I think the change at the lower end may be as much due to increasing recognition that 1.5 is a firm limit, as stronger confidence that the value of S is actually greater than 2C. Forster and Gregory's recent estimate was 1.7C and there are several others with a strong likelihood close to the lower end of the range. Anyway, depending on how "likely" is interpreted, this phrase still acknowledges perhaps as much as 15% probability of S sneaking below the 2C threshold, but it cannot do so by much.

What they have said about the upper end of the range is more...interesting. They have added the phrase:
"Values substantially higher than 4.5°C cannot be excluded, ...".
A literal interpretation of this is completely vacuous (we can never assign a probability of precisely zero), so I'm not at all sure what they mean by including it. Note how it carefully avoids using the calibrated probabilistic language that has been adopted (likely, very likely etc). I can't help but be amused by RC's comment:
"the governments (for whom the report is being written) are perfectly entitled to insist that the language be modified so that the conclusions are correctly understood by them and the scientists. [...] The advantage of this process is that everyone involved is absolutely clear what is meant by each sentence. Recall after the National Academies report on surface temperature reconstructions there was much discussion about the definition of 'plausible'. That kind of thing shouldn't happen with AR4."
I predict discussion about the definition of "cannot be excluded". I will be discussing it, at least! I complained about this ambiguous phrasing (which appeared in similar form in a couple of chapters) in my review of the last draft, and explicitly asked the authors to explain more clearly what they meant by it. I've also asked a couple of authors who used similar phrasing in their papers but have not got a reply out of them. I find it hard to avoid the conclusion that this "cannot be excluded" phrase was deliberately chosen specifically for its meaninglessness, in order to to be able to present a "consensus" rather than a strong disagreement about the credibility of such high values. I'm sure that those who assign a probability of 5% or even more to S greater than 6C will consider that this phrase supports them, even though Stoat parses it as "they do go on to diss > 4.5 oC a bit" due presumably to the "but agreement of models with observations is not as good for those values" which completes the sentence I partially quoted above. "Not as good" also has no probabilistic interpretation of course.


Based on this first-hand report, the phrase was indeed chosen specifically for its ambiguity.]

3. There is more probabilistic confusion in the discussion of attribution of past climate changes (I've written about this before). This is perhaps most clearly demonstrated in
"It is very unlikely that climate changes of at least the seven centuries prior to 1950 were due to variability generated within the climate system alone."
One thing they might have said (and perhaps thought they were) is that an unforced system is very unlikely to exhibit the observed level of climate changes. That is an essentially frequentist statement about ensembles of model runs. But what they have actually said appears to be the Bayesian statement that they believe that there was external forcing in the real world. No shit Sherlock! The cavalier way in which the detection and attribution community freely switches between frequentist and Bayesian approaches to probability, without any clear explanation, gives every impression that they do not understand the difference (or even perhaps realise that there might be a difference). Their writing about the recent warming is similarly clumsy:
"it is extremely unlikely that global climate change of the past fifty years can be explained without external forcing, and very likely that it is not due to known natural causes alone."
The first statement again is essentially frequentist, the second Bayesian. The existence of anthropogenic forcing as a contribution to the recent climate changes is not merely "very likely", it is at least "virtually certain"! (I don't believe there is a single working climate scientist who would argue that the anthropogenic forcing has been precisely zero. There is of course debate over its magnitude - some legitimate, some specious.)

I should point out that this criticism doesn't invalidate (or even weaken) the broad thrust of the report. I'm grumbling about the D&A stuff primarily because it forms the basis of the confusion in the climate sensitivity debate, rather than actually mattering in itself. They could have written things in a clear and correct manner without substantively affecting the overall message.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Race hate magazine on sale

This racist hate magazine is on sale across Japan (in "Family Mart" stores, and various web outlets including It's been doing the rounds in the blogopshere and now The Grauniad has picked up on it too. Of course there are no hate speech laws against this sort of stuff - in fact Japan is the world's only developed country to have no laws at all against racial discrimination, even though it signed up to UN CERD more than a decade ago.

While one can debate the value of laws against such publications (I'm sure it would be covered under "incitement to racial hatred" in the UK) what bothers me as much is that there is a sufficient constituency here to make this sort of stuff profitable. In fact it is currently inside the top 2000 on amazon!

My local FamilyMart in Kamakura doesn't seem to stock it (but it's been spotted in nearby Yokohama).

We're all doomed!

Via Eli Rabett, I find that the Indescribablyoverhyped is living up to its name with a real bottom-of-the-barrel scraping. Read it and weep, or laugh. It's not worth getting too upset over some nonsense in a here-today-gone-tomorrow chip wrapper, I know. I do hope that no-one who claims to have any relevant scientific background was involved in the article's production.

In another article, Mark Lynas breathlessly announces "I know that life on a 6C-warmer globe would be almost unimaginably hellish." Well, Tokyo's summer is fully 10C warmer than even the warmer parts of the UK let alone the more northern climes from whence I hail, and I don't need to speculate as to how that much climate change feels. To be honest it was a real struggle the first year, but it seems that even a Scot can largely acclimatise in a few years. I wouldn't say it is actually pleasant, but I'm not dead yet!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Global warming abolished!

I'm delighted to be able to exclusively reveal here that global warming has been abolished, by fiat of the Leader of the Free WorldTM.

Click here and you can see that "global warming" simply doesn't exist at all, except in this one document (the only search result, at time of posting) which just happens to be fluffing the Baliunas/Soon dross:

Unfortunately someone forgot to tell Google the Good News, however. There's still plenty of "global warming" here (429 hits):

And no, it's not just that the search engine is broken - it works on all other searches I've tried, in each case producing roughly the same number of hits as the google search engine when restricted to the same site.

(Now updated with screenshots - click on them for full sized versions.)

(Hat tip Tom Adams who also blogged it here.)