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        All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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        Climate Hustle

        Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

        Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

        New Research for week #25, 2019

        Posted on 25 June 2019 by SkS-Team

        49 publications for this week. 

        The last paper in this week's list features Skeptical Science volunteer and highly cited researcher Stephan Lewandowsky along with Skeptical Science founder John Cook as first and second authors respectively, working with regular collaborator Gilles Gignac. Their paper identifies, confirms and examines what seems to many laypersons to be peer pressure to conform to perceived dominant opinions in discussions of climate change at online venues. The paper helps to  illustrate and exemplify how human psychology with its inherent flaws and virtues may be our most significant hurdle in dealing with the climate change we're causing. The problem might be said to lie between our ears, not up in the air. See also the aptly named I’ll See It When I Believe It: Motivated Numeracy in Perceptions of Climate Change Risk for more treatment of our dubious reasoning capability when we're confused by extraneous factors, the publication itself also being a nice example of extending and solidifying previous research.

        Method for position of Research News: This synopsis is principally posed via RSS feeds from a variety of academic publishers, employing fairly broad filters. The filter sieves 200-300 publications per week for further inspection. The resulting raw list  includes interesting but off-topic papers; human inspection winnows output to perhaps 100-150 works involving global atmospheric climate to a greater or lesser extent. Due to the volume of publications and limited time scrutiny is chiefly via reading abstracts unless pelling curiosity or reason for concern about the claims of a paper leads further. Some results are "down in the weeds," being narrow discussions of arcane climate model behaviors, or highly regional studies with little "big picture" impact, or tenuous results that will  likely benefit from more research; these are discarded. The final result is the few dozen publications per week cited here, involving extraordinary breadth and depth. Global anthropogenic climate change instigates and nourishes an astounding, grand collision of a multitude of scientific disciplines.

        We'll perennially note: dry titles can't convey the content of an abstract let alone the full potential implications of a given paper. The publications cited in this list all fit the specification of plausibly being important ponents of a puzzle we're solving. We're working on providing easy access to abstracts but in the meantime we feel the articles we choose to highlight are worth a click to reach and read.

        To the matter of clicking for abstracts, a question for readers: should clicking a paper title open a new window, or is it better to go "forth and back" from SkS to a given paper and vice versa? Please let us know preferences down below in ments— perhaps a consensus will emerge. Thanks!  

        Global Health Implications of Nutrient Changes in Rice under High Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide (OA)

        Increasing organic carbon biolability with depth in yedoma permafrost: ramifications for future climate change

        Climate sensitivity from both physical and carbon cycle feedbacks

         Deepening of the winter mixed layer in the Canada Basin, Arctic Ocean over 2006‐2017

        Arctic Ocean freshwater dynamics: transient response to increasing river runoff and precipitation

        ENSO regime changes responsible for decadal phase relationship variations between ENSO sea surface temperature and warm water volume

        Radiative Heating of an Ice‐free Arctic Ocean


        0 ments

        The Trump EPA strategy to undo Clean Power Plan

        Posted on 24 June 2019 by dana1981

        This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

        The Trump administration’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on June 19 published its “Affordable Clean Energy” (ACE) rule to replace the Obama EPA’s Clean Power Plan (CPP).

        The replacement plan is essentially the Trump administration’s attempt to adhere to the letter of the law mandating that carbon pollution be regulated, while requiring the smallest possible changes from the power utility industry. Preliminary research suggests that the ACE rule will barely reduce carbon emissions more than a scenario with no EPA policy whatsoever.

        Current law says EPA must regulate carbon pollution

        This story begins in 2003, when in response to a petition that the federal government regulate greenhouse gas emissions from motor vehicles, the George W. Bush EPA concluded that it did not have authority to do so under the Clean Air Act. Disagreeing with that determination, Democratic attorneys general of 12 states teamed up with several cities and environmental organizations to challenge that EPA action in court. The resulting litigation made it to the Supreme Court in 2007, and in the landmark Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency ruling, the justices ruled 5-4 against the Bush administration and its EPA.

        As a result, the agency was required to determine whether carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are air pollutants under the Clean Air Act, meaning that they “cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”

        In December 2009, EPA under President Obama pleted its Endangerment Finding review of the scientific evidence and concluded that carbon pollution and other greenhouse gas emissions responsible for human-caused climate change clearly endanger public health and welfare. That determination led directly to the conclusion that the Clean Air Act requires that EPA regulate those pollutants, leading in turn to the Obama EPA’s CPP to strictly regulate utilities’ greenhouse gas emissions.

        Emissions from motor vehicle tailpipes are addressed through corporate average fuel economy (CAFE) standards, which the Trump administration is also proposing to dramatically weaken in a battle with California and several other states, again all Democratically-controlled. To address pollution from power plants, the Obama EPA developed the CPP, which, if implemented, would have established national carbon emissions performance rates for coal and natural gas power plants while giving individual states some flexibility in finding ways to meet those standards.


        2 ments

        2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #25

        Posted on 22 June 2019 by John Hartz

        A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jun 16 through Sat, June 22, 2019

        Editor's Pick

        A Degree of Concern: Why Global Temperatures Matter

        Credit: NASA-JPL/Caltech

        Part 1 of a Two-Part Series

        If you could ask a sea turtle why small increases in global average temperature matter, you’d be likely to get a mouthful. Of sea grass, that is.

        Of course, sea turtles can’t talk, except in certain animated movies. And while on-screen they’re portrayed as happy-go-lucky creatures, in reality it’s pretty tough to be a sea turtle, dude (consider the facts), and in a warming world, it’s getting tougher.

        Since the temperature of the beach sand that female sea turtles nest in influences the gender of their offspring during incubation, our warming climate may be driving sea turtles into extinction by creating a shortage of males, according to several studies.1

        A few degrees make a huge difference. At sand temperatures of 31.1 degrees Celsius (88 degrees Fahrenheit), only female green sea turtles hatch, while at 27.8 degrees Celsius (82 degrees Fahrenheit) and below, only males hatch.


        7 ments

        In 1982, Exxon accurately predicted global warming

        Posted on 19 June 2019 by dana1981

        The Cato Institute, a Koch-founded and fossil fuel-funded think tank, has shut down its climate science-denying ‘Center for the Study of Science.’  The Center was led by Patrick Michaels, who has a long history of grossly misrepresenting climate science research, most notably in 1998 Congressional testimony during consideration of the Kyoto Protocol international climate agreement (which US Congress never ratified).  In that testimony, Michaels showed a version of James Hansen’s 1988 global temperature projections, but deleted the two scenarios in that study that most accurately represented real-world greenhouse gas emissions in order to create the misperception that Hansen had dramatically overestimated global warming.  That testimony could certainly be considered perjury, and yet Cato continued to employ Michaels for another 20 years.

        ExxonMobil is on the list of Cato’s fossil fuel funders, but as Inside Climate News discovered, the pany’s own scientists conducted serious climate research in the 1980s.  There was a stark contrast between Exxon’s own internal climate science research and the climate misinformation produced by the think tanks that the pany subsequently funded.  To summarize,

        • In the early 1980s, Exxon’s own scientists accurately predicted the ensuing global warming to within a margin of 20%;
        • Exxon’s predictions were consistent with those made by mainstream climate scientists;
        • In the late 1980s, Exxon began funding think tanks whose scientists inaccurately predicted that temperatures would remain essentially unchanged;
        • These findings highlight the fact that Exxon knew about the dangers of global warming and yet quietly gave tens of millions of dollars to groups that tried to convince the public otherwise.


        12 ments

        New Research for Week #24, 2019

        Posted on 18 June 2019 by SkS-Team

        A note of appreciation and a changing of the guard
        For the past over eight years Skeptical Science staff volunteer Ari Jokimäki has produced a weekly list of links to recent academic publications concerning the fundamental science of climate change, global warming and the role of humans in creating this emerging new reality. As our understanding of the theoretical and empirical situation has improved so has research output relating to subordinate effects and responses to the challenges presented by climate change burgeoned. Keeping track of the expanding sphere of climate change related research and winnowing germane references from the continuous firehose of general scientific inquiry has consumed countless hours of Ari's time, an investment that is massively appreciated.

        Now Ari has hung up his spurs for the time being. Thank you, Ari!

        New Research, Reloaded
        Rather than let this key feature of Skeptical Science lapse, we'll continue with a change of crew. Readers of New Research can expect some experimentation with the format, possible changes in emphasis and quite likely some initial inpetence. There is enough material appearing that we might even do some thematic distillations, entirely focusing on particular disciplines for a given week.

        As the publication feeds we use for provisioning include material already published, articles announced but not yet published let alone that sometimes we'll need to circle back to missed items, SkS New Research will change its own publication title to hinge on the week of its publication.

        Suggestions and ments are as always wele.

        New Research for week #24 of 2019

        Trends in summer heatwaves in Central Asia from 1917 to 2016: association with large‐scale atmospheric circulation patterns

        High‐quality sea surface temperature measurements along coast of the Bohai and Yellow Seas in China and their long‐term trends during 1960–2012

        No direct link between North Atlantic currents, sea level along New England coast

        Warming waters in western tropical Pacific may affect West Antarctic Ice Sheet

        Climate as a risk factor for armed conflict

        Food choices, health and environment: Effects of cutting Europe's meat and dairy intake

        Weaponizing vulnerability to climate change


        5 ments

        Ocean advocates are increasingly concerned about climate change

        Posted on 17 June 2019 by Guest Author

        This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons

        SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The world’s oceans are deeply affected by climate change – and vice versa. But until recent years, ocean advocates throughout California had long tackled issues like over-fishing and coastal pollution without as much emphasis on the broad-reaching relationship between climate and oceans.

        That’s all changed, as evidenced by a March annual lobbying event at the state capitol.

        In 2004, when a dozen or so advocates gathered for the first Ocean Day, “climate change was a side issue,” said Environment California’s Dan Jacobson, who launched the event.

        When more than 200 people convened from throughout the state last month, climate had bee “the overarching issue” in legislator meetings on a range of topics.

        “It’s bee an underlying theme in everything we’re doing,” said Jacobson. “Even the guy who literally rescues animals stranded on the shore is saying, ‘Of course, this is all getting worse because of climate change.'”

        Fast facts on Ocean Day 2019

        Through the day, small groups from a mix of organizations like Environment California, Surfrider, and Azul met with state assembly-members and senators on a range of key ocean issues, such as offshore drilling, plastic pollution, and sea-level rise – with conversations often touching naturally on climate change.


        4 ments

        2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #24

        Posted on 15 June 2019 by John Hartz

        A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jun 9 through Sat, June 15, 2019

        Editor's Pick 

        Costa Rica Doubled Its Forest Cover In Just 30 Years!


        Costa Rica has a long-standing mitment to the environment. The country is now one of the leading nations of sustainability, biodiversity, and other protections. The country’s first lady, urban planner Claudia Dobles, said in an interview with The New York Times that they plan to be pletely fossil fuel free by 2050 and that achieving that goal would bat a “sense of negativity and chaos” in the face of global warming. “We need to start providing answers,” she said.

        Which is exactly what they’ve been doing. One of their most incredible feats so far is managing to generate all the country’s power from solely renewable sources for three years consecutively! Then there’s also what they plan to do, which is absolutely incredible – they are set to be carbon-free and plastic-free by 2021. In addition, they’ve tackled the dilemma of deforestation remarkably – resulting in a doubling of tree coverage across the country in the last 30 years.

        After decades of deforestation, Costa Rica has reforested to the point that half of the country’s land surface is covered with trees again. That forest cover is able to absorb a huge amount of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, bating climate change for us all.

        Costa Rica Doubled Its Forest Cover In Just 30 Years! by Andrea D. Steffen, Environment, Intelligent Living, June 4, 2019 


        2 ments

        Planetary health and '12 years' to act

        Posted on 14 June 2019 by Guest Author

        This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeffrey Kiehl

        Life makes us wake up to needed changes.

        A visit to the doctor’s office and acpanied tests indicate you have been diagnosed as pre-diabetic. Your doctor indicates two pathways to addressing the condition before things get worse. You can change your lifestyle, or you can take medication with possible side effects. If you accept the medical facts and adopt the first remendation, then you will set a goal.

        For example, “I will lose 20 pounds over the next three months and diligently monitor my glucose levels.” You talk with health and wellness experts and e up with a plan to reach those goals. Up to this point you have been in the stages of symptom diagnosis and receiving expert advice. Now, the hard work begins: You actually have to change the way you have been living your life.

        You need to eat differently and exercise more, and you need to do these things every day for the rest of your life. You also need to monitor your progress to ensure you are meeting your goals. Initially, you may even question the accuracy of the diagnosis, or your doctor’s conclusion. You may even seek a second opinion. You wonder how long you can wait to change the way you have been living.

        Of course, in any life-threatening situation, the answer to the question of “How long can I wait?” is obvious: You can’t, can’t wait. You must make changes in your lifestyle immediately. You must overe any and all resistances to act.

        Doing so, you discover that you lose weight and your glucose levels dramatically decline. You may even obtain a new diagnosis that you are no longer “pre-diabetic.” These are not easy goals to acplish. Overing years of lifestyle behaviors is hard work. You will need encouragement and help from others, but it is possible. The other challenging part of this journey is to stick with the plan even after you have achieved your goals. placency will lead you back to the “at risk” category.


        12 ments

        Japan’s deadly 2018 heatwave ‘could not have happened without climate change’

        Posted on 13 June 2019 by Guest Author

        This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Daisy Dunne

        The record-breaking 2018 summer heatwave in Japan in which more than 1,000 people died “could not have happened without human-induced global warming”, a study finds.

        And the extreme heat felt in Japan last summer could “bee a usual situation” within the next few decades as temperatures continue to rise, the authors say.

        The research is the latest in “attribution science”, a field that aims to quantify the “fingerprint” of climate change on extreme weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and droughts.

        It follows analysis published in December which found that climate change made the UK 2018 summer heatwave up to 30 times more likely.

        The study is “very interesting”, but requires “further confirmation” before its conclusions can be fully accepted, a leading attribution scientist tells Carbon Brief.


        0 ments

        Climate change: sea level rise could displace millions of people within two generations

        Posted on 11 June 2019 by Guest Author

        Jonathan Bamber, Professor of Physical Geography, University of Bristol and Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University

        This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative mons license. Read the original article.

        Antarctica is further from civilization than any other place on Earth. The Greenland ice sheet is closer to home but around one tenth the size of its southern sibling. Together, these two ice masses hold enough frozen water to raise global mean sea level by 65 metres if they were to suddenly melt. But how likely is this to happen?

        The Antarctic ice sheet is around one and half times larger than Australia. What’s happening in one part of Antarctica may not be the same as what’s happening in another – just like the east and west coasts of the US can experience very different responses to, for example, a change in the El Niño weather pattern. These are periodic climate events that result in wetter conditions across the southern US, warmer conditions in the north and drier weather on the north-eastern seaboard.

        The ice in Antarctica is nearly 5km thick in places and we have very little idea what the conditions are like at the base, even though those conditions play a key role in determining the speed with which the ice can respond to climate change, including how fast it can flow toward and into the ocean. A warm, wet base lubricates the bedrock of land beneath the ice and allows it to slide over it.

        Though invisible from the surface, melting within the ice can speed up the process by which ice sheets slide towards the sea. Gans33/Shutterstock

        These issues have made it particularly difficult to produce model simulations of how ice sheets will respond to climate change in future. Models have to capture all the processes and uncertainties that we know about and those that we don’t – the “known unknowns” and the “unknown unknowns” as Donald Rumsfeld once put it. As a result, several recent studies suggest that previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports may have underestimated how much melting ice sheets will contribute to sea level in future.


        4 ments

        Lobbying against key US climate regulation ‘cost society $60bn’, study finds

        Posted on 10 June 2019 by Guest Author

        This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Josh Gabbatiss

        Political lobbying in the US that helped block the progress of proposed climate regulation a decade ago led to a social cost of $60bn, according to a new study.

        Environmental economists Dr Kyle Meng and Dr Ashwin Rode have produced what they believe is the first attempt to quantify the toll such anti-climate lobbying efforts take on society.

        The pair say their work reveals the power firms can have in curtailing government action on climate change, in the face of “overwhelming evidence” that its social benefits outweigh the costs, which range from reduced farming yields to lower GDP.

        Crucially, they found that the various fossil-fuel and transport panies expecting to emerge as “losers” after the bill were more effective lobbyists than those expecting gains.

        The authors say their results, published in Nature Climate Change, support the conclusion that lobbying is partly responsible for the scarcity of climate regulations being enacted around the world.

        However, they tell Carbon Brief that there is still hope for those seeking to develop effective new climate policies:

        “Our bottom line is: climate policy emerges from a political process. We’ve shown that this political process can undermine the chances of passing climate policy. But we’ve also shown that careful design of climate policy can help make it more politically robust to opposition.”


        4 ments

        2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #23

        Posted on 8 June 2019 by John Hartz

        A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jun 2 through Sat, June 8, 2019

        Editor's Pick 

        White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show


        Rod Schoonover at a House Intelligence mittee hearing on Wednesday. Credit: Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

        The White House tried to stop a State Department senior intelligence analyst from discussing climate science in congressional testimony this week, internal emails and documents show.

        The State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research declined to make changes to the proposed testimony and the analyst, Rod Schoonover, an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, was ultimately allowed to speak before the House Permanent Select mittee on Intelligence on Wednesday.

        But in a highly unusual move, the White House refused to approve Dr. Schoonover’s written testimony for entry into the permanent Congressional Record. The reasoning, according to a June 4 email seen by The New York Times, was that the science did not match the Trump administration’s views. 

        White House Tried to Stop Climate Science Testimony, Documents Show by Lisa Friedman, Climate, New York Times, June 8, 2019


        0 ments

        State of the climate: Heat across Earth’s surface and oceans mark early 2019

        Posted on 6 June 2019 by Zeke Hausfather

        This is a re-post from Carbon Brief

        Global surface temperatures in 2019 are on track to be either the second or third warmest since records began in the mid-1800s, behind only 2016 and possibly 2017.

        On top of the long-term  warming trend, temperatures in 2019 have been buoyed by a moderate El Niño event that is likely to persist through the rest of the year.

        That’s one of the key findings from Carbon Brief’s latest “state of the climate” report, a quarterly series on global climate data that now includes temperatures, ocean heat, sea levels, greenhouse gas concentrations, climate model performance and polar ice.

        Ocean heat content (OHC) set a new record in early 2019, with more warmth in the oceans than at any time since OHC records began in 1940.

        The latest data shows that the level of the world’s oceans continued to rise in 2019, with sea levels around 8.5 centimetres (cm) higher than in the early 1990s.

        Atmospheric methane concentrations have increased at an accelerating rate, reaching record highs in recent months, though scientists are divided on the cause of this trend.

        Arctic sea ice is currently at a record low for this time of year. Antarctic sea ice set new record lows in January, and is currently at the low end of the historical range.

        Third warmest start to a year

        Global surface temperatures are recorded and reported by a number of different international groups, including NASANOAAMet Office Hadley Centre/UEABerkeley Earth and Cowtan and WayCopernicus/ECMWF also produces a surface temperature estimate based on a bination of measurements and a weather model – an approach known as “reanalysis”.

        The chart below pares the annual global surface temperatures from these different groups since 1970 – or 1979 in the case of Copernicus/ECMWF. The coloured lines show the temperature for each year, while the dots on the right-hand side show the year-to-date estimate for January through March 2019. Values are shown relative to a mon baseline period, the 1981-2010 average temperature for each series. Surface temperature records have shown around 0.86C warming since the year 1970, a warming rate of about 0.19C per decade.

        Year-to-date values are only shown for NASA, NOAA, and Copernicus as data for March is not yet available from the UK Hadley Centre, which also prevents the Berkeley Earth and Cowtan and Way records from being released. The year-to-date values in this chart will be updated when that data bees available.


        27 ments

        Climate Change vs Cosmological Catastrophe

        Posted on 5 June 2019 by Guest Author

        Global warming can be pretty terrifying. But so can space. Katie Mack (aka Astro Katie) battles ClimateAdam to decide whether we should be more scared of the end of the universe or our heating planet.


        2 ments

        Effects of Global Warming

        Posted on 3 June 2019 by Riduna

        Why are young – and not so young – people being more vociferous in their protests about global warming?  Why has climate change bee a political and partisan issue at democratic elections?  Why do ‘greenies’ try to stop the development of new coal mines and call for speedier reduction of our greenhouse gas emissions?  The answer is that the effects of greenhouse gas emissions, particularly Carbon Dioxide (CO2), are being increasingly evident and dangerous – although relatively mild at present, pared to what they could soon bee.

        Much is being said about the cost of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in terms of lost jobs, lost ine and harm to national and global economies but we hear relatively little about the catastrophic consequences of not reducing emissions.  Prioritising short term profit and ideology ahead of emissions reduction will inevitably result in an uncontrollable, unpredictable and destructive climate resulting in socio-economic collapse.


         Fig. 1.  Fluctuations in the level of COin the atmosphere, relatively regular until burning of fossil fuels began about 200 years ago. Note the ‘spike’ on the right at year ‘0’   Source: Nasa.

        Analysis of air trapped in ice cores shows that over the past 800,000 years the normal concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere varies between 170 parts per million (ppm) during cold periods (so called Ice Ages) to 260-300 ppm when the planet reaches its warmest.  Concentration of COin the atmosphere now stands at over 415 ppm and is continuing to rise at an accelerating rate as we burn ever increasing amounts of fossil fuels.

        For well over a century it has been widely known that COabsorbs infra-red light reflected from the earths’ surface then re-emits it, much of it back to the surface.  The higher the concentration of COin the atmosphere, the warmer the surface temperature gets, a phenomenon known as global warming which has a number of effects including 1. ocean warming, 2. loss of land-based ice and permafrost, 3. climate change which bees less predictable and 4. sea level rise.  Below is an outline of these effects.


        23 ments

        2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #22

        Posted on 1 June 2019 by John Hartz

        A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, May 26 through Sat, June 1, 2019

        Editor's Pick 

        12 books on how climate change is transforming businesses and the global economy

        For some businesses and entrepreneurs, climate change isn't just a threat. It's an opportunity.


        The significant transformations required to meet the challenges posed by climate change are, from another perspective, fabulous opportunities. Inventors, entrepreneurs, and business strategists recognized this fact many years ago. Their activities have since been chronicled and analyzed by reporters, researchers, and, in some cases, the entrepreneurs themselves.

        For this month’s bookshelf on climate change and business, Yale Climate Connections has assembled two different lists. This first list covers books published in the last five years. The second list covers recent free reports on the same subject from international organizations, government agencies, and D.C.-based think tanks.

        12 books on how climate change is transforming businesses and the global economy by Michael Svoboda, Yale Climate Connections, May 31, 2019 


        1 ments

        Humans and volcanoes caused nearly all of global heating in past 140 years

        Posted on 30 May 2019 by dana1981

        Emissions from fossil fuels and volcanoes can explain nearly all of the changes in Earth’s surface temperatures over the past 140 years, a new study has found.

        The research refutes the popular climate denial myth that recent global warming is merely a result of natural cycles.

        Those arguments have always suffered a key physical flaw, namely that cycles are cyclical. For example, El Niño events, which temporarily raise global surface temperatures by bringing warm water up to the shallow ocean layer, are offset by La Niña events, which have the opposite effect. While a given decade might have more El Niño or La Niña events, resulting in a short-term surface warming or cooling, over the long term their effects cancel out.

        However, climate scientists have had a difficult time explaining exactly what caused a warming event in the early 20th century, between about 1910 and 1945. The average of the climate model runs incorporated in the last IPCC report only accounted for about half of the measured global surface warming trend during that period, and a study published last year suggested the other half could be due to natural cycles.

        Contrarian scientists like Judith Curry, who is frequently invited by Republicans to testify before US Congress, have often used this discrepancy to cast doubt on the expert consensus on human-caused global warming, arguing that “until we can explain the early 20th century warming, I have little confidence IPCC and [National Climate Assessment] attribution statements regarding the cause of the recent warming.”

        The new study, published in the Journal of Climate, tackles the discrepancy in part by addressing an issue with ocean temperature data during the second world war, when measurements were more often made from warmer engine room intakes than from buckets lowered over the side of ships. This has resulted in a bias, inflating estimated surface temperatures in the early-to-mid 1940s. The new study removed this bias by focusing on temperatures along continental and island coastlines.


        9 ments

        Four scientists make creativity a key to municating their research

        Posted on 28 May 2019 by greenman3610

        This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

        This month’s “This is Not Cool” original video, produced by independent videographer and YCC regular contributor Peter Sinclair, explores the creative science munication initiatives of four different scientists.

        Ecohydrologist, researcher, and science storyteller Emily Fairfax of the University of Colorado studies the intersection of water and ecosystems. “It’s very important that my science has an impact in the world,” Fairfax says. “I take all my data and try to send it out to the public in very pelling ways.” She recalls being “so scared of all the jargon” earlier in her career: “I didn’t want to say a lot of different words, because what if I say them wrong? What if I use them wrong?”

        Working on beavers and their forest environment, she decided to shorten her story to one sentence: “And that was that ‘beaver ponds persist through wildfires.'” If nothing else, she wanted her audience to leave with at least that message firmly in mind. With her infectious enthusiasm, the video shows a toy beaver persisting through a wildfire and then boosting an “I’m Okay!!” flag to assure fearful viewers that the beaver survives.

        The Sinclair video also delves into the creative painting of glaciologist and artist Jill Pelto in remote glacial environments. Her scientist-father long encouraged her to include data in her art work after a field season in the North Cascades in Washington.

        One-time cartoonist and founder of the Skeptical Science website John Cook, now at George Mason University in Virginia, describes how he uses cartoons to make climate change information more accessible. “I could be the first scientist to ever calculate the P value of a cartoon’s funniness,” Cook says, adding that the cartoons are “statistically significant and funny.”

        Cook ran an experiment to test whether logic-based or humor-based corrections to climate misinformation were more effective, and “more importantly, do either of them work.” Cook says both “significantly neutralize misinformation, but the cartoons get an order of magnitude more shares than the logic-based.”


        0 ments

        Beleaguered journalism interests seek to aid ailing planet

        Posted on 27 May 2019 by Guest Author

        This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bud Ward

        Let’s buy for a moment the well-traveled viewpoint that the news media like nothing better than a good crisis. Nothing like a crisis, and better yet two, to kick reporters’ and editors’, let alone media bean counters’, adrenaline into overdrive. Bring on the banner headlines, the grit and joy of covering someone else’s disasters up-close and personal, perhaps even a greater shot at one of journalism’s more glamorous prizes or awards.

        But what, one might ask, when the crisis is not someone else’s, but rather a crisis in the house of journalism itself? As with the current decades-old and decades-more-to-e demise of the subscriber- and advertiser-paid business model? What if, one well might wonder, the crisis is in journalism itself?


        And to pound the dilemma at hand, what if the crisis in journalism es during an equally, and by all accounts even more serious (truly existential?) confounding crisis? As in misery loves pany.

        Take the climate change crisis as Exhibit A.

        As luck would have it – bad luck, that is – the climate change crisis as we understand it, and as we don’t yet fully understand it, has been occurring and will continue to occur during a time of crisis for responsible journalism. Oh darn.

        Journalism gurus pretty much accept that the ongoing crises of change surrounding and overwhelming many news enterprises will go on for a number of decades before, one hopes, we can all adapt to where it ends up. We can be pretty certain that our kids, and also theirs, will be dealing with this snowballing news/information dilemma for years, probably decades, to e.

        The same, of course, applies to what many experts now feel can only fairly be characterized as a “climate crisis.” Again, as with journalism, it’s a crisis of our own making.

        It’s not like there aren’t serious efforts to help mitigate the long-term harm, to avoid the worst possible impacts. And we can take fort that that applies, at least for now, to both journalism and to climate change.


        1 ments

        2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21

        Posted on 25 May 2019 by John Hartz

        A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, May 19 through Sat, May 25, 2019

        Editor's Pick 

        Why school strikers are guest editing Climate Home News 

        (Photo: Pixabay)

        Over the ing weeks (or months – let’s see how it goes) Climate Home News will host reporting, personal reflections and mentary written by a group of young people who have inspired the world.

        It’s normal for us to host mentary from activists. But this is something different. Something we would never normally do. It’s an open offer to a group to use our site as a platform to express their ideas.

        We aren’t doing it because we endorse everything the school strikes or Fridays for Future movement says, does or calls for. We are doing it because it’s our job to bring you the full picture.

        Climate change is the archetypal issue of intergenerational justice. As the population ages in many countries around the world, the balance of power between young and old is being increasingly skewed. Given the plexion of the media, it is fair to question whether their voices and interests are being represented here.

        These young people have shown they are masters of disruptive forms of social media and protest. In March, just a few months after forming, they held a global strike that surpassed every organised climate rally held before it. They achieved this with no pre-existing organisational apparatus, real funding or control of traditional media platforms. They are worth listening to. 

        Why school strikers are guest editing Climate Home News by Karl Mathiesen, Climate Home News, May 23, 2019


        3 ments

        The Consensus Project Website


        (free to republish)

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