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?
Posted on 18 September 2014 by John Abraham
There is an important discussion to be had about the future of scientific publications.
As a practicing and publishing scientist, I am judged by the quality and quantity of my contributions to the scientific community. Traditionally, this comes down to counting how many papers I publish and weighting them by the quality (impact) of the journals where the papers appear. A fancy word for this is “Impact Factor,” which is a measure of the frequency papers in a particular journal are cited compared to the number of pages a manuscript is.
The highest impact journals are often the hardest to get published in, sometimes having acceptance rates as low as 10%. Typical impact factors depend a lot on your field of study. In journals like Nature and Science, the impact factors are very high. In specialized journals and in specialized fields, the impact factors are much smaller.
In my native field of heat transfer, impact factors as high as 2.5 are rare. In climate science, flagship journals like the Journal of Geophysical Research and Geophysical Research Letters have impact factors in the 3–5 range – this means that the technical field of geophysics has a higher citation rate then say, heat and mass transfer. Journals such as Nature and Science, broad-category journals with huge readership, have citations rates of 42 and 31, respectively.
In this traditional model, universities pay each year (often thousands of dollars) to carry the journals. The universities then typically received both hard copy and e-copies of papers which faculty can then obtain. More recently, many library consortia have gone to an electronic-only system. It is probably obvious that with strengths of this system come weaknesses.
Posted on 16 September 2014 by John Hartz
- $1 Trillion: Annual investment goal puts climate solutions within reach
- Big firms brace for global carbon price rollout
- China, the climate and the fate of the planet
- Climate change report: prevent damage by overhauling global economy
- Does the new Prime Minister of India believe in climate change?
- Global warming 'pause' explained
- NASA ranks this August as warmest on record
- No rain for decades: Stand by for the ‘megadroughts’, scientists warn
- Ocean algae can evolve fast to tackle climate change
- Polar vortex excursions linked to global warming
- Preventing climate change and adapting to it are not morally equivalent
- Richard Branson failed to deliver on $3bn climate change pledge
- Seeking an easy win on carbon emissions? Cut global trade
- Sun and wind alter global landscape, leaving utilities behind
- The Gulf of Alaska is unusually warm
- U.N. Climate Summit: Staged parade or reality show?
$1 Trillion: Annual investment goal puts climate solutions within reach
A two-year-old number is changing the way governments, companies and investors approach the fight against climate change: $1 trillion.
That is roughly the amount of additional investment needed worldwide each year for the next 36 years to stave off the worst effects of global warming and keep the Earth habitable, according to the International Energy Agency. The Paris-based organization of 29 developed countries calculated the cost in 2012 and raised its estimates this year. Ceres, a Boston-based nonprofit investor group that advocates environmental sustainability, framed it as the "Clean Trillion" in an investment campaign that has become a rallying cry.
While $1 trillion sounds like a lot, knowing the figure is good news, according to climate activists, investment experts and United Nations organizers of the next round of global climate talks. Worldwide, almost $4 trillion a year will need to be invested over that time anyway in electric grids, power plants and energy efficiency, the IEA says. In a global economy of $75 trillion, $1 trillion works out to 1.3 percent of the world's annual output of goods and services, or about $10,400 a person. The calculation also focuses the discussion on investment—suggesting the potential for returns and profits—rather than on costs for disaster response and losses to rising oceans.
Posted on 16 September 2014 by Guest Author
This is a re-post of an NSF press release
New research, supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF), counters a widely-held scientific view that thawing permafrost uniformly accelerates atmospheric warming, indicating instead that certain Arctic lakes store more greenhouse gases than they emit into the atmosphere.
The study, published this week in the journal Nature, focuses on thermokarst lakes, which occur as permafrost thaws and creates surface depressions that fill with melted fresh water, converting what was previously frozen land into lakes.
The research suggests that Arctic thermokarst lakes are "net climate coolers" when observed over longer, millennial, time scales.
"Until now, we've only thought of thermokarst lakes as positive contributors to climate warming," said lead researcher Katey Walter Anthony, associate research professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks Institute of Northern Engineering. "It is true that they do warm climate by strong methane emissions when they first form, but on a longer-term scale, they switch to become climate coolers because they ultimately soak up more carbon from the atmosphere than they ever release."
The researchers observed that roughly 5,000 years ago, thermokarst lakes in ice-rich regions of North Siberia and Alaska began cooling, instead of warming the atmosphere.
"While methane and carbon dioxide emissions following thaw lead to immediate radiative warming," the authors write, "carbon uptake in peat-rich sediments occurs over millennial time scales."
Posted on 15 September 2014 by dana1981
A pair of climate scientists recently had a dispute regarding how much global warming humans are responsible for. Gavin Schmidt from Nasa represented the consensus of 96–97% of climate experts in arguing that humans have been the dominant cause of global warming since 1950, while Judith Curry from Georgia Tech represented the opinions of 2–4% of climate experts that we could be responsible for less than half of that warming.
Curry is to be the featured speaker on this subject at a National Press Club event tomorrow hosted by the Marshall Institute; a right-wing thinktank that has spread misinformation about the dangers of smoking, ozone depletion, acid rain, DDT, and now climate change. She may also discuss the subject at an event next week hosted by the fossil fuel-funded right-wing think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF).
The exchange between Schmidt and Curry can be read on RealClimate – a blog run by climate scientists. The discrepancy in both the quantity and quality of the supporting evidence used by each scientist was one of the most telling aspects of their debate.
For his part, Schmidt referenced the most recent IPCC report. The IPCC summarises the latest and greatest climate science research, so there is no better single source. The figure below from the IPCC report illustrates why 96–97% of climate science experts and peer-reviewed research agree that humans are the main cause of global warming.
The black bar indicates the amount of global surface warming observed from 1951 to 2010. The green bar shows the amount of warming caused by human greenhouse gas emissions during that time. The yellow is the influence from other human effects (mainly cooling from human sulfate aerosol emissions, which scatter sunlight), and the orange is the combined human effect. Below those are the contributions from external natural factors (mainly the sun and volcanoes) and from natural internal variability (mainly ocean cycles), while the whiskers show the uncertainty range for each.
Posted on 14 September 2014 by John Hartz
97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists by John Cook attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. In addition, the 97 Hours campaign was widely acclaimed and promoted by numerous individuals and organizations throughout the world — see the SkS in theNews section of this Digest for details.
El Niño Watch
Long-term weather forecasters say it is now unlikely that a strong El Niño will develop this fall, dimming hopes in California for heavy rains that might bring relief from a severe drought.
In its latest monthly forecast, the federal Climate Prediction Center in College Park, Md., said that while there was still about a two in three chance that El Niño would develop, perhaps in the next two months, it would most likely be weak.
Hopes for a Strong El Niño Fade in California by Henry Fountain, New York Times, Sep 9, 2014
Toon of the Week
Posted on 13 September 2014 by John Hartz
- Agribusiness drives most illegal deforestation
- Can carbon capture technology be part of the climate solution?
- In 'This Changes Everything,' Naomi Klein sounds climate alarm
- Is India's new Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, a climate sceptic?
- Judge cleared ‘necessity’ defense for use in climate trial
- Judith Curry scores own goal in climate hockey
- Monsoon floods kill 420 in India and Pakistan
- Personalising climate change through open data and apps
- The good and bad climate news from permafrost melt
- The hypocrisy behind the big business climate change battle
- UN body says greenhouse gas levels at record high
- Warming air was trigger for Antarctic ice shelf collapse
- Why an ice shelf snapped in 2002 and what's coming next
Agribusiness drives most illegal deforestation
Everyday products like beef, soy and palm oil already are widely blamed for spurring massive losses of the world's tropical forests. These products are also frequently linked to clearing that takes place in spite of local laws enacted to protect these forests.
But a new report from the environmental nonprofit Forest Trends for the first time attempts to quantify exactly how much of the world's illegal deforestation takes place to make way for palm oil plantations, cattle ranching, soy cultivation and other agricultural commodities.
The research team concluded that between 63 and 75 percent of global deforestation between 2000 to 2012 took place to make way for commercial agriculture. Of this, the authors found, 36 to 65 percent was illegal—the result of fraudulent licenses, destructive clearing techniques or other activities formally prohibited—but often overlooked—by local governments. Forest Trends estimates that the international trade of such products is worth an estimated $61 billion each year.
Agribusiness Drives Most Illegal Deforestation by Elizabeth Harball and Climate Wire/Scientific American, Sep 11, 2014
Posted on 12 September 2014 by greenman3610
This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections
This month’s Yale Climate Connections “This Is Not Cool” video by independent videographer Peter Sinclair presents images from a research group’s summer of 2014 “Dark Snow” project in Greenland.
“Thousands of nameless short-lived lakes” increasingly reflect “a doubling of the mass loss rate” of Greenland ice over the past decade, says Professor Jason Box, of the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland. He says the same holds true for Antarctica.
Damage to the base of the ice sheet and in deep interior areas are unprecedented over at least the past 10,000 years, says glaciologist Alun Hubbard of Aberstwyth University in Wales.
Because of their dark color relative to the surrounding ice sheet, the short-lived lakes absorb sun light… “they’re like big solar collectors,” says Box. He adds the lakes are increasing in size and number.
Rushing water plunging deep through moulins deliver warmth “to regions that have been frozen solid for many millennia,” says Sinclair, who participated in the research trip and did extensive video work while there. That lubricates the ice sheet flow and softens the ice, leading it to flow faster under its own weight, Box explains. One result: more ice bergs calving-off at the glacier front, accelerating ice loss.
Box says Greenland’s sea level contribution has increased from one-half millimeter per year 10 years ago to one millimeter now. He says that loss rate is expected to double every five to 12 years. The next decade Greenland’s losing two millimeters a year, the one after that four millimeters per year. By the end of the century, at that rate, Greenland alone would be accounting for about one meter per year… “just from Greenland.”
Posted on 11 September 2014 by John Hartz
- 97%, 97 hours, 97 climate scientists
- 97 experts explain the scientific consensus on climate change
- As people march, a moment of truth in the climate fight
- Climate change in plain language
- Don't understand global warming? Let 97 climate scientists explain it
- Fossil fuels, global warming and democracy
- Greenhouse gas levels rising at fastest rate since 1984
- Legendary accounting firm just ran the numbers on climate change
- Prophetic visions can rouse politicians from complacency
- The two-degrees warming policy is likely a road to disaster
- We have five years to stop building coal plants and gas-powered cars
- Why I’m taking part in 97 hours of climate consensus
97%, 97 hours, 97 climate scientists
Global warming is real. Climate change is occurring faster than any time in recorded history. Humans dumping carbon dioxide into the air is to blame.
In the scientific community, those statements are not controversial at all. A solid 97% of climate scientists doing active research into the matter agree on them.
Politically, though, it’s a different story. Only about half the American public think global warming is man-made, and only a fraction of them know that there is overwhelming scientific consensus on it.
To raise both ratios, the wonderful website Skeptical Science has started a great campaign: “97 Hours of Consensus”. Every hour, for just over four days, a cartoon caricature of a different climate scientist will be posted along with a short, pithy quotation about the current understanding on global warming. The campaign started Sunday morning (Sep. 7), so it’s well along now. It started with Dr. Michael Mann, creator of the Hockey Stick graph showing that sudden warming is recent and catastrophic:
97%, 97 Hours, 97 Climate Scientists by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, Slate, Sep 9, 2014
Posted on 11 September 2014 by Guest Author
Geneva, 9 September 2014 (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.
The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.
In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively.
The observations from WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) network showed that CO2 levels increased more between 2012 and 2013 than during any other year since 1984. Preliminary data indicated that this was possibly related to reduced CO2 uptake by the earth’s biosphere in addition to the steadily increasing CO2 emissions.
The WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin reports on atmospheric concentrations – and not emissions - of greenhouse gases. Emissions represent what goes into the atmosphere. Concentrations represent what remains in the atmosphere after the complex system of interactions between the atmosphere, biosphere and the oceans. About a quarter of the total emissions are taken up by the oceans and another quarter by the biosphere, reducing in this way the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.
The ocean cushions the increase in CO2 that would otherwise occur in the atmosphere, but with far-reaching impacts. The current rate of ocean acidification appears unprecedented at least over the last 300 million years, according to an analysis in the report.
“We know without any doubt that our climate is changing and our weather is becoming more extreme due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.
Posted on 10 September 2014 by John Abraham
In this last post about the Years of Living Dangerously series, I focus on episode 8 (A Dangerous Future). This episode follows Matt Damon, Thomas Friedman and Michael Hall as they all become investigative journalists in different parts of the world. Each story is individually, is impactful but when they are juxtaposed, the connections between climate change and human welfare are obvious.
We meet Michael Hall as he disembarks in Bangladesh on a mission to find impacts of climate change on workers in developing economies. He meets with Bangladeshi journalists and top climate scientists and we learn about the tremendous impact of large and increasing storms on persons near the coast. These coastal people, who often lack robust infrastructure, face tough life choices following devastating storms. Scientific literature shows we expect approximately 3 feet of sea level rise by the end of the century. Because of the very flat topology of Bangladesh, approximately 17% of the land area will be inundated with sea water – 20 million people will be (and already are being) displaced. They are some of the world’s first climate refugees.
Bangladesh is a country the size of Iowa with half the population of the United States – think of that population density. What happens as increasing numbers of coastal communities are forced to migrate? What Michael Hall learns is that climate migrants are not a prediction of the future, rather a fact of the present. We meet some of the migrants who are forced to leave their home communities to seek dangerous work elsewhere. First-hand evidence shows that climate change stacks the deck against people in the developing world.
Posted on 9 September 2014 by Guest Author
This is a re-post from Audrey Resutek at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change
Study finds that savings from healthier air can make up for some or all of the cost of carbon reduction policies.
Lower rates of asthma and other health problems are frequently cited as benefits of policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions from sources like power plants and vehicles, because these policies also lead to reductions in other harmful types of air pollution.
But just how large are the health benefits of cleaner air in comparison to the costs of reducing carbon emissions? MIT researchers looked at three policies achieving the same reductions in the United States, and found that the savings on health care spending and other costs related to illness can be big—in some cases, more than 10 times the cost of policy implementation.
“Carbon-reduction policies significantly improve air quality,” says Noelle Selin, an assistant professor of engineering systems and atmospheric chemistry at MIT, and co-author of a study published in Nature Climate Change. “In fact, policies aimed at cutting carbon emissions improve air quality by a similar amount as policies specifically targeting air pollution.”
Selin and colleagues compared the health benefits to the economic costs of three climate policies: a clean-energy standard, a transportation policy, and a cap-and-trade program. The three were designed to resemble proposed U.S. climate policies, with the clean-energy standard requiring emissions reductions from power plants similar to those proposed in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.
Health savings constant across policies
The researchers found that savings from avoided health problems could recoup 26 percent of the cost to implement a transportation policy, but up to to 10.5 times the cost of implementing a cap-and-trade program. The difference depended largely on the costs of the policies, as the savings — in the form of avoided medical care and saved sick days — remained roughly constant: Policies aimed at specific sources of air pollution, such as power plants and vehicles, did not lead to substantially larger benefits than cheaper policies, such as a cap-and-trade approach.
Posted on 8 September 2014 by John Abraham
This episode brings us away from the world of hard science a bit and into a realm of personality and ideology. The episode provides an intimate view of family relationships that are repeated across the nation and the world. Dinner table conversations that are played out with different characters, in a different cities, but with similar results.
This is the setting for the next Years of Living Dangerously episode I am reviewing. In part of this episode, we travel with Ian Somerhalder to South Carolina where we meet a young, smart, and dedicated Anna Jane Joyner. She is the daughter of megachurch leader Rick Joyner who, shall we say, does not share her views on climate change.
We quickly see that Anna has indefatigable courage and persistence. Not only by her dedication but because her pathway has lead her into the heart of the unconvinced. It has led her on a path of conflict with her own father. It no doubt has shaken her entire life. Who else can say that?
Anna works for the growing and ever important creation-care movement. This movement just makes sense. It is an appeal to people of faith, often evangelicals, who are notably sceptical about human-caused climate change. Her appeal is based on a biblical message that we are to be stewards of the Earth.
Posted on 7 September 2014 by John Hartz
El Niño Watch
For months now, the tropical Pacific Ocean has been flirting with blossoming into a full-fledged El Niño state: Waters off the coast of South America have warmed, a hallmark of the climate phenomenon, but then cooled, only to warm once again. Winds, which normally blow east-to-west have made tentative moves in the other direction, another key criteria, but the bottom line is that the whole El Niño package hasn’t come together.
So, is this El Niño going to happen or not?
“Most likely” is the answer from forecasters with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University, who issue monthly forecasts.
El Nino Watch: 6 Months and Still Counting by Andrea Thompson, Climate Central, Sep 4, 2014
Toon of the Week
h/t to I Heart Climate Scientists
Posted on 7 September 2014 by John Cook
Climate scientists from across the globe feature in our 97 Hours of Consensus campaign addressing one of the most significant and harmful myths about climate change. Each hour, beginning at 9am Sunday EST, September 7th, we'll publish a statement and playful, hand-drawn caricature of a leading climate scientist. Each caricature lists the scientists’ name, title, expertise and academic institution.
97 Hours of Consensus communicates the fact that 97% of climate scientists have concluded that humans are causing global warming. The research, conducted by scientists at The University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, University of Reading, Michigan Technological University and Memorial University of Newfoundland found that 97% of relevant climate papers endorsed human-caused global warming. The paper was published in the academic journal Environmental Research Letters in May 2013.
Posted on 6 September 2014 by John Hartz
- 5 reasons to watch NYC’s Climate Summit
- 99.999% certainty humans are driving global warming
- Brian Cox: scientists giving false sense of debate on climate change
- Climate change threatens to put the fight against hunger back by decades
- El Nino watch: 6 months and still counting
- Humans damaging wild forests at "alarming" rate, maps show
- New York to become a hub of climate hubbub
- On arguing by analogy
- Scientists may have solved a climate change mystery
- Sunlight boosts CO2 from thawing permafrost
- U.N. Climate Summit will help seal the fate of nations
- World’s last remaining forest wilderness at risk
5 reasons to watch NYC’s Climate Summit
On September 23, heads of state and leaders in finance, business and civil society will gather in New York City for the United Nations Climate Summit 2014. The summit is a critical milestone on the path to addressing the global threat of climate change. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon organized the high-level meeting to re-engage world leaders to spur climate action on national and international stages.
Tens of thousands of concerned citizens are seizing the opportunity, organizing the largest climate march in history. During summit week, hundreds of organizations have arranged speeches, documentary film showings, and other gatherings to present the overwhelming evidence of the consequences of climate change and cost-effective solutions to address the problem. New scientific research like the National Climate Assessment and the latest IPCC reports have illuminated the risks from carbon pollution, while new economic analysis including WRI’s upcoming New Climate Economy report will dispel the notion that climate action will slow economic growth.
Yet this is hardly the first time governments have convened to counter climate change. So why is this summit worth watching?
5 Reasons To Watch NYC’s Climate Summit by Jennifer Morgan, World Resources Institute (WRI), Sep 2, 2014
Posted on 5 September 2014 by Rob Painting
Ocean Warming: Background Context
The oceans are currently warming because of the extra greenhouse gases that human industrial activity has added to the atmosphere. Not only do greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, but they alter the gradient in the cool-skin layer of the ocean, which results in less heat escaping the ocean and thus warming over time.
Despite this increasing greenhouse gas-induced warming of the oceans, the ocean doesn't warm in a linear manner due to a number of factors, one of these being a natural decadal-scale variation in the way heat is mixed into the oceans by winds - the Interdecadal Pacific Oscillation (IPO). The IPO is, essentially, an oscillation in the strength of winds (primarily the tropical Trade Winds) which promote the mixing of heat down into the ocean interior and thus affect sea surface temperatures.
The main mechanism for wind-driven mixing into the deep ocean (down to around 2000 metres) is via convergence of warm tropical surface water in the subtropical ocean gyres. These subtropical ocean gyres are large rotating masses of surface water which occupy the mid-latitudes of each ocean basin. Surface water is transported to the subtropical gyres because of the winds drag on the sea surface. Rather than travelling in the same direction as the trade winds, the net flow of water in the surface layers affected by the wind are 90 degrees to the direction of travel - to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. This occurs because the Earth is rapidly rotating beneath the surface currents and results in an 'apparent deflection'. The impact this has is very real however.
As the warm tropical surface waters travel poleward they encounter an equatorward flowing current created by the mid-latitude westerlies and this surface convergence causes the centre of the gyre to pile up water mass. With nowhere else to go, the surface convergence forms a vertical current known as Ekman pumping (Ekman ) which transports heat down to the depths. In order to maintain a balance, there is a return flow of water, at depth, back toward the equator and poles. Note that there is also poleward transport in the shallow currents at the western edge of each subtropical ocean gyre - known as western boundary currents.
The Atlantic Ocean: A Driver, or a Passenger?
Chen and Tung (2014) analyse the ocean heat content data maintained by a Japanese research group, Ishii et al (2005), and make a number of statements about the cause of multi-decadal fluctuations in ocean heat mixing rates. Chief among these claims is that the change in salinity in the North Atlantic ocean is responsible for the decadal fluctuations, not changes in the trade winds and mid-latitude westerlies (the IPO) - as suggested by Meehl et al (2011), Meehl et al (2013) and England et al (2014) for instance. One of the rationales given by Chen & Tung for dismissing the role of the IPO in deep ocean warming is the expectation that the Pacific Ocean basin should have warmed more during the current (2000-to present) IPO negative phase. In a press release Tung states:
Posted on 4 September 2014 by John Abraham
First, at the end of this post is a question to my readers wherein I ask for feedback. So, please read to the end.
Most scientists go into their studies because they want to understand the world. They want to know why things happen; also how to describe phenomena, both mathematically and logically. But, as scientists carry out their research, often their findings have large social implications. What do they do when that happens?
Well traditionally, scientists just “stick to the facts” and report. They try to avoid making recommendations, policy or otherwise, that are relevant to the findings. But, as we see the social implications of various issues grow larger (environmental, energy, medical, etc.) it becomes harder for scientists to sit out in more public discussions about what should be done. In fact, researchers who have a clear handle on the issue and the pros and cons of different choices have very valuable perspectives to provide society.
But what does involvement look like? For some scientists, it may be helping reporters gather information for stories that may appear online, in print, radio, or television. In another manifestation, it might be writing for themselves (like my blog here at the Guardian). Others may write books, meet with legislators, or partake in public demonstrations.
Each of these levels of engagement has professional risks. We scientists need to protect our professional reputations. That reputation requires that we are completely objective in our science. As a scientist becomes more engaged in advocacy, they risk being viewed by their colleagues as non-objective in their science.
Of course, this isn’t true. It is possible (and easy) to convey the science but also convey the importance of taking action. I do this on a daily basis. But I will go further here. It is essential for scientists to speak out. With the necessary expertise to make informed decisions, it is out obligation to society. Of course, each scientist has to decide how to become engaged. We don’t get many kudos for engagement, it takes time and money out of our research, you will never get tenured for having a more public presence, and you will likely receive po)rly-writen hate mail – but it still is needed for informed decision making.
Posted on 3 September 2014 by John Hartz
- Antarctic sea-level surge linked to icesheet loss
- China plans a market for carbon permits
- China's big carbon market experiment
- Dame Julia Slingo: the woman who reads the skies
- DeSmog UK launches to combat climate denial in Europe
- Has climate change become a business story?
- How the IPCC is sharpening its language on climate change
- Mountain forest changes threaten water supplies
- No more pause: Warming will be non-stop from now on
- No, the Bureau of Meteorology is not fiddling its weather data
- No, you can't claim Arctic ice is "recovering"
- Polar vortex visits to U.S. linked to climate change
- Some important context on Arctic sea ice melt
- Two secret funders of Lawson’s climate sceptic organisation revealed
- Warming Gulf of Maine imperils lobster, fish catch
Antarctic sea-level surge linked to icesheet loss
Sea levels around Antarctica have been rising a third faster than the global average, a clear sign of high melt water runoff from the continent's icesheet, say scientists.
Satellite data from 1992 to 2011 found the sea surface around Antarctica's coast rose by around eight centimetres in total compared to a rise of six centimetres for the average of the world's oceans, they report in the journal Nature Geoscience.
The local increase is accompanied by a fall in salinity at the sea surface, as detected by research ships.
These dramatic changes can only be explained by an influx of freshwater from melting ice, say the study's authors.
Antarctic sea-level surge linked to icesheet loss by AFP/ABC Science, Sep 1, 2014
Posted on 3 September 2014 by Guest Author
You could cut the triumphalism on the climate science denialist blogs right now with a hardback copy of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Their unbridled joy comes not in the wake of some key research published in the scientific literature but in the fact that a climate sceptic has got a mainstream newspaper to give their conspiracy theory another airing.
The sceptic in question is Dr Jennifer Marohasy, a long-time doubter of human-caused climate change whose research at Central Queensland University (CQU) is funded by another climate change sceptic.
I choose the Nineteen Eighty-Four analogy in my introduction because it is one of Marohasy’s favourites. She likes to compare the work of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) to the various goings on in Orwell’s fictional dystopian novel.
The conspiracy theory is that BoM is using a technique to selectively tamper with its temperature data so that it better fits with the global warming narrative.
The people at NASA are in on it too.
Now the great thing about conspiracy theories is that, for believers, attempts to correct the record just serve to reinforce the conspiracy. Like a video clip of the moon landing on a constant loop, the whole thing feeds back on itself.
Correspondence posted on Marohasy’s blog shows she has been pushing her claims for months that BoM has “corrupted the official temperature record so it more closely accords with the theory of anthropogenic global warming”, according to a letter she wrote to Liberal Senator Simon Birmingham, whose parliamentary secretary portfolio includes responsibility for the agency.
Marohasy lays it on thick in the letter, accusing the bureau of engaging in “propaganda” and littering the text with claims of “corruption”.
Posted on 2 September 2014 by dana1981
Connecting the dots between human-caused global warming and specific extreme weather events has been a challenge for climate scientists, but recent research has made significant advances in this area. Links have been found between some very damaging extreme weather events and climate change.
For example, research has shown that a “dipole” has formed in the atmosphere over North America, with a high pressure ridge off the west coast, and a low pressure trough over the central and eastern portion of the continent.
These sorts of pressure ridges in the atmosphere are linked to “waves” in the jet stream. Research has shown that when these jet stream waves form, they’re accompanied by more intense extreme weather. The high pressure zone off the west coast or North America has been termed the “Ridiculously Resilient Ridge” due to its persistence over the past two years. It’s been the main cause of California’s intense drought by pushing rain storms around the state.