2012 SkS Weekly Digest #19
Posted on 14 May 2012 by John Hartz
The first article out of the chute, Dana's Lindzen's Clouded Vision, Part 1: Science created the biggest buzz of comments for the week. MarkR's Turbines in Texas mix up nighttime heat stirred-up the second highest number of comments. Coming in third was Dana's Tom Harris' Carleton University Climate Misinformation Class. Tom Harris himself actually dropped a couple of comments on the thread.
Toon of the Week
Quote of the Week
"We have known since the 1800s that carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere. The right amount keeps the climate conducive to human life. But add too much, as we are doing now, and temperatures will inevitably rise too high. This is not the result of natural variability, as some argue. The earth is currently in the part of its long-term orbit cycle where temperatures would normally be cooling. But they are rising — and it’s because we are forcing them higher with fossil fuel emissions."
Source: "Game Over for the Climate" Op-ed by James Hansen, New York Times, May 9, 2012
Issue of the Week
Are you reluctant to ask a "dumb question" on a comment thread for fear of being lectured to by one or more of members of the SkS author team?
Words of the Week
Climate: Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather, or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. The relevant quantities are most often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind. Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical description, of the climate system. In various chapters in this report different averaging periods, such as a period of 20 years, are also used.
Climate system: The climate system is the highly complex system consisting of five major components: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the land surface and the biosphere, and the interactions between them. The climate system evolves in time under the influence of its own internal dynamics and because of external forcings such as volcanic eruptions, solar variations and anthropogenic forcings such as the changing composition of the atmosphere and land-use change.
Climate change: Climate change refers to a change in the state of the climate that can be identified (e.g., by using statistical tests) by changes in the mean and/or the variability of its properties, and that persists for an extended period, typically decades or longer. Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use. Note that the Unite Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), in its Article 1, defines climate change as: ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods’. The UNFCCC thus makes a distinction between climate change attributable to human activities altering the atmospheric composition, and climate variability attributable to natural causes. See also Climate variability; Detection and Attribution.
Source: Annex I (Glossary) to Climate Change 2007: Working Group I: The Physical Science Basis, IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.
The Week in Review
A complete listing of the articles posted on SkS during the past week.
- Analysis of Speed of Greenland Glaciers Gives New Insight for Rising Sea Level by John Hartz
- Arctic Winter Analysis by Neven
- Two Centuries of Climate Science: part three - Manabe to the present day, 1966-2012 by John Mason
- Tom Harris' Carleton University Climate Misinformation Class by Dana
- Turbines in Texas mix up nighttime heat by Mark R
- 101 responses to Ian Plimer's climate questions by John Cook
- Lindzen's Clouded Vision, Part 2: Risk by Dana
- New research from last week 18/2012 by Ari Jokimäki
- Lindzen's Clouded Vision, Part 1: Science by Dana
A list of articles that are in the SkS pipeline. Most of these articles, but not necessarily all, will be posted during the week.
- CRUTEM4: A detailed look (Kevin C)
- New research from last week 19/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
- Climate Change Consequences - Often Unexpected (Dana)
- David Evans: All at Sea about Ocean Warming and Sea Level Rise (Rob Painting)
- Resolving Confusion about Modeled and Observed Ocean Heat Content (Dana)
- Open letter to an anonymous climate scientist (Dumb Scientist)
- In Search Of: Himalayan Ice Loss (mspelto, Daniel Bailey)
- Latest Southern Ocean research shows continuing deep ocean change (John Hartz)
SkS in the News
The Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research: Polar and Marine research are central themes of Global system and Environmental Science. The Alfred Wegener Institute conducts research in the Arctic, the Antarctic and at temperate latitudes. It coordinates Polar research in Germany and provides both the necessary equipment and the essential logistic back up for polar expeditions. Recent additional research themes include North Sea Research, contributions to Marine Biological Monitoring, Marine Pollution Research, Investigation of naturally occuring marine substances and technical marine developments.
The Institute was established as a public foundation in 1980. The Foundation Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research includes the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven the Potsdam Research Unit (1992), the Biologische Anstalt Helgoland and the Wadden Sea Station Sylt. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association of German Research Centres; the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) covers 90% of financing, the state of Bremen 8% and the states of Brandenburg and Schleswig-Holstein provide 1% each. The Foundation employs over 900 staff and has a total budget of 100 million Euro in 2005.