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Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

Global warming is real and human-caused. It is leading to large-scale climate change. Under the guise of climate "skepticism", the public is bombarded with misinformation that casts doubt on the reality of human-caused global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming "skepticism".

Our mission is simple: debunk climate misinformation by presenting peer-reviewed science and explaining the techniques of science denial.

 


The kids are not OK

Posted on 17 May 2022 by Guest Author

Julia Steinberger is an ecological economist at the University of Lausanne in Switzerland. She first posted this piece at Medium.com, and it was reposted on Yale Climate Connections with her permission.

Today I went to give a climate talk at my old high school in Geneva – and was given a masterclass in our failings. This is the story of a day that shook me up.

I have given climate talks at high schools before. In 2019, I was invited by the first Geneva climate strikers to go around the high schools on the morning of their first strike. I went, with a friend, racing on our bikes from school to school to school, as many as we could reach during the morning. Back then, the mood was electric, excited, engaged. The students had taken control of the agenda: they were going to put the concerns and needs of their generation front and centre. They were going to get things moving. There were lots of questions on climate science, projections, impacts, actions. Everyone was excited to take part, to learn.

Fast forward three years (and a pandemic) later, and the mood could not have been more different. I sensed it as I was speaking, a general muttering in the auditorium full of 16- to 17-year-olds, that sometimes ebbed a bit, but never really went away. I thought the students might be bored by the specific aspects I was talking about. Sources of emissions, trends, specific impact probabilities, types of mitigation actions … I raced through the topics, hoping to reach one they would be interested in. And at the end, during the Q&A, it finally came out.

One girl took the mic and held on to it. Her questions came fast and clear, and were widely applauded by her peers. She was clearly channelling the zeitgeist of the room. This is my recollection of some of her questions.

  • “Why are you here talking to us? We can’t do anything. Only politicians, only business leaders, can make the big changes you are talking about. Why aren’t you talking to them?”
  • “Why do you talk to us about optimism [Note: I had not, actually, but perhaps my presentation had been announced as such. Who knows.], about possible actions, when we all know that none of that will happen?”
  • “All these people in power have known about this problem for so long. Yet the IPCC comes out with report after report explaining we have to act within just a few years – and nothing happens, nothing changes. Why do you think this talk of yours to us can do anything?”

I answered as best I could – not very well. I realised that times had shifted, and that the 16-year-olds of today were in a place far beyond where those of 2019 were. Their mood was one of deep, cold, frustration and betrayal. Pessimism, even despair, perhaps, but also disdain. I had failed them, for sure, but clearly so had the other grown-ups in their lives. I was shaken.

For the rest of the day, until now, I have being thinking through that experience, what the girl and others in the auditorium said, the feeling in the room. Here are my realisations.

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Climate change will transform how we live, but these tech and policy experts see reason for optimism

Posted on 16 May 2022 by Guest Author

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article by Robert Lempert, Professor of Policy Analysis, Pardee RAND Graduate School and Elisabeth Gilmore, Associate Professor of Climate Change, Technology and Policy, Carleton University

It’s easy to feel pessimistic when scientists around the world are warning that climate change has advanced so far, it’s now inevitable that societies will either transform themselves or be transformed. But as two of the authors of a recent international climate report, we also see reason for optimism.

The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discuss changes ahead, but they also describe how existing solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people adjust to impacts of climate change that can’t be avoided.

The problem is that these solutions aren’t being deployed fast enough. In addition to push-back from industries, people’s fear of change has helped maintain the status quo.

To slow climate change and adapt to the damage already underway, the world will have to shift how it generates and uses energy, transports people and goods, designs buildings and grows food. That starts with embracing innovation and change.

Fear of change can lead to worsening change

From the industrial revolution to the rise of social media, societies have undergone fundamental changes in how people live and understand their place in the world.

Some transformations are widely regarded as bad, including many of those connected to climate change. For example, about half the world’s coral reef ecosystems have died because of increasing heat and acidity in the oceans. Island nations like Kiribati and coastal communities, including in Louisiana and Alaska, are losing land into rising seas.

Residents of the Pacific island nation of Kiribati describe the changes they’re experiencing as sea level rises.

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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #19

Posted on 15 May 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, May 8, 2022 through Sat, May 14, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): The secret world beneath our feet is mind-blowing – and the key to our planet’s future, How climate scientists keep hope alive as damage worsens, Experts: Global Warming Is Causing the World's Oceans To Lose Their 'Memory', How a quirk of the brain prevents us from caring about climate change, and Why our continued use of fossil fuels is creating a financial time bomb.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #19 2022

Posted on 12 May 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

In case of emergency break glass— but glass can cut

Fire extinguishers, safety belts, first aid kits, insurance policies, geoengineering: we never enjoy using them. But given our demonstrated, deep empirical record of proclivity for creating hazards and risk we'd obviously be foolish not to include emergency responses in our inventory. Of late geoengineering has become more acutely and urgently controversial in positive correlation with its possibility of use. We're barbequeing the planet and being very sloppy about it, after all. What used to be confined to the realm of science fiction is turning into tools we'll likely be forced to use— completely in keeping with our nature.

Geoengineering encompasses a broad array of processes and methods. 20 of these are sufficiently modeled as to suggest plausibility of deployment. All present hazards and risks of greater or lesser impact and scope. All can be thought of as trades of one type of undesirability for another. How do we choose? Well, we can start by broad, systematic and comprehensive information collection, collated and arranged so as to be useful when viewed from a number of perspectives. That's exactly what Sovacool, Baum & Lomb tackle, in Risk–risk governance in a low-carbon future: Exploring institutional, technological, and behavioral tradeoffs in climate geoengineering pathways, just published in Risk Analysis. The authors explain their questions and research objectives:

What risks does the deployment of these options entail? What types of tradeoffs may emerge through their deployment? We apply a framework that clusters risk–risk tradeoffs into institutional and governance, technological and environmental, and behavioral and temporal dimensions. In doing so, we offer a more complete inventory of risk–risk tradeoffs than those currently available within the respective risk-assessment, energy-systems, and climate-change literatures, and we also point the way toward future research gaps concerning policy, deployment, and risk management.

Thanks to its scope and approach this paper is a natural wellspring of information for a layperson who'd like to quickly ramp up on the topic of geoengineering methods, benefits and liabilities. The authors necessarily lean on extensive citations of a broad swath of previous literature, meaning that every paragraph is a trove of opportuntiies to learn more on the topic.

Other notables:

Missed Targets. A Brief History of Aviation Climate Targets. Skeptical about airline claims of improving our aviation CO2 footprint? Your intuitions appear to be correct. From our governmental/NGO collection, by Possible

Beyond automobility? Lock-in of past failures in low-carbon urban mobility innovations. The engineering challenge of updating automobiles may be leading to a strange form of myopia, wherein we accidentally faithfully imitate and reproduce the bad features of an outmoded technology and its associated culture.

Coal vs. renewables: Least-cost optimization of the Indonesian power sector. Incumbents heavily influence utility power generation planning. The authors of this study identify serious errors in Indonesia's plans for expanding power generation, leading to both higher CO2 emissions and higher consumer costs for electricity. 

Human and planetary health implications of negative emissions technologies. Co-benefits of reasonably large scale direct air carbon capture and storage (DACCS) in conjunction with bioenergy with carbon capture and storage (BECCS) may relieve disability and death burdens roughly equal to that of Parkinson's disease, on a global basis. 

All of the above open access and free to read.

151 articles in 60 journals by 946 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

Satellites Suggest Rising Tropical High Cloud Altitude: 2002—2021
Richardson et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2022gl098160

Typhoon strength rising in the past four decades
Pandey & Liou Weather and Climate Extremes
Open Access 10.1016/j.wace.2022.100446

The 2021 western North America heat wave among the most extreme events ever recorded globally
Thompson et al. Science Advances
10.1126/sciadv.abm6860

The effect of changing sea ice on wave climate trends along Alaska's central Beaufort Sea coast
Nederhoff et al. The Cryosphere
Open Access pdf 10.5194/tc-16-1609-2022

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Why a tool for reversing Trump era rules is seldom used

Posted on 11 May 2022 by Guest Author

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

“CRA”

It’s one of those acronyms even many-a-veteran environmental policy geek may not recognize.

Amidst the scores and scores of acronyms in the field – CERCLA, IPCC, SARA, LUST, NPDES, NDCs, FIFRA, NEPA and scores more – CRA remains, contentedly or otherwise, under the radar screen.

Maybe because it’s an acronym with a scope not limited to “just” environmental or climate issues.

But perhaps more likely because it is – or at least it’s become – such a seldom used means to an end, albeit one that those obsessed with perceived excesses by the “administrative state” might just love. (Are you listening, Steve Bannon?)

CRA, aka the Congressional Review Act, became law in 1996 to provide a mechanism through which the U.S. Congress could repeal recently adopted Executive Branch rules and regulations, with simple majority votes in both the House and the Senate. The approach was passed as part of then-House Majority Leader Newt Gingrich’s “Contract with America.”

The process begins once a single member of the House and a single member of the Senate introduce a joint resolution. Once a CRA disapproval of a recent rulemaking passes both chambers, generally considered a likelihood only if both are controlled by the same party, and once signed into law by a president of that same party, a CRA disapproval is not subject to a challenge in the courts.

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Flying is worse for the climate than you think

Posted on 10 May 2022 by Guest Author

Flying is often at the top of the list of our climate change causing activities. But why are the emissions from flying so bad for the climate, and is there anything that we can actually do to fix it?

Support ClimateAdam on patreon: http://patreon.com/climateadam

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India and Pakistan’s brutal heat wave poised to resurge

Posted on 9 May 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters

A brutal, record-intensity heat wave that has engulfed much of India and Pakistan since March eased somewhat this week, but is poised to roar back in the coming week with inferno-like temperatures of up to 50 degrees Celsius (122°F). The heat, when combined with high levels of humidity – especially near the coast and along the Indus River Valley – will produce dangerously high levels of heat stress that will approach or exceed the limit of survivability for people outdoors for an extended period.

The latest forecasts from the GFS and European models predict an unusually strong region of high pressure intensifying over southern Asia in the coming week, bringing increasing heat that will peak on May 11-12, with highs near 50 degrees Celsius (122°F) near the India/Pakistan border. May is typically the region’s hottest month, and significant relief from the heat wave may not occur until the cooling rains of the Southwest Monsoon arrive in June. But tropical cyclones are also common in May in the northern Indian Ocean, and a landfalling storm could potentially bring relief from the heat wave.

Figure 1. Predicted temperatures for Pakistan and northwestern India at 12Z Thursday, May 12, 2022, from the 6Z Thursday, May 5, run of the GFS model. The model predicted temperatures of 45-50 degrees Celsius (113-122°F) over a large region. (Image credit: weathermodels.com)

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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #18

Posted on 8 May 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, May 1, 2022 through Sat, May 7, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): How a tech billionaire is forcing Australia’s coal die-hards to face the future, Scorching Heatwave In India Reaches 115°F, IPCC Scientist Warns India-Pakistan Record Temps 'Testing Limits of Human Survivability', New graphics resources: Cranky Cartoons and Fallacy Icons ,Analysis: What do China’s gigantic wind and solar bases mean for its climate goals?, and The climate progress narrative is the newest tactic of global warming denialists.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #18 2022

Posted on 5 May 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Another gnawing warming worry

Accidental outcomes of our engineering prowess are warming Arctic regions at a rapid pace. Another species of accomplished engineers is rapidly occupying and exploiting new territory we've thereby made more easily available, namely beavers (Castor canadensis). Beaver populations in affected Arctic regions have increased from "none" to "quite a few" in only a few decades. Ironically, the construction and hydrological skills and activities of these creatures result in further swift and undesirable changes, notably acceleration of permafrost degradation.

Tape et al. describe the situation in Expanding beaver pond distribution in Arctic Alaska, 1949 to 2019, just published in Nature Scientific Reports. There is some queston as to whether this is entirely novel colonization, or reoccupation of land lost long ago thanks to overkill by trappers. Regardless, the additional challenge to permafrost is an unfortunate fact. The article's findings are supported by  remarkable satellite imagery revealing the scale of beaver industry in newly opened territory. 

Other notables:

Envisioning sustainable carbon sequestration in Swedish farmland. The complexity and conceptual challenges of reconfiguring our farming practices for the long haul are not so awful as to leave no hope. This paper's nature means it's a smorgasbord of interesting citations for a lay reader interested in learning more. 

Increasing impacts of extreme winter warming events on permafrost.  Who cares about old, dirty ice? One thing leads to another. A brief glance at the "GHG sources, sinks, flux" section of a typical edition of New Research suggests why this is reverberantly important; this week we see an article describing how thawing permafrost will be colonized by microrganisms as thawing progresses, liberating additional GHGs in the process. 

Design Study Requirements for a U.S. Macrogrid; A Path to Achieving the Nation’s Energy System Transformation Goals. What might a fully modernized, ready-for-the-future US electric grid look like, and can anybody describe that in language most of us can understand? Here it is, and yes they can. From our government/NGO reports section. 

Four Europes: Climate change beliefs and attitudes predict behavior and policy preferences using a latent class analysis on 23 countries. "Engaged (18%), Pessimistic (18%), Indifferent (42%), and Doubtful (21%)." There's work to be done. 

110 articles in 31 journals by 342 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

Causal links between Arctic sea ice and its potential drivers based on the rate of information transfer
Docquier et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10507846.1

Automatic detection, classification, and long-term investigation of temporal-spatial changes of atmospheric rivers in the Middle East
Esfandiari & Rezaei International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7674

Thunderstorm activity at high latitudes observed at manned WMO weather stations
K?pski & Kubicki International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7678

Reduced Sea Ice Enhances Intensification of Winter Storms over the Arctic Ocean
Crawford et al. Journal of Climate
10.1175/jcli-d-21-0747.1

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Why and How to Electrify Everything

Posted on 4 May 2022 by dana1981

This is a re-post from the Citizens' Climate Lobby blog

Electrification is a hot topic right now, with many countries searching for ways to reduce their dependence on Russian oil and gas as Putin’s war atrocities in Ukraine worsen by the day. Fortunately, many of the solutions to reduce long-term fossil fuel financial flows to the Russian government by pursuing an “electrify everything” strategy can also serve to address the climate crisis.  

The plan comprises two steps: 1) decarbonize our electricity supply, and then 2) fuel as much of the economy as possible with that clean electricity. Fortunately, step 1 is already happening, with nearly 80% of new electricity being installed in America this year coming from clean sources. The second step – switching to electric technologies – is critical to curbing both dependences on fossil fuels from abusive regimes and climate change.

Keishaa Austin, Head of Engagement and Partnerships at Rewiring America, touched on these points in CCL’s April national call. CCL also wrote a blog post about her perspective on electrifying everything. Let’s dive a little deeper into the details about how expanding electrification and efficiency can solve a variety of important problems, how the campaign can be advanced, and what people can do to help.

Why electrify everything?

The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report found that future greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuel infrastructure that’s already in place or in the planning stages are enough to use up the entire remaining Paris target carbon budget. Simply put, to keep global warming below 2°C we have to transition away from fossil fuels immediately. Building additional oil and gas and coal infrastructure means either missing the Paris targets or decommissioning power plants, refineries, and pipelines early, leading to potentially trillions of dollars in “stranded assets” that won’t be able to fully recoup their investment costs.

But fossil fuels power every corner of the economy, from transportation (mostly cars and trucks) to buildings (mostly space and water heating and cooking) and industrial processes. The good news is that most of these applications have cleaner, more efficient electric replacement options available.

How #ElectrifyEverything meshes with CCL’s goals

Sources of US greenhouse gas emissions. Data from the US EPA; chart created by Dana Nuccitelli

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What you need to know about carbon dioxide removal

Posted on 4 May 2022 by dana1981

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Carbon dioxide removal (CDR) from the atmosphere continues to be a hot topic. In its newest report, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concluded that the Paris Climate Agreement targets cannot be met without substantial efforts to remove some of the more than three-trillion tons of carbon dioxide already in Earth’s atmosphere, about one-third of which originates from humans’ burning of  fossil fuels.

Financial services company Stripe recently teamed up with several other companies, including Google parent Alphabet and Facebook parent Meta, to create a Frontier Fund that commits nearly $1 billion to purchase CDR from startups. In mid-April, Jane Flegal left her position as Senior Director for Industrial Emissions in the White House’s Office of Domestic Climate Policy to work on the Frontier Fund, and Stripe has also hired climate scientist Zeke Hausfather, a past regular contributor to this site.

Many climate advocates express concerns that governments and businesses will use CDR as a diversion from efforts to transition away from fossil fuels. Indeed, the IPCC report is clear that maximally ambitious efforts to both mitigate emissions and remove carbon from the atmosphere are needed to meet the Paris targets. To pursue both avenues aggressively, a 2019 paper suggested that governments set separate targets for emissions cuts and for carbon dioxide removal, and the European Union has done just that in its proposed European Climate Law. As Hausfather has noted, delaying emissions reductions today and relying instead on CDR later would be exceptionally expensive.

How much CDR is needed?

The IPCC report noted that CDR can serve three purposes over different timescales.

In the short-term, it can reduce net human greenhouse gas emissions. In the medium term, CDR can offset hard-to-abate emissions from certain industrial activities, agricultural practices, and long-distance transport to achieve the goal of reaching net zero emissions. In the long term, it can draw down the amount of carbon in the atmosphere to gradually reduce global temperatures. Note that the CDR process is distinct from carbon capture and storage (CCS), which captures carbon from point sources like smokestacks in an effort to prevent it from ever entering the atmosphere.

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New graphics resources: Cranky Cartoons and Fallacy Icons

Posted on 2 May 2022 by BaerbelW

What's better than some Cranky Uncle cartoons scattered around here or there? A collection of them, cross-referenced with the fallacies they depict, of course! And this is what we highlight in this blog post. John Cook had made these cartoons available for download on his Cranky Uncle website in March 2021 and Dutch and German versions were published when the translated Cranky Uncle game was launched in February 2022. The initial set of 20 cartoons is now also available in our graphics resources on Skeptical Science in English, German and Dutch:

CrankyCartoons

Each of these cartoons depicts one of the FLICC science denial techniques and the collection can be used for various activities related to the Cranky Uncle game, like matching cartoon to fallacy or setting up an offline version of the game with one cartoon and four fallacies to chose from.

There is one graphics resource page for each cartoon which references the related fallacy and also contains its icon and definition.

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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #17

Posted on 1 May 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, April 24, 2022 through Sat, April 30, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): Skeptical Science New Research for Week #17 2022, Newsmax using climate change outrage to lure paid newsletter subscribers, What Explains the Cataclysmic Failure To Get Traction For Several Principles That The US and 185 Countries Agreed Should Guide National Climate Responses that Completely Invalidated the Scientific Uncertainty and Excessive Cost Arguments That Have Been the Dominant Focus of the US Climate Debate for 30 Years, Fulfilling CoP26 promises can limit global warming to 2°C: Study, and Why Are Nature-Based Solutions on Climate Being Overlooked?.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #17 2022

Posted on 28 April 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

We can't go on like this

Past and future warming – direct comparison on multi-century timescales walks us through the improvements in methods between the IPCC AR5 and AR6 leading to the latest report's startling conclusion about our rapid, ongoing effect on global mean temperature. Unleashing the fossil hydrocarbon genie has raised the temperature of the planet in the blink of an eye. We've upped the temperature of the planet higher than it's been over the past 100,000 years, in only about 200 years.

Notably, our "success" with smashing records was assured by actual present day temperature increases over the period between assessment reports. Now, this particular jump if plotted against time would be a wiggle on a graph, but of late the wiggles as a collection trend up, rapidly departing the realm of the previous norm. Thinking about that in terms of comparison with 100,000 years of earlier lower wiggles should stop us in our tracks. 

How do we know this, and what have we learned about paleoclimate over the past decade to refine these comparisons? Darrell Kaufman and Nicholas McKay team up in Climate of the Past to produce a nifty, accessible synopsis of how our ability to see back in time has improved and resulted in better confidence in our understanding over the past decade, while we warmed the planet another 0.19 C. 

Other notables:

Living with sea-level rise in North-West Europe: Science-policy challenges across scales. Sea level rise and "adaptation" are a pair of huge certainties composed of many uncertainties— possibly the ultimate most challenging arena for policy volition, decisions and implementation.

Cascading effects of sustained low water on inland shipping. "Climate's always changed before." Sure, but it's never been abruptly broken by a civilization hinging on an enormous load of dependencies cantilevered from climate stability. Here's yet another collection of myriad reasons why consciously wreaking climate havoc is not a good idea.

Scenario analysis of hydrofluorocarbons emission reduction in China's mobile air-conditioning sector. The authors calculate that without careful attention, mitigation gains in CO2 will be significantly lost due to escape of hydrofluorocarbons. The subject country of the study is China but the problem is global.  

Significant underestimation of peatland permafrost along the Labrador Sea coastline. Another note in what seems a foreboding, steady beat of "oh, hey, look at this" in our GHG sources & sinks section. Thanks to warming we're mobilizing a lot of "zombie" organic carbon, and a lot of it will be visiting the atmosphere for some period of time— joining what we already don't need. 

All of the above open access and free to read. 

Also don't miss our weekly collection of reports from agencies and non-governmental organizations drawing from academic research, directly accessible here.

191 articles in 54 journals by 810 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

How many modes are needed to predict climate bifurcations? Lessons from an experiment
Dubrulle et al. Nonlinear Processes in Geophysics
Open Access pdf 10.5194/npg-29-17-2022

Convective rain cell properties and the resulting precipitation scaling in a warm-temperate climate
Purr et al. Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society
10.1002/qj.4277

Observations of climate change, effects

Human influence on the 2021 British Columbia floods
Gillett et al. SSRN Electronic Journal
10.2139/ssrn.4025205

Different responses of soil respiration to climate change in permafrost and non-permafrost regions of the Tibetan plateau from 1979 to 2018
Pan et al. International Journal of Climatology
10.1002/joc.7639

Exceptional heat and atmospheric dryness amplified losses of primary production during the 2020 U.S. Southwest hot drought
Dannenberg et al. Global Change Biology
10.1111/gcb.16214

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Climate change will transform how we live, but these tech and policy experts see reason for optimism

Posted on 27 April 2022 by Guest Author

Robert Lempert, Pardee RAND Graduate School and Elisabeth Gilmore, Carleton University. This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

It’s easy to feel pessimistic when scientists around the world are warning that climate change has advanced so far, it’s now inevitable that societies will either transform themselves or be transformed. But as two of the authors of a recent international climate report, we also see reason for optimism.

The latest reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change discuss changes ahead, but they also describe how existing solutions can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help people adjust to impacts of climate change that can’t be avoided.

The problem is that these solutions aren’t being deployed fast enough. In addition to push-back from industries, people’s fear of change has helped maintain the status quo.

To slow climate change and adapt to the damage already underway, the world will have to shift how it generates and uses energy, transports people and goods, designs buildings and grows food. That starts with embracing innovation and change.

Read more...

1 comments


7 TV meteorologists discuss their coverage of climate change and weather

Posted on 26 April 2022 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Peter Sinclair

Time was – and not so long ago, it seems – you might have had trouble rounding-up a half-dozen broadcast meteorologists to speak openly about how they address climate change as part of their weather forecasting.

That was then. This is now:  Independent videographer Peter Sinclair, in his regular “This Is Not Cool” video for Yale Climate Connections, chats with seven broadcast mets across the country. They weigh in on how climate change influences weather in their markets and about how they, in turn, inform their audiences, sometimes on air and sometimes through local presentations and social media.

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Climate action, as patriotism

Posted on 25 April 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Dennis Laich, Larry Wilkerson, and Erik Edstrom

The US military is about to find itself committed to yet another unwinnable mission costing trillions of dollars.

No, we are not referring to the possibility of American escalation in Russia’s brutal war against Ukraine: We are referring to the grim prospect of the American military’s having to attempt to provide national security in a rapidly warming world.

In the zeitgeist of this moment – Ukraine’s city and dwindling population of Mariupol cut off from proper access to food and water by Russian troops, 40-year high inflation rates, and COVID-19-related crisis fatigue – the most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Sixth Assessment Report, focusing on mitigation, might receive short shrift.

This would be a mistake.

The climate crisis is here, it is inextricably intertwined with American national security, and it requires that our nation take urgent, sweeping action to protect our military from its worst effects. The most recent IPCC report made it clear that nations are not doing nearly enough to prevent global warming from increasing to dangerous levels within the lifetimes of most people on Earth today.

Climate change’s effects are far larger in both magnitude and breadth – and therefore should be treated as a far larger threat to Americans – than the negative-sum wars of the past two decades. For that, our government was willing to commit 20 years, 8 trillion dollarsmore than 7,000 US military lives, and yet climate change, an existential threat, receives a much smaller share of public investment and of public attention. This is not a rational, threat-based allocation of resources … and it is to this nation’s collective detriment.

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2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

Posted on 24 April 2022 by BaerbelW

Listing of articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, April 17, 2022 through Sat, April 23, 2022.

The following articles sparked above average interest during the week (bolded articles are from SkS authors): The Greenhouse Effect, 1.5 vs 2C: What difference can a lousy half a degree of global warming make?, To fight climate despair, this Christian ecologist says science isn’t enough, Climate Change is Spreading a Debilitating Fungal Disease Throughout the West, Record amounts of zero-carbon electricity generation and storage now seeking grid interconnection, Why Trump hates wind turbines, and Don’t let climate change take all the blame.

Articles Linked to on Facebook

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Skeptical Science New Research for Week #16 2022

Posted on 21 April 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Water packing heat: it's not only the oceans

It's often remarked that we don't directly notice or feel most global warming because most excess energy being retained by the planet is ending up "stored" in Earth's oceans. Given its high specific heat capacity, liquid water is an effective sponge for a tremendous amount of heat energy. In a WIREs Climate Change perspective piece, Tom Matthews and a team of authors including Roger Pielke Sr. remind us that water vapor is also a highly effective means of energy storage, transport and liberation; ounce for ounce, water vapor can store much more energy than can liquid water, as we can see with steam locomotives. As the article demonstrates in numbers, this is a lot of ammunition for chaos and disruption being loaded into our atmosphere. As well, Matthews et al. describe how global warming "hot spots" can go unidentified thanks to our arguable overemphasis on sensible heat, the measurement seen on conventional thermometers. The authors go to offer that this latent heat stored in water vapor in Earth's atmosphere is given short shrift in communications about climate change to the general public, and policymakers. Latent heat must be visible in climate communications explains why this communications gap needs to be remedied. 

Other notables:

Solar geoengineering could redistribute malaria risk in developing countries. "What could possibly go wrong?" We may well end up playing this ace in the hole, but let's know our odds. Here's another downside risk.

How Do Right-Wing Populist Parties Influence Climate and Renewable Energy Policies? Evidence from OECD Countries. In a word? "Badly," if clawing our way out of the "burn everything" caveman mode is our objective. This article details how. 

Sources of opposition to renewable energy projects in the United States. It's not only outmoded legacy energy suppliers who oppose updating our energy supplies. Others do as well, for reasons that are more complex and less selfish and can't be ignored or bulldozed. This paper identifies and explores such issues in detail. 

136 articles in 44 journals by 601 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

2021: A Year of Unprecedented Climate Extremes in Eastern Asia, North America, and Europe
Zhou et al. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences
Open Access pdf 10.1007/s00376-022-2063-9

New seasonal pattern of pollution emerges from changing North American wildfires
Buchholz et al. Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-29623-8

Sea ice–air interactions amplify multidecadal variability in the North Atlantic and Arctic region
Deng & Dai Nature Communications
Open Access pdf 10.1038/s41467-022-29810-7

Increasing Multiyear Sea Ice Loss in the Beaufort Sea: A New Export Pathway for the Diminishing Multiyear Ice Cover of the Arctic Ocean
Babb et al.
10.1002/essoar.10509833.1

The 2021 Pacific Northwest heat wave and associated blocking: meteorology and the role of an upstream cyclone as a diabatic source of wave activity
Neal et al.
Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10510031.1

Stratospheric moistening after 2000
Konopka et al. Geophysical Research Letters
10.1029/2021gl097609

Identifying temporal trend patterns of temperature means and extremes over the Central Highlands, Vietnam
Phuong et al. Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics
10.1007/s00703-022-00886-6

The 2020 California fire season: A year like no other, a return to the past or a harbinger of the future?
Drlica et al. Global Ecology and Biogeography
Open Access 10.111/geb.13498

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Ranking the reasons why the Larsen C ice shelf is melting

Posted on 20 April 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Ella Gilbert, John King, and Ian Renfrew

Scientists know the surface of the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica is melting, making it vulnerable to collapse. For the first time, we can rank the most important causes of melting over the recent past.

In a new two-part paper in Journal of Geophysical Research: Atmospheres, we show how the amount of energy reaching the ice from the sun is the dominant factor, followed by warm winds, clouds and weather patterns. These drivers of melting can interact and overlap to reinforce or counteract each other, so it is a complex picture.

Understanding what is causing melting over Larsen C is vital as it will help predict the future of the ice shelf, which will have knock-on consequences for sea levels worldwide. 

In 2002, Larsen C’s neighbouring ice shelf, Larsen B, experienced melting so severe that it eventually caused the shelf to collapse completely. 

Vulnerable to collapse

Larsen C is a floating platform of ice on the eastern side of the Antarctic Peninsula, covering an area of  47,000 square kilometres. It is the largest remaining ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, despite losing a chunk of ice the size of the English county of Norfolk in 2017. 

Ice shelves are critical for holding back glaciers that would otherwise flow into the ocean and add to sea levels. Larsen C restrains glaciers that contain enough ice to raise global sea levels by around 22mm.

In our previous work, we have identified Larsen C as vulnerable to collapse if warming continues unchecked. This is because of an increased amount of meltwater at the surface, which trickles into crevasses in the shelf and re-freezes. This can trigger a process known as “hydrofracturing“, which caused the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and Larsen B in 2002 on the Antarctic Peninsula.

However, our understanding of what causes ice shelves to melt is limited by the lack of observations in the region. So we instead turn to numerical models, which are an extremely useful tool to explore melt processes in more depth.

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