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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?

 


There’s one key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report

Posted on 15 October 2018 by dana1981

The Paris climate agreement set a target of no more than 2°C global warming above pre-industrial temperatures, but also an aspirational target of no more than 1.5°C.  That’s because many participating countries – especially island nations particularly vulnerable to sea level rise – felt that even 2°C global warming is too dangerous.  But there hadn’t been a lot of research into the climate impacts at 1.5°C vs. 2°C, and so the UN asked the IPCC to publish a special report summarizing what it would take to achieve the 1.5°C limit and what the consequences would be of missing it.

The details in the report are worth understanding, but there’s one simple critical takeaway point: we need to cut carbon pollution as much as possible, as fast as possible.

We’re about to burn through the 1.5°C carbon budget

Depending on how we define ‘pre-industrial temperatures’ and how fast we keep consuming fossil fuels, we’ll likely burn through the rest of the 1.5°C carbon budget within the next 3 to 10 years.  To stay below 1.5°C, the IPCC therefore concludes the world must embark on a World War II-level effort to transition away from fossil fuels, and also start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere at large scales – anywhere from 400bn to 1.6tn tons of it.

budget

 Global carbon dioxide emissions to date, and potential pathways to stay within the remaining 1.5°C global warming budget. Illustration: IPCC SR15

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10 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #41

Posted on 14 October 2018 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... Legal Matters... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Hurricanes like Michael show why we can’t ignore climate change

The deadly storm came just days after a report on global warming

Hurricane Michael aftermath: Mexico Beach, Fl 10-13-18

People walk through rubble after Hurricane Michael in Mexico Beach, Fla., on Saturday (Oct 13, 2018). (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

This past week was a grim one in climate history, by any measure.

First, an international group of scientists released a long-anticipated report (IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C) detailing in excruciating detail the extra damages we can expect unless we slam our foot on the fossil fuel brakes right now. Then, just a few days later, record-breaking Hurricane Michael came barreling out of the Gulf of Mexico with a late-breaking intensification that transformed the Florida Panhandle into a landscape straight out of a horror movie.

The fact that both events occurred within a few days of each other is pure coincidence, of course. But it does leave the feeling that Nature just put one or more planetary-scale exclamation marks on the main takeaway from the IPCC report: Act now to reduce emissions, or suffer the consequences!

Hurricanes like Michael show why we can’t ignore climate change, Perspective by Kim Cobb, Post Everything, Washington Post, Oct 14, 2018

____________________

Note: For more details about the IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C see:

Links to additional article and opinion pieces about the IPCC's Special Report are included in the 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41 posted on this site yesterday.  

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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #41

Posted on 13 October 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week including numerous articles about the IPCC’s Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5oC and the Hurricane Michael-climate change connection,

Editor's Pick

Mary Robinson on climate change: ‘Feeling “This is too big for me” is no use to anybody’

The former president of Ireland has a new raison d’être: saving the planet. Yet, despite the dire warnings of this week’s IPCC report, she is surprisingly upbeat 

Mary Robinson 

‘Human rights has always been a struggle’ ... Mary Robinson in her office in Dublin. Photograph: Johnny Savage/Guardian

On the morning that the world’s leading climate scientists warn that the planet has until 2030 to avert a global warming catastrophe, Mary Robinson appears suitably sombre. She wears black shoes, black trousers and a black sweater and perches at the end of a long table at her climate justice foundation, headquartered in an austere, imposing Georgian building opposite Trinity College Dublin. The only dash of brightness is a multicoloured brooch on her lapel. “It symbolises the sustainable development goals,” she says. “It’s the one good emblem that the United Nations has produced, so I like to wear it.”

There seems little reason for cheer on this Monday. The landmark report by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has just warned that urgent, unprecedented changes are needed to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C; even half a degree beyond this will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people. Donald Trump, rejecter of the Paris climate agreement, is riding high on the back of Brett Kavanaugh’s elevation to the US supreme court. Britain and the EU are consumed by Brexit Brazil is on course to elect a president who wants to open the Amazon to agribusiness. Closer to home, the Irish government is flunking its climate policy goals. Now, climate scientists warn that the clock ticks ever closer to midnight.

“Governments are not responding at all adequately to the stark reality that the IPCC is pointing to: that we have about 11 years to make really significant change,” says Robinson, sitting ramrod straight, all business. “This report is extraordinarily important, because it’s telling us that 2 degrees is not safe. It’s beyond safe. Therefore, we have to work much, much harder to stay at 1.5 degrees. I’ve seen what 1 degree is doing in more vulnerable countries ... villages are having to move, there’s slippage, there’s seawater incursion.”

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8 comments


New research, October 1-7, 2018

Posted on 12 October 2018 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change

Understanding the abrupt climate change in the mid-1970s from a phase-space transform perspective

Temperature, precipitation, wind

Distinguishing trends and shifts from memory in climate data

Persistence of observed air temperatures in Iceland

Revisiting the Mystery of Recent Stratospheric Temperature Trends (open access)

Establishment of a long-term lake-surface temperature dataset within the European Alps extending back to 1880 (open access)

Spatially variable warming of the Laurentian Great Lakes: an interaction of bathymetry and climate

Daily mean temperature estimate at the US SURFRAD stations as an average of the maximum and minimum temperatures

Importance of the El Niño teleconnection to the 21st century California wintertime extreme precipitation increase

Observed trends in temperature and rainfall in Bangladesh using pre-whitening approach

Later wet seasons with more intense rainfall over Africa under future climate change

Assessment of projected agro-climatic indices over Awun river basin, Nigeria for the late twenty-first century (open access)

“Dry gets drier, wet gets wetter”: A case study over the arid regions of central Asia

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0 comments


Victims of Hurricane Michael voted for climate deniers

Posted on 11 October 2018 by John Abraham

Floridians are staring down a very powerful Category 4 typhoon that is causing extensive damage.  The high winds, heavy rains, and storm surge will cost billions of dollars.

We know that climate change is making these storms stronger.  The storms feed off of warm ocean waters, and those waters are much warmer now because of climate change. I have written about the science in more detail here and here.  But basically, Michael strengthened because it passed over really warm waters.  Waters that were hotter because of human-caused warming.

ocean temps

Water ocean temperatures around Florida as Hurricane Michael evolved. Illustration: NASA EOSDIS/LANCE

Predictably, the hurricane strengthened as it hit shore.  As I write this, Michael is coming ashore and the pressure is still falling (low pressures in a hurricane signify a stronger storm).  It appears that Michael may have the third-lowest pressure for a hurricane hitting the USA.

IR Michael

Infrared image of Hurricane Michael Photograph: NASA/NOAA/UW-SSEC-CIMSS, William Straka III

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7 comments


SkS Analogy 14 - Inertia and Inevitability

Posted on 10 October 2018 by Evan, jg

Tag Line

Inertia is your friend … until it isn’t.

Elevator Statement

Inertia delays the response …
  But for each CO2 level there is a guaranteed response …
        Be patient, the response is coming …
                     And when it finally comes there’s no going back.

Tie a rubber band to a weight. Move your hand rapidly1 away from the weight,2 stop your hand,3 wait, and the slowly accelerating weight will eventually slam into your hand.4

Think of your hand as CO2 concentration and the weight as atmospheric temperature. Moving your hand quickly is like rapidly increasing CO2 concentration.5 The motion of the weight is like rising atmospheric temperature, where the position of the weight is an indication of atmospheric temperature. A heavy weight causes a large time delay between the motion of your hand and the motion of the weight, similar to the delay between GreenHouse-Gas (GHG) emissions and warming caused by the thermal inertia of the oceans.

So just like connecting your hand to a weight with a rubber band, moving your hand quickly does not guarantee that the weight will initially move quickly. But if you are patient, and if you experiment by moving your hand at different rates, you will find that the quicker and further you move your hand the faster and harder the weight will eventually slam into your hand. You just have to be patient to let the weight catch up.

For another example of the effect of inertia in a system with a small force moving a large weight we turn to NASA. NASA uses solar-powered ion thrusters to power its current generation of deep-space voyagers. Ion thrusters use electrical energy provided by solar panels to accelerate individual xenon atoms, ejecting them at high velocity out the back of the rocket engine. The beauty of ion thrusters is that they combine an essentially infinite energy source (i.e., the sun), together with on-board fuel (xenon) to provide high-efficiency propulsion. The down side is that the thrust/weight ratio is so low that it may take months to years for the probe to reach maximum velocity.

Noting that the heating effect of GHGs in Earth’s atmosphere is relatively low, and that the mass of the oceans is massive, just as ion-thrust engines require months to years to accelerate their payload up to maximum speed, GHGs in Earth’s atmosphere require years to decades to accelerate their “payload” up to maximum temperature, with a typical cause-and-effect time constant of about 30 years: the length of a typical house mortgage.

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4 comments


Next self-paced run of Denial101x starts on October 16

Posted on 9 October 2018 by BaerbelW

The next iteration of our free online course, Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, starts on October 16 and it will be the 11th run since the very first one in April 2015. Since then, more than 35,000 students from over 180 countries have registered for our MOOC which has been running either as a 7 weeks long paced or a longer running self-paced version like the upcoming one. The next run won't close until February 26 2019, giving you ample time to work through the material at your own pace.

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0 comments


The Trump administration has entered Stage 5 climate denial

Posted on 8 October 2018 by dana1981

tragedy

A cartoon illustration of the Trump administration’s climate policy logic Illustration: John Cook

Several years ago, I wrote about the five stages of climate denial.  To date, the Trump administration has pinballed between Stages 1, 2, and 3, calling climate change a Chinese hoaxdisputing the degree of human causation (100% since 1950), and claiming it’s not a threat.  But the purpose of climate science denial is to obstruct climate policies, and science denial doesn’t hold up in court.  Unlike in the political realm, judicial decisions are generally based on evidence. 

The Trump administration wants to roll back the Obama administration’s increased vehicle fuel efficiency standards.  But under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), “if a proposed major federal action is determined to significantly affect the quality of the human environment,” the agency has to publish an environmental impact statement (EIS).

cafe

Vehicle fuel efficiency standards to date (blue) and required under the Obama administration rules (green) and the Trump administration’s proposal (red) Illustration: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration

And so, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) was required to publish an EIS detailing how the proposed fuel efficiency rollbacks would impact the environment, including via climate change.  Here, the Trump administration shifted to Stage 4 and 5 climate denial.

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10 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #40

Posted on 7 October 2018 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... SkS Highlights... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS...  Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

A major climate report will slam the door on wishful thinking

The IPCC is likely to say that even the most optimistic scenario for climate change isn’t great at all.

Coal-fired Power Plant 

The leading international body of climate change researchers is preparing to release a major report Sunday night on the impacts of global warming and what it would take to cap warming at 1.5 degrees Celsiusor 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels, a goal that looks increasingly unlikely.

The report is from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international consortium of hundreds of climate researchers convened by the United Nations. Authors are meeting this week in Incheon, South Korea, to finalize their findings, but Climate Home News obtained an early leaked draft.

Why examine the prospects for limiting global warming to 1.5°C? Because under the Paris agreement, countries agreed that the goal should be to limit warming to below 2°C by 2100, with a nice-to-have target of capping warming at 1.5°C.

According to the drafts, the report finds that it would take a massive global effort, far more aggressive than any we’ve seen to date, to keep warming in line with 1.5°C — in part because we are already en route to 3°C of warming. And even if we hit the 1.5°C goal, the planet will still face massive, devastating changes. So it’s pretty grim.

But this is also a thunderous call to action, laying out what tools we have at our disposal (we have plenty) to mitigate global warming and to accelerate the turn toward cleaner energy. Let’s walk through the basics. 

A major report will slam the door on wishful thinking by Umair Irfan, Energy & Environment, Vox, Oct 5, 2018

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8 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #40

Posted on 6 October 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor's Pick

The Nihilism of Trump’s Climate Policy

The administration cites the likelihood of catastrophic global temperature rise to justify gutting fuel-efficiency standards. Yes, you read that correctly.

Wildfire Shasta Trinity National Forest CA Sep 2018

A firefighter works to control the Delta Fire in the Shasta-Trinity National Forest, California, in September 2018. Noah Berger/AP

The Washington Post dove deep into a draft statement issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration last week and found buried within it a startling admission.

Planet Earth, the agency’s analysts observed, is currently on track to warm by approximately 4 degrees Celsius by the end of the century. But that’s not the startling thing I’m referring to. This is: The statement’s authors were passing along this bit of news in order to lend support to the administration’s decision to weaken fuel efficiency standards for cars and light trucks built after 2020.

That’s right: The United States government is basically making the argument that reducing carbon pollution from cars can’t save us—so why bother?

This is, to put it mildly, a twist on the usual rules of engagement between those who advocate for climate action and those who don’t. We’re used to fighting skepticism. But outright nihilism? That’s a new one. 

The Nihilism of Trump’s Climate Policy by Jeff Turrentine, On Earth, NRDC, Oct 5, 2018 

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9 comments


New research, September 24-30, 2018

Posted on 5 October 2018 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change mitigation

Climate change communication

Enduring Extremes? Polar Vortex, Drought, and Climate Change Beliefs

Not in my back yard: Egocentrism and climate change skepticism across the globe

Climate Policy

Environmental integrity of international carbon market mechanisms under the Paris Agreement (open access)

Altruism and Global Environmental Taxes (open access)

International trade and the distribution of economy-wide benefits from the disbursement of climate finance

Energy production

Current perspectives on nuclear energy as a global climate change mitigation option

Changes in soil organic carbon stocks after conversion from forest to oil palm plantations in Malaysian Borneo (open access)

Curtailment of renewable energy in Northwest China and market-based solutions

Assessing the impact of drought on the emissions- and water-intensity of California's transitioning power sector

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0 comments


How Arctic lakes accelerate permafrost carbon losses

Posted on 3 October 2018 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief.  Dr Ingmar Nitze is a postdoctoral researcher at the Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI); Dr Guido Grosse is head of the Permafrost Research Section at AWI and professor of permafrost in the Earth system at the University of PotsdamDr Thomas Schneider von Deimling is a senior scientist at AWI; and Dr Katey Walter Anthony is an aquatic ecosystem ecologist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

As the climate warms, there is increasing concern around thawing of carbon-rich permafrost across the Arctic. Carbon emissions from this perennially frozen land have the potential to reinforce global warming.

Adding to this risk, the Arctic is also pockmarked by millions of small ponds and lakes, formed as the frozen soil thaws, collapses and fills with melted ice, snow and rain. These lakes accelerate thawing of the surrounding land, ramping up how much carbon the land emits.

In our recent study, published in Nature Communications, we have – for the first time – estimated the global carbon emissions from permafrost thaw beneath and around Arctic lakes.

And our findings suggest this rapid thaw has the potential to double how much permafrost carbon is released this century.

Giant freezer

Permafrost covers around a quarter of the non-glaciated land in the northern hemisphere, including large parts of Siberia, Alaska, northern Canada and the Tibetan plateau.

Permafrost soils lock in old plant and animal remains like a giant freezer. This a carbon-rich combination of roots, leaves and peat that covered the vast tundra-steppe and interspersed wetlands of the last ice age. It also includes mammoths and other iconic animals of the time.

As its name suggests, permafrost is permanently frozen, However, during the short summer season, the uppermost part of the soil – known as the “active layer” – briefly thaws. This layer is, perhaps, just a few tens of centimetres deep.

However, a warming climate puts an increasing amount of permafrost at risk of thawing. And it is not only contending with the steady rise in global average temperatures, but also “Arctic amplification” – the rapid warming in the Earth’s northernmost latitudes in response to melting sea ice and declining snow cover.

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1 comments


New study finds incredibly high carbon pollution costs – especially for the US and India

Posted on 1 October 2018 by dana1981

The social cost of carbon is a measure of the economic damages caused (via climate change) by each ton of carbon pollution that we produce today.  It’s difficult to estimate because of physical, economic, and ethical uncertainties.  For example, it’s difficult to predict exactly when various climate tipping points will be triggered, how much their damages will cost, and there’s also a question about how much we value the welfare of future generations (which is incorporated in the choice of ‘discount rate’).

In 2013, the Obama administration set the federal social cost of carbon estimate at $37 per ton of carbon dioxide (up from the previous estimate of $22).  That was a conservative estimate – in recent years, research has pegged the value closer to $200 because recent research has shown that global warming slows economic growth, which makes it quite expensive.  A majority of economists in a 2015 survey believed the federal estimate was too low, but Republicans have recently been trying to dramatically lower it anyway.

The Republican argument is twofold.  First, that we should only consider domestic climate costs (the federal estimate is of global costs, because our carbon pollution doesn’t just hover in the air above America).  Second, that instead of trying to stop climate change now, we should just save our money and let future generations pay for its costs (by using a high discount rate).

The social cost of carbon is much higher yet

A new study led by UC San Diego’s Katharine Ricke published in Nature Climate Change found that not only is the global social cost of carbon dramatically higher than the federal estimate – probably between $177 and $805 per ton, most likely $417 – but that the cost to America is around $50 per ton.  That’s the second-highest in the world behind India’s $90, and is also higher than the current federal estimate for the global social cost of carbon.

That’s a remarkable conclusion worth repeating.  Ricke’s team found that the cost of carbon pollution to just the United States is probably higher than its government’s current estimate of costs to the entire world.  And the actual global cost is more than 10 times higher than the federal estimate.  And yet Republican politicians think that estimate should be much lower.

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2 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #39

Posted on 30 September 2018 by John Hartz

Calls to Action... Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... Toon of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Report of Note... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week...  SkS Week in Review... 

Story of the Week...

World 'nowhere near on track' to avoid warming beyond 1.5C target 

Exclusive: Author of key UN climate report says limiting temperature rise would require enormous, immediate transformation in human activity

Coal-fired power plant

Avoiding a temperature increase of more than 1.5C will be ‘extraordinarily challenging’, says the report’s author. Photograph: Matt Brown/AP

The world’s governments are “nowhere near on track” to meet their commitment to avoid global warming of more than 1.5C above the pre-industrial period, according to an author of a key UN report that will outline the dangers of breaching this limit.

A massive, immediate transformation in the way the world’s population generates energy, uses transportation and grows food will be required to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C and the forthcoming analysis is set to lay bare how remote this possibility is.

“It’s extraordinarily challenging to get to the 1.5C target and we are nowhere near on track to doing that,” said Drew Shindell, a Duke University climate scientist and a co-author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, which will be unveiled in South Korea next month.

“While it’s technically possible, it’s extremely improbable, absent a real sea change in the way we evaluate risk. We are nowhere near that.” 

World 'nowhere near on track' to avoid warming beyond 1.5C target by Oliver Milman, Guardian, Sep 27, 2018

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3 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #39

Posted on 29 September 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor's Pick

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100

Ranch Fire Brea CA 08-01-18 

Firefighters from Brea, Calif., inspect and cut fireline on Aug. 1, 2018, as the Ranch Fire burns near Upper Lake, Calif. A day earlier, it and the River Fire totaled more than 74,000 acres. (Stuart W. Palley/For The Washington Post) 

Last month, deep in a 500-page environmental impact statement, the Trump administration made a startling assumption: On its current course, the planet will warm a disastrous 7 degrees by the end of this century.

A rise of 7 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 4 degrees Celsius, compared with preindustrial levels would be catastrophic, according to scientists. Many coral reefs would dissolve in increasingly acidic oceans. Parts of Manhattan and Miami would be underwater without costly coastal defenses. Extreme heat waves would routinely smother large parts of the globe.

But the administration did not offer this dire forecast as part of an argument to combat climate change. Just the opposite: The analysis assumes the planet’s fate is already sealed.

Trump administration sees a 7-degree rise in global temperatures by 2100 by Juliet Eilperin, Brady Dennis & Chri Mooney, Health & Science, Washington Post, Sep 28, 2018 

Read more...

32 comments


New research, September 17-23, 2018

Posted on 28 September 2018 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below.

Climate change impacts 

Mankind

Bayesian estimates for the mapping of dengue hotspots and estimation of the risk of disease epidemic in Northeast Brazil

Effects of climate change-related heat stress on labor productivity in South Korea

Climatic preferences for beach tourism: an empirical study on Greek islands

Estimation of economic losses from tropical cyclones in China at 1.5 °C and 2.0 °C warming using the regional climate model COSMO‐CLM

Mapping the need for adaptation: assessing drought vulnerability using the livelihood vulnerability index approach in a mid-hill region of Nepal

Unavoidable solutions for coastal adaptation in Reunion Island (Indian Ocean)

Co-producing UK climate change adaptation policy: An analysis of the 2012 and 2017 UK Climate Change Risk Assessments

Behavioral adaptation to climate change in wildfire‐prone forests

Assessing real options in urban surface water flood risk management under climate change (open access)

Climate change impact on Mexico wheat production

Global Freshwater Availability Below Normal Conditions and Population Impact Under 1.5 and 2 °C Stabilization Scenarios

Climate change as a motivating factor for farm-adjustments: rethinking the link (open access)

Ratooning as an adaptive management tool for climatic change in rice systems along a north-south transect in the southern Mississippi valley

Read more...

0 comments


New research shows the world’s ice is doing something not seen before

Posted on 26 September 2018 by John Abraham

In this warming world, some parts of the planet are warming much faster than others.  The warming is causing large ice bodies to start to melt and move rapidly, in some cases sliding into the ocean. 

This movement is the topic of a very new scientific study that was just published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.  The Arctic is warming much faster than other parts of the planet and the ice there is showing the signs of rapid warming.  This fact has serious consequences. First, melting ice can cause sea levels to rise and inundate coastal areas – it also makes storms like hurricanes and typhoons more destructive.  Melting ice also causes a feedback loop, which can cause more future warming and then more ice loss.

It should be noted that there are different types of ice.  Some ice floats on water and is called sea ice.  When it melts, the ocean water level hardly budges because the ice is already in the sea displacing liquid water.  But, sea ice is really important for this feedback loop I mentioned above.

Other ice is on land and may be a large ice sheet or a smaller glacier.  These ice bodies sit atop the land and “rest” there.  In some cases, they extend out off the land and into the ocean where they partly float on liquid water.  When this land ice melts, the liquid flows into the oceans and can cause significant ocean level rising.

So, the importance of ice depends on what type it is, where it is located, and how fast it is melting. And this brings us to the new paper.

Read more...

3 comments


Retraction of Florides et al. (2013)

Posted on 25 September 2018 by Ari Jokimäki

About a year ago I wrote about my dealings with a paper by Florides et al. in a four part article here at SkS (part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4). I had found out that the paper in question was largely created by copy/pasting passages of texts from various sources and that the paper contained a lot of false claims and other flaws.

I had communicated my findings to Elsevier, who originally had published the paper, but as I described in part four of the article series, Elsevier did not do anything about the paper.

Since publishing my article series there have been some developments, which I will describe briefly below, but the most recent development is that the paper got retracted three and a half years after I lodged a complaint.

Recent developments

First of all, there was an article on this in Retraction Watch. The article describes mainly the same issues as my article series, but there's also some new information, such as the mention that the Editor-in-Chief of the journal had been replaced.

The new Editor-in-Chief, Professor Aoife M. Foley, contacted me to let me know that they will have another look at the issue. After that I didn't hear from the journal again, but recently I noticed that the journal page for the paper in question now says that the paper has been retracted.

The retraction

Apparently, the paper was retracted on August 23, 2018, or at least the retraction notice shows that date. The reason for the retraction is given as:

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1 comments


New study reconciles a dispute about how fast global warming will happen

Posted on 24 September 2018 by dana1981

We’re currently on pace to double the carbon dioxide-equivalent (including other greenhouse gases) in the atmosphere by around mid-century.  Since the late 1800s scientists have been trying to answer the question, how much global warming will that cause?

In 1979, top climate scientists led by Jule Charney published a reportestimating that if we double the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from pre-industrial levels of 280 ppm to 560 ppm, temperatures will warm by 3 ± 1.5°C.  Four decades later, ‘climate sensitivity’ estimates remain virtually unchanged, but some climate contrarians have argued that the number is at the low end of that range, around 2°C or less.

It’s an important question because if the contrarians are right, the 2°C resulting global warming would represent significantly less severe climate change consequences than if mainstream climate scientists are right and temperatures rise by 3°C.  It would also mean our remaining carbon budgetfor meeting the 2°C Paris target is about twice as large than if the mainstream consensus is right.  If the consensus is correct, we’re on pace to blow through the remaining Paris carbon budget by around 2030.

Another nail in the contrarian ‘low sensitivity’ coffin

Studies published in March 2014May 2014, and December 2015 identified two critical flaws in the contrarians’ preferred so-called ‘energy balance model’ approach: it doesn’t account for the fact that Earth’s sensitivity can change over time, for example as large ice sheets continue to melt, or that the planet responds differently to different climate ‘forcings’.

Last week, the journal Earth’s Future published a study by the University of Southampton’s Philip Goodwin that took both of these factors into account.  Goodwin ran climate model simulations treating every forcing separately, including changes in greenhouse gases, solar activity, particulates from volcanic eruptions, and from human fossil fuel combustion.  For each, he included feedbacks from changes in factors like atmospheric water vapor, clouds, snow, and sea ice, including how these factors change over different timescales, as Goodwin explained:

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28 comments


2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38

Posted on 23 September 2018 by John Hartz

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Call to Action...

As you may be aware, the US 2018 Mid-term election will be one of the most historically important elections in American history. Thus, we are embarking on an effort to update the SkS resource, Climate Myths from Politicians. If you are aware that a candidate for the US Congress or the US Senate has made a statement, or statements, about man-made climate change, please share those statements with us in the comment thread of this post. Be sure to properly document the source of each statement.


Storyline of the Week...

The Unequal Burden of Climate Change

Hurricane Florence and Super Typhoon Mangkhut laid bare the disproportionate consequences for poor communities.

A street flooded by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines.

A street flooded by Super Typhoon Mangkhut in the Philippines. (NOEL CELIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Two massive tropical cyclones made landfall on separate ends of the globe on Friday. But they were, as the Associated Press put it, “as different as water and wind.”

The wind storm was Super Typhoon Mangkhut. Deemed the strongest cyclone of 2018, it brought 165 mile-per-hour gusts and 20-foot storm surges to the Philippines, and a bit less of both to Hong Kong. The water storm was Hurricane Florence. The slow-moving storm brought only 90 mile-per-hour winds to North and South Carolina, but also torrential rainfall that set a record for both states.

These differences illustrate what one disaster preparedness expert told me last week. “Every single storm has its own identity, its own footprint,” he said. “No two are ever alike.” But cyclones’ identities are not just shaped by wind speeds and rainfall totals. They’re defined by the communities they target.

The Unequal Burden of Climate Change by Emily Atkin, The New Republic, Sep 18, 2018 


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