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

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2012 SkS Weekly Digest #26

Posted on 2 July 2012 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

In the immortal words of Glenn Tamblyn:

"Phil Jones: don't let the bastards grind you down"

Please join us in supporting one of the world's most courageous and pre-eminent climate scientists, Phil Jones of the University of East Anglia. See Nil Illegitimi Carborundum by Glenn Tamblyn for details.

Toon of the Week


 Carbon Omission

And of course, before the was “OAL” there was “Clean Coal”. It’s unfortunate that Big Coal has Big Cash to peddle Big BS to further delay little wind, solar, tidal, and geothermal. Joe Mohr's Cartoon Archive

Quotes of the Week

Whether he is right or not, one aspect of the research is undisputed: It shows a clear relationship between climate and fire – namely, warmer and drier conditions bring more fire over the long haul.

As Veblen noted: "The most important message is that with warming temperatures we should expect increased wildfire activity in many ecosystems in the West.

"But as a society we're not really dealing with that problem."

Source: Western fires: Payback time? by Tom  Yulsman, The Daily Climate, June 29, 2012

With widespread power outages still plaguing a multistate swath from Indiana to Virginia after the severe “derecho” event on Friday night, the late June heat wave continues to make headlines. Numerous all-time high temperature records were set on Saturday, with additional records expected to be set during the first few days of July.

Source: Heat Wave Sets More All-Time Temperature Records by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, June 30, 2012

Scientific Term of the Week

Derecho: A derecho (pronounced similar to "deh-REY-cho" in English) is a widespread, long-lived wind storm that is associated with a band of rapidly moving showers or thunderstorms. Although a derecho can produce destruction similar to that of tornadoes, the damage typically is directed in one direction along a relatively straight swath. As a result, the term "straight-line wind damage" sometimes is used to describe derecho damage. By definition, if the wind damage swath extends more than 240 miles (about 400 kilometers) and includes wind gusts of at least 58 mph (93 km/h) or greater along most of its length, then the event may be classified as a derecho.

The word "derecho" was coined by Dr. Gustavus Hinrichs, a physics professor at the University of Iowa, in a paper published in the American Meteorological Journalin 1888. A defining excerpt from the paper can be seen in this figure showing a derecho crossing Iowa on July 31, 1877. Hinrichs chose this terminology for thunderstorm-induced straight-line winds as an analog to the word tornado. "Derecho" is a Spanish word that can be defined as "direct" or "straight ahead." In contrast, the word "tornado" is thought by some, including Hinrichs, to have been derived from the Spanish word "tornar," which means "to turn".

Source: About Derechos (part of the NOAA-NWS-NCEP Storm Prediction Center website) 

The Week in Review

A complete listing of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. 

Coming Soon

A list of articles that are in the SkS pipeline. Most of these articles, but not necessarily all, will be posted during the week. 

  • Ocean heat flux and the Arctic (Neven)
  • New research from last week 26/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
  • The GLOBAL global warming signal (Kevin C)
  • Murry Salby's Correlation Conundrum (Dikran Marsupial)
  • Lindzen and Choi 2011 - Party Like It's 2009 (Dana)
  • Roy's Risky Regression (Dikran Marsupial)
  • Carbon - the Huge and Yet Overlooked Fossil Fuel Subsidy (Dana)
  • Exxon-Mobil CEO Denies the Climate Threat (Dana)
  • Remote Siberian Lake Holds Clues to Arctic--and Antarctic--Climate Change (John Hartz)

SkS in the News

Dana's Gleckler et al Confirm the Human Fingerprint in Global Ocean Warming was re-posted on Climate Progress.

SkS Spotlights: Climatic Research Unit 

The Climatic Research Unit CRU) is widely recognised as one of the world's leading institutions concerned with the study of natural and anthropogenic climate change. 

Consisting of a staff of around thirty research scientists and students, the CRU has developed a number of the data sets widely used in climate research, including the global temperature record used to monitor the state of the climate system, as well as statistical software packages and climate models. 

The aim of the Climatic Research Unit is to improve scientific understanding in three areas: 

  • past climate history and its impact on humanity;
  • the course and causes of climate change during the present century;
  • prospects for the future. 

The CRU undertakes both pure and applied research, sponsored almost entirely by external contracts and grant from academic funding councils, government departments, intergovernmental agencies, charitable foundations, non-governmental organisations, commerce and industry. 

Alongside its research activities, the CRU has an educational role through its contribution to formal teaching with the University of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences (most notably, the MSc in Climate Change) and various forms of in-service training including postgraduate education. It is regarded as an authoritative source of information on both the science and policy aspects of climate change by the media and maintains a high public profile. 

The staff of the CRU have an enviable publication record, contributing to both peer-review and popular journals as well as editing various newsletters and bulletins. 

The CRU is part of the School of Environmental Sciences with close links to other research groups within the department such as the Centre for Social and Economic Research on the Global Environment. The CRU  undertakes collaborative research with institutes throughout the world on a diverse range of topics and is coordinating or contributing to a number of networking activities.

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Comments 1 to 8:

  1. Blech.
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  2. Bernard- very comprehensive. Basically sums up the contrarian's case.
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  3. Yep, that's truly priceless. Has rather made my day.
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  4. I'm sure it'll be patched up somewhat as time goes on, but the whole premise of reconciling the mutually-irreconcilable twaddle of climate change denialism is nevertheless doomed to humiliating failure - the more so as those unfortunate nominated grandchildren become grandparents themselves. However, as I am frequently wont to point out, half of the human population is of below-average intelligence, so even irreconciled twaddle will reach some people.
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  5. This wiki is in "alpha" state of development and we invite you to help plan and grow it "under wraps" until enough support, structure, and configurations are in place.
    From the welcome page for the wiki. Given there's a last mod date of 8th March 2012 on that SkSkS page, and it has has a history going back to - well, let's be generous and say January 2012 (though if you actually take a look...), it appears that 'support, structure and configurations' may not, um, altogether be 'in place'.
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  6. Bernard J and Bill: A general rule of thumb: Do not provide free publicity for your opponent.
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  7. John. I did think twice about it, but given the whole premise of the site, and the lack of skill thus far shown, I thought it worth the mention. If it is embroidered in the future, and the growing internal contradictions then pointed out as that occurs, other denialists may actually be dissuaded from embarrassing themselves. It's easier to call a false start before the runners are at full Gish Gallop... Besides, there's a perverse corner of my mind that imagines a rebuttal or two appearing on SkS's list (should the wiki ever stagger past "alpha"), which would greatly upset the apple cart of that site's front page, as they are forced to either include the rebuttals in their list - which then becomes effectively self-rebutting, or to omit them and be patently seen to be censoring anything counter to their cause. Such would be unavoidable, because the raison d'être of the site is to refer people to each of the items on the Skeptical Science list! Of course, there could very likely arise a recursive loop, as circular links are updated, but one would hope that in the process even the most obdurate denialists would eventually cotton on to the gaping holes in the nonsense that passes for science on their side of the fence. The fundamental premise of the wiki really was very poorly thought out... However, if the SkS moderators don't feel like directing traffic to that train-wreck of a site, I'm happy for them to smack my posts.
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  8. Bernard thumb up :)
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