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2012 SkS Weekly Digest #45

Posted on 12 November 2012 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Dana's WSJ, Sandy, and Global Warming - Asking the Right Questions is a detailed critique of an opinion piece written by Roger Pielke Jr. and published in the The Wall Street Journal. The op-ed's subtitle wrongly asserts that "Connecting energy policy and disasters makes little scientific sense." Needless to say, Roger Pielke Jr. and many residents of Deniersville have taken umbrage at Dana's well-reasoned review. This is reflected in the article's very lively comment thread.   

Toon of the Week

 2012 Toon 45

What say you?

Does the Weekly Bulletin series serve a useful purpose?  

Quote of the Week

 "We all know the difficulties in attributing any single storm to climate change. But we also know this: extreme weather due to climate change is the new normal," Ban told the 193-member U.N. General Assembly.

"This may be an uncomfortable truth, but it is one we ignore at our peril. The world's best scientists have been sounding the alarm for many years," he said. "There can be no looking away, no persisting with business as usual ... This should be one of the main lessons of Hurricane Sandy."

Source: Climate change 'new normal,' lessons from Sandy - UN chief by Michelle Nichols, Reuters,

New Rebuttal Article

In addition to posting, Hurricane Sandy and the Climate Connection on Nov. 1, Dana also posted a rebuttal to the new denier meme,  Hurricane Sandy had nothing to do with global warming -- #220 on SkS's list of Arguments.

The Week in Review

Coming Soon 

  • New research from last week 45/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
  • Fasullo and Trenberth Find Evidence in Clouds for High Climate Sensitivity (Dana)
  • German translation of debunking solutions (John Cook)
  • What the 2012 US Election Means for Climate Change and Denial (Dana)
  • Drost, Karoly, and Braganza Find Human Fingerprints in Global Warming (Dana)
  • 2012 SkS News Roundup #9 (John Hartz)
  • Subcap Methane Feedbacks, Part 1: Fossil methane seepage in Alaska (Andy S)
  • DIY climate science: The Instrumental Temperature Record (Kevin C)
  • The Dirt on Global Warming (jg)
  • Wigley and Santer Quantify Human-Caused Global Warming (Dana)
  • Grace under Pressure (Doug Bostrom)

SkS in the News

Dana's Climate of Doubt Strategy #1: Deny the Consensus was re-posted on Shaping Tomorrow's World.

Greg Laden endorsed SkS as a resource for "everything you need to know to answer denialist questions."

Peter Christian on iom today endorsed SkS as "regarded even by sceptics as a forum of open rational debate" and referenced the rebuttal to the myth 'global warming stopped in [insert date]'.

Reality Drop utilized the SkS rebuttal to the myth Climate 'Skeptics' are like Galileo.

SkS Spotlights is a web-based interface that enables the public to help analyze the intensities of past tropical cyclones around the globe. The global intensity record contains uncertainties caused by differences in analysis procedures around the world and through time. Patterns in storm imagery are best recognized by the human eye, so scientists are enlisting the public. Interested volunteers will be shown one of nearly 300,000 satellite images. They will answer questions about that image as part of a simplified technique for estimating the maximum surface wind speed of tropical cyclones. This public collaboration will perform more than a million classifications in just a few months—something it would take a team of scientists more than a decade to accomplish. The end product will be a new global tropical cyclone dataset that provides 3-hourly tropical cyclone intensity estimates, confidence intervals, and a wealth of other metadata that could not be realistically obtained in any other fashion.

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. Is anybody else having trouble with the RSS feed on SkS? I keep getting: The address ( does not point to a valid HTML or XML page. "An error occurred while parsing EntityName. Line 83. Position 52.
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  2. In the cartoon, it should be "this neither" (instead of "this either").
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  3. Can anyone point me in the direction of a summary/critique of this paper?:
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  4. SeaHuck5891 - There's some discussion on one of the recent open threads: search for Svensmark. It's essentially a repeat on an old idea, that passing through the arms of the Milky Way exposes Earth to more supernovae and radiation; a notion that (a) has little evidence, (b) requires both a lot of modeling and very high (and also unsupported) sensitivity to cosmic rays, and (c) absolutely zero to do with recent climate change, as we don't have a galactic arm transit coincident with the last 50 years of warming.
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Fixed text and link.
  5. Thanks KR.
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  6. While I'm here, I might as well answer the What Say You? Not sure if the Weekly Bulletin series refers to the "News Roundup", but if so, I personally utilize those links. I find it useful to read climate related news items filtered through a quality check such as SkS. Basically, I know that the linked articles are worth reading for that reason.
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    Moderator Response: [JH] Thanks for the positive feedback. The question should have been more explictly worded. The term "Weekly Bulletin" means the special summary of news items about Superstorm Sandy. Three have been produced to date. A fourth is in the works.

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