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2012 SkS Weekly Digest #48

Posted on 3 December 2012 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Andy S launched his four part series on  subcap methane feedbacks in Alaska and the Arctic with the posting of Subcap Methane Feedbacks, Part 1: Fossil methane seepage in Alaska. This original article also contained a highly-acclaimed original graphic portraying the mechanisms of greenhouse gas release in the Arctic. The graphic was created by John Garrett. 

Toon of the Week

 2012 Toon 48

Quote of the Week

 If we want a 50-50 chance of staying below two degrees, we have to leave 2/3 of the known reserves of coal and oil and gas underground … That's not 'environmentalist math' or some radical interpretation – that's from the report of the International Energy Agency last month. It means that – without dramatic global action to change our path – the end of the climate story is already written. There is no room for doubt – absent remarkable action, these fossil fuels will burn, and the temperature will climb, creating a chain reaction of climate-related natural disasters.

An open letter to governments and their negotiators by Bill McKibben founder of, Nnimmo Bassey Environmental Rights Action & Coordinator of Oilwatch International, Pablo Solon Executive Director of Focus on the Global South, former Bolivian Ambassador to the UN and former chief negotiator for climate change, 350 Mobile, Nov 27, 2012

Rebuttal Article Updates

Dana updated the intermediate rebuttal to the myth that the IPCC is alarmist with the content of Rahmstorf et al. Validate IPCC Temperature Projections, Find Sea Level Rise Underestimated.

The Week in Review 

Coming Soon 

  • New research from last week 48/2012 (Ari Jokimäki)
  • The Greenhouse Gas Effect All-Star Fan Club (Daniel Bailey)
  • DIY climate science: The Instrumental Temperature Record (Kevin C)
  • 2012 SkS Bi-Weekly News Roundup #7 (John Hartz)
  • Weighing change in Antarctica (Matt King)
  • Past 150,000 Years of Sea Level History Suggests High Rates of Future Sea Level Rise (Rob Painting)
  • 2012 SkS Bi-Weekly News Roundup #8 (John Hartz)
  • 2012: Record Arctic Sea Ice Melt, Multiple Extremes and High Temperatures (John Hartz)
  • Food Security: the first big hit from Climate Change will be to our pockets (John Mason)
  • Thawing of Permafrost Expected to Cause Significant Additional Global Warming, Not yet Accounted for in Climate Predictions (John Hartz)
  • Putting an End to the Myth that Renewable Energy is too Expensive (Dana)
  • Drost, Karoly, and Braganza Find Human Fingerprints in Global Warming (Dana)
  • Participate in Citizen Science with the new SkS BOINC team (Steve Brown)
  • Lukewarmerism, a.k.a. Ignoring Inconvenient Evidence (Dana)
  • Mexican Climate Legislation and Other Hopeful News (Dana)
  • Italian flag curry (gws)
  • The Dirt on Climate (jg)
  • Grace under Pressure (Doug Bostrom

SkS in the News

Dana's Climate of Doubt Strategy #2: Exaggerate Uncertainty was re-posted on Shaping Tomorrow's World.

Michael Brown in a The Conversation post cited the SkS rebuttal to the 'no consensus' myth.

SkS Spotlights

The Climate Action Tracker (CAT) is an independent science-based assessment, which tracks the emission commitments and actions of countries. The website provides an up-to-date assessment of individual national pledges to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. a joint project of Climate Analytics, Ecofys, and the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

On Nov 30, the CAT report, Two degrees possible, but time is not on our side, was released at the UN climate change conference in Doha.

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Comments 1 to 5:

  1. I just stumbled on SkS and it promises to be a great resource. Thanks for all the info! I think it's strange that the cover of the book "Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand" and the cartoon above both depict an ostrich with it's head in the sand. I've heard from multiple sources that this is a myth. It seems strange to appeal to the mythical effect when seeking to expose the myth promulgated by Climate Change deniers. Is it meant to be ironic?
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  2. AML, in the minds of the target audience (those who do not have the time, energy, training, and or means to engage the entire body of research, but still desire to ask questions, learn, and wrestle the discourse), the myth is more likely more of a reality than the reality. In other words, it's an effective metaphor, no matter what ostriches do when they get spooked.
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  3. AML, to fully understand the power of the term "an ostrich with its head in the sand," which is indeed a myth, but a useful metaphor, I *highly* recommend an obscure book; titled "The Standardization Of Error," By Vilhjalmur Stefansson. The term's mythic nature in no way detracts from its usefulness as a tool to describe, in simple and unambiguous terms a concept virtually all literate adults can understand. It would only be ironic is it were used as if it were employed as a fact: it is not.
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  4. Vrooomie: Looks like an interesting read (I just ordered it from the library). Since I'm relatively new to wrestling with the discourse and I come from a family of climate change deniers, I'm pretty sure I'm the target audience. I am still struck by the incongruity of using a mythical behavior to depict the opposing camp when the opposing camp seems to obfuscate the conversation with myth. But since I can't come up with a better image (a walrus covering it's eyes? do walruses do that?), perhaps the "useful metaphor" is appropriate.
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  5. AML, I'll be interested in your thoughts on Stefansson's book.
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