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2012 SkS Weekly News Round-Up #2

Posted on 23 September 2012 by John Hartz

The large number of articles included in this week's round-up reflects how many stories about climate change broke during the week. What is captured in this document is, of course, just the tip of the proverbial iceberg.  

Query: Does this edition contain too many articles? Too few? About right?

Note: Given the breadth of issues covered in the articles cited, the comment thread to this post is open ended. All comments posted must, however, conform to the SkS Comments Policy.  

Must Read

Alpine Glaciers

Antarctic Ice Sheet

Antarctic Sea Ice

Arctic Sea Ice




New Normals

Ocean Acidification

Ocean Temperature

PBS Interview of Anthony Watts

 Public Policy

Renewable Energy

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Comments 1 to 12:

  1. Does this edition contain too many articles? Too few? About right? The more the merrier in my opinion. I think SkS should aim to be a one-stop shop and linking to "SkS endorsed articles" is an efficient way to do so.
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  2. @Tristan #1: The articles listed in the weekly round-up are simply those I find to be of particular importance and relevance to our readers. The SkS author team does not vet this list before it is posted. Thus the articles are not "SkS endorsed."
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  3. Out of the 27 articles 13 are about American issues. And all the public policy articles are on US issues. I agree that the list represents what JH thinks is important. One should remember that science is driving environmental policy, without securing the truth in science, you have no environmental policies, you just have ideology, whether that is on the left or right.
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  4. Peter Wadhams is saying he predicted arctic ice collapse in 2016 "few years ago". I know Wieslaw Maslowski predicted the same in 2006 (before 2007 record melt). I'd like to know the source of Wadhams' prediction. It'd be interesting to compare these predictions. Those two guys have their results matched very closely, although to my knowledge they don't collaborate...
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    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Maslowski's 2006 prediction (from his NAME model, discussed here) was based on data through 2005, and is still tracking today.

    Wadham's original comment was based on his unique access to classified submarine data and to Maslowski's model results.

    Note that it is only for the most severe (for the state of the remaining ice) model runs results does even Maslowski's model track what is actually occurring in the Arctic.

  5. @Paul D #3: In the ideal world, science should drive environmental policy. In the real world, the relationship is messy as illustrated in the articles under the Public Polciy heading. I believe that the majority of SkS readers are interested in keeping their finger on the policy deveopment pulse as well as the "pure" science.
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  6. @Paul D #3 About one-half of the articles listed in this week's round-up are US-focused becasue the PBS-Watts interview garnered one heck of a lot of attention. This was an anamoly. As an SkS author residing in the UK, you certainly have ample opportunity during the course of a week to provide links to articles that you would like to see included in the Digest.
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  7. I found that the presentation - colourization and categorization - made it easy to skim the list and focus on areas that particularly interest me. Thanks!
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  8. We might want a category for Legal aspects... i.e. the 9th Court just shot down the lawsuit Kivalina v Exxon - which means the courts decided that the EPA and Congress must decide what to do about CO2.
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  9. Sorry about the continuation of the all-States, all the time news, but I think this does rate a mention, and I have not noticed it being posted anywhere on SkS before. My apologies in advance if it has been. From July: Monthly coal- and natural gas-fired generation equal for first time in April 2012 From August: King Natural Gas Will cheap natural gas give us an opportunity to reduce ­emissions while inventing new technologies? Or will we simply become addicted to another fossil fuel? ""Cheap natural gas has taken a big bite out of coal very quickly," says David Victor, an energy expert at University of California, San Diego. "And there's going to be a bloodbath in wind power as well." For investors and technologists hoping to make renewable energy, such as wind and solar power, cost-competitive with fossil fuels, reaching so-called grid parity has suddenly gotten much tougher. Arguably, it's impossible to reach with existing technologies. The United States is saving about 400 ­million metric tons of ­carbon ­emissions annually in the recent switch to natural gas from coal. That's roughly twice as much progress 
as the European Union has made in complying with the Kyoto Protocol through 
policy efforts." We have, in fact, reduced our per capita carbon emissions to levels last seen in 1961. Dana has stated that everything he has read points to current low prices of natural gas to be unsustainable. It is possible that he might want to read more widely. For one thing, a gas pipeline to the Bkken Shale formation will be completed next year. To date, they have been flaring the gas produced at the wellhead, for want of anything better to do with it. For another, according to another EIA report from last year by far the largest shale play in the lower 48 is the Monterey Shale, a pickle shaped formation that runs several hundred miles along the western San Joaquin Valley. It is estimated to contain four and a half Bakkens worth of unconventional oil and gas, and they have hardly begun working it. As little as five years ago, I would have bet my life that energy prices would rise, or at the very least would stay stable. Recent developments have me stunned (much like the Norwegian Blue, garden pests stun easily). In any event, the news is very mixed ... while current progress is nice to have, it makes further progress look much more difficult. Best wishes, Mole
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  10. rpauli @8 Thanks for the heads up ... Wiki hasn't even updated yet. Not sure if I agree with your interpretation ... the attempt by the village to address global warming, and assign responsibility to energy companies, on the basis of calling it a common law public nuisance, was quite a stretch. I am not sure they would have succeeded even in front of the whole Ninth Circus en banc.
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  11. He's a link to the decision:
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  12. This time I promise to get it in one, but I couldn't resist. From Scientific American: "Fox News Distorts Climate Science; in Other News, the Pope Is Catholic"
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