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2013 SkS Weekly Digest #2

Posted on 14 January 2013 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

The YouTube video, 16 ^ more years of global warming by Kevin C clarifies how the interplay of natural and human factors have affected the short-term temperature trends, and demonstrates that underneath the short-term noise, the long-term human-caused global warming trend remains as strong as ever. In other words, the video throroughly debunks the myth that global warming magically stopped 16 years ago.

Toon of the Week

 2013 Toon 2

Rob Rogers/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Quote of the Week

"Not every summer will be hotter than the one before. In fact this year is markedly hotter than the last couple of years when we had relatively milder and wetter conditions.

"But what we are going to find on average is more of the hot extremes and faster increases in the future, over the next 10 and 30 years, that we have seen over the last 30 years - more hot extremes, more heatwaves and more extreme fire conditions.

"Climate scientists have been talking about these increases for more than 20 years in Australia. We are now seeing exactly what was predicted more than 20 years ago."

- Prof David Karoly. The University of Melbourne

Heatwave exacerbated by climate change: Climate Commission by Simon Lauder, ABC Radio Australia, Jan 12, 2013 

The Week in Review

Coming Soon

  • 2012 Shatters the US Temperature Record. Fox, Watts, and Spencer Respond by Denying Reality (Dana)
  • Ocean Heat Came Back to Haunt Australia (Rob Painting)
  • Ridley and Murdoch Attempt to Greenwash Global Warming (Dana)
  • Accumulated Cyclone Energy Questions and Answers (Klaus Flemløse)
  • Skeptical Science and social media - Ask not what SkS can do for you but what you can do for SkS (Anne-Marie Blackburn)
  • No alternative to atmospheric CO2 draw-down (Andrew Glikson)
  • 2013 SkS News Roundup #3 (John Hartz)
  • Skeptical Science Upgrade (Sphaerica)
  • Subcap Methane Feedbacks. Part 4: Speculations (Andy S)
  • Lukewarmerism, a.k.a. Ignoring Inconvenient Evidence (Dana)
  • Non-English climate science (Ari Jokimäki)
  • Drost, Karoly, and Braganza Find Human Fingerprints in Global Warming (Dana)
  • Grace under Pressure (Doug Bostrom)
  • How We Know Cosmic Rays are Not Causing Global Warming, In One Simple Graph (Dana)
  • Climate Scientists Erring on the Side of Least Drama (Dana)

SkS in the News

Kevin C's awesome 16 more years of global warming video went viral, with re-posts on The Guardian, New York Times Dot Earth, Climate Progress, Scholars and Rogues, Planet 3.0, Climate Crocks, Earth the Operators Manual, DeSmogBlog, Carbon Brief, Open Mind, Hot Topic, New Anthropocene, The Earth Story, and Class: M.

The Huffington Post referenced the SkS Advanced climate sensitivity rebuttal in an excellent article on the subject.

Greg Laden, Australian science communicator Dr. Karl, and Southern Humanist endorsed SkS as the go-to climate myth debunking resource.

Several SkS blog posts were referenced as rebuttals to the 2012 Golden Horseshoe Awards (formerly the BS awards).

SkS Spotlights

The Australian Climate Commission was established to provide all Australians with an independent and reliable source of information about:

  • the science of climate change,
  • the international action being taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and
  • the economics of a carbon price.

The Commission is made up of experts from a range of fields relevant to climate change and is not subject to Government direction. The Commission is also supported by a Science Advisory Panel. Read our full Terms of Reference.

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. 2012: The Year Climate Change Got Real by Greenman appears in both 'The Week in Review' and 'Coming Soon'. I must be in a quantum time warp: oh, yes, there's Schrödinger's cat, and it's still alive; I'm definitely warped ... "8-)
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  2. In the opinion of those with some knowledge on the matter: Who would you pick to debate climate change for Team Science? A slightly different question: Who, in the climate science community, blows your mind with their expertise?
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  3. Tristan, Dana does a terrific job here at SkS. Scientists debate in writing. If you want someone to verbally challenge the deniers you need to find someone who is skillful at replying to Gish Gallops. It is not necessary to blow away people with expertise in an oral debate. People cannot confirm lies orally so science often loses.
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  4. Michael, I don't dispute any of that, but my questions still stand :)
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  5. Tristan @2, the problem with verbal debates is that the denier and the scientist come to it with different objectives. The scientist wishes to establish and communicate the truth. The denier simply wants to not be refuted. A draw, where the audience goes away thinking both sides made good points, is a win for the denier for it means they have established in the audiences mind that there is still a scientific controversy about global warming, even though in fact the issues he raised are uncontroversially false. Hence the effectiveness of the Gish gallop. The denier feels no need to support their claims because they are not there to establish or communicate the truth. They are happy to make a string of false, often egregiously false claims, with out support. Meanwhile the scientist must, by training and by their disciplinary ethical standards restrict themselves to a small number of claims that they can clearly establish. The result? The audience gets the impression that the scientist only has a few pieces of evidence in their favour, while the denier has vast amounts of evidence in their favour. Alternatively, the scientist may attempt to refute some of the deniers points. In that case, because a lie can be said in a few words, but requires many words to rebut, the denier is left with (apparently) many unrefuted points in their favour. So, if you are going to have a verbal debate with deniers, the proper tactic is don't. And if you are fool enough to ignore that advice, you don't need somebody competent at explaining science so much as somebody expert at showing their opponent is bullshitting. If you are fool enough to give credibility to a deniers stunt debate, don't get a scientist to debate on your side. Get a good lawyer.
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  6. Tom, that's a lucid description of the playing field and perhaps something SkS should have an article about. However, there have been and will continue to be 'debates' in the public arena whether it's fair or sensible or not. It's not impossible to beat the Gish gallop. Make a wry comment about the torrent of verbiage and then pick your target. If what people hear is a confident, comfortable response with a bit of pith and some pointed queries fired back, they will feel a lot less impressed by the initial deluge. "Well, as I've been given a range of misapprahensions to respond to I'll pick the one that relates to my area of research" Or, ignore the gallop altogether and just attack back. "Wow Jim, I just counted 7 baloney factoids in that 45 second outburst. Ya see Jim, all of this is just a smokescreen to try to disguise that they can't account for this simple fact" *Cue Kevin C's demonstration*
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