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2014 SkS Weekly Digest #39

Posted on 28 September 2014 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

Dana's The Wall Street Journal downplays global warming risks once again received the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Attracting the second highest number of comments was the repost of Roz Piscock's Carbon Brief article, Your questions on climate sensitivity answered

Toon of the Week

 2014 Toon 39

h/t to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week

"Go back in your life to think about the hottest, most traumatic event you have experienced," Mora* said in an interview with the New York Times recently. "What we are saying is that very soon, that event is going to become the norm."

*Camilo Mora, University of Hawaii

Floods, forest fires, expanding deserts: the future has arrived by Robin McKie, The Observer/The Guardian, Sep 27, 2014

SkS Spotlights

97 Hours: J Marshall Shepard

El Niño Watch

SEATTLE - The National Climate Prediction Center says a weak El Nino should be with us through December at least.

El Nino has the effect of keeping the fall and winter climate in the Pacific Northwest warmer and drier than normal. El Nino forms when a warm pool of water at the surface of the Pacific Ocean along the equator builds up along the west coast of South and Central America. This El Nino is expected to be weak.

The bigger effect is coming from something like El Nino and much closer to the Pacific Northwest. It's called "the blob," another big pool of warmer than normal water. The blob is off the Washington coast and goes north, pretty much filling the Gulf of Alaska. At its warmest point, it's five degrees warmer than normal, and as the air blows across it, that air also becomes warmer as it heads over land. El Nino's effects are largely confined to the fall and winter months, but "the blob" helped create a warmer summer than normal.

El Nino and warm water 'blob' affecting Northwest weather by Glenn Farley, KING 5 News, Sep 26, 2014 

Poster of the Week

2014 Poster 39  

SkS Week in Review

Coming Soon on SkS 

  • People's Climate March NYC photos (Howard Lee)
  • The battle over Evangelical hearts and minds on global warming (Dana)
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #40A (John Hartz)
  • How did the UK grid respond to losing few EDF nuclear reactors? (Guest post)
  • New and Improved Ice Loss Estimates for Polar Ice Sheet (Robert Way)
  • Forget ‘saving the Earth’ – it’s an angry beast that we’ve awoken (Clive Hamilton)
  • 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #40B (John Hartz)

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. Re the toon: a good reminder to anyone that "uniting against existential threat of ISIS" as the western coalition is doing right now is like treating the symptom rather than the cause. The cause is twofold:

    - the increasing impact of climate change related events, like drought in Syria as reportewd by Tom Friedman in Years of Living Dangerously,

    - the constqant military presense of western forces infringing the soveregnity of middle eastern countries (as you can read e.x. in other reports, i.e. "Hot Flat & Crowded" by the same Tom Friedman)

    Obviously the recent strikes on ISIS in Iraq only exacerbated the second cause while nothing is being done on the first cause. So while past & current symptoms (Saddam, Al-Qaeda, ISIS) may be extinguished, new symptoms will soon resurface.

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  2. Re the toon:

    1. If all the ice melted, sea level would be 216 feet higher.
    2. The Washington monument is more than 555 feet tall.
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  3. Russ R @2, you're right.  What a travesty.  Even worse:

    1. profiles of human heads look nothing like those shown;
    2. heads are not a third of body length as shown;
    3. the capitol building is shorter than the Washington Monument;
    4. fish don't blow bubbles;
    5. cavitation bubbles are not so persistent; and
    6. water currents do not show up as lines underwater.

    Clearly we need a new community standards board to eliminate all inaccuracies from cartoons.  The exageration of facts or features for humorous delivery is not to be tolerated.

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  4. Tom Curtis,\

    Sticking to climate change related matters, you failed to notice the implied timeline... "a generation ago" implies < 50 years.

    Even the most dire predictions of sea level rise for the next 50 years are in the order of centimeters.

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your concerns have been duely noted.

  5. Russ R, perhaps you failed to notice the heavy satire.  Everybody knows that cartoons aren't science, and distort not only faces, profiles, submarine designs, and architecture but even science for humorous impact.  Somebody who thinks that noticing that fact informs others of something new, or is worthy of comment really needs to get a grip.

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  6. This isn't the first time that a climate-related satirical cartoon has been criticized for not portraying every incidental part of the drawing in a photo-realistic manner. Such complaints are, properly speaking, whinging. IMO they are attempts to dismiss, denigrate, or distract from what said cartoon is actually saying. 

    Perhaps the cartoons are effectively making their points... hmm. 

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  7. To moderator:
    Since you're taking Russ seriously, may I suggest that all cartoons showing a man in an ostrich-like position are not to be tolerated since you can't possibly breathe with your head in the sand.

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