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2015 SkS Weekly Digest #37

Posted on 13 September 2015 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights... El Niño Watch... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... He Said What?... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Poster of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... SkS Week in Review... and 97 Hours of Consensus

SkS Highlights

Volcanic vs. Human-Caused CO2 Emissions - Updated Graphic by JG drew the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Europe is parched, in a sign of times to come by John Abraham and Republican leaders should take their own advice and listen to climate scientists by Dana each attracted the second highest number of comments. 

El Niño Watch 

El Niño is on track to become one of the most powerful on record, strongly suggesting California could face heavy rainfall this winter, climate scientists say.

But El Niño still hasn’t sealed the deal, and there still needs to be a dramatic change in the winds in the Pacific Ocean if it is to be as strong as it might be, said Bill Patzert, climatologist for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Cañada Flintridge.

“It’s still very impressive, but it’s a marathon with an El Niño,” Patzert said. “At 20 miles, do you hit the wall? Or do you pick up the pace?”

A monster El Niño is likely, but there are 'no guarantees' by Rong-Gong Lin, Los Angeles Times, Sep 10, 2015

Toon of the Week

2015 Toon 37 

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week 

Failing to act on the grave threat posed by climate change devalues the lives of future generations and amounts to unacceptable “discrimination by date of birth”, according to the influential economist Lord Stern.

Speaking at an international meeting in Rome on environmental justice and climate change attended by senior Vatican officials, Stern said that the “moral arguments” for action to combat climate change were overwhelming.

“Discounting future welfare or lives means weighting the welfare of lives of future people lower than lives now, irrespective of consumption and income levels, purely because their lives lie in the future,” he said. “This is discrimination by date of birth, and is unacceptable when viewed alongside notions of rights and justice.”

Moral case to tackle climate change overwhelming, says Lord Stern by Stephanie Kirchgaessner, The Guardian, Sep 10, 2015

He Said What?

Brown's letter came after Carson* asked to see the science demonstrating climate change was caused by human activity during a visit to California earlier this week. 

"I know there a lot of people who say 'overwhelming science,' but then when you ask them to show the overwhelming science, they never can show it," Carson told The San Francisco Chronicle. "There is no overwhelming science that the things that are going on are man-caused and not naturally caused."

"Gimme a break," Carson added.  

California Gov. Jerry Brown Sends Ben Carson The Climate Evidence He Couldn't Find by Dhyana Taylor, The Huffington Post, Sep 11, 2015 

SkS in the News

From the Daily Kos post #Coalisamazing… at Embarrassing Coal Industry:

Environmentalists have pushed back on the campaign's "ludicrous" and "desperate" claim that coal has been amazing for humanity. As anyone who has ever followed corporate hashtags before could have predicted, the twittersphere immediately began mocking the campaign, using the hashtag to point out the climate and clean air impacts of coal. Mashable has collectedsome of the most amusing tweets, though they missed what may be the best one, from @denial101x  

The Logic of Science's article cited below is linked to by Paul Braterman in Yes, there is a strong consensus on climate change posted on his Primate's Progress blog.  

Yes, there is a strong consensus on climate change posted on The Logic of Science blog begins with: 

Even if you have never paid any real attention to the climate change “debate,” you have probably seen someone say that, “97% of climatologists agree that we are causing climate change.” This is a number that I have personally cited on numerous occasions, and it is a number that is highly contested by the climate change deniers. Indeed, I rarely mention the consensus without people responding by adamantly proclaiming that the 97% number is a myth, and the study that produced it (Cook et al. 2013*) has been debunked. Therefore, in this post, I want to deal with the consensus on climate change from several angles. First, I want to focus on the prominent Cook et al. study and explain what the authors actually did, what they found, and why their study was robust. I also want to deal with some of the common criticisms of their study. Finally, I want to look at several other lines of evidence that show that there is a strong consensus on global climate change.

*Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature, Cook et al, Environmental Research Letter, 2013 

SkS Spotlights

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate is a major international initiative to analyse and communicate the economic benefits and costs of acting on climate change. Chaired by former President of Mexico Felipe Calderón, the Commission comprises former heads of government and finance ministers and leaders in the fields of economics and business.

The New Climate Economy is the Commission’s flagship project. It provides independent and authoritative evidence on the relationship between actions which can strengthen economic performance and those which reduce the risk of dangerous climate change. We reported in September 2014.

The project is undertaken by a global partnership of research institutes and a core team led by Programme Director Helen Mountford. An Advisory Panel of world-leading economistschaired by Lord Nicholas Stern carried out an expert review of the work.

We are working with a number of other institutions in various aspects of the research programme, including the World Bank and regional development banks, the International Monetary Fund, International Energy Agency, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, United Nations agencies and a variety of other research institutes around the world.

The Global Commission on the Economy and Climate was commissioned by seven countries – Colombia, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom – as an independent initiative to report to the international community.

Coming Soon on SkS

  • Interview with Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (John Cook)
  • Republican leaders are becoming climate supervillains (Dana)
  • Climate change set to fuel more "monster" El Niños, scientists warn (Roz Pidcock)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham) 
  • Drought stunts tree growth for four years, study says (Robert McSweeny)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #38(John Hartz)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly Digest#38 (John Hartz) 

Poster of the Week

2015 Poster 37

SkS Week in Review

97 Hours of Consensus: Sir Robert Watson

97 Hours: Robert Watson

Sir Robert Watson's bio page and Quote source

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