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2016 SkS Weekly Digest #34

Posted on 21 August 2016 by John Hartz

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

SkS Highlights

Climate urgency: we've locked in more global warming than people realize by Dana Nuccitelli (Climate Consensus-the 97%, Guardian) garnered, by far and away, the most comments among the articles posted on SkS during the past week. The comment thread discussion is lively and wide-ranging. If you have not done so already, check out the article and participate in the discourse.  

Toon of the Week

2016 Toon 34

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week 

“This is extinction tourism,” said international law expert Professor Michael Byers, of the University of British Columbia. “Making this trip has only become possible because carbon emissions have so warmed the atmosphere that Arctic sea ice in summer is disappearing. The terrible irony is that this ship – which even has a helicopter for sightseeing and a huge staff-to-passenger ratio – has an enormous carbon footprint that is only going to make things even worse in the Arctic.” 

Inuit fear they will be overwhelmed as ‘extinction tourism’ descends on Arctic by Robin McKie, Observer/Guardian, Aug 20, 2016


Graphic of the Week

 GISTEMP Anomaly

Source: NASA Analysis Finds July 2016 is Warmest on Record, NASA News Release, Aug 16, 2016

He Said What? 

In a recent CSPAN broadcast, Republican Party and Climate Change, former Rep Bob Inglis (R-SC), who has embraced the concept of global warming, talked about why he believes his fellow Republicans should come together with Democrats to make an effort to reduce climate change.

During the Q&A session of the broadcast, the following exchange occurred.


Good morning Mr. Inglis, originally called to ask you something about solar flares, but i need to ask something else first. Listening to you about the carbon tax, under the gore plan, apparently one company did not use all the carbon allotment, and the tax credits could be sold to another company. So the same amount of carbon would go into the air. I need to know what you're talking about, if it is that or if you are going to use less carbon? In addition to that, there is a book out that is a scientist saying that the solar flares, which have been exceptionally strong recently, is the predominant cause of the global warming. Have you checked into that end of it? That is my question, and i will get off-line to listen to you. Thank you for taking my call.


Thanks, lucille. On the solar flares, i suggest you go to a site called Skeptical Science, and you will see a discussion about solar flares there. A lot of people talk about solar flares, especially on my side of the aisle, because they want to find that as the explanation. But what you will see at Skeptical Science is that it does not correlate with the warming that we are seeing now. In fact, flair activity would cause the earth to be cooling now, rather than warming. So it does not correlate. You can see more of that and go really deep if you want to add Skeptical Science. It is a neat site. About your carbon credit question,...

SkS in the News

In his Sydney Morning Herald article, Malcolm Roberts leaves NASA 'flummoxed' with Q&A climate claims, Peter Hannam states: 

For Roberts to be right, at least 80 science academies around the world have to be wrong, as would almost 100 per cent of the scientists publishing work in the field.

John Cook, a climate communications research fellow at the University of Queensland, is part of a crew offering a free lecture series "Making Sense of Climate Science Denial" to help explain why "empirical science" will never sate Roberts or sceptics like him.

As Cook notes, the onus really should sit with Roberts to explain why so many changes predicted by climate science are being observed - such as cooling in the upper atmosphere as less heat escapes to space because of the additional greenhouse gases accumulating in the biosphere. 

SkS Spotlights

Nexus Media: Original reporting on climate change and clean energy. Videos and articles available for no-cost syndication. Contact us at 

Coming Soon on SkS

  • Historical documents reveal how quickly we're vanishing Arctic sea ice (Dana Nuccitelli)
  • Rising seas could ease coral bleaching but will be ‘too little too late’ (Robert McSweeney)
  • Guest Post (John Abraham)
  • IPCC special report to scrutinise ‘feasibility’ of 1.5C climate goal (Roz Pidcock)
  • Range anxiety? Today’s electric cars can cover vast majority of daily U.S. driving needs (Jessica Trancik)
  • 2016 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35 (John Hartz)
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Digest #35 (John Hartz) 

Poster of the Week

2016 Poster 34 

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

SkS Week in Review 

97 Hours of Consensus: 

97 Hours: Gavin Schmidt 


Gavin Schmidt's bio page

Quote derived with permission from author from:

"...what we anticipate is that because we're continuing to add carbon dioxide to the system, we're going to continue to warm decade by decade by decade. The exact magnitude of where we're going to go is going to depend a little bit on the system, but also on the decision that we make as a society to either reduce carbon emissions or just to carry on with business as usual." 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. What's the message of this week's toon? Maybe illegible script at its bottom corner would give a clue?

    Some people, esp. lab scientists, are so focused on their field & their work that they miss/don't understand social jokes. I honestly subscribe to this bunch herein.

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  2. Chriskoz:

    Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but to me it looks like the woman is looking out of the window of a microwave oven (set to "Global Warming")...

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  3. >Maybe illegible script at its bottom corner would give a clue?

    It's perhaps time for a perscription check ;) It's signed 'Bennett' then says 'christian science monitor' presumably a link to the resource with the same name ?  My take was the same as Bob's above.

    There is also some irony with the juxtaposition of Dr Schmidt's quote 'on business as usual' and the Rio quote... using what precious little emissions budget we have left to have a bunch of people run a round a stadium in Rio, as 'per usual'. Fiddling while Rome burns comes to mind.

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  4. The "business as usual" hypothesis is not realistic because business change a lot with time.

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  5. Nice plot by Gavin. Very informative. I also like the breakdown of last cycle to land/ocean and hemispheres by Chris Colose:

    Gavin has also tweeted his R plot of UAH seasonal cycle data:

    Obviously UAH data starts in 1979 only. But you can clearly see the warming signal on that plot. And, like in GISTEMP set, July 2016 was the absolute warm record in v5.6 UAH set.

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  6. At a recent auction of electricity in Chile, an un-subsidized solar farm was the lowest bidder with a bid of 2.72 cents per kilowatt hour.  Joe Romm discusses the auction here.  People who say renewable energy is too expensive will have to explain why coal was almost twice as expensive in this auction.  The Atacama desert has a very high sun resource but they need more long distance transmission lines to bring the power to their cities.   

    Hopefully solar will continue to decrease in price so that buisinesses install solar to save money.  Already, according to Forbes, ""Wal-Mart [is] the single biggest commercial solar generator in the country (United States)."  (in November 2015 they had about 105 megawatts of solar installed.  They save money by installing solar arrays on their roofs.  Other commercial real estate owners are starting to install solar, it is cheaper than the grid.

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