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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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2016 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

Posted on 11 December 2016 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Record low volume highlights exceptional year for Arctic sea ice

With the latest sea ice data for November just in, 2016 continues to be a dramatic year in the Arctic. Following an unusually warm start to the year and record low ice in several months, a markedly sluggish freeze-up season in the back end of the year is also seeing records tumble.

Earlier this week, scientists confirmed the area of Arctic Ocean covered by sea ice – known as sea ice extent – reached a record low in November. Now, figures from the Piomas (Pan-Arctic Ice Ocean Modeling and Assimilation System) confirm the volume of sea ice also hit record lows.

At close to 8,000 cubic kilometres (cubic km), total sea ice volume in November stood at just 48% of the long-term average and the smallest of any November in the satellite record stretching back to 1979.

Taken together, these findings show little sign of recovery after an exceptionally poor start to the winter freeze-up season. This doesn’t bode well for survival of the ice through next year’s summer melting season, say scientists.


Arctic Sea Ice Volume Anomaly and Trend from PIOMAS

Daily Arctic sea ice volume (relative to the 1979-2015 average) for the satellite record. The blue line shows the trend during the record of a decline of 3,000km3 per decade. Credit: Piomas. 

Record low volume highlights exceptional year for Arctic sea ice, Carbon Brief, Dec 7, 2016 

Toon of the Week...

 2016 Toon 50


Quote of the Week...

The Union of Concerned Scientists, for its part, is preparing for a world in which government scientists might face serious workplace restrictions. It is girding for battle, ready to receive information securely” and “anonymously” should scientists encounter censorship from political appointees.

“We’ve been to this rodeo before, although the bull this time is a bit tougher,” wrote Michael Halpern, the union’s deputy director of the Center for Science and Democracy, in an email. “Science advocacy used to be primarily about securing funding for research. Now many more scientists care just as much about how the science they create is used or misused to create policy. . . . We’ve heard all kinds of reactions to the election, but we haven’t heard indifference.”

Scientists and environmentalists are bracing for a clash with Trump by Juliet Elperin & Chris Mooney, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, Dec 4, 2016

Graphic of the Week

Arctic Sea Ice Extent: 2016 - Previous Daily Record

Chart showing daily Arctic sea ice data in 2016 compared to the previous record for each day. Where the line is blue, 2016 was not a record low extent, and where the line is red, it was. Credit: Zack Labe

Record low volume highlights exceptional year for Arctic sea ice, Carbon Brief, Dec 7, 2016 

SkS in the News...

In their WunderBlog (Weather Underground) article, Climate Change Won’t Stop in 2016, Despite Misleading Report, Bob Henson & Jeff Masters prominently discuss and display the following SkS graphic:

ENSO Global Temperature Influence

Figure 2. Global surface temperature trends for the period 1966 - 2015 analyzed for El Niño years (red boxes), La Niña years (blue boxes), and neutral years (black boxes), along with volcanic years (gold triangles). The three trend lines show that global temperature has been rising at a fairly consistent rate of about 0.15 - 0.17°C (0.27 - 0.31°F) per decade once La Niña and El Niño departures are factored out. Image credit:; data from Berkeley Earth.

The above graphic is also prominently included in The Weather Channel article, Note to Breitbart: Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans.

SkS Spotlights

Moms Clean Air Force is a community of 950,000 moms and dads united against air pollution – including the urgent crisis of our changing climate – to protect our children’s health. We arm members with reliable information and solutions through online resources, articles, action tools, and on-the-ground events. We work across the US on national and local policy issues, through a vibrant network of 18 state-based field teams. Our moms meet with lawmakers at every level of government to build support for commonsense solutions to pollution. Moms have passion and power – an unbeatable combination. We are harnessing the strength of mother love to fight back against polluters.

Video of the Week...

Extreme Weather & Climate Change - What's our Response?

Climate change brings dangerous challenges as extreme weather events like heat waves, floods, and wildfires impact Colorado and the U.S.  But will public awareness now support the necessary transition of the U.S. energy system to one capable of mitigating climate change? Can denialism be overcome? What are the prospects for national action?

Phil Nelson chairs the Golden Chapter of Citizens’ Climate Lobby, a volunteer nonpartisan group that promotes putting a price on carbon to counter climate change.  CCL’s plan will reduce greenhouse gases while actually boosting the economy.  Dr. Nelson is an MIT trained retired geophysicist. 

Organized by the Colorado Renewable Energy Society monthly speaker series, Jeffco chapter. Filmed and edited by Martin Voelker, CRES. Published on Nov 20, 2016

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • On climate change, angels and demons are battling over Trump’s soul (Dana)
  • CSLDF at AGU and how you can help (Lauren Kurtz)
  • Oceanographers offer clues to Malaysian airlines crash (John Abraham)
  • The Perfect Tide: Sea Level and the Future of South Florida (Peter Sinclair)
  • No Prime Minister, Coal is Not Our Future (Agnostic)
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #51 (John Hartz)
  • 2016 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Waming Digest #51 (John Hartz) 

Poster of the Week...

 2016 Poster 50

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

 97 Hours: Eric Rignot


Eric Rignot's bio page and Quote source 

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Comments 1 to 6:

  1. CBC Radio show "The 180" recently included a discussion with Australian philosopher Patrick Stokes with the common sense but currently very provocative title "Actually, you're not entitled to your opinion".

    My brief summary is that a subjective opinion can be whatever anyone wants to believe. But as soon as there is any objective basis for the 'opinion' the freedom to beleive what you want is gone and you must participate in the legitimate discussion or argument, accept the objective evidence, and be willing to change your mind if your opinion cannot be objectively and rationally justified.

    A key point made is "What it comes down to is that for these kinds of discussions to work, you need to have agreement on what counts as evidence and what counts as success and failure and increasingly we don't even have that." I ama firm believe that the guiding priciple for what counts must be the objective of 'advancing humanity to a lasting better future for all'. Others may argue that fuller freedom of everyone to pursue pleasure, popularity and profitability will achieve that objective. I demand proof of their claim, and what is happening regarding climate science is some of the strongest evidence to date disproving their desired opinion.

    In addition to the 'reasons people do not accept that their opinion is not correct' that are presented in the interview, I am a firm believer (and believe there is ample evidence to support my opinion) that resistance to accepting climate science is largely due to the required related understood loss of opportunity for personal benefit.

    Accepting climate science actually requires acceptance that many developed perceptions of economic prosperity and opportunity are actually unjustifiable. Especially perceptions of prosperity that were maintained or increased through the past 30 years by the continued and increased burning of fossil fuels. That continued pursuit of benefit occurred as it was becoming better understood that that way of benefiting had to be rapidly curtailed for the benefit of the future of humanity, contrary to popular preferred opinions among the wealthiest and already more fortunate humans (opinions that less fortunate humans may even be tempted to prefer to believe).

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  2. One Planet Only Forever,

    You said, "a subjective opinion can be whatever anyone wants to believe. But as soon as there is any objective basis for the 'opinion' the freedom to beleive what you want is gone and you must participate in the legitimate discussion or argument, accept the objective evidence, and be willing to change your mind if your opinion cannot be objectively and rationally justified."

    This is quoteworthy material. I happen to collect pithy quotes. To whom should I attribute this? One Planet Only Forever? Patrick Stokes?

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  3. Courtesy of my son on facebook:

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  4. FYI - I've noticed your social media share tab has not been working correctly the last couple of days. It' s not linking the article of interest or providing a shortcut to the more popular social media options (such as Facebook or Twitter for example). 

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  5. RedBaron@2

    The statement is my statement, inspired by the comments made by the interviewer, Jim Brown, as well as Patrick Stokes.

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  6. What do you guys make of the refutation(?) of this that appeared in the Telegraph?

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