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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

Posted on 7 January 2018 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... 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...

Empowering Women Could Reduce Climate Change

Empowerting Women Article_Vice Impact 


Didja Djibrillah sits alone in a booth at COP23, the annual Conference of the Parties (COP23), a yearly meeting for member states of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to address global progress in fighting climate change. A video plays, to an empty room, about the effects of climate change on her nomadic community. “Each day begins at 5 am to grind couscous in 50-degree [Celsius] heat,” she explains to VICE Impact. There are no grocery stores, and it’s the women’s role to search for food and water. Climate change makes their journeys longer.

The United Nations’ new  Gender Action Plan (GAP), finalized by UNFCCC member states at COP23, aims to recognize the adverse effects of climate change on women, like Didja. It also recognizes they’re key to their communities’ long-and-short-term survival, and aims to ensure disenfranchised women can help spearhead solutions - both at global policy making and local grassroots levels. Based on current trends, women won’t have equal representation in government until 2134. In the UNFCCC, comprised of 197 different nations, gender equality will not be reached until 2040 - and that number is declining

Yannick Glemarec, Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director for Policy and Programme for UN Women, tells VICE Impact, “What is becoming extremely powerful is the recognition that women are not only a vulnerable group, but they’re also agents of change. We have basically one of the most powerful solutions to address climate change at scale.”

Empowering Women Could Reduce Climate Change by Jessica Williamson, Vice Impact, Jan 4, 2018

Editorial of the Week...

Trump’s Disdain for Science

NY Times Op-ed

Credit: Rosie Wong

After almost a year in office, President Trump has yet to name a science adviser and director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Since World War II, no American president has shown greater disdain for science — or more lack of awareness of its likely costs.

The O.S.T.P. was authorized by Congress in May 1976 to give the president “independent, expert judgment and assistance on policy matters which require accurate assessments of the complex scientific and technological features involved.” It has played an important role in coordinating national science and technology activities and policies among federal agencies.

The director of the office, who is nominated by the president and requires Senate approval, typically serves as the president’s science adviser, providing him with confidential, unbiased counsel. Much of what the federal government does and the many policy changes the president and his appointees are now making or hope to make have scientific and technological underpinnings.

Trump’s Disdain for Science, Opinion by Neal F. Lane & Michael Riordan, New York Times, Jan 4, 2018

Neal F. Lane, a former science adviser to President Bill Clinton, is a senior fellow in science and technology policy at the Baker Institute at Rice University. Michael Riordan, author of “The Hunting of the Quark,” has taught the history of physics at Stanford and the University of California, Santa Cruz.

El Niño/La Niña Update

‘La Nina’ weather in 2018 increases likelihood of major flooding: experts

Thailand Flooding Nov 2017

Similar weather conditions to those that occurred during the nation’s second most severe flooding in 1995 is predicted for this year, according to weather experts. They are warning that an expected “La Nina” condition will bring more rain and storms than usual to Thailand, and that increasingly extreme and unpredictable weather should be expected as a result of climate change.

‘La Nina’ weather in 2018 increases likelihood of major flooding: experts by Pratch Rujivanarom, The Nation (Thailand), Jan 7, 2018

Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 2 

Quote of the Week...

Los Angeles Freeway Traffic

Early evening congestion on a Los Angeles freeway. Vehicle emissions are now the biggest source of greenhouse gases in the US. Photograph: Dan Chung for the Guardian

Some of the most common avatars of climate change – hulking power stations and billowing smokestacks – may need a slight update. For the first time in more than 40 years, the largest source of greenhouse gas pollution in the US isn’t electricity production but transport – cars, trucks, planes, trains and shipping.

Emissions data has placed transport as the new king of climate-warming pollution at a time when the Trump administration is reviewing or tearing up regulations that would set tougher emissions standards for car and truck companies. Republicans in Congress are also pushing new fuel economy rules they say will lower costs for American drivers but could also weaken emissions standards.

Opponents of the administration fret this agenda will imperil public health and hinder the effort to address climate change.

“This Environmental Protection Agency doesn’t seem to have met an air regulation that it likes,” said Mary Nichols, chair of the California Air Resources Board and a former EPA assistant administrator. “I’ve not seen any evidence that this administration knows anything about the auto industry, they just seem to be against anything the Obama administration did.

“Vehicle emissions are going up, so clearly not enough is being done on that front. The Trump administration is halting further progress at a critical point when we really need to get a grip on this problem.”

Vehicles are now America's biggest CO2 source but EPA is tearing up regulations by Oliver Milman, Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Guardian, Jan 1, 2018 

SkS Spotlights...

Africa Climate Reporters

African Climate Reporters is an online news portal dedicated to opening new perspective in the coverage and reportage of climate change and the region’s environment.

Video of the Week...

InsideClimate News: Celebrating 10 Years of Watchdog Environmental Journalism

Founded in 2007, InsideClimate News is a Pulitzer Prize-winning, non-profit, non-partisan news organization dedicated to covering climate change, energy and the environment.

InsideClimate News: Celebrating 10 Years of Watchdog Environmental Journalism, YouTube, Nov 2, 2017

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Evaluating biases in Sea Surface Temperature records using coastal weather stations (Kevin C)
  • Here’s what’s behind the ‘impending mini ice age’ myth you’ve read about (Dana)
  • The key to slowing global warming (Riduna)
  • Guest post (John Abraham)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2 (John
  • 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2018 Poster 2 

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Donald Wuebbles 

Donald Wuebbles' bio page and Quote source 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)


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Comments 1 to 8:

  1. There was an article a couple days from someone named Brandon Morse.  Sorry I don't have a link. The title was "New Study Shows Alarmist Climate Data Based Off Faulty Science...Sorry Bill Nye"

    It discussed a study by Geoscientist Jeff Severinghaus at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, that claimed a new way to measure ocean heat content measuring gases trapped in ice cores.  They claim that the study shows oceans have warmed much less than previously thought, which puts all the alarmist climate models in doubt.   It also quotes a scientist named William Happer, who criticizes the alarmist climate models accuracy.  The article seems full of denier type talk, as it makes continuous jabs at Al Gore and Bill Nye as being non-scientists, but doesn't bother to provide any real climate scientists take on the study.

    But I am just wondering if anyone has any information on the validity of the study itself. 

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    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Side note: Happer is addressed in the Climate Misinformers section, among other places.

  2. rkrolph @1

    "They claim that the study shows oceans have warmed much less than previously thought, which puts all the alarmist climate models in doubt."

    Just my very quick take as an interested observer. The research paper claims oceans warmed 2.57 deg C coming out of the last ice age. The author is quoted as allegedly saying oceans have warmed only 0.1 deg C over the last 50 years.

    This all doesn't sound like much. But remember its an average for the full depth of the oceans, and the oceans heat much more slowly at depth. The surface would have warmed considerably more. The instrumental record over the last 50 years is about 0.5 deg C.

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  3. Rkrolph @1 , the article by journalist/propagandist Brandon Morse is a complete misrepresentation of the true situation.

    As you will note from Nigelj's link above to the Nature paper [ published Jan 4th 2018 : authors Bereiter, Shackleton, Baggenstos, Kawamura, and Severinghaus — the same Severinghaus so grossly misrepresented by Brandon Morse ] that the the paper's Abstract says nothing to support Morse's allegations.

    Morse's article is full of nonsense — it is merely an example of the same old denier-style propaganda attempt to clutch at and "spin" (by misrepresenting) any slight straw that happens to come floating past. 

    Was there any basis, even the slightest basis, to Morse's claim that Severinghaus had stated /suggested /claimed his co-authors' study raised doubt about modern evidence of AGW-caused ocean warming?   We will probably never know.  Morse claims a link to a post (by Severinghaus) at Scripps Institution of Oceanography — a post which Morse implies gives weight to his article.  But the link is dead, and seemingly the post has been deleted.  Conspiracy Theorists will point to censorship of the Ghastly Truth.  A sane explanation is that Severinghaus likely made a post which was poorly worded & open to misinterpretation by the mischievous (e.g. by Morse) . . . and Severinghaus decided (or was advised) to delete that post.  All that we can know for the moment, is that the wording of the Bereiter et al. 2018 paper provides zero support for Morse's allegations.

    Other than that, Mr Brandon Morse comes up empty.

    More nonsense from the Morse article :-

    "we are cooling" (unquote). [He fails to mention that the evidence says the opposite.]

    ... and his mention of support from a Dr Happer [a thoroughly discredited climate science denier]

    ... "A study in 2015*, for instance, predicted that the Earth is about to undergo a major climate shift that could mean decades of cooler temperatures" (unquote)

    * the paper is: McCarthy et al. 2105 — and here Morse makes another supreme "tarradiddle", for the McCarthy paper in no way supports Morse's claim.

    Morse appears to be one of those anti-science propagandists who sprinkles his article with referenced scientific papers — scientific papers which he implies support his statements.  And he does so in the knowledge that few if any of his readers will bother to follow the links to check the truth of the matter.  And so Morse gets away with his "tarradiddles" . . . which go on to circle through the deniosphere.

    In short, Rkrolph, basic science does not support Morse's whole schema of climate denialism.

    Morse is using the propagandist technique of suggesting that since there could be a hint of doubt about the health one of the Elephant's toenails . . then it follows that the whole Elephant is fatally diseased.

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  4. nigelj & Eclectic @ 2 and 3,

    Thanks for the responses.  It's incredible what trash gets accepted as journalism these days, but of course, there has to be an audience for it that accepts it as accurate because it's what they want to hear.

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  5. Rkrolph, my apologies for my inadequate proof-reading @ my post #3.

    A transposition typo : of course, the paper cited is McCarthy et al. 201

    . . . and the Elephant metaphor should read: "... the health of one of the Elephant's toenails ... " 

    Brandon Morse writes for an extremist rag, which has only a minor side-interest in climate matters.   Nothing incredible about trash "getting accepted" — it is a sure bet that such trash is requested /specified /encouraged.   Rather like what happens on WhatsUpWithThat website.

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  6. A very wise, scientifically accurate comment from Climate Council of Australia on recent weather events:

    Penrith swelters while Florida freezes: climate disruption is to blame

    while in US, a child that dreams of ravaging a candy store (who currently occupies White House) tweets his silly thoughts "gimme that bit of global warming".

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  7. A note for oversea readers, re my post @6, Penrith is the suburb of Sydney, known to be the biggest hot spot of the metropolitan area. I live closeby, that's why I didn't sleep well last night (too hot) & I am on my legs since early morning (6am my time and commenting here) because a violent rain finally came after the record heat and 2 months drought. I must look after all things arround my house not to be dislodged/ destroyed by the torrents.

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  8. Dunno if this has been mentioned before but NOAA has confimed that there were 16 extreme weather events costing over $1Billion in the US in 2017, which ties with 2011, although the total cost is the highest on record (adjusted for inflation), coming at 306 billions. No doubt the California fires played a role in that cost.

    The year was also the 3rd warmest on record, beating 1998 without the help of El Nino. This was also the case on a global scale. It seems that we are going to experience the same thing that happened after the 1998, when temperatures "settled" back down to a much higher level than what they were before El-Nino.

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