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2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #42

Posted on 20 October 2018 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week including,,, 

Editor's Pick

Assessing the Global Climate in September 2018

Globe had its fourth warmest September and year-to-date on record


Courtesy of

The global land and ocean temperature departure from average for September 2018 tied with 2017 as the fourth highest for the month of September in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880. The year-to-date was also fourth warmest on record.

September-2018-Global-Significant-Events-Map_NOAAThis monthly summary, developed by scientists at NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information, is part of the suite of climate services NOAA provides to government, business, academia and the public to support informed decision-making.

Assessing the Global Climate in September 2018, National Centers for Environmental Information, NOAA, Oct 17, 2018

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Oct 14, 2018

Mon Oct 15, 2018

Tue Oct 16, 2018

Wed Oct 17, 2018

Thu Oct 18, 2018

Fri Oct 19, 2018

Sat Oct 20, 2018

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Comments 1 to 5:

  1. I enjoyed and call attention to 'How A Viking Swimming With A Sheep Led To Climate Change Denial'.  It's a powerful reminder of how people who desperately wish something to be true (in this case, the Medieval Warm Period) will inflate any possible evidence into a 'proof'.  Apparently, it was recorded that in the 10th century, a Greenland Viking swam to a neighbor island to get a sheep, then swam back.  Clearly, the World was quite warm back then, because Greenland is the World.  Also, a 10th century book of Viking lore, which includes accounts of mermen giving prophecies, and witches luring fish into their baskets, should be taken literally as a serious account of Viking history. 

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  2. Imho the new IPCC report on 1.5 degrees could turn out to be a damp fizzer with little impact. It is good science with a welcome sense of urgency, but I doubt it will have the impact hoped for, because numbers like 1.5 degrees, and 2 degrees and a difference of 100mm in sea level rise wont sound terribly dangerous to the average person. Regulars on this website understand the difference is serious, but others might not.

    I think equal attention needs to be placed on IPCC worst case scenario projections that warming could potentially reach about 12 degrees C by the year 2300 if we go on burning fossil fuels , because this number is genuinely scary and without needing too much detailed explanation of why. While we know people struggle with comprehending and responding to longer term issues, the year 2300 is just not that far away.

    I know the IPCC prefer to avoid long term time frames in case it creates a sense of complacency, and the modelling is less certain, but I think that is a mistake. You need to scare people with hard numbers like 12 degrees, and massive sea level rise, not things like 100mm of sea level rise and desperately hyping its significance.

    Happy to be criticised if you think I'm wrong.

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  3. nigelj@2 I always enjoy reading your responses and bouncing ideas off of you.

    I like your optimism, but what dampens my optimism is that a person can see evidence all over the place that smoking is dangerous to their health, but not be able to kick the habit for a variety of reasons. The evidence we have with personal behavior is that even when people perceive a clear and present danger of particular lifestyle choices, they persist in destructive habits for a variety of reasons. Kicking the fossil-fuel habit will not be easy. I state this emphatically, because whereas I perceive the dangers as you do, I know how hard it is for myself to change my lifestyle to comply with warnings of the IPCC.

    But we agree that we must keep pushing forward in the direction that the IPCC is laying out for us. There is no option but to push forward in that direction.

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  4. Evan @3, well thanks! And I enjoy bouncing ideas off you and others.

    I try to be optimistic because we need hope, but my natural character is somewhat pessimistic and cynical.

    Yes kicking fossil fuels will not be easy. It is a form of addiction I think and people will ignore even the most obvious dangers when addicted. But people do give up addictions, and all we really need is enough people to give up to create forward momentum.

    I think a lot of different things have combined to make it hard to deal with the climate problem, but that is not a reason to give up trying. One of the main ones is no individual wants to take strong action unless they see everyone taking action so we have a sort of locked up situation, and its not actually economically rational to make huge self sacrifices if you are alone or in a minority. This is why I think something like carbon tax and dividend is important, because it pushes everyone at once, if that makes some sense.

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  5. nigelj@4 I concur with your sentiments and your assessment. We have to keep pushing whereever and however we can. Carbon tax would be great!

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