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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

Posted on 15 December 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Article Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

UN climate talks end with limited progress on emissions targets

Partial agreement at COP25 that countries must be more ambitious to fulfil Paris goals

Activists dump manure outside the COP25 climate talks congress in Madrid on Saturday

Activists dump manure outside the COP25 climate talks congress in Madrid on Saturday. Photograph: Óscar del Pozo/AFP via Getty Images

Climate talks in Madrid have ended with a partial agreement to ask countries to come up with more ambitious targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions in order to meet the terms of the 2015 Paris accord.

Few countries came to this year’s talks with updated plans to reach the Paris goals, though the EU finally agreed its long-term target of reaching net zero emissions by 2050. Experts say more ambitious emissions cuts are needed globally if the Paris pledge to hold global heating to no more than 2C is to be met.

This year’s round of annual UN talks focused on narrow technical issues such as the workings of the global carbon markets, a means by which countries can trade their successes in cutting emissions with other countries that have not cut their own emissions fast enough.

By midday on Sunday, more than 40 hours after the talks deadline, agreement on that was still far off and the issue will have to be resolved next year. 

UN climate talks end with limited progress on emissions targets by Fiona Harvey, Environment, Guardian, Dec 15, 2019

Click here to read the entire article as posted on the Guardian website.

Opinion of the Week

The Party That Ruined the Planet

Republican climate denial is even scarier than Trumpism.

Arctic Iceberg

A new federal report finds that climate change in the Arctic is accelerating. Credit... Pavel Lvov/Sputnik, via Associated Press

"But the terrifying political news and the terrifying climate news are closely related.

"Why, after all, has the world failed to take action on climate, and why is it still failing to act even as the danger gets ever more obvious? There are, of course, many culprits; action was never going to be easy.

"But one factor stands out above all others: the fanatical opposition of America’s Republicans, who are the world’s only major climate-denialist party. Because of this opposition, the United States hasn’t just failed to provide the kind of leadership that would have been essential to global action, it has become a force against action."

The Party That Ruined the Planet, Opinion by Paul Krugman, New York Times, Dec 12, 2019

Click here to read the entire opinion piece as posted on the New York Times website.

Toon of the Week...

2019 Toon 50 

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Analogy 21: Snow on a Hot Tin Roof (Evan)
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week # 50 (Doug Bostrom)
  • The high and low points for climate change in 2019 (Bud Ward)
  • Scientists plan year locked in ice to unlock Arctic climate change data (Kristen Pope)
  • What psychotherapy can do for the climate and biodiversity crises (Caroline Hickman)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #51 (John Hartz)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51 (John Hartz) 

Climate Feedback Article Review...

ABC article effectively illustrates important climate trends for Australian readers

Climate Feedback 50


Climate Feedback asked a team of scientists to review See how global warming has changed the world since your childhood by Joshua Byrd, Nathan Hoad Tim Leslie, ABC News (Australia), Dec. 2019

Four scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'very high'. 

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: AccurateInsightfulSound reasoning.


This interactive article at ABC allows readers to enter their year of birth and see how temperatures have changed in their lifetime in relatable ways. It also describes projections for future change in Australia, including extremes like heatwaves and bushfires. The article highlights the difference between projections with aggressive emissions reductions and those where emissions continue to increase.

Scientists who reviewed this article found that it presents accurate information on these topics and communicates that information effectively.

ABC article effectively illustrates important climate trends for Australian readers, Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Dec 11, 2019

Poster of the Week...

2019 Poster 50 

SkS Week in Review... 

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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. The UN climate talks  are like Nero fiddling while Rome burns, with a bit of rearranging the deck chairs on the titanic thrown in for good measure. 

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