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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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Latest Posts


2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2

Posted on 12 January 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... Video of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Study Confirms Climate Models are Getting Future Warming Projections Right

An animation of a GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) climate model simulation made for the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Fourth Assessment Report, showing five-year averaged surface air temperature anomalies in degrees Celsius from 1880 to 2100. The temperature anomaly is a measure of how much warmer or colder it is at a particular place and time than the long-term mean temperature, defined as the average temperature over the 30-year base period from 1951 to 1980. Blue areas represent cool areas and yellow and red areas represent warmer areas. The number in the upper right corner represents the global mean anomaly. Credit:NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies

There’s an old saying that “the proof is in the pudding,” meaning that you can only truly gauge the quality of something once it’s been put to a test. Such is the case with climate models: mathematical computer simulations of the various factors that interact to affect Earth’s climate, such as our atmosphere, ocean, ice, land surface and the Sun.

For decades, people have legitimately wondered how well climate models perform in predicting future climate conditions. Based on solid physics and the best understanding of the Earth system available, they skillfully reproduce observed data. Nevertheless, they have a wide response to increasing carbon dioxide levels, and many uncertainties remain in the details. The hallmark of good science, however, is the ability to make testable predictions, and climate models have been making predictions since the 1970s. How reliable have they been?

Now a new evaluation of global climate models used to project Earth’s future global average surface temperatures over the past half-century answers that question: most of the models have been quite accurate.

Study Confirms Climate Models are Getting Future Warming Projections Right by Alan Buis, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, NASA's Global Climate Change, Jan 9, 2020

Click here to access the entire article as posed on NASA's Global Climate Change website. 

Editorial of the Week...

How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change

Here’s a five-step plan to deal with the stress and become part of the solution.

Graphic by Evan Cohen

Evan Cohen

You are scrolling through the news and see yet another story about climate change.

Australia is on fire. Indonesia is drowning. At the same time, Donald Trump is trying to make it easier to build new fossil-fuel projects.

As you read, your chest tightens and a sense of dread washes over you, radiating out from your heart. You feel anxious, afraid and intensely guilty. Just this morning, you drove a gasoline-powered car to work. You ate beef for lunch. You booked a flight, turned on the heat, forgot your reusable grocery bags at home. This is your fault.

As an environmental writer, I’m often asked for guidance on coping with climate change. I have thoughts. Even better, I have a five-point plan to manage the psychological toll of living with climate change and to become part of the solution.

How to Stop Freaking Out and Tackle Climate Change, Opinion by Emma Marris, New York Time, Jan 10, 2020

Click here to access the entire Opinion Piece as posted on the New York Times website.

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 2

 Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Video of the Week...

Scientists predict climate change will displace more than 180 million people by 2100 — a crisis of "climate migration" the world isn't ready for, says disaster recovery lawyer and Louisiana native Colette Pichon Battle. In this passionate, lyrical talk, she urges us to radically restructure the economic and social systems that are driving climate migration — and caused it in the first place — and shares how we can cultivate collective resilience, better prepare before disaster strikes and advance human rights for all.

Climate change will displace millions. Here's how we prepare by Colette Pichon Battle, TED, You Tube Video, Dec 2019

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • I had an intense conversation at work today (Claire Cohen-Norris)
  • How climate change influenced Australia’s unprecedented fires (Dana)
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #2, 2020 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Waking up to climate change | Australia's Bushfires (Climate Adam)
  • What psychotherapy can do for the climate and biodiversity crises (Caroline Hickman)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #3 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #3 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Reviews...

Climate change is one factor affecting how fires in Australia burn, regardless of whether arsonists or lightning started them

CLAIM: "the bushfires [in Australia] were caused by arsonists and a series of lightning strikes, not 'climate change'"

SOURCE: Australian Authorities: Arsonists to Blame for Bushfires – NOT Climate Change by Sean Adl-Tabatabai, News Punch, Breitbart, Jan 5, 2020

VERDICT: Misleading

KEY TAKE AWAY: The important contribution of climate change to fires is not in starting fires (although increases in lightning are possible) but in making fuels drier. The current fires in Australia are not so extreme because fires were sparked, but because 2019 was the hottest and driest year on record, with dry and windy weather patterns in place as the fires burned. The source of ignition for each fire is not relevant to understanding whether climate change contributed to their extent and intensity.

Climate change is one factor affecting how fires in Australia burn, regardless of whether arsonists or lightning started them, Edited by Emanuel VincentClimate Feedback, Jan 8, 2020

Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 2

 Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

SkS Week in Review... 


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Comments 1 to 1:

  1. Unfortunately the simulation title is incorrect, making the wonderful video unusable in arguing with deniers. The title should make it clear, it is about anomaly, or more understandable, deviation from a base.

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