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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #5

Posted on 2 February 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Scientists alarmed to discover warm water at "vital point" beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" Antarctic Ice Thickness Map

Scientists have found warm water beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier," a nickname used because it is one of Antarctica's fastest melting glaciers. While researchers have observed the recession of the Thwaites Glacier for a decade, this marks the first time they detected the presence of warm water – found at a "vital point" beneath the glacier.

A news release on the findings called it an alarming discovery.

"The fact that such warm water was just now recorded by our team along a section of Thwaites grounding zone where we have known the glacier is melting suggests that it may be undergoing an unstoppable retreat that has huge implications for global sea-level rise," David Holland, director of New York University's Environmental Fluid Dynamics Laboratory and NYU Abu Dhabi's Center for Global Sea Level Change, which conducted the research, said in the news release.

Scientists alarmed to discover warm water at "vital point" beneath Antarctica's "doomsday glacier" by Sophie Lewis, CBS News, Feb 1, 2020

Opinion of the Week...

Now that climate change is irrefutable, denialists like Andrew Bolt insist it will be good for us

Even as the fires roar at the gates of power, the Murdoch columnist and others argue climate change is ‘overall, a good thing’

‘Flames literally surround the city in which the Australian prime minister announced ‘resilience and adaptation’ will substitute for climate mitigation.’ Photograph: Lukas Coch/AAP

There was a battered paper cartoon pasted to our office cupboard, sometime back in the year 2000. It depicted a landscape of power plants belching smoke, in the foreground of which was a billboard where an enthusiastic woman in a sunhat sipped a margarita through a straw. A speech bubble came from the woman’s lipsticked mouth: “Global warming?” she gushed. “I can’t wait!”

It was supposed to be a joke.

Memory of that cartoon provoked an old, nihilistic laugh to echo in my throat at a confluence of climate events this week, 20 careless years later. Dear world, three months after they began, the Australian fires are not out. Today, ash is raining in our nation’s capital, orange flames stare over the mountains behind Canberra. Scientific consensus, affirmed by Australia’s exhausted fire chiefs, is that the fires are effects of the anthropogenic climate crisis. And yet even as the fires roar at the physical gates of power, on Sunday the conservative columnist Andrew Bolt, of the Murdoch press, published an insistence that climate change is “overall, a good thing”. The only thing missing from this new cartoon is the lipstick.T

Now that climate change is irrefutable, denialists like Andrew Bolt insist it will be good for us, Opinion by Van Baham, Comment is Free, Guardian, Jan 30, 2020

El Niño/La Niña Update...

A new study finds a possible link between Arctic warming and more frequent El Niños in the Central Pacific.

Dwindling Arctic Sea Ice May Affect Tropical Weather Patterns by Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News, Jan 27, 2020 

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 5

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Crowdfunding wrap-up (John Cook)
  • Why is the Keeling curve so curvy? (John Cook)
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #4, 2020 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Community choice aggregation: A brief introduction (Bruce Lieberman)
  • What psychotherapy can do for the climate and biodiversity crises (Caroline Hickman)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #6 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #6 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Studies do not support blog’s claim that volcanic activity is causing melting of West Antarctic glaciers

CLAIM: Volcanoes are melting west Antarctic glaciers, not global warming.

SOURCE: Volcanoes Melting West Antarctic Glaciers, Not Global Warming by Robert W. Felix, Ice Age Now, Jan 9. 2020

VERDICT: Unsupported 

KEY TAKEAWAY: This claim is not supported by the three studies cited in the article. The article misinterprets the implications of one study and explicitly rejects the conclusions of the other two. All three studies, which investigated geothermal conditions beneath portions of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and the past behavior of the ice, simply aimed to better understand how the ice sheet will respond to continued human-caused climate change.

Studies do not support blog’s claim that volcanic activity is causing melting of West Antarctic glaciers, Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Jan 20, 2020

SkS Week in Review... 

Poster of the Week...

220 Poster 5

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