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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #12

Posted on 22 March 2020 by John Hartz

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

Story of the Week...

In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters

The likelihood of extreme events today is being underestimated, new research suggests

Flooding in New Delhi India

A motorcyclist tries to cross a waterlogged stretch amid slow moving traffic near AIIMS, on March 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Credit: Biplov Bhuyan Getty Images 

Small levels of global warming can increase the likelihood of extreme events, new research warns. That’s prompting scientists to question how accurately disasters in the recent past can be used to predict extreme events today.

study published Wednesday in Science Advances suggests that some research attributing climate change to individual disasters has underestimated the probability of certain extremes in the last decade. That’s especially true of unprecedented hot and wet events.

That’s because researchers were basing their analyses on a historical study period extending only up to the year 2005, said author Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University. As it turns out, the warming that’s occurred since then has had a big impact on global extreme events. 

In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, E&E News/Scientific American, Mar 20, 2020

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 12

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.

Climate Feedback Article Review...

Article in The Sun misrepresents Antarctic discovery and misplaces it on map

2020 Climate Feedback 12 


ARTICLE: ICE-LAND Melting glaciers may have revealed lost Antarctic island – and humans are already visiting it by Charlotte Evans, The Sun, Feb 26, 2020 (Original), Mar 12, 2020 (Updated)

REVIEW SUMMARY: This article in The Sun describes the chance discovery of a small island in Antarctica’s Pine Island Bay, which seems to have appeared in the last decade. But the article sensationally connects this with a recent record high temperature at a station elsewhere in Antarctica. While warming trends in the atmosphere and ocean may be relevant, a single weather record is not.

It is not yet clear what is responsible for the island’s appearance. It could be that upward motion of the bedrock—relieved of weight as the ice sheet shrinks—has raised the island above sea level. It could, instead, be that that island was previously encased in the floating ice shelf in front of the glacier on land.

The map presented in the article is quite inaccurate. The inset box on the map is in the wrong location, and the satellite image is of a different location that is also wrong. Pine Island Bay—and so the newly discovered island—lies more than a thousand kilometers from either of them.

UPDATE (12 March 2020): The Sun article has been updated, removing the inaccurate map and editing the statements highlighted below. It now refers to climate trends rather than a singular weather record and qualifies statements that previously presented hypotheses as certainties.

See all the scientists’ annotations in context.

Article in The Sun misrepresents Antarctic discovery and misplaces it on map, Edited by Scott Johnson, Article Review, Climate Feedback, Mar 10, 2020

Coming Soon on SkS...

  • The pros and cons of planting trees to address global warming (Bruce Lieberman)
  • Emissions: Coronavirus & Climate Change (ClimateAdam)
  • SkS New Research for Week #12 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Scientists share their grief, anger, and hope over climate change (Greenman)
  • Could the Atlantic Overturning Circulation ‘shut down’? (Richard Wood & Laura Jackson)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #13 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Reviews...

Electroverse article incorrectly claims the Sun is behind climate change

CLAIM: "the IPCC is wrong − the sun, not CO2, drove modern global warming"

VERDICT: Incorrect 

SOURCE: 29 Bullet Points Proving the Sun Causes Global Warming, Not CO2 by Roger Higgs, Elctroverse, Mar 11, 2020

KEY TAKE AWAY: This article presents a long list of inaccurate claims, but focuses on the idea that the Sun—rather than human-caused greenhouse gas emissions—is responsible for global warming. The available evidence and research clearly shows that this claim is incorrect. Measured patterns of warming, and monitoring of incoming solar energy, rule out the Sun as the source of warming. 

Electroverse article incorrectly claims the Sun is behind climate change, Edited by Scott Johnson Climate Feedback, Mar 18, 2020

SkS Week in Review... 

Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 12 

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