Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


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.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest MeWe

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

Global warming is real and human-caused. It is leading to large-scale climate change. Under the guise of climate "skepticism", the public is bombarded with misinformation that casts doubt on the reality of human-caused global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming "skepticism".

Our mission is simple: debunk climate misinformation by presenting peer-reviewed science and explaining the techniques of science denial.

 


Submit an abstract to a climate communication session at EGU 2023!

Posted on 7 December 2022 by BaerbelW

The next General Assembly of the European Geosciences EGU (EGU) will take place in Vienna and online from April 24 to 28, 2023. It will be a fully hybrid event with all but the on-premise poster sessions coming with creative online options for both authors and attendees. I've been invited by David Crookall to be one of the co-conveners of a session in the education and communications section of the meeting:

Climate and ocean education: Geoethics, emergency, fossil fuels, war and more

EGU-2023 Header

Please consider contributing to the climate, ocean education and geoethics sessions at the next EGU conference. Here is a bit more information about session EOS3.2 (reposted from here):

The climate / ocean education session at the EGU brings together a wonderful group of warm hearts and creative minds from around the world, to present their ideas, practices and theories about helping people to better understand the changing climate and/or ocean.  You do not need to be an expert, you do not need to have a PhD, you do not even need to have a diploma in geoscience or geography.  All you need is enthusiasm, a desire to help people learn and an activity or experience or idea that you would like to share.  You may talk about the climate or the ocean separately without the other, or about both together.

Read more...

0 comments


After the deluge — cascading effects of extreme weather on human health

Posted on 6 December 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Emily Jack-Scott and Sarah Spengeman

News coverage of this summer’s devastating flood in Pakistan has peaked, but the deluge left behind hasn’t subsided: Experts predict the floodwaters could take six months to fully recede.

An image of a flooded city.

An aerial view of Shahdadkot, Khairpur Nathan Shah, Mado, Faridabad, Mehar and other cities of Sindh, Pakistan covered with flood water in 2022. (Photo credit: Ali Hyder Junejo / CC BY 2.0)

The initial damage was devastating. More than 1,500 people died — about half of them children — when record rainfalls and melting glaciers caused catastrophic flooding during the 2022 monsoon season.

But the flooding’s human impacts will be far more long-lasting. Eight million people are still displaced, and Pakistan now faces ongoing threats to lives and livelihoods — the floods affected 15% of the country’s rice crop and 40% of its cotton crop.

Climate scientists agree a rapidly warming atmosphere will generate more intense and frequent weather disasters. These disasters cause immediate death, injury, or homelessness, but their effects on human health and well-being often persist long after the skies clear, floods recede, or fires are extinguished.

A new study from climate and health researchers Jan C. Semenza, Joacim Rocklov, and Kristi L. Ebi in the journal Infectious Diseases and Therapy explains how climate events often can have “cascading effects” on human health, stemming from altered environmental conditions or disruptions to infrastructure.

Consider an extreme storm, which first generates heavy rainfall and can produce runoff contaminated by harmful toxins or sewage.Once settled, the runoff can contaminate croplands causing food shortages; or produce standing water, which in turn serves as a breeding ground for mosquitoes that can be vectors of disease. Disruptions to pest control programs may also lead to more spreading of diseases. These events compound particular harms from the initial devastation.

Read more...

0 comments


AGU Fall Meeting 2022 - Cranky Uncle makes an appearance

Posted on 5 December 2022 by BaerbelW

This year's Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) takes place in Chicago as well as online from December 12 to 16. Thanks to being held in hybrid mode it was feasible for John Cook and me to submit an abstract to one of the sessions. Just like for the European Geosciences Union's (EGU) meeting earlier this year, we decided to hghlight the Cranky Uncle game.

AGU-2022 Header

ED11A - Climate Empowerment: Climate Education Initiatives II Online Poster Discussion is being convened by Gina Fiorile, Kathryn Boyd, Anne Gold and Frank Niepold and will happen on Monday, Dec. 12, 2022 from 8a to 9a CST. The abstract for the session looked like a good fit to present the Cranky Uncle game:

Reducing vulnerability to climate and preparing for just transitions to a low-carbon economy are critical for societies across the world, particularly in frontline communities. Coordinated systems of education, communication, and outreach can support learning to enhance the adaptability of our cities and create stronger communities, empowering people to address climate change. Improving learning about Earth's complex climate and energy system is fundamental to support development of mitigation and adaptation strategies. The CLEAN Network is committed to improving climate and energy education locally, regionally, nationally, and globally and brings together a professionally diverse community of over 800 members and programs. This session provides opportunities for CLEAN network partners to showcase their work and share information, models, and new program designs in order to support session participants in taking action within their own communities and organizations. We also invite abstracts from other climate-centered learning programs, projects, initiatives, and efforts.

The session at AGU has been designated as an "online poster discussion" which means that each included abstract will have an interactive "iPoster" and a 10-minute timeslot allocated to talk about it. You can check out the iPoster yourself here (please note that AGU Fall Meeting login might be required), or by clicking on the poster's screenshot for a "mock up" PDF-version (3.6MB):

iPoster-MockUp

A larger version of the image is available here and you can also download an interactive ppsx-version including the audio-files (18MB).

Read more...

0 comments


2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #48

Posted on 3 December 2022 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 27, 2022  thru Sat, Dec 3, 2022.

Story of the Week

#ClimateScam: denialism claims flooding Twitter have scientists worried

Many researchers are fleeing the platform, unnerved by the surge in climate misinformation since Musk’s chaotic takeover

Twitter has proved a cherished forum for climate scientists to share research, as well as for activists seeking to rally action to halt oil pipelines or decry politicians’ failure to cut pollution. But many are now fleeing Twitter due to a surge in climate misinformation, spam and even threats that have upended their relationship with the platform.

Scientists and advocates have told the Guardian they have become unnerved by a recent resurgence of debunked climate change denialist talking points and memes on Twitter, with the term #ClimateScam now regularly the first result that appears when “climate” is searched on the site.

Under the often chaotic leadership of Elon Musk, Twitter has fired content management teams, dismantled the platform’s sustainability arm and lifted bans on several prominent users with millions of followers, such as Donald Trump and the rightwing commentator Jordan Peterson, who has espoused falsities about the climate crisis. The changes have been too much to bear for some climate experts.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on The Guardian.

#ClimateScam: denialism claims flooding Twitter have scientists worried by Oliver Milman, Technology, The Guardian, Dec 2, 2022

Read more...

1 comments


New paper: A toolkit for understanding and addressing climate scepticism

Posted on 2 December 2022 by BaerbelW

This is a quick summary about the newly published paper "A toolkit for understanding and addressing climate scepticism" by Matthew J. Hornsey and Stephan Lewandowsky. It leverages a thread tweeted by Stephan Lewandowsky shortly after publication as well as a mention in Doug Bostrom's and Marc Kodack's New Research Week #47

The Abstract

Despite over 50 years of messaging about the reality of human-caused climate change, substantial portions of the population remain sceptical. Furthermore, many sceptics remain unmoved by standard science communication strategies, such as myth busting and evidence building. To understand this, we examine psychological and structural reasons why climate change misinformation is prevalent. First, we review research on motivated reasoning: how interpretations of climate science are shaped by vested interests and ideologies. Second, we examine climate scepticism as a form of political followership. Third, we examine infrastructures of disinformation: the funding, lobbying and political operatives that lend climate scepticism its power. Guiding this Review are two principles: (1) to understand scepticism, one must account for the interplay between individual psychologies and structural forces; and (2) global data are required to understand this global problem. In the spirit of optimism, we finish by describing six strategies for reducing the destructive influence of climate scepticism.

Some Highlights

The authors structured the article around the interplay between individual-level factors, such as personal circumstances or worldviews, and “collective-level” drivers of (organized) climate denial through the usual “think tanks” and so on.

Figure 1

Read more...

4 comments


Skeptical Science New Research for Week #48 2022

Posted on 1 December 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables:

Kunio Kaiho is a leading expert on past extinction events. In Extinction magnitude of animals in the near future just published in Nature Scientific Reports, Kaiho draws on mechanisms of prior mass extinction events to prognosticate on what effect Homo bolidus [our term] might impose on Earth's living species. "It depends," with the news starting at "only" 10-15% species loss in the "best" plausible case, ranging to losses of 20-50% if human nature with which we're familiar asserts itself. The "good" news? Kaiho more or less rules out a 6th major extinction event with losses of +60%. Let's instead try to be Homo sapiens and see how it turns out, eh?

The World Meteorological Organization IWMO) publishes the first of a new reportage product, State of Global Water Resources 2021. As with other WMO reviews, this work is authored by distinguished experts in topic areas. The report is divided into chapters covering streamflow, water storage, high impact events of 2021, and water resources embodied in ice. We're not far in before climate implications arise: "Despite prevailing La Niña conditions, the year 2021 was ranked as the fifth to seventh warmest on record, with the global annual mean temperature of 1.11 ± 0.13 °C above the 1850–1900 pre-industrial average. Precipitation patterns were characterized by high spatial and temporal variability." As further described, these broad features translated into a year of extreme flooding events. From this week's government-NGO section.

Enhancement of river flooding due to global warming From the abstract of this attribution study, authors Alifu et al. report: "Human-induced climate change altered the probabilities of 20 of the 52 analyzed flood events. Fourteen of these 20 flood events, which occurred mainly in Asia and South America, were very likely to have been enhanced by human-induced climate change due to an increase in heavy precipitation. Conversely, two flood events in North/South America and two flood events in Asia and two flood events in Europe were suppressed by human-induced climate change, perhaps as a result of lower snowfall. Human-induced climate change has enhanced flooding more prominently in recent years, providing important insights into potential adaptation strategies for river flooding." Ratios are everything.

Prior thawing gives us some hints about quantities of carbon to be released as we melt our inventory of permafrost. Deglacial release of petrogenic and permafrost carbon from the Canadian Arctic impacting the carbon cycle by Wu et al. exploits continental glacial retreat to scrape some data and do analysis on permafrost, particularly connected to  losses by coastal erosion. With respect to effect on atmospheric composition, withal the sources studied were found to have contributed some 12ppm CO2 rise during deglaciation. This find helps to solidify the role of Southern Ocean ventilation in the overall 75ppm increase associated with ice retreat. 

Recession or resilience? Long-range socioeconomic consequences of the 17th century volcanic eruptions in northern Fennoscandia Not the type of climate change we're preoccupied with today but rather an intriguing look at how a climate shock affects a society at granular levels of detail. It's probably no surprise to learn that context is everything; well-resourced segments fared better than those without surplus on hand. Authors Huhtamaa, Stoffel and Corona lead readers back to implications of their findings for events now and in the future. 

Herbarium records provide reliable phenology estimates in the understudied tropics Conveniently and despite a dearth of observational evidence from the field, we can infer phenology of tropical plants in the wild from behavior of "tame" versions in herbariums. This skill will be useful in light of rapid climate change and associated phenological effects, and our concomitant need to pay attention to species vulnerabilities and other knock-on effects of phenology.  Park et al. describe their process and findings in bioRxiv.

Growing polarization across a efficient ion exchange membrane for human nature? Is anybody surprised? Probably not. But one of the services of scientific investigation is that of constraining our imaginative intuition, improving our mental models. Perhaps more importantly, solid information is helpful to communicators. Falkenberg et al. deliver all the goods in Growing polarization around climate change on social media, in Nature Climate Change.

Disasters and catastrophes capture our attention, but what about climate change creeping in on cat feet? Changing seasonal temperature offers a window of opportunity for stricter climate policy by Lena Pfeifer and Ilona Otto reveals that many of us are sensitive to more subtle changes than a wall of water where it's supposed to be dry. What's more, these perceptions make people more amenable to necessary changes.  

143 articles in 56 journals by 848 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Drivers and Mechanisms of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Heatwave
Schumacher et al., ESSOar, Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10511613.1

Minimal recipes for global cloudiness
Datseris et al., ESSOar, 10.1002/essoar.10510797.2

South Pacific Ocean Dynamics Redistribute Ocean Heat Content and Modulate Heat Exchange With the Atmosphere
Fernandez et al., ESSOar, 10.1002/essoar.10512418.1

Read more...

0 comments


Publishing a long overdue explainer about a scientific consensus

Posted on 30 November 2022 by BaerbelW

Recently, we happened upon a neat and detailed article, explaining what a scientific consensus is. This made us realize, that - even though we have a lot of material about the consensus - we were lacking an explainer about what a scientific consensus actually is. We have now remedied this and created a page with an explainer and an accompanying glossary entry which will point our readers towards that page with a small pop-up-box whenever they hover the cursor over the word “consensus” in an article or rebuttal on Skeptical Science. The full text is available below with the sections about the knowledge-based consensus based on the script of Peter Jacob's related lecture in week 1 of Denial101x.


Introduction

You’ll most likely have seen instances where the term “scientific consensus” has been misused or misunderstood. People for example often confuse it with appeals to popular opinion or think it is the result of discussions or determined by a vote or just finding a compromise. Because of this, opinion polls - even if predominated by unqualified individuals - are used to argue that no scientific consensus exists for a particular topic even if it clearly does.

It’s important to note that a scientific consensus is not proof for a scientific theory but that it’s the result of converging lines of evidence all pointing to the same conclusion. It is therefore not a part of the scientific method but is actually a consequence of it. When people argue against a scientific consensus, they are usually misunderstanding the term or are deliberately abusing the ambiguity of the term consensus. A scientific consensus is not infallible but nonetheless represents the best knowledge available on a given scientific topic at a given time. In addition, it provides the foundation for new knowledge by generating follow-up questions for scientists to explore.

A scientific consensus is not a show-of-hands as it looks like in the cartoon below at first sight! It's more like "Yes, because of the evidence we all agree that humans are causing climate change". The consensus is not evidence of global warming – it evolved over more than 100 years from the evidence.

Cartoon - 97% of climate scientists

Read more...

4 comments


SkS Analogy 10 - Bathtubs and Budgets

Posted on 29 November 2022 by Evan, jg

Tag Line

Filling our atmospheric "tub" with CO2 is easy and fun. Removing it is not.

Elevator Statement

Bathtubs and Earth's atmosphere overflow if too much water is put in them (think rain).

There is no overflow limit for CO2 (think planet Venus).

A carbon budget tells us how much carbon we can put into the "tub" and keep the warming below a particular level.

Current estimates are that we cause about 2ºC warming per 1000 GtC poured into our "tub" (2ºC per 3600 GtCO2).

Every CO2 emission causes a small, incremental amount of warming.

 

Bathtub illustrating CO2 balance

Figure 1. Atmospheric "Bathtub" into and out of which flow carbon streams of natural and human origins. There are no CO2 overflow limits that prevent us from filling this bathtub to dangerous levels .

Read more...

1 comments


How 2022 has substantially, and favorably, changed global climate outlook

Posted on 28 November 2022 by dana1981

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Anew analysis by the Global Carbon Budget, published in the journal Earth System Science Data, shows global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels have fully recovered from the temporary dip driven by the COVID-19 pandemic, setting new records in 2021 and 2022. But it’s not all bad news: With most of that rebound occurring in 2021, global fossil pollution is projected to rise by just 1% in 2022, and the rate of global deforestation has slowed over the past two decades.

A graph showing carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and land use change. Land use change is a much smaller share than fossil carbon.Global carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels and land use change like deforestation. Source: Global Carbon Project

With Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and resulting disruptions of natural gas supplies to Europe, global fossil gas consumption is projected to decline 0.2% in 2022, but some of that energy demand has been met by a 1% increase in global coal consumption over the year. Carbon pollution from oil also rose 2.2% in 2022, although it remains slightly below pre-pandemic levels, as travel and transportation have not fully recovered.

Despite the continued rise in global carbon emissions, the International Energy Agency (IEA),  in its 2022 World Energy Outlook report, painted a relatively optimistic vision of future climate pollution. Recent policy changes – including the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) in the U.S. – have shifted the scales heavily in favor of clean energy technologies.

Read more...

1 comments


2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #47

Posted on 26 November 2022 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 20, 2022  thru Sat, Nov 26, 2022.

Story of the Week

The Art at COP27 Offered Opportunities to Move Beyond ‘Empty Words’ 

In Egypt, visitors encountered creative works about climate anxiety, sustainability and ecosystem loss.

While the goal of effecting decisive global change proved largely elusive at the United Nations’ annual climate conference in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, the art at COP27 offered other road maps for moving forward.

“We don’t need more empty words,” said Jenni Laiti, a Sámi “artivist” whose five-minute video was shown at the World Health Organization’s Health Pavilion curated by the arts studio Invisible Flock. “We need action. Art is a way to see differently, but art is also a really important tool to find another solution,” she said in an interview after COP27 ended.

Laiti’s film is about the Atlantic salmon and its critical importance to the Sámi people who live in the Arctic regions of Norway and Finland. The Sámi way of life is gravely threatened by climate change. “We live with the end of the world every day,” Laiti said. “Our world, the Arctic, is dying and disappearing.”

Art, said Victoria Pratt, the creative director for Invisible Flock, can help us to move beyond human-centric ways of thinking. “We’re not the only species on the planet,” she said.

Bahia Shehab, an Egyptian-Lebanese artist who worked with Fine Acts on her COP27 project, “Heaven and Hell in the Anthropocene,” also spoke about the need for climate discussions to incorporate a wider array of perspectives. “You can’t keep having these conversations amongst yourselves as politicians and academics and scientists,” she said. “We’re not getting anywhere. We need to open up the conversation.”

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on Inside Climate News.

The Art at COP27 Offered Opportunities to Move Beyond ‘Empty Words’ by Kiley Bense, Inside Climate News, Nov 26, 2022;

Read more...

0 comments


Skeptical Science New Research for Week #47 2022

Posted on 24 November 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Open access notables:

Web bulb temperatures verging on unsurvivable are creeping into our world and heading toward familiar. That's the lesson we can infer from Dong-Quan & Sun's Effects of anthropogenic forcing and atmospheric circulation on the record-breaking welt bulb heat event over southern China in September 2021. Analyzing  an event including 32.8°C the authors find: "Results indicate that 2021-like events would happen extremely rarely without anthropogenic warming (would not occur in counterfactual world simulations) and have become a 1-in-16-year event in the factual world. For the threshold of the second most extreme year, the occurrence probability of extreme WBGT events increases approximately 50 times due to the impact of anthropogenic forcings."

Public Disapproval of Disruptive Climate Change Protests  Is it COINTELPRO? Crisis actors paid by the fossil fuel industry? Happily— no. Boomers who've lived through decades of progress know that every major jump forward past big, stubborn problems involves and requires passion, enthusiasm, and often myopic focus. It's not surprising to see younger people front and center; "the future" is a more immediate preoccupation for people with easily half-a-hundred years to live. Indeed, the same era that saw COINTELPRO in its heyday included the founding of the US EPA, not least because a lot of pesky kids were making environmental degradation a topic that couldn't be ignored. As a practical matter for activist practitioners, it's worth carefully assessing whether, when & how means of calling attention may be verging on diminishing gains, or worse. Solid data to inform analysis and tactical decisions is available thanks to Shawn Patterson & Michael Mann, via UPenn's Center for Science, Sustainability and the Media. Included in this week's government/NGO reports section.

Wildlife kills by wind turbines have been a favorite means of poisoning public opinion against this now familiar means of energy harvesting. Here we find the rare case of an actual problem, one that— despite being cynically exploited to touch emotions in service of clinging to profits delivered by an outmoded and far more lethal techology— does exist.  But how do we know what the reality of turbine impact is? Wilson, Hulka & Bennun give us a glimpse of how this is measured in their intriguing work A review of raptor carcass persistence trials and the practical implications for fatality estimation at wind farms

Hornsey & Lewandowsky produce a comprehensive snapshot of modes of cognitive failure (accidental and inflicted) affecting our halting progress toward solving our climate blunder. The authors don't stop there, but also offer a collection of "interventions for reducing damage," tools given sharp edges by research. There's a hard lesson embedded therein for the climate communications community, one that ought to be intutively obvious: barging into a community with a lot of extraneous political baggage irrelevant to immediate purpose proudly on display is counterproductive, destructive to progress. Any of us with a cranky uncle knows: a single trigger word can end rational behavior. The authors put it more tactfully: "sceptics will be more influenced by messengers that share salient identities with them: rural people will be more influenced by rural messengers, conservatives will be more influenced by conservatives, and so forth. This is a challenging message for many climate activists because it underscores how their identification as green or left can be enough to render their voices impotent when it comes to influencing sceptics." [bold ours]  As a review article A toolkit for understanding and addressing climate scepticism is a fast and complete spin-up for people new to this game, and very probably a worthwhle refresher for old hands.

[Correction: Unfortunately, due to an initial reporting error landing in Unpaywall's database, the above article initially appeared to us during composition as open access but in fact will only be available to the general public 6 months after publication. We apologize for the confusion. Some further detail is still available in our follow-up blog post, New paper: A toolkit for understanding and addressing climate scepticism.

Population distribution within the human climate niche Taking a closer look at an extending recent work by Xu et al.  which posited a preferred thermal niche for our species, Klinger & Ryan find a broader range of options. It might be said that we're more gracefully adaptable in the direction of cooler.  However and heading the opposite direction on the thermometer, this new, detailed breakdown also leads to another conclusion by the authors: "The large decrease in population density from the 26–28°C range to the 28–30°C range is consistent with the concept that temperatures above 30°C are significantly less suitable for humans. Even if half the population already lives at T > 20°C, “moving” some of them to conditions outside the range of any prior human experience will bring physiological harm, crop failure, and ecological damage."

Football and climate change: what do we know, and what is needed for an evidence-informed response? identifies entirely plausible and tolerable mechanisms to deal with what might be called "an attractive nuisance" from the climate perspective. Sadly, the locale for the FIFA World Cup 2022 calls into question placement of the brackets of possibility and whether improvements are at all possible, what with the leadership of FIFA seemingly quite alienated from society's urgent needs. Even so, management comes and management goes; perhaps new blood will be ready to hear the information provded by author Leslie Mabon. 

139 articles in 55 journals by 904 contributing authors

Observations of climate change, effects

Anthropogenic contributions to the 2021 Pacific Northwest heatwave
Bercos-Hickey et al., ESSOAr, Open Access 10.1002/essoar.10511354.1

Changes in Aerosols, Meteorology, and Radiation in the Southeastern U.S. Warming Hole Region during 2000 to 2019
Ghate et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access pdf 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0073.1

Effects of anthropogenic forcing and atmospheric circulation on the record-breaking wet bulb heat event over southern China in September 2021
Dong-Qian & SUN, Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.11.007

Extreme precipitation over northern China in autumn 2021 and the joint contributions from the tropical and mid-latitude factors
Gu et al., Advances in Climate Change Research, Open Access 10.1016/j.accre.2022.11.008

Is Anthropogenic Global Warming Accelerating?
Jenkins et al., Journal of Climate, Open Access 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0081.1

Read more...

0 comments


Experts discuss how wildfire smoke harms human health

Posted on 23 November 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Samantha Harrington

Wildfires in the summer of 2022 burned in the New Mexico mountains ringing the valley where Marquel Musgrave lives. Musgrave’s pueblo, Nanbé Owingeh, sprang into action. Community members gathered information and supplies to protect children and elders from the smoky air. 

Musgrave described this experience and more during a November panel discussion hosted by the Yale Center for Environmental Communication and Yale Climate Connections focusing on the health consequences of wildfire smoke. Musgrave joined Dr. Colleen Reid, a professor of geography at the University of Colorado Boulder, who shared recent research on the effects that breathing in wildfire smoke has on people’s health. And Dr. Jeff Masters, Yale Climate Connections contributor and meteorologist who has a Ph.D. in air pollution meteorology, explained that climate change is worsening wildfires and air pollution. The talk was moderated by Dr. Kai Chen, an assistant professor of epidemiology (environmental health) at Yale University.

Takeaways from the panel:

Read more...

0 comments


Another bunch of helpful handbook translations published!

Posted on 22 November 2022 by BaerbelW

Since our last update about handy handbook translations in December 2021, another bunch have been published and added to the relevant overview pages for The Conspiracy Theory HandbookThe Debunking Handbook 2020 and The COVID-19 Vaccine Communication Handbook. As most of these additions will most likely have flown under the radar, we'll highlight these handy resources to fight misinformation in this blog post. Some translations were created with the help of translators from the Skeptical Science volunteers' network while others were created independently. What ties these handbooks and their translations together is, that Skeptical Science founder John Cook has been involved with the creation of all of them, that Wendy Cook created the graphic designs, and that I'm coordinating the translations.

Collage

Here is the list of newly added translations by publication date:

Read more...

0 comments


Video examines issues involving jet stream role in extreme weather

Posted on 21 November 2022 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Turn on practically any storm-driven local TV weather forecast these days, and chances are you’ll encounter more and more references to the “jet stream.”

But why? And what exactly is the jet stream, and what, if any, is its connection to extreme weather events, be they drought, extreme heat, wildfires, or flooding?

“It’s hard to find examples of major weather events from last year that arenrelated to the jet stream,” PBS producer and host of “PBS Terra” Maiya May says in a new Yale Climate Connections video, produced by independent videographer Peter Sinclair.  

Climate models may be “too conservative” on impacts of the jet stream considering current observations, says Columbia University scientist Kai Kornhuber, pointing to recent record-breaking extreme weather events.

“The observational evidence for crazier jet stream activity has certainly been strong,” Yale Climate Connections meteorologist Jeff Masters, a cofounder of Weather Underground, says in the video. “We’re seeing some very unusual activity in the past few decades.” Siting recent research drawing links between jet stream perturbations and severe weather events, Masters adds that theoretical and computer modeling evidence remains limited, making the subject still “a tough nut to crack.”

Among the puzzles being addressed by researchers is the extent to which climate change may be influencing what Nebraska state climatologist Martha Shulski calls “wavey” jet stream behaviors and more polar air outbreaks. Other experts chime in on the range of known, unknown, and suspected issues involving the jet stream, climate change, and global weather patterns.

Read more...

0 comments


2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #46

Posted on 19 November 2022 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 13, 2022  thru Sat, Nov 19, 2022.

Story of the Week

Is COP27 the End of Hopes for Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees Celsius?

The climate talks are going into overtime with little progress toward the emissions cuts required to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

The COP27 climate conference in Egypt may be remembered as the moment when the world gave up on limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, the most ambitious goal set by the 2015 Paris Agreement.

Late Friday, the last scheduled day of the climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh, the heads of the national delegations were still meeting to discuss whether the final documents should include a reference to that temperature target, which scientists call a limit that, if breached, would push some Earth systems past dangerous and irreversible tipping points.

This year’s annual meeting was billed as the “implementation COP,” but so far “nothing has been implemented, and it has thus failed to achieve what it set out to do,” said Stephanie Hirmer, a senior researcher at the University of Oxford’s energy and power group. “While everyone knows the 1.5-degree target is off the table, it is not openly discussed in official sessions,” she said.

The only way to stay under that limit, a recent United Nations Environment Programme report concluded, would be for industrialized nations to rapidly reduce greenhouse gas emissions—cutting them by about half in the next eight years and to zero by 2050—but nothing that happened at this year’s two-week conference has increased the likelihood that will happen.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on Inside Climate News.

Is COP27 the End of Hopes for Limiting Global Warming to 1.5 Degrees Celsius? by Bob Berwyn, Science, Inside Climate News, Nov 19, 2022 

Read more...

8 comments


Skeptical Science New Research for Week #46 2022

Posted on 17 November 2022 by Doug Bostrom, Marc Kodack

Notables:

Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different time scales Arnscheidt and Rothman confirm the stabilizing effect of carbonate geochemistry on Earth's climate, at least on "short" timescales. More provocatively: "We have shown that the observations are inconsistent with a dominant stabilizing feedback on the longest time scales and suggested that those fluctuations arise because of weathering acting as a climate forcing (for example, when tectonic processes change the availability of weatherable rocks). Another option is that fluctuations grow on long time scales because of unknown destabilizing feedbacks. In either case, the key question is: Are there any mechanisms in the Earth system that prevent these kinds of fluctuations from eventually driving surface temperature into an uninhabitable regime?" Get past the embedded cliffhanger by reading the paper.

Asymmetric emergence of low-to-no snow in the midlatitudes of the American Cordillera A familiar story: people in the southern hemisphere will be more heavily impacted by climate change than those in the north, despite being relatively scanty contributors to the root cause of the problem. Here we're speaking of vanishing water resources. Let alone humans, Rhoades et al. point out that ecological systems will also be degraded. 

Climate models fail to capture strengthening wintertime North Atlantic jet and impacts on Europe Blackport & Fyfe describe the meat of the problem they're investigating: "Here, we show that over the period from 1951 to 2020, the wintertime North Atlantic jet has strengthened, while model trends are, on average, only very weakly positive. The observed strengthening is greater than in any one of the 303 simulations from 44 climate models considered in our study. This divergence between models and observations is now much more apparent because of a very strong jet observed over the past decade." The authors assess natural variabilty as culprit and find it unlikely, with further scrutiny suggesting that models are failing to capture some degree of anthropenic effects. The oversight has important implications for projections that steer adaptation planning, etc.

African perspectives on climate change research  "The countries of Africa have contributed comparatively little to anthropogenic emissions, yet the continent feels the impacts of global warming in many different ways, with changes in hydroclimate, biodiversity and wildfire dynamics already visible today. These changes happen simultaneously with considerable societal and economic transformations in many countries." Here African researchers describe their preoccupations: scientific questions of especial interest to a continent facing huge and increasingly urgent challenges from climate change.

A Look at 2021: Takeaway Points from the State of the Climate Supplement What's written on the tin: BAMS provides the very top lines of the full treatment, State of the Climate in 2021.

Discrepancies between observations and climate models of large-scale wind-driven Greenland melt influence sea-level rise projections In Nature Communications Dániel Topál & crew dive into fascinating details in their exploration of a mismatch between models and reality. Some surprising facts about the effects of wind on ice are revealed. More concerningly, given the conclusions of the paper our projections are likely to be missing a fairly significant proportion of Greenland's expected contribution to sea level rise.

146 articles in 68 journals by 1320 contributing authors

Physical science of climate change, effects

Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different time scales
Arnscheidt & Rothman, Science Advances, Open Access 10.1126/sciadv.adc924

Processes Controlling the Southern Ocean Temperature Change
Chen et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0111.1

Why is Seasonal Density Stratification in Shelf Seas Expected to Increase Under Future Climate Change?
Holt et al., Geophysical Research Letters, 10.1029/2022gl100448

Observations of climate change, effects

Accelerated Sea Ice Loss from Late Summer Cyclones in the New Arctic
Finocchio et al., Journal of Climate, 10.1175/jcli-d-22-0315.1

Read more...

0 comments


New reports spell out climate urgency, shortfalls, needed actions

Posted on 16 November 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Michael Svoboda

In the weeks leading up to the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, often called COP27, several organizations released major reports detailing the many difficult tasks on the climate negotiators’ agenda. Some of these reports are annual updates; others are one-off analyses. Together they describe the urgency of this moment but also the many opportunities for action.

The first three reports in the list, from United Nations Environment Programme and World Resources Institute, document the gaps between past commitments and current actions on emissions reductions, adaptation finance, and other goals adopted at COP21 in Paris in 2015.

The second group of reports compiles the mounting evidence for the increasing frequency and danger of heat waves. The provocatively titled report from UNICEF — “The Coldest Year of the Rest of Their Lives” — adds poignancy to the data.

A trio of reports from the International Energy Agency, the International Renewable Energy Agency, and the World Bank offer the most optimistic assessments. Although Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has disrupted the timetables, the dramatically improving economics of renewable energy keep improving the odds for the transition to a net-zero (or carbon-neutral) economy.

The last two reports focus on specific issues high on the agenda at COP27: compensation for the losses and damages suffered by countries that contributed little to Earth’s warming but are already suffering the consequences and the increasingly disconcerting trade-offs between climate actions and land use.

As always with this feature, descriptions of the reports are drawn from copy provided by the organizations that published them. PDFs of the reports can be downloaded from the organizations’ website for free; in some cases, registration with the organization is required. 


A book cover featuring an illustration of two white-capped waves.

UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate Adaptation Failure Puts World at Risk by Edith Adera et al. (United Nations Environment Programme 2022, 84 pages, free download available here)

UNEP’s Adaptation Gap Report 2022: Too Little, Too Slow – Climate Adaptation Failure Puts World at Risk looks at progress in planning, financing and implementing adaptation actions. At least 84 percent of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have established adaptation plans, strategies, laws and policies. The instruments are getting better at prioritizing disadvantaged groups, such as Indigenous peoples. However, international adaptation finance flows to turn these plans and strategies into action are 5-10 times below estimated needs and the gap is widening. The report looks at the benefits of prioritizing actions that both reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help communities adapt, such as nature-based solutions, and calls for countries to step up funding and implementation of adaptation actions.

Read more...

6 comments


Climate Talk.... FAILS | #cop27

Posted on 15 November 2022 by Guest Author

Climate negotiations play a vital role in fighting climate change. But do they? These climate talks are - as the name suggests - more talk than action. I look back at some of the biggest fails, from fossil fuel sponsorships to the Paris Climate Agreement. So what does all this mean for the fate of the next negotiations - COP27 in Egypt?

Support ClimateAdam on patreon: http://patreon.com/climateadam

Read more...

0 comments


Don’t get fooled: Electric vehicles really are better for the climate

Posted on 14 November 2022 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons

A cartoon featuring rabbits (hares) in a gas pickup truck and tortoises in an electric car catching up to them.

You may have heard the myth that electric vehicles are just as bad for the climate — or worse — than gas-powered cars and trucks. One common myth claims that the climate-warming pollution caused by manufacturing electric vehicle batteries cancels out the benefits. Not so.

Electric vehicles don’t cause more pollution in the long run

Electric vehicles, often called EVs, are responsible for less global-warming pollution over their life cycle than gas-powered vehicles, despite the fact that battery manufacturing — for the moment — increases the climate impacts of EV production.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency explains the issue in a nutshell: “Some studies have shown that making a typical electric vehicle (EV) can create more carbon pollution than making a gasoline car. This is because of the additional energy required to manufacture an EV’s battery. Still, over the lifetime of the vehicle, total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with manufacturing, charging, and driving an EV are typically lower than the total GHGs associated with a gasoline car.” (emphasis added)

Let’s walk through the key data leading to this conclusion, with the help of the lead author of a 2022 Union of Concerned Scientists report evaluating the lifetime impacts of electric and gasoline vehicles.

Manufacturing an electric vehicle does cause carbon pollution

Although an electric vehicle creates less climate pollution over its life cycle than a gas-powered vehicle, manufacturing an EV typically generates more pollution.

That’s mostly a result of the energy required to mine the materials used in batteries, transport them to the production facility, and manufacture them.

“However, even now, those emissions are small compared to the savings when you’re driving the vehicle,” said David Reichmuth, senior engineer at the Union of Concerned Scientists and co-author of the 2022 report cited above.

Read more...

14 comments


2022 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #45

Posted on 12 November 2022 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Nov 6, 2022  thru Sat, Nov 12, 2022.

Story of the Week

What the tiny remaining 1.5C carbon budget means for climate policy 

The latest estimates from the Global Carbon Project (GCP) show that total worldwide CO2 emissions in 2022 have reached near-record levels. 

The GCP’s estimates put the remaining carbon budget for 1.5C – specifically, the amount of CO2 that can still be emitted for a 50% chance of staying below 1.5C of warming – at 380bn tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2). At the current rate of emissions, this budget would be blown in just nine years.

While that is a disconcertingly short amount of time, the budget for 1.5C may actually be even tighter.

Combining the latest insights from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) with the GCP’s data, we estimate that the remaining 1.5C carbon budget could be just 260GtCO2 – around 120GtCO2 smaller. If emissions continued at current levels, this budget would run out in around six and half years.

However, reducing the remaining carbon budget to a single number means that many of the factors and uncertainties involved in calculating it – and their implications for decision-making – are missed.  

With the immense efforts of the GCP, we know that there is still no sign of the sustained fall in global CO2 emissions needed to meet the Paris Agreement warming limits. 

Cutting global CO2 emissions to zero by 2050, in line with limiting warming to 1.5C, would require them to fall by about 1.4GtCO2 every year, comparable to the drop in 2020 as a result of Covid-19 lockdowns around the world, but this time driven by a long-term, structural change of the economy.

This highlights that the scale of the challenge is immense, no matter the precise figure of the rapidly shrinking carbon budget.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on Carbon Brief.

What the tiny remaining 1.5C carbon budget means for climate policy, Guest Post by Piers Forster, Debbie Rosen, Robin Lamboll & Joeri Rogelj, Carbon Brief, Nov 11, 2022

Read more...

22 comments



The Consensus Project Website

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)


© Copyright 2022 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us