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A look back - SkS in 2014

Posted on 18 July 2017 by BaerbelW


More publications and projects

The year got off to a good start with Kevin Cowtan's and Robert Way's paper "Coverage bias in the HadCRUT4 temperature series and its impact on recent temperature trends" published online in February. Kevin had published an accompanying blog post about the paper in January while it was still "in press". 

In April we learned that our Skeptical Science consensus paper was voted ERL's best article of 2013 - not bad for a paper conceived and published as a citizens' science project! 

Certificate from Environmental Research Letters awarding Cook et al as best ERL paper of 2013.

While we are on the topic of our consensus study: Economist and Global Warming Policy Foundation advisor Richard Tol somehow got a paper published in Energy Policy in June in which he tried to take down Cook et al. (2013) but instead managed to accidentally confirm the 97% global warming consensus! He also managed to conjure 300 non-existent rejection papers out of thin air which is quite a feat!

Recalculated consensus based on actual paper reconciliations (top frame), and based on Tol's erroneous assumptions (bottom frame)

Recalculated consensus based on actual paper reconciliations (top frame), and based on Tol's erroneous assumptions (bottom frame)

And, as if this major error wasn't bad enough, Tol managed to cram 23 other errors into his paper, bringing the total to 24, neatly catalogued in this PDF titled 24 Errors as we couldn't fit them all into the constraint reply we published in Energy Policy.

On September 7 we kicked off 97 hours of consensus: caricatures and quotes from 97 scientists featuring cartoons of 97 climate scientists drawn by John to accompany their quotes reaffirming the consensus on AGW. Bob Lacatena created another of his neat apps for this creative project and you can still poke around the animation to get the scientists to raise their hand and show their quote:


Click on the image to see a larger verion and follow this link to get to the animation.

Judging from the reactions published about 2 weeks after the final cartoon went live, 97 Hours was a very popular creative project!

By then, we were already busy working on our next big project: putting together a massive open online course (or MOOC) in collaboration with the University of Queensland. We planned to tackle climate science denial heads on which was quite apparent in the title chosen for this MOOC: "Denial101x - Making sense of climate science denial". The MOOC was first announced publicly on September 21.

Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial

Climate change is real, so why the controversy and debate? Learn to make sense of the science and to respond to climate change denial.

Several members of our team yet again met in San Francicso during this year's AGU Fall meeting to participate in presentations and poster sessions. John used one of his sessions to talk about Denial101x and wrote about it afterwards. In the article, he mentions the expert interviews the team recorded during AGU and inbetween their presentations. What he didn't mention were the whirlwind recording sessions for the Denial101x-lectures crammed in between everything else which was going on! If you've taken our MOOC, you'll be able to tell which of the lectures were recorded during AGU: they are the ones with Sarah Green, Dana Nuccitelli, Peter Jacobs and Scott Mandia standing in front of a rather bland grey wall:


During the year, 407 blog posts written by 33 authors were published (John Hartz had most of them with 153, Dana 65 and we had 46 guest posts republished from elsewhere)


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