2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #32A

2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally

Worldwide, 2012 was among the 10 warmest years on record according to the 2012 State of the Climate report released online today by the American Meteorological Society (AMS). The peer-reviewed report, with scientists from NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, N.C., serving as lead editors, was compiled by 384 scientists from 52 countries (highlightsfull report). It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments on land, sea, ice, and sky.

2012 was one of the 10 warmest years on record globally, National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA), Aug 6, 3013

Australia faces increased risk of disease from climate change

A number of recent studies have shown a clear connection between a warming planet and increased health risks.

Australia faces increased risk of disease from climate change, reports find by Oliver Milman, The Guardian, Aug 2, 2013

Earthquakes may contribute to methane leaks

LONDON – And here’s another shuddering twist to the horror story that is climate change: even earthquakes may play a role. Large quantities of methane may have escaped during a violent earthquake that shook the floor of the Arabian Sea in 1945, according to German and Swiss researchers.

Earthquakes ‘May Contribute to Methane Leaks’ by Tim Radford, Climate News Network, Climate Central, Aug 3, 2013

For some climate scientists, speaking out is a moral obligation

As human beings, climate scientists have a vested interest in getting the climate change policy right.

For some climate scientists, speaking out is a moral obligation by John Abraham and Andrew Dressler, Climate Consensus-the 97%, The Guardian, Aug 6, 2013

Global warming denial is science-proof

Every time I see an opinion piece written by a global warming denier I think to myself, “Well, this’ll be painful, but at least it can’t get any worse than the one’s I’ve already read.”

And then I read it. And I find out I was wrong. 

Global Warming Denial Is Science-Proof by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, Slate, Aug 5, 2013

Global warming: the folly of certainty

The debate about climate change, as it is currently conducted, focuses mainly on this question: Are we certain that the Earth is going to warm to a dangerous degree in the near future? Climate scientists have been struggling very hard to convince us all that they are certain, or at least nearly certain, but haven’t succeeded all that well.

But that’s really not the right question at all. To think that is the right question is to behave like Larry Jones. The right question is: Are we confident that the Earth is *not* going to warm to a dangerous degree in the near future?

If we’re not confident of that, we’d be idiots not to at least slow down and start making serious plans.

Global Warming: The Folly of Certainty by William Skaggs, Scientific American, Aug 4, 2013

Greenland soars to its highest temperature ever recorded

The Danish Meteorological Institute is reporting that on Tuesday, July 30, the mercury rose to 25.9 C (78.6 F) at a station in Greenland, the highest temperature measured in the Arctic country since records began in 1958. 

Greenland soars to its highest temperature ever recorded, almost 80 degrees F. by Jason Samenow, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Aug 1, 2013

New Mexico is the driest of the dry

As an extended drought bakes the West, nowhere are ravages of changes in the climate worse than in New Mexico.

New Mexico is the driest of the dry by Julie Cart, Los Angeles Times, Aug 6, 2013

Seven facts about the Arctic methane timebomb

Dismissals of catastrophic methane danger ignore robust science in favour of outdated mythology of climate safety. 

Seven facts you need to know about the Arctic methane timebomb by Nafeez Ahmed, Earth Insight, The Guardian, Aug 5, 2013

Six unexpected effects of climate change

Along with its anxiety-inducing effects, climate change also offers an interesting opportunity to consider fascinating, interconnected processes on Earth. The smallest to the largest components of the planet – from bacteria to volcanoes – all somehow feel the effects of a changing climate. Here are six of the most unexpected ways climate change impacts Earth.

6 Unexpected Effects of Climate Change by Laura Poppick, LiveScience, Aug 5, 2013

The fallacy of the middle ground

That is not a logical argument to make though: Regardless of what one may think of Watts, contrasting an extremist with someone who is even more extreme doesn’t make him mainstream. Regardless of what one thinks of Watts, contrasting someone who frequently flirts with pseudoscience with an all-out pseudo-science lover doesn’t free the former from any link with pseudo-science.

That is what I would call the fallacy of the middle ground.

The fallacy of the middle ground by Bert Verheggen, My view on climate change, Aug 5, 2013

Watching Fox News makes you distrust climate scientists

In the past several years, a number of polls have documented the huge gap between liberals and conservatives when it comes to their acceptance of the science of climate change. Naturally, then, researchers have increasingly turned their attention to trying to explain this dramatic divide over what is factually true. And it wasn't long before they homed in on the role of conservative media in particular thus, a number of studies (e.g.,hereshow that watching Fox News increases your risk of holding incorrect beliefs about the science of climate change.

Now, a new paper just out in the journal Public Understanding of Science takes this line of inquiry farther, beginning to unpack precisely how conservative media work to undermine the public's acceptance of science. The paper shows that a distrust of climate scientists is a significant factor underlying the modern denial of global warming, and moreover, that watching Fox News and listening to Rush Limbaugh both increase one's level of distrust of these scientific experts. Or as the paper puts it, "conservative media use decreases trust in scientists which, in turn, decreases certainty that global warming is happening."

Study: Watching Fox News Makes You Distrust Climate Scientists by Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, Aug 6, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Tuesday, 6 August, 2013

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