2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #34B

Are Americans ready to rebel over climate?

Henry David Thoreau would be so proud. It appears that one in four Americans would now support peaceful civil disobedience against organizations that are making global warming worse, according to the latest survey report by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

Are Americans Ready to Rebel Over Climate? by Larry O'Hanlon, Discovery News, Aug 23, 2013

Are we cooling our way to a warmer planet?

"Should the world eventually adapt the US level of need for cooling, energy demand for air conditioning would be equal to about 50 times the current demand for cooling in the US," said Michael Sivak, a researcher at the University of Michigan and author of a study of global air conditioning use published in the September-October 2013 issue of American Scientist.  

Global air conditioning: Are we cooling our way to a warmer planet? by David Unger, The Chrisitian Science Monitor, Aug 22, 2013

Australia's flooding rains briefly slowed sea level rise

Scientists may have zeroed in on the cause of a mysterious 18-month drop in global average sea level that occurred between 2010 and 2011, pointing to events that occurred on the world’s smallest continent: Australia. New research shows that during those two years, flooding rains in Australia, which resulted from a rare combination of factors, took huge quantities of water out of the oceans without returning it, like a library user with mounting late fees. 

Australia’s Flooding Rains Briefly Slowed Sea Level Rise by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, Aug 21, 2013

Climate change: speaking the unspeakable

So… what to do? How to find a way to metaphorically grab people by the shoulders, turn them, make them look at the horrid thing they and their kids and parents and grandparents helped create, tell them how bad it really is, and then convince them that there’s no such thing as it “being too late”, that the urgency they now see and feel is not an argument for disengagement, but an argument for taking action to stop it from getting far worse?

Climate Change: Speaking the Unspeakable by Lou Grinzo, The Energy Collective, Aug 21, 2013

Fears for seabirds as global warming affects coastline

Puffins, terns and butterflies are among the key species in the UK being put at risk from global warming, which is transforming the UK's coastal areas as sea levels rise and storms grow fiercer, a study by the National Trust has found.

Sea levels are predicted to rise by up to half a metre by the turn of the century, and coastal erosion is accelerating, with a fourfold increase in landslips reported.

Fears for seabirds as global warming affects coastline by Fiona Harvey, The Guardian, Aug 22, 2013

Higher temperatures, more dengue

The spread of the virus that causes dengue fever has created an emergency situation for institutions, governments and scientists in Latin America seeking sustainable solutions for a health problem that could worsen as a result of climate change.

Higher Temperatures, More Dengue by Patricia Grogg, Inter Press Service (IPS), Aug 22, 2013

House GOP plans mega-hearing on climate change

After virtually ignoring the nation's biggest environmental issue for years, Republican leaders of the House Energy and Commerce Committee are planning a major hearing on climate change on Sept. 18 and are inviting leaders of 13 federal agencies to testify. It will be the first time since President Obama unveiled his climate action plan in June that administration officials will testify on Capitol Hill about the agenda.

House GOP Plans Mega-Hearing on Climate Changeby Amy Harder, National Journal, Aug 21, 2013

Is climate change humanity's greatest-ever risk management failure?

Humans are generally very risk-averse. We buy insurance to protect our investments in homes and cars. For those of us who don't have universal health care, most purchase health insurance. We don't like taking the chance - however remote - that we could be left unprepared in the event that something bad happens to our homes, cars, or health.

Climate change seems to be a major exception to this rule. Managing the risks posed by climate change is not a high priority for the public as a whole, despite the fact that a climate catastrophe this century is a very real possibility, and that such an event would have adverse impacts on all of us.

Is climate change humanity's greatest-ever risk management failure? Dana Nuccitelli, Climate Consensus-the 97%, The Guardian, Aug 22, 2013

July adds to globe's string of 341 warm months

The year-to-date has been the sixth warmest on record globally, and July was also the sixth warmest such month since global surface temperature records first began in 1880, according to new data released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The figures show that July 2013 was the 37th straight July, and the 341st straight month, with warmer-than-average global temperatures — a more than 28-year timespan that reflects the significant warming observed worldwide since the 1970s.

July Adds To Globe’s String of 341 Warm Months by Andrew Freedman, Climate Central, Aug 20, 2013

Separating science from spin on the global-warming 'pause'

"If the planet is warming, why have temperatures been steady for a decade?"

That question is now the go-to counterpoint for global-warming skeptics, and it has long been a sticking point for scientists as they try to explain their climate conclusions to an increasingly polarized public.

The debate was reborn anew last week when a leaked draft of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change upcoming report conceded that warming has largely paused over the past decade, prompting outcry from skeptics and leading conservative news outlets (including Fox News) to play up the pause in their reporting.

Separating Science From Spin on the Global-Warming 'Pause' by Patrick Reis and Marina Koren, National Journal, Aug 21, 2013

The inevitability of sea-level rise

Small numbers can imply big things. Global sea level rose by a little less than 0.2 metres during the 20th century – mainly in response to the 0.8 °C of warming humans have caused through greenhouse gas emissions. That might not look like something to worry about. But there is no doubt that for the next century, sea level will continue to rise substantially. The multi-billion-dollar question is: by how much?

The Inevitability of Sea-Level Rise by Anders Levermann, The Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, Aug 22, 2013

Welcome to the Age of Denial

IN 1982, polls showed that 44 percent of Americans believed God had created human beings in their present form. Thirty years later, the fraction of the population who are creationists is 46 percent.

In 1989, when “climate change” had just entered the public lexicon, 63 percent of Americans understood it was a problem. Almost 25 years later, that proportion is actually a bit lower, at 58 percent.

Welcome to the Age of Denial, Op-ed by Adam Frank, New York Times, Aug 21, 2013

Wind farms take root out at sea

“If you want to do wind on a big scale with power plants based on wind, you need to go offshore,” said Michael Hannibal, chief of Siemens’s offshore wind business.

Wind Farms Take Root Out at Sea by Stanley Reed, New York Times, Aug 21, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 24 August, 2013

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