2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #35B

AccuClimate: the future of climate change forecasting

Sitting in front of two large, metadata-loaded screens, Jones was in the midst of explaining how climate science will soon fill a role similar to weather forecasting: helping humanity deal with the impacts on a regular basis. Up until recently, climate science has been used to determine whether or not the world is warming and what’s causing this warming. But with the necessary scientific evidence now in place, climate science will soon be used to help guard against the risks posed by climate change.

AccuClimate: The Future of Climate Change Forecasting by Ari Phillips, Climate Progress, Aug 28, 2013

Carbon targets, carbon taxes, and the search for Archimedes’ lever

Climate change is a huge, knotty, incredibly difficult problem. The more you dig in and understand the science and politics of it, the more hopelessly vast and complex it can seem. What’s more, the public has not even begun to grapple with it; public discussions, especially in the U.S., remain polarized, shallow, and stupid.

Given this situation, it’s natural for climate hawks to yearn for a Grand Gesture, something that clearly announces our intention to Solve the Problem. They want a policy response as powerful as the threat, one that can power past all the fog and ignorance and greed.

Carbon targets, carbon taxes, and the search for Archimedes’ lever by David Roberts, Grist, Aug 27, 2013

Climate change could turn Greenland green by 2100

The world's most sparsely populated country could be covered by swaths of forests instead of barren ice sheet, experts say.

Climate change could turn Greenland green by 2100, Press Association, The Guardian, Aug 28, 2013

Cooler Pacific ocean may explain climate change paradox

Cooling sea-surface temperatures in the tropical Pacific Ocean — a phase that is part of a natural warm and cold cycle — may explain why global average temperatures have stabilized in recent years, even as greenhouse gas emissions have been warming the planet, according to new research.

The findings suggest that the flattening in the rise of global temperaturesrecorded over the past 15 years are not signs of a "hiatus" in global warming, but are tied to cooling temperatures in the tropical or equatorial Pacific Ocean. When the tropical Pacific naturally switches back into a warm phase, the long-term trends in global warming, including more steeply rising global temperatures, will likely increase, said study co-author Shang-Ping Xie, a climate scientist at the University of California, San Diego.

"The engine driving atmospheric circulation on global scales resides in the tropical Pacific," Xie told LiveScience. "When the natural cycle shifts the next time to a warmer state, we're going to see more extreme warming on the global scale." 

Cooler Pacific Ocean May Explain Climate Change Paradox by Denise Chow, LiveScience, Aug 28, 2013

Could carbon farms reverse global warming?

A recent study by German researchers presents the possibility of "carbon farming" as a less risky alternative to other carbon capture and storage technologies. It suggests that a significant percentage of atmospheric CO2 could potentially be removed by planting millions of acres of a hardy little shrub known as Jatropha curcas, or the Barbados nut, in dry, coastal areas.

Could Carbon Farms Reverse Global Warming? by Elizabeth Harball, ClimateWire and Scientific American, Aug 26, 2013

Ecologists link Far East floods to global warming

When President Vladimir Putin flew to the Khabarovsk region on Thursday to survey the damage from the record flooding in the area, ecologists said he came face-to-face not only with the stubbornly rising waters, but with his own doubts about global warming.

Some ecologists say that global warming is the cause of the record flooding in the Far East and cautioned that more areas in Russia are at risk of severe weather changes in the future as the problem escalates.

Ecologists Link Far East Floods to Global Warming by Lena Smirnova, The Moscow Times, Aug 30, 2013

Greenland “Mega Canyon” sends water to the sea

Researchers have found a "mega canyon" in Greenland tucked under a mile and a half of ice that could rival the size and depth of Arizona’s Grand Canyon. While the discovery won’t become a major tourist attraction, it does provide insight into how meltwater courses its way underneath the world’s second-largest ice sheet, and how that might affect ice shelves and glaciers at its periphery. Melting ice from Greenland and Antarctica is now the dominant contributor to global sea level rise, which is expected to accelerate in coming decades.

Greenland “Mega Canyon” Sends Water to the Sea by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, Aug 30, 2013

Hidden heat

Scientists are homing in on the reasons for the current hiatus in global warming, but all must recognize that the long-term risk of warming from carbon dioxide remains high.

Hidden heat, Op-ed by the Editorial Board, Nature, Aug 28, 2013

Is global warming really slowing down?

Skeptics say global warming is over. They're wrong.

Is Global Warming Really Slowing Down? by Chris Mooney, Mother Jones, Aug 28, 2013

Judith Curry and Kevin Trenberth: equal time on NPR

Hours of taped interviewing lead to two eight-minute segments on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’ exploring the contrasting views of two prominent climate scientists.

Judith Curry and Kevin Trenberth: Equal Time on NPR by Bud Ward, Yale Forum on Climate Change & the Media, Aug 28, 2013

Keystone XL's climate impact would be enormous

Further development of the Canadian tar sands will be a disaster for the climate, and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline is the "linchpin" for that development, a coalition of environmental groups said on Thursday.

In a new report simply titled, "Fail," the Sierra Club, Oil Change International and a dozen other environmental groups argue that, if built, the pipeline from Alberta, Canada, to Texas would increase U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 181 million metric tons each year -- the yearly equivalent of building 51 new coal-fired power plants or putting 37 million additional cars on the road -- when the combustion, transportation and processing of the crude and its byproducts are all taken into account.

Keystone XL's Climate Impact Would Be Enormous, According to Enviros by Kate Shepard, the Huffington Post, Aug 29, 2013

Spy satellite data reveal Antarctic ice vulnerability

Declassified spy satellite imagery of Antarctica dating back to the 1960s has revealed that the world's largest ice sheet may be more susceptible to climate change than once thought.

Spy Satellite Data Reveal Antarctic Ice Vulnerability by Laura Poppick, LiveScience, Aug 28, 2013 

The era of climate change 'denial' is over

Politicians who flatly reject climate science are now being replaced by climate policy sceptics.

The era of climate change 'denial' is over by Leo Hickman, Environment Blog, the Guardian, Aug 28, 2013

Posted by John Hartz on Saturday, 31 August, 2013

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