2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #19

Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... Photo of the Week... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Did Global Warming Really 'Pause' During the 2000s?

 Morgan fire near Clayton CA Sep 2013

Flames whip from the Morgan fire near Clayton, California, in September 2013, right as the “hiatus” was ending. Photo: Noah Berger / Reuters

It is the first year of the new Republican president’s term. He has taken over a healthy economy from his Democratic predecessor, and, with it, the freedom to branch out beyond the typical Reaganism. He has also inherited a slew of environmental policies, many of which combat global warming.

Most important among these is a fledgling UN treaty, a global agreement to restrict greenhouse-gas emissions. It was never ratified by the Senate, so the new president—whose Cabinet members have deep ties to the oil and gas industry—must decide whether to stay in the agreement or abandon it.

Global warming does not obsess most Americans, but it frightens the scientists who study it. Just before the new president took office, an unprecedented and monstrous El Niño, the largest ever recorded, set a new annual global temperature record—“the hottest year ever measured,” as the newspapers put it. Ocean temperatures surged around the world, bleaching the Great Barrier Reef and inducing a mass coral die-off . Great cracks are even appearing in ancient Antarctic ice shelves. Climate change seems to be already under way.

Did Global Warming Really ‘Pause’ During the 2000s? by Robinson Meyer, The Atlantic, May 12, 2017

El Niño/La Niña Update

Introducing El Tio and La Tia, the climate cycles that could mean we’re about to get a lot hotter

Australia El Nino Conditions 

An El Nino sees warmer water in the eastern Pacific and hot, drier, conditions in Australia. Source:News Corp Australia

EL NINO, and its sister La Nina, have long been one of the key drivers of Australia’s weather.

But environmental scientists now suspect they could be little more than the climactic equivalents of cheeky kids at the family barbecue. Instead, a “kindly aunty” and “cranky uncle” could have a far more wide reaching effect on our climate.

With El Nino being the Spanish for “the boy” and La Nina “the girl” scientists have named these overarching systems El Tio meaning, “the uncle,” and La Tia “the aunt”.

And if the boy and the uncle join forces, things may be about to get hairy. At the very least, you may want to slap on some more sunscreen

Dr Benjamin Henley, a climate scientist at the University of Melbourne, told news.com.au a prolonged La Tia may have “lulled us into a false sense of security” that global warming had slowed when the reality is climate change could be on the verge of accelerating.

Introducing El Tio and La Tia, the climate cycles that could mean we’re about to get a lot hotter by Benedict Brook, news.com.au, May 13, 2017

Toon of the Week...

2017 Toon 19 

Quote of the Week...

Harri Mäki-Reinikka, the Finnish ambassador for northern policies, called for the Paris treaty to be respected.

“We hope there will be no deals over the heads of others – these are very global issues. Arctic conditions are changing. If the temperatures are two degrees higher globally that can be four degrees higher, or even six degrees in the Arctic,” he said.

“What is even more worrying is that ice and snow are melting faster than we estimated, and that will change the composition of the waters and even the sea level might be rising. If we have two countries, Russia and the US, not sharing the view that climate change is happening or is manmade or how much it is manmade, it is very difficult to proceed.”

Mäki-Reinikka said “a month ago Putin said climate change is not man made” but recent reports of bubbles of methane gas forming in Siberia, potentially putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, could mean “a vicious circle of climate change and global warming will be faster, and the Paris climate change agreements will need to be stronger”.

Finland voices concern over US and Russian climate change doubters by Patrick Wintour, Arctic, Guardian, May 11, 2017

Graphic of the Week...

Temperature Spiral Update Ed Hawkins 

Happy(?) Birthday Temperature Spiral by Andrea Thompson, Climate Cnetral, May 11, 2017

SkS in the News...

The just published peer-reviewed paper, Neutralizing misinformation through inoculation: Exposing misleading argumentation techniques reduces their influence  by J Cook, S Lewandowsky & U Ecker (PLoS ONE) has garnered considerable attention. Here's just a sampling...

Photo of the Week...


Artist Lorenzo Quinn just finished the installation of a monumental sculpture for the 2017 Venice Biennale. Titled Support, the piece depicts a pair of gigantic hands rising from the water to support the sides of the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel, a visual statement of the impact of climate change and rising sea levels on the historic city. Quinn is known for his work with the human body—specifically hands—that he incorporates into everything from large-scale sculptures down to jewelry designs. Quinn is represented by Halcyon Gallery, and you can see more installation photos and videos of Support on Instagram. (viaThis Isn’t Happiness

Support: Monumental Hands Rise from the Water in Venice to Highlight Climate Change&nbsp by Christopher Jobson, Colossal, May 12, 2017

SkS Spotlights...

Launched in 2010, Colossal is a Webby-nominated blog that explores art and other aspects of visual culture. Colossal won the Utne Media Award for Arts Coverage in 2013. Each week you’ll find 15-25 posts on photography, design, animation, painting, installation art, architecture, drawing, and street art. Colossal is also a great place to learn about the intersection of art and science as well as the beauty of the natural world. There are frequently posts about things far out in left field, but generally Colossal is a reminder that in the digital age there are still countless people making incredible work with their bare hands.

Video of the Week...

Coming Soon on SkS... 

Poster of the Week...

2017 Poster 19 

Climate Feedback Reviews... 

Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, Analysis of “Another Arctic ice panic over as world temperatures plummet” by Christopher Booker, The Telegram, May 6, 2017

Seven scientists analyzed the article and estimated its overall scientific credibility to be ‘very low’.

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as: , Flawed reasoning, , .

Click here to access the entire review. 

SkS Week in Review... 

97 Hours of Consensus...

 Eric Wolff


Eric Wolff's bio page

Quote derived with permission from author from:

"We do know that in the last century, CO2 has risen to levels well above anything experienced in the last 800,000 years and we know why CO2 causes warming. It's basic physics that's been known for more than a century. It's pretty straightforward. If you put more CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it will get warmer - there is no way around that one." 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)

Posted by John Hartz on Sunday, 14 May, 2017

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