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    Climate Hustle

    Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

    Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

    What role will climate change play in the 2020 presidential election?

    Posted on 31 July 2019 by dana1981

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

    Journalists and political wonks have spilled lots of ink, and more recently lots of gigabytes, in presidential election runups speculating that the environment and global warming could bee significant issues in voters’ minds. Seldom have their expectations been realized.

    Are there reasons to think things might turn out differently in the 2020 presidential elections? Again, we’re hearing the familiar drumbeat – this time will be different.

    Supporting that view is an early July Washington Post-ABC News poll that asked Americans whether they approve or disapprove of the Trump administration’s handling of nine important issues – the economy, immigration, taxes, health care, gun violence, foreign policy, abortion, climate change, and what the poll called issues of “special concern to women.”

    Climate change received the most critical response, with 62% of Americans disapproving of the administration’s actions pared to just 29% approving.


    That approval rate of “the way Trump is handling” climate change matches the 62 percent of Americans worried about the issue in a recent Yale-George Mason survey.*

    The Trump administration has done nothing to address the carbon pollution causing the problem, and instead has exacerbated it. The administration began its campaign against Obama-era climate initiatives by announcing, soon after taking office, its intention to withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. Since then, the administration has moved to scrub mentions of climate change from government science press releases, has blocked climate-related congressional testimony from its intelligence agencies, has repealed the EPA Clean Power Planfrozen vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and undone dozens more regulations aimed at curbing pollutants.

    Trump campaign staffers are reportedly concerned that the administration’s anti-environment agenda could hurt his re-election prospects among key constituencies, especially considering his “persistent unpopularity among female and suburban voters.” pounding those concerns may be that the president’s approval rating hasn’t reached 50 percent during his time in office, making him the only president in the modern era never to have reached that milestone. Add in the “blue wave” midterm elections of 2018 in which Democrats regained a majority in the House of Representatives, and consider also Trump campaigners’ concerns over a mid-June Fox News poll that showed Trump trailing top Democratic presidential contenders.


    4 ments

    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2019

    Posted on 30 July 2019 by doug_bostrom

    56 articles this week. 

    Dual Use Technology

    There's a move in the United States to muzzle and curtail research into climate change, particularly climate change caused by humans. The interests driving this regression are primarily concerned with maintaining the present vectors of money but manage to attract a large and supportive rabble of ideologically fixated folks who have a hard time with what they view as coercive pressure to behave responsibly, avoid creating messes that other people have to clean up etc.

    The trouble is that voluntary or simulated ignorance bears opportunity costs. It's impossible to anticipate the the full benefit of scientific research; asking one question may answer others even as other avenues of inquiry open in the process of exploring the first query. Research truncated for mercial or ideological reasons denies us an unimaginable range of benefits. 

    As a case in point, just as  methods such as "2+2=4" might be employed to calculate dimensions of wood for a project even as the same tools can add up money, so does climate research produce insight quite other than assessing how much doom our fossil fuel habits are depositing in our worry accounts. This week's collection includes a new evaluation (let's not say "projection") of how a plausibly scaled nuclear exchange between the United States and the Russian Federation would affect the world's climate, employing the latest climate modeling techniques— resources unavailable when the term "nuclear winter" first entered our vernacular. The results are quite chilling. Now— thanks to research primarily intended to model another problem— we can better understand a different avoidable scenario, hopefully helping us to make wiser choices.

    The issue with wearing blinkers is that when you're blind, you can't predict what might stub your toe or how much it may hurt. This is such a simple and obvious concept that it's astounding we need to be reminded but for what it's worth: Don't choose to be blind.

    No substitute for boots on the ground (or dipping instruments in water) 

    Long time reader Philippe C. pointed us to an article in the most recent AAAS Science conveying startling findings about melt rates of tidewater glaciers via direct observations, measurements that should help models perform better as discrepancies between observation and prediction are resolved. The format and acuity of the data gathered in this project seems well suited as fodder for mathematical derivations. 

    Suggestions wele

    This week's harvest of research includes other items (the first three in "Physical sciences") that came to us by suggestion (thank you, GEUS and BaerbelW). By "new research" we don't imply that what's published in this weekly synopsis must still be reeking of wet ink. And we certainly are not omniscient! Omissions are inevitable not least because we must employ the help of machines for providing much of our input. If you think we've missed something important, please let us know in ments below or via emailing contact(at).

    Physical sciences: 

    Update of annual calving front lines for 47 marine terminating outlet glaciers in Greenland (1999–2018)

    Sea-level rise in Denmark: Bridging local reconstructions and global projections

    Modeling the Influence of the Weddell Polynya on the Filchner–Ronne Ice Shelf Cavity

    Direct observations of submarine melt and subsurface geometry at a tidewater glacier

    Permafrost-carbon mobilization in Beringia caused by deglacial meltwater runoff, sea-level rise and warming

    Energetically Consistent Scale Adaptive Stochastic and Deterministic Energy Backscatter Schemes for an Atmospheric Model

    The glass half-empty: climate change drives lower freshwater input in the coastal system of the Chilean Northern Patagonia


    0 ments

    Posted on 29 July 2019 by Guest Author

    This is a re-post from The Guardian by Jonathan Watts

    The scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming is likely to have passed 99%, according to the lead author of the most authoritative study on the subject, and could rise further after separate research that clears up some of the remaining doubts.

    Three studies published in Nature and Nature Geoscience use extensive historical data to show there has never been a period in the last 2,000 years when temperature changes have been as fast and extensive as in recent decades.

    It had previously been thought that similarly dramatic peaks and troughs might have occurred in the past, including in periods dubbed the Little Ice Age and the Medieval Climate Anomaly. But the three studies use reconstructions based on 700 proxy records of temperature change, such as trees, ice and sediment, from all continents that indicate none of these shifts took place in more than half the globe at any one time.

    The Little Ice Age, for example, reached its extreme point in the 15th century in the Pacific Ocean, the 17th century in Europe and the 19th century elsewhere, says one of the studies. This localisation is markedly different from the trend since the late 20th century when records are being broken year after year over almost the entire globe, including this summer’s European heatwave.

    Major temperature shifts in the distant past are also likely to have been primarily caused by volcanic eruptions, according to another of the studies, which helps to explain the strong global fluctuations in the first half of the 18th century as the world started to move from a volcanically cooled era to a climate warmed by human emissions. This has bee particularly pronounced since the late 20th century, when temperature rises over two decades or longer have been the most rapid in the past two millennia, notes the third.

    The authors say this highlights how unusual warming has bee in recent years as a result of industrial emissions.


    19 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #30

    Posted on 28 July 2019 by John Hartz

    Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... ing Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

    Story of the Week...

    Global Footprint Network promotes real-world solutions that #MoveTheDate, accelerating the transition to one-planet prosperity

    On July 29, humanity will have used nature’s resource budget for the entire year, according to Global Footprint Network, an international sustainability organization that has pioneered the Ecological Footprint. It is Earth Overshoot Day. Its date has moved up two months over the past 20 years to the 29th of July this year, the earliest date ever.



    Earth Overshoot Day falling on July 29th means that humanity is currently using nature 1.75 times faster than our planet’s ecosystems can regenerate. This is akin to using 1.75 Earths. Overshoot is possible because we are depleting our natural capital – which promises humanity’s future resource security. The costs of this global ecological overspending are being increasingly evident in the form of deforestation, soil erosion, biodiversity loss, or the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The latter leads to climate change and more frequent extreme weather events.

    “We have only got one Earth – this is the ultimately defining context for human existence. We can’t use 1.75 without destructive consequences,” said Mathis Wackernagel, co-inventor of Ecological Footprint accounting and founder of Global Footprint Network.

    His just released book, Ecological Footprint: Managing Our Biocapacity Budgetdemonstrates that overshoot can only be temporary. Humanity will eventually have to operate within the means of Earth’s ecological resources, whether that balance is restored by disaster or by design. “panies and countries that understand and manage the reality of operating in a one-planet context are in a far better position to navigate the challenges of the 21st century,” Wackernagel writes. 

    Global Footprint Network promotes real-world solutions that #MoveTheDate, accelerating the transition to one-planet prosperity. Press Release, Global Footprint Network, July 23, 2019


    21 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Posted on 27 July 2019 by John Hartz

    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, July 21 through Sat, July 27, 2019

    Editor's Pick

    Europe's record heatwave threatens Greenland ice sheet

    The hot air moving up from North Africa has not merely broken European temperature records but surpassed them by 2, 3 or 4 degrees Celsius


    The hot air that smashed European weather records this week looks set to move towards Greenland and could cause record melting of the world's second largest ice sheet, the United Nations said on Friday.

    Clare Nullis, spokeswoman for the U.N. World Meteorological Organization, said the hot air moving up from North Africa had not merely broken European temperature records on Thursday but surpassed them by 2, 3 or 4 degrees Celsius, which she described as "absolutely incredible".

    "According to forecasts, and this is of concern, the atmospheric flow is now going to transport that heat towards Greenland," she told a regular U.N. briefing in Geneva.

    "This will result in high temperatures and consequently enhanced melting of the Greenland ice sheet," she said. "We don't know yet whether it will beat the 2012 level, but it's close."

    Nullis cited data from Denmark's Polar Portal, which measures the daily gains and losses in surface mass of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

    "In July alone, it lost 160 billion tonnes of ice through surface melting. That's roughly the equivalent of 64 million Olympic-sized swimming pools. Just in July. Just surface melt - it's not including ocean melt as well."

     by Tom Miles, Reuters, July 26, 2019


    2 ments

    Analysis: How Trump’s rollback of vehicle fuel standards would increase US emissions

    Posted on 25 July 2019 by Zeke Hausfather

    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief

    The Trump administration’s plans to rollback vehicle fuel-economy standards could increase emissions from the light vehicles sector by 13%, a Carbon Brief analysis shows.

    The increase could reach 85m tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) in 2035, pared to a scenario where rising Obama-era standards remain in force.

    The Trump administration plans are due to be finalised this summer and would freeze fuel standards at 2020 levels.

    This move is sure to be challenged in court action led by the state of California, which has historically had the power to set its own vehicle standards and has a large number of other states following its lead. It is currently unclear if California could maintain its ability to independently regulate CO2 emissions from vehicles in the face of federal opposition.

    If the standards are successfully rolled back, however, the impact could be sizeable, Carbon Brief analysis shows. The 85MtCO2 increase in annual CO2 emissions by 2035 would be equivalent to the current yearly emissions of Bangladesh.

    Looming legal battle

    When the Clean Air Act was passed into law in the US in 1970, California already hadmore stringent clean air regulations than the newly enacted national standard, the result of years of battling smog in the Los Angeles region.

    To prevent the new federal rules from overriding California’s existing regulations, the state was given the authority to issue its own air pollution rules as long as they exceed federal standards. Other states can also choose to adopt California’s stricter rules – and 12 other states along with the District of Columbia currently do this.

    The Trump administration is currently seeking to rollback the Obama vehicle fuel standards, freezing the minimum miles-per-gallon standard for newly sold light cars at 2020 levels of 37 miles per gallon for cars, down from a target of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. (Light trucks and sports utility vehicles – SUVs – have somewhat lower fuel-economy targets that would also be frozen). California has opposed this change, mitting to maintain high fuel-economy standards as a way of reducing CO2 pollution.

    This has set up a major legal showdown between the Trump administration and California, with the federal government threatening to deny California’s authority to set its own standards, a move that would inevitably end up in the courts. If California prevails, it would create a situation where the vehicle market was bifurcated, with about half the US population living in states with very different vehicle standards than the other half. Canada also recently agreed to follow California’s lead.


    6 ments

    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29, 2019

    Posted on 23 July 2019 by SkS-Team

    A relatively small haul of 42 articles. 

    The usual proportion of climate-related research domain output is notably reversed this week. Knock-on effects of climate change and how to deal with them dominated the raw feed of articles.

    The physical science of climate change remains fascinating in itself as a matter of pure abstract curiosity. We could wish we only were witnessing a scientific phenomenon as a matter of pure science but with stakes at risk rising in scope and urgency, research focused on mitigation, adaptation and cultural impacts of climate change is burgeoning.

    Unlike the study of cosmology or mantle convection, in this broad arena of science we're the central player and can write our script. And— let's not forget— we've previously successfully or at least forthrightly negotiated unintended outes of our prowess. For instance after a brief period of unalloyed delight the emergence of automobiles focused attention on outes of relatively simple physics producing plicated, painful and expensive effects.  Momentum, inertia, 1/2MV2, human skulls, hard unforgiving objects and nasty, sad permutations of these things inexorably led to research on improvements. It's just so with the climate change we know we're causing— we've identified problems and now we figure out how to fix those problems. We get to shape our future for the better. 

    It's not plicated, not in principle. When with our clever brains we unleash forces unaddressed by our anatomy— or the normal functioning of the planet— we survive and thrive by further extension of our intelligence, not by pretending to be stupid and ignorant despite evidence to the contrary.

    In short, research "ancillary" to the physical science of climate change is the smartest and arguably best side of our behavior on display, enlightened self-interest at work. 

    Another lesson to be drawn from our weekly research synopsis is more centrally germane to the mission of Skeptical Science. As inquiry extends from physical principles of climate change and workers in other domains inevitably assess conditions in the light of new information we find ever more confirmation of what the physical science of climate change tells us is to be expected. This week's biology section is rife with examples. The intellectual bankruptcy of denial of anthropogenic climate change is being ever more obvious as the acuity and breadth of our accountancy improves. 

    Physical science of anthropogenic climate change
    Freshwater requirements of large-scale bioenergy plantations for limiting global warming to 1.5 °C

    Contrasting responses in dissolved organic carbon to extreme climate events from adjacent boreal landscapes in Northern Sweden

    Estimating power plant CO 2 emission using OCO-2 XCO 2 and high resolution WRF-Chem simulations

    A 40-y record reveals gradual Antarctic sea ice increases followed by decreases at rates far exceeding the rates seen in the Arctic 

    Enhanced flood risk with 1.5 °C global warming in the Ganges–Brahmaputra–Meghna basin

    Changes in the thickness and circulation of multiyear ice in the Beaufort Gyre determined from pseudo‐Lagrangian methods from 2003‐2015

    Turbulence Observations beneath Larsen C Ice Shelf, Antarctica

    Extratropical Cyclone Clouds in the GFDL climate model: diagnosing biases and the associated causes

    The relevance of mid-Holocene Arctic warming to the future

    Towards monitoring localized CO2 emissions from space: co-located regional CO2 and NO2 enhancements observed by the OCO-2 and S5P satellites


    5 ments

    CCC: UK has just 18 months to avoid ’embarrassment’ over climate inaction

    Posted on 22 July 2019 by Guest Author

    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Simon Evans

    The UK government only has 12-18 months left to raise its game on climate policy, or risk “embarrassment” as the likely host of the COP26 UN summit late next year.

    That’s the message from the latest annual mittee on Climate Change (CCC) progress report, submitted to parliament and government, which says the time to strengthen policy is “now”.

    The UK remains off track against its legally binding carbon budgets and gets failing report cards on a series of indicators developed by the CCC. These cover government policy and progress on the ground in cutting emissions, as well as plans to protect the country from growing climate risks.

    The report follows CCC advice published in May remending that the UK adopt a target of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050. This was recently accepted by government and became law in June.

    But CCC chief executive Chris Stark told a press briefing launching today’s report: “We are not on track…having a net-zero target will not magically fix this problem.” He added:

    “The government must show it is serious about its legal obligations…[its] credibility really is at stake here…There is a window over the next 12-18 months to do something about this. If we don’t see that, I fear the government will be embarrassed at COP26.”

    In a leaked letter sent ahead of the net-zero goal’s adoption, chancellor Philip Hammond also said the target alone would lack credibility without “an ambitious policy response in this parliament”.

    Today’s CCC report reviews progress to date and suggests what that ambitious response should look like. It also includes a biannual review of adaptation plans for England.


    0 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #29

    Posted on 21 July 2019 by John Hartz

    Article of the Week... Toon of the Week... ing Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review...Poster of the Week...

    Article of the Week...

    June 2019: Earth's Hottest June on Record


    In this picture taken on June 6, 2019, Hindu priests sit inside large vessels filled with water as they perform the 'Parjanya Japa' and offer prayers to appease the rain god for timely monsoons at the Huligamma Devi Temple in Koppal District, some 300 km from Bangalore, India. A 33-year-old man died after a fight over water in southern India, police said on June 7, as huge parts of the country gasped from drought and a brutal summer heatwave. The heat wave was blamed for 210 deaths in June, making it Earth’s deadliest weather-related disaster of the month. Image credit: STR/AFP/Getty Images.

    June 2019 was the planet's warmest June since record keeping began in 1880, said NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) on Tuesday. NASA also rated June 2019 as the warmest June on record, well of ahead of the previous record set in 2015.

    The global heat in June is especially impressive and significant given that only a weak (and weakening) El Niño event was in place. As human-produced greenhouse gases continue to heat up our planet, most global heat records are set during El Niño periods, because the warm waters that spread upward and eastward across the surface of the tropical Pacific during El Niño transfer heat from the ocean to the atmosphere.

    Global ocean temperatures during June 2019 were tied with 2016 for warmest on record, according to NOAA, and global land temperatures were the warmest on record. Global satellite-measured temperatures in June 2019 for the lowest 8 km of the atmosphere were the warmest or second warmest in the 41-year record, according to RSS and the University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH), respectively.

    As of July 15, July 2019 was on track to be the warmest month in Earth’s history (in absolute terms, not in terms of temperature departure from average)--just ahead of the record set in July 2017. 

    June 2019: Earth's Hottest June on Record by Jeff Masters, Category 6, Weather Underground, June 18, 2019 


    1 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    Posted on 20 July 2019 by John Hartz

    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, July 14 through Sat, July 20, 2019

    Editor's Pick

    A Climate Action for Every Type of Activist

    No matter your age, gender, race, or political ideology, there are ways to fight climate change that fit your life and values.


    YES! Illustrations by Delphine Lee 

    Most of us have heard about U.N. researchers warning that we need to make dramatic changes in the next 12 years to limit our risk of extreme heat, drought, floods, and poverty caused by climate change. Report after report about a bleak climate future can leave people in despair.

    But another option is good for you and the planet.

    Susan Clayton, a professor of psychology and environmental studies at the College of Wooster, says getting involved with a group can help lift your climate-related anxiety and depression in three ways. Working with like-minded folks can validate your concerns, give you needed social support, and help you move from feeling helpless to empowered.

    And it can make a difference. “Groups are more effective than individuals,” Clayton says. “You can see real impact.”

    So join forces with like-minded citizens and push for change.

    The U.S. Climate Action Network lists more than 175 member organizations, which are activist groups working through energy policy to fight climate change. And that doesn’t include all of the environmental groups out there. So you have lots of options for getting involved.

    Full disclosure: I found my activism fort zone with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. I love its bipartisan, non-confrontational style, and it suits me. What’s your climate action style?

    I’ve done some matchmaking for you. Here are nine activism styles that might fit, along with some groups that align with them. Pick one, and you can start making change. 

    A Climate Action for Every Type of Activist by Emily Brown, YES! Magazine, July 16, 2019 


    0 ments

    97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    Posted on 17 July 2019 by John Cook

    Our 2013 study Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature just hit one million downloads! This makes it the #1 most downloaded paper at the journal Environmental Research Letters. In fact, it's the most downloaded paper in the 80+ journals published by the Institute of Physics. One million+ downloads are usually reserved for viral videos involving piano-playing cats. Not a bad effort for a peer-reviewed scientific paper!

    In just six years, our paper has seen a lot of action. The study began as a citizen-science effort, following up on Naomi Oreskes' 2004 consensus study (which coincidentally is on the cusp of one million downloads). We ambitiously decided to replicate her content analysis but with 12,000+ studies. The effort took over a year, categorizing every abstract at least twice. Once we finished our own categorization, we then invited the authors of the studies to categorize their own research. Both methods obtained the same result: 97% agreement that humans were causing global warming among papers stating a position on the topic.


    8 ments

    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28, 2019

    Posted on 16 July 2019 by SkS-Team

    This week's research roundup includes 54 articles.

    The most viscerally fascinating article in the present collection is undoubtedly Polag & Keppler's Global methane emissions from the human body: past, present and future.  Here we learn some unsettling facts: 

    • Prediction of global CH4 emission for the year 2100 is 1221?±?672?Gg.
    • Future CH4 emission by humans might be in the range of present permafrost soils.

    • Future factor-weighted estimation of human CH4 emission exceeds unweighted estimation.

    bine the above quantification with what we know should be our diet leaning more toward such sustenance as cabbage and beans and we could be looking at an emergent positive feedback, an unexpected oute of climate change mitigation.

    Per popular demand we're attempting to categorize research according to broad classifications; to the extent possible research articles appear in sections having principally to do with the physical science of anthropogenic climate change, relationships between biological systems and climate change, and the  back and forth of human drivers and responses with respect to climate change. Some articles don't neatly classify— in this collection is an article linking algal growth with Greenland ice albedo, and another constraining coal-fired generation plant contributions to global carbon load but as an objective in improving climate model performance. Each was classified as a physical sciences item. 

    Extraneous matter:

    In the course of piling this list we encounter the same effect as when searching pages of an encyclopedia or using Wikipedia: some diversions are just too good to ignore. The RSS feed principally supplying raw material for these posts is of course not perfect and so this week's trawl netted us an irresistible wrong species: The five deeps: The location and depth of the deepest place in each of the world's oceans. Answering the promise of the title turns out to be surprisingly plicated. 

    Articles for week #28, 2019:


    0 ments

    10 things a mitted U.S. President and Congress could do about climate change

    Posted on 15 July 2019 by Guest Author

    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Craig K. Chandler

    The federal government has available to it, should it choose to use them, a wide range of potential climate change management tools, going well beyond the traditional pollution control regulatory options. And, in some cases (not all), without new legislative authorization.

    There’s a big “if” behind that remark: It will take an exceptionally climate-savvy and climate-concerned Executive Branch to have the political will to initiate some of these steps. And there’s more: It likely will take supportive bipartisan majorities in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives. More still: It will also take widespread and strong public support and citizen engagement, and, even then, strong leadership skills on the part of federal leaders.

    It’s not clear when or if that time will e, nor what kind of climate catastrophe could precipitate such a ing-together. It brings to mind a phrase often attributed, but with some uncertainty, to Winston Churchill: “You can always count on the Americans to do the right thing, after they have exhausted all the other possibilities.”


    Among its options should some future Executive Branch want to consider them, or perhaps, worse yet, be forced to do so by deepening climate concerns:

    Enact campaign-finance reforms that equitably share responsibilities and influence among individual citizens and “special interests.”

    Many powerful “special interest” groups are happy with the status quo. The current rules and regulations (or lack thereof) work well for them. But too many Americans fear the rules are stacked against them, including on issues such as having their voices heard on climate change.

    Enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax, with dividends paid back to taxpayers.

    Many economists argue that unregulated markets underprice fossil fuels because they do not reflect “externalized” costs of environmental damages brought about as a result of buyer-seller transactions. All of us, when we drive our cars, heat our homes, or use fossil fuels in other ways, create these costs without having to pay for them.

    A carbon fee system could provide an economic incentive to use low-emission fuels instead of high-emission fuels.

    Oh, the things a mitted and emboldened Executive Branch could do to help stem damages from climate change.


    4 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

    Posted on 14 July 2019 by John Hartz

    Debunk of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... ing Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...

    Debunk of the Week...

    Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming

    CLAIM: "Man-made Climate Change Doesn't Exist In Practice... During the last hundred years the temperature is increased [sic] about 0.1°C because of carbon dioxide. The human contribution was about 0.01°C."

    Some news outlets are publishing articles stating that this claim is based on a new study. In reality, there is no new published study. The claim es from a six-page document uploaded to arXiv, a website traditionally used by scientists to make manuscripts available before publication. This means that this article has not been peer-reviewed, so there is no guarantee to its credibility.

    If the blogs that covered this as a new study had contacted independent scientists for insight, instead of accepting this short document as revolutionary science, they would have found that it does not have any scientific credibility.

    As the scientists who examined this claim explained, the document relies on circular reasoning to claim that cloud cover and relative humidity have caused the change in global temperature, and ignores many additional factors affecting global temperature—including aerosol pollution, volcanic eruptions, and natural ocean oscillations. The published, peer-reviewed scientific research on this topic clearly shows that human activities are responsible for climate change.

    Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming, Claims Review Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, July 12, 2019


    3 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    Posted on 13 July 2019 by John Hartz

    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, July 7 through Sat, July 13, 2019

    Editor's Pick

    Climate Change Fills Storms With More Rain, Analysis Shows


    A flooded street in New Orleans on Wednesday. Credit Ryan Pasternak

    When a tropical storm is approaching, its intensity or wind speed often gets the bulk of the attention. But as Tropical Storm Barry bears down on the Gulf Coast in the ing days, it’s the water that the storm will bring with it that has weather watchers worried.

    The National Weather Service is calling for roughly 10 to 20 inches of rain to fall from late Thursday night through Saturday. The average rainfall for July in New Orleans, which is in the path of the storm, is just under six inches.

    And Tropical Storm Barry, which may bee a Category 1 hurricane before making landfall, will drop rain on already saturated land. On Wednesday, the region was hit by severe thunderstorms, which dropped as much as seven inches of rain according to preliminary National Weather Service data.

    “Climate change is in general increasing the frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall storms,” said Andreas Prein, a project scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research. 

    Climate Change Fills Storms With More Rain, Analysis Shows by Kendra Pierre-Louis, Climate, New York Times, July 11, 2019


    0 ments

    Disappearing sea ice is changing the whole ecosystem of the Arctic Ocean

    Posted on 12 July 2019 by Guest Author

    Graham J. C. Underwood, Professor of Marine and Freshwater Biology, University of Essex

    This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative mons license. Read the original article.

    I drafted this while looking north over the frozen Lincoln Sea, at the northernmost tip of Ellesmere Island in Canada. I was at Alert, a Canadian Forces Station which, at 82°N, is the most northerly permanently inhabited place on Earth. Just 815km away, across the Arctic Ocean, lay the North Pole.

    It was May, and the sea should have still been frozen, but this year the bridge of sea ice between Ellesmere and Greenland broke up early, and Arctic ice began flowing down the narrow Nares Channel and south into Baffin Bay. All across the Arctic Ocean, the amount and persistence of sea ice is declining – September ice cover has fallen around 30% since 1980.

    Alert (red dot) is at the northern end of Canada’s most northerly island. NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

    The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet, and images of polar bears on small ice floes capture the imagination. But those images represent (excusing the pun) only the tip of the iceberg – the consequences of ice loss are profound and start from the very bottom of the food chain, in the microbial processes that drive the biology of the ocean.


    1 ments

    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2019

    Posted on 9 July 2019 by SkS-Team

    43 articles this week. Summer slowdown?

    The top pick for "extended implications" seems to be The Role of the Tropically Excited Arctic Warming Mechanism on the Warm Arctic Cold Continent Surface Air Temperature Trend Pattern.

    Another humdinger: The polycentricity of climate policy blockage

    Other articles:

    Policy and human cognition meet climate change:

    Shift in seasonal climate patterns likely to impact residential energy consumption in the United States

    Beyond Technical Fixes: climate solutions and the great derangement

    Seasonal injection strategies for stratospheric aerosol geoengineering

    Polycentric governance pensates for incoherence of resource regimes: The case of water uses under climate change in Oberhasli, Switzerland

    Social representations of climate change and climate adaptation plans in southern Brazil: Challenges of genuine participation

    Potential energy and climate benefits of super-cool materials as a rooftop strategy

    The polycentricity of climate policy blockage

    The provision and utility of earth science to decision-makers: synthesis and key findings

    Optimizing dynamics of integrated food–energy–water systems under the risk of climate change

    Planning for the past: Local temporality and the construction of denial in climate change adaptation


    7 ments

    France’s record-breaking heatwave made ‘at least five times’ more likely by climate change

    Posted on 8 July 2019 by Guest Author

    This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Daisy Dunne

    The record-breaking heatwave that struck France last week was made at “least five times more likely” by climate change, according to a new quick-fire assessment.

    preliminary analysis by scientists at the World Weather Attribution network finds that the average temperature of such a heatwave in France is now “4C higher” than it would have been a century ago, the authors say.

    Using climate models, the authors conclude that such an increase in heatwave intensity was made at least five times more likely by human-caused climate change.

    However, they note that there are “large uncertainties” in their analysis and the true influence of climate change could be higher.

    The research is the latest in “attribution science”, a field that aims to quantify the “fingerprint” of climate change on extreme-weather events, such as heatwaves, floods and droughts.

    Record heat

    Europe has been struck by another extreme heatwave. Hot weather being drawn up from the Sahara – in bination with clear skies – has seen temperatures soar in France, Germany and Spain over recent days.

    Last Friday, France saw its highest temperature since records began when Gallargues-le-Montueux, a small town situated between Montpellier and Avignon in southern France, reached 45.9C – more than 1.5C above the previous record set in 2003.

    Data visualisation of air temperatures over France on Friday 28 June at 16:00 BST. Created with Ventusky.


    5 ments

    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    Posted on 6 July 2019 by John Hartz

    A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Jun 30 through Sat, July 6, 2019

    Editor's Pick

    German environment minister proposes carbon tax

    Svenja Schulze has said such a plan is important for sinking carbon emissions, yet other measures are needed. She claims the plan would not unduly burden the poor, but reward those who use less fuel.


    Germany's Social Democrat (SPD) Environment Minister Svenja Schulze presented three independent studies on possible carbon tax schemes in Berlin on Friday. Insisting such a tax would not unduly burden the poor, she said, "those who decide to live a more climate-friendly life could actually get money back."

    The plans Schulze presented suggested an initial €35 ($39.50) tax on each metric ton of CO2, to be increased to €180 by 2030. The idea being that the more expensive petrol, natural gas, and heating oil bee, the less people will use.

    Schulze told reporters that those who consume less, including children, will be given a so-called climate bonus of up to €100 per person, per year, which she claims would offset a person's outlay for the tax, "The less you drive, the less oil you burn, the more you will get back."

    The minister underscored the importance of not burdening low and middle-class families: "It's really important to me to avoid unfairly burdening those with low and medium ines, and especially affected groups like muters and tenants." 

    German environment minister proposes carbon tax, Deutsche Welle (DW), July 5, 2019 


    43 ments

    The HadSST4 Sea Surface Temperature dataset

    Posted on 5 July 2019 by Kevin C

    The oceans cover two thirds of the surface of the earth, and so sea surface temperatures form a vital part of our understanding of the impact of human activity on the temperature of the planet. Sea surface temperatures contribute to estimates of global surface temperature change which are widely used in the evaluation of climate models, the estimation of internal modes of climate variability, and the setting of political targets. The ways in which sea surface temperatures have been measured by ships, buoys and satellites have varied much more significantly over time than equipment at weather stations; these changes have to be corrected when evaluating historical temperature change. Differences between different sea surface temperature datasets highlight where some of these corrections are uncertain, however users of temperature data frequently ignore these uncertainties and the effect they may have on their conclusions.

    This issue was highlighted in a paper by Kent and colleagues in 2017, which made a call for action both for temperature record providers to make more progress on these issues, and for users to be aware of what the data can and cannot tell us. A number of authors have responded by investigating aspects of the sea surface temperature record (e.g. Hausfather et al 2017, Cowtan et al, 2017, Carella et al 2018, Davis et al 2018). Last week the latest version of the UK Hadley centre sea surface temperature dataset, HadSST4, was released.

    The Hadley centre have been at the forefront of the development of sea surface temperature data for many years, providing the only sea record which attempts to reconcile the measurement types of individual observations. A Japanese dataset, COBE-SST2, also uses the Hadley analysis of data corrections in bination with an alternative post-processing algorithm to produce an infilled sea surface temperature reconstruction.

    Other datasets apply more coarse grained corrections: NOAA's ERSST (Huang et al, 2017) corrects the gridded ship temperature field on the basis of smoothed differences between water and air temperature measurements, while my own coastal hybrid reconstruction (Cowtan et al, 2017) uses coastal weather stations to estimate a global correction for the bined impact of different types of sea surface temperature observations.

    The problem is that these methods lead to different answers (Figure 1), suggesting that the required corrections for the different observations are not yet well understood. More seriously, these differences are often parable to the size of the sources of internal variability which some authors infer from these data! Agreement between the datasets is good between 1980 and 2005, however in the 1950s and 1960s ERSST5 is cooler than HadSST3, and the coastal hybrid record is cooler still. There are large differences during World War 2. In the early 20th century the coastal hybrid record is warmer than the others. In the 19th century ERSST5 is the warm outlier. HadSST3 also shows a lower trend than the other datasets of the supposed "hiatus" period (Hausfather et al, 2017).

    parison of HadSST3 (the current version of the UK Met Office dataset), ERSST5 (the current NOAA sea surface temperature dataset), and the coastal hybrid sea surface temperature dataset (from Cowtan et al, 2017). Temperature averages are calculated using mon coverage.


    2 ments

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