November 26, 2014

12:42 PM | Life on Earth’s Cold Shoulder – Film
The talented folk down at the University of Derby’s TEL Media Production have whipped up this short introduction to the fascinating world of glacier microbes. We hope it makes you question whether […]
7:55 AM | Sunday burnouts in Christchurch: electric motorsport comes to NZ
New Zealand is going to get its first taste of electric motorsport this Sunday, when the Mike Pero Motorsport Park at Ruapuna near Christchurch is hosting EVolocity, an amazing line-up of electric racing machines and their creators — including the world’s fastest woman on a motorcycle, Eva Håkansson and her creation the KillaJoule, recently clocked […]

November 25, 2014

10:00 PM | Not quite News yet – Part IV
In this series we present fictive “News Articles” which some of us wrote when participating in a Science Communication Workshop at ANU. If you want to know more about the Why and How, please see this post here. While the … Continue reading →
9:00 AM | Projected changes of precipitation and temperature extremes
Model projections of heavy precipitation and temperature extremes include large uncertainties. However, disagreement between individual simulations primarily arises from internal variability, whereas models agree remarkably well on the forced signal. Post based on Fischer et al., 2014, Geophys. Res. Lett. … Continue reading →

November 24, 2014

11:51 PM | Thin Ice edit for US TV funded in full
The Thin Ice Kickstarter campaign was resounding success, with the total pledged reaching NZ$34,448 from 228 backers. The extra funds are likely to be used in a PR effort to get the newly-edited film shown on as many TV stations in the US as possible. Thanks to everyone who chipped in. You’ve made some climate […]
3:50 PM | Casual consensus and a lot of science
Have not been blogging much lately and the number of readers is suffering. So I need another post on the Climate Consensus; always a runner. At the Guardian, there is a discussion going on between 3 interesting people. John Cook, the benevolent dictator of Skeptical Science, Peter Thorne, the benevolent dictator of the International Surface Temperature Initiative (ISTI) and the benevolent dictator of And Then There's Physics (ATTP).What I took from the discussion is that maybe we should not […]
11:43 AM | Will New Climate Treaty Be a Thriller, or Shaggy Dog Story?
The following article is reprinted by permission of its author, Stephen Leahy, who writes for the Inter Press Service (IPS) News Agency. To access the article as posted on the IPS website, click here. The as-yet unfinished exhibit area which forms part of the temporary installations that the host country has built in Lima to hold the COP 20, which runs Dec. 1-12. Credit: COP20 Peru UXBRIDGE, Canada, Nov 17 2014 (IPS) - This December, 195 nations plus the European Union will meet in […]
6:54 AM | Carbon News 24/11/14: penny-pinching on climate funding
Govt slammed for weak climate fund contribution The Government is under fire for the size of its contribution to a global fund to help developing countries to combat climate change. New Zealand last week agreed to donate $3 million to the Green Climate Fund. That’s half the amount pledged by Luxembourg and the Czech Republic, […]

November 23, 2014

6:25 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #47
SkS Highlights President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge by John Abraham attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in a close second was John Cook's Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change. Both articles were inititally posted on the blog, Climate Consensus - the 97% hosted on The Guardian.  El Niño Watch  Tropical Pacific Ocean moves closer to […]

November 22, 2014

8:19 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47B
Acid maps reveal worst of climate change Buffalo mega snowstorm tied to climate change? China will place a limit on coal use in 2020 Climate change investment falls for second year in 2013 Fossil-fueled Republicanism  House Republicans just passed a bill forbidding scientists from advising the EPA on their own research NASA CO2 animation recalls 1859 account of the global flow of this gas New Zealand ducking the climate question NRG sets goals to cut carbon emissions Record North […]

November 21, 2014

9:08 PM | EPA Clean Power Plan Explained!
What to give thanks for this year….my wife, the Milwaukee Bucks, doughnuts…or how about the leaders of two world superpowers coming together and agreeing on new carbon emission reduction standards for 2030!  Oh, and when I say superpower, I mean … Continue reading →

Fowlie, M., Goulder, L., Kotchen, M., Borenstein, S., Bushnell, J., Davis, L., Greenstone, M., Kolstad, C., Knittel, C., Stavins, R. & Wara, M. (2014). An economic perspective on the EPA's Clean Power Plan, Science, 346 (6211) 815-816. DOI: 10.1126/science.1261349


November 20, 2014

6:33 AM | Why we need to talk about the scientific consensus on climate change
An interesting sequence of events followed the publication of a scientific paper the Skeptical Science team published in May last year. The paper found a 97% consensus that humans were causing global warming in relevant scientific papers. Finding an overwhelming consensus was nothing new. Studies in 2009 and 2010 also found 97% agreement among climate scientists on human-caused global warming. Nevertheless, the paper attracted much media attention, including tweets from Elon Musk and President […]

November 19, 2014

10:12 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #47A
A carbon tax could bolster wobbly progress in renewable energy A dam revival, despite risks Congress is about to sabotage Obama’s historic climate deal David Cameron urges Tony Abbott to do more on climate change G20 pledges lift Green Climate Fund towards $10 billion U.N. goal Giant batteries connected to the grid: the future of energy storage? Global warming is probably boosting lake-effect snows Humanity’s epic planetary facelift: Climate change, mass extinction and the […]
9:04 PM | This year’s (super) model: visualising atmospheric CO2
Here’s a superb high resolution supercomputer visualisation from NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center of the flows of CO2 in the atmosphere around the planet. Apart from being beautiful to look at, it shows the major sources of CO2 emissions in the northern hemisphere, and the seasonal change in CO2 levels as the northern hemisphere summer […]
6:45 AM | Turbulent week for global climate policy leaves many questions
They came, they saw, they cuddled koalas and world leaders then largely ignored the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s instructions to ignore the global, intergenerational and morally challenging kerfuffle over climate change. All in all the last seven days have proven to be momentous for climate change policy - both at the Brisbane G20 summit in Queensland and elsewhere. Suspicions were confirmed, deals were announced and positions were galvanized, but there are still major […]

November 18, 2014

11:26 PM | Crowdfunding Thin Ice: the final push
The Kickstarter campaign to get climate documentary Thin Ice shown on public TV in the USA is closing in on its target. At the time of writing, the total pledged stands at NZ$21,199 — just over 75% of the way to the $27,500 needed with 4 days to go. The film’s producer, professor Peter Barrett, […]
10:00 PM | Communication Breakdown
By Thomas Over the last week space science got a lot of publicity thanks to Rosetta and its sidekick Philae. ESAs successful attempt to land a spacecraft on a comet was all over the news. Apart from the news coverage, … Continue reading →
9:00 AM | The end of the rainbow
An open letter to the climate science community Ed Hawkins, Doug McNeall, David Stephenson, Jonny Williams & Dave Carlson Dear colleagues, This is a heartfelt plea. A plea to you all to help rid climate science of colour scales that … Continue reading →
6:19 AM | President Obama's climate leadership faces the Keystone XL challenge
What a change a few years makes. For those of us concerned about climate change, seven years ago marked a low-point. It was a time where no meaningful actions had been taken to reduce carbon pollution and prepare our nation and the world for the threat of global warming. Now, we celebrate a series of major plans and actions that have the potential for helping us avoid the worst climate risks. These past years have cemented Obama’s legacy as a climate-aware president. They have also […]

November 17, 2014

11:02 PM | National Business Review: last bastion of climate denial in NZ pushes de Freitas tosh
The National Business Review — New Zealand’s biggest-selling business weekly — provides a happy media home for climate deniers of all stripes. Columnists like former ACT Party leader Rodney Hide and right wing spin doctor Matthew Hooton1 are given free rein to rant and rave about climate issues, but occasionally editor Nevil Gibson offers its […]
2:28 PM | What is #scishirt?
For those of you following along at home, there’s been a big kerfuffle on the internet about #ThatShirt (or #ShirtGate, #ShirtStorm). Lots of really smart folks have posted great commentary on the situation, and so I’m not going to do that here. What I will say, is that I understand […]
4:20 AM | Carbon News 17/11/14: G20 climate action
Minister knows of water woes, but public information tap is turned off Finance Minister Bill English has been told something about fresh water — but the public isn’t allowed to know what it is. Last month, Ministry for the Environment officials were forced to admit they were wrong to say that the quality of our […]
3:42 AM | Effective stress and FDL science
"It's a very dynamic slope," Margaret Darrow said, standing in front of frozen debris lobe -A. FDL-A is a slow landslide; among the frozen debris lobes documented it's the closest to the Dalton Highway and the Trans-Alaska Pipeline. Although the lobes likely began their life as debris left over when Pleistocene glaciers disappeared 10 to 14 thousand years ago, their speed has recently increased. Now when Darrow describes FDL-A she states truly: "It moves so fast that you can watch it... […]

November 16, 2014

10:14 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #46
SkS Highlights Speaking at the University of Queensland, the President of the United States, Barack Obama, reminded his audience of college and high school students that he had tweeted about The Consensus Project (TCP) last year. Here are the President's words: This university is recognized as one of the world’s great institutions of science and teaching.  Your research led to the vaccine that protects women and girls around the world from cervical cancer.  Your […]

November 15, 2014

12:30 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #46B
4 reasons Republicans are losing their sh*t over the climate deal Bailing out the climate wreckers at the G20 China, coal, climate China tries to save Earth; Republicans furious Does global warming make food less nutritious? Experts say Obama Climate Fund pledge far short of what is owed Fossil fuels with $550 billion subsidies hurt renewables Global warming could increase U.S. lightning strikes by 50 percent House votes to build Keystone Obama puts climate change at fore in speech at U of […]

November 14, 2014

7:54 PM | To tweet or not to tweet…at conferences
Live-tweeting, whether a department seminar or a conference talk, is one of the most powerful aspects of academic Twitter I’ve witnessed. It’s not an easy skill, but it’s worth cultivating, because it has tremendous value in bringing exciting research to a broad audience. Instead of the twenty to two hundred people […]
11:57 AM | Which colour scale is best for you?
Everyone sees colours slightly differently. With a multitude of colour options available to make complex climate-related maps & line-graphs, which do you choose? Which colour scale is best for you? Below is an example for mean annual temperature in the … Continue reading →

November 13, 2014

2:46 PM | The effect of ENSO on Sahelian Sudan rainfall
The African Sahel is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate variability. It is an arid to semi arid zone that has very limited water resources, see Figure 1. Annual rainfall is the major one, but is characterized by a very strong inter-annual variability. El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) is believed to be one of […]Author informationAbubakr A. M. SalihI am a PhD student at the department of meteorology, Stockholm University. My research project focuses on the […]
9:34 AM | China and US reach emissions deal, NZ govt warned its policies are failing
Today’s news that the US and China have agreed a long term policy to reduce carbon emissions is being hailed as a “game-changer” in international climate negotiations. China has agreed to cap its emissions in 2030 — the first time it has committed to anything more than a reduction in the carbon intensity of its […]
6:28 AM | New study shows warm waters are melting Antarctica from below
Just this week, a new study has appeared which describes a clever method for measuring the flows of ocean currents and their impacts on ice shelves. This study has identified a major mechanism for melting ice in the Southern Hemisphere. The paper, co-authored by Andrew Thompson, Karen Heywood, and colleagues is very novel. The scientists used sea gliders to identify water flows that bring warm waters to the base of ice shelves in Antarctica. As I’ve written before, ocean currents are […]
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