October 23, 2014

6:41 AM | Food, Fossil Fuels and Filthy Finance
It is depressingly apparent that powerful forces in the global economy are set to carry on with the exploration for and use of fossil fuels as a primary source of energy for decades to come. Oxfam has produced a report identifying the confluence of fossil fuel companies, governments and investors which givers momentum to the […]

October 22, 2014

8:17 PM | Should we suppress the fire?
A GLOBAL VIEW ON FIRES AND THEIR MANAGEMENT Forest fires have been around for as long as plants have been widespread and oxygen has been available to fuel their burning hunger. And so fires have become an integral part of many forest ecosystems. Unsurprisingly the earth has seen variations of fire activity in the past […]Author informationStephane MangeonPursuing a CASE PhD between the Met Office and Imperial College London, I am developing a parameterization to include fires within the […]

October 21, 2014

10:16 PM | TDB Today: Reasons not to be cheerful, Part #272b
In my post at The Daily Blog this week I take inspiration from the great Ian Dury, and reflect on the disconnect between political ambition and the state of the climate system as it continues to warm. It will be my last post at TDB for a while – for definitions of “a while” that […]
9:00 PM | I have no idea what I am doing!
By a PhD student The first year of this PhD is coming to an end I am not even sure what PhD stands for (pretty hard degree). I am sure I have spent (most of) my days doing something, but … Continue reading →

October 20, 2014

1:45 PM | Ocean heat storage: a particularly lousy policy target
The New York Times, 12 December 2027: After 12 years of debate and negotiation, kicked off in Paris in 2015, world leaders have finally agreed to ditch the goal of limiting global warming to below 2 °C. Instead, they have agreed to the new goal of limiting global ocean heat content to 1024 Joules. The […]
1:33 AM | Carbon News 20/10/14: Chile’s carbon tax, soil SOS and more pressure on dirty investments
Chile’s new tax could open carbon doors for NZ Chile’s new carbon tax potentially offers New Zealand an opportunity to offset some of its own agricultural greenhouse gas emissions, says economist Dr Suzi Kerr. The $US5-a-tonne carbon tax slipped into Chilean law last month as part of a package of tax reforms. Soils SOS as […]
12:28 AM | The chemical map of otoliths
It's about the size of a diamond and comes from the inner ear of a fish. This tiny construction holds a treasure trove of information, a calcium carbonate microchip made of bone and accessed by a laser. Let's take a look at the science of otoliths. An otolith is a fish ear bone (from oto- ear and lithos- stone). From every population of fish Heidi Golden finds, she preserves a number of otoliths to take back to the lab. These... Read more

October 19, 2014

8:42 PM | NZ hikes terrorism threat to “low”, ignores Pentagon warning of “immediate” threat from climate change
So, the threat of a terrorist attack on New Zealand is upon us has risen from “very low” to “low” — second to lowest in a ranking that has six levels. Cabinet is now urgently reviewing our security laws to make sure we’re equipped to deal with this horrific new threat. The media has dedicated […]
11:43 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #42
SkS Highlights Another "lightening rod" article by Dana, Dinner with global warming contrarians, disaster for dessert, drew the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. If you have not already done so, be sure to check out Rob Paining's original SkS article, Ocean Warming has been Greatly Underestimated. It's a real "eye opener". Toon of the Week   h/t to I Heart Climate Scientists Quote of the Week Increasingly, arguments against climate […]

October 18, 2014

9:00 PM | Pyrites of the Caribbean
This is an announcement by the RSES Bureau for Football Propaganda Reporting A team of students from the Research School of Earth Sciences is competing in the ANU`s 2014 Mixed Summer 9s Soccer Football Competition. The team (“Pyrites of the … Continue reading →
1:36 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42B
As deaths mount in Nepal disasters, questions about climate change raised Churches go Green by shedding fossil fuel holdings Climate change: it’s only human to exaggerate, but science itself does not Cutting global warming pollution just business as usual at some major companies Does the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans, deserve a golden spike? Fossil fuel industry sustained by ‘toxic triangle’ that puts 400 million at risk From Apple to Wal-Mart, companies make bets on […]

October 17, 2014

6:10 AM | Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come
This article was originally published on The Conversation [UK] on Sep 26, 2014. Why ice sheets will keep melting for centuries to come By Eelco Rohling, University of Southampton It may already be too late to stop Antarctic ice sliding into the ocean. EPA Ice sheets respond slowly to changes in climate, because they are so massive that they themselves dominate the climate conditions over and around them. But once they start flowing faster towards the shore and melting into […]
5:18 AM | I am a scientist. Should I also be a journalist?
  I have always considered communication as an integral part of being a scientist. This is why I joined ClimateSnack, which improves my writing and provides a direct channel between early career scientists and a broad audience. I am no expert on scientific communication – rather, I am a young scientist trying to make sense […]Author informationGabriele MessoriI am Ph.D. student in the Physics Department at Imperial College London. My research interests focus on meridional heat […]

October 16, 2014

10:10 PM | MiSTORY
Anyone who follows the science of climate change knows that we are heading for environmental and social turmoil along our current path. In his new novel MiSTORY author Philip Temple imaginatively pictures what that turmoil might mean decades on from now. New Zealand is in a political mess. Conflict abroad and conflict within. A long-lasting […]
3:53 PM | The greenhouse effect and its role in the Earth’s climate
The Sun bathes the Earth in radiation. Much of this radiation reaches the surface, warming the planet and driving the climate.  The surface then emits heat (as infrared radiation), most of which does not escape to space, but is instead absorbed by gases in the Earth’s atmosphere.  These gases then warm, emitting further heat radiation both to space and back towards the Earth’s surface.  This is what we all know as the greenhouse effect.   The Earth’s energy […]

October 15, 2014

8:41 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #42A
15 years from now, our impact on regional sea level will be clear California heat delivers a costly blow to coastal San Diego Deep Argo: Probes in ocean abyss explore mysteries of global warming Expanding Antarctic sea ice is flooding ‘warning bell’ Global climate deal should be legally binding in parts: U.S. Owen Paterson’s objections to the Climate Change Act: Some context Pentagon signals security risks of climate change Plants absorb more CO2 than we thought, […]
11:41 AM | Scientific meetings. The freedom to tweet and the freedom not to be tweeted
Some tweets from a meeting on Arctic sea ice reduction organised by the Royal Society recently caused a stir, when the speaker cried "defamation" and wrote letters to the employers of the tweeters. Stoat and Paul Matthews have the story.The speaker's reaction was much too strongly, in my opinion, most tweets were professional and respectful critique should be allowed. I have only seen one tweet, that should not have been written ("now back to science"). I do understand that the speaker feels […]
5:42 AM | Scientist in focus – Arctic adventurer Will Steger
As readers know, I often focus on the story, and history, of someone who makes an impact in climate change. This is the third such article and I think you will agree, it shows that it isn’t just lab scientists and academics that are shaping the conversation about climate change. Will Steger really rose to prominence as he led ventures to explore the polar regions of our planet. But those adventures were years in the making; they began in his childhood. Will was one of nine kids raised by […]

October 14, 2014

9:00 PM | Synchrotron or megatron? These 7 questions should help you find out!
By Mike As I write this I am in a sort of…academic hangover. Days of excessive research has led to a groggy feeling, general tiredness and probably a lingering smell of beer. I have been at the European Synchrotron Radiation … Continue reading →
6:33 AM | Ocean Warming has been Greatly Underestimated
Key Points: The oceans are by far the largest heat reservoir on Earth, absorbing 93% of global warming. Because of this, accurate assessments of heat uptake are essential to balance the sea level budget, and for observationally-based estimates of climate sensitivity.      Prior to 2005, when the Argo global array of submersible floats became operational, ocean temperature was much more sparsely sampled, especially in the southern hemisphere, leading to larger […]

October 13, 2014

11:15 PM | Salinger: New Zealand is drying out, and here’s why
In this guest post Jim Salinger (currently working in Italy, but soon to return to these shores), takes a look at the climate influences on last year’s severe New Zealand drought. It first appeared on The Conversation. Over 2012 and 2013, parts of New Zealand experienced their worst drought in nearly 70 years. Drought is […]
10:12 PM | Carbon News 13/10/14: foresters in firing line
Anxious foresters await review of foreign credits ban A controversial decision to make foresters the only emitters banned from using cheap foreign carbon credits to offset their greenhouse gas emissions is under review. The provision was slipped through without warning as part of the Government’s Budget in May, and came into effect immediately. Business poser: […]
6:35 PM | New developments: Climate services for health
I recently received a joint email from the World Meteorological and Health organisations (WMO & WHO) which I like to bring to the attention of our readers. Both because it shows the direction of some new developments, but also because the WMO and WHO are inviting people to share their experience with health and climate. […]
7:05 AM | Beyond sharing Earth observations
In a new Correspondence published in the journal Nature, IIASA researchers Ian McCallum and Linda See argue for better sharing of satellite validation data, to improve our understanding of global land cover. Continue reading →

October 12, 2014

1:55 PM | Largest methane hotspot in the US found in the Four Corners: fracking not to blame!
A current scientific challenge today is the accurate quantification of total methane emissions in the US.  This can serve as an important baseline against which to compare how emissions change with the burgeoning of the fracking industry.  It also gives … Continue reading →

Kort, E., Frankenberg, C., Costigan, K., Lindenmaier, R., Dubey, M. & Wunch, D. (2014). Four corners: The largest US methane anomaly viewed from space, Geophysical Research Letters, DOI: 10.1002/2014GL061503

8:31 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #41
SkS Highlights Howqr Lee's original Sks article, The long hot tail of global warming - new thinking on the Eocene greenhouse climate, generated the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week.  El Niño Watch "In their monthly update, scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center and the International Research Institute for Climate and Society at Columbia University said there is still […]

October 11, 2014

10:51 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #41B
40% drop in solar PV cost is brightest spot of global epergy picture Climate change alters the ecological impacts of seasons Global CO2 pricing scheme surfaces ahead of 2015 climate summit Great Barrier Reef: 'a massive chemistry experiment gone wrong' How family planning could be part of the answer to climate change India evacuates 150,000 as cyclone Hudhud intensifies New ‘slurry’ could make carbon capture more efficient Powerful typhoon churns toward Okinawa with strong […]

October 10, 2014

6:50 AM | What's the role of the deep ocean in global warming? Climate contrarians get this wrong
This is a re-post from Greg Laden's Blog What is the role of the ocean’s abyss in global warming?1 I’ve already posted on a study published in Nature Climate change that shows that the amount of extra global warming related heat in the Southern Oceans is greater than previously thought. There is another paper in the same journal by Llovel et al, “Deep-ocean contribution to sea level and energy budget not detectable over the past decade.” This paper verifies previous […]

October 09, 2014

9:51 AM | The long hot tail of global warming - new thinking on the Eocene greenhouse climate
Past climate changes like the Eocene Hyperthermals left many traces in the geological record. These tell scientists a great deal about what the Earth looked like in these hothouse eras, the changes they made to rainfall, drought, landscape, oceans, ecosystems and life. Ultimately those records contain clues to the causes of the climate changes, and are signposts to the effects we can expect from modern climate change. A trio of new studies show that the Eocene Hyperthermals were the result of, […]

October 08, 2014

8:04 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #41A
2014 extreme weather: Looking for climate ties California just entered 4th year of severe drought Different depths reveal ocean warming trends Drought dries up California hydropower Fish failing to adapt to rising carbon dioxide levels in ocean Getting beyond the 2-degree threshold on global warming How to lie with data (or, “Melting Away Global Warming”) In Nobel season, Laureates fret for sickly Earth In the Age of Extinction, which species can we least afford to lose? Mystery of […]
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