Posts

March 27, 2015

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8:18 AM | How do you operationalize the water-energy nexus?
On World Water Day, IIASA Water researcher Paul Yillia reflects on the Water-Energy Nexus, and what it means in practice. Continue reading →

March 26, 2015

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9:29 AM | The UK winter of 2014-15: another Tabloid FAIL
Above: Express, October 10th 2014 Introduction: the first ominous signs “Winter 2014 set to be 'coldest for century' Britain faces ARCTIC FREEZE in just weeks”. That was the Daily Express headline on October 10th 2014. Quoting self-styled "independent" long-range weather forecaster James Madden, it warned of an icy apocalypse on the way: “A number of potentially very cold periods of weather and major snow events are likely to develop throughout this winter across large […]
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8:40 AM | Extreme UK heatwaves
The largest impacts of increases in temperature will not be experienced due to changes in the mean, but by changes in the extremes. This is illustrated using UK heatwaves to show that the number of days which will require preventative action will increase by roughly a factor of 6 for a 2ºC increase in summer … Continue reading Extreme UK heatwaves →
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2:18 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #13A
Amazon forest becoming less of a climate change safety net Climate change: China official warns of 'huge impact' Climate denial is immoral, says head of US Episcopal church Climate work highlighted on World Meteorological Day Global warming is now slowing down the circulation of the oceans How solar heavy Europe avoided a blackout during total eclipse Jerry Brown: Opposition on climate change ‘borders on the immoral’ One satellite data set is underestimating global warming Pacific […]

March 25, 2015

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11:00 PM | Fish Ears at an Ancient Lake
By Kelsie Long Hi all! I am part of the small but unique Archaeogeochemistry group here at the Research School of Earth Sciences (RSES). We are focused on bridging the gap between cutting edge analytical sciences and archaeological research. For … Continue reading →
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3:07 PM | How to pick cherries
The not-so fine art of contriving to support the conclusion you predetermined is cherry picking.  Really not a good thing for a scientist to do or condone, but pretty common in politics.  The latest example comes from politician (now presidential candidate) Ted Cruz, being condoned/defended (even praised) by scientist Judy Curry. Suppose you're interested in global warming, just in understanding what's going on -- not in 'proving' that there is warming, or cooling, or that […]
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7:46 AM | Leyland and Carter: the rebuttal that isn’t and the hypocrisy that is
Sciblogs editor Peter Griffin recently gave climate denial activists Bryan Leyland and Bob Carter a “right of reply” to my post pointing out the errors and inconsistencies in a Dominion Post op-ed penned by the pair. Griffin took this action because of vociferous complaints from Leyland, who took offence at my discussion of his expertise […]
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5:34 AM | One satellite data set is underestimating global warming
A very important study was just published in the Journal of Climate a few days ago. This paper, in my mind, makes a major step toward reconciling differences in satellite temperature records of the mid-troposphere region. As before, it is found that the scientists (and politicians) who have cast doubt on global warming in the past are shown to be outliers because of bias in their results. The publication, authored by Stephen Po-Chedley and colleagues from the University of Washington, discusses […]

March 24, 2015

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10:46 PM | The cool car: electric vehicles show possible benefit to combat global warming
Electric vehicles have been touted as a revolution waiting to happen to our transportation grid, just as soon as we can make a battery that provides long-range travel between charging stops.  They are also sold as a way to avoid … Continue reading →

Li C, Cao Y, Zhang M, Wang J, Liu J, Shi H & Geng Y (2015). Hidden benefits of electric vehicles for addressing climate change., Scientific reports, 5 9213. PMID: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25790439

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5:47 PM | Are you practicing safe science?
Five weeks ago, I sliced through both tendons in left pinky. I was just about to start working in the lab, training my PhD student on the initial processing of a peat column from our Falkland Islands trip in December. We had bought a large serrated kitchen knife specifically to slice through 1 ft-square […]
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1:22 PM | NEP Video
Here is a quick video I made outlining the well-known “total dissolved inorganic carbon” (TDIC) procedure for measuring Net Ecosystem Productivity.  It is a very basic aide-memoir for undergraduate and postgraduate students […]
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12:07 PM | Stupid is as Ted Cruz does
Ted Cruz denies that global warming is even happening. Appearing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Cruz had this to say: Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. In … Continue reading →

March 23, 2015

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10:55 PM | The Foram’s Song
Are you fed up with boring graphs? What about listening to your data instead of starring at them for hours? It is possible thanks to the sonification of data. Above, an example of the sonification played by physicists of CERN … Continue reading →
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4:06 PM | What’s going on in the North Atlantic?
The North Atlantic between Newfoundland and Ireland is practically the only region of the world that has defied global warming and even cooled. Last winter there even was the coldest on record – while globally it was the hottest on record. Our recent study (Rahmstorf et al. 2015) attributes this to a weakening of the […]

March 22, 2015

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3:58 PM | Climate Sensitivity Week
Some of you will be aware that there is a workshop on Climate Sensitivity this week at Schloss Ringberg in southern Germany. The topics to be covered include how sensitivity is defined (and whether it is even meaningful (Spoiler, yes it is)), what it means, how it can be constrained, what the different flavours signify […]
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6:41 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #12
SkS Highlights John Mason's The cause of the greatest mass-extinctions of all? Pollution (Part 1 and Part 2) generated a lively discussion among readers and attracted the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week.  El Niño Watch NOAA's Climate Prediction Center is saying that there is an approximately 50-60% chance that El Niño conditions will continue through Northern Hemisphere summer 2015. This outlook was issued before the recent […]

March 21, 2015

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6:02 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #12B
Amazon rainforest soaking up less carbon as trees die young Annual greenhouse gas emissions from forests drop by a quarter Australia's farmers challenged by climate change China, U.S. may be moving closer to a climate deal Coastal development exposes billions to swelling seas FactCheck: is global warming intensifying cyclones in the Pacific? Fossil fuels are way more expensive than you think International study raises questions about cause of global ice ages Mitch McConnell’s […]

March 19, 2015

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9:56 AM | Envisioning a better global future: An inside view from the World in 2050 launch meeting
Guest post by Joost Vervoort, of the Environmental Change Institute, University of Oxford. Vervoort, a science-to-policy expert, works closely with IIASA researchers in the Ecosystems Services and Management Program. Continue reading →
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1:47 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #12A
Amazon rainforest is taking up a third less carbon than a decade ago California, Quebec teaming up on climate change Can science find common ground with Evangelicals? Climate change: UN backs fossil fuel divestment campaign Ed Davey backs Guardian climate change campaign Guardian publicly challenges world's largest foundations to divest Key to preventing disasters lies in understanding them "More Than Scientists" seeks to show human side of climate experts. Pacific nations to highlight Cyclone […]

March 18, 2015

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11:00 PM | Why you should study abroad in Australia
By Jo For my blogging debut I thought I would share some of my experiences with moving to the other side of the world to start my PhD – the good the bad and the ugly (but mainly the good). … Continue reading →
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8:09 AM | Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam and Climate Change
Guest post by Kerry Emanuel In the past 16 months, two exceptionally intense tropical cyclones, Haiyan and Pam, have struck the western Pacific with devastating effect. Haiyan may have had the highest wind speeds of any tropical cyclone on record, but we will never know for sure because we do a poor job estimating the […]
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5:25 AM | Fossil fuels are way more expensive than you think
A new paper published in Climatic Change estimates that when we account for the pollution costs associated with our energy sources, gasoline costs an extra $3.80 per gallon, diesel an additional $4.80 per gallon, coal a further 24 cents per kilowatt-hour, and natural gas another 11 cents per kilowatt-hour that we don’t see in our fuel or energy bills.  Levelized generation costs for new US electricity generation and environmental damages by fuel type. Source: Climatic […]

March 16, 2015

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10:00 PM | Aloha, Mahalo and Goodnight!
By Jo Ward I was lucky enough to go on the recent Geological Society of America’s Hawaiian volcanoes field trip with a fabulous bunch of students from Australia, New Zealand and the United States.  It was an amazing geological experience … Continue reading →
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3:26 PM | New Scientist’s “Icy Oases” Article: The full interviews!
New scientist recently published an article introducing cryoconite holes as oases for microbial life on ice surfaces. As ‘new scientists’ working on cryoconite, colleagues Arwyn Edwards (Aberystwyth University), Karen Cameron […]
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5:46 AM | Climate change in the Arctic is messing with our weather
There has been a lot of attention on the influence of rapid warming of the Arctic on weather in the Northern Hemisphere mid-latitudes. Much of the work has focused on changes to the Jetstream amplitudes and association of these changes to ice loss in the Arctic.  We know that the Arctic is heating faster than the planet as a whole. Consequently, there is more energy in the Arctic which can be transmitted to the atmosphere. Much of the excess heat is transferred to the atmosphere in the […]

March 15, 2015

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6:50 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #11
SkS Highlights Artic sea ice and Antractic sea ice and land ice were a lively topic of discussion on the comment thread to the 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #11A. Consequently, it generated the highest number of comments of the items posted on SkS during the past week. So what did-in the dinosaurs? A murder mystery… by howardleee drew the second highest number of comments proving once again that everyone loves a good mystery story. Breaking News! There had never […]

March 14, 2015

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2:34 PM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #11B
Coal: burning up Australia’s future Delivering at scale, empowering transformation Earth science is not hard science, congressional Republicans declare Global emissions trading scheme 'should be based on UN carbon budget' IFRC and UNFCCC call for cooperative action to meet climate challenge NASA: California has one year of water left The Intergenerational Report underestimates climate threat: an open letter to the government ‘Twin’ cyclones could jolt weak El Nino Will […]

March 13, 2015

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5:36 AM | Scientists link Arctic warming to intense summer heatwaves in the northern hemisphere
This is a re-post from Roz Pidcock at Carbon Brief The Arctic is warming up, and the impacts are being felt right across the world. A new study suggests rising temperatures there could even be contributing to longer-lasting heatwaves in the northern hemisphere, like the one Russia experienced in 2010. Published today in the journal Science, the paperis the latest in a line of research suggesting how rising temperatures in the high north could be affecting our weather patterns much […]

March 12, 2015

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4:00 PM | Hiatus delays unprecedented warming rates
Current global temperatures are often discussed in terms of their unprecedented nature when compared to the last few thousand years. An interesting paper in Nature Climate Change by Steven J Smith and colleagues examines the rate of warming projected by the CMIP5 ensemble and suggests that the rate of warming is unprecedented also. However, we … Continue reading Hiatus delays unprecedented warming rates →
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2:42 PM | So what did-in the dinosaurs? A murder mystery…
Scientists have assembled a slew of new forensic evidence – from high-resolution dates to microscopic fossils – to prosecute the dino-killer. Their indictment has worrying implications for us. Everyone knows that the dinosaurs were wiped out - along with about 70% of all species - by a massive asteroid slamming into Mexico, right? Well, not so fast. Like a good murder-mystery, a steady drip of evidence and some major new revelations have implicated another suspect – were they […]
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