April 27, 2015

10:00 PM | Colour in scientific graphs – part 2
Last time we had an introduction to colour in scientific graphs, where we had two categorical data series. What happens if we have continuous or sequential data, plotted over an area? Here are two X-ray maps using the classic ‘rainbow’ … Continue reading →
4:26 PM | Boron and the Permian extinction: a glimpse into the past gives a hint of the future:
The world looked very different 250 million years ago during the Permian era. The supercontinent Pangaea clung to the Equator and stretched its limbs all the way to the Poles. The climate was warming as the glaciers receded. Trilobites, the … Continue reading →

Clarkson MO, Kasemann SA, Wood RA, Lenton TM, Daines SJ, Richoz S, Ohnemueller F, Meixner A, Poulton SW & Tipper ET & (2015). Ocean acidification and the Permo-Triassic mass extinction., Science (New York, N.Y.), 348 (6231) 229-32. PMID:

5:32 AM | Inoculating against science denial
Science denial has real, societal consequences. Denial of the link between HIV and AIDS led to more than 330,000 premature deaths in South Africa. Denial of the link between smoking and cancer has caused millions of premature deaths. Thanks to vaccination denial, preventable diseases are making a comeback. Denial is not something we can ignore or, well, deny. So what does scientific research say is the most effective response? Common wisdom says that communicating more science should be the […]
1:05 AM | Two new reviews of the homogenization methods used to remove non-climatic changes
By coincidence this week two initiatives have been launched to review the methods to remove non-climatic changes from temperature data. One initiative was launched by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF), a UK free-market think tank. The other by the Task Team on Homogenization (TT-HOM) of the Commission for Climatology (CCl) of the World meteorological organization (WMO). Disclosure: I chair the TT-HOM.The WMO is one of the oldest international organizations and has meteorological and […]

April 26, 2015

9:32 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #17
SkS Highlights Lomborg: a detailed citation analysis by CJA Bradshaw ( attracted the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Coming in second was Permafrost feedback update 2015: is it good or bad news? by Andy Skuce.  We Heart Chris Mooney On the week of Sept. 8, 2014, the Web site Skeptical Science launched an online campaign to emphasize the broad scientific agreement about climate […]
2:02 AM | Climate battle at NBR: Rodney’s rubbish versus Wiggs wisdom
New Zealand’s leading business media outfit — the National Business Review — has long dallied with climate denial, providing a platform for former ACT party leader Rodney Hide (amongst others) to push climate tosh. Last week Rodney used his regular opinion column to attack the government’s emissions policies (behind paywall) — fair enough, given that […]

April 25, 2015

3:08 PM | Nenana Ice Classic 2015
Unsurprisingly to anyone looking at the exceptionally warm winter on the West Coast of North America, the Nenana Ice Classic had another near-record early breakup on Friday, netting some lucky winner(s) around $300,000 in prizes. As I’ve discussed previously (last year and an update), the Ice Classic is a lottery that has been run every […]
8:55 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #17B
Australia 'public enemy number one' of UN climate talks, says Nobel laureate Australia should 'get off sidelines' with 30 per cent emissions cut by 2025 Australian taxpayers funding climate contrarian's methods with $4m Bjørn Lomborg centre Changes in water vapor and clouds are amplifying global warming Climate change impacts people who are not born yet Kerry, on eve of Arctic summit, calls for citizen pressure on climate change Obama visits Everglades to call for action on climate […]

April 24, 2015

6:46 PM | I set a WMO standard and all I got was this lousy Hirsch index - measuring clouds and rain
This week we had the first meeting of the new Task Team on Homogenization of the Commission for Climatology. More on this later. This meeting was at the headquarters of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva, Switzerland. I naturally went by train (only 8 hours), so that I could write about scientists flying to meetings without having to justify my own behaviour. The WMO naturally had to display meteorological instruments in front of the entrance. They are not exactly ideally […]
12:08 PM | The return of the iris effect?
Guest commentary from Andy Dessler (TAMU) When a new scientific hypothesis is published, two questions always occur to me: Did the authors convincingly show the hypothesis was correct? If not, is the hypothesis actually correct? The answers to these two questions may not be the same. A good example is Wegener’s theory of continental drift […]
5:37 AM | Lomborg: a detailed citation analysis
This is a re-post from ConservationBytes There’s been quite a bit of palaver recently about the invasion of Lomborg’s ‘Consensus’ Centre to the University of Western Australia, including inter alia that there was no competitive process for the award of $4 million of taxpayer money from the Commonwealth Government, that Lomborg is a charlatan with a not-terribly-well-hidden anti-climate change agenda, and that he his not an […]
2:58 AM | Oklahoma: Not OK
Oklahoma is not OK. Over five years ago, at the end of 2009, we already had the data to show a dramatic increase in Oklahoma earthquake activity. We would soon know why. Having recently been reminded of the issue, I … Continue reading →

April 23, 2015

7:04 AM | Changes in water vapor and clouds are amplifying global warming
A very new paper currently in press shines light on climate feedbacks and the balance of energy flows to and from the Earth. The paper was published by Kevin Trenberth, Yongxin Zhang, John Fasullo, and Shoichi Taguchi. In this study, the authors ask and answer a number of challenging questions. Their findings move us a big step forward in understanding what is happening to the planet now, and how the climate will evolve into the future. So, what did the scientists do? First, they used […]

April 22, 2015

11:00 PM | The Art in Science
by Louise Schoneveld Sometimes, we get so wrapped up in the science and the data we forget that what we are looking at is truly beautiful. Sometimes, I think we need to step back and just look, turn off the … Continue reading →
3:43 PM | Earth Day spotlight: A survey of the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill
“Today (April 22nd) is Earth Day, and marks the 45th anniversary of what many credit with launching the modern environmental movement in the U.S. in 1970. The idea for Earth Day apparently came to the founder, Gaylord Nelson, then a … Continue reading →

Cornwall W (2015). Deepwater Horizon: after the oil., Science (New York, N.Y.), 348 (6230) 22. PMID:

1:33 PM | An Online University Course on the Science of Climate Science Denial
Guest post from John Cook, University of Queensland For many years, RealClimate has been educating the public about climate science. The value of climate scientists patiently explaining the science and rebutting misinformation directly with the public cannot be overestimated. When I began investigating this issue, my initial searches led me here, which was invaluable in […]
8:47 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #17A
Big insurance companies are warning the U.S. to prepare for climate change Can Peru stop ‘ethical chocolate’ from destroying the Amazon? Carbon reserves held by top fossil fuel companies soar China and other big emitters challenge Australia over its climate change policies Explainer: the models that help us predict climate change France's Hollande sees many obstacles to climate deal in Paris Giant waves quickly destroy Arctic Ocean ice and ecosystems Here’s what China […]

April 21, 2015

5:38 PM | Why are there so few ice age megafaunal kill sites?
As a general rule, I care much more about the consequences of extinction than the causes. Even though I work on past landscapes, my mind is firmly rooted in the present, and I’d my work to have conservation relevance. We know what’s causing extinctions today, for the most part. What comes next […]

April 20, 2015

11:33 PM | Game of Python: You Win or You Win
They say procrastination is a bad thing. I found that I always come up with some good ideas while I procrastinate from work. The fact that these ideas are rarely ever related to my work is a different matter entirely, … Continue reading →
8:08 AM | Permafrost feedback update 2015: is it good or bad news?
We have good reason to be concerned about the potential for nasty climate feedbacks from thawing permafrost in the Arctic. Consider: The Arctic contains huge stores of plant matter in its frozen soils. Over one-third of all the carbon stored in all of the soils of the Earth are found in this region, which hosts just 15% of the planet's soil-covered area. The Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the planet. The vegetable matter in the soils is being taken out of the […]
8:06 AM | NZ’s emissions target scam – Groser & Co’s creative accounting exposed
Simon Johnson (aka MrFebruary) looks at how climate change minister Tim Groser and the National-led government intend to use creative carbon accounting to ensure that New Zealand meets its 2020 climate change target (a five percent reduction) in spite of emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) projected to increase to 2020 and beyond. On 10 April […]

April 19, 2015

5:51 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #16
SkS Highlights Andy Lacis responds to Steve Koonin, a guest post by ATTP of the blog site, and Then There's Physics, garnered the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week.     We Heart CleanTechnica Many of us here at CleanTechnica are big fans of the site Skeptical Science. Skeptical Science has a great system for debunking common myths put forward by global warming deniers, and then getting those articles and key points […]

April 18, 2015

9:12 PM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #16B
2015 hottest year to date, could top 2014 record '3D Cryosat' tracks Arctic winter sea ic CEOs to world leaders: Get off your asses and fix climate change Circular economy could bring 70 percent cut in carbon emissions by 2030 Climate plans put world on track for warming above agreed limits Darkening ice speeds up Greenland melt, new research suggests Dutch citizens are taking their Government to Court over climate change Flood damages in Europe to increase 200% by the end of the century How […]

April 17, 2015

3:14 PM | The downfall of coal: job trends in a changing energy landscape
Recent years have not been good to the coal industry. Through the 20th century, the industry had a strong clamp on electricity generation with coal-fired power plants littering the US landscape. Electricity demand had been growing steadily, and coal executives … Continue reading →

Haerer, D. & Pratson, L. (2015). Employment trends in the U.S. Electricity Sector, 2008–2012, Energy Policy, 82 85-98. DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2015.03.006


April 16, 2015

9:10 AM | Towards a Catholic North America in 2062?
What will the future landscape of religion look like in North America? IIASA demographer Anne Goujon describes the results from a new set of projections accounting for different assumptions about fertility, conversion and secularization rates, and migration Continue reading →
5:40 AM | Western Canada’s glaciers could shrink by as much as 95% by 2100, study finds
This is a re-post from Robert McSweeney at Carbon Brief The Canadian Rockies, which sit as a backdrop to many a stunning vista, could be almost entirely devoid of glaciers by the end of the century, a new study suggests. Researchers modelled the impact of rising temperatures on glaciers across western Canada. The results show widespread ice loss by 2050, and ice all but vanishing a few decades later. Rising temperatures Around 27,000 square kilometers of Western Canada is covered by glaciers, […]
12:10 AM | High Water – NZ climate comic anthology
Scientists investigate how climate changes, politicians (should) decide what to do about it. Tough jobs. Artists have just as difficult a job: to comment on the reality and unreality they see in society’s responses to the climate threat, and by doing so motivate us to create a liveable future. In High Water, a new anthology […]

April 15, 2015

10:08 PM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #16A
Britain’s fish ‘n’ chip favourites could dwindle as North Sea warms Broadcast meteorologists increasingly convinced manmade climate change is happening California’s cycles of drought Clean energy seeing global ‘Renaissance’ Economic collapse will limit climate change, predicts climate scientist For drinking water in drought, California looks warily to sea France urges Australia to keep climate commitment ahead of UN summit Goodbye, glaciers? Move over […]
9:45 PM | Colour in scientific graphs – part 1
In the past years, there is a surge in the amount of colour that appears in scientific papers. There are several reasons for it. The ease of creating coloured figures increases with every new release of a software version. Journals … Continue reading →
2:23 PM | Why raw temperatures show too little global warming
The last months I have written several posts why raw temperature observations may show too little global warming. Let's put it all in perspective.People who have followed the climate "debate" have probably heard of two potential reasons why raw data shows too much global warming: urbanization and the quality of the siting. These are the two non-climatic changes that mitigation sceptics promote claiming that they are responsible for a large part of the observed warming in the global mean […]
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