August 22, 2014

5:50 AM | Ancient ocean currents may have changed pace and intensity of ice ages
This is a re-post from the National Science Foundation Climate scientists have long tried to explain why ice-age cycles became longer and more intense some 900,000 years ago, switching from 41,000-year cycles to 100,000-year cycles. In a paper published this week in the journal Science Express, researchers report that the deep ocean currents that move heat around the globe stalled or may have stopped at that time, possibly due to expanding ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere. "The research is […]
3:47 AM | Friday melts, weird weather and whales (it’s been a long time…)
It’s been a long time since my last post: apologies for that. You may blame a bad cold, an urgent need for root canal work, the peak of the truffle season (and truffle tours for culinary heroes1 ), the start of pruning and political distractions for the drop off in activity here. Normal service should […]

August 21, 2014

11:55 AM | Innovating to address climate change
How can we innovate successfully to address climate change? A new book by IIASA researchers shows the way through a historical investigation of past energy innovations. By Charlie Wilson and Arnulf Grubler. Continue reading →
5:49 AM | Scientist in focus – meteorologist and climate communicator Paul Huttner
Meteorologists have the tools to clearly understand how humans are affecting the Earth’s climate. For folks who study weather every day, the changes they’ve seen defy natural explanation. But most meteorologists have to balance their very limited airtime and their reporting obligations with a desire to convey the reality of climate change. It’s very rare that a meteorologist, let alone a major media organization, take time to bring in-depth discussions to their listeners. But, […]

August 20, 2014

11:02 PM | Anthropogenic climate change and glacial loss explained in a single number: 25!
A new analysis combining climate modeling with glacier dynamics has given us the first estimation of the percent of glacier loss directly due to anthropogenic climate change.  This is strong evidence and important data to understand to educate the general … Continue reading →

Marzeion, B., Cogley, J., Richter, K. & Parkes, D. (2014). Attribution of global glacier mass loss to anthropogenic and natural causes, Science, DOI: 10.1126/science.1254702

10:48 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #34A
A ‘major challenge’ to South Asia’s economic development Cities’ air problems only get worse with climate change Climate change reflected in altered Missouri River flow Climate scientist calls on colleagues to speak up on global warming Defending forests is daily life for Indian woman leader Deforested idle land identified as source of Indonesia "haze" fires Earth sliding into ‘ecological debt’ earlier and earlier Greenland ice loss doubles from late […]
11:52 AM | Climate Change Impacts in Labrador
In 1534, famed explorer Jacques Cartier described Labrador as "the land God gave to Cain". This comparison is inevitably linked to Labrador’s rugged coastal landscapes dotted with deep inlets, fiords and rugged tundra. Culturally the region is steeped in complexity with three distinct indigenous populations intertwined with settlers and settler descendants. In the north lies the Inuit settlement area of Nunatsiavut, where its predominantly Inuit residents are spread across 5 small […]
12:00 AM | Not quite News yet – Part II
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 →

August 19, 2014

2:19 PM | The Odd Natural History of San Francisco
Our co-producer, Miles, gives a talk about San Francisco’s hidden nature that is simultaneously informative, funny, surprising and slightly uncomfortable (you’ll know what we mean when you get there). From the gold rush to the bay to the delicious food, … Continue reading →
12:03 PM | Can isotopes help define the Anthropocene?
By Dr Jonathan Dean, Prof Melanie Leng and Prof Anson Mackay   The Anthropocene is a term that is increasingly being used to refer to the current interval in geological time in which humans have become a dominant force of global environmental change. It was coined by Prof Eugene Stoermer, a biologist, in the 1980s and popularised in the early 2000s by Prof Paul Crutzen, an atmospheric chemist. It is now indisputable that humans are leaving their mark on the planet (see the recent Climatica […]

August 18, 2014

10:00 PM | Walking with purpose
By Kelly To continue on from my last post, I am regaling you all with stories of my thesis submission. As Evan pointed out, having a hard deadline is really important because you could go on refining the document for … Continue reading →
5:38 AM | Global warming denial rears its ugly head around the world, in English
As people’s understanding of climate science grows, among both experts and non-experts alike, we become more accepting of the fact that humans are the driving force behind global warming. That’s because the evidence supporting human-caused global warming is overwhelming; hence rejection of that reality is usually based on an incomplete understanding of the scientific evidence. In Australia, Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman offered a prime […]

August 17, 2014

7:26 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #33
SkS Highlights Global warming is moistening the atmosphere by John Abraham garnered the highest number of comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Dana's New study finds fringe global warming contrarians get disproportionate media attention drew the second highest number of comments. Both articles are shortened versions of the what was published by each author on their shared blog post, Climate Consensus-the 97% hosted by The Guardian.  El […]
7:05 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33C
As Earth warms, relationship between science and religion thaws Climate change: the elephant in the room Climate change will widen the social and health gap Communicating climate change – without the scary monsters Corporate Australia in denial over climate change El Nino’s delay spurs memories of 2012 when it never came Is climate change key to the spread of Ebola? Many Republicans privately support action on climate Snowpack atop Arctic sea ice has dwindled since […]

August 16, 2014

9:31 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33B
Adaptation gaps mean African farmers fork out more money for reduced harvests Antarctica may lift sea level faster in threat to megacities Charles Mann and The Atlantic miss the mark in a confused climate change piece Dismantling Australian climate policy: a case study in disagreement Heavy rain and floods: The 'new normal' with climate change? Montana: Big Sky country, big climate problems Recent glacial melt mostly caused by man-made greenhouse gas emissions Recent urban floods: A simple […]

August 15, 2014

5:29 AM | Climate scientists dub this year’s El Niño “a real enigma”
This is a re-post from Roz Pidcock at Carbon Brief Last month, forecasters were predicting with  90 per cent certainty we'd see an El Niño by the end of the year, driving severe weather patterns worldwide. But with little sign so far of the ocean and atmospheric changes scientists expected, those odds have dropped off quite a bit. We'll probably still see an El Niño before the year's out but it's unlikely to be a strong one, scientists are saying.   What is an El […]
12:25 AM | Few but strong: dense tornado clusters on the rise in the United States
Driving along a US highway, this is not something you want to see out your side window.  The United States has the highest rate of tornadoes per year compared to any other country, so unfortunately this is something many US … Continue reading →

JB Elsner, SC Elsner, TH Jagger (2014). The increasing efficiency of tornado days in the United States, Climate Dynamics,


August 14, 2014

11:18 PM | Climate Change and Human Development
It has been clear for some years that climate change is affecting poorer populations sooner and more gravely than it is economically developed societies. There is little sign that the wealthy nations are much disturbed by this fact, and no sign that it has any braking effect on the inexorable drive to find and exploit […]
11:10 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #33A
Ants may boost CO2 absorption enough to slow global warming Brazil readies big push on solar energy but companies are wary  Climate change and health - joining the dots Cutting emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change Danger to Great Barrier Reef growing  In the ocean, clues to change Keystone XL could be worse for climate change than U.S. claims 'Not a mystery' why Republicans are blind facts on climate change Renewed signs of an El Nino event in 2014 Rules prevent […]
9:18 AM | Greenland 2014: field work update!
The Greenland ice sheet is the largest continuous body of ice in the northern hemisphere, covering an area of ~22million km^2. Despite appearing to be devoid of life, it is […]
4:03 AM | The merits of plasticity
Whether a species thrives or flags can have resounding consequences. When we think of our changing world, we imagine an ecosystem occupied by organisms which are interlinked. Photosynthesizers like plants and phytoplankton which harvest energy from the Sun occupy the lowest trophic level, while the herbivores that eat them are on the second trophic level, supporting higher level carnivores. When something goes wrong in one part of this pyramid / web / food chain, disconnects can […]
12:03 AM | How much methane came out of that hole in Siberia?
Siberia has explosion holes in it that smell like methane, and there are newly found bubbles of methane in the Arctic Ocean. As a result, journalists are contacting me assuming that the Arctic Methane Apocalypse has begun. However, as a climate scientist I remain much more concerned about the fossil fuel industry than I am […]

August 13, 2014

5:56 AM | Global warming is moistening the atmosphere
We have long suspected that greenhouse gases which cause the Earth to warm would lead to a wetter atmosphere. The latest research published by Eul-Seok Chung, Brian Soden, and colleagues provides new insight into what was thought to be an old problem. In doing so, they experimentally verified what climate models have been predicting. The models got it right… again. To be clear, this paper does not prove that water vapor is a greenhouse gas. We have known that for years. Nevertheless, the […]
12:46 AM | TDB Today: Dragon breath and the age of consequences
In my column at The Daily Blog this week — Dragon breath and the Age Of Consequences — I take a look at the latest news on Arctic methane. It’s not good, as Jason Box demonstrated by not mincing his words about the seriousness of the threat. For an idea of the consequences, I strongly […]
12:00 AM | Not quite News yet – Part I
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 … Continue reading →

August 12, 2014

7:17 PM | The responsibility of demand: air travel projected to create net increase in greenhouse gas emissions
There are many ways that individuals can make lifestyle changes to aid in the global mission of reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere.  Just to name a few…eat less meat, drive less, monitor air conditioning/heating and improve insulation, buy compact … Continue reading →

Matt Grote, Ian Williams, John Preston (2014). Direct carbon dioxide emissions from civil aircraft, Atmospheric Environment,

5:25 AM | New study finds fringe global warming contrarians get disproportionate media attention
A new study led by Bart Verheggen surveyed 1,868 scientists studying various aspects of climate change, asking them several questions mainly focused on what’s causing global warming. They survey also asked the respondents, How frequently have you featured in the media regarding your views on climate change? The answers to this question reflect whether the media is really fair and balanced on the subject of global warming. A truly balanced media would give equally proportional attention […]
3:54 AM | FAQ for the article “Scientists’ Views about Attribution of Global Warming”
This is a repost from Bart Verheggen's blog. published in Environmental Science and Technology (open access), DOI: 10.1021/es501998e, Supporting Information here. A formal version of the FAQ is also available at the website of the PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency. A blog post with a brief description of the main conclusions is here.   General 1. What are the objectives of this survey? The PBL aimed to characterize the spectrum of scientific opinion about physical climate […]
3:48 AM | Survey confirms scientific consensus on human-caused global warming
This is a repost from Bart Verheggen's blog. A survey among more than 1800 climate scientists confirms that there is widespread agreement that global warming is predominantly caused by human greenhouse gases. This consensus strengthens with increased expertise, as defined by the number of self-reported articles in the peer-reviewed literature. The main attribution statement in IPCC AR4 may lead to an underestimate of the greenhouse gas contribution to warming, because it implicitly includes the […]

August 11, 2014

10:45 PM | ‘F’ is for Finished
By Kelly  It has been so very long since I wrote a blog post I barely know where to start. In this instance, I feel compelled start at the end… I SUBMITTED MY THESIS! The first article I ever posted … Continue reading →
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