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April 12, 2014

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5:30 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B
Asgard’s fire Can celebrities and prime time TV make Americans care Car, truck and airplane pollution set to drive climate change Climate targets: Australia can't be caught napping El Niño could grow into a monster, new data show Greenhouse gas emissions nearly doubled in first decade of 21st century How taking the 'perma' out of permafrost could accelerate warming IPCC explores the ethics and economics of fighting climate change IPCC: world must urgently switch to clean […]
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2:24 PM | Planning for the next Sandy: no relative suffering would be socialist
The river Waal at Nijmegen, The Netherlands. The original river is to the right. The island has been created to give the river more space and reduce flooding.The New York Times Magazine has a beautiful article on a Dutch water manager, Henk Ovink. He enrolled with Shaun Donovan, the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, serving in the cabinet of President Barack Obama to make the USA fit for the next Sandy. The Dutch approach to water management is very different and looks […]
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9:59 AM | Detailed regional data reduce warming-drought link doubts
In Portugal and Spain climate change has already driven over 2°C of warming in summer, and new findings from Sergio Vicente-Serrano from the Pyrenean Institute of Ecology are dispelling uncertainties that the temperatures are making drought more severe and widespread.

Vicente-Serrano, S., Lopez-Moreno, J., Beguería, S., Lorenzo-Lacruz, J., Sanchez-Lorenzo, A., García-Ruiz, J., Azorin-Molina, C., Morán-Tejeda, E., Revuelto, J., Trigo, R. & Coelho, F. (2014). Evidence of increasing drought severity caused by temperature rise in southern Europe, Environmental Research Letters, 9 (4) 44001. DOI:

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April 11, 2014

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3:07 PM | Measuring NEP
Some under- and post-grad students recently asked me to explain how to measure NEP in cryoconite holes, and this post represents a brief overview on their behalf – apologies to other readers […]
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5:32 AM | Climate imbalance – disparity in the quality of research by contrarian and mainstream climate scientists
A new paper has been published in the journal Cosmopolis entitled Review of the consensus and asymmetric quality of research on human-induced climate change. The paper was authored by John Abraham, myself, John Cook, John Fasullo, Peter Jacobs, and Scott Mandia. Each of the authors has experience in publishing peer-reviewed responses to flawed contrarian papers. Despite the 97% expert consensus on human-caused global warming supported by peer-reviewed research, expert opinion, the IPCC reports, […]

April 10, 2014

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2:15 PM | Camp Dark Snow 2014
Today marks the end of this semester’s teaching and hopefully a return to both research activity and posting on TTP! Greenland 2014 has become a collaborative effort with team Dark […]
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6:16 AM | IPCC issue official rebuttal to more David Rose/Daily Mail nonsense
David Rose. That name rings a bell, huh? This was the guy who last year  manufactured an IPCC crisis meeting in the UK right-wing tabloid the Daily Mail, where he hangs out and writes pages of nonsense about climate science.  At Skeptical Science, as pointed out in the above link, we have previously pre-bunked and debunked and debunked again his articles on the subject of climate change, but he continues to appear oblivious to legitimate criticism of his work or, indeed, facts. In his […]
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12:21 AM | Life at 400ppm: catching up with a Pliocene atmosphere
With global atmospheric carbon dioxide bumping along just under 400ppm, and sure to break through to higher levels in the near future, it’s worth taking a long hard look at what the climate system was like the last time CO2 was at these levels — the Pliocene period 3-5 million years ago. Professor Maureen Raymo […]

April 09, 2014

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1:30 PM | Uncertainty in an emissions-constrained world
By Matthias Jonas, IIASA, and  Gregg Marland, Appalachian State University Greenhouse gas emissions are seldom measured directly. They must be estimated from data such as on energy use and changes in land use. That means that estimates of greenhouse gas emissions from human sources are inherently uncertain. In a new study with colleagues at IIASA … Continue reading →
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6:12 AM | IPCC says adapt and mitigate to tackle climate risks
This is a re-post from Roz Pidcock at Carbon Brief The front page article of today's Spectator claims the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has "updated" its position on climate change, to accept that "climate change is now a question of adaptation". Author Matt Ridley suggests that this is such a departure from the UN climate panel's previous findings that its conclusions are now in line with those of climate skeptic lobbyist Lord Lawson. Lawson stresses "the need to adapt […]
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1:03 AM | An unexpected actor: role of arid environments in terrestrial carbon uptake
Anthropogenic climate change has become a household phrase, spreading throughout our culture as more and more research documents the effect of fossil fuel emissions on CO2 levels in the atmosphere and average global surface temperatures.  But our society’s CO2 emissions … Continue reading →

Evans, R., Koyama, A., Sonderegger, D., Charlet, T., Newingham, B., Fenstermaker, L., Harlow, B., Jin, V., Ogle, K., Smith, S. & Nowak, R. (2014). Greater ecosystem carbon in the Mojave Desert after ten years exposure to elevated CO2, Nature Climate Change, DOI:

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April 08, 2014

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11:28 PM | TDB Today: Ragged right caught in reality’s shit sandwich
This week’s Daily Blog post takes a further look at NZ political responses to the release of the of the second part of the IPCC’s Fifth Report, and ponders how everyone who has gleefully claimed that adaptation is all we need to do will react when the third report — on mitigating carbon emissions — […]
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10:17 PM | The ground changing under our feet – Thermokarsts
Laura Nielsen for Frontier Scientists – Jason Dobkowski stands on the shores of Wolverine Lake. His research site is located in the North Slope of Alaska, nestled near the remote foothills of the Brooks Range. "I’m here studying permafrost thaw slump which is depositing silt and material into the lake behind me. And that material, the silt and the minerals and the frozen carbon, affects the lake in a lot of different ways. It can change the chemistry and the... Read more
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10:04 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15A
2014 El Niño warming up to be a mighty one? Call climate change what it is: violence Climate change threats to 'the least of these' compel Christians to act Climate models can show observations to be wrong Corporate giants issue fresh demand for climate action Forest fires arrive early as Siberia sees record high temperatures IPCC report: climate change and the things people care about IPCC report proposes sucking carbon out of the air as climate fix ‘Misleading the reader’: […]
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12:25 PM | Shindell: On constraining the Transient Climate Response
Guest commentary from Drew Shindell There has been a lot of discussion of my recent paper in Nature Climate Change . That study addressed a puzzle, namely that recent studies using the observed changes in Earth’s surface temperature suggested climate sensitivity is likely towards the lower end of the estimated range. However, studies evaluating model […]
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9:56 AM | When will they ever learn? Herald reprints Telegraph’s tawdry climate lies
Why would the New Zealand Herald choose to reprint a review of a book steeped in climate denial, under the headline The game is up for climate change believers in the week between two major climate reports from the IPCC? The review, by Charles Moore, a former editor of the Daily Telegraph, an up-market British […]
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7:07 AM | The geology of Game of Thrones
This is Westeros as it exists in the days of tumult, in the days following the death of King Robert Baratheon, in the shortening days that warn that winter is coming.  But this is also the geologic history of Westeros, … Continue reading →
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7:07 AM | Building the geologic history of Game of Thrones
Ever wonder what Westeros looked like long before the Starks, Baratheons, Lannisters, or Targaryens roamed its surface?  How far back can we really imagine the history of the Game of Thrones planet?  According to Generation Anthropocene producer Miles Traer, we … Continue reading →
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7:06 AM | Westeros today, and the size of the Game of Thrones planet
From the texts, we know that the kingdoms have persisted for thousands of years, with many kings rising and falling as the tides (though we won’t concern ourselves with kings or kingdoms here).  From the same texts and carefully surveyed … Continue reading →
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7:06 AM | The Earth split Westeros from Essos – 25 Mya
Twenty-five million years ago (Mya), a line of fire and molten rock cut through the planet’s crust – like Wildfire cut through the ships at Blackwater Bay – and separated the previously joined continents of Westeros and Essos.  This spreading … Continue reading →
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7:06 AM | When Dorne boiled – 30-40 Mya
The salt of the Salt Shore, almost certainly an evaporite deposit, suggests that the region south of the Red Mountains, known as Dorne, was once submerged beneath a shallow sea.  Some time in the past, sea level was lower as … Continue reading →
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7:05 AM | Land of ice – 40 Mya
It was a land of ice indeed.  Forty million years ago, a giant ice sheet, likely over a mile thick, covered nearly two-thirds of Westeros, and extended as far south as 40° north latitude, just shy of King’s Landing.  This … Continue reading →
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7:05 AM | The rise of the Black (Mountains) – 60-80 Mya
Determining the age of the various Westeros mountain ranges is problematic without geochemistry; the wildlings make sample collection difficult.  However, we can infer ages based on the current shape, or morphology, of the mountains.  As Jon Snow and the men … Continue reading →
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7:04 AM | As the Moon rose, so did the Lannisters – 80-100 Mya
The rise of the Mountains of the Moon is perhaps the best-documented geologic event on Westeros, and is directly responsible for the tremendous wealth of the House Lannister.  Similar to the Black Mountains to the north, the Mountains of the … Continue reading →
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7:04 AM | Diving the tropical reefs of Winterfell – 300 Mya
Long ago, the territory surrounding Winterfell was not prowled by direwolves, but rather by corals, fish, and perhaps the occasional reef shark.  While we know that Winterfell’s protective walls are made of granite, the grey hue of the majority of … Continue reading →
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7:03 AM | The sand ran red – 450 Mya
The scandalous wedding of young Robb Stark to Jeyne Westerling isn’t the only thing to have been stained red in the history of Westeros (spoiler!).  The Red Keep, home to the Iron Throne in King’s Landing, appears to be made … Continue reading →
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7:03 AM | The first mountains – 500 Mya
The Red Orogeny is the earliest piece of Westeros’ geologic history that we can infer with the available data.  From our analysis of the Red Keep Sandstone and the Winterfell Limestone, we know that Westeros has moved gradually north throughout … Continue reading →
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7:03 AM | BONUS: The Iron Islands – 2,000 Mya
On Earth, nearly all iron ore comes from specific rocks called banded iron formations, the vast majority of which originate around 2,000 million years ago (2,400-1,800 Mya to be more precise).  At this time, the world’s oceans were far more … Continue reading →
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5:57 AM | Fox News climate change coverage is now 28% accurate, up from 7%
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) has just published an analysis of 2013 climate coverage by the three major American cable news networks. The report and data are available online, and the results are summarized in the figure below. UCS reviewed nearly 600 segments mentioning "global warming" or "climate change" across the networks' most prominent evening and weekend programs during the 2013 calendar year. Segments that contained any inaccurate or misleading representations of climate […]

April 07, 2014

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10:57 PM | Testing the Waters: First Experience of Research
By Rachel Kirby Last week I completed my first seminar as a research student. I was nervous, very nervous. Not so much about standing up and presenting, but about the questions that would inevitably follow. As an Honours student it … Continue reading →
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