Posts

February 21, 2015

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5:14 PM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #8B
A look behind the headlines on China’s coal trends A melting Arctic and weird weather: the plot thickens California water becomes scarce and energy hungry Canadian mounties' secret memo casts doubt on climate change threat Catholics fast for Lent in support of Pope Francis’ call for Climate Action Despite frigid conditions in the East, U.S. seeing more record warmth this winter EU introduces new rules to make cooking greener Fox News has no shame: Easily duped wingnuts spout phony […]

February 19, 2015

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3:29 PM | The mystery of the offset chronologies: Tree rings and the volcanic record of the 1st millennium
Guest commentary by Jonny McAneney Volcanism can have an important impact on climate. When a large volcano erupts it can inject vast amounts of dust and sulphur compounds into the stratosphere, where they alter the radiation balance. While the suspended dust can temporarily block sunlight, the dominant effect in volcanic forcing is the sulphur, which […]
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12:30 PM | Forecast Evaluation
Boy, blow one historic blizzard forecast and people get all cranky*.  Except, as H. Michael Mogildiscusses, it was an almost perfect forecast.  For the specifics of that storm and its forecast, I refer you to Mogil's article.I'm going to take up the more narrow topic of forecast evaluation.  (Disclosure: I do work for NOAA/NWS, but, as always, this blog presents my thoughts alone.  Not least here, because I agree more with Mogil than the head of the NWS, Louis Uccellinni, […]
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10:17 AM | Interview: Outside the castle walls
IIASA Mitigation of Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases researcher Fabian Wagner is spending a year at Princeton University as a visiting professor. We caught up with him to find out what he's working on. Continue reading →
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1:00 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #8A
‘Anti-petroleum’ movement a growing security threat to Canada, RCMP say Australian Academy of Science brings climate change closer to home Australian scientists make fresh attempt at explaining climate change BP's two-word fix for global climate change Climate change could decimate the American ski industry Global ocean acidity revealed in new maps How significant is the UK party leaders' joint climate pledge? Jury in on climate change, so stop using arguments of convenience and […]

February 18, 2015

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11:16 PM | The biofuel controversy
“Buses powered by soybeans.  Agricultural waste transformed into car fuel.  These possibilities have inspired governments around the world to include biofuels as a substantial part of their renewable energy standards, which mandate some percent of a country’s energy come from … Continue reading →

Horita, M., Kitamoto, H., Kawaide, T., Tachibana, Y. & Shinozaki, Y. (2015). On-farm solid state simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of whole crop forage rice in wrapped round bale for ethanol production, Biotechnology for Biofuels, 8 (1) DOI: 10.1186/s13068-014-0192-9

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11:09 PM | Blogging at ‘Eyes on Environment’
I have some exciting news!  You may know that I’ve been writing some guest posts recently for the great ‘Eyes on Environment‘ blog that is part of Nature’s Scitable blog network.  I’m happy to announce that, from now on, I’ll … Continue reading →
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5:32 PM | Doing science sitting down, and other thoughts about universal design
I’m writing this post one-handed. Last week, I cut my finger badly in the lab, and I’m wearing a splint to protect the tendon from further damage. This marks the second time in my academic career that I’ve had an injury that involved some form of modified work or accommodation (the first was a […]

February 17, 2015

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1:14 PM | You will miss the river when it runs dry: Water governance at the U.S. – Mexico border
Luzma Fabiola Nava, an IIASA Colosio Fellow, on the challenges of water governance at the U.S. – Mexico border. Continue reading →
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12:30 PM | Chandler and the Chandler Wobble
The fact that the earth wobbles was expected/predicted long before it was observed, which makes for a couple stories about the nature of science and the people who do it.  The story of the Chandler wobble starts up almost a century before Chandler was born.  In 1765, the Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler, whose name appears throughout mathematics and physics, was examining the mathematics for conservation of angular momentum on a rotating spheroid -- i.e., something like the […]

February 16, 2015

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4:09 PM | New blog -- Philosophically Purple
Very different topics than here, very different writing style, but one similarity -- a love of the universe.  Secondary similarity is that the author is my sister.  Philosophically PurpleFrom the close of her first note:You will have to forgive what I can assure you will be phrasing and punctuating that lives outside the happy boundaries of the Chicago Manual of Style. I am aware of punctuation, I just reserve the right to use it — and word choice — as I see fit. Yep, […]
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12:41 PM | Water Bears on Ice: Guest blog by Jesamine Bartlett
Huge thanks to Jesamine Bartlett – a recent MSc graduate from the University of Sheffield who has been working on Tardigrade research – for providing this introduction to the weird […]
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1:39 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #7
SkS Highlights Dana's Fiddling with global warming conspiracy theories while Rome burns garnered the most comments of the articles posted on SkS during the past week. Tied for second place were Why the Miocene Matters (and doesn’t) Today by howardlee and A 23-year experiment finds surprising global warming impacts already underway by Dana. Blog Posts We Like Here’s one of the better produced videos you’ll see on climate change, not so much because of […]

February 15, 2015

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7:50 AM | Climate Intervention Is Not a Replacement for Reducing Carbon Emissions
This article is a lightly edited version of a news release posted by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) on Feb 10, 2015. Proposed Intervention Techniques Not Ready for Wide-Scale Deployment There is no substitute for dramatic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate the negative consequences of climate change, a National Research Council committee concluded in a two-volume evaluation of proposed climate-intervention techniques. The two reports are: Climate Intervention: […]

February 14, 2015

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6:12 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #7B
Climate hacking is barking mad Climate science denialists in tailspin over hottest years Exclusive: Bjorn Lomborg think tank funder revealed as billionaire Republican 'Vulture Capitalist' Paul Singer Fiddling with global warming conspiracy theories while Rome burns Geoengineering might work in a rational world … sadly we don’t live in one Investments in African schools, health and other infrastructure exposed to climate risks Is climate change fuelling war? Nations agree […]

February 13, 2015

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6:39 AM | Marotzke & Forster Respond to Nic Lewis
This is a re-post from Climate Lab Book In a recent post on Climate Audit, Nic Lewis criticised Marotzke & Forster (2015, Nature) for applying circular logic to their arguments about forcing, feedbacks & global temperature trends. This is a guest post by Jochem Marotzke & Piers Forster replying to those criticisms. No circularity It has been alleged that in Marotzke & Forster (2015) we applied circular logic. This allegation […]

February 12, 2015

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8:20 PM | Just the facts, homogenization adjustments reduce global warming
Climatologists make adjustments to climate data to remove non-climatic changes (homogenization). This fact is used to accuse them of fiddling with temperature data to create or exaggerate global warming. This is often done by showing for a small piece of the data and suggesting it is typical. Often mentioned is the USA, where the raw data only show half the warming of the adjusted data. However, the USA is big, but still only 2% of the Earth's surface.In recent weeks we had a similar case in […]
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8:26 AM | Why the Miocene Matters (and doesn’t) Today
Past climate changes are analogs, albeit imperfect ones, for our modern climate change. Despite the differences between such episodes and today, they tell us a great deal about how the Earth-atmosphere-ocean-ice-vegetation-climate system responds to perturbations of the carbon cycle. Global warming in the Miocene at 16.9 million years ago is a mild example. A time a bit like our own… As we cross the 400ppm line in modern atmospheric CO2, we are entering climate territory […]
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1:00 AM | Stupid hoodies
By Thomas Sometimes you come across things that leave you speechless for a moment. Then you consider short whether it is worth the trouble to get upset about it. You shake your head and walk off. But then you come … Continue reading →

February 11, 2015

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7:24 PM | Noise on the Telegraph
I was surprised by the shrill headlines from a British newspaper with the old fashioned name the Telegraph: “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever”. So what is this all about? The story makes serious allegations, however Victor Venema explains why the Telegraph got it wrong in Variable Variability, and makes […]
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8:24 AM | A long road ahead on risk-sensitive development in Madagascar
IIASA researcher Junko Mochizuki brings an on-the-ground view of risk-sensitive development in Madagascar. Continue reading →
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2:04 AM | 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #7A
2013 record heatwave 'virtually impossible' without climate change, Climate Council of Australia report says A 23-year experiment finds surprising global warming impacts already underway “Bionic Leaf” makes fuel from sunlight Climate change is of growing personal concern to U.S. Hispanics France says climate talks crucial for world security Geoengineering should not be used as a climate fix yet, says US science academy Global warming is causing more extreme storms Global warming […]

February 10, 2015

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8:02 PM | Climatologists have manipulated data to REDUCE global warming
Climatologists are continually accused of fiddling with the data to make global warming stronger for political purposes by political activists. A typical scam is to show a few stations that have been adjusted upwards and act as if that is typical. For example, recently The Telegraph article, "The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever", wrote about someone comparingtemperature graphs for three weather stations in Paraguay against the temperatures that had originally […]
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10:23 AM | Global warming is causing more extreme storms
Scientists have known for decades (more than a century actually) that increases in greenhouse gases will cause the Earth to warm. What is less clear is how this warming will impact the weather we experience on a daily, monthly, or yearly basis. Recent research shows that we are already feeling the changes. So, how might a warm planet be different from the planet we inherited? Increased temperatures can cause more heat waves, more droughts, more intense rainfall, higher water-vapor levels, […]

February 09, 2015

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12:30 PM | The earth wobbles
The earth wobbles about in its rotation.  This was predicted long before it was observed, which is a story itself that I'll tell later.  For now, consider the earth and its rotation.  The north pole of the earth points towards the north star, and rotates once per day.  Open your right hand.  Your thumb points north, and when you close your fingers, they are moving in the direction of the earth's rotation.  With your arm making a right angle at the elbow, hand […]
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9:00 AM | A futuristic view of farming
Precision farming, cultured meat, and genetic modification. Which technologies make the most sense for future agriculture? Continue reading →
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7:51 AM | A 23-year experiment finds surprising global warming impacts already underway
A new paper published in Global Change Biology summarizes the results of a 23-year experiment monitoring how global warming is impacting certain ecosystems. At the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, the scientists have monitored ten 30-square meter plots of meadowland since 1989. Above five of those plots, overhead infrared radiators have been on constantly since January 1991, while the other five were used as the controls for comparison. The study reports, The microclimatic effect of […]

February 08, 2015

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6:04 PM | Marotzke & Forster response
In a recent post on Climate Audit, Nic Lewis criticised Marotzke & Forster (2015, Nature) for applying circular logic to their arguments about forcing, feedbacks & global temperature trends. This is a guest post by Jochem Marotzke & Piers Forster replying to those criticisms. Editor’s note: this is a technical post and comments will be … Continue reading Marotzke & Forster response →
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5:59 PM | Changes in screen design leading to temperature trend biases
In the lab, temperature can be measured with amazing accuracies. Outside, exposed to the elements, measuring the temperature of the air is much harder. For example, if the temperature sensor gets wet, due to rain or dew, the evaporation leads to a cooling of the sensor. The largest cause of exposure errors are solar and heat radiation. For these reasons, thermometers need to be protected from the elements by a screen. Changes in the radiation error are an important source of non-climatic […]
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5:16 PM | Satisfying the nitrogen fix: new method to make environmentally-friendly ammonia
When we think of energy-intensive processes and greenhouse gas emissions, our minds probably jump to gas-guzzling cars and coal-fired power plants.  But agriculture is another culprit, largely due to a single industrial process that accounts for 1 percent of the world’s … Continue reading →

Banerjee, A., Yuhas, B., Margulies, E., Zhang, Y., Shim, Y., Wasielewski, M. & Kanatzidis, M. (2015). Photochemical Nitrogen Conversion to Ammonia in Ambient Conditions with FeMoS-Chalcogels, Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2147483647. DOI: 10.1021/ja512491v

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