July 27, 2014

11:23 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly Digest #30
SkS Highlights Dana's Climate models accurately predicted global warming when reflecting natural ocean cycles examined a new paper by James Risbey et al that takes a clever approach to evaluating how accurate climate model temperature predictions have been while getting around the noise caused by natural cycles. Needless to say, the article generated a lively and enligtening discussion on its comment thread. El Niño Watch El Niño 2014: Weather Phenomenon […]

July 26, 2014

9:59 AM | Temperatures make our global warming opinions change like the weather
Our experience of current warmth can override our scientific knowledge in driving beliefs about climate change, which is part of the reason we struggle to take the resulting risks seriously, underlines Columbia University’s Elke Weber.

Weber, E. (2006). Experience-Based and Description-Based Perceptions of Long-Term Risk: Why Global Warming does not Scare us (Yet), Climatic Change, 77 (1-2) 103-120. DOI: 10.1007/s10584-006-9060-3

Li, Y., Johnson, E. & Zaval, L. (2011). Local Warming: Daily Temperature Change Influences Belief in Global Warming, Psychological Science, 22 (4) 454-459. DOI: 10.1177/0956797611400913

Zaval, L., Keenan, E., Johnson, E. & Weber, E. (2014). How warm days increase belief in global warming, Nature Climate Change, 4 (2) 143-147. DOI: 10.1038/nclimate2093

8:25 AM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30B
14 concepts that will be obsolete after catastrophic climate change Abrupt climate shifts in the past offer warning for future Changing human behavior is major factor in selling cleaner cars, curbing congestion China’s energy plans will worsen climate change, Greenpeace says Extreme weather – Canadians better get used to it Forest fires: Climate change’s new normal Funds needed to prevent coastal disasters, not just recover from them How ignoring climate change could sink the […]

July 25, 2014

1:56 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #30A
Attack of the Chicago climate change maggots Climate change already having profound impacts on lakes in Europe Error discovered in Antarctic sea-ice record EU agrees to improve energy efficiency 30% by 2030 G20 should facilitate international cooperation on climate change Global health and climate-change: together bound Great Barrier Reef's decline buried in government reports Has Antarctic sea ice expansion been overestimated? New data on extreme temperatures underscore planet's warming […]
11:30 AM | Yabba -- Building your own stream gauge
Katherine Monroe*, the author/inventor of this stream gauge, is a graduate of Eleanor Roosevelt High School, in the same class as Elliott Rebello.  Her senior project was quite different, and you'll get to see the details in her own words.  Part 1 is today, the narrative.  Part 2 will be on Monday -- the full parts list and construction instructions.Engineering the “Yabba Dabba Doo”By: Katherine MonroeJune 2014Eleanor Roosevelt High SchoolOne year ago, as a rising […]

July 24, 2014

8:24 AM | Winds that huff, puff and blow down bridges
Winds are one of the strongest environmental forces. Hurricanes, for example, lead to massive area wide destruction, leaving families without their homes. However, winds can not only be harmful if they reach hurricane force. Similar to the wolf in three little pigs, winds can also destroy structures if they huff or puff in the right […]
5:44 AM | The Dark Snow team investigates the source of soot that's accelerating Greenland ice melt
Around the planet, wildfires are becoming larger and more destructive. This summer, a series of wildfires enveloped large areas of Canada’s Boreal forest, blanketing western North America with smoke. One key question is, do these fires have an effect on climate by darkening Arctic ice with layers of soot, causing more sunlight to be absorbed by the ice? For the second year, the Dark Snow Project science team has taken to the ice on Greenland to investigate the forces driving Greenland's […]

July 23, 2014

11:00 AM | Data are ugly
Current news about whether there really is an increase in Antarctic sea ice cover is reinforcing my belief, shared by most people who deal with data, that data are ugly.  This work argues that the trend that some have seen in some trend analyses has more to do with the data processing than with nature.  I encourage you to read the article in full itself.  It is freely available.From the abstract:Although our analysis does not definitively identify whether this change introduced […]
10:57 AM | Top-of-atmosphere contribution to unforced variability in global temperature
As the attention received by the ‘global warming hiatus’ demonstrates, global mean surface temperature (T) variability on decadal timescales is of great interest to both the general public and to scientists. Here, I will discuss a recently published paper (Brown … Continue reading →
10:15 AM | Hot Air: the sorry tale of climate policy in New Zealand
This guest post is by Alister Barry, producer and co-director of the new documentary Hot Air, which will be premiered in Wellington next week. Hot Air is screening in the New Zealand International Film Festival around the country over the next month. Hot Air is a story of compromise, broken promises and corporate pressure, of […]
5:51 AM | New study investigates the impact of climate change on malaria
It's tempting to view global warming on, well, a global scale. However, when we think about how climate change affects human and biological systems, it's often the local impacts that matter most. We want to know how things are going to change where we live, not on some abstract global scale. In the past, local impacts have been very difficult for scientists to assess. One of our most useful tools, climate computer models, are best used to predict how the entire globe will change. These computer […]
2:03 AM | Matthew Sturm – insight into the Arctic
Over four decades after entering the Arctic Circle for the first time, Matthew Sturm, snow scientist and University of Alaska professor, still looks on the Arctic as a place of wonder. In Finding the Arctic (University of Alaska Press, 2012), a story of history and culture along a 2,500 mile snowmobile journey from Alaska to Hudson’s Bay, Matthew Sturm tackles an epic path across Alaska and Canada. As Finding the Arctic’s story unfolds, Sturm and six companions: Jon Holmgren, […]
12:00 AM | Changing the Pace
By Thomas I don`t know why exactly – maybe it is for no reason at all, maybe because it is “winter” here in Australia, or maybe because I came across the video below a few weeks back – but these … Continue reading →

July 22, 2014

10:07 PM | Six sleep and jetlag tips
Blogging has been light lately, I was at a workshop on statistics and homogenization in the USA. For me as old European this is another continent, 8 hours away. Thus I thought I'd share some jetlag tips, most of which are generally good sleeping tips as well. The timing is good: many people have trouble sleeping during the warm summer nights.As far as I know, science does not really understand why we sleep. My guess would be: variability. Which is always my answer to stuff we do not understand. […]
3:29 PM | Tackling the dilemma of local actions and planetary boundaries
Wiley’s open-access journal devoted to documenting global change and sustainability, published online a commentary by scientists from IIASA and Brazil tackling the tough question of how to ensure that actions taken locally do not—collectively—contribute to overreaching planetary boundaries. Continue reading →
11:21 AM | Our variable star (part 2): Explaining the variations
(co-authored by Maria Dasi-Espuig - profile) We know from direct observations that the Sun varies. We’ve been monitoring the energy received from the Sun at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, known as the solar ‘irradiance’, for more than three decades. But, this is not enough time to understand the Sun’s contribution to climate change. Human-induced changes […]
5:36 AM | Seal of approval - How marine mammals provide important climate data
Understanding what is happening in the oceans is crucial since 90% of global warming is going there and attempts to measure temperatures at various depths go back to the 1960s. But, what does this Weddell seal have to do with this and what is it wearing on its head? Weddell Seal West Antarctic Peninsula (photo: Dan Costa - NMFS 87-1851-03) To answer these questions we have to backtrack a bit and look at the recent history of data collection used to find out what is happening in the […]
1:31 AM | Barry Brill and Anonymous: U R A Fraud
People send me things. Brightening my email inbox last week was a pithy little email, headed U r a fraud. It didn’t have much to say. Here it is, in its entirety, exactly as it appeared: Please take down your posts about barry brill or Anonymous may have to Make some “unauthorized” changes to your […]
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