Monthly Archives: September 2019

Young Girls Save the World

The lack of action about climate change by politicians, by adults, largely by old men (like me) is depressing. Truly depressing. From time to time I need some inspiration, some actual hope that the world can turn this around.

We DO have hope. Thanks to girls.

Please follow the link and read it. You’ll be glad you did!


Climate Deniers: Long-Term Annoyance

Climate deniers Ross McKitrick and John Christy have published an article in the Journal of Hydrology which demostrates to those who know what they’re doing, that McKitrick and Christy don’t. If you really don’t know what you’re doing you might think this paper is impressive. If you do know what you’re doing, this paper is a supreme embarrassment to its authors. It’s a supreme embarrassment to the reviewers who approved its publication — they too can’t know what they’re doing. This paper is that bad.

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Climate Change: in Vino Veritas

In truly fascinating new reasearch, scientists have searched historical records to collect data about when the grape harvest began each year. Their research wasn’t published in the Journal of French Wine (I don’t know if there even is one), it was published in the journal Climate of the Past. That’s because the date when the grape harvest begins is a clue to temperature.

The importance of clues like this is that they extend farther back in time than thermometer records. The grape harvest dates (GHD) start in the year 1354 — centuries before the thermometer was even invented. Also quite important: they are all for the same location: Beaune, France.

When the temperature is hotter, the grapes are ready to harvest earlier. When it’s colder, they harvest later. If climate is really heating up, the grape harvest should be getting earlier. And what did they find? This:

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Climate Deniers Deny Temperature Itself

There’s a lot of talk these days about global temperature, in news reports, policy discussions, and casual conversation. The global temperature under discussion is surface air temperature (SAT). It’s not the depths of the ocean — even though that’s really a better measure of global warming, we don’t live in the depths of the ocean. It’s not the temperature in the upper atmosphere, we don’t live in the upper atmosphere. It’s the temperature at Earth’s surface. That is, after all, where we live.

But climate deniers don’t like that, because surface air temperature has risen so dramatically these last few years. Someone proclaims “The last five years have been the hottest on record!” and the deniers want to deny it, but they can’t use actual data for SAT because the data support the statement. But there’s a sneaky way for them to try: look for some data set — ANY data set — which you can claim represents “global temperature” but contradicts the “last five years” claim. If instead of claiming it’s global temperature, you simply say nothing at all about it so readers assume so, even better. If that data set happens to be crap — best yet!

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Greenland Melt

This year, Europe was hit with multiple extreme heat waves. After inflicting pain on Europeans, some of that heat sauntered over to Greenland. The result? Greenland showed greater melt this summer than ever before.

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Florida Flooding, or why Donald Trump will lose the election in Florida

Twice a day (most of the time, in most places), the ocean rises and falls in a process we call the tides. If you build near the coast you have to take that into account; otherwise, a house that’s dry most of the time, might not be when high tide comes. It’s called “tidal flooding” — because it happens even when there’s no storm, no wind, no rain — just high tide.

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Kids are on the March

Strike For Climate — Today

Confessions of a Climate Change News Junkie: U.S. Presidential Edition

Now that Jay Inslee has ended his campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, I have to choose a new candidate to support. To that end, I recently watched the CNN town hall on climate change, which actually consisted of a lot of town halls, one for each participating contender.

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Methane Acceleration

A recent paper by Nisbet et al. notes that methane (CH4) in the atmosphere isn’t just increasing, it’s accelerating; the increase has gotten faster recently.

There was a time — from about 1999 until 2007 — when atmospheric methane wasn’t increasing at all. It had been, before 2000, but it remained steady for that 8-year period. But in 2007 it started rising again, as is plain to see in the following graph. What is not plain to see is that around 2014 it started rising even faster; the years 2014 through 2018 saw very rapid increase in CH4 levels.

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