Category Archives: climate change

How Climate Deniers can “Hide the Incline”

Most of us have seen graphs of global temperature anomaly, like this one using data from NASA:

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Recent Sea Level Change

NOAA provides an excellent website for acquiring and examining sea level data from tide gauges. It includes maps with which one can select individual stations, but which also show the rate of sea level rise based on fitting a linear trend to all the available data. Here’s their map, zoomed in on the USA:

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Talking Points

The Huffington Post has obtained an internal memo from the EPA (under the leadership of Scott Pruitt) revealing what it thinks are the right “talking points” about climate change that can be “used across all Program and Regional Offices.”

The main point of these new “talking points” is to downplay global warming, chiefly by resorting to what I call the “know-nothing meme” — keep telling them we don’t really know anything. Yes something is happening, but we don’t really know anything about what the impact will be or what to do about it — if anything! Yes we’ve done extensive reserach, but we don’t really know anything because their are gaps in our understanding. We need to strive for a better understanding! Encourage more study and open debate, because we don’t really know anything.

What Scott Pruitt really doesn’t want his people to admit about global warming is that it’s real, it’s us, and it’s dangerous. Very dangerous. Of course there are gaps in our knowledge, plenty of them, but the fact that there’s a world of hurt headed our way and our actions will determine how bad it gets, isn’t one of them. If he admitted that, people might actually want to do something about it.

Here’s the text of the memo itself:

Dear Colleagues:

During the recent meeting of our Cross-EPA Work Group on Climate Adaptation, several individuals suggested it would be helpful to develop consistent messages about EPA’s climate adaptation efforts that could be used across all Program and Regional Offices. I’m pleased to report that the Office of Public Affairs (OPA) has developed a set of talking points about climate change that include several related to climate adaptation. These talking points were distributed today by Nancy Grantham (OPA) to the Communications Directors and the Regional Public Affairs Directors.

The following are the talking points distributed by OPA. I have highlighted those relating specifically to our adaptation work.

  • EPA recognizes the challenges that communities face in adapting to a changing climate.
  • EPA works with state, local, and tribal governments to improve infrastructure to protect against the consequences of climate change and natural disasters.
  • EPA also promotes science that helps inform states, municipalities, and tribes on how to plan for and respond to extreme events and environmental emergencies.
  • Moving forward, EPA will continue to advance its climate adaptation efforts, and has reconvened the cross-EPA Adaptation Working Group in support of those efforts.
  • Human activity impacts our changing climate in some manner. The ability to measure with precision the degree and extent of that impact, and what to do about it, are subject to continuing debate and dialogue.
  • While there has been extensive research and a host of published reports on climate change, clear gaps remain including our understanding of the role of human activity and what we can do about it.
  • As a key regulatory voice, it is important for the Agency to strive for a better understanding of these gaps given their potential significant influence on our country’s domestic economic viability
  • Administrator Pruitt encourages an open, transparent debate on climate science.

    Best regards,

    Joel D. Scheraga, Ph.D
    Senior Advisor for Climate Adaptation
    Office of Policy

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    US Warmhole

    Not all places on earth are experiencing global warming at the same rate. Let’s consider the U.S., the “lower 48 states.” Taking data from NOAA for the 344 climate divisions in this region, and computing the linear trend rate for each, we can see differences between different parts of the USA, with red dots for warming and blue for cooling, larger dots faster and smaller dots more slowly:

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    New Blog

    I’ve launched a new blog. I’m not abandoning this one, just starting another.


    The “YES” stands for “Youth Education in Science” because it’s about educating youth (including youthful 100-year-olds if they wish) about the science.

    I can use help, in many ways. One is to visit the blog and drive up traffic. That’s an odd request because at the moment there’s only one post and it’s just a “welcome” — no science yet.

    Another is to participate in comment threads. Answer questions. There’s quite a bit of knowledge among regular readers here, share it with others. Do be advised that the standard for civil discussion will be unbelievably high.

    I will also, eventually, welcome guest posts. There’s certainly no hurry … I haven’t even made a scientific post myself yet.

    And, anything you can do to spread the word will help.

    As usual, donations to this blog will also help. I’ve decided not to solicit donations on the ClimateYES blog, I just want to keep it informative.

    As I say, no need to hurry. But … think about it.

    This blog is made possible by readers like you; join others by donating at My Wee Dragon.

    Sea Level Acceleration

    Sea level isn’t just rising, it is accelerating. It did so during the 20th century, and has done so even more quite recently. ABC news reported the story, based on just-published research (Nerem et al. 2018), that the latest satellite data now show it plainly. The authors of the new study conclude:

    When taken with a rate of sea-level rise of 2.9 ± 0.4 mm/y (epoch 2005.0), the extrapolation of the quadratic gives 654 ± 119 mm of sea-level rise by 2100 relative to 2005, which is similar to the processed-based model projections of sea level for representative concentration pathways 8.5 in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Stated alternatively, the observed acceleration will more than double the amount of sea-level rise by 2100 compared with the current rate of sea-level rise continuing unchanged.

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    Response to Sheldon Walker

    Sheldon Walker commented on my most recent post about his most recent post. It began thus:

    Sheldon Walker | February 7, 2018 at 12:10 am | Reply

    Sheldon Walker: Oh, oh, I see, running away then. You yellow bastards! Come back here and take what’s coming to you. I’ll bite your legs off!

    I’ve got to give you credit; you do have a sense of humor.

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