David Attenborough has graced us with an outstanding documentary about climate change, and about the modern political struggle around it. Start with James Hansen … end with Greta Thunberg.
Thank you, David, and thank you, BBC. This video may not be available forever, so please get lots of people to watch it here soon. It’s too important to ignore.
And this essay essay in the U.K. Guardian is a slam dunk.
A new paper by Willeit et al. reports on the first successful model simulation of global climate over the last three million years. That’s a lot of years. You can find out more, from the lead author himself, at the RealClimate blog.
El Niño (“the little boy”) is the warm phase of an ocean/atmosphere oscillation; it helps heat go from the ocean to the atmosphere and warm up our weather. During its counterpart, la Niña (“the little girl”), it does the opposite, moving heat from the atmosphere into the oceans. The whole phenomenon is called the El Niño southern oscillation, or ENSO, but it often happens that we just say El Niño for the whole thing.
It’s one of the things that affects Earth’s global temperature — temporarily — and there are lots of ways to quantify it, i.e. to “put a number on it.” One of the best is MEI, the Multivariate El Niño Index. It’s the way I describe El Niño when I adjust global temperature for temporary factors (volcanic eruptions, solar variations, and yes, El Niño).
There’s a new kid in town, or at least, a new way to quantify El Niño. The scientists who constructed MEI have come up with a new, improved version (version 2), so of course I’ve re-computed the adjustments based on the new version of MEI data. Since the new version covers the year 1979 to the present, that’s the time span for which I’ve computed adjusted data.
This is the way we’re headed. What are we going to do about it?