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Climate Science News of the Last Week (or So)

Other than all the big news we wrote about last week (click on our Global Warming or Science categories above), here are a number of climate science stories I thought were worth sharing:

Climate Science

Human Impact of Climate Change

While many might think that environmentalists only want to protect the environment for its own sake (not a bad thing in itself, I would say), the truth is that climate change is going to harm humans. A new study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds that climate change threatens Europe’s standard of living.

Warmed waters mean bigger cyclones and hurricanes. A clip from before the time Cyclone Yasi hit Australia, with mention of the recent severe floods in Australia, too:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zZ7F8i_haok

For more along these lines, check out Climate Central’s New Normals video, its in-depth article on the Colorado River drying up, and our recent post on the link between extreme weather and food price spikes.

World is Warming

Via one of our favorite climate denial de-crockers, here’s a great graph of clear global warming in the lower troposphere. (For more on why he was sharing this, check out the link above.)

click to enlarge

And how about an amazing time history of atmospheric CO2 video from NOAA’s Carbon Tracker Channel to go along with that?

And if you want to into the warming in West Antarctica, here’s a piece by a climate scientists for you: West Antarctica: still warming.

And, showing that the Arctic is actually melting faster than climate scientists even predicted (i.e. there are more climate feedback cycles causing warming, or at least melting, to happen faster than expected), here’s another great graph brought to us by de-crocker Peter Sinclair. And here’s what he had to say about it:

The graph above from Marika Holland at NCAR (National Center for Atmospheric Research) compares the most well known projections of arctic sea ice melt from the IPCC, with what the sea ice is actually doing. (red)

It’s  now clearer than ever that, at least for his very important metric, climate science has not been able to keep up with the accelerating pace of change in the real, natural world.

Climate change is here. We’re doing it. The consequences are dire. We need to stop

click to enlarge

And yes, we did set some records in January with regards to this matter. “January 2011 had the lowest ice extent for the month since the beginning of satellite records,” the National Snow and Ice Data Center reports. For more on this story, visit the first link in this paragraph. Here are some more graphs to have some fun with:

And, via wikipedia, which got this graph from PIOMAS:

Clarifying Climate Science (Monckton Myths)

Have you heard of Cristopher Monckton (aka Lord Mockton)? He is one of the most ridiculous climate science deniers out there. But his claims have been debunked and debunked and debunked again and again (though, many misinformed citizens probably don’t know it).  John Cook of Skeptical Science recently put together an excellent Monckton Myths post. Using peer-reviewed science, he takes Monckton’s claims down one by one.

And if you prefer video news, here are two video pieces doing a similar thing. Monckton can’t get much respect these days, but the point is, he doesn’t deserve it. As climate denier debunker Peter Sinclair notes:

When the ever-credulous anti-science wing of the Republican party (actually, that’s the only wing of the Republican party anymore..) that once invited you as a sole witness before congress, now won’t even give you a seat at the witness table, well, you know you have a credibility problem.

Rising CO2 is Linked to Mass Extinctions

More and more evidence is showing that the world’s biggest extinction events were directly linked to dramatic increases in CO2. Below is a graph related to that, and a preface to it from Peter Sinclair.

Peter Ward’s book, “Under a Green Sky”, kept me awake for several hot summer nights a few years ago.  It’s a description of the ancient greenhouse event that kicked off the “Great Dying” – the Permian Extinction, the most catastrophic period in the planet’s history, a near total wipeout of all species.  A large body of evidence has been accumulating that most of the extinction events in the planet’s history have followed greenhouse events.

I wrote to Ward to find out more, and he sent me the graph above, which is eloquent.

You can see Ward interviewed on the NOVA program I posted last week, and his  piece in Scientific American is useful and informative.

Here’s more on the Permian Extinction:

And the Denier Response

Of course, the only response for deniers if the spreading of misinformation, sabotaging climate science, and attacking climate scientists. Re-posted from our global warming politics wrap-up of the week, here’s more on that:

No Need to Read the Literature or Understand the Science, Just Try to Sabotage it Because Liberals Support It

Simple tactic. Simple thinking. Catastrophic consequences.

Before the video, here’s more from Peter Sinclair of Climate Denial Crock of the Week:

Did you ever wonder why so many websites and comment threads are crawling with right wing climate denying trolls?  There’s a reason. They are an organized movement, promoting ignorance, and hatred for curiosity, knowledge, and expertise.

The clip is from a longer film, “AstroTurf Wars”, which describes how democracy is being distorted and hobbled by corporate funded “citizens” whose full time profession is to spread lies, confuse voters, and disrupt the democratic process with bad information.

Believe me, I see them on here (probably everyday).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wwKgBy2wyMc

12 Politicans and Executives Blocking Progress on Global Warming

Rolling Stone calls out 12 ‘leading’ politicians and business execs who are blocking progress on global warming. Can you guess who’s on the list?

Fabricated Quote Used to Discredit Climate Scientist

I wasn’t sure if I should put this in the science or politics wrap-up, maybe both. Leading climate scientist Gavin Schmidt of NASA was recently misquoted (well, actually, the journalist just made up what he said altogether) in a piece making him look like someone who doesn’t want to discuss the “uncertainties” of climate science. This incidence also made Joe Romm of Climate Progress remember a similar story from awhile back and a good explanation of how the anti-science crowd operates.

Leading Climate Scientist from NOAA on the Climate Disinformation Campaign

“We are facing a well-organized and well-funded campaign attacking our science and our integrity, spreading confusion and disinformation,” Roger-Revelle-medal-winner Pieter P. Tans, a leading climate scientist at the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory in Boulder, Colorado, said recently. More on his take on the climate disinformation campaign available here.

Infamous Climate Disinformer Delingpole Gets His Tongue Tied

If you missed or didn’t watch this part of Science Under Attack, below is one of the parts on Delingpole’s confessions on his lack of scientific expertise and inability to deal with . And here’s more from Joe Romm on the Delingpole interview and his disinformation.

FOX News “Personal Ad” for Climate Science Disinformer

Wow, when you thought you couldn’t expect worse. Here’s some extended coverage from Grist:

Fox News “science” reporter Gene Koprowski doesn’t care if you believe in science. He just wants you to be willing to say it’s dumb. Global warming causing cooling? Climate change changing the climate? What is this, CRAZY TOWN? Would you say that on the record, please? And step on it, he’s on a deadline.

To that effect, Koprowski has put out the world’s saddest personal ad, seeking out the science-averse or hypocritical for long walks on the ever-shrinking, hurricane-pounded beach:

1. ENVIRONMENT/TODAY: Global Warming Causing More Snow? Come Again? — FoxNews.com
Deadline: Feb 01, 2011 11:00 PM EST

Former Vice President Al Gore told Bill O’Reilly that: “A rise in global temperature can create all sorts of havoc, ranging from hotter dry spells to colder winters, along with increasingly violent storms, flooding, forest fires and loss of endangered species.” We need comments from someone who can point out the ridiculousness of his argument, even if you accept the somewhat-implausible argument. I’ve been assigned this story just now by Fox News in New York for the science and technology desk. I’m looking for comments. Please send comments via e-mail. Please send your name, title and company you represent. Please send comments by 10 p.m. CST. Contact: Gene Koprowski, [redacted]

Wall Street Journal Pro-Science on Other Issues, Anti-Science on Climate Change

Another Rupert Murdoch news outlet (Murdoch was #1 on Rolling Stone’s list above), the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) is notoriously bad at reporting on climate change and notoriously good at spreading climate misinformation. Professor Scott Mandia recently conducted a survey of WSJ articles and found that its climate science coverage was horrendous, with its coverage almost opposite to the scientific consensus.

The WSJ misreports on climate science 93% of the time!

97% of climate science experts and every international scientific organization endorses the conclusion that human activities are primarily responsible for modern global warming.  An honest newspaper should reflect that consensus,” Mandia writes.

Well, who needs science anyway?…




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