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2013 SkS Weekly Digest #42

Posted on 20 October 2013 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

In Science of Climate Change online class starting next week on Coursera, reknowned climate scientist, David Archer makes "an offer you cannot refuse" to all SkS readers. Check it out and take appropriate action.

Toon of the Week

 2013 Toon 42

h/t to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week

"The tendency by many members of Congress to deny the reality of the government shutdown and the cost that would have accompanied a default on U.S. debt obviously mirrors the denial of the climate crisis and a refusal to recognize the cost of continuing to spew all this carbon into the atmosphere," (Al) Gore said Thursday. 

Al Gore Draws Parallels Between Budget Crisis And Climate Change Denial by Kate Shepard, The Huffington Post, Oct 17, 2013

SkS Week in Review

SkS Rebuttal Article Updated

Dana's Does the global warming 'pause' mean what you think it means? has been incorporated into the rebuttal to the myth IPCC admits global warming has paused.

Coming Soon on SkS 

  • Be Part of a New Collaborative Approach to Media Coverage of Climate (Stephen Leahy)
  • Fox News defends global warming false balance by denying the 97% consensus (Dana)
  • 2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43A (John H)
  • Why trust climate models? It’s a matter of simple science (Scott K Johnson)
  • The 2012 State of the Climate is easily misunderstood (MarkR)
  • Double Standard on Internal Variability (tamino)
  • 2013 SkS Weekly News Roundup #43B (John H)

 In the Works

  • What's funnier than a climate denier at a science fair? (greenman)
  • How we discovered the 97% scientific consensus on man-made global warming (MarkR)
  • What the new IPCC report says about sea level rise (Freya Roberts)
  • How did Ancient Coral Survive in a High CO2 World? (Rob Painting)
  • The Sun Has Cooled, So Why Are The Deep Oceans Warming? (Rob Painting)

SkS in the News

Sou at HotWhopper debunked Bob Tisdale's cherry picking and referenced Dana's Does the global warming 'pause' mean what you think it means?.

The Cook et al. 97% consensus was referenced by Chris Mooney at Mother Jones and Payson Roundup.

SkS Spotlights

Spurred by the Taliban's destruction of the 1600-year-old Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan, CyArk was founded in 2003 to ensure heritage sites are available to future generations, while making them uniquely accessible today. CyArk operates internationally as a 501(c)3 non profit organization with the mission of using new technologies to create a free, 3D online library of the world's cultural heritage sites before they are lost to natural disasters, destroyed by human aggression or ravaged by the passage of time. 

The CyArk Hazard Map presents the potentially devastating effects of seismic activity and climate change on our unique landscapes and legacies.

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Comments

Comments 1 to 9:

  1. An interesting news on the NSW fires worth pondering on.

    state of emergency declared as bushfire conditions worsen

    Extraordinary precaution policy have been activated by the premier - forced evacuation by police and demolition of buildings if necessary. That's what he said inexplanation:

    "I'm sure it will be [controversial]. There isn't much in the fire-management business that isn't controversial … But I'd rather be copping criticism in two or three days' time for what didn't occur."

    Note that this is the same person who denies the necessity to address global warming (essntially repeats the talking of his federal counterpart and colleage Tony Abbott) thus does not make a connection between those two issues. Obviously, he may not be facing the consequences of the related issue yet, but his successor definitely will.

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  2. First-person views of adaptation to climate change, via Australian firefighter helmet cameras. 

    Adaptation is a deceptively soft word. 

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  3. Rather than Atlas, perhaps it should have been Sisyphus, letting the Eaarth (<----not a typo) just roll down the hill...:(

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  4. Here's an article that may have some fairly profound implications:

    Contribution of ocean overturning circulation to tropical rainfall peak in the Northern Hemisphere

    The final sentence of the abstract is a candidate for masterpiece of understatement. 

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  5. Chief UN climate herder Figueres makes a radical proposition: yes, climate politics, climate policy and climate outcomes are connected.

    UN climate chief Christiana Figueres calls for global action amid NSW bushfires

    Of course she'll be denounced as rude and insensitive. It's sort of the global equivalent of the 2nd Amendment discussion. 

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  6. Carrying on my conversation with myself, it strikes me that this year's early and large fire situation in Australia is roughly akin to what hurricane Sandy was to the US, except perhaps more so. We have: 

    -- Historically hottest September on record for Australia, following...

    -- Australia's warmest winter on record, which came after...

    -- Australia's hottest summer on record, as part of...

    -- Australia's warmest 12 months on record, which contained...

    -- Australia's warmest day, week and month on record, appearing likely to lead to...

    -- Australia's warmest calendar year on record. 

    Yet when I look at comments attached to the Figueres article above, I see familiar, confidently expressed opinions that this year's fire situation in Australia is quite normal, nothing out of the ordinary, to be expected, and most of all definitely not connected with climate. 

    Really not climate, for sure? But the climate -has- changed:

    So how can people say with such certainty that this year's unusually large, early and dynamic fires have no relationship with climate? Last year's fires occurred in the context of warm and dry conditions, something everybody agrees encourages fires. This year's fires are happening in similar context.  If we see year-on-year increases in fire activity and those years are accompanied by atmospheric changes that are larger than weather and these changes tend to encourage fires, then what's a reasonable, consistent explanation for how these fires are unconnected with climate? 

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  7. doug_bostrom,

    I chipin to your conversation.

    The factors that contribute bushfires in AU are not only the record high temperatures (as proven in your last post) but also:

    - large amout of burnable biomass in scherophyl forests

    - dry conditions

    - wind

    The last factor is unpredictable (weather) but the first two are changing with changing climate. In particular, recent studies concluded the intensification of LaNina/ElNino cycles on E coast; means more intense LaNina floods and drier/hotter ElNino. This is exactly what we've experienced in last few years: remember record floods of 2010-2011 which even contributed to the unusual sea level negative departure from the satellite treands by 7mm? I've been watching the rainfall data in the fire affected area (Blackheath NSW where I own the house which is now under threat to burn) during that time. The rainfall anomally was high (some twice as much fell) and summers mild, contributing to the high understory growth. Then came the record dry spring - the driest in my memory - only some 70mm fell in 3 and half mounts to date. Did ElNino return? To my feeling it did! But if the ENSO index is globally neutral yet, what would happen if the index becomes truly positive?

    I saw some comments "bushfires have always been part of AU life and cliame change has nothing to do with it" (ala "climate has always been changing" argument) but the silly commenters don't understand that ENSO fluctiations are driving the bushfire conditions and that said fluctuations are predicted to intensify. And what we're seing today is the result of such intensification. And remember, this is just the pre-season (the begin of official suthern summer is still 2 month away), it can only become worse next time, if such conditions align in the middle of summer...

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  8. Doug:

    Perhaps you could channel your musings into a blog post article. As fate would have it, Dana is on a two week vacation in Australia. We therefore need other authors to step up to the plate and knock it our of the park. (World Series time in the US.)

    I'm watching CNN. It just reported on the wildfires. Quoted an offical who said, "As bad as it gets!" 

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  9. Doug, I second John's suggestion...a spiffy blog post is in the making, with what you've posted, and your considerable gift of elucidation.

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