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Climate Hustle

Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

 


Is the grid ready for electric vehicles?

Posted on 22 April 2019 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jan Ellen Spiegel

Some Americans appear increasingly ready to give up their gas cars for electric vehicles. But are the country’s electric grids prepared for them?

The question is a critical one in the quest to address climate change, because transportation is now the single largest sector contributing to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. EVs are widely viewed as a key way to help change that.

“The broad answer is actually yes, the grid can handle the introduction of large amounts of EVs,” said Matt Stanberry, vice president of Advanced Energy Economy, a business association dedicated to development of clean and affordable global energy systems. “The capability is there,” Stanberry said. “The question is how do you get there.”

Stanberry, along with others looking at the issue, believes what’s needed is not more power, it’s more efficiently and strategically provided power.

“Cars sit around 20, 21 hours a day. There’s plenty of time to charge – so quite a bit of flexibility,” said Dan Bowermaster, program manager for electric transportation at the Electric Power Research Institute, an independent non-profit center for public interest energy and environmental research, which has been looking at grid readiness for EVs.

But he said with new technology coming, such as storage and the ability to use a vehicle’s battery to power a home or to provide extra power to the grid, “Now is the time for everyone to prepare.”

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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #16

Posted on 21 April 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 

Story of the Week...

Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast

New evidence suggests one of the most important climate change data sets is getting the right answer.

 Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., in July 2016 

The temperature hovered around 100 degrees at the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, Mo., in July 2016. (Charlie Riedel/AP) 

A high-profile NASA temperature data set, which has pronounced the last five years the hottest on record and the globe a full degree Celsius warmer than in the late 1800s, has found new backing from independent satellite records — suggesting the findings are on a sound footing, scientists reported Tuesday.

If anything, the researchers found, the pace of climate change could be somewhat more severe than previously acknowledged, at least in the fastest warming part of the world — its highest latitudes.

“We may actually have been underestimating how much warmer [the Arctic’s] been getting,” said Gavin Schmidt, who directs NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, which keeps the temperature data, and who was a co-author of the new study released in Environmental Research Letters. 

Satellite confirms key NASA temperature data: The planet is warming — and fast by Chris Money, Climate & Environment, Washington Post, Apr 17, 2019

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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #16

Posted on 20 April 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Apr 14 through Sat, Apr 20, 2019

Editor's Pick

How We Roll: Study Shows We're More Lone Wolves Than Team Players

Results may explain why collective action on climate change and health policy is so difficult

Farmer

Credit: Steve Smith Getty Images

What credo would you choose: “Share and share alike?” or “To each his own”? The choice doesn’t relate only to material goods or socialism versus capitalism. It can also reflect attitudes about how we solve our collective problems, such as affordable access to health care or threats from climate change. Despite the existence of shared resources in our lives—water, air, land, tax dollars—some people will lean into a go-it-alone approach, with each individual deciding for themselves what’s best. Others will look to group decision-making. What’s the tipping point for shifting from maverick to team player?

Researchers at Leiden University, the Netherlands, addressed that question using a computer game in which students had to decide whether to use a set of virtual resources to solve a problem individually or collectively. The investigators found that these study participants had a “remarkable tendency” to waste resources for the sake of an independent solution rather than efficiently using what in the social sciences is referred to as “the commons.” The study results were published April 17 in ScienceAdvances.

The choice to follow the loner track even if it means wasted resources probably sounds familiar. Such useless waste, a “tragedy of the commons,” as the authors call it, is one that societies face in all kinds of situations. Study author Jörg Gross, assistant professor at Leiden University’s Institute of Psychology, cites several examples of real-world problems from modern life that inspired the study, including use of public versus private transportation. After all, almost everyone needs to get from Location A to Location B. Rather than create universal public transit solutions, though, people more often turn to using private vehicles. 

How We Roll: Study Shows We're More Lone Wolves Than Team Players by Emily Willingham, Behavior & Society, Scientific American, Apr 18, 2019 

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New research, April 8-14, 2019

Posted on 18 April 2019 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below. This post has separate sections for: Climate Change, Climate Change Impacts, Climate Change Mitigation, and Other Papers.

Climate change mitigation

Climate change communication

Perception of public opinion on global warming and the role of opinion deviance

Stories vs. facts: triggering emotion and action-taking on climate change (open access)

The role of narratives in human-environmental relations: an essay on elaborating win-win solutions to climate change and sustainability

Exploring fishermen’s local knowledge and perceptions in the face of climate change: the case of coastal Tamil Nadu, India

The closer, the better? Untangling scientist-practitioner engagement, interaction, and knowledge use

Climate Policy

Enacting a low-carbon economy: Policies and distrust between government employees and enterprises in China

Improving Nigeria's renewable energy policy design: A case study approach

Policy options to streamline the carbon market for agricultural nitrous oxide emissions (open access)

The Affordable Clean Energy rule and the impact of emissions rebound on carbon dioxide and criteria air pollutant emissions (open access)

Energy production

Public preferences for the Swiss electricity system after the nuclear phase-out: A choice experiment (open access)

Measuring whether municipal climate networks make a difference: the case of utility-scale solar PV investment in large global cities

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Getting involved with Climate Science via crowdfunding and crowdsourcing

Posted on 17 April 2019 by BaerbelW

This article was orginially published in December 2016 and was updated on April 7 2019 to include ClimateAdam's recently launched Patreon project.

At a guess, many of you reading this post are already making good personal choices to help mitigate climate change. Some of you would perhaps like to do more. So, here are some suggestions where you can get actively involved either via crowdfunding, where you make a monetary donation or via crowdsourcing, where you donate your or your computer's time to sift through different sets of data.

This post is divided into three sections:

Ongoing crowdfunding - sites and groups listed here are continously looking for donations

Shortterm crowdfunding - these are projects with a target amount and a set deadline

Crowdsourcing - projects looking for your (or your computer's) time


Ongoing crowdfunding

Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF)

Logo-CSLDF The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established to make sure that legal actions are not viewed as an attack against one scientist or institution, but as attacks against the scientific endeavor as a whole. As well. the CSLDF protects individual scientists facing unfair legal attacks by organized groups. Given the current climate - pun most definitely intended - in the U.S. the CSLDF's work is unfortunately becoming ever more important. Link to donation page

Dark Snow Project

Jason Box's and Peter Sinclair's The Dark Snow Project gathers ‘hard numbers’ from the Arctic to quantify the distant snow/ice melting impact of industrial and wildfire black carbon soot; mineral dust; and microbes, each melt factor having some human driven enhancement. Link to donation page LogoDarkSnow

The Australian Climate Council

LogoClimateCouncil After thousands of Australians chipped in to Australia's biggest crowd-funding campaign, the abolished Climate Commission has relaunched as the new, independent Climate Council. We exist to provide independent, authoritative climate change information to the Australian public. Why? Because our response to climate change should be based on the best science available. Link to donation page

Citizens’ Climate Education (CCE)

Your donation to Citizens’ Climate Education will train ordinary citizens to promote fair, effective, and non-partisan climate change solutions. Citizens’ Climate Education’s volunteers understand that we owe it to tomorrow’s generations to face our climate challenges today. These informed, respectful citizens work to build a clean and prosperous future, leading elected officials towards solutions that reduce carbon pollution, create jobs, and strengthen the American economy. Link to donation page Logo-CCE

Real Skeptic Blog

Logo-RS The goal of Real Skeptic is to look at claims about science and investigate what the scientific literature has to say about it. Since the official start of Real Sceptic a wide array of articles about skepticism were written for this website. There’s a heavy emphasis on the accuracy of the articles published and the usage of high quality sources. Link to Patreon page

Inside Climate News

InsideClimate News is an essential, global voice that exposes the truth about the climate crisis. We connect the dots to those responsible, so that you can hold them accountable. As we enter our 10th year, we’re launching The InsideClimate Circle to ensure that our award-winning nonprofit news organization remains fiercely independent and courageously persistent. Link to membership page ICN-Log

ClimateAdam

Logo-ClimateAdam Adam Levy is a doctor in atmospheric physics from the University of Oxford. During his research he saw the huge gap between what we know about climate change and how we talk about it. So he created the ClimateAdam channel dedicated to explaining climate change in playful and engaging ways: everything from the crucial science to the actions we can all take. In order to grow his channel, he set up a Patreon project.

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8 comments


The Future for Australian Coal

Posted on 16 April 2019 by Riduna

Problems 

Australia is the worlds’ largest exporter of coal, selling thermal coal for electricity generation and coking coal for smelting world-wide.  In 2017 its export of this commodity was valued at over $40 billion, most of it produced in Queensland and New South Wales.  In addition, coal is mined for domestic use with about 42.3 million tonnes,valued at over $4 billion being consumed in 2017, primarily for generating electricity.

Federal and State governments make important financial gains from this through collection of royalties and income tax on coal production and sale.  These gains enable governments to provide quality essential services which assist in maintaining a high standard of living for all Australians and sustain rural towns with steady employment provided directly by mining operations and related industries dependent on them.

However, a problem with coal is that its mining involves emission of methane and Australia has 21 coal mines currently in operation. The volume of methane emitted by them is not accurately known nor is it known if those emissions are included in official estimates of national emissions.  A more serious problem is that when burnt, coal produces carbon dioxide (CO2) and is estimated to be responsible for 30% of all COemissions in Australia – and world wide.

As such, coal production and combustion are major contributors to global warming and its effects on climate which in recent years have been marked by increases in the frequency and severity of weather events world-wide.  These increases have prompted growing public protests, particularly by younger people and calls for governments to be more active in planning and acting to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

 

 Fig 1.  Dead fish floating on the Darling River at Menindee, 2019.  Rivers stopped flowing. Over 1,000,000 fish died from hypoxia.  Picture:  Robert Gregory/AFP.

 

 Fig 2.    Livestock losses due to drowning in the 2019 North Queensland floods and subsequent starvation estimated at 500,000 head.  Source:  The Guardian.

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Should a Green New Deal include nuclear power?

Posted on 15 April 2019 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

It’s a perennial question. Perhaps, to quote “Doonesbury” cartoonist Garry Trudeau, one raising “some of the foremost rhetorical questions of our day.”

The issue here, in this month’s “This is Not Cool” video feature, is of course the potential that “clean” nuclear energy can help combat global warming by reducing future reliance on still more combustion of fossil fuels, in particular coal.

A little background here: Many fear that the projected threats posed by a rapidly warming climate are so serious that “even” nuclear power may shine by comparison, reducing need for more combustion of coal and other fossil fuels, including natural gas. This theory holds that renewable and other “clean energy” sources can’t do enough, soon enough.

Prospects for ‘green new nukes’ raise some of the day’s ‘foremost rhetorical questions …’

So, are what independent videographer Peter Sinclair refers to as “green new nukes” the way to go? Or at least one of the ways to go?

Maybe yes, but maybe no, two university energy experts say. They point not only to high construction costs but also to long lead times before on-the-drawing-board “new nukes” could really go commercial. They point to the pros and cons of keeping aging nuclear power plants on the job: “If we shut them down and replace them with natural gas,” says climate change expert (and Yale Climate Connections contributor) Zeke Hausfather, “that’s a disaster from a climate perspective.”

A nuclear power representative at one point in the video recalls often being asked by eager would-be customers, “Can we have it ready in six months?” Her reply: Think a decade or more, more like at least 15 years.

Given that a new nuclear power plant getting underway today is unlikely to come online, on average, until around 2033, those seeing nukes as a silver bullet are engaging in “a complete boondoggle and a waste of money,” Stanford’s Mark Jacobson says.
.
In the real world, concludes Hausfather of Berkeley, “new nuclear power is pretty much off the table” at least in the U.S. and in Western Europe, and “no new large build-out” is foreseeable.

Like it or not, find it promising or find it inadequate, Hausfather says, renewables appear to present the most promising prospect, “sort of ideal” compared with other foreseeable and practical options.

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18 comments


2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #15

Posted on 14 April 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week... 

How a Few Small Fixes Could Stop Climate Change

"We have to act fast, and achieve the biggest possible impact with the actions we take."

Stairs

Small steps could make a big impact on climate change. Source: Pexels 

When thinking about new ways to tackle climate change, University of Oxford researcher Thom Wetzer first points out how a modest rise in temperature could push the Earth to a tipping point that yields dramatic climate change. A little warming, for example, could cause Arctic permafrost to melt, unleashing enough heat-trapping methane to cook the planet.

Wetzer and his colleagues turned the idea of a tipping point on its head, theorizing that small changes in policy or the development of a new technology, for instance, could lead to big, positive changes in the way we produce and consume energy. Their proposal is outlined in a paper in the journal Science.

“Climate change brings risks that will, in one way or another, impact most people’s lives — and certainly the generations that follow,” said Wetzer, a co-author. “Whether that is through extreme weather events, changes in the economy or the reactions of politicians to these climate risks. We can either put up with these risks and watch them grow out of control, or we can act to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change.”

How a Few Small Fixes Could Stop Climate Change by Marlene Cimons, Nexus Media, Apr 11, 2019

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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #15

Posted on 13 April 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Apr 7 through Sat, Apr 13, 2019

Editor's Pick

The world could transition entirely to cheap, safe renewable energy before 2050: Finnish study

Solar Panels

A study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) from Germany says a global transition to the exclusive use of renewable energy is possible before 2050. (iStock) 

A global transition to the exclusive use of renewable energy sources is not only possible but also cheaper and safer than reliance on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, according to a new study from the Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) from Germany.

The study claims that the rapid development of renewable energy sources and energy storage technology will likely make it possible for the entire planet to reduce its CO2 emissions to zero even earlier than the current 2050 deadline.

The report is the first of its kind to suggest a cost-effective, all-inclusive, global roadmap to keep average global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius. It is also the first planet-wide climate change resistance plan that suggests not using carbon capture and sequestration (CCS) techniques to mechanically remove CO2 from the atmosphere.

According to the model, in 2050 some 69 percent of the world’s energy would come from solar panels, 18 percent from wind power, 3 percent from hydropower systems and 6 percent from bioenergy.

Fossil fuels and nuclear power would not be needed at all. Cars, planes and ships would run on carbon-neutral synthetic fuels produced from hydrogen and carbon dioxide.

The world could transition entirely to cheap, safe renewable energy before 2050: Finnish study, Yle News (Finland), Apr 12, 2019 

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New research, April 1-7, 2019

Posted on 12 April 2019 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below. This post has separate sections for: Climate Change, Climate Change Impacts, Climate Change Mitigation, and Other Papers.

Climate change impacts

Mankind

Potential impacts of climate change on dengue fever distribution using RCP scenarios in China (open access)

Effects of Increasing Aridity on Ambient Dust and Public Health in the U.S. Southwest under Climate Change (open access)

Climate change-related heat stress and subjective well-being in Australia

Climate change in Africa: costs of mitigating heat stress (open access)

Projections of human exposure to dangerous heat in African cities under multiple socioeconomic and climate scenarios (open access)

Characterizing Spatial Variability of Climate‐Relevant Hazards and Vulnerabilities in the New England Region of the United States (open access)

Understanding the impacts of short‐term climate variability on drinking water source quality: observations from three distinct climatic regions in Tanzania (open access)

Modelling and evaluating the impacts of climate change on three major crops in south-eastern Australia using regional climate model simulations

Potential impacts of extreme weather events in main maize (Zea mays L.) producing areas of South Africa under rainfed conditions

Identifying climate risk causing maize (Zea mays L.) yield fluctuation by time-series data

Vulnerability of sorghum production to extreme, sub-seasonal weather under climate change (open access)

Vulnerability assessment of Guyanese sugar to floods

An innovation perspective to climate change adaptation in coffee systems (open access)

Socio-ecological vulnerability to climate change/variability in Central Rift Valley, Ethiopia (open access)

Enhancing coastal areas governance for sustainable tourism in the context of urbanization and climate change in eastern Thailand (open access)

How are healthy, working populations affected by increasing temperatures in the tropics? Implications for climate change adaptation policies

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What will Earth look like in 2100?

Posted on 11 April 2019 by Guest Author

Climate Adam asks - how will climate change transform the world over the next 81 years? Will we rise to the challenge, or be overwhelmed by global warming by the year 2100?

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Climate change poses security risks, according to decades of intelligence reports

Posted on 9 April 2019 by dana1981

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

A series of authoritative governmental and nongovernmental analyses over more than three decades lays a strong foundation for concern over climate change implications for national security.

Most recently, the national intelligence community – including the Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and other federal agencies – in January 2019 submitted the annual “Worldwide Threat Assessment.” In it, the intelligence agencies stated that “climate change is an urgent and growing threat to our national security, contributing to increased natural disasters, refugee flows, and conflicts over basic resources such as food and water. These impacts are already occurring, and the scope, scale, and intensity of these impacts are projected to increase over time.”

That report from National Intelligence Director Daniel R. Coats, a former U.S. Republican senator from Indiana, was just the most recent in a long string of analyses that any upcoming challenges to such conclusions will have to address. Those conclusions clearly are at odds with the Trump administration’s efforts to undermine and reverse federal climate policies, and they cast doubt on the President’s next day tweet that “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”

With the White House now reportedly considering an executive order to establish a Presidential Committee on Climate Security that would contest such findings, it’s useful to review the history of climate change/national security official reports and findings. Although it’s unclear where the internal White House thinking on such a committee will lead, it’s been authoritatively reported that the push for such an effort is led by two individuals – Will Happer and Steven Koonin – widely known to have climate change views far different from those of the “established” science community as represented, for instance, by IPCC and the National Academy of Sciences.

Former Princeton physicist Will Happer, now with the White House staff, has a long history of scientifically challenged views about climate science. In the past a frequent favorite witness before House hearings overseen by members rejecting the climate science community “consensus,” Happer has acknowledged in a court case receiving funding from Peabody Coal and from other fossil fuel interests. In 2015 the New York Times reported that he was caught in a Greenpeace “sting” agreeing to take money from unknown Middle Eastern oil and gas interests in exchange for writing a report challenging climate science. Steven Koonin has written on blogs and in the Wall Street Journal pieces in stark contrast to the view of the overwhelming scientific consensus.

Concerned about reports of a potential new presidential review of climate change and national security, 58 former military and intelligence officials on March 5 sent a letter to the president cautioning that “imposing a political test on reports issued by the science agencies, and forcing a blind spot onto the national security assessments that depend on them, will erode our national security.”

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Skeptical Science at EGU 2019 - blogging from day to day

Posted on 8 April 2019 by BaerbelW

Just like last year, I travelled to Vienna to participate in the General Assembly of the European Geoscience Union (EGU) held from April 8 to 12. Different to 2018, I'll (try to) add to this blog on a daily basis, recounting what happened during each day as time allows. So please, remember to check back every once in a while to see any updates! I'll use the comment thread to highlight updates.

WelcomeEGU2019

As this recap will get a bit lengthy, there'll be one post per day and you can jump directly to the different days via this list as pages get published:


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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #14

Posted on 7 April 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... Toon of the Week... John Cook in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

How global warming is permanently reshaping the Great Barrier Reef

Great Barrier Reef Before & After

Bleached corals turn a ghostly white color underwater. If they can't recover quickly enough, the bleached corals die and algae coats the once-colorful surface. These images from Lizard Island, part of the Great Barrier Reef, capture the aftermath of coral mortality. Image courtesy of The Ocean Agency / XL Catlin Seaview Survey

Most thriving cities boast complex architecture — tall towers looming over narrow alleyways and plenty of nooks and crannies packed with life. Coral reefs are the cities of the undersea world, gradually constructed by the soft-bodied animals that build hard skeletons around themselves.

According to a new study in Nature, the Great Barrier Reef — the world’s largest coral system — experienced two widespread coral bleaching events in 2016 and 2017 that did more than just damage thousands of miles of corals.

The bleaching and subsequent coral death, caused by unusually warm water, also impaired the reef’s ability to replenish and repair its architecture. The study found that afterward, the number of newly born corals landing on the reefs dropped 89 percent below average historical levels.

Moreover, these recent replacement baby corals weren’t the table-shaped or big branching species that provide the most “city” architecture. Even if the reef is someday covered in coral once again, the structure itself won’t be the same, with consequences for the reef’s biodiversity.

The Great Barrier Reef has rebounded from cyclones and smaller bleaching incidents before, the researchers said. It’s made up of some 3,000 interconnected reefs, so in the past if one reef got damaged, others nearby could resupply the area with new corals. But the modern bleaching events — with their massive scale and increasing frequency — could put an end to that recovery cycle.

How global warming is permanently reshaping the Great Barrier Reef by Viky Stein, PBS News Hour, Apr 3, 2019 

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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #14

Posted on 6 April 2019 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 31 through Sat, Apr 6, 2019

Editor's Pick

We’re gobbling up the Earth’s resources at an unsustainable rate

Petroleum Field at Moreni, Romani 1920

Petroleum Field at Moreni, Romania, 1920   Photo by Wikimedia Commons 

George Monbiot, a correspondent for Britain’s The Guardian newspaper and known for his environmental and political activism, has made a surprising call for people in the United Kingdom to cut the use of cars by 90 per cent over the next decade.

Many will balk at this idea but it is perhaps sounding somewhat less bizarre after the release by the United Nations of a new report which paints a scary picture of the rate at which we are gobbling up the Earth’s resources.

The global automobile industry requires huge amounts of mined metals as well as other natural resources such as rubber, and the switch to electric vehicles, while a necessary move to curb air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, is not without some adverse environmental consequences: large-scale lithium mining for the batteries required to run electric vehicles could cause fresh environmental headaches.

UN Environment’s Global Resources Outlook 2019, prepared by the International Resource Panel, examines the trends in natural resources and their corresponding consumption patterns since the 1970s. Its main findings:

  • The extraction and processing of materials, fuels and food contribute half of total global greenhouse gas emissions and over 90 per cent of biodiversity loss and water stress
  • Resource extraction has more than tripled since 1970, including a fivefold increase in the use of non-metallic minerals and a 45 per cent increase in fossil fuel use
  • By 2060, global material use could double to 190 billion tonnes (from 92 billion), while greenhouse gas emissions could increase by 43 per cent

We’re gobbling up the Earth’s resources at an unsustainable rateNews, UN Environment, Apr 3, 2019

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New research, March 25-31, 2019

Posted on 5 April 2019 by Ari Jokimäki

A selection of new climate related research articles is shown below. This post has separate sections for: Climate Change, Climate Change Impacts, Climate Change Mitigation, and Other Papers.

Climate change

Uncertainty in climate projections and time of emergence of climate signals in the western Canadian Prairies

Temperature, precipitation, wind

Fast warming of the surface ocean under a climatological scenario

Robust regional warming amplifications directly following the anthropogenic emission (open access)

Heat transport pathways into the Arctic and their connections to surface air temperatures (open access)

Natural Climate Oscillations May Counteract Red Sea Warming over the Coming Decades

Interannual variability of surface air temperature over mid-high latitudes of Eurasia during boreal autumn

How much has urbanisation affected United Kingdom temperatures? (open access)

Assessing Climate Change Impacts on Human‐Perceived Temperature Extremes and Underlying Uncertainties

Regulation of the intraseasonal oscillation over mid-to-high latitude Eurasia on winter surface air temperature over China

The variability of South Korean temperature associated with climate indicators

Optimization and evaluation of a monthly air temperature and precipitation gridded dataset with a 0.025° spatial resolution in China during 1951–2011

Long‐term consistent monthly temperature and precipitation grid datasets for Switzerland over the past 150 years

Quantifying uncertainty in twenty-first century climate change over India

Decadal predictability of temperature and precipitation means and extremes in a perfect-model experiment

Sensitivity of extreme rainfall to temperature in semi-arid Mediterranean regions

Changes in extreme precipitation over dry and wet regions of China during 1961‐2014

Non-monsoonal precipitation response over the Western Himalayas to climate change

Inter-comparison of remotely sensed precipitation datasets over Kenya during 1998–2016

Why does Amazon precipitation decrease when tropical forests respond to increasing CO2? (open access)

Numerical simulation of the effects of land use and cover change on the near-surface wind speed over Eastern China

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Why results from the next generation of climate models matter

Posted on 4 April 2019 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief.  Prof Stephen Belcher is chief scientist at the UK Met OfficeDr Olivier Boucher is head of the Institut Pierre Simon Laplace (IPSL) Climate Modelling Centre; and Prof Rowan Sutton is director of climate research at the UK National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), University of Reading.

The first results from a new generation of global climate models, which are valuable tools for understanding climate change, are now becoming available from climate research centres around the world.

These new climate models make maximum use of advances in technology – such as increased supercomputing power – and feature many improvements in their treatment of Earth’s climate system. These include better representation of the weather systems that bring us wind and rain, the clouds within those weather systems, and aerosols – the myriad of small particles in the atmosphere that come from natural sources and human activities.

An unprecedented amount of information is available from the new models about the changing character of weather processes in a changing climate, which is important for understanding our exposure to climate hazards and how to make society more resilient to climate change.

Many of the new models from centres around the world have been recently finalised, with others due to be completed over the coming weeks. They will be included in the next international comparison of climate models, known as the sixth “Coupled Model Intercomparison Project” (CMIP6). This will provide the foundation of climate model information for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) sixth assessment report (AR6) – which is due to be published in 2021.

From an international policy perspective, an important function of climate models is to provide evidence for estimates of the permissible global greenhouse gas emissions available to stay within a given level of global warming. This is known as a global “carbon budget” and varies in size according to the temperature goal in question and the defined likelihood of staying below these thresholds.

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7 comments


Protecting oil companies instead of the climate-vulnerable is elitist

Posted on 2 April 2019 by dana1981

This is a re-post from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

At a recent House congressional hearing on legislation aimed at addressing homelessness, Rep. Sean Duffy, a Wisconsin Republican, introduced an amendment aimed at demonstrating how addressing climate change could increase the cost of housing. In the hearing Duffy said, “We talk about how we care about the poor, but all the while we’ll sign bills that dramatically increase the cost of a family to get into a home” during his criticism of the cost of a Green New Deal. He continued:  “…[R]ich, wealthy elites who will look at this and go, ‘I love it, because I’ve got big money in the bank; everyone should do this. We should all sign onto it.’ But if you’re a poor family, just trying to make ends meet, it’s a horrible idea.”

The great irony is that poor families are the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. They have the fewest resources available to adapt or recover when struck by a climate-amplified hurricane or wildfire or flood. One study found that nearly half of the low-income parents affected by Hurricane Katrina experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. Poorer developing countries are also the most vulnerable to climate change because of their lack of resources and because they tend to be nearer the equator where temperatures are already hot. Research has shown that countries with more temperate climates like the United States and Europe are near the peak temperature for economic activity. Poorer tropical countries are already hotter than optimal, so additional warming hits them particularly hard.

Surveys have also shown that minorities in America are more concerned about climate change and more supportive of climate policies, likely in part because they are more likely to live in close proximity to coal power plants. Poorer households living near these sources of air and water pollution would directly benefit from climate policies that accelerate the transition away from dirty fossil fuels toward clean energy. And as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a New York Democrat, noted in her viral response to Duffy, millions of Puerto Ricans were severely impacted and thousands killed by Hurricane Maria. A year-and-a-half later, the island is still struggling to recover and is now facing a food stamp crisis.

Calling climate policy efforts “elitist” is thus completely backwards, especially when considering that opposition to such policies mostly benefits oil companies, many of which are among the most profitable in the world.

That said, there are valid concerns about the financial impacts of climate policies on lower income households. Policies such as a tax on carbon pollution would raise energy prices, and lower-income households spend a relatively large percentage of their incomes on energy. A smart climate policy should take these effects into account.

For example, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would offset the effects of a carbon tax by rebating the revenue equally to all American households. Because wealthier individuals have a bigger carbon footprint and because the revenue would be rebated equally to all Americans, a study of the bill’s impacts found that it would generate net revenue for 86 percent of the poorest households, whose dividend checks would be larger than their increased energy costs.

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Asteroid to hit Earth in August 2046 - Emergency IPCC UN panel formed

Posted on 1 April 2019 by scaddenp

Scientists have today revealed that thanks to new radar imaging system, a 20 km-wide asteroid is on a probable collision course with earth and they calculate it has an 85% probability of striking the planet between 23-25 August, 2046. Observers from centers in Chile to Finland have confirmed the observations and are urging governments worldwide to begin efforts to avoid a global catastrophe. The plan is to mobilize industry and research together into an effort to deflect the asteroid before a collision. Briefed earlier in special meetings, the UN has formed an Intergovernmental Panel on Cosmic Catastrophe (IPCC), to consider options and advise governments. The asteroid is of a similar size to that associated with the dinosaur extinction.

Cranky uncles

Cartoon by John Cook, https://crankyuncles.com/

The plan however has immediately run into opposition from dozens of retired scientists and bloggers.

“This is just alarmist talk based in computer models. So far there is no solution to the 3-body problem in gravity and this is clearly a much more complicated N-body problem. The system is chaotic and tiny errors in measurement will blow the computer models away” said Prof Al Kaos. He dismissed the accuracy with which solar orbits are determined and navigation of planetary rockets. “The dirty secret is that they are making course corrections all the time. Tell me how Hyperion will look next year before telling me where an asteroid will be in 2046”. Scientists acknowledged some uncertainty but have stuck to their probability estimate.

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2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #13

Posted on 31 March 2019 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Video of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

State of the Climate in 2018 shows accelerating climate change impacts

WMO State of the Climate 2018

 

The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization.

The WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2018, its 25th anniversary edition, highlights record sea level rise, as well as exceptionally high land and ocean temperatures over the past four years. This warming trend has lasted since the start of this century and is expected to continue.

“Since the Statement was first published, climate science has achieved an unprecedented degree of robustness, providing authoritative evidence of global temperature increase and associated features such as accelerating sea level rise, shrinking sea ice, glacier retreat and extreme events such as heat waves,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

These key climate change indicators are becoming more pronounced. Carbon dioxide levels, which were at 357.0 parts per million when the statement was first published in 1994, keep rising – to 405.5 parts per million in 2017. For 2018 and 2019, greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to increase further.

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