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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

Posted on 5 January 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Editorial of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Reviews... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

The signal of human-caused climate change has emerged in everyday weather, study finds 

Satellite Image of Weather on 01/02/20

Satellite image showing weather on Jan. 2, 2019. (NOAA)

For the first time, scientists have detected the “fingerprint” of human-induced climate change on daily weather patterns at the global scale. If verified by subsequent work, the findings, published Thursday in Nature Climate Change, would upend the long-established narrative that daily weather is distinct from long-term climate change.

The study’s results also imply that research aimed at assessing the human role in contributing to extreme weather events such as heat waves and floods may be underestimating the contribution.

The new study, which was in part motivated by President Trump’s tweets about how a cold day in one particular location disproves global warming, uses statistical techniques and climate model simulations to evaluate how daily temperatures and humidity vary around the world. Scientists compared the spatial patterns of these variables with what physical science shows is expected because of climate change.

The study concludes that the spatial patterns of global temperature and humidity are, in fact, distinguishable from natural variability, and have a human component to them. Going further, the study concludes that the long-term climate trend in global average temperature can be predicted if you know a single day’s weather information worldwide. 

The signal of human-caused climate change has emerged in everyday weather, study finds by Paul Freedman, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Jan 2, 2020

Click here to access the complete article as published on the Washington Post website.


Editorial of the Week...

We are seeing the very worst of our scientific predictions come to pass in these bushfires

As a climate scientist I am wondering if the Earth system has now breached a tipping point

Australia Bushfire

‘The thing that really terrifies me is that weather conditions considered extreme by today’s standards will seem sedate in the future.’ Photograph: Peter Parks/AFP via Getty Images 

As a climate scientist, the thing that really terrifies me is that weather conditions considered extreme by today’s standards will seem sedate in the future. What’s unfolding right now is really just a taste of the new normal.

At this point I could restate all the lines of scientific evidence that clearly show the links between human-caused climate change and the intensification of extreme weather conditions not just in Australia, but all over the world.

To avoid sounding like a broken record, instead I will say that as a lead author on the forthcoming Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Sixth Assessment report of the global climate due out next year, I can assure you that the planetary situation is extremely dire.

It’s no exaggeration to say my work as scientist now keeps me up at night. 

We are seeing the very worst of our scientific predictions come to pass in these bushfires, Opinion by Joëlle Gergis, Comment is Free, Guardian, Jan 2, 2020

Click here to access the complete op-ed as publihed on the Guardian website. 


El Niño/La Niña Update...

A visit to the zoo: climate patterns that can precede ENSO by Emily Becker, ENSO Blog, NOAA's Climate.gov, Dec 23, 2019 


Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 01 


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Doubling down: Researchers investigate compound climate risks (Daniel Grossman)
  • Year-end climate science summary (Dana)
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #1, 2020 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Community choice aggregation: A brief introduction (Bruce Lieberman)
  • What psychotherapy can do for the climate and biodiversity crises (Caroline Hickman)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #2 (John Hartz)
  • 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #2 (John Hartz) 

Climate Feedback Claim Reviews...

Article falsely attributes invented quotes to James Hansen

CLAIM/SOURCE: Father of Global Warming’ Scientist Finally Admits Theory Is Wrong by Baxter Dmitry, Principia Scientific, July 8, 2018 -- Versions of this 2018 article have more recently been widely shared on Facebook.

VERDICT: Inaccurate

KEY TAKE AWAY: This article falsely attributes quotes to NASA climate scientist James Hansen, when these statements are actually the opinions of others. It also misrepresents 1988 projections of global warming produced by Hansen and his colleagues, which were, in reality, accurate.

Article falsely attributes invented quotes to James Hansen by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Jan 1, 2020

Click here to access the detailed review of the claim.


Volcanic CO2 emissions are known to be much smaller than human-caused emissions

CLAIM/SOURCE: Discovery Of Massive Volcanic CO2 Emissions Discredits Global Warming Theory by James Edward Kamis, Principia Scientific, Nov 7, 2018 --Versions of this 2018 article have more recently been widely shared on Facebook.

VERDICT: Inaccurate

KEY TAKE AWAY: This article claims that volcanic sources of carbon dioxide are poorly understood and could well be the cause of modern global warming, rather than human activities. In reality, current annual human-caused emissions are at least 100 times greater than all volcanic emissions.

Volcanic CO2 emissions are known to be much smaller than human-caused emissions by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, Jan 1, 2020

Click here to access the detailed review of the claim.


Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 1

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.


SkS Week in Review...

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