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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 #18

Posted on 3 May 2020 by John Hartz

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

Story of the Week...

On a Melting Planet, More Precisely Tracking the Decline of Ice

New laser measurements can help pinpoint how and when the world’s vast stores of ice will vanish.

Sea Ice

A new study helps show from where the water rising sea levels is coming, and exactly which processes are causing it. Credit: Bob Berwyn

From the frozen crags of the Andes and Rockies to country-sized ice sheets covering Greenland and Antarctica, global warming is melting the world's ice at a dizzying rate. In the last five years, mountain glaciers have unexpectedly disintegrated and collapsed, including a pair of deadly ice avalanches in Tibet. In Alaska, a quarter-mile section of the Flat Creek glacier broke away and oozed down the valley, mowing down 400-year-old trees.

This ice loss is worrying for many reasons. Modern humans evolved on a planet where ice has been a crucial regulator, reflecting some of the sun's heat back to space, and storing huge amounts of moisture—about 69 percent of the world's freshwater is stored in glaciers and ice sheets. Slow melting and replenishment were in balance for 10,000 years or so, until human-caused global warming disrupted the cycl

The meltdown is having impacts across the planet. As ice melts off Greenland and Antarctica their gravitational mass decreases, sending the water surging toward the equator, where sea level rising two or three times as fast as the global average is already swamping islands. A study published April 30 in the journal Science helps show from where the water is coming, and exactly which processes are causing it.

The loss of mountain glaciers is disconcerting for cities and farming areas in the Western United States and other areas that rely on slow-melting mountain ice. Alpine towns that have faced giant avalanches of ice, mud, rocks and snow are also anxious and in South America, mountain towns are threatened by sudden floods from collapsing glaciers.

On a Melting Planet, More Precisely Tracking the Decline of Ice by Bob Berwyn, InsideClimate News, Apr 30, 2020

Click here to access the entire article as originally published on the InsideClimate News website.


Toon of the Week...

 2020 Toon 18

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Denial Denial Facebook page.


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • How does the way we define methane emissions impact the perception of its effects on global warming? (Justine Wickman)
  • Denial: Coronavirus & Climate Change (feat. Donald Trump) (Adam Levy)
  • SkS New Research for Week #18 (Doug Bostrom)
  • The Conspiracy Theory Handbook: Downloads and translations (Baerbel)
  • PETM climate warming 56 million years ago strongly tied to igneous activity: Part 1 (Howard Lee)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #19 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #19 (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Human activities have dramatically increased atmospheric CO2 levels, causing imbalances in the global carbon cycle

CLAIM: "Human additions of CO2 are in the margin of error of current measurements and the gradual increase in CO2 is mainly from oceans degassing as the planet slowly emerges from the last ice age."

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCE: I Love Carbon Dioxide by Cole Ryan, Comment on Facebook Post, April 12, 2020

KEY TAKE AWAY: Atmospheric CO2 has increased rapidly as a result of human activities. Although human-caused emissions of CO2 are small relative to natural flows into and out of the atmosphere, the human contribution has caused an imbalance in the global carbon cycle that jeopardizes land and ocean ecosystems.

Human activities have dramatically increased atmospheric CO2 levels, causing imbalances in the global carbon cycle, Edited by Nikki Forrester, Climate Review, Apr 20, 2020


Human-induced increases in greenhouse gases are the primary driver of global warming, contrary to claims in CFACT article

CLAIM: "They tell us that we are the primary forces controlling earth temperatures by the burning of fossil fuels and releasing their carbon dioxide. I hope my readers can recognize the absurdity of their claims. … increasing sunspots are linked to increases in earth temperature"

VERDICT: Incorrect

SOURCE: A very fresh look at climate change by Jay Lehr, CFACT, Apr 8, 2020

KEY TAKE AWAY: The effects of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions far outweigh the effects of solar forcing on global warming. 100% of the global warming trends observed after 1950 can be attributed to anthropogenic factors.

Human-induced increases in greenhouse gases are the primary driver of global warming, contrary to claims in CFACT article, Edited by Nikki Forrester, Climate Review, Apr 15, 2020


Scientists observe most widespread bleaching event ever recorded at The Great Barrier Reef

CLAIM: "The Great Barrier Reef is experiencing the most widespread bleaching ever recorded"

VERDICT: Accurate

SOURCE: Great Barrier Reef found to be coral bleached from north to south for first time by Michael Slezak & Penny Timms, ABC News, Apr 6, 2020

KEY TAKE AWAY: For the first time, coral reefs in the northern, central, and southern regions of the Great Barrier Reef were affected by bleaching at the same time. At the time, there is no peer-reviewed study yet to fully document this bleaching event; it should be verified by underwater observations in the coming months.

Scientists observe most widespread bleaching event ever recorded at The Great Barrier Reef. Edited by Nikki Forrester, Climate Review, Apr 11, 2020


SkS Week in Review... 


Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster 18 

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Comments

Comments 1 to 2:

  1. This PNAS study describes 1-3 billion people will be displaced by excessive temperature in the next 50 years by climate change.  Perhaps we do not need to worry about high population, climate change will affect how many children people have.  It does not seem to be a very good plan to me.

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  2. michael sweet: Thank you for drawing our attention to the PNAS study, Future of the human climate niche published on May 4. The news media is reporting its findings. For example...

    Unsuitable for 'human life to flourish': Up to 3B will live in extreme heat by 2070, study warns by Doyle Rice, USA Today, May 4, 2020

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