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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 #42

Posted on 18 October 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion 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...

Earth has warmest September on record, and 2020 may clinch hottest year

Record warmth in Europe and Asia overwhelms a burgeoning La Niña cooling event.

Photo collage-climate scenarios-global climate reports-NOAA

Photo collage by NOAA

The planet just recorded its hottest September since at least 1880, according to three of the authoritative temperature-tracking agencies in the world. The data, most of which was released Wednesday, shows that 2020 is on track to be one of the hottest years on record, with the possibility of tying or breaking the milestone for the hottest year, set in 2016.

In addition, 2020 is likely to be the hottest year when a La Niña event was present in the tropical Pacific Ocean. This climate phenomenon is characterized by cooler-than-average ocean temperatures near the equator in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, and it tends to lower global temperatures slightly. (El Niño events, on the other hand, add even more heat to the planet, causing temperature spikes on top of global warming.)

These trends are all consistent with rapid global warming driven primarily by human emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.

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

Earth has warmest September on record, and 2020 may clinch hottest year by Andrew Freedman, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, Oct 14, 2020


Opinion of the Week

ExxonMobil misled the public about the climate crisis. Now they're trying to silence critics

Newly leaked documents reported by Bloomberg News show that ExxonMobil’s climate dishonesty is even worse than we thought

Demonstrators

A group of climate activists rally across from a courthouse where ExxonMobil was sued by the New York attorney general, November 2019. Photograph: Justin Lane/EPA

In 2017, we published the first peer-reviewed analysis of ExxonMobil’s 40-year history of climate change communications. We found that the company and its parents, Exxon and Mobil, misled the public about climate change and its severity. Central to this conclusion was the contrast between what Exxon and ExxonMobil scientists said in internal reports and scientific articles versus what Exxon, Mobil, and ExxonMobil told the public in non-peer-reviewed publications and in “advertorials” – paid advertisements dressed up to look like opinion pieces – in The New York Times.

Newly leaked documents, reported recently by Bloomberg News, show that ExxonMobil’s climate dishonesty is even worse than we thought. While the company privately has an internal “plan for surging carbon emissions…by as much as the output of the entire nation of Greece,” according to Bloomberg, ExxonMobil executives “shield their carbon forecasts from investors.” In other words, ExxonMobil drew up plans to expand fossil fuel production, internally calculated how much this would increase their carbon dioxide emissions, then failed to disclose those estimates to investors. Indeed, the company has never publicly disclosed its emissions forecasts. In response to the Bloomberg report, ExxonMobil claimed that the leaked documents were not up-to-date, but declined to provide “any details on the new projections,” according to Bloomberg.

ExxonMobil has launched a new attack on our research, penned by ExxonMobil Vice President Vijay Swarup in the academic journal where we published our original study. In fact, ExxonMobil, in trying to dismiss our findings, has inadvertently made them stronger. They have done so in three ways, which we summarize today in a peer-reviewed rebuttal.

Click here to access the entire opinion piece as published on the The Guardian website.

ExxonMobil misled the public about the climate crisis. Now they're trying to silence critics. Opinion by Geoffrey Supran & Naomi Oreskes, Comment is Free, Guardian, Oct 16, 2020


 

Toon of the Week...

2020 Toon 42 

Hat tip to the Stop Climate Science Denial Facebook page.


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Debunking Handbook 2020: Prevent misinformation from sticking if you can (John Cook & BaerbelW)
  • Debunking Handbook 2020: The elusive backfire effects (John Cook & BaerbelW)
  • SkS New Research for Week #42 (Doug Bostrom)
  • Debunking Handbook 2020: Debunk often and do it properly (John Cook & BaerbelW) 
  • On climate clock, it's parts per million, not minutes, that matter most (Bud Ward)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #43 (John Hartz)
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest (John Hartz)

Climate Feedback Claim Review...

Climate change can make it harder for the Amazon rainforest to grow back from deforestation, but that does not mean 40% of it will now turn into a savanna

CLAIM: “Amazon near tipping point of switching from rainforest to savannah”

VERDICT: Imprecise

SOURCE: Amazon near tipping point of switching from rainforest to savannah – study by Fiona Harvey, Environment, The Guardian, Oct 5, 2020

KEY TAKE AWAY: Some Amazon forests occur in climates that can also support savannas, and this natural phenomenon is not recent. The stability of rainforests can be influenced, in part, by the ability of trees to regulate rainfall on a regional scale. If disturbed on a large scale, then, some rainforests might regrow as savannas. Severe climate change may result in some regions in the Amazon becoming increasingly unsuitable for rainforests, while other regions are predicted to become more suitable.

REVIEWERS:

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the Climate Feedback website. It includes the detailed comments of the above listed expert reviewers.

Climate change can make it harder for the Amazon rainforest to grow back from deforestation, but that does not mean 40% of it will now turn into a savanna, Edited by Nikki Forrester, Claim Reviews, Climate Feedback, Oct 14, 2020 


SkS Week in Review... 


Poster of the Week...

2020 Poster42 

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