World growing greener with increased carbon. Thirty years of satellite evidence. Forests growing faster and thicker.
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?
Posted on 29 September 2016 by Guest Author
Global Weirding is produced by KTTZ Texas Tech Public Media and distributed by PBS Digital Studios. New episodes every other Wednesday at 10am central. Brought to you in part by: Bob and Linda Herscher, Freese and Nichols, Inc, and the Texas Tech Climate Science Center.
Posted on 28 September 2016 by dana1981
In a new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, with an accompanying app for the public, scientists at MIT compare the carbon pollution from today’s cars to the international 2°C climate target. In order to meet that target, overall emissions need to decline dramatically over the coming decades.
The MIT team compared emissions from 125 electric, hybrid, and gasoline cars to the levels we need to achieve from the transportation sector in 2030, 2040, and 2050 to stay below 2°C global warming. They also looked at the cost efficiency of each car, including vehicle, fuel, and maintenance costs. The bottom line:
Although the average carbon intensity of vehicles sold in 2014 exceeds the climate target for 2030 by more than 50%, we find that most hybrid and battery electric vehicles available today meet this target. By 2050, only electric vehicles supplied with almost completely carbon-free electric power are expected to meet climate-policy targets.
The MIT app allows consumers to check how their own vehicles – or cars they’re considering purchasing – stack up on the carbon emissions and cost curves. As co-author Jessika Trancik noted,
One goal of the work is to translate climate mitigation scenarios to the level of individual decision-makers who will ultimately be the ones to decide whether or not a clean energy transition occurs (in a market economy, at least). In the case of transportation, private citizens are key decision-makers.
How can electric cars already be the cheapest?
Posted on 27 September 2016 by Guest Author
This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Roz Pidcock
The head of the United Nation’s climate body has called for a thorough assessment of the feasibility of the international goal to limit warming to 1.5C.
Dr Hoesung Lee, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), told delegates at a meeting in Geneva, which is designed to flesh out the contents of a special report on 1.5C, that they bore a “great responsibility” in making sure it meets the expectations of the international climate community.
To be policy-relevant, the report will need to spell out what’s to be gained by limiting warming to 1.5C, as well as the practical steps needed to get there within sustainability and poverty eradication goals.
More than ever, urged Lee, the report must be easily understandable for a non-scientific audience. The IPCC has come under fire in the past over what some have called its “increasingly unreadable” reports.
The IPCC was “invited” by the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to do a special report on 1.5C after the Paris Agreement codified a goal to limit global temperature rise to “well below 2C” and to “pursue efforts towards 1.5C”.
The aim for this week’s meeting in Geneva is, in theory, simple: to decide on a title for the report; come up with chapter headings; and write a few bullet points summarising what the report will cover.
On day two of three, Carbon Brief understands six “themes” have emerged as contenders. Judging by proceeding so far, it seems likely that the feasibility of the 1.5C goal features highly on that list.
Referring to a questionnaire sent out to scientists, policymakers and other “interested parties” ahead of the scoping meeting to ask what they thought the 1.5C report should cover, Lee told the conference:
“One notion that runs through all this, is feasibility. How feasible is it to limit warming to 1.5C? How feasible is it to develop the technologies that will get us there?…We must analyse policy measures in terms of feasibility.”
The explicit mention of 1.5C in the Paris Agreement caught the scientific community somewhat off-guard, said Elena Manaenkova, incoming deputy secretary-general of theWorld Meteorological Organization.
Speaking in Geneva yesterday, she told delegates she felt “proud, but also somewhat concerned” about the outcome of the Paris talks. She said:
“I was there. I know the reason why it was done…[P]arties were keen to do even better, to go faster, to go even further…The word ‘feasibility’ is not in the Paris Agreement, is not in the decision. But that’s really what it is [about].”
Dr Andrew King, a researcher in climate extremes at the University of Melbourne, echoes the call for a rational discussion about the way ahead, now that the dust has settled after Paris. The question of what it would take to achieve the 1.5C goal has been largely sidestepped so far, he tells Carbon Brief:
“I think one unintended outcome of the Paris Agreement was that it made the public think limiting warming to 1.5C is possible with only marginally stronger policy from government on reducing emissions and this is simply not the case.”
Posted on 26 September 2016 by John Abraham
A new book by Michael Mann and Tom Toles takes a fresh look on the effects humans are having on our climate and the additional impacts on our politics. While there have been countless books about climate change over the past two decades, this one – entitled The Madhouse Effect - distinguishes itself by its clear and straightforward science mixed with clever and sometimes comedic presentation.
In approximately 150 pages, this books deals with the basic science and the denial industry, which has lost the battle in the scientific arena and is working feverishly to confuse the public. The authors also cover potential solutions to halt or slow our changing climate. Perhaps most importantly, this book gives individual guidance – what can we do, as individuals, to help the Earth heal from the real and present harm of climate change?
To start the book, the authors discuss how the scientific method works, the importance of the precautionary principle, and how delaying actions have caused us to lose precious time in this global race to halt climate change. And all of this done in only 13 pages!
Next, the book dives briefly into the basic science of the greenhouse effect. Readers of this column know that the science of global warming is very well established with decades of research. But some people don’t realize that this research originated in the early 1800s with scientists such as Joseph Fourier. The book takes us on a short tour of history. Moving beyond these early works that focused exclusively on global temperatures, the authors come to expected impacts. They explain that a warming world, for instance, can be both drier and wetter!
Posted on 25 September 2016 by John Hartz
Story of the Week... SkS Highlights... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Video of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...
Story of the Week...
New study undercuts favorite climate myth ‘more CO2 is good for plants’ by Dana Nuccitelli (Climate Consensus - the 97%, Guardian) received the most comments of the aricles posted on SkS during the past week. How climate science deniers can accept so many 'impossible things' all at once by Graham Readfearn (Planet Oz, Guardian) attracted the second highest number.
La Niña Update...
A weakening La Nina climate pattern is going to make weather and climate forecasts a bit trickier this fall and winter.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has called off its La Nina watch, and evidence suggests conditions are weakening and returning to neutral.
"It means we have a less confident forecast," said Tony Barnston, chief forecaster for Columbia University's International Research Institute on Climate and Society. Barnston is one of the 10 climate scientists from NOAA and institute who decide whether a watch should be put in place.
A weakening La Nina adds a lot of uncertainty to climate predictions by Robert Ferris, CNBC News, Sep 23, 2016
Toon of the Week...
Posted on 24 September 2016 by John Hartz
A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week.
Sun Sep 18, 2016
- After a decade, UN chief disappointed in many world leaders by Edith M Lederer, AP Big Story, Sep 13, 2016
- Lamar Smith Hearing Attempts to Bolster Legal Argument for Subpoenas by David Hasemyer, Inside Climate News, Sep 14, 2016
- Trump's climate science denial clashes with reality of rising seas in Florida by Michael Finnegan, Los Angeles Times, Sep 18, 2016
- "It's Time We Were Heard": Another Day in Court for Climate Kids by Deirdre Fulton, Common Dreams, Dec 13, 2016
- Is La Niña Here? Depends Who You Ask by Brian Kahn, Climate Central, Sep 16, 2016
- Does Climate Change Affect Our Weather? Yes. Yes, It Does. by Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, Slate, Sep 17, 2016
- 'No time to waste': climate changes for films on global warming by Fiona Harvey, Guardian, Sep 18, 2016
- In Toronto, Leonardo DiCaprio delivers 'Before the Flood,' a documentary rallying cry about climate change by Steven Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times, Sep 13, 2016
Posted on 23 September 2016 by Guest Author
Sometimes, climate science deniers will tell you that we can’t predict global temperatures in the future. Sometimes, they’ll say we’re heading for an ice age.
Occasionally, contrarians will say that no single weather event can prove human-caused global warming. But then they’ll point to somewhere that’s cold, claiming this disproves climate change.
Often, deniers will tell you that temperature records show that global warming stopped at some point around 1998. But also they’ll insist that those same temperature records can’t be relied on because Nasa and the Bureau of Meteorology are all communist corruption monkeys. Or something.
Black is also white. Round is also flat. Wrong is also right?
A new research paper published in the journal Synthese has looked at several of these contradictory arguments that get thrown around the blogosphere, the Australian Senate and the opinion pages of the (mostly) conservative media.
The paper comes with the fun and enticing title: “The Alice in Wonderland mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism.”
Why Alice? Because, as the White Queen admitted: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
The three authors, including Dr John Cook, of the University of Queensland, look at both rhetorical and scientific arguments put by deniers.
One example is the popular theme that casts “sceptics” as “dissenting heroes” who bravely oppose “political persecution and fraud”. You know, like modern-day Galileos.
But the authors write that deniers will also try and convince the public that there is no consensus among scientists about the causes of climate change (there is and it’s us). They write:
Either there is a pervasive scientific consensus in which case contrarians are indeed dissenters, or there is no consensus in which case contrarian opinions should have broad support within the scientific community and no fearless opposition to an establishment is necessary.
Posted on 22 September 2016 by Guest Author
Coral reefs could receive an unforeseen benefit from global sea level rise, a new study suggests.
Deeper waters over shallow reefs could alleviate the extreme temperatures that corals are exposed to, the study says, potentially easing coral bleaching caused by ocean warming.
But other scientists tell Carbon Brief that coral bleaching is already so widespread that any alleviation from sea level rise is unlikely to counter the impact of increasing temperatures.
The global ocean surface is currently warmer than it has been at any point in the observed record. In 2015, for example, global sea surface temperature was 0.33-0.39C higher than the 1981-2010 average, and 0.74C higher than the average for the 20th century.
Ocean warming arguably poses the biggest threat to the world’s coral reefs, says the new Science Advances paper, as it increases the likelihood of coral bleaching events. High temperatures stress the corals, to the point that they are forced expel the tiny colourful algae living in their tissues – known as zooxanthellae – leaving behind a stark white skeleton.
While a bleached coral reef is not dead, as the algae provide the coral with energy through photosynthesis, the coral cannot grow without them. A coral can recover from a single bleaching event, but persistently high temperatures can kill off entire reefs.
Research suggests that a global average temperature rise of 2C above pre-industrial levels could see long-term degradation of virtually all the world’s coral reefs. And even a more ambitious temperature limit of 1.5C could see 90% of coral reefs at risk of bleaching by 2050.
The study’s findings suggest that rising sea levels could help buffer the temperature extremes that corals are exposed to by increasing the volume of water the corals are surrounded by.
Posted on 21 September 2016 by John Abraham
Yesterday, 375 of the world’s top scientists, including 30 Nobel Prize winners, published an open letter regarding climate change. In the letter, the scientists report that the evidence is clear: humans are causing climate change. We are now observing climate change and its affect across the globe. The seas are rising, the oceans are warming, the lower atmosphere is warming, the land is warming, ice is melting, rainfall patterns are changing and the ocean is becoming more acidic.
These facts are incontrovertible. No reputable scientist disputes them. It is the truth.
Despite these facts, the letter reports that the US presidential campaign has seen claims that the earth isn’t warming, or it is only a natural warming, or that climate change is a hoax. These claims are false. The claims are made by politicians or real estate developers with no scientific experience. These people who deny the reality of climate change are not scientists.
These claims aren’t new. We see them every election cycle. In fact, for the Republican Party, they are a virtual litmus test for electability. It is terribly sad that the party of Lincoln (the president who initiated the National Academy of Sciences) has been rebuked by the National Academy today. It is sad that the party of Teddy Roosevelt, who created the National Park System, is acting in a way antithetical to his legacy. It is also sad that the party of Nixon, who created the Environmental Protection Agency, now is trying to eliminate that very organization.
What is perhaps most sad is that the party of “fiscal conservatism” is leading us on a path that will result in higher economic and social costs for all of us.
What we don’t know is what the future will bring. Will the warming be gradual or sudden? Will ocean rise increase at a faster rate or not? Will we continue to see major ice shelf collapse? Increased droughts and heat waves? Will we be able to adapt?
Posted on 20 September 2016 by Guest Author
This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Ruth Mottram, Dr Peter Langen and Dr Martin Stendel, who are climate scientists at the Polar Portal, part of the Danish Meteorological Institute in Copenhagen.
With the melt season in Greenland coming to a close just a few days ago, it’s the time of year when scientists take stock and give the ice sheet its annual “health check”.
One way to gauge the state of the ice sheet is through what scientists call the “surface mass balance”. This is the difference between how much snow falls and how much ice melts away.
The story in 2016 appears, on first look, to be fairly uneventful. This year’s surface mass balance has come in just below the long term average, which means slightly less ice has accumulated on the surface of the ice sheet than is usual for this time of year.
But thanks to the long term observations maintained by the Danish Meteorological Institute, as well as the weather stations maintained on the ice sheet by the PROMICE group at the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland, we know this year was, in fact, unusual in many ways.
This year’s “average” outcome belies some quite remarkable weather during the year, including a record early melt event in April followed by a new cold record just three months later in July.
Posted on 19 September 2016 by dana1981
A new study by scientists at Stanford University, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, tested whether hotter temperatures and higher carbon dioxide levels that we’ll see post-2050 will benefit the kinds of plants that live in California grasslands. They found that carbon dioxide at higher levels than today (400 ppm) did not significantly change plant growth, while higher temperatures had a negative effect.
The oversimplified myth of ‘CO2 is plant food’
Those who benefit from the status quo of burning copious amounts of fossil fuels love to argue that more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit plant life. It’s a favorite claim of climate contrarians like Matt Ridley and Rupert Murdoch.
It seems like a great counter-argument to the fact that carbon dioxide is a dangerous pollutant – a fact that contrarians often dispute. However, reality is far more complicated than the oversimplification of ‘CO2 is plant food.’ Unlike in the controlled environment of a greenhouse, the increasing greenhouse effect on Earth causes temperatures to rise and the climate to change in various ways that can be bad for plant life. We can’t control all the other variables the way we can in a greenhouse.
Posted on 18 September 2016 by John Hartz
Story of the Week... SkS Highlights... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... Video of the Week... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...
Story of the Week...
Arctic sea ice appears to have reached its seasonal minimum extent for 2016 on September 10. A relatively rapid loss of sea ice in the first ten days of September has pushed the ice extent to a statistical tie with 2007 for the second lowest in the satellite record. September’s low extent followed a summer characterized by conditions generally unfavorable for sea ice loss.
2016 ties with 2007 for second lowest Arctic sea ice minimum, National Snow & Ice Data Center (NSIDC), Sept 15, 2016
This is a preliminary announcement. Changing winds or late-season melt could still reduce the Arctic ice extent, as happened in 2005 and 2010. NSIDC scientists will release a full analysis of the Arctic melt season, and discuss the Antarctic winter sea ice growth, in early October.
Also see the Video of the Week section, Arctic Sea Ice from March to September 2016.
Using the metric of comments garnered, Weekly Digest #37 was the most popular of the items posted on SkS during the past week. BBC climate coverage is evolving, but too slowly by Dana Nuccitelli (Climate Consensus - the 97%, The Guardian) was the second most popular. The Climate Change Authority report: a dissenting view by Clive Hamilton & David Karoly (The Conversation AU) came in third.
La Niña Update...
- After Strong El Niño Winter, NASA Model Sees Return to Normal by Kate Ramsayer, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, Sep 13, 2016
- La Niña Likely to Be a No-Show This Fall and Winter by Chris Dolce, The Weather Channel, Sep 13, 2016
- Warm fall predicted, but 'La Nada' is a challenge for the forecast by Doyle Rice, USA Today, Sep 16, 2016
Toon of the Week...
Posted on 17 September 2016 by John Hartz
A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week.
Sun Sep 11, 2016
- Rice paddies raise methane threat by Santosh Koirala, Climate News Network, Sep 10, 2016
- Climate change our most pressing issue: PM, APP/Australia News Channel, Sep 10, 2016
- Threat more urgent than global warming by Trinh Thanh Thuy, Inquirier.net, Sep 10, 2016
- Global warming making oceans sick, spreading disease in humans and animals, scientists warn, ABC News (Australia) , Sep 12, 2016
- A philosopher’s 350-year-old trick to get people to change their minds is now backed up by psychologists by Olivia Goodhill, Influencer 101, Quartz, Sep 11, 2016
- Blame Global Warming for Your Bad Attitude by Eric Roston, Bloomberg News, Sep 8, 2016
- Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet by Jason Hickel, Guardian, Sep 10, 2016
- Clinton and Trump polar opposites on global warming and energy by David R Baker, San Francisco Chronicle, Sep 10, 2016
Posted on 16 September 2016 by Guest Author
This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Roz Pidcock
Torrential rains unleashed on south Louisiana in August were made almost twice as likely by human-caused climate change, according to a quick-fire analysis released just weeks after the flood waters subsided.
The team of scientists concluded that such an event is expected to occur a minimum of 40% more often now than in 1900, but their best estimate is that the odds have now halved.
Dr Friederike Otto, a senior researcher in extreme weather and attribution in the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University, who wasn’t involved in the research, tells Carbon Brief:
“It is a very striking example of the impact that climate change already has on us today…it is the rainfall event with the highest increase in risk that has been analysed, that I’m aware of.”
The new research is the latest in what are known as “single event attribution” studies. This one is notable for being the first collaboration between scientists at the World Weather Attribution (WWA) project and the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
Posted on 15 September 2016 by Guest Author
As Members of the Climate Change Authority who have participated fully in the Special Review of Australia’s Climate Goals and Policies, we reached the conclusion, after much consideration, that we could not in good conscience lend our names to its report, published last week.
Rather than resign from the Authority we decided to write a minority report. Here we present edited extracts from our report, which is released today.
The basis of our disagreement with the majority report is its failure to recognise the importance of the constraint put on all future emissions-reduction targets and policies by Australia’s carbon budget. The carbon budget is the total emissions that Australia can release between now and 2050 while still contributing its fair share in holding the global temperature rise to less than 2℃ – a key goal of the Paris climate agreement negotiated last December.
The majority report should, but does not, address the relationship between its recommendations and Australia’s carbon budget, consistent with a fair and equitable national contribution to the global carbon budget.
This is all the more regrettable because the requirement to do so is embedded in the Special Review’s terms of reference and was analysed in the First Report of the Special Review released in April 2015 (before the appointment of six new Members to the Authority in October 2015).
The budget constraint
In 2014 the Authority recommended an Australian emissions budget of 10.1 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases for the period 2013-2050. On this basis, it advised that Australia should set an emissions-reduction trajectory for 2030 in the range of 45-65% below 2005 levels. Contrast that with the current 26-28% target set by the Abbott government.
Against the constraints of the carbon budget, the majority report accepts – explicitly in some places, implicitly in others – the government’s current target.
Posted on 14 September 2016 by dana1981
Trump hires advisers with fossil fuel ties
Last month, Donald Trump added Brooke Rollins and Kathleen Hartnett-White to his economic advisory council. Rollins is president and CEO of the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF), while Hartnett-White has worked for the TPPF and the CO2 Coalition (formerly the George C. Marshall Institute), all of which are part of the “web of denial” receiving funding from the fossil fuel industry.
Hartnett-White told POLITICO in an interview that rather than listen to the conclusions of the world’s foremost climate science experts as summarized in the IPCC reports, she favors a commission that would develop an “alternative scientific methodology” and would include the voices of the less than 3% of climate scientists who reject the consensus on human-caused global warming.
She believes “the sun had a powerful role” in global warming. However, the sun has had an overall cooling effect on global temperatures over the past 60 years, as the IPCC reports have shown. She also loves fossil fuels and seems entirely opposed renewable energy and efforts to cut carbon pollution.
Posted on 12 September 2016 by dana1981
For years, the BBC has been criticised for the false balance of its climate change coverage. And for years, the BBC has apparently been doing “ongoing work” to fix it. So far, however, this ‘reform’ has been more like a triumph of the middling. Yes, the BBC may broadcast less outright misinformation, but as a scientist and a citizen, I still feel let down by its continually careless handling of climate denial - most recently two weeks ago. This nod to mediocrity is a disservice to science, to public trust, and to the biggest news story in the world. And it is a huge, missed opportunity.
As a young PhD graduate working on climate change solutions, I am confronted daily by a world where the warnings of science are undercut by Fox ‘News’ and its ilk. It is a very different world to the trustworthy BBC broadcasts of David Attenborough and the Royal Institution Christmas Lectures that I grew up with, which helped inspire me to become a scientist. But as a recent BBC News segment by Science Editor David Shukman sadly reminded me, those worlds can too easily collide.
Shukman’s broadcast was an interesting one. An important perspective on the “political battle over the future of fuel” in the swing state of Ohio, and its implications for U.S. energy policy. I transcribed it here. It was all pretty benign until, halfway through, something in Shukman’s narration caught my ear (emphasis mine):
The problem with coal comes when you burn it. It releases carbon dioxide, which is blamed for global warming. Donald Trump saysthat isn’t a problem. But Hillary Clinton says it is, and she’s offering a greener future instead ...
While the debate rages over whether climate change is a threat or not…
Shukman’s accompanying BBC blog post beats the same drum, outlining the candidates’ “starkly different visions of global warming”:
The Democratic Party contender says she believes in the science of climate change. By contrast, the Republican candidate talks down the threat of rising temperatures.
As harmless as they sound, words like “blamed”, “debate”, and “believe” - without careful context - are the currency of public confusion. “Who, exactly, blames carbon dioxide for global warming?” we are forced to wonder. Clinton? Liberals? Scientists? And who disagrees? Trump? Other politicians? Some scientists too? Most importantly, who’s right in this blame game?
Posted on 11 September 2016 by John Hartz
Story of the Week... SkS Highlights... La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Graphic of the Week... SkS in the News... SkS Spotlights... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week.. Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...
Story of the Week
Lest we loose sight of the fact that manmade climate change impacts more than just the Earth's atmosphere...
Global warming is making the oceans sicker than ever before, spreading disease among animals and humans and threatening food security across the planet, a major scientific report said.
The findings, based on peer-reviewed research, were compiled by 80 scientists from 12 countries, experts said at the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) World Conservation Congress in Hawaii.
"We all know that the oceans sustain this planet. We all know that the oceans provide every second breath we take," IUCN director general Inger Andersen said at the meeting, which has drawn 9,000 leaders and environmentalists to Honolulu.
"And yet we are making the oceans sick."
The report, Explaining Ocean Warming, is the "most comprehensive, most systematic study we have ever undertaken on the consequence of this warming on the ocean", co-lead author Dan Laffoley said.
Global warming making oceans sick, spreading disease in humans and animals, scientists warn, ABC News (Australia) , Sep 12, 2016
Using the metric of comments posted, the most popular of the articles posted on SkS during the past week are:
- Range anxiety? Today's electric cars can cover vast majority of daily U.S. driving needs by Jessika E. Trancik (The Conversation UK)
- Conservative media bias is inflating American climate denial and polarization by Dana Nuccitelli (Climate Consensus - the 97%, Guardian)
- Researching climate change communication at George Mason University by John Cook
Toon of the Week
Posted on 10 September 2016 by John Hartz
A chronological listing of the news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week.
Sun Sep 3, 2016
- U.S. and China Ratify Paris Agreement, Upping Pressure on Other Nations by John H Cushman Jr. InsideClimate News, Sep 3, 2016
- Melting Glaciers Are Wreaking Havoc on Earth’s Crust by Jenny Chen, Smithsonian, Sep 1, 2016
- Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun by Justin Gillis, New York Times, Sep 3, 2016
- A Strange Thing Happened in the Stratosphere by Patrick Lynch, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Sep 2, 2016
- Trump Tests Climate Change Denial Against Public Opinion, Real-World Impacts by Greg Dotson & Erin Auel, Think Progress, Sep 2, 2016
- Hurricane Season Is Heating Up. So Is the Planet. Coincidence? by John Schwartz, New York Times, Sep 2, 2016
- Dakota Pipeline Was Approved by Army Corps Over Objections of Three Federal Agencies by Phil McKenna, InsideClimate News, Aug 30, 2016
- Lawmakers approve new climate plans to help California's disadvantaged communities by Chris Megerian, Los Angeles Times, Aug 31, 2016
Posted on 9 September 2016 by Andy Skuce
This is a re-post from Critical Angle
Climate scientist Michael Mann has teamed up with cartoonist Tom Toles to write TheMadhouse Effect: How Climate Change Is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics and Driving Us Crazy. It’s an excellent book, well-written, authoritative on the science, revealing on the politics and laced with the wit of many superb cartoons. Buy a copy for the climate science doubter in your family. They will be drawn in by the cartoons and may well be unable to resist dipping in to the text.
Michael Mann has previously written The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines, about how he was hounded for writing a paper that featured the striking hockey-stick graph. He also authored Dire Predictions: Understanding Climate Change with scientist Lee Kump. At the same time that he turns out first-class books, Mann is a prolific research scientist and has an active presence on social media. You can only wonder how he does it all.
Tom Toles is a Pullitzer-Prize winning cartoonist who works for the Washington Post. His main focus is politics, but his cartoons have often featured climate science and the absurd lengths that many American politicians go to in avoiding the facing up to the reality of global change.
Writing about scientific subjects like climate change for the non-specialist is not easy and authors have to walk a fine line. Many readers expect scientists to be detached about the implications of their work, but that would make their message less engaging, less human. The science needs to be explained in ways that the average person can understand, but oversimplification can gloss over some of the important complications. And treatments of the topic can so so easily be depressing and dull. The Mann/Toles team have succeeded in bringing their talents together to overcome these problems. The writing is excellent and the cartoons add a much-needed satirical perspective.