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10 April 2014

Mapping fantasy: The story behind the Game of Thrones geologic maps

Science fiction can be a really cool gateway for sharing science fact. Earth science is imaginative, and can draw on pop culture, like the HBO show Game of Thrones. My graduate school friend and Generation Anthropocene co-producer, Miles Traer, recently brought science fact and science fiction together over this show in a hilariously awesome and super fun project.


The Most Pervasive Scientific Myth

I’ve written before here about how pervasive the myth is that science is divided about the reality of and the threat of man-made interference with our climate system. It truly is the number one science myth out there. Just by writing this post, I’ll get the usual comments with links to the usual rabid political sites (with unflattering pictures of Al Gore) telling me that thousands of scientists disagree, and …


4 April 2014

Cutting back on refrigerants could drop greenhouse gas emissions

By Alexandra Branscombe Originally posted on AGU GeoSpace WASHINGTON, DC – Phasing down powerful climate-damaging greenhouse gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners could prevent the equivalent of up to three years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions from being released into the atmosphere, according to a new study. Research accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, calculates the environmental impact of phasing down …


3 April 2014

Cutting back on refrigerants could drop greenhouse gas emissions

Research published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union, calculates the environmental impact of phasing down hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, under the Montreal Protocol. The landmark 1987 agreement phased out the use of ozone-depleting refrigerants, like chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), leading to increased used of replacements that include HFCs.


29 March 2014

Lies, Damned Lies and Statistical Truth

There has been a lot of attention recently around “538 Blog” founder Nate Silver and his hire of Political Scientist Roger Pielke Jr. to write about climate change on his new gig. Pielke is the darling of the anti-science crowd, and his often called to testify at science hearings on Capitol Hill by those who think climate change is a hoax ( It’s hard to find any real climate experts …


28 March 2014

Australia’s Hottest Summer Ever Likely Due To Increasing Earth Greenhouse

The WMO has a report out this week about the climate of 2013, and while you can read the whole thing in 20 minutes, a special edition at the end is a must read. You can get the entire report here, but I am reproducing the last section, because it is a short but fascinating discussion of an attribution study. In atmospheric science, an attribution study looks at the causes …


19 March 2014

What We Know About Our Climate- AAAS publishes a must read summary.

I’m glad this report tackles the myth (in America) that scientists are divided over the reality of our changing climate, and it’s cause. It’s totally and utterly false. Don’t believe me?? Go look at the journals like NATURE, SCIENCE, any AMS journal etc. If someone tells you that what’s in this report is wrong, you should ask them why they have not published the evidence why in a scientific journal. That’s …


5 March 2014

Royal Society and National Academies Publish Updated Guide on Climate Science

There is an excellent new report out on climate science written for the general public, and I highly recommend it. It’s written at a high school level and the authors and reviewers are a ”who’s who” of science experts. I know a lot of teachers have trouble finding materials for the classroom that they can trust, and this fits the bill. You can download the complete report here and read it …


20 February 2014

Predicting future societies could aid climate change research

What does a future society look like? Could it be one where people are far richer than they are today, but continue to burn fossil fuels in huge quantities? Might society decide to embrace renewable energy technologies, while its people become only slightly wealthier than they are now? What other futures might we expect?


18 February 2014

David Gregory at Meet The Press Stops The Ridiculous

I wasn’t the only one who was very critical of NBC’s Meet The Press program last Sunday, but there was a bright spot. David Gregory stopped his guest cold when she started making totally incorrect statements about climate science. No, not Dr. Heidi Cullen (who is an expert), but the other guest (a politician) who knows nothing about the subject (except perhaps that it’s inconvenient to her political world-view). This …


16 February 2014

Meet The Press Shows How Not To Cover Science

My friend Heidi Cullen will be on ABC’s THIS WEEK Sunday morning (Feb16, 2014) talking about climate change, and our 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society, Marshall Shepherd will be on Face the Nation. Dr. Cullen works for Climate Central (a non-profit clearing house that helps science communicators (like me) keep up to date on the latest real science), and Dr. Shepherd has been a great supporter of our AMS …


11 February 2014

Sniffing the Arctic winds

The polar vortex made large parts of the country miserable this year with freezing cold air. But, in the Arctic, air temperatures were above average, sea ice grew slower than average, and the yearly ice cover continues thinning into sheets that break up in the summer. This shift is altering the chemistry of the air over the Arctic, and may affect the climate in ways that scientists don’t yet understand.


Another Snowstorm Heads For The East Coast But The World Is Still Warming

It looks like another major storm will dump heavy snow from North Carolina to New York Wednesday into Thursday, but it really means very little in regard to climate change. A few of those who think it’s all a big conspiracy will email meteorologists and climatologists with snide remarks like “How’s that global warming” going for you!”, but the only thing a statement like that indicates is how little the …


25 January 2014

Well Made Point by XKCD

How to spot someone whose critical thinking skills are in need of improvement. has a classic today: A New survey conducted by George Mason University is interesting: Over half of Americans (56%) say “global warming is affecting weather in the United States.” A large majority of Americans say their state and local government should make it a priority to protect public water supplies (78%), transportation/roads/bridges (73%), people’s health (72%), the …


23 January 2014

2013 4th Warmest Year On Global Record

NOAA calculated that 2013 was the 4th warmest year on record globally, and NASA using a slightly different method ranked it 7th. In both cases, the ten warmest years on record have all been since 1998. With the bitter cold in the Eastern U.S. today, this is a perfect time to illustrate the difference between climate and weather. Climate change doesn’t mean it never  gets cold and snowy. It does …


18 January 2014

The Challenges of Climate Change Communication

This is a re-post from the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media. It’s a subject that meteorologists who work in TV deal with every day. Even if communicating climate is not part of your job, you’ll still learn some real science about climate. If your job is in any way connected to communicating science, this is a must see/read. Richard Alley, Susi Moser Featured in Yale Forum Communications …


7 January 2014

No, Just Because It’s Really Cold In The Eastern U.S., All That Science Is Not Wrong

What does claiming this blast of Arctic air disproves climate change show? The same thing that claiming researchers who got trapped in an ice flow in Antarctica does: that your critical thinking skills are in need of serious improvement! My normal response to questions about it is that we do not measure the temperature of the planet in (insert your town here). One can also point out that this past …


31 December 2013

Improved Climate Models Show Lower End Warming Estimates Likely Wrong

One of the most difficult problems in climate modelling is simulating cloud processes, but new research under embargo until this morning indicates that the problem may be on the way to being solved. Unfortunately, when clouds are simulated better, the models seem to rule out the lower end warming estimates of some earlier (less sophisticated) numerical forecasts. The press release from NATURE is below: Global average temperatures will rise at …


30 December 2013

Icy Shots From Space

How can you tell the difference between white clouds and white snow on a satellite image?? Rivers don’t run through clouds! Study the image from the Aqua satellite today above and you will see what i mean. Speaking of satellite images of icy cold, the folks at CIMMS at the Uni. of Wisconsin posted the animated gif below showing ice forming on Lake Michigan. Speaking of ice, I had a …


17 December 2013

AGU Session On Dealing With Bullies Who Target Scientists

David Appell has a guest post on the Yale Forum on Climate Change and the Media that’s an excellent read. The stories from some scientists who work in the field of Climate are a bit scary. Scientists like Michael Mann have begun to fight back. Click the image to read: