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15 April 2017

How the Disappearing Arctic Ice is Already Changing Your Weather

It’s called Arctic Amplification and it’s easy to understand. As the snow and ice disappear in the high latitudes, what was once bright and reflective, is now dark and warmer. Warmer because the solar energy it used to reflect is being absorbed, and this warming is not just a prediction, it’s been measured. The high latitudes are warming dramatically more than the tropical oceans. But, how is this affecting our daily weather? …

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7 April 2017

Dr Michael Mann on Science Friday

Science Friday had an excellent interview with Penn State Climatologist Michael Mann today, and you can hear it all here. Dr Mann produced the “hockey stick”, which is destined to become one of the most famous images in the history of science, and it’s caused him plenty of grief. If he’d been wrong, it would not have been so bad! Unfortunately for him, he was right, and that made the …

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4 April 2017

The Disappearing Ice- Pictures tell the Story (The Science Explains Why)

Seth Borenstein at the AP has a story out today about a must see (upcoming) paper in the journal GSA Today. The article has some amazing photos of the rapidly melting ice across the planet, and they’re stunning. I highly recommend reading the paper and not just looking at the photos. Also, you will see a photo credit for Lonnie Thompson, and trust me you should read Mark Bowen’s book …

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29 March 2017

Don’t Like The Science- Make up Your Own Alternative Science

Make up your own science and then send it to 200,000 teachers. This will turn out to be a real waste of money for Heartland, and the reason is that most Earth science teachers will toss this in the waste bin. That’s a good place for it, but before you do, you could use it to explain what real peer-reviewed science is compared to an opinion based on worldview. It’s also …

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28 March 2017

The Fake Climate Debate and The Real One

I just finished reading a paper by Michael Mann, Stefan Rahmstorf et.al in Nature Reports today that is getting some deserved press attention. It’s rather complicated (OK, for non-atmospheric science geeks, it’s a brick) but in plain language, it indicates that the warming of the climate is doing what many of my fellow forecasters have been suspecting for quite some time: changing the upper-level wind flow and therefore changing our …

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23 March 2017

Sea Ice and China Smog

Even Antarctica saw record low ice area during their summer (boreal winter), but there’s new research that seems to show a link between the Arctic ice loss and increased air pollution in China. With dark, heat-absorbing water now replacing what was once bright and very reflective ice, the energy balance of the atmosphere has to change, and that change translates to changing weather patterns. There is quite a bit of research into this now, …

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18 March 2017

February Second Warmest on Record

This February was 1.76°F (0.98°C) above the 20th-century average. The only February that was hotter was in 2016. When compared to the 20th-century average, February was the 7th hottest of any month on record The last February below the 20th-century average was in 1976. The rate of the February temperature increase has doubled since 1980. 15 of the 20 warmest Februaries have come since 2000. None were before 1983. February …

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10 March 2017

Conspiracy Theory Myths are Not Alternative Scientific Opinions. They are Just Wrong.

I saw this headline today: You see this kind of claim all over conspiracy theory sites online, but it’s just that: a silly conspiracy theory. Let me explain. This is the same as the Surgeon General saying that “We are not totally sure that the oxygen in the air is what keeps us alive”. The science is beyond overwhelming here because there’s no reasonable scientific doubt that the warming over …

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9 March 2017

Climate change puts California’s snowpack under the weather

Skiing in July? It could happen this year, but California’s days of bountiful snow are numbered. The Sierra Nevada snowpack, which provides 60 percent of the state’s water via a vast network of dams and reservoirs, has already been diminished by human-induced climate change and if emissions levels aren’t reduced, the snowpack could largely disappear during droughts, a new study finds.

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3 March 2017

Weathercaster Survey Shows Increasing Acceptance of Climate Science

The Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University is out with its latest survey of TV weathercasters and their views on climate change. For the most part, it’s good news, and I was one of the survey participants. Full disclosure: I’m doing a talk on science communication with one of the authors of the study (Ed Maibach) at the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Broadcast Meteorology conference in June. Just …

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2 March 2017

Study improves forecasts of summer Arctic sea ice

Each year, as sea ice starts to melt in the spring following its maximum wintertime extent, scientists still struggle to estimate exactly how much ice they expect will disappear through the melt season. Now, a new NASA forecasting model based on satellite measurements is allowing researchers to make better estimates.

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24 February 2017

Are we living in a warm peak between ice ages?

By Ned Rozell As another major rainstorm hit California in February, downtown San Francisco surpassed its normal rain total for an entire year. Reservoirs in the high country were spilling over. So ended a five-year drought in the state that some people attributed to human-caused climate change. Those pictures of dried-up California lakes bothered Syun-Ichi Akasofu, who recently gave a talk “The Forthcoming Ice Age” at the University of Alaska …

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21 February 2017

How Do Climate Models Work? Answer Here.

Keith Dixon is one of my go-to people when I have a question about climate modelling, so when Climate Central said they were going to host a webinar with Keith, I begged them to record it. They did! Now, this was done for meteorologists, so a bit of a geek alert here, but I think you will find it fascinating, even if you have no atmospheric science background. So, watch …

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16 February 2017

Ancient cave reveals recent droughts in the Middle East were most severe for over a millennium

A stalagmite collected from a remote cave in the Middle East has revealed that recent droughts there were more severe than previously thought, and therefore possibly an important contributing factor for the turmoil in Syria. A research team traveled to Iraq to collect the stalagmite and used it to present the first ever detailed climate reconstruction of the Fertile Crescent extending back 2,400 years.

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8 February 2017

Support for A Clean Energy Economy is Higher Than You Might Think

Ed Maibach and his group at George Mason University are out with another report about how American’s feel about climate change and clean energy. Prepare to be surprised by the level of support in this survey, which targeted strongly conservative voters. I talk often to groups about climate change and science and find these surveys indispensable in knowing my audience. Ed, John Cook*, and I are planning a joint talk at the …

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6 February 2017

The Graph The Daily Mail Does Not Want You To See

The Daily Mail says that NOAA is manipulating the climate data! No, really? That’s certainly a first for them. NOT. Here is a graph they published as proof. Now, there is just one tiny problem, well actually, there are a bunch of them. The Hadley (UK) data is based on an average from 1961-1990 while the NOAA data they plotted is based on 1901-2000. The baseline choice does not make …

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5 February 2017

Science, Government, and the Environment. Society of Environmental Journalists Seminar

The Society of Environmental Journalists held a mini-conference today (Saturday, 4 Feb. 2017), which I’d hoped to attend; Instead, I ended up watching the video replay (see video below.) Kudos to AP Science Writer Seth Borenstein. He was involved in organising the conference, and you can watch a lot of it below. Right off, let me say that you should not miss the talk by my friend Ed Maibach of George Mason University. …

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1 February 2017

You Really Must Read this Book

I have a book you should read, but if you live in Miami, Northeast North Carolina, New Orleans, or own a home near salt water, you MUST read this book. If you live in Kansas and didn’t know your tax dollars are going to rebuild millionaires beach homes after they were destroyed on a retreating beach, you just might be interested too. Anyone who starts looking for a good science …

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27 January 2017

Global flood risk could increase five-fold with a 4-degree C temperature rise

A new report looks at flood risk and economic damages under different global warming scenarios with temperature increases of 1.5 degrees Celsius, 2 degrees Celsius and 4 degrees Celsius. It concludes that, if global temperatures rise by 4 degrees Celsius, the flood risk in countries representing more than 70 percent percent of the global population and global GDP will increase by more than 500 percent.

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25 January 2017

Smokey Goes Rogue!

There are some strange things happening on the National Park Service Twitter accounts. It seems that someone posted factual information about climate change on the Twitter account for Badlands National Park  (South Dakota) on Tuesday, but the tweets were deleted. Not, however, before being captured and spread worldwide to an even larger audience than would have ever noticed them: The data is not the issue here since it’s spot on, …

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