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PBS: Climate of Doubt

Filed under: — gavin @ 24 October 2012

The video of Tuesday’s PBS show on the politics of the climate debate is available – I make a minor appearance…

The PBS website has more background.

A sea level Golden Horseshoe nominee*

Filed under: — gavin @ 14 October 2012

I was reading a sign high on the wall behind the bar:

‘Only genuine pre-war British and American whiskeys served here’

I was trying to count how many lies could be found in those nine words, and had reached four, with promise of more …”

Dashiell Hammett, “The Golden Horseshoe”

Google News occasionally throws up some obscure postings that I would never otherwise come across. A recent example was a letter to an editor of a Scottish newspaper (not my usual reading material) declaring that “Climate change is not man-made”. The letter itself is uninteresting – a basic confusion between weather and climate seguing into a NIMBY-ish rant about windmills. Ho hum.

However, in one of the comments from a “Dr John Cameron, St Andrews” (posted 9/Oct/2012), there was this unrelated pseudo-factoid:

As regards the catastrophic sea level rise in the Pacific, it became obvious some 20 years ago that results from island tide gauges did not support computer predictions. Scientists from Flinders University in Adelaide set up new, modern, tide-gauges in 12 Pacific islands to test whether there was in fact any evidence of sinking. Recently the whole project was abandoned as there had been no sign whatsoever of a change in sea level at any of the 12 islands for the past 16 years.

Now this is specific enough to probably actually refer to something real, but doesn’t pass the sniff test for something that might actually be true. Scientists don’t set up monitoring stations only to get the answer they want and then stop monitoring if it doesn’t happen. This only happens in the fevered imaginations of conspiracy theorists. So I was intrigued enough to investigate what this actually referred to…
More »

Climate Change videos: Part I

Filed under: — group @ 9 October 2012

The US National Research Council has been doing a lot recently to expand background knowledge of the climate system and of climate change. In tandem with a new report discussing strategies for advancing climate modeling, they have put up a an introductory web site on climate models (including some interviews with some actual climate modelers).

More comprehensively, they have helped put together a series of videos discussing everything from the definition of climate to attribution of climate changes and future projections. The series is in seven parts, viewable here. There are additional resources here.

We thought it would be interesting to have a separate post on each of the seven videos so that discussions on the videos themselves, or the topics covered (or not) could be more focused. So, with no further ado, here is part I: “What is Climate?”

Unforced variations: Oct 2012

Filed under: — group @ 1 October 2012

This month’s open thread. Try to keep it at least vaguely focused on climate science…!

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