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Ten Years of RealClimate

Filed under: — group @ 10 December 2014

rc10In the spring of 2004, when we (individually) first started talking to people about starting a blog on climate science, almost everyone thought it was a great idea, but very few thought it was something they should get involved in. Today, scientists communicating on social media is far more commonplace. On the occasion of our 10 year anniversary today it is worth reflecting on the impact of those changes, what we’ve learned and where we go next.

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Ten years of Realclimate: By the numbers

Filed under: — group @ 10 December 2014

rc10Start date: 10 December 2004

Number of posts: 914

Number of comments: ~172,000

Number of comments with inline responses: 14,277

Minimum number of total unique page visits, and unique views, respectively: 19 Million, 35 Million

Number of guest posts: 100+

Number of mentions in newspaper sources indexed by LexisNexis: 225

Minimum number of contributors and guest authors: 105

Minimum number of times RealClimate was hacked: 2

Busiest month: December 2009

Busiest day of the week: Monday

Number of times the IPCC and the NIPCC are mentioned, respectively: 357, 5

Minimum number of Science papers arising from a blog post here: 1

Minimum number of RealClimate mentions in Web Of Science references: 14

Minimum number of RealClimate mentions in theses indexed by ProQuest: 33

Posts highest ranked by Google by year:

2004 CO2 in ice cores
2005 Water vapour: feedback or forcing?
2006 Al Gore’s Movie
2007 Swindled!
2008 FAQ on climate models
2009 The CRU Hack
2010 Feedback on cloud feedback
2011 Misdiagnosis of surface temperature feedback
2012 Extremely Hot
2013 The new IPCC climate report
2014 Climate response estimates from Lewis and Curry

All numbers are estimates from latest available data, but no warranty is implied or provided so all use of these numbers is at your own risk.

The most popular deceptive climate graph

The “World Climate Widget” from Tony Watts’ blog is probably the most popular deceptive image among climate “skeptics”.  We’ll take it under the microscope and show what it would look like when done properly.

So called “climate skeptics” deploy an arsenal of misleading graphics, with which the human influence on the climate can be down played (here are two other  examples deconstructed at Realclimate).  The image below is especially widespread.  It is displayed on many “climate skeptic” websites and is regularly updated.


The “World Climate Widget” of US “climate skeptic” Anthony Watts with our explanations added.  The original can be found on Watts’ blog

What would a more honest display of temperature, CO2 and sunspots look like? More »

Recent global warming trends: significant or paused or what?

As the World Meteorological Organisation WMO has just announced that “The year 2014 is on track to be the warmest, or one of the warmest years on record”, it is timely to have a look at recent global temperature changes.

I’m going to use Kevin Cowtan’s nice interactive temperature plotting and trend calculation tool to provide some illustrations. I will be using the HadCRUT4 hybrid data, which have the most sophisticated method to fill data gaps in the Arctic with the help of satellites, but the same basic points can be illustrated with other data just as well.

Let’s start by looking at the full record, which starts in 1979 since the satellites come online there (and it’s not long after global warming really took off).

trend1Fig. 1. Global temperature 1979 to present – monthly values (crosses), 12-months running mean (red line) and linear trend line with uncertainty (blue) More »

New developments: Climate services for health

Filed under: — rasmus @ 13 October 2014

I recently received a joint email from the World Meteorological and Health organisations (WMO & WHO) which I like to bring to the attention of our readers. Both because it shows the direction of some new developments, but also because the WMO and WHO are inviting people to share their experience with health and climate. We wrote a post on the subject climate and health in 2011, based on a book by Paul Epstein (who sadly pased away in November 2011) and Dan Ferber (Health on a Changing Planet), and are glad to see an increased emphasis on this topic. The call from WMO/WHO goes as follows:

Guest commentary from Joy Shumake-Guillemot

Climate Services for Health
Enhancing Decision Support for Climate Risk Management and Adaptation

Climate services for health are an emerging technical field for both the health and climate communities. In 2012, WHO and WMO jointly published the Atlas on Climate and Health, drawing attention to the key linkages between climate and health, and how climate information can be used to understand and manage climate sensitive health risks. A new follow-up publication of Case Studies on Climate Services for Health is in preparation, and will take a next step to outline with greater detail how a wide range of health applications can benefit from using climate and weather information; what steps and processes can be used to co-develop and use climate and weather information in the health sector; and showcase how such partnerships and services can really make a difference to the health community. 

Submission Guidance – Deadline October 31, 2014
We invite you to share your experiences and call attention to the increasing opportunities to solve health problems with climate service solutions. Case studies should highlight existing partnerships and good practices that demonstrate the broad range of possible applications and the value of using climate information to inform health decisions. Case studies from across health science and practice are welcomed, including examples of climate services for integrated surveillance, disease forecasting, early warning systems, risk mapping, health service planning, risk communication, research, evaluation, infrastructure siting, etc. Additionally, the publication aims to highlight the full range climate-related health issues and risks (i.e. nutrition, NCDs, air pollution, allergens, infectious diseases, water and sanitation, extreme temperatures and weather, etc.) where health decision-making can benefit from climate and weather knowledge at historic, immediate, seasonal, or long-term time scales.

Case studies should be short (~600 words, 2 pages incl. images/diagrams and references) and designed to highlight the added-value that climate services have made for managing climate risks to health. Please find additional guidance on the structure and four elements to be included at  

For questions and submission please contact
Dr.Joy Shumake-Guillemot
WHO/WMO Climate and Health Office, World Meteorological Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

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