This month’s open thread on climate science topics. We are well into Arctic melt season (so keep track of Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice blog for more info). Another link is the NY Times Daily podcast on the interesting-yet-flawed NYTimes Magazine “Losing Earth” piece (which is useful if you didn’t get around to finishing the written article yet). Remember to please stick to climate science topics on this thread.
Archives for 2018
Are the heatwaves caused by climate change?
I get a lot of questions about the connection between heatwaves and climate change these days. Particularly about the heatwave that has affected northern Europe this summer. If you live in Japan, South Korea, California, Spain, or Canada, you may have asked the same question.
[Read more…] about Are the heatwaves caused by climate change?
Musing about Losing Earth
The NY Times Magazine has a special issue this weekend on climate change. The main article is “Losing the Earth” by Nathaniel Rich, is premised on the idea that in the period 1979 to 1989 when we basically knew everything we needed to know that climate change was a risk, and the politics had not yet been polarized, we missed our opportunity to act. Stated this way, it would probably be uncontroversial, but since the article puts the blame for this on “human nature”, rather than any actual humans, extensive Twitter discussion ensues…
Unforced Variations: Aug 2018
This month’s open thread for climate science issues.
Does a slow AMOC increase the rate of global warming?
Established understanding of the AMOC (sometimes popularly called Gulf Stream System) says that a weaker AMOC leads to a slightly cooler global mean surface temperature due to changes in ocean heat storage. But now, a new paper in Nature claims the opposite and even predicts a phase of rapid global warming. What’s the story?
By Stefan Rahmstorf and Michael Mann
In 1751, the captain of an English slave-trading ship made a historic discovery. While sailing at latitude 25°N in the subtropical North Atlantic Ocean, Captain Henry Ellis lowered a “bucket sea-gauge” down through the warm surface waters into the deep. By means of a long rope and a system of valves, water from various depths could be brought up to the deck, where its temperature was read from a built-in thermometer. To his surprise Captain Ellis found that the deep water was icy cold.
These were the first ever recorded temperature measurements of the deep ocean. And they revealed what is now known to be a fundamental feature of all the world oceans: deep water is always cold. The warm waters of the tropics and subtropics are confined to a thin layer at the surface; the heat of the sun does not slowly warm up the depths as might be expected. Ellis wrote:
“This experiment, which seem’d at first but mere food for curiosity, became in the interim very useful to us. By its means we supplied our cold bath, and cooled our wines or water at pleasure; which is vastly agreeable to us in this burning climate.”
[Read more…] about Does a slow AMOC increase the rate of global warming?
Model Independence Day
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all models are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creators with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are a DOI, Runability and Inclusion in the CMIP ensemble mean.
Well, not quite. But it is Independence Day in the US, and coincidentally there is a new discussion paper (Abramowitz et al) (direct link) posted on model independence just posted at Earth System Dynamics.
[Read more…] about Model Independence Day
- G. Abramowitz, N. Herger, E. Gutmann, D. Hammerling, R. Knutti, M. Leduc, R. Lorenz, R. Pincus, and G.A. Schmidt, "Model dependence in multi-model climate ensembles: weighting, sub-selection and out-of-sample testing", 2018. http://dx.doi.org/10.5194/esd-2018-51
Unforced Variations: July 2018
This month’s open thread for climate science related topics. The climate policy open thread is here.
Forced Responses: Jul 2018
Open thread for climate policy and responses.
30 years after Hansen’s testimony
“The greenhouse effect is here.”
– Jim Hansen, 23rd June 1988, Senate Testimony
The first transient climate projections using GCMs are 30 years old this year, and they have stood up remarkably well.
We’ve looked at the skill in the Hansen et al (1988) (pdf) simulations before (back in 2008), and we said at the time that the simulations were skillful and that differences from observations would be clearer with a decade or two’s more data. Well, another decade has passed!
[Read more…] about 30 years after Hansen’s testimony
- J. Hansen, I. Fung, A. Lacis, D. Rind, S. Lebedeff, R. Ruedy, G. Russell, and P. Stone, "Global climate changes as forecast by Goddard Institute for Space Studies three-dimensional model", Journal of Geophysical Research, vol. 93, pp. 9341, 1988. http://dx.doi.org/10.1029/JD093iD08p09341
Will climate change bring benefits from reduced cold-related mortality? Insights from the latest epidemiological research
Guest post by Veronika Huber
Climate skeptics sometimes like to claim that although global warming will lead to more deaths from heat, it will overall save lives due to fewer deaths from cold. But is this true? Epidemiological studies suggest the opposite.
Mortality statistics generally show a distinct seasonality. More people die in the colder winter months than in the warmer summer months. In European countries, for example, the difference between the average number of deaths in winter (December – March) and in the remaining months of the year is 10% to 30%. Only a proportion of these winter excess deaths are directly related to low ambient temperatures (rather than other seasonal factors). Yet, it is reasonable to suspect that fewer people will die from cold as winters are getting milder with climate change. On the other hand, excess mortality from heat may also be high, with, for example, up to 70,000 additional deaths attributed to the 2003 summer heat wave in Europe. So, will the expected reduction in cold-related mortality be large enough to compensate for the equally anticipated increase in heat-related mortality under climate change? [Read more…] about Will climate change bring benefits from reduced cold-related mortality? Insights from the latest epidemiological research