Media awareness about global warming and climate change has grown fairly steadily since 2004. My impression is that journalists today tend to possess a higher climate literacy than before. This increasing awareness and improved knowledge is encouraging, but there are also some common interpretations which could be more nuanced. Here are two examples, polar amplification and extreme rainfall.[Read more…] about Old habits
Reporting on climate
I followed with great interest the launch of the sixth assessment report Working Group 1 (The Physical Science Basis) from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on August 9th.
The main report is quite impressive (see earlier posts here, here, here, and here) but the press conference didn’t come across as being focused and well-prepared. In my opinion the press conference on 9 August 2021 didn’t do justice to the vast effort that went into it.[Read more…] about Deciphering the ‘SPM AR6 WG1’ code
The “end of the world” or “good for you” are the two least likely among the spectrum of potential outcomes.
Scientists have been looking at best, middling and worst case scenarios for anthropogenic climate change for decades. For instance, Stephen Schneider himself took a turn back in 2009. And others have postulated both far more rosy and far more catastrophic possibilities as well (with somewhat variable evidentiary bases).[Read more…] about The best case for worst case scenarios
- S. Schneider, "The worst-case scenario", Nature, vol. 458, pp. 1104-1105, 2009. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/4581104a
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…
The Arctic is changing fast, and the Arctic Council recently commissioned the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP) to write two new reports on the state of the Arctic cryosphere (snow, water, and ice) and how the people and the ecosystems in the Arctic can live with these changes.
The two reports have now just been published and are called Snow Water Ice and Permafrost in the Arctic Update (SWIPA-update) and Adaptive Actions for a Changing Arctic (AACA).
Distortion? False information? Conspiracy theories? Hacked email? Climate scientists have known all this for decades. What can be learned from their rich experience with climate propaganda.
The world is slowly waking up. “Post-truth” was declared the word of the year 2016 by the Oxford Dictionaries. Finally, people start to widely appreciate how dangerous the epidemic of fake news is for democracy.
Stir up hate, destroy discourse, make insane claims until no one can distinguish the most bizarre absurdity from the truth any more.
Thus the Austrian author Robert Misik aptly describes the strategy of right-wing populists.
Some call it “alternative facts”. (Those are the convenient alternative to true facts.) Let’s simply call it propaganda. [Read more…] about Fake news, hacked mail, alternative facts – that’s old hat for climate scientists
Another climate report is out – what’s new? Many of the previous reports have presented updated status on the climate and familiar topics such as temperature, precipitation, ice, snow, wind, and storm activities.
The latest report Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2016 from the European Environment Agency (EEA) also includes an assessment of hail, a weather phenomenon that is often associated with lightening (a previous report from EASAC from 2013 also covers hail).
Usually, there has not been a lot of information about hail, but that is improving. Still, the jury is still out when it comes to hail and climate change:
Despite improvements in data availability, trends and projections of hail events are still uncertain.
The Norwegian Meteorological institute has celebrated its 150th anniversary this year. It was founded to provide weather data and tentative warnings to farmers, sailors, and fishermen. The inception of Norwegian climatology in the mid-1800s started with studies of geographical climatic variations to adapt important infrastructure to the ambient climate. The purpose of the meteorology and climatology was to protect lives and properties.
There is an interesting news article ($) in Science this week by Paul Voosen on the increasing amount of transparency on climate model tuning. (Full disclosure, I spoke to him a couple of times for this article and I’m working on tuning description paper for the US climate modeling centers). The main points of the article are worth highlighting here, even if a few of the characterizations are slightly off.