John Kerry in Peru on Climate Change

It is nice to know that the 97% consensus on climate change science is assumed to be a real thing by the leaders. This is John Kerry talking about climate change, in Peru.

He notes that scientists were telling us that climate change is real and already happening in 1988, and he notes that in Rio 1992, the UN Secretary General delcared that he was persuaded that we are on the road to tragedy. He mentioned the superstorm happening now on the West coast and says, “It’s become common place now to hear of record breaking weather events.”

Happy Anniversary Real Climate

Ten Years of RealClimate

In 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.

Why we started and why we continue

RealClimate is one of the more important climate science blogs out there. If you don’t know about it, you should!

Read the rest of the story here.

Global warming’s dangers stare us in face: Op Ed by Michael Mann

The Providence Journal has published an Op Ed by climate scientist Michael Mann. You should read the whole thing, but I found the following paragraphs to be one of the better written descriptions of the situation we are in:

Here’s what my fellow scientists and I know: Thermometers and satellites all point to the fact that the world is rapidly warming. Glaciers are shrinking, the ocean is heating and expanding, precipitation is falling in heavier doses, and we’re watching the Arctic icecap shrink away.

Why the rapid warming? Heat-trapping carbon dioxide in our atmosphere has increased about 40 percent since pre-industrial times. It comes from major industries that extract and burn coal and oil, as well as tropical deforestation.

Now, climate risks are staring us in the face….

Mann reminds us that those who support climate science denialism such as Dennis Slonk, who had previously written for the Journal, insist that denialists are merely asking legitimate questions of scientists and the science. Mann then asks, if this is so, why have deniers in Congress called for criminal investigations of the scientists, and why would someone send a climate scientist a package of mysterious white powder, which, even if the powder is inert (as it turned out to be) is probably a terrorist act.

I recommend reading this Op Ed, it is quite enlightening.

Michael Mann also has an Op Ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, HERE.

How to get women. To vote for you. If you are a politician.

Joireman with students in his lab at WSU. (Photos by Rebecca Phillips, WSU)

Joireman with students in his lab at WSU. (Photos by Rebecca Phillips, WSU)

There are a lot of possible answers to that question, but whatever set of answers you like, you have to account for change. Certain social justice or reproductive rights issues are less important now than they they have been in the past, not because the issues are less important, but because they are more settled. A new change you have to account for now, for a certain voting bloc of women, is Climate Change. Science 2.0 has a summary of a recent study — Don’t Believe In Global Warming? Women Won’t Vote For You — suggesting that for some, climate change has become a woman’s issue.

The study is by Jeff Joireman and Richie Liu is “Future-oriented women will pay to Reduce Global Warming: Mediation via political orientation, Environmental Values, and Belief in Global Warming.” and here is the abstract:

The present work addresses calls to clarify the role of gender in climate change mitigation and adaptation by testing a theoretical model linking gender and concern with future and immediate consequences to mitigation actions through political orientation, environmental values, and belief in global warming (gender x time orientation ? liberal political orientation ? environmental values ? belief in global warming ? willingness to pay to reduce global warming). Drawing on a sample of 299 U.S. residents, structural equation modeling and bootstrapped indirect effects testing revealed support for the model. Interaction analyses further revealed that women scored higher than men on model variables among respondents who routinely consider the future consequences of their actions, but the gender difference was reversed among those low in concern with future consequences (on liberal political orientation and willingness to pay to reduce global warming). Practical and theoretical implications are considered.

The study has a press release by Rebecca Phillips:

Politicians who discredit global warming risk losing a big chunk of the female vote….women who consider the long-term consequences of their actions are more likely to adopt a liberal political orientation and take consumer and political steps to reduce global warming.

Jeff Joireman, associate professor of marketing at Washington State University, demonstrated that “future-oriented” women are the voting bloc most strongly motivated to invest money, time and taxes toward reducing global warming.

Joireman said belief in global warming is positively linked to outdoor temperatures, so in light of recent record-breaking heat, people – especially future-oriented women – may have climate change on their minds during next week’s midterm elections.

September was the hottest on record in 135 years, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration projects 2014 will likely break the record for hottest year.

This year’s political contests are also heated, with environmental ads surging to record levels. More than 125,000 political spots cite energy, climate change and the environment – more than all other issues except health care and jobs – according to an analysis by Kantar Media/CMAG.

Motivating the wider populace to engage and take action on global warming, however, is an ongoing challenge, said Joireman.
“Decisions that affect global warming pose a dilemma between what is good for individuals in the ‘here and now’ versus what is good for society and the environment ‘in the distant future,’” he said.
“Unfortunately, it can take several decades for the lay public and lawmakers to realize there is a problem that needs fixing,” he said. “This is clearly the case with global warming, as the consequences of our current lifestyle are not likely to be fully realized for another 25 to 50 years.”

…Joireman investigated how the time element contributes to people’s willingness to address climate change.

For the study, he focused on the personality trait called “consideration of future consequences.”

Those who score high on the trait scale tend to be very worried about the future impacts of their actions, while those with lower scores are more concerned with immediate consequences.

… his team polled 299 U.S. residents, with an age range of 18-75. Forty-eight percent of the respondents were female and 80 percent were Caucasian.

Women scored higher than men on liberal political orientation, environmental values, belief in global warming and willingness to pay to reduce global warming when their concern with future consequences was high.

But it wasn’t a simple gender difference. Women scored lower than men on liberal political orientation and willingness to pay when their concern with future consequences was low.

Joireman said a specific chain of influences makes future-oriented women more likely to take action. First, they are more politically liberal.

Liberals are more likely to value the environment, which makes them more likely to believe in global warming, he said. All together, these effects lead to a willingness to pay more in goods, services and extra taxes to help mitigate climate change.

“Future-oriented women, for example, might be more willing to pay higher prices for fuel-efficient cars, alternative forms of transportation and energy-efficient appliances. They might also eat less meat – all to help lower greenhouse gas emissions,” he said.

The question for environmental advocates now, said Joireman, is to “figure out how to motivate all people to engage in behaviors that reduce global warming. To be effective, we will likely need to tailor persuasive messages to appeal to the consequences people value.
“If people are not worried about future consequences, we have to try to appeal to their more immediate concerns,” he said, “like encouraging them to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle so they can instantly start saving money on gas.”

Peter Gleick, The Heartland Revelations and Situational Journalism

Peter Gleick, renowned scientist, great guy, crappy journalist.

First, let me catch you up. On Valentine’s Day, there was a release of documents from the Heartland Institute documenting their budget and the status of their fund raising, as well as their strategy for protecting corporate interests in light of overwhelming evidence that Anthropogenic Global Warming and other climate change requires us to alter our global energy strategy. Heartland has been involved in science denialsm for some time. They are one of the groups that worked to deny evidence of the negative health effects of smoking, among other things. Heartland, a Libertarian “think” tank is a relatively small player in the overall climate discussion, and the documents indicate that the annual balance of their budget has been diminishing owing to reductions in contributions. Nonetheless, the documents painted a picture of systematic dishonesty. In particular, the documents seemed to indicate that Heartland was launching a bought and paid for effort to interfere with the teaching of good science in our K-12 educational system, replacing honest science with the willful misdirection we know of as science denialism. Continue reading

Please help climate scientists who are under attack to defend themselves.

Please read and pass on.

Climate researchers are in need of immediate legal assistance to prevent their private correspondence from being exposed to Chris Horner and the American Tradition Institute who are using Freedom of Information (FOI) to harass researchers. (For context please see: http://wapo.st/pQg0JC and http://wapo.st/oiua7V) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has recently stated: “the sharing of research data is vastly different from unreasonable, excessive Freedom of Information Act requests for personal information and voluminous data that are then used to harass and intimidate scientists.” The complete AAAS statement is available at http://bit.ly/p04sIq

Please visit the site Scott A. Mandia has set up and donate a few bucks after you read his post.

Climate Change News

You will recall that in July a paper came out claiming that clouds, not CO2, caused climate change (I simplify slightly). Later, the Editor in Chief of the journal that published the paper resigned. Well, today, a paper came out that addresses the science side of the original paper. The origional paper appears to have been both poorly done and probably improperly (as in unethically done). The paper that just came out shows that clouds do not cause climate change. Climate science remains intact. Climate change denialism takes another hit.

I’ve written it up here. Deltoid has this covered as well.

In addition, there is some interesting reading here, here, here, and here.

Enjoy.

CloudGate Link Farm

I just posted a summary of the latest rather startling event in Cloud Gate, the curent scandal in the Climate Change Denialist world:

CloudGate: Denialism Gets Dirty, Reputations Are At Stake

Please go have a look and leave any questions you have. If I can’t help you with the questions, I’ll find someone who can.

Meanwhile, this latest event, which involves the resignation of the Editor-in-Chief of a peer reviewed scientific journal, has created a lot of discussion in a very short period of time. Thus, the link farm to help you keep track:

The Original Paper is here.

Wolfgang Wagner’s resignation … is here (pdf).

Blog posts and press reports about the resignation:

Noah or NOAA?

Our faith based Federal Executive has been reluctant to admit to, let alone address, the fact that global warming resulting from release of fossil carbon into the atmosphere is a real phenomenon. It is a little surprising that today, NOAA came out with a press release that virtually admits that global warming is a real phenomenon (but stops short of discussing the cause).

The scientific community is generally united in recognizing the reality of this problem, but there are still holdouts. However, considering that so much of the funding related to this research still comes from industrial sources (as does much of the fossil carbon), that there are holdouts is not surprising.

This is a parable that may be insightful or even inspiring to some. First, a look at the “Yes, it’s real” position. One of the first mainstream institutions to embrace the idea was the Union of Concerned Scientists. This is an excerpt from their web site:

Earth’s surface has undergone unprecedented warming over the last century, particularly over the last two decades. Astonishingly, every single year since 1992 is in the current list of the 20 warmest years on record.[1,2] The natural patterns of climate have been altered. Like detectives, science sleuths seek the answer to “Whodunnit?” — are humans part of the cause? To answer this question, patterns observed by meteorologists and oceanographers are compared with patterns developed using sophisticated models of Earth’s atmosphere and ocean. By matching the observed and modeled patterns, scientists can now positively identify the “human fingerprints” associated with the changes. The fingerprints that humans have left on Earth’s climate are turning up in a diverse range of records and can be seen in the ocean, in the atmosphere, and at the surface

In 1999, James Hansen of NASA wrote an editorial for Goddard (GISS) that showed this graph:


Fig. 1: Climate model calculations reported in Hansen et al. (1988).

And provided this commentary: Continue reading

Thinking of Global Warming

Amazingly enough, we (my family) are going to have to work very hard this year, as we did over the last two years, to get in even one or two good days of cross country skiing. And we live in the middle of Minnesota. This is partly because a good bit of the precip that falls on us these days is actually rain and not snow.

But this is of course a very selfish concern, to the extent that this change is related to human-induced global warming (which I’m betting on). And this reminds me of how often I get the question from students and others, “why worry about global warming … what’s wrong with a little warm weather anyway.”

For one thing I think it is safe to say that the “controversy” is over. No one is seriously questioning that there has been warming, that we are in a warming trend, and that this trend is caused primarily by human release of otherwise trapped (mainly fossil) carbon into the atmosphere. Nice to know that the Yahoos are pretty much silenced by the facts on that one…

Still, the question arises, “why is this important” … even in places where you might not expect it, like this discussion on the geology of the grand canyon: Another Timeline

There are a lot of resources available on this issue, but here is a short version of my two cents:
Continue reading