Confusion is definitely centered in the Republican quadrant. Via Dan Kahan who wants us to focus on the rainbow effect. But to me the most striking thing about this pattern is the rarity of deep confusion outside the top left quadrant. Cover that quadrant with white paper and mentally extrapolate. Then look at the data again.
Anything goes, per usual.
Also, we are taking nominations for the Golden Horseshoe Awards for 2014 – We usually like to avoid the noise and focus on the signal, but for the New Year we’d like to send some awards for the biggest and most misleading claims in the climate world. [more]
This has been known behind the scenes for a while, but the publication is useful. It again demonstrates that the scientific literature is performing a very unusual function in the climate policy arena. The very clear accessible presentation of the work in this video is enormously helpful as well.
I think another thing to consider is this. This demonstrates is how very un-robust the “slowdown” is. It did not take much of a correction to eliminate the trend.
Indeed, the conclusions allude to this:
While short term trends are generally treated with a suitable level of caution by specialists in the field, they feature significantly in the public discourse on climate change.
There’s another aspect to this, though, and it may be a bigger deal than might at first be apparent. It adds up to a pretty scary situation.
That’s because the “slowdown” or “hiatus” has also had a number of alternative explanations. Decreased solar activity. Increased volcanic activity. A prevalence of cool-phase El Nino oscillations. Increase in aerosol loading from rapid and dirty Chinese industrial expansion. Heat export to deeper ocean layers.
To be sure, we are somewhat at risk of post hoc reasoning here. If there had been no sign of a “hiatus”, it is likely that less effort would have gone into explaining it! But all of these explanations appear individually to be sound, and with the possible exception of the last, likely to be reversed at any time. What that would mean is that in reality the underlying rate of warming is still accelerating. Ouch.
An article in EnvironmentalResearchWeb oversimplifies the relationship between simple and complex climate models. [more]
Typhoon Haiyan, with maximum sustained winds over 190 mph, will hit the Philippine Islands as a category 5 storm which might set a world record low pressure measurement from a land station. [more]
Paul Krugman notices economic denialism. [more]
The subjective experience of local climate change is dependent not only on external climate conditions, but also on individual beliefs, with perceptions apparently biased by prior beliefs about global warming.
Suggested Topic: Conversations about climate and sustainability seem to have a way of making no progress. Issues include definition of terms, overlapping and complex issues, differing values and norms, and sheer confusion about facts. Is there any way to fight back against the confusion?
Sure enough, this story is not going away. So for the record here is Nafeez’s retraction from Sept 10 2013:
I’m dropping by to say thank you for your posts on this, including this. They have provoked a lot of reflection for me.
As just another journo trying to make sense of the science, it wasn’t obvious to me at all that Shakhova’s work is speculative. [more]
I was very pleased that Simon Donner accepted my offer to pass the Woody Guthrie Award to a Thinking Blogger to him. Simon is an expert on coral who spends his time crossing the Pacific between the South Seas and Vancouver. He writes the excellent blog Maribo. [more]
A case study. Consider how this affects how we think about issues like climate.
Graham Wayne reports that the infamous Heartland Institute has spammed many American schoolteachers with a glossy document filled with misrepresentations about climate change. [more]
Science fiction author and essayist David Brin proposes an optimistic outlook. He offers good reasons for optimism in his article. Most notably, as most people seem determined to forget, the war on poverty is actually going well. [more]