Obama’s top climate and energy adviser to leave White House
The White House’s senior energy and climate adviser Heather Zichal is leaving the White House, despite the president’s personal entreaties to stay.
During her five-year tenure Zichal, who coordinated the work of multiple agencies on issues ranging from air quality to global warming, played an instrumental role in pushing for stricter fuel efficiency standards for automobiles to limits on mercury and other toxic emissions from power plants. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2013/10/07/obamas-top-climate-and-energy-adviser-to-leave-white-house/
What are they smoking? Sheesh. Climate change is real and denial is not about the science
In fact, one could argue that climate science has not significantly changed since it was first hypothesized that combustion of fossil fuels could change the climate — in 1896.
That’s why, of the dozens of atmospheric scientists in our state at Texas A&M, University of Texas, Rice, Texas Tech, University of Houston, etc., approximately zero of them are skeptical of this mainstream view of climate science.
Our department and the Climate Systems Science Group at the University of Texas even have statements on our websites confirming our agreement (UT: www.ig.utexas.edu/jsg/css_jsg/people/statement.html; TAMU: http:// atmo.tamu.edu/weather-and- climate/climate-change- statement).
So why is there such a disconnect between what scientists think and the public debate?
Recent cognitive research helps us understand this. Researchers find that beliefs on climate change science strongly correlate with other policy preferences.
For example, if you are skeptical of the science of climate change, then you almost certainly oppose the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, and support gun rights.
Propping up ARGO data – New Comparison of Ocean Temperatures Reveals Rise over the Last Century
”The significance of the study is not only that we see a temperature difference that indicates warming on a global scale, but that the magnitude of the temperature change since the 1870s is twice that observed over the past 50 years,” said Roemmich, co-chairman of the International Argo Steering Team. “This implies that the time scale for the warming of the ocean is not just the last 50 years but at least the last 100 years.””
This can’t be good – Winter blackout risk in Britain rises to 2007 levels. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/energy/10360751/Blackout-risk-this-winter-highest-in-a-decade-warns-National-Grid.html
Benedict Brogan sets out the painful truth that any developments on the shale gas front are likely to come too late to prevent a power crisis in the UK.
English major Chris Mooney on press coverage of the pause: “Skeptics must be in heaven”
…The IPCC responded by ramping up its communications efforts. It “upgraded” a prior communication staff job to a senior-level position, and added an additional junior staffer. In addition, the IPCC’s budget documents outline an array of communications expenditures related to the Fifth Assessment Report’s release. However, it is noteworthy that most of the budget total is for next year, not this year, even though it’s likely that the peak moment for media attention has already passed. Furthermore, more than half of the 2014 budget is dedicated to scientists’ travel (720,000 Swiss francs, or about $800,000). The total communications budget for 2013 was 240,000 Swiss Francs (about $265,000), and for 2014 is 1,145,000 Swiss Francs ($1,265,000).
Such investments notwithstanding, one plainly avoidable communications blunder occurred in the rollout: The IPCC released the report on a Friday, which is infamous for being the day of the week when you try to bury bad news so it won’t be noticed. More important, it’s not clear that the panel’s communications ramp up prepared it to deal with a new, combined media-skeptic line of attack: the “pause.”
…At the press conference in Stockholm when the report was released, journalists relentlessly questioned the report’s drafters about the pause.
It remains to be seen just how much damage has been done. But at minimum, we can say that during a major moment for climate scientists to communicate the direness of our plight, they were instead being questioned about why global warming has “paused.” Skeptics must be in heaven.
Whose fault is all this? The skeptics, the journalists—but yes, the scientists too.
“I think the deniers deserve most of the blame. They’re still trying to confuse people,” says Susan Joy Hassol, who directs Climate Communication, a nonprofit science and outreach group.
h/t to Tom Nelson
Report: Top scientists call into question UN’s global warming study
The United Nations’ global warming report has come under fire, as some scientists argue that the results have been politicized.
The U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) quietly released its full report on the state of global warming last week, and scientists are attacking the study for presenting misleading information and covering up science that tempered or conflicted with the prevailing narrative: global warming is manmade and will require drastic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
The report asserts “95 percent” certainty about these two takeaways. Scientists critical of the report have pointed out that this supposed increase in certainty comes after a 15-year hiatus in global warming.
Germany’s Der Spiegel reports: “How can science be certain about man’s impact when over the last 15 years the natural impacts surprisingly have stopped the warming of the air, asked climate scientist Judith Curry of Georgia Institute of Technology, Chairperson of the Climate Forecast Applications Network.”
Bob Geldoff must be thrilled.
Over 80 percent of the world’s ice-free land is at risk of profound ecosystem transformation by 2100, a new study reveals. “Essentially, we would be leaving the world as we know it,” says Sebastian Ostberg of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, Germany. Ostberg and collaborators studied the critical impacts of climate change on landscapes and have now published their results in Earth System Dynamics, an open access journal of the European Geosciences Union.
Climate zealotry all-stars together in Iceland
Mike Mann, Stephan Rahmstorf, Kari Norgard at the rift between continental plates in southern Iceland.
The only person missing from this trio of zealots is my Internet stalker, “Sou” aka Miriam O’Brien. Apparently taking fossil fueled jet set vacations is no big deal if you are a savior of the planet, everybody else just needs to stop flying. #greensgobyair
h/t to Tom Nelson
Silly, but fun. If nothing else, an antidote to the picture above.