2011-04-06 07:33:22Thoughts requested on a "monthly climate" summary
Michael Searcy

scentofpine@yahoo...
72.91.144.96

There's so much reesearch and activity going on continually with regard to climate change, it's difficult for even those of us diligently paying attention to keep up, and pretty much impossible for those with less interest.  With that in mind, I thought about putting together a "monthly climate summary" report.  I used to post a weekly summary of headlines, but it became burdensome.  I am thinking a monthly approach might be more feasible.

Here's a sample post for March 2011 and a downloadable PDF version.

Do you guys think this information would be of interest to SkS readers in an SkS branded version?

2011-04-06 15:13:29
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.221.247

Most definitely, I think it would a fantastic idea. It's very important to keep beaming out the message that climate change is here, it's happening now, and humanity had better start to pull it's head out of it's backside.   

2011-04-06 15:17:16Agreed
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

...before it's too late.

2011-04-06 15:22:53Ditto
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203
Yes this sounds like a useful idea. Summaries are always good!
2011-04-06 15:26:22
Ari Jokimäki

arijmaki@yahoo...
192.100.112.210

I'm currently doing a weekly news thing and people seem to like it very much, so I think it's a good idea.

2011-04-06 16:05:34Excellent Idea
Glenn Tamblyn

glenn@thefoodgallery.com...
124.181.111.236

Sounds fantastic. Also what might be useful would then linking this to any relevent and applicable posts here at SkS and other key sites. Linking the Blogosphere to the outside world. The contents of the summary might also be a generator of posts. So bringing it out a week or so into the next month and possibly a heads-up on expected content might be useful for generating connected posts.

2011-04-06 16:59:40Two comments
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
60.231.60.165

No, 3 comments!

First, great idea.

Second, if you want to do the PDF with SkS branding, let me know what you need and what software you use - I can generate headers and footers for you.

Third, my immediate thought upon looking at your monthly report was a weekly one would be even better but that might be too high maintenance. Perhaps combine efforts with Ari?

2011-05-23 23:15:19April summary posted
Michael Searcy

scentofpine@yahoo...
72.64.190.117

The summary for April has been posted, albeit a bit later than I had planned.  April was a pretty wild month.

Ari,

I reviewed and incorporated some things from your weekly reviews (which are excellent btw) as well as those from Ill Things, The Earth Institute, and Climate Central.  You'll notice links to all of the above on the final page of the PDF.

John,

I'm using PowerPoint to generate the file and associated PDF.  So, if you can supply an SkS branded PP template, I'd happily transfer the content if you want to repost here.

Glenn,

I think these are great ideas.  The format and approach are definitely evolving, but I like the direction you're proposing.

2011-05-24 06:26:30
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.100.186

Mike, I like the image for the April report on your home page. Great stuff!. 

2011-05-24 06:46:20
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Very good summary.  Is there a link between tornadoes and global warming?

2011-05-24 07:43:50
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
93.147.82.89

Great resource. Well done.

2011-05-24 08:07:40
Michael Searcy

scentofpine@yahoo...
72.64.190.117

Thanks for the reviews!

dana1981,

The summary is intended to serve a couple of purposes.  The first is to summarize the major climate conditions at the time (e.g. temp, precipitation, significant weather events, etc.).  Since people tend to forget major events within a month of their occurrence (unless directly impacted), the inclusion of these conditions is intended as a refresher for historical purposes and to help put other non-weather/climate related events in context.

The second is to summarize climate change specific news items, reports, and research papers from that month in an approachable way.

Aside from the summary, specific to tornadoes, I tend to subscribe to the mindset that, as the global climate has been fundamentally altered at this point, all weather events, anomalous or otherwise, are related to climate change and that arguing over specific attribution is unproductive.  Kind of like raising someone's internal body temperature to unhealthy levels and then debating which system failures are specifically caused by that single change.

2011-05-24 09:00:46
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

Not that I subscribe to changing article content based on anticipation of denier reactions, but I suspect they'll use this as an excuse to say 'SkS is blaming tornadoes on global warming'.  Like I said, I don't really care how deniers will react (just thought I'd mention that because some do), and thought the tornado discussion was very interesting.  But it also made me wonder if there was any link between tornadoes and global warming in the scientific literature.  I thought I remembered Watts scoffing at the possibility of a link, not that Watts' opinion means diddly squat.

Anyway, I just wondered if anyone knew of some research on the subject.  We should probably re-post your article pretty soon, since we're getting close to June already!

2011-05-24 09:11:00
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

The current research on the link is inconclusive, and believe it or not, not really extensive as it should be.  The two major meteorlogical events that fuel the cells are warm air from the Gulf of Mexico and wind sheer from the Arctic coming over the Rockies.  The warm air coming is obviously projected to increase the size and strength of tornadoes and the wind sheer is projected to decrease.  The problem is that there is no model that can project out far enough to know what the trend will be as we warm.  The focus should be on the uncerainty of risk, but include the certainty of warmer air coming upwards.  The effect of future interactions isn't clear.  Once again we are faced with the problem of trying to explain the uncertainty paradox to people who want exact answers, and when they don't get them, become unreasonable.  The best we can do is ask whether these people are willing to take the risk and hope to God they adapt in Tornado Alley.

2011-05-24 13:14:26
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.22.51

Dana, there is modelling research which indicates that the severe thunderstorms, which spawn tornadoes, will become more frequent. The increase in CAPE (convective available potential energy) outpacing the decline in windshear. As for more tornadoes in the future, haven't run across any literature that suggests such a thing, but an increase in the frequency of severe thunderstorms might signal more tornadoes. Sadly, historical records are poos, so no reliable trends can be discerned. 

Again, something I have meant to blog about, but haven't got around to, which why I saved these papers:

Changes in severe thunderstorm environment frequency during the 21st century caused by anthropogenically enhanced global radiative forcing - Trapp 2007

Transient response of severe thunderstorm forcing to elevated greenhouse gas concentrations - Trapp 2009

- Regional climate of hazardous convective weather through high-resolution dynamical downscaling - Trapp 2010

and a couple of others, I haven't got copies of the full papers for:

- Will moist convection be stronger in a warmer climate? - Del Genio 2007

- Surface-Based Convective Potential in the Contiguous United States in a Business-as-Usual Future Climate -Van Klooster 2009

2011-05-24 13:46:55A weekly summary of SkS articles
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
98.122.68.19

I would also like to see the production of a weekly summary of the articles posted on SkS only, with perhaps a preview of what's  in the pipeline. Such a document could easily be reconfigured as a press release which could be sent to certain Progressive (US) websites such as Common Dreams for posting.

2011-05-24 14:47:35posting tomorrow
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
69.230.97.203

Thanks for the info guys.

I'm going to post this in the morning, if nobody objects.

Badger - I like the weekly summary idea, but the question is who has the time to put it together and/or do a press release.

2011-05-24 23:08:00
Michael Searcy

scentofpine@yahoo...
72.64.190.117

Dana,

I didn't realize you had already created a draft post.  Please delete the draft I created.

Thanks!

2011-05-26 01:25:30
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.56.151

When looking for answers solely in the science, I think what gets missed is the risk aspect.  This is what Trenberth has been trying to tell people.  (1)We know that one major aspect of AGW will strengthen tornadoes.  (2)The other, wind sheer, which is supposed to lessen due to warming, is less certain.  We are therefore unable to get a direct connection.  Not knowing much about (2) does not make (1) go away.  Also, how do we know when (2) will happen?  How do we know the interaction?  We don't.  It could take decades for (2) to lessen tornadoes, and meanwhile...there's 1500 people missing in Joplin Missouri.  The only logical action is to mitigate and adapt to (1).  I see no other alternative until the exact effects of (2) are known.  Here's Trenberth:

he SSTs in the Gulf have been running perhaps 2 deg F above pre 1970 values. Warm waters also extend across the tropical Atlantic north of the equator in the region favored for hurricanes, and hence the recent NOAA forecast for an above average  hurricane season (although the La Nina is fading and will likely be over by August, so there may be more competition from the Pacific).
Of those 2 def F, 1 can be assigned to human influence. With 1F increase in SST there is 4% increase in water holding capacity over the oceans and hence in this case the plentiful supply of moisture means there is likely to have been 8% increase in moisture flowing in the southerlies into the warm sector, thereby acting as fuel for the thunderstorms, and thus increasing the likelihood they would become super cells, with the attendant risk of tornadoes. And of course heavy rains. In spring the westerly jet stream aloft and southerlies at the surface create a wind shear environment that is favorable for tornadoes as the wind shear can be turned into rotation. This part of the situation is largely in the realm of weather. The climate part is the warmth and moistness of the air flowing out of the Gulf and the resulting very unstable atmosphere.  So  while a big part of that is natural variability, a substantial part was anthropogenic global warming.