2011-06-26 02:53:06Blog Posts Mon 27 June to Sun 3 July
Dana Nuccitelli

Mon 27

The false, the confused and the mendacious: how the media gets it wrong on climate change (Conversation team)

SkS Weekly Digest (badger)

2010 - 2011: Earth's most extreme weather since 1816? (Jeff Masters)

Tues 28

New Zealand Snow No Show = No Jobs (Rob P)

Climate half-truths turn out to be whole lies (John Cook)

Wed 29

Lessons from Past Climate Predictions: Don Easterbrook (Dana)

ClimateBites.org (Tom Smerling)

Thu 30

Ocean acidification: Coming soon (Doug Mackie)

The body of evidence in climate science requires an active mitigation response (actually thoughtful)

The Climate Show 15: Michael Ashley and the ineducable Carter (John)

Fri 01

OA is not OK (Doug Mackie)

Roy Spencer on Climate Sensitivity - Again (Chris Colose)

Sat 02

Google It - Clean Energy is Good for the Economy (Dana)

Monthly Climate - May (Michael Searcy)

Sun 03

Glickstein's Confusion about Reasoned Skepticism (Dana)

Great Barrier Reef Part 1: Current Conditions and Human Impacts (Ove)

Pending (to be inserted into schedule wherever possible)

SkS Weekly Digest (badger)

German Energy Priorities (Dana and Baerbel)

Trouble Brewing in the North (Mark R)

The Medieval Warm(ish) Period In Pictures (Rob P)

Thermodynamic Duo (Doug Mackie)

Climate Solutions by dana1981 (Dana)

The Last Interglacial Part 2 - Why was it so warm? (Steve Brown)

Milankovitch Cycles (Chris Colose)

Wherever I lay my shell, that's my home (Doug Mackie)

2011-06-26 15:39:48Thanks Dana
John Cook


Cyborg strikes again, thanks for laying out most of next week.

2011-06-27 04:52:40
Dana Nuccitelli

Happy to be of service.

2011-06-27 07:28:54Jeff Masters guest post
John Cook


Jeff is cool with a repost of his extreme weather article - scheduled it for later today but just waiting on green light from Jeff.

2011-06-28 00:51:04Built for stability?
George Morrison

That's the title of a commentary in this week's Nature Geoscience (sans the question mark.) Might be grist for a post - although it is quite short on its own, and the main thing to do would be to simplify it further. Or perhaps the topic has been covered here already.

Anyway, here is the press blurb on the article from PhysOrg:

State-of-the-art climate models, as used in the assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change, could be giving a false sense of security in terms of upcoming abrupt change, suggests a Commentary by a University of Bristol scientist published online this week in Nature Geoscience.

Professor Paul Valdes of the School of Earth Sciences, discusses four examples of abrupt climate change spanning the past 55 million years that have been reconstructed from palaeoclimate data.

In two of the cases, complex climate models used in the assessments of future climate change did not adequately simulate the conditions before the onset of change.  In the other two cases, the models needed an unrealistically strong push to produce a change similar to that observed in records of past climate.

Professor Valdes concludes that state-of-the-art climate models may be systematically underestimating the potential for sudden climate change.

Here are some excerpts from the Nature Geoscience piece, with the author's four examples at the end:

"... I argue that climate models of the current generation, as used in the latest assessment of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), have not proved their ability to simulate abrupt change when a critical threshold is crossed. I discuss four well-documented examples of past rapid climate change (Box 1). In two cases, the models did not adequately capture the basic climate configuration before abrupt change ensued, and in the remaining two examples, to initiate abrupt change the models needed external nudging that is up to ten times stronger than reconstructed. The models seem to be too stable.
... In the meantime, we need to be cautious. If anything, the models are underestimating change, compared with the geological record. According to the evidence from the past, the Earth's climate is sensitive to small changes, whereas the climate models seem to require a much bigger disturbance to produce abrupt change. Simulations of the coming century with the current generation of complex models may be giving us a false sense of security."

His examples:

The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum. A rapid warming event about 55.8 Myr ago started with warm climate conditions with a smaller difference between temperatures at the Equator and the high latitudes. Complex climate models do not adequately simulate the warm climate before the abrupt change set in.

The desertification of northern Africa. Between about 9,000 and 5,500 yr ago, the region that is now the Sahara was much wetter and supported a steppe-type vegetation. The transition to the current desert state occurred in decades to centuries. Complex climate models fail to simulate the vegetated state, and can not therefore capture this event of rapid change.

Collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. During the glacial period between about 120,000 and 12,000 yr ago, the meriodional overturning circulation in the Atlantic Ocean collapsed during six Heinrich events, most probably in response to fresh water entering the North Atlantic. Complex climate models simulate such a shut-down — but only in response to a freshwater injection as much as ten times the magnitudes estimated for the past.

Dansgaard–Oeschger rapid warming events. Between Heinrich events, 25 incidences of rapid warming, by up to 8 °C within a few decades in Greenland, are consistently recorded in the ice cores. We don't even fully understand the mechanisms for such changes and simulating the final one of these events required an injection of fresh water into the ocean that was large and many thousand years longer than is thought realistic.

Just a thought. I don't have the time. I could send along the article.

2011-06-29 11:45:47
Doug Mackie
Doug Mackie

Our 18 part oean acididification series is written and ready to go.

I'd like the intro for my ocean acidification series


to go live today or tomorrow.


After that my idea was:

Friday 01 July: OA is not OK.  How calcium carbonate is made.

Tuesday 05 July: Thermodynamic duo.  When is a chemical equation valid?

Friday 08 July: Wherever I lay my shell, that's my home.  Why CaCO3 is easy to make.

Tuesday 12 July: The f-word: pH.  What is pH?

Friday 15 July: Reservoir dogs.  Ocean carbon distribution, reservoir sizes.

Tuesday 19 July: Always take the weathering. How carbonate species get into the ocean.

Friday 22 July: 170 to 1.  What happens when we add acid to seawater?

Tuesday 26 July: Henry the 8th I am.  How CO2 gets into the ocean.

Friday 29 July: Is the ocean blowing bubbles?  How we know the ocean is not the source of CO2.

Tuesday 02 August: Did we do it? Yes we did!  Where is the CO2?

Friday 05 August: Christmas present:  Modern observations of pH change.

Tuesday 09 August: Polymorphs: The son of Poseidon.  Introduction to aragonite and calcite.

Friday 12 August: Going down.  How pH changes with depth.

Tuesday 16 August: No accounting for taste.  Balancing equations to get solubility product.

Friday 19 August: Omega.  Saturation index.

Tuesday 23 August: Pumping currents.  How carbon gets from the surface to the deep ocean.

Friday 26 August: Been this way before.  What the past means for understanding today.


All posts are 500-800 words.

Then when that is all done we'll have our second series about past, present and future ready. Again this series will start at the basics. I mean, look I see a post above that nentions DO events. Fantastic. But I have colleagues, research academics in environental chemistry, who would struggle with that. So in the next series we'll be going back to the fundamentals. (Really, how many have a soild understanding of potential density of seawater and sigma? And how many could explain it?).



2011-06-29 17:30:10Ove thumbs up
John Cook


Ove has okayed his blog post, I've scheduled it for Sunday. Lot of acidification posts :-)

2011-06-29 18:10:30
Rob Painting

"Lot of acidification posts" - Yay!

2011-06-29 19:50:57
Doug Mackie
Doug Mackie

Is there a way to know what the url will be before a post goes live?

That is, can I load up post 2-18 into drafts and include the url back to posts 1-17 before even post 1 is up?

If this is tricky I have no problem with waiting to do this sequentially. Kind of builds suspense. Will the culprit ever be unmasked? No looking at the last page.

2011-06-29 19:55:25Yes you can
John Cook

When you add a blog post, look for the 'Preview Blog Post' link which gives you the URL of the blog post.
2011-06-30 02:46:53
Dana Nuccitelli

I posted the intro, but if you want to add links, you can still go in and edit it.