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Recent Articles

Climategate

Climategate is a topic I’ve rarely discussed on this blog. Mostly because it’s clear that it’s not possible to have a constructive discussion with those who have different views about its significance. However, since I watched the BBC show about…

Science is a messy process

I was invited to speak at a Contemporary Climate meeting in Edinburgh’s School of Geosciences. It was really nice to talk face-to-face with people about some of the topics I find interesting. We covered aspects of blogging and social media,…

Contrarian Models

We need better ClimateBall contrarians. Perhaps they need better contrarian role models. Let’s find them, if only for our own sake. Here are five of mine. Fred Rogers was a TV show producer, a comedian, an author, a puppeteer, a…

Depolarising the debate?

I’ve always been a little puzzled by the (mostly) social scientists who seem to argue that to develop effective climate policy we should stop using labels, be depolarizing the debate, and should prioritise civil disagreements. It’s not that I object…

Journalistic norms for bloggers

I thought I would quickly advertise a recent paper called ““The truth is not in the middle”: Journalistic norms of climate change bloggers. It’s by Christel van Eck, Bob Mulder, and Art DeWulf, who are also involved in the survey…

Societal tipping points

Noami Oreskes and Nicholas Stern have a New York Times Opinion piece called Climate Change will cost us even more than we think. Some are very critical, others are a little more circumspect. I, on the other hand, think that…

Flight free talk

I gave my first ever public climate science talk at a Flight Free event in Edinburgh. If you’re interested in seeing my talk slides, you can download them here. The idea behind Flight Free is to encourage people to pledge…

The GRRRRROWTH Institute

Posit an opiniator O* from the Super Wonderful Punditry think tank SWP. Deadlines displease him. The international community failed to meet so many since 1995 that such call becomes self-defeating, or so O* worries. To interpret IPCC deliverables, time for…

Stepping outside my comfort zone

I noticed that I was getting some flack in the comments on another climate blog (to which I won’t link), with some commenters claiming I’d lost whatever credibility I had. This seemed a little surprising, as I didn’t think I…

2025?

One of the demands from Extinction rebellion is that the [g]overnment must act now to halt biodiversity loss and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2025. This has been criticised as being so unrealistic as to potentially damage…

A survey of blog audiences

A while ago, I was interviewed by Christel van Eck, who is a PhD student at Wageningen University & Research. It was for a project about the journalistic norms adhered to by bloggers. There should be a paper appearing quite…

Extinction rebellion

I’ve written about extinction rebellion before. Although I think they get some of the science wrong, and some of their demands seem unrealistic (we can’t get emissions to zero in 7 years), they are having an impact. We keep getting…

Worst case scenarios, or not?

I’ve been thinking a bit more about the debate around high emission scenarios, which I found rather frustrating. I think it’s an important issue, but the manner in which some people choose to frame this does make it difficult to…

Should climate scientists admit failure?

Hopefully my readers will recognise Betteridge’s Law. James Dyke highlighted an article on Twitter that suggested that [t]he climate crisis demands new ways of thinking – scientists should be first to admit failure and move on. The suggestion is that…

IAMs – Open Thread

There’s been an interesting debate about IAMs. IAMs are Integrated Assessment Models that are used to develop mitigation pathways. In this article, Kevin Anderson argues that IAMs are simply the wrong tools for the job, while Jessica Jewel clarifies the…

Tortoise ThinkIn

I’m just back from a Tortoise ThinkIn. If you don’t know what that is, I didn’t either until this evening, and I’m still not sure I quite get it. According to this, it’s about building a different kind of newsroom.…

Moderation at The Conversation

The Conversation has a new set of moderation policies which is motivated by a desire to improve [their] climate change coverage. It involves a zero tolerance approach to moderating climate change deniers, and sceptics. Not only will their comments be…

Potentially habitable?

The exciting news in astronomy is the discovery of water in the atmosphere of a relatively small planet, known as K2-18b, that happens to lie in what we often to as the habitable zone of its parent star. The result…

Propagation of nonsense – part II

I thought I would look again at Pat Frank’s paper that we discussed in the previous post. Essentially Pat Frank argues that the surface temperature evolution under a change in forcing can be described as where is an enhancement factor…

Propagation of nonsense

A couple of years ago, I had a guest post about Pat Frank’s suggestion that the propagation of errors invalidate climate model projections.. The guest post was mainy highlighting a very nice video that Patrick Brown had produced so as…

Constraining unforced variability

Pages 2k has a new Nature paper called Consistent multidecadal variability in global temperature reconstructions and simulations over the Common Era. What they do is present 2,000-year-long global mean temperature reconstructions using seven different statistical methods that draw from a…

Solar Radiation Management

Ray Pierrehumbert has a new article in Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists called There is no plan B for dealing with the climate crisis. The focus of the article is the possible use of geo-engineering, specifically solar radiation management, to…

Statistical versus mathematical modelling

There’s a short comment by Andrea Saltelli in Nature Communications on Statistical versus Mathematical Modelling. The general premise is that, like statistics, there is also a crisis in mathematical modelling. However, there isn’t the same sense of crisis about mathematical…

AGW in One GIF

An image is said to be worth a thousand words. A GIF encapsulates many images. This one may not cover all ClimateBall players said, but I like it: Anthropogenic Global Warming Explained with a GIF https://t.co/HVCSk4zuvm— willard (@nevaudit) August 25,…

High emission scenarios

I thought I might briefly reflect, again, on the whole RCP8.5 discussion. In case anyone missed it, there has been a lengthy online discussion about RCP8.5, which is a concentration/forcing pathway that leads to a change in forcing of 8.5…

This. Is. Not. Science’s. Job.

My title is a paraphrase of something Michael Tobis said during the marathon Twitter discussion about RCP8.5, which I thought I would use to discuss something about science communication that I’ve mentioned a number of times before. During the RCP8.5…

A thin bench

A Nature Communications paper came out yesterday called Discrepancy in scientific authority and media visibility of climate change scientists and contrarians. It generates a list of what they call climate change contrarians and a list of climate change scientists and…

Sigh

There’s been a rather contentious Twitter thread about RCP8.5, a concentration/forcing pathway I’ve discussed before. It started with a claim that it was “bollox” followed by a suggestion that it was mainly used for generating headlines, scaring gullible folk and…

A little knowledge

There is apparently a paper from a couple of years ago that is currently doing the rounds and that argues that the Molar Mass Version of the Ideal Gas Law Points to a Very Low Climate Sensitivity. The suggestion is…