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Recent Articles

Superior

Something I’ve done on this blog quite a lot is push back against the narrative that science is social. This doesn’t mean that I think individual scientists can’t be biased, or that we won’t sometimes go down the wrong path…

Climate sensitivity – narrowing the range

Since I’ve discussed climate sensitivity on a number of occasions, it seems worth highlighting the new paper that assesses climate sensitivity using multiple lines of evidence. The authors include many who will be familiar to my regular readers. Credit: Sherwood…

Deep Adaptation

Something I haven’t paid much attention to recently is the Deep Adaptation arguments. I think it originated with a paper by Jem Bendell. The reason it’s of current interest is because of a critique called the faulty science, doomism, and…

Cancel culture?

The talking point in social media at the moment (in my bubble, at least) seems to be the letter on justice and open debate, signed by 150 luminaries. It’s not been universally well-received. There was some quite measured comments in…

Extreme precipitation events

This post is partly motivated by something I think I either heard Michael Shellenberger say, or write, but I can’t find it anymore. I have tried reading some of the articles again, and listening to some of the podcasts again,…

Apocalypse never?

I guess the current entertainment in the climate world relates to Michael Shellenberger’s new book, Apocolypse Never, which is due to come out next month and is already doing well on Amazon. In a somewhat amusing twist, Michael wrote a…

The Neoclassical Economics of Climate Change

I thought I would advertise a post by Steve Keen, that may be of interest to some of my regular readers. It’s about Neoclassical Economics of Climate Change and is extremely criticial of the assumptions used to drive Integrated Assessment…

A modelling manifesto?

There’s a recent Nature comment lead by Andrea Saltelli called Five ways to ensure that models serve society: a manifesto. Gavin Schmnidt has already posted a Twitter thread about it. I largerly agree with Gavin’s points and thought I would…

Can climate sensitivity be really high?

The answer to the question in my post title is – unfortunately – yes. The generally accepted likely range for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS) is 2oC – 4.5oC. This doesn’t mean that it has to fall within this range, it…

Mitigation, adaptation, suffering

I’ve been struggling, more than usual, to find things to write about. Everything seems to just be a bit of a mess. The pandemic itself, how it’s been handled in some cases, and the protests in the USA, especially how…

Across the lines

I haven’t really come across anything to write about recently. I’ve been thinking a bit about models and how they are used to inform decision making. I’ve been thinking a bit about the use of scientific advice. I also had…

The Imperial College code

The Imperial College code, the results from which are thought to have changed the UK government’s coronavirus policy, has been available for a while now on github. Since being made available, it’s received criticism from some quarters, as discussed by…

Attacking scientists who tell the truth?

There’s been some discussion about scientists being attacked for telling the truth. I do, of course, think that this is a real issue, but I also find myself somewhat frustrated by all of this. It’s hardly surprising to anyone who…

Outgoing longwave radiation

Something that often strikes me is that when I think I understand something quite well, there often turns out to be an aspect that I haven’t understood particularly well. I sometimes think that this is can be an important thing…

Scenario use in climate research

If you’ve been following the blog for a while, you will be aware that I’ve commented on a number of occasions about the whole RCP8.5 issue. You may also be aware that one of the chief protagonists in that whole…

Chanting to the choir?

Before I head off to the office (or, more correctly, go from watching the news in the living room, to the dining room table) I thought I would briefly mention a recent paper that has analysed blog comments. It’s by…

Seven years

Once again, WordPress has reminded me that this is the anniversary of me starting this blog. It’s been going for seven years now. If you’re interested in numbers, I’ve written about 1080 post. There have also been about 20 Guest…

Models

I have a feeling that our response to this pandemic may lead to some reflections on the role of scientific models in the decision making process. I would normally err on the side of defending scientific advisors, but I have…

Stay in your own lane?

Even though there are scientists who have the kind of expertise that might help us to better understand this pandemic, there’s a tendency to suggest that it would probably be best if they stayed in their own lane. Although I…

Sometimes it’s never good enough

I’ve, in the past, suggested that climate scientists could end up being criticised whatever happens. If the impact of climate change ends up being less severe than it could have been, climate scientists will probably be criticised for being alarmists.…

Richard’s Decoupling

Richard did it again and forgot to say “oops”: It’s one thing to deplore eugenics on ideological, political, moral grounds. It’s quite another to conclude that it wouldn’t work in practice. Of course it would. It works for cows, horses,…

Responsible SciComm

Yesterday, a group in Oxford released a paper that implied that a signifcant fraction of those in the UK may already have been infected. This was quickly picked up by numerous media outlets who highlighted that coronavirus could already have…

A physicist for president?

Jim Al’Khalili has an article in Scientific American called [a] physicist for president? Jim is a physicist, so he’s probably being somewhat provactive. Also, he’s mostly arguing for someone who applies the scientific method to thinking and decision-making and is…

Andrew Dessler rebuts Roy Spencer

Most of the focus at the moment is rightly on the coronavirus. Since I have no relevant expertise whatsoever, all I’ll say is that I hope everyone is doing their best to stay safe, and listening to the advice that’s…

A couple of highlights

Since I haven’t had much chance to write anything recently, I thought I would briefly advertise a couple of papers that may be of interest to my regular readers. One is by Clare Marie Flynn and Thorsten Mauritsen and is…

Zharkova et al. – retracted

Just a quick post to highlight that the Zharkova et al. paper, that I’ve discussed in a couple of previous posts, has now been retracted. The retraction notice is here. There’s a Retraction Watch post, which also includes a link…

Growth?

Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about limits to growth that focussed on an article written by Michael Liebreich. I found his argument particularly silly as it seemed to suggest that the economy could grow until the…

Debate about communicating tipping points

The new book about Contemporary Climate Change Debates, that I discussed in this post, includes a debate about whether or not ‘tipping point[s]’ [are] helpful for describing and communicating possible climate futures? James Annan suggests that the answer is “no”,…