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Recent Articles

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 paper, that I’ve discussed in a couple of previous posts, has now been retracted.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”,…

But RCPs

Just as I thought I was out the ClimateBall Gods pull me back in. The “but RCP” flythe club got the best of me. For the time lost I found talking points for my Bingo. More on this project in…

feebacks, runaway, and tipping points

There’s been some discussion on Twitter about feedbacks, runaways, and tipping points. The issue is that some seem to confuse these and sometimes imply that we could cross thresholds where we’ll undergo a runaway. I thought I would briefly try…

RCP8.5 – another update

In case anyone is interested, Zeke Hausfather and Glen Peters have a Nature comment about the whole RCP8.5 issue. Unfortunately, they used misleading in the title, which seems to have produced an unfortunate headline on a BBC article. Otherwise, Zeke…

Slow travel

If you’ve been following my Twitter threads, you should be aware that I’m just back from a trip to Austria that I decided to do via train. The meeting was for a collaboration that developed after I spent some time…

Sherelle’s Bingo Squares

Yesterday Michael Brown alterted me (see “@nevaudit”) of this contrarian editorial: Can you OD on #climate bingo @nevaudit? This is only a partial list – watch out for the hit of Galileo. https://t.co/GY6m5aqmeA— Michael Brown (@MJIBrown) January 24, 2020 As…

Consensus messaging, an update

If you’re a regular follower of this blog, you’ll know that some of the most active threads have concerned the scientific consensus about climate change and, more specifically, the issue of consensus messaging. Recently, a new book has been released…

Zharkova et al.: an update

Last year I wrote a couple of posts about a paper by Valentina Zharkova and colleagues, which suggested that global warming was partly due to the Earth moving closer to the Sun as the Sun moves around the Solar System…

Another CMIP6 climate sensitivity constraint

I thought I would follow up yesterday’s post with one that highlights another paper that looks at CMIP6 climate sensitivity. It’s a paper by Femke Nijsse, and colleagues, and considers [a]n emergent constraint on Transient Climate Response from simulated historical…

Climate sensitivity in CMIP6 GCMs

Anyone who is aware of what’s going on in climate science should have heard that the latest generation of climate models, known as CMIP6, seem to be suggesting a somewhat higher climate sensitivity than suggested by the previous CMIP5 models.…

2019: A year in review

The end of another year, so time to do another round-up of this year’s posts. My main impression of 2019, unfortunatey, is that the climate debate is moved from disagreements with people who either deny climate change or the need…

Listen to the (political) science

I’ve been meaning to post a review of 2019, but wanted to first comment on something else. I quite often see criticism of how some people approach the issue of climate change. For example, in the Guardian yesterday, there was…

The never-ending RCP8.5 debate

I think my New Year’s resolution is going to be to not talk about RCP8.5. However, I think I will briefly summarise the state of the never-ending debate. I thought we’d reached a bit of a breakthough when Zeke Hausfather…

Jens’ Bayesian Models

[W] Hello. How’s everything? [J] Things are good, thanks Busy December, but that’s par for the course. I hope you’re well also. [W] I have the flu, but hope to survive against all odds. That’s you: https://oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/people/dr-jens-koed-madsen/ [J] Ah, the…

Cruel Crazy Beautiful World

Given the disappointing news of the last day or so, I thought I would highlight a song that I find suitably reflective. You’ve got to wash with the crocodile in the river You’ve got to swim with the sharks in…

Different perspectives

I’ve been reflecting a little on some of the recent discussions I’ve had, mostly on Twitter, with those who have more expertise in emission scenarios, and energy systems, than in physical climate science specifically. I’ve found it a somewhat frustrating…

Stocks and Flows

Sitting at home waiting for a delivery, so just a quick post. There’s been a new narrative, on social media at least, that we may be heading for a plateau in global emissions. The suggestion, then, is that we are…

Tipping points/elements

There has been quite lot of discussion recently about climate tipping points, or tipping elements. It’s mostly motivated by a recent Nature comment suggesting that Climate tipping points [are] too risky to bet against. The suggestion is that some the…

Methane

I’ve always been a little confused as to why so much attention is paid to methane emissions. It’s short-lived, so isn’t it maybe somewhat less important that CO2 emissions, which are long-lived? One reason it is quite prominent is because…

Science and Technology Studies Podcast

I’ve been trying to listen to more podcasts, and came across a new one that might be of interest to my readers. It’s called The Received Wisdom with Shobita Parthasarathy and Jack Stilgoe. Both are researchers in Science and Technology…