The Basics

Category archives for The Basics

Kevin Trenberth’s latest paper, which appears in Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, is uncharacteristically and refreshingly blunt right from the first few words of the introduction: Humans are changing our climate. There is no doubt whatsoever. There are arguments about how much and how important these effects are and will be in future, but many…

Among the very best of the science-oriented blogs I try to read regularly is Tom Levenson’s Inverse Square Blog. Tom, who teaches science journalism at MIT, isn’t a climatologist, but whenever he writes about climate science or politics, it’s usually worth a look. Apparently, the folks at Scientific American agree, and they recently invited Tom…

Don’t get me wrong. I love NPR. I listen to it for at least four hours a day. But lately I’ve found the network’s embrace of “he said, she said” journalism a little too difficult to swallow. This morning’s report on censorship of a scientific report commissioned by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality isn’t…

There’s this notion among the climate denial community that somehow the entire professional climatology community has overlooked an obvious flaw in the science behind anthropogenic global warming. Their hypothesis is that too many of the thermometers used to record temperatures over the last 200 years have been located in or near cities, and so have…

Kate at Climate Sight remind us this week of just how challenging it can be for a mainstream media outlet to accurately report on climatology. Even when the reporter gets it right, a headline-writing editor can inject just enough obsfucation to leave readers puzzled or misinformed.

Drawing attention to misinformed pseudoskeptical analyses of peer-reviewed climatology studies is usually counterproductive. But in this case, it’s worth mentioning because the author makes such a common mistake that exploring the error might actually help shed light on the why so many people are easily led astray. The offender is Anthony Watts, who is arguably…

Fit to be tied

So, 2010 is a statistical tie for warmest year on record. This from NASA’s GISS and NOAA’s NCDC. Some AGW refuseniks might cling to the fact that the year just past was 0.018 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than 2005, but then you’d know they never bothered to take a stats class. As the GISS press release…

Cloudy forecast

Long weekend reading: Over at e360, Climate Central’s Michael Lemonick sums up the latest thinking on the big question of whether clouds will alleviate or accelerate global warming.

Explaining global cooling

The invaluable pseudonymous Tamino has a brilliant explanation of the causes of the “global cooling” trend in the mid-20th century. There’s nothing new, except the clarity of the writing. So if you’ve ever been stumped by a skeptic who suggests that anthropogenic climate change theorists can’t explain why the planet cooled for the three decades…

If the title of Matt Ridley’s new book, The Rational Optimist, sounds a little familiar, that’s because it borrows heavily from the world view of one Bjorn “The Skeptical Environmentalist” Lomborg. Both contrarians dismiss global warming as nothing to worry about, although Ridley seems even less convinced that the planet is actually experiencing anthropogenic global…