Four New Papers: Anthropogenic Signal Not Detectable in Sea Level Rise

sea_ocean_shoreIt is widely assumed that sea levels have been rising in recent decades largely in response to anthropogenic global warming. However, due to the inherently large contribution of natural oscillatory influences on sea level fluctuations, this assumption lacks substantiation. Instead, natural factors or internal variability override the detection of an anthropogenic signal and may instead largely explain the patterns in sea level rise in large regions of the global oceans.

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Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years

It’s three years old, but I don’t recall it at the time, and it’s still highly relevant:

Recent observed global warming is significantly less than that simulated by climate models. This difference might be explained by some combination of errors in external forcing, model response and internal climate variability.

Global mean surface temperature over the past 20 years (1993–2012) rose at a rate of 0.14 ± 0.06 °C per decade (95% confidence interval). This rate of warming is significantly slower than that simulated by the climate models participating in Phase 5 of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP5). To illustrate this, we considered trends in global mean surface temperature computed from 117 simulations of the climate by 37 CMIP5 models (see Supplementary Information).

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Going rogue: Obama bypasses senate to ratify climate treaty

China's President Xi Jinping speaks at State Dept.

China’s President Xi Jinping speaks at State Dept.

President #Obama, despite not having the support of the senate, will sign and ratify the Paris Climate Agreement this Friday, a Chinese news outlet is reporting. The news has set off alarm bells among opponents of the #Climate Change accord, which calls for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to avert warming 1.5 degrees Celsius. Republicans have insisted that the pact is a treaty and must be ratified by the senate, as laid out in the U.S. constitution.

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Gary Johnson Retreats, No Longer Backs A Carbon Tax

gary_johnsonLibertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson has pulled back his support for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions after just three days, and now says it’s an impractical theory.

“Look, I haven’t raised a penny of taxes in my political career and neither has Bill,” the former New Mexico governor said, referring to his running mate former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

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China, US Face Off In New Space Race: Mars 2020

marsChina and the U.S. recently announced plans to send rovers to Mars in 2020, signaling the start of a new space race.

China’s plans to land a solar-powered rover on Mars in July or August of 2020 while NASA intends to launch its own  $2.1 billion dollar nuclear isotope powered Mars 2020 rover the same month.

“The probe, for its part, will carry 13 payloads including a remote sensing camera and a ground penetrating radar which could be used to study the soil, environment, and atmosphere of Mars, as well as the planet’s physical fields, the distribution of water and ice, and its inner structure,” Xinhua, China’s state-run news agency, described their rover in a Wednesday article.

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Biofuels emit more greenhouse gas than gasoline

cornWho would have thought that biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel emit more greenhouse gas – specifically heat-trapping carbon dioxide – than gasoline? A team of scientists from the University of Michigan discovered this is the case. Their findings challenge the widely held assumption that ethanol, biodiesel and other biofuels are carbon neutral.

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Warmest Temperatures *Ever*?

earth_sun_risingWe are bombarded with claims that some month or year (e.g., 2016) is the “warmest ever.” But what does that mean? We are living in a relatively cool era. Temperatures today are lower than they have been something like 90% of the time since the last Ice Age ended 12,000 or so years ago. In fact, “ever” means since approximately the 1880s, when thermometer records became widespread. As it happens, that was also around the time when the Little Ice Age ended, so–happily!–the Earth is a bit warmer now than it was then.

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Ice scares aren’t all they’re cracked up to be

arctic_iceThe sea ice in the Arctic Ocean is approaching its annual nadir. By early September each year about two-thirds of the ice cap has melted, then the sea begins to freeze again. This year looks unlikely to set a record for melting, with more than four million square kilometres of ice remaining, less than the average in the 1980s and 90s, but more than in the record low years of 2007 and 2012. (The amount of sea ice around Antarctica has been increasing in recent years, contrary to predictions.)

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An Inconvenient Truth: Few Signs Of Global Warming In Antarctica

antarcticaAntarctica has confounded scientists, defying the dire predictions of scientists the South Pole would shrink and exacerbate sea level rise in the coming decades.

Climate models predicted Antarctic sea ice would shrink as the world warmed, and that warming would boost snowfall over the southern continent. Neither of those predictions have panned out, and now scientists say “natural variability” is overwhelming human-induced warming.

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EPA spills again in Colorado

animus_riverThe Environmental Protection is admitting to a spill from a treatment plant it set up after it dumped 3 million gallons of toxic wastewater into a Colorado river last year.

The EPA said Thursday night that the spill happened on Tuesday, and officials are still attempting to determine how much and what metals were contained in the sludgy discharge, according to the Associated Press.

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