29 January 2014

With Arctic freezer door open, frigid air drains into USA and Eurasia, with Arctic unusually mild

by David Spratt

It's a cliche that a picture tells a story better than a thousand words, and it's really true in the case of this extraordinary map of weather modelling of northern hemisphere temperature anomalies (variations from the expected values based on climate records) for 29 January 2014:

21 January 2014

The why and how of radical emissions reductions: (1) Kevin Anderson

Prof. Kevin Anderson
First in a series

On 10-11 December 2013, a Radical Emissions Reduction Conference was held at the Royal Society, London under the auspices of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research at the University of East Anglia. The conference's purpose was described as:
Today, in 2013, we face an unavoidably radical future. We either continue with rising emissions and reap the radical repercussions of severe climate change, or we acknowledge that we have a choice and pursue radical emission reductions: No longer is there a non-radical option. Moreover, low-carbon supply technologies cannot deliver the necessary rate of emission reductions – they need to be complemented with rapid, deep and early reductions in energy consumption – the rationale for this conference.

17 January 2014

A climate of denial grips Abbott government's holiday madness

by James Wight

While many of us were distracted in December by seasonal festivities and summer sports, the Abbott government quietly announced a number of actions which will exacerbate the climate problem, in the long-standing tradition of avoiding scrutiny by hiding unpopular announcements in holiday periods.

The government approved Adani’s T0 coal export terminal, and the dredging for two more coal export terminals, at Abbot Point. This will be the world’s biggest coal port and open up mining in the Galilee Basin, whose nine proposed mega-mines would export coal with annual emissions of 700 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, almost twice Australia’s domestic emissions and greater than the emissions of all but six countries. Four other fossil fuel projects were approved: an Arrow coal seam gas processing facility on Curtis Island, a transmission pipeline to supply it, Clive Palmer’s China First mine, and the Surat Gas Expansion.

16 January 2014

Landmark TV series puts people at centre of the climate change story

Introduction: Regular readers of  this blog will know we have argued long and hard that to communicate climate change effectively and to maximise public engagement, people need to be put at the centre of the story, as for example here and here. So unusaly for a climate blog the often focuses on new science, there were smiles all round when this story from Joe Romm was published this week.

Click to watch preview
by Joe Romm, via Climate Progress

This April (2014), Showtime will start airing its ground-breaking climate change TV series on the experiences and personal stories of people whose lives have been touched by climate change. Years Of Living Dangerously is an 8-part series produced by the legendary storytellers and film-makers James Cameron, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Jerry Weintraub -– together with three former 60 Minutes producers who have 18 Emmys between them.

07 January 2014

Australia’s hottest year was no freak event: humans caused it

by Sophie Lewis and David Karoly, via The Conversation
Australia saw extreme heat and bushfires in 2013.
Flickr/Rossco ( Image Focus Australia )

The Bureau of Meteorology has confirmed that 2013 was the hottest year in Australia since records began in 1910.

Unusual heat was a persistent feature throughout the year. For the continent as a whole, we experienced our hottest day on record on January 7. Then January was the hottest month on record, and the 2012-13 summer was the hottest recorded for the nation.

The nation-wide temperature record set for the month of September exceeded the previous record by more than a degree. This was the largest temperature anomaly for any month yet recorded.

01 January 2014

Warming climate may cut cloud cover, push temperatures even higher

One of the great unknowns of climate science is what effect clouds have in accelerating or slowing warming. A new study sheds a disturbing light on their possible impact.

By Tim Radford, via Climate News Network

Australian and French scientists believe they have cracked one of the great puzzles of climate change and arrived at a more accurate prediction of future temperatures.

The news is not good, according to Steven Sherwood of Australia’s Centre for Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of New South Wales. If carbon emissions are not reduced, then by 2100 the world will have warmed by 4°C.