September 6, 2011

New Paper: Models Continue To Show Too Much Recent Warming

Filed under: Climate Changes, Volcanism

About a month or so ago, Science magazine published a paper by Susan Solomon and colleagues that concluded that aerosols in the upper atmosphere that were unaccounted for in earlier estimations, have, over the past 10 years or so, acted to offset about 0.07°C of warming that would have otherwise occurred. In other words, we shouldn’t be so hard on the climate models for failing to anticipate the dearth of warming over the past 10-15 years.

Or should we?

It turns out, that what the paper really says, is that the amount of global warming that should have occurred over the past 10-15 years (that is, if the climate models were getting things correct) is about 25% greater than the model-expected warming from the combination of increases in greenhouse gases and lower atmospheric pollution alone. Which means that the observed warming during this same time—which has been close to nil—is even harder to explain and makes the models look even worse.

But, of course, that is not at all how the results were spun to the press.

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March 14, 2011

Volcanism Caused by Global Warming?

Filed under: Volcanism

We all know that if you are impacted by a flood, drought, tornado, hurricane, heat wave, wildfire, tsunami, earthquake, landslide, or anything else you can dream of, you might as well just go ahead and blame global warming—after all, if you don’t someone else most assuredly will. Whether or not you’d be correct, though, is another story entirely.

Over the past year, a number of volcanic events have been in the news from Europe to Hawaii and now the big earthquake in Japan and resultant tsunami has a lot of folks asking “can we blame all of this global warming.” Literally one day after the earthquake in Japan, The Daily Caller ran a story entitled “Some respond to Japan earthquake by pointing to global warming” starting with the sentence “Hours after a massive earthquake rattled Japan, environmental advocates connected the natural disaster to global warming. The president of the European Economic and Social Committee, Staffan Nilsson, issued a statement calling for solidarity in tackling the global warming problem.”

Another a story at Grist was titled “Today’s Tsunami: This is What Climate Change Looks Like” (but this Grist story was softened after severe critcism from the Center for Environmental Journalism). Even in far away places like Nunavut Canada, people are pushing a global warming/earthquake link.

And back when volcanoes were closing down air traffic in Europe, Reuters (April 16, 2010) carried a story worldwide entitled “Ice cap thaw may awaken Icelandic volcanoes”. Here is an excerpt from that story:

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