Blog Profile / RealClimate

Filed Under:Issues & Causes / Climate Change
Posts on Regator:421
Posts / Week:0.9
Archived Since:November 10, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Boomerangs versus Javelins: The Impact of Polarization on Climate Change Communication

Guest commentary by Jack Zhou, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University For advocates of climate change action, communication on the issue has often meant “finding the right message” that will spur their audience to action and convince skeptics to change their minds. This is the notion that simply connecting climate change to the right […]

Scientists getting organized to help readers sort fact from fiction in climate change media coverage

Guest post by Emmanuel Vincent While 2016 is on track to easily surpass 2015 as the warmest year on record, some headlines, in otherwise prestigious news outlets, are still claiming that “2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record” (Forbes, Jan 2016) or that the “Planet is not overheating…” (The Times of London, […]

Do regional climate models add value compared to global models?

Global climate models (GCM) are designed to simulate earth’s climate over the entire planet, but they have a limitation when it comes to describing local details due to heavy computational demands. There is a nice TED talk by Gavin that explains how climate models work. We need to apply downscaling to compute the local details. […]

AMOC slowdown: Connecting the dots

I want to revisit a fascinating study that recently came from (mainly) the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Lab in Princeton. It looks at the response of the Atlantic Ocean circulation to global warming, in the highest model resolution that I have seen so far. That is in the CM2.6 coupled climate model, with 0.1° x 0.1° […]

Recycling Carbon?

Guest article by Tony Patt, ETH Zürich This morning I was doing my standard reading of the New York Times, which is generally on the good side with climate reporting, and saw the same old thing: an article about a potential solution, which just got the story wrong, at least incomplete. The particular article was […]

Comparing models to the satellite datasets

How should one make graphics that appropriately compare models and observations? There are basically two key points (explored in more depth here) – comparisons should be ‘like with like’, and different sources of uncertainty should be clear, whether uncertainties are related to ‘weather’ and/or structural uncertainty in either the observations or the models. There are […]

Nenana Ice Classic 2016

Just a quick note since I’ve been tracking this statistic for a few years, but the Nenana Ice Classic tripod went down this afternoon (Apr 23, 3:39 Alaska Standard Time). See the earlier post for what this is and why it says something about the climate (see posts on 2014 and 2015 results). With this […]

The Volcano Gambit

Anyone reading pundits and politicians pontificating profusely about climate or environmental science will, at some point, have come across the “volcano gambit”. During the discussion they will make a claim that volcanoes (or even a single volcano) produce many times more pollutant emissions than human activities. Often the factor is extremely precise to help give […]

Unforced Variations: Apr 2016

This month’s open thread. Standard rules apply…

What drives uncertainties in adapting to sea-level rise?

Guest article by Sally Brown, University of Southampton Let me get this off my chest – I sometimes get frustrated at climate scientists as they love to talk about uncertainties! To be sure, their work thrives on it. I’m someone who researches the projected impacts and adaptation to sea-level rise and gets passed ‘uncertain’ climate […]

The Early Anthropocene Hypothesis: An Update

Guest post from Bill Ruddiman, University of Virginia For over a decade, paleoclimate scientists have argued whether the warmth of the last several thousand years was natural or anthropogenic. This brief comment updates that debate, also discussed earlier at RC: Debate over the Early Anthropogenic Hypothesis (2005) and An Emerging View on Early Land Use […]

Unforced Variations: Mar 2016

This month’s open thread. Pros and cons of celebrity awareness-raising on climate? The end of the cherry-picking of ‘pauses’ in the satellite data? Continuing impacts of El Niño? Your choice (except for the usual subjects to be avoided…).

Millennia of sea-level change

How has global sea level changed in the past millennia? And how will it change in this century and in the coming millennia? What part do humans play? Several new papers provide new insights. 2500 years of past sea level variations This week, a paper will appear in the Proceedings of the National Academy of […]

What is the best description of the greenhouse effect?

What exactly is the greenhouse effect? And what does it look like if we view it from a new angle? Of course, we know the answer, and Raymond Pierrehumbert has written an excellent paper about it (Infrared radiation and planetary temperature). Computer code used in climate models contain all the details. But is it possible […]

Marvel et al (2015) Part III: Response to Nic Lewis

The first post in this series gave the basic summary of (henceforth MEA15) and why I think it is an important paper. The second discussed some of the risible immediate media coverage. But there has also been an ‘appraisal’ of the paper by Nic Lewis that has appeared in no fewer than three other climate […]


Ross McKitrick was so upset about a paper ‘Learning from mistakes in climate research’ that he has written a letter of complaint and asked for immediate retraction of the pages discussing his work. This is an unusual step in science, as most disagreements and debate involve a comment or a response to the original article. […]

New On-line Classes and Models

My free online class on entitled Global Warming I: The Science and Modeling of Climate Change has already served 45,000 people (started, not finished) in the four times that it’s run. Now it’s set up in a new format, called “on demand mode”, which allows people to start, progress, and finish on their own […]

Unforced Variations: Feb 2016

This month’s open thread. Just so you know, a lot of people have complained that these threads have devolved – particularly when the discussion has turned to differing visions of solutions – and have therefore become much less interesting. Some suggestions last month were for a side thread for that kind of stuff that wouldn’t […]

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