Global Warming and Climate Change skepticism examined

Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn’t what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?

 


Posted on 13 April 2020 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

“The broad shape of the story is the same.”

With those nine words, columnist and 2008 Nobel Prize winner in economics Paul Krugman considers the coronavirus’ climate change issues.

A regular New York Times columnist, Krugman says in this month’s “This Is Not Cool” video that “we might have dealt with the climate change threat” more effectively “if the political right hadn’t developed its own sort of immune mechanism to evidence.”

Acknowledging the obvious political tone of that observation, Krugman’s view is seconded by Republican consultant Stuart Stevens, whose public pronouncements identify him clearly as no fan of the Trump administration. Stevens calls in the video for a commitment to “agreed-upon truth” and deplores “alternative facts” and what he sees as “an unprecedented assault on what are facts.”

A major emphasis in the video is an exploration of exponential growth as it applies both to climate change and to coronavirus infections. Among segments addressing that issue are clips involving a Novi, Mi., nurse, an astrophysicist, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading U.S. infectious diseases expert. The video juxtaposes those spokespersons with climate change and coronavirus “skeptics” minimizing risks.

Lessons learned from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and applicable to climate change? Describing those lessons in the video is climate scientist Andrew Dessler of Texas A&M University, who says:

  • “Listen to the experts” and
  • “Taking action early, before it becomes a huge problem, will actually prevent its becoming a huge problem.”

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Posted on 12 April 2020 by John Hartz

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Coronavirus puts Arctic climate change research on ice

Coronavirus lockdowns have been touted on social media as helping to fight climate change. But in the Arctic Circle the virus is disrupting climate science. It could leave important gaps in our understanding.

EastGRIP Research Facility Greenland

East GRIP research facility in Greenland

Every year 150 climate scientists fly far into the wilderness and bore deep into Greenland’s largest glacier. Their work is complicated and important. The EastGRIP project is trying to understand how ice streams underneath the glacier are pushing vast amounts of ice into the ocean, and how this contributes to rising sea levels. But this year the drills will be silent. The ice streams will go unmeasured. 

The reason is the coronavirus. The fallout from measures to contain the outbreak have made the research impossible. Greenland is closed to foreigners. Its government is worried any outbreak could be particularly dangerous to its indigenous population and rapidly overwhelm its health services. 

Even if the country were open, it just isn’t practical to bring an international team of scientists together, 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) away from the nearest airport, in case one of them is sick. The transport planes that normally fly in the teams and resupply them have also been grounded. Nobody wants to be responsible for bringing small, isolated communities into contact with the virus.

Coronavirus puts Arctic climate change research on ice by Alex Matthews, Deutsche Welle (DW), Apr 12, 2020

Click here to access the entire article.

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Posted on 11 April 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Apr 5 through Sat, Apr 11, 2020

Editor’s Choice

Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19

Johns Hopkins epidemiologist and infectious disease expert Jennifer Nuzzo on why vaccines aren’t the answer, how COVID-19 is unique, and how to stay safe.

Jennifer Nuzzo 

We are living in strange times. The streets and highways that run through busy cities around the world are uncharacteristically empty. Schools are closed. Storefronts are boarded up. Many people are just trying to figure out how to survive the COVID-19 pandemic. Preparation is key, says epidemiologist Jennifer Nuzzo. But that doesn’t mean stockpiling paper goods and cleaning supplies. Each country needs to be prepared, and it is now clear that many were not.

Nuzzo’s work at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security has focused on pandemics and outbreaks. Less than three months before the earliest reported case of humans infected with COVID-19, Nuzzo and her colleagues published a WHO/World Bank-commissioned report about a “high-impact respiratory pathogen” that “would likely have significant public health, economic, social, and political consequences.” What we’re experiencing now, she says, exceeds “some of the grimmest expectations” highlighted in that report.

Still, Nuzzo sees a light at the end of the coronavirus tunnel. In our interview, she explained why vaccines aren’t the answer, how the novel coronavirus is unique, and what we can do to keep ourselves healthy. A supporter of social distancing, Nuzzo spoke to me from the protection of her home in Maryland, where she, like many of us, is balancing remote work with homeschooling two young kids. 

Jennifer Nuzzo: “We’re Definitely Not Overreacting” to COVID-19 by Yvonne Bang, JSTOR Daily, Apr 6, 2020

Click here to access the entire article. 

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Posted on 10 April 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Daisy Dunne

Swift global action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions could prevent the “abrupt” collapse of ecosystems, which may otherwise begin within the next few decades, a study finds.

The research, published in Nature, finds that uncontrolled climate change would see tropical ocean ecosystems exposed to potentially catastrophic temperature rise by 2030. By 2050, tropical forests could also face such conditions.

By comparison, limiting global warming to below 2C – the goal of the Paris Agreement – could delay the date of exposure by up to six decades, according to the research.

The results “show very clearly that it is not too late to act and the benefits of acting now will be massive”, a study author tells Carbon Brief.

Burning up

Rising temperatures and changing rainfall patterns are expected to make existing habitats inhospitable for many animal species. Due to this, some scientists expect that climate change will overtake land-use change to become the largest threat facing wildlife by the end of the century.

However, it is not yet certain at what point this century the effects of climate change will begin to overwhelm ecosystems. The new study addresses this question by looking at when various land and ocean ecosystems are likely to be exposed to possibly intolerable increases in temperature.

The results suggest the fate of ecosystems could hinge on the world taking immediate action to tackle climate change, says study author Dr Alex Pigot, a research scientist at the Centre for Biodiversity and Environment Research at University College London. He tells Carbon Brief:

“Our results show that with continued high emissions of greenhouse gasses, losses of biodiversity and disruption of ecosystems from climate change are likely to happen abruptly and could occur much sooner than we had expected.

“According to our models, biodiversity losses are likely to be already underway in the tropical oceans and over the next few decades these risks are expected to escalate rapidly, spreading to tropical forests and then higher latitudes by 2050.”

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Posted on 8 April 2020 by doug_bostrom

52 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

Sensitivity of ice flow to uncertainty in flow law parameters in an idealized one-dimensional geometry (open access)

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Will heat stress take its toll on milk production in China?

Uncoupled El Niño Warming

Melting of perennial sea ice in Beaufort Sea enhanced its impacts on Early-winter haze pollutions in North China after mid-1990s (open access)

Correction for systematic errors in the global data set of temperature profiles from mechanical bathythermographs

Mechanisms of enhanced ocean surface warming in the Kuroshio region for 1951–2010 (open access)

Lifeform indicators reveal large‐scale shifts in plankton across the North‐West European shelf

An endless summer: 2018 heat episodes in Europe in the context of secular temperature variability and change.

Analysis of the observed trends in daily extreme Precipitation indices in Gaza Strip during 1974–2016

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Is deoxygenation detectable before warming in the thermocline? (open access)

Climate State Dependence of Arctic Precipitation Variability

Impact of Cloud Physics on the Greenland Ice Sheet Near‐Surface Climate: A Study With the Community Atmosphere Model

The impact of changes in tropical sea surface temperatures over 1979-2012 on Northern hemisphere high latitude climate

Projected changes in snow water equivalent over the Tibetan Plateau under global warming of 1.5°C and 2°C

Projected changes in the Southern Indian Ocean cyclone activity assessed from high-resolution experiments and CMIP5 models

Changes in temperature and rainfall extremes across East Asia in the CMIP5 ensemble

Pseudo-climate modelling study on projected changes in extreme extratropical cyclones, storm waves and surges under CMIP5 multi-model ensemble: Baltic Sea perspective

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Posted on 7 April 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr Christina Schädel

Across vast swaths of the northern hemisphere’s higher reaches, frozen ground holds billions of tonnes of carbon. 

As global temperatures rise, this “permafrost” land is at increasing risk of thawing out, potentially releasing its long-held carbon into the atmosphere.

Abrupt permafrost thaw is one of the most frequently discussed “tipping points” that could be crossed in a warming world. However, research suggests that, while this thawing is already underway, it can be slowed with climate change mitigation.

Tipping points

This article is part of a week-long special series on “tipping points”, where a changing climate could push parts of the Earth system into abrupt or irreversible change

Yet, what is irreversible is the escape of the carbon that has been – and is being – emitted. The carbon released from permafrost goes into the atmosphere and stays there, exacerbating global warming.

In short, what happens in the Arctic does not stay in the Arctic.

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Posted on 6 April 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Dr. Richard Wood and Dr. Laura Jackson

Generally, we think of climate change as a gradual process: the more greenhouse gases that humans emit, the more the climate will change. But are there any “points of no return” that commit us to irreversible change?

The “Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation”, known as “AMOC”, is one of the major current systems in the world’s oceans and plays a crucial role in regulating climate.

Tipping points

This article is part of a week-long special series on “tipping points”, where a changing climate could push parts of the Earth system into abrupt or irreversible change

It is driven by a delicate balance of ocean temperatures and salinity, which is at risk from being upset by a warming climate.

The latest research suggests that AMOC is very likely to weaken this century, but a collapse is very unlikely. However, scientists are some way from being able to define exactly how much warming might push AMOC past a tipping point.

Overturning

The figure below shows an illustration of the AMOC. In the North Atlantic, warm water from the subtropics travels northwards near the surface and cold – and, hence, more dense – water is travelling southwards at depth, typically 2–4km below the surface.

In the north, the warm surface water is cooled by the overlying atmosphere, converted to cold, dense water, and sinks to supply the deep, southward branch. Elsewhere, the cold water upwells and is warmed, re-supplying the upper, warm branch and completing the circuit.

Schematic of the AMOC. The red pathways show warmer water nearer the surface, while the purple pathways show colder, more dense water moving at depth. Credit: Met Office 

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Posted on 5 April 2020 by John Hartz

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North Atlantic’s capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests

Research into ocean’s plankton likely to lead to negative revision of global climate calculations

Gibraltar Strait

Phytoplankton blooms are visible from space in this 2017 satellite image taken of the Gibraltar strait. Photograph: Suomi/VIIRS and Modis/Nasa

The North Atlantic may be a weaker climate ally than previously believed, according to a study that suggests the ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon dioxide has been overestimated.

A first-ever winter and spring sampling of plankton in the western North Atlantic showed cell sizes were considerably smaller than scientists assumed, which means the carbon they absorb does not sink as deep or as fast, nor does it stay in the depths for as long.

This discovery is likely to force a negative revision of global climate calculations, say the authors of the Nasa-backed study, though it is unclear by how much.

“We have found a misconception. It will definitely impact the model of carbon flows,” said Oregon State University microbiologist Steve Giovannoni. “It will require more than just a small tweak.” 

Oceans’ capacity to absorb CO2 overestimated, study suggests by Jonathan Watts, Environment, Guardian, Apr 3, 2020

Click here to access the entire article.

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Posted on 4 April 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Mar 29 through Sat, Apr 4, 2020

Editor’s Choice

Bill McKibben on Solidarity in the Time of Social Distancing

Bill McKibben 

HEATED is a new 6-episode, limited-run podcast series that shows how COVID-19 and the climate crisis cannot be separated. In a series of up-to-the-minute interviews, HEATED newsletter’s Emily Atkin connects the dots on how two of the most pressing issues of our time are really one and the same. First up: Bill McKibben, a leader in the climate movement for more than 20 years as a journalist, author, and co-founder of 350.org. 

Bill McKibben on Solidarity in the Time of Social Distancing by Emily Atkin, HEATED/Drilled News, Apr 1, 2020

Click here to access a transcript of the podcast

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Posted on 3 April 2020 by Guest Author

This video was made by zentouro

In January of 2020, AVAAZ released a report investigating YouTube and Climate Misinformation. Let’s talk about it.

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Posted on 1 April 2020 by doug_bostrom

46 Articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

Global response of evapotranspiration ratio to climate conditions and watershed characteristics in a changing environment

Greenhouse effect: the relative contributions of emission height and total absorption

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Climate change induced a new intermittent regime of convective ventilation that threatens the Black Sea oxygenation status (open access)

Regional differences in global glacier retreat from 1980 to 2015

Long tern trends (1958-2017) in snow cover duration and depth in the Pyrenees

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

How could a difference of 0.5°C in global warming modify the mean and extreme climate conditions around Antarctica?

Climate change projections for the Australian monsoon from CMIP6 models

Surface ocean warming around Australia driven by interannual variability and long‐term trends in Southern Hemisphere westerlies

Future changes of summer monsoon characteristics and evaporative demand over Asia in CMIP6 simulations

Interannual-to-multidecadal responses of Antarctic ice shelf-ocean interaction and coastal water masses during the 20th century and the early 21st century to dynamic and thermodynamic forcing

Benchmarking Simulated Precipitation in Earth System Models (open access)

The Recent Decline and Recovery of Indian Summer Monsoon Rainfall: Relative Roles of External Forcing and Internal Variability

The influence of climate change on low‐level jet characteristics over the South‐Central Plains as simulated by CMIP5 models

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Posted on 31 March 2020 by John Cook

In 2007, Mark Hoofnagle suggested on his Science Blog Denialism that denialists across a range of topics such as climate change, evolution, & HIV/AIDS all employed the same rhetorical tactics to sow confusion. The five general tactics were conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic.

Two years later, Pascal Diethelm and Martin McKee published an article in the scientific journal European Journal of Public Health titled Denialism: what is it and how should scientists respond? They further fleshed out Hoofnagle’s five denialist tactics and argued that we should expose to public scrutiny the tactics of denial, identifying them for what they are. I took this advice to heart and began including the five denialist tactics in my own talks about climate misinformation.

In 2013, the Australian Youth Climate Coalition invited me to give a workshop about climate misinformation at their annual summit. As I prepared my presentation, I mused on whether the five denial techniques could be adapted into a sticky, easy-to-remember acronym. I vividly remember my first attempt: beginning with Fake Experts, Unrealistic Expectations, Cherry Picking… realizing I was going in a problematic direction for a workshop for young participants. I started over and settled on FLICC: Fake experts, Logical fallacies, Impossible expectations, Cherry picking, and Conspiracy theories.

When I led a 2015 collaboration between the University of Queensland and Skeptical Science to develop the free online course Denial101x: Making Sense of Climate Science Denial, we made FLICC the underlying framework of the entire course. An important component of our debunking of the most common myths about climate change was identifying the denial techniques in each myth. A common comment we received from students was how much they appreciated learning about FLICC.

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Posted on 30 March 2020 by greenman3610

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

This month’s original YCC “This Is Not Cool” video shows how several experienced climate scientists are handling the emotional and personal feelings that many feel in grasping the potential adverse effects of runaway climate change. In the current global context posed by the coronavirus pandemic, there are striking similarities between the COVID-19 disease and risks posed by climate change.

“Knowing what I know about the science and the projections, that puts me into a state of grief,” says climate scientist Jeff Kiehl, a veteran of the National Center for Atmospheric Research now associated with the University of California, Santa Cruz. With a first grandchild now 10 months old, Kiehl points to what he sees as “lost opportunities” to get a jump on climate change and says he fears “loss of a world that we as a species have known since our beginning.”

“I’ve been there, I’ve been depressed about these results many times,” says University of Wisconsin scientist Andrea Dutton. She says that in her presentations to the public, she feels it is important to help audiences fully discuss personal feelings with friends, family, and acquaintances.

“We almost need a team of psychiatrists and therapists to go into a community dealing with climate change to allow people to process all these emotions,” Dutton says. She adds that “we must allow people to emotionally respond to scientists’ information” and “accept reality.” Her prescription: “For me, it’s engaging in solutions. … The future is going to be different” and the public should “not fight that feeling anymore” but rather accept and ask how that future should best be shaped.

Anger is OK and can lead to constructive engagement

Asked by videographer Peter Sinclair if scientists should feel a “sense of anger,” Kiehl says well-channeled anger over climate change risks can be “a good source of energy” and can lead to “some very constructive action” and engagement on climate change issues.

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Posted on 29 March 2020 by John Hartz

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‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial

 Misinformation Kills

Grist / Rob Kim / Stringer / CSA Images 

Scientific warnings are being ignored, misinformation is spreading, and prominent Republicans have said that addressing the problem is either too expensive or too difficult. No, this isn’t climate change: This is the new reality of the novel coronavirus, the deadly pandemic sweeping the planet.

Over the past several weeks, as global cases of COVID-19 have climbed to over 500,000, conspiracy theories and fake news have also been on the rise. On Monday a man died after ingesting chloroquine phosphate, an ingredient in an anti-malarial drug that President Trump had heralded as a coronavirus cure.

Meanwhile, the website Snopes has been forced to scale back its fact-checking work in response to the overwhelming number of fake stories around the pandemic. (Some disturbing highlights: claims that the coronavirus was released by world governments to distract from a planet-ending doomsday asteroid, or that breathing hot air from a hair dryer can kill the virus.)

‘Misinformation kills’: The link between coronavirus conspiracies and climate denial by Shannon Osaka, Grist, Mar 28, 2020 

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Posted on 28 March 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Mar 22, 2020 through Sat, Mar 28, 2020


Editor’s Choice

Save Lives Stay Home

Photograph by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds / Getty 

Subscribers to The Climate Crisis newsletter received this piece in their in-boxes. Sign up to receive future installments.

An idea beloved of the technorati is that we are actually living not on the earth we seem to inhabit but in a simulation. Elon Musk has said that it’s “most likely” the case, and Neil deGrasse Tyson has set the odds at fifty-fifty. If so, we’ve clearly reached the point where whoever is supervising the action has handed the game over to a bored supervillain who is wildly pressing buttons: Pandemics! Locusts! Firestorms!

The name of this newsletter is The Climate Crisis, but for the moment the emphasis is going to be on the last of those words. We need to understand how crises work, and, since I’ve been thinking about them for many years, I have a few thoughts to offer. This week’s reflection has to do with time, which is a variable we seriously underappreciate. We’re used to political debates that go on forever—when I was a high-school debater, in 1978, our topic for the year was “That the federal government should establish a comprehensive program to regulate the health care system in the United States.” We imagine that, if we don’t solve a political problem now, we’ll get around to it eventually. Meanwhile, we’ll chip away at it—delaying a solution extends suffering along the way, but it doesn’t necessarily make a problem ultimately harder to solve. Certain kinds of problems don’t work that way, however. Physical problems—climate change and the coronavirus being the pertinent examples—are all about time. And what’s striking to me is how similar these two examples are.

The Nature of Crisis by Bill McKibben Annals of a Warming Planet, New Yorker Magazine, Mar 26, 2020

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Posted on 26 March 2020 by dana1981

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

A respected research group, Project Drawdown, finds that deploying solutions consistent with meeting the Paris climate targets would cost tens of trillions of dollars globally. But crucially, those outlays would also yield long-term savings many times larger than the up-front costs.

The new 2020 Drawdown Review includes economic estimates of the capital costs to deploy each solution, net lifetime operation costs, and lifetime profits from the sale of products produced by the agricultural solutions. The key conclusion is that while the upfront costs are substantial – around $25 trillion globally – the resulting savings and profits are five to six times larger.

Project Drawdown is a nonprofit organization that evaluates climate solutions nations could deploy to reach the point where greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere begin to decline (the threshold of carbon “drawdown”). Achieving drawdown will require phasing out the use of fossil fuels that add carbon and strengthening the natural sinks that absorb carbon. In 2017, the group published the New York Times bestselling book Drawdown, which described the 100 most substantive solutions to global warming based on a comprehensive scientific review by the project’s research team.

The new Drawdown Review considers two potential pathways. Scenario 1 envisions how climate solutions could be deployed to meet the Paris target of staying below 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than pre-industrial temperatures, in which the point of carbon drawdown is reached in the mid-2060s. Scenario 2 is more ambitious, keeping global temperatures below the aspirational Paris target of 1.5 degrees C (2.7 degrees F) by achieving carbon drawdown in the mid-2040s. In the more aggressive Scenario 2, global economic savings are $145 trillion, with an additional $29 trillion in profits generated from the agricultural sector – the latter on its own offsetting the initial $28 trillion capital costs. Both the Scenario 1 and 2 savings estimates are calculated over the life times of the solutions.

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Posted on 25 March 2020 by doug_bostrom

Tamper with The System?

Well, we already are.

But there’s a difference between accidentally trickling sand into a precision gearbox versus formulating a plan to alter it on the fly with improvements in mind. One action is more or less innocently unscrupulous, the other amenable to earning an easy conscience. Low & Buck offer a critical analysis of “RRI” or “Responsible Research and Innovation” in connection with climate change in their paper The practice of responsible research and innovation in “climate engineering.”  We’ve an amply bitter track record of hastily deployed technological products that swiftly became entrenched and very difficult to remove despite obvious problems. RRI seeks to draw from that history to help produce a more rational means of progress. Here it’s in connection with avoiding multiplying our problems by thoughtlessly deploying technology while seeking to mitigate an earlier unplanned technological mess of our own creation. The abstract:

Sunlight reflection and carbon removal proposals for “climate engineering” (CE) confront governance challenges that many emerging technologies face: their futures are uncertain, and by the time one can discern their shape or impacts, vested interests may block regulation, and publics are often left out of decision‐making about them. In response to these challenges, “responsible research and innovation” (RRI) has emerged as a framework to critique and correct for technocratic governance of emerging technologies, and CE has emerged as a prime case of where it can be helpfully applied. However, a critical lens is rarely applied to RRI itself. In this review, we first survey how RRI thinking has already been applied to both carbon removal and sunlight reflection methods for climate intervention. We examine how RRI is employed in four types of activities: Assessment processes and reports, principles and protocols for research governance, critical mappings of research, and deliberative and futuring engagements. Drawing upon this review, we identify tensions in RRI practice, including whether RRI forms or informs choices, the positionalities of RRI practitioners, and ways in which RRI activities enable or disable particular climate interventions. Finally, we recommend that RRI should situate CE within the long arc of sociotechnical proposals for addressing climate change, more actively connect interrogations of the knowledge economy with reparative engagements, include local or actor‐specific contexts, design authoritative assessments grounded in RRI, and go beyond treating critique and engagement as “de facto” governance.

The juggling act of addressing risks and hazards while pursuing important, compelling benefits is nicely illustrated by the beguiling article Halving warming with stratospheric aerosol geoengineering moderates policy-relevant climate hazards, by Irvine & Keith. From the abstract:

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Posted on 24 March 2020 by Guest Author

Stopping coronavirus means lowering our impact on the natural world. But being forced to mitigate climate change because of a devastating virus is no cause for celebration. Combatting climate change means the same as combatting coronavirus: compassion.

Support ClimateAdam on patreon: http://patreon.com/climateadam

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Posted on 23 March 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Bruce Lieberman

It seems like such a simple, straightforward, empowering idea: plant trees – a lot of trees – all over the world, and watch the planet’s temperature fall.

Who doesn’t love a tree or two, even far more – the right tree in the right place?

Along with the refreshing shade they provide on hot days, trees of course also store carbon, and they’ll suck it right out of our fragile atmosphere as they grow. Who could argue with more trees, more forests – more shade! – in a warming world? Nary a soul, one suspects, whether of conventional “tree hugger” category or rabid climate science detractor.

Earlier this year, the one-trillion tree campaign was big news at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. Salesforce founder Businessman Marc Benioff announced at the meeting that his company will “support and mobilize the conservation and restoration of 100 million trees over the next decade.”

Back in Washington, D.C., President Trump and Republican lawmakers said they too support the international campaign – although Arkansas Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman came under fire for proposing a “Trillion Trees Act” that would pair a commitment to planting trees with a plan to increase logging on public lands. Numerous other Republican representatives are endorsing the trees effort.

Cautions against just randomly digging and planting

Over the past few weeks, chatter has picked up that planting trees is only one piece of the puzzle when it comes to combating climate change. Trees are a good thing, but:

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Posted on 22 March 2020 by John Hartz

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Story of the Week…

In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters

The likelihood of extreme events today is being underestimated, new research suggests

Flooding in New Delhi India

A motorcyclist tries to cross a waterlogged stretch amid slow moving traffic near AIIMS, on March 14, 2020 in New Delhi, India. Credit: Biplov Bhuyan Getty Images 

Small levels of global warming can increase the likelihood of extreme events, new research warns. That’s prompting scientists to question how accurately disasters in the recent past can be used to predict extreme events today.

A study published Wednesday in Science Advances suggests that some research attributing climate change to individual disasters has underestimated the probability of certain extremes in the last decade. That’s especially true of unprecedented hot and wet events.

That’s because researchers were basing their analyses on a historical study period extending only up to the year 2005, said author Noah Diffenbaugh, a climate scientist at Stanford University. As it turns out, the warming that’s occurred since then has had a big impact on global extreme events. 

In Just 10 Years, Warming Has Increased the Odds of Disasters by Chelsea Harvey, E&E News/Scientific American, Mar 20, 2020

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