March 25, 2015
Always good to check Open Mind blog for the most accurate take on stats. Blogger Tamino titles his piece, “Stupid is as Ted Cruz Does.”
Anyway, you can never have too many refutations of the “no warming since —” canard.
Ted Cruz denies that global warming is even happening.
Appearing on “Late Night with Seth Meyers,” Cruz had this to say:
Many of the alarmists on global warming, they’ve got a problem because the science doesn’t back them up. In particular, satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming.”
— Ted Cruz on Tuesday, March 17th, 2015 in an interview on “Late Night with Seth Meyers”
Cruz was criticized by California governor Jerry Brown for denying scientific reality. On Sunday Cruz said that “global warming alarmists” like Brown “ridicule and insult anyone who actually looks at the real data.”
Let’s look at the real data.
To get at the truth of whether or not there’s been warming, let’s look at 5-year average temperature. Satellites began monitoring the atmosphere’s “microwave brightness” since about 1979, and that information is used to infer the temperature of the atmosphere. It’s easy as pie to average the temperature over 5-year time spans, starting with 1980 to 1985, ending with the 2010-2015 interval. That’ll tell us the real story of whether there’s been warming or not — it might even inform Ted Cruz, if he’s willing to look at the real data without denying reality.
Here it is, from UAH (the University of Alabama at Huntsville). [Note: I’d love to hear Ted Cruz complain about the choice of data — so I can inform well-known climate deniers Roy Spencer and John Christy that Ted Cruz might suspect them of faking the data to make it look like the globe is warming.]
One could also throw in the satellite sea level data from the University of Colorado – an irrefutable indicator of the planet gaining heat.
March 24, 2015
Sea ice increases in Antarctica do not make up for the accelerated Arctic sea ice loss of the last decades, a new NASA study finds. As a whole, the planet has been shedding sea ice at an average annual rate of 13,500 square miles (35,000 square kilometers) since 1979, the equivalent of losing an area of sea ice larger than the state of Maryland every year.
“Even though Antarctic sea ice reached a new record maximum this past September, global sea ice is still decreasing,” said Claire Parkinson, author of the study and climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md. “That’s because the decreases in Arctic sea ice far exceed the increases in Antarctic sea ice.”
Parkinson used microwave data collected by NASA and Department of Defense satellites for her study, which was published last December in the Journal of Climate. She added Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents month by month from November 1978 to December 2013 to determine the global ice extent for each month. Her analysis shows that over the 35-year period, the trend in ice extents was downward in all months of the year, even those corresponding to the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice maximum extents.
Furthermore, the global ice decrease has accelerated: in the first half of the record (1979-96), the sea ice loss was about 8,300 square miles (21,500 square kilometers) per year. This rate more than doubled for the second half of the period (1996 to 2013), when there was an average loss of 19,500 square miles (50,500 square kilometers) per year – an average yearly loss larger than the states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined.
“This doesn’t mean the sea ice loss will continue to accelerate,” Parkinson said. “After all, there are limits. For instance, once all the Arctic ice is gone in the summer, the Arctic summertime ice loss can’t accelerate any further.”
See my own interview with Dr. Parkinson below.
March 24, 2015
Famously climate denying Senator Ted Cruz announced for President this week.
Above, see Senator Cruz’s extravagant praise for one of the 20th century’s most prominent Southern racist segregationists, Jesse Helms. There’s a little well-documented history there for those too young to remember.
I’ve posted before on the link between racism and climate change denial, and I’ve noted that Senator Jim Inhofe is to climate denial as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights. Both clung to outmoded and terribly destructive irrational prejudice, long beyond what reason would dictate. Even Thurmond softened his racial rhetoric in later years – while Inhofe has grown only more bombastic and shrill.
Here is yet another example, in Senator Cruz open admiration for Jesse Helms. Maybe there’s an answer to this in the way the denialist brain functions, that’s an area for further research.
March 24, 2015
Paleoclimatologist Michael Mann has just released a paper discussing a slowdown in the North Atlantic Current, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. If you haven’t seen that video and post yet, go here.
Historically, scientists believe that a complete shutdown of that current happened about 12000 years ago, as the earth was coming out of the last glacial period, plunging a large part of the northern hemisphere back into ice-age like conditions, for most of a thousand years.
The movie “The Day After Tomorrow” was based on an exageratted, dramatized idea of what might happen if global warming caused a similar shutdown in the modern day.
As part of a wide ranging interview on the new paper, I asked Mike Mann to put the Younger Dryas in context of current conditions.
Below, ice core temperature proxies show the Younger Dryas in the paleo record. (NOAA)
March 24, 2015
Above, Senator Lindsay Graham blames Al Gore for Climate denial. Then asks if anyone knows what the Republican program on environment is, because he doesn’t.
Oh, but we do.
Staking a position on climate change is a dilemma facing many GOP presidential hopefuls. The party lacks a coherent message on the issue, which is increasingly important to the US electorate. While Republicans have been clear and aggressive in pursuing energy policies that foster domestic oil and gas production, the party has been less uniform about how – or even if – emissions from those sources should be curtailed. The majority of voters – and, critically for Cruz, most Republicans – back government action to curb global warming, according to a January New York Times poll.
“I think there will be a political problem for the Republican Party going into 2016 if we don’t define what we are for on the environment,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R) of South Carolina, who has worked on climate legislation with Democrats, told Roll Call in November. “I don’t know what the environmental policy of the Republican Party is.”
Though he voted for an amendment in January stating climate change is real, Mr. Cruz has repeatedly questioned the role humans play in it. Cruz has said global warming is not supported by data, despite scientific consensus to the contrary. And though questioning climate science polls poorly with the general electorate – only 27 percent were more likely to vote for a candidate staking such a position – the New York Times poll found 49 percent of Tea Party voters were more likely to pick a candidate who avoids taking a stand on climate change.
In other words: “It recruits more Tea Partyers than it repels,” Jon Krosnick, a professor of political science at Stanford University and author of the survey, told the New York Times.
UPDATE: John Stewart’s take on Ted Cruz announcement – poor quality vid, but still funny.
March 24, 2015
The first major Republican Presidential candidate for this election cycle is Senator Ted Cruz, who has made his disdain for climate science and science in general well known. Recently, Senator Cruz opined that snow and ice in New Hampshire disproved the last 300 years of physics.
Above, Governor Jerry Brown of California points out that this kind of insanity, would, in a more rational world, render one unfit to be considered for public office.
Perhaps that’s because Governor Brown has a front row seat on one of Climate Change’s emerging Greatest Hits – the California drought. Here’s some pathetic pics of some very, very determined skiers at Lake Tahoe.