“…the fact that some geniuses were laughed at does not imply that all who are laughed at are geniuses. They laughed at Columbus, they laughed at Fulton, they laughed at the Wright Brothers. But they also laughed at Bozo the Clown.” – Carl Sagan

This is going rather well.
One of my projects this year is to amplify as much as possible the true face of climate denial – starting with Strom,..ahem..James Inhofe, who is to climate as Strom Thurmond was to civil rights.  Now, another plum has fallen into my lap, with Senator Ted Cruz inserting himself prominently as yet another ideal face for the climate denial movement.

Not only is the Senator from Texas a demonstrated race baiter, and a self promoting, Dr. Suess reading bomb thrower – he has shown himself to be consistently and increasingly unpopular even among his own party, and the right wing media itself.
So the Ted Cruz demographic tracks pretty close to the climate denial demographic, on the extreme right wing fringes of American politics – right where I think it should be in people’s minds.

So far so good.

Now the gentleman from Texas has gone so far as to compare himself to Galileo.

Here is the relevant portion of the Texas Tribune interview in which Cruz makes the bizarre claim.. so jammed with climate denial nonsense that one hardly knows where to begin. Read the rest of this entry »

Strangely cropped video,but has not yet been blocked by Viacom, so enjoy.

Jon Stewart on the “sea no evil” cult in Florida.

Michael Mann, along with lead author Stefan Rahmstorf, Glaciologist Jason Box, and others, have published new findings on a slowdown in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).  If you have not seen the post on that, go there now.
For most folks, and in many media accounts, this circulation sounds very much like what we think of as “the Gulf Stream”. But there are some distinctions.  In our wide ranging conversation, I asked Mike to flesh that out.

Below, video from a Dutch group that has been modeling the impact on changes in temperature and salinity in the north atlantic, due to melting in Greenland and elsewhere. Those changes can impact weather around the globe, but, maybe not as intuitively, sea level rise.  Recent published research has shown that changes in the flow of the AMOC can cause abrupt impacts on sea level on the eastern coast of North America. Read the rest of this entry »

More from my extended interview with Mike Mann. If you did not see the video this week on Mike’s headline grabbing new paper (with Jason Box and lead author Stefan Rahmstorf) covering the North Atlantic Current, make sure you see that now.

Here Mike gets deeper into the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – and what changes in it mean for global weather.

Science 2.0:

A 10 year project to observe and analyze regular data about ocean circulation and how it impacts on Britain’s climate has provided new insight into Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a major system of currents in the North Atlantic.

Read the rest of this entry »

If Rod Serling made music videos….

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.

Open Mind:

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.



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.”

iceparkinsonnasaParkinson 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

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)

Climate changes associated with the Younger Dryas, highlighted here by the light blue bar, include (from top to bottom): cooling and decreased snow accumulation in Greenland, cooling in the tropical Cariaco Basin, and warming in Antarctica. Also shown is the flux of meltwater from the Laurentide Ice Sheet down the St. Lawrence River. Sources: Alley (2000), Lea et al. (2003), EPICA (2004), Licciardi et al. (1999).

Read the rest of this entry »

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.

Christian Science Monitor:

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.