Recent Lessons from the Past

June 4, 2014 5:37 am3 comments
Global surface temperature (anomaly from 1960-1990 average) reconstructions for the past 9000 years (Marcott et al. 2013), for the past 2,000 years (PAGES 2k), and observed for the past 150 years (Instrumental data from HadCRUT4) and the last 30 years (star). From Kaufman et al. (2013).

Recently a german taxi driver asked me if climate hasn’t been changing in the past with similar warm periods as the one we have now. After getting back home to Corvallis, Oregon, I read a letter to the editor of our local newspaper claiming that it was much warmer than […]

Read more ›

Pine Island Glacier hypothesis to emergent event

May 13, 2014 11:23 am0 comments
NASA MODIS from November 2013 indicating break off of iceberg from Pine Island Glacier.

This Post is an update to one I wrote in 2009 for Realclimate. It is warranted given the increasing observations in papers by Rignot et al (2014), Favier et al (2014), and Mouginot et al (2014) that the Pine Island Glacier exiting into the Amundsen Sea in West Antarctica has […]

Read more ›

Worst Case Scenario v. Fat Tail

April 18, 2014 11:05 pm3 comments
Graphic by Michael Quirke.

“If we omit discussion of tail risk, are we really telling the whole truth?”  -Kerry Emanuel This post is motivated by Kerry Emanuel’s recent essay entitled Tail Risk vs. Alarmism. Excerpts: In assessing the event risk component of climate change, we have, I would argue, a strong professional obligation to estimate […]

Read more ›

Global Climate Change Impact on the Upper Texas Coast

April 7, 2014 3:50 pm6 comments
Surfside Beach, Texas (6/8/2014) by Tony Kamel. Used courtesy of creator. All rights reserved.

Very few scientists still question global warming and the role humans have had in the process, while outside the science community it is largely viewed as a prediction. The reality is that climate change and associated accelerated sea-level rise are not predictions. Tide gauge records are supported by satellite data […]

Read more ›

Tail Risk vs. Alarmism

March 31, 2014 7:46 pm6 comments
Tail Risk vs. Alarmism

The American Association for the Advancement of Science just published a statement on climate risk (link) on which I am a co-author. This statement has several aims, one of which is to highlight the importance of societal risk in the low-probability tail of the climate change probability distribution. I would […]

Read more ›

Climate Change on Google Earth

February 6, 2014 6:02 pm0 comments
Climate Change on Google Earth

Here’s a cool new tool to visualize observed surface temperatures in Google Earth. You can click on a 5°×5° box nearly anywhere in the world to see how climate has changed in that region. If you have Google Earth installed, you simply download this kml file and open it in […]

Read more ›

Gilkey Glacier Retreat Lake Formation

2:07 pm4 comments
Gilkey Glacier Retreat Lake Formation

As glacier retreat has increased over the last 30 years, the number of new lakes formed by retreat has exploded.  Alaska is one region where this is particularly true. In 1948 the Gilkey Glacier draining the west side of the Juneau Icefield ended on an outwash plain, red dots, as […]

Read more ›

What We Know about Climate

January 25, 2014 7:49 pm4 comments
What We Know about Climate

My name is Andrew Dessler, I am a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M.  In my testimony, I will review what I think is the most important conclusions that the scientific community has reached in over two centuries of work on climate. Conclusions The climate is warming. By this […]

Read more ›

The Basics of Extreme Weather and Global Warming

January 2, 2014 3:23 pm7 comments
Photo by NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center via Flickr (minimal cropping done)

An oft-heard statement is that the weather is getting more extreme because of global warming.  As opposed to, say, the benign, mild weather conditions associated with the Last Glacial Maximum 20,000 years ago. Many long-term records of extreme weather events are fraught with problems, usually involving changes in the way […]

Read more ›