It’s been almost half a year since Glenn, Gareth and John last met over the intertubes to discuss climate news — but we’re 97% sure we’re back, catching up on all the recent climate news. John discusses the recent Cook et al (where al is the Skeptical Science team) paper on the 97% consensus on climate science and the accompanying Consensus Project web site, “sticky” facts like using Hiroshima bombs as a unit of warming. Plus all the news on recent weather extremes — flooding in India, Canada, and Europe, climate impacts on the wine business, and Gareth’s recent interview with Bill McKibben. Show notes below the fold…
Why not devote 15 minutes of your time to a good cause? John Cook of Skeptical Science, one of the regulars on The Climate Show, who just happens to be a research fellow in climate communication for the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland, is crowd-sourcing a survey of the climate literature to try and measure the extent of any consensus that might exist. Here’s the full story, in John’s own words:
I’m seeking your assistance in conducting a crowd-sourced online survey of peer-reviewed climate research. I have compiled a database of around 12,000 papers listed in the ‘Web Of Science’ between 1991 to 2011 matching the topic ‘global warming’ or ‘global climate change’. I am now inviting readers from a diverse range of climate blogs to peruse the abstracts of these climate papers with the purpose of estimating the level of consensus in the literature regarding the proposition that humans are causing global warming. If you’re interested in having your readers participate in this survey, please post the following link to the survey:
The survey involves rating 10 randomly selected abstracts and is expected to take 15 minutes. Participants may sign up to receive the final results of the survey (de-individuated so no individual’s data will be published). No other personal information is required (and email is optional). Participants may elect to discontinue the survey at any point and results are only recorded if the survey is completed. Participant ratings are confidential and all data will be de-individuated in the final results so no individual ratings will be published.
The analysis is being conducted by the University of Queensland in collaboration with contributing authors of the website Skeptical Science. The research project is headed by John , and adheres to the Guidelines of the ethical review process of The University of Queensland.
Give it a try — you’ll be helping with an interesting research project, and it might even be educational…
It’s a first! Glenn, Gareth and John manage to record a show that clocks in at under an hour — but it’s still packed with interesting stuff. We’ve got news about a new Australasian hockey stick — a paleoclimate reconstruction that demonstrates that the last three decades are the warmest in the last 1,000 years, a look under an Antarctic ice shelf, more methane research, and good news from Greenland. John Cook from Skeptical Science looks at the misuse of temperature records from the Sargasso Sea, and we look at electric planes and boats and the latest version of the solar “leaf”. And… Glenn announces his imminent move to the UK, but never fear, the show will go on — just as soon as he sets up his computer in London (which might be a couple of months).
This interesting new video by George Marshall from Talking Climate discusses how to talk to someone who doesn’t accept the reality of climate change or the need to act, and how best to start persuading them that they might be in error. From the Talking Climate blog post:
George emphasises that argument, conflict, and disrespectful language will make it more difficult to achieve the goals you are aiming for – that is, to encourage somebody who is sceptical about climate change to engage with the problem and possible solutions to it. Finding ‘common ground’ and being able to understand why people are sceptical about climate change in the first place is critical. It isn’t all that much to do with a lack of understanding of ‘the science’, but has a lot to do with the ‘personal journey’ that people go through when forming their beliefs about climate change and whether to engage in sustainable behaviour.
George last featured at Hot Topic a year ago, when I discussed his talk on the ingenious ways we avoid believing in climate change. In some respects this new talk builds on that, taking into account the social psychology of belief in climate change. For a more detailed discussion of what’s going on, Marshall’s colleague at Talking Climate, Adam Corner, popped up at the Guardian last week to discuss an experiment on how attitudes condition belief:
What this experiment illustrates, though, is that “belief” in climate change is very much what matters. Without belief in climate change, scientific evidence simply bounces off. And it is social views and cultural beliefs that predict climate change denial, not people’s level of knowledge about climate science.
There’s lots of interesting stuff in Marshall’s video, in Corner’s article and at the Talking Climate web site. I would like to think that I follow Marshall’s suggested approach in one-on-one conversations — I usually find it pretty easy to find common ground with my more sceptical neighbours, for instance — but even the best of intentions can break down in the face of an intractable relative, whether Uncle Bob or the sister-in-law from over the sea…
See also: The Debunking Handbook, by John Cook and Stephan Lewandowsky.
As the northern hemisphere starts to warm (rather rapidly in the USA), climate watchers’ thoughts turn to melting ice, and to tell us what happened last year and what might be in store this summer, Glenn and Gareth welcome back Greenland expert Jason Box from the Byrd Polar research Centre at Ohio State University. It’s a wide ranging and fascinating discussion, not to be missed. John Cook looks at the differences between sea ice in the Arctic and Antarctic, and we have news coverage of the new HadCRUT4 global temperature series, summertime in winter in the USA, worrying news about sea level from the Pliocene, a new report on climate change in the Pacific, and new developments in solar power and biofuels.