Saturday, December 29, 2012

Vote for the top climate story of 2012

The envelope please.  Greg Laden has put up a list of top climate stories from 2012 which was semi crowd sourced.  Rick Pilz sets the stage well

A group of us, all interested in climate science, put together a list of the most notable, often most worrying, climate-related stories of the year, along with a few links that will allow you to explore the stories in more detail. We did not try to make this a “top ten” list, because it is rather silly to fit the news, or the science, or the stuff the Earth does in a given year into an arbitrary number of events. (What if we had 12 fingers, and “10” was equal to 6+6? Then there would always be 12 things, not 10, on everyone’s list. Makes no sense.) We ended up with 18 items, but note that some of these things are related to each other in a way that would allow us to lump them or split them in different ways. See this post by Joe Romm for a more integrated approach to the year’s events. Also, see what Jeff Masters did here 
Go to Gregs blog for the expanded discussions of each point.  Eli, Eli is interested in your opinions as to which are more/most important but using the limited resources of Blogger, the Bunny calls for a vote (anybunny know how to turn this into a ranked list).  Extra carrots if you guess which is Eli's number one (Ms. Rabett has that envelope)


Anonymous said...

Ah, the dilemma of choice.

The climate watcher in me says extreme ice melt, but my Hogwarts ecologist sorting hat says biodiversity decrease is the significant sleeper...

Bernard J.

David B. Benson said...

Eli --- Ranked list? Do you mean sorted from, say, most votes to least? If so, there are many sorting algorithms. This list is so short that even insertion sort will do.

jyyh said...

I'll assume the river in question is Mississippi, not Amazon nor Watson. Won't change my vote though.
sub-arctic bunny

Anonymous said...

Having not really had a "summer" (NH), apart from a week or so in March(!), and a situation now where half-an-hour's drizzle leads to standing pools of water on what was my garden lawn and streamlets running down through the orchard-cum-chicken run, but which is now not much more than a mud pile... the choice was easy for me.

As to Eli's fave? Given Eli's preponderance for all things arctic and where we once had lots more ice, the choice looks easy... except I think it's probably Sandy related and so will plump for no. 2: Sandy and Sea Level Rise.

Cymraeg llygoden

Anonymous said...

The story of the year for me was the attempt to misrepresent the IPCC draft report. It was so blatant, so transparent, that it was obvious that not even the stupidest climate change denier out there could have believed it: it was the day that climate change denial was shown to be an utterly fake movement peddling nonsense that they know themselves is nonsense.

Regards, Millicent

ligne said...

from an interest perspective: the implosion in Arctic ice. it's one thing for records to creep in every couple of years, but this summer's melting season was...."spectacular" isn't quite the right word....

from a political action perspective: probably Sandy, despite it not having been a big deal over here in the land of Peter Rabett. it's the story that got the media interested, even more than the massive drought.

from an entertainment perspective: i was going to say Heartland's self-immolation, though Millicient's suggestion of the AR5 leak might be even better. it's nice to see how utterly desperate they are getting, and that (as with the CRU email flop last year) the media are no longer invariably regurgitating the denialist line.

happy new year to Professor Rabett, and all the little mice and bunnies!

Anonymous said...

It's a tough choice.

I was going to vote for unthinkable, unheard of, category 6 uber-storm Sandy.

Then I was thinking how the drought had grown such that it doesn't rain anywhere on the planet anymore.

But that doesn't compare to the very, VERY bad storms which happen now and never happened in the past.

But I voted instead for how warming rates now exceed Hansen's scenario X and even the high end of IPCC projections.

Happy New Year!


Holly Stick said...

Seems to me changes in atmospheric circulation affect a lot of things including the big storms.

Jeffrey Davis said...

What scared me most was the death of corn in Kansas when temps his 114.

ligne said...

a deluge of retarded straw-man arguments from Eunice? in this crazy, messed-up world, it's good to know that some things don't change :-)h

Ron Broberg said...

I thought the recent passing storm would delay the most severe potentials on the Mississippi, but checking the gages, apparently not. There are some barge operators already lowering their shipping weight. More might be following very soon. Not trying to sway the vote, since the headlines, should they come, would come next year ...
Mississippi River drops, threatening barge traffic
Mississippi River shutdown forecast for next week

Jim Eager said...

Yet again Eunice aptly demonstrates herself to be a clueless git.

Sou said...

Without looking at the results (so people don't call me a sheeple :)) I voted for the spectacular loss of ice. It epitomises the dramatic change that is happening.

I agree with Bernard J that the loss of biodiversity is the most worrisome.

Many others on the list - here down under we've already been through what the US went through this year. (I'm not minimising them in any way - don't get me wrong.) Yasi plus - thankfully we didn't have a New York in its path; the big wet that followed the big dry; the catastrophic fires killing nearly 200 people - all record-breaking 'events' (if you call a decade-long drought an 'event').

Adam Gallon said...

Pity there's no category for "None of the above"
How about Global accumulated cyclone energy at an all-time low?
Antarctic Sea Ice at record highs?
Increases in GHGs whilst temperatures haven't shown a significant rise for ~16 years?
It didn't get hot in the UK? (Well, if you're jumping up & down about the USA's climate, there is the rest of the world!)
No acceleration in rate of sea level rise?
UK Environment Agency predicts drought to extend possibly beyond Christmas, just before the heavens open to give us one of the wettest years ever?
Liar produces forged document to try to blacken orgaisation's name?
Australian musicologist at Austrian university advocates death sentance for those who don't agree with his views?
Bitterly cold winter across Europe?
Leaking of IPCC SOD, so we can see what changes the politicians get inserted into the summary for policy makers?
That last one gets my vote.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

Adam Gallon,
Congratulations on the most myopic answer of the year. I don't think even Eunice can beat you.

Russell Seitz said...


Anonymous said...

"Leaking of IPCC SOD, so we can see what changes the politicians get inserted into the summary for policy makers?"

Um. You do realize that anyone who wanted to could sign up to be a reviewer of the IPCC SOD and get an advanced look? And that the IPCC was planning on archiving the various drafts and releasing them with the final version?


Russell Seitz said...

Here's the hopefully working link :

Ron Broberg said...

Adam's attitude isn't unexpected, though. Plenty more like him. While the Arctic melt was dramatic, stunning, I had to prod the editor at Real Clear Science to put it on his article list ... and he shortly followed it with a "record ice in Antarctica" piece. That is why Sandy, even though it is more distantly related to climate change than the Arctic melt, is the bigger story. You can't play "move along; nothing to see here" with that kind of devastation unless your initials are RPjr. Arctic melting is the big science story of the year; Sandy will have much bigger impact on public policy and opinion.

a_ray_in_dilbert_space said...

That's just the problem--weather is still driving people's conception of climate.

willard said...

Let’s not forget this very robust refutation of the very idea of climate modelling:

> More than Bernoulli is at issue because Gosselin draws on the classical physics of d’Alembert, do you think the MSM will pay attention to him now that the bombshell paper by Marcie Rathke of the University of Southern North Dakota has been accepted for publication in Advances in Pure Mathematics?

> Although ‘Independent, Negative, Canonically Turing Arrows of Equations and Problems in Applied Formal PDE’ may be a hard reading, the abstract is thankfully a model of concision:

>> Let ρ = A. Is it possible to extend isomorphisms? We show that D´ is stochastically orthogonal and trivially affine. [For real atmospheric systems] the main result was the construction of p-Cardano, compactly Erdős, Weyl functions. This could shed important light on a conjecture of Conway–d’Alembert.

> How many more times must the Turing insufficiency modeling hoax be mathematically demolished before Hansen, Mann, and the rest of the pro-modeling crowd publish a retraction ?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to add one, the US gov't decision yesterday to continue the economic crisis for next 1-4 years. Though this is not actually climate related news it will hamper most of the efforts to get something done wrt mitigation. "Adaptation happens".

cRR Kampen said...

Massive droughts, more not.
Imagine the jet missing out on the Rockies lee trough to create Dustbowl 2.0, this one permanent.
In my speculation all else pales this decennium.


George M said...

I voted for the classic greenhouse gases. It looks like they, or something, is affecting the climate enough to keep the next ice age at bay for a few more years.

Hopefully, it won't start with another Younger Dryas event. There isn't enough fossil energy to keep the northern hemisphere alive(or something like 90% of the world population) if the temps drop 10degC in 50 years or so.

Ron Broberg said...

re: "Adaptation happens"


My thoughts from some years ago ...

Nyati said...

"It didn't get hot in the UK? (Well, if you're jumping up & down about the USA's climate, there is the rest of the world!)"

Ah, the UK is now the rest of the world...
Most of Europe got pretty hot, too. Forest fires in Serbia and Bosnia, where they never happened, for example. No rain either; crops got massacred throughout Eastern Europe and the Balkans for one.

"Antarctic Sea Ice at record highs?"

Yes, and check for yourself by how many times is that "record high" smaller than the Arctic sea ice loss. To say nothing of the Antarctic land ice loss...

silburnl said...

For my money, Ice loss is the biggest 'in year' story if you are being purist about what constitutes a climate story (other stories are bigger if you take a longer view than the year just ended, but the effects haven't really hit yet - the ongoing ice collapse is happening right now).

If you extend the definition of 'climate related' to include the political response then Sandy is the biggest story simply because any single event that erodes US complacency on the issue is, by definition, a big deal.

I voted for both in the OP.


susan said...

I still think change in circulation includes all of these problems.

Russell, your link comes up empty. And I'm furious with google, which still doesn't know you exist. Either that or the nasties you parody are doing some shibuwitchee.

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