Best of 2018: To save marine habitats, conservationists find natural ally: surfers

Hundreds of areas with world-class waves also contain a variety of diverse marine species.

The year ahead in climate change

A look ahead at climate change in 2019.

AEP Bounces Back From Wind Catcher Cancellation With 1.2GW RFP

Southwestern Electric Power Company this week released a request for proposals for up to 1.2 gigawatts of wind resources, six months after the cancellation of its ambitious Wind Catcher project. SWEPCO, a subsidiary of American Electric Power (AEP), said it will accept proposals of 100+ megawatts until March 1. Projects should be put into service before December 15, 2021 to take advantage of at least 80 percent of the federal Production Tax Credit. AEP nixed the Wind Catcher project in July, after a regulatory tussle and an ultimate rejection from the Public Utility Commission of Texas. Despite that high-profile setback — Wind Catcher was to be the largest U.S. wind project at

Looming Supply Chain Crunch Threatens US Wind Energy Boom

While the U.S. wind energy installation outlook looks bright — more than 23 gigawatts in new capacity forecast over the next two years — looming unforeseen supply chain bottlenecks could lead to project cancellations and postponements. This could put as much as $2.1 billion of revenue at risk, according to a

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #1

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week, i.e., Sun, Dec 31, 2018 through Sat, Jan 5, 2019 Editor’s Pick A Terrifying Sea-Level Prediction Now Looks Far Less Likely But experts warn that our overall picture of sea-level rise looks far scarier today than it did even five years ago. A

2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #1

Story of the Week… Editorial of the Week… Toon of the Week… Coming Soon on SkS… Poster of the Week… SkS Week in Review… Story of the Week… Katharine Hayhoe: ‘A thermometer is not liberal or conservative’ Katharine Hayhoe: ‘Fear is a short-term spur to action, but to make changes over the long term, we must have hope.’ Photograph: Randal Ford

Bending low with Bated breath

“Shall I bend low and in a bondman’s key, With bated breath and whisp’ring humbleness…?”Shylock (Merchant of Venice, Act 1, Scene 3) As dark nights draw in, the venerable contrarians at the GWPF are still up late commissioning silly pseudo-rebuttals to mainstream science. The latest, which no-one was awaiting with any kind of breath, is by Dr. Ray Bates (rtd.) which purports to be a take-down of the recent #SR15 report. As Peter Thorne (an IPCC author) correctly noted, this report is a “cut-and-paste of long-debunked arguments”. I’ve grown a little weary of

Without traditional knowledge, there is no climate change solution

Traditional indigenous knowledge is the key to solving climate change.

Why is biodiversity important?

Four reasons biodiversity is essential to humanity.

Energy Jobs: Netflix Talent Moves to Cleantech, Exec Ousted at Tesla, GE Restructuring Continues

The energy industry may be more exciting to work in now than at any other time in recent memory, but it’s still difficult for energy companies large and small to compete against the likes of Google and Apple to recruit top talent. One cleantech startup, Lumin, which offers smart home controls via the circuit breaker, has found a way to entice a lead data engineer to its team with its recent hire of Brian Sullivan as head of data engineering. Sullivan spent more than six years at Netflix as director of the streaming data engineering team.

Renewables May Prove Cheaper Than 96% of Coal Plants Worldwide by 2030

The uphill battle confronting coal seems to be getting steeper. A new global analysis of 6,685 coal plants finds that it is now cheaper to build new renewable generation than to run 35 percent of coal plants worldwide. By 2030, that percentage increases dramatically, with renewables beating out 96 percent of today’s existing and planned coal-fired generation. The 4 percent exception is in markets with extremely low fuel costs, where coal is cheap and plentiful, or with uncertain policies for renewables, like Russia. The study, conducted by pro-climate-action financial think tank Carbon Tracker, covers about 95 percent of worldwide operating capacity and about 90 percent of under-construction capacity. The report’s authors lay out three inflection points for the transition away

Discussing climate change on the net

Today, many discussions about climate change happen on the internet. People interested in the topic share information and have lively discussions about the latest studies and findings. But, you’ll also find many contributors voicing not just minor doubts about human-caused climate change but also those who outright deny it. In this blog post, I suggest some options which exist to deal with these dissenting voices. The suggestions are based on a presentation I prepared for the K3-conference in Salzburg in September 2017 and which I was invited to write about for the Promet journal published by the German Weatherservice (DWD). Consensus among scientists – lack of

The Scientific Consensus on Climate Change

This is a re-post from the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy by Sarah Finnie Robinson When do 97% of people agree on anything, even ice cream? In scientific circles, consensus is a rare trophy, held to famously exacting standards. When a scientific consensus is finally reached — e.g., the Earth orbits the sun; water freezes at 32°F, 0°C; blood is red — a new fact joins the foundations of

But their Emails!

Here we go again. It’s always emails with these people. First there was “Climategate!” — the misquoting, selective quoting, and uninformed quoting of stolen emails from the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit (CRU) in Great Britain. Emails between CRU scientists and other climate scientists around the world promised to peel back the curtain and reveal the global warming scam. Alarmist scientists had used “tricks” to “hide the decline”! They “can’t account for the lack of warming” so they have to fake the temperature data! The whole thing is a hoax! Not so much. With out-of-context quoting you can make scientists say anything. And that was the case with Climategate — it suffered from an

Mercury, the other geologically persistent planetary poison

The thing that really gets me in the gut about global warming from fossil fuel combustion is how long it will last. Carbon mined from the deep Earth and injected into the “fast carbon cycle” of the atmosphere, ocean, and land surface will continue to affect atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and climate, for hundreds of thousands of years into the future, unless we clean up the atmosphere ourselves. It turns out that human emissions of the element

Climate Change and Extreme Summer Weather Events – The Future is still in Our Hands

Summer 2018 saw an unprecedented spate of extreme weather events, from the floods in Japan, to the record heat waves across North America, Europe and Asia, to wildfires that threatened Greece and even parts of the Arctic. The heat and drought in the western U.S. culminated in the worst California wildfire on record. This is the face of climate change, I commented at the time. Some of the connections with climate change here are pretty straightforward. One of the simplest relationships in all of atmospheric science tells us that the atmosphere holds exponentially more moisture as temperatures increase. Increased moisture means potentially for greater amounts of

Resplandy et al. correction and response

Guest commentary from Ralph Keeling (UCSD) I, with the other co-authors of Resplandy et al (2018), want to address two problems that came to our attention since publication of our paper in Nature last week. These problems do not invalidate the methodology or the new insights into ocean biogeochemistry on which it is based, but they do influence the mean rate of warming we infer, and more importantly, the uncertainties of that calculation. We would like to thank Nicholas Lewis for first bringing an apparent anomaly in the trend calculation to our attention. We quickly realized that our calculations incorrectly

The long story of constraining ocean heat content

Scientists predicted in the 1980s that a key fingerprint of anthropogenic climate change would be found in the ocean. If they were correct that increases in greenhouse gases were changing how much heat was coming into the system, then the component with the biggest heat capacity, the oceans, is where most of that heat would end up. We have now had almost two decades of attempts to characterize this change, but the path to confirming those predictions has been anything but smooth… Predictions At least as far back as Hansen et

A shortage of beer and fries? Climate change hits Europe where it hurts

Europe may have a shortage of beer and fries due to climate change.

Sparking an ‘ECOrenaissance’: An insider’s guide to sustainability

Human Nature discusses Environmental Pioneer Marci Zaroff’s book and its messaging.

Will Tesla Model 3 Demand Blast Off in 2019? Or Fall Flat?

Will demand for Tesla's Model 3 electric sedan continue to grow, or has it essentially peaked? That's one of many existential questions haunting Elon Musk's electric car company. As with most things Tesla, it's a polarizing topic with two different narratives coming from two different camps. On about November 7, we'll find

Tesla Model 3 Now Comes in a $45,000 ‘Mid-Range’ Version

Tesla added a new electric car to its lineup Thursday — well, sort of. The automaker announced it is now offering a lower-cost Tesla Model 3 with a “mid-range” battery, and unveiled a simple new order page to buy it from. The new Model 3 version, with a 260-mile range, is priced at $45,000

Victims of Hurricane Michael voted for climate deniers

Floridians are staring down a very powerful Category 4 typhoon that is causing extensive damage. The high winds, heavy rains, and storm surge will cost billions of dollars. We know that climate change is making these storms stronger. The storms feed off of warm ocean waters, and those waters are much warmer now because of climate change. I have written about the science in more detail here and here. But basically, Michael strengthened because it passed over really warm