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ClimateBites - Climate Soundbites

Tags: cherry picking

Thermal expansion.  Like the red fluid in a  thermometer

BiteRecent sea level rise is mostly due to thermal expansion, the same reason that mercury -- or alcohol with red dye -- climbs in a thermometer.
Coral:   Don't worry; it's not cancer (it's coronary thrombosis)

BiteTelling the inhabitants of a coral that island that they're safe because sea level won't rise, is like a doctor telling a smoker, "stop worrying, you aren't going to die of lung cancer", while knowing full well that they're doomed to die from a coronary thrombosis. Ocean acidification (OA) and b...
You have to watch many waves before you can see the tide.

BiteWhen you first arrive at the beach can you tell whether the tide is going in or out? No, not quickly: it would perhaps take you fifteen minutes of wave-watching before you could say for certain. And who's to say that a sudden big wave wasn't caused by a passing ship? It takes time to see the trend...
Partial evidence:  Like blind men feeling an elephant.

BitePartial evidence can be very misleading. Remember the "blind men feeling an elephant" allegory? One feels a leg and says it's a tree. Another the trunk; i'ts a snake! Another pats the body and calls it a wall. The only way to figure out what's really going on is to look all the evidence together...
Are models wrong? No, they're 'useful'.

Bite“Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful” — George E. P. Box
It's stopped warming?   Waves vs. tides.

BiteHave you ever stood on a beach and watched the tide coming in? The long-term trend (the water level steadily rising) is hidden behind short-term variability (the size of waves washing up the beach).
A few loose bricks don't bring the wall down!

BiteWhen you've built a great wall of evidence it takes more than a brick coming loose to bring the whole lot down.
"Climate is always changing... !"

BiteSure, the climate always changes—just like asteroids have always hit the Earth. But does that mean that a big asteroid hitting the Earth today would not have a serious impact on human civilisation, just like the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, 65m years ago?
Conflating 'uncertainty' with 'ignorance'.

BiteSome skeptics conflate 'uncertainty' with 'ignorance'. This is the idea that because scientists are uncertain about some aspect [of climate science] they therefore know nothing about [that aspect], and any estimate of it is mere guesswork.
Intense snowstorms!  Yep.  Actually that is global warming.

Bite(With climate change) “we will see a shorter snow season, but more intense individual snowfall events." – Dr. Michael Mann, Climatologist at Penn State University
No warming since 1998? It's like the tail wagging the dog

Bite'When you focus on just atmospheric heat to measure global warming, it's like tracking the tip of your dog’s tail to determine its location, instead of the body of the dog.' — Greg Laden, biological anthropologist and science communicator.
Earth was warm before? That's an observation, not an explanation

Bite'Yes, the climate changed before. That's called an observation, but a scientist’s role is to explain why it changed before and now. — Peter Hadfield, retired British journalist and creator of popular science YouTube channel Potholer54,
Small Antarctic sea ice gain overlooks total sea ice loss

Bite‘Looking at sea ice and not total ice is like your high school football team winning their game, but your NFL team loses the Super Bowl.’ — Ted Scambos, Glaciologist at University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center.
Are you still debating if smoking causes cancer?

Category:Who to Believe?
Bite"Giving scientists and climate change deniers equal time is like having tobacco executives debate doctors on the safety of cigarettes." — Senator Brian Schatz from Hawaii.
Deny global warming? Do you deny Air Force heat seeking missiles?

Category:Who to Believe?
Bite'In a bizarre sense, to deny global warming is to question the ability of the Air Force to put the right sensor on a heat seeking missile.' — Dr. Richard Alley, climate scientist at Penn State.
Weather you see from your window, climate you see from a satellite

Bite‘Weather is what you see outside your window, climate is what you see from a satellite.’ – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College, New York.
Would you eat a mushroom that 97% of experts say is poisonous?

Category:Who to Believe?
BiteIf 97% of experts say a mushroom is poisonous but 3% say it is safe, would you feed it to your kids?
A political issue? That's like choosing sides over E = mc2

Bite"Climate change has taken on political dimensions...That's odd because I don't see people choosing sides over E = mc2 or other fundamental facts of science." — Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson, astrophysicist, Host of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.

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