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Tuesday, 22 May 2018

American Loon #2017: Jeff Monroe et al.

Jeffrey “Jeff” Rodrick Monroe has been representing District 24 in the South Dakota Senate since 2013, and previously in the South Dakota Legislature between 1995 and 2003. It is worth mentioning that Monroe is a chiropractor whose education is from the Northwestern College of Chiropractic –...

Read the full lunacy: #2017: Jeff Monroe et al. Encyclopedia of American Loons

New back pain study: “support for the inclusion of chiropractic care as a component of multidisciplinary health care for low back pain”

Many of you will know that JAMA is one of the most respected medical journals. It is therefore surprising that, within the period of a few days, they published not one but two dodgy RCTs of alternative treatments. The new trial was aimed at determining whether the addition of chiropractic care to usual medical care […]

Read the rest here: New back pain study: “support for the inclusion of chiropractic care as a component of multidisciplinary health care for low back pain”

Monday, 21 May 2018

More about homeopathy in Switzerland: “Globuli only cause unnecessary healthcare costs”

Switzerland seems to be something like the ‘promised land’ for homeopaths – at least this is what many homeopaths seem think. However, homeopaths’ thinking is rarely correct, and the situation of homeopathy in Switzerland is not quite what they believe it to be. This article explains (my English explanations are below for all those you cannot […]

Read the rest here: More about homeopathy in Switzerland: “Globuli only cause unnecessary healthcare costs”

Sunday, 20 May 2018

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #20

Story of the Week... El Niño/La Niña Update... Toon of the Week... Quote of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... Climate Feedback Reviews... SkS Week in Review... 97 Hours of Consensus...

Story of the Week...

Water shortages to be key environmental challenge of the century, Nasa warns

Freshwater supplies have already seriously declined in 19 global hotspots – from China to the Caspian Sea – due to overuse, groundbreaking study shows

Threewaterskloff Dam Reservoir SA

The Theewaterskloof Dam, a key source of water supply to Cape Town, South Africa ahead of the current water crisis. Photograph: Halden Krog/AP

Water shortages are likely to be the key environmental challenge of this century, scientists from Nasa have warned, as new data has revealed a drying-out of swaths of the globe between the tropics and the high latitudes, with 19 hotspots where water depletion has been dramatic.

Areas in northern and eastern India, the Middle East, California and Australia are among the hotspots where overuse of water resources has caused a serious decline in the availability of freshwater that is already causing problems. Without strong action by governments to preserve water the situation in these areas is likely to worsen.

Some of these hotspots were previously undocumented or poorly understood: a region in north-western China, in Xinjiang province, has suffered dramatic declines despite receiving normal amounts of rainfall, owing to groundwater depletion from industry and irrigation.

Water shortages to be key environmental challenge of the century, Nasa warns by Fiona Harvey, Environment, Guardian, May 16, 2018 


El Niño/La Niña Update...

The La Niña event that overtook the tropical Pacific this past winter is officially over, according to the latest update from NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. La Niña’s signature of heavier-than-usual rainfall in the western part of the basin has tapered off, and the cool surface waters in the central part of the basin are dissipating.

Adios, La Niña by Rebecca Lindsey, NOAA's Climate.gov, May 11, 2018


Toon of the Week...

2018 Toon 20 


Quote of the Week...

The complexity of climate science may always be at odds with the simplicity that's key to inspiring action.

Remember the hole in the ozone layer? It was more of a thin spot, but in the 1980s, that dramatic term may have helped spur a global movement to reduce certain pollutants staved off disaster.

It's too late to prevent anthropogenic climate change, or unnatural climate change, or global warming — call it what you will. But it isn't too late to slow the warming, and perhaps even reverse it. If only someone could sell the idea.

Inspiring Terms Are Simple. ‘Climate Change’ Isn’t., Opinion by Faye Flam, Bloomberg News, May 11, 2018 


Graphic of the Week...

Changing Global Freshwater Availability from GRACE (2002-2016) 

 


Coming Soon on SkS...

  • Yes, EVs are green and global warming is causing sea level rise (Dana)
  • Climate change is already making droughts worse (Benjamin Cook)
  • Global warming, hurricanes, and rain (John Abraham)
  • Climate science websites around the world (Baerbel)
  • New research this week (Ari)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #21 (John Hartz)
  • 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #21 (John Hartz)

Poster of the Week...

2018 Poster 20 


Climate Feedback Reviews... 

Wall Street Journal commentary grossly misleads readers about science of sea level rise

Climate Feedback 20

Climate Feedback asked its network of scientists to review the article, The Sea Is Rising, but Not Because of Climate Change, Opinion by Fred Singer, The Wall Street Journal, May 15, 2018.

Five scientists analyzed the article and estimate its overall scientific credibility to be 'very low'.

A majority of reviewers tagged the article as BiasedFlawed reasoning, Inaccurate, and Misleading

Review Summary

This commentary published by The Wall Street Journal, written by Fred Singer, claims that warming (and therefore greenhouse gas emissions) has no effect on global sea level rise. Although Singer concedes the physical fact that water expands as its temperature increases, he claims that this process must be offset by growth of Antarctic ice sheets.

Scientists who reviewed this opinion piece explained that it is contradicted by a wealth of data and research. Singer bases his conclusion entirely on a cherry-picked comparison of sea level rise 1915-1945 and a single study published in 1990, claiming a lack of accelerating sea level rise despite continued warming. But in fact, modern research utilizing all available data clearly indicates that sea level rise has accelerated, and is unambiguously the result of human-caused global warming.

Since the 1990s for example, satellites have measured an acceleration in the rate of global sea level rise:

 

Seal Level Rise Satellite Observation 

Figure – Global mean sea level (blue), after removing an estimate for the impacts of the eruption of Mount Pinatubo (red), and after also removing the influence of El Niño (green), fit with a quadratic (black). From Nerem et al. (2018)  

Wall Street Journal commentary grossly misleads readers about science of sea level rise, Edited by Emmanuel M Vincent, Climate Feedback, May 18, 2018 


SkS Week in Review... 


97 Hours of Consensus...

97 Hours: Greg Holland 

 

Greg Holland's bio page.

Quote derived from:

"I think we definitely need to actually change our habits so that we can leave our children and our children's children with a better world to live in. But in the meantime, over the rest of my lifetime and indeed the rest of your lifetime and many other people, we are going to have to adapt, we're going to have to accept that it's not gonna be six days per summer of extreme temperatures, it may be 20 days per summer of extreme temperatures and we have to take the appropriate actions to actually live with those conditions. 
...the overwhelming consensus is that the globe is warming. The overwhelming consensus is that this is making changes to severe weather and rare events, be it heavy rainfall, droughts, tropical cyclones or whatever." 

High resolution JPEG (1024 pixels wide)



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American Loon #2016: Matt Monarch

Matt Monarch is a raw food vegan activist who thinks that cooking food kills it and poisons you (cooked foods are “dead,” having had their “vital force” and nutrients sucked out of them), while eating only raw vegetables, fruit, grain, and plant matter is the secret to health. He...

Read the full lunacy: #2016: Matt Monarch Encyclopedia of American Loons

Saturday, 19 May 2018

2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #20

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week.

Editor's Pick

Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide, New Research Shows

Limiting global warming to 2 degrees and not the more ambitious 1.5 degrees would put far more species at risk of extinction. Insects are especially vulnerable.

Biodiversity

A mere half degree of extra global warming could mean profound risks for tens of thousands of the planet's species, scientists have found. Credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Humanity can powerfully improve the survival odds of tens of thousands of species, but only if nations dramatically raise their ambitions in the fight against climate change, according to new research published on Thursday in the journal Science.

One key to salvaging plant and vertebrate habitat and protecting the world's biodiversity is to limit warming to the most challenging benchmark established under the 2015 Paris treaty—1.5 degrees Celsius of warming—not to the treaty's less stringent 2 degree guardrail, the study found.

The study assessed, in more detail than ever before, a key measure of extinction risk: the shrinking size of each species' current geographical range, or natural habitat. It projected that for an alarming number of species, their range size would shrink by at least half as temperatures rise past the Paris goals.

If nations do no more than they have pledged so far to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions—and warming consequently shoots past 3 degrees by the end of this century—6 percent of all vertebrates would be at risk. So would 44 percent of plants and a whopping 49 percent of insects.

But the dangers would be greatly reduced if warming can be limited to 1.5 degrees. That might protect the overwhelming majority of the 115,000 species assessed by the researchers. Just 4 percent of vertebrates would lose more than half of their current range. Only 8 percent of plants and 6 percent of insects would face that risk.

Keeping warming to 2 degrees is not nearly as effective, they found. The additional half degree of warming would double the impact on plants and vertebrate species, and triple the impact on insects.

Urgent Climate Action Required to Protect Tens of Thousands of Species Worldwide, New Research Shows by John H Cushman Jr & Neela Banerjee, InsideClimate News, May 17, 2018


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Friday, 18 May 2018

‘SCAM charities’ = charities promoting so-called alternative medicine

Many charities in the UK (and most other countries) openly promote bogus treatments. After having been reminded of this fact regularly, the UK Charity Commission have decided to look into this issue. Arguably, such charities – I have previously discussed ‘YES TO LIFE’  as an example (in total there are several hundred ‘SCAM charities’ operating […]

Read the rest here: ‘SCAM charities’ = charities promoting so-called alternative medicine

Thursday, 17 May 2018

American Loon #2015: Tom Monaghan

Often counted among the American Taliban’s greatest success stories, Tom Monaghan is the founder of Dominos Pizza, dominionist and currently owner of the Ave Maria Foundation, the Ave Maria University (garbage) and an area of land in Florida called, well, Ave Maria. Monaghan is, as you may...

Read the full lunacy: #2015: Tom Monaghan Encyclopedia of American Loons

Does acupuncture increase birth rates after IVF? No, of course not! But telling a few porkies might help all the same

Does acupuncture increase birth rates after IVF? You might be correct when pointing out that this is a rhetorical question. Why should acupuncture increase the live birth rates after in vitro fertilization (IVF)? Because it re-balances yin and yang? Give me a break!!! Yet acupuncture is widely used by women undergoing IVF, and therefore, we perhaps […]

Read the rest here: Does acupuncture increase birth rates after IVF? No, of course not! But telling a few porkies might help all the same

Wednesday, 16 May 2018

Complaints about chiropractors (and osteopaths as well as physiotherapists) – are they really that rare?

Systematic research on complaints about chiropractors, osteopaths, and physiotherapists is rare. We have often heard chiropractors claim that complaints against them are extremely rare events. But is this true? Two recent investigations might go some way towards answering this question. The aim of the first investigation was to understand differences in the frequency and nature […]

Read the rest here: Complaints about chiropractors (and osteopaths as well as physiotherapists) – are they really that rare?

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Osteopathy is “effective for reducing anxiety” (presumably the anxiety of the osteopaths and thier bank-managers)

THE CONVERSATION recently carried an article shamelessly promoting osteopathy. It seems to originate from the University of Swansea, UK, and is full of bizarre notions. Here is an excerpt: To find out more about how osteopathy could potentially affect mental health, at our university health and well-being academy, we have recently conducted one of the […]

Read the rest here: Osteopathy is “effective for reducing anxiety” (presumably the anxiety of the osteopaths and thier bank-managers)

American Loon #2014: Roberto Miranda

More religious extremist fanaticism. Roberto Miranda is the pastor of Congregación León de Judá, ostensibly one of the biggest churches in Boston. Miranda is best known for claiming that Satan is behind marriage equality and for directly tying the promotion of gay rights to 9/11. “Satan has...

Read the full lunacy: #2014: Roberto Miranda Encyclopedia of American Loons