What does climate sensitivity mean? Peace for our time…or the wrong battle?

A very quick post on this week’s big news in the climate blogosphere: a new report on climate sensitivity, Oversensitive, written by Nicholas Lewis and Marcel Crok published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). The GWPF’s role is discussed in a new Klimazwiebel post by my colleague, Reiner Grundmann, while Ed Hawkins’s Climate Lab Book …

Amelia Sharman audio & Prezi: Mapping the climate sceptical blogosphere

Amelia Sharman gave a seminar last week ‘Mapping the Climate Sceptical Blogosphere’ to the Institute for Science and Society, as part of Making Science Public’s month of climate change lectures. Amelia discussed her methods for determining which blogs were most central to those amongst what can (loosely) be called a climate sceptic community, and the …

Climate change targetism: scientific numbers, managerial policy

It is five years since the Climate Change Act was given Royal Assent. This groundbreaking piece of legislation provided a huge boost to environmental campaigners who had long campaigned for government to make such a move. It also denoted a key stage in David Cameron’s ‘detoxification’ strategy of the Conservative Party while in opposition, as …

Just one number: has the IPCC changed its supply of evidence?

As I have researched online climate scepticism over the last year, its become clear that climate sensitivity has been one of the biggest topics for discussion. This is perhaps one of the easier parts of climate science to understand. Put simply, sensitivity measures the amount by which the Earth’s temperature increases when atmospheric carbon dioxide …

More heat than light? Climate catastrophe and the Hiroshima bomb

There has been some discussion on Twitter today (14 August) about the wisdom or otherwise of measuring the heat being retained by the Earth in terms of Hiroshima bombs. The analogy is presented by John Cook and Dana Nuccitelli on their Skeptical Science blog, drawing on an academic paper by Church et al to describe the heat …

Families of climate scepticism I: faulty science?

At last week’s British Sociological Association conference, I presented some initial observations from my research on climate change scepticism. My starting point was that climate change scepticism – or as it is often inaccurately described, denial – is not monolithic. Those people typically labelled as sceptics vary in their arguments. Sometimes may employ many different arguments, some may focus on …

Science, politics and the new scepticism

While I blogged on MSP a couple of times while finishing up my thesis on local and regional climate policy, I have now started on the programme full time as a Research Fellow. My project has a working title of Science, politics and scepticism in the age of new media, and aims to “map the …

Atoms are not people: comparing the natural and social sciences

Following a Twitter debate this week on the utility of social sciences cf. natural sciences as a basis for public policy (see the above screenshot for some of the comments), I thought it might be time for a preliminary sketch of the differences between these two (very) broad areas of knowledge. Is social science a …

The magic of science

Guest post by Dr Kate Roach, former member of the Institute for Science and Society, now writer and public engagement researcher (kr@kateroach.net) Defining science A recent invitation on twitter to define science, #scidef, has brought forth quite a number of mysterious or magically inclined interpretations.  For @TripOnEgo science is an: “intrigue-inspired investigation, commanded by moral …