Tag archive for Tom Toles

The climate “pause” that didn’t refresh: Tom Toles

This month has seen a number of studies showing that the much-discussed "hiatus" or "pause" in global warming reported by the IPCC two years ago was a misreading of the data.

In the words of Nature:

“The bottom line is that the IPCC reported that the rate of warming was less in the last 15 years than it was in the previous 30–60 years,” says Tom Karl, the study's lead author and the director of the National Centers for Environmental Information in Asheville, North Carolina. “That is no longer valid according to our data.”

The analysis follows a raft of papers that seek to explain why global temperatures seemed to level off around the turn of the millennium. NOAA's updated temperature record still shows cooler observed conditions than those projected by most climate models for the same period. But Karl says that the warming trend is clear up to the end of 2014. That holds true even if researchers choose 1998, which saw extreme heat associated with an El Niño weather pattern in the tropical Pacific Ocean, as the starting point for such an analysis.

In other words, even if you cherry-pick the data, you still can't find the "pause." But Tom Toles can!


Tom Toles publishes more editorial cartoons on climate than anyone else and it's not close. 

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Uncorking catastrophic climate change? Tom Toles

As usual, Tom Toles finds a funny way to dramatize a disaster: a methane explosion in Siberia


Which raises the question: Well, how dangerous is the methane that is emerging from the Arctic? Is it just blowing holes in the permafrost, or does it presage global atmospheric doom?

It's not a small volume of methane, after all, and we know that methane in the short term is a far more potent greenhouse gas than CO2– about 30x more potent, to be exact. So the concept of a "methane time bomb" that will set off the greatly feared runaway global warming seems plausible at a glance. 

But look closer, says RealClimate, with lots and lots of data. (From last week.) They conclude: 

…the future of Earth’s climate in this century and beyond will be determined mostly by the fossil fuel industry, and not by Arctic methane. We should keep our eyes on the ball. 

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New kind of dinosaur discovered (by Tom Toles)

Meet the new dinosaur (aka "the 500-lb chicken from hell.") Tom Toles sees an irony:


 The new GOP faces the same climate reality as the old GOP.    

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Polar Vortex images (from first week of 2013)

A number of publications last week published compendiums of amazing images from the polar vortex's drunken stagger, in Chris Mooney's wonderful story, across nearly all the nation save drought-stricken CA. Frozen lakes, waterfalls, etc. Here's NASA's GOES satellite picture:


Fine. But what about the vortex of public reaction? Tom Toles sketches that one:


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Speaking of “Biblical” flooding in Colorado…

Chris Mooney is now reporting on climate for Grist, which is great news in and of itself. His latest post looks at the huge and deadly floods of this past week in Colorado, and tries to answer the obvious question — did climate change contribute to or worsen these floods?

The answer is not a simple yes, the experts say,  but correlative and suggestive, as a central graph he posts shows: 

But a good writer such as Money also has an ear for language, and he notes a couple of interesting points in commentary this week. A forecaster for the National Weather Service pointed to "major flash flooding" with "Biblical rainfall events." Words perhaps chosen to make the point to the deeply religious area of Colorado Springs?

And Mooney notes that evenmeterologists and small government advocates and Republicans such as Paul Douglas are seeing a new atmosphere overhead — an atmosphere created by climate change. 

In his exploration of causes, Mooney makes the usual points — more warming means more water vapor in the atmosphere, means more potential for heavy rains — but stops short, as the phrase du jour goes, of pointing the finger or affixing blame. This is the responsbile, scientific choice. 

But free spirits — artists such as Tom Toles earlier this week — aren't as constrained. ColoradofloodingToles

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Climate change in court: Tom Toles

The inimitable Toles puts a monstrous storm in the dock. 

Any particular storm come to mind? 

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Hurricane Sandy has a question for our politics

Toles frames the question: 

Eugene Robinson follows up

The words “climate change” were not spoken during the presidential debates. Hurricane Sandy wants to know why.

Or, as Terry Tempest Williams tweeted: 

So ironic: no mention of Nature or wildness in the presidential debates and now, it is commanding force in chief. We are forced to be still.

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The sound of climate change: Tom Toles

From the Washington Post's Tom Toles, of course:


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Rush Limbaugh is a grotesque monster: Tom Toles

Tom Toles rarely draws El Rushbo, but when he does, Limbaugh always ends up looking like Jabba the Hut. 

For Toles, it's uncharacteristically unfunny. A little grotesque, disturbing.  

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Thinking about climate change: Tom Toles

For the beginning of the new year, Toles had this to offer:

Note the tense he employs — the past.

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