ocean temperature

2013 was a good year for climate science, but a mixed bag for climate policy

As 2013 comes to a close, a review of the key climate events of the year reveals some interesting new research and effective myth debunking, but little net progress in terms of addressing the problem through policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Beginning with the good news, the myth of the global warming ‘pause’ – which has helped policymakers justify delaying action to address climate change – was thoroughly debunked in 2013. A paper published by Kevin Cowtan and Robert Way showed that, in addition to the myth being a clear case of cherry picking short-term noise in the data, global surface temperatures have actually risen about two and a half times faster over the past 15 years than previously estimated. The short-term ‘pause’ was mostly an artifact resulting from a lack of temperature station coverage in the Arctic, where global warming is happening fastest.

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On Sept 19, 2023 ahead of the Climate Ambition Summit in New York City, climate activists gathered for a rally and civil disobedience outside Bank of America Tower in Midtown Manhattan as part of the March to End Fossil Fuels wave of actions resulting in multiple arrests. Activists demand Bank of America to “Defund Climate Chaos and Defend Human Rights” Photo: Erik McGregor (CC BY-NC 2.0 Deed)

Let’s Save Each Other

Let’s Save Each Other

Illustration by Stephanie McMillan. Used with permission