by Judith Curry
My big time crunch is easing somewhat. Here are some items that caught my eye this past week.
GA State Climatologist ousted
Dr. David Stooksbury of the University of Georgia has been ousted as the GA State Climatologist. Masterresource has has the full story. Stooks found out about this through a media query and from a memo that was sent to people at NOAA, I have been in close communication with my colleagues at UGA about this. For the record, Stooks has served as State Climatologist with distinction for over a decade, building trust with government agencies and farmers.
Chip Knappenberger speculates that this is because Stooks did not show sufficient “denial” of global warming, in a very conservative “red” state. Stooks was a Ph.D. student of Pat Michaels, so I always assumed he had a bit of skeptical streak. He has scrupulously stayed out of the global warming debate, saying nothing that would invoke the ire of climate scientists nor of the politicos on either side. If Knappenberger is correct, then I suspect this may be associated with a report that he sent out earlier this summer regarding temperature records that had been broken in the state of GA. Note, global warming was not at all mentioned, but even the report of broken summertime temperature records may have been enough to trigger this. I just don’t know why the Governor has ousted Stooks.
Note, the position of State Climatologist is essentially unfunded. Stooks and his associate Pam Knox have provided very valuable service to the state of GA. His office built trust with state and local govt agencies and also the farmers. During the drought of 2007/2008, he spend much time meeting with the previous Governor. While I know nothing about the new state climatologist, successful crop production depends on knowledge from the state climatologist. I hope the Governor knows what he is doing, and I would certainly like to see some justification for this action.
After the tepid response to Al Gore’s 24 hours of reality, a climate activist may be asking “how can we possibly get our message across?” Try a soap opera [link].
The Caribbean is abuzz about Callaloo. Not the traditional stew for which the region is known, but a steamy new soap opera that began airing in ten countries earlier this month.
For the next two years, a cast of colorful characters will deliver messages about climate change, human health and sustainable development through 208 carefully crafted episodes of a radio drama designed to entertain listeners through love triangles, personal struggles and happy endings.
My Island – My Community is rooted in the principles of Entertainment-Education, which incorporates vital information into entertaining media programs to simultaneously educate and amuse audiences. Callaloo is complemented by hour-long national talk shows that engage listeners in conversations around local issues. Community mobilization campaigns will complement the work, making it easy for local residents to engage directly with the issues.
The drama role models actions communities can take to adapt to the rising sea levels, stronger storms and loss of biodiversity associated with climate change, to secure a sustainable future for the islands they call home.
Department of good news . . .
The champagne crop is improving with warmer summers in Europe [link].
Climate change may be one of the greatest perils of our time, contributing to droughts, floods, deadly heat waves and super-charged hurricanes.
But for the moment, France’s Champagne makers are raising their glasses to it.
They say the climatic shift has made their lives easier and their Champagne better, allowing producers to harvest earlier than before.
“[Europe’s warmer summers] are a good thing for us,” said Pierre Cheval, independent producer of the Gatinois Champagne. “They mean the grapes mature when the days are longer and it reduces the risks of diseases linked to humidity. Also, it’s much nicer for us to harvest at the end of August than in late September. I remember harvesting once under the early snows of October. That was not fun!”
Climate change also appears to be a boon to UK seafood [link].
UK waters may become more productive fishing grounds as climate change brings new species in from the south, according to researchers.
Fish such as red mullet, hake and sole have become more abundant in the last 30 years, as the waters have warmed.
But established favourites such as cod and haddock may be on the wane.
JC note: this thread is an open discussion on current events and news about climate etc.