The most-read piece of the year on Critical Angle was The history of emissions and the Great Acceleration where I looked at data from the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center and in which I discovered some surprising (at least to me) factoids about emissions. For example:
- Cumulative emissions from land-use changes since 1750 were bigger than cumulative emissions from all fossil fuels combined up to 1978.
- Using an ultra-simple 40% atmospheric fraction carbon-cycle model yields a good match between observations of atmospheric CO2 concentrations and emissions statistics.
- The Great Acceleration in almost everything, which happened in the years after 1950, brought forward the climate crisis by 20 years. That’s a shorter time than the world has wasted since the Rio Earth Summit in 1992.
I must like trilogies, since I wrote two of them this year. In January I did a series on fracking, focussing mainly on the UK:
- Spot the charlatan
- There’s no endorsement of fracking from Skeptical Science or climate experts
- Quantity has a quality all of its own.
Later in the year I wrote about the road to the two degrees target:
- Feasible emissions pathways, burying our carbon and bioenergy
- Are the experts being candid about our chances?
- Equity, inertia and fairly sharing our carbon budget.
I was pleased to be asked by the Corporate Knights Magazine to provide some pieces for their website and for the quarterly hardcopy magazine that is distributed with the Globe and Mail and the Washington Post: Why the 97% consensus on climate change still gets challenged (Summer 2015 Issue); Are we overestimating our global carbon budget? (website only) and; B.C. lowballing fugitive methane emissions from natural gas industry (Fall 2015 Issue). There’s another article (on CCS) scheduled for the Winter 2015 issue of the magazine, due out in January 2016.
All of this pales beside the combined output of my colleagues at Skeptical Science who have contributed hugely with numerous academic articles, conference presentations, pieces in the mainstream and social media, as well as a University of Queensland supported Massive Open Online Course.
Skeptical Science is run without significant funding, except for a tip jar to pay for Internet hosting. Everyone who contributes there does so as a volunteer, mostly in spare time from day jobs.There are a lot of valuable supporters whose names don’t appear on articles, but who keep the website running and the comments moderated.
I should add that much of what I write benefits from reviews and comments made by my Skeptical Science colleagues.