The 'mini ice age' hoopla is a giant failure of science communication

#1
C C Offline
http://theconversation.com/the-mini-ice-...tion-45037

EXCERPT: [...] News Corp’s Andrew Bolt used the mini ice age to attack climate science. Many climate sceptic bloggers readily accepted the story, despite climate never being mentioned in the peer-reviewed paper. The media failed in its duty to investigate and inform. It didn’t seek expert comment to put the research into context. Instead journalists tried to answer technical climate science questions themselves, and mostly got it wrong.

As discussed previously, the impact of a new Maunder minimum on climate has been studied many times. There’s 40% more CO2 in the air now than during the 17th century, and global temperature records are being smashed. A new Maunder minimum would slow climate change, but it is not enough to stop it.

[...] While Zharkova was surprised by the media coverage, she and others continued to discuss a new mini ice age. If a mini ice age is at odds with the prior literature, why does Zharkova continue speculating about it? In personal correspondence with Zharkova, she told me it was only after the media coverage that her research was connected to climate change and the Maunder minimum. However, she said that once the connection was made, it did make sense to her.

Zharkova also told IFLS: "We didn’t mention anything about the weather change, but I would have to agree that possibly you can expect it [a mini ice age]."

So it seems Zharkova’s justification is based on media extrapolation of her own press release and Wikipedia, not the extensive peer-reviewed literature on the Maunder minimum itself...
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#2
elte Offline
The weather now in the Midwest here reminds me of the early to mid seventies.  If that observation holds up I'm dreading some extreme arctic winters within several years.
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#3
Yazata Offline
I commented on this here:

http://www.scivillage.com/thread-1120-po...ml#pid2600

While I'm skeptical about Zharkova's predictions, or at least what the popular science media reported about them, I admire her courage for even publishing them in todays' academic climate.

I'm inclined to perceive 'climate science' to largely be 'junk science' in principle and to be skeptical about all of it, because it's become so politicized that free and open discussion has become difficult.

One side has established itself as having a monopoly on good, and any disagreement or deviation from that agenda marks the heretic as being both evil and "anti-science". Hiring and tenure decisions are now dependent on one's views on this matter. So if true-believers are encouraged to publish and those with questions or doubts are more or less forced to remain silent in order to protect their careers, the 'scholarly consensus' and 'peer review' processes have seemingly been subverted.
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