Strategies in Action

Climate Science and Climate Solutions

If you’re looking for climate science data, the Breakthrough series of papers pretty much has that covered. If you want to see detailed studies of the climate solutions we could be implementing, the series of publications by Beyond Zero Emissions is a great place to start.

If you doubt the wisdom of using the term ‘climate emergency’, read online or download Margaret Klein Salamon’s Leading the Public into Emergency Mode: A New Strategy for the Climate Movement.

What does “climate emergency” mean? – by Ian Dunlop and David Spratt. Also available in French here.

Breakthrough papers (most recent at top)
WHAT LIES BENEATH – The Scientific Understatment Of Climate Risks; David Spratt and Ian Dunlop
DISASTER ALLEY – Climate Change, Conflict & Risk; David Spratt and Ian Dunlop
ANTARCTIC TIPPING POINTS – For A Multi-Metre Sea Level Rise; David Spratt
WAR – WHAT IS IT GOOD FOR? – WWII Economic Mobilisation: An Analogy for Climate Action; Paul Gilding
CLIMATE REALITY CHECK – After Paris Counting the Cost; David Spratt
STRIKING TARGETS – Matching Climate Goals with Climate Reality; Philip Sutton
RECOUNT – It’s Time to Do the Math Again; David Spratt

BZE publications

Electrifying Industry – shows how manufacturers can generate heat differently (2018)
Rethinking Cement: Research Report: A pathway to zero carbon cement
The Zero Carbon Communities Guide (14 July 2017)
Electric Vehicles Report (2016)
Renewable Energy Superpower Report (2015)
The Energy Freedom Home (2015)- A practical guidebook for renovators & builders
Land Use: Agriculture and Forestry (2014)
High Speed Rail Report (2014)
Buildings Plan (2013)
Stationary Energy Plan (2010)

Climate science and messaging
Don’t Mention the Emergency? – Jane Morton


For an overview of the climate science, see the David Spratt’s Powerpoint presentation,Why is emergency-scale action necessary?

Global temperatures and baselines – NASA’s temperature spike graph

The raw data for this graph is found at:

Different graphs – different baselines
The graph above uses the average temperatures of the period from 1880 to 1909 as its 0°C baseline.
Other graphs showing this data from NASA use the average of 1950-1980 temperatures as the baseline.

In February 2016, the global temperatures spiked to 1.6°C over the 1880-1909 baseline.
This is the same as 1.35°C over the 1950-1980 baseline.

Since the period 1880-1909 was roughly 0.2°C warmer than the mid-17th century pre-industrial average temperature, the February 2016 global average temperatures was actually 1.8°C above the real pre-industrial temperature.

You will see various temperature rises mentioned in material from IPCC and in other climate science documents and media articles. Unfortunately none of them use a consistent baseline. The temperature rise figures cited vary depending on which baseline is being assumed.

NASA: March 2017 fourth warmest of any month in recorded history

NASA’s global temperatures data for March 2017 shows the month was 1.37°C degrees above a 1880-1909 baseline, making it the fourth warmest anomaly of any month in recorded history.

The six warmest months on record since 1880 were all in the last two years:

February 2016: 1.57°C
March 2016: 1.53°C
January 2016: 1.38°C
March 2017: 1.37°C
February 2017: 1.35°C
December 2015: 1.35°C

Source: NASA dataset  (Note: NASA uses a 1951–1980 baseline)

The figures below were provided by David Spratt on 13 September 2016.

NASA today released its temperature data for August 2016.

It was 0.98°C warmer than the mid-20th century average.
This makes August 1.23C warmer than the 1880-1909 baseline (when observational records commence).

It is also the hottest August on record.

NASA says: “August 2016 was the warmest August in 136 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York.”

In addition: “The record warm August continued a streak of 11 consecutive months dating back to October 2015 that have set new monthly high-temperature records.”

Based on the 1880-1909 baseline, recent figures are:
2013-2015 average of 3 years: 1.01C
2015 year: 1.12C
Jan-March 2016 (El Nino peak): 1.51C
February 2016 (hottest month on record): 1.6C
Average for Jan-August 2016: 1.31C

First eight months of 2016:
J 1.39C
F 1.6C
M 1.53C
A 1.36C
M 1.18C
J 1.05C
J 1.10C
A 1.23C

Note: for full pre-industrial figure (from mid-18th century), add 0.2C to all the above figures.

The Conversation – 20 April 2017:
We need to get rid of carbon in the atmosphere, not just reduce emissions