IPCC Haiku

Just for a bit of fun, I thought I would highlight this rather nice Haiku which is based on the recently released IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers. The goal of the Haiku is to communicate the essence of this important information in plain language and pictures. I’ve posted a video of the Haiku below, but you can also look at all the panels and read more about it here.

Apart from being quite clever and fun, I actually think it’s quite good. It considers what’s already happened, mentions models, attribution, the recent pause, and what will likely happen. What I think it does very well is to focus on what we’re confident about – higher temperatures, more precipitation, drier regions getting drier, polar amplification, rising sea levels, no summer sea ice in the Arctic, and ocean acidification (and, yes, I know the oceans aren’t and never will be acid – this just means the pH is getting lower).

What it avoids, quite cleverly I think, is any mention of extreme weather. As a physicist I find it hard to believe that increasing the energy in the climate system won’t lead to more extreme weather events. On the other hand, I’m also aware that this is one aspect that is still uncertain. Also, trends in extreme weather events are mostly not statistically significant. That means it’s quite difficult to say anything specific but also means that it’s easy for those – who think they’re doing us a favour by being extremely precise – to jump in and point out that there is no measurable increase in (insert suitable event here), or to point out that there is no increase in damage/cost or landfall. To be honest, I think most of what I’ve read about extreme weather events has been written quite carefully, but even that doesn’t seem to mean that it avoids criticism.

Anyway, I think it’s a nice and informative video and, given the recent post on science communication, seems relevant.

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7 Responses to IPCC Haiku

  1. I should have added that I found this through a tweet from Tamsin Edwards.

  2. AnOilMan says:

    Information is Beautiful;
    http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/tag/climate/

    (Not on topic exactly but I think the crew here will enjoy it.)

  3. @AnOilMan, that does seem very good. Fairly disturbing, though.

  4. Rachel says:

    That is beautiful, AnOilMan and very clever, as is the Haiku.

  5. “What I think it does very well is to focus on what we’re confident about – higher temperatures, more precipitation, drier regions getting drier, polar amplification, rising sea levels, no summer sea ice in the Arctic, and ocean acidification”

    The ostriches and journalists won’t like that. They would like to focus on what is (still) uncertain.

  6. Victor, indeed. That’s why I thought it was good 🙂

  7. OPatrick says:

    Am I the only one now thinking Haiku = twitter?

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