Twitter Thread on the Biology of Sex and Sex Testing

In the Twitter thread above I explain that that while biological sex is of course real, the quest for a 100% certain biological “sex test” has never succeeded. Sport regulation of gender categories needs to accept this reality. Have a read through if interested. I’m posting her for future sharing.

Announcement: CU Boulder Sports Governance Center Shutting Down


In 2012 we initiated an effort to create an academic unit within the athletics department at the University of Colorado Boulder. Four years later we announced the establishment of the Sports Governance Center. Since then, we have achieved a number of notable successes.

Regrettably, leadership at CU Boulder has decided not to take this innovative program forward. Starting fall, 2019 the activities of the Sports Governance Center will cease.

Continue reading “Announcement: CU Boulder Sports Governance Center Shutting Down”

New Paper: Normalised insurance losses from Australian natural disasters: 1966–2017


Out today!

McAneney, J., B. Sandercock, R. Crompton, T. Mortlock, R. Musulin, R. Pielke, Jr., and A. Gissing. (2020, in press). Normalised Insurance Losses from Australian Natural Disasters: 1966-2017, Environmental Hazards. (open access)

ABSTRACT:  The paper updates normalisation of the Insurance Council of Australia’s Disaster List in the light of debate about the contribution of global warming to the rising cost of natural disasters. Normalisation estimates losses from historical events in a common year, here ‘season’ 2017 defined as the 12-month period from 1 July 2017. The number and nominal cost of new residential dwellings are key normalising factors and post-1974 improvements in construction standards in tropical cyclone-prone parts of the country are explicitly allowed for. 94% of the normalised losses arise from weather-related perils – bushfires, tropical cyclones, floods and severe storms – with the 1999 Sydney hailstorm the most costly single event (AUD5.6 billion). When aggregated by season, there is no trend in normalised losses from weather-related perils; in other words, after we normalise for changes we know to have taken place, no residual signal remains to be explained by changes in the occurrence of extreme weather events, regardless of cause. In sum, the rising cost of natural disasters is being driven by where and how we chose to live and with more people living in vulnerable locations with more to lose, natural disasters remain an important problem irrespective of a warming climate.

If “Extreme” Precipitation is Up, Why Aren’t Floods?

PD00-floodsA new paper in Water Resources Research discusses an apparent paradox:

Extreme precipitation events, which fall into the 99th percentile of daily events, have increased across the contiguous United States since the 1950s in response to rising temperatures. But despite assertions by the climate community that increasing precipitation extremes inevitably lead to higher flood magnitudes, multiple studies have demonstrated that this has not been the case.

In this post I discuss this apparent paradox, which we wrote about 20 years ago, and its relationship to common misrepresentations of climate science. More after the jump.

Continue reading “If “Extreme” Precipitation is Up, Why Aren’t Floods?”

My Research on “Sex Testing” in The Times


The Times (London) yesterday profiled my research on “sex testing” in international athletics. The article is here (paywalled). If you’d like to read my research that was discussed in the article see:

Short version: Pielke, Jr., R. (2016).  Science will never settle the question of sex and gender in sport, The Guardian, 15 August.

Long version: Pielke Jr, R. (2017). Sugar, spice and everything nice: how to end ‘sex testing’in international athletics. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics, 9:649-665. (PDF)