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2013 SkS Weekly Digest #23

Posted on 9 June 2013 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

In Lu Blames Global Warming on CFCs (Curve Fitting Correlations), Dana clearly demonstrates that Lu 2013 is a "dog that won't hunt." Becasue Lu's erroneous findings have been widely trumpted by the folk in Deiersville, it is no surprise that Dana's skillful dissection of it garnered the most comments of the articles posted on SkS this past week.

MarkR's New study by Skeptical Science author finds 100% of atmospheric CO2 rise is man-made drewthe second highset number of comments. The article summarizes the findings containted in Richardson 2013

Toon of the Week

 2013 Toon 23

Quote of the Week

"Much has been made of a short-term reduction in the rate of atmospheric warming. But “global” warming requires looking at the entire planet. While the increase in atmospheric temperature has slowed, ocean warming rose dramatically after 2000. Excess heat is being trapped in Earth’s climate system, and observations of the Global Climate Observing System and others are increasingly able to locate it. Simplistic interpretations of cherry-picked data hide the realities."

Climate science tells us the alarm bells are ringing, Op-ed by Michael Oppenheimer and Kevin Trenberth, Washington Post, Jun 7, 2013

Agreement of the Week

"As some environmental analysts had hoped, President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China found room to maneuver on global warming in their California desert retreat. They sidestepped the super wicked issues impeding restrictions of the greenhouse gas of greatest concern, carbon dioxide, and staff released a joint statement on plans to cut releases of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, a potent group of heat-trapping gases."

With CO2 Cuts Tough, U.S. and China Pledge a Push on Another Greenhouse Gas by Andrew Revkin, DoT Earth, New York Times, June 8, 2013 

SkS Week in Review

SkS Rebuttal Articles Updated

Dana updated the Advanced version of the rebuttal article, It's CFCs, by including information about Lu (2013), the subject of his post, Lu Blames Global Warming on CFCs (Curve Fitting Correlations). Dana also created the Basic version of It's CFCs.

Coming Soon on SkS

  • A Miss by Myles: Why Professor Allen is wrong to think carbon capture and storage will solve the climate crisis (Andy Skuce & rustneversleeps)
  • An estimate of the consensus project paper search coverage (Ari Jokimäki)
  • 2013 SkS News Roundup #24A (John Hartz)
  • UK Secretary of State for the Environment reveals his depth of knowledge of climate change -- not! (John Mason)
  • Is More Global Warming Hiding in the Oceans?  (Jeff Nesbit)
  • A short history of carbon emissions and sinks (Lindsay W)
  • Is More Global Warming Hiding in the Oceans? (Jeff Nesbit)
  • 2013 SkS News Roundup #24B (John Hartz)

In the Works

  • Peak Water, Peak Oil…Now, Peak Soil? (John Hartz)
  • A tale told in maps and charts: Texas in the National Climate Assessment (Dana)
  • Agnotology, Climastrology, and Replicability Examined in a New Study (Dana)
  • Weathering of rocks: guide to a long-term carbon-sink (John Mason)
  • Update on GISP-2 temperature record (Alexander Ac)
  • On the power point presentation by John Christy (Klaus Flemloese)
  • A History of a Data Visualisation (Paul D)
  • How did Ancient Coral Survive in a High CO2 World? (Rob Painting) 

SkS in the News

The list of consensus project republishers continued to grow this week, including references in The Washington Post, by UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey, and by Dana in The Sacramento Bee.

At The Convseration, Andrew Gilkson referenced The Escalator in debunking the Lu (2013) CFCs paper.

Greg Laden featured a very nice debunking of the 1970s ice age predictions myth by David Kirtley, who identified a Time Magazine cover photo that was doctored in 2009.


Here is the actual Time cover from April 9, 2007:


John Mason's Video: Lake El'gygytgyn, Pleistocene super-Interglacials and Arctic warmth was also re-posted on A Liberal's Hit List.

SkS Spotlghts

Biodiversity underpins the life-support system of our planet. Both natural and managed ecosystems deliver important ecological services such as the production of food and fibre, carbon storage, climate regulation and recreation opportunities.

DIVERSITAS (the Latin word for “diversity”) was established to address the complex scientific questions posed by the loss in biodiversity and ecosystem services and to offer science based solutions to this crisis.

DIVERSITAS is an international programme of biodiversity science with a dual mission:

  • Promoting, facilitating and conducting integrative biodiversity science, that links biological, ecological and social disciplines; and
  • Providing the sound scientific basis for decisionmaking to secure the planet’s variety of life, while contributing to human well-being and poverty eradication. 

DIVERSITAS achieves its mission by:

  • Fostering an integrated network of the world’s leading biodiversity scientists to address critical biodiversity issues;
  • Producing new knowledge by catalysing exchanges between scientists across nations and disciplines;
  • Synthesising new biodiversity knowledge to address the global science priorities;
  • Ensuring an effective engagement of the biodiversity science community globally with policy and decision makers, especially with relevant international conventions;
  • Developing biodiversity science capacity by nurturing younger scientists around the world.

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Comments 1 to 7:

  1. Wow, this is a magazine that did understand this "sustainability" thing right by reusing its own covers :-D

    May I use the opportunitiy to point the SkS team to one journalist who really tries hard to promote the many difficult issues around global warming and especially the arctic regions: Irene Quaile with her blog "Ice Blog" on (Deutsche Welle, a state owned broadcast). Throughout the years I've really learned to love her coverage and the great photo material on her blog.

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  2. What do you guys make of this:


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  3. An epic fail indeed - by Roy Spencer. See Glenn Tamblyn's comments at Roy's blog here.  Lesson No.1 - if it looks bogus, it probably is.

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  4. soo doh nim - As Rob said, Glenn Tamblyns (and Joel Shores) comments are an excellent analysis of that particular mess. 

    The set of models Christy ran were for "Mid-Troposphere" using one of the highest IPCC emission projections (i.e., the top end of the model range), compared to the satellite TMT signals (with known stratospheric cooling components) meaning that that graph isn't even comparing the same atmospheric components. Nor have they sourced the radiosonde data - radiosondes and their reanalyses are an ongoing topic of evaluation. A more appropriate comparison is probably between those model outputs (with realistic emissions) and the UAH TLT or RSS TTT products; and it's noteworthy that if you compare apples and apples there is far less difference. 

    Spencer (and Christy) also fail to mention that satellite data has long been suspected of a cool bias, for example as per Chedley 2012 "UAH has a significant bias that reduces the midtropospheric trend", or Chedley and Fu 2012, who state that:

    The analysis reveals that the UAH TMT product has a positive bias [...] that artificially reduces the global TMT trend by 0.042 K decade−1 for 1979–2009. Accounting for this bias increases the global UAH TMT trend from 0.038 to 0.080 K decade−1, effectively eliminating the trend difference between UAH and RSS and decreasing the trend difference between UAH and NOAA by 47%.

    Satellite temperature products are the result of quite complex modelling - Spencers unspoken assumption that they represent 'ground truth' is not well supported. And Christy, who produced the graph, is well aware of this - he's an author on 2006 US CCSP Temperature Trends In the Lower Atmosphere, which states (emphasis added):

    This inconsistency between model results and observations could arise either because “real world” amplification effects on short and long time scales are controlled by different physical mechanisms, and models fail to capture such behavior; or because non-climatic influences remaining in some or all of the observed tropospheric datasets lead to biased long-term trends; or a combination of these factors. The new evidence in this Report [...] favors the second explanation.

    In short - the graph is nonsense, lacking context. 

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  5. soo doh nim - Add in the fact that the satellite line in Christys graph appears to be the average of the RSS (~0.09C/decade, not inconsistent with model results) and UAH (~0.03C/decade) TMT data - the UAH data as produced by Christy and Spencer is a clear outlier. 

    This factor of 3x difference was, I'll note, not discussed by Spencer in his presentation

    Quite frankly, the outlandish accusations accompanying Spencer's blogging of Christy's graph say it all: with claims of the mainstream having "willingly ignored the evidence""their willful blindness", and complaints that "scientists who still believe that climate change can also be naturally forced have been virtually cut out of funding and publication by the ‘humans-cause-everything-bad-that-happens’ juggernaut", Spencer is showing classic signs of denial. See Characteristics of global warming consensus denial #5, Conspiracy Theories

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  6. Thanks, guys.  I debate these things in other forums and can use all the ammo I can get.  Thanks again!

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  7. Thanks for noticing my essay!  I couldn't have done it without SkS!

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] On behalf of the entire SkS team, "You're welcome."

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