Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Bluesky Facebook LinkedIn Mastodon MeWe

Twitter YouTube RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


2015 SkS Weekly Digest #19

Posted on 10 May 2015 by John Hartz

SkS Highlights

The good folk at edX (who host our online course Making Sense of Climate Science Denial) generously organised a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) for me this week. The AMA was scheduled to start at 7 am here in Brisbane. When I woke up at 6 am and loaded the AMA webpage on Reddit, 2000 comments had already been posted! So I gulped down a coffee and in the short time available, belted out as many answers as I could as quickly as possible (while linking to relevant videos from our MOOC). Here are a selection of my answers, grouped into categories: 

Ask Me Anything about Climate Science Denial by John Cook

El Niño Watch

The world is headed into an El Nino event – potentially a big one – which will lift global temperatures and likely exacerbate bushfires and drought in eastern Australia, climate specialists say.

Fairfax Media understands that Australia's Bureau of Meteorology will announce next Tuesday that the El Niño event is all but certain.

World headed for an El Nino and it could be a big one, scientists say by Peter Hannam, Sydney Morning Herald, May 8, 2015

Toon of the Week

 2015 Toon 19

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

Quote of the Week

Cutting NASA and the N.S.F.’s climate-science budgets isn’t going to alter the basic realities of climate change. No one needs an advanced degree to understand this. Indeed, the idea that ignoring a problem isn’t going to make it go away is one that kids should grasp by the time they’re six or seven. But ignoring a problem does often make it more difficult to solve. And that, you have to assume, in a perverse way, is the goal here. What we don’t know, we can’t act on.

The G.O.P.’s War on Science Gets Worse by Elizabeth Kobert, The New Yorker, May 6, 2015 

SkS in the News

Not only are jornalists writing about the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Making Sense ofClimate Science Denial, but many are also taking the course. Here's an example.  

If you want to defeat climate deniers, the first thing you need to know, without a shadow of a doubt, is that global warming is, in fact, happening.

I already know that — I’d like to think we all do, deep down — but there are people who continue to insist that the data is wrong. That’s why, after a week spent learning why climate deniers insist that human activity isn’t responsible for the rise in global temperatures, the second week of online class at Denial101x was dedicated to understanding how we know what we know: that temperatures are increasing, sea level is rising and glaciers are melting.

And yes, those basic facts remain true even when it’s snowing outside.

Here’s how you school climate deniers: The anti-science movement’s biggest fallacies, debunked by Lindsay Abrams, Salon, May 6, 2015

SkS Spotlights

ClimateState gathers knowledge about the broad spectrum of climate change and helps to increase understanding and awareness about the threat of dangerous (unchecked) climate change. The scope is to encourage the fast paced deployment of solutions, i.e. carbon sequestration with Biochar and taxing CO2. 

Coming Soon on SkS 

  • West Antarctica ice loss is speeding up (John Abraham)
  • What do volcanic eruptions mean for the climate? (Robert McSweeney & Roz Pidcock)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #20A (John Hartz)
  • Lukewarmerism – the third stage of climate denial (Dana)
  • My research with Steve (Climatesight Kate)
  • Scientists discuss how strongly a warming Arctic is implicated in extreme weather (Robert McSweeney)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #20B (John Hartz)
  • 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #20 (John Hartz) 

Poster of the Week

 2015 Poster 19

Hat tip to I Heart Climate Scientists

SkS Week in Review 

97 Hours of Consensus: Gerald Meehl

97 Hours: Gerald Meehl

Gerald Meehl's bio page

Quote shortened from:

" "Even if you stabilize the concentration of greenhouse gases, you are still committed to a certain amount of climate change no matter what you do because of the lag in the ocean," said Gerald Meehl, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado.

Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide collect in the atmosphere and are believed to act as a blanket, trapping heat and causing the Earth to warm. To stop this warming, many scientists say humans must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases they emit.

Human activities that make the largest contributions to greenhouse gases include exhaust fumes from automobiles and commercial jets and emissions from power stations and factories.

"The longer you wait to do something, the more climate change you are committed to in the future," Meehl said. "

0 0

Printable Version  |  Link to this page


Comments 1 to 17:

  1. To the “message” in the cartoon and other similar comment: They are factually incorrect but now that the discussion has changed from AGW to CC or GW allows for this disinformation.

    The reality is that the climate changes and that no one on either side of the debate argues otherwise.

    What is challenged is that the climate changes due anthropogenic (AGW) causes rather than natural variability. Given that the runaway temperature increases ascribed to increasing levels of CO2 within the IPCC models (since 1995) has not materialized and the multitudes of dire predictions (also since 1995) have not materialized has to give one cause to wonder why?

    It is clear that the science is not settled and to waste precious resources and to advocate the redistribution of developed nations wealth under the guidance of the UN while trying to pretend to be able to control Mother Nature makes zero sense. It is at best a futile exercise and worst case a politically driven fraud.

    0 2
    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Welcome to Skeptical Science.  Among the commenting rules here is the requirement to comment on the appropriate posts, to keep the discussion organized.  You have listed several topics, so please read the posts rebutting these myths, and then if you desire comment on those posts:

  2. Talk is cheap, Newsel.  How about supporting your claims with evidence?  

    0 0
  3. Newsel,

    What scientific sources argue that the projected levels will lead to a "runaway temperature increase"? I'm sure that scientific litterature treating of such an idea would have defined too, so I won't ask you what you mean by that.

    Which predictions from scientific sources has not materialized within the time frame you seem to be considering (i.e. to present day)? Sources for these predictions are necessary.

    When was it proposed and who has seriously advocated the redistribution of developed nations wealth under "UN guidance"? What exactly would that consist of?

    I'm not asking here for blog posts or newspaper editorials but substantive sources. 

    1 0
  4. Typo: 

    0 0
  5. Kolbert, not "Kobert"

    0 0
  6. It might be interesting to open a thread where people can post old quotes from deniers claiming that the climate is not changing.  They used to argue that climate was not changing.  Now they claim that:

    "The reality is that the climate changes and that no one on either side of the debate argues otherwise."

    It might not be necessary to have an OP, just a place where people can put links to old quotes.  I recall that Lindzen testified to congress in 1989 that the climate would stay the same.  WUWT claimed the climate was not changing until a few years ago.  Singer still claims that change is natural and the climate is not changing at the same time.

    0 0
  7. I find it amusing that deniers (recently) admit the climate is changing but claim it has "always changed".  Of course, the climate has changed in the past, but it has not "always changed" in the sense that there have been long periods of relative stability/very slow change in the recent and distant past.  But the really telling thing about this argument is the implicit acceptance of the paleoclimate research that identified dramatic climate change events going back as far as hundreds of millions of years.  Of course, these are bona fide research results which should be accepted in the absence of convincing evidence to the contrary.  But these same deniers will scoff at paleoclimate reconstructions going back only a few thousand years and showing that the recent onset of global warming is highly unusual, unexpected and unexplainable in the absence of AGW theory.

    So I put the question to Newsel:  Is paleoclimatology a legitimate science or not?  If not, quit claiming that the climate "has always changed" because there is no evidence for that outside of paleoclimatology.  If it is legitimate, then you must accept the work of Mann, Marcott and many others who have proven that the recent GW event does not look like a natural event and can only be explained by human GHG emissions.

    1 0
  8. Climatologists are obtaining copious amounts of evidence of unusual events such as icebergs melting, ocean currents changing, etc, etc. to be taken into account in models and in the logical arguments to arrive at a sound view of what is almost certainly happening, global atmospheric warming with associated ocean heating and acidification.

    The unsubstantiated beliefs of deniers of irreversible, rapid climate change caused largely by the emissions from the combsution of fossil fuels are not making a contribution to the understanding that would help society to adopt mitigation measures. Are they proud of their malfeasance?

    0 0
  9. BoM just called it: "the Bureau's ENSO Tracker has been raised to El Niño status"

    0 0
  10. @ Will.  It will be interesting to see how "natural variabilty" (eg El Nino) is viewed in western Queensland which is already suffering a drought.  My - admittedly limited with some friends who live in Roma - experience is that their political leanings prevent any discussion that the climate is changing and that these extended droughts may become the norm.  I certainly feel their pain as their livelyhoods are destroyed, but dissociating politics from science is a hard one in a tough, unforgiving (climate wise) region.

    0 0
  11. Good points, utr. If events alone could sway people's minds, states like Oklahoma and Texas, which have been through harrowing droughts recently, should be in the forefront of climate awareness.

    But as it is, they host some of the most backward thinking people and senators in the Union.

    0 0
  12. Is it just me that gets some amusement/bemusement from the fact that Newsel did not bother to post to the moderator suggested links?  I seems that one statement of misinformation is much better than actually educating ones-self.

    0 0
  13. GISS has released their April data: +0.75°C.

    The average so far this year has been +0.79°C (record!), and the last 12 months +0.73°C (also record!).

    Most forecasts predict a strengthening of the ongoing El Niño, so 2015 will almost certainly become the first year warmer than +0.7°C, and maybe even warmer than +0.8°C. The following months will be very interesting!

    0 0
  14. Follow-up to HK on GISS L-OTI for April:

    — 2nd warmest April (2010 - .85)

    — 14th warmest month (tied)

    — 2nd warmest 12-month period

    — The last five 12-month periods have been top five warmest

    — 2nd warmest 6-month period (last four are top four)

    — Warmest 36-month period (last four are top four)

    0 0
  15. Black humor for today at the New Yorker:

    Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans.

    0 0
  16. You're going at this all wrong.  The people who use critical thinking already acknowledge anthropogenic global warming, but you're not influencing those who are bound up by their belief systems.  I'm surprised that everybody on SkS seems to be denying science! (jsut to tweak your nose).

    Neuroscience tells us clearly that throwing facts at a belief system only enforces that belief system.  They don't accept your facts and arguments because they don't want to accept them as it challenges their preconceived notions, and change to that belief system is threatening to them.

    SkS would be even more useful if you began to tackle framing.  Some references: The Righteous Mind- Jonathan Haidt, Moral Politics, How Liberals and Conservatives Think- George Lakoff, The Republican Brain- The Science of Why They Deny Science- and Reality- Chris Mooney, The Political Brain- Drew Weston.  Yes, these are all politically oriented, but the science is the same.  And, yes, they do point our the preponderance of irrational belief systems among Republicans, but I believe that the vast majority of climate change deniers belong to that particular party (I don't have a reference for that statement, but I don't have a reference that supports my claim that the sun comes up in the East either).

    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please enter the word "framing" into the SkS search box and read all of the articles that are identified. It's always best to "look before you leap." 

  17. Slcochran,

    Perhaps you want to read about the Denial 101 course currently being run by John Cook, the originator of Skeptical Science.  Come back and comment again after you read at least the course description.

    0 0

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2024 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us