Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

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

Settings

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

Settings


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 Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

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...



Username
Password
Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

Climate Hustle

Reconsidering Climate Change

Skeptic Arguments What the Science Says
"Hockey stick is broken" Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.
"Medieval Warm Period was warmer"

Globally averaged temperature now is higher than global temperature in medieval times.

"CO2 lags temperature" CO2 didn't initiate warming from past ice ages but it did amplify the warming.
"It hasn't warmed since 1998"

Every part of the Earth's climate system has continued warming since 1998, with 2015 shattering temperature records.

"Models are unreliable"

Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.

"Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions" The natural cycle adds and removes CO2 to keep a balance; humans add extra CO2 without removing any.
"There is no consensus"

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

"It's the sun"

In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions

"Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas"

Rising CO2 increases atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse.

"Antarctica is gaining ice" Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate.
"Climate's changed before" Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"Volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans"

Humans emit 100 times more CO2 than volcanoes.

"It's Urban Heat Island effect" Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.
"It's cooling" The last decade 2000-2009 was the hottest on record.
"It's freaking cold!" A local cold day has nothing to do with the long-term trend of increasing global temperatures.
"CO2 limits will harm the economy"

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"Solar Cycle Length proves its the sun" The sun has not warmed since 1970 and so cannot be driving global warming.
"Hurricanes aren't linked to global warming" There is increasing evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger due to global warming.
"We're heading into an ice age" Worry about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age in over 10,000 years.
"Greenland was green" Other parts of the earth got colder when Greenland got warmer.
"Climate scientists are in it for the money"

Climate scientists could make far more money in other careers - most notably, working for the oil industry.

"CO2 was higher in the past"

When CO2 was higher in the past, the sun was cooler.

"Oceans are cooling" The most recent ocean measurements show consistent warming.
"Sea level rise is exaggerated" A variety of different measurements find steadily rising sea levels over the past century.
"Glaciers are growing"

Most glaciers are retreating, posing a serious problem for millions who rely on glaciers for water.

"CO2 has a short residence time"

Excess CO2 from human emissions has a long residence time of over 100 years

"CO2 effect is saturated" Direct measurements find that rising CO2 is trapping more heat.
"Greenhouse effect has been falsified" The greenhouse effect is standard physics and confirmed by observations.
"CO2 is not a pollutant"

Through its impacts on the climate, CO2 presents a danger to public health and welfare, and thus qualifies as an air pollutant

"There's no empirical evidence" There are multiple lines of direct observations that humans are causing global warming.
"Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming" Extreme weather events are being made more frequent and worse by global warming.
"Temp record is unreliable" The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.
"Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle"

Thick Arctic sea ice is undergoing a rapid retreat.

"There's no tropospheric hot spot"

We see a clear "short-term hot spot" - there's various evidence for a "long-term hot spot".

"Increasing CO2 has little to no effect" The strong CO2 effect has been observed by many different measurements.
"CO2 limits will make little difference"

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"It's microsite influences"

Microsite influences on temperature changes are minimal; good and bad sites show the same trend.

"There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature" There is long-term correlation between CO2 and global temperature; other effects are short-term.
"2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory" The 2nd law of thermodynamics is consistent with the greenhouse effect which is directly observed.
"CO2 is plant food"

The effects of enhanced CO2 on terrestrial plants are variable and complex and dependent on numerous factors

"CO2 is just a trace gas"

Many substances are dangerous even in trace amounts; what really matters is the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

"Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy" A number of investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident.
"The science isn't settled" That human CO2 is causing global warming is known with high certainty & confirmed by observations.
"Trenberth can't account for the lack of warming"

Trenberth is talking about the details of energy flow, not whether global warming is happening.

"Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated" Sea level rise is now increasing faster than predicted due to unexpectedly rapid ice melting.
"Peer review process was corrupted" An Independent Review concluded that CRU's actions were normal and didn't threaten the integrity of peer review.
"Scientists tried to 'hide the decline' in global temperature" The 'decline' refers to a decline in northern tree-rings, not global temperature, and is openly discussed in papers and the IPCC reports.
"They changed the name from 'global warming' to 'climate change'"

'Global warming' and 'climate change' mean different things and have both been used for decades.

"Lindzen and Choi find low climate sensitivity" Lindzen and Choi’s paper is viewed as unacceptably flawed by other climate scientists.
"2009-2010 winter saw record cold spells"

A cold day in Chicago in winter has nothing to do with the trend of global warming.

"Record snowfall disproves global warming" Warming leads to increased evaporation and precipitation, which falls as increased snow in winter.
"Dropped stations introduce warming bias" If the dropped stations had been kept, the temperature would actually be slightly higher.
"Phil Jones says no global warming since 1995" Phil Jones was misquoted.
"Ocean acidification isn't serious" Ocean acidification threatens entire marine food chains.
"It's a natural cycle"

No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

"Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project"

The 'OISM petition' was signed by only a few climatologists.

"Mauna Loa is a volcano"

The global trend is calculated from hundreds of CO2 measuring stations and confirmed by satellites.

"Arctic sea ice has recovered" Thick arctic sea ice is in rapid retreat.
"Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup" By breathing out, we are simply returning to the air the same CO2 that was there to begin with.
"Renewables can't provide baseload power"

A number of renewable sources already do provide baseload power, and we don't need renewables to provide a large percentage of baseload power immediately.

"The IPCC consensus is phoney"

113 nations signed onto the 2007 IPCC report, which is simply a summary of the current body of climate science evidence.

"Satellite error inflated Great Lakes temperatures" Temperature errors in the Great Lakes region are not used in any global temperature records.
"Record high snow cover was set in winter 2008/2009"

Winter snow cover in 2008/2009 was average while the long-term trend in spring, summer, and annual snow cover is rapid decline.

"Coral atolls grow as sea levels rise"

Thousands of coral atolls have "drowned" when unable to grow fast enough to survive at sea level.

"Tuvalu sea level isn't rising" Tuvalu sea level is rising 3 times larger than the global average.


The Consensus Project Website

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)


© Copyright 2019 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us