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 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...

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

Latest Posts


Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

Comments 1 to 50:

  1. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    And our point, is that if you stop convective heat losses, then air is a very adequate insulator for your heat pipes but that has nothing to do with the radiative properties.

    You are making assertion "isn't enough of it in the atmosphere to measureably effect the loss of heat from the Earth's surface as distance from that surface increases." which is demonstrably false. See paper on how it observed. You are not understanding how the GHE works and drawing invalid conclusions from things like the laspe rate. Temperature drop with altitude till the tropopause. The lapse rate is pretty much ideal gas law - as pressure drops so does temperature. However, the effect of adding GHGs raises the tropopause. See here for considerably more detail on why.

    See here for observations of change in tropopause height, and here looks to be further validation this year.

  2. Rob Honeycutt at 12:07 PM on 22 July 2019
    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    billev... It seems to me that you're starting from an assumption that there is no effect and are attempting to position arguments that you think confirm that conclusion. That's motivated reasoning, or confirmation bias.

    You have to understand that this basic science regarding CO2's effect on the Earth's temperature has been understood pretty much since the 1850's. Without some form of additional radiative effect in the atmosphere our planet would have a surface temperature 33°C colder than it is. Thus there has to be a radiative effect related to various atmospheric gases.

    John Tyndall did the experiments in the 1850's to show which gases have these properties. Nitrogen? Nope. Oxygen? Nope. Argon? Nope. CO2? Yep. Methane? Yep. Water vapor? Yep.

    Even though these gases are small in concentration, their affect on the surface temperature is significant.

  3. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    My point is that without insulation the air is an insufficient barrier to excessive heat loss.  My larger point is that regardless of CO2's properties there isn't enough of it in the atmosphere to measureably effect the loss of heat from the Earth's surface as distance from that surface increases.  The  Table of U.S. Standard Atmosphere Heights and Temperatures shows a uniform loss of temperature for each one thousand feet of height from the Earth's surface beginning at the surface.  This would appear to show that the only determinant of the  heat loss from the Earth's surface is the distance from the surface.

  4. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

     If you didnt have the air enclosed in something (eg the foam cells or the fibre of wool etc), then you would have convective transfer of heat away from pipes, which is the more effective than conductive or radiative transfer. Air has very low conductivity and so limits conductive energy transport from your pipes.The GHE affects radiative transport and would not have a measurable effect in the thickness of the lagging. Foil is used as well to reduce radiative losses from your pipe.

    If you need a primer of energy transfer, try here.

  5. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    billev @10,

    And any self-respecting engineer will tell you that hot water pipes are indeed encased in air to better insulate them. The air is held in place by such materials as a polyurethane foam which being filled with a matrix of air has perhaps ten-times greater an insulating effect than does solid polyurethane.

  6. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    And that's why engineers use the surrounding air to retain the heat in hot water pipes, right? 

  7. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    billev - you can directly measure the effect of changing the CO2 content. eg
    here. One thing for sure, arguing from Personal Incredulity and ignorance of the physics does not beat direct measurement in science. It is hard to understand what you are trying to achieve by posting demonstably false statements here (and offtopic at that).

  8. Models are unreliable

    rupisnark @1112,

    A first indication that there will be a great many "errors" is the author of this talk you ask about. John Christy is not known for presenting factual accounts of AGW. And a second indication is the audience. The GWPF is allegedly a UK-based educational charity but they fell foul of the UK Charity Commission and now all the really dodgy stuff is posted, as is this talk, by the 'Forum' rather than the 'Foundation' (although dodgy stuff predominated on both).

    I would say that John Cristy's GWPF talk is an untrustworthy account from beginning to end. As it runs to over 7,000 words I will address just the beginning and the end. He parting comments are saying that some doomy predictions from 1970 which proved to be entirely wrong mean that all doomy predictions are wrong. I hope the logical fallacy in such an argument is obvious.

    And his first graphic is also shot through with nonsense. Christy tries to make AGW appear insignificant by saying that the effect of CO2 is only 0.5 'units' within a diagram showing energy fluxes measured in very large numbers of 'units'. Yet, even though Christy is simply adapting an IPCC AR5 graphic, he still manages to make some fundamental scientific errors. This is not unusual with John Christy.

    Perhaps most profound is his assertion that the energy fluxes balance at the surface which is not true on Planet Earth, as the IPCC graphic makes plain.

    Another scientific howler in this first graphic is his annotation  "Atmosphere (~750 million units)". He presummably means to say that the atmosphere contains 750 million x 3.4 = 2,550 million joules of thermal energy per square but he is saying watts per square metre which simple jibberish. The atmosphere's thermal energy is roughly something like 2,550 million j/sq m and with the 0.5 'units' from "extra CO2", Christy tries to show the impact of CO2 as being insignificant ("small numbers" as he calls it). But 0.5 'units'  would amount to 0.5 x 3.4 x 8766 x 3600 = 54 million j/sq m in a single year. It would take a bit of a fool to dismiss this as "small numbers", but then we are talking about John Christy.

  9. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Recommended supplemental reading:

    ‘Extraordinary thinning’ of ice sheets revealed deep inside Antarctica by Damian Carrington, Environment, Guardian, May 16, 2019

    Antarctic instability 'is spreading' by Jonathan Amos, Science & Environment, BBC News, May 16, 2019

    Precipitous' fall in Antarctic sea ice since 2014 revealed by Damian Carrington, Environment, Guardian, July 1, 2019

    Glacial melting in Antarctica may become irreversible by Adam Morton, Environment, Guardian, July 9, 2019

  10. Rob Honeycutt at 01:01 AM on 22 July 2019
    10 things a committed U.S. President and Congress could do about climate change

    I think it's worth noting that going vegan, in and of itself, doesn't actually eliminate CO2. It certainly reduces emissions but you still have to consume the same number of calories and, currently, all types of agriculture produce carbon emissions. It's an improvement, not a panacea.

  11. Rob Honeycutt at 00:44 AM on 22 July 2019
    2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    billev... Think about it this way:

    Distribute one cubic foot of CO2 over 2400 cubic feet, stacked vertically. Then consider how high the troposphere is, which averages out to about 45,000 feet. You end up with stacks of 2400 cubes done 18.75 times to reach the tropopause. 

    Now, do a thought experiment, a la Einstein. Imagine you're riding on a single photon of IR energy emitted from the Earth's surface traveling up through those 45,000 cubic feet of atmosphere.

    What are the chances you will encounter a molecule of CO2? ...Close to 100%. 

    What happens when IR encounters CO2? The energy is absorbed and then re-emitted in all directions, where that IR again encounters CO2, is again absorbed and re-emitted. Some energy makes its way back to the surface, adding more heat to the surface, while some eventually makes its way out to space.

    It's kind of like a giant pinball machine where the pinball is IR and the bumpers are CO2. The more bumpers you have the longer the ball is going to stay in play.

  12. Models are unreliable

    As someone new to this site and still in the early stages of reviewing the issues, I would be greatful if someone could explain in detail where the errors in this talk by Dr J Christy are (if any).

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Activated link.

  13. Antarctica is gaining ice

    icowrich @492,

    GRACE did show a loss of Antarctic ice mass 2002-16 as the NASA graphic below illustrates. We all await the GRACE-FO data (which should soon start appearing here). The numbers are now being published (here) but so far only in a form that will require a bit of processing to show the sort of data graphed out below.

    Note this is all land ice. Sea ice floats so is invisible to GRACE.

    NASA Antarctic GRACE graphic

    The work by Zwally (that I know of) also did not concern Antarctic Sea Ice, Sea Ice Extent or otherwise. Mind, satellite data did show a small increase 1979-2015 in Antarctic Sea Ice Extent but that dramatically turned into a decrease 2015-17 - as graphed here - (usually 2 clicks to 'download your attachment').

    Zwally et al (2015) concerned analysis of the land ice and the altitude of the ice surface. This showed an increase in altitude suggesting an increase in ice mass. The controversy revolved around levels of snowfall and the process of snow-compaction-into-ice as well as canculation of data uncertainties. It had some merit but obviously the GRACE data is a very strong counter-argument which makes the controversy more academic than a battle over results.

  14. Antarctica is gaining ice

    My understanding is that the GRACE satellite shows that Antarctica was been losing mass throughout the years during which Zwally showed increases in sea ice extent. Since ice extent is a 2D measure, it can't acocunt for ice thickness the way GRACE gravity wave measurements can. 

    I'm not sure where to find the newest data from GRACE-FO, which llaunched in May, 2018 (I couldn't interpret it, anyway), but I am interested to see how the continent's mass has changed in recent years.

  15. Daniel Bailey at 08:06 AM on 21 July 2019
    10 things a committed U.S. President and Congress could do about climate change

    "I'd be interested to know why 'going vegan' isn't No. 1"

    Because animal agriculture isn't the #1 problem.  Read this post for edification and place any related comments on that topic there, not here.

  16. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #27

    The current level of atmospheric CO2 has one cubic foot of CO2 distributed over each 2400 cubic feet of atmosphere.  That faint presence is having no measureable effect on global air temperature.  

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] The radiative physics of greenhouse gases are well established.  Please read this post and the comments for edification on your point.  Place any related comments there, not here.

    As an FYI, changes in the sun's output falling on the Earth from 1750-2011 are about 0.05 Watts/meter squared.

    By comparison, human activities from 1750-2011 warm the Earth by about 2.83 Watts/meter squared (AR5, WG1, Chapter 8, section 8.3.2, p. 676).

    What this means is that the warming driven by the GHGs coming from the human burning of fossil fuels since 1750 is over 50 times greater than the slight extra warming coming from the Sun itself over that same time interval.

    Radiative Forcing

  17. 10 things a committed U.S. President and Congress could do about climate change

    I'd be interested to know why 'going vegan' isn't No. 1, let alone even listed?

    If you're serious about the planet you should not be part of the problem.

  18. Rob Honeycutt at 02:02 AM on 21 July 2019
    Climate science comeback strategies: Al Gore said what?

    Marshall119... I believe the key point is that Gore didn't make such a claim.

    Even that phrasing "point of no return" is suspect. What would that even mean? What we know is that there are tipping points in the climate system where the climate issue becomes more of a crisis. We certainly don't know where those tipping points are, nor would we know likely for many years after crossing them.

    What we do know is that, the harder we push the climate system outside of the normal bounds of the holocene, the more likely we are to create more climate crises. Emissions to date are going to mean bad stuff. At 1.5C it's going to be much worse. 2C will be worse than that. Beyond 2C is outside the bounds of the past few million years and we really don't know how bad it will get nor do we know how much affect we can have on the eventual outcome after that.

    "Point of no return" means return to what? The way things were before the industrial revolution? The way things were in the 1950's? ...I don't know. But I do know things will never be the same. We've created an entirely new planet no matter where we go from here. The only rational question would be, how bad will we make it? A 1.5C planet will be a far more inhabitable place than a 3.5C planet.

  19. Climate science comeback strategies: Al Gore said what?

    Seems to me the analyses of the comment use straw man responses. The original comment's claims are that 1) Gore predicted a "point of no return" in 10 years, and 2) the apocolypse has been postponed. There's no claim that Gore predicted we'd now be in the middle of a climate apocolypse or that we're not seeing evidence of climate change, as the analyses assert.

    None of the strategies address the actual issue: Have we reached the point of no return that Al Gore predicted? If not, then has the point of no return been postponed?

    If the answer to the first question is "no", then the comment is entirely correct. Of course "the point of no return" is an oft-used but seldom defined phrase, so perhaps there's argument about what it actually means. I assume it's the 2 deg. increase. If that's still the case, then there is indeed a postponement of Gore's "apocolypse" since since the Oct. UN Special Climate report sets 2030 as the "point of no return".

  20. The human fingerprint in the daily cycle

    Schmidt is merely building on a long line of other papers and the paper is effectively a "quick a dirty" for the purposes of informing public discussion. From abstract:

    "Much of the interest in these values is however due to an implicit
    assumption that these contributions are directly relevant for the question of climate sensitivity."

    ie. it doesnt have a lot of relevance to the practise of climate science. Actual model codes are integrate over all gases and all absorbtion bands simultaneously. They reproduce observations of the radiation spectra with exquisite accuracy. Climate depends on how the system plays as a whole and the individual contributions of the gases in any particular atmospheric composition is of little practical interest.

  21. Daniel Bailey at 04:37 AM on 19 July 2019
    The human fingerprint in the daily cycle

    Perhaps you need to broaden and deepen your knowledge of the terminology used in this field, given that it is far outside your area of expertise.

    For example, per Lacis et al 2010:

    Ample physical evidence shows that carbon dioxide (CO2) is the single most important climate-relevant greenhouse gas in Earth's atmosphere. This is because CO2, like ozone, N2O, CH4, and chlorofluorocarbons, does not condense and precipitate from the atmosphere at current climate temperatures, whereas water vapor can, and does.

    Non-condensing greenhouse gases, which account for 25% of the total terrestrial greenhouse effect, thus serve to provide the stable temperature structure that sustains the current levels of atmospheric water vapor and clouds via feedback processes that account for the remaining 75% of the greenhouse effect.

    Without the radiative forcing supplied by CO2 and the other non-condensing greenhouse gases, the terrestrial greenhouse would collapse, plunging the global climate into an icebound Earth state.”

  22. The human fingerprint in the daily cycle

    Part of my residency training in Emergency Medicine and continuing education involves review of scientific articles  of relevance to our specialty including controlled prospective trials, literature reviews, and policy statements. Schmidt’s language, specifically his allocations based on estimated attributions and inferences is quite foreign at least to scientific review in my field. At a minimum it seems somewhat arbitrary, lacks objectivity, allows for author subjective interpretation of data and opens up the  potential of bias. This  concerns me if this is a go-to reference in the field. 

  23. 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    The ‘Historical Jigsaw of Climate Deception’: Private Notes Show How Big Oil Spread Climate Science Denial

  24. 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    Another peer-reviewed study by James Powell:

    The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming Matters


    => The Consensus on Anthropogenic Global Warming Matters


    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please reduce image widths below 550 to prevent them from breaking the page formatting.

  25. 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    One marker of the success of the 97% from Cook et al., 2013 study is that the 97% figure is still causing major heartburn in the foremost ranks of the denialists, some 6 years on.  They still recycle their arithmetic fantasies that the 97% ought to be seen as 33% or even 3% .

    And they stay completely silent about the part of the study where the self-assessments survey shows a similar 97% .

  26. Daniel Bailey at 11:24 AM on 18 July 2019
    97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    How many downloads for Watts' Fall et al paper, again?

  27. 97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    That's an impressive, steady rate of downloads - for an impressive volunteer-driven effort of "citizen science".

    Queue the usual arguments that science is not driven by consensus.

    Queue the debunking that points out that the paper is direct evidence against the argument that the level of disagreement is large.

  28. doug_bostrom at 06:57 AM on 18 July 2019
    97% consensus study hits one million downloads!

    That's a dandy post. This guy John Cook should write here more often. :-)

  29. There's no empirical evidence


    Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming

    Flawed Reasoning: The authors' argument claims a correlation between cloud cover/relative humidity and global temperature proves that the former caused the latter without investigating whether they have the relationship backwards.

    Inadequate support: The source of their claimed global cloud dataset is not given, and no research on their proposed mechanism for climate change is cited.

    Fails to provide correct physical explanation: The manuscript incorrectly claims that the rise of atmospheric carbon dioxide is caused by release from ocean waters. It also provides no explanation for the claim that an increase in relative humidity causes global cooling.

    Warming related to human activities is estimated to be around 1°C over the past century. This document claims to overturn decades of scientific findings but provides neither the source of the data it uses nor the physics responsible for the proposed relationship between clouds and global temperature.

  30. There's no empirical evidence

    Hi everyone!

    I've been away on a vaction and while away I found this news article pop up on my Android.

    HomeWorld News Finnish study finds ‘practically no’ evidence for man-made climate change

    The human caused climate change deniers are jumping all over this!  How can this study be credible? 

  31. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

    Nigelj , the "cosmic ray" article has been headlined as a Breakthrough , per that scrupulously-scientific and just-slightly propagandist organization, the GWPF.  Also taken up by ClimateDepot & other bloggy deniosphere sites.

    On somewhat tenuous grounds, the academicians at Kobe University etc have suggested that the latest geomagnetic reversal ( 780,000 years ago ) had — via a temporary increase in cosmic ray impingement — produced a variation, for several thousand years, in the Winter Monsoon in North-East Asia (but little effect on the Summer Monsoon).

    As yet, I have been unable to see that this localized effect so very long ago, could have more than zero relevance to modern global climate or even the climate of the last 100,000 years.  We already have experimental, historical, and paleological evidence that Cosmic Rays have negligible effect on world climate.

    The GWPF seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel, in its ongoing attempts to find a whisker of doubt about mainstream climate science.   Not that such attempts are anything new, from the GWPF.  As yet, the GWPF's batting rate is steady at Zero.

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Could any further discussion of this article please go to "it's cosmic rays". Thank you.

  32. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

    Found something Here is an article on the new Japanese study on cosmic rays. The essence is they have found good evidence that cosmic rays affect earths climate by more cosmic rays leading to an increase in cloud cover, and this should produce a cooling effect. However cosmic rays have been increasing slightly since the 1980s so do not appear to be an explanation for the recent warming since that period, so its a bit academic.

  33. 2019 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

    Regarding "Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming". This being an alleged reduction in low cloud cover.

    There's another similar research paper produced by a Japanese group (sorry can't remember where I saw this), that mentions that cosmic rays have an influence on cloud cover. They don't attribute the reduction in low cloud cover directly to cosmic rays, but they mention it in passing as if to suggest it might. However cosmic rays have been increasing slightly over the warming period of 1980 - 2018, so this should actually be producing more low cloud cover, so it is not an explanation for reductions in low cloud cover. So this research looks nonsensical as well.

    This article is also relevant. It does seem to suggest low cloud cover is reducing.

    “But a new study published in the July 24 issue of Science is clearing the haze. A group of researchers from the University of Miami and the Scripps Institute of Oceanography studied cloud data of the northeast Pacific Ocean — both from satellites and from the human eye — over the past 50 years and combined that with climate models. They found that low-level clouds tend to dissipate as the ocean warms — which means a warmer world could well have less cloud cover. “That would create positive feedback, a reinforcing cycle that continues to warm the climate,” says Amy Clement, a climate scientist at the University of Miami and the lead author of the Science study.”

    “Getting data on cloud cover isn’t easy. There is reliable information from satellites, but those only go back a few decades — not long enough to provide a reliable forecast for the future. Clement and her colleagues combined recent satellite data with human observations — literally, from sailors scanning the sky — that go back to 1952, and found the two sets were surprisingly in sync. “It’s pretty remarkable,” says Clement. “We were almost shocked by the degree of concordance.”

    “The data showed that as the Pacific Ocean has warmed over the past several decades — part of the gradual process of global warming — low-level cloud cover has lessened. That might be due to the fact that as the earth’s surface warms, the atmosphere becomes more unstable and draws up water vapor from low altitudes to form deep clouds high in the sky. (Those types of high-altitude clouds don’t have the same cooling effect.) The Science study also found that as the oceans warmed, the trade winds — the easterly surface winds that blow near the equator — weakened, which further dissipated the low clouds.”

    “The question now is whether this process will continue in the future, as the world keeps warming. Scientists create climate models to try to predict how the earth will respond to higher levels of greenhouse-gas emissions, but only one model — created by the Hadley Centre in Britain — includes the possible impact of changing cloud behavior. And the bad news is that the Hadley model contains particularly high temperature increases for the 21st century, in part because it sees dissipating cloud cover as a positive-feedback cycle — meaning the warmer it gets, the less cloud cover there will be, which will further warm the earth. Though it’s just one data set over one part of the earth’s surface, the Science study indicates that the pessimistic Hadley model may be right. “These low clouds are like the mirrors of the climate system,” says Clement. “If they disappear, you might see that positive-feedback cycle.”

  34. 10 things a committed U.S. President and Congress could do about climate change

    And the 11th thing could be incentives for buying electric cars. In New Zealand the government is considering such incentives by taxing cars and utility vehicles that have poor fuel economy and using this money to reduce the price of electric cars, hybrids and ICE cars with really good fuel economy. Imho this is not a bad scheme, because its practical and doesn't use tax payers money, and just gives the new technology a much needed boost.

    This proposal is still under consideration, but will almost certainly pass into law even although the governmnet is a complex coaltion of three parties, two left leaning one centre right leaning (yeah its a weird coalition, a product of circumstances). All the parties are sympathetic to the idea, and the coaltion has the numbers to get the law through parliament, and that is all that is required in NZ, we dont have a senate, presidential vetos, and courts only have limited influence on new laws. So stuff actually gets done, and can't be destroyed by one single egotistical president who can do his / her own thing with so called "executive orders" (this looks like a dictatorship to me).

  35. Climate sensitivity is low

    Penguin @375,

    You specifically ask "Do we know what longer series or more recent data would show?"

    The paper (or actually the paper of 2014) uses alleged low cloud data for 1983-2008 without describing the source. The dates suggest ISCCP data which has been sourced by the denialists on the Climate4you website to provide identical data. (Elsewhere Exeter University's Richard Betts describes Kauppinen & Malmi's cloud data as "at odds with peer-reviewed papers.") The paper also plots relative humidity 1970-2010 as a proxy for low cloud, again without attribution. A previous paper describes this as 700mbar & 850mbar data but using NCEP reanalysis data it looks more 700mbar than 850mbar. (So that's 3,000m - not exactly low cloud.) The temperature data appears to be based on HadCRUT4.

    If you plot NCEP 700mbar data 1948 to date, it shows no change post-2010 while the global temperatures actually show significant rise. And pre-1970 there is a large Relative Humidity change 1948-60s which by Kauppinen & Malmi's grand theory would suggest a there was a rise in global temperature of +0.8ºC when, of course, global temperature was pretty-much flat as a pancake. The 850mbar data is a poorer fit 1970-2010 but also shows the same trends beyond the 1970-2010 period.

  36. Climate sensitivity is low

    Penguin ~ some more details about the JK&PM paper you mentioned :-

    It is not a paper in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.  It has been described as a re-hash of an older (and non-peer-reviewed) paper from Energy & Environment journal (which is a social journal, not a scientific journal).

    It was based on a limited amount of information from old satellite data ~ which was subsequently found to be faulty.  You can find extensive criticisms of it, by various respected scientists, at the high-quality blog . . . . (etcetera)

    Not only that, but JK&PM have made a number of other gross mistakes (such as saying that only a tiny portion of the 20th & 21st Century rise in atmospheric CO2 level derives from human influence).

    Penguin, the short version is: the "No experimental evidence (etcetera)" manuscript was authored by crackpots and is rubbish from beginning to end.  Laughable !

    Penguin, if you'd like to gain some climate knowledge in a relaxed easy-going way, then have a look at "Climate Change — the scientific debate" by youtuber Potholer54 (a science journalist) and the whole follow-up series of videos (most, fairly short!)      Not only very informative, but done in an entertaining & often humorous manner.

  37. Climate sensitivity is low

    Penguin, the response to the JK&PM paper is huge laughter.

    A paper based on limited observations ( over just 25 years ) and giving a "calculated" climate CO2 sensitivity of 0.24 degreesC (transient sensitivity) . . . is laughable.

    Also amusing, is the paper title.  JK&PM themselves did no experiment !

  38. michael sweet at 10:02 AM on 14 July 2019
    Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?


    I do not usually discuss safety so I did not have citations at hand.  Reading some background information I find that the National Academy of Science BEIR VII report, the most recent of 7 NAS reports on radiation, very strongly supports the use of linear response no threshold.  The US Nuclear Regulatory Commision also uses LRNT.  Apparently every health organization in the world and every nuclear regulatory organization in the world use LRNT.  Your claim that you think LRNT is bunk just proves that you do not care how many people the nuclear industry kills.  

    Apparently nuclear industry shills in the USA oppose the use of LRNT without any supporting data.  The nuclear industry does not want to accept responsibility for the people they kill with their nuclear catastrophes.  

    Since the NAS report shows your claims on LRNT are false I have absolutely no confidence in your wild claims that unbuilt designs will be safer than current unsafe reactors.  In any case, it is extremely unlikely they will be available before renewable energy has been built out for all energy.  And they will be too expensive.  Nuscale executives have publicly stated that they require a several hundred billion dollar contract from the government to build their factory.  Some free market.

    You have not addressed Abbotts claims that enough rare metals do not exist to build out a significant amount of nuclear.  To start out there is not enough uranium, beryllium, hafnium, zirconium or vanadium.

    The nuclear industry is responsible for the people they killed during the required evacuations from Chernobyl and Fukushima.  No responsible person would leave people next to burning and exploding reactors.  Your excuses only show you do not care how many people the nuclear industry kills.

    I suggest again that you should change the subject to something that will support your argument better.  From my position you have just proven that nuclear supporters do not care how many people they kill. There is an overwhelming scientific consensus for LRNT among health professionals who care how many people are killed.

  39. michael sweet at 09:32 AM on 14 July 2019
    Climate sensitivity is low


    In hte paper you cite they claim that climate sensitivity is derived completely from cliamte models.  That is false.  there are several ways to derive climate sensitivity from data includig paleoclimate data.  I note they provide no citations to support their claims.  They will only be read by skeptics.

    They assume that the change in cloud cover forces the change in temperature.  That is completely backwards.  Cloud cover is a response to the change i temperature and not the casue of the change.  In order to chage the temperature you have to add energy.  Changes in clouds do not add energy. 

  40. Climate sensitivity is low

    What's the response to this paper? Do we know what longer series or more recent data would show?


    No experimental evidence for the significant anthropogenic climate change

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Please read:

    Non-peer-reviewed manuscript falsely claims natural cloud changes can explain global warming, Claims Review Edited by Scott Johnson, Climate Feedback, July 12, 2019

  41. Rob Honeycutt at 03:09 AM on 14 July 2019
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2019

    Wffrantz...  Even your #1 is grossly oversimplified and insufficient. Plant life requires a vast number of things beyond sun, water and CO2 to survive. Example: you can't plant a redwood tree in the middle of the ocean.

    All life on this planet is evolved to fit the environment in which it exists. When you change the conditions too rapidly (within a few generations)  those life forms struggle and may die out. 

    As stated by the moderator, all the points you're posting have been addressed in the scientific research and explanations can be found on this site. As usual, I don't expect you'll take the time to learn what the science actually says, but if you are that unique individual who is open to learning more, I wish you the best. Climate science is a very large and complex topic. You have to work extra hard to get a full grasp of the issue.

  42. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    MSMITH @103 ,

    again, my apologies for my clumsy communication ~ in #101 my phrase "socio-economic conservatives" was poorly chosen.   I was intending to mean that particular group which wishes to see no social change, no change in the "economo-technological" structure of our society.

    That group is not Conservative (versus Liberal) in the common parlance of political partisanship.  Yes, there is much more overlap with right-winger than left-winger ideologies . . . but it is a group wanting zero change (for various emotional reasons).   Although they might blandly accept the next model of iPhone !

    Essentially, their stick-in-the-mud attitude comes from a complex of resentments.

    I believe there are many true conservatives (including right-wingers) who are happy to see the arrival of beneficial societal changes ~ it is just that their "palette" or "agenda" of improvements is somewhat narrower than those acceptable to liberals/left-wingers.

    Unfortunately, in the USA, the terms conservative and liberal have become simply slogan-labels to be thrown around, and the mere mention of either word does (in many people) produce a complete cessation of the thinking process.

  43. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?


    I understand your frustration.  I experience the same, because, as can be seen above, I could take your post, replace "coal/oil" with "renewable", replace "conservative" with "liberal" and replace "renewable" with "nuclear" and be describing my interaction with Michael Sweet.  

    Science denialism is alive and well, but it's not a conservative-only malady.  It exists on both sides of the argument, but just manifests in slightly different ways. 

  44. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Michael Sweet:

    "claims from you and the nuclear industry that the linear response no threshold model overestimates cancers means that no-one will ever get cancer demonstrate you do not care how many people they kill."

    No, it shows that I believe it's bunk.  I believe the risk due to low level radiation dose is effectively zero, and nobody has ever been able to prove me wrong.

    If something divided by zero is always equal to 1, then I can show 10 = 20.  

    Well, Lyman is showing that 10=20, and he's doing so in a way that you believe him.

    If the LNTH were true, then people desiring to confirm it would simply study a population on the earth who is routinely exposed to higher than normal background radiation, find the difference in cancer mortality, and proclaim their findings far and wide.

    Those studies have been made, but 

    <a href="">have not shown a cancer risk.</a>

    "People living in Kerala, India, experience lifetime terrestrial irradiation of up to 70 mSv a year, much higher than other populations in India, without an increased risk of carcinogenesis. "  (100 Rem = 1 Sv.  So, 70 mSv = 7 Rem, which is higher than the limit for US Nuclear workers.)

    I know I won't convince you, but I do need to present the counter-point, lest somebody actually believe the bunk put out by Lyman. They can read Lyman, and then read Tubiana et al and judge for themselves.

    As for the French Nuclear Regulatory Agency's opinion, I will wait to see those reactors put up for a design certification with a regulatory body, then research the design before I offer comment.  I was specifically talking about NuScale, which is progressing very well through the USNRC's review. 

    And the UCS is an interesting organization.  For years they've been saying that reactors are unsafe because they need power after shutdown to maintain fuel cooling.  Then somebody goes and makes a design for which that is no longer true, and now they say it's unsafe because the safety design doesn't include pumps.  

    <a href="">But even they now support nuclear.</a>  Or, at least don't oppose it like they used to.  (But hey, tepid support is better than outright opposition.  Considering the source, I'll take it.)

    "I do not buy your improved safety claims."

    And that's your right.  Of course, it would be helpful to future readers if you were to explain why flooding is a risk to a nuclear reactor that's submerged in a below-grade pool of water and whose safety systems all go to the required safety position when power is lost. 

    The AP1000 design, which is being built in GA (vastly over-budget, to be sure) is still dependent on DC power to activate the last-line of defense valves.  The backup to the backup there to blow the last of these valves in the event DC power is lost is literally one of those Wille E. Coyote dynamite plungers.  But that requires an operator to get to the location, make the connections, and blow the valves.  So, could I imagine a scenario where flooding causes core damage there?  Yeah.  It's unlikely, and probably wouldn't result in Fukushima type releases to the public since the AP1000 containment doesn't need DC power to remain cool, but yes, such a scenario could occur.

    But I can't imagine a similar scenario for a NuScale reactor. 

    Can you?

    And lastly, the evacuation deaths:  If your cousin's home burned down, and somebody ordered an 5 mile radius evacution based on fear that some of the weed killer he stored in his garage might emit a carcinogen when burned, would your cousin be responsible for the deaths that occured during the evacuation?

    No.  That argument is surely one you would reject.  The fault lies with those who order a needless evacuation.  

    But I could also argue that it's not the politician's fault, since they're only responding to pressure from their constituancy.  I could argue that it's your fault for spreading baseless fears.

    And this very point has been made with respect to Chernobyl, but orgainizations such as the World Health Organization and others.  From Tubiana et al above:

    "The Chernobyl accident showed that overestimating radiation risks could be more detrimental than underestimating them. Misinformation partially led to traumatic evacuations of about 200 000 individuals, an estimated 1250 suicides, and between 100 000 and 200 000 elective abortions outside the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics"

    And from the <a href=""> World Health Organization</a>:

    "The accident has had a serious impact on mental health and well-being in the general population, mainly at a sub-clinical level that has not generally resulted in medically diagnosed disorders. Designation of the affected population as “victims” rather than “survivors” has led to feelings of helplessness and lack of control over their future. This has resulted in excessive health concerns or reckless behaviour, such as the overuse of alcohol and tobacco, or the consumption of mushrooms, berries and game from areas still designated as having high levels of radioactive caesium."

  45. Philippe Chantreau at 23:23 PM on 13 July 2019
    Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2019


    Gish gallop of nonsense, contradictions, demonstably false statements that in no way represent the state of the science, pitiful attempts at appearing concerned. I'm not impressed.

  46. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2019

    Climate change is a critical science. We need to understand how humans impact our home. 

    But, it's my opinion (don't know it it's allowed) that the movement to get funding from governments will backfire and die a premature death because they have chosen CO2 as the enemy.

    1) The long historical record does not support that

        ... CO2 is a leading indicator of temperature change (the opposite can be shown)

        ... As CO2 levels increase, that heating rates increase (the correlation is extremely low).

    2) Recent records (120 years) does not support that the accelerating rate of CO2 increases and absolute highs are causing accelerating rates of heating (which it should if the science was correct).

    3) Before long, it will be clear to the general public that the earth is greening dispite what dismissive climate scientists say about the minor affect to no effect that CO2 will have on crop and plant growth (they are digging a deaper hole).  Earth greening contains the word green. That will be difficult to villify.

    The movement chose the wrong enemy. They should intead embrace fossile fuels that increase CO2 (lessens poverty) but warn against warming oceans and the decreasing pH of the oceans and what that might do to organisms that rely on the basic pH of the ocean.

    Governments need to understand the trade between a more efficient agriculture and damage to the seacoast.  That is worth big $$$ in research. It's also real and won't backfire.

    Just my opinion. 

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] You continue to be off-topic.  Thousands of threads exist at SkS on virtually every topic pertaining to climate change.  Use the Search feature to find the most relevant one or peruse the Taxonomy listing.  Pretty much everything you've said above has been addressed at length before.  Repeating failed talking points debunked hundreds and thousands of times before does you no credit.  Please read the thread you select before posting and stay on-topic.

    Anyone wishing to respond to the above, please do so here.

    Future off-topic comments will be removed.

  47. Skeptical Science New Research for Week #27, 2019

    The new research referenced above on Greening on the Tibetan Plateau says that "The major significant greening trend of the TP was mainly caused by climate factors." ... and then goes on to talk about warming on the TP.

    Has the "CO2 is a poison" parade become so embedded into climate change science that geologists and general scientists have forgotten 4th grade biology class?

    Let me get this straight.  CO2 causes warming. And it's warming increases plant growth. And associates that accept this research actually want intelligent skeptics that embrace the scientific method to believe what they say?

    NASA has it right. But even they have to down play the obvious with qualifiers.  At least this site allows scientific discussion without fear of reprisal. For the NASA study ...

    I hope that we can all agree the CO2 between the 500 and 2000 level is beneficial to a wide range of common flora. Two reasons:

    1) The three requirements of most flora life are sun, water, and CO2.

    2) As CO2 levels increase, the pores/system that take in CO2 become more efficient, which results in (a) an increase in photosynthetic rate, (b) a decrase loss of water vapor from inside the plant out those same pores (called transpiration) ... allowing plants to grow faster, produce more photosynthesizing green leaf matter, be more draught tolerant, and healthier (more tolerant to disease and insects).

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Off-topic, logical fallacies and sloganeering snipped.

    Please read this thread and the comments on it before you post further on that topic.  Place any relevant comments about CO2 fertilization there.

    Anyone wishing to respond to the points snipped, please do so there.

  48. Disappearing sea ice is changing the whole ecosystem of the Arctic Ocean

    The Orca that are moving into the arctic are apparently eating seals, so competing with the polar bears for the same food source. This video is of whales hunting seals on ice in Antarctica.

  49. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    MSMITH @99 ,

    sorry ~ my comment was insufficiently unambiguous : I meant that the wide-scale employment of Nu-Scale or similar generation is possible by 2050, but that probably (IMO) it would not come until the tail-end of that important 30-year period (important because of the need for early achievement of zero-CO2-emission).   I hope I am wrong about that.  But I am pessimistic, because of the current uneconomic state of nuclear generation, and because of its poor track record of on-budget-on-time.

    I think you are right that there is, in most people, no overt intellectual opposition to wind/solar generation.  Yet there does seem to be (in the USA especially) a hard-core group of science-denialists & socio-economic conservatives who consider "renewables" to be loathesome.  Loathesome because representing an acknowledgement that AGW is real.

    This point came home to me a few days ago, when I read a brief WhatsUpWithThat website article describing how some researchers were developing a more efficient solar PV panel (higher efficiency in the short-wave/near-UV part of insolation).   The efficiency gains were modest, and the economics yet uncertain . . . but the idea that solar-PV could be achieving an extra advantage, seemed to unleash a fury  of negativism from the posters in the comments column.

    The anger seemed entirely inappropriate ~ and must surely have had an emotional origin, based on the tribal resentment of anything presenting more threat to the traditional coal/oil fandom of this section of the population.   And perhaps smaller, subconscious ripples of that sort extend into a wider community than the crackpots who inhabit WUWT .

  50. Rob Honeycutt at 23:51 PM on 12 July 2019
    France’s record-breaking heatwave made ‘at least five times’ more likely by climate change

    jedaly... You don't seem to be offering up anything more than chiding as a response, though. If you think the science presented is wrong it would be up to you to demonstrate exactly how the science is wrong. 

1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

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