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

Twitter Facebook YouTube Mastodon MeWe

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


Recent Comments

Prev  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next

Comments 551 to 600:

  1. The Big Picture

    I was going to point out peppers' fundamental errors  but you've beat me to it, Rob!

    All I can add is that as long as there has been life, organic carbon has under the right geological circumstances been buried, preserved and in some less common cases accumulated in sufficient quantities to form ecomonic fossil fuel deposits.

  2. Rob Honeycutt at 00:54 AM on 18 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Peppers @36... Do you honestly need me to explain why you can't just take historical sea level rise data, run a straight line through it, and extrapolate sea level in 2100? This is basic enough that it might be a challenge to find citations. How about you make a guess and we'll see if you can work out why and perhaps, from that, we can help you understand why SLR projections show 1-2 meters for 2100.

    I'll even get you started: Think about ice.

    This is also wrong: "66M years ago we had the meteor strike, and the world went dark under dust for 3-4 years. Everything died, except the microorganizms around the rim of the oceans, around the world."

    Though it is off-topic, it's a good demonstration of how you're simply making things up as you go along. In the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event about 75% of species went extinct. We are direct decendants of small mammals that survived the event.

    Most of the rest of what you state there is also BS (for instance, much of the world's oil actually originates from the Cretaceous and Jurassic periods, not just the Tertiary period following the C-P event) but I'm not going to waste my time.

  3. The Big Picture

    Peppers @ 36: "Do you have cites for your 'abundantly obvious reasons?", Thx"

    Sorry. Rob assumed that he was talking to a reasonably well-informed audience.

    Look at some of the links I gave to RealClimate in my previous response to Bart.

  4. The Big Picture

    Bart @ 38 responds to Rob @ 35 by saying "I don't make a mistake", and then proceeds to explain that he (Bart) has done exactly the mistake that Rob said he was doing: using historical data to extrapolate out SLR over the coming century. Bart even included the quote from Rob saying you can't do that, so Bart has no excuse for not paying attention to what Rob said.

    Bart says he included "an extrapolation of the change by year" - but this is still using historical data to extrapolate. Mistake confirmed.

    Anyone who is reasonably well-informed about sea level rise projections understands that such projections need to include physics and processes that will cause sea level rise - glacier dynamics and their response to temperature and precipitation changes; climate warming and associated changes in ocean temperatures (including horizontal and vertical distributions of temperature change). Projections require understanding the future path of these factors - and the past sea level is not necessarily an indicator of the future of glaciers and global temperatures.

    RealClimate often covers this topic, and covers it well. A few related pages there:




    Another mistake made in Bart's short comment: the Netherlands doesn't need to worry about Greenland's contribution to sea level because it is "not very much here". (Granted, the last few sentences of Bart's comment are very poorly worded, so it's hard to understand exactly what point he is trying to make.)

  5. michael sweet at 00:40 AM on 18 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Bart Vreeken:

    This link appears to be the KNMI report (in Dutch).  The illustration on the front page shows 1.2 - 2 meter sea level rise (I cannot read the report).

  6. michael sweet at 00:27 AM on 18 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Bart Vreeken:

    According to the Dutch Weather Institute (KNMI),

    "sea levels will rise 1.2 to 2 meters (3.3 feet-4 feet) over the next 79 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced immediately and the melting of the Antarctic ice sheet accelerates."

    I found a description of the Dutch Weather Institute as the national weather authority in the Netherlands.  Certainly there are projections of up to 2 meters of sea level rise in the Netherlands.  Can you provide a link to support your claims?  I cannot read most of your graph but it appears to be dated 2005.  More recent projections have been much higher than older projectins.

  7. The Big Picture

    828,000 kilometers per hour

  8. The Big Picture

    HI Rob!

    Do you have cites for your 'abundantly obvious reasons?", Thx

    One Planet, huge effort and thanks for it!

    In that rise in population from 1B to 8 B ( Im going to use 1900 to present, although 1B was in the 1800's), the USA rose from 76.3M to the 335M now. China went from 336M to 1.3B, and so on. The world gained porportionally and if a household used blank amount of energy, it increased 5 fold in the US in quantity and so on. The new population was not all in low production regions.

    I am minded of the basic business principal of the 3 terms, reduce outgo, increase income (per unit), and doing more of it. The doing more of it is the mark of the run away businesses. I would not dilute the 800% rise in population with trace factors, to not tell yourself the truth that population, the 'more of it' is the core of this issue. 

    And it is important. Because if one realizes this, you can consider if this is in the solar system's realm of inevitibles rather than in our hands. I mean, the sun is moving 828k/hr around the milky way, we are orbiting 18.5 miles per second around the sun, and all the countless other intricacies of our solar system which would be folly to address. Might be dangerous even...

    Its a question, as Rob poses above, of doing the best we can. He says what is being done is at least stemming the flow. I disagree, but if population is the cause we may be better oriented to aid in adaptation to the changes. Nothing really is wrong and there is no reason to fear a runaway cycle as the cause is not mysterious then.

    Nasa concludes more warmth likely adds more energy to the environment, but they do not know if, how much or where. I would think it does add. But what of it is my mext question. The problem is addressable in the quality of our shelter.

    Hurricane Dorian was the largest in 84 years ( an example on the Nasa Site), so it matched one as large before the industrial revolution was in great effect. Nasa's point it, its still a guess.

    But Florida level of sheltering, where 150 died in 200mph Ian last Sept, was better than the 200k who died in crumbling buildings in Syria. Thats what we can put hands on, to aid in this issue.

    I would like to add one more mode of thought, which I dont see addressed here much. And it is only remote, so please do not categorize me as conspiracy oriented. My thoughts are how we best use our hands and feet on this. Not whether the problem exists.

    But I find this interesting.

    66M years ago we had the meteor strike, and the world went dark under dust for 3-4 years. Everything died, except the microorganizms around the rim of the oceans, around the world. The myth is that oil deposits are decomposed dinosaurs, but really it it the rotted countless trillions of these happy cells which had a heyday for a millions years with no other competition for the enriching co2 and oxygen in the environment. These tiny crustaceans died with the oxygen in its calcium and sequestered away ox as well as co2, of which these 2 chemical elements are bossom brothers.

    As such, an inordinant amount of oxygen was also captured and the current level of oxygen dimishment has us at about 900 feet altitude now compared to sea level saturation back then. Saturation is going down and the equivolent as altitude is increasing.

    Forbes: Air bubbles trapped within ice provides clues to the atmospheric composition at the time of "deposition" and can be analyzed for paleo-oxygen levels. The study finds that over the past 800,000 years the amount of oxygen found in the atmosphere has decreased by 0.7% and continues to decline.

    I think it is something like 14M years before oxygen reaches where we would need masks to visit the beach, so this is a mild bit of input on this supercharged forum.

    But what is the solution to this? More weather and rain is needed to wash the shells with all this captured oxygen back in to the oceans, to restock the active environment with the element.

    Do we know what we are doing to pick any possible cycle of earth or the solar system itself, and interfer with all these conclusions and guesses. Why is it not prudent to ask these questions?

    I dont think it is invasive to make umbrellas, levee's, bunkers and warm towels!

    Thanks everyone, D

  9. The Big Picture

    Rob Honeycutt @ 32

    "You're making exactly the same mistake as Bart. You can't use historical data and merely extrapolate out SLR over the coming century, again, for abundantly obvious reasons."

    I don't make a mistake. First, I don't say that the sea level rise isn't change. I make an extrapolation of the change by year, so the increase is allready included. As we can sea, there's a lot of noise in the data, so the trendline is not very clear. Second, we all know that such a simple trendline does not include everything.

    When I look at the latest projections for the Netherlands (I live there) my extrapolation is not too bad. I don't see many projections between 1-2 meters here. 

    On global scale it's little different, for the part of Greenland is not so very much here. 

    Projected sea level in Holland

  10. One Planet Only Forever at 13:32 PM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    I believe that it is important (and may be helpful) to reasonably (rationally) evaluate (question) the following questionable (interesting) claims that have been made:

    1. The increase of CO2 has been caused by the growth of global population (from 1 billion to 8 billion).

    JasonChen and Peppers have both made versions of this claim in this comment string.

    There does appear to be a correlation. But correlation does not mean causation. The details within the full picture of human population impacts are important to understand.

    Not every human has caused, or benefited from, an equal amount of harmful impact. And the personal difference of magnitude of impact among the global population is massive. A multitude of evaluations, enough to establish a consensus understanding, conclude that the majority of the ‘CO2/global warming/climate change’ impact is due to the highest impacting portion of the population (and any population sub-group).

    Said another way: If the highest impacting 800 million of the global population were the only humans to live, global population peaked at 800 million rather than having the global population grow to 8 billion, the climate change problem today would be almost as serious as it currently is with 8 billion now on the planet. And the solution would still be 'rapidly ending fossil fuel use', especially by the highest impacting portion of the 800 million.

    The problem is the highest impacting portion of the population and their bad examples of how to live being perceived as ‘advanced, superior, and desired’.

    2. Helpful developments for the benefit of (the future of) humanity require(d) fossil fuel use.

    JasonChen and Peppers have both made versions of this claim in this comment string.

    Fossil fuel use burns up non-renewable resources. This planet could be habitable for hundreds of millions of years. At current levels of use, fossil fuels will not last 1000 years. Perceptions that helpful development is achieved through fossil fuel use makes no sense. Any benefits ‘relying on continued fossil fuel use’ will end as the resource runs out. And there is the added matter of the many harms caused by fossil fuel use, not just the rapid production of excess CO2 causing rapid global warming/climate changes and changes of ocean chemistry.

    3. Perceptions that helpfulness justify harmfulness.

    When people focus on claiming perceptions of the positive benefits of fossil fuel use they are essentially claiming that perceptions of benefit justify or excuse harm done. They may also try to deny that harm is being done by what they perceive to be a positive action. Or they may try to argue that more evidence that harm is being done needs to be obtained before action is taken to limit the harm done (Waiting until the actual damage done is undeniable ‘based on their perceptions’: Waiting until the car crashes before trying to reduce the chances of a car crash). Or they may try to argue that the harm done is acceptable or enjoyable (that car race was thrilling ...).

    4. Perceptions of potential personal benefit can cause a person to resist learning to be less harmful and be more helpful to Others (and even themselves).

    This is the tricky bit. When a person is confronted with evidence that something they have developed a desire and preference for is harmful or risks causing avoidable harm some people will learn to be less harmful and more helpful. But some people will try to argue against the real and potential harm. They will seek out and develop a liking for a misunderstanding that they believe excuses or diminishes the harmfulness of a ‘perceived to be personally beneficial’ activity like fossil fuel use.

  11. The Big Picture

    Peppers @17

    "The modeling ( we love modeling here) by the U.N. is this rises until reaching 10.5B about the end of this century, and then begins to decrease. That is when we will see Co2 level and fall. Meanwhile this push to curb Co2 efforts cannot even keep up with the population rise continuance. The US adds the population of California again, about 2055."

    The proliferation of solar and wind power and reduced use of coal (its still growing but the rate of growth has slowed down considerably)  may have already stopped the business as usual worst case of 5 degrees by end of this century (which is based on certain trajectories of use of fossil fuels, and the available reserves of coal). Some studies on this if you google them . So we don't have to wait until population shrinks, to make a significant difference. 

  12. Rob Honeycutt at 10:42 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Peppers @26... " has the sea level rise 2mm a year historically..." 

    You're making exactly the same mistake as Bart. You can't use historical data and merely extrapolate out SLR over the coming century, again, for abundantly obvious reasons.

  13. Rob Honeycutt at 10:40 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Bart @27... "When we make a simple extrapolation of this..."

    The reasons you specifically can't do this should be abundantly obvious. 

    Suffice to say, projections for SLR by 2100 are between 1-2 meters.

  14. michael sweet at 10:08 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture


    Here Tamino (a statistician) reviews the NOAA forecasts for sea level rise in the USA for the time period 2020-2050.  For Florida they forecast 0.48 meters of sea level rise (over 18 inches).  For the For Texan and Louisiana they forecast 0.59 meters (23 inches).  Sea level rise after 2050 will be much more rapid.  Current sea level rise in Florida is over 10 mm per year or about 4 inches per decade. (That means 4 inches in the decade of 2011-2021)  Your suggestion at 18 of "top out in about 3-5 more inches" is completely absurd.  


    Many parts of Florida already have severe problems with "sunny day floding" at high tide.  With 18 inches more water many locations will have to be abandoned.  Billions of follars of real estate will be worthless in 2050.  It is impossible to build levies in Florida because the ground is porous.

  15. michael sweet at 09:15 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    I note that on the US East coast the sea level is rising about 1.5-2 times the global average and on the West coast the rise is about 1/2 the global average.

    On the US Gulf coast in addition to rapid sea level rise the land is subsiding from removal of oil and water.

    sea level rise

  16. michael sweet at 09:03 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    This is the graph of sea level rise from the Sea Level Research Group at the University of Colorado.  It is based on satalite measurements.

    sea level rise

    From the quadratic curve in 2015 sea level is 40.0 mm and in 2020 it is 60.0 mm.  That is 4.0 mm/yr and increasing.

    The sea level rise is related to the temperature.   When CO2 is controlled and no longer increasing the sea level will continue to rise for centurys.  The last time CO2 was at this level the sea level was over 23 meters higher than it is now.   The suggestion that sea level rise will stop when population stops increasing is completely uninformed.

  17. The Big Picture

    Hi peppers,

    Here you see the sea level rise for every single year. As you can see, the sea level rise goes faster and faster. When we make a simple extrapolation of this the sea level in 2100 will be 53 cm higher then in 2000. But we can't predict it very well, due to the unpredictable behaviour of Antarctica and Greenland. 

    Sea Level Rise By Year

    "at 66M years ago we were at 1000ppm and 14+ degrees C higher"

    You can't simply compare 66M years ago with the present situation. 66M years ago the sun had less power. Like all stars, the power of the sun increases during the time. And 66M years ago the position of the continents was very diferent, resulting in different ocean currents and a different temperature balance of the earth.

  18. The Big Picture

    Hi Rob,

    Apologies for not including my reference points. has the sea level rise 2mm a year historically and as their projections. That is what I used for the 3-5 inch final rise until our population levels out.

    And at 66M years ago we were at 1000ppm and 14+ degrees C higher, and there are hundreds of sites with charts showing the same data. Some wanting to have the ppm look extreme just use an 800k year graph, which is the basis of the hockey stick chart.

    But, our recent increase is extreme, matching our wild conquering of the human condition and the 800-1000 % increase in our numbers. I have no idea of our wisdom as a species around all this, except lengthening our lives and solving misery, pain and premature death was hugely addressed in a wildly successful way.

    One might weigh all these factors and decide if our current state is worth it. I would not take all of that for granted however and only complain about the weather now. Should we go back or should we have skipped all that advancement?

    For me, I want to consider all of this when thinking of it.


    Thx Rob, D

  19. The Big Picture

    A question for those who seem to at least somewhat doubt the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change: did you notice the glossary entry for that and follow the link to the explainer? If not, here is the direct link Perhaps read that before commenting again.

  20. The Big Picture

    re #23, that's very elequantly written, Philippe.

  21. Philippe Chantreau at 03:26 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    I see all of the familiar red flags of BS with Jason's posts. Attempting to present "the science" as something vague and abstract is a major one.

    The science is as far from a metaphysical concept as can be. It is composed of a very large numbers of scientific studies and articles, peer-reviewed and published in science publications, with methods, data and results. All of these, when considered as a big picture, point in a definite direction. The scientific consensus, as I have remarked many times before is not just agreement between experts' opinions. It is mostly a convergence of scientific research results, that experts are familiar with because they are experts. From there, major principles can be established, that are no longer a matter of debate, or not to the extent that would have major consequences.

    The attempt at establishing "factions" has for objective to give the appearance that reality is dependent on what camp we think we belong to. That is the ultimate fraud. This is the reason why there has been a push for a "blue team-read team" approach by some, using what is essentially lawyers' skills to make a case where there is not one at all. They know they can manipulate an audience effectively and make them not just believe that down is up but even fight for it. Heck these days, the AI bots mentioned higher could possibly do this even more effectively than sleazy lawyers, they only would have to have access to all the mind manipulating techniques used by advertisers, marketers and said lawyers to fool people.

  22. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Pfff, it looks like knowledge of psychology is more useful here then knowledge of Antarctica and climate change. How to react? A person called 'One Planet only forever' makes his or her own analyzation about 'people like me'. But isn't even willing to tell his or her own name. Why is that? I think an open discussion without hide-and-seek is more effectful and respective. About my motivation: my only motivation is trying to understand Antarctica and sharing information on that. And discussing that, but in a positive way. OK, lets stay on topic.

    We had a discussion about the  the collapse of the Conger glacier's ice shelf. Here's an article on Change in Antarctic Ice Shelf Area from 2009 to 2019. In this period the ice shelves around Antarctica have gained a modest 0.4 %, or 5,304.5 km2 the study says. The study does not include the last three years. A low sea ice extent won't be good for the ice shelves, so I think we can expect that they lost some of there area.

    And then a rectification. I made calculations on the total discharge of Antarctica, based on the Surface Mass Balance (SMB) and the GRACE data. But the SMB calculated here also includes the ice shelves, and that part does not count for the mass change of the ice sheet. So, the SMB for the grounded ice will be less, and the discharge of the grounded ice will be less. In the literature I found numbers like 1750 Gt/yr.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] I tried to give gentle advice - which applied to all - but now I have to shift to moderator role.

    I have snipped the portions of this comment that violate the Comments Policy.

  23. Rob Honeycutt at 01:50 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Peppers @19... "Which will top out in about 3-5 more inches to correlate it with sea leveling."

    And your citations to the research that supports this statement are... where?

    Currently the projections suggest over 1 meter of SLR by 2100 and more to come in the centuries to follow.

    Remember, the last time the earth had over 400ppm CO2 we had an ice-free planet. We are in uncharted territory stretching back a few million years.

  24. Rob Honeycutt at 01:46 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Jason @14... "That means pulling up above the canopy to a point of view where we can see the consensus faction and their beliefs alongside the other major factions and their beliefs."

    The consensus is precisely an act of "pulling up above the canopy..."

    The entire point of a scientific consensus is to measure the broad assessments of a wide range of experts. You know, people who have PhD's and study the subject matter every day of their working lives? Those people overwhelmingly accept that, it's real, it's us, it's bad, we need to act rapidly to fix it, and it's not "game over."

    If you want to be inclusive of the minority position that this could all be wrong, that's fine. You know, the standard treatments for cancer could also be wrong and herbal medicine just might save Uncle Bob from an early grave. You can never fully eliminate that possibility. 

    There are definitely people out there who are going to vigorously try to convince your uncle to use herbs and not listen to his oncologist. They are non-experts in oncology. They have strong opinions on oncology. Bob is more that welcome to risk taking their advice. At the end of the day, the likelihood of the oncologist being wrong are substantially lower than the herbalist.

    I peg you as the angry herbalist in this analogy.

  25. Rob Honeycutt at 01:33 AM on 17 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Peppers @17, paragraph 3...

    Likewise, lately I've been trying to drink more water on a daily basis to stay better hydraded. It's working very well. I feel much more healthy for it.

    That doesn't mean I can breathe underwater and start living like a fish.

    Yours is a climate denier canard from long past that's been debunked a million times over. No one is claiming that humanity hasn't benefitted from the use of fossil fuels. Those fossil fuels have provided a cheap access to energy. It's the access to energy that has benefitted humanity in so many ways. That energy can—and increasingly is—being supplied through cleaner/cheaper methods with renewable energy sources.

    This classic argument is the same as complaining about the advent of automobiles since horses have done so much for us over the course of human history.

  26. The Big Picture

    Hi John!

    I think making such statements at a hair burning level of urgency to be non-science based, saying cities must be moved. There are measurements of an inch a decade in the sea rise and if some levee’s must be installed, at least that approach is better than the truly impossible approach of slowing the rise of Co2 down to below the documentable increase of our species. Which will top out in about 3-5 more inches to correlate it with sea leveling.

    There are other myths about this topic which are added to small scientific findings that lay people have layered into inappropriate conclusions, which exaggerate or awfulize this phenomenon. Not always on purpose, but due consideration is called for when found.

    Its real. We are in a loop. But just as a rise in Co2 being an unexpected consequence of our quest for better health, we see nature being full of cause and effects we cannot see. And what we cannot see we cannot model as well.

  27. The Big Picture

    @ Peppers #17: adaptation gets very costly indeed when you eventually have to relocate all the world's low-lying cities, does it not?

  28. The Big Picture

    I appreciate this summary being addressed again in this way.

    My take is that Co2 is rising as measured and it is human caused. You can overlay the increase from 1B to 8B in population over any of these 'hockey puck' graphs and the more people-more emisions conclusions are solid for me.

    The origin of the issues makes all the difference, and the premise that folks shy away from the historic population boom being voiced because there is nothing that can really be done about it, is non scientific.

    The crisis? Humanity succeeded in mass shelter, food and medicine. Antibiotics in the last 100 years! Infant mortality has dropped from 400 per thousand ( several hundred years ago) to 5.5 per thousand. More are born and huge % more remain living! We suceeded!

    The modeling ( we love modeling here) by the U.N. is this rises until reaching 10.5B about the end of this century, and then begins to decrease. That is when we will see Co2 level and fall. Meanwhile this push to curb Co2 efforts cannot even keep up with the population rise continuance. The US adds the population of California again, about 2055.

    I am responding to the culminating comment, based on no science whatsoever, in the above article: "What's the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we're willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?"

    My response would be to aid people in adaption to this. Any nations greatest resource is people, and the lowest countries of the world gain the most population by this dynamic of population boom. The premise that,"However, the negatives will almost certainly outweigh the positives, by a long shot." This further added statement with no science whatsoever attached helps highlight how unconsidered the whole picture is presented here.


  29. The Big Picture

    JasonChen @14 ,

    your comment seems far better suited to politics than science.

    If you have a valid point to make, then you should explain it clearly.   Otherwise you risk sounding very much like a ChatGTP artificial intelligence generator of prose.   (Something I probably wouldn't have considered 12 months ago ! )

  30. The Big Picture

    Jason, that last post contradicts itself. If there's a scientific consensus about something, that means people doing the science have long stopped arguing about the core principles. There may be other "factions" outside of science, for example creationists who dispute evolution. But once you look at the evidence, their views are simply opinion, not evidence-based. That is an important distinction. Evidence is not about belief: it's a hard factual record of the physical world that can be deciphered, with varying degrees of difficulty.

  31. The Big Picture

    I may perceive the goal of the article differently than you gentlemen. A big picture review should remind us of the context surrounding our day to day conversations. That means pulling up above the canopy to a point of view where we can see the consensus faction and their beliefs alongside the other major factions and their beliefs.

  32. The Big Picture

    Jason #5:

    If you look at the previous version of this summary, you should be able to recognise it's several years out of date WRT the observational evidence. The latter's what was updated. That observational evidence continues to be consistent as it illustrates a steady rise in CO2 and a noisy climb in temperature as other natural factors wax and wane.

    That atmospheric CO2 acts like a planetary thermostat is such basic science that one can place it alongside e.g. evolution, gravity and plate tectonics. We know all of these things exist and it's the minutiae of them that attract modern research. To go against such basic concepts is to say, "I'm going to ignore all of the evidence collected over the past two centuries, because I can make something else up". Anyone can do that, but it's unlikely to get them very far!

  33. The Big Picture

    JasonChen @11 and prior,

    If I understand Rob Honeycutt correctly, he is suggesting that you should discuss the topic in a pragmatic way (rather than metaphysical).

    As the good Douglas Adams says, we could expand the conversation to include "Life, the Universe, and Everything" . . . but then the conversation becomes effete & ultimately pointless.   And the Big Picture becomes too big to see.

    #Being a follower of American political discourse, I note that in the past 8-10 years particularly, many extremist politicians have developed a strong tendency to talk unceasingly during an interview ~ continuous gabble leaving no room for actual transfer of useful information (or the actual answering of questions put to them).    It seems to be a type of verbal kaleidoscopic camouflage, intended to avoid addressing any issue of importance.

    In discussing science-based topics, we should recognize & resist any attempt to drown the central subject.

  34. The Big Picture

    Yeah, I think the big picture is more complicated than received scientific truth which one either accepts or rejects.  Which is why I offered the framing I did.  Feel free to pen your own version.

  35. Rob Honeycutt at 14:29 PM on 16 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    The big picture is the overwhelming body of science. Institutions, whether or not they agree with the body of science, are functionally irrelevant. Right there your forest and branches metaphor breaks down.

    "It's hard to reason about such a metaphysical construction as 'the science.'" Sorry, science isn't a metaphysical construction. It's physics, not metaphysics.

    "Seems to me language like 'accepting fundamental physics' makes it hard to do justice to the big picture..." Can we just acknowledge here that you reject basic physics? That seems to be where this discussion is headed. 

  36. The Big Picture

    The institutions are the forest, James Hansen a single branch on one tree.  To decribe the big picture, one must stay zoomed out.

    Does the science inform the institutions or vice-versa?  It's hard to reason about such a metaphysical construction as "the science." Among us mortals and our institutions, influence flows in many directions.

    Seems to me language like "accepting fundamental physics" makes it hard to do justice to the big picture, for the same reason a fundamentalist Christian perspective makes it hard to paint the big picture of religion.

  37. Rob Honeycutt at 12:51 PM on 16 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    Jason @7... That the majority of "institutions" accept fundamental physics is not a bad thing.

    From your post @5 it sounded to me as if you were saying "institutions" were informing the science rather than the other way around.

  38. The Big Picture

    Rob @6... Institutional consensus seems pretty overt, no?  The UN. Every university. Every government. Every corporation, including big oil.  Every mainstream news outlet. The Federal Reserve. The NFL. Leonardo DiCaprio.

  39. Rob Honeycutt at 11:16 AM on 16 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    JasonChen @5... Where do you come to the conclusion that any of this is based on "[an] institutional consensus has formed that higher CO2 will cause higher temperatures"?

    That higher levels of CO2 will cause the planet to warm is just basic physics. The scientific consensus is merely the result of a high level of confidence in that physics. 

  40. The Big Picture

    Is the rebuttal project the best home for this article?  It lacks the tight focus of other topics, and its length and graphyness limit its persuasive power.

    Even so it gives us just the view from the IPCC's window, which doesn't quite fulfill the title's promise.  The big picture is 8 billion people are emitting more CO2 for all sorts of good reasons and are set to emit a great deal more.  An institutional consensus has formed that higher CO2 will cause higher temperatures, and those claiming to be following the science cite a variety of evidence consistent with that view.  They advocate sweeping changes to global power generation and every other aspect of society but face resistance from developing countries, dissident scientists, distrustful conservatives, consumers, and other factions.  

  41. The Big Picture

    Gordon @ 3:


    The only "warming estimate" for the future that is presented in this blog post is "We know that the climate sensitivity to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 from the pre-industrial level of 280 parts per million by volume (ppmv) to 560 ppmv (at the beginning of 2023 we are at 420 ppmv) will cause 2–4.5°C of warming."

    There is no time frame in that estimate. It refers to an unspecified future time where CO2 has doubled. It does not say when it expects us to reach that CO2 level - or even assess a probability that we will.

    Scenarios such as RCP8.5 generate an expected timing of the rise of CO2 and other greenhouse gases, and you need to apply a climate model to those atmospheric composition scenarios to get an estimate of temperature rise over the period of the scenario. This blog post does not do that.

    And the estimates of 2-4.5°C of warming for doubling of CO2 are largely unaffected by the temporal pathway to reach 2xCO2.

    The only other use of the term "estimate" in the blog post is to do with historical values of global temperature, based on observations. Different groups use different analysis methods to "estimate" the global temperature trends, using measurements. This is not dependent on any of the climate models that are used to "estimate" future climates.

    So, unless you are thinking of some other "warming estimate" that is not actually presented here...

  42. The Big Picture

    Given that the "business-as-usual" case (aka RCP 8.5) has been downgraded to a low likelyhood by the IPCC do the warming estimates here need to be revised ?  According to some researchers the new pathway will track more along the lines of RCP 3.4

  43. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Before I get forced to switch to moderator role, can we please take it easy on speculating about Bart's motives?

    I also wonder what his end goal is in posting here. I've tried to get him to be specific about what his point is (as have others), and he seems reluctant to do so. Hopefully that will change (but I'm not optimistic).

  44. CROM_The_Obliderator_of_idiocy at 02:48 AM on 16 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    I also want to declare that my username is consciously mispelled so as to be legible by the dyslectics of the forum (who, I suspect, are the majority in here).

    I also added a "been" in the "was always associated" for the same reason (in reality because of a lack of an edit button).

    But, Not even an edit button here?

    I guess it suits the authors' general mentality of not retracting any of the nonsense they spew.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] I want to declare that you are really off to a bad start here. Before posting again, I strongly suggest that you read the Comment Policy.

  45. CROM_The_Obliderator_of_idiocy at 02:41 AM on 16 March 2023
    The Big Picture

    ""What's the use of having developed a science well enough to make predictions if, in the end, all we're willing to do is stand around and wait for them to come true?"

    >>We haven't developed such science and warming was ALWAYS been associated with flourishing of every life form on earth. Including penguins.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Such broad sweeping claims on your part with not a shred of evidence to support them does not do your credibility any good.

  46. One Planet Only Forever at 02:27 AM on 16 March 2023
    Antarctica is gaining ice

    I agree with Rob Honeycutt's evaluation that Bart Vreeken appears " be looking for reasons to wish away the current climate crisis."

    I also agree that "Trying to politely minimize the problem is a form of denial."

    I refer to the ways that people like Bart make their claims as versions of "Passionate Pursuit of Positive Perceptions" which evades or delays learning that "developed desires and beliefs are incorrect understandings that are harmful (some misunderstandings can be helpful, but most misunderstandings are harmful in some ways)".

    People can have many motivations for not seeing (or seeking) the evidence of harm done and failing to understand that harm done is not excused by benefits obtained. But they share a desire for the benefits they hope to get from the continued popularity of harmful misunderstandings, which includes evading reducing the harmfulness of the things they want to benefit from and evading having to make amends for harm done that they benefited from.

    An interesting question for someone like Bart Vreeken would be:

    How much sea level rise should the current population pay today to improve the Flood mitigation systems of the Netherlands to be able to deal with the future problem?

    A Pursuer of positive perceptions may try to claim that nothing, or very little, needs to be done to improve the flood protection of the Netherlands. Or they may argue that the problem is not being caused by continued fossil fuel use. Or they may claim that Others are causing the problem. Or they may claim that "Future generations" will be able to do what needs to be done (at no cost to the people who benefited from causing the need for the future attempts to deal with and repair of the harm done).

    A closing comment: The Promotion of Positive Perceptions that are harmful misunderstandings is one of the most harmful things a 'supposedly higher status, more influential person' can do. There clearly needs to be more immediate and effective "Governing/Limiting" of the behaviour of higher status people who pursue and promote harmful misunderstandings. And the higher status people need to lead that helpful corrective Governing/Limiting of harm done, or lose their higher status and influence.

    People like Bart are not the major problem. Higher status people arguing like Bart does rather than helping people like Bart learn to be less harmful and more helpful are the major problem.

  47. Antarctica is gaining ice

    Bart Vreeken @551,

    The Antarctic SMB & the GRACE anomaly don't seem to be showing much. It did occur to me that the SMB plot you presented upthread @533 does show some similarity to the average annual SIE as the years with a positive SMB anomaly are also the years when the average SIE drops below the long-term average. (Okay 2021/22 didn't quite regain the average. Ave annual SIE in JAXA 2003-22 is 11.61 sq km). You juxtapose an SMB graphic with Antarctic SIE annual minimum graphic @546. (Note JAXA 2023 min was 1.95M sq km.) The annual average (change from previous year) provides apparently a better match to SMB than does the annual minimums. Thus the SEI Change-From-Previous-Year from the JAXA data run (sq km):-


  48. Rob Honeycutt at 06:45 AM on 15 March 2023
    Antarctica is gaining ice

    Bart... "Sleeping giant" implies (and the research is showing) this is not a small amount of sea level rise we're talking about. Levies in The Netherlands have worked for centuries because, in the past, we didn't face such threats as sea level rise from a rapidly warming climate.

    When you say "the risk is not so high," based on all the research I've read, I would have to differ. Based on the article John just posted, this should be very clear. The risk, particularly for places like exactly where you live, are in severe peril in the coming century and beyond. 

    Likewise, Florida in the US is facing a similar crisis. Within the next couple of decades property in most of southern Florida is going to become uninsurable. That is a big f-ing deal!

    What this conversation come down to is, you seem to be looking for reasons to wish away the current climate crisis. I can promise you, the "interesting" items you're finding are not indications the problem is small or far in the future. The problem is now. The problem is severe. The problem is going to continue to get worse for at very least the next 20-30 years until we can get the entire global economy off of fossil fuels.

    Trying to politely minimize the problem is a form of denial. 

  49. At a glance - What do the 'Climategate' hacked CRU emails tell us?

    You mean stealing someone else's private communications, sifting through thousands of them to pick out a single sentence to broadcast, without context, to the rest of the World, resulted in an inaccurate portrayal of reality?  I must say, I didn't see that coming... (/s)

  50. Antarctica is gaining ice

    "Did you happen to notice the title of the article John posted?"

    Well I did! I have the strange habit to start with the title when I read an article ;-). And here it's about sea level rise. That item has my attention. I live in The Netherlands, which is a very low lying country. Large parts of it have a certain risk for flooding, by the sea of by rivers. My own house is only at 10 centimetres above sea level! But for centuries, the land is well protected by dikes. So, the risk is not so very high. But we have to be prepared for the future. The land will sink further, the sea level will rise higher, the rainfall will be more irregular and so on. So yes, sea level rise is a big issue here.

    About the article. The disappearance of the ice shelf itself is no good news. But when I look at the position of it, I don't see a lot of ice from the ice sheet that will be on the move now. That's my point.

    We have to monitor Antarctica very well, try to understand how it works, try to predict what will happen. But not with panic, that won't help us.

Prev  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2023 John Cook
Home | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us