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Comments 751 to 800:

  1. One Planet Only Forever at 13:41 PM on 2 December 2023
    At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite @13,
    Your latest comment does not address the questions I raised regarding your initial comment and the ways you have commented regarding this point.
    @2 You said “...Not the middle of the equatorial Pacific. The temperature variation there is also not well understood because El Nino & La Nina cycles dominate and these are difficult to predict more than a year in advance.”

    I am open to learning (even though I still struggle with right vs left hand). Years ago I learned that the difficulty in ‘predicting the ENSO’ does not affect the ability to evaluate trends in the equatorial Pacific SST. Due to the trend of SST in the Niño 3.4 region (the middle of the equatorial Pacific) NOAA had revised their methodology for the Ocean Nino Index (ONI) values to be relative to a regularly updated baseline.

    The following is from the NOAA webpage (linked here) that presents the ONI values identifying the “Cold & Warm Episodes by Season”.

    “DESCRIPTION: Warm (red) and cold (blue) periods based on a threshold of +/- 0.5oC for the Oceanic Niño Index (ONI) [3 month running mean of ERSST.v5 SST anomalies in the Niño 3.4 region (5oN-5oS, 120o-170oW)], based on .”centered 30-year base periods updated every 5 years.”\

    And the linked NOAA webpage for “centered 30-year base periods updated every 5 years” shows the annual temperature curves for each of the 30-year base periods. In that presentation there is an undeniable warming trend since 1950.

    What you will notice is that the NOAA ONI and the related base periods start in 1950. This ties directly to the paper you made the unrepresentative quote from mistakenly believing that it supported your incorrect ‘declared belief’ about the middle of the equatorial Pacific.

    In closing I will say that a statistical evaluation of the data points is the proper way to determine a trend in the data. However, when I look at the NINO3 graph you have chosen to share I see a warming trend for the portion from 1950 to 2010. That would be consistent with the more valid evaluation of the data done by the authors of the paper you misrepresented in your comment @2.

  2. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Makes sense. The NINO3 time-series above is closer to Peru and the cold tongue than the equatorial Pacific NINO34 and NINO34 indices. Another even closer to Peru is the NINO12 time-series, which also doesn't show much of a trend.

  3. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    I don't think PP is a denialist. Have seen his comments at RC. We sometimes just get on edge and jump to the conclusion that anyone who says "flat trend" is a denialist because its a common denialist talking point. 

    We know the oceans as a whole have warmed considerably since the 1980s. But then you do have a few areas with cooling like the cold blob in the nothern atlantic. 

    I'm eyeballing Paul Pukete's graphs of the equatorial pacific and at best I can only see a very slight warming trend from around 1970 - 2022. I mean it does look flat or near flat, so I looked for an explanation and this is interesting. I have highlighted the main pargraphs only:. It seems to be consistent with what PP is saying.

    Part of the Pacific Ocean Is Not Warming as Expected. Why? BY KEVIN KRAJICK |JUNE 24, 2019

    State-of-the-art climate models predict that as a result of human-induced climate change, the surface of the Pacific Ocean should be warming — some parts more, some less, but all warming nonetheless. Indeed, most regions are acting as expected, with one key exception: what scientists call the equatorial cold tongue. This is a strip of relatively cool water stretching along the equator from Peru into the western Pacific, across quarter of the earth’s circumference. It is produced by equatorial trade winds that blow from east to west, piling up warm surface water in the west Pacific, and also pushing surface water away from the equator itself. This makes way for colder waters to well up from the depths, creating the cold tongue.

    Climate models of global warming — computerized simulations of what various parts of the earth are expected to do in reaction to rising greenhouse gases — say that the equatorial cold tongue, along with other regions, should have started warming decades ago, and should still be warming now. But the cold tongue has remained stubbornly cold.
    Why are the state-of-the-art climate models out of line with what we are seeing?

    Well, they’ve been out of line for decades. This is not a new problem. In this paper, we think we’ve finally found out the reason why. Through multiple model generations, climate models have simulated cold tongues that are too cold and which extend too far west. There is also spuriously warm water immediately to the south of the model cold tongues, instead of cool waters that extend all the way to the cold coastal upwelling regions west of Peru and Chile. These over-developed cold tongues in the models lead to equatorial environments that have too high relative humidity and too low wind speeds. These make the sea surface temperature very sensitive to rising greenhouse gases. Hence the model cold tongues warm a lot over the past decades. In the real world, the sensitivity is lower and, in fact, some of heat added by rising greenhouse gases is offset by the upwelling of cool water from below. Thus the real-world cold tongue warms less than the waters over the tropical west Pacific or off the equator to the north and south. This pattern of sea-surface temperature change then causes the trade winds to strengthen, which lifts the cold subsurface water upward, further cooling the cold tongue.


  4. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    One Planet Only Forever

    Here is the NINO3 SST time-series, which is taken from the equatorial Pacific, and note that it is difficult to discern a warming trend.   That's just the way it is in the ocean, which acts like a large heat sink, with the colder water below the therrmocline occasionally approaching the surface leading to colder La Nina episodes.   



    I am pretty certain this is not detrended as it the detrended version is also here an it appears similar


  5. One Planet Only Forever at 01:33 AM on 2 December 2023
    At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite @10,

    Hilarious. You appear to still be spinning ways to evade learning, just like members of the WUWT crowd.

    Until you seriously address the counter-points I have presented (essentially pointing out the easy to obtain better understanding of the 2012 report you unjustifiably cherry-picked a quote from in your comment @2) the evidence here indicates you are 'one of them'.

  6. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite @10 :

    No, no, no . . . no such disrespect for you, Paul Pukite.

    On the Denialist video mentioned @6 above, the "Paul" mentioned was a certain Paul Burgess, the author of that guff  [his channel label being "Climate Realism with Paul Burgess"].   Most readers here will see large red flags, when terms like Climate Realism . . . CAGW . . . Galileo . . . quotations from Feynman etc,etc . . . are placed prominently.

    It was just an amusing co-incidence of first names.  Sorry for the alarm.  I should have resisted the temptation to omit the Burgess !

    Paul Pukite, I have seen your name often in the comments columns of sober & respectable online climate threads.  It seemed very unlikely that Burgess would be your alter ego.

    Paul Burgess is a name I do not recall seeing at WUWT.   Nor do I recall seeing any videos by him (nor any alluded to) . . . and I did not bother to see more than a few seconds of his video  ~ since life is too short to spend watching video explications by climate deniers / Flat Earth exponents / anti-vaxxers / perpetual-motion machine inventors / and suchlike.

    But comments columns from the Usual Denialist Suspects . . . can be skimmed very quickly, while keepiing an eye out for gems !

  7. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    As mentioned by Eclectic @6 sites like WUWT are a swirl of laughable efforts to evade learning about things that contradict 'preferred beliefs'.

    Eclectic mentioned something about a "Paul" at WUWT, apparently thinking that's me.  Why would he think that? Does he have evidence?  I have been blogging since 2004 and have yet to write anything "in strident denial of AGW, Hockey Stick, etc"  and certainly haven't been featured in a YouTube video.   I guess my crime is being involved in research on El Ninos.

    Frankly, I don't find AGW that interesting as it seems fairly well understood.  More difficult is to predict an El Nino a few years in advance.  

  8. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite:

    This map shows warming trends for the entire world for the years 2015-2019.  It uses a baseline of 1951-1980.  I note that most of the oceans have a positive anomaly.  You are just not looking.  source

    global warming map

  9. One Planet Only Forever at 03:40 AM on 1 December 2023
    At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite @7,

    One has to try very hard to evade evidence and understanding that contradicts a preferred unjustified belief. You appear to have chosen to not address the evidence and understanding presented in my comment @4 that shows that your initial claim @2 is non-sense.

    As mentioned by Eclectic @6 sites like WUWT are a swirl of laughable efforts to evade learning about things that contradict 'preferred beliefs'. Do an internet search of "belief vs understanding". There is an important difference. The pursuit of learning to better understand things requires being open to revision of beliefs.


    Pursuing a resistance to learning can be popular. Sites like WUWT and Dr. Roy Spencer's are proof of that.

    Thanks for giving us all a laugh here without having to venture into the Non-Sense-Land of WUWT and Dr. Spencer's. Admittedly they would be funnier if the type of people they attract did not have any significant influence on leadership actions. But, tragically, popular non-sense can significantly compromise the actions of leaders who are reliant on getting some support from people who are tempted to believe non-sense.

  10. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    one has to look fairly hard for maritime areas that do not show a "similar warming trend"

    As far as I can tell, when one searches for equatorial Pacific ocean SST time-series, you only get NINO34, NINO4, etc data. These show no or very little trend, being dominated by ENSO variations.  As far as I can tell, they have not been detrended, but do have the annual seasonal temperature cycle removed. 

    Proxy records to demonstrate the hockey stick contain many samples from coral ring measurements.  Yet, these also show very little trend which is not surprising as most coral is found in tropical or equatorial waters, where the SST also shows little trend.  That's why most hockey stick discussion is on tree ring data. 

  11. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    To add a touch of humor to this thread :-

    While scanning through the well-fertilized field of WUWT  blogsite, I found myself being directed to a new Youtube video of a day or two ago, where the author [Paul] is in strident denial of AGW, Hockey Stick, etc.

    Such videos are typically not worth viewing (unless you are "in traction" in a hospital bed for the next 3 months, while your shattered bones heal).   But a quick scan through the video's comments column may turn up a gem or so.   And the gem was a two-liner :-

    [quote]   "Thanks, Paul.

    You and Tony Heller are beacons of sanity in this crackpot World"


  12. One Planet Only Forever at 06:57 AM on 30 November 2023
    At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pukite,

    My apologies for transposing letters in your name.

    I try to be careful. I have a history of crossing up 'Left and Right-hand'. So I am aware that I am likely to make mistakes like that.

  13. One Planet Only Forever at 05:04 AM on 30 November 2023
    At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    Paul Pikute @2,

    I went to read the paper you quoted and linked to learn more about the point you made.

    The first thing I learned, almost immediately, is that the paper is from 2012. I immediately wondered if a newer paper with more recent data would conclude similar results.

    However, reading the full Introduction of the paper was all I needed to do to learn a lot. A more recent paper would not be required to clarify the issue you raised.

    The quote you shared is near the beginning of the Introduction. I repeat the quote ... but include the statement immediately following it.

    “SST trends in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are especially controversial due to the discrepancy in the sign of the trend in the central and eastern Pacific among various SST datasets (Vecchi et al. 2008; Karnauskas et al. 2009; Deser et al. 2010a). However, the disparity in trend largely arises from the coverage and quality of in situ observations in the centennial record, particularly during the early decades of the twentieth century (Deser et al. 2010a; Giese et al. 2010).”

    Why did you stop reading at the end of the quote you shared? If you did read the full Introduction why did you only quote the bit that you did?

    If you had read the entire Introduction you would have also encountered the following:

    “The purpose of this paper is to understand the linear trends in association with the leading patterns of tropical Pacific SST variability and in key SST regions of the tropical Pacific during 1950–2010. Because of prior work indicating a positive trend in the El Niño Modoki, the significance of this pattern and the zonal gradient of equatorial Pacific SSTs is closely examined. Because of limited data coverage prior to the Second World War, we elected to not use the full SST datasets that begin in the nineteenth century. While centennial trends are not assessed here, we note that using a reduced period results in more consistent linear trends in SSTs over the 61-year record (Fig. 1), which are significantly positive throughout the tropical Pacific Ocean.” (bolding by me)

  14. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist


    In support of John Mason at 64, here is the carbon dioxide graph:

    carbon dioxide graph

    The graph is from the Royal Society CO2 concentrations from ice cores go back about 800,000 years.  As you can see, the last 200 years are completely exceptional.  The antarctic temperature has not yet responded as much as global temperatures above.

  15. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist


    Both the midieval warming period and the Roman period you mention were local warming events and not global events.  The current warming is global.  The Globe cooled from about 8,000 years ago until about 200 years ago, when the industrial period of burning a lot of fossil fuels started.

    temperature last 12,000 years 

    source There is an arrow that indicates 2016, since then the temperature has risen about 0.3 C.  The temperature is currently about 1.3 C above the zero point.  There is no significant rise to support your claims.

    When you have the basic facts incorrect your conclusions are also incorrect.  You appear to be sadly misinformed. I recommend that you try reading more scientific web sites and less denier information.  SkS is a good place to start.  

  16. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist

    Re #63: " I believe it's also true that in the last ice age the level of atmospheric CO2 was at least 10 times current levels - which according to IPCC thinking ought to have produced a blisteringly hot climate - yet there was an ice age. "

    You believe incorrectly unless by "last ice age" you are referring to something hundreds of millions of years ago.

    During the last glacial maximum of the Quaternary, ca. 23,000 years ago, CO2 was around 180 ppm.

  17. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist

    I quote from the article introduction:

    "It’s a familiar story – the physicist who draws attention for declaring that climate scientists have got climate science all wrong. He (it’s always a ‘he’) was born before color television was invented, usually retired, perhaps having won a Nobel Prize, but with zero climate science research or expertise. William Happer."

    I don't know if the writer of the article is a scientist or not but it starts with some rather unscientific viewpoints, namely by suggesting that male, retired physicists are not qualified to comment on climate matters. What does it matter what sex they are or how old they are? In relation to physicists, I don't know about the others in the list given, but William Happer would, I would have thought, certainly qualify to comment on the global warming debate given that if you have watched any of his presentations on this topic, you'll know that his field of research was the absorption of infra-red radiation by CO2 molecular stretches and bends - very apt in the climate debate I would have thought, given that it is precisely CO2 that is being posited as the culprit in current global warming trends. He also openly admits that he was once a climate alarmist until his work led him to believe he was wrong. 
    I am not a climate scientist- my background is chemistry- but there are certain apparent facts that appear to be ignored in the current debate, namely that we know the earth warmed before about 1000 years ago in the medieval warming period and again about 2000 years ago in the Roman period. These warmings cannot have been due to human activity given that there were no combustion engines or factories around and world population was vastly lower than today. I believe it's also true that in the last ice age the level of atmospheric CO2 was at least 10 times current levels - which according to IPCC thinking ought to have produced a blisteringly hot climate - yet there was an ice age. Whilst not denying that CO2 is x greenhouse gas, these facts do tend to cast doubt on just how potent a greenhouse gas CO2 really is. I believe Dr Roy Spencer, who is a meteorologist not a physicist and also not retired ( though he is male) has similar views to the listed physicists. 

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] If there is going to be further discussion of past warm periods, please use the search function to find more suitable places for discussion. Eg for mediaval warm period, see

    Happer and Spencer seem to have stuck priors, and credibility only with those who dont know climate science but like their conclusions. See for instance. Search function will find other discussion of Happer's misinformed claims and errors.

  18. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    @#2: in fairness to nigelj, one has to look fairly hard for maritime areas that do not show a "similar warming trend". Granted, they are interesting because the obvious question is, "why", However they are also a tiny minority.

  19. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    It was Thanksgiving of 1993 when I caught a ride with my brother, to join him, his wife and two cats for the traditional meal. Widespread use of the internet was in its infancy and we whiled away hours of the trip excitedly chattering about all the potentials this new medium might unlock. Looking back, I think we were a bit naive about just how experimental and unpredictable this all was, and I don't mean technologically. There have been undeniable benefits (this site is proof), but given how 'social media' and the near global resurgence of authoritarianism seemingly have paralleled one another, one can't help but wonder whether what good, in the big picture, has come out of that phenomenom. 

    Perhaps I see social media too darkly. It has been pointed out, that very likely even the likes of Mark Zuckerberg did not fully grok the impacts of what they were doing as they cashed in. Too bad for democracy. 

  20. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    "All these show a similar warming trend."

    Not the middle of the equatorial Pacific.  The temperature variation there is also not well understood because El Nino & La Nina cycles dominate and these are difficult to predict more than a year in advance.  

    "SST trends in the equatorial Pacific Ocean are especially controversial due to the discrepancy in the sign of the trend in the central and eastern Pacific among various SST datasets (Vecchi et al. 2008; Karnauskas et al. 2009; Deser et al. 2010a)"

  21. At a glance - Evidence for global warming

    We have many ways of measuring global warming. Urban areas, rural areas,oceans, the middle, and upper atmosphere. Sea level rise is also an indication of warming. All these show a similar warming trend. How much more do people want to be convinced? There really isn't any part of the planetary system left to measure.

    If we were reliant purely on land surface data in cities for example,  I would be scepetical. One data set might be flawed. But the chances of so many multiple data sets all being flawed and in the same direction is effectively zero.

    Sarah Palin seems like a typical example of a lay person who thinks she knows better than the climate experts. Of course its good to discuss things and question if the experts are right, but remember the experts know things you dont know and small details are important in science.

    Another expample of someone out of their depth is John Clauser, a physicist with a nobel prize in quantum physics and an outspoken anthropogenic climate change sceptic despite the fact he has never published any research related to climate change or formally specialised in something like atmospheric physics. It hasn't stopped him telling everyone that climate science is all wrong. He has made many indisputably false statements sometimes by using very out of date information. So even scientists outside their area of expertise can fool themselves. Good commentary here:

  22. One Planet Only Forever at 04:49 AM on 29 November 2023
    Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    The 'fight back' against disinformation and misinformation is important.

    However, the following linked Harvest Public Media (related to NPR) report indicates that even in 'very conservative' parts of the US the majority of people want actually correctly learn about climate change. The problem is the very small percentage of 'Team Coonservative' who are willing to be 'encouraged by misinformation and disinformation' from Team Cosnservative actors to threaten or actually attack people who try to increase awareness and improve understanding.

    Midwest weather experts want to talk about climate change, but they face pushback and threats
    KCUR | By Elizabeth Rembert
    Published November 27, 2023 at 9:43 AM CST

    The story includes the following quote:

    While resistant voices can be loud, 90% of Americans are still open to learning about climate change, according to Ed Maibach with the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University.

    Maibach said surveys suggest people appreciate hearing about climate change from trusted sources like meteorologists and climatologists, even in conservative communities.

    “The whole notion of ‘red and blue states’ actually creates a disservice when it comes to thinking about how to educate the public about climate change,” Maibach said. “It signals that this is difficult, if not impossible, to do in red states. But that's just not true.”

    That reality explains the actions by Team Conservative to unjustifiably encourage fear and anger rather than help increase awareness and improve understanding. Increased awareness and improved understanding is significantly biased against current day 'Team Conservative' interests.


  23. One Planet Only Forever at 04:21 AM on 29 November 2023
    Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    nigelj @10,

    It is undeniable that 'the current internet system' needs more effective ethical governing. More effective governing would help increase awareness and improve understanding regarding unjustified unsustainable beliefs and related harmful unjust actions (like delaying the ending of unnecessary harmful actions like the impacts of fossil fuel use, other anti-science actions and anti-diversity actions - the many fronts of improved understanding and required changes and corrections that the 'selfish status seekers and intolerant of diversity' fight on these days).

    Faith in 'legacy media industry codes of practice on accuracy and integrity' is not generally justified. It may still apply to some degree in some Nations. But ethical governing of legacy information media has eroded significantly in many nations. And, in some nations, information media being governed to 'increase awareness and improve understanding of what is harmful and how people can be less harmful and more helpful to others' was more of an impression than a reality (as an example refer to the presentation of the Propaganda Model regarding the systemic manipulation of public opinion in the book by Edward S. Herman with Noam Chomsky: Manufacturing Consent, New York: Pantheon Books, 1988 updated 2002 - Movie of the same name made in 1992).

    The current day global coordinated and collaborating group of political game players who are 'opposed to learning to be less harmful and more helpful' needs to be understood to be the problem with the internet, not 'the freedom of action on the internet'. And that group is the root of many, likely the vast majority, of the understandably harmful and unsustainable developments that are verified by evidence Today, especially the efforts to preserve unjustified perceptions of status (superiority relative to Others and dislike of Others) and the related 'inaccurate/incorrect history stories' that have developed. And that group of people can be understood to have been the reason that the past few decades have made the current over-development of harmful actions worse than it had to be.

    It is important to understand the history of how things got to be as bad as they currently are. Without properly identifying and effectively correcting the real problem all that is likely to develop are unjustified perceptions that things will get better.

  24. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    OPOF @8

    Yes talk radio and television and political rallies have  all spread misinformation at times. But at least they are mostly traditional media and are governed by industry codes of practice on accuracy and integrity (apart form a few rogue channels like Fox perhaps), but anyone can set up an 'alternative' news platform on the internet just so easily, and not subject to any codes of practice, and this is whats lead to such a toxic situation over about the last decade.

  25. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    Regarding David Acct's comments where he says some of the authorities did exaggerate the effectiveness of the masks. I agree that was the wrong thing to do, but I'm prepared to be a bit forgiving as they were simply trying to encourage use of maks to save lives, and remember we were in a quickly evolving emergency situation with some uncertainty about how effective masks were. We are now looking back with the benefit of hindsight. I agree with Bob it was not misinformation.

    David seem to be narrowly focused around whether face masks stop people catching covid. Obviously masks won't do much to stop you getting infected because they dont fit tightly enough and it only takes a very small number of cells to cause an infection. The studies seem to show that areas with high mask use had only slightly lower rates of infection. About what you would expect.

    But masks do greatly reduce the viral load on the lungs and that initial viral load is closely related to severerity of symptoms. Its no accident that places with high mask use had a much lower mortality rate (25% in one study). So on balance it appears to me mask wearing does have value.

    David does a rant about the virtues of free speech and the evils of censorship. I lean towards free speech, but I would boldly say that some censorship is required in some circumstances. It's common in times of war,and in New Zealand we have sensible laws against defamation, inciting violence and racist speech (which effectively incites violence) and as a result many websites will not publish public comments that infringe those laws. That is censorship, so lets call it what it is, but only a fool would suggest such laws and censorship is wrong.

    But how much further should we go? Because every restriction on free speech does risk shutting down discussion and debate, which is a very unhealthy outcome. I believe restrictions and "censorship" should be small in number and only be if there is a risk of comments inciting criminal law breaking or leading to serious physical harm or in other exceptional circumstances.

    For example during covid our media mostly allowed people to post comments on their websites with robust views or even crazy views on covid, but they generally wouldn't permit views undermining the use of vaccines, such as views making wild claims that vaccines dont work or that they kill people.

    This seemed like a reasonable restriction because it was narrowly focused and related to potential loss of life. The country was actively trying to get vaccination rates as high as possible and we got to 95% double vaccinated. America land of free speech only got to about 65%. A lot of people died but they preserved their precious right to spread lies about vaccines. I find this approach rather bewildering and lacking in commonsense.

    On the other hand, attempts to censor so called 'hateful' views and criticism of religion mostly seem to go too far and run into awful difficulties of defining what hate speech is.

    Yes all of this means free speech is not a simple black and white thing and difficult judgement calls have to be made. I think we are just stuck with this and have to do the best we can.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 08:28 AM on 28 November 2023
    Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    nigelj @1,

    I agree with your observations and concerns. I would add that populist misleading political groups are not only being harmfully successful through ‘the internet’. Today’s misleading messengers are very active in:

    • Talk Radio. Talk radio is a big influence on older and non-urban voters. Even Alberta’s current populist winner of leadership of the current governing Party was a talk radio misleading populist in Alberta for the past decade. And she still does regular radio talk programs (critically evaluate the results of an internet search like “right-wing biased talk radio”).
    • Local TV. Sinclair Broadcast Group in the US is an example of a branch of populist misleading marketers. They buy local TV stations and try to dictate what the local news anchors cover and how they cover it (internet search “Sinclair media misleading news reports”).
    • TV News channels. Fox News is an obvious villain.
    • Political Rallies. An opportunity to spout unjustified claims to an eager audience who will not question what they hear ... because it comes from a person they consider to be ‘their type of authority figure’.

    Ibram X. Kendi provides what is probably a better understanding of what is happening. (I mention it in my comment @7). The root problem is people who obtain power or status by getting away with harmful actions, including misleading marketing efforts. They will do whatever they can get away with to maintain and increase their power and perceptions of status relative to Others.

    Note that the printing press initially increased awareness and improved understanding. In its early use the printing press corrected some serious undeserved perceptions of status. But eventually it was perverted by people who figured out ways to benefit from misinforming others through that mechanism.

  27. One Planet Only Forever at 07:27 AM on 28 November 2023
    Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    David-acct @4 (Note: I prepared this before seeing Bob Loblaw’s recent post)

    I agree with BaerbelW @5. And I agree with you, sort of (see my ending PS).

    Censorship, like ‘efforts to ban school books because they would increase awareness and improve understanding of how to be less harmful and more helpful to Others’, is indeed unacceptable. It is especially unacceptable to ‘censor education’ to only teach ‘reading-writing-math’ and ‘incorrect but preferred versions of history’.

    However, a rational justification can be made for improving public education, a requirement for democracy to be sustainable, by limiting the success of authoritarian attempts to popularize inaccurate information. Those limiting actions are justified even if fans of the misunderstandings, people who idolize undeserving authority figures, claim that such corrective actions are ‘censorship’ or ‘evil re-education’.

    An example in schools would be moving texts that incorrectly portray the history of what has occurred into a ‘special section’ where the inaccuracies are explained in detail for anyone interested in learning about that (regardless of the preferred beliefs of ‘winners of elections’).

    In addition, being addicted to the pursuit and promotion of harmful misunderstanding is understandable, especially when the addiction is to unjustified perceptions of status relative to Others. However, an addiction to the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and required corrections of unjustified developments and perceptions of success and status is also understandable.

    Something like Addiction (or censorship) is not the problem. The problem is opposition to, rather than support for, ‘learning to be less harmful’. The same applies to political positions. Positions on the Left-Right spectrum are not ‘the problem’. The problem is ‘arguing and fighting against the pursuit of increased awareness and improved understanding of what is harmful and the diversity of justified corrective actions’. The corrective actions include actions that would limit the success of misinformation and disinformation efforts.

    Misleading claims about ‘censorship’ are understandably expected from easily impressed victims or wilful perpetrators of misleading disinformation campaigns in the ‘War on increased awareness and improved understanding of undeserved perceptions of superiority and status’.

    Ibram X. Kendi, in his many well researched books, provides a very robust understanding about the continued ‘progress of racist actions to defend unjustified perceptions of superiority relative to Others’. The reality that climate science also challenges unjustified perceptions of superiority makes it another front in the war efforts of people opposed to learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others.

    There are many valid justifications for restrictions on freedom. Helpful, justified, educational actions, including restrictions, are not censorship. Limiting the ability to spread harmful misunderstandings is not censorship. Arguing for the unrestricted sharing of misinformation would be like arguing for no efforts to limit the popularity of any of the many misleading harmful ‘social media popular challenges’ (share a video of biting a laundry-pod).

    Limiting and correcting the popularity of harmful misunderstandings, especially with actions like educational inoculation, is not censorship. It would be more accurate to call such actions ‘Helpful Public Education’.

    PS. Regarding the spread of a disease like COVID-19, I would agree that limiting-restricting contact between people is more effective than ‘mask wearing’ (and the type of mask also matters).

  28. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    I see that David-acct has returned to inject another (likely one-off) comment on a  thread, in an attempt to discredit the science. This time, he is yelling "censorship", in spite of the fact that the blog post does not advocate for the "suppression" he claims is a "far greater threat to democracy".

    The blog post does refer to EU efforts "to make democracies more resilient against misinformation and disinformation", and about efforts "to boost the public’s resistance to misinformation". The paper on which the blog post is based gives more details: mentioning EU Codes of Practice and legislation attempting to "curtail misinformation and hate speech online". It also mentions the use of moderation policies "to remove online misinformation and hate speech under certain circumstances". In other words, "free speech" has limits.

    In David-acct's world, it seems that helping people recognize and resist misinformation is "censorship". It would seem that David-acct's desired world is one where nobody is allowed to speak against misinformation. To me, there seems to be a pattern in many of these discussions - the "advocates' screaming about free speech and censorship seem to only approve of "free speech" by people they agree with. They appear to want "my free speech, unopposed". "Free speech" is not limited when people speak against you, and "free speech" does not mean that every online discussion group must provide you with a bull-horn. When someone violates a code of conduct on a commercially-run discussion group, and is barred from further participation, it is not "censorship". They are always free to set up their own web site and discussion network.

    [Disclaimer: Skeptical Science has its own code of conduct for participants, known as the Comments Policy.]

    David-acct then wanders into a Covid discussion, and finishes with an unsubstantiated claim that "the health authorities pushed as much or more covid disinformation than the denialists." He provides a link to a paper that he claims is "a good article on the effectiveness of masking". If we actually read the paper, what we find is an article that includes things like the following, where they discuss possible bias in their study:

    The participants in the study were not randomly assigned to wear or not wear face masks, and they were not provided with or encouraged to use face masks. During the study period, official guidelines for face mask use changed, with mandatory use in certain situations. This may have affected the participants' use of face masks, with some choosing to wear them based on their own assessment of risk and effectiveness.

    Additionally, there may be other factors that could confound the relationship between face mask use and study outcomes, such as participants in high-risk professions or with risk factors for severe COVID-19. Both groups may be more or less prone to wear face masks, while also observing different social distancing practices than the average population. We also cannot rule reverse causality, in which those testing positive for COVID-19 were more prone to wear masks afterwards in order to protect others. Finally, there could be an association between the inclination to test and the propensity to wear a face mask.

    They conclude that section with the following statement:

    However, it is important to interpret the results with caution and not infer that our estimates represent the true causal relationship between face mask use and infection risk.

    So, the "good article" David-acct wants us to read is hardly the definitive source that David-acct is pretending it is. What David-acct has done is cherry-pick one study, and present it as far more conclusive than it is. If he had read even just the abstract, it finished with a general cautionary note (applicable to all studies):

    We believe the observed increased incidence of infection associated with wearing a face mask is likely due to unobservable and hence nonadjustable differences between those wearing and not wearing a mask. Observational studies reporting on the relationship between face mask use and risk of respiratory infections should be interpreted cautiously, and more randomized trials are needed.

    Also note that the paper David-acct refers to is a pre-print of an accepted paper, published online on November 13, 2023. Can anyone think of a possible reason why a study published in late 2023 was not used to guide policy decisions in early 2020? Does David-acct think that the 2020 policy decisions should have been "let's just wait, and do nothing, and see what happens, until we get moire data a few years from now"?

    When Covid hit, there were a lot of unknowns about it. Policy decisions were needed, and may have been made in times of insufficient information. That is not the same thing as misinformation.

    Sadly, this sort of comment has been typical of what David-acct tends to post here.

  29. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    David-acct @4

    Inoculation against mis- and disinformation doesn't involve censorship but making people aware of the techniques involved with spreading it. The only people who could have anything against that are the spreaders of disinformation, everybody else should be happy about those efforts in order to no longer fall for it.

  30. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    he calls to suppress "disinformation" are effectively calls for censorship. In the long term, Censorship is far greater threat to democracy and the freedom of expression and scientific thought than the spreading of disinformation. Even if its called stopping disinformation, the reality is it a call for censorship.

    I agree that there was a lot of disinformation regarding covid coming from the denialists such as vaccine safety, ivermectin, Hcx. Those claims persisted in spite of good research demonstrating that those claims were crap. However, the amount of disinformation coming from the political leaders and the CDC using low quality studies overhyping the effectiveness of the lockdowns, overhyping the effectiveness of masking and overhyping the effectiveness of the vaccines was extensive. As of the end of 2022, the CDC still had listed 45+ studies showing the "positive effectiveness" of masking, yet at least eight of those studies have serious shortcomings. For example, the Kansas mask mandated counties vs non mask mandated counties for example, the study period was intentionally cut short because the infection rate was higher in the mask mandated counties post the end of the study period.


    here is a good article on the effectiveness of masking 



    in summary, the health authorities pushed as much or more covid disinformation than the denialists.   While the push for stopping disinformation is reality is a push for censorship in which everyone loses

  31. Greenhouse effect has been falsified

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on November 26, 2023 and now includes an "at a glance“ section at the top. To learn more about these updates and how you can help with evaluating their effectiveness, please check out the accompanying blog post @

  32. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    nigelj @1

    Yes, we are in catch-up mode, but there are examples which could be used as templates of how to include media literacy and crtical thinking in school curricula. Here is one from Finland:

    Finland’s ‘visionary’ fight against disinformation teaches citizens to question what they see online

  33. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    What NigelJ said is very valid. My own perspective on such matters as percption of climate science is that probably most 'sides' - from doomist through alarmist to 'IPCC' accepting to 'sceptic' to denier - now currently distort the science and the varied consequences of assorted policies to suit their favoured take - often very strongly influenced by their personal politics. All sides use the very same techniques of cherry picking, quote mining, over-promoted 'experts', out-dated articles etc to make their cases. The actual peer reviewed science tends to get lost in the noise

  34. Disinformation campaigns are undermining democracy. Here’s how we can fight back

    I have a comment regarding this terrible explosion of misinformation and disinformation. So whats gone so horribly wrong recently that we have an explosion of misinformation and disinformation? IMO its largely the internet causing this upsurge. Certainly various analysis easily googled implicate the internet. There are obviously political motives as well. So here is my understanding of it all...

    Firstly we need to remember that misinformation and disinformation been around forever, and its often linked to partisan politics, but generally it seems to have been at lesser scale than presently and a fringe thing with the vast majority of people accepting basic information and facts coming from scientists and officials and mainstream media (even if they disagree with opinions, interpretations and ideologies).

    Our education system was designed to encourage respect of authorities and for scepticism to be rational scepticism. Our core information sources were mostly academia, official sources, mainstream media, etc,etc.

    Any basic text on sociology will tell you all this.

    However it appears the internet has changed everything, by giving a free or low cost platform to every individual (or group of individuals) who can thus spread their message globally and near instantly and gain a huge audience. We can effectively all now be our own media platforms at little or no cost. And the reach is amazing. This is a serious challenge to the old media and other information sources.

    And not everyone is honest, well informed, or rational and sadly the inflammatory misinformation that contradicts official sources is inherently like a maget so it attracts a large following. It gains traction.

    The end result is the proliferation of misinformation and huge and unjustified distrust of the mainstream authorities and naive trust in fringe "alternative" internet sources. While the mainstream sources of information have never been perfect, the "alternative" sources are in 99% of cases far worse.

    And society has been completely unprepared for this onslaught, because its exploded in just a decade or two at most. The misinformation and disinformation is not only suddenly prevasive it uses techniques most people were never educated to recognise. I was lucky that as a young teenager I stumbled across a book on logical fallacies which is the core of the misinformation, so I'm reasonably ok at recognising fake information and junk science (as are many other regulars on this website). But if you haven't read that sort of thing at some stage, you simply dont have the skills, and they dont appear to be taught in school. If you are really smart you will work some of the skills out for yourself, but...not everyone is really smart.

    We are effectively in catch up mode. I applaud the efforts of this website to help educate people to recognise misinformation. I feel it should also be front and centre of every schools curriculum. Sensible people on all sides of politics will benefit from this.

  35. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist

    Almost all Nobel Laureates and National Academy of Sciences members have different different views than the handful of outliers that get a lot of outsized attention. 

    In 2015 and 2016, 76 Nobel Laureates signed the Mainau Declaration on Climate Change with an urgent warning about the consequences of climate change.

    I have scoured the internet looking for NAS members who appear to be climate change skeptics, contrarians or deniers.  I have found 7 living members, two of which are Nobel Laureates, Ivar Giaever and Robert Laughlin.  The other five are Claude Alegre, John Dewey, William Happer, Richard Linzen and Steven Koonin.  As of 2022 there were 2493 NAS members.  These seven are all over 70 and represent 0.3%. If I'm off by a factor of 3, they will still represent less than 1%. 

  36. Philippe Chantreau at 04:34 AM on 20 November 2023
    John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist

    Plus c'est la meme chose...

    Interestingly, Alain Aspect, who is one of the co-recipients of that physics Nobel prize for demonstrating quantum entanglement, has a very different take from Clauser on climate change

  37. It's not happening

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on November 19, 2023 and now includes an "at a glance“ section at the top. To learn more about these updates and how you can help with evaluating their effectiveness, please check out the accompanying blog post @

  38. John F. Clauser: the latest climate science-denying physicist

    Gavin Schmidt, over at RealClimate, has posted a take-down of Clauser's claims.

    The closing summary:

    So where does this leave us? Effectively, we have an overconfident Nobel Prize winner, who hasn’t done their homework in an area outside their field, who makes very obvious errors, and whose fame is being capitalized on by the forces of denial. Not really an original story (c.f. Kary Mullis, Linus Pauling, etc.), but still a bit of a shame.

    Plus ca change...

  39. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44


    Thanks for your kind words and invitation. It is appreciated.

    I try to walk the talk when it comes to fighting climate change and share what I learn. I have written a couple op-eds that have made it into the local papers but there you are limited by the whims of the editor.

    I sometimes wonder what difference it will make. It is hard to change people's minds. I just hope one day my granddaughter will appreciate my efforts.



  40. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44

    Dear Dean,

    Your passion for climate issues post-retirement is truly inspiring. It's wonderful to see how you balance staying informed on critical topics with a touch of light entertainment. Your commitment to meaningful content and discussions showcases the richness of your retirement pursuits. Thanks for your positive feedback on the climate websites, and feel free to share your insights anytime,

    Andrew John 

  41. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44

    Just Dean, 

    "I probably spend too much time consuming climate change science and solutions online. It has become a passion for me in retirement. I suspect commenting at sites like this help me replace the interactions I used to have at work."

    I'm retired and I spend a couple of hours a day sometimes more reading websites on environmental, political, current affairs and economic issues and often participating in discussions. Particularly on the climate issue.  I think its a replacement for work interractions like with you, and it keeps the mind active and I like to share information and discuss issues. 

    I like light entertainment and fiction novels as  as well, but I would go crazy if that was the only thing in my life, and I find 90% of reality TV is awful. Not really into social media gossip.

    I don't think you should feel guilty for being passionate about the climate issue and spending time on it. Unless it was the ONLY issue you spent time on. That might be a warning sign. As  long as we retired folk aren't somehow hurting other people or neglecting something important whats the problem? People can do what they want in retirement. We all have different tastes.

    Thanks for the tips on the list of climate websites. I read some of those but I dont normally contribute to discussions. Might do so a bit more.

  42. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44


    I appreciate your kind words. It is fun to speculate. I probably spend too much time consuming climate change science and solutions online. It has  become a passion for me in retirement. I suspect commenting at sites like this help me replace the interactions I used to have at work. I do appreciate knowledgable communities. Some of my favorite sites are The Climate Brink, Sustainability by the Numbers, And then theres physics and CarbonBrief.

    I must admit I am biased when it comes to Zeke. If I have a question about a climate change issue, I always start by finding out what Zeke thinks, e.g. WDZT.



  43. SkS Analogy 26 - Earth's Beating Hearts

    The nodal crossing is also responsible for ENSO

  44. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44

    Just Dean @31, I agree that the spike in warming this year around july - october is unlikely to be caused by  the reduction in industrial aerosols. The so called  termination shock.

    The reduction in shipping aerosols started back in 2020 and fuels were changed immediately so if anything you would expect a sudden spike in temperatures back in 2020 - 2021 not this year. Other reductions in industrial aerosols like Chinas  introduction of scrubbers is phased in so would have  a gradual effect over time and doesnt really expain a sudden spike.

    I do  think the reduction is industrial aerosols will have a longer term warming effect but it will be gradual and seen more in hindsight. And the mainstream view seems to be not as huge as Hansen argues. I have no idea who is right on the issue. Both very clever people.

    Zeke seems to be arguing the temperature spike this year is caused by "bit of everything" including the el nino, the volcano, reduction in industrial aerosols, but  that the el nino is the big factor. I tracked down his commentary and here it is for anyone interested:

    He could be right, although I think MAR has made a good case that the volcano is the main factor. The study you quoted did suggest that the water vapour is not enough to explain the temperature spike, but perhaps that study is underestimating it. Water vapour ejected  so high up has a strong warming effect.

    That leaves the possibility of the el nino plus the volcano being the two main  factors and about equal, and a little bit from industrial aerosols reductions. That would be a good explanation.

    Blaming it all on a combination of factors is a fairly safe approach but I admit its not entirely satisfying.


    I'm retired now. For me its an interesting puzzle. I respect your views. I think MS is right that we just dont have enough data and we dont have a definitive understanding of effects of aerosol's so cant be very certain at this point. But its fun and stimulating to speculate a bit.

  45. Can we still avoid 1.5 degrees C of global warming?

    Bob @ 3 -

    I wondered if kar meant stippled?

  46. Can we still avoid 1.5 degrees C of global warming?

    kar @ 2:

    Your answer to the question about pre-1990 data is not hard to find. The authors of the blog post kindly added a link to the image source in the caption.

    If you follow that link, you can download the report. If you go to the original version of the figure in the report, it says:

    Sources: Upper panel: Historical data from the IPCC for 1950–1989 and from the 2022 NDC synthesis report for 1990–2020; 2030 projections from NDCs; and the reduction scenarios from the AR6 Synthesis Report

    I have no idea what you are trying to imply by the term "stipulated".
  47. Can we still avoid 1.5 degrees C of global warming?

    Text under the Figure has spelled wrongly «NCDs, or national pledges» ... should have been: «NDCs, or national pledges».

    Why is the historical black graph before 1990 not solid?

    Maybe because the data is stipulated?

  48. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44


    Fine, but my money is on Zeke and the moderate, mainstream climate scientists.  I'm just not buying the theory of Simons and Hansen of an "aerosol termination shock."  

    As I say I'm not an expert, but I am a retired research engineer who worked with fusion scientists and high-energy-density physicists for 34 years, so I've seen a thing or two and this just seems too speculative to me.

  49. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44

    Just Dean,

    The main scientific explainations for the extreme heat this year are: the start of El Nino, the volcano, aerosols and natural variation.  I think that in this thread you and others have posted data supporting the idea that the El Nino is too early to provide so much of an increase in temperature.  The volcano does not produce enough forcing to account for the increase in temperature and aerosols do not provide enough forcing for the observed temperatures.  I think "natural variation" is short hand for we don't know the cause.

    Obviously something has caused the extreme heat this year.  I think it probably is El Nino, the volcano or aerosols.  I think the data is not definative yet as to which is actually the cause.   Great scientists are divided on what they support.  We will have to wait two or three years.  During that time more data will become available.  That data will give us clues about what the true cause is.   I hope that it is El Nino or the volcano.  I fear it might be aerosols.  We need more data to decide.

  50. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #44


    I'm not sure what I else I can say. I'm not an expert but I'm telling you that based on what I can find on the web, the consenus by climate scientists appears to be that Hunga-Tonga is not reponsible for our the spike in surface temperatures, contributes but is not a major factor. If you have not visited Dessler's post at The Climate Brink, I encourage you to do so. I'm sure he would still welcome questions or comments if either you or MA Rodger wish to discuss it with him.

    I referenced a paper by Stuart Jenkins @27. I don't have access to the paper but I found a detailed article about the paper at CarbonBrief . It has a nice plot of the projected increase in surface temperature as a function of time after the eruption. It causes a very slight increase over several years and then dissipates.

    This is the only study cited by Dessler that claims Hunga-Tonga added to heating. Two others actually believe it would cause slight cooling. Dessler claimed he was working on a peer-reviewed paper but I don't expect any surprises there. 

    I'm tapped out. I've gotten nothing else that I feel like I can contribute to this discussion.

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