Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

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


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

Term Lookup


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

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Support

Bluesky Facebook LinkedIn Mastodon MeWe

Twitter YouTube RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

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

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Recent Comments

Prev  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  Next

Comments 1301 to 1350:

  1. PollutionMonster at 16:40 PM on 31 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    @34 Electric

    Thank you. I am currently arguing with three deniers and got quite overwhelmed. I didn't want to dismiss a legitmate concern and lose crediblity with the interlocutors.

    I sometimes go on tilt and cannot process the paragraphs when I am presented with a vague argument. A confusing denier statement can be the most difficult of all.

    Loris' part about three decimal points sounded legimate, thank you for debunking this myth.

  2. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Michael Sweet:

    Alas, the reality of renewable energy's performance in Texas is not acknowledged by the far right state elected officials who are beholding to the fossil fuel industry. The following article is illustrative:

    Gov. Greg Abbott vows to exclude renewable energy from any revived economic incentive program by Patrick Svitek, The Texas Tribune, Mar 1, 2023 

  3. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @ 15, 16:

    Congratulations. You continue your biased assertions of "extremely misleading". Once again, you really should read the Coments Policy, and tone down the rhetoric.

    You continue to cherry pick specific graphs or quotes that do not necessarily imply what you want them to mean.

    You continue to fail to discuss the difference between global and regional issues. Your very first reference, to the Royal Society blog post, starts off with the Overview statement (emphasis added):

    Fire activity is on the rise in some regions, but when considering the total area burned at the global level, we are still not seeing an overall increase.

    In the first paragraph of the article, they quote the author as saying (emphasis added):

    So, there is no doubt that, as explained in our paper, fire activity is on the rise in some regions, such as the western side of North America. And very importantly, associated with these regional increases, we are already seeing a rise in fire impacts...

    Yet you characterize the blog past solely on the basis of what they say about global biomass burning trends. What else do they say about the recent global decrease they are referring to? The second paragraph, in full:

    This may sound counter-intuitive. The global decrease is mostly driven by less fire in savannahs and grasslands, mainly in Africa, but also in South America and Australia. In quantitative terms, fire in those grassy ecosystems account for around 70% of the total global area burnt, so the reduction in fire activity here outweighs the increase in burned area that we are seeing in other parts of the world.

    Much of the damage and danger in other areas is associated with forest fires. Burning an acre of forest is not the same as burning an acre of grassland.

    Nobody is claiming that global or regional climate is the only factor in fires, so arguing that other factors is present is arguing a strawman. Regardless of the source of ignition, large fires require large amounts of fuel.

    ...and you continue to ignore the question of what the future holds. That requires a deeper level of understanding than what you have shown here.

    Claiming that climate "is the least important factor" is certainly not supported by any of the evidence you provide.

  4. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

     Eclectic @14 /Bob Loblaw @13

    It didn't find those files but here they are:

    Southern hemisphere biomass burning

    Fire Cause

    Global Biomass Burning


  5. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Eclectic @14 /Bob Loblaw @13 You are correct, I assumed the diagram was from the IPCC, it isn't, and the increase it shows has very little to do with global warming. In that respect it is extremely misleading. The area burnt by wild fires has been decreasing not increasing. You criticised this conclusion as being from 2016 - yet in a 2020 blog post by the Royal Society the authors of the paper were interviewed again to find out whether things have changed since its publication. The answer was basically no. "... when considering the total area burned at the global level, we are still not seeing an overall increase, but rather a decline over the last decades. This has been confirmed in a series of subsequent studies, using data up to 2017 or 2018."

    From: 'Large Variations in Southern Hemisphere Biomass Burning During the Last 650 Years' Z. Wang,1 J. Chappellaz,2 K. Park,1 J. E. Mak1 (Science Vol 330 17 December 2010)

    "These observations and isotope mass balance model results imply that large variations in the degree of biomass burning in the Southern Hemisphere occurred during the last 650 years, with a decrease by about 50% in the 1600s, an increase of about 100% by the late 1800s, and another decrease by about 70% from the late 1800s to present day."
    Southern hemisphere biomass burning

    [For some reason images are not showing in the preview but the source is correct]

    The same picture is repeated globally. In 'Climate and human influences on global biomass burning over the past two millennia' by J. R. MARLON et al. (Nature Geoscience 1, 697–702; published online: 21 September 2008), they measure sedimentary charcoal records spanning six continents to document trends in both natural and anthropogenic biomass burning for the past two millennia. From this they obtain the following graph - again showing a very clear 20th century decline.


    All this begs the question of why there has been such an increase in fires in California.
    "Autumn and winter Santa Ana wind (SAW)–driven wildfires play a substantial role in area burned and societal losses in southern California. Temperature during the event and antecedent precipitation in the week or month prior play a minor role in determining area burned. "

    "Models explained 40 to 50% of area burned, with number of ignitions being the strongest variable. One hundred percent of SAW fires were human caused, and in the past decade, powerline failures have been the dominant cause. Future fire losses can be reduced by greater emphasis on maintenance of utility lines and attention to planning urban growth in ways that reduce the potential for powerline ignitions."

    See 'Ignitions explain more than temperature or precipitation in driving Santa Ana wind fires' by Jon E. Keeley et al. Science Advances 21 Jul 2021 Vol 7, Issue 30

    In 'Nexus between wildfire, climate change and population growth in California' by Jon E. Keeley and Alexandra D. Syphard (Fremontia vol 47 Issue 2 2020) is a detailed analysis of wildfires in California. A distinction is drawn between fuel dominated and wind dominated fires.

    Population increase leading to urban expansion, accompanied by expansion of the electric power grid, increasing the chances of a powerline failure was a significant cause of wildfire. (The 2021 Dixie fire at 389,837 hectares was caused by a tree falling onto a powerline and could have been prevented had the power company acted promptly - see California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, Investigation Report Case Number: 21CABTU009205-58). General poor maintenance by utilities has caused many wind dominated wildfires.

    Fuel-dominated fires are mostly forest fires in lightly populated regions and so tend to result in less property damage. A century of fire suppression has led to a huge accumulation of fuel at ground level. As a result a low intensity surface fire can easily become a high intensity crown fire.

    How 100 years of a misguided policy outlawing controlled burns has left California vulnerable to wild fires

    In conclusion, the total area burnt has been decreasing globally and in California where it has increased this is largely due to misguided policies of forest management and poorly maintained, overloaded power infrastructure. (Urban planning which doesn't adequately address fire hazard doesn't help either). I think linking wildfires to global warming is misguided and likely to backfire when it is revealled to be the least important factor.

  6. It's not urgent

    PollutionMonster @32 & @33 :

    It is not very clear what points you wish to discuss re your link to the February 2019 article by a Mr Nicolas Loris.  His article seems little more than a half-baked gentle rant (and is published by the Heritage Foundation . . . which is simply a propaganda organization).

    Loris's article is rather dated, being from 4.5 years ago, and talks against a (leftist politician's) supposed "Green New Deal"  which planned major changes over 10 years.   And basically, this "Deal" is non-existent ~ just vaporware on the political stage, with about zero chance of being implemented in the USA.

    Loris uses very vague wording about "industrialized" countries reducing CO2 emissions to zero yet having negligible effect on global temperature by 2100.   But he simply does not analyse the situation with any care or logic.   [By quoting temperature rises to 3 decimal points, he hopes to give the impression of scientific ultra-precision & credibility.]

    In short, Loris is wasting the reader's time ~ IMO he aims to produce an impression that our current situation is hopeless and that we all might as well close our eyes to problems . . . and go back to sleep & take no climate action.   Pure propaganda ~ not subtle but merely vague.

  7. michael sweet at 22:56 PM on 30 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    Here is a current article from CNN about wind and solar propping up theTexas grid during the current record heat wave.  The old fossil grid wuld have failed again without renewable energy.

  8. michael sweet at 21:59 PM on 30 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

    This article from The Guardian (US edition) describes how solar and wind have supplied Texas power to keep the Air Conditioning on this summer during record demand.  (It is a month old).  There have been a lot of outages at fossil plants but the large amounts of solar that were installed in the last two years are keeping the lights on.  Wind has provided power in the evenings and at night. 

    Prices have stayed down, in contrast to the past two or three years when electricity and gas prices rose to extraordinary highs due to shortages from fossil plants failing during the heat.  It points out that fossil fuel backers do not count all the times that fossil plants fail in challenging weather conditions and claim "always on".  The Texas legislature has proposed new rules favoring fossil plants over renewable energy.

    They point out that it is easier to get permits for a renewable plant since renewables do not use significant water and produce no air pollution.  They are rapidly building more solar plants and are starting battery storage to replace peaker plants.

  9. Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on July 30, 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 @

  10. PollutionMonster at 13:54 PM on 30 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    With the last post, I was asking for help debunking what I am pretty sure is a denier's argument and link. I could have made that more clear this heat wave is affecting my cognitive ability.

    For example, the link quotes very specific numbers, are they correct and a red herring or just plain incorrect? This is the best place to come if I get stuck and it takes too long to debunk a climate change myth or is there another place?

  11. PollutionMonster at 18:07 PM on 29 July 2023
    It's not urgent

    I used the tactic of asking for a source rather then trying to debate an incoherent argument.

     Denier link heritage

     This seems very similar to the other arguments they make usually focusing on how expensive and infeasible renewable energy is. Certainly more subtle than other deniers who deny the 97% scientific consensus.



  12. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29


    "When the severity and frequency of extreme weather increases, the sea level rises and gets more acidic, wildlife populations move and wildfires abound, it is not because of Climate Change. It's because fossil fuel use that has changed the atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, allowing it to store more heat, changing the climate. Everyone who watches the weather needs to be reminded of that, too."

    I'm sympathetic to what WDS wrote and what OPOF says. One reason. Apparently the link between fossil fuels and climate change is not mentioned in the IPCC summary for policy makers (or rarely mentioned I just forget which), because the oil exporting companies lobbied vigorously to keep it out. And in hindsight I've noticed our news media doesn't explicilty mention the link very often.

    The counter argument is that almost everyone on the planet must know by now that fossil fuels are the main cause of climate change in recent decades. You would have to live a very isolated existence not to have heard by now.

    But I think the link should always be mentioned more often and when appropriate. ( I hear what BL is saying) Reinforing the facts is arguably a good idea and cannot be a bad idea. 

  13. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    OPOF - blog-post in an advanced state of preparation to dispel the latest emergent climate-myths. Expect to see it fairly soon.

  14. One Planet Only Forever at 04:10 AM on 29 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    The following BBC News: Science item is a recent example, only one of many, regarding the communication challenge I refer to in my comment:

    "False claims that heatwave is bogus spread online"

    In spite of meticulously correct reporting 'one of many characters' is used as a clear example of false claims made about the reporting.

    The BBC did an excellent job of quickly rebutting the false and harmfully misleading claim. However, it is likely that not everyone who sees and prefers the non-sense false claims will see the refutation and corrections of understanding. And it is also likely that many of the fans of the falsehoods will believe that they are the ones with 'the common sense understanding' and everyone who disagrees with them has been duped ... by The Globalist Elitist Programming.

  15. At a glance - How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?

    Walsculer - see my comment below the following piece, in response to the very similar comment you posted there a few days ago:

    At a glance - Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

  16. Flying is worse for the climate than you think

    It's true that the original problem was introducing additional CO2 from the lithosphere beyond what was already in the biosphere. In other words, growing a tree then burning it was, if averaged out over the long run, fine. Just as long as we leave the fossils in the ground.

    Two problems with that. One: there is some sensitivity to timing. Maybe we can't burn everything at once. Different gasses have different forcing effects over different time spans.

    The second relates directly to flying. Burning things up there is not the same as burning them down here. The contrails are mostly just water but they still heat up the planet. Greenhouse effect. Emitting CO2 is just a third of the problem with flying. Adam explains this in the video.

  17. One Planet Only Forever at 11:57 AM on 28 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    Bob Loblaw,

    I understand the focus on presenting defensible statements. But the science is pretty clear that the use of fossil fuels has produced the majority of human influence on observed Climate Change.

    We are clearly in a system/state where the 'popularity of an idea' can trump the 'merit of an idea'. I am not sure that any significant portion of humanity has ever developed out of this condition. Even current day science, what is investigated and how it is reported, can be seen to be influenced by powerful interests that conflict with how a ‘pure pursuit of science’ would improve the understanding of what is going on.

    It seems that the degree of power held by ‘popularity of impressions favouring those with higher status’ has varied. But ‘popularity of impressions’ has rarely been fully governed by the ‘pursuit of improved understanding’. In such a system/state it seems that people who are willing to mislead others in the hopes of benefiting from popular misunderstanding will have a competitive advantage ... no matter how carefully worded a statement of understanding that they dislike is ... no matter how much evidence supports the understanding they dislike ... no matter how much evidence contradicts the belief/misunderstanding they prefer and want to promote.

    Competition for status has developed in a diversity of nations and cultures. The result is a diversity of ways that 'many people with higher status' potentially have to lose status relative to others if 'increased awareness and improved understanding governed'. That applies 'Big Time' to the matter of the harms of climate change.

    It seems there is little chance of increased risk of harm from indicating that fossil fuel use is causing unacceptable climate change (unacceptable because the persons benefiting from harmful fossil fuel activity are not the persons being harmed by that activity).

  18. At a glance - How do we know more CO2 is causing warming?

    Perhaps you do nto think it worth mentioning in this brief the following early work in the area of CO2 and climate change. This includes de Saussure's demonstration of the focusability and transmission of "obscure chaleur" (dark heat) and the measurement of atmospheric heat trapping as a function of altitude with an insulated, dark interior, double glazed cubic foot box he transported from seal level to Alpine peaks: Fourier's mention of human industrial pollution's heat trapping potential in 1827 (which refers to de Saussure), and Arrhenius' 1896 paper with the first computed (single equation, single flat layer) atmospheric model, that sought to explain recently discovered evidence of ice ages by calulating the effect of halving, and also up to tripling the then current concentration of CO2 (about 295pmm) month by month at 10 degree latitude intervals to display the effects on changes of seasonal solar inputs. I think at lleast the last of these is worthmentioning in the brief.

  19. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    The only [snipped] wavelength of Earth's radiation the Co2 can effectively absorb is the 14-16 micron Band.  The other two bands are in an area where Earth radiation is minimal.

    NASA data now available shows that the 14-16 band energy is already totally absorbed at present levels of CO2.  (NASA Technical Memorandum 103957, Appendix E)

    Therefore more CO2 can not result in more energy absorption, thus can have no effect on Warming.

    This information is only recently available.  

    It is time to quit trying to find complicated verbal arguements trying to get around the facts.

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] Strike five. As this user seems to have nothing else to say except to repeat this snippet, he will no longer be participating in this forum.


  20. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @12 , thank you for the link to the Royal Society research article (by Doerr & Santin) published in 2016.  This was somewhat earlier than the disastrous wildfires recently in Australia and in California ~ disastrous not so much in their extent as in their effect on human lives & livelihoods.

    Also earlier than the more recent ( non-Mediterranean ! ) wildfires in Canada that were "smoking out" regions of New England, into the bargain.

    Also earlier than the [current] disastrous wildfires in southern Greece and Rhodes.  (Difficult to picture a more Mediterranean scenario than southern Greece and Rhodes.)   Human impact is a large factor in assessing the significance of fires ~ but I am sure the inhabitants & tourists in Rhodes are at present comforted by by the knowledge that the island of Rhodes is small in area, in global terms.


    [IPCC] was established by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in 1988 ... to provide policymakers with regular assessments on the current state of knowledge about climate change.  [And was endorsed by the UN General Assembly in 1988.]      So I suppose we can say that the IPCC is a political body in a sense . . . perhaps rivalling the well-known political nature of the WMO.    Scott , you need to explain what you mean by the "political agenda"  being "pushed"  by all these international bodies.  Are they in any way partisan or nefarious?

  21. 2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    Wild and One:

    I'm going to have to express some disagreement. Although in public discourse and discussion there may be reasons to keep emphasizing the links between human activities, fossil fuels, and changing climates, in the scientific discussion (which Skeptical Science tries to focus on), the terms such as "climate change" have specific scientific meaning.

    Not all climate change is induced by burning fossil fuels or other recent human activities. Using vocabulary that fails to recognize that will lead to a risk of losing credibility. Number 1 on the SkS "Most used climate myths" is "Climate's changed before". Number 89 is "They changed the name from 'global warming' to 'climate change'." Number 209 is "IPCC edited out natural causes of climate change".

    It's unfortunate, but you need to be careful on how contrarians will twist your words.

  22. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Scott @ 12:

    Frankly, you appear to be having some difficulty in reading comprehension. You make the serous accusation that "the IPCC is a political body with a political agenda to push", but you have very little in the way of logic or data to support that claim. Such an accusation flirts with the Comments Policy here, but let's entertain your case for a bit.

    So,, you reference in your very first paragraph "the diagram from the IPCC". Can you be specific as to which diagram you are referring to? The original post references the IPCC just once, near the end, where is says:

    ...the latest IPCC report found in 2014 that “fire weather is projected to increase in most of southern Australia,” with days experiencing very high and extreme fire danger increasing 5–100% by 2050.

    The first diagram in the post, in the tweet from Robert Rhode, has no citation, but states that the data are from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The graph is for Australia.

    The second diagram is for California data. Again, the diagram is not attributed to a reference, but states "Data from Cal Fire", and is titled "California Wildfire Acres Burned".

    The third diagram looks at the forest area burned in the western US. It is sourced from page 1105 in the referenced  Fourth National Climate Assessment. The "national" part of that report title relates to its origin: the US Global Chance Research Program.

    ..and that is the last diagram in the post. So where is this "diagram from the IPCC"???

    The original post also makes specific reference to Australia and California in its opening paragraph (the green box at the top). Under "heat worsens wildfires", the post specifically says (emphasis added):

    In simple terms, vegetation and soil dry out, creating more fuel for fires to expand further and faster. This is particularly a problem in Mediterranean climates that are prone to drought, like in California and Australia.

    So, the post is specifically looking at certain regions. What about the paper you link to? You make the claim:

    Yet research published by the Royal Society shows the opposite...

    Now, you do add "(globally)" after that. But why are you presenting this as if it evidence that goes again the evidence provided for Australia, California, and the western US? If we dig into that reference (which is now 7 years old), what we find is statements like the following, in their Synthesis and Conclusion:

    We do not question that fire season length and area burned has increased in some regions over past decades, as documented for parts of North America, or that climate and land use change could lead to major shifts in future fire consequences, with potential increases in area burned, severity and impacts over large regions

    That reference discusses many of the factors affected fire statistics, and make frequent reference to regional variations. (It also provides no new research - it is a review of existing research and expresses an opinion.)

    And the figure you provide - which you introduce with "In particular in Europe..." is, as it says in the caption (which you included), for the European Mediterranean region.

    So, your case seems to boil down to "but if we average out the areas where burning is less with the areas where burning is more, then the areas where burning is more won't be affected"??? Add in a bit of "but if there is not a trend in current data, there won't be a problem in the future", and you have someone that simply does not like the science. The OP and the references all indicate that increased risk of fire is something that is worth worrying about.

  23. Wildfires are not caused by global warming

    Something is not adding up here. The diagram from the IPCC shows the area of wild fires increasing (for the Western US). Yet research published by the Royal Society shows the opposite (globally) and I give a link to the article:

    "Analysis of charcoal records in sediments [31] and isotope-ratio records in ice cores [32] suggest that global biomass burning during the past century has been lower than at any time in the past 2000 years."

    "The availability of satellite data now allows a more consistent evaluation of temporal patterns in area burned. Thus, from an analysis based on MODIS burned area maps between 1996 and 2012, Giglio et al. [35] present some rather notable outcomes. In contrast to what is widely perceived, the detected global area burned has actually decreased slightly over this period (by 1% yr−1). A more recent global analysis by van Lierop et al. [36], based primarily on nationally reported fire data supplemented by burned area estimates from satellite observations, shows an overall decline in global area burned of 2% yr−1 for the period 2003–2012."


    In particular in Europe there has been a gradual declining trend in area burnt since 1980: Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980–2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].

    Wildfire occurrence (a) and corresponding area burnt (b) in the European Mediterranean region for the period 1980–2010. Source: San-Miguel-Ayanz et al. [37].


    Given that the concern should be for GLOBAL CO2 why is the emphasis on wild fires in the Western US? I'm beginning to suspect that the IPCC is a political body with a political agenda to push.

  24. One Planet Only Forever at 05:43 AM on 25 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29


    I agree. And my initial impulse was to simply add the importance of reducing unnecessary consumption, especially energy consumption. More is not always an improvement.

    Then I wondered about the merit of the change. It seems that the problem is that when there is competition for the ‘popularity of ideas’ rather than ‘evaluation of the merit of ideas’ less ethical and more misleading marketers have a competitive advantage. Successful misleading marketing has already developed many people who are interested in dismissing or denying that fossil fuel use is a significant problem – mainly because they consider that ‘their perceived benefits from fossil fuel use’ off-set or justify ‘any perceived harm done’ (higher discount rates used by the likes of Nordhaus are examples of that). And adding the mention of fossil fuels may not change that.

    However, it is important to avoid distracting debates about what is ‘more or most helpful’ among the diversity of helpful harm reduction understandings and actions. Many things are helpful and need to, and can, happen concurrently to improve conditions for others, especially for future generations.

    My interest is increased awareness and improved understanding regarding Sustainable Development. I have developed the understanding that a root of the problem is that a lot of harmful unsustainable actions have become popular and profitable ... and ... a lot of misunderstanding exists that resists correction because becoming more aware of, ‘awakening to’, the harmfulness of what has developed leads to changes that can reduce developed perceptions of superiority.

    Applying the Imrov Comedy approach of “Yes ... And” may be helpful. So...

    Yes to calling it many versions of ‘fossil fuel use caused climate change’

    And ... Consider saying climate change ‘primarily’ caused by fossil fuels.

    And ... Consider mentioning that there are many other harmful impacts of fossil fuel extraction, processing and use.

    And ... An additional related problem is misleading marketing fuelling misunderstandings.

    Yes to the list of actions

    And ... Reduce unnecessary consumption, especially energy consumption. Limiting unnecessary actions is not harmful no matter what is claimed by people who like benefiting from being unnecessarily harmful.

    And ... Minimize the harms done by the remaining necessary actions. Note that actions that limit climate change should not cause other harms.

    And ... Repair the damage that has been done ... and ... require those who benefited most from the damage done to do the most to repair the damage done. Note that not everyone in a ‘most harmful nation’ is a ‘most harmful person’... and ... Very high impact people can hide in a nation that has low per capita impacts.

    And ... Understand that the current developed, and developing, condition includes harmful over-consumption and related developed desires to resist giving up any of the incorrectly and unjustified developed perceptions of superiority or opportunity to obtain more personal benefit.

    And ... Understand that mitigation and adaptation are both versions of ‘repair of damage done’, including the damaging fundamentals of developed socioeconomic political systems, especially the harmful ‘conflict of interests’ and related desires for more freedom to do whatever a person or group develops an interest or desire to do.

    And ... Help people increase their awareness and understanding of what is harmful, which includes helping others become more aware of the importance of more people becoming “more woke”.

    And ... Call-out harmful people who try to promote the misunderstanding that “being woke” is harmful. More people being more woke only harms the interests of people who want to benefit from lack of awareness and harmful misunderstandings. Woke is a Helpful and necessary part of harm reduction


    Understand that it is harmful for leaders to compromise actions that would reduce harm done by ‘being considerate and accepting of harmful interests and related misunderstandings’. Some people will passionately resist learning to be less harmful and more helpful. They are personally interested in having more freedom to believe and do whatever they perceive to be ‘beneficial to them’.

    ... A more comprehensive understanding may be ...

    Harmful climate change and resistance to limiting and repairing the harm done is due to unnecessary and harmful human activity that incorrectly became popular and profitable. And the developed harmful activity and related misunderstandings can powerfully resist being limited and corrected.

  25. wilddouglascounty at 15:01 PM on 24 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

    The term "climate change" has buried the lead for too long, so it's time to correct this. When Sammy Sosa, Barry Bonds and Mark McGuire were not voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, it was not because of Home Run Change, it was because of Performance Enhancing Drugs. And everyone who watches baseball knows that.

    When the severity and frequency of extreme weather increases, the sea level rises and gets more acidic, wildlife populations move and wildfires abound, it is not because of Climate Change. It's because fossil fuel use that has changed the atmospheric and oceanic chemistry, allowing it to store more heat, changing the climate. Everyone who watches the weather needs to be reminded of that, too.

    It's time to stop using euphemisms that don't explicitly connect the changing climate to fossil fuel use so that folks understand in the same way that folks understand the role of performance enhancing drugs in sports. Everyone needs to be reminded of the role fossil fuels has in climate change, just as they know about the role of performance enhancing drugs in turbocharging the natural talents of the users. Whenever discussing any of the things related to Climate Change we should make that link explicit by using phrases like:

    - Fossil fuel induced Climate Change

    - Increased greenhouse gases from Fossil Fuel use

    - Climate Change caused by Fossil Fuel use

    - Changed atmospheric chemistry through the widespread use of fossil fuels

    and the like. And if someone says that you're politicizing the weather, tell them that this isn't just political; it's based on overwhelming scientific evidence. Refer them to the IPCC or skepticalscience websites if they are still deniers, and change the focus to how to become more energy efficient first, replace fossil fuel use with renewables second, and nurture local ecosystems third. We don't have a choice but to make things super-clear if we are to have a chance to turn the ship away from almost unimaginable disasters for future generations.

  26. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on July 23, 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 @

    The intermediate version was updated as well to update some links.

  27. At a glance - Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

    Re. #1, yes it does. At a glance is a very brief explanation aimed purely at the lay-person, who it is assumed has never heard of any of the figures involved in the history of climate science. We cover the latter topic in detail elsewhere at Skeptical Science.

    However, your account of the experiments performed by Horace-Benedict de Saussures is very interesting and not widely known - evidently! It would fit well into The History of Climate Science:

    We do update the history page as new information becomes available so if you could use the Contact link to email your translation to us, we can splice it in (with attribution) at some point - thanks in advance!

  28. At a glance - Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

    This brief greenhouse gas theory history omits the very important paper, "On the Influence of Carbonic Acid in the Air Upon the Ttemperature of the Ground,"the first true model of the effect, the hand-calculated model by Svante Arrhenius published in 1896. It modeled the atmosphere as a single layer and the effect of setting the concentration of CO2 to 2/3 of the value at his time, and at values up to 3 times higher, for 10 degree latitude steps both north and south, for 4 seasons and for the annual mean. His results for this simple model were within a factor of 10 of current calculations and measurements as the value has grown. His interest was in explaining newly discovered evidence of ancient ice ages.

    You also omit Horace-Benedict de Saussures' important measurements (in "Continuation du Voyage Autour du Mont-Blanc," Chapter XIII, Voyages dans les Alpes VII, 1779, S . Fauche, Neuchatel, pp353-355, and pp365-367). The first demonstrates the existence of "chaleur obscure" (="dark heat" = infrared radiation) and its reflection and concentration, using metal mirrors, just like visible light. The second records measurements of the greenhouse effect temperature rise in a cubic foot wooden box, insulated on all but one side with blackened cork, and that side closed by two layers of glass. He placed thermometers between the glass layers and inside and outside the box, and traveled the assembly from sea level up to high altitude in the Alpes, measuring the temperatures inside and outside the box as he went. He ascribes the decrease of temperature with altitude to the increasing transparency of the air as you  ascend. I made a translation from the French which is available upon request. Fourier refers to this work in the paper of 1827 cited above.

  29. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Most of the major climate indices (ENSO, AMO, PDO, QBO, AO, SAM, MJO, NAO, SOI) show no signs of AGW, as the characteristic secular trend is missing, The only one that does is the IOD, as the West IOD shows a much larger trend than East. In any case, all the indices can be explained by a tidal mechanism, which should be good news to those that worry that natural climate change has no constraints — tides always revert to a mean of zero =>

  30. PollutionMonster at 18:36 PM on 17 July 2023
    “It’s almost like a cult.” Activists shout down rural renewable energy projects

    One part that stuck with me when watching the entire video was that they spent all their time as anti-renewables. This shows that the distrubtive protestors themselves were victims.

    I was a denier in the past and perhaps the greatest harm was it was a huge time sink for me. All that time watching conspiracy thinking videos, books, and going to meetings could have been better spent.

  31. Increasing CO2 has little to no effect

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on July 16, 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 @

    Thanks - the Skeptical Science Team.

  32. There's no empirical evidence

    The intermediate level version of this rebuttal has been updated with some more current data as well.

  33. The FLICC-Poster - Downloads and Translations

    Nick Palmer @11

    Thanks for your feedback, Nick! I'm however not quite sure what kind of examples you would have liked to also see on the poster. Could you please provide an example? Should it be along the lines of the "Discourses of climate delay", then klimafakten might have something for you in the form of a quiz (and also a poster):

  34. The FLICC-Poster - Downloads and Translations

    What a great poster this is. Those of us 'in the business' know exactly what each item means but, for the general public, the only criticisim I have is that it would have been so much better if it included examples of the rherorical deceit alluded to. Communicating science is hard enough, but trying to point out how people are being misled is so much harder.

  35. One Planet Only Forever at 07:27 AM on 16 July 2023
    2023 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

    In related news, the usual leadership culprits from Alberta and Saskatchewan angrily oppose the federal government's stated objectives including getting COP28 to require the phasing out of unabated fossil fuel projects (without a strict timeline for the stages of the phase-out of unabated projects ... in other words ... just words with no required compliance measurement basis ... in other words ... almost meaningless).

    CBC News: Western premiers push back as Guilbeault calls for 'phase-out of unabated fossil fuels'

    The following quote from the article summarizes what happened among global leaders that the regional leadership in Alberta and Saskatchewan, and perhaps Canada's federal government, object to ... with the only justification appearing to be that it restricts their ability to benefit from continuing to benefit from being more harmful than others (per capita).

    Canada, UAE face pressure to be more ambitious

    When the meeting of international ministers concluded, several countries issued their joint statement that seemingly departed from remarks made by Canada and the U.A.E.

    Countries that support a climate diplomacy bloc, the High Ambition Coalition, called for "an urgent phase out from fossil fuels."

    Ministers from France, Germany, Spain, Ireland and others said this needs to start with a "rapid decline of fossil fuel production and use within this decade."

    It goes on to say that technologies such as carbon capture cannot be used to help prolong the life of the oil and gas industry.

    "Abatement technologies must not be used to green-light continued fossil fuel expansion but must be considered in the context of steps to phase out fossil fuel use and should be recognized as having a minimal role to play in (the) decarbonization of the energy sector," the online statement read.

    The head of a network of climate advocacy organizations said the use of "unabated fossil fuels" waters down the action required to reduce carbon emissions, but admitted the language is still more ambitious than previously proposed by the U.A.E's COP president-designate.

    "Obviously, the word unabated is still a weasel word, but we are progressing in a good direction at the very least," said Caroline Brouillette, the executive director of Climate Action Network Canada.

  36. OA not OK part 20: SUMMARY 2/2

    mm @81,

    The 'plankton and shellfishes' are expending energy pumping ions about, concentrating Ca2+ where it is required** while ejecting H+. I'm afraid the biochemistry of all this pumping is beyond my pay grade (although it could be obtained form them what knows their biochemistry. As an exemplar, consider Calcium ATPase).

    ** Apparently regulating Ca2+ concentration in biology is a common process, but mainly to keep Ca2+ levels down.

  37. PollutionMonster at 17:42 PM on 15 July 2023
    CO2 limits will hurt the poor

    This might sound stupid. I've read from a few websites that the North East United States has gotten more rain from climate change. I don't have much money and have a leaky roof nor the do it yourself skills to fix the roof.

    Now I have a mold problem. Anyways somebody close to me said that mold hates heat. That people use heated cables to kill mold. Therefore even in summer we have been running space heaters to kill the mold. Yet, it doesn't seem to be working.

    Furthermore, I heard about dry rot so I thought the best way to kill mold was heat and moisture. This seems to have backfired. If anything mold seems to like it hot and humid. Afterwards, I read about how dry rot is a misnomer whoops. I consider myself high in critical thinking skills and yet I still make costly mistakes. Best to have some humility.

    I've been running fans in the doors and windows, but the humidity outside is 91% if anything it might be making the situation worse especially when it rains.

    To summarize, can anyone confirm that the overall precipitation trend is increasing in the North East United States from climate change? Second, climate change really does seem to hurt the poor more. I don't think I contribute much co2, yet I cannot afford to fix my leaky roof worsen by climate change. Third, does anyone have any environmentally friendly ways to control mold and humidity?

  38. The FLICC-Poster - Downloads and Translations

    Three more language versions of the FLICC-poster were added on July 14: French (FLIPiC), Luxembourgish (FLOKK) and Polish (PLOWS).

  39. Philippe Chantreau at 09:15 AM on 15 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Helpful Michael, thanks.

  40. michael sweet at 06:21 AM on 15 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Philippe Chantreau at 29,

    Here is a free copy of the Rodell and Li 2023 paper.  The graphs and tables are at the bottom of the paper.  The captions are separate from the graphs.

  41. Philippe Chantreau at 12:41 PM on 14 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Thanks for the additional info Bob. Besides the apparent weaknesses I pointed, that paper was also from 1994 so I wasn't going to put too much stock in it...

  42. How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Philippe @ 29:

    Yes, SB Idso would be that Sherwood Idso. He has been getting things wrong about CO2 and climate change for something like 40 years, since his early claims that surface temperature was not sensitive to CO2 concentration. He made those claims on the basis of "natural" experiments comparing surface temperature variation to surface changes in incoming IR radiation.

    His mistake there was to not recognize that the important IR changes are the ones for outgoing IR radiation at the top of the troposphere (earth energy balance), not the surface ones (surface energy balance). It's such a shame, as he was a very good microclimatologist in his early years. He moved big time into the CO2 is fertilizer realm many years ago.

    He's listed at Desmog:

    Sherwood B Idso

    and has turned his denial into a family business, including his sons.

    Craig Idso

    Keith Idso

    Desmog also has a page on the family business:

    I am not at all surprised that Dave Burton would find them a useful source of "information".

  43. Rob Honeycutt at 07:30 AM on 14 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Dave @22... In order to at least attempt to make this a productive discussion I'm going to focus in on one small point. That is the "greening is turning to browning" which you're rejecting with incessent copy/paste Gish Gallop and little genuine engagement.

    FAQ 5.1 | Is the Natural Removal of Carbon From the Atmosphere Weakening?

    For decades, about half of the carbon dioxide (CO2) that human activities have emitted to the atmosphere has been taken up by natural carbon sinks in vegetation, soils and oceans. These natural sinks of CO2 have thus roughly halved the rate at which atmospheric CO2 concentrations have increased, and therefore slowed down global warming. However, observations show that the processes underlying this uptake are beginning to respond to increasing CO2 in the atmosphere and climate change in a way that will weaken nature’s capacity to take up CO2 in the future. Understanding of the magnitude of this change is essential for projecting how the climate system will respond to future emissions and emissions reduction efforts. [emphasis added]

    Please tell me how you square the idea of "Is natural removal of carbon
    from the atmosphere weakening? No..." with the above text in bold, taken from the exact same AR6 FAQ 5.1.

  44. Philippe Chantreau at 07:24 AM on 14 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    I am late for this party as many have provided answers and further explored the subject. I will only mention a couple of things from a post further back that was on the wrong thread. 

    A citation in that post was this article:

    Quotes of interest from the abstract:

    "Greatest yield stimulations occurred in the e[CO2 ] late sowing and heat stressed treatments, when supplied with more water." 

    "There were no clear differences in cultivar response due to e[CO2 ]. Multiple regression showed that yield response to e[CO2 ] depended on temperatures and water availability before and after anthesis."

    My main point was that water availability is the major controlling factor.

    Another was not peer-reviewed but a "working paper" from a think tank:

    This paper claims to establish a causal link between agricultural yields and CO2 atmospheric content. They use a six year sample and then attempt to regress backward to the post-war era. I did not bother downloading the pdf so I am not sure about how they controlloed for other factors in the sample and how they integrated the enormous changes in agricultural methods post-war, like increased mechanization  fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, irrigation, etc. They write this interesting snippet: "In a thought exercise, we apply the CO₂ fertilization effect we estimated in our sample from 2015-2021 backwards to 1940, and, assuming no other limiting factors, find that CO₂ was the dominant driver of yield growth..." So the working paper amonts to a thought exercise involving a rather gigantic assumption.

    The third included S.B. Idso as an author, possibly of infamous CO2 Science website affiliation (I did not verify that). I could only access the abstract and it mentioned nothing about other factors than CO2, such as water availability.

    In post #24, drought is mentioned and Hao et al (2014) is mentioned, with a graph that generated excitement at WUWT come years ago. The data ends in 2012. Looking at more data extending to recent times reveals a different picture, as shown by Rodell and Li (2023) in Nature Water:


    Of course, in greenhouses with very controlled conditions and water distributed carefully, concentrations in excess of 1000 ppm give good results, that remains true.

  45. Rob Honeycutt at 06:27 AM on 14 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Daniel @25... So is the Gish Gallop.

  46. How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Yes, Daniel, Mr Burton certainly is consistent in wandering off topic in his comments. At least in this case he followed it off the Hansen post, but now he is mixing in CO2 fertilization and drought.

    He is also showing his years of experience in picking cherries.

    So many of the "CO2 is plant food" argument depend on studies in greenhouses, etc, where other limiting factors are not limited. The SkS post "Plants cannot live on CO2 alone" provides background. That may be a better place to continue this discussion.

    As for his drought comments, he has picked a global diagram (figure 5 out of the Hao et al paper he references) that  contains absolutely no regional information at all.

    Figure 2 from that paper (available online) shows some examples of the regional droughts as detected by their methodology, but the paper does not provide any information about regional trends. The figure (below) does indicate that "global" really is rather global. I suspect that changes in the desert zones (look at the Sahara) or high latitudes have little effect on agricultural productivity.

    Hao et al figure 2


    Mr. Burton's U.S. drought trend also suffers the same failure: ignoring regional trends. It is also purely a precipitation-based wet/dry analysis - not looking at the important temperature effects on drought. And each classification of "very wet/very dry" is solely an indicator of whether each region is wetter or drier than its own regional value - which tells us very little about drought. Quoting from the original source:

    Climate divisions with a standardized anomaly in the top ten percent (> 90th percentile) of their historical distribution are considered "very warm/wet" and those in the bottom ten percent (< 10th percentile) are classified as "very cold/dry".

    A normally very wet area that is only seeing precipitation in its bottom 10 percent will in all likelihood still be getting more precipitation than a normally dry area that is in its top 10 percent. The student that typically gets 85-95% on exams and score 85% on this one still gets a better grade than the student that typically gets 65-75% on exams and scores 75% on this exam.

    If you start to look at regional patterns, other features begin to emerge. SkS had a re-post of a 2018 Carbon Brief article that looks at specifics. It gives a good explanation of the factors other than precipitation that need to be considered. When it comes to agriculture, even the "correct" amount of precipitation can be bad if it is at the wrong time. Fields that are "too wet to plough", crops ready for harvest that are rotting in the fields and can't be harvested, etc.

    As usual, Tamino does an excellent job of taking data and picking out regional patterns. He did one in 2019, looking at "The West Burns and the East Drowns - so it averages out, right?". Spoiler alert: the two regions show different trends. Borrowing two of his images:

    Tamino US west PDSI

    Tamino US Central PDSI


    Tamino also had a post in 2018 about US drought patterns. Again, there are major regional differences, with the west (especially the southwest) getting drier, and the northeast getting wetter.

    The sort of analysis that Mr. Burton is presenting is the kind of argument that leads one to conclude that the average person has one testicle and one breast.

    Follow-ups on the drought discussion should probably be removed from this thread and posts on the 2018 Carbon Brief article repost.

  47. How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    Daniel Bailey @25 ,

    Yes, agreed, the off-topic is strong . . . and the copying-and-pasting is strong . . . and the Motivated Reasoning is strong.   Twas ever thus, on the Dark Side of the Force  ;-)

    Daveburton @24 ,

    Thank you ~ and you are quite correct about the [magnitude of]  reduced nutritive value of crops in some circumstances.  I mentioned the matter briefly (as a one-liner) as a reminder that one is dealing with vastly  complex biological systems . . . and that one should avoid having a religious fervor for the undoubted benefits of high CO2 for [most] plants.

    Daveburton, you get yourself in a tangle by your third paragraph.   "No possible mechanism"  [unquote] by which a higher CO2 level could cause an increase in natural carbon sink rate?   An examiner would quote that as a Howler, to be circulated for the amusement of his fellow markers.   # Dave, possibly you were expressing yourself extremely poorly . . . but either way, you go on to contradict yourself in one of your later paragraphs.   And you re-contradict yourself in yet another paragraph.  [ Is "re-contradict"  an English word?]

    And then you re-re-contradict yourself soon after.

    [ Oy Veh  to the O.E.D. ]

    Moving on . . . Daveburton, you are looking at the world through a straw.  Please look at the whole world, not just the 49-state USA.   Droughts /floods /heat-waves already are (and will be) increasingly problematic, thanks to AGW.   Unfortunately, the important staple crop maize [yield] is exceptionately sensitive to high and/or prolonged heat-waves.  Luckily, other staple crops are "not quite so much" . . . but the plant geneticists have their work cut out for them, to keep up with future changes.

  48. OA not OK part 20: SUMMARY 2/2

    Hi, I was wondering why CaCO3 precipitate precisely on plankton and shellfishes. Are they catalizing the formation of CaCO3 (i.e. changing some of the reaction cinetic in some ways) locally? If so, what is the contribution on the overall slow C cycle? Would it "turn" much slower if they weren't there?
    PS: Thanks for this amazing website :)

    Moderator Response:

    [BL]  Please avoid posting the same comment on multiple threads. It leads to a fragmented discussion when people respond.

    Readers will find all recent comments on the Comments page. There is a link to that page in the middle of the menu, just below the main header.


  49. OA not OK part 13: Polymorphs - the son of Poseidon

    Hi, I was wondering why CaCO3 precipitate precisely on plankton and shellfishes. Are they catalizing the formation of CaCO3 (i.e. changing some of the reaction cinetic in some ways) locally? If so, what is their contribution to their catalization to the overall  slow C cycle? Would it "turn" much slower if they weren't there?
    PS: Thanks for this amazing website :)

    Moderator Response:

    [BL] For readers wanting to respond to this, please note that the question was asked twice, on two different threads. Please do not respond here - place all responses on the other thread.

  50. Daniel Bailey at 04:09 AM on 14 July 2023
    How big is the “carbon fertilization effect”?

    The off-topic is strong in this one.

Prev  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  28  29  30  31  32  33  34  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

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