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

Comments 351 to 400:

  1. One Planet Only Forever at 05:40 AM on 3 March 2024
    Why Biden’s pause on new LNG export terminals is a BFD

    This article is another of the ‘far too many’ presentations of damaging developments, and resistance to limiting harm done, due to interests that are in conflict with learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others. These developments collectively compromise efforts to ‘improve the future for all children’ – an undeniably worthy objective. And the problem can be understood to permeate institutions of higher education, as presented in Academic capture in the Anthropocene: a framework to assess climate action in higher education, Lachapelle et al., Climatic Change:, the 3rd open access notable item on Skeptical Science New Research for Week #9 2024.

    The following statements from the article can be used to better understand the problem.

    “We will take a hard look at the impacts of LNG exports on energy costs, America’s energy security, and our environment,” Biden said in a statement. “This pause on new LNG approvals sees the climate crisis for what it is: the existential threat of our time.”
    “As scientists,” they wrote, “we are telling you in clear and unambiguous terms that [these projects] will undermine your stated goals of meaningfully addressing the climate crisis.”
    Of course, all revolutions have winners and losers. The obvious big winner of the export boom is the oil and gas industry. Revenues for U.S. LNG exports went from essentially nil in 2015 to about $10 billion in 2021. After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, export revenues shot up to more than $35 billion that year as big European importers of Russian natural gas began switching to U.S. suppliers.
    The primary loser, to put it in the starkest possible terms, is the global environment.
    And that [climate impact] chaos threatens to push countless species to extinction. What’s more, building new LNG export terminals will lock in the use of fossil fuels for decades to come — ironically delaying the transition to renewable energy to which natural gas was supposed to be a bridge.

    A path to better understanding starts with the point I emphasized in the last quote. The concern about the more harmful activity being locked in is valid due to the history of leadership actions excusing harmful profitable and popular developments. Those leadership actions include ‘compensating people who developed perceptions of personal benefit from harmful activity’ for any ‘perceived loss of benefit or status due to leadership actions that would reduce harm done’.

    A root of the problem is presented in the second last quote. It is the systemic failure of competitors for popularity and profit to effectively and rapidly learn to limit harm done. That competitive market failure requires ‘leadership action and correction’. And the legal and regulatory systems do not help if they ‘strive to balance benefits obtained (by some people – not children) with the damage done (to other people, especially to people who do not vote – all children, especially people in future generations – all children)’ by dismissing (disrespecting) the parts in brackets.

    And a major systemic failure is the failure of the competition for profit and popularity to effectively and rapidly limit the harm done by the development and dissemination of disinformation and the resulting harmful popularity of misinformation (harmful misunderstandings that resist being corrected).

    All of that better understanding raises valid concerns about the first quote. Taking a ‘hard look’ could mean that LNG use and export will not be limited as rapidly as it could and should be because of harmful pressures to maintain and increase profitability (GDP) and popularity. Also, the statement restricts the concern to today’s beneficiaries and voters in America, potentially dismissive of global and future concerns – because all other leaders and the populations they lead are harmfully selfishly interested like that too eh – tragedies of the commons all over the planet? (especially if voters can be misled that way).

    A serious part of the problem is ‘competitors for status and power’ who strive to benefit from promoting desires to personally benefit from understandably unsustainable beliefs and potentially popular misunderstandings.

    The concerns that are accurately expressed by scientists in the second quote are unlikely to be a significant factor in the evaluations by leadership ... unless disinformation and misinformation regarding harmful activity is effectively limited – by All Leadership/Status Competitors.

    Cheaters can and do prosper ... for as long as they can get away with it ... creating and excusing as much damage as they can get away with benefiting from causing.

  2. CO2 is just a trace gas

    In addition to what OPOF says about ozone, it should be noted that ozone in the stratosphere is an important absorber of UV radiation as well. Not that absorption of UV radiation in the stratosphere causes any noticeable heating. Oh, wait. It does.

    Atmospheric temperature profile

    As for the errors in using % or ppm as a measure of CO2 quantities, I'll beat my own drum and point to this blog post from a couple of years ago.

  3. One Planet Only Forever at 04:52 AM on 2 March 2024
    CO2 is just a trace gas

    JJones1960 @48,

    I hope the following helps you understand that John and Bob have correctly pointed out that you have made a very weak counter-presentation regarding the significance of small amounts. The points presented in the Argument effectively counter the simplistic and understandably incorrect belief that the percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere is too small to make a difference.

    A major weakness of your counter-presentation is that you appear to lack even a small amount of knowledge regarding the matter, here’s why:

    You stated • You don’t use trace amounts of ozone to trap a significant amount of heat

    That belief is contradicted by improved evidence-based understanding (contradicted by learning what is already known). One of the many presentations about the global surface temperature impacts of ozone is the NASA Aura item: The greenhouse effect of tropospheric ozone. It opens with the following:

    Tropospheric ozone (O3) is the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas after carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4). Ozone absorbs infrared radiation (heat) from the Earth's surface, reducing the amount of radiation that escapes to space.

    A lot can be learned from the items presented on SkS and other reliable information sources.

    Learning from reliable sources can make a world of difference.

  4. CO2 is just a trace gas

    JJones1960 even misses his own point.

    CO2 is not "colourless" when it comes to infrared radiation. Just because JJones1960 can't see it doesn't mean it doesn't happen.

  5. CO2 is just a trace gas

    @49: Perhaps you should have full marks for missing the point!

  6. CO2 is just a trace gas

    @48: full marks for missing the point!

  7. CO2 is just a trace gas

    This is a very weak article, here’s why:

    • You don’t use trace amounts of blood alcohol to trap a significant amount of heat
    • You don’t use trace amounts of iron to trap a significant amount of heat
    • You don’t use trace amounts of ibuprofen to trap a significant amount of heat
    • You don’t use trace amounts of Earth to trap a significant amount of heat in the solar system
    • You don’t use trace amounts of arsenic to trap a significant amount of heat
    • You don’t use trace amounts of ozone to trap a significant amount of heat
    • You don’t use trace amounts of hydrogen sulphide to trap a significant amount of heat

    You might be able to use a trace amount of colour to trap a significant amount of heat, but here’s the thing, CO2 is colourless.

  8. Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?

    Another couple of years for results though

  9. Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?

    Yup. I'm interested in Scott's results too (I 'invested' in them)...

  10. Climate Adam: Are food influencers wrong about climate change?

    Another clearly stated, thought provoking video from Climate Adam.

    Has anyone heard anything about Red Baron (Scott Stroughs) soil carbon project, and how its progressing, and whether he has any results? 

  11. Arctic icemelt is a natural cycle

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on February 25, 2024 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 @

  12. IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period

    Squiggles @8

    Thanks for the heads-up! I updated the link to an archived version and also added a glossary entry for the paper while at it.

  13. IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period

    The Jones et al. (2009) link is broken. This link to NASA without a paywall works. High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the
    last millennium: a review of current
    status and future prospects

  14. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John, what is needed to build a station is investors. To get investors, you need rock-solid economic proposition. We are still not seeing that from you. The Lazard report on LCOE noted that costs for continuing a nuclear plant that had capital cost already written off was very low. (ie no economic case for shutting them down). I would guess that reburbishment costs are similarly economic in many cases.

    What I certainly don't buy in any proposition that governments should build/pay for nuclear stations because of dearth of investors to do it privately. There are good reasons that investors are going elsewhere.

  15. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill is certainly persistent.

    Up-page he has noted that Ontario, Canada is one of the places announcing plans for future nuclear power production expansion. Ontario recently announced plans to refurbish an existing reactor at its Pickering location. This is one of Canada's earliest nuclear power locations. It is not a new plant, although Ontario is also planning to expand nuclear generation facilities operated by Bruce Power (elsewhere in the province).

    The Pickering refurbishment is expected to take 11 years, and has already been in the planning/consideration stages for several more. Hardly an example of John ONeill's claim that new plants can be brought online in less than 10 years. The Pickering plant already has many of the needed approvals, since it is an existing reactor complex.

    The government of Ontario was short on budget details when making the announcement, but a similar refurbishment nearby had a budget of $12.8 billion. That refurbishment started 7+ years ago and is still not completed. Bruce Power is also in the middle of refurbishment projects that are taking many years.

    ...and there is considerable debate as to what this will do to power costs. This will not be a cheap process. As Michael Sweet points out, it takes government support to make this happen.

    Details in this news story.


  16. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    I noticed that the link to the World Nuclear Industry Status report 2023 will not open on my computer.  Here it is:

    you might need to download the report from here:

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Links activated. Please, please do this yourself.

  17. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John Oneill at 357:

    I note that you have made another post without a single cite to suport your wild claims.

    Brandolini's Law certainly pertains to this exchange so I will be as brief as possible.

    "Nuclear is not economic": All of the reactors currently being built are financed almost entirely by governments.  The market has completely rejected nuclear power because it is not economic.

    "Takes too long to build":  According to the World Nuclear Industry Status report 2023  "For the 58 reactors being built, an average of 6 years has passed since construction start—slightly lower than the mid-2022 average of 6.8 years—and many remain far from completion." while "The mean time from construction start to grid connection for the seven reactors started up in 2022 was nine years,"  (my emphasis) This includes only construction time.  The additional planning time, time to obtain construction permits etc is many years.  Typical timeframes for nuclear are 10-15 years.  By contrast, wind and solar projects typically take 2-4 years from proposal to completion.

    "There is not enough uranium": According to Abbott (2012) as of 2012 there is only enough uranium in known deposits to power the world for 5 years.  Nuclear supporters would not be attempting to obtain uranium from the ocean if there was enough uranium on land.  You provide no references to support your wild claim that enough uranium exists.  Frankly, this is common knowledge among informed people.

    Your comments on renewable power are contradicted by experience.  Educated readers here will not be fooled.  Obviously in the 70's to the 2000's renewable sources did not contribute much because they were not economic at that time.  Now they are the cheapest power in the world and are reducing carbon emissions more every day.

    According to the World Nuclear Industry Status report, at least Italy, Japan and Sweden currently have no plans to build new reactors.   Bertolini's Law applies, I have not checked the rest of your list.  I note that France's much heralded announcement about building 6 new reactors will not replace their current 56 reactors that are at the end of their useful life.  I note that over 50% of Frances nuclear fleet was offline in the past few years for unplanned repairs due to age.  In addition, no money has been budgeted to build the announced reactors.

    Meanwhile, according to the IEA:

    "Over the coming five years, several renewable energy milestones are expected to be achieved:

    In 2024, wind and solar PV together generate more electricity than hydropower.
    In 2025, renewables surpass coal to become the largest source of electricity generation.
    Wind and solar PV each surpass nuclear electricity generation in 2025 and 2026 respectively.
    In 2028, renewable energy sources account for over 42% of global electricity generation, with the share of wind and solar PV doubling to 25%."

    I note that the IEA has historically severely underestimated the amount of renewable energy that would be constructed in the future.

    Whenever I examine nuclear supporters claims closely I find that they are not supported by the data.

    Nuclear is not economic, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium.


    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Removed the "chromeextension" frontspeice from the link. Note that you have to be careful copying links to PDF from the URL bar in chrome.

  18. One Planet Only Forever at 09:49 AM on 24 February 2024
    How oil sands undermine Canada’s climate goals

    This is a great summary of the reasons for the persistent failure of leadership to do what could and should be done.

    Another way of presenting the problem is that it is the combination of:

    • the need to remain popular enough to continue to be in control of leadership actions
    • it is easier to be popular by misleadingly pursuing and excusing 'increased benefits from being more harmful' than it is to responsibly lead the reduction of harm.

    A minor change of the title would make the nature of the problem clearer:

    How the popularity of misleading promotion of benefiting from harm undermines Canada’s climate goals

    And a 2021 article in Nature: Scientific Reports "Methane emissions from upstream oil and gas production in Canada are underestimated" indicates that the way that methane emissions are estimated significantly underestimate the magnitude of ghg emissions in Canada and other nations.

    But at least the current Canadian Government is doing something about the concerns raised by this Yale Climate Connections article. They have renamed the rebate - CBC News - "Liberals rebranding carbon tax rebate to ensure Canadians know where the money comes from". That action will only reduce Canada's emissions if it improves the popularity of the current government enough to avoid having the more harmful Conservative Party become the leaders after the  next election. The Conservative Party has made it clear that they would 'cancel the carbon tax and rebate program' and take other actions that would result in 'more benefit obtained by some people by being able to be more harmful'.

  19. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    'Nuclear is not economic' - the 17 countries building new nuclear missed your memo.

    '..takes too long to build..' Mean construction time was 7.5 years, with a long tail. Countries involved in a concerted buildout do rather better - Japan averaged less than 5 years, China and South Korea less than 6. Sheffield Forgemasters, one of the few companies qualified to make reactor pressure vessels, has just demonstrated a new method of ion beam welding, letting them weld around the girth of an RPV ring in one day. This weld, on a 4 metre diameter, 200 mm thick piece, with very tight inspection requirements, would normally take up to a year. RPVs have been one of the bottlenecks for nuclear growth. Other solutions, such as the heavy water reactors used in India, don't have RPVs. 

    '..there is not enough uranium.' This was the perceived reality when the industry was just starting up - and when Cold War bomb-making led to a frantic search for uranium reserves, since enriching to 90% U235 bomb-grade uses up far more feedstock than does the 3-5% used in light-water reactors, or the natural uranium used in mainly Canadian and Indian heavy water reactors. At the time, it was also assumed that energy demand would keep growing at 1960s rates, and that most of the growth would be from nuclear. L Ron Hubbard's famous graph of human energy use rising sharply from a low base, as fossil fuel reserves are used up, and dropping equally sharply back to pre-industrial levels, was used by Peak Oil doomers to predict a coming crash, to be followed by unending scarcity. In fact, Hubbard original graph showed nuclear growing as fast as fossil fuel energy, completely replacing it, and then maintaining that level indefinitely. Plans were in place to switch to fast reactors, converting the 99.3% U238 of natural uranium to fissile plutonium, and to use thorium, 3x more abundant again, as fissile U233. This effort stalled when demand fell, and uranium proved to be much more abundant than thought. Until recently, global production has been well below demand, due to oversupply causing very low prices. Many high grade mines, like MacArthur River in Saskatchewan, were closed during the drop in demand after Fukushima, with the word's third and fourth largest users, Japan and Germany, temporarily shutting their whole industries. With demand now booming, these mines are reopening, and new prospecting has resumed. (Many nuclear operators are on long-term contracts, and have existing stocks, so are not immediately affected.) 

    Hubbard's fossil peak has been slower to arrive than expected, and so has the nuclear growth he expected to replace it. Long term though, I expect his insight to be accurate. The drive for increasing energy use is still there - nobody wants to stay poor (religious orders aside). The down-ramp on fossil use will be steeper than the rise, as climate concerns spread. Can weather-based energy fill the gap? Not judging by the view out my window (mid summer, 8/8ths cloud cover, national wind fleet at 1/3 of capacity).

    I've read some of Mark Jacobson's papers - all the way back to his cover article on Scientific American, in 2009. Before him, there was Amory Lovins' vision of a 'soft path' energy future, very influential on Jimmy Carter's policy. The two were actually diametrically opposite in their prescriptions. Lovins decried the cost and energy waste of the transmission grid, calling for efficiency ('negawatts'), small-scale, local wind and solar, backed by fluidised bed coal. Jacobson wants a maximal grid, moving greatly overbuilt wind and solar across continents, with probably battery backup, no biofuels or combustion energy, no new hydro. Neither prescription has done well when put into practice in reducing emissions. US CO2 emissions per capita hardly changed from the 70s to the 2000s, only falling with the switch from coal to gas (though increased methane leakage may have negated some of the climate benefit). Widespread, government-sponsored wind and solar growth, most notably in Germany, has bought a rapid rise in installation, but though the individual solar plants and wind turbines became much cheaper, their integration into the grid led to increasing power costs, while fossil fuel use persisted at a higher level than on grids that had already switched to nuclear for largely economic reasons.

    Some countries whose governments had declared that nuclear power would cease have reversed course, and plan new build - notably Japan, South Korea, Sweden, and Italy. Others - Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Taiwan, which had 20 to 40% of their power from nuclear - currently persist in de-nuclearising. Russia is building plants in Turkey, Egypt, Iran, India, Bangla Desh, and shortly Hungary. Russia, United Arab Emirates, Iran, and possibly soon Saudi Arabia, are building nuclear plants at home because it displaces gas, which earns much more money as exports. Japan and South Korea are building nuclear for the opposite reason - it makes power much more cheaply than imported liquefied natural gas, at East Asian prices. The important question for the future is whether nuclear can take more than a toehold share in countries like India, Pakistan, South Africa, and Indonesia, where energy use is rising fast, and coal is now the chosen option.

  20. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John ONeill:

    You link to a Nuclear Energy Agency report, hardly an unbiased source, that contains no data or analysis.  They link to an IPCC report where the summary for policy makers alone is 24 pages long.  The report is hundreds of pages.  You must provide a link to an evidence based report and give me the pages that relate to the topic we are discussing.   Most proposed future energy systems have a little nuclear since plants currently under construction will presumably still be running in 26 years. 

    Your other link, which I have previously debunked upthread, is a web piece by a completely uninformed person who has no education or experience in nuclear energy and learned everyting they know about nuclear from the internet.  (If you read the rest of this thread you would stop repeating the mistakes nuclear supporters have made upthread).  He models the current electrical supply in the USA.  Since all cars and all heating by heat pumps will be electrical it is expected that electrical consumption in the USA will at least double. His system is much too small.  He uses fossil gas for storage since the required storage would be too expensive to build. I note that a system using fossil gas for storage does not stop emitting CO2 as required. Duh!  The cost is prohibitive, he assesses cost incorrectly.  The ignorant errors in this analysis are too numerous to address.  The fact that nuclear supporters cite this blog proves that nuclear is not economic.

    Do you really want to run Afganistan and Yemen completely on nuclear?  A solution that does not work for most of the world is hardly a reasonable proposal.   There is only enough uranium in all known deposits to run the entire world for 5 years.  (Abbott 2012).   Read Abott 2012 (linked in the op).

    Here is free link to the Jacobson et al 2022 paper titled "Low-cost solutions to global warming,air pollution, and energy insecurity for145 countries".  Note that Jacobson describes a solution suitable for the entire world and not just the USA.  Upthread I have provided at least a dozen links to free papers that describe completely renewable systems to generate all energy for the entire world.  If you read Jacobson you will have more knowledge of what we are talking about.  You currently are not very informed.  

    Here is a free link to a paper titled "On the History and Future of 100% Renewable Energy Systems Research", one of the 59 papers that have cited the Jacobson paper.  If you read it you will be more informed about what energy researchers think about future energy systems and make fewer ignorant statements online.

    If you have not put in the work to learn how to find papers that support your position it is not my problem. It is not my job to spoon feed you information that you cannot be bothered to read yourself.  You have to do your homework if you want to tell other people what they should do.  Uninformed proposals do not help advance the discussion.

    The fact that you cannot find anything to support your position demonstrates that the nuclear discussion on line is completely fantasy based and not fact based.  If documents supporting the nuclear position existed than nuclear supporters would cite them.  Nuclear supporters cite industry propaganda as if it were fact based information.

    Whenever I examine nuclear supporters claims closely I find that they are not supported by the data.

    Nuclear is not economic, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium.

  21. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    'Please provide one example of a peer reviewed proposed future world power system that uses more nuclear than the currently built reactors.'

    'The IPCC found that, on average, the pathways for the 1.5°C scenario require nuclear energy to reach 1 160 gigawatts of electricity by 2050, up from 394 gigawatts in 2020. 1 160 GW by 2050 is an ambitious target for nuclear energy, but it is not beyond reach.'

    Insisting on peer reviewed papers is a good way of ensuring that I can't read them. Here's a calculation on the cost of moving the United States to  100% nuclear electricity. As Joris van Dorp writes, it's a thought experiment on the cost of providing percentages of nuclear from 0 to 100, at various interest rates and build costs. '..It looks like solar and wind are today cheap enough to allow them to work economically as a fuel saving technology with natural gas. And if nuclear costs stay as high as they are today, it even looks as though a combination of storage, wind, solar, demand response and nuclear may be an optimal mix for a zero carbon energy system. However, this does not detract from the fact that nuclear power as a single technological concept is evidently sufficient to allow achieving a low-cost zero-carbon energy system, with no help needed at all from any wind power, solar power or anything else, which is the only thing this article was intended for.'

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Links activated. You have been around long enough to know that you need to create links yourself in the links editor.

  22. At a glance - Was Greenland really green in the past?


    Thanks, Nigel. It sounds an excellent addition to a reference shelf.

  23. The promise of passive house design

    I studied Archecture and while I did not finish my studies the house I desigened for my first house followed the principles of this article.

    The second house built on the secondary dune on a beach north of Cairns in tropical Far North Queensland, Australia did not need airconditioning.

    Flow through ventilation from the sea breezes cooled the house and the ceiling area.

    Large over hanging roof lines ment that no thermal heat was absorbed by the house.

    If I could do this in the early 1970's, we can do much better in the 20's, especially with the building materials available now with thermal insulation to mitigate heat gain in the tropics and subtropics or heat loss in cooler latitudes.

    Good article I must add.

  24. At a glance - Was Greenland really green in the past?

    This recent book is relevant to the MWP:  "The Earth Transformed, by Peter Frankopan, first published 2023".  The book is a  complete 700 page environmental history of earth from its formation to this decade. It covers both natural environmental changes and human caused environmental changes. 

    The book has  chapters on the MWP, Little Ice Age and modern anthropogenic warming period. And chapters on the impacts on the environment  of indigenous culture, farming,  early civilisations, the industrial revolution, and the colonial period, communist societies, capitalist countries and modern period and many other periods and issues.

    Haven't had time to read the whole thing, but what I've read is fascinating, a real eye opener, even if you think you know much of the material already,  and it flows nicely so is easy to read. You can also pick and choose chapters at random and still make sense of them.  It comes across as facts based, well researched, and objective and unbiased.

    Extensive bibliography running to 300 pages, not included in the book because its so long, but available online. 

  25. New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”


    The maps I have seen have some areas getting colder and other areas getting warmer.  Northern Europe gets especially cold while the tropiics warm.  Exactly how much the temperatures change depends on how much the AMOC changes.  If it completly collapses there will be bigger changes than if it only goes to half speed.  The heat will go into the ocean.  

  26. New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”

    I am not a climate scientists but I remember looking at images that show how the temperature on the Earth's surface would be cooler in many regions of the world if the AMOC collapsed. Is it true that the global average surface temperature of the Earth would go down as a consequence of the AMOC collapsing. If it does go down, then where did all the excess heat energy go to that was trapped by and will continue to be trapped by GHG's?

  27. Greenland is gaining ice

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on February 18, 2024 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 @

  28. New study suggests the Atlantic overturning circulation AMOC “is on tipping course”

    If the strength of AMOC is being correlated with AMO as shown in Fig 3 of the paper, does that mean that AMOC will oscillate as AMO does?Comparison of time series of SST anomalies and the strength of the overturning circulation in the CM2.6 model.The graph shows time series of SST anomalies (relative to global mean SSTs) in the subpolar gyre (sg; dark blue) and Gulf Stream (gs; red) regions in the CO2-doubling run relative to the control run, as predicted by the CM2.6 model. These two regions are defined as shown in the inset (see Methods). The anomaly of the actual AMOC overturning rate relative to the control run is also shown (light blue). Thin lines show individual years (November to May for SSTs), and thick lines show 20-year locally weighted scatterplot smoothing (LOWESS) filtered data. Using the CMIP5 ensemble, we independently determined a conversion factor of 3.8 Sv K−1 between the SST anomaly and the AMOC anomaly.




  29. One Planet Only Forever at 06:10 AM on 18 February 2024
    Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk

    BaerbelW @2,

    I appreciate that the article’s prebunking is inoculation efforts that are focused on anticipated misleading marketing efforts, focusing on FLICC. And I understand the importance of that action. I can see inoculation prebunking as part of ‘government public education, especially leadership statements that increase awareness and improve understanding of what is harmful and helpful’ (clearly being compromised when pursuers of benefit from being more harmful and less helpful to others can significantly influence or compromise leadership actions by being 'popular enough to matter').

    I do not anticipate encountering a personal situation where I will be able to directly justify engaging a person or group with prebunking (I am not a public/government leadership competitor, an educator, or a magazine story writer). I anticipate encountering people expressing what I consider to be a misunderstanding.

    I have experienced many situations where a misunderstanding I try to correct is stubbornly maintained based on what appears to be a wilful lack of awareness, a lack of interest in learning (encountered this as an engineer). Asking the person making the claim to provide the facts justifying their claim can help. It can make it clearer earlier that a person is resisting improving their understanding of the matter.

    What motivates people to be susceptible to misunderstanding would be an important part of inoculation prebunking efforts (the business motivation to profit more from quicker and cheaper actions, more likely to be more harmful, was a very common 'engineering challenge' because it was essential that safety was not compromised by those 'other interests').

    My way to potentially get to the point of prebunking is to start by asking someone presenting what I believe is a misunderstanding about the justification for the claim they make, especially the independently verifiable facts and related understandings (I may be the one who lacks awareness or has misunderstood the matter). If the person’s claim is not well justified, then, in addition to introducing them to a more comprehensive set of facts and more justified understanding, I may have the opportunity to explore why they were tempted to misunderstand the matter, getting into FLICC but going beyond FLICC and getting into the motivation for their willingness to misunderstand the matter.

  30. Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk

    OPOF @1

    I think that even more important than providing specific facts ahead of potential misinformation is to clue people in on the FLICC-techniques they are most likely going to see employed. The examples in the article do just that by pointing out "false equivalence", "conspiracy theories" and "cherry picking". The more people are aware of these techniques, the less will - hopefully - fall for and share the misinformation.

  31. One Planet Only Forever at 09:12 AM on 17 February 2024
    Can we be inoculated against climate misinformation? Yes – if we prebunk rather than debunk

    It is hard to argue against 'pre-bunking being more effective than de-bunking'. It is like having the relevant significant facts of a debatable matter being established before a debate and having every viewer of the debate be fully informed in advance of those established facts.

    But de-bunking is still required because pre-bunking is not a cure-all. Having the facts established will not mean that everyone accepts the established facts. Post-truth misleading and believing is nothing new. It is just being more shamefully abused by unjustifiably significantly influential people - people who do not deserve their developed perceptions of status.

    Now when I encounter a person publicly sharing misleading information I try to get them to establish the relevant facts for their claim. I then try to focus on improving awareness and understanding of the relevant facts (with SkS being an excellent resource). That puts the person sharing the misunderstanding on the spot to justify their claim. And it can potentially eliminate the need to make counter-claims to the misleading claim.

    Of course, like pre-bunking, 'focusing on the weak/lack of justification for a misunderstanding' does not significantly influence or change the minds of people who are powerfully 'invested in misunderstanding climate science matters'. And the studies of the effectiveness of pre-bunking confirm that by only finding 'measurable reductions of susceptibility to misinformation' rather than finding 'substantial elimination of susceptibility to misunderstanding'.

  32. 2024 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #06

    Congratulations to M Mann for winning his defamation case against  Simberg and Stein. Perhaps it will make other sceptics think twice before making completely ridiculous claims and comparisons. 

    I have been involved in several civil law cases, sometimes using a lawyer and sometimes representing myself, and its a harrowing experience with intimidating lawyers so Mann  deserves credit for hanging in there. However I did find a lot of lawyer talk is  bluff, and the trick is to not let them intimidate you or get you angry in court, and just stick to the pertinent facts and evidence and be very firm and resolute. I won all my cases.

  33. One Planet Only Forever at 03:15 AM on 14 February 2024
    UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    Bob Loblaw,

    Thanks for the Wikipedia link explaining 'compartmentalization'. It is another of the many considerations regarding the 'religious resisters of learning to be less harmful and more helpful to Others (many of whom are business-interested but claim to be religious - like the wealth pursuing Evangelicals)', along with cognitive dissonance (mentioned in the explanation) and motivated reasoning (Like the motivation to personally benefit. Especially attempts to unjustifiably improve status relative to others through actions that include attacking Others - the classic sport cheater who tries to intimidate or hurt the Other competitors.)

  34. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    Regarding an individual's religious viewpoints and conflicts with their behaviour, it helps to understand the psychological concept of compartmentalization. It's a psychological defence mechanism that allows people to believe two (or more) conflicting things.

    ...and there is always the George Costanza defence:

    Jerry, just remember, it's not a lie if you believe it.

  35. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    In the RealClimate post that scaddenp links to in comment 9, Gavin Schmidt makes specific reference to that Spencer claim that climate models do not conserve energy. Schmidt states:

    Do climate models conserve mass and energy? Yes. I know this is be a fact for the GISS model since I personally spent a lot of time making sure of it. I can’t vouch for every single other model, but I will note that the CMIP diagnostics are often not sufficient to test this to a suitable precision – due to slight mispecifications, incompleteness, interpolation etc. Additionally, people often confuse non-conservation with the drift in, say, the deep ocean or soil carbon, (because of the very long timescales involved) but these things are not the same. Drift can occur even with perfect conservation since full equilibrium takes thousands of years of runtime and sometimes pre-industrial control runs are not that long. The claim in the paper Spencer cited that no model has a closed water cycle in the atmosphere is simply unbelievable (and it might be worth exploring why they get this result). To be fair, energy conservation is actually quite complicated and there are multiple efforts to improve the specification of the thermodynamics so that the models’ conserved quantities can get closer to those in the real world, but these are all second order or smaller effects.

    Note that this statement from Schmidt is in a postscript added three days after the original post. At the top of the postscript, Schmidt states:

    Spencer has responded on his blog and seems disappointed that I didn’t criticize every single claim that he made, but only focused on the figures. What can I say? Time is precious! But lest someone claim that these points are implicitly correct because I didn’t refute them, here’s a quick rundown of why the ones he now highlights are wrong as well. (Note that there is far more that is wrong in his article, but Brandolini’s law applies, and I just don’t have the energy).

    This is not the first trip to the rodeo on Spencer's work of this sort. There is a pattern.

  36. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    retiredguy @8,

    The essay by Spencer is his usual mess of nonsense dressed up to look like an informed and reasonable account.

    Note for instance his second "takeaway":-

    Climate models that guide energy policy do not even conserve energy, a necessary condition for any physically based model of the climate system.

    This is not a "takeaway" as such but a simply a bold statement supported only by reference to Irving et al (2021) 'A Mass and Energy Conservation Analysis of Drift in the CMIP6 Ensemble', a paper which does not in any way conclude that 'model drift' invalidates the findings of CMIP models as Spencer states it does. Here Spencer is very badly wrong but likely, as with his other egregious mistakes that happen to support his denialist views, he doesn't care and will not correct it.

  37. One Planet Only Forever at 08:42 AM on 13 February 2024
    UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong


    I am not personally religious. But I have been open to participating in the activities of a United Church of Canada congregation because my pursuit of learning to be less harmful and more helpful to others is well aligned with their collective understanding and pursuit of reasons to change their mind (and they are open to having people in their congregation who do not share the belief that Jesus was part of the Holy Spirit).

    So I know religious people who are also bugged by people who 'claim to be religious' but 'try to benefit by being manipulative and playing loose with the truth'.

    The root of the problem in this case is people who claim to be scientific but 'play loose with the truth'. They try to resist learning that they, and people like them, need to 'change their mind'. Many of them, especially more educated ones like Spencer, probably 'know better' than the stories they make up ... which is even worse behaviour.

    I will add that many religious people are open to learning about aspects of their developed beliefs that need to be revised. They want their understanding to be consistent with increased available evidence and related improved understanding about what is harmful and how they can be more helpful to others. There may even be a higher percentage of religious-inclined people who are open-minded than there are business-inclined people who are 'open-minded' on climate science matters.

    So, I agree that it is shameful for someone like Spencer to 'play loose with the truth' while claiming to be Christian (or any other religious belief group) by presenting a misleading story on a website that claims to be religion-based. Much of the current day understanding of religions pursues limiting harm done and increasing 'helpfulness to others'. The exceptions are people who cherry-pick points and make-up misinterpretations who, in cases like this, are likely business-inclined people hoping to appeal for support. They claim to be <insert religion here> but are clearly just 'playing games in ways they hope they and their tribe will benefit from' - which is shamefully shameless behaviour - but can be very popular'.

  38. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    retiredguy - see here. Always kind of bugs me to see someone pushing overtly Christian worldview being happy to play loose with truth.

  39. UAH atmospheric temperatures prove climate models and/or surface temperature data sets are wrong

    Any thoughts / comments on the below article by Roy Spencer ?

    Moderator Response:

    [PS] Edited link. Please learn to create links yourself with the link tool in the comment editor.

  40. After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice

    Wrong thread but so what

  41. After years of stability, Antarctica is losing ice

    I will never get tired reading about Prof Michael Mann's court win.

  42. Was Greenland really green in the past?

    Please note: the basic version of this rebuttal has been updated on February 11, 2024 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 @

  43. Introducing an Atmospheric Radiation Model to Learn About Global Warming

    Thanks.  I would like to re-emphasize, as mentioned in the section "Model Versions", that the commercial version of MODTRAN was developed by collaboration with the U.S. Air Force and Spectral Sciences, Inc.  MODTRAN is a registered trademark of the United States of America, as represented by the United States Air Force.  Now in version 6, the commercial version is not free.  It provides much more flexibility for research purposes than the educational version hosted by the University of Chicago.  For this reason, I like to use the acronym MILIA (MODTRAN Infrared Light in the Atmosphere) to differentiate the two versions.

  44. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    Worth noting that the Lake Onslow scheme in NZ was for "dry-year" storage because of NZ high dependence on hydro. Solar and wind are still minor components of its electricity mix and easily backed by ordinary hydro in "normal" years. Ordinary non-pumped hydro also works as storage - hold back water when wind is blowing or the sun shining; release it to create power when its not.

  45. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    John Oneill at 352:

    You are simply making up unsupported BS.  You provide no citations to support your wild assertions.  

    Energy researchers have shown that it is possible to make renewable grids as small as all the individual states in the USA.  It is cheaper to make larger grids.  The most recent research, like Jacobson et al, make grids that cover most of each continent.  Like all North America for example.  Your repeatedly mentioning wind in Wyoming is simply BS.  No-one says that Wyoming should be able to economically generate all of its electricity 100% of the time using wind alone except nuclear supporters.  South Korea, Taiwan and Japan can build out completely renewable systems without relying on China if they choose to.  It will be more expensive for them.  That is just a political call.

    Your claim that Jacobson supports "massively overbuilt wind and solar capacity is coupled with a 'copper-plate' grid" is deliberately false.  The overbuild of the grid is less than 10%.  The current fossil and nuclear grid has way more excess capacity than the proposed new renewable grids.

    I note that nuclear supporters invariably ignore the immense storage needed to have a primarily nuclear grid since nuclear cannot load follow or provide peak power.  The needed storage greatly exceeds the storage needed for renewable energy.  All the big pumped hydro in the USA was originally built to store excess nuclear power generated at night.

    Giving examples like the current California grid do not show that renewable energy cannot power the entire economy.  Renewable power has only been the cheapest for about 8 years.  There has not been enough time to build out the new renewable grid yet.  Battery storage has only been economic for 2 or 3 years.  You noting that California only gets 0.29% of power from a brand new technology is simply blowing crap on the discussion.  I note that in the past 20 years nuclear power in California has dramatically decreased while battery storage has increased.  The future trend is clear.

    I note that the current grid took over 100 years to build.  Nuclear power is 70 years old and only generates less than 5% of world energy. As an aside there is not enough uranium to generate more than 5% of all world power, the remaining 95% will have to be renewable, mostly wind and solar.

    So what if Germany has to increase the size of their grid?  They will save money and the environment in the end.

    I have followed nuclear power for over 50 years.  Nuclear has never been economic. 100% of the existing reactors in the world were built with extensive government subsidies.  That is why construction of new reactors in the West has been mostly stopped.  Most of the current reactors under construction are being built by the Chinese or the Russian governments.

    Please provide one example of a peer reviewed proposed future world power system that uses more nuclear than the currently built reactors.

    Whenever I examine nuclear supporters claims closely I find that they are not supported by the data.

    Nuclear is not economic, takes too long to build and there is not enough uranium.

  46. Is Nuclear Energy the Answer?

    1000 km of grid interconnections is clearly inadequate for solar, where potential power providers are literally half a world away much of the time. Wind, too, is usually in synch over areas above 1000km in diameter. Wind farms across the whole of northern Europe are positively correlated. Going as far away as Spain gives a weakly negative link; southern Russia, Turkia and north Africa are other possibilities, assuming that 1) the donor region will have enough excess capacity to keep both ends of the link powered at night, and 2) you trust the governments of said region not to pull a Putin, and cut supply any time it gives political advantage. Cutting off power would cause instant chaos, worse than a fuel supply, where there's more time to react. Japan, South Korea and Taiwan would never allow dependence on wind and solar power from China.

    Proponents of '100% wind, solar, water' (usually effectively 95%+ just wind and solar) claim that comparatively tiny amounts of storage will suffice, if a massively overbuilt wind and solar capacity is coupled with a 'copper-plate' grid, where power produced anywhere is effortlessly transported to wherever it's needed. Both those preconditions are far from being met anywhere. California has enough wind and solar to theoretically cover its peak daily demand, Germany has twice as much (151 GW for a peak demand yesterday of 73GW.) Germany still has to complete the HVDC cables that would let it transport North Sea wind power to industry in Bavaria, let alone from Moroccan solar. The North Sea-Bavaria link might be completed by the mid-30s, and will supply, weather permitting, about half as much power at peak as the three reactors Germany closed a year ago did all the time. California last month got 0.29% of its power from grid scale batteries, despite having the world's largest capacity by far. I was a supporter of the proposed Lake Onslow storage scheme in New Zealand, but most countries do not have the topography for projects large enough to cover their power needs for a significant period.

    The size of the existing nuclear fleet shows that, at least in the past, it did make economic sense. The number of countries committing to extensive new build - Japan and South Korea, China, India, Egypt, Turkia, most of eastern Europe- suggest that it still does. Ontario has by far the lowest-carbon electricity in North America, apart from in three other Canadian provinces, and parts of Washington State, which are pretty much all hydro. They've recently announced a major refurbishment of four large reactors at Pickering, plans to build four smaller 300MW reactors at the Darlington site, and intentions for many more large reactors, including at Bruce, already the largest operating nuclear plant in the world. Sweden, which correspondingly has the lowest-carbon power in Europe, also announced a goal of two new gigawatt-scale reactors by 2035, and up to ten by 2045. Czechia, with a population of 10 million, has just opened tenders for four gigawatt-scale reactors, to supplement the four GW worth which already provide nearly half its power.

  47. Introducing an Atmospheric Radiation Model to Learn About Global Warming

    Good to see this post - MODTRAN is the basis of a great deal of solid research.

  48. The Teachers' Guide to Cranky Uncle: Downloads and Translations

    Just a quick heads-up, that the Teachers' Guide to Cranky Uncle is now also available in Albanian and Macedonian!

  49. Other planets are warming

    Thanks, OPOF! We'll add in that link soon.

  50. One Planet Only Forever at 13:52 PM on 7 February 2024
    Other planets are warming

    I recommend a minor update to the first sentence of last paragraph of "Further Details".

    "For lots of useful information about Pluto and the other dwarf planets, NASA has a useful resource on its website, including a link to Pluto: Facts."

    And some interesting Pluto: Facts are quoted below:

    • Pluto's 248-year-long, oval-shaped orbit can take it as far as 49.3 astronomical units (AU) from the Sun, and as close as 30 AU. (One AU is the mean distance between Earth and the Sun: about 93 million miles or 150 million kilometers.)
    • From 1979 to 1999, Pluto was near perihelion, when it is closest to the Sun. During this time, Pluto was actually closer to the Sun than Neptune.
    • When Pluto is close to the Sun, its surface ices sublimate (changing directly from solid to gas) and rise to temporarily form a thin atmosphere.

    So, maybe Pluto would appear to warm rapidly during that orbit event ... but that would explain things in ways that climate science deniers, and the related delayers of harm reduction, would resist learning from.

Prev  1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

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