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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.

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Climate Misinformer: John Christy

Dr. John Christy is a Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH).  He has also been Alabama's State Climatologist since November 2000. He is mostly known for his work with the satellite-based temperature monitoring for which he and Dr. Roy Spencer received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal.  Christy helped draft and signed the 2003 American Geophysical Union statement on climate change [Source: Wikipedia].

Dr. Christy believes that the climate system is quite insensitive to humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions and doubts that human activity is to blame for most of the observed recent warming.

Other professional affiliations:  Dr. Christy is listed as a "Roundtable Speaker" for the George C. Marshall Institute, a right-wing conservative think tank on scientific issues and public policy.  He is also listed as an expert for the Heartland Institute, a libertarian American public policy think tank [Source: DeSmogBlog]

Quotes Articles Arguments Blogs Links Search 

Quotes by John Christy

Climate Myth What the Science Says
"We are finding that the climate is not very sensitive to CO2 and those kind of gases"
26 May 2011 (Source)
Net positive feedback is confirmed by many different lines of evidence.
"The small rate of warming that the planet is going through and the fact that energy production and CO2 might be related to a part of that, there is not much you can do to reverse whatever the climate is going to do whether is man caused or or not."
26 May 2011 (Source)

A large amount of warming is delayed, and if we don’t act now we could pass tipping points.

"you look for a large global number in the heat storage of the atmosphere and ocean and that is rising slowly but it is not rising catastrophically or dramatically and certainly does not point to a high sensitivity of the climate to things like GHGs"
26 May 2011 (Source)
Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"In looking at the best climate data through the past, these events are not outside the range that of what has already occurred"
26 May 2011 (Source)

Internal variability can only account for small amounts of warming and cooling over periods of decades, and scientific studies have consistently shown that it cannot account for the global warming over the past century.

"we do not find trends in these things, not even in heat waves, we do not see heat waves getting worse in the United States, the worst period by far was in the 1930s and the 1920s...snowfall is still falling in the west."
26 May 2011 (Source)
Extreme weather events are being made more frequent and worse by global warming.
"Catastrophic warming doesn’t look like it’s in the future at all."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
"The climate always warms and cools."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"People who make those kind of claims [urging immediate action] I think are arithmetically challenged, that they don’t sit down and take out the back of an envelope and calculate that when you reduce emissions by X amount what that possibly might mean to the climate, and they will see that these reductions are just not useful. […] To think that you might change the climate, that’s just not on the cards."
1 April 2011 (Source)

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"We’re talking about less than a hundredth of a degree [if California cuts emissions by 26% by 2016]. It’s just so minesule; I mean the global temperature changes by more than that from day to day. So this is what we call in Alabama “spitting in the ocean”."
1 April 2011 (Source)

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"Additional emissions in the atmosphere are only going to add on to what is already there. And so the net effect of trying to change that growth of emission rates is gonna be pretty small."
1 April 2011 (Source)
CO2 limits won't cool the planet, but they can make the difference between continued accelerating global warming to catastrophic levels vs. slowing and eventually stopping the warming at hopefully safe levels
"On the climate front, [Australia cutting its emissions by 5% by 2020] will be imperceptible or minuscule compared to what the rest of the world is doing."
1 April 2011 (Source)

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"I would think a couple of things will happen [if Australia cuts its emissions by 5% by 2020]. One is that your energy prices will rise and your economy then will begin to turn downward. And you will provide opportunities for other nations to take up the slack that Australia used to provide the world."
1 April 2011 (Source)

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"What we’ve found is that the rate of warming due to carbon dioxide must be pretty small because the Earth is not warming very rapidly. […] I would guess on the order of 1 degree per century. […] I don’t think it’s something to be alarmed at."
1 April 2011 (Source)
This argument ignores the cooling effect of aerosols and the planet's thermal inertia.
"Look at the observations and you will find these weather disasters have always occurred. You will find them in the history at various places at various times. It’s just that we have the ability to record them on camera videophones and put them on YouTube and that’s what makes them so dramatic today, because everyone can see around the world these events that are happening in very localized places."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Extreme weather events are being made more frequent and worse by global warming.
"If it’s just between you and me I’ll just say I prefer [the temperature] going up than going down. […] When it goes down we have ice ages that occur and nobody wins in an ice age."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
"Has the temperature of the planet warmed in the past 100 years? And that’s true, it has; it’s warmed a little bit. But remember the climate, or the average temperature of the Earth is never ever static. It is always either going up or going down."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"Inside a city it’s a lot hotter than out in the countryside, so these thermometers do have problems in that regard."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.
"We look at the temperature of the bulk of the atmosphere, so it’s not confused by what might happen in cities and the countryside and so on at the surface. And by looking at the bulk of the atmosphere where the greenhouse effect is supposed [to] have its greatest effect, we just don’t see much happening at all."
1 April 2011 (Source)
The most recent satellite data show that the earth as a whole is warming.
"We like to look at the hardcore data, the observations, and the facts of the climate system, and they just don’t add up to make that case."
1 April 2011 (Source)
There are multiple lines of direct observations that humans are causing global warming.
"You know, by looking at the evidence - we have satellites and so on - we do not see any dramatic or catastrophic changes at all."
1 April 2011 (Source)
Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
"[the hockey stick] was the icon of the TAR, the Third Assessment Report, and what the tree ring record did, in showing it did not agree with temperatures, indicated that the icon itself, which was based primarily on tree rings prior to the 16th century, was therefore not very good at explaining what the temperature was."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.
"I think I might like it warmer actually"
31 March 2011 (Source)
Negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health & environment far outweigh any positives.
"the natural unforced variability...the complexity of the system itself can create these variations [like today's warming] on its own"
31 March 2011 (Source)
Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"When you look at the possibility of natural unforced variability, you see that can cause excursions that we've seen recently"
31 March 2011 (Source)
No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.
"I think there's been too much jumping to conclusions about seeing something happening in the climate and saying 'well the only way that can happen is human effects'"
31 March 2011 (Source)
Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"I think the consistency [between now and 1970s cooling predictions]...there's a large amount of ignorance about the climate system."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Very few studies predicted global cooling in the 1970s, whereas virtually every study today predicts global warming
"I can say that there certainly hasn't been a warming of temperatures since [1998]."
31 March 2011 (Source)
The global warming trend has continued since 1998.
"I think most of all, [current temperatures] are part of the normal ups and downs of climate."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Multiple sets of independent observations find a human fingerprint on climate change.
"If you go back through the entire history of the world, most of the periods have not been cooler than today, they've been warmer."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Climate reacts to whatever forces it to change at the time; humans are now the dominant forcing.
"Greenland ice borehole temperatures...indicated a clear 500 year period of temperatures warmer than the present centered around 900 AD commonly referred to as the Medieval Warm Period."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Globally averaged temperature now is higher than global temperature in medieval times.
"you're looking at most at a tenth of a degree [reduction in global temperature] after 100 years [if USA imposes CO2 limits]"
31 March 2011 (Source)

If every nation agrees to limit CO2 emissions, we can achieve significant cuts on a global scale.

"In this sense yes [1970s cooling predictions were similar to current warming predictions], our ignorance about the climate system is just enormous"
31 March 2011 (Source)
The vast majority of climate papers in the 1970s predicted warming.
"climate model output does not match up to the real world"
31 March 2011 (Source)
Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"this issue has policy implications that may potentially raise the price of energy a lot, and thus essentially the price of everything else."
31 March 2011 (Source)

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

"the EPA overstated the agreement between models and observations, when in fact there was significant disagreement."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"Evidence was presented by Dr. Ross McKitrick and others indicated the popular surface temperature data sets were affected by warming not likely to be caused by greenhouse gases."
31 March 2011 (Source)
Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend.
"The hockey stick's author was the same IPCC lead author who in my opinion worked with a small group of cohorts...allowing amputation of a disagreeable result, and the splicing of unrelated data to 'hide the decline'."
31 March 2011 (Source)
The "decline" in tree-ring density was not present in the "hockey stick", and was only "hidden" in other separate work because scientists knew it did not accurately represent recent temperature trends.
"The hockey stick's author was the same IPCC lead author who in my opinion worked with a small group of cohorts and misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1,000 years by promoting his own result"
31 March 2011 (Source)
Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years.
"IPCC-selected lead authors are given significant control over the text, including the authority to judge their own work against the work of their critics...this process has led to the propagation of incorrect and misleading information in the assessments, and thus should lead you to question the IPCC's general support for a catastrophic view of climate change."
31 March 2011 (Source)

Numerous papers have documented how IPCC predictions are more likely to underestimate the climate response.

"sea level is rising and will continue to rise because we're in an interglacial. There is still more land ice to melt. So as I always tell our folks down on the coast, be prepared for the fact that sea level is rising about an inch per decade, and I don't see anything stopping it until the next ice age comes."
8 February 2011 (Source)
A variety of different measurements find steadily rising sea levels over the past century.
"what we found from real satellite observations...is that it takes a lot of energy to make the temperature go up because of all the things in the climate system that work against a warming effect."
8 February 2010 (Source)
Net positive feedback is confirmed by many different lines of evidence.
"in real data from satellites we found [a negative cloud feedback] to be the case"
8 February 2010 (Source)
Evidence is building that net cloud feedback is likely positive and unlikely to be strongly negative.
"water vapor and clouds do force the climate. They can be the cause of things that ultimately happen. They're not just responders to things that happen"
8 February 2010 (Source)

Rising CO2 increases atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse.

"This is the 1988 predictions by James Hansen...here's what really happened in the world [shows UAH and RSS lower troposphere temperature data]. And you see that even the actual temperatures fell far below even the scenario that didn't happen (Hansen Scenario C)."
8 February 2010 (Source)

Jim Hansen had several possible scenarios; his mid-level scenario B was right.

"Climate models overstate the warming...every single modeler knew the answer ahead of time, so it should not surprise you at all that a model can reproduce what's happened in the past."
8 February 2010 (Source)
Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.
"the popular surface data sets...overstate what warming is occurring."
8 February 2010 (Source)
The warming trend is the same in rural and urban areas, measured by thermometers and satellites.
"There's been a lot of articles recently and scrutiny about climate work because of some released emails from East Anglia University in England...scientists can be devious and they can act pretty much like anybody...science is supposed to be open, transparent and so on. That hasn't really been the case in some of the cases here recently."
8 February 2010 (Source)
A number of investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident.
"CO2 is not a pollutant."
26 November 2008 (Source)

Through its impacts on the climate, CO2 presents a danger to public health and welfare, and thus qualifies as an air pollutant

"The truth is, our climate system is so complex that we cannot predict its state even into next month."
28 April 2008 (Source)
Weather and climate are different; climate predictions do not need weather detail.

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