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Comments 1 to 50:

  1. CO2 has a short residence time

    Zadams @149, I assume you are asking how do we know that atmospheric CO2 was not increasing by 3.3 Gigatonnes of Carbon per annum  (1.56 ppmv) prior to the industrial revolution? 

    Well, to start with, the increase in CO2 concentration observed at Hawaii shows an accelerating trend:

    Decade Total Increases Average Annual Rates of Increase
    2005 – 2014 21.06 ppm 2.11 ppm per year (4.47 GtC per year)
    1995 – 2004 18.67 ppm 1.87 ppm per year (3.96 GtC per year)
    1985 – 1994 14.24 ppm 1.42 ppm per year (3.01 GtC per year)
    1975 – 1984 14.40 ppm 1.44 ppm per year (3.05 GtC per year)
    1965 – 1974 10.56 ppm 1.06 ppm per year (2.25 GtC per year)
    1960 – 1964 3.65 ppm 0.73 ppm per year (5 years only) (1.55 GtC per year)

    Second, CO2 data from icecores, and C13 data from icecores, speliothems, corals, and mollusc shells show CO2 levels to have been near constant prior to 1750 going as far back as the end of the last glacial.  I discuss these in a post here that canvasses the wide range of evidence showing the recent increase in CO2 to have been anthropogenic (see in particular points 1, 5 and 10).

    However, the most fundamental reason is arithmetic.  The atmosphere currently has about 400 ppmv of CO2 (848 GtC).  If atmospheric CO2 had been increasing continuously by 3.3 GtC per annum into the past, just 257 years ago, the atmosphere would have had no CO2 (at which point there could be no photosynthesis, and hence no plants on which we live).  Even an increase of as little as 0.09 GtC per year would mean that at the start of the phanerozoic, at the time humans were inventing agriculture, there would have been no CO2 and hence no possibility of our wheat, rye, rice or maize growing.  So, even if we had no CO2 records going back into the past, we would know that the current rate of increase is much greater than fifty times the long term average rate of increase leading into the industrial revolution.

    So, if we want to believe that the increase in CO2 is natural in origin, we need to believe that just as the industrial revolution kicked of, the long term natural rate of net emissions suddenlty increased by a factor of 10 or more, and then continued to increase over the following 250 years in almost perfect sync with know human emissions until they rose to their current level of well over fifty times the previous long term rate of increase.  Further, at the same time we have to believe their is an independent natural sink that did not previously operated that increased at the same rate as human emissions to nullify them, and which is triggered by those emissions so that it should not be included in the net natural emissions, is also incapable of stabilizing net natural emissions (which on this scenario are anything but stable).  Put simply, that is not an elegant hypothesis.

    Finally, FYI, from icecore data we know that the long term increase in CO2 over the holocene up to the industrial revolution was actually about 0.004 GtC per annum; and there is good reason to think that most of that was driven by deforestation driven by the expansion of agriculture (ie, that it was anthropogenic).

  2. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Yes, thanks to all for a very informative discussion.

  3. CO2 has a short residence time

    Hi, the question I have is how do we know that global CO2 emissions weren't increasing at a rate of 3.3x back before the industrial revolution? (Sorry forgot the units). If so, how did the process of figuring that out work? 

    Thank you. 

    Moderator Response:

    [Rob P] - There are multiple lines of evidence, but the simplest to understand is that tiny bubbles of air are trapped in snow on the giant ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland. As this snow is slowly compacted to form ice, the air trapped inside is sealed off from the atmosphere. The ice that has survived for hundreds of thousands of years is therefore a continuous record of the Earth's atmosphere. Core samples are obtained by drilling down into the ice with specialized drilling rigs, and the ice core is later painstakingly analyzed to determine atmospheric CO2 concentration.

    Consider the last 10,000 years for instance.......


    Tom Curtis' Climate Change Cluedo is also a worthwhile read if you want to learn more.

  4. michael sweet at 11:11 AM on 30 June 2015
    Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Kevin McKinney in a comment at Real Climate cited Jacobson et al 2015.  This paper presents a plan to convert 100% of all energy used in the USA to Renewable Energy  (not all electricity, all energy).  From the abstract:

    "This study presents roadmaps for each of the 50 United States to convert their all-purpose energy systems (for
    electricity, transportation, heating/cooling, and industry) to ones powered entirely by wind, water, and sunlight
    (WWS). The plans contemplate 80–85% of existing energy replaced by 2030 and 100% replaced by 2050. ...Year 2050 end-use
    U.S. all-purpose load would be met with 30.9% onshore wind, 19.1% offshore wind, 30.7% utility-scale
    photovoltaics (PV), 7.2% rooftop PV, 7.3% concentrated solar power (CSP) with storage, 1.25% geothermal
    power, 0.37% wave power, 0.14% tidal power, and 3.01% hydroelectric power. Based on a parallel grid
    integration study, an additional 4.4% and 7.2% of power beyond that needed for annual loads would be supplied
    by CSP with storage and solar thermal for heat, respectively, for peaking and grid stability. Over all 50 states,
    converting would provide 3.9 million 40-year construction jobs and 2.0 million 40-year operation jobs for
    the energy facilities alone, the sum of which would outweigh the 3.9 million jobs lost in the conventional
    energy sector. Converting would also eliminate 62 000 (19 000–115000) U.S. air pollution premature mortalities
    per year today and 46 000 (12000–104 000) in 2050, avoiding $600 ($85–$2400) bil. per year (2013
    dollars) in 2050, equivalent to 3.6 (0.5–14.3) percent of the 2014 U.S. gross domestic product. Converting
    would further eliminate $3.3 (1.9–7.1) tril. per year in 2050 global warming costs to the world due to U.S.
    emissions. These plans will result in each person in the U.S. in 2050 saving $260 (190–320) per year in energy
    costs ($2013 dollars) and U.S. health and global climate costs per person decreasing by $1500 (210–6000) per
    year and $8300 (4700–17 600) per year, respectively. The new footprint over land required will be 0.42% of
    U.S. land. The spacing area between wind turbines, which can be used for multiple purposes, will be 1.6% of
    U.S. land. Thus, 100% conversions are technically and economically feasible with little downside. These roadmaps
    may therefore reduce social and political barriers to implementing clean-energy policies."

    It appears to me that scientists researching future energy supplies have moved way beyond the question of "Can RE supply baseload energy?" and are now planning how to power the entire civilization.  Their conclusion is that current technology is capable of powering all of civilization.  

    Their paper describes all states generating enough power to power that state.  Then interconnects betweeen states balance generation and demand (for example Florida has a lot of solar but no wind for night time generation).  If the system was optimized it would cost less (for example having Texas generate excess power using their large wind resource and exporting power to Florida all day long).  They consider all costs including building out the infrastructure and transmission lines.

  5. PhilippeChantreau at 11:04 AM on 30 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Thanks, that's plenty to chew...

  6. Daniel Bailey at 08:57 AM on 30 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Per the AR5, Contrails and Contrail-Induced Cirrus

    "Estimates of the RF from persistent (linear) contrails often correspond to different years and need to be corrected for the continuous increase in air traffic. More recent estimates tend to indicate somewhat smaller RF than assessed in the AR4...we assess the combined contrail and contrail-induced cirrus ERF for the year 2011 to be +0.05 (+0.02 to +0.15) W m–2 to take into uncertainties on spreading rate, optical depth, ice particle shape and radiative transfer and the ongoing increase in air traffic." Contrails and Contrail-Induced Cirrus

    "AR4 assessed the RF of contrails (persistent linear contrails) as +0.01 (–0.007 to +0.02) W m–2 and provided no estimate for contrail induced cirrus. In AR5, Chapter 7 gives a best estimate of RF due to contrails of +0.01 (+0.005 to +0.03) W m–2 and an ERF estimate of the combined contrails and contrail-induced cirrus of +0.05 (+0.02 to +0.15) W m–2. Since AR4, the evidence for contrail-induced cirrus has increased because of observational studies (for further details see Section 7.2.7)."

  7. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Apropos the NZers et al who are sceptical....

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his comfortable lifestyle depends on not understanding it."

  8. Irreversible loss of world's ice cover should spur leaders into action, say scientists

    Suggested suplemental reading:

    Melting Arctic sea ice could be disrupting the oceans’ circulation—with major consequences by Chelsea Harvey, Energy & Environment, Washington Post, June 29, 2015

  9. Irreversible loss of world's ice cover should spur leaders into action, say scientists

    There is an interesting page, Paul Ward's "Cool Antarctica" that makes an interesting read related to this:

    Under the discussion of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet [and its apparent slow collapse] is the statement:

    "The end result of this is the possibility that we have already been committed to a rise in global sea levels by 3m or more over the coming centuries."

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Link activated.

  10. Rob Honeycutt at 02:44 AM on 30 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Philippe... Here's some information from IPCC AR4 about aviation where they break it down into relative radiative forcing. The figures seem to agree with what I said above with 2015 projections for aviation having a contribution of about 5% of total anthropogenic radiative forcing.

    Some folks will try to slip in the 2-3% CO2 emissions figure to make it seems smaller, but the net total effect is in the range of 5% or so.

  11. PhilippeChantreau at 02:22 AM on 30 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Rob, can you elaborate or point me to a source for aircraft emissions having an effect double their value? Are you talking about CO2 or the ensemble of CO2 and particulates? Does that include the effect of contrails? I would have thought that CO2 emitted closer to the surface, where the IR emitted, would have had more effect. 

  12. Irreversible loss of world's ice cover should spur leaders into action, say scientists

    Assuming the obvious, that global warming will cause direct melting of polar ice caps, let's look at the RATE of sea level increase since the mid-1800s. Google the data with this search: Battery NOAA Sea Level. That give a long-tern look at data. The chart will show a strict linear trend of increase, not the least bit influenced by the world population increase from 1 billion to 7 billion since the beginning of that data measurement. Given that burning of hydrocarbons MUST have increased at least an order of magnitude in that time, the data completely mitigate against any conclusion that there has been influence of man on sea level rise and thus global warming.

    Mean Sea Level Trend 8518750 The Battery, New York

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Your comment is off topic for this thread. Please place further comments on this topic on the thread "How Much Is Sea Level Rising?" Please actually read that post before you comment, instead of making a comment that clearly is refuted in the post. For example, in that post note the greater than linear increase in sea level when measured away from plate boundaries and areas of isostatic rebound, and when measured globally instead of at one location. (Shocking to some is the fact that Manhattan is not the entirety of the world.) Also note that your crude speculation about CO2 rise is unnecessary, because it has been measured.

  13. Rob Honeycutt at 02:04 AM on 30 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    Wili... Currently aviation accounts for about 2-3% of global CO2 emissions, but their effect is about double that because the emissions are primarily released at altitude. Aviation is still a growing industry, but they're also not a denial-driven industry like the FF industry. The entire aviation industry is actively working on more efficient aircraft, alternative fuels, as well as alternative propultion systems. And as anyone who flies can attest (with much grumbling), they're clearly trying to get as many human bodies into the smallest possible aircraft as possible. :-)

    Surface transportation will continue to be the bigger nut to crack since it accounts for 30% of CO2 emissions.

  14. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    The eco-village piece points out that the good people at Findhorn fail to meet sustainable footprint levels mostly because they faly at levels normal for Westerners. I too have noticed that reducing or eliminating flying on quizzes like that at dramatically reduces one's footprint.

    It would be great to see more info on the contributions of flying toward climate change. Is there something about where the emissions are injected into the atmosphere (mostly much higher than most other sources) that changes the profile. Or is it just the large amount of energy and so fuel it takes to accelerate a large metal object to about 600mph away from earth's gravitational center?

    I don't really mean to further burden the mods on this, but if other commenters have any insights or links on this, I would appreciate it.

  15. Glenn Tamblyn at 23:34 PM on 29 June 2015
    It's the sun

    As a first approximation, that you would get a nice peak in the sunspot power series at the solar cycle frequency is a bit of a no-brainer - like duh man!

    Expecting that the temperature data would show a similar correlation is based on assuming a raft of physical realtionships that ae actually unphysical. Starting with the fact that most energy exchange in the climate system is into and out of the oceans which have huge thermal mass and massively damp down any frequency responses to something like solar variations.

    So not what are you missing. What are you expecting and are your expectations reasonable; thermodynamically reasonable?

  16. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #25

    @3, while you have a point about birth control you are also saying he has no right to talk about climate change as a market failure.

     One of the biggest themes of the bible was market failure due to human failure and you are trying to make people forget that point.

  17. ancient_nerd at 16:17 PM on 29 June 2015
    It's the sun

    I tried a fourier analysis of the solar incidence and temperature data.  The idea was that there would be big peaks in the spectra at the frequency of the sunspot cycle.  I used a 121 year period where the SATIRE-T2 and NOAA anomaly sets overlap.  A nice big peak showed up at just the right spot with the Solar Data.  However, with the temperature data, the spectral components were almost missing entirely.  They were actually low points in the noise floor.

    Any idea what I could be missing?

  18. Rob Honeycutt at 12:12 PM on 29 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly Digest #25

    Paraquat... This is a lot more than just "nice." As John said, it's potentially game changing. He couching this as a global moral issue, which it is. And not only that, he's primarly speaking to many millions of people whom have previously been uninvolved, or at least dispassionate about, climate change.

    The Pope knows his audience. I'm excited he's taking on climate change and will happily allow him to tend his flock as he sees best. 

  19. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #25

    Paraquat: Pope Francis is using his moral authority to convince world leaders to commit to taking meaningful action on mitigating manmade climate change when they meet in Paris in December.  This is a significant and potentially a "game-changing" initiative.

  20. 2015 SkS Weekly Digest #25

    This sudden lovefest with the Pope has me scratching my head. Yes, it's nice that he agrees that AGW is real - that's better than denial. But if the Pope wants some real action to solve the problem instead of just spouting some nice words, he can use his power as the head of the Catholic church to lift the Papal ban on birth control. Doing so would instantly improve the lives of millions of Catholics and is as much a human rights issue as it is an environmental issue.

  21. Stephen Baines at 09:01 AM on 29 June 2015
    It's not us

    That is an excellent graphic!  Have to remember that for class.  Thanks Tom D.

  22. It's not us

    Excellent dynamic graphic at Bloomberg, showing natural versus anthropogenic forcings.

  23. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Moderation Comment:

    We are investigating whether or not Superposition and Henchman21 are sockpuppets. Until we complete our investion, please do not repond to any posts made by either Superposition and Henchman21.   

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Henchman21 is confirmed as a sock puppet of SuperPosition.  Both user id's have had their posting rights rescinded.

  24. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26B

    destruction (treating) flue gas emissions and the Future power engineering
    Global warming, power generation, and pollution
    Site "scisyhp-physics - PG-1"

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] Your post is too cryptic to ascertain why you have posted the links to three separate websites. Please explain the points you want to make in a new post. Thank you.

  25. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Henchman21 @185.

    Why do you say the quote(s) do(es)n't "say that variable RE can supply a baseload"? Is the 'RE' being mentioned not variable enough for you? Or is there some part of 'baseload' that you consider isn't supplied by providing "100% renewable elecrticity"? Do explain.

    Moderator Response:

    [JH] We have noted the similarity between Henchm21's postings and those of Superpoition. If there is only one person behind these two user names, the penalty of banishment will be imposed per the SkS Comments Policy. We have zero tolerence for sock puppetry.

  26. Renewables can't provide baseload power


    Happily but I am concerned at the disparity.

    IPCC carries many non peer reviewed reports without objection... If Leo Smith MA is wrong then it should be for factual inaccuracy rather than by result. I hope  you agree.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] I highly suggest you read through the commenting policy for this site. As a moderator here I'm asking you to move on from this track of the discussion, not perpetuate it.

  27. Renewables can't provide baseload power


    Incidentally, your quote does not say that variable RE can supply a baseload.

  28. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    MA Roger 183

    A master of arts isn't good enough now? Since when?

    There's a few people on SKS with MAs who may take exception to that view.

    By all means criticise the content but to attack the credentials and the person as a mechanism of slighting the paper should be beneath you.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Please accept the fact that the Leo Smith piece is a very weak citation and move on. We trust you can find stronger citations to support your arguments.

  29. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Henchman21 @180 & michael sweet @181.
    That Leo Smith thesis has been addressed already up-thread having been introduced by SuperPosition @129. It didn't get a good reception. Indeed, it was introduced elsewhere on SkS back in 2012 but failed even to arrive at this thread. Myself, I don't think Leo Smith, MA. is at all worth citing on this issue.

    SuperPosition @179.
    Spinning reserve operates over a period of minutes. Base load applies to periods of hours. Your confusion does you no credit.
    Your objections about paywalls would be taken more seriously if you were attentive to the papers when initially provided.
    The abstract of the Elliston et al (2013) paper kicks off with the quote:-

    Least cost options are presented for supplying the Australian National Electricity Market (NEM) with 100% renewable electricity using wind, photovoltaics, concentrating solar thermal (CST) with storage, hydroelectricity and biofuelled gas turbines.

    I would have thought that would satisfy your yearning to answer your question @176 "has anyone got any citations that back up the contention that variable RE generators are baseload supplies?"
    If not, perhaps Elliston et al (2012) would do it.

    This research demonstrates that 100% renewable electricity in the NEM, at the current reliability standard, would have been technically feasible for the year 2010 given some particular renewable energy generation mixes including high levels of variable resources such as wind and solar.

  30. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Michael Sweet 181....... Your wild claims

    Calm down. Let's not get ahead of ourselves.

    Please reference all your claims and we can go from there.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] You're a little late to the conversation. Michael Sweet has already cited his references. 

  31. michael sweet at 23:08 PM on 28 June 2015
    Renewables can't provide baseload power


    Your link is to a white paper by Leo Smith who has a MA in electrical sciences.  Most of his references are to Wikipedia.  It is not peer reviewed, it is just a blog post.  In additon, it is dated 2012 and the cost of RE has plummetted since then.  At SkS we prefer to have peer reviewed papers.

     Can you find peer reviewed material to support your wild claim?

  32. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    SuperPosition 179. That is completely correct, to be fair the article does not specify variable RE, however it must be a given that most RE is of the variable variety so at best the strapline is misleading.

    There is an excellent explanation of the reasons behind this in Limitations of 'Renewable' Energy by Leo Smith MA (Electrical sciences)

    I don't necessarily agree with all (or strength) of the final conclusions but the core text is sound.

  33. Daniel Bailey at 21:11 PM on 28 June 2015
    Heat from the Earth’s interior does not control climate

    In order for subaerial volcanoes to warm the ocean, they would have to be erupting on orders of magnitude larger than observed. This also would be affecting the acidification of the ocean, which we know is derived from human FF usages. Per Gerlach 2011:

    "To create more than 35 gigatons per year of volcanic CO2 would require that magma across the globe be produced in amounts exceeding 850 cubic kilometers per year, even for magma hypothetically containing 1.5-weight-percent CO2. It is implausible that this much magma production—more than 40 times the annual midocean ridge magma supply—is going unnoticed, on land or beneath the sea. Besides, the release of more than 35 gigatons per year of volcanic CO2 into the ocean would overwhelm the observed acid-buffering capacity of seawater and contradict seawater’s role as a major sink for atmospheric CO2 [Walker, 1983; Khatiwala et al., 2009]. In short, the belief that volcanic CO2exceeds anthropogenic CO2 implies either unbelievable volumes of magma production or unbelievable concentrations of magmatic CO2. These dilemmas and their related problematic implications corroborate the observational evidence that volcanoes emit far less CO2 than human activities.

    It is informative to calculate volcanic analogs that elucidate the size of humanity’s carbon footprint by scaling up volcanism to the hypothetical intensity required to generate CO2 emissions at anthropogenic levels. For example, using the 2010 ACM factor of 135 (Figure 1) to scale up features of present-day volcanism, Kilauea volcano scales up to the equivalent of 135 Kilauea volcanoes; scaling up all active subaerial volcanoes evokes a landscape with the equivalent of about 9500 active present-day volcanoes [Siebert et al., 2010]. Similarly, the seafloor mid-ocean ridge system scales up to the equivalent of 135 such systems. Of particular interest, though, is the roughly 4 cubic kilometers per year of current global volcanic magma production [Crisp, 1984], which would scale up to about 540 cubic kilometers per year. This significantly exceeds the estimated average magma output rates of continental flood basalt volcanism [Self, 2010], which range from about 10 to 100 cubic kilometers per year. Thus, annual anthropogenic CO2 emissions may already exceed the annual CO2 emissions of several continental flood basalt eruptions, consistent with the findings of Self et al. [2005]."

    Tom Curtis further unpacks this topic very clearly in a comment here.

    It's not subaerial volcanoes.

  34. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    versuvian7 @1.

    I have a response to your third question on a more appropriate thread here.

  35. Heat from the Earth’s interior does not control climate

    vesuvian7 @here

    An estimate of the heat content of the earth was reported by Dickson & Fanelli (2004) thus:-

    It has been estimated that the total heat content of the Earth, reckoned above an assumed average surface temperature of 15 °C, is of the order of 12.6 x 1024 MJ, and that of the crust is of the order of 5.4 x 1021 MJ (Armstead, 1983).

    This seems perhaps low to me but the original reference isn't apparent on-line to check. Taking the 12.6e24 figure, I reckon that amount of heat would raise the oceans by 2,100ºC.

    Your question about how big a fissure would be required to heat the oceans 1ºF in 100 years is not really answerable. Rather, let's stick with how much rock would need to erupt into the oceans with the heat content equal to the task. (Adding in the fissure size required with your time limit of 100 years would embroil you in some serious modeling and a mass of assumptions, so I wouldn't expect anything sensible on that score.)

    If lava has a heat capacity one fifth that of water and arrives at a temperature of, say 1,800 °F, and if the oceans are 360 million sq km and 4km deep, then you'd need 4 million cu km of the stuff which is indeed rather a lot. Krakatoa ejected 25 cu km. Supervolcanoes are classified as those ejecting more than 1,000 cu km (VEI>8) with the largest estimated as "well over 15,000 km³" (see Wiki here). So I reckon that demonstrates that the actual heat coming out from volcanoes has not been a significant player in global climate for billions of years.

    The earth's store of internal energy is remarkably constant. The temperature gradient through the crust has even been used in attempts to provide a record of past surface temperature.

  36. SuperPosition at 18:50 PM on 28 June 2015
    Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Michael Sweet 177:: Here is a list of over 100 articles that referenced Budichak et al. 2103 (linked above). Many of them will contain the information you claim you want. The first one is Elliston et al 2013 , also linked above, which provides all the information you have asked for.

    I'm sorry Michael, but I looked and none of the ones I looked at say what you say they do. All you have done is google something and hoped that, statistically, one of those sites behind a paywall must concur with your view. That is not how it works.

    The one you specifically describe, Elliston et al 2013 does not say that or anything like it - perhaps you misread it, do you have a quote in context?

    Since you have linked nothing but an outdated Wikipedia article from 2010 and a Der Speigel rag.

    You have repeatedly made this claim and ignore the IPCC [144] et al which I posted - what is your problem with the IPCC? The IPCC is a trusted body that works to high standards, if you disagree with them then you should explain why you think that they are wrong. The two Der Speigel articles are also in world press/AP stories - whereas your rebuttal to the news was a RE trade magazine that supports the industry and even then it specifically did not say what you say it does.

    IPCC Glossary::

    ❝Load (electrical): The demand for electricity by (thousands to millions)
    power users at the same moment aggregated and raised by the losses in
    transport and delivery, and to be supplied by the integrated power supply
    system....//.... Base load is power continuously demanded over the period.❞

    A generator that only provides power intermittantly cannot supply the base load unless (a) it is only a minor component of your grid (b) you use spinning reserve (c) you use a method of storage and no grid operator has plans for this.

  37. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    Hi vesuvian and welcome to skeptical science.

    Please allow me to be frank: You're not going to be able to figure out 1 and 2 by yourself even with the data (which is pretty easy to find at the GHCN and RSS websites).

    If you're keen to learn more about climate science, here is a really good place to start, it contains a good primer on temperature data (incl adjustments and raw data) and adresses heat coming from the earth's interior.

  38. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26A

    @Treesong2: The correct links have been inserted. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

  39. Rob Painting at 08:59 AM on 28 June 2015
    Cracking the mystery of the corrosive ocean

    Treesong - true, it's not clear in this post, but my interpretation is that the upper North Atlantic Ocean became denser as a result of surface warming and thus higher evaporation, leaving behind saltier, denser, water in the upper ocean. Eventually, the gradual warming in the deep ocean and the increased salinity (density) in the upper ocean reached a critical point whereupon the surface water began to sink. This denser surface water displaced the corrosive deep water - causing it to spill over the sill into the rest of the ocean.    

  40. Cracking the mystery of the corrosive ocean

    I don't understand the physics here. Most heat enters the ocean from above, so how can the deep ocean become warmer than the top? Unless the world cools, of course, but in that case I'd expect the oceans to shrink rather than overflow the bathtub. It's not like the isolated north Atlantic could be affected by a La Niña-like circulation.

    Does it have something to do with the relative densities of sea water and soda water?

  41. One Planet Only Forever at 08:24 AM on 28 June 2015
    2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #25B

    Knaugle @ 9.

    You may benefit from reviewing the SkS detailed presentation regarding Satellite Data here. There is a significant amount of manipulation of information required to produce 'satellite temperature data'. That is basis for suggesting it is like reconstructive surgery. It appears to be far more complex and prone to fault than the required adjustments of surface temperature data. For one thing, the weather balloon data of the upper atmosphere temperatures that can be used to correlate the satellite data manipulations with are rather sparse.

    Satellite data may eventually become more reliable. However, the Free Mass Open Online Course (indicated at the top right of the home page), includes a very good presentation explaining why the surface temperature will show warming due to increased CO2 while the higher atmosphere will have less warming as the increased CO2 keeps more heat at the surface.

    I hope that helps.

  42. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26A

    The link in the Alaskan wildfire section is to a Bloomberg piece on attribution of AGW, not to Mooney's article.

  43. Welcome to Skeptical Science

    I'm looking for some links. Hopefully someone here can help me.

    1. I'm hearing a lot of fuss about satelite data diverging from other climate data sets. ( I'm assuming that these are public data sets. Can someone point me to where I could download them? I'm assuming they're a few hundred gigs or so of text when uncompressed?

    2. I've also heard that there was a recent change of normalization procedures that deniers are saying increased warming, but this site seems to claim made no difference. Can someone point me to data sets that I can examine and decide? A few pointers of where to start looking would be appreciated too.

    3. There's been a lot of study of the sun, the oceans, and glaciers. Is anybody aware of a study quantifying the amount of heat contained in the Earth's core? Hypothetically speaking, how big of a fizzure would need to open in the ocean floor to warm the oceans 1 degree farenheit over 100 years? Is there even enough energy in the earth's core to do that? My gut says that someone's thought of this and studied it ad-nauseum. I'm just curious what they found. Can someone point me to their research?

    Thank you!

    Moderator Response:

    [Rob P] - The oceans are warming from the top down - see the image below adapted from the IPCC AR5. Granted not a lot of readers understand oceanography, but geothermal heating as a possible cause would require some crazy kind of physics to match the observations - buoyancy considerations for instance.


    [TD] In addition to the link One Planet Only Forever gave you regarding satellite data, see climate statistician Tamino's recent post of balloon data, "Desperate for a Pause."

    For the "recent change of normalization" see the SkS post "What You Need to Know About the NOAA Global Warming Faux Pause Paper."

    See "Underground Temperatures Control Climate."

  44. 2015 SkS Weekly News Roundup #26A

    Good article on the 6 heatwaves hitting the planet, but already a bit out of date: The Pakistan heatwave has now far exceed the "nearly 700 reported in that article; latest reports have over

  45. Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Moderation Comment

    Superposition coninues to blatantly violate the SkS Comments Policy's prohibition of excessive repetition. Consequently his/her future comments on this thread will be summarily deleted. 

  46. michael sweet at 22:02 PM on 27 June 2015
    Renewables can't provide baseload power


    Here is a list of over 100 articles that referenced Budichak et al. 2103 (linked above).  Many of them will contain the information you claim you want.  The first one is Elliston et al 2013 , also linked above, which provides all the information you have asked for.  Since I have posted this information before and you have not read or responded to the information contained in them, why should I expect you to read them now?

    Since you have linked nothing but an outdated Wikipedia article from 2010 and a Der Speigel rag, why do you require me to provide peer reviewed data?  If you have nothing peer reviewed to contribute to the discusssion you need to stop wasting everyone elses time.  

    Since you are obviously just a troll I will no longer post any responses to you.

    Moderator Response:

    [RH] Let's try to keep the tone in check. Thx.

  47. SuperPosition at 20:28 PM on 27 June 2015
    Renewables can't provide baseload power

    Any attempt to turn this thread into a discussion of nuclear options instead RE issues will be deleted. Posts must be on topic or they will be removed.

    Can we agree that we are discussing the myth that largescale Variable RE sources by themselves are compatable with baseload requirements?

    If so then pursuant to this, comparisons with genuine baseload suppliers such as low carbon CCS- CCGT/OCGT gas, nuclear, hydro or biofuels are inevitable and have been made elsewhere on this thread without comment from any moderator.

    Even fusion has been discussed at length - not a peep. So I don't mean to pester, but is one rule for all really too much to expect?


    Back to the subject, has anyone got any citations that back up the contention that variable RE generators are baseload supplies?

    Accepting that they would require the addittion of grid storage and grid restructuring, is anyone aware of any costs applied to this - I cannot find a single country with that plan in the pipeline.

    If that is the case then surely it should be revisited as an idea, no?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Moderation complaints and off-topic snipped.

  48. Rob Honeycutt at 06:25 AM on 27 June 2015
    Watts' New Paper - Analysis and Critique

    Oh, and you're right. It was three years ago, not two! Amazing.

  49. Watts' New Paper - Analysis and Critique

    Rob Honeycutt - An excellent, and very amusing, point. 

  50. Rob Honeycutt at 06:12 AM on 27 June 2015
    Watts' New Paper - Analysis and Critique

    MA Rogers...  A tad ironic being that one of the latest conspiracy theories about Cook13 is that Environmental Research Letters was created for the purpose of publishing the 97% Consensus paper.

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