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"I do realize it is a community of climate policy makers who try to do some science in their spare time, as they are posting there regularly in office hours. Check the timestamps."
Oh dear Peter, your prejudices are showing!
The RealClimate "community" are extraordinarily productive scientists. We could look at the first two on RickG's list just above, for example, and find that Gavin Schmidt has published since 2005 more than 40 papers (in real science journals) which have been cumulatively cited well over 1000 times, and that Michael Mann has published over 40 papers since 2005 that have been cited around 800 times....
these are truly impressive records of scientific productivity during the period they (and others) have been running RealClimate.org.
I wonder whether you misunderstand the nature of science in the modern world. Every grant application we write, for example, must include descriptions on how our research results will be disseminated, and the enhancement of public understanding is a fundamental element of the scientists role.
Schmidt and Mann and the "community" at RealClimate illustrate how a straightforward and honest application to obtaining and disseminating knowledge go hand in hand. And while their "timestamps" indicate that they may fulfill some of their public understand roles during office hours (and why not?) you can be sure that like most scientists that work in the public sphere, they will be doing science outside of office hours too!
Peter, do we really want our scientists to be "office drones"? Of course not...we want them to be insightful and productuve and their work to be useful and influential....rather like the "community" at RealClimate
Climate's changed before
It seems that you have alot of scientific information that mis-intreperted, could result in mistaken understanding. I believe that is what is going on in the world today. The simple facts are that 70% of our oxygen comes from phytoplankton found in the ocean. Coral reefs remove about 33% of the world's carbon dioxide. Temperatures have been steadily increasing for the past decade. They are finding that the plankton are living deeper than before. The photic layer of the ocean only extends so far, if we loose the plankton, 70% of the world will die. Coral reefs are bleaching (temporarily dying) at an alarming rate. I have worked outside for 30 straight years and I know it is getting hotter. I have 4 college degrees, two science minors, one B.S. in Zoology, and an IQ of 136. I fininshed in the top 8% of all of my military and college analytical classes. In junior high on the Standford Achievement Test I scored in the top 8% of the entire state in both mathematics and english. I finished top of my critical logic and reasoning class. I am convinced with every fiber of understanding in me that global climate change is happening and if left unchecked, there will be catastrophic events.
Unfortunately the MWP isn't as much of a comfort for denialists as they'd like to think.
When it ended, social chaos (including the Reformation and wars of religion) erupted across Europe and millions died. If that's what happens when it cools, we can expect something similar when it warms.
To the denialist argument "but the climate changes all the time" we should always add "and when it does species go extinct".
CO2 lags temperature
BP - Nonetheless the assertions by Nick Stokes are easily checked in a text book. The lack of peer-reviewed rebuttal may have something to do with those who do atmospheric science having better things to do. Get back to me when there is peer-reviewed research (other than E&E) that builds on his paper with empirical results.
The "peer-review" of E&E allows it to fulfill the function of tobacco science journals. It would be career damaging to publish there and you would be mad to publish a real scientific result there. Pseudo-skeptics strenuously argue that this should not be true, but that is the reality, like or not.
CO2 lags temperature
244 Berényi Péter: I do realize it is a community of climate policy makers who try to do some science in their spare time, as they are posting there regularly in office hours. Check the timestamps.
So, Gavin Schmidt, Michael Man, Caspar Ammann, Rasmus Benestad, Ray Bradley, Stefan Rahmstorf, Eric Steig, David Archer, Ray Pierrehumbert, Thibault de Garidel, Jim Bouldin and many others are just climate policy makers. Well, I'm glad we cleared up that bit of information. As for E&E it is not listed by ISI as being a peer review journal and Scopus lists Energy & Environment as a trade journal.
Again, what do you specifically disagree with in the "hasty debunking"?
It's not either/or. We accomplish amazing and inspiring things, and we're also guilty — frequently — of incredible stupidity and shortsightedness and brutality.
To be "problem solvers," we have to be able to acknowledge that a problem exists. Currently, you seem to be trying to avoid doing so, for reasons that you yourself acknowledge are largely emotional.
My feeling is that if this problem can be solved, it will be solved by people who are capable of looking it in the face, accepting it rationally, and taking personal responsibility. In the absence of that commitment, your platitudes about "humanity" seem more like some conscience-numbing narcotic than an expression of true optimism.
Very interesting (and revealing )post. Regarding this from E&E:
"The voices of well known scientists opposed to this dominant paradigm (e.g. Lindzen, Spencer, Singer, Christy McIntyre, Pielke, Khandakar)".
McIntyre is not a scientist. And Singer is, well, a scientist for hire it seems, and seems to have some intriguing ideas on climate science. Khandakar is not a prominent climate scientist and of late his reputation has fallen into disrepute in the scientific community. Lindzen's iris hypothesis remains that, a hypothesis.
The "skeptics" do love to hammer away at the models, forgetting that Pielke, Lindzen, Spencer etc. all use models in their research. Not to mention that one doesn't require a model to estimate climate sensitivity for a doubling of CO2.
And look at all those pejorative words "paradigm", "protagonist", "dominant"....
The voices of well known scientists opposed to this dominant paradigm (e.g. Lindzen, Spencer, Singer, Christy McIntyre, Pielke, Khandakar), and backed by their own research, have been less clearly heard.
Doubts about the mainstream "CO2-paradigm" arise because there is so little evidence from direct observations to support the framework that has been constructed from computer model studies/experiments.
However, so far, we can see no sign that the protagonists of the IPCC line on expected Dangerous Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) are willing to consider any alternative to the CO2 paradigm.
I myself have argued the cause of climate 'realism' - I am a geomorphologist by academic training before switching to environmental international relations - but do so on more the basis of political rather than science-based arguments. As far as the science of climate change is concerned, I would describe myself as agnostic.
Over a hundred years of empirical research by thousands of independent scientists merits the term "AGW hypothesis", while a single work that is contradicted by observational records merits "Miskolczi theory"? This is a prime example of a political rather than science-based argument.
It's amusing that Miskolczi's work, a model based on simulated effects, is being pushed by those who decry the vast bulk of climatological research as invalid for being nothing more than models & simulated effects.
I have spent many hours examining it and thinking about it, ... I disagree with his explanation of why the atmosphere’s total greenhouse effect should remain the same, particularly his use of Kirchoff’s Law of Radiation.
Hasty debunking? What part of the hasty debunking do you disagree with? You do realize that the "RealClimate.org community blog" is a community of practicing climatologists don't you? As for E&E, it is my understanding that it is not a peer review journal and has a rather dubious reputation of publishing less than scholarly science?
CO2 lags temperature #237scaddenp at 06:31 AM on 4 February, 2011 Bibliovermis - Miskolczi is a crank. You can see a quick summary of what he postulates here
Some may want to check what Dr. Miskolczi (and others) actually say about a possible upper bound on atmospheric IR optical depth due to IR absorber (a.k.a. "greenhouse") gases in a planetary atmosphere with practically infinite potential supply of IR opacity instead of accepting at face value the rather hasty debunking provided by RC Wiki (a supplement to the RealClimate.org community blog).
The 2010 Climate B.S.* of the Year Award
As I understood it the argument was that there are more transient warm events than transient cold events. The cold temperatures come with nightly low temperatures and the like. They happen gradually. Whereas, you can have daylight spikes in temperature that are much more sudden. Such as when the sun comes out from behind a cloud.
I think this line of argument ended with the post that pointed out that poleward and upward migrations of organisms cannot be explained by this, nor can sea level rise, or glacial retreat.
Also, while I understand that parts of America are experiencing lots of snow and cold temperatures, that isn't the case for the rest of the Northern Hemisphere - as far as I'm aware. Temperatures in Europe, at least, are normal for the time of year, although they are going up and down all the time. And, the last I heard, Canada and the Arctic were pretty mild, comparatively ?
Tree-rings diverge from temperature after 1960
JMurphy, thanks for your response and the links. It is seldom that I have such a quick turnaround in thought, so I find this astonishing. While driving somewhere just a few minutes ago, and mulling over the point I just made on this forum, I had an epiphany of sorts. How ironic I found it to be that the very first comment posted at the first link you provided—a comment made by one ProfMandia—was exactly the thought that hit me!
How strange it would seem that if the tree ring proxies were somehow wrong in the prerecorded temperature times of the Mann chart that they should be both wrong and so closely correlated with other reconstructions using various other proxies as opposed to tree rings. As ProfMandia points out, what are the odds of that? What are the odds that they should all be not just inaccurate, but so closely so in the same way?
Therefore, unless the skeptics can somehow prove collusion on the part of all these researchers who have presented temperature reconstructions based upon various proxies, then at least the part of the theory that we are living in an anomalously warm period has been proven to my satisfaction. Being convinced that we are responsible for this, and that the result will be necessarily deleterious to a significant extent, might take me some more time Perhaps I shall mull over these latter points while shoveling out of yet our next snowstorm! (G)
By the way, I realize it is hard to sell this theory while so many people in the Northern Hemisphere have been enduring two brutal winters in a row; thus the falling poll numbers as to how many take the theory seriously right now. However, adherents do have a point about warmer air causing more evaporation from lakes and such and thus more snow.
It hasn’t been, by and large, the temperatures that have been so brutal, just the snow and sometimes ice. When I was a teenager and young man in the 70s here in Philadelphia, I can recall it was not at all uncommon for the temperature in the winter to frequently dip to single digits and even hit zero (F) occasionally. We haven’t experienced too much of that for many years and the ponderous amount of snow we have been getting has largely been (backbreaking!) wet snow as the temperatures unfortunately have a penchant to remain just below freezing. So you might be right on this point as well, as odd as it might seem to others and me. If AGW is true and we must endure it and its potential consequences, I just wish it could at least get us over 32 here! I wasn’t expecting the 70s in January.
It's not us
Julian, I tried to reply to your question on Dr Spencer's blog, but it wouldn't accept it, so hopefully you will find it here at some point:
If you get hold of a copy of the 1990 IPCC WG1 scientific basis report and go to page 14, you will find it gives the mass balance argument there about three quarters of the way down column 2 (only in rather less detail than I provided on skepticalscience). Its says
"Second, the observed rate of CO2 increase closely parallels the accumulated emissions trends from fossil fuel combustion and from land use changes. Since the start of almospheric monitoring in 1958, the annual atmospheric increase has been smaller each year than the fossil fuel input [DK the difference is even bigger if you include land use changes]. Thus ocean and biota together must have been a [DK net] global sink rather than a source during all these years"
So it is in the litterature, just that it doesn't merit much discussion anymore as it is so well known (I have seen it given a similarly brief mention in a paper or two).
If there is one observation where natural variability can be ruled out, this is it. We know for sure that the rise in atmospheric CO2 is anthropogenic, as the theory that it is from natural sources is 100% falsified by the observation that the annual increase is smaller than fossil fuel emissions.
"NOAA/NCDC Annual Global Temperature Change vs CO2 dataset clearly shows ... rising CO2 had little impact"
Utter nonsense. The graph shows annual temperature change, ie T(now) - T(last year). This removes any long term trend and therefore cannot be compared with the long term increase of atmospheric CO2. Any conclusions taken from the website you reference are therefore also utter nonsense.
Surely you can do better than a misapplication of basic math and science?
What happened to the evidence for man-made global warming?
NETDR@95 It is a bit of a strawman, have a look at the IPCC WG1 report and you will find that virtually all claims made there are accompanied by a statement of the (un)certainty with which the claim was made. If the mainstream position were that these things were proven, then such equivocation would not be necessary.
There is a reason for this. It is fundamentally impossible to prove any proposition regarding the real world by means of evidence alone. We have known this since the work of David Hume, who argued that we can't observe causality. Instead, knowledge of the real world has to be based on assumptions as well as observation. That is why much of the philosophy of science is based on falsification rather than proof (proof is for mathematics).
However, proof is not required for a scientific theory to be accepted as fact. Nobody has every proved that the theory of evolution is correct, yet most scientists accept it as fact. So why do we accept evolution as a fact rather than "merely a theory", simple, becuase it is a relatively simple theory that explains a wide range of observations rather well; rather better than competing theories. This illustrates an important point about scientific method; when there are competing theories that have not been ruled out by observations, you don't rule out any of them and instead assign a degree of belief in the plausibility of each theory according to how well it explains the data. how much of the data it explains, and the strength of the argument and reasonableness of the assumptions on which it is based. For those that accept AGW, it is not that it is proven, or merely assumed, there is a lot of research which suggests it is the most plausible explanation for the observed facts, not just for the climate of today, but also for paleoclimate.
Now on to the challenge - has anyone proved that the species we see today are not the result of purely random mutations and was not driven by evolutionary pressure? No. Does that cast any doubt on evolution? No. The reason is that such a falsification is impossible, even though the theory of purely random chance is almost certainly incorrect.
Did SPencer say what would constitute a falsification of the "theory of natual variation"? If not, he is asking for the falsification of an unfalsifiable theory, and unfalsifiable theories are non-scientific (Popper).
Essentially the challenge works nicely as rhetoric, but it suggests a rather "atypical" philosophy of science.
P.S. I saw the "null hypothesis" thread on WUWT, it was incorrect there as well, for much the same reason. Scientific theories are not equally plausible just because neither has been falsified; in that situation science has used the "weight of evidence" for a long time. As David Hume says "A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence." (he could also out-consume Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, so he was someone worth listening to!)
My next request would be an "indicators of a climate sensitivity of 3˚C or higher" graphic... with links to Skeptical Science pages, as well as to the individual peer-reviewed papers supporting each indicator.
IMO, we are letting the deniers "win" when we let them focus too much of the debate on the obvious and undeniable (whether the world is warming, what is actually causing the warming, whether greenhouse gases actually work as understood, etc.).
The relevant debate, at this point in time, is "how warm are things going to get?" Lindzen and Spencer know this is the only battleground they have left, so they put their energies into the magical properties of clouds, despite a severe lack of evidence supporting their position. On the other side, there are myriad proxy studies, simple physics based mathematics, model results, and more that point to 3˚C or higher. Every time I look, it seems like another study points to 3˚C+ warming.
We're heading into cooling
Check out this site: //www.c3headlines.com/2011/01/noaa-confirms-recent-global-temperature-change-is-historically-small-warming-is-decelerating.html
NOAA/NCDC Annual Global Temperature Change vs CO2 dataset clearly shows the big picture: Rising levels of CO2 have had little, if any at all, impact on annual global temperature changes. The global annual global temperature changes are within normal variability.
I disagree. Demonstrating the countless deliberate misrepresentations and out-right false claims by Monckton and others who claim to be skeptics is essential in revealing to others just how determined and corrupt the denial machine is.
Most skeptics/deniers I encounter have little if any idea how science works or the value of the peer review process. Rather, their knowledge is based entirely on what their preferred political sources tell them. In other words, they cannot separate science from politics nor do they wish to do so.
Tree-rings diverge from temperature after 1960
John, either your inability or choice not to respond to JMath (1/31/10) does not instill confidence. He makes a very valid point of criticism; one I have voiced myself on various forums. The utility of Dr. Mann’s temperature reconstruction is entirely dependent upon an assumption that is neither provable nor disprovable; thus is unscientific. The assumption is, as JMath pointed out, that the tree ring divergence problem only pertains to recent years. Since there are no recorded temperatures throughout most of the time span of the hockey stick graph, there is no way to verify the correctness of this assumption. This in turn casts grave doubts upon the accuracy of the entire reconstruction.
Monckton Myths - a one-stop-shop for Monckton misinformation RSVP, instead of wallowing in victimhood or bringing up spurious attempts at diversion, why don't you comment on the subject in hand : Monckton.
What do you think of the 'arguments' given by him above ? Do you agree with him or any of his 'arguments' ?
CO2 lags temperature
Feet2thefire is plainly in complete ignorance of the logical place of models in science. A model is a set of mathematical formula that encapsulate a combination of known physical laws and some proposed theory. For any models other than the simplest, they need to be run on computers because of the number of calculations involved. For even moderately complex climate models they need to be run on super computers. But that does not change their logical basis.
Because a model is a set of mathematical formulas encapsulating a theory, the output of a model run is just the prediction of that theory for a given set of initial conditions. (In chaotic systems, its a little more complex than that, but that's basically it.) So, and obviously, model outputs are not evidence. But that does not mean they are irrelevant. When Santer says, "Model experiments suggest that this increase cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone.", that means that no theory using natural variability alone as inputs predicts the observed increase in tropopause height.
Just to make this quite clear. Models (and hence theories) including anthropogenic influences predict the increase in tropopause height. But no model (and hence theory) not including anthropogenic influences predicts the increase in tropopause height. This fact is not, of course, evidence. It is, however, proof that the increase in tropopause height is evidence of anthropogenic influence.
Feet2thefire's slovenly argument is simply a demand that emperical observations (even if only with radiosonde) be not counted as evidence against theories that don't predict it; and not be counted as evidence for theories that do. It is a de facto demand that science be evidence free.
I have not gone through all of Feet2thefire's endlessly turgid and repetitive spammed responce. I did note in passing a few blatant errors. Reanalysis is not, for example, weather forcasting. But what struck me most was the obtuse nitpicking. Obtuse because the nitpicks is clearly based on a total failure to understand what is said. They reveal Feet2thefire to be a scientific illiterate.
Just one example. He picks fault with Santer for saying, "To date, no study has quantified the contributions of different anthropogenic and natural forcing mechanisms to tropopause height changes over the 20th century." (My emphasis) According to him, this is an admission by Santer that as of 2003, nobody had answered Spencer's challenge. But for his responce to make any sense, tropopause height would need to be the only possible signal of anthropogenic climate change.
The Santer paper is not good science. How in the world did Science actually publish such a weak, sloppy, illogical mess like that? I am not impressed.
Is Santer kidding?
A model-predicted fingerprint [human, I will assume he means] of tropopause height changes is statistically detectable in two different observational (“reanalysis”) datasets.
It is a model, folks. Models are not empirical evidence.
First of all, Santer is using tropopause height as a proxy for, not warming, but he takes it to an unwarranted next step, bypassing the warming itself and going straight to "humans did it."
His statement should have been in two parts. First it should have said, "We show that tropopause height is a quantifiable proxy for a warming climate," and then he should have shown his evidence that it was humans that caused the tropopause height change. His logic is flawed. His CO2 = humans thinking is getting in the way of his logic.
Increases in tropopause height over the last several decades have been identified in radiosonde data (2), in observationally-constrained numerical weather forecasts (reanalyses) (3), and in climate models forced by combined natural and
anthropogenic effects (4).
Wow. The only empirical evidence here is the first, radiosonde data, and it is only evidence that the tropopause has changed. Nothing in that fact points at humans. The 2nd one is weather forecasts, and forecasts are not empirical evidence. They are guesses. The 3rd is climate models, and models are not empirical evidence, either. So all he is left with is "Weather balloons say the tropopause changed height." That says nothing about humans. To Santer maybe it does, but it isn't scientific to take that quantum leap. Santer: In logic you can't leave steps out.
Model experiments suggest that this increase cannot be explained by natural climate variability alone (4).
Again, models are not empirical evidence. They are lines of code and can only give back what is programmed in. GIGO anyone? I am not slurring the modelers intentions, just that they need each physical process to be 100% proven out before they can rely on the output of that portion of the code. And they also need to not include even one code character of supposition or surmise or assumption.
To date, no study has quantified the contributions of different anthropogenic and natural forcing mechanisms to tropopause height changes over the 20th century.
THIS one is beautiful. Santer here is admitting that as of 2003 no one - I repeat, no one - had done what Dr. Spencer is asking in 2011. So, the first question should be, "Has anyone done it since then?" Of course, in this paper Santer is claiming that he and his cohorts have come to rescue climate science from that oversight.
But has he?
We estimate these contributions here, and demonstrate the usefulness of tropopause height as an integrated indicator of human-induced climate change.
Sorry. Demonstrating based on estimates? Not science. I think he can do better than that.
Really guys, this is not well done. On this site where you claim to be properly skeptical, you don't let that pass as science, do you?
And this one in the Abstract caught my eye:
Tropopause height changes simulated over 1900-1949 are smaller than in recent decades, and are driven largely by variations in volcanic aerosols and solar irradiance.
I'll even pass on the "simulated" and get to the real goody:
This is the same solar irradiance that has been shot down as a direct and naturalforcing for warming itself, but it is okay for Santer to drag it out and claim a causal link to tropopause height? For a proxy? Wow. That sure seems to be a double standard. But at the same time, let's see what Santer does with it...
Okay, he only mentions it twice in the body of the text. The first is
The natural external forcings considered are changes in solar irradiance (S) and volcanic aerosols (V)
where he assigns a variable name to it. Okay... No real science there. . .
Then the last mention of solar irradiance is:
Solar irradiance changes over the 20th century warm both the troposphere and the stratosphere with offsetting effects on tropopause height.
First here, let's point out that this is the only meaty (?) use of solar irradiance in the entire paper.
But this is puzzling. Without any sourcing, he states it as fact, leaving everyone else (I guess) to stipulate that it is an uncontested fact. But, wow. He is giving solar irradiance a power that isn't referenced and a power that isn't allowed to anyone who tries to use it as a direct forcing on climate warming directly, who want to use it as a "natural forcing." They can't use it directly, but he can use it as a forcing - for a proxy - with no demonstrated evidence that it is even really true.
Do I have that right?
He can't do that.
VERY poor logic, sloppy concepting of the paper - what can I say? Terrible...
And in conclusion, nowhere in it does Santer develop an answer to Dr. Spencer's challenge.
Models and simulations and estimates - none of them are empirical evidence that does what Santer claims it does.
Solar irradiance - if he wants to use that for proxies, he has to "show his work," and prove why it is valid to use it. And then allow everyone else to use it.
Seriously, if I were a grading it as a paper, I'd flunk the dude.
There is no possibility of a logical discussion between us on this subject. You see humanity as passive victims of change. I see us as dynamic problem solvers. That simple fact is not going to be resolved by trading science.
I guess you're on "The Road" with Viggo Mortensen, I'm in the Shuttle with Bruce Willis.
It's not really a debate; that would imply some sort of parity between the two sides. If you look around this site for any length of time (and you should), you will quickly realize that most denier positions fall flat on their face.
"despite being told that 'the science has been settled' by the majority of the media"
What media do you watch? Most of the media ignores climate change as a political hot potato -- and those who do talk about it feel compelled to pretend it needs a 'fair and balanced' presentation.
"the work of Dr. Ferenc Miscolzi"
Very convincingly shown to be false here. Before falling for a fringe theory, it would be best to read up on the basics here at SkS. Start with the newcomers guide, then read through the rebuttals to the common skeptic arguments.
It's not bad
eric. that's nice. I'm not expecting Apocalypse tomorrow, or even in my lifetime. However, the papers by Matthews and Weaver, and Hare and Meinshausen for instance lead me to conclude that even if we start making changes now, it will take a long time to turn the climate ship around. There are significant risks associated with change that becomes too rapid as well - instability from climate refugees, effects from failures in food production, in particular - that I suspect will effect everyone on planet however isolated from direct effects they may be.
CO2 lags temperature
hey guys, i am an engineer so i am no expert in the field of climate science however i am deeply interested. i take quite a neutral position on whether CO2 is driving the climate, there still seems to be strong scientific debate over the issue despite being told that 'the science has been settled' by the majority of the media. I was just wondering have you guys seen the work of Dr. Ferenc Miscolzi? he has published quite a few papers. His conclusions are that there is a constantly maintained green house gas factor that cannot be changed with further emissions alone. He claims that there would be an equivalent amount of water vapour withdrawing from the atmosphere as the CO2 rises. I'm interested to hear standpoints on his work. Thanks