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New research from last week 12/2012

Posted on 27 March 2012 by Ari Jokimäki

This week I hacked into the servers of AGU, Elsevier, Wiley, AMS, and Springer, and found out that they have stored brand new research papers in there! So, for the sake of transparency, I have included some of them below. As you can see, this community of scientists is very nosy bunch. They try to find out the secrets of just about anything. They even use satellites to spy on the Earth! They also tried to come up with a name for these texts that would be as abstract as possible, so they call them "abstracts".

Can species spread fast enough to keep up with climate change?

Keeping pace with climate change: what can we learn from the spread of Lessepsian migrants? - Hiddink et al. (2012)

Abstract: "Species need to move to keep pace with changing climates, but we do not know if species can move at the required speed. Spread rates of native species may underestimate how fast species can move, we therefore assessed how fast Lessepsian species (marine non-native species that invaded the Mediterranean from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal) can spread to give a ‘best-case’ assessment of the effects of climate change on marine biodiversity. We show that about 20% of Lessepsian species could not spread fast enough to keep pace with climate change in about 20% of the global seas and this suggests that climate change may lead to biodiversity loss. The velocity of climate change on the seabed is much lower than at the sea surface, and as a result of this the proportion of species that keep pace with climate change at the seabed was much larger than at the sea surface. This suggests that locations at depth could act as refuges for slow dispersing species. Our analysis compared different estimates of the spreading abilities of marine species and showed that the estimate of spread rates strongly affects the predicted effect of climate change on biodiversity. Providing more accurate estimates of the spreading ability of marine species should therefore have priority if we want to predict the effect of climate change on marine biodiversity. This study is a first approximation of the potential scale and distribution of global marine biodiversity loss and can provide benchmark estimates of the spread rates that species could achieve in colonizing suitable habitat. Assisted colonization may be required to maintain biodiversity in the most strongly affected areas."

Citation: J.G. Hiddink, F. Ben Rais Lasram, J. Cantrill, Andrew J. Davies, Global Change Biology, DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2012.02698.x.

Europe has become less cloudy during 1984-2007 period

European hot summers associated with a reduction of cloudiness - Tang et al. (2012)

Abstract: "A pronounced summer warming is observed in Europe since the 1980s that has been accompanied with an increase in the occurrence of heat waves. Water deficit that strongly reduces surface latent cooling is a widely accepted explanation for the causes of hot summers. We show that the variance of European summer temperature is partly explained by changes in summer cloudiness. Using observation-based products of climate variables, satellite-derived cloud cover and radiation products, we show that during the 1984-2007 period Europe has become less cloudy (except of northeastern Europe) and the regions east of Europe have become cloudier in summer daytime. In response, the summer temperatures increased in the areas of total cloud cover decrease, and stalled or declined in the areas of cloud cover increase. Trends in the surface shortwave radiation are generally positive (negative) in the regions with summer warming (cooling or stalled warming), while the signs of trends in top-of-atmosphere (TOA) reflected shortwave radiation are reversed. Our results suggest that total cloud cover is either the important local factor influencing the summer temperature changes in Europe or a major indicator of these changes."

Citation: Qiuhong Tang, Guoyong Leng, Pavel Ya. Groisman, Journal of Climate 2012, doi:

Most likely global warming threshold for September Arctic sea ice to disappear is 2°C

September Arctic sea ice predicted to disappear near 2°C global warming above present - Mahlstein & Knutti (2012)

Abstract: "The decline of Arctic sea ice is one of the most visible signs of climate change over the past several decades. Arctic sea ice area shows large interannual variability due to the numerous factors, but on longer time scales the total sea ice area is approximately linearly related to Arctic surface air temperature in models and observations. Overall, models however strongly underestimate the recent sea ice decline. Here we show that this can be explained with two interlinked biases. Most climate models simulate a smaller sea ice area reduction per degree local surface warming. Arctic polar amplification, the ratio between Arctic and global temperature, is also underestimated but a number of models are within the uncertainty estimated from natural variability. A recalibration of an ensemble of global climate models using observations over 28 years provides a scenario independent relationship and yields about 2°C change in annual mean global surface temperature above present as the most likely global temperature threshold for September sea ice to disappear, but with substantial associated uncertainty. Natural variability in the Arctic is large and needs to be considered both for such recalibrations as well as for model evaluation, in particular when observed trends are relatively short."

Citation: Mahlstein, I. and R. Knutti (2012), September Arctic sea ice predicted to disappear near 2{degree sign}C global warming above present, J. Geophys. Res., doi:10.1029/2011JD016709.

All weather events are affected by climate change

Framing the way to relate climate extremes to climate change - Trenberth (2012) [FULL TEXT]

Abstract: "The atmospheric and ocean environment has changed from human activities in ways that affect storms and extreme climate events. The main way climate change is perceived is through changes in extremes because those are outside the bounds of previous weather. The average anthropogenic climate change effect is not negligible, but nor is it large, although a small shift in the mean can lead to very large percentage changes in extremes. Anthropogenic global warming inherently has decadal time scales and can be readily masked by natural variability on short time scales. To the extent that interactions are linear, even places that feature below normal temperatures are still warmer than they otherwise would be. It is when natural variability and climate change develop in the same direction that records get broken. For instance, the rapid transition from El Niño prior to May 2010 to La Niña by July 2010 along with global warming contributed to the record high sea surface temperatures in the tropical Indian and Atlantic Oceans and in close proximity to places where record flooding subsequently occurred. A commentary is provided on recent climate extremes. The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question. All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be."

Citation: Kevin E. Trenberth, Climatic Change, DOI: 10.1007/s10584-012-0441-5.

Future grass yield increases in North Europe but also frost damage risk might increase

Assessing uncertainties in impact of climate change on grass production in Northern Europe using ensembles of global climate models - Höglind et al. (2012)

Abstract: "Forage-based dairy and livestock production is the backbone of agriculture in Northern Europe in economic terms. Changes in growing conditions that affect forage grass yield may have great economic consequences. This study assessed the impact of climate change on two grass species, timothy and ryegrass, at 14 locations in Northern Europe (Iceland, Scandinavia, Baltic countries) in a near-future scenario (2040–2065) compared with the baseline period 1960–1990. Local-scale climate scenarios were based on the CMIP3 multi-model ensembles of 15 global climate models in order to quantify the uncertainty in the impacts relating to highly uncertain projections of future climate. Potential yield of timothy, the most important perennial forage grass in Northern Europe, was simulated under the assumption of optimal overwintering conditions and current CO2 level, in order to obtain an estimate of the effect of changes in summer climate per se. The risk of frost and ice damage during winter was also assessed. The simulation results demonstrated that potential grass yield will increase throughout the study area, mainly as a result of increased growing temperatures. The yield response to climate change was slightly larger in irrigated than non-irrigated conditions (14% and 11%, respectively), due to larger water deficit for the 2050 scenario. However, a geo-climatic gradient was evident, with the largest predicted yield response at western locations. A geo-climatic gradient was also revealed with respect to potential frost damage, which was predicted to increase during winter in some areas east of the Baltic Sea for timothy, and for a larger number of locations both east and west of the Baltic Sea for perennial ryegrass. The risk of frost damage in spring was predicted to increase mainly in western parts of the study area. If frost damage to perennial ryegrass increases during winter, the expected increase in winter temperature due to global warming may not necessarily improve overwintering conditions, so the growing zone may not necessarily expand to the north and east of the study area by 2050. The uncertainty in impacts was frequently, but not consistently, greater in western than eastern locations."

Citation: Mats Höglind, Stig Morten Thorsen, Mikhail A. Semenov, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology,

Weak evidence for bipolar seesaw between Arctic and Antarctic climate

Is a bipolar seesaw consistent with observed Antarctic climate variability and trends? - Schneider & Noone (2012)

Abstract: "A bipolar seesaw of Arctic and Antarctic temperature anomalies has been reported to be evident in instrumental data on decadal timescales during the last century. This finding hinges upon a global temperature data set that for the area polewards of ~60{degree sign}S is derived from only one sub-Antarctic station prior to the mid-1940s, and does not include a substantial number of Antarctic stations until the late 1950s. The timeseries of the single-station record for the early period spliced to the data based on broader coverage for the latter period is an artificial estimate of the Antarctic climate trend and its variability. We estimate the real variability using the original timeseries from the sub-Antarctic station, a reconstruction of the Southern Annular Mode index, and an ice-core based reconstruction of Antarctic temperature. None of these Antarctic timeseries are significantly correlated with Arctic or North Atlantic climate records, nor with the index of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which was proposed as the driving mechanism of the seesaw. Instead, each of these records is consistently correlated with tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures. However, neither the seesaw nor the tropics alone can fully capture the complexity of Antarctic climate variability and climate change."

Citation: Schneider, D. P. and D. C. Noone (2012), Is a bipolar seesaw consistent with observed Antarctic climate variability and trends?, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2011GL050826.

Non-frozen season has increased in Northern Hemisphere

Satellite detection of increasing Northern Hemisphere non-frozen seasons from 1979 to 2008: Implications for regional vegetation growth - Kim et al. (2012)

Abstract: "The landscape freeze–thaw (FT) signal from satellite microwave remote sensing is closely linked to vegetation phenology and land–atmosphere trace gas exchange where seasonal frozen temperatures are a major constraint to plant growth. We applied a temporal change classification of 37 GHz brightness temperature (Tb) series from the Scanning Multichannel Microwave Radiometer (SMMR) and Special Sensor Microwave Imager (SSM/I) to classify daily FT status over global land areas where seasonal frozen temperatures influence ecosystem processes. A temporally consistent, long-term (30 year) FT record was created, ensuring cross-sensor consistency through pixel-wise adjustment of the SMMR Tb record based on empirical analyses of overlapping SMMR and SSM/I measurements. The resulting FT record showed mean annual spatial classification accuracies of 91 (+/−8.6) and 84 (+/−9.3) percent for PM and AM overpass retrievals relative to in situ air temperature measurements from the global weather station network. The FT results were compared against other measures of biosphere activity including CO2 eddy flux tower measurements and satellite (MODIS) vegetation greenness (NDVI). The FT defined non-frozen season largely bounds the period of active vegetation growth and net ecosystem CO2 uptake for tower sites representing major biomes. Earlier spring thawing and longer non-frozen seasons generally benefit vegetation growth inferred from NDVI spring and summer growth anomalies where the non-frozen season is less than approximately 6 months, with greater benefits at higher (> 45 °N) latitudes. A strong (P < 0.001) increasing (0.189 days yr− 1) trend in the Northern Hemisphere mean annual non-frozen season is largely driven by an earlier (− 0.149 days yr− 1) spring thaw trend and coincides with a 0.033 °C yr− 1 regional warming trend. The FT record also shows a positive (0.199 days yr− 1) trend in the number of transitional (AM frozen and PM non-frozen) frost days, which coincide with reduced vegetation productivity inferred from tower CO2 and MODIS NDVI measurements. The relative benefits of earlier and longer non-frozen seasons for vegetation growth under global warming may be declining due to opposing increases in disturbance, drought and frost damage related impacts."

Citation: Youngwook Kim, J.S. Kimball, K. Zhang, K.C. McDonald, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 121, June 2012, Pages 472–487.

Forest cover has increased in southwest China but biodiversity still declines

Using Landsat imagery to map forest change in southwest China in response to the national logging ban and ecotourism development - Brandt et al. (2012)

Abstract: "Forest cover change is one of the most important land cover change processes globally, and old-growth forests continue to disappear despite many efforts to protect them. At the same time, many countries are on a trajectory of increasing forest cover, and secondary, plantation, and scrub forests are a growing proportion of global forest cover. Remote sensing is a crucial tool for understanding how forests change in response to forest protection strategies and economic development, but most forest monitoring with satellite imagery does not distinguish old-growth forest from other forest types. Our goal was to measure changes in forest types, and especially old-growth forests, in the biodiversity hotspot of northwest Yunnan in southwest China. Northwest Yunnan is one of the poorest regions in China, and since the 1990s, the Chinese government has legislated strong forest protection and fostered the growth of ecotourism-based economic development. We used Landsat TM/ETM+ and MSS images, Support Vector Machines, and a multi-temporal composite classification technique to analyze change in forest types and the loss of old-growth forest in three distinct periods of forestry policy and ecotourism development from 1974 to 2009. Our analysis showed that logging rates decreased substantially from 1974 to 2009, and the proportion of forest cover increased from 62% in 1990 to 64% in 2009. However, clearing of high-diversity old-growth forest accelerated, from approximately 1100 hectares/year before the logging ban (1990 to 1999), to 1550 hectares/year after the logging ban (1999 to 2009). Paradoxically, old-growth forest clearing accelerated most rapidly where ecotourism was most prominent. Despite increasing overall forest cover, the proportion of old-growth forests declined from 26% in 1990, to 20% in 2009. The majority of forests cleared from 1974 to 1990 returned to either a non-forested land cover type (14%) or non-pine scrub forest (66%) in 2009, and our results suggest that most non-pine scrub forest was not on a successional trajectory towards high-diversity forest stands. That means that despite increasing forest cover, biodiversity likely continues to decline, a trend obscured by simple forest versus non-forest accounting. It also means that rapid development may pose inherent risks to biodiversity, since our study area arguably represents a “best-case scenario” for balancing development with maintenance of biodiversity, given strong forest protection policies and an emphasis on ecotourism development."

Citation: Jodi S. Brandt, Tobias Kuemmerle, c, Haomin Li, Guopeng Ren, Jianguo Zhu, Volker C. Radeloff, Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 121, June 2012, Pages 358–369.

Less than 10% of global population controls over 50% of virtual water exports

On the temporal variability of the virtual water network - Carr et al. (2012)

Abstract: "Food security strongly depends on how water resources available in a certain region contribute to determine the maximum amount of food that it can produce. Human societies often cope with water scarcity by importing food products from other regions. Thus, the international trade of food commodities is associated with a virtual transfer of water resources from production to consumption regions through a network of trade. Even though global food security increasingly relies on this trade, the spatiotemporal patterns of the virtual water network remain poorly investigated. It is unclear how these patterns are changing over time, whether there is an increase in the interconnectedness of the network, and at what rate the globalization of water resources is occurring. Here we use a rich database of international trade and reconstruct the virtual water network from 1986 through 2008. We find that the total flow has more than doubled, and the number of links has increased by 92% over this time period. The network has become more homogeneous but most of the flow concentrates in few links and hubs, while several countries exhibit only few (and weak) connections. 50% of the global fluxes are carried by 1.1% of the links, and on average 6-8% of the global population controls more than 50% of the net virtual water exports. The network is extremely dynamic and intermittent with only few permanent links, while each year many links are created and dismissed."

Citation: Carr, J. A., P. D'Odorico, F. Laio, and L. Ridolfi (2012), On the temporal variability of the virtual water network, Geophys. Res. Lett., doi:10.1029/2012GL051247, in press.

New paper claims that stratospheric ozone is most important driver of recent climate

Climate sensitivity to the lower stratospheric ozone variations - Kilifarska (2012)

Abstract: "The strong sensitivity of the Earth's radiation balance to variations in the lower stratospheric ozone – reported previously – is analyzed here by the use of non-linear statistical methods. Our non-linear model of the land air temperature (T) – driven by the measured Arosa total ozone (TOZ) – explains 75% of total variability of Earth's T variations during the period 1926–2011. We have analyzed also the factors which could influence the TOZ variability and found that the strongest impact belongs to the multi-decadal variations of galactic cosmic rays. Constructing a statistical model of the ozone variability, we have been able to predict the tendency in the land air T evolution till the end of the current decade. Results show that Earth is facing a weak cooling of the surface T by 0.05–0.25 K (depending on the ozone model) until the end of the current solar cycle. A new mechanism for O3 influence on climate is proposed."

Citation: N.A. Kilifarska, Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics,

Minimum temperatures have increased in Libya

Variability of minimum temperature across Libya (1945–2009) - Ageena et al. (2012)

Abstract: "Daily and monthly minimum temperature data from 15 meteorological stations were analysed during the period 1945–2009. The spatial and temporal variability in the daily and monthly temperatures were examined, with daily minimum temperature for eight coastal stations during the period 1956–2009 (only monthly data is available for the coastal station at Nalute) and the monthly minimum temperature for the period 1945–2009 from six inland stations. Five distinct 10 year interval blocks (with the exception of the last 9 years for the eight coastal stations and 7 years for inland stations) are analysed to examine temperature patterns across Libya. The annual minimum temperature over the last 27 years (1983–2009) for the majority of coastal stations identified significant warming in the minimum temperature. The mean annual minimum temperature at all study stations (1945–2009) identified significant increases in the minimum temperature, with significant changes in annual minimum temperature over the last 32 years (1978–2009) for the majority of the coastal and inland stations across Libya. Significant changes in minimum seasonal temperature for 33/32 year intervals (1945–1977 and 1978–2009) are identified in the summer (56%) and autumn (67%) at coastal stations (67%) and inland stations (50%)."

Citation: I. Ageena, N. Macdonald, A. P. Morse, International Journal of Climatology, DOI: 10.1002/joc.3452.

Tree stump in a lake is evidence for medieval megadrought

New evidence for extreme and persistent terminal medieval drought in California’s Sierra Nevada - Morgan & Pomerleau (2012)

Abstract: "The level of Cliff Lake, a small, subalpine, moraine-dammed lake in California’s south central Sierra Nevada, was approximately 5 m lower than present for 50 years or more approximately 600 years ago, this determined by radiocarbon dating of wood recovered from a submerged tree stump found in the lake. This finding corresponds to commensurate data from throughout much of western North America, suggesting the duration and magnitude of terminal medieval megadrought was similar throughout the region. Ultimately this datum helps give credence to the perspective that though late Holocene climate in California was indeed variable, the effects of terminal Medieval megadrought was similar across both time and broad geographic expanse."

Citation: Christopher Morgan and Monique M. Pomerleau, Journal of Paleolimnology, DOI: 10.1007/s10933-012-9590-9.

CLASSIC OF THE WEEK: A. Ångström (1913)

Studies of the Nocturnal Radiation to Space - A. Ångström (1913) [FULL TEXT]

Abstract: No abstract. Studies how water vapor affects to nocturnal radiation.

Citation: Anders Ångström, 1913, Astrophysical Journal, vol. 37, p.305.

This is a cross-post from AGW Observer. When each paper is published, it is notified in AGW Observer Facebook page and Twitter page. At least some of these are also retweeted in Skeptical Science Twitter page. Here's the archive for the research papers of previous weeks. If this sort of thing interests you, be sure to check out A Few Things Illconsidered. They also have a weekly posting containing lots of links to new research and other climate related news.

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Comments 1 to 29:

  1. A recalibration of an ensemble of global climate models using observations over 28 years provides a scenario independent relationship and yields about 2°C change in annual mean global surface temperature above present as the most likely global temperature threshold for September sea ice to disappear

    If I read it correctly, then they predict September ice to disappear when transient climate response reaches 2K. That may happen sometimes by the end of this century, which is a rough estimate of BAU given transient climate sensitivity in the same ballpark of 2K.

    That's in contradiction to the observational predictions, that we may see ice-free Arctic sometimes in 2020-2030, or even as soon as 2015 by some sources, as it is accelerating. I don't have access to full text to check their claim or verify that my undesrtanding of their conclusion is correct.

    Can anyone shed some light on it?
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  2. Since the forum is down I'll put this in here:
    Apparently 450C is enough to get some proper biochar, presumably they've checked for most common organic toxins, and found those destroyed in this temperature. How large a paraboloid mirror can produce a temperature like that?
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  3. Fig 1. in gives some indication of how much biochar could be in the soil:
    but this is for tropical (I'm assuming quite deep) soils, does someone know of a similar study made on temperate or boreal soils?
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  4. jyyh, you might like this link to a segment I saw on a British science program, Bang Goes the Theory:
    Jem Melts Rock Using Sunshine. A ~1m parabolic mirror (IIRC from a big searchlight or something) can reach temperatures of ~3500C at the focus! So a much smaller mirror will reach 450C. Makes me wonder what temperature would be at the focus of my 8" telescope mirror in sunlight.
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  5. On the European cloud cover/temperature paper...

    "...In response, the summer temperatures increased in the areas of total cloud cover decrease, and stalled or declined in the areas of cloud cover increase..."

    How long will it take for a skeptical blogger to extrapolate this result to the globe, claiming it verifies Lindzen's hypotheses?

    No time at all.

    That post mentions SkS endorsing the notion of a runaway greenhouse effect on Earth. The delusion is strong in this one.
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  6. Well, that's just wrong. Decreasing cloud cover is (generally) a positive feedback to warming. If it would support Lindzen's hypothesis (assuming it's the Iris hypothesis we are talking about), then the cloud cover would increase during warming and therefore resisting the warming.

    Here of course the situation is a bit complicated as there is an area of decreasing cloud cover and an area of increasing cloud cover. However, we see that in areas of warming, cloud cover has decreased (which causes warming effect) and in areas of cooling cloud cover has increased (which causes cooling effect). Now, if we extrapolate this situation to global context (which is not necessarily a good idea) where the whole globe is on average a warming area, then we see that globally this would mean that cloud cover is decreasing which would cause a positive feedback to global warming. Observations of global cloud cover, by the way, show either constant or decreasing global cloud cover (edited to add: in the long term, that is).
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  7. jyyh, skywatcher I picked up a 1.2m satellite dish 15 years ago and covered the matt white surface with aluminium foil. The LNB holder was an aluminium ring supported by 4 struts coming out of the face of the dish, and the dish had a small hole at the centre that could be used to accurately align with the sun through the LNB ring.

    The power of this thing was awesome. Holding a large log at the focus just caused it to spontaneously char in under a second and fill the garden with smoke - lots of it.
    (I resisted the temptation to test with my hand!)

    I couldn't measure the temperature, but estimated about 1kW/cm² density - Wolfram Alpha wasn't much help in converting this to °C.

    Having set it up, I coated the bottom of a pan with soot from a candle, held it at the focus for about 1-2 minutes and made a cup of tea with it...
    My first home-made fusion-powered cup of tea, and it tasted wonderful! :-)

    There must be millions of discarded satellite dishes around the world just waiting to be converted and shipped off to Africa to help reduce deforestation.

    I have some ideas for improving its efficiency in focussing and capture... something for a rainy^H^H^H^H^H sunny day.

    Alas I don't have the dish any more, ex-wife threw it out :(
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  8. Just spotted this by Rahmstorf and Coumou:

    The past decade has been one of unprecedented weather extremes. Scientists of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in Germany argue that the high incidence of extremes is not merely accidental. From the many single events a pattern emerges. At least for extreme rainfall and heat waves the link with human-caused global warming is clear, the scientists show in a new analysis of scientific evidence in the journal Nature Climate Change. Less clear is the link between warming and storms, despite the observed increase in the intensity of hurricanes.
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  9. Hmmmmmm...

    Trenberth 2012: "The answer to the oft-asked question of whether an event is caused by climate change is that it is the wrong question."

    Dunkerson 2011: "The whole question 'what caused weather event XYZ' is inherently flawed."

    Trenberth 2012: "All weather events are affected by climate change because the environment in which they occur is warmer and moister than it used to be."

    Dunkerson 2011: "Thus, it could be reasonably said that ALL weather we see now is due to global warming. It is all an aspect of the current climate, which has been changed by AGW."

    Ok, that's it Trenberth! I'm calling you out for putting my crazy blog comment ideas into a peer reviewed scientific paper, and backed up with facts and logic and stuff! How could you do that to me? How am I supposed to maintain a reputation if you go around making my inane ramblings seem valid?!

    Tis a sad day. :[
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  10. CBDunkerson
    you should value yourself more, just add facts and logic and stuff and publish your ideas. :)
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  11. Re - Climate Sensitivity and Ozone

    Does anybody know anything regarding the reputation of the
    Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics?

    That paper also mentions galactic rays and that makes me quite skeptical.
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  12. Biosphere responses to climate change is such a complex field. Everything is so interrelated in ways we do not always understand. The Hiddink et al paper is in their words an optimistic analysis, and yet it is still very worrying.

    There will be unexpected surprises. You would expect that seals that occupy a similar niche would all be affected the same. But the Weddell Seal may end up worse off the quickest, because Orcas have a strong preference for Weddell's. Robert Pittman and John Durban (NOAA) have documented some interesting behavior.
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  13. @martin, that journal has also published a couple of rather questionable papers by Scafetta. I suspect they need to attract more reviewers with a solid grounding in climatology and/or statistics. It is possible that they have a good reputation in other areas of solar physics, but it seems to me that they have a bit of a problem when it comes to climate related work.

    As a statistician, I am rather sceptical about concluding that 75% of temperature variations being due to a factor that had previously not been thought of as of great importance, based on a statistical model, especially a non-linear one. However I haven't read the paper, so I can't comment further, other than to say that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence.
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  14. The Kilifarska paper that stratospheric ozone is the most important driver of planetary climate seems bizarre. It is the latest offering in the cosmic ray theory of planetary climate, and is already hailed on one denialist blog, especially as it predicts imminent cooling.

    I notice that Tamino at Open Mind has scant respect for the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics, which he describes as "sinking further and further into disrepute", though he is discussing a different paper.
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  15. Can species spread fast enough to keep up with climate change?

    It's not the first time I see a paper showing problems with species having trouble shifting poleward fast enough.

    Some guys try to argue that species can adapt to AGW. Come on! it's too fast for a lot of species to move fast enough, let alone evolve to adapt!

    This "new research" series is a great way to keep up
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  16. Sorry, clicked "submit" by mistake.

    This series is a great way to keep up with upcoming research. Thanks, Ari!
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  17. Ari, it is straightforward for the hockey schtick blogger. Lindzen says that cloud cover makes things cooler and this is what happened in (parts of) Europe. Therefore, Lindzen's low climate sensitivty estimates are truthy.

    Past time I hunted down some more papers for your site. :-)
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  18. ISI Web of Knowledge give the following for Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics:
    Cites: 4788
    Impact: 1.579
    5 year impact: 1.610
    Immediacty: 0.298
    Articles: 298
    Half life: 8.7
    I don't know much about the numbers, and I understand they vary by field. 'Environment Research Letters' has an impact of ~3, but a half life of only 2.4 years. 'Solar Physics' has an impact of ~3.3, and a half life > 10 years.
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  19. @Kevin C #18:

    Dumb questions:

    What the heck is the half-life of a scientific journal? How is it determined? By whom?
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  20. Ari:

    I love your intro!
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  21. Agreed!
    RESPECT for the intro!
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  22. shoyemore#14: "the latest offering in the cosmic ray theory of planetary climate,"

    Please don't used the term 'theory' so loosely.

    As discussed here, cosmic rays may remove ozone.

    And here, 'ozone hole healing' leads to warming?

    So more cosmic rays -> less ozone -> cooling. Or more cosmic rays -> more clouds -> cooling. Or whatever you want it to be, using whatever model you want. As long as it doesn't include CO2.
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  23. The suggestion that marine species may not be able to migrate quickly enough to keep up with the warming of the ocean is a tad strange. Many marine species are themselves mobile and the sessile members of the marine flora and fauna have pelagic larvae. At every spawning, they are spread far and wide and those that settle in favorable areas grow and prosper. If you have dived on coral reefs around the world you will have seen that the assemblages of animals are virtually identical in all of these. Quite a different situation from the assemblages of animals (pre human) on different continents and islands.
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  24. Stefan Rahmstorf has published an article on Realclimate about the paper/article I mentioned @8:

    Extremely Hot
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    Moderator Response: [DB] Fixed link.
  25. Ari, I laughed out loud at the intro. How disappointing to scan the papers listed and not find one by Springer. I thought hacking into his server might turn up some evidence of original work by him, but I was unsurprised at the absence of any. Perhaps he was ghost-writer for Kilifarska's paper showing how galactic cosmic rays have disproved 150 years of physics?
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  26. Kilifarska's paper presents an interesting model but what it provides is **correlation not causation**. Hence no hard evidence of any kind is provided. That doesn't make it bad science - it's a hypothesis that's now in need of testing. Deniers, of course, will treat this as proof positive whilst still decrying the (imaginary) lack of proof that CO2 causes warming.

    In the paper, the lack of any discussion about CO2 after the early methods section shows (I suspect) a complete lack of understanding of how the paper will be used as a propaganda piece by denialists. Kilifarska seems overexcited by his model (several exclamation marks are used in the text, which is bad practice in scientific papers) and is bursting to tell everyone about it. Indeed, he seems to think like a bright but untrained undergraduate, fixating on one factor to the exclusion of all others. It was the responsibility of the editors and reviewers to ensure that this paper was set in the context of the mountains of evidence for CO2 effects on climate, and to add caveats towards the end as is normal for a scientific paper. That they didn't is a failing of them, rather than Kilifarska.

    In summary, the paper presents correlations, not causation ... and a model for how cosmic rays might affect the climate, not hard evidence. It could make a genuine contribution to understanding within-decade climate variation, but the sloppy or deliberate ignoring of CO2 in most of the paper means that it may become a propaganda piece and do more harm than good. The editors really should have done better work here.
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  27. Thanks for the nice comments everyone!

    Barry, I'm eagerly waiting for the new papers you have found for my site. I have really neglected my paperlists recently. There's just too much going on. I have loads of ideas for new lists and old ones could use updates. I hope I can find time for that soon.

    Doug, see where the Trenberth (2012) abstract link leads to... ;)
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  28. Love those "Classics," Ari!

    I wrote about Angstrom 1913--and Wells, Pouillet, and Dines, and Callendar, and Elsasser in this article:

    Angstrom does deserve to be better known.
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  29. About the Kilifarska paper:
    Climate sensitivity to the lower stratospheric ozone variations - Kilifarska (2012)

    In my opinion this paper is very bad, and is based on bad statistical analysis. None of the equations 1-4 seems to be based on physical insight, but only on what gives a good fit (unless I have missed something).
    And the same variable is used several times, scaled with seemingly arbitrary constants and raised to higher powers, eg. equation 1 giving the relationship between annual NH land temperature and annual ozone level reads:
    LandT = b0 + b1*TOZ11^2 + b2*(TOZ11/11)^3+b3*(TOZ11/37)^4+b4*TOZ*TOZ11 + b5*(TOZ/22)^3 + b6*(TOZ/35)^4

    where TOZ = total ozone level and
    TOZ11 = 11 years running mean of total ozone level
    I.e. variables smoothed with moving averages are used in the regression - according to Briggs and Tamino that is bad practice.

    Using a very similar model to equation 1 but for annual CO2 concentration I can get a even better fit (measured by R^2) to the NH land temp than Kilifarska does. In my model just replace TOZ with annual CO2 and TOZ11 with annual CO2 smoothed with 11 year running mean, and finally use also the annual co2 concentation as regressor.
    But that is just another meaningless regression, just like Kilifarska's. Unless I have missed the point and misunderstood the methods, I think that the paper is pointless
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