Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.


Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe

Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...

New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Explaining climate change science & rebutting global warming misinformation

Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming. This website gets skeptical about global warming skepticism. Do their arguments have any scientific basis? What does the peer reviewed scientific literature say?


2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #31

Posted on 2 August 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Opinion of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review... 

Story of the Week...

Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds

As climate change raises sea levels, storm surges and high tides will push farther inland, a team of researchers says.

Flooding in Bangladesh

Bangladesh, above, is particularly at risk, along with Virginia and North Carolina in the United States, and parts of France, Germany, India and China. Credit: Munir Uz Zaman/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

As global warming pushes up ocean levels around the world, scientists have long warned that many low-lying coastal areas will become permanently submerged.

But a new study published Thursday finds that much of the economic harm from sea-level rise this century is likely to come from an additional threat that will arrive even faster: As oceans rise, powerful coastal storms, crashing waves and extreme high tides will be able to reach farther inland, putting tens of millions more people and trillions of dollars in assets worldwide at risk of periodic flooding.

The study, published in the journal Scientific Reports, calculated that up to 171 million people living today face at least some risk of coastal flooding from extreme high tides or storm surges, created when strong winds from hurricanes or other storms pile up ocean water and push it onshore. While many people are currently protected by sea walls or other defenses, such as those in the Netherlands, not everyone is.

If the world’s nations keep emitting greenhouse gases, and sea levels rise just 1 to 2 more feet, the amount of coastal land at risk of flooding would increase by roughly one-third, the research said. In 2050, up to 204 million people currently living along the coasts would face flooding risks. By 2100, that rises to as many as 253 million people under a moderate emissions scenario known as RCP4.5. (The actual number of people at risk may vary, since the researchers did not try to predict future coastal population changes.)

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on The New York Times website.

Rising Seas Could Menace Millions Beyond Shorelines, Study Finds by Brad Plumer, Climate, New York Times, June 30, 2020



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #31

Posted on 1 August 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 26 through Sat, Aug 1, 2020

Editor's Choice

The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all

The shill, the grifter, the egomaniac and the ideological fool: each distorts the urgent global debate in their own way

Mer de Glace glacier in the French Alps

‘Serious debates about what to do about the climate crisis are turning into action. The deniers have nothing to contribute to this.’ Signs of global warming on the Mer de Glace glacier in the French Alps. Photograph: Konrad K/SIPA/REX/Shutterstock

Anew book, described as “deeply and fatally flawed” by an expert reviewer, recently reached the top of Amazon’s bestseller list for environmental science and made it into a weekly top 10 list for all nonfiction titles.

How did this happen? Because, as Brendan Behan put it, “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”. In an article promoting his book, Michael Shellenberger – with jaw-dropping hubris – apologises on behalf of all environmentalists for the “climate scare we created over the last 30 years”.

Shellenberger was named a hero of the environment by Time magazine in 2008 and is a loud advocate of nuclear power, but the article was described by six leading scientists as “cherry-picking”, “misleading” and containing “outright falsehoods”.

The article was widely republished, even after being removed from its first home, Forbes, for violating the title’s editorial guidelines on self-promotion, adding further heat to the storm. And this is why all those who deny the reality or danger of the climate emergency should be ignored. Obviously, I have broken my own rule here, but only to make this vital point once and for all.

The science is clear, the severity understood at the highest levels everywhere, and serious debates about what to do are turning into action. The deniers have nothing to contribute to this.

Click here to access the entire opinion piece as originally posted on The Guardian website.

The four types of climate denier, and why you should ignore them all, Opinion by Damian Carrington, Comment is Free, Guardian, July 31, 2020



The Trump EPA is vastly underestimating the cost of carbon dioxide pollution to society, new research finds

Posted on 30 July 2020 by dana1981

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Government rulemakers looking to decide how much money to spend to avoid adding more greenhouse gases to the atmosphere need a good estimate of what a warming climate will cost in social damages, for example through more extreme weather events.

That point makes the “social cost of carbon” one of the most critically important metrics underlying regulation of climate pollutants. An estimate of the dollar costs of each ton of carbon pollution caused by climate change, the social cost of carbon guides federal agencies that are required to consider the costs and benefits of proposed regulations. Federal agencies so far have used the social cost of carbon while writing regulations with more than $1 trillion in economic benefits.

In 2010, a governmental interagency working group in the Obama administration established the first federal social cost of carbon estimate of $45 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution. In 2017, newly inaugurated President Donald Trump quickly disbanded the interagency group by executive order, and within months his EPA slashed the metric to between $1 and $6. The latest research by an independent team of scientists concludes that the social cost of carbon should actually start at about $100 to $200 per ton of carbon dioxide pollution in 2020, increasing to nearly $600 by 2100.

Should presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden win the presidency in the November election, his federal agency appointees will undoubtedly set about revising the social cost of carbon to reflect the up-to-date climate science and economics research. The revised social cost of carbon will in turn justify more stringent federal climate regulations. A Donald Trump second term would instead result in another four years of underestimated climate impact costs and continued delays in efforts to curb carbon pollution.

A history of attacks

Since its inception, the social cost of carbon has been a target of those opposing climate regulations, including many Republican office holders in Washington, D.C. The neutered social cost of carbon estimate has now been used to justify weakening three major climate regulations: undoing the Clean Power Plan, freezing vehicle fuel efficiency standards, and, in July 2020, setting airplane greenhouse gas standards to levels matching those the industry already has already met.

In December 2017, congressional Democrats asked the Government Accountability Office to examine the Trump EPA’s new method for calculating the social cost of carbon. The GAO published its report in June 2020.



Skeptical Science New Research for Week #30, 2020

Posted on 29 July 2020 by doug_bostrom

86 Articles

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Forced Changes in the Arctic Freshwater Budget Emerge in the Early 21st Century

Ocean Acidification from Below in the Tropical Pacific

Snow cover duration trends observed at sites and predicted by multiple models

New insights into the world's longest series of monthly snowfall (Parma, Northern Italy, 1777‐2018)

Late 1990s’ cool season climate shift in eastern North America

Ice loss in High Mountain Asia and the Gulf of Alaska observed by CryoSat-2 swath altimetry between 2010 and 2019 (open access)

Trends in winter light environment over the Arctic Ocean: a perspective from two decades of ocean‐colour data

Greening hiatus in Eurasian boreal forests since 1997 caused by a wetting and cooling summer climate

Impacts of Oceanic and Atmospheric Heat Transports on Sea Ice Extent (open access)

Change in the heatwave statistical characteristics over China during the climate warming slowdown

Instrumentation of global warming

Statistical predictability of the Arctic sea ice volume anomaly: identifying predictors and optimal sampling locations (open access)

Multidecadal trend analysis of in situ aerosol radiative properties around the world (open access)

Modeling & simulation of global warming & global warming effects

Time of Emergence & Large Ensemble Intercomparison For Ocean Biogeochemical trends

Comparison of equilibrium climate sensitivity estimates from slab ocean, 150‐year, and longer simulations

Greater Future U.K. Winter Precipitation Increase in New Convection-Permitting Scenarios

Projected Changes in South Asian Monsoon Low Pressure Systems (open access)

Future changes in precipitation-caused landslide frequency in British Columbia

Dynamical and hydrological changes in climate simulations of the last millennium (open access)

Trends and spatial shifts in lightning fires and smoke concentrations in response to 21st century climate over the national forests and parks of the western United States (open access)

Cloudy-sky contributions to the direct aerosol effect (open access)

An Internal Atmospheric Process Determining Summertime Arctic Sea Ice Melting in the Next Three Decades: Lessons Learned from Five Large Ensembles and Multiple CMIP5 Climate Simulations

Projected changes in extreme precipitation indices from CORDEX simulations over Ethiopia, East Africa

Projections of tropical cyclone rainfall over land with an Eulerian approach: case study of three islands in the West Indies

Evaluation and ensemble projection of extreme high and low temperature events in China from four dynamical downscaling simulations



Why low-end ‘climate sensitivity’ can now be ruled out

Posted on 28 July 2020 by Guest Author, Zeke Hausfather

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief by Piers Forster, Zeke Hausfather, Gabi Hegerl, Steven Sherwood, and Kyle Armour

After four years of labour and detailed discussions by an international team of scientists, we are able to quantify better than ever before how the world’s surface temperature responds to increasing CO2 levels. 

Our findings, published in Reviews of Geophysics, narrow the likely range in “equilibrium climate sensitivity” (ECS) – a measure of how much the world can be expected to warm for a doubling of CO2 above pre-industrial levels.

Constraining ECS has remained a holy grail in climate science ever since US meteorologist Jules Charney suggested a possible range of 1.5C to 4.5C in his 1979 report. His estimate was largely based on the world’s first two global climate models, which gave different estimates of 2C and 4C when they performed a simple experiment where atmospheric CO2 levels were doubled.

Since then, despite more than 40 years of research, much improved understanding of atmospheric processes, as well as many more detailed observations, this range has stubbornly persisted. 

Now, bringing together evidence from observed warming, Earth’s distant past and climate models, as well as advances in our scientific understanding of the climate, our findings suggest that the range of ECS is likely to be between 2.6C and 4.1C. 

This narrowed range indicates that human society will not be able to rely on a low sensitivity to give us more time to tackle climate change. But the silver lining to this cloud is that our findings also suggest that very high ECS estimates are unlikely. 



Wildfires off to slow start in much of the West, but trouble expected starting in mid-July

Posted on 27 July 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Jeff Masters

Wildfires burned much less acreage in the U.S. than average during the first half of the year, but with hot and dry conditions expected over much of the nation in the coming months, fire activity is likely to ramp up.

The National Interagency Fire Center, or NIFC, reports that approximately 1.5 million acres burned in the U.S. from January through June. This is 60% of the 2010-2019 average of 2.4 million acres and puts 2020 in a virtual tie for the fourth-lowest acreage burned by this point in the year. NIFC records extend back to 2000.

Trouble is still expected as the peak season for wildfire danger arrives in July. As summarized at Carbon Brief and Climate Signals, recent decades have brought a significant increasing trend in the number of large fires and the total area burned per year in the U.S. In the West, human-caused climate change has been directly linked to drier conditions and increases in forest fire activity. At the same time that climate change is amplifying fire risk, the number of people living in known fire-prone areas (the wildland-urban interface) has sharply increased, compounding the threat to people and property.

Year-to-date firesFigure 1. Total U.S. acreage burned in wildfires during the January-June period, for the years 2000-2020. (Image credit: NOAA)



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #30

Posted on 26 July 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... John Cook in the News... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Major new climate study rules out less severe global warming scenarios

An analysis finds the most likely range of warming from doubling carbon dioxide to be between 4.1 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit

Hog Fire near Susanville, CA

Flames ripped through trees as the Hog Fire jumped Highway 36 about five miles from Susanville, Calif., on Monday. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images).

The current pace of human-caused carbon emissions is increasingly likely to trigger irreversible damage to the planet, according to a comprehensive international study released Wednesday. Researchers studying one of the most important and vexing topics in climate science — how sensitive the Earth’s climate is to a doubling of the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere — found that warming is extremely unlikely to be on the low end of estimates.

These scientists now say it is likely that if human activities — such as burning oil, gas and coal along with deforestation — push carbon dioxide to such levels, the Earth’s global average temperature will most likely increase between 4.1 and 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (2.3 and 4.5 degrees Celsius). The previous and long-standing estimated range of climate sensitivity, as first laid out in a 1979 report, was 2.7 to 8.1 degrees Fahrenheit (1.5 to 4.5 Celsius).

If the warming reaches the midpoint of this new range, it would be extremely damaging, said Kate Marvel, a physicist at NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies and Columbia University, who called it the equivalent of a “five-alarm fire” for the planet. 

Click here to access the entire article originally posted on The Washington Post website. 

Major new climate study rules out less severe global warming scenarios by Andrew Freedman & Chris Mooney, Capital Weather Gang, Washington Post, July 22, 2020



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #30

Posted on 25 July 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 19 through Sat, July 25, 2020

Editor's Choice

The Climate Expert Who Delivered News No One Wanted to Hear

From 2009: How a scientist known as the “father of global warming” watched his dire predictions for the planet come true.

James Hansen: Illustration by John Cuneo  

James Hansen on curbing coal emissions: “The science is clear. This is our one chance.” Illustration by John Cuneo

A few months ago, James Hansen, the director of nasa’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, in Manhattan, took a day off from work to join a protest in Washington, D.C. The immediate target of the protest was the Capitol Power Plant, which supplies steam and chilled water to congressional offices, but more generally its object was coal, which is the world’s leading source of greenhouse-gas emissions. As it happened, on the day of the protest it snowed. Hansen was wearing a trench coat and a wide-brimmed canvas boater. He had forgotten to bring gloves. His sister, who lives in D.C. and had come along to watch over him, told him that he looked like Indiana Jones.

The march to the power plant was to begin on Capitol Hill, at the Spirit of Justice Park. By the time Hansen arrived, thousands of protesters were already milling around, wearing green hard hats and carrying posters with messages like “Power Past Coal” and “Clean Coal Is Like Dry Water.” Hansen was immediately surrounded by TV cameras.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on The New Yorker magazine website on June 22, 2009. 

The Climate Expert Who Delivered News No One Wanted to Hear, by Elizabeth Kolbert, Profiles, The New Yorker Magazine, June 27, 2020 Print Edition



How the rise and fall of CO2 levels influenced the ice ages

Posted on 23 July 2020 by Zeke Hausfather

This is a re-post from Carbon Brief

The Earth’s climate has been quite stable over the past 11,000 years, playing an important role in the development of human civilisation. 

Prior to that, the Earth experienced an ice age lasting for tens of thousands of years. The past million years of the Earth’s history has been characterised by a series of ice ages broken up by relatively short periods of warmer temperatures.

These ice ages are triggered and ended by slow changes in the Earth’s orbit. But changing atmospheric concentrations of CO2 also plays a key role in driving both cooling during the onset of ice ages and warming at their end. 

The global average temperature was around 4C cooler during the last ice age than it is today. There is a real risk that, if emissions continue to rise, the world warms more this century than it did between the middle of the last ice age 20,000 years ago and today. 

In this explainer, Carbon Brief explores how the last ice age provides strong evidence of the role CO2 plays as a “control knob” for the Earth’s climate. It also acts as a cautionary tale of how the climate can experience large changes from relatively small outside “forcings”.



Skeptical Science New Research for Week #29, 2020

Posted on 22 July 2020 by doug_bostrom

research stack86 articles

Physical science of global warming & effects

An assessment of Earth's climate sensitivity using multiple lines of evidence

Arctic continental margin sediments as possible Fe and Mn sources to seawater as sea ice retreats: Insights from the Eurasian Margin

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

Early‐Warning Signals for Critical Temperature Transitions

Recent anthropogenic curtailing of Yellow River runoff and sediment load is unprecedented over the past 500 y (open access)

Observed Evidence for Steep Rise in the Extreme Flow of Western Himalayan Rivers

Fingerprints for Early Detection of Changes in the AMOC (open access)

Biogenic volatile organic compound ambient mixing ratios and emission rates in the Alaskan Arctic tundra (open access)

Satellite-observed monthly glacier and snow mass changes in southeast Tibet: implication for substantial meltwater contribution to the Brahmaputra (open access)

Comparing methods of uncertainty estimation in optimal fingerprinting

Interdecadal Change in the Effect of Spring Soil Moisture over the Indo-China Peninsula on the Following Summer Precipitation over the Yangtze River Basin

Changes of Compound Hot and Dry Extremes on Different Land Surface Conditions in China during 1957–2018

Harmonised observations of climate forcing across Africa: an assessment of existing approaches and their applicability

Instrumentation of global warming

Spectrally Resolved Fluxes from IASI Data: Retrieval Algorithm for Clear-Sky Measurements (open access)



Book review: Bad science and bad arguments abound in 'Apocalypse Never' by Michael Shellenberger

Posted on 20 July 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Peter Gleick

Think, if you will, of the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets in “Romeo and Juliet.” Or of the 1863-1891 classic American feud between the Hatfields and the McCoys, warring families in West Virginia and Kentucky.

In the decades-old tensions involving environmental science, population, resource dynamics, and ecology, it’s the Malthusians and the Cornucopians. Subscribing to the wisdom of English economist Thomas Malthus, Malthusians express concerns that exponential human population growth and economic demands will outrun global resources needed to support people, undermining long-term sustainability. Cornucopians, in contrast – with their nod to the cornucopia or “horn of plenty” of Greek mythology – hold that technological advances can sustain societal needs and that unbounded economic growth and increased population are positive, giving rise to more good ideas.


The historical tensions and intellectual debates between Malthusians and Cornucopians are now more than two centuries old and have evolved. In recent years, the public conversation around critical global crises like human-caused climate change, deforestation and species extinction, population pressures, and new and worsening public health threats has grown louder, harsher, and increasingly ideological. As the sciences have improved, the deep complexity and connections among these problems have also become more apparent, as have urgent calls to address them through local, national, and global actions.

A recent entry in this debate is Michael Shellenberger’s “Apocalypse Never: Why Environmental Alarmism Hurts Us All” (HarperCollins Publishers, 2020). Shellenberger explains in his introduction that he seeks to counter and dismiss what he considers irrational, overwrought arguments of pending Malthusian catastrophes; instead, he seeks to promote the Cornucopian view that environmental problems can be eliminated if we’d just pursue aggressive economic growth, simple technological advances, and increased tapping of abundant natural resources. In doing so, he echoes previous efforts of authors like Herman Kahn, Julian Simon, and Bjørn Lomborg.



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #29

Posted on 19 July 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Coming Soon on SkS... Poster of the Week... SkS Week in Review...

Story of the Week...

Climate change: Summers could become 'too hot for humans'

Health Care Worker in Singapore

Some Singapore health care staff have been working in stifling heat

Millions of people around the world could be exposed to dangerous levels of heat stress - a dangerous condition which can cause organs to shut down.

Many live in developing countries, and do jobs that expose them to potentially life threatening conditions.

These include being out in the open on farms and building sites or indoors in factories and hospitals.

Global warming will increase the chances of summer conditions that may be "too hot for humans" to work in.

When we caught up with Dr Jimmy Lee, his goggles were steamed up and there was sweat trickling off his neck.

An emergency medic, he's labouring in the stifling heat of tropical Singapore to care for patients with Covid-19.

There's no air conditioning - a deliberate choice, to prevent the virus being blown around - and he notices that he and his colleagues become "more irritable, more short with each other".

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on BBC news. 

Climate change: Summers could become 'too hot for humans' by David Shukman, Science & Environment, BBC News, July 16, 2020



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #29

Posted on 18 July 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 12 through Sat, July 18, 2020

Editor's Choice

Pandemic shows climate has never been treated as crisis, say scientists

Letter also signed by Greta Thunberg urges EU leaders to act immediately on global heating

Climate Demonstration Posters

Source: Shutterstock 

Greta Thunberg and some of the world’s leading climate scientists have written to EU leaders demanding they act immediately to avoid the worst impacts of the unfolding climate and ecological emergency.

The letter, which is being sent before a European council meeting starting on Friday, says the Covid-19 pandemic has shown that most leaders are able to act swiftly and decisively, but the same urgency had been missing in politicians’ response to the climate crisis.

“It is now clearer than ever that the climate crisis has never once been treated as a crisis, neither from the politicians, media, business nor finance. And the longer we keep pretending that we are on a reliable path to lower emissions and that the actions required to avoid a climate disaster are available within today’s system … the more precious time we will lose,” it says.

Greta Thunberg calls for immediate action on 'existential crisis' of climate emergency – video 

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on The Guardian website.

Pandemic shows climate has never been treated as crisis, say scientists by Matthew Taylor, Environment, Guardian, July 16, 2020



A conundrum: our continued presence on Facebook

Posted on 17 July 2020 by BaerbelW , doug_bostrom

You’re bound to have seen the recent news about how Facebook keeps favoring climate science denial by misguided decisions like creating fact-checking exemptions for climate deniers or restricting which content actual climate scientists can boost on their pages. This is of course outrageous behavior. Reactions to these articles when we shared them on our own Facebook page make it clear that many of our Facebook followers and readers share this sentiment.

FB-CollageA sampling of reports about Facebook’s handling of science denial provided by E&E News (here), Heated (here), Media Matters (here), Newsweek (here) and Science Magazine (here)

Our Conundrum

And this leads “nicely” to the conundrum mentioned in this blog post’s title: are we aiding and abetting Facebook’s continued disregard of fact-checks - and thereby letting misinformation run wild - by staying on the platform? This question is especially relevant for our team as our main raison d’être is fighting misinformation about human-caused climate change and Facebook is actively inhibiting ours and others’ means to do just that. We’ve been having discussions about this within our team on and off but things seem to be coming to a head sooner rather than later if these recent articles are any indication. So, in an effort to share what we’ve been mulling around for a while, we decided to publish this blog post. Please feel free to use the comments to provide feedback to help us make a decision down the line.



Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28, 2020

Posted on 15 July 2020 by doug_bostrom

121 Articles 

Physical science of global warming & effects

Aerosols enhance cloud lifetime and brightness along the stratus-to-cumulus transition (open access)

The nature of ice-nucleating particles affects the radiative properties of tropical convective cloud systems (open access)

Importance of boundary processes for heat uptake in the Subpolar North Atlantic

Observations & observational methods of global warming & effects

NOAA: 2019 State of U.S. High Tide Flooding with a 2020 Outlook (PDF)

Observational evidence for a stability Iris effect in the Tropics

Warming trends increasingly dominate global ocean

Strong Summer Atmospheric Rivers Trigger Greenland Ice Sheet Melt through Spatially Varying Surface Energy Balance and Cloud Regimes

Glacier runoff variations since 1955 in the Maipo River basin, in the semiarid Andes of central Chile (open access)

Central Himalayan tree-ring isotopes reveal increasing regional heterogeneity and enhancement in ice-mass loss since the 1960s (open access)

Normal mode perspective on the 2016 QBO disruption: evidence for a basic state regime transition (open access)

Contributions of Greenland GPS observed deformation from multi‐source mass loading induced seasonal and transient signals

A unique feature of the 2019 extreme positive Indian Ocean Dipole event



On baseball's 'first pitch' and climate's long road ahead

Posted on 14 July 2020 by Bud Ward

This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections

Forgive me, if you will, a sports analogy.

With the first call of “Play ball!” and the opening pitch of what will have to pass (or won’t) for the 2020 major league baseball season now scheduled to start in just a few weeks …

University of Minnesota public health specialist and frequent cable TV guest Dr. Michael Osterholm has emphasized recently and often that we are in the “first inning” of the COVID-19 pandemic.

What he has not yet made clear is whether we are in the top of the inning, with this other-worldly guest still at bat … or instead in the bottom of the inning, with the home team – AKA USA – at bat. Nor has he made clear whether there’s any score at this point, though many might suspect the good guys are not yet winning. And may indeed be trailing.

If all that is true – and who are we mere mortals to question it? – where then are we (this time the collective civilization, the world) in terms of the climate change crisis still aborning? Still in the minor leagues? Not yet past spring training, nor primed to come out of the dugout for the start of the contest? Be Still My Soul.

Experts on public health for all practical purposes are unanimous in agreeing that we – at the very least we in the U.S. and in a handful of other under-performing countries – have a long haul ahead in combating, and ultimately defeating, the coronavirus and its COVID-19 progeny. Just as experts on climate change science agree overwhelmingly on the fundamental causes behind our warming planet.

There too, the strong consensus points to our being in this battle for the long run. Not just innings, or even extra innings. Not just for the duration of this particular and unusual baseball season, nor even for the post-season and ultimate World Series we can only hope eventually will happen. Climate change is not a contest for a season, or even for a professional athlete’s entire career on the field. It’s for the ages.

“And miles to go before we sleep,” as Robert Frost reminds us.



Everything You Need to Know About Climate Change

Posted on 13 July 2020 by Guest Author

Climate change can seem pretty complex, but we can all understand the core ideas. I want to explain everything from what we know is happening, to what we can do to stop it. After all climate change is happening, it's us, it's serious, but there is hope...

Intro: 0:00

It's Happening: 0:48

It's Us: 02:11

It's Serious: 05:07

There's Hope: 07:12

Conclusion: 09:27

Support ClimateAdam on patreon:



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #28

Posted on 12 July 2020 by John Hartz

Story of the Week... Toon of the Week... Climate Feedback Article Review... Coming Soon on SkS... Climate Feedback Claim Review... SkS Week in Review... Poster of the Week...

Story of the Week...

Global temperatures could exceed crucial 1.5 C target in the next five years

Ilulissat Icefjord, Greenland, July 30, 2029

In this aerial view melting ice forms a lake on free-floating ice jammed into the Ilulissat Icefjord during unseasonably warm weather on July 30, 2019 near Ilulissat, Greenland. In 2020, the Arctic is likely to have warmed by more than twice the global mean, a new assessment by the WMO found.

There is an increasing chance that annual global temperatures could exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels over the next five years, new climate predictions from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) say.

Under the 2015  Paris climate accord, countries committed to reduce their carbon output and halt global warming below 2 degrees Celsius — and if possible, below 1.5 degrees Celsius — by the end of the century to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

But according to the WMO report, there is around a 20% chance that one of the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, with the chance "increasing with time."

Annual global temperature is likely to be at least 1 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, and the last five years has been the warmest on record, the assessment — based on modeling and the expertise of climate scientists — found.

In 2020, the Arctic is likely to have warmed by more than twice the global mean, and many parts of South America, southern Africa and Australia are likely to be dryer than in the recent past, the WMO said.

There is a 70% chance that one or more months during the next five years will be at least 1.5 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels, the WMO assessment said.

In the coming five years, almost all regions are likely to be warmer than the recent past, scientists warned.

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the CNN website. 

Global temperatures could exceed crucial 1.5 C target in the next five years by Amy Woodyatt, CNN, July 9, 2020



2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #28

Posted on 11 July 2020 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, July 5 through Sat, July 11, 2020

Editor's Choice

Think Covid-19 Disrupted the Food Chain? Wait and See What Climate Change Will Do

The pandemic has revealed deep flaws in the world’s food system and food leaders are calling for global coordination and climate resilient agriculture.


Photo by Paddy Walker on Unsplash

In the months since Covid-19 convulsed the globe, the world's food system has undergone a stress test—and largely failed it.

The pandemic disrupted global supply chains, induced panic buying and cleared supermarket shelves. It left perfectly edible produce rotting in fields, and left farmers no choice but to gas, shoot and bury their livestock because slaughter plants were shut down.

It also revealed a glaring problem: Though researchers have known for decades that climate change will roil farming and food systems, there exists no clear global strategy for building resilience and managing risks in the world's food supply, nor a coherent way to tackle the challenge of feeding a growing global population, on a warming planet where food crises are projected to intensify.

"We need to make sure food is safe, nutritious and sustainable, not just for today but for the future," said Emily Broad Leib, director of the Harvard Law School Food Law and Policy Clinic. "There's growing acknowledgement that this has been something that's not been addressed in a coordinated way."

Click here to access the entire article as originally posted on the InsideClimate New website.

Think Covid-19 Disrupted the Food Chain? Wait and See What Climate Change Will Do by Georgina Gustin, InsideClimate News, July 7, 2020



Spreading rock dust on fields could remove vast amounts of CO2 from air

Posted on 10 July 2020 by Guest Author

This is a re-post from The Guardian by Damian Carrington

Spreading rock dust on farmland could suck billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide from the air every year, according to the first detailed global analysis of the technique.

The chemical reactions that degrade the rock particles lock the greenhouse gas into carbonates within months, and some scientists say this approach may be the best near-term way of removing CO2 from the atmosphere.

The researchers are clear that cutting the fossil fuel burning that releases CO2 is the most important action needed to tackle the climate emergency. But climate scientists also agree that, in addition, massive amounts of CO2 need to be removed from the air to meet the Paris agreement goals of keeping global temperature rise below 2C.

The rock dust approach, called enhanced rock weathering (ERW), has several advantages, the researchers say. First, many farmers already add limestone dust to soils to reduce acidification, and adding other rock dust improves fertility and crop yields, meaning application could be routine and desirable.

Basalt is the best rock for capturing CO2, and many mines already produce dust as a byproduct, so stockpiles already exist. The researchers also found that the world’s biggest polluters, China, the US and India, have the greatest potential for ERW, as they have large areas of cropland and relatively warm weather, which speeds up the chemical reactions.

The analysis, published in the journal Nature, estimates that treating about half of farmland could capture 2bn tonnes of CO2 each year, equivalent to the combined emissions of Germany and Japan. The cost depends on local labour rates and varies from $80 per tonne in India to $160 in the US, and is in line with the $100-150 carbon price forecast by the World Bank for 2050, the date by which emissions must reach net zero to avoid catastrophic climate breakdown.



The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2020 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us