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...

Keep me logged in
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts


Climate Hustle

Recent Comments

Prev  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  Next

Comments 701 to 750:

  1. Philippe Chantreau at 04:16 AM on 28 December 2018
    Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    Bsettlem, you're not making any more sense than previously, sorry. It seems you may even somewhat contradict yourself. In any case, I don't have that kind of time. It's not that difficult to be clear and concise. Try.

  2. Climate's changed before

    Very nice site.  However, as I've also been reading from various Noble prize winning scientists who insist on exactly the things this site purports to 'debunk' I think I consider you debunked instead.... unless you have a Noble prize in scientific fields germane to the subjects. 

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] Fittingly, you misspelled "Nobel." The only Nobel prize winning scientist that I'm aware of denying human-caused climate change is Ivar Giaever. He has no training, background, or scientific publications on that topic. He readily admitted:

    "I am not really terribly interested in global warming.  Like most physicists I don't think much about it.  But in 2008 I was in a panel here about global warming and I had to learn something about it.  And I spent a day or so - half a day maybe on Google, and I was horrified by what I learned.  And I'm going to try to explain to you why that was the case."

    A fuller explanation of breadth and depth of his incorrect opinions is in an article here on Skeptical Science.

  3. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    This is an excellent, clearly written article, but I do have two minor quibbles. First, the title is misleading, because this is not the climate change myth that refused to die, it's a climate change myth that refused to die. There are many others--for example, the myth that our current warming is caused by the sun.

    Second, the singular of "phenomena" is "phenomenon."

    I congratulate the authors on my finding only two things to quibble about. I'm hypercritical--in most essays I find many more problems.

    Moderator Response:

    [TD] On the left side of every page of this site is a list of the most used climate myths. At the bottom of that list is a link to let you view all the myths ("arguments"). Alternatively, hover over the "Arguments" (myths) link in the menu bar at the top of the page. Each myth (argument) is listed with a factual rebuttal.

  4. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger@21 I understand these curves, and my point remains the same. Even if carbon intensity falls, if total CO2 continues to rise as the Keeling curve shows that it is, none of these other metrics will ever matter. The only value of these other metrics is that they give hope that we might solve the problem. In the meantime, atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to accelerate upwards. If we focus on the graph that you show, we give people hope that we are getting on top of this problem and that we can relax. In other words, I see talk after talk that show graphs bending downwards, giving hope that we are winning, when all the while the Keeping curve is accelerating upwards. In the end analysis, it is the atmospheric CO2 concentration that will matter.

    Can you explain why CO2 concentrations are increasing at such a rapid rate when carbon intensity is decreasing? If we were to continue to burn fossil fuels at the same rate we are now, but simply get the growing energy we need from renewables, we could continue to grow GDP without increasing carbon emissions. But even though carbon intensity would drop (i.e., GDP going up due to use of renewables and carbon emissions held constant), if renewables don't displace fossil fuels but merely add on top of them, then although carbon intensity will drop, CO2 will continue to rise. Or am I missing something?

  5. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die


    You said " I think the problem is some scientists have denied there was a pause" which is completely false.  It cannot be twisted into a correct statement.  there was never a pause in the increase of global surface temperature.

    I think it is better to explain the escalator (available in the sidebar):


    In person describe the escalator.  I thnk most people over the age of five recognize that there is variation in temperature from day to day.  From today until August 15 in the USA everyone expects it to get hotter (in New Zealand it will get colder).  There will be periods of cold during the warming.  This week happens to be warm at my house.  The warm period does not prove winter has ended.  

    There was never a period of "slowdown, haitus or pause" in atmospheric warming.  Your verbal gymnastics confuse the situation.  Deniers deliberately lie about the existance of the "pause".  Scientists should be vigorous in confronting those lies.

  6. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @20,

    Perhaps then some further food on the subject.

    I don't think "cool summers" (or warm winters) will have much impact on the Keeling Curve. They are quite local phenomena and the proportion of our emissions resulting from space heating (& cooling) is small - some 16% in UK.

    Population as a factor in AGW is a poor measure. A better factor is the size of the world economy but this has a varrying 'carbon intensity', the graphic below from here. The steepness of the downward trajectory is a useful measure of how well we are doing, although with a growing world economy 'carbon intensity' must drop quicker than economic growth rises. So the big big question is whether we have truly decoupled carbon emissions from economic growth, and in how many sectors and how many countries, and are doing it in time to prevent too much damage from AGW.

    Carbon Intensity PWC 2018

  7. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    bsettlem @119,

    The prospect is "horrible" indeed. Golly!! Lucky you spotted that!!!

    So then, from where do humans get their 270g carbon fuel to allow continued breathing out of a kg of CO2 per day? As a human yourself, you should have some idea. Do you chew on a lump of coal for breakfast? Or perhaps you have a bedtime pint of crude oil?

    Biomass of planet

    Of course the problem is not just humans. We are a minor part of the animal kingdom. And bacteria & fungi - they breathe. And even plants breathe when the sun doesn't shine. With all that breathing out of CO2 (the graphic shows biomass, Fig 1 from here), where does all this carbon come from?

  8. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    I like to use the analogy of seasonal climates. From February to July in the northern hemisphere, the temperature gradually warms. But that doesn't mean every day will be hotter than the last. That should help people understand why "no warming since 2016" is not a valid argument.

    From the think tank:

    “we just had […] the biggest drop in global temperatures that we have had since the 1980s, the biggest in the last 100 years.”

    The 1980s wasn't 100 years ago; I don't get why he used two numbers there.

    fireofenergy @5

    That photo helps visualize exactly how many fossil fuels we burn, and is a great resource to deal with the "humans are too insignificant to change the planet" argument, but it shouldn't be used as an argument in of itself that burning fossil fuels does indeed warm the planet by unsafe amounts.

  9. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Michael Sweet @4 yes point understood, and I clearly said there is no pause in underlying warming,  but you have to see this from the publics perspective: They see a pause as just a flat period of temperatures on a graph, understandably, and the scientific explanation is a bit arcane for them. I've seen this confusion.

    Perhaps the answer is simply to say temperatures were flat for a few years and explain why it happened and is of no consequence in the scheme of things etc, and there was no pause in underlying build up of energy.

  10. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Just wanted to say thanks for the good work!

    What I'm concerned about is not the little bit of cherry picked data that could be construed to say "the physics of GHGs have now changed to suit skeptic claims". No, what I'm concerned about is how we will come up with enough (clean) energy and willpower to remove the excess CO2. Realize that the growing world will need at least 25 TW of clean energy generation to meet the demands of almost 10 billion at high enough standards, to build very large space programs and to remove the excess CO2 by means of more infrastructure.

    This is how I like to deal with skeptics. I show them the picture and say "we've burnt upwards of a hundred of these cubic miles of oil. Do you really think there will be no consequences?". We now burn the equalivalent of about 3 of them in all forms of FFs every year.

    Will we ever come up with enough renewables/molten salt nuclear to match our fossil fuels use?

    Cubic Mile of Oil

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Reduced image width.

  11. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Nigelj and Evan,

    As the OP clearly states, rigourous statistical analysis has shown without any doubt that there was no "slowdown", "hiatus" or "pause" at any time in global warming between 1990 and the present.  Chopping into smaller lengths only increases the uncertainty.  Your 2002-2007 time period is so short that no useful analysis can be done on it. 

    Noisy data always has periods where the data increases faster and periods when it increases slower.   That is caused by chance.  All periods that appear by eye to have a slower slope are due to this random variations.  They cannot be ascribed to any pause or slowdown.  They are just expected , random variation around the upward trend.

    Most of the claims of "haitus" use the technique of broken trends which is unphysical.  Unphysical claims by defination cannot be considered as real under any reasonable standard.

    Experienced scientists know that eyeballing the data often yields incorrect results.  Re-read the OP if you have questions.  It has been definatively shown that there was no "pause".

  12. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy


    This essay was written in November, 2018. I have now updated it by replacing Fig 2 and the first two paragraphs under the heading ‘New Investment’ so that they show Pipeline status at the end of December, 2018.

  13. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    Michael Sweet

    In 20-25 years time photovoltaic technology is likely to have advanced to the point where to-days massive panel arrays are replaced be cheaper, transparent and more efficient film applied to built and other structures. Such development would probably make to-days panels, salvage value only, probably involving a lot of waste

  14. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    MA Rodger
    Good numbers math but horrible science
    Humans are similar to engines, fuel them and they burn the fuel. Are you assuming that humans can continue to function without eating until they burn up all their carbon content?

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Please limit the usage of bold font.

  15. Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup

    Philippe Chantreau, Thank you for your response.
    I humbly respond to your reply. I have sectioned your message and responded in italics

    Bsettlem, your post makes no sense at all. You're acknowledgeing that total contribution from human respiration with a population of 9 billions would be only 0.5% of just gasoline burning emissions, therefore an even smaller fraction of all fossil fuel CO2.
    Yes, I essentially said the above. But the fact that my post makes no sense at all to you IMO tells me you need to read it more closely and reason it without self inflicting more information than I have written
    And somehow that makes it a bigger problem than fossil fuel?
    I never said this!


    Indeed CO2's radiative properties are independent of its origins, and of anyone's opinion as well.
    Yes, I essentially said this but not in these words. CO2 does have an effect on the radiative relationship between the sun and Earth.
    As you stated yourself, human respiration generated CO2 is a tiny fraction of that coming from other sources,
    Yes I said this!
    so these other sources, over which we have control, are what matters.
    This is not something I said in my writing. What I conclude is that all CO2 counts even that discharged by humans exhalations, and I add now, that this quantity is approximately 4X that produced by humans when I was born. But there are other somewhat small sourceses which we do not have control over.
    You being absolutely sure of anything does not make it real.
    There is some evidence that Antarctica was once a paradise of life and during this time the Earths average atmospheric temperature was much warmer than it is now. And during the “ice ages” the atmospheric temperatures were much lower. It is absolutely real that the sun warms the earth and it is absolutely real that some atmospheric conditions create an imbalance to the amount of the suns energy that the earth accepts and rejects. The state of balance is the radiative equilibrium. And I am absolutely sure that human behavior is negatively affecting the probability that humans will survive until the earth will no longer be able to sustain life
    Some people are absolutely sure that the Earth is flat.
    And I am sure that your opinions interfered with what you thought I was writing.

    Can you tell me what is wrong with this statement?  By breathing out, we are simply returning to the air the same CO2 that was there to begin with.

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Note that in this venue, an overusage of bold font is considered shouting.  Please keep its usage to a minimum.

    Also note that the usual custom when quoting someone is to put their text between quote marks and in italic text.  For additional clarity, you can indent the passage.  Like this:

    "I have sectioned your message and responded"

  16. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger@19 Please see the curve and analysis in Evan@18.

    I like to think of a thick branch that has a bend in it. How easy is it to bend the branch opposite its natural bend? The reverse bend occurs slowly. If there are temporary reductions due to a cool summer that reduces the air conditioning load in a country and leads to a reduction of CO2 emissions from coal plants, such temporary cool summers are bound to not be often repeated.

    I have not done the detailed analysis that you are doing, but rather have chosen to base my analysis on the 60-year data trend indicated by the Keeling curve, combined with the fact that with global population is continuing to rise, and no international agreements are yet enacted for serious reductions in emissions. I see any temporary blip in the data as inconsequential to the overall trend. In other words, in the same way that we correct climate deniers for focusing on "pauses" and not looking at the long-term data, I also tend to focus on the long-term Keeling curve and not get excited by short-terrm blips.

    But I appreciate all the points you make and you've given me a lot more food for thought. Thanks.

  17. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @15,

    Indeed you are correct in putting the MLO measurements of atmospheric CO2 levels as the prime data and to say that it shows there has undoubtedly been an acceleration in the CO2 rise since 1960. Back then, the rise was averaging some 0,7ppm/yr and it is now averaging some 2.4ppm/yr, suggesting an acceleration of roughly 2% per year over the period. And over that same period, the CO2 emissions from all anthropogenic sources have also risen at a rate of roughly 2% per year. This does suggest that the Keeling Curve is driven by anthropogenic emissions, and nothing else.

    So if in recent years (since 2014), if anthropogenic sources have shown no rise, would this suggest that the acceleration may have been halted (at least for the years 2014-17 as we still await the 2018 figure for total emissions)?

    Now, the MLO data does show a lot of wobble, much of it based on the ENSO cycle. If the ENSO cycle is accounted using MEI (shifted by 8 months which gives he best fit to the CO2 wobble) and correlated against the CO2 Airborne Fraction (as per the Global Carbon Project numbers), the MLO data does appear to show an end to the acceleration (abet still noisy), or at least no reason to suggest that there is any significant non-anthropogenic source of CO2 emissions impacting the atmospheric levels.

    With no increase in anthropogenic emissions, I would suggest that any notion of continued acceleration through recent years requires a non-anthropogenic source. (This of course does not mean a return to accelerating anthrpogenic emissions can be guaranteed.) I have not ever found evidence to support the existence of any significant non-anthropogenic emissions as the source of acceleration. (This of course does not mean there has not been such accelerating emissions, either now or future.)

    So is there some reason to consider such analysis invalid?

  18. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    nigelj @16&17, great question. Here is a look at the Keeling curve that uses the following data fits.





    What is interesting is that fitting the data for 1988-2017 and 1998-2017 give almost the same trends. But, during the 90's three things happened. The USSR was collapsing and reducing their energy usage, Britain was converting from coal to gas, and France was finishing their conversion to nuclear. After the 90's things started to increase.

    There are two scary things in the following plot. Using all of the data from 1958-2017 shows that CO2 concentration is accelerating upwards, But looking at how the curves get steeper and steeper as you use only the most recent data suggests that the acceleration is accelerating.

    However, I am not ready to publish that in a blog article, because whereas 60 years of data gives a long-term solid trend, something like 10-20 years of data may not stand statistical rigor. But still, the point is that CO2 concentrations are accelerating upwards.

    If you divide the increases by the population in each year, you can attribute have of the increase to increasing population and half the increase to the rise of affluence.

    Keeling Curve fit over varying time intervals

  19. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    So there is actually a recent acceleration in the acceleration. so much for my eyeballing.

  20. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    I'm trying to figue out what you guys mean. I look at a graph of the Mauna loa data here, and I see by eye a gentle curve over the period 1960 - 2018 so a mild acceleration over the full period. Is that what you mean Evan?

    But eye balling the last ten years I dont see an obvious acceleration in this acceleration.

    I think the decrease in emissions over the last few years is real, but the exact numbers would be approximate. But would a couple of years slowdown in actual emissions even show up in the mauna loa trend? I think you would need something more substantial wouldn't you?

  21. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger@14, please see figure 2 in Evan@3. This is the Keeling Curve (gray dots) with a quadratic function fitted. The quadratic function fits with R2 = 0.99 for the period 1960 to present. If you use just the last 20 years the curve is steeper! The fact that the second derivative of the Keeling curve is positive means that CO2 concentrations are accelerating upwards.

    For whatever it's worth, Ralph Keeling (son of Charles David Keeling) says the same thing (that CO2 concentrations are accelerating upwards) in the Nova program "Decoding the Weather Machine."

    I would love for somebody to shoot a hole in my argument, but the CO2 measurements represent one of the most solid data sets we have, and include the balance of all sources and sinks, but natural and human.

  22. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    nigelj@7 people who live in earthquake zones know that when there is a pause in earthquake activity that the big one might be coming. The energy keeps building up year after year, whether or not it is periodically released.

  23. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    nigelj@2 yes, we agree on the need to acknowledge a slowdown in atmospheric warming. When we acknowledge a pause in atmospheric warming, we need to remind people that during that period the oceans are still warming. In other words, we don't want to let people think that by natural variation we mean the warming has stopped for a few years and may stop for a couple of decades. Natural variation means that the way that oceans move energy around has natural variations, but that as long as there is an energy inbalance, the energy is always increasing. If you live in an earthquake zone, you become more concerned during a lull in earthquakes, not less, because you know that the energy is still building, and that the next one might be the big one.

  24. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    Excellent, and well explained, however I think the problem is some scientists have denied there was a pause which is technically correct in energy accumulation terms etc, but the public see a clear slowdown or "pause" in surface temperatures from about 2002 - 2007 in the smoothing line in the nasa giss graphs, so the public get confused. You have to ackowledge there was a pause in surface temperatures, or it looks deceitful.

    I remind people that the intermittent slow periods of warming of a few years are just the influence of natural variation, and that the early IPCC reports predicted there would be slow warming periods of up to 10 years, due to the impact of natural variation. We have seen a couple so its exactly what was predicted! So the so called pause never bothered me.

  25. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    Excellent, and well explained, however I think the problem is some scientists have denied there was a pause which is technically correct in energy accumulation terms etc, but the public see a clear slowdown or "pause" in surface temperatures from about 2002 - 2007 in the smoothing line in the nasa giss graphs, so the public get confused. You have to ackowledge there was a pause in surface temperatures, or it looks deceitful.

    I remind people that the intermmitent slow periods of warming of a few years are just the influence of natural variation, and that the early IPCC reports predicted there would be slow warming periods of up to 10 years, due to the impact of natural variation. We have seen a couple so its exactly what was predicted! So the so called pause never bothered me.

  26. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @13,

    It is good that we have clarified your meaning. And to be entirely accurate, with this talk of "acceleration," you are evidently not talking "emissions" but man-made "emissions."

    Sadly it does beg the question as to what is causing this "acceleration" in atmospheric CO2 given you say "atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to accelerate upwards." Or indeed whether there is any evidence of "atmospheric CO2 concentrations continu(ing) to accelerate upwards." Myself, I do not see it. And it is not as though I have not looked. (I am happy to share what this 'looking' has shown me.)

  27. Global warming ‘hiatus’ is the climate change myth that refuses to die

    I have a favorite plot I like to use to show the lack of a pause, and I just updated it with the GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index. I find it interesting that a linear fit of the temperature record since 1970 parallels a linear fit of the decadal maximum temperatures. The point being that if the cherry-pickers were honest, they would see that their cherries are increasing at the same rate as the rest of the data. I don't expect to convince them, but hope others might find this interesting.

    GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index

  28. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger@12 When I say upward acceleration, I am not referring to emissions. I am referring to CO2 accumulating in the atmosphere. I'm sure you agree that it really does not matter if we stabilize emissions if atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to accelerate upwards, and they are. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are what we should be focusing on to evaluate how well we're doing, because that gives us the net effect of everything, including changing re-absorption rates by the biosphere and positive feedbacks. Isn't it concerning if emission rates have stabilized but atmospheric CO2 concentrations continue to accelerate upwards? Or am I missing something? I realize the only thing we can write policies for are emissions, but unfortunately the climate only cares about atmospheric CO2 concentrations. I am not trying to be argumentative, just trying to understand the relationship between emissions and accumulating CO2, and where we should be placing our focus. Thanks for your detailed responses.

  29. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    nigelj@5 I think the point that climate scientists like James Hansen have been making is that the energy continues to be pumped into the climate year after year, but because of the complex ocean circulation and El Nino/La Nino cycles, we just don't see it in the atmospheric temperature record as a smooth increase. I know you know that, but we have to keep reminding ourselves of this when focusing down on short-term trends.

  30. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @8,

    You say:-

    "However, the idea that the world will respond in a manner to cause CO2 to naturally start decreasing I see as wishful thinking (no offense meant)."

    I do note you continue by describing "reversing an upward acceleration, ... move to a constant increase, ... Then we must decrease from there," so in some manner we do speak at cross-purposes.

    Just to be clear, my talk of this natural process reducing CO2 levels: this year draws to a close and we will have emitted some 11.4Gt(C) of CO2 into the atmosphere over the year. Yet the atmospheric CO2 levels do not increase by 11.4/2.13=5.4ppm over the year. The levels of annual rise in CO2 are wobbly but there is on average 55% of our emissions disappeared, into the oceans & biosphere. This 11.4*0.55=6.27Gt(C) of drawdown is a response not only to this year's emissions but to previous years. The drawdown continues when "you stop emissions" eventually resulting in 80% of our emissions being disappeared over a millenia. (See Archer et al (2009) 'Atmospheric Lifetime of Fossil Fuel Carbon Dioxide') This is the process I describe @5, "once you stop emissions, the falling CO2 forcing would balance with the warming from the remaining un-balanced forcing leaving a roughly constant global temperature, even a cooling."

    I could continue by pointing out that the global CO2 emissions calculated for recent years show little or zero increase, perhaps a sign that "upward acceleration" has ended, but some find this difficult to accept so I won't press the point.

  31. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    Evan @2, yeah you are right. Looking at NASA GISS and the smoothed line, any slowdown was about 5 years at most around 2002 - 2007 and not dissimilar from previous slowdowns since 1970. Its obviously not significant. The long term  smoothed line does form a step like pattern though, but nothing really radically different recently. 

  32. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    The fact that the La Niña of 2018 was warmer than the El Niño of 2010 and all El Niños from before is really telling.

    2014 surprassed 2010 as the hottest year on record and it was a neutral year, and it looks like we probably won't get another year cooler than 2014 in our lifetimes, unless we get a really strong La Niña pretty soon.

  33. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    The choice of Nina metrics seems a little arbitrary. Make different choices and 2017 is the warmest la Nina year.

    Substantively, the point hardly alters, but the messaging is a little less compelling...

  34. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    And for contrast, deniers favourite temperature series is UAH. They are not reknowned for providing quick access to their code - does anyone know if code for latest version is available yet?

    Do note that scientists in all fields tend to hold tight to raw data till they have had a chance to publish it properly. I think this may have been source of accusations over paleo proxies some time in the distant past.

  35. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    Er, wow. Thanks Daniel, especially for giving such a reply on Christmas Day.

  36. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    Note that the Muir Russell Commission was able to do a full global reconstruction from the raw data linked to from the above page, without any code, in a mere 2 days (when asked, they replied "any competent researcher" could have done the same).

    The Auditors over at McIntyre's Climate Audit have been struggling with their "audit" reconstruction for many years now.

    The "any competent researcher" bit comes from here:

    "key data was freely available and could be used by any "competent" researcher"...They used data from public databanks and wrote their own computer code, which they say could be repeated by any "competent researcher". The results were similar to those of the CRU."


    "Their conclusion: "A researcher can evidently produce a study which would test the CRU analysis quite precisely, without requiring any information from CRU to do so.""

    The "2 days" bit comes from here:

    "They managed this in two days"

    The report itself is here.

  37. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    Actually, pretty much all of the data (raw or otherwise) and model code is openly available.

    The raw data:
    Link to SORCE

    Next, the processed data:

    Now, the model code:

    Source code for GISTEMP is here:

    Related links:

    Global surface temperature records use station temperature data for long-term climate studies. For station data to be useful for these studies, it is essential that measurements are consistent in where, how and when they were taken. Jumps unrelated to temperature, introduced by station moves or equipment updates, need to be eliminated. The current procedure also applies an automated system that uses systematic comparisons with neighboring stations to deal with artificial changes, which ensures that the Urban Heat Island effect is not influencing the temperature trends. In the same fashion that a chef turns raw ingredients into a fine meal, scientists turn raw data into a highly accurate and reliable long-term temperature record.

    Although adjustments to land temperature data do have larger consequences in certain regions, such as in the United States and Africa, these tend to average out in the global land surface record.

  38. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    Using 1970 as the year when the temperature anomaly emerged from the background noise as the starting point, plot the maximum atmospheric temperature for each decade (which is often the temperature of El Nino years), fit a line to it, and it parallels the line derived from fitting all of the atmospheric temperature data. Has there ever really been a slowdown if we look at the data over a long enough time period? The following plots merely shows that during large El Nino years that the temperature is about 0.2C higher than the long-term trend.

    Temperature anomaly compared to maximum decadal temperatures

    Moderator Response:

    [DB] Reduced image width

  39. Philippe Chantreau at 08:27 AM on 26 December 2018
    Climate scientists are in it for the money

    AFT, these claims are popular among people sharing a certain ideology. They amount to slightly more than conspiracy theory but not much, and they do not hold up to scrutiny. Virtually nobody arguing that way ever spends the time and effort necessary to determine how much reality underlies these claims.

    1) A large amount of research comes from NASA, and it continues to point in the same direction. Another body of research is from the military, i.e. Navy and Air Force. It shows the same as the rest of the evidence, some of it was very early on. Repeated attempts at silencing scientists or suppressing their work have been reported during the Bush administration, it has reached rdiculous proportions under Trump, so the problem is actually the other way around: anti AGW (whatever that may mean) actors actively try to silence researchers and do not fund research because they know that it will show the opposite of what they want to see. The BEST project was a shining example, look it up. Exxon did fund research and it showed the same thing as the research from other sources (see appropriate thread); it is not very surprising that they stopped funding it now, is it? Why would these actors continue to fund research that they know will show exactly the opposite of what their financial interests demand? How much have they actually funded, then suppressed, because it did not serve their interests?

    2) The only way to get funding should be to propose quality research that advances knowledge. That is the case for the vast majority of it. Denial motivated research in virtually all the publicized cases ends up of such poor quality that it generates questions on the review process that allowed it through. Multiple cases have been shown to be the results of intentional, organized peer-review hijacking, or the publicity was owed to gross misrepresentation of results, or press releases advertised conclusions that were not supported by the paper. A while ago, it was the infamous Soon-Baliunas, Legates, and a few others are there for your examination. The stream has dried up somewhat lately. Prominent denial voices (Spencer) still can not come up with research that truly supports their publicly voiced opinions.

    3) Exactly why would that be? Reviewers are often anonymous, what interest do they have to allow poor quality papers? Scientists tend to try to undermine each other's work far more than people realize. There is seldom better satisfaction than proving a competitor wrong.

    These arguments are neve accompanied by specifics. They simply don't hold up. Those who want to be convinced by them simply assume that they are true because it make sense to them, flatters their already held beliefs, and they never bother digging or just exploring the logic of it, as for the first argument. The real problem is this: nobody has a real financial incentive in climate science being correct, including scientists themselves. The effort that societies will have to produce to deal with it, whether they try to mitigate, remediate, or any combination will be enormous. Ask any any climate scientist if they wish climate science was wrong and see what their answer are.

  40. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    Evan @10, agreed. I also think people look at impacts of climate change such as general warming, and impacts on crops and think it will be slow and we will adapt and genetic engineering will 'solve it' for example.  Firstly they underestimate the costs of even slow adaptation, and  the slowness lulls people into a false sense of security, because some elements of climate change wont be slow, and it only takes one rapid element of change to be a huge problem. As you say it's important to focus on the possibility we could see short periods of rapid sea level rise of a foot or more a decade interspersed with more sluggish periods.

    Its speed of transitions like this that would be very difficult to adapt to. Buildings are designed to last about 100 years, so its possible to design for a world with a known quantity of sea level rise over multi centuries, by hopping inland in an orderly way. Costly, but manageable. But theres a possibility of erratic spurts of sea level rise of several metres per century or less and it's impossible to plan for this, and infrastructure will have to be abandoned before its use by date, over and over again.

    I think the IPCC do a good job of discussing the risks, possibly they are on the conservative side a bit but overall its good. What I think might have gone wrong is how the mainstream media  interpret and communicate the issues. The focus seems to swing from the usual risks of more storms, reduced agricultual issues, multi century sea level rise, and general warming on the one hand, and more scaremongering claims that are stated in such general ways as to be useless and easily refuted. They miss the key problems and more specific quantifiable problems of a world of 5 - 10 degrees having inolerable heatwaves, the possibility of short periods of rapid sea level rise,and so on. Some media have covered this, but not enough.

  41. 2018 was the hottest La Niña year ever recorded

    We had the slowdown in warming (such as it was, not very much) from about 1998 - 2014, then temperatures jumped from 2015 - 2016, and remain quite high even during a la nina. It looks like temperatures may be resetting at a permanently higher level. Speculation of course, but perhaps this is a sign of things to come, a very "step like" progression of warming, perhaps due to something to do with how ocean processes work.

  42. It's the sun

    Oops, I withdraw my last question.

  43. It's the sun

    Hello. I notice that the last post on this topic was ~6.5 years ago. Figure 1 in the overview is very helpful to a lay person newbie like me. Are there any updates from the last few years? Thanks in advance.

  44. Freedom of Information (FOI) requests were ignored

    Hello. I don't know if this belongs in another thread, but I wanted to follow-up on the "skeptics'" line of attack that "climate researchers hide all their work and just expect us to believe it". The above posts were helpful in explaining why some data should not be released to the public. But none of the comments addressed opening up the code itself to scrutiny? Are there valid reasons why these would be held under wraps (which I perceive, perhaps incorrectly) was done by CRU? Are climate models generally "open" or "held secret"? Thanks in advance for any forthcoming replies.

  45. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy


    It is my experience that cracked solar panels continue to generate electricity.  I know several people who had cracked panels on home systems (say a hammer fell on them) who continued to use them for several years.  They did not see a large drop in electricity generated.

    I would expect that utility solar farms would have to replace cracked panels after a hail storm but that they would not be out of service completely during the time it took to replace the panels.  Since panels can be replaced in small sections the power of a large facility is only slightly reduced by replacing panels in one block.  As compared to a fossil plant which has to shut down for maintenance.

    I do not see as big a problem with end of lifetime disposal of solar panels as you do.  I have a sailboat that is powered by two panels that are at least 25 years old.  They still produce close to their rated power.  They are not as efficient as new panels and take up more space.

    I would expect that 25 year old panels would be replaced by more efficient panels.  The old panels can then be sold at a discount to developing nations as cheap solar power.  This has already been done with wind turbines in Europe where old turbines are replaced with new technology and the old turbines are refurbished and sold.

    Even if they have to be recycled, most of the panel is aluminum and glass which can be recycled.  There is not currently a big market to recycle panels as a lot continue in use as described above.   

  46. Climate scientists are in it for the money

    Hello, this is my first post, as I just discovered this site. Great work, thanks.

    I frequent some online investor fora where I encounter a lot of right wingers (some of the extreme fringe). Their mainline attack on climate scientists is more sophisticated (and fundamental) than "they're in it for the money" (as in, to get "rich"). The general lines of attack go more like "the groupthink in the climate science community is such that: 1) only pro AGW theory proponents will even fund climate research, 2) the only way to get any funding (whether it makes you "rich" or not) is to be an AGW theory proponent, and 3) of course the peer reviewers are going to support anything that bolsters the AGW theory and attack anything that doesn't.

  47. Australia - Moving to Renewable Energy

    A feature of the Pipeline is the dominance of solar farms comprising 82 projects, or 66% of its 125 projects.

    A feature of climate change in Australia is the growing frequency and severity of hail storms.  This gives rise to concern about the vulnerability of the millions of photovoltaic panels which will make up these solar farms, particularly when recent reports are of hailstones the size of golf balls.

    Can solar farm design ernsure that in the event of some damage to panels, ability to generate electricity is maintained?

  48. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    nigelj@9 Agree with your assessment.

    There is another aspect that I think is being overlooked. I think that the big guns like Richard Alley and Eric Rignot and others expect that we will trigger major sea level rise within the next few decades. Some console themselves that sea level rise will happen over millenia, so it is slow and we can manage it. After all, a snail can outrun sea level rise. But, buildings, houses, and roads move slower than snails.

    Also, sea level rise will come in spurts, some being a foot or more in a decade, some decades slower. And this will go on for hundreds of years. How do city planners cope with that? Although it may be difficult to convince people that a warming climate will be bad for agriculture, heat, floods, wild fires, stronger storms, etc., I think it is an easy argument to make that a warmer world will bring with it sea level rise that will be very difficult to cope with. That argument alone, and the very long time frame it implies, may be sufficient to bring some of the doubters on board.

    It's also possible that I am temporarily afflicted by a case of optimism, but it feels good to find an optimistic argument to try out.

  49. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    "I just can't figure out the right words to use to get through to people the urgency of this issue."

    I feel the same way, but I wonder if its partly because we all all talk so much about 1.5 degrees and climate impacts this century. People don't care about 1.5 degrees, because it sounds harmless, (it isn't, but one can easily understand why they react this way), but if we go on burning fossil fuels, its possible the world could warm about 12 degress celsius by year 2300 according to the IPCC.

    12 degrees has a different "feel" to it psychologically and will get peoples attention, and is obviously genuinely catastrophic. It is also not hyperbole and speculation, there is science behind it.

    People might say we have plenty of time to do something about that because it seems distant, but deep down they will instinctively know we have to start now and urgently. Passing 1.5 and 2 degree tipping points also helps lock in such a 12 degree scenario.

    We have to get the big picture across better.

  50. 2018 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #51

    MA Rodger@7 I agree with and note the technical merit of your points. It is not my intention to get into fine points, because I agree technically with what you're saying.

    However, the idea that the world will respond in a manner to cause CO2 to naturally start decreasing I see as wishful thinking (no offense meant). I am not trying to be argumentative, just noting that reversing an upward acceleration, first requires we stop the acceleration and just move to a constant increase, which itself is really bad. Then we must decrease from there.

    So whereas I agree with the technical points you're making, and whereas I agree that we need to pull out all the stops and communicate as fervently as we can, to me the upward acceleration of the Keeling Curve at a point where 400 ppm is behind us, and when the temperature anomalies are tracking very well at 3C/doubling CO2 with a 30-year offset, personally I am preparing myself for a 2+C world, while working with you and others to try to not make that a reality.

    I just can't figure out the right words to use to get through to people the urgency of this issue.

Prev  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

© Copyright 2019 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us