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  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  Next

Comments 851 to 900:

  1. From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes, Part 1: The Basics

    Thanks David.  I've used this information in my cllimate presentations as part of the answer to the question  "how do we know it's us?"

    My answer is Math, Chemistry and Physics.... This is the Chemistry part.

    Thanks again and Happy Holidays to all.


  2. One Planet Only Forever at 01:44 AM on 21 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Red Baron,

    The problem with Beef is more than the global warming impact assessment, just like the problem with burning fossil fuels is more than just the global warming aspects.

  3. From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes, Part 1: The Basics

    michael sweet explains it well. Think of a field of beans or some other crop: the view of the entire field is similar to the broad explanation of climate science. But when you get in closer among the furrows of the field and zero in among the weeds you are getting into the finer details of some aspect of the science.

  4. From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes, Part 1: The Basics


    Googling "lost in the weeds yields:

    "Dear Word Detective: The phrase “getting into the weeds” is widely used to mean “getting into the details,” often with the inference of getting into too much detail. I have a guess about the origin of this phrase which is that it comes from harvesting."

    It is clear that is the meaning here.  David Kirtley wants to get into a lot of detail about carbon.

  5. Polar bear numbers are increasing


    According to this Desmog blog, Susan Crockford refused to respond to emails that asked aboout the money she gets from the Heartland Institute.  Desmog provides links to internal Heartland documents that say they pay Crockford.  Most of her claims are that she is a biological expert without mention of polar bears ie: " a paper in a peer-reviewed book chapter on ringed seals, the primary prey of polar bears (Crockford and Frederick 2011), and a peer-reviewed journal article on the paleohistory of Bering Sea ice,".

    Susan Crockford has never studied polar bears, her "detailed academic critique" (mentioned first by you so it must be important to you) is a blog post written for the Heartlad Institute.

    She is an adjunct professor which means she is part time in a position at the bottom rung of education. Hardly the position of an expert.  I am an adjunct professor at a college so I know what that is.

    Under no standard is she an expert in all biology as she claims.

    I await your apology since I have provided documentation that Susan Crockford receives money from the Heartland Institute.  Her denials are apparently false.

  6. From the eMail Bag: Carbon Isotopes, Part 1: The Basics

    I categorically object to the use of term "weeds" to describe complex knowledge that must be simplified in order to explain the basics. As much as I like the explanation of CS to on this site in general, the use of the term "weeds" in this article is so logically incorect and even misleading that it warrants my objection.

    I'm a bush regenerator in my spare time here in Australia, so I'm entitled to speak on this subject. The term "weed" means a plant that grows somewhere out of its natural place, and often disturbes the balance of the ecosystem by suppressing other native species, so we don't want it to grow there. Following that definition, by calling the detailed, complex knowledge of CS by the relevant experts "weeds", do you imply that their knowledge is misplaced, that said knowledge interferes with other information and that we want to remove it? Nonsense, misleading characterisation at worse, or a serious mistake at least.

    I'm surprised that you made such a mistake. Perhaps you meant the climate myths by science deniers or contrarians, should be called "weeds". Those myths, that needs to be eradicated and the reculting gaps replaced by positive knowledge, so the "weeds" analogy would be precise here. But you're not talking about science deniao here.

    I think you should re3tract that "weeds" term from this article and replace it with something more apporpriate (e.g. "deep ocean where you drown") otherwise you will atract harsh criticism and disapointment from people like myslef who know what "weeds"really are.

  7. Polar bear numbers are increasing

    Bruce @72 ..... with all due respect, Dr Crockford's expertise in evolution/speciation & hybridization of polar bears has near zero relevance to the modern situation where there is an extinction threat to the species.

    Polar bears are evolved for a specialized diet, and they do not have the fall-back position of an omnivorous diet (such as possessed by their ursine relatives).   The polar bears' hunting habitat is heading rapidly toward 100% loss over the next one-to-two centuries, thanks to Arctic warming (per AGW).

    Polar bear numbers (and importantly their condition) can be very difficult to determine accurately.  It is a bold, very bold, scientist who undertakes to publicly express a complacent attitude about the survival of a specialized mega-fauna carnivore which is undergoing almost complete loss of habitat.  Especially bold, for a scientist who is not a specialist "at the coal face".

    It appears Dr Crockford holds an outlier opinion, and is also making a mountain out of a molehill when it comes to relevant expertise.

    As to whether she is receiving financial benefits (from propaganda organizations such as Heartland, GWPF or other slush funds) in the form of a retainer or fee-for-service or stipend [see for instance the case of Emeritus Professor Lindzen or maybe Dr Judith Curry] or receiving non-cash benefits for speaking engagements etcetera ..... a cynic like you Bruce would of course wish see an absolutely categorical denial from her, that "none of the above" benefits apply to the present financial year nor any years of the past decade.   Alas, it is all too easy for propaganda organizations to arrange for covert benefits of various types.

    All too often in this world, Bruce, situations are more "gray" than you would wish.

  8. Polar bear numbers are increasing

    Michael Sweet says about Dr Crockford "No sign of expertise in polar bears"

    From Dr Crockfors's letter to the AIBS.

    "I am a professional zoologist with a Ph.D. and over forty years of experience and dozens of peer-reviewed papers on various topics, and also fails to mention that I have recently published a detailed academic critique on the issue of polar bear conservation status."

    " Ph.D. dissertation on speciation included polar bears"

    "In addition to my dissertation that features polar bears, I have an article on evolution in a peer-reviewed journal in which polar bears are prominently featured (Crockford 2003), and two official comments, with references, on polar bear hybridization (which is how official responses to published papers are handled in these two journals). I also have a paper in a peer-reviewed book chapter on ringed seals, the primary prey of polar bears (Crockford and Frederick 2011), and a peer-reviewed journal article on the paleohistory of Bering Sea ice, the habitat of Chukchi Sea polar bears (Crockford and Frederick 2007)."

    According to

    polar bear numbers are 22-31,000.

    From the literature I've read no-one seriously disputes they are currently in decline but computer models say they are threatened by future climate change.

    Michael Sweet said

    "She is paid a monthly retainer from the Heartland Institute."

    But she says...

    I am not “linked with” nor do I “receive support” from The Heartland Institute or any other corporate-funded think tank.

    either Michael Sweet or Dr Crockford is lying.


    Moderator Response:

    [DB]  Please note that posting comments here at SkS is a privilege, not a right.  This privilege can be rescinded if the posting individual treats adherence to the Comments Policy as optional, rather than the mandatory condition of participating in this online forum.

    Please take the time to review the policy and ensure future comments are in full compliance with it.  Thanks for your understanding and compliance in this matter.

    Personal attack snipped.  Also, note that the usage of sock puppets is frowned upon in this venue.

  9. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    One Planet Only Forever

    There is no "yeah buts". Regenerative ag works at any scale in any country in developed and developing technologies and at every volumn. You have this fixation with trying to make beef production a villian. It isn't. There is no down side. Raise it correctly and instead of 10x the harm, it becomes 10x the benefit. The cow is the great multiplier, both the biggest villian done wrong and the best hero done right. It is because of the rumen. It is designed to recycle hard to digest plant material in large volumns. If the land needs large quantities of plant material and nutrients recycled, then the cow becomes the hero every bit as much as it becomes the villian when instead of hard to digest plant material is used and instead high quality expensive crops are purposely wasted. Either way it isn't all about the cow anyway. There are multitudes of crops and food animals!

    Recycling beneficial plant debris? good x 10

    Wasting perfectly good grains grown as crops? bad x 10

    “The number one public enemy is the cow. But the number one tool that can save mankind is the cow. We need every cow we can get back out on the range. It is almost criminal to have them in feedlots which are inhumane, antisocial, and environmentally and economically unsound.” Allan Savory

    I have gone over this so many times on so many threads they asked me to just post the evidence all in one place and simply refer back to it. Otherwise the threads bogged down.

    Can we reverse global warming?


    What reaction can you do to remove methane?

  10. One Planet Summit: Finance Commitments Fire-Up Higher Momentum for Paris Climate Change Agreement

    Norris M @2

    "I do not see very much other than fanfare or repetition of promises made in the past."

    Talk is cheap. You provide no proof (with internet links) that these announcements are merely repetition. It seems unlikely to me they would just repeat exact past dollar commitments. 

    "But in reading through this post, I am at a loss to understand what billions of dollars have been announced today. "

    The article is a summary. Why not read the links and original reports etc.

    "I see Bill Gates promising $15MM over five years but that works out to $3mm per year. That is "chump change" to Bill Gates"

    He gives billions to other causes. Now you have finished rubbishing Gates, how much do you contribute, - as a well paid lawyer?

    "What I am questioning is the willingness of developed countries to transfer a significant portion its wealth to another country in the name of climate change."

    What you are doing is spreading cynical negativity and doubt.

  11. One Planet Summit: Finance Commitments Fire-Up Higher Momentum for Paris Climate Change Agreement

    Perhaps someone can explain what actually happened at the One Planet Summit. 

    I just went through all of this whole post entitled "Finance Commitments Fire Up Higher Momentum" and I do not see very much other than fanfare or repetition of promises made in the past.

    As part of the fanfare, Patricia Espinosa is quoted as follows:

    “From the United Nations system to governments and investors, billions of dollars have today been mobilized and trillions more pointed towards a transformation of the world’s energy to agricultural sectors, adding to the finance that has already been flowing before, during and since Paris 2015”.

    But in reading through this post, I am at a loss to understand what billions of dollars have been announced today.  I see Bill Gates promising $15MM over five years but that works out to $3mm per year.  That is "chump change" to Bill Gates probably representing about a half of one day's interest return on his net worth. 

    Perhaps someone can elucidate.  What concerns me is that countries are great at making big announcements but not so great at cutting the cheques.

    What I am questioning is the willingness of developed countries to transfer a significant portion its wealth to another country in the name of climate change.  Unless I am missing something, the last time we saw this was the Marshall Plan.  That is a long time ago and was a very bold move by Truman to counter communism. 

    Please note that I am not referencing specific actions on climate change taken within a specific country.

  12. One Planet Summit: Finance Commitments Fire-Up Higher Momentum for Paris Climate Change Agreement

    Thankyou for some positive news that may encourage others to follow suit. 

    We must face the obvious problem: We are polluting the planet, and using resources frighteningly fast, due to a combination of fossil fuel use, high population growth and high gdp growth.

    The solution has to be a combination of renewable energy, better controls on polluting activities, aim to slowly achieve smaller global population, and phase down to steady state economy with zero gdp growth.There is no alternative.Even recycling while useful, comes up against limits eventually.

    The UN sustainable development goals make perfect sense.

    We can help vulnerable people adjust, and ensure assistance is targeted at programmes that really work and that spend money wisely. We must not let powerful people with vested interests and mean spirited ideologues stand in the way of all these various things.

    All these solutions have a huge range of hidden benefits to our lifestyles,and security, and will make long term sustainablity possible.

  13. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    We are polluting the planet, and using up mineral resources incredibly fast. Many materials can be recycled many times, - but not all. We come up against hard resource limits eventually.

    The causes are near exponential population growth, and gdp growth

    The solution is phase down to zero gdp growth economy, and stop population growth. We may even need a smaller population than todays numbers, if you want decent consumption levels sustainable long term.

    It's slow reducing population growth rates, so the other factors are very important like slower gdp growth, renewable energy etc.

    UN development goals are definitely the right way.

  14. Philippe Chantreau at 05:15 AM on 20 December 2017
    California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    Michael, note that the paragraph starts with "where I live." That is close to 45 degrees lattitude, with a significant oceanic influence that brings a lot of precipitation between October and June. I know that things are different in the Eastern part of the state and in California. You are corect that all the region's fire season is extending in duration though.

  15. Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise


    You asked " what do you think Morner's motivation could be for rejecting consensus on this issue?" but the answer you suggest is exactly backwards.

    If Morner was to agree with the consensus he would be one of a million scientists and no-one would care about his opinion.  Since he is a "skeptic", he gets to write Wall Street Joural articles, is feted at Heartland Institute bashes, is paid to give speeches on AGW, is presented as an expert and does not have to learn any of the science. 

    Skeptic scietists like Spencer, Curry, Lidzen and Watts (they are scraping the bottom of the barrel when one of their "experts" never even graduated from college) would be completely ignored if they were mainstream because their contributions are so small compared to Hanson, Mann and many others.

    Morner owes his fame to being skeptical.

  16. One Planet Only Forever at 04:45 AM on 20 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50


    Achieving all of the UN Sustainable Development Goals is indeed essential for humanity to have a future.

  17. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    This is at best a temporary solution.  Even at 7.5 billion people, it seems we have way more demand for resources than the Earth can sustainably provide.  Sure we can act more sustainably, but what happens when we reach 10 billion?  15 billion? There is a breaking point no matter what we do if we refuse to address population growth.  It's not easy, China tried, and failed.  AGW will just make it worse.

  18. Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise

    danmcc @90,

    You speak in the present tense and while this thread has been collecting cobwebs for some years, you are correct in using the present tense. Nils-Axel Mörner is still at it, for instance last year responding to the assertions that SLR in the last century was 'extremely likely faster thanany of the previous 27 centuries' set out by Kopp et al (2016) last year with a pantomine 'Oh no it's not.' And more recently he is published in an obscure non-SLR journal. If you want to see the man himself in action, there is 19 minutes of him from last summer in full flow here.

    Mind, of late there has been proposed adjustments to that satellite record pre-2003 but I don't think Mörner will be happy with the adjustments being suggested by, for instance Chen et al (2017).

  19. Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise

    Danmcc @90 , one can only guess at the various motivations that compel Dr Moerner's rejection of all the evidence.

    If he were the one and only person to reject the physical evidence of our modern global warming, then perhaps one could look at his age [currently 79] and speculate about him "Going Emeritus" or suffering some organic deterioration that could explain such strange behavior.   Or look at prior personality type favoring maverick attitude [in blunter terms: "ornery contrariness"] or perhaps even a type of persecution complex.

    However, we do not have access to his inner psyche — and so, in view of the considerable number of humans who believe the Earth is flat or believe that all scientists are in a grand century-long Conspiracy against mankind . . . or even that the Moon Landings were faked or that Climate Change is a Hoax by the Chinese . . . then IMO we should recognise that not all humans are fully sane (sane in the sense of being intellectually sane).    It would appear that Moerner is just one more example — nothing more, nothing less.    Danmcc, really it is not worth your while agonising over such motivations.   There is plenty of other craziness in this world, worthy of your more urgent attention.

    Your second point — the "falsely-adjusted" altimetry data — is more easily dealt with.   Look at the bigger picture : sea temperature measurements show the ocean is warming [as expected, from the increase of the so-called Greenhouse Effect which has been going on for a century or more] and that a vast amount of land-based ice (well over 30 million Megatons, over that time) has melted and flowed into the ocean.   So of course the sea level has risen substantially — and with much more to come.   Moerner is being grossly unscientific.  Crazily so.   (Danmcc, you may also be amused to read Tom Curtis's post #51 above, and subsequent discussion.)

    Thirdly, Danmcc, as you point out — a single satellite, making a single 90-minute orbit around the planet, will have great inaccuracy in altimeter reading.   But multiply those orbital passes by tens of thousands of iterations, and the integration will have only a very tiny error.   And remember that the satellite data is also well-supported by the tide-gauge data.

    Basically, Moerner is laughably wrong (or is "sadly wrong" the better term?).

    Please note that the initial diagram in the OP article above, is now more than 5 years out of date.  Sea level is rising ever faster (and an up-to-date analysis is to be found on statistician "Tamino" website).

  20. Nils-Axel Mörner is Wrong About Sea Level Rise

    I have three questions. First, what do you think Morner's motivation could be for rejecting consensus on this issue? He clearly knows he'll be smeared and isolated because of it as opposed to being held in the high esteem he once was. That makes me tend to think he is worth listening to.

    Secondly, he claims that the satellite record has been "falsely adjusted" to "get a trend" because older data showed little or no rise. I can't find any data that shows what the new "calibrations" were, or why they were made. Does anyone know?

    Finally, I did some research on how the altimetry of the Sats works at In that
    quite detailed information, there are a large number of error sources listed that have to be corrected. They are listed as variable signal propagation delays due to ionization and water vapor, tidal effects, eddies, gravity anomalies, rotational effects, antenna angle of incidence, signal noise, and surface wind. I reason that each error correction is likely subject to some quantifiable total error range which is not documented. Also, to my surprise, I found words to this effect. "Resolution of the altimeter is 47CM (3.125ns) and range measurement over the ocean is 10 times greater than this" That is 4.7 meters! I also found this "satellite altitude accuracy is about 1 or 2 CM". So my question then is how is it possible to resolve the measurement to millimeters when the resolution is many 1000s of times lower than that, altitude accuracy is an approximation 10 to 20 times that, and there are other unquantified error sources?


  21. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    For me it comes down two  simple things. (1) CO2 is bad for you. (If you dispute this, go breathe from your car's exhaust pipe.) (2) You never add your trash to the pile that is already there, thereby making it bigger. Just cut down on your trash.

  22. CO2 limits won't cool the planet

    Philippe Chantreau "Water vapor is readily precipitable and can not force changes in energy budget on its own; the water vapor content is a direct function of temperature, not the other way around."

    I've heard this argument before but can't understand it's relavance. The Modified Swinbank model adequately predicts the drop in overnight temperature of water on a circular aluminum disk without the need for ozone or CO2 contributions.  I believe Hitran and Motran are descriptive models, not predictive.  They maybe are helpful in Navier Stokes storm track predictions, but are not appropriate in predicting nighttime radiant cooling.  The reference for Nighttime Radiant Cooling comes from an astronomy tutorial: which has been demonstrated (not just modeled, or inspected but actually verified in archetectural applications.  True, the application here to climate-engineering is my humble contribution.  But, I think you should be embarressed to tag it as "laughable".  Shame on you.

    "In contrast, CO2 stays for a very long time, that is why it is known as the biggest control knob".  I've also heard this argument before. Even at 40x the concentration CO2's persistence in the Martian atmosphere does not appear to be a very big knob. Why would you think it would be a big knob on Earth?  I think you might be misquoting someone else.

    Now on Venus which has 4000x the CO2 concentration as earth.  But, it's its thick hydrogen sulfide reflective layer that probably runs the temperature up to 460 oF.  Kind of suggest we don't use sulfur to do Solar Radiation Management, eh?

    CO2 emmissions is at best a proxy for quantifying heat loading from fossil fuel use, which I agree is what causes increase in water vapor which is what clogs up the earths natural nighttime radiant cooling mechanism. CO2 itself is not a significant factor.

    I also noticed my comment was missing.  It would really be sad if failure to rebut means you get blocked.

  23. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    Another one bites the dust!  I have just seen on MSNBC that Judge Kozinski, one of the three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal who just heard the Juliana v US mandamus application by the US Government (see par 15 above) has just resigned from the bench "amid sexual misconduct allegations".

    It was bizarre, I was sitting in my hotel room (out of town on business) scrolling through the TV channels before retiring and I suddenly find myself looking at the face of one of the judges I just watched on the televised hearing that I have referenced above.

    How this impacts the upcoming decision is anyone's guess.  Having said that, my best guess is that the decision will just be rendered by the remaining two, Thomas CJ and Berzon J.  Berzon J was clearly in favour of allowing the case to proceed.  I had predicted this in any event thinking that the decision would probably be a 2 to 1 decision with Kozinski dissenting (if not all three allowing it to proceed).

    I know most of you are going to chuckle about this but I had noted above that Kozinski J. was the one siding with the US Government in the exhanges between the bench and counsel!

  24. CO2 limits won't cool the planet

    While this post does not fit into the Taxonomy of Arguments I hope it will help.

    1. Global Warming IS happening
    2. Human energy consumption from fossil and nuclear fuels combined with positive feedbacks from H2O are the cause.
    3. Global Warming is very serious
    4. It's NOT too hard too fix. BUT — CO2 MODERATION WILL NOT BE EFFECTIVE.
    5. IPCC overstating the effect of CO2 hurts the argument.


    1. The Mars atmosphere is 0.6% as dense as earth's. Surface density: ~0.020 kg/m3
    2. The main component of the atmosphere of Mars is carbon dioxide (CO2) at 95.9%
    3. The density of carbon dioxide on Mars is ~0.019 kg/m3
    4. The Earth atmosphere is ~1.2 kg/m3
    5. Carbon dioxide in the earths atmosphere is 400 ppm (0.4 ppt, 0.04%)
    6. The density of carbon dioxide on Earth is ~0.00048 kg/m3
    7. Mars has 40 times more CO2 molecules per floating around a unit volume than does earth
    8. A summer day on Mars may get up to 70 degrees F, but at night the temperature can plummet to about minus 100 degrees F.
    9. At sea level on the equator (Manta, Ecuador) the temperature ranges from 70 to 80 degrees F.


    1. If CO2 were a significant factor compared to other factors such as water vapor, and ocean temperature regulation daily solar radiation on Mars would be much less.
    2. Moderating CO2 concentrations on earth will not be an effective method of achieving near term global thermal control

     What will be effective? Enhanced Nighttime Radiant Cooling.

    1. Stop using fossil and nuclear fuels which heats the planet beyond the ability of nighttime radiant cooling to reject that heat.
    2. Move high energy industry like smelting, petroleum refining and concrete manufacturing to high desert nighttime environments.
    3. Use 100,000 per day commercial flights to remove clouds and humidity from nighttime skies - weather modification.
    4. Expose more liquid sea water to polar night conditions to achieve a 40 oC temperature gradient
    5. "Carbon dioxide and ozone have a lesser greenhouse effect." than cloud height, cloud cover, and relative humidity

    This figure shows Radiant Flux vs temperature for various relative humidity. A 50 W m-2 improvement can be achieved by increasing the temperature difference during polar winter and decreasing RH at lower latitudes by weather modification.



    View post on
  25. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future


    I like your post and agree with you.  The one thing I noticed was you said  "lead to massive wildfires between July and September". 

    As I am sure you know, the fire season used to be July to September but now global warming has expaned it to May-December.  The fire currently burning in Santa Barbara (about to be the largest in California in modern history) would not have occured without the drought partially caused by global warming.  Kay does not seem to realize that the weather causes the conditions for big fires to exist.

  26. One Planet Only Forever at 13:30 PM on 19 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Red Baron,

    Large scale, industrial, Beef production is a problem. And the volume of beef nigelj is referring to is unlikely to be able to be responsibly produced through regenerative farming. And I was pointing out how damaging to many other ways of living the large scale beef production in South America is - even without the USA nonsense of corn grown as feed for cattle as well as for ethanol.

    And regenrative practices that sequester CO2 are a brilliant change of food production methods ... made even better by limiting the amount of beef production in the program.

    And more hands-on human-physical management, rather than automated powered machine operations, would potentially provide more produce per hectare with even less mechanical energy consumption.

    The entire human population can easily be well-fed, as long as the wealthiest responsibly lead by limiting their consumption to a low-impact lifestyle and using their influence to ensure that adequate amounts of good food gets to everyone.

    And that is where the problem lies, the trouble-makers fib (misleading marketing) to excuse their lack of interest in responsibly limiting their behaviour. And just like bullies they gather their crowds of wanna-be-Bully-Winners to vote for/support their understandably unacceptable desires/behaviour.

  27. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    @14 One Planet Only Forever,

    It would be a mistake to think regenerative agriculture isn't a scientific advance for ALL countries.

    Yes I used the US as an example of the worst of the worst with our purposely designed wasteful Ag systems. We are the best at wasteful systems because we are about the best at almost everything we really try hard at doing. Since we have been pumping many billions of dollars yearly into a system purposely designed to be wasteful from the start, we have gotten really really good at it. No one can even come close to the destructive power. We have turned agriculture into Scorched Earth policy. We have essentially weaponised agriculture. We do that sort of thing better than any country in the world.

    A reflection on the lasting legacy of 1970s USDA Secretary Earl Butz

    However, the regenerative agricultural science advances are usable everywhere and improve economies, soil sequestration, feed the hungry, yields etc etc etc everywhere. Here is a great example of the exact opposite spectrum: In this case it provides just as big or bigger a benefit to traditional subsistance farmers as it does to developed industrial farmers.

    Rangelands Rehabilitation and Carbon Credits in Kenya


    And don't think it stops there either. Every technology level between is equally improved. This is because it is a biological systems science advancement. It is capable of being applied across the board. Not just animals either. 

    India's rice revolution

    The System of Rice Intensification (SRI)…
    … is climate-smart rice production


    Are you noticing a theme yet? More food is produced, not less. The farmers benefit tremendously as much or more than anyone else. Costs to produce are actually cheaper not more expensive. Land fertility gets restored. And above all is an AGW mitigation technique.

  28. Philippe Chantreau at 05:51 AM on 19 December 2017
    California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    One could almost think that Kay is being deliberately obtuse. Every day when I get home I flip a switch to get some light (something I'm always grateful for). If one day there has been a gas leak and my flipping of the switch causes an explosion, Kay will argue that the switch was the cause of the explosion. Although she may feel that she is technically right in a narrow sense, she still would not be, since both the switch and the gas are needed for the explosion to happen. This is why I have flipped the switch countless times before without triggering an explosion.

    Where I live, there are approximately as many downed power lines, careless smokers, distracted campers as anywhere else, actually there are likely more because of the abundance of public lands and national parks. However, fire triggering micro events normally do not lead to massive wildfires between July and September, why is that? Could it be because the conditions are not right?

    What a concept. The articles that Kay seemingly has so much beef against describe fire prone conditions becoming more severe, more widespread and lasting throughout the year. Triggers that would normally have caused no fire or self limiting fires can then lead to widespread, fast-moving, catastrophic fires, at times when they normaly would not. That is what these articles talk about.

    If you want to make a valid argument Kay, try saying that people need to be educated about changing risk brought about by changing conditions. Nonetheless, the changing conditions remain the biggest problem.

  29. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Recommended supplemental reading on whats wrong with economics, and how to fix it, by Joseph Stiglitz. He also understands the environment and how ot fits into things.

    The Euro: How a Common Currency Threatens the Future of Europe (2016)
    The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (2015)
    Creating a Learning Society: A New Approach to Growth, Development, and Social Progress (2014)
    The Price of Inequality (2012)
    Freefall (2010)
    The Three Trillion Dollar War (2008)
    Stability with Growth (2006)
    Making Globalization Work (2006)
    Fair Trade for All (2005)
    New Paradigm for Monetary Economics (2003)The Roaring Nineties (2003)
    Globalization and Its Discontents (2002)

  30. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    "Heat pumps are very efficient - a little power provides a lot of heat."

    They are indeed, and the tiny little device sufficient for a typical house costs about $2000, so just imagine the cost of trying to cool millions of square kilometres of the arctic. (14.5 million square kilometres to be precise).

  31. Scientists have beaten down the best climate denial argument

    I was curious about the iris effect not knowing anything about it, and discovered this. The iris effect is apparently real, but the issue is while warming produces less high level cirrus cloud, thus letting more heat energy escape, the same effect allows more solar radiation in, cancelling out the effect. Refer article here.

    Warming leads to less low level cloud, which creates a positive local feedback discussed on here.

    Looks very challenging to me to model all this stuff. However when CO2 concentrations in the past were similar to today, temperatures and sea level were all significantly higher. That does not look like low climate sensitivity or negative cloud feedbacks, and is a bit of a warning.


  32. Philippe Chantreau at 04:44 AM on 19 December 2017
    CO2 limits won't cool the planet

    Somehow my previous comment was lost. Aaron Davis is suggesting that our current understanding would be that CO2 is responsible for all, or even most, of Earth' atmosphere IR backradiation. That is a whopper of a straw man, truly in the laughable category. The fact that water vapor is responsible for the majority of it has been well known from early on in the study of atmospheric physics. See all the Iacono and Clough works. Water vapor is readily precipitable and can not force changes in energy budget on its own; the water vapor content is a direct function of temperature, not the other way around. In contrast, CO2 stays for a very long time, that is why it is known as the biggest control knob. If Aaron thinks he's got a better handle on atmospheric radiative physics than the makers of MODTRAN and HITRAN (now showing 320 molecular species), he should go hack it in the litterature.

    Perhaps the reluctance of the current administration to engage in the red team/blue team BS was spurred by the perspective of having some clueless think tank ideologue throwing around calculations like the ones above and thinking they've got everybody foiled while the poor scientists caught in their "team" will shake their heads in despair...

  33. California's hellish fires: a visit from the Ghost of Christmas Future

    I realize this is not a good place to read information and discern rather their is legitimate cause for concern or not...

    Obviously moderator's as well don't read their own article and want me to copy the statements they made...for example: in 2 of the mention studies above found on this page

    Says: As a 2015 study published in Environmental Research Letters found, Santa Ana fires are especially costly because of the speed at which they spread due to the winds and their proximity to urban areas. That study concluded that the area burned by Southern California wildfires will increase by about 70% by mid-century due to the drier, hotter, windier conditions caused by global warming.


    A 2010 study published in Forest Ecology and Management found that global warming may extend the fire season year-round in California and the southwestern USA. These December fires will become more commonplace in a hotter world. We’re literally getting a glimpse at Christmas future, and though there are other factors at play, human-caused global warming is largely to blame

    Notice the human-caused global warming is blamed and not the human-caused fires started that causes these fires...


    I would think I would not need to copy your own page to give the reference of whom is claiming what...

    If you want me to give information of the human caused fires then you claim to know whom caused them but I must spend my time posting the pages that prove majority of man caused the actual fire to start..thus culprit is man.  Which my comment was not to argue but to give advise that if you want to reach more people willing to listen to your cause, then make sure you divulge all facts in article... facts left out of article (which you failed to mention) are:


    Overwhelming Cause of California Wildfires: Humans. 

    2007 a fallen power line near San Diego set off a fire that scorched nearly 200,000 acres and killed two people.


    In 2009, sparks from a weed cutter are thought to have led to an 8,700 acre fire in Santa Barbara County that torched 80 homes.


    And earlier this month, an illegal campfire started in Rancho Cucamonga grew to 2,700 acres.


    Other area fires have been blamed on chains dragging behind cars and throwing off sparks, smoldering cigarette butts, welding tools, errant gunfire, and arsonists.


    "It's anything you could possibly think of," said Alexandra Syphard, a San Diego scientist at the non-profitConservation Biology Institute who has combed through thousands of California wildfire reports to understand what's causing the fires. "You see the wildest things. One of them was a satanic ritual."


    A more common culprit: outdoor equipment, from power saws to lawnmowers. Power tools accounted for more than 20 percent of fires in San Diego County between 2000 and 2010. That was followed by fires caused by campfires (nearly 10 percent), arson (roughly 5 percent), trash burning (around 4 percent), vehicles doing things like sending out sparks or igniting vegetation with overheated tailpipes, downed or malfunctioning power lines, kids playing with fire, and cigarettes

    This from site:

    By Warren Cornwall, for National Geographic

    However more recent and maybe national not enough...more recent maybe to prove that we are investigating 'whom' caused the fire's not what makes it worse...which is what is lacking in this article which wants to blame it all on climate change being ignored...


    Goodbye all I will find a more unbiased place to uncover the truth and then actual solutions, than to just blame the government...

  34. One Planet Only Forever at 01:56 AM on 19 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Book title correction again (copy pasted the wrong one from my previous comments on another OP)

    “Seven Bad Ideas - How mainstream economists have damaged America and the World”

  35. One Planet Only Forever at 01:47 AM on 19 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50


    Everything you say about the USA is correct 'about the USA' and other nations like the USA.

    This is a global problem. And what nigelj points out has happened/is happening in many nations, particularly in South America where beef production is Big Business fueling the elimination of rain forest and displacing many people who could live relatively self-sufficiently if they did not have the environment they need to be self-sufficient taken from them for 'Big Private Economic Interests'.

    A similar thing happened in China with many people displaced from self-sufficient living by the reserviour of the massive geo-engineering project that is the Three Gorges Dam.

    And displacing people from self-sufficient living is one of the insideous things that develops because of the absurd way economists measure reduction of poverty. They actually consider a self-sufficient person to be earning Zero and hence be in extreme poverty. Displacing such a person to live in a hovel on the perimeter of a city and earning $1/day is actually evaluated to be an improvement. and if the income of such a displaced person rises high enough that person is considered to have had 'their life raised out of extreme poverty'.

    The World Bank has recently increased the extreme Poverty line to $1.90/day and higher extreme Poverty line numbers for  as reported by NRP. Quoting the NPR report, "...the World Bank has <also> come up with two new "poverty line" figures for the world's middle-income countries: $3.20 a day for lower middle income nations (like Egypt, India and the Philippines) and $5.50 a day for upper middle income nations (like Brazil, Jamaica and South Africa)."

    Before that increase, the World Bank had set earning below $1.25/day income level as extreme Poverty in the 15 poorest nations. And as  nations become wealthier the measure of extreme poverty goes up to $2.50/day based on the average of all nations except the bottom 15.

    In the book “Seven Bad Ideas - How mainstream economists have America and the World” by Jeff Madrick (published in 2014) includes the point that though economic development measures show reduction of people living below $1.25/day and claimed as proof hat what is going on is Good, there has been no reduction of the number of people living below $2.50/day.

    So the better understanding of the World Bank means that even the previous economist evaluations claiming reduction of poverty by counting the damaging displacement of reasonably self-sufficient people as a 'part of the measured benefit' actually did not 'reduce poverty'. Look for reports where that 'correction of understanding is explained'. My bet is they will be difficult to find, and they will not be part of the basis for changes of mind about actions by many of the current day Winners/Leaders who have a history of claiming that any and all economic activity is fundamentally good and should be promoted and encouraged even if it can be understood to be unsustainable and damaging, because the net-result 'as determined by ecomomists' is a 'positive one' and there is popular regional or tribal support for the activity.

  36. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #50

    Regarding the Arctic report card, maybe one can cool off Arctic waters slightly again and grow more food like this: Use a heat pump to take heat from the ocean and put the heat into huge greenhouses to grow food in Nuuk, etc. The heat pump could be powered by wind power (wind turbines, etc). Heat pumps are very efficient - a little power provides a lot of heat. If you had massive greenhouses you may be able to start a thriving food industry. The air is often colder than the sea, so if you pump heat from the sea having T= 0 deg C into a greenhouse with T=10 deg C it will be very efficient (warm sea, relatively). Massive greenhouses could take a lot of heat from the ocean - perhaps enough to make a little difference locally. See

  37. Skeptical Science wins 2016 NCSE Friend of the Planet award

  38. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49


    I think that the Trump administration has figured out that there is no case for the Red team to argue  A Red-Blue team exercise would show that scientists agree that AGW is human caused and a severe threat to humanity. 

    The original conservative idea was to make scientists agree on a consensus.  They thought that scientists would never agree.  That was the start of the IPCC reports.  Those reports now show we are in deep doo-doo.

    The"skeptic" argument does not withstand close scrutiny.  They can only continue to argue when they are able to change their argument every minute.

  39. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    I meant replace corn biofuels crops with a mixture of other crops and grazing land  for cattle and sheep, whatever. And a few chickens and pigs, free range.

    Must stop trying to type while watching tv.

  40. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Red Baron @11, you haven't read what I said.  I did allude to the fact that corn biofuel crops are a foolish thing in post 1.  

    Maybe  that corn biofuels land should be replaced partly with other crops for normal consumption, and some for animals. You appear to be aiming for a balanced, natural sort of integrated system which would make sense to me. I think we get into trouble with crazy extreme experiments and monocultures etc.

  41. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

    As I (and a number of other commentators suspected) Trump has "put on hold" the Red Team Blue Team proposal of Scott Pruitt.  Here is what Climatewire reported on December 15, 2017:

    "The effort by U.S. EPA to publicly debate mainstream climate science is on ice. The idea has created divisions within the Trump administration, spurring high-level staff discussions at the White House about how to proceed."

    If I were to guess, Trump is a little worried about his "hoax" comment.

    I suspect that Curry et al have said no if there is interference in the process.  So Trump has put it on interminable "hold".

  42. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50


    Amazing that you would be concerned about animal agriculture crowding out crops, when right now 1/2 the main commodity crop production in the USA is for biofuels! 70%+ if you count the bad ways to raise animals.

    Come on now, this is far far worse. Of course animal husbandry has priority over ethanol production and feeding feedlots and other CAFOs! Particularly if those animals are raised on a newly restored prairie grassland biome!

    Yes crowd that excess over production of corn and soy that is produced in quantities so huge it would be impossible for every man woman and child on the whole planet to possibly ever eat it all.

    It must be crowded out! It is the primary problem! That land needs to be rested from commodity grain production! But the farmer still needs to make a living. Raising animals on restored and regenerating land is how you do what I spoke about in post #3.

  43. One Planet Only Forever at 07:36 AM on 18 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    In addition to nigelj' comment about the benefits of availability of contraception, it is also undeniable that assistance to women in poverty must include 'safe abortion' as an option.

    That reality, and other unjust factors, led the Unite the Right temporary leaders in Canada (the Harper Conservative Government) to attempt to secretively de-fund KAIROS. Even though KAIROS met the qualification requirements for government funding, the Conservative Minister Bev Oda famously hand-wrote "Not" onto the assessment. Then the Unite the Righters, right up to the Prime Minister told a variety of fibs claiming they had not unjustly and secretively 'acted politically' to defund KAIROS. Ultimately Bev Oda left her Ministers role, but remained an elected representative long enough to 'qualify for maximum pension' then resigned before the next election. And yes, the Unite the Right temporary leaders in Canada also defunded climate science and any other science that may expose the unacceptablility of popular and profitable pursuits of short-term gain for a few to the detriment of all others (including tax cuts for the richest and claims that nothing should be done by Canada regarding climate change, mainly because Canada was such a small player (less than 2% of global total, but in the top 10 of biggest contributing nation and with nearly the highest per-capita impacts) until 'what was required was known for certain - and would be be certain to be cheaper and more profitable than what was able to be gotten away with).

    And the cases of unacceptable Private Interests causing damage to the Public Interest of sustainable advancement of global humanity just keep being created. Madness - excused as things done in pursuit of a better result for everyone with nothing substantiating the claim other than temporary profitability and perceptions of growth and opportunity, or Trumped-up regional and tribal popularity.

  44. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Just adding to the discussion on population.The big factors in lower birthrates are known to be reduced infant mortality and providing economic security and this comes from affluence and good public healthcare and education, and womens rights (as OPOF says)

    However  easy avaiability of contraception is also a huge factor. Birth rates in Africa have dropped sharply in areas with good access to contraception, even in poor communities.  

  45. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Monbiot and Krugman still get more things right than they get wrong, and are at least prepared to take a stand.

    However I don't really see vegetarianism as the right answer. I do see a case for lower meat consumption, and if combined with fish you get the right amount of protein.

    Some land can only practically be used for cattle farming as opposed to crops, but we have to be careful cattle farming and dairy farming doesn't start to crowd out crops. This just wouldnt make much sense.

    Its a complicated issue to do with higher affluence enabling more meat consumption and answers to the problem are difficult, but promoting a sensible balanced diet  would help, and avoiding fashionable but scientifically dubious high meat diets like atkins and paleo. 

  46. One Planet Only Forever at 03:02 AM on 18 December 2017
    2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Climate science, and the endless stream of attempts to dismiss or discredit it, has exposed many cases that make it clear that 'Austerity measures are required on those who have Won or are Winning by getting away with pursuing understandably damaging and unsustainable actions'.

    The UN Sustainable Development Goals remain the best presentation of the developed understanding of what needs to change for humanity to have a future that is constantly improved, and the solution isn't 'developing more artificial ways of doing things'.

    Allowing people who 'Win any way they can get away with' to have any influence on 'what is promoted and what is discouraged - what leadership is about', has clearly only ever developed an increasing stream of damaging ultimately unsustainable actions.

    What amazes and disgusts me is the easy ability of supposedly smart wealthy powerful people (winners of the competitions in the games people play) to wilfully do something understandably damaging - pursuing Private Interests that are understandably damaging and ultimately unsustainable - wilfully and almost gleefully pursuing personal or regional or tribal benefit at the expense of the achievement of Global Sustainable Development.

    Solutions to the population problem 'require' freeing women from perceptions of 'needing a husband to survive', and ensuring the Public provision of adequate education and health care and Public provision of old age care everywhere. Those measures are proven to reduce birth rates. They eliminate the enslavement of women to men, and eliminate the need for the men to 'have a son who survives' (Henry VIII and his wives would have been a very different story if this was correctly understood at that time), and eliminate the need for elderly people to have surviving children, particularly male children (that need leads to massive over-birth as men pursue the creation of multiple sons).

    Another significantly beneficial part of the population problem solution is the 'Wealthiest - the Winner/Leaders' living the lowest impact lives because they understand the importance of 'Leading Things That Way'. Those Good Winners/Leaders would also charitably help the less fortunate people improve their lives, including allowing the less fortunate to be the sole beneficiaries of damaging unsustainable activity as they transition through a development period. That is simply what is required by Kyoto and the Paris Agreement. It is what the Fighting is all about, with undeserving wealthier people refusing to better understand how far things have developed in the wrong direction, how much developed perception of prosperity and opportunity has to be 'corrected', how much 'Austerity' has to be imposed on the current day Winners/Leaders contrary to their regional or tribal Private Interest. Many who Won/Win competitive advantage by being willing to get away with more damaging and unsustainable pursuits would consider that to be 'Austerity Measures Imposed on Them' and fight viciously, any way they can get away with, against 'Being Corrected'.

    And the trouble-makers include economists who refuse to critically evaluate what is going on guided by the Good Reason Objective of Sustainable Development. Many of them claim that their measures of economic growth showing ever increasing growth can only be extended into the future by the freedom of Private Interest pursuits that generate more of what they measure to be growth. They refuse to add the 'complexity' of evaluating whether any of the perceived growth is an unsustainable and damaging development that ultimately will be understood to be of 'no future value', actually become undeniably seen to have been massively harmful and ultimately unsustainable, like imposing Austerity of Public assistance programs on poorer nations that are struggling to develop (or imposing that same nonsense in the supposedly more developed ones that actually should be imposing targeted Austerity Measures on many of their Wealthy Powerful - the undeserving and damaging Winners).

  47. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    George Monbiot is sorta like the British version of Paul Krugman and vice versa.

  48. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Just a clarification, irrelevent to your main point. Lal is not a Nobel prizewinner, and is not listed on the Nobel prize website. Lal lists a 'Nobel certificate' on his CV, this was a document sent by the IPCC to people who made a major contribution to the IPCC report. The IPCC made the following statement on the issue:

    The prize was awarded to the IPCC as an organization, and not to any individual associated with the IPCC. Thus it is incorrect to refer to any IPCC official, or scientist who worked on IPCC reports, as a Nobel laureate or Nobel Prize winner . It would be correct to describe a scientist who was involved with AR4 or earlier IPCC reports in this way: “X contributed to the reports of the IPCC, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.”
    The IPCC leadership agreed to present personalized certificates “for contributing to the award of the Nobel Peace Prize for 2007 to the IPCC” to scientists that had contributed substantially to the preparation of IPCC reports.

  49. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Edit to above. That should read science communicator, not scientist. Monbiot is not even close to a scientist, but he is a science communicator.

  50. 2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #50

    Monbiot is beyond wrong here. He looked at the problem and came up with the exact opposite conclusion.

    Here is what is happening:

    “As the small trickle of results grows into an avalanche — as is now happening overseas — it will soon be realized that the animal is our farming partner and no practice and no knowledge which ignores this fact will contribute anything to human welfare or indeed will have any chance either of usefulness or of survival.” Sir Albert Howard

    Animals were removed from the farm and began being raised in confinement. Their ecosystem function replaced by agrochemicals. The land degraded as a result.

    Now does Monbiot recommend returning the animals to the farm now that the foolishness of removing those animals is astonishingly clear? No. Instead blinded by an religious like vegan dogma, instead he wishes to eliminate farm animals almost entirely, dooming us in an irreversible spiral into ecosystem collapse.

    What makes me angry is that Monbiot has been explained this concept and he even claimed he understood: 

    I was wrong about veganism. Let them eat meat – but farm it properly
    George Monbiot

    But here he is returning fully brainwashed yet again. Arrrrg

    You claim to be a scientist Monbiot. Why not simply refrain from even discussing the subject until you actually have learned enough about agricultural science to form an educated science based opinion?

    There is an untold number of ways to raise animals wrong. Why not actually learn about the proper way to raise them right before commenting?

    Meanwhile here is what a leading Nobel prize winning agricultural scientist has to say:

    “Yes, agriculture done improperly can definitely be a problem, but agriculture done in a proper way is an important solution to environmental issues including climate change, water issues, and biodiversity.”-Rattan Lal

Prev  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27  Next

The Consensus Project Website


(free to republish)

Smartphone Apps


© Copyright 2018 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Contact Us