The Climate Dictionary

By Willis Eschenbach – WUWT

I see that there is some confusion over terminology in the climate field. In response, I’ve put together a list of common terms, along with what far too often they mean in climate science. So without further ado, here’s my climate dictionary.

TERM                                                    DEFINITION

an expected result of global warming — “We predicted warming and got a heavy snowfall instead”.

anthropogenic — see “human fingerprint”.

anthropogenic change — “It’s warmer than usual”.

anthropogenic climate change — “Weather we don’t like”.

autocorrelation — “Say what? We don’t have to deal with that”.

Bonferroni correction — see “autocorrelation”

carbon dioxide — “The secret knob that controls the climate”.

cause — “Greenhouse gases”

climate — “It’s warmer than usual”.

climate change — “What ‘global warming’ became after we repeatedly predicted warming and got heavy snowfalls instead”.

climate feedback — see “natural variability”.

confounding factors — “Things that we choose to ignore.”

effect — “dangerous anthropogenic global warming”

external forces — see “other factors”

human fingerprint — “We can’t explain what caused it, so it must be from people acting badly”.

hundred-year flood — “Any flood recurring more than one news cycle apart”.

Industrial Revolution — “The time of the climate Eden when the temperature was exactly right”.

IPCC Conference of the Parties — “A recurring party attended by only the wokest of the woke”.

it is well known — “I believe this”.

it’s a boundary value problem — “This depends on future boundaries we can’t predict but we’ll act like we can.”

multiproxy study — “We left out the proxies that don’t agree with our theory”.

natural climate fluctuation — “We don’t know why it goes up and down”.

natural variability — “We have no idea what the cause was”.

naturally occurring dynamics — “Something happened that we can’t explain”.

other factors — “Deus ex machina”.

predicted sea level rise — “Run for the hills! We’ll all be drowned!”

projections — “It’s a forecast but we don’t stand behind it”.

proxies show — “One tree in Yamal had this to say”.

regime change — “Cause and effect just went 180° out of phase for no reason”.

renewable energy — “This solution requires extensive subsidies”.

requires further study — “Give us more taxpayer money”.

social cost of carbon — “Our analyses will completely ignore the benefits of fossil fuels and the greening of the planet”.

the effect of various lag times — “Things that don’t line up can be made to line up”.

weather — “It’s colder than usual”.

well within expectations – “It’s colder than usual”.


Finally, we have the IPCC Likelihood Scale:

Virtually certain – “All my cool scientist friends agree”.

Very likely – “We really hope this is true”.

Likely – “Two climate models out of three agree”.

About as likely as not – “Nobody has a clue”.

Unlikely – “This outcome offends us”.

Very unlikely – “We really don’t want you going down that path”.

Exceptionally unlikely – “Stephen McIntyre said it first so it can’t possibly be true.”

Ref.: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2018/03/16/the-climate-dictionary/

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