Silly? Very Silly??
„Climate“defined by IPCC
Posted by Dr. Arnd
Bernaerts, April 2014
of all terms used are a
any meaningful communication,
and for sound
definition serves to sharpen, clarify, or point out the objective of
definition attempts to explain a word using other words.
definition is a statement that explains the meaning of a term.
Does IPCC in its
5th Report [AR5-WGI, 2013] since 1990 observe such basic rules?
The Glossary, attached as Annex III (pp. 1447-1465), does not, stating
in a narrow sense is usually defined as the average weather,
or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the
mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time
ranging from months to thousands or millions of years. The classical
period for averaging these variables is 30 years, as defined by the
World Meteorological Organization. The relevant quantities are most
often surface variables such as temperature, precipitation and wind.
Climate in a wider sense is the state, including a statistical
description, of the climate system.
On the other hand it represents the state of climate science. Neither the
World Meteorology Organisation or other scientific organisation or
institutions use a different terminology. Is climate science incapable to
define what they are talking about? An analysis of the term CLIMATE as
defined in the Glossary (left column) show big flaws (right column).
a narrow sense 
usually defined 
as the average weather ,.
or more rigorously  ,
as the statistical
in terms of the mean 
and variability 
of relevant quantities 
a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of
The classical period for averaging these variables is 30 years,
as defined by the World Meteorological Organization. 
The relevant quantities  are most often surface  variables
such as temperature, precipitation and wind 
Climate in a wider sense  is the state, including a statistical
description, of the climate system  ; [IPCC definition, next box
The term ‘climate’ (used in Ancient Greek klima, meaning inclination
of the sun) was used to describe the average weather at a location
according the season. It was a layman’s term over 3000 years. As a
scientific term it came in use only during the last decades. [A],
[B], [C]; more HERE
What is CLIMATE in a wider sense?
Is there any “unusual” CLIMATE definition? What shall
The term ‘weather’ is not listed in the IPCC-Glossary! The core
term is not defined! Silly? A joke?
‘Weather’ presumably consists of up to several hundred
parameters or descriptions. More details HERE,
‘Weather’ is also a layman’s term since immemorial times, as
described in the AMS-Glossary: “As the state of the atmosphere,
mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities.”
While it is a perfectly common term in the layman’s sphere, it is
totally insufficient for scientific work.
If the initial explanation ‘explains’ nothing (1-5), a more
‘rigorous’ approach explains either nothing.
The word statistic
is a quantity computed from sample data. A statistical description
is a synonym of statistic. Once a statistic always a statistic.
Which ‘terms’, which ‘means’?
Which variability is meant? IPCC-Glossary cause confusion if saying:
“Climate variability refers to variations in the mean state and
other statistics (such as standard deviations, the occurrence of
extremes, etc.) of the climate on all spatial and temporal scales
beyond that of individual weather events. Variability may be due to
natural internal processes with the climate system (individual
variability, or anthropogenic external forcing (external variability).”
Do they mean ‘weather variability’ or statistical variability’?
 Who defines what is a ‘relevant quantity’?
What a flaw! How can science work with such nonsense? How can the
general public and politics understand and evaluate ‘scientific
 Wrong, at least misleading! Only once the predecessor of the
WMO agreed in 1935 that the period from 1901 to 1930 should be used
to express departures from mean datax). Not only has this
fixed indicator been abandoned, but also the time span of 30 years.
What is now a ‘change’?
J.B., 1935; Monthly Weather Review, 63, 342-344, available online
 see [above 12]
What shall the word ‘surface’ indicate?
‘Weather’ consists of several hundred parameters, see .
The whole sentence is confusing and utterly nonsense. It actually
says: “Climate is the state of the climate system”. According
IPCC definition, climate is statistic. Why do the authors include in
the sentence: “including a statistical description”.
Deliberate or naive? The definition of ‘climate system’ explains
nothing. The same definition could be used to explain ‘nature’,
consisting “of the
atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the lithosphere and the
biosphere, and the interactions between them.”
- IPCC-Glossary says:. The climate system is the highly complex
system consisting of five major components: the atmosphere, the
hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the lithosphere and the biosphere, and
the interactions between them. The climate system evolves in time
under the influence of its own internal dynamics and because of
external forcings such as volcanic eruptions, solar variations and
anthropogenic forcings such as the changing composition of the
atmosphere and land use change.
Dr. Tim Ball titled a post (25.
Feb. 2014 -
Weather and Climate Forecasts Are Failures”;
Around 300 BC Theophrastus, a student of Aristotle’s, wrote a book
setting out the first rules for weather forecasting. In the Book of Signs,
he recorded over 200 empirical indicators such as “A halo around the
moon portends rain.” Many skeptics, including me, say we haven’t come
very far since. Indeed, I would argue we have regressed.“
a science which is not able to define the central terms they use: weather
and climate, and is unable to name the oceans as the most potential driver
of atmospheric processes, will fail to advise politics and the public
fair, competent, correct, and thoroughly.
H.H. Lamb, Meteorological Office Bracknell, Berkshire (UK), “The
New Look of Climatology”, NATURE, Vol. 223, September 20, 1969,
thirty years ago climatology was generally regarded as the mere
dry-as-dust bookkeeping end of meteorology.
back to Climate
F. Kenneth Hare, 1979; „The Vaulting of Intellectual Barriers:
The Madison Thrust in Climatology“,
Bulletin American Meteorological Society , Vol. 60, 1979, p.
1171 – 1124
is obviously the decade in which climate is coming into its own. You
hardly heard the word professionally in the 1940s. It was a layman's
word. Climatologists were the halt and the lame. And as for the
climatologists in public service, in the British service you
actually, had to be medically disabled in order to get into the
climatologically division! Climatology was a menial occupation that
came on the pecking scale somewhat below the advertising profession.
It was clearly not the age of climate.
Spencer Weart, 2007, “The
Discovery of Global Warming”: Chapter: Climatology as a
. Available as book: HARVARD
UNIV. PRESS, 2003.
the middle of the 20th century the study of climate was a scientific
backwater. People who called themselves “climatologists” were
mostly drudges who compiled statistics about weather conditions in
regions of interest—the average temperatures, extremes of rainfall,
and so forth.
could hardly be scientific when meteorology itself was more art than
was scarcely seen as a field of science at all, let along a science
firmly based on physics. Meteorology, one academic practitioner
complained to another in 1950, “is still suffering from the
Back to TOP
Pielke Sr. and Climate Definition
-A field of jargon words and misuse of definitions –
-- Rubbish terms:
Climate and Climate system --
by Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
07. August 2013 (below)
It is a pity.
Prof. Roger Pielke Sr ended to run his invaluable weblog “Climate
Science: Roger Pielke Sr.“ on November 13, 2012, which he had
started with a post on the topic “What is Climate? Why Does it Matter How We Define Climate?” on
July 11, 2005. We discussed his consideration critical in 2007 (here B-211;
He, as well as his son Roger Pielke Jr. (here E-510),
belong to the very few scientists that have addressed the climate
definition issue critical. In the last seven years R. Pielke
Sr. did it frequently. In a
on June 15, 2012 (HERE)
he commended once again: “The
terminology in the field of climate and environmental science is filled
with jargon words and the misuse of definitions.” Particularly he
opposes the term “climate change”, because the term is being
extensively used to mean “anthropogenic
caused changes in climate” from nearly ”static“ climatic
conditions. Instead only the term “climate” or “climate system”
should be used, concluding that the post shall “alert
others to the frequent mischaracterization of the climate system”.
Regrettably his considerations lack even basic clarity and do not end the
mischief in the disastrous climate terminology. Nothing
is solved if “climate change” is replaced by “climate system”. It
would require saying precisely and in a meaningful way what “climate”
Back in 2005 Roger Pielke Sr. assumed in his first post (see above) that “the
climate is the system consisting of the atmosphere, hydrosphere,
lithosphere, and biosphere”. Later he merely presented it more
detailed definition without altering the basics.
For example, in “Physics Today” (Nov.2008, p.54f) he wrote:
many, the term “climate” refers to long-term weather statistics.
However, more broadly and more accurately, the definition of climate is a
system consisting of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and
biosphere. Physical, chemical, and biological processes are involved in
interactions among the components and the climate system. Vegetation, soil
moisture, and glaciers, for example, are ass much a part of the climate
system as are temperature and precipitation.”
definition is meaningless. It explains nothing. Beside from not mentioning
the fundamental relevance of sun ray, “weather” can either be defined
as: a system consisting of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and
biosphere. In the same way “nature” can be defined. If weather,
climate, nature, need or can only be defined in the same way, than it is
misleading to use different words, but claim that there is a distinction.
Nevertheless one can often read: “weather is not the same as climate”.
That is talking rubbish.
starting point is that “climate” is generally defined as average
weather (by WMO and others) without defining “weather” in the first
place (discussed HERE
It is a comparison between apples and pears. One item has a physical
background; the other item is a ‘man-made’ technical mean, which we
know as “statistic”. “Weather” consists of many dozen components
which can be described in many hundred ways (see
HERE). The statistic of single physical element, or specification of
atmospheric behaviour, remain an abstract mean.
first view Roger Pielke Sr. seems to be aware of it when he writes (June
15, 2012, HERE):
change is discussed, the specific component that is being discussed
should be presented, such as an increase in annual averaged
surface air temperatures, a decrease in the length of growing season etc.
he spoils this approach by the subsequent sentence:
such as “changes in regional and global climate statistics” could be
assumption is wrong. Regardless what kind of regional or global weather
statistic is at stake, it is necessary to name the “specific component”
individually and precisely. Assuming
that one or several statistical components are able to make-up a weather
or a nature “system consisting of
the atmosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere, and biosphere” would
always result in a failure. “Climate” is a meaningless term, and
scientifically incomprehensive in what ever combination with other words.
failure of science to come up with appropriate climate definitions
misleads the general public and politicians on how the prevent man-made
changes in the atmosphere (more HERE
and HERE). The oceans
drive the weather and are the main source of changing statistic values.
Roger Pielke Sr. addressed this aspect only partly (July 11, 2005; HERE):
heat content changes are the much more appropriate metric than a
globally-averaged surface temperature when evaluating “global warming”
in any case.”
input is much more relevant than this statement suggests, but is too
complex to be outlined here any further. Nevertheless, we appreciate his
statement highly, as he is one of the very few scientists who have given
the ocean more weight. In his closing post Roger Pielke Sr. expressed his
intention to “… spend more of my time on research papers.” We wish
him well and all success.
definition by Roger Pielke Sr. in his essay concerning the
“AGU Statement on Climate Change”,
as published by Judith Curry
on August 5, 2013.
Posted: 07. August,
Pielke Sr is a dissenting voice on the panel that wrote the statement. His
response to the “AGU Statement on
Climate Change” (Adopted December 2003; Revised and Reaffirmed
2007, 2012, August 2013) was posted by Judith Curry on 5th August 2013
In his view the Statement accepted by the Committee incompletely does and/or
does not address at all a number of issues. As first point of six he
addresses is the question:
“1. What is the definition of climate and climate change?”,
which he subsequently describes as:
Climate is defined here as the
statistical description of all the elements in the climate system (including
the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and cryosphere), including both the
mean state and any variations over time.
Climate change is defined as a shift
in the statistical description of climate.
A statistic is a statistic of the
‘element’ in question. To say climate is the “statistical
description of all elements in the climate system” is circularity,
obscure and explains nothing. The common explanation “climate is average
(statistical) weather” is scientifically meaningless, if “weather”
is not defined in the first place. Circumventing the problem “weather”
by replacing it with indefinite “elements” (which can be several
thousands) solves nothing. The collection, organization, analysis,
interpretation and presentation of data (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistics
) from the atmosphere, ocean, land surface and cryosphere does
neither represents: weather or climate.
Posted at: http://judithcurry.com/2013/08/05/agu-statement-on-climate-change/#comment-361136
"Roger Piekle Sr"
Everything comes from water!!
Everything is maintained through water!
Ocean, give us your eternal power.
II; Act 2, J. W. v. Goethe (1749-1832)
Further related posts at: www.whatisclimate.com:
the term ‚climate’ too unspecific for a
detailed analysis, 10 pages, in: hmtl,
climatic relevance of oceans!
How man makes climate!
A few examples in
8 PPT/PDF lectures - 2013
on image for PDF
Extreme Winter 1939/40, 1940/41 & 1941/42 Man Made
on image for PDF
four months needed for a man made extreme winter 1939/40?
The naval war share – A
proof in three steps!
in image for PDF
contribute to extreme winter.
on image for PDF
weather forecast ever finished Blitzkrieg on 5th December 1941!
Hitler shot himself in the foot! Failure of meteorology - a boon
on image for PDF
Extreme War Winter 1941/42 was predictable! Naval
war caused weather that stopped Wehrmacht to reach
on image for PDF
Naval War in the Pacific
contribute to climate change?
shift 1943/46 &
’s record temperatures 1945.
on image for PDF
Arctic Warming 1919-1939.
Did Four Years Naval war Started it?