Talk:Global warming/Archive 43

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Is global warming a falacy?

Surely 'natural' global warming due geological phenomena is not a fallacy but surely global warming is a great fallacy if anyone think that it is merely consequence of anthropogenic action. Another great fallacy is "fossil fuel" (sic) frequently association with "global warming". Surely there's no fossil fuel. Oil and natural gas are abiotic. Carbon dioxide has little concentration in earth's atmosphere. Methane release in geological time such as PETM (Paleocene Eocene Thermal Maximum is more relevant to cause natural global walrming. Important is preserve fresh water that is life and maintenance of plants, trees, forests, animals in their natural habitats ecc, together use clean fuels. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 189.60.253.88 (talk) 02:59, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

Several of your claims are strongly contradicted by the scientific community. The abiotic origin of oil and gas is distinctly fringe, and no-one claims an abiotic origin for coal. The absolute concentration of CO2 is enough for a considerable climate forcing. If you have any suggestions (with reliable sources) on how to improve the article, please state them. This is not the place to discuss global warming in general. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:31, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

<Deleted comment from banned holocaust-denying troll>

No need to shout. And Yahoo News is not a reliable source. It's also not particularly wrong, in this case. Large-scale cattle farming is a contributing to methane emissions and overall greenhouse gas emissions in a non-negligible way. I don't know about your farts, but mine are negligible, as I don't chew the cud in between letting my gut flora ferment all the grass I eat.... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:58, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Not that it matters, but that same comment is available from Aussie MSM sources... im not going to bother fetching a link, but I noted it on either the Herald Sun or Daily Telegraph website Jaimaster (talk) 08:29, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

So wot is the human contribution to global warming then ?

The first two paragraphs of the introduction to this article are unacceptably logically confused and crucially vague on the central question of what is the human contribution, if any, to global warming, if any ?

It opens:

"Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation."

But first, surely global warming is not the specific increase in these temperatures between 1950 and 2008, whatever it may have been, plus the thesis that there will be the same increase in the 58 year period 2008 to 2066 ?

Surely it is just the thesis that there has been an increase since c1950, and that it will continue to increase ?

So surely it should be 'Global warming is the phenomenon of an increasing average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation.' ?

Secondly, this claim needs a justifying reference that 'global warming' is so tightly defined somewhere or officially as the phenomenon of temperature increase specifically since 1950

Thirdly, instead of then telling us what that specific increase was, rather the article then twofold illogically switches to telling us (i) the increase in the century to 2005 rather than the increase since 1950 as global warming has just been defined, and (ii) only the increase in average global air temperature, apparently excluding the presumably cooler temperatures of the oceans that is included in the opening definition of gliobal warming, as follows:

"The average global air temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005.[1]"

But (i) what has the increase been since 1950 that demonstrates global warming as defined here? And (ii) what was the increase in this average when ocean temperatures are included ?

Fourthly, the next sentence then illogically switches back again to discussing a quantitatively unspecified increase since 1950, as follows

"The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations"[1] via an enhanced greenhouse effect."

But by now we have at least three unspecified quantities X, Y & Z to juggle with, namely

X 'the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century'

Y 'most of X' Does this just mean more than 50% of X or what ?

Z 'the observed increase in anthropogenic (man-made) greenhouse gas concentrations' But what was this increase in the defined period i.e. since 1950 ?

And in addition to these three unspecified quantities, what specific probability has been put on the 'very likelihood' that most of X is due to Y ? At least 67% or more say ?

And moreover, is this passage claiming that there has been an independent enhanced greenhouse effect in addition to an increase in greenhouse gas concentrations whereby the latter is then amplified further, or only that the greenhouse effect has been increased just because of an increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas and by no more than that ?

Finally, this also raises the unanswered question of what the increase in total greenhouse gas has been, if any, and thus what the percentage contribution of specifically anthropogenic gases to this increase has been, if any.

In conclusion, this illiterate mystifying waffle surely needs rectifying with some logically clear quantitative scientific analysis on such an important issue, especially given one never learns the answer to this crucial question from the daily media indoctrinal bombardment about global warmng  ?

--Logicus (talk) 18:03, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

See the "terminology" section where references are given for the definition of "global warming." Most of your other questions are addressed later in the text; the lede cannot repeat all of the details given in the body of the article. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:38, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
Surely [82532000 barrels per day] of oil being spewed into the atmosphere has no effect at all eh? Garycompugeek (talk) 19:14, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus to Boris: Au contraire, none of my questions are answered by the article. But thanks for the reference to the 'Terminology' section, which reveals an even greater thicket of conceptual confusion. For the definition of 'global warming' given in that section is itself notably crucially different from the opening definition, and certainly the references given there do not justify the Wikipedia opening definition of global warming, which is

"Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation."

But the Terminoloy sections says:

"The term "global warming" refers to the warming in recent decades and its projected continuation, and implies a human influence.[11][12"

In contrast with the opening definition, this latter definition fails to specify what it is that is warming, and is vaguer about the time period in question and whether it extends as far back as 1950 or not. But more crucially it now only refers to warming in which there has been a human influence, whereby one cannot even sensibly ask the question of whether there has been any human influence on global warming, since on this definition the very notion is of warming in which there is such an influence.

To see further confusion, now turn to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition of 'global warming' that is given as the justifying reference for the 'Terminology' section's definition, and which is as follows;

"an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution."

But this definition does not justify either the opening definition nor that of the Terminology section, for it is crucially different from both at least in the following respects

1) This definition only refers to an increase in temperatures predicted for the future, but not to any past warming as in the two Wikipedia definitions. Thus on this definition we cannot know whether global warming exists until the future.

2) It only refers to whatever portion of warming may be due to the greenhouse effect and especially to pollution, whereas the Wiki definitions refer to the total warming. And it is unclear whether the pollution referred to is purely human, or could include volcanic pollution for example.

But this confusion gets even worse when we turn to the Britannica definition referred to by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reference, as follows:

"the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of Earth over the past one to two centuries."

This definition crucially differs from the both the Wikipedia and the Merriam-Webster definitions, because [1] it crucially does not include ocean temperatures and [2] it only refers to a past time period and [3] it radically extends the past time period to between one and two centuries, rather than just from 1950.

Now to add further confusion upon confusion upon..., if we turn to the United States Environmental Protection Agency definition given in footnote 12 of the Wikipedia Terminology section definition to justify it, we read:

"In common usage, 'global warming' often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities."

So this definition differs yet again from the other definitions at least since it only refers to that warming that results from increased human produced emissions of greenhouse gases and over any period rather than just in some specific period. But contrary to the common usage claim of this definition, most media presentations on global warming separate the notion and fact of warming or not from the issue of its possible causes, such as human activity or not.

Now the practical upshot of this thicket of conceptual confusions is that insofar as any of these five crucially different definitions of 'global warming' permit its quantification, it will surely be different in each case. For example presumably the Britannica definition will generate a different result from the Wikipedia opening definition at least by virtue of (i) not including ocean temperatures and also (ii) in covering two centuries rather than only half a century. And thus the quantification of the proportion of any human contribution to that increase may well be different.

Small wonder then that this highly conceptually confused and confusing article does not give any quantitative answer to the leading question of the global warming moral panic, namely what proportion, if any, of global warming since 1950, or for any recent period, has been caused by humanity. It seems the nearest this article gets to such is in its 'Climate models' section that claims

"the warming since 1975 is dominated by man-made greenhouse gas emissions."

But what does this mean ? Of an unspecified temperature increase of X degrees since 1975, more than X/2 degrees of that increase was caused by anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions ? So what was the amount of those emissions ? Or rather was the temperature increase caused by an increase in those emissions ? And if so, what was the increase in such emissions in that 33 year period ?

Can Boris or anybody else possibly kindly answer these very basic questions ?

--Logicus (talk) 18:13, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

I think you've noticed by now that no-one is supporting your "logic" (I think you were looking for Mr Logic. Sadly no pictures - maybe thats for the best...). the global warming moral panic essentially reveals your biases. If you're interested in the attribution of change, you want Attribution of recent climate change. If you just want the short answer, its "a bit more than 100%" William M. Connolley (talk) 18:47, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
...eyes...wall of text... Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:54, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
Obviously Logicus has issues with the scientific communities consensus of factors creating global warming. Thats fine, however this is not the place to air those grievances. Please bring peered reviewed sources if you wish to add to the article. Thanks. Garycompugeek (talk) 19:16, 2 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with the verifiability issues raised by Logicus. --Phenylalanine (talk) 03:34, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Logicus actually raises good points about inconsistencies lead, though they are mostly lost in the essay presentation. More pointedly the twisting between a 1900-present and a 1950-present timescale could be used to show the sympathy of the author lies with anthropogenic causation, through a desire to attribute the full 1900-present warming to industrial pollution without the bother of having to allow for the temparture fall between 1940-1950 within that theory.
Another little inconsistency on the main page - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Global_Warming_Map.jpg (second image on the right) uses relative 1940-1980. Default on the website the image was generated from is 1951-1980, while the most visible often used standard reference is ~1960-1990. Jaimaster (talk) 09:07, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

(undent) The noise in the signal of global average temperature makes a weak trend difficult to detect, so I'm not sure if there's even any agreement on when precisely the warming began. I don't think it makes any sense to assign some arbitrary threshold beyond which we are not concerned. Just saying that "global warming starts at 1950" is absolutely arbitrary. Data will sometimes cover only portions of the relevant period, and - importantly - the closer we get the present the more is known and with more certainty.

Further, since the warming has been observed to accelerate across the last century, analysis of the more recent decades provides a clear indication of the state of warming now.

There's no attempt to avoid the cooling that took place starting in the 40s, this is well understood to be the result of aerosols, and the strength of cooling correlates well with aerosol concentration when compared to the observed cooling effects of Mount Pinatubo. What you do have, if you look at a graph of temperature since 1850 that's at the top of the article, is a point around the middle of the century where the warming becomes quite obvious and temperature manages to climb significantly above the variations that were seen at the beginning of the graph. I think if you look at the warming trend from the beginning of the century until 1940 and then you understand the cooling effect that sulfate aerosols had from stack pollution... it becomes clear that the planet would be warmer yet if not for the effect of aerosols. Far from being something to hide, the aerosol cooling across those decades is a warning that we would have experienced more than a 0.6C increase last century if some of that warming had not been offset by aerosol cooling. Sulfate pollution is regulated now, so we're not going to see the same strength of that cooling effect in the coming century, and even if you tried to use it on purpose the effects of the sulfate aerosols diminishes pretty quickly once you stop emitting them.

For the question way above about "most" - yes, I would say that this means >50% and nothing more specific than that. I don't think this means anything more specific than that in the context of an IPCC statement. If some scientists think it's 90% human, and some think it's 65%, and some think it's 51%, then the statement you can get agreement on is "ok, it's at least half" and everyone can agree, but that doesn't tell us whether it's 51% or 100%, just that it's not 50% or less. I'm unfamiliar with what the range of specific assessments actually are.

In terms of CO2 emissions, this may help answer questions. [1]

I would support changing the introductory language to include the beginning of the century, so long as it doesn't distort what is known into some POV nonsense. Mishlai (talk) 13:38, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Ecclesiastes 1:9. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:47, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
I have no idea what you intended to communicate by that. Mishlai (talk) 15:59, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I knew what I meant. ;-) "That which has been is that which will be, And that which has been done is that which will be done. So there is nothing new under the sun." In other words, this is not a new point; we've had lots of past discussion on the time frame for global warming as referenced in the first sentence. See the talk page archives/history. The "since the middle of the 20th century" bit is the time frame most in accord with reliable sources such as the IPCC reports. Hope that's clearer... Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:09, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
""...is well understood to be the result of aerosols""

Global Warming in a can - Some of the material here has great comedic value. Can't believe you guy's buy this stuff - and just because some hippies with Phd's and a considerable increase in funding since the hysteria tell you so. Independant thought guys, get some. Finalreminder —Preceding unsigned comment added by Finalreminder (talkcontribs) 08:26, 4 October 2008 (UTC)


I respectfully ask that the editor who reverted my edit provide an explanation for this on the talk page. Logicus has explained very clearly that the first sentence in the lead and in the terminology section is not properly verified by the sources provided. My only issue is with verifiability (WP:VER). And I have no POV against global warming as suggested in the revert edit summary, I accept the scientific evidence and I am only looking to improve the article. I hope the more experienced editors here will be able to see to address this issue. --Phenylalanine (talk) 13:18, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

So wot is the human contribution to global warming then ?': Hurrah for one small step of progress in solving the problem I raised, thanks to William Connolley’s helpful referral to the Wiki Attribution of recent climate change article, which reveals a 0.65 °C increase in the five decades to 2004 as follows:

"Over the past five decades there has been a global warming of approximately 0.65 °C (1.17 °F) at the Earth's surface" according to the IPCC's AR4 report mentioned in the historical temperature record article.

The source is IPCC. I therefore put this in the article to replace the current logically misplaced statistic for the last century that opens the second paragraph, thus rendering the first two paras logically coherent.

However, a source is still required for the opening definition. Who or what body has decided contemporary global warming should be dated from the mid-20th century ?

A better alternative here might be just to relax the opening definition by dropping any time period specification in order to provide a completely general definition of GW without restriction to any historical period, which is then only introduced in the second para about contemporary GW. I might do that.

I also flag the Terminology definition of GW as confusing because it is at variance with the opening definition, as are also its references, as detailed above.

I also flag the two opening diagrams as confusing because they are not for the same periods as the text specifies i.e for the last 5 decades, and thus not logically relevant, as Jaimaster has pointed out. Hopefully somebody can provide diagrams that are.

After this initial progress of identifying the amount of global warming since the mid 20th century for this article, to try and provide an answer to the question on which which I first came to consult it, it should surely contain some quantitative statement(s) of the following forms:

1) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a Z% increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,

2) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a Y% increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

3) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a W% increase in the anthropogenic proportion of greenhouse gas concentrations

4) The anthropogenic proportion of greenhouse gases is now V%

Can anybody please fill in the values of the variables V, W, X, Y, & Z in these 4 different global warming propositions, with sources ? Mr Connolley maybe ?

The helpful contribution of Mishlai suggests X can be no more precise than 'at least half' i.e. at least 0.375 °C. Is this so ?

Also thanks to those other few editors who have made helpful and informative contributions, such as Jaimaster etc

--Logicus (talk) 14:31, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

A profusion of articles

Not really the place for it, but lets try anyway. There is:

Why just these 7 states? Or better, why these 7 states at all? And Climate change in Nevada isn't on the list. There seems to be a lot of duplication and boilerplate in these articles. Mind you, there is also Category:Climate change in Australia, Climate change in New Zealand, Global warming in India, Global warming in Japan

And Heat pollution could do with some work, or possibly deletion, if anyone is interested.

William M. Connolley (talk) 07:35, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

For starters there aught to be standardisation on names to either GW or CC. The aus article lead ends with an unsourced ad hominem. Ill deal with that on monday... Jaimaster (talk) 09:12, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Given the name, I would have thought that you can hardly have individual GW articles for only bits of the globe. As to possible effects, i.e. CC, regional articles make more sense but state by state seems a bit OTT. Mikenorton (talk) 09:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Global warming in Massachusetts? What next, global warming in a teapot? or perhaps a nutshell? Kauffner (talk) 10:23, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
There certainly should be an article/s on expected regional climate changes, although climate change by US state is too fine of resolution. How would the article for climate change in Nevada be any different than one for climate change in Arizona? Or New Mexico? If more than one article on regional climate change is needed, by continent would probably afford sufficient resolution. - Atmoz (talk) 15:41, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there a consensus on whether it is good to have this spread of articles by continent/country/state or not? I have been checking for pages or material on global warming or climate change in Africa and not found anything easily. Nor is Africa listed in the banner {{Global warming|state=expanded}}. I cannot find an article on the climate of Africa, never mind change, just a short section here. Or have I missed something?Babakathy (talk) 14:53, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't know. It would be a lot to maintain, and I'm not sure how many good sources we have on specific regions. There's already a great deal of confusion regarding the difference between global trends and regional trends, and I'm also slight concerned that regional articles might add to that. Still, I think that if we have good references then describing the changes in a region could be valuable to some readers. Also, as we learn more and more about the changes it will become too much information for the articles that we presently have. Mishlai (talk) 15:18, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Note the IPCC reports include chapters on regional climate change in the context of global climate change (Chapter 10 in the TAR, Chapter 11 in AR4). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:33, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
In addition to the IPCC material, there is some literature on Africa, eg by Hulme, Mason, New.Babakathy (talk) 16:00, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Some of the articles seem to be getting somewhere, such as the ones on Washington and Texas--others, not so much. I don't think there is anything necessarily wrong with describing climate change as it applies to a specific region. However, the article ought to be specific and non-redundant. Best of luck. ~ UBeR (talk) 20:16, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Mechanism of water vapor feedback

The section on feedbacks discusses the water vapor feedback in a manner that I think leaves the impression that the dominant cause of the additional vapor is that warmer air results in more evaporation because of heat input. It's my understanding that the real effect has more to do with warmer air being able to hold more moisture at a given RH, and that while warmer temperatures certainly add something to evaporation, that for the most part the water is still just evaporating because of sunlight, etc. into air that is capable of holding more. I'm unclear on how %RH is maintained in the atmosphere at conditions less than saturation, so I wanted to ask for some assistance/clarification in making the edit. Mishlai (talk) 04:21, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Your interpretation "warmer air being able to hold more moisture at a given RH" is basically correct, but I'm having trouble seeing where the current text indicates otherwise. Maybe I'm just not able to see it from a non-specialist's perspective (I assume you're a non-specialist). Give it a whirl and let's work toward something that's clear to everyone. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:25, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
Reworded a bit. Is this better? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 04:55, 4 October 2008 (UTC)
I like, thank you. It never said anything wrong, exactly, but there was an implication that the cause was more heat = more evaporation. Mishlai (talk) 23:39, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

Newly inserted paragraph

I've removed the following paragraph from the "Feedback" section until it can be discussed and perhaps summarized more succinctly, or otherwise allocated to appropriate places in this and/or other articles:

Recent research carried out in 2008 in the Siberian Arctic has shown millions of tons of methane being released, apparently through perforations in the seabed permafrost,[1] with concentrations in some regions reaching up to 100 times above normal.[2][3] The excess methane has been detected in localized hotspots in the outfall of the Lena River and the border between the Laptev Sea and the East Siberian Sea. Some melting may be the result of geological heating, but more thawing is believed to be due to the greatly increased volumes of meltwater being discharged from the Siberian rivers flowing north.[4] Current methane release has previously been estimated at 0.5 Mt per year.[5] Shakhova et al (2008) estimate that not less than 1,400 Gt of Carbon is presently locked up as methane and methane hydrates under the Arctic submarine permafrost, and 5-10% of that area is subject to puncturing by open taliks. They conclude that "release of up to 50 Gt of predicted amount of hydrate storage [is] highly possible for abrupt release at any time". That would increase the methane content of the planet's atmosphere by a factor of twelve,[6][7] equivalent in greenhouse effect to a doubling in the current level of CO2.

... Kenosis (talk) 05:20, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

  1. ^ Compare: Methane bubbling through seafloor creates undersea hills, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, 5 February 2007
  2. ^ Connor, Steve (September 23, 2008). "Exclusive: The methane time bomb". The Independant. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  3. ^ Connor, Steve (September 25, 2008). "Hundreds of methane 'plumes' discovered". The Independant. Retrieved 2008-10-03. 
  4. ^ Translation of a blog entry by Örjan Gustafsson, expedition research leader, 2 September 2008
  5. ^ N. Shakhova, I. Semiletov, A. Salyuk, D. Kosmach, and N. Bel’cheva (2007), Methane release on the Arctic East Siberian shelf, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 9, 01071
  6. ^ N. Shakhova, I. Semiletov, A. Salyuk, D. Kosmach (2008), Anomalies of methane in the atmosphere over the East Siberian shelf: Is there any sign of methane leakage from shallow shelf hydrates?, EGU General Assembly 2008, Geophysical Research Abstracts, 10, EGU2008-A-01526
  7. ^ Volker Mrasek, A Storehouse of Greenhouse Gases Is Opening in Siberia, Spiegel International Online, 17 April 2008

I simply added the reference tag, without it you can not see the references and clicking on the numbers does nothing. Q Science (talk) 05:38, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

I think it's good like it is. Mishlai (talk) 23:41, 4 October 2008 (UTC)

The new para was part of this huge edit [2]. I expected to object to any such change :-), but in a quick review didn't find anything problematic. Apart from the para above (a bit too 2008 based), did anyone else review it fully and find it OK? William M. Connolley (talk) 08:29, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

From my examination, the edit noted in the previous comment, while lengthy, appears to be appropriate. --Skyemoor (talk) 09:46, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
After having had a chance to review the paragraph more closely, it does indeed appear to me to be very appropriate to include a slightly more explicit summary about methane in the Feedback section, given the presently accumulating body of literature about the correlation between melting ice and methane discharge. My sense is that it can be summarized much more succinctly so it doesn't clog up the Feedback section with too many specifics, and perhaps allocate the rest of it to, say, Effects of global warming. Also, the statement "That would increase the methane content of the planet's atmosphere by a factor of twelve,", cited to Shakhova et al (2008), appears to me to be a bit premature and speculative. Bottom line: IMO, in this WP article it should be summarized more concisely, using only the more scientifically verified, experimentally replicated material here. ... Kenosis (talk) 13:17, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Verifiability issues in the lead and terminology section

Logicus has explained very clearly that the first sentence in the lead and the first sentence in the terminology section are not properly verified by the sources provided [3]. My only issue is with verifiability (WP:VER). And I have no POV against global warming as suggested in the revert edit summary, I accept the scientific evidence and I am only looking to improve the article. I hope the more knowledgeable editors here will be able to address this. --Phenylalanine (talk) 20:12, 5 October 2008 (UTC)

Just so it's clear, claims in the lead need not be referenced so long as the same claims are substantiated and referenced later in the body of the article. ~ UBeR (talk)
I agree. Where in the body of the article is first sentence in the lead properly substantiated and referenced? Thank you. --Phenylalanine (talk) 20:22, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Presently in fn 11 & 12, as well as elsewhere. For further definitions, see also, e.g. these definitions. ... Kenosis (talk) 21:03, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Kenosis. Please see this, which demonstrates that footnotes 11 and 12 do not properly verify the first sentence in the lead. --Phenylalanine (talk) 22:04, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Also, none of these definitions properly verify the definition given in the first sentence of the article lead. --Phenylalanine (talk) 22:45, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
In what way? What specific part of the definition is in dispute? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 23:11, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
The answer to your question is found here: [4]. --Phenylalanine (talk) 23:23, 5 October 2008 (UTC)
Buried somewhere in there, perhaps. Progress will require a more concise and focused statement. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 00:15, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

""Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation." But the Terminoloy sections says: "The term "global warming" refers to the warming in recent decades and its projected continuation, and implies a human influence.[11][12]" In contrast with the opening definition, this latter definition fails to specify what it is that is warming, and is vaguer about the time period in question and whether it extends as far back as 1950 or not. But more crucially it now only refers to warming in which there has been a human influence, whereby one cannot even sensibly ask the question of whether there has been any human influence on global warming, since on this definition the very notion is of warming in which there is such an influence."

"To see further confusion, now turn to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary definition of 'global warming' that is given as the justifying reference for the 'Terminology' section's definition, and which is as follows; "an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution." But this definition does not justify either the opening definition nor that of the Terminology section, for it is crucially different from both at least in the following respects 1) This definition only refers to an increase in temperatures predicted for the future, but not to any past warming as in the two Wikipedia definitions. Thus on this definition we cannot know whether global warming exists until the future. 2) It only refers to whatever portion of warming may be due to the greenhouse effect and especially to pollution, whereas the Wiki definitions refer to the total warming. And it is unclear whether the pollution referred to is purely human, or could include volcanic pollution for example."

"But this confusion gets even worse when we turn to the Britannica definition referred to by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary reference, as follows: "the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of Earth over the past one to two centuries." This definition crucially differs from the both the Wikipedia and the Merriam-Webster definitions, because [1] it crucially does not include ocean temperatures and [2] it only refers to a past time period and [3] it radically extends the past time period to between one and two centuries, rather than just from 1950."

"Now to add further confusion upon confusion upon..., if we turn to the United States Environmental Protection Agency definition given in footnote 12 of the Wikipedia Terminology section definition to justify it, we read: "In common usage, 'global warming' often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities." So this definition differs yet again from the other definitions at least since it only refers to that warming that results from increased human produced emissions of greenhouse gases and over any period rather than just in some specific period. But contrary to the common usage claim of this definition, most media presentations on global warming separate the notion and fact of warming or not from the issue of its possible causes, such as human activity or not." [5]

--Phenylalanine (talk) 00:30, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

That wasn't exactly a "concise and focuses statement", but let's move on. Given the fact that there are multiple definitions from reputable sources that disagree in one detail or another, what do you propose that we do? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:49, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Just so it's known, these definitions have been discussed and debated in the past, so I suggest you begin looking for that in the archives. That will give you some sense as to how the precise definition was formulated. What I can tell you is that 1950 is the marker given by the IPCC for which we can contribute most of the warming to man's activities. The article actually points this out for you in the lead. ~ UBeR (talk) 05:10, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
The time frame given in the lead was changed from the prior longstanding language "in recent decades" to "since the mid-twentieth century" here, on 19 March 2008, in response to discussion on talk. The consensus among editors of this article has long been to refer in the lead to the current warming trend, which is the way the words "global warming" are most often used, rather than to refer to historical warming trends generally. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:34, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Grammatical Mistake

I'm not sure if causes or allows is the correct verb in the sentence, "this warming causes allows the atmosphere to hold still more water vapor" under Forcing and Feedback: Feedback.--Maryrebecca (talk) 01:14, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

Either would be OK. "Allows" is a little more directly linked to the increase in saturation vapor pressure. On the other hand "allows" might be taken as implying the atmosphere can hold more water vapor but doesn't necessarily do so, when in fact it does hold more water vapor (so as to maintain approximately constant relative humidity). But not both. I'll pick "causes," Monty. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
I thought you weren't allowed to say that the atmos holds WV William M. Connolley (talk) 15:28, 6 October 2008 (UTC)
Comrade Boris say "In Soviet Union, water vapor hold you!" Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:12, 6 October 2008 (UTC)

When will this article mention global cooling

It now looks almost inevitable that 2008 is going to be a lot colder than any other year this century confirming the clear cooling trend. Whatever way you look at it, there is no way you can describe the 21st century as "warming". This article is so blatantly lying lying to the reader when it implies time and time again that the world is "currently warming". It is not me that sets the standard, it was the IPCC who proudly announced (in 2001) that the world would warm at between 1.4C-5.8C in the next 110. Since then not only has the world stubbornly failed to warm even at the lowest expected rate in fact it has been cooling (by what would be around -1.4C in the same period). Is there the slightest hint of this in the article? The IPCC has set the standard of the expected range, 1.4-5.8/110 years. Not only is the current trend well below the IPCC minimum (which in itself would deserve a mention), but it is actually cooling not warming. How can any honest person write an article about "global warming" and fail to mention that we are currently experiencing a period of cooling? Just how long does the temperature have to cool before this article will stop bringing the integrity of wikipedia into disrepute? Bugsy (talk) 23:40, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

It has to cool until peer-reviewed reliable sources claim there is a significant climatic cooling trend. Instead, we see a number of publications reinforcing the overall warming trend and warning against misreading the effect of short-term variations as caused e.g. by the strong La Nina effect. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:44, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
This user has brought this issue up before; last time it got hijacked into a discussion of what sources are reliable.
Bugsy, (user Isonomia) if you've got a reliable source that claims that the long term trend of warming is over, please bring that here to this talk page and it will get into the article. There is currently this sentence in the climate models section of this article,
In May 2008, it was predicted that "global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming", based on the inclusion of ocean temperature observations.[75]
and the leading graph is updated to include the 2007 mean annual temperature. It is quite possible that a well-sourced sentence or two in the "Temperature changes" section mentioning the current short-term trend could improve the section and the article as a whole. However, current reliable sources clearly state that the long-term trend is global warming, so this article should, too. - Enuja (talk) 06:50, 1 October 2008 (UTC)
The problem is mistaking weather for climate change. If the cooler weather of the last half of this decade persists deep into the next, the scientific literature will start reflecting that and question the consensus theory. What does this mean for updating the article in this manner? "Check back in 2015" Jaimaster (talk) 08:42, 3 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry. As soon as Obama is elected U.S. president, Gore's "scientific consensus" will admitted that the world really is getting cooler, and that the oceans started to recede at exactly the moment Obama told them to. Kauffner (talk) 09:54, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Does global warming include ocean temperatures or not ?

The article's second sentence currently claims

"The average global air temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005."

But this sentence needs clarification in respect of its estimate of global warming ostensibly not including ocean temperatures such as included in the opening definition of global warming, thus possibly inflating the value inasmuch as ocean temperatures are cooler than air temperatures.

It also needs clarification in respect of its estimate being for the last century rather than for the half century specified in the opening definition, thus apparently inflating the value further.

I now repeat this pedagogical point yet again, for the third time, for the extremely hard of understanding and illiterate:

1) The statistic of global warming provided in the second sentence is ostensibly for a different entity than that defined in the opening definition, namely an average for the air only versus an average for air + oceans

2) The statistic of global warming provided in the second sentence is for a different period than that defined in the opening definition.

I replaced this logically irrelevant and possibly misleading sentence with the following sentence that (i) covers the same period as the opening definition of global warming and (ii) which I believe also includes ocean temperatures as in the opening definition of global warming:

"According to the 2004 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, over the past five decades there has been a global warming of approximately 0.65 °C (1.17 °F) at the Earth's surface."

Note that the locution "at the Earth's surface" does not exclude surface ocean temperatures.

But Kenosis deleted it without providing any valid justification or apparently understanding the problem here.

So I therefore restore my proposed sentence and ask Kenosis or anybody else to kindly desist from deleting it yet again without stating some valid justifying reason on this Talk page.

As for the opening definition of global warming, in spite of much blather and also some helpful comments, still no justifying source for this definition has been provided, so I flag it yet again. The reference seems to be IPCC, but where is it ?

--Logicus (talk) 17:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus, I think you've already made your basic POV fairly clear. Whatever your specific content disputes about this article may be, please don't delete important citations from the article. Fortunately, a bot reinserted the citation to the IPCC report.
..... The sentence you removed from the body text of the article was: "The average global air temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005.", citing to the same IPCC source as the warming in the "past five decades". As to the consensus choice to include that sentence in the article, it's not at all illogical to note the IPCC's conclusions about climate change over the past hundred years, despite the opening reference to "since the mid-20th century". That's an editorial decision that is a consensus decision, a reasonable one I might add. The choice was made by general consensus of participating WP editors to note at the outset a slightly longer trend of warming that covers the last century, while stopping well short of changing the focus of the entire article from current and projected global warming, a pressing contemporary issue, to a broader generic definition that includes all discernible historical periods of warming that were not anthropogenic. Choosing the latter would result in a completely different focus of the article, and would entail much more discussion of prior non-anthropogenic warming trends going back to the beginning of what can be measured, e.g., from ice core samples. The mention of the temperature trend in the last hundred years in the article is thus by no means logically inconsistent with the use of "global warming" to refer to the trend since the fifties, which is the most commonly used context of the words "global warming" in today's discourse. Rather, the sentence that mentions the warming over the last century is a totally reasonable extension of the chosen scope of this article. So are the graphs and statements in the article that refer to longer periods leading up to the last half century.
..... Having said that, speaking as just one more WP user, I would not in the least be opposed to revising the lead to set the context of the article to include anthropogenic warming going back a century or more. ... Kenosis (talk) 19:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Consensus is not always right, and previous consensus can be changed. Using a 100 year time scale then chopping in the next line to a 50 year time scale when you have a perfectly good 50 year source that illustrates the same point is being inconsistent for the sake of what? I personally see nothing useful being achieved by using the wider reference over the shorter... Jaimaster (talk) 22:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
It seems relevant to me to ask whether the article would be harmed by having an introduction that indicates some varying meaning with context? eg: "Global warming refers to increasing global average near-surface temperatures but the precise meaning can depend on context. The most commonly used context implies the warming in recent decades on Earth which many scientific organisations have found to be mostly anthropogenic." Probably a bit woolly but might that be better than being overly precise to the point of being wrong? crandles (talk) 19:44, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
I think we're manufacturing ambiguity. The statement is fine as it is. Mishlai (talk) 04:37, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Positive Feedback

"The major positive feedback is caused by increased introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere". Evaporation of water vapor, and dethawing of methane hydrates (which are then evaporated) are positive feedbacks. Emissions of fossil fuel burning is not a feedback because they are not induced by warming itself. Was there something else you were referring to that is the 'major positive feedback'? --Skyemoor (talk) 18:01, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

The "Forcing and feedback" section is going downhill at an alarming rate. "The forces that drive climate change are said to be operating in a system called forcing." -- what the...? It gets worse from there. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:45, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I put that in purely for definitive and introductory purposes, to aid people. I have zero problem with you changing that sentence, if you can think of better wording. Where "it gets worse from there", well, point it out or change it as you wish and we'll see, my mind reading is weak today. Anarchangel (talk) 19:09, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Do you mean Skyemoor's edits? He took my August is hottest vs Solstice is June analogy out, and maybe some other things, I haven't gotten around to it yet, and was a bit equivocal about the analogy thing anyway. I thought it was good because it was an commonly observable analogy of the principle of the lag between forcing and warming, but bad because it wasn't direct evidence. Anarchangel (talk) 19:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

"The major positive feedback is caused by increased introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere". Evaporation of water vapor, and dethawing of methane hydrates (which are then evaporated) are positive feedbacks. Emissions of fossil fuel burning is not a feedback because they are not induced by warming itself. Was there something else you were referring to that is the 'major positive feedback'? --Skyemoor (talk) 13:42, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

As far as I'm aware, we have the albedo effect, the thawing of methane clathrate, the release of methane from thawing of permafrost regions, changes in rain forests that make them drier and more susceptible to catastrophic fire (which would release CO2), the possible decline of phytoplankton in warming waters (microbes that bury a fair bit of carbon when they absorb it through photosynthesis and then die and drift to the bottom), and possibly that organic decay and it's resulting release of gases would progress more quickly at warmer temps.
I think it's self evident that the human burning of oil, wood or coal is not a form of feedback (unless you're trying to make social or economic arguments, which are not the topic of this article). Burning fossil fuels can certainly cause feedbacks, however, and it's also true that the production of greenhouse gases is one of the feedback mechanisms (just not from fossil fuels). I don't see anything wrong with the statement "The major positive feedback is caused by increased introduction of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere" Mishlai (talk) 17:46, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Good response, these points should be in the article; anyone have any problems with me adding them? --Skyemoor (talk) 10:39, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
IMO, that section should have a brief statement in the first summary paragraph to the effect that the primary positive feedback involves an increase in GHGs caused by warming itself. I understand it may be delicate, but I'm sure there's a way to do it to make it clear to the reader it involves a loop of sorts. As it stands now, the summary paragraph appears to imply that negative feedback is offsetting anthropogenic warming, which it is not. Additionally, it's now clear to me that at some point it'll need a brief statement about methane/permafrost as well, something like a concise version of what Short Brigade Harvester Boris put in a week or so ago. ... Kenosis (talk) 12:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
"the primary positive feedback involves an increase in GHGs caused by warming itself" -- assuming this means water vapor acting as GHG it's true but too vague, as it could be interpreted to mean other GHG. Why not simply say that the primary positive feedback is the water vapor feedback? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:35, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
That might help to avoid confusion. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:15, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, got it covered here. ... Kenosis (talk) 18:29, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

So why is land temperature excluded from the opening definition?

The opening definition of 'global warming' states

"Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation."

Presumably ‘near-surface air and oceans’ means 'the near-surface air and near-surface ocean temperatures' , with the qualifier 'near-surface' being distributed over both 'air' and 'oceans', as in 'near-surface (air and oceans)' to use algebraic bracketing, rather than just over 'air'. I presume so because I presume it is practically impossible to get an average temperature for the whole volume of the Pacific Ocean, for example, right to its very bottom, and that only near-surface temperature measurement is practically possible.

So it seems we have four categories to consider in understanding the opening definition of 'global warming', namely

(1) near-surface air temperatures above the land

(2) near-surface air temperatures above oceans ( or above all seas or even any water, including lakes) ?

(3) near-surface land temperatures

(4) near-surface ocean temperatures (or of all seas or even of any water, including lakes ?)

So the question now arises for the opening definition of why near-surface ocean temperatures are included in the measurement along with near-surface air temperatures over both land and sea, but near-surface land temperatures apparently excluded from it ?

So who is it that defines global warming as a warming of the average of near-surface air temperatures across both land and sea and near-surface ocean temperatures, but excluding near-surface land temperatures ?

This apparently bizarre definition surely need some scientifically authoritative source to be quoted to ensure us that it is indeed this specific measurement and the warming (or not) of these three specific entities the scientific debate and this article is concerned with.

Is this the IPCC definition of what specific temperatures the global warming issue is to be concerned with ? If so where is it to be found ?

Thus yet again I flag this opening definition for a citation, and one which justifies its exclusion of land temperatures.

--Logicus (talk) 18:08, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Your presumption is wrong. "Land temperatures" are not a useful concept in this context, as "land" is extremely diverse, and neither well-mixed, well-behaved, or even well-defined. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:57, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
The temperature of the land gets significantly hotter and colder than the temperature of the air 10 or 20 feet above the land. Therefore, temperature measurements are made in boxes some distance above the ground. For the oceans, buoys and satellites measure the water temperature, not the air. As a result, there is a lot of uncertainty about the actual average temperature, but much less disagreement about the change in temperature. This is because the measurement techniques are consistent. Q Science (talk) 22:40, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus comments on replies:

To Stephan: No, rather it seems that both of my two presumptions stated were indeed correct. And your further observations imply land temperatures are indeed excluded from the measure, which therefore answers my question. Thank you ! [Are you saying my presumption that ocean temperatures are near-surface temperatures is wrong, and wrong because it is the temperature of the wholy body of water ?--Logicus (talk) 16:09, 10 October 2008 (UTC)]

To Q Science: You seem to imply near surface air temperatures over oceans are not included, and hence whereby the opening definition is false, and together in consideration of Stephan's comments, should rather say 'near surface air temperatures over land and near surface ocean temperatures'. Would you agree ? Thus we should have something of the following ilk for the opening definition:

‘Global warming is an increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air temperatures over land and near-surface ocean temperatures...’

If this is correct in this respect, then the next question that arises is why the near surface temperatures of seas, lakes and rivers are not included. Should 'oceans' perhaps be replaced by 'marine' or 'seas' at the very least ?

And thanks for your information. I must say I see no valid reason in the points you make for excluding land temperatures, and also it is difficult, prima facie, to see how there can possibly be less disagreement about changes in average termperature than there is about what the average is itself ? But thanks again!

--Logicus (talk) 18:16, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

I think the lead sentence should be very general, even if it is not 100% correct, and the details should be placed in other sections. For instance, the points you want to make appear to be covered in Instrumental temperature record. What bothers me about the definition are the lack of the word theory and the inclusion of a time frame, which imply (to me) that this is a political definition. The IPCC definition actually refers to the increase in temperature caused by people. At any rate, the lead section should represent general usage of the phrase, even if it is scientifically incorrect, and arguing the science should be else where. Q Science (talk) 19:27, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus to Q Science: Thanks ! Could you possibly please kindly say what that IPCC definition of global warming is by quoting it and where exactly it is to be found ?

I went to the effort to put a link to the definition in my response. Why don't you click on it? Q Science (talk) 17:13, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I suspect clickoreadophobia. Symptoms include being unable to click a link and read its contents because of the fear the Algore will eat you. Logicus has demonstrated repeatedly that he will not read the references cited in the article before commenting on them. [6] [7] [8] - Atmoz (talk) 17:34, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Presumably the increase in temperature caused by people is quite different from and less than the 0.65 °C increase in temperature of 'the last half century' ? Do you know what the difference is ? This simple issue seems very confused.

Also I am not aware of wanting to make any points other than ensuring pedagogical conceptual clarification of the current confusion and also getting some simple consistent answers to the basic questions of what warming has been and what anthropogenic greenhouse gas increases there have been, etc.

So could you kindly please specify what points you think I want to make that appear in the 'Instrumental temperature record' article ? --Logicus (talk) 16:09, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

It's my understanding that the precise percentage of human contribution has significant uncertainty brackets as well as some disagreement. The article makes reference to what is verifiable by citing reliable sources, which is the consensus position that this percentage is "most" of the observed warming. It's important to not be more specific than sources can support, because that would be false certainty and intellectual fraud. I suspect if you read the relevant peer reviewed literature you would find some varying estimates.
I also don't think it's reasonable for you to ask other editors to do your research for you. The reference that Q Science provided to you has a definition of "Global Warming" in it's glossary that is easily found by either
  • Going to the glossary and following the alphabetical order down to "Global warming or...
  • Searching the PDF for "Global Warming." There are about 10 hits. It won't take long to find the one you're looking for.
Your unwillingness to exert these minimal efforts leads me to believe that you are here to create a disruption, and not to improve the article. If you don't feel like you know much about the topic, then perhaps it would be wise to edit a different article? Mishlai (talk) 20:52, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Why are ocean temperatures excluded from the article's second statement?

This statement claims

"The average global air temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005."[My emboldening]

Why does this IPCC statement of global warming for the last century omit near-surface ocean temperatures ? Does its estimate include them, as they are included in the opening definition, or not ? Thus I tag it for clarification or rewrite needed.

--Logicus (talk) 18:15, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

See e.g., [9] and [10]. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:54, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus to Boris: Thanks for these two references, Boris. If you have read them in spite of your reading difficulties with extended analyses, no doubt with such as Lenin’s Collected Works for example, then I hope you will agree with me that they both seem to testify that the relevant temperatures for determining global warming are taken to be those of (i) the air over land near its surface and (ii) near surface marine temperatures, rather than "global air temperature near the Earth's surface" specified in this statement, which apparently refers just to 'all temperatures of the air over both land and water globally just near their surfaces', thus including super marine air temperatures, contrary to your two references, and excluding near surface sub marine temperatures, again contrary to your two references.

Thus the logical conclusion is that this statement

"The average global AIR temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005."

is logically irrelevant information to the issue of identifying what global warming has been as defined in the opening definition of this article, namely

"Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air AND OCEANS since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation."

namely at least by virtue of omitting near surface ocean temperatures.

And the further questions arises of whether this statement for the last century is even true, if indeed air temperatures near the Earth's surface globally have ever been measured, or is even possibly undecided and undecidable because this temperature is unknown if near surface air temperatures over all water globally (i.e. over oceans, seas, lakes and rivers etc) have never been measured, which I understand may indeed be the case.

So I propose yet again this twofold logically irrelevant and misleading statement should be replaced by an alternative of the ilk I proposed before in an effort to begin reducing the current thickets of conceptual confusion in this appallingly confused and confusing article.

It was as follows:

"According to the 2004 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, over the past five decades there has been a global warming of approximately 0.65 °C (1.17 °F)."

I also note you have said above in recognition of my pointing out the multiple conflicting and thus confusing conceptions of global warming in this article:

“Given the fact that there are multiple definitions from reputable sources that disagree in one detail or another, what do you propose that we do? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:49, 6 October 2008 (UTC) “

What I am proposing is the article be standardised with some simple, uncontroversial and adequate general definition of global warming that is consistently adhered to throughout the article to eliminate its confusingly repeated concept-shifting, such as the one I proposed, but which was rejected without any valid objections in my view.

It was

‘Global warming is an increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans.’

but in the light of subsequent information should probably now be

‘Global warming is an increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air temperatures over land and near-surface ocean temperatures.’

Here I leave aside the further question of whether it should be ‘marine’ rather than ‘ocean’ to at least include all seas.

--Logicus (talk) 17:58, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, the "2004 Fourth Assessment Report" was a mistake. The Fourth IPCC Assessment Report is "Climate Change 2007" ... Kenosis (talk) 18:37, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

Logicus to Kenosis: Thanks ! Can I take it you would then agree to the following replacement for the unacceptable current second sentence that confusingly quotes warming for both a different entity and a different period rather than for those specified in the opening definition of warming ?:

"According to the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, over the past five decades there has been a global warming of approximately 0.65 °C (1.17 °F)."

Can you confirm this claim refers to both near land surface air temperatures and near surface ocean temperatures, rather than excluding the latter ? I believe it does.

And is the five decades in question the period 1957-2007, or some other ?

--Logicus (talk) 16:01, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Here's a novel idea: actually read some references for yourself, such as the IPCC Working Group I Summary for Policymakers, instead of simply disputing everything based on personal conjecture. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:47, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Minor removal of sentence from "terminology" section

I've removed the following sentence from the "terminology" section"

As greenhouse gases increase, the effect is projected to increase.

This was cited to global warming - Definition from the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, which defines global warming as "An increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution." I should think the current version of this article already covers this, but I'm putting it here on Talk just in case it's useful in another section of this or another WP article. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:54, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

There are innumerable verifiable secondary scientific references, as opposed to a less desirable tertiary reference, that refer to projected increases in the earth's temperature. Therefore, limiting the definition to one tertiary reference is not appropriate. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:44, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Agreed. Though my main reason for removing it was that it was outside of the scope of the section on "Terminology". ... Kenosis (talk) 17:46, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I've since heavily edited that section to make it hew closely (even verbatim) to the sources (attribution might be appropriate, I didn't do that). Here is why theorized causation is relevant to the Terminology section: Some usages of "Global warming," particularly popular ones, imply or state causation, i.e., "Global warming" has come to refer specifically to anthropogenic warming. And we have sources explicitly stating so (i.e., that there is this variation in definition). The section, now, more explicitly, covers the variations in meaning. In order to explain the terms, we need to explain how they are used. Thus there is now the generic definition of "global warming," which (ab initio, from the raw language) would be an aspect of "climate change," also referring solely to the phenomenon of warming entirely aside from causation, then an explanation that, to put it way I haven't seen explained, uses "warming" and "change" as verbs indicating causation, i.e., an effect being "forced," with an implication that it is human activity forcing it. The terminology section should avoid the controversy and simply describe what terminology is being used and how. If not for the more specified usage (i.e., "global warming" equals "anthropogenic global warming"), we wouldn't be discussing cause in the terminology section at all. It should really be possible for editors representing all POVs to agree on the terminology section and, I'll note, if we can't agree on terms, we are really going to have difficulty agreeing on more complex subjects.
This article may need some more explicit substructure so that we don't need to constantly re-invent the wheel here, and new editors coming in with new POVs can quickly be brought up to speed on why the article is the way it is. Otherwise it can look to a new editor that there is a brick wall here, i.e., some bias being maintained by a cabal. And some editors defending the article against new editors who are ignorant of or, alternatively, don't care about prior arguments and debates and consensus, can become rather cynical, abrupt, sarcastic, and/or uncivil, amplifying that impression. Rather, new editors should be welcomed and guided and aided to become part of the community of consensus. Even if they arrive as intent on promoting "The Truth."
"Okay, here is why the article is the way it is: [link to specific discussion on issue]. If there is some flaw in the reasoning there, or something we missed, please work on that page to correct or expand it, so that our consensus can grow. If, however, the arguments you would present have already been clearly presented, and rejected or incorporated in the consensus, please turn your attention to remaining flaws (surely there are some!), or, alternatively, find some support for a reconsideration from those who participated in the past, or other experienced editors."
The goal should be that all reasonable editors, no matter what POV, will agree that the article fairly presents verifiable information on the topic. Sometimes, in this, small nuances of meaning become important; and if we want consensus to grow, and not merely mean "supermajority," we must respect minority opinion to the maximum extent possible, without falling into undue weight. --Abd (talk) 17:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
The IPCC defines it this way
Global warming refers to the gradual increase, observed or projected, in global surface temperature, as one of the consequences of radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions.
I don't agree that natural warming is omitted "by definition", and I have other issues with this definition, but this is the definition this article should use. Q Science (talk) 18:28, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

At this moment, the full definitions from the EPA are back; they note that their general definition (warming without specification of cause) and a common usage (anthropogenic global warming) are different, and they note, further, the shift to "climate change" because of the broader significance. Historically, the Earth has warmed without anthropogenic contributions, and if that is what is happening now, or is part of what is happening now, or is simply claimed to be part of what is happening now, how can we even discuss it unless we distinguish between the warming and its cause? We have this word anthropogenic, and we have had this in the Terminology section from before. Is "anthropogenic global warming" a redundant phrase? If global warming is, by definition, anthropogenic, which is a common usage, then there is nothing to discuss except whether global warming exists or not. So a GW skeptic is forced, by the way the terms are defined, to argue that there isn't any "global warming," even if he or she knows that it's getting warmer. This is the stuff of endless political confusion and spin. Let's stop spinning, sit down, and work carefully. --Abd (talk) 20:51, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

So wot is the human contribution to global warming then?

Note: The following thread has been moved from William M Connolley's user talk page to here, where it is more relevant and can be viewed by interested users.

Logicus copies here what was originally posted as a query to Mr? Connolley on his User Talk page, but since it was turned into an open discussion by others, it ought to be posted here. As follows: Re-insterted by Babakathy (talk) to carry code, links etc'

______________________________________________

Dear Mr Connolley

I would be most grateful if you could kindly provide me with any scientifically accepted values to the variables V, W, X, Y, & Z in the following propositions, as I have already requested of anybody in Talk: Global Warming:

1) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a Z% increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions,

2) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a Y% increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.

3) X% of the global warming of approximately 0.65 °C in the last half century has been caused by a W% increase in the anthropogenic proportion of greenhouse gas concentrations

4) The anthropogenic proportion of greenhouse gases is now V%

As you may appreciate, the unfortunate impression created by the current Wiki article on GW is that nobody really has a scientific precise quantitative clue what the human contribution to global warming is, which surely cannot be the case.

Best Regards

--Logicus (talk) 18:15, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps you should read up on this instead? Your questions 1-3 are the same one (Z=Y=W). Since the increase in GHG's can be attributed ~100% to humans. As for #4 try comparing the pre-industrial levels with the current levels - and you can figure it out for yourself. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:00, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually the proportion of the GHG increase attributable to human activity is more like 230% (i.e., the airborne fraction is around 0.43). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 22:08, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Very untrue. Even discounting the section on solar causation theories, the IPCC report itself lends a small but not-zero weight within the temperature change to solar activity. As it is also a matter of scientific consensus that CO2 increases can occur in response to temperature increases (theoretical positive feedback, proven by ice core data - CO2 lags temperature etc ad nausium), stating that Z=Y=W is incorrect where natural causes have a > zero net weight. Jaimaster (talk) 06:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not quite clear whom you are talking to. But quite apart from global warming, there is overwhelming consensus that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is entirely anthropogenic, as, as Boris pointed out and you ignored, we have emitted about 2.5 times of the surplus CO2 into the atmosphere. Natural sinks, especially the ocean, have responded by an increased uptake of CO2. That is because in the short term (years to decades), the response to an increased abundance of CO2 is an increase in the rate of CO2 uptake (the balance between CO2 in the atmosphere and in the surface water of the ocean is restored at a higher level). One concern is indeed that in the longer term the warmer temperatures will decrease the ability of natural sinks to take up CO2, that natural sources and reservoirs may become more productive, and that hence the net natural contribution may become positive. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Way back there. Where is this overwhelming consensus that the increase is entirely anthropogenic coming from? Lets say that the midpoint numbers given by the IPCC are accurate and ignore the uncertainty ranges (per WMC). This means a non-zero contribution to GW from increased solar activity. Now, even had humans not been emitting CO2, this would have led to an increase in global temperatures, and per observed and theorised data, an increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration.
That we are emitting 2.5x the increase means the entire increase is anthropogenic sounds persuasive, and people who have little grounding in the subject beyond watching an alarmist "documentary" film and perhaps its misleading "documentary" response might even accept that, but to say that the present increase is certainly wholly sourced from human activity is incorrect, assuming feedback theories are accurate and increased solar forcing exists. One can quite reasonably assume that if solar forcing was zero, causing net feedback CO2 to be zero, natural CO2 sinks would have aborbed additional anthropogenic CO2, leaving a reasonable argument to attribute a proportion of the increase to "natural" causes.
Apart from that I really am down to semantics. I guess it is possible that all CO2 released due to solar forcing is re-abosrbed along with the rest of the anthropogenic component, and only an anthropogenic increase exists. However I believe the probability of that (every additional "natural" molocule being re-absorbed) would be mathmatically expressible as zero. The net increase from natural effects might be quite negligable; but if it is non-zero, then stating "all increase is due to humans" is inaccurate. Thus, Z =/ X =/ Y. Jaimaster (talk) 08:04, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually - perhaps not? Per [11] "Natural land and ocean CO2 sinks have removed 54% (or 4.8 PgC per year) of all CO2 emitted from human activities during the period 2000-2007." 57% or 54% depends on timeframe and I suspect lower now but I have no issue with the precise figure. If this removal is in response to anthropogenic emissions, doesn't this natural removal get allocated as an anthropogenic effect? I think Williams slightly over 100% is correct based on solar and volcanic forcings being to have a slight cooling effect. crandles (talk) 20:17, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
You can't say "very untrue". Its either untrue or not. Boris was talking about fraction of GHG increase, whereas you are talking about fraction of temperature change. The IPCC gives a small positive to solar forcing from 1750, but I think includes 0 within the uncertainty. I was talking about since 1950 William M. Connolley (talk) 07:26, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
At risk of being stripped of my science credentials, possibly being shot by the side of the road by the National Academy of Sciences (thereby preventing me from ever becoming a member, sadly), exactly how can we test, let alone prove, that humans have any effect on the weather? I understand the data, but the world was warmer 2000 years ago, and there are what 100X more humans on the planet than there were then? Logicus (who needs to quit using words as if he were mobile texting) asks questions that I'd love to have answered. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 22:27, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
Which data sets are you drawing from that lead you to believe the Earth was warmer 2000 years ago? -_Skyemoor (talk) 13:27, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
OM: Remember your basic calculus? Velocity, acceleration, and changes in rate of acceleration? This would have something to do with 1) an unprecedented acceleration of warming in an already very warm period; 2) CO2 and CH4 levels, which are known to be closely correlated with imminent rises in temperature, levels unmatched since in something like 125,000 years; and 3) unprecedented acceleration of increase in CO2, and likely in CH4 levels. ... Kenosis (talk) 23:49, 7 October 2008 (UTC)
I suspect there is a common misconception that atmospheric models are constructed by fitting historical records and extrapolating into the future. They aren't. Instead they combine the physics of radiative transfer, thermodynamics, and fluid dynamics, the basics of which were worked out decades or centuries ago. Historical rates of temperature change aren't directly used to predict the future (albeit past observations are useful for testing and refining our computational methods by "predicting the past" so to speak). As an aside I don't think we should be using William's talk page for chat and tutorial, though I suppose I just did. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 01:10, 8 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed you did.  ;-) Nice explanation; thanks. I'm outta here. ... Kenosis (talk) 00:14, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Don't worry, carefully vetting guests are welcome William M. Connolley (talk) 07:10, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Ouch. I guess my highly scientific pee theory isn't welcome then. sad puppy KillerChihuahua?!? 15:11, 9 October 2008 (UTC)
Oops. I meant vetted, not vetting. As a well-behaved puppy I'm sure you've been properly vetted :-) William M. Connolley (talk) 07:26, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
Its Magic Pee. That's what causes the warming. Really. KillerChihuahua?!? 22:30, 7 October 2008 (UTC)

Is there something similar to [[12]] for the last 50 years? If you actually tried to work out W X Y and Z I think you would find they are different. 12:37, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

V W and Y would seem to be misleading figures. Comparison of X and Z seems a pointless non relevant comparison. X might be ~153% for 1750 to present based on 1.72 w/m2 total forcing and 2.64W/m2 forcing for greenhouse gases. However, the forcing diagram/Table in IPCC4 does not seem to indicate any figures for volcanic aerosol effect. The figures obviously change depending upon what period you want to look at. Therefore not suprised that no-one want to quote figures they would only be misused. Looks like I could be wrong about Williams a bit more than 100% being accurate. crandles (talk) 13:04, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Dear Logicus, you are clearly a person who values precision! This is indeed welcome; I applaud your attitude. But alas, you are falling well below your own high standards, a failing which I cannot doubt you deplore now that you are aware of it. I can help you though: you have erred in my title: I will embarass you no further until you have corrected your oversight William M. Connolley (talk) 08:07, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

He hasn't erred unless you are not a man, which I presume not to be true. But I suppose that's neither here nor there. ~ UBeR (talk) 21:24, 10 October 2008 (UTC)



Logicus to Mr? Connolley: My apologies for getting your title wrong, if indeed I did so. But what is it ? Mrs Connolley, Master Connolley, Lord Connolley, Dr Connolley, Professor Connolley, Great Helmsman Connolley, Scientific Officer Connolley etc ? Please enlighten me that you may further enlighten me with answers to these basic questions. Please note, and also Boris, that a proportion of an increase cannot logically be more than 100% of the increase. --Logicus (talk) 16:26, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Perhaps if you actually read a citation or two provied in the article and on this talk page, instead of frivilously requesting more, you might actually answer some of those questions you have. Raul654 (talk) 18:58, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

Terminology

From the lead -

Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation.

From the first line of #terminology -

The term "global warming" refers to increase in the Instrumental temperature record due mostly to Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) due mostly to increasing Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) caused primarily by human activities.[12]

From the last line of #terminology -

The term "anthropogenic global warming" refers to contributions to global warming that are caused by human activity.


The lead and the first line of the terminology section are inconsistent, while the last line needs some work if things are left status quo. Perhaps "the term AGW refers to contributions to GW explicitely caused by human activity", moved to be an appendage to the first line per using "further" as a joiner.

"Caused by" vs "attributed" - the source we give maximum weight to in this article is of course the IPCC reports. According to IPCC terminology there is a 90% confidence that >50% of the recent warming was caused by human activity. This is an attribution, not a definitive causation. Further, using "attributed" is consistent with other areas of WP, notably attribution of recent climate change. I propose the terminology section be adjusted accordingly. Jaimaster (talk) 03:34, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Let's look at the last first, it's easiest. "Anthropogenic global warming" I'd simplify to "refers to global warming caused by human activity." It's that, by definition. Putting "attributed" there is making a distinction between a horse and "an animal referred to as a horse." Sure "refers to global warming attributed to human activity" says the same thing, in practice. But we could split this semantic toothpick the other way: if it isn't "really" caused by human activity, but only attributed to that, then it isn't "really" anthropogenic. Simple. And I'd take out the "contributions to," since warming can be additive (or subtractive). I.e., there can be global warming caused by human activity, and global warming caused by volcanic activity. The 64 trillion dollar question is how much global warming is anthropogenic, isn't it? I'll make an edit to the article to reflect this, then come back, see what happens. --Abd (talk) 04:25, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Now, what's "global warming"? Is cause a part of the definition? That would be exceedingly strange. There is clearly the possibility of global warming from other causes. The cause of global warming is a separate matter from its definition. The definition in the lead is simple. It gets muckier in the Terminology section. Why? The definition there is sourced, and this is what is in the source:
Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced. In common usage, "global warming" often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
It seems to me that our definition has been cut down from what is in the source, and we ended up with that little phrase, "in common usage," being missing. It's important. In fact, that's a gov't web site, I'll assume the definition can be copied. If that's wrong, somebody paraphrase, please. --Abd (talk) 04:36, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Another editor had inserted a "scientific consensus" qualifier in the definition, that was overwritten by the definition from the EPA, and it really doesn't belong there. This is a definition of the term "global warming," and I'm not aware of any controversy over it, actually. We don't need to know the cause to define the phenomenon, nor even to know if the phenomenon is happening. I saw, making the edit, that the "common usage" was in the footnote, but that was extracting the special case and putting it in the article, with the context in the footnote, when the whole thing is clear and simple in the text itself. It's basically saying that, in common usage, "global warming" has come to mean "anthropogenic global warming." Accepting -- in the sense of relying upon -- the "common usage" here is precisely what we should not do. --Abd (talk) 04:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Propose to change "includes" to "can describe" re Climate Change. The term is used in situations where some but not all of the definitions listed after this point are included, eg, a change in rainfall patterns can be called "Climate Change" alone. Jaimaster (talk) 06:47, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

The definition I inserted was taken verbatim from the EPA site. A definition shouldn't be changed without a better source. A clause was removed by an editor,[13]. The removal changes the meaning. Is there a basis for restricting "global warming" to the surface alone? I've reverted because the edit summary was trim to shared meaning element of multiple definitions, but I'd prefer to look at the other definitions first (consider me dim on the topic, standing in for that reader out there who is supposed to be able to verify everything), no other definitions are sourced in this section of the article. If this definition is to be changed, please source the change, we shouldn't synthesize a new definition, at least not without careful consensus on it. --Abd (talk) 14:51, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I've rearranged the Terminology section, setting off the terms, wikifing, and using quoted definitions for the most part. Please review. --Abd (talk) 15:48, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Please don't assume that the EPA knows what its talking about, particularly in material like this. Also, this article needs to decide what the terminology section is about. Is it to tell people how the external world uses these words (which will be tricky, because each has multiple meanings) or how wiki GW articles are going to use the words? William M. Connolley (talk) 18:19, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
This edit once again gets the terminology section down to basics. Thanks, WMC. ... Kenosis (talk) 18:26, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I make no such assumption about the EPA, and certainly not the present one. However, if their definition isn't reliable, why have we sourced the definition to them? Connolley didn't change that! What Connolley did was to remove the general definition of global warming to leave only the specific definition. This is exclusion of sourced material and potentially creates a POV imbalance. Since Connolley has had long experience with this article and the topic, he might be a bit bewildered as to what is going on, and, so, I'll invite him to examine the reasoning behind the inclusion of the full definition from the source. I'll make a single revert to restore my version, incorporating what I can from what came after; beyond that, we'll see.
There was also a reason for the separation into paragraphs of the various definitions. It makes it easier to read, to see that there are variant definitions, to discriminate between these definitions. My thought as I put it together was that it could be improved, but I don't think that mashing it back together accomplishes this. It almost never improves readability.
With [14], Kenosis removed the conditional "can" -- which is unarguably true -- and replaced it with the definitive "occur" [sic, should have been occurs], which is unnecessary as part of the general definition; thus he altered the definition in the source. As is clear from his edit comment, he's aware that there is potential spin involved. "Whitewash" implies that there is some "blackening" that ought to be there. It is not our job to blacken or whitewash, it is to accurately report, being faithful to sources. We need be careful about spinning in "our" direction to remove spin in "their direction." Facts, in isolation, out of context, often cause a spin, and the solution is generally to restore the context, not to replace them with other spin-causing facts that we prefer.
As to Connolley's question re the purpose of the Terminology section, I'd propose that it is two-fold. It's clear to me that the section should define the terms as used in the sources, which involves reporting significant variations; the section as I had it did that (courtesy of the EPA, but also from past text). Where we are going to use a term in a particular way that doesn't match an outside consensus, we should explicitly state it. As an example, we could say that "This article uses 'global warming' to refer to the temperature phenomenon, without prejudice as to its cause." I prefer that, because it is very important to be able to examine the phenomenon independently from its causes. If we don't agree that we have this warming effect, i.e., that temperatures are rising, what hope do we have of finding agreement as to causes? It teases out the issues, which is an essential element in serious consensus-building. There is disagreement about the warming, it appears, but it seems to be far less extensive than disagreement about the causes (and thus about the prognosis). --Abd (talk) 20:33, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
...without prejudice as to its cause won't work, because some definitions specifically mention causality, e.g. [15][16]. Better simply to leave causality unmentioned than to give a definition that contradicts reliable sources. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 20:46, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I reverted, which I probably shouldn't have done, but the deed is complete. So, here are my issues. First, the EPA, being a governmental agency run by a bunch of Republican bureaucrats, is hardly a reliable source. In other words, their terminology is self-serving to the Bush administration. In fact, if we were discussing a natural increase in the earth's warmth, we might be using "global warming" as terminology. But in fact, it is understood that global warming means human caused. I'm sure there's some geologic term for global warming like Interglacial Temperature Maximum or something like that. As for the causes of global warming, that's a violation of WP:WEIGHT. It makes it sound all are equal. In case you're going to non-AGF me because you assume that I'm a pro-global warming is caused by humans scientist, you'd be wrong. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:49, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm not going to revert you, OM, because that would be edit warring, and I don't do that, period. I'm a bit uncomfortable about impeaching a source because it's "Republican." In fact, a lot uncomfortable. Sure, it's a political source. But it's the source for the definition. We have two choices: we use a definition, or definitions, as we find them in the sources, which would include all notable sources, or we make up our own, which is highly problematic, as any experienced Wikipedian will recognize. I'm not a scientist, I am a theoretician of a different kind; I assume good faith for all participants here. We all have POVs, scientists, politicians, truck drivers. We find consensus by looking for agreement and building it, by respecting the process of discussion and all the POVs involved. Even a holder of a fringe POV will often agree that this POV is fringe, and will understand that it can't be given front position. But that POV holder will be quite useful to us, to the project, if we respect his or her rights in our discussions. It is crucial that majority POVs respect minorities, or division is maintained and propagated, positions harden, and our community becomes inflexible.
However, if your edit was something you "shouldn't have done," you have an easy remedy! I agree that there is a problem with the EPA as a source. But that's the source in the text you restored! I don't think we can pick the half of their definition that we like! This is exactly what true POV-pushers and spin doctors do! The solution, I'd suggest, is to attribute the definitions. So we would have "According to the EPA ...." "On the other hand, the IPCC defines global warming as ....
It's an error to consider a list of possible causes of warming to violate WP:WEIGHT, as long as the causes are notably claimed to be significant ones. (It's a separate question as to whether or not we insist on peer-reviewed publications, that's a huge can of worms.) It's possible to remove that list of causes, if we aren't talking in the terminology section about causation at all, which is a problem, because of the existence of usage that presumes cause. I'm having to repeat myself, now, it's time to do something else. I suspect the article will still be here tomorrow.
I have no axe to grind here, beyond "pushing" sound consensus process. I happen to be a "believer" in anthropogenic global warming, in practice, though I'm generically a skeptic about everything. --Abd (talk) 21:16, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
If the US EPA is not considered reliable, why is it not removed and replaced with a more reliable source? In any case I do not believe the US EPA could be rendered unreliable under WP:RS no matter what our collective political persuasion. Is the EPA going to be considered "reliable" again in december after the pending landslide is complete and it comes under the control of appointed Democrats? This is getting uncomfortably close to paranoid lefty conspiracy theorism.
In any case the remedy to a source that the consensus does not want to quote verbatim is simple - find a better source. Synthesising the source into something acceptable is not really appropriate. Jaimaster (talk) 23:37, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I suggest we look at review articles published in Science or Nature and see how they define it. This wiki article is based purely on peer reviewed articles as far as the science is concerned, so we should define the term in the way it is used in the peer reviwed literature. Count Iblis (talk) 23:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I have had this argument on medical articles. Government agencies do not a reliable source make. They have a political agenda, from which we cannot synthesize an interpretation. And even though an Obama EPA will fit my POV more in 2009, I will still contend it fails as a reliable source. If the Journal of Geology writes an article stating that "we are officially name this era the Interglacial Temperature Maximum of the Holocene and it is a result of both natural and human cause, etc. etc. etc.", that would be fine. As of today, it does not exist. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:58, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

So wot is global warming ?

Logicus update on the latest state of the continuing profound confusion in the definition of 'gobal warming’

This article currently [at 4 pm 13 October] includes or presupposes at least the following three different mutually inconsistent conflicting definitions of global warming and the temperatures they refer to.

1) The unsourced opening definition: "Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation."

2) The 'Terminology' section definition, apparently taken from the American EPA definition "Global warming refers to an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and troposphere."

3) Footnote 2 to the claim of the second sentence that

"Global surface temperature increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005.[1][2]"

states

"Global surface temperature is defined in the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report as the average of near-surface air temperature over land and sea surface temperature."

(We note here that the previous version of the second sentence

"The average global air temperature near the Earth's surface increased 0.74 ± 0.18 °C (1.33 ± 0.32 °F) during the 100 years ending in 2005."

on which Logicus requested clarification at least because it excluded sea temperature, is thus apparently now judged to have been false, as he suspected, and was apparently due to a drafting error, at least insofar as it was intended to report an IPCC Report claim based on the IPCC definition of global surface temperature.)

COMMENT: For those WIki editors insufficiently literate in the English language to be able to identify the crucial differences between these three conflicting definitions, of whom this page sadly reveals there may be many, Logicus offers the following helpful analysis.

Definition 1 : This definition (i) includes the temperatures of both the Earth's near surface AIR and also its (near surface?) OCEANS, (ii) restricts warming to that of the last half century and (iii) includes the presumption of its projected continuation.

Amongst other things, in respect of (i) it should be noted that this definition conflicts with those definitions of gobal warming that restrict air temperatures to just those over land, thus excluding some three-quarters of global near surface air temperatures, namely those over water. It also conflicts with those definitions that do not restrict near-surface water temperatures just to OCEANS, such as definitions that include near-surface MARINE or SEA temperatures, thus also including all those SEAS that are not OCEANS e.g. the Mediterranean.

Definition 2: This definition conflicts with the opening definition because (i) it crucially excludes the near surface temperatures of OCEANS included in Definition 1, (ii) it includes the temperature of the troposphere excluded in Definition 1 and (iii) it uses the "average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface", whereas Definition 1 uses "the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air". But an average of increases in temperature, or indeed in anything, is not necessarily the same as an increase in average temperatures. Which is it ?

This definition also conflicts with all those definitions that exclude near-surface atmosphere temperatures over water, such as the IPCC definition of global surface temperature..

Definition 3 of global surface temperature: This definition (i) excludes air temperatures over seas but (ii) includes troposphere temperatures, both in conflict with Definition 1. It also conflicts with it in respect of (iii) including SEA surface temperatures rather than OCEAN near-surface temperatures, presumably a muich wider marine domain.

And in conflict wth Definition 2, it (i) excludes near-surface air temperatures over seas and also (ii) excludes troposphere temperatures.

These three different conflicting definitions may each give three different quantitative answers to what global warming has been in any period.


I suggest the current radical confusion could possibly be reduced by

(1) clarifying whether the opening Definition 1 is really intended to be consistent with the IPCC definition of global surface temperature, but was just sloppily drafted to render it inconsistent with it at least by virtue of not excluding super-ocean and super-marine air temperatures

(2) Clarifying what on earth the American EPA definition

"Global warming refers to an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and troposphere."

means in respect of (i) 'an average increase in a temperature' in contrast to 'an increase in average temperature', and (ii) 'the temperature of the troposphere' as distinct from 'the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface'. Do these apparently confusing concepts just reflect bad draftmanship by Americans or other colonials (-: illiiterate in English, or do they make intended real distinctions ? Watch this space (-:

As things stand, the IPCC and American EPA definitions and thus concepts of global warming appear to be in significant conflict at least in respect of the former referring to some average of overland near-surface air temperatures and sea surface temperatures whilst the latter refers to some average of global near-surface air temperatures and also global troposphere temperatures over both land and seas and indeed over the whole global surface e.g. also including Amazon, Congo, Mississippi, but not including any marine or water surface temperatures.

They also conflict in respect of the IPCC definition only referring to anthropogenically caused increases in temperature, as follows:

Global warming Global warming refers to the gradual increase, observed or projected, in global surface temperature, as one of the consequences of radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions.

Thus for example the stated total global surface temperature increase of 0.74 degrees C in the last century may be greater than global warming on the IPCC anthropogenic definition.


UPDATE 7.15 pm 13 October: Kenosis has now changed the ‘Terminology’ section definition of global warming to

"Global warming" refers to an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface

This thus now excludes the troposphere temperature, whereby this definition is now longer verified by the American EPA source cited, which includes troposphere temperature.

This reduced definition now conflicts with the opening definition in respect of (i) including near surface atmospheric temperatures over all water and (ii) excluding ocean surface temperatures./


In conclusion I flag the opening definition for a verifying citation, still never provided, and also for clarification in respect of whether it was meant to conform with the IPCC definition of global surface temperature, but which it does not.

And I flag the Terminology section definition for a verifying citation, and also for clarification as to the meaning of 'an average increase of temperature'.

--Logicus (talk) 18:22, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Speaking as just one participant here, I have no fundamental objection to the inclusion of the words "and in the troposphere" in keeping with the source presently used to support that part of the "Terminology" section.Please note, though, that: (1) The phrase "near the Earth's surface" can easily be read as including the troposphere. And, (2) the words "near the Earth's surface" accommodate both the description of where the measurements are taken to establish long-running temperature averages worldwide, and accommodates as well the atmospheric layers that are involved, without opening up the virtually inevitable can of worms to follow on the talk page (and/or edit warring) over whether the stratosphere and other outer layers of the atmosphere should also then be included once the troposphere is mentioned. Those other layers are involved in GW too. I should think it's best to stick to the simple definition based upon where the measurements have consistently been made to date, which is expressed by the words "near the Earth's surface". ... Kenosis (talk) 19:43, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

As to Logicus' material above, some readers may be amused at my comment: tl;dr. That is not a criticism, just a fact. I'm going to take this slowly, but "near the Earth's surface and in the troposphere" is language from the definition. The definition is sourced to the same source that has been used for it previously. If we are going to use a definition from a source, we should be very careful about warping it, even subtly. WMC has objected below, apparently to the source; well, then, do we have a better one? There seems to be some idea that we can synthesize a new definition for our purposes based on multiple definitions out there. Indeed, we can. If we have consensus, and it better be a broad consensus, because that's WP:SYNTH and to overcome that requires a solid consensus. Narrowing definitions based on selective quotation is a common POV pushing technique, and the defense against it is to become more complete; it sometimes takes a few more words: POV advocates will complain that the detail is "confusing" or "too much for the article." I'm insisting on faithfulness to sources here. Got a better source? By all means, show us!

Back to the troposphere comment: I thought about rewording it, and we might do that. The troposphere includes the "atmosphere near the Earth's surface," so just "troposphere" would be correct, but ... that's not so good for a popular article. "Near the Earth's surface" to a common reader would imply air temperatures very near the surface, i.e., where we live. My conclusion was that, though it was a bit redundant, the definition as-is from the EPA was best, at least for now. --Abd (talk) 20:09, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

Abd: What you say in the second paragraph of yours right above seems a fair enough argument. IMO, given the available range of major reliable sources we have to work with here, we ought add some more citations. But, this is of course an editing decision among the many participants in this article who come and go in varying degrees over time, depending on how controversial some particular issue(s) may be at a given time, depending on personal availability, etc. It seems to me that the use of the phrase "near the Earth's surface" is a completely reasonable editorial decision as to how to introduce to readers of varying levels of technical prowess the concepts and facts discussed in the article. ... Kenosis (talk) 01:24, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
May I point out this suggestion: [17]? As for the troposphere issue, the troposhere is, by definition, well-mixed, so any near-surface warming will affect the troposphere. However, I think the IPCC is a better source that EPA. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 20:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Marginally. I think the EPA is only more reliable a source than big oil, but that's just barely. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 20:52, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Better source for what? In fact, these sources represent the terms as used by different populations. I responded to the comment Stephan pointed to, above, after it. It may be that we end up with more definitions in the section. I have a compromise in mind, it may be easier to do it than to explain it. If the text is still there when I look! --Abd (talk) 20:55, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
There is more than one definition of GW. They are not necessarily strictly compatible. Reverting one back in on the grounds that the EPA sez so isn't going to work. Stop it. The IPCC defn [18] Stephan quotes Q quoting says Global warming refers to the gradual increase... as one of the consequences of radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions. Literally, this defines GW as anthropogenic and rules out a natural cause. We're not going to use that defn. We're going to write our own William M. Connolley (talk) 21:00, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
WMC, I'm not sure what you're saying. I reverted back from using the EPA definition, which I don't consider to be reliable. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 21:03, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
I was talking to Abd, not you :-) William M. Connolley (talk) 21:19, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
William, I am sure that most of us can write a better definition than the IPCC. But aren't you the one who says no original research? I have collected quite a few definitions of Global Warming and Greenhouse Effect, many from authoritative sites such as noaa and usgs. Some of the differences are shocking. For instance, most Greenhouse Effect definitions ignore sensible and latent heat, and some sites define Global Warming as a result of the Greenhouse Effect. As such, I think that it is wrong to define these terms separately. Q Science (talk) 22:00, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Re GHE: I agree. There are a shocking number of sites out there that should know better that illustrate the GHE by pix of the earth in a GH. This is why we shouldn't copy external sources blindly. Meanwhile, what are you proposing? I have pointed out a fatal flaw in the IPCC defn you quoted, for our purposes William M. Connolley (talk) 22:25, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

(ec) It seems you are missing the point, William (as did OM). We are using the EPA definition, sourcing our text to them. It's just that we stripped half of it out. That is not acceptable. That is distortion of sources, and is actually a serious problem. As to "writing our own," I've covered that above. It's a possibility. But it requires consensus, and probably true consensus, not merely some majority, because "writing our own definitions" is WP:SYNTH and probably won't be supported unless it is done very, very well. Meanwhile, what do we have until then? Something distorted from the source used to justify it? I've asked OM to revert himself, and suggested how he could balance out any possible spin coming from bias at the EPA source, or simply accidentally. --Abd (talk) 22:07, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

You've asked OM to self-rv. He has quite properly ignored you. I know you; you will talk about process endlessly, because thats what interests you. No, we're not using the EPA defn William M. Connolley (talk) 22:25, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Since editorial process seems to be part of the argument here, I'll weigh in again. I support WMC's assertion that this is an appropriate definition of GW according to the reliable sources, consistent with the long consensused scope of this article. I say this with only one caveat, which is that perhaps it would be useful to add additional sourcing to support this editorial decision. ... Kenosis (talk) 02:03, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
You think you know me, William. You once told me that I was trying to teach my grandmother to suck eggs. I'm not old enough to be your grandmother, just to be your father. It's dangerous for a young man to assume he understands an old one. I asked OM to self-revert because his comment more or less invited it, i.e., he acknowledged that his revert was problematic. I asked him on his Talk page because it was a personal request. He did not ignore it, as you can see below.
As to "not using the EPA defn," this is what is in the article, as this is written:
In common usage, "Global warming" refers to the recent average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.[1]
From the EPA site:
In common usage, "global warming" often refers to the warming that can occur as a result of increased emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.
Notice that our definition is, as it should be, and indeed must be, sourced. The source is the EPA site. On what basis can you claim, seeing this, that "we're not using the EPA defn"?
But I must say, that it's correct we aren't using it. Because we have misquoted it, we've taken half of it and left out the other half. We've shifted the emphasis, and, from comments made here, it seems the shift is deliberate. We shifted emphasis because we have a point to make. But that is precisely what we are to avoid. That's POV spin. We took a complete definition, used half of it, then shoved around the other half, without any source, to shift the weight to a direction we think, presumably, is "better." In this case this seems to be an idea that "Global warming" should immediately be linked, automatically, for the reader, to anthropogenesis, and that this meaning of the word, the "common" one -- it's not quite clear what that means -- is what should lead. I find it problematic to consider this "scientific," though. It's always bad science to define effects in terms of presumed causes, no matter how much consensus is behind it. Lung cancer is a disease phenomenon, we don't need to describe it in terms of smoking. Global warming is a dangerous beast, no matter what is causing it.
I mention the "other half." In the text I'd asserted, I simply copied the entire definition, as-is. What's in the current text includes this, not specifically sourced:
It may also, less commonly, be used to refer to other episodes of warming in Earth's history. In scientific circles, the phrase "anthropogenic climate change" may be preferred.
This seems to be a rough equivalent to what the EPA has as the beginning of their definition.
Global warming is an average increase in the temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface and in the troposphere, which can contribute to changes in global climate patterns. Global warming can occur from a variety of causes, both natural and human induced.
Notice in our text we have the claim that "anthropogenic climate change" may be preferred in scientific circles. Preferred for what? For "global warming," of course. But what does that leave us as a term for warming of the planet, generic, covering "other episodes" or possible causes? Would you have us use "non-anthropogenic global warming" for that? It would be an oxymoron, though, if "global warming" means "human-caused warming." I think that the politics of this has gotten you wrapped up and committed to a particular position. Hang the politics. Let's go for simple, clear language, explicitly verifiable from reliable sources or attributed if the sources are reasonably questionable but still notable, and leave the spin to spin doctors, politicians, and other assorted fanatics and manipulators. We need to recognize spin, because it matters, but the way to fix spin isn't to insist on spin in a particular direction. It's to insist on clear verifiability, on avoidance of synthesis except where it truly enjoys consensus, to trust the reports of the "other side" when they say they see spin in some restricted version of the text, and to seek consensus on the text. Including those "POV pushers" who some are so quick to dismiss. If we could get rid of all "POV pushers," maybe, except I'm not sure we'd have many editors left to do the work.
Damn straight I'll talk about process. Process isn't important when people quickly find consensus, but when that breaks down, as it obviously has, it becomes crucial. Wikipedia has truly excellent process available, when it's used and when people are paying attention. And it takes effort and it takes time, particularly if it is not to be disruptive. --Abd (talk) 02:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The edit summary to this post immediately above said: 'WMC, we are using the EPA definition, almost verbatim, sourced to the EPA. But just half of it. Our other half isn't sourced, unless to them and garbled' : I'll respond to that. I added the IPCC 2007 Fourth Assessment Report as an additional citation. There are numerous additional reliable sources for the definitional statement in the "Terminology" section which says "near the Earth's surface". The IPCC also uses an "almost verbatim" definition remarkably similar to that used by the EPA, but which can be very accurately related in this WP article simply by use of the words "near the Earth's surface". I don't mean to be the least bit "smart" here, but would anyone here care to hazard a guess which came first? (Hint: The 2007 IPCC report linked to in the citation was the Fourth report. The first IPCC Report was in 2004. The EPA document is dated 2005. But it's just a hint, because I haven't looked up the text of the IPCC First and Second Report yet.) ... Kenosis (talk) 02:52, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
The main IPCC Assessment reports are 1990, 1995, 2001, and 2007. Dragons flight (talk) 04:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks Dragons flight. I hadn't had a chance to find that out yet. So, the Third Assessment Report predates the EPA usage by four years. I still can't find the darn thing online. ... Kenosis (talk) 14:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
IPCC - 1995, AR3 (2001), AR4 (2007) Glossaries - Global Warming was not included until 2007. Maybe there is something inside the text. Q Science (talk) 17:57, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the link. The words "global warming" are used 11 times in the 2001 glossary, though they're not really defined. Still trying to find an online access to the 2001 report itself. Either way, it's clear from scanning the 2007 report that the words "near the earth's surface" are a very reasonable expression of the terminology used in the Fourth Report. In the meantime, it appears the Terminology section itself is up for grabs. But it seems to me we ought be prepared to back up definitions with several citations, since as we already have reason to believe, the US EPA is not necessarily always the most objective of the available sources on such issues. ... Kenosis (talk) 18:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Your revert on Global warming, move from User talk:Orangemarlin

OM, you reverted my edit restoring sourced material in the Terminology section of Global warming, with the summary, I"m sorry, but the EPA is not a reliable source, being a governmental agency. Were you aware that the agency (the EPA) was the source for the definition there before my edit, in my edit, and in your restored version? If it's not a reliable source, something I'm not debating yet, then what is the reliable source for our definition? I'm sure that the EPA definition was carefully crafted to be broadly inoffensive, which might be exactly what we need, as long as it is accurate, and it seemed to me that it is. I think that the Terminology section would better be improved, if necessary, not by removing sourced material, but by adding other definitions, if more is truly needed. (The UNFCC definition was still in there in my version.) Perhaps they should be explicitly sourced.

I'm requesting that you to restore my version, which was carefully constructed from the sources and presented to be without bias or spin, except for such that might be present in the source. You could then add attribution to the EPA definition: perhaps you could write: "According to the corrupt Republican EPA ...." Or, seriously, you could add mention of the IPCC usage.

I do think it very important, though, that we have a simple term we can use to refer to the warming without the cause being incorporated into its definition. From the simple meanings of words, "global warming" would seem to be it. Got a better suggestion? --Abd (talk) 21:30, 13 October 2008 (UTC)

I am not aware of what was there before your edit. The EPA is a governmental body whose sole purpose is to support the strategies of the party and president in power currently. I'm sure the definition will change once Obama is elected. Global warming has a simple meaning now, human related temperature changes. Any other definition begins to be POV, especially by trying to give equal weight to ideas that just aren't neutral. So, I'm not going to revert myself. If someone else wants to that's fine, I'll still disagree. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 23:54, 13 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for responding, OM. However, sometimes I wonder if I only imagine I'm writing in English. The current definition in the article is sourced to the EPA. In any case, we currently have unsourced definition of global warming, having removed part of the sourced definition and replaced that part with unsourced definition. My edit was sourced, completely. There was practically no synthesis in it, no quotation out of context. It seems you didn't compare my edit with what you reverted it to. So what was the basis for your revert? Distrust of the source? If so, and if the source is notable, as it certainly is, -- and obviously it's been considered reliable enough to stand in the article for quite some time -- then attribution would be the solution, not reversion to remove verifiable material and replace it with synthesis. What do you say about something as crucial as the definition of "global warming" being unsourced, made-up, presumably as being more informative or better in some way than what is available in the massive sources?
What you removed, though, this allegedly biased material, simply defines "global warming" as, well, warming of the troposphere, particularly at the surface. This is biased? The text was complete: it went on to note the common usage that implies anthropogenesis. What was wrong with it? I still think we'll be better off if you revert yourself, it would set an excellent precedent here, we are going to need more true team editors. You've got some time, unless someone else reverts you, which I'd rather not see. Your choice, it's not a big deal. I think. I've learned a lot from reading Raul654/Raul's laws, I recommend it, plus WP:DGAF.

--Abd (talk) 03:00, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

No warming from 1940 to 2008

It is a load of rubbish don't believe —Preceding unsigned comment added by DAFandDAVE (talkcontribs) 22:40, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Global temperatures are the same as as they were 68 years ago, despite an increase of 800(?)% in human caused CO2 levels. [19] How could this finding be incorporated into the article? rossnixon 02:13, 23 September 2008 (UTC)

Given that your source is a blog, and that, as we hopefully all know, mentioning the emission of CO2 is a red herring (the atmospheric concentration is what is relevant), and that the author cannot distinguish weather and climate, and that he pick the most conservative interpretation of the temperature measure that shows the smallest increase in temperature, I would suggest "not at all" unless we can get a proper peer-reviewed paper. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:42, 23 September 2008 (UTC)
It is valid to point out that the blog author uses the most conservative sources for his reference, but is it not also valid to point out that this article tends not to cite those conservative sources in favour of land based measurements, the accuracy of which is under sustained attack? Wattsupwith that? :) Jaimaster (talk) 04:25, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Assessments of the trend in global average temperature take into account a great many factors, including satellite measurements, land surface measurements, oceans surface measurements, weather balloons on so on. There are also secondary indicators of a warming climate, such as sea level rise, melting permafrost, loss of sea-ice extent, and so on. The author cited has cherry picked a data set that serves his purposes, and has neglected to give any treatment to the complexities or differences between surface measurements and satellite measurements of the lower atmosphere. The article further discredits itself by suggesting that Global Cooling is implied. Most of the heat that has been added to the Earth has been absorbed by the surface layers of the ocean, but this is conspicuously not mentioned. Data taken out of context is meaningless. This article speaks to some of the differences between satellite and surface measurements. [20] Even if the troposphere really hadn't warmed, it would be cause for us to reevaluate our understanding of how the atmosphere reacts during a warming event, and not reason to discount every other indicator that the planet has indeed warmed. Mishlai (talk) 05:05, 26 September 2008 (UTC)
Well said. Regarding the troposphere not warming, why is it only cause to re-evaluate our understanding of how the atmosphere reacts to a warming event, and not also cause to re-eveluate our hypothosised causation for that warming event as well? Jaimaster (talk) 08:33, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Again, I'm not sure the cause of any kind of planetary warming on Earth in the 20th and 21st century has any place in an article on "global warming" in general. Any kind of warming on any planet could count as "global warming," and I feel modern anthropogenic global warming science should be reflected on an article set aside to discuss that particular subject.HillChris1234 (talk) 18:28, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

The terminology and topic of the article is consistent with the way it is used in the media and other sources. Mishlai (talk) 00:09, 2 October 2008 (UTC)

Deleted the terminology section

Since we've seen that there's no single definition of global warming, we will end up either (1) misleadingly proposing a single definition, or (2) generating a painful, meandering "source a says this, while source b says that, and source c has elements of both with some NEW AND IMPROVED ingredients of its own, notwithstanding source d which asserts..." ad nauseam. I recall the "terminology" section was a relic of an old edit war anyway. So I deleted it. So kill me. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:54, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Thought of doing that myself, actually. I've used that response before when a POV cabal was insisting on selective quotation. I'll think about it. The definition of global warming -- a complete and sourced definition -- is important. Perhaps it should be in the lead. The way I had it, the Terminology section was clear and laid out the two main meanings of "global warming," it wasn't complicated. I didn't personally think that attribution was necessary, because, though I agree that the EPA shouldn't be used without caution, the definition seemed fair, neutral, and complete (i.e., included the meaning of "anthropogenic global warming"). There are reasons, though, for having a term that we use to refer to global warming that isn't contaminated with theory or conclusion or even fact about cause. (Nobody claims that global warming cannot or could not happen from non-anthropogenic causes, because, obviously, it has, though not necessarily with the rapidity that it seems to be currently coming on.)
I have still not seen any criticism of the actual text that I'd edited for the Terminology section, only a revert based on distrust of the EPA that seems clearly a flawed basis for removal of the material. (I.e, argumentum ad hominem, or Appeal to motive, because if the corrupt officials at the EPA say it, it must be biased.) Removal is more direct and avoids the problem of impeaching the source while relying on it. So I have some admiration for Boris's action. Even if we do decide to bring the section back. --Abd (talk) 03:13, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
quite liked the removal. A WP:BOLD winner right here, for my money. Jaimaster (talk) 03:14, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Javascap, however, has restored it. Sit back and enjoy the show. --Abd (talk) 03:18, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
And then KimDabelsteinPetersen reverted and then User:Kenosis reverted her! And I've still got two reverts left I could use in the next few hours! And so does everyone else! Nah, I'll go to bed. It doesn't matter what version lasts for a few more hours.... --Abd (talk) 04:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I respectfully disagree with User:SBHS's removal of the section, at least based on the arguments presented thus far in the current discussion. In whatever way participants might argue about the specific content of that section for whatever reasons they're motivated by, IMO that section has potential to be very informative to readers about important aspects of how terms/phrases such as "global warming", "climate change" and others are used by various reliable sources in the global discussion. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:34, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree, Kenosis. And could say more, and won't now. --Abd (talk) 04:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I really do not see the reason for this - climate change should be wiki-linked early though, so that the reader can look this up. Possibly with an extension of the dablink with a "for the more generic term see Climate change". --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 03:41, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Well, Kim, there is the same problem with Climate change, and that term is only more generic in one sense, not in the other (i.e., climate change includes other changes besides temperature, global warming in the EPA sense means warming from all or any causes, not only from human activity, and thus applies outside the current situation. In the end, though, it still melts ice. --Abd (talk) 04:19, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

It's been said we don't vote on Wikipedia. That's not really true: apparently we use Range voting, where each editor casts, in the form of a revert, their vote for their favorite version, and they can cast multiple votes, up to the limit they are willing to use considering possible sanctions for edit warring. Thus each voter expresses how strongly they want that version. The winner is the version with the most votes (reversions). What's wrong with this picture? Folks, repeated restoration of a version without participation in discussion, without efforts to find consensus instead of merely to insist on a particular version, is edit warring, even if the individual editors only make one revert. Beyond, maybe an initial revert as some kind of gesture meaning, "Really? Please consider this again," repeatedly bouncing back and forth of versions is potentially blockable. Stop. If I wanted to see people blocked, I'd be dropping warnings on Talk pages. I don't want to see that. I want participation. Kim, "I don't see" isn't a discussion of content, it only tells us what you don't know or see. You took out sourced content, with no real discussion, to repeat an earlier edit. That could be looked upon rather dimly later. Kenosis, I'd be saying something analogous to you, but for one thing: you are standing for sourced content that's been in the article for quite some time, removed without an argument that would establish a need for removal. Boris didn't really give a content argument, and Kim certainly did not. One thing I'll say, though, this is quite entertaining. What will happen next? --Abd (talk) 04:36, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I most certainly did give a content argument, and it was a very good argument indeed if I say so myself. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:12, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Goes to show. You gave a reason, Boris, but it wasn't exactly a content argument, i.e., it did not specifically criticize the content you removed. Let me repeat your argument: since there isn't a single definition of the term "global warming," it is complicated or it will get complicated. You also noted that the Terminology section was a "relic of an old edit war anyway." Relics of edit wars tend to be some kind of consensus solution, so this is not only an argument from source (a variant of "it's wrong because the editor who put it was a POV pusher"), if it is not merely dicta, it indicates a probability that consensus content is being removed. You did not actually assert that there was anything defective with the existing version. It seems that your edit was more like, "Well, if you are going to fight about it, kids, I'm going to put it away until you can agree." It was this aspect of your edit that I approved, but concluded, as did some others, that it was still better to have the section.
The definition I had in my version was complete, to my knowledge, covered all the existing uses, was fully sourced (actually quoted from source), and nobody actually claimed that it was incorrect or improper. Rather, for reasons that I can only connect with POV, spin, article politics, and/or assumptions about motives, it was reverted to another version which was roughly the same, it simply had different emphasis, and the emphasis seems to have been synthesized here, the differing text wasn't sourced. Now, Boris, I'll replace my version today if I don't see a good reason not to, and please judge it on its own merits before deciding to remove it. I'm discovering first-hand why so many editors have ended up blocked trying to work on these articles. I'd observed it previously when I carefully reviewed GoRight's history with the Global warming articles to see what the hell had happened, documented in Wikipedia:Requests for comment/GoRight and evidence and extended comment files in my user space (referenced from the RfC). --Abd (talk) 13:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I second that. For those who want to continue this discussion, I've moved the material under contention to the sandbox. --Skyemoor (talk) 13:28, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
working space, good idea. I've moved it to Talk:Global warming/Terminology section. I've put three versions there: a version by Boris, the next version that I put together to include full definition from the source being used, and the version that existed prior to removal and the edit warring over that. Which version should we have in the article, pending? Given that nobody has actually objected to the content in my version as being inaccurate, distorted, unfaithful to source, or selectively quoted, I'd prefer my version (Version 2 in the Sandbox). But several editors have supported (by reverting it back in), Version 3. And Version 1 in the workspace was Boris's brief version prior to my expansion. For the moment, I'd accept any of these versions as we work on it. I'm thinking about which one to put in.... --Abd (talk) 14:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec)I'm a bit puzzled by what's going on. I went ahead and replaced my full version for the Terminology section into the article as a seed, since it contains, I think, all the elements (except maybe one or two) that have recently been proposed for it. However, I'm by no means stuck on the specifics of the section, my version is merely (1) fully sourced, (2) no specific bias has been alleged, only claims that the EPA is biased, and (3) the basics of this have been in the article for 1000 revisions, easily six months or more. (I referenced this in Talk:Global warming/Terminology section; I didn't look back any further). On the Talk page, Version 1 was extensively rewritten by Boris from my version prior to my full one. It's quite a decent version, I merely think mine better in certain ways. Version 3 was supported by several editors, and was specifically opposed by none, and it is very close to what existed nine months ago. (They are all variations of that long-standing version, significant differences are likely to be visible only to serious POV maintainers or pushers, who get excited about nuances and subtle spin.) This is sourced material, using a source that has been accepted by the editors of this article for a long, long time, and the sequence wasn't that the source was challenged. Rather, specific and to my vision neutral language from that source was removed because of some unspecified alleged bias. The rest of the material from that source was left and is in all versions in some paraphrase or other. And there is other sourced material in this section, unchallenged by anyone ... and all of this was removed, for no clear reason.

So, then, the edit summaries given by Skyemoor for his two reverts within the last 24 hours are:

  • 13:35, 14 October 2008 Skyemoor m (110,298 bytes) (→Terminology: Let's not edit war, let's discuss this section in the sandbox, where this text has been moved to.)
  • 17:57, 14 October 2008 Skyemoor (110,298 bytes) (Undid revision 245250050 by Abd (talk)Let's arrive at a consensus first in the sandbox, or continued edit warring will ensue.)

Now, this is continuing the repeated removal of sourced material, apparently generally enjoying consensus (though not without some criticism), for a long time, stable in the article, based on no sound policy or guideline. Avoiding edit warring is not a reason to remove sourced and non-violating material from an article. And what is happening here is that edit war is being maintained, not for content reasons -- which can be bad enough -- but in the name of avoiding edit warring. Skyemoor has gone to 2RR today, which is more than this article has seen for some time, everyone else has restrained themselves to 1RR. Except I see that I did, in fact, have less than 24 hours from my previous revert. I was thinking that it had been more, it wasn't my intention to exceed one. But Skyemoor's second revert came less than four hours after his first, and I don't see any content-related argument he's made in the interim. Instead, on the working page, he's focusing on political criticism of the EPA, which is utterly beside the point.

I'm thinking that it might be appropriate to start warning for repeated removal of sourced material. We have three decent versions in the working page and I certainly wouldn't be having any problem with any of them. It is only the removal that is now causing edit warring. Stop it. --Abd (talk) 18:52, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Shame on you, you know very well that the questioning of the EPA source was not political criticism, but based on history of scientific malfeasance in their treatment of Global Warming. We have to take our material from WP:RS, so I brought up the very valid point of veracity from this source. Odd that you criticize me for 2RR when you did it yourself, then make an excuse. I agree that I did indeed did commit 2RR, though it's been quite some time since I have been steadily editing this article (indeed, it's only be recently that I've been editing at all again), so your reminder about this article being 1RR is helpful. Just make sure you heed your own warnings. --Skyemoor (talk) 21:20, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm not happy with deleting the terminology section. I think the distinction between the way different sources use the words is useful. But I won't revert Comrade Boris William M. Connolley (talk) 18:45, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

Unfortunately, now the first sentence in the lead (definition of global warming) not only violates WP:LEAD ("Significant information should not appear in the lead if it is not covered in the remainder of the article"), it also appears to remain unverified (please show me a source that verifies the definition, without violation of WP:OR). --Phenylalanine (talk) 11:14, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Also, if reliable sources are not consistent in their definition of GW, then this inconsistency should be described in the article (in a terminology section): "There are various definitions of GW [insert examples from reliable sources], including [insert sourced definition] which is used in this article." or something like that would be in order. Failing to do so violates WP:NPOV, as the major reliably sourced views on the definition of GW should be given due weight. --Phenylalanine (talk) 11:41, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

So wot is warming globally ?

--Logicus (talk) 18:18, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

<vast cut - we've seen all this before, don't repeat yourself William M. Connolley (talk) 18:48, 14 October 2008 (UTC)>

I've restored the Logicus commentary; it's what started this section and later comment was based on it. I've collapsed it to reflect WMC's opinion but still allow it to be easily read. --Abd (talk) 14:53, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Note that some of it was literally a repetition of what was above. I'm not going to decide at this time if that part should be removed, because it would also involve a little editing of the new part, and, really, Logicus should do that if he cares. (I presume that it was repeated because Logicus thought that the prior text had been ignored, and he was justifying his placement of tags in the article. Let me suggest that, in the future, if commentary is, for you, TL;DR, that you simply do what the label implies: don't read it. And don't remove it. Ignore it. If part of it is important, this will come out in later discussion, as others pick up on it, or not. --Abd (talk) 15:00, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Sorry there is a limit to how long the confusion of an individual can be allowed to spill into a featured article, I am reverting these inappropriate labels, --BozMo talk 18:29, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
And why is this very long commentary repeated again? And what is "wot"? Is that a word? OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 18:30, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Something tells me we're a hairsbreadth from a request for comment or more definitive action regarding the behavior of Logicus. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:43, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I'd prefer not to see that. An RfC on Logicus, at this point, would be expanded or paralleled with such covering the whole troop of editors involved. WMC has already taken an action with the article that was a blatant violation of standards for administrators (i.e., unprotected an article he is intimately involved with, wheel-warring with another admin), that, from clear ArbComm precedent with other valuable administrators, could result in the loss of his bit. The removal of the comment above, as well, could certainly be justified, but it's also quite a questionable act. I've done far less and been threatened with blocking. (I.e. deleted comments of another editor, comment that wasn't vandalism or personal attack. His edit summary showed ownership of the article. I'm hoping that he'll smell the coffee and fix the problem, but it looks like he's determined to stonewall, which would be unfortunate. I don't think that will fly this time, but, hey, my crystal ball is broken. I only mention WMC because (1) it just happened and (2) it's an example of this:
It is very, very obvious to me that, in addition to neutral editors working on this article, and who aren't personally attached to the specific topic, there are some who, long term, are very, very invested here, or who, for whatever reason, routinely act together to maintain a certain POV or "feel" for the article. These articles were the ones that educated me about tag-teaming that wasn't necessarily being done by some true cabal. I've seen this for months, it's been covered in the media, it's really a scandal, even though much of it had blown over. It blew over without some pretty blatant aspects of the problem being addressed. Maybe it is time, but I'd much rather see agreements negotiated, text negotiated, with minimal disruption. User RfCs are disruptive, when they involve editors and groups of editors like those involved here. AN/I reports are disruptive. Mediation and arbitration can take up enormous amounts of editor time. But there are some very basic Wikipedia principles that are being frequently violated here, and it's been doing damage for a long time. --Abd (talk) 23:01, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
He was blocked by Raul654 for "disruption". Jaimaster (talk) 00:55, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd, I beg to differ. There was no edit-war going on here, and some admin decided to take it upon herself to protect the article? I don't happen to agree with the science of this article, but I find it eminently NPOV and well-written. Logicus' comments were confusing, although I did ask that one or two of the questions be answered. WMC's actions were reasonable, given the fact that the article was not in the throes of an edit-war. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 01:07, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Protecting an article - and thereby risking protecting the "wrong version" - is a problem, if only because it is against the principles of "anyone can edit". Nevertheless, I'll happily accept that it is often necessary. :) In that case, distance would probably be wise, so an involved admin might not be the best choice if protecting for edit warring, (but would be ok if protecting for vandalism). However, I would have thought that unprotecting an article to see if the edit warring or vandalism has died down was normal practice, and would be largely uncontroversial. After all, it is simply a process of returning the article to the state it is meant to be in. - Bilby (talk) 01:24, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Mishlai (talk) 01:36, 15 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, it seems the shit is hitting the fan. Where to begin? How about with some facts? There was edit warring going on here, I have the diffs compiled, and it's silly to pretend that it wasn't happening. That was my judgment, that it was edit warring, and it was also the judgment of others, take a look at the edit summaries. I was thinking of going to WP:RFPP to ask for protection, so I wasn't surprised to see the article protected. What might have been surprising was to see WMC unprotect the article immediately. Except that I've seen him do that kind of thing before. Bilby, you don't seem to have the history of this straight. Jennavecia protected, WMC immediately unprotected without discussion with her. That's wheel-warring, even if he had not been involved. As an involved editor, for him to use his admin tools to protect or unprotect is abuse of tools and grounds for loss of admin privileges, if he doesn't acknowledge the error. Whether or not protection was "correct" isn't relevant to that. There was no emergency.

And now Raul654 has blocked User:Logicus. Logicus was never warned on his Talk page. There was no emergency. Raul654 is heavily involved with the global warming articles. Because of his involvement, his block is likewise improper. I've asked (on Logicus Talk, which Raul654 should be monitoring) him to unblock for this reason. That's entirely aside from a block being total overkill. This is an administrative riot. I'm going to bed, and will be meditating on WP:DGAF pending. -- —Preceding unsigned comment added by Abd (talkcontribs)

blatant violation of standards for administrators... determined to stonewall... really a scandal... shit is hitting the fan... administrative riot... My goodness! Things would be in a pretty pass were any of that true. But happily, That was my judgment is the relevant phrase, and your judgement is wrong. Please stop clogging up the talk page, we need it to discuss improving the article William M. Connolley (talk) 07:23, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Time will tell. --Abd (talk) 15:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
As usual, ABD's interpreations of policy and his statements about what happened are way off the mark. Logicus received multiple warnings on this page before being blocked, although there is no such requirement in policy that he have recieved one before being blocked (that is merely a courtesy); editing an article that someone else has does not make one involved in a dispute with that user such that a block would be unseemly. Raul654 (talk) 07:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Feeble wikilawyering. It won't stand if examined. Some users here have interpreted warnings or predictions as threats. However, I don't have any big stick, just a big mouth. And what we've seen here is two admins willing to use tools in a situation where they are clearly involved, one of whom is far from an ordinary admin (i.e., bureaucrat, checkuser, and ArbComm emeritus, highly experienced and respected). It would have disruptive effect to try to find out definitively whether or not this is acceptable, but I'll predict that we will. The situation is becoming too obvious to too many administrators, other editors, and even the outside world. Look at Wikipedia:Requests for comment/GoRight. This was filed by Raul654 and cosigned by William M. Connolley. The conclusion was a sanction for GoRight, but the majority opinion there was that GoRight's misbehavior was not unique, and the conclusion was only applied to GoRight for technical reasons: the RfC was about him, not the others. And the other involved editors: the same list, largely, as we still find continuing the same behavior. --Abd (talk) 15:40, 15 October 2008
This page is for discussion to improve the article, not idle ruminations and grumblings about who has the biggest mouth. --Skyemoor (talk) 02:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd, you're right, in that I'd been following the discussion here, but had missed the discussions on the talk pages (for obvious reasons, I suppose). :) Nevertheless, while it might, possibly, be regarded as wheel warring, it is going to be the mildest kind possible. I would suggest that it was at worst impolite. I can understand an involved admin warring by protecting a page to guard their "wrong version", and this would be bad, but unprotecting a page isn't a matter of self-interest. The exact opposite, in fact. At any rate, WMC was proven correct - there was no edit warring after the article was unprotected, so at the moment it is looking like a good call. You might want to question the methods, but I'm happy to accept the reasons and the results. *shrug* - Bilby (talk) 09:38, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Edit warring stopped because there are involved editors who have some self-restraint, and the other side thus prevailed, i.e., the ping-ponging content, even though it had the benefit of long-standing consensus, even though it was fully-sourced and totally accurate to source, even though the reverts made no sense (revert to removal of long-standing sourced content in order to stop edit warring?), went in one direction because the other side was willing to start using rapid, multiple reverts. Even then, I was highly tempted to revert. But I don't use reverts once it's clear that the other side is intransigent, which had become clear. I use WP:DR tools, and that takes time. I've already gone through the first stages, ordinary discussion, so we will may move to more involved procedures, and that, unfortunately, can be disruptive in the sense of keeping me and others from the task that WMC laments we are being diverted from. I lament it too. But I don't delete warnings, suggestions, comments from my Talk pages, dismissively, and I don't stonewall. Yup. Stonewall. It works, often. It won't continue to do so -- or Wikipedia will have, ultimately, gone down the tubes. --Abd (talk) 15:40, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, I agree with you - the edit warring stopped because the involved editors showed self-restraint. Which is a fine method of stopping edit warring. :) If they managed stop edit warring, and didn't engage in it when it was then unprotected, then clearly unprotecting was the right move, even if one might argue it happened for the wrong reasons (although AGF would lead me to presume otherwise). The rest may be true enough, but they're not a protecting/unprotecting concern. - Bilby (talk) 21:55, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Bilby, it is said that it takes two to edit war. That's not exactly true, but it's certainly true that it takes two to continue an edit war. What happened here is exactly what I've seen happen many times with the GW articles: an edit war starts up, and, way too often, it ends in one of two ways. Either the interloper, the outsider, gives up and goes away, often after being abused (including ridicule or personal attack) or warned about being blocked, or the outsider is blocked or otherwise sanctioned, with or without 3RR violation. The "restraint" is being shown by the outsider. I believe I could establish this with analysis of the edit wars on these article; however, it's late, I'm got some kind of flu, and I've got two little girls to get up, feed, and get to school in the morning, so I'm not going to go on about this at this time, I'll just look around a little and see if I can get some actual article editing done. --Abd (talk) 01:53, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Would the correct course of action not have instead been to message the protecting admin, explain reasoning and request an unblock? Jennavecia was onlineat the time, as shown by [her protest].
Raul, could you favour us with a single dif where Logicus was warned he could be blocked on this page? Jaimaster (talk) 22:08, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, consultation before reversing an admin action is considered essential. Admins who in a non-emergency situation reverse the administrative action of another admin, without discussion, find one of three things happening: it blows away because nobody cares enough to do anything about it (the most common result), they apologize and say they won't do it again, or they lose their tools. Many admins are very reluctant to reverse even an abusive action of another admin without discussion with the admin, and they should be. Rather, if they cannot agree after discussion with the acting admin, they take the matter to a noticeboard for broader discussion, and as a result, some previously uninvolved admin, usually, will close a discussion with a confirmation of the original action or will close it by reversing it. I'd predict that there is something more than a snowball's chance in hell that if someone with the motivation and guts and experience to take either of the two actions that took place yesterday to ArbComm, we'd see some apologies or we'd see one or two fewer administrators. It's very tricky because (1) User:William M. Connolley is very popular with some, and he's notable, i.e., he is indeed William Connolley, and (2) User:Raul654 is not just an administrator, he's a bureaucrat (he can set or reset administrative privileges), he's a checkuser (he can tell what IP you are editing from), and he is a former member of ArbComm. He did not get these tools and positions without being, first, very useful to the project, and, second, widely trusted. Proceeding to, say, RfC either of these users, not to mention both, is not something to be lightly taken on, it could be hazardous to your wiki-health. It is not something to be undertaken alone. But the guidelines and principles and policies on all this are quite clear, what is difficult is the politics of it. I've been warning WMC for quite some time that he's risking his admin bit, and he blows it off, I'd guess because he's been dodging the bullet. Take a look at two appearances before ArbComm:
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Climate change dispute (old, 2005)
Wikipedia:Requests for arbitration/Geogre-William M. Connolley (very recent).
It's quite apparent from his responses to me and to others, such as Jennavecia, that he thinks he can't be seriously touched. The latest ArbComm decision had quite a few editors floored. Other administrators who'd done similar things have been desysopped or resigned under a cloud (Tango, Physchim62). He was simply told, "Don't do this again with this particular editor." I'm still trying to figure out what was behind this decision! However, with respect to WMC's massive removal of text by Logicus from this page, see [21]. --Abd (talk) 02:55, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Way out of line here - that 2005 event was prior to WMC becomming an admin. Now this is starting to look like an attack on a user and is definetly not related to the purpose of this talk page. In short ABD is looking quite tendentious and needs to cool it a bit and do some constructive work rather than wikilawering and drama enhancing. Get back on topic - this page is not for attacking other editors. Vsmith (talk) 03:37, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
[22] It's not explicit, and I'm not really commenting on administrative policy because I'm ignorant of it, but Logicus's contributions to the discussion had become frustrating for me and I certainly considered him to be disruptive and had begun to question his good faith myself as you can see here [23] Mishlai (talk) 22:26, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Jaimaster, I happily agree - it would have been a much better process. But the query was whether or not this is "abuse of tools and grounds for loss of admin privileges", or just an admin impolitely unprotecting a page. I'm going with the latter. But to be honest, it all seems a tad out of proportion, whether it was incorrect or not. And I wouldn't have thought it would warrant this much debate. - Bilby (talk) 22:41, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Mishlai, Logicus was banned for an edit made at 18:23. The dif from Boris is 18:43.
I agree that his edits were getting painful. I am merely pointing out that the closest thing to a warning he got on this talk page was probably your own comment about disruption - as I noted on his talk page.
Bilby, I agree - but I think Abd's view is built on more than just this single action. Jaimaster (talk) 22:53, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Fair enough. Mishlai (talk) 23:37, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
Contrary to the above impliciations, there is no requirement that a user be warned prior to a block, nor explicitely threatend with a block. Warning is not a prerequisite for blocking (particularly with respect to blocks for protection) but administrators should generally ensure that users are aware of policies, and give them reasonable opportunity to adjust their behaviour accordingly, before blocking - Wikipedia:Block. Logicus was well aware of policy, given that he was warned about his disruptive behavior on this talk page numerous times prior to the block.
This constituted more than suffecient warning. Further disruption of this or any other form by Logicus will result in progressively longer blocks. Raul654 (talk) 03:21, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Ummmmm, why are we discussing a block on this page? I vote this thread be moved someplace else. And Logicus had ample warning to behave himself. His questions were spammed across several pages, and any attempt to discuss it should be taken to AN/I or possibly the shredder. OrangeMarlin Talk• Contributions 03:45, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I second the motion to move this thread, which has no relation to improving the article. --Skyemoor (talk) 15:40, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Section "economic and political debate"

Should this not be retitled "Scientific, Economic and Political debate"? The page linked, Global_Warming_Controversy, contains points of a scientific nature (and is also a bit of a train wreck in general, if anyone is interested). Jaimaster (talk) 06:58, 14 October 2008 (UTC)

How about just "debate"? Re train wreck, indeed it is. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 13:00, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
Short Brigade indeed. Sure. Less is more. Work is Joy. Love is a tractor. --Abd (talk) 14:44, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
I would be opposed to adding 'Scientific' to the paragraph title, as I see most arguments against as being psuedo-science or propaganda intended for political gains (or to stem political setbacks).--Skyemoor (talk) 13:26, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
One of the reasons this article has been a battleground is that it's pretty unclear what it's about. Is it a "science" article? Is it an article on politics or economics? Is it about everything related in any way to Global warming under whatever definition is used somewhere in an acceptable source? Consider the flap over the Terminology section. If we can't agree on a clear definition of the term used as the title for the article, how could we be expected to agree on content? That's why my focus will be on that section (or if the section stays out, on the lead, where topic definition should take place if it doesn't immediately follow).
Acceptable sources for an article on a political debate will be different from acceptable sources for an article on a scientific topic, and to define opposing POVs out of existence if possible. And the first refuge of POV pushers is to control the topic. How to deal with this is actually fairly well-known, so let's see what happens. There is scientific debate. It's different from the political debate. "Debate" covers all kinds of unresolved questions, a political approach to this article, because of the present context, will tend to interpret "scientific debate" as referring to questioning of the very existence of global warming or of its human origin, and thus the comment from Skyemoor above. But there is lots of debate that isn't about that, and the scientific community would be seriously ill if it weren't actively debating various aspects of this. Sources will define what we put in, not our political opinions or judgments.--Abd (talk) 14:40, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
"Is it a "science" article? Is it an article on politics or economics? " I'm surprised to hear you ask that question. This is clearly a science article, though a concise summary of conflict on the subject is included to provide a more complete rounding of the article. --Skyemoor (talk) 14:55, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
How is that determined? Wikipedia has a flat structure in article space. The words global warming don't say "science." Now, in no way am I suggesting it should not be a science article. But what about "Global warming controversy"? Should that be a science article? As noted here, most of the controversy isn't scientific, i.e., not among scientists, it's political and social and economic. Just asking, I haven't gone there to check. I'm just trying to get it clear what this article is about, because that will then guide what content should be in it. (And it also contributes to how we should define the term Global warming. And the findings on this may impact other articles.
One indication of what an article is about is the categories it's been included in. Two of the categories aren't science categories. If this is a science article, the material that might be here relevant to those categories should be in other articles (with perhaps some summary here if it's deemed sufficiently relevant), and the categories removed. --Abd (talk) 16:38, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
"How is that determined? " To the best of my memory, there was an RfC some time ago, and a summary of the controversy was included, similar to the article on Evolution. It would take some time to look up; you may want to do so to answer your own question. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:54, 14 October 2008 (UTC)
While it is proven some, and quite probable that most, scientific debate on GW is politically driven, it is not true that this extends to all scientific debate on the issue. Jaimaster (talk) 00:52, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
So we would include the debate that GW will occur at rates significantly higher, and with impacts much greater, than the IPCC 2007? --Skyemoor (talk) 09:20, 15 October 2008 (UTC)
That would be very much appropriate Jaimaster (talk) 03:18, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Terminology (2)

Just to let editor know that there is an extensive discussion ongoing at Talk:Global_warming/Terminology_section, with some parties calling for a sense of the consensus. --Skyemoor (talk) 15:55, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Skyemoor is correct that there is a discussion. He's not correct that any party has called for a sense of the consensus. I noted in a comment that (maybe) three editors out of the four discussing were in general agreement on some of the issues, with Skyemoor standing out as differing. But I'm not ready, nor do I think that the group working there is ready to call for wider participation or for a poll. Wider participation will bring even more lengthy discussion, I expect. And no polls should be taken until the issues are clear, and what is happening now is that, i.e., clarification of the issues. However, of course, anyone is welcome to participate, I'm just noting that right now might not be the most efficient time. We are not at the point of making a decision, and wider comment will definitely be invited before any decision is made. --Abd (talk) 16:31, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Because Skyemoor signed off on a prior version on the working page, and because I expect that only one editor working on the page might object to the text of that version -- but it was close to the status quo before the edit warring to remove/replace the section -- I've gone ahead and placed that section in the article. This is not a conclusion from the working page, just a showing of, I think, sufficient consensus to return the article to something close to what we had for a long, long time. Work will continue to find, if possible, broader consensus. --Abd (talk) 18:16, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Correct me if I'm wrong, but doesn't the Terminology section exist simply to compare/contrast the definitions of Global Warming vs. Climate Change? From my perspective, the current section does that quite well, and with solid citations as well. It captures the essence of the lede, without having to duplicate 4 or 5 sentences. --Skyemoor (talk) 19:57, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

The objections are against the selective quotation and the combining of sources to create a wp:synthensis, further without attribution given to either source. Jaimaster (talk) 00:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
There is now what may be a consensus version, see Talk:Global warming/Terminology section#Terminology (Working version) It was suggested by User:William M. Connolley based on an old revision from 2006. It's solid as to the definitions, but it also discusses the "common usage" thing in a neutral way. --Abd (talk) 03:33, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The working version linked above is one I would be very happy to see used. Jaimaster (talk) 05:08, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
So then, what's the consensus version? Looking at the link above I see reams and reams and reams of text in multiple threads with collapsed discussion and queries and asides and so on but it's not clear that there's any concrete proposal. If there is one, it would be helpful if someone could quote the text here. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 05:19, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I linked directly to it. It is the only thing in the section at the top titled Terminology (Working version). Most discussion has, indeed, been collapsed. Each of the sections called Version were placed as "concrete proposals." The Working version was intended to be edited as needed to improve it, so, by default, if stable, it would represent the best version so far. It didn't actually work precisely that way, because WMC suggested a new version in the discussion of Version 3. Because it won immediate acceptance from almost all participating editors, I replaced the Working version at the top with his version, and renamed the section with the original working version and discussion to "prior" and collapsed it. Those are not archive boxes, per se, anyone is free to add comment to them and/or to uncollapse them; what was left uncollapsed simply represents my personal opinion as to what is most important to read. I, personally, and we, as a community, tend to write reams of text with much of it redundant; my goal with this working page is for it to become a clear standing explanation of why we have what we have, with a record, as well, of the consensus it enjoyed. Which is, right now, 100%. Since nobody has yet objected to the Working version, I'll be putting it in the article. Boris, by all means, look at it carefully, but, at this point, please don't simply revert it or remove it. and it probably should not be edited directly -- but, of course, this isn't binding. If you want to argue that the section should be removed, it would be best at this point to do so on the working page.
Every editor who worked on that page is to be congratulated for joining in a consensus, and, Boris, you are to be congratulated for triggering this process with your WP:BOLD deletion of the section. This consensus doesn't mean that the section can't be changed, but I suspect that changes, from now on, will be evolutionary and continue to represent consensus instead of today's tide in the spin slosh.--Abd (talk) 15:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I've reverted the current insertion. First of all its amateurish - and secondly (just as Boris) i got bored reading extremely verbose comments... the working group on that subpage, either has to be less verbose and keep from writing endlessly boring discussions - or present the results to the rest of us, concisely so that the question of consensus can be determined. (think of it as a workgroup). The text in question (that i reverted) is completely unreadable compared to the version that we just arrived at from a different starting point of yours. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:53, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
And please if you want to have people work with you - then stick to short easy overlooked comments - instead of your usual 3 mile long comments. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:55, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Kim, you're out on a limb. You just removed a version that was (1) suggested by WMC, not me, and (2) so far, accepted by every editor working actively on it. I'm not going to revert you, but it's quite likely that someone else will. Please revert yourself and leave it alone, here, and if you don't like it, join us in working on it at Talk:Global warming/Terminology section. Did you notice WMC's comment to Boris below? The "collapse" that Boris complained about was done to hide all that verbosity and make it very easy to see what had happened and where the version came from. Do not use bare reversion, any more, to enforce your preferred text here, but respect consensus and discuss changes, not the verbosity of editors. --Abd (talk) 16:13, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
If you really want consensus you might consider fostering a more collegial environment, rather than telling people they're "out on a limb" and ordering them around as to what they must and must not do. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:20, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry. Now, to the point: KDP reverted, but the only specific objection in her summary was to the bold text. "Etc." doesn't tell us much. So, to satisfy her objection, I've replaced the version with the bold formatting removed. As to "collegial environment," well, it's hilarious, consider what this article history has been like for months and possibly for years. I am not assuming consensus, I'm observing that there is -- so far -- 100% consensus among the 'limited workgroup, thus a reasonable basis for placing that version in the article. I.e., KDP reverted a version accepted as to text by five editors, with, so far, no dissent expressed there and only Kim's revert, which didn't actually object to the text, on the other side. Perhaps the bolding (which was my work) was totally off. As to yourself, well, text comments? Here or there? Boris, if I were attempting to control KDP, I'd have placed a warning on her Talk, not an "out on a limb" comment here. I apologized because perhaps my tone was bad, and I do intend to foster a collegial environment, including all editors and specifically KPD and you. --Abd (talk) 16:34, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
First of all Abd - i suggest that you try to adhere to addressing the article, and not the editors - since this seems to be a large problem of yours.
Secondly i reverted the text for a reason, one of these was that the text was amateurish, and not adhering to MoS, the other was that its a version, that is less referenced and less comprehensive than the earlier version ... which had just been accepted and revised by standard consensus. Thinking that you can find consensus on a subpage, which people actually ignore, because of the long tedious blocks of text with little content, is rather far fetched.
The idea about making such a workgroup is not bad though - but expect to gain the consensus on the regular talk first, before thinking that you've found the hole grail of consensus. (nb: and i'm male) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:55, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, Mr. Petersen. I do not think I've found that "holy grail," simply that we had signs of being closer to it, which I think we should follow up on. The "amateurish" text was, I think, written by William M. Connolly; certainly it was suggested by him at this point. It can be sourced, and, I presume, will be. Sure, people ignore a subpage, and the "committee" work doesn't prove consensus. But our process is most efficient when an apparent consensus (apparent from a small group) is proposed by an edit. Obviously, you are free to disagree with that, but doing so through a bald revert is to begin edit warring. You may be willing to edit war, I'm not. I replaced the material, but with attention paid to satisfying what you had objected to specifically, the bolding, so I'm still not at 1RR today. Just noting that! What I'm trying to do is to encourage editors who object to this text to participate in the subpage, where we can build consensus, instead of clogging up this Talk page with redundant or clueless comment that goes nowhere in the end, or commenting through revert edit summaries, not a great idea. --Abd (talk) 17:17, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
I'm sorry? What exactly did you misunderstand in the concept bold-revert-discuss? You were bold, i reverted and started discussion. But apparently you think that a comment and then reverting again isn't edit-warring? (hint: you are warring - not i). And sorry - unless you start getting extremely less wordy, people are going to ignore your postings - which in this case unfortunately makes for ignoring the subpage. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)I have a fairly tight definition of edit warring, and it does not include an edit which isn't a simple repeat of prior text, but which makes a good-faith effort to incorporate what objections have been specified. By that definition, Kim, your edit was edit warring (because it was a bald repeat without reading, apparently, the discussion behind it) but mine was not. Your level of "edit warring" here was only the level that begins an edit war, it's the point where there is a crossover from normal editorial process to "No! Not your version!". If I reverted you, simply and baldly, as you reverted me, absolutely, I'd be edit warring too. I.e., if I did the same as you. Clear? I'm not being "extremely wordy" here. You want blunt? You can have it if you want, but it probably won't be on this page. But that's irrelevant, many editors have mentioned the place where the section is being considered. --Abd (talk) 18:25, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Come on Boris, get with it: The term 'global warming' is a specific case of the more general term 'climate change' (which can also refer to cooling, such as occurs during Ice ages). In principle, 'global warming' is neutral as to the causes, but in common usage, 'global warming' generally implies a human influence. However, the UNFCCC uses 'climate change' for human-caused change, and 'climate variability' for other changes [3]. Some organizations use the term 'anthropogenic climate change' for human-induced changes. from [24] William M. Connolley (talk) 07:22, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Mostly OK but too wordy. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Very funny, Boris. Any specific copy editing you'd suggest? Please, unless you expect general approval for an edit here, please go ahead and edit the working version (at Talk:Global warming/Terminology section to make it better).
I'm beginning to see Boris' point. The text does wander a bit, and finally gets around to mentioning "generally implies a human influence". I'm going to back off and prefer the version just prior to this one. I'd also like to see rationale from other editors. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:50, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
There is a delicate balance here. The core meaning of "global warming" does not include "human influence." However, common usage does imply it. If we lead with "human influence," however, we will definitely be back to an unstable version. What was funny about Boris's comment is that the working version, which was suggested by and which may have (back in 2006) been written by WMC, is about the shortest we have recently considered, it's quite a bit shorter than what KDP reverted back in. Now, discussion here on this section will be transient and relatively inaccessible. Discussion on the working group page will be permanent and organized for easy reference if issues arise on this section in the future. So, you can do what you like, but I highly recommend discussing improvements on the working group page. --Abd (talk) 17:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The core meaning of "global warming" does not include "human influence." In your opinion. One could extrapolate that it refers to any situation where any type of globular object becomes warmer, such as a balloon bathed in solar insolation. Don't expect us to accede to your assertions simply because you repeat them over and over. --Skyemoor (talk) 20:03, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
It's my opinion that bullshit stinks. "My opinion" about the meaning of "global warming" is echoed by some sources, by a number of editors, and, as I pointed out, makes sense, unlike the opinion that the term includes, as part of its definition (as distinct from the context where it may be commonly used at this time), human causation. If that's the meaning, then, if humans don't cause it, it isn't global warming, it's something else, even through the globe gets warmer. This is political rationalization, literally POV pushing, from a user blocked many times for edit warring, though it was all in 2007 or before. This article has seen enough edit warring to enforce individual or factional opinions, it has to stop. Skyemoor, you created the Terminology section subpage, in connection with another bald revert of yours. Was that just to waste everyone's time who took your initiative as being in good faith? Notice that Boris, below, essentially agrees with what I've been saying. It's true I've been repeating assertions. It happens because you repeat discredited ideas, over and over, hoping that they will stick. --Abd (talk) 23:46, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Ill just ignore the sarcasm and get on with it. Here's a suggestion:
"Global warming" is a specific case of the conceptexample of climate change, which can also refer to cooling. In principle 'global warming' is neutral as to the causes, but in common usage 'global warming' implies a human influence. The UNFCCC uses 'climate change' for human-caused change, and 'climate variability' for other changes [3].
We don't need the aside about ice ages. "However" doesn't add anything. We don't need to keep saying "the term," as the italics (or scare quotes) imply that for us; further, GW is an example of CC per se, not "an example of the term" CC (which I'm not even convinced is grammatical). "Generally" is redundant after "common usage." It could be made yet more concise, but these changes trim the worst of the bloat. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 17:32, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Further concisification -- "case of the concept" -> "example". Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:00, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Those are good changes, they should be made to the working version on that specific talk page. I won't steal Boris' thunder. Mishlai (talk) 18:05, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Anyone can do that. I'm not accepting or objecting to these changes at the moment, but from a quick glance, they seem fine. Thanks, Boris. The goal isn't conciseness, per se. It is accuracy, balance and clarity. Really, really good prose will be all these things, but merely concise prose isn't necessarily better. --Abd (talk) 18:17, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Okay, fine with the changes, except that there is substantial desire that has been expressed for "anthropogenic climate change" or "anthropogenic global warming" to be specifically mentioned. Small price for total consensus, I'd say. --Abd (talk) 18:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Sure. I didn't include that sentence because I didn't think it needed any changes. But come to think of it, I'd replace the "some organizations" bit since it's not just organizations who prefer this term; how about "authors" or "writers"? Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 18:35, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) I took the previous suggestions and incorpated them in the working version, but I left the ACC mention the same as before. Either "authors" or "writers" or, how about "sources," would be fine with me. I thought "organizations" was clumsy, too. Anyone, as far as I'm concerned, can bring the working version back in to incorporate these changes. I made some minor edit to it, replaced redundant mention with "it." See, even more concise! (It may surprise folks, but I was a copy editor. I do know how to be concise; problem is, it takes much more time.)--Abd (talk) 18:44, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

Yes, I think it was Winston Churchill who once wrote "I am sorry this letter is so long, but I did not have time to make it shorter." Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 21:06, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Mark Twain[25] Mishlai (talk) 15:37, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah, thanks. I knew it was someone British. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 15:48, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Didn't we fight a war over that? Anyway, I have a friend, excellent writer, who will say what I might say in about one-third the space. He says, though, that it takes him three times as long, as he copy-edits himself. There are three components to good writing: research, writing, and copy editing. Research takes the most time, but includes the entire life-experience of the writer. If a writer is just writing from immediate understanding without doing additional research, it's often fast. Copy-editing, then, can take much longer. I don't copy-edit, much, unless I'm trying to push a point, to convince, as distinct from simply discussing something. Drives some people up the wall. "What's your point?", they want to know. Well, I'm trying to figure that out, together with all of you. Wikipedia has researchers, writers, checkers, and copy editors. We tend to expect everyone to do all four, but, in fact, some are better at one than at the others. The tension between writers and editors is practically a stereotype, cats and dogs. --Abd (talk) 16:49, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

I've reverted back to the last reasonably sourced version by SBHB here. The version I reverted is a whitewash that fails to effectively describe the basic terminology, which effectively negates any need for a "Terminology" section. ... Kenosis (talk) 19:50, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Kenosis, the version you reverted was a consensus version, with work continuing on it, at Talk:Global warming/Terminology section. It's not a "whitewash." Yes, SBHB's version is more thoroughly sourced, but that does not necessarily make it better, particularly if it is not any more supported by its sources, without synthesis, as it is not, and SBHB himself accepted the version you reverted as "Mostly OK but too wordy" and then his suggestions were incorporated. Rather, we can better source the working version. Your participation in this is invited. Please respect editorial consensus, as you help to form it. If this section continues to bounce as each editor reverts to their own favorite version, or to create new versions here, without respecting consensus, general disruption will continue. It would be better if you would revert yourself, then work on making any appropriate improvements. Boris' version is Version 3 on the working page. The "working version" came from discussion of Version 3, and was suggested by WMC and quickly accepted by every editor who has commented there (except maybe KDP). (By the way, my comments here are not based on a personal preference, but by respect for consensus as it forms.) --Abd (talk) 15:24, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes, I see the subpage, and give due credence to the expertise of WMC and SBHB. But, sheese. If that's the only consensus version available, there's no need for a subsection titled "Terminology". May as well just incorporate it into the lead. ... Kenosis (talk) 15:37, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
..... I think the currently preferred version on the Terminology subpage is a whitewash that implicitly validates the position of many GW denialists. WMC? SBHB? Any thoughts about this? ... Kenosis (talk) 16:12, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I don't have strong opinions one way or the other. I haven't participated on the subpage, partly because I don't like the idea of debate being shunted off to subpages and partly because of the known tendency of some of the participants there to go on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on, preferring instead to comment on the eventual outcome. My preference is simply to keep the defn in the lede and have no terminology section at all. The version you reverted to is fine; the version you reverted from (the so-called "consensus version") isn't really terrible, though it's clunky and ungrammatical. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:54, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
There is very good reason to organize discussion on the subpage, for future reference, so that we don't reinvent this wheel over and over. In any case, the present text incorporated Boris's specific suggestions for improvement of language, I took them to the subpage, as I recall. (Or was that a previous incarnation?) The article text has gone to the subpage as the working version, and the working version has come to the article text, whichever seems to be mostly likely (to me, or it could be to anyone) to attract the broadest consensus while remaining within policy. If it's clunky and ungrammatical, nobody is stopping Boris, or anyone, from fixing it. But I'd be careful. There are nuances that might be necessary for consensus. I also don't mind the definition being in the lead, if it is done properly. But if we can't agree on it as a separate matter, we are unlikely to agree on it integrated into the lead, where it gets much more complicated. Let's agree on the Terminology section, assuming it will stay, but then consider incorporation into the lead, once it is stable as a section. --Abd (talk) 14:20, 20 October 2008 (UTC)Founding member of On and On Anonymous, you can join On and On Anon.
Agree 100%, except I wouldn't call the 'working version' a 'preferred version'. This definition is so tepid that one would wonder what greenhouse gases have to do, if anything, with GW. --Skyemoor (talk) 13:32, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
"Tepid" is a definition that doesn't make a point that Skyemoor thinks should be made. "Global warming," though, as a term, has as much to do with the greenhouse effect as lung cancer does with tobacco. When we go on to talk about the cause of global warming, the greenhouse effect becomes very important. Mentioning it in the definition is optional. Global warming isn't the greenhouse effect, it is a trait of the greenhouse effect, and global warming could potentially (in theory) have other causes. (Notably, solar variation. I think changes in cosmic ray influx have also been asserted.) In the edit summary, Skyemoor wrote: Too much reverting of terminology on the basis of one or two editors. There have been, in the last day, two reverts, one by KimDabelsteinPetersen and one by me. KDP's revert was supported, apparently, by Skyemoor; earlier, there was a revert by Kenosis, followed by an edit of mine that wasn't strictly a revert -- it was not the same text --, and which generally reflected consent by Kenosis (expressed on my Talk). The version I most recently reverted back (my only bald revert in the recent sequence) was supported by William M. Connolley, Mishlai, myself, Q Science, and initially by Skyemoor (who has obviously changed his position, basis not clear to me). Kenosis initially opposed it (as reflected by his revert), but withdrew that. This is hardly "one or two editors." I also initially supported, with some reservations, Version 3, which is the version reverted back in by KDP. Neither of these is my favorite version, I'm really trying to maximize consensus, not my personal preference. Anyway, which of the two reverts that Skyemoor would most likely be referring to is "too much"? Or both? --Abd (talk) 13:53, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Since I was addressed in the third person, you must be looking for your answers from someone else. Mentioning it in the definition is optional is an extremely telling stance. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:08, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) It should be noted that Abd has back-constructed a definition of global warming that differs from the usual meaning of the term. People often do that when trying to define things but it can be a trap. "Global warming" in its most common meaning doesn't refer to warming in the broad sense, any more than "anti-semitism" in its most common meaning refers to prejudice against semitic peoples in the broad sense. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:15, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I did not construct that definition, WMC did, I think, and the basis was probably (very long ago) the EPA definition, which is, quite simply, the obvious one from language alone. The "anti-semitism" analogy fails because the issue there is the application of the word "semitic," which has been vastly distorted by politics, for so long and so deeply that the original meaning is lost for most people. But if I write, "Global warming is caused human activity," please tell me what "Global warming" means in that sentence. Is it a tautology? Boris has confused "meaning" with "application" or "context." This attribution of what is really a consensus text (among a subgroup of editors, initially all those who had participated in the discussion set up, not by me, but by Skyemoor for that purpose) as if it were mine personally is offensive. Stop it.--Abd (talk) 18:50, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The "anti-semitism" analogy fails because the issue there is the application of the word "semitic," which has been vastly distorted by politics,. On the contrary, the analogy is directly applicable, because of how the term Global Warming has been watered down by political critics. And the current definition is not as short as you have redacted, so the example text you mention is a strawman. --Skyemoor (talk) 19:58, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

I'm happy with the working version, and would like to see it used. It would be helpful to have the discussions on the specific talk page, because it helps create a one-stop-shopping archive of how the consensus was reached, instead of spreading it across two pages. For those of you who are concerned that the specific talk page is too wordy and not worth your time, and I would argue that the various terminology discussions that have taken place on this page are just as long and half as productive. There isn't that much to read, honestly. The collapsed text is collapsed for a reason. Mishlai (talk) 16:26, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Mishlai, we are faced with two editors (Skyemoor and KimDabelsteinPetersen) who are obviously willing to use reverts to enforce their strange view of consensus. Skyemoor created a working subpage to consider the Terminology section, simultaneously with a revert that totally removed the section, at the same time asking us not to edit war. So, okay, we worked on the language on that subpage, and, as consensus appeared there, the section was restored here. It initially stuck, but as wider consensus appeared on the subpage, bringing the material here was repetitively opposed, with reverts, by KDP and Skyemoor, who both insist that more consensus is needed. Needed to what? I.e., these two editors are insisting on their current favorite version, which they previously edit warred to remove totally, while there is more support for another. The discussion has become repetitive, with ideas and concepts that seem to me to be blatant rationalizations for POV pushing being asserted again and again. However, I'll say this: the editors who have supported the version they have reverted out haven't reverted them, I'm the only one that has used a single bald revert to support what I believe to be the current rough consensus version -- which isn't my favorite version. I'm not going to continue that, for it could mean that I've been following a false consensus, if I have to edit war to support it, but I'll support others who form and follow and respect and serve actual consensus. What do we do next? RfC? Any ideas? --Abd (talk) 00:07, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

Solar variation -> "Solar brightness"

In the Solar variation section it takes about "Solar brightness", but that does not clarify--Are they talking about infrared too or just visible light? It sounds like they mean just visible light and infrared light from the sun is what causes heat such as you feel the sun on your skin makng it hot that's infrared light. The ambiguity is much worse in the solar variation article. Are you ready for IPv6? (talk) 01:39, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

You'll want to read up on the SORCE mission -- stands for Solar Radiation and Climate Expt, if I recall correctly. I saw a presentation by Calahan at last spring's EGU assembly on variations in near-IR. By the way, visible radiation does make you feel warm; it's not just the near-IR (note the Earth receives very little thermal IR from the sun). Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 02:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
The statement about "thermal IR" doesn't seem to be correct, see Solar_radiation#Solar_constant, for example. According to that article, about half the total irradiance is in the "near-infrared." I'm not sure what "thermal IR" means. The infrared article says that Infrared light from the Sun only accounts for 49%[8] of the heating of the Earth, with the rest being caused by visible light that is absorbed then re-radiated at longer wavelengths. (To answer what is below, "infrared" sometimes to the literal meaning {"below red") but usually it's the name for the band between red and microwaves, with some ambiguity about exactly where it stops, the infrared article limits it at Terahertz radiation. The solar variation article seems to use it to mean effectively all the longer-wavelength energy.) --Abd (talk) 16:37, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
So it only accounts near-infrared but not actual full infrared? Hmmm there's also microwave radiation that a star can put out, too. Are you ready for IPv6? (talk) 13:32, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
IPv6, there's a graph of the solar radiation spectrum at Solar_radiation#Composition. The entire spectrum produces heat in the body or substance that absorbs it, including the visible light portion and, to a lesser extent, the ultraviolet (shorter wavelengths). All of the spectrum to the right of the visible light band is infrared (longer wavelengths). ... Kenosis (talk) 23:59, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Sure. As temperature of an incandescent body increases, however, the peak emission occurs at shorter wavelengths. At any given wavelength, the emission increases with temperature, but the percentage of total energy in a particular part of the spectrum, at wavelengths longer than the peak, decreases. If I've got it right, somebody correct me if I'm wrong. (I had Richard P. Feynman for physics for two years, but, hey, it was more than forty years ago, and I was a bit distracted at the time by life, as I still am.) As to "solar brightness," let's start with Solar irradiance, which includes all wavelengths. I presume that "solar brightness" is a synonym for "solar irradiance," the term redirects to that article. Radiation coming from the sun, at all wavelengths, warms the earth, except for what is reflected or stored as chemical energy; and, of course, the warmer the earth is, the more energy it, itself, radiates away. --Abd (talk) 16:04, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
No it not just accounts for near-infrared. Please follow Boris' suggestion. The very first link on Google for SORCE is this, where you could have determined it yourself. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:59, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
Hmmm http://lasp.colorado.edu/sorce/index.htm says "The Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment (SORCE) is a NASA-sponsored satellite mission that is providing state-of-the-art measurements of incoming x-ray, ultraviolet, visible, near-infrared, and total solar radiation." So it might be good to be clear when the measurements are "solar irradiance" and when they are only some of the frequencies. This is a nice picture, Image:Solar Spectrum.png Are you ready for IPv6? (talk) 17:23, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
IPv6, I left a note several posts above. The spectrum graph at Image:Solar Spectrum.png is the total spectrum of solar irradiation. When using the words "solar irradiation" (or "solar irradiance" or "solar radiation" or "solar brightness"), it's generally presumed to refer to the entire spectrum unless otherwise qualified that one is referring to a specific band within this spectrum, .. Kenosis (talk) 00:09, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Measurement of total solar irradiance is always going to be projected from measurement at specific portions of the spectrum. (Maybe not. Is there a black bolometer up there?) Generally, one could calculate total irradiance fairly accurately from radiance in as little as two different portions of the spectrum. What varies with the sun is the total brightness, which varies with the temperature, except for some details. When we talk about a blue star, we are talking about a hot star, relatively, and a red star is cooler. Again, if I've got this wrong, someone correct me. --Abd (talk) 18:14, 17 October 2008
Abd, I outlined the very basics re. "spectrum of radiance" from infrared through UV above. All of that refers to the electromagnetic radiation of photons across a spectrum, and all of which produces heat in an absorptive body or substance. Since black is by definition a consequence of a body that's totally absorptive, a black body is used as a theoretical reference point. Blue stars and red stars represent altered peaks in the radiation curve where the peak output of wavelengths follows an inverse relationship with the temperature of the body emitting the radiation, in accordance with Wien's displacement law. Maybe a simpler way of remembering it is that the frequency range of the peak output rises with temperature, which is why "white hot" is hotter than "red hot". It's also closely related to how Joseph Stefan well over a century ago figured out roughly how hot the surface of the Sun is. The estimate was impressively close to today's number. .. Kenosis (talk) 01:40, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes. Black body radiation is fascinating. Trying to work out the theory of it led to the recognition that energy was quantized. As I recall, without quantization, the total energy emitted over all frequencies would have integrated to an infinite value. Ahem. That's a tad afield.... --Abd (talk) 02:49, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Have you noticed the links on the page - for instance the one for total solar irradiation? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:51, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
For convenience, Total Irradiance Monitor (TIM). Plots for entire mission are at [26]. Note five-year overall small cooling trend. To accurately predict the impact of this on the Earth would require studying the wavelengths that aren't reflected or absorbed chemically (photosynthesis). I don't know what percentage of the overall irradiance is in that category. However, it looks like the Sun may be giving us a (tiny, tiny) reprieve. I assume that solar irradiance has been estimated for a much longer time, though. --Abd (talk) 15:51, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent) Actually, the Solar variation article examines the topic of the effect on climate change, in great detail. --Abd (talk) 16:13, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Actually, if you look at that article history, you will see that most people here know that ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:41, 18 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, do I get it now?: if someone asks a question and you find an article with answers, check the history of that article because maybe they should know the answer already because they've edited it or its Talk page. (The editor who asked the question here did edit the Talk page of Solar variation, with an edit that showed he needs some help understanding the issues, it seemed to me.) What I see, Stephan, is that editors asking questions here often get quite rude answers, with a subtext of "Can't you read, you bloomin' idiot?" --Abd (talk) 01:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

No criticisms section?

Sorry if this is a dead horse (probably) and I don't mean to start any flame wars (likely), but shouldn't there be some section where the criticisms of AGW theory are presented? Here's a good link to get things started. —Memotype::T 15:49, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

A skilfully woven tapestry of facts, fantasy, and outright lies. He's good at this stuff: he puts the genuine information up front to build trust, then gradually blends in more and more nonsense. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 16:03, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
It starts out pretty badly, actually.
Does the Earth's atmosphere primarily behave like an actual greenhouse?
No. The term "greenhouse effect" is unfortunate since it results in a false impression of the activity of so-called "greenhouse gases." An actual greenhouse works as a physical barrier to convection (the transfer of heat by currents in a fluid) while the atmosphere really facilitates convection so the impression of actual greenhouse-like activity in the Earth's atmosphere is incorrect.
"Convection"? Sure. Lots of convection within the atmosphere, though it tends to be layered. The "Greenhouse" effect would refer to the trapping of heat. In the atmosphere or surface. There is not any significant convection that takes heat off the Earth (except by very very slow loss of atmosphere).
This does seem to cause some confusion so, to highlight the distinction between actual greenhouses and Earth's inaccurately named greenhouse effect simply note that greenhouse temperatures are maintained by controlling the mixing air inside and outside the greenhouse (if it's too warm in the greenhouse you open a top and bottom window and let convective action displace warmed air with cool) while Earth's atmosphere is surrounded by the near-vacuum of space.
So, real greenhouses work mainly by modulating convection while the 'greenhouse effect' works by modulating radiation.
Well, sort of. Greenhouses can use both control of convection and control of radiation. The essence of a greenhouse is that radiation is trapped as heat.
Are greenhouse gases like a blanket around the Earth?
No, for the same reason that they don't behave like an actual greenhouse, they simply do not behave as a barrier to convective activity and so aren't "like a blanket."
"Like a blanket" would sensibly mean that heat is trapped. Cloud cover, for example, acts like a blanket, it is quite normally colder on a clear winter night than on a cloudy one. With cloud cover, radiating heat from the surface is reflected back, whereas when it's clear, it's radiated into space. It's reasonable to suspect they have some agenda in manipulating language and analogies like this. Greenhouse gases increase the retention of heat, which makes them like a blanket. However, there may be some good material here, in terms of grist for the mill, even if they do have an agenda, which isn't clear. (There is a certain "debunking" agenda that some can have, it's a motivation all by itself.) --Abd (talk) 17:58, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd, please see WP:TALK, and ponder a bit on why people here are short and concise when replying to things like this. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:47, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Reading greenhouse effect would also be a good idea William M. Connolley (talk) 19:27, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
I will. Do try to avoid arrogance. You are going to see, now, brevity, since I have an opinion as to how to proceed.--Abd (talk) 21:20, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd can't write short replies. Abd suffers from ADHD which causes him to write very long posts :) Count Iblis (talk) 00:23, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I was wondering when Iblis would show up. --Abd (talk) 03:12, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Try the dim and distant past William M. Connolley (talk) 19:42, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

with regards to Boris' response, surely "not really a reliable source - advocacy site" would have been more appropriate. Re KDP "people are short and consise" (you left out, "and sometimes quite rude"), perhaps some should ponder why so many editors come to this page and leave with a bad taste in their mouths. Jaimaster (talk) 00:16, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
(WMC:) Evaporative cooling! OMG! It's a big swamp cooler! Of course, never mind that the stuff condenses, thus returning the heat elsewhere. All we have to do is run a skyhook to geosynch with a pipe and pump that moist air up there and let it condense, transhipping the ice with solar sails to, say, one of the Lagrangian points and we'd get a new place to inhabit to boot! In case we trash this place too badly. --Abd (talk) 00:39, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

Douglas, Christy and Singer rebuttal

{{editsemiprotected}} This is my very first Wikipedia suggestion so please bear with me: the section on accuracy and precision of climate models refers to a highly publicized paper by Douglas, Christy and Singer (2007). It should mention a new 17 author paper in International Journal of Climatology [27] refuting the claims of Douglas et al. It is shown that the statistical method in the latter study is seriously flawed.--Plogp (talk) 11:43, 20 October (CET)

Yes, this is probably apropos. We usually try to wait for a few days before adding new stuff, so people have time to digest the paper. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:58, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
P.S.: Your link does not work (it requires some Cookies). Can you give some more information so we can find it? Thanks. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 09:59, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
Try it now. Mikenorton (talk) 10:01, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
It works for me but all I can get is the abstract; I'd need to purchase access to see the whole paper. Reyk YO! 10:03, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
I only have access to the abstract but I presume that this quote "Our results contradict a recent claim that all simulated temperature trends in the tropical troposphere and in tropical lapse rates are inconsistent with observations. This claim was based on use of older radiosonde and satellite datasets, and on two methodological errors: the neglect of observational trend uncertainties introduced by interannual climate variability, and application of an inappropriate statistical consistency test" refers to Douglas et al. 2007, perhaps someone with access to the full text can confirm this? Mikenorton (talk) 10:25, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The full paper is here, found via a discussion at RealClimate. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:38, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
...and here is a guide for idiots like me. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 10:44, 20 October 2008 (UTC)
The abstract sentence above does refer directly to the Douglas et al. 2007 paper. I have full access to the paper, and it is written by leading scientists (NOAA, NASA/Goddard, UK Met Hadley Centre, Univ of Vienna, Lawrence Livermore Natl Lab, Yale U etc.) in the climate modeling community. The bottom line is that the models are not significantly different from the observations of the atmospheric temperature profile in the tropics. This means that the models are accurate, but perhaps not as precise as desired. I find it relevant to add the reference since the Douglas et al. paper has received a high level of attention. If the new paper does not receive any attention, which is likely since it is not a sensation in the climate community, then shouldn't we at least make a reference to it in Wikipedia? I agree that perhaps a few weeks/months should pass by, but as Stephan points out, at RealClimate, they made the exact same claim a year ago, and now the paper has been peer-reviewed so it does not seem rash nor biased to balance the Douglas et al. claim soon. Thanks for your interest. (Plogp (talk) 07:37, 21 October 2008 (UTC))
Done Feel free to edit the text I added with the citation.--Aervanath lives in the Orphanage 04:40, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Terminology (3)

This is the version that Skyemoor and KimDabelsteinPetersen have insisted upon with reverts, against a version supported by a range of editors at a working page set up, ironically, by Skyemoor as a previous justification for prior revert warring on this section.


In both common and scientific usage, "global warming" refers to the recent increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.[2][1] It may also, less often, be used to refer to other episodes of warming in Earth's history.

"Climate change" refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation, or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer) from whatever cause. [1] The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) uses "climate change" for human-induced changes, and "climate variability" for natural changes.[3][4]


There isn't a particular problem with the second part of this. However, the first part is recently synthesized and has never enjoyed consensus. There is no source shown that supports "in both common and scientific usage." The sources cited are an IPCC report and the U.S. EPA. Skyemoor has given, as one reason for rejecting the working group version, the use of the EPA as a source, but he allows it in the version he reverts to. Unfortunately, this whole series of edit wars started when I pointed out that the text in the article wasn't justified by the EPA source. It defines global warming neutrally, without reference to cause, and then notes that "in common usage" it refers to warming due to human activity. That doesn't mean the same thing as "common" in "both common and scientific usage," which refers to usage by non-scientists. The EPA was referring to all usage. So what about the IPCC source. It doesn't contain this definition. It uses climate change neutrally, as in "progress in understanding of the human and natural drivers of climate change." (p.2). In a note, we find the definition of climate change as the IPCC uses it:

1 Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

This, then, is a source for the second part of the Terminology section version above. Not for the first. As to "warming," I find on p. 3:

The understanding of anthropogenic warming and cooling influences on climate has improved since the TAR, leading to very high confidence that the global average net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming ...

The term "global warming" isn't found in the IPCC paper cited. "Global average temperature" is used. However, "global average surface warming" is found in the paper. There is no support in the paper for the idea that "global warming" means anthropogenic warming; that would make a tautology out of the conclusions emphasized in the paper: Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. If we take "global warming" to mean "the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century" (this would be "common usage," as referred to in the EPA source), then the statement makes perfect sense. If global warming means, as the version reverted to by the two editors would have it, "the recent increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities, then, substituting the meaning, we'd get:

The recent increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse concentrations. Indeed. That is a tautology, a statement that is true by definition. It's true if there is any increase at all due to human-generated greenhouse gases. If, instead, global warming means simply "the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century," a definition which can be sourced to the IPCC paper, I'd suggest, we get a simple statement that is not redundant, it's just what they said:

Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. or

Global warming is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. recent scientific publications in the journals usrecent scientific publications in the journals used by climate scientists that use the term "global warming" in a different way.ed by climate scientists that use the term "global warming" in a different way. I'm going to edit the existing version to reflect the definition actually derivable from the sources cited. The cause is a conclusion, it's not "terminology," and doesn't belong in the section, in my opinion, except as it relates to terminology. I prefer to respect the broader consensus of the working group version, which wasn't offensive, but as long as the edit warriors are active, I'll insist on sourcing and faithfulness to source. --Abd (talk) 01:35, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with your broad points concerning terminology and separate treatment of cause. I think your points about the IPCC are in error, however. They aren't making a tautological statement because their statement isn't "global warming is very likely due..." so you've substituted in error. It's quite clear that the IPCC does define global warming as being human caused, though I think the use of that definition impedes the clarity and neutrality of the article for reasons already discussed.
I also think that the terminology section ought to include the IPCC definition, verbatim, as part of it's discussion of terms. It's important that global warming has that definition according to that source, and it shouldn't be omitted from the article. I think the best approach is to discuss how the terms are used by different sources so that the reader can understand that there are different usages. Mishlai (talk) 04:05, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd's claim to consensus has been addressed in the sandbox. The current version also has had as much, if not more, support. The IPCC "gold standard" also has had as much, if not more, acceptance. As Abd has been told several times now, we're not making important changes to contested areas without gaining consensus, which he clearly doesn't have. And as he's been told before, stating his rationale concisely be the best approach if he wants his posts read. --Skyemoor (talk) 15:05, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Here is the problem: one can almost always lie with fewer words than to tell the truth. Or, the same, assert a POV rather than discuss. I've discussed this issue of consensus. I've given lists of editors, showing what I've concisely claimed in other places. Quite simply, Skyemoor repeats the same false statements over and over, ignoring the discussion and the evidence and all the rest. Concise? Sure. Boiled down, concentrated bluff and bullshit. Must have worked for him before, somewhere. The next steps will be very concise. --Abd (talk) 15:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
The relevant quote would be from Hin-mah-too-yah-lat-kekt: "The white man has more words to tell you how they look to him, but it does not require many words to speak the truth." (my emphasis). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:37, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Try understanding my friends before quoting them. I can speak the truth with few words. But answering lies takes more, unless those listening are prepared to do the work. Watch.--Abd (talk) 16:29, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Abd's post above constitutes a personal attack at the same time violating WP:AGF. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:30, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It's a generic comment, made in response to a generic comment. As such, it's brief, using "lies" to mean "false statements." Shoe fits, wear it, but I have no opinion that Skyemoor has lied, which is what would have to be inferred to make the comment into a personal attack. By the way, the discussion isn't in the sandbox. It's at Talk:Global warming/Terminology section. It was created as a sandbox subpage (with that name) by Skyemoor, but converted to a named subpage because my hope is that we won't have to repeat this tedious and tendentious discussion over and over. Apparently, Skyemoor didn't like the results there, so he's edit warring here. --Abd (talk) 16:52, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

(ec) I described the exact IPCC usage above. The last statement (global warming is very likely ...} is obtained by substituting, as I'd thing obvious, "global warming" for "Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th centry," which is very, very close. I.e., "global warming," here, is being used for the increase. To make it more accurate, it would be "Most of the global warming is very likely due to ..."

They quite explicitly, in the paper cited at least, do not define global warming as being human created. Rather, they assert that it is very likely due to human causes. Mostly. It's quite precise, it's not a tautology, and I based my edit, or at least intended to, on the IPCC discussion plus the EPA, which is the source for "common usage" or equivalent.

The IPCC doesn't define "global warming," "verbatim," at all. They explicitly define "climate change."

It's now, again, been reverted by Skyemoor with a summary, Seek greater consensus before making such a change, as has been stated to you several times now, the exact summary as he used before. That's two bald reverts in a row with no new discussion by him. What he is restoring is a version which is new language, without any right to assume consensus. I'll warn him on his Talk, but he's more likely to listen to someone else. What I put in was rigorously sourced, with the source discussed here. What he's put in is not true to its own sources. He was previously blocked for edit warring on this article, though not since 2007. If he'd been a skeptic, behaving like this, he'd have been blocked before now, I've seen it happen over and over. --Abd (talk) 15:23, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

The IPCC doesn't define "global warming," "verbatim," at all. This is patently untrue and you've been shown this to be untrue several times in the past. It is also the Version 5 definition that you have collapsed in the sandbox. Global warming refers to the gradual increase, observed or projected, in global surface temperature, as one of the consequences of radiative forcing caused by anthropogenic emissions. IPCC (2007) No matter how many words you use to try to deny it, I will keep repeating what several people acknowledge as the "Gold Standard". If you want a single sourced statement from a reliable source, then that works. The version you inserted has not been evaluated in the sandbox with a consensus. Seek and obtain consensus before making changes to this section. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:26, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec) Skyemoor, were you aware that the source you referenced is a different one to the one which Abd is referencing? Abd's source is Summary for policymakers] as used in the article, and I can can't find a definition of global warming in it. Which is, I should add, why I think Abd is making a mistake using it as the basis of his definition: if it doesn't define "global warming", then it can't be used as a source of the definition. Your source is much clearer, but isn't the one being employed as a reference. - Bilby (talk) 16:41, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Using the words "very likely" w.r.t. the broad issue whether global warming is anthropogenic is unduly minimizing the strength of the evidence, I object to the use of those words in the brief section on "Terminology", as here. Fact is, the words "very likely" are used in the 2007 IPCC Summary for Policymakers numerous times. They've defined "very likely" as p>.9 (>90%) as applied to many summary parameters including anthropogenic carbon dioxide, methane and many other specific influences on warming. The IPCC's summary is in fact very conservative in its statement of the strength of the evidence of human influence.
..... For a quick example of a summary update on just how conservative the IPCC's Fourth Report is, see, e.g., this summary update. Note, for instance, that "... in some places, the Arctic Ocean is losing sea ice 30 years ahead of current IPCC predictions". Although it's drawn from a report by the World Wildlife Fund, an advocacy group, the WWF's data tends to be extremely comprehensive and thoroughly empirical as to its summary data. The CNN piece notes that: "Newly elected Vice Chair of the IPCC and climate scientist, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele endorsed the WWF publication. 'It is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious,' van Ypersele said." Point being, "very likely [anthropogenic]" is very misleading in the context of a brief statement on terminology. Giving due weight to the preponderance of reliable sources on the issue, "virtually certain [that global warming is anthropogenic]", or "taken as granted by the scientific community to be anthropogenic" would be NPOV ways of saying it. ... Kenosis (talk) 16:37, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I haven't had the time to participate in this discussion in the last few days (or weeks? ). If the problem is that there is no direct source for "in both common and scientific usage", then I would say that it may not be reasonable to demand that we must have a source that says that this is the case explicitely. Instead, we should look at all the scientific articles published in the last few years and then look a the way they use the term "global warming". The way the authors of scientific papers use this term defines the "scientific usage".

I think it is reasonable to demand that the people who have problems with the part "scientific usage", to compile a list of recent scientific publications in the journals used by climate scientists that use the term "global warming" in a different way. Count Iblis (talk) 16:31, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree with this approach. --Skyemoor (talk) 16:46, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
(ec)Really? The present article references the IPCC and the EPA, but contains a definition of global warming that is supported by neither, and Skyemoor is edit warring to keep it that way. At Talk:Global warming/Terminology section, and Q Science started to gather some quotes, and the only other user who has supported Skyemoor in the recent reverts, KimDabelsteinPetersen, objected to it as original research. Let me put it this way: original research or not, there is no basis, to my knowledge, for the quote about "scientific usage." I'm not aware of any special "scientific usage" that differs from non-scientific usage; the term "common usage" in the EPA definition clearly covers both scientific and other usages. It means "often." Otherwise, please, what is the basis, in reliable sources, for making the comment about usage at all? --Abd (talk) 17:01, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
For the old terminology section we did just that - we looked at 10 or so dictionaries for the popular meaning, and a selection of scientific papers via Google Scholar. Looking for one single source in the scientific literature will probably be fruitless. Usually, either a term is generally understood well enough to just use it, or, if an exact meaning is needed, it will be provided explicitly, and without a claim about universal truth and applicability. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 16:57, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, since you appear to be familiar with it, can you point us to that old discussion? We may not need to reinvent the wheel. --Abd (talk) 17:03, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, "it's in the archives". I'm rather busy with several RL projects at the moment, and I have no headstart on searching on anybody else. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks anyway. --Abd (talk) 13:24, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
The dispute here, my guess, isn't over the definition as we'd find it in sources. It's over how the definition is presented, some of us want to modify the definitions we find so as to spin them a certain way. For sure, the current language doesn't reflect the sources cited for it. It appeared for a brief moment that User:William M. Connolley had cut the Gordian knot by presenting language from an old version, language he preferred, and, in fact, at that point, every single user discussing it signed on, which included skeptics and those who "believe in" anthropogenic global warming. It comes back here and is reverted by those who apparently want spin, i.e., who consider the removal of spin to be a "whitewash." All this distracts us from the real and deep and much more difficult controversies we face. So I'm taking it very seriously, this has to stop. Our job is to seek consensus, to serve our readers and not some personal agenda, with respectful crafting of text, faithfulness to sources, and civility, and this is quite difficult enough without edit warring. --Abd (talk) 17:11, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
It's not "spin". It's an editorial decision, undertaken by consensus process, about how to apply WP editorial policy in summarizing for the reader what the reliable sources say. The scientific community is already proceeding to apply empirical methods to attempt to discern what can be done about AGW. The analysis about whether GW is anthropogenic since the beginning of the industrial era and accellerating in the 20th Century through today, is already a historical study. The scientific community has already concluded that it is anthropogenic, and the current questions revolve around very specific aspects of AGW and feedback, and what, if anything, humans might now proceed to do about it. All this can be readily discerned by a dispassionate rational reading of the reliable sources on the topic. ... Kenosis (talk) 17:46, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
By spin, I mean the projected consequence for readers. We have seen logically equivalent definitions promoted or rejected based on one or the other of them being a "whitewash." If facts are being presented, taken from reliable sources, there is no whitewash. However, selective presentation of facts can serve as such. That's spin. The order in which facts are presented can have political effect. That's spin. We had half the EPA definition here, for a long time, sourced to the EPA, also for a long time. But half of it had been presented. And sequence and emphasis had been changed. The EPA definition covers other definitions with its reference to "common usage." I changed "common usage" to "often" to remove the impression that "common" meant "lay." Strictly speaking, the definition of the term and commentary or information about the cause are logically independent: "global warming" is, in ordinary language, not depending on present context, a phenomenon that exists entirely independently of whatever is causing it or even if it exists at all. It's clear that a substantial number of editors consider this important, and unless we respect this point of view, we will have a continual need to defend the article against "POV pushers," who are simply other Wikipedia editors with a different POV than that of the majority here. The issue of anthropogenesis is a different issue. Strictly speaking, causation need not be mentioned at all in a terminology section; however, there are also arguments for its inclusion; so if it is included in a rigorously neutral way that attributes a conclusion, either specifically, "According to the IPCC," or generally, "By scientific consensus" or indirectly, with language that matches what is found in many sources: "attributed to" (attributor not stated). The point is that it's possible to get language here which will remove POV pushing elsewhere, except for diehards. On either side.
Kenosis, the question is not whether or not there is scientific consensus that global warming is anthropogenic. The only questions I've been working on are these: (1) If we have broad editorial consensus, we can have any language that consensus supports, as long as it does not conflict with policy. So what version has the broadest consensus? (2) Failing broad consensus, the section should be rigorously and accurately sourced, not synthesized, and RS material should not be removed from it. There is no editor here strongly taking the position that we can't mention the scientific consensus. We have only a few, on one side, who may contest language that states as fact that which is actually conclusion, not in the ordinary scientific way, but as part of the language itself. If we are accurate, there won't be any problem. Scientific theories are still theories even if universally accepted, and one of the things that can inhibit the evolution of science is when we become confused on the difference between a fact and a theory. The number of scientists who accept this could vary maximally, from none to all, and it wouldn't change the fact that it's a theory or hypothesis. But beyond a certain level, we can present as fact that which is theory, it's an encyclopedic shortcut. I contend that the presence of substantial political or other controversy over this, which clearly exists, however, makes this inadvisable. So we should use language that, like many of the definitions of global warming, avoids presenting anthropogenesis as a fact, strictly, but which at the same time makes it clear that this is not seriously doubted by the great majority of scientists. --Abd (talk) 18:24, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Speaking as just one WP user, I reject Abd's notion of what "synthesized" means in this context. Quoting from WP:SYN: "Summarizing source material without changing its meaning is not synthesis; it is good editing. Best practice is to write Wikipedia articles by taking information from different reliable sources about a subject and putting those claims in our own words on an article page, with each claim attributable to a source that explicitly makes that claim." The claim that, today, GW ~= AGW (+ or - total "feedback", of course) is 'not' original synthesis. Indeed it's the overwhelmingly predominant view of the reliable sources today. We're not obliged to pick one and quote it exactly, but rather, it is a completely reasonable and permissible editorial decision to summarize the reliable sources, even in the section on Terminology. ... Kenosis (talk) 19:10, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Let me get this one straight:
I contend that the presence of substantial political or other controversy over this, which clearly exists, however, makes this inadvisable. So we should use language that, like many of the definitions of global warming, avoids presenting anthropogenesis as a fact, strictly, but which at the same time makes it clear that this is not seriously doubted by the great majority of scientists.
I've read this a couple of times now... And what i seem to derive is: Because there is political (ie. not scientific) controversy over the subject, we must deliberately downtone (read: pussyfoot) what the scientific opinion/definition is (weight?).
Now of i could be wrong, depending on what exactly your definition of theory is (ie. scientific or common wording). But in either case i'd say that this seems to be a suggestion, that says we should deliberately tone down what reality is, because there are people who could get offended. Which in reality makes you call for us to spin things so that we do not offend some people.
So could you please clarify - and please be brief and to the point? --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 19:24, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

(unindent)(respond to KDP) No, that's not what I'm saying. I'm saying that, within what we can reliably source or otherwise use (i.e., noncontroversial synthesis may be allowed), we should choose what enjoys the broadest consensus, because this avoids needless and protracted controversy. This is, in fact, general Wikipedia practice. "Reality" is another name for "Truth." Are you saying, KDP, that we should just present The Truth (TM)? Currently, we have a version being maintained by edit warring which is not true to the sources asserted. On the working subpage, Talk:Global warming/Terminology section##The IPCC definition I explore the IPCC source and show how the so-called "gold standard" definition is one adopted by Working Group III, which was charged with a task which assumed anthropogenesis. So, of course, they defined the term for their purpose. The other Working Groups didn't assume that, they concluded that. Hence they did not define "global warming" that way (or at all, for that matter). Basically, there has been some sloppy editing here, supported by edit warring, and fueled by POV pushing. Clear?

By the way, my discussion there isn't "brief," because it is an exploration. I'm not a POV-pusher. Were I, I could and would be much more succinct. Instead, when I do research in the sources, I report what I find, as I find it. If this is too long for you, well, it will take much less time to read than it took me to put it together! And, then, if I got it wrong, you can fix it. -- Abd (talk) 20:45, 21 October 2008

...we should choose what enjoys the broadest consensus. Agreed. You will find dozens of reliable, verifiable sources in the scientific consensus article. --Skyemoor (talk) 23:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Nope, we don't agree, because I was referring to editorial consensus, whereas Skyemoor is referring to scientific consensus, which editorial consensus will consider, but not exclusively. There are lots of additional considerations when it comes to text that aren't covered by "scientific consensus," which doesn't have an account here. Tell me, is "very likely" in the IPCC report an indication of "scientific consensus"? And if it is, does it mean that scientists agree (with what percentage) that anthropogenesis is "very likely" (greater than 90% probability), or that the majority -- what percentage? -- consider it certain (which, by the way, would be bad science.) The IPCC report reserves "virtual certainty" for greater than 99% probability and note the little weasel word "virtual." I.e., "not really." Or "nearly." Or, perhaps, "Certain enough that we should probably act as if certain." On the other hand, if all scientists act that way, the possibility of discovering a 1% probable error diminishes to zero. Science is built on uncertainty, not on certainty, and good scientists, in peer-reviewed publications, generally avoid certainty. So should we, except for the encyclopedic exception, which is for convenience and brevity, not for full accuracy. Skeymoor has several times directly contradicted WP:CONSENSUS: "Developing consensus requires special attention to neutrality - remaining neutral in our actions in an effort to reach a compromise that everyone can agree on." Everyone. That's the goal, when possible. We'll never know unless we try. --Abd (talk) 23:52, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

It seems apparent to me that we're not going to reach a full consensus on a single definition. Skye, Kim, and Boris seem to want the definition of global warming to include cause, and myself, WMC, and APD (and others) seem to want a definition that does not include cause, but describes cause later in the article. I would suggest that the approach most likely to generate consensus would be to describe the different usages/definitions of the controversial terms.

  • The IPCC defines global warming as...
  • The EPA defines global warming as.. (or whatever you want to source the cause-unstated version from)

in the same sense that climate change is sometimes used neutrally but sometimes used as anthropogenic and distinct from climate variability.

How would everyone feel about that approach? Mishlai (talk) 05:56, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

For the record, I don't particularly care whether the definition includes cause or not. I lean slightly against it based on scientific concerns, but there are numerous definitions in reliable sources that do include anthropogenic causality. Most of all, I think the many tens (hundreds?) of kb of text we have devoted to this matter have been a colossal waste of time and energy that could have been spent on more substantive issues. Short Brigade Harvester Boris (talk) 06:26, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the quest for one single definition is futile. Many interpretations include anthropogenic causes, most refer only or primarily to the current episode (and by far most of these implicitly assume anthropogenic causes), and some do not. We might as well document the range of semantics. Going for the least common denominator, on the other hand, is misleading. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:30, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

"Very likely"

I added parenthesis to the statement in the lead about "very likely" meaning greater than 90% probability, which is sourced with the IPCC. (actually, I put in 95%, but that was an error.) Raul654 reverted it as inappropriate detail for the lead. I actually noted this in my edit summary; however, the problem is that the IPCC statement isn't quoted elsewhere in the article. What's in the lead should be supported by what's in the article; that this isn't is a clue that the article organization is defective. (Another clue is the presence of source citations in the lead, they shouldn't be necessary.)

This is important because much of the dissension over this article is based on one side arguing that we should treat anthropogenesis as a fact, and others arguing that it should be reported as a "theory" or with some other qualification that "weakens" it. However, the source asserted here, the one that says "very likely" also explains precisely what that means. It means greater than 90% probability. There are two higher levels of probability in their scale: "Extremely likely" (greater than 95%) and "Virtually certain" (greater than 99%). I'd argue that we should not present as a certainty, as "scientific consensus," anything less than "virtually certain," though we would certainly give great weight to "very likely" and even more to "extremely likely." The article notes that the great majority of scientists agree with the main conclusions of the IPCC report, but the IPCC report includes a measure of uncertainty, and is, itself, quite scrupulous in avoiding any assumption of anthropogenesis. The difference is important to us because if we exaggerate what the IPCC has reported, we invite needless editorial disputes. Absolutely, Raul654 is correct, this is too much detail for the lead. But so is a lot of the lead. Regardless, whatever is in the lead should be discussed in depth in the article, the lead should be an uncontroversial summary of what is in the rest of the article. So this is going to take some work. --Abd (talk) 23:22, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't object to mentioning the 95% figure in the article, but it is not appropriate for the lead. The lead currently says "very likely", which looks perfectly fine to me. Raul654 (talk) 23:27, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Sure. But where in the article? It seems that the lead has been allowed to carry the weight of this. That, in fact, is a sign of a history of edit warring and POV pushing by factions; it's definitely not good encyclopedic style. The article shouldn't begin with cause, it should begin with WTF global warming is, and principally, with text about the warming itself. Then it would examine effects (of warming, which has nothing to do with cause), causes (and there is more than one), and adaptation or mitigation. It actually does a fairly good job of much of this, but the basic organization is missing. And that there seems to be no place to specify what "very likely" means is a symptom of that. And it's important, because the ordinary meaning of "very likely" could be "virtually certain," but that's not what the IPCC means by it. One chance in ten that it's not true is hardly certainty of any kind. Merely a good bet. (By the way, my money is on anthropogenesis, but that's a different story.) --Abd (talk) 23:59, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Its already there. The sentence is directly referenced to the AR4 SPM (ref 3), where very likely is explained in detail. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:16, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, it's ref'd to AR4 SPM, and, yes, the reader can discover there, if they know to look, the precise meaning. But the effect could be deceptive, because of the variance between the ordinary meaning of "very likely" (which I would casually read as a substantially higher probability than 90%) and the specific, defined meaning, plus I find it quite interesting all by itself that the term has a specified level of probability, and, in particular, one not next to virtual certainty (greater than 99%, a whole order of magnitude less probability of error). It means, indeed, enough that we should take this very, very seriously. But also that caution and continued research and consideration are necessary before assuming certainty. 90% chance that we are causing "most" of the global warming. "Most" could mean a bit more than half. (I'm not claiming that it is that low, so don't assume I am.) In any case, the point I've been making is that if we are accurate and true to sources, we will eliminate some portion of the useless wrangling that takes place with the global warming family of articles. I've seen what gets skeptics blocked, or, more accurately, a certain segment of them, the good-faith editors: they insist on accuracy and faithfulness to sources, on neutrality, vainly imagining that they will be supported, and when they are stonewalled and insulted (which is ignored by admins and is even sometimes at the hands of admins, while if they respond in kind, they are warned and blocked) they get upset, and understandably so. --Abd (talk) 02:04, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I support including a definition of "very likely" in the main article, as I think it's a key statement and that it's valuable to define the terms. I disagree with your assessment of the POV provided, though. I think that explaining that "very likely" means >90% actually strengthens the term. (Also, the greater than sign is important... very likely does not mean exactly 90%.)
I realize that it's in AR4 but it only takes a short sentence to explain the meaning, and I would argue that >90% is a fundamental piece of that prominent statement on attribution, and that the Global Warming article would be improved by presenting it directly rather than letting it be hidden in sub-articles. In the mind of someone not already familiar with the IPCC use of terminology, "very likely" is pretty qualitative and somewhat subjective. ">90%" is concrete. Mishlai (talk) 04:59, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

Guidance for writers from the IPCC

Communicate carefully, using calibrated language'

9. Be aware that the way in which a statement is framed will have an effect on how it is interpreted [6]. (A 10% chance of dying is interpreted more negatively than a 90% chance of surviving.) Use neutral language, avoid value laden statements, consider redundant statements to ensure balance (e.g. chances of dying and of surviving), and express different but comparable risks in a consistent way.

10. To avoid the uncertainty perceived by the reader being different from that intended, use language that minimizes possible misinterpretation and ambiguity. Note that terms such as “virtually certain”, “probable”, or “likely”, can engage the reader effectively, but may be interpreted very differently by different people unless some calibration scale is provided [7].

11. Three forms of language are given in Tables 2, 3 and 4 to describe different aspects of confidence and uncertainty and to provide consistency across the AR4.

12. Table 2 considers both the amount of evidence available in support of findings and the degree of consensus among experts on its interpretation. The terms defined here are intended to be used in a relative sense to summarize judgments of the scientific understanding relevant to an issue, or to express uncertainty in a finding where there is no basis for making more quantitative statements. A finer scale for describing either the amount of evidence (columns) or degree of consensus (rows) may be introduced where appropriate, however, if a mid-range category is used authors should avoid over-using that as a ‘safe’ option that communicates little information to the reader. Where the level of confidence is ‘high agreement much evidence’, or where otherwise appropriate, describe uncertainties using Table 3 or 4.[28]

(sections 14 and 15 give confidence and likelihood scales.)

--Abd (talk) 21:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

I don't understand what you're trying to communicate by posting this. Mishlai (talk) 21:37, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Gee, I thought it was spot on. It shows how carefully the IPCC language was crafted, probably, and, in fact, those guidelines reflect our own task, largely. We currently quote "very likely" in the lead, but without explanation of what that means, and they point to the hazard of this. Sure the reader can find it, if they know where to look. Generally, they don't, and you can read that source quite extensively without seeing it. What the lead says should really be stated precisely, accurately, and completely in the article -- and this includes likelihood level (i.e., greater than 90%, but not more than 95%) for "very likely." And they point out that just stating it one way could introduce spin. I'd say we can't switch it around, just as we should not do what has been done to the Terminology section: reword these definitions to avoid a "whitewash," which is another way of saying to "push a point of view." But we should keep in mind that the IPCC is saying, just as effectively, that there is a 5% to 10% chance that "most" global warming is not from human causes. In our restatements of the IPCC definition, some editors have removed the qualifiers "most" and "very likely" to make the IPCC statements into bald statements of fact. That can't be sourced from the IPCC. --Abd (talk) 22:00, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
The definition you refer to was put out by the IPCC in a glossary, so it most definitely can be sourced to them. This has already been mentioned a couple of times. Further, the "very likely" statement isn't a definition at all, it's an attribution statement.
As far as care in wording, I quite agree. Your meaning was unclear because it was posted without context. Mishlai (talk) 23:19, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Re the attribution statement, that's absolutely correct. "very likely" has nothing to do with the definition of "global warming." Global warming could be rejected, by consensus, or merely a thing of the past, or natural, and the definition of it would not change. But usage would. That's why the EPA definition made a reference to "common usage," which was not a reference to "common" in the sense of "by non-scientists." That idea was simply made up by an editor here. --Abd (talk) 11:24, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Do models "project" or "predict" or "show"?

Some editors complain about the length of my posts. This is a report of what just happened with the article, a bit of analysis, but, mostly, what I found on researching it a little with the sources. To read it will take a lot less time than finding and checking sources. I'm sure that if I err in presenting the sources or summaries of them, someone will point it out, so if saving your own time is important, and you consider it worth reading about this level of article detail at all, I suggest reading this and accepting it as presented in good faith, without any axes to grind, beyond those of accuracy and NPOV and verifiability.

An editor changed "predict" to "project."[29]. A distinction without a difference, in my opinion. I was going to pass it by, but then realized that models don't do either of these things. People do, using models. A model shows a result when a variable is changed. And that's what this text is about.

The original text resulting from the first edit:

  • These models project that the effect of adding greenhouse gases is to produce a warmer climate.

Edit summary:(I've always believed that models 'project' rather than 'predict')

My text:

  • These models show a warmer climate from adding greenhouse gases.

Edit summary:(→Climate models: actually, a model shows a difference from shifting a variable. It is neither projection nor prediction, strictly. Boil down a little.)

An editor changed this to:

  • These models project a warmer climate due to increasing levels of greenhouse gases.

Edit summary:Climate models: The IPCC uses 'protected', 'projections', etc, so indeed climate models do just that)

Sure. But "projections" aren't made by the model, they are made by an analyst using the model. What does the source actually say? Well, this statement is sourced to a book, not to a study, and there is no page number. Bad practice. (And we might not be able to read the book for free, but that's a separate problem. A search within the book says "Page 177: Sorry, this page's content is restricted." Okay, what does the IPCC say? Source for the previous sentence? This source uses the terms "model estimates" and "model projections." We also see "these model studies predict..." A model study is a study using a model. The model itself doesn't "study."

Search "models project" had one hit: "All C4MIP models project an increase in the airborne fraction of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions through the 21st century." "Models show" has three results, also for C4MIP models. Now, where in the 90 pages of this chapter is the source for the editor's claim about IPCC usage? "Models predict" had four hits. I don't find a specific justification for the statement in the article in this source, perhaps someone can point to it (and it should be specifically sourced, to a page). As to the language, clearly "project and predict" are used in this IPCC report synonymously with "show," which then allows the lost performative that can lead to contention. "Show" doesn't have that lost performative, because, presumably, the same model would show the same result to anyone who applies the model, it is a characteristic of each model. Of the options, though, "project" has the least support. To my mind, all this shows that the semantics police weren't much on duty with the IPCC, the difference being pretty minor. I'd not have touched "predict" and only objected to "project" because I don't like the word "project" when it is used so generally, I'd reserve "project" for very specific numbers coming out of a model, or for, possibly, sets of these. But that's just me.

Google Books search showed 640 hits on "models project" climatic change, 650 hits for "models show" climatic change, and 695 hits for "models predict" climatic change.

Technically, a study committee makes a prediction or projection using results from models, but usage apparently incorporates, often, an assumed analyst. The difference between "project" and "predict" and "show," from usage, very slightly favors "predict," then, "show," then "project." The analyst, in fact, should be attributed in careful exposition, in which case there is no problem with "project" or "predict." Since that is what the analyst does. (An analyst can be an individual or a committee or could be plural.) "Show" would generally apply to the models themselves, not as much to the analyst. --Abd (talk) 15:28, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Apples, oranges, and picked nits. To pick one more: "show" and "predict" is not the same. Models will show certain behavior that may or may not predict something. And, as a starter, you could drop the complete first paragraph of your post without loss of pertinent information ;-).--Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:47, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
As we could drop all the edits with "TL;DR" and the last sentence of your post, Stephan. That's right, "show" and "predict" are not the same. That, in fact, was my point. A model shows a behavior, and it may not predict anything. It is a fact about the model, not the reality. When we say that "models show that increases in greenhouse gases lead to a warmer climate," we are saying that a collection of models show this behavior; when the greenhouse gases are increased, in the model, the model "shows" a warmer climate. And that this is happening with a collection of models. (Are there any exceptions?). But analysts make predictions using one or more models. Note that I didn't bring up this nit. Another editor did, based apparently on personal preference, not on source frequencies, nor, probably, on accuracy to source. --Abd (talk) 15:57, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
While i very seldom agree with rossnixon, his change was not based on "personal preference" (inferred) - but rather it was the correct choice of word, based upon what the literature says. What the IPCC models do, are projections based upon scenarios. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:31, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Pertinent chapters: IPCC AR4 Chapter 8 "Climate Models and their evaluation" [30] and IPCC AR4 Chapter 10 "Global Climate Projections" [31]. Please glance over at least the summaries before continuing. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:05, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, Kim.
From the summary, Chapter 9: "This chapter assesses the capacity of the global climate models used elsewhere in this report for projecting future climate change." Note that "projecting" refers to, not the models, but to the "use" of the models. Somebody or some body uses them. From the summary, Chapter 10: "An assessment based on AOGCM projections, probabilistic methods, EMICs, a simple model tuned to the AOGCM responses, as well as coupled climate carbon cycle models, suggests that..." Here "projections" is used to describe the behavior of a set of models. Another notable statement from the summary: "There is unanimous agreement among the coupled climatecarbon cycle models driven by emission scenarios run so far that future climate change would reduce the efficiency of the Earth system (land and ocean) to absorb anthropogenic CO2." Here, "agreement" is used to refer to models, though the agreement is actually something that appears when the models are collectively examined by somebody or some body. These are examples of lost performative, and lost performative is common and not necessarily objectionable, as long as the performer is named when necessary, or it is reasonably clear from context. --Abd (talk) 16:29, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
And now please try and read this [32]. In short, the wording projection is not selected by chance or literal meaning, people have actually thought and tried to stay consistent with the literature. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:27, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a crystal ball

A paragraph of the lead states, "Increasing global temperature is expected to cause sea levels to rise, an increase in the intensity of extreme weather events, and significant changes to the amount and pattern of precipitation, likely leading to an expanse of tropical areas and increased pace of desertification. Other expected effects of global warming include changes in agricultural yields, modifications of trade routes, glacier retreat, mass species extinctions and increases in the ranges of disease vectors." Perhaps we need a {{Who}} template after each instance of "expected" here. Expected by whom? This paragraph implicitly assumes that temperatures will continue to rise in the future, and states that certain effects of those rising temperatures are "expected" without stating who expects them; those are weasel words.

It would be better to say something like, "(Name of consensus document) states that it is expected that temperatures will continue to increase and that these increased temperatures will cause..." or "(Name of consensus document) states that if temperatures increase, expected effects are ..." (if documents can be found supporting such statements). My point is that the article should only assert things we can definitely support based on the sources we have, not draw conclusions or predict the future.

The next paragraph of the lead begins, "Remaining scientific uncertainties include the amount of warming expected in the future, and how warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe." This seems to assume implicitly that warming will continue into the future, ignoring theories about sunspots or about global cooling due to shutdown of thermohaline circulation. We can't know what will happen in the future. (See WP:NOTCRYSTAL.) I think it would be better to say something like "There remain scientific uncertainties about the amount and nature of future climate change, both globally and in specific regions." If there are documents expressing scientific consensus that there will probably be warming in the future, then stating that those documents say that would be useful, but not stating or implying directly that certain things are going to happen.

Stating conclusions as if they are facts just makes Wikipedia look unreliable, as if we've voted on what we think the truth is. Stating that scientists have published consensus documents which say certain things looks respectable and has a better chance of actually convincing people, in my opinion. Coppertwig (talk) 17:05, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Note that the lede doesn't say "...will cause ...", it says "is expected to cause", which are completely different statements. Note that the earlier sentence in the lede states, "The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations"[3][4] via an enhanced greenhouse effect.", which clearly states the point which you requested. Also note that the appropriate reliable, verifiable references are provided to support the sentence text. WP:NOTCRYSTAL simply warns against "unverifiable speculation". Sunspots have been addressed (see talk page). --Skyemoor (talk) 17:17, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Predictable, my crystal ball does work. Unfortunately, it's not a reliable source. And it doesn't tell me about the climate, it tells me about much more immediate matters. The phrase "is expected to cause" without stating who expects it is weasel words. Now, we don't have to have explicit attribution in the lead. Rather, the lead should represent a summary of what is in the article, really nothing should be said in the lead that isn't explained, in more detail, in the body. So a lead can indeed use weasel words, for a brief summary. Even then, it might be better to use a general attribution as with "according to scientific consensus, is expected to ...." The mention in the body would give specific attribution (in the text) plus sourcing to verify it. --Abd (talk) 17:37, 23 October 2008

Terminology (4)

This is the first sentence of the technology section

In both common and scientific usage, "global warming" refers to the recent increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere near the Earth's surface caused by emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities.

One of the references is IPCC AR4WG1_Print_SPM.pdf - fn 1. Assuming that that refers to footnote 1

Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity. This usage differs from that in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Can someone please explain to me how these are related? Q Science (talk) 04:34, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

As I understand it, it refers to page 10:
Most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.
However, to achieve this you need to substitute "observed increase in global average temperatures" with "global warming", as Abd described above. Doing so means that this cannot be said to define global warming, as the substitution requires that you already have a definition: Global Warming = Observed increase in global average temperatures. If global warming is defined differently - for example, if the definition includes "caused by human actions" or some such - then the substitution isn't possible. - Bilby (talk) 05:30, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
As it stands, the "terminology" section contains made-up language synthesized very recently, it's odd that two users seem to think it enjoys the benefit of a presumption of consensus. I put a version of it here because it had some consensus at Talk:Global warming/Terminology section. But that discussion quickly found a version that was more widely preferred: initially every editor participating signed on to it. I wouldn't try to reconcile the "definitions." The "page 10" statement is about as close as the IPCC document comes to defining global warming, beyond what I see as the special usage found with working group III, which did not consider the causes of global warming, per se, but how to remediate it, with an assumption of the "very likely" cause that was found by Working Group I. So the working group III definition assumes human cause. That's the only IPCC glossary that defines Global warming at all. In Working Group I, "climate change" is used. And, as noticed, to refer to what we might call "global warming," the IPCC report has the page 10 statement. I.e., "global warming," as used to refer to the present situation, would be the equivalent of "the observed increase in global average temperatures." Since usage elsewhere in the article, when I reviewed, or at least part of it, matched the IPCC usage, I finally, after all this, came to the conclusion that Boris was right in removing the section. It really is not necessary, and edit warring over it has left it in quite a confused state. When I put in precise language, taken from the IPCC report, it's reverted out as "not having consensus." But the existing language has, actually, less consensus. Bilby is right. Assuming that the term "global warming" includes anthropogenesis by definition, rather than as a "very likely" conclusion as to cause, makes no sense. It's certainly not "scientific."
Notice that global warming (defined as implied above) is assumed to be real. The IPCC report considers it undeniable, and my position is that we can as well, though still maintaining awareness of notable objections with due weight. "How much" is a subject of debate, "causation" is still a subject of some debate, (as would be expected when the IPCC puts the probability of human causation as somewhere between 90 and 95%, but the warming itself stands out, and the objections I've seen to it seem rather silly to me. Will it continue? How fast will it rise? Will it accelerate? None of that is considered a matter of certainty by the IPCC.
Given that "global warming" has an ordinary implied meaning of "warming of the globe," it is, in itself, a neutral term. But it is "commonly used" to refer to the recent warming (since the mid-20th century). If we talk about global warming as a problem, or, even, as a myth, that's what we are talking about. And we don't need to say that. It is common usage, and there is no substantial scientific usage that we have to explain that differs from this. The exception is Working Group III, which explicitly defined how they were using the term. That's the only explicit scientific source that I've seen that defines it this way. The Terminology section doesn't make anything clearer; what happens, instead, is that editors come along and notice the discrepancy between the Terminology section, as it got mangled, and the usage in the lead. And then there is more and more fuss. Boris was right. Cut it out. I've been proposing this for a few days. Nobody actually objected, though I haven't seen much agreement, either. Maybe it's time to just do it, and see if the editors who revert warred to keep it out, a short while ago, will now revert war to keep it back in, and what arguments they give this time. It would be funny if it wasn't so damaging, what happens with this article. --Abd (talk) 18:44, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
I mean no offense when I say WP:TLDR. Abd, you would reach more editors if your post were more concise. Garycompugeek (talk) 19:35, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Really? Reach them with what? --Abd (talk) 21:52, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Rephrase. More editors would read what you have to say. (ie reach more editors) Just trying to help... feel free to smack me with a large trout. Garycompugeek (talk) 22:03, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
For them to read what I have to say? Are you aware of how much I have to say? If the trees were pens and the seas were ink.... Sure. I can say less, and, perhaps, it will be read by more. But the readership I particularly care about will simply read it (sometimes), and certainly they will not comment TL;DR, uselessly. (This isn't about you! Your comment is clearly friendly.) (I.e., I've written for those who read, and usually don't care if some individual doesn't read. If I want someone specifically to read something, particularly to convince that individual, I'll write specifically which includes crafting it for that purpose. And this takes a lot more time than my normal writing, which already takes up too much of my day. I don't do it often. See if you can find a relatively recent SSP report that I've written, or an original AN/I report. Or a formal warning on a user's Talk page. Succinct. (When I've filed an SSP report, the usual result has been a blocked user.)
I think that you're misinterpreting what I said, Abd. If you wish to substitute a phrase with another term, as you have done, then you must have already defined the term in order to make the substitution possible. That's what you've done with page 10. You've substituted (as you stated earlier) "global warming" for "observed increase in global average temperatures". You can do this, if you accept that global warming is defined as "observed increase in global average temperatures", but you can't do this as part of forming a definition of global warming. Simply, the IPCC report can't be used as a source for a definition of global warming, as it doesn't provide a definition of global warming. Once you have a definition, (presumably from another source), the paper may well become valuable for other things. - Bilby (talk) 21:13, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
Bilby, you are correct, technically. But the IPCC report has been cited as a source for the definition in the Terminology section. Strictly, it's not, except for the special usage in the WGIII glossary, which is misleading to use as a general definition here. The IPCC report describes and discusses and analyzes the topic that we quite easily understand as "global warming." My position has become that we do not have to define it, beyond being careful how we use it. See the IPCC guidelines on writing, I've posted below, and notice the very careful language they use to describe global warming (above). Not to define it, to describe it. A definition is going to be inferred, generally, from usage; if we needed to, there are dictionary definitions we could use, but, as becomes obvious from the WGIII glossary definition (or explanation or usage), we should be careful about the usage for which they were intended. Boris is right. This is much ado about nothing, except that, with the Terminology section in, it isn't nothing. It should be nothing. The section is useless (largely redundant to what is elsewhere in the article) or worse than useless (more POV or unsourced than what is elsewhere), that's why I just took it out, just as Boris took it out before, with the approval of several editors but some reservations. --21:52, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
BTW, I found it interesting to look at the Featured Article version of this page.[33]. No Terminology section (That was June 21, 2006). Global warming is, as one might expect, defined immediately in the lead: Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans that has been observed in recent decades. --Abd (talk) 22:16, 22 October 2008 (UTC)
In which case, I simply say, the IPCC paper currently being used as a source for a definition for global warming should not be used as one, as it does not define global warming. :) - Bilby (talk) 03:19, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Sure. However, the IPCC source isn't currently being used for a "definition." Boris removed that section, it came back for a last gasp, then I removed it myself. The EPA does provide a definition, but some don't like using the EPA as a source. One of the problem with glossary definitions is that they can reflect how a term is used in the specific publication that provided the glossary, it isn't necessarily a general definition, plus glossaries often add helpful material to explain a term, such as examples, and then certain editors seize upon those as definitions as well. That's how we ended up with a definition of a term with a meaning obvious from basic meanings of words, that included, as if it were intrinsic to the term itself, information about applications, such as "global warming is the rise in temperature of the atmosphere near the surface of the earth, caused by the greenhouse effect due to emission of greenhouse gases by human activity." The definition part of this is "the rise in temperature of the atmosphere" (or other definition of temperature rise) part, then the rest is an example of usage, not intended, I'm sure, to be exclusive, even though a publication might not use the word in any other way.
The current definition in the lead is, as far as I'm concerned, fine, even though it is not fully generic. I.e., there have been other periods of global warming. That there is a current rise in temperature isn't in sufficient controversy to worry about it. (Controversy exists over how much rise, whether it will continue, how best to measure it, etc., and certainly over cause. But the lead doesn't start out tangling the word up with cause. Global warming is the increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation. --Abd (talk) 20:32, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

The article lead is getting out of date

Given recent updates from reliable sources about rapidly changing conditions related to climate, I want to recommend having a conversation about the language of the article lead. Presently the lead fairly accurately reflects the statements in the last Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, dated 2007 but compiled between 2001 and 2007. In the interim, several major international organizations of national science academies have indicated in language much stronger than the words "very likely [that global warming since the advent of the industrial era is predominantly or totally anthropogenic]".
..... IMHO, maybe we ought get started on the discussion process for an updating of the language of the article. Yesterday I added a couple of references in the "Terminology" section that directly support this position, but they're now gone, along with the terminology section. The updated sources were:
1) The joint statement of national science academies of the G8+5. The US National Academies publication of the 2008 statement by the combined national science academies of the G8+5 nations reiterated [the IPCC's finding] in stronger language, saying: "... climate change is happening and that anthropogenic warming is influencing many physical and biological systems.”
2) The InterAcademy Council, (2007) stated that: ""Current patterns of energy resources and energy usage are proving detrimental to the long-term welfare of humanity. The integrity of essential natural systems is already at risk from climate change caused by the atmospheric emissions of greenhouse gases."
..... In other words, the IPCC appears quite likely to be obsolete w.r.t. the current state of scientific opinion of the most reliable sources about the issue of AGW. I'm putting this forward as just a thought for the present and near future, speaking as just one WP user's assessment of what the most current reliable scientific sources are saying about global warming. What it seems to me they're saying, by my understanding of the sources, is that GW is not only "very likely" AGW, but that the international community of scientists has already concluded that GW is AGW. ... Kenosis (talk) 03:43, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

Well, it's a bit early to consider the IPCC report "obsolete." The IPCC uses very careful procedure and very specific terminology, and "very likely" means 90-95% liklihoood. Note that there is no conflict between the IPCC statements and the US National Academies publication of the combined academies. "Climate change is happening." The IPCC considers this a practical certainty. I.e., there is global warming; what is in contention, to the extent that contention remains, is the degree to which it is happening, the causes and their proportional contributions (or mitigations). The IPCC doesn't consider, it seems to me, that there is any controversy over the fact of an anthropogenic warming effect, but controversy remains over degree, and the IPCC statement is quite measured; from my memory, it is that "most of the observed global warming [using a more complicated synonym) is very likely due to the greenhouse effect as contributed to by human activity." Or perhaps simply "caused by human activity." And "very likely" means 90-95% likely. I don't see any conflict between the statements, as to fact. As to emphasis or spin, certainly. The IPCC statement is rigorously cautious and neutral, based on very specific and careful work. Other analyses may describe the situation more generally, and a summary of the IPCC statement could be, if we drop the caution and are satisfied with 90-95% and broad agreement from the scientific community that this is a good statement of the present science, "Human activity is causing climate change." or "anthropogenic warming is influencing...." (Does anyone really doubt that anthropogenic warming has an "influence")?
Note that you can accept that there is such a thing as "anthropogenic warming" even if you believe that there is no net warming! -- after considering other contributions. But, of course, the IPCC considers global warming to be "virtually certain." There is a tad more doubt about the degree of anthropogenic cause, but still quite enough certainty that we can claim scientific consensus as to a major contribution, at the least, from human activity. All I'm trying to do is to make sure that proper weight and balance be given to what is considered to remain possible by the IPCC and other sources. This will, I expect, satisfy the reasonable among the skeptics, leading to less disruption here, if we can restrain the editors who apparently take every move toward complete and rigorous NPOV to be an effort to "whitewash" the truth, and who will sometimes edit war to keep out rigorously and accurately and reliably sourced material because of some presumed spin, or to include material that is synthesized here with an opposite spin. --Abd (talk) 15:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
W.r.t. the IPCC's 2007 report, kindly substitute the word "obsolete" in my statement with "extremely conservative in light of the state of current research". A couple other substitutions, might help to better reflect the current reality: As a practical matter in late 2008, w.r.t. the fact of global warming per se, replace "virtually certain" with "beyond question". W.r.t. AGW, as of late 2008 replace "very likely" with "presumed by the scientific community to be a fact". I gave two instances of major coalitions of national science academies (the "crème de la crème" of the scientific community in those nations) which have used far more assertive language to the effect that GW is AGW. In addition, the newly elected vice-chair of the IPCC has now gone on the record in support of much more assertive statements than the IPCC was willing to put forward. He has very recently stated: "It is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious," These statements are being made (I gave two other examples above) by the most reliable current sources available to us. Are the editors of this WP article to simply ignore these more recent developments? ... Kenosis (talk) 16:38, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
What does "beyond question" mean? If this is the only change you're suggesting, I strongly oppose. - Atmoz (talk) 20:35, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
I was informally exchanging thoughts about "levels of confidence" with Abd. It is, however, my reading of the RSs that GW is "certain", not "virtually certain", and that the assertion that GW is predominantly or completely AGW is today, in lay terms at least, far more certain than the words "very likely" tend to convey. But I certainly wasn't proposing to in any way displace the IPCC-based language, definitely not in the lead. ... Kenosis (talk) 02:41, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I agree with Atmoz. The IPCC position is at any point in time dated, but it is also the most comprehensive, uptodate and thorough assessment of the literature available (with the possible exception of the US CCSP reports). There will at any given point in time be some who think that this position is too conservative, or that it goes to far, but these assessments, are mostly on single issues (from single sources) and lack the overall picture, as well as the time to become embedded in the literature as consensus. So while its unfortunate that there isn't an always up2date and complete assessment available at any given point in time - its far too early to tell. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:58, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
You would reasonably expect the IPCC report to be used as the primary source in this article, per WP:WEIGHT. Its going to take alot to dislodge a report popularly (inaccurately) described as the work of "2,500 of the worlds leading climate scientists" from numero uno. Jaimaster (talk) 00:04, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
Ah yes -- OK, pretty much agreed with the above three comments. I most certainly would not want to dislodge the centrality of the IPCC report in any way. The lead already makes clear that some scientists disagree with the IPCC's summary of its findings. I was hoping to open a discussion about how, if at all, to concisely express to the readers that major international coalitions of science academies have used stronger language than has the IPCC. As of now, the last sentence of the lede reads:

"While individual scientists have voiced disagreement with these findings,[11] the overwhelming majority of scientists working on climate change agree with the IPCC's main conclusions.[12][13]"

I was hoping for a discussion that would lead to serious consideration of at least a very brief clause or sentence noting that since the IPCC 2007 report, yet other highly prominent scientists and two major groups of national science academies have been more assertive than the IPCC about the pressing nature of the problem and the level of confidence with which it can be concluded on the evidence that global warming is, on the whole, anthropogenic. My thought was that perhaps with some of the obviously bright minds here, the participants could perhaps arrive at a more concise rendering of something like the following, cited, for example, to the three sources I noted earlier,:

Two major international coalitions of national science academies have recently asserted in stronger terms than the IPCC 2007 report that global warming is caused by human emissions, and the vice-chair of the IPCC has asserted that: "It is clear that climate change is already having a greater impact than most scientists had anticipated, so it's vital that international mitigation and adaptation responses become swifter and more ambitious,'"

It appears, though, from the above thoughtful responses, that this sort of statement in the article may at minimum be premature at this stage in time, or unnecessary, or perhaps even counterproductive as to how best to express to the reader the basics of GW in the lede. ... Kenosis (talk) 02:32, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
You might be able to put in something about that, if it is reliably sourced and not synthesized. However, the language of the IPCC reports has a very precise meaning for terms like "likely," "very likely," "extremely likely," and "virtually certain." They don't bother defining "Certain," because they don't use that for anything with any serious controversy involved, and if it is certain, they would simply state it as a fact. The IPCC 2007 Summary Report said that "most" [global warming] is "very likely"[anthropogenic]. "Very likely" means "more than 90% likely," and this was upgraded from "likely" in earlier reports, if I recall correctly. To get to the top category (Virtually certain, 99%) is not a small step. Notice also the weasel: "Most." That means that it's 90% likely that more than 50% of the warming is from us, through the emission of greenhouse gases. This is quite a distance from concluding that we are, as a simple fact, "causing" global warming. Other organizations may use less precise language. Sometimes an organization, once it considers the probability as high as 90%, may, for political reasons, emphasize that it's a fact or certain. At that level of probability, the risk of ignoring something dangerous becomes high enough that political pressure starts to arise against any dissent. That's quite dangerous from a scientific point of view, because it makes it quite difficult to recover from scientific errors. There is a recent example, the hypothesis that saturated fat causes heart disease. It's probably a myth, recent analysis and research has largely overturned this, but it is still effectively a consensus among nutritionists. And for years, anyone who suggested anything different was pilloried, it was hard to get research funded or published. See Gary Taubes, who has written about the history of this. Unfortunately, politics does enter into "scientific consensus," in more direction than one. --Abd (talk) 20:48, 25 October 2008 (UTC)

Attributed and expected environmental effects

The main article states that "Additional anticipated effects include ... malaria". I suggest that Professor Paul Reiter's Memorandum to the UK Select Committee on Economic Affairs and to the US Senate are highly relevant to this statement. 213.143.18.23 (talk) 10:16, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

There seems to be little of a scientific nature in this reference (which is overtly political), so I see little use of this as a reference for this article. --Skyemoor (talk) 15:54, 24 October 2008 (UTC)
I would suggest that Global Warming is a politicised issue. The fact that scientists are being brought together by governments (e.g. the IPCC) or called individually (e.g. Professor Paul Reiter) makes the political nature of Global Warming clear. Besides which fact, as a leader in his field discussing the scientific merit of the IPCC's statements on Malaria, surely there are few references more relevant to this section of the article. 213.143.18.23 (talk) 10:17, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
The IP editor has a point. The sources for the statement in the article about malaria are older than the 2007 IPCC reports. The WGIII report, which does discuss malaria, is pretty uncertain about it. The criticism of the IPCC report would refer to earlier reports. I haven't looked at those, but an important point made by Reiter is that malaria isn't purely a tropical disease, and the statement in the article that "Climate change could cause a major increase in insect-borne diseases such as malaria throughout Europe, North America and North Asia," seems a bit alarmist. The IPCC doesn't say that. See [34], p. 404. The combination of wet weather, swampy conditions, and warm temperatures, lead to high incidence of malaria where there are no effective countermeasures being employed, and the IPCC report is mostly concerned abou that. We used to have a lot of malaria in the U.S. What happened? Not climate change! I live next to a wetland. Lots and lots of mosquitoes during certain times of year. I'm much more worried about certain other mosquito-born diseases, that really exist here. West Nile virus, for example. --Abd (talk) 21:14, 25 October 2008 (UTC)
I wrote that the article contains a statement about "malaria throughout Europe, North America and North Asia." It doesn't. That sentence was from Infectious disease, which should be fixed. The statement in Global warming isn't sourced, I'll cn tag it, it may need some tweaking once a source is specified. --Abd (talk) 00:17, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Arrgh! It was in the article. KDP took it out. Somehow I missed that. --Abd (talk) 01:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, i verified the references, and found that the paragraph wasn't supported by them. So it was redundant with the other statement about infectious deceases. I wonder why you put the {{cn}} tag on that statement though. It seems to me that Chapter 8 in the WGII report does support this, and apparently you've read it. (see table 8.1). For Dengue specifically see 8.2.8.1, and for Malaria see 8.2.8.2. (and of course other places in the report). So why not add the reference? (Note: that the article only sais the spread of the deceases will be affected) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:35, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
I put in the tag because it wasn't sourced. Yes, I was aware of a source, but that source is singularly uncertain about anything other than a possible effect on range. Perhaps increase of incidence in some areas, decrease in others. Overall effect uncertain. The article says that "Additional anticipated effects include [...] the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever." That's not what you wrote above, Kim. "Spread" in such a context means an increase in range, possibly, or an increase in incidence within a range. Regardless, it implies more people getting sick. But the source isn't certain about that. Maybe. Maybe not. It's a risk, for sure. Sure, the "spread will be affected." But negatively or positively? Concern about possible increases in range or incidence or perhaps virulence is notable (see the prior sources) but the IPCC report don't seem to support an "increase." It's not solid. I didn't want to place the reference because the source I had, the IPCC, the most reliable, I think, wasn't clear on what the article said. An editor added a source and removed the cn tag with a "this isn't how a cn tag is used," or something like that. Hmmph. There wasn't any source, that's what cn tags are for. It's polite. Rude is simply taking it out. The new source placed is just a Wikipedia article, not okay. I reverted. Maybe all it needs is a better link, page number, or the like. But. Until then, citation needed.--Abd (talk) 19:42, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Except of course that the WGII report does support an increase (even if we do not write it). Check table 8.2 - global/regional >200-400 million additionally at risk (depending on scenario). I've added the references. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:09, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Thanks for the refs. However, table 8.2 isn't clear as to meaning. "Global estimates are 'severely reduced'" under some scenarios. And if a shift in range exposes 200 million people, but removes risk from 200 million, this might still be described as a risk to 200 million? I'd have to read the referenced article. I'm not pushing this, just noting that the IPCC isn't as dramatic as some of the other publications. --Abd (talk) 01:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)
Sources are in the proper sub-article. See Effects of global warming#Spread_of_disease. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 00:22, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
The IPCC Fourth Assessment Report is pretty ambivalent about the effect of global warming on the actual spread of diseases. It may increase spread in some areas and decrease it in others. Climate changes cause ranges for vectors to change, but some changes represent increases, some decreases. Thanks, Stephen, I'll look at that sub-article. --Abd (talk) 01:02, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Yes, and the statement in the article is just as ambivalent. ie. Change in spread of dengue and malaria - not increase. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:42, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
The language implies increase. There is plenty of stuff to be really scared about with GW in my opinion. Malaria in places with developed public health maintenance isn't one of them. Sure, if because of whatever, the social structures break down, malaria could be a problem where I live (U.S. Northeast), but... that's like lots of places, even without global warming. It's not clear that GW would increase incidence in Africa. Changes in range, i.e., increase in some areas, decrease in others, that's pretty likely; incidence already varies greatly with the weather. --Abd (talk) 19:42, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
Erm excuse me. But we are not focusing on the US or the developed world - but the world in general. And as said above, globally and regionally depending on scenario the IPCC projects an increase in several hundred million cases. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:12, 27 October 2008 (UTC)
The article, remember, specifically mentioned risk to North American and Europe. You took that out. It may still be in other articles. I don't read the IPCC as "projecting" that increase. A risk of an increase is not a projection of one. For example, look at this text from the IPCC WGII report:
Few models project the impact of climate change on malaria outside Africa. An assessment in Portugal projected an increase in the number of days per year suitable for malaria transmission; however, the risk of actual transmission would be low or negligible if infected vectors are not present (Casimiro et al., 2006). Some central Asian areas are projected to be at increased risk of malaria, and areas in Central America and around the Amazon are projected to experience reductions in transmission due to decreases in rainfall (van Lieshout et al., 2004).
I don't see in the WGII report a projection for net increase in cases. I suggest a careful reading of 8.4.1.2 in the WGII paper you cited. The emphasis at the beginning is on changes which could increase incidence, or, in some situations (such as Central America and around the Amazon), reduce it. Consider this: an increase in the number of days of potential transmission will have little effect in areas with health systems, because even a short transmission season will result in aggressive control measures against the vectors. It will possibly increase transmission in undeveloped areas, but these are already areas where there is risk, currently. Modelling this is difficult. I agree, there is risk. But it is not necessarily known in which direction total incidence is likely to go, up or down. The table 8.2 shows a number of studies, showing increases in some regions and decreases in others, such as the expectation of one study: Decreased transmission in 2020s in south-east Africa. By 2050s and 2080s, localised increases in highland and upland areas, and decreases around Sahel and south central Africa. The "several hundred million cases" cited above is from one of the studies and is not an overall conclusion. --Abd (talk) 01:56, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

Fair weather electric field

This is related to the total number and intensity of thunderstorms, see here. A trend in the fair weather electric field would be consistent with Global Warming. Has such a trend been measured? Count Iblis (talk) 16:41, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

The fair weather field is hard to measure. It requires moderately fast sampling (milliseconds) to adequately capture the large fluctuations, and the numerical values depend on the local environment. My guess is that there aren't any consistently sighted measurement campaigns that would give you a long enough baseline to address the issue of climate change. Dragons flight (talk) 18:17, 27 October 2008 (UTC)

Including Global Warming as a theory vs. fact

In the first sentence of the Global Warming article there is no mention of Global Warming as a theory. The definition of a fact is that it is true if it is undisputed by competent scientists, whereas Global Warming has been disputed for some time now. I propose the first sentence be changed to, "Global warming is a theory that explains an increase in the average measured temperature of the Earth's near-surface air and oceans since the mid-20th century, and its projected continuation." This would best represent the topic. --EchoRevamped (talk) 22:56, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

You confuse the fact of global warming (the temperature has risen significantly since ca. 1900) and the scientific theory that explains global warming via a number of mechanisms, the most significant of which is the anthropogenic increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:02, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
The notion that we should qualify the description of global warming as a mere "theory" sounds remarkably like an anti-evolution rant. The reality is that there is consensus among the scientists who have actually studied the matter. Smptq (talk) 23:06, 11 September 2008 (UTC)
I think global warming is man-made and we should ride bikes or something to stop it. The polar bears and their young are in danger because of global warming. Now not all of it is man-made but most of it is. We need to help prevent global warming and we need to take care of our world because there is only 1!!! If we dont do something now then there is going to be more damage and lots of people are going to get skin cancer and other diseases i guess. Global warming has been happening for many years and it could go on maybe forever but it just want to help prevent global warming so I got a bunch of friends to help clean the polluted rivers and oceans and lakes. And I always recycle and you should too. That is what I have to say about global warming. Love *Hannah* I am only 13 years old and you could make a difference too. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.249.224.142 (talk) 22:36, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
The fact is that the 21st century trend is for cooling of -0.12C/decade, a fact that makes this global warming article shamefully misleading and when the 2008 temperature figures come out you will have no choice but to admit the warming has stopped (barring, that is, an unprecendented rise in temperature in the next few months)Bugsy (talk) 23:15, 30 September 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, The article starts out by saying there is a 'scientific consensus' accepting the theory, then subtly portrays it as fact. Case in point are my recent edits. The article stated that a scientist discovered that industrial emissions raise the temperature of the Earth. At some point in history, the scientific consensus was that the Sun revolved around the Earth, to say someone 'discovered' that would not be accurate and would not make sense. The same can be said of the Theory of Relativity, there is probably a scientific consensus that it would be true if there were a way to test it, but there is currently no way to put it into practice and make it fact. Without getting into a debate on why man-made global warming is happening or not, in order to maintain NPOV, and be consistent through the article, the theory of man influencing global temperature should be treated as unproven just the same as any other theory. It's a bad idea using 'scientific consensus' because there are plenty of scientists that do not accept the theory, and there are political and monetary motivations on both sides of the debate. Ryratt (talk) 18:06, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, but you are wrong. You confuse the modern theory of anthropogenic global warming through an enhanced greenhouse effect with the greenhouse effect itself. The greenhouse effect, discovered by Fourier and analyzed in some detail by Arrhenius, is not remotely under discussion - its a known and (nearly) universally acknowledged fact without which there would be no human life on this planet - and what other life there might be would complain about the cold all the time. The passage you edited dealt with the latter, not the former. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 18:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
Ryratt is right, it is a theory. I assume that you know that the temperature is determined by using a model (another word for theory). Have you looked at the model details? Of course not. It is proprietary. No one (except for the team that maintains it) knows what it is or how it works. Have you ever wondered why satellites are used for ocean temperatures but not for land temperatures? Simple, it would produce different results. Different models. Different ways to collect data. Secret algorithms. Ryratt is right, it is a theory. Q Science (talk) 22:01, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Actually what you describe would be, if it were true, "scientific fraud", not a "theory" at all. The theory would already have been falsified by conflicting data, but these "evil climate scientists" would be deceiving all of us by engaging in scientific fraud.
The reality is completely different. Not only is global warming a theory, it is a theory with very solid foundations in basic physics. Count Iblis (talk) 22:11, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
  • Sorry, Q Science, but what are you talking about? The greenhouse effect, or anthropogenic global warming? To repeat myself, they are not the same thing, and while both are strongly supported, the greenhouse effect itself is not even remotely controversial. It's a direct conclusion from basic thermodynamics. It raises the temperature of the Earth not by some small amount that you can possibly fiddle with or argue about, but by more than 30 degrees centigrade. To quote from the very next paragraph after the one that Ryratt edited (and that I reverted): Existence of the greenhouse effect as such is not disputed. Naturally occurring greenhouse gases have a mean warming effect of about 33 °C (59 °F), without which Earth would be uninhabitable. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:36, 16 October 2008 (UTC)
I apologize - that was very poorly worded. I agree that AWG is a theory, not the greenhouse effect.
However, the surface temperature is determined using an algorithm - that was the "model" I was referring to. From what I've read, the model details are proprietary. In addition, satellite data is used only for the oceans, not for land. Presumably, the satellites measure the surface temperature, but the models use air temperature taken several feet above the surface (but only for the land). I also understand that we know the change in temperature to a higher degree of accuracy than we know the actual temperature because certain errors tend to cancel out. But it is all still theory.
BTW, I have a problem with defining the greenhouse effect as "absorption and emission of infrared radiation". It seems more correct to define it as "absorption and emission of heat" to include sensible heat and enthalpy (20% to 50% of the heat absorbed by the atmosphere, depending on the source). Or maybe I am missing something. Q Science (talk) 08:49, 20 October 2008 (UTC)

No, you missed my point. Many scientists have the data which prove there hasn't been a significant rise in temperature. I'm not "confusing" the so called belief of "Global Warming" and its scientific theory. I'm saying that Global Warming in its entirety is based on disputed facts and untrustworthy data. These fallacies lead to the belief that Global Warming has lead to a temperature increase, which it hasn't, anthropogenic or not. This is why I believe such a disputed topic should be considered a theory.--EchoRevamped (talk) 03:33, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

I see. If you have any recent and reliable sources denying global warming completely, bring them here. This particular meme mostly stopped after even Spencer and Christy found the warming signal in the satellite data. None of the at least semi-rational sceptic hold the position that the warming does not exist, as far as I know. Anyways, even if you were right (a stretch, but for the sake of argument), the warming itself would still not be a scientific theory. Please read that article. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 07:03, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
The word 'theory' is being used here, and I agree with Smptq that it is also used in Creationist arguments, in the way scientists use the word 'hypothesis'; that is, a pre-experimental, pre-data-collection idea of what might be. Scientific theories have accumulated enough evidence that the original hypothesis has, as far as we mere mortals should be concerned, been proven true. You might also say, 'theories are not theoretical', in the way in which 'theoretical' is commonly (mis-?)used. Scientists are not content with what we take to be sufficient evidence, their standards for evidence are higher, and thus even such proven hypotheses are known as theories. Global warming is either already a theory or well on its way to becoming one, depending on the stringency of required evidence one applies. Anarchangel (talk) 10:17, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I realize this is a rather fringe opinion, but I feel "global warming" should encompass any kind of warming on any celestial body on a global scale. The article for globe mentions that a globe represents celestial bodies other than Earth, so my interpretation suggests that any warming on Mars, Jupiter, Earth or the Sun would count as "global warming." I believe the science on global warming that is mostly presented in this article should be moved to a separate article on anthropogenic global warming on Earth in the 20th and 21st century. In this light, however, global warming wouldn't be counted as a theory, because it would reference any actual warming that was happening.HillChris1234 (talk) 18:23, 25 September 2008 (UTC)

This article concerns itself with the topic of Global Warming, a term that refers specifically to changes in the climate of Earth. The climates of other planets are treated in their own articles or as part of the main article concerning that particular planet. Mishlai (talk) 08:18, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

There is a war going on between the skeptics and the computer scientists whether global warming is man-made or natural. No one really knows. But preventive measures should be taken none the less. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 72.13.137.7 (talk)


Human-Caused Global Warming: Might we come to a consensus that we identify, at the top of the article, a distinction between Global Warming as a possible scientific reality and the clearly identified intergovernmental study of computer models (1) currently cited in this article as supporting science for a non-referenced theory of human-caused global warming. No one has ever published such a theory. It is a public-opinion theory. (1) IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, Working Group I Report "The Physical Science Basis" *http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/wg1/ar4-wg1-ts.pdf

Furthermore, there is a large scientific debate on this issue that is not fairly represented here. Wikipedia has come under fire lately by the CEO of Overlook.com. I think our fair treatment of this subject would go a long way towards positioning us as the informational source that remains as free of policy and partisanism as our conscious efforts can carry us.

Such a look at this topic suggests that a few biases may be present at this time. In good conscience, I believe we should identify the details of the debate:

-That there is a scientific consensus that the earth *may* be warming. That this is the equivalent of a theory and so identified by its scientific supporters, not a fact or a law.

-That many scientists do not concede that human beings have caused such a possible warming

-That there is no science to support the anthro-catastrophic predictions often presented by the media

-That the most influential document in the debate is a governmental computer model assessment, not a scientific theory and not presented as a scientific theory by its authors.

-The Motive Mystery controversy: That governments stand to gain from taxes levied on greenhouse gas emissions.

-That the science on the effect of greenhouse gases includes indications that its negative effects are inert and that its positive effects include increasing plant growth.

This is the truth, the fact that these things are in question must be presented in a clear and honest way, a group-polished and expert-polished way that makes it possible for every person reading it to make a fair assessment, in large part without demanding extensive research or knowledge of jargon. I'm pretty sure that's what Wikipedia is supposed to be. Thank you.


I agree with the opinion that this article should be much more neutral. Wikipedia is a reference source, and, as such, should not be prejudiced toward either side. This article is overwhelmingly pro-global warming, leaving no room to dispute its validity. A person with no prior knowledge on the subject would be left with the opinion that global warming is a nearly universally excepted theory. There is only a brief mention of the counter-arguement, which is followed up with a statement that would lead one to believe that natural global warming is a ridiculous notion. As a personal believer in natural global warming, this misrepresentation is shocking. Now I'm not saying my side of the argument should be pushed on Wikipedia's many readers, either. I'm saying that the pro-global warming arguements should stay in blogs, and not in reference sources. (Tails512 (talk) 14:03, 29 October 2008 (UTC))
Global warming (as in "it gets warmer") is more than "nearly universally accepted". Its not a theory, but a widely accepted fact. Anthropogenic global warming, the scientific theory that explains a large part of the current global warming, is also nearly universally accepted, unless you give equal weight to the blogosphere and the scientific literature. See scientific opinion on climate change for a good overview of the opinion in the published science and in statements by scientific organizations. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:11, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
Stephan, you are completly missing the point. I'm not arguing whether or not global warming is happening, I'm arguing about whether or not it is man-made, and whether or not it is actually a problem. This is most certainly not universally accepted, and is only theory at this point. Don't believe me that there is controversy? Check out these opinion articles: Global Warming. They cover both sides of the arguement, and many would not agree with you, Stephan. (Tails512 (talk) 14:28, 30 October 2008 (UTC))
Actually, I don't find "You have logged out and your session has ended. Where can we take you?" to be particularly useful (and of course its plain wrong). Opinion articles are extremely weak sources anyways, and even weaker for what is essentially a scientific topic. I'll back the IPCC report or the US NAS evaluation against any number of popular press articles. "Global warming" in the plainest possible sense (it's getting warmer) is not and cannot be a (scientific) theory, as it simply does not have the right structure. It's either a fact, or it is wrong. Essentially no-one of scientific note takes the second position anymore. Anthropogenic global warming, on the other hand, is a scientific theory that happens to have extremely strong support in the scientific community (see my link above). It's slightly more complex than "is it man-made", as several natural and anthropogenic forces influence the climate, and there are both cooling and warming anthropogenic influences. That's why the IPCC as the foremost source on this topic says (and we quote): "most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-twentieth century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations". The question of whether or not global warming is actually a problem is yet another one, and in principle independent of the causes of the warming. However, again, the scientific opinion is overwhelmingly that it is a problem, as it puts enormous stress on the ecosystem and, via changes in weather, ecosystems, and sea-levels, also has a massive impact for humanity. Of course, "problem" does not imply "end of the world" - in fact, I think the chances are good that people in rich developed economies will be mostly shielded from direct impact. They will suffer significant economic losses, but distributed over quite some time. The brunt of the impact will be borne by the less developed and more vulnerable countries. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:24, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot it was a subscription site, so you can't view it. If you had read it, you would have noticed that you are being delusional, and that "the scientific ipinion is overwhelmingly that it is a problem" is just not true. It is much closer to a 50-50 split than it is to 100%. If scientist's published opinions (that's what you would see if you were a member) are weak sources, I don't think I can ever find a good source on this subject. (Tails512 (talk) 13:35, 31 October 2008 (UTC))
(edit conflict) Tails512, that site looks like a library access site. In any case, if you are a member, as I would assume, you could provide specific references from it. However, note this: with any fringe opinion, on a topic where scientific consensus isn't universal but is nevertheless overwhelming, such that an encyclopedia can treat it as, in certain ways, fact, especially if the opposition is properly noted, it will be possible, given how many scientists there are in the world, to dredge up a collection of opposing scientists. We do not determine the balance of scientific opinion anecdotally. Rather, we rely upon secondary sources, and most especially on formal reviews of the literature on the topic, which exist for global warming, most notably the IPCC reports, which do consider opposing views, and which provide some overview of the probabilities involved.
There is no significant disagreement that global warming exists, though there is disagreement as to how much warming there is, the time scale of it, and most certainly about the causes. So you won't see "Global warming" treated as a theory, in terms of the raw fact of it. Beyond that, the scientific consensus that the warming we are seeing is "mostly" anthropogenic is strong. Not universal. So we treat statements about anthropogenic cause with some caution, neither treating it as "mere theory," for it is stronger than that, even though technically, causation of anything is theoretical. Editors who have a point of view that (1) the global warming we are seeing is not unusual or, especially, that it is due to causes other than human activity, are certainly correct to ask that the article be fair and balanced on this, and that is a matter for editorial consensus to decide, i.e., what constitutes "fair and balanced," avoiding undue weight, and to edit with this in mind, respecting the policies and guidelines involved, such as WP:NPOV and behavioral limits as well, prohibiting incivility, edit warring, etc. --Abd (talk) 14:34, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
So, because opposing viewpoints appear in a private-access publication called "Opposing Viewpoint", that makes no claim to be representative of all viewpoints in proportion, you can conclude from opinion pieces that the split is 50-50? You are the one being delusional. =Axlq 14:14, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Indeed. That resource specializes on finding "balanced" material for pre-college level schools. And looking at our page on the print edition, Global Warming: Opposing Viewpoints (2002), you will see very few good sources (on either side). There are very few excepts from scientific synthesis reports (all on the "pro" side), some popular press articles, some environmental articles, and a whole lot of right-wing think-tank publications, self-published crap, and even a LaRouche magazine. If you want to learn something about the science, check out peer-reviewed scientific articles. Google Scholar is a good start, although even that indexes a lot of the grey literature. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:33, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

Flat-screen TVs

Please decide on whether or not to mention this report.

-- Wavelength (talk) 18:14, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
It doesn't belong here - but if there is more substantial coverage of it (ie. more than a single newscoverage, which iirc originates in a press-release from a company who just developed a method not to use these), then it would belong in Greenhouse gases. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 20:46, 23 October 2008 (UTC)
Thank you for your advice. -- Wavelength (talk) 22:50, 23 October 2008 (UTC)

http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5ibwC_yqdCtXd24mBJe6lMkwnUBaAD9415G5O0 ~ UBeR (talk) 14:25, 31 October 2008 (UTC)

New Chart

Is it time for a new chart of global temperatures? The one we are using is now four years out of date. Stephen W. Houghton II 70.150.94.194 (talk) 16:53, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Which one are you talking about? The main chart includes 2007 data. 2008 data will not be available before 2008 is over. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:05, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
The main chart at the top of the page is the one I mean. It seems to be out of date if I am understanding the text associated with it on its page. That seems to say that the data set ends in 2004. Stephen W. Houghton II 70.150.94.194 (talk) 17:52, 29 October 2008 (UTC)
I see. No, the chart is up-to-date. It uses the dataset from the Hadley center. That data set is continuously updated, as is our chart. The last description of the data set and methodology is from 2003 (I don't know where you see 2004), but the data is current. Count the blue dots (2000 is the local minimum). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:58, 29 October 2008 (UTC)

Clathrate Gun

Does this point to Clathrate Gun Hypothesis? http://www.tgdaily.com/html_tmp/content-view-39973-113.html

To be honest, with paragraphs like "Methane accounts for roughly one-fifth of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, though its effect is 25x greater than that of carbon dioxide. Its impact on global warming comes from the reflection of the sun's light back to the Earth (like a greenhouse)" the article is so muddled that I would not take it as evidence for everything. If you are interested, look at the Geophysical ReviewResearch Letters paper. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:15, 30 October 2008 (UTC)
Its an obfuscated rewrite of this press-release: [35]. And a good example as to why you should always take science reporting in the popular press, as (at most) providing a hint. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:47, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
GRL = Geophysical Research Letters. Not Review. Link to pre-print, just in cases. - Atmoz (talk) 04:16, 31 October 2008 (UTC)