Talk:Global warming/Archive 66

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SciAm resource

Record High Greenhouse Gases to Linger for Decades "Concentrations of the three main greenhouse gases blamed for global warming reached record levels in 2010 and will linger in the atmosphere for decades,even if the world stops emissions output today, the U.N.'s weather agency said on Monday." Scientific American November 21, 2011 by Tom Miles, excerpt ...

Carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, rose by 2.3 parts per million to 389 ppm in 2010 from the previous year, higher than the 1990s average (1.5 ppm) and the past decade (2.0 ppm), the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said in its annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. If the world is to limit global average temperature rise to below 2 degrees Celsius, scientists say emissions volumes must not have more than 450 ppm of carbon dioxide. (talk) 23:26, 21 November 2011 (UTC)

So you want us to quote an article(?) in Scientific American (which, despite its name, is not a scientific journal, but a popular magazine) where it quotes a news release from the WMO. Sorry, but even if this news item was significant enough to affect the article it would be best to cite the WMO directly. This is not a useful resource. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) 23:04, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
Couldn't you just say "This is a quote from WMO, we should quote that directly." instead of sounding so cynical. One of the reasons WikiPedia has a bad rep. -- (talk) 14:19, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Nope, couldn't do that, because it is unlikely that we should quote the WMO on this at all. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) 01:40, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
This appears to be it (389 ppm CO2) ... and here are more references and (talk) 06:54, 29 November 2011 (UTC)
Replaced comment ... wikipedia processing issue ... see Special:Contributions/Sailsbystars and the View History of this Talk page ... and previous edit by Special:Contributions/ (talk) 01:45, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

(od) What was deleted was a edit, not as Sailsbystars had in their/wp Edit Summary. (talk) 01:54, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

There seems to be a misunderstanding here. Somebody read a magazine article related to global warming and wonders why that specific fact isn't mentioned in the article on global warming. Well, the fact as stated isn't exactly new, it's only extraordinary news to people who don't know about global warming. And this article tells you about it. So after reading it you don't need to read a magazine article spitting out some factoid, you know about global warming. --TS 20:10, 30 November 2011 (UTC)

Thank you for the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) link ... (talk) 01:26, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

"Dangerous" climate change

I think there are some major problems in one section of the introduction:

(rest of intro)
Proposed responses to global warming include mitigation to reduce emissions, adaptation to the effects of global warming, and geoengineering to remove greenhouse gases from the atmosphere or reflect incoming solar radiation back to space. The primary international effort to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change ("mitigation") is coordinated by the 194-nation UNFCCC.[14] The Kyoto Protocol is their only legally binding emissions agreement and only limits emissions through the year 2012.[15] Afghanistan and the USA are the only nations in the UNFCCC that have not ratified the original protocol,[16] and as of October 2011 several others have refused to extend the emissions limits beyond 2012.[17] Nonetheless, in the 2010 Cancun Agreements, member nations agreed that urgent action is needed to limit global warming to no more than 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) above pre-industrial levels.[18][B] Current scientific evidence, however, suggests that 2°C is the "threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change",[19] that this much warming is possible during the lifetimes of people living today,[20] and that steep reductions in global emissions must be made by 2020 in order to have a 2-out-of-3 chance of avoiding global warming in excess of 2°C.[21]

I'll outline the problems below:

The primary international effort to prevent dangerous anthropogenic climate change ("mitigation") is coordinated by the 194-nation UNFCCC.[14]

I think this statement incorrect - there are 195 Parties to the FCCC - 194 states plus the EU (27 nation states) making a total of 221 states (UNFCCC, 2011a).

Current scientific evidence, however, suggests that 2°C is the "threshold between ‘dangerous’ and ‘extremely dangerous’ climate change"

There are no objective definitions of "dangerous/extremely dangerous" climate change or for "extremely dangerous" climate change, see IPCC (2001) and UNFCCC#Interpreting Article 2. In my view, it is important that readers of the article be made aware that any definition of "dangerous" (or "extremely dangerous") climate change requires value judgements, and that such judgements are subjective. The citation provided to support the definitions of "dangerous" and "extremely dangerous" climate change represent the personal views of one author.

Suggested revision

My suggested revision is as follows:

(rest of introduction as before)
Most countries are Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (UNFCCC, 2011). Parties to the UNFCCC have adopted a range of policies designed to reduce their emissions (Gupta et al, 2007; IEA, 2009:173-184; UNFCCC, 2005:10; 2011b:9) and to assist them in adapting to global warming (Adger et al, 2007; World Bank, 2010:262-263; UNFCCC, 2011d). Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed that deep cuts in emissions are required, and that future global warming should be limited to below 2 degrees Celsius relative to the pre-industrial level (UNFCCC, 2011e). Analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP, 2011) and International Energy Agency (IEA, 2011) suggest that current efforts to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent to meet the 2 degrees Celsius target.

I've removed mention of the terms "climate change mitigation" and "geoengineering." I think that these definitions can be left to later on in the article. I think that it is more important to concentrate on what actions are being taken. As far as I'm aware, geoengineering hasn't as yet been implemented on a significant scale (unlike mitigation policies such as the CDM or adaptation policies in some countries), and is less well-understood than mitigation or adaptation. Also, the UNFCCC (2011d) emphasizes mitigation and adaptation. I've therefore left geoengineering out of my suggested revision.

I think that the existing revision focusses too heavily on the Kyoto Protocol. The present political consensus appears to be based more on "bottom-up" measures rather than the "top-down" approach of Kyoto. I also feel that the existing revision lacks objectivity, and appears to implicitly support Kyoto-like agreements, e.g., "Kyoto Protocol is their only (emphasis added) legally binding emissions agreement...".


Enescot (talk) 14:47, 28 November 2011 (UTC)

Temperature of the Earth

Search for Average Temperature of the Earth leads here, but I can't find it in the article. It talks in detail about the temperature anomalies from year to year but never says what value those anomalies are relative to. If the Earth is warming, what is its temperature now? What is the recent (holocene) temperature history of the Earth?

Alexselkirk1704 (talk) 00:03, 18 November 2011 (UTC)

See Earth's temperature record; is that where you want to go? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:48, 18 November 2011 (UTC)
That is a redirect to temperature record. In response to the original query, I have created a new redirect, Average temperature of the Earth, to the same article. --TS 20:28, 19 November 2011 (UTC)

I was wondering if a map exists with Co2 emissions per square mile. Every map I see is either per capita or over all emissions. I just wanted to see where the most pollution is biased on land area. A map with this included would be awesome on this article. I have seen this info on states but not on a global level. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:19, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Hi, this isn't a bad suggestion. I think I could obtain the data needed without too much difficulty (I made the current per-capita graphs you refer to). I'll put it on my list of things to do when I have time, but don't hold your breath on it. Sailsbystars (talk) 17:33, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

How to control global warming

Hi friends i am adding How to control Global Warming on the article page so suggestions and references are welcome. Let me know what else i can do. Ashpreet92 (talk) 23:57, 2 December 2011 (UTC)

See Climate change mitigation. I've taken the liberty of creating a redirect How to control global warming to that article. Thank you. --TS 00:09, 3 December 2011 (UTC)

Renewable Energy Sources

Renewable energy sources are capable of continually replenishing themselves. These include energy from water, wind, the sun, geothermal sources, and biomass sources such as energy crops. Many nations count on coal, oil, and natural gas to supply most of their energy needs; but relying on fossil fuels is problematic. Fossil fuels are a limited resource; eventually, the world will run out. Fossil fuels also cause air, water, and soil pollution; in addition, produce greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Renewable energy resources, such as wind, solar, and hydropower, offer clean alternatives to fossil fuels. They produce little or no pollution or greenhouse gases, and they will never run out.

The ocean provides several forms of renewable energy, and each one is driven by different forces. Energy from ocean waves and tides, from the heat stored in sea water, can be harnessed to generate electricity, and ocean thermal energy can also be converted to electricity. Using current technologies, most ocean energy is not cost-effective compared to other renewable energy sources, but the ocean remains an important potential energy source for the future. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:19, 4 December 2011 (UTC)


Gee, take it easy, I was only adding a link to the see also section :P That usually never triggers any reaction like this. If you really want me to explain here how the link would improve the article, I would say that it's not an unrelated subject, and it shows that the scientific community has been wrong before which means that it can as well be wrong again. The article about global cooling has a link to this article in the see also section, so I don't see why this article could not have a link to that article in the same section. —Kri (talk) 15:35, 4 December 2011 (UTC)

and it shows that the scientific community has been wrong before - if you can say that, you haven't read the GC article. Adding see-also's without reading the article isn't good. How about you read it before commenting any more? William M. Connolley (talk) 16:10, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
See also: [1] NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:07, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Whatever the history, cooling is obviously related to warming. The Stephen Schneider/UCS/Club of Rome clique came up with both AGW and global cooling. Kauffner (talk) 01:54, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

It is ironic that people who get all their information about science from non-scientific, "conservative" (that is, pro-oil industry) news sources love to point out that "the scientific community has been wrong before". If they reject sources of information that "have been wrong before", they would logically reject all "conservative" news sources. Yes, scientists have been wrong, but they have been right more often that any other source of information. Except mathematicians. Rick Norwood (talk) 15:01, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

"Conservative" seems so abused nowadays. In a different world-line I can see the conservatives saying: hmm, burning up all this coal and oil as fast as we can just might muck up the climate so bad there would be radical environmental, economic, and societal consequences, so let's think about this a bit before charging ahead. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:32, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
Hey, why do we need coal or oil when Solyndra and the Chinese are making all the solar cells we need? They cost only $2 a watt to produce, and now you can get 'em cheap.[2] Kauffner (talk) 06:42, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Odd wiki behavior on this article... url shown in footnote rollover bar

This is a question for a wiki mechanic. When my mouse rolls over one of our citation footnote numbers in the text, I see a bar at the bottom of the screen that reports the full url. The weird thing is that for citation #1, the url in the bar ends with "note-0". For citation #126, the url in the rollover bar says "note=125". Is this normal wiki behavior that I just never noticed before? Either way.....why aren't they in synch? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:05, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Computers and computer scientists start counting at zero. Thank Dennis Ritchie for that. It's normal. The rollover URL is a feature of your browser (Chrome does it, and IIRC, recent Firefoxes also do it). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:17, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Delete section on "global warming controversy' (but include in see also) due to redundancy?

Here is a snip from the current index. Something in this list does not belong:

7 Views on global warming

   7.1 Global warming controversy
   7.2 Politics
   7.3 Public opinion
   7.4 Other views

There are three sections devoted to describing various perspectives, and one that is an umbrella for various arguments debated in public media. IMO, the latter is nothing more than the sum of the other three, as they butt heads in public media. As such, the section "global warming controversy" strikes me as redundant and should be deleted and replaced with simply a SEE ALSO at the end of the article. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:11, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Quotation resource

... Climate change (global warming) is, in the words of the Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, “the greatest example of market failure we have ever seen.” ...

from,4 by Naomi Klein. This article appeared in the November 28, 2011 print edition of The Nation. (talk) 22:20, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Section on geoengineering

I've readded the citations to the section on geoengineering. An editor noted that I needed to "dig a little deeper than the executive summary" to justify these statements. The IPCC reports are the most widely accepted statement of scientific opinion on climate change, and I therefore do not see the need for me to "justify" any of its conclusions. Enescot (talk) 14:51, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

For sure the IPCC reports are "the most widely accepted ...", solidly reliable sources, and need not be justified. But you missed my point. The section at Global warming#Geoengineering consists of four sentences, of which the first three were cited to the Executive Summary of ch. 11 of AR4 WG3. The only instance where that even mentions "engineering" (geo or otherwise) is in the sub-section "Unconventional options", which I quote here in its entirety:

The aim of geo-engineering options is to remove CO2 directly from the air, for example through ocean fertilization, or to block sunlight. However, little is known about effectiveness, costs or potential side-effects of the options. Blocking sunlight does not affect the expected escalation in atmospheric CO2 levels, but could reduce or eliminate the associated warming. Disconnecting CO2 concentration and global temperature in this way could induce other effects, such as the further acidification of the oceans (medium agreement, limited evidence).

Regarding the three sentences in question:

Another policy response is geoengineering of the climate. Geoengineering encompasses a range of techniques to remove CO2 from the atmosphere or to reflect incoming sunlight. Little is known about the effectiveness, costs or potential side effects of geoengineering options.

I submit that only the last ("Little is known...") is supported by the citation. The first two are not supported here; in describing what geo-engineering is, or encompasses, they might be better supported by quoting from the glossary. Or, as I commented in the text, all three might be supported further in the chapter, in which case the citation(s) should be to the proper location.
In summary, the problem is not that IPCC report is a bad source, but that the section cited does not support the text. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) 19:42, 20 November 2011 (UTC)

Enescot reply

For the help of other editors, this is the old revision which I changed:

(hidden comment) Serious problem here. I have removed the citations of the first three sentences because each cited the same section (, which mentioned geo-engineering only once, and incidentally at that, without supporting the material used. If someone wants this section retained, they should dig deeper than the Executive Summary."
(old revision) Another policy response is geoengineering of the climate.[citation needed] Geoengineering encompasses a range of techniques to remove CO
from the atmosphere or to reflect incoming sunlight.[citation needed] Little is known about the effectiveness, costs or potential side effects of geoengineering options.[citation needed] As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe, deployment would likely require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework, as well as significant further scientific research.[1]

Suggested revision

I've changed my my mind and agree with your criticisms. I've written a new revision which hopefully addresses your concerns:

"A body of the scientific literature has developed which considers alternative geoengineering techniques for climate change mitigation (Barker et al, 2007). Authors of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (published in 2007) assessed geoengineering techniques that appeared "apparently promising" (Barker et al, 2007). Techniques for ocean fertilization were assessed, which could be a strategy for removing CO
from the atmosphere (Barker et al, 2007). Also assessed were techniques for reducing the amount of sunlight absorbed by the Earth's atmospheric system (Barker et al, 2007). The overall conclusion of the IPCC Fourth Assessment was that geoengineering options remained "largely speculative and unproven, (...) with the risk of unknown side-effects" (IPCC, 2007). It was judged that reliable cost estimates for geoengineering options had not been published (IPCC, 2007)."
(as previous revision) As most geoengineering techniques would affect the entire globe, deployment would likely require global public acceptance and an adequate global legal and regulatory framework, as well as significant further scientific research.[2]


Note that the citation style I've used below is purely for use on this talk page. If other editors are satisfied with my suggested revision, I'll change my citations to the citation style used in the rest of the global warming article.

  • Barker, T., I. Bashmakov, A. Alharthi, M. Amann, L. Cifuentes, J. Drexhage, M. Duan, O. Edenhofer, B. Flannery, M. Grubb, M. Hoogwijk, F. I. Ibitoye, C. J. Jepma, W.A. Pizer, K. Yamaji, 2007: 11.2.2 Ocean fertilization and other geo-engineering options . In (chapter): Mitigation from a cross-sectoral perspective. In Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
  • IPCC, 2007: C. Mitigation in the short and medium term (until 2030) - paragraph 17. In (section): Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2007: Mitigation. Contribution of Working Group III to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (B. Metz, O.R. Davidson, P.R. Bosch, R. Dave, L.A. Meyer (eds)), Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.

Enescot (talk) 17:59, 24 November 2011 (UTC)

I think your references are quite unwieldy (may I offer revisions?), but the reformulated text looks very good. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) 22:54, 25 November 2011 (UTC)
Thanks very much. I'd be happy to discuss any ideas you have for improved references. Enescot (talk) 14:28, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Okay, any day now. If nothing else blows up. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:33, 2 December 2011 (UTC)
So is the text (above) pretty much what you want to add? I presume that the short cites you have put into parentheses should go into footnotes. I see that have cited Barker four times, all to the same section. Is that correct? Or should different and/or more specific citation be made? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:25, 4 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the text above is what I want to add. I've made the edit using this text, and used the different citations that I've referred-to here. I've reformatted these citations to match the way citations are given in other parts of the article. As per our discussions on this and other talk pages, I've kept the "Summary for Policymakers" bit for one of the citations. Enescot (talk) 16:29, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
The Barker citation looks good (was missing the chapter, but I fixed that). It did look distinctly odd having four sentences in a row citing the same section, so I did some copyediting to combine and remove the redundancies. I hope that is acceptable. I also added mention of the CO2 sequestration; I suspect that could be wikilinked. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:08, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for making those changes. Enescot (talk) 14:19, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

resource, not sure what wp article most useful

Global Warming and Political Intimidation: How Politicians Cracked Down on Scientists As the Earth Heated Up by Raymond S. Bradley ISBN-13: 978-1558498693 Publisher: Univ. of Massachusetts Press (July 31, 2011)

The Inquisition of Climate Science by James Lawrence Powell ISBN-13: 978-0231157186 Publisher: Columbia University Press (August 30, 2011) (talk) 20:10, 8 December 2011 (UTC)

IPCC citations - documentation

As part of the IPCC citation work I have created a Talk:Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/citation subpage that documents the canonical format (and other subpages with the AR specific details). I have also opened a discussion about this at Talk:Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I am also adjusting the FAQ (consensus?? :). ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:15, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

Global warming concern overestimated

Kudos and a suggestion about the FAQ


I understand that wikipedia is a "mouthpiece for reliable source", therefore I want to provide a link that has tons of reliable sources of dozens of major, renowned scientists with ample credentials from such prestigious firms as CERN, the Royal Society, top scientific journal Nature, Dr. Ivar Giaever a Nobel Prize-winner in physics, APEGGA's executive director Neil Windsor, Dr. Joanne Simpson, one of the world's top weather scientists, Dr. Fred Singer, first director of the U.S. Weather Satellite Service, and others who all disagree with the "majority of scientists" who claim exists and is a crisis. I encourage you all to educate yourselves on the other side of the spectrum. Read the whole story with sources and everything here: --Jacksoncw (talk) 03:25, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

CAUTION The above link behaves strange on my PC. It somehow breaks my back button, and I get an infinite loop with a message about resending info. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 04:12, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Never Mind the above "caution". The link works OK. Perhaps the NewsAndEventsGuy needs to learn how to a refresh? Santamoly (talk) 22:29, 23 December 2011 (UTC)
Because advocacy authors usually fire the biggest bullet first, the quality of that article can be judged by the its first big bullet, which is silly notion that warming stopped in 1998. What you have in that essay is a bunch of people mouthing off, whereas real science is done with data, analysis, and reproducibility, as reported in the peer reviewed literature. So if the folks quoted in that essay have reproducible data and analysis then... wonderful! Let me know when someone publishes something tangible in the professional lit. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 04:08, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Caution? I am pretty sure you just made that up, the site is completely safe; American Thinker is a well known publisher of ideas. You clearly didn't actually read the article because it states, with links, that there were studies done by CERN that came up with conclusive data. Actually go to the link and read it, there is real science done with real data and analysis by these groups. CERN is the organization that invented the World Wide Web, that built the multi-billion dollar Large Hadron Collider, and that has now built a pristinely clean stainless steel chamber that precisely recreated the Earth’s atmosphere. In this chamber, 63 CERN scientists from 17 European and American institutes have done what global warming doomsayers said could never be done — demonstrate that cosmic rays promote the formation of molecules that in Earth’s atmosphere can grow and seed clouds, the cloudier and thus cooler it will be. Because the sun’s magnetic field controls how many cosmic rays reach Earth’s atmosphere (the stronger the sun’s magnetic field, the more it shields Earth from incoming cosmic rays from space), the sun determines the temperature on Earth. There is research, not just "mouthing off". You can find the whole story on their findings by reading the Article by Nature magazine or reading about it here: -- (talk) 15:24, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
The Science and Environmental Policy Project also did studies that were published by the Heartland Institute here: they concluded that "nature, not human activity, rules the climate".-- (talk) 15:31, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
You are abusing the word "studies". It does not mean what you think. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 15:36, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Whether my wording was correct or not, their data and conclusions still stand, and it is not simply "mouthing off". And even if it were, that would at least deserve mention since all of these are renowned, credible scientists; but it isn't just mouthing off, they have data as shown above.-- (talk) 15:39, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
(edit conflict)I did not find the hacked problems with the linked page either. However, the IP and the OP misinterpret the CERN studies. The CERN studies are indeed quite interesting as they demonstrate that precursors of clouds can be formed with cosmic rays. However, there's still a very long way before any connection is shown with global temperatures. First it has to be shown that the rate of increased cloud nucleus formation -> increased cloud formation. Then it has to be shown that this rate vs. the cosmic ray flux is significant compared with the overall cloud formation rate on Earth. Then it has to be shown what altitude the clouds are formed at, as whether clouds add to temperature or subtract to it depends on their altitude (I believe high clouds -> increased temperature (more greenhouse effect), and low clouds -> decreased temperature (higher albedo)). In then end though, it's next to impossible that cosmic rays will have a strong effect on climate because there have been tremendous cosmic ray events in the past, but these events don't correspond with major climate shifts. For further reading on actual global warming science rather than what a conservative news source says is the science of global warming, I cannot recommend a better source then Spencer Weart's The Discovery of Global Warming. Sailsbystars (talk) 15:43, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Of course it doesn't have a "strong effect", if it did, there would be strong fluctuations in the temperature, but there haven't been. CERN isn't a republican source, I wasn't going off of what "a conservative news source says" I gave you the interpretative quote from the article that was published by Nature Magazine, in fact, I copy/pasted it from Nature Magazine; and I would go out on a limb and say Nature Magazine isn't a conservative source. Since it was data found by CERN and interpereted by Nature Magazine, it definitely deserves mention in the article; and we should work on rough drafts right away. You also are ignoring the second conclusion found by the Science and Environmental Policy Project above. By the way, I am the ip above.--Jacksoncw (talk) 15:51, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Appologies, I quoted and copy/pasted Author Lawrence Solomon, not Nature Magazine. I still believe it deserves mention in the article.--Jacksoncw (talk) 15:59, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
I was interested in the idea that there might be "the other side" to what tries to be a reasonably balanced neutral point of view article. I cannot really see one here though. --BozMo talk 16:01, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

I don't think that an article which ignores the views, which are arguably supported by evidence and even if not deserve mention, of dozens of credible scientists who at the very least think Global Warming is not a crisis; many of whom believe global warming is a natural phenomenon that stopped in 1998 and not relevant in any way, can be considered to have a "reasonably balanced neutral point of view. Again, I encourage you all to read the link to American Thinker in my very first post that elaborates on some of these people and their views.--Jacksoncw (talk) 16:10, 21 December 2011 (UTC)

(edit conflict)I think the article you want is Global warming controversy, although there are some mentions in this article of the controversies. However, from the standpoint of the scientific literature, there really isn't a credible "other side" these days in terms of the overall picture (CO2->2-5 deg C of warming per doubling), although many details (hurricanes, effects at the regional level) remain under serious study and debate. Also, Fred Singer has not been a credible scientist for about the past 20 years..... Sailsbystars (talk) 16:18, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry. I did read the American thinker article but sadly it hasn't got any kind of substance. It is an opinion piece by someone who doesn't appear to have a clue. If we took those kind of stanards of reliable sourcing Elvis would be sighted twice a week. --BozMo talk 16:26, 21 December 2011 (UTC)
Did you notice that some of his words are hyper-linked to other sources that support his claims? It doesn't matter whether you think he has a clue or not. The reliable sources that are hyper-linked in his opinion piece are reliable and need to be mentioned.-- (talk) 20:41, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Could you list here those sources that you want included? I went through the hyperlinks from this article and all I saw were links to other op-ed pieces and not relevant news articles. Not really anything we can use here. --McSly (talk) 21:15, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Sorry for the partial nonsequitur, I suggest that this article focus more on data and measurements indicating global warming (not modeling). The current article comes across as less-data driven and pre-judging that the effects are real. The section on "Observed temperature changes", which is the crucial part, is thin and the lead-off (and I guess the best data?) indicate a small effect and discusses weather vs climate (2010 being the warmest). I would think that the article on global warming would have a big section and subsections on, well, global warming.--Smokefoot (talk) 22:14, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
You're wrong. The article is already heavily data-laden, but importantly GW isn't just about the past and observations. As it says "Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation". Your own personal GW might be different, of course William M. Connolley (talk) 22:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)
Also see WP:SUMMARY. More details on the measured temperature curve are at Instrumental temperature record, which is linked from the section Observed temperature changes. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:54, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Dissent? ... Wikipedia is like Syria ... there is no dissent ... just a small group of malcontents who reject the overwhelming consensus of support for those running the show. Come on, it's got beyond a joke. The simple fact is that most politicians have stopped taking this subject seriously. Most teachers, most journalists, most people, have realised that a small group of zealots took over climate science and cherry picked the data to predict doom ... it's embarrassing that this article still exists. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:31, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Time to consign Global Warming to the History books

Citation work needed

I have pretty much completed converting the IPCC citations in this article to the new format. However, in various cases I was not able find the material cited, so tagged the citation. Yes, this makes it a bit messy, but the answer for that is for some editors to grab the appropriate pdf files and search for the cited material, then add the location (section) to the citation. Ask if you have questions. Some of the non-IPCC citations also need to be checked and/or brought up to standard. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:24, 22 December 2011 (UTC)

Urban heat island

Ref [4] I assume the point about the Urban Heat Island effect is that it causes a potential discrepancy to the temperature record not because it has a (minute) effect on Global Warming itself. That right? --BozMo talk 10:50, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Note that edit is wrong to say "The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about 0.002 °C of warming per decade since 1900".
What IPCC actually says is more complex:
In summary, although some individual sites may be affected, including some small rural locations, the UHI effect is not pervasive, as all global-scale studies indicate it is a very small component of large-scale averages. Accordingly, this assessment adds the same level of urban warming uncertainty as in the TAR: 0.006°C per decade since 1900 for land, and 0.002°C per decade since 1900 for blended land with ocean, as ocean UHI is zero. These uncertainties are added to the cool side of the estimated temperatures and trends, as explained by Brohan et al. (2006), so that the error bars in Section, Figures 3.6 and 3.7 and FAQ 3.1, Figure 1 are slightly asymmetric. The statistical significances of the trends in Table 3.2 and Section, Table 3.3 take account of this asymmetry.
Which is closer to saying that 0.002 is an upper bound, not a best-estimate William M. Connolley (talk) 12:02, 23 December 2011 (UTC)

Revision of lede

I've put together a draft revision of the article's lede.

OPPOSED TO THE BULK PRESENTATION I have no problem with trying to improve the lead but would prefer to take it paragraph by paragraph. You appear to have preserved the breakout of topics for the paragraphs so this should be easy to do, and a good way to get good focus and comments on each installment. I have content comments too, after others have a chance to comment on the procedural approach. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:15, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Enescot reply to NewsAndEventsGuy

Thanks for the reply. I'd first like to change the following paragraph of current revision shown below:

An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts.[11] Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall events, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, with projections being more robust in some areas than others.[12] In a 4 °C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, the ecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved.[13]

My suggested revision is (see the sub-section below for references):

the lede:

Nearly all land areas are projected to warm more than the global average, with more hot days and heat waves, and fewer cold days and cold waves (IPCC, 2001d, Table SPM-3: Robust findings and key uncertainties). Other projected effects include further sea level rise, more intense precipitation events over many areas, increased risk of droughts over most mid-latitude areas (IPCC, 2001d, Table SPM-3: Robust findings and key uncertainties), species extinctions (Schneider et al, 2007, 19.3.4 Ecosystems and biodiversity), and regional changes in agricultural yields (Schneider et al, 2007, Agriculture).

the section on adaptation:

(existing revision) Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change may be planned, e.g., by local or national government, or spontaneous, i.e., done privately without government intervention.[131] The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic development.[132] Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis.
The barriers, limits, and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood. (addition) There is, however, wide agreement in the scientific literature that the greater the magnitude of future global warming, the more difficult it will be for human society and the natural environment to adapt to it (Schneider et al, 2007, Executive summary). Adaptation will also be more difficult for faster rates of warming than slower rates (Schneider et al, 2007, Executive summary).

To summarize the reasons behind my suggested revision:

  • the current revision contains some potentially misleading information " Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events..." This implies that all extreme events will become more frequent, which is not correct.
  • one part of the current revision contains a technical term which is not explained, "(...) species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes (...) ".
  • my revision is based on the IPCC's "robust findings," which are probably the most extensively scrutinized set of findings on climate change. They are also presumably the most important of the IPCC's findings.
  • In my opinion, one sentence in the current revision is vague and rather uninformative "Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, with projections being more robust in some areas than others.[12]" My revision is more specific on the actual regional effects of climate change, e.g., "increased risk of droughts over most mid-latitude areas, (...)"
  • the information contained in the lede on adaptation is based on one paper. It is similar in some respects to the IPCC's findings, but I do not think it is suitable for the lede. In my opinion, the lede should focus on the IPCC's robust findings and those findings most directly related to Article 2 of the UNFCCC.
  • I think that the information presented on adaptation is rather difficult to understand. In the lede, I think it's better to focus on topics that can be easily understood and summarized, like the direct impacts of climate change. Enescot (talk) 15:17, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Enescot's suggested revision prior to NewsAndEventsGuy's comments

Current revision

Here's the current revision of the lede (2011-12-24, 14:30) for reference:

Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades.[2] Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and scientists are more than 90% certain most of it is caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases produced by human activities such as deforestation and burning fossil fuels.[3][4][5][6] These findings are recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries.[7][A]
Climate model projections are summarized in the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). They indicate that during the 21st century the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 1.1 to 2.9 °C (2 to 5.2 °F) for their lowest emissions scenario and 2.4 to 6.4 °C (4.3 to 11.5 °F) for their highest.[8] The ranges of these estimates arise from the use of models with differing sensitivity to greenhouse gas concentrations.[9][10]
An increase in global temperature will cause sea levels to rise and will change the amount and pattern of precipitation, and a probable expansion of subtropical deserts.[11] Warming is expected to be strongest in the Arctic and would be associated with continuing retreat of glaciers, permafrost and sea ice. Other likely effects of the warming include more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events including heatwaves, droughts and heavy rainfall events, species extinctions due to shifting temperature regimes, and changes in agricultural yields. Warming and related changes will vary from region to region around the globe, with projections being more robust in some areas than others.[12] In a 4 °C world, the limits for human adaptation are likely to be exceeded in many parts of the world, while the limits for adaptation for natural systems would largely be exceeded throughout the world. Hence, the ecosystem services upon which human livelihoods depend would not be preserved.[13]
Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC),[14] whose ultimate objective is to prevent "dangerous" anthropogenic (i.e., human-induced) climate change.[15] Parties to the UNFCCC have adopted a range of policies designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions[16]:10[17][18][19]:9 and to assist in adaptation to global warming.[16]:13[19]:10[20][21] Parties to the UNFCCC have agreed that deep cuts in emissions are required,[22] and that future global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.[22][B] Analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme (published in 2011)[23] and International Energy Agency (2011)[24] suggest that current efforts to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent to meet the UNFCCC's 2 °C target.

I have some problems with this revision. In my opinion, parts of it are too long, too technical/jargony, confusing, or imprecise/vague.

Suggested revision

Cited sources are given later on in the references section. If other editors agree with parts of my suggested revision, I'll change the references to make them consistent with the rest of the article:

Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades.[2] Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and is evident from observations of increases in global air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising global average sea level (IPCC, 2007d, SYR 6.1 Observed changes in climate and their effects, and their causes).
Since the start of the industrial revolution in 1750, human activities have lead to an increase in the concentration of heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases in the atmosphere, mainly through the burning of fossil fuels, but also through changes in land use, such as deforestation (Denman, et al, 2007, FAQ 7.1 Are the Increases in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide and Other Greenhouse Gases During the Industrial Era Caused by Human Activities?). Scientists are more than 90% certain that most of the global warming observed since the mid-20th century was caused by increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (IPCC, 2007d, SPM 2. Causes of change). This finding is recognized by the national science academies of all the major industrialized countries.[7][A]
A range of projections suggest future global warming during the 21st century of between 1.1 and 6.4 deg C (US NRC, 2010, p.2; USGCRP, 2009, p.24; IPCC, 2007d, SPM 3. Projected climate change and its impacts). The projected rate of warming over the 21st century would very likely be without precedent during the last 10,000 years (IPCC, 2001d, Table SPM-3: Robust findings and key uncertainties). Nearly all land areas are projected to warm more than the global average, with more hot days and heat waves, and fewer cold days and cold waves (IPCC, 2001d, Table SPM-3: Robust findings and key uncertainties). Other projected effects include further sea level rise, more intense precipitation events over many areas, increased risk of droughts over most mid-latitude areas (IPCC, 2001d, Table SPM-3: Robust findings and key uncertainties), species extinctions (Schneider et al, 2007, 19.3.4 Ecosystems and biodiversity), and regional changes in agricultural yields (Schneider et al, 2007, Agriculture).
The governments of most countries in the world are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and have agreed that global warming should be limited to below 2.0 °C (3.6 °F) relative to the pre-industrial level.[22][B] Analyses by the United Nations Environment Programme (published in 2011)[23] and International Energy Agency (2011)[24] suggest that current efforts to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent to meet the UNFCCC's 2 °C target.

Reasons for change

For the opening paragraph, I've added the IPCC's summary of the evidence for "unequivocal" warming. I think that including this short summary in the lede is entirely justified considering the article's subject matter.

I wasn't happy with the previous summary of the IPCC projections. I thought it was too long and confusing. My new summary is based on how the US National Research Council and US Global Change Research Program summarize the IPCC's work. I should note that the UNEP/IEA studies referred to in the introduction state that current policies are not consistent with holding warming to below 2 deg C. I think this addresses the possible concern that the IPCC's low-end temperature projection is misleading or outdated.

My summary of projected impacts is based mainly on the IPCC TAR's summary of "robust findings". The IPCC state that "a robust finding for climate change is defined as one that holds under a variety of approaches, methods, models, and assumptions and one that is expected to be relatively unaffected by uncertainties." I've used the TAR's summary instead of AR4's because AR4's are, in my opinion, less suited for use in the lede.

Limits of adaptation

I've removed the current revision's summary on adaptation. The summary is based on one paper, and in my opinion, is rather confusing. Instead, I suggest the following addition to the adaptation section of the article:

(existing revision) Other policy responses include adaptation to climate change. Adaptation to climate change may be planned, e.g., by local or national government, or spontaneous, i.e., done privately without government intervention.[131] The ability to adapt is closely linked to social and economic development.[132] Even societies with high capacities to adapt are still vulnerable to climate change. Planned adaptation is already occurring on a limited basis.
The barriers, limits, and costs of future adaptation are not fully understood. (New addition) There is, however, wide agreement in the scientific literature that the greater the magnitude of future global warming, the more difficult it will be for human society and the natural environment to adapt to it (Schneider et al, 2007, Executive summary). Adaptation will also be more difficult for faster rates of warming than slower rates (Schneider et al, 2007, Executive summary).


Enescot (talk) 14:36, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Too long; too many top-postings; too many unsigned paragraphs;too many long quotes from article. Please make specific proposals, one at a time. --Nigelj (talk) 16:16, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

Agree, At least For this particular article's lead section, NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:19, 26 December 2011 (UTC)

I would love to see the evidence, proof, studies, for the exact percentages of various causes, thanks.

It would be great to have some links to the actual experimental studies that show the fingerprinting and proof of causes and the percentages.

Yes, I agree that air pollution from human activity is a major problem. I just want to know what percentage is this cause. Thanks. Ideally everyone would get on board with cleaning up our air quality. Anyone can see the smog over a major city.

Exact measured percentages of warming, with margins of error, from each possible cause, is precisely known? For example, the exact measured percentage of warming from natural solar events is measured? How? What is the exact measured cause by humans? 80% or more? The margin of error? How many studies done? Does anyone know what studies show the measurements that prove the exact percentages for each cause? I would love to see them. Thanks.

What are the other causes, if any? Solar? What percentage confirmed?

Just the facts please. Please, no politics or personal attacks. Thanks.

Data and evidence is all that truly matters, along with excellent repeated experiments. Joseph Prymak (talk) 07:17, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

That is what the source references are for. In particular, see the IPCC reports, which are readily available on-line, come with two levels of summarization, and are better written than we can do here. Along with great images. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:11, 31 December 2011 (UTC)

Thanks Johnson, I will look around their website to see. Joseph Prymak (talk) 16:18, 1 January 2012 (UTC)

See also NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:23, 1 January 2012 (UTC)
Also as I noted on in reply to the same question on my talk page "For what its worth your question on adding up percentages seems based on a false premise in that inevitably Global Warming is not a sum of effects but rather the small difference between two much larger numbers; a large number of positive and a large number of negative effects all of which are estimated from data with relevant error bars in the usual scientific manner. It is therefore easy for the disingenuous to blame other effects than human activity (eg a bigger single contribution to the greenhouse effect comes from water vapour or whatever) since there are larger items on the "positives" side than human activity. However I am sure you are numerate enough to cope with that concept, and with the idea that there is a reason why the human contribution to one side of an equation otherwise in balance has a particular significance. --BozMo talk 21:49, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Important discussion on use of quotations when citing sources is now underway

FYI, Wikipedia_talk:Citing_sources#Use_of_quote_parameter_in_footnote_-_a_proposal_to_provide_better_guidance. Since this article uses lots of quotes, editors may wish to chime in. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:35, 4 January 2012 (UTC)

I would point out: that discussion is about the use of quotations, not necessarily of the citation/cite templates' "|quote=" parameter. The latter is rather useless, and it is just as well – possibly even better – to have a quotation follow (or precede) the template rather than be incorporated within it. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:59, 4 January 2012 (UTC) (Struck, as based on a misunderstanding. 01:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC))
Excepting of course that you lose 2 things: metadata and automatic rendering according to community standards (which i grant you isn't much of an issue at the moment). So, No... it is certainly not "usefull" and not "even better" not to use the |quote parameter. You need to look at a bigger picture than just rendering on this particular article to actually appreciate what the templates do. Citation templates are not just nice easy ways to render a text. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 14:10, 5 January 2012 (UTC)
I certainly agree that citation templates "not just nice easy ways to render ... text" (though I am appreciative that I can let a template handle all the arcane details of rendering citation text). But... On one hand, I have never seen how a quotation could sensibly be any kind of metadata for a citation. On the other hand, are you thinking in terms of the citation being the metadata that identifies the quotation? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:00, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Metadata in this context is data that can be automagically gathered by tools. A quote is such metadata, when you put it in the citation template, it can be automagically identified as a quote - and while this is probably not very useful for citation quotes, it is very useful for the rest of citation parameters. For instance given a question: "How many times are papers by Richard Alley quoted on climate change pages" can be answered by using a bot that collects information from the citation templates. (basically this goes for every known location containing particular information. This ability goes away once the data is outside known locations (as with non-citation template based citations). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:31, 6 January 2012 (UTC)
Look, I know what metadata is. I was questioning which is the metadata here. I think you are saying that the citation is the metadata that describes the quotation. Curiously, I had viewed it inversely. Well, I see your point. I think there are some issues with |quote=, but perhaps better an imperfect tool than none at all. So I don't mind allowing that |quote= is not entirely useless. Thank you for pointing that out. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:41, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

No global warming for 15 years

This article needs to be updated to reflect the fact there has been no warming for the last 15 years:

GoCacheGo (talk) 21:49, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

The Daily Mail has a rather tenuous relationship with fact, got a reliable source? Hint: try this WMO press release, rather neatly graphically illustrated in Skep Sci. . dave souza, talk 22:01, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Specifically, does anyone have the citation for the unidentified "paper" described in the article? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:20, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
If it's the one I think you're asking about, Pa reports pre-pub interviews, due to appear in the Journal of Geophysical Research, Atmospheres, so all a bit premature. . . dave souza, talk 22:48, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Five agencies report average global temperature. See them graphed at Links are provided so they can be verified.Dan Pangburn (talk) 22:57, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Just another Daily Mail epic fail: Met Office 2012 annual global temperature forecast - Met Office appears to be the source their "reporter" David Rose has mangled. H/T Greg Laden, nice explanation from Barry Bickmore. . . dave souza, talk 23:13, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
If you look at the the satellite or the radiosounde data it's apparent that 2011 was significantly cooler than 2010. The trend has been flat for ten years now. There's a paper "Nature's style: Naturally trendy" that found ten-year trends all over the place based simply on the way the math of complex systems works. So a ten-year trend isn't long enough to establish anything. But certainly the WMO press release tracks the year-by-year temperature like it was a stock index. Kauffner (talk) 03:58, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
Steven Milloy's Junk Science? The view from big tobacco and big oil, but not a reliable science source. Your statement is rather at odds with "However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.” Source: the Met Office as linked below. However, as you rightly indicate, looking at the ten years out of context is typical pseudosceptic cherry picking, which is why the Met look at it in relation to the overall record. . dave souza, talk 10:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
  • Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012 « Met Office News Blog – "Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled 'Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about'. This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading. Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions ...". This is the official blog of the Met Office news team, intended to provide journalists and bloggers with the latest weather, climate science and business news and information from the Met Office. A trivial but all too typical example of fraudulent "controversy" by misrepresentation in the press. . .dave souza, talk 10:56, 30 January 2012 (UTC)
So I am in league with Big Tobacco and Big Oil, and a press release is a better source than a graph of the actual data? This is pretty frothy. Kauffner (talk) 03:52, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
You're Steven Milloy? Perhaps you should declare a WP:COI if that's the case, and note that Junk Science graphs are not reliable sources. The issue of temperatures over the last 15 years is well shown in a graph of the actual data from a reliable source, which I've now added to the article, together with some up to date clarification. . . dave souza, talk 22:25, 31 January 2012 (UTC)
The ozone hole is worse now than it ever was, but no one cares anymore.[5] The climate has to warm, cool, or stay the same. So as Lindzen likes to say, there is a one-third chance of warming even if the AGW is completely off the wall. Regardless of what happens with the climate, this boogieman served its function in 2008 and now in the way. So it's going back in the closet to live with global cooling, acid rain, overpopulation, and resource depletion. Ecofreak end-of-the-world scenarios are a dime a dozen. I'm sure the Union of Concerned Scientists and the Club of Rome can work up something new. Kauffner (talk) 03:11, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 31 January 2012 - "Other views" 63% of television weathermen think that global warming is a product of natural causes, while 31% believe it is from human activity

Category:Climate change

I've restored this category to the article. Although Category:Global warming is also a subcategory of Category:Climate change, I think removing this particular article from the top level cat is probably unwise. Global warming is a very big part of the topic and should be shown at top level rather than diffused.

What does Wikipedia:Categorization guideline (WP:CAT) suggest? The following:

an article should not be excluded from any set category on the grounds that its eponymous category is made a "subcategory" of that category.

The bolding is in the original. --TS 10:51, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

That section of the guideline is largely ignored. In the interests of ease of navigation I removed it to incrementally reduce the clutter in Category:Climate change. Category:Climate change can be easily reached by a reader with one extra click. See also Category talk:Climate change#Reorganised. -- Alan Liefting (talk) - 11:21, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Avoiding clutter is fine. If nobody else has any issues I don't object. --TS 23:56, 13 January 2012 (UTC)

How come the red line on the temperature chart stopped going up?

The Runaway Greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres

"The Runaway Greenhouse: implications for future climate change, geoengineering and planetary atmospheres

Colin Goldblatt, Andrew J. Watson

(Submitted on 8 Jan 2012)

The ultimate climate emergency is a "runaway greenhouse": a hot and water vapour rich atmosphere limits the emission of thermal radiation to space, causing runaway warming. Warming ceases only once the surface reaches ~1400K and emits radiation in the near-infrared, where water is not a good greenhouse gas. This would evaporate the entire ocean and exterminate all planetary life. Venus experienced a runaway greenhouse in the past, and we expect that Earth will in around 2 billion years as solar luminosity increases. But could we bring on such a catastrophe prematurely, by our current climate-altering activities? Here we review what is known about the runaway greenhouse to answer this question, describing the various limits on outgoing radiation and how climate will evolve between these. The good news is that almost all lines of evidence lead us to believe that is unlikely to be possible, even in principle, to trigger full a runaway greenhouse by addition of non-condensible greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere. However, our understanding of the dynamics, thermodynamics, radiative transfer and cloud physics of hot and steamy atmospheres is weak. We cannot therefore completely rule out the possibility that human actions might cause a transition, if not to full runaway, then at least to a much warmer climate state than the present one. High climate sensitivity might provide a warning. If we, or more likely our remote descendants, are threatened with a runaway greenhouse then geoengineering to reflect sunlight might be life's only hope. ...[2 sentences cut to meet arXiv char limit]... The runaway greenhouse also remains relevant in planetary sciences and astrobiology: as extrasolar planets smaller and nearer to their stars are detected, some will be in a runaway greenhouse state."

Count Iblis (talk) 15:02, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

What is it that you wish done with this? --OuroborosCobra (talk) 15:57, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
almost all lines of evidence lead us to believe that is unlikely to be possible, even in principle, to trigger full a runaway greenhouse by addition of noncondensible greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide to the atmosphere suggests that it is not of immeadiate relevance... William M. Connolley (talk) 16:30, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
That statement with a citation to the article (to appear in Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. Lond. A) could be included here. Count Iblis (talk) 22:26, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Why? Goldblatt and Watson seem to be discussing the unlikelihood of a runaway greenhouse effect where surface temperatures reach 1400K (that's more than 2000 Fahrenheit). This Wikipedia article on "global warming" has nothing to do with such a runaway greenhouse effect and does not discuss it. Therefore, such a statement, cited to that journal article, has no bearing or relevance to this article. Is there something more that is in the article content than you are showing us in this abstract? If not, I also suggest you read FAQ 21. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 23:53, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
It is important to include the most rigorous analysis about the limits on global warming due to human activities. The reason why this article does not discuss runaway greenhouse effect is because it is believed to be irrelevant, but that is in itself a non-trivial fact about global warming that has to be mentioned in this article. Count Iblis (talk) 01:30, 11 January 2012 (UTC)
The limits are clearly established, including cited numerical values. A runaway greenhouse effect is a different phenomena from global warming. It is outside the established limits of global warming within this article. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 03:04, 11 January 2012 (UTC)


File:Solar-cycle-data.png, whilst nice, is beginning to show its age - see fig 9 of for example William M. Connolley (talk) 11:58, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Yep, this clearly shows the same pattern but now having turned the corner at the bottom of the cycle. So someone here has to create a new graph from the data, right? We cannot just pinch that one... --BozMo talk 13:06, 20 January 2012 (UTC)
If I understand the mumbojumbo right, the license for the one we have says anyone is free to tweak it. No need to reinvent the wheel, just need to update it. Alas, I'm not a graphics guy. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:29, 20 January 2012 (UTC)

Disliking recent changes

Beginning of thread

I don't like [6]. "since 1850" is somewhere between wrong and too specific. The attribution to the "national science academies" looks wrong; thats IPCC-ery. I don't know what "by natural geological variability" is supposed to mean; it isn't in the reference added William M. Connolley (talk) 11:25, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

William Conolley you are not making any sense! Please could you explain in more detail. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:46, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I thought it was pretty clear. The starting point of recent global warming can't be tied so precisely. The use of a specific year implies that that the scientific community agrees that 1850 is the starting point. If the starting point is roughly correct, then something like "mid-19th century" would be better.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 16:20, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Breakout discussion of time in lead first paragraph

I'd like someone to add some sort of date container here. 1850 is referred to on several pages linked to in the intro, including average temperature and retreat of glaciers, so clearly this article is about some phenomenon more recent than, for instance, the 16th century. That should be made clear. 19th century per suggestion above? Scott Illini (talk) 19:48, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

If I had to guess, I'd say the motivation here is to beat off claims that today's warming is just a continuation of warming since the last ice age. Is that why we are talking about this? The time frame is implied by the history of burning fossil fuels. Without being more explicit, I can see how an intentionally tortured reading could suggest ambiguity. But I fail to see how writing to beat off intentionally tortured readings makes the article more accessible to the truly open minded reader. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:21, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I'm trying to be encyclopedic. The opening sentence should define the topic. "Global warming' refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation" does not define the topic. This article does not refer to all warming in all of history. Nor has the Earth's temperature always been rising. Scott Illini (talk) 22:57, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
That sentence is in present tense: "the rising average temperature", i.e. the currently rising, the presently rising (and its projected continuation). You might as well be worrying everyone about the preceding clause - "refers"? Wikipedia articles can change! Do we mean that this version of the article refers to that? Or some past version? Shouldn't we say, "Since 2003, this article has referred to..." I think that's what is meant by a tortured reading. --Nigelj (talk) 23:18, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
I agree that the original text is fine. Besides being in present tense, the warming is tied to fossil fuel burning. For those interested in more detail there is an entire section on the temperature record. Does that subsection come up short, in your opinion? Also, there are a lot of other details we could add to the first sentence.... but then that would be a really long sentence. I fail to see how lack of a start date in the lead's first sentence translates into a failure to define the article. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:27, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
For what definition of "the present"? This year? This decade? This century? I think we all understand that the answer is "in recent centuries" but that needs to be stated. These articles are supposed to work for naive readers, children, etc. The current description makes it sound like Earth's temperature has forever been monotonically increasing like a cake in an oven. The later references to "more than 90 percent certain most" mean the article is not strictly tied to fossil fuel burning, and regardless, the first sentence of a Wikipedia article always stands on its own, like "The Earth is the third planet from the sun." Scott Illini (talk) 23:43, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Please point (link or specific paragraph number) to whatever policy or guideline says the first sentence has to "always stand on its own". I've seen that phrase with respect to the entire lead, but never to the first sentence of the lead. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 01:44, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Convention? I can't find an article that violates it, though if you can that might be a helpful example. But that was my second point. What about my first point? Shouldn't it be made clear whether this article is about 100, 200, 300, 500, 1000, or 10k years? Deforestation began with agriculture, but I don't think this article is meant to refer to warming during all human history since agriculture. Scott Illini (talk) 03:33, 25 January 2012 (UTC)
Please forget the lead and look at the rest of the article. What time period do you think the rest of the article talks about (if any)? When answering this question, in particular, please see the temp record subsection. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 08:08, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
The section you refer to discusses warming only after 1850. The lead should reflect that. I should not need to read the entire article to figure out what period of history the article refers to. If you do not like "in recent centuries" (19th, 20th, 21st), please propose something else. Scott Illini (talk) 19:01, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"In recent centuries" is ambiguous. Is the 16th or 17th century "recent"? Reasonable minds could differ. The sources do not all all use the same turn of phrase for when "global warming" commenced, which makes it hard for us to pick one turn of phrase over another. Even if there was an unambiguous unanimity among the sources for this temporal detail, is it something that must be in the lead? You say you are trying to be encyclopedic, and I usually interpret that argument to be synonymous with WP:IJUSTDONTLIKEIT (meaning the argument carries little weight). Getting back to my question, even if there was an unambiguous unanimity among the sources for this temporal detail, is it something that must be in the lead? I assume you agree that it is impossible to put every detail in the lead. IMO, the most important temporal details for the lead are the ones that are there. It is warming now, roughly coincident with increased use of fossil fuels, and the rate of warming has been increasing in recent decades. Further temporal details are available in the main body of the article... In other words, the lead is currently doing just what it is supposed to do, and we lack clear unanimity among the sources for which turn of phrase to use in the lead, assuming we wanted to use any. And you have yet to persuade me at least that it is needed in the lead at all. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:24, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Ok, then we'll go your way. "the currently rising average temperature"? This will reduce the ambiguity to a naive reader. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Scott Illini (talkcontribs) 19:56, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
Except "currently rising" is just as redundant as "currently happening right now this very moment in the present". NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:06, 27 January 2012 (UTC)
"Currently" is a one word addition. You claim that it is redundant. I claim that it reduces ambiguity, making more clear that the article does not refer, for instance, to a phenomenon taking place over millennia. I find ambiguity to be a far more meaningful issue than one word of possible redundancy. You seem to object to any attempt to improve the first sentence of this article. I'm going to go ahead and make this edit, and I would ask that you allow some other editor to step in if they find it truly redundant. Scott Illini (talk) 07:26, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
Please resist the urge to allege I am claiming ownership. Suggest a genuine improvement and I will be thrilled. I reverted your redundant addition of the word "currently" because it was non-responsive to the issue you previously said is the main problem you have with the sentence, which was, if I understood you correctly, that the 1st sentence of the lead was not - all by itself - telling readers when the warming covered in this article started. Note the tense of that last word "started". Past tense. So according to your prior remarks we needed to add some reference to a past event (i.e., the start of the warming) to the lead's first sentence. I'm unpersuaded that this is true, just pointing out that it is what you said was your main concern. The word "currently" is not about that past event. The sentence is already written in the present tense so adding "currently" does not add any temporal detail. For example, if you will pardon my momentary redundancy, let's talk about the fact that the earth is currently orbiting the sun. Does that mean the orbit started in 1850? The word adds no temporal detail to a sentence written in the present tense. Not right now. Not currently. I reverted because it's redundant and does not address your main issue. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 09:49, 28 January 2012 (UTC)
I think Scott has a valid point. Many articles have the need for a scope statement, whenever the scope is not obvious. This lede starts with the word “current” but that term can mean many different things in different contexts. The next sentence refers to the last 100 years, possibly imply that is the scope. The main article has several different dates, not of which are explicitly stated as starting points but each of which implicitly hints at the starting point: 1906, 1900, and 1850. It is not unreasonable to expect the term “current” to be defined more carefully, especially given the fact that even a careful reader can find at least three alternatives. Yes, I know that the starting point is not a specific year, but surely the experts has reached a conclusion about an appropriate starting point? And if not, that deserves mention as well.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 22:43, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
For the record, I never said he did not have a valid point (about start date), only that the solutions he suggested to refine the temporal details would not improve the article, IMO. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:47, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I understand, and did not manage to come up with a satisfactory solution myself. I hoped someone more familiar with the historical literature might chime in with the accepted description of the start of the warming trend.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:31, 30 January 2012 (UTC)

Breakout discussion of 'projected continuation'

Which of these is better grammar? "the current trend's projected continuation" or "the rising average temperature's projected continuation"? Reverting. Scott Illini (talk) 19:05, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Neither. In the first, addition of the word "current", in the context of the sentence in question, is redundant. In the second, "projected continuation" refers to "temperature" which creates an absurdity. I mean, does the physical trait known as "temperature" ever cease? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 19:30, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
The opening sentence says, "Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation." Neither of the two phrases introduced by Scott Illini (talk · contribs) above are relevant to the lede, which was recently edited on the basis of this discussion. 'Its projected continuation' clearly refers back to 'the rising average temperature'. No problem, no absurdity, nothing to fix. --Nigelj (talk) 20:11, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

edit conflict

Consensus here is that "the rising average temperature's projected continuation" is an absurdity. As is "Global warming refers to... its projected continuation". Revert. Scott Illini (talk) 20:53, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
Well I just reverted Scott's deletion of "and its projected continuation". Upon reflection, I wonder if a hyper grammatical nerd could take issue with the current phrasing? In the following example, does the pronoun "her" refer to the noun "family" in the subject of the sentence, or to the proper noun "Mary" in the first part of the predicate?

In this silly example, 'the family' refers to the red-headed Mary and her children....

I think the answer is that "her" relates to Mary, not "family". Grammatically speaking, the pronoun "her" does not refer to the adjective "red-headed" whatsoever. Looking at our analogous sentence, does the pronoun "its" refer to "global warming" in the sentence subject, or to the noun "temperature" in the sentence predicate, or maybe to "average temperature" (if you view the noun as an open compound word)?) IMO, its "temperature" or "average temperature". There is no reason to think that the pronoun "its" relates in any way to the adjective "rising". And so - lo and behold - I finally agree with Scott about something in this thread. The existing language communicates just fine, I think. But for the hyper grammar nerd, it does appear to be sloppy phrasing. What is the projected continuation of the "average temperature"? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:52, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Here is the phrase from 500 versions ago
"Global warming is the current rise in the average temperature of Earth's oceans and atmosphere and its projected continuation."
We departed from that phrasing in this edit, and it underwent various efforts at wordsmithing since then. I'm not sure the odyssey was an improvement, and wonder if the phrasing I quoted should be restored? It appears it might resolve this entire thread in all its parts. Pronoun "its" would refer to noun "rise". And it talks about current rise.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:04, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
High five for digging that up. I think we are done. Thanks! Scott Illini (talk) 21:34, 29 January 2012 (UTC)
It would be more correct to say that you like it, and then wait for others to share their opinions. If you and I engage again in the future, I would ask that you be slower to leap to "consensus" conclusions. If this sticks, then I will thank you for calling out a grammar problem. But I have an open mind and could change my mind with others input, in any, over the next few days. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:45, 29 January 2012 (UTC)

Breakout discussion of "and NOT natural causes"

I have now gone with the more general "natural causes". Relevant sentence in reference is "No model that has used natural forcing only has reproduced the observed global mean warming trend or the continental mean warming trends in all individual continents (except Antarctica) over the second half of the 20th century." Scott Illini (talk) 19:54, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I think the "and not by natural causes" is largely pointless. If it is by people, it can't be natural. I still don't think the date is needed William M. Connolley (talk) 21:31, 24 January 2012 (UTC)
Being redundant, I deleted this phrase. See WP:COPYEDIT discussion of redundant phrases.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:13, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

ecosystem services

Please wikilink ecosystem services within this article. (talk) 00:34, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Done. Scott Illini (talk) 04:27, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

The first sentence doesn't match the etymology

The first sentence suggests the phrase "global warming" refers to currently observed warming and extrapolations from that trend. That is false, as demonstrated by the last section of the article. Wally Broecker's paper, that the etymology refers to, said “that the present cooling trend will, within a decade or so, give way to a pronounced warming induced by carbon dioxide”. "Global warming" was, and is, a specific prediction that the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans will rise due to greenhouse gas emissions from human industry. "Global warming" refers only to that specific predicted warming and not to any other warming from any other cause. Most importantly, it does not refer to attempts to explain observed warming. Not understanding that is the main cause of misunderstandings about global warming. Carl Kenner (talk) 11:08, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

I think you just said that
(A) Since Broecker's paper spoke only about future warming, the term only means future warming;
(B) Hansen's reference to observed warming is irrelevant because Broecker spoke first.
(C) Public media's adoption of the term as a neologism is irrelevant.
(D) Any external forcing at any point in time from anything other than human causes is outside the scope of "global warming"
If that is not what you said then please try again. (Disclaimer: I have not yet expressed an opinion whether I agree, I only want to clarify what you said at this time.) NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:43, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

2011 a year of climate extremes in the United States

NOAA factually summarizes 2011 climate extremes here: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:41, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Global dimming to around..... the present

Regarding this reversion, I notice that the text says "to the present" but the source (TAR) is dated 2001. I'm not sure what to do about that, if anything... I'm just saying that expressions like "to the present" based on old sources look more strained each day. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:00, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

Where the quoted text says something like "present" (or "recent") it is appropriate to add the effective date in square brackets as an editorial clarification. But more appropriate here would be to update that text with something more recent (i.e, from AR4). ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:34, 3 February 2012 (UTC)

The FAQ on this talk page

I see various problems in the FAQ on this talk page.

  • (A)Many references used such as this don't actually conform to the standards of a reliable source.
  • (B)Further, the FAQ seems to be highly biased towards pro-global-warming theories and scientists.
  • (C)For instance in the question Q2: How can you say there's a consensus when someone has compiled a long list of skeptical scientists?, there is a claim that a non-existent scientist Geri Halliwell signed the petition. Is this referenced anywhere?
  • (D)And there are pretty good scientists who although haven't done much research on global warming, refute the AGW hypotheses, Freeman Dyson for instance. Claiming that he can't say a thing about AGW which isn't incorrect is classic Ad Hominem.
  • (E)And finally the language is not neutral ("These petitions have proven to be riddled with flaws To wit:"). Since when did using such sentences become okay in Wikipedia?
  • (F)I'm not really knowledgeable enough about the Wikipedia policies, but since the article has been given a featured status, does that mean that this highly biased FAQ shares the same status? — Pewfly (talk) 18:48, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
To facilitate discussion I gave your multiple points identifying letters, so subsequent conversation can easily be understood. If you object, please revert or ask me to do so.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 20:16, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Sure, and this is definitely much better. Thanks! — Pewfly (talk) 20:21, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

It is a FAQ, not an article. The RS policy doesn't apply William M. Connolley (talk) 21:38, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

Do you have a policy citation for that, W? If not, do you agree that a FAQ page is simply an extension of TALK pages (and their archives)? In WP:TALK it says "There is reasonable allowance for speculation, suggestion, and personal knowledge on talk pages, with a view to prompting further investigation, but it is usually a misuse of a talk page to continue to argue any point that has not met policy requirements." Is that what you are referring to? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:07, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I am inclined towards having the FAQ as reliable as the article. However, this editor's personal viewpoint (B: "the FAQ seems to be highly biased towards pro-global-warming theories and scientists") is distinctly non-neutral, and point D ("there are pretty good scientists who ... refute the AGW hypotheses") is contrary to fact. If this editor wishes to controvert (say) the reliability of any sources in the FAQ he should explain for each one why it is not reliable. Hopefully he will raise the one at a time, not shotgun style. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:48, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
I probably didn't convey my point in the right spirit. It's a fact that the general scientific consensus is that global warming is actually happening. When I said "biased toward pro-global-warming scientists" I was pointing out the way the FAQ dismisses and ridicules important scientists. You could at least put a link to List of scientists opposing the mainstream scientific assessment of global warming. These are people with full professorships in very major universities, and can't be taken lightly. And point (D) is not contrary to fact. If you wish to argue, then you are claiming that the scientists who refute it aren't good enough. Regards! — Pewfly (talk) 23:56, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
The link is in the article; why would we repeat it in the FAQ? And what frequently asked question would it be an answer to? William M. Connolley (talk) 08:46, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
"The link is in the article; why would we repeat it in the FAQ?" Well, then why do we have a FAQ? Everything is in the article! To Q2. They are all skeptical and famous scientists. Casually dismissing that question by saying that some compilations were bogus isn't quite right. The link should go there. — Pewfly (talk) 12:09, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
We have a FAQ to answer questions. To Q2: no, you've given the *answer*. What I asked for is the *question*, that is (I presume you're asserting) frequently asked. That is what "FA" in "FAQ" stands for. And, of course, you're wrong to say they are all famous - the criterion for inclusion is merely notability by WP standards, not fame. Many of them certainly aren't famous. And no, they aren't "skeptical" by the normal meaning of the word - many are credulous William M. Connolley (talk) 12:25, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's not debate what `FAQ' stands for, because that's mere circlejerking and doesn't contribute to anything. And I gave the answer to Q2 in the FAQ. Do many respected scientist reject the AGW hypotheses is definitely a FAQ (if you feel otherwise, tell me why). And and your claim that "Many of them certainly aren't famous. And no, they aren't "skeptical" by the normal meaning of the word - many are credulous" doesn't carry any weight and is possible WP:COI. And you are probably aware that WSJ published a list of 16 skeptical scientists who are against AGW. If you continue to claim that these 16 scientists aren't all that famous and their stance on AGW deviate from "skepticism", then it'd be nothing but impertinence. Thank you! — Pewfly (talk) 13:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
@ Pewfly: What 16 scientists? Your impertinence is noted, but the WSJ isn't a reliable source on this topic as is well shown by that specific example. The list includes engineers and retired administrators, and has perhaps two examples with any publications in the topic area. Their claim to be "skeptical" is undermined by their recycling old denier rubbish. As we've discussed already on this page. Hmm, can't find it. Do you want chapter and verse on this list? . dave souza, talk 14:17, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Let's not discuss the credibility of WSJ here (if it makes you feel good here's another list published by WSJ, and secondly it was an open-ed column). My problem is with the FAQ being not neutral. Here's the situation - 99% of climate scientists believe that AGW is true, and the remaining 1% don't. That doesn't mean that Wikipedia is a right place to patronize the 1% with your opinion on the matter. The FAQ is not neutral and does not adhere to the neutrality standards of Wikipedia. You, an admin should know this better. — Pewfly (talk) 14:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
As Gleick points out, there was another list the WSJ refused to publish. As for the 1% or 3%ers or whatever, see WP:WEIGHT. The FAQ already notes the lists and their status. . . dave souza, talk 15:06, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT doesn't apply here. For the last time I am repeating that my problem is in the non-neutral attitude the FAQ takes about the scientists who deny AGW. Whether or not their opinions be included here is the issue discussed by WP:WEIGHT, and I agree that they shouldn't be. But WP:WEIGHT doesn't give anybody the right to dismiss them as quacks (don't argue that the FAQ isn't doing so). I'm tempted to follow WP:BOLD and remove Q2 altogether. — Pewfly (talk) 15:37, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Common sense applies here. Climate change denial is undoubtedly a real phenomenon, and, as the FAQ 2 notes, several lists have been produced. None of them have anything to do with the actual global warming that is the topic of this article. They are more to do with American politics and global multinationals. Thanks for pointing out that another such list has appeared in a well-known non-scientific source. Maybe a mention of it should be added to the FAQ, but its text should be based mostly upon secondary sources' reception of the list's publication, such as [7]. Do you know of any other reliable secondary commentaries on the WSJ list? --Nigelj (talk) 15:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I am now asking myself why should Q2 be about lists? Since the article is about AGW, Q2 should be "Aren't there scientists who oppose the standard AGW hypotheses" and shouldn't be about list of such scientists. — Pewfly (talk) 15:59, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Already covered by Q1 which notes the 3% not agreeing with the consensus. Also note that the issue is climate scientists, not geographer spacemen turned politicians.. . dave souza, talk 16:21, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Why do you think you're allowed to assert, with no evidence, that they are "skeptical" but that I'm not allowed to question your bald assertion? That is just weird. Q2: ah, I see what you mean. Yes, I think we ought to have a link to the list in the FAQ. But the text won't be what you want William M. Connolley (talk) 14:36, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
You assert that AGW `skeptics' aren't skeptics. But what are they then? Anti-science crackpots? or are they really dumb to stick to the ant-AGW hypotheses? I mean, we need neutrality in the article. Anybody who reads the answer to Q2 would get the impression that all anti-AGW guys are quacks, which I believe they aren't. And I think "Skepticism" is a very neutral word. And secondly I never stated anywhere what text I want. I am not an anti-AGW advocate, and my only problem is the way in which this FAQ is written. Thanks! — Pewfly (talk) 14:53, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
From this edit summary I see what you call these people - pseudo-group - now I understand why you've been so defensive. — Pewfly (talk) 15:46, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Edit conflict: ah, was just adding some sources below. Carry on chaps and chapesses. . . dave souza, talk 14:45, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
True, but a casual reader might take it to be from an authentic source, which it is not. — Pewfly (talk) 23:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

"Authentic" source? The standard here is WP:RS. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:53, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Yeah I have seen that guideline and I referred to it when I posted this comment. Now you are simply wasting time by pointing out silly differences in words. — Pewfly (talk) 23:58, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Words are the tools by which we communicate. That you think the difference between "reliable source" – which here refers to the primary foundation of Wikipedia – and your "authentic source" – which as far as I can tell has no particular significance here – is "silly" certainly suggests a casualness in their use which is echoed in your variable application of WP standards. You have shown a tender sensibility that the FAQ patronizes the "skeptics", and complained that it dismisses them as quacks, but you haven't built a case for any of your points. It appears to be waste of time to argue the point with you. And any "boldness" you attempt in the FAQ will likely be quickly reverted because the consensus view is entirely against you. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:15, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
If you have bothered to notice, I am not a native speaker of English, and I don't claim to be very articulate as you apparently are (heck, this is a talk page, not a literacy criticism forum). I also don't understand why you consider my editing as disruptive (if you feel otherwise take it to AIV). I've discussed enough about this and I am not trying to take a stand against anything or anybody. All I wanted was to make Q2 neutral, which I don't think will ever be possible now. So, thank you for your time and let's not discuss this issue any further. — Pewfly (talk) 01:41, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
You are certainly free to discontinue the discussion, and where your argument fails on all points it may be advisable to do so. But upon exit you should be laying issues to rest, not raising them; you might consider just what lessons can be learned. E.g., you don't understand why your editing was disruptive. Allow me to explain: in part because you kept making changes that were ill-considered, and against the consensus. Also, your argumentation was defective, in that you made broad charges without building a case that adequately supported them.
BTW, I had not noticed any deficiencies in your use of English (unless you thought "authentic" and "reliable" are synonyms); it certainly seems quite adequate. The reason you didn't get anywhere is not due to any defect of language, but defect of argument, and especially a defective understanding of the WP policies on which you based that argument. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:44, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

The FAQ in this page is better, we should re-write our FAQ in this style. Count Iblis (talk) 23:48, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

FAQ re lists remains relevant

Pewfly appears to be trying repeatedly to delete the content of the FAQ about "lists of scientists" - it remains relevant, please desist from such deletions and present any proposals for changes on this talk page. . . dave souza, talk 17:02, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

It's probably relevant. But I don't see any honest attempt to rewrite the answer neutrally, and all I see is blatant reversions. — Pewfly (talk) 17:10, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Do please argue specifics as to why it is not neutral. Your "Gerry Halliway" comment above, indicates that you hadn't looked at the Oregon petition article, to see if it is indeed supported by WP:RS' (it is). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:20, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Language for one thing: so-called "skeptical scientists", have proven to be riddled with flaws[2] To wit. Point (1) looks like WMC's opinion about the people on the list. Finally, I honestly don't care anymore (looking at some of the articles on the web about Wikipedians and AGW, I'm not very much surprised. Even conservapaedia seems more promising now :P). You pro-AGW'ers do whatever you like. I don't really care if the article isn't neutral. Thank youse! — Pewfly (talk) 17:35, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
"So-called" is an accurate and neutral description of these lists. The lists call them "sceptics" (which is unsupported and falsified in the FAQ), or "scientists" (which is unsupported and falsified in the FAQ). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:52, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
To wit: This FAQ item exists specifically to address 2 specific lists (and derivatives of these). Both of which have come up frequently (thus FAQ stuff) in talk-pages. The first is the oregon petition, and the second is Inhofe's. None of these two are WP:RS's, but that doesn't stop people from arguing them, so the FAQ contains information to show some of the arguments that make these non-RS'. It might be possible to write a more neutral description of this (although you haven't described what is non-neutral about it), and in that case, we're all open for suggestions... but outright removal seems to be based in WP:IDONTLIKEIT. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 17:31, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Pewfly hasn't proposed any specific improvements, seems deaf to the general consensus, yet presumes to proceed. Any one have any opinion as to how close he is to running afoul of WP:DE? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:27, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── To be considered "riddled with flaws", (A) How many mistakes are required and (B) How egregious does a mistake have to be in order to be counted in the tally? IMO, this is the word choice that is arguably "most riddled with POV". That said, I am annoyed at Pewfly's attempt to delete instead of improve, and I agree we need Q2 in the FAQ. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:16, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

This is one final comment that I'm making here. I did try to improve the FAQ, but apparently people here weren't convinced that I was trying to improve. Calling it disruptive editing is blatant arrogance. And in spite of a few people agreeing here that 'some amount' of bias is there in the language, I don't see any real attempt to improve. I've discussed enough on this talk page about the issue, and I've already said that I left it all together. I still don't understand why User:J. Johnson is bringing up the question of WP:DE. — Pewfly (talk) 01:29, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I invite you to disprove my belief that you are just as NPOV/biased as you accused others to be, P. To do this, instead of just deleting a section you think is NPOV try the exercise in WP:ENEMY by suggesting alterations to the text that would still leave the question and answer. If you can not or refuse, then this whole thing is just the pot calling the kettle black, IMO. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:48, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I touched on this above, but might add here: the key issue seems to be not so much that "people here weren't convinced that I was trying to improve [the FAQ]", but that Pewfly is convinced (ABSOLUTELY!!!) that he was. The failure to reconsider that is what I find arrogant. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:11, 9 February 2012 (UTC)


With all due respect to NewsAndEventsGuy, who I can see is responsible and thoughtful editor, I think that saying "we're digital and not a musty paper encyclopedia" is something of a minefield. First, I find paper encyclopedias and reference books still valuable, as there is a lot of information that's not on the Internet, and deriding them as "musty" isn't really constructive to say. Secondly, it's the editors of this dynamic digital encyclopedia who themselves came up with WP:DATED, which states, "Avoid statements that date quickly, except on pages that are regularly updated, like current events pages," which this is not. "Avoid words such as ... currently and recently ... or phrases such as in modern times and the sixties. Instead, when writing about past events use more precise phrases such as during the 1990s or in August 1969. For future and current events, use phrases such as as of February 2012 or since the beginning of 2010 that indicate the time-dependence of the information to the reader."

I appreciate your measured approach to my WP:DATED edits, and I'm glad to be able to discuss this with NewsAndEventsGuy and other editors. Here are my questions:

  • "Global warming refers to the current rise in..." vs. just "Global warming refers to the rise in..." — is there any difference between the meaning of these two phrases?
  • "suggest that current efforts to reduce..." vs. "suggest that efforts as of the early 21st century to reduce..." — is there any reason not to use the more precise phrase? What does "current" mean? Efforts over the past month? The past year? The past five or 10 years? In this context, what does "current" mean?

I thank my fellow editors for giving these questions some thought. --Tenebrae (talk) 02:30, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks of the kind words, and I guess you haven't learned that I often use irreverent humor. While I commend the editors who wrote WP:DATED, and I agree it is an excellent guideline most of the time, let's not take ourselves too seriously and remember that is just a guideline.
Re Bullet 1, of course they mean the same thing, but there have been a lot of threads arguing over this sentence since I joined in May, and many of those have had some editor wanting to emphasize - that is, make it explicit- that we mean right now, as in the "current rise", as opposed to any other rise. I do find it strange that they don't seem to understand the import of the present tense, grammatically speaking. On the other hand, my impression is that you (Tenebrae) are advocating an auto-application of the guideline in every instance, without familiarity with the backstory. IMO, because this sort of thing about this text comes up again and again we have a good reason to apply the past consensus instead of blind application of the guideline.
Re Bullet 2, maybe you were right on that one. I'll let someone else quibble and if they do I may chime in. But for now I will self-revert in a moment. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 03:59, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
My tuppenceworth is a suggestion that we remove "currently" for its implication of a short time frame, and change the opening to "Global warming refers to the rise since the early 20th century in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. So far, Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades." So have boldly went and done that. Re point two, perhaps "suggest that efforts as of the early 21st century to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent" could be rephrased as "suggest that efforts to date to reduce emissions may be inadequately stringent". Not very convinced, so haven't changed that. . . dave souza, talk 08:30, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Good try for consensus D, but I dislike it. You have inserted a temporal adverb clause in between a noun and an adjective clause that modifies the noun. Since the noun and its adjective clause are now further apart, and separate by a whole different idea (time), IMO this gives the text less grammatical punch, and is awkward because people usually don't talk that way, unless they start off before organizing their thought about what they're going to say. IMO, punchy concise text in plain English trumps the guideline about the word "currently". I'm going to leave it, but I'd be happy to see someone else revert. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 11:02, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I agree with NewsAndEvensGuy, you go too boldly, dave. I will rewrite rather than revert. Rick Norwood (talk) 13:56, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Thanks, glad to assist and hope this is a step forward, . dave souza, talk 14:11, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I think it was better before it was fiddled with. In particular I don't like [8] - GW overwhelmingly refers to the current stuff, not the past (and Global warming refers to the rise in the [[Instrumental temperature record|average temperature]] of Earth's atmosphere and oceans. Since the early 20th century, makes no sense at all, because ITR can only refer to the current episode) William M. Connolley (talk) 14:42, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit conflict.... I was editing the article to address the recent criticisms of this text when WMC was posting this new criticism. I agree with WMC, and so the current text as I write (specifically this version) reads
"Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, which started to increase in the late 19th century and is projected to keep going up without significant [[mitigation of climate change|mitigation]] policies. Since the early 20th century, Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two thirds of the increase occurring since 1980." NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I have to say that i don't like that, it conflates two connected, but disjunkt, aspects. It is better to keep these seperate (imho). Global warming can refer to both, or each seperately, by combining them this way, we're stating either implies the other. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 15:57, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
I would enjoy knowing what you just said, Kim, but alas.... your meaning is lost due to undefined pronouns. Please elaborate. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 16:22, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
First: I should have said 3 aspects: (current warming, future warming, mitigation).
If you look at the literature, then the warming over the instrumental period, is suffient to define global warming. (without the 2 other aspects). Similarly is the case for the future warming aspect. But what you do, is to define global warming as being the combination of these connected, but disjunct, elements... and that isn't (imho) correct. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:31, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Thanks for the reply, and due to poor grammar, I have no idea what you meant by the sentence "Similarly is the case for the future warming aspect." Please elaborate a little more. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 17:23, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, i'm sorry that i'm not a native english speaker. Try to figure it out, by sequentially dissecting the sentences. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:46, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
When I tried to figure it out, prior to asking you for help, I took what I thought you meant, and then realized that one could as easily say that Florida, Minnesota, and Hawaii are all disjointed, yet connected, parts of the USA. Do we say the USA is just one of them but not the others? No, because that would be an absurd logical fallacy. Having arrived at this thought I politely asked you to elaborate, because I presume you must have meant something else. If you wish to oppose my edit, that's fine but I would like to know why since my attempt to figure it out failed so miserably. Kim, please elaborate, or else tell us explicitly say you are withdrawing your opposition to my edit. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:46, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
You cannot speak of Florida, as if it is the USA. You can on the other hand, speak of the rise in temperature as global warming. Or of the future warming as global warming. They are connected, even tightly coupled, but they are still disjoint. By merging them, you are saying that talking about one without the other is fallacious. Which isn't correct. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:28, 9 February 2012 (UTC)
Whoa, gee, hold on now.... I only started here last spring, and these concepts have been merged in the lead of this article (with varying word choice) since before January 2007. I'm surprised no one complained before now! (That was joking and laughing with my answer). Now back to work: If we embrace the technical notion of the term as opposed to the popular media notion of the term (when does a neologism become official English anyway?) then I see your point. Since the concepts have been merged in this article for so long, and since my text resolves all other criticisms that have been recently raised about the first sentence (hopefully), please suggest an alternative that also avoids those criticisms but addresses your point as well. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:38, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
These aspects are certainly all interweaved, that doesn't mean that it only has a single definition/description containing all of them. By describing them in seperate sentences we describe them as destinct, what you do is describe them as merged, which conflates them. (btw. i fail to see your argument on neologism - since global warming isn't such). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 07:11, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
No it is not what ((I)) do. I changed the word choice, but the article has been saying and its projected continuation with varying words for most of the time for years. I'll ask again, are you going to suggest an alternative? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:30, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I think i've already made my alternative clear: I think the old version was better. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 12:47, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Kim, you have really confused me now because you seem to have contradicted yourself. In this thread you appear to have stated the following mutually exclusive opinions:

(A) You argued strenuously for not merging past and future warming in a single sentence, and
(B) You expressed a preference for an "old version" and if I know which one you meant an example would be the [left side of this diff], in which it appears past and future warming were merged in a single sentence. It reads
"Global warming refers to the current rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation."

If I did not make a faithful restatement of your opinions in this thread, please explain where I went wrong, but if I did, do you see these as contradictory? Also, please see the other discussion of this topic in a subsequent thread on this talk page. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:31, 11 February 2012 (UTC)

Towards common sense

Having seen the problems and hoops which people jumped through to get a first intro sentence, the problem is very easy to see: the original article was written about a current event: a massive rise in temperature, where selected scientific ideas were brought in to explain that event. That original event is now past history. We are now in a period of "high" temperatures, not rising temperatures. Therefore the very name "global warming", is now false or at least difficult to square with the current trend, unless you redefine the timescale, but not too long.

Whatever your view, there is no doubt that the sharp rise in temperature at the end of the 20th century had massive implications. There is also no doubt that public concern decreased when that trend did not continue. Irrespective of the cause or whether manmade warming were to continue, this was a significant socio-historical event which e.g. saw massive global changes, some of the first moves toward "global law", changes in inter-government co-operation, and indeed a very different perspective on planet earth as something shared by everyone. Monckton, e.g. sees in this political movement some kind of evil marxist conspiracy. The conspiracy is nothing to do with the climate science: it is political use of this event to further certain "left wing" ideas like global government. The paradox, may be that this is the first step to global government ... and what does wikipedia have recorded of what may be the most significant even in the development of human civilisation on planet earth? BUGGER ALL!!!

We have long known that "Global warming" is the popular subject the mass debate about the causes and implications to humans (not science) of the perceived warming. As such this is clearly and unequivocally a political argument - and if it had been treated as such - and seen as an argument with various viewpoints, then I doubt there would have been half as much agro and we would by now have obtained an accurate reflection of the progress and changes in nuances of this mass event. Instead, we have tired article, based on out of date "science" which fails to cover the range of debate in science ... particularly anything casting doubt on the political global warming campaign, because it has been used as a political propaganda by warmist editors who could not allow it to be honest.

So, as honesty, integrity and ethics are current subjects, I think it is time that Wikipedia made some movement in that direction and called a spade a spade. So I suggest the following:

  1. That the name of this article be renamed to Anthropogenic Global Warming .... I would like to say "20th century AGW", to make sure it specific to this one event, but no doubt that will be misconstrued, but so long as it is a scientific sounding name which makes it clear it refers specifically to this one event (which may be ongoing OK), that is what matters.
  2. Then, I think we need a general scientific article on human influence on the climate. This I think would be far less contentious, and therefore more informative to anyone needing to know about the subject. It would not be about an event particularly not a "current" event. Instead, it would be a basic overview of the science about human induced climate change. This could e.g. also cover local climate change including deforestation and its effects.
  3. That we rename the article "global warming controversy" to something like "Global warming politics" - then add to it a substantial history and/or timeline of events.
  4. That the "Global warming page" is reconstructed to include a summary of each of the other pages with links. (talk) 10:24, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Your premise is unsupported by reliable sources. Unsurprisingly, as it's wrong.[9] Looking over our article, perhaps we've over-emphasised individual years or even decades: the period needed for statistical significance should be mentioned. . dave souza, talk 12:38, 27 February 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 9 February 2012

Hi yes,

Could you update one of the external sources? The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is listed as an educational external source. The Pew Center on Global Climate Change is now the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions and our new URL is

Matulkar (talk) 22:12, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

Changed. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 22:22, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

I have a minor, noncontroversial request as well. Under the Global Warming Controversy section, the last sentence should be changed to read: "Since 1990 in the United States, conservative think tanks have mobilized to undermine the legitimacy of global warming as a social problem. They challenged the scientific evidence; argued that global warming will have benefits; and asserted that proposed solutions would do more harm than good."

After all, their mobilization is ongoing, as the information below it bears out. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Hurling dervish (talkcontribs) 19:58, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

FAQ on "skeptical scientists"

The WSJ recently published an op-ed signed by a list of "16 skeptical scientists" – this has now been brought up with reference to the FAQ. For context see Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal - Forbes and Check With Climate Scientists for Views on Climate — Letters to the Editor - . Get the Facts. . . dave souza, talk 14:43, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Further sources discussed here, knew I'd seen it somewhere. . dave souza, talk 15:01, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Work needed

Hello everyone! This article currently appears near the top of the cleanup listing for featured articles, with several cleanup tags. Cleanup work needs to be completed on this article, or a featured article review may be in order. The tags should either have the issues they refer to fixed and then the tags removed or, if they are unjustified, simply removed. Please contact me on my talk page if you have any questions. Thank you! Dana boomer (talk) 21:19, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

It would be helpful if you could list the problems rather than making us guess William M. Connolley (talk) 21:44, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec)As far as I can tell, there is no outstanding cleanup tag in the article at this time, and there hasn't ben any for the last few days (I've not changed further back). This is a controversial topic, and so there is some drive-by tagging from socks, but nothing serious. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 21:49, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
(ec)Connolley, that's not reasonable to ask in this case. Dana is not an active contributor to this article, in fact Dana has never edited the article itself. Dana, therefore, is likely not familiar with this article. Instead, she came along to tell us that a utility for locating featured articles needing cleanup puts this article near the top of the list. There are seven counts of cleanup tags (according to the utility) and a simple word search on the wiki code for this article shows seven calls of the {{vn}} template. Do a word search for "[verification needed]" and you will find the problems needing correction. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 21:53, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, it was clearly reasonable to *ask*, since I didn't know I was looking for "vn" and now I've asked, someone has told me William M. Connolley (talk) 21:56, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
There's also a "clarication needed" in lead paragraph 3. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:08, 6 February 2012 (UTC)
Found it and fixed it - sorry I didn't note it before. I was looking for the BIG tags that put articles into categories, not dinky little inline tags... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 22:41, 6 February 2012 (UTC)

(outdent) There is a citation needed tag in ref #70, four verification needed tags on various references, three page needed tags on various references, a globalize banner in the Public opinion section and a dated info tag in the Particulates and soot section. There are also four untagged dead links, according to this tool. I agree that the majority of these tags are not serious by themselves, but they do seem to be starting to pile up on this article. Dana boomer (talk) 16:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

By the way: note 43, containg a quote from Hegerl about "recent estimates", is a named ref called four times. I wonder if this quote really needs to be cited at four different places in the article. Anyone want take a look at that? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:05, 17 February 2012 (UTC)

Wording concern

  • A wide range of potential feedback processes exist, such as Arctic methane release and ice-albedo feedback. Consequentially, potential tipping points may exist, which may have the potential to cause abrupt climate change.

No disrespect intended, and I may be completely off-base, but two "may"s and three "potential"s would lead the average reader to believe there's little knowledge to be gained from this rather stubby paragraph. I don't know that anything said in the feedback section can be definitely stated, but I think "possible" instead of the first "potential" is a slightly more accurate and solid word. I've researched plenty about such feedback processes; I'm sure there is some kind of consensus that they do exist to whatever degree, even though their direct impacts are unknown. The second sentence, too, reads like somewhat of a joke to me. A tipping point would, by definition, cause abrupt changes in the climate, so I don't know why the second "may/potential" is necessary at all. I would be bold and try to revamp this stuff myself, but I have no confidence that my edits would go unchallenged. Juliancolton (talk) 22:32, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Sounds like you have a good start on some good improvements to me. If you don't feel bold enough to float text on the article, please try drafting some here. You might be surprised to find supporter(s). NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 23:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

recent wikilink changes?

Attribution of recent climate change#Solar activity better than ...

and (talk) 07:45, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Agree re second point and have removed it. Re. Solar activity, have changed the opening sentence to "Solar variations causing changes in solar radiation energy reaching the Earth have been the cause of past climate changes." which in my view has more informative links. . . dave souza, talk 22:50, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

Dated intro: resumed with summary and suggestion

New section as #WP:DATED was getting unwieldy. To summarise: Kim D. Petersen thinks the old version was better. As of when he edited the article at 18:51, 29 January 2012, it looked like:

Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades.

The current version, which I think was revised by NAEG, is as folows:

Global warming' refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, which started to increase in the late 19th century and is projected to keep going up without significant mitigation policies. Since the early 20th century, Earth's average surface temperature has increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F), with about two thirds of the increase occurring since 1980.

Once again, an effort by me to get the best of both wordings:

"Global warming refers to rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, both as shown in the Instrumental temperature record since around 1900, and its projected continuation upwards in future. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring over just the last three decades. Future increases may be slowed if significant mitigation of climate change policies are successfully introduced.

I've not checked if the last point is supported by the reference. Although mitigation is discussed in the current version it's maybe a bit of a distraction. My understanding is that even anticipating extremely successful mitigation, projections still expect a long period of increasing global temperatures. Global warming might perhaps be halted in a fairly short time by some unforeseen and dramatic change in forcings, such as aerosols introduced by a sufficiently massive supervolcano or caldera eruption, nuclear war, or an asteroid impact. As such extreme circumstances cannot be foreseen, no-one's counting on them. Thus it may be best to leave out the sentence about mitigation, or expand it later in the lead. So, that's a summary of the current options, and another suggestion. . . dave souza, talk 18:31, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Much better. I agree on the mitigation part, which is political issue, rather than a scientific one. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 18:40, 10 February 2012 (UTC)
I wonder if a few words can go - it's got a lot longer. In the following, I have removed [, both as], and [upwards in future] from the first sentence. I have also changed rising to the rise in, so that that complex sentence has an actual noun for a subject (rather than a gerund?). I believe that both of the removed phrases were actually redundant.

"Global warming refers to the rise in average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans shown in the Instrumental temperature record since around 1900, and its projected continuation. In the last 100 years, Earth's average surface temperature increased by about 0.8 °C (1.4 °F) with about two thirds of the increase occurring in the last three decades. Future increases may be slowed if significant mitigation of climate change policies are successfully introduced.

I also replaced [over just] with [in] in the middle sentence for a more neutral tone in WP's own voice.
--Nigelj (talk) 21:26, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── Versions using BOTH

In the forms using "both", that word is ambiguous. Does "both" mean that GW is (A) either past warming or future warming separately viewed, (B) the combination of past and future warming, or (C) "both" A and B? Or maybe I should say either A or B or C? "Both" is ambiguous.

Version using AND

If I understood correctly, Kim just objecting to putting "and" between past warming and future warming.

Another approach - this is conceptual, and has not been wordsmithed; it is based on the opening text from 'way 'way back.

GW is any rise in avg Earth temp, and as used in this article means the current episode which began in the late 19th century and is projected to continue. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 21:44, 10 February 2012 (UTC)

Implementation of proposed first sentence?

This discussion has stalled. In the meantime TS made a reasonable change from "going up without" to "going up, in the absence of" significant mitigation policies. This prodded me to have a look at the source, which is specifically p. 15 of a National Academies report: there's no mention of mitigation on that page. As discussed above, we don't want to give the misleading impression that warming will be reversed if mitigation is introduced, so I've removed that part of the sentence. That now leaves:
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, which started to increase in the late 19th century and is projected to keep going up.
How many feel that the proposals above are an improvement? There was some support, but then discussion diversified and stalled. . . dave souza, talk 21:43, 14 February 2012 (UTC)

How does "global warming" tie-in with "climate change"? Do we have any citations of the IPCC defining global warming? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:40, 14 February 2012 (UTC)
As the guy that added text TS took out, I am ok with his partial revert. Notice that the first reference following our opening sentence does not, anywhere in the entire report, define "global warming". I took a quick look at TAR and AR4 and I do not believe it is defined by IPCC in either report, but if I am wrong on that I would like to know! We kicked around other definitions of GW in this archived thread. In particular, in that thread is a link to an essay from NASA about the term "global warming". In pertinent part it says "Within scientific journals, this is still how the two terms are used. Global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect" At present, I see a lot of merit in using the 5-year old approach I mentioned in the prior thread.... GW is any increase in avg temp, and for this article it means the current blah blah blah.... I think that approach resolves all criticisms that have been raised about the opening text these last months. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 02:00, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
Yes, that's about what I recall. The IPCC seems shy about "global warming", though I thought there was a mention of it somewhere (AR4 WG3??). And there is a good definition somewhere, I just don't recall if it's the NAS one. At any rate, undoubtably we want a good, solid, authoritative citation for it, preferably one on-line, so we can quote it and cite it, and (hopefully) that settles it. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:05, 15 February 2012 (UTC)
May I suggest that a much simpler approach is just to state the obvious: "global warming is a rise in average global surface temperatures". — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:53, 20 February 2012 (UTC)

New alternative draft, with sources

As I understand it, there is some objection to defining GW as both past and projected in the same sentence. Here is an alternative that I think addresses those and all the other criticisms that have been raised in the past few months. I have not attempted to fully format the citations, and the last part, taken verbatim from the NASA webpage, could be wordsmithed a bit smoother.

Global warming refers to any global increase in average temperature,[3] and in this article refers to the unusually rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century primarily due to the greenhouse gases released by people burning fossil fuels.[4]

Comments, anyone? NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 22:58, 22 February 2012 (UTC)

I like your suggestion, or some variation on it. I think it's erroneous to only apply the term "global warming" to anthropogenic change, but important not to conflate natural with artificial variation. Keeping in mind the potential first questions of a newcomer to the article, I suggest that there are three major points to be made in a definition and lede section of global warming:
  • Global warming is a trend of increasing global average (not local) temperatures.
  • The current warming trend is anomalous relative to natural variation.
  • There is scientific consensus on an anthropogenic influence for contemporary warming, which is expected to continue.
Getting the three biggest misconceptions out of the way ("It's cold today where I live," "It's probably natural," "There's no consensus.") provides a helpful basis for the rest of the article.
One last stylistic point--- Don't write "projected to keep going up." Use "continue rising," or otherwise avoid ending with a preposition. (talk) 17:39, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── I just posted my proposed text to the article. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 14:02, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

No initials with et al.

Just a reminder to everyone: it is standard practice (I think even Kim will agree with me on this one :-) that when "et al." is used in a citation only the last name of the lead author (in some very rare cases, of the last two authors) is used; the initials are dropped. We have plenty of instances of these, but they are incorrect. I may do a mass correction. To add et al. in a citation template: I have found "|author= Jones et al." works well. "Display-authors" might also work if you want to keep all of the author metadata. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 23:54, 16 February 2012 (UTC)

I certainly do not agree on cutting all "et al." 's down to only one author, neither do i agree that it is "standard practice" to cut away initials. In fact i'm rather certain that it is not standard practice. (take one look at the citations in for instance Nature to dissuade yourself that this is the case). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 16:06, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Well, perhaps it is not completely universal practice; Science leaves 'em also, but they do cut an author list to the lead author. Journals also tend towards a mangled citation/reference combination, doing things (such as abbreviating title) which neither one of us likes. CMS drops the initials, also Turabian (admittedly derivative of CMS), and off-hand I seem to recall section 6.2 being where MLA-6 says to drop the initials. I say we could go either way on it, with no initials having a somewhat stronger case. That you adamantly don't like it – so what? You are just one editor, you haven't offered either a detailed approach to reforming the citation mess (I have) or to fix them yourself (I am), and I'm tired of arguing it with you. If you want to fix them yourself, fine, or if you insist on crappy citations, okay, but before giving them entirely over to you I would like to hear from some other editors. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk)
I don't care, as long as you don't fight :-). Et al. is, literally, and others, so doesn't preclude listing more than one author, and I've done that myself on occasion. I think I'd expect to see the more "compressed" format use Name et al., and the looser ones to use initials too. Sounds like a case for one of those MOS boards I never visit William M. Connolley (talk) 23:31, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I would rather not fight. I would prefer working out a great way of doing citations. But I am really, really tired of hassling every little detail (and there are so many that need to be sorted out), to no result. So screw it. If Kim doesn't like the way I've developed, let him fix the damn citations. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:21, 22 February 2012 (UTC)
Given that WP:NOTPAPER applies, I really would prefer to go with full author list and names unless it becomes ridiculous (and I'd debate if this is ridiculous! ;-). --Stephan Schulz (talk) 23:48, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
D'Oh! Now i understand why citation templates only allow for 10 authors, lmao! --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:56, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Actually JJ, i have offered such an approach (for the IPCC citations). I've proposed a template template:AR4, which is easier to handle, and gives the information without going through hoops to figure it out, and at the same time makes it possible to change formatting in one place instead of several. What i do dislike, is your insistence on things being "standard", when even a cursory look at standard practice, shows that it isn't! --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:38, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with Kim. Include them all (subject to limit of ten). This isn't paper, that convention was adopted to reduce copying time, not an issue here.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 14:02, 27 February 2012 (UTC)
Did you even notice what the topic is? You see "et al." and immediately you think of a different discussion where the truncation of author lists was discussed. The issue I raised here is whether to use an author's initials (vs. last name only) in a certain context, and your comment is: "Include all of them (subject to a limit of ten)". Gee, I don't think I've ever seen that limit hit. But likely you were thinking of author list truncation, which isn't the topic raised here. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:32, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
I've seen the limit reached several times. In fact if you go back to the how the reference section was before you changed the citations[10], i'm rather certain that there was such instances. (I just checked, and there is at least 1 - citation 19) --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:56, 29 February 2012 (UTC)i gut reacted here - i was doing the error JJ pointed out. I still disagree though - and can't see why we would cut initials. See below comment from Feb 20.). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 00:59, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
Sigh. And your claim that CMS does away with initials is also false. You are still confusing "in text" citation (in the harvard style - where you would do so), and full citations. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:52, 20 February 2012 (UTC)
Such a drama queen. As a point of fact, CMS-1213, in the chapter on note forms (as generally used here, and distinct from both author-date citation and full references) says: "give only the last name of the author" (17.6), and "Only the last name of the author [or editor] is needed." (17.10). Plain words, simply stated.
Nor am I confused about in text, parenthetical, shortened, and full references, though I suspect you are. What I particularly dislike (aside from your obdurateness) is your unilateral and unconsidered declaration that all citations should be in full (bibliographical) format. But don't mind me – when you clean up the citations in this article by all means include the full names of all authors; I think we should have at least one example of your preferred "style". And don't forget the page/section/paragraph numbers.
~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 01:14, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
We do not use the note form in the reference section generally, we use the bibliography style generally (on climate change articles at least). And it does appear that you are confused - since you fail on this each time. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:29, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Reference lists in the natural sciences sometimes include works by numerous authors (occasionally a score or more). Furthermore, many of the authors in successive entries may be the same, though in a different order. To avoid an unwieldy string of names, and with apologies to those authors whose names are sacrificed, Chicago recommends the policy followed by the American Naturalist (see bibliog. 5): for references with ten authors or fewer, all should be listed; for references with eleven or more, only the first seven should be listed, followed by “et al.” (Where space is limited, the policy of the American Medical Association may be followed: up to six authors’ names are listed; if there are more than six, only the first three are listed, followed by “et al.”

— CMoS 15 - 17.30 Multiple authors )
Space isn't limited WP:NOTPAPER --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:59, 29 February 2012 (UTC)
So? The point I raised was about initials of authors; your comments about the listing of authors is irrelevant, as I explained above, which you even recognized. In the face of such inexplicable persistence it is futile to continue this discussion. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 20:34, 4 March 2012 (UTC)
CMoS 15 - 17.20: "Authors’ names are normally given as they appear on the title pages of their books. Certain adjustments, however, may be made to assist correct identification (unless they conflict with the style of a particular journal or series). First names may be given in full in place of initials. If an author uses his or her given name in one cited book and initials in another (e.g., “Mary L. Jones” versus “M. L. Jones”), the same form, preferably the fuller one, should be used in all references to that author. To assist alphabetization, middle initials should be given wherever known. Degrees and affiliations following names on a title page are omitted. See also 16.99, 17.22–24."
--Kim D. Petersen (talk) 21:33, 4 March 2012 (UTC)

Graph Revision?

I haven't looked at this page in a while, but I recall from the last time I did that most of the graphs had information from the twentieth century through the late 2000s. To make sure that I was not misremembering, I searched for more graphs, and they all looked like this. While still showing climate increase, they demonstrate that the rapid incline at the end of the twentieth century was only a brief spike that soon afterwards fell back down to slightly below average. Upon my most recent look at this page, I noticed that all of the graphs have been replaced with data that ends right before that spike fell, implying an exponential increase rather than the more gradual one. My instinct is to go looking for them through the history and restore them, but I thought there might be a good reason they had been reverted to less data. Unfortunately, I could not find the reason proposed for the removal of these graphs in the history of either the article or the talk page. Does anyone know why the presumably more accurate graphs were removed? If not, would someone with write privileges mind replacing the somewhat misleading pre-2000s graph? Either way, thanks! (talk) 22:17, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

The graph to which you linked shows a very short span of time. If you're referring to the graph in the lead section of this article, that one has a time span of centuries, not just three decades. The longer-term graph shows the extent to which global warming has occurred, whereas the graph you linked shows only the recent variations in a much larger trend. Which graph in the article are you advocating replacing? ~Amatulić (talk) 22:53, 5 March 2012 (UTC)
Ah, my mistake! Thanks for clearing that up. The beginning of the article does note that a very significant percentage of that increase happened over the last three decades, though, which is perhaps more significant than just 'recent variations'... is there any room for it on the page? (talk) 05:35, 6 March 2012 (UTC)


Hey sorry I have no idea how to use wikipedia, but the link used in the FAQ question on the list of skeptics compiled by various organizations is no longer functional. Please remove it: — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:25, 5 March 2012 (UTC)

Dead link repaired. NameIsRon (talk) 21:50, 21 March 2012 (UTC)

Global Warming just Local Warming if mainly in and around arctis area and max. +100ppm +0.5° over CO2 ?

Too many people

How can one man decide what is "just plain wrong"? how can a valid theory be stricken from the record? How can censorship of good ideas be what wikipedia is about now? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:12, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Wikipedia is not a publisher of original research, but only of previously reliably published information. "People and machine waste energy is responsible for significant global warming" is not a serious theory. First, people and animals are part of a closed cycle. They not only recycle CO2, whatever heat they produce by living is extracted ultimately from plant matter and would be released by decay over a similar time frame. Secondly, the direct effect of energy we release from fossil or nuclear fuel is measurable (and calculable), but is in the single digit percentage compared to the enhanced greenhouse effect. If you want to introduce this theory anyways, you would need to find very good sources (e.g. peer-reviewed articles in respectable scientific journals) describing it. Also see here for a discussion. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 06:25, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

Please remove any suggestion this is science until it is.

As someone who was taught science and the philosophy of science, I don't mind people indulging in speculation and expressing their views. From the likes of the catholic church to climate "scientists" every group has a right to express views! That is why there's whole articles on religions and politics. But, I think we have a right to protect science and stop this kind of political POV push nonsense being called "science". It doesn't matter that this POV push is coming from the subject itself. People have views ... fine, but even if the whole world calls them a scientist, a view is a view unless it is backed by scientific proof. Science isn't a label, its a methodology and e.g. the church of scientology is science just because it has that in its name. As anyone taught science ought to know science is a simple subject with straightforward laws: you make predictions and then compare those with the actual results. If we take the key prediction of catastrophic warming it is that temperatures will rise with increased CO2. Even as a whole it has failed to predict climate since the first testable predictions were made in 2001. But this whole article is not about the 1C warming of real science. Instead it is overwhelmingly about the hysteria of massive scaled up warming from positive feedbacks.

Where is there any evidence of these positive feedbacks? The answer is that far from being evidence, if you take away the 1C trend, we have actually seen some kind of cooling over the last decade which has led to this stasis in temperature. It should be obvious even to none scientists that there is something very wrong here. Far from something adding to the basic CO2 effect, we have actually seen a cooler temperature than would be expected from real science. Even James Lovelock, inventor of Gaia has admitted something is very wrong. When even some of the strongest advocates are admitting it was wrong, it is incredible that the same unsubstantiated POV push continues to be portrayed as science.

There really are three simple choices:

  1. If you want this to be a scientific article then you have to stick only to the proven science. In which case you need to explicitly state that the only bit of this theory that has a proven basis is 1C warming for a doubling (although "proven" may be going too far as Herman Harde suggests 0.45 using the latest Hitran database). Moreover, you have to state that the positive feedbacks are only speculative and that so far the evidence does not support this theory.
  2. you drop the pretence to be scientific and write this up like economics ... where you don't care too much about the evidence and focus on the views and opinions of this or that expert ... in which case you also have to quote none experts as well.
  3. you do nothing. In which case you will just add to the view most people I know are expressing that this subject cannot be trusted and that most academics are right when they say you cannot trust anything written in Wikipedia. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:49, 3 May 2012 (UTC)
On reflection, I'm being a bit hard on economists by comparing them to climate science. I wasn't referring to micro-economics which is mostly evidence based, more to the dicussion between different macro-economic policies. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:54, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Decreasing rate of change

The article doesn't seem to properly address the decreasing rate of change. see 'Gaia' scientist James Lovelock: I was 'alarmist' about climate change outlining James Lovelock's view regarding the stabilization of temperatures over the last 12 years. --Trödel 22:00, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

The decreasing rate of change is sometimes overstated due to an overemphasis on the year 1998, an unusually hot El Niño year, and a lack of emphasis on the running average. [11] In addition, current emissions are - according to my sources - above all SRES Scenarios.
I don't think that Lovelock made such a mistake (overemphasizing 1998) since his comments stretch beyond that time frame. Did you read through the source. --Trödel 02:58, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes. Lovelock does not specify in detail what he means, but one would expect it to be the flattening of the moving average curve in NASA GISS's data since about 2005 due to 2007-11 falling below the rising trend.[12] The diagram, however, does not seem to support the conclusion that this is a significant trend. Narssarssuaq (talk) 03:52, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
I viewed the chart, and agree that it may or may not be significant trend; however, from my (granted superficial) understanding of the issues involved. The flattening has occurred despite there being no significant change in the claimed causes of global warming. That suggests to me that one should look to additional sources or causes of the increase that may have changed and thus would account for the flattening. --Trödel 14:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Weather v. climate is indeed a source of confusion. Narssarssuaq (talk) 15:16, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Lovelock was wrong 7 years ago, when he predicted total gloom and doom and fiery death, and he is wrong today (if less so) when he misunderstands the time scales on which temporary fluctuation mask the overall trend of climate. Nothing to see here... --Stephan Schulz (talk) 14:35, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
The quote above does not accurately reflect what you read if you follow the link. What Lovelock actually says is that he was alarmist about the rate of climate change, but right to be alarmed about climate change in the long run. He also points out that atmospheric carbon dioxide is still increasing at an alarming rate, making the seas more acidic. But those people who have somehow linked in their mind the Big Oil message: "There is no climate change and if there is it isn't our fault." with other messages they strongly want to believe will clutch at any available straw. Rick Norwood (talk) 14:59, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
This is the thing that confuses me - there seems to be so much surety that we understand this very complex mechanism (Climate Change), and from the public debate it seems you have to be on one side or the other where I don't really see a side. It seems that the proper (i.e. using the scientific method) position:
We have observed a change in temperature over the past 100-150(use what can be sourced) years. In our attempt to explain it we've found that the suns increasing temperature can account for a small part of it (if Wikipedia is right in this then no more than .1 of the .75 change - and include an explanation about that), there is evidence provide it that CO2 and emissions from burning fossil fuels can account for much of it but exactly how much we aren't sure yet but it appears to be anywhere from x to X of the change (and explain all that), there could be other contributing factors but the ones hypothesized so far have not stood up to scientific scrutiny (and give some of them). Finally, we need to be vigilant in addressing this issue including additional studies. Then, there are specific measures that would mitigate the factors that are theorized to be causing it - and go over that.
This is basically what I am getting out of the pop-culture/news coverage of the issue but it seems there is almost a religious war about this with one side believing it isn't happening and explaining away the observations, and the other side claiming that they fully understand the causes of the warming and it is all because of man. My thought is shouldn't the article at least mention the slowing - and that it is thought to be a temporary fluctuation with appropriate sourcing of course. --Trödel 19:54, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Could be an idea if the slowing continues for a few more years. Where do you live, btw? No "religious war" where I live - people don't argue against facts. Narssarssuaq (talk) 04:20, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Do you see the irony of claiming there is no "religious war" in the same sentence as claiming that an article which is a mixture of observations, facts, theories, and conclusions as "facts"? Zealots also claim that their worldview is fact. --Trödel 14:37, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Global warming is not a worldview. The science behind the actual warming projections, sauf the SRES Scenarios, is based on physics. In physics, there are facts. Unfortunately, we don't get to vote on or discuss these facts, we have to accept them. This ought to be elementary knowledge. (talk) 18:54, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
Are the facts the observations or does the term facts include the projections and theories. This is why there are doubters - it is all presented as facts, so early projections that were off are now mocked, instead of being viewed as within the tolerances. The NHC does a great job of showing projections within a range - I know it is hard for other industries to do the same, but to claim that projections are facts is a contributing factor to the irrational debate. What we have are models and projections - and if the observations begin to fall outside then they will be revised - or maybe even thrown out altogether and replaced with better ones - all that is good science. Believing in projections as facts rather than likely outcomes sounds religious to me. --Trödel 21:18, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
If you are saying that James Lovelock made 'early projections', then you have to realise that he is not a climate scientist and so his futurology needs to be read in that light. It's not clear who you say is mocking whom, or which cited sources believe in 'projections as facts', in fact it's not clear what it is that you want to discuss about the article. Please note that the points you made about the trend graph have been more than adequately answered just below by the article and graphics linked at 20:34, 26 April 2012. Please also be aware of the admonitions at the top of this page, especially that this is the talk page for discussing improvements to this article; it is not a forum for open discussion of the article's subject, let alone of science, politics and religion in general. --Nigelj (talk) 22:24, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
In the end, it comes down to whether or not you trust experts. If you never do that, you're a good egalitarian citizen, but will easily become a crank (person). Wikipedia, rightfully or not, requests expertise, not "general wisdom", from its writers. Narssarssuaq (talk) 23:53, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
My point is that we should be more clear in describing the projections and variances and documenting things like decreasing rate of change. The article should be more accessible to a lay reader in this sense and thus the article will be properly neutral with the added benefit of better educating those that come to the article. (My observations of the public debate are a distraction, and I shouldn't have made them.) The graph makes sense to me but I don't think the text addresses this decreasing rate of change properly. --Trödel 16:14, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Then you'll need some actual science that asserts there is a "decreasing rate of change". Please start with that, rather than pop culture William M. Connolley (talk) 19:43, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I've seen some stuff like Soloman, but it was in Science Mag, which, in my view, is not the same as a peer reviewed journal. I don't have access to academic journals, but it seems likely to me that there would be articles reviewing the same data that supported the statements made in their article. The article seems to attribute the stability to the El Nino cycle, without any discussion of alternate theories, or if there are none, at least a discussion that the behavior is not completely understood. --Trödel 21:18, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

Solomon? As in Susan Solomon? Doesn't ring much of a bell. Some of Science is PR, some isn't. Also, where did El Nino suddenly come into it? This section is already fairly rambling; its about time it became some concrete suggestions for change, backed up by decent refs, or ended William M. Connolley (talk) 22:42, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Yes, as in Susan Solomon. The only reference to the decreasing rate of change in the article that I could find is "The relative stability in temperature from 2002 to 2009 is consistent with such an episode.[36][37] 2010 was also an El Niño year." The Science Mag article said something about water vapor if I remember right, but also mentioned that the decreasing rate of change required an reevaluation of some of the assumptions and conclusions (again me paraphrasing).
I'm sorry this seems rambling - the issue is, "Why hasn't the decreasing rate of change and relative stability of temperatures over the last 5-10 years been addressed in the article?"
Because this topic is contentious I felt it best to find out what's been discussed already - I searched for "decreasing" and a few other key words in the archives, and couldn't find anything. So I asked here. It appears from the responses that this issue hasn't been specifically addressed and no real consensus exists on yet. --Trödel 13:22, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Nothing is certain. Scientists do not say that global warming is certain, just that all the evidence points in that direction. Sure, the article can mention that the rate appears to be slowing on the short term, though I don't know if that takes into account the last couple of years. But if we do mention we have to be careful to put it in context. After all, most of the data is ten year averages, so one fifteen year period is not strong evidence. Rick Norwood (talk) 20:09, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

One thing's for sure, John Nielsen-Gammon (the Texas State Climatologist and Professor of Atmospheric Sciences at Texas A&M University) is rather better informed about the topic than 'Gaia' scientist James Lovelock. Helpfully, j n-g provides a clear explanation for laypeople at About the Lack of Warming… | Climate Abyss | a blog, with revealing graphs. If you'd prefer peer-reviewed literature, he commends Grant Foster and Stefan Rahmstorf (2011) "Global temperature evolution 1979–2010" Environ. Res. Lett. 6 044022 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/6/4/044022 and also helpfully links a simple explanation by one of its authors. . . dave souza, talk 20:34, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks I'll take a look at it - what I would really like is some sources that explain it for someone with a strong science/math background but has a shallow background in the issue (from popular news shows) if you know of such a thing. --Trödel 21:13, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Whatever you read, IMO it will be helpful to place its thesis on this chart, and then compare the chart's prediction as to the source of the material with the actual source of the material.

NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:20, 1 May 2012 (UTC) ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── BTW.... suppose your hanging with friends in a hottub with the window cracked and winter air seeping in as the wind puffs outside. Do you and your friends argue endlessly about whether its warming or cooling too fast or too slow based on the air currents, or the water temp flowing around your tender parts? My point: Arguments about whether its warming or cooling, faster or slower, based solely on air temps are missing the point. The much more important measure is the heat sink represented by earth's oceans.NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 13:37, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

Seriously, you want me to take what I read, and then evaluate it not based on its scientific rigor or any other objective basis. Instead you want me to compare the predictions made to a chart of various opinions, and and political/popular viewpoints and their supposed relationship. That's ridiculous. This chart looks like scientific but as far as I can tell it's a graphic to describe some people's view of the debate - not sure what it has to do with any of my specific questions. --Trödel 10:30, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 11 April 2012

Reference 140 quotes an article that does not support the claim made in the article and should be removed. (talk) 21:49, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit confused... how exactly does the reference not support the statement - there is even a quote attached to the reference, which is verbatim from the article. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:35, 11 April 2012 (UTC)
Not done: Per Kim's comments. If you need further assistance, please feel free to re-enable the requested edit template. Thanks!   — Jess· Δ 01:28, 12 April 2012 (UTC)

Geoengineering subsection

There is a geoengineering subsection in the "responses to global warming" section. The other two sections are, understandably, mitigation and adaptation. In the larger mitigation article, one of the mitigation measures is, appropriately, geoengineering. Thus, why does this one mitigation measure deserve another subsection on this article? Nicehumor (talk) 12:08, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Humans cannot survive wet-bulb temperatures above 35 degrees C...

May well be true, but does it really matter that much? William M. Connolley (talk) 05:57, 28 April 2012 (UTC)

I agree it doesn't, but in [this edit] did you intend to put the scare quotes back around both occurrences of the word 'dangerous' too? It's a small point, but I had previously taken them out here. --Nigelj (talk) 07:50, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Oops, my mistake. I'm not really online now so will have to let you fix it William M. Connolley (talk) 11:42, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Done --Nigelj (talk) 15:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
It means that the whole of Eastern USA and India would be uninhabitable by the end of the century, for both humans and animals. And you think it doesn't matter that much? Narssarssuaq (talk) 14:08, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
This is a technical look at a scenario where there has been 11 °C rise worldwide - at which point, perhaps in 300 years time, a human "would overheat even if they were naked in the shade, soaking wet and standing in front of a large fan". There would have been crop failures, mass extinctions of plants and animals including insects and most pollinators, complete financial, social and criminal meltdown, mass migrations of humans, widespread famine, etc etc, by then. I think the last humans in those regions, standing naked and dripping, would be hard-pressed to find a working electric fan (or slaves willing to work a hand-operated one) at that time. It's probably not really one of the key reasons why global warming is a problem that needs action before then. --Nigelj (talk) 15:10, 28 April 2012 (UTC)
Although Nigelj makes an eloquent depiction of the future no-policy type of world, let me pose a question: Does this page get read by a significant number of lay people who, like many people with a casual mass-media exposure to the subject, assume that humans will be able to adapt to any possible warming? If your answer is "Yes" then this wet-bulb stuff does matter, not because of the technical findings, but because the technical findings directly contradict this common assumption. Indeed, that is the whole point of the research paper, which states as much in its opening sentence:

"Despite the uncertainty in future climate-change impacts, it is often assumed that humans would be able to adapt to any possible warming. Here we argue that heat stress imposes a robust upper limit to such adaptation."

I know many people who think "gee, they survive in the Sahara, so what if it gets a little warmer here? I don't like snow anyway."

In addition, the paper suggests wet bulb temps will start to reach 35 C with 7 C of warming, and that much warming is already on the radar for this century under a no-policy scenario. But now I've distracted you with a projection. The main point is that people assume we can adapt, and it takes a fair bit of education and emotional processing before one can deal with the implications Nigelj describes so well. IN SUM, I think it is important to have that entire dialogue and emotional processing happening with the up-front point being made...... that there is indeed a "robust upper limit" to human adaptation. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 12:50, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
It's only a robust upper limit if we ignore air conditioning. Humans can, in principle, adapt to the heat stroke inducing world too. In such regions, there will be times during the summer when air conditioning and other artificial cooling is not just preferred, but actually obligatory for human survival. There are major cities in hot climates today where air conditioning is already very common. It doesn't seem impossible to imagine a future where artificial cooling was utterly ubiquitous in order to ensure human survival during the summer. Of course, that requires that electricity and other basic trappings of society survive the other challenges of global warming, and personally I would vastly prefer that the world not flirt with such very high levels of warming. However, I don't think the 35 C wet-bulb argument, by itself, says that adaptation is impossible. More realistically, it points out another layer of challenge that would need to be overcome to adapt to such a world. In the cost-benefit analysis, at some threshold global warming prevention will presumably look much more appealing that adaptation. Dragons flight (talk) 14:08, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
You are assuming, of course, that when wet bulb temps are 35C the electric grid will operate just like always, and everyone has access to air conditioned facilities. Tell that to all 6-7 billion people in the world, a world where people right now are literally dropping dead from starvation. Air conditioning for all is pretty hard to fathom when so many do not even have clean water. But let's just ignore the poor in the underdeveloped part of the world (who needs 'em right?) Instead, lets just look at the USA. So they set up AC shelters for folks in the big cities. Do those facilities have everything that eco refugees need to take up residence? Let's ask someone who took shelter in the Superdome during Katrina. If outdoor wet bulb conditions are that extreme, who is going to load the trucks at the warehouse to bring supplies to all those people? Who is going to restore power when the lines droop and short out? Do infantry battalions carry air conditioning units away from base? Do migrant worker camps in the farm fields have AC? Suggest you think about the AC-can-save-us thing a bit more. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 15:44, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
This is venturing into original research. Let's shut this conversation down. Wordysworth (talk) 06:16, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
And what is the point of this thread? Is it going anywhere useful? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:49, 7 May 2012 (UTC)
Science says "robust upper limit". Air conditioning as adaptation is original research, but it could be included or taken into account if it is self-evident that it invalidates or vastly reduces the validity of the scientific claim. NewsAndEventsGuy points out that it is not self-evident. Narssarssuaq (talk) 11:06, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
  Abandoning the tropics would also be a form of adaptation. So would that justify the claim that "global warming is no big sweat"? (I couldn't resist), so we shouldn't worry about it? The real question is not whether humans can or can't adapt, but how much it will cost to adapt. That a few humans might survive in air-conditioned tunnels in no way invalidates any scientific claim. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:18, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

The forecast for Wednesday for Kolkata is: "Mostly cloudy in the morning, then clear. High of 41 °C with a heat index of 58 °C. Breezy. Winds from the South at 20 to 25 km/h." Count Iblis (talk) 22:51, 11 May 2012 (UTC)


The introduction is too long and thus potentially confusing, both to scientifically trained and casual audiences.

1. I propose starting with one sentence, and to move the rest to an introduction chapter.

2. I also propose the first sentence to be "Global warming is the observed rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century, and the estimated continuation of rising temperatures due to future emissions and the laws of physics." This captures a. the essence of the concept's two parts; the monitoring and the projections; and b. the quintessence of the background of the projections. Narssarssuaq (talk) 02:10, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

I disagree, and will revert. The lead is a WP:SUMMARY of the article, as it should be (see WP:Manual_of_Style/Lead_section). --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 02:44, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Thanks. Narssarssuaq (talk) 02:53, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

Maybe one sentence is too short, but it is a good sentence, and might make a good first paragraph. Rick Norwood (talk) 19:07, 26 April 2012 (UTC)

The laws of physics say that if you make a prediction and it doesn't fit the data, then that theory is disproven. On that basis given the current standstill is now way outside the statistical limits to allow it to be considered valid, the whole article should just be scrapped. Moreover the laws of physics are that things must be proven. Instead this whole article is based on 1C warming which is scientific, and the rest which is voodoo feedbacks which is about as credible as a party political broadcast: not a single model with feedbacks has managed to predict the climate QED they are claptrap. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Nah, you're thinking more about metaphysics. Or maybe Popper's stuff William M. Connolley (talk) 22:14, 26 April 2012 (UTC)
Nope, that's not at all the laws of physics. That mistake sort of eclipses the rest of your point, making it about as credible as a party political broadcast QED it is claptrap. Narssarssuaq (talk) 05:08, 27 April 2012 (UTC)
I see where you are getting confused. When real scientists talk about "laws" they often use this as a shorthand for the laws of nature - Which aren't actually laws - more an established rule. Take e.g. Newtons laws ... they are only "law" when relativity does not come into play. I know it is confusing for the lay person, but real scientists like this shorthand. But when I laws, I was stating the guiding principle and rules of the subject which are universally agreed by all physicists. I'm sorry if that confused you as a lay person. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:53, 3 May 2012 (UTC)

Let's give our unsigned contributor an honest answer. His argument takes this form. Scientists say that, when we flip a coin, on the average we will get half heads and half tails. But I flipped a coin ten times, and I got seven heads and three tails. This disproves the half heads, half tails theory, because it is statistically unlikely. The error, as every student of statstics knows (I wish!), is mining data for unlikely events that support your desired conclusion. Unlikely events occur. If you sort through the data looking for unlikely events, you will find them. You need to consider all of the data, not just the data you like. The overwhelming preponderence of the data shows global warming driven by man made greenhouse emissions. Rick Norwood (talk) 12:15, 27 April 2012 (UTC)

Rick, I have no idea which planet you are on but there is no way on earth the evidence points to the majority being manmade. TO be frank only charlatans would make such an assertion. Prof Salby makes it very clear that the evidence points strongly to a natural cause of a large part of the CO2 rise. We know that a lot of the rise in the 20th century was not due to the CO2. And we also know that e.g. the CRU lied in creating their temperature reconstructions. As I said, you've got to be talking about another planet. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:43, 8 May 2012 (UTC)
"No way on earth"?? Like you have personally examined ALL of the evidence, and found NONE of it indicating any human influence? That is laughably absurd. But about par for someone who seems to be quite ignorant of (or deliberately flaunting?) several Wikipedia policies, who doesn't even know how to sign his edits.
Your comments are subject to removal per WP:SOAPBOX. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 00:33, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
"the evidence points strongly to a natural cause of a large part of the CO2 rise" - whoever makes this claim has to explain where the CO2 we do release is poofed out of existence. Atmospheric CO2 is rising at about half the rate we release CO2 from fossil carbon sources. The conventional explanation is that natural sinks, in particular the ocean, currently absorb the rest. Whoever claims a "natural cause" is either playing semantic games ("Humans are part of nature") or he has to explain not only the source of the CO2 for that large part, but also what happens to the anthropogenic CO2. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 05:31, 9 May 2012 (UTC)

Back to old lede

I've reverted the lede back to the old version. The one being proposed (which i overlooked because the proposal was without comment, and stale somewhere further up), has problems. The self-ref issue is an indication of this. The article is about the current rise - not about what it could be in other contexts. This is what we have disambiguation links for at the top of articles. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 21:51, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Unfortunately, the "old" version is wrong, because as used by many scientists the phrase "global warming" does not necessarily mean the current episode of global warming. There are earlier examples in the paleoclimate record, such as the PETM. A | featured article at the NASA's Earth Observatory says (paragraph 1) "Volcanic activity has also, in the deep past, increased greenhouse gases over millions of years, contributing to episodes of global warming." True, the subject of this article is the current episode of GW, and that is the way it should be IMO. However, we are misinforming readers when we tell them that the phrase has this limited meaning. Therefore, the "old" version as it now appears in the article is false, because it definitively states this limited definition, to wit....
Global warming refers to the rising average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans, which began to increase in the late 19th century and is projected to continue rising. Since the early 20th century, Earth's average surface temperature has increased...
We are now telling readers something that is not correct and the disambig at the top does not change that. We are only giving accurate coverage if we give the scientific meaning, and then tell readers we are choosing to focus on the current episode of global warming in this article. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:05, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
The alternative text I propose, with subsequent tweaks was most recently in this version and reads
Global warming can refer to any increase in average global temperature.,<ref>{{cite web|url=|publisher=NOAA (USA)|title=Climate Glossary}}</ref> In this article, "global warming" refers to the rapid increase in Earth’s average surface temperature over the past century.<ref>{{cite web|url=|publisher=NASA (USA)|title=Global Warming}}</ref> Since the early 1900s, the global average surface temperature has increased...
Perhaps further wordsmithing can improve this alternative. But we should inform readers that there were past episodes of global warming, even as we tell them we are now focussing on the current episode caused by greenhouse gases. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 00:58, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
Good comment, but an interesting paradox. If you call a spade a spade ... it would be 20th century global warming, but obviously that would suggest it ended which clearly is not acceptable certain editors. Perhaps a better start would be to focus on "global warming is an increase in global temperature ... measured over 10 (others might suggest 30 years). Perhaps "over decades" might give enough info for an introduction. Perhaps the next sentence might introduce the origin of the phrase ... Boeker(smelling?) first used the phrase to refer specifically to the period of warming experienced since 1970?? since when it has become popular in science and the media to refer to the predictions of ... impending doomsday etc. Obviously the last bit is a joke (one has to be so careful with warmists who don't understand us sceptics), but this takes us from the general to the specific. (PS. I don't sign as a protest against the years of appalling treatment of sceptics by Wikipedia) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 12 April 2012 (UTC)
we should inform readers => that is what disambiguation links are for. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:38, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
No, it is not "wrong" - it is just the instance that the majority of the literature is referring to when talking about global warming. Do note the disambiguation at the top of the article... for other instances refer to the generic climate change article. The context of this article is what is summarized in the lead. This is how Brittanica does it:
global warming, the phenomenon of increasing average air temperatures near the surface of Earth over the past one to two centuries
The lead is fine as it is, and i'm sorry to say that i do not find your change or proposals improvements. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 01:37, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
(A)True or false, "The value of a US coin is equal to ten cents." That's true, if you are talking about dimes. Just taken on its face, the statement makes a serious logic blunder. That's what we're doing here. Fact that Brittanica 's editorial board decided to go that road does not mean we should.
(B)Instead of relying on your opinion, please show me a source that explicitly says "global warming" does not refer to any increase in average global temperature other than the one that is currently underway.
(C)More examples
  • "An abrupt episode of global warming and major changes in plant and animal life marked the transition between the Paleocene and Eocene epochs about 55 million years ago....",
  • "The Earth has experienced numerous episodes of global warming through its history, and currently appears to be undergoing such warming. The present warming is generally attributed to an increase in the greenhouse effect , brought about by increased levels of greenhouse gases, largely due to the effects of human industry and agriculture...",, citing "The American Heritage Science Dictionary"
  • "This estimate places the speciation event during a period of extended global warming in the Pliocene." abstract,
(D)Note that not all self-references are necessarily problematic. The only self-ref problem in these two versions is created by the "old" text you (Kim) restored. In response to the point I raise, you say the old text relies on the links to other wiki articles in the diambiguation info, to somehow explain to readers that "global warming" can also refer to other episodes of, well, ummmmmm..... global warming. My text is not only more accurate, but avoids this problematic self-reference with an explicit explanation in the article itself... the same approach used by the American Heritage Science Dictionary as quoted above. NewsAndEventsGuy (talk) 04:29, 17 March 2012 (UTC)
(A) Irrelevant. Articles about a topic describe that topic, not other possible variations of the title - that is what disambiguations are about. We do not start articles on people with "James Hansen, is one of the many people named James Hansen, of which this particular one is the one working at NASA GISS". (just to take a contrived example).
(B) I just gave your Encyclopedia Brittanica. Below is the IPCC definition. No previous cases match this definition.
(C) IPCC AR4 glossary: [13] "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."
(D) is simply false. In article text self-references are out!. Templates are good for this - which is why we have the disambiguation thingie.
Finally, this article is featured. It has been through both internal and external review.. if the old version was so problematic, then it is interesting that no one else appears to have seen it that way during those processes. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 23:03, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Climate change

The agriculture article says that "agriculture" has a very bad negative effect in regards to climate change. This is actually very inaccurate. It should state that animal husbandry has a very bad effect on climate change, and thus the info should be available on this page aswell. This as it is one of the main reasons of production of methane gas, one of the worst GhG gases (allot more potent than CO²). In addition, I find it's useful to also mention that life in prehistoric times had allready been killed once (globally!) trough the effect of methane gas. Appearantly, the levels for this to happen were only 5x as large, excluding other gases (ie effect of CO² emissions from transport, ...) See (talk) 16:48, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Both animal and plant agriculture can produce methane. In particular, rice paddies are a major global source of methane. That said, Fox News is not a good source on science, and neither does the Fox report accurately reflect the original study, nor does it suggest your claim of "5x" - there is roughly a 5x factor between the estimate of Dinosaur-produced methane and current farm animals, but both then and now there are many other sources of methane. Also note that the study considered the mesozoic, which lasted roughly 180 million years, or about roughly 1000 times longer than even optimistic estimates of homo sapiens. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:22, 12 May 2012 (UTC)

Rate this page

Where is "Rate this page"? Freedom Fan (talk) 17:07, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

See Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool. It was part of an ongoing effort, and different versions have been and are being tried on different pages (and, I think, in a randomized manner). The current effort is at Wikipedia:Article Feedback Tool/Version 5. --Stephan Schulz (talk) 17:16, 14 May 2012 (UTC)

Variations in ozone in the lower stratosphere

Just wondering where this paper, which deals with how variations in ozone in the lower stratosphere could be a contributory factor in global warnimg, could be worked into the article. Jprw (talk) 13:06, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Generally speaking we don't put references to individual papers in this article. Some of the articles on specific topics may carry references to specific papers, but it's a bit unlikely. At the level of science we cover, we're more likely to go for reviews of research. The paper you refer to is just one of a very large number in the still-developing field of climate sensitivity. --TS 14:18, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Application of the precautionary principle in writing the article

There is also judgment involved as for how to deal with review articles, and perhaps this is a good opportunity to raise this debate: Should all emphasis be put on the average or most likely findings, or should a certain amount of emphasis also be put on the worst available findings, in line with the precautionary principle? Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:17, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

As with our general practice in producing an encyclopedia, we report as fact that which has been established as fact and as opinion that which has been expressed as opinion. We give more prominence to well established fact (as determined through reliable sources such as peer reviewed journals) and take care to avoid giving high prominence to relatively speculative materials. Encyclopedias are conservative with a small c. --TS 16:59, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
There seems to be some ill-considered concepts here. E.g., what are "average ... findings"? Or "worst available findings"? And isn't "emphasis" covered by WP:WEIGHT? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 19:40, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
I support the precautionary principle, but in the context of global warming, it should be applied by the policy makers, not the editors. To illustrate, if the mean scenario has an economic outcome that is not all that serious, policy makers would be wrong to conclude that global warming concerns can be dismissed. There may be a plausible scenario in which feedbacks cause catastrophic harm, and it is not only acceptable, it is required that policy makers give more weight to such outcomes. However, it is incumbent on the policy makers to address this, and the responsibility of the media to cover this, so to the extent it happens, there would be relatively more coverage in reliable sources of potential, low probability events. As editors, we use WEIGHT to review coverage, not to assess the underlying probability of the outcomes.
To give a specific, albeit hypothetical example, if a scenario with 1% probability is a doomsday scenario, it is plausible that discussion of this scenario would occupy , say, 10% of the coverage. The application of WEIGHT suggests that our articles would have something like 10% devoted to the scenario, not 1%. Editors would be wrong to argue that a scenario with only a 1% probably means that only one per cent of the article space should address it. Editors would be equally wrong to invoke the precautionary principle a second time, and argue that a doomsday scenario justifies far more than 10% coverage.--SPhilbrick(Talk) 20:02, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
Agree (mostly), the precautionary principle is not something that has relevance to us as wikipedia editors, we must adhere to the weight that the literature (not policymakers specifically) puts on scenarios, not on what we (as editors) think is relevant. --Kim D. Petersen (talk) 21:26, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
  The precautionary principle is more of a legalistic principle, more applicable (as you say) to policymakers. It is essentially the idea that consideration of some possible consequence should be weighted by the seriousness of the impact as well as its liklihood. Which is a good reason why some impacts (e.g., global warming) warranted full study long before there was any "proof" of such. ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 21:33, 23 May 2012 (UTC)
So information relevant to the precautionary principle should be considered when informing policy-makers, but not when informing those reading an encyclopedia? Narssarssuaq (talk) 11:41, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
I think you missed the point. The application of the precautionary principle means that policy makers may make decisions that are driven more by extremes than means. The decisions will be covered by the literature, so can be covered by the article. The principle equally means that journalists, and academic writers are likely to discuss and examine extremes out of proportion to their expected occurrence. To the extent that the relative discussion of an article roughly mirrors the relative weight in the literature, the article will automatically invoke the principle; there is no need to explicitly apply the principle to the article and over-weight even more.
In case I am missing your point, can you give an example of how the application of the principle would affect, for example, this article? Are there sections were you would propose an increase or a decrease in coverage?--SPhilbrick(Talk) 17:23, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
  I think there needs to be some distinction between coverage of a topic (or even subtopic), and the coverage (presentation) of contending views. Wikipedia's coverage of topics is not limited to the single lens of scientific inquiry, but represents (and I think validly so) the interests of the editors, and thereby, indirectly, the interest of the general public. In regard of certain possible events that interest might well derive from the magnitude of the consequences than the liklihood of the event. Note that this is not application of the precautionary principle; we are primarily following public interest.
  It is in the matter of informing the reader about contending views about something — and this could be about the liklihood of something happening, or its consequences — we present those views according to weight of expert opinion. While some fringe view might have an interest or notability of its own, the result is to be per WP:WEIGHT. And the precautionary principle has nothing to do with it.
~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:29, 24 May 2012 (UTC)
WP:WEIGHT will kill us all :-) Narssarssuaq (talk) 08:02, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
  That's quite the nonsensical comment. How about putting a little effort into explaining "should a certain amount of emphasis also be put on the worst available findings"? Or give us some examples of how you think the article might changed in light of this principle? ~ J. Johnson (JJ) (talk) 22:12, 25 May 2012 (UTC)
It doesn't seem anyone is interested. Anyhow, I do not have the time and expertise required for such an undertaking. Narssarssuaq (talk) 07:06, 30 May 2012 (UTC)