How could it happen that more than a dozen of the most prestigious scientific associations signed and submitted this letter on ‘climate change’ without having ensured that the used terminology is sufficiently defined. Read the rest of the entry
The UNFCCC does not define ‘climate’ at all, while
WMO says: 'climate' is average weather.
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Roger. A. Pielke Jr. on:  
- Misdefining“climate change”: consequences for science and action - 2005[1]

E-510

Although Roger Pielke Jr’s paper is about the term “ climate change” (see Abstract below) we will put the focus on the term “climate”, and “climate change”, although the author refers frequently to “climate policy”, “future climate”, or “the climate future” as well.

For the start three brief excerpts from Pielke’s paper and related Questions:

  • Climate is only one of many variables related to the impacts of weather and climate on society and environment. In some (most?) cases other societal changes are more important determinants of future impacts than is climate per se. (p.553);
  • (activities), but frank recognition that under no scenario does conceivable mitigation policies alone fully address the problems to society by climate. (p.551)
  • In terms of climate policy, such a reframing would mean a transition from a focus on ‘‘dangerous anthropogenic interference’’ to a focus on the impacts and opportunities related to climate, recognizing that the word ‘‘climate’’ by definition includes the notion of variability and change. (p.558)
  • The impacts of climate are painfully apparent and are with us today, not in some hypothetical future. (p.558).

Questions:

  • Why did the author not realize (or thinks it is not worth mentioning) that the FCCC has no definition on ‘climate’?
  • Does he assume helpful to discuss ‘climate policy’ on the understanding that this would mean ‘a policy on the average weather during the last three decades’?
  • Does the author regards it as possible to come up with a definition of climate, if the meaning of ‘weather’ is not defined in the first place.
  • Which definition of ‘climate’ has the author in mind when saying: “the word ‘climate’ by definition includes the notion of variability and change. (p.558)”
  • Can any useful conclusion be drawn from the following two statements
  • Climate is only one of many variables related to the impacts of weather and climate on society and environment; and
  • The impacts of climate are painfully apparent and are with us today, not in some hypothetical future;

 Or are they utterly nonsense? At least, the second statement would sound horrible if it had been written down in this way: The impacts of weather statistics are painfully apparent and are with us today, not in some hypothetical future?

THE ABSTRACT - FURTHER DETAILS

With Comments

Few abstract of Roger A. Pielke Jr, article of 2005[2]: “Misdefining ‘‘climate change’’: consequences for science and action” goes as it follows:

  • “The restricted definition of ‘‘climate change’’ used by the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) has profoundly affected the science, politics, and policy processes associated with the international response to the climate issue.
  • Specifically, the FCCC definition has contributed to the gridlock and ineffectiveness of the global response to the challenge of climate change.
  • This paper argues that the consequences of misdefining ‘‘climate change’’ create a bias against adaptation policies and set the stage for the politicization of climate science.
  • The paper discusses options for bringing science, policy and politics in line with a more appropriate definition of climate change such as the more comprehensive perspective used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

Comment:

  • It is highly to acknowledge that R. Pielke Jr. seems to belong to the few scientists who have taken a more thorough look at the FCCC, as he did in an earlier paper in 2003 as well[3].
  • R. Pielke Jr is right in establishing that the FCCC definition of ‘climate change’ is restricted, by handling as a single problem (p.556), and that there is a stark contrast between the FCCC definition and the one used by IPCC[4]. The two text are here reproduced in the boxes.

INFO:

FCCC “climate change”

IPCC-2007 “climate change”[5]

"Climate change" means a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

Climate change in IPCC usage refers to any change in climate over time, whether due to natural variability or as a result of human activity.

 Comments, cont:

  • R. Pielke Jr seems not to be aware, that it is impossible to define ‘climate change’ if not based on a definition explaining the meaning of ‘climate’ it self.
  • R. Piekle Jr. seems not to be aware that the IPCC definition is worth nothing and only a ‘free cheque’ for climate science.
  • The fact mentioned by Roger Pielke Jr, although he is by far not the first[6], that IPCC is using a very different definition on ‘climate change’ as the FCCC, is a very serious matter and the United Nations Organization (UNO) which is ultimately in charge of the UNFCCC, should demand clarification by its sub organizations WMO and UNEP, which organize and run the IPCC[7].

Footnotes

[1] Roger A. Pielke Jr, 2005, “Misdefining ‘‘climate change’’: consequences for science and action”; in: Environmental  Science & Policy , No 8. p.548–561. http://sciencepolicy.colorado.edu/admin/publication_files/resource-1841-2004.10.pdf

[2] ditto

[3] Roger A. Pielke, Jr., 2003, What is climate change? Policy consequences of differing political and scientific definitions”. Pages 7, http://www.climateadaptation.net/docs/papers/pielke.pdf

[4] Pielke Jr, refers to the Second Assessment Report (Working Group I), (IPCC, 1995.

[5] See Footnote 1, in: IPCC; Summary for Policymakers, February 2007, with the explanation: This usage differs from that in the Framework Convention on Climate Change, where climate change refers to a change of climate that is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and that is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.

[6] See e.g. W.J. Maunder; 1993 “Global Warming: Change of Climate or Part of Climate?”, in: Bulletin  WMO, Vol. 42, No. 2, p. 112-118

[7] The IPCC was created jointly by two United Nations agencies: the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1988, which  - according WMO -  has been critical in providing regular assessments of climate science, potential impact of climate change and of policy options, including mitigation and adaptation to climate variability and change. (see: WMO – Position Paper: ‘WMO’s Role in Global Climate Change Issues with a focus on Development and Science based Decision Making”, April 2007, CCA-2, pages 13.)

 

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Is the term ‚climate’ too unspecific?
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Essays from 1992 to 1997 on CLIMATE
by Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
1994
“Legal Means for Understanding the Marine and climatic Change Issue”,
p.24 presented at the 28th Annual Conf. of the Law of the Sea Institute, Honolulu
 

 
1992
“Conditions for the protection of the global climate”,
p.53 presented at GKSS Research Center Geesthacht
 

 

1997
Black Sea-Model Case
--Paper, p.53

www.1ocean-1system.de
--Conf-Paper, p. 6

 

Four short texts
1994 Moscow

1994 LOS

1993 LOS

1992 Nature

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