Never for layman! – For science it should soon!
Posted May 19, 2019
Let’s face it. Except on some religious and faith expressions, the word climate has managed to become the most magical common term in modern time. Our previous post explained, that the word has a several thousand year’s history, but, during the last few decades, science uses it as ‘it fits best’ to underline the impression of competence, and in a similar way to scare the public and politicians alike.
Let’s face it. For any layman, weather and climate are individual and emotional terms, accompanying him any hour on every day throughout his life. A few or several weather conditions may have an impact on what to eat or drink, what to wear, how to go to work or on a walk, which gardening to do, what hat to put on, or sun cream to use, and so on. In the layman’s world, climate is merely a summary or a few aspects of weather condition in a certain location and time period, which may exist when planning a work trip to Anchorage in December, or holidays in Malta or South Africa next spring.
Let’s face it. Science, meteorology and climatology presumably understand something of the one hundred conditions composing the atmosphere currently, and also fairly correctly few days ahead, commonly called weather. Is this already the end of any consensus on the importance of weather and climate between the lay world and science?
Yes, with regard to weather! Not one ordinary man would ever see his “present weather as consisting of 100 possible conditions” (see AMS-definition, Fig. below).
Definitely yes, with regard to climate! The layman’s term is neither based on numerical statistics, nor would he ever consider “the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years, (see IPCC-definition, Fig. below).
Let’s face it. The way the lay world understands and is using the words weather and climate is very different from the way science defines them and is presenting them in their scientific work to the general public. That they not even show any capability or willingness to see the huge discrepancy is a serious obstacle in a fair and fruitful climatic debate.
Let’s face the fact. Science seems happy to use floppy definitions, if at all. Although the UNFCCC (Climate Change Convention, 1992) is soon getting 30 years old, one never could hear any complain, that the most fundamental terms weather and climate are not defined, although numerous essays have been written on the subject. Here are few essays analyzed about the term and processing of the UNFCCC:
- Daniel Bodansky (I) – On the road to a Draft Convention On Climate Change – Until December 1991
- Daniel Bodansky (II) – 1993 – The Convention in place – A Commentary
- Daniel Bodansky (III) – 2004 – On how the FCCC emerged
- Roger. A. Pielke Jr. on: – Misdefining “climate change”: consequences for science and action – 2005
- F. Pulvenis explains UNFCCC (1994): No real negotiations – Take it or leave it – Undeniable success.