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„Who Rules the Climate”? 

- By Oceanclimate, 05 June 2008 - 

When it comes to the term CLIMATE, the friends of IPCC[1], as well as their foes, are happily sailing in the same boat. While fighting a war of arguments how climate works, or may change, and what counter measures should be taken at many Billions costs, the global politics, and scientific community feel comfortable to talk about CLIMATE. Commonly it is said that ‘climate is the average weather’[2], without saying how ‘weather’ should be defined in the first place. As “climate means so many things to different people”[3], the climate & weather issue is discussed elsewhere (here). As a matter of fact, the whole climate change debate is not based on sound terms. but on a wild guessing what CLIMATE may be. Even the relevant global Convention on Climate Change, 1992,  (UNFCCC) has none[4]

„Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” ?: Recently a group of about 30 well reputed scientists, headed by S. Fred Singer, took on to challenge the findings of the main stream supporters of CO2 induced  global warming by their paper:  „Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate“[5] criticizing the principal IPCC conclusion “that the reported warming (since 1979) is very likely caused by the human emission of greenhouse gases”. While the two camps of supporters and skeptics fight a fierce battle on ‘right and wrong’, they sail mutually through tricky waters without knowing what CLIMATE is. The Singer et al. work is a good example, as the paper’s title is grossly misleading, if not erroneous. 

“Water is the driver of nature”!: When Singer et al. imply that: ‘nature rule the climate’, they are in full agreement with IPCC scientists and the UNFCCC, which uses the term ‘climate system’ (see FN 4, para. 3). 

All that this boils down to is ‘the interactions of the natural system’. What is the point of a term if it explains nothing, said a letter to NATURE back in 1992 already. But neither the United Nations, nor IPCC, nor Singer et al. see it and undertake any efforts for rectification. As this situation turns out to be a gross disservice to the global society, the world might have been better served by some historical persons who seem to have had a better insight in the global system, for example by Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519): “Water is the driver of nature”.

Textfeld: Everything comes from water. 
Everything is maintained through water.
Ocean, give us your eternal power.

Johann-Wolfgang  v. Goethe, (1749-1832; ); Faust II.Water rules nature!: Not nature rules climate, but water rules the nature on this earth. Water is the essence of anything that makes the earth special, as a brief comparison with the moon quickly shows. Earth's water volume is to 97% contained by the oceans, which have an average temperature of just ca. 4 degrees. Only their huge storage of heat and water supply to the atmosphere make climate - although variable –, and  life on earth possible. Climate would not exist, and could not work without water.  

Climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means: The overriding effect of the oceans rectify this definition for CLIMATE. It would bring the focus to the backbone of the climate system. At least the general public would understand for what the term CLIMATE stand for. Once adopted it would presumably lead quickly to the understanding of the two major climatic shifts during the last Century, namely the early arctic warming that started in winter 1918/19, and the global cooling that started in winter 1939/40 lasting for three decades.



[1] IPCC, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, http://www.ipcc.ch/

[2] WMO, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), http://www.wmo.ch/pages/prog/wcp/ccl/faqs.html

[3] Carl Wunsch, 1984, “The ocean circulation in climate”, in: John T. Houghton (ed), The Global Climate, Cambridge, p.189, 190. 

[4] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992; but defines instead in Article 1 the following terms:

 1. “Adverse effects of climate change” means changes in the physical environment or biota resulting from climate change which have significant deleterious effects on the composition, resilience or productivity of natural and managed ecosystems or on the operation of socio-economic systems or on human health and welfare.

2. “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.

3. “Climate system” means the totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions.  

[5]  Singer, S. Fred (ed); (2008), „Nature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate“; © 2008, Science and Environmental Policy Project / S. Fred Singer; Published by THE HEARTLAND INSTITUTE, http://www.sepp.org/publications/NIPCC_final.pdf