2011-01-12 06:20:16"Climate"
John Hartz
John Hartz


I'm a newbie on this forum so forgive me if this issue has been discussed on another thread. (If so, which one?)

By way of introduction, i do a lot of pro-AGW blogging on the comment threads of articles posted on US media websites. I frequently quote and reference rebuttals posted on Skeptical Science. Over the past couple of years, I have interacted with John Cook often enough that he invited me to author blog posts. (Thank you John.)

Here's the specific issue regarding the word "Climate."

The average person in the US associates the word "climate" with stuff that happens in the atmosphere. Most of the discussions in the blogopshere (including Skeptical Scientist) focus on what's happening in the atmsophere when addressing "climate change" and "global warming."  

That presents a communications/perspectives problem because we know that  the greenhouse effect impacts the entire "climate system," not just the atmosphere. In addition, the impacts are all about heat exchanges between and within the basic components of the climate systems. Yet, the popular dicussions of "climate change" and "global warming" generally focus on a single metric, i.e., the temperature of lower atmosphere.   

Short of creating a new set of definitions, how do we convey the fact that the "climate system" is comrised of the atmopshere, the cryoshpere, the hydrosphere, the lithosphere, and the biosphere?

How do we convey the fact that the changes of the heat content of the baisic components of the "climate system" is exponentially more important than the single metric of "Annual Median Global Temperature of the Troposphere" in assessing the impacts of the increasing greenhouse effect caused by human acivitiy? 

Thank you.

John Hartz aka "Badgersouth"

Columbia, South Carolina via Madison, Wisconsin (the Badger state)