For non-experts it can sometimes be difficult to understand exactly what climatologists mean when they use technical language. To help, I have prepared a quick introduction to some of the more common terms…
Carbon Dioxide: A trace gas, essential for the continuation of life on Earth, the discussion of which often leads to foaming of the mouth.
Carbon Emissions: A measure of the annual quantity of comments an individual posts on climate-related blogs.
Climate Model: A public figure, whose level of celebrity derives entirely from their physical beauty, and sees fit to lecture the public on the dangers of global warming.
Climate Sensitivity: A measure of the rate at which an individual responds to emotional appeals involving polar bears.
Consensus: The near-unanimity among environmental activists that the exact origins of the ‘97% meme’ must never be discussed in detail.
Feedback: A closed-loop cycle, whereby a delegate at a climate conference returns repeatedly to the buffet table.
Forcing: The way in which the behaviour of a system is altered by a change to one of the inputs to that system, e.g. the way in which the Pause forces scientists to write papers addressing the ‘missing heat’.
Mitigation: Practical methods used to alleviate the distress caused by global warming, e.g. deciding not to read any environmental articles published in the Guardian.
Palaeontology: The scientific process whereby data from the past is modified to fit the prejudices of the present.
Pause: The sudden, awkward silence that descends whenever an alarmist is asked whether it is an observed fact that global surface temperatures haven’t significantly increased for 18 years.
Peer Review: The procedure where expert academics peer briefly at a scientific paper, before actually making their decision on whether or not it is fit to publish based entirely on their personal feelings towards the authors.
Proxy: A source of data that reveals the behaviour of an underlying or associated entity, e.g. an individual’s political objectivity may be measured by using as an inverse proxy the frequency with which they cite Lewandowsky.
Renewables: Intermittent sources of energy that are funded at least in part by government subsidies. Because there are always new generations of taxpayers being born, these grants are known as ‘renewables’.
Scientist: A highly educated and objective researcher, who believes that the true value of ECS is 3°C or more.
Anti-science Denier: A vile and malicious fool, funded by Big Oil, who believes that the true value of ECS could be 2.99°C or less.
Statistics: The branch of mathematics most closely associated with free-form Jazz, and which encourages the invention of entirely novel techniques without any reference to established practices.
Uncertainty: The measurable level of doubt present in many environmental activists as to whether Mann’s Hockey Stick may still be regarded as a defensible piece of science.
United Nations: An assembly of independent states, mainly from the developing world, working together in unison to extract as much money as possible from the West’s guilt-ridden angst about global warming.