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.
This website will provide information and ask, does science know what climate is?

Reference links :
How Spitsbergen Heats the World
NEW 2009


“WHATISCLIMATE” will be operable as from 1 st September 2007


“WHATISCLIMATE” will be operable as from 1 st September 2007 to contribute to the climate change debate. Although the Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC) had been finished 15 years ago, neither the politics nor science care about using a “non-term”, namely ‘climate’, for which the official and authoritative FCCC offers no definition, thus causing extreme imprecision, ambiguity and confusion. Is a layman’s word used as means to disguise other aims?

For the inauguration of this website, two texts on “What is climate”, written and published in 1992 and 1994, are subsequently presented. Although these texts point to serious deficiencies long time ago, it seems the situation is getting worst ever since. As the word ‘climate’ is more and more grossly misused on an unprecedented scale, it is hoped that this new site will attract more and serious attention concerning principle questions in the climate change debate, and therefore welcomes warmly any interested website visitor.


Excerpt from a 1992 text
Conditions necessary for the protection of the world climate[1].

(Full text - click here)

What is Climate - The Place of Climate in the Natural System?

The present climate discussion is being held because there is serious reason to fear that there could be changes. As this would result in shifts and changes of weather conditions, it would seem to be self-evident that climate cannot be defined as the result of average weather conditions. Climate is a cause of weather and not its result. This reversal of cause and effect has blocked the way for a suitable treatment of the climate problems in the climate discussion so far.

Even if climate is used only as the term for the description of a current set of circumstances, this assumes that it be defined in a way which clearly refers to its causal nature. The definition of climate used so far does not satisfy this condition. For one, it takes into account only a partial aspect of the global natural system - the weather - and, for another, ignores the dimensions of the influential and decisive forces within this system.

An event such as Krakatoa, the cooling off in 1940, but also the generally known statistical ratio data concerning the heat energy levels of the earth indicate that process here under discussion can be defined as follows: Climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means. If we wish to avoid this paraphrase of Clausewitz' famous declaration*, a reliable def­inition of climate is, with some restrictions, only possible if it permits us to see immediately that the oceans play a central role in determining climate. Climate is not itself a cause, but arises from the condition and the effect of the oceans on the atmosphere.

*) “War is the continuation of politics by other means”.

Excerpt from a 1994 text
Legal means for understanding the marine and climatic change issue[2].

(Full text - click here)

What is Climate?[3]

A simple definition of climate is average weather[4]. Surprisingly, the Convention on Climate Change[5] has no definition of the term climate at all, but defines "climate change" and "climate system”. These terms contribute little to understanding the meaning of climate. The definition of "climate change"[6] is flawed in two ways. First, it states that "'climate change' means a change of climate" and, second, it compares two things that have nothing in common: atmospheric pollution by humans and statistical weather records[7]. The definition of "climate system"[8] is also nonsensical as its meaning boils down to "interactions of the natural system"[9]. Climate is a matter of water (in the air, ice, soil, and ocean) and its thermal efficiency and heat contribution. The factors related to quantity, aggregate, and temperature of water is the most influential ones. In every respect the sea governs the global natural commons. Thus, climate is the blueprint of the oceans[10]. The ocean is the principal actor in the global climate and weather drama[11]. A simple definition could therefore be: climate is the continuation of the oceans by other means[12].


[1] The paper was presented at the GKSS Research Center, Geesthacht/Hamburg, in December 1992, and was published as booklet with 42 pages, in: German language by the Society to support GKSS, as ISSN 0934-9804.

[2] In: Ed. Thomas A. Mensah, “Ocean Governance: Strategies and Approaches for the 21 st Century”, Proceedings The Law of the Sea Institute Twenty-eighth Annual Conference, Honolulu, Hawaii, 1994, p.156-180.

[3] Actually, to Kenneth Hare, climate is a layman's word not used professionally until recently. Cf. Kenneth F. Hare, 'The Vaulting of Intellectual Barriers: The Madison Thrust in Climatology”, Bulletin American Met. Society, 60 (1979): 1171-1174, and H.H. Lamb, "The New Look of Climatology”, Nature, 223 (1969): 1209-1215.

[4] J.T. Houghton, G.J. Jenkins, and J.J. Ephraums, (eds.), Climate Change - The IPCC Scientific Assessment (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1990), p. xxxv (hereafter cited as Houghton, Climate Change).. According to W. Scherer et al., "Approach to GODS”, WMO Bulletin, climate may also be defined as: "the synthesis of weather conditions in a given area, characterized by long-term statistics (such as mean values, variances of the variables of the state of the atmosphere in the area”. Cf. for further climate definitions: Landoll-Börnstein, Meteorology/Climatology, Vol.4, subvol.c, (Berlin: 1987): 1-5.

[5] United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, May 9, 1992 (UN Doc. A/AC 237/18 (Part II) AMA), (hereafter cited as UN Framework); in 31 I.L.M. 849; in Robinson, (ed.), Agenda 21 & UNCED, Vol.3, pp. 1685-1713.

[6] Ibid., Article 1, para. 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.

[7] The background of the "new" climate change definition follows the first World Climate Conference 1979 definition of climate change as "the difference between long term mean values of a climatic parameter or statistic, where the means is taken over a specified interval of time, usually a number of decades”, see W. John Maunder, Dictionary of Global Climate Change (London: Chapman & Hall, 1992), p. 34. Now "one long term mean value" was replaced by "a human activity that alters the atmosphere”. While the 1979 definition was clear but useless, the 1992 definition is nonsensical and ridiculous.

[8] Article 1, para. 3 of the UN Frame-work Convention on Climate Change, "Climate system" means the totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and geosphere, and their interactions.

[9] A. Bernaerts, "Climate Change”, Nature 360 (1992): 292. A. Bernaerts, "Warming tip–Science or Climate”, in L.O.S. Lieder, Vol.5, No.5, Honolulu 1993, p. 6.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Cf. Victor D. Phillips, et al., "Oceans — A Global Thermostat”, Sea Technology, (September 1992): 29-35. R.W. Stewart, 'The Role of the Oceans in Climate and Climate Change”, in K Takeuchi and M. Yoshino, The Global Environment, (Berlin: SpringerVerlag, 1991), pp.118-126.

[12] A. Bernaerts, "Climate Change,' Nature 360 (1992): 292.


Essay 2010
Is the term ‚climate’ too unspecific?
Pages 10

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Essays from 1992 to 1997 on CLIMATE
by Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
“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

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


Black Sea-Model Case
--Paper, p.53
--Conf-Paper, p. 6


Four short texts
1994 Moscow

1994 LOS

1993 LOS

1992 Nature

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