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


Michael H. Glantz (2003) presents: „Climate affairs: a primer”;

Don’t expect “Climate” being meaningful explained


The author of the book „Climate affairs: a primer”[1] introduces himself as a man from the National Center for Atmospheric Research, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation[2], offering that the book provides an overview of climate-society-environment interaction to anyone with an interest in understanding how climate can affect the working of the planet, as climate affairs issues encompasses climate science, impacts, politics, law, economics, and ethics[3]. That is big stuff, of which certain aspects concerning the use of the term ‘climate’ shall be reviewed. This can only be done selective and the interested reader is advised to read the full text. However, what should be noted and remembered that M.H. Glantz says a lot about ‘climate’ but spares not one word on the fact the UNFCCC[4] does not offers a definition for ‘climate’.

Pag. Excerpts from the Glantz’s book

Whatisclimate question



You do not have to be a climate expert, a meteorologist, or a science whiz to understand climate affairs…

WIC: Is that not all a matter of meteorology?



According to Upgren and Stock (2000), “weather is a visible and tangible manifestation of the physical conditions of the air at a given location and time, and to the change in these conditions.”

WIC: Is that also Glantz view? Glantz promised that he would explain “Climate affairs”, which requires saying what ‘weather’ is.


Upgren and Stock (2000)[5]


Upgren and Stock noted that the atmospheric conditions of weather can be measured using only four parameters: temperature, pressure, dew point, and precipitation

WIC: Are atmospheric conditions and weather the same?

WIC: Is weather really only depending on the named four parameters?



Climate is a statistical creation used to represent a variety of atmospheric conditions

WIC: What is ‘a variety of atmospheric conditions’?

TheFreeDictionary on ‘atmospheric conditions’[6]


To many, climate is viewed as average weather.

WIC: Is for Glantz ‘climate’ not average weather?

WIC: What is the difference between ‘statistical creation’ and ‘average weather’?

WMO defines climate as[7]

BBC defines climate as[8]


However, climate is not just a number averaged over a certain period of time from months to decades or over a given area.

WIC: Can average weather described in statistics be anything more than the statistical data they have been based on?


Does not define ‘climate’ at all.


Statistical average hide from decision makers important information about regional climate.

WIC: How is that possible? If global statistic data set show global average. Regional statistics show regional average, etc.



Average are only one way to describe the climate of a particular region. One could, for example, refer to normal climate conditions, or to the modal climate conditions. Each of these measures may differ from the way people perceive the climate conditions in a given area, which may not accurately reflect reality

WIC: Is there a better way to demonstrate the helpless undertaking to make a layman’s term looking reasonable as scientific term, as this sentence?

Climate is an imaginative image in the way people perceive the prevailing weather, sunshine conditions, etc, in a given area.



Strictly defined, climate can also vary on all space scales from very local to the global level.

WIC: it all depends how the statistics are prepared, they vary according the condition of preparing, and nothing else.



Most people are not really well versed in the situation that researchers make between concept of climate and weather.

WIC: While it does not work to make a layman’s term, not the people are to blame for any confusion but science.



This lack of distinction is constantly reinforced by the media’s use, or misuse, of these terms.

WIC: Do the media misuse a term which science is not able to define meaningful?



Too often, scientists themselves use these terms interchangeable, even though they know the definitional distinctions between weather and climate.

WIC: Does Glantz wants to say that layperson do not know the difference?

Is Glantz confused by : ‘global warming’ & ‘climate change’?


Scientifically accepted definitions of climate and weather are:

  • Climate. Average meteorological conditions over a specified time, usually at least a month, resulting from interactions among the atmosphere, oceans, and land surface.
  • Weather[9]. A condition of the atmosphere at a particular place and time measured in terms of wind, temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, cloudiness, and precipitation. In most places, weather can change from hour to hour, day to day, and season to season.

WIC: What are ‘meteorological conditions’? Who defines ‘average conditions’?

WIC: on p. 15 the reader was confronted with: ‘atmospheric conditions’?

NOTE: the interchangeable use between FN6 & FN 9:


__Atmospheric conditions


When physical science researchers refer to climate information, most likely they are referring to atmospheric data (called time series) and, more generally, to statistical information about weather conditions averaged over various lengths of time for specified areas.

WIC: What are atmospheric data, and how do they present ‘average weather’, respectively what is the distinction between them and ‘averaged weather conditions’?




Although meteorologists and climatologists try to keep weather and climate considerations separate,

WIC: If ‘climate’ is average weather’ how one can keep the weather separate from average weather?


Glantz continues with The Climate System (p.18), which UNFCCC defines as "the totality of the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere and their interactions.” (Article 1), meaning not more than ‘the interactions of the natural system’[10]. Glantz accepts this uncritically. What is the point of a legal term if it explains nothing?

After all, M.H. Glantz belongs to those scientists, which want to create an individual science on climate separate and in addition to meteorology. With that he is currently in the main stream supported by WMO, UNEO, IPCC and other institutions. But will they succeed?


[1] Michael H. Glantz, 2003, „Climate affairs: a primer”, Washington, DC,

[2] ditto, Preface, p. xvii.

[3] Ditto, op cit., Preface xiii.

[4] UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992.

[5] Arthur R. Upgren; Jurgen Stock, 2000, Weather: How It Works and Why It Matters.

[6] ‘TheFreeDictionary’ (www) explains: atmospheric condition - the atmospheric conditions that comprise the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; "they were hoping for good weather"; "every day we have weather conditions and yesterday was no exception"; "the conditions were too rainy for playing in the snow".

[7] WMO definition, 1 st sentence: Climate in a narrow sense is usually defined as the "average weather," or more rigorously, as the statistical description in terms of the mean and variability of relevant quantities over a period of time ranging from months to thousands or millions of years.

[8] BBC: What is Climate? Weather is always changing. Climate is the synthesis (combination of all the elements) of weather at a particular place.

[9] TheFreeDictionary explains: weather - the atmospheric conditions that comprise the state of the atmosphere in terms of temperature and wind and clouds and precipitation; "they were hoping for good weather"; "every day we have weather conditions and yesterday was no exception"; "the conditions were too rainy for playing in the snow", NOTE: Footnote 6: ‘TheFreeDictionary’ (www) on: atmospheric condition.

[10] So already A. Bernaerts, 1992, Letter to NATURE, Volume 360, page 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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