I’ve started this set of posts in order to develop and share my own understanding of climate change. I’m not a “climate scientist”, but I am a scientist working in a related field (the calibration and validation of Earth observation satellites that make many of the observations used in climate modelling or used to validate climate modelling). I am currently anonymous for the simple reason that it means I don’t have to get these posts approved my my institute’s comms department. I may later ask for that permission.

We live at a critical time – as the former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon said:


If we’re going to live up to our moral and historical responsibilities, we need to make decisions and changes – individually, collectively and as nations and companies. I believe that all of us need to understand enough of the science and politics to help us make those decisions. It’s complicated, but we must not use that complexity as an excuse not to act.

My blog is not just about climate change. You can see all my posts, with the most recent at the top, on my main page. You can see all my “climate lessons” here (also in reverse chronological order). Otherwise, this helps you find the post you’re looking for

Blogs about basic physics

These blog posts provide the basic physics needed to understand the concepts of climate change science

Lesson 1: Electromagnetic Radiation
Lesson 2: Blackbody radiation
Lesson 3: My favourite equation
Lesson 3b: More on the solar spectrum lines

Blogs about climate modelling basic principles

These blog posts provide the really basic information about climate modelling

Lesson 4: the temperature of the Earth
Lesson 4b: Further thoughts on the temperature of the Earth
Lesson 5: Atmospheric absorption
Lesson 5b: More on atmospheric absorption
Lesson 6: water vapour absorption
Lesson 7: Carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas
Lesson 8: The first numerical weather forecast
Lesson 9: Inside the climate models
Lesson 9b: Seeing the wood for the trees
Lesson 10: Anthropogenic Climate Change

Blogs about observations

Lesson 11: Carbon dioxide measurements from Mauna Loa
Lesson 11b: How do we know it’s fossil fuel burning?
Lesson 12: Measurements of temperature
Lesson 13: Total Solar Irradiance

Blogs about history, politics, my opinions etc

Aside on Lewis Fry Richardson
Aside on climate politics and tobacco
Climate History: Fourier, Tyndall, Arrhenius and Callendar
Genesis, the Wizard and the Prophet