Whiny study laments: "Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks"

From ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY and the “biology, chemistry and physics aren’t climate” department comes this oh-so-whiny study that complains there’s not enough brainwashing materials in hard science textbooks. The reason there’s so little is that climate isn’t relevant to these subjects at the introductory level.  Sheesh. What a waste of grant money.

Study finds very few pages devoted to climate change in introductory science textbooks

Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks

As an ASU graduate student, Rachel Yoho wanted to push the boundaries of renewable energy research. What she didn’t fully anticipate is that it would also lead her to questioning how climate change is taught in today’s universities.

In the Biodesign Center for Environmental Biotechnology, led by director and ASU Regents’ Professor (and recent Stockholm Water Prize winner) Bruce Rittmann, she found a welcome home to make her research thrive.

There, she focused on microbes that were giving the renewable energy field a literal jolt. For her dissertation work, led under the guidance of mentor César Torres, she published several groundbreaking papers on advances in microbial fuel cells, which turn waste into electricity through a bacterial biofilm that has the ability to grow and thrive on an electrode.

“They breathe the metal, and give us electrons for energy in the process,” said Yoho.

But while pursuing her Ph.D., she also became interested in the art of teaching science and earned a certificate in scientific teaching in higher education.

While pursuing graduate studies in the lab of Cesar Torres (left), Rachel Yoho worked with Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology director Bruce Rittmann to explore how climate change and related topics were covered in leading introductory science textbooks. CREDIT Rachel Yoho

Among the most polarizing issues encountered in science and society today is the topic of global climate change. Despite nearly universal scientific consensus that it is indeed real and caused by us, the American public and politicians continue to be skeptical of the science.

She was inspired by her science education courses to ask research questions that reflected the interdisciplinary nature of her lab-based research in the Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at ASU’s Biodesign Institute. So, when she started examining the topic of climate change in introductory science courses by pouring over introductory science textbooks, Yoho was surprised by the paucity of materials devoted toward subjects like global warming, climate change and renewable energy applications.

“In a cutting-edge research lab, we are used to looking at things across disciplines,” said Yoho, who now performs research and teaches at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. “Within the educational environment, I wanted to see how different disciplines approach topics, and so, we looked at the terminology and content of textbooks, which are likely the most well-established and well-respected first or second stops for information in undergraduate education.”

The introductory textbooks were also chosen because they “represent the intersection of teaching to non-scientists (popularization of science) and training for future scientists.”

Now, in new research published in the journal Environmental Communication, Yoho and co-author Rittmann examined more than the 15,000 combined pages from current editions of 16 of the leading physics, biology and chemistry undergraduate textbooks published between 2013 and 2015.

They found that less than 4 percent of pages were devoted toward discussing climate change, global warming, related environmental issues or renewable energy applications.

In addition, the research team found:

  • While they observed a large variation for individual books, biology textbooks had on average the largest number of pages discussing the effects of climate change, but still less than 2 percent, while chemistry textbooks showed the largest variation, and physics books have an average of less than 0.5 percent of total pages;
  • The greatest content is in the final third of the book for biology and chemistry, which supports a general trend in education in that “applications” usually are addressed towards the end of a course of study, building on a firm foundation of content knowledge;
  • Among the three disciplines, the least emphasis was placed on renewable energy technologies in the biology textbooks examined. Characteristically, alternative fuels and other technologies related to the transportation sector are emphasized heavily in chemistry and physics;
  • Nuclear energy, which was addressed separately, is found on less than 1 percent of textbook pages and unfavorably represented.

“The terms we included were not just limited to a keyword search, but also involved going page by page through each of the textbooks. We looked for related topics like any applications and discoveries related to fossil fuels, and renewable energy technologies like wind and solar,” said Yoho.

They noted that climate change, global warming, fossil fuels, renewable energy, and nuclear energy are not often a focus of the textbooks or course for these disciplines. Furthermore, these topics may not even be the focus of a single unit in one of these courses and are unlikely to be a primary factor in the selection of the course textbook.

However, these cross-cutting topics of socio-scientific debate represent important societal and environmental contexts for developing informed and productive citizens.

“The discussion within these traditional, compartmentalized science disciplines has implications on introductory-level science education, the public perception of science, and an informed citizenship,” said Rittmann.

Going forward, they think perhaps it’s time for introductory sciences to be more explicit about some of these pressing topics that span multiple disciplines.

“It’s a difficult balance in an introductory course,” said Yoho. “There’s so much information to cover in a short time. However, our students are facing these issues inside and outside of the classrooms. Our communities feel the impacts of our energy decisions and climate.” Some discussion can go a long way towards preparing students. “A next step might be to focus on the terms and content we discuss, as well as the potential role of these topics in introductory education,” she added.

“However, no single discipline can tackle this alone,” wrote Yoho in the paper. “While the traditional disciplinary lines influence specific discussions, the overall trends reveal a relatively small percentage of pages allotted to the topics related to energy technologies, climate change, and related environmental issues across the disciplines.”

By documenting that large textbooks devote relatively few pages to these pressing societal issues, this research calls into question the effectiveness of the information provided to students in introductory materials.


This manuscript was published in Environmental Communication on April 29, and is available online: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/17524032.2018.1454337

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Jacob Frank
May 1, 2018 3:04 pm

In all honesty this sounds exactly like something I would’ve come up with in college in between bong hits to get the hell out of town with a diploma

Curious George
Reply to  Jacob Frank
May 1, 2018 4:12 pm

Climate awareness is also sadly missing in sports and mathematics.

NW sage
Reply to  Curious George
May 1, 2018 6:36 pm

And in painting ceilings. Also consider truck driving – without a sound knowledge of climate change theory truck driving is VERY dangerous.

kKomrade Kuma
Reply to  Jacob Frank
May 1, 2018 4:23 pm

and to get laid as often as possible ( sorry grrls but young males uni students think like that…)
It is kind sad though that undergraduate lectures and tutorials are not just like being in “a cutting edge research lab” or is what they mean that “a cutting edge research lab” should be just like undergraduate lectures and tutorials between bong hits where you can get laid in the store/cool room/sample locker if you are on song.

michael hart
Reply to  kKomrade Kuma
May 2, 2018 6:16 am

kKomrade Kuma , many bioscience departments also have a ‘communal’ microscopy-dark room where the occupants frequently have reason to lock the door while they inside, especially when there are two people involved….

michael hart
Reply to  Jacob Frank
May 2, 2018 6:09 am

Exactly, Jacob. I personally knew fellow grad-students who weren’t really into the topic of their PhD. Some of them then developed an excessive ‘love of teaching’ and wider interests that were very tangential to science and more applicable to politics and the humanities. Of course they still got to be co-authors on their supervisor’s work and put it on their CV.

May 1, 2018 3:07 pm

Yoho sounds like a yo-yo.

Reply to  beng135
May 1, 2018 4:51 pm

I wonder given the modern slant applied to education whether she would have been similarly disappointed by the text books lack of information about iphones, Google, “fake news” and the Kardashians – surely such immensely important topics should be covered in all facets of education these days.. /sarc
Me – I’d be teaching my students were I still lecturing about critical thinking, rhetoric, falsification and the philosophy of science – and continuing to award students extra marks if they can demonstrate anything I taught them was wrong (something other lecturers hated me doing!).

Reply to  Karlos51
May 1, 2018 6:44 pm

“continuing to award students extra marks if they can demonstrate anything I taught them was wrong ”
I would have done, if I were ever wrong.

Reply to  Karlos51
May 1, 2018 8:24 pm

no one ever claimed any extra marks, but it DID encourage them to study the subjects for real beyond the stuff taught in the books, and it surprised them the number of times they found the stuff I taught was more accurate than some of the subject material treated as right in books (that wasn’t)

Reply to  beng135
May 2, 2018 5:45 am

Sure, but she has a great vocabulary. Lots of big words.

May 1, 2018 3:09 pm

We’ve a long, long, way to go to overcome the “settled science” meme of AGW.

Reply to  markl
May 1, 2018 6:47 pm

Humans are, unfortunately, creatures which like to play Follow the Leader
The “Settled Science” meme is so prevalent that many of my very smart and educated acquaintances take comforting refuge in its arms to defend against actual critical thought.

May 1, 2018 3:16 pm

“But while pursuing her Ph.D., she also became interested in the art of “teaching science ”
No, she became interested in the “art” of pushing her agenda on to innocent minds……
2% climate change….and how much of that was “man made climate change”…the rest of it is normal

Reply to  Latitude
May 1, 2018 3:42 pm

Notice the “only %” complaint still remains at 4% also.
Religious zealot pushing for indoctrination with their spews and views.

May 1, 2018 3:20 pm

Among the most polarizing issues encountered in science and society today is the topic of global climate change. Despite nearly universal scientific consensus that it is indeed real and caused by us, the American public and politicians continue to be skeptical of the science.

The solution isn’t to kill any shred of your credibility by trying to brainwash the students. We’re already seeing a backlash against experts in general but also against colleges. link
It’s time for academicians to get out of their ivory towers (the original echo chambers) and see what the rest of the population sees only too clearly.

Dave Fair
May 1, 2018 3:20 pm

“However, these cross-cutting topics of socio-scientific debate represent important societal and environmental contexts for developing informed and productive citizens.”
Ah, yes; the hard sciences should be interpreted by current socialist thought. The academics must inform those benighted citizens.

M Courtney
May 1, 2018 3:26 pm

“They breathe the metal, and give us electrons for energy in the process,”

Well then, so long as metal is free we have a winner.

Reply to  M Courtney
May 1, 2018 3:49 pm

Sounds very similar to photosynthesis except the energy gets stored. – Amd WOW the CO2 gets gobbled up.!

Reply to  cognog2
May 1, 2018 4:54 pm

dear god don’t let her near that ‘hey wow dudes, we can make electricity from Aluminium for FEE from all this aluminium lying around’ study..
maybe these guys need to actually read what was in those books before they go poking around looking for what isn’t in them.

Reply to  cognog2
May 1, 2018 6:45 pm

cognog2 May 1, 2018 at 3:49 pm
Sounds very similar to photosynthesis except the energy gets stored. – Amd WOW the CO2 gets gobbled up.!

The energy is stored in photosynthesis too.

Reply to  Phil.
May 2, 2018 8:20 am

Yes Phil, that was my point; but obviously did not express it well. seems I got it back to front. My bad. thanks.

Reply to  M Courtney
May 1, 2018 7:14 pm

There are subjects in meteorology and geo-science about paleo-climatology and paleo-environmental studies, along with suitable texts, peer-reviewed journals, and hundreds of lectures.
So why should Chemistry, of all subjects, be teaching AGW greenhouse-effect propaganda dirges to their students?
The fact is, the courses and proper texts are available to whoever wants to study those subjects, as electives, or as part of their discipline, if they feel that knowledge avenue is relevant to them and their profesional needs.
The students PAY for their degrees and books, they FREELY choose ti take their subjects, VOLUNTARILY, so if they deliberately choose not to do any ‘climate courses’, or to not buy any ‘climate’ related texts, then that’s 100% up to THEM.
It is NOT someone else’s business. Freedom of speach necessarily means freedom to choose what to invest their life, time or money into, to learn or study.
Ideological dictators can just get stuffed. The freakin’ nerve of these over-reaching greenie-nuts.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  M Courtney
May 1, 2018 8:48 pm

Not if it is oxidized metal. Most metals in nature are oxidized. It takes industrial processes where the metals are refined back to base metals (oxidation state 0). The energy used to produce those metal electrodes is far more than any meager electron flow from bacterial oxidation.
Or in the case of black smokers on the deep sea beds. The smokers are emitting hot reduced sulfur. The microbes oxidize the sulfur to get it to release electrons. Bacteria grows. Worms eat the bacteria in a symbiosis. The sulfur was reduced by the intense heat from deep mantle heating.
(old Chem 101 saying; “LEO, the Lion goes GER” is the mnemonic for remembering: Lose Electrons, Oxidation, Gain Electrons – Reduction.)

Patrick B
May 1, 2018 3:43 pm

I think climate change can be used in chemistry books as an example of “not science” and to illustrate faulty use of data and statistics.

May 1, 2018 3:44 pm

2% is 2% too much.

May 1, 2018 3:51 pm

She wants the new degrees to be named Social Justice through Scientism.

May 1, 2018 3:56 pm

Fine. Just add this as a prerequisite.comment image

Reply to  Max Photon
May 1, 2018 4:01 pm

On a side note, a week ago I bought a copy of the Princeton Companion to Mathematics for my birthday, and have been thoroughly enjoying it. It is awesome! I highly recommend it to you math enthusiasts out there. Expect many many hours of fun and insight.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Max Photon
May 2, 2018 4:34 am

Lorenz attractor is my favorite. Beauty in chaos. The Butterfly Effect literally looks like a butterflycomment image

May 1, 2018 3:57 pm

The UN provides “educational” materials/programs to schools and universities worldwide including climate change.
Can be found in UN publications.

Reply to  Barbara
May 1, 2018 4:29 pm

United Nations
Climate Change
Education and Training Resources
Webpage has a list of education programs.

Reply to  Barbara
May 1, 2018 5:20 pm

The White House, December 3, 2015
‘One Year of Progress in Climate Education and Literacy’
Climate Education and Literacy Initiative
Information at:

Reply to  Barbara
May 1, 2018 5:42 pm

“Climate Literacy” means “Climate Indoctrination”. Studies have found that skeptics of catastrophic man-made “climate change” are more scientifically literate than those who regurgitate the Party Line out of ignorance.

Reply to  Barbara
May 1, 2018 6:41 pm

GlobalChange. Gov, December 1, 2016
U.S. Global Change Research Program
‘Implementing the Climate Education and Literacy Initiative’
Launched by OSTP in coordination with USGCRP
More information at:

Crispin in Waterloo but really in Toronto
Reply to  Barbara
May 1, 2018 8:16 pm

The great danger of applying the principle of ‘Independent Investigation of Truth’ is that people will develop the skills to find it.
Facilitated manipulation (“facipulation”) is not a form of education. Similarly, there is a fundamental difference between education and schooling. Being schooled in global warming is not the same as being educated about the topic.
Being facipulated to predetermined conclusions articulated decades before any evidence had been or could be produced is indoctrination, plain and simple.

May 1, 2018 4:05 pm

How about we just teach kids science.
Then they can make up their own minds about climate change.

Reply to  HotScot
May 1, 2018 6:51 pm

My Kindergartner comes home with “Climate Change” propaganda. They sing songs in class about recycling and saving the planet… no joke.
It’s not about science… it’s about religious indoctrination.

Reply to  unknown502756
May 2, 2018 12:52 am

Geography used to be about mountains, rivers, and climate, now it is about climate CHANGE, poverty, inequality and migration.

Reply to  HotScot
May 2, 2018 6:47 pm

There problem is much of climate science can’t actually be taught as science because it breaks all the central tenets. Even biology which has been going thru a process to try and move to a harder science discipline would struggle to include much of climate science.
Climate Science in it’s current form could only be classed with social sciences like medical studies. They even resemble each other with the continual stupid announcements based around half cocked data. Even within medicine there is currently a big push for science-based medicine and move it to a harder science based discipline.
I always loved Rudolf Virchow’s quote
“Medicine is a social science, and politics is nothing more than medicine on a large scale.”

Reply to  LdB
May 2, 2018 10:42 pm

I meant, teach the kids classic science, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. Then they are independent of the AGW subject and can make up their minds using proper science, not propaganda.

May 1, 2018 4:07 pm

“Despite nearly universal scientific consensus that it is indeed real and caused by us, the American public and politicians continue to be skeptical of the science.”
Now there’s an admission if ever there was one.

Moderately Cross of East Anglia
May 1, 2018 4:09 pm

U.K. school textbooks contain pages of climate change caused by human activity hogwash and far too many teachers are only too happy to preach this unsubstantiated drivel as if it was settled science. Most notably it is featured in religious studies secondary school textbooks – at least it is in the right subject area here – but is linked up with stewardship of the planet in an entirely uncritical way. Evil humans killing polar bears with CO2 blah blah blah. Two per cent I wish.
The wonder is that so many young people manage to resist this brainwashing.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Moderately Cross of East Anglia
May 1, 2018 7:42 pm

In general, young people are not stupid. They grow up in a milieu of sophisticated blaring messages trying to sell them something, including political, economic and environmental tripe. They are much more able to discern B.S. than we oldsters were at equivalent ages.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Dave Fair
May 2, 2018 3:29 pm

In fact, the more government harps on environmental catastrophe, the more younger people are likely to shout “B.S.”

Gunga Din
May 1, 2018 4:26 pm

Study finds very few pages devoted to climate change in introductory science textbooks
Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks

Students interested in varied fields of science might not be told at the start of their studies what they are supposed to conclude.

May 1, 2018 4:32 pm

2% is scary, but finding the word “intersection” in the text was reassuring.

May 1, 2018 5:25 pm

I would like to see a breakdown of what else is covered in these textbooks. I suspect that most people would end up supporting dropping that 2% and parceling out the pages to other topics. I am also more concerned that so little is included about nuclear, and that it is negative.
Textbooks are already expensive, and “updated” more frequently than needed. Every person on the planet knows the whole thing is a racket. Demanding that textbooks be (needlessly) further overhauled and constantly updated will just increase prices even more. Let’s be real, most students never read the whole thing, and some do not read it at all.
When I was in high school, a teacher told my class how a new textbook had been selected. Rather than look for the most effective, best written text, the school went through several options page by page, counting how many pictures of “diverse” people (apparently people in wheelchairs were particularly desirable) there were in each book. They also wanted pictures of people using computers.
This was for a German language textbook.
Meanwhile, according to our books, there were still two Germanys. In 1997. The school was worrying about having enough pictures of non-ethnic Germans in wheelchairs using laptops, apparently unconcerned by the fact that the students were stuck reading about die Deutsche Demokratische Republik that had not existed for 7 years. Did I mention that we had the largest German language program in the county, and that our county was in the top five wealthiest counties in the U.S.?
Idiocy about textbooks seems to be the norm.

jim leek
Reply to  AllyKat
May 1, 2018 7:18 pm

As a retirement present I’ve been auditing physics and chemistry classes at Chico State. All the texts I’ve perused have a section on AGW. I assume no text gets purchased without it. The professors I’ve asked support AGW. The students I’ve asked have been told their whole lives about AGW and are shocked that I’m a skeptic. No buildings go up that are not sustainable (whatever that means). But I’m not looking for a fight. I tell the kids to get good jobs and pay a lot of Social Security.

Dave Fair
Reply to  jim leek
May 1, 2018 7:56 pm

Very intelligent course, Jim. Once the students enter the workforce and see what the greenies and politicians are doing to their paychecks, attitudes change. Especially when they don’t see any climate change; there are only so many storms, floods, droughts, etc that are “historic/unprecedented.”

Reply to  jim leek
May 2, 2018 9:45 am

At my university the text book selected was usually the one the professor had just finished writing.

Juan Slayton
May 1, 2018 5:26 pm

Some climatologists do meet Churchill’s definition of a fanatic:
A fanatic is someone who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.

Steve Zell
May 1, 2018 5:27 pm

Yoho et al were probably correct to whine about the lack of teaching about nuclear energy and fossil fuels, which are the two currently available energy sources with the highest energy density.
But maybe the writers of introductory college textbooks on chemistry, physics, and biology don’t want to get involved in political debates, and want to only present undisputed scientific facts that are useful to their students.
If some of these students go on to get engineering degrees and study thermodynamics, they will find out that certain compounds (like those found in petroleum, natural gas, and coal) release a relatively large amount of energy when reacted with oxygen, and can draw their own conclusions about what to do with them.

May 1, 2018 5:38 pm

I wonder how many of those textbooks said anything about Scientific Method? Nope, this is just another planning event on how to best to tweak the propaganda. Like Obama they believe they just aren’t writing enough, talking enough or in just the right way. IF they only talked more and in just the right way there would be 90% consensus in the real world, NOT!

May 1, 2018 5:43 pm

If they add ANY pages about CAGW to a standard Intro to Physics text book, I will burn every copy I get my hands on. It has no business being included in the kinetics section, the dynamics section, the electromagnetic section, the rotational dynamics section – it might include a sentence in the thermal physics chapter since almost no freshman physics classes make it that far in the text, but even that should be to mock it.
I guess it could be included in a philosophy of science textbook as the counter-example to avoid at all costs – after they have very clearly pounded in the rules of the scientific method!!!

Reply to  OweninGA
May 2, 2018 6:49 pm

You hit the nail on the head, they can’t include it for the very obvious problem.

Dave Fair
Reply to  LdB
May 2, 2018 9:28 pm

Uh, CAGW is a child of naive modelers. Physics, chemistry and biology are not involved. Other than as speculation based on hyper-exaggeration of said models.

May 1, 2018 6:12 pm

Why are they so shy? Own it. It’s Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Cooling.. Warming… Climate Disruption… Change. It’s as if they are hedging their bets. A behavior that is prototypical of the chaos that confines mortal beings to the limited scientific logical domain.

Michael Jankowski
May 1, 2018 6:31 pm

If a high percentage of these textbooks discussed climate change, the study would have used it as evidence that the scientific community takes it seriously, i.e., another attempt at indicating “scientific consensus.”

May 1, 2018 6:34 pm

Many are not inclined to teach the science of climate anyway, but the propaganda.

Bill Murphy
May 1, 2018 6:36 pm

I don’t recall any books on these subjects devoting more than 2% to Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny either.

Reply to  Bill Murphy
May 1, 2018 6:58 pm

Are you kidding! Those are the cornerstones of white privilege graduate programs. Those texts would be two feet thick, but they don’t print them because of … well … that would manifest white privilege … and deforestation … plus they can’t read …

Reply to  Bill Murphy
May 1, 2018 7:08 pm

Ah! Now you’ve hit on the neuron mass problem… It would appear that human neuron masses are not so different from Skinner’s pigeon neuron masses.
The Church of Global Warming needs to indoctrinate young minds to succeed, just like all other religions and other virulent viruses… because young neuron masses are good at pattern matching and associating meaning to a pattern.
Darwinian evolution has birthed Christians, Cargo Cults, and Global Warming fanatics… all nonsensical and illogical religions.
The question remains, “Will humans ultimately realize that supernatural forces do not exist, and that humans are an insignificant component of the universe and, in fact, an insignificant component of the tiny mote of dust we inhabit… or will we continue to view the Earth as the center of the universe and continue to see our image impressed into and onto every part of existence whether or not such claim is valid or provable?”
The answer is, of course, 42

Reply to  unknown502756
May 1, 2018 11:02 pm

Cool. I arrived at the 5th Catalan number too.

May 1, 2018 6:45 pm

I really don’t know what all the fuss is all about. According to the news today over 80 percent of US High School kids can’t read at the level required to understand the content of such science books anyway.

Reply to  Rah
May 1, 2018 7:01 pm

80% don’t even know what 80% means.

May 1, 2018 6:49 pm

“Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks”
Shameful! Far too much space is given to minor matters like cell structure, the periodic table, or the four fundamental forces. Leave that stuff out and get down to the important business.

Joel O'Bryan
May 1, 2018 8:34 pm

Sounds like 2% is 100% too much.
Let’s see how that works baking a cake.
Take 3 cups flour, 1/2 cup of sugar, baking power and a few eggs and milk.
Then add in a tablespoon of fresh dog poop from the backyard. Mix and bake.
So it’s just 2% crap.
Wonder how it tastes?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 1, 2018 9:03 pm

And yet we allow the Left to feed this 2% crap cake to our kids in school.

May 1, 2018 10:53 pm

Little “climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks”. That’s because biology, chemistry and physics are sciences, whereas climate change is a religion or belief, with no true science involved.

May 1, 2018 11:47 pm

Microbial fuel cells emit CO2, so what is a true believer in catastrophic man made climate change doing working on them?

Dr. Strangelove
May 2, 2018 4:10 am

I should also complain why the analytical solution to the Navier-Stokes equations is not found in climatology textbooks. I mean how can they predict climate change? The equations remain unsolvable. They use numerical solutions in supercomputers. Just a fancy word for trial and error where the error is growing over time because the system is chaotic.comment image

Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
May 2, 2018 6:57 am

The Navier-Stokes equations are also one of the Clay Mathematics Institute’s millennium problems:

This is the equation which governs the flow of fluids such as water and air. However, there is no proof for the most basic questions one can ask: do solutions exist, and are they unique?


Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
May 2, 2018 7:13 pm

If you really want to get into that discussion the proposed driver of climate change is a quantum process and it already tells you classical physics Navier-Stokes won’t fully hold, you end up in a debate about whether it is a good approximation and having to classify the media.
That problem actually dates back to 1920 and Erwin Madelung
Hard sciences are well aware how to approach the problem as a quantum pressure tensor but there is a divide between them and climate science.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  LdB
May 3, 2018 4:02 am

I bet Witten et al can write a string theory version of Madelung equations in 10 dimensions. Just don’t ask them to solve it. Neither Madelung nor Schrodinger nor Witten can solve even the classical Navier-Stokes equations. Perelman has been trying to solve it for 10 years but it’s harder than Poincare conjecture.

May 2, 2018 4:29 am

When I was in college, the population bomb was all the rage. My chemistry professor, who wrote the book we used, may have a little in his book (mayby half a page with a graph in a 600 page book) about the population explosion but in discussion on this timely topic in class, he was all in favor of his students having 3 or 4 kids because they were more likely to have smart kids who might change the world. In the 45 years or so since that class, we’ve gone from worrying about mass starvation to the growing problem of obesity while burning a substantial portion of the food we grow as transportation fuel.
I am also wondering why the emphasis on bio, chem and physics only. What about engineering and economics? The people who might actually create the solution to the alleged climate change issue will be engineers working within economic constraints. Could it be many of those engineers might be able to do the math and realize how absurd the simple academic solutions really are?

May 2, 2018 6:58 am

*sigh* This is why I had to stop listening to the “Science radio” channel on Tune In- absolutely everything had to have “climate change” inserted.
What next? Three-star reviews of cookbooks? “This is a wonderful book, but there wasn’t enough cowbell climate change!”

Mumbles McGuirck
May 2, 2018 8:50 am

In spite of this paper, I do wish I had Rachel Yoho and a bottle of rum.
Somebody HAD to say it.

May 2, 2018 10:14 am

“Near universal consensus” is in itself a methodological travesty if any open minds are left to look into it.

May 2, 2018 10:26 am

Where did the funds come from that paid for this study?

May 2, 2018 10:57 am

Ugh. As an ASU graduate and someone from Ohio who also did undergrad work at a MAC school…I am sincerely sorry.

Stephen Skinner
May 2, 2018 2:00 pm

“Less than 2 percent of pages discussed climate change in leading biology, chemistry and physics textbooks”
No Sh*t Sherlock. Is that because they are biology, chemistry and physics textbooks? Subjects that might cover climate are anthropology, archaeology, geology, geography, paleontology and history, perhaps. In fairness to the complainant, biology might cover climate within zoology and botany. However, I would guess that a course in politics is where you would find the most pages on climate change.

Dave Fair
Reply to  Stephen Skinner
May 2, 2018 3:19 pm

Uh, catastrophic future climate change is predicated on computer models, Stephen. The hypothetical effects of a possibly warming world on the biosphere should acknowledge the uncertainties of such climate models by scientists making such extrapolations. To the extent they don’t, they are propaganda.

May 2, 2018 2:20 pm

I want to know how much time they spent on climate basics in grade school.Since her expectations are for them to spend more time on climate change, I suspect her grade school science class spent time exclusively on climate change and none on climate basics.

May 2, 2018 6:37 pm

I’m not sure the subject even belongs in freshman biology. I have a newer book around but the only handy one is from 1989, 8 pounds on the bathroom scale. The problem is that these have long been useful for prepping for a Ph.D. qualifying exam, having too much for freshman. This has resulted in non-major courses, some that too often teach agendas instead of science.
A quick perusal found 1412 pages, nothing really new in ecology, a little on meteorology and oceanography, plus appendices, glossary, and index. It might pay to put students into physics, chemistry and geology first. Or maybe historical approach. Lack of applications in current books is a good sign as these belong in advanced classes, weight not so much.
“Biodesign Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology at ASU’s Biodesign Institute.” What is that?

Reply to  HDHoese
May 3, 2018 12:09 pm

For the record I found a more recent (2002) biology text, no reduction in weight. The book is “BIOLOGY” by Eldra P. Solomon, Linda R. Berg and Diana W. Martin. Brooks/Cole (1254 pp. plus appendices and glossary). There are two and a half pages of reviewers. Most of it stays with usual exhaustive coverage, but there is a 19 page last chapter 55 (Humans in the Environment) with the following sections.
These have subsections with emphasis on negative human effects, such as commercial activities.
They do acknowledge successes with endangered species and a few uncertainties. Fig. 55.10 is a graph showing increase in global temperature from mid 70s (~14.0 to ~14.4) to 2000, flat back to 1960. Fig. 55-2 is a poor (not college quality) sketch of “Enhanced Greenhouse Effect. ” LEARNING OBJECTIVES have at least six of ten that I would rate negative, the remainder mostly neutral. There is a reasonable one page section on Career Visions, Environmental Consultant.
Brief study indicates that this chapter is mostly biased and even worse, poor and incomplete science, much referenced to 2001 IPPC report. —- “The human influence on climate change can be identified despite questions about how much of the recent warming stems from natural variations…..;…. extreme weather events… have occurred with increasing frequency in certain regions…..; Almost all climate experts agree with the IPCC’s assessment that the warming trend has already befun and will continue throughout the 21st century. ” And the best for last—“Scientists around the world have been researching global warming (bold) for the past 50 years. As the evidence has accumulated, those most qualified to address the issue have reached a strong consensus that the 21st century will experience significant climate change and that human activities will be responsible for much of this change.”
Comparison with 2010+ texts would be interesting and more importantly how departments and instructors followed the texts. Also there were earlier texts covering similar applications, but I suspect with better science. This one appears better than environmental texts of the period, last chapter excepted. Proper analysis would require weeks of study.
(“We analyzed over 15,000 pages of introductory-level undergraduate Biology, Chemistry, and Physics textbooks to assess terminology and content related to these pressing environmental topics.”) That would be ten biology textbooks, maybe a few more if old ones included.

Dave Fair
Reply to  HDHoese
May 3, 2018 1:08 pm

But CO2 is not a pollutant. Unless one is a CAGW activist/bureaucrat/politician.

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