Nature’s Climate Article Excels in Acronyms

By Renee Hannon


The more the acronyms, the more respected the peer-reviewed article? I typically enjoy reading about climate science, oceanography and extreme weather. However, some of the technical articles are becoming overloaded with acronyms. One of the recent articles in Nature by Bereiter, and colleagues is a good example.

Here’s a few of their acronym loaded sentences:

“MOT is a S-GAST biased parameter….so the synchronicity of MOT and AAT/CO2 is consistent with GAST lagging AAT/CO2.”

“The close relation between our MOT record and AAT/AMOC changes as well as the strong warming during the YD1.”

“It is not straightforward to constrain the LGM-Holocene ASST or GAST change from the MOT change we derive here.”

“The AMOC switched to its strong state, which in turn starts cooling AABW, making it again harder for the AMOC to sustain its strength as AABW becomes denser again.”

I counted over 20 acronyms in their 5-page article, most of which were defined and a few that were not. Here’s the list in no particular order:

MOT = mean ocean temperature

LGM = last glacial maximum

PSS = practical salinity scale

AABW = Antarctic bottom water

NADW = North Atlantic deep water

B/A = Bolling -Allerod

YD1 = Younger Dryas

WD2014 = not defined

ASST = average sea surface temperature

GAST = global average surface temperature

PMIP = Paleoclimate Modelling Intercomparison Project

WAIS = not defined [West Antarctic Ice Sheet]

AMOC = Atlantic Meridional circulation

OCE326-GGC5 = ocean sediment core

IntCal13 = not defined, some sort of calibration [Calibration method for radiocarbon age dating, it replaces IntCal09]

HS1 = Heinrich Stadial 1

AAT = Antarctic temperature

N-GAST = Northern Hemisphere temperature

S-GAST = Southern Hemisphere temperature

NH = Northern Hemisphere

SH = Southern Hemisphere

Once I was able to sift through all the acronyms, the article did reveal interesting observations about ocean temperatures. Bereiter and colleges reconstructed mean ocean temperature using noble gases in ice cores for the Holocene with unprecedented accuracy. They found that mean ocean temperature is closely correlated with Antarctic ocean temperatures or in their acronyms, MOT is biased towards polar regions WRT to ASST. And the ocean warming during the early Younger Dryas period exceeded present day ocean temperatures.

Nice job BSBKS!

[Ed. Note: Renee is not the only one! I don’t care how carefully you did the scientific work, clarity of writing is important. Excessive use of acronyms and abbreviations is clearly poor writing and should be criticized. In my opinion, peer reviewers should flag it and insist that they be clarified or spelled out. AM]

via Watts Up With That?

January 12, 2018 at 07:27AM

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