Hyderabad: The Oxford dictionary has declared ‘Climate Emergency’ as the word of the year for 2019. The definitive record of the English language (referring to Oxford) found a 100-fold increase in the usage of the word. “This represents a new trend in the use of the word emergency,” Oxford said.

According to the graph put up by the Oxford English Corpus, for 2018, the frequency per billion words for ‘Climate Emergency’ was observed to be less than 1,000. However, in June-July, 2019, it spiked to 5,300. The highest was found in September, with the usage showing a 100-fold increase. As a result, Oxford announced ‘Climate Emergency’ as the word of the year.

In an official statement, they said, “‘Climate Emergency’ has been central to 2019 overall, and features in several prominent phrases. However, ‘Climate Emergency’ stands out for several reasons.”

It was observed that in 2018, ‘climate’ did not feature in some of the top words. Besides, ‘emergency’ saw seldom occurrence. However, in 2019, the combination of ‘climate’ and ‘emergency’ saw a phenomenal increase. “‘Climate emergency’ surpassed all other types of emergencies to become the most written about by a considerable margin. It was even used with over three times the usage frequency of health, the second-ranking word,” they said.

Taking a look at the equivalent data

Oxford found that for climate collocations – such as ‘climate crisis’ and ‘climate action’ (both are included in word of the Year 2019 shortlist) – ‘climate emergency’ is still the popular one. “As recorded in our corpus, it (climate emergency) exceeded more moderate or speculative pairings like ‘climate variability’ and ‘climate prediction’,” the officials added.

This data put out by Oxford is significant because it indicates a growing shift in people’s language choice in 2019.

What is the Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year?

According to the iconic dictionary, the ‘Oxford Word of the Year’ is an expression that shows usage evidence to reflect the ethos, mood, or preoccupations of the passing year.

Coreena Suares

Coreena Enet Suares is the Editor of NewsMeter. Having over 10 years of experience , her stories have been published in the Deccan Chronicle Newspaper and the Asian Age. Coreena began her career as a News Anchor. Through out her journey, she has been able to build a strong network with people from all walks of life . She is also a certified fact-checker by Google India Initiative. She has recently attended the 'Defence Correspondence Course 2019, through which she visited Indo- Pak border, besides traveling on a War-ship and an insight into operations of Fighter aircraft. Coreena's focus areas are anti-crime investigation agencies and Defense reporting.

One comment on "‘Climate Emergency’ – Oxford’s Word of the Year 2019"

  • Climate change
    • Climate Change is real;
    • Global Warming is not real;
    • People are shy of using the word “Global Warming” and instead use the word “Climate Change” a vast subject as de-facto “Global Warming and Carbon credits to get a share in Green Fund” a narrow subject; and some others use the word “Climate Change” as an adjective to get hype for their work/talk even without knowing the basics of the subject;
    • Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is quite different over Southern and Northern Hemispheres and as well tropics to polar regions [in 2000 no observation station in tropics, 3 observation stations in Southern Hemisphere of the total 45 stations around the globe];
    • Temperature observation network on land showed a steadily increasing trend; with satellite measurements, they started decreasing steadily [on oceans it is sparse though it covers two-thirds of the globe]; data period [in years] presented wide variations from station to station; groups manipulated data to show an increasing trend. Initially the satellite data released and presented on internet showed no trend but later they withdrew from the net and adjusted data similar to ground based data series; however all these data series showed wide variations;
    • The observed global average annual temperature anomaly data series for 1880 to 2010 [there are several versions as per their adjustments imposed on raw data] presented natural variability, varying between -0.3 and +0.3 oC, with 60-year cyclic pattern; and trend of 0.6 oC per century;
    • According to IPCC, 1951 is the starting year of global warming; in the trend more than half is associated with greenhouse effect and less than half is non-greenhouse effect;
    • The non-greenhouse part includes the effect of land use and land cover changes – urban-heat-island & rural-cold-island effects – Indian temperature data series trend showed only these and not global warming related trend [that is, it is zero];
    • The greenhouse part includes the effect of global warming, particulates from volcano eruptions, etc. If we assume in this that global warming itself is 50%, then the trend is 0.3 oC per century and the same for the global warming component for 1951 to 2100 [150 years] is 0.45 oC;
    • There is no scientifically validated “Climate Sensitivity Factor” that presents the conversion of energy by carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in to temperature. People, however, are using trial and error method. IPCC in its AR4 it stated as 1.95 and in AR5 it is 1.55, that means through trial and error process they are bringing down the “Climate Sensitivity Factor” and thus it is not linearly increasing but decreasing [linearly or non-linearly]. Because of this, models predicted 2 to 8 oC rise in global average annual temperature anomaly for doubling of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
    • That means, global warming component for 1951 to 2100, is far less than 0.45 oC, may be even zero, which is insignificant compared to seasonal and annual variations seen at a given location or region or country to present an impact on nature;
    • Natural variability in rainfall: This plays vital role in agriculture and water resources availability – floods & droughts. All India rainfall presents 60-year cycle. The water flows in Godavari River follows this. Durban/South Africa rainfall follows 66 & 22 year cycles and Beira/Mozambique rainfall presents 54 & 18 year cycles. I published all these – from these I presented predicted patterns in 1986 (published); they are accurate for floods in Beira/Maputo & drought in Cape Town now.
    • Heat and cold waves are part of local general circulation patterns. I published in 1978.

    Note: part from the mail sent to Bill Gates on 21st November 2019

    Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *