There is a lot of fog and confusion around the topic of catastrophic man-made global warming, so I want to offer a very simple cut-to-the-chase approach herein.
To support government mandates on CO2 emissions is to imply that (a) man made CO2 emissions have a significant impact on warming, and (b) that the impact will be catastrophic unless those emissions are curbed. If there is no scientific consensus regarding (a), then there is no scientific consensus on the one and only relevant aspect of global warming debate, no matter how much distraction and confusion alarmists try to stir up. If there was a consensus on (a), then it would still be incumbent upon alarmists to prove (b).
If there is no evidence for such a consensus, or if there’s even evidence for an emerging consensus on the opposing hypothesis, then for the sake of the debate regarding CO2 emission limits it doesn’t matter whether or not the globe has warmed or not over the past decades (evidence suggests that it has by a degree or so, as you’d expect after a Little Ice Age, but it doesn’t matter). It doesn’t matter whether the icecaps are melting or not (evidence suggests they are melting in some places, and expanding in others, as they have for millions of years, but it doesn’t matter). It doesn’t matter whether Polar Bears are thriving or not (evidence suggests they are thriving more than ever, but it doesn’t matter). It doesn’t matter whether women are choosing to become prostitutes as a result of warming (I’m not kidding, alarmists have made this claim, but it doesn’t matter). It doesn’t matter whether sea levels are rising fast or slow, or whether there are more or fewer floods, hurricanes, or droughts (evidence suggests there aren’t, and the US Federal Government agrees, but it doesn’t matter). It doesn’t matter whether this or that month was the hottest month on record in 500 years or not.
I could go on and on, and, believe me, there are people who do. The opportunities to distract, obfuscate, and confuse people into submission are endless if you have an agenda.
The only thing that matters is whether or not man made CO2 emissions have a significant impact on the globe’s warming. If they don’t, then curbing CO2 emissions limits are pointless at best, and an artificial and hugely destructive restriction on the world’s industrial capacity at worst.
Ask anyone this question: Can you name one peer-reviewed scientific research paper that concludes that (a) man made CO2 emissions have had a significant impact on global warming, and (b) that the impact will be catastrophic enough to impact our lives, unless those emissions are curbed?
The fact of the matter is that, as far as I’m aware, no such paper exists. If I’m wrong, please do send me a link to the paper and specifically the relevant citation that proves (b).
There is the long debunked claim that “97% of scientists agree.” The truth is that at best they agree that the globe has warmed over the past century (nobody denies this) and that CO2 can have some effect on warming (nobody denies this).
Nor are any of the IPCC‘s political publications to be misconstrued as scientific research papers. These papers were deliberately manipulated by politicians who, via committee, altered the phrasing of critical sentences written by scientists. I don’t need to tell you that such dishonesty and disgusting trickery has nothing to do with science.
But even if we did admit the IPCC report as evidence, and even if there were any peer-reviewed research studies (which may well be the case at one point), one would have to compare those against peer-reviewed studies that conclude that CO2’s impact is negligible, and that other factors are the main drivers of climate change.
It just so happens that there are many such papers, thousands in fact, affirming the latter hypothesis:
Here are some examples (hat tip to NoTricksZone):
From “Multidecadal tendencies in ENSO and global temperatures related to nultidecadal oscillations” (2010) by Joseph D’Aleo and Dr. Don Easterbrook:
We live in a most interesting time. As the global climate and solar variation reveals themselves in a way not seen in the past 200 years, we will surely attain a much better understanding of what causes global warming and cooling. Time will tell. If the climate continues its cooling and the sun behaves in a manner not witnessed since 1800, we can be sure that climate changes are dominated by the sun and that atmospheric CO2 has a very small role in climate changes. If the same climatic patterns, cyclic warming and cooling, that occurred over the past 500 years continue, we can expect several decades of moderate to severe global cooling.
From “Using data to attribute episodes of warming and cooling in instrumental records” (2012) by Ka-Kit Tung and Jiansong Zhou:
The anthropogenic warming started after the mid-19th century of Industrial Revolution. After a slow start, the smoothed version of the warming trend has stayed almost constant since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade.
From “Solar forcing on the ice winter severity index in the western Baltic region” by M.C. Leal-Silva, V.M. Velasco Herrera:
Based on a new method for finding and measuring amplitude–phase cross-frequency coupling in time series with a low signal/noise ratio, we suggest that the ice winter severity index in the Baltic Sea is modulated by solar activity and solar motion in several frequency bands during the last 500 years.
From “The Radiation Budget of the West African Sahel and Its Controls: A Perspective from Observations and Global Climate Models” by Mark A. Miller, Virendra P. Ghate, and Robert K. Zahn:
These quantities were analyzed in two GCMs and compensating errors in the SW and LW clear-sky, cross-atmosphere radiative flux divergence were found to conspire to produce somewhat reasonable predictions of the net clear-sky divergence. Both GCMs underestimated the surface LW and SW CRF and predicted near-zero SW CRE when the measured values were substantially larger (~70 W m−2 maximum).
From “Orbital forcing of tree-ring data” by Jan Esper, David C. Frank, Mauri Timonen, Eduardo Zorita, Rob J. S. Wilson, Jürg Luterbacher, Steffen Holzkämper, Nils Fischer, Sebastian Wagner, Daniel Nievergelt, Anne Verstege & Ulf Büntgen:
These findings, together with the missing orbital signature in published dendrochronological records, suggest that large-scale near-surface air-temperature reconstructions relying on tree-ring data may underestimate pre-instrumental temperatures including warmth during Medieval and Roman times.
From “Marine climatic seasonality during medieval times (10th to 12th centuries) based on isotopic records in Viking Age shells from Orkney, Scotland” by Donna Surge, James H. Barrett:
(…) resulting in the conclusion that the early MCA was warmer than the late 20th century by ~ 1 °C.
From “Investigation of methods for hydroclimatic data homogenization” by E. Steirou, and D. Koutsoyiannis:
The above results cast some doubts in the use of homogenization procedures and tend to indicate that the global temperature increase during the last century is between 0.4°C and 0.7°C, where these two values are the estimates derived from raw and adjusted data, respectively.
From “Multi-archive summer temperature reconstruction for the European Alps, AD 1053–1996” by Mathias Trachsela et al:
Highest pre-industrial summer temperatures of the 12th century were 0.3 °C warmer than the 20th century.
From “Solar influences on atmospheric circulation” by K. Georgieva et al:
Solar activity is a result of the action of solar dynamo transforming solar poloidal field into toroidal field and back. The poloidal and toroidal fields are the two faces of solar magnetism, so they are not independent, but we demonstrate that their long-term variations are not identical, and the periods in which solar activity agents affecting the Earth are predominantly related to solar toroidal or poloidal fields are the periods in which the North Atlantic Oscillation is negatively or positively correlated with solar activity, respectively.
From “The long sunspot cycle 23 predicts a significant temperature decrease in cycle 24” by Jan-Erik Solheim, Kjell Stordahl, Ole Humlum:
We find for the Norwegian local stations investigated that 25–56% of the temperature increase the last 150 years may be attributed to the Sun. For 3 North Atlantic stations we get 63–72% solar contribution. This points to the Atlantic currents as reinforcing a solar signal.
Over 100 links to solid, well sourced, peer-reviewed climate research papers are available at NoTricksZone. If that list isn’t enough, there’s also one of 1,350+ peer-reviewed papers at Popular Technology.
Of course, for what it’s worth, there’s also the Oregon Petition which 31,487 American scientists have signed, including 9,029 with PhDs, stating that “there is no convincing evidence that human release of (…) greenhouse gases is causing or will cause (…) catastrophic heating of the Earth’s atmosphere.”
So much for “scientific consensus.”
I’m not saying that I have the final answer by any means, I’m not a scientist. But what I can conclude and back up with absolute confidence is that there is no scientific consensus on man-made global warming, and that the people who vociferously pronounce such a claim without actually having fact checked it at the most basic level are attention seeking, overconfident, and irresponsible idiots who have no problem condemning millions if not billions of people to poverty and starvation.
Science is not a fact sheet that you ram through via public declaration or majority vote. It’s an ongoing process of comparing theories to reality. It never settles, it’s never satisfied, and it remains open to all available evidence. In many fields of scientific study we can say that an overwhelming plurality of evidence backs a particular conclusion. The area of man-made global warming, however, is not one of them.
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