Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics and what the science really says

Climate Myth vs What the Science Says 2 “It’s the sun”

In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions

4 “There is no consensus”

97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.

6 “Models are unreliable”

Models successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by land, in the air and the ocean.

8 “Animals and plants can adapt” Global warming will cause mass extinctions of species that cannot adapt on short time scales. 10 “Antarctica is gaining ice” Satellites measure Antarctica losing land ice at an accelerating rate. 12 “CO2 lags temperature”

CO2 didn’t initiate warming from past ice ages but it did amplify the warming.

14 “We’re heading into an ice age” Worry about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age in over 10,000 years. 16 “Hockey stick is broken” Recent studies agree that recent global temperatures are unprecedented in the last 1000 years. 18 “Hurricanes aren’t linked to global warming” There is increasing evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger due to global warming. 20 “Glaciers are growing”

Most glaciers are retreating, posing a serious problem for millions who rely on glaciers for water.

22 “1934 – hottest year on record” 1934 was one of the hottest years in the US, not globally. 24 “Extreme weather isn’t caused by global warming” Extreme weather events are being made more frequent and worse by global warming. 26 “It’s Urban Heat Island effect” Urban and rural regions show the same warming trend. 28 “Mars is warming”

Mars is not warming globally.

30 “Increasing CO2 has little to no effect” The strong CO2 effect has been observed by many different measurements. 32 “Climate scientists are in it for the money”

Climate scientists could make far more money in other careers – most notably, working for the oil industry.

34 “Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions” The natural cycle adds and removes CO2 to keep a balance; humans add extra CO2 without removing any. 36 “Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas”

Rising CO2 increases atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse.

38 “CO2 limits will harm the economy”

The benefits of a price on carbon outweigh the costs several times over.

40 “Greenland was green” Other parts of the earth got colder when Greenland got warmer. 42 “CO2 is not a pollutant”

Through its impacts on the climate, CO2 presents a danger to public health and welfare, and thus qualifies as an air pollutant

44 “There’s no empirical evidence” There are multiple lines of direct observations that humans are causing global warming. 46 “Arctic sea ice has recovered” Thick arctic sea ice is in rapid retreat. 48 “We’re coming out of the Little Ice Age”

Scientists have determined that the factors which caused the Little Ice Age cooling are not currently causing global warming.

50 “Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ????”

Global temperature is still rising and 2010 was the hottest recorded.

52 “It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low” Early 20th century warming is due to several causes, including rising CO2. 54 “It’s aerosols”

Aerosols have been masking global warming, which would be worse otherwise.

56 “It’s a natural cycle”

No known natural forcing fits the fingerprints of observed warming except anthropogenic greenhouse gases.

58 “Mt. Kilimanjaro’s ice loss is due to land use”

Most glaciers are in rapid retreat worldwide, notwithstanding a few complicated cases.

60 “There’s no tropospheric hot spot”

We see a clear “short-term hot spot” – there’s various evidence for a “long-term hot spot”.

62 “2nd law of thermodynamics contradicts greenhouse theory” The 2nd law of thermodynamics is consistent with the greenhouse effect which is directly observed. 64 “IPCC were wrong about Himalayan glaciers”

Glaciers are in rapid retreat worldwide, despite 1 error in 1 paragraph in a 1000 page IPCC report.

66 “CO2 limits will hurt the poor”

Those who contribute the least greenhouse gases will be most impacted by climate change.

68 “The science isn’t settled” That human CO2 is causing global warming is known with high certainty & confirmed by observations. 70 “It’s the ocean” The oceans are warming and moreover are becoming more acidic, threatening the food chain. 72 “Corals are resilient to bleaching” Globally about 1% of coral is dying out each year. 74 “CO2 effect is saturated” Direct measurements find that rising CO2 is trapping more heat. 76 “500 scientists refute the consensus” Around 97% of climate experts agree that humans are causing global warming. 78 “It’s methane” Methane plays a minor role in global warming but could get much worse if permafrost starts to melt. 80 “CO2 measurements are suspect” CO2 levels are measured by hundreds of stations across the globe, all reporting the same trend. 82 “Neptune is warming” And the sun is cooling. 84 “Springs aren’t advancing” Hundreds of flowers across the UK are flowering earlier now than any time in 250 years. 86 “Scientists tried to ‘hide the decline’ in global temperature” The ‘decline’ refers to a decline in northern tree-rings, not global temperature, and is openly discussed in papers and the IPCC reports. 88 “Record snowfall disproves global warming” Warming leads to increased evaporation and precipitation, which falls as increased snow in winter. 90 “They changed the name from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change'”

‘Global warming’ and ‘climate change’ mean different things and have both been used for decades.

92 “CO2 is coming from the ocean”

The ocean is absorbing massive amounts of CO2, and is becoming more acidic as a result.

94 “Pluto is warming”

And the sun has been recently cooling.

96 “Peer review process was corrupted” An Independent Review concluded that CRU’s actions were normal and didn’t threaten the integrity of peer review. 98 “Arctic was warmer in 1940”

The actual data show high northern latitudes are warmer today than in 1940.

100 “Southern sea ice is increasing” Antarctic sea ice has grown in recent decades despite the Southern Ocean warming at the same time. 102 “Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate” Humans are small but powerful, and human CO2 emissions are causing global warming. 104 “Lindzen and Choi find low climate sensitivity” Lindzen and Choi’s paper is viewed as unacceptably flawed by other climate scientists. 106 “Infrared Iris will reduce global warming”

The iris hypothesis has not withstood the test of time – subsequent research has found that if it exists, the effect is much smaller than originally hypothesized, and may even slightly amplify rather than reducing global warming.

108 “It’s too hard” Scientific studies have determined that current technology is sufficient to reduce greenhouse gas emissions enough to avoid dangerous climate change. 110 “It’s albedo” Albedo change in the Arctic, due to receding ice, is increasing global warming. 112 “It’s soot”

Soot stays in the atmosphere for days to weeks; carbon dioxide causes warming for centuries.

114 “Hansen’s 1988 prediction was wrong”

Jim Hansen had several possible scenarios; his mid-level scenario B was right.

116 “Earth hasn’t warmed as much as expected” This argument ignores the cooling effect of aerosols and the planet’s thermal inertia. 118 “It’s a climate regime shift”

There is no evidence that climate has chaotic “regimes” on a long-term basis.

120 “Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project”

The ‘OISM petition’ was signed by only a few climatologists.

122 “A drop in volcanic activity caused warming” Volcanoes have had no warming effect in recent global warming – if anything, a cooling effect. 124 “Ice isn’t melting”

Arctic sea ice has shrunk by an area equal to Western Australia, and summer or multi-year sea ice might be all gone within a decade.

126 “IPCC ‘disappeared’ the Medieval Warm Period”

The IPCC simply updated their temperature history graphs to show the best data available at the time.

128 “Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted” Weather is chaotic but climate is driven by Earth’s energy imbalance, which is more predictable. 130 “Climate ‘Skeptics’ are like Galileo”

Modern scientists, not anti-science skeptics, follow in Galileo’s footsteps.

132 “Tuvalu sea level isn’t rising” Tuvalu sea level is rising 3 times larger than the global average. 134 “Renewables can’t provide baseload power”

A number of renewable sources already do provide baseload power, and we don’t need renewables to provide a large percentage of baseload power immediately.

136 “Ice Sheet losses are overestimated” A number of independent measurements find extensive ice loss from Antarctica and Greenland. 138 “Melting ice isn’t warming the Arctic” Melting ice leads to more sunlight being absorbed by water, thus heating the Arctic. 140 “Satellite error inflated Great Lakes temperatures” Temperature errors in the Great Lakes region are not used in any global temperature records. 142 “We’re heading into cooling” There is no scientific basis for claims that the planet will begin to cool in the near future. 144 “The sun is getting hotter” The sun has just had the deepest solar minimum in 100 years. 146 “97% consensus on human-caused global warming has been disproven”

The 97% consensus has been independently confirmed by a number of different approaches and lines of evidence.

148 “It’s waste heat”

Greenhouse warming is adding 100 times more heat to the climate than waste heat.

150 “It warmed just as fast in 1860-1880 and 1910-1940” The warming trend over 1970 to 2001 is greater than warming from both 1860 to 1880 and 1910 to 1940. 152 “Record high snow cover was set in winter 2008/2009”

Winter snow cover in 2008/2009 was average while the long-term trend in spring, summer, and annual snow cover is rapid decline.

154 “Adapting to global warming is cheaper than preventing it”

Preventing global warming is relatively cheap; business-as-usual will cause accelerating climate damage costs that economists struggle to even estimate.

156 “CERN CLOUD experiment proved cosmic rays are causing global warming”

The CERN CLOUD experiment only tested one-third of one out of four requirements necessary to blame global warming on cosmic rays, and two of the other requirements have already failed.

158 “It’s planetary movements”

Blaming global warming on the movements of other planets is little more than ‘climastrology’ and curve fitting without a physical basis.

160 “Water levels correlate with sunspots”

This detail is irrelevant to the observation of global warming caused by humans.

162 “Positive feedback means runaway warming” Positive feedback won’t lead to runaway warming; diminishing returns on feedback cycles limit the amplification. 164 “CO2 was higher in the late Ordovician”

The sun was much cooler during the Ordovician.

166 “Coral atolls grow as sea levels rise”

Thousands of coral atolls have “drowned” when unable to grow fast enough to survive at sea level.

168 “CO2 increase is natural, not human-caused” Many lines of evidence, including simple accounting, demonstrate beyond a shadow of a doubt that the increase in atmospheric CO2 is due to human fossil fuel burning. 170 “It’s CFCs”

CFCs contribute at a small level.

172 “Renewable energy investment kills jobs”

Investment in renewable energy creates more jobs than investment in fossil fuel energy.

174 “Schmittner finds low climate sensitivity”

The Schmittner et al. study finds low probability of both very low and very high climate sensitivities, and its lower estimate (as compared to the IPCC) is based on a new temperature reconstruction of the Last Glacial Maximum that may or may not withstand the test of time.

176 “DMI show cooling Arctic” While summer maximums have showed little trend, the annual average Arctic temperature has risen sharply in recent decades. 178 “It’s a climate shift step function caused by natural cycles”

Natural cycles superimposed on a linear warming trend can be mistaken for step changes, but the underlying warming is caused by the external radiative forcing.

180 “It’s only a few degrees” A few degrees of global warming has a huge impact on ice sheets, sea levels and other aspects of climate. 182 “CO2 only causes 35% of global warming”

CO2 and corresponding water vapor feedback are the biggest cause of global warming.

184 “Sea level fell in 2010” The temporary drop in sea level in 2010 was due to intense land flooding caused by a strong La Nina. 186 “Climate change isn’t increasing extreme weather damage costs”

The data and research are unclear whether climate change is increasing extreme weather damage costs, but many types of extreme weather are becoming more intense and/or frequent, and disaster costs from extreme weather events are rising.

188 “IPCC human-caused global warming attribution confidence is unfounded”

The IPCC 95% confidence that humans are responsible for most of the current global warming is simply a summary of the peer-reviewed scientific research.

190 “Ljungqvist broke the hockey stick”

Ljungqvist’s temperature reconstruction is very similar to other reconstructions by Moberg and Mann.

192 “Removing all CO2 would make little difference”

Removing CO2 would cause most water in the air to rain out and cancel most of the greenhouse effect.

194 “Loehle and Scafetta find a 60 year cycle causing global warming”

Loehle and Scafetta’s paper is nothing more than a curve fitting exercise with no physical basis using an overly simplistic model.

196 “Underground temperatures control climate”

The amount of heat energy coming out of the Earth is too small to even be worth considering.

198 “Heatwaves have happened before”

Global warming is increasing the frequency, duration and intensity of heatwaves.

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