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Contrarian/Denier Claims vs.

Scientific Conclusions
Contrarian Claim 1 "It's the sun" v s Scientific Conclusions JWD: The sun’s output has barely changed since 1970, shows no increasing trend, and so is irrelevant to recent global warming. JC: In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. JWD: The climate reacts to whatever is forcing it to change at the time, which nowadays is dominated by humans. JC: Natural climate change in the past proves that climate is sensitive to an energy imbalance. If the planet accumulates heat, global temperatures will go up. Currently, CO2 is imposing an energy imbalance due to the enhanced greenhouse effect. Past climate change actually provides evidence for our climate's sensitivity to CO2. JWD: Over 95% of professional climatologists agree that global warming exists and that human activity is a significant contributing factor. JC: That humans are causing global warming is the position of the Academies of Science from 19 countries plus many scientific organizations that study climate science. More specifically, 97% of climate scientists actively publishing climate papers endorse the consensus position. JWD: Last year 2009 was the second hottest year globally since 1900. JC: Empirical measurements of the Earth's heat content show the planet is still accumulating heat and global warming is still happening. Surface temperatures can show short-term cooling when heat is exchanged between the atmosphere and the ocean, which has a much greater heat capacity than the air. JWD: Models are based on physics, and successfully reproduce temperatures since 1900 globally, by continent, in the air, and in the ocean. JC: While there are uncertainties with climate models, they successfully reproduce the past and have made predictions that have been subsequently confirmed by observations. JWD: Temperatures reliably measured in rural and urban areas, in the ocean, and by satellite agree that the earth is warming. JC: Numerous studies into the effect of urban heat island effect and microsite influences find they have negligible effect on long-term trends, particularly when averaged over large regions. JWD: The NASA data say 2005 was the hottest year globally, and 2009 the second hottest. JC: The planet has continued to accumulate heat since 1998 - global warming is still happening. Nevertheless, surface temperatures show much internal variability due to heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere. 1998 was an unusually hot year due to a strong El Nino. JWD: Hypothetical scenarios of increased aerosols conjectured by a few scientists did not occur, and instead global warming happened. JC: 1970s ice age predictions were predominantly media based. The majority of peer reviewed research at the time predicted warming due to increasing CO2. JWD: We should be worried about global warming impacts in the next 100 years, not an ice age that won’t occur for over 10,000 years. JC: The warming effect from more CO2 greatly outstrips the influence from changes in the Earth's orbit or solar activity, even if solar levels were to drop to Maunder Minimum levels. JWD: As a whole, Antarctica is losing ice, and the temperature of Antarctica on the whole is rising. JC: While the interior of East Antarctica is gaining land ice, overall Antarctica is losing land ice at an accelerating rate. Antarctic sea ice is growing despite a strongly warming Southern Ocean. JWD: Recent CO2 increase has caused recent global temperature increase without any time lag. JC: When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth's orbit. The warming causes the oceans to give up CO2. The CO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2 rise. JWD: Global warming will cause increasingly damaging impacts on food, water, national security, and the environment. JC: The negative impacts of global warming on agriculture, health, economy and environment far outweigh any positives. JWD: Al Gore’s book is quite accurate, and far more accurate than contrarian books. JC: While there are minor errors in An Inconvenient Truth, the main truths presented - evidence to show mankind is causing global warming and its various impacts is consistent with peer reviewed science. JWD: Cosmic rays show no trend over the last 30 years, and so are not consistent with the observed trend of global warming. JC: While the link between cosmic rays and cloud cover is yet to be confirmed, more importantly, there has been no correlation between cosmic rays and global temperatures over the last 30 years of global warming. JWD: A cold winter day in Chicago has nothing to do with the trend of increasing yearly-averaged global temperatures. JC: Since the mid 1970s, global temperatures have been warming at around 0.2 degrees Celsius per decade. However, weather imposes its own dramatic ups and downs over the long term trend. We expect to see record cold temperatures even during global warming. Nevertheless over the last decade, daily record high temperatures occurred twice as often as record lows. This tendency towards hotter days is expected to increase as global warming continues into the 21st


"Climate's changed before"


"There is no consensus"


"It's cooling"


"Models are unreliable"


"Temp record is unreliable" "It hasn't warmed since 1998" "Ice age predicted in the 70s" "We're heading into an ice age"




"Antarctica is 10 gaining ice" "CO2 lags temperature"


12 "It's not bad" "Al Gore got it 13 wrong" "It's cosmic rays"


15 "It's freaking cold!"

Century. "Hurricanes JWD: There is increasing evidence that hurricanes are getting stronger due to global warming. 16 aren't linked to JC: It is unclear whether global warming is increasing hurricane frequency but there is increasing evidence that warming global warming" increases hurricane intensity. "1934 - hottest 17 year on record" "Mars is 18 warming" JWD: 1934 was not the hottest year globally, only the US. JC: 1934 is the hottest year on record in the USA which only comprises 2% of the globe. According to NASA temperature records, the hottest year on record globally is 2005. JWD: Mars is not warming globally. JC: Martian climate is primarily driven by dust and albedo and there is little empirical evidence that Mars is showing long term warming. JWD: All recent professional analyses agree that the high global temperatures since 1970 are unprecedented in the last 1,000 years. JC: Since the hockey stick paper in 1998, there have been a number of proxy studies analysing a variety of different sources including corals, stalagmites, tree rings, boreholes and ice cores. They all confirm the original hockey stick conclusion: the 20th century is the warmest in the last 1000 years and that warming was most dramatic after 1920. JWD: Urban and rural area measurements agree for temperature changes, and the “urban effect” is small. JC: While urban areas are undoubtedly warmer than surrounding rural areas, this has had little to no impact on warming trends. JWD: Ancient natural cycles are irrelevant for attributing recent global warming to humans. JC: The 1500 year cycles, known as Dansgaard-Oeschger events, are localized to the northern hemisphere and accompanied with cooling in the southern hemisphere. In contrast, current global warming is occuring in both hemispheres and particularly throughout the world's oceans, indicating a significant energy imbalance. JWD: Thick arctic sea ice is undergoing a rapid retreat. JC: Arctic sea ice has been retreating over the past 30 years. The rate of retreat is accelerating and in fact is exceeding most models' forecasts.


"Hockey stick is broken"

"It's Urban Heat 20 Island effect" "It's just a natural cycle"


"Arctic icemelt 22 is a natural cycle"

JWD: The US Navy now uses risk scenarios of a large sea level rise of around 1 meter by 2100. "Sea level rise is 23 JC: Sea levels are measured by a variety of methods that show close agreement - sediment cores, tidal gauges, satellite exaggerated" measurements. What they find is sea level rise has been steadily accelerating over the past century. "Water vapor is the most 24 powerful greenhouse gas" 25 "Other planets are warming" JWD: The increase of CO2 winds up increasing atmospheric water vapor, which makes global warming much worse. JC: Water vapour is the most dominant greenhouse gas. Water vapour is also the dominant positive feedback in our climate system and amplifies any warming caused by changes in atmospheric CO2. This positive feedback is why climate is so sensitive to CO2 warming. JWD: Mars and Jupiter are not warming, and anyway the sun has recently been cooling slightly. JC: There are three fundamental flaws in the 'other planets are warming' argument. Not all planets in the solar system are warming. The sun has shown no long term trend since 1950 and in fact has shown a slight cooling trend in recent decades. There are explanations for why other planets are warming. JWD: Other parts of the earth got colder when Greenland got warmer. JC: The Greenland ice sheet has existed for at least 400,000 years. There may have been regions of Greenland that were 'greener' than today but this was not a global phenomenon. JWD: Human-caused CO2 emissions are above the natural balance and are causing global warming. JC: The CO2 that nature emits (from the ocean and vegetation) is balanced by natural absorptions (again by the ocean and vegetation). Therefore human emissions upset the natural balance, rising CO2 to levels not seen in at least 800,000 years. In fact, human emit 26 gigatonnes of CO2 per year while CO2 in the atmosphere is rising by only 15 gigatonnes per year - much of human CO2 emissions is being absorbed by natural sinks. JWD: The most recent ocean measurements show consistent warming. JC: Early estimates of ocean heat from the Argo showed a cooling bias due to pressure sensor issues. Recent estimates of ocean heat that take this bias into account show continued warming of the upper ocean. This is confirmed by independent estimates of ocean heat as well as more comprehensive measurements of ocean heat down to 2000 metres deep. JWD: Climate sensitivity is high, and the doubtful hypothesis of low sensitivity relies on flimsy negative feedback ideas. JC: Climate sensitivity can be calculated empirically by comparing past temperature change to natural forcings at the time. Various periods of Earth's past have been examined in this manner and find broad agreement of a climate sensitivity of around 3°C. JWD: Several independent investigations have cleared scientists of any wrongdoing in the media-hyped email incident. JC: While some of the private correspondance is not commendable, an informed examination of their "suggestive" emails reveal technical discussions using techniques well known in the peer reviewed literature. Focusing on a few suggestive emails merely serves to distract from the wealth of empirical evidence for man-made global warming. JWD: The sun was warming up then, but the sun hasn’t been warming since 1970. JC: The main driver of the warming from the Little Ice Age to 1940 was the warming sun with a small contribution from volcanic activity. However, solar activity leveled off after 1940 and the net influence from sun and volcano since 1940 has been slight cooling. Greenhouse gases have been the main contributor of warming since 1970.

"Greenland was 26 green" "Human CO2 is 27 a tiny % of CO2 emissions"


"Oceans are cooling"

"Climate 29 sensitivity is low" "Climategate CRU emails 30 suggest conspiracy" "We're coming 31 out of the Little Ice Age"


"It cooled midcentury"

JWD: Mid-century cooling is understood, involved aerosols, and is irrelevant for recent global warming. JC: There are a number of forcings which affect climate (eg - stratospheric aerosols, solar variations). When all forcings are combined, they show good correlation to global temperature throughout the 20th century including the mid-century cooling period. However, for the last 35 years, the dominant forcing has been CO2. JWD: The CO2 effect is strong and is consistent with recent global warming. JC: An enhanced greenhouse effect from CO2 has been confirmed by multiple lines of empirical evidence. Satellite measurements of infrared spectra over the past 40 years observe less energy escaping to space at the wavelengths associated with CO2. Surface measurements find more downward infrared radiation warming the planet's surface. This provides a direct, empirical causal link between CO2 and global warming. JWD: Early 20th century warming is understood, is due to several causes, and is irrelevant for recent global warming due to humans. JC: Early 20th century warming was in large part due to rising solar activity and relatively quiet volcanic activity. However, both factors have played little to no part in the warming since 1975. Solar activity has been steady since the 50's. Volcanoes have been relatively frequent and if anything, have exerted a cooling effect. JWD: Most glaciers are in fast retreat and pose a huge future problem for millions of people who rely on glaciers for water. JC: While there are isolated cases of growing glaciers, the overwhelming trend in glaciers worldwide is retreat. In fact, the global melt rate has been accelerating since the mid-1970s. JWD: There are multiple lines of direct observations that global warming is occurring, and model attribution shows that humans are causing it. JC: Direct observations find that CO2 is rising sharply due to human activity. Satellite and surface measurements find less energy is escaping to space at CO2 absorption wavelengths. Ocean and surface temperature measurements find the planet continues to accumulate heat. This gives a line of empirical evidence that human CO2 emissions are causing global warming. JWD: The most recent satellite data show that the earth as a whole is warming. JC: Satellite measurements match model results apart from in the tropics. There is uncertainty with the tropical data due to how various teams correct for satellite drift. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program concludes the discrepancy is most likely due to data errors. JWD: Most glaciers are in rapid retreat worldwide, notwithstanding a few complicated cases. JC: Mount Kilimanjaro's shrinking glacier is complicated and not due to just global warming. However, this does not mean the Earth is not warming. There is ample evidence that Earth's average temperature has increased in the past 100 years and the decline of mid- and high-latitude glaciers is a major piece of evidence. JWD: Polar bears are in danger of extinction due to starvation caused by disappearing sea ice and seals. JC: While there is some uncertainty on current polar bear population trends, one thing is certain. No sea ice means no seals which means no polar bears. With Arctic sea ice retreating at an accelerating rate, the polar bear is at grave risk of extinction JWD: The IPCC summarizes the recent research by the leading scientific experts, in three volumes of 1000 pages each. JC: The IPCC lead authors are experts in their field, instructed to fairly represent the full range of the up-to-date, peerreviewed literature. Consequently, the IPCC reports tend to be cautious in their conclusions. Comparisons to the most recent data consistently finds that climate change is occurring more rapidly and intensely than indicated by IPCC predictions.


"CO2 effect is weak"

"It warmed before 1940 34 when CO2 was low" "Glaciers are growing"


"There's no 36 empirical evidence" "Satellites show no warming in 37 the troposphere" "Mt. Kilimanjaro's ice 38 loss is due to land use" "Polar bear 39 numbers are increasing" "IPCC does not represent a 40 scientific consensus"

"Extreme JWD: Extreme weather events are being made worse by global warming. weather isn't 41 JC: There is growing empirical evidence that warming temperatures cause more intense hurricanes, heavier rainfalls and caused by flooding, increased conditions for wildfires and dangerous heat waves. global warming" "There's no correlation 42 between CO2 and temperature" "CO2 is not a pollutant" JWD: There is long-term correlation between CO2 and global temperature; other effects enter in short term. JC: Even during a period of long term warming, there are short periods of cooling due to climate variability. Short term cooling over the last few years is largely due to a strong La Nina phase in the Pacific Ocean and a prolonged solar minimum. JWD: Excess CO2 is a pollutant, if unchecked, will lead to high temperatures that will stress and even kill crops. JC: While there are direct ways in which CO2 is a pollutant (acidification of the ocean), its primary impact is its greenhouse warming effect.



"Greenland is gaining ice"

JWD: Greenland on the whole is losing ice, as confirmed by satellite measurement. JC: While the greenhouse effect is a natural occurance, too much warming has severe negative impacts on agriculture, health and environment While the Greenland interior is in mass balance, the coastlines are losing ice. Overall Greenland is losing ice mass at an accelerating rate. From 2002 to 2009, the rate of ice mass loss doubled.

"Scientists can't JWD: Weather and climate are different; climate predictions do not need weather detail. 45 even predict JC: Weather is chaotic, making prediction difficult. However, climate takes a long term view, averaging weather out over weather" time. This removes the chaotic element, enabling climate models to successfully predict future climate change. 46 "CO2 has been higher in the JWD: If current CO2 gets to higher ancient levels with the current solar output, the earth will experience gigantic global warming.


JC: When CO2 levels were higher in the past, solar levels were also lower. The combined effect of sun and CO2 matches well with climate.

JWD: This statement is irrelevant to global warming caused by humans. "There's no JC: Satellite measurements match model results apart from in the tropics. There is uncertainty with the tropic data due to 47 tropospheric hot how various teams correct for satellite drift. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program conclude the discrepancy is most spot" likely due to data errors. 48 "Neptune is warming" JWD: And the sun is cooling. JC: Neptune's orbit is 164 years so observations (1950 to present day) span less than a third of a Neptunian year. Climate modelling of Neptune suggests its brightening is a seasonal response. Eg - Neptune's southern hemisphere is heading into summer. JWD: Jupiter is not warming, and anyway the sun is cooling. JC: Jupiter's climate change is due to shifts in internal turbulence fueled from an internal heat source - the planet radiates twice as much energy as it receives from the sun. JWD: The PDO shows no trend, and therefore the PDO is not responsible for the trend of global warming. JC: PDO as an oscillation between positive and negative values shows no long term trend, while temperature shows a long term warming trend. When the PDO last switched to a cool phase, global temperatures were about 0.4C cooler than currently. The long term warming trend indicates the total energy in the Earth's climate system is increasing due to an energy imbalance. JWD: And the sun has been recently cooling. JC: Pluto's climate change over the last 14 years is likely a seasonal event. Pluto experiences drastic season changes due to an elliptical orbit (that takes 250 Earth years). Any Plutonian warming cannot be caused by solar variations as the sun has showed little to no long term trend over the past 50 years and sunlight at Pluto is 900 times weaker than it is at the Earth. JWD: The CO2 effect is not saturated. JC: If the CO2 effect was saturated, adding more CO2 should add no additional greenhouse effect. However, satellite and surface measurements observe an enhanced greenhouse effect at the wavelengths that CO2 absorb energy. This is empirical proof that the CO2 effect is not saturated. JWD: The US Navy says when temperatures in Greenland were 3 to 5 degrees C higher than today, a large portion of the Greenland Ice Sheet melted JC: Satellite gravity measurements show Greenland is losing ice mass at an accelerated rate, increasing its contribution to rising sea levels.

"Jupiter is 49 warming" "It's Pacific 50 Decadal Oscillation"


"Pluto is warming"


"CO2 effect is saturated"

"Greenland ice 53 sheet won't collapse"

"Volcanoes emit JWD: Humans emit far more CO2 than volcanoes. 54 more CO2 than JC: Volcanoes emit around 0.3 billion tonnes of CO2 per year. This is about 1% of human CO2 emissions which is around humans" 29 billion tonnes per year. "Animals and plants can 55 adapt to global warming" JWD: Biologists warn that global warming will cause mass extinctions of species that cannot adapt on short time scales. JC: A large number of ancient mass extinction events have been strongly linked to global climate change. Because current climate change is so rapid, the way species typically adapt (eg - migration) is, in most cases, simply not be possible. Global change is simply too pervasive and occurring too rapidly. JWD: The oceans are warming and moreover are becoming more acidic, threatening the food chain. JC: Oceans are warming across the globe. In fact, globally oceans are accumulating energy at a rate of 4 x 1021 Joules per year - equivalent to 127,000 nuclear plants (which have an average output of 1 gigawatt) pouring their energy directly into the world's oceans. This tells us the planet is in energy imbalance - more energy is coming in than radiating back out to space. JWD: JC ok JC: CO2 levels are measured by hundreds of stations scattered across 66 countries which all report the same rising trend. JWD: El Nino is random with no trend, and so is not responsible for the trend of global warming. JC: The El Nino Southern Oscillation shows close correlation to global temperatures over the short term. However, it is unable to explain the long term warming trend over the past few decades.

56 "It's the ocean"

"CO2 57 measurements are suspect" 58 "It's El Niño"

"Medieval Warm JWD: The global temperature now is higher than the global temperature in the MWP. 59 Period was JC: While the Medieval Warm Period saw unusually warm temperatures in some regions, globally the planet was cooler warmer" than current conditions. "Solar Cycle 60 Length proves its the sun" "Less than half of published 61 scientists endorse global warming" JWD: The sun has not warmed since 1970 and so cannot be driving global warming. JC: The claim that solar cycle length proves the sun is driving global warming is based on a single study published in 1991. Subsequent research, including a paper by a co-author of the original 1991 paper, finds the opposite conclusion. Solar cycle length as a proxy for solar activity tells us the sun has had very little contribution to global warming since 1975. JWD: Over 95% of professional climatologists agree that global warming exists and that human activity is a significant contributing factor. JC: Schulte's paper makes much of the fact that 48% of the papers they surveyed are neutral papers, refusing to either accept or reject anthropogenic global warming. The fact that so many studies on climate change don't bother to endorse the consensus position is significant because scientists have largely moved from what's causing global warming onto discussing details of the problem (eg - how fast, how soon, impacts, etc).

62 "It's aerosols" "Dropped stations 63 introduce warming bias" "It's microsite 64 influences" "It's a climate regime shift"

JWD: Aerosols have been masking global warming, which would be worse otherwise. JC: The global dimming trend reversed around 1990 - 15 years after the global warming trend began in the mid 1970's. JWD: If the dropped stations had been kept, the temperature would actually be slightly higher. JC: Dropped weather stations actually show a slightly warmer trend compared to kept stations. So the removal of these faster warming dropped stations has actually imposed a slight cooling trend although the difference is negligible since 1970. JWD: Micro site influences on temperature changes are small; urban and rural sites agree. JC: Poor weather stations actually show a cooler trend compared to well sited stations. This is due to instrumentation changes. When this is taken into account, there's negligible difference between poor and well sited stations. JWD: There is no evidence that climate has chaotic “regimes” on a long-term basis. JC: A full reading of Tsonis and Swanson's research shows that internal variability from climate shifts merely cause temporary slow downs or speeding up of the long-term warming trend. When the internal variability is removed from the temperature record, what we find is nearly monotonic, accelerating warming throughout the 20th Century. JWD: Humans are small but powerful, and human CO2 emissions are causing global warming. JC: Atmospheric CO2 levels are rising by 15 gigatonnes per year. Humans are emitting 26 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere. Humans are dramatically altering the composition of our climate. JWD: Excess CO2 from human emissions has a long residence time of over 100 years JC: Individual carbon dioxide molecules have a short life time of around 5 years in the atmosphere. However, when they leave the atmosphere, they're simply swapping places with carbon dioxide in the ocean. The final amount of extra CO2 that remains in the atmosphere stays there on a time scale of centuries.


"Humans are too insignificant 66 to affect global climate" "CO2 has a 67 short residence time"

JWD: Thick arctic sea ice is in rapid retreat. "Arctic sea ice is 68 JC: Arctic sea ice has been steadily thinning, even in the last few years while the surface ice (eg - sea ice extent) back to normal" increased slightly. Consequently, the total amount of Arctic sea ice in 2008 and 2009 are the lowest on record. JWD: Land use plays a minor role in climate change, although carbon sequestration may help to mitigate. JC: Correlations between warming and economic activity are most likely spurious. They don't take into account local forcing agents such as tropospheric ozone or black carbon. Correlations are likely over-estimated since grid boxes in both economic and climate data are not independent. Lastly, there is significant independent evidence for warming in the oceans, snow cover and sea ice extent changes. JWD: The 2nd law of thermodynamics is consistent with the greenhouse effect and global warming, all of which are true. JC: The atmosphere of the Earth is less able to absorb shortwave radiation from the Sun than thermal radiation coming from the surface. The effect of this disparity is that thermal radiation escaping to space comes mostly from the cold upper atmosphere, while the surface is maintained at a substantially warmer temperature. This is called the "atmospheric greenhouse effect", and without it the Earth's surface would be much colder. JWD: The greenhouse effect is standard physics. JC: The atmosphere of the Earth is less able to absorb shortwave radiation from the Sun than thermal radiation coming from the surface. The effect of this disparity is that thermal radiation escaping to space comes mostly from the cold upper atmosphere, while the surface is maintained at a substantially warmer temperature. This is called the "atmospheric greenhouse effect", and without it the Earth's surface would be much colder. JWD: Glaciers are in rapid retreat worldwide, notwithstanding one date error in one paragraph in a 1,000 page IPCC report. JC: The IPCC error on the 2035 prediction was unfortunate and it's important that such mistakes are avoided in future publications through more rigorous review. But the central message of the IPCC AR4, is confirmed by the peer reviewed literature. The Himalayan glaciers are of vital importance, providing drinking water to half a billion people. Satellites and on-site measurements are observing that Himalayan glaciers are disappearing at an accelerating rate. JWD: Over 95% of professional climatologists agree that global warming exists and that human activity is a significant contributing factor. JC: Close inspection of the studies alleged to refute man-made global warming finds that many of these papers do no such thing. Of the few studies that do claim to refute man-made global warming, these repeat well debunked myths. JWD: Methane plays a minor role in global warming, but could get much worse if the permafrost starts to melt appreciably. JC: While methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than CO2, there is over 200 times more CO2 in the atmosphere. Hence the amount of warming methane contributes is 28% of the warming CO2 contributes.

69 "It's land use"

"2nd law of thermodynamic 70 s contradicts greenhouse theory" "Greenhouse 71 effect has been falsified"

"IPCC were wrong about 72 Himalayan glaciers" "500 scientists 73 refute the consensus"

74 "It's methane"

JWD: Michael Mann was quoted out of context, and nothing was hidden. JC: "Mike's Nature trick" refers to the technique of plotting recent instrumental data along with the reconstructed data. "Mike's Nature This places recent global warming trends in the context of temperature changes over longer time scales. "Hide the 75 trick to 'hide the decline" refers to a decline in the reliability of tree rings to reflect temperatures after 1960. This is known as the decline'" "divergence problem" where tree ring proxies diverge from modern instrumental temperature records after 1960, discussed in the peer reviewed literature as early as 1995 "Naomi Oreskes' study 76 on consensus was flawed" JWD: Benny Peisner, the Oreskes critic, retracted his criticism. JC: An examination of the papers that critics claim refute the consensus are found to actually endorse the consensus or are review papers (eg - they don't offer any new research but merely review other papers). This led the original critic Benny Peisner to retract his criticism of Oreskes' study.


"The science isn't settled"

JWD: The US Navy put it well in a talk at the Copenhagen Climate Conference: “We do not wait for 100% certainty”. JC: Science is never 100% settled - science is about narrowing uncertainty. Different areas of science are understood with varying degrees of certainty. For example, we have a lower understanding of the effect of aerosols while we have a high understanding of the warming effect of carbon dioxide. Poorly understood aspects of climate change do not change the fact that a great deal of climate science is well understood. JWD: Sea level rise is now increasing faster than predicted due to unexpectedly rapid ice melting. JC: Observed sea levels are actually tracking at the upper range of the IPCC projections. When accelerating ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica are factored into sea level projections, the estimated sea level rise by 2100 is between 75cm to 2 metres. JWD: Phil Jones was misquoted. JC: When you read Phil Jones' actual words, you see he's saying there is a warming trend but it's not statistically significant. He's not talking about whether warming is actually happening. He's discussing our ability to detect that warming trend in a noisy signal over a short period. JWD: Recent global warming is occurring and is due to humans. JC: There are many lines of independent empirical evidence for global warming, from accelerated ice loss from the Arctic to Antarctica to the poleward migration of plant and animal species across the globe.

"Sea level rise 78 predictions are exaggerated" "Phil Jones says no global 79 warming since 1995" "It's not 80 happening"

JWD: The ocean is absorbing massive amounts of CO2, and is becoming more acidic as a result. "CO2 is coming 81 JC: Measurements of carbon isotopes and falling oxygen in the atmosphere show that rising carbon dioxide is due to the from the ocean" burning of fossil fuels and cannot be coming from the ocean. "2009-2010 winter saw 82 record cold spells" 83 "It's albedo" JWD: A cold day in Chicago in winter has nothing to do with the trend of global warming. JC: The cold snap is due to a strong phase of the Arctic Oscillation. This is causing cool temperatures at mid-latitudes (eg - Eurasia and North America) and warming in polar regions (Greenland and Arctic Ocean). The warm and cool regions roughly balance each other out with little impact on global temperature. JWD: Albedo change in the Arctic, due to receding ice, is increasing global warming. JC: The long term trend from albedo is that of cooling. In recent years, satellite measurements of albedo show little to no trend. JWD: CO2 is increasing rapidly, and is reaching levels not seen on the earth for millions of years. JC: Currently, humans are emitting around 29 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere per year. Around 43% remains in the atmosphere - this is called the 'airborne fraction'. The rest is absorbed by vegetation and the oceans. While there are questions over how much the airborne fraction is increasing, it is clear that the total amount of CO2 in the atmosphere is increasing dramatically. Current CO2 levels are the highest in 15 million years. JWD: Jim Hansen had several possible scenarios; his mid-level scenario B was right. JC: Subsequent comparison of observations with predictions find that Hansen's Scenario B (which most closely matched the level of CO2 emissions) shows close correlation with observed temperatures. JWD: Lindzen and Choi’s paper is viewed as unacceptably flawed by other climatologists. JC: Lindzen's analysis has several flaws, such as only looking at data in the tropics. A number of independent studies using near-global satellite data find positive feedback and high climate sensitivity. JWD: The human origin of the excess CO2 causing global warming is demonstrated by solid physics involving isotopic analysis. JC: The human fingerprint in global warming is evident in multiple lines of empirical evidence - in satellite measurements of outgoing infrared radiation, in surface measurements of downward infrared radiation, in the cooling stratosphere and other metrics.


"CO2 is not increasing"

"Hansen's 1988 85 prediction was wrong" "Lindzen and Choi find low 86 climate sensitivity"

87 "It's not us"

JWD: Warming leads to increased evaporation and thus precipitation, which can fall as increased snow in the winter. "Record JC: To claim that record snowfall is inconsistent with a warming world betrays a lack of understanding of the link between snowfall global warming and extreme precipitation. Warming causes more moisture in the air which leads to more extreme 88 disproves global precipitation events. This includes more heavy snowstorms in regions where snowfall conditions are favourable. Far from warming" contradicting global warming, record snowfall is predicted by climate models and consistent with our expectation of more extreme precipitation events. "Ocean acidification 89 isn't going to happen" 90 "The sun is getting hotter" JWD: Ocean acidification occurs because the ocean absorbs CO2, which then produces an acid according to standard chemistry. JC: Past history shows us that when CO2 rose sharply, this corresponded with mass extinctions of coral reefs. Currently, CO2 levels are rising faster than any other time in known history. The change in seawater pH over the 21st Century is projected to be faster than anytime over the last 800,000 years and will create conditions not seen on Earth for at least 40 million years. JWD: The sun’s output has just oscillated since 1970 with a slight cooling trend. JC: Various independent measurements of solar activity all confirm the sun has shown a slight cooling trend since 1978. JWD: The “OISM petition” was a hodge-podge statement, was signed by only a few climatologists, and was issued under false pretences. JC: The 30,000 scientists and science graduates listed on the OISM petition represent a tiny fraction (0.3%) of all science graduates. More importantly, the OISM list only contains 39 scientists who specialise in climate science. JWD: This detail is irrelevant to the observation of global warming caused by humans. JC: There seems to be evidence for a link between solar activity and water levels. However, more direct comparisons

"Over 31,000 scientists 91 signed the OISM Petition Project" 92 "Water levels correlate with


between solar activity and global temperature finds that as the sun grew hotter or cooler, Earth's climate followed it with a 10 year lag - presumably due to the dampening effect of the ocean. Also found was that the correlation between solar activity and global temperatures ended around 1975, hence recent warming must have some other cause than solar variations. JWD: Recently the sun’s output has just oscillated slightly without any trend, so is irrelevant to the observed trend of global warming. JC: A full reading of Tung 2008 finds a distinct 11 year solar signal in the global temperature record. However, this 11 year cycle is superimposed over the long term global warming trend. In fact, the authors go on to estimate climate sensitivity from their findings, calculate a value between 2.3 to 4.1°C. This confirms the IPCC estimate of climate sensitivity. JWD: Ice is melting at unexpectedly high rates at both poles and in most glaciers, and snow packs are disappearing. JC: Ice mass loss is occuring at an accelerated rate in Greenland, Antarctica and globally from inland glaciers. Arctic sea ice is also falling at an accelerated rate. The exception to this ice loss is Antarctic sea ice which has been growing despite the warming Southern Ocean. This is due to local factors unique to the area. JWD: JC ok. JC: A synthesis of nearly 400,000 first flowering records covering 405 species across the UK found that British plants are flowering earlier now than at any time in the last 250 years. JWD: Climate is not chaotic like the weather, and forecasts of climate are made with uncertainties mostly due to future human behavior. JC: Weather is chaotic because air is light, it has low friction and viscosity, it expands strongly when in contact with hot surfaces and it conducts heat poorly. Therefore weather is never in equilibrium and the wind always blows. The climate is mostly explained by equilibrium radiation physics, which puts the brakes on variations in global temperatures. Effects from weather, the Sun, volcanoes etc. currently only causes a small amount of chaotic behavior compared to the deterministic, predictable greenhouse gas forcing for the next 100 years" JWD: The IPCC statement on Amazon rainforests was correct, and was incorrectly reported in some media. JC: The IPCC statement on Amazon rain forests is correct. The error was incorrect citation, failing to mention the peerreviewed papers where the data came from. The peer-reviewed science prior to the 2007 IPCC report found that up to 40% of the Brazilian forest is vulnerable to drought. Subsequent field research has confirmed this assessment. JWD: This possibility just means that future global warming could be even worse. JC: The effect from stratospheric water vapor contributes a fraction of the temperature change imposed from man-made greenhouse gases. Also, it's not yet clear whether changes in stratospheric water vapor are caused by a climate feedback or internal variability (eg - linked to El Nino Southern Oscillation). However, the long term warming trend seems to speak against the possibility of a negative feedback. JWD: The paper in question was misquoted. JC: The retracted paper actually predicts a low range of future sea level rise. The retraction removes a lower bound of sea level prediction. This increases confidence in other peer-reviewed research predicting sea level rise of 80cm to 2 metres by 2100. JWD: JC 2nd sentence ok. JC: The trend in CO2 at Mauna Loa is practically identical to the global trend because CO2 mixes well throughout the atmosphere. The global trend is calculated from hundreds of CO2 measuring stations and is consistent with independently measurements from satellites. JWD: CO2 is the main driver of climate change. JC: While there are many drivers of climate, CO2 is the most dominant radiative forcing and is increasing faster than any other forcing.

"Solar cycles 93 cause global warming"


"Ice isn't melting"

"Springs aren't 95 advancing"

"Climate is chaotic and 96 cannot be predicted" "IPCC were wrong about 97 Amazon rainforests" "Water vapor in the 98 stratosphere stopped global warming" "Scientists retracted claim 99 that sea levels are rising" 100 "Mauna Loa is a volcano"

"CO2 is not the 101 only driver of climate"

JWD: And the sun was somewhat cooler; there is no contradiction with recent global warming due to humans. "CO2 was JC: During the Ordovician, solar output was much lower than current levels. Consequently, CO2 levels only needed to fall 102 higher in the below 3000 parts per million for glaciation to be possible. The latest CO2 data calculated from sediment cores show that late Ordovician" CO2 levels fell sharply during the late Ordovician due to high rock weathering removing CO2 from the air. Thus the CO2 record during the late Ordovician is entirely consistent with the notion that CO2 is a strong driver of climate. "Southern sea 103 ice is increasing" "Melting ice 104 isn't warming the Arctic" JWD: JC first sentence ok. JC: Antarctic sea ice has growing over the last few decades but it certainly is not due to cooling - the Southern Ocean has shown warming over same period. Increasing southern sea ice is due to a combination of complex phenomena including cyclonic winds around Antarctica and changes in ocean circulation. JWD: Melting ice leads to more sunlight being absorbed by water, thus heating the Arctic. JC: Decline in sea ice is the major driver of Arctic amplification. This is evidence by the pattern of atmospheric warming over the Arctic. Maximum warming occurs over the surface during winter while less surface warming is found in summer when heat is being used to melt sea ice. This pattern is consistent with sea ice amplification.

JWD: Trenberth is talking about the details of energy flow, which is irrelevant for the observation of global warming. "Trenberth can't JC: Trenberth's views are clarified in the paper "An imperative for climate change planning: tracking Earth's global account for the 105 energy". We know the planet is continually heating due to increasing carbon dioxide but that surface temperature lack of sometimes have short term cooling periods. This is due to internal variability and Trenberth was lamenting that our warming" observation systems can't comprehensively track all the energy flow through the climate system. 106 "Tree-rings diverge from JWD: This is a detail that is complex, local, and irrelevant to the observed global warming trend. JC: The divergence problem is a physical phenomenon - tree growth has slowed or declined in the last few decades,

temperature after 1960"

mostly in high northern latitudes. The divergence problem is unprecedented, unique to the last few decades, indicating its cause may be anthropogenic. The cause is likely to be a combination of local and global factors such as warminginduced drought and global dimming. Tree-ring proxy reconstructions are reliable before 1960, tracking closely with the instrumental record and other independent proxies.

"Global JWD: But global temperatures rose sharply in 2009, to the second hottest level. temperatures 107 JC: 2007's dramatic cooling is driven by strong La Nina conditions which historically has caused similar drops in global dropped sharply temperature. It is also exacerbated by unusually low solar activity. in 2007" 108 "It's CFCs" "A drop in volcanic activity 109 caused warming" JWD: CFCs contribute at a small level. JC: Models and direct observations find that CFCs only contribute a fraction of the warming supplied by other greenhouse gases. JWD: Only a few large eruptions have occurred recently, and moreover models describe observed volcanic cooling on temperature well. JC: A drop of volcanic activity in the early 20th century may have had a warming effect. However, volcanoes have had no warming effect in the last 40 years of global warming. If anything, they've imposed a slight cooling effect.

JWD: There is no doubt that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere is due to human CO2 emissions, shown by isotopic "CO2 emissions analysis. do not correlate 110 JC: When CO2 emissions are compared directly to CO2 levels, there is a strong correlation in the long term trends. This is with CO2 independently confirmed by carbon isotopes which find the falling ratio of C13/C12 correlates well with fossil fuel concentration " emissions. "It's global brightening" JWD: The net effect of clouds and aerosols is to cool the earth, not heat it. JC: Global brightening is caused by changes in cloud cover, reflective aerosols and absorbing aerosols. While these changes lead to more sunlight hitting the surface, they also have a cooling effect due to clouds trapping less warmth and absorbing aerosols absorbing less sunlight. The net effect of global brightening is considerably smaller than the forcing from CO2. JWD: Ozone has only a small effect. JC: Multiple satellite measurements and ground-based observations have determined the ozone layer has stopped declining since 1995 while temperature trends continue upwards. JWD: Satellite transmissions are very small. JC: A generous estimate of the energy generated by satellites is around 1 million times too small to cause global warming.


112 "It's ozone" "It's satellite 113 microwave transmissions"

"We didn't have global warming JWD: And CO2 emissions were much smaller 100 years ago. 114 during the JC: Global CO2 emissions during the Industrial Revolution were a fraction of the CO2 we are currently emitting now. Industrial Revolution" Copyright 2010 Comments marked as JC are original from Comments marked as JWD, new titles: Copyright 2010 Jan W. Dash File = 35348369.doc; 6/4/2010 05:06:00 PM