Temperature Trends

Earth's Average Temperature Lower Now Than It Was 5,000 Years Ago


Getting hotter fast.

That's the conclusion of a new study, "A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the past 11,300 Years," being published in the journal Science today. But before drawing in a sigh of relief about the future of global warming, the researchers also point out that the rapid warming over the last century has essentially cancelled out 2,000 years of gradual cooling.

The researchers from Oregon State University and Harvard University came to their results by combining 73 different proxy climate records (assembled into what they call stacks) spanning the past 11,500 years. They report:

Our results indicate that global mean temperature for the decade 2000–2009 has not yet exceeded the warmest temperatures of the early Holocene (5000 to 10,000 yr B.P.). These temperatures are, however, warmer than 82% of the Holocene distribution as represented by the Standard5×5 stack, or 72% after making plausible corrections for inherent smoothing of the high frequencies in the stack. In contrast, the decadal mean global temperature of the early 20th century (1900–1909) was cooler than >95% of the Holocene distribution under both the Standard 5×5 and high-frequency corrected scenarios. Global temperature, therefore, has risen from near the coldest to the warmest levels of the Holocene within the past century, reversing the long-term cooling trend that began ~5000 yr B.P.

From the abstract:

Surface temperature reconstructions of the past 1500 years suggest that recent warming is unprecedented in that time. Here we provide a broader perspective by reconstructing regional and global temperature anomalies for the past 11,300 years from 73 globally distributed records. Early Holocene (10,000 to 5000 years ago) warmth is followed by ~0.7°C cooling through the middle to late Holocene (<5000 years ago), culminating in the coolest temperatures of the Holocene during the Little Ice Age, about 200 years ago. This cooling is largely associated with ~2°C change in the North Atlantic. Current global temperatures of the past decade have not yet exceeded peak interglacial values but are warmer than during ~75% of the Holocene temperature history. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change model projections for 2100 exceed the full distribution of Holocene temperature under all plausible greenhouse gas emission scenarios.

The new study finds that changes in the amount of summertime sunlight striking the Northern Hemisphere due to changes in the Earth's orbital orientation toward the sun is chiefly responsible for the recent alternation between Ice Ages and warmer periods like the one we're currently in. From the study's press release:

"During the warmest period of the Holocene, the Earth was positioned such that Northern Hemisphere summers warmed more," [Shaun] Marcott, [lead author from OSU] said. "As the Earth's orientation changed, Northern Hemisphere summers became cooler, and we should now be near the bottom of this long-term cooling trend – but obviously, we are not."

So how do recent changes in global average temperature compare to the past record of climate? Again from the press release:

"The last century stands out as the anomaly in this record of global temperature since the end of the last ice age," said Candace Major, program director in the National Science Foundation's Division of Ocean Sciences, which co-funded the research with NSF's Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences. "This research shows that we've experienced almost the same range of temperature change since the beginning of the industrial revolution as over the previous 11,000 years of Earth history – but this change happened a lot more quickly."

Taken at face value, the new study does suggest, to paraphrase the old investing caveat, that we should worry about what past performance may have to say about future results.

NEXT: Filibuster Sparks Continuing Civil Liberties Discussion

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  1. “As the Earth’s orientation changed, Northern Hemisphere summers became cooler, and we should now be near the bottom of this long-term cooling trend ? but obviously, we are not.”

    Soooo, we were heading into an ice age, but then that temporarily stopped? And people are bitching about that stoppage?

  2. “As the Earth’s orientation changed, Northern Hemisphere summers became cooler, and we should now be near the bottom of this long-term cooling trend ? but obviously, we are not.”

    Soooo, we were heading into an ice age, but then that temporarily stopped? And people are bitching about that stoppage?

    1. As I understand it we are in an interglacial period of an icehouse earth right now. We were heading toward another glacial period. Rather suddenly we are now heading toward a greenhouse earth.

      1. We can hope.

        The greenhouse periods seem to be the norm, lasting, as they did, from early in the life of the planet until slightly after the end of the Cretaceous.

        The planet has been in a greenhouse state for 80% of it’s existence. Maybe that’s where it belongs….

        1. But that can’t be right because…consensus (of 75 people).

        2. Do you have a source for that? In all seriousness, I would love to have that info!

  3. So they’re saying the Earth’s surface temperature changes over time? STUNNING NEWS.

    Please, AGW advocates, go fucking kill yourselves now. This subject has become the most boring running gag ever, and it was never funny to begin with. If you beat this dead horse any more it’s going to rupture the corpse.

    1. You know, someday the Earth is going to slip back into an ice age. Nobody really knows the mechanism by which this happens.

      So a bunch of clever guys will start figuring it out and start trying to warn people. And nobody will listen to them because of all the times Hansen and his ilk cried wolf!

      It would be one thing if they put on hair shirts and funny hats, but their disguising themselves as scientists (and the reticence of scientists to drive them out of academia) has done incredible damage to science.

      1. Denier! Heretic! Mother Gaia shall smite thee!

      2. Politicization has done incredible damage to science. At this point, if some science can fall or has fallen in any way into the KULTUR WAR crosshairs, all resulting “research” has to be ignored. Not should be ignored, has to be ignored, because of the ample evidence we have seen that “scientists” will fake or alter their results to fit their TEAM narrative. It’s really quite repulsive and also depressing. Partisan politics rots minds.

        1. Science has been politicized because so much research money comes from government. The result is that scientists must please politicians to keep the grant money coming.

          In such a situation it is only natural that scientists start with the conclusion that benefits the politician, and then works backwards.

          Science is no longer about discovery. It is about arriving at predetermined conclusions.

          1. ^ ALL of this. It’s not about ferreting out the truth anymore, it’s about ferreting out MY truth.

          2. Science is no longer about discovery. It is about arriving at predetermined conclusions.

            Technically, that’s what science has always been about. A hypothesis is just a predetermined conclusion.

            1. Technically, that’s what science has always been about. A hypothesis is just a predetermined conclusion.

              Old scientific method:

              Question – research – hypothesis – experiment – conclusion

              New scientific method:

              Conclusion – create data and computer models to support conclusion – write peer reviewed paper – consensus

            2. The difference being that in actual real science, if the data doesn’t match the hypothesis, you either change the hypothesis or discard it.

              In AGW research, if the data doesn’t match the hypothesis, you change the data.

          3. I don’t think it is quite fair to say that about all science. But it certainly is becoming more pervasive.

            1. There’s plenty of science that nobody has found a political use for and even some purists in the fields that are politicized.

              The problem is that those who know the least know it the loudest. They shout down and ridicule anyone who dares to disagree with them in the slightest and a lot of good science never gets published or peer reviewed because someone in power doesn’t like the conclusions.

              1. Which is just what pisses me off the most about this whole debate. I would actually like to know more about how climate changes and how and to what extent humans can affect that. But because of the total politicization of climate science, I have little faith in anything I hear about it on either side.

                1. I would actually like to know more about how climate changes and how and to what extent humans can affect that.

                  I believe that it’s kinda like the economy. It is so complex that it cannot be fully understood, but that doesn’t mean that government can’t find a way to fuck it up.

              2. “That’s a nice research grant you’ve got here. It’d be a shame if something happened to it.”

    2. Reason Headline: “Earth’s Average Temperature Lower Now Than It Was 5,000 Years Ago”

      Bloomberg Headline: “Earth Warmer Than in Most of the Past 11,300 Years”.

  4. warmer, colder, sunnier, snowier, more storms, fewer storms, whatever – it’s ALL AGW. The climatists have become a self-parody.

  5. And we’re guessing what the global temperature was five goddamn thousand years ago? Those tree rings and ice cores are magic.

    1. Rice was domesticated about 5000 years ago.
      Aren’t we told that rice paddies are a huge source of carbon?

      1. So the solution is killing off most of Asia?

  6. Humans will learn to adapt.
    or face extinction.
    or move to another planet.
    I hear Enceladus is nice.

    1. Up until recently it was the natural order of things that humans and other animals best suited for adaptation survived, while those not suited to adaptation perished.

    2. Whatever happens, that’s our journey… man.

  7. I don’t have a problem with people that believe AGW is real and significant.

    I have a big problem with people that want the government to DO SOMETHING (TM) about it.

    Unfortunately, the two sets described above are almost fully overlapping, I fear.

    1. There is no such thing as not DOING SOMETHING. The status quo is not some kind of optimum. Libertarians really need to get this point through their pointy little heads. All the status quo is good for is oil companies.

      And every single science denier bullshit argument is in service of them. They paid for it, they’re getting their return: rampant stupidity.

      1. Of course status quo may not be the optimum. I’m not sure what the “optimum” solution or course of action is right now – if any. But I am pretty confident that the solution that would be implemented by government would NOT be optimum. I find it amusing that you think that those who hold profit as a primary motive for their actions are somehow less noble (and less concerned for the welfare of others) than those whose primary motive for their actions is political ambition.

        Next time, please read carefully. I said that I have a problem with those who want the GOVERNMENT to do something.

        Furthermore, even if AGW does occur and is significant, that does not imply that ANYONE should take action. Perhaps a few degrees increase in global temperature would make the beach more enjoyable in May.

        1. Next time, please read carefully. I said that I have a problem with those who want the GOVERNMENT to do something.

          Tony is a statist. He does not believe anything can happen without government. There is no cooperation without threat of violence. There is no nothing without threat of violence. No one has ever done anything voluntarily in the history of the world. Everything that that anyone does is by threat of violence. Even parenting. If the law didn’t say parents had to take care of their children, every single child would die from neglect. Nothing happens unless government mandates it. Nothing.

        2. Doesn’t it occur to you that the reason you and other libertarians have so much trouble accepting the basic scientific findings of this field might be because the only real solution is massive government action?

          The oil companies have funneled a lot of money into perpetuating anti-science propaganda over the years. That’s the only reason it exists and why people on this thread are so painfully confused. Now not even the oil companies deny human-caused global warming, because they would LOOK LIKE IDIOTS if they continued to do so.

          And forgive me if I don’t trust your self-serving Pollyannishness about global warming. You’re never going to claim that massive government action is needed for anything, because that’s the primary article of faith of your belief system. So libertarians are completely useless for advice on this matter since it’s pretty clear that government action on a global scale is necessary to mitigate the problem.

          1. If business funds the research, it cannot be trusted because they have something to gain.

            Yet you never apply that same reasoning when government funds research.

            1. Government funds a huge proportion of scientific research in this world. Is it all suspect, or just the fields that come up with findings that are inconvenient to your worldview?

              1. Research in general- regardless of funding mechanism- should always be questioned.

                1. Yes, by other researchers. That’s what science is.

                  A platitude about skepticism does not a scientific theory make. Denier claims are just as positive as global warming claims. They just never seem to feel the need to be bothered to provide any evidence (of the massive global conspiracy to enrich Al Gore, or whatever).

                  1. I don’t give a fuck about Al Gore. Anyone bringing Al Gore into this discussion is setting himself up to sound like a complete idiot.

                    Huh, you’re right. You do sound like a complete idiot. Do some research on Gore’s net worth. Carbon credits, speaking engagements, movies, the non-profit… all these things have made him even wealthier than he was before.

                    1. Al Gore did some good by bringing widespread attention to the problem. He is also, predictably, the whipping boy of denier interests and their legion of useful idiots. As if whether Al Gore is a hypocrite is relevant in the slightest to the factual basis of the theory.

                  2. You heard it here folks: If you aren’t specifically a researcher in a field, you can’t question anything that researchers find.

                    Some researcher “finds” that pot increases your chances of dying young? Sorry you’re just an architect so fuck you, drug war is still on.

                    Some researcher “discovers” that blow jobs cause anureisms? Sorry you’re just a stay at home mom, we’ll let you explain it to your husband.

                    Some researcher “discovers” that being gay is a mental disease? Sorry, off to the reeducation center with you.

                    1. But we’re not talking about “some” researcher, we’re talking about “nearly all” subject-matter experts. You don’t think you have to have a pretty good reason to reject their findings? Do you apply this same skepticism to other fields? That can’t be the case, as you believe in all sorts of highly suspect claims about economics.

                    2. Except we AREN’T talking about nearly all you disingenuous fuckwit.

                      And they are only suspect because they don’t produce YOUR desired results.

                      Go pound sand sockpuppet.

                    3. Really, “nearly all” is accurate. That’s not disingenuous at all. Getting angry and calling someone names doesn’t make them wrong.

                    4. Except it’s NOT accurate.

                      Linky (paragraph 7 & 8): http://www.forbes.com/sites/la…..ensus-not/

                    5. Better link: http://www.skepticalscience.co…..ediate.htm

                      It is for real that people who actually study the Earth’s climate agree anthropogenic global warming is a thing that we are living through. You can choose to believe it or not but that does not change whether it is.

                    6. Where are you getting this “nearly all” bullshit?

                      The 97% stat came from a small survey of people who had a vested interest in proving AGW to be true.

                    7. You mean 75 out of 3,000 isn’t 97%? But that’s unpossible!

                    8. It’s the same math they use to “show” that their science is sound.

                      Step 1: collect all the data.
                      Step 2: throw out any data that disagrees
                      Step 3:???
                      Step 4: PROFIT!

            2. The consensus is settled sarc, and that’s all that anybody needs to know.

              1. Where are you getting this “nearly all” bullshit?

                Dude, all the credible scientists agree that human activity is causing climate changes, because to be considered credible you must believe human activity is causing climate change!

                Circular reasoning for the win!

          2. The reason I do not blindly trust published science has nothing to do with my being a libertarian and everything to do with me being a scientist. As a journal editor I have seen way too much shady science published.

          3. No, because there isn’t a “real” solution.

        3. Don’t get in the way of Tony bitching about the libertarians in his head. It’s the only thing he knows how to do well. Well, besides being a complete partisan hack sockpuppet.

          1. Agreed. He likes bitching about other people using talking points while he himself is simply regurgitating talking points.

  8. Hey, what’s that they don’t mention in the record? The Medieval Warming Period? I wonder why.

  9. Climate change hysteria has been occurring on an almost predictable cycle for at least the last 100 years. Before this current one the last one I had personally witnessed was as a younger man during the early 1970s. It was let all panic over the certain imminent ice age we were going to suffer that time. Fortunately, there were no badly flawed computer models and pseudoscientific environmentalist religion to fan the flames the last time.

    People, the climate changes, it always has, and if it ever stops changing that would be unusual.

    1. I, too, remember watching films (on actual film reels) in science class about Global Cooling. They were CERTAIN that pollution was going to plunge us into another ice age. I remember fearing that we’d all have to move south because they told us that our area would be under a glacier within a few decades.

      And then, a few decades later, GLOBAL WARMING!!!!!! But this time, they’re really truly totally for real certain that we’re all gonna drown or be burnt to a crisp.

    2. Global Cooling has been sent down the memory hole.

      1. No, it’s right here: http://www.skepticalscience.co…..-1970s.htm

          1. That link shows that the media latched on to the idea of another ice age (not even the right terminology since we are and were in an ice age). It tells you nothing about what the science said at the time. Do you get your science reporting from Time or your local newspaper? If so, that would explain a lot.

    3. It always changes–on timescales much longer than current observed warming.

      Nothing you’re saying changes the fact that there is clear evidence that rapid warming has occurred and nothing can explain it except human greenhouse gas emissions.

      Why this should be so difficult to accept is utterly baffling. It’s basic physics.

      As a good liberal all I can say is I pity you for being victimized by propagandists. But there is a very simple remedy: wherever you go to read up on current science in any other field, go find out what current science is on this topic. You have no reason to reject current science on this topic exclusively except personal bias.

      1. Tony, I used to work for Al Gore and his Green Minions. Let me tell you first hand, they’re all full of shit.

        And I HAVE read the scientific papers on AGW. The IPCC reports are horrifically cherry picked and they tend to change the data from year to year to better suit their pre-drawn conclusions.

        1. I don’t give a fuck about Al Gore. Anyone bringing Al Gore into this discussion is setting himself up to sound like a complete idiot.

          So you’re saying there is no warming, or that decades of greenhouse gas emissions magically traps no heat, or what?

          1. I’m saying that the science is FAR from “settled”. Your assertion that “there is clear evidence that rapid warming has occurred and nothing can explain it except human greenhouse gas emissions.” is far from reality.

            I read a few studies from NASA and CERN that suggested that maybe, just maybe, there were other factors to consider. Especially since all the IPCC computer models have been horrendously inaccurate in predicting climate change. These studies were both ridiculed as “junk” science and merely “opinion”.

            1. You don’t know what you’re talking about. You seem to think I’m unaware of bullshit denier talking points.

              Why do I have to be up to speed on current science and bullshit denier talking points, but you need merely be 5 years behind on the latter?

              1. I do, in fact, know what I’m talking about. I’m sure you’ve been assured by the media and the IPCC that there is “overwhelming” proof, but have you ever read it? Have YOU, tony, ever actually read any of the studies and examined the evidence for yourself?

                I have. Inconsistencies are “smoothed out”, data is “adjusted”, and skeptics are blacklisted.

                1. Then why are you regurgitating nonsense about “Climategate,” which was nothing but cherry-picked quotes from emails long exposed as a propaganda effort by denier interests?

                  1. Climategate… climategate… yeah, I never said shit about climategate.

                    Seriously, Tony. Do you actually read the other comments or do you just start spouting whatever retarded shit you’ve been fed?

                2. But itsnotmeitsyou, you can’t possibly know. The great and powerful Tony has spoken, so fuck all your knowledge and actual real world experience and all your reading the actual studies.

                  1. All his knowledge that doesn’t seem to consist of understanding why the adjustments he objects to were made–which were for perfectly legitimate reasons and are only talked about among people who’ve cherry picked quotes in service of a denier agenda.

                    1. Well, Tony… Where’s YOUR proof. The burden of proof is on those who make the claim. You keep bitching about me not providing any proof and yet you yourself have yet to provide a shred of evidence.

                    2. Up next: Tony tells people to find the evidence themselves or completely disappears.

                    3. Ah yes, citing “evidence” that is provided by people who have a vested interest in keeping the alarmism alive and well.

                      Also, there’s plenty of evidence that the climate is changing, but still none that proves it’s anthropogenic. Simply interpretations of an extremely complex system that is no where near fully understood.

                    4. So you’re just going to reject any source I provide you, no matter how reliable? So why bother asking?

                    5. There seems to be so much cherry picking going on in AGW discussions. All I want to know is can I get some of those cherries, there must be tons by now. Delicious.

  10. 5000 years ago beer was developed.

    1. Yeast produces CO2 when it makes alcohol!
      Beer is the cause of global warming! Cooling! Climate change!

      1. @ sarc

        Good, let’s all make more beer.

        BEER = GOOD

        COLD = Only good for BEER

        1. Careful. If it gets too warm then we’ll only be able to make ales.

    2. And beer gave birth to civilization. That’s my theory, and I’m sticking to it.

      1. Actually, lots of archeologists think that now.

        They use to say bread, but, really, who would settle down for bread?

        1. Well, seems likely that the two were probably related discoveries. Beer is pretty much watered down bread.

          1. Chemically speaking, that’s true. But I can’t ever recall a time that bread got me laid… just sayin

            1. Bake some nice fresh bread for a woman and I bet your odds of getting laid will increase.

              1. I’m married to a baker. If I tried to seduce her by making bread she’d just laugh at my feeble attempts.

            2. Start trying to pick up partners in famine areas. Bread will work.

              1. Start trying to pick up partners in famine areas.

                Skinny chicks? I’m there!

              2. “Hey baby, I got a loaf of bread right here in my pocket”

            3. Bringing the bread home?

  11. But before drawing in a sigh of relief about the future of global warming, the researchers also point out that the rapid warming over the last century has essentially cancelled out 2,000 years of gradual cooling.

    So please keep the grants coming!

  12. Wooly mammoth gas. After they caused the first global warming apocalypse, they died off, and the climate cooled. Now it’s us foolish humans and our SUVs.

    The only solution is a huge reduction in human population. I call on all progressives to kill themself, now.

    1. They’re selfish if they don’t.

  13. as Gladys replied I didnt know that a person can earn $9385 in a few weeks on the internet. have you seen this site and go to home tab…

  14. Ron you often take the time to reply to me. From what I can tell every single post other than mine on this thread, and many others, is science denial and denial of the facts you accept and relay in your posts. Why no engagement? If you said they’re beneath you then I would accept that, but I can’t help but get the overall impression of a tacit strategic ceasefire.

    1. The Koch brothers have probably sent him bags of money to keep quiet, so as to more effectively expand the vast libertarian conspiracy.

      1. Oh no, there’s only a conspiracy among all the world’s major scientific bodies to blah blah evil government blah. People who directly profit from polluting industries and their well-known financial connections to libertarian publications and global warming denierism? Nahhh, that’s nuts.

      2. Yeah, that libertarian conspiracy to imposes liberty on the masses! I mean, to impose liberty, tyrannical libertarians would have to use force against those who currently use force! And after they were done people would be able to live freely without having to ask permission or take orders, as long as they did not interfere with the life, liberty or property of other people! Can you imagine! The horror! Nobody out there forcing people to pay charity or be kidnapped! No one out there making one person pay for another person’s health care or be kidnapped! Tyranny! Libertarians are tyrants!

        1. I don’t care how good your intentions are if you are incapable of challenging your preconceptions in light of new evidence, or accepting any scientific fact that might have implications you don’t like.

          The status quo is the biggest imposition of all, and it’s precisely what you’re arguing for. So spare me your claims of do-gooderism by do-nothingism. It’s horseshit. Keeping things the way they are is the most radical possible move.

          1. I don’t care how good your intentions are if you are incapable of challenging your preconceptions in light of new evidence, or accepting any scientific fact that might have implications you don’t like.

            THE IRONY!!!!!

            1. It burns.

            2. Name one scientific fact I reject because of politics.

              1. You have proved over and over that you lack any problem solving skills, and here is yet another example.

                Do greenhouse gases trap heat? Sure. I won’t dispute that.

                However are greenhouse gases the only variable in the equation? No. They are not.

                The input from the sun is not constant. It varies. As does the tilt of the planet.
                Clouds reflect sunlight back, keeping it from adding heat. But cloud cover is not constant either.
                Oceans act as heat sinks. Plants consume CO2. The other variables go on and on.

                The problem is that the other variables cannot be easily modeled. So they are ignored. That right there sets off my bullshit detector.

                Greenhouse gases are the only variable in these computer models. They treat everything else as constant. So of course the models will show rises in temperature. They must. That’s just how math works.

                The real question is: how much of an effect do greenhouse gasses have relative to other variables. The effects could be greater than the other variables, or they could be negligible.

                I don’t expect you to understand this, since you are a complete moron bereft of any problem solving skills. But I’ll put it out there anyway.

                1. So you, a guy whose main mode of argument is to call interlocutors poopyheads, are qualified to have a “bullshit detector” on this field of study?

                  The entire upshot of climate science is that no other factor explains the warming than human activity. This has been studied extensively.

                  And causation is only part of the issue. Even if humans didn’t cause it, it’s still the most rapid warming leading to the highest average global temperatures in all of human history. So it’s a problem regardless of what’s responsible. Except it’s a proven fact that humans are responsible.

    2. You commented on my post above, so you know full well that not everyone here is an AGW denier. I don’t believe I have enough expertise in climate science to draw a conclusion regarding AGW, so I take no position on the issue. However, as I responded above, I DO take issue with those who insist the government take action in response to AGW. At this point, it doesn’t appear to be any more of a pressing problem than a ‘fiscal cliff’.

      Furthermore, people have good reason to be hesitant to accept scientific consensus on AGW and most any topic.

      1. No they don’t, not unless they are subject-matter experts themselves, in which case they should go get published and win their Nobel Prize for disproving fundamental aspects of thermodynamics. Otherwise the BEST facts they have access to are what come out of the scientific consensus.

        You have to see that a libertarian who is naturally predisposed to being against government action is quite likely to be the most biased of all on this topic, considering that the probable solution will be the biggest concerted government action the world has ever known. I’m not denying that. And I’m not saying it’s good that it has to be done. But whether AGW is a “pressing problem” isn’t really a matter of opinion.

        1. You’re right, it’s not a matter of opinion. As a matter of FACT, none of the horrible horrible things that AGW alarmist have predicted have come true. By this time, we were supposed to have irreversible damage to all the shorelines and temperatures much much higher than are actually recorded.

          While I was working in the climate change industry, I was part of a computer modelling program that was supposed to be the most advanced climate model ever. They ran tests with actual known historic data and ran it up to present to compare the results with the documented facts. Guess what, they didn’t match and the whole project was scrapped.

          1. Shhh, your facts get in the way of his narrative.

          2. CO2 emissions are closer to the worst-case scenario of predictions. Sea level is rising faster than the IPCC predicted. Every arctic summer, sea ice melts faster than the predictions of the most recent IPCC report.

            There are measurable things happening now, and they’re all showing that predictions were, if anything, too rosy.

            1. Ok, let me be clear.

              I’m not disputing that the climate is changing. What I AM disputing is that it is human’s fault. As of yet, I haven’t seen any studies or predictions that can accurately predict the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.

              It’s called science. If your predictions don’t match the data, your predictions are wrong. Going back to adjust the data retroactively because it doesn’t match your predictions is the exact opposite of science.

            2. So what makes you think that anything can or will be done about it? Even if all the rich countries in the world stop burning shit for energy (which is just not going to happen any time soon), how are you going to stop China and India and all of the rest of the developing world from using all of the fossil fuels they can afford?

              1. China and India are ahead of the US on converting to renewable energy. And even if they weren’t, that would seem to indicate that we would need to take even more radical action. “They’re not helping the problem, so let’s not help even more” is what kind of argument?

        2. Tony, you seem to ignore all of the libertarians who are pretty willing to accept that human activity has effects on the climate. I have concerns about the politicization of science and confirmation bias, but I’m not going to say it’s all made up.

          But you seem to think that not only should everyone accept the generally accepted wisdom on climate change, but also that radical action needs to be taken to correct it. It is perfectly reasonable to accept the science, but to think that the cure is perhaps worse than the disease.

          1. One wonders why the people that want radical action don’t stop driving or living in their houses/apartments (you know those things that produce more evil C02 than a car) or take the most radical action of all and kill themselves. After all it’s for the good of the planet.

        3. Tony, as someone whose area of research includes theoretical non-equilibrium thermodynamics, I would really enjoy hearing you tell me which fundamental aspects of thermodynamics would be disproved if AGW were insignificant.

  15. Which is to say, whatever differences may exist between libertarians and liberals, the gap between rationality and science denial is a much more important one, and much more important to call out. Not everything on earth boils down to evil government getting in your business. Sometimes you have to pay attention to much more basic intellectual concerns.

  16. From the Science article: “The Earth’s climate is complex and responds to multiple forcings, including CO2 and solar insolation,” Marcott said. “Both of those changed very slowly over the past 11,000 years. But in the last 100 years, the increase in CO2 through increased emissions from human activities has been significant. It is the only variable that can best explain the rapid increase in global temperatures.”

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