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Why the Global Warming Contrarians Are Wrong

Mark Twain once said, or at least is supposed to have said: “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes.” The climate change contrarian blogosphere that has recently emerged is rather like that. Every month, there is some new argument being passed around that “disproves” global warming or the integrity of climate science in general, and it is amplified in blogs and opinion columns worldwide. These global-warming-disproved memes have had something of a revival in recent years, which is ironic considering that the scientific evidence has moved in the opposite direction: the evidence for global warming is now stronger, and more alarming, than ever.

Thus in 2010 I wrote a series of posts debunking the contrarian arguments:

Part 1: Tracking Temperatures – discusses whether the global temperature has increased (short answer: yes)

Part 1.1: Amateur Temperature Records – discusses whether amateurs have been able to reconstruct global temperature records (short answer: yes)

Part 2: 1998, El Niño, and Ocean Heat Content – discusses whether global temperature has recently stopped increasing (short answer: probably not)

Part 2.1: Cooling Trend or Noise? – discusses whether short-term trends are meaningful (short answer: no)

Part 3: Hiding the Decline of Ice – discusses whether ice is declining around the world (short answer: yes)

Part 4: Back to Basics – discusses, among other things, whether CO2 is an important greenhouse gas (short answer: yes)

Part 5: Counting Carbon – discusses whether humans are raising CO2 levels (short answer: yes)

Part 6: Global Cooling in the Mid-20th Century – discusses what caused the mid-20th-century plateau in global temperature (short answer: we did)

Part 7: State of the Climate – discusses whether there is broad empirical evidence of global warming (short answer: stacks of it)

For a much more comprehensive set of rebuttals to global warming contrarian arguments, see John Cook’s excellent site Skeptical Science, to which I transferred my debunking efforts.

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