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NASA: Evidence of Human Caused Climate Change #1

Posted on: July 26, 2018







Source Document: Global Climate Change  

CLAIM: Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal according to the IPCC. The current warming trend is of particular significance because most of it is extremely likely (greater than 95 percent probability) to be the result of human activity since the mid-20th century and proceeding at a rate that is unprecedented over decades to millennia. [Source: IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, Summary for Policymakers, B.D. Santer, “A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere,” Nature vol 382, 4 July 1996, 39-46, Gabriele C. Hegerl, “Detecting Greenhouse-Gas-Induced Climate Change with an Optimal Fingerprint Method,” Journal of Climate, v. 9, October 1996, 2281-2306, V. Ramaswamy, “Anthropogenic and Natural Influences in the Evolution of Lower Stratospheric Cooling,” Science 311 (24 February 2006), 1138-1141, B.D. Santer, “Contributions of Anthropogenic and Natural Forcing to Recent Tropopause Height Changes,” Science vol. 301 (25 July 2003), 479-483.]


  1. The IPCC opinion that warming is the “result of human activity since the mid-20th century” is inconsistent with the generally accepted theory of global warming which states that human caused global warming began with the Industrial Revolution which started long before 1950. It is variously dated by climate science as somewhere between 1800 and 1900 (Ruddiman, William. “The anthropogenic greenhouse era began thousands of years ago.” Climatic change, 2003), (Steffen, Will “The Anthropocene: conceptual and historical perspectives.” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, 2011), (Abram, Nerilie J., “Early onset of industrial-era warming across the oceans and continents.” Nature (2016). Abrams (2016) states that they use palaeoclimate records to show that “sustained industrial-era warming of the tropical oceans first developed during the mid-nineteenth century and was nearly synchronous with Northern Hemisphere continental warming”.
  2. The IPCC AR5 states that “The globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature data as calculated by a linear trend, show a warming of 0.85 [0.65 to 1.06]C over the period 1880 to 2012, when multiple independently produced datasets exist” but then adds that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased“. It appears that NASA climate scientists have misread the relevant IPCC AR5 sentence to mean that human caused global warming began in 1950. The NASA interpretation that the “mid 20th century” was the beginning of “unequivocal anthropogenic global warming confuses the AGW issue presented by climate science. It could mean that the theory is not “unequivocal” in the period prior to 1950 or perhaps that climate science is a construct created by unprofessional people not guided by generally accepted scientific methods.
  3. Regarding the IPCC AR5 sentence: “The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased”, it should be noted that it implies that these similar changes imply correlation and therefore causation. This interpretation contains serious statistical errors as described in the post on SPURIOUS CORRELATIONS IN CLIMATE SCIENCE.
  4. Both Santer and Hegerl (details below) show a statistically significant relationship between fossil fuel emissions and warming by demonstrating that the observed warming is more likely in a world with fossil fuel emissions than in a world without such emissions. This evaluation was made with the use of climate models. Climate models are computer programs that are programmed to behave according to the theory to be tested containing both the greenhouse effect of carbon dioxide and the positive relationship between emissions and increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration. Therefore these these tests are statements about what the theory predicts and not empirical tests of theory. That climate science would present such computer results as tests of theory does not provide evidence to support the theory of anthropogenic global warming but rather disturbing evidence that climate scientists may not have been fully trained in the scientific method in which the independence of the empirical test of theory from the theory is critically important.
  5. Santer, Benjamin D., et al. “A search for human influences on the thermal structure of the atmosphere.” Nature 382.6586 (1996) says that “The observed spatial patterns of temperature change in the free atmosphere from 1963 to 1987 are similar to those predicted by state-of-the-art climate models incorporating various combinations of changes in carbon dioxide, anthropogenic sulphate aerosol and stratospheric ozone concentrations. The degree of pattern similarity between models and observations increases through this period. It is likely that this trend is partially due to human activities, although many uncertainties remain, particularly relating to estimates of natural variability.”
  6. Hegerl, Gabriele “Detecting greenhouse-gas-induced climate change with an optimal fingerprint method.” Journal of Climate 9.10 (1996) says that “A strategy using statistically optimal fingerprints to detect anthropogenic climate change is outlined and applied to near-surface temperature trends. The components of this strategy include observations, information about natural climate variability, and a “guess pattern” representing the expected time–space pattern of anthropogenic climate change. The expected anthropogenic climate change is identified through projection of the observations onto an appropriate optimal fingerprint, yielding a scalar-detection variable. The statistically optimal fingerprint is obtained by weighting the components of the guess pattern (truncated to some small-dimensional space) toward low-noise directions. The null hypothesis that the observed climate change is part of natural climate variability is then tested. This strategy is applied to detecting a greenhouse-gas-induced climate change in the spatial pattern of near-surface temperature trends defined for time intervals of 15–30 years. The expected pattern of climate change is derived from a transient simulation with a coupled ocean-atmosphere general circulation model. Global gridded near-surface temperature observations are used to represent the observed climate change. Information on the natural variability needed to establish the statistics of the detection variable is extracted from long control simulations of coupled ocean-atmosphere models and, additionally, from the observations themselves (from which an estimated greenhouse warming signal has been removed). While the model control simulations contain only variability caused by the internal dynamics of the atmosphere-ocean system, the observations additionally contain the response to various external forcings (e.g., volcanic eruptions, changes in solar radiation, and residual anthropogenic forcing). The resulting estimate of climate noise has large uncertainties but is qualitatively the best the authors can presently offer”. The authors conclude that “t is concluded that a statistically significant externally induced warming has been observed, but our caveat that the estimate of the internal climate variability is still uncertain is emphasized”.



The Greenhouse Effect of Atmospheric CO2

ECS: Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

Climate Sensitivity Research: 2014-2018

TCR: Transient Climate Response

Peer Review of Climate Research: A Case Study

Spurious Correlations in Climate Science

Antarctic Sea Ice: 1979-2018

Arctic Sea Ice 1979-2018

Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice: A Bibliography

Global Warming and Arctic Sea Ice: A Bibliography

Carbon Cycle Measurement Problems Solved with Circular Reasoning

NASA Evidence of Human Caused Climate Change

Event Attribution Science: A Case Study

Event Attribution Case Study Citations

Global Warming Trends in Daily Station Data

History of the Global Warming Scare

The dearth of scientific knowledge only adds to the alarm

Nonlinear Dynamics: Is Climate Chaotic?

The Anthropocene

Eco-Fearology in the Anthropocene

Carl Wunsch Assessment of Climate Science: 2010

Gerald Marsh, A Theory of Ice Ages

History of the Ozone Depletion Scare

Empirical Test of Ozone Depletion

Ozone Depletion Chemistry

Brewer-Dobson Circulation Bibliography

Elevated CO2 and Crop Chemistry

Little Ice Age Climatology: A Bibliography

Sorcery Killings, Witch Hunts, & Climate Action

Climate Impact of the Kuwait Oil Fires: A Bibliography

Noctilucent Clouds: A Bibliography

Climate Change Denial Research: 2001-2018

Climate Change Impacts Research

Tidal Cycles: A Bibliography

6 Responses to "NASA: Evidence of Human Caused Climate Change #1"

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