Inadequate proof that global warming is bunk

Given that lack of any real temperature record breakers since 1998 (technically that is not true, 2005 was slightly hotter, and we just emerged from the hottest decade on record), it isn’t surprising that deniers who don’t understand the science have repeatedly made claims that the past decade somehow invalidates global warming. Or that global warming stopped in 1998.

Bart over at Our Changing Climate explains why this line of reasoning is as foolish as claiming that birds disprove the theory of gravity:

  1. According to AGW, CO2 controls the climate.
  2. For the past 10 years, global temperature remained more or less steady whereas CO2 levels went up.
  3. AGW theory is wrong.

Voila, problem solved. If only it were that simple…

What’s wrong with these arguments? They sound so logical at first sight.

  1. The theory to be falsified has been oversimplified. (… there are more factors influencing climate than only CO2).
  2. The observation has been oversimplified. (… the expected trend in temperature does not necessarily rise above the expected level of yearly variability over the course of a decade).
  3. Therefore the conclusion does not hold.

For a more detailed debunking see here.

The takeaway point, is that if one wishes to disprove a scientific theory, one needs to perform adequate tests of the theory. And the only way to determine which tests are adequate is to understand the science behind the theory.

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