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Debunking Denialist Arguments Against AGW Science

Scientists have been documenting the gradual warming of Earth's climate for decades — compiling temperature records for thousands of ground locations worldwide; scanning the planet with satellite-borne sensors; monitoring the concentration of carbon dioxide and other components of the atmosphere.

Despite this extensive documentation of the scientific basis for global warming, the reality of the phenomenon has been vigorously debated for twenty years now. The documentation is very accessible: Articles debunking the FACs (frequently advanced counterarguments) can be found on the Web sites of The Climate Institute, Britain's Royal Society, and many others. (The list of references below is a good start.) These sources explain the shortcomings of those counterarguments in detail. To borrow a phrase, The Truth Is Out There. So why does the world need yet another site debunking the denial of global warming?

Because, for a segment of the population, that truth is not sinking in. Because, for whatever reason, that vocal minority still advances their faulty arguments on the Web, in books and newspaper articles, and in television "documentaries". Because the illogical, self-contradictory nature of those arguments is not being widely recognized by the public or by the mainstream media. Because some people, even some scientists, are still basing their denials on mere assertion. And because I think that the more places people can find clear explanations of the problem, the better.

In this discussion, I go for clarity over scientific terminology. True, much scientific work was required to piece together the picture of climate we have today, and scientific terminology is required for full understanding. But the broad outlines of the picture are clear, and you don't need a Ph.D. to understand them. They give us cause for concern — not for alarm, not for urgent action. Yet how much closer to the time when urgent action might be required have twenty years of needless delay brought us? We cannot know precisely, just as we cannot know precisely how much sea level will rise by the end of the century. But we know it will rise, and is likely to rise enough to affect many low-lying facilities.

That is why we must begin to act. We don't need a crash program. We do need a program. Twenty years of denial have not changed the facts: Global warming is real. Twenty years of stubborn resistance to government action have not led us to a time when combatting climate change has been shown to be unnecessary, either because it stopped happening on its own, or because voluntary efforts gave us solutions.

The barriers to understanding must be dismantled. In hopes of aiding their dismantling, I debunk here the arguments commonly used against global warming (more specifically, against Anthropogenic Global Warming, or AGW — the idea that the warming of the globe, which few deny, is caused by human activities.) These are not the only objections raised, but they are the most commonly heard.

The Arguments

  1. There is no such thing as a global mean temperature.
  2. Global warming ended in 1998.
  3. Global warming theory says the stratosphere should be warming, but satellite observations show it's cooling.
  4. CO2 cannot affect the temperature much, since water vapor is a much more potent GHG.
  5. Computer models of climate are worthless because they cannot predict conditions 20 or 50 years into the future.
  6. The Vostok ice core analysis shows CO2 rise lags temperature rise by 800 years. Therefore CO2 does not cause temperature to rise.
  7. The CO2 increase comes from the oceans.
  8. Mars and Pluto are warming too. Therefore global warming must be due to the sun's increased output.
  9. Sure we're warming; we're coming out of the Little Ice Age.
  10. Volcanoes belch out more CO2 than human activities could ever produce.
  11. Antarctica is cooling, so the globe cannot be warming.
  12. The temperature rise is an illusion caused by placing all the monitoring stations in or near cities.

Click the large number in each table below to jump to references on its topic.

1. What they say There is no way to tell if the Earth is getting warmer, since it has no mean temperature. Because the Earth is a dynamic, non-homogeneous system, the concept of a mean global temperature is physically meaningless.
What it means What this really means is that the Earth as a whole does not have a single temperature. Some parts are hot, some parts are cold; and the temperatures of all parts are constantly changing. But the same is true — within narrower limits — for any local area of our planet, for every room in your house or, in fact, for most everyday objects.
Why it's wrong

This fact doesn't make the local weather forecast undependable. It doesn't stop the thermostat on the wall of your living room from keeping the room at a pleasant temperature. Nor will food spoil at random places in your refrigerator, while the same food stays fresh in other places, as long as the fridge is working properly.

But your fridge needs to remove the heat that keeps leaking in from outside. It does this with a radiator, usually on the back, sometimes on the bottom. If that gets choked up with dust-bunnies, it doesn't remove heat as fast. Then, the inside of the fridge warms up. Your food might spoil.

It's the same with Earth. When something cuts down the flow of heat out into space, but sunlight doesn't change, every part of the planet slowly gets warmer. The parts don't see the same temperature rise. Nights are still cooler than days; winter cooler than summer. This autumn might be cooler than last autumn. But, over longer time periods, the temperatures trend upwards — just as we measure them doing now.

2. What they say Surface temperature measurements show the hottest year was 1998. Since then there has been a cooling trend.
What it means This goes to the very essence of climate variability, and involves the idea of greenhouse gases as equivalent to a goose-down quilt.
Why it's wrong

Plots of changes in temperature since a baseline year (what's called "temperature anomaly") differ on this. Plots from Britain's Hadley Centre show 1998 hottest, because they omit measurements from the Arctic, which has warmed fastest. The plots from NASA's GISS, which do include the Arctic, show 2005 as the hottest year.

A complicating factor is the roughly 30-year El Niño/La Niña cycle. El Niño made 1998 hotter; then a La Niña cooling phase kicked in, sucking heat from North America's land surface. The heat removed from the land went into the sea. The total heat content of the planet is still rising, but measurements on land don't always reveal this.

The important thing to note is the long-term temperature trend, which is still upward.

3. What they say Global warming theory says the stratosphere should be warming, but satellite observations show it's cooling.
What it means It's a restatement of the simplistic view that global warming means the temperatures of all points on the planet, including the upper atmosphere, should be steadily rising.
Why it's wrong

Think of it this way: You walk outside in your shirtsleeves into cold conditions like those found in February at International Falls, North Dakota. You will feel like you're freezing, and you'll be right. But to a camera that records your infra-red emissions, as the sensors on satellites do, you'd look very warm indeed.

But if a friend runs up and hands you an overcoat, and you put it on, you'd suddenly look a lot colder to the distant IR sensor. The outside of the heavy coat would indeed be colder. Despite that, you would be retaining body heat a lot better. Your skin would get warmer.

This is exactly how the greenhouse effect operates. The total heat energy held in Earth's climate system goes up, while the heat it radiates into space goes down. This is just what we've observed since 1978.

Another factor is the immense heat capacity of the oceans. If they absorb heat from land areas, the temperature of those areas could go down even though the total heat held by the planet goes up.

Also notice how this, like any claim that the Earth as a whole is warming or cooling, contradicts the first argument.

4. What they say Carbon dioxide cannot affect the temperature much, since water vapor is a much more potent, and more common, greenhouse gas.
What it means It is true that water vapor is much more common in the atmosphere that CO2, and is also better at trapping IR energy. But water vapor concentration is essentially constant over time, unless some other force changes the temperature equilibrium. If that other force boosts the temperature, the atmosphere holds more water vapor. This is a positive feedback effect: the extra water vapor causes an even greater warming.
Why it's wrong

During most of the last 10,000 years, the concentration of CO2 was also essentially constant. But once CO2 began to rise with industrial activity, it too became a positive feedback effect.

The atmosphere now holds 40 percent more CO2 than it did before the start of the industrial revolution. Temperatures have been rising in concert — not smoothly and continuously, but always trending upwards.

5. What they say Computer models are unreliable because they cannot even predict the past behavior of the climate, much less its behavior 100 years in the future.
What it means This generally translates into, "Last year's model predicted a 7° rise by the end of the century. Now, the current model says it will be 3.5°. Modeling that uncertain is obviously useless." (These temperature values are merely illustrative.)
Why it's wrong

Computer models do not spring full-grown from the forehead of Zeus. Like most other large-scale software, they are developed incrementally, their performance is continually tested against reality, and the modelers improve their fidelity by incorporating new physical phenomena (e.g. the effects of clouds and aerosols.) But because mainstream scientists cannot precisely predict the state of climate in any future year (e.g. 2100), Denialists are able to sow doubt about their entire story of rising seas and other hazards.

It also reflects a serious misunderstanding of scientific uncertainty. Scientists know their knowledge is limited. This is why they present a range of results, and often qualify it by describing the assumptions that underlie their work. In a world where trust demands a simple answer delivered with absolute confidence, reliable scientific results may seem untrustworthy. But science is inherently uncertain; that is its strength. Therefore, generally, the scientist one should mistrust is the dogmatic one.

Another point worth noting is that if it's impossible to predict future climate, things might change less than the scientists say they will (as many deniers assume.) But equally likely is the prospect that they might change even more, with correspondingly more drastic impacts.

Finally, despite all these qualifications, the latest computer models track the past fairly well, and James Hansen's 1988 GISS model closely matches the actual temperature of the subsequent 20 years.

6. What they say The Vostok ice core analysis shows CO2 rise lags temperature rise by 800 years. Therefore CO2 does not cause temperature to rise.
What it means That lag is real. But, by itself, it is not enough to disprove the idea that excess CO2 can warm the planet.
Why it's wrong

CO2 may not be the triggering event, but once warming begins, CO2 sinks turn into sources. So it's plausible that the CO2 released by a small temperature spike (due to changes in Earth's orientation or distance to the Sun) acts to amplify that spike, leading ultimately to the release of massive amounts of CO2 trapped in soils, permafrost, and ocean waters.

This also seems to be the reason that cooling takes so much longer than warming. Once released, the CO2 stays in the atmosphere for hundreds or thousands of years.

7. What they say Oceans release CO2 as their temperature rises. This is the source of the increasing CO2 concentration we have seen in the past few decades.
What it means It's another variation on the theme that current climate change is natural and thus cannot be prevented.
Why it's wrong

It is true that, as they warm up, CO2 sinks turn into sources. So it's plausible that the oceans, as well as soils and permafrost, could be releasing CO2. However, four lines of evidence show that this is not happening.

First, the oceans are gaining CO2, not losing it. This is measured by direct sampling, and is also the reason why ocean acidification is becoming a concern.

Second, getting the twentieth century's increase in CO2 concentration from the oceans would take a temperature rise of 5°C (9°F) over that period. That is 8.3 times the rise we measure.

Third, carbon isotope ratios of the CO2 are shifting toward those of fossil fuels. Carbon-14 is constantly replenished in Earth's atmosphere by cosmic rays, so CO2 above ground has a fixed percentage of this radioactive carbon isotope. Fossil fuels, however, have been buried long enough that most of their C-14 has decayed away. Of the two stable carbon isotopes, C-12 and C-13, plants prefer the lighter C-12 over C-13, so plant CO2 has less C-13 than the atmosphere. Thus, as more fossil fuels are burned, both ratios (C-13/C-12 and C-14/C-12) go down.

Fourth, oxygen leaves the atmosphere at a rate consistent with the fuel combustion.

8. What they say Mars and Pluto are warming too. Therefore, the Sun's increased output must be responsible for global warming.
What it means Since there is no industrial activity on other planets of our solar system, the fact that their surfaces are getting warmer proves human activity is not causing global warming. And because Mars and Pluto are now receding from the Sun, it can only mean that the Sun is getting brighter.
Why it's wrong

Even though we now have spot coverage of a few places on the surface of Mars, and can measure temperature accurately at those places, we are far from being able to measure general warming on its surface. Distant Pluto is even harder to measure. We do have indications, based on monitoring the IR light they emit, that both planets have warmed since we began to examine them.

However, our satellites don't measure increased solar output. All satellite measurements of the Sun since 1978 (as long as we've had satellites to do that) find a slight decrease in its output. So there must be some other cause for this warming. Dust storms may account for Mars' warming. As for Pluto, the explanation seems to be that methane was vaporized at its closest approach to the Sun in 1989 and has since been acting as a thermal blanket. Yes, it looks like Pluto is in the grip of greenhouse gas.

And forgive me for beating a dead horse, but if Earth has no mean temperature, Mars and Pluto cannot either.

9. What they say Sure we're warming. We're coming out of the Little Ice Age.
What it means The Little Ice Age was a long period of cooling that is often dated to span the 16th through 19th centuries. It is well documented in Europe, but evidence that it affected the rest of the globe is fragmentary. It is certainly a natural phenomenon, and its long duration suggests that the natural warming trend may be continuing.
Why it's wrong

This is actually the most plausible objection to AGW. However, it is not conclusive; global data for the period are too fragmentary. Most important, the globe's temperature during the last fifty years has risen faster than previously, and the rate of increase is itself increasing. And that rise tracks the concentration of CO2; both appear to be rising exponentially.

10. What they say Volcanoes belch out more CO2 than human activities could ever produce.
What it means This is another stab at saying that human activities have a negligible effect on climate.
Why it's wrong

Studies have shown that human activities produce over 100 times as much CO2 every year as volcanoes do.

Even absent those studies, if CO2 from a recent volcanic eruption affected temperatures worldwide, there should be a spike in the CO2 concentration around that time. Instead, the measurements show a fairly smooth upward curve.

And another thing. If it were true, we should see a spike in temperature, at least locally, with each eruption, like Mount Saint Helens in 1980 or Mount Pinatubo in 1991. Instead, we see the opposite because the dust and sulfur compounds expelled by the eruption make more clouds, causing a temporary cooling.

11. What they say Scientists measure the entire continent of Antarctica as cooling, so Earth as a whole cannot be getting warmer. (A similar argument has been applied to Greenland.)
What it means In both cases, this greatly oversimplifies a complicated situation.
Why it's wrong

Basically, the situation is that parts of Antarctica are cooling and other parts are warming. There are few monitoring stations on the ice-covered continent, and most of these are on the coasts. Even so, the temperature records go back only a few decades. But it is clear that the West Antarctic Peninsula has warmed by several degrees. So, while the interior does appear to be cooling, the blanket statement that the entire continent is cooling is false.

There is a permanent circular wind pattern surrounding Antarctica. This carries air warmed by the oceans across the West Antarctic Peninsula, but blocks it from the interior. Scientists think that the "ozone hole" — caused by CFCs — contributes to the cooling of the interior. So one effect of civilization may be partly compensating for another. But if this is true, the cooling of Antarctica's interior should stop as the ozone hole closes.

The main thing to take away is that even if all of Antarctica were cooling, it would say nothing about the planet as a whole. A related point is the increased snowfall observed in the interior. This fits with the predictions of global warming theory. More water evaporates from warmer oceans. When that extra water vapor hits the cold near the poles, it freezes, leading to more snowfall. This is true in Greenland's interior too. Still, measurements indicate both land masses are losing more ice than they are gaining.

12. What they say The global temperature rise is an illusion caused by placing all the monitoring stations in or near cities.
What it means This is tantamount to calling every mainstream climate scientist incompetent. Even after all these years, they still haven't realized that cities are hotter than the surrounding countryside and moved their monitoring stations.
Why it's wrong

What happens is that cities, with their large areas of asphalt and concrete, absorb the Sun's heat during the day and release it at night, causing islands of unusual warmth. This is known as the Urban Heat Island Effect (UHIE). Since most temperature-measuring stations are located in or near cities, according to the argument, global mean temperatures are artificially skewed upwards.

There are four things wrong with this argument.

First, it's not true that most stations are located in or near cities.

Second, satellites also measure Earth's surface temperature, and they show the greatest warming trend in remote areas near the poles.

Third, even the record from just the city stations shows an upward trend that cannot be explained by growth in city energy use or population.

Fourth, it's easy to correct for the bias caused by urban stations, and this is being done.

The Bottom Line on Climate Science

Climate science is complicated. There are lots of factors involved, and many details of how these factors interact are still unclear. No scientist can say exactly how Earth's climate will behave in fifty or one hundred years. But the broad outlines of the picture are clear: The world is getting warmer, and the best evidence shows the cause to be rising CO2 levels due to human actions. This evidence comes, not from abstruse theories or computer models, but from over a century of direct measurements of temperature at many locations, fifty years of CO2 measurements, over thirty years' monitoring of the Sun's brightness by satellites, and decades of worldwide research on proxy data to give us a long-term baseline for comparison.

The bottom line is that there is no longer any rational basis for disputing the big picture. It is true that new discoveries might reveal a different cause for the current rise in temperature. But those who say this discovery has already been made are obliged to support their claim with solid evidence. So far, none of their evidence has held up to careful scrutiny.

The bottom line is that the unscientific nature of Denialist arguments about climate science and the self-contradictory nature of their case make it clear that their goal is to confuse rather than clarify the public's understanding of climate science.

References on Specific Topics

  1. Meaningless Global Mean Temperature

  1. Does a Global Temperature Exist? (Rasmu Benestad, RealClimate, March 2007)
  2. Once more dear Prof. Keller (cont...) (Eli Rabett, March 2007)
    Both of the above references are somewhat abstruse — but they get the job done.
  3. Chaotic systems are not predictable (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 26 Mar 2006)

  2. Temperature Trends After 1998

  1. Climate Myths: Global warming stopped in 1998 (Michael Le Page, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  2. Did global warming stop in 1998? (Skeptical Science)
  3. Wiggles (Tamino, Open Mind, 16 Dec 2007)
    A very clear explanation by Tamino of temperature trends in climate — and why the global cooling since 1998 proclaimed by Denialists is an illusion.
  4. Warming stopped in 1998 (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 7 Nov 2006)
  5. Garbage is Forever (Tamino, Open Mind, 31 Aug 2007)

  3. Stratospheric cooling violates AGW theory

  1. Stratospheric cooling (Dr. Elmar Uherek, Environmntal Science Published for Everybody, 11 May 2004)
  2. Global Warming Causes Stratospheric Cooling (By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc., 2006)
  3. Why does the stratosphere cool when the troposphere warms? (Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, 4 Dec 2004)
    "This post is obsolete and wrong in many respects. Please see this more recent post for links to the answer."
    This is how a scientist reacts when he makes mistakes.
  4. The sky IS falling (Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, 26 Nov 2006)

  4. Water Vapor vs. CO2

  1. Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas (Skeptical Science)
  2. Climate Myths: CO2 isn't the most important greenhouse gas (David L. Chandler, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  3. Water vapor is almost all of the greenhouse effect (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 25 Jan 2006)

  5. Computer Models

  1. Models are unreliable (Skeptical Science)
  2. Climate Myths: We can't trust computer models (Fred Pearce, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  3. "Climate models don't work. They don't even 'predict' the past." (Logical Science)
  4. The models are unproven (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 27 Mar 2006)
  5. No past, no present (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 27 Apr 2006)
  6. Are Global Warming Models Accurately Predicting Our Future? New Study Reveals the Answer
    A Galaxy Interview
    (Posted by Rebecca Sato, 3 Apr 2008)

  6. CO2 Lagging Temperature Rise

  1. CO2 lags temperature — what does it mean? (Skeptical Science)
  2. Climate Myths: Ice cores show CO2 increases lag behind temperature rises, disproving the link to global warming (Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  3. CO2 lags not leads (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 25 Feb 2006)
  4. The lag between temperature and CO2. (Gore's got it right.) (Eric, RealClimate, 27 Apr 2007)
  5. What about that 800 lb gorilla? (Petr, Monday, January 26, 2009)
    A brief explanation of water-vapor climate feedback
  6. If Temperature Leads CO2, Can CO2 Affect Temperature? (Barton Paul Levenson, 1 Jul 2009)

  7. Natural vs. Fossil-fuel CO2

  1. The CO2 Rise is Natural (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 25 Mar 2006)
  2. How do we know that recent CO2 increases are due to human activities? (RealClimate, 22 Dec 2004)
  3. If Temperature Leads CO2, Can CO2 Affect Temperature? (Barton Paul Levenson, 1 Jul 2009)
  4. Carbon Isotopes Reveal Ancient, Abrupt Climate Change by Kate Melville, 5 January 2006
  5. Tracking the Role of Carbon Dioxide in Global Warming by PB Duffy & KG Caldeira, LLNL
  6. Emissions Controversy (Barrett Bellamy Climate)

  7. "In the 20th century, for the increase in the CO2 concentration to be entirely due to an increase in temperature that should have been around 5°C. That has not occurred and leads to the inevitable conclusion that the recent increases in CO2 concentrations are because of the burning of fossil fuels. The answer comes from a study of the temperature dependence of the Henry's law coefficient for the solubility of CO2 in seawater. This has been very carefully quantified by the Brookhaven National Lab and can be relied upon. That the 20th century saw an increase of temperature of 0.6 +/- 0.2 °C implies that an increase in CO2 atmospheric concentration should have resulted of around 10 +/- 3 ppmv. That much more than this increase occurred seems to lead to the conclusion that there is another source. All the evidence we have in the literature points towards the burning of fossil fuels. So, about 10 ppmv from a slight temperature increase and the rest is down to us."

  8. Brighter Sunlight

  1. Global warming on other planets in the solar system (Skeptical Science)
  2. Global warming on Mars, ice caps melting (Skeptical Science)
  3. Solar activity & climate: is the sun causing global warming? (Skeptical Science)
  4. ACRIM vs PMOD — Is the sun getting hotter? (Skeptical Science)
  5. Climate Myths: Mars and Pluto are warming too (Michael Le Page, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  6. There's global warming on Mars too (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 25 Feb 2006)
  7. Mars Warming Due to Dust Storms, Study Finds (Kate Ravilious, National Geographic, April 4, 2007
  8. It's the sun, stupid (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 26 Apr 2006)
  9. Solar activity & climate: is the sun causing global warming? (Skeptical Science)
  10. Solar Constant (PMOD / World Radiation Center, Davos, Switzerland, 24 May 2006)
  11. New studies disprove cosmic ray and solar influence theories of global warming (The Ecologist, 6 Feb 2009)

  9. The Little Ice Age

  1. We're coming out of an ice age (Skeptical Science)
  2. Climate Myths: We are simply recovering from the Little Ice Age (Michael Le Page, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  3. We Are Just Recovering From the LIA (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 27 Dec 2006)

  10. CO2 from Volcanoes

  1. Climate Myths: Human CO2 emissions are too tiny to matter (Catherine Brahic, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  2. Effects of Volcanic Gases (UCSB)
  3. Historical variation of CO2 concentration in the Earth's atmosphere (Wikipedia)
  4. Volcanoes Emit More CO2 (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered, 25 Feb 2006)

11. Antarctica Cooling

  1. Antarctica is cooling/gaining ice (Skeptical Science)
  2. Climate myths: Antarctica is getting cooler, not warmer, disproving global warming (Phil McKenna, New Scientist, 16 May 2007)
  3. Warming of the Antarctic ice-sheet surface since the 1957 International Geophysical Year (Steig, et. al., Nature, Dec. 2008)
    This new paper in Nature discusses the fact that West Antarctica has recently been found to be warming at about 0.1°C per decade, making the temperature trend for the entire continent positive. Only subscribers may read the full text. But anyone can read the following blog entry by two of the paper's authors (Eric Steig and Michael Mann):
  4. State of Antarctica: Red or blue? (Steig & Mann, RealClimate)
  5. Cold Hard Facts (Tamino, Open Mind, 9 Jan 2009)

12. Urban Heat Islands

  1. The Surface Temperature Record and the Urban Heat Island (RealClimate, 6 Dec 2004)
  2. No man is an (Urban Heat) Island (Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, 2 Jul 2007)
  3. Urban Heat Island effect exaggerates warming (John Cook, Skeptical Science, 2009)
  4. Dr. Jeff Masters' Weather Underground blog entry for 04 August 2010
    Scroll down to: "Is the Urban Heat Island effect partially responsible for global warming?"

General References

  1. Climate Change Controversies — a Simple Guide (Britain's Royal Society)
  2. Natural Environment Research Council's Climate Change Challenge
  3. Climate Change Facts and Myths (Britain's Met Office)
  4. Global Warming -- a Briefing Document (Abelard, 22 August 2003)
  5. Climate change: A guide for the perplexed (New Scientist)
  6. Myths and falsehoods about global warming (Media Matters, 23 Mar 2007
  7. The Scientific Basis for Anthropogenic Climate Change (Chris Colose, 18 Dec 2007)
  8. The Scientific Case for Modern Anthropogenic Global Warming (John W. Farley, MonthlyReview, July/August 2008)
  9. Common Arguments from Global Warming Skeptics (Logical Science)
  10. Debunking the Urban Legends of Climate Change (By Frances Moore, Research Associate, The Climate Institute)
  11. How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic (Coby Beck, A Few Things Ill-Considered)
  12. Responses to common contrarian arguments (RealClimate)
  13. RealClimate Wiki
  14. The Scientific Case for Human-Induced Global Warming (Ross Gelbspan, The Heat Is Online, 2005)
  15. Anti-global heating claims — a reasonably thorough debunking (by Brian Angliss at the old Scholars&Rogues)
  16. Examining the Science of Global Warming Skepticism (Skeptical Science)
  17. Slamming the Climate Skeptic Scam (Jim Hoggan — DeSmog Blog)
  18. Ten Popular Myths About Global Climate Change (Sierra Club of Canada)
    Many of the above can be found in Greenfyre's essay:
  19. Global warming has ended about 15 times now (Greenfyre's, 3 Dec 2008)
  20. Climate in Peril — A popular guide to the latest IPCC reports
  21. The Warming of the Earth: A beginner's guide to understanding the issue of global warming (Woods Hole Research Center, 2008)
  22. A Tutorial on the Basic Physics of Climate Change (By David Hafemeister & Peter Schwartz, Cal Poly, July 2008)
  23. Espere Climate Encyclopedia
  24. Myths and Misinterpretations about Climate Change Due to Human Activities
    This Daily Kos diary examines our attitude toward uncertainty and risk in general:
  25. Not So Sure About Global Warming? Some Thoughts On Scientific Uncertainty
    (by ClimateLurker, DailyKos, 26 Jul 2007)
  26. Myths and facts of global warming (PDF, 30 pages)
    (Environmental Defense Fund)
  27. Climate Change: A Catastrophe in Slow Motion (PDF, 24 pages)
    (R.T. Pierrehumbert, Professor in Geophysical Sciences, University of Chicago)

Book-length Works

  1. The Discovery of Global Warming (A Hypertext History by Spencer Weart)
  2. Killer in Our Midst (Dan Dorritie, 2004-2007)
  3. Climate Change Books of Interest (The Way Things Break)
  4. Books books books (David Langswitch, RealClimate, 25 Nov 2005)
  5. MY Review of Books (Gavin Schmidt, RealClimate, 5 May 2006)
  6. Books '07 (David Langswitch, RealClimate, 21 Dec 2007)
  7. Our Books (David Langswitch, RealClimate, 1 Jan 2008)
  8. Books '08 (David Langswitch, RealClimate, 22 Dec 2008)
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