Report: There is a 99.999% Certainty That Humans Driving Global Warming

earth-screensaver_largeThere is a new report on global climate change this week that addresses many of the claims being raised against the theory by critics. Despite the overwhelming agreement of the scientific community, people continue to cite anecdotal observations of cool temperatures to refute predictions. The new report crunches the climate numbers and concludes that there is less than 1 chance in 100,000 that global average temperature over the past 60 years would have been as high without human-caused greenhouse gas emissions.

The research published in Climate Risk Management by Philip Kokica, Steven Crimpc, and Mark Howdend is reportedly the first to quantify the probability of historical changes in global temperatures. They directly address the arguments promulgated by climate change critics:

December 2013 was the 346th consecutive month where global land and ocean average surface temperature exceeded the 20th century monthly average, with February 1985 the last time mean temperature fell below this value. Even given these and other extraordinary statistics, public acceptance of human induced climate change and confidence in the supporting science has declined since 2007. The degree of uncertainty as to whether observed climate changes are due to human activity or are part of natural systems fluctuations remains a major stumbling block to effective adaptation action and risk management. Previous approaches to attribute change include qualitative expert-assessment approaches such as used in IPCC reports and use of ‘fingerprinting’ methods based on global climate models. Here we develop an alternative approach which provides a rigorous probabilistic statistical assessment of the link between observed climate changes and human activities in a way that can inform formal climate risk assessment. We construct and validate a time series model of anomalous global temperatures to June 2010, using rates of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, as well as other causal factors including solar radiation, volcanic forcing and the El Niño Southern Oscillation. When the effect of GHGs is removed, bootstrap simulation of the model reveals that there is less than a one in one hundred thousand chance of observing an unbroken sequence of 304 months (our analysis extends to June 2010) with mean surface temperature exceeding the 20th century average. We also show that one would expect a far greater number of short periods of falling global temperatures (as observed since 1998) if climate change was not occurring. This approach to assessing probabilities of human influence on global temperature could be transferred to other climate variables and extremes allowing enhanced formal risk assessment of climate change.

They note that July 2014 was the 353rd consecutive month in which global land and ocean average surface temperature exceeded the 20th-century monthly average. Notably, anyone born after February 1985 has not lived a single month where the global temperature was below the long-term average for that month. Their analysis put the probability of getting the same run of “warmer-than-average months without the human influence was less than 1 chance in 100,000.”

We identified periods of declining temperature by using a moving 10-year window (1950 to 1959, 1951 to 1960, 1952 to 1961, etc.) through the entire 60-year record. We identified 11 such short time periods where global temperatures declined.

Our analysis showed that in the absence of human-caused greenhouse gas emissions, there would have been more than twice as many periods of short-term cooling than are found in the observed data.

It is an interesting paper that I recommend to you. I am obviously already sold on the concept of climate change and strongly disagree with those fighting efforts to control the pollution linked to the change. However, we can have a civil discourse on the subject and I believe that this is a credible report worthy of inclusion in that ongoing debate.

363 thoughts on “Report: There is a 99.999% Certainty That Humans Driving Global Warming”

  1. DavidM: You and Paul Schulte are a 100% wrong about how the politicizing of science has turned it into a kind of religion for the positivist philosophers.

    What bothers you about science is that won’t confirm the existence of God and that researchers won’t recognize your “proofs”. Scientists aren’t interested in proving left or right, merely in reaching conclusions based upon the data.

    1. rainparade wrote: “What bothers you about science is that won’t confirm the existence of God and that researchers won’t recognize your “proofs”.”

      Science is not about confirming the existence of God, so why would anybody care about that? Your statement is like suggesting the Pope is bothered because atheists will not confirm the existence of God. It makes no sense.

      I’ve published in peer reviewed scientific journals, so your misperception that researchers do not recognize my proofs does not help further dialogue.

  2. Karen: What people do not understand is that there is no way to “freeze” climate at today’s averages.

    This is how you reveal your lack of open-mindedness, with ridiculous comments like this. Nobody is suggesting that we can or should freeze the climate’s temperatures at current levels. Granted, I’m not reading Climate Risk Management, because I’m not an actuary.

    Climatologists have been clear from the start the changes in global temperatures over the course of the earth’s history. The great concern right now is the accelerated rate of the rise taking place. That rapid rate, BTW, is going to cause the die-off of a great many species.

    Researchers are not hoping to freeze global temperatures, instead they hope to slow the pace of global warming and mitigate some of the worst of the effects that are predicted to occur. Think of it as shutting the engine down on an oceanliner as it’s heading towards the remains of the Larsen ice shelf. The ship won’t stop, but it will travel forward with less momentum, and hopefully experience less damage when it slams into the chunk of ice.

  3. Paul C. Schulte
    That you confuse “MODERN MAN” with Cro Magnon is telling…
    … We’re waiting for your evolution. Please catch up!

    1. Max-1 – modern man is 200,000 years old. I am not talking about the ones who read the defunct magazine.

    2. Max-1 wrote: “That you confuse “MODERN MAN” with Cro Magnon is telling…
      … We’re waiting for your evolution. Please catch up!”

      LOL. Cro-Magnon is not a term really used by evolutionists anymore. Maybe you should catch up. Cro-Magnon is essentially modern man (Homo sapiens sapiens). Upper Paleolithic humans (formerly called Cro-Magnon) are simply referred to in modern parlance as EMH (Early Modern Human).

      Max-1 wrote: “Cite the instance modern man lived through this “ice age” you opine for? And, please cite when modern man lived through glacial collapse, tundra melt and methane releases… I’ll check back for your crickets…”

      The last glacial period ended less than 12,000 years ago, but the current Ice Age has not really ended yet.

      “The end of the last glacial period was about 10,500 BCE, while the end of the last ice age has not yet come: little evidence points to a stop of the glacial-interglacial cycle of the last million years.”

      “Near the end of the event, Homo sapiens spread into Europe, Asia, and Australia. The retreat of the glaciers allowed groups of Asians to migrate to the Americas and populate them.”

      Sounds pretty much like Schulte has informed us.

  4. I am always concerned by people who lack knowledge but pretend they know the subject.

    Yes, and many of your friends and family share your concern for you, too.

    I can tell from the way his is using his information that he lacks independent knowledge and is not using independent thought.

    Since I’m not a climatologist, I make no claim for independent knowledge of data, I’m merely relying on a variety of peer reviewed research. Dr Mann is only one source, but as more researchers from other fields turn their efforts to studying the ongoing phenomena further confirmation is mounting all the time.

    It’s comical that you would allege that someone isn’t using independent thought. Relying on “a playbook” of programmed responses is your stock in trade. Even the act of accusing someone of the very thing your guilty of is straight out of Karl Rove’s Republican textbook of tactics.

    You haven’t even been able to discuss the subject of this post – this new report. Instead, you leap to the very subject you’ve practiced for…Dr. Mann. The objections to Dr. Mann are a tried and true retort that was developed by the Heartland Institute and picked up on by parrots and echo chambers. The reason you bring him into the discussion is because you got nothing to come back with about the report under discussion. You got nothing.

    Keep an ear out for the dog whistles, Barca lounger. By the time you have an objection to this report by Kokica, Crimpc, and Howdend, there’l be another one to befuddle you.

    1. rainparade – I understand bad science when I see it. After reading Mann and his minions in their emails where they revealed how they were diddling the climate numbers I saw that they were frauds. All climate science is based on their fraudulent numbers, therefore everything has the same intrinsic flaw.

      BTW, no climate computer model has been able to accurately predict current climate models, so why should I have confidence they can do future climate.

  5. The planet is flat… some here would believe that seeking answers as to why it is not, is an excuse to call them names and liable their character… speeks more about the flat earthers.

  6. Paul C. Schulte
    Max-1 – sticking someone’s head under H2O and leaving it there for 5 minutes will also do damage. That does not mean H2O is a pollutant.

    = = =

    The ignorant that seek not, know not.

    I cites TWO examples of HOW CO2 in excess does damage life in the oceans.

    As for your excuse… ?

  7. Paul C. Schulte
    Max-1 – you are aware that loss of glacier ice is part of the cycle? At one point a large portion of the United States was covered by a glacier. Where I live in what is now desert used to be a huge inland sea (you can collect sea shells in several of our parks). There are some scientists who think we were still in the Little Ice Age during the winters of 1942-44 as the Germans were battling the Soviets and ‘General Winter.’

    = = =

    Cite the instance modern man lived through this “ice age” you opine for?
    And, please cite when modern man lived through glacial collapse, tundra melt and methane releases…

    I’ll check back for your crickets…

    1. Max-1 – Man lived through the Little Ice Age and modern man came across the ice bridge covering the Bering Straits. Not sure what you are speaking to on glacial collapse (calfing?), tundra melt (this occurred when the Vikings were in Greenland and methane has released from time to time in history. Certainly anyone who lives with another person is subject to methane release.

  8. “SWM, It’s a wrong time to be a pacifist, that is Paul’s biggest problem right now. Climate Change is WAAAY down the list of people’s concerns.” nick Primary voters are more concerned with specific issues than are general election voters. Paul would like to attract support from both the right and whatever libertarian left there is. Being a climate change denier is a deal breaker for leftists and many young independent voters. If Paul cannot attract liberal independents or democrats to vote for him in the republican primary, his candidacy is a rather hopeless one.

  9. Paul Schulte is 100% correct about how the politicizing of science has turned it into a kind of religion for the positivist philosophers. Just as when the Roman Catholic Church enjoyed a status of authority which led to corruption and abuse through its league with government, the same thing has happened in the natural sciences. Now science enjoys status and authority, and many operate with impunity and resort more to dogma and doctrine than the scientific method. It is surprising how many people are not upset about the falsified data and just continue to repeat the doctrine of those who have committed the fraud.

    I think we need to be concerned about the environment and minimize our impact on it. We need to move away from fossil fuels and embrace solar, wind, and hydroelectric power. But using bad science to further that cause only raises suspicions rather than helping us work together. It is sad that an avid liberal ideologue like justagurlinseattle thinks she can speak for Republicans like me rather than finding agreement on ways for us to work together for a cleaner environment. Just because we disagree about the science or lack thereof in the social climate change movement doesn’t mean we can’t agree upon working toward a cleaner environment.

  10. SWM, It’s a wrong time to be a pacifist, that is Paul’s biggest problem right now. Climate Change is WAAAY down the list of people’s concern. I understand, you and your friends consider it “as bad as terrorism” as you guy Kerry said recently. But when you come out of your bubble, you are a rarity, someone who shows an ability @ time to understand the reality of politics. And, ain’t nobody goin’ to win or lose any election on Climate Change.

    But, on politics, how about Tail Gunner Joe and Gun Moll Elizabeth talkin’ tough on ISIS. Hillary shot herself in the foot and the sharks smell blood. I’m loving the drama! My wife, who is fairly liberal, did a spit take when she saw the Couric interview of Warren being all butch on ISIS. As a side note, you can tell Obama is losing influence w/ the lapdog media. They call it ISIL and all MSM I’ve seen, and I’m a big consumer, call it ISIS. A “F@ck You” passive aggressively.


    Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) put Hillary Clinton in the hot seat Friday, saying that her comments claiming that climate change is one of America’s biggest threats shows that she does not have the “wisdom” to be president.

    “For her to be out there saying that the biggest threat to our safety and to our well-being is climate change, I think, goes to the heart of the matter or whether or not she has the wisdom to lead the country, which I think it’s obvious that she doesn’t,” Paul said on Fox News’ “America’s Newsroom.”

    On Thursday, Clinton spoke at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas and said climate change presents “the most consequential, urgent, sweeping collection of challenges we face.”

    Paul has been one the front-runners among GOP politicians expected to run for presidential nomination in 2016, while Clinton has been long rumored to be planning a presidential run.

    “I don’t think we really want a commander-in-chief who’s battling climate change instead of terrorism,” Paul said.”

  12. Whenever I hear the name “Yoko Ono” I can’t get that track out of my head where they isolated her voice when she sang with Lennon. She wasn’t a very good singer.

  13. What people do not understand is that there is no way to “freeze” climate at today’s averages. There is certainly debate about how human activity might increase the rate of change, but no scientist is actually saying that no change would exist without human activity.

    If we are putting vast resources and treasure into forcing climate to stay at current levels, it is pointless. It can’t and it shouldn’t.

    Polar bears evolved when brown bears became geographically isolated in a cooling planet. One day, the Earth will warm and that evolutionary adaptation will be their undoing. Because the Earth has always fluctuated between cooling and warming periods. And a new species will take their place. And when the planet one day cools again, their adaptations will be their undoing. Pressure, change, and time = evolution.

    My oft repeated complaint is that global warming gets massive tax revenues, while mercury pollution of our waters, and other major environmental toxins, get a pittance of attention.

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