In fact, the extent of our influence on climate is not “settled science.” Only 0.3% of twelve thousand papers published in learned journals claimed that recent warming was mostly manmade. The 375 activists are entitled to their opinion, but the scientific community’s peer-reviewed results overwhelmingly fail to endorse their narrow view that recent warming was predominately manmade.
True, we influence climate, by returning to the air some of the carbon dioxide that was there before. But so do termites, by emitting more methane than all the world’s farm animals combined. So do plants, by taking carbon dioxide; storing the carbon in leaves, stems, and trunks; and returning the oxygen to the air. So does the Sun, by supplying nearly all the Earth’s radiant energy. So do volcanoes, by emitting hot rocks that warm the air and ejecta that shade the Earth from the Sun and cause cooling. So do the oceans, by helping to keep the Earth’s temperature within a few degrees either side of the period mean for more than 800,000 years.
The activists say we are warming the oceans. But in the first 11 full years of the least ill-resolved dataset we have, the 3500+ Argo bathythermograph buoys, the upper mile and a quarter of the world’s oceans warmed at a rate equivalent to just 1 Celsius degree every 430 years, and the warming rate, negligible at the surface, rises faster the deeper the measurements are taken. The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.
The activists say we are warming the lower atmosphere. Yet on all datasets, the atmosphere is warming at less than half the rate originally predicted by their fellow-activists at the error-prone Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — who have a vested interest in overstating the supposed extent of our influence on climate. For, otherwise, the Panel would be – as it should now be – abolished. The Panel is political, but science is not science unless it is scientific, and unless it is free, in particular, from the political totalitarianism that sullenly insists that only one opinion – the Party Line – may be uttered.
The activists say the oceans are “acidifying.” The truth is that, aside from a few transects and a few local studies, science has no idea whether or at what rate the oceans are “acidifying.” What is known, however, is that the oceans are not acid (as rainwater is): they are pronouncedly alkaline. It is also known that, under anything like modern conditions, they are so powerfully buffered that alkaline they must remain.