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Claim: Climate Scientists Are Totally Confident They Understand the Climate

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Marc Morano – From the “anyone can hit a barn with a scattergun department”; Climate Scientists Andrew Dessler and Daniel Cohan are so confident in their models, they claim there are no plausible mechanisms other than CO2 to explain the modern warming period (as opposed to all the previous natural warming periods).

We’re scientists. We know the climate’s changing. And we know why.

Andrew Dessler, Daniel Cohan
Oct. 22, 2018 Updated: Oct. 22, 2018 3:05 p.m.

At this point, just about everyone recognizes that the climate is changing. Even Donald Trump says, “I think something’s happening.” Now, the question being debated is why the climate is changing.

Though there may be a public debate, there’s no debate among scientists like us — decades of research have demonstrated that human activities, primarily the emission of carbon dioxide from the combustion of fossil fuels, are driving the climate change we are experiencing.

To understand why we are so confident, it’s useful to think about climate change as a whodunit. Climate does not change by itself, so scientists are detectives trying to solve the mystery of what has been warming the Earth for the past century.

There is an entire list of suspects that scientists have looked at, and they have not identified a single viable one. With one exception — greenhouse gases.

The timing of warming, beginning just after the industrial revolution, and the magnitude of the warming, match our theories almost exactly.The figure below shows that the rapid warming of last few decades was accurately predicted in 1975. Such predictions are the gold standard of science — if you can make a non-obvious prediction about some physical system, then it means that you understand something fundamental about it. This prediction shows that we really understand the warming of the climate system.

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What is the source of all that confidence?