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Climate Change: The Burden of Proof

February 2, 2016

By Paul Homewood




Reposted from American Thinker:


The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has to provide proof for significant human-caused climate change; yet their climate models have never been validated and are rapidly diverging from actual observations.  The real threat to humanity comes not from any (trivial) greenhouse warming but from cooling periods creating food shortages and famines.


Burden of proof

Climate change has been going on for millions of years — long before humans existed on this planet.  Obviously, the causes were all of natural origin and not anthropogenic.  There is no reason to think that these natural causes have suddenly stopped.  For example, volcanic eruptions, various types of solar influences, and atmosphere-ocean oscillations all continue today.   We cannot model these natural climate-forcings precisely and therefore cannot anticipate what they will be in the future.

But let’s call this the “Null hypothesis.” Logically therefore, the burden of proof falls upon alarmists to demonstrate that this null hypothesis is not adequate to account for empirical climate data.  In other words, alarmists must provide convincing observational evidence for anthropogenic climate change (ACC).  They must do this by detailed comparison of the data with climate models.  This is of course extremely difficult and virtually impossible since one cannot specify these natural influences precisely.

We’re not aware of such detailed comparisons, only of anecdotal evidence — although we must admit that ACC is plausible; after all, CO2 is a greenhouse gas and its level has been rising mainly because of the burning of fossil fuels.

Yet when we compare greenhouse models to past observations (“hindcasting”), it appears that ACC is much smaller than predicted by the models.  There’s even a time interval of no significant warming (“pause” or “hiatus”) during the past 18 years or so — in spite of rapidly rising atmospheric CO2 levels.

There seems to be at present no generally accepted explanation for this discrepancy between models and observations, mainly during the 21st century.  The five IPCC reports [1900 to 2014] insist that there is no “gap.”  Yet strangely, as this gap grows larger and larger, their claimed certainty that there is no gap becomes ever greater.  Successive IPCC reports give 50%, 66%, 90%, 95%, and 99% for this certainty.

[after J. Christy]

Needless to say, there are no sufficient conditions to establish the existence of any significant ACC from existing data.  Even necessary conditions based on empirical data, like temperature vs altitude and latitude, cloud cover, precipitation, are difficult to establish.

To summarize, any major disagreement of data with models therefore disproves ACC.

Read the full post here.

  1. February 2, 2016 11:10 am

    Reblogged this on WeatherAction News.

  2. February 2, 2016 11:36 am

    Reblogged this on Climatism and commented:
    Don’t have to search far to find hard evidence of the climate scam in action. One of the more glaring examples being the IPCC’s ACC certainly levels *increasing*, as the divergence between climate models and observed reality, also increases!

    Good summary by Singer.

  3. February 2, 2016 11:43 am

    This is what you / we have been saying for a long time and is a good summary of the doubts. The believers will re-state their “proven science” / 95% confidence / 97% scientists etc and claim that this is data selection no doubt.

    Amusing to note that the presentation was given in the Hotel California…..very apt!

  4. Kevin Marshall permalink
    February 2, 2016 12:29 pm

    Sufficient for mitigation policy to be justified, it is ncessary for the burden of proof to cover a number of issues.
    1. That there is a significant warming problem, with likely issues that cannot be overcome by adaptation.
    2. That prospective mitigation policies will cost less than the likely costs they are trying to avert.
    3. That these policies will be fully implemented..

    The theory is that rising global emissions cause global warming which may have very large adverse consequences. A lot of policy documents will make no difference. Token gestures will make no difference. Large emissions reductions by countries with a small proportion of the world’s population will make very little difference to the global picture.

    The strength of the evidence is also a factor in looking at the strength of that justification. Comments like “the expert consensus agrees” should be rejected as hearsay. Advocates determining the validity criteria is the same as a pharmaceutical company deciding what tests to conduct and the interpretation of test results before marketing a new product.

  5. February 2, 2016 3:22 pm

    The tipping-points (2 deg K or 4 deg K above pre-industrial) are not mentioned in this article. They appear to be another scare myth, who started that one and what was the evidence for such statements?

    • manicbeancounter permalink
      February 2, 2016 8:34 pm

      I have not seen investigations into tipping points for years. Back in 2008 the Lenton et al paper on tipping points made headline news in the Independent.
      The full paper is available to read. At the foot is some examples, such as Arctic Sea Ice rapidly disappearing, Greenland Ice Cap rapidly melting (not much heard) West Antarctic Ice Sheet rapidly melting (increasing evidence of volcanic activity underneath), collapse of the Amazon rain forest and collapse of the Indian Monsoon. This year they are left with high levels of rainfall in the Lake District and Northern Yorkshire.
      If you think about it, tipping points are hard to predict by a model as they are discontinuous functions. You need very accurate models from any slight variation. But with any extreme weather event being heralded as a portent of worse to come, the climate alarmists are the last people to model the phenomena even if it were real.

      • Graeme No.3 permalink
        February 2, 2016 9:23 pm

        So a dry summer this year will be ‘proof’ of the collapse of the North Yorkshire Monsoon?

  6. February 2, 2016 5:50 pm

    Thanks, Paul. This another good article, full of common sense, from Dr. Singer.

  7. February 2, 2016 6:43 pm

    A model is, at best, an approximation. To average 103 models is to put together the good, the bad and the ugly and expect it to describe reality. The divergence from observational data should be the trigger to jettison non-performing models, not to try and scare us.

  8. Doug Brodie permalink
    February 3, 2016 6:45 pm

    Independent scientist Piers Corbyn, brother of Jeremy Corbyn, appeared recently on the BBC Andrew Neil This Week programme where he denounced the UN IPCC’s climate change “con” in no uncertain terms, recorded here on YouTube:

    He puts the current hysteria on climate change down to “UN IPCC fraudulent science” and mass brainwashing. He says “there is no such thing as man-made climate change”. He put up a graph similar to the Christy graph above to illustrate the hopeless failure of the UN IPCC’s man-made CO2 global warming theory. What’s more he predicts global cooling over the next 20 years.

  9. February 3, 2016 11:47 pm

    Before one can even address whether the net ocean heat change (93% of GW heat is in the oceans) since ~1950 has been significantly/primarily caused by the addition of CO2 concentration in volume increments of parts per million (1 ppm = 0.000001), wouldn’t one have to first demonstrate that a warm up out of a Little Ice Age event – there have been 18 Little Ice Ages during the Holocene – is outside the range of what has occurred naturally in the past?

  10. April 22, 2016 6:15 pm

    Reblogged this on Climate Collections.

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