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I’m always searching for better and simpler ways to explain the reason why I believe climate researchers have overestimated the sensitivity of our climate system to increasing carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. What follows is a somewhat different take than I’ve used in the past. In the following cartoon, I’ve illustrated 2 different ways to interpret a hypothetical (but realistic) set of satellite observations that indicate (1) warming of 1 degree C in global average temperature,
As a result of this inherent uncertainty regarding causation, climate modelers are free to tune their models to produce just about any amount of global warming they want to. It will be difficult to prove them wrong, since there is as yet no unambiguous interpretation of the satellite data in this regard. They can simply assert that there are no natural causes of climate change, and as a result they will conclude that our climate system is precariously balanced on a knife edge. The two go hand-in-hand.
Their science thus enters the realm of faith. Of course, there is always an element of faith in scientific inquiry. Unfortunately, in the arena of climate research the level of faith is unusually high, and I get the impression most researchers are not even aware of its existence.