Global Warming: Anthropogenic or Not?



Professor Robert (Bob) Carter

Geologist & environmental scientist

Katharine Hayhoe, PhD, who wrote the December AITSE piece “Climate Change: Anthropogenic or Not?”, is an atmospheric scientist and director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech University. She is senior author of the book “A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions”.

I am a senior research geologist who has published more than 100 peer-reviewed papers on palaeo-environmental and palaeo-climatic topics and also author of the book, “Climate: the Counter Consensus”.

Quite clearly, Dr. Hayhoe and I are both credible professional scientists. Given our training and research specializations, we are therefore competent to assess the evidence regarding the dangerous global warming that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) alleges is being caused by industrial carbon dioxide emissions.

Yet at the end of her article Dr. Hayhoe recommends for further reading the websites and, whereas here at the outset of writing my own article I recommend the websites and (Global Warming Policy Foundation). To knowledgeable readers, this immediately signals that Dr. Hayhoe and I have diametrically opposing views on the global warming issue.

The general public finds it very hard to understand how such strong disagreement can exist between two equally qualified persons on a scientific topic, a disagreement that is manifest also on the wider scene by the existence of equivalent groups of scientists who either support or oppose the views of the IPCC about dangerous anthropogenic (human-caused) global warming (DAGW).

In this article I shall try to summarize what the essential disagreement is between these two groups of scientists, and show how it has come to be misrepresented in the public domain.

Common ground amongst DAGW protagonists

Though you wouldn’t know it from the antagonistic nature of public discussions about global warming, a large measure of scientific agreement and shared interpretation exists amongst nearly all scientists who consider the issue. The common ground, much of which was traversed by Dr. Hayhoe in her article, includes:

· that climate has always changed and always will,

· that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and warms the lower atmosphere,

· that human emissions are accumulating in the atmosphere,

· that a global warming of around 0.5OC occurred in the 20th century, but

· that global warming has ceased over the last 15 years.

The scientific argument over DAGW is therefore about none of these things. Rather, it is almost entirely about three other, albeit related, issues. They are:

· the amount of net warming that is, or will be, produced by human-related emissions,

· whether any actual evidence exists for dangerous warming of human causation over the last 50 years, and

· whether the IPCC’s computer models can provide accurate climate predictions 100 years into the future.

Dr. Hayhoe’s answers to those questions would probably be along the line of: substantial, lots and yes. My answers would be: insignificant, none and no.

What can possibly explain such disparate responses to a largely agreed set of factual climate data?

How does science work?

Arguments about global warming, or more generally about climate change, are concerned with a scientific matter. Science deals with facts, experiments and numerical representations of the natural world around us. Science does not deal with emotions, beliefs or politics, but rather strives to analyse matters dispassionately and in an objective way, such that in consideration of a given set of facts two different practitioners might come to the same interpretation; and, yes, I am aware of the irony of that statement in the present context.

Which brings us to the matter of Occam’s Razor and the null hypothesis. William of Occam (1285-1347) was an English Franciscan monk and philosopher to whom is attributed the saying ‘Pluralitas non est ponenda sine necessitate’, which translates as ‘Plurality should not be posited without necessity.’ This is a succinct statement of the principle of simplicity, or parsimony, that was first developed by Aristotle and which has today come to underlie all scientific endeavour.

The phrase ‘Occam’s Razor’ is now generally used as shorthand to represent the fundamental scientific assumption of simplicity. To explain any given set of observations of the natural world, scientific method proceeds by erecting, first, the simplest possible explanation (hypothesis) that can explain the known facts. This simple explanation, termed the null hypothesis, then becomes the assumed interpretation until additional facts emerge that require modification of the initial hypothesis, or perhaps even invalidate it altogether.

Given the great natural variability exhibited by climate records, and the failure to date to compartmentalize or identify a human signal within them, the proper null hypothesis – because it is the simplest consistent with the known facts – is that global climate changes are presumed to be natural, unless and until specific evidence is forthcoming for human causation.

It is one of the more extraordinary facts about the IPCC that the research studies it favours mostly proceed using an (unjustified) inversion of the null hypothesis  – namely that global climate changes are presumed to be due to human-related carbon dioxide emissions, unless and until specific evidence indicates otherwise.

What hypothesis do we wish to test?

Though climate science overall is complex, the greenhouse hypothesis itself is straightforward and it is relatively simple to test it, or its implications, against the available data. First, though, we need to be crystal clear about precisely what we mean by the term.

In general communication, and in the media, the terms greenhouse and greenhouse hypothesis have come to carry a particular vernacular meaning – almost independently of their scientific derivation. When an opinion poll or a reporter solicits information on what members of the public think about the issue they ask questions such as “do you believe in global warming”, “do you believe in climate change” or “do you believe in the greenhouse effect”.

Leaving aside the issue that science is never about belief, all such questions are actually coded ones, being understood by the public to mean “is dangerous global warming being caused by human-related emissions of carbon dioxide”. Needless to say, this is a different, albeit related, question. These and other sloppy ambiguities (“carbon” for “carbon dioxide”, for example) are in daily use in the media, and they lead to great confusion in the public discussion about climate change; they also undermine the value of nearly all opinion poll results.

The DAGW hypothesis that I want to test here is precisely and only “that dangerous global warming is being caused, or will be, by human-related carbon dioxide emissions”. To be “dangerous”, at a minimum the change must exceed the magnitude or rate of warmings that are known to be associated with normal weather and climatic variability.

What evidence can we use to test the DAGW hypothesis?

Many different lines of evidence can be used to test the DAGW hypothesis. Here I have space to present just five, all of which are based upon real world empirical data. For more information, please read both Dr. Hayhoe’s and my book.

Consider the following tests:

(i)     Over the last 16 years, global average temperature, as measured by both thermometers and satellite sensors, has displayed no statistically significant warming; over the same period, atmospheric carbon dioxide has increased by 10%.

Large increases in carbon dioxide have therefore not only failed to produce dangerous warming, but failed to produce any warming at all. Hypothesis fails.

(ii)   During the 20th century, a global warming of between 0.4O C and 0.7O C occurred, at a maximum rate, in the early decades of the century, of about 1.7O C/century. In comparison, our best regional climate records show that over the last 10,000 years natural climate cycling has resulted in temperature highs up to at least 1O C warmer than today, at rates of warming up to  2.5O C/century.

In other words, both the rate and magnitude of 20th century warming falls well within the envelope of natural climate change. Hypothesis fails, twice.

(iii)  If global temperature is controlled primarily by atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, then changes in carbon dioxide should precede parallel changes in temperature.

In fact, the opposite relationship applies at all time scales. Temperature change precedes carbon dioxide change by about 5 months during the annual seasonal cycle, and by about 700-1000 years during ice age climatic cycling. Hypothesis fails.

(iv)  The IPCC’s computer general circulation models, which factor in the effect of increasing carbon dioxide, project that global warming should be occurring at a rate of +2.0O C/century.

In fact, no warming at all has occurred in either the atmosphere or the ocean for more than the last decade. The models are clearly faulty, and allocate too great a warming effect for the extra carbon dioxide (technically, they are said to overestimate the climate sensitivity). Hypothesis fails.

(v)    The same computer models predict that a fingerprint of greenhouse-gas-induced warming will be the creation of an atmospheric hot spot at heights of 8-10 km in equatorial regions, and enhanced warming also near both poles.

Given that we already know that the models are faulty, it shouldn’t surprise us to discover that direct measurements by both weather balloon radiosondes and satellite sensors show the absence of surface warming in Antarctica, and a complete absence of the predicted low latitude atmospheric hot spot. Hypothesis fails, twice.

One of the 20th century’s greatest physicists, Richard Feynman, observed about science that:

In general we look for a new law by the following process. First we guess it. Then we compute the consequences of the guess to see what would be implied if this law that we guessed is right. Then we compare the result of the computation to nature, with experiment or experience; compare it directly with observation, to see if it works.

It’s that simple statement that is the key to science. It does not make any difference how beautiful your guess is. It does not make any difference how smart you are, who made the guess, or what his name is. If it disagrees with experiment it is wrong.

None of the five tests above supports or agrees with the predictions implicit in the greenhouse hypothesis as stated above. Richard Feynman is correct to advise us that therefore the hypothesis is invalid, and that many times over.


The current scientific reality is that the IPCC’s hypothesis of dangerous global warming has been repeatedly tested, and fails. Despite the expenditure of large sums of money over the last 25 years (more than $100 billion),  and great research effort by IPCC-related and other (independent) scientists, to date no scientific study has established a certain link between changes in any significant environmental parameter and human-caused carbon dioxide emissions.

In contrast, the null hypothesis that the global climatic changes that we have observed over the last 150 years (and continue to observe today) are natural in origin has yet to be disproven. As summarised by an seo consultant in the reports of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), literally thousands of papers published in refereed journals contain facts or writings consistent with the null hypothesis, and plausible natural explanations exist for all the post-1850 global climatic changes that have been described so far.

Why is this conclusion not generally understood?

I commented earlier that science is not about emotion or politics, despite which it is uncomfortably true also that public discussion of the global warming issue is conducted far more in accordance with those criteria than it is about science. As discussed at more length in my book, there are three prime reasons for this.

First, as a branch of the United Nations, the IPCC is itself an intensely political and not a scientific body. To boot, the IPCC charter requires that it investigate not climate change in the round, but solely global warming caused by human greenhouse emissions.

Second, from local green activist groups up to behemoth NGOs like Greenpeace and WWF, over the last 20 years the environmental movement has espoused saving the planet from global warming as its leit motif. This has had two devastating results. One is that radical environmentalists have worked relentlessly to sow misinformation about global warming in both the public domain and the education system. And the other is that, faced with this widespread propagandization of public opinion and young persons, and by also by strong lobbying from powerful self-interested groups like government research scientists, alternative energy providers and financial marketeers, politicians have had no choice but to fall into line. Whatever their primary political philosophy, all active politicians are daily mindful of the need to assuage the green intimidation and bullying to which they and their constituents are incessantly subjected.

Third, and probably most influential of all, with very few exceptions major media outlets have provided unceasing support for measures to “stop global warming”. This behaviour appears to be driven by a combination of the liberal and green personal beliefs of most reporters, and the commercial nouse of experienced editors who understand that alarmist environmental reporting sells both product and advertising space.

But given that the science remains uncertain, shouldn’t we give earth the benefit of the doubt?

This famous slogan (and note its deliberately emotive phrasing) is attributed to News Corporation’s Rupert Murdoch; it bears all the hallmarks of having been produced by a green focus group or advertising agency. The catchy phrase also reveals a profound misunderstanding of the real climatic risks faced by our societies, because it assumes that global warming is more dangerous, or more to be feared, than is global cooling; in reality, the converse is likely to be true.

It must be recognized that the theoretical hazard of dangerous human-caused global warming is but one small part of a much wider climate hazard that all scientists agree upon, which is the dangerous natural weather and climatic events that Nature intermittently presents us with – and always will. It is absolutely clear from, for example, the 2005 Hurricane Katrina and 2012 Hurricane Sandy disasters in the US, the 2007 floods in the United Kingdom and the tragic bushfires in Australia in 2003 (Canberra), 2009 (Victoria) and in January this year (widespread), that the governments of even advanced, wealthy countries are often inadequately prepared for climate-related disasters of natural origin.

We need to do better, and squandering money to give earth the benefit of the doubt based upon an unjustifiable assumption that dangerous warming will shortly resume is exactly the wrong type of “picking winners” approach.

Because many scientists, including leading solar physicists, currently argue that the position that the Earth currently occupies in the solar cycle implies that the most likely climatic trend over the next several decades is one of significant cooling rather than warming.  Meanwhile, the IPCC’s computer modellers assure us with all the authority at their command that global warming will shortly resume – just you wait and see.

The reality is, then, that no scientist on the planet can tell you with credible probability whether the climate in 2030 will be cooler or warmer than today. In such circumstances the only rational conclusion to draw is that we need to be prepared to react to either warming or cooling over the next several decades, depending upon what Nature chooses to serve up to us.

What is the best way forward?

Given that we cannot predict what future climate will be, do we still need national climate policies at all?

Indeed we do, for a primary government duty of care is to protect the citizenry and the environment from the ravages of natural climatic events. What is needed is not unnecessary and penal measures against carbon dioxide emissions, but instead a prudent and cost-effective policy of preparation for, and response to, all climatic events and hazards as and when they develop.

As Ronald Brunner and Amanda Lynch have argued in their recent book, Adaptive Governance and Climate Change, and many other scientists have supported too:

We need to use adaptive governance to produce response programs that cope with hazardous climate events as they happen, and that encourage diversity and innovation in the search for solutions. In such a fashion, the highly contentious ‘global warming’ problem can be recast into an issue in which every culture and community around the world has an inherent interest.

Climate hazard is both a geological and meteorological issue. Geological hazards are mostly dealt with by providing civil defense authorities and the public with accurate, evidence-based information regarding events such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, storms and floods (which represent climatic as well as weather events), and by mitigating and adapting to the effects when an event occurs.

New Zealand’s GeoNet natural hazard network is a world-best-practice example of how to proceed. GeoNet is New Zealand’s national natural hazard monitoring agency. GeoNet operates networks of geophysical instruments to detect, analyse and respond to earthquakes, volcanic activity, landslides and tsunami. The additional risk of longer-term climate change, which GeoNet currently doesn’t cover, differs from most other natural hazards only in that it occurs over periods of decades to hundreds or thousands of years. This difference is not one of kind, and neither should be our response planning.

The appropriate response to climate hazard, then, is national policies based on preparing for and adapting to all climate events as and when they happen, and irrespective of their presumed cause. Every country needs to develop its own understanding of, and plans to cope with, the unique combination of climate hazards that apply within its boundaries. The planned responses should be based upon adaptation, with mitigation where appropriate to cushion citizens who are affected in an undesirable way.

The idea that there can be a one-size-fits-all global solution to deal with just one possible aspect of future climate change, as recommended by the IPCC and favoured by green activists and most media commentators, fails entirely to deal with the real climate and climate-related hazards to which we are all exposed every day.


Robert (Bob) Carter is a marine geologist and environmental scientist with more than 40 years professional experience who has held academic positions at the University of Otago (Dunedin) and James Cook University (Townsville), where he was Professor and Head of School of Earth Sciences between 1981 and 1999. His career has included periods as a Commonwealth Scholar (Cambridge University), a Nuffield Fellow (Oxford University) and an Australian Research Council Special Investigator. Bob has acted as an expert witness on climate change before the U.S. Senate Committee of Environment & Public Works, the Australian and N.Z. parliamentary Select Committees into emissions trading, and was a primary science witness in the U.K. High Court case of Dimmock v. H.M.’s Secretary of State for Education, the 2007 judgement from which identified nine major scientific errors in Mr Al Gore’s film “An Inconvenient Truth“. Carter is author of the book, Climate: the Counter Consensus (2010, Stacey International Ltd., London).


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“What can possibly explain such disparate responses to a largely agreed set of factual climate data?”
Follow The Money. The Canadian Katharine Hayhoe, living in Texas, runs her own company.
“Regional climate change, greenhouse gas emissions and climate policy
Katharine Hayhoe – CEO”
She tries to sell “regional climate modeling” and looks for suckers to be parted from their money.
The modern Medicine Show.

What a wonderful piece that Obama should be forced to read! Then he should come on WUWT and test his ideas.

Steve R in UK

A very well reasoned essay on the essense of scientific scepticism in this arena. Hats off to Professor Carter


I’ve always liked Bob Carter’s sober analysis of the issue, even though he has all the charisma of a high school science teacher (no disrespect!). No wonder Team AGW try to discredit him – his arguments are excellent and are very difficult to counter.


I imagine in 20 years the existence of writings like these will make Prof Carter very proud. He’ll have a whole portfolio to point to as proof that he wasn’t a sucker. As for the others…

Well said Bob Carter. The spurious co2 issue has been distracting policy makers from dealing with the real issues they need to attend to for decades. It is convenient for senior politicians to avoid pressing issues around natural forestry, soil erosion, water resources and infrastructure maintenance and appear statesmanlike by waving the global warming card about, but it doesn’t solve anything.
Time to send a clear message to the pollies. Use our money wisely or we’ll find someone else to administrate the real needs of the taxpayer.


Good article, one small beef though: Although it pains me to say it, the lack of warming in the last 16 years does not automatically void the assumption of a link between CO2 and warming, because there could be hysteresis, time delays in the system.
I don’t personally believe this to be the case, but since it’s a possibility, it would be foolish to ignore it in these sorts of discussions until we have passed a period where it can’t possibly be a fluctuation (they keep expanding the definition of this time period, but I would say 20 years would pretty much cover it)

Rhys Jaggar

If you start from the hypothesis that the rich are rich because they serve the interests of the rich, you will see where this Green nonsense takes us.
1. The rich wish the world to be ‘kept under control’, in particular those pesky great unwashed plebs/oiks. They really shouldn’t be allowed to travel the world over and talk with other oiks, because then all the brainwashing of the past 2 centuries comes under strain.
2. How do you stop folks travelling in an era of cheap flights?? MAKE THEM MORE EXPENSIVE. How do you do that? FORCE OIL PRICES UP AND CREATE GUILT ABOUT THE EFFECTS OF OIL-BASED TRANSPORTATION.
3. If you do this, of course you need alternative energy supplies. BUT THEY MUST BE EXPENSIVE TOO, TO KEEP THE OIKS DOWN AT HEEL. So you privatise energy to create a cartel, introduce subsidies for ‘green energy’ to be taken up by rich landowners and you do all that you can to stop the generation of new sources of cheap power like shale gas or thorium-based nuclear power.
4. To do all this, you need a conspiracy of the willing, the supine and the greedy. This includes duping scientists with the bait of lots of grant money to confirm your prejudices, do-gooding scientific dimwits working in environmental pressure groups, media owners to run stories to order and big business getting their mitts on lots of moolah along the way.
It is always best to assume the worst of motives where Ponzi scheme fraud is concerned. You don’t get Ponzi schemes if you are ethical, whereas you do if you are a money grabber. Carbon Dioxide-based warming is a Ponzi scheme with the best of them, with the ‘mis-selling’ of $100bn of research funding, the media being the dodgy salesmen and the scientists being the ‘expert witnesses’ who we all know have testified over the years in ways which did not do much credit to the term ‘scientist’.
If you want to call it class war, call it that.
I call it the rich being what the rich have always been like: avaricious, self-serving, power-hungry, ruthless and utterly disinterested in the vast majority of humanity, seeing them as underbeings completely unworthy of being regarded as part of the same species.
Exceptions exist, as exceptions will.
But in the main, the rich are rich because they do what it takes to get rich and stay rich, i26234ncluding subordinating scientists to their will through controlling the source of grant funding……

Convincing, well written and factual.
What more can you ask for.
Thank you.


Brilliant paper, the best resume of the MSM problem I have seen anywhere.
The next question is “How do we get editors, both newspaper and broadcasting, to read, understand and report on it in an unbiased way?”

Surfer Dave

I thought the null hypothesis was a statement of the logical opposite of the alternative hypothesis. The purpose is to be able to prove that the null hypothesis is false, and therefore the alternative, logically opposite, hypothesis is true. I thought it was done that way because it is not possible to prove directly that a particular hypothesis is true, but it is possible to prove that it is false.
“The null hypothesis can never be proven. Data, such as the results of an observation or experiment, can only reject or fail to reject a null hypothesis.”
Have I got the wrong end of the stick here? I always thought that one of the main problems for the climate scientists promoting the thesis of DAGW is that they do not have a provably false null hypothesis that leads directly to the conclusion that therefore DAGW is true.

Thankyou. As everything from you, that is clear, succinct and accurate.
I commend your book to all.
Some prefer lectures, so I link to this series of videos which comprise a lecture from you for both a both lay and scientific audience.


when I am at it:
I have never exactly understood what the global mean temperature GMT is a measure for. Even less how the validity and realibility criteria can be met. Nor I have ever been told the ideal value of GMT, but many times what it shouldn’t be.
Climate has always changed and always will. If we want to measure deviation why don’t we use the standard deviation, the statistical measure for this purpose. All the job is done already.

Concerning the Null Hypothesis, In Israel there is a saying that goes like this:
If somebody says something (bad) about your sister (in our case reverse the null hypothesis), it is up to you to prove you don’t have a sister at all (to prove the warming is not natural).
This is what the Warmists are doing – they demand the Lukewarmers to prove they have no sister…

Thank you Bob for your very lucid presentation of the case for sanity. Unfortunately the world does not run on sanity. We need to change that.

Another alternative view, suggest that the more comprehensive records of the N. Hemisphere suggest that the natural temperature oscillations origins are combination of factors from ‘down under’ (the Earth’s interior) and ‘up above’ (solar output)


Fabulous posting by Dr Carter
1. There is no warming! check all average temperature graphs for past 17 years
2. The ONLY variable that has/is changed/changing rather dramatically is solar activity.
Ergo ALL or any changes in weather/ climate are beginning to be affected by dramatically reduced solar activity

Old Forge

Thanks Bob, this is an excellent article and one to point to when discussing ‘DAGW’ with the doomsayers. One minor comment – perhaps the IPCC’s inverted null hypothesis contains the implicit caveat that ‘…global climate changes are presumed to be due to human-related carbon dioxide emissions, unless and until (and in spite of) specific evidence indicates otherwise.’

Richard LH

I would agree almost totally with this except for a minor detaIl. Any change due to CO2 COULD be considered to be delayed/lagged from the current CO2 levels. An argument often made is that we are ‘storing up’ future (bad) changes. Whilst this could be true, it is mainly used to defer addressing the sort of observations being made here and thus allow ‘HYPOTHESIS PENDING FAIL’ rather than outright ‘FAIL’.

Thank you Bob: Succinct. Concise. Devastating.
Probable results: Ignorance. Denial. Agism. Cognitive-dissonance. Anger. Conspiracy theories. Fingers in ears + lalalala.
Not necessarily in that order, or complete.

“To knowledgeable readers, this [different recommended websites for further reading] immediately signals that Dr. Hayhoe and I have diametrically opposing views on the global warming issue.”
Professor Carter, your logic and presentations always make me yearn to sit in your classroom. Would you please elaborate on the differences in the websites you and Dr. Hayhoe recommend?

Beth Cooper

‘Wage, wage war against the lying and the fright.
H/t Kim.

John Trigge

Onya, Bob.

I really like this article Bob as it shows how much Climate Science has corrupted scientific method. IMHO the scientific method is what climate skeptics have been fighting for all along.


Sorry, but the idea that Hayhoe and Carter are equally credible scientists in the research community could only be greeted with incredulity.


More clear and concise thinking from Bob Carter. The man should be listened to by everyone but with the clear left bias of the MSM, no one will get to hear him. One of the best posts on WUWT for a very long time.

Carin Sjölander

Very clearly described. Mother earth has her ways and turns in combination with the sun which we humans not yet can explain. If we can’t explain what and how climat changes have happened in the past – then we can’t tell what will happen in the future.

Bloke down the pub

. She is senior author of the book “A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions”.
If you need faith that something will happen, it’s not science.


How does the quantum mechanical ‘many worlds’ interpretation fit with Occam’s razor? Always puzzled me.

Les Johnson

Bob: I have found another blog that seemingly agrees with you.
Real Climate? Yep.
If one looks at the charts, using Rahmstorff’s method of removing natural signals (ENSO and volcanic), one can see the current temps at about 0.2 deg over the average. That means that over 1/2 the observed warming was natural. It also means that the anthorpogenic temperature signal over the entire 20th century was about 0.2 deg C.
Well done, Gavin!

David Chapppell

I suspect the clue to the disparity in the two positions lies in the words “faith based” in the title of Dr Hayhoe’s book.


Excellent article! Plenty thanks Bob (and Antony for publishing) 🙂
Will, with your consent (si?), pass this on to a variety of people here in Sweden.
Brgds from Sweden

Here is a video of an excellent Bob Carter climate presentation:

I always appreciate Dr Carter’s clear, calm assessments. Apart from his fine capacity to articulate the situation, he never fails to keep a cool head and wide perspective. Just the example the other ‘team’ should emulate if we are to progress the debate, such as there is one, in an adult fashion.


so Nice to see your article:-) will be asking the local library to get your latest on the shelves:-)
I note the keywords you politely ignored in ms hayhoes comment,
Faith Based Decisions….
thats NOT science thats warmist religiosity, wonder if she also was a failed divinity student like the Goracle:-)

Grizzled Bear

One small disagreement with regards to your explanation of the null hypothesis. I was always taught that the null hypothesis was simply the assumption, right at the start within your hypothesis, that the variable being tested had NO effect. If, after testing, the data didn’t allow you to reject the null hypothesis at any statistically significant level, then your conclusion must be that there was no evidence that the variable had any effect. If, on the other hand, you could reject the null hypothesis, then your conclusion must be that there was evidence that the variable had influenced the results. Hence Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that climate science is so sure, so robust, so spot-on right that climate scientists don’t need to start with the null hypothesis any more, and instead can start with the assumption that climate change is occurring, is also so much hot air. Trenberth’s anti-science stance is almost comical, given the insults thrown our way whenever we question the myriad of claims made about the causes and effects of AGW.


I love your work Dr Carter, Please keep pushing the agenda of building resilience to whatever the Earth can throw at us and a balanced approach to natural hazard mitigation. History would suggest civilisation depends on it.
To be slightly critical, I do think you missed two factors key to the public acceptance of DAGW:
1. That the hypothesis was tenable in the early 90’s when first proposed (but should have been discarded at the latest when warming stopped in the early 2000’s).
2. The attractiveness of soft environmental science to universities and students over two decades when the role of tertiary education and the funding models for research were changing dramatically for the worse. As a result we have a plethora of ‘scientists’ ill equipped for anything more than pushing green agendas and shaping political agendas with a concurrent lack of hard scientists who can be critical of the status quo.
I have no doubt that the history of science will fete you and I hope people like you can begin to restore public confidence in science after the damage done by this issue has begun to be more universally recognised.

Wow. This will be mailed off to my Congressman and Senators right away. What an excellent presentation of the science and anti-science surrounding AGW.
Thank you Mr. Carter!

Professor Carter wrote,
“Temperature change precedes carbon dioxide change by about 5 months during the annual seasonal cycle…”
How do we know that carbon dioxide follows temperature by 5 months, rather than temperature follows carbon dioxide by 7 months, since it’s an annual cycle?
Thank You,


make it a sticky!

John West

Standing ovation!
I’m not particularly fond of “climate events”, but I think the use of “climate-related events” satisfactorily clarifies the meaning.
“Every country needs to develop its own understanding of, and plans to cope with, the unique combination of climate hazards that apply within its boundaries.”
Realizing developing countries may need assistance in this endeavor; I would support aid to those countries as long as it’s not under some extortionist pretext of being “owed” to them because of our past “sins of emission”.

Derek Wood

I’m an ordinary bloke, living an ordinary life in England’s Midlands. I’m not a scientist; I never went to University, but here is an article which I can read and understand. No graphs, no bulls***. A straight forward explanation of the way in which scientists account for what they observe.
Thank you, Robert Carter, for putting the entire thing in a nutshell. I have always been sceptical about things like political promises, but when scientists start arguing about something like the reasons for possible global warming, it’s difficult for a layman to cut through the gobbledygook, and form an opinion of his/her own. This is great! I feel better about being a sceptic now, even a little smug!
Thanks again!

Reblogged this on The GOLDEN RULE and commented:
Here is a dispassionate, sincere, logical and scientifically valid look at the CAGW scaremongering, world-wide, financial and political destructive solutions to a climate change situation that has not been scientifically validated. My ‘money’ and reputation are firmly and confidently ‘on’ Bob Carter’s viewpoints and conclusions.

Thank you Professor Carter. It is always refreshing to read a well laid out discussion of the issue that those without multiple degrees in several science fields can easily grasp and understand.

Certainly the realclimate web site is poor since Trenberth and Mann have their fingers firmly in it.
CO2 cannot warm the lower atmosphere since CO2 is not a source of energy so the 2nd law of thermodynamics applies. Water vapour can store heat and slow cooling through virtue of latent heat alone not some impossible theory of GHG’s developed to cover confused thinking about atmospheric energy flux. ( Since this energy is unitized as Watts we should talk about power not energy).

Bob Tisdale does not lay the blame in the right place. He writes “Third, and probably most influential of all, with very few exceptions major media outlets have provided unceasing support for measures to “stop global warming”.” The real blame for the improper scientific approach to D(C)AGW lies with the scientific community; led by the Royal Society, the American Physical Society, and the World Meteorological Organization. These are the organizations which have betrayed science. Just think what the effect would be if just one of these learned societies were to endorse what Bob has just written. The good ship CAGW would immediately capsize.

@DirkH – “She tries to sell “regional climate modeling” and looks for suckers to be parted from their money.”
But is not her rabid denial of reality a deal killer in the end? We have a similar person here in the Mid Atlantic – he sells regional weather forecasts, and has to be accurate in order to make a living (more accurate the local pretty boys on the TV). He has been over the past 10 years or so, constantly being able to predict both long term trends, and short term patterns with a much greater degree of accuracy than any of the TV (or NWS) talking heads. So he is successful. Given Kayhoe’s denial of the facts at present, her models have yet to be correct. Even a slow learner after a while will realize there is no use for bad models, and so her business will not have any customers.

Atmospheric CO2 storage is a concept of confused minds. Our annual production of this trace gas is 3% of the total annual production. The 97% is totally NATURAL and we are led to believe that our little bitty 3% is stored whilst the rest is used. This is complete rubbish. Our bit is no different to any other so it mixes and is used in the carbon cycle by plants much is stored in the oceans depending of water temperature and the partial pressure though temperature is by far the most important factor. Here is joins the carbon cycle forming plant material, shells and rock.
Most of the original atmospheric CO2 has been sequestered in limestone and a little fossil fuel. Using this fossil fuel does not cause a problem but gives plants more food to grow bigger and better.

John B

The ‘lag’ in the effect of Increased CO2 concentration and temperature increase… thing… so let us not get too carried away with 16 years (plus the UK Met Office projected further 5 years) lack of warming.
If this were the case, that ‘lag’ would have been observed historically would it not?
Or is it being proposed that a lag effect of CO2 on temperature has just/might just for the first ime in Earth’s history started/might start to happen? If so, how? Why?
There is an historically observed CO2 v temperature lag, but it is in the opposite direction, CO2 increase lags behind temperature increase.

Thoughtful and well written presentation, Prof Bob Carter.
Here is one of the Professor’s peer reviewed papers concerning climate data.
This is fits in with the null hypothesis “global climate changes are presumed to be natural, unless and until specific evidence is forthcoming for human causation.” -no human finger print in that data.