(Charles Platt is a guest blogger)
The graph above shows surface temperatures in the Sargasso Sea, a 2 million square mile region of the Atlantic Ocean, with time resolution of 50 to 100 years, ending in 1975, as determined by isotope ratios of marine organism remains in sediment at the bottom of the sea. I copy-pasted this from the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine. Note that ocean areas are in some ways a better guide to planetary temperature than land areas, since urban sprawl creates localized hot spots, and scientists don't agree on how much allowance should be made for this.
Skepticism about human-caused climate change has been expressed by more than 30,000 people in the sciences, all of whom have signed a document which you can find at www.petitionproject.org. It states in part that “There is no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate.” More than 9,000 of the signatories state that they have PhDs. The petitions have been trivialized and ridiculed, but if you actually visit the site, you will find that it takes pains to answer the various allegations.
Here's a quote from Robert Carter, an Australian palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist, and environmental scientist:
“Is there an established Theory of Climate? Answer: no. Do we understand fully how climate works? No. Is carbon dioxide demonstrated to be a dangerous atmospheric pollutant? No. Can deterministic computer models predict future climate? Another no. Is there a consensus amongst qualified scientists that dangerous, human-caused climate change is upon us? Absolutely not. Did late 20th century temperature rise at a dangerous rate, or to a dangerous level? No, in either case. Is global temperature currently rising? Surprisingly, no.”
The full paper, published May 2007, is here and makes interesting reading.
Journalists should be skeptical by nature, yet they have embraced climate change uncritically, perhaps because it is a story that sells newspapers. Consequently most people are not even aware that credentialled opposition to global-warming theories exists.
A Senate report, “The Minority Report by the U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works Committee” (released December 11th, 2008 and available online here), should have been a very important news story, since it cited 650 credentialled scientists who dispute aspects of anthropogenic global warming. Most major news sources didn't even mention the report. In their worldview, apparently, credentialled skepticism no longer exists.