The "Science" Underlying Climate Alarmism Turns Up Missing

In the list of President Obama's favorite things to do, using government power to save the world from human-caused "climate change" has to rank at the top.  From the time of his nomination acceptance speech in June 2008 ("this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal . . ."), through all of his State of the Union addresses, and right up to the present, he has never missed an opportunity to lecture us on how atmospheric warming from our sinful "greenhouse gas" emissions is the greatest crisis facing humanity.  Just a couple of weeks ago, while on his way in Air Force One to China to "ratify" his new climate non-treaty treaty, he stopped off to make two speeches on the subject, one in Nevada and the other in Hawaii.  From the Guardian on September 1:

Obama embraced language that would not be out of place from an environmental group, calling on politicians “to be less concerned with special interests and more concerned about the judgment of future generations”. He lamented the “withering” crops in the Marshall Islands and the fact that the government of Kiribati, another low-lying Pacific nation, has purchased land in Fiji to relocate its people due to the rising seas.

And don't forget, Air Force One is two 747s, not just one.  Hey, you wouldn't want the President to go crossing the Pacific without a backup 747, now would you?  And while the President lectures us about our sins against the planet, his EPA and other agencies embark on the project to impose penance on us by forcing the closure of coal and other fossil fuel power plants, blocking pipelines, bankrupting the coal mining industry, subsidizing intermittent power sources that can't possibly run a fully operational electrical grid at reasonable cost, and multiplying our cost of electricity by an order of magnitude or so.  To save the planet!

But is there actually any scientific basis for this?  Supposedly, it's to be found in a document uttered by EPA back in December 2009, known as the "Endangerment Finding."  In said document, the geniuses at EPA purport to find that the emissions of "greenhouse gases" into the atmosphere are causing a danger to human health and welfare through the greenhouse warming mechanism.  But, you ask, is there any actual proof of that?  EPA's answer (found in the Endangerment Finding) is the "Three Lines of Evidence".  From page 47 of the Endangerment Finding's Technical Support Document:

The attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic activities is based on multiple lines of evidence. The first line of evidence arises from the basic physical understanding of the effects of changing concentrations of GHGs, natural factors, and other human impacts on the climate system. The second line of evidence arises from indirect, historical estimates of past climate changes that suggest that the changes in global surface temperature over the last several decades are unusual (Karl et al, 2009). The third line of evidence arises from the use of computer-based climate models to simulate the likely patterns of response of the climate system to different forcing mechanisms (both natural and anthropogenic).  

But, guys, have you actually checked the empirical data to see if your "lines of evidence" stand up?  Climate skeptics have been carping for years that the serious studies that should have been done to back up the "lines of evidence" seem to be completely lacking.  And now, this morning, we get this, first appearing at the ICECAP website: "The most important assumption in EPA’s CO2 Endangerment Finding has been conclusively invalidated."  

The news is that a major new work of research, from a large group of top scientists and mathematicians, asserts that EPA's "lines of evidence," and thus its Endangerment Finding, have been scientifically invalidated.  Here is a relatively long quote from the summary:

On December 15, 2009, EPA issued its Green House Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding, which has driven very significant and costly regulations beginning with CO2. Focusing primarily on the time period since 1950, EPA’s Endangerment Finding predicated on Three Lines of Evidence, claims that Higher CO2 Emissions have led to dangerously Higher Global Average Surface Temperatures.

The assumption of the existence of a “Tropical Hot Spot (THS)” is critical to all Three Lines of Evidence in EPA’s GHG/CO2 Endangerment Finding.

Stated simply, first, the THS is claimed to be a fingerprint or signature of atmospheric and Global Average Surface Temperatures (GAST) warming caused by increasing GHG/CO2 concentrations[1]. The proper test for the existence of the THS in the real world is very simple. Are the slopes of the three temperature trend lines (upper & lower troposphere and surface) all positive, statistically significant and do they have the proper top down rank order?

Second, higher atmospheric CO2 and other GHGs concentrations are claimed to have been the primary cause of the claimed record setting GAST over the past 50 plus years.

Third, the THS assumption is imbedded in all of the climate models that EPA still relies upon in its policy analysis supporting, for example, its Clean Power Plan - recently put on hold by a Supreme Court Stay. These climate models are also critical to EPA’s Social Cost of Carbon estimates used to justify a multitude of regulations across many U.S. Government agencies. . . .  

These analysis results [in this Report] would appear to leave very, very little doubt but that EPA’s claim of a Tropical Hot Spot (THS), caused by rising atmospheric CO2 levels, simply does not exist in the real world. Also critically important, even on an all-other-things-equal basis, this analysis failed to find that the steadily rising Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations have had a statistically significant impact on any of the 13 critically important temperature time series data analyzed.

Thus, the analysis results invalidate each of the Three Lines of Evidence in its CO2 Endangerment Finding. Once EPA’s THS assumption is invalidated, it is obvious why the climate models they claim can be relied upon, are also invalid. And, these results clearly demonstrate - 13 times in fact - that once just the ENSO impacts on temperature data are accounted for, there is no “record setting” warming to be concerned about. In fact, there is no ENSO-Adjusted Warming at all. These natural ENSO impacts are shown in this research to involve both changes in solar activity and the well-known 1977 Pacific Climate Shift.

So the authors of this Report, operating without government or industry funding, compiled the best available atmospheric temperature time series from 13 independent sources (satellites, balloons, buoys, and surface records), and then backed out only ENSO (i.e., El Nino/La Nina) effects.  And with that data and that sole adjustment they found: no evidence of the so-called Tropical Hot Spot that is the key to EPA's claimed "basic physical understanding" of the claimed atmospheric greenhouse warming model, plus no statistically significant atmospheric warming at all to be explained.

For those interested in all the gory technical details, here is a link to the full Executive Summary, and here is a link to the full 68 page Report, complete with zillions of charts and access to all the archived underlying data.  Note that, in great distinction to the tradition of climate "science," where hiding data from adversaries is the norm, here the authors have made all data and methods fully available.  Try to prove them wrong!

Well, back to you EPA!  Do you mean that you're trying to impose hundreds of billions of dollars of costs on the American economy and citizens and the so-called "scientific" basis for your project never existed? You'd better come up with something pretty good and quick!

Meanwhile, Hillary is saying that she supports Obama's climate agenda because she "believes in science."  Does she even know that science is a process of testing hypotheses against data, and not a set of enforced orthodox beliefs?  Don't count on it.