This is RealClimate's wiki site for global warming myths. Topics include myths by subject and publication/media outlet, astroturf front organizations, anti-global warming consultants and propagandists, and more.
Anti-global heating claims - a reasonably thorough debunking
This article from Brian Angliss at Scholars & Rogues gives a thorough, yet concise overview of the more common anti-global warming myths. Comments are organized by topic in an easily searchable format and there are links to more detailed information for those interested, including peer-reviewed research.
One of the oldest and most worn out skeptic myths is the claim that scientists can’t make up their minds about global climate… because during the 70’s they were predicting catastrophic global cooling. “How can those scientists be so sure we’re causing global warming,” they demand, “when during the 70’s they were predicting that an ice-age was coming?...” In one form or another, this argument has been uncritically rattling around the Far-Right pinball machine for more than a decade. Apart from the usual industry-funded consultants like Fred Singer and MIT climatologist Richard Lindzen (who given his background, ought to know better!), it has been used by everyone from conservative columnist George Will (here
for instance) and author Michael Crichton (who alludes to it in his novel State of Fear), to fringe conspiracy theory groups like the John Birch Society. Apart from the embarrassingly obvious question of whether scientific knowledge might have made any advances in over 30 years, a few minutes worth of homework is enough to refute this claim. It originated with a few papers from the 70’s, including a 1975 report by the National Academy of Sciences. These addressed what was then known about the aerosol induced troposphere cooling that had been observed since the 40’s (a well-known, and today well understood phenomenon that ended soon thereafter), and the possibility of future Milankovitch cooling cycles. Milankovitch cycles are climate shifts resulting from gravitational perturbations to the earth’s solar orbit, rotation, or nutation by passing astronomical bodies. They occur over timeframes that vary from a few centuries to tens of millennia averaging a few thousand years per cycle, and have nothing to do with investigations of anthropogenic climate change. These articles discuss some of the history of this myth and the imaginative way it was extracted from the science it claims to be based on.
Media goofed on Antarctic data - Global warming interpretation irks scientists
San Francisco Chronicle, Feb. 4, 2002
This year 2002 news article from the San Francisco Chronicle discusses how the media and Astroturf editorialists have misrepresented what is known about Antarctic climate to falsely give the impression that it contradicts predictions of global warming—for ideological rather than scientific reasons.
Climate Change & Tropospheric Temperature Trends - Part II: A Critical Examination of Skeptic ClaimsPDF Version
The "scientific" support climate change skeptics rely on comes almost exclusively from a handful of arguments that have been recycled in different forms years. Among the more important ones is the claim that the troposphere (the lowest 7 to 10 km of the atmosphere) has not been warming for the last 25 years or so, and that this supersedes all observations of surface warming during the last century and predictions of warming to come. This is Part II of a two-part paper by me on upper-air temperature measurements and climate change. In it I discuss the way troposphere temperatures have been consistently misrepresented by industry and Far-Right special interests as "proof" that global warming isn't real. A more detailed review of the science is presented in Part I
linked off of my Troposphere Temperatures