Peter Sinclair has released another excellent video about climate change science, this time about the simplistic view some have that all global warming science has its foundation on the hockey stick.
There’s a persistent delusion out there, that you hear a lot from people who should know better – that global warming boils down to a simple minded correlation between temperature graphs and CO2 rise. Climate deniers are sure this is true, and that if they just attack the most famous temperature graph, Mike Mann’s “Hockey Stick”, they can knock down the whole thing.
But our understanding of climate is, of course, based not on a graph, but on the radiative properties of greenhouse gases – which have been well known for 150 years, and got seriously nailed during the 1950s when the US government was working on building heat-seeking missiles that had to pick out long wave radiation at all altitudes in the atmosphere. We realized that CO2 was blocking heat – and as Richard Alley points out here, that means something.