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All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

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Global Warming Skeptic Contradictions

Contradictions | Add New Contradiction

The following table lists skeptic arguments that contradict each other. Please feel free to submit a new pair of contradicting arguments.

Argument 1 Argument 2 Submitter
It's geothermal It's the sun John Cook
It's albedo It's the sun John Cook
It's the sun It's CFCs John Cook
It's the sun It's methane John Cook
It's El Niño It's the sun Eric L
Comment: McLean et al claimed that El Nino explained so much of the warming there was no room for warming due to CO2. There is nothing CO2 specific about this reasoning, so if the claim were valid it would apply equally well to everything else that has been claimed to be the cause of global warming.
CO2 is just a trace gas CO2 effect is saturated Eric L
Comment: There's too little of it to have any effect, and also enough to have all the effect it could ever have?
Greenhouse effect has been falsified It's CFCs James Wight
Greenhouse effect has been falsified It's methane James Wight
Greenhouse effect has been falsified Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas James Wight
Greenhouse effect has been falsified CO2 effect is saturated James Wight
Climate's changed before Climate sensitivity is low John Cook
Comment: Dramatic climate change in the past implies high climate sensitivity which contradicts low climate sensitivity.
Medieval Warm Period was warmer Climate sensitivity is low dana1981
Comment: If the MWP was warmer due to a relatively small external forcing, it means the climate must be quite sensitive. Those who make the low climate sensitivity argument should actually be fans of the original 'hockey stick', which showed little climate variation and thus suggested a low climate sensitivity.
The science isn't settled Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate NewYorkJ
Comment: Often contrarians will make claims like "we just don't know and it's arrogant to think otherwise" (perhaps that argument needs to be explored separately) followed or preceded by confident statements presented as fact.
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming It's unstoppable James Wight
Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy Phil Jones says no global warming since 1995 Rob Painting
Comment: Skeptics claim CRU data is fraudulent, yet it's okay to use said data if they think it supports their argument.
It's cooling Global warming theory isn't falsifiable Andy Skuce
Models are unreliable Better to geoengineer angliss
Comment: Projecting the effects of geoengineering requires reliable models.
Greenland was green Climate sensitivity is low James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Earth hasn't warmed as much as expected James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Hansen's 1988 prediction was wrong James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Models exagerate projected temperature rise James Wight
Solar Cycle Length proves its the sun Temp record is unreliable James Wight
Comment: The correlation between temperature and solar cycle length doesn't mean anything if the temperature record is unreliable.
Temp record is unreliable It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low James Wight
CO2 is just a trace gas CO2 is plant food John Cook
Mars is warming It hasn't warmed since 1998 Eric L
Comment: The study showing Mars warming was based on two pictures of Mars, the first of them taken in 1977. So it can't be warming here for the same reason it's warming there and also cooling here.
Mars is warming Models are unreliable Eric L
Comment: The Mars warming is not directly measured, it was determined by climate simulation.
We didn't have global warming during the Industrial Revolution It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low Stuart
We're coming out of an ice age We're heading into an ice age Stuart
It's waste heat Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: If waste heat can force the climate, then humans can indeed affect the climate in contradiction with the second claim.
There is no consensus Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy chuck101
Comment: The argument is that there is a huge conspiracy of the majority of climate scientists to hide inconvenient facts about (lack of) Global Warming, and essentially lie and exaggerate the effects thereof. But if there is no consensus, how can there be a conspiracy?
It's all a socialist plot Nazis invented global warming Tim Cutler
Warming causes CO2 rise CO2 is not increasing Tim Cutler
Warming causes CO2 rise It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low Tim Cutler
Warming causes CO2 rise There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature Tim Cutler
There is no consensus Over 31,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition Project Tim Cutler
Climate's changed before God won't allow it. Tim Cutler
Cold spells kill more people than heat waves CO2 is not the only driver of climate jyushchyshyn
Cold spells kill more people than heat waves CO2 is not increasing jyushchyshyn
Cold spells kill more people than heat waves Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate jyushchyshyn
Cold spells kill more people than heat waves CO2 effect is saturated jyushchyshyn
Cold spells kill more people than heat waves It's not us jyushchyshyn
It's freaking cold! It's Urban Heat Island effect Matt Fitzpatrick
Comment: Skeptics may consider cold weather close to home to be reliable evidence against global warming, while warming near somebody else's home is unreliable evidence that should be ignored.
It's the sun Pluto is warming jyushchyshyn
Mars is warming Mars is colder despite all the CO2 jyushchyshyn
It's the sun Other planets are warming jyushchyshyn
It's the sun Iapetus is warming jyushchyshyn
It's the sun Mars is warming jyushchyshyn
It's the sun Jupiter is warming jyushchyshyn
It's the sun Encaladus is warming jyushchyshyn
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate Better to innovate than mitigate hengistmcstone
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Fukushima means fossil fuels are here to stay jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Renewables can't provide baseload power jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Renewable energy is too expensive jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Renewable energy investment kills jobs jyushchyshyn
Fukushima means fossil fuels are here to stay Nuclear power is the cleanest form of energy jyushchyshyn
Naomi Oreskes' study on consensus was flawed Antarctica is gaining ice bulla
Comment: your argument is flawed
Climate 'Skeptics' are like Galileo Global warming is a hoax jyushchyshyn
Comment: It is the "warmers" who are under pressure to recant.
Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ???? It's internal variability Bob Loblaw
Comment: The "global warming stopped" argument pretends that only CO2 can cause warming, so a pause in warming disproves AGW theory, whereas the "internal variability" argument depends on the idea that many other factors can affect temperatures, so it can't be CO2.
Our country shouldn't go first It's too late jyushchyshyn
AGW is religion God promised Noah no floods jyushchyshyn
AGW is religion God won't allow it. jyushchyshyn
Models exagerate projected temperature rise It's too late jyushchyshyn
Models are unreliable It's too late jyushchyshyn
Climate sensitivity is low It's too late jyushchyshyn
It's not urgent It's too late jyushchyshyn
AGW is religion It's God jyushchyshyn
God won't allow it. It's God chriskoz
Comment: self-explanatory Also could be 'AGW is religion'
1934 - hottest year on record It's not bad jyushchyshyn
Comment: Ever hear of the dust bowl?
Other planets are warming It's cooling jyushchyshyn
Hockey stick is broken It's the sun jyushchyshyn
Comment: Pre-industrial temperature reconstructions show strong past correlation between temperature and sun
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Climate sensitivity is low jyushchyshyn
CO2 is just a trace gas CO2 effect is logarithmic jyushchyshyn
Comment: Logarithmic = strong effect for trace gases and little effect for abundant gases
Models are unreliable Other planets are warming jyushchyshyn
CO2 is just a trace gas It's methane jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Other planets are warming jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming It's too late jyushchyshyn
Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming It's too hard jyushchyshyn
Any warming will increase downward radiation CO2 limits will make little difference jonicol
Comment: The second is true. A straight forward and rigorous calculation shows that increased absorption by CO2 is exactly off set by increased absorption of downward radiation so Idown = Iup/4 whatever Nco2 might be, at any frequency. Additional CO2 = no additional warming. Radiation by CO2 at top of Troposphere, enhances cooling.
The Earth warmed 11 degrees in the last 10,000 years Most of the last 10,000 years were warmer James Wight
Phil Jones says no global warming since 1995 It's cooling James Wight
Comment: If the warming trend since 1995 is not statistically significant, the cooling trend since 2002 certainly isn't.
Humidity is falling Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas James Wight
Aerosols provide too much uncertainty Climate scientists are manipulated by funding threats and promises James Wight
Comment: Not contradictory exactly but hypocritical. The reason why we don't have good aerosol measurements is because climate scientists couldn't get funding for a satellite.
CO2 was higher in the past CO2 measurements are suspect perseus
Comment: Beck suggests that estimates of CO2 concentrations over the last few hundred years are unreliable however other sceptical sources are happy to accept estimates of CO2 concentrations over hundreds of millions of years ago to ‘prove’ that temperature doesn’t depend on CO2 concentrations Stephen Latham
It's clouds Negative feedbacks will stabilise climate Ari Jokimäki
Comment: Usually the negative feedback mentioned is clouds.
It's clouds Infrared Iris will reduce global warming Ari Jokimäki
A drop in volcanic activity caused warming It's the sun dana1981
A drop in volcanic activity caused warming Climate sensitivity is low dana1981
Comment: Volcanic activity hasn't changed significantly, so to explain global warming, climate sensitivity would have to be high.
It's the sun Climate sensitivity is low dana1981
Comment: For the small change in solar output over the past century to explain a non-negligible amount of global warming, climate sensitivity would have to be high.
Global warming theory isn't falsifiable Greenhouse effect has been falsified James Wight
Arctic sea ice has recovered Arctic ice melt is caused by underwater volcanoes Jacob Bock Axelsen
Better to geoengineer AGW is religion Jacob Bock Axelsen
It's Urban Heat Island effect Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: why fix something if it is not broken?
Better to geoengineer It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: why geo-engineer when there is no warming?
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's Urban Heat Island effect barry
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate China pollutes more SoundOff
We didn't have global warming during the Industrial Revolution Thomas Jefferson wrote about warming winters James Wight
Ice core CO2 measurements are uncertain Deglaciations ended while CO2 was rising James Wight
CO2 was higher in the 1800s We didn't have global warming during the Industrial Revolution James Wight
CO2 was higher in the 1800s It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low James Wight
It's cosmic rays Clouds provide too much uncertainty James Wight
Comment: The argument goes that clouds may counteract global warming, which contradicts the notion that cosmic rays are causing global warming via their effect on cloud formation.
Models are unreliable CO2 limits will harm the economy James Wight
Comment: The prediction that CO2 limits will harm the economy relies on economic modelling!
It's not bad Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted James Wight
Comment: If we can't predict it, how do we know it's not bad?
It's God Solar panels contribute to global warming James Wight
It's God It's aerosols James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable Sea level rise preceded temperature rise in the past James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable We're coming out of an ice age James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable We didn't have global warming during the Industrial Revolution James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable Deglaciations ended while CO2 was rising James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable CO2 lags temperature James Wight
Temp record is unreliable There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable We're coming out of the Little Ice Age James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable Medieval Warm Period was warmer James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate Solar panels contribute to global warming James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's latent heat flux from increased plant water use efficiency James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's heat from combustion James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's CFCs James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's overpopulation James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's satellite microwave transmissions James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's land use James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's methane James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's ozone James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's aerosols James Wight
It's God It's soot James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate It's soot James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Amazon is not vulnerable to drought James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Gulf stream is stable James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Negative feedbacks will stabilise climate James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Infrared Iris will reduce global warming James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Better to geoengineer James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted It's unstoppable James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Greenland ice sheet won't collapse James Wight
It's unstoppable Better to geoengineer James Wight
It's unstoppable Infrared Iris will reduce global warming James Wight
It's unstoppable Negative feedbacks will stabilise climate James Wight
Ocean acidification isn't serious Ocean acidification is caused by underwater volcanoes James Wight
It's the gulf stream Gulf stream is stable James Wight
It's not bad There's no such thing as an ideal climate James Wight
Negative feedbacks will stabilise climate We're coming out of the Little Ice Age James Wight
Comment: If there are stabilising negative feedbacks, why are we still recovering from the Little Ice Age when the Dalton Minimum was over 150 years ago?
The 2003 heat wave was not caused by global warming 2009-2010 winter saw record cold spells James Wight
Comment: If a heat wave can't be caused by global warming, a cold spell can't be caused by global cooling.
Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming It snowed somewhere James Wight
Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming 2009-2010 winter saw record cold spells James Wight
Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming It's freaking cold! James Wight
Comment: If extreme weather can't be caused by global warming, it can't be caused by global cooling either.
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted Solar cycle 24 will stop global warming James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted We're heading into an ice age James Wight
Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions Breathing contributes to CO2 buildup James Wight
It's God It's latent heat flux from increased plant water use efficiency James Wight
It's God It's CFCs James Wight
It's God It's heat from combustion James Wight
It's God It's overpopulation James Wight
It's God It's waste heat James Wight
It's God It's satellite microwave transmissions James Wight
It's God It's land use James Wight
It's God It's methane James Wight
It's God It's ozone James Wight
Climate sensitivity is low It's unstoppable Wadard
Climate sensitivity is low It's not bad Wadard
Climate sensitivity is low CO2 was higher in the late Ordovician Wadard
Comment: ... because climate sensitivity is high.
Climate sensitivity is low CO2 was higher in the past Wadard
Comment: You would expect CO2 to have been higher in the past if climate sensitivity is high.
Greenland ice sheet won't collapse Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: You need reliable models to explore the probability of any claim about the future, including that 'the Greenland ice sheet won't collapse'.
Growing forests can offset our CO2 emissions Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: Reliable modeling on available land, water, nutrient, supporting biomass, and other environmental factors is required to calculate how much forest we need to grow to offset our co2 emissions, or even whether we can.
Better to adapt than mitigate Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: One needs reliable civil, construction, engineering, production, financial, risk as well a climate and biomass models in order to best adapt. If we think that models are so unreliable, then it's safer to mitigate.
500 scientists refute the consensus Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: Comment: 500 scientists need reliable models to refute the consensus.
900+ peer reviewed papers are skeptical of AGW Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: Comment: One needs to be able to rely on one's models to say a large body of peer reviewed papers are skeptical.
Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: Comment: One needs to been able to rely on model outputs to confidently say that water vapor is the most powerful GHG.
Sea level rise predictions are exaggerated Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: Comment: One needs to be able to rely on one's models before one can be confident that sea level rise predictions are exaggerated.
Earth hasn't warmed as much as expected Models are unreliable Wadard
Comment: One needs to be able to rely on one's models if one is confident that the globe has not warmed as expected.
Greenhouse effect has been falsified Solar panels contribute to global warming John Russell
Comment: [http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/27/shocker-solar-panel-manufacturing-creates-potent-ghgs/] How can it if the greenhouse effect does not exist?
Encaladus is warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Pluto is warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Triton is warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Other planets are warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Mars is warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: - unless there is something we have missed...
Iapetus is warming It's Urban Heat Island effect Jacob Bock Axelsen
It's the sun It's Milankovitch cycles John Cook
Outgoing longwave radiation hasn't changed The sun is getting hotter _Flin_
Comment: So the sun is getting hotter, but still the longwave radiation stays the same? Burn, burn, yes you gonna burn!
Water vapor in the stratosphere stopped global warming Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas _Flin_
Comment: Can you please decide?
It's not 100% certain It's God _Flin_
Comment: God is almighty and knows all. Nothing can be less than 100% certain when it is the will of the Almighty.
It's a natural cycle It's Milankovitch cycles _Flin_
Comment: Different time.
It's not bad Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions tmurdock
It's cosmic rays Mars is warming tomhuld
Comment: Cosmic rays are supposed to change the climate by affecting cloudiness. This doesn't work on Mars (or Iapetus, or Enceladus).
Regional climate change is more important than global temperature change It's freaking cold! John Cook
Comment: When global temperature is high, skeptics point out specific regions with high temperature that are pushing the global average up and hence is a regional phenomenon, not global. But when a specific region is cold, this is cited as proof of global cooling.
CO2 measurements are suspect There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature James Wight
Mars is warming Temp record is unreliable Eric L
Comment: Really, we could tell Mars was warming from two flyby pictures of it but we have no idea what's going on today?
Better to adapt than mitigate CO2 limits will harm the economy Andy Skuce
Comment: Bangladeshi farmers are more able to adapt to rising sea levels than rich economies to rising carbon taxes.
Temp record is unreliable It cooled mid-century James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Arctic was warmer in 1940 James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Antarctica is cooling James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Greenland was warmer in 1940 James Wight
Temp record is unreliable Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ???? James Wight
Temp record is unreliable The southern hemisphere hasn't warmed as much James Wight
Temp record is unreliable It hasn't warmed since 1998 James Wight
Temp record is unreliable It's cooling James Wight
Scientists falsified data It's cooling Stuart
Comment: I guess this isn't a contradiction. They could have falsified it and forgot that they were supposed to be falsifying it in the other direction.
Global temperature does not exist Iapetus is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Encaladus is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Pluto is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Saturn is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Triton is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Jupiter is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Mars is warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Neptune is warming James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate Technological breakthroughs will fix global warming James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Solar cycles cause global warming James Wight
Humans are too insignificant to affect global climate Better to geoengineer F. Murdoch
Glacier melt is natural Glaciers are growing James Wight
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted It's the sun F. Murdoch
Comment: The first argument suggests the system is too complex for us to understand, while the second suggests a simple system. Can also be applied to just about any argument made, such as snow disproving global warming.
Greenland was green Greenland ice sheet won't collapse James Wight
CO2 was higher in the 1800s CO2 has a short residence time James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Other planets are warming F. Murdoch
CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration CO2 is coming from the ocean Stuart
Comment: The CO2 concentration increase is lower than our emissions. Natural sources must be acting as a sink, not a source.
CO2 emissions do not correlate with CO2 concentration Human CO2 is a tiny % of CO2 emissions Stuart
Comment: Human emissions are small so they can't be the source of the recent rise, but emissions are HIGHER than the recent rise.
There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature CO2 lags temperature Stuart
Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas Clouds provide too much uncertainty Nick Palmer
Comment: I was looking for Argument 2 to be more like clouds cause cooling (Lindzen etc). More water vapour = more clouds
900+ peer reviewed papers are skeptical of AGW Climategate CRU emails suggest conspiracy Stuart
Comment: A conspiracy keeps skeptical arguments out of the peer-reviewed literature, but there are hundreds of skeptical papers out there.
It's Urban Heat Island effect Jupiter is warming Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: Arg 1 implies that there is no cooling, but there are no cities on Jupiter to cause the Urban Heat Island effect.
Glaciers are growing Glaciers have been receding since the 1800's Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: glaciers cannot grow and recede at the same time
Climate is chaotic and cannot be predicted It's cosmic rays Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: Predictability versus a clear prediction... a contradiction
Models are unreliable It's the sun rogel
Comment: If you don't admit second order predictability, you can't invoke any external forcing as an explanation for recent warming
The sun is getting hotter It's cooling Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: If the sun drives the climate, then how can it be cooling?
Ice age predicted in the 70s Models are unreliable Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: no prediction can be made without a model, but they are unreliable
We're heading into an ice age Models are unreliable Jacob Bock Axelsen
Comment: argument 1 is a prediction which can only be made with a model. 2 models are moot.
Extreme weather isn't caused by global warming Record snowfall disproves global warming James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree Earth hasn't warmed as much as expected James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree Hansen's 1988 prediction was wrong James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree Antarctica is cooling James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ???? James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree The southern hemisphere hasn't warmed as much James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree It's microsite influences James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree 1934 - hottest year on record James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree It's Urban Heat Island effect James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree It cooled mid-century James Wight
Mercury thermometers can't measure within tenths of a degree It's cooling James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Sea level rise preceded temperature rise in the past James Wight
Global temperature does not exist There's no correlation between CO2 and temperature James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Hansen's 1988 prediction was wrong James Wight
Hockey stick is broken Climate sensitivity is low James Wight
Global temperature does not exist It warmed before 1940 when CO2 was low James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Temperature has fallen while CO2 was rising James Wight
Global temperature does not exist It cooled mid-century James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Global temperatures have risen as fast in the past James Wight
Global temperature does not exist Global warming stopped in 1998, 1995, 2002, 2007, 2010, ???? James Wight
Global temperature does not exist It's cooling James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable Boreholes show strong Medieval Warm Period James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable Holocene Optimum was warmer James Wight
Temperature proxies are unreliable It's a natural cycle James Wight
Ice core CO2 measurements are uncertain CO2 lags temperature John Cook


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