Mankind Is Not the Main Cause of Global Warming
This is going to be one debate in a project I have devised to decide on the global warming issue once and for all - I will take the pro side in one debate, the con side in another debate, and make my decision from there.
Part I - Take the side against global warming. Tylergraham95 is a really good debater, especially on global warming, and I'm sure this will be a great first debate.
I will be arguing that mankind is the not main cause of global warming. We will not be arguing if global warming exists or not, it will be assumed that it does; only if global warming has an anthropogenic cause.
BoP is shared.
Mankind: "The human race; human beings collectively without reference to sex; humankind."
Main: "Chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading;"
Cause: "A person or thing that acts, happens, or exists in such a way that some specific thing happens as a result; the producer of an effect."
Global Warming: "Global warming is the rise in the average temperature of Earth's atmosphere and oceans since the late 19th century, and its projected continuation."
1. The first round is for acceptance.
2. A forfeit or concession is not allowed.
3. No semantics, trolling, or lawyering.
4. All arguments must be visible inside this debate. Sources may be posted in an outside link.
5. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed without asking in the comments before you post your round 1 argument. Debate resolution, definitions, rules, and structure cannot be changed in the middle of the debate.
Voters, in the case of the breaking of any of these rules by either debater, all seven points in voting should be given to the other person.
Round 1: Acceptance
Round 2: Presenting all arguments (no rebuttals by con)
Round 3: Refutation of opponent's arguments (no new arguments)
Round 4: Defending your original arguments and conclusion (no new arguments)
Thanks to Subutai for allowing me to take on this challenge!
I would like to thank tylergraham95 for accepting this debate.
I have decided to amend my debate structure a bit to fit the purpose of this debate. This round, I will post arguments for a natural cause. In the next round, I will post arguments against an anthropogenic cause. And in the final round, I will consider the most important material from both cases.
The sun is the source for all the heat that the Earth receives. It is only natural to expect that fluctuations in the climate can be determined by the amount of solar activity. Unfortunately, the solar connection to climate Is not very well understood. However, there is a number of separate pieces of evidence, both direct and indirect, that indicate that the sun is the only cause of climate change on Earth.
A graph of total solar irradiance is shown below:
The low periods (the first one being the Maunder minimum and the second one being the Dalton minimum) correspond to documented colder periods in human history. In fact, the time of the Maunder minimum corresponded to the little ice age, when rivers that are normally ice-free froze and snow fields remained year-round at lower altitudes.
The correlation between solar activity and climate continued into the 20th century, and continues to this day. There are a number of methods to measure solar activity, the best one arguably being solar cycle length. Between raw solar activity (solar irradiance) and temperature, temperature lags about 7.5-10 years behind solar irradiance because of the heat capacity of the oceans. A better representation of the sun/temperature correlation is the length of the solar cycle. "This new parameter not only indicated a remarkably high correlation coefficient between solar activity and temperature (on the order of 0.95), but it also eliminated the problem of the 7-year lag encountered by Reid."
Here is a graph showing solar cycle length against temperature:
The correlation between the two is striking. There is obviously correlation. Like I said before, what is not well understood is the method of causation between the two. However, we can be certain that the sun has an obvious effect on the climate, and this is shown wonderfully above.
The effect of solar activity is amplified through cosmic rays. Experiments have shown that cosmic rays increase cloud cover, that increased cloud cover lowers global temperature, and that solar activity reduces the amount of cosmic rays that strike the Earth.
An experiment at CERN shows the first hypothesis: “Scientists found that when shielding was removed and natural cosmic rays allowed to hit the chamber, cloud seeding increased dramatically, and it increased substantially again when additional artificial cosmic rays were added.” Experiments in the atmosphere further confirm this: “Preliminary results show that these faux cosmic rays indeed have an effect on the atmosphere: When high energy protons stream in, production of nanometer-sized particles in the atmosphere increases by more than ten times.”
It is commonly accepted that greater amounts of clouds lower global temperature, because they block some of the solar radiation. Indeed, over the past couple of decades, cloud cover has decreased.
As for the final hypothesis that solar activity is correlated with cosmic rays, it is known that cosmic rays come from space, and that higher solar activity means that the sun has a stronger magnetic field, and that this stronger magnetic field deflects more of the cosmic rays reaching Earth. “Over the period between 1975 and 1989, he found cosmic rays decreased by 1.2 percent annually, amplifying the sun's change in irradiance about four-fold.”
This graph shows both the inverse correlation between cosmic rays and low clouds and solar activity:
The effect of solar activity on the climate can be partially explained by the role of ocean currents. “This [solar activity] is the single most important cause [of ocean currents and their temperatures]. The Sun provides the bulk of the energy which drives the circulation of water in the oceans, either directly or indirectly (through winds). The uneven distribution of solar energy across the globe (highest at the equator, decreasing towards the poles) produces an uneven heating of water in the ocean.”
The r^2 correlation between ocean current anomalies and temperature is 0.83, which is considered a good correlation, and considering ocean current's dependence on the solar cycle (which is rather similar to the 27-year solar cycle, I might add), this proves yet another piece of evidence linking solar activity with the climate.
Here is a graph showing ocean current anomalies compared with temperature:
Another piece of evidence in favor of a solar cause to global warming is an analysis of other bodies in the solar system, for if the Earth is warming, shouldn't the other bodies in the solar system also be warming?
“In 2005 data from NASA's Mars Global Surveyor and Odyssey missions revealed that the carbon dioxide "ice caps" near Mars's south pole had been diminishing for three summers in a row. Habibullo Abdussamatov, head of space research at St. Petersburg's Pulkovo Astronomical Observatory in Russia, says the Mars data is evidence that the current global warming on Earth is being caused by changes in the sun.”
This is not just an isolated incident. Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Io, Europa, Ganymede, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Trition, and Pluto have all shown signs that they are warming (if I have space in my round 4 argument, I'll elaborate on this).
“If the Scafetta and West analysis used the uncontaminated satellite data since 1980, the results would show that the Sun has contributed at least 75% of the global warming of the last century.” And this is just a minimum estimate. If this is true (which it seems like it is considering the arguments above), the debate has already been decided.
The 1500-Year Cycle
In addition to cycles of interglacials and ice ages, there seems to be a 1500-year climate cycle, where the climate goes from a period of warmer temperature, to a period of colder temperature, and back again to a period of warmer temperature, the entire process taking 1500 years to repeat. Where do these cycles come from? There's no 1500 year solar cycle. However, there are 87 and 210 solar cycles, and superimposing the two cycles produces the 1500 year cycle.
This graph shows the most recent 1500-year cycle:
Many of the previous warmings (the Minoan warming, Roman warming, and Medieval warming), were as warm, if not warmer than the current climate. This, combined with the correlation evidence between solar activity and the climate, indicates that the current episode of global warming is nothing more than another cycle of the 1500-year cycle.
There are numerous pieces of evidence for each of these warmings, as well as illustrations of the cycle. One such piece of evidence is, “The scientists found evidence that on average, every 1,470 years, plus or minus 500 years, cold, ice-bearing waters, which today circulate around southern Greenland, pushed as far south as Great Britain.”
There seems to be a full cycle of up-down-up temperatures of the climate every 1470 years. And this goes as far back as at least 1 million years ago. Currently, we are in an upswing of temperatures, just coming off of the Little Ice Age, the peak to be in a few hundred years, making the peak-to-peak difference between today's global warming and the Medieval Warm Period a little less than 1500 years. So today's Global Warming is a natural, cyclical occurrence.
Global warming is caused by an increase in solar activity. There is both correlation and causation between solar activity and global temperature. The sun's effects on cosmic rays amplify the correlation, and the ocean current's cycles and correlation with temperature back up the idea. This hypothesis is backed up further by evidence that other bodies in the solar system are warming. The climate of the Earth fluctuates in 1500-year cycles, that correspond to a superposition of solar cycles. The Sun has been more active in the last 100 years than in the last 500, and this is exemplified in the fact that we are going through a warm period. There's perfectly good reason to suppose that the current warming, similar to all the other previous warmings in magnitude and initial conditions (solar activity) was caused by the sun.
In the next round, I will present arguments against an anthropogenic cause to global warming.
Thanks to subutai for posting an excellent opening round! I'm looking forward to this debate, as I am sure it will be an interesting one!
So to kick this thing off I'd like to start by providing the readers with a quick road map of my case and how I aim to negate the given resolution.
What I am going to do is set up the basis of a cause effect relationship between greenhouse gases (Such as CO2, Methane, and Water Vapor) and a warming trend, and then confirm this relationship with corroborating corollaries. This will prove that increased atmospheric GHG concentrations to create a warming effect on the climate.
Next, I will begin to discuss why humanities effect on the climate creates an increased concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases, thus creating an anthropogenic cause for global warming.
Then, I will establish why the current warming trend cannot be due primarily to natural causes.
Finally, to seal in these arguments, I will discuss the consensus of the scientific community as a whole regarding anthropogenic global warming.
I. The Greenhouse effect and Greenhouse Gases
To begin, let's examine what exactly makes a green house gas, a green house gas. Everyone has likely heard of the most common GHGs: Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Water Vapor (H2O). Why, though, do these gases cause a warming effect, while the gases most prevalent in our atmosphere, Nitrogen and Oxygen, cause no warming?
A) Di-pole moment
Examine the following diagram describing the molecular structures of the gases above.
So here we have CO2, Methane, Water Vapor, Nitrogen, and Oxygen in either 3d models, or Lewis structures. The thing we must pay closest attention to is their molecular shape (VSEPR Theory). Carbon Dioxide is bent. Methane is tetrahedral. H2O is Bent. Nitrogen and oxygen, however, are Linear diatomic molecules .
Now, every element has a different level of electronegativity. In an atom with an electronegativity disparity, a dipole moment forms . This is essentially the formation of a magnetic field direction. CO2 and H2O due to their bent asymmetrical shapes have Dipole moments. The dipole moment "points" from the more electronegative towards the less electronegative. More +--> Less
When an atom is struck by particular wavelengths of infrared light, the bonds in the atom begin to "vibrate" there are many kinds of vibration that can occur (bending, stretching, etc).  This causes the molecules to shift around, and in greenhouse gases, the dipole moment is shifted. Now atoms like N2 and O2 have no dipole moment, and no amount of shifting disrupts their symmetry. CO2 and H2O always have their dipole moment shifted by molecular vibration. Methane, due to the complexity of tetrahedral molecular shape, can undergo several vibrations that disrupt the symmetry of the molecule, and cause dipole moments to form.
When a dipole moment is shifted or formed, much energy is released as heat. This is what happens in greenhouse gases .
This is why greenhouse gases heat the earth when they are present in the atmosphere. Light from the sun strikes the molecule, and the infrared spectra that result in molecular vibration release heat energy into the atmosphere. Every single one of the billions of GHGs in the atmosphere are each acting as individual heat generators, catching and trapping energy from the sun, and heating the earth.
B) Corollaries (Paleoclimate)
Paleoclimates have historically been a major focal point of many debates on anthropogenic global warming. Therefore, I will preempt these arguments, so that time may be saved in the rebuttals. I will also reestablish the cause that I have described previously, and corroborate through corollaries.
Many climate change skeptics have claimed that there is "No historic correlation" between the presence of green-house gases and global temperature.
According to Royers 2006  the data previously observed on the phanerzoic era has been contaminated, as it has not been adjusted for pH, which affects the molecular shape, atmospheric concentration, dipole moment, and molecular vibration potential of CO2. Quote Royer, "the temperature data correlate strongly with both the record of continental gla-ciation and atmospheric CO2".
Furthermore, the famous Vostok Ice Cores show that "there is a close correlation between Antarctic temperature and atmospheric concentrations of CO2 (Barnola et al. 1987). The extension of the Vostok CO2 record shows that the main trends of CO2 are similar for each glacial cycle. Major transitions from the lowest to the highest values are associated with glacial-interglacial transitions. During these transitions, the atmospheric concentrations of CO2 rises from 180 to 280-300 ppmv (Petit et al. 1999). The extension of the Vostok CO2 record shows the present-day levels of CO2 are unprecedented during the past 420 kyr." 
During the cenzoic period as well, CO2 was the driving force of Global warming, cite Hansen and Sato .
II. Climate Sensitivity/Carbon
Another aspect of global warming that one must consider is "Climate sensitivity." Climate sensitivity is essentially the amount of expected change in global temperature as a result of increased retention of radiation (via GHGs).  Essentially, climate sensitivity tells us how much the temperature will change, given a certain amount of CO2 concentration increase  . The reason that certain paleoclimates were not nearly as warm given the increased concentration of CO2 was due to lower climate sensitivity .
Current studies have established an accepted measurement of modern climate sensitivity (a range between 1-4.1 degrees Celsius per doubling of CO2). This number is accepted by both supporters and skeptics of global warming .
Furthermore, to preempt a rebuttal on the presence of water vapor concentrations, it has been observed that global humidity is increasing  .
A) Carbon Cycle, atmospheric CO2, and "Tipping the Pot"
A common rebuttal against the anthropogenic climate change case is the relative smallness of man-made CO2 compared to natural concentrations. The problem with this argument, is that it observes all carbon, rather than only atmospheric CO2. Carbon that is not in the atmosphere cannot affect climate change, and does not contribute to global warming. It can be seen that man-made CO2 almost always remains in the atmosphere, as the natural equilibrium of the earths carbon cycle is upset by the introduction of artificial CO2
And now in the industrial age where CO2 is introduced into the atmosphere in a myriad of ways, we can see that atmospheric CO2 levels are at a record level.
Then, as GHGs warm the Earth, positive feedback loops occur. Thus, humanity has "tipped the pot."
B) Positive Feedback
Positive feedback comes in many forms in climate change. The problem with global warming, is that said warming can result in the death of vegetation (due to droughts) and the warming of the ocean. Both of these further reduce the
maximum absorption of the Earths carbon cycle, thus resulting in even more CO2 being released into the atmosphere. 
These kinds of emissions are referred to as "indirect emissions" as humans did not directly produce these GHG emissions, they are directly responsible for the factors that resulted in this emission. This emission also comes from other human practices, such as deforestation, and pollution of the ocean.
III. What makes anthropogenic warming different from natural warming?
The key difference between the current modern global warming, and previous eras of natural warming, is that the current warming period is undoubtedly the fastest in the Earth's history. "Carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants are collecting in the atmosphere like a thickening blanket, trapping the sun's heat and causing the planet to warm up. Although local temperatures fluctuate naturally, over the past 50 years the average global temperature has increased at the fastest rate in recorded history." The Global scientific community has reached a 97% consensus that the current trend cannot be accounted for by natural forces. 18 scientific associations have examined and produced data on the climate, and have stated "Observations throughout the world make it clear that climate change is occurring, and rigorous scientific research demonstrates that the greenhouse gases emitted by human activities are the primary driver."
This is not an appeal to authority, as every single one of these quotes a backed by countless empirically verified, and peer reviewed studies. This is not a claim made by a single scientist, this is an overwhelming preponderance of evidence.
A) Atmospheric Carbon Levels
Atmospheric carbon levels, as previously mentioned, have never been this high. Record breaking levels of CO2 (a known GHG) have acted upon the Earth. Never before have atmospheric carbon levels been seen at this level. Natural CO2 cycles cannot account for this warming. Natural warming cycles of this Earth cannot account for how rapidly the earth is heating.
IIII. Preponderance of evidence
The evidence that suggest the reality of anthropogenic is, simply put, insurmountable. The weight of the evidence collected and scrutinized that points to the reality of anthropogenic global warming, when compared to the evidence presented against is like comparing the weight of a blue whale to the weight of a vole.
Consider the following famous "Powell Charts."
Peer reviewed climatology articles 1991-2012
Peer reviewed studies 2013
This isn't simply just scientists saying "I think anthropogenic global warming is real!"
This is thousands of experts performing countless experiments, collecting endless data that they, as experts, have critically analyzed, and have found that the data demonstrates definitively that man-made global warming exists, and is the driving force behind climate change.
There is no room in the scientific community for climate change deniers
Sources in comments.
I would like to thank tylergraham95 for presenting his well-thought out arguments.
In this round, I will post arguments against an anthropogenic cause to the recent global warming, and also consider as much as I can of my opponent's argument.
Arguments Against Human-Caused Global Warming
There are many indicators that point to CO2 emissions not being the cause of the modern global warming.
Second, according to the greenhouse effect, global warming should be starting from the lower atmosphere and moving to the surface (because the CO2 collects in the upper troposphere first). However, this is not happening. "...satellite and high-altitude balloon data confirm that the lower atmosphere is not trapping lots of additional heat due to higher CO2 concentrations. It is hard to know how fast the Earth's highly variable surface is warming, but it is warming faster than the lower atmosphere where the CO2 is accumulating. This is strong evidence that CO2 is not the primary climate factor."
(The blue line is lower tropospheric temperatures)
Fourth, current levels of CO2 have very little effect on temperature. The greenhouse effect certainly exists, but it doesn't become linearly stronger with increasing amounts of CO2. CO2's effect on temperature is logarithmic, meaning that each additional increase has a smaller effect on the climate than the last. "The carbon that is already up in the atmosphere absorbs most of the light it can. CO2 only soaks up its favorite wavelengths of light and it's close to its saturation point. It manages to grab a bit more light from wavelengths that are close to its favorite bands but it can't do much more, because there are not many left-over photons at the right wavelengths." This has to do with how CO2's absorption spectrum overlaps with water vapor's.
However, here is the actual observed temperature changes:
The hot spot is completely missing, which is pretty much a knockout blow to the anthropogenic global warming theory.
However, the correlation isn't even there. See the below graph:
In case the graph's methodology is questioned, consider this: “The Carboniferous Period and the Ordovician Period were the only geological periods during the Paleozoic Era when global temperatures were as low as they are today. To the consternation of global warming proponents, the Late Ordovician Period was also an Ice Age while at the same time CO2 concentrations then were nearly 12 times higher than today-- 4400 ppm. According to greenhouse theory, Earth should have been exceedingly hot. Instead, global temperatures were no warmer than today. Clearly, other factors besides atmospheric carbon influence earth temperatures and global warming.”
Surely these periods should have been warmer. Surely some other factor did not outweigh CO2 by that much. Even climate sensitivity cannot account for something as drastic as that. Further, CO2 concentrations have been much higher - as much as 7000 ppm in the Cambrian period. I'm not going to argue that humans have not caused the CO2 increase, but it kind of shows how an increase of 100 ppm is rather insignificant. Even if the graph is analyzed, the correlation just isn't there. Even so, again, CO2 seems to lag temperature changes anyway.
As for humidity, it is, in fact, decreasing. “This shows that the actual water vapor content in the upper troposphere has declined by 13.7% (best fit line) from 1948 to 2012 at the 400 mb pressure level. The climate models predict that humidity will increase in the upper troposphere, but the data shows a large decrease; just where water vapor changes have the greatest effect on global temperatures.”
This graph shows this:
The two feedbacks, water vapor feedback and cloud feedback, are weak. The fact that humidity is decreasing negates the former. However, even if the humidity were increasing, more lower level clouds would form, which block sunlight from reaching the Earth, essentially negating the warming effect of the water vapor. Further, while higher numbers of cirrus clouds (which supposedly would increase in the scenario) cause warming, what has actually been found was that cirrus clouds were decreasing in number. “What we found in month-to-month fluctuations of the tropical climate system was a strongly negative feedback. As the tropical atmosphere warms, cirrus clouds decrease. That allows more infrared heat to escape from the atmosphere into outer space..."it would reduce estimates of future warming by over 75 percent.”
Finally, global warming is not happening unbelievably fast. “Temperature changes recorded in the GISP2 ice core ... show that the global warming experienced during the past century pales into insignificance when compared to the magnitude of profound climate reversals over the past 25,000 years. In addition, small temperature changes of up to a degree or so, similar to those observed in the 20th century record, occur persistently throughout the ancient climate record.”
This graph shows this:
It doesn't look different than all the rest of the warmings. It even looks rather moderate.
The problem with any consensus argument, no matter how strong, is that science does not work by consensus. Michael Crichton has said, “Consensus is the business of politics. Science, on the contrary, requires only one investigator who happens to be right, which means that he or she has results that are verifiable by reference to the real world. In science consensus is irrelevant. What is relevant is reproducible results. The greatest scientists in history are great precisely because they broke with the consensus.”
There have been many false consensuses in history. Heliocentrism, evolution, the big bang theory, continental drift, and even climate change itself used to be ridiculed by the majority of scientists. There's no reason why this consensus should be believed above all of the other false ones.
Even so, the consensus is based off of a misrepresentation of the data, and a selective look at studies. Over 31,000 scientists (with at least a Bachelors' degree in relevant fields, and over 9000 PhDs) have signed a petition saying that global warming is not anthropogenic. “Only 41 out of the 11,944 published climate papers Cook examined explicitly stated that Man caused most of the warming since 1950. Cook himself had flagged just 64 papers as explicitly supporting that consensus, but 23 of the 64 had not in fact supported it. A book I own (but unfortunately don't have access to at this moment) cites over 500 studies that don't believe in the whole global warming edifice, showing various inconsistencies in the hockey stick graph (i.e. the 1500-year cycle), that the sun causes global warming, and that CO2 cannot be causing global warming, other things.
There are many arguments against the anthropogenic global warming theory, and there are many problems with the assumptions it makes. The consensus is based off of a false understanding of how scientific hypotheses are supported, and isn't even true anyway. Overall, the anthropogenic global warming theory does not hold water against its own assumptions and predictions.
Sources in comments.
Thanks to subutai for providing an interesting and educational case for me to analyze and rebut!
Due to the loose structure of my opponents case, rebutting it proves difficult, as his contentions are not itemized. Nevertheless, I am going to itemize the case, and then attack each aspect of it.
My opponents case, as I understand it, appears to be this:
1. Solar activity increases deflection of cosmic rays
2. Cosmic rays increase cloud cover
3. Less cosmic rays means less cloud cover
4. Less cloud cover results in temperature increase
5. Solar activity is the main cause of modern global warming.
The first, second and third premise is not at all confirmed by scientific evidence, nor is it agreed upon in the scientific community, unlike molecular vibrations.
The fifth premise matters greatly, and I will rebut it with one main counter contention, which relies on one simple fact: my opponent provides precisely zero evidence that solar activity has been increased in recent years. Yes he may have shown that historically the solar cycles has had some influence on warming/cooling periods, but he totally fails to prove why this warming period is due to solar cycles.
A) Solar Activity/Cycles cannot be responsible for modern global warming.
-I. Though warming is occurring at record breaking rates, solar activity is at its lowest for the past 100 years.
One major flaw we see in my opponents argument is that it is all based solely on the assumption that solar activity is currently increased, thus deflect cosmic rays, and resulting in warming. Yet this is not the case. Solar activity is actually at a 100 year low .
Here we can see each and every "flare" cycle becoming weaker and weaker. Solar activity is declining. Rapidly. 
We are even currently expecting a minimum similar to the maunder and Dalton minimums my opponent cited (periods of significant global cooling).
How can solar activity possibly be the cause of modern global warming, if solar activity (the cause claimed by my opponent) is decreasing so quickly?!
Furthermore, the very study my opponent claims to "end the debate right there," the scafetta and west study, states explicitly "since 1975 global warming has occurred much faster than could reasonably be expected from the sun alone." [3, page 4].
The expected solar minima of 2006  is now 8 years past, and yet the temperature continues to rise incredibly rapidly, with accelerating pace! My opponent cannot claim that the cooling has not yet occurred due to "latency cause by the oceans heat capacity." If we expected cooling to occur within the next 5 years, the heating rate would be slowing, not increasing.
The very graph that my opponent uses to seal in his argument referencing the medieval warming period is an outdated graph, debunked in the hockey stick controversy. Here is that same graph in red:
Compare the IPCC 1990 (red) to the now corrected IPCC 2001 (blue) and Moberg et. al (black). The warming indicated by the graph my opponent was exaggerated as it was collected with flawed techniques pre-Kyoto protocol. Furthermore, the hatched green line shows modern warming trends, which easily blow these older warming periods out of the water in both rapidity and magnitude. Here is a even more detailed graph, compiled from from a preponderance of sources.
(North et. al )
We can still easily observe the medieval warming period, but with our data collection methods corrected, we can see that this warming period pales in comparison to the modern warming rates, with 2004 massively overshadowing the medieval warming period. Keep in mind, warming has only increased in rapidity since 2004.
Benestadt and Schmidt show us that the sun could only have contributed to 7% (+/- 1%) of warming since 1950 .
"A full reading of Tung 2008 finds a distinct 11 year solar signal in the global temperature record. However, this 11 year cycle is superimposed over the long term global warming trend. In fact, the authors go on to estimate climate sensitivity from their findings, calculate a value between 2.3 to 4.1°C. This confirms the IPCC estimate ofclimate sensitivity." 
"In the last 35 years of global warming, the sun has shown a slight cooling trend. Sun and climate have been going in opposite directions. In the past century, the Sun can explain some of the increase in global temperatures, but a relatively small amount." 
"Hypothetically, an increasing solar magnetic field could deflect galactic cosmic rays, which hypothetically seed low-level clouds, thus decreasing the Earth's reflectivity and causing global warming. However, it turns out that none of these hypothetical are occurring in reality, and if cosmic rays were able to influence global temperatures, they would be having a cooling effect." 
In response to my opponents point regarding the warming of other planets, "There are three fundamental flaws in the 'other planets are warming' argument. Not all planets in the solar system are warming. The sun has shown no long term trend since 1950 and in fact has shown a slight cooling trend in recent decades. There are explanations for why other planets are warming." 
My opponent can come up with as many possibilities and theoreticals as he pleases, but the fact remains that actual scientific data flies in the face of every claim that he makes. When empiric data is observed, we see that solar activity is lowering while heating is increasing. We see that cosmic rays have no significant demonstrable effect on the environment. When we compare this to the Con case, we see that the evidence obviously weighs in the Cons favor. Molecular vibration and VSEPR theory are established scientific phenomena. The nature of GHGs is well understood. The scientific community has collected a massive preponderance of evidence.
The claim that the sun is causing global warming is patently false, as is shown by an overwhelming number of reliable and scientific sources. Solar activity is decreasing, and the planet is warming. The correllary between my opponents case, and the actual state of nature is in direct clash. My opponents case holds no water.
-II. Attack on opponents sources
As I feel I have successfully rebutted all notions that solar activity could be the cause of modern global warming, I will now take a moment to analyze my opponents sources, and debase them. Let's start with source 3. Here is a direct quote from my opponents third round 2 source "The IPCC stance with respect to the issue is a conservative one. While the panel's 1990 report states that changes in the output of energy from the sun do have an effect on climate, as determined by the 11-year solar cycle, its most recent report states that the role of solar output remains uncertain. The panel simultaneously stresses the significance of increasing CO2 concentrations on climate, thus indicating that a great deal more needs to be learned about solar activity before it is considered as a major factor in forcing climate change."
Source 5: This comes from a forbes.com op/ed blog (a financial blog). The relevance of this source is obviously questionable. EVEN THEN as a skeptic he EXPLICITLY states that the impact of solar cycles is likely minimal. Quote, "We know the relevant effects exist in a lab, and are fairly certain they exist in nature, but we are uncertain how sensitive the actual climate is to these effects."
Source 6: This comes from a popsci article. Popsci is not a peer reviewed journal, and the author does not directly cite any authority, but upon reading the article, we again see that the emphasis is that there is a "possible" link between solar cycles, cosmic rays, and cloud cover.
Source 7, and 13: Watts Up With That is merely a blog notorious for spreading disinformation, and purposefully skewing data to debase the credibility of AGW scientists. "Willard Anthony Watts (Anthony Watts) is a blogger, weathercaster and non-scientist, paid AGW denier who runs the website wattsupwiththat.com. He does not have a university qualification and has no climate credentials other than being a radio weather announcer. His website is parodied and debunked at the website wottsupwiththat.com Watts is on the payroll of the Heartland Institute, which itself is funded by polluting industries."  Watts isn't even a certified meteorologist.
Source 8: The Fred and Avery study, famous for being fueled by spending from, surprise, the Heartland Institute. "The existence of climate changes in the past is not news to the climate change scientific community; there is a whole chapter about it in the upcoming IPCC Scientific Assessment. Nor do past, natural variations in climate negate the global warming forecast. Most past climate changes, like the glacial interglacial cycle, can be explained based on changes in solar heating and greenhouse gases, but the warming in the last few decades cannot be explained without the impact of human-released greenhouse gases. Avery was very careful to crop his temperature plots at 1985, rather than show the data to 2005." 
Source 9, 11, 12: All blogs published by non-experts, without citation to legitimate reliable sources.
The whole of my opponents sources are questionable at best. The "facts" of his case hold no water, no reliability, and no authority. His case is simply unacceptable due to the illegitimacy of his sources.
Sources in comments
I would like to thank TylerGraham95 for this truly excellent debate. I've learned a lot from your arguments and my own research.
In this round, I will consider the objections my opponent has to my arguments.
My opponent is making two mistakes. One in thermodynamics, and the other in how solar activity is measured.
Solar activity is the highest is about 8000 years. Here is a graph showing sunspot number over the past 10000 years:
While solar activity has decreased, it is still at a very high level compared to recent times in the Earth's history. This means that the temperature will still increase because solar activity is still historically high. Even on the scale of the 20th century, solar activity is high.“Clearly the sun’s activity and output experienced an upwards step-change around 1950. The average monthly sunspots in the second half of the century were, for example, 50% higher than in the first half of the century.” Overall, because solar activity is still high in comparison, temperatures continue to increase.
As for the error in how solar activity is measured, “Since the late 1970s, the amount of solar radiation the sun emits, during times of quiet sunspot activity, has increased by nearly .05 percent per decade... This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause significant climate change... TSI [Total Solar Irradiance] interaction with the Earth's atmosphere, oceans and landmasses is the biggest factor determining our climate.” So there's still more solar radiation reaching Earth than earlier.
See this graph:
It shows a peak right at the time that temperature was increasing quickly, and decreases right before the temperature decrease (see below).
Finally, consider the global temperature stagnation over the last 15 years. If the satellite based temperature is considered (which starts in the 1970s) there is an unmistakable pause in global warming starting around 2000:
Overall, thermodynamics, how solar activity should really be measured, and the pause in global warming all show how the sun is still the dominant factor determining the climate.
The Hockey Stick
The hockey stick is wildly inaccurate: “The dataset used to make this construction contained collation errors, unjustified truncation or extrapolation of source data, obsolete data, incorrect principal component calculations, geographical mislocations and other serious defects. These errors and defects substantially affect the temperature index. The major finding is that the values in the early 15th century exceed any values in the 20th century. The particular hockey stick shape derived in the MBH98 proxy construction a temperature index that decreases slightly between the early 15th century and early 20th century and then increases dramatically up to 1980 is primarily an artefact of poor data handling, obsolete data and incorrect calculation of principal components.”
Temperatures have been warmer than today as recently as 1300 ACE."During the Medieval Warming... . Temperatures may have been as much as 2.5 degrees C warmer [than today] due to a southward shift of the climate belts."
This graph shows the hockey stick graph and the corrected version of it:
My opponent's whole argument against cosmic rays is one whole quote that provides no evidence for its conclusion. I have made a sufficient case for how cosmic rays amplify the sun's effects on the climate, and my opponent has not touched it.
As for the Forbes source (I contend that Popsci isn't bad, but I'll leave that alone to save space), thank you for pointing that out. That was part of a two-year old argument that I need to get rid of. Here is a better source: “Ironically, solar explosions, which produce their own deadly radiation, sweep away the even deadlier cosmic rays. As flares subside, cosmic rays intensify.” Further, this Nature study shows how cosmic rays cause cloud formation (source 9). I feel like I've supported my cloud argument enough, and with good sources to preclude me from having to post more on that matter.
To conclude, here's a graph:
I've addressed the argument about solar irradiance, and the source I posted showed how all the planets were warming. Unfortunately, there's not enough evidence on this, but there's sufficient evidence that Mars, the Moon, Jupiter, Pluto, and Neptune are warming, and indirect evidence that the other planets are warming.
This shows the comparison between the Sun's, the Earth's, and Neptune's activity:
I need to develop my argument more in other places, so considering my opponent doesn't consider this argument much either, I'll leave it at this. Source 10 (one of the blogs my opponent says is invalid) contains peer-reviewed articles of that evidence, however.
The Sun, Cosmic Rays, and the Evidence for Natural Warming
"In particular, a quasi-60-year large cycle is quite evident since 1650 in all climate and astronomical records herein studied ... The existence of a natural 60-year cyclical modulation of the global surface temperature induced by astronomical mechanisms, by alone, would imply that at least 60 to 70% of the warming observed since 1970 has been naturally induced."
"For example, the authors of a paper by NASA's JPL remark '...has compared the minimum aa [index of geomagnetic activity] values with the Earth's surface temperature record and found a correlation of 0.95 between the two data sets starting in 1885. The solar irradiance [solar activity] proxy developed from the aa minima continues to track the Earth's surface temperature until the present.'"
As for Scafetta and West, the paper my opponent cites acknowledges that there might be a non-CO2 reason why this is true. See the whole paragraph after my opponent's quote in my source 16 (his source 3 from round 3). Further, they argue in a different article that “...the current anthropogenic contribution to global warming is significantly overestimated. We estimate that the Sun could account for as much as 69% [from a different starting year] the increase in Earth's average temperature, depending on the TSI reconstruction used.” Overall, my opponent's argument against this study does not hold water.
A solar explanation for the recent global warming is the only one that agrees with its predictions and the observations made. The actual scientific data does not agree with him.
Attack on Opponent's Sources
My source 3 also says this: “[Fred] Singer counters the standard scientific stance that changes in solar activity are not significant enough to have an effect, stating that solar variability is much greater in ultraviolet regions, thus having a significant effect on ozone levels and consequently a major impact on atmospheric circulation.” It takes an objective standpoint (it doesn't take sides), and I was only citing it to show the solar cycle length/temperature correlation. Singer has a PhD in physics (he's reliable).
I've already conceded my sources 5 and 6 and have exchanged them for better ones. Again, thank you for calling me out on it.
Watts Up With That is a bit complicated. For one, while it's run by Anthony Watts, most of the articles are by guest authors, often with degrees explaining their papers, or use reputable sources if written by Watts. You can take a look at each individual article for yourself and see that they have substantiation. Further, “Patrick J. Michaels, climatologist and contributor to the IPCC first assessment report, described WUWT as part of a new "parallel universe" of emerging online publications, manned by serious scientists critical of world governments approach to climate change: 'A parallel universe is assembling itself parallel to the IPCC. This universe has become very technical – very proficient at taking apart the U.N.'s findings.'” Michaels has a PhD in environmental climatology.
The book Unstoppable Global Warming: Every 1,500 Years is very reliable. It contains 499 studies for substantiation, including a large number substantiating the quotes I made. While past climactic conditions don't negate AGW, if there were periods in recent history that were much hotter and warmed much quicker than the recent global warming, that throws suspicion and the supposed remark-ability of the recent global warming. It also provides evidence for a solar explanation and against an anthropogenic explanation.
Sources 9 and 11 do provide reliable sources, and source 9 itself looks pretty good. I'll concede source 12, but I feel the quote I quoted from it makes general sense. Source 20 provides a better source for that quote (regarding the distribution of solar radiation).
Finally, now my own attack on one of my opponent's sources – Skeptical Science. Just to take one example, “The fact that there has been no statistically-significant global warming for 16 years is described as a “myth”. Yet the least-squares linear-regression trend on the Hadley Centre/CRU dataset favoured by the IPCC indeed shows no statistically-significant warming for 16 years.” I've shown this above. There's a list of 11 more points in source 21.
Also from that source, “Yet half of the 129 signatories are Professors; two-thirds are PhDs, and several are Expert Reviewers for the IPCC’s forthcoming Fifth Assessment Report.” Another confirmation on WUWT.
I have shown how a solar cause to the recent global warming is the only reasonable explanation, much better than a human-caused greenhouse gas cause. The latter theory simply has too many problems with it to hold any water, while the former's case is practically airtight, save an exact description of how the sun affects the climate. It is known that it does, however, even recently. Overall, mankind is not the main cause of global warming.
Sources in comments.
Thanks again to Subutai for allowing me to take on this challenge! I've enjoyed the debate we've had throroughly.
For this round, I will go through my opponents rebuttalls, and defend my case against them, and then make my closing statements.
A) CO2 Lag in temperature changes
So the first problem we should address with this rebuttal is that it implies that I am trying to prove that GHGs are the driving force behind all forms of climate change. This is not the case. Climate shift, historically, has been/can be driven by several factors, usually multiple acting at once. What I can and have proven, though, is that CO2 and other GHGs have been a factor in the majority of climate shifts, historically, and that modern global warming can be explained only by the increase of atmospheric CO2 due to anthropogenic influences.
So, let's examine my opponents source number 2 for round 3. He attempts to demonstrate that CO2 increases have lagged warming, and therefore CO2 cannot be the cause of modern warming. This is not so. In fact, the very source he cited (source 2 round 3 ) states that though the warming may have been initiated by another factor in climate shift, the sudden increase of CO2 from positive feedback amplified the warming effect massively.
This is corroborated by cross-reference with my arguments regarding the phanerzoic era, and positive feedback loops in CO2 release.
"When the Earth comes out of an ice age, the warming is not initiated by CO2 but by changes in the Earth's orbit. The warming causes the oceans to release CO2. TheCO2 amplifies the warming and mixes through the atmosphere, spreading warming throughout the planet. So CO2 causes warming AND rising temperature causes CO2rise. Overall, about 90% of the global warming occurs after the CO2 increase." 
"If you actually read the papers, which claim there to be a lag, they almost all note how CO2 acts as an amplifier and how the results do not contradict AGW. There is new research (Shakun et al.), which argued that CO2 preceded the end of the last ice age, and may have (in part) led to the warm interglacial in which we live today. The following graph from the study demonstrates how CO2 may have been an important factor in the most recent deglaciation:" 
The truth is that sometimes small amounts of warming are intitiated, and then CO2 release into the atmosphere causes massive warming. This can be misconstrued to say that other forms of climate forcing could be present, but analysis of paleoclimate data, and the factors that are forcing the climate currently, it can be seen that Anthropogenic CO2 release can be the only explanatory factor of modern global warming, despite CO2 lag. 
B) Troposphere climate data.
The rebuttal to this argument is simple. The data my opponent cites is, simply, incorrect.
"Satellite measurements do show warming in the Tropsphere when a cooling bias from the Stratosphere is removed. Warming trends agree well with surface temperatures and model predictions except near the Poles. Differences between various analyses are largely due to analysis techniques and compensations for satellite data issues." 
The data displayed, though not cited, by my opponent is based largely on Spencer and Christy 1992, which used collection methods that have since been significantly improved upon, and the modern satallite data collected shows us that the earth as a whole is indeed warming. 
C) South Pole is cooling.
Again, this is a false leap my opponent is begging you to make. He claims that ice is increasing in the south pole, and then states that it is therefore cooling. Cooling is not indicitive of increased ice formation. That is simply not true. The southern ocean has recorded to be warming. 
The increase in ice anomaly is due only to a complex mixture of changing currents (brought on by global warming) and the hole in the ozone layer. 
D) CO2 is saturated
This argument is fairly weak, as the myth that CO2 saturation can occur has been debunked. The opposite has been conclusively proven with empiric evidence. The idea that CO2 saturation can occur is based on a fundamental misunderstanding of the way that the greenhouse effect occurs.
"This argument originates from Angstrom's work in 1901. We now know that the planetary energy balance is determined by the upper levels of the troposphere and that the saturation of the absorption at the central frequency does not preclude the possibility to absorb more energy." 
The argument that my opponent is making is ancient (over 100 years old) and has since been debunked, as the modern atmospheric warming model now accounts for the simple force of convection.
Essentially, this argues that the CO2 is in the atmosphere to absorb extra heat from the sun and heat the Earth. That is not how a greenhouse works, or how the greenhouse effect occurs. When a greenhouse is heated, the glass then keeps the hot air from escaping, which causes warming. The same goes for CO2. The earth is heated, and then releases this energy in the form of black body radiation. Increased CO2 concentrations prevents this radiation from escaping at the proper rate.
E) Troposphere hot-spot
This counterpoint my opponent has made is going to follow the pattern that his counter-case has followed thus far. His case is based on data that has been collected incorrectly, and proven to have been collected incorrectly. Essentially, my opponent (through no fault of his own) is citing data and sources that are patently false, and lend no water to his case.
"Satellite measurements match model results apart from in the tropics. There isuncertainty with the tropic data due to how various teams correct for satellite drift. The U.S. Climate Change Science Program conclude the discrepancy is most likely due to data errors." 
Improved data collection has shown that the data cited by my opponent was mired with error, and that improved data collection methods demonstrate a hotspot. 
My opponent, for whatever reason, decides to attack the recent media reports on the "scientific consensus" on AGW. I never cited a consensus, rather I only cited thousands of empiric studies with empiric evidence in support of AGW, and asked the voters to weigh these sources against the one single report published in conflict with AGW.
A concensus is apparent though, but it I do not argue that the science is clear because there is a consensus. I argue that there is a concensus because the science is clear. By my opponents line of logic, we ought to deny scientific consensus due to the rare occasion where a consensus is totally false, but this is not proper logic. The truth is when a consensus is reached in the sceintific community (post scientific revolution/enlightenment era) that the consensus is right nearly 99.999% of the time!
No we shouldn't accept something as the absolute and gospel truth just because there is a consensus, but in the face of overwhelming data and testimony from experts, versus sparse data from a splinter group of deniers, the only logical and reasonable belief to side with is that of the overwhelming evidence and expertise.
Therefore, you must vote CON!
Sources in comments
|Who won the debate:||-|
|Who won the debate:||-|
|Who won the debate:||-|
|Who won the debate:||-|
|Who won the debate:||-|