Climate Change – Fact or Fiction, a Graphical Description

About this page

This is a mainly graphical version with minimum of comment of Climate Change – Fact or Fiction, a Plain Man’s Guide.

Related page

How the atmosphere works


This is a summary of a description on my NWP page. The role of radiation is clearly shown.

Indicators of Global Warming

Air temperatures

Annual global air temperature at a height of two metres (left axis) and estimated change from the beginning of the industrial era (right axis).

( Sources: Copernicus Climate Change Service, ECMWF, for data from 1979; Met Office Hadley Centre, NASA and NOAA for blended data prior to 1979. See ECMWF.)

Sea levels

Global sea levels.

(Source - Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.)

CO2 data

Monthly mean atmospheric carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa Observatory, Hawaii


The annual mean carbon dioxide growth rates for Mauna Loa. In the graph, also decadal averages of the growth rate are plotted, as horizontal lines for 1960 through 1969, 1970 through 1979, and so on.

(Source - )

CO2 levels during the last three glacial cycles, as reconstructed from ice cores.


Changes in CO2 isotopes show that much of the increased CO2 comes from fossil fuels.

(Source for explanation -

Climate models

Climate models can simulate the atmosphere in general terms.

(Source -

Climate simulations when increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gases are not included. The solid black line shows how air temperatures have actually changed since 1900. The blue lines show model simulations with the average shown as a solid blue line.

(Source - IPCC Panel 1 Assessment Report 4, Chapter 9 (2007).)

Statistical studies

Sea surface temperatures vs CO2 concentrations.

A correlation coefficient of 0.857 from a population of 32 pairs is statistically highly significant.

(Source - American Statistical Society.)


See the evidence. Decide for yourself. If in doubt, read genuine scientific papers. There is much on the Internet written in a deliberately misleading manner. Papers in IPCC AR5 WG1 final report will be beyond the reach of many. Easier to read are the IPCC AR5 FAQs. Or try the summary compiled by the Royal Society. For those who like short, graphic explanations, try Climate Change in 60 seconds also from the Royal Society.