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ClimateMovie Fact Check: CO2 lags temperature

15 May 2024 | Science Notes

In Martin Durkin’s Climate the Movie, Princeton’s Will Happer says “It’s true, over the last few million years of the ice age that we’re in now, that CO2 and temperature are correlate [sic] but if CO2 is the driver, it has to change first, and the temperature has to change second.” Then Matthew Wielicki says “In fact, when you start to look at the data very specifically you see the exact reverse. Temperature starts to rise first, and then on the order of a century, two centuries later, we start to see a rise in CO2.” Is this correct? Yes it is, as we’ve reported on previously.

In the film Ross McKitrick of the University of Guelph adds:

“It’s long been known that the temperature actually moves first. So, temperature goes up, CO2 goes up after that. Temperature goes down, CO2 goes down.”

And evidence for this claim is found in, among other places, a 2015 study by a group of climatologists and statisticians who examined an 800,000 year ice core record pairing CO2 and temperature levels. As we explained in our “Everybody Knows“ series, their analysis showed that temperature changes drive subsequent CO2 changes, but there was no evidence that changes in CO2 drove changes in temperature at all.

So the statements in the movie on this point were correct. So correct, in fact, that Facebook felt it had no choice but to censor the movie.

One comment on “ClimateMovie Fact Check: CO2 lags temperature”

  1. Yet another stupid article at this website defending the worst claim in an awful science fiction movie. Shame on you for being science deniers and trying toi make a fool of William Happer who does NOT deny AGW from manmade CO2 emissions. The quote falsely implies he does.
    CO2 is involved in three major processes
    (1) CO2 as a feedback
    (2) CO2 as a forcing
    (3) CO2 in the annual carbon cycle
    The movie and this article focus on (1) and claim the existence of (1) refutes (2)m in spite of the fact that almost 100% of scientists believe (2) since 1896 BASED on evidence and withstanding a 127 year test of time
    The increase of incompetent articles this yea at this website has been the fastest I have seen after 26+ year of climate science reading. Le by the defense of Climate the Movie. There is only one word for conservatives who seny that manmade CO2 emissions can not CAUSE global warming: Stupid. Contradicting at least 95% of the "skeptic" scientists ON OUR SIDE. Including Happer and Lindzen. This false claim is like conservatives shooting themselves in the foot. Ammunition for leftists. The writer who cheerleads Climate the Movie should be banned from this website.
    NOTE: Historical climate estimates, such as from ice cores with NO manmade CO2 emissions, can NOT be used to make any conclusions about manmade CO2 emissions. That's common sense, something the movie and author of this piece do not have.


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