In 2010, NASA said that CO2 controls earth’s temperature.
This is based on Antarctic ice cores which show CO2 and temperature moving in lockstep over the past 600,000 years.
But other temperature records show no correlation. The 1990 IPCC report showed that the warmest periods of the past ten thousand and one thousand years occurred when CO2 levels were much lower.
There was much less ice around the world during the Middle Ages.
The Arctic may have been ice-free 6,600 years ago.
Trees grew all the way to the edge of Arctic Ocean 5,000 years ago.
Over a geologic timeframe, there is no correlation between CO2 and temperature. For example, there was an ice age during the Late Ordovician with CO2 levels ten times higher than now.
So what actually controls the climate? The cold weather this year is due to oceanic circulation patterns. The Pacific Ocean gets cold during La Nina episodes, and warm during El Nino episodes.
But longer term the temperature seems to be largely controlled by the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, which has a cycle of about 70 years, and peaked in 1878.
There was no winter in Minnesota that year.
Australia had record heat.
And China had a famine which killed nearly ten million people.
This graph from NASA shows the actual measured temperatures at the capital of Iceland, before they tamper with the data.
If we overlay the AMO graph on the Reykjavik graph, there is almost a perfect match.
There is no evidence that CO2 controls the climate. The ice core graph is a misinterpretation. Warmer seawater can hold less less dissolved CO2 than cold water, and when the ocean warms it outgases CO2 – and vice-versa. Rising and falling CO2 in the ice core record is driven by variation in temperature rather than being the driver.
So what is wrong with NASA? The people who took us to the moon would like to know.