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Every bit of the climate science used to associate climate change with human activity is measured using data collected during the past 150 years at best. For comparisons with the historic record, if available, scientists rely on extrapolations using indirect methods.
The ability to associate climate change with changes in the various geographical phenomena is dependent on the ability to measure these phenomena on a global scale. Obviously, data collected early on is considered to be sparse and relatively inaccurate. The amount, distribution, and accuracy of data increases with time and with improvements in technology, e.g., satellites.
Temperature (Click Here) has been measured globally the longest, for about 150 years. Data from developed countries is the most complete. Other parts of the world don’t contribute much to the global temperature record until recently. Prior to the advent of accurate temperature measurements, scientists rely on data from ice cores and otherwise from the geologic record.
Also measured starting about 150 years ago were sea level (Click Here) and ocean currents Click Here. The most accurate and global measurements of ocean currents didn’t become available until the use of satellites in the mid 20th century.
Similarly, measurements of ozone on the ground were collected for approximately 80 years until the use of satellites enabled the measurement of atmospheric ozone (i.e., the ozone hole Click Here) about 50 years ago.
Atmospheric carbon dioxide has been measured for approximately 60 years. Data from ice cores and other geologic methods are used to extrapolate atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as far back as 500,000 years.
The jet streams (Click Here) have only been measured and mapped for about 70 years. Studies extrapolating the positions and intensities of the jet streams as far back as 8,000 years have used oxygen isotope date from caves and lake sediments.
Given this information, to be able to correlate all of these variables with climate change, specifically MMCC, the best matching data are only available for the minimum data set or about 50 years.
In addition, each of these phenomena can be associated with other causes; for example, earth’s temperature and the jet streams due to variations in tilt of the earth, sea level due to changes in the elevation of the land surface, ocean currents due to changes in the configuration of the land masses (this has happened), and concentrations of atmospheric gases due to all natural processes.
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