Many global warming alarmist scientists make the claim that CO2 is the world's thermostat - NOAA climate evidence totally debunks that bogus claim
The urban myth of the all powerful climate trace gas CO2 has led both alarmist climate scientists and EPA bureaucrats with political agendas to actually claim that CO2 is like a furnace's thermostat. Just dial the increase/decrease of CO2 change desired, and like a furnace, the earth's temperature will respond up/down accordingly.
That claim is robust, bogus political propaganda with zero scientific merit, as NOAA's empirical science collection efforts have well established. (click chart to enlarge)
This chart plots actual annual changes in atmospheric levels (from 1880 through 2011) versus actual annual changes in NOAA/NCDC global temperatures for the same time period. As can be seen, the annual change in CO2 (the black columns) have little if any impact of annual temp change (the red-orange curve). The R^2 measurement of the CO2 and temperature relationship is a meager +0.016 - that would be a R^2 of teeny-weeny proportions (essentially there is no cause and effect relationship).
The longer term view supports that finding also. The green curve on the chart is the 20-year average of CO2 level changes; the blue curve is the 20-year average of global temperature changes. Clearly, changes in CO2 are not driving changes in temperatures - CO2 is not a "thermostat".
- Global annual temperature changes are not a result of changes in CO2 levels
- CO2 is not some magical global thermostat
- Other climate dynamics drive major temperature change and climate change
- The above conclusions do not preclude CO2 having a consistently minor, beneficial warming influence on global temperatures