Their “settled science” is a mare’s nest of computer models, resting on a few match-sticks of science, surrounded by tall forests of uncertainty.
It is indeed settled science all gases in the atmosphere can affect the exchange of heat between the sun, the Earth and outer space, and this can affect global temperatures. It is also agreedcertain gases like water vapour and carbon dioxide can absorb and redirect radiant energy passing through the atmosphere.
However, though seldom mentioned, the warming potential of each additional unit of carbon dioxide is progressively less, and is trivial at and above current levels. In addition, water vapour has a far greater “greenhouse effect”, because it is fifty times more abundant than CO2, and affects more radiation wavelengths. All of this is settled science!
However, still open to debate is whether the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is the main controller of global temperatures. Nor is it settled man’s production of carbon dioxide is harmful to life on Earth, or that it will cause catastrophic global warming.
The official climate models are based on a theory the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere drives surface temperature changes. However, none of the dozens of computer models the IPCC relies upon predicted flat-lining temperatures over the last 17 years. This indicates their carbon-centric assumption is wrong. At last count, there were 53 different explanations for these failures. This is hardly “settled science.”
The models ignore important climate controllers such as solar cycles, ocean oscillations, clouds, vegetation cover and volcanoes. These all have significant effects on surface temperature.
The models err in assuming most feedbacks are strongly positive, thus multiplying the initial small effect. This is not settled science. As surface temperatures rise, evaporation from the vast oceans will transfer heat from the surface to the upper atmosphere, where much of the heat is radiated to space and where the shading from the additional clouds tends to offset and stabilise the initial surface heating. Carbon dioxide has naturally exceeded today’s levels in the past but this did not cause runaway global warming. Also, official climate models fail to account for the interconnected variables of the solar system, the restless atmosphere, the changing biosphere and the vast oscillating oceans.
In short, climate science is not settled and there is no consensus.