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Separating Signal From Noise in Global Warming



Bert W. Rust


One argument often used against global warming is that the global temperature record is too noisy to allow a clear determination of the signal. This paper presents two models for the signal which suggest that: (1) the warming is accelerating, (2) the warming is related to the growth in fossil fuel emissions, and (3) the warming in the last 146 years has been at least 10 times greater than the noise level. One model uses a constant rate for the acceleration and the other an exponential whose rate constant is exactly one half that of the growth in fossil fuel emissions. The two models can be viewed as best case and worst case scenarios for extrapolations into the future, but the data measured so far cannot reliably distinguish between them.
Computing Science and Statistics


fossil fuel emissions, global warming, regression, spectral analysis, time series modeling


Rust, B. (2003), Separating Signal From Noise in Global Warming, Computing Science and Statistics, [online], (Accessed June 23, 2024)


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Created March 12, 2003, Updated February 19, 2017