Judge asks for scientific evidence, contrarians on the ropes.

One of our contrarian pals made a big deal out of this Judge asking these question, insinuating that perhaps they were unanswerable.
But alas, the answers are rather straight-forward and clearly understood by those who know how to honesty assess the full spectrum of evidence.

What caused ice ages to begin and end, and when the ice melted how much did the seas rise? What's the molecular reason that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, unlike oxygen and nitrogen? How is it that trapped infrared radiation is turned into heat and finds its way back to sea level? Does the CO2 reflect some of the sunshine back into space so it never warms the surface in the first place? What happens to all our direct heat—from cars, radiators, furnaces? Is this part of the problem? In school we learned that humans exhale CO2 but plants absorb it and exhale oxygen. True? And why haven't plants solved the CO2 buildup for us; and is our growing population's breathing part of the problem? Where does most of the CO2 buildup in the atmosphere come from? Where does most of the heat buildup come from?
8 Answers to the Judge’s Climate Change Questions in Cities vs. Fossil Fuels Case BY JOHN H. CUSHMAN JR. - March 20, 2018 - InsideClimateNews.org San Francisco and Oakland want to hold fossil fuel companies liable for sea level rise costs. In an unusual move, the judge ordered a climate tutorial for the court. In this case, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland are trying to hold five major fossil fuel producers liable for the costs of protecting their coastal areas from rising seas, saying the companies knew long ago that burning hydrocarbons would warm the planet and melt the ice caps. For whatever reason, the judge decided to ponder the science in a mock classroom, rather than simply let the advocates for both sides spell it out in briefs. And to kick-start the discussion, ( http://blogs2.law.columbia.edu/climate-change-litigation/wp-content/uploads/sites/16/case-documents/2018/20180306_docket-317-cv-06011_order.pdf ) he issued a quirky set of preliminary questions. It would have been pretty easy for him to look up the answers, in the works of learned societies, federal inter-agency committees, and the authoritative United Nations climate change panel. http://nas-sites.org/americasclimatechoices/events/a-discussion-on-climate-change-evidence-and-causes/ https://science2017.globalchange.gov/ http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/wg1/WG1AR5_SPM_FINAL.pdf Scientists quickly circulated their own answers, like these on Twitter] and these] in a lengthy, crowd-sourced posting. NASA Jet Propulsion Lab earth scientist Alex Gardner's talk in the video above provides another overview of ice sheets, climate change and sea level rise. https://youtu.be/ZJYs8L84L4s?t=4m26s Here's a quick, simple, plain English rundown of answers, https://insideclimatenews.org/news/20032018/judge-questions-climate-change-answers-fossil-fuels-lawsuit-california-cities-sea-level-rise-global-warming

Over at RealClimate.org they offer a more substantive run down:

(California Judge) Alsup asks for answers Filed under: Carbon cycle Climate modelling Climate Science Greenhouse gases Instrumental Record Paleoclimate Scientific practice — gavin @ 11 March 2018 Some of you might have read about the lawsuit by a number of municipalities (including San Francisco and Oakland) against the major oil companies for damages (related primarily to sea level rise) caused by anthropogenic climate change. The legal details on standing, jurisdiction, etc. are all very interesting (follow @ColumbiaClimate for those details), but somewhat uniquely, the judge (William Alsup) has asked for a tutorial on climate science (2 hours of evidence from the plaintiffs and the defendents). Furthermore, he has posted a list of eight questions that he’d like the teams to answer. It’s an interesting list. They are quite straightforward (with one or two oddities), but really, pretty much textbook stuff. Andrew Dessler made a quick stab at answering them on Twitter: ... But I think we can do better. So what I propose is that we crowd-source the responses. They should be pithy, to the point, with references (not Wikipedia) and, preferentially, accompanied by a good graphic or two. If we can give a credible uncertainty to any numbers in the answer that’s a bonus. I’ve made a start on each, but further voices are needed. Put your response in the comments and I’ll elevate the best ones (giving credit of course) to the main post. If you have any other comments or edits to suggest, feel free to do so. The best of those will also be incorporated. [Update: I realise I can’t possibly incorporate all the good suggestions while still keeping this short. So be sure to read the comments too for additional material. Also, as I should have said to start with, the best responses to these kinds of questions (though not to these specifically) are to be found in the FAQ of the IPCC report, the Royal Society/National Academies report, and the US. National Climate Assessment science report.]

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2018/03/alsup-asks-for-answers/