The prediction can be result of pure chance in a possibly erratic research study
While that may be true, consider the approach this paper used, roughly:
- --Warming up to that point was modelled and divided into sources, including effects of aerosols, solar activity, CO2 increases, etc.
- --Specific events were used to compare predictions to reality, for example the Mount Agung eruption in 1963, and those results were used to refine the model.
- --Energy usage and CO2 emission rates, among other factors, were predicted for coming decades.
- --Based on those predictions, the effects of the resultant CO2 were fed into the model and surface temperature increases were predicted (having to base predictions upon other predictions).
It's a given that any reasonable model is designed to agree well with previous known events, as this one absolutely did. The fact that it further agrees well with over 30 years of future results makes the list of past and future successful predictions so large that clearly the model has at least something going for it. In other words, this is certainly not one erratic research study that got lucky.
What's really scary is how so much of the talking points that are put forth by denialists today are addressed in this paper - from over three decades ago. Volcanoes, solar flares, natural temperature cycles, etc etc. That doesn't exactly inspire confidence for humankind's ability to collectively discuss, understand, and address complex problems!