There is no reason that we have to pick one and abandon work on the others. I don't see that the same resources go into solving more than one, except that the meteor and volcano problem have one solution in common - be on another planet when it happens.
The clathrate problem and nuclear war have the potential to end the human race while it is still on one planet, so we need to solve both of them ASAP.
Sure, there are going to be mediating forces in the environment. Melting is an obvious one. The positive feedbacks have been getting the most attention because they are really scary. It appears that there are gas clathrates in the ground and under water that can come out at a certain temperature. The worst case is that we get an event similar to Lake Nyos, but with a somewhat different mechanism and potentially many more dead. The best case is a significant atmospheric input of CO2 and methane that we can't control.
I don't think I have to discount Trenberth. He's trying to correct his model, he isn't saying there is no warming.
McKitrick is an economist out of his field. Trenberth and Fasullo cite many of their other papers and the publications to which they were submitted, but it seems mostly not accepted. But their conclusion seems to be that there were other times in recent years that the rate of warming decreased for a time only for it to return to its previous rate. I only see the abstract for Kosaka and Xie, but they state "the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase."
No number is larger than any other number. Quantities are larger than other quantities. Numbers are symbolic entities that can represent a quantity, or not.
I imagine that the major financial companies make this part of their economic modeling. Most of them do publish weather-related and climate-related advisories regarding commodity and company price trends, etc. How detailed do they get? The wouldn't tell and I am the wrong kind of scientist to ask. Can we make a government or public one? Yes, the level of detail is the big question.
Oh, do I have to qualify that for you, like the hottest outside of a period of Milankovitch Forcing? Gee, maybe the Earth's orbit changed, like back then, and we just didn't notice.
Let's take a look at one of the references you cited:
A section of a draft IPCC report, looking at short-term trends, says temperatures are likely to be 0.4 to 1.0 degree Celsius (0.7-1.8F) warmer from 2016-35 than in the two decades to 2005. Rain and snow may increase in areas that already have high precipitation and decline in areas with scarcity, it says.
It sounds like we have reason to be alarmed.
Well, I am trying to get through to you. You wrote that the hiatus was widely acknowledged by scientists! It's like talking with someone who believes in god - they have no facts, and no facts will convince them, and they create their own "science" which is nothing of the sort to bolster their viewpoint. So, I tried another another argument. But let's go back to the first. Nobody credible believes in a hiatus.
Calling names isn't going to advance your argument.
Orbital models only have two variables when there are two bodies. In reality we are always dealing with an n-body problem. Regarding atmospheric models, we have weather, which is too chaotic to forecast, and climate, which should not be.
We could sit back 100 years and see what is happening then, so that we have lots of good data points, but potentially at the cost of widespread famine, death, etc.
We have excellent reasons to stop releasing sequestered carbon even if we ignore global warming.
If they can pull more people out of poverty, what the U.S. does won't matter to China and India because their domestic markets will be larger than the United States. Currently they have even worse social inequity than we do, and the poor performance of their own markets forces their own people to look elsewhere for work.
Yes, I'm also a solid Democrat. But this has been a long time coming and IMO it's even in line with Obama's recent agenda on the Middle Class! The problem with the guest worker programs is that they devalue the local workers by diluting the market for them. The effect is to create a sort of "disposable worker" from our own citizens.
Now, of course jobs can be sent overseas too, but if the alternatives are to have foreign workers work at home, or in the U.S., neither choice is a win for our own citizens.
It continues to seem silly to have such a thrust on STEM education in the U.S. when the job market for STEM workers consistently goes to overseas hires, whether they are here or in their home nations. We need to work on the job-export issue as well.
Nothing in that article disputes the confidence that the past decade was hottest. It simply disputes which year in that decade was the worst. Nor does it dispute that the trend is increasing temperature per year.
Well, we have perfectly good reasons to stop releasing sequestered carbon (by burning oil for fuel) even if we are to ignore the atmospheric output of the process. We have to work progressively harder to get a given energy input. Technological advances that allow us to extract additional sequestered carbon, like fracking, are not infinite in nature. Eventually we must reach an energy balance between the energy required for extraction and the source of energy extracted. So changes in the direction of reducing release of sequestered carbon and finding other energy inputs to society, or reducing the need for those inputs, are called for regardless of whether it is going to get too warm.
Decreasing doesn't mean reversing. And we have physical observation of ice melting, and releases of previously-sequestered gases on sea bottoms, underground, etc. These things all take a heat input. What happens when those buffers are spent and there is nothing to sink the heat input?
Had we depended solely on experiment for everything, we would know much less about the world today. When direct experiment is not possible we still have observation and modeling, and certainly that is science. And of course most of our models do scale, simply because of long observation at all scales. Were this not the case, we would still be arguing about the heliocentric theory, because we can not move planets and suns in order to prove it from first principles, and the orbits of planets would not necessarily scale to suns, etc.
Sure, the earth has large processes that regulate each other, but there is nothing purposeful in their existence and positive feedback is as likely as negative. The Earth is as likely to be naturally fragile as naturally robust. So you can not place faith in unseen processes that will tend to mediate insults to the environment.
If there is some unknown non-anthropocentric cause for climate change, we are still in the position of having to resolve the issue through some modification in society's behavior, rather than consign the victims.