This is going to take more explaining than usual. Go freshen your beverage of choice and read carefully.
Hard Science (Physics, Astronomy, Metallurgy, et. al.) and Mathematics go hand-in-hand. Using Mathematics, the effects of Hard Science is measured and quantified.
Science starts as a hypothesis, which is then tested until the hypothesis is either validated as correct or incorrect. If the hypothesis is incorrect, then more research is performed to discover why it is incorrect.
Case in point, the Pioneer 10 and 11 probes are, as of writing this, are about 400,000 kilometers off where the astrophysicists thought the probes should be, 40+ years after launch. So after about 20 years of hypotheses and research, scientists determined that waste heat from certain components and the radioisotope thermoelectric generator that powers the spacecraft are microscopically ((8.74±1.33)×10−10 m/s2, or .0000000001 times Earth's gravity. Imagine a 200 pound human weighing 3.2/1,000,000ths of an ounce) pushing the spacecraft off its intended course.
How did these scientists determine this? They transcribed the paper blueprints of the spacecraft into a CAD program and built a virtual 3-D model of them. Then the scientists ran thousands of test runs, having the virtual spacecraft emit various amounts of heat from various parts of the spacecraft until their virtual spacecraft matched the trajectory of the actual spacecraft. This took a level of nit-picking attention-to-detail that would make the heart of someone with severe Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder sing with joy.
I give this example to show that people who are not scientists (including myself) could not just walk into the laboratory where this work was performed and have any grasp of the fundamentals, let alone detail of astrophysics, mathematics, metallurgy, nuclear science and all of the other disciplines needed to solve this problem. You cannot walk in off the street and comprehend these concepts and methods without years of college-level classes.
Because of this, we have to implicitly and totally trust scientists when they explain these kind of things to us lay-people that they are not bullshitting us. Scietists by their position need to act with a high level of integrity because we have to trust them to deliver accurate information as to what is happening and why it's happening.
The bad news is, scientists are human beings, flawed like the rest of us. They have private agendas, or they can be influenced to "shave" or "parse" data which changes the base data and "proves" a predetermined hypothesis.
Then comes along this NYT article, 2014 Breaks Heat Record, Challenging Global Warming Skeptics.
If you read the article, about halfway down, there is this paragraph:
Such claims are unlikely to go away, though. John R. Christy, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville who is known for his skepticism about the seriousness of global warming, pointed out in an interview that 2014 had surpassed the other record-warm years by only a few hundredths of a degree, well within the error margin of global temperature measurements. “Since the end of the 20th century, the temperature hasn’t done much,” Dr. Christy said. “It’s on this kind of warmish plateau.” [Emphasis mine]
Let's get back to the Science thing. Let's say you have an air-powered cannon out in the desert. You use it to test how different shaped projectiles fly through the air. You fire the same projectile 20 times with all of the other variables identical (air pressure in the cannon, air temperature, wind, projectile weight, weather, etc.) and the projectile lands 100 yards away on average, with a margin of error of plus or minus (+/-) 1 yard. This means that some tests will hit 99 yards, or 101 yards, or somewhere between those numbers. To look at shots 8, 9 and 12 (which hit at 100 yards 6 inches, 100 yards 10 inches and 100 yards 14 inches) and proclaim that the range is increasing is absurd and unethical. Why is this unethical? Because while we can measure the distance down to the inch, there are subtle forces at work that make any exact measurement in that margin-of-error irrelevant. We cannot use numbers within that MOE to draw a trend because they are not statistically relevant. It's like a pre-election poll, when the pollsters give a MOE of +/- 3% and the two candidates are 47% and 49%. You can't say with any certainty that the 49% candidate will win the election because the results are within the MOE.
So when NOAA publishes a 2015 paper (behind a paywall, sorry) that "debunks" the GW "pause" (no statistically significant warming) that's happened over the past 20 years, upon review it is found that 1) they changed how ocean temperature data is collected (from ships that generate heat, rather than no-heat buoys) and 2) NOAA didn't even follow their own established procedures for data integrity for this paper, then you have to act under the premise that those scientists are bullshitting you.
This is why I am very skeptical about man-made climate change. I have no doubt that our climate changes on the micro- and macro- level every day. To say or believe otherwise is to prove yourself a fool and an idiot. I don't know if humans are any significant cause of the change, one way or the other. I personally can't tell because 1) I don't have access to the raw data, 2) I lack the tools, knowledge and resources to properly analyze the data and 3) I cannot trust those scientists who do have the data and tools because I can see them using data that is flawed from the collection or altered post-collection.
All I can say is, the people who want to convince me that man is the biggest and/or exclusive force that is changing the climate needs a shower, because they aren't passing the smell test.