Circular Reasoning in Climate Change Research

18 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2018

Date Written: February 26, 2018


A literature review shows that the circular reasoning fallacy is common in climate change research. It is facilitated by confirmation bias and by activism such that the prior conviction of researchers is subsumed into the methodology. Example research papers on the impact of fossil fuel emissions on tropical cyclones, on sea level rise, and on the carbon cycle demonstrate that the conclusions drawn by researchers about their anthropogenic cause derive from circular reasoning. The validity of the anthropogenic nature of global warming and climate change and that of the effectiveness of proposed measures for climate action may therefore be questioned solely on this basis.

Keywords: logical fallacy, circular reasoning, model validation, data analysis, mathematical models, learning set, test set, climate change, global warming, field data, statistics, scientific method

Suggested Citation

Munshi, Jamal, Circular Reasoning in Climate Change Research (February 26, 2018). Available at SSRN: or

Jamal Munshi (Contact Author)

Sonoma State University ( email )

1801 East Cotati Avenue
Rohnert Park, CA 94928
United States

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