Pointing out logical flaws in the theory is NOT "spreading disinformation". Private *OR* Government money in support of an advocacy group (or in support of a group with a vested interest) is not Good Science. Period. Yes, that happens on both sides. If the science is *really* settled, there would be NO question that the theory, using its reported data, holds up to careful examination BY ANYONE. (It doesn't. I'll point to JoNova's "missing hot-spot" as just one example. There are others.)
According to your definition, I would certainly consider the IPCC an "advocacy group", if for no other reason than the fact they promote an agenda-driven "solution" which cannot be verified or monitored with a sufficient accuracy to determine if the steps required are having ANY measurable effect ON THE PROBLEM.
If AGW is a "problem" which actually exists, doesn't it make sense to be CERTAIN we can accurately monitor and measure the results of ANY action taken to "solve" it? (No, we can't: not yet.)
YES - There has been a lot of research done. Various theories have been proposed. Proper peer-review consists - among other things - of a careful study of the reported results. The goal of the reviewer is to FALSIFY (disprove) the theory *not* support it. If the data holds up, it holds up. If it doesn't, it doesn't. It doesn't (or shouldn't) matter if the reviewer agrees or disagrees with the theory itself. And it certainly doesn't matter who or what organization is funding the review, but to be safe, I want as many different reviewers as possible, from all sides and from all scientific disciplines.
OK - Where can we start? With the models (because that's the basis for all these predictions).The FACT that those models have been PROVEN TO BE INACCURATE over a reasonably short period of time (e.g. a single decade) doesn't provide very much reassurance they will be accurate in predicting conditions a hundred years in the future. But let's set that aside and talk about the models themselves. And BEFORE we get anywhere close to what the effects of the actions of mankind may/may-not be... Consider:
Sunlight reaches the earth. Sunlight energy is the single greatest component that affects global temperatures - hard not to agree on that. Some of that light energy is reflected back to space, the rest heats the surface, which in turn affects the temperature levels of the atmosphere. Have we accurately calculated the differences in absorption of sunlight energy between land mass and water? (Probably.) Also, about 70% of the surface is water, so one would suspect the effect on water and from water is much greater than the effect of land absorption, but is that true? (If not, why not?) How does the model account for the differences between them? How is an "average" temperature for the entire planet determined? To what degree of accuracy (1 degree, 0.1 degrees)? How are differences between land surface temps and ocean water temps balanced? How does this average balance the very real differences in (annual) temperature reports from various locations on the planet? Do we have an accurate method for determining sun cycles and strength which in turn affects the energy levels of radiant warming? Does the calculated average temperature consider the changes in radiant heating which occur over time? How do the models handle that? How much of the sunlight energy is absorbed by the atmosphere on the way in? And on the light that is reflected back FROM the surface, how much is absorbed? Is there an adjustment based on the change in orbital angles (i.e., seasonal rotational positions between the Sun-Earth)? Since water is the major energy absorbing unit, it's logical to assume that such absorption will produce water vapor - the largest component of greenhouse gases. How much water vapor is produced by ranges of solar energy levels? How much of the remaining energy is absorbed by CO2? How much *more* energy would be absorbed if the current CO2 levels, say... doubled? What would be the effect of doubled CO2 levels - regardless of source - on that "global average temperature"? (what does the historical record show?) Have we precisely measured the annual amounts of atmospheric CO2 from *all* significant sources? Just how much is truly "man-made"? (Be aware that ANY doubling *could* occur from NON-man-made sources.) And while we're at it, "What is the 'optimum' level of CO2 in the atmosphere supposed to be?" (and exactly how did we arrive at that value?)
And now, the key question, which I've raised before: "Have we back-checked those calculations, using the model itself, against historical records?" In other words, What are the results from the models, using available historical data from, say 1850-1900, when predicting observed conditions in 2000? How accurate is the prediction for 2000 using data from any randomly selected 50-year period of historical data? How about a random 20-year period?
Chris, this isn't about a review of "who" or "how many" agrees the model results (counting noses is not science), or who is paying the bills. I'm talking about the effect of SUNLIGHT on the ecosystem, and you've got to start at the beginning. If we can't figure out the effects of the largest single component in the equation, why are we obsessing over the suspected impact of a even smaller piece of the puzzle?
Surely, since "the science is settled" all these basic, straight-forward OBVIOUS questions are clearly and fully discussed at length and has been subject to careful peer-review for pure scientific accuracy with NO GUESSING ALLOWED. That means get rid of the 'assumptions' in the model. (If it's "A Fact", you can't be 'guessing', now can you?)
Heck, all these points are probably covered as part of undergraduate-level ecosystem studies required by all those climate scientists we're turning out... Right? Explanations and equations should be easily found on the 'net and elsewhere and should be presented in a form where an person of slightly-above-average intelligence can comprehend it with a reasonable amount of study (that describes all those college students, and both you and I)...
Where is it? Seriously. I'd like to see it. Especially that back-checking of the climate models.
Have I made my point?