Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast

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Just to note, someone "over there" posted crap from the Heartland Institute via Forbes that Dr. Roy Spencer’s recent paper in a pay-to-publish "journal" debunked climate change "alarmism". Unfortunately for the poster, this "paper" was written by an Exxon-Mobil paid shill to prevent humanity from addressing one of the most serious issues facing us, our poisoning of our own environment. The deniers ran with this, even though mainstream climate scientists (Spencer’s peers) had less than stellar reactions to this "paper".

That some people want to continue growth at all costs makes me think that humans are dumber than yeast. At least yeast can’t project the future, so their exponential growth in a finite environment is somewhat excused. What do you say about a species that has the capability to do the easy arithmetic that shows growth is a cancer and will end our species, but still engages in it?

I won’t even bother to post Dr. Bartlett’s lecture again, since it seems some people just don’t want to know where we are heading…



Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast
New
research suggesting that cloud cover, not carbon dioxide, causes global
warming is getting buzz in climate skeptic circles. But mainstream
climate scientists dismissed the research as unrealistic and politically
motivated.

"It is not newsworthy," Daniel Murphy, a National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cloud researcher, wrote in
an email to LiveScience.

The study, published July 26 in the
open-access online journal Remote Sensing, got public attention when a
writer for The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank that
promotes climate change skepticism, wrote for Forbes magazine that the
study disproved the global warming worries of climate change
"alarmists." However, mainstream climate scientists say that the
argument advanced in the paper is neither new nor correct. The paper's
author, University of Alabama, Huntsville researcher Roy Spencer, is a
climate change skeptic and controversial figure within the climate
research community.

"He's taken an incorrect model, he's tweaked
it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not
correct," Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas
A&M University, said of Spencer's new study.

Cloud chaos

Spencer's
research hinges on the role of clouds in climate change. Mainstream
climate researchers agree that climate change happens when carbon
dioxide traps heat from the sun in the atmosphere, much in the same way
that a windshield traps solar heat in a car on a sunny afternoon. As the
planet warms, a side effect is more water vapor in the atmosphere. This
water vapor, known to most of us as clouds, traps more heat, creating a
viscous loop. [Earth in Balance: 7 Crucial Tipping Points]

Spencer
sees it differently. He thinks that the whole cycle starts with the
clouds. In other words, random increases in cloud cover cause climate
warming. The cloud changes are caused by "chaos in the climate system,"
Spencer told LiveScience.

In the new paper, Spencer looked at
satellite data from 2000 to 2010 to compare cloud cover and surface
temperatures. Using a simple model, he linked the two, finding, he said,
that clouds drive warming. His comparisons of his data with six
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models showed, he said,
that the models are too sensitive (meaning some variables, such as
warming, increase at the slightest change in other factors) and that
carbon dioxide is not likely to cause much warming at all. [Image
Gallery: Curious Clouds]

Disagreements

However, no climate scientist contacted by LiveScience agreed.

The
study finds a mismatch between the month-to-month variations in
temperature and cloud cover in models versus the real world over the
past 10 years, said Gavin Schmidt, a NASA Goddard climatologist. "What
this mismatch is due to — data processing, errors in the data or real
problems in the models — is completely unclear."

Other
researchers pointed to flaws in Spencer's paper, including an
"unrealistic" model placing clouds as the driver of warming and a lack
of information about the statistical significance of the observed
temperature changes. Statistical significance is the likelihood of
results being real, as opposed to chance fluctuations unrelated to the
other variables in the experiment.

"I cannot believe it got published," said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

Several researchers expressed frustration that the study was attracting media attention.

"If
you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of
people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established
science gets dismissed on a dime," Schmidt said. "Climate sensitivity is
not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data,
but rather the paleoclimate record."

Spencer agreed that his work
could not disprove the existence of manmade global warming. But he
dismissed research on the ancient climate, calling it a "gray science."

Politics and science


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