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back to article 'Missing heat': Is global warmth vanishing into space?

New research from satellite man Dr Roy Spencer, principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and maintainer of the UAH temperature record, sheds some light on climate science's "missing heat" mystery. Climate models have predicted more warming than the instruments have measured – leading to various …

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Meh

Blatantly Obvious

Sea levels have been rising at more or less the same rate for 100's of years - since the end of the little ice age. And before that - since the end of the last ice age.

Satellites show the Sahara and the planet as a whole is greening - believed to be from the fertilizing effect of increased atmospheric CO2.

Tropical cyclone energy is at a record low and the US hasn't been hit by a hurricane for 1050 days - the longest period since the American Civil War.

Arctic sea ice has only been monitored since 1979 and there is strong historical evidence of past periods of low arctic ice - eg. when US subs surfaced at the pole in 1958 and 1959.

What was it you said was blatantly obvious again?

As for the Antarctic - sea ice is close to record high.

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Agreed

Jared Diamond points this out in his book "Collapse".

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Silver badge

subs surfacing at the pole

"Sea levels have been rising at more or less the same rate for 100's of years - since the end of the little ice age"

No, sea level rise is faster in the last few decades than earlier, which is as you would expect as the world is now warmer.

"there is strong historical evidence of past periods of low arctic ice - eg. when US subs surfaced at the pole in 1958 and 1959."

Subs try to surface in leads. These are holes in the ice pack that occur even when the ice is thick.. These don't require ice free pole. Plus observations of ice extent by countries at the poles do not show an ice free pole occurred in the 50s or 60s.

Antarctic sea ice is actually currently below average. Global sea ice even almost reached a new low, the record holder being summer 2007.

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Coat

Rising what?

The most recent rise in sea level as a constant added by "scientists" to account for the fact that sea level changes were slowing or reversing. That is, they are fudging the data to make it look more like predictions. You can expect desertification from a cooling earth sooner than from a warming one - it would have to become warm enough that additional evaporation did not result in additional precipitation, so any present increase in desert areas is highly unlikely to be linked to global climate changes - regional ones due to grazing, farming, development, perhaps. Cool air on the other hand contains less moisture to begin with. Tropical storm frequency changes can be accounted for by increased monitoring - satellite imagery detects storms that would have been unnoted not many decades ago.

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Meh

Alarmist hysteria about sea ice

Re sea levels. Envisat shows a negligible 0.76mm/yr rise since 2004. Colorado uni have 3mm/yr average over the last 20 years. No acceleration. Less than a dicks-worth of rise in a human lifetime. Think we can handle that without too much trouble?

Re historical arctic ice - I'd also draw your attention to Admundsen who sailed the Northwest passage in 1906 in a wooden boat - without the benefit of satellite assistance nor nuclear-powered ice breakers. Clearly suggesting the Arctic sea ice was less than than now.

Re: Antarctic ice. Take a look at the graph on Cryosphere today

http://arctic.atmos.uiuc.edu/cryosphere/IMAGES/seaice.anomaly.antarctic.png

Basically flat - if anything rising up a bit. And you're telling me there's something to worry about there? Having hit near record highs in 2008 and 2010?

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FAIL

Other creationists...

Galileo

Copernicus

Newton

But if you can't fault his science, I guess you have to attack the man.

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Great men all

and had they had access to the last 200 years of scientific research, I'm sure they would treat creationism with the contempt it roundly deserves. What's Dr Roy's excuse?

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Weak

Oh come on, those were very different times, when creationism was the only game in town and atheists were rarer than hen's teeth. Public atheists at any rate.

Galileo was placed under house arrest for years for challenging church doctrine, never mind the existence of the christian god. (although I'll admit that deniers are often treated unfairly as modern-day heretics).

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Anonymous Coward

Bigotry alive and well...

It's a frighteningly common trend - don't listen to so-and-so because he's a such-and-such - lead by propagandists like Richard Dawkins. It's a simple technique: construct a straw-man from the most vocal and ridiculous people who claim to be part of the target group, tear it down, and then imply that everyone in that group is just the same. The end result is mass ignorance and intolerance, as evidenced in some of the comments here.

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Ah yes

Because 3 famous scientists from centuries ago, when scientific knowledge on the earth's history was much less advanaced, are a great set to choose.

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Bad comparisons?

Oh, come on, naming scientists that predate Darwin's theory of evolution by centuries as evidence that rational scientists can be creationists?

The reality is quite simple: to be a creationist *and* "scientists" at the start of the 21st century is essentially impossible - anyone who pretends to be both is either a hypocrite or delusional.

All of which does not mean he has to be wrong about his research, only that it's not unreasonable to question his scientific capacities...

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PT
WTF?

@Other Creationists

The three "creationists" you cite lived at a time when the penalty for not being a creationist was a warm one. I believe if the alternative was being burned alive after an indefinite period of imprisonment and torture, even I might profess the belief that the World was created six thousand years ago by an Almighty God.

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Silver badge

Bad argument

I'm obviously not going to be the only one who will say this, but your argument is specious. All three men you mention were born hundreds of years ago, without access to our current knowledge. For example, Newton also believed in absolute space and universal time. Come on, this is obviously inconsistent with special and general relativity! If you think that newton, alive now, would believe in creationism, you are seriously deluded.

Now can you be quiet?

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Anonymous Coward

Misinformation

@PT: "the alternative was being burned alive after an indefinite period of imprisonment and torture, even I might profess the belief that the World was created six thousand years ago"

You've been mislead. Galileo relished mocking the religious authorities of the day, but didn't meet with anything worse than house arrest. Those responsible for his arrest were clearly wrong, of course, but many of their actions likewise had little to with faith. They were rich and powerful people trying to assert their wealth and power, just like those who opposed and executed Jesus. People of faith will frequently find themselves at odds with religious authorities, unfortunately.

And I'm wearied of hearing that Christianity has something to do with Creation occurring 6000 years ago. Are you aware that concept was dreamed up by a certain Bishop Ussher in the 17th century? The vast majority of Christians see the idea as irrelevant at best, but divisive and dishonest is closer to the mark. Control freaks like this kind of idea because it makes them distinctive, providing grounds for isolating 'their' people from the 'others'. The followers of this idea are practically a cult, which has *nothing* to do with Christian faith. It may not seem this way to the casual observer, simply because - like many cults - this brand of creationism is strident, divisive, and very vocal. Controversy is their lifeblood, not faith.

Faith embraces the world as it is, and that includes scientific observation. People who are afraid of science (or anything/anyone else) demonstrate a lack of faith.

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Anonymous Coward

Attacking the science then

Fairly comprehensively:

http://bbickmore.wordpress.com/2011/03/01/roy-spencers-great-blunder-part-3/

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Meh

@AC &weak

not quite. The academics in charge, not the churchmen (all of whom were in clerical robes) were the main critics of Galileo. The churchmen were mostly interested initially because his model worked and was simpler. Then situation went bad, partly because Galileo had a very agressive "debating" style.

Not unusual in academia for parties to form and plot the downfall of opposing views to the offical doctrine even now.

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Thanks, John,

for this link, which, without resorting to any argumenta ad hominem, reveals the very large lacunae in Mr Spencer's attempts to apply the scientific method, which seem to be based rather on a need to demonstrate the existence of a benevolent diety which would not allow us to change Earth's climate in such a way as to endanger our very existence than on a desire to understand what really is going on....

Hardly surprising, but still rather saddening, to see Mr Orlowski pushing Mr Spencer's interpretation of the data on the Reg....

Henri

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Headmaster

@Ralph 5

"Are you aware that concept was dreamed up by a certain Bishop Ussher in the 17th century?"

Utter codswallop. The Jewish calendar is based on a creation date of 3761BCE and has been for nearly two thousand years. The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently. And in the protestant community the culture of Biblical literalism never died out - something between a quarter and a half of Americans still believe it.

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Pirate

Misinformation

Ralph S

The Christians of the Inquisition escorted Galileo down into their dungeons to inspect the instruments of torture , before he was given the option of recanting or going back down there again.

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Mushroom

Re: Misinformation

"You've been mislead. Galileo relished mocking the religious authorities of the day, but didn't meet with anything worse than house arrest."

That would be because Galileo put a crimp in the church's teachings rather the Biblical law, as he only ever questioned the model that was the interpretation of the biblical "facts" at the time.

Had he come out and said; "Look, there's no way God made this and the whole shebang's almost certainly a shitload older then the bible says it is, so that's wrong too", he'd have been up for the full Inquisitorial analysis and subsequent toasting forthwith.

Christianity (or rather the Abrahamic religions as a set) have got *everything* to do with Creationism. Something to do with the fact that the Tome Of Turgidity opens with the cast-iron bullshit "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the Earth". All Ussher did was work the timelines given in the subsequent cobblers back to come up with a date for that. Blaming Ussher's work for the excesses of Creationism is like blaming alcoholism on Stella Artois.

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Silver badge

agreed....

but you must admit, Newton was barking.

top science bloke and all, grabbity, 1/2 of calculus, laws of motion, all that stuff with light and all.

but funny handshakes? lead into gold?

mental

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Anonymous Coward

Recent allegory?

@Some Beggar: "The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently"

This subject has been debated for as long as we have records. For example, have you not read what the Jewish scholar Philo (c 20 BC - AD 45) wrote about literal "days" of creation?

"He [Moses] says that in six days the world was created, not that its Maker required a length of time for His work, for we must think of God as doing all things simultaneously, remembering that "all" includes with the commands which He issues the thought behind them. Six days are mentioned because for the things coming into existence there was need of order"

...and later...

"It is quite foolish to think that the world was created in six days or in a space of time at all."

I can give *many* similar examples, Christian and Jewish alike from the earliest records we have. The cause of the debate is simple - Genesis answers only one question about the existence of the universe, but we want to know more. Genesis doesn't say anything about "When?", or "How?", or "How long" - not even "Why?". It only states in the most succinct terms possible, "Who".

A natural desire to know more has lead many to embellish this record, trying to answer all the questions with assumptions, extrapolations, and calculations. The results are invariably ludicrous, hence the response of scholars like Philo (and others) to refute these inventions. With regard to the Jewish calendar, it arose from exactly the same erroneous thinking sometime in the 3rd century. You will find, however, that virtually all recent references are made to Ussher (or his contemporary Lightfoot) with respect to this debate. And it's about as relevant to faith as the "number of angels on a pin". You should not assume for a moment that to be Christian is also to believe in certain facts about the universe other than, "it exists because God willed it to exist". Anything beyond that - it's age, nature, purpose, etc - is speculation.

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@Ralph 5

"I can give *many* similar examples,"

Really? If you can give "many" examples then why have you only given a single example? And an example from well outside the core Christian tradition at that. You seem to have forgotten that the gnostics were considered heretics and eradicated by the catholics almost a thousand years ago. What sort of counter-example is that?

The core christian tradition was always a literal interpretation of Genesis. To argue otherwise is revisionist piffle.

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Anonymous Coward

One example is more than none

@Some Beggar: "Really? If you can give "many" examples then why have you only given a single example?"

I gave one example because a forum like this isn't an appropriate place to start writing a book. But fine, I'll bore everyone with a long-winded message with more examples.

Justin Martyr (c AD 100-166) and Irenaeus (c AD 130-200) were inclined to think a creation "day" was 1000 years (from Psalm 90:4 and 2 Peter 3:8). Irenaeus wrote,

"Thus, then, in the day they did eat, in the same did they die... for it is said, "There was made in the evening, and there was made in the morning one day." Now in this same day that they did eat, in that also did they die. [...] One one and the same day on which they ate they also died (for it is one day of creation)... He (Adam) did not overstep the thousand years, but died within their limit... for since "a day of the Lord is a thousand years," he did not overstep the thousand years, but died within them"

Hyppolytus (c AD 170-236) also though the "day" referred to a thousand years. Clement of Alexandria (c AD 150-220 echoed Philo's opinion that creation days were not literal, 24-hour days, stating that creation could not take place in time since, "time was born along with things that exist". Origen (c AD 185-254) taught that spiritual meanings should be sought in certain parts of scripture, and say the "6 days" of creation as one such area. He wrote, "The text said that "there was evening and there was morning," it did not say: "the first day," but said, "one day." It is because there was not yet time before the world existed"

Augustine (AD 354-430), who conducted extensive research on this subject, wrote, "As for these 'days', it is difficult, perhaps impossible to think - let alone explain in words - what they mean." In "The Literal Meaning of Genesis" he wrote, "But at least we know it [the creation day] is different from the ordinary day with which we are familiar". In the same book he wrote, "Seven days by our reckoning after the model of the days of creation, make up a week. Bu the passage of such weeks time rolls on, and in such weeks one day is constituted by the course of the sun from its rising to its setting; but we must bear in mind that these days indeed recall the days of creation, but without in any way being really similar to them."

There are more, but I think this will suffice. I think you'll agree that the church doesn't view Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, or Augustine as a side-show or heretical. If you think this is a 'revisionist' version of their opinions, please elaborate. Propagandists like Dawkins like to paint a picture of a church that is founded on the idea that creation happened in 6 literal days about 6000 years ago, but the truth is, while their straw man is constructed from some who actually believe that, it is about as honest and accurate as Joseph Goebbels' portrayal of the Jews.

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Headmaster

@Ralph 5

John Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine and Hyppolytus were all young earth creationists, they just aged the universe very slightly differently from their peers. Young earth creationism is categorically NOT a straw man. It was the core tradition of Christianity from its Jewish roots up until the modern era. You have still not given any examples to contradict my original statement:

"The Judeao-Christian tradition for at least two thousand years has been quite clear that the earth was young. Only a small minority of Christian writers argued that Genesis was allegorical until very recently."

And why do you keep mentioning Dawkins? What does a retired biologist have to do with this? I realise he's the bee in the bonnet of many insecure theists, but nobody else has mentioned him or anything he's written, so why bring him up?

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Anonymous Coward

Your choice

@Some Beggar: "John Martyr, Irenaeus, Augustine and Hyppolytus were all young earth creationists, they just aged the universe very slightly differently from their peers"

I provided quotes which categorically demonstrate that both Jewish and Christian thinkers did not think the Genesis account provided a literal time component. In fact - as Augustine neatly summarised - they felt the time question was essentially unanswerable. Therefore, any time they might choose to attach to it (if any is stated) comes down to personal opinion, i.e. it is intended to be speculative, like an unproven hypothesis. If you are of a fundamentalist persuasion, then it's your choice to believe the account is imbedded with literal time data. But don't attempt to colour the whole world (historic or otherwise) with your opinion - the facts don't square with it. It's telling that you demand quotes but don't provide any yourself.

I mentioned Dawkins because he is a strong proponent of some of the opinions voiced in response to this article - that any who believes in anything other than the material, observable, measurable universe is flawed, untrustworthy, possibly insane - a "virus" to be exterminated.

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WTF?

@Ralph 5

Choice? It's not even slightly controversial. Here is Augustine on the age of the universe:

"They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed."

That final phrase is entirely unequivocal: at the time of writing, the universe was less than 6000 years old. Augustine was a young earth creationist like practically every other scholar for almost the entire history of christianity.

I suspect you've simply argued yourself into a corner and don't have the balls to say "oops I was wrong". But feel free to keep banging away or blame it all on persecution by a retired biologist. He's worse than Goebbels, you know.

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Anonymous Coward

Always read the context

@Some Beggar: "Here is Augustine on the age of the universe: 'They are deceived, too, by those highly mendacious documents which profess to give the history of many thousand years, though, reckoning by the sacred writings, we find that not 6000 years have yet passed.' "

If you read the context of that quote, you will find he is talking about the recorded history of man. Many sceptics laughed at the creation account, holding that the world - and man - had no beginning. The idea that the universe had a starting point was absurd to them - how could there be no universe, and where would it arise from? Speaking of the human race, Augustine quotes Apulieus thus, "Individually they are mortal, but collectively, and as a race, they are immortal."

Augustine then questions why the recorded history of man is so paltry if it extends to the infinite past. Surely they would have reached this point before? He gives other examples of historical records ranging up to 8000 years, but questions their consistency. Based on any of these records, however, he asserted that it points to a finite past.

He goes on to illustrate that any length of time less than infinity is vanishingly small by comparison, and therefore the questions and difficulties remain the same even if, "five or six, but even sixty or six hundred thousand years, or sixty times as many, or six hundred, or six hundred thousand times as many, or this sum multiplied until it could no longer be expressed in numbers, the same question could still be put..." At what point man came into existence beyond the creation of the universe was unanswerable to him, nor did he see it as of great significance.; "I own that I do not know what ages passed before the human race was created..."

You will also note that he refers to the "reckoning" of scripture, a reckoning being an estimate or calculation. He - and others - say this because there are no absolute time references to be found. Those who want to know more than the fact that God made the world have sought a means to work it out. They did this using genealogies in scripture, estimating the time between successive generations and assuming that when it was said that, "so-and-so was the son of such-and-such", they meant that there was only a single generation between them. Given that we have no idea when each generation was born, that it wasn't unusual for a distant descendent to be referred to as a "son" (even a man today could - in the proper use of the expression - be called "the son of Adam"), or that generations might be omitted from the series, how much weight do you think they gave to the resultant figure?

Augustine used this estimate as a benchmark in his assertion that the world (and man) had a beginning, and that is was a finite number of years. Scriptural records were as good a historical reference as any, and he used this to question why an eternity of mankind had not amounted to more. So judge for yourself - is 6000 years an assertion of scripture, or an extrapolation/calculation/estimate/reckoning derived from it? Add the fact that Augustine did not see the "days" of Genesis as a 24-hour period, or that he did not know what time elapsed before mankind, and you cannot claim that he was committed to any such number, or that it was pivotal to his faith. It was simply a (controversial) subject that fascinated him, and he explored it as deeply as he was able; "no matter at what earlier or later period he had been created, this controversy about the commencement of this world's history would have had precisely the same difficulties as it has now."

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@Ralph 5

"feel free to keep banging away"

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Wow, he believes in God!

Wow, he believes in God! I guess Newton, Kepler, Planck et al must be wrong then too.

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Silver badge

Not you too

I just explained why the other guy was wrong. Copy and paste.

But ooh, you've included someone alive in the twentieth century. Go and read Wikipedia on Planck's religious viewpoint, particularly the sentence '[...] he did not believe "in a personal God, let alone a Christian God." ' Rest assured Planck believed in evolution and was not a creationist.

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Facepalm

Oh Noes

Roy Spencer believes something.

If you can find a way that he's doctored his data, like factoring in the location of Noah's Ark frinstance - then go ahead and crucify the cheat.

But don't dismiss his research because you don't like what he stands for, otherwise there's a whole lot of science that you need to chuck out because the researchers weren't good Dawkinians.

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Silver badge

It isn't his belief, per se

it's *what* he believes. Whatever Dawkins* thinks, it's perfectly possible to be a good scientist and believe in God/Vishnu/whatever - and there are plenty of such people, John Polkinghorne being a particularly eminent example. Indeed, there's a good (though far from unanswerable) case to be made for the universe being a created entity, based on the apparent fine tuning of fundamental physical constants.

But it is *not* possible to be a scientist *and* believe that the world was created a few thousand years ago, in total contradiction of the vast majority of our modern understanding of physics, chemistry, geology and biology.

* A superb evolutionary biologist and communicator, but a lousy philosopher.

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EWI
FAIL

LOL @ depths to which cranks will sink

'Anonymous' asks for Spencer's doctoring of data, so:

http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/misdiagnosis-of-surface-temperature-feedback/

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WTF?

oh for crying in a bloody bucket ...

What is it with people that they think a few high-school science classes during which they day-dreamed about sex and music enables them to second-guess major parts of scientific consensus?

Thousands of scientists have poured tens of thousands of hours into decades of interlocking research that has gone through the normal process of publication in peer-reviewed journals, replication by others, attack by competing findings, and this has slowly bubbled up through the layers of science bodies and panels, to finally emerge as a consensus position at the international level.

Whether it is in fact what nature is actually busy doing is neither here nor there - the point is that no single person, group of people, or even a whole cluster of them can ever hope to come up with a better guess than what the consensus position provides.

Unless one assembles an entirely different cohort also composed of thousands of scientists labouring for tens of thousands of hours over decades also with billions of euros and dollars of funding, one will never arrive at a better guess than the current consensus position.

I wish to hell that this simple and rather self-bloody-evident penny would drop down the slot and hit the bell.

It doesn't matter if you think your favourite filmstar, hooker, evangelist, or medium thinks the consensus is wrong, they simply don't have a snowflakes chance in a blast furnace of being in the same planetary system for coming up with a better guess.

The consensus position, right or wrong as nature would know but isn't telling, is the best and only guess in town - like it, lump it, or shove it up your central orifice - it is the best guess that our species is capable of making, and that's the bloody end of it!

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A short comment

I read with some interest this quote from a warmist: "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."

I find it highly interesting that the direct measurement of temperature across the entire earth at multiple different altitudes by a highly accurate measuring instrument is considered by someone to be a worse measure of climate sensitivity than a proxy measurement derived using dodgy statistics from ice core or tree ring data.

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Trollface

Oh No!

Help ... we're making the universe hotter .... that sounds serious!

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FAIL

Human Flourishing FAIL

"We believe Earth and its ecosystems—created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence —are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory."

Many fundamentalists take this to mean that the Earth is an infinite resource which mankind has a divine right to abuse according to his whim.

9 billion population by 2050? Let the scrap for resources begin...

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The heat's not missing

It was never there in the first place.

Part of the problem with AGW is that the original authors made one huge assumption - that CO2 warming would be multiplied by additional H20 warming (a factor of about three times as much warming). This assumed extra warming was not backed up in any real-world studies, and was only introduced because their model runs didn't come up with enough heat from the CO2-nudged "greenhouse effect."

What these observations really do is finally put the nail in the coffin of that unscientific assumption by the AGW computer modelers.

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@cirby

"the nail in the coffin"

I don't know the burial traditions around your part of the world, but around here we typically wait until somebody is dead, or at the very least poorly, before we start nailing up the coffin. AGW is supported by the vast majority of relevant scientists. That makes it very much alive. Even if this research turns out not to be purest quackery, it would barely register as a minor sniffle against the health of the scientific consensus.

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One mans quackery is another mans certainty

Its interesting that the weight of scientific knowledge behind current thinking is used as an argument to support it. This is a self-sustaining model, if enough people believe it's true then it must be so.

In the sixties we had infinite oil, there was no global warming, well maybe a few cranks with their quackery disagreed. Scientific opinion tends to collect around the edges of current thinking. Its just how things work, it takes a deal of confidence to question that and then evidence to backup the questions. If the new thinking can be proven then scientific thinking changes to the new model, with the exception of a few on the outside that try and prove it wrong.

We shouldn't be dismissive of people just because they have a different view. Instead we should say, "Ok, prove it."

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Silver badge

the paper makes weak claims

One thing sticks out a mile here: with his known beliefs, affiliations and record, the best he could manage is claiming an effect that in essence smooths out extreme short term temperature excursions (on the timescale of 3months or so), explains a well known difference between *short term* model predictions and measurement and at best just delays global effects. Despite the best efforts of 'friends' in the press to misrepresent the actual paper it's hardly a bombshell.

I think he was faced with a self inflicted dilemma, write exaggerated BS or stay close enough to the truth to actual get printed in an untainted publication. In this case a marginally relevant publication. He chose the latter. Going to be interesting seeing how much of the mild claim survives peer review (which it's not had yet).

It's really hard to work out what he hopes to achieve, the message seems to be 'it's not possible to understand the situation', presumably because that will throw doubt on all modelling efforts. I hope he's actually found something real, it could help ameliorate the worst effects on extreme weather effects and buy a few more years before the tipping point to undo the damage his cronies have inflicted with delay.

More likely he's failed to resist exaggeration and will be refuted pretty quickly now the 'usual suspects' are stirring up PR.

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beliefs not relevant to science

Paul, his beliefs are irrelevant, but his record and affiliations are unquestioned. Roy Spencer has headed the UAH satellite program for many years and has published widely on remote sensing and atmospheric energy transfers. The paper provides the data and methodology behind the analysis and doesn't make any claims or hyperbole (sadly, the same can't be said the press release or other press reports). He has pointed out a serious discrepancy between the actual measured data and all of the models used to predict the effect of CO2 in the atmosphere.

In terms of what he "hopes to achieve" you are ascribing a motive based on your own viewpoint that everyone has to have an angle and will use any means to further it. Yes, Dr Spencer has beliefs and he is quite happy to expound on them, but not in his published papers in which he sticks closely to what the data reveal.

Your own beliefs are quite clear with phrases such as "extreme weather effects" and "tipping points" which are still only found in computer models, not in the data. So am I safe to assume that what you "hope to achieve" in your comment is to detract from the data by smearing the messenger?

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Joke

"compared the empirical evidence against six climate models."

Crikey. Compared *actual* data with the soothsayers prognostications.

He is an unbeliever

Burn him!

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L.B
Holmes

Correlation may not equal cause; BUT!!!

Did anyone else notice the correlation between temperature anomalies and the economy (see 1st chart).

When the dot.com crash hit in march 2000 the temperatures went down, one could assume this was due to less fuel being used as people stopped spending what they didn't have for a while.

Then again in 2008, the start of the current economic crisis and again the temperatures dropped again as people use there cars less and industry used less energy.

Looks like perfect evidence of man made climate change to me, or will Orlowski, Lewis and Co now claim the banks all screwed up because bankers go cold.

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Mushroom

go on - explain this against your "theory"

To those who believe in AGW - Answer the following question:-

Explain 1000ad - 1200ad warm period or mini ice-age using current IPCC models......

what's that...... you can't because there wasn't enough man-made CO2 production back then - oh dear....perhaps the climate is affected by something more significant than CO2 then.....

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Angel

@chris007

Here you go:

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/paleo/globalwarming/medieval.html

You're welcome.

Oh ... and you only need three dots in an ellipsis.

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Boffin

@Chris007

You refer to the 'mini ice age' that affected Northern Europe, but not the rest of the planet? I think you'll find that this is what is known as a localised effect, and there is little evidence that this affected the global heat balance in any way.

So, here's an explanation for you: The climate DOES have short , medium, and long-term cyclical effects (ranging from el-nino, to ice ages), these can be explained variously by cyclical changes in ocean currents (without which most of Europe would be frozen solid for most of the year), and things like predicatable periodic changes in the orbital eccentricity of the Earth.

The existence of these effects does nothing to disprove the existence of the greenhouse effect, which is based upon sound scientific knowledge of the spectral properties of atmospheric components such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapour, sulphur dioxide, etc. etc.

Now, having given you an explanation of why AGW is, in my opinion, a real effect, please explain to me, based upon the scientific evidence that you clearly possess but I do not, why you believe it doesn't. Fair's fair.

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Sunny side Up

Yousaying the main source of heat for the planet has constant output?

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@Bob.Hitchen

Nobody is saying that. It's a demonstrably ridiculous straw man argument.

Solar energy reaching the earth varies over the course of a year depending on where we are in our elliptical orbit. It also varies depending on where we are in our 26k year precession. The amount of energy reaching any particular latitude then varies depending on the axial tilt of the planet which also varies slowly over time. There is also a much less significant variation in the output of the sun itself depending where it is in its sort-of cycle. The amount of this periodically varying energy which reaches the surface depends on the make up of the atmosphere.

All of these periodic factors are taken into account in every measurement and model of the climate. To imply that climate scientists have missed this variation is just utter bollocks. Pop over to google scholar. I will pay you a crisp fiver for every single well-cited paper that you can find that assumes solar irradiance is constant.

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