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Sunday, July 31, 2011

Roy Spencer debunked again

Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast. LiveScience has an interesting read. Here's an excerpt: "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, 2011, 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."

"Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedback." RealClimate has the complete story; here's an excerpt: "The hype surrounding a new paper by Roy Spencer and Danny Braswell is impressive (see for instance Fox News); unfortunately the paper itself is not. News releases and blogs on climate denier web sites have publicized the claim from the paper’s news release that “Climate models get energy balance wrong, make too hot forecasts of global warming.” The paper has been published in a journal called Remote Sensing, which is a fine journal for geographers, but it does not deal with atmospheric and climate science, and it is evident that this paper did not get an adequate peer review. It should not have been published. The paper’s title “On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” is provocative and should have raised red flags with the editors. The basic material in the paper has very basic shortcomings because no statistical significance of results, error bars or uncertainties are given either in the figures or discussed in the text. Moreover, the description of methods of what was done is not sufficient to be able to replicate results. As a first step, some quick checks have been made to see whether results can be replicated, and we find some points of contention. The basic observational result seems to be similar to what we can produce but use of slightly different datasets, such as the EBAF CERES dataset, changes the results to be somewhat less in magnitude. And some parts of the results do appear to be significant. So are they replicated in climate models? Spencer and Braswell say no, but this is where attempts to replicate their results require clarification. In contrast, some model results do appear to fall well within the range of uncertainties of the observations. How can that be? For one, the observations cover a 10-year period. The models cover a 100-year period for the 20th century. The latter were detrended by Spencer, but for the 20th century that should not be necessary. One could and perhaps should treat the 100 years as 10 sets of 10 years and see whether the observations match any of the 10-year periods, but instead what appears to have been done is to use only the 100-year set by itself."

Climate Scientists Debunk Latest Bunk by Denier Roy Spencer. Joe Romm at Climate Progress has the details: "Long wrong climate science disinformer Roy Spencer has published another deeply flawed article.  That ain’t news.  What is news is that the deniers have a couple of new tricks up their sleeves. First, the disinformers have figured out they should focus on journals that don’t seem to have a very deep understanding of climate science.  In May, it was a paper in astatistics journal, which was ultimately withdrawn because of “evidence of plagiarism and complaints about the peer-review process.”  This time it’s an article in the open-access Remote Sensing co-authored by Spencer. It bears repeating that Spencer committed one of the most egregious blunders in the history of remote sensing — committing multiple errors in analyzing the satellite data and creating one of the enduring denier myths: that the satellite data didn’t show the global warming that the surface temperature data did. It also bears repeating that Spencer wrote this month, “I view my job a little like a legislator, supported by the taxpayer, to protect the interests of the taxpayer and to minimize the role of government.”

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