Dessler gets schooled by Spencer

Josh writes:

In view of the thread The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: My Initial Comments on the New Dessler 2011 Study a commenter over at BishopHill said this:

“Does this mean that John Abrahams comments, reported in the Guardian and Daily Climate, about Dr. Spencer constantly having to correct errors and revise work, are in fact correct?

Just not in the way Abrahams originally intended?”

So I drew a cartoon, not outrageously funny, maybe a faint smile…

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30 thoughts on “Dessler gets schooled by Spencer

  1. I haven’t read Dr. Spencer’s book Fundanomics yet, but I suspect he corrects a few errors there, too. :-)

  2. Great stuff, Josh. Always enjoyable, and on-target.
    Methinks Dessler and his speed-reading pals have misbehaved, and may need to be kept after school, or even expelled.

  3. Josh, as usual you have condensed so much into one seemingly simple cartoon. This one picture encapsulates exactly what so many people who have followed this episode.
    Well done!

  4. Josh, you clearly think outside the box. Or should I say, you think clearly outside the box.

    Imagination at work! Keep it coming.

  5. JohnWho says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Good one.

    Except, in this case, Dr. Spencer appears to be correcting the errors before the paper is submitted.

    Helping the Team look good.

    True. Had Dr. Spencer waited until the paper was submitted and published, he could have schooled both the author AND the reviewers–four birds in one–a much larger class. It never pays to get too hasty.

  6. V kind ;-)

    RockyRoad says:
    September 10, 2011 at 1:17 pm
    JohnWho says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Good one.

    Except, in this case, Dr. Spencer appears to be correcting the errors before the paper is submitted.

    Helping the Team look good.

    True. Had Dr. Spencer waited until the paper was submitted and published, he could have schooled both the author AND the reviewers–four birds in one–a much larger class. It never pays to get too hasty.

    ————

    You make a very good point! But what would that have done to the little boys and their confidence levels? They may have become drop-outs. It will be interesting to watch them learn. Hopefully they will learn to appreciate one of their teachers for the knowledge that they have gained. Maybe they will learn that cheating is embarrassing and grow up to become a contribution to society. Hopefully.

  7. Josh,

    I did not see Wagner and Trenberth sitting in the corner behind Teacher Spencer’s desk with their dunce hats on. Or better yet, see them sitting on the naughty step per Jonathan Jone’s BH comment.

    Great cartoon satire.

    John

  8. Abraham’s criticism of Spencer was that he proof reads his work? Shouldn’t everyone do that.

  9. Must suck to be Dessler . . . I mean really, he looks like a complete fool.

    Wonder if he thinks he’s still cool?just

  10. Wiglaf says:
    June 6, 2011 at 6:42 am

    On the Richard Glover rant calling for tattoos for “deniers”, I found this paragraph illuminating:

    “People on the left instinctively believe in communal action, the role of government and the efficacy of international agencies such as the UN. They were always going to believe in climate change; it’s the sort of problem that can best be solved using the tools they most enjoy using.”

  11. tallbloke says:
    September 11, 2011 at 1:26 am

    “I’ve collated the main comments from Bart which are spread across CA and Roy’s site:
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/09/11/bart-cloud-feedback-is-negative-ocean-response-is-around-4-88-years/

    That sounds a bit better for impulse response. Spencer and Dessler were both looking for responses far too immediate which is why they both had such low r^2 values. Spencer got a bit better correlation at 4 months because (IMO) he was digging some seasonal heat storage/release out of the data. Studies of ocean heat budget invariably show month’s long storage of summer insolation which is released in winter when air is dryer and evaporation rate higher. One must keep in mind that ocean heating by the sun is instant and distributed to a depth of about 100 meters (give or take depending on turbidity and dissolved solid load) but cooling is primarily via evaporation and that requires mechanical transport of sun-warmed water at depth up to the surface. I had a hunch that the ocean mixed layer down to 100 meters took longer than 4 months to equilibrate with surface layer (first 10 meters). So the first 10 meters is responsible for smoothing out surface temperature variation between winter and summer and down to 100 meters smooths it out over periods of several years.

    This is good progress. But there are still longer impulse responses to ferret out such as the Atlantic multi-decadal oscillation, impulse responses with periods of hundreds of years, and of course the mother of all impulse response that is thousands of years which has, for the past several million years, caused the global average temperature to ring like a bell between glacial and interglacial periods with an approximate period of 120,000 years.

    All that aside, the fact still remains that the average temperature of the global ocean is 3.9C and the ONLY way it could get that way is the average mixed layer temperature, and hence the average temperature of the air immediately above the ocean’s surface must also be 3.9C.

    Given average SST is about 16C today and appears to have been near that value for the past 12,000 years the average SST during the previous 100,000 years of glaciation must have been lower than 3.9C to make up for 12,000 years of being much higher than that.

    We’re basically living in a thin layer of warmth (interglacial SST) floating on a bucket of very cold water. This thin layer of warmth only lasts an average of 10,000 years followed by 100,000 years of a thin layer of frigid cold (glacial SST). The earth’s average temperature over both warm and cold epochs is 3.9C. If one loses sight of that fact one loses sight of the fact that the onset of the next glacial period is what we should be afraid of. Therefore as an engineer concerned with having adequate safety margins I know that 280ppm CO2 is not adequate to prevent the onset of glacial periods. What I’d really like to know is what level of CO2 in the atmosphere does give us enough safety margin to prevent the next glacial period. The start of the next glacial period is statistically overdue for arrival by about 2000 years.

    Milankovitch lineup of minimum axial tilt coinciding with perihelion in middle of northern hemisphere winter (axial precession and orbital precession have different periods) has not yet peaked in favor of glacial advance and won’t peak for a few thousand years yet. Given that glacial advance historically begins well in advance of optimal orbital parameters I must presume that once you start getting within several thousands years of the optimum there’s a “perfect storm” of other climate altering events that kicks it off. Consider a perfect storm of being something like a major climate cooling volcanic eruption (Pinutabo on steroids, or perhaps some back-to-back eruptions) during a solar grand minimum. One can almost gurantee that such a perfect storm will happen over the course of a few thousand years and when it happens in sufficient temporal proximity to Milankovich glacial optimum the “BOO-YAH” the next 100,000 years of glaciation begins.

    This is what we should fear and the question we -should- be asking is not whether humans have added too much CO2 the atmosphere but rather whether it’s even practially possible to add enough CO2 to get a margin of safety to ride out that glaciation triggering perfect storm.

  12. Dave Springer says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:19 am

    If I get the drift of your post, you say that the mixed layer temperature of 3.9C results from a “cold bucket” of water left after glacial periods, combined with warmer water of the interglacials.

    However, in our present climate one will likely get the same thing by creating bottom water in polar regions, have this spread out though the ocean depths (North Atlantic Bottom Water eventually reaches the Indian and Pacific Oceans), and insulate it with a mixed later above. You get the “cold bucket” in either case, and the mixed layer is just an average temperature of water from source regions at the present time. Of course, there is some time-lag to transport surface water in polar regions to bottom water in regions of general upwelling, possibly a thousand years or two.

  13. UK Sceptic says, September 11, 2011 at 12:08 am:

    Josh shoots, he scores! :0)
    ————————————-

    Yep, and his hit rate is 100%!

  14. Dave Springer says:
    September 11, 2011 at 7:19 am

    ———————

    Thought provoking. I read it this morning a couple of times and have pondered the content. Very interesting theory.

  15. JohnWho says:
    September 10, 2011 at 11:58 am
    Except, in this case, Dr. Spencer appears to be correcting the errors before the paper is submitted. Helping the Team look good.

    1) Wouldn’t the paper need to be re-reviewed if corrections have been made since the review?
    2) Doesn’t this raise questions about the quality of the paper and the reviewers, even before it is published?
    3) Doesn’t this raise questions about the conclusion of the paper? After all, if there were mistakes in the math, then the conclusions based on the mistakes are likely mistakes as well.

    Who reviewed the paper? Given that Spenser was able to find errors so quickly, it would seem that the reviewers that surely had the paper for longer are not qualified to be reviewers.

    This is why the names of the reviewers should be made public at the time the paper is published. So that the quality of future papers is not compromised by secrecy surrounding incompetent reviewers.

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