Spencer and Braswell on Slashdot

This is how Slashdot breaks the news from Forbes article: “New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism”. When it hits Slashdot, you know it has gone viral.

New NASA Data Casts Doubt On Global Warming Models

Posted by timothy on Thursday July 28, @07:41PM

from the but-scientists-love-models dept.

bonch writes:

“Satellite data from NASA covering 2000 through 2011 cast doubt on current computer models predicting global warming, according to a new study. The data shows that much less heat is retained by carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere than is assumed in current models. ‘There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans,’ said Dr. Roy Spencer, a co-author of the study and research scientist at the University of Alabama.”

Note: the press release about the study is somewhat less over the top.

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Konrad

It is unfortunate that version of the story was the one to go viral. The repeated use of the word “alarmist” was beyond gratuitous and verging on the absurd. However the saving grace is that the article does explain the water vapour feedback issue in simple terms. Most AGW believers seem unaware that CO2 alone can not cause dangerous warming even if we burnt all known and projected reserves of fossil fuels.
While the top of atmosphere radiation budget analysis proves the point, I would like to see empirical testing close to the Earths surface. We know that back scattered LWIR from CO2 cannot heat the oceans accounting 70% of the Earths surface, which invalidates the case for CAGW. However the case may be fully dismissed if a spectral analysis were done for the emissions of LWIR for various materials and environments on the Earth over a full diurnal cycle. Water, vegetation and soils are unlikely to be radiating a complete IR spectrum like a black body. How much LWIR around the 15 micron band is actually emitted by Earths true surfaces (not at the top of the troposphere)? What shifts occur in the emission spectra over a diurnal cycle?

I’ve been a /. member almost since its beginning (4-digit member No. !). Since then I’ve seen it degenerate from a genuinely great News For Nerds site into something which kinda annoys me these days. The reason? It seems to be teeming with AGW alarmists! At the same time, it’s fascinating to watch their reactions to anyone who shows the remotest sign that they’re an AGW sceptic. At first I was letting their attacks, venom, and bile get to me, but I’ve since then managed to turn that into amusement, as I realise now that what I’m seeing is the dying shrieking of “The Emperor’s clothes are awesome and you are an idiot for not seeing it! DENIER!” and so on.
I’ve had the idea of picking a climate-related /. entry, and making a blog entry purely about the types and styles of comments made by the AGW-believers, as reading those comments by them gives you a fascinating insight into their thought processes (or lack thereof).
Maybe I will do that sometime. I’ve not blogged much since the March 11th quake due to having to deal with the aftermath of that and have been a wee bit too tired of late.

dmmcmah

Great for the publicity, but don’t worry the global warming alarmists and the NY Times will attempt to destroy the study in the eyes of the public in short order.

David Falkner

Yeah, but when are you stupid skeptics gonna get people who aren’t doodoo heads to do science? Huh? We still have the consensus so neener neener.
“The main finding from this research is that there is no solution to the problem of measuring atmospheric feedback, due mostly to our inability to distinguish between radiative forcing and radiative feedback in our observations.”
Couldn’t you look at that and say that the limit is in a range there somewhere? Or is the range going to be too large?

dmmcmah said:
July 28, 2011 at 10:43 pm
> Great for the publicity, but don’t worry the global warming alarmists
> and the NY Times will attempt to destroy the study in the eyes of the
> public in short order.
And the authors of the study too, if they stay true to form.

dmmcmah , It has already begun in the /. comments, where some of the AGW believers are using the ad hominem fallacy against Dr Roy Spencer, in an attempt to discredit his paper. (Saying he’s a creationist quack, therefore his paper is bunk).
It’s precisely the type of venom I mentioned in my earlier post here. Fascinating.

Dale

This seems as good a place as any to mention this recent paper:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=8119&linkbox=true&position=4 (July 22nd)
The paper shows how current AGW models break the laws of physics (that the amount of radiation emitted is proportional to its temperature) which explains the findings of Lindzen (and now confirmed by Spencer-Braswell in this paper) that Earth’s radiation emitted is actually fluxing with temperature.
The paper also slams the AGW models as they use equations which physicists use to model stars, which do not work for terrestrial bodies. Thus all the AGW models are completely useless.

Dale

Apologies, the link above should be:
http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=8138

Anything with Dr.Roy Spencer’s name anywhere near it will never be given a chance by the cabal that usually feeds the Press. Despite the hoo-hah now, this paper will be widely and generally ignored.
But first of course….we have to have the RealClimate rebuttal!
Stand by your beds!

Lol, I just countered the “he’s an ID believer” ad hominem on Slashdot by mentioning Richard Dawkins, who like me is an atheist but rather unlike me he has blind faith in the AGW theory.
My point being should I discount everything Dawkins has to say about religion and evolution just because he appears (in my opinion) to have the cognitive dissonance to have complete /faith/ that humans are causing planet Earth to overheat due to a minuscule additional release of a trace gas?
I think not. 😉

Ken Hall

I am actually amazed that this story has any traction in the mainstream media at all. Of course the BBC will refuse to show it, but the fact that Forbes printed it and various news networks picked it up as actually heartening.
I am now waiting for all the pro cAGW people who have been arguing that cAGW is proven because even the mighty NASA show it to be true, to start trashing NASA.

Katherine

Talk about beating them over the head with the “alarmist” bit. The article was a touch strident, but nothing like the alarmists’ use of the emotionally laden “D” word.

pat

The End Is Near.

Rúnar

A very interesting article, but it would be very helpful if Dr. Spencer (and others) would refrain from writing nonsensical articles in unrelated fields which he clearly knows nothing about, such as evolutionary biology. This article on intelligent design (if true) ( http://www.uncommondescent.com/intelligent-design/roy-spencer-on-intelligent-design/ ) unfortunately makes him look like a total nutcase, and provides too easy ammunition for those who want to discredit him with ad hominem “look he wrote that stupid article so his mental abilities and logic are obviously questionable and we can´t trust that the current article is any better”. Of course such logic is flawed but providing such an easy target is less than helpful. Creationists and those subscribing to intelligent design are really equivalent to the flat Earthers.

Paul Deacon

By the standards of the maiinstream media, the Forbes article on Yahoo! is quite good. It alerts readers to the fact that Global Warming relies on positive feedback from water vapour, which has not been proved. One for the good guys, methinks.

joshua Corning

“When it hits Slashdot, you know it has gone viral.”
In 1999 maybe.
I have not checked but i suspect this site gets more traffic then Slashdot does.

Hector Pascal

@Kevin Cave
“Maybe I will do that sometime. I’ve not blogged much since the March 11th quake due to having to deal with the aftermath of that and have been a wee bit too tired of late.”
OT Sorry to hear that. I’m in northern Yamagata. We had a big shake, but we, and more importantly our farmers seem to have escaped the fallout.

charles nelson

I’ve got one that always stumps Warmists…they don’t like it because they simply cannot dispute the ‘facts’ upon which my argument is based. It goes like this….
The temperature at 300hPa ranges from around minus 60C at the poles to minus 30C over the equator.
This is around 30,000 feet; the cruising altitude of long haul passenger planes and you can see it on the flight info display along with maps and arrival times.
I ask if they have been on a long haul flight and if they experienced turbulence.
The ones which say yes, I ask what they think turbulence is?
Gently I get them to admit that turbulence is air rising, cooling and falling…in short water vapour convection and radiation.
I then ask them to explain at what point in their scientific model, warm air will cease to rise into the vast frigid reservoir of cold that is our atmosphere – lose its heat (easily across the big Delta T) and fall again.
I then sit back and listen to them wriggle!

It’s true that Dr Spencer knows nothing about evolutionary biology, and should shut up about it. He gave a gift to climate alarmists everywhere when he spoke up about ID, which is creationism-in-disguise, and they won’t let anyone forget about it.
James Hansen also is a semi-creationist, but everyone engages him on the things he should be knowledgeable about, and never mentions his religious belief system.

Nick Milner

There’s also a 542 comments-and-counting thread about this study over on fark.com (http://www.fark.com/comments/6426807/NASA-Global-Warming-is-officially-OVARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR). Fark climate threads are always a fun read.

eco-geek

A qualitative article about a quantative issue! Where are the NUMBERS.

John Marshall

What’s this, NASA checking their models with observation? What will Gore think. (Sarc. off)
It is good to hear about science actually being carried out as it should be. But how long before either some wild explanation emerges for these observations or governments take any notice.

Oso Politico

Just what would it take to convince warmistas that AGW is a false ideology? After all, true belief is a difficult change.

Blade

Kevin Cave [July 28, 2011 at 10:41 pm] says:
“I’ve been a /. member almost since its beginning (4-digit member No. !). Since then I’ve seen it degenerate from a genuinely great News For Nerds site into something which kinda annoys me these days. The reason? It seems to be teeming with AGW alarmists!”

Absolutely agree.

Ian E

Assuming that the analysis proves to be robust [even good guys can make mistakes!], this is surely the first really definitive piece of evidence that bears directly on the AGW hypothesis – and is also surely the final nail in the coffin of the theory. Everything else has so far been, essentially, just circumstantial (pro and anti the theory – albeit increasingly anti) – even climategate has been basically of an ad hominem nature, trashing the rather dodgy deliverers of rather dodgy ‘data’ pertaining to the theory – but I fail to see how any scientist, or intelligent layman, can ignore these results. Interesting times, indeed.

William

The finding in Spencer and Braswell’s new paper 2011 paper “On the Misdiagnosis Of Surface Temperature Feedbacks From Variations In Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance” that the earth’s atmosphere resists forcing changes (loses more heat or less heat to stabilize planetary temperature rather than to amplify forcing changes) makes sense physically (positive feedback does not occur in natural systems as it makes the system unstable and is purposely ensured to not occur in manmade systems.) and is consistent with the paleo climatic record (planetary temperature is stable except when the galactic cosmic ray changes by the sun or the geomagnetic field changes sensitivity of the cloud mechanism), it is also consistent with previous findings by Lindzen and Choi.
Extreme warming (3C and greater for a doubling of atmospheric CO2) only occurs if the earth’s atmosphere has positive feedback to amplify rather than resist a increase forcing change due to increased atmospheric CO2 or due to any other forcing change.
If the earth’s atmosphere respond to a change in forcing is neutral (i.e. not positive and not negative) the models predict a very conservative (on the high side) warming for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 of 1.2C. As it appears the feedback response is negative the actual warming will be less than 1C for doubling of CO2.
The IPCC’s safe warming for the planet is 2C. It appears we have already won the war on global warming. The US and other Western Countries do not need to spend trillions of dollars on a bureaucracy to monitor and police CO2 emissions, on a bureaucracy to control trading of CO2 credits, on a bureaucracy to tax CO2 emissions, on bureaucracy to hand out money without control to corrupt third world governments, and so on.
http://www.leif.org/EOS/2009GL039628-pip.pdf
On the determination of climate feedbacks from ERBE data
By Richard S. Lindzen and Yong-Sang Choi
Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Climate feedbacks are estimated from fluctuations in the outgoing radiation budget from the latest version of Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) nonscanner data. It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with relatively low climate sensitivity. This is the opposite of the behavior of 11 atmospheric models forced by the same SSTs. Therefore, the models display much higher climate sensitivity than is inferred from ERBE, though it is difficult to pin down such high sensitivities with any precision. Results also show, the feedback in ERBE is mostly from shortwave radiation while the feedback in the models is mostly from longwave radiation. Although such a test does not distinguish the mechanisms, this is important since the inconsistency of climate feedbacks constitutes a very fundamental problem in climate prediction.
The back peddling by those who predicted extreme global warming has started.
http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/media/pdf/j/j/global_temperatures_09.pdf
Do global temperature trends over the last decade falsify climate predictions?—J. Knight, J. J. Kennedy, C. Folland, G. Harris, G. S. Jones, M. Palmer, D. Parker, A. Scaife, andP. Stott

kwik

Way to go Dr. Spencer! Measure and analyse. Keep at it! Your approach is the only way to go.
We will win the scientific discussion in the end.
Unfortunately it wont happen until all CO2 taxes are in place. I discussed this with a colleguae here in Norway. His take on it was;
Relax. They will keep all their existing tax’es anyway. Some of them will just change name, and increase. Look at the name on a tax as a text-string that just keeps changing its content. In one election it will be called Horse-Power tax. (Yes, we have that in Norway) After the election, if the new government is “green’ish red”, or “conservatively green’ish”, it might be called “Carbon tax”. Or whatever. The crux is that the total amount of tax must either stay the same or slowly increase to follow the inflation.
Why? Well, you have a certain percentage working for the Government.
They have a budget, every year. It doesnt decrease. So, there you have it.
CO2 is a nice tax-increaser.
But in Norway there is a logical fallacy. Oil and gas is a very, very important income source for these budgets. If they decrease their oil/gas activities due to CAGW the whole system will get into financial problems. Statoil. Remember?
Before oil / gas in Norway, we had progressive income tax.This was back in the 70’ties. I remember my father complained that if he worked extra, he would keep only 10 percent for himself.
How / why do they go along with CAGW, since oil / gas is so important as a source of income for all employed by the government?
My take on it is that not even the Prime Minister, Mr.Stoltenberg, goes along with CAGW privately.
But they agree officially. Don’t want to loose votes. But when it comes to signing anything in Copenhagen that would hurt the government finances, they would never sign.

commieBob

joshua Corning says:
July 29, 2011 at 12:50 am
“When it hits Slashdot, you know it has gone viral.”
In 1999 maybe.
I have not checked but i suspect this site gets more traffic then Slashdot does.

Not even close. Check out http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/wattsupwiththat.com and http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/slashdot.org . Slashdot has much more traffic.
The good thing is that the story on slashdot gets an audience gets a general audience. Wattsupwiththat is preaching to the converted. The slashdot story has more than five hundred comments. That’s a lot even for slashdot.
The bad thing is that the comments that are ranked highest tend to be negative on the story. There are some alarmists over there and they are very aggressive. Still, it’s impressive that the story was carried at all.

It was just a matter of time until some climate scientists produced some interesting empirical research. Empirical research is truly the death knell of global warming. Warmista have been locked inside their Gaia models no less completely than Spinoza was locked inside his conception of God.

Jeef

I followed a link to climatecrocks. I wish I hadn’t. I had no idea that such ignorant philistines still trolled the web.

richard verney

It is good to see that the paper is getting some publicity.
The problem for the ‘warmists’ is that there is undeniably a divergence between model projections and recent current temperature measurements and this divergence requires an explanation.
The Spence paper provides a reasonable explanation for the divergence. If the ‘warmists’ do not like that explanation, they need to come uip with their own explanation. Presently they cannot do this. Hence, there are difficulties in attacking the paper on grounds of principle. Ad Homs attacks is only hand waving and most mature (is there such a thing) warmist will no that that does not carry any real weight.
Accordingly, their best strategy is to hide the paper, after all they have previosu experience in hiding the decline and they have the MSM on their side. I bet the BBC does not report on this paper.

Bob in Castlemaine

Here in Australia we have once again witnessed blatant examples of the double standards that the MSM applies to AGW advocates and AGW sceptics.
In the last week or so we have seen former UK PM Tony Blair helping Julia Gillard to sell her carbon dioxide tax. Now you might think he’s doing this because they are good Labor mates, but could it have anything to do with the fact that Blair is trousering millions of dollars as part of his job selling greenhouse snake oil for billionaire, venture capitalist, Vinod Khosla?

The Californian company bankrolls businesses hoping to profit from technology that helps reduce global warming and carbon emissions.
Mr Blair secured the job thanks to his “influence” and high level international contacts, whom he will be expected to lean on to open doors.
He has told friends he needs £5 million a year to fund his lifestyle.

But did the Australian MSM raise the question of Bliar’s blatant conflicts of interest? As you might guess, naught but obsequious fawning.
Contrast this meek acceptance with the puerile nit-picking dished out by the MSM when it came to visiting sceptics Lord Christopher Monckton and the incumbent president of the Czech Republic Vaclav Klaus. In this instance we had the MSM making bizarre assertions about “Big Oil” payments, and the supposed “theft” of a Biro, when both received nothing more than modest expenses.
We also witnessed Julia Gillard’s display of what could be described as gushing hero worship towards Tony Blair, but she totally ignored the Czech president.

nevket240

Amazing cant isn’t it?? If you’re a scientist with a religious belief then you are subject to public venom. But if your religious beliefs are based on voodoo science then you are deemed to be a superior person.
regards.
(the AGW scam will not fall over willingly. too much ‘face’ at stake for too many egos.)

richard verney

Dale says: July 28, 2011 at 11:24 pm
///////////////////////////////////////////////////
This confirms what I have been saying for years, that you cannot get a proper grasp on how the climate works (and in particular how the oceans behave) whilst dealing with averages. Averages only conceal what is truly going on.
It is obvious that there are fundamental floors with the models as is conclusively confirmed by the divergence between their projections and real temperature measurments. If the temperature data record has become inaccurate due to problems with station quality, sitings, station drop out, UHI, adjustments etc, the divergence problem may be even greater.
In the end, reality will catch up. Eventually, Mother Nature will prove her case.

Commander Bill

Shorter Spencer and Braswell.
We could not match ten years of real world data with significant ENSO events with model data that makes the assumption that over longer timescales the ENSO effect is neutral.
Over a ten year period ENSO variations were larger than AGW forcings so it was impossible to measure the positive feedback effects that might amplify the radiative forcing from higher CO2.

LearDog

David Falkner – I’m stealing “neener neener” ha ha ha! Well said! Now THAT’S a great comment! LOL!

Looks to me the AGW crowd is at least a bit snookered now.
Don’t need any satelites to tell me that the increase in CO2 does nothing.
You can all find that for yourself in the area where you live::
http://www.letterdash.com/HenryP/henrys-pool-table-on-global-warming

@- Konrad says:
July 28, 2011 at 10:35 pm
“We know that back scattered LWIR from CO2 cannot heat the oceans accounting 70% of the Earths surface, which invalidates the case for CAGW.”
Could you provide some evidence for this claim? WHY does downwelling LWIR not warm the oceans when it is from CO2 but does when it is from clouds – or are you claiming that cloud cover has no effect on ocean temperature at night?

Rhys Jaggar

What would be most valuable would be a suitable dispassionate technical expert to translate the paper into everyday language, flag up the key things which have to be true for the paper to hold water and then invite others to shoot it down in everyday language also.
I suspect this paper is a watershed, but if you want the political establishment to treat it thus, it needs to be translated into less technical language.

DirkH

Slashdot commenters still firmly on the warmist side, no surprise there – liberal urban geek population; strongly UHI-affected.

huishi

re: “… In this instance we had the MSM making bizarre assertions about “Big Oil” payments, …”
I have read that “Big Oil” (or industry) has given skeptics several million dollars over the years. I see this fact (?) mentioned often. On the other hand I have read that governments, mainly the USA, has given out many tens of Billions of dollars to the CAGW side but that never seems to get mentioned.
“Billions” is more than “millions” is it not?

DirkH

izen says:
July 29, 2011 at 4:01 am
“Could you provide some evidence for this claim? WHY does downwelling LWIR not warm the oceans when it is from CO2 but does when it is from clouds – or are you claiming that cloud cover has no effect on ocean temperature at night?”
LWIR does not penetrate beyond a skin layer.

DirkH

Kevin Cave says:
July 28, 2011 at 11:43 pm
“My point being should I discount everything Dawkins has to say about religion and evolution just because he appears (in my opinion) to have the cognitive dissonance to have complete /faith/ that humans are causing planet Earth to overheat due to a minuscule additional release of a trace gas?”
Dawkins has replaced blind faith into a religion with blind faith into the political religion of AGW.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voegelin

Kelvin Vaughan

It worries me how anyone could believe .0.0039% of the atmosphere could heat up the other 99.9961%.

Richard S Courtney

izen says at July 29, 2011 at 3:52 am:
“Shorter Spencer and Braswell.
We could not match ten years of real world data with significant ENSO events with model data that makes the assumption that over longer timescales the ENSO effect is neutral.
Over a ten year period ENSO variations were larger than AGW forcings so it was impossible to measure the positive feedback effects that might amplify the radiative forcing from higher CO2.”
Clearly, Izen has not read the release or he/she/they has reading difficulties. The release says;
“Study co-author Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville and U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer flying on NASA’s Aqua satellite, reports that real-world data from NASA’s Terra satellite contradict multiple assumptions fed into alarmist computer models.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.””
So, Spencer and Braswell compared empirical data to indications of “the climate models”.
Either the model indications approximate reality or they don’t. The fact that Spencer and Braswell have observed “there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show” proves the model predictions don’t approximate reality.
And excuses or armwaving about ENSO are plain silly.
Richard

Kelvin Vaughan

Or even .039% could heat up the other 99.961%

Mike Mangan

Hello! The same article was on Drudge Report as of late afternoon yesterday. Drudge is on someone’s laptop in every major newsroom in America. He’s far more important than /. It’s the overall effect you get here when Yahoo News+Forbes+Drudge+a cascade of popular sites brings a meme into the world. That’s how millions of people begin to form a new opinion by osmosis. A few months from now it’s the combination of stories: reputable paper+impending Maunder-type minimum+results of CLOUD experiment. Wait till you see the opinion polls on climate change next spring. Heh.

Robert of Ottawa

Paul Deacon @ July 29, 2011 at 12:49 am
Paul, the positive feedback part of the AGW argument is exactly why it is a load of carp. Any engineer (I am one) will tell you that a system with positive feedback is unstable. If there were spositive feedback in the Earth’s climate, then it would have hit the rails billions of years ago. There clearly is no positive feedback; there isn’t any evidence for positivie feedback; positive feedback exists only in the minds and computer models of those with a political or financial or religious need for anthropogenic warming.

@ Rúnar
> … would be very helpful if Dr. Spencer (and others) would refrain from
> writing nonsensical articles in unrelated fields which …
> makes him look like a total nutcase, …
I fail to see how that article makes him into “a total nutcase”.
He’s actually right, at a very high level. Evolution and Climatology _are_ the same in this sense: researchers must make observations and inferences from sparse evidence about systems which are mostly “hidden”.
And mainstream evolution, though successful in many ways, can’t explain some fairly simple stuff, such as: ‘how did human brain evolve big enough to build spaceships to other planets?’ [when slithering under a rock or climbing a tree are much more ‘practical’ mechanisms for enhancing surviva]l?
I’m an evolution skeptic myself, and also an ID skeptic. I believe there is a yet undiscovered “life principle” which will explain life (and consciousness too) and a lot of these unanswered questions. It’s not a religious belief, but merely a statement of faith about science.
Dr. Spencer isn’t spouting religion either, but merely suggesting that we shouldn’t demonize folks for being skeptics about evolution. You shouldn’t either.
Sound familiar?