Tag: Roy Spencer

A skeptic’s view

Dan Gomez offers up an alternative view.

Many of you read the post I called Please help! that came out exactly a week ago.  If you were one of those readers you will have read how Dan and I go back 33 years.  In many ways we see eye-to-eye but not over mankind’s influence over the climate of our Planet.  To be clear, my own view is that we are very close, if not already past, the point of preventing a massive collapse of the biosphere.  Dan believes that we are living through possibly the biggest hoax in history.

Dan, however, has been willing to provide evidence that supports his view and has given me permission to reproduce some of his emails to me.  That’s generous of him – thanks Dan.

Let’s start with Dan’s reply to my offer to buy him the book Betrayal of Science and Reason by Paul & Anne Ehrlich.  This is what Dan sent to me,

PH – I guess I could write all day and provide numerous scientific papers and positioning that would repudiate a lot of the popular press on “Global Warming” or “Climate Change”, if that is more PC.  Read a little from the good Senator below and then I’ll buy you HIS book.

This is all about money and power, not weather. As the Senator points out, when he saw that the “Cap and Trade” bill was shot down, he stopped commenting. Then, more and more regulation from the UN and EPA Agency provoked this new book.

Once again, the science is at best moot and at worst fraudulent. Each of us must make up his own mind. Global climate cooling or heating will continue operating under geological time rules and, oh yeah, the Sun, Oceans and Regional Oscillations contribute a little.

As long as world governments don’t take public money or redistribute public money for their own “climate control” self-interests, I don’t really care. If there was no public money at stake, there would be no controversy.

People will continue to build houses below sea level in New Orleans. Another, bigger hurricane will flood them out again. Apparently, we can’t even stop this kind of nonsense through more legislation and then expensive emergency re-routing of public funds. This is part of the reason that the public sector is broke.

If private agencies wish to donate money to stop the rising seas or just support related studies, tant mieux. Just don’t add yet another set of agencies and regulations as another layer of big government. This only results in an ever higher tax structure and declining standards of living.

Book Description

Publication Date: February 28, 2012

Americans are over-regulated and over-taxed. When regulation escalates, the result is an increase in regulators. In other words, bigger government is required to enforce the greater degree of regulation. Bigger government means bigger budgets and higher taxes. “More” simply doesn’t mean “better.” A perfect example is the entire global warming, climate-change issue, which is an effort to dramatically and hugely increase regulation of each of our lives and business, and to raise our cost of living and taxes. In The Greatest Hoax, Senator James Inhofe will reveal the reasons behind those perpetuating the Hoax of global warming, who is benefitting from the general acceptance of the Hoax and why the premise statements are blatantly and categorically false.

In another couple of emails, Dan wrote,

There are two questions to answer: Whose science do you want to believe and who profits? My source of direction stems from a natural skepticism of big science when big money is involved. One of the definitions of science is that it is never completely understood and new discoveries as well as new methods of collecting data are ever changing. As we know, new evidence pops up everyday. So, to assume that “my science or your science” is irrefutable relevant to global warming, is not “good science”. Taking billions of global dollars out of private enterprise as well as higher public sector tax in order to “change the world- maybe” is irresponsible and dangerous.

Oh yeah, and I forgot, the world’s broke. Ask a Greek plumber or, for that matter, a Greek apparatchik, where global warming fits into his budget decisions……?

Then Dan wrote in another email,

 Emotionalism aside, I can’t argue the science issues except by contributing relevant articles by other scientists with opposing views. There are many.  I can comment on the political power and self-interest motivations of many proponents and that’s always fun……

Finally, Dan sent me the full copy of a recent article published by Roy Spencer, Ph. D. called Ten Years after The Warming.  He introduced it thus,

Before spending trillions that the world does not have, let’s see if we can get the conversation a little more firmed up…..  We need to really find out how sensitive the atmosphere, lithosphere and hydrosphere really are –  without assumptions.  Pretty hard thing to do even with advanced mainframes, GIGO…..

and then offered the article,

Ten Years After the Warming

February 26th, 2012 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

The version of global warming theory being pushed by the IPCC is that anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases are causing a radiative energy imbalance of the climate system, leading to warming.

The radiative forcing history being used in the latest IPCC climate models looks something like the following, with red areas representing times when the climate system’s “stove is turned up”, that is, with heat accumulating in the system.

(Actually, the correct analogy would be that the stove setting remains the same, but the lid partially covering the pot is covering it a little more over time…but that’s too hard to explain.)

As can be seen, in the last 10 years the estimated forcing has been the strongest. Yet, most if not all temperature datasets show little or no global-average warming recently, either in the atmosphere, at the surface, or in the upper 700 meters of the ocean. For example, here are the tropospheric temperatures up though a few days ago:

So what is happening? You cannot simply say a lack of warming in 10 years is not that unusual, and that there have been previous 10-year periods without warming, too. No, we are supposedly in uncharted territory with a maximum in radiative forcing of the climate system. One cannot compare on an equal basis the last 10 years with any previous decades without warming.

There are 5 possibilities for the recent cessation of warming which are most discussed:

1) cooling from anthropogenic aerosols has been cancelling out warming from more greenhouse gases

2) natural cooling from internal climate fluctuations or the sun is cancelling out the GHG warming

3) increased ocean mixing is causing the extra energy to be distributed into the deep ocean

4) the temperature ’sensitivity’ of the climate system is not as large as the IPCC assumes.

5) there is something fundamentally wrong with the GHG warming theoryitself

Of course, some combination of the above 5 explanations is also possible.

The 1st possibility (aerosol cooling is cancelling out GHG forcing) is one of the more popular explanations with the climate modelers, and especially with NASA’s James Hansen. The uncertain strength (and even sign) of aerosol forcing allows the climate modelers to use aerosols as a tuning knob (aka fudge factor) in making their models produce warming more-or-less consistent with past observations. Using an assumed large aerosol cooling to cancel out the GHG warming allows the modelers to retain high climate sensitivity, and thus the fear of strong future warming if those aerosols ever dissipate.

The 2nd possibility (natural cooling) is a much less desirable explanation for the IPCC crowd because it opens the door to Mother Nature having as much or more influence on the climate system than do humans. We can’t have that, you know. Then you would have to consider the possibility that most of the warming in the last 50 years was natural, too. Goodbye, AGW funding.

The 3rd possibility (increased ocean mixing) is one of the more legitimate possibilities, at least theoretically. It’s popular with NCAR’s Kevin Trenberth. But one would need more observational evidence this is happening before embracing the idea. Unfortunately, how vertical mixing in the ocean naturally varies over time is poorly understood; the different IPCC models have widely varying strengths of mixing, and so ocean mixing is a huge wild card in the global warming debate, as is aerosol cooling. I believe much of past climate change on time scales of decades to many centuries might be due to such variations in ocean mixing, along with their likely influence on global cloud cover changing the amount of solar input into the climate system.

The 4th possibility (the climate system is relatively insensitive to forcing) is the top contender in the opinion of myself, Dick Lindzen, and a few other climate researchers who work in this field.

The 5th possibility (increasing GHGs don’t really cause warming) is total anathema to the IPCC. Without GHG warming, the whole AGW movement collapses. This kind of scientific finding would normally be Nobel Prize territory…except that the Nobel Prize has become more of a socio-political award in recent years, with only politically correct recipients. The self-flagellating elites don’t like the idea humans might not be destroying the Earth.

The longer we go without significant warming, the more obvious it will become that there is something seriously wrong with current AGW theory. I don’t think there is a certain number of years – 5, 10, 20, etc. – which will disprove the science of AGW….unless the climate system cools for the next 10 years. Eek! But I personally doubt that will happen.

As long as strong warming does not resume, the heat-hiding-in-the-deep-ocean explanation will provide refuge for many years to come, and will be difficult to convincingly rule out as an explanation since it takes so long for the deep ocean to warm by even a tiny amount.

Instead, there probably will be a tipping point (sooner than later) in popular perception when the public and Congress decide the jig is up, and they are no longer interested in hearing how we ‘might’ be headed for Armageddon.

The public already knows how awful scientists are at forecasting the future…especially a future of doom, which curiously seems to be the only future scientists know how to predict.

Now the challenge in this Post is not to make it so long that it becomes tiresome on the eyes, irrespective of the content.

So I’m going to leave it at this point and, perhaps, next time include some of Dan’s other points and comments in the light of how readers respond to this Post.

Sceptical voices, part one

Musings about the importance of challenging accepted wisdoms

Life is full of traps.  In that sense our lives are little different to our ancient days of cavemen.  But the traps are very different.  They have changed from pits embedded with sharp sticks, covered with vegetation, to an avalanche of information, news and media output from which determining truth is challenging.  The modern equivalent of the ancient pit trap.

My sense is that one way we embrace what we perceive as truthful is through pattern matching, a powerful aspect of the human brain.  By pattern matching, I mean the tendency to place greater emphasis on information that matches our view of the world, that accords with our core beliefs, than that which doesn’t.

Thus if one is a liberal with leanings towards social engineering as a means of improving society then news and information that supports that philosophy will be accepted as validation of that view.  Then again, if one is strong on the need for the individual to be independent and responsible for their own lives then the validation of that philosophy will be supported by a completely different stream of information.

A prologue to what follows.

Regular readers of Learning from Dogs will be clear that my view is that mankind is responsible for a range of issues that, if not resolved, will threaten the very ecology of Planet Earth that allows mankind to survive.  My dear Californian friend of over 40 years, Dan, thinks otherwise.  Let me add, Dan is not a mental slouch.

I wanted to share some articles that Dan recently sent me, not to prove who is right or wrong, but to underline the critical importance of never ceasing to question the truth of everything that is fundamental to our knowledge of the world, in the broadest sense, upon which we live.

Dan sent me a link to this item,

New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism

NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxidetrap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

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.”

In addition to finding that far less heat is being trapped than alarmist computer models have predicted, the NASA satellite data show the atmosphere begins shedding heat into space long before United Nations computer models predicted.

The new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.

This is not the full article, which may be read here.

I was interested in what had been published by Yahoo News and sought to verify it directly on NASA’s web site.  I was unable to do so, and replied with links to two findings by NASA that man, indeed, was affecting global climate.  One of those NASA links was here,

A new NASA-led study shows that human-caused climate change has impacted a wide range of Earth’s natural systems, from permafrost thawing to plants blooming earlier across Europe to lakes declining in productivity in Africa.

Cynthia Rosenzweig of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Science in New York and scientists at 10 other institutions have linked physical and biological impacts since 1970 with rises in temperatures during that period. The study, published May 15 in the journal Nature, concludes that human-caused warming is resulting in a broad range of impacts across the globe.

adding my own view that “There isn’t a serious scientist in the world who has published a peer-reviewed paper that disagrees with the core notion that man has affected the planet. ”

Dan responded thus,

Paul – This will be a good one.

The point I always try to make is that good science is always subject to change as new evidence is discovered. I believe that science is by nature, controversial; plus ça change and all that….

To state as a “Hard-Core Ideological Truth” that Anthropogenic Global Warming (now known as more PC “Climate Change”) is a fact is self-serving.  To deny the disputative work of many highly regarded scientists and climatologists who challenge this construct, can only result in a politically charged and alarmist position serving, in the end, special-interests.

Being skeptical is a healthy process. This process should be followed in the “Climate Change” debate. Especially in the face of today’s political reality and the funding that special interest groups need to survive. Regarding the proclamations of “Man-Induced Global Warming/Climate Change Proponents” that Man is and will be single-handedly responsible for the global flooding of most of the world’s coastal cities, is arrogant, absurd and unprovable.

Moreover, to ask world governments to take billions and billions of dollars out of their economies to fund nutty programs like “Cap and Trade” in order to ostensibly “contradict” something that has been happening on its own for millions of years, is pretty much over the top.

For the last 2 million years, Earth cycles in and out of ice ages.  It happens whether the planet supports 20 million people or 20 million dinosaurs. Glaciers grow and recede. Polar ice increases and decreases. The planet shifts its axis a few degrees and it gets cold.  It shifts back, it gets hotter. Ocean currents change based on God’s unpredictable timetable causing local droughts and floods. A few volcanoes erupt and we get instant cloud cover drifting over the planet changing climatology drastically. The Sun, its relative position to Earth and its sunspot cycles adds a little flavor. How about putting the Earth’s wobble in the mix?  Or, for that matter, without the Moon we would have no seasons?

Greenhouse gases are mostly water vapor. After that, CO2 and methane. All together, very small components of the Earth’s atmosphere.  That should tell us something.

If you go to NASA scientist, Dr. Spencer’s website – http://www.drroyspencer.com -, you may find some interesting data from his studies that suggest that man-made caused CO2 entering the atmosphere is not all that important.  At the very least, this is a controversial subject that should be treated that way and not as fact.  And please, don’t tax me more to pay for unsubstantiated programs to make it snow more in the Arctic.  What if it snows too much or get’s too cold and Hudson and the Thames freeze again.  Rather be warm than cold.

And by “peel-back-the-onion”, I mean that any ardent, independent researcher should publish both sides of the story as a matter of course.  Especially in regards to global warming.

For what it is worth, I personally believe that the “Anthropogenic Global Warming Crisis” is an attempt by “Political Man” to assign full blame to the “Global Industrial Sector” for increased CO2 emissions which, in turn, will rapidly create an atmospheric, hydrospheric and lithospheric catastrophe beyond anything Man has every seen (Love that one!).  Once that blame can become an incontrovertible truth and that Man is proven Responsible, then the Industrial Enterprises of the Advanced Nations (they have all the money, or they used to) will pay billions to Create Government Managed Programs to Decrease CO2 Emissions and Prevent this World-Ending Catastrophe from ever taking place. Wow.

Instead, what we should really be focused on is something a little more banal like Jobs, freeing up Global Enterprises from regulations and taxes, adjusting our Social Entitlement Programs to fit revenues and paying back Debt.  That’s the Red Meat of this era, in my humble opinion.

Paul, I gotta say, this is fun!  See more below…..

Dan then included more background articles that will be the subject of Sceptical Voices, Part Two.  Hope you can stay with it.