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Gaping Hole in the Gaping Hole



July 29, 2011 – Comments (5)

It has recently been reported on these pages that "New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole in Global Warming Alarmism". 

And in the very first reply to this post, chk999 leveled a preemptive name calling attack against any who would dare question the information offered. 

Expect this to be shouted down by the Global Warming Mafia - chk999

But, disrespectful pig that I am, that didn't stop me. But first I had to read the article, which actually eneded with a preemptive attack on the integrity of any who would challenge the articles content.

When objective NASA satellite data, reported in a peer-reviewed scientific journal, show a "huge discrepancy" between alarmist climate models and real-world facts, climate scientists, the media and our elected officials would be wise to take notice. Whether or not they do so will tell us a great deal about how honest the purveyors of global warming alarmism truly are. - James Taylor writing in Forbes magazine.

I also learned from the first paragraph that we are not talking about "new" from NASA as the title suggests, but old data being reintrepreted. This is a process that is often discredited as "fudged"  by skeptics,when the conclusion is reached that Co2 forced global warming is happening. Of course if the new intrepretation is valid, then calling something "doctored" does not matter.

The gist of the article is threefold, the first that clouds screwed up measurements of heat loss iinto space and so most computer models are predicting worse global warming than they should, two, that those computer models would be alarming, or "alarmist" if they were correct, and three, that people who do not take notice of this report are of questionable integrity.

So number two is the quickest to deal with. The conditions we can expect to live under if the Co2 caused global warming predictions are correct and ignored, are alarming. So lets hope it is not happening or we deal with it.

Number three is the next easiest to deal with. The scientist in question, Roy Spencer, has decided that his work is ignored by a community of scientists determined to foster the falsehood of Co2 forced global warming on an unsuspecting public. Scientists, who examined his work and did not ignore it, say they don't think the work is good and that is why they discount it. We've all pretty much dug in our heels on that one, with me thinking that it is more likely that deniers are being funded by the fossil fuel industry to preserve income of billions, and others thinking it is more likely that scientists are lying to preserve income of thousands. There is really not much use in us beating that dead horse again.

Finally we come to the science. Usually when a a scientist speaks on mainstream media warning us of the alarming consequences of continuing to force global warming by pumping Co2 into the atmosphere, someone is also brought on for balance with thoughts on why global warming is not happening, caused by volcanoes, sunspots, normal variations in climate, or generally not Co2 forced, or not bad for us, etc. In the interest of balance I would like to provide the opinion of Skepticalscience blog, someone known to be in agreement with the science that says Co2 forced global warming is happening and is bad for us and therfore often called "alarmist".

From them we learn that a scientist named Piers Forster upon reading the article about cloud issues initially agreed with Spencer's theories, which most scientist do, but do not believe have the dominant effect that Spencer claims. However after a more detailed review reached a different conclusion and it is described on the skepticalscience blog this way in an article titled "Roy Spencers Great Blunder" which you can read here. 

 Second, do you remember Piers Forster?  One of the scientists who gave a favorable review of Spencer and Braswell’s paper, and even suggested ways to improve it?  The guy who published a paper mentioning Spencer and Braswell’s work, and saying his results were consistent with theirs?  Well, Murphy and Forster (2010) went ahead and did a more thorough examination of Spencer and Braswell’s approach, and the result wasn’t pretty.  Here’s the abstract of their paper.

Changes in outgoing radiation are both a consequence and a cause of changes in the earth’s temperature. Spencer and Braswell recently showed that in a simple box model for the earth the regression of outgoing radiation against surface temperature gave a slope that differed from the model’s true feedback parameter. They went on to select input parameters for the box model based on observations, computed the difference for those conditions, and asserted that there is a significant bias for climate studies. This paper shows that Spencer and Braswell overestimated the difference. Differences between the regression slope and the true feedback parameter are significantly reduced when 1) a more realistic value for the ocean mixed layer depth is used, 2) a corrected standard deviation of outgoing radiation is used, and 3) the model temperature variability is computed over the same time interval as the observations. When all three changes are made, the difference between the slope and feedback parameter is less than one-tenth of that estimated by Spencer and Braswell. Absolute values of the difference for realistic cases are less than 0.05 W/m^2/K, which is not significant for climate studies that employ regressions of outgoing radiation against temperature. Previously published results show that the difference is negligible in the Hadley Centre Slab Climate Model, version 3 (HadSM3).  (Murphy and Forster, 2010)

Obviously I cannot force any of you to stop pumping Co2 into the atmosphere alone, though I am hoping to engage your support for politicians that commit to forcing you to reduce Co2 emissions in the USA and your home countrys, and also hoping that I can engage your support in voluntarily reducing your own emissions for whatever reasons you choose to.

Best wishes,


5 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On July 30, 2011 at 1:01 AM, davejh23 (< 20) wrote:

The article referenced notes the FACT that humans are responsible for an insignificant amount of carbon dioxide in the earth's atmosphere...this is well documented.  Co2 forced global warming is one is not scientific fact, and it is not even widely accepted by climate scientists.  I won't claim that pollution isn't affecting climate change, but those that continue to harp on Co2 emmissions cause many to ignore everything climate change activists say.  A local university has published multiple journal articles on the reality of climate change, but none of them even mention Co2 emmissions as a potential cause...they wouldn't get published if they did.  I absolutely agree that we need to take care of the planet, but regulating/trading Co2 emmissions/credits is a scam pushed by activists that it would enrich the most...try regulating real pollutants.

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#2) On July 30, 2011 at 7:54 AM, devoish (78.10) wrote:


I think it is great that you want to take care of the planet.

Suggeting that regulating/trading Co2 emmissions/credits is a scam pushed by activists that it would enrich the most is a political concern not a scientific one. I would also suggest that it is an argument for a carbon tax, as opposed to a trading scheme which I think would enrich the financial industry.

You also tell us that a "A local university has published multiple journal articles on the reality of climate change, but none of them even mention Co2 emmissions as a potential cause". Can you identify this university and point us to these publications? The information i have read disagrees with yours.

In 2004, Naomi Oreskes performed a survey of all peer reviewed abstracts on the subject "global climate change" published between 1993 and 2003. She surveyed the ISI Web of Science database, looking only at peer reviewed, scientific articles. The survey failed to find a single paper that rejected the consensus position that global warming over the past 50 years is predominantly anthropogenic. 75% of the papers agreed with the consensus position while 25% made no comment either way (eg - focused on methods or paleoclimate analysis).

Benny Peiser's rebuttal

Benny Peiser repeated Oreskes survey and claimed to have found 34 peer reviewed studies rejecting the consensus. However, an inspection of each of the 34 studies reveals most of them don't reject the consensus at all. The remaining articles in Peiser's list are editorials or letters, not peer-reviewed studies. Peiser has since retracted his criticism of Oreskes survey:

"Only [a] few abstracts explicitly reject or doubt the AGW (anthropogenic global warming) consensus which is why I have publicly withdrawn this point of my critique. [snip] I do not think anyone is questioning that we are in a period of global warming. Neither do I doubt that the overwhelming majority of climatologists is agreed that the current warming period is mostly due to human impact."

I guess we all have to decide for ourselves what it takes for "theory" to become "fact". There is a theory that Jesus was born to a virgin, that some take as "fact". There is a theory that the the sun is the center of our solar system, that some take as "fact". I am sure the theory that the earth is the center still persists as "fact" in some circles. There are theorys of gravity, evolution, relativity, and even theorys of human behaviour used to argue in favor of free market policys.

There have been over 100 theorys presented as proof that Co2 forced global warming is not real. Each one has been examined in peer reviewed publications by climate scientist and each one has been validated or discredited againt global warming measurements. Some actually took decades to observe and understand. The most recent one is discussed in this post. It actuallt took about one year for scientists to review Mr Spencers claim and realise that in order to reach his conclusions he had to make unrealistic assumptions and plug them into a very simple model, or so it is described. One of the more interesting things to me in this whole debate, is that many skeptics have argued that models are unreliable because of the many variables that need to be accounted for, but in Spencers argument claiming a model showed less warming should be expected, none of them arrived to challenge modeling as scientific tool. Another of the more interesting things in this whole debate is Milankovitch cycles vs, Volcanos. You never hear those who promoted milankovitch cycles as the primary force behind warming argue against those who promoted volcanos as the primary force affecting warming. It is always milankovitch cycles vs Co2, or volcanos vs. Co2, because the vast majority of scientists have reached the conclusion that the science behind Co2 forced global warming is correct. That is "consensus" or when "theory" becomes "fact", or at least gets as close to fact as any scientific mind allows. The only debate remaining is in the political arena or the media. Co2 forced global warming theory has pretty much stood up to thirty years of scientific challenge.

Best wishes,



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#3) On July 30, 2011 at 7:28 PM, dwot (29.28) wrote:

One of the things that I am most concerned about with global warming isn't the actual temperature, but the consistent loss of our ice.  Ice is an enormous heat sink.  Melting of ice absorbs enormous levels of energy and as the ice melts and isn't there to absorb the energy anymore, what happens to that energy?  Additionally, ice reflects energy back into space and when it melts that energy is no longer reflected.  

The way I see it we currently have a huge amount of energy going into melting ice instead of increasing the temperature of the planet and at some point instead of a declining level of ice an equilibrium is reached and then temperature increases faster.  Of course, then more ice melts.

My model is a gross over simplification, but take a glass of water and put ice in it and monitor the temperature over time.  The temperature stays constant until the ice is gone.


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#4) On July 31, 2011 at 1:51 AM, ChrisGraley (28.68) wrote:

Forcing NASA to lie with the threat that you'll stop funding the space program works until you actually stop funding the space program.

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#5) On July 31, 2011 at 4:58 PM, devoish (78.10) wrote:


Many climate scientists are beginning to say that they have underestimated warming because of better understanding of heat sinks such as you just mentioned or positive feedbacks such as methane releases.


Thank you for reading.

Best wishes


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