The Dessler Cloud Feedback Paper in Science: A Step Backward for Climate Research

The Dessler Cloud Feedback Paper in Science: A Step Backward for Climate Research. Anthony Watts is tickled with his teammate Dr. Roy Spencer (Ph. D.)’s attack on a new climate paper by Dr. Andrew Dessler:

How’s this for “rapid response“? This rebuttal comes out at exactly the same time the press embargo lifts in Science. We were able to obtain advance copies of the Dessler paper

“Rapid response” in the sense of knee-jerk… Spencer’s critique of Dessler’s paper on cloud feedback, which uses the same data as an earlier paper of Spencer’s, is basically a determined effort to tear down a superior paper published in a superior journal and crow about his own obstinate analysis (phase space!). Accusations by the highly fallible Dr. Spencer of “flawed logic” should be greeted with skepticism, the real kind, and in this case someone has a serious chip on their shoulder…

Dessler concludes that cloud climate feedbacks are positive, and generally agree with what Spencer incorrectly calls “the IPCC computerized climate models.” (The IPCC only consolidates climate research, it has never performed it. Spencer knows this.) Spencer says that clouds stabilize the climate and prevent climate change from occurring (i.e. a negative feedback) and claims that in particular cloud formation triggers the Pacific Ocean’s El Niño circulation pattern.

Unfortunately Spencer’s theory is pure wish-fulfillment, he has neither a theoretical mechanism for the proposed process nor evidence of its occurrence. Dessler’s theory, which predicts that the El Niño circulation pattern instead drives cloud formation, has both.

This blog isn’t the place for detailed scientific discussion, so I suggest readers follow the conversation at Real Climate, and perhaps follow Dr. Dessler’s comments in the Watts Up With That post.

Tip for Dr. Spencer, Ph. D.: Avoid muttering about conspiracies and censorship if you hope to be taken seriously, and stay away from meaningless analogies about x-rays vs. MRI’s to “prove” that your superior methodology unless your purpose is simply to distract your readers.

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