Pielke Sr. on new Spencer and Braswell paper

Pielke Sr. on new Spencer and Braswell paper” (2011/07/26). Who’d ‘a thunk that Roger Pielke (the dad who’s a grumpy scientist, not the son who’s just a grumpy economist) would, again, sing the praises of Dr. Roy Spencer’s latest paper proving, again, sort of, that there is no global warming? Anthony Watts is excited enough by this startling development to copy and paste Pielke Sr.’s insights.

Dr. Pielke Sr. intones that Dr. Spencer’s paper, On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance in Remote Sensing, “raises further questions on the robustness of multi-decadal global climate predictions”. Yes, it’s the final nail in the coffin of global warming alarmism! Again! This time, for real! Oh, they have to be smart questions? Oops. Remote Sensing, for their part, is a new journal that seems more interested in publication fees than ensuring the scientific credibility of their papers.

Not yet referenced by Anthony, there’s also an enthusiastic “so there!” article in Forbes magazine. Right-wing climate change denying Heartland Institute lobbyist James Taylor sings the praises of right-wing climate change denying scientist Dr. Spencer, also tightly associated with Heartland Institute, in a right-wing climate change denying magazine! It stirs the soul to see all the pistons firing together so smoothly but using “alarmist” in 15 times, in practically every sentence, shines the spotlight in a presumably unintended direction.

So, what about Dr. Spencer’s science? Do clouds really cause climate like Spencer keeps saying? Is the Earth really failing to warm up quite as much as alarmist scientists say it is?  This is just a laugh-at-Anthony-Watts’-lies blog, so today I’ll simply point out some of the criticisms from around the web.

Synchronized shouting seems the only tactic left to the denialists.

2011-08-01 Update: Climate Progress weighs in on Spencer’s science that Pielke Sr. likes so much. Climate Scientists Debunk Latest Bunk by Denier Roy Spencer.

2011-08-10 Update: John Timmer covers Spencer’s paper in the larger context at Ars Technica – Climate change: cloudy, with a chance of competing realities.

2011-09-02 Update: More embarrassing fallout for Spencer covered at Ars Technica – Editor who published controversial climate paper resigns, blasts media.

2011-09-07 Update: Well this hasn’t taken long. Spencer’s ‘final nail in the coffin of AGW’  has completely unravelled. Turns out his crayon version of atmospheric physics has in fact proven the validity of current “alarmist” climate theories and models! Thanks Roy. That’s what happens when you work backwards from a baseless conclusion and ignore logic. Thanks for wading through the stupid, Dr. Dessler (preprint here, watch a video summary here).




A spot check on NOAA’s “hottest so far” presser

A spot check on NOAA’s “hottest so far” presser. Anthony Watts tries to undercut NOAA’s 2010 temperature record analysis by pointing out Heartland Institute presenter and global warming dissembler Dr. Richard Keen’s observation that Coal Creek Canyon in Colorado, which lies outside the +4°F contour of the map below in spite of his claim otherwise, only has an anomaly of +1°F. Why that’s almost a decrease! Except it isn’t.

Ignore the Red States? Really Anthony!

That might work as an exercise in cherry-picking and arm-waving bluster over NOAA’s analysis, but it doesn’t work in support of the endlessly bellowed denialist claim that there is no Global Warming, does it?

At least Dr. Keen doesn’t repeat the idiotic claim that increased snowfall reflects lower temperatures.

Dr. Richard Lindzen’s Heartland 2010 keynote address

Dr. Richard Lindzen’s Heartland 2010 keynote address“. In a room full of balding libertarians, Dr. Richard Lindzen tells it like he wishes it was. No doubt his actual remarks will be discussed shortly.

ICCC Conference day 1 – Chicken of the Sea and BBC

ICCC Conference day 1 – Chicken of the Sea and BBC“. Anthony Watts is sharing witticisms with his fellow Denialists at the Heartland Institute’s mock conference.

He does however have a complaint about a disorganized TV interview conducted by a BBC crew. He refused to sign their waiver when he noticed as clause affirming that his statements were made with “honesty and factual accuracy”.

Anthony’s not that stupid!

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, GISS Admits

NASA Data Worse Than Climate-Gate Data, GISS Admits“. The latest scientific analysis Anthony Watts has copied-and-pasted is… a Fox News article! This is really scraping the bottom of the barrel.

Blake Snow of FOXNews.com reports as an admission of inferiority a NASA scientist’s assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the different global surface temperature analyses. He also presents as definitive the opinion of Christopher Horner, a ‘senior fellow’ from the right-wing Competitive Enterprise Institute, that “three out of the four temperature data sets stink”. When another ‘senior fellow’ this time at the right-wing Heartland Institute, James M. Taylor, is quoted next and the article ends with our own Anthony’s unchallenged arm-waving about the “quality” of surface stations, you know the fix is in. “Fair & Balanced”, eh?

The only hint of reality comes from Dr. Jeff Masters at Weather Underground: “It would be nice if we had more global stations to enable the groups to do independent estimates using completely different raw data, but we don’t have that luxury”.

The real story? Climatologists have a limited number of long-duration surface temperature stations available to them. They use as many of those stations as possible. It’s a fundamental logical fact that they will all start with the same raw data. The differences will be in how they select representative stations from the entire data set and how they extrapolate from those stations.

As a final thought, I have to draw attention to the use of “accuracy” as the sole valid assessment of a temperature data set. Data can be accurate (very close to a true reading) but not as useful (doesn’t reflect the actual conditions over a wider area). The fundamental difference between the interpreted surface temperature data sets is that some are optimized for accuracy, some for global representativeness. There are good reasons for each approach. There are also good reasons why denialists try to define the argument on such narrow and misleading points.