Above-James Taylor (R) of the Heartland Institute thinks he knows more than science.
Whenever science reports facts that bother the public or challenge public policymakers, science denial is not far behind.
One of the more famous cases from history was Galileo, who became a target of the Pope in Rome for his facts about astronomy. Today the most significant denial is about climate change. Huntsville has a self-appointed Galileo, only the situation is backwards. This time, the “Galileo” is feeding conspiracy theorists with the wrong fuel, but hey, let’s not let facts get in the way of a good conspiracy theory!
A paper by Dr Roy Spender of UAH was published in Remote Sensing, a peer-reviewed science journal that questions what others are saying about climate models. Remote Sensing is about the nuts and bolts of remote sensing, not necessarily climate science, even though they overlap.
It’s logical to assume that there is room for some argument in the nuts and bolts of climate models and how things are measured. That’s normal. But something about climate change brings out the loonies who can’t wait to play Galileo too. Take, for example, James Taylor of the Heartland Institute, who uses confirmation bias to blow things out of proportion with “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 dioxide trap 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…
Funny huh? in two paragraphs, this guy uses the word “alamist” or “alarmism” 3 times, not including the title. Nice work!
But wait, is Spencer’s work reliable? Just because loonies pass it around, does that make it wrong? He’s been in the news before and wrote a book, “The Great Global Warming Blunder,” which just feeds the conspiracy theorists like Taylor.
In his latest book, The Great Global Warming Blunder, Roy Spencer lashes out at the rest of the climate science community for either ignoring or suppressing publication of his research. This research, he claims, virtually proves that the climate models used by the IPCC respond much too sensitively to external “forcing” due to changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, variations in solar radiation, and so on. Instead, Spencer believes most climate change is caused by chaotic, natural variations in cloud cover. He and a colleague published a peer-reviewed paper in which they used a simple climate model to show that these chaotic variations could cause patterns in satellite data that would lead climatologists to believe the climate is significantly more sensitive to external forcing than it really is. Spencer admits, however, that his results may only apply to very short timescales. Since the publication of his book, furthermore, other scientists (including one that initially gave Spencer’s paper a favorable review) have shown that Spencer was only able to obtain this result by assuming unrealistic values for various model parameters.
Roy Spencer is not your average climate contrarian. He has a PhD in meteorology from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, is a researcher at the University of Alabama–Huntsville, used to work in one of the climate units at NASA, and has published some well respected research on climate. And yet, in The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, Spencer’s latest book, he isn’t just talking about his accomplishments in mainstream science. Rather, he’s taking his case “to the people” because he says his latest research has blown the lid off the consensus among climate scientists that humans are causing significant climate change. But the part of his research that has been published in the peer-reviewed literature has largely been ignored, and the rest has been quashed in the review process…
…That’s how Roy Spencer sees himself–a persecuted Galileo, boldly speaking scientific truth to power, while most of his fellow scientists succumb to greed and cowardice. Whether Spencer ultimately turns out to be right or wrong, in this review I will show that at this point, he hasn’t even come close to proving his case. Furthermore, some of his work has been of demonstrably poor quality, so if his aim is to convince other scientists, he has shot himself in the foot more than once. Whereas Galileo’s main thesis was eventually universally accepted, the probability of that kind of outcome here seems vanishingly small…
Back to the topic-
Spencer got his latest paper into Remote Sensing, and the media say what they want to say, depending on what point of view they want to have. This one in the International Business Times has a sensational headline, but a balanced article-
…With new data collected from a NASA’s Terra satellite, the previous model may be proven as a hoax. Hypothesis based on the satellite’s findings show that planet Earth actually releases heat into space, more than it retains it. The higher efficiency of releasing energy outside of Earth contradicts former forecasts of climate change.
Dr. Roy Spencer, a team leader for NASA’s Aqua satellite, studied a decade worth of satellite data regarding cloud surface temperatures…
…Other climate scientists disagreed with Dr. Spencer’s recent findings spotting flaws and calling his model “unrealistic.” The statistical information from the satellites are lacking as Spencer may not have accounted for fluctuations and other variables in the study.
Dr. Andrew Dessler, a Texas A&M University professor in atmospheric science, described Dr. Spencer’s report as nothing new nor correct.
“He’s taken an incorrect model, he’s tweaked it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not correct,” said Dessler…
Physorg.com was not so easily fooled-
A study on how much heat in Earth’s atmosphere is caused by cloud cover has heated up the climate change blogosphere even as it is dismissed by many scientists.
Several mainstream climate scientists call the study’s conclusions off-base and overstated. Climate change skeptics, most of whom are not scientists, are touting the study, saying it blasts gaping holes in global warming theory and shows that future warming will be less than feared. The study in the journal Remote Sensing questions the accuracy of climate computer models and got attention when a lawyer for the conservative Heartland Institute wrote an opinion piece on it.
The author of the scientific study is Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama Huntsville, a prominent climate skeptic. But even he says some bloggers are overstating what the research found. Spencer’s study is based on satellite data from 2000 to 2010 and is one of a handful of studies he’s done that are part of an ongoing debate among a few scientists…