More Thoughts on the War Being Waged Against Us

September 5th, 2011 by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

After having a day or so to digest some of what others have said about this whole mess, I’ve been trying to find better ways of expressing the science which is being disputed here. I’ve also gone back and tried to figure out exactly which part of our analysis was (supposedly) in error.

A Re-Examination of our Paper
So, first I went back and re-read our paper to find out what we did that was so seriously in error that it caused the journal’s Editor-in-Chief to resign (but not retract the paper?)

My conclusion is that it is still one damn fine and convincing paper. The evidence verges on being indisputable.

Our paper not only didn’t ignore previous work on the subject (as we have been accused of by Kevin Trenberth), our main purpose was to show why the commonly used data analysis methods in previous works was wrong. To accuse us of ignoring previous work reveals either total ignorance or deception on the part of our critics. (Publishing a paper that “ignored previous work” was a central reason given by the Editor-in-Chief for his resignation).

The key figures in our paper are Fig. 3 & Fig. 4. We reveal the large discrepancy between climate models and observations in how the Earth gains & loses energy to space during warming and cooling, and show based upon basic forcing-feedback theory why most previous estimates of feedbacks from observational data are (1) virtually worthless, and (2) have likely given the illusion of higher climate sensitivity than what really exists in nature.

It is something we have shown before using phase space analysis.

We are told our paper will indeed be disputed this week, as Andy Dessler has hurriedly written and gotten favorable peer review on a paper in Geophysical Research Letters. (Gee, I wonder if the peer reviewers were also associated with the IPCC, whose models they are trying to protect from scrutiny?)

We Need Scientific Analysis, Not Opinion Polls of Scientists
What is particularly frustrating in all this is the lack of people who are willing to actually read our papers and examine the evidence. Most, if not all, of our critics could not even explain what we have shown with the evidence. They simply assume we must be wrong.

They instead resort to nearly libelous ad hominem attacks, and hand-waving objections which are either straw men, red herrings, or just plain false.

They claim the model we used was “bad” (even though it is commonly used in many previous studies, and recommended to us by one of the leading climate modelers in the world), and that is was “tuned” to match the data. The last claim is absolutely hilarious, since the more complex climate models they use are constantly being re-tuned by small armies of scientists in efforts to get them to better agree with the observed behavior of the climate system.

Our critics then repeat each others’ talking points to the press and in blogs, and since few outsiders are willing to actually read our papers, the public resorts to simply accepting opinions they hear through the various media outlets.

Where Have All the Real Scientists Gone?
The basic issue we research is not that difficult to understand. And unless a few of you physicist-types out there get involved and provide some truly independent analysis of all this, the few of us out here who are revealing why the IPCC climate models being used to predict global warming are nowhere close to having been “validated”, are going to lose this battle.

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

It is obvious to many people what is going on behind the scenes. The next IPCC report (AR5) is now in preparation, and there is a bust-gut effort going on to make sure that either (1) no scientific papers get published which could get in the way of the IPCC’s politically-motivated goals, or (2) any critical papers that DO get published are discredited with any and all means available.

We are constantly being demanded to meet a higher standard than our critics hold themselves to when it comes to getting research proposals funded, or getting research results published. This war was going on many years before the ClimateGate e-mails were leaked and revealed the central players’ active interference in the peer review process. We seldom complained about this professional bias against us because it ends up sounding like sour grapes.

But when we are actively being accused of what the other side is guilty of, I will not stay silent.

And (BTW) we get no funding from Big Oil or other private energy interests. Another urban legend.

I hate to say it, but we need some sharper tools in our shed than we have right now. And the fresh eyes we need cannot have the threat of a loss of government funding hanging over their heads if what they find happens to disagree with Al Gore, James Hansen, et al.


95 Responses to “More Thoughts on the War Being Waged Against Us”

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  1. Fred from Canuckistan says:

    The way I look at it, your paper was a solid kick in their global warming family jewels and they are lashing out with any form of hysterical animosity they can muster. Scientific depravity knows no depths.

    I feel sorry for Trenberth. The metal anguish of losing all that heat must be causing some from of Post Traumatic Stress. It really is a Travesty.

    If only he could find some of his missing heat the tragedy of his career might be salvaged. Maybe we should start a campaign to “Find Kevin’s Heat, Heal His Travesty”.

    Hang in Dr. Christie. In the real world, you are the scientist and they are the school yard bully boys.

    We are with you and support your intellectual, moral and scientific courage to take on such a scientifically immature Team like Trenberth etc.

  2. Eric Barnes says:

    Many thanks for your efforts Dr. Spencer.

  3. Slabadang says:

    Hi Roy!

    The truth about IPCC is hard to grasp and realize?

    The IPCC is a deception from start. Its pupose is NOT to summarize climate science.The pupose is to CONTROL climate science to make it work as an alibi for political goals.

    They havent yet established a total control of the science but almost.The hitman getekeepers of the IPCCs puposes is now acting deperately obvious to try to scare any existing opposition against thier ortodoxy and momopoly on how to communicate the needed political excuses.

    Youre an honset man but you havent realized yet what you are struggling against and you are trying by pure science to show the IPCC wrong but the truth is Roy they dont care.
    They are building an alibi, a deception of CAGW that you are threatining.
    The real truth is no more complicataed than this and its make it easier to live and act when you realize that this i the simple truth behind IPCC.

    There is almost an editor fired or resigned for every single skeptic paper published and soon there is no editor left who dares to publish anyting who is against the CAGW ortodoxy.

    Wagner couldnt handle the pressure he got under and probably hadent understood the wasps nest he entered by doing science. His “apology letter” to Trenberth shows how thw gouvernment hitmen in the hockyteam acts and the obviusness reasons of Wagners resign shows and sends signals to the few remanining editors what will happen if they dare to challange the interest of the IPCCs power and control. There are now millions Roy millions of people who has become dependant of the CAGW ortodoxi. Prestige careers salories funds profits then they dont care about the truth or the science anymore.

    You have to find a security in understanding the motives of what you are up against. You are with your exellent work folloving the scientific methods extremely dangerous to them. And your work is focused on the core of their CAGW ortodoxi. So you have to realize thát they dont attack you because of your lack of robustness and methods. Its fore the opposit reason that you are a more scientist than they will ever be.

    Focus on the massive support you are getting from people appriciate it and feel strong and brave when you by now have to realize that you have millons of supporters. You are acting and doing right they are not!

    Keep it up!!! Go for it!! The truth will prevail!!

    Wagner couldent

  4. Baldrick says:

    Keep up the good work guys … your efforts are appreciated.

  5. Olympus Mons says:

    It will prevail but it will then be irrelevant.
    It will prevail if time proves AGW wrong… but that will be a decade from now.

    This move made by them is powerful… nobody will dare to publish Spencer’s, and many others, for a long time.

    Wow, in some sort of social way this is amazing stuff… because it’s being documented, in an astonishing detail, how a status quo group manages to shut up critics in the absence of physical force in the 21st century. By now, just a couple decades ago, Dr Spencer would have lost his Job or been incarcerated even. And all this can be done out in the open …

  6. Paul Langford says:

    Dr. Spencer, you are a breath of fresh air. Please persevere with all you have. I am not a climatologist, but I worked a career in mechanical engineering, much of it in heat transfer and two-phase flow in a closed environment, and I do know good science and the potential consequences of several assumptions inherent in the IPCC group-think. Thank you for being there.

  7. Espen says:

    When I read the “opinion” piece in “The Daily Climate” (I found it before it was highlighted on WUWT and elsewhere, it was prominently visible on Google News if you searched for “Wagner remote sensing”), my first thought was that Kevin Trenberth must be really desperate. He must have really lost the confidence in the merits of his own science if he can’t do better than this.

    I read the long-winded comment thread here a couple of days ago and it’s really appalling to read what visitors to your blog are writing. I’m especially sorry that you get negative comments on your religious faith (I’m an atheist myself but I don’t think that makes me in any way smarter or better (or more capable of doing science) than any christian, moslem, jew or hindu).

    I hope you manage to keep your spirits high and keep up the good work! When they get this desperate, they can’t really harm you – they only harm themselves.

  8. Bohous says:

    When I was a young student, one of our professors said: You can fool few people for a long time or many people for a short time. But I add: It is not automatic. It holds true thanks to the people who are ready to fight for their truth. Best wishes to Roy Spencer.

  9. Stephen Wilde says:

    Here is some help in setting out why and how the Earth manages to exhibit such powerful negative responses to anything that attempts to alter the equilibrium temperature of the system as a whole:

    http://www.irishweatheronline.com/news/environment/wilde-weather/feature-the-unifying-theory-of-earth%e2%80%99s-climate/36375.html

  10. Sean Houlihane says:

    The title of this post does very little to improve your credibility. I agree that your work is valuable, but I think you need to place more emphasis on the inability to come to a definitive conclusion either way regarding the feedback (which you acknowledge in your paper, but most people who support the paper are ignoring).

  11. Welcome to the club of actively suppressed scientists, Dr. Spencer. But you have a job in your profession, which is more than many who have been suppressed have. The whole system has been suborned, and a whole generation of scientists miseducated, by the incompetent IPCC-sponsored consensus, which is a fraudulent political movement that was and is enabled by a wide and deep incompetence among scientists in their own profession. The only positive suggestion I have for you, at the moment, is to work toward a public, not a peer-reviewed, confrontation, perhaps culminating in a congressional investigation — and on either side of the debate (McCarthy was tagged and ruined through his own witch-hunting and bullying, which ruined many careers, not by powerful voices on the other side…what was the transformative moment, what Edward R. Murrow asked, in utter seriousness and dead calm,”Have you no shame, Senator?”)

    • David Appell says:

      Harry, you’re “suppressed” because you think there is no greenhouse effect on Venus and Physics Today won’t publish your letter to the editor? Sure.

      And where is your submission to a peer-reviewed journal with your claim?

  12. Christopher Game says:

    Drs Spencer and Braswell’s paper’s introduction notes that: “Central to the difficulty of feedback diagnosis is the very different time-dependent relationships
    which exist between forcing and temperature, versus between feedback and temperature.”

    Much though I accept the strength of Drs Spencer and Braswell’s paper, I dare to say that it is not perfect in all possible ways. (Only thee and I, dear reader, write papers that are perfect in all possible ways and even thine are sometimes a little near the boundary).

    While Drs Spencer and Braswell’s paper is admirable and convincing to someone who has a good grasp and understanding of what is going on, it is not formulated in a way that makes it lucidly clear to someone who is not quite clear in his understanding of what is going on.

    The IPCC people are not clear in their understanding of what is going on, and so they cannot see the validity of Drs Spencer and Braswell’s thesis in its present formulation. It is not only that the IPCC people are self-deceiving and malicious; it is also that they really don’t have a good scientific understanding, and so they have difficulty in recognizing sound work when they see it. Eventually we wish to convince them of the real situation. That cannot be done by accepting their flawed “forcings and feedbacks” formalism, because it is not sound.

    The fundamental difficulty is that the IPCC “forcings-and-feedbacks” model is not endowed with an intrinsic structure that enforces a unique distinction between cause and effect for its internal state variables. Drs Spencer and Braswell, as I understand them, think it likely that there are external driver effects here, but their model does not make that explicit. They will continue to have serious difficulties until they make that explicit.

    It is the fruit and lesson of oft-repeated experience of experimental science that cause and effect can be disentangled only by use of information provided by the effects of external drivers. Without information of this kind, it is in principle impossible to make a unique distinction between forcings and feedbacks.

    Drs Spencer and Braswell are driven to avoid explicit recognition of this basic lesson of experience by their wish to make a direct attack on the IPCC doctrine as it is stated in its own terms, which are those of a forcings-and-feedbacks energy balance model in which the only external driver is the imputed effect of CO2 emissions, and which ignores that basis lesson. It is laudable and virtuous to attack the IPCC, but not wise to let the IPCC dictate the terms of the dispute.

    In reality, if one wants to use an energy balance model, the effect of CO2 emissions is to be represented not imporoperly, as an external driver as is implied in the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism, but it is to be represented properly, as a change of a parameter of the model. The difference is that the effect of CO2 emissions is not as an energy source, which would be counted as an external driver; it is a change in the system’s handling of energy flows, the external drivers of energy flow being unaffected by the CO2 emissions. CO2 emissions do not make the sun emit more radiations of various kinds and do not make the sun closer to the earth, or affect the motion of the moon and planets.

    It is necessary for a good model to make it perfectly clear what is an external driver and what is an internal state variable. Only internal state variables are subject to feedback in the terms of the model. Without empirical information provided by real external drivers it is impossible in principle to reliably and uniquely distinguish the directions of causal efficacy between the internal state variables of the model.

    While Drs Spencer and Braswell continue to let the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” doctrine dictate the structure of their analyses, and while they do not make explicit representation of true external drivers, they will have continue to have serious problems in making their case clear and understandable to everyone. Christopher Game

    • RW says:

      Well said, Christopher.

      I would also argue that, in particular, the cloud portion of the albedo is likely the largest part of the control mechanism that maintains the planet’s energy balance (i.e. the net surface flux of about 390 W/m^2).

      The IPCC’s ‘forcings and feedbacks’ formalism arbitrarily separates the physical processes and feedbacks that maintain the planet’s energy balance from those that will act on increases in GHG ‘forcing’, which I also agree are not really ‘forcings’ but just changes to the internal state variables – a large portion of which are constantly changing spatially in time and are already under the control of the same physical processes and feedback mechanisms that maintain planet’s energy balance. How could they not be?

      This is why the IPCC’s claim of the 1.1 C ‘no-feedback’ or “Planck” response to a doubling of CO2, to which Dr. Spencer’s work is centered around, is not valid assumption or starting point. I agree it should not be accepted.

  13. Dan Pangburn says:

    Hang in there Dr. Spencer. You are far from alone.

    As the atmospheric carbon dioxide level continues to rise and the average global temperature does not, the deceit continues to be exposed. The issue is whether enough politicians will become aware of the deceit before they do excessive damage to the economy. Less than fourteen months to go . . .

    I am currently censored by over 64 blogs where I have attempted to reveal my discovery of a simple equation that calculates average global temperatures since 1895 with an accuracy of 88%. The only independent variable in the equation is the average annual sunspot number. The equation calculates the sunspot number time-integral and appropriately subtracts the time-integral of SB radiation leaving the planet. Google “climate change is dominated by natural phenomena” for graphs, the equation and links to the source data.

    You may also be interested in looking at the pdf made public 6/21/2011 at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true where I show that an increase in average cloud altitude of only 73 meters accounts for all of the 20th century warming that is attributable to sunspots.

  14. Almost a Physicist says:

    Thanks for your excellent contributions to science, Roy.

    I’m sorry your facts are getting such intense push back. Didn’t Einstein experience something like that?

    I share your frustration. We technical types never seem to understand that we shouldn’t bring facts to an excuses and insults fight.

    As a heads up about what to expect, consider how well Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) alarmism fits Langmuir’s “Symptoms of Pathological Science”:
    Source: http://www.cs.princeton.edu/~ken/Langmuir/langmuir.htm

    “Symptoms of Pathological Science:

    (1) The maximum effect that is observed is produced by a causative agent of barely detectable intensity, and the magnitude of the effect is substantially independent of the intensity of the cause.
    (2) The effect is of a magnitude that remains close to the limit of detectability; or, many measurements are necessary because of the very low statistical significance of the results.
    (3) Claims of great accuracy.
    (4) Fantastic theories contrary to experience.
    (5) Criticisms are met by ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment.
    (6) Ratio of supporters to critics rises up to somewhere near 50% and then falls gradually to oblivion.”

    The AGW alarmists know that their ratio of supporters has peaked near 50% and is now falling gradually to oblivion. This loss of support means they are going through the stress of having to find another gig. It is generally accepted that under stress, individuals tend to revert back to earlier well-learned responses.

    So our esteemed adversaries are not likely to be open to persuasion by mere facts.

    The ad hoc excuses thought up on the spur of the moment will continue (e.g. Andy Dessler’s one week turnaround for writing a paper and getting it peer reviewed.)

    The “ad hominem attacks, and hand-waving objections which are either straw men, red herrings, or just plain false” will also continue.

    In the spirit of “sauce for the goose”, did Wolfgang Wagner exchange his editor’s pay check for income linked to AGW alarmism?

    Thanks again, Roy

  15. Luke Skywarmer says:

    I sense a great disturbance in the field of climate science Roy, it is called ‘cognitive dissonance’!

    You are a good man & I understand your distress at the forced, Stalinist style humiliation and recant of Wagner but this is actually a win… they merely appear more & more Orwellian in their attempts to crush dissent.

    Leon Festinger explored the social psychology of doomsday cults in the 1950′s classic, When Prophesy Fails!
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/When_Prophecy_Fails
    I’d forward you a copy if I had one, (anyone got a spare copy for Roy?)

    Failure of prophesy results in even greater fervour for self affirmation and social recruitment in order to lessen the distress caused by the non realisation of apocalyptic forecasts.

    We are presently witnessing the self same kind of amplified obfuscation and blame shifting from the A.G.W apparatchiks.
    It is they whom are in desperate denial… their very survival depends upon it.

  16. MikeN says:

    How do you know the identity of one of the reviewers of your paper? Do you think it’s likely the journal used 3 reviewers from your list of recommendations?

  17. Richard S Courtney says:

    Roy,

    I agree with you about gate-keeping with regard to both funding and publication. But, in this case, I think things are simpler than you suggest, i.e. you suggest;

    “It is obvious to many people what is going on behind the scenes. The next IPCC report (AR5) is now in preparation, and there is a bust-gut effort going on to make sure that either (1) no scientific papers get published which could get in the way of the IPCC’s politically-motivated goals, or (2) any critical papers that DO get published are discredited with any and all means available.”

    I do not think any consideration of AR5 preparation is needed. All one has to do is to consider the actions of the two main participants in the affair, viz. Wagner and Trenberth.

    Please remember that Wagner apologised to Trenberth.
    Why did Wagner apologise to Trenberth who has no connection to the journal ‘Remote Sensing’?
    An obvious answer to that question provides an explanation for everything that has happened in this affair.

    Trenberth Chairs GEWEX
    http://www.gewex.org/gewexssg.htm

    GEWEX is a major funder of the International Soil Moisture Network.

    Wagner heads a study by the International Soil Moisture Network.
    http://www.ipf.tuwien.ac.at/insitu/index.php/about-us.html

    And Wagner was the senior Editor of ‘Remote Sensing’; i.e. the journal that published the paper by Spencer and Bradwell (S&B)

    The S&B paper provides doubt to work published by Trenberth.

    Wagner cites no flaw in the S&B paper, he says the peer review process was correctly conducted by the journal ‘Remote Sensing’, and that journal does not retract the S&B paper. But Wagner resigns as the Editor of ‘Remote Sensing’ and apologises to Trenberth for having published the S&B paper in that journal.

    Simply, it seems that Wagner’s ‘day job’ required the apology to Trenberth, and the apology was not possible without Wagner’s resignation as Editor of ‘Remote Sensing’.

    Not content with that, Trenberth attempted to trash the S&B paper by smearing Spencer and Christy who is a colleague of Spencer but was not a coauthor of the S&B paper. Trenberth obtained two cronies (of limited knowledge of the subject in the S&B paper) to be coauthors of the smears that they published on a web site, DailyClimate, one of whose operators is another Trenberth croney, Michael Mann.

    Also, Dressler, another person known to be a croney of Trenberth tries to refute the S&B paper in a different journal, GRL, with much pre-publicity from Trenberth.

    A conspiracy in preparation for AR5? Perhaps.
    The hubris of one influential man who thinks his work is being put in doubt? Probably.

    Richard

  18. Peter Hartley says:

    Thank you for your response to my question on the previous thread asking why you said there was no way to test the IPCC climate models for their feedback behavior even though that seems to be precisely what you and your co-author and Lindzen and Choi seem to be doing. I accept your response that your analyses necessarily focus on time scales of only a few years because of data availability, but the relevant feedback in the predictions of the effects of CO2 could be longer term.

    However, this post has prompted me to re-read your paper with Braswell and I think I now see a little more clearly that the problem is not just with the time span of the available data. In the language of econometrics, with which I am more familiar, I think you are saying that there is an identification issue and a causality issue.

    The identification issue in econometrics arises when variables that are simultaneously determined are regressed against each other. For example, if prices and quantities are determined by both supply and demand it can be difficult to determine the slope of either curve from data on prices and quantities alone. If demand shocks predominate in a given period, the price-quantity observations will tend to reflect the slope of the supply curve and give a positive correlation, while if supply shocks predominate the observed correlations will reflect the slope of the demand curve and give a negative correlation. To interpret the data, we need to be able to identify factors that shift one curve but not the other. In short, we need a model of the underlying supply and demand curves and how various measurable factors affect them.

    This seems parallel to the situation you are analyzing where two types of forcing can lead to correlations between temperature and outgoing radiation. You need some model of how each type of exogenous shock affects the correlation pattern in order to separate the two sources of correlations and estimate their magnitudes. In that sense, the results of the analysis are not model-independent, or more specifically independent of the identifying assumptions used to sort out the different effects. Different identifying assumptions (models) could lead to different results, raising doubt about what we can learn from the data alone. Furthermore, the reasonableness of specific identifying assumptions, such as Dessler’s assumption that there is only non-radiative forcing, becomes a matter of judgement and something that cannot be determined from statistical analysis alone. In this particular case, I think that the notion that clouds cannot change for reasons other than temperature changes from non-radiative forcing is unbelievable.

    The causality issue in econometrics arises with analyses of time series. Just because two time series A and B are correlated it does not mean A causes B. The presumption under causality testing is that if A causes B then A should move before B and B should not move before A. The temporal pattern of response in the regression of B on A can then be used to test the causal direction.

    This seems analogous to what you and Braswell have tried to do in your paper. You use the time pattern of correlation between the temperature and outgoing radiation to help sort out the causality issue.

    Does this sound like a reasonable interpretation of what you have been trying to do?

  19. Steve from Wingham says:

    It seems to me that CAGW Climate Science is heading down a dangerous road of scientific censorship … it reminds me of the court room scene in Planet of the Apes when Dr Zaus accuses the two chimps defending Charleton Heston (Taylor) of “Scientific heresy”

  20. Steve says:

    I find this whole thing ironic, since you DO BELIEVE it will warm, due to CO2, by about 1.1 C over the next 100 years!! So, reallly, all you’ve done is refine their theories. Wow, the vitriolic rhetoric… keep up the great work.

  21. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of RW of September 5, 2011 at 12:14 PM.

    RW is not thinking well when he writes: “the control mechanism that maintains the planet’s energy balance (i.e. the net surface flux of about 390 W/m^2).”

    There are so many logical or methodological flaws in that clause that it is hard to decide where to start criticizing it. RW cannot be bothered to study textbooks and to think in the terms of established canonical forms and models. He thinks it is ok to shoot from the hip because he already knows it all. Christopher Game

  22. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of Peter Hartley of September 5, 2011 at 1:15 PM.

    Peter Hartley writes: “In the language of econometrics, with which I am more familiar, I think you are saying that there is an identification issue and a causality issue.”

    That is in the language of econometrics (and I think of some engineers) fairly close to what I mean in my post above by saying that

    “The fundamental difficulty is that the IPCC “forcings-and-feedbacks” model is not endowed with an intrinsic structure that enforces a unique distinction between cause and effect for its internal state variables.” Christopher Game

  23. HAS says:

    Just on Granger causality (Peter Hartley & Christopher Game) the IPCC 4th report WG1 Chapter 9 did make a passing comment on attribution using Granger causality of an anthropogenic signal in temperature and noted “evidence may not be conclusive on its own without additional information from climate models” citing Triacca, U., 2001: On the use of Granger causality to investigate the human influence on climate. Theor. Appl. Climatol., 69, 137–138.

    A poke around on Google with [Ganger causality temperature outgoing radiation] turns up various papers – “Intraseasonal Interactions between Temperature and Vegetation over the Boreal Forests” Weile Wang et al Earth Interactions Volume 11 (2007) is an interesting read for anyone that thinks this is all simple and straightforward.

  24. David Holland says:

    For those who may not know the IPCC process, you should be aware that it begins with a “zero draft”. Those for AR5 WGI are now completed, but despite European law saying they should available to the public and despite the IPCC Principle of openness and transparency, British public authorities are planning to block requests for their disclosure. The Met Office has already refused even to name any authors or reviewers of these zero drafts.

    In 2002 after hyping the TAR’s “hockey stick” for a year Sir John Houghton wrote in a publication of the Royal Society for Chemistry:

    “IPCC documents including early drafts and review comments have been freely and widely available – adding much to the credibility of the process and its conclusions.”

    This was not true. The only working documents of the TAR, available to the public, lie in 8 unindexed boxes in a Harvard library. The AR4 drafts (except the zero draft) and comments were only published because of FOI requests in the US. Without these there may have been no Climategate, Glaciergate or IAC Review.

    John Christy at the House Committee on Science Space and Technology, 31 March 2011, demonstrated how important these drafts are to understanding the evolution of the IPCC Assessment Reports. He explained that, in the zero draft of the TAR Chapter 2, all of Keith Briffa’s “divergence problem” was shown but it disappeared in the first order draft.

    The Climategate emails show us that pressure was put on Keith Briffa to “hide the decline” and John Christy told the Committee that he had no idea at the time that the writers of that part of the TAR Chapter 2 first draft had just omitted the inconvenient data.

    Ross McKitrick has a similar story relating to his work on AR4. WGII’s “Glaciergate” is a further example authors promoting their own thesis regardless of review comments. Phil Jones’ email to Mike Mann, asking him to “delete any emails re AR4″ was to cover up the abuses of process that led to the unpublished Wahl and Ammann 2007 being cited to dispute published criticism of the “hockey stick”.

    The common factor in all the disputes over IPCC Assessments, from the SAR onwards, is their failure to be as open and transparent as is required by the the Principles Governing IPCC Work which were prescribed by the government members of the IPCC. However, leading scientists and politicians claim repeatedly, but falsely, that it is authoritative open and transparent.

    In May at the request of Thomas Stocker (tucked into recommendations from the IAC), the IPCC was persuaded to embargo publication of all drafts, comments and authors responses until after the FINAL acceptance of the AR5 Report by governments. That is to say that one again we will only find the mistakes and bias after the hype.

    In the 21st Century no one should accept major assessments of any sort whether from the IPCC, Muir Russell or Pen State University unless they are demonstrably open and transparent.

  25. eyesonu says:

    Dr. Spencer, thank you for your paper. The ‘heat’ being tossed at you is the result of its impact. They have great ’cause for alarm’ with regards to it. Your success is revealed by the response. Congratulations!

    I feel very confident that there is a rising and unstoppable tide within the populace that is racing toward chilling the CAGW nonsense. I think that some, upon realizing this, are going to see that ‘it’s worse than they thought’. I hope that it also ‘washes out’ the ones who have perpetuated the fire of anthropegenic warming.

    Carry on the good fight!

  26. Jim says:

    It is obvious that the climate models are absurd and inadequate, as I discussed with Dr. Christie the one time I met him.

    Case in point: An average 1 degree C temperature change over 100 years is 0.000027 degrees per day, or 0.1 ppm of the (absolute) temperature. Which equates to 0.1 ppm of the global energy balance. That cannot be measured, or modeled, with coarse sampling of 0.1% — in some cases, 1% — measurement accuracy of the relevant parameters.

    So the modeled forecasts are absurd on the face of it.

    Add that in the solid state / hydrocode realm, with which I am more aware, it is well established that model fidelity requires that time and space resolution be significantly more fine than the speed of sound in the modeled system; there is no obvious reason why that is not also true for accurate modeling of climate systems.

    Perservere, Dr. Spencer. You are in the right.

  27. Thanks, Dr. Spencer. You are fighting to save humanity, not just “the planet”.

  28. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of HAS of September 5, 2011 at 3:15 PM.

    HAS refers to Wang et al. at
    http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/EI219.1.

    HAS and Wang et al. write of “Granger causality”. It is a pain to see such jargon, posing as precision and understanding, find its way here, where ordinary language is to be preferred.

    But Wang et al. do something that, if they are serious about wanting to distinguish cause and effect for clouds, Drs Spencer and Braswell cannot escape doing too. Wang et al. use a second order model.

    Drs Spencer and Braswell would like to stay with a first order model like the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism, for the sake of “simplicity” and for the sake of keeping right on the tail of the IPCCs diabolical tergiversations.

    Einstein is quoted as saying that one should make things as simple as possible, but not simpler.

    The IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism uses only one dynamically determined internal state variable, the temperature anomaly increment, Delta T. All the other internal state variables (such as water vapour feedback, lapse rate feedback, cloud feedback, and so on) are determined merely as static or fixed or instantaneous mathematical functions of that one dynamically determined internal state variable Delta T. To separate cause and effect for more internal state variables than Delta T, there is no escape from making them dynamically determined as well.

    Perhaps I should say what I mean by dynamical determination as distinct from determination by a mathematical function of an internal state variable. Saying that an internal state variable xi is dynamically determined means that its change with time is determined by a first order ordinary differential equation, coupled with the other first order ordinary differential differential equations of one’s model, in which the fluxion of xi, that is to say dxi/dt, is modeled as a function of the all the dynamically determined internal state variables and of the external driver variables,

    dxi/dt = fi({xj},{wk})

    where {xj} denotes the list of all the dynamically determined internal state variables (including xi)and {wk} denotes the list of external driver variables, and fi(.) is a mathematical function.

    Drs Spencer and Braswell’s current model, in these terms, has only a random noise variable to do the job of the list {wk}, and only one dynamically determined internal state variable Delta T to do the job of the list {xj}. For serious work, this model, though close to the IPCC formalism, cannot do what is desired of it. Christopher Game

  29. HAS says:

    Christopher Game

    The advantage of using the term “Granger causality” is that it draws attention to the general limitation of these techniques in isolating “cause” and “effect”, something perhaps missing in your plain language version.

  30. Christopher Game says:

    Christopher Game responding to the post of HAS of September 5, 2011 at 6:12 PM.

    There are always excuses for introducing jargon. The disadvantages of jargon, which you do not mention, need to be considered as well as the advantages. And this is not just jargon, it is eponymous jargon, even worse. The problem of cause and effect is so obvious that it should be regarded as part of the ordinary understanding of ordinary language. For those who don’t understand it, education in general is needed, not the introduction of jargon, as a kind of spoon feeding. Christopher Game

  31. Jaison Jacob says:

    I have only limited knowledge on global warming, but I think researchers have hijacked science as far as the role of climate is considered. I have written a blog on the role of climate and cholera outbreak. Even though there is a clear correlation between these two, it is premature to hypothesize that climate change is responsible for cholera outbreaks. My blog can be read at http://savemoneyforscience.blogspot.com/2011/05/prejudice-or-hijacking-science.html. There are 14 blogposts on this subject in the month of May 2011. Hope it will be interesting to those who think that researchers have exaggerated the role of climate again.

  32. Eli Rabett says:

    Let us consider those Figs 3 and 4. Was the comparison to ALL of the available models? If not, why were the others not used?

  33. Dr Burns says:

    “The evidence verges on being indisputable. ”
    No wonder the warmists are so upset !

  34. Citizen says:

    Thank you, Sir, for your work. I’m sure they can’t hold the truth out forever.

  35. HAS says:

    Eli at 8:35 PM

    And why did Trenberth in his piece at RealClimate choose just one model (MPI-Echam5) as the example of a model with good ENSO fit(and an outlier at that too)?

  36. George E. Smith says:

    Well I’m just a physicist, so I don’t find any comfort in the “jargon” of climatism and the IPCC; all this “forcings and feedbacks”, and “Climate sensitivity. I’m also a pretty successful Analog Circuit designer, so I do know what feedback is all about; in particular I understand why the time response of feedback systems is important to understand, because therin lies the question of stability of the system. And I’ve never seen an analysis of the forcings and feedbacks, that pays any attention to propagation delays in either the forward gain channel, or the “feedback” network. I think it isw a stretch to call the climate sytem a feedback system, because surely the inherent delays; typically thermal in nature, would result in frequently oscillatory systems. The gains involved in these systems are so puny, that to describe them as feedback systems is a bit of a farce.

    As I understand the fundamental tenet of mainstream climate theory, and in particular Kevin Trenberth’s cartoon global energy budget; one starts with the assumed value for TSI, recently revalued to about 1362 Wm^-2, I believe; and divides that by 4 to reflect the area ratio of a circle to a sphere, to get 340.5 Wm^-2. then one takes 70% of that to allow for the earth albedo of 30%, to arrive at 238.35 Wm^-2 for the balancing emission required from the earth for a stable Temperature. Divide by the Stefan-Boltzmann constant (sigma = 5.67051E-8 Wm^-1K-4) and take the fourth root to get 254.6 K, the oft repeated equilibrium black body Temperature for the earth (255K).

    So we need 33 deg C of greenhouse warming to get to 288 K, the purported mean global surface Temperature.

    All the usual numbers.

    Well there’s some flies in this physics ointment. The earth is NOT a black body absorber; not even over the 0.25 to 4.0 micron solar spectral range; nor does it have 100% emissivity over the 5.0 to 80 micron LWIR spectral range, that would contain 98% of the expected BB emission for a 288K black body.

    Now the earth, sans atmosphere, could be a fairly good near black body, at least over about 3/4 of the tropical region of the earth which is ocean, for which we can reasonably use a 98% absorptance, since the normal Fresnel Reflection coefficient for water (n=1.333) is 2%.

    So lets assume an earth sans atmosphere that is actually a black body over the solar spectral range (98% in 0.25-4.0 microns); so it absorbs that averaged 340.5 Wm^-2 solar energy. The required BB Temperature for energy balance is now 278.4 K, or 5.25 deg C; now much higher than 255 K.
    Now this is the minimum Temperature for balance, because we have assumed the emittance is 1.0 for the LWIR spectrum.

    This too could be true for the oceans; but not for the land, where IR emittances can be much lower.

    Maybe we should be asking why the earth is so cold, rather than why it is so hot.

    Well of course, the earth is not sans atmosphere, and the first consequence of the atmosphere, is to lower the solar absorption by Raleigh scattering of the shorter wavelengths to make this the “Blue Planet”. That blue earthrise seen from the moon is due to lost short wavelength scattered solar energy. That surely is going to lower the earth Temperature. Well one notices that that very same earthrise phot, demonstrates that this really is the white and blue planet, because much more of it is white due to cloud cover (61% they say) than is blue.

    Surely that bright white cloud cover seen from the moon, is also lost solar energy, entirely due to clouds. That must also result in a cooling of the surface, since that is solar energy that never reahces the surface to get stored in that black body part; the deep oceans.

    Well I don’t know how to find space to fit forcings and feedbacks into this; let alone “climate sensitivity”, which presumably the late Dr Stephen Schneider claimed was a logarithmic relationship between CO2 atmospheric abundance, and mean global surface Temperature. With less than 1/4 of one doubling of CO2 under our belt since Mauna Loa observations began, and the wild Temperature gyrations since then; who could declare the relationship to be logarithmic rather than linear; or any other funtion for that matter.
    And no don’t try that Beer-Lambert Law theory out on me, either. It certainly doesn’t apply to total transmission in the atmosphere; for one thing, the absorbed LWIR energy refuses to stay absorbed; which is a presumption of the Beer Lambert Law of absorption in dilute solutions.

    I really can’t find any physics to support clouds actually increasing the amount of solar energy the earth absorbs.

    CO2 is also an absorber of incoming solar spectrum energy, although much further down the IR tail of the solar spectrum; but it is not a zero effect, so more CO2 also reduces the amount of solar spectrum energy that reaches earth’s surface; though rather small compared to .H2O.

    I’m not equipped to evaluate the S-B paper in the terms of conventional climatism formalism; but I don’t have any doubt, that their conclusion that clouds affect Temperatures on earth is quite real and robust. I certainly have far more difficulty in believing Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that only 40 wm^-2, out of 390 directly escapes to space, from earth.

    Sorry my physics doesn’t quite allow me to jump in the fray with you Dr Roy; but I firmly believe you are on the right track, and that is maybe why the hyenas are out after you; so hang tough; we are trying to help paddle as best we know how.
    George E. Smith

  37. Peter Miller says:

    Many years ago my wife coined the phrase:

    “Don’t confuse me with the facts, my mind is made up.”

    I have used this phrase on numerous instances in presentations over the past few years.

    It seems to have become the mantra for alarmist ‘science’.

    Keep up the good work.

  38. Luboš Motl says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,

    concerning your calls for mobilization, it would be nice if I had the internal desire to help you to overwhelm climate journals with articles that are analyzing the system in the same impartial way as you do – with some extra “flavor” that comes with a person’s experience associated with more than a decade in top physics circles.

    However, I don’t have this desire at all. In some sense, I think that you (and a few others) are a masochist who is fighting wind mills – or maybe you were dragged to become a masochist by the twists and turns of the history of science. The research in contemporary climate science has nothing to do with the quality and everything to do with the conclusions that some people want to hear.

    And I think that this situation may only be cured from the outside – not from the climate community itself. It’s because this problem was really created by external drivers, too. It’s because politicians and activists have exerted pressure to identify the climate science with the hypothetical threats, so of course this demand has created the supply and many people became hired guns who produce the catastrophic predictions and various infrastructure that helps the infrastructure. The funding grew 10 times simultaneously with the global warming’s becoming a prominent ideology which obviously means that 90% of the activity in the current climate science is measured according to the ability of “researchers” to support the climate hysteria. They collectively know where 90% of the money comes from.

    I couldn’t work in that environment. You know, when I was in the Academia, I submitted roughly 20 of my articles to peer-reviewed journals – on theoretical particle physics. All of them were always accepted – even though I rejected about 1/2 of the articles they sent me as a referee (about 25 papers out of 50). I simply couldn’t stand the idea that I spend weeks by high-quality work, adjusting certain things (including boringly formal things) near the perfection, just in order to see that the final product is going to be rejected by demonstrably ideological reasons.

    I don’t think it makes sense to try to beat the alarmism in the discipline by getting published a 10 times higher number of papers – especially in the situation when equally good papers with “skeptical” and “alarmist” conclusions have so vastly different odds of being smoothly published. My personal guess is that the amount of problems in front of a “skeptical” paper of the same quality is about 10 times larger.

    Just a trivial example. Alexander A?, a young Slovak alarmist working for Czech Globe, an EU-paid center of climate hysteria meant to create alarmists in skeptical Czechia for EUR 25 million, has a blog ac.blog.sme.sk – look at the crackpot logo with the “English formula” at the top. He just submitted a paper to … guess where … Remote Sensing. ;-) Needless to say, this can’t be a sensible paper because this guy’s IQ is closer to 50 than 100 and as a student, he would study beetles in the meadows, anyway. However, the new (and reformed) editors (and referees) will like the catastrophic conclusions so they will tell him how to fix his 500 kindergarten errors in the spelling and English and just publish another paper predicting a doomsday. That’s how it works. The bias is so immense that you can’t really fairly compete even with people whose IQ is 1/2 of yours but who have “preferred” beliefs.

    All the best
    Lubos

  39. The new rebuttal paper is in press:

    “Abstract: The question of whether clouds are the cause of surface temperature changes, rather than acting as a feedback in response to those temperature changes, is explored… ”

    Bzzzzzzt Logical fallacy of the excluded middle. these are not the only two possibilities. Spencer is saying its a mixture of the two which confounds diagnosis of feedback amplitude.

  40. Shevva says:

    My full support to a true scientist.

  41. Christopher Game says:

    Response to one sentence of the post of George E. Smith of September 6, 2011 at 2:03 AM.

    George E. Smith writes: “I certainly have far more difficulty in believing Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that only 40 wm^-2, out of 390 directly escapes to space, from earth.”

    Without commenting on other aspects of Trenberth’s actions and words, I would like to comment on this remark of George E. Smith. (I am not quibbling with George E. Smith’s 390 W m^-2.)

    Trenberth’s figure 40 W m^-2 refers to the global average of infrared radiation from the land-sea body of the earth which passes direct to space between the clouds, through the atmosphere. It might be said to be the radiation from the land-sea body that penetrates the atmospheric window. The figure does not include infrared radiation direct to space from the tops of clouds.

    It is calculated on the basis of radiosonde data and the laws of radiative transfer. The data and calculation are relatively reliable. The methods of calculation are rigorously valid and have been repeatedly checked in reliably refereed publications (to which George E. Smith may refer if he is really interested: the methods are rigorously correct versions of the Beer-Lambert law, pace George E. Smith). The figure Trenberth gives is not too far from the right answer and I would not quibble with it. Trenberth here, so far as I understand, is not reporting his own calculations for this figure, but is reporting the work of others, who can be relied on.

    The remaining (390 – 40) W m^-2 = 350 W m^-2 is absorbed by the air and the clouds, as shown in Trenberth’s diagram. Perhaps about 20 W m^-2 are absorbed by clouds, and a very large fraction of the remaining 330 W m^-2 is absorbed in the lowest 300 meters of the atmosphere, mostly by water vapour molecules, and to a lesser extent by carbon dioxide molecules. This absorption is a primary part of the process that is called the “greenhouse effect”. It is the reason why water vapour and carbon dioxide are called “greenhouse gases”.

    The atmosphere also emits infrared strongly in the lowest 300 meters, because of its content of water vapour and carbon dioxide, and because its temperature at those altitudes is not far from that of the land-sea surface. The temperature of the lowest atmosphere during the day and during the polar summer is usually below that of the land-sea surface, but at night and in the polar winter can be above it, in a so-called temperature inversion. This returns a very large fraction of the 330 W m^-2 back to the land-sea body. Christopher Game

  42. Richard Saumarez says:

    Dear Dr Spencer,

    I regard the recent attack on your integrity as outrageous, and having been subject to similar behaviour (in a different field), you have my sympathy and support. Nevertheless, if you are right, you will prevail.

    The problem with “Climate Science”, viewed from the outside is that it appears to be extremely trbal and cliqueish. This is an incredibly dangerous situation for science since it creates a cabal that reinforces itself in the belief of what may be a delusion.

    Having said that, I am a strict believer in experimentalism, and your work is experimentalist that will form the anvil on which the CAGW hypothesis is either forged or broken.

  43. James says:

    ” Where Have All the Real Scientists Gone?
    The basic issue we research is not that difficult to understand. And unless a few of you physicist-types out there get involved and provide some truly independent analysis of all this, …”

    Roy, stay cool, things are happening. More physicist-types are gradually emerging and speaking out against what is going on. I have sent you an email.

    See for example this comment by Oxford Physicist Jonathan Jones at Climate etc:

    “With a tiny handful of exceptions (Judy, Richard Betts, Hans von Storch, Eduardo Zorita, surely there must be a few more?) the whole of “mainstream” climate science seems to be going into collective meltdown. To ordinary scientists their behaviour just gets more bizarre with every day.

    I have worked in all sorts of areas of science, some really quite controversial, and I have never seen this sort of childish throwing of toys out of prams in any other context. I can’t see any solution beyond some proper grown ups getting involved and telling Trenberth and Gleick and friends to sit on the naughty step until they learn how to play nicely.”

  44. ThinkingScientist says:

    A short note to express my support for Roy Spencer and for the scientific method. You can be certain that there are many, many people out here who find the behaviour of Trenberth, Mann and others to be completely unacceptable and clearly anti-science.

    Keep up the good work.

  45. Dikran Marsupial says:

    “Gee, I wonder if the peer reviewers were also associated with the IPCC, whose models they are trying to protect from scrutiny?”

    “They instead resort to nearly libelous ad hominem attacks”,

    Rather ironic really, given that you had just made an ad-hominem attack on the reviewers of Dessler’s paper. Sorry Roy, this kind of thing weakens your credibility substantially; I much preferred it when you just discussed the scientific issues in calm, impersonal terms.

  46. Ron Cram says:

    Roy,
    I’ve read the Dessler paper and while he makes a couple of reasonable points, most of the paper appears to be trash. One of his conclusions is:

    Thus, the lead- lag relation between TOA flux and ?Ts tells us nothing about the physics driving ?Ts.

    Really? Radiative imbalance doesn’t have anything to do with temperature? I wonder if he has told Jim Hansen yet?

  47. dhlii says:

    I am disturbed by the title of your post.

    Yes, alarmists have made this a war and made this personal.
    But that is no reason to take the bait.

    I am seeing myriads of other climate blogs – and not just skeptic blogs defending some or all of your work.

    Your paper alone is not the end of the AGW cabal. That process started earlier and may have some time to play out – and is likely to become nastier rather than more pleasant as it proceeds.

    If 90% of all scientists are invested in AGW, then 90% of scientists, are having their faith attacked – and that ignores politicians and the rest of us.

    Personally, I am always skeptical of catastrophic future predictions. I grew up with Silent Sprint, the population bomb, duck and cover.

    Things get better not worse.

    But taking this personally and stooping to their level does not help you.

    For THEM this is war. For you this should be science.

    The success you earned has been harmed by your views. Now theirs is threatened.

    If you resort to their language they win – well atleast for a while.

    Ultimately the earth does not seem to be cooperating. And neither your papers nor theirs will change what the real earth chooses to do.

    If vindication does nto come soon, it will be because you are wrong, and I do not think that is likely.

    • David Appell says:

      “Alarmists” have made this a war? That would come as a surprise to Benjamin Santer, who was falsely accused of deception after the 1995 IPCC report. Or Michael Mann, Ray Bradley, and Malcolm Hughes, who were the target of ugly political intimidation by Congressman Joe Barton. Or any of the scientists whose life work is dismissed as a “hoax” by US senator James Inofe, who are routinely bullied by Marc Morano, and called liars and frauds by scores of bloggers. Lately they are even the target of death threats–one was actually shown a noose when he lectured in Australia.

      So tell us again about this “war.”

  48. Chuck L says:

    I am not a lawyer but what Trenbarth,Dessler, et al WROTE looks libelous to me. Any lawyers who can comment?

  49. Sou says:

    “I’ve also gone back and tried to figure out exactly which part of our analysis was (supposedly) in error.”

    This might help:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2ngavUkmis

    • dhlii says:

      Dessler’s video is self contradictory.

      If the direct effect of clouds is negligible, how can the feedback effect be large ?

      Dessler prefers the oceans to clouds – but there is building evidence that the oceans are not going to prove to be friendly to the AGW case either.

      And as I think Lubos Motl has already pointed out, isn’t Dressler fundimentally arguing that clouds are not white ?

      Regardless, if this video is supposed to be convincing then AGW is in serious trouble.

  50. Max Hugoson says:

    Dr. Spencer:

    I’ve posted on a couple other “Skeptic” blogs, my experience, 25 years ago, in presenting an analysis of a 4 page paper in a Heat Transfer Journal, to my graduate Conduction Heat Transfer class. I had 6 weeks of preparation time, and ended up with 40 pages of “overheads” (yes, that’s what we used back then) to go through the “variational mathematics” and explain the “pertubation method” used in the paper.

    We were supposed to apply the math to a problem of our own choosing. I was EXHAUSTED working out the “underlying math”. The professor (Dr. Lee) was gracious, however, and gave a nice speech on the relationship of published papers to the work involved, and the “compactness” of their presentation.

    So my question to you is: Roughly how long did you work on this paper (in many ways, you’ve worked on it for 10 years, as it builds on past work), but specifically when this paper came together, roughly how long did you work on it.

    Also, for further understanding of the process, you probably have a “file folder” with background data and analysis. Roughly how many Megabytes or Gigabytes is that file?

    My point that I’m getting to is this: Your paper has been out for X number of weeks. Your unoffical versions were out for Y number of weeks. Your “opponents” (silly thing to say, really, they should not be “opponents” but colleagues and peers) had “Z” number of weeks to write their paper. And, of course, the famous 6 weeks from submission to peer review, to publication.

    Now, let us admit that there are instances of PURE GENIUS in this world. I will cite, for example, Handel’s “Messiah”. Handel received his commission, moved to Belfast, locked himself in a room, and in ONE MONTH composed and assembled Messiah. (I’m the type that has taken blank staff music sheets, and transcribed a couple pages by HAND from Messiah, finding it takes roughly an hour to an hour and one half to just do the TRANSCRIPTION work. That would put JUST TRANSCRIBING “Messiah” at 350 hours, or 10 hours a day of work. Therefore the accomplishment of not “transcribing” but COMPOSING the work becomes all the more impressive.)

    I have my HIGH DOUBTS however, that Dressler wears high heels, knickers, a powdered wig…and is of the same level as Handel.

    That leaves us with the nagging questions:

    1. Given the time limits, would Dressler’s paper in any way have concivable technical merit?

    2. And, as YOU have pointed out, (obliquely) the “peer reviewers” also must be “Handle like” in their marvelous ability to review for content, and determine the complete merit of the work.

    Max

  51. Frank says:

    Roy: From a logical perspective, who has something to gain from “reforming” climate science and removing the influence of politics from how climate science is done? The only people who have anything to gain are scientists in other disciplines. If the world spends trillions of dollars reducing carbon emissions and climate sensitivity turns out NOT to be dangerously high, what policymaker is ever going to risk taking unpopular action on the advice of scientist in the future? Climate scientists are inappropriately betting the integrity of all scientists on the likelihood that climate sensitivity is dangerously high. Your blog reaches a few individual scientists and engineers, but they don’t have any impact on policymakers. Most scientific societies are in the hands of left-wing activists.

    The climate scientists who have been active in WG I of the IPCC process have a lot to lose from attempting to remove the influence of politics from their science:

    a) They will lose the support of politicians who have supported Kyoto and cap-and-trade, along with some of the funding that goes with it.

    b) If studies like yours were interpreted as evidence that climate sensitivity MAY BE low, rather than “proof” that climate sensitivity IS low (my opinion), climate scientists lose the opportunity to “Save the Planet”. By the time they obtain unambiguous scientific evidence that climate sensitivity is dangerously high, it could be too late and their political influence will have been lost.

    c) They will be branded as traitors by the environmental movement and WG II scientists.

    d) Other scientists might finally recognize that Climategate, the Hockey Stick and other events (like this resignation) really are signs of corruption in a politicized science, not the ranting of “deniers” and right-wing skeptics.

    What do the climate scientists who have been active in WG I of the IPCC process have to gain from reform?

    a) Like Judith Curry, they could have the satisfaction of attempting restore some scientific integrity their field.

    b) They could save the world trillions of dollars which is being spent buying “insurance” against the possibility the climate sensitivity is dangerously high, but they are unlikely to have confidence that such insurance isn’t needed or knowledge of the cost.

    From a strictly rational perspective, climate scientists have little reason to reform their field. Change must come from outside.

    Let’s assume for the moment that climate sensitivity is not dangerously high. Who has something to lose from the fact that politics prevents climate scientists from acknowledging this scientific possibility? Climate scientists themselves actually won’t have anything to lose under these circumstance; it will be obvious their scientific integrity was sacrificed to influence policy.

  52. Jon the Technologist says:

    Dr. Spencer,

    Once again one of the best classes I have ever attended.
    You are beginning to attract even more very intelligent
    responses such as George E. Smith and others. I would
    suggest a conference at which many of us could meet and
    show the world what a con many politicians including
    certain so called scientist are running. You have their attention and they are being exposed by their own actions
    and they will soon begin to scatter in the light of the truth.

    I think I am picking up some of the math.

    To all of you who post here tell everyone, spread the word,
    even if you disagree with some of Dr.Spencer’s ideas.
    This is where truth prevails – in open and honest discussion.

  53. David Appell says:

    Dr Spencer, you speak of “wars being waged,” and yet you are on the Board of Directors of the George C Marshall Institute. Has that organization not been an active participant in the science wars for almost thirty years? How do you square your complaints about politicized science with being on their Board?

    What would be the likely response if a climate scientist who accepted the “consensus” position on AGW were on the Board of Directors of, say, Greenpeace?

  54. Christopher Game says:

    Dr Spencer, you speak of “wars being waged”? Are you of African descent, of coloured skin, of Jewish descent, a white man, of the Chinese descent, an native Urdu speaker, a man who prefers Jonathan apples to Granny Smiths, colour-blind, left-handed, bald, someone who sleeps lying on his left side, a member of an academic society, a government employee, self-employed, an employee of a private enterprize, unemployed, retired from active employment, a doubter of Einstein’s general theory of relativity, a doubter of the theory of dark energy, someone who finds it hard to find shoes that fit his left foot, a holder of an academic degree, not a holder of an academic degree, someone who sometimes watches baseball or gridiron, someone who is not interested in baseball or gridiron, someone who might do work trying to heat his home swimming pool, someone who does not have a home swimming pool, a blogster, a motor-car driver, a cyclist, someone who walks to work? If any of the above, please confess this so that we may feel justified in ignoring your arguments about the earth’s energy balance. Christopher Game

    • David Appell says:

      Since Roy Spencer is not restricting himself to purely scientific comments, and accusing others of politics and war-waging, my question is completely within bounds.

  55. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of HAS of September 5, 2011 at 3:15 PM, at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2011/09/more-thoughts-on-the-war-being-waged-against-us/#comment-23623.

    Sorry I missed this till now. Thank you for these references. Christopher Game

  56. DocMartyn says:

    Christopher Game, are you aware that you live on a rotating planet?
    Were you aware that light flux, surface and atmospheric temperature all oscillate during a 24 hours cycle?
    Somethings one can average, but somethings you can’t, for instance I could place your feet in an oven and your head dewer of liquid nitrogen and maintain your ‘average’ temperature at 37, but you would not be you.
    During the morning and early afternoon temperature rise and after this they fall. The processes that form the steady state temperature before and after Tmax are different.

  57. kuhnkat says:

    From Claes Johnson,

    http://claesjohnson.blogspot.com/2011/09/spencer-braswell-climate-sensitivity.html

    Is that Dr. Spencer in front of those 4 IPCC tanks??

  58. Voice Over says:

    I merely needed to say gracias for this write-up and say hello to everyone out there in blog-land.

  59. IA says:

    Andrew Dessler’s New Paper Debunks Both Roy Spencer And Richard Lindzen

    Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University, has released a scientific paper (Dessler 2011) that looks at the the claims made by two of a small group of “skeptic” climate scientists who regular SkS readers will be familiar with: Roy Spencer and Richard Lindzen. Both were co-authors on peer-reviewed papers released this year (Spencer & Braswell [2011] & Lindzen & Choi [2011]) which, once again, sought to overturn the orthodox view of climate. Dessler (2011) finds that the conclusions of these two papers are unsupported by observational data.

    Spencer & Lindzen: Tipping reality on its head
    The Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi papers have an unusual take on global warming: rather than warming causing a change in cloud cover (i.e. acting as a feedback to either increase or reduce warming), both papers claim that it’s the other way around – changes in cloud cover cause changes in the surface temperature (in the present case, warming).

    Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi look at the relationship between changes in ocean heat, cloud cover (directly affecting the amount of heat lost to space), and global surface temperature over recent decades. The idea is, if the change in surface temperature over that period is affected by changes in cloud cover, but changes of the surface temperature associated with the ocean warming are small, then changes in cloud cover must be driving the present global warming.

    Dessler: Putting reality back on its feet
    Putting aside the problems with their energy budget equation, Dessler looks at the values Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi use for their calculations. Rather than examine the data for two of the terms in their equation (heating of the climate by the ocean & change in cloud cover allowing heat to escape to space), Lindzen and Spencer approximate them from other observations, and their results rely heavily on assumptions about the size of these values.

    Rather than rely on assumptions, Dessler uses other observational data (such as surface temperature measurements and ARGO ocean temperature) to estimate and corroborate these values. Dessler finds that, in contrast to Spencer/Braswell and Lindzen/Choi, the change in cloud cover is far too small to explain the short-term changes in surface temperature, explaining only a few percent of surface temperature change. In fact, the heating of the climate system through ocean heat transport is approximately 20 times larger than the change in top of the atmosphere (TOA) energy flux due to cloud cover changes. Lindzen and Choi assumed the ratio was close to 2, while Spencer and Braswell assumed it was close to 0.5.

    Dessler finds that the short-term changes in surface temperature are related to exchanges of heat to and from the ocean – which tallies well with what we know about El Niño and La Niña, and their atmospheric warming/cooling cycles.

    Spencer & Braswell: A classic example of cherrypicking
    In order to claim that the climate models differ from observations when comparing the surface temperature and energy leaving the Earth at TOA with the lead-lag between them, Spencer/Braswell cherrypick observational data and model results that show the greatest mismatch (

    The blue line in Figure 1 is the TOA and Hadley Centre surface temperature data chosen by Spencer/Braswell, and the red includes other datasets of the surface temperature. The black lines are the 13 climate model runs, with the ‘crosses’ indicating 5 of the 6 models analysed by Spencer/Braswell. Although Spencer/Braswell analyzed 14 models, they only plotted the 3 with highest and 3 with lowest equilibrium climate sensitivities.

    In the process, Spencer and Braswell excluded the three climate model runs which best matched the observational data. Dessler found that these three model runs were also the ones which are among the best at simulating El Niño and La Niña, which is not surprising, given that much of the temperature change over 2000-2010 was due to the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). Thus Dessler concludes that

    “since most of the climate variations over this period were due to ENSO, this suggests that the ability to reproduce ENSO is what’s being tested here, not anything directly related to equilibrium climate sensitivity.”

    Violating the Laws of Thermodynamics
    Dessler also examines the mathematical formula that both studies use to calculate the Earth’s energy budget, and finds that it may violate the laws of thermodynamics – allowing for the impossible situation where ocean warming is able to cause ocean warming.

    Much ado about nothing
    The short-term change in surface temperature over the 2000-2010 period is a result of ocean heat being exchanged with the atmosphere (via ENSO). This in turn alters atmospheric circulation, which alters cloud cover, but the impact of cloud cover on surface temperature only explains a small percentage of the surface temperature change. Thus the lead-lag relationship between heat leaving the Earth at TOA and surface temperature reveals nothing about what is driving the short-term surface temperature change.

    In short, the “skeptic” hypothesis that changes in cloud cover due to internal variability are driving global warming does not hold up when compared to the observational data. Once again we have two heavily-hyped “skeptic” papers that have failed to live up to their billing.

    Posted by Rob Painting on Tuesday, 6 September, 2011

    ——————————————————————————–
    Copyright 2011 http://www.skepticalscience.com

  60. RW says:

    George E. Smith says:
    September 6, 2011 at 2:03 AM

    “I certainly have far more difficulty in believing Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that only 40 wm^-2, out of 390 directly escapes to space, from earth.”

    His total “window transmittance” is not really 40 W/m^2 but 70 W/m^2. He has 40 W/m^2 going through the clear sky and another 30 W/m^2 going through the cloudy sky.

    70 W/m^2 is probably still too low, as it requires greater than half of what’s absorbed by the atmosphere from the surface flux of 390 W/m^2 to be emitted to space.

    There are lots of problems with Trenberth’s depiction.

  61. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of RW of September 6, 2011 at 8:39 PM.

    RW likes to change the subject from that raised by George E. Smith, by talking instead about Trenberth’s ‘total “window transmittance”‘, which wasn’t what George E. Smith talked about. As noted above (in response to the post of George E. Smith of September 6, 2011 at 2:03 AM) Trenberth’s figure of 40 W m^-2 is for the moiety that goes between the clouds and does not include the moiety of radiation straight to space from the tops of clouds.

    RW tells us that he thinks that the sum (40 + 30) W m^-2 = 70 W m^-2 is probably still too low. RW’s reason for this is that it requires more than half of what’s absorbed by the atmosphere from the surface flux of 390 W/m2 to be emitted to space. That is to say, RW’s reason is not based on direct measurements, as is Trenberth’s. RW’s reason is based on an irrational and physically unfounded fixed belief that he has expressed before in this blog. RW continues to hold to this belief because he cannot be bothered to study the matter by using textbooks and journal articles which would give him a sound understanding of the relevant calculations, meteorology, and physics.

    RW says that there are lots of problems with Trenberth’s depiction. The main one for RW is that he wants Trenberth’s depiction to conform to his (RW’s) fixed irrational belief, but it doesn’t.

    I am not wishing to say that everything that Trenberth says is right, but I think it better to attack the parts of what he says that are mistaken than to attack the parts that are not. Christopher Game

  62. vs says:

    So it’s a conspiracy? That’s your story? Really?

  63. Nicholas Naranja says:

    I am an Agronomist and my professional society ASA/CSA/SSA has recently made a statement of their support for AGW. Throughout my education I never had a single climatology professor who believed that CO2 was the main driver in global warming. All these professors were tenured faculty in their early 60s and so didn’t have to worry about publishing or getting funding for anything. Most of them would say that a doubling of CO2 would get you 1 degree. That seems to be all the basic physics support. They always speculated that land use change and natural cycles were more important. I imagine if you were to graph ENSO against global temps you would get a nice r-square. I have seen local data that indicates that land use change is the major driving factor. It seems like the best way to get research funded is to create some dire problem that threatens everyone

  64. RW says:

    Christopher Game says:

    “Trenberth’s figure of 40 W m^-2 is for the moiety that goes between the clouds and does not include the moiety of radiation straight to space from the tops of clouds.”

    I think 30 W/m^2 is the surface through the cloudy sky value and not the cloud tops to space value. Did Trenberth actually confirm it was cloud tops to space and not surface through the clouds?

    As best I remember, the paper doesn’t really even say.

  65. George E. Smith says:

    “”"”" Christopher Game says:

    September 6, 2011 at 3:24 AM

    Response to one sentence of the post of George E. Smith of September 6, 2011 at 2:03 AM.

    George E. Smith writes: “I certainly have far more difficulty in believing Kevin Trenberth’s assertion that only 40 wm^-2, out of 390 directly escapes to space, from earth.”

    Without commenting on other aspects of Trenberth’s actions and words, I would like to comment on this remark of George E. Smith. (I am not quibbling with George E. Smith’s 390 W m^-2.)

    Trenberth’s figure 40 W m^-2 refers to the global average of infrared radiation from the land-sea body of the earth which passes direct to space between the clouds, through the atmosphere. It might be said to be the radiation from the land-sea body that penetrates the atmospheric window. “”"”"

    Well Christopher, I think I am as capable of reading emission and absorption spectra, as the next person, and I have plenty of examples to work with, such as those reported in “The Infra-Red Handbook” compiled for the US Navy.

    And the extra terrestrial IR spectra seen looking down, show only two absorption bands of any consequence for a presumably black body like surface emitted spectrum for a 288 K source Temperature (mean global surface Temperature).

    Those are the CO2 15 micron band which covers about 13.5 to 16.5 microns, and the Ozone band at about 9.6 microns, which is much narrower. Between them, they don’t even come close to absorbing 90% of the energy emitted between about 5.0 microns, and 80.0 microns, which would be 98% of a BB spectrum with a 10.1 micron peak (wavelength plot).

    Yes I realize that H2O (which of course is NOT a greenhouse gas, but a CO2 amplifying feedback) would take out more; but then as I said, for some reason, all these atmospheric transmission computations seem to exclude H2O.

    So I’m not talking about re-emissions from cloud tops to space, I’m referring to the clear path through dry air from surface to space, such as one would encounter over much of North Africa, and the Middle East desert areas.

    Such regions also can have actual surface Temperatures of 60 deg C, whcih gives almost double the radiant emittance one calculates for the 288 K global average. Also the Wien Displacement Law, will move the spectral peak down to about 8.8 microns, which makes CO2 even less consequential, and also moves the Ozone band off the peak.

    As for the Beer-Lambert Law, that is a law of ABSORPTION in dilute solutions, relating the ABSORPTION to the logarithm of the absorbing species dilute concentration. It si known to not be valid for higher concentrations. It is NOT a law of ENERGY TRANSMISSION through the solution; and the assumption is that the energy stays absorbed, and essentially becomes thermalized. Re-radiation of some part of that energy, as happens in the atmosphere with GHG molecules, is NOT included in the Beer-Lambert model.

    In the case of the atmosphere, the GHG absorbed radiation becomes thermalized, and the warmer atmosphere radiates an infrared spectrum which is similar in wavelength range to the original surface spectrum, since the Temperatures are comparable.

    As a result, there is a continuous cascade of re-absorption, and re-emission, for LWIR proceeding either upward or downward. The upward path is favored over the downward, because higher layers are both colder and less dense, so the broadening (Doppler and pressure) of the spectral lines is worse coming down, than going up, so upward re-emission is more likely to escape the narrower absorption lines above, than the downward is, on its path back to the surface.

    But I think my whole thesis was that irrefutab;y, and incontrovertibly, H2O molecules in the atmosphere always remove solar spectrum energy, so that it NEVER reaches the ground (deep ocean) as solar spectrum energy, going deep into the ocean. It may re-emerge as LWIR emission from the warmer atmosphere; but just as the Raleigh scattered blue light, splits 50-50 between surface and space, so too does the atmospheric LWIR emission, so at best only half of the incoming solar energy that gets intercepted by atmospheric H2O (or CO2 for that matter) can ever reach the surface as part of the earths energy input from the sun. I’m not aware of any significant external source of energy for the earth besides the sun.

    Reducing the solar energy that reaches the ocean storage depths (or land sinks), must ultimately cool the earth.

    You folks can try to get warming from clouds; but what is your energy source for doing that.

    If the climatism cloud model was correct, the earth would be getting cooked by noctilucent clouds, since it is the higher clouds, that do the warming in the approved scheme of things.
    It seems self evident to most that sex causes children; but there will always be those who insist that children cause sex.

  66. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of RW of September 6, 2011 at 10:22 PM.

    I didn’t ask Trenberth about the meaning of the arrow that starts at the top of the clouds and goes straight to space. I assume it has what seems to me its obvious meaning. It has more or less the right size for that to be so. Christopher Game

  67. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of George E. Smith of September 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM.

    Thank you for your careful response, George E. Smith.

    Though I don’t know you personally I am quite happy to accept that you are far better than the average person at reading emission and absorption spectra.

    The figure in question is not found that way. It is calculated by computer programs as I indicated in my previous response. The usually used spectral dataset is called HITRAN.

    You write: “H2O (which of course is NOT a greenhouse gas, but a CO2 amplifying feedback”. This is a matter of language and formalism, dependent on conceptual viewpoint, and not of viewpoint-invariant physics.

    You write: “all these atmospheric transmission computations seem to exclude H2O”. The usual meaning of considering water vapour as a CO2 amplifying feedback is that it is considered to absorb infrared radiation. Atmospheric transmission calculations are largely about it.

    You write to me: “You folks …” That is an ad hominem line, and not really to the point. I am a supporter of Drs Spencer and Braswell’s viewpoint, but I wrote about your comment because I like to defend the intellectual integrity of Dr Spencer’s blog, not because I am one of those you call “you folks”.

    This matter has been carefully studied. It does you no credit to write about your casual impressions as if you thought they were decisive arguments. You are in grave danger of looking like a habitual instant expert. I will not go further with this conversation until I see evidence that you are serious about it. Christopher Game

  68. Dan Pangburn says:

    Thermalization is not acknowledged in the 2008 Trenberth chart which is shown at http://chriscolose.wordpress.com/2008/12/10/an-update-to-kiehl-and-trenberth-1997/ or in the IPCC reports. The fraction of radiation from the surface (that does not go directly to space) that is thermalized was calculated to be about 11.6 % in the pdf made public 6/21/11 at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true where it is also shown that the part of the average global temperature increase in the 20th century that is attributable to sunspots (about 0.3C) would occur with an increase in average cloud altitude of only 73 meters.

  69. Richard Saumarez says:

    Dr Spencer,

    I wonder if I could make apoint about your model from a ststems/signal processing perspective?

    In your fundamental differential equation relating rate of change of temperature to fluxes, the “feedback” term is an instanteous function of temperature, which is to say it is an instaneous function of time. However, your thrust is that there is a delay in the feedback, in otherwords the feedback in as function of lagged time. At first sight, your basic equation does not appear to me to correctly formulated – although from your analysis, you clearly do believe that it is a function of lagged time.

    If I understand you correctly, the feedback term is due to clouds geerated by heat going through a compartment and so the feedback term could be written as
    -lambda.Clouds(T,t)

    as a simple one compartment system, one could write:

    dCloud/dt=F(T,t0-t)).

    This changes your basic equation somewhat, because the basic equation could then be written as with the feedback term expressed as a convolution between temperature and an expontential with a time constant of, I guess, about a couple of months.

    Without seeming to appear provocative, because I think what you have done is basically correct, I wonder if your equation could be rewritten to reflect the nature of delays? This would seem to be quite useful, since it is linear, it could be written in terms of a Laplace Tranform and a pole identified to give the delay (using Fourier series, the delay estimated from the cross phase spectra).

    As a non-climatologist, when I saw your equation and that used by Dressler, I did a bit of a double take when you started talking about delays because they are not explicit in your model. I think might be the case when people from other disciplines start looking at your work, as they sure will.

    Please do not regard this as sniping at you. I am merely saying that you could express your model in a more mathematically explicit way that would directly reflect the way you have analysed your data.

    Yours sincerely
    Richard Saumarez

  70. Christopher Game says:

    Response to the post of Richard Saumarex of September 7, 2011 at 9:33 AM.

    Richard Saumarez writes from the perspective of a systems/signal processing investigator. He takes Drs Spencer and Braswell as dealing with a simple one-compartment system. He takes as the dynamically determined variable as Cloud, the fluxion of which will be a function of time t and of the Climate Temperature, which Drs Spencer and Braswell write ?T and Richard Saumarez as T. (I will follow Drs S&B by writing here ?T.) In Richard Saumarez’s formulation, it seems he must intend ?T to be an external driver of Cloud and that Cloud is not subject to any kind of feedback, since it does not appear as an argument of his function F(?T,t).

    But physically, and as part of the present debate, it is essential to the problem that the formalism we use must allow a feedback effect of Clouds on Climate Temperature ?T.

    Thus the formulation proposed by Richard Saumarez does not offer a better way to resolve the problem at hand than does the original IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism, or does the closely related model actually used by Drs Spencer and Braswell. But it does show that somehow or other we are concerned with two internal state variables that might possibly be determined dynamically.

    I am proposing that this possibility is actually forced on us by the physical nature of the problem. Christopher Game

  71. Christopher Game says:

    Dr Spencer writes: “I hate to say it, but we need some sharper tools in our shed than we have right now.”

    The sharper tools needed involve the use of a second dynamically determined internal state variable and of some information from the effect of an external driver. Christopher Game

  72. George E. Smith says:

    “”"”" Christopher Game says:

    September 7, 2011 at 2:02 AM

    Response to the post of George E. Smith of September 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM.

    Thank you for your careful response, George E. Smith.

    Though I don’t know you personally I am quite happy to accept that you are far better than the average person at reading emission and absorption spectra.

    The figure in question is not found that way. It is calculated by computer programs as I indicated in my previous response. The usually used spectral dataset is called HITRAN.

    You write: “H2O (which of course is NOT a greenhouse gas, but a CO2 amplifying feedback”. This is a matter of language and formalism, dependent on conceptual viewpoint, and not of viewpoint-invariant physics. “”"”"

    “”"”" Well Christopher, I think I am as capable of reading emission and absorption spectra, as the next person, and I have plenty of examples to work with, such as those reported in “The Infra-Red Handbook” compiled for the US Navy. “”"”"

    So Christopher, how did you get from what I just excerpted from my post (immediately above) to this:- “”"”" Though I don’t know you personally I am quite happy to accept that you are far better than the average person at reading emission and absorption spectra “”"”"

    It’s a big jump from “as capable as the next person” to “far better than the average person” ; a claim I never made.

    And clearly you don’t know me, or you wouldn’t have missed the tongue in cheek quip about H2O not being a GHG, but a feedback amplifier of CO2.

    Of course H2O is a GHG; the only one of any consequence; and yes it absorbs throughout the spectrum beginning in the solar region at around 700-750 nm, and out into the radio spectrum.
    As for H2O being a feedback amplification of CO2 initiated water evaporation; do serious scientists honestly believe that H2O is clairvoyant when it comes to evaporation, and it will only evaporate, when the causative Temperature rise of the liquid water (the cause of evaporation), is a result of CO2 greenhouse warming, but will not evaporate, if H2O caused GHG warming is the initial cause of the Temperature rise (of the liquid). Who knew that H2O molecules were so clever.

    H2O is perfectly capable of initiating a Temperature increase, that results in evaporation, and even more water in the atmosphere; and it will do that even if the last CO2 molecule was forcibly removed from the atmosphere.

    So this HITRAN computer program that computes spectra: I presume that it responds to temperature and pressure, to derive the Doppler (Temperature) and Collision (pressure) broadened shape of each individual spectral line that make up the degenerate bending mode of the CO2 15 micron LWIR absorption band, that is most often cited as the cause of global warming for example. And that computation (simple for a Teraflop computer) would of course include the resulting atmospheric thermalization of that absorbed energy, and the resulting re-radiation to the neighboring atmosphere layers, for further absorption, to cover the atmosphere from ground to presumably some practical stratospheric cutoff altitude. I don’t have such a computer to do those computations, and I have less than full confidence in the results of some of the people who do. Who else, without a super computer, can double the atmospheric CO2 abundance, and get absolutely no change in the surface Temperature, and yet blithely proceed onwards, as if nothing is wrong. Several very well known computer modellers have reported such results; and evidently nobody blinked.

    Finally, if “you folks” is somehow an ad hominem attack; then apparently my education in the English language, has somehow been grossly deficient.

    Should I have said “you geeks” or some other collective, such as Dr Spencer himself used in this series ?

    Anybody who would like to describe warmng by clouds, and explain the source of the warming energy, is most welcome, whether that person be folk, or geek, or chap, or fellow, even bloke, also including of course gals, or dames, or sheillas, even ladies.

    Should I ever slip, and fall into attack mode; it would be most obvious to anyone; well actually to everyone; because I do believe in calling a spade a spade.

    The moderators, would expunge that I am sure; but they likely won’t ever get such a challenge.

  73. George E. Smith says:

    Add as addendum to above. The use of a collective such as “you folks”, is a clear signal, that the comment is not addressed personally to an individual, such as an individual whose post one may be responding to. It simply acknowledges that presumably, other readers could be reading those posts, besides the person whose post is being responded to. It would thus be an invitation to anyone to address the point being raised; not some barb aimed at the first poster, being responded to.

  74. RW says:

    Christopher Game says:
    September 7, 2011 at 1:43 AM

    “It has more or less the right size for that to be so.”

    How do you figure? I’m curious because to me it seems way too low.

  75. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the posts of George E. Smith of September 7, 2011 at :15 PM and at 5:26 PM.

    George E. Smith asks: “So Christopher, how did you get from what I just excerpted from my post (immediately above) to this:- “”””” Though I don’t know you personally I am quite happy to accept that you are far better than the average person at reading emission and absorption spectra. “””””"

    Christopher replies: I used my common sense in reading your post and that made me happy to accept that you were ahead of the average person in this area. You didn’t need to claim it for me to be able to see it.

    George E. Smith writes: “So this HITRAN computer program that computes spectra.”

    Christopher replies: HITRAN is not a computer program so much as it is a spectral dataset that is called by radiative transfer computer programs, which routinely take account of the things you refer to by the words ‘thermalization’ and ‘re-radiation’ and so forth, and which do not require supercomputers. My home PC runs such a program for a single radiosonde record in about three quarters of an hour, with a reasonably accurate result.

    George E. Smith talks of “The use of a collective such as “you folks””, and he says it is “a clear signal.”

    Christopher responds: So George E. Smith intends. But the English language has three persons in the plural, we, you, they. By using ‘you’, the ordinary English speaker indicates that he does not mean ‘we’. Consequently, whether or not he intends it, George E. Smith’s usage carried a barb in the context of such a rancorous blog as this. Christopher Game

  76. George E. Smith says:

    “”"”" Christopher responds: So George E. Smith intends. But the English language has three persons in the plural, we, you, they. By using ‘you’, the ordinary English speaker indicates that he does not mean ‘we’. Consequently, whether or not he intends it, George E. Smith’s usage carried a barb in the context of such a rancorous blog as this. Christopher Game “”"”"

    Well Christopher, you certainly have part of it right; I did not mean “we folks”, because I believe I made it quite clear, that I am not capable of showing how clouds cause warming; I have not one single experience in more than 3/4 of a century, of observing a cloud increasing the amount of energy that reaches the earth’s surface. In my experience, it is always a decrease in energy, which manifests itself, in the surface Temperature decreasing; not increasing, and I don’t have the theoretical skills to prove otherwise.

    And for sure I did not intend to say “they folks”; well “them folks” or “those folks” specially since I have no idea who “they” might be. Since I was adressing my comment to the list of readers of this particular thread; it seemed; and indeed is perfectly natural for me to say “you folks”; which you observed is a plural, and therefore could not have been aimed at a single person such as you. So I presented it to the collective readership of this thread as a task some might like to tackle; for as I have repeatedly said, it is beyond my level of physics training and experience.

    I believe that exhausts all of your possibilities for English Language person plurals, so I think I have used the most appropriate of the set; certainly the one that best conveys my intended meaning.

    If you find a barb in that; then clearly I need to find a more communicative language to use; or maybe you could refrain from trying to put words into my mouth. I use the ones that convey what I intended to say; so no reading between the lines is needed; there’s nothing there to find.

    And yes I see that you did in fact refer to HITRAN as a Data set, and not a computer program. Forgive me for missing that.

    So who measured this dataset, and when, was it done. It would seem to me to be a very tricky experimental measurement to carry out ?

    Well I’ll just assume, that those who did it, knew what they were doing, and exactly what they were measuring. I for one, am not comfortable in the spectral range from about 4 microns, at the near end of the useful solar spectrum, to about the one cm part of the radio spectrum, and making measurements in that range from the surface to tens of km alitudes, is not something I would want to tackle.

  77. George E. Smith says:

    “”"”" Christopher Game says:

    September 7, 2011 at 4:22 PM

    Dr Spencer writes: “I hate to say it, but we need some sharper tools in our shed than we have right now.”

    The sharper tools needed involve the use of a second dynamically determined internal state variable and of some information from the effect of an external driver. Christopher Game “”"”"

    I’m not a betting man, but if I was, and being somewhat familiar with Dr Spencer’s style and wit, I would lay odds, that his “sharper tools in the shed”, refers to some more capable scientific minds to work on these problems, than the selection of persons currently working on them.

    I’m certainly not a candidate for any such endeavour; my quantum mechanics stopped well short of any level of practical usability. When Newtonian Mechanics starts to break down; preumably at something less than atomic radius dimensions, and ordinary electrostatic theory, and Maxwell’s equations for electromagnetic radiation, and antenna theory no longer suffice to explain radiative observations, then I bow out in a hurry.

    Explaining thermal emissions (Planckian radiation) from neutral monatomic or homo-diatomic molecules, with classical Physics, is something I would prefer to leave to the PhDs. But I have finally discovered a Physics Nobellist, who I am sure has that at his fingertips; and next time I see him, I intend to pick his inestimable brains on the subject.

  78. Christopher Game says:

    Responding to the post of George E. Smith of September 8, 2011 at 1:04 AM.

    George E. Smith writes: “how clouds cause warming”.

    I am not about to propose an answer to the question of whether clouds have a positive or negative effect as “feedbacks” in the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism or in the model of Drs Spencer and Braswell. But I can offer a view about what the question means.

    The question is not concerned mainly with the effect of a cloud on the temperature of the ground underneath it.

    The question is concerned with whether the climate temperature increases or decreases the amounts of the various kinds of cloud. For example, clouds at about 1.8 km altitude reflect sunlight and their amount is a major determinant of the earth’s albedo to sunlight. (This is the main relevant effect of those clouds, though they also have an effect, less relevant here because less effective on the top-of-atmosphere energy balance, of partly closing the atmospheric window. In more detail, clouds at other altitudes may also come into it.) If those 1.8 km altitude clouds increase/decrease in extent “due to climate temperature increase”, then more/less sunlight is reflected to space and less/more absorbed by the earth-atmosphere system, and less heat enters the system. This has in general a cooling/warming effect on the climate temperature. This is what the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism calls a “negative/positive feedback” effect. The question at issue here is, broadly speaking, whether, on global average on a climatic time scale, an increase of climate temperature causes increase or decrease in the amount of 1.8 km altitude clouds. Christopher Game

  79. Christopher Game says:

    typo; it should read:

    and less/more heat enters the system.

    Christopher Game

  80. Christopher Game says:

    A priori, it is possible that this question (what is the effect of an increase of climate temperature on low cloud amount?) has no unique answer. It is a priori possible that the answer depends on how the increase of climate temperature is imposed on the system.

    It is an a priori assumption of the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism (an assumption that I think–correct me if I am mistaken) is accepted by Drs Spencer and Braswell, that this question does have a unique answer, that is to say that the answer does not depend on how the increase of climate temperature is imposed.

    But a priori it cannot be excluded that some means of imposing an increase of the climate temperature will see that increase have the effect of increasing the amount of low cloud while other means of doing it will have that increase of climate temperature have the effect of decreasing the amount of low cloud. In this case, of dependence on means of imposition of climate temperature increase, the IPCC “forcings and feedbacks” formalism cannot be made to work, and I think Drs Spencer and Braswell’s model cannot be made to work.

    Two different means of imposing climate temperature increase are increase are (1) by increase of atmospheric CO2 and (2) by increase of insolation, perhaps by collision of an object with the sun that would increase its brightness, or more homely, by the usual passage of the earth round its elliptical orbit, from aphelion to perihelion. It is, so far as I can work out, an a priori assumption of the present debate that these two means of climate temperature will see the same effect of the climate temperature on the amount of low cloud.

    This is of course not the same question as what effect an externally imposed increase of low cloud will have on climate temperature. It is proposed by some that such an externally imposed increase of low cloud is indeed a major player in this game. In this proposition, the external driver of the increase in low cloud amount is an effect of elementary particles impinging on the earth under solar influence. This proposal (3) provides a third means of imposed increase of climate temperature, which might a priori affect the answer to the primary question posed above, what is the effect of an increase of climate temperature on low cloud amount. Christopher Game

  81. Where Have All the Real Scientists Gone?
    The basic issue we research is not that difficult to understand. And unless a few of you physicist-types out there get involved and provide some truly independent analysis of all this, the few of us out here who are revealing why the IPCC climate models being used to predict global warming are nowhere close to having been “validated”, are going to lose this battle.

    Roy, the basic problem with that is availability of data. If all relevant datasets were online, freely available (along with the necessary metadata of course), I am sure more real experts (from neighboring disciplines) would venture into this specific field. Unfortunately it is seldom the case, so even getting usable datasets in the first place takes more time for someone coming from outside “climate science” than most people are willing to donate.

    Otherwise you are right, it is high time for a widespread audit, by people who are not directly involved in this dogfight. I mean physicists, statisticians, mathematicians, meteorologists, geologists, you name it.

    It is not the case that only people having specific training in a specific field should have a say on what counts as valid scientific practice in that field. If it were that way, we could never rule out homeopathy or astrology as sui generis scientific endeavors, because these disciplines have their own established schools, experts, methods, journals, etc. Climate science is dangerously heading in this direction, therefore a fresh look from outside is warranted indeed.

    As I see it, the climate system is obviously a heat engine, which is only radiatively coupled to its (cosmic) environment. Temperature of a tiny fraction of the celestial sphere is 5778 K, while the rest is 2.7 K – those are the relevant heat reservoirs we have, with infinite heat capacity each for all practical purposes. Now, the first thing to understand with a heat engine is its entropy processes. Paltridge had a good start in this direction, but this line of investigation is all but abandoned. It is pretty unfortunate, because the climate engine is mind-bogglingly complicated, therefore an analytic approach (pursued by computational climate models) is hopeless.

    But we have other means to approach such a system, like SOC (Self Organized Criticality), SAD (Sandpile Avalanche Dynamics), fractal geometry, MEPP (Maximum Entropy Production Principle), etc. The common trait is that they do not focus on the minute details of the system, but treat it as a whole.

    It is far from being clear how to proceed in this direction, nevertheless this is the only track that has a chance to bear fruit. With a non-linear system having an astronomical number of degrees of freedom any other approach is doomed to early failure.

    For example it is crystal clear that most of the entropy production happens in the climate system when short wave radiation gets absorbed (either in the atmosphere, at the surface or at some depth in the ocean) and is converted to heat. It is also clear that the amount of flux absorbed depends on the planetary albedo, which is not constant. But it is not clear how MEPP or some related extremum principle could control the overall value of albedo (and also the effective emissivity of the system as seen from outside).

    Anyway, the first thing to do is to actually *understand* what’s going on, by actively looking for a logical level on which the system is *understandable*.

    BTW, I am pretty sure no one actually understands a computational climate model with its million lines of code, especially if it is not structured properly, not published, not documented and the code base itself is bogus in the first place.

  82. Richard Saumarez says:

    I seem to have been shut out from commenting, but Christeopher Game’s comment on my post is utter nonsense.

    All I have said is that the formalism of the model used by S&B and D is not strictly compatible with their analysis.

    Since Christopher Game has been extraordinarily voluble on this blog, I cannot but reflect that if he spent less time posting and more time thinking, the quality of his remarks would be immeasureably improved.

  83. Pete H says:

    Dr Spencer…Keep doing what you excel at. In the end, real science will win, right or wrong. Judging by the response I guess we all know which way it will fall.

  84. Dan Pangburn says:

    Christopher Game,
    The relation between average cloud altitude and average surface temperature has been determined. As shown in the pdf made public 6/21/11 at http://climaterealists.com/index.php?tid=145&linkbox=true an increase in average cloud altitude of only 73 meters accounts for an increase of 0.3°C in average global temperature.

    The pdf made public 3/10/11 at this site shows temperature projections based on physical phenomena and historical measurements.

  85. Theodore White says:

    As the astrometeorologist who forecasted the 2009-2011 ENSO, I would like to offer congratulations to Dr. Spenser for his fine work.

    Despite the continued ideological war being waged on fine climatologists as Dr. Spenser, his work and recent findings stand as a testament to the superior quality of honest scientists who continue to work in the name of Science.

    Following in the footsteps of Kepler, Newton and Einstein, your work will be seen (and is greatly appreciated) by those of us who know that one cannot violate the laws of thermodynamics and physics in the name of careerism, ideology and greed.

    We are 110% behind you Dr. Spenser and will continue to back your fine climatological work no matter where it may lead.

    Never give in, and never give up.

    Regards,
    Theodore White, astrometeorologist.S

  86. Theodore White says:

    As the astrometeorologist who forecasted the 2009-2011 ENSO, I would like to offer congratulations to Dr. Spencer for his fine work.

    Despite the continued ideological war being waged on fine climatologists as Dr. Spencer, his work and recent findings stand as a testament to the superior quality of honest scientists who continue to work in the name of Science.

    Following in the footsteps of Kepler, Newton and Einstein, your work will be seen (and is greatly appreciated) by those of us who know that one cannot simply violate the laws of thermodynamics and physics in the name of careerism, ideology and greed.

    We are 110% behind you Dr. Spencer and will continue to back your fine climatological work no matter where it may lead.

    Never give in, and never give up.

    Regards,
    Theodore White, astrometeorologist.S

  87. Eric Rasmusen says:

    Perhaps you could submit your papers to journals in other fields, where climatologists can’t get editors fired or granted denied. A statistics journal might be appropriate, for example, or an econometrics journal. In economics, the Review of Economics and Statistics is a possibility.

    It seems your papers are notorious enough that they will get read no matter where they are published, so publishing out-of-field would not be a handicap.