Monday, January 11, 2010

Clouds Dominate CO2 as a Climate Driver Since 2000: Dr Roy Spencer

Dr Spencer has posted a summary of how the satellite-observed variations in Earth’s radiative budget compare to that expected from increasing carbon dioxide on his website. Dr Spencer is a climatologist and former NASA scientist who is widely published.

He compares his satellite data to the IPCC view of inferred forcing assuming high climate sensitivity. His article specifically addresses the zero net warming recorded in the last decade. AGW models cannot explain this lack of warming. Spencer concludes his analysis as follows:

What this Might Mean for Global Warming

The main point I am making here is that, no matter whether you assume the climate system is sensitive or insensitive, our best satellite measurements suggest that the climate system is perfectly capable of causing internally-generated radiative forcing larger than the “external” forcing due to increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Low cloud variations are the most likely source of this internal radiative forcing. It should be remembered that the satellite data are actually measured, whereas the CO2 forcing (red lines in the above graphs) is so small that it can only be computed theoretically.

The satellite observed trend toward less energy loss (or, if you prefer, more energy gain) is interesting since there was no net warming observed during this time. How could this be? Well, the satellite observed trend must be due to forcing only since there was no warming or cooling trend during this period for feedback to act upon. And the lack of warming from this substantial trend in the forcing suggests an insensitive climate system. If one additionally entertains the possibility that there is still considerable “warming still in the pipeline” left from increasing CO2, as NASA’s Jim Hansen claims, then the need for some natural cooling mechanism to offset and thus produce no net warming becomes even stronger. Either that, or the climate system is so insensitive to increasing CO2 that there is essentially no warming left in the pipeline to be realized. (The less sensitive the climate system, the faster it reaches equilibrium when forced with a radiative imbalance.)

Any way you look at it, the evidence for internally-forced climate change is pretty clear. Based upon this satellite evidence alone, I do not see how the IPCC can continue to ignore internally-forced variations in the climate system. The evidence for its existence is there for all to see, and in my opinion, the IPCC’s lack of diagnostic skill in this matter verges on scientific malpractice.

Note the concluding paragraph. Just keep repeating “the science is settled”. As Spencer and many other qualified and highly respected scientists are showing, the science is never settled. When you hear a statement being made like that one needs to be instantly cautious and, dare I say it, skeptical.

Refer to Dr Spencer's site for the full article.

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