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1 Charles Johnson  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 8:23:39am

Dr. Roy Spencer is a creationist, and as such, his denialist opinions about global warming are totally without credibility. And I'm going to point this out every time you post another one of his ludicrous bullshit articles.

2 mkelly  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 8:37:25am

Very good Charles, don't prove the science wrong call people names. Isaac Newton was a "creationist" in that he believed in God. Would you deny F=ma? Are only atheists to be believed? Demonstrate the science wrong and stop calling people names.

3 studentpatriot  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 11:19:07am

re: #1 Charles

Satellite microwave radiances correlated with radar rain rates over land

R. W. Spencer, D. W. Martin, B. B. Hinton & J. A. Weinman

Nature 304, 141 - 143 (14 July 1983); doi:10.1038/304141a0

Does this meet the criteria of "one of his ludicrous bullshit articles"? Or are only certain opinions about AGW not kosher?

Surely there must be a dedicated website to counter Spencer's arguments?? (crickets...)

4 lostlakehiker  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 1:23:51pm

Here's a thought. Take a look at Schmidt's paper, and take a look at Spencer's discussion page. Spencer has showy graphics, and the comments on his discussion are comments from the public at large.

Schmidt takes a more disciplined approach, piling up page after page of technical arguments that make your eyes glaze over. Then, at the end of it all, he cites dozens of other papers, all probably written in the same boring, technical style.

Hello! That's what science looks like, uncut and in the raw. Why can't Spencer take the same serious tone? It's not as though he is unaware of how it's done. His other article is written in a serious vein.

But on this CO2 thread, he puts up the pretty pictures and invites back-and-forth arguments based on thinking that took maybe a few minutes, or at most, a few hours.

When a man's being serious, he can be taken seriously at least for starters. When he's not, he's not worthy of that level of attention.

5 freetoken  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 1:34:40pm

re: #3 studentpatriot

Once again you're falling for the Spencer-double-reverse-summersault-jujitsu.

In other words, as I wrote you before, there is a big difference between refereed scientific journals and blog articles. When Spencer publishes with colleagues a scientific paper he follows, because he is required by the journal editors, the usual professional standards. However, on his blog pages and interviews he delves into writing whatever he can get away with.

So you can go ahead and search through Google Scholar and come up with all the published papers that have Spencer as an author or co-author, but that proves what I have written you before - that Spencer is a hypocrite when he claims he is being persecuted by scientists.

6 freetoken  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 1:52:01pm
Can a 3% increase be opposed by some other effect (natural forcing, statistical noise, etc.)?

This is yet another case of the innumerate American.

"3%" sounds like a small number, but in all sorts of complex systems what sounds (to the uniformed) like a small number turns out to be very critical.

For example, take finances. Let's say you're going to buy a house that costs $300,000. To qualify for a loan you have to put down $30,000. However, you only have $29,000. That's only 3% away.... yet the bank doesn't care it's "only 3%", they still won't go through with the deal. I remember when I bought my last house I needed to borrow a few dollars from a relative to make up such a difference, so I know it can happen.

Back to the proposition of the OP - besides a case of innumeracy, it is a failure to understand physics. There is no "conservation of human perceptions about percentages" in thermodynamics. Rather, there is Conservation of Energy. The changes made by adding CO2 to the atmosphere affect the flow of energy from the Earth to space, and the net temperature of the Earth's surface changes (rises in this case) while the Earth seeks equilibrium with the space surrounding it.

Spencer's web article is just another attempt (there are many) for him to publish his view (rejected by his peers) that the positive feedbacks of doubling CO2 in our atmosphere are trivially small. His examples are chosen to mislead, also. His distinction between "natural" and man-added CO2 is artificial.

7 studentpatriot  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 4:58:11pm

re: #6 freetoken

I'll try to state my question another way - IF Spencer's claim of CO2 doubling at the end of the century causes ONLY a 3% "enhancement of the Earth’s greenhouse effect" is correct (I don't know that it is), THEN is that a small enough percentage to disappear into the noise of the climate system, OR be opposed by some sort of forcing mechanism he describes?

Also, per comment number 5:

So you can go ahead and search through Google Scholar and come up with all the published papers that have Spencer as an author or co-author, but that proves what I have written you before - that Spencer is a hypocrite when he claims he is being persecuted by scientists.

The reason I picked Spencer's Nature article (which also got the cover, btw), was in refutation of Charles' assertion (comment 1) that Spencer publishes "bullshit articles". If you cured cancer tomorrow, it would be published in the journals Nature or Science, or both. And make the cover.

I don't care if Spencer is being persecuted or not. It's irrelevant.

8 lostlakehiker  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 6:48:38pm

re: #7 studentpatriot

I'll try to state my question another way - IF Spencer's claim of CO2 doubling at the end of the century causes ONLY a 3% "enhancement of the Earth’s greenhouse effect" is correct (I don't know that it is), THEN is that a small enough percentage to disappear into the noise of the climate system, OR be opposed by some sort of forcing mechanism he describes?

Also, per comment number 5:

The reason I picked Spencer's Nature article (which also got the cover, btw), was in refutation of Charles' assertion (comment 1) that Spencer publishes "bullshit articles". If you cured cancer tomorrow, it would be published in the journals Nature or Science, or both. And make the cover.

I don't care if Spencer is being persecuted or not. It's irrelevant.

Not ALL of what Spencer publishes is BS. But THIS one, the one we're talking about, on CO2 forcing etc., is BS.

9 freetoken  Sat, Sep 11, 2010 10:45:48pm

re: #7 studentpatriot

To even use the phrase "3% "enhancement of the Earth’s greenhouse effect"" without explaining what is really meant by the phrase is itself an indication that Spencer simply out to impress readers who don't know much about the subject.

The Schmidt paper discusses, among other things, "Radiative Forcing", which is the actual physics concept (not percentages!). As Schmidt points out that

[...] the term 'radiative forcing' has been used differently by different authors.

The important point that Spencer wants you to ignore, and why Spencer writes:

I claim what we should be interested in is the relative size of our enhancement of the greenhouse effect, rather than how much of the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect is due to CO2. The latter question really proves nothing about how much effect adding MORE CO2 to the atmosphere will have.


is to change the conversation away from the "natural" climate changes in the past. Because, when one studies these past changes the obvious conclusion which has been reached (at least in regards to past several million years) is that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does indeed bring about positive feedbacks that amplifies what just CO2 alone does via radiation.

But Spencer doesn't want to delve into the topic of paleoclimatology because then Spencer wouldn't have much of an argument.

That blog entry by Spencer really offers nothing new but it does intend to keep his supporters happy, but he does so by simply offering up red herrings (e.g. Venus).

Again, and you keep failing at grasping this (which is why you don't understand Charles' comment) - Spencer will write on his blog whatever he can and will, but not everything he writes on his blogs or guest editorials will pass muster with peer reviewed science papers.

10 studentpatriot  Mon, Sep 13, 2010 5:44:03am

re: #9 freetoken

I think Spencer also challenges this point:

is to change the conversation away from the "natural" climate changes in the past. Because, when one studies these past changes the obvious conclusion which has been reached (at least in regards to past several million years) is that increasing CO2 in the atmosphere does indeed bring about positive feedbacks that amplifies what just CO2 alone does via radiation.

He believes that studies correlating past CO2 increases with increasing temperature provide some evidence for CO2-induced climate change, but that more recent, comprehensive studies done in the past fifty years may add more nuance to AGW - feedbacks, forcing, etc.

I take Spencer as a serious climate scientist that regularly publishes papers of high impact, and am unwilling to dismiss his papers or blog posts as trivial.


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