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Thread: Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast

  1. #1

    Climate Change Debunked? Not So Fast

    New research suggesting that cloud cover, not carbon dioxide, causes globalwarming is getting buzz in climate skeptic circles. But mainstream climate scientists dismissed the research as unrealistic and politically motivated.

    "It is not newsworthy," Daniel Murphy, a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) cloud researcher, wrote in an email to LiveScience.

    The study, published July 26 in the open-access online journal Remote Sensing, got public attention when a writer for The Heartland Institute, a libertarian think-tank that promotes climate change skepticism, wrote for Forbes magazine that the study disproved the global warming worries of climate change "alarmists." However, mainstream climate scientists say that the argument advanced in the paper is neither new nor correct. The paper's author, University of Alabama, Huntsville researcher Roy Spencer, is a climatechange skeptic and controversial figure within the climate research community.

    "He's taken an incorrect model, he's tweaked it to match observations, but the conclusions you get from that are not correct," Andrew Dessler, a professor of atmospheric sciences at Texas A&M University, said of Spencer's new study.

    Spencer's research hinges on the role of clouds in climate change. Mainstream climate researchers agree that climate change happens when carbon dioxide traps heat from the sun in the atmosphere, much in the same way that a windshield traps solar heat in a car on a sunny afternoon. As the planet warms, a side effect is more water vapor in the atmosphere. This water vapor, known to most of us as clouds, traps more heat, creating a viscous loop. [Earth in Balance: 7 Crucial Tipping Points]

    Spencer sees it differently. He thinks that the whole cycle starts with the clouds. In other words, random increases in cloud cover cause climate warming. The cloud changes are caused by "chaos in the climate system," Spencer told LiveScience.

    In the new paper, Spencer looked at satellite data from 2000 to 2010 to compare cloud cover and surface temperatures. His comparisons of his data with six Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) models showed, he said, that the models are too sensitive (meaning some variables, such as warming, increase at the slightest change in other factors) and that carbon dioxide is not likely to cause much warming at all.

    However, no climate scientist contacted by LiveScience agreed.

    "I cannot believe it got published," said Kevin Trenberth, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

    Several researchers expressed frustration that the study was attracting media attention.

    "If you want to do a story then write one pointing to the ridiculousness of people jumping onto every random press release as if well-established science gets dismissed on a dime," Schmidt said. "Climate sensitivity is not constrained by the last two decades of imperfect satellite data, but rather the paleoclimate record."

    Spencer agreed that his work could not disprove the existence of manmade global warming. But he dismissed research on the ancient climate, calling it a "gray science."

    LOL, so even he [Roy Spencer] admits that he didn't prove
    anything. He's only suggesting that 10 years worth of data
    might prove something counter to hundreds of thousands
    of years worth of data.

  2. #2

    Talking Where do I start

    There are many points of contention in this article and I wonder if I am doing it justice by commenting? First, Climate science is a whole different animal than that of meteorology and a short study on cloud cover. No serious scientist would even consider this speck of "information."
    Secondly, the popular conservative term "global warming alarmist" needs to be considered and given at least some kudos. For those of us who are not extreme survivalist - hiding in a remote cave somewhere, we are aware of regular scientific findings of greenhouse gases affecting the ground temperature of our planet. To what amount, tipping points and time tables vary, but consensus is there among real science.
    I'd rather have "alarmist" sounding off and nothing happening, rather than us conveniently believing nothing will happen and it does at some point that is too late (turning point).
    Plus, believing that human consumption at its present rate is unsustainable, makes for better stewards of the planet.

  3. #3
    Senior Member TomRL's Avatar
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    I suppose is progress of a sort to be arguing about causes instead of whether or not global warming exists.

    "Blessed are the pessimists, for they hath made backups." Exasperated 20:12

  4. #4
    Senior Member trekker6's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
    merritt island, florida
    the researcher is a climate change skeptic and is just promoting confusion, not to scienists but to the public, more fox fodder. We actually had some global cooling due to particulate matter reflecting the suns rays back to space, but with emissions controls we have reduced that, so we have effectively helped speed up global warming with particulate control. I used to do method 9 smoke reading for heavy industry a long time ago.
    "Would you rather reduce deficits and interest rates by raising revenue from those who are not now paying their fair share, or would you rather accept larger budget deficits, higher interest rates, and higher unemployment? And I think I know your answer." Ronald Reagan"

  5. #5
    The latest report from the IPCC is more adamant than any of its predecessors:

    Climate change is set to inflict “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” on people and the natural world unless carbon emissions are cut sharply and rapidly, according to the most important assessment of global warming yet published.
    Lord Nicholas Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics and the author of an influential earlier study, said the new IPCC report was the “most important assessment of climate change ever prepared” and that it made plain that “further delays in tackling climate change would be dangerous and profoundly irrational”.
    "Dangerous and profoundly irrational" is a forceful way of putting it but the report is fairly direct as well:

    The new overarching IPCC report builds on previous reports on the science, impacts and solutions for climate change. It concludes that global warming is “unequivocal”, that humanity’s role in causing it is “clear” and that many effects will last for hundreds to thousands of years even if the planet’s rising temperature is halted.
    The report calculates that to prevent dangerous climate change, investment in low-carbon electricity and energy efficiency will have to rise by several hundred billion dollars a year before 2030. But it also found that delaying significant emissions cuts to 2030 puts up the cost of reducing carbon dioxide by almost 50%, partly because dirty power stations would have to be closed early. “If you wait, you also have to do more difficult and expensive things,” said Jim Skea, a professor at Imperial College London and an IPCC working group vice chair.
    However, the IPCC is also optimistic that we can tackle climate change:

    “We have the means to limit climate change,” said Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). “The solutions are many and allow for continued economic and human development. All we need is the will to change.”

  6. #6
    Senior Member EAK's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
    Seems to me like they are saying it's pretty much hopeless, as far as getting everything back to normal and if we start changing things drastically now, maybe we could slow the inevitable, which is pretty much the movie Interstellar.

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