Saturday, July 30, 2011

Hot Stuff

When I first read this article the other day, titled "New NASA Data Blow Gaping Hole In Global Warming Alarmism," I had a couple of thoughts. The central claim was:
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth’s atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted, reports a new study in the peer-reviewed science journal Remote Sensing. The study indicates far less future global warming will occur than United Nations computer models have predicted, and supports prior studies indicating increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide trap far less heat than alarmists have claimed.

Among my thoughts were, 1) Well, this is in Forbes Magazine, hardly a bastion of scientific realism. 2) I wonder who this Spencer guy is (the author of the reported study. 3) If it's true, it's significant. 4) Either way, the right-wing scream machine will be all over it. 5) Given what I've read for the past decades, I'm betting it's not what it seems. 6) If I'm wrong -- if it's all wrong --I'll be really at sea.

So -- hang onto your hats! -- it turns out author Spencer has a bit of a credibility problem:

The first author of this work is Roy Spencer — one of the extremely few climate scientists who denies human-caused climate change, so more on him in a moment — and his work has been shown to be thoroughly wrong by mainstream climate scientists.

Stephanie Pappas at LiveScience contacted several climate scientists about Spencer’s paper, and their conclusions were quite harsh. They say Spencer’s model is "unrealistic", "flawed", and "incorrect". As ThinkProgress points out, a geochemist has shown that Spencer’s models are irretrievably flawed, "don’t make any physical sense", and that Spencer has a track record in using such flawed analysis to draw any conclusion he wants.

[UPDATE: RealClimate now has a post tearing apart the science and methodology of Spencer's paper as well.]

And given the above, the following was predictable:
... Spencer is a big supporter of Intelligent Design. ... Heck, even a conservative judge ruled it to be [bogus] in the now-famous Dover lawsuit. Anyone who dumps all of biological science in favor of provably wrong antiscience should raise alarm bells in your head, and their claims should be examined with an even more skeptical eye.

Guess we'll be seeing the admissions of error on the right-wing blogs and Fox "news" any minute now.

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