August 2nd, 2011
Econintersect: Roy W. Spenser and William D. Braswell, University of Alabama in Huntsville, have published a paper which presents measurements that they say indicate previous scientific results have made misdiagnosis of the effects of clouds on global temperatures. This brings into question computer climate models that made use of the previous research. According to RD Mag, the conservative Heartland Institute put out an Op Ed on the paper and that started a blogosphere tidal wave of climate change skeptics saying things like “this blasts gaping holes in global warming theory and shows that future warming will be less than feared.” Follow up:
Follow up:From RD:
At least 10 climate scientists reached by The Associated Press found technical or theoretical faults with Spencer's study or its conclusions. They criticized the short time period he studied and his failure to consider the effects of the ocean and other factors. They also note that the paper appears in a journal that mostly deals with the nuts-and-bolts of satellite data and not interpreting the climate.
"This is a very bad paper and is demonstrably wrong," said Richard Somerville, a scientist at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego. "It is getting a lot of attention only because of noise in the blogosphere."
Kerry Emanuel of MIT, one of two scientists who said the study was good, said bloggers and others are misstating what Spencer found. Emanuel said this work was cautious and limited mostly to pointing out problems with forecasting heat feedback. He said what's being written about Spencer's study by nonscientists "has no basis in reality."
Spencer himself has said some bloggers are overstating what the research found, according to RD Mag.