Roy Spencer – Nova repeats old mistakes (again)

In what can only be described as a determined effort to be wrong, Nova again sings the praise of another debunked paper from Roy Spencer.

Only days ago we saw similar science from Lindzen & Choi, but it seems little was learnt by Nova.

If they had read about the Dessler paper they would have realised it address both Spencers and Lindzen & Choi’s.

Clouds not an important control of short-term surface temperatures

In two recent papers, R. W. Spencer and W. D. Braswelland R. S. Lindzen and Y.-S. Choi argued that clouds act as a primary initiator of surface temperature changes in our climate system. The authors reached this conclusion by developing a method that tries to determine the Earth’s surface temperature by calculating how much energy is stored in the ocean’s upper layers, how much of this heat is transferred to the rest of the climate system, how clouds affect the rate at which energy escapes Earth’s atmosphere, and how the surface’s energy flux changes with temperature. Both studies spurred substantial debate within the media and the public, with the research by Spencer and Braswellcausing the editor of the journal in which it was published to resign, claiming it should not have been accepted by the journal.

Investigating the two studies, Dessler finds what he suggests are a number of methodological errors. He finds that when observational data on the top-of-atmosphere energy flux and surface ocean energy storage are used in place of the approximations used in the two earlier papers, the strength of clouds in controlling surface temperatures is significantly diminished. Further, Dessler shows how a time lag between a change in cloud dynamics and a change in surface temperature (which the authors of the previous papers used to argue that clouds control the surface temperature) is more likely due to the effects of the El Niño–Southern Oscillation. Dessler shows how the specific climate models used in the earlier studiesdisplay this time delay between changing cloud behavior and changing surface temperature despite the fact that surface temperatures in these models are determined by the user, making it impossible for clouds to have had a controlling influence.

No doubt Nova will be back again sometime to repeat the same old debunked arguments.

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