2011-09-05 23:22:16Dr. Andrew Dessler's New Paper Debunks Both Roy Spencer And Richard Lindzen
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.93.232.202

Post is here. Gotta go to a funeral tomorrow, so don't have time to refine it any further, and won't be around to publish.

JC/Dana- amend, or incorporate others suggestions, as you see fit. 

Dr. Andrew Dessler's New Paper Debunks Both Roy Spencer And Richard Lindzen

2011-09-06 01:03:25
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
188.152.84.242

Spencer's choice of the models was based on their sensitivity, which is not appropiate for several reasons. I haven't read Dessler's paper and I don't know how deep he went into this; anyway, you should add a few words on Spencer's choice in the text.

2011-09-06 01:29:31
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21
True Riccardo. I'll make a note of that and a few other small changes. Good post though Rob. I'll also draft up a follow-up post with the various rebuttal updates today, if I have time.
2011-09-06 01:51:48Suggestions
John Hartz
John Hartz
john.hartz@hotmail...
50.15.143.172

In order to drive home the fact that Andrew Dressler is a reputable climate scientist, change the headline to read: "Dr. Andrew Dressler... 

Transpose the first and second paragraphs. The power-point of the article is that Dressler published a paper, not that Spencer and Linzen are reknowned skeptics.    

 

2011-09-06 02:33:30
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.27

The writing assumes a very high degree of ability to understand the implications of graphs!

 

- "The idea is, if the change in surface temperature over that 2000-2010 period is a result of changes in cloud cover, and changes of the surface temperature associated with the ocean warming is small, then changes in cloud cover are driving the present warming."

=> "The idea is, if the change in surface temperature over that 2000-2010 period is affected by changes in cloud cover, but changes of the surface temperature associated with the ocean warming are small, then changes in cloud cover must be driving the present warming."

- "Because their are no existing datasets for two of the terms in their equation (heating of the climate by the ocean & change in cloud cover allowing heat to escape to space), these have to be generated from other observations, and rely heavily on assumptions about the size of these values."

=>  "Because there are no existing measurements for two of the terms in their equation (heating of the climate by the ocean & change in cloud cover allowing heat to escape to space), Lindzen and Spencer guess them from other observations, and their results rely heavily on assumptions about the size of these values."

- "Even a cursory examination of the plots, shows that Spencer/Braswell appear to have deliberately chosen both observational data and model runs that show the least agreement with each other. The inclusion of of other surface temperature datasets, and all climate model runs, change the results entirely."

=> I guess what is being said is that the blue curve is more different from the bundle of black lines than the red line is. I would say it more like this: "Lindzen and Spencer have presented only the blue curve and a selected subset of the simulation results (the crossed" black lines), which are coincidentally the farthest from each other. A more straightforward presentation would have included the red curve and the "uncrossed" black lines as well, which are much closer together. But no point in letting objectivity stand in the way of a good story, right?"

(Although, to be honest, there is still plenty of difference between the observations and the simulations. Got anything stronger?)

- "It is, however, a pleasant change to find the skeptic debunking being carried out a climate scientist, publishing in the peer-reviewed literature."

=> "Usually these are not considered to be of a sufficient degree of competence to deserve the effort of a detailed rebuttal in the peer-reviewed literature, so we have to thank Dessler for taking the trouble to submit a paper to Geophysical Review Letters."

 

- Don't "Dr" Dessler unless you also "Dr" Lindzen and Spencer. Looks petty.

2011-09-06 02:33:35
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Hi Rob,

I'll try and have a look at this tonight-- I'm (hopefully) going gliding today.

Just something to keep in mind-- Roy and yet another blog post up on this-- playing the martyr/victim card.  More important though is this claim (and others):

"My conclusion is that it is still one damn fine and convincing paper. The evidence verges on being indisputable."

The man is not even willing to consider that he has it all wrong. 

Re "his" model:

"They claim the model we used was “bad” (even though it is commonly used in many previous studies, and recommended to us by one of the leading climate modelers in the world), and that is was “tuned” to match the data. The last claim is absolutely hilarious, since the more complex climate models they use are constantly being re-tuned by small armies of scientists in efforts to get them to better agree with the observed behavior of the climate system."

Can he really, honestly be that dumb?  Bickmore and Smith showed that the tunewd values were not physical and outside of the accepable parameter space for said parameters.  Besides, Spencer is continuing to rely on Tu Quoque arguments, also forgetting that there are correct and incorrect ways to "tune" models, his way being a good example of the incorrect way.

2011-09-06 02:49:13
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.27

I just read Spencer's latest. Some quotes:

" What is particularly frustrating in all this is the lack of people who are willing to actually read our papers and examine the evidence. Most, if not all, of our critics could not even explain what we have shown with the evidence. They simply assume we must be wrong...

They claim the model we used was “bad” (even though it is commonly used in many previous studies, and recommended to us by one of the leading climate modelers in the world), and that is was “tuned” to match the data..."

 

This reinforces my feeling that the explanation concerning the blue/red and black curves needs to be much clearer. We owe to our readers a very clear and explicit explanation of what Spencer is doing wrong. He should have nowhere to hide.

2011-09-06 03:06:28
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21

I made some edits, and neal's edits, and sent along to Dessler for a review if he has time.

2011-09-06 03:24:47
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Neal,

Excellent points.  Roy is very likely setting himself up for an even harder fall, let us not give him any wiggle room.

2011-09-06 06:09:42
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249

Some nits and typos:

I don't think the "Dr" is needed in the title and it seems unfair not to give the same title to the Spencer et al.

Andrew Dessler, a climate scientist at Texas A&M University has released a Add a comma after "University"

Tipping reality on it's head Make that "its"

Lindzen and Spencer guess them from other observations Is "guess" justified here or would "estimate" be fairer? (I haven't read the Dessler paper and my memory of S&B is, well, cloudy.)

The Red lines No need for a cap on "red"

In the figure caption, there is no explanation of what the colored, shaded areas are.

 

Otherwise, it's great.

It is gratifying that SkS is being "used" for this kind of outreach and amplification of new papers. This shows that the scientific community considers us a reliable source of commentary and acknowledges that this site has an impact through its readership.

2011-09-06 06:11:38Musing on Roy Spencer's psyche
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191
I find Spencer's reaction somewhat fascinating, particularly his "one damn fine and convincing paper" comment. Over time, Wendy and I have developed a theory of "Awesome Dad Syndrome" (ADS). Now admittedly, we're working from a statistical pool of two (my dad and her dad) but what we've observed is older guys, utterly fixed in their views, completely unable to admit any fault and absolutley convinced of their own awesomeness. Sufferers of ADS habitually subject people (namely friends and family) to anecdotes demonstrating how awesome they've been throughout their lives.

Roy Spencer seems a classic, textbook case of Awesome Dad Syndrome.

2011-09-06 06:18:01
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.37.27

It's a pity we don't have time to take apart his reasoning in excruciating detail.

2011-09-06 06:21:13BTW, great post
John Cook

john@skepticalscience...
123.211.208.191
Like all the interlinking in the blog post. am going to create a short URL for Spencer and make your links to Spencer and Lindzen the short URLs. It's all about making it easier for people to find and link to our info. Great work, Rob, many thanks!
2011-09-06 08:33:44comments from Dessler
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21

Dessler responded very quickly with comments.  Problem is they're in Word with .docx, which I can't view on my laptop.  Anybody got a Word 2007 or 2010 and want to take a gander?  If so, let me know and I'll forward them.

2011-09-06 08:40:30
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
65.95.187.30

I'll take a look and could reformat I think. redoxneversleeps@gmail.com

2011-09-06 08:50:55
grypo

gryposaurus@gmail...
173.69.6.13

http://www.microsoft.com/download/en/details.aspx?id=3

 

Dana, download above.  Should convert automatically after that.

2011-09-06 09:40:09
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21
Thanks guys. John converted it for me, so I should be good to go.
2011-09-06 10:25:27
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
65.95.187.30

Good post.

Interesting quote that I stumbled on in forcing myself to glance over Spencer, Braswell 2011. They say, on page 4:

"If D10 is correct that radiative forcing can be neglected (N(t) ≈ 0), then satellite observed radiative variations would be dominated by feedback rather than forcing, and one should be able to diagnose feedback through regression of radiative variations against temperature variations."

"D10" is Dessler 2010, and "N(t)" is basically Spencer's internal (natural) radiative focing term (i.e. clouds).

Now, in D10, I believe Dessler was taking the orthodox view that clouds were a feedback and that their effect - as a positive or negative feedback - would be reflected in the energy budget equation as part of the climate sensitivity parameter ( λ ).

But in Spencer's topsy turvy world, clouds are supposed to be significant radiative forcing on their own (and also a small feedback, go figure...). But, in the quote above he says that IF you could show that N(t) ≈ 0, then you CAN use the TOA radiation regressed against temperature and "diagnose feedback".

The only reason I am highlighting this is that this is exactly what Dessler has essentially done in the current paper (where he shows that the radiative forcing term is ~ 1/20th the "ocean forcing" term).

To me it reads like Spencer is in a position like "I disagree with X. However, if you could show that N(t) can be neglected, then X. Now, you have shown that N(t) can be neglected. Therefore,... D'Oh!!!!"

Just found it amusing that the damning implications are essentially written by Spencer himself.

2011-09-06 10:29:03
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21

Yeah rust actually Dessler made that same point in the paper, although he didn't calculate the feedback/sensitivity.  But he said he had shown it could be done.  I didn't quite follow that point, but reading your comment, it makes sense now.

2011-09-06 13:51:34
rustneversleeps
George Morrison
george.morrison2@sympatico...
99.233.38.61
Just noodling again, me in the role of Captain Obvious, probably. But another fascinating line in Dessler's present paper is: "To calculate λ∆Ts, I assume that λ is between 1 and 6 W/m^2/K." On first reading this, I just took it at face value - ok, those were his assumptions - but looking closer it seems to me this implies that this result is robust across a VERY wide range for "climate sensitivity".... This is all but a footnote on the larger picture, but I think one Roy Spencer is not going to be a happy camper...
2011-09-06 17:04:17
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.54.170

Just got back - long trip! Thanks for tidying that up guys, much better (except for the shitty graph scribbles - I'll see if I can tidy that up before publication, but no guarantees)

2011-09-06 17:20:26
Andy S

skucea@telus...
66.183.179.249
The paper is now out http://www.agu.org/journals/gl/papersinpress.shtml
2011-09-06 20:27:28
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

I can publish this if it's ready, then.  Rob?

2011-09-06 21:09:33
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.54.170

Yooper, hang on mate, I'll update the graphic.

2011-09-06 21:15:14
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Cool; by your command...

2011-09-06 21:23:21
Rob Painting
Rob
paintingskeri@vodafone.co...
118.92.54.170

Huh?, I thought Dana was the cylon? Oh, I see, he's a skinjob and you're the old toaster variety. Got it.

Yup, updated & linked to AGU release (cheers Andy). Good to go Yooper.  

Note the AGU summary points:

-Clouds are not causing climate change

-Observations are not in disagreement with models on this point

-Previous work on this is flawed

-Ouch!!!!

2011-09-06 21:39:32
Daniel Bailey
Daniel Bailey
yooper49855@hotmail...
97.83.150.37

Published.

 

The "send to subscribers" seems to be disabled.

2011-09-07 01:12:20
Riccardo

riccardoreitano@tiscali...
188.152.84.212

It's worth reading Scott Mandia post and listen to Dessler short video.

2011-09-07 01:36:58
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
68.6.117.21

"Previous work on this is flawed"

Nice :-)

2011-09-07 02:39:09
Albatross
Julian Brimelow
stomatalaperture@gmail...
199.126.232.206

Sorry that I was not able to contribute more on this everyone--I wanted to review this last night but friend spontaneously invited us over for diinner.  Hmm, that sounds self centred, of course you don't require my input!

Anyhow, FWIW, the post reads very well.