2011-09-19 09:31:59Further question for Pielke: A3: Warming is mostly due to a natural cycle ...
nealjking

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Our original question:

And do you agree with Spencer's assertion that "warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning"?

Pielke states this, and answers:

warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning“?

as you must be aware, I have expressed a different view. We have discussed this, for example, in the posts

Relative Roles of CO2 and Water Vapor in Radiative Forcing

Further Analysis Of Radiative Forcing By Norm Woods

Is The Human Input Of CO2 A First Order Climate Forcing?

My view is that warming in recent decades is the result of a combination of natural climate variations (internal dynamics, solar irradiance) and of human input of greenhouse gases, including CO2, and of aerosols such as soot. This has dominated negative human radiative forcings (e.g. sulphates).

Roy’s seminal contribution on this topic is that variations in cloud cover as a result of long-term temporal variability in atmospheric circulations can result in significant variations in the global annual average top-of-the-atmosphere radiative imbalance.  Skeptical Science should recognize this scientific achievement, even though they disagree with his political views.

Draft Response:

Based upon your statement, "as you must be aware, I have expressed a different view", we would have to infer that you do not agree with the claim by Dr. Spencer, that "warming in recent decades is mostly due to a natural cycle in the climate system — not to an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning". Do you think that it is a scientifically defensible claim, supported by the proponderance of the evidence, and appropriate as an explanation to an intelligent non-specialist citizen? A yes/no answer will suffice.

2011-09-19 13:28:10
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
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69.230.106.125

We don't necessarily have to follow up on the three As.  In fact in light of John's post, i would suggest we don't.  We know we're not going to get a straight answer from Pielke on these issues, and John's post operates under that assumption.

I would suggest we either stick with the 6 Qs, or come up with some new Qs of our own that we want to ask Pielke.  Personally I'd just stick with the 6 Qs and see where that goes.

If we do want to ask him a question, I'd stick along the lines of yours, but maybe straight up ask him how much of the warming over the past 50 years is due to anthropogenic effects, or something like that.

2011-09-19 16:45:56
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
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Fine, I'm ok with that.

2011-09-20 02:32:45Barry's comments
dana1981
Dana Nuccitelli
dana1981@yahoo...
64.129.227.4

That said, I showed the post to Barry Bickmore, and he thinks we should ask Pielke questions of our own so as not to let him dictate the direction of the conversation.  But given John's post, if we go this route, I think they should be new questions.  Here's what Barry says:

I think you guys should stick it to him by asking him more questions.  Don't let him completely control the direction of the conversation.  Here's what I' would say.

Prof. Pielke originally criticized us for noting that Christy and Spencer went about claiming the satellite data contradicted the thermometer data for over a decade, before others corrected serial errors in their calculations.  It's quite true that they were trying to do something new and eventually graciously acknowledged their mistake.  Nobody would have brought it up again, if Spencer and Christy (especially Spencer) hadn't continued with the serial errors--always in the direction of low climate sensitivity.  So if we are to be be criticized for bringing this episode up, it's not enough to say that titles like "Spencer Slip-Ups" and "Christy Crocks" are ad hominem.  (Prof. Pielke doesn't seem to have a clear idea what "ad hominem" means, in any case.  We provide detailed arguments to show that Spencer has "slipped up" any number of times, for instance.)  Pielke needs to show that we've exaggerated Spencer and Christy's subsequent string of errors.  
Take Spencer's book, The Great Global Warming Blunder, for example.  Can Prof. Pielke show that we were in error when we pointed out that Spencer had used a statistical technique that could give him any climate sensitivity he wanted, and he somehow came up with a very low climate sensitivity?  Does Prof. Pielke think we should give Spencer a pass for making up bogus statistical techniques?
Prof. Pielke brings up Spencer's "seminal" contribution showing that "variations in cloud cover as a result of long-term temporal variability in atmospheric circulations can result in significant variations in the global annual average top-of-the-atmosphere radiative imbalance."  We agree that this was an interesting contribution.  But can Pielke show that Murphy and Forster (2010) were wrong when they charged that Spencer and Braswell (2008) had used unrealistic model parameters that all biased the model system toward exaggerating the effect they described?  
Does Prof. Pielke think that Spencer and Braswell's (2011) comparison of model output to the pattern in their lag regression statistics for the data really says anything about climate sensitivity?  Can he defend Spencer and Braswell for leaving out of their results the models that did the best at mimicking the data, but had medium climate sensitivity, out of their reported results, even though they said they analyzed those models?
Roy Spencer hasn't admitted serious fault in any of those cases, no matter how blindingly obvious the mistakes were.  Since non-technical people might not be able to fully understand all these criticisms, we find it useful to bring up another instance where he made yet another mistake in the direction of low climate sensitivity, but admitted it in the end.  Whether Pielke thinks this was impolite of us, or not, we think his failure to address the other issues we brought up does belie one-sided skepticism on his part.
2011-09-20 02:48:46
nealjking

nealjking@gmail...
84.151.57.69

Could be OK if you can keep it short.