2011-01-03 07:55:43couple of blog post.rebuttal ideas
Dana Nuccitelli

Weather is not climate

By far the most common skeptic argument we're seeing these days on Yahoo Answers is the typical winter argument - "it's cold where I live therefore global warming is wrong".  It's especially prevalent right now because parts of Europe and North America are experiencing a particularly cold winter, due to Arctic air being pushed to the south.  In researching the 'scientists predicting global cooling' post, i found an article discussing that a warming Arctic will shift wind patterns, pushing cold air to the south, causing some cold and snowy winters in these regions.  I know there have also been studies showing that in the USA we have more snow storms in winter during hotter years.

We do have a cold weather rebuttal with basic and intermediate levels which focuses on the frequency of hot vs. cold weather records.  So perhaps we could make an advanced level which talks about hot vs. cold records and then adds a section on snow in warmer years and warming Arctic shifting winds.  It wouldn't hurt to add a section on "weather isn't climate, dummy!".

Water Vapor feedback

I've also noticed that we haven't done a whole lot on the water vapor feedback.  Roy Spencer has argued that the absence of the tropical troposphere 'hot spot' "could be an indirect indication of little (or even negative) water vapor feedback in nature".

John has done a rebuttal on specific humidity.  But one problem is that because "humidity" is used in the title, when looking for a rebuttal to "water vapor feedback low [or negative]", it's a little hard to find.  Another issue is that it focuses on specific humidity, whereas for the water vapor feedback, you want to know about relative humidity.

Dessler and Sherwood did a good summary paper on the recent progress in determining the water vapor feedback.  It has tons of good references which could be used to write a solid rebuttal.  The question then is whether to add it to the existing humidity rebuttal (perhaps as an advanced version), or to create an entirely new rebuttal, for example "water vapor feedback is small or negative".  I'd suggest the latter, since the existing humidity rebuttal focuses on specific humidity.  Plus we could also incorporate the 'missing hot spot' argument Spencer makes to differentiate it further from the specific humidity rebuttal.


So I thought I'd put those ideas out there to see if anyone has any comments or feedback.  If somebody else wants to tackle these subjects, feel free.  Otherwise I'll probably get to them in the next couple weeks.  I guess the weather rebuttal would be the higher priority, since the "my weather is cold" argument is so prevalent right now.

2011-01-03 10:08:04Temperature Records
Robert Way

How about a post evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of the different temperature measurement techniques?
2011-01-03 17:12:41Weather rebuttal
John Cook


I did a rebuttal after the 2009 cold winter:


It's a bit of a clunky rebuttal though - a new rebuttal addressing cold winters in general is a good idea. We can either adapt the existing rebuttal or add a new one - whichever you think is more important.

2011-01-03 23:18:48Water vapor feedback
James Wight

The rebuttal to "Water vapor is the most powerful greenhouse gas" does discuss the water vapor feedback.
2011-01-04 04:05:56adaptations
Dana Nuccitelli

The winter rebuttal is pretty good, John.  I think we could adapt it pretty easily by renaming it "cold winter weather disproves global warming", or something similar.  Having 2009-2010 in the name makes it a bit too specific.  But it's a good start to the rebuttal, to which we can add some of the issues I discussed above.

Likewise the rebuttal linked by James is a good start to water vapor as a positive feedback, but it would still be nice to bring it more up to date with recent research.  And it would be good to have a rebuttal specifically addressing the argument that water vapor is a small or negative feedback.