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Some of you may have heard of a pack of paid shills called The Heartland Institute.

These are the people whom Walmart paid to publish articles supporting Walmart's treatment of workers, and whom Philip Morris paid to bring into question any link between second hand smoking and health risks.

They are also being paid by Exxon Mobile, so it is not a surprise that one of their number, Roy Spencer, has just published a paper:

Spencer, R.W.; Braswell, W.D. On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1603-1613 (link to full PDF)

which he is heralding in press releases as disproving Global Climate Change.

Those of you who remember polynomial graphs from school will know that the more variables you're allowed to change in an equation, the easier it is to make your equation fit closely to a set of data points.  In fact, if you have the same number of variables as datapoints, you can always get an exact fit.  This is why legitimate scientists, if they use regression analysis upon a bunch of data to come up with a curve that fits it, then carry out a confirmatory analysis using different data, to double check that the fit wasn't just coincidence.

Spencer, apparently, is fond of skipping this step.  He specialises in taking the inputs he wants to be the cause of temperature records (for instance: cloud cover), then using lots and lots of free variables to combine these inputs to produce a a result that is something similar to what's been observed.

To quote one reviewer:

”Well, give me more than 30 parameters, and I can fit a trans-dimensional lizard-goat and make rainbow monkeys shoot out its rear end.”

For those who enjoy reading incredulous scientists writing in full spate, I heartily recommend reading any of the following destructions of Roy's work:

by on Jul. 29, 2011 at 11:23 AM
Replies (41-41):
by Member on Jul. 30, 2011 at 5:13 PM

I am a nurse.

I have had a keen interest in climate for over 30 years.  I live in North Dakota and we have a few extremes once in awhile.  Initially, I wanted to try to understand those extremes better.  The more I read, the more interested I became.  I would say about 25 years ago I noticed a disconnect between the open press and what the science was showing.  The open press became one of alarmism, which in effect has created millions of skeptics as what the press said was going to happen and observation of what did happen diverged.

To me, this was an extremely unfortunate event.  Then it became politicized, which was even worse.  You now have one party looking at a carbon tax as a revenue stream, the actual science be dammed.

The other party is just as bad, as conservation is extremely important and needs to be encouraged.

The southern hemisphere and the northern hemisphere are so different because of the ratio of land mass to water that it is hard to get a handle on this.  Also, the tilt of the earth is a bit different at summer and winter, so the norhtern hemisphere actually gets more direct TSI than the southern.

As to the sulfate question, yes, it has to be converted in the atmosphere to so4 if memory serves me.  And the circulation patters are important.  The sulfate/black carbon from burning of coal actually affect the Arctic greatly.  Black carbon, particulate pollution from burning coal as China and India do is the primary cause of decline in Arctic Ice levels.  Over 40% as has been published by Schmidt/Lindell in Science.

Mainly, just call me an interested layperson who takes everything with a grain of salt.  One thing I have learned in my reading is to be sure and understand the error bars.  Prof Mann has gotten really sloppy as of late.  His latest attempt in PMAS with sea levels was prob what Judith was talking about.  He totally ignored temp data from the Saragasso Sea, because it didn't fit his desired outcome.  Personally, I have relegated him to a non-performer, one who has not published a credible paper in decades.  His spliceing of data, his use of inappropriate proxy data etc make him a non credible source of information.  Dr. Spencer is also getting near the edge.  Altho, contrary to the headline on this thread, he is not paid by a special interest group.  I think he sees things, being he is one of the formost scientists when it comes to satillite data which he is doing a poor job of presenting.  I hope he keeps looking.  Dr. Hansen is also questioning why no warming as well as Prof Trenbeth.  This is good.  Prof Lindzen, prob the father of climate science has published some questionable papers as of late as well.  But as time is going on, his conclusions may be correct even tho his methodolgy left much to be desired.


As you have prob figured out, I love to read and absorb, think and try to understand to the best of my ability.


And like Judith, as a woman, I am NOT scared to call out junk science, no matter who wrote it.

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