Heh! I guessed right about clouds

In the update to my post yesterday about the cloud research that has recently been giving Warmists uncontrollable erections, I guessed that the direction of cause was not clear. Physicist Lubos Motl discusses the study briefly below and also ends up with that point


Amy Clement, a sexy climate employee, and two of her less sexy colleagues have published a very different paper in the July 24th issue of Science:

They argue that the clouds themselves are actually a positive feedback. That would be counterintuitive from an atmospheric viewpoint. But more importantly, it also contradicts what the models say - because the models may claim that the total feedback is positive but they don't say that clouds themselves are a positive term.

What methods do they use to achieve their unusual conclusion?
Using observational data collected over the last 50 years and complex climate models, the team has established that low-level stratiform clouds appear to dissipate as the ocean warms, indicating that changes in these clouds may enhance the warming of the planet.

Well, they use some data but also "complex models". It's clearly a basic logical error to try to show that the models represent a feature of the climate incorrectly, while using the same models to derive this conclusion.

In other words, Lindzen's and Choi's paper shows that the combination "reality and models" is logically inconsistent, so one can derive anything - both correct and incorrect statements - from such an inconsistent set of axioms. Whatever you derive is therefore inevitably untrustworthy.

So it's not a "stunner", as Science claims. The Clement et al. paper is rather another example of the same stupidity that we have already gotten used to. The models will first have to be fixed - especially when it comes to the cloud-temperature interactions - and only when this job is done, they can be used to derive new sensible predictions and retrodictions about the cloud-temperature relationships.

Moreover, the Clement et al. paper really tried to study a small region in the Northeast Pacific whose cloud dynamics could be very different from the whole globe. So it would be another mistake to think that the paper would tell us something about the global climate, even if it were correct.

Also, the paper doesn't quite resolve the question which is the cause and which is its effect. We may summarize it: just forget Clement et al., it's irrelevant crap.


Even according to the IPCC, the earth's temperature over the entire 20th century rose by little more than one half of one degree -- which is tiny. We all experience much greater temperature changes every day. So projecting a similar rise into the 21st century would be most unexciting and non-alarming -- which would never do for the Warmists.

Warmists rely very heavily therefore on prophecies that such a small rise could be magnified into something much bigger by feedback mechanisms. And these feedback mechanisms are known collectively as the climate "sensitivity". But the degree of sensitivity they need to use in their models to produce anything even half-alarming needs to be high. So they assume that it is high. More and more, however, objective measurements of what the earth's climate sensitivity actually is are becoming available, and they all show that the sensitivity of the climate is much less that what the Warmists need to assume. The Lindzen paper mentioned above is an example of actual observations being used to calibrate climate sensitivity -- with a result that shows sensitivity as being nothing like what the Warmists require. -- JR

Posted by John Ray. For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see TONGUE-TIED. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me (John Ray) here

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