[ RadSafe ] RE: extremism

Gary Damschen gary at pageturners.com
Sat Mar 24 21:16:52 CDT 2007

I haven't seen any response to my earlier request for comments on the theory
presented at


by Dr. Roy Spencer. Since it deals directly with the current topic of this
thread, I'm reposting the request.

On his site, Dr. Spencer argues that the hard data (actual satellite
measurements) do not support the generally accepted hydrologic cycle with
respect to the behavior of water vapor in response to warming. He makes the
case that precipitation (not evaporation) controls atmospheric water vapor
concentrations and temperatures, not the other way around. He also argues
that the dismissal of the poorly understood role of precipitation processes
in regulating global temperatures may be leading us to false conclusions
about the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the climate
and that the climate models being used to forecast global warming have the
effects of water vapor backwards - that observation of actual water vapor
behavior indicates that it provides *negative* feedback to increased
temperatures, not the positive feedback used in the models.

Now, I know this flies in the face of GW orthodoxy, but it seems to me he
makes a plausible case. And if his case is plausible, then it seems like we
need to focus on understanding the effects of precipitation cycles on global
climate a LOT better before we spend any more time researching and/or
proposing shooting millions of tiny mirrors into the atmosphere to reflect
sunlight back into space, or creating giant CO2 sequestration systems, or
any of the other wild ideas that seem to be floating about these days.

Please understand that I am not saying that conservation is a bad thing. I
think that it is prudent to make the best use we can of the resources we
have to make life better for as many people as possible. However, banning
incandescent light bulbs and mandating fluorescents with resultant mercury
disposal problems, or mandating higher CAFE standards with resultant traffic
fatality increases because of lighter vehicle construction, or refusing
loans to third world countries if they won't use "green" power sources that
won't meet their needs are the wrong answers to the problems.
I've tried to keep an open mind as I have researched the evidence for and
against anthropogenic global warming (AGW). From what I can see, there are
enough things we do not know about how the Earth's climate is regulated,
enough instances where observed climate behavior does not match model
predictions, that if we are really honest about what we do and don't know,
we have to admit we are nowhere near being able to conclusively state that
the warming observed over the last 20 years or so is man-caused. At best,
this appears to still be a belief issue, like a heliocentric solar system,
or bacterial causes for ulcers, or plate tectonics were until
experimentation and observation provided sufficient evidence to back the
theories that they became accepted as fact. What bothers me is that somehow
current AGW theory has become the "unquestionable truth" - all dissent is
disallowed and all dissenters must be publicly humiliated and punished.
Don't buy into the theory? Your professional credentials should be revoked,
your funding sources questioned, and your personal integrity impugned. What
happened to continuously testing hypotheses, constantly trying to falsify
theories as Einstein did with his own theories? Now, it seems that if the
data don't fit the model, toss the nonconforming data as "outliers" and
ridicule anyone with the audacity to point out the discrepancies.

Sorry for the rant, I may have gotten cranky as I've gotten older. I'm just
saddened that Science, which I dearly love, seems to be losing its
reasonableness on this issue.



... They clearly understand that water vapor needs warmer 
atmospheric temperatures in order to increase in concentration. So it is 
not the water vapor that is causing the rise in temperatures. It is the 
increase in temperature that may be causing the increase in water vapor. 
Which brings us back to CO2 causing the increase in atmospheric temps. 
causing an increase in the amount of water vapor, which as we agree is a 
greenhouse gas. So maybe it is contributing to the problem. But only 
because it is a by-product of the original problem man-made CO2 being 
dumped into the atmosphere.


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