the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

A Challenge to RC

Posted by Jeff Id on August 24, 2009

I just wanted to call some attention to a blog post by Dr. Pielke Sr. requesting a reply from Gavin Schmidt regarding the sensitivity of the atmosphere to night time measurements. Apparently they have concluded that the measurements sensitivity to cloud cover is imparting as much as 30% of the trend as measured from a single level (altitude) in the atmosphere.

“The stable nocturnal boundary layer does not measure the heat content in a large part of the atmosphere where the greenhouse signal should be the largest (Lin et al. 2007; Pielke et al. 2007a). Because of nonlinearities in some parameters of the stable boundary layer (McNider et al. 1995), minimum temperature is highly sensitive to slight changes in cloud cover, greenhouse gases, and other radiative forcings. However, this sensitivity is reflective of a change in the turbulent state of the atmosphere and a redistribution of heat not a change in the heat content of the atmosphere (Walters et al. 2007). Using the Lin et al. (2007) observational results, a conservative estimate of the warm bias resulting from measuring the temperature from a single level near the ground is around 0.21°C per decade (with the nighttime minimum temperature contributing a large part of this bias). Since land covers about 29% of the Earth.s surface, extrapolating this warm bias could explain about 30% of the IPCC estimate of global warming. In other words, consideration of the bias in temperature could reduce the IPCC trend to about 0.14°C per decade; still a warming, but not as large as indicated by the IPCC.”

Since Gavin is a climate modeler, Dr. Pielke went to him requesting a response to these papers of some kind. Apparently they are going unaddressed to date despite the implications of the conclusions.

Dr. Pielke left this paragraph up which implies that a non-answer is a hint of a biased scientist.

My current weblog is an invitation to them to comment on the above paragraph (either as guest weblogs or on their sites). If they ignore this request, it would further demonstrate that they are commenting outside of their expertise on the subject of our papers, and that their real goal is simply to malign papers they disagree with.

Since this is the Air Vent and one of the charters of it seems to be telling the truth, I’ll say that Gavin still clips any serious criticisms on RC. Despite his recent admission of imperfection, he is still one of the most cocky individuals I’ve never met. We’ve seen him be on both the right and wrong side of several issues now but one thing is consistent, everything he supports is centered perfectly without the slightest movement on the extremist global warming agenda. My point is that while others suspect Gavin might be only interested in maligning papers he doesn’t like for unspoken reasons that once you’ve made your mind up on something you’ve spent your life on, it’s difficult to change positions even slightly. I am open to being proven wrong on this, but it’s important that Dr. Peilke’s points be addressed rather than ignored.

Dr. Pielke’s original post is here:

The Issue That James Annan and Gavin Schmidt Should Focus On With Respect To The Klotzbach Et Al 2009 Paper

Comment’s are turned off there but of course welcome here as well as on RC if you get my meaning. You’ll probably be snipped so save ’em and post them below.

H/T Adam Gallon on WUWT thread.

11 Responses to “A Challenge to RC”

  1. Terry said

    Dr. Pielke left this paragraph up which implies that a non-answer is a hint of a biased scientist.

    There’s a serious problem with the bolded paragraph that Dr. Schmidt et al will likely latch on to…

    It should have ended “papers with which they disagree.” 🙂

  2. Terry said

    I have an extra italic end tag if anyone needs it.

  3. Jeff,

    You seriously need a spell checker!

  4. Jeff Id said


  5. Jeff Id said


  6. rephelan said

    I’m sure Dr. Pielke knows the correct way to handle infinitives; the current specimen under discussion is probably a symptom of his impatience and exasperation with the RC propretors. Nonetheless, this infinitive issue is one which Shakespeare would express disapproval with, I’m sure….

  7. Amabo said

    Some news from Norwegian scientists:
    It’s worse than the IPCC predicted.
    So now it’s worser than worse than we thought.

    Apparently nature isn’t sucking up our carbon any more, so now we’re looking at 3,5 – 4 degrees increase in temperature rather than 2 degrees.

    Also, the Antarctic and Greenland ice melt is now adding as much to annual sea level increase as melting glaciers.
    Apparently we now need to cut 85% of our emissions, rather than 50%.

    In unrelated news, it’s election time in Norway.
    Looks like the hammer is in fall…

  8. Glad to do a bit of stirring.
    Seems that the RC Preachers aren’t too good at taking up challenges from their fellow Climatologists, this is the second time Pielke Snr has slapped Schmidt in the face with the glove (
    “They, including Gavin Schmidt, have ignored this request for a scientific dialog.

    This, by itself, illustrates to all of us yet again that Real Climate (including Gavin) is not a useful inclusive resource if one wants to read about the scientifically supported views on the current issues in climate science.”

    Couldn’t have said it better myself.

  9. Jeff Id said

    Thanks again Adam. I hope RC takes a moment to respond to peer reviewed science. After all this seems to potentially represent a substantial impact on GCM’s.

  10. FrancisT said

    If you take a look at James Annan’s blog you’ll see that he, unlike Gavin, has responded. Sufficiently convincingly that I’d need to read all the papers cited and comments to see who’s right. This isn’t a simple blow off anyway. But then James Annan always seems like a sensible sort of person

  11. pete m said

    Annan’s reply does read well. I think Pielke Snr needs to have a closer look to what source he is quoting in this one.

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