Monday, July 27, 2009

McLean, de Freitas, Carter paper update

This particular news article on the McLean, de Freitas, and Carter Journal of Geophysical Research paper was fairly well-written:

Global warming view under attack

"New Zealand climate change scientists are already criticising the paper, questioning the data and the conclusions.

National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) principal climate scientist James Renwick said the international science community would be working on responses.

"This one's not going to go away in a hurry," he said.

"Regardless of what is actually said, one thing that bugs me is this is going to be held up by the standard climate change sceptics saying, `Oh, this has been published and demonstrates global warming is rubbish', and it doesn't demonstrate that at all."

New Zealand climate change scientist Jim Salinger said there was little new in the conclusions on the impact of El Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), which would not change the way most people thought about climate change.

"Others have done work showing that after increases in greenhouse gases the ENSO is the next most important factor in variability. So their result doesn't surprise me."

Salinger got that right.

Lots of good discussion at the RealClimate Friday Round-up

1 comment:

John said...

It is interesting to read the responses to the McLean et al. paper which appears in the pestigious journal "Journal of Geophysical Reasearch". For years, many people have been urging those who have taken a scientific stance against the nineteenth century Arrhenius hypotheis on Global Warming, elswhere than the main stream scientific literature, to publish artices in "peer reviewed" journals. As in previous cases, as soon as an article of this quality appears in a respectable journal, there is a plethora of shots from the hip on the internet, sometimes unfortunately being more critical of the approach by the author than giving an analysis which demonstrates an understanding of the science. It will indeed be interesting to read the next round of papers which seek to reanalyse what McLean et al. have studied and show perhaps where it is possible that their conclusions are less secure than they appear at present.

Certainly, from the fundamental physics of the effects of fourth power radiation, the "effective" temperature, the quantity which is used to define global warming, is much more dependent on the DISTRIBUTION of heat over the surface of the earth, than of the QUANTITY of heat energy held in the various storage systems of ocean, land and atmosphere. The "average" temperature of the earth system may even change in the opposite direction from that of the "effective" temperature, a feature which very few people can appreciate. Thus any natural oscillation of the oceans and atmosphere, of which there are very many examples, triggered also perhaps by variations on the sun's surface and the changes in the earth's orbital characteristics, are quite likely to have a very strong influence on the global temperature. It is this basic property of energy redistribution which the McLean paper addresses. The change in Global temperature is a corrolary to that redistribution which happens from time to time and which may take place over decadal or multidecadal periods leading to the variations in global temperatures such as those seen over the past one hundred years or so and for many thousands of years prior to that.

This paper simply challenges the other explanation for the warming between 1977 and 1998 and the flat lining and cooling thereafter. It is a scientific paper which will, and should, be addressed scientifically either on the net or in the literature in due course. Reverting to name calling and foreshadowing the future use of the results from this paper by "deniers" and "skeptics", as seems to be bothering the well known Professor Barry Brooks, an eminent biologist from Adelaide, is not the way to take up such a scientific challenge where cool heads and careful study is required if the value of this paper or otherwise, is going to be understood and subsequently recognised.
John Nicol