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Re: [Phys-l] Dr. Spencer meteorologist

If a religious group believes that the Earth is less than 10,000 years old, then they obviously aren't going to believe in any "long-term" trends.

From: [] On Behalf Of John Clement []
Sent: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:16 PM
To: 'Forum for Physics Educators'
Subject: Re: [Phys-l] Dr. Spencer meteorologist

Notice he is not a climatologist by degree. The meteorologists generally
are looking at short term variations. As a result many are skeptics of
global warming or human caused global warming.

The debate of course often comes about because people look at one thing and
say that explains all the data. The short term variations certainly are
much greater than the long term variations but it is possible to tease out
long term variations from the data. Meteorologists want to predict what is
going to happen tomorrow, which is a very different expertise from
predicting what will happen in 50 years.

Incidentally he is predicting cooling due to cool ocean temperatures. There
is now data that the deep oceans have warmed, so some of "missing" energy
has been found. And in 2005 his data was shown to indicate an increase in
tropospheric temperature in contradiction to what he originally claimed.
Apparently that did not phase him.

As to his credibility, he damages it by associating with the Heartland
institute which receives funds from tobacco companies and partially denies
the dangers of smoking. His religious connection is with a group that
disbelieves in global warming because of religious reasons. This also
damages his credibility. Just being a member of a church should not be
damaging to credibility, but his association leads one to believe that he
has a strong bias to disbelieve in long term human induced global warming. I
would not consider Episcopalians to be biased scientifically, for example.
If you look at the Evangelical Climate Initiative they have as a matter of
faith that there can be no long term human induced climate change. His
espousal of intelligent design is another problem with his being unbiased.
This does not necessarily mean he is wrong, but I would not place his
credibility very high. I would also place his association with Limbaugh as
damaging, but obviously others would not. I would not fault him for
criticizing Al Gore.

Remember "what you believe is what you see!"

John M. Clement
Houston, TX

Forum for Physics Educators