A new study published in a peer-reviewed journal Remote Sensing co-authored by Dr Roy Spencershows that
NASA satellite data from the years 2000 through 2011 show the Earth's atmosphere is allowing far more heat to be released into space than alarmist computer models have predicted.Spencer said in a July 26 University of Alabama press release
HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (July 26, 2011) — Data from NASA’s Terra satellite shows that when the climate warms, Earth’s atmosphere is apparently more efficient at releasing energy to space than models used to forecast climate change have been programmed to “believe.”And further:
The result is climate forecasts that are warming substantially faster than the atmosphere, says Dr. Roy Spencer, a principal research scientist in the Earth System Science Center at The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
“The satellite observations suggest there is much more energy lost to space during and after warming than the climate models show,” Spencer said. “There is a huge discrepancy between the data and the forecasts that is especially big over the oceans.”Forbes Magazine reports:
Not only does the atmosphere release more energy than previously thought, it starts releasing it earlier in a warming cycle. The models forecast that the climate should continue to absorb solar energy until a warming event peaks. Instead, the satellite data shows the climate system starting to shed energy more than three months before the typical warming event reaches its peak.
“At the peak, satellites show energy being lost while climate models show energy still being gained,” Spencer said.
This is the first time scientists have looked at radiative balances during the months before and after these transient temperature peaks.
Applied to long-term climate change, the research might indicate that the climate is less sensitive to warming due to increased carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere than climate modelers have theorized. A major underpinning of global warming theory is that the slight warming caused by enhanced greenhouse gases should change cloud cover in ways that cause additional warming, which would be a positive feedback cycle.
UPDATE: Dr Spencer has tabulated the reation to his paper HEREThe new findings are extremely important and should dramatically alter the global warming debate.Scientists on all sides of the global warming debate are in general agreement about how much heat is being directly trapped by human emissions of carbon dioxide (the answer is "not much"). However, the single most important issue in the global warming debate is whether carbon dioxide emissions will indirectly trap far more heat by causing large increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds. Alarmist computer models assume human carbon dioxide emissions indirectly cause substantial increases in atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds (each of which are very effective at trapping heat), but real-world data have long shown that carbon dioxide emissions are not causing as much atmospheric humidity and cirrus clouds as the alarmist computer models have predicted.
Spencer, R.W.; Braswell, W.D. On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance. Remote Sens. 2011, 3, 1603-1613.
James M. Taylor is senior fellow for environment policy at The Heartland Institute and managing editor of Environment & Climate News.