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Dr. Roy Spencer on Global Warming, 'No one knows' Comments

Many of our readers have urged Catholic Online to interview Dr. Roy Spencer as a leading, qualified skeptic on the issue of anthropogenic global warming. On Monday, Marshall Connolly interviewed Dr. Spencer to hear his expert opinions on the issue. Continue Reading

11 - 20 of 69 Comments

  1. Peter Anderson
    1 year ago

    You need to realise Layzej that the effort to promote opinion and consensus in regard to a supposed CO2 warming effect is that no real effect is been observed, whilst initially the effort to support the political effort to promote 'global warming|climate change' by Anthropogenic CO2 saw many grants made available. The other word you need to mention more, it not observed part of your present lexicon, is the word anthropogenic when you mention CO2. It is not CO2 generally that the politically based claims were made of but specifically ANTHROPOGENIC CO2.
    The opinions of a 'consensus' still, after 30 years, have not shown observable and actual CO2 warming or other affect upon climate effects within the environment. Effort to cite a 'consensus' is not the equivalent of presenting actual Science, observational evidence or anything more than those devoid of such attempting to present their vote as a substitute. A scientist voting is not then behaving in any manner that deserves the title 'scientist'. CO2 can be observed to act as food for plants by those plants altering growth rate, CO2 is in this manner plant food.

  2. Peter Anderson
    1 year ago

    There is nothing to be feared in regard to atmospheric CO2, it is an essential gas. This environment was not reacting to CO2 in its warming, it is not possible for atmospheric Nitrogen and Oxygen to warm by any other means than contact conduction ...this requires those molecules to hit something already warmer (the reaching for a thermal equilibrium so often heard mentioned) and that means the planet's (generally daytime) surface or ...perhaps ...atmospheric water molecules. Please regard also...

    "Video from the EU Parliament debate: 'The man-made global warming hypothesis is dead in the water! It's face down!'"
    (http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/video-from-eu-parliament-debate-man.html)
    "In video from the lively debate yesterday in the EU Parliament, UK representative Godfrey Bloom emphatically declares, "The man-made global warming hypothesis is dead in the water! It's face down! ... We know that carbon dioxide in the atmosphere always follows periods of global warming, we know that the hypothesis that man-made global warming was going to cause totally apocryphal boiling in 2015 is now complete nonsense... There has been no statistically significant global warming now for over 15 years. There isn't a single independent scientific institution which doesn't acknowledge that fact. So all this debate is a lot of nonsense because it simply isn't happening." Bloom then asks why the Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard is in denial over these facts. ..."



    "The Sunspot Cycle"
    (http://solarscience.msfc.nasa.gov/SunspotCycle.shtml)
    "In 1610, shortly after viewing the sun with his new telescope, Galileo Galilei (or was it Thomas Harriot?) made the first European observations of Sunspots. ... The Maunder Minimum: Early records of sunspots indicate that the Sun went through a period of inactivity in the late 17th century. ... Sunspot Cycle Predictions: Although sunspots themselves produce only minor effects on solar emissions, the magnetic activity that accompanies the sunspots can produce dramatic changes in the ultraviolet and soft x-ray emission levels. These changes over the solar cycle have important consequences for the Earth's upper atmosphere. ..."

    "Current solar cycle data seems to be past the peak"
    (http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/09/current-solar-cycle-data-seems-to-be-past-the-peak/)
    "The NOAA Space Weather Prediction Center has updated their monthly graph set and it appears as if the slow downside from what looks like the solar max for cycle 24. Though, it is still possible we could see a second small peak like is visible at the upper left in cycle 23. ..."

    A scientist's 'scientific opinion' is not itself a production of Science and the warmists 'climate crusade' was, and still is, purely a production of opinion ...not Science... That is now near 35 years long. It props itself up on models run on computers that image only the opinion...not the actual environment or those real materials involved. The TESTIMONY of Dr Curry expresses no SCIENCE to support a claim of a 10C temperature rise per CO2 doubling.
    Such a rise (in kinetic temperature) is not possible and the error is been noted to you Layzej, it is a mistaking of a COLOUR TEMPERATURE (intensity or density of energy existing as photons) as being a kinetic temperature. CO2 is, in fact, forming a cascade of energy (and so altering flux density in a narrow band) that is present as PHOTONS and that is the flaw the warmists present...they would call that energy 'trapped heat'. It is not. The TESTIMONY of Dr Curry is supporting of the basis of 'no one knows', which is still the only fact the warmists can honestly present.

  3. Layzej
    1 year ago

    Hi Peter,

    You stated that "The position that 'no one knows' is the only fact that warmists can present".

    In fact, this is not my position but yours. I'm just asking you to articulate why that should make us less concerned. The person you quoted to support your position believes that warming could be as high as 10C. This is the person who you brought to the conversation to support your position.

    I do not share your view. I believe that we do in fact know. We will not see a 10C temperature rise for each doubling of CO2. Scientists have narrowed the range to something closer to 2C-4C. This is supported by basic physics and is endorsed by every scientific society and academy. - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change (regardless of what you may read on conspiracy chat forums)

  4. J. Bob
    1 year ago

    CO2 & Life's necessities

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323528404578452483656067190.html?mod=WSJ_hpp_sections_opinion

  5. Peter Anderson
    1 year ago

    There is no actual 'mainstream' science to support even a 0.5 degree increase in kinetic temperature with rise in CO2...no observational fact of such exists! There is no supportable position being shown by you layzej. The position that 'no one knows' is the only fact that warmists can present, whilst the 'physics' of 150 years ago was not 'established' at all but resurrected in the 1980's as a point of political convenience. There is no 10C degree to be ever possible, the warming pre-existed the scare and is inline of Solar behavior.
    You disregard where Dr Curry made her TESTIMONY and to whom still layzej, it is more an admission than opinion. There is no uncertainty in noting that CO2 cannot produce that warming or then that CO2 is an essential gas of this environment. For 30 years individuals, and groups, have spread hubris as you again attempt layzej, there remains no obvious problem to be made from claims of warming...none. Three decades of 'its too dangerous', 'it could still happen', 'think of the children'...but still no 'ugly warming' is reared its head.

    "NEW DISCOVERY: NASA STUDY PROVES CARBON DIOXIDE COOLS ATMOSPHERE"
    (http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/163-new-discovery-nasa-study-proves-carbon-dioxide-cools-atmosphere.html)

    "THE OLD WIVES' TALES OF CLIMATOLOGY"
    (http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/183-the-old-wives-tales-of-climatology.html)

    "CONSENSUS AND CONTROVERSY"
    (http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/178-consensus-and-controversy.html)

    "GREENHOUSE GASES CANNOT POSSIBLY CONTRIBUTE TO GLOBAL WARMING"
    (http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/184-greenhouse-gases-cannot-possibly-contribute-to-global-warming.html)

    That 150 year old 'basic' physics layzej doesn't translate all that well into a modern world of Science...hence the political effort made to support what was, and still is, a dud hypothesis with a deliberate confusion of energy of photons with a kinetic temperature. Dr Curry has no option but to back from the precipice that was opinioned...but never observed. She isn't alone in revising her opinion which, btw, is not a production of science. A scientists opinion is only that, and CO2 warming is not an observable fact of science or then within the environment.
    What can be OBSERVED is a cooling process...

  6. layzej
    1 year ago

    Hi Peter,

    You stated: "Unfortunately our risk is not reduced if our understanding of climate sensitivity is not as constrained as we believe it to be. ..." presupposes there is a risk, when there is not nor is it a valid scientific fact to suppose that (kinetic) temperature will increase in any manner with rises in CO2!

    Do you have any evidence that a 10C rise in temperature - over tripple the rise that is predicted by mainstream science - does not pose a risk? That is not a supportable position.

    You referenced Dr. Curry in support of the 'no one knows' position. You should note that even scientists like Spencer and Curry are not denying basic physics established over 150 years ago. When Curry speaks of uncertainty she is saying that the problem is not as well constrained as we believe it to be. Nothing in her recent statements contradict her range of up to 10C for a doubling of CO2. Uncertainty is not our friend here.

  7. Peter Anderson
    1 year ago

    Take notice of the previous position taken by Dr. Judith Curry, visit that individuals website. Then... "Unfortunately our risk is not reduced if our understanding of climate sensitivity is not as constrained as we believe it to be. ..." presupposes there is a risk, when there is not nor is it a valid scientific fact to suppose that (kinetic) temperature will increase in any manner with rises in CO2!
    The warming period is been shown to precede CO2 increase, temperature increase did increase, from ~0.5 to ~0.7 (per century, tween the periods 1800 - 1900 and then 1900 - 2000 ...this was mentioned in another linked article I've presented... The driving force behind that temperature change was most obviously the Sun and again since 2000 it’s the Sun's changing behavior that drives current temperature trends.
    Your effort to quote Dr Curry from 2011 then shows how now the alarm of persons attempting real science has been tempered by observations of the actual environment, you overlook Layzej that it is the actual Environment that's relevant...not computer simulations made to present opinions of warming as 'computer graphics' attached to 'reports'. CO2 cannot produce that warming, nominating it to be 'carbon' via a supposed 'carbon equivalence' is not science but word play and the warmists computer enhanced 'wordplay' is now overtly disassociated from reality.
    Notice the entire testimony of Dr Curry also, and to whom it was made Layzej. Notice that observational effort by a department of NASA presents an observable cooling process whilst atmospheric expansion in sync with solar behavior is also a known phenomenon and current research topic. Climate changes, but not with notice to CO2 which, itself, remains being plant food and as such is an essential environmental gas.

  8. Layzej
    1 year ago

    Hi Peter Anderson,

    You quoted Dr. Judith Curry: "... If all other things remain equal, it is clear that adding more carbon dioxide to the atmosphere will warm the planet. However the real difficulty is that nothing remains equal, and reliable prediction of the impact of carbon dioxide on the climate requires that we understand natural climate variability properly."

    Unfortunately our risk is not reduced if our understanding of climate sensitivity is not as constrained as we believe it to be. Dr Curry suspects that climate sensitivity (the increase in global temperature for each doubling of carbon dioxide) may be as high as 10C. This is far higher than the consensus view of 2C-4.5C. If Dr. Curry is right, and natural cooling has been masking the warming from CO2, then we will be in for a world of hurt when natural variability swings back to a more neutral phase. - http://judithcurry.com/2011/02/26/agreeing/#comment-49648

  9. Peter Anderson
    1 year ago

    Without any warming to support the wild claims made of alarming climate warming, without the rapid rise of sea level or increases in storms, how can 'smoking' be even rationally considered analogous to any situation regarding the activists claims of 'climate change' by anthropogenic CO2 'emissions'? Why then also to alarmists claims 'carbon' is the crux of their campaign when it is obviously been Carbon Dioxide they would demand others fear?
    Why then are claims of 'sustainability' seen still in effort to support irrational claims of CO2 doing damage to an environment that requires CO2? The real problem for those associating 'sustainability' to 'climate change' is the artifacts they then demand be used cannot even be produced without mining and electricity produced primarily by coal! These artifacts cannot even power their own production or those process required to acquire the materials to produce them in that manufacture.
    What seems to escape the warmists notice is that climate change is a real process, it simply can be observed to not involve CO2 in any significant role. Carbon Dioxide remains being food for plants.

  10. Red Olston
    1 year ago

    Even though Dr. Spencer said he would agree with the consensus ("humans are contributing to warming...even I would probably agree"), I find it hard to understand that he then chooses to ignore that consensus and chooses to focus on the exact degree to which its human vs a historical pattern.

    One question that I never understood, and that I wish the interviewer would've asked Dr. Spencer is this: If you think that the data is inconclusive and that we just don't know, doesn't that mean we should be extra careful until we can be sure human lifestyle is not the primary factor?

    How about we attempt to cut emissions and see if it helps? But this reasonable approach doesn't seem to be on the radar. Instead, they say, "let's keep living as we are because it would be an inconvenience to our lifestyle and we aren't sure what's causing these problems!"

    Imagine someone in their mid-forties, a smoker who is having problems breathing, coming to the conclusion that the cause of those breathing problems is not necessarily smoking because they had bronchitis in the third grade. With Dr. Spencer's logic, this person would decide to continue smoking until the bronchitis can be ruled out.

    The problem with that kind of thinking is by the time they figure out the true cause, it's too late to change. They have advanced cancer and die with young children that still need them alive! Our systems of natural resources and life on Earth is the same - things can be screwed up and ruined beyond repair. If we are contributing to that in any way, my way of thinking is, lets be CONSERVATIVE about our impacts rather than understating at all costs. I'd rather overstate our impact and have plenty of clean air to breath, fresh water to drink, and polar ice caps melting BECAUSE OF HISTORICAL PATTERN with minimal human contribution.

    The craziest part about this analogy, is that this smoker (climate change naysayer) has already been to a bunch of doctors who tell him smoking is probably a large part of the cause (the scientific consensus on humans adding to climate change) but the patient keeps getting second opinions over and over until he finds someone like Dr. Spencer who essentially says what they want to hear. They disregard the first bunch of doctors telling them to be careful, but listen to the one who finally says, "don't stop or reduce smoking - double down to two packs a day until you can get a handle on the situation (ie the solution is in growing the economy rather than living sustainably)"

    Dr. Spencer, I wholeheartedly understand what you're saying about the possibilities still being uncertain. But, if you agree that humans are part of the problem, and your answer is that we shouldn't take a conservative approach, I'm having a hard time grasping your logic or what your ultimate goal is? As an expert in your field, the damage you are doing to enable people to continue living the same lifestyle is downright irresponsible, and forgive me, but that's inexcusable.


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