Wednesday, February 28, 2007

More Heat On Global Warming Kookery

This article by NASA's Roy Spencer is one of the clearest and most powerful explanations of what we don't know about global climate change. Dr. Spencer is a guy who's job relies on climate models. He doesn't reject them or have any reason to reject global warming advocacy. But he's honest enough to acknowledge that the models we have don't work.

He also expresses clearly something that I've often wondered about: In a harsh universe like ours, earth's climate sticks out as unusually pleasant. Venus is a deadly sauna. Mars is brutally cold and barren. Earth is strangely just right and, once again given how inhospitable the universe appears to be, our planet has stayed "just right" for a long time and through many cosmic changes (like variations in solar output). Why?

Computerized models of our climate have had a habit of "drifting" too warm or too cold. This because they still don't contain all of the temperature-stabilizing processes that exist in nature. In fact, for the amount of solar energy available to it, our climate seems to have a "preferred" average temperature, damping out swings beyond 1 degree or so.

I believe that, through various negative feedback mechanisms, the atmosphere "decides" how much of the available sunlight will be allowed in, how much greenhouse effect it will generate in response, and what the average temperature will be.

Finally, remember that phrase, "the Earth's greenhouse effect keeps the Earth habitably warm?" I'll bet you never heard the phrase that is, quantitatively, more accurate: "Weather processes keep the Earth habitably cool." Were it not for weather, the natural greenhouse effect would cause the surface of the Earth to average 140 degrees. Wonder why we never hear that fact stated? [emphasis added]

Once again, the end of the world could be right around the corner. But before I support returning America's economy to the Stone Age, I'll have to have some proof.