John Christy And Roy Spencer: 25 Years As Skeptical Climate Scientists

Posted on Mon 04/06/2015 by


Bolt New 01By Andrew Bolt ~

It is 25 years since two scientists, John Christy and Roy Spencer announced that their satellite data showed the world was not warming as fast as had been thought, as shown so graphically in this image, where the red line is the average of 102 IPCC models, and the blue dots and green squares show the actual results of measurements.


Professor John Christy, Director of the Earth System Science Center from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and Roy Spencer, climatologist and principal research scientist at the university, discuss their careers since as sceptics of the theory that man is heating the world catastrophically:

Spencer:  It wasn’t too long after [John] came here that we were at a meeting… We were discussing, Don’t we have something better than the thermometer data to monitor global temperatures? [UAH scientist] Dick McNider said, ‘What about the microwave sounders we have on the weather satellites?…” How do you respond to the perception that 97 percent of scientists agree on climate change? [The Wall Street Journal in 2013 reported on the “myth” of the 97 percent].

Christy: The impression people make with that statement is that 97 percent of scientists agree with my view of climate change, which typically is one of catastrophic change. So if a Senate hearing or the president or vice president says 97 percent of the scientists agree with me, that’s not true. The American Meteorological Society did their survey and they specifically asked the question, Is man the dominate controller of climate over the last 50 years? Only 52 percent said yes. That is not a consensus at all in science.

Then when you look at the core of that question, the core is do you believe that man has some influence on the climate. I don’t know anyone who would say no to that… Roy and I have both made the statement that we are in the 97 percent because we believe in some (man-made) effect…

Spencer: Whoever came up with that, it was very powerful.. It was very misleading, but it was a good idea… Adding CO2 to the atmosphere probably adds some warming. The science on that is pretty solid. But then the devil’s in the details. How much warming does it actually cause? It makes a huge difference. When you hear about the catastrophic effects of climate change, data from reputable organizations such as National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) or NASA is frequently cited. How do you respond to that?

Christy: NASA, NOAA, EPA, DOE, those are agencies. Agency leaders are appointed by the government, by the current administration. They do not represent objective independent scientific organizations. They can’t. They are appointed by the head. They try. People who come out with different views in their organizations are found to be squashed. There is an agenda in those agencies.. There are skeptics in NASA and NOAA, a good number. But they are quiet. They know in this administration, they don’t speak out.

Spencer: I know that they’re not unbiased. Most of them probably really do believe we’re destroying the earth. When I talk to scientists who should be objective over a beer at the end of the day, I will argue with them and their final position will always be, ‘Yeah, but we need to get away from fossil fuels anyway.’ Where did that come from? Are you an expert in alternative energy sources and what they cost? How many poor people are you going to hurt? How many more people are you going to make poor through energy poverty because they are paying five to 10 times as much for their energy?…

Christy: I am for any energy source that is affordable and doesn’t destroy the environment. If carbon dioxide was a poisonous gas, I’d be against it…. The world used to have five times as much carbon dioxide as it does now. Plants love this stuff. It creates more food. CO2 is not the problem…

There is absolutely no question that carbon energy provides with longer and better lives. There is no question about that… And to suppress, to me, is immoral. Why is your research using satellite data a more effective way of measuring climate change than surface temperature? …

Christy: …Where is the biggest response to greenhouse gases? It’s in the atmosphere, not on the surface. So if you want to measure the response and say that’s the greenhouse gas response, you would look in the atmosphere. That’s precisely where satellites measure it.


Now a “pause” in the Arctic melt, too. Graham Lloyd:

After shrinking 35 per cent over several decades, the low point reached in Arctic ice cover each year appears to have stabilised. This is despite a record low maximum ice extent this winter…

But the “pause” in summer ice melt extent has been widely ­conceded. A paper published in ­Nature by Neil Swart from Environment Canada said ”from 2007-13 there was a near-zero trend in observed Arctic September sea-ice extent, in large part due to a strong uptick of the icepack in 2013 which has continued into 2014”.

Climate scientists do not ­believe the long-term downward trend in Arctic sea ice has been broken, however.

The Swart et al (2015) paper said “cherrypicking” such short periods could be “misleading about longer-term changes, when such trends show either rapid or slow ice loss”. It says claims a pause in Arctic ice loss disproved climate change were not true.

Ed Wawkins, co-author of the Swart paper and a researcher at Britain’s University of Reading, said it was “quite conceivable that the current period of near-zero sea-ice trend could extend for a decade or more, solely due to weather-induced natural varia­bil­­ity hiding the long-term human caused decline”.

But David Whitehouse from the London-based Global Warming Policy Foundation said similar arguments had initially been used to reject the surface temp­erature hiatus.

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and hosts Channel 10’s The Bolt Report each Sunday at 10am. He is also heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of radio station MTR 1377, and his book  Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.

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