Friday, August 20, 2010

SST plunge and high SW reflection

Today, Dr. Roy Spencer released an update in sea surface temperature (SST) both global and Nino 34 region (east Pacific Ocean). The plunge in SST is deep especially for Nino 34, at the -1.5 C temperature anomaly, very much following the 2008 global cooling. Data as of August 18, 2010.

But what is even more interesting, is the high shortwave (SW or sunlight) reflection last month and this month, as shown in this graph. Dr. Spencer posited 3 possible explanations, plus his observation of the role of "negative feedback" of clouds over whatever surface or oceaning warming:

(1) the ocean cooling is being driven by decreased sunlight, or (2) negative feedback in response to anomalously warm conditions, or (3) some combination of (1) and (2). Note that negative low-cloud feedback would conflict with all of the IPCC climate models, which exhibit various levels of positive cloud feedback.

Dr. Spencer is a former NASA scientist, currently a practicing climatologist at the Univ. of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). All important data that he and his university use, are from NASA satellite data, especially NASA's Aqua satellite and its AMSR-E instrument. Such data include (a) SST, (b) tropospheric temperature (about 8 kms. above sea level), (c) oceaning SW reflection like the above graph, among others.

Such NASA satellite data produce more independent, hard to tweak data, and such data show either a warming-cooling-warming-cooling cycle, and more recently, a cooling trend. But NASA is known for being among the frontline climate alarmism camp. Why?

It's the Goddard Insitute for Space Studies (GISS), an agency under NASA and headed by Dr. James Hansen, that is actually associated with the warming and alarmist camp, not the entire NASA. And GISS is using (land) surface temperature data collected by thousands of surface thermometers from many stations around the world. Such instruments are known for having warming bias -- like temperature measurements just a meter or 2 away from an air-con exhaust, or situated in car parking lots and affected by reeving car engines and hot asphalt, or situated in airports and their hot plane engines and hot concrete tarmac and runway.

When I learned about this, I also shook my head, along with others. NASA is known for space research, not land surface research. But GISS is relying on land surface temperature data, and not on NASA satellite data.

That's how politics work in science. And NASA is a government and political creation, so it is impossible for that office to avoid politics and political pressure.

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