In the Guardian, John Abraham talks about a new paper (.pdf) he co-wrote that criticises Spencer and Braswell for “making a number of basic math and physics errors” in an already weak study.
Spencer and Braswell made a model that they say shows that standard climate models overestimate how much carbon dioxide contributes to warming. Spencer and Braswell did the opposite of what most models do, which is to try to show all the details of the Earth’s complex systems. They made the world look like one big ocean, as if there were no land masses, and then they made the oceans look the same (failing to capture how water flows within the ocean.)
But even after (over)simplifying, they still couldn’t get the math right. Abraham’s post goes into the details, which are technical but not obscure or unimportant. He also says that the situation could have been avoided by reading any basic book on heat transfer.
It shouldn’t be that surprising that Spencer has made yet another bad study. This is because he is well-known for being part of a team that had to fix its satellite temperature measurements over and over again in the 1990s and 2000s, mostly because other people pointed out their mistakes.
But to be fair, at least this paper wasn’t so bad that the journal’s editor quit, like a previous study by Spencer and Braswell.
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