06 Sep '11, 9pm

A Reality Check on Clouds and Climate

About the paper: I read it when it first came out, and thought that some of their findings were significant and important. Basically, it presented evidence that feedbacks inferred from short-period and/or local climate change observations might not be relevant to long-period global change. I suppose I thought that rather obvious, but not everyone agrees. The one statement in the paper, to the effect that climate models might be overestimating positive feedback, struck me as unsubstantiated, but the authors themselves phrased it as speculative. But the interesting and unusual thing about this is that that what pundits said about the paper, and indeed what Spencer said about it in press releases, etc., in my view had very little to do with the paper itself. I have seldom seen such a degree of disconnect between the substance of a paper and what has been said about it.

Full article: http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/09/06/a-reality-ch...

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