Congratulations (finally) to Spencer and Braswell on getting their new paper published

WUWT provided a primer on cloud feedbacks on June 12th, 2009, followed by Willis Eschenbach’s “thermostat hypothesis” also recently published. This new paper by Spencer and Braswell is in the same theme as these.

As clouds rise above the ITCZ, cloud tops create a reflective albedo, automatically limiting incoming solar radiation

On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing

Roy W. Spencer and William D. Braswell
Received 12 October 2009; revised 29 March 2010; accepted 12 April 2010; published 24 August 2010.

Abstract: The impact of time‐varying radiative forcing on the diagnosis of radiative feedback from satellite observations of the Earth is explored. Phase space plots of variations in global average temperature versus radiative flux reveal linear striations and spiral patterns in both satellite measurements and in output from coupled climate models. A simple forcingfeedback model is used to demonstrate that the linear striations represent radiative feedback upon nonradiatively forced temperature variations, while the spiral patterns are the result of time‐varying radiative forcing generated internal to the climate system. Only in the idealized special case of instantaneous and then constant radiative forcing, a situation that probably never occurs either naturally or anthropogenically, can feedback be observed in the presence of unknown radiative forcing. This is true whether the unknown radiative forcing is generated internal or external to the climate system. In the general case, a mixture of both unknown radiative and nonradiative forcings can be expected, and the challenge for feedback diagnosis is to extract the signal of feedback upon nonradiatively forced temperature change in the presence of the noise generated by unknown time‐varying radiative forcing. These results underscore the need for more accurate methods of diagnosing feedback from satellite data and for quantitatively relating those feedbacks to long‐term climate sensitivity.

Citation: Spencer, R. W., and W. D. Braswell (2010), On the diagnosis of radiative feedback in the presence of unknown radiative forcing, J. Geophys. Res., 115, D16109, doi:10.1029/2009JD013371.

Our JGR Paper on Feedbacks is Published

by Roy W. Spencer, Ph. D.

After years of re-submissions and re-writes — always to accommodate a single hostile reviewer — our latest paper on feedbacks has finally been published by Journal of Geophysical Research (JGR).

Entitled “On the Diagnosis of Feedback in the Presence of Unknown Radiative Forcing“, this paper puts meat on the central claim of my most recent book: that climate researchers have mixed up cause and effect when observing cloud and temperature changes. As a result, the climate system has given the illusion of positive cloud feedback.

Positive cloud feedback amplifies global warming in all the climate models now used by the IPCC to forecast global warming. But if cloud feedback is sufficiently negative, then manmade global warming becomes a non-issue.