Warmists really did not comport themselves well, especially when it came to the actual science, or what the infer is science. Judith Curry has a nice breakdown of the testimony, which includes this from Dr. Roy Spencer (full testimony here)
It should also be noted that the fact that I believe at least some of recent warming is human-caused places me in the 97% of researchers recently claimed to support the global warming consensus (actually, it’s 97% of the published papers, Cook et al., 2013). The 97% statement is therefore rather innocuous, since it probably includes all of the global warming “skeptics” I know of who are actively working in the field. Skeptics generally are skeptical of the view that recent warming is all human-caused, and/or that it is of a sufficient magnitude to warrant immediate action given the cost of energy policies to the poor. They do not claim humans have no impact on climate whatsoever.
Judith notes that this is particularly clever, a good way to blunt the “97% consensus” meme being thrown around. Hey, you could put me in that 97%, as I’ve written before. I do believe Mankind plays a small role in heating, mostly through agriculture, ocean pollution, and landfills, when it comes to true global impacts, but the urban heat island effect plays the most part in anthropogenic forcings, meaning it is localized.
The lack of statistically significant warming in the last 15 years is sometimes glossed over with the claim that the global temperature record has a number of examples of no warming (or even cooling) over fifteen year periods. But this claim is disingenuous, because the IPCC presumed radiative forcing of the climate system from increasing CO2 has been at its supposed maximum value only in the last 15 years. In other words, when the climate “stove” has been turned up the most (the last 15 years) is also when you least expect a lack of warming.
It is time for scientists to entertain the possibility that there is something wrong with the assumptions built into their climate models. The fact that all of the models have been peer reviewed does not mean that any of them have been deemed to have any skill for predicting future temperatures. In the parlance of the Daubert standard for rules of scientific evidence, the models have not been successfully field tested for predicting climate change, and so far their error rate should preclude their use for predicting future climate change.
The claim has been made that the extra energy from global warming has mostly bypassed the atmosphere and has been sequestered in the deep ocean, and there is some observational evidence supporting this view. But when we examine the actual, rather weak level of warming (measured in hundredths of a degree C) at depths of many hundreds of meters, it implies relatively low climate sensitivity. Part of the evidence for this result is satellite radiative budget measurements which suggest that more intense El Nino activity since the 1980s caused an apparent decrease in cloudiness, which allowed more sunlight into the climate system, which caused a natural component to recent global warming. Since the global energy imbalance leading to ocean warming since the 1950s is only about 1 part in 1,000 compared to the average rates of solar heating and infrared cooling of the Earth, it should not be surprising that natural climate cycles can cause such small changes in ocean temperature. Even if our ocean temperature measurements of deep warming of hundredths of a degree over the last 50 years are correct, and mostly due to human greenhouse gas emissions, they probably do not support the IPCC’s pessimistic view of future warming.
On the “warm” side, overconfidence or snarky putdowns of scientists on the other side of the debate does not go over well, since this triggers reminders of Climategate and detracts from your credibility. On the more “skeptical” side, aligning yourself with consensus is an effective strategy, which was used both by Roy Spencer and Roger Pielke Jr. in this Hearing.
Barbara Boxer quickly snarked about the Climate Realists being paid hacks of Big Oil, smearing the witnesses. Of course, Boxer is a paid hack of abortionistas, based on the money that EMILY’s list gives her.
I'm sure @SenatorBoxer walked home after climate change hearing, avoiding fossil fueled travel, right?
— WilliamTeach (@WilliamTeach) July 18, 2013
Check out all of Steve Milloy’s tweets about the hearing.