Sunday, 14 October 2012

Two Christian gentlemen

Lower troposphere satellite temperature record
and atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1979
both normalised

Dr. John R. Christy is the Distinguished Professor of Atmospheric Science and Director of the Earth System Science Centre at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Dr Roy W. Spencer is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001.

In 1989 Dr. Roy W. Spencer (then a NASA/Marshall scientist and now a Principle Research Scientist at UAH) and Christy developed a global temperature data set from microwave data observed from satellites beginning in 1979. For this achievement, the Spencer-Christy team was awarded NASA's Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement in 1991.

In 1996, they were selected to receive a Special Award by the American Meteorological Society "for developing a global, precise record of earth's temperature from operational polar-orbiting satellites, fundamentally advancing our ability to monitor climate."

Whatever the significance of global temperatures, the satellite record developed by the Spencer-Christy team has given us an alternative to the flaky “adjusted” land based temperature record which in practical terms is virtually useless.

As anyone can easily see, the satellite record shows no relationship between global temperature and CO2, which in a sane world would be a cause for celebration.

Spencer and Christy are both devout Christians – Spencer is said to have spoken favourably on creationism as a theory. Both have nuanced and interesting views on climate change as one would expect, but neither is in any sense an alarmist. Christy is possibly the more sceptical of the two, but his views are based on science, not politics.

I am an atheist, but I’d be happy to see more climate scientists of the calibre of Christy and Spencer, whatever their religious beliefs. We owe these two Christian Gentlemen far more than we’ll ever admit.

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