Saturday, October 01, 2011

Can Roy Spencer account for Pinatubo with CS of 0.6*C?

I have been  on Roy Spencer's site, and asked the question pasted below. 
I only mention it (a) because this question, and others related to the delayers' estimate for climate sensitivity, is of supreme importance for humanity, and (b) to remind myself to go back and see if it gets answered.

Dr Spencer
If your hypothesis is that climate sensitivity is 0.6*C for 2xCo2, what happens if you apply that figure to the calculation of the climate’s reaction to Pinatubo?
Thanks for your trouble in answering this question.

In response, a commenter has given a link to a paper by Douglass & Knox (DK) which purports to show a low sensitivity to Pinatubo.

A search shows that DK been refuted here by Robcock:

and here by Wigley:

It seems that DK overlooked thermal inertia of the oceans, and make other errors, including not understanding radiative forcing. 

It seems therefore that the refutation is pretty robust, and a low climate sensitivity of ~0.5*C cannot explain the atmospheric response to Pinatubo.

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