What is your opinion of climate scientist Dr. Roy Spencer?

11 Answers

  • JimZ
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Best Answer

    I think he seems like an honest scientist. He admitted when he was wrong or ignorant about something. Admitting ignorance is something an alarmist cannot afford it seems. I guess it would be hard to say, we we think you should fork out thousands of your dollars because we think you might cause the planet to warm by a degree or two but we could be wrong. That would be honest although not necessarily correct and not particularly alarming.

  • 1 decade ago

    I lost any respect for Dr. Spencer as a scientist when he posted an argument about the cross section of CO2 based on the van der Waals molecular size in his blog. The absorption cross section is in fact determined by the dipole transition moments and any physicist worth his salt knows this. Myself and others criticized the intentional distortion and he removed the content. I now view his work with extreme scepticism. Scientists reading a research paper start with the assumption that the basic science behind the paper was done correctly. I do not trust that Dr. Spencer is doing the basic science correctly and therefore do not trust any of his conclusions without corroboration from an independent source.

    Source(s): PhD (Physics)
  • poop
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think he's one in a hundred, and climate change deniers are eager to hop on his bandwagon because he's really the only person who champions their cause with numbers and graphs instead of empty conspiracy accusations.

    There are scientists who still believe the earth is flat. AGW could be a cold hard fact and there would still be dispute.

    I've often seen deniers on this site quote Spencer as proof that AGW isn't real. Thing is, these deniers obviously don't study climate science. Out of the thousands of climate scientists in the world, people like jimbo conveniently pick one of the few scientists who does dispute AGW. With starbuck and peter j and jimbo, it's not about the science. The science is a foregone conclusion to them. It's about finding the best right-wing blogs and science outliers to buff up their propaganda.

    "Why doesn't the alarmist community want to look at Spencer's data?"

    Jimmbbo: climate scientists HAVE looked at his data. Here are some links where they rebut him:




    So far as I know, he has yet to respond.

  • 1 decade ago

    I think he believes what he says, but I don't think he does particularly good science (d/dx provides a good example of this). Honestly I think he's biased because he basically staked his reputation on AGW being wrong back when he erroneously concluded the atmosphere was cooling. Not only did he make the error, but rather than acting cautiously in the face of the fact that his data seemed to contradict other information like the warming surface, he claimed to have disproven AGW. In such an embarassing position, I can imagine it would be hard not to remain biased against AGW.

    He does destroy the denier argument that AGW is all a hoax and 'skeptical' scientists can't get grant money, and that government grants only go to "alarmists". I appreciate that.

    The fact that UAH is still an outlier on the low side also bothers me. If I were in Spencer's position and my analysis had already been proven to be very wrong on the 'cool' side, and it was still the outlier on the cool side, I'd be concerned. Instead he bases his blog on that outlying data.

    In short, I think he tries to do good science, but because of his bias I don't think he does. I don't think UAH is the only correct temperature dataset, and I don't think Spencer is the only climate scientist with the correct conclusions on climate sensitivity.


    And I think relying on Spencer to be the only correct climate scientist is a very weak position to be in.

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  • bubba
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    I think he has some good publications and has done some great work determining how to measure temps by satellite. His professional work will improve the science behind global warming.

    I also think he has a desire to get in the spotlight and does this by voicing contrary views of mainstream scientific theories with no other credible science to support his opinion in order to sell books and get speaking engagements (which helps sell more books to those hungry to disbelieve science).


    Seems to be his pattern!

  • 1 decade ago

    I think he highlights the climate science social order of "us vs them".

    "Them" is growing and includes lots of persons of equal qualification to Dr. Spencer including expert former (and even current) authors and reviewers from IPCC.

    But some like to isolate Dr. Spencer and his specific field of study and pit him against the vast array of experts at the IPCC (just look at some answers in this post alone).

    The IPCC is more organized and public and well known. However, "them" are also getting organized and the lack of a "consensus" will soon be obvious to many more than those of us who already see it. That combined with a continued cooling trend should put the brakes on any future questionable energy policies.

  • 1 decade ago

    He's a real climate scientist. I respect the stuff that he says about a thousand times more than anything that Anthony Watts, John Coleman or Rush Limbaugh say. He's done some good work and also some flawed work. His beliefs on intelligent design make me suspicious of his religious motivations, though.

  • 1 decade ago

    I like him. also check out David Archibald


    I also recently learned of this which is also interesting


    Then you have which has a number of climatologists, astrophysicists, solar physicists etc contribute.



    For sure. However current global weather patterns are proving out thier arguements.

    FYI other outlying ideas that proved right.

    People can travel faster that 55 mph without dieing. Planes can fly faster than the speed of sound. String theory was wrong in its assumtion of how many dimentions there were.

    There are of course 100's of other examples.

    Yes I like Dr. Roy Spencers writings and ideas. He is intellectually honest.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    He is a credible scientist who believes the IPCC models overstate the climate's sensitivity, and has published compelling research that supports that belief.

    On his website, along with his thoughts on MGW, he publishes his data and conclusions, and has asked the alarmist scientists to prove him wrong... To date, none have taken him up on it.

    A rational alarmist would say "Test his hypothesis and let the chips fall where they may", but instead of a rational investigation of his work, true to Alinsky's Rules For Radicals (RULE 5: "Ridicule is man's most potent weapon."). we hear personal attacks, name calling, attacks on his methods, credibility and his personal beliefs.

    Why doesn't the alarmist community want to look at Spencer's data? Maybe the science isn't settled, after all?

    Source(s): Dr. Roy Spencer has published his peer-reviewed research that indicates the assumptions the IPCC models make regarding CO2 and cloud formation are incorrect, making the models overly sensitive. Videos of Dr. Spencer’s presentation http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xos49g1sdzo http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpFk0zTW-ik&NR=1 Links to Dr. Spencer’s website and peer-reviewed Journal of Climate paper. http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/sate... http://www.drroyspencer.com/Spencer-and-Braswell-0... http://www.drroyspencer.com/research-articles/ http://www.drroyspencer.com/
  • 1 decade ago

    He's a credible outlier, a valuable voice. But we need to understand that he is an outlier. I do not have the capability to judge the conclusions of one professor at the Univeristy of Alabama - Huntsvile, so typically I look for confirmation either from other schools such as Stanford, MIT, Yale etc or from other institutions such as NASA, Pew, Woodshole, etc -- but nobody agrees with him.

    Spencer certainly is proof against the theory that the AGW theory is only due to governments' funding only AGW proponents. He is employed by a public insitution and paid with government funds.

    Nothing I've read of his suggests that CO2 does not cause warming. If I understand him correctly, he differs from the consensus only in believeing that clouds opperate to counter warming rather than to accelerate it as most others believe. But I do not understand what he believes has caused the warming in the first place.

    Understanding global warming requires expertise far beyond what one person can have. Spencer is contributing his work to the discussion, but he cannot creditably offer alternative explanations because he does not have the expertise. This is the importance of the IPCC assessment and other universities' full-department conclusions -- they look at hundreds of studies (all listed in their references) and took the imput of experts in many different fields to issue a robust report.

    As much as I appreciate Spencer's work, I have to note that he is just one guy pretty much working alone. His parter at UAH,, Christy, does not seem as adament in Spencer's conclusions and his department and university do not seem to be as publicly in agreement as those at other universities. He is not just a guy in the "denier" community, his hypotheses are at odds with other scientists who don't believe in AGW. He has generated a layman following, but among climitology scientists he is alone. Worth reading, but unsubstanciated.

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