Watts Up With That has a great commentary from Roy Spencer regarding the paper he presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco. Roy’s research leads him to the conclusion that clouds, on balance, help cool the earth (“negative” feedback). The computer models indicate that clouds are “positive” feedback. I found these comments of Roy’s to be most interesting:
The IPCC’s case is built largely on computer models and those models, since the 1990′s, have had a history of forecasting too much warming. So, it is not surprising that Roy’s results differ from the climate models.
The meteorological “guts” of these models are essentially the same as the ones that assist meteorologists in making day-to-day weather forecasts and they are wrong a significant amount of the time. This is the single biggest reason why meteorologists are often among the strongest skeptics of global warming. We accept model imperfection because we live with their limitations every day. However, to the theoreticians, the models = gospel.
UPDATE: If you wish to read a just-published (caution: technical) article about the discrepancy between the models and the earth’s heat content, go to Roger Pielke, Sr.’s article on the subject.