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Satellite Data and Climate Models


In this brief chapter, Lloyd sets the stage for the following three papers, most centrally, Santer et al. (2008a), which discusses whether the satellite data fit with climate models. Its target is a paper by Douglass et al. (Douglass DH, Christy JR, Pearson BD, Singer SF, A comparison of tropical temperature trends with model predictions. Int J Climatology 28:1693–1701, 2008), which claimed that satellite and weather balloon data showed that the climate models were wrong and could not be trusted. The Santer and Wigley “Fact Sheet” (Chap. 4) gives a nontechnical summary of what is wrong with the Douglass paper, while the full story is in Chap. 5, a reprint of the Santer et al. (2008a) paper. The context and import of this work is discussed in Lloyd (Chap. 6). In this introduction, Lloyd emphasizes the timeliness of this work, as climate deniers testify in Congress presently.

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  1. 1.

    “Close Encounters of the Absurd Kind,” Ben Santer, February 24, 2010, Real Climate: Climate science from climate scientists Blog. Accessed on August 7, 2015

  2. 2.

    See Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway’s (2011) discussion, in Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming, of S. Fred Singer’s roles in skepticism about science and regulation since the 1960s.

  3. 3.

    See more at: Accessed on June 6, 2017.


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Lloyd, E.A. (2018). Satellite Data and Climate Models. In: A. Lloyd, E., Winsberg, E. (eds) Climate Modelling. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham.

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