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Sunday, June 23, 2013

Vincent Gray is Slaying Dragons Again

Sou | 8:06 PM One comment so far. Add a comment

Anthony Watts, who runs an anti-science, scientist-bashing blog (WUWT) likes Vincent Gray for some reason.  Gray used to be a chemist and has changed his profession to that of science denier.  I've already written about his physics-defying ideas.

Anthony Watts has favoured this dragon slayer-style denier with another appearance.  I won't go into too much detail.  Vincent doesn't either, although he writes a lot of words.

What it boils down to is this.


They are so different that... except they aren't


Vincent Gray claims that UAH temperature data set is so different to the surface based data sets that .... well he slips by that one and doesn't finish the thought.  (Gray also lies about the fact that the UAH record was changed after some rather large errors were found by outside investigators.)  Anyway, after spending seven paragraphs arguing that the records are "different" he suddenly stops mid-stream and doesn't finish the thought.  He moves away and decides to compare a tiny subset of UAH record with CMIP5 models.  Let's see why he does that:


Oh - it's because UAH lines up so well with the surface-based record.  Despite the fact they aren't measuring exactly the same thing, the trends are virtually identical. UAH has greater variation than the surface record and I don't know why that is, but someone might be able to give a technical explanation.  Whatever, the signal is almost identical even though UAH is noisier.



They are supposedly perfect but oh so different!


Seeing that Vincent Gray has spent umpteen paragraphs extolling the satellite data, let's compare UAH and RSS, the two main satellite records just for kicks.  They are what Vincent Gray seems to regard as infallible so they should be identical, right?



Ha - there is a much bigger difference between UAH and RSS than there is between UAH and GISTemp.  (Perhaps someone can tell me if the base years are different.  I understood them to be the same but you wouldn't know it, would you.)  Someone needs to tell Vincent Gray to stop making an ass of himself.


Well, what about this...


Okay, so next Vincent Gray argues that because John Christy claims there are differences between the mid-tropospheric record of combined satellite and radiosonde data in the tropics and a suite of CMIP5 model runs, that means that all surface based records are wrong.

But hang on - Vincent has stopped comparing UAH global records with surface based global records.  In fact he's stopped looking at global surface temperature altogether.  In fact he's also stopped considering UAH records because what he's talking about includes other data sets.  Now he's talking about the temperature up in the mid-troposphere in just the tropics, averaged over some widely disparate record sets.  Neat trick, Vincent.  And it's yet to be shown that poses a huge problem at all or if there are differences, then whether it's the data or the models.


Vincent Gray the Dragon Slayer


So having been struck out there, he moves to more comfortable ground for him.  He's found a mate called Murry Salby (see Wotts blog and SkepticalScience) who thinks that burning hydrocarbon doesn't produce carbon dioxide or some such nonsense.  And to think the guy used to know some basic science.

Maybe working with coal has addled Vincent Gray's brain.  Although he does give himself an out by finishing up with this:
All the same, this material from Salby needs to be properly documented before it could be considered seriously.

Indeed it does.  But Salby has been trying for a long time to get his nutty ideas published.  Maybe he'll end up getting his paper accepted by the dog astrology journal, if he's "lucky".

1 comment:

Wotts Up With That Blog said...

I think when people say something like this material from Salby needs to be properly documented before it could be considered seriously it might indicate an attempt to be objective, but also indicates a lack of understanding about how science works (although, in fairness, taken at face value, it's a perfectly fine statement to make). There's no real requirement that "science" considers all ideas (or, at least, there's no requirement that if someone has an idea, scientists are meant to start by considering if it might be valid). The requirement is that you submit your ideas for peer-review and, if they pass that, it's then seen whether or not they pass the test of time. Do others take it further and apply further test? I suspect there are plenty of scientific ideas (journal articles) that present something that is simply ignored. It doesn't even have to be rebutted. There's no requirement for science to show that something is wrong. The only requirement is that evidence supports an idea, not the other way around. An idea doesn't have validity because noone has proved it wrong. It has validity if the evidence supports it.

Just because someones presents some idea in a public forum doesn't mean "science" is meant to suddenly stand up and take notice. It's perfectly valid for "science" to simply ignore it until it is presented in a manner that is worth considering with evidence that has some merit.