.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Denier Weirdness: Science deniers just can't wait for disasters

Sou | 11:27 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

On the one hand science deniers at WUWT protest what they term "alarmism", in other words the warnings about what is likely to happen as global warming continues.  On the other hand they get it all wrong and jump on things that either aren't predicted to happen or about which science is less certain.

For example, while the heat events and heavy rains expected with global warming are already happening and increasing, science deniers either ignore it or pretend it isn't real.  Instead they build strawmen and talk about tornadoes and hurricanes (tropical cyclones to most of the world, by far the majority of science deniers live in the USA).  The science isn't all in on whether these will increase or decrease.  Some science suggests that tropical cyclones will increase over time, other studies suggest that they won't, but maybe they will get more intense or larger cyclones will increase.  Tornadoes is another question altogether - to do with wind shear etc.

Today, Anthony Watts complains (archived here) that his neighbours on the east coast of the USA haven't been hit with hurricanes this year - the implied response he wants from his fans is that global warming isn't happening or if it is it's a good thing.  Tropical storms are still hurting other people.  But they don't live in the USA so they don't count.

Anthony avoids writing about the long drying out of his own neck of the woods, which is predicted by global warming.  Or the current fire raging in Yosemite and the increase in wildfires in America's west over time.

Why does he avoid what is happening and build strawmen?  Why does he point at squirrels while ignoring wildfires in his own backyard? Why does he continue to promote silly denialist rubbish? Because he doesn't like paying tax - or that's the reason he gives anyway.  It's a strange reason for building strawmen and denying science, but there you go.

Where have all the climate science deniers gone?

Sou | 3:09 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has put up an article today from American Thinker (archived here).  Apparently they are wanting to find six point six five people who either dispute mainstream climate science or are undecided.  Specifically, it has been tallying PBS discussions of climate matters.  The article is a bit unclear, but it looks as if it counted 350 people on PBS who accept mainstream climate science and only four who dispute it.

The latest research shows that going back over the past twenty years or so, 1.9% of scientific abstracts that attribute a cause to global warming reject the mainstream science that it's primarily caused by greenhouse gases.  There was another 1% of abstracts that attribute a cause to warming that claim it's undecided.


American Thinker looking for 6.65 contrarian climate scientists


So - American Thinker is wanting a "balanced" representation.  PBS could go for 6.65 people who reject mainstream science to add to the four and that would be the correct balance to the 350.  Probably overcompensating these days but who am I to quibble.  Maybe they could have them all do it all in one session.  That would be fun.  We'd maybe get one person arguing "it's the sun", another arguing "it's cosmic rays", another arguing "it's natural", another arguing "it's cooling", another arguing "it's ENSO", another arguing "it's the AMO" and the 0.65 of a person arguing "it's the PDO".  There are other arguments they could pick from.  Whatever, they could argue it out among themselves and see who comes out the winner!

Source: ClimateProgress


What about Fox Television and American Thinker?

American Thinker hasn't said so, but they must also be approaching several thousand climate scientists who know that humans are causing global warming asking them to appear on Fox Television and to write articles for American Thinker - to explain climate change and its impacts. They would want to have an awful lot to make up for all the climate science denial articles and segments at Fox and American Thinker.

Or they could be applying double standards.  (Does American Thinker have any standards?)


Leo Hickman argues that the era of climate science denial is over.  About time, too.

Is Bob Tisdale thick as a brick or just a plain old liar?

Sou | 12:14 AM Feel free to comment!

Today "perennially puzzled" Bob Tisdale writes at WUWT - archived here (previously here) and refers to an old post of mine, this one - and writes:

According to a recent blog post by a global warming enthusiast, here, my using the start year of 1979 is “hiding the incline”.
I can categorically state that I’m not hiding the incline.

No, Bob - it wasn't "using the start year" that was the problem...



Bob Tisdale doesn't understand anomalies! Still!


Well, I'm not sure if perennially puzzled Bob is thick as a brick or if he's a plain liar and thinks his readers are thick as bricks.

Going by my article he refers to, one would conclude the former. The reason I say this is because what I was talking about had nothing to do with the start date of the temperature series, but the fact that Bob Tisdale doesn't understand anomalies.  Or so it seems.  Either that or he is pretending because he thinks his readers are dumb and they won't understand anomalies.

Bob Tisdale was complaining that the baseline year was "alarmist" because it was based on the twentieth century mean instead of the 1981-2010 mean.  He reckons that made it look hotter than it is.  Truly.  That's what he was saying.

Here is the excerpt from my earlier article:


Now we come to the part where Bob wants to hide the incline.  Bob writes:
Second, it’s very obvious that NOAA press releases have degraded to nothing but alarmist babble. 
Why does he say it's alarmist babble?  Well, it's because they do a comparison with the twentieth century mean instead of the 1981-2010 mean.  Bob even puts up a picture to show us the difference.  Here it is - as always, you can click it to see the larger version if you want to.

 Bob writes:
If the NCDC had revised their base years to comply with WMO recommendations, the press release wouldn’t have the same alarm-bell ring to it.
So Bob, being either a scaredy cat himself and not wanting to face up to the reality of a warming world, or preying on the fears of the scaredy cats at WUWT, decides to rewrite the NCDC media release so that all the little fearful brains at WUWT can stop being alarmed:



Here is the excerpt from the NCDC media release with Bob's suggested changes:
According to NOAA scientists, the globally averaged temperature for June 2013 tied with 2006 as the fifth warmest June since record keeping began in 1880. It also marked the 37th consecutive June and 340th consecutive month (more than 28 years) with a global temperature above the 20th century average. It also marked the 17th consecutive June and 16th consecutive month (less than two years) with a global temperature above the 1981-2010 average. The last below-average June temperature was June 1976 June 1996 and the last below-average temperature for any month was February 1985 February 2012, though December 2012 was basically zero.

Bob Tisdale is trying to hide the temperature incline!


Bob wants to "hide" the warming by shifting the baseline up!  He doesn't want you to know that it's more than 340 months or more than 28 years since any monthly temperature was below the twentieth century average.  No-one aged 28 years or younger has ever in their life experienced a month where the global average surface temperature was at or below the average of any month for the entire twentieth century.  No-one aged 37 years or younger has ever experienced a June that was colder than the average June temperature in the twentieth century.  That's what Bob doesn't want his readers to know.  Is Bob Tisdale trying to deceive people?  Yes, Bob tried to deceive his readers into thinking there has only been a couple of years of global warming.  In the words of the IPCC - it is unequivocal!

You can read the rest here.  Is Bob just a poor old befuddled thing or a straight up liar?  Either one makes him look pretty silly.

If there is anyone who really doesn't understanding that you cannot hide the incline and pretend it's not warming just by shifting the baseline years, here is another article on the subject.

If you still don't understand it, you can post a question here or there.   Don't ask Anthony Watts or Bob Tisdale - they either don't understand anomalies and baselines themselves or think you are too dumb to understand it.  Either way, they won't be much help to you!

Click the links below for more on baselines and anomalies:


Again, here is an archived version of Bob's article.


From  the WUWT comments - who's obsessive and creepy? Anthony Watts


Tommy Roche says:
August 30, 2013 at 6:59 am
Keitho says: “That Sou fella seems a bit driven doesn’t he”.
A bit driven ? His fixation with Anthony staggers along a blurry line somewhere between obsessive and creepy.
REPLY: actually, a “her” see http://wattsupwiththat.com/about-wuwt/my-blog-spawn/
- Anthony

Tommy, if you want obsessive and creepy - Anthony must have been huddled over his computer for months and months, scouring the internet - maybe since August last year, before I started HotWhopper, to try find out who I am and where I work and my old photo stash, ironically of one of the three major fires here this past ten years - more frequent and worse because of global warming.  That's what I and other people call obsessive and creepy.

All I do is point out the lies, deceptions and wackiness put out by the illiterati at places like the "the world's most viewed (anti-) climate (science) website", WUWT.  Not just from Anthony Watts (he only very rarely writes an article himself) but from a whole host of people.

I focus on the science.

Anthony can't rebut the science so he creepily crawls the internet looking for something irrelevant and personal.  It's his style.

Friday, August 30, 2013

It snowed in the high Andes therefore global warming is a hoax, sez WUWT

Sou | 5:58 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment

The last few weeks and months Anthony Watts at WUWT has been slipping further and further into the deluded end of the climate blogosphere.  Today he has a guest "essay" (a fancy name for a denial rant) by Argiris Diamantis who writes (see archived version here):
By not reporting (or underreporting) about “cold snaps” the public is being brainwashed into believing that the world is warming, while it in reality is cooling.
In reality the world is cooling?  Pull the other one.

Data Source: NASA


Might be worth doing a count of unfiltered science reports on WUWT compared to the various categories of denial - spanning ad homs of people, delusional prophesies of "ice age cometh" doom,  through to Lysenko conspiracy theories from Richard Lindzen and others, eugenics conspiracy theories and the grandest delusion of them all, that:
"all the world's scientists who work across the many disciplines that have any relationship to climate (agriculture, oceanography, marine science, glaciology, meteorology, geology, paleoclimatology etc etc) and their employers, colleagues, publishers and students are members of a cult so secret that no "sceptic" has been able to penetrate it or disprove the body of mainstream science of the past century or two".
More probably it's not worth doing a count.  I reckon a spot check would show about one unfiltered science story or fewer in every thirty. And that one story is more likely than not to bring out the 8% dismissives protesting "it's all a giant scam", "algore (sic) is fat", and "agw is a religion".

Thing about snow is that, just like rain, when it snows it can snow buckets full because of the extra moisture in the air as a result of global warming.

My sympathies to the people in the Andes in South America whose lives have been disrupted by heavy snow falls this winter.  I assure them that despite what Anthony Watts and Argiris Diamantis would have them believe, the world is not about to enter an ice age.  Quite the reverse.

And for all the moaning about lack of news, I did find quite a number of news items.

Worst snowfall in a decade - from NatureWorldNews

Approximately 250,000 alpacas have died as a result of the worst snowfall Peru has seen in a decade, and the unexpectedly intense blast of winter weather has claimed livestock and human life in other parts of South America as well.
A cold weather front from the Antarctic began to spread across South America earlier this week, with some regions devastated by the snowfall, and others reveling in it. Heavy snow fell upon a large swath of South America, from Peru and Bolivia in the northwest to Paraguay and Brazil in the southeast.
Ice and snow in the high Andes in southern Peru, with reports of 24,000 (not 250,000) llamas, alpaca and sheep "mainly baby animals" - from the Wall St Journal
LIMA, Peru--A cold wave has hit the southern regions of Peru, covering vast areas in snow and ice and leading the government to declare a state of emergency.  The central government has sent aid to the worst-hit areas, most located in high areas of the Andes mountains.
An official with the regional government of Puno, a southern district, said that the snowfall has reached up to about a meter high in some areas, with temperatures well below freezing.
"There have been about 24,000 livestock killed by the cold, mainly baby animals," said Percy Quispe, deputy director of civil defense in Puno. Those animals include alpacas, llamas and sheep.
Officials said the cold has left one person dead in Puno after a snow-covered roof collapsed, and that thousands of homes have been damaged by the snow and strong winds.  The Puno regional government said it has distributed 10,000 blankets and food supplies to the hard-hit district of Carabaya.  Various small towns have been cut off by the harsh weather, reports said.
Government's weather agency Senamhi said Thursday that temperatures of minus 20 degrees Celsius could be reached in the higher mountain areas.

While extremely bad news for the 250,000 or 24,000 baby animals who died in the cold, and the people who lived in the mountains and were affected by the winter snowfall, the "worst snow in a decade" doesn't quite match up in terms of breaking records to the "hottest summer on record in Australia" or the "hottest year on record in the USA" or 2010 being the wettest and equal hottest year on record globally - not just in one region but over the world as a whole!

Here is the archived WUWT article and comments again.



From the WUWT comments



Jim Steele says:
August 29, 2013 at 10:53 pm
This only proves Joe Romm’s “little known fact” that warmer weather causes more snow. ;-)


Jim Steele says:
August 29, 2013 at 10:56 pm
Peru Heavy Snowfall: Tens of Thousands Stranded, Livestock Killed
http://www.weather.com/news/peru-heavy-snow-20130829


walker808 says:
August 29, 2013 at 11:03 pm
It snowed recently on the island of Sumatra which is on the equator. This is the first time in recorded history that it has ever snowed there! Photos of the event were shown on Indonesia TV.
I suspect walker808 was referring to this reported hailstorm.


Richard111 says:
August 29, 2013 at 11:33 pm
South Africa is still getting low temperatures. It is spring for them.
Last night CCTV showed many townships in the Cape area are badly flooded.
No, Richard111.  If South Africa is like Australia then spring doesn't officially start until the first day of September.  Spring blossoms keep coming out earlier and earlier as the world gets warmer, and that might have confused Richard111.


The Wager Part II

Sou | 7:13 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

This follows from The Wager.


I do not want HotWhopper readers to miss out, so I've archived this WUWT thread (again).  I've written about this particular article already here, but this is a different topic.  You can consider it a sub-topic, or several sub-topics.  Here is a taste, but there's more in the thread if you're into utter nuttery:


Eli Rabett says to Christopher Monckton of Brenchley:
August 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Eli understands that there is some betting action to be had on your earlier claim that “A math geek with a track-record of getting stuff right tells me we are in for 0.5 Cº of global cooling. It could happen in two years, but is very likely by 2020.”. It is for two bets of $1000 each from John Abraham to Lord Monckton. Given your claims here, you must believe that this would be easy money. John has added a codicil that if you wish the bet can be for benefit of a charity chose by either side, but who knows, maybe you need the money?
Eli is looking perhaps for some smaller side bets on the proposition and what the good Lord’s reaction will be.


richardscourtney, the WUWT playground monitor says, in a comment that is unique from him because there is not a single word SHOUTED let alone SHOUTED EXTRA LOUDLY:
August 28, 2013 at 2:11 pm
Troll posing as Eli Rabett:
re your post at August 28, 2013 at 2:03 pm
Please be assured that nobody cares about the “betting action” of an idiot so deluded that he is unaware of his own name or his own person. Similarly, nobody cares about the “betting action” of even lesser men than the troll (yes, it is hard to believe, but they do exist).
So you need not waste space on WUWT with such nonsense again.
Richard

Monckton of Brenchley says - again, that he wants to sue somebody, and pikes on the bet (excerpt):
August 28, 2013 at 5:04 pm
...One Rabett says someone wants to take a bet with me about whether the world will cool by 0.5 K before 2020 is out. However, it was not I but another who forecast that. In an earlier posting I merely reported the forecast, which is one of a growing number that find cooling more likely than warming in the short to medium term. To make any such bet symmetrical, there would be no payout if the temperature fluctuated by less than 0.5 K in either direction by 2020 compared with today. The bedwetters would win if the temperature rose by 0.5 K; the army of light and truth would win if it fell by 0.5 K.
However, the creature seeking cheap publicity by offering the bet has, I discover, been part of an organized (and probably paid) campaign to prevent skeptics such as me from being allowed to speak at various universities around the world to which we are from time to time invited. Evidence is being gathered, since in Scotland tampering with the right of academic freedom in this characteristically furtive way, particularly with the wildly malicious claims the perpetrator and his little chums have apparently been making, would be held to constitute a grave libel.
I had hoped to sue the defalcating nitwit in the U.S for an earlier malicious attempt by him to assert that I take a skeptical line because I am paid to do so (if only …). However, the lawyers whom I consulted, after having a good look at the case, concluded that, though what this inconsequential little creep had said was unquestionably libelous, as well as displaying an exceptionally poor grasp of elementary science and even of arithmetic, I did not have title to sue because, in the US, I am counted at law as a “public figure” and the jerklet is not. If he were a public figure, I could sue him. If I were not a public figure, I could sue him. But, since I am a public figure and he is not, I cannot sue him. Not in the U.S., at any rate. I visited the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday …


Eli Rabett says:
August 28, 2013 at 11:32 pm
Now some, not Eli to be sure, thought that it would be most pleasing if the good Monckton of Brenchley made John Abraham put up, but Sadly No.
Instead, as the Bunny proposed but a few days ago, we are treated to an entertaining essay in avoidance. To watch Lord Monckton as his mind works at an astonishingly furious pace, whinging about the ills done to him, the difficulty of confronting his tormentors, and the cruel law which forbid him to pounce upon them, but, of course he could if he really wanted to and they should be more cautious, when shunning a chance to do same, is indeed a show Eli feels privileged to have played a minor part in. 
Such humor is found only in our pale memories except for YouTube. We have Chris.

John Whitman says:
August 29, 2013 at 7:18 am
Christopher Monckton,
Have you considered attending the AGU’s annual fall meeting in San Francisco this December?
John


Eli Rabett says:
August 29, 2013 at 7:48 am
JPeden says: @Monckton But, since I am a public figure and he is not, I cannot sue him. Not in the U.S., at any rate. I visited the Court of Session in Edinburgh yesterday …
“Run Rabett Run” — 1970′s James Cann movie
Yes, more droppings along the bunny trail.


Monckton of Brenchley says he's changed his mind about suing in the space of a few comments and is now going to sue after all.  If I only had a dollar for every time Monckton threatened to sue someone for catching him out in a lie I could buy those nice italian leather shoes:
August 29, 2013 at 8:17 am
To answer a few questions from commenters: yes, the World Federation of Scientists exists (it has existed for half a century); yes, its climate monitoring panel consists of a dozen eminent scientists from all parts of the globe; and yes, the chairman of that panel announced to the closing plenary that global warming is not, in itself, a planetary emergency; and no, the world’s mainstream media will do their utmost not to report that conclusion, because it does not accord with the Party Line.
The troll named “Rabett” is snide about my not taking an asymmetric bet. Well, I’m not going to give the joke figure who offered the bet any publicity: indeed, it would be improper for me to have a bet with him at present, given the likelihood that he will face court action once the trail of evidence is complete. Interesting how the trolls will talk about just about everything except the science, on which events are proving them to have been so spectacularly wrong.

Monckton of Brenchley says:
August 29, 2013 at 12:58 pm
I am not confident of what temperatures will do, because they are stochastic. A fair bet (if I were a betting man, which I am not) would take zero change as the baseline.

What did I say about denier weirdness and cranks and utter nutters?


Here is a link to the archived thread again.

Read more at Rabett Run.

A divide is emerging among the contrarians - utter nutters vs tarnished lukewarmers

Sou | 5:27 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Going by WUWT, Anthony Watts has been trying to make up his mind whether to join the utter nuttery or yield to his craving for respect from serious people and mainstream America.  It's looking as if the "utter nuttery" is winning.  He used to care what normal people think about him, but I'd say he's now given up on any dream he might have had in that regard.

A few weeks ago Anthony made what might have been his last feeble attempt at respectability by putting up some "experiments" to show that the greenhouse effect is real.  Mind you, this was in the middle of some really crazy articles - see some of them here - and don't forget "OMG it's insects".  Since then he's proclaimed that global warming "is a natural cycle".

I'm wondering if a turning point was his foray into giving a talk to a group of deluded doctors and nurses.  Citizenschallenge wrote a good rebuttal to Anthony's horrendous video. Anthony only made $250 from it, but maybe he thinks that's where his future lies.  Catmando did a bit of research on the doctors. (If you are in the USA, I'd recommend you make sure your doctor isn't a member of this group - they have what could politely be described as fringe views).


Right wing extremist medicos


Today Anthony put up another article relating to those same doctors (archived here).  It was about an article Richard Lindzen wrote for The Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.  The journal isn't a real journal.  It's not recognised in medical circles.  It's more of a magazine put out by the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons.  That group sounds very professional doesn't it.  It's not at all.  It's a fringe group described in Wikipedia as:
The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a politically conservative non-profit association founded in 1943 to "fight socialized medicine and to fight the government takeover of medicine."[1][2] The group was reported to have approximately 4,000 members in 2005, and 3,000 in 2011.[1][3] Notable members include Ron Paul and John Cooksey;[4] the executive director is Jane Orient, a member of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.
The AAPS motto, "omnia pro aegroto" is Latin for "all for the patient."[5] AAPS also publishes the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons (formerly known as the Medical Sentinel). The Journal is not indexed by mainstream scientific databases such as the Web of Science or MEDLINE.[6] The quality and scientific validity of articles published in the Journal has been criticized by others. Many of the political and scientific viewpoints advocated by AAPS are considered extreme or dubious by other medical groups.[1]
Going by the articles in their journal, they are an odd bunch and have some pretty weird ideas for health professionals.  (There are only 3,000 or so members according to Wiki, which is a tiny proportion of health professionals in the USA.)


Richard Lindzen espouses "Lysenko/eugenics" conspiracies


Richard Lindzen has thrown in the towel with them and has become a wacko conspiracy theorist.  If you want to find out just how far from reality he's plunged, read the article.  He's joined the "climate science is a Lysenko plot" and "climate scientists are eugenicists" mob.  Enough said!  Well, almost.  He even put up those two silly charts that Anthony Watts showed the other day as it to say "if two bits of charts look vaguely similar then climate science is a hoax".


Utter Nutters vs Tarnished Lukewarmers


Contrarians are splitting into different camps.  Some of the so-called sceptics have gone down the gurgler.  They have departed reality for good and become utter nutters - Richard Tol, Richard Lindzen joining up with cranks like Jo Nova, Christopher Monckton and dubious characters and non-entities like Tim Ball and Marc Morano.  While others have become or remained lukewarmers, like Stephen Mosher and Richard Muller who strive to be recognised as 'respectable' by the mainstream, even though they've tarnished their reputation in one way or another.  Anthony Watts I think hoped to straddle these two camps, but it looks as if he's given up on angling for respect and has cast his lot with the wacky mob.  You can't be aligned with Christopher Monckton and Tim Ball and expect to be regarded as "respectable".  You can't promote wacky "Lysenko" conspiracy theories and be viewed as anywhere remotely close to the mainstream. Then there are the ordinary fake sceptics.  Those driven by ideology but who don't seem to promote wacky conspiracy theories.  That includes people like Bob Carter and Ian Plimer, whose allegiances are transparent.  They offer nothing (eg "I am agnostic" Bob Carter), foolish ideas (eg Plimer's iron sun) or pseudo-science - like the ones who go for mathturbation. People like Judith Curry and maybe Bjørn Lomborg are wavering.  I don't know if they've decided yet whether they want a legacy of "wacky" or "tarnished but still vaguely respectable" or whether they'll just end up with Plimer and Carter and live off the right wing speaker circuit.

The extremists, which now include Lindzen, may not even be aware just how far they've strayed particularly if they only associate with each other.

Leo Hickman writes that the era of climate change 'denial' is over.  Lindzen's descent into quackery to my mind proves his point.


From the WUWT comments


Most of the comments are as far out as Lindzen's article.  This one probably sums them all up well. It's got the lot.  If this is the audience that Anthony Watts is looking for, then he is doing the right thing sticking close to curer's of AIDS, birthers, Lysenko conspiracy theorists and other odd bods.

Mary says:
August 29, 2013 at 8:12 am
Thanks for the good news, as truth emerges. The environmental movement appears to be a religion, as Michael Burleigh’s books on history make clear that often political movements have replaced Christianity during the 20th Century. Nazism, Fascism and Communism all are examples. It appears there is something inside most humans that requires a belief in something higher than self. Maybe it’s evidence of a soul?

Here's the link to the archived thread again.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Has Anthony Watts just declared he now rejects AGW?

Sou | 11:21 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

I'm not sure what to make of this, but I think it means that Anthony Watts has finally fallen off the cliff into utter nuttery.  Seriously.  He himself.

He's been tending that way for a while now.  Despite some vague arm-waving about how he won't let slayers who don't accept physics on his blog, he has been publishing their articles and now is down to a mere handful of utter nutters like Christopher Monckton (birther, curer of AIDS) and Tim Ball (author of the slayers book).

The evidence

Today he writes about a new paper about the role of the eastern equatorial Pacific in recent surface temperatures and writes:
This has important implications for IPCC’s upcoming AR5 report, where they will attempt to give attribution to the warming, which now looks more and more like a natural cycle. See updates below.  – Anthony
Is Anthony Watts saying that he now thinks that global warming is a "natural cycle"?  Or was he just being careless with words and writing that he now accepts climate models and that this one shows the role of the oceans in global surface temperature?  I've archived the WUWT blog article here.

I'll let you know if there's any more info.

I don't have time to write about the paper itself.  If you like you can comment on it.  I'll be back later.  Oh, I should point out that the paper in no way rejects AGW, as if I needed to write that!

Kosaka and Xie Recent global-warming hiatus tied to equatorial Pacific surface cooling, Nature (2013) doi:10.1038/nature12534
Despite the continued increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, the annual-mean global temperature has not risen in the twenty-first century1, 2, challenging the prevailing view that anthropogenic forcing causes climate warming. Various mechanisms have been proposed for this hiatus in global warming3, 4, 5, 6, but their relative importance has not been quantified, hampering observational estimates of climate sensitivity.
Here we show that accounting for recent cooling in the eastern equatorial Pacific reconciles climate simulations and observations. We present a novel method of uncovering mechanisms for global temperature change by prescribing, in addition to radiative forcing, the observed history of sea surface temperature over the central to eastern tropical Pacific in a climate model. Although the surface temperature prescription is limited to only 8.2% of the global surface, our model reproduces the annual-mean global temperature remarkably well with correlation coefficient r = 0.97 for 1970–2012 (which includes the current hiatus and a period of accelerated global warming). Moreover, our simulation captures major seasonal and regional characteristics of the hiatus, including the intensified Walker circulation, the winter cooling in northwestern North America and the prolonged drought in the southern USA.
Our results show that the current hiatus is part of natural climate variability, tied specifically to a La-Niña-like decadal cooling. Although similar decadal hiatus events may occur in the future, the multi-decadal warming trend is very likely to continue with greenhouse gas increase.

Denier weirdness: About Christopher Monckton's World Federation of Scientists Climate Monitoring Panel

Sou | 10:57 AM Feel free to comment!

On WUWT, Anthony Watts has Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, reporting from Erice, Sicily (archived here)


ERICE, SICILY – It’s official. The scare is over. The World Federation of Scientists, at its annual seminars on planetary emergencies, has been advised by its own climate monitoring panel that global warming is no longer a planetary emergency.

This is really hilarious.  If you didn't wonder if Anthony had cracked up by rebroadcasting a nutty letter from Richard Tol, or allowing dragon slayer Tim Ball to write that greenhouse gases don't warm the world, you'd have to start wondering now with the latest bit of nuttery from Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.

You can read about it at Stoat.  He writes about the World Federation of Scientists (Permanent Monitoring Panel – Climatology) weirdness :
Fast forward to 2012 and Essex is chair of the panel. And, err, that’s it for people on the panel. Its just Essex, all alone (so in the quote above, where Essex gave the Federation’s closing plenary session his panel’s confirmation he really wasn’t joking – it is his panel all alone-io). Suddenly the panel has no members, and no associate members, and has nothing to say.

So - a panel of one who is not a climate scientist.  And it's "news" that there is still at least one science denier in the world?  Good to see Anthony Watts back to his old self  - again.

Fruit cake anyone? Or has Anthony Watts finally cracked completely?

Sou | 10:21 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

The Tol attack against science

I knew someone once who got angry when he was lying.  I remember thinking, that's a tell tale sign he wasn't telling the truth because he didn't get angry very often.  It was strange to me.

That's by way of introduction to Anthony Watts' latest rant against Cook et al.  How many protests now? Anthony Watts has already been caught out in a whopper of a lie about that study.  Now he's found an ally in another strange character, Dr Richard Tol of the University of Sussex and on the advisory board of the anti-science lobby group the GWPF.  Richard somehow managed to be appointed as a lead author of a chapter in one of the IPCC volumes.  Thankfully not all on his own or who knows what would end up in the report.  He's been on a mission of protest at Cook et al from the outset.  Apparently he tried to write a rebuttal but it was so bad that it didn't ever get accepted for publication.  So now he's trying another tack.  The blog attack.

I don't understand what either of them are on about and I've yet to come across anyone who understands it.  But this pair really don't like the fact that scientists know that global warming is real and caused by human activity.  And they really don't like it that, just like all previous similar studies to date, Cook et al have confirmed that 97% of scientific papers on global warming that attribute a cause, attribute it to human activity.



What is so contentious about that?  It's quite bewildering to you and I.  All you have to do is google "global warming" in Google scholar and you'd know that, if you didn't already know what's causing global warming.  The greenhouse effect has been understood for more than a century. But these people get so upset by this that they make stuff up.  And if 97% didn't agree then surely we'd have heard something from the thousands of scientists by now.

And Richard and Anthony's lies are so easy to check.  I mean they are talking about John Cook "not releasing data".  All you have to do is go to the journal and you'll find all the data anyone needs sitting right there - where it's been sitting since the paper was first published.

Weird, huh?  If they really believed what they are trying to get other people to believe they'd do their own study, or if they were lazy they'd check the papers reviewed by Cook et al.  But no - they are off on some strange tangent about "data" when all the data they need has been sitting right in front of them all along for all the world to see.

There sure are some nutty people in the world  Nutty as a fruit cake!


He even said the study must be wrong because the researchers must have got a bit tired!  (I kid you not!) It looks to me as if Richard is equating a large review of scientific abstracts with a market research poll.  He goes on about "rater fatigue" and "long surveys" and "few researchers".  There were 24 people of whom 12 looked at most of the papers according to the study.  That's a lot of people.  Other similar studies were done by only one, two or three people.  And the study would have taken place over a period of time.  It's not as if they sat in a room answering questions of an interviewer over a day or two.

For example, in the comments people go along with Richard and think that the study was a questionniare with 4,000 questions.  I mean deniers are weird at the best of times, but this takes the (fruit) cake. Duster says:
August 28, 2013 at 3:28 pm
Matt Bergin says: August 28, 2013 at 11:41 am I am surprised anyone would complete a survey consisting of 4000 questions. I suspect most people would be checking random boxes well before the 2000th question mark
That type of “survey” can be considered as 1) slave labor (e.g. students drafted for the duration), 2) beer and booze labor (colleagues lured to help with a promise of beer, whiskey, pizza, etc.), or 3) conviction labor (laborers passionately convinced of their cause). The latter reminds me of R.A.Wilson’s dictum – “convictions make convicts.” From the drop-out rate I suspect the labor pool was drawn from groups two and three. Since members of three are likely to hang in there simply through shear bloody mindedness, that could explain the “drift” as well.
Yeah, Matt and Duster, I'd be surprised too.  But nobody did.  So no need for surprise.

There are some seriously weird people out there in science denier land.

Oceans and clouds are driving Anthony Watts crazy

Sou | 2:08 AM Feel free to comment!

This is just a quick heads up in case you bump into a science denier and they raise the topic - so you know what they are talking about.

Anthony Watts at WUWT has just posted an article about this because he finds it funny.  I can see the funny side too, in the way it's written up at Grist.  Unlike Anthony I don't find it ridiculous.  I see the serious side. Anthony writes it up as Climate Craziness of the Week (archived here to save you a trip):
Over at Grist, where “burnt out” David Roberts just threw in the towel, the craziness continues with a new alarmist writer:

I'll get to the point.  There is a new paper in Nature Climate Change by Six et al called Global warming amplified by reduced sulphur fluxes as a result of ocean acidification.  Here is the abstract:

Climate change and decreasing seawater pH (ocean acidification)1 have widely been considered as uncoupled consequences of the anthropogenic CO2 perturbation2, 3. Recently, experiments in seawater enclosures (mesocosms) showed that concentrations of dimethylsulphide (DMS), a biogenic sulphur compound, were markedly lower in a low-pH environment4. Marine DMS emissions are the largest natural source of atmospheric sulphur5 and changes in their strength have the potential to alter the Earth’s radiation budget6.
Here we establish observational-based relationships between pH changes and DMS concentrations to estimate changes in future DMS emissions with Earth system model7 climate simulations.
Global DMS emissions decrease by about 18(±3)% in 2100 compared with pre-industrial times as a result of the combined effects of ocean acidification and climate change. The reduced DMS emissions induce a significant additional radiative forcing, of which 83% is attributed to the impact of ocean acidification, tantamount to an equilibrium temperature response between 0.23 and 0.48 K. Our results indicate that ocean acidification has the potential to exacerbate anthropogenic warming through a mechanism that is not considered at present in projections of future climate change.

Here's the link to the Grist article. Vanishing ocean smell could also mean fewer clouds.

The Wager

Sou | 1:36 AM Feel free to comment!

Update: Click here for the outcome



Everyone's talking about it and I don't want any of HotWhopper-ites to miss out on the fun.

You can read all about it here.  And if the party at Greg's place is too crowded you can join the party at the burrow.

I'll keep my eye out for updates and ask all of you to do the same.



It's all related to this.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The catalyst for hearing problems of an engineer

Sou | 10:00 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment

An engineer, Bob Fernley-Jones, has written an article for Anthony Watts' blog, wattsupwiththat.  You can read the archived version here (updated)  (old version here) to save going to WUWT.  It's about a recent showing of Catalyst on Australia's ABC.  The episode was climate change and extreme events.

Before I go any further let me explain the title.  There are a lot of climate hawks who are engineers.  There are a lot of intelligent educated engineers out there.  However for some reason, climate science denial attracts engineers, which is why I mention in the title that Bob is an engineer.  He said so.

You can see the show here.  It's quite good for a short segment.  It runs for about 18 minutes.  There's a transcript as well as a Q&A.

 Back to Bob.  He complains of hearing problems.  Bob shows these screen grabs from the show. Click the image to enlarge it.


This is what Bob writes (his words shriek his ideology, don't they):

The narration elucidated how these bell curves clarified why the weather had become more extreme in the past decade, and, being a tad curious I searched around for the source, but without success. My closest find is contained in a report by our Oz government funded Climate Commission entitled The Angry Summer. (2012/3 DJF) This august body is headed by Prof Tim Flannery and amongst its expert advisors is Prof David Karoly, about whom I guess many overseas readers have heard?
But, engineers like me tend to be suspicious, and one thing I puzzled on was that the change in global average T of 0.80 C took place over a period of ~160 years according to HadCRU, and that the Catalyst show implied that the alleged effects were concentrated into the last decade.

Bob bases an article about the fact that his hearing is deficient, or maybe it's a matter of confirmation bias.  I'm thinking Bob's eyesight might be affected too, because the web page he refers readers to has the complete transcript.  Bob said that the Catalyst show implied that the alleged effects were concentrated into the last decade.  Here are the relevant sections from the transcript.  These are the only statements that mention 0.8 degrees.

Anja Taylor
Global average temperatures have only increased by 0.8 of a degree Celsius. One would think that this would just lead to slightly warmer summers. But, actually, it's greatly increasing the chances of extremely hot weather....
NARRATION
Although an exceptional year, it's not outside the range of what's now considered normal. If you plot temperature records, they fall in a typical bell-curve pattern, with the majority only a small deviation from the average, and the outliers representing extreme hot or cold events. With a 0.8 degree rise in temperature, a much larger portion now sits in the warmer-than-average section, and hot to extremely hot days are far more frequent....
Dr Susan Wijffels
We're already starting to detect and see big changes in the extreme events. And we've only really warmed the Earth by 0.8 of a degree. If we were to warm the Earth by 3 or 4 degrees, the changes in the hydrological cycle could be near 30 percent. I mean, that's just a huge change, and it's very hard for us to imagine....
So nope! Not the hint of a suggestion that it warmed 0.8 degrees in only a decade.  Any normal person would probably think - ah, since industrialisation it's warmed by 0.8 degrees.  Or they might think, since global warming started earth has warmed by 0.8 degrees.  Bob's funny.

He got quite interested in the show and put a number of questions to the Catalyst team.  For example as par of one question he writes, referring to a paper  on the Russian heat wave:
 So, since that was peer reviewed it is not necessary to look any further right?
Yet, elsewhere, and whilst others also claim that it was within centennial natural variability, apparently there was conflict in other peer reviewed studies based on computer modelling that the likelihood of such events is increasing, (based on one recent event, uh?).
Bob isn't a scientist so we should cut him some slack.  If he's ever written a report he probably thinks that's all that needs to be said on the matter and no-one will ever contradict him.  That's not how science works though.  Science is full of contradictions.  That's what makes it fun. Someone will say one thing, another will disagree, more evidence is ferreted out and analysed.  People will look at it all different ways and, depending on the level of interest in the topic at hand, eventually with enough evidence and enough thinking on the matter of how to interpret the evidence, a consensus will be reached.  The more evidence supporting an explanation the stronger the consensus.  Bob seems to think every item of interest only gets picked up once by one person or a team, looked at and then put in a cupboard never to be looked at by anyone else ever again.

With the Russian heat wave there have been papers that differ in one respect or other.  In fact a lot of people have now studied the Russian heat wave of 2010.  For example:

  • Trenberth and Fasullo (2012) Climate extremes and climate change: The Russian heat wave and other climate extremes of 2010, J. Geophys. Res., 117, D17103, doi:10.1029/2012JD018020
  • Coumou and Rahmstorf (2012), A decade of weather extremes, Nature Climate Change doi:10.1038/nclimate1452
  • Otto et al (2012) Reconciling two approaches to attribution of the 2010 Russian heat wave, GRL DOI: 10.1029/2011GL050422
  • and more

Getting back to WUWT, Bob decides the bell curves for temperature as shown above are wrong and he's come up with some alternatives, which readers will enjoy.  Click for larger version.


What Bob seems to have done is mixed up global temperatures with local temperatures - or something like that.  It's really not clear what he is trying to portray.  Anyway, it's got pretty colours.  It's much prettier than Christopher Monckton's yucky pink charts.

How engineer, Bob Fernley-Jones fails arithmetic 


Bob's a bit of a funny one.  As well as having deficient hearing and eyesight when it comes to things climate, he's also not crash hot at arithmetic.  Which is strange for an engineer.  He isn't aware that you can have a summer across an entire continent in the hottest on record without having any state or territory being the hottest on record.

I've covered this before because it turns out that a lot of climate science deniers are very poor at arithmetic, especially the notion of averages.  They must have been away that day at primary school and never had to average anything since.  The following is part of what I wrote some time ago:

Here's a series of numbers to illustrate.  It is sets of numbers grouped by year.  In all but the last two years, at least one of A, B, C, D or E has the maximum for all years.  Each one has a "record" highlighted.  Yet the average for Year 5 is greater than the average in any prior year even though none of A through E has a record in Year 5.


You can read the full article here.

Perhaps Bob has children at school who can give him a remedial lesson on averages.


Bob Fernley-Jones is very organised


Bob has some strengths.  He is very organised.  He broke his article into "Parts".  Here is Part 3.

Part 3:Breaking the mood with something almost amusing:
I’ve also submitted a wider ranging formal complaint to our taxpayer funded ABC, concerning the bias and other stuff in this story, (the ABC is required by statute to serve the public, and breached its own editorial policies). I closed the complaint off with this:
Ms [Anja] Taylor was the declared presenter, producer and researcher for this show. She presented almost entirely extreme views with an apparent lack of investigative journalism. With the exception of Dr Fischer’s input about the warming effect of dry soils, (which is not controversial if we ignore Prof David Karoly), all other topics were either demonstrably false or controversial. Not content with presenting scientific material facts and balance, (the Editorial Policies require impartiality), she adds inappropriate drama and irrelevance including these images:
Bob included some screenshots from the video to show what he was referring to.  There was "inappropriate drama".  Remember, conservative science deniers don't like drama - it makes them scared. They prefer someone to tell them there is no need to be scared.

There's more and you can read the full article without having to go to WUWT by clicking here for an archived version (updated).


From the WUWT comments


Philip Bradley is a pedant.  He reckons that extreme should be relative to the present, not the past.  What would have been extreme yesterday won't be considered extreme in the future.  At least he seems to accept the world is warming, which is unusual for WUWT.  He says:
August 28, 2013 at 3:13 am
The narration elucidated how these bell curves clarified why the weather had become more extreme in the past decade
The usual statistical ignorance. If weather/temperature continues a normal distribution with the same SD, which that image shows, then by definition extreme weather stays the same, although of course the average changes.

thingadonta asks about our winters and I imagine he's saying there should be a bigger fuss made of the record warm winters, too.  They are not so angrily cold:
August 28, 2013 at 3:32 am
Why doesn’t the Climate Commission report on the lack of angry winters since Australia has gotten warmer…..also supposedly due to human activities.
This is for thingadonta from the Sydney Morning Herald:



David L. thinks nothing is extreme unless a record is broken.  (He ought to come here during one of our extreme heat waves.)  David says:
August 28, 2013 at 4:03 am
They’ve started the “extreme weather” meme. Here in Philadelphia I can’t watch a news program without being told of some extreme weather going on somewhere in the country. Just yesterday it was the “extreme, near record temperatures in the mid west”. (How can a near record be extreme?). What was the temperature? 92F. I’m sorry, but 92F is not extreme, even if it lasts 3 days and becomes the dreaded “heat wave”. Oh my! Then we ha the extreme dust cloud, the extreme rain, the extreme flooding, and the extreme forest fires all in the same day! Wow ! The end is surely near….except I remember seeing these things every summer going back to the 1960′s.. In 1973 92F was hot weather, in 2013 it’s extreme weather.
But does the average person fall for this propaganda? When you’re told that 92F is extreme, do you really believe it’s extreme? I certainly don’t and I suspect they’re trying to sell me something.


JohnC might volunteer to teach the remedial arithmetic class:
August 28, 2013 at 7:12 am
The Other Phil is (regrettably) incorrect. Of the 3 types of averages, mean is the one fairly described as dividing an area in half.
Mean – Sum of all members divided by how many members (of a set)
Median – Middle number (after sorting in numerical order)
Mode – Most Common Number
For example: of the set 1 1 1 2 2 3 11
Mean 3 [21/7 = 3]
Median 2 [(1 1 1) 2 (2 3 11)]
Mode 1 [(1 1 1) 2 2 3 11]

Leo G is, to put it politely, confused about the 0.8 degrees:
August 28, 2013 at 5:58 am
If the land surface temperature anomaly for the full set of Australian stations shows a 10-year shift of 0.8 degree C- which appears to correspond to 1SD- then there must be a significant systematic error in play (cyclical variation perhaps).

charles nelson is probably under the illusion that by getting rid of the Climate Commission all talk of climate change will stop and he'll have nothing to moan about:
August 28, 2013 at 4:49 am
There will be a new Government in Australia in a few weeks, and they will not forget the ruthless campaign the ABC ran in support of Green/Labor. The Climate Commission too is ‘toast’ as the Aussies say. This is their last squeal.

It's Tim Ball's turn to play to the fear factor of WUWT deniers

Sou | 6:47 PM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment

I said yesterday that Anthony Watts was scraping the bottom of the barrel for contributors to his wattsupwiththat blog.  Who's worse?  Christopher Monckton or Tim Ball?  Christopher Monckton has the saving grace of being a clown and an entertainer, even a comedian, and makes such idiotic claims that no sane person would believe him.  Tim Ball is a dour denier - not that he takes anyone in either.


This one's for the scaredy cats...


Deniers on WUWT are prime targets for people who prey on scaredy cats. I think Tim's disappointed that earth hasn't had a hottest year since 2010. Today he writes on WUWT (archived here) (my bold italics):

Global temperature is not doing what the “official” Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted. Proponents of the claim humans are the cause of warming and the cooperative media react by trying to deflect, divert and perpetuate fear. They exploit people’s lack of knowledge and understanding. A January 2013 ABC News headline said, “2012 Was 9th Warmest Year on Record, Says NASA” is a classic example of how the public are deliberately misled. It is deliberate because it distorts, is out of context, and exploits manipulation of statistics or as Disraeli summarized, “Lies, damn lies and statistics.”

Don't believe anything that Tim Ball writes


I don't think too many of the WUWT crowd will take any notice of what Tim writes next.  Many, but not all of them, accept anything they read on WUWT. He reflects classic paranoid conspiracy ideation - "the guvmint is out to get you and don't trust the experts - trust me instead, I don't know what I'm talking about therefore I'm trustworthy":

The deception begins with the headline but is expanded in the article. The challenge is to know what is actually being said. Initially, you need a translator, but can develop sufficient propaganda detectors once the methods are identified. There are guidelines that work in most circumstances: 
Don’t believe anything you read; Question everything; Be especially suspicious of numbers; Know the source and political bias; If you’re affected by the story get at least three other sources; Remember all government information and data is biased; Be especially wary of stories that cite authorities.

Having set the scene for people to "not believe", Tim continues:

The opening paragraph to the ABC story says,
“The year 2012 was the ninth warmest globally since record keeping began in 1880, said climate scientists today from NASA. NOAA, crunching the numbers slightly differently, said 2012 was the tenth warmest year, and both agencies said a warming pattern has continued since the middle of the 20th century.”
The implied threat is the temperature continues its inexorable trend up. The record is 133 years long and with a general warming trend. When would you expect to find the warmest years? Figure 1 provides a hint.
Yes, that's right Tim.  The long term trend is up.  Don't believe me?  Here is a chart of the global surface temperature:

Data Source: NASA

The last two decades and so far this one as well, haven't just had rising temperatures, the temperature has been above the long term linear trend line.  Not only that, but nine of the ten hottest years have been this century, from 2001 onwards.  The only other of the ten hottest years and the third hottest year on record, was 1998.

Does Tim try not to squirm when he writes this next bit or is he so used to rattling off nonsense that it doesn't affect him in the slightest?  He writes:
Why are they drawing attention to this by focussing on the “ninth warmest”? Because for the last 15 years the trend has leveled and declined slightly in contradiction to their forecast. Figure 2 shows what is actually happening.
There is no "forecast" that every year will be the hottest year on record.  On a climate scale (decades) the slope of the trend line is steep.  Here again is GISTemp on an annual basis - showing the last four decades, from 1970 onwards only:

Data Source: NASA


I'll skip over the bits where he claims that greenhouse gases don't keep earth warm and more of them don't make earth warmer.  Tim Ball was a co-author on one of the books that Anthony Watts derides, that tries to prove that greenhouse gases don't exist and the physics of the last couple of centuries is wrong.  Now Anthony's getting stuck for people to call on, he'll accept articles from anyone, even "slayers" of dubious character.


Tim Ball has so many wrongs in so few words


Let's move onto this bit.  How he manages to get so many wrongs in so few words is a wonder!
Although the article limits its claim by acknowledging it is only the 9th warmest in the official record, most people believe it is the 9th warmest ever. It is a misconception deliberately created by political activists like Al Gore and not openly refuted by governments. It is like Gore’s claim that CO2 levels are the highest ever when they are actually the lowest in 300 million years.
Do most people believe this is the ninth warmest year ever in the history of earth?  I very much doubt it, but you never know.  I'd think it's more likely that anyone who knew that last year was the ninth or tenth warmest in the instrumental record would also know enough about the world that they'd know earth has been hotter in the distant past.

How hot is it?  Well, it might be as hot as ever since the beginning of civilisation, or even hotter.  To date the global temperature reconstructions are not at sufficient resolution to say for sure. What is almost certain is that by the end of this century and probably by 2050, the earth will be hotter than ever since the beginning of civilisation.

What about his tired reference to Al Gore?  Will someone think highly enough of Tim to quietly tell him that "algore is fat" reasons for disputing climate science are a bit passé?  It's so "noughties".  Now we're in the teens there are some new memes being dreamt up by the denialati.

For a geography teacher, Tim Ball is a lousy paleoclimatologist


What about saying that CO2 levels are the "lowest in 300 million years?  What a load of crock.  Certainly they were much higher in the past - millions of years ago.  See this paper by Royer (2005).  Then try to get your head around this:

Data source: NCDC/NOAA Berner, R.A. and Z. Kothavala, 2001

The red line is 400 ppm.  So CO2 hasn't been very much higher than now for going on thirty million years.  It likely shot up a bit now and then in those thirty million years.  It is very likely that CO2 hasn't been this high for four and a half million years - more than four million years before Homo sapiens evolved.


Tim Ball makes up stuff, and is appallingly wrong


Then poor Tim bends over backwards to try to say it hasn't been getting hotter.  Honestly, you'd have to have been living in isolation on a mountain in the middle of East Antarctica to not notice that the world has got hotter.  Either that or be less than, say, four years old.  Tim writes:
There are fewer than 1000 stations with records of 100 years and most of them are severely compromised by growth of urban areas. Equally important, is the decline in the number of stations they consider suitable, especially after 1990. This pattern also partly explains why the current readings are high (Figure 5). Temperature increases as the number of stations used are reduced.
Yeah, right! Why not say the temperature rise is caused by solar panels?  The number has grown enormously recently.

He's wrong of course.  (What did I tell you earlier?)  The lack of continuous very long term weather stations is no great impediment to working out temperatures of the past.  Not these days.  And the decline in the number of stations used in the GISTemp record has less to do with "suitability" and more to do with improvements in algorithms.  If a decrease in stations causes the temperature to go up, you've got to wonder why the temperature also went up earlier last century when the number of recording stations increased!  Anyway, to help anyone who wants to know more about how GISTemp is constructed, here is a paper by Hansen et al (2010) explaining this and more.


From the WUWT comments (archived here)


Robertv says we don't need no weather stations:
August 28, 2013 at 12:41 am
Is it not the Ocean heat content that regulates the climate ? So why are we measuring land surface temperatures.?
Robertv says more - he's scared of the guvmint.  I wonder in what country he lives?:
August 28, 2013 at 12:28 amIt is sad when those who represent We The People are the problem of nearly every problem normal We The People face today.How many still trust their government ? But We The People don’t protest anymore because we fear our government.

Chris Schoneveld is a little disappointed in Tim Ball and says:
August 28, 2013 at 12:11 am
I do detect a hint of disingenuity in the Tim Ball’s approach. For dramatic effect he chose a 15 month old plot from Climate4you which ends with the lowest T for many years. Climate4you updates its graphs every month.

Patrick, sitting in his air-conditioned home out of the weather is either very young or so old he's developing a long term memory problem, I'm guessing he disputes the record warmth and says:
August 27, 2013 at 11:43 pm
Here in Sydney, Australia, we’ve had the warmest winter in 150 years. I am sure the Observatory in the City is not where it was 150 years ago, and there certainly wasn’t an airport either.

Monckton makes a bigger mess at wattsupwiththat

Sou | 1:48 AM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment

Update: see below - TimC has something to say in the WUWT comments about Monckton's fake claim to be a member of the House of Lords.



Not satisfied with the mess Christopher Monckton of Brenchley made in his last article, Anthony let's him get into a bigger mess on WUWT.  (If you click the link you'll notice I've taken everyone's advice. I've updated the link - previous version here)

What Christopher does is draw a whole heap of his yucky pink charts using monthly data and cherry picking the start date of December 1996.  He plonks on top a supposed trend line each with an R2 value close to zero.  In the background on a scale of his choosing he adds atmospheric CO2.  He could just as easily have used a different scale for CO2 and the slope would have been quite different.  Anyway, this is what Christopher's mess looks like.  I've combined all his charts into a single animation to save space (and eyes):



Anyone who knows anything about statistics or climate will see immediately what is wrong with this approach.  Notice the very low R2 value in each chart.  The trend lines are meaningless.  The surface temperature data is too noisy to determine a trend.  The CO2 background chart is meaningless.


Christopher Monckton drowns the trend in noisy variations


Here is what rasmus says on realclimate.org about this very common trick by fake skeptics like Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton:
The real trick, however, is to show all the short-term variations. Hourly and daily values would be an over-kill, but showing monthly values works. Climate change involves time scales of many years, and hence if emphasis is given to much shorter time scales, the trends will drown in noisy variations. 
Let's look and see what happens with GISTemp using annual data.  Compare the R2 value of the linear trend line with those in Christopher's charts:

Data Source: NASA

Now given that climate doesn't change on an annual basis but over years, here is the same data on a decadal basis.

Data Source: NASA


Compare the R2 value with those in Christopher's charts and with that in the annual GISTemp above.  Remember too, the last column on the right only contains three years of data from 2010 to 2012 inclusive.

Next, compare the above with Christopher's cherry pick.  He started in December 1996.  Here is the annual data showing the full data set compared with data for the full year 1997 to 2012 inclusive:

Data Source: NASA


Christopher Monckton ignores uncertainty to fool people


Tamino has a very good article (well a lot of very good articles) on the topic of trends in data when there is a lot of noise, like there is in Christopher's monthly data and even in annual data.  If you think for one minute that Christopher is on to something then I urge you to read the article.  Tamino discusses how you need to allow for uncertainty, particularly with noisy data like monthly global surface temperature anomalies.


Christopher Monckton's ridiculous prediction


Christopher finishes up with this:
A math geek with a track-record of getting stuff right tells me we are in for 0.5 Cº of global cooling. It could happen in two years, but is very likely by 2020. His prediction is based on the behavior of the most obvious culprit in temperature change here on Earth – the Sun.
Data Source: NASA plus Monckton's math geek

I know people who think Christopher Monckton has something to offer are seriously weird, but are they that delusional? Let's see - from the WUWT comments:

MattN is getting impatient for all the cooling predicted by many people at WUWT and says:
August 27, 2013 at 3:59 am
As good as this is, what we really need is some cooling that no one can deny/spin instead of non-warming.

Eric says the greenhouse gas theory has been disproven:
August 27, 2013 at 6:36 am
How can people still cling to the CO2 myth — including WUWT? The idea that rising CO2 causes rising temperatures has failed the observational test.
“Does the Great Gap prove the basic greenhouse-gas theory wrong? No.” ???? Observation of actual events HAS disproved the GHG theory. Get over it.

rgbatduke, as part of a very long lecture to Christopher, says he doesn't know, he thinks it's all too uncertain:
August 27, 2013 at 5:08 am
I’m not certain I agree that we are due for 0.5C of cooling — perhaps we are, perhaps not — because I don’t think uncertain science suddenly becomes certain for you, for me, for your friend who is sometimes right, for the IPCC, for the GCMs, or for your favorite psychic medium. Given the uncertainties in the data and the corrections, I’m not even sure we’ve had the claimed 1 C of global warming post the mid-1800s. I think we have actually had some warming, but it could be a half a degree, it could be a degree and a half. Who knows what Australia, Antarctica, the western half of the United States, most of South America, half of Canada, most of China, the bulk of the pacific, and the bulk of the Atlantic oceans were doing (temperature-wise) in the mid-1800s? Our thermometric data is spotty to sparse and inaccurate, and a lot of this was terra incognita to the point where we don’t even have good ANECDOTAL evidence of climate.

Chris Schoneveld says it's a shame that Christopher picked the cherry:
August 27, 2013 at 3:57 am
So to summarize: Lord Monckton did pick the dataset with the lowest, (even negative) trend (RSS) of -0.2 ºC/century since all the other datasets show positive trends between +0.44ºC/century and +0.93 ºC/century. So, yes, RSS was a cherry, because it was the only one that showed (be it statistically insignificant) cooling for 200 months (I know, the warming trends of the others are equally statistically insignificant). It is a pity that he chose RSS, since it gave his opponents ammunition to attack his credibility.

David L. says all the models are wrong - Christopher Monckton sez so, so there!
August 27, 2013 at 2:45 am
Who can say the models aren’t wrong? The evidence cannot possibly be more clear. So warmists, scrap the models and go back to the drawing boards! You ain’t got nuthin’.

TimC has a few things to say about Christopher's false claim to me a member of the House of Lords:
August 27, 2013 at 1:29 pm
Lord Monckton: as your original posting in this thread itself made reference to your claim to be “a member of the House of Lords” and you also responded to what I thought was a fair posting from steveta_uk by describing him as a “furtively pseudonymous troll” and going on about “some malicious and politicized lackwit’s effusions” I am afraid I have decided to add my own ha’pennys worth – accepting that this was not of course the principal topic of your otherwise interesting article.
I am sure you know that in the UK the Monarch does not by herself (or by Royal Command or Warrant) make laws: it is “the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons in …. Parliament assembled” (to use the enacting words on all general legislation of the Westminster Parliament), that constitutionally makes laws. The monarchy is itself subject to those laws (as under the Succession to the Crown Act 2013), so are peers (life and hereditary) and commoners. Unlike in some other jurisdictions there is no constitutional court or right of judicial review from legislation enacted by Parliament (Monarch, Lords and Commons together) nor any concept that an Act passed by Parliament can ever be flawed or unenforceable – every Act passed by Parliament is valid legislation until the Parliamentary process is used once again to alter or repeal it.
By Section 1 of the House of Lords Act 1999 (enacted by the Queen, Lords and Commons in Parliament) “No-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage”. By Section 2 “Section 1 shall not apply in relation to anyone excepted from it by or in accordance with Standing Orders of the House”; “At any one time 90 people shall be excepted from section 1”; “Once excepted from section 1, a person shall continue to be so throughout his life …” – creating 90 hereditary peers (in addition to appointed life peers) as members of the House for life. This legislation is absolutely clear; it was passed with the direct authority of the (then) House of Lords.
Since I believe you succeeded to your title in 2006 when the 1999 Act was already in force (as it still is today), under Section 1 of that Act you cannot be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of your hereditary peerage unless you show that you have been excepted from Section 1. This is the law however unreasonable, unfair or improper you might consider it to be; it was approved by the Monarch, the (then) House of Lords and the Commons in 1999.
For clarity: may I ask if you have a Section 2 exception in accordance with the Standing Orders of the House? If not, how can you be a member of the House of Lords so long as Section 1 of the 1999 Act remains the law?



TimC has more to say about that:
August 27, 2013 at 3:02 pmAs “The furtively pseudonymous TimC” (Anthony has my email address with my correct full name which I prefer to abbreviate here) I have indeed read the opinion obtained by Lord Monckton: I assume that given by Hugh O’Donoghue of Carmelite Chambers, Inner Temple.
I have (the now rather too familiar) issues over someone first called in 2004, who probably won’t get silk for another 10-15 years, being described as “a leading constitutional lawyer” – until he gets silk he is not entitled to lead anyone. I fear this is another example of embroidering expressions rather to the limit – and we have all on occasions shopped cases around the Temple until we get the opinion we want.
And I’m afraid I simply don’t agree with the opinion. The 1999 Act is absolutely clear and to the point: “no-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage”. The Queen gave royal assent to this in 1999, thereby altering letters patent given before that time (by her or any of her predecessors). The Queen, and any instrument previously issued by her, is subject to later Acts of Parliament exactly in the same way as any of her subjects.