Today at Anthony Watts' denier blog, wattsupwiththat (WUWT), Anthony provides two more examples of denier weirdness.
Monckton highlights the 8% Dismissives
Christopher Monckton doesn't like the scientific consensus that humans are warming the world. He's taken a particular dislike to Cook et al (2013), which is the most recent of several papers that demonstrate how great is the consensus. (97% of papers that attribute a cause to global warming attribute it to human activity.)
So he's decided to write a letter to the editor of the journal that published Cook13 - ERL. Then he had another idea and has now decided to send a copy to every member of the editorial board of the journal. (See Christopher's original version archived here, and his later version archived here.)
Christopher's said he wants to "crowd-source" signatories so has asked for the help of the readers at Anthony Watts denier blog - wattsupwiththat.com (WUWT). I was interested in seeing who put their names to the letter. I reckon what he's done is highlight the difference between the denier commenters. The couple of hundred people who want their names on Christopher's silly letter are the 8% Dismissives. People like "shouty" Richardscourtney, "holy moly" crawler Janice Moore and sock-puppet dbstealey (AKA Smokey). There are a number of prolific WUWT commenters who are conspicuous by their absence - so far at any rate (eg Greg Goodman, Pamela Gray and M Courtney). These are people who tend towards being "lukewarmer" deniers - plus of course the one or two real sceptics who Anthony Watts hasn't banned yet.
If anyone ever does any research on categorising the different types of deniers at wattsupwiththat, this thread of Christopher Monckton's is worth noting. (By the way, the article is just another rehash of Christopher's nonsensical arithmetical failures.)
Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham fazed by rising seas
Anthony Watts has posted another article by Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham at WUWT. The last one was about the Not the IPCC report. This one is about sea level (archived here).
Steve's article is a good example of the logical fallacy of personal incredulity. He doesn't "believe" that there are scientific instruments and analytic techniques that can measure sea level with the accuracy and precision reported by scientists. Because he doesn't "believe" it, he reckons it can't be true.
Just like deniers often go to SkepticalScience.com's list of most common denier myths to decide what they'll try on today, it looks as if Steve went to U Colorado's FAQ on sea level to try on his "I don't believe it" rubbish. Some examples of Steve's "personal incredulity" argument:
Steve: they claim to be able to measure ocean level to a high degree of accuracy. But a look at natural ocean variation shows that official sea level measurements are nonsense.From the FAQ:
The satellite altimeter estimate of interest is the distance between the sea surface illuminated by the radar altimeter and the center of the Earth (geocentric sea surface height or SSH). This distance is estimated by subtracting the measured distance between the satellite and sea surface (after correcting for many effects on the radar signal) from the very precise orbit of the satellite. At any location, the SSH changes over time due to many well understood factors (ocean tides, atmospheric pressure, glacial isostatic adjustment, etc.). By subtracting from the measured SSH an a priori mean sea surface (MSS), such as the CLS01 mean sea surface, and these known time-varying effects, we compute the sea surface height anomalies (SSHA). Each point in the global mean sea level (GMSL) time series plots is the area-weighted mean of all of the sea surface height anomalies measured by the altimeter in a single, 10-day satellite track repeat cycle (time for the satellite to begin repeating the same ground track).
Another "I don't believe it" from Steve:
Steve: But three millimeters is about the thickness of two dimes. Can scientists really measure a change in sea level over the course of a year, averaged across the world, which is two dimes thick?From the FAQ, - yes they can. The FAQ states that the estimated error is just 0.4 mm/yr. If you're a fanatical fact checker, you'll notice that Steve isn't very precise himself. A dime is 1.35 mm thick. Two dimes are 2.7 mm thick. The current sea level trend is 3.2 mm +/- 0.4 mm a year.
Steve wonders how the accuracy can be as stated when a single measurement is only accurate to to the nearest centimetre. What he is missing is that there are lots and lots (and lots!) of measurements taken so the error is hugely reduced. The higher the number of measurements the lower the measurement error. Overs and unders cancel out. From the FAQ:
Each point in the global mean sea level (GMSL) time series plots is the area-weighted mean of all of the sea surface height anomalies measured by the altimeter in a single, 10-day satellite track repeat cycle (time for the satellite to begin repeating the same ground track).Steve concludes that the number that the scientists come up with isn't from scientific analysis and mathematics, it's from what he calls "group think". Which is another way of saying that Steve "mad, mad, mad" Goreham doesn't understand scientific measurement. (There are different sources of error other than measurement error, which the scientists attempt to address, and they touch on how they do this in the FAQ.)
Spot the fallacy and the error
Steve commits many logical fallacies in his article but this next one is a beauty:
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated in 2007, “Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961 to 2003. The rate was faster over 1993 to 2003: about 3.1 mm per year.” This translates to a 100-year rise of only 7 inches and 12 inches, far below the dire predictions of the climate alarmists.He's saying that because the actual sea level rise to date isn't as big as projections to 2100 (as ice sheets melt more), the future projections are wrong! That's like saying - it was cold in Chicago last December so it couldn't possibly be hot in Chicago in July.
Seas are rising about as fast as projected back in 1990
I will point out that Steve Goreham is not correct in regard to near term being "far below dire predictions", if you look at the chapter on sea level in the first IPCC report (1990) - in which there is a lot of discussion of uncertainty - it summarises the known science at the time making projections for the near term (see p 275 here):
In general, most of the studies in Table 9.9 foresee a sea level rise of somewhere between 10cm and 30cm over the next four decades.These projections from the 1990 IPCC report are within the ballpark of the observed trend since 1993 of 3.2 cm a decade which, if sustained, would mean 12.8 cm over four decades. There are still almost two decades to go though.
|Source: U Colorado|