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Sunday, June 30, 2013

An uncommon misperception about Australia's Angry Summer

Sou | 12:43 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

It is very odd how many science deniers from Australia and the USA keep trying to deny the fact that last summer was the hottest on record for Australia.  This is despite all the evidence such as the dreadful infernos across most states, but particularly in Tasmania and NSW; and the searing heatwave across the continent in the first half of January.

Here is an animated chart showing mean and maximum summer temperatures from the Bureau of Meteorology. Click to enlarge:

Data Sources: BoM Mean Summer and Maximum Summer

Here is an animation of the temperatures across Australia in early January. Notice the huge areas above 39, 42 and 45 degrees Celsius:

Source: BoM

How could it be the hottest summer for Australia when it wasn't the hottest summer for any one state?

I've come across a couple of people who are wondering how can this past summer have been a record hot summer for Australia given that it was not a record hot summer for any state or territory.

Here is why that can be. 

This first chart shows the summer maximum temperatures for states and territories going back to 1999. Click to enlarge.  

Data Source: BoM

You can see that most years when some states were hot, others were cooler, even below the mean.  In 2012-13 on the other hand, it was hot everywhere at the same time.  The columns are all clumped up together.  So even though every state and territory had at one time a hotter summer, at no time have all states and territories been this hot all in the one summer.

In this next chart I've stacked the temperature anomalies so you can see it more easily. Note that these don't translate to the Australia-wide chart because the area of each state and territory differs.  They are purely to illustrate the fact that you can have no single "highest" but still have a "highest" in the aggregate.  (Click to enlarge.)

Data Source: BoM

You may have noticed that Australia has had cooler summers, particularly in 1999, 2001 and 2010.  To get some perspective on that, go back to the top chart, which goes back to 1910.  Here is a stacked chart of the States and Territories for the same time span.  I don't think we'll see a summer as cold as 1916 again, and probably not even one as cold as 1973 or 1975.

Data Source: BoM
The same proviso applies to this stacked chart.  It doesn't translate to the Australia-wide chart because the area of each state and territory differs.  It is purely for illustrative purposes.

If after that you are still not clear on how could it be the hottest summer for Australia when it wasn't the hottest summer for any one state, try this for yourself.  It's a matter of simple arithmetic.

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.

From the comments at WUWT

Most of my readers are probably wondering why I'm stating the obvious.  You would be surprised that some people don't "get" this.  Some examples:
Paul Homewood says:
June 29, 2013 at 3:56 am  Hottest summer or not, the facts are that not a single state recorded their hottest.
In a longer comment in which he complains at length about Tamino's article on this topic, Gonzo says:
June 29, 2013 at 10:28 am  BTW how many state heat records were broken during the “angry” summer? Oh none!
Which drew this response from Anthony Watts:
REPLY: there’s no point in paying attention to Grant Foster aka “Tamino” his rants are irrelevant – Anthony
Which is funny coming from someone who doesn't know a baseline from a waist line.

No, Mr McIntyre, you can't take any credit for scientific research on tree rings

Sou | 2:52 AM Go to the first of 82 comments. Add a comment

I don't imagine for one second that Anthony Watts or his troops have the slightest clue about tree ring reconstructions.  They probably don't even know where Yamal is located.  It doesn't stop Anthony Watts from making a post about them a 'sticky'.  He thinks he's gloating about something that McIntyre is supposed to have done.  But the real story is a sorry saga and McIntyre as usual comes out looking like a belligerent, dishonest fool.

To read some about it I'll direct you to these two articles on

  • This first one is the most recent.  It's about a new paper by Briffa et al and it includes some discussion of where McIntyre is wrong.
  • This second one was written a year or so ago and documents more of the deceptions and wrong-headedness of Stephen McIntyre.

There is a third link, this time to dismissal of an appeal, showing the lengths McIntyre is prepared to go to harass scientists in a vexatious manner.

If you want to read more about that odious character (who shows signs of paranoia, conspiracy ideation and obsessiveness - and they are the more endearing of his attributes), there is a whole heap of stuff to read.  You can start here or here to get the idea.

PS In case anyone is in doubt, during one of the peaks of the attacks on scientists over the years, here is what McI orchestrated and took part in from his own website.  Vexatious in the extreme.  From
Then came the storm. Between 24 July and 28 July, CRU received no less than 60 FoI requests, and 10 more between 31 July and 14 August.
To compare, most scientists would never in their entire career get even one FOI request.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Wondering Willis Eschenbach wonders about Australian temperature data

Sou | 6:45 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment

Today on WUWT, Willis Eschenbach is wondering about ACORN-SAT.  He is bemused by the fact that within the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) temperature data, there are some records in which the maximum temperature is lower than the minimum temperature.  Willis writes:
What happened was that while researching the ACORN-SAT dataset, I chanced across a website with a post from July 2012, about four months after the ACORN-SAT dataset was released. The author made the surprising claim that on a number of days in various records in the ACORN-SAT dataset, the minimum temperature for the day was HIGHER than the maximum temperature for the day … oooogh. Not pretty, no.
Well, I figured that new datasets have teething problems, and since this post was from almost a year ago and was from just after the release of the dataset, I reckoned that the issue must’ve been fixed …

… but then I came to my senses, and I remembered that this was the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), and I knew I’d be a fool not to check. Their reputation is not sterling, in fact it is pewter … so I wrote a program to search through all the stations to find all of the days with that particular error. Here’s what I found:
Out of the 112 ACORN-SAT stations, no less than 69 of them have at least one day in the record with a minimum temperature greater than the maximum temperature for the same day. In the entire dataset, there are 917 days where the min exceeds the max temperature.

How maximum and minimum temperatures are recorded by BoM

I think Willis has it all wrong.  Here is how the maxima and minima are determined, from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology:

Air Temperature:
Air temperature is measured in a shaded enclosure (most often a Stevenson Screen) at a height of approximately 1.2 m above the ground. Maximum and minimum temperatures for the previous 24 hours are nominally recorded at 9 am local clock time. Minimum temperature is recorded against the day of observation, and the maximum temperature against the previous day. If, for some reason, an observation is unable to be made, the next observation is recorded as an accumulation. Accumulated data can affect statistics such as the Date of the Highest Temperature, since the exact date of occurrence is unknown .

The chart below is how I understand it.  On day one (in blue) the maximum is greater than the minimum, which is usual.  On day two (dark red) however, a change came through and the minimum temperature as recorded on the day of observation to 9:00 am was greater than that of the maximum of the previous day (click the chart to enlarge it).

This is the span of temperature recordings for a 24 hour period,
the maximum and minimum of which are recorded as the max and min temperatures
on the date of "the previous day to the day of observation".

Say for the Day Two temperature record (dark red columns), the left part of the above chart is the 1st December and the right part after midnight is the 2nd December.  The temperature record is for the 1st December.  The observation is taken at 9:00 am on the 2nd December.  The maximum is the highest temperature reached on 1st December.  The minimum is the lowest temperature recorded to 9:00 am on the day of observation.  That is, between midnight and 9:00 am on the 2nd December and recorded as the minimum for the 1st December.

Consider a day in Kyancutta, the first day of December in 1966 when the minimum recorded to 9:00 am on the day of observation was 13.4 degrees, whereas the maximum (observed on the previous day to the day of observation) was only 13 degrees.  The maximum for the second of December was 21.1 degrees as the weather warmed up again.  From the newspaper of the day, it looked as if a cool change swept across the country around that time.

So that explains why I believe Willis is wrong (again).  Feel free to tell me if it's me that's got it wrong.  However based on the past history of Wondering Willis, I'd go with BoM any day.

How often does this happen?

Back to Willis's wonderings.  He found that there were 917 days where the recorded minimum was greater than the recorded maximum.  Each data set runs from a different start date, but let's conservatively set the average recording period at 50 years long.  There are 112 stations.  That would mean that at most, the minimum is greater than the maximum recorded on only 4.5 out of every 10,000 measurements.

That's right.  It doesn't happen very often.

Comments from Willis and others on WUWT

Wondering Willis assumes he's correct but not everyone thinks so.  Instead of doing a bit more investigation, Willis is only too willing to believe that BoM has it wrong.  He writes:
The issue is that the authors and curators of the dataset have abdicated their responsibilities. They have had a year to fix this most simple of all the possible problems, and near as I can tell, they’ve done nothing about it. They’re not paying attention, so we don’t know whether their data is valid or not. Bad Australians, no Vegemite for them …I must confess … this kind of shabby, “phone it in” climate science is getting kinda old …

Finally after 25 comments, a WUWT reader, Johanna, has piped up to correct Willis:
June 29, 2013 at 2:49 am  The BOM clicks on to a new “day” at 9am (presumably when the sleepyheads roll into the office). It is quite possible, but quite misleading, for minima to exceed maxima for a 24 hour period given this. All it takes is a fast moving weather system, of which we get plenty on this vast continent.
I wonder how Willis will react.  The fact that johanna rips into BoM at the end of her comment will count in her favour as far as Willis is concerned.

Another update: After Johanna's comment correcting Willis' mistake, Nick Stokes chimes in and says the same thing.  Guess what happens?  Does anyone complain about Johanna?  No, because she rejects climate science.  Does anyone complain about Willis misleading them?  No.  What do they do? In among the stupid comments, they complain about Nick Stokes of course, because he doesn't reject 97% of climate science in the way the WUWT illiterati do.

Update 3: No, Willis.  It's not an error it's a convention.

This is truly weird.  Quite a number of people now have pointed out that Willis made a mistake and that the above description is how daily temperatures are recorded in Australia.  Willis is having none of it.  He says it's an "error" because Australia doesn't do it the way he wants it done.  I have a suspicion that he doesn't understand the method.  He writes:
Regarding the “explanation”, I don’t care about the explanation. Whatever the circumstances and assumptions might have been, it’s an error.
You seem to think that they are somehow prohibited from fixing an error because they’d be “rightly criticized” … are you serious? Do you know how many times these guys have “adjusted” and otherwise changed the data, without any such obvious error?
Now, I don’t care how they fix it. They can throw out the bad data. Or they can flag it and leave it in. My point is that doing nothing to an admitted error, in a supposedly scientifically quality controlled dataset, does not give me confidence in their other actions.

No, Willis, it's not an error.  You can call it a "practice" if you like or a convention.  A way of doing things here in Australia.  Whatever you call it, it beats the practice in the USA hands down, where time of observation free-for-all causes real problems that has to be corrected for a lot.  As noted in Hansen et al (2010):
Temperature records in the United States are especially prone to uncertainty, not only because of high energy use in the United States but also because of other unique problems such as the bias due to systematic change in the time at which observers read 24 h maximum‐minimum thermometers.
Victor Venema has written an excellent article describing the problem of changes in time of observation as can typically occur in the USA.

Here is how it's done in the UK:
Why are the daily temperature maxima and minima for different 24-hour periods?
Conventionally, maximum and minimum temperatures are recorded for 24-hour periods ending at 0900 GMT each day. Maximum temperatures tend to occur during mid-afternoon, so the relevant maximum for a given calendar day is the one recorded between 0900 on the day in question and 0900 on the following day. However, minimum temperatures generally occur around dawn, so the relevant minimum temperature for a given calendar day is the one recorded between 0900 on the previous day and 0900 on the day in question.
The way I read it is that in Australia, the minimum temperature is assigned to the day prior to the day of observation.  In the UK the minimum temperature is assigned to the day of observation.  In both cases there will be some (rare) days on which the readings can appear anomalous.

Deniers are Angered by More Angry Summers to Come

Sou | 5:01 AM One comment so far. Add a comment

There are a number of fake skeptics trying to find evidence to refute the fact that Australia had a very, very hot summer in 2012-13.  The reason they are revisiting this is because of a new paper by Lewis et al, which can be found here (subs req'd).  From the press release:
Lead author, Dr Sophie Lewis from the University of Melbourne and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate Systems Science said the study showed it was possible to say with more than 90 per cent confidence, that human influences on the atmosphere dramatically increased the likelihood of the extreme summer of 2013.
“Our research has shown that due to greenhouse gas emissions, these types of extreme summers will become even more frequent and more severe in the future,” she said.

I figured that with all that the fake skeptics are doing, I'd join in the fun and compare the UAH satellite data for the lower troposphere with the Australian Bureau of Meteorology land surface data (mean temperature).

I've only looked at January, which in 2013 was the month when that amazing heat wave lingered.  I've plotted the temperatures as well as the 5 year moving averages.  I don't know how UAH selects their data for Australia.  It's got a ragged coastline so I don't expect it's that easy.  Anyway, here is the result as an animated gif. Click the chart to enlarge it:

Data sources: UAH and BoM
The temperatures seem to be tracking each other more or less, with the land surface hotter than the air above it for some stretches.

Getting back to the Lewis paper that warns there are more angry summers to come, here is what the fake skeptic Anthony Watts wrote on WUWT. (In case you're wondering, Anthony recognised co-author David Karoly's name and he figured that would get the mob's blood pressure to rise):
June 28, 2013 at 4:44 am   Thanks Bob. My point in publishing the “angry” Australian claim by Karoly was that given the broad reach of WUWT, somebody would see what a load of codswallop it was and write a rebuttal, and I was right.
UPDATE: I see Nick is here working on an angle to defend the Karoly and Lewis govsci effort, so I’m even more sure it’s codswallop.

Anthony isn't up to writing a "rebuttal".  He wouldn't know where to start.  Bob doesn't mind having a shot but of course he does nothing remotely resembling the detailed analysis of the real scientists.  Thing is, Bob Tisdale started out without using Australia's land surface data.  He used reanalysis data - that dreadful modeled stuff that all the fake skeptics hate so much.

Finally he put up some charts with land surface data from BoM.  I'm not quite sure what he was trying to achieve, but I don't think he achieved it.

I may look at the paper (and what deniers say about it) over the weekend and write some more about it.

Friday, June 28, 2013

On GISTemp, baselines and anomalies

Sou | 7:48 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment

This is for a guest commenter who is having trouble with baselines and anomalies.  He is not the only one.

Here is a chart that shows UAH and GISTemp on the same 1981-2010 baseline.  They show very similar warming over that period.  Data sources: NASA and UAH

The charts  below show GISTemp global land and surface temperature anomalies with different baselines.  It doesn't matter what baseline you use, the global surface temperature has still gone up by the same amount.

Data source: NASA

Anomaly from twentieth century mean - showing approx: 0.8 degrees higher than 1880.

Anomaly from 1951 to 1980 mean - showing approx: 0.8 degrees higher than 1880.

Anomaly from 1981 to 2010 mean - showing approx: 0.8 degrees higher than 1880.

An animated composite, all showing approx: 0.8 degrees higher than 1880.:

It doesn't matter what the baseline years are.  The temperature difference between now and a point in the past will be the same, no matter what years you used as the baseline average.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Has it ever been this hot in Helsinki even once since the Big Bang?

Sou | 3:26 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts of WUWT is mocking Seth Borenstein for tweeting about "jet stream weirding", saying that it was a tad warm in Helsinki for 5 o'clock in the afternoon.  Anthony reckons it's nothing unusual.  WeatherUnderground says otherwise (it's a new record max for the date) and is on the side of Mr Borenstein.

But never mind that.  What I picked up was a classic response in the comments.  How often have you seen a fake skeptic write a response like the one below from Otter:

Ryan says:
June 26, 2013 at 9:49 am  Seth needs to get it together and start reporting on the bug respiration. Like real Scientists do! 
But seriously, do you guys think that the jet stream hasn’t been wonky for the last few years? Because the people who study it do.
Otter says:
June 26, 2013 at 9:53 am Ryan~ please demonstrate your proofs that such things have NEVER happened before in the history of this planet.

Otter's response epitomizes Anthony Watt's post beautifully.  If something has happened even once before in the 4 plus billion years of Earth's history, it's not only not a "record", it's not even extreme.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Will the hysteria die down a bit?

Sou | 2:29 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment

Over the past few weeks WUWT has been distinctly weird, even for WUWT.  Anthony has bullied arguably more than usual and has published a rash of really, really dumb articles and bald-faced lies.  I mean really dumb.  That's not unusual in itself, but the frequency is.

I postulate that the hysteria was building up in anticipation of President Obama's climate speech.  Now that the speech been delivered and given that it was without controversy (as regards climate) and did not include the type of radical measures that many deniers seem to have feared (like an excise on petrol), WUWT will probably get back to a more "normal" lower level of hysteria in its denial.

The reason I say this is that the same ridiculous alarmism from deniers was evident on Australian discussion boards in the period leading up to the announcement of the carbon pricing scheme.  After its introduction many of the most strident (and ignorant) deniers disappeared from the boards.

For example, today on WUWT there was an article about hot weather in the USA, with a stunning weather map coloured in reds and blacks, and not a snark to be seen in the article itself.  (Responses from the WUWT-ers were a different story, but no different to the norm.) The fact that it was published at all is refreshing.  WUWT didn't mention the recent floods in Canada or the recent weird weather in Alaska at all.

This hot weather article was followed by a denier meme article implying that "scientists don't no nuffin' no more".  Standard fare for WUWT, but fairly low key and devoid of the hysteria seen on WUWT over the past several weeks.

Time will tell, I suppose.

Just to be clear about Weatherzone...

Sou | 11:28 AM Go to the first of 68 comments. Add a comment

I recently posted an article responding to some comments made on a popular Australian discussion board,

This is to make it clear that my article was responding to particular comments made on that board about a HotWhopper article and is not to be taken as a reflection on Weatherzone itself.  The comments I responded to were typical of those seen elsewhere on the internet and countering these talking points with facts is what HotWhopper is all about.

Weatherzone looks to be an excellent service for discussing all things weather.

I notice Weatherzone has now closed the Climate Change Forum.  I do not presume to question the decision taken by Weatherzone  in this regard.  They will have their own reasons.  Bearing in mind that the style of HotWhopper is snarky and blunt, I sincerely hope that nothing written here or the way in which it was written contributed to that decision in any way.

Climate change is probably the most critical issue the world is facing this century.

Update: Weatherzone has since informed me that the decision to shut down the Weatherzone Climate Change Forum was taken the day before I wrote my original post.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Where does WUWT find these Geniuses?

Sou | 5:36 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment

Let's have a free for all.  Blog science rulez!  Anthony's latest genius who goes by the name of Abzats has just written a general whine that his latest research paper got rejected.  Well he didn't actually say that in so many words, but that's what it looks like.  His article is about peer review.  Here is a snippet:

Another problem that extremely frustrates me as an author are suggestions reviewers make on how I should improve my manuscript.
....mixed with a bit of conspiracy theorising that all those reviewers are waiting to snag his idea, and that lazy scientists are doing nothing all day and are keeping him waiting on purpose:
But, no, it has to sit for weeks on somebody’s desk. Somebody who just does not care enough. Or, worse, someone who is interested in delaying the process. The reviewer may be working on exactly the same problem and wants his paper published first.
...but finally he got to the punch line:

Ban peer review!

That's it.  No more.  Full stop.  If you were waiting for a brilliant new approach to building scientific knowledge you're out of luck this time around.  Still it was enough to draw applause from stan stendera who says:
June 25, 2013 at 12:09 am  Wow. I cannot help but agree. Where does WUWT find these geniuses?

Yep, a number of people have been puzzling over that.

PS Abetz - if you don't want peer review and would rather chuck it out than improve the process or replace it with something better, you've just got to find the right journal.

Okay I know a lot of scientists get frustrated with publishing papers.  And there are some innovative developments in many sciences, like open lab notebook.  But a whine with no suggestion other than "ban peer review"?  Dumb as.

Denier weirdness from an Australian weather discussion board

Sou | 11:51 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

SEE ALSO:  Just to be clear about Weatherzone

UPDATE 2: The Misandrist Replies

UPDATE: It gets even weirder.

Deniers are a funny lot

I've been getting around the traps and came across this.  CeeBee likes my articles and enjoys ragging the deniers on an Australian weather forum where a few of them congregate to mutter in their beards.  Following a suggestion he made in the comments over there, I've decided to give a poster called Anthony a bit of a thrill with some attention he doesn't deserve. (As usual, click any image to enlarge it.)

Anthony (not Watts) apparently doesn't accept the HadCRUT4 record but it seems he isn't capable of doing any research of his own.  It's enough for him to imply that the data I plotted isn't "fact".  We'll come back to that shortly.  I notice he's also one of those conspiracy nutters who thinks that people who accept science and say so must be "paid trolls", whereas he does his denying for free.

Wonder what he thinks of Christopher Monckton and his tiny little bit of data.

Data Source: UK Met Office Hadley Centre

Which brings me to another poster who goes by the name of Locke.  Locke was a bit weird.  He copied a copy (from CeeBee's copy) of an excerpt from my recent Monckton article.  That copy included the chart shown above.  In fact it was directly (like 11/2 lines) below the above chart, which he himself pasted that Locke wrote this:

What one cannot help but notice is Locke apparently didn't see the chart he pasted, which went back 162 years to 1850, whereas Monckton's only went back to 2001.  And he didn't bother to read my comment about Monckton's chart and my response (relating to the chart below), which was:
If he'd got rid of the noise from seasonal effects and monthly data, and started just one year earlier than 2001, you would have seen something quite different. If he'd started his chart ten years earlier, you'd have noticed the trend starting to show up.
Anthony and Locke add to the evidence supporting my growing opinion of deniers.  But never mind that, let's deal with the cherry picking accusation (which was a bit silly when he should have seen the chart going back 162 years) and see what Monckton would have found if he had gone back still another ten years. 

Data Source: UK Met Office Hadley Centre
The linear trend is even stronger (R=0.74 compared to 0.55) and the slope is steeper.  Compare that to the trend of Monckton's cherry pick - R=0.021.  Not worth a cracker! 

Getting back to the point I raised earlier on about Anthony thinking HadCRUT4 isn't fact.  I wonder if Anthony and Locke will try to argue again that the HadCRUT4 data is dodgy.  If they do they'd better tell Christopher Monckton to stop using 'dodgy' data, because his source was HadCRUT4 too.  He just used a lot less of it and didn't bother to filter out the seasonal fluctuations or the noise of the monthly weather.

OMG bloody barmy is right

Hang on, you'll need to use this before you read any further:

If you arrived from the home page. click here to read the rest.  This article has lots of stuff deniers love to hate, like charts and numbers and I'm conscious that not everyone has a fast internet connection.  Don't forget to attach the vice to your head.

Have all the deniers gone barking mad?

Sou | 7:12 AM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has a post about how Grover Cleveland caused 23 more hurricanes than has President Obama.  I think he also thinks that the Whitehouse knows of and cares very deeply about what some idiot who goes by the name of Steve Goddard tweets.

This WUWT article will go down as an Anthony Watts classic!

Are all deniers barking mad or what?

Interesting too that Anthony's palling up with Steve Goddard again after giving up on his silliness, making up stuff about sea ice.  He's running out of allies and must be turning to whoever he thinks he has left. Even idiots like Steve Goddard.  (Not his real name, but as long as he's a climate science denier he's not an anonymous coward as far as Anthony is concerned.)

Interesting to see Andy Revkin apparently consorting with and promoting the idiot Goddard, too.  And even Andy seems to think the White House cares two hoots about a dumb denier blogger and that it is all powerful and can just pick up a phone or something to Jack Dorsey and he'll hack the system and delete a tweet for them.

Even if the White House had ever heard of or cared about some crazy blogger, even it can't just get into Twitter and delete someone else's tweets.  Here's a live link to the tweet that all the climate science deniers (except Steve Goddard probably) thinks the White House cared enough about to use the Patriot Act or whatever to delete. (Does the USA still have a Patriot Act?):

The world sometimes seems to be a madhouse.   Deniers are nuts and getting nuttier day by day.  You'd think they'd limit themselves to just one conspiracy theory a day, wouldn't you.  A case of one is never enough I suppose.

PS My readers know already that Twitter is too complex for Anthony Watts.  Looks like Andy Revkin is flummoxed by it as well.

PPS Comedy gold!  I was wrong about Steve Goddard knowing his tweet wasn't deleted.  Apparently he doesn't know how to check his own timeline.   Now he's trying to claim that not only did the White House delete his tweet, the White House put it back again!  Face palm, as they say in the USA :D

Weird to see inside the mind of a conspiracy theorist.  Does the word megalomania spring to mind?  Do they think the White House is running Twitter now?  Deniers are bloody barmy, as we say down under :D

Courtesy of Anonymous in the comments and conscious of the fact that someone will cry "Godwin's Law" but this one is funny :D

PPPS More comedy.  Now Anthony Watts in another fit of conspiracy ideation has decided to test the power of the White House.  I'm not kidding!

Apparently he wants to be as important as he thinks Steve Goddard is (and John Cook).  You'd think after making such an idiot of himself with his ignorance of Twitter he wouldn't be so willing to do it again.  But Anthony never learns...He seems to really and truly think that the White House is trying to hide the history of the weather in the USA..  Not only that but he thinks the White House cares enough about a dumb denier blogger to notice his tweet.  Not only that, he thinks/hopes they'll take so much notice they'll remove it.  Not only that, he thinks that the White House can remove a silly tweet just by snapping its fingers.  (Does the White House have fingers?)  Look!

Sheesh. And to think there are still a few people who take these idiots seriously. 

It's not the White House it's the NSA

Crikey, they aren't finished yet.  Now they reckon the NSA has got involved.
_Jim says:
June 24, 2013 at 1:59 pm  Are we sure that wasn’t actually an “NSA pull”, for, you know, possible ‘national security’ reasons?

And they really do not understand Twitter and think the White House not only can alter Twitter but that it takes any notice of a tweet from a complete nonentity.  Does anyone else think that some people must have a really, really hard time surviving the real world?

Snake Oil Baron says:
June 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm
It seems they deleted it from their White House site tweets which is possible but it still existed on Twitter. I was confused about that at first. It is still a sissy thing to do but not a sinister thing to do.
No, Snake Oil, that's not how Twitter works.  You can't delete a tweet from any 'site'.   More than conspiracy ideation, these people have real delusions of grandeur.


"Steve Goddard" thinks that his megalomania has something to do with first amendment rights.  He still seems to think the White House did something with his tweet.  Nutty as...

Christopher Monckton the Con Man's Lame Deception on WUWT

Sou | 4:58 AM Feel free to comment!

Anthony Watts can't attract anyone but crackpots to WUWT

Poor little Anthony Watts is running out of people willing to write for his disgusting little blog, WUWT.  He's relying more and more on crazies like Christopher Monckton, David "funny sunny" Archibald, Ronald D "it's insects" Voisin and filling in the blanks with endless repetition of magical leaping ENSOs from Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale and random weird wonderings of Willis Eschenbach.

Today it's back to Christopher Monckton.  He uses a lot of words to try and get rid of the 97% consensus.  He wields wordplay to say words don't mean what they mean.  He tries to con his readers into thinking 97% is actually 0.3%.

Monckton is truly weird, a crackpot, delusional or deliberately deceptive - take your pick.

I bet he wishes it was as easy to disappear the actual 97% of scientific papers and the actual 98.4% of scientists who show that humans are causing global warming.

Way down near the end of his long-winded article Monckton draws a messy picture in that putrid pink he favours.  "That's better", say the rabble.  "We like pictures."  (Does anyone actually bother to read or attempt to translate what Monckton writes or do they just look at his pictures and nod sagely, pretending they understand it.)

Here's one of his pictures.  What do you think is wrong with it?  I went for the ugly theme to complement Monckton's.  Red on pink looks ghastly, doesn't it.

If he'd got rid of the noise from seasonal effects and monthly data, and started just one year earlier than 2001, you would have seen something quite different.  If he'd started his chart ten years earlier, you'd have noticed the trend starting to show up.

What else did you notice.  Did you see how the temperature is sitting 0.4 to 0.5 and a bit degrees above even the 1961 to 1980 mean?  The surface temperature is zooming up very quickly.  

Now for some perspective.  This animation shows the period in Monckton's cherry picked chart compared to the long term record.

Christopher Monckton is a deceiver, a con man, a charlatan, a climate science denier.  And not a very good one.

Anthony Watts: Arctic Ice comes back in Fall and Winter

Sou | 3:04 AM Feel free to comment!

Climate science deniers do come up with doozies.  I've already posted one from a WUWT commenter.  Here is one from Anthony Watts himself, owner of the anti-science blog WUWT:

Of course one only has to look at the WUWT Sea Ice page to note that sea ice disappears every summer, and comes back in the fall and winter.

It gets cold in winter?  Surely not.

Source: Cryosphere Today

As for the sea ice disappearing in summer, it didn't always disappear.

Here's an animation comparing the 1980s in the Arctic in mid August to the same date this century, from Cryosphere Today.

Maybe Anthony is saying that that to prepare his readers for the fact summer ice will soon all disappear from the Arctic.  Or is he pretending it's not been disappearing as fast as this:

And this:

Videos from Andy Lee Robinson.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Denier comment of the day: Earth and that extra energy. "Say what?" is right

Sou | 3:29 PM Feel free to comment!

How to attach a vice to your head.
Illustrative only.
Caution: Do not, under any circumstances,
remove your brain.
A little bit of denier weirdness, which is the norm at Anthony Watts' anti-science blog, WUWT.  Put on your head vice first.

Say What?

How  the greenhouse effect lowers surface temperature according to Gail.  The highs get lower and the lows get higher with a net lower temperature.  "Say What?" is right!

This is from a long time reader of WUWT I believe.  You'd think after years of reading about climate, even if only on WUWT, she'd have picked up the basics of the greenhouse effect.  But no.  Very weird.

Gail Combs says:
June 23, 2013 at 8:37 pm “…equivalent to exploding 400,000 Hiroshima atomic bombs per day 365 days per year. That’s how much extra energy Earth is gaining each day.”>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
Say What?
There are only two sources of heat. Sunlight and the heat from the core of the planet so the earth can not “gain extra energy” All a GHG like water vapor does is modify the temperature making the highs lower and the lows higher with a net lower temperature since some of the sunlight gets bounced back to outer space.

Greenhouse gases keep the earth warm.  More makes earth warmer

This one's for Gail.  Gail has made a logical fallacy of the non sequitur type.  It does not follow from the fact that there may be two sources of heat that earth cannot gain extra energy.  If Gail were to turn on the heater at home, would she say that her house cannot heat up because she has only provided one heat source?

Greenhouse gases keep the earth warm.  More greenhouse gas makes the earth even warmer.

Source: Climate Commission, Australia

Anthony Watts is a Scaredy Cat - and Wrong Too

Sou | 4:35 AM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment

One thing I've noticed from Anthony Watts on his blog WUWT is the number of times he talks about being scared.  Monckton has done the same thing in the letter sent around ahead of his recent dismal tour of Australia.

More and more the literature shows that the conservative brain is ultra-sensitive to 'scared'.  Maybe that's why his brain doesn't work most of the time.

For example, today Anthony started off saying that the notion of Hiroshima bombs as used by John Cook and James Hansen is false.  He was writing about a talk given by John recently, in which he was quoted in The Australian saying "our planet has been building up heat at the rate of about four Hiroshima bombs every second".

He used the word "scare" or a variation eight times in his fairly short article.  Then Anthony wrote some sums and decided it was "only six tenths of a watt per square metre."  so "nothing to worry about".  We'll come back to that later.

John Cook didn't plagiarise James Hansen's idea

Anthony accuses John Cook of plagiarising James Hansen.  Hansen used the Hiroshima bomb analogy in a Ted talk in May 2012 that Anthony read about.  The thing is, if Anthony ever visited any science sites like, he'd know that John Cook has been measuring energy in terms of Hiroshima bombs (or Hiros) for a long time.  Back in March 2011, John republished this article by Mike Sandiford on  Professor Sandiford may have coined the term "Hiro".   This is well before the May 2012 Ted talk given by James Hansen that Anthony accuses John Cook of plagiarising.

I'm not about to go looking to see whether Mike Sandiford was the first to use the comparison.  I wouldn't be surprised if it was first used before then but perhaps the credit should go to Mike Sandiford.  Whatever, I bet Professor Sandiford wouldn't be as petty about the matter as is Anthony Watts.

Here is how Mike Sandiford presented it at The Conversation article with the headline: Our effect on the earth is real: how we're geo-engineering the planet.  (Mike Sandiford iDirector of the Melbourne Energy Institute and Professor of Geology at the University of Melbourne.) Some extracts:

So how do we compare?

Our best estimates place human industrial emissions of sulfur dioxide and CO₂ at five and 100 times natural volcanic emissions, respectively...

...Anyone who has seen film of a volcano erupt or those horrific scenes of devastation from the recent Japanese earthquake and tsunami can intuitively appreciate the immense energy involved in the natural processes that shape our planet as it vents heat stored deep within its interior.

The rate heat is released from the earth – a measure of its natural “metabolic rate” – is well understood. It’s about 44 trillion watts, and reflects the average rate of energy transferred in moving all the continents, making all the mountains, the earthquakes and the volcanoes on our planet in a process we call plate tectonics.

By way of contrast, the International Energy Agency estimates our human “energy system” operates at a rate of some 16 trillion watts.

So we are already operating at one-third the rate of plate tectonics, and with our energy use doubling every 34 years we are on course to surpass plate tectonics by about 2060.

Climate scientists talk about the climate sensitivity in terms of a “radiative forcing” – an obscure term that accounts for the rate of heat energy gain or loss due to a change in a climate parameter.

The radiative forcing of a doubling of CO₂ is about 1300 trillion watts – or 28 times the energy released by plate tectonics.

And we are well on the way to doubling CO₂. In the past hundred years we have added almost 40%, and warming that can only plausibly be attributed to a greenhouse effect is not only heating the atmosphere, but is also pumping heat into the oceans and the crust at a phenomenal rate.

When my students measure the temperature in boreholes across Australia they invariably see that almost as much heat is now going into the upper 30-50 metres of the Earth’s crust as is trying to get out – a result entirely consistent with the surface temperature rises measured by climate scientists.

Recent measurements suggest the oceans have been heating at 300 trillion watts over the last few decades.

The scale of our energy use is truly mind-boggling. In fact, the sheer size of these numbers makes it difficult for most people to grasp and comprehend their significance; few of us have any useful reference frame for comparison.

To put these numbers into a more human context we need a a new measure for our energy use. The “Hiro” is one. It is the equivalent to the energy released by detonating one Hiroshima “Little Boy” bomb every second. One Hiro equals 60 trillion watts.

In these terms, our human energy system operates at a rate of 0.25 Hiros, or one Hiroshima bomb every four seconds. That is the equivalent of more than eight million Hiroshima bombs going off each year.

And we are on a trajectory towards the one Hiro mark by 2100, equivalent to the energy release of one bomb each year for every five-square kilometre patch of land on the planet.

The ocean heating is at 5 Hiros over the last few decades – the energy equivalent of detonating more than a 150 million Hiroshima bombs in our oceans each year.

And the radiative forcing of the CO2 we have already put in the atmosphere in the last century is a staggering 13 Hiros. The equivalent in energy terms to almost half a billion Hiroshima bombs each year.

The world’s human population has grown so much and so fast – trebling in one century and still rising by more than 70 million a year – that it’s perhaps not surprising that the vast scale of our geological impact is yet to sink in.

But it should not be a surprise because the realisation is not new.

An old story retold

“Most interesting of all, perhaps, is the question whether man, by his prodigious combustion of coal … is producing more [carbon dioxide] than can be eliminated by ordinary natural processes. If this production is excessive, the result eventually may be an unwelcome change in his atmospheric surroundings."

One can imagine our shock jocks rolling their eyes at this quote, proclaiming yet more “warmist” propaganda as part of an organised climate science “swindle” hell bent on undermining the modern industrial world, or securing more government largesse.

But it only sounds like it might have been written in recent times because I have altered the wording to fit the modern context.

In reality, the author did not use “carbon dioxide”. Rather he used “carbonic acid”, a term in vogue generations ago, and a dead giveaway as to its ancestry.

And I bet our shock jocks would never guess it originates from one of the most celebrated geologists of his time.

The quote is from Arthur Woodward, “keeper of geology in the British Museum”, Fellow of the Royal Society, President of the Royal Linnean society.

Woodward’s comments appeared as preface to a classic geological text by Robert Sherlock – “Man as a geological agent” – published in 1923.

Intriguingly, Woodward’s quote followed with the suggestion that, “Man … may be approaching a stage when he should pause to consider whether his use and alteration of the crust of the earth itself are for future as well as for present advantage.”

Though he didn’t use the term, Woodward was probing the implication of man’s potential to “geo-engineer” the planet, almost 90 years ago.

You can read the complete article here at The Conversation.

Doing the sums

Back to Anthony briefly.  What he did I'm not really sure but I do know I got a different answer to him.  He worked out that four Hiro every four seconds equates to 0.6 watts/sq meter.

Okay I did the sums again and I get .4 watts/sq metre.  That's 0.4 joules every second every square metre.  In the same order of magnitude.

The reason for the difference between Sandiford and Cook I'm not sure about.  I think they are talking different things.  Anyway,  here on SkepticalScience it shows net heat increase was running at 0.73 ± 0.16 watts/sq m. for the period 2002-2008, and rising.

There's a nice visual of incoming and outgoing radiation on the NASA website.

Anthony gets everything wrong

So Anthony got everything wrong again.

Firstly he got it wrong about James Hansen being the first to use the Hiroshima bomb analogy, or at least that it was used on SkepticalScience the year before Hansens' TED talk.

No delete number two -- I'm not sure if he got the sums wrong at all.  I'll replace it with - four bombs a second equates to one bomb every four square km on earth each year!  Which does make you stop and think.  Most of the effect is going into the oceans, which will have its own consequences.

Thirdly, Wotts surmises that Anthony is looking at things all wrong anyway.  Which may well be right too.  I must admit that I couldn't figure out what Anthony was going on about with his 500 watts/day business.  When earth is in balance there is no net change.  It's zero.  But what we're doing is adding energy to the system and that will come at a big cost.

Finally - isn't he a scaredy cat.  Like most disinformers, he recognises that one of the reasons people deny is to quell cognitive dissonance arising when reality clashes with world view.  And he does his best to keep that old amygdala from exploding.

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".

Hell Hath no Fury like a Denier Scorned or The Only People who Accept Science are Paid Trolls? WUWT?

Sou | 9:16 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment

Tell me your real name, occupation and source of income or I'll ban you!

Anthony Watts and his band of deniers are predictable.  Hell hath no fury like a denier faced with facts. In a recent thread you can see what happens.  Here is a rundown.

A commenter by the name of Jai has been reminding WUWT readers about numbers and science and the dearth of deniers in the world.  Anthony Watts is not about to let any nonsense such as facts get in the way of a good yarn.

Jai gets an avalanche of attention for saying scientists accept AGW

Jai writes a total of nine comments so far by my count.  The first comment of his got all the deniers very worked up.  This is what he wrote in response to an article that three members of the American Meteorological Society resigned because, unlike the society, they reject climate science.
June 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm Only 14,000 more members to go.
Apparently they had a problem with this:
There is unequivocal evidence that Earth’s lower atmosphere, ocean, and land surface are warming; sea level is rising; and snow cover, mountain glaciers, and Arctic sea ice are shrinking. The dominant cause of the warming since the 1950s is human activities.
This happens to be the position of :
And then he listed all the scientific societies and professional associations that have endorsed the fact the humans are warming the earth.  So his post was quite long.  It's a long list.  (His comment wasn't nearly as long as William Astley's, who typically adds a zillion words every time he writes a comment.)

Well, you should have seen the reaction.  In total, jai's name is mentioned 97 times in that thread.  Now isn't that a familiar number!  Only nine of those times are comments from jai himself.

On "hassling" and conspiracy ideation

The onslaught gathered pace fairly quickly after John Tillman wrote about Anthony getting funds from the Heartland Institute.  This is what Anthony replied:
REPLY: Actually Heartland didn’t provide that money, they connected me with a donor who ran a technology company.  The work that was funded to make the NOAA data for the CRN easily viewable (since they NEVER mention this new state of the art network in the monthly state of the climate reports) is still in progress here Anthony
Jai then does some conspiracy theorising of his own and asks Anthony not for a name, not for a particular business, just for the industry the donor works in:
June 21, 2013 at 5:19 pm Hey Anthony!  Can you provide the industry that your “technology company” donor works in?

Anthony sez "no, people like you will just hassle those people".  Hassle an entire industry?  I suppose...

Anyway Anthony gives us all a lesson in "hassling". Plus conspiracy theorising. (my bold italics):
REPLY: Why not ask Peter Gleick, I’m sure he has plenty of stolen information yet to be revealed. I’m not going to share since the goal of him and people like you is to hassle those people....
You really need to stop with the regurgitated hate-talking points. All you are succeeding in doing is showing people how little you really know and how biased you are. – Anthony 
...Can we get a FAQs on “Jai Mitchell”? For example, is that your real name or a fake, what NGO’s do you belong to, and who pays you to spread this stuff here? - Anthony
Apparently writing a list of scientific organisations and asking for the industry Anthony's benefactor works in is "hate-talking points".  Crikey!  I'd hate to peer inside Anthony's head any more than I have already.  It's a weird paranoid place.

Anthony deletes the next comment from jai, somewhat mysteriously writing this.
[snip - questions upstream require your attention before going further, since you have been skipping them, I'm going to help you remember - Anthony]
Is this the first time a comment has been deleted because a reader hasn't answered a question they've been asked?  Like I said, jai's name is mentioned 97 times, 86 of those mentions are by others.  So that could be anything up to 86 questions that jai didn't answer.  Whew! that's a lot.

Anyway, Anthony lets jai's next one through, though not without another rejoinder and more conspiracy ideation:
jai says:
June 21, 2013 at 5:44 pm  Anthony, I didn’t ask for specifics, I don’t care who gives you money. It was only in the interest of the topic of discussion. If your donor in some way associated with the fossil fuel industry? That shouldn’t be too revealing to your sponsor.
Have a good weekend!
REPLY: “Technology company” should be plainly evident as NOT being a fossil fuel company.
So no FAQs from you? Like if you are a fake name or employed by an NGO to be here? – Anthony
And jai replies politely, thanking Anthony (apparently easily dropping his conspiracy theory when faced with facts) - while Anthony tries once more to get all jai's personal information:
jai says:
June 21, 2013 at 5:48 pm  No Technology company does not in any way shape or form indicates they are involved with the fossil fuel industry, since you said they are not then that’s enough, thanks for answering my question!
REPLY: so why are you afraid to answer questions put to you? – Anthony

Finally Anthony sums up the questions he's been wanting jai to answer:
June 21, 2013 at 5:53 pm @Jai Mitchell, to be clear the questions are:
1. Is Jai Mitchell a fake name?
2. Are you a member of an NGO that has issues with WUWT?
3. Are you paid by an organization to be commenting on blogs? The reason I ask is that you don’t seem to be employed during the day, and you have a constant stream here.

Not having managed to get the FBI file on jai, Anthony Watts decides jai goes onto the first and probably last rung of the "ban" list:
Anthony Watts says:  June 21, 2013 at 6:01 pm @Caleb Since he is a disruption, and won’t engage, Jai is now on moderation, his comments will always get the attention of a moderator at this point.
"Won't engage" is Anthony's code for "he won't give me all his personal details"

It doesn't take much for WUWT-ers to form a lynch mob behind Anthony Watts

Jai made 9 comments with a total of 97 mentions, Janice Moore made 15 comments from a total of 19 mentions.  Being a denier like Janice doesn't rate highly on WUWT.  Goes to show if you want fame on WUWT you have to write something vaguely sciency and then the anti-science mafia will rise up as one in their paranoia and form a lynch mob, with cries of "troll", "hate" and all the rest.

Brings back memories...

I reckon Anthony must be worried his new moderation policy might wreck his audience demographics.