There's an update below.
This is an article that goes to the character of Anthony Watts, or his lack of. He has posted an article by one of his faithful fans, Stephen Wilde. I'll be kind and suggest that Anthony didn't read it before he put it up. That happens quite a lot.
Here is a link to the archived original version, courtesy of one who joined in the general guffawing that went on in Twitter. I've taken a snapshot of the original then the attempt at face-saving. Spot the difference.
Anthony belatedly tried to save face by adding some time later:
Note: I’m glad to see a number of people pointing out how flawed the argument is. Every once in awhile we need to take a look at the ‘Slayer’ mentality of thinking about radiative balance, just to keep sharp on the topic. At first I thought this should go straight into the hopper, and then I thought it might make some good target practice, so I published it without any caveat.
Readers did not disappoint.
You may have spotted something else. Not only is Anthony happy to expose his faithful fan to public ridicule, he didn't even have the courtesy to spell Stephen's name correctly as you'll see below. And there's more in the comments, where Anthony tries to wriggle out of his lack of judgement:
REPLY: the journey to a right or wrong answer is just as important. This was good practice in seeing how well people can sort out the answer. -A
And in response to dp, Anthony talks about using Stephen Wilde for target practice:
April 8, 2014 at 9:05 am
This post comes 7 days too late. It is a joke, right?
REPLY: yep, just some fun target practice – Anthony
Stephen Wilde has good reason to object. Not only did Anthony spell his name wrongly, Stephen has learnt a hard lesson in how Anthony treats his "friends". He says (excerpt):
April 8, 2014 at 9:09 am
All posts here are good target practice for someone.
If you thought it was only good for the hopper then I would have preferred you had said so and not bothered to use it....
REPLY: My opinion on the backradiation and lapse rate silliness is well known, you should have known better than to submit it. If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen. Hopefully you’ll learn something from the comments. – Anthony
Just like he did with Nicola Scafetta recently, Anthony tossed his faithful fan, Stephen Wilde, to the dogs. Anthony acts as if he's caught between a rock and a hard place. He can't accept the science or he'll lose all his fans. Yet he wants to appear to be knowledgeable. His character is such that he'll sacrifice the odd loyal follower when it suits him.
Which is the worse indictment on Anthony? That he might not have realised that the article was dumb when he posted it? Or he did know it was dumb but was happy to ridicule a fan rather than shelve the article. I think the latter is worse, but Anthony doesn't agree or he would have acted differently. It goes to character.
I guess this article is more about bad blog behaviour than about the article. But since you're probably curious - Stephen decided that Kevin Trenberth's energy balance diagram is wrong. What's wrong with Stephen Wilde's article? Practically everything. Even the diagram he used is 17 years old. It's from Kiehl and Trenberth (1997). There have been lots of updates since then.
I don't have the time or the inclination to go through the article itself. Much of what was wrong was picked up in the WUWT comments. Stephen Wilde makes a lot of comments trying to justify his stance. Another comment that you might like is this one, from Anthony Watts' guard dog, sock puppeteer and favoured mod, dbstealey aka Smokey aka dbs aka D Boehm aka who knows what else. dbstealey admits that he's a greenhouse effect denier and says:
April 8, 2014 at 10:30 am
Duster says: … the inward or down-welling LIR is never 50% of the reradiated IR…
That has been my understanding for a long time now. Greenhouse gases radiate in all directions, therefore a CO2 molecule at, for example, a 20 km altitude would re-radiate an IR photon that it absorbed from the surface in all directions, therefore far less than 50% of the re-radiated photons would return to heat the earth. Most would proceed into outer space. It is only at the surface that a photon has a 50% chance of warming the planet. The rest of the photons radiate into space, cooling the planet.
That is just one of several arguments falsifying the greenhouse gas conjecture.
That's enough from me. I've a busy day ahead. I'll just let you enjoy the reaction on Twitter.
Its the return of the Killer Slayers of Death! Get it now, before it gets taken down in shame: http://t.co/u1lOlbz8dM
— William Connolley (@wmconnolley) April 8, 2014
@capital_climate No. It's definitely wrong. ;-) @VariabilityBlog @wmconnolley @MobyT9
— Gavin Schmidt (@ClimateOfGavin) April 8, 2014
.@wmconnolley @ClimateOfGavin @capital_climate @MobyT9 If Watts realised it,that would be worse. Exposing a fellow sceptic to mass ridicule..
— Victor Venema (@VariabilityBlog) April 8, 2014
After writing this article there were quite a few more comments plus Anthony added more to his note at the bottom of his article (latest archive) In his note he wrote:
Update: Let me add that the author assuredly should have included a link to the underlying document, Earth’s Global Energy Budget by Kiehl and Trenberth
Go on, try out his link. It's dead. Not only that but going by the doi (and date) in the link, Anthony meant the link to go to this 2009 paper.
Trenberth, Kevin E., John T. Fasullo, and Jeffrey Kiehl. "Earth's global energy budget." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 90, no. 3 (2009): 311-323.
But the diagram Stephen used was from this 1997 paper:
Kiehl, J. T., and Kevin E. Trenberth. "Earth's annual global mean energy budget." Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 78, no. 2 (1997): 197-208.
In the more recent comments you'll come across a few people who are feeling uncomfortable about WUWT turning on one of their own and chastising Anthony Watts, as if they accept his line that he knew the article was wrong when he put it up. They also know it could have been any one of them to be humiliated. There are also more comments from people who are busy claiming that the energy diagram is all wrong because their particular brand of pseudophysics "proves" it.