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Sunday, November 30, 2014

"Up yours!" sez Anthony Watts with another Tim Ball "Climate Hoax" conspiracy theory

Sou | 2:11 PM Go to the first of 133 comments. Add a comment

See hypotheses - added below.

There had only been two three WUWT articles since the Tim Ball fiasco of the other day. Now there's a third fourth. Who'd a thought it - it's by the man himself, Tim Ball (archived here). Anthony is bowing to his conspiracy theorising readers and reassuring them that he hasn't thrown their favourite number one climate conspiracist to the dogs. (Edit: I missed one article. There was one talking about some chap who said something or other about the new health care system in the USA, therefore climate science is a hoax. Or something like that.)

This is also Anthony getting back at all those nasty science types, who objected to Tim Ball claiming that climate science is a giant hoax. This is Anthony thumbing his nose at Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards and telling them - go jump. He figures he'll probably never be invited to dine with them again anyway.

Some snippets just to show what Anthony Watts thinks of you all. Climate science is a hoax, a deception, a fraud - according to WUWT and Tim Ball. Notice his constant repetition of the words "deception" and "fraud" mixed in with his allusion to the old-style conspiracy theory  about "transfer of wealth" and "political control" and "global taxation". He stops just short of writing "New World Order" and "One World Government":

In my recent article about the motive behind the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) deception on global warming, I challenged people to offer an alternative suggestion to my proposition that it was about political power and control....(link)
...However, money was not the reason for the cabal who orchestrated the entire deception.  (link)
...The global warming deception may be the last great fraud perpetrated on the people and promoted by the mainstream media. (link)
...Release date of the emails in November 2009 was to block further political action by the Conference of the Parties scheduled for Copenhagen. At that meeting, the plan was to introduce global taxation and transfer of wealth with political control that transcended national boundaries. (link)

Yep, Anthony Watts has given up. He's fully retracted his previous "not really a" disclaimer and decided it's full steam ahead. Fulfilling expectations theory. If people think he's a nutter anyway, why not behave like one? (As well as that, Anthony seems to have run out of people to write for his blog. All he's got right now are Wondering Willis Eschenbach and Tedious Tisdale. He uses others sparingly, like the CATO duo, who sometimes admit they accept global warming is real and we're causing it, so they aren't all that popular at WUWT.)

Here's a link that explains the origins of Tim's conspiracy nuttery, that he's woven into his grand climate conspiracy. It's nothing new. It can be linked in with various anti-semitic conspiracy theories, like Tim Ball did in his previous WUWT article. It's origins can be traced way back in time, to the nineteenth century. Well before climate change was widely recognised as an important issue. As described in Wikipedia (with references):
The common theme in conspiracy theories about a New World Order is that a secretive power elite with a globalist agenda is conspiring to eventually rule the world through an authoritarian world government—which will replace sovereign nation-states—and an all-encompassing propaganda that makes the establishment of the New World Order the culmination of history's progress and an ideology. Significant occurrences in politics and finance are speculated to be orchestrated by an unduly influential cabal that operates through many front organizations. Numerous historical and current events are seen as steps in an ongoing plot to achieve world domination through secret political gatherings and decision-making processes.

You can read more here. There is also an archived web page here, describing the One World Government conspiracy espoused by WUWT. Hard to tell if it's a parody or for real. It includes the expected anti-semitic conspiracy and tosses in some anti-Catholicism and anti-education (the Jesuits are known for their scholarly works). It also points to free trade and privatisation being the mechanism by which it works, which must confuse the right wing extremists no end. Although conspiracy theorists can twist anything to fit their nutty ideas. (That last bit added by Sou a short while after this article went up on the blog. 30 November 2014)

Speculative hypotheses 

I've been tossing around some ideas to try to figure out why Anthony Watts gives Tim Ball a platform for his crazy conspiracy theories. Tim Ball is, after all, a sky dragon author of the greenhouse effect denial book. Anthony bans other sky dragon slayer proponents from even commenting, let alone writing blog articles. But not Tim. I'm wondering why Anthony is so willing to be associated with a conspiracy theorist who plays in the same ballpark as lizard men believers and HAARP conspiracy nutters. I've come up with some hypotheses. Feel free to add your own.
  1. Anthony has some sort of contract that specifies he must post Tim Ball's dumb articles, though he can choose to reject any individual item (which he has on at least one occasion).
  2. Anthony is a closet conspiracy freak himself.
  3. Someone somewhere has suggested that if Tim Ball's articles get onto a blog like WUWT, it will support an insanity defense by Tim Ball in his defamation cases. Anthony agrees (or doesn't know about this).
  4. Anthony relies on a very small stable of writers. Tim Ball makes dumb articles by Christopher Monckton, Bob Tisdale and Willis Eschenbach seem more "normal". 
  5. Anthony has decided to shift his focus away from science and aims to mimic other conspiracy blogs, like Prison Planet, InfoWars etc. He's dipping his toe in the water to see if he can bring his readers along with him. He can.
  6. Anthony is trying to send the message that WUWT is a send up. A fake pseudo-science blog, not a real pseudo-science blog. A parody of a denier blog. He's not yet convinced his readers of that no matter how weird his articles are. Which only goes to show...
Number 4 only works if there are many more articles by Christopher, Willis and Bob, compared to Tim Ball's fantasies. So it's not that likely.

(Added by Sou, shortly after publication of the main article on 30 November 2014.)

From the WUWT comments

ferdberple paints himself as one of Bob Altemeyer's RWA's:
November 29, 2014 at 1:04 pm
no conspiracy is required to make this happen. the rich and powerful, acting individually out of self-interest, want the rest of us to take less of the pie so there will be more left over for the rich and powerful.
since the rich and powerful own the media, as well as the politicians through campaign contributions, it is in their best interests to promote media stories and politicians that tell the rest of us to get by with less. that we need to be “sustainable”. that we need to cut back on CO2, since fossil fuel is running out. and pay more taxes to help us cut back on CO2. and if we don’t, CO2 will kill us.

ferdberple continues and contradicts himself. Conspiracy nutters are known for being able to entertain two opposing notions at the same time. He writes:
November 29, 2014 at 1:30 pm
and of course the rich and powerful also control the education system through the politicians, the scientists through grants and funding and the universities though alumni bequests.
and though all this people remain skeptical of global warming.

Just Steve says it's all this teaching and learning that's the problem. Public education isn't a feature of advanced democratic nations, it's a communist plot:
November 29, 2014 at 1:53 pm
Progressives control education, for a simple reason.
Where did the concept of compulsory public funded education come from? Not Locke, Jefferson, or any of our founding documents….it is pillar #10 of the 10 pillars of communism, found in the Communist Manifesto. 

Just in case you thought that MCourtney isn't one of the nutters, just because he can be polite when he wants to be, and because he agreed that Tim Ball was over the top in his previous article. Well, he's just as big a wacko as the best of them. He probably became concerned that he'd be mistaken for a rational human being, based on him getting a mention here. So he decides to dispel such fantastic notions and declares his utter nuttery, mixing modern day themes into his own weird theory proving climate science is a "hoax", writing:
November 29, 2014 at 12:37 pm
My own thought on how this all came about is just a coincidence of mutual corrupting influences.
1 Some form of science was bound to be corrupted. The use of a small group with common interests, mutually peer reviewing each other, in order to create a body of work that will sustain their careers – that is how academia works. Dominate a new field and then become the experts – guaranteed tenure.
2 Choosing a new field as a stick to influence people with – is obvious. Adverts use people in white coats to sell washing powder and makeup. Why not also policies?
3 Maggie Thatcher needed to justify destroying the UK coal industry. She did that for political reasons based on the history of UK trade unionism in the 1970s.
4 Everyone else in power worldwide needed an excuse for raising taxes or (geopolitics) weakening the economic superpower (at the time, the USA).
5 These processes led to new institutions that became self-perpetuating. They generated more assumptions, biased more data and trained more recruits.
6 This small group of institutions with common interests repeated point 1 on a larger scale… and the cycle began to repeat on a global, governmental scale.
7 And the mirror happened in the media. What is the point of a Science Journalist and an Environmental Journalist in the same organisation? Not a lot if cAGW turns out to be a crock, in my opinion.
No conspiracy. No simple corruption. Just people following their careers, rationally.

One of Judith Curry's protégés, Rud Istvan, joins in the fray, with an incomprehensible bit of pure twaddle:
November 29, 2014 at 4:31 pm
Dr. Ball, in my humble opinion a very worthy post.
As background, Media ‘truth’ in the internet era was explored somewhat rigorously in The Arts of Truth. Media complicity in AGW was exposed multiple times in Blowing Smoke, most graphically in the eponymous essay.
Part of the media issue is a lack of minimal due diligence–something Monbiot is apparently incapable of. Thatnmakes them mere amplifiers for whatever smoke,themsupposed experts are blowing to keep,their research grant gravy trains going. Blowing Smoke essays Shell Games (corals and oysters and ‘ocean acidification), Greenhouse Effects (poleward spread of pests), and Snows of Kilimanjaro (Al Gore and Inconvenient Truth) make this clear by example.

Doug Allen is very brave and dares to suggest that maybe, just maybe, something that didn't come across as, frankly, complete and utter nuttery, might be needed if he is to persuade everyone that 200 years of climate science, physics and chemistry is no more than a giant hoax perpetrated by Maurice Strong. Well, he didn't use those exact words. And he did admit that he's a fan of Tim's utter nuttery even though he finds it a tad unbelievable. He wrote:
November 29, 2014 at 5:56 pm
I’m always impressed by Dr. Tim Ball’s extensive learning and writing style and usually agree with
most everything he writes. I do think that he often skates pretty close the conspiracy and self-congratulatory edge. I wish we had more critical thinking about Ball’s question, “an alternative suggestion to my proposition that it was about political power and control” because the answer is very important and so is the way we frame the answer if we want to convince others.

Oh, there's heaps more in that discussion. All sorts of people are implicated in this unbelievable world-wide, multi-century hoax being played on the poor little gullible folk at WUWT. You can read them here.

Warning: Limit the time you spend delving into the WUWT cesspit, if you want to your brain to keep functioning as it should.


  1. Well, at least he didn't invoke the Protocols of the Elders of Zion this time. Instead it was The Club of Rome doing yeoman duty as a stand in.

    1. I prefer to call it "yeoperson service". Similarly, if rattus norvegicus were getting into your kitchen, or something, you might refer to them as "verpersons".

  2. Yowza. And these people heap scorn on Lewandowsky?

    The lack of self-awareness is simply breathtaking.

    1. Rum Runner, nowhere does Lewandowsky claim the *pictures* were faked. He does correctly point out that the picture that was linked to the USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole...were not actually pictures of the USS Skate surfacing at the North Pole!

    2. The Kochs yes-men have lobotomized their side of the think-tank circuit to the point that they don't realize they're abandoning the field in the Climate Wars.

      While this may be funny at times , it sorely diminishes the quality of the actual policy debate.

    3. @Rum Runner

      I do not follow the Lewandowsky arguments much. But from what little I do know he did not claim deniers say the moon landings were faked; I believe he said there is a correlation between believing the moon landings are fake and not accepting AGW.

      If you disagree can you give me a reference that substantiates what you say?

    4. Rum Runner does not comment here any more. I'll leave your comment, Anonymous, for the benefit of other readers.

  3. The real question is what the Betts' and Edwards' expect to get out of this.

    1. Eli, their stated reasons for associating with the denialati are varied, including simple curiosity (in much the way one goes to the zoo).

      In regard to expectations, Richard Betts has none if I understand what he's written on the subject. Tamsin Edwards seems to think she'll make a difference, but whether it's a difference in how fake sceptics behave or whether it's a difference in how she is perceived (as a bearer of olive branches) I don't know.

      Richard's expectation if I've got it right, is realistic. Tamsin's, if I've got it right, is only partly so IMO - the latter part. IMO it's the fake sceptics who should be stocking up on olive branches to extend, not the scientists.

    2. I disagree Eli. It really is only of passing interest.

      What is much more interesting is that Watts (with some justification reading the comments) believes that his followers are not the least bit interested in dialogue or compromise. They just want more of the same - denigration of climate science and scientists.

      That has implications for politics particularly in Australia where a large proportion of the ruling party have either read or been influenced by the denier blogs or opinion writers..

      Australia's Foreign Minister Julie Bishop (and touted as a leadership contender) is repositioning prior to Lima climate talks & following the shirtfronting of Abbott over climate at the G20. How will the unpopular Australian PM Tony Abbott's support base among the hard core deniers (and Watts' demographic) respond.

    3. One thing that the people who pander to the wacky end of the scale have going for them is the element of surprise. No reasonable person can believe that people can entertain such nutty ideas and still function (more or less) in society.

      Look at how Richard and Tamsin appeared to swallow Anthony's line that it was a "mistake". Which was absurd, given this article and all the other similar Tim Ball articles at WUWT in the past. It's the norm, not the exception. Either Richard and Tamsin can't believe someone they dined with could be as freakish as Anthony, or they know his history and just repeated his lie as a sop to Anthony so they could get their article published at WUWT.

      I'm reminded of the Pauline Hansen effect. Few believed she'd find enough people who were extreme enough to vote for her. But there were. It didn't last. Just like this won't. But the damage to society caused by these wackos is real and shouldn't be underestimated.

    4. How about 1100 (and counting) spittle-flecked conspiracy-mongering comments over at WUWT?

      Maybe that's not what they were expecting, but it's certainly what they *got*.

  4. I've updated some links and added more references to the underlying conspiracy theories. Plus added some hypotheses of my own about Anthony Watts' truly weird behaviour. I left off the obvious hypotheses, that Anthony's gone around the twist, lost his marbles. Too easy and probably not so.

  5. Sou, you have both my admiration and sympathy, and you probably should take your own warning to heart. If I read Wattsupmybutt every day like you do I would probably go postal.

  6. LOL If there's a media conspiracy to promote climate change, someone hasn't brought the broadcast networks into the fold. These numbers are from 2013 and give lie to those idiots. Ok... For the entire year

    ◾CBS' Face the Nation aired nearly 16 minutes of climate change-related coverage, almost twice as much as its nearest competitor, ABC's This Week.
    ◾NBC's Meet the Press broadcast the least amount of coverage, failing to offer a single substantial mention of climate change in all of 2013. Fox News Sunday even aired more about climate change than Meet The Press, with nearly 4 minutes of politically-driven coverage

    ◾NBC Nightly News outpaced both ABC and CBS, airing roughly 52 minutes of climate change coverage, recovering from a lull in coverage in 2012.
    ◾ABC World News nearly cut its climate change coverage in half in 2013 over the previous year, reporting on this issue for less than 10 minutes.

    These must be the most lax evil conspirators ever

  7. This is amazing. A mere day after I predicted Watts would in the near future put up another Tim Ball post filled with conspiracy theories...Watts puts up a Tim Ball filled with conspiracy theories!

    The "now why did he do that?" question was already answered in the comments to the guest post of Richard Betts and Tamsin Edwards: there are so, so many Wattsians that buy into Ball's crap, WUWT would be dead without them.

    And if anyone wonders why I could predict so well - well, it's the "Two Minutes Hate" that WUWT and several other pseudoskeptic websites thrive on. It was just a bit sooner than I had expected.

    1. My guess is that Watts asked Tim Ball to write the same post again without any links to the words of 'Mein Fuhrer'. So he did; but Anthony posted it as a new article rather than replacing the old one. He can now say he corrected it, without actually correcting it. More importantly, we now all know for a fact exactly what Ball is thinking when he repeats his message again in future.

  8. One more hypothesis: AW is not in control of wuwt. The mod comments in the goose-step thread support this.

    1. Yes, that was very strange, wasn't it. For the benefit of readers, despite Anthony's weak "disclaimer" and admission that he made an error of judgement in allowing Tim Ball's article to go up unedited, this is what a mod wrote:

      [Dr. Ball did NOT “call” anyone within the CAGW populist/anti-free-thought community Nazi’s. Dr Ball DID show that the METHODS USED in their bombastic deliveries and in their dogma were similar to the propaganda methods written about in Mein Kampf. The CAGW community invented the charge you are repeating above because the CAGW community recognized the accuracy and effectiveness of Dr Ball’s comparisons of their methods. .mod]

      That mod is a conspiracy theorist class one, who thinks that climate science is a hoax and hundreds of thousands of scientists, journal editors, civil servants and everyone working in/for universities, journals, the media and governments in every country around the world are pulling the wool over the eyes of the denialati at WUWT. But you can't fool them. They are a wake up. Also they are very courageous. They know what Lizard Men can do to them and still they are bravely speaking out. They know that they risk getting locked up in FEMA camps and still they speak out. Mostly behind the cloak of anonymity like "mod" there. But they know that the NSA can see all and their time is limited.

      They deserve a medal - for sheer stupidity.


    2. "Dr. Ball did NOT “call” anyone within the CAGW populist/anti-free-thought community Nazis.

      Hmm, it quacks like a duck. It walks like a duck. It looks like a duck.

      Obviously I am not describing a duck.

    3. What Anthony needs to realise is that the anonymous mods are 'in loco Anthony'. In other words a mod is the voice of the blog owner, not the article writer. If they say something libellous the buck stops with AW; legally the MOD is deemed to be under his supervision.

      Anthony probably is very grateful for the free work done by his mods, and is supportive of them. He needs to be careful.

    4. Jammy @2:04 am -- I think you're actually describing Dr. Oz.

    5. @palindrom

      Ha ha. Excellent. I do love the humour of twitter scorn!

  9. Who can trust a group that makes adjustments to raw data that almost ALWAYS favors their "preferred" direction? Then, when asked to justify it, the raw data is refused, said to be lost or the reasons are random. But regardless, the adjustment is ALWAYS in the direction of more warming.

    What kind of scientist says "trust me"? A real scientist says, "Here's what I know, here's the data that backs it up. Here's what I don't know. Here's the data that I cannot explain, and makes me doubt my conclusion"

    That's what a real scientist does.

    1. "Who can trust a group .... "

      There's your problem right there. The scientific community is not a "group", it's a large, highly diverse, international community of "groups" without any central direction.

      And then you proceed to parrot disingenous talking points from propagandists. You're being lied to, but not by the scientists.

    2. Tell us what data has been refused you, Anonymous, and I'll see if I can help out. There is so much data that's downloadable from the internet these days.What format would you like to receive the data in? (Or what software do you have?)

      BTW who did you ask and how (eg by email, snail mail or other means). Scientists are busy people and maybe your request went astray. Or you wrote it like your comment, which wouldn't have been very informative.

      Which group do you think made adjustments to some raw data? Which data (eg sea level, ice volume, ocean pH or satellite observations that were converted to tropospheric or stratospheric temperatures). That way we could help you out by explaining why adjustments were made. You see a lot data in science (and engineering and econmics etc) gets adjusted one way or another before it becomes useful.

      Then tell us what evidence you have that it's not been warming. For example are sea levels falling? Are there fewer and less severe heatwaves around the world? If that's what you are asserting, then show us the data. Justify your claim.

      Then tell us who said "trust me". Have you ever met a "real scientist". Is that what they told you? Who was it?

      A real scientist is generally much more specific. A real scientist doesn't build strawmen or make up stuff or regurgitate something they think they read on a denier blog somewhere as "proof" of something they cannot enunciate.

      Perhaps this is just a fly-by comment from one of Tim Ball's conspiracy theory classes. "How to be a science denier of the utter nutter kind in one easy lesson."

    3. I think I know what went wrong with Anonymous' request for data - he or she sent it anonymously with no return address :)

    4. As you stated that maybe you can help me out, I'd like the methodology behind the adjustments for the Rutherglen site. It is a simple request, one made in an attempt to replicate the adjusted data. I'm sure you'll agree with me that David Wratt should be more than willing to show the reasoning behind his adjustments. In fact, I'm pretty interested in why you think (apparently) that he should be resisting calls to publish his methodology at all.

      Incidentally, does it matter if it was me specifically that asked for his information? Shouldn't he make it available to the scientific community at large? Is independent replication not a cornerstone of science? Strange that your first concern is to throw up roadblocks against me (who did I ask, how did I ask, etc.) rather than support open, transparent research.

      Note: He did publish his reasoning behind the Wellington adjustments. That wasn't very convincing...

    5. anonymous, your questions can be answered by simply reading the relevant papers that describe the methodology that the surface data is based on. and no data is refused. you are simply lying, or repeating a lie you've heard.


    6. anonymous, see

      no conspiracy. no deception. no evil scientists bent on world domination.


    7. So, I looked at the justification to change the temperature record (that's exactly what we're doing here, changing the record).

      In summary (and please correct me):

      Justification given by authors: "While no firm evidence exists as to the exact location of the site in 1958 and earlier years, an approximate location has been identified which is consistent with all documented features of the pre-1958 site. This location is more elevated, and has less flat country in its vicinity, than the post-1975 site and would therefore be expected to have warmer minimum temperatures, which is consistent with the observed data"

      My observation:
      1. Station moved less than a mile. And it is very clear, using googlemaps (go right ahead yourselves) that there's no significant change to the topography of the land (googlemaps contour lines change every 40 meters in that area, and the only line marked within a two mile radius is 200 meters. So, these are gentle slopes on a predominantly flat area, regardless of whether the station actually moved.

      So, I ask, "Is he saying that a change of less than 40 meters (and that miniscule amount has not been established AT ALL) is justification for saying it will be warmer at night at the higher elevation station location?

      That goes completely against all of our personal experience. All of us have experienced that the opposite is the case....that areas on top of a mountain (which this definitely is not) lose their heat at night much faster than those areas in valleys.

      Does that really ring true to you? Did you guys really look?

    8. "Station moved less than a mile....That goes completely against all of our personal experience."

      As a gardener, it doesn;t go against mine. Ever heard of a frost pocket? Maybe you need to get out of your chair and actually get some experience.

    9. "Is he saying that a change of less than 40 meters (and that miniscule amount has not been established AT ALL) is justification for saying it will be warmer at night at the higher elevation station location?
      I think you misunderstand what actually takes place. Victor Venema could explain this better than me, but I'll try. Firstly, what we're talking about are anomalies. This means that for every station (or every region, maybe) you want to determine some average temperature for the time of observation. Every data point is therefore the difference between the actual measurement and this average. So, if you move an instrument, or change the time of observation, you need to compensate for this change. For example, if you used to take a measurement at midnight, but then change it to 6am, you need to know the difference between the average for measurements taken at midnight and measurements taken at 6am, so the you can determine the anomaly values for measurements taken at 6am, rather than at midnight.

      Of course, in an ideal world, all of this would be done properly and any change would be logged and could be properly adjusted. That isn't really how this works. What often can happen is that there appears to be some strange change in a temperature measurement at a particular site. Could it be real? Possibly, but we don't really expect temperatures at a particular site to suddenly change. What's more likely is that something happened to the instrument. Maybe it moved. Maybe the instrument was changed. Maybe the site changed in some way. Maybe the time of observation changed. Scientists do their best to try and understand why this change might have happened but at the end of the day they sometimes have to simply assume that something changed and that the data needs adjusting. Often this isn't done by considering only a single dataset. Often you consider data taken at other sites in the same region to see if they also underwent similar changes or not.

      So, to go back to your first point. I don't think it was a movement of 40 metres that justified changing the data. It's that an observed change in the data can be explained by a move of 40 metres and, consequently, means that the data requires adjustment. Apologies to Victor if I've completely messed that up.

    10. "My observation:"

      Your observation? Anonymous must be Jennifer Marohasy then.

    11. "All of us have experienced that the opposite is the case....that areas on top of a mountain (which this definitely is not) lose their heat at night much faster than those areas in valleys."

      In case our anonymous friend can't be bothered to check out the concept:

      "Frost hollow (or frost pocket) is the name for low-lying area (e.g. a valley bottom or a smaller hollow) where frosts occurs more frequently than in the surrounding area."

    12. And then there's physics - I think you're exactly right - they found a jump in the data. At that point, there were three options:

      1. Leave the data as found until a solid reason for adjustment that made both physical sense and was well documented.

      2. Make an adjustment that moves the temperature trend upward.

      3. Make an adjustment that moves the temperature trend downward.

      Options two and three are both equally valid (I could have warmed the past/cooled the present OR I could warmed the present/cooled the past). Only a physical reason can differentiate and justify option two or three.

      And yet, everyone here seems to accept that moving a site less than a mile, with no meaningful change in terrain, means you should adjust temperature trends UPWARD. To me, the author's justification is very hand-waving, and not convincing. In fact, his principle reason - the station was previously at a higher elevation and therefore nighttime minimums were warmer???? makes no sense.

      Mostly, I would say that there's no reason for preferring either adjustment because the station topography is essentially the same.

    13. Anonymous, why would options 2 and 3 be equally valid? Not if the statistical analysis strongly indicates that the data had an artificial *downward* step.

      And yes, I have no problem accepting that a site move of less than a mile may need major adjustment. I know that a site move of a mere 150-200 meters in De Bilt (The Netherlands) required a 0.14 degrees adjustment in the *mean daily temperature*. I know that in Amos, Canada, a move *up* the mountain increased the mean minimum temperature by 1.3 degrees (Celsius). Again: UP the mountain INCREASED.

    14. "...everyone here seems to accept that moving a site ... means you should adjust temperature trends UPWARD"

      Please, please, please say what information you used to make that assertion.

    15. @-'Anoymous'
      "Mostly, I would say that there's no reason for preferring either adjustment because the station topography is essentially the same."

      That leaves you with a puzzle. A station record that shows a clear step-change in the average minimum temperature. While all the surrounding local stations show no such change.

      Perhaps you think a locality with essentially the same topography can suddenly shift its microclimate without any effect on nearby measurements for no physical reason.

      Suddenly haunted by ghosts perhaps, the chill of their nocturnal perambulations lowering the nightime averages?

      The source of this problem is that weather stations were never intended for the purpose of determining long term temperature trends. They were originally intended to provide a measure of the local WEATHER to a BEST accuracy of a degree or so over an annual cycle. Not to record decadel trends of a tenth of degree. Deriving that information from the data collected for a different purpose is not straightforward and can always be open to criticism. But unless you want to reject ANY derived measurement of the obvious warming trend from surface measurement, you have to accept some modification of the data for changes in methodology. Otherwise you are abandoning a perfectly good source of data just because it requires correction for procedural changes.

    16. Is this "Anon" the same Anon who refused to answer Sou's first set of questions here? If so, the deal should be to cut them off immediately if they don't engage. Instead, off Anon goes, working over stuff that's already been done to death on other posts.

      Anything to take the conversation away from how crazy the WUWT authors, posters and mods are.

    17. "So, I ask, "Is he saying that a change of less than 40 meters (and that miniscule amount has not been established AT ALL) is justification for saying it will be warmer at night at the higher elevation station location?"

      During winter storms in Portland, Oregon, a 40 meter change is very often sufficient to lead to snow on the pavement vs. merely wet pavement.

      You need to get out more, and stop with the argument from personal incredulity.

    18. And, of course, focusing on one site is just idiotic. And representative of what denialists due when confronted with reams of data - "look, a squirrel!"

    19. dhogaza --- Ah, but you fail to understand the mindset. In the paranoid world of the denierdom, any adjustment of the temperature record, no matter how scientifically defensible, is prima facie evidence that "they" are faking the data to support their one world socialist UN Agenda 21 plans.

      You can sprinkle in some scare quotes and all-caps passages if you like.

    20. Anonymous,

      When I tried my hand at crunching the raw temperature data some time ago, I got results very similar to the "homogenized/adjusted" results published by NASA. And the bulk of the difference between my raw data results and NASA's official (aka adjusted) results can easily be shown to be the result of the relocation of hundreds of urban temperature stations to outlying locations at airports.

      Don't believe me? Then go to, download the data and documentation, and take a crack at analyzing the data yourself.

      If you know what you are doing (can code, know some data-crunching basics, etc.), you too will be able to demonstrate that (1) The adjustments are required to account for station moves (i.e. the city to airport moves in the mid-20th century) , and (2) The adjustments don't have very much impact on global-average temperature results at all.

      But if you don't have any technical skills, then you'll just have to stick with your tinfoil-hat conspiracy-mongering, I guess...

    21. Or, you can loudly proclaim in your capacity as a self-proclaimed Great Iconoclastic Physicist that the temperature record is suspect, assemble a crackerjack team of data analysts with great fanfare, crunch the data yourself, and discover that, by golly, the lowly climatologists had it right he first time.

      At least that's what Rich Muller did.

    22. Marco - doesn't appear that there is any "step change". This raw data plot shows that a generally decreasing temperature before homogenization. So, I see no reason for this adjustment.

      Caenbonnog - technical pedigree is a Master's in Mechanical Engineering from MIT. Strong background in CFD. Coding - no problem coding etc. Let's stick with Rutherglen, if it is all the same to you.

    23. Anonymous wrote: As you stated that maybe you can help me out, I'd like the methodology behind the adjustments for the Rutherglen site. It is a simple request,

      Sure, I've written about this. In fact I've written about it twice. Plus I've spoken about it with scientists at Rutherglen and BoM.

      I see that others have pointed this out to you as well. In typical denier fashion you then resort to "I don't believe it". Yet you've said nothing that would justify your disbelief. Which is typical of deniers. It's also ironic, given your previous insistence of what a "real scientist" would say or do. So you aren't a "real scientist", which is also no surprise.

      The methodology is the same as adjustments made for any site with a break in the data. In this case it was a simple request. So simple that I'm surprised you haven't found it for yourself, especially since you arrived here irate and bursting with aggro. It's described in papers on this BoM site here. I don't know why you came here to ask for it.  It's freely available to the public. Since you didn't even know how to find this it makes me doubt you'd understand the first thing about it.

      Your later comments lend support to my hypotheses. You can't even judge distance (700 minus 400 does not equal 40) let alone be aware that different sites will have different microclimates, particularly so when one goes from one side of a rise to another. I've spoken to a scientist at Rutherglen and he confirms this, with an illustration of how a local politician asked for a different weather station on a different site on the property so the temperature low wasn't so low :)

      Incidentally, the reason it was of interest to me if it was you who asked for data (now you've changed it to a request for metholodogy, I see) is that deniers often make wild claims, as you did, that the data (in your case now, methodology) was not available, when in fact it is available, as in this case. Not just made available to you, one of 7 billion people, but to everyone. Anyone can download these documents.

      Deniers also often make the claim that data (which you've now changed to methodology) is not available when they've never even asked for it, which also appears to be the case with you. Deniers are often liars or less than scrupulous with the truth. It goes hand in hand quite often. All bluff and bluster - as in your case. Committing the fallacy of personal incredulity.

      Not only did scientists make freely available the data and the methodology, but in this particular case, the scientists have taken the unusual step of investigating this particular record in more than one way, in detail. And writing about it and making the results of their investigation available to the public. Including you.

      Yet still deniers complain.


    24. "Let's stick with Rutherglen, if it is all the same to you."

      'Cos one weather station is so much more convincing than analysing the complete picture?

    25. Anonymous says: "So, I see no reason for this adjustment."

      From BoM: "The need for the adjustment made to Rutherglen data for the period prior to 1966 was determined from an objective statistical test that showed an artificial jump in the data during this period."

      So Anonymous, what objective statistical test did you use? Or did you use that favourite statistical technique of deniers: the biased eyeball test?

      Try reading the methodology first.

    26. Yeah, ironic isn't it, given the way anonymous came in huffing and puffing about "real scientists". Then turns around and with no evidence to the contrary, just says "I don't believe it".

      Typical of the denialati.

    27. So, Sou, help me understand. We detected an artificial jump around the time of the station move(s), right? What are you saying (or what is the author saying) is the right correction factor? Is it a step-wise function, where DT = K1 before 1960 and Dt=0 after 1960? That's what I think you're saying. It makes sense because the station move(s) are singular events and all of the corrections should be constant for all years before the station move(s), right?

      As a reminder, the BOM quote below (looks like they're saying there's an artificial "jump").

      From BoM: "The need for the adjustment made to Rutherglen data for the period prior to 1966 was determined from an objective statistical test that showed an artificial jump in the data during this period."

    28. Uh-oh. We got ourselves an engineer.

    29. Doesn't matter if I'm an engineer or a baseball player. The adjustments should be made understandable and transparent. It is amazing that some here say that the authors used an "objective statistical test" and are willing to accept that as proof that everything is above board. What "objective statistical test"? Is it a simple T-test used to compare two means? Sounds like that's the case, but if so, why don't the authors simply say so? Is it another test where the slopes before and after the station moves are made are compared? Fine, but just say so. In any event, the authors describe it as a "jump", so I assume they're simply comparing the temperature averages just before and just after the station moves.

      Waiting confirmation from this board....

    30. Anon, give yourself a name so we don't get you confused with Anon. Then, contact BoM and ask for the details you want.

      Maybe. as you will need to work through every weather station in the world, one by one, you might ask the BEST crowd what they learned in their own skeptical review of the climate record.

    31. The adjustments are understandable and transparent and publicly available. See the links already provided and read the documents. If you can't understand the adjustments then how can you claim they are wrong?

      You've hijacked the thread successfully in true denier fashion. You fibbed about asking for data in true denier fashion. You were wrong about data not being available, as deniers do. You then asked for methodology when you claimed you were wanting data as if you don't even know that difference. You didn't even know that the methodology was already available.

      You started off aggressively. You've been pointed to the answers in multiple places. The fact that you refuse to accept the answers is a sign of denial not scepticism.

      If you think the answers are wrong, then do your own work and show why you think it's wrong. Post it somewhere (not here), with all your workings, like one of your "real scientists" would do. Don't just moan and gripe and ask me to write again what's already been written, not just by me but by the scientists themselves.

      I'll allow you to post a link to a page or Google doc or similar, showing your own calculations and methodology and that's it. And post it on one of the Rutherglen articles. I've provided links to them above. Or use the search bar for "Rutherglen".

      No links to denier sites by the way. That is against comment policy.

      Any other moans and groans from you will go straight to the HotWhoppery, if I can be bothered.

    32. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    33. @Anonymous

      "It is amazing that some here say that the authors used an "objective statistical test" and are willing to accept that as proof that everything is above board. What "objective statistical test"?"

      No, Anonymous. You are the one making the claims so it is up to you to back them up with some sort of evidence you know what you are talking about. Because I provide a quote that the scientists say they used an objective statistical test does not mean I accept that as proof. It means that is what they say they did - no more no less.

      You are the one casting aspersions so you should have some basis for those aspersions. You say "what objective statistical test"!! That shows in neon lights that you have not properly investigated what they did at all, yet you are willing to make firm statements claiming they are wrong. I think that is reprehensible.

      Deniers are so careless with words and giving meanings to what people say that are so careless and sloppy. I think it is a sign of being unable to think clearly or logically. Which leads to such sloppy thinking.

      Go and read the methodology.

    34. Anonymous says: "Quick now, Sou, hit the delete button before your gullible sheep start to question."

      Baah, baah, I have been to the baah Jennifer Maaarohaaasy website, cut and paaasted stuff but not bothered checking the B(aaa)oM methodology. Thaaat maaakes me aaan independent thinker. Baaah.

      Baaah humbug!

    35. "Let's stick with Rutherglen, if it is all the same to you."

      And here we see a common pseudo-skeptic error - cherry-picking data. In the context of the set of nearby stations Rutherglen showed an anomalous jump, inconsistent with the data as a whole (when only one of N stations shifts anomalies, the parsimonious explanation is that something changed at that station, not that the station is OK and everything else in the region simultaneously offset). Note that temperature anomalies have demonstrated correlation over distances of 1000km - such a singular offset is a clear sign of station change.

      Taking a single station out of context and claiming nefarious intent (cf conspiracy theories), despite the data as a whole and the quite detailed reconstructed history of the changing station, is utter nonsense. Anon should (but probably won't) be ashamed.

    36. A better response to "anon" might have been to redact the "sheep" statement (a la ATTP), but require follow-up (i.e., a checkable reference) on the statement "Well, I did check it, and they did NOT make a stepwise adjustment. They made a linear adjustment, approximately -0.02C per year." I would have been interested in the source for that.

      Note that BEST also include the Rutherglen data and see a step bias across the long gap of poor quality data in the 1970's:

      although they don't take the data back as early as ACORN does.

  10. Here is one of your titles:

    Smaller volcanic eruptions helped slow warming, but deniers at WUWT don't believe it

    Yes, "Deniers." Google 'Climate Change Denier' and you will find 348,000 web page hits. By contrast 'Climate Change Skeptic' yields only 493,000 web page hits.

    Denier is offensively to skeptics because it implies denying clear incontrovertible truth. Skeptics do not believe their is a clear incontrovertible truth. That "Denier" alone has become such a powerful term by those who buy into global warming theory shows how willing many are to use emotional terms that have nothing to do with science to push an agenda. It's frankly disconcerting how many people are willing to use this unscientific term to describe those who disagree with them.

    In fact, I would say it is an attempt to shut down debate.

    I think people want to shut down debate because of their concern over the risks of global warming (cooked planet and all that), and to create immediate action. But that too is irrational. Without some major geo-political event, CO2 is going to increase, and nothing scientists, or bloggers can do is going to stop the increase. The IPCC is not going to stop China, or India from pulling people out of poverty with cheap energy, and that cheap energy is going to produce a lot of CO2.

    Looking at the CO2 producing curves into the future, there isn't much the US and Europe can do to slow it. Even if the US were to stop all CO2 production by electric generation, it's not going to slow down CO2 increases meaningfully. China and India are not going to stop generating CO2, as that would stop them from pulling their people out of poverty.

    If you think through that, and it doesn't take a lot to understand that, what is the value of pushing solar and wind (or as Germany and Britain are also doing, burning American forests as a "Green" technology, Germany now has 16M in energy poverty). This has been clear for a decade.

    Why is the IPCC pushing failing models? Why is so much being spent on solar and wind? It invites speculation. As many have noted, including a recent article by google engineers, Re < C can't happen with current technology. Trying with current technology makes little sense. Yet, those who shout "Denier", the IPCC, and others want to dig into people's wallets to try.

    These attempts at reducing CO2 will fail. The right answer is to research new technologies to the point at which Re becomes < C, so China, India, and Africa can use them to pull their people out of poverty. But that's not the policy. I have to ask "Why?" Following the money is one way to understand why.

    1. You should probably have used the word "poverty" a few more times. After all, you take such great pains to avoid referencing the warming that is occurring (you clearly don't "buy into global warming theory") that you are left to rely solely on "emotional terms that have nothing to do with science to push an agenda."

      I have to ask "Why?"

    2. Anonymous, the fake outrage over the word denier is because it is linked with the Holocaust in modern minds (ironic, considering Balls's Godwin). The word predates Adolf by several years:

    3. "Denier is offensively to skeptics because it implies denying clear incontrovertible truth. Skeptics do not believe their is a clear incontrovertible truth."

      They don't believe there is a clear incontrovertible truth because they have been sold a bill of goods by a brilliant propaganda effort. Every single argument made by the propagandists collapses upon close examination. Failure to recognize this constitutes -- well -- denial. The pearl-clutching of the denialists when confronted with their denial is pretty comical.

    4. @Anon: "In fact, I would say it {use of 'denier'} is an attempt to shut down debate."

      What a load of crap: here you are, allowed to post. Look at previous threads: long discussions with people who are clearly not true skeptics. Go to WUWT and ask why they shut down debate.

    5. "You should probably have used the word "poverty" a few more times."

      I used it twice in one context (reason China and India are producing CO2), and once in a different context (Germany is creating energy poverty through its Green policies).

      Is that too much? What's the limit on the use of a word? Do you disagree with any of the contentions I made?

      My view on Global Warming is that CO2, all things being equal, increases the amount of energy stored in the global earth climate system. How much of that translates into things we care about (increased temperatures, and what that means) is very to answer. I'm skeptical of the IPCC projections for many reasons, not least of which is the oceans seem to be absorbing a lot of the heat without much effect on the things we care about. While I think catastrophic consequences are not as likely as many think, it's definitely a possibility.

      What I'm pretty clear about, though, is the current approach of Solar and Wind is not working, and will not work. It ought to be clear to everyone they will not work to meaningfully reduce CO2.

      So a different policy must be implemented, and in my view, that ought to be researching energy technologies that can yield Re < C (though I would settle for Nuclear, some CO2 neutral biological process, or fusion).

    6. @-Anonymous
      "Denier is offensively to skeptics because it implies denying clear incontrovertible truth. Skeptics do not believe their is a clear incontrovertible truth."

      Believing there is no clear incontrovertible truth is what MAKES them deniers.

      It is possible to be skeptical of the severity and pace of AGW.
      It is certainly possible to be skeptical of our collective ability to respond to AGW in any effective way because of the inadequacy of global governance.
      If you favour conspiracy over SNAFU it is possible you may be skeptical of the political motives of any organisation that does try to respond to concerns over AGW.

      However the anthropogenic origin of the measured increase in CO2.
      The ineluctable implications of the radiative transfer equations for the warming role of CO2 levels.
      And the multiple lines of evidence for unprecedented rates of global warming since humans started intensive agriculture, living in cities and burning fossil carbon are not open to skepticism.

      they are incontrovertible truths in the same way that the heliocentric solar system, the common ancestry of humans and apes and the benefits of herd immunity from vaccination are incontrovertible truths.

      Skepticism about those aspects of AGW IS denial of scientific fact. Established by such a consilience of lines of evidence that no conceivable new evidence could overthrow it.

    7. "It is possible to be skeptical of the severity and pace of AGW."

      That's my view. That's also the view of most people labelled "Denier" I follow, including Judith Curry. She gets 52,000 hits for google 'Judith Curry Denier'.

      So again, I ask why the heavy handed use of "Denier," for people who agree with the physical properties of CO2, but who question the amount of warming it will actually have?

    8. You miscounted your use of "poverty", but the larger point seems to be that you you place "your view" of AGW over the IPCC's, without an intelligent justification.

      "I'm skeptical of the IPCC projections for many reasons, not least of which is the oceans seem to be absorbing a lot of the heat without much effect on the things we care about."

      I'm skeptical of your poorly-reasoned skepticism, and I don't think those who are willfully ignorant of the science should have a part in the policy discussion.

      Judith Curry encourages scientific ignorance by presenting outrageously un-scientific articles as "interesting" and "eye-catching" on her blog. I think "disinformer" is a MUCH better term for her ilk than "denier", but both reflect her disregard for truth.

    9. "So again, I ask why the heavy handed use of "Denier," for people who agree with the physical properties of CO2, but who question the amount of warming it will actually have?"

      Because Freud says there are three forms of denial: it ain't happening, its not so bad, its not me. Your form of denial is the 2nd type - its not so bad. But that's just today. Deniers seem able to move between the three forms with ease.

      You have nothing to support your position, and you seem to ignore people who point out things that don't suit you. And, frankly, if you really think you know better than every prestigious scientific body on the planet then you are off your head, and the diagnosis of some form of psychosis is reasonable. Or are you expecting to receive your first Nobel prize any time soon?

    10. "She gets 52,000 hits for google 'Judith Curry Denier'."

      Of which the vast majority does not involve her being called a denier. She did come pretty close to it when she stopped just shy of promoting the ideas of Murry Salby on the CO2 increase.

    11. "(poverty) I used it twice in one context..."

      "Poverty" used 4 times in my estimation.

      It feels like deliberate and malicious alteration of the data to me. How can you be so inaccurate without intent? Who is paying you to make such false statements? When are you going to usher in World government? I want to see all your emails for the last 5 years.

    12. "Denier is offensively (sic) to skeptics because ..."

      I think you have that wrong. Denier is offensive to deniers.

      A true sceptic does not worry because they know they are asking genuine questions and genuinely looking for answers.

    13. Catmando :"... the word denier is ... linked with the Holocaust in modern minds ..."
      I'm not sure that's so; I suspect it's more strongly associated with AGW denial. After all, who hears about Holocause denial these days? AGW denial, on the other hand, is everywhere you look.

    14. @-Anonymous
      "So again, I ask why the heavy handed use of "Denier," for people who agree with the physical properties of CO2, but who question the amount of warming it will actually have?"

      Because while the value of climate sensitivity is not known as an 'incontrovertible truth' it does have clearly defined areas of doubt and uncertainty.

      It is justifiable to label someone an alarmist who claim that a doubling of CO2 will cause more than 5degC of warming. It is a possibility but they have bet on a 1:100 probability. A real outside chance.
      The situation is symmetrical for those claiming climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 is below 2degC. Its a very small probability.

      In both cases the sensitivity that the two groups favour is just about at the borderline of denying the known physical properties and effects of atmospheric CO2. Such extreme and improbable values for climate sensitivity adopted by such alarmists and minimizers always raise the suspicion of motivated reasoning.
      Favouring such unlikely values for climate sensitivity, whether it is a claim it is twice as bad as we think, or only half as bad as we think, will prompt others to question why you hold such an extreme position.

      @-"I'm skeptical of the IPCC projections for many reasons, not least of which is the oceans seem to be absorbing a lot of the heat without much effect on the things we care about."

      As the continuing and accelerating rise in sea level during the 'hiatus' shows, the oceans absorbing heat is not a something 'without much effect.' Not only thermal expansion, but increased polar ice melt is one result. Another is the shift and sometimes collapse of established marine ecologies impacting fishing grounds.

      Apparently one of the things you do not care about; the Maine shrimp?

      A small example but with many more globally. We have long since passed 'peak fish'!

    15. Deniers are not skeptics. A person who applies scepticism would collect and analyse data and make a judgement based on the results of that analysis. Deniers, if they ever get to collecting data only use data that will support what they want supported and discard the rest.

      Mostly they don't bother with data, they just tone troll for distraction. Getting all hoity toity and wanting to use a euphemism as a label is typical of climate science deniers.

      They also have a tendency to wail "I don't believe it", like the anonymouse up above. Without providing any evidence to support their disbelief.

      They also have a tendency to gish gallop like the anonymouse above, and veer way off topic, like the anonymouse above.

      Anonymous above has provided ample evidence to support the hypothesis that that particular anonymouse is a climate science denier.

    16. Most, though not all, of the people who are offended by the use of the label "denier" are themselves deniers. I'd argue that it's not because the cap fits, it's because they don't like it when it's pointed out that they are rejecting the facts of whatever it is they deny.

      In the case of climate science deniers, I adopt the description in rationalwiki, as shown in the sidebar here.

      So again, I ask why the heavy handed use of "Denier," for people who agree with the physical properties of CO2, but who question the amount of warming it will actually have?

      First - the people you mention go beyond the question of climate sensitivity. People who do sensitivity studies are not deniers - or not on the basis of the results of that analysis. The people you mention promote disinformation and denial. A person can claim to accept the greenhouse effect but still reject the body of climate science. A good example is Anthony Watts.

      Also, I don't shy away from the term "denier" here. This is a snark blog. Not "over the top pull no punches". But there are a lot of punches that are not pulled. If you don't like it there are plenty of other blogs that take care not to offend the sensibilities of deniers.

    17. You miscounted your use of "poverty", but the larger point seems to be that you you place "your view" of AGW over the IPCC's, without an intelligent justification.

      Hey, you used "you" or its derivative "your" five times in a single sentence. Criminal Behavior! =)

      The IPCC is busy downgrading its previous estimates. Isn't that enough?

      The models do not have great predictive power:

      They do not hindcast the 1910 - 1940 atmospheric temperature increase, for instance. If they can't do that, with pretty good data available, how can they predict future temps? And, the IPCC had to downgrade climate sensitivity last go round because of the pause in atmospheric temps. These make me not trust the models.

      Judith Curry's recent Climate sensitivity paper predicts a significantly lower TCR. It's based on observations, with an attempt to match major ocean states. It is peer reviewed published science, so that's a good indicator the climate sensitivity range isn't yet written.

      Also, folks are large amounts of the heat is in the ocean. That too is not predicted by the models. So if the heat is more readily taken up by the oceans, how much more can they take?

      In general, I think the earth climate system is much more complex than originally thought, and that's becoming clearer. So there is my view. I'm skeptical of high climate sensitivity, but don't rule it out.

      I would like to see some open minds saying that's a reasonable position to have.

      Or, if it isn't reasonable, why not. In my view, it is not reasonable to discount Judith Curry's paper as meritless, for instance.

    18. What nonsense. Climate models are very useful. You probably want weather forecasts for the year 2050. You won't get that. What you'll get is a projection of aspects of the climate, for different scenarios - like different levels of CO2.

      In general, I think the earth climate system is much more complex than originally thought, and that's becoming clearer.

      Than who originally thought? You? What a stupid statement.

      And what has any of that got to do with Tim Ball's wacky and nasty conspiracy theories. Tell us. Do you subscribe to them or do you agree that WUWT is nothing more than a pseudo-science blog catering to conspiracy nutters and science deniers.

    19. AGW or CAGW skeptic seems an apt description in most cases.

      I am rather intrigued by this recent need to define a "skeptic" as being noble, or honorable, or more scientific in some way. It is intersting also to see it casually redefined in a derogatory manner, with the phrasing of "fake skeptic". (Meaning .... what, exactly?)

      It is in fact a simply defined word. I could be skeptical of the the idea the earth orbits the sun. I would be wrong, but may still be genuinely skeptical of the fact.

      Definitions: skeptic [skep-tik] noun
      1. a person who questions the validity or authenticity of something purporting to be factual.
      2. a person who maintains a doubting attitude, as toward values, plans, statements, or the character of others.
      3.a person who doubts the truth of a religion, especially Christianity, or of important elements of it.
      4.(initial capital letter) Philosophy.

      a member of a philosophical school of ancient Greece, the earliest group of which consisted of Pyrrho and his followers, who maintained that real knowledge of things is impossible.

      any later thinker who doubts or questions the possibility of real knowledge of any kind.

      That was the first definition I chanced upon. Others are similar.

      skep·tic ˈskeptik/ noun
      noun: sceptic; plural noun: sceptics; noun: skeptic; plural noun: skeptics

      1. a person inclined to question or doubt all accepted opinions.
      synonyms: cynic, doubter; pessimist, prophet of doom
      "skeptics said the marriage wouldn't last"

      2. Philosophy: an ancient or modern philosopher who denies the possibility of knowledge, or even rational belief, in some sphere.

    20. A fake sceptic is just someone who claims to be a sceptic but isn't. They don't just doubt opinions, they reject facts. They are doubters with no substance. Most reject data they know exists but it doesn't support the line they are taking. That's not scepticism.

      Deniers who claim to be "skeptics" are fake sceptics, for example. They reject facts. Disinformers aren't. They are a whole other kettle of fish.

      Labels are a shorthand way of grouping people by a shared attribute. Deniers like to label people who accept climate science "warmists" or "alarmists" (among other things). Neither of which is an accurate descriptor.

      You can argue with the Skeptics Society about what it means to be "a skeptic".

    21. On the "'"'"'"Judith Curry Denier"'"'"'" thing ...

      Google doesn't distinguish between between no quote marks and single quote marks. D'oh!
      About 51,700 results
      About 51,700 results

      5th link in that list is
      Search for denier or deny or denial or deni on that page yields 0 of 0 (oops) (page 990 @ 10/page)
      Page 18 of about 162 results (not Page 990 of about 51,700 results, in fact 162 = 17 pages @ 10/page)

      In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 172 already displayed.
      If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

      OK, let's do that.
      About 51,700 results (page 990 @ 10/page)
      Page 66 of about 51,700 results (hmm, I can only get 66 pages @ 10/page ~ 660 results, this one is single quotes, no quotes (remove %27) exact same results)

      Now, let's do the same searches with double quotes (shall we)
      About 29 results (page 990 @ 10/page)
      Page 2 of 11 results

      In order to show you the most relevant results, we have omitted some entries very similar to the 11 already displayed.
      If you like, you can repeat the search with the omitted results included.

      OK, let's do that.
      About 29 results (page 990 @ 10/page)
      Page 2 of 12 results (so it looks like Curry is only 12X a denier not 51,700X a denier, go figure)

      In doing a lot of Google searches, I've found that when looking for something fairly recent, because of the sidebars, that have those fairly recent items listed, and that in fact, that sidebar gets attached to all pages going

      back several years, produces hundreds/thousands/millions of FALSE positives. But hey, I too think I still need to learn more about Google searches.

    22. Anyone who thinks Lewis & Curry (2014) offers anything new or relevant hasn't been paying attention. Any fool can make an argument for low sensitivity via cherry picking. As pointed out at ATTP, paleo evidence strongly suggests a higher sensitivity (Rohling et al. (2012) , Hargreaves et al. (2012)):

      IPCC revising sensitivity estimates? Is this the news from last year, before AR5 was released? Not exactly a game-changer, either:

      Heat going into the oceans...what's the problem there? It's ALSO going to the arctic, with disastrous consequences. Oh, and we're on course for a record warm year, despite no El Nino.

      You HAVE to know that these same lame justifications for denial have been dismantled in every corner of the internet. There is no skepticism at play here, just sh!tty attempts at sophistry.

    23. Judith does seem to be not so "uncertain" about this, despite all her waving uncertainty flags at every opportunity. She'd previously said that at the 90% level, climate sensitivity could be anything from zero to 10 degrees.

      I think Nic Lewis' paper was the first sensitivity paper Judith had co-authored. It's not that different to other low end papers, but as whimcycle points out, there are other sources that suggest sensitivity will be higher.

      Whatever the case, we've still got to get on with the job of cutting CO2 emissions or we'll end up way beyond doubling of CO2.

    24. Than who originally thought? You? What a stupid statement.

      Than the people who thought you could easily model the Earth's climate system and produce reliable predictions of atmospheric temperatures.

      I've made my case, and time is going to give us a much better sense of earth's sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentrations, because CO2 concentrations are going to only go up, regardless of all the activism.

      I'll check back in 10 or 20 years on the climate sensitivity number.


    25. @-Anonymous
      "The models do not have great predictive power:
      They do not hindcast the 1910 - 1940 atmospheric temperature increase, for instance. If they can't do that, with pretty good data available, how can they predict future temps?"

      Actually they do. At least to within the error range of the data available.
      Unfortunately the data you call 'pretty good' is uncertain in the TSI, aerosol forcings and ocean heat uptake rates to an extent that makes it inherently impossible for models to hindcast with any greater accuracy or a lower uncertainty range. However the range of model hindcasts do match observed warming for 1910-1940.

      Perhaps you have been misled by those that claim that because the model hindcast ensemble mean is lower than observations, models are unskillful, despite the model hindcast range including the observed trend because of uncertainties in the initial data.

      @-"Judith Curry's recent Climate sensitivity paper predicts a significantly lower TCR. "

      It is not significantly lower than the IPCC AR5 likely (5%-95%) range, in fact it is within it.

      @-" It is peer reviewed published science, so that's a good indicator the climate sensitivity range isn't yet written."

      It is peer reviewed published science with results that are within the current mainstream estimates of TCR and ECS. It confirms the existing likely range given in the AR5. I do not share your view that this is a good indicator that the climate sensitivity range is unwritten.

      @-" In my view, it is not reasonable to discount Judith Curry's paper as meritless, for instance."

      I agree, where have you seen such discounting of the Lewis and Curry 2014 paper?

      It is reasonable to point out that Nic Lewis uses a method to calculate TCR and ECS with known problems that tend to bias results lower than those derived from modelling or paleclimate observations.
      Small variations and uncertainties in the time periods used, the change in temperature during those time periods, the exact magnitude of forcings (aerosol and TSI) and the rate of estimated ocean heat uptake all significantly shift the results in the simple computor EBM used. The method also assumes feedbacks are linear (unlikely from paleoclimate observations) and is incapable of adjusting to hemispheric differences in warming/uptake rates.

      The Lewis/Curry paper chose values for time period, temperature change and ocean heat uptake that shift the result to the low end of the IPCC range.

      So even if TCR and ECS are as 'low' as the Lewis and Curry paper suggests, it gives at best an extra ~15 years before we hit the locked in 2degC of BAU.
      And if your prediction that poverty will continue to be alleviated by increased fossil fuel use is correct, that small advantage shrinks still further.

    26. Who would that be? This is denialist crud. It's called building a strawman. No climate scientist would ever think what you are claiming they think.

      I don't know what case you think you've made. Time should certainly help refine the estimate for transient climate response. Maybe even equilibrium climate sensitivity. That's no stunning earth shattering pronouncement.

      There'll probably never be a precise number agreed upon because the system won't stop heating at the precise moment of doubling of CO2. Nor will CO2 stop rising at the precise moment of doubling of CO2. Nor will any of us be around when the earth attains a new equilibrium - be it a steadying of short term forcings or the longer term changes. That will be affecting people in the future.

    27. "In general, I think the earth climate system is much more complex than originally thought, and that's becoming clearer."

      Sou: "Than who originally thought? You? What a stupid statement."

      You beat me to it Sou. That statement is so dumb.

      When I think back to how the climate was viewed many years ago. It was unimaginably large and complex and there was no way of getting meaningful measurements of what was going on. Now we have satellite videos and satellite measuremenst and thousands of remote stations and Argo buoys and ice cores and historical records and models and fast computers and, and ....

      Basically then no-one knew where to start with such a monster. Comparing then with the modern era the climate is a doddle now. :)

      I think Anonymous is guilty of seeing himself at the centre of it all. He has learnt a bit about the climate, has found it is a bit more complex than he thought and projects that onto the whole world and history.

    28. "Than the people who thought you could easily model the Earth's climate system and produce reliable predictions of atmospheric temperatures."

      Many climate scientists thought the models were good enough, and on the basis of that have asked the world to drastically alter its economy. Is this in debate?

      The models aren't looking good enough, at least not to many. That's the evidence for my contention the climate system is more complex than those advocating immediate change thought.

      The alternative is that those advocating for major changes to the world's energy sources knew of the inadequacy before they advocated the change to the world's energy sources, but still felt it was necessary to make these drastic changes (and I do hope everyone realizes changing from fossil fuels to something else is a massive change). In that case, I would like to know why. Now, let's be clear, this has nothing to do with the reality of the situation (whether or not atmospheric temps will grow so much as to have very serious consequences), but is solely that advocates knew the models were inadequate to the task of predicting atmospheric temperatures, but went ahead with advocacy nonetheless.

      Following this line of thinking, the models were inadequate to know likely future temps and the folks promoting them knew it, can lead to interesting speculation. Like the speculations @ WUWT that are being complained about here.

    29. Ooh, more straw men. You'll run out of straw at this rate, Mr or Mrs or Ms Anonymous. Soon you'll be proclaiming that an ice age cometh.

      Sheesh what hole do these anonymice crawl out of? Don't answer that. I know where.

      The models aren't looking good enough, at least not to many. That "many" being the drongos at WUWT of course, who wouldn't know a model if they dated one.

    30. "Like the speculations @ WUWT that are being complained about here."

      OK, so we have established you think you know better than every single prestigious scientific on this planet, even though your postings show none of the briliiance we would have to expect. And now you are recommending to us a site whose puerile crap about a planet wide conspiracy among scientists over a wide range of fields wouldn't impress anybody with a high IQ. So we can safely conclude you are not a potential Nobel prize winner but just another low IQ numptie, albeit one who does love the sound of his own voice

    31. Yes Millicent. I wonder if Anonymous forgot which article he was commenting on. Not the best advertisement if he wants to make out that anyone at WUWT knew what they were talking about.

      One World Government conspiracy theorists don't inspire confidence in anything, let alone science.

    32. "Judith Curry's recent Climate sensitivity paper predicts a significantly lower TCR. It's based on observations, with an attempt to match major ocean states. It is peer reviewed published science, so that's a good indicator the climate sensitivity range isn't yet written."

      Complaining that those who write GCMs think that climate is far simpler than it is in reality, while simultaneously touting the Lewis & Curry (mostly Lewis, actually) ultra-simple model as being more correct than the far more complex GCMs is self-contradictory and obviously motivated by bias.

    33. dhogaza> i seem to recall them doing much the same thing when Spencer (or was it Christy?) came out with a model attributing all recent warming to ENSO or something. wildly simplified to the point of being grossly unphysical, but they fell over themselves in their rush to praise it.

  11. Since Tim Ball fails to mention it, allow me to point out Obama's role in the conspiracy:

    1. I'm okay with his life choices. It's hilarious. :)

    2. Hello tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath

      I get easily confused so perhaps you can help. Browsing a Bob Tisdale blog the other day he responded to, I think, you, with words to the effect "if only Sou knew the truth (about you)" sort of implying you were some sort of supermole.

      Are you playing him? Are you in league with him? Are you a double agent? A two-faced Poe? A twin sock-puppet?

      Please clear this up as it is keeping me awake at night thinking about it.


    3. "You seem in desperate need of a life".

      You seem in desperate need of a sense of humour.

    4. AnonX, like you, I find it difficult to keep track of who said or did what and who is being a sock puppet on who's blog. I am a newcomer to the entertaining games that get played between the WUWT crowd and those that try to expose us for the fools that we are.

      Yes, I saw Mr. Tisdale's post on my blog and hadn't the foggiest notion about what he was talking about so I ignored it. No, I am not a double agent. I am the alter ego of Tony Heller (aka Steven Goddard). My goal is to expose myself as the idiot and sociopath that I am.

    5. Thanks tonyhellerakastevengoddardisnotasociopath

      That clears that up and I can sleep easy tonight.

      Thinks: But a double agent would say that, wouldn't they?

  12. "Anthony is bowing to his conspiracy theorising readers and reassuring them that he hasn't thrown their favourite number one climate conspiracist to the dogs."

    I thought the dog astrologers had syndication rights to Tim's work ?

  13. Having just had to change my clothes from reading jonova ( who is miffed that sou wont link or talk with her ) , I have a few comments about the conspiratorial mindset.

    Confirmation bias -- a lot of doctorial material here. Why do they seem to typically be white conservative males happy to repeat the the same selected evidence to each other ?, one poor soul anounced he would'nt read The Aus anymore because it was too left wing !

    Identity protective cognition--- great paper by Dan Kahan from Yale on this , describing how intelligence actually drove you further into the wrong when faced with data that was dissonant with your views.

    When jonova was asked where her peer reviewed papers were ,she responded with a blog attacking the value of the peer review process !

    1. Lol. Is Jo really miffed at being ignored by HW? I don't often visit her blog. It's too far into nuttiness and denial, and there's more nuttiness and denial I can handle just at WUWT.

      Still, I haven't ignored her completely. She might have missed these articles I wrote about one particular bit of nuttiness that got my attention:

      Denier Weirdness: Magical mysterious Force X and the Notch

      Nova and Evans present ForceX: "It would be better if there was a known mechanism of course..."

      A memorial to "The Notch" - RIP

      Tell her if she can come up with more in that vein, I'll consider writing about it:D

  14. OT but perhaps someone could steer me right. I know that surfacing warming of the earth by CO2 is because CO2 captures heat that otherwise would have escaped to space, and send it back down to earth when it warms the surface, resulting in higher temperatures at surface. OK, I get all that.

    But then i find out that the upper atmosphere is actually colder than the earth surface. My understaning has always been that heat flows from the warmer object to the cooler ones (2nd Law of Thermodynamics I think). So, if the atmopshere is cooler than the surface, how does the cooler atmosphere make the surface warmer?

    1. The atmosphere is composed of layers (click here for an overview and some explanation of what happens in each layer).

      The layer closest to the earth's surface is the troposphere. It is warming, not cooling. The air in the troposphere is the densest.

      Above that is the stratosphere. The air is much less dense up there. It is cooling not warming. An explanation of why that happens (which is expected) can be found on this site.

    2. As predicted! Next question!


    3. What's the capital of Venezuela?

    4. long wave radiation

    5. Typical Warmist. it's Baku you dolt.

    6. DMH -- An analogy might help. Suppose you go outside on a winter's day without a coat. You get cold, because heat escapes easily. You then put on a coat. Does the coat get warmer than you are? No. But it does make it harder for the heat to escape, so your equilibrium skin temperature goes up.

      What the greenhouse effect (poorly named) does is intersperse a layer at intermediate temperature between the earth and space, which drives up the equilibrium skin temperature. The mechanism by which the insulation occurs is different, but the principle is the same.

    7. Well a coat isn't an apt analogy as it suppresses convection, conducts, resists micro climate processes (wind, rain, etc) as well as providing a radiating layer. The GHE is a radiative process only.

      Thanks Sou for your answers, but they describe the end state, or the effect of GHE rather than the process. They don't describe how colder layers of the atmosphere can cause temperature increase in the warmer surface with breaking the 2nd Law of Thermo. But I think I figured it out.

      The 2nd Law says that NET energy flux must be from warmer to colder, it doesn't say anything about it being a one way street. So a slightly warmer cold layer would radiate more toward the warm surface layer, increasing the surface temp, even though the energy flux is coming from a colder layer. I've been reading Stefan-Boltzmann Law, and since EVERYTHING has to radiate energy in accordance with its temperature, the 2nd Law has to be a 2 way street.

    8. I'm stretching here but this is how I understand it.

      Think how thin the air is in the top of the troposphere and the stratosphere. The stratosphere doesn't cause an increase in the temperature of the troposphere. Energy transfer up in the troposphere would be predominately radiation. In the troposphere it's predominately convection.

      Short wave radiation comes in. Long wave goes out. GHGs radiate in all directions. In the troposphere where there is a higher concentration of GHGs a lot more LW is radiated back down (and a lot more up, but then hits more GHGs where some goes down and some goes up - simplifying it). This continues until you get way up in the troposphere where the energy radiated up has almost nothing to stop it, so it shoots back out into space.

      In the stratosphere there is much less of everything - less CO2 and almost no water vapour. Therefore there's little to stop the radiation going straight out into space. Any LW radiation on its way out to space from the top of the troposphere, well some might get absorbed by GHGs, but most won't. There's virtually no energy transfer by convection, unlike the troposphere.

      Feel free to wade in anyone, if I've not got this quite right.

    9. In regard to the second law, don't forget that space is very cold and energy comes in from the sun. Earth is not a closed system.

    10. Up one should of course read:

      Energy transfer up in the stratosphere (not troposphere) would be predominately radiation. In the troposphere it's predominately convection.

    11. Well, I don't think it is a stratosphere versus troposphere thing. That doesn't make sense to me. What does make sense is that there is an average altitude at which any given photon escapes to space. The literature refers to MRL, which I figured out means Mean Radiating Layer (Level?). For Stefan-Boltzmann to be applicable, since the atmosphere has no surface per se (a photon can in theory escape from any altitude) you'd have to have an MRL at which the EFFECTIVE black body temperature of earth occurs. As CO2 increases, the chance that any given photon gets intercepted increases, so the MRL altitude must also increase. That means that for any photon releases from the MRL, the free path to space is shorter, and below the MRL, it is longer. So temps below the MRL must rise, while temps above must fall.

      This model yields a statistical distribution which would follow a natural log 2 function. Which is why the literature seems to express sensitivity in terms of degrees per doubling of CO2.

  15. Tell me DMH what mathematics and science do you know apart from repeating tired old talking points from absolute morons that have no idea! Bert

    1. Well Bert, I asked what should be a pretty obvious question for anyone starting to research this for themselves. What right do you have to accuse me of repeating talking points? How is your response helpful? Can YOU explain the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics or Stefan-Boltzmann? I asked specific questions, and now I have helped answer them too.

    2. DMH, hi,

      Sometimes it's hard to tell whether people are genuinely inquiring, or just repeating AGW denier memes :-\ Giving you the benefit of the doubt, here is the best explanation I've ever read of the greenhouse effect, a collaborative effort from Spencer Weart, noted climate historian, and Ray Pierrehumbert, a climatologist who also excels at explaining things to us laypeople:

      A Saturated Gassy Argument

      As well as explaining the GHE, it also explains why the GHE can never saturate, as some would lead you to believe.

    3. OK, tx. That confirms what I suggested to Sou above about the MRL and effects being logarithmic. Different way of explaining it, same end result. Long time since I did physics (30+ years) but it is coming back now.

      I don't know how someone would argue that the effect would saturate. Being logarithmic, it would certainly be subject to the law of diminishing returns, but it could never actually saturate.

    4. Sometime a simple two layer model (surface and atmosphere) where the atmosphere has just one layer is used to explain the greenhouse effect in a very simple way. That is nice to do some simple math, but not realistic when the the optical depth of CO2 becomes larger. In this simplified model you do get saturation. In reality you get the logarithmic behaviour you mention.

      Unfortunately, most people asking about the greenhouse effect of CO2 are crackpots that do not want to know how it works. In that light, one can understand the above reaction.

    5. I am sorry if I misjudged your motives DMH. My background is in Physics which I studied in the late '60's early '70's. I have spent my whole working life in science at the forefront of my field. This does not qualify me to comment about other even related fields as I do not have the depth and breadth of knowledge needed. I have become super sensitive to deniers repeating false memes ad infinitum. I still do not fully understand all the nuances of climate science even with a lot of reading of the condensed and peer reviewed science. As is usual as in any field of science we just do not know the unknown unknowns.
      We do not need any Physics to see the Earth is warming. The evidence is incontrovertible. Do I need to list all the symptoms of a changing Earth. When the ice in the esky or cooler is melting, we know the beer will eventually be undrinkable. Bert

  16. Now I see why the shortwave WattMeter features "plot" as the largest word today.

    1. Interesting. I've added it to the side-bar, db. Thanks.

  17. whimcycle, excellent couple comments, especially 1:50
    You packed it all into <130 words,
    adding those links gives it an A+.
    Quotable and repeatable.
    And I intend to, with your moniker attached,
    if you don't mine.

    ~ ~ ~
    Sou, sometimes I enter comments and they just disappear,
    rather than getting acknowledged or posted.
    This may be a double post.

    1. I've not seen that, CC. Sorry if it's happened. I do occasionally retrieve comments from the spam folder but I've not heard of any comments disappearing altogether and never being retrieved. If it happens again do let me know. Check first though, it could just have been stuck in moderation or maybe never got through in the first place. (Someone once told me they thought they'd posted a comment but I never got it. They tried again and all was good.)

    2. I see it all the time; nearly half my posts disappear into the ether.

      One thing I finally worked out (because someone else made a comment about this behaviour) is that if I change my "reply as" option *after* I wrote something, my reply is silently disappeared when I hit "publish" -- it doesn't even get to you. I have to decide *before* I type the first character who I'm going to be.

    3. Thanks, numerobis. I'll add that tip to the "Comment & HTML Guide" page up top.

  18. Let me add to the pile by saying that what deniers deny most of all is the possibility that AGW might have serious negative consequences after all. They do not doubt the possibility, they are 100% certain (though labelling themselves skeptics) that it's impossible.

    You see, if they admit that there is a possibility that AGW might have serious negative consequences, then we start talking risk management, and it's really difficult to keep mitigation policies out of that discussion, as that wouldn't be rational risk management. Especially given all the uncertainty and lack of knowledge the deniers keep stressing.

    The reason they absolutely don't want mitigation policies, is (most of the time, next to old man conservatism) that it messes up their religious belief in laissez-faire free market economics. And so they must deny the possibility that AGW might have serious negative consequences. Which, of course, no real sceptic would ever do.

    1. I've actually heard some deniers with a zealous Creationist religious bent, that they believe the Noah's Ark/Global Flood story was real and that 'God' promised never to flood the earth again. So rising sea levels are impossible for them to believe... because... Rainbows. I kid you not.

  19. I see there is yet another article by Tim Ball at WUWT titled "Whither The Weather?".

    The author argues that doing nothing about climate change. In the comments he says:

    "I agree that to do nothing is the best option, because bigger government is never better government."

    Slightly confusing science and ideology I think.

    1. That's probably why Tim says he sees a "cooling trend" too. There are treatments available for people suffering delusions like that. I don't know if they work or not.

    2. I have nothing against people using political arguments why we should not do anything. You can have a political debate about that and try to find some sort of compromise. Tim Balls party may be willing to support mitigation if they get some aircraft carriers.

      It is their fight against science, their fake science and their fake advocacy for "better science" that make an adult conversation impossible. A political debate is not the right place for understanding how nature works. That debate takes place in the scientific literature.


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