Here's a test for you, denier style. Can you pick an ice age from this chart?
Anthony Watts has posted a video of a lecture that Chris Essex gave to a crowd of deniers (archived here). (Well, I don't know if there was a crowd there or if he was giving his talk to an empty room.) I didn't get as far as his main point, which apparently is a strange claim that climate can't be modeled. He's wrong, of course. Climate is being modeled - and amazingly well, if you ask me. Scientists are now working on the next phase of climate modeling - CMIP6.
I watched the first few minutes of the video. Chris doesn't strike me as a deep thinker. Or maybe it's just that he thought he was talking to a bunch of nincompoops.
Chris Essex on consensus
Here is one of his choice quotes:
Scientific thinking is about things and political thinking is about what other people are doing so they are very different things. So consensus is the wrong way to think about a scientific question.
Yep, you can disregard all that scientists have found out about physics, chemistry and biology - after all, scientific knowledge gets built up on what is agreed as existing knowledge (ie consensus). Therefore it must all be a giant hoax. Not.
Chris Essex on the temperature of Earth
Chris showed a picture of a thermometer in a shoe box and said that's how people think about climate. "well, there's just one thermometer and we know that it's got to heat up" - Huh?
He went on to claim insight into people's minds:
".. in people's minds what the earth is, is really this one giant hot brick that's floating in orbit around the earth (sic), and its got one temperature and that's that's that's basically what's happening." (video link)
"They" will never show you a thermometer...
He continues, talking about "they" (in the style of the conspiracy theorist):
If that's true then there should be something called the global thermometer. One of the things that you'll never ever see in any of the temperature plots that they have (is) a thermometer. So they will never show you a thermometer, what they will show you is, show you is a small variation over time in so-called temperature. And it will be in tenths of a degree. And what that is is not actually measured in terms of temperature like degrees Celsius kind of temperature but, ah, it's always a deviation from some average which is usually a 30-year average, and that's called an anomaly coordinate. So it's not an actual temperature. So what I'm going to show you... (video link)
And Chris proceeded to put up photos of thermometers to demonstrate how he can't tell the difference between the average global surface temperatures in 1988, 1998 and 2014.
Neither could you, is the message from Chris! It's no big deal that the earth is warming up.
For comparison, here is a chart of global surface temperature changes over the past 134 years. I've marked the years 2014, 1998 and 1988 to help Chris out. I'll even throw in a thermometer, since he complains of never seeing one on a temperature plot :)
|Data Source: NASA|
"Why does Chris Essex use the Celsius scale?" you might ask. Why not use Kelvin?
Let's go back to the question I started with. Were you able to tell the difference between now and the last glacial maximum?
I wonder if Christopher Essex can tell the difference?
Now let's see if you can tell the difference going back 500 million years.
What does the above chart show? It shows most of the Phanerozoic eon from the hottest hothouse periods to the cold ice ages. It covers the Paleozoic, Mesozoic, and Cenozoic eras. It shows the period covering what are known as the five major extinctions.
It's quite fascinating to see how science deniers view the surface temperature changes on Earth. It does make you wonder why so many deniers are scared stiff of an ice age comething, doesn't it.
I watched a little bit more of the video and decided it wasn't worth continuing. Chris was merely pontificating about how he doesn't "believe" climate science. And I think he geared his talk to children aged three or less (most of whom would have left the room after about three minutes, from boredom, or from annoyance at the childish approach.)
BTW Christopher Essex teaches maths at the University of Western Ontario, in between pretending to be some sort of "expert" for the Heartland Institute, "advising" the Global Warming Policy Foundation and generally denying climate science. He is also listed as the Chairman and sole member of the Climatology Panel of some mickey mouse "organisation" that grandly calls itself the "World Federation of Scientists".