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Friday, June 5, 2015

No pause in the frenzy of denial: at WUWT

Sou | 5:08 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts wrote about the new NOAA paper in Science that: "WUWT has already found the fatal weakness in the paper". Already he's published two protest articles. We're still waiting. There's not a mention of any "fatal weakness".

As I wrote in the main article about it, the new paper describes an analysis of global surface temperature trends, and shows that the trend in surface temperature this century is indistinguishable from that for the second half of last century. Global warming continues at the surface. There is no "hiatus".

Bob's Bluster

The first WUWT protest is a mixed up mess from Bob Tisdale (archived here), with a post script by Judith Curry, to which Anthony Watts added himself as co-author. Bob seems to have got almost everything wrong that he could have got wrong. He natters on about the early data being adjusted downward to make it seem warmer, using a chart by some denier. Then he crosses to talking about earlier versions of GHCN. In fact he seems to be writing about everything but the new paper.

He's completely wrong when he writes:
Clearly, with each revision of data, NCDC is making the past cooler and the near present warmer through their adjustment process of the original data. 

Here is the relevant figure from the paper, showing corrections (with my annotation):

Fig. 2. Global (land and ocean) surface temperature anomaly time series with new analysis, old analysis, and with and without time-dependent bias corrections. (A) The new analysis (solid black) compared to the old analysis (red). (B) The new analysis (solid black) versus no corrections for time-dependent biases (cyan). Source: Karl15

And Bob's conspiracy ideation keeps popping through. Read this for example:
The original version of the NOAA ERSST.v3 data included satellite data when they were first released in 2008, but the satellite data were removed before the dataset became “official” because they did not meet political agenda of the dataset users
I have no idea if Bob understood the paper or not. If he did he didn't express it well, and seemed too keen to promote his conspiracy theory that data gets adjusted and corrected for no reason.

Mostly his article was nothing but denier waffle. Over-excited denier waffle.

Pat'n Chip plus Dick

The second protest came from Pat'n Chip (archived here) - also known as Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. Knappenberger. They roped Richard S. Lindzen in as well, though I don't know if he actually had anything to do with the article.

Their protest was a bit less incoherent but equally silly. For example at one point they wrote about how buoy data was adjusted upward to align it will co-located ship data. (The ship data was consistently above the buoy data at the same locations.) They aren't very good at arithmetic, because they wrote:
...the fact that the buoy network becomes increasingly dense in the last two decades means that this adjustment must put a warming trend in the data.

No. That's wrong. The trend would be the same whether you adjusted all the ship data downward or adjusted all the buoy data upward. And the paper showed that the data adjustments were tied to the number and location of the buoys (and ship collections), so it doesn't matter which way it's done. As I reported in the main article, I asked the NOAA scientists about the paper. This is what they replied when I asked them about the adjustments to the buoys:

The reason for adjusting buoy (+0.12C) rather than adjusting ship (-0.12C) is that there is no buoy observation at all before the 1970s. Therefore, it would be questionable how ship can be adjusted relative to buoy before the 1970s, if we did so. However, assuming that the adjustment to ship is -0.12C before the 1970s, our tests show that the long term temperature trends remain the same. This has been discussed in Huang et al. 2015 (J. Climate 28, 911-930, doi:10.1175/JCLI-D-14-00006.1.) 
Then Pat'n Chip'n Dick turn their attention away from the surface and start talking about atmospheric temperatures, even mid-troposphere (not just lower troposphere). They say there must be a greater disparity. They for some strange reason don't consider the possibility that the surface temperatures are more accurate than atmospheric temperatures - this despite the fact that UAH recently made bigger adjustments to their record than this recent paper did to the surface temperature record over the same period.

And that's about it. Or about all I can be bothered with.

What a let down.

Where is the fatal weakness? Not a word about it. Maybe Anthony's keeping it safe and will produce it in his umpteenth protest article.

You don't really want to read the "thoughts" on the subject from the dreary little deniers, do you? If you do you can do so here and here. Feel free to post the best conspiracy theories in the comments.

Further reading


  1. What was the record of protest articles ? It was for Lewandowsky, something like 17 articles, no ?
    Damn memory.

    1. That's not even half. There were at least 28 articles protesting Marcott et al, just at WUWT:

      I've lost count of how many articles protested the moon-landing paper, recursive fury and 97% - those protests continue to dribble in, accompanied by various weird and wonderful conspiracy theories.

      As for the hockey stick - the conspiracy theories around that are still going on - decades later. They merge into the grand conspiracy theory that climate science is a hoax, which merges with the denier prediction that we're heading for an ice age any day now.

    2. Indeed, I was far from the real count, and the most attacked paper was the MBH98 one.
      The attack on Mann's paper has become in fact a marker of the denialist tribe : if you want to show "you are one of them", you have to attack it. Even though the paper is 17 years old. Even though several papers got out after. Even though the denialist is not in fact convinced by his own attack.

      One can expect that this paper still will get attacked in 2025 ...

  2. Well, they're up to five already, so I wouldn't be surprised to see a new record set!

  3. >uses "denier" and creates entire blog simply to combat another

    >proven wrong on multiple occasions

    >loses all respect and credibility


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