For Whom the Tol Bells
Greg Laden asked on Twitter "is this the end of Tol? Shall he ask for whom the Bell ...".
It's really hard to resist making bad puns about tolling, isn't it, when you think of Richard Tol (if you've ever heard of him. If you haven't read on.) The remarkable thing is that the bell isn't Toling. Normally as soon as someone mentions Richard Tol's name "somewhere on the internet", up he pops, relishing the attention. Not this time however. Or not so far.
Collin Maessen of Real Skeptic has written a devastating take-down of Richard's latest swipe at the 97% consensus. You'd think he'd have given up by now wouldn't you. But he hasn't. Instead he's broadened out to misrepresenting not just the Cook13 97% study, but most of the other research papers that have gauged the level of scientific consensus that humans are causing global warming.
Collin didn't just write an article pointing out the abominable flaws in Richard's short article. He asked the authors of the papers that Richard mentioned what they thought of his paper. Each of them found atrocious errors. Just one example to whet your appetite, it was a comment by Peter Doran (of Doran and Zimmerman 2009), who noticed (as did everyone else), that Richard seems to think that "scientific consensus" studies should count the uninformed, inexpert opinion of any Tom, Martha or Zhou who's never ever darkened the door of a university, let alone done any climate science research. Peter said:
To pull out a few of the less expert groups and give them the same weight as our most expert group is a completely irresponsible use of our data. It would be like me having a medical team tell me I need surgery to remove a life-threatening malignant growth, but going to my local Starbucks to get the opinion of the team of baristas and giving both recommendations the same weight.
I mean, would you expect any old (or young) climate scientist to be able to pour a perfect heart or double leaf?
Go and read what Collin and the other authors have to say. Richard Tol is reaping what he sows.
If you need some background on Richard and his battle with consensus, he wrote lots about it here at HotWhopper, with lots more here.
What 2014 El Niño is that?
Every time Bob Tisdale writes an article about El Niño, like his latest one (archived here), he talks about the "2014-15" El Niño, and compares it to the 1997-98 El Niño. For example, today he wrote:
The 1997/98 El Niño was extremely strong, while the 2014/15 event was extremely weak and intermittent.
What event? The current El Nino started early this year and is expected to continue probably till next autumn, 2016. So the proper comparison will be 1997-98 and 2015-16.
I know that the Pacific got warm last year, however it takes more than a warm ocean to make an El Niño. The winds have to cooperate as well. They didn't do that last year. They did cooperate this year, and it's already the strongest event since 1997-98, and might surpass it.
The Bureau of Meteorology didn't declare any El Niño last year. It declared one on 12 May this year. BoM said back in March last year that an El Nino might be forming, but it never came to fruition. NOAA didn't declare an El Nino last year either. It declared one in March this year. (NOAA had El Niño on watch status from March 2014 through to February 2015, but didn't declare one until March this year.) It was reported that the Japan Meteorological Agency declared an El Niño last December. However, when I looked it was a very weak statement, with the added "the atmospheric conditions does not indicate clear features of El Niño events". Not something I'd be hanging my hat on.
One reason I can think of for Bob wanting to insist there was an El Niño last year is because it was the hottest year on record so far. And Bob thinks that global warming is caused by El Niño events. So if it was the hottest year on record, by Bob's logic, there must have been an El Niño event. (Or it could be because last year he wrote more than twenty articles about the 2014 El Niño that never was, and he wants to save face.)
Bob has started writing about a 2015-16 El Niño, and his charts are using the comparison of 2015-16 with 1997-98, so he doesn't need to keep talking about some non-existent 2014-15 El Niño.