Thursday, May 26, 2016

Another wrong headline at WUWT about CERN and related cloud experiments

Sou | 2:23 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
It's happened again. Anthony has written another misleading headline (archived here), this time about the cloud experiments at CERN and related research. There were three papers this week from the same group of people, discussing aspects relating to clouds with and without cosmic rays. Anthony's headline was "CERN’s CLOUD experiment results suggests industrial revolution reduced cloud cover, cosmic rays have an impact too". Well, no. The papers didn't say that the industrial revolution reduced cloud cover. I don't know how he got that idea. The papers were about ionisation, and volatile emissions from plants - both from cloud chamber experiments, plus a paper on research conducted at high altitude fairly free of anthropogenic aerosols, looking at new particle formation as a precursor to clouds.

Another misleading WUWT headline, this one about wildfire

Sou | 12:34 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
This is about another misleading headline at WUWT (archived here). Anthony Watts wrote about a paper in a special edition of Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B about wildfire. His headline was "New study shows no wildfire increases due to global warming, slight decline in recent decades noted". Anthony took it on himself to add the part about global warming. That wasn't in either the press release or the abstract, and I doubt it was in the paper itself, which is paywalled.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Larry Hamlin @wattsupwiththat reframes a small win in climate mitigation

Sou | 10:30 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
As you probably know, when right wing extremists talk about problems that were averted, they often claim there was never a problem to begin with. That applies to lots of things, for example:

  • smog, where right wingers would claim that clean air regulations aren't necessary because the smog has disappeared all by itself.
  • population, right wingers would claim that family planning education programs and contraceptive devices and hormone pills aren't necessary, because the human population is "only" 7.4 billion, not 12 billion (yet)
  • Y2K bug, right wingers would claim there weren't any problems (that they know of), so all the efforts to prevent the problem weren't necessary
  • and more, which you can add yourself :)
Many deniers blame "the government" for water shortages from droughts and damage from floods and wildfires, not climate change or human activity. Right wing extremists are loathe to accept any blame themselves. Most will blame government for everything they see as wrong with the world, and take credit for every problem that has been fixed, or falsely claim there was never a problem to begin with.

Heaven forbid a denier giving the US government any credit for the recent dip in carbon emissions from energy use.

Climate disinformers Willie Soon and István Markó caught out again

Sou | 2:11 AM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment
Talking of paid disinformers, Willie Soon has penned an article for Breitbart, some of which Anthony Watts copied and pasted at WUWT (archived here). He's written it with another disinformer called István Markó. The article is full to the brim with disinformation and logical fallacies and denier memes, typical of WUWT. The person they chose to target is Bill Nye, a US television personality who has a science show. The pair of disinformers went through "science is settled", "CO2 is plant food", and they gave Anthony Watts' climate conspiracy blog a plug, too.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Denier weirdness: Eric Worrall fights against the fight against poverty

Sou | 7:58 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
Deniers really are weird. On the one hand extreme right wingers are against government funding and will fight tooth and nail for small government. Some of them claim to be against poverty, too, so it's not that often you'll find a denier admitting that they are fighting against efforts to reduce poverty. One such example is at WUWT today (archived here). Eric Worrall is up in arms about an initiative from the Rockefeller Foundation as part of its 100 Resilient Cities program. I'm guessing that the reason he is against it is because it mentions the word "climate". Or maybe he thinks that if some people become less poor, he will become less rich. And we can't have that!

Leopards and spots - a warning to climate scientists

Sou | 7:20 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
A short while ago, Reginal Perrin commented about Anthony Watts moderating out a fairly ordinary conspiracy theory as far as WUWT goes. The theory put forward by WUWT regular Charles Nelson, and embellished by dbstealey (aka ex-WUWT moderator Smokey, dbs, DBoehm etc) was that scientists are fraudulently changing data to suit some agenda of the US government. That's a theory that Anthony Watts has posited in the past himself, so it raises the question of why he decided to moderate out and delete these comments.

There are three possibilities I can think of. One is that Anthony is getting a bit twitchy because denier antics are under the spotlight. Anthony Watts might be afraid of repercussions from the war he's been waging against science and scientists for the past several years. On the one hand he is posting a lot of "breaking news" about CEI and the preliminary investigation in ExxonMobil and how CEI is being prevented from speaking freely (as if). At the same time he is posting "breaking news" about CEI's FOI campaigns against scientists, trying to stop them from "speaking freely". Anthony might be worried that he'll get hauled into court himself.

Monday, May 23, 2016

Denier weirdness: Eric Worrall on putting scientists in charge...

Sou | 2:22 PM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment
At WUWT today Eric Worrall has mixed up politics and science into a logical fallacy (archived here). He is complaining about the US President suggesting that political leaders take heed of climate science experts, rather than spout nonsense from charlatans and science deniers. Eric implied that Obama was saying that climate scientists should be "running the country". Yes, deniers are weird.

Eric wrote an article under the headline: "Why don’t we put Climate Scientists in Charge of the Country?". Underneath he wrote:
President Obama recently gave a speech, in which he seemed to suggest that politicians should subordinate their decisions to the opinions of scientists. My question – why don’t we cut out the middleman, and put the scientists directly in charge?
No. That wasn't what Obama was suggesting. What he was saying was that political leaders should not spread lies and make up stuff to deceive the public about climate science. They should not cavalierly dismiss the findings of experts in any field.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

It is essentially trivial, says Jonathan Jones. Indeed, says Stephan Lewandowsky

Sou | 1:53 AM Go to the first of 58 comments. Add a comment
Chelsea Harvey at Washington Post has written about a new paper in Global Environmental Change. Her headline is: "Climate change doubters really aren’t going to like this study", and it seems that at least one science denier doesn't like it. The paper is by Stephan Lewandowsky, Professor at the University of Bristol, Timothy Ballard, Klaus Oberauerd and Rasmus Benestad, a climate scientist. It was a research conducted as a blind test of common claims of climate science deniers, comparing them with science reported by climate scientists.

The blind tests were carried out by disguising the data as something else (like agricultural production figures or population or share market prices or similar) and asking statisticians and economists to check the statements against the data for accuracy. Chelsea Harvey gave this example as a simplified illustration of the test:

El Niño to La Niña years

Sou | 12:46 AM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
I said a short while ago that I'd look at what has happened in the past when a La Niña followed a strong El Niño. Well, I have, and here is the result. These are all the strong El Niño's that were followed by a La Niña in recent decades. There were only three of them. In two cases, the following La Niña was a multi-year event as shown in the figure below. The surface temperature data is from GISS NASA. The Nino 3.4 sea surface temperature data is from NOAA and the ENSO years are from BoM.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Young earther, Charles Clough, misleads readers @wattsupwiththat about rising sea levels

Sou | 7:41 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
At WUWT Anthony Watts published an article by Charles Clough (archived here). He was complaining about an article by Justin Gillis in the New York Times last February, which had the title:
Seas Are Rising at Fastest Rate in Last 28 Centuries
Here is where the title came from, in the abstract of a paper by Robert E Kopp and colleagues (my emphasis):
GSL [global sea level] rose at 0.1 ± 0.1 mm/y (2σ) over 0–700 CE. A GSL fall of 0.2 ± 0.2 mm/y over 1000–1400 CE is associated with ∼0.2 °C global mean cooling. A significant GSL acceleration began in the 19th century and yielded a 20th century rise that is extremely likely (probability P≥0.95) faster than during any of the previous 27 centuries.
Charles Clough is from the pseudo-religious cult, the Cornwall Alliance. He has signed a "declaration" rejecting climate science, which blatantly and falsely claims in part that "Recent global warming is one of many natural cycles of warming and cooling in geologic history." He's a sworn science denier. Charles is also a young earth creationist as indicated on this YouTube session (the link goes straight to the segment at 21 minutes 18 seconds in. You'll have to skip the advert). Charles Clough thinks the earth was created at the same time as the mythical creation of Adam, 6,000 years ago.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Force X = Force N + Force D, and a Notch (maybe)

Sou | 7:06 PM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
Over at Jo Nova's blog, the Rocket Scientist from Luna Park, David Evans, and his long-suffering partner Jo Nova, ran into a spot of bother. They'd written something like 30 articles about Force X and The Notch, promising a big freeze is about to hit the world. Then they hit a brick wall. They couldn't figure out where to go next, how to string things out a bit longer.

David has been looking for a magical mysterious invisible Force X from an imaginary notch he thought he'd found. He's creating this alternative theory of climate for science deniers of the extremely gullible kind. His Force has magical and conflicting properties:
  • it's undetectable
  • its effect is delayed by the length of the solar cycle that comes after the Force is with us
  • it appears as flickers of sunlight
  • it comes out of the sun
  • it is ten or twenty times stronger than incoming solar radiation
  • it controls how much sunlight is reflected to space from earth, without changing the temperature on Earth
  • it also controls how much sunlight comes into Earth
  • the mechanism could be by UV, magnetic field effects, solar wind, or other form of electrical field.
We will feel the effect as major cooling either in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 or 2024. The drop in temperature will be 0.3 C, or it will drop to that of the 1950s, or maybe it will drop to that of the 1920s.

The reason we know it's there is because "the dog didn't bark". That is, it's because we can't see it, we can't hear it, we can't smell it, we can't feel it, and we've no way of detecting it, that we know it has to be there.

Shock and furious anger at the vandalism of CSIRO: Larry Marshall wants to tear it down before anyone can stop him

Sou | 1:24 AM Go to the first of 42 comments. Add a comment
The Australian Government is now in caretaker mode. After declaring an election is to be held on 2 July, the government will not be making any substantive decisions before the election, other than is absolutely necessary. All seats in both houses of Parliament are up for grabs in what is known here as a double dissolution. That sets the scene for who knows what. The current government is probably ahead slightly, but a lot can happen in the next 46 days.

While the government is not around to stop him, the newly appointed CEO of CSIRO is taking the opportunity to wreak havoc. He is ransacking and pillaging our most prestigious national scientific organisation, destroying decades of climate science. He is not tearing it apart to put back together. No. He is tearing it down. He is plundering our single biggest defense against climate change. Australia will soon be dependent on a very small number of remaining staff at CSIRO, plus the science carried out at Universities, and the Bureau of Meteorology. Larry Marshall is aiming to complete his destruction before the Federal election, while no-one in government can act to stop him. (They could, but by convention they probably won't.)

Bob Tisdale's trick of hiding the data, revisited

Sou | 12:40 AM Feel free to comment!
I've written previously about the trick Bob Tisdale uses to hide the fact that observed temperatures are now very close to modeled projections. He uses the same trick every time he posts his update to global mean surface temperatures (as archived here). It's an obvious trick, which should fool no-one except people who aren't familiar with charts and disinformer tricks, and those who want to deny global warming. I shouldn't need to repeat what he does, but I will, briefly. The wonder is that Bob keeps repeating his trick, even though he knows it's deceptive for two reasons:
  1. Firstly it's deceitful because Bob chops off much of the past two and a half years of data, by plotting a 61 month moving average.
  2. Secondly it's wrong because he doesn't let his readers know that the CMIP5 data he's using has only estimated forcings since 2005. The actual forcings had a net effect lower than what the CMIP5 models were based on.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Seven in a row: April is the hottest April on record, a 7000 year record?

Sou | 4:45 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Yes, it's another hottest on record, this time in April 2016. According to GISS NASA, the average for April was 1.11 °C, which is 0.24 °C above the previous hottest April, in 2010. It's the equal third highest anomaly for any month (with January 2016), the highest being February, which was 1.33 °C.

The average for the four months to the end of April is 1.21 °C, which is 0.38 °C higher than any previous January to April period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.84 °C.

Longest stretch of hottest months in the record

This is the seventh month in a row of "hottest months", all of which had an anomaly more than one degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean. This breaks the previous record of six in a row, set last month. (See comment from Sheldon Walker below. There was six month run of "hottest" in 1997/98.)

This hasn't happened before in the record since at least the 1950s. Earlier times probably aren't sufficiently accurate on a month by month basis to say. I didn't check back that far and, in any case, pre-1950s temperatures would probably have been hotter at some time in the last couple of millenia. What that means is that it's probably more than 7,000 years since there was a similar run of hottest months on record. That is, not since the Holocene climatic optimum (and it's probably hotter now than it was back then).

Below is a chart of the month of April only:

Figure 1 | Global mean temperature anomaly - month of April only. Data source: GISS NASA.

CEI and WUWT attack the messengers, and the strange role of Judith Curry and Peter Webster

Sou | 2:38 PM Go to the first of 42 comments. Add a comment
Deniers get very excited when they get their grubby paws on private emails between scientists. It doesn't matter what is written in those emails. The very fact that academics have been using email to communicate from a time before most people had heard of the Internet is sufficient for them to claim that climate science is a hoax.

Yesterday Anthony Watts posted some emails released through yet another FOI demand by Chris Horner of the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) (archived here). They were related to the support from some scientists of a RICO investigation, proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, into fossil fuel companies and other organisations who have allegedly "knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change". The emails contain nothing that shows anything more than the very real concern by scientists that there are wicked people who are trying to thwart efforts to mitigate global warming. That there are evil people in the world who have been knowingly working to deceive the public by by saying that global warming either doesn't exist or is not dangerous. They've even got some people believing that climate science is a hoax.

Anthony Watts of WUWT is one of the low-level tools used by anti-mitigation activist organisations like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, that wish harm on the world.

Friday, May 13, 2016

In Eric Worrall's logically fallacious opinion - aerosols and climate change

Sou | 9:53 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
Some science deniers do not understand science. Some of them have made it their life's mission to not understand it. Others devote their retirement to writing nonsense on climate conspiracy blogs such as WUWT. One feature that's shared almost universally among climate conspiracy theorists is they excel at logical fallacies.

Figure 1 | Aerospan sun photometry station, Birdsville Australia. Credit: CSIRO

Take Eric Worrall at WUWT. In recent months Anthony Watts has been using Eric to write most of his very silly blog articles. Eric takes pride in his inability to reason. Today (archived here) he's written about a letter from a senior NASA scientist Brent Holben to Alex Wonhas, a senior CSIRO executive of CSIRO, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald.  Dr Holben was requesting that CSIRO not stop its important work in researching aerosols.

OMG it's horsepower!

Sou | 7:44 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is once again scraping the bottom of the barrel. This time he scraped up some horse manure (archived here). He resurrected an old article from the Washington Times, from way back in 2012. It featured in one of the very first articles here at HotWhopper.

Deniers are seriously weird at times. If you subscribe to the weirdness of thinking that a bunch of people standing on a pier changed the sea level in Atlantic City, you'll have given them super-powers. That's because they also must have changed the sea level up and down the entire east coast of North America, as Tamino showed way back in 2012.

Leland Park has discovered seasons, day and night at WUWT

Sou | 7:08 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
After various mundane articles about politics, sea level rise, and tips for deniers on how to reduce the scariness of global warming, there was another rather silly and simplistic article, this time by Leland Park (archived here). It would have been sweet, worthy of an eight-year-old's science essay, except that he mixed up cause and effect and didn't understand most of what he wrote. Worse still, at the bottom of his guest essay he wrote:
The negative feedback between solar levels and temperatures has always existed – but never noticed, officially. I, for one, will be interested to learn how quickly climate science can adapt CO2 theory to explain away its implications.
This is what Leland Park thinks was never noticed officially:
  • The hottest time of the year is after, not on, the solstice
  • The hottest time of the day is after, not at, noon.
Leland thinking he discovered this would astound even Dunning and Kruger. That Anthony Watts decided to publish his article won't astound anyone much.

Friday, May 6, 2016

Troposphere temperatures for April and muttered excuses from deniers at WUWT

Sou | 6:59 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures are out for April 2016. The lower troposphere as UAH v6 beta 5 and RSS TLT v3.3. As last month, this report also covers RSS TTT for the troposphere.

In all records, the April global anomaly is lower than it was for February and March. In the lower troposphere (UAH and RSS TLT only) the April data is lower than it was in 1998. In RSS TTT, April is the hottest April in the record.

Troposphere temperature (RSS TTT v4) chart

Last month I posted the TTT data from RSS which is now at version 4. TTT seems to be more of the troposphere than TLT (that is, it has a greater vertical profile) with less of the stratosphere than the mid-troposphere data (TMT). Hover the cursor (arrow) over the plots to see the data points, trend etc.

The chart below is the average of the 12 months to April, from May 1979 to April 1980, through to May 2015 to April 2016. Some caution is warranted because months to the end of 2016 are likely to be cooler on average than the first months of this year (2016).
Figure 1 | Troposphere temperature for 12 months to April (TTT). Anomaly is from the 1979-1998 mean. Data source: RSS

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Horrible, awful, devastating fire in Fort McMurray Alberta

Sou | 6:30 PM Go to the first of 37 comments. Add a comment
Yesterday I heard the dreadful news about the devastating fires around Fort McMurray Alberta. Not long afterwards, the evacuation notice spread to all residents of the town and its surrounds - around 80,000 people.  The entire city was evacuated. That's the largest ever fire evacuation in Alberta, probably Canada and maybe even in the world. The latest I've read is that the winds have shifted and the evacuation notice has spread to communities south of Fort McMurray, including one evacuation centre, as indicated in the video in the tweet below.

To evacuate from Fort McMurray there's really only one road, Highway 63 as the map below shows. It's about 434 km to Edmonton. To shift 80,000 people plus out of harms way would have been a garguantan task. Some went to sites considered safe outside of Fort McMurray, and various evacuation centres. I don't know where the whole 80,000 people went to - that's a lot of people to accommodate.

Spoof or genuinely nuts? Another conspiracy theory at WUWT about shrinking glaciers

Sou | 3:15 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
The latest conspiracy theory at WUWT is of "preposterous" claims that glaciers are disappearing. More specifically, someone called Roger Roots doesn't "believe" that glaciers in Glacier National Park are shrinking as quickly as scientists say they are. The evidence? He can't find the old web pages from USGS.

If you've visited the USGS website since the 26 April this year, you'll have seen that it's rolling out a new website, with the modern format suited to tablets. From the new site:

See updates below (now two).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Sunstroke hits Jim Goodridge at WUWT, and is CO2 cooling the sun?

Sou | 8:12 AM Go to the first of 34 comments. Add a comment
Sunstroke isn't fun, it mushes the brain. That's what's happened at WUWT today. There's a very weird article that Anthony Watts has posted, written by Jim Goodridge who long ago was State Climatologist in California. He started work at the US Weather Bureau in Sacramento in 1950, so he's probably in his late 80s. In that role, he did some good work from what I've read. If Anthony Watts knew him and cared, he'd never have let him post this article about sunspots. The article was very short and very wrong and is archived here.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Climate Hustle = "blah". The message: Attack the scientists since you can't dispute the facts

Sou | 8:10 PM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
Reports from people who went to see Climate Hustle suggest it was typical Marc Morano, the 2012 climate misinformer of the year. The take-away message reported was "If the science isn’t on your side, attack the messenger". Shades of the shameful attack on Senator John Kerry by Marc Morano some years ago.

Anthony Watts gave a few half-hearted plugs to the film, saying it was a popcorn movie - well, sort of :) Judith Curry gave it faint praise, not saying much about what she thought of it, but telling readers that her daughter liked it - because it had her photo in the background. (Judith was taken with Marc Morano's charm, which I understand he can lay on thickly and easily, in the manner of other people sharing his personality traits.)

An internally inconsistent straw man from the Cornwall Alliance

Sou | 6:21 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
A few months ago the pseudo-religious science-denying cult the Cornwall Alliance posted a bunch of denialist videos on YouTube. I didn’t watch most of them, though a few hundred people have.  One of them did catch my eye. It had the title: Greener on the Other Side - Attacking the Person, Not the Argument, Is Wrong.

I liked the message, however it struck me as a possible example of a straw man logical fallacy. Still, I wondered if there were going to be examples given where the research was sound, but was criticised solely because of the funding source. (I realised it was probably too much to hope that the Cornwall Alliance would be telling fake sceptics to stop attacking climate scientists and instead read their research.) Anyway, I watched the entire one minute and thirty second video almost through to the end (missing only the final long promo). I thought I'd check to see if the argument was supported by examples or if it was just another logical fallacy typical of science deniers.

There weren’t any examples given. It was pure straw man through and through. However it turned out to be more than just a straw man fallacy. The very short video contradicted itself. Below is the transcript so you can see for yourself.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Climate Feedback pounds the facts, Paul Driessen and CFACT pound the table at WUWT

Sou | 12:39 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
There's a saying that pops up from time to time when deniers moan how their denial falls on deaf ears. Caerbennog mentioned it a little while ago when he read about yet another denier boasting how he became afflicted with the Dunning-Kruger effect. The modern version** goes like this:
If you have the facts on your side, you pound the facts. If you have the law on your side, you pound the law. If you have neither on your side, you pound the table.

Climate Feedback pounds the facts

There have been a few things happening lately that brought to mind this lawyerly saying. They go to different parts of the advice. The first part, about "pounding the facts" has been put into practice in a coordinated fashion by a collaboration of scientists: Climate Feedback. They have been working together for some time and are now looking to crowd-funding to employ a Scientific Editor to help expand the effort.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

A good answer by James Hansen to a poorly formed question from an ideological denier, Dave Begley

Sou | 11:37 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has copied and pasted an article (archived here) from some dumb denier blog called Powerline. The article was written by a bloke called Dave Begley, who confesses he's a science denier on ideological grounds. Dave went to a talk by Dr James Hansen at Creighton University, which was held in advance of a shareholder meeting of Berkshire Hathaway.

Dave thought that he was "not only the only conservative, I was also the only person who was thinking clearly and critically". I'll let you decide whether he has the ability to think clearly and critically on the subject of climate change. Dave claimed:
I have never heard such nonsense in my life. He gave a rambling and incoherent presentation for nearly two hours. Three times he forgot the question or lost his train of thought. Since the Jesuits taught me logic, I could easily identity his use of the context, bulls-eye, omission and appeal to authority fallacies.
Dave Begley doesn't give any examples of what he regarded as "use of the context, bulls-eye, omission and appeal to authority fallacies". His own article was one long fallacy of personal incredulity, mixed in with some inaccurate reporting.

Why nights can warm faster than days - Christy & McNider vs Davy 2016

Sou | 8:16 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
At WUWT, Anthony Watts has written about a new paper by John Christy and Richard McNider, which was published in Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology of the American Meteorological Society. The researchers were looking at trends in summer-time maximum temperatures centering the analysis on three cities in Alabama, and using stations in Alabama and Tennessee. The purpose was to come up with a methodology to construct "long-term datasets by accounting for heterogeneities or changes in the observed time series without the use of station metadata".

There was a press release for the paper, which seems to have been picked up by almost no-one, except WUWT (archived here). In it the authors say:
In addition to creating some arcane mathematical tools useful for creating climate datasets, the team also found daytime high temperature data is less likely to be contaminated by surface issues — such as deforestation, construction, paving and irrigation — than nighttime low temperatures.
However I cannot find anything in the paper that supports that specific finding of contamination, or not strongly so.