Scroll To Top

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Climate disinformers Willie Soon and István Markó caught out again

Sou | 2:11 AM Go to the first of 47 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.

Thirty years of global warming - up 0.6 C plus


Part way through this pair of wastrels wrote:
First of all, we know that the relatively rapid increase in atmospheric CO2 over the last thirty years has not produced any large and significant global warming, just a meager ~0.2°C. This compares favorably with the ~1°C increase in the temperature anomaly registered since the past 150 years...
Not so. Willie and his mate got it very wrong. Our world is now more than 0.6 C hotter than it was thirty years ago. Below is a chart showing 1986 temperatures and 2015 temperatures, marked with a dotted line. In 1986 the world was 0.68 C colder than it was last year. (Data source for both charts is GISS NASA.)


It's better to use some smoothing on the chart, like in the chart below. Using a LOESS smooth to remove year to year variability, the temperature is now 0.61 C hotter than it was 30 years ago.



This is why I don't believe Anthony Watts when he claims to be considering "peer review" before posting "technical articles". He'd have nothing to post on his blog except boring right wing political rants.

Update: To be consistent, I should have used LOESS for both upper and lower limits. Here it is, still way more than Willie and his mate claimed:





47 comments :

  1. Few other scientists can boast such an atrocious collection of publications as Willie Soon can. He is the archetype of the "scientist-for-hire". Writing for Breitbart suits him just fine.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I put Soon as second only to Singer, whose protege and acolyte he is.

      Singer is the archetype.

      Delete
    2. Singer was at one point, much earlier in his very long life, a reasonably good scientist, before he became, well, Satan.

      Soon was always a rather minor figure.

      Delete
    3. I don't think Singer has papers in his record that are as awful as e.g. Monckton, Soon, Legates & Briggs, or Green, Armstrong & Soon.

      Delete
  2. The graphs are a little hard for me to follow. Is the gap supposed to be between the height of the orange curve in 1986 and 2016? If so, I'm confused by the top part of the gap being above the orange curve.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's better (see the update)!

      Delete
    2. The blue curve is the observed temperature anomaly. The orange curve is the smoothed temperature anomaly (LOESS smooth).

      Chart 1 shows the difference between the observed 1986 anomaly and 2015 temperature.

      Chart 2 shows the difference between the smoothed 1986 anomaly and the observed 2015 anomaly.

      Chart 3 shows the difference between the smoothed 1986 and smoothed 2015 anomalies.

      Delete
    3. Sou, the problem with your approach here is that you simply take for granted that your interpretation of what Soon & Markó are saying is equal to their own. Here's an alternative interpretation, which I'm pretty sure is much more in line with their original intention:
      https://okulaer.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/itlt_60_0-360e_90-90n_n_1986-2015_a1.png

      Delete
    4. You're going to have to provide more than that. Why is your interpretation the one that's 'equal'? Or correct, for that matter?

      (All interpretations are equal, but some are more equal than others!)

      Delete
    5. No, okulaer, I didn't interpret what they said. All I did was quote them and compare what they *actually* said (not how I interpreted what they said) with the observations.

      Delete
    6. BTW the chart shown by okulaer suggests that UAH might be due for another update/version. If you use the TTT troposphere data from RSS in the latest version, the temperature in 1986 was 0.53 C lower than last year using the trend, or 0.71 C lower using actuals. That's comparable to the changes at the surface.

      Delete
    7. Uh oh, an interpreter of interpretations

      That never ends well

      Delete
    8. bill says:
      "Why is your interpretation the one that's 'equal'? Or correct, for that matter?

      Because mine shows a general rise of 0.2 degrees over the last 30 years? Just like Soon and Markó stated ...

      Delete
    9. Sou, you say:
      "All I did was quote them and compare what they *actually* said (not how I interpreted what they said) with the observations."

      And I compared what they actually said with some *other* observations. And got a match.

      That's all I'm saying. They didn't claim to use GISS, they also didn't claim that the year 2015 was only 0.2 degrees warmer than the year 1986. That's only *your* interpretation.

      Delete
    10. 'Or correct, for that matter'. Which you quoted. Over to you.

      Also, you don't want to put people's backs up, you don't kick off with 'the problem with your approach here is that you simply take for granted...'.

      Delete
    11. Anyone in any doubt about what kind of a perfect little snowflake we're dealing with here might like to take a look at his blog:

      'A good month ago, the perennially unsavoury character calling himself Tamino once again tried to hold up the spotty “global” network of radiosondes...'

      'Ten days ago, Nick Stokes wrote a post on his “moyhu” blog where he – in his regular, guileful manner... '

      'In 1938, English steam technologist Guy Stewart Callendar wrote what proved to be a seminal – one might even venture to call it the foundational – paper of the entire modern AGW pipe dream movement...'

      But, of course, you'll be one of the 6 people this year who do!

      Delete
    12. okulaer,
      Where did the lines come from? Just as a guess, it almost looks like they're just averages over short periods. Which is obviously wrong when dealing with data that is statistically significantly increasing over the period (though it is one of the better ways to lie to the naive about the reality of a set of data). Assuming it is an average, then the values would only be valid at the midpoint of the range. So you're "analysis" seems to be indicating that the anomaly in 1995 was ~-.1C and in 2006 it was ~.1C. That's an increase of ~.2C in 11 years. Extrapolating that to 30 years would give an increase in the anomaly of ~.5C. So, as far as I can tell, your "analysis" appears to agree with Sou.

      (I should mention how wrong it is to perform such an analysis on unreleased and unreviewed data, but I'm sure you're aware of that problem.)

      Steve

      Delete
    13. For Pete's sake it is in Breitbart! What more needs to be said?

      Delete
    14. okulaer
      >>That's all I'm saying. They didn't claim to use GISS, they also didn't claim that the year 2015 was only 0.2 degrees warmer than the year 1986. That's only *your* interpretation.<<

      The problem with their use of 0.2 UAH is they wrote that "This compares favorably with the ~1°C increase in the temperature anomaly registered since the past 150 years..." Well, they certainly didn't get ~1°C over the past 150 years from UAH - that had to come from surface records which they supposedly compared the 0.2 from satellites, but what they wrote gives the impression they were comparing the same record, but they were not.

      Delete
    15. okulaer wrote: >>And I compared what they actually said with some *other* observations. And got a match.<<

      Except he didn't. All he did was draw some black lines on top of a chart from WoodforTrees. They were without meaning and explanation.

      Even using the last resort of the denier, the anomaly among all the temperature data sets, the satellite data for the lower troposphere from a beta version of UAH, the anomaly for 2015 was 0.5 C hotter than it was in 1986, and the lowest he could get would be to look at the slope of the chart, which would get him 0.35 C in 30 years. Still a lot more than the 0.2 C that Willie Soon wrote.

      But then, as DCR points out, where would they have got their 1 degree in a century from? Not from okulaer's satellite data, which only goes back to 1979.

      Why someone would come to HotWhopper and try to justify a wrong claim made by Willie Soon of all people, who wrote it in Breitbart of all places, using a beta version of an outlier dataset of all things, with some unexplained black lines slashed across a chart, I don't know.

      Based on the evidence, I conclude that okulaer is a science denier ;)

      Delete
    16. "Based on the evidence, I conclude that okulaer is a science denier"

      Given the quotations from his blog that Bill has pointed to, I'd say that's being overly generous.

      Delete
    17. You can add him questioning the greenhouse effect to Bill's quotes. Apparently, bidirectional energy exchange is impossible because it violates the second law of thermodynamics (some might find it interesting that creationists also love to refer to the second law to claim evolution is not possible).

      Apparently, this "quarternary geologist" (which he claims to be) is so much more brighter than all those thousands and thousands of physicists. Heck, he even should consider Fred Singer and Roy Spencer pseudoscientists who try to fool the world, considering their disparaging remarks about people who deny the greenhouse effect.

      Delete
    18. A handy reference point I have when evaluating any claim made on the web is that the invocation of the 2nd law of thermodynamics = crackpot

      Delete
    19. One reader less for me, then :)

      Delete
  3. Dear Anthony Watts:

    This is how it's done. When someone points out an elementary mistake (we all make them), you add an update acknowledging the error and correcting it. You don't ignore it; you don't delete it and pretend it never happened; you don't call the people who pointed it out shills or liars or conspirators. You don't ban the people who point it out. And you certainly don't double down and insist that you are right and all those freshman textbooks are wrong.

    Doesn't seem that difficult, really.

    ReplyDelete
  4. From the article that Sou linked to: Willie Soon is an independent scientist who has been studying the Sun and Earth climate for the past 26 years.

    No reference to the Smithsonian or Harvard any more? Is that a new development?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Willie Soon is an independent scientist - yes I noticed that

      I assumed it meant independent OF science - freed from the twin shackles of data and observation

      Delete
    2. Does 'independent' mean the Smithsonian dumped him and no reputable scientific organisation wants him?

      Delete
    3. See Was Willie Soon Paid For Science...Or Anti-Science?, which has a history of Soon's talks for Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, whose demographic can be seen from the image on that post.
      I actually watched most of his talks. He stopped mentioning H-S CfA (Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics) a while ago.

      23e (2005) H-S CfA still there.
      29d (2011) By then labeled "independent scientist" but watch first 3 minutes of 2011 talk. Trust me, insight will be gained.

      Delete
  5. Istvan Marko is a “celebrity” in the fresh-speaking climate deniers community. A successful organic chemistry scientist (publications , Markó–Lam deoxygenation) he took climate denial as a main job since a few years.

    He regularly contributes to skeptical blogs, books and events (“15 vérités qui dérangent” (15 inconvenient truths, what a clever title!), le collectif des climato-réalistes (roughly translated “climate-deluded bunch of old french-speaking guys”, with Jacques Duran of pensee-unique (.fr), Benoît Rittaud, of skyfall (.fr), our friend Jean-Pierre Bardinet, and many others, the hugely successful “Contre-COP21”, with, at the very least, 20 attendees (not sure if the videos will make through any browser. Anyway, don’t bother…)

    Anyway, he has the kind of respectability deniers crave, and uses it to the brim. I really wonder why he feels the need to mention his presidency of the European Chemical Society whose website disappeared more than 6 years ago!

    Well, at least, my university, which still is bound to employ Marko, also hosts Andre Berger (emeritus) and Marie-France Loutre (of Berger and Loutre 1991, 2002, … fame), Jean-Pascal van Ypersele (no need to introduce him), Hugues Goosse (Pages2K, …) Thierry Fichefet (lead author, chapter 12 WG1, IPCC AR5), and many other.

    We live in interesting times.

    ReplyDelete
  6. By the way, Istvan Marko signed the Happer letter to urge Lamar Smith to waste more US tax dollars.

    "MARKO, Pr. Dr. István E, Organic, organometallic and medicinal chemist, Université catholique de Louvain, Laboratoire de Chimie Organique etMédicinale, Institut IMCN, Unité MOST, More than 2"

    ReplyDelete
  7. Well done Willie you've been published on Breitbart,. Keep up the good work matey. I'm looking forward to your further publications on WND, The Daily Caller, The Washington Times and The Australian.


    (BTW Willie Have you considered Stormfront ? I believe it has good climate coverage but you may need a nom du plume)


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a race for the bottom! :-)

      Delete
    2. Love the 'Is that true, or did you read it in The Australian?' T Shirt!

      Delete
    3. Wilhelm 'Willie' Schoon should get him in at Stormfront, though he'd be wise to leave out a photo.

      Delete
    4. http://www.history.com/s3static/video-thumbnails/AETN-History_VMS/21/160/History_Hirohito_Visits_US_Speech_SF_still_624x352.jpg

      Delete
  8. Another way to do it: Take the 1986-2016 trend (°C/decade) and multiply by 3. Using GISTEMP, that works out to 0.55°C.

    ReplyDelete
  9. You might think that Anthony would want to avoid a shill as notorious as Soon. But then, when you remember that Anthony's occasional paymasters are the Heartland Institute, there really is nobody beneath him.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, c'mon. Willie isn't a shill -- he's what Orac at Respectful Insolence calls a "Brave Maverick Scientist".

      With, of course, heavy irony.

      Delete
  10. A couple of WUWT gems from the past -- first,
    a hilariously snarky comment made by a climate-scientist who has spent time in the Antarctic.

    Then there's this classic that showcases Watts' "schoolboy-class" incompetence (apologies to any schoolboys I may have offended) -- scroll down to Watts' histogram discussion. But first, make sure to secure all hot beverage; I won't take responsibility for anyone's scalded nasal passages.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That post with the histograms is one of my favourites. Notice how the link to "Part 2" goes to "Oops! That page can’t be found."

      Delete
    2. The Antarctic post is also wonderful, in particular how Watts tries to avoid admitting his mistake in the comment section!

      Delete
  11. I quite liked this snippet from the Breitbart article:
    "we wish to remind everyone of the independent investigation led by Mr. Anthony Watts and many serious scientists".
    Happily then Soon/Marko confirm that Anthony Watts should not be included under the header 'serious scientist'.

    ReplyDelete
  12. It will do more harm to your own self-esteem than the pretension of winning an argument by appealing to authority or popularity.

    [...]

    Professor Albert Einstein had it perfectly right. When he was told about the publication of the pamphlet “100 authors against Einstein” in 1931, he replied: “Why 100? If I were wrong, one would be enough.”


    A million people could point to the self-refutation in that one, and they wouldn't cop to it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, usually the people quoting Einstein miss the "If I were wrong..." bit.

      Delete
    2. And they as well miss the implication that said one person would have to have the requisite knowledge and skills to actually provide a sufficient disproof.

      Like, for instance, by not being named Anthony.

      Delete

Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL or OpenID. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.