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Thursday, June 30, 2016

Anthony Watts and his critical thinking cherry blossom fail

Sou | 10:14 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts runs a climate conspiracy blog called WUWT. He dismisses most climate science as "claims" and thinks that global warming is caused by Russian steampipes. Anthony often suffers confirmation bias, meaning he doesn't understand what he reads because his mind, shaped by his personal view of the world, twists it into something else altogether.

Credit: Uberlemur 
Yesterday he decided to take on the National Parks Service and plant researchers, and disputed the main causes of trends in blossoming time of cherry trees in Washington DC. Incidentally, Anthony is still fighting World War II, though it took place before he was born. He wrote:
We can assume that because the Washington cherry trees are curated and budding times tracked by the National Park Service that they get plenty of water and nutrients, after all we can’t have dead and dying cherry trees on the mall. That would insult Japan, who made them a gift in 1912 before they decided to surprise bomb the crap out of us at Pearl Harbor.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Brexit tidbits from climate conspiracy blogs

Sou | 4:21 PM Go to the first of 54 comments. Add a comment
Here are some tidbits from around some of the denier blogs following Brexit.  At Anthony Watts' blog WUWT, a lot of the articles have been about UK politics in the wake of the vote to leave the EU. In one article, Anthony had the gall to compare the "leave" vote to a defining moment in the civil rights movement in the USA (archived here). Given that a lot of the "leave" vote was fueled by xenophobia, his article at best showed an appalling lack of knowledge of US history and the threat of a rise in right wing populism around the world, but could more easily be construed as extreme right-wing racists wanting to re-write history. (In a similar vein, Jo Nova points to British imperialism and past colonisation of countries in Asia and Africa to prove that there's no xenophobia in the UK.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Politics and financial turmoil

Sou | 7:27 PM Go to the first of 209 comments. Add a comment
This is where you can clap with glee or express your disbelief that so many people in England and Wales want to try to go it alone. If you don't care about the political and trade issues, how do you feel about the impact on financial sector in the UK and the world.


Is this the end of the United Kingdom or did that happen some time ago? Will Scotland have another vote to separate, and to stay with the EU? What about Northern Ireland? Will it revert to civil strife? And will other EU countries follow suit, leading to a collapse of the union?

Post your thoughts here - and even better, speculate what Europe (including England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland) and the world will look like in 2030.

HotWhopper rarely dips into politics, but this vote by the people of Britain to leave the EU could signal some massive changes. It will almost certainly upset the world of finance. The Pound has dropped to its lowest level since 1985. Stock prices have dropped quite a lot all around the world. This could be a kneejerk reaction from the markets, or the start of a bear.

One things seems certain, unwinding from the EU won't be easy or painless. England could sink into a long depression. The Bank of England is trying to talk things up, but will the world listen?

What's the bet that when reality sets in, the people who voted to leave will still blame the EU for their woes?

Update - I've added some links below the fold.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

La Niña or no, nada?

Sou | 5:55 PM Go to the first of 34 comments. Add a comment
Now that El Niño has shut down, people are wondering if a La Niña will develop this year. Anthony Watts has been egging it on. Way back in March, before the El Niño had finished, he was predicting a La Niña. Today he's quoting a report from NOAA from a couple of weeks ago (9 June), in which the prediction was 75% in favour of La Niña:
Overall, ENSO-neutral conditions are present and La Niña is favored to develop during the Northern Hemisphere summer 2016, with about a 75% chance of La Niña during the fall and winter 2016-17.
The Australian Bureau of Meteorology has been much more conservative, with all its forecasts so far being only 50:50 in favour of La Niña. In its latest ENSO wrap-up yesterday, BoM stated:
Recent observations and climate model forecasts continue to suggest La Niña may develop in the coming months, hence the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook remains at La Niña WATCH level. A La Niña WATCH means there is a 50% likelihood of La Niña developing during the second half of 2016.  If La Niña does develop, climate models suggest it is unlikely to reach levels seen in the most recent event of 2010–12, which was one of the strongest La Niña events on record.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Buyer Beware: Cool Futures global cooling fund and crowd sourcing

Sou | 10:50 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
If you've got some money to throw away and you feel like betting that global warming is a hoax, you can give it to Jo Nova, David Evans and Chris Dawson. They have set up crowd-sourcing with the stated purpose of setting up a Cayman Islands bank account to "invest and divest, to hedge, donate, and fund research". They also want to "grow a philanthropic hedge fund management company". While they don't say whose research they are going to fund, it's a fair bet that it is aimed at helping Jo and David's blog "research" on Force X, N, and D and the Notch.

The project is called the Cool Futures Funds Management and the target is now $375,000. So far they've collected $43,030, up from $41,130, $38,505, and $16.025 six months ago when James Delingpole wrote about their money-making idea.

Betting the planet will cool and that coal will make a comeback, an endorsement from James Delingpole, the team including a rocket scientist from Luna Park - must be a sure thing, right?

As the world heats up, Anthony Watts promotes Patrick Moore's conspiratorial ice age fear

Sou | 4:53 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
Willis Eschenbach once wrote of his good friend and conspiracy blogger Anthony Watts that he can't tell good science from bad. He said:
... it is not Anthony’s job to determine whether or not the work of the guest authors will stand the harsh light of public exposure. That’s the job of the peer reviewers, who are you and I and everyone making defensible supported scientific comments. Even if Anthony had a year to analyze and dissect each piece, he couldn’t do that job. ...
Anthony illustrates this inability today, promoting an article by someone called Patrick Moore (archived here, latest here). He's usually touted as being a "co-founder of Greenpeace", which is meant to indicate that he's seen the error of his past and has now become a born-again science denier.


Anthony Watts favours this "Climate Hoax" conspiracy theory from Patrick Moore


The conspiracy theory that Anthony posted from Patrick goes like this:
A powerful convergence of interests among key elites supports and drives the climate catastrophe narrative. Environmentalists spread fear and raise donations; politicians appear to be saving the Earth from doom; the media has a field day with sensation and conflict; scientists and science institutions raise billions in public grants, create whole new institutions, and engage in a feeding frenzy of scary scenarios; businesses want to look green and receive huge public subsidies for projects that would otherwise be economic losers, such as large wind farms and solar arrays. Even the Pope of the Catholic Church has weighed in with a religious angle.
Yep, it's got all the ingredients of a good conspiracy worthy of the envy of any right wing authoritarian follower - money, key elites, environmentalists, politicians, the media, scientists and even the Pope of the Catholic Church. They are all part of the climate hoax.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Denier quote of the week from Tim Ball at WUWT

Sou | 4:19 AM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
This is what passes for climate science at Anthony Watts' blog WUWT:
Since climate is an average of the weather, the average temperature for a 24-hour period is the climate of the day.
Timothy Ball PhD (climate conspiracy theorist) 

That has to be the shortest climate period ever!

And not one person questioned it.


Friday, June 17, 2016

A new low from creepy sleazy Anthony Watts, stalking climate scientists and reading their emails

Sou | 4:19 PM Go to the first of 62 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is a creep. Yes, you knew that. Today there's another example. He wrote about how he's been stalking climate scientists and their families (archived here). It's another low from Anthony Watts, posting aerial shots of what he said was the roof of the homes of some scientists in the USA. He was pawing through the Internet and Google Earth looking to find climate scientists who didn't have solar panels on their roofs. Anthony wrote:
From the “arch denier Watts leads the way” department (see my photos below) I thought it would be interesting to see how many climate scientists actually have solar power on their home, so I did an aerial survey to find out. The results don’t speak well for them. Don’t worry, I did not disclose anyone’s address – Anthony
The first thing that struck me was how sleazy that was. The second was how offensive it is to judge a person's understanding of climate change by whether they had solar panels or not. The third thing that I noticed was that most of the photos showed houses surrounded by trees. Trees have a habit of blocking the sun and don't mix well with solar panels. Another thing I noticed was that he got some houses wrong - one he discovered and at least one he didn't.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

How much can El Niño be blamed for the jump in CO2?

Sou | 10:42 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment
Something unusual happened in April this year. Between March and April there was a record month to month jump in atmospheric CO2 recorded at Mauna Loa. It went up by 2.71 ppmv. That's 0.6 ppmv higher than the previous highest month to month jump (2.11 ppmv) back in April 2004. However it's not wise to focus on month to month variations. For example, March could have been lower than expected, which would make the jump seem larger than it should be. (It wasn't.) This article explores some of what causes atmospheric CO2 to go up and down. It's not the answer to everything, however I learnt a lot doing the research and I have some unanswered questions too (like a quantitative answer to the title of this article). (Let me know if you see any mistakes I may have made.)

The chart below shows the month by month increase in atmospheric CO2 since the late 1950s. Hover over the chart for the values. The most recent is April at 407.57 ppmv.

Figure 1 | Monthly CO2 at Mauna Loa. Data source: SCRIPPS CO2 Program

Hottest May on record with year to date temperature

Sou | 12:59 PM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment
Yes, another "hottest" on record - this time for May 2016. According to GISS NASA, the average for May was 0.93 °C, which is 0.07 °C above the previous hottest May, in 2014. Last month is the first time in seven months that the GISTemp monthly anomaly is less than one degree Celsius above the average from 1951-1980.  This month the anomaly is the ninth highest for any month, lower than all anomalies from October last year, and lower than that for January 2007.

The average for the five months to the end of May is 1.15 °C, which is 0.29 °C higher than any previous January to May period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.86 °C.

There are now eight in a row of "hottest months" from October 2015 to May 2016 (that is, hottest October, hottest November etc). If we could look back over the entire Holocene, 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 (it's probably hotter now than it was back then).

All of the previous months (October to April inclusive) had an anomaly more than one degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean. All of the previous months had an anomaly higher than any month outside of that October to April period. May this year had an anomaly of 0.93 °C, which is lower than the anomaly in January 2007 (0.96 °C.)

Below is a chart of the month of May only. Hover over the chart to see the anomaly in any May:
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the month of May only. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Monday, June 13, 2016

Extra-tropical storms: Anthony Watts publishes more of Tim Ball's nonsense

Sou | 3:17 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
While Anthony Watts might have said something to Tim Ball to stop him writing about his favourite conspiracy theory about the One World Government, he hasn't stopped him from making up nonsense about climate science. Today he's published an article by Tim where he wrongly claimed that the world is cooling (archived here). Tim lives on a world of his own, not this one. In your world and mine, the global mean surface temperature has had four of the last four decades the hottest ever recorded. It's also had two of the last two years the hottest ever recorded, soon to be three of three:


In this article from the greenhouse effect denier, Timothy Ball, he was writing about mid-latitude cyclones, or extra-tropical cyclones. These are different to tropical cyclones. The Bureau of Meteorology website explains:

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Willis Eschenbach wonders about ENSO events and rain

Sou | 6:24 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
Willis Eschenbach is one of the resident pseudo-scientists at WUWT. Today he decided to tackle ENSO events and precipitation (archived here). As is usual, he went to satellite data to get precipitation, which is probably not the best approach. While the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) is a worthwhile project, I don't think it was intended to be used in the way Willis has used it.


Wet and dry regions during ENSO events


Willis took issue with a recent paper in Nature Communications from a team led by Michael Griffiths. (Anthony Watts had earlier said the paper was a bombshell. I don't know why. It's an interesting paper, but not what I'd call a bombshell.) The paper itself was about multi-century shifts in weather patterns in the Pacific.  Willis wasn't writing about that. What he wanted to do was dispute the fact that El Niño years tend to be drier and La Niña years tend to be wetter.

Now the Cornwall Alliance is scared of RICO

Sou | 12:18 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
Dear Attorneys General,

You’re not stupid. Stupid people don’t graduate from law school.

Neither are you generally ignorant. You know lots of law.
Those are the first words of an open letter to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and members of Attorneys General United for Clean Power. Since they are Attorneys General I suppose, um, they would know "lots of law". I'd say they can write more eloquently than the "climate hoax" conspiracy theorists who wrote that letter, too.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Greenland 2015: Anthony Watts denies Arctic amplification

Sou | 3:04 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Arctic amplification means that surface temperatures in the high northern latitudes are rising faster than elsewhere. The reasons for this include positive feedbacks from the reduced ice cover as the world heats up.

Anthony Watts has announced that he's an Arctic amplification denier (archived here). He doesn't "believe" this is happening:
Figure 1 | Temperatures anomaly for the period 2001-2015 by latitude. The base period is 1951-1980. The chart clearly shows the Arctic amplification to the right. Data source: GISS NASA

Actually, I don't think Anthony knows what Arctic amplification is. In his blog article at WUWT today, he was writing about a new paper on the Greenland melt of 2015, saying:
And in this case, they are citing a single event to claim “Arctic amplification” has set in. 
There are all sorts of things wrong with that sentence.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

The Great Barrier Reef: an unmitigated disaster - if only the Australian public knew...

Sou | 8:48 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
Here is the video from the Climate Council, with Tim Flannery, Amanda McKenzie and Dean Miller on the disastrous bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef.


Graham Readfearn has written about how Ben Webster at the anti-environment newspaper, The Australian, tried to downplay the disaster.

Extending the climate conspiracy: Anthony Watts accuses US volunteer weather observers of fudging temperature records

Sou | 4:31 PM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has written about some research that shows that when weather observers estimate wind speed, they usually overestimate it. In April this year a team, led by Paul W Miller of the University of Georgia, published a paper in the American Meteorological Society Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology. The researchers reported that "As a general rule of thumb, humans overestimated nonconvective wind GFs [gust factors] by approximately one-third."

In the USA, the scientists said that automated weather stations were relatively sparse, so weather observers apparently typically estimate wind speed. By comparing estimates made by observers with instrumentally recorded wind speeds in the GHCN network, the researchers concluded that the estimates were typically too high.

That's interesting. But wait. There's more. Anthony uses this research to accuse the thousands of volunteer weather observers of fudging temperature data. That's right. This is data that is read, not estimated. This is the "raw data" that deniers usually staunchly defend.

Pat'n Chip float by WUWT on a cloud of aerosols

Sou | 12:37 AM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
Patrick J Michaels and Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger have discovered a new blog article about aerosols. The article is by Dr Nicolas Bellouin from the University of Reading, who specialises in studying aerosols. He wrote about a preliminary estimate of aerosol-cloud forcing of -0.6 W m-2, which is lower than the estimate in the latest IPCC report, of -0.9 W m-2, but well within the range in the IPCC report, which is quite wide - from -1.9 to -0.1 W m-2.

Pat'n Chip grabbed hold of the blog article as though it were precious gold, and published at WUWT (archived here).  Deniers haven't got much to grab hold of right now, so a blog article about a blog article will have to do. The first blog article is not yet a paper. That's promised for August this year. In fact, at the bottom of his article, Dr Bellouin wrote:
I thank Graham Feingold, Johannes Quaas, Annica Ekman, Leo Donner, and Ilan Koren for interesting discussions on current understanding of aerosol-cloud interactions. Note that they do not all agree that aerosol-cloud radiative forcing is weak: some argue that a value of up to −1.2 W m-2 remains consistent with scientific understanding.
That value of −1.2 W m-2 is higher than the lower end referred to in the IPCC report (−1.9 W m-2), so it could be that the range has been better defined in the three years since the AR5 IPCC report.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Troposphere temperatures for May 2016

Sou | 11:42 PM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures are out for May 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 May global anomaly dropped again, as El Nino dissipated. In the lower troposphere (UAH beta v6.05) and the troposphere (RSS TTT) the May anomaly is lower than it was in 1998.

Troposphere temperature (RSS TTT v4) chart


First here is RSS TTT with the latest dataset, version 4. TTT seems to be measure 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). It shows a higher rate of warming than RSS v3.3 and higher than UAH.

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 May, from June 1979 to May 1980, through to June 2015 to May 2016.
Figure 1 | Troposphere temperature for 12 months to May (TTT). Anomaly is from the 1979-1998 mean. Data source: RSS

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Open thread

Sou | 9:49 AM Go to the first of 60 comments. Add a comment
It'll probably be another couple of days before getting back to daily blogging. In the meantime, feel free to comment about anything.

Australia is shocked that Greg Hunt, whose department got the UN to rid a report of the Barrier Reef, is claiming credit for keeping the Great Barrier Reef off the endangered list for a bit longer. That's during the worst coral bleaching event in modern times. UNESCO is going to keep an eye on it for a while, even if Greg Hunt isn't.

Over at WUWT, the audience has been reduced to a joke. I know it's not the done thing to call people stupid, but how would you describe these comments?

The vandalism of CSIRO continues.