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Thursday, July 14, 2016

WUWT shows that 99.9% of recent papers don't dispute mainstream climate science

Sou | 12:52 AM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment

Scientists will be surprised to find their papers featured on a list that claims they are science deniers. They won't be surprised to find that the list is being circulated by disinformer Anthony Watts and a rabid denier, Pierre Gosselin (archived here and here and here).

Pierre is the same person who, eight years ago in 2008, predicted that by 2020 the surface temperature would have dropped by 2.5 °C. That prediction isn't looking too hot right now. It would have to drop by 2.83 °C from 2015.

Figure 4 | Global mean surface temperature (blue) and Pierre Gosselin's 2008 prediction (red). Data sources: GISS NASA and WUWT

Pierre is as woeful at understanding science papers as he is at predicting global surface temperature.

Anthony Watts is the same. He wouldn't understand a scientific paper if he had a year to digest it. That's not his job. Anthony linked to a list of supposed denier papers on Pierre Gosselin's blog and wrote:
Kenneth Richard has compiled a list of 770 papers published since January 1,  2014 that contradict the IPCC consensus statement, see here.
This includes 240 papers published during the first half of 2016, as shown here.
The list of papers includes 43 on solar influences, 27 on natural ocean oscillation, 2 on Rossby waves, 3 on ozone, 6 on the small effect of CO2, 11 on natural variability, 11 on clouds and aerosols, 3 on CO2 stratospheric cooling, 15 on past climates, 4 on settled science, 19 on Climate Model Unreliability, 2 on urban warming, 6 on volcanic forcing, 2 on warming oceans, 7 on miscellaneous topics, 2 on forest fires, 2 on cold vs heat deaths, 6 on climate policy, 7 on extreme weather, 20 on polar ice, 9 on sea level rise, 12 on ocean acidification, 2 on hurricanes, 4 on droughts, 3 on natural climate catastrophe, 7 on greening and crop yields and 1 on low climate sensitivity.
Notice there are only six papers in the list that supposedly are about "the small effect of CO2" and only one on "low climate sensitivity". Not even the "no effect of CO2". By my generous reckoning, that means that 99.1% of the papers do not support the fake sceptics' position, which is 2.1% higher than 97% :) Note also that he's included three papers on stratospheric cooling, which is an indicator of global warming.

I haven't looked at every one of the papers Pierre has on his blog. Many of the included papers are about solar activity and many others are about paleo-climatology, so don't cover greenhouse warming or the modern period, except in passing.

The first six of the 2016 papers classified as Solar Influence on Climate are about the sun, and do not appear to be based in climate science denial. The next one is in The Cryosphere and the title shows what it's about: The darkening of the Greenland ice sheet: trends, drivers, and projections (1981–2100). On the first page, the authors wrote:
Albedo projections through to the end of the century under different warming scenarios consistently point to continued darkening, with albedo anomalies averaged over the whole ice sheet lower by 0.08 in 2100 than in 2000, driven solely by a warming climate. Future darkening is likely underestimated because of known underestimates in modelled melting (as seen in hindcasts) and because the model albedo scheme does not currently include the effects of LAI [light-absorbing impurities], which have a positive feedback on albedo decline through increased melting, grain growth, and darkening. 
And toward the end they wrote how melting is going to increase over coming decades:
The drivers we identified to be responsible for the observed darkening are related to endogenous processes rather than exogenous ones and are strongly driven by melting. Because melting is projected to increase over the next decades, it is crucial to assess our capability of studying, quantifying, and projecting these processes as they will inevitably impact, and be impacted by, future scenarios.

The next two seem to have been confined to research on the sun and didn't appear to reject AGW. The one after that was a paper in Climate of the Past. It's also about Greenland and is based on analysis of ice cores. That paper is interesting in that it discusses the likely reasons for the temperature fluctuations in northern Greenland.  It has nothing to suggest that the authors dispute mainstream climate science or AGW.

In the first paragraph of the next paper the author, Andrea Jo Miller Hanna, wrote:
The ongoing, rapid environmental changes recently observed in the Arctic highlight the need for high-resolution records of pre-industrial climate change in this climatically sensitive region; such records are fundamental for understanding recent anthropogenic changes in the context of natural variability. 

The next one was a denier paper in the style of David "funny sunny" Archibald (and cited his "work"). It was published in one of the many suspect "journals". This one boasts about the fact that it's not a proper journal:
All manuscripts are peer reviewed and reviewing process will be completed within two weeks. The manuscripts will be published online shortly after acceptance.
Oh yeah!

I skipped over a lot of papers and took a look at what was classified as "Natural Oceanic/Atmospheric Oscillation Influence on Climate". The first one was a paleo paper by Michael Griffiths and co, in Nature Communications, which I wrote about last month. The authors would be most bemused at being labeled science deniers by WUWT and co.

The next one was also a paleo paper in which the authors, Johan Faust and co. wrote:
Long-term NAO records are crucial to better understand its response to climate forcing factors, and assess predictability and shifts associated with ongoing climate change. 
This is what WUWT calls deniers? Huh!

The next one was also a paleo paper. The one after that was about the multiscale evolution of temperature variability in the arid region of Northwest China (ARNC) from 1901 to 2013. In that entry the deniers even quote the authors, Chen et al., writing:
Our findings deepen the understanding of the temperature changes all over the ARNC in the context of global warming.

Deniers really are desperate. This is as bad as PopTech's list of so-called denier papers.

In this cursory examination I only found one paper that could properly be called a denier paper and that wasn't published in a proper journal. Even if one allowed nonsense journals, one out of 770 would raise the 97% to 99.87%. If not allowed, the entries on this so-called denier list could well show 100% consensus that humans are causing global warming :D

From the WUWT comments

Bloke down the pub isn't the least bit sceptical. That is he's a fake sceptic and didn't bother checking. He just wrote sarcastically:
July 13, 2016 at 5:08 am
La La La, I can’t hear you.

thingodonta makes up stuff.
July 13, 2016 at 5:22 am
‘The consensus’ has already stated that they would take no notice of any papers that contradict their position, including their existence. Just like the Chinese government and the South China Sea. 

Jared didn't look at the papers or if he did he couldn't understand them:
July 13, 2016 at 5:26 am
Not so fast, you have not correctly processed this data through a super computer that models what papers really mean. First you must Cook up the data and Mann for upside down hockey sticks. In Lew of poor results, then a total d-Nye-all off all papers is necessary. The 97% meme must not die 
Going by this demo, the 97% is about to be replaced with 99.9%.

Bruce Cobb is a conspiracy theorist who sees nefarious intent behind every bit of science:
July 13, 2016 at 6:05 am
100% of those who use the 97% meme are out-and-out bald-faced liars.
Toneb picked up on the fact that the so-called list was bogus - though he only mentioned one fallacy - that of stratospheric cooling. Most of the rest fell for the WUWT scam hook, line and sinker, like obedient fake sceptics.


  1. I read through this and guessed it must be drivel, but my technical knowledge wasn't sufficient to quantify my suspicions. Thanks for the confirmation!

  2. Perhaps an attempt should be made to seek statements from the authors responding to how their papers are being characterized.

    1. The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley specializes in misrepresenting climate papers. John Abraham deconstructed one of TVMOB's presentations, seeking statements from the authors, as you suggest. TVMOB was not amused.

  3. Reminds me of a list compiled by a Belgian guy. As soon as a paper said there's a variation in [insert any factor but CO2], the paper was listed as a paper debunking AGW. And many of those papers explicitly debunked denier myths.
    Yes, reading a scientific paper can be hard if you're not at all interested in what the paper actually studied, but only want to hear 'no agw'.

  4. Kenneth Richard is the pseudonym of Rick Cina, whose claim to fame is clogging up livescience and bad astronomy with that same list of papers. His list used to contain a lot more sources from Beall's list, but recently he's trimmed those. He also rabidly denies any connection with Anthony Watts when posting under his real name. Anyway, here's the screenshot where he admits to sock puppeting.

    1. Aha. Good to know. 'rcina' with his overly long screeds was one of the main reasons I gave up on Bad Astronomy. I used to read him daily and comment regularly.

      But once Phil left Discover for Slate, he seemed to stop policing the comments altogther and it just became an unreadable free-for-all that was full of trolls and sock puppets. No thanks, better things to do :-\

    2. Oh, yeah, almost forgot. Remember for the first 6 months or so when Bad Astronomy moved to Slate, replies to comments came up in *reverse chronological order* making it almost impossible to follow a conversation thread unless you were a regular and knew to read from the bottom up?

      I sent Phil at least 3 e-mails about that one, which could be fixed in 5 mins just by changing a single SQL statement to order the replies in ascending chronological order instead of descending. Never a reply from Phil, and it took them at least 6 months to fix it. Complete waste of time.

    3. I also contacted Phil, but urging him to shut down the comments section as people like Cina were using it as a one stop denial shop. Slate finally got around to moderating it, but Rick still was able to evade them. I haven't seen him on BA for quite some time now. Livescience on the other hand is a complete free for all and I've seen Rick spend easily weeks spamming the same article. Rick has copied much of poptech's list and the papers he keeps adding, like Sou has noted, don't really prove any point except that he knows how to cherry pick. It's pure Gish Gallop distilled down.

    4. Me three. I had been reading BA since Slashdot was a thing. But, Slate just made it too much of a hassle to keep up.

    5. Markle2k, I often wonder if Dr. Plait realises how many regular readers he lost after that move to Slate. I wish him well, he's passionate about what he does and his heart is in the right place and all that... but the comments section there, sheesh!

    6. The following may be of interest to those who have the misfortune to interact with Kenneth Richard. This fellow, of somewhat limited charm, seems to have taken up residence at the oxymoronic (emphasis on the last three syllables) ‘notrick’s. I did manage to tease out from him that he now claims to have degrees in the social sciences (see and the following comments).

      He now admits implicitly (but the conclusion is obvious) that he doesn’t read the publications that he provides copious links to, on the basis that his background doesn’t allow him to understand them. I guess this is no big surprise but it is good to have this blowhard totally exposed.

      I ended up being eventually banned, which I am not upset about as it is his prerogative. I did find it however unsavoury that he actually reedited my last comment by deleting the relevant sentences. Consequently I would like my comment to see the light of day without Kenneth’s rewrite. My comment was based on this (there was some minor in situ editing on my behalf ).

      “I am totally unsurprised that Kenneth knows what an ad hominem attack is , as he has mastered this tactic along with straw men and diversions. Naturally Kenneth feels very defensive now that his cover has been blown and he has admitted that he has very little understanding of the material he links to.

      With regards to these ad hominem attacks, Kenneth must think hypocrisy is a virtue as he launches ad hom attacks on those whose views diverge from his own .
      Some are by implication, as he refers to others as being mere blog authors, as if the blog he is currently writing and commenting in, is not actually a blog but is a peer reviewed publication on par with Nature or P.N.A.S. Others are explicit , the sneering at the background of Rob Painting was an example par excellence. Rob Painting, unlike Kenneth was honest and disclosed his background up front.

      Look Kenneth, the edifice has crumbled leaving a trail of wreckage. I think it might be time for a new career move or a switch to a new alias. I suggest you don’t use any previous aliases because they may have a lot of associated baggage.

      Finally Kenneth raised the question -
      “What was the mechanism that caused OHC to plummet between the MWP and LIA, since CO2 levels actually rose slightly during that period?”

      I really don’t know. Well beyond my level of expertise. Kenneth you are fond of reading lists so I will leave you with the following.

      Mann, M., et al., 2009: Global signatures and dynamical origins of the Little Ice Age and Medieval Climate Anomaly. Science, 326, 1256–1260.
      Burgman, R., R. Seager, A. Clement, and C. Herweijer, 2010: Role of tropical Pacific SSTs in global medieval hydroclimate: A modeling study. Geophys. Res. Lett., 37, L06705.
      I have not included here the list of the other 21 publications all of which (along with the above two) which were edited out by Kenneth.

  5. But did they manage to #FreeTheTol300?

  6. But, but, but, how can there be so many "contradictory" papers, when the warmist-gatekeepers are on guard to make sure such papers never get published?


    1. You obviously didn't check that they are "contradictory". The vast majority aren't my friend. Just another denier answering the dog-whistle eh?.

    2. Tony, I think Lurker's tongue was in his/her cheek, pointing out another instance where deniers' arguments fall apart. (They can't have it both ways.) :D

  7. Not at all. Just trying to point out how the true deniers have no problem holding contradictory beliefs - in this case, there are lots of "skeptic" articles, yet the establishment makes sure such articles don't get published.

    Poor delivery on my part, I guess.


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I am now completely confused by Lurker's "joke". Humour tends to fail when it is based on a shaky pile of projected cognitive dissonance.

    3. Um, isn't the Lurker just making the same point again? If the establishment automatically stops AGW-questioning papers from being published, how are they managing to point these papers questioning AGW out?

      This is a regular - indeed, fundamental - feature of denier 'logic': temp data are all manipulated to fit the AGW cause / look at the pause in in the temperature data!

      Similarly, paleo data is inherently flaky and you can't draw meaningful conclusions from it, as this paleo data clearly proves. That sort of thing. On and on. Until we all fry.

    4. I think I was right the first time. I think Lurker is making a joke (going by past comments here), pointing out the obvious contradiction in deniers' arguments.

    5. Thanks for the clarification. That was my first take on it.

      It was the "true deniers" that threw me subsequently.

    6. Okay, I'm going to stop trying to be funny and state simply: deniers have pointed to the large number of articles they claim contradict the IPCC while they claim there are gatekeepers keeping contradictory articles from being published.

      In much the same way that Tim Ball has used ice core temperature reconstructions to play the tire "temperature lags" meme, while also claiming ice cores can't be used to reconstruct temperatures.

      No more jokes from me! :-)


    7. Oh, ha ha ha. Please stop! I am fit to burst with laughing. That is the best yet!

    8. Lurker - please don't stop - you help to keep us on our toes and keep the discussion lively :)

    9. Lurker's point is well made: climate change denial works at the quantum level. This is why, for all John Cook's attempts, it is impossible to know both the position and momentum of denial.

  8. sarcasm has trouble getting through on the internet - especially when dealing with such an absurdly contentious issue

    1. Stuff like DenialDepot is hilarious...until you realize that some people actually *do* hold those beliefs that the DD-people/person make up in jest.

      Reality is crazier than fiction.

  9. Off topic: a frequent flyer provides more entertainment I'm guessing that the denier blogs will all be looking the other way.

    1. Now that is government.
      Like Abbott, first thing May did was do away with the Department for Energy & Climate. This was led by Amber Rudd (who is property of Shell), who took out all renewables in that function; she'll promote to becoming the home secretary.
      Corporate coup. Climate revisionism keeps on winning.

  10. Interesting reading all those predictions of imminent cooling from Sue's first linked-to WUWT post above, by Bob Tisdale (Oct 2008). Starting with Bob himself, who foresaw "Cooling for 50 to 60 years, counteracting most if not all of the warming over the last 60 years."

    Bob also predicted that large El Nino events will "disappear" since their heat source had already been dissipated...

    Bob wrote: "We’ll check back here on this thread in 20 years, see how we’re doing." Well, it's only been about 8 years but it's safe to say that, so far at least, all those confident predictions of global cooling from 2008 onwards aren't doing terribly well:

    1. The link to the 2008 WUWT article is a real treasure trove. Thanks Sue. Another point of note is this question it poses: "does anyone believe that a linear extrapolation is valid?"

      To set the context: back in late 2008 fake sceptics were getting excited about the way a high order polynomial trend line looked on the satellite data charts. A big La Nina starting in 2007 meant that lower troposphere temperatures were below average during most of 2008. A high order poly, which tends to exaggerate the impact of more recent data in a time series, therefore gave a very satisfying-looking 'dip' to the satellite trend.

      Fake sceptics lost no time in suggesting that this dip was the prelude to a period of prolonged global cooling. (It's no coincidence that a lot of 'global cooling' predictions emanate from around this period.) Roy Spencer even began adding a high order polynomial trend line to the monthly UAH update chart on his blog.

      Of course, the long term linear trend suggested that no such cooling was imminent; hence the Wutters etc. wanted nothing to do with linear trends. Linear extrapolation was invalid - long live high order polynomials!

      Now we can look at this in the context of 8 more years of data. The long term linear trend in the (official) UAH v5.6 as of Sep 2008 was 0.13 C/dec; as of June 2016 it was 0.15 C/dec. In v6 (beta 5) of UAH, the figures are 0.13 and 0.12 C/dec respectively. So yes, a long term trend actually *is* a valid means of extrapolating future temperature trends; at any rate it's more valid than trusting a high order polynomial.

      Nowadays we hear little talk from fake sceptics about the wonderful properties of high order polynomial trends. Possibly that's because if we apply that same high order poly trend to the UAH data today as Spence and co were doing back in 2008, it swerves sharply in the opposite (warming) direction! And we can't be having that.

      Spencer quietly dropped polynomial trends from his UAH chart some years back, as soon as the tick started levelling off. Tellingly, he has never presented the UAH monthly update chart on his blog with a linear trend.

    2. This is just a WAG, but you don't happen to be David Ritson, do you? If so, it's great to have you commenting here. If not, or you wish to remain anon., please ignore.

  11. OT, but GISTEMP update for June is very late. Seeing as Nick Stoke's TempLS usually tracks very closely, I'm expecting an anomaly of 0.86 or 0.87C. Still pretty high by non-El Niño standards.

  12. A bit off-topic, but I suspect Sou will report on this soon:

    NOAA has just released its global temperature data for June of 2016. In the combined land and sea surface temperatures, globally it was the warmest June in the NOAA data set, coming in at +1.57°F (+0.87°C) above the 20th century average. It was also the warmest June ever for the continental United States.

    This marks fourteen consecutive warmest months ever for that month, starting in May of 2015 as the warmest May ever, through to June of 2016 beating the previous June record-holder, which was June of 2015.

    1. Is that the June figure? 0.87C was the value for May, and it seems strange if June was the same.

    2. Oh, drat. Yeah, I jumped the gun.

      June for contiguous US is available. Global isn't there yet for June; it's still May. My error. Apologies.


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