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Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Insignificant record warming and other climate remarkables from deniersville

Sou | 8:02 PM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment

Despite climate science deniers thinking global warming will stop on 20 January, there is little changed in climate conspiracy land. It's just more of the same old denier memes that have been circulating for years. At WUWT they've had John Christy going on about CO2 being plant food, and some very detailed work to try to prove something or the other about the medieval climate anomaly (see the interactive map and references here).

Deniers still enraptured with medieval warming

Regarding the latter, I'm not sure that deniers know that it was climate scientists who did the hard work to determine the extent and timing of warmer and cooler periods in recent history. (In climate terms, the Holocene is recent history.)  Many of them have some odd notion that climate scientists, who've been the ones finding out about the past, have also been trying to "cover up" what they've found.

Deniers are a odd bunch.

To prove that scientists have been covering it up, a couple of people have been exposing all the covered up publications (ie published work, publicly available to the public) that have any information about past climates in different parts of the world. It's quite an effort pulling together scientific papers on temperture changes in different parts of the world. What they have yet to do (if they are going to) is work out what happened to the global average temperature between, say, 800 and 1400, which extends beyond the medieval climate anomaly but seems to be the period that interests them most.

The focus on medieval times can be explained by deniers' tendency to logical fallacy. They seem to think that if something other than burning fossil fuel caused some warm years in the past, then it has to be something other than CO2 emissions that is causing global warming now. Which is pretty darn weird of them, isn't it. Especially since the world is warmer now and on a steeper warming trend than it ever was in past centuries in the Holocene. (Some are even claiming that we're heading for an ice age. I mean we must be mustn't we. With three "hottest ever" years on a row, our luck has to change, even though the amount of CO2 in the air is higher than it's been in probably more than a million years.)

UAH warmest year on record

I mentioned John Christy. There are a couple of things to point out in that regard. Roy Spencer, John's partner in the upper air, has written a blog post with the troposphere temperatures for December. (I'll write about that separately, when RSS data comes out.)

There are three things of note in the meantime. The first thing is that the lower troposphere is the hottest it's ever been in the satellite record, according to UAH. Roy is doing his best to play that down, heading his own article: "Global Satellites: 2016 not Statistically Warmer than 1998". No further comment necessary.

Do Christy and Spencer expect much faster warming very soon?

The second thing is that Roy Spencer and John Christy might be expecting the rate of warming to increase a lot in the near future. I say that because, as you know, scientists like to use a scale on charts and figures that are appropriate to the data. A scale that has meaning in the context of what is happening. Well, look at the scale on the chart below, from Roy and John (at WUWT). It goes up to 0.95 C a decade. I think that they are probably overestimating the rate of warming to come, at least in the near term. On the other hand, maybe they are expecting a cooling at 1 C a decade. Who am I to say? They are the experts, or so they say.

UAH v6 to be published in a Korean journal

The third thing is that over at WUWT we're told that John Christy and Roy Spencer have finally found a journal in which to publish their write up of UAH version 6. They may have had to shop around a bit. The journal is one you might not have come across before. It's the Asia-Pacific Journal of Atmospheric Science, and the next issue is likely to be the February issue. Roy Spencer has favoured that journal in the past, with his 1D model paper co-authored with William D. Braswell (and discussed by ATTP). The same journal published a paper by Lindzen and Choi, back in 2011. That was an expansion of their 2009 paper in GRL, which as they said "was subject to significant criticisms".  (I'm not saying the journal is poor quality. It's the journal of the Korean Meteorological Society and is fairly new, having started in 2008.  All I'm thinking is that it's likely that Spencer and Christy tried more prominent journals first.)

From the WUWT comments

The thoughts below are in response to the report of UAH lower troposphere temperature (archived here, latest here).

Jim G1 pays no regard to the actual trend (about 0.12 C/decade for UAH), and simply looks at the 1998 temperature compared to the average reported for 2016, and writes:
January 3, 2017 at 2:47 pm
18 years and we’re up .02C, then in 1800 years we should be up 2C compared to 1998. That’s my model and I’m sticking to it.

Freedom Monger is pushing the UAH lower troposphere temperature as the ants pants, and shouts:
January 3, 2017 at 2:50 pm
Well, if 2016 is going to be spun by the Media as THE HOTTEST YEAR EVER, I can spin it as Proof of the Pause:
Sub-Headline: 2016 ONLY 0.02 degrees C WARMER THAN 1998!

tom s probably lives in a cool part of the world, and would prefer to be somewhere warmer:
January 3, 2017 at 3:26 pm
And I’ve enjoyed our nice run of above average months here in the northland. I want warmth. More and more warmth. “Mother earth…please provide warmer weather where I live for the rest of my years, thank you”. .

Don Easterbrook writes how if it hadn't been colder than now in the 1930s, it would have been warmer.
January 3, 2017 at 4:10 pm
If NOAA and NASA hadn’t significantly reduced the 1930s temps, 1934 and 1936 would remain the hottest years of the century.

He's wrong, of course - this is from NASA's GISTemp from an earlier article here:

Richard M thinks, contrary to rational thinking, that warming means it's cooling:
January 3, 2017 at 4:27 pm
Keep in mind that in 1998 we had just moved into the +AMO and Arctic sea ice extent was still very high. Now we are near the peak of the AMO’s effect. That is why you see almost all the warm areas in the Arctic. Warmer ocean water melts more ice which allows heat from the water to warm the air.
Looks to me like we are cooling outside of this climate noise.

That's enough.


  1. Don Easterbrook didn't offer up any explanation as to why he thinks his 'global cooling already started in 2000 and will run to ~2030' hypothesis failed, did he?

    Thought not. No one there will ask him that question either.

    1. The honest answer to that would be because there was an El Nino in 1998 and he's a climate change denier. Yeah, its not going to be mentioned at WUWT.

  2. That Dr John Christy presentation was from 2015, I found one version from that date. The presentation itself appeared to have been sponsored by a Petroleum organisation. Not that it means anything, but there were not many at the presentation. Some of the questions during the Q&A are quite good, and if you pay attention you can tell which good questions Dr Christy dances around.

    I do have a personal beef with that 1000frolly channel, I have no issue with it being a Conspiracy Theory channel but I did post a comment to 1000frolly and got a very nasty comment in response - he lies about his academic qualifications. Potholer54 has had to take frolly down a couple of pegs on ocassion.

  3. A tangent to this thread, but of interest - I note that Judith Curry has resigned from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

    She provides quite a few paragraphs justifying her academic bone fides to date, but I would argue that her time at Georgia IT is a tale of a progressive decline in her ability to score any research points off her own bat, if ever she had this capacity. Her relatively high publication rate at the beginning of her GIT tenure is almost certainly a washout from her time at University of Colorado-Boulder, where she had been able to establish collaborations with very influential names - but where she even then only managed a very modest score-board of first-authored papers.

    The only upward blip in a rapidly decaying publication (→ research) career subsequent to starting at GIT was soon after she started her non-scientific propaganda blog, Climate Etc, and she managed to get some scientifically-dubious but attention-attracting papers out, and that were rapidly proven to have little to no substance. Other than that, her research output is of the sort where, at my institution, I'd be having a quiet word with an academic coordinator and/or dean of research about a hard word or two being raised in a certain staff member's annual career conversation.

    And if one looks at the substance of Curry's actual research in the last decade or so one cannot identify anything of real scientific import that is likely to have been instigated by Curry herself. In the world of Harry Potter she is a squib. It's not just that she's busy with administration, or has other distractions or directions - her actual credible self-initiated scientific work is modest at best, and any attention-garnering output to which she can lay claim is based on highly controversial and scientifically indefensible ideological assertion.

    I'd say that she jumped before she was pushed, whether or not she knew the push was coming, and she's putting on a brave face for her audience. It's an audience of non-scientists though: those who have actual scientific understanding know that Curry had little to offer, and a lot for which to apologise. I suspect that in the professional field of climate science she will largely be very much not missed.

    1. She says she's pitching for emeritus. It will be interesting to see if GT declines to provide that recognition.

    2. Emeritus is cheap, and can be simpler to award than to bother with trying to fend off an aggrieved, um, emeritus...

      If Georgia Tech is like my institution though, and has been tightening it's criteria for honorary status in order to hone performance in international ranking exercises, they might not be particularly disposed to handing out the ribbon. It would boil down to a cost/benefit calculation, and a griping Curry might be too bothersome to worry about.

    3. Heh, one of the Bs in 'BBD' must stand for Beatlejuice...

    4. To be clear about Curry's post-Climate Etc uptick, most of this comes from her collaboration with other, credible researchers. It's at this time though that her own output (I wouldn't deign to call it 'research') included the small cluster of papers proposing some of her anti-warming notions.

    5. It's quite the slobberfest over at Climate Etc. right now. If you head over be sure to bring waterproof boots and rain gear.

  4. "Global Satellites: 2016 not Statistically Warmer than 1998"

    It's extraordinary.

    The Denialati are quick to resort to statistics when comparing two cherry-picked points of interest in a time series, but they can never come to grips with the implications of how noise in a dataset dictates the minimum period of time required to discern in that same dataset a trend of a particular magnitude.

    BBD and I are having an exchange just now with Tom Fuller and Gallopingcamel over at Brere Eli's on just this subject. It's as if they, and any other Denialatus who subscribes to a 'pause', has only one eye...

    1. Yes, it is a desperate amount of spin isn't it?

      I made my point in the comments then bailed - if I want endless rounds of circular argument and insults I go over to the JoNova blog.

      Reading some of the comment carefully, Dr Spencer flat out says he spun the headline that way on purpose. I respect him saying that, even if I find his motivation inexplicable.

    2. Thanks for that - a sad (but entertaining) read really, the level of denial/obfuscation/evasion and simple, good ole bullshit on grand display

      What amazes me is they still link to WFTT RSS data plots from 1998, they haven’t really moved on in all these years – abject denial and zero self-respect, they are being laughed at but they don’t realise it

      They remind me of the husband/wife that still thinks a long gone partner will eventually come back to them

    3. Hi Harry,

      I’ve watched from the sidelines: you were never going to be greeted with a bouquet of roses!

      You have to remember it’s a very shallow gene pool there.

      No matter what you post you will cop insults and abuse, which is standard procedure for Nova’s blog. Nova herself has set the standard. If you make a comment about any of her favourite denier scientists she immediately claims your comments are “ad hom” and then proceeds to hurl abuse and insults while avoiding the issue. This pattern has been taken to new heights by your friend AndyG55 who can never pass up an opportunity to hurl abuse. Old Andy spends a lot of time at Nova’s probably because he can’t hold down a job or keep a wife apparently. And he still doesn’t know the difference between Surface Temps and Mid Trop Temps.

      There a few other strange creatures as well.

      Yonniestone for example is a paid up member of the True Blue Crew and the UPF and attends their “Ban The Burqua” rallies with his face concealed behind an Australian Flag. He admitted it.

      David Maddison is an odd one. He goes into raptures whenever somebody posts a video of a burning Wind Turbine. Clearly that sort of thing gets him erotically aroused: I think he has Pyrophilia. The good news for David is psychological disorders are treatable.

      Then there’s BobL who recently declared he’s installed a Solar Power system despite the anti renewable energy sentiment there. Bob never copped any abuse about it and I’m not sure why. Maybe he contributes to Nova’s “Tip Jar”. And I do hope old Jo declares those tips as income and pays her taxes. A few others have declared their love of Solar Panels but like Bob somehow managed to escape any form of abuse. Hypocrisy does not exist in Novaland.

      I haven’t posted anything there for some time. One of my final comments there was responded to by one known as Kinky Keith, a Geriatric Geologist apparently. None too impressed with my view he responded to my comment with the line: and I quote; “You are just the stench of a dead decaying corpse”.

      With a name like Kinky Keith he sounds like someone you would avoid like the Plague.

      They really are just a low brow rabble, a bunch of life’s losers whose sole purpose in life is to serve as a warning to others.


    4. SPM.

      Thanks for that - I really only make the attempt from time to time for any moderates/lurkers. I do see the occasional tick up on my comments. It is obvious what JoNova's intentions are, and her moderators clearly have instructions to harass climate change proponents and let the deniers get away with murder.

      AndyG55 has something wrong with him, I usually avoid responding to any of his comments. He comments on other denier blogs as well, he would not last long on a fairly-moderated blog.

      Did you see the altercation with David Appell some weeks ago? In my opinion Jo Nova facilitated in his defamation by another poster (she has since removed the posts).

      That blog certainly is a zoo :-)

    5. Hi Harry,

      I'll give you a green tick everytime!!

      AndyG55 would be the perfect subject for someone doing their PhD in Psyhchiatry: there is a whole universe of previously undiagnosed illnesses in there.

      I saw the David Appell exchange, though well after the comments were posted, so I missed the defaming comments. Over the years I have seen on Blogs like Nova's and Bolt etc, a pattern whereby they will make a comment about certain people then let their anonymous commenters do the defaming. I don't know if any defamatory blog comments have been tested in court and there would be problems doing that across international borders. Needless to say anyone embarking on such an action would need a pair of very deep pockets. But you never know: and if Nova had half a brain shé make sure all her assets were in Evans name just to keep them safe.

      I had a quick look a short while ago: same old stuff. And David Maddison has again got himself all aroused over another burning wind turbine. Poor man.

      Its a bit warm in Melbourne today, so I might have a nice cold beer and sit in the shade.

      Look after yourself.


  5. Re Curry, don't miss Peter Webster's It is no surprise he likes her, but the praise appears waay over the top.

    1. Besottedness makes one a little crazy, and blind :(

    2. BTW, I didn't realise that Peter Webster was a denier as well. It doesn't show in his published papers AFAIK.

    3. Peter Webster is Judith's husband and business partner isn't he?

    4. Yes. I heard they were both quitting academia to work on their business, but I don't know if that's right. Not sure what value Judith will be able to add. (Getting students to work for free perhaps? I doubt she'd be able to do any modeling herself.)

  6. As to Medieval Climate Anomaly--essentially all those that want to inflate the anomaly don't seem to realize that higher temperatures at 1000 AD implies a higher sensitivity of temperature to forcing. A large rise in temperature resulting from a small forcing implies large sensitivity.

  7. Hey Roy, I think we should avoid using any strong orange and we've gotta give red a complete swerve. Any ideas?

    Yeah. Make it a 1C graph. Nobody'll notice.

    They might.

    OK .95 then.

    Cool !


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