Tuesday, June 4, 2013

It's the Sun, An Ice Age Cometh - Wait! OMG - It's the Insects! ... and more farce from WUWT

Sou | 9:43 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment

I'm thinking the spate of new climate research has addled Anthony Watts' brain.  His website may have always have been this dumb, I've only been following it for a few months.  But I find it hard to imagine it could hold any more blindingly stupid articles than it has this past 24 hours.  Perhaps it's the Marcott study so hot on the heels of the Shakun study and the Lewandowsky studies one and two, followed by the Cook 97% study.  Whatever, WUWT is a barrel of stupidity this week.  A DuKE of deniers doesn't come close.

In only 24 hours Anthony's tried on:
BTW - these are all actual articles posted by Anthony Watts or with his endorsement.  They aren't just the "stupid" in the comments.

Example One: How Anthony is an Ass

Every now and then, Anthony Watts posts an actual science article, mainly for the purpose of ridicule.  In doing so it's usually he who looks the fool.  Here's a typical example of his childish petulance at scientific research.

Anthony scoffs at a study designed to test whether the presence of consumers (invertebrate mesograzers) influenced the interactive effects of ocean acidification and warming on benthic microalgae in a seagrass community mesocosm experiment.   (Yes, it did.)  The researchers set up different tanks to emulate different temperatures and atmospheric CO2 concentrations, with the latter determing the pH of the water.  In order to mimic an atmosphere with higher CO2 concentrations than those of today, the scientists added CO2 to the tanks.  (This is a common practice by home aquarists who keep plants in their aquariums.  You can use equipment purchased especially or make up your own using yeast and plastic soft drink bottles. You  maintain a steady higher concentration of CO2 by letting it bubble into the tank and monitoring the pH.  The aquatic plants take off like nobody's business but you've got to watch it or undesirable algae will take off as well.)

Anthony decided that adding CO2 was a silly idea, writing:
From the University of Gothenburg , the stuff that keeps some people awake at night. A question; why should we care? And, why should we take any of this seriously when you do things like “We raised the water temperature in miniature ecosystems containing eelgrass meadows, while simultaneously bubbling with carbon-dioxide.” when that “bubbling” would not happen naturally.
Well, that's rather the point, Anthony.  At present it won't happen naturally because the atmosphere doesn't yet contain the amount of CO2 it will in the future.  That's why in order to mimic the future higher concentrations, CO2 is added to the tank.  Same reason that some of the tanks were heated more than others, to emulate a future warmer world.

Anthony gets cranky when someone points this out to him, snapping at Ryan who says:
June 3, 2013 at 9:03 am  Perhaps before criticizing the bubbling it would be good to actually read how it was done? It’s not like they had bubbles seeping throughout the area(as one commenter already suggested). It is one thing to criticize actual experimental design. It is quite another to just say “bubbles don’t happen naturally” and skip over what they actually did.
REPLY: no matter how you look at the experimental design, it isn’t how the ocean actually works. We’ve had a number of studies like this where they try to simulate ocean conditions, but the simulation doesn’t reflect the real world. I don’t think this one does either. – Anthony 
Anthony, Mr Know-it-All! I especially like his use of "we" - as if he's somehow involved in any scientific research of marine ecosystems.

Anthony gets more and more cross with Ryan who writes:
June 3, 2013 at 9:10 am  ...And why should we take your claim seriously when you plainly didn’t read the paper?
REPLY: because it isn’t reality. – Anthony

Duh! That's the whole point, Anthony.  If it were 'reality' the scientists wouldn't need to emulate future conditions.  They could study it in situ. Thing is, if they then wanted to compare it to what might have been they'd have to increase the pH and cool the water in some tanks for comparison.

Example Two: Blindingly Dumb Article on "It's the Sun" and an Ice Age Cometh

Yesterday Anthony posted an article by David Archibald who thinks the global surface temperature is going to drop below the lowest temperature in the Little Ice Age - before the end of seven years from now.  I've already written about that, with graphics.  It wasn't even tagged humour or satire.

This is what Archibald predicts for 2020, seven years from now.  Colder than the Little Ice Age:

Source: Adapted from Jos Hagelaars

Example Three: Unbelievably Stupid Article on Ice and Ice Cores

And just when you think WUWT couldn't get any more farcical, along comes William Hunt.  William has decided that the ice cores in Greenland aren't any older than 650 years.  Why?  Good question.  This is what he has to say:
Greenland’s ice cap is more problematic than the Antarctic. Unfortunately, many scientists are not conversant with Greenland’s history. Most of Greenland’s ice is of recent origin. Prior to the Little Ice Age, most of the areas where today’s core samples are taken, were not covered with ice. The ice that scientists have stated is hundreds of thousands of years old can be no more than a maximum of 650 years in age. Were it not so, farming would have been impossible in Greenland prior to the Little Ice Age.
Talk about the Dunning Kruger effect.  Here is a map showing the ice cores and the three main Viking settlements and topography (click to enlarge):

Sources: North Greenland Ice Core Project (2004) and Archaeology In Europe

William goes to some lengths to explain why he believes that: "When scientists make claims about the atmospheric carbon dioxide on the basis of ice cores, ignore their claims as the “junk science” that they are."

Hmm.  No need to comment any more on William Hunt and his certainty that all the science is wrong.

I found some good, easy to follow articles on how scientists 'read' past climatic conditions from ice cores.  

  • This article on a NASA website is part of a series, and combines human interest with science.  It talks about how people like Richard Alley spent years doing invaluable research analysing ice cores in Greenland.
  • This one from the British Antarctic Survey is probably more technical/dry but very basic, describing how the water isotopes yield past temperatures of the ice itself, how air bubbles yield up information about past atmospheric concentrations and discusses how combining the data from ice cores in Greenland with those from Antarctic ice cores provides a huge amount of information about global climate changes.
  • And here's an article from Scientific American about a technique (using nitrogen 15) to determine the age of air bubbles at different depths in the ice, providing more accurate timelines for different concentrations of greenhouse gases.  The paper on which it's based is published here in Science (March 2013).  Turns out that CO2 often didn't "lag" temperature so much after all.

Example Four: Here's a new twist: "It's the Insects"

I though William Hunt with his 650-year-young ice cores was the ultimate.  But it gets worse if that's possible.

It really looks as if Anthony's given up pretending WUWT has anything to do with science.  I was about to publish this article when I hit refresh on WUWT and, in among the "CO2 lags temperature" (not so fast, Ronald - see here as referred to in Example Three above) and other denialist paraphernalia I found these words from Ronald D. Voisin staring me in the face:

This (AGW) theory relies entirely on a powerful positive-feedback and overriding (pivotal) role for CO2. It further assumes that rising atmospheric CO2 is largely or even entirely anthropogenic. Both of these points are individually and fundamentally required at the basis of alarm. Yet neither of them is in evidence whatsoever. And neither of them is even remotely true....And the current spike in atmospheric CO2 is clearly not primarily human caused....And yes, we humans, as co-inhabitants of this Earth, are emitting CO2. But so are microbes and insects emitting. And each of them is emitting with ~10 times our current anthropogenic emission.  In both cases (microbes and insects) there is every reason to believe that their populations are geometrically exploding in this current highly favorable environment to their existence.
What can I say?  There's way more on this.  You've gotta see it to believe it.

There's more...

But I'll probably save Wondering Willis the Wanker's latest effort for another post. If I can be bothered.

PS Nearly forgot about Denier Don's Deception - that's in the last 24 hours as well.


  1. Just read it. Bugs. Wow. Tweeted as well.

  2. You also overlooked his annual exercise in collective dumb, where he asks his audience to produce a reliably stupid, wildly optimistic forecast for the years Arctic sea ice minimum extent. Also launched in the last 24 hours and currently averaging about 5 million square kilometers.

    1. They've been taking too much notice of David Archibald (and "Steven Goddard") :)

  3. Is this the dummest ever on WUWT?

    "Greenland’s ice cap is more problematic than the Antarctic. Unfortunately, many scientists are not conversant with Greenland’s history. Most of Greenland’s ice is of recent origin. Prior to the Little Ice Age, most of the areas where today’s core samples are taken, were not covered with ice. The ice that scientists have stated is hundreds of thousands of years old can be no more than a maximum of 650 years in age. Were it not so, farming would have been impossible in Greenland prior to the Little Ice Age."

    Wow! Imagine greenland growing a 2-3 km ice sheet in a couple of hundred years! That's what I call climate change!

    1. Yep, five metres water equivalent per year... you can grow a tropical rain forest with less :-)

      And global sea level has dropped five metres or so since the middle ages? All that ice had to come from somewhere. Funny no-one noticed...

  4. "And how can you justify a continued belief that rising atmospheric CO2 is entirely or even largely anthropogenic?"

    Holy cow, what a vast amount of stoopid/D-K on display here! Because maybe climate scientists just might know a thing or two about this. Like that the Carbon in the atmospheric CO2 that we sample regularly has a C13/C12 isotope ratio that is completely consistent with that caused by burning fossil fuels? Duh.


  5. "REPLY: because it isn’t reality. – Anthony"

    Well he should know. That is, his expertise.

  6. Looks like the Greenland essay was too stupid even for WUWT, Watts has now retracted it and dumped all the comments pointing out that it was idiotic (and those from the exceptionally gullible praising it).
    Must be difficult trying to find enough nonsense to keep the mob saturated, but not so stupid that it is obviously nonsense.

    1. According to the Submit A Story link on Wattswrongwiththat, all submissions are reviewed. It says they are edited for accuracy amongst other things. Not sure what this says about peer review and editorial practices at Watts Tower but it sure as hell looks like no one read it first, at least not without the gullible wishful thinking glasses on.

    2. The green greenland article wasn't any worse than any of the other articles Anthony put up yesterday. I think he only took it down because his deniers spoke up.

      The "it's insects" post is still up at WUWT. Vincent Gray's silliness is still there. Don Easterbrook's idiocy is still there. So is another bit of tizz from the Tisdale.

    3. "...too stupid even for WUWT..."

      Seems like the Greenland article was as dumb as Steven Goddard!

    4. Stoat has a nice post about the removed Greenland post. Especially the update is interesting.

  7. KR

    And Willis Eschenbachs rediscovery of equilibrium climate sensitivity (yes, Willis, after transients die out, the relationship between delta-F and delta-T for a lagged climate model is indeed ECS by definition) is still up.


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