Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A mad, mad, mad "science-based" rebuttal by the NIPCC? Really?

Sou | 6:51 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment

Those deniers over at Anthony Watts blog WUWT are really funny sometimes.  Funny weird.  Today Anthony's put up an article (archived here) by Steve Goreham with the headline:

A Science-Based Rebuttal to Global Warming Alarmism

What a novelty for WUWT.  A science-based rebuttal to science.  Deniers won't know how to treat this.  I gather from the headline that they only know non-science-based "rebuttals".  Or nonsense rebuttals.  Maybe he wanted to distinguish it from the ad hominem "rebuttals" like Donna's.  As we'll see, the science of the science-based rebuttal is distinctly unscientific.

By the way, you may recall that Steve Goreham is the guy who wrote the "mad, mad, mad" book that was so bad the Heartland Institute couldn't give it away.

Steve Goreham writes: Earlier this summer, CCR-I was translated into Chinese and accepted by the Chinese Academy of Sciences as an alternative point-of-view on climate change.

Oh yes - I remember that.  Heartland Institute caused a minor diplomatic incident and China was not at all happy with them.  The Chinese Academy of Science does not "accept" of denial of global warming, writing in part:
The claim of the Heartland Institute about CAS’ endorsement of its report is completely false. To clarify the fact, we formally issue the following statements...

As for the "science-based" rebuttal, the headline is misleading.  If it's anything like the previous "science-based" rebuttal it's not a rebuttal at all.  The "NIPCC" mob won't bring themselves to deny the greenhouse effect although they do fudge and bluster about irrelevancies.  Here is what mad, mad, mad Steve Goreham wrote about it:
Among the key findings of CCR-II are:
1. Doubling of CO2 from its pre-industrial level would likely cause a warming of only about 1oC, hardly cause for alarm.
Fail One: The NIPCC scientists pulled a number out of thin (CO2-laden) air and said that climate sensitivity is only one degree Celsius.  Yet we are already up 0.8 degrees Celsius and CO2 has only increased by just over 40%.  So they fail on that score.  I'm not aware of any acceptable study that shows a number that low and AFAIK, none of the authors have published any papers on climate sensitivity so they aren't referring to science.

2. The global surface temperature increase since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age, modulated by natural ocean and atmosphere cycles, without need for additional forcing by greenhouse gases.

Fail Two Plus: Point 2 contradicts Point 1.  They can't have it both ways.  This time they say CO2 isn't forcing climate.  But either CO2 will cause a rise in temperature or it won't.  I wonder if Goreham got the report wrong or if the authors disagree with each other.  Maybe they are just putting together a hodge podge to please all deniers.  To let them pick and choose.  I also wonder if their report specifies what caused the "recovery from the Little Ice Age".  Fairy dust or goblins? Whatever, it's not "scientific".

3. There is nothing unusual about either the magnitude or rate of the late 20th century warming, when compared with previous natural temperature variations.

Fail Three:  That's just wrong.  There is "something unusual" about the magnitude and the rate of late 20th Century warming.  The world has warmed faster than ever and we are on track to warm ten times faster than at any period in at least the past 65 million years.  I wonder what the contrarian "scientists" compare it to?  Whatever it is, that will have been unusual as well.  That's if they bother to support their claim.  They also fail on this score because point 3 also contradicts point 1.  Either extra greenhouse gases are causing warming or they aren't.  If they are then the warming is "unusual".

4. The global climate models projected an atmospheric warming of more than 0.3oC over the last 15 years, but instead, flat or cooling temperatures have occurred.

Fail Four: This time these so-called scientists can't make up their mind.  They can't decide if temperatures of the past fifteen years have been flat or whether the earth has cooled.  Come on chaps you claim to be scientists.  Can't you even tell flat from cooling?  Let's see shall we?

We'll start with surface temperature:

Data Source: NASA

Well it certainly hasn't cooled and it's clearly warmer now than it was fifteen years ago.  Another big fail on both counts. Unless they mean the earth system as a whole.  So lets look further into the oceans.  Here is a chart showing ocean heat content.  The red vertical line marks fifteen years ago:

Data Source: NODC/NOAA

Steve Goreham's mates fail again on both counts.  The world has heated up in the last fifteen years.  So much for their so-called "science-based rebuttal".

The really odd thing is that "mad, mad, mad" Steve Goreham says they use "peer-reviewed" literature to make the above claims.  Why then does it differ so much from real science, the science that is collated for the IPCC reports? If they've set up their own thousands of buoys in the oceans then they've kept it very secret from everyone.  If they've got a parallel system of weather stations they they have kept that a deep secret too.  You'd think they'd have been shouting it from the rooftops.  Therefore I don't believe they have.  I think Steve Goreham or his "scientists" are telling fibs.

We'll have to wait and see.

There is too much "stupid" in the WUWT comments for me to choose from.  If you are interested you can read them here without having to go to WUWT.  The deniers at WUWT have been fired up by one or two informed posters, and they don't like what they read.


  1. Your graph of surface temperatures has a big red arrow pointing to 1997, which was 16 years ago, and was significantly colder than 1998 (15 years ago). The temperature anomaly for 1998, according to the NASA data set you are using, was 0.62 degrees. The anomaly for 2013 up to the latest available figure in July is 0.56 degrees. You have plenty of material to use, without having to fudge facts.

    1. Five points:

      1. The annual temperatures aren't in yet for 2013 therefore 15 years ago is 1997.

      2. To start from an unusually hot year of 1998 would be plain silly, especially when we know it was internal variation caused by a super El Nino. I don't believe even the NIPCC crowd would go that far. Some would call it deliberate misrepresentation, others would call it cherry picking. You might call it fudging facts.

      3. Climate change in terms of surface temperature is not measured from point to point. That would be daft because you'd most likely be looking at noise not the signal.

      4. It's patently obvious that the surface temperatures this decade are higher than they were in the 1990s. If you want to see that illustrated - go here. The decadal chart is of the lower troposphere (RSS), not the surface - but if you compare the 1990s with the 2000s and the incomplete 2010s you should get the drift.

      5. I'm not fudging anything. The charts tell the story.

    2. I'll add another two points.

      6. 1997 is roughly on the trend line, which I presume is why the NIPCC scientists picked it.

      7. Annual temperature series also include a lot of noise. I'm extremely surprised that you suggest looking at monthly temperature series - it's much harder to detect the signal with all the noise of monthly temperatures and makes no sense at all to do so when discussing climate change.

    3. Sou, I fear you have a year 200 problem. 1998 to 2012 is 15 years.

      That is why there are now so many papers on the trend in the last 15 years. Because, 15 after all is a round number, you cannot call that cherry picking. Just because the first year happens to be 1998, an enormous El Nino year.

      Personally, I would prefer to see studies use a range of years and not just 15 and one other year. That is the best way to avoid cherry picking. The end year is already sufficiently cherry picked; these studies would not exist if the last year was an El Nino year.

      But your arrow is spot on. That is what the temperature in 1998 would have been without El Nino.

    4. Victor, I'm not sure what you mean by a year 200 problem. And much as I respect you, 2012 minus 15 is 1997. I've also noticed many fake sceptics studiously avoid starting in 1998. The message has got through to some of them that cherry-picking 1998 as a start year makes them vulnerable to accusations of cherry-picking :) (Also that there have been four years since 1998 that were as hot or hotter.)

      For example, Monckton can't make up his mind, but he's studiously avoided picking fourteen years ago (and 15 years ago). Monckton said it hasn't warmed for two decades - or is it 16, 18, 19 or 23 years - or maybe 18 years.

    5. I think what he’s talking about is the problem with figuring out leap years. But he’s right start, with 1998 and count 15 years, 1998 is number 1.


    6. I still beg to differ but we can probably argue this till the cows come home:)

      If I said that 12 September 2003 was ten years ago today, most people would agree (depending on their time zone). If I said that 2002 was ten years before 2012, most people would agree. Substract five from 2002 and you have 1997. (Recent headlines are about a tragic event that happened 12 years ago, in 2001).

      I've taken the reading as from last year - the latest year of full data. Fifteen years from 2012 is 1997.

      The difficulty people have with years might stem from the fact that a year has 12 months. December 1998 is fourteen years before December 2012, not fifteen. However January 1998 is eleven months and fourteen years before December 2012. I'm considering the full year - January to December inclusive. Taking the year as a whole, 2012 minus 15 is 1997.

    7. Sep 1998 to Aug 2013 would be 15 years.

      So would Jan 1998 to Dec 2012, if one only uses full years.

      Let's check an extreme case (same year): Jan 2012 to Dec 2012 is 1 year. Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 will be 2 years.

    8. Yes - I agree that Sept 98 to August 2013 would be 15 years, but I was assuming the NIPCC was talking about full years and there isn't an annual temp for 2013 for obvious reasons :)

      The last year we have for annual temps is 2012, so I went back 15 years from there.

    9. As for Jan 1998 to Dec 2012 - yes, that is a fifteen year period. However comparing the year ending Dec 1998 to the year ending Dec 2012 is comparing over fourteen years, not fifteen. 15 years before 2012 is still 1997.

      As fun as this is it's a moot point. I haven't seen the actual NIPCC report and they could very well have cherry-picked 1998 as the year they are starting at. That would be a hoot:D

      We should find out in a week or so.

    10. I can't seem to shake this one.

      Lars mentioned Jan 2012 to Dec 2013 is two years, which is true (if from beginning Jan12 to end Dec13). But that's not what is being compared.

      Think of it this way. Comparing January 2012 with January 2013 is comparing over a period of one year. Comparing December 2012 to December 2013 is comparing over a period of one year. Comparing the year 2012 to the year 2013 is comparing over a period of one year, not a period of two years.

      Comparing the month of January 2012 to the month of December 2013 would be a bit silly but it would be comparing over a period of 23 months. However that's not what the annual average surface temp is.

      You can think of the annual average surface temp as the average of the months over a year - visualising as the mid-point of the year (not really, that's just to illustrate). So you can think of comparing 2012 and 2013 as comparing end June 2012 with end June 2013 (conceptually not actually). It's definitely not a comparison of Jan 12 and Dec 13.

    11. Sou, an annual comparison (or trend) between 2012 and 2013 is a comparison which includes 2 full years of data.

      Hence, a trend over annual data from 1998 to 2012 includes 15 full years of data.

    12. I'm not going to convince you, am I Lars. Maybe it's a matter of semantics as well as arithmetic :)

      Two full years of data is not the same thing as 2013 being two years away from 2012. 2012 is only one year ago, not two years ago no matter which way you look at it.

      The fact remains as well that 2012 minus 15 equals 1997. And fifteen years before 2012 brings us to 1997.

    13. BTW - I've already explained why I used 2012 as the start year for working out the "over the last 15 years" and agree I could be wrong :D.

      Repeating myself, if the NIPCC did really mean "over the last 15 years" as from 2013 and are saying "it hasn't cooled since El Nino year of 1998" then it's 1998 - and we can poke fun at them for doing so :) (And they'd still be wrong, because there have been warmer years since 1998 the world hasn't cooled down in the last fifteen years.)

      Am I going around in circles? Protesting too much? :D

  2. The main problem with the WUWT trash is that its "science"-(ahem)-by-press-release, which the Watties claim to decry. We know the NIPCC "report" will be trash, becasause that's what you get from them; but were we to wish to actually check this by reading it, we can't, because they haven't released it.

  3. You said the temperature has increased .8 degrees with only a 40% increase in c02.

    Yet we've had a warming trends for hundreds of years.
    With the last decade and a half being a cooling trend....

    They said the missing heat was in the oceans, yet the Argos data results said the ocean was cooling from 2003 on wards. All they said after that was "Argos was flawed" yet I haven't seen any new system to go against the Argos system, all they did was remove some of the readings.

    Do you have some links to the ocean heat from a different system of measuring temperature? Really needs to be shown that the heat is in the ocean otherwise they have nothing to go on.

    1. Vukovic, the heat increase of the oceans 0-2000 m comes from the Argos data.

      We also do not have a cooling trend in the last 15 years unless you cherry pick RSS and ignore all other data sets.


    2. Tommy, welcome to HotWhopper.

      I hope this doesn't sound rude, but what you've written is very odd and I'm fascinated by some of the ideas that people have. I see you think:

      a) all the weather bureaux in the world (as well as everyone who has a weather station) are hiding an imaginary surface "cooling"

      b) all the ocean monitoring organisations in the world are hiding an imaginary ocean cooling.

      Can I ask what other conspiracy theories do you entertain?

      Do you also think that all the scientists throughout the world and everyone who works with them, plus all the employees of scientific journals all over the world are members of a secret cult, which no-one else has managed to penetrate?

      Here is a list of FAQs about Argo. Here is a long article explaining how scientists identified and corrected errors in Argo data, back in 2007, thanks to the sharp eyes of a scientist, Josh Willis of NASA.


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