Sunday, September 15, 2013

Disinformer David Rose of the Daily Mail takes another denialist "swinge"

Sou | 5:47 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment

Update: The UK Met Office has commented on David Rose's latest article.

Serial disinformer David Rose from the tabloid rag the Daily Mail doesn't care about facts, only headlines.  He's come out with another "not even wrong" article (archived here) as a follow up to his last one.

David starts with a false headline: Global warming is just HALF what we said: World's top climate scientists admit computers got the effects of greenhouse gases wrong

Unsurprisingly, David doesn't cite any of the world's top scientists so I figure he just made that up.  It's what he does - see here and here and here and here and here and here and here (and more here).

David Rose "swinges" about clean energy and taxation

David could hardly be seen as more "wrong" if he wore a sandwich board saying "I reject and deny science". He goes on to write about the IPCC reports that "they are cited worldwide to justify swingeing (sic) fossil fuel taxes and subsidies for ‘renewable’ energy".

Now we've got his reason for rejecting science out of the way (he prefers dirty energy and doesn't like paying tax), let's see what lies he's spouting this time.

David Rose flunks arithmetic

Remember his headline of just HALF? In addition to wanting dirty energy and not liking taxation, David Rose can't do simple sums, he writes:
Back then, it said that the planet was warming at a rate of 0.2C every decade – a figure it claimed was in line with the forecasts made by computer climate models. 
But the new report says the true figure since 1951 has been only 0.12C per decade – a rate far below even the lowest computer prediction.
David, like some other deniers we know, fails at arithmetic.  0.12 is 60% of 0.2, not 50%.  That amount of difference can make or break a candidate's hope for re-election :D

David also lied.  Here is what is written in the IPCC AR4 report - a linear trend from 1956 to 2005 = 0.13°C per decade. Not a 0.2°C per decade in sight!

If anything, the linear trend has increased!

Do you still wonder about David's implied claim that the IPCC said the world has warmed at 0.2 degrees since 1951 and is only warming at 50% of that - or 60% if you use David's numbers rather than his wrong calculation?  What I think he must have done is try to convince his readers that the modeled projection for future temperature rises under a "business as usual" scenario was the same as the actual rise since 1951.  But who knows.  The mind of the science denier is a tangle of lies and disinformation and it's not for me to try to fathom.

So instead let's look at the record itself.  Here is a chart of global average surface temperature from 1951 to the present, and from 1951 to 2006 - the last full year before the publication of IPCC's AR4 report:

Interesting, eh.  To get a very rough estimate, subtract the value at the bottom of the trend line (the straight line) from the value at the top of the trend line, divide by the number of years and multiply by ten.  (But don't tell Tamino I said this!)  If you do the sums you'll get the following:

  • 1951-2006 trend ~ 0.124 degrees per decade
  • 1951-2012 trend ~ 0.127 degrees per decade.

If you want to quibble about decimal places, let's round it to two decimal places.  The linear trend has increased from 0.12 degrees a decade for 1951 to 2006 to to 0.13 degrees a decade for 1951 to 2012!

David Rose has a lot of cheek, too.  Pretending that he "first reported" a pause.  He doesn't say, but what he is most likely referring to is another slab of lies and disinformation that the Met Office called him out on - here and here.

The Incomprehensible Judith Curry

I'll mention that David quotes Judith Curry (scientist turned denying fan of David Rose) as saying it's "incomprensible to me" that the IPCC would state, very conservatively, that it is 95% certain that humans have caused more than half the temperature rise from 1951 to 2010.  Some science suggests we've caused more than 100% of the rise in temperature since the 1950s.  Here's an article on realclimate.org about attribution and one on SkepticalScience, with this chart:

Figure 1: Net human and natural percent contributions to the observed global surface warming over the past 50-65 years according to Tett et al. 2000 (T00, dark blue), Meehl et al. 2004 (M04, red), Stone et al. 2007 (S07, green), Lean and Rind 2008 (LR08, purple),Huber and Knutti 2011 (HK11, light blue), and Gillett et al. 2012 (G12, orange). . 

Going by David Rose's record, I won't take it as read that Judith Curry did say that.  However there is little that she says these days that surprises me.  She could claim tomorrow that the moon was made of cheese and it wouldn't surprise me.  Although she probably wouldn't be categorical and would add "but there is a lot of uncertainty" and "we can't be sure if it's Italian cheese". (Apologies to Italians and their wonderful cheeses.)

And he has a long blurb about how Nic Lewis, who is not a climate scientist, reckons he knows a lot more about climate than do the meteorologists at the UK Met.  I can't follow that bit at all.  Here is a report of decadal forecasting by the UK Met Office and a link to information on its HADCM3 model.

This article is more of a mish mash than other articles by David Rose.  It hops and skips and jumps all over the place.  I'd say he's rattled.  He denies the science but is finding it hard to balance his denial with his possible desire to be viewed as anything but another James Delingpole or Anthony Watts.

I won't bother** going into any more detail of the rest of it because it's a gish gallop of "the models are wrong", Bob Ward said his last article was "error strewn" (it was) and complaints about allusions to Nazis - which I myself abhor but which denialati more commonly resort to than do people who accept science.

Message to David Rose - you are just another denier who has somehow managed to hold down a job with a UK tabloid.  Try writing an article on UFOs and little green men from Mars and your typical fans will probably "believe" you.

** I ended up bothering, because it reappeared on WUWT and elsewhere.  Read more here.

Hat tip to Lars Karlsson in the comments.


  1. I think this needs more emphasis:

    "What I think he [Rose] must have done is try to convince his readers that the modeled projection for future temperature rises under a "business as usual" scenario was the same as the actual rise since 1951."

    The 0,2 is about the future, not the past.

    Rose is effectively suggesting to his readers that the IPCC has predicted a 1,2 C raise since 1951. That is obviously absurd.

  2. Great response to Rose! He seems to be confusing the words predictions and projections. He talks about "predictions" made by various models before 1980, under various emissions scenarios, and thinks that they should all give the same answer! And of course these models are over 30 years old, and we have learned a lot about the climate in that time.

    1. You'd think with all we've learned we'd have done more by now. Things move too slowly.

      On the other hand, we've done more than nothing, despite the efforts of people like David Rose.

  3. Anyone notice how Rose has "buried" (he likes to use that word a lot) his previous claim that the IPCC meeting was a crisis meeting? In this latest article it is 'just' a meeting.



  4. Sounds to me he wants to sound like Anthony Watts.

    Given his headline: "Global warming is just HALF what we said"

    Anthony Watts favourite claims about the climate record is also a halving. I guess it is the PR optimum. Less and people do not find it interesting (except for scientists, that can get enthusiastic about a 1 percent change) and more you are no longer believable.

  5. Let me get this straight:

    Rose claims that the IPCC said there was a 0.2C per decade increase in GAT since 1950 but in actuality it is ~0.12C/decade so "global warming is only half the *predicted* rate"? (I note Lars Karlsson's comment above).

    That is one of the most bizarrely stupid and dishonest denier claims I've heard in, oh, days.

    1. Yes, and the IPCC has never said that. They've said it was 0.13 degrees a decade between 1956 and 2005, which is pretty close to my calculations above.


      David Rose makes a habit of making up stuff.

  6. Sticking straight line regression curves through arbitrarily selected temperature time series without significance tests or error bars is just what gives climate 'science' a bad name!

    Trevor Jones

    1. Ooh! My provisos weren't sufficient for you Trevor? Does that mean you are going to tell Tamino on me? :D

      Perhaps you're happy that the IPCC, which as you'll have seen from the link I provided above, wrote:

      "the linear warming trend over the 50 years from 1956 to 2005 (0.13 [0.10 to 0.16]°C per decade) is nearly twice that for the 100 years from 1906 to 2005. {WGI 3.2, SPM}"

      I hope those "error bars" are enough to restore the good name of climate "science" :)

      PS I'm not a climate scientist so whatever I personally do can't be used to give climate science a bad name - nor can it give climate "science" a bad name.

      And to keep you happy, here are some more "quotes":- "sceptics", "journalists" as in:

      David Rose, on the other hand, gives fake "sceptic" so-called "journalists" a bad name. And so-called "environment editor" Graham Lloyd gives the Australian a bad name. Just like fake "sceptics" everywhere give the human species a bad name.

    2. BTW - the time period wasn't arbitrarily selected, or if you prefer - the time period wasn't "arbitrarily selected". It was deliberately selected to match the time period referred to by David Rose.

      (Does anyone else think Trevor Jones scepticism deserves his own quotation marks returned - as in fake "sceptic"?)

  7. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3limeZ8Flxo


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