Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Not even wrong ...

Sou | 9:13 AM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment

Time is limited (again), so just a couple of short reports of the latest at WUWT.

Sleazy Tim Ball has an article (archived here) claiming that all weather forecasts are worse than they were 50 years ago.  He's wrong.  Weather forecasts 50 years ago were okay to a point - maybe two or three days ahead.  Now they are pretty good up to even seven days ahead.  The use of computers and satellites has made a huge difference.

Tim started with a quote from Richard Feynman.  Deniers love to quote Richard Feynman.  Tim mumbled something about blaming inaccuracy on a lack of weather stations downwind.  He jumped about between short term weather forecasts, medium term weather forecasts and long range climate projections. Tim doesn't understand the difference between weather and climate and doesn't have a clue about boundary conditions.  Oh, and did I say he's just another wacky conspiracy theorist and greenhouse effect denier?  (Given Anthony Watts touts himself as a one-time tv "meteorologist", I'm surprised he tolerates Tim slinging off at his profession.  As surprised as Anthony allowing Tim as a "slayer" author being on his blog because Anthony has banned other "slayers".  Tim Ball has some hold over Anthony but I can't figure out what it is.   Maybe there's a higher up in the denier hierarchy with lot of clout who is telling Anthony he's got to give the nutter Tim Ball space on his blog.)

Then there was another "not even wrong" article where a denier complained how a Reddit moderator didn't allow them to ask Michael Mann if he had stopped beating his wife "yes or no" - or the equivalent (archived here).  Honestly - these science deniers are just so.o..o...o.. dumb and gullible.  They'll lap up anything that people like grubby Tim Ball writes and not believe clear and credible science that is corroborated by dozens of different independent teams of real scientists.

From the WUWT comments

Not much worth writing about.  The usual "agenda21" conspiracy theories and "they can't predict weather so how can they predict climate":

Robertv says:
February 25, 2014 at 11:23 am
Agenda 21 Be afraid be very afraid. Humanity is in big problems but not because of the weather. Climate never was a problem.
If only the weather would be our biggest problem the world would be a better place to live.
They know who we are and they know where we live while we talk about the weather.

Lil Fella from OZ probably wakes up every morning not knowing whether the sun has risen or not and says:
February 25, 2014 at 12:30 pm
They can’t predict the weather. Therefore they cannot be accurate on climate. Simple!

And brown-nosing Anthony Watts fanboi dbstealey with his complete and utter disregard for facts.  Was I clear enough?  He's a mod at WUWT and knows full well that WUWT censors comments and Anthony Watts bans people and has done so for years.  Yet you'll often see him writing guff like this and worse without batting an eye:

dbstealey says:
February 25, 2014 at 9:13 am
The moderation here is light years ahead of blogs like Reddit. WUWT posts comments that conform to this site’s Policy, even when they are derogatory. That makes for heavy site traffic, because readers like to see a back-and-forth discussion with all sides presented.
Reddit needs to rein in it’s moderators. The questions Anthony asked were straightforward and pertinent. Readers would very much like to see Mann’s response. Running interference for Michael Mann only makes Reddit an enabler, like buying another drink for an alcoholic.


  1. I am always amused by how people make a dumb comment (like "Lil Fella" above) and then tag on "Simple!" to the end of it. It is like a double whammy of dumbness.

    Or perhaps they are being ironic ...

    1. He probably goes to the astrology pages to see if there will be a blizzard in Darwin tomorrow. And wonders how everyone else in his town just accepts that winter is usually cooler than summer.

  2. "Tim mumbled something about blaming inaccuracy on a lack of weather stations downwind."

    Pardon my ignorance, but I would have thought that UPWIND weather stations would be of more use in weather forecasting?

    1. Nah, what you need is downwind stations and a time machine.

  3. The garbage is even worse than usual. Hubert Lamb was working for the Irish Met. Service during the war so I'm not sure when he chatted to the aircrew returning from Germany. CKM Douglas was the senior forecaster at Dunstable. The problem was of course they still had very limited knowledge of the dynamics of the upper air.

    Regarding the UK METO, for whom I worked for forty years, the current five day forecast is as accurate as the two day one was twenty years ago.

  4. Tim Ball is a denier martyr, don'cha know, so Anthony cuts him a little more slack than the ordinary slayer.

  5. Tim "They can't predict the weather" Ball's attempt to denigrate climate models through an attack on weather prediction models has achieved the unintended consequence of skewering Anthony Watts. The "all" in Tim Ball's claim that "all weather forecasts are worse than they were 50 years ago." says a lot about his mate Watts' ability as a meteorologist and the accuracy of the weather forecasts of Watts' company, Intelliweather. Wikipedia states: "… Anthony Watts began his broadcast meteorology career in 1978" (35 years ago) "as an on-air meteorologist. … Watts has been the director and president of IntelliWeather Inc. since 2000" (14 years ago).

    The big question for me is: Why didn't Tim Ball either call out Anthony Watts for his StormPredator Forecast Engine http://www.stormpredator.com/forecast.htm or at least look at the accuracy of the Watts' StormPredator forecasts?

    And how delicious is it that Watts must use forecast models to run his SormPredator Forecast Engine? (My understanding is that a forecast engine identifies and selects the optimum forecasting model.)

    1. He probably sucks the forecasts from D'Aleo as WeatherBell.

  6. Timmy says that practical weather forecasting was needed for aircraft in the First World War, but that is, as it were, balls. He doesn't even seem to know the difference between an observation and a forecast.

    Firstly, this information was not required by aircraft, but by the Royal Engineers and Royal Artillery, The current observations were used for principally for improving artillery barrages beyond line-of-sight, where varied conditions could mean a difference of hundreds of yards in accuracy.. True weather forecasting was necessary for planning operations days in advance, for planning the release of poison gas (or warning that the Germans might), and for barrage planning, which was laid down in great detail days in advance for a large operation.

    Royal Flying Corps airfields only measured wind speed and direction, and their "real time" observations were not of much use to anyone but the airfield gathering them. General Headquarters declined the RFC's offer to supply this information because surface conditions were not very useful; what was needed was conditions at altitude. Aircraft were little used gathering this data, and not at all until 1918 (by which stage aircraft were sufficiently developed that they could not really be said to be "at the mercy of the weather"). Rather, measurements were taken by tethered balloons, or where that was not available, by calculating winds from isobaric charts developed by assimilating pressure data from all over northern France and Belgium.

    These observations were communicated not in terms of temperature and so on but in terms of corrections to artillery range tables. Since the speed of sound varies with these conditions, the observations were also used to provide a separate set of corrections for observers locating enemy artillery by "sound ranging" - detecting the report of a gun when it was fired.

    Current observations were mostly made in Northern France (some at airfields, some not), but the forecasts, essential for planning operations, were based on data collected all over Great Britain, mostly at scientific establishments. The Forecasting Section was based in South Kensington, London, and took data from northern Scotland to Western Ireland, but using data from only one airfield, AFAICT. So Tim's "post hoc ergo propter hoc" claim about why intruments are sited at airports is as bogus as the rest of his article.

    1. Thanks, Frank. That's fascinating.

      I'm awed by the depth of your knowledge (and other commenters on so many topics). Seriously - no flattery intended :)

    2. I mean no fake flattery intended. It's a genuine compliment.

  7. Thanks Sou *blush*

    I dont fancy myself any sort of authority on climate, but I have read a lot of history, especially on WW1. Tim's "Just So" tale triggered all my BS alarms.

    As an aside, the chap responsible for most of the above was Ernest Gold, later President of what became the WMO - the threads of the past intertwining with those of the present....


Instead of commenting as "Anonymous", please comment using "Name/URL" and your name, initials or pseudonym or whatever. You can leave the "URL" box blank. This isn't mandatory. You can also sign in using your Google ID, Wordpress ID etc as indicated. NOTE: Some Wordpress users are having trouble signing in. If that's you, try signing in using Name/URL. Details here.

Click here to read the HotWhopper comment policy.