Sunday, February 2, 2014

WUWT and the headless chooks

Sou | 9:50 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Deniers are enraged at Prince Charles for referring to them as "the headless chicken brigade" (see here).  First Jo Nova and now Anthony Watts (archived here).

At least Anthony Watts made a half-hearted attempt to justify his rejection of science - if only by quoting a pair of science deniers, Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger and Patrick J. Michaels!

Anthony put up a chart of climate sensitivity estimates which were up the spout.  For starters, it reversed IPCC AR4 and IPCC AR5 and had numerous other errors.

Then he put up this chart (click to enlarge).  Just look at the scale on the y axis.

Does Anthony Watts really think it quite reasonable for temperatures to have shot up by more than 1 degree Celsius since 2001? Does he also not realise that climate changes over multiple decades?  Of course he shows monthly data to try to hide the fact that 2010 was the hottest year on record (equal to 2005) - but he can't quite hide that fact even using his denier tricks.

I can't imagine Anthony Watts ever showing these charts. Can you?

The other really weird thing Anthony wrote was this.
Compare that to climate sensitivity predictions, which center around .2°C

That after putting up a diagram showing that climate sensitivity is estimated (by most studies) as lying between 1.5 and 6 degrees Celsius, most probably around 3 degrees Celsius. What he was trying to say, but didn't, was that since 1998, global surface temperatures haven't risen as much as some people expected. Tamino has written a terrific article about that - it's a "must read".

Then Anthony tries to argue (again) that the "response of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing saturation".  Yet even his charts show that a doubling of CO2 could lead to a rise of 3 degrees Celsius or more.  And that's just a doubling.  A quadrupling could lead to a rise of six degrees or more in global surface temperature. (At the rate we're going and if WUWT-ers had their way, CO2 could double before 2050!)

There's a linear relationship between carbon emissions and surface temperature, which is shown by this chart from the IPCC AR5 WG1 report.

After reading his protest, about the only thing that Anthony got almost right was this sentence.  If you strike out the middle bit like I have he's not far wrong:
By making an emotional label about climate skeptics, instead of dealing with facts, Prince Charles demonstrates that’s he’s no different than Bill McKibben and Al Gore. 

Prince Charles has a reputation for being a tad nutty.  But this time he's making sense when he says it's...
"baffling ... that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about everything — until, that is, it comes to climate science."

And the headless chooks at WUWT and Jo Nova's don't like it.  I expect what is particularly irksome is that WUWT-ers just adore royalty - or at least the ones who live on the other side of the pond do.  They bow and scrape to Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley.  But he's not a real royal.  His title is only a generation old.  They'd love to have a proper "royal" on their side.  It won't be the bonny prince.

Deniers running around like headless chooks!


  1. Sou, thanks for pointing out Anthony's contrarian views. Your animated charts are cute, but fail to address the real issue. Is man made CO2 emission the control knob of climate?

    1. CO2 can be regarded as the control knob, whether it's an increase making it hotter, such as from burning fossil fuels, deforestation, super-volcanic eruptions, or feedback from an increase in solar radiation or from the slight warming that can happen at times from the orientation of earth to the sun (Milankovitch). Or a decrease making it cooler such as from a different orientation of earth to the sun or feedback after a decrease in solar radiation.

      Richard Alley describes this rather well.


      Here's a BoM booklet:

      Or, of course, the IPCC reports:


    2. To see the impact of increasing emissions, see Figure SPM.10 above - the third chart in the article. You can click the chart to enlarge it.

    3. Richard is funny!

    4. Choom Gang
      February 2, 2014 at 1:41 PM

      "Richard is funny!"

      You aren't dopey...

  2. Reed Coray (Reed Spencer Coray)

    1) Is an American who seems to be the Reed Coray who got a BS 1966, PhD Physics 1972, but doesn't seem to have published much in the scholarly literature. Various search engines think he's 69, (fits the above) and located in CO in past, and Los Osos, CA now.
    He signed up for Monckton's petition to retract the retract the Cook, et al TPC paper.

    His thought processes may be assessed by:

    2) He wrote this insulting email to MQ and then posted it at Nova. It got 14 upvotes, no downvotes and gathered a few "brilliant" plaudits.

    That was posted @ 03:48am, July 10. Nova's post was about 1pm the day before, about 3PM in Sydney, amidst an MQ break. Coray's email would have arrives before 6AM in Sydney, I think.

    3) Later, after MQ's first response, he wrote this,at WUWT.
    He rejected MQ's statement, but thought maybe powerful people like Monckton may be applying pressure.


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.