Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We can ignore everything Anthony Watts says because of his denier affiliations

Sou | 8:02 AM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts has another "Claim" headline (archived here).  This time it's a claim that Arctic sea ice is forming later and melting sooner - as a general trend.  (Anthony copied and pasted a long article with no attribution for the article and no link to any source. He didn't mention the research paper itself.)  Here are the opening paragraphs from the NASA press release:
The length of the melt season for Arctic sea ice is growing by several days each decade, and an earlier start to the melt season is allowing the Arctic Ocean to absorb enough additional solar radiation in some places to melt as much as four feet of the Arctic ice cap’s thickness, according to a new study by National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) and NASA researchers.
Arctic sea ice has been in sharp decline during the last four decades. The sea ice cover is shrinking and thinning, making scientists think an ice-free Arctic Ocean during the summer might be reached this century. The seven lowest September sea ice extents in the satellite record have all occurred in the past seven years.
"The Arctic is warming and this is causing the melt season to last longer," said Julienne Stroeve, a senior scientist at NSIDC, Boulder and lead author of the new study, which has been accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters. "The lengthening of the melt season is allowing for more of the sun’s energy to get stored in the ocean and increase ice melt during the summer, overall weakening the sea ice cover."

The fact that the melt season is getting longer won't be a surprise to anyone.  However Anthony Watts dismissed the analysis because:
I tend to take research done by Ms. Stroeve with a grain of skepticism, since she allows her work to be aided by political activists at Greenpeace.

Julienne Stroeve
(Image: NSIDC)
Ms Stroeve is Julienne Stroeve PhD.  That is, Dr Stroeve, who is a research scientist with the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) and has an impressive publication history. In 2012 she travelled to the Arctic to do research, which she blogged about.  It's really the research findings that Anthony objects to. His excuse for rejecting it is typically pathetic.

You can read the full paper here (open access at the moment).

Here is Anthony Watts hoping that the greenhouse effect will be disproven one of these days:
While there likely is some truth in the report, what isn’t explored is whether the cause of this change is part of a natural cycle, a natural cycle enhanced by some AGW effects, or purely an artifact of AGW.
Their claim…
The increases in surface ocean temperatures, combined with a warming Arctic atmosphere due to climate change, explain the delayed freeze up in the fall.
…reads like something Greenpeace would write, providing no other possibility. One thing I tend to notice about Earthly geological and atmospheric processes is that they tend to act on timespans than exceed human lifetimes, sometimes being orders of magnitudes longer. In the case of Arctic sea ice, a record going back to 1979 is shorter than that and only represent a fraction of what may be a natural cycle. Making claims that they know exactly what the cause is might very well bite them in a few years or few decades.

What other possibility would Anthony entertain?  Leprechauns? Magic? He thinks that Arctic warming in the context of global warming might be "natural"? That the greenhouse effect has suddenly stopped working?

Notice his "tend to notice" that "Earthly geological and atmospheric processes" act on timespans that exceed human lifetimes.  Sometimes being orders of magnitudes longer!

Wow - really, Anthony?  What a revelation that will be to all the world's geologists.

Yeah. It's a huge ask to expect a science denier to think in timeframes longer than their personal life span.

Since Anthony can take Dr Stroeve's research, and by association anything that comes out of the NSIDC, with his "grain of skepticism", I expect that means he's letting the world know that we can take anything he writes with a huge dollop of disdain.  He has a long association with the ignominious Heartland Institute and gets a lot of his material courtesy of people like the award winning climate disinformer Marc Morano.

From the WUWT comments

Sorry, I'm still strapped for time.  You can read them archived here.  I notice that Anthony is trying to retrieve his shattered reputation. Fat chance, Anthony! And he's playing the persecuted martyr into the bargain.  Cheeky, given his propensity to round up a lynch mob to attack climate scientists and others.

J. C. Stroeve, T. Markus, L. Boisvert, J. Miller, A. Barrett. Changes in Arctic melt season and implications for sea ice loss. Geophysical Research Letters, 2014; 41 (4): 1216 DOI: 10.1002/2013GL058951


  1. Interesting Roger Pielke Sr (unintentionally?) gives an explanation for the slowdown in surface temperatures and why more heat went into the ocean.

    Roger A. Pielke Sr. says:
    April 1, 2014 at 11:48 am
    On the sea ice/lack of sea ice feedback, it is more complex than is commonly presented since a loss of sea ice in the summer actually results in less heat going into the atmosphere even though more is entering the climate system (the ocean). We discuss this in our article
    Pielke, R.A., 2001: Earth system modeling — An integrated assessment tool for environmental studies. In: Present and Future of Modeling Global Environmental Change: Toward Integrated Modeling, T. Matsuno and H. Kida, Eds., Terra Scientific Publishing Company, Tokyo, Japan, 311-337.

    1. "we"? "our"?

      Pielkes all the way down...

  2. This is hilariously, uproariously funny:

    "One thing I tend to notice about Earthly geological and atmospheric processes is that they tend to act on time spans than exceed human lifetimes, sometimes being orders of magnitudes longer. ... Making claims that they know exactly what the cause is might very well bite them in a few years or few decades."

    What about the "hiatus" of 15 years (or so), ignoring all other years on record? Anthony Watts have by his own words admitted that the "hiatus" is to short to conclude anything.

    One should require deniers to at least be consistent in their arguments to be taken seriously and not twist them to suit whatever is the subject du jour. I think that Anthony Watts have moved beyond denier and is now just seeing conspiracies everywhere.

    I do wonder how much influence he has nowadays outside his followers, perhaps letting him quietly be forgotten would be the best option?

    1. ha ha. Good one.

      In denier land, 35 years plus of rapidly melting Arctic sea ice is but the blink of an eye and proves nothing at all, a ten year "pause" in global surface temperatures proves climate science is a hoax and we're heading for an ice age, any day now!

  3. Why is it that a NSIDC paper is a "claim" but a paper WUWT thinks counters AGW is a "study"?

    1. Good question, David.

      "Claim" = a free for all trashing because it's real science.
      "Study" = it's up to the crowd to decide.

      You've given me an idea for something to look into. Anthony rarely writes his own material and I suspect he rarely finds his own material either.

    2. WUWT authors also have a penchant for critiquing journal articles they haven't read because they are paywalled.

      I can understand the frustration but if they can't get access then they have no business arguing against them.

    3. Captain FlashheartApril 3, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      I think it's interesting that they have this highly committed goal of saving the world from the evil Agenda21 scheme that is going to kill BILLIONS of poor people, and they are the ONLY people who can save the SHEEPLE from this conspiracy but ...

      ... they can't be bothered forking out $US30 once or twice a month to access the things they want to criticize.

      It's as if they don't really care all that much ...


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