Friday, June 27, 2014

Assaying a muddled befuddled Jim Steele essay at WUWT

Sou | 6:34 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Oh boy. Poor old WUWT-ers are in for a boring time. Befuddled Jim Steele is back and has written an even more muddled article at WUWT. For those who weren't pronounced brain-dead after his last bowl of tripe, they will be after this one (archived here).

It's (not) natural

Jim Steele's article can be summed up as "it's natural". That's just the same as his last one, only he's more long-winded and even less coherent this time around (if possible). Jim starts in the Arctic, spins backward to medieval times and crashes forward. He reckons the world is about to cool, writing:
If natural cycles are indeed the climate control knob, the next 2 decades should witness a cool phase of the AMO and the retreat of southerly marine organisms. And the current scientific consensus that the upper 300 meters of the oceans have been cooling since 2003 bodes well for natural cycles prediction.

700 metres, 300 metres - what's 400 metres difference!

I don't know where he gets the upper 300 metres of oceans have been cooling from. Jim put a number beside it but it leads nowhere. Last time around he claimed it was the "upper 700 meters of Argo’s ocean data [that had] a cooling trend since 2003". This time he's dropped it back to 300 metres. He's got a Part 3 coming. I wonder will it be the "upper 100 meters cooling" next time?

Anyway, here is a chart showing the temperature changes in the ocean to both 100 metres and 700 metres. Since neither depth has cooled since 2003, the upper 300 metres could hardly have got any cooler.

Data source: NODC/NOAA

A muddled tour through deniersville

Of course since Jim doesn't believe that there is any such thing as a greenhouse effect his article is a load of garbage. He's pulled together various ingredients from denier memes, mixed them up in a blender, and the result is an incoherent babble. I wouldn't be surprised if he was a little under the weather when he wrote his "essay". Oh, he managed to put full stops in the right place much of the time. And most of his sentences had at least one noun and a verb. As for the rest, well let's see how he meandered:
  • The Arctic
  • Climate models
  • Dr James Hansen
  • Medieval warm anomaly
  • Sardines
  • Dr Camille Parmesan (Jim's anti-hero)
  • Pacific decadal oscillation
  • Back to the Arctic again

A one-way cycle!

Jim finishes off with this profound "natural cycles" comment:
If indeed natural cycles are the real climate control knobs, the next 15 to 20 years will settled the debate. While alarmists predict total loss of ice by 2030 (and earlier predictions have already failed), believers in the power of natural cycles expect Arctic sea ice to rebound by 2030. Until then the science is far from settled. And claims that the science is settled just one more of the great climate myths. (Part 3 will look at the chimeras created by averaging and meta-analyses)

It's easy to guess what Jim means by "believers" - and it's about the only accurate thing he's written in the entire article. Science deniers "believe" what they want to believe rather than explore facts and many of them "believe" we're heading for an ice age - any day now. And have "believed" that like, forever. A bit like there are "believers" in an imminent "day of judgement" or lizard men or flying pigs.

For the rest - natural cycles are the climate control knobs? Meaningless. What natural cycles? What controls the natural cycles. Settled (sic) the debate? What debate? Why has nature been cycling in the same direction for the past hundred years or so?  Hotter and hotter. That's not a cycle that's a speeding locomotive on a straight run!

Data sourcesNASA GISTempNODC/NOAA Ocean HeatU Colorado sea levelPIOMAS Arctic Ice

If you want unnatural cycles, Jim Steele cycles between pursuing his strange vendetta against Dr Parmesan and shouting to all who'll listen that "it's not happening".

What an odd "essay". Why Anthony put it on his blog is anyone's guess. Perhaps he is very hard up for essays.

From the WUWT comments

Jim's post has been up for a while and so far there are only six comments. Partly that's because most of the WUWT readers (who are in the USA) are fast asleep. The rest of them probably went to sleep reading Jim's article.

As if to prove that Jim's "essay" is incoherent, cnxtim can only parrot the denier standby comment and says:
June 27, 2014 at 12:35 am
Another nail in the coffin of CAGW – thanks…

M Courtney doesn't usually babble meaningless nonsense, but p'raps he thinks he'll reflect the tone of the "essay", so he says:
June 27, 2014 at 12:48 am
It’s CO2…
It’s the Sun…
It’s the Oceans…
It’s all and none of these. Just because the redistribution of heat from ocean currents is consistent with polar temperature observations does not mean it is the sole or even dominant cause.
Climate is complex. 

evanmjones is referring to his and Anthony's as-yet-unfinished work on US weather stations when he talks of "sensors", and seems to think the USA is the whole world when he says:
June 26, 2014 at 11:17 pm
But that narrow focus has biased Hansen and his disciples who have underestimated the power of ocean oscillations.
Of course, Hansen was making his projections before the PDO was described by science (i.e., 1996). So he ascribed the natural PDO warming to CO2 alone. Take it from 1950 when CO2 became significant and we see 1.1C/century warming. That’s over one complete PDO cycle (so that balances). So we see CO2 forcing according to Arrhenius — without net positive feedback.
And that’s assuming the sensors are accurate, and 4 out of 5 of them ain’t. 

Bob Tisdale picks up on Evan Jones and says (extract, removed quote and link):
June 27, 2014 at 12:58 am
...The PDO represents the spatial pattern of the sea surface temperature anomalies in the North Pacific, not the sea surface temperature anomalies. There is no mechanism through which the PDO can alter temperatures globally. ..

Old England uses the "essay" as an excuse to spout his latest conspiracy theory and says (excerpt from a much longer comment with more of the same):
June 27, 2014 at 1:09 am
What a clear illustration of the extent to which science has been blinded by the UN and Governments funded CO2 mantra. I wonder if scientists who have entered the fields of ‘climate change’ in the last 10 – 20 years are actually still capable of critical appreciation of true science and the extent to which you must look to explore all possible causes and explanations.
CO2 and ‘global warming’ is not about climate it is about deeply infiltrated and, typically, well-concealed marxist politics. It is all about creating ‘obedience’ to a doctrine by fabricating a climate of fear about climate. ...


  1. Is it possible that, if Dr Parmesan and Jim Steele came into contact, the mixture of science and anti-science would cause an explosion that could change the tilt of the Earth's axis? He certainly seems to have it in for that woman. (He'll be along soon to deny that too.)

    1. Given Jim's fixation, I'd say their paths have already crossed somewhere along the line.

    2. Perhaps only in Jim's mind - there's a hint of the stalker about his behaviour. Or perhaps they have encountered each other and mace became involved? I doubt we'll ever know for certain.

  2. Jimbo should do himself a favour and read the nice, short, accessible paper by Levitus et. al. that lays out the seriousness of how much heat we've been dumping in the oceans lately:

    Levitus et. al. 2012

    All the graphs in the SI are are basically saying that concerning OHC: "the only way is up". But that's not a good thing in this case, obviously. And about 1/3 of the OHC has been going into the 700 - 2000m layer recently. Trenberth's 'missing' heat.

  3. This year feels like it will be pivotal. Between the building El Nino, Jo Nova's new 'climate model', the different government actions (EPA, Australia, Europe, ect), the arctic 'rebound' (a one year rebound? Really?), and many others, there is a sense that many prodictions are going to be eather proved or discredited for good. Personally I predict that whoever gets there predictions wrong (on eather side) will be blaming 'natural cycles' or variability.

    1. It won't be pivotal. The denial squad has been through this over and over; they only slowly leak support it seems.

    2. I sense a sea-change myself. The denialist cult will survive, but it's into that long tail of decline that such movements usually experience, like the Hollow Earthers.

      In Denial Central (aka the US) it'll be interesting to see if the Republicans make AGW a feature of their campaigns this year. Their candidates have made the right noises in primary campaigns (of necessity) but the "I'm not a scientist but jobs/Iraq/Benghazi" response is becoming more common in the wider world.

      Then there's Paris 2015 and the US 2016 elections, quite apart from what goes on in the real world. I think by 2017 we'll see we're over the hump.

    3. Well, Nova and Evens model may not be pivotal, but it's sure turned up the heat. sou, please tell me you're doing a post on the cooling thread at WUWT. Willis tearing the david's a new one over it alone was worth the price of admission.

    4. Schitzree, it's up now FWIW :)

    5. "The denialist cult will survive"

      How believers adapt after a doomsday cult's predictions fail is telling:


      I doubt that many of these people will ever be willing to recognise the extraordinary harm they have caused.

  4. When Jim wrote "And the current scientific consensus that the upper 300 meters of the oceans have been cooling since 2003 bodes well for natural cycles prediction." he references a study by I.G. Rigor. But in it is nothing about a 'scientific consensus that the upper 300 meters of ocean has ben cooling since 2003', nor does it have anything about 'natural cycles prediction'. The study is about how the NAO affects Arctic sea ice thickness, which in turn affects the heat flux from the ocean. Jim grossly misrepresents the study. But this is typical of what Jim does. He uses scientific papers to bolster his own ideology, to make it look somewhat 'scientific' , when infact what he has done his totally misrepresent the study. Off course climatic and physical processes are subject to natural cycles, but he creates a logical fallacy, in that because the sea ice for instance has a natural cycle, therefore it cannot have any anthropogenic influence. Hi whole essay is just one big 'it's all natural' logical fallacy.


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