Monday, August 4, 2014

Eric Eugenics Worrall makes a glacially silly blunder down under at WUWT

Sou | 11:12 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment

There wasn't much of note at WUWT over the weekend. There was another Christopher Monckton piece on the lower troposphere temperature. In two separate articles in almost as many days, Christopher has jumped from a "pause" of 13 years and 4 months to a "pause" of 17 years and 10 months. He doesn't know if he's coming or going, does he.

Anyway, I knew it wouldn't take long before more really stupid appeared. Sure enough it has.

Eric "eugenics" Worrall** is a science denier from Australia. When Anthony Watts runs out of guests to write his essays, he resorts to ning nongs like Eric "eugenics" to fill his daily quota.

This time Eric doesn't disappoint. He wrote a short piece about a new paper in PNAS by a group of researchers from around the world, led by Henrick Rother of the University of Greifswald in Germany. The press release was from the University of Queensland, where another author is located, Professor Jamie Shulmeister.

The paper is about how the climate in the southern hemisphere can behave differently to that in the Northern Hemisphere and how New Zealand glaciers melted and grew at times different to glaciers in the Northern Hemisphere, including during times of global climate change. They are strongly influenced by the Southern Ocean.

Eric "eugenics" got a lot wrong for such a short "essay". First he confused the Pacific Ocean and Southern Ocean. Next he decided that since glacial change is slow and happens over millenia, then that means that all climate change will be slow.

He doesn't seem to appreciate that the whole earth isn't covered in glaciers. Or that ice sheets in places like West Antarctica will probably disappear over centuries, not thousands of years. Or that the fact that because some processes are slow doesn't mean that all processes are slow. Eric wrote:
The study described in the press release, in my opinion, has interesting implications for modern climate change. Even if alarmists are right about climate sensitivity to CO2, if the Pacific Ocean has the capacity to retard major climate shifts,  for thousands of years, then we have thousands of years to solve any problems we might be causing – which kind of takes the urgency out of the issue.

Eric, it's the Southern Ocean, not the Pacific Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the one around Antarctica. The one that's influencing the climate of Australia and New Zealand as well as Antarctica.

Secondly, it's not retarding climate change. Climate change is happening everywhere. From the press release:
Scientists are calling for a better understanding of regional climates, after research into New Zealand's glaciers has revealed climate change in the Northern Hemisphere does not directly affect the climate in the Southern Hemisphere.
The University of Queensland study showed that future climate changes may impact differently in the two hemispheres, meaning a generalised global approach isn’t the solution to climate issues.
UQ School of Geography, Planning and Environmental Management Head Professor Jamie Shulmeister said the study provided evidence for the late survival of significant glaciers in the mountains of New Zealand at the end of the last ice age – a time when other ice areas were retreating.
“This study reverses previous findings which suggested that New Zealand's glaciers disappeared at the same time as ice in the Northern Hemisphere,” he said.
“We showed that when the Northern Hemisphere started to warm at the end of the last ice age, New Zealand glaciers were unaffected.
“These glaciers began to retreat several thousand years later, when changes in the Southern Ocean led to increased carbon dioxide emissions and warming.
”This indicates that future climate change may impact differently in the two hemispheres and that changes in the Southern Ocean are likely to be critical for Australia and New Zealand.” 

Other studies show that the Southern Ocean is important and affects climate not just in our part of the world. Changes in the Southern Ocean also affects climate globally through the large scale ocean currents. Those are the slow climate changes. The deep currents in the ocean (the global conveyor belt) take about a thousand years for one cycle. What we're doing now will affect Earth for thousands of years.

I don't think the fact that the two hemispheres can behave differently is news. Apparently it is news that New Zealand glaciers didn't change in synchrony with those in the Northern Hemisphere. The supplementary information is interesting. It's available to all and gives some detail about how the researchers worked out what happened in the past with regard to New Zealand glaciers.

As for what is happening right now, well at least some of the glaciers in New Zealand have been retreating quite a lot. Others not so quickly.

If Eric thinks that climate change won't affect him in Australia in his lifetime, then he's wrong. Australia and New Zealand are already feeling the effect of climate change.

From the WUWT comments

cnxtim lives up to his/her reputation as a greenhouse effect denier and says:
August 4, 2014 at 12:17 am
It seems to me you cant discuss the climate without chucking in a reference to CO2
I mean, whatever happened to the Ozone layer? Once upon a time it was ‘flavour of the month’ I know these days, methane is making bid for a mention – we shall see…

simple-touriste says:
August 4, 2014 at 1:11 am
So we are doomed (as always), but not synchronously? 

Alan the Brit must be another greenhouse effect denier because he says:
August 4, 2014 at 1:50 am
“when changes in the Southern Ocean led to increased carbon dioxide emissions and warming.”
Always stick to the meme! Why not say “when changes in the Southern Ocean led to increased warming and carbon dioxide emissions!” Sure fits the Ice-Core data, warming first, emissions next! Ho hum! Keep the rent money flowing guys & gals, keep it coming, the taxpayers knows nothing! 

They are all coming out to play. Bruce Cobb says:
August 4, 2014 at 4:11 am
They are keeping the “CO2-caused warming” meme alive. Mix good science with garbage science and you get garbage science. 

Bill H. makes an observation about denier inconsistency and says:
August 4, 2014 at 5:02 am
Interesting that this paper is being so well received on WUWT. The recent paper by Neukom, Gergis et al. also discussed the marked divergence of temperature trends in the two hemispheres prior to the 20th century and was more or less universally excoriated. Maybe the fact that it provided evidence that the mediaeval climate anomaly was a N. hemisphere phenomenon, with the S. hemisphere showing distinct cooling at this time, has something to do with that.
Perhaps it isn’t just the “warmist” side of the the debate that clings to certain sacred truths. 

njsnowfan is an ice age comether and says (excerpt):
August 4, 2014 at 5:11 am
It looks like the opposite may already be starting to happen Now, S hem will enter a little ice age first then N hem with low solar.
This has to do with S. Hemisphere current sea ice. Many say that increases or decreases in solar do not directly effect earths climate. I have been seeing many connections with solar cycle #24 since it is a quiet cycle and Static of strong cycles is not blocking the True Data. 

**Eric Worrall earned the nickname "eugenics" because he made a habit of likening climate science to the study of eugenics in the 1930s, particularly when he commented at Watching the Deniers. It's his version of Godwin's Law.

Rother, Henrik, David Fink, James Shulmeister, Charles Mifsud, Michael Evans, and Jeremy Pugh. "The early rise and late demise of New Zealand’s last glacial maximum." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2014): 201401547. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1401547111


  1. It's called a "syllogistic fallacy" isn't it?

    Climate changed in the past due to natural processes.
    The climate is changing now.
    Therefore, the climate is changing now due to natural processes.

    If they are talking about New Zealand glaciers then they would be mountain glaciers. Not only is temperature a factor, but rates of precipitation as well.

  2. Eric "eugenics" Worrall** is a science denier from Australia.

    I've got a horrible feeling that Mr Eugenics is British. I think he emigrated. Sorry about that, on behalf of the nation.

    As usual, EW is wallowing in intellectual dishonesty. He and I have discussed hemispheric antiphase before and I have pointed him at Shakun et al. (2012) more than once.

    There's no excuse. Either he ignored the information provided or he read it and chose to repeat his nonsense in spite of it.

    I distinctly recall telling EW not to use paleoclimate as a sandbox for his denial. He's still ignoring this excellent and well-meant advice.

  3. Hi,Sou,thanks for putting my comment at wuwt on your "highlights list". It being the holiday period here in the UK I thought I'd venture into Contraria. While the Worrall post produced a fairly sedate "discussion" - nobody rose to the bait I put out about the Neukom, Gergis et al. paper. Maybe I should have used shorter sentences.

    The other "discussion", or to use Rebecca West's phrase "intersection of monologues" was a gruesome experience. The post was by Watts, entitled "Stratospheric hot spot", was nominally about a new paper on measurements of stratospheric cooling - nothing about hot spots at all, but Watts, as indicated by the muddled title he chose, kept veering off to talk about hot spots, and how the paper said nothing about it.

    But the "discussion": oh, the bile and hatred - for instance academics as a class (not just climate scientists: all academics) dismissed on the slenderest of evidence as liars with the emotional age of 4 year olds - it was absolute purgatory. I know the blogosphere can be a bear pit, but these denier sites..... Where do they get such stores of bile and hatred from? Especially because they tend to claim that victory will be theirs as the regime of Mann, Schmidt et al. slowly sinks under the weight of its fraudulence and criminality. You'd have thought they'd show some magnanimity in the light of their forthcoming victory, but not a bit:it's hate, accuse and hate some more.
    I'm impressed that you have the stomach to go there so regularly, but can you make any sense of these people? While the big shots might do well financially out of denial, that's not what drives the foot soldiers.

    1. bill hartree,

      I have wondered myself about the aggression and lack of critical thinking shown by the deniers myself. Ignore the frauds (they are in it for the money) and the trolls (they are in it for the sport).

      A hint was dropped on another article about a study called "The Authoritarians". It has been pointed out that Conspiracy Theorists do rate high on the Authoritarian Scale. Like all psychology studies it is grey, but I think it makes valuable points.

      PS That Neukom, Gergis et al paper. I had one denier claim that it proved the Medieval Warm Period was global. I told them that it did not. So how on earth do you deal with someone calling black white like that?

    2. They're frightened to death. Hence the furious - nay, rabid - denial.

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