Wednesday, November 19, 2014

More double standards at WUWT: Not one person asked to see the data from Pat'n Chip

Sou | 4:45 PM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment

It looks as if Anthony Watts is getting his marching orders from the CATO Institute this week. First there was Paul Driessen wanting to "bring back smog". Now we've got the disinformer duo, Patrick J. Michaels and his sidekick, Paul C. "Chip" Knappenberger - affectionately known as Pat 'n Chip (archived here). What this pair is trying to tell us is that what the IPCC report said about a "hiatus" is reflected in science papers about the so-called "hiatus" in global surface temperatures. They are in essence claiming the IPCC was correct. (Actually, to sell their story to the deniers, Pat'n Chip made up stuff about what the IPCC report actually said, pretending it said something different so they could argue the point. It's called building a strawman.)

What pause? There is no pause in global warming!

Remember, a "slow down" (or even the poorly named "hiatus") in global surface temperature does not in any way signify a pause in global warming. The earth continues to warm up. This year even the global surface temperatures are setting new records.

Data source: NASA GISS - including average year to date to October 2014.

And here's UAH lower troposphere temperatures (above the surface), showing the hottest October on record - equal with October 2012:

Data source: UAH

Where is the data? Where is the code?

Pat'n Chip say they did a review of scientific papers containing the words "pause" or "hiatus" or "slowdown" and "global" and "temperature".  They didn't say how many papers had any or all of those words. They claim that they used the same methodology as Cook13.

There is no way of checking what they really did because, unlike Cook13, they've hidden all the data. If they had any to start with.

They've not provided the results of their search. They've not provided a list of abstracts. They've not provided anything at all.

Not the same "methodology", no corroboration

In any case, they didn't use the same methodology, they applied a variation. They claimed that they read the abstracts of the results of their search, which is what Cook13 did. But then they said they read the papers themselves, if further investigation was required - which Cook13 did not. Nor did they say they went to the authors of those papers to check for consistency with their finding. Which Cook13 did.

Very few papers in the sample

Pat'n Chip only found 100 articles (not 12,000 or so) that fitted their criteria. Of that 100 they discarded 65 as not being relevant to recent global warming trends. That left them with 35 papers. Thirty five. That's all. Out of the hundreds tens of thousands of climate science papers published each year they only found 35 that fitted their criteria.

Only 0.29% of science papers show a slow down in surface warming!

Let's apply denialist reasoning to Pat'n Chip's "work".  For the sake of argument only, we'll assume they reported their method and findings accurately.

Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton claimed that most climate science papers do not show that humans cause global warming. They based this on the illogical and wrong argument that if a paper doesn't attribute a cause to global warming, it means it's not a human cause.

If we assume that had Pat'n Chip really used the Cook13 methodology, they'd have got around 12,000 papers. Of those 12,000 they'd have got only 35 that indicated there has been a slowdown in warming in "recent years". Remember - that's not the same as a cooling. It's not a decline in temperature. It's just that the global surface temperatures in the past few years have remained high, but they've not risen quite as fast as they have in some other faster-warming periods.

Anyway, using denier logic, that means that only 0.29% of climate science papers suggest the rise in average annual global surface temperature hasn't been as fast in the past few years, as at some earlier times. A far cry from the claim of 100%!

I'm joking - to make a point

Yes - stray denier, I am joking. But joking to make a point. Not a single denier at WUWT has decided to apply the denier argument to Pat'n Chips "research"! Shall we wait for the Christopher Monckton/Anthony Watts rebuttal?

Pat'n Chip's Straw Man

Pat'n Chip built a straw man, where they wrote:
In other words, we didn’t find a single paper on the topic that argued the rate of global warming has not slowed (or even stopped) in recent years. This is in direct opposition to the IPCC’s contention that global warming is accelerating...

Except that the IPCC put in an entire section in one of the chapters of the WG1 report addressing the observed lower rate of rise in global warming since the super El Nino of 1998. While a lot of people didn't agree with them putting in this section, because it could confuse and mislead the casual reader, the report did include it. So Pat'n Chip are aiming to deceive - which isn't hard at WUWT. That's where people who want to be deceived go for their misinformation.

What has happened to surface warming - and why?

In other words, much of what Pat'n Chip are reporting is no more or less than what scientists themselves have been telling everyone. That global surface temperatures haven't risen as fast in the past few years (Pat'n Chip didn't put a time limit on their categorisation. They only used the words "recent years".). And then they are presenting it as if it contradicts what the scientists themselves have been saying.

Needless to say Pat'n Chip don't provide the reasons for the slow down in global surface temperatures. They don't mention the fact that the oceans are continuing to accumulate heat. Or the fact that the sun hasn't been shining as strongly of late. Or the fact that this year is likely to be almost as hot if not hotter than any recorded to date. Or the fact that 2005 and 2010 are currently the hottest years on record.

So it's a nothing article. An empty piece saying nothing that hasn't been said already.

This is a tactic that disinformers often use. Pretend that the science says something different to what it says, and then claim that you've found what the science itself really says. Which is what it said all along.

Do you follow? No? Well that's the whole intention of disinformers. It's to muddle your thinking. It only really works with science deniers so it's not a very useful tactic for influencing public opinion. It's a straddle position used by professional disinformers, to let deniers think you are really "on their side" even when you are forced to agree with the science.

In case you're wondering - although global surface temperatures haven't risen as fast in "recent years", global warming hasn't stopped. The surface temperatures are still going up. The oceans are getting hotter. The ice is melting faster than ever. And we're still heading towards four degrees or more of warming over the next 85 years. Here's a chart of sea surface temperatures. Does it look to you they are "pausing"?

Data source: Met Office Hadley Centre

From the WUWT comments

One thing did stand out from the comments. Not a single person so far has called for the data. Not a one. Nobody.

Does that surprise you? Not at all. Deniers and disinformers only have two things in common - they are consistently inconsistent, and they have double standards. Apart from those two shared characteristics, deniers and disinformers disagree amongst each other on almost everything else to do with climate science. They couldn't jointly argue their way out of a paper bag.

There was one person who thinks Pat'n Chip are joking. John Eyon  wrote on November 18, 2014 at 2:31 pm
am i the only one who thinks that the research part of this article is tongue in cheek

CodeTech is still hanging out for the ice age that doesn't cometh and says:
November 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm
It’s not a pause, it’s a peak.

Steve R is delighted to be told what the scientists are saying. Except it's not of course. Pat'n Chip decided to use "disinformer licence". I wonder will he be as delighted over the next two decades?
November 18, 2014 at 1:28 pm
So while 97% of scientists may agree that global warming is caused by humans, virtually 100% agree that global warming has stopped or slowed considerably during the 21st century.
What a great soundbite! Short and to the point.

Terry makes up stuff so he can fit it into his personal mental model. Like most dim deniers, he's not able to cope with reality.
November 18, 2014 at 2:19 pm
Gina conveniently ignores the fact that a pause essentially nullifies ALL of the computer climate models. They were ALL wrong. But I guess it’s business as usual for the eco-warriors at the EPA and the IPCC and the WH.

It's possible that Stevan Reddish would like to see a bit more rigour applied, because he asks:
November 18, 2014 at 1:41 pm
Pardon my ignorance, are similar efforts being made to publish this study as were made on behalf of Cook’s study?

The fake sceptic from Scotland sets Stevan straight, and points out that there's no need for rigour when you've got uncritical pseudo-scientists on your side at WUWT. Mike Haseler wrote:
November 18, 2014 at 5:57 pm
It has already been published in what has rapidly become the most if no the only authoritative journal on climate: WattsUpWithThat. This journal has by far the most stringent review process of any journal – a hoard of sceptics.

Nick Stokes saw fit to enter the fray, though he gets the usual flak from the usual suspects for his crime of injecting a dose of reality. Reality is a big no-no at WUWT.
November 18, 2014 at 2:12 pm
“In other words, we didn’t find a single paper on the topic that argued the rate of global warming has not slowed (or even stopped) in recent years. This is in direct opposition to the IPCC’s contention that global warming is accelerating, a”
No, you can add the IPCC to the 100% (if that’s possible). The AR5 SPM says:
“The observed reduction in surface warming trend over the period 1998 to 2012 as compared to the period 1951 to 2012, is due in roughly equal measure to a reduced trend in radiative forcing and a cooling contribution from natural internal variability, which includes a possible redistribution of heat within the ocean (medium confidence).”
The unanimity is not surprising (though I bet they didn’t all say that it has nearly stopped). There has been a slowdown. You won’t, though, find 100% of temperature indices that tell you that global warming has stopped. RSS is on its own there.

Ray Donahue asks what looks like an irrelevant redundant question for some reason known only to himself. The answer, Ray, is that the WG1 assessment is the best assessment of the current state of the science. Not every scientist will agree with every single part of it. However almost all scientists will agree that it fairly represents the current state of knowledge about climate science - including a good description of the knowns, unknowns, certainties and uncertainties.
November 18, 2014 at 3:06 pm
So, the Summary for Policy Makers faithfully echoes WG1 Scientific Assessment?
Really? The WG1 assessment is in tune with all scientists?

Werner Brozek, who does number-crunching on temperature data for WUWT, is doing his best to mentally prepare the WUWT deniers for a bit more warming.
November 18, 2014 at 3:58 pm
I would not be so sure about the “and counting”. Dr. McKitrick went to April when they still had Hadcrut4.2. In August, they switched to Hadcrut4.3 which was warmer. In addition, the last few months have been very warm as well, not only on Hadcrut4.3, but GISS as well.

Nick Stokes puts up this chart from WoodforTrees, which shows that contrary to Pat'n Chip's claim, the trend of the past 19 years, since 1995, is certainly not zero. As if you needed more proof that global warming as a whole hasn't stopped or even "paused".
November 18, 2014 at 5:21 pm
Here is the WFT plot with a proper trend line. And the 19 year trend isn’t zero:

Craig wonders how the WUWT-ers can sleep at night and writes:
November 18, 2014 at 2:29 pm
How does a man go to sleep at night knowing he is living his life on a lie AND the whole world knows it? A fable for the ‘Ripleys believe it or not’ show perhaps?

Craig, it's called wilful delusion. No, that's not the scientific name for it. There have been many studies done on the phenomenon though, like this one.

Sir Harry Flashman is a recent comer to WUWT I think. I don't know how long he'll last there. He is undermining the purpose of WUWT, which is a club for disinformers and deniers of climate science.
November 18, 2014 at 6:04 pm
“warmist scientists” = all the scientists. “Cause of the pause” is a denier phrase, since there’s no pause. What real-life science grownups are talking about is why the rate of increase has slowed. And what’s going to happen when it accelerates again.
Still, it’s a hallmark of actual science that when data don’t match the models, you acknowledge it and attempt to figure out why, which is precisely what’s going on now. The thing is, the people who study climate professionally are in pretty much universal agreement that a slowdown doesn’t reverse the laws of physics that are causing warming, and that the piper is still going to have to be paid.

Cook, John, Dana Nuccitelli, Sarah A. Green, Mark Richardson, Bärbel Winkler, Rob Painting, Robert Way, Peter Jacobs, and Andrew Skuce. "Quantifying the consensus on anthropogenic global warming in the scientific literature." Environmental Research Letters 8, no. 2 (2013): 024024. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/2/024024


  1. One person, in what is at this moment the very last comment, has called to see the data. But maybe he/she is a plant...

    November 18, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    May I, as a fellow true sceptic, join in the clamour to see the underlying data behind this report.

    1. He he - that's not you is it? At least I'm guessing it's a HotWhopper reader. Icouldn'thelpit and wanting to "join in the clamour" is a bit of a giveaway :)

    2. That request has it nailed: differentiating between true sceptics and WUWT's audience who have not the slightest interest in the underlying data. Their 'moderators' will be spitting blood.

  2. "Out of the hundreds of climate science papers published each year they only found 35 that fitted their criteria."
    You searched for:
    TOPIC: ("climate change" OR "global warming") AND
    YEAR PUBLISHED: (2013)

    Results: 18,299 (from All Databases)

    I would guess my small institute alone already produced hundreds. (And someone has to read all those articles.)

    I think Craig posses an important question for the people at WUWT: "How does a man go to sleep at night knowing he is living his life on a lie AND the whole world knows it?"

    If there is a 100% consensus of a (statistically insignificant) slowdown in the warming rate in the climate record there does not seem to be a conspiracy in climate science after all. Then he has to explain why scientists agree about CO2 being a greenhouse gas and global warming being man made. The answer that he is smarter and more knowledgeable as the experts may not be the strongest one.

    1. My mistake, Victor, I started to write hundreds of thousands, then thought better of it - and just left the "hundreds" instead of dropping back to "tens of thousands".

      Let me fix that :)

    2. So I'm expecting a review on those 18k papers.

    3. Are you? From whom? Do let us know when you get your review and send us a copy, if you would.

      While you're waiting for whoever you've commissioned to report to you, you could read some of the literature from this year on climate change and global warming.

  3. What's Pat up to? He should follow his own advice from his 2008 ICC1 presentation for the Heartland Institute. He should stop being "a little unfair to the data" e.g. the GISTemp Global Surface Temperature and "making an argument he can get killed on" because if he "loses credibility on this issue, he loses the issue". Pat should realise that "1998 was a huge El Nino year and the sun was very active in 1998". He should ask himself the question, "Do the last years of the record fit the data better if we assume that there is a warming trend or better if we assume that the warming has stopped?" Then Pat should answer his own question with "global warming has continued and it fits the data much better than assuming global warming has stopped". He should realise that the 'global-warming-has-stopped' argument is "so very, very dangerous" because "one of these years that's (solar activity and El Nino) going to turn around and … you'll have a very, very difficult time defending the future".

    1. Really? He said all that? It doesn't surprise me all that much. Although this pair slip into their articles the mandatory and unsubstantiated denier stuff (like gratuitous insinuations that there's something wrong with the Cook study, when there's not), they aren't as extreme as some disinformers.

    2. Yes, he did. Referred to Chip as his researcher in 2008. Pat's tune had changed somewhat by the 2013 Heartland soiree. More snide comments about mainstream climate science and he looked a lot older. The MC had changed too; an older dude who whistled to get the attention of the dinner audience. Don't know how much attention the attendees paid to Pat based on the noise of cutlery on dinner plates.

      And no, I wasn't part of the dance band at those functions. I mean that'd be ridiculous. For a start, old white men can't dance, especially with one another and my drum set ain't for hire to any ... (insert word that rhymes with 'hire'). Actually, Heartland posted Pat's presentations on YouTube. The production is so random that I won't post the links. Besides, it's best if the number of views remain less than 100 for each of the videos. Don't want to get the Heartland video-capture team too excited with the increase in numbers. Combined with the atherosclerosis from all those Heartland function meals and their advanced years, the excitement could be terminal. Then again …

    3. I noticed when Michaels said that, and Singer said something very similar at the time. They were, in essence, calling for a better class of denial.

      I think Michaels has twigged that losing credibility is of no consequence in denier circles, which is where he has to maintain a sufficient profile to justify his salary.

    4. Michaels and Knappenberger are professional lobbyists, who used to run New Hope Environmental Services ("an advocacy science consulting firm that produces cutting-edge research and informed commentary on the nature of climate" - i.e., lobbying), and put out a denial blog called World Climate Report. They're now employed at the CATO institute, a Koch brothers funded 'think tank' lobbying group. They're not strictly ideologically driven idiots, but rather quite practical in presenting (and manufacturing) arguments for their clients.

  4. Obviously 0.3 to 0.6C has not yet passed the bounds of natural variability which is 1C so there is no evidence of CO2 warming just yet though i'm not saying it isn't real.

    Maybe i'm a misogynist.

  5. I do have a question for Sou, regarding the GISTemp data set.

    Noting that there appears to be a 60 year oscillation, one might assume a slowdown in the rate of warming from around 2000 - 2030 based on the 1945 - 1975 and also the earlier 1880 - 1910 trends.

    So my question is, do you predict a continuation of the steep 1975 - 2000 trend to continue, or possibly a slowdown up to 2030 based on the historical data ?

    1. http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/esrl-amo/mean:30/plot/hadsst2nh/mean:30

      Ohh. good question.

    2. Several points:

      First, you cannot identify an oscillation without multiple periods to examine, and we don't have that for temperature data and 60-yr periods.

      Second, temperature changes from non-linear forcings (such as documented and roughly sigmoid forcings over the 20th century) may _look_ like a natural oscillation, but rather simply be due to forcing->response, without inherent periodicity.

      There really is _no_ evidence for a 60-yr oscillation being responsible for any major part of recent climate change. And please don't invoke the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) in this regard without considering the detrending issue - the simplistic AMO index most commonly used is linearly detrended, which begs the question by assuming that all forcings outside the oscillation add up to a linear trend. That's demonstrably not the case (see the above paragraph), and failing to account for nonlinear forcings aliases the nonlinearity into the naive AMO index, making it impossible to separate and attribute temperatures between the AMO and other influences.

    3. Well, if one assumes there is a natural oscillation which is occuring along with a GHG forcing, the current slow-down from 1998 would tend to follow this trend which has been observed from 1880. Regardless of the cause of the 60 year oscillation, it is obviously a forcing of significant magnitude comparable to GHG forcings if we can trust the data pre-1980.

      Now, the reason I ask this question, is that if we assume all of the temperature increase from 1975 to 2000 was due solely to GHG forcings, then it erodes the credibility of the entire GHG theory if we then enter a 30 year period of vastly reduced warming which cannot be adequately explained.

    4. Umm is that meant to be meaningful in some way or are you speculating for the sake of it, or is it wishful thinking on your part.

      Hint: read the rest of the comments in this rather long thread. You'll see a few on heat and temperature, if that's your bugbear.

      You'll also see comments explaining the equivalent of: If A causes B it doesn't preclude C also causing B at the same or a different time.

      You'll also see comments from people wondering where on earth you got the notion that there is some sort of multi-decadal natural oscillation that is affecting global temperature trends more than increased CO2 is. You'd most likely be wrong if you thought that. There's no evidence that I've seen that suggests anything like that.

      I've a question: Why are you wondering about something that hasn't happened, that there is no suggestion will happen, and that if it were to happen it couldn't be "adequately explained"?

      Is that the sort of vague speculation you're used to at WUWT? It really has no place here. You might as well say: "it would erode the credibility of the entire GHG theory (whatever you think you mean by that) if an ice age started tomorrow and it couldn't be adequately explained."

      Or: "it would erode the credibility of our understanding of gravity if pigs began to fly and it couldn't be adequately explained".

      I could come up with lots of examples like yours - to what purpose?

    5. Actually, I don't read blogs on WUWT. I was commenting solely on the GISTemp data which obviously shows a warming trend, but modulated by what appears to be a 60 year signal.

      So far, no one has answered my original question, which is essentially "what will be the temperature in 2030 compared to 2000 ?". Based, on the graph you presented, which includes the 60 year oscillation, it looks like it will be about 0.2 degree C warmer, and based on the 1970 - 2000 trend we could expect 0.6 degrees warmer.

      Are you brave enough to put forward a figure here on your own blog ?

    6. Where do you get your odd ideas about patterns and oscillations from? Did you make it up all by yourself? Do you see birds and faces in clouds as well? It's fun but meaningless without the physical explanation to go with it. And you've offered none. Plus your notion has been hit on the head several times here already. At least acknowledge that and say why you disagree as you seem to. You'll need to provide a physical reason, not some pattern you think you see. There are patterns everywhere. They don't necessarily mean anything. Just ups and downs in a chart. Combined forcings were very different decades ago to what they are today so the same "rules" don't apply now. At least acknowledge that you've been warned.

      BTW, I wouldn't rely on that failed Pattern Recognition Journal if that's where you got your strange notion.

      Anyway, why do you need to know the "temperature" in 2030? It won't be the same everywhere so if you're building a house or something like that and need to know, I'd use the regional projections in the latest IPCC report as a guide. Though they are still fairly "iffy". Your best bet is to build the guttering a bit deeper with more run off provisions for heavy downpours. Put in a water tank if you're allowed for the dry, hot spells. If you live in a warm area, plant plenty of vegetation to cool the house in summer - it's going to get hotter in most places. If you live where it snows provide for some extra deep snowfalls. You can probably run with it yourself from there.

      If you need a number for a bet, then how much margin have you allowed yourself? If you want, you can post your prospective bids here and someone may be kind enough to let you know if you're looking to be way off base or in the ball park.

      On the other hand, you could wait a few years, estimates will get narrower over time.

      If you're really stuck, then I'd suggest just using the global anomaly projections in the IPCC report (AR5 WG1). IIRC there are projections going out to 2035, so that's reasonably close to what you're looking for. Before the middle of the century, it won't make much difference which emissions pathway we're on so you'll be fairly safe. After that, if we manage to get CO2 down, the climate change won't be as drastic.

      Best of luck with it, whatever you've got going on.

  6. I posted this over at the wonderwall at the beginning of this year. Caused some heads to explode. Eventually they started to say that the ARGO buoy network was fabricated, just another part of the "grand conspiracy". . .

    A: Heat capacity of air: 1005 J/kg/K
    B: The atmosphere has a mass of about 5×10^18 kg
    B*A = 5.025 x 10^21 Joules/degree Kelvin

    Total amount of heat energy differential (warming) measured by the ARGO network since 2005
    = 17×10^22Joules – 9×10^22Joules = 8×10^22 Joules
    Therefore if all of this heat energy went into the atmosphere instead of the ocean, the total amount of average temperature increase of the atmosphere would be:

    =8×10^22Joules/5.025×10^21 Joules per degree Kelvin
    = 15.9 degrees Kelvin increase.

    go ahead, check my math.

    For the insane, this reality is completely untenable to their fabricated worldview. The atmospheric temperatures is all that the world is, there is no other part that could possibly be warming. . .

    The above estimate of total OHC warming has been redone since then by Durack et. al. (2014) the actual value of OHC increase since 2005 much higher, in addition, the NODC OHC values did not include the arctic ocean so the total global OHC increase since 2005 is likely on the order of 30K atmospheric equivalent.

    Even so, a 16K increase in atmospheric temperatures over 10 years is enough to destroy all major ecosystems on the planet. An instantaneous global extinction event caused by humans in this new era, the "deleocene".


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