Saturday, January 31, 2015

An uncanny ability: Anthony Watts goes to Iceland and figures 2+2=5 or 7

Sou | 2:12 PM Go to the first of 71 comments. Add a comment

You can try to anticipate deniers, but...

In an article in Time about Icelandic ice melt, rising land and volcanic activity, Jeffrey Kluger wrote (my emphasis):
Perhaps anticipating the climate change deniers’ uncanny ability to put two and two together and come up with five, the researchers took pains to point out that no, it’s not the very fact that Icelandic ice sits above hot magma deposits that’s causing the glacial melting. The magma’s always been there; it’s the rising global temperature that’s new. At best, only 5% of the accelerated melting is geological in origin.

Could he or the scientists have anticipated the "five" that Anthony Watts came up with? I don't know. They didn't in this case. Would you?

Here is Anthony's headline, supporting RationalWiki's notion that "almost all the claims from the anti-science movement revolve around some form of personal incredulity or argument from ignorance":
Time Magazine’s Jeffrey Kluger writes what might possibly be the stupidest article about climate ever – climate change causes volcanoes

Willis Eschenbach wonders about Science

Sou | 2:12 AM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment

Wondering Willis Eschenbach is irate (archived here). He's discovered a survey conducted by Pew Research Center that sampled the views of AAAS members as well as the general public.

The survey itself was of people living in the USA. It included questions on a range of topics relevant to science. For example:
  • genetically modified foods, 
  • safety of foods grown using pesticides
  • vaccination of children
  • evolution of humans
  • human influence on climate
  • humans straining the supply of natural resources
and various other topics including astronauts, bioengineered fuel, fracking and investment in space stations.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Getting a tad excitable at WUWT over the ups and downs of ENSO

Sou | 9:50 AM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment

The little WUWT-ers have been getting quite worked up lately. I think it's got something to do with the fact that reports from GISS and NOAA and the Hadley Centre and others point to the fact that 2014 was the hottest year on record.

Today Bob Tisdale, who seems to be Anthony Watts' proxy while he's on holidays or whatever he's been doing this past few weeks, has written a very short article about a new paper in Nature Climate Change. Very short for Bob Tisdale, that is. It must be almost another record. And he's broken still another record. There's not a single drawing, diagram or chart of anything, let alone sea surface temperatures.

What Bob did write?  Well you can read it for yourself here if you want to. The paper is more interesting than Bob's article. Wenju Cai et al have written in Nature Climate Change about some work they've been doing on modeling ENSO.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

HadCRUT4 - equalling (slightly besting?) the hottest year with a lie from Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 8:53 AM Go to the first of 28 comments. Add a comment

HadCRUT4 is out. It's another hottest year ever on record result at 0.563C above the 1961-1990 mean. That just tops the next hottest, 2010, which was 0.555C above the mean if you go by straight numbers. It makes it equal hottest once you allow for confidence ranges.

Some people were wondering if HadCRUT4 would come out on top. It could be argued that it did. Just. The Met Office is being cautious, saying it is too close to call, which is fair enough. From their press release - my emphasis:
26 January 2015 - Provisional full-year global mean temperature figures show 2014 was one of the warmest years in a record dating back to 1850.
The  HadCRUT4 dataset (compiled by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia's Climatic Research Unit) shows last year was 0.56C (±0.1C*) above the long-term (1961-1990) average.
Nominally this ranks 2014 as the joint warmest year in the record, tied with 2010, but the uncertainty ranges mean it's not possible to definitively say which of several recent years was the warmest.
Colin Morice, a climate monitoring scientist at the Met Office, said: "Uncertainties in the estimates of global temperature are larger than the differences between the warmest years. This limits what we can say about rankings of individual years.
"We can say with confidence that 2014 is one of ten warmest years in the series and that it adds to the set of near-record temperatures we have seen over the last two decades."

WUWT and GWPF - disinformers lie through their teeth!

There is no such hesitation or caution among the climate disinformers though.  Professional liar denier Anthony Watts claims, wrongly, that:
"UK Met Office says 2014 was NOT the hottest year ever due to ‘uncertainty ranges’ of the data". 

That's wrong. The UK Met Office did NOT say 2014 was not the hottest year ever. It's one thing to say it's too close to call even though the numbers show it the hottest. It's quite another to say that it was NOT the hottest year ever. Just how desperate must he be feeling. Honestly, you've got to wonder if Anthony Watts can lie straight in bed!

His headline was above a "press release" by the GWPF, which is an anti-mitigation lobby group from the UK.  In the body of the release, David Whitehouse, who I guess is paid to tell fibs, wrote:
Quoting the temperature to one hundredth of a degree and the error on that measurement to a tenth of a degree is not normal scientific practice. It is against normal scientific practice to have an error of the measurement larger than the precision of that measurement. This means that most scientists would have rounded the data so that it was 0.6 +/- 0.1 °C. If this is done to the HadCRUT4 dataset it is even more obvious that there has been a warming “pause” for the past 18 years.

That's not right or correct or accurate. The Met Office provides data to three decimal places and reported it to two decimal places. 0.563C was the reported median and 0.529  and  0.600 were the lower and upper bounds at the 95% confidence interval.

I guess when the disinformers can't claim that an ice age is imminent, muddying the hottest year with a pause is the next best thing.

I'm very pressed for time this week but will just add two more things. First a chart of HADCRUT4 - click to enlarge it:

Data Source: UK Met Office Hadley Centre

No time for comments - you can read the WUWT archive here.

Two Million Views

Secondly, yesterday HotWhopper had it's two millionth page view. Thank you to everyone!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Bob Tisdale sez "I knew that", 'cept he didn't!

Sou | 1:18 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment

You've probably come across the sort of person who when asked a question gives the wrong answer. Then when told the correct answer will squirm and sulk and say "I knew that". They get scornful looks but it doesn't seem to faze them.

Bob Tisdale is behaving like that today (archived here). He is writing about what he regards as "An Unexpected Admission from Dana Nuccitelli at SkepticalScience". What did Bob not expect? He didn't expect Dana to explain how El Niños lift average surface temperature and La Niñas suppress it. Though he did twist Dana's words. Bob wrote:
Dana admitted that during a decade-long (or multidecadal) period(s) when El Niño events dominate (when El Niños are stronger, last longer and happen more frequently), the El Niños enhance global warming, and during periods when La Niña events dominate (when there are weaker, shorter and fewer El Niño events), the absence of El Niño events suppresses the warming of global surfaces.

Note the use of the word "admitted". Bob has been getting tips from David Rose on the abuse of rhetoric. Bob twisted what Dana wrote a bit. Fortunately he then quoted him directly. There was only one paragraph on ENSO and this is what Dana wrote (from the Guardian):
...average global surface temperatures have warmed between 0.6 and 0.7°C over the past 40 years (lower atmospheric temperatures have also likely warmed more than 0.5°C, though the record hasn’t yet existed for 40 years). During that time, that temperature rise has temporarily both slowed down (during the 2000s, when there was a preponderance of La Niña events) and sped up (during the 1990s, when there was a preponderance of El Niño events). Climate models accurately predicted the long-term global warming trend.

Do you spot the difference? Bob was saying it was the absence of El Niños, whereas Dana was writing it was the preponderance of La Niñas, when surface temperatures didn't rise as quickly were suppressed. That's not splitting hairs. Bob Tisdale wrongly thinks that El Niños cause global warming, which is why he talks about it in that way.

Perennially Puzzled Bob Tisdale doesn't know water moves in the oceans

Sou | 3:51 AM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment

I find it odd that Bob Tisdale doesn't know that there are currents and upwelling and all sorts of movement of water in the world's oceans. He's written before about how he rejects the fact that oceans have currents that run deep and long.

Today in a repeat of at least one previous article, Bob Tisdale writes about how he is puzzled that the oceans don't heat up at exactly the same rate and amount at exactly the same time. (Archived here.)

Friday, January 23, 2015

Freed of any values, Judith Curry slithers and slides and hurtles into deniersville

Sou | 3:12 AM Go to the first of 63 comments. Add a comment

Addendum: I see there have been quite a few visitors from Judith Curry's blog today. I found out the reason. Judith has posted a link to this article describing it as "And now into the sewer". I agree that Poptech's article outing another blogger is properly describe as sewer-ish behaviour and I'm surprised that Judith would promote it, if she does indeed find that behaviour unseemly. (Perhaps she doesn't, which wouldn't surprise me.) I also find it strange that she thinks that this HotWhopper article, which points out Judith's lies and false innuendos about scientists, and how she implies that President Obama should not apply values, is sewer-ish. Another example of the Judith behaving as the black pot? Is the irony lost on her?

Sou Sunday 25 January 2015 2:13 pm AEDT

Judith Curry cannot help herself any more and she'll find it hard to get anyone respectable to help her. She is now a gung ho denier of the extreme kind.

I first saw it in her years ago. It was as plain as the nose on her face. I wasn't the only one. I'm aware that many scientists denied the signs of Judith Curry's denial for a long time and some probably still do. I think they just cannot accept that one of their own could do such an about face. That a senior academic could turn her back on science and malign her colleagues. Those scientists are in denial.

Remember, we're not talking mere contrarian scientist here. Judith no longer does science. We're not even talking Richard Lindzen-style denialism. He's nothing more than a mildly eccentric emeritus contrarian by comparison. We're talking full blown denial of the wacky and nasty and vitriolic kind. The sort of person who will pick up and repeat any nasty rumour, without regard for facts. Who will malign her colleagues and keep on doing so, on no grounds other than she heard someone else say something.

Here's some of Judith's latest, if you're interested (from here). Her blog is now a parody. It's every bit as bad as WUWT. Judith's nuttery is in italics. (She's totally lost it.)
The problem is that President Obama is listening to scientists that are either playing politics with their expertise, or responding to a political mandate from the administration (probably a combination of both).   Not just administrators in govt labs (e.g. Schmidt, Karl), but think of the scientist networks of John Holdren and John Podesta:  to me the scariest one one is Mann to Romm to Podesta.
That's not any pot calling a kettle black. There's only Judith, the black pot. That's political Judith unable to accept that real scientists do real science and report it. They don't make up stuff, tell lies, make a fool of themselves over simple arithmetic, or tout deniers like Senator Inhofe as being reasonable people. And her personal animosity to Professor Mann? There's got to be a back story somewhere. Did he jilt her? Did he get the job she wanted? Is it just jealousy that his hockey stick beat her hurricane? Who knows. Michael Mann is probably as bewildered by her weird obsession with him as the rest of us.

So what is wrong with President Obama’s statements as cited above?
His statement about humans having exacerbated extreme weather events is not supported by the IPCC
Oh yes it is supported by the IPCC. The latest IPCC report refers to heat waves (killing thousands of people) and intense downpours in particular. Plus droughts that have been exacerbated by the warming.

The Pentagon is confusing climate change with extreme weather (see above)
 I doubt it.

‘Climate change is real’ is almost a tautology; climate has always changed and always will, independently of anything humans do.
Oh my! Is Judith really quoting the well-worn denier meme "climate has always changed"? Sheesh!

His tweet about ‘97%’ is based on an erroneous and discredited paper [link]
Bullshit. The Cook13 paper has never been discredited. It has won awards. Nor have any of the other papers been discredited, the other papers showing that 97% of climate scientists agree that humans are causing global warming. Does Judith Curry seriously think that 97% of scientists don't agree that humans are causing global warming? What the heck does she think scientists have found is causing it. Oh, I forgot. She recently decided that it was 220% of something else that was causing global warming. We're all still waiting to learn what the 220% is. Could be Force X or the Notch.

As for ‘Denial from Congress is dangerous’, I doubt that anyone in Congress denies that climate changes.  The issue of ‘dangerous’ is a hypothetical, and relates to values (not science).
There are no deniers in Congress? More bullshit, disguised with a denierism ("climate always changes"). In the same article, Judith gave many column inches to one of the more infamous deniers in the USA - her idol Senator Inhofe.

As for the issue of "denial from Congress is dangerous" being a hypothetical and relating to values not science - yeah. I remember her being very hypothetical last year, when she wanted her city to close all the roads because of the 30% risk of a hypothetical inch of snow. A value judgement if ever there was one.

Did the 173 people who were burnt to death in the Black Saturday fires die happily knowing they were sacrificing themselves to Judith's lack of values? Was the lack of values a comfort to the people they left behind? What about the thousands who died in the heat waves in Russia and western Europe? And did all those who perished or lost their homes and livelihood in Haiyan figure they didn't count because "values"?

The President of the United States of America should not have values?

But the worst part is that Judith is basically saying that the President of the USA should not aspire to values. That he should be valueless. She wasn't quoting a scientist talking about 'denial from Congress' being 'dangerous'.  Judith was quoting one of the most powerful men in the world. One whose day-to-day decisions can determine the fate of thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of people. Sometimes millions of people. If the President of the United States of America is not meant to have values, if he is not meant to let values guide his decisions, then there is no hope for humanity.

Walking back a conspiracy theory

After enough people accused her of being the wacky conspiracy theorist she's become, Judith thought better of it and deleted one of her conspiracy theories, but left the rest. She wrote:
(JC note:  I am deleting the following text ‘the timing of  the NASA/NOAA press release on warmest year was motivated by the timing of the President’s SOTU address’)

Give the lady a medal. One conspiracy theory down, a zillion more to come.

What I don't understand

I see apparently reasonable people still commenting on Judith's blog. That's the part that I don't understand. How can they lend their support to her? I don't get it. [Not nearly as many reasonable people comment there these days, I should add. The comments are predominately from other deniers. Sou 25 Jan.]

Tim Ball does a Denier Don on the top of a very cold ice sheet in Greenland

Sou | 1:51 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Globally, what were the coldest 300 years since civilisation? In the past 10,000 years? What were the warmest and what were the coldest and how do they compare to the 21st century. It's an interesting question and one to which there doesn't seem to be a definitive answer. The best answer looks to be the coldest 300 years in the Little Ice Age.

There have not been a lot of attempts to reconstruct global surface temperatures of the entire Holocene. It's tricky. One of the hardest things is getting an indication of what has happened in the southern hemisphere. There's not much land down here compared to the northern hemisphere and the seas are deep. Still, intrepid scientists have been putting the pieces of the puzzle together.

The PAGES 2k Consortium has been working out past temperatures in different parts of the world, and reporting other aspects of past climates. It's an ongoing project.

Marcott13 was a reconstruction that caught the eye of the denialati. I don't know what it was that they didn't like about it but I think it still holds the record for the greatest number of protest articles from deniers in the shortest amount of time. Probably the fact that it showed how warm it's starting to get these days, compared to the past, didn't endear the work to the denialati.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tricks used by David Rose, denier "journalist", to deceive

Sou | 3:41 PM Go to the first of 44 comments. Add a comment

This is just a short article to show the journalistic tricks that professional disinformers use. It's excerpts from an article by denier David Rose, who is paid to write trash for the Mail, a UK tabloid of the sensationalist kind. He'd probably claim that he's just "doing his job". His job being to creates sensationalist headlines and not bother too much about accuracy, but try to do it in such a way as to stop the paper ending up in court on the wrong end of a lawsuit. Just. (The paper probably doesn't mind so much getting taken to the Press Complaints Commission. )

Here is what David Rose wrote:

The Nasa (sic) climate scientists who claimed 2014 set a new record for global warmth last night admitted they were only 38 per cent sure this was true.

First of all notice the use of the word "admitted" - as if it was something that the scientists were forced into, whereas in fact that they provided all the information in their press briefing. Notice also that David doesn't even know how to spell NASA. Then notice his straight up lie. It's not true. David has taken one number and used it out of context.  The 38% number is the probability that 2014 is the hottest year compared to the probability that 2010 and other hot years are the hottest. 2010, the next hottest year, only got a 23% probability by comparison. Here is the table showing out of 100%, what the different probabilities are:

You can see how David misused the 38% number. In fact the odds of it being the hottest year on record are the highest of the lot.

What is David's next atrocity:

In a press release on Friday, Nasa’s (sic) Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) claimed its analysis of world temperatures showed ‘2014 was the warmest year on record’.
The claim made headlines around the world, but yesterday it emerged that GISS’s analysis – based on readings from more than 3,000 measuring stations worldwide – is subject to a margin of error. Nasa (sicadmits this means it is far from certain that 2014 set a record at all.

See how David Rose distorts things. How he uses rhetoric, abusing words like "emerged" and "claim" and "admits". He is flat out lying about the "far from certain". He just made that one up. It may not be "certain", but it is much more certain than "far from".  And it is more "certain" that 2014 was the hottest year than that any other year was the hottest year.

If David Rose were arguing that you beat your wife, even though you don't, he'd probably write it up as:

The so-called scientist claims that he doesn't beat his wife. He admits that he cannot prove he doesn't beat his wife. However this journalist can show that it has emerged that his claim is subject to a margin of error.  95% of wife-beaters deny beating their wives.

And I doubt he'd add the confidence limits to the 95% number!

David Rose continues his deception writing:
Yet the Nasa (sic) press release failed to mention this, as well as the fact that the alleged ‘record’ amounted to an increase over 2010, the previous ‘warmest year’, of just two-hundredths of a degree – or 0.02C. The margin of error is said by scientists to be approximately 0.1C – several times as much.

That section by David Rose contains the same misprint of NASA (as Nasa), plus the same journalistic tricks of rhetoric, as well as a lie. The margin of error of the annual averaged global surface temperature is described in the GISS FAQ as ±0.05°C:
Assuming that the other inaccuracies might about double that estimate yielded the error bars for global annual means drawn in this graph, i.e., for recent years the error bar for global annual means is about ±0.05°C, for years around 1900 it is about ±0.1°C. The error bars are about twice as big for seasonal means and three times as big for monthly means. Error bars for regional means vary wildly depending on the station density in that region. Error estimates related to homogenization or other factors have been assessed by CRU and the Hadley Centre (among others).

If the press release didn't include any confidence limits, then where did David Rose get his numbers from? you ask. That's a very good question. It turns out that NOAA and NASA held a press conference, during which they showed some slides and explained the confidence limits, among other things. So David Rose was being very deceitful, wasn't he. Which isn't a surprise.

What bit of deception does he swing to next? Well here it is. You be the judge:
As a result, GISS’s director Gavin Schmidt has now admitted Nasa thinks the likelihood that 2014 was the warmest year since 1880 is just 38 per cent. However, when asked by this newspaper whether he regretted that the news release did not mention this, he did not respond. Another analysis, from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project, drawn from ten times as many measuring stations as GISS, concluded that if 2014 was a record year, it was by an even tinier amount. 

More rhetorical tricks using words like "admitted". More deception by David Rose tabloid denier extraordinaire. When and how and where did David Rose ask Gavin Schmidt the question? I don't know. It looks as if it was via an accusatory tweet of the type "have you stopped beating your wife", like this one:

Yet Gavin Schmidt did respond to David Rose, so it was David Rose who told the lie:

That's about it. I'll leave it to you to decide who is the grand deceiver.

I'd not trust David Rose, denier journo, with a single fact.  It is alleged that he is a master of deception. He'd probably try to claim he is just doing his job.

Deniers have lost it - utterly, completely - it's the heat!

Sou | 12:35 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Deniers have all gone completely nuts. It must be the heat.

2014 is the hottest year - and deniers protest

Since NASA and NOAA declared 2014 as the hottest year on record, there have now been six protest articles at WUWT. The latest is archived here.

David Rose at the Daily Mail kicked the deniers into stupidsville. He got his numbers up the spout and decided it was all too uncertain. He confuses deniers by writing that observations  are "subject to a margin of error". Well, duh. Of course they are. How does he know that? Well guess what - the scientists told him so. Yep, those very same scientists who told him how hot last year was. By using the trigger word "admit", David tries to kid his readers that the numbers are somehow wrong. Deniers are dumb when it comes to climate. Their brains stop working. And David Rose knows they are dumb enough to fall for word play. (Anthony Watts knows his WUWT readers are dumb. It's dumb deniers who are Anthony Watts' target market. He uses the same cheap journalist trick on them in his "claim" headlines. It works with his target audience, but that's all it works with.)

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

What never occurred to Judith Curry (and does 50% equal half?)

Sou | 1:15 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment

Update: Judith continues to talk nonsense - see below.

I find this extremely odd, coming from a climate scientist. Judith Curry wrote about the IPCC's AR5 attribution of global warming:
Until this exchange, it never occurred to me that the IPCC’s attribution statement was attempting to convey AGW attribution that was possibly outside the range of 0 to 100%.

As most people who follow climate science would know, the IPCC attributes virtually all of the warming since 1950 to human causes. Judith quotes the following statement:
It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period.

In other words, the best estimate is that we've caused all the warming.

No, Willis - WUWT is not a science site - eg CO2 in the atmosphere

Sou | 3:35 AM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

Wondering Willis Eschenbach and his fellow deniers at WUWT are a bit miffed that no-one but a science denier would ever mistake WUWT for a science site (archived here).

Willis rambles on about the importance of "public peer review", which is a laugh. WUWT isn't for "public peer review". It's for deniers to push their varying contradictory brands of pseudo-scientific claptrap, slap each other on the back and tell each other how "scientists don't know nuffin'".  At least one denier doesn't agree that WUWT is for "public peer review", which disappointed Willis no end.

What "public peer review"?

On a science site, would people who knew anything about science (or "public peer review") let the comment below stand unchallenged and uncorrected? It's been there for about two days now and not a soul commented on it. This is in the very same discussion that is claiming that WUWT is a science site for "public peer review".

Let's just clear this up once and for all. Last year was HOT!

Sou | 1:51 AM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

Deniers are busy protesting the hottest year on record. Climate disinformers are trying every trick in their book to persuade the dumb denier that it's not so. The dumb denier doesn't need persuading so it's not clear why professional disinformers bother. Perhaps it's to give them something they believe is half plausible (even though it's not). Or perhaps it's just so they can say "it's true - I read it in black and white at WUWT".

WUWT has had a few protest articles already. The latest is a repeat article from Bob Tisdale (archived here). It's not enough for Bob to bore the pants off readers - he has to do it over and over and over again. He's worried that they might have missed his message the last time because it was just one of many wrong messages in a very, very long, very tedious article, which I've covered already.

This time Bob's kept his words to a minimum (or what Bob Tisdale regards as a minimum) and managed by a miracle to stay on point - although he got the point wrong, as usual. (It must have taken a lot of self-discipline for him to do that.)

Now Bob knows that this year has been recorded as the hottest year on record. He knows that the odds of any other year having been hotter are quite low. Much lower than that this year is the hottest. And yet Bob and other deniers are all in a tizz about whether last year was the hottest or was it 2010 or 2005 and are going for full blown conspiracising - that the guvmint is trying to pull a fast one. Not on this topic they aren't.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Bob Tisdale is confused, miffed and bewildered by record hot seas at WUWT

Sou | 1:22 PM Go to the first of 49 comments. Add a comment

Update - see below - plus there's also an addendum with a map showing all the places which broke new heat records in 2014.

The record heat is causing much confusion at WUWT. Bob Tisdale in the comments invited me to write an article about his latest protest at the record hot 2014 (archived here). Well, not exactly invited, what he suggested was that rooter come here to make his points about Bob Tisdales article - twice - here and here. (Both times he finished in passive-aggressive fashion in the style of Willis Eschenbach, writing through gritted teeth "have a good day" after calling rooter a "troll".

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Heat-addled brains and a competition: Judith Curry vs Phil Plait

Sou | 4:56 PM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment

It shouldn't surprise anyone. It happens every time there's a hottest year on record. Deniers go barmy. Crazy, Round the twist. Barking mad. The heat addles their brains.

One person that may surprise, though, is Judith Curry. It won't be news to you that she's been behaving more and more like a science disinformer/denier. You know that already. No what is surprising is just how far into denial she's sunk and how far she's moved away from science of late.

Confirmed - 2014 was the hottest year on record

Sou | 3:23 AM Go to the first of 38 comments. Add a comment

NOAA and NASA have jointly confirmed 2014 as the hottest year on record. Here is the chart of GISTemp, including the latest data for December 2014:

December came in at 0.72°C, the second hottest December on record. 2006 (0.74°C), was the hottest. The previous second warmest was 2003 (which was 0.71C).  (Corrected from earlier version h/t Jim Milks). The previous hottest calendar years were 2005 at 0.65°C and 2010 at 0.66°C above the 1951-2010 mean. This year was 0.68°C above that mean, despite there being no (official) El Nino.

Andrew Freedman reported that "There is less than a 1-in-27 million chance that Earth's record hot streak is natural". Nature News has a report about the hottest year, as does Justin Gillis of the New York Times, and Chris Mooney at the Washington Post. While the Union of Concerned Scientists pinched my line about how 65% of people living today have never ever experienced a year where the global average temperature is less than the twentieth century average.

Here's a video from NASA showing how Earth has warmed since 1880 :

You can read the NOAA global report here. Some highlights:

  • During 2014, the average temperature across global land and ocean surfaces was 1.24°F (0.69°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all 135 years in the 1880–2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 2005 and 2010 by 0.07°F (0.04°C).
  • Record warmth was spread around the world, including Far East Russia into western Alaska, the western United States, parts of interior South America, most of Europe stretching into northern Africa, parts of eastern and western coastal Australia, much of the northeastern Pacific around the Gulf of Alaska, the central to western equatorial Pacific, large swaths of northwestern and southeastern Atlantic, most of the Norwegian Sea, and parts of the central to southern Indian Ocean.
  • During 2014, the globally-averaged land surface temperature was 1.80°F (1.00°C) above the 20th century average. This was the fourth highest among all years in the 1880–2014 record.
  • During 2014, the globally-averaged sea surface temperature was 1.03°F (0.57°C) above the 20th century average. This was the highest among all years in the 1880–2014 record, surpassing the previous records of 1998 and 2003 by 0.09°F (0.05°C).

If you're wondering how WUWT will handle the news, well Bob Tisdale promised an article showing how it was nothing but sunlight-fueled oceans that caused the warming, or because the oceans were hotter, or some nonsense like that. He can't or won't explain why or how this can happen when the sun isn't putting out any more energy than before. His main concern is to try to persuade anyone who'll still read his tripe that it's got nothing to do with CO2 or the greenhouse effect. His article hasn't appeared yet, but that will be the gist of it, though I expect he'll say it in many more words.

Friday, January 16, 2015

How Wondering Willis Eschenbach's religious background prevents him from understanding a scientific framework

Sou | 10:49 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment

Wondering Willis Eschenbach has been getting annoyed at science lately. I suppose it's because it's not showing what he wants to believe.

In his latest missive he loses the plot once again (archived here). He has read, but not understood the half of, a new paper just published in the early edition of science.

The Planetary Boundaries Framework

The new paper is discussing a framework, a planetary boundaries framework, by which society can be guided about what are biophysical safe limits, beyond which we should not go. That is, we should take care if we want civilisation and humans to flourish and try to stay within the safe limits.

Yes, it is a human-centric framework, devised to help decision-makers. Yet it is not a social framework. It's not about intergovernmental relations or human indices of well-being. It's a physical sciences framework. The framework is described in terms of the biophysical boundaries that are safe. Boundaries that we humans, through our actions, are pushing up against and in some cases have well and truly crossed.

The boundaries framework builds on the one proposed in a 2009 paper on the same topic. It updates the numbers and adds some discussion of regional boundaries, among other things. The planetary boundaries are illustrated in Figure 3 of the paper:

Figure 3: The current status of the control variables for seven of the nine planetary boundaries. Green zone is the safe operating space (below the boundary), yellow represents the zone of uncertainty (increasing risk), and red is the high-risk zone. The planetary boundary itself lies at the inner heavy circle. The control variables have been normalized for the zone of uncertainty (between the two heavy circles); the center of the figure therefore does not represent values of 0 for the control variables. The control variable shown for climate change is atmospheric CO2 concentration. Processes for which global-level boundaries cannot yet be quantified are represented by gray wedges; these are atmospheric aerosol loading, novel entities and the functional role of biosphere integrity. Modified from (1). Source: Steffen15

Money-mad WUWT conspiracy theorists rate low on the "care" index

Sou | 1:10 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

You know that the fans of WUWT, a climate science denying blog, are a bit potty. Did you know that they are "not nice" people as well?

There's an article today by Eric Worrall (archived here), who is a rather dull bloke from England who moved to Australia a while back. He's found a map of vulnerability to climate change and wrote that most of the countries most vulnerable are "with few exceptions, countries which are neutral to or even hostile to the USA and Western interests". He asks a question:
if we accept the map at face value, why should we care about climate change?

The countries most vulnerable to climate change are, of course, the poorest countries in the world. Unlike the wealthy, CO2-emitting nations, they are least able to afford to adapt. Eric found his map on a blog, which got it from a group known as ND-Gain at the University of Notre Dame in the USA. This is how the index is described:
A country's ND-GAIN index score is composed of a Vulnerability score and a Readiness score. Vulnerability measures a country's exposure, sensitivity and ability to adapt to the negative impact of climate change. ND-GAIN measures the overall vulnerability by considering vulnerability in six life-supporting sectors – food, water, health, ecosystem service, human habitat and infrastructure.

Here is an animation showing the ND Index, vulnerability and readiness as assessed by the ND-Gain team. Click to enlarge it:

Source: ND-GAIN

Are the poorest countries hostile to "Western interests" and the USA? Some may be, many aren't. Most of the people who live in Africa wouldn't be hostile to "Western interests". They are probably too busy trying to clothe and feed themselves to think much about "Western interests".

Take Chad, the country that rank lowest on the ND-Index scale.  From Wikipedia:
According to the 2012 U.S. Global Leadership Report, 81% of Chadians approve of U.S. leadership, with 18% disapproving and 1% uncertain, the fourth-highest rating for any surveyed country in Africa.[1]

I'm not really surprised that WUWT-ers are against foreign aid. Money dominates the thinking of many people at WUWT, as you can see from the Wattmeter in the sidebar. Most of them strongly disapprove of giving assistance to people in need. It goes against their ideology.

From the WUWT comments

Louis quite rightly points out that most vulnerable countries are at risk anyway. He's wrong if he thinks that climate change won't make things worse:
January 14, 2015 at 11:07 pm
Right. What difference does climate change make? Those countries would be “at risk” whether there is climate change or not.

Gabriel was the first to use the word "money":
January 14, 2015 at 11:32 pm
Those UK “climate experts” seems to me more socio-economist(with some marxist view). The map show in fact(with some exception) the distribution of wealth on the earth. From the global warming real risk it’s a piece of sh__t.
What want to tell us the “scientist”? the green countries must quickly send a lot of money to th red countries.
Because all it’s about money.

gbaikie followed suit:
January 14, 2015 at 11:45 pm
—All of this poses an obvious question – if we accept the map at face value, why should we care about climate change?—
Because politicians want give the enemies [problem countries] money- I mean tax payer money.
As they accustomed to buying and selling favors- and bonus is they poor and useless countries which therefore *apparently* should be dirt cheap to buy. 

andrewmharding doesn't understand the map, and can't make up his mind whether global warming is really happening or not:
January 15, 2015 at 12:18 am
I thought AGW was a global problem, it seems on the Korean peninsula that only harm happens to North Korea!! Why is Malaysia affected and not Northern Australia? UK is at least risk, with USA and China (both with bigger economies and a much bigger land area, with more diverse climate) at greater risk?
It is a crock of sh*t like anything associated with AGW! 

Krudd Gillard of the Commondebt of Australia thinks all poor people are terrorists:
January 15, 2015 at 12:24 am
This is something that really needs to be impressed on the voters in western democracies. Your tax dollars for terrorists. 

TerryS is a multi-conspiracy theorist who is scared of his own shadow:
January 15, 2015 at 2:27 am
Climate change is being used as a weapon.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it for a One World agenda.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it for more government controls.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it for the de-industrialisation of the West.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it for a socialist agenda.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it for personal gain.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it because of a genuine concern for the environment.
Some of those using climate change as weapon are using it because of a genuine concern for humanity.
Like any weapon, the use it is put to depends upon the motives of the person using it which means some motives will be altruistic, some will be selfish and some will be driven by an agenda. 

Jack is another money-mad denier:
January 15, 2015 at 2:08 am
It is a guilt map obscenely used to redistribute money. Would like to know how the nations in central Africa are going to perish from sea rise.
Also notice the Australia map is least risk but our greens convinced the Labor government to have the most onerous carbon tax in the world.
Lastly, there mission to abuse CO2 and fossil fuels as vandalising the world is going to hurt those poor countries even more.
Just airheads that can only handle one idea thrust in there by slogans at a time.

It took a lot of comments before one person decided that enough was enough, and the money-mad deniers were giving the fake sceptics a bad name. Notanist thinks "a lot" of people care, it's just that not a lot of people at WUWT who care:
January 15, 2015 at 4:11 am
I don’t understand the point of saying “why should we care?” while looking at a map of some of the world’s most impoverished countries, or of countries that are clearly and obviously friends (most of Latin America/Caribbean) etc. The last remark in the article plays into the alarmists’ worst stereotypes about skeptics.
Who cares about those countries anyway? I’m betting that quite a lot of us do, some of us even have family and second homes in some of those countries.

Gary Pearse thinks that Eric Worrall is a "very caring person" and wrote the article as a joke, except he gave no indication it was a joke. There was no "sarc" tag and the article wasn't tagged as "humour". So if Eric is a "very caring person" then he hides it well.
January 15, 2015 at 4:55 am
“Why should we care”
Look folks, it was a joke, okay? Eric, put a sarc tag for the sensitive ones. Frequent visitors to WUWT know Eric is a very caring person. 

WUWT rates at 0.46 on a scale of 10 on the care index

The sum total of comments that could be classed (generously) as caring about people who live in impoverished, vulnerable countries, was three. Three out of 68 "thoughts" cared.  If there was a care index, WUWT would rate as 0.46 on a scale of 10.

I'd say that Notanist is right to be concerned about stereotyping WUWT deniers as money-mad conspiracy theorists who don't give a damn about the rest of the world. Wouldn't you?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The stupid: a prediction fulfilled at WUWT (and sea level)

Sou | 2:21 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment

Deniers at WUWT can be really funny sometimes - if you enjoy laughing at the stupid.

The Stupid It Burns Credit: Plognark

It doesn't happen very often, but there is the odd occasion when a prediction made at WUWT will be fulfilled. Such was the case today.

Despite the winter ice, Rolf E Westgard's pants catch fire at WUWT

Sou | 1:49 AM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment

Why can't deniers just deny science? Some of them have to go further and make up stuff.

Today there's an article by someone called Rolf E. Westgard who's a petrol head as far as I can tell.  He's been featured here before, waffling on about clouds.

This time he's decided to see how many fibs he can tell in a single "guest essay". As with all good fibs, he skirts around the facts - quite a long way around. He mostly manages to avoid bumping into them.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

On opprobrium and disrespect

Sou | 3:14 AM Go to the first of 56 comments. Add a comment

See below for an addendum.

A convoluted mixed up quote from the Curry files, as seen at WUWT:
In the climate wars, those that use pejorative names for people that they disagree with are the equivalents of racists and anti-semites, and deserve opprobrium and disrespect. 

Quit calling us racist and anti-semitic, Judith, or you'll get my opprobrium and disrespect.

On second thoughts, too late.

Deniers are milking the free speech thing for all they think it's worth. I gather from their mixed up, convoluted articles, that they want to be free to say whatever nonsense pops into their head without being criticised for it. But they don't want anyone else to say whatever pops into their head.

Or maybe they are lauding the right of anyone to say whatever pops into their head. It's hard to know. At WUWT there's a stack of quotes ranging from 'deniers should be hung, drawn and quartered' (or equivalent) to 'aren't people just simply too, too awful for saying deniers should be hung, drawn and quartered' (or equivalent). It's not been made clear whether WUWT is approving all the quotes or only some of them are permitted in their own quaint version of "free speech".

Oh, and various denialist lobby groups (well, one anyway - you can guess which one) want to be invited to talk on BBC radio programs. I expect the BBC could arrange a special radio segment for climate science deniers, along with the anti-vaxxers, the pro-smoking lobby and the flat earthers.

A few years ago I had the ABC radio on while driving, and there was a long segment devoted to ghost hunters. It wasn't April 1 and the interviewer treated the shysters with courtesy and respect.

So my advice to deniers is don't give up. Push for a fake sceptic segment on your local radio station. Failing that, there's always Prison Planet and Jesse Ventura and David Icke and Breitbart and WattsUpWithThat and ClimateEtc.

(If you haven't guessed, WUWT has slowed down a lot lately, which is fine by me. The average daily post count since New Years' Day is 2.5, a long way shy of the eight or nine a day in recent months. Anthony Watts himself has all but vanished from the scene. The other nutters are left to run the nuttery.)


I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't read it myself - archived here. IMO Judith Curry has behaved more badly than Anthony Watts at his worst. If you can stomach it, read the archive. Do a search for her weird comments.

She uses the murders of cartoonists in Paris as a pretense to take another shot at Michael Mann. She calls alleged defamation "satire", arguing people who defame are merely exercising their right to free speech. She doesn't have a clue about what is allowable as free speech. Would she think the same if someone wrote an article in the press claiming she committed scientific fraud? Multiple times? What if they added an aside about child molesters?

She labels as the equivalent of racist and anti-semitic, people who refer to climate science deniers as such and says it is "very sad" to see scientists behaving like that. She seems to be oblivious to the inconsistency. She refers to people who accept science as "warmists" and "alarmists" and then goes on to write: "When person A calls person B a ‘denier’ or any other pejorative word, in my opinion they deserve disrespect, in the context of the broader discussion in my piece."

Even hard-boiled deniers recognise the difference between murdering people, defamation and free speech, and have tried to point this out to Judith. Judith is so mired in her personal dislike of Michael Mann that she can no longer see straight. That plus her ideology looks to have taken such a hold that she has lost her grasp of science.

Perhaps the biggest visible sign of how low Judith has sunk is that she left this gross disgusting cartoon up on her blog for more than a day. I didn't comment on it earlier because I assumed she would remove it when she saw it. She didn't. Even her fans thought she would remove it.

It appears that nothing is too gross or vulgar for Judith these days. If you thought she'd lost it before, then see where she is now.

Finally, she is being caught out by her own words and has succumbed to criticism of inconsistency or whatever, and put back up her sky dragon slayer articles, which she'd removed some time ago.

Sou 14 January 2015

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Disgusting deniers: wanting "freedom of speech" to spread climate disinformation

Sou | 6:38 PM Go to the first of 30 comments. Add a comment

At WUWT there is another distasteful cartoon in the style of the Heartland Institute's murderers and terrorists posters (archived here). The WUWT article and cartoon by Josh, draws a fake analogy between the massacre of the Paris-based cartoonists and the so-called "rights" of deniers to defame scientists and spread disinformation. (Deniers don't complain about WUWT banning people, in fact one of the worst offending would-be censors, a sock-puppeting moderator at WUWT, denies that, too.)

Here is what xkcd has to say about free speech (h/t BW):

Suck it up, deniers!

Wondering Willis Eschenbach makes more mischief with volcanoes

Sou | 3:52 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Wondering Willis Eschenbach has a well-earned reputation for wandering off on a tangent and avoiding scientific research. He's done the same today at WUWT (archived here, latest here). He decided that two recent papers relating to volcanic forcing are "wrong". Not because he took any notice of the content of the papers - he didn't. Not because he took any notice of the observations reported. He didn't. He decided to reject the months of hard work by multiple scientists, on the basis of his own five minutes of "research".

Climate models and volcanic forcing

The two papers found evidence of volcanic forcing, coming from two different perspectives:
  • Observed increase in Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Depth (SAOD) since 2005 (Ridley14)
  • Multiple signals of volcanic forcing in sea surface temperature, atmospheric water vapour,  net clear-sky short-wave radiation, and elsewhere (Santer14)

One of the main points the scientists emphasised was that the CMIP5 models mostly assumed there was zero change in stratospheric volcanic forcing after 2000. They show that this assumption is not valid. Since 2005 in particular, there has been significant volcanic forcing, based on observations.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Neil Catto, an innumerate from WUWT, visits Central England

Sou | 5:11 AM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment

The people who inhabit deniersville are strangely attracted to central England. They are fascinated by the surface temperature there. Today there's an article at WUWT by Neil Catto (archived here). Don't ask me who Neil Catto is - I haven't a clue.  His main claim to fame is that he was awarded the "dumbest article of the day" by HotWhopper in 2013 for innumeracy. He hasn't learned a thing.  Here is some of what he wrote this time around:
The CET record started in 1659 close to the minimum of the little ice age. As such, it is with no surprise that last year (2014) was the warmest on record. It would appear to be a natural recovery. The monthly mean temperature of 8.87 Deg C in 1659 has increased to 10.95 Deg C in 2014; which equates to 0.06 Deg C/decade.

Neil has a strange way of looking at things, doesn't he. The second sentence does not follow from the first. What would cause the temperature to rise after the Little Ice Age? Neil doesn't give any clues at all. He just thinks it would. All by itself. Neil believes in magic bouncing temperatures.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Disappearing "it's the sun" at WUWT

Sou | 12:14 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment

Every now and then, well just about every day, Anthony Watts provides evidence that supports what his good buddy, Willis Eschenbach, wrote about him:
"So it is not Anthony’s job to determine whether or not the work of the guest authors will stand the harsh light of public exposure. ... . Even if Anthony had a year to analyze and dissect each piece, he couldn’t do that job."

Today Anthony seems to have decided that a paper published in the Royal Society Proceedings  B will not stand the harsh light of public exposure. Or not at WUWT at any rate. It's getting a modest amount of exposure elsewhere - like at RichardDawkins.net and at livescience.com and at wunderground.com and at medicaldaily.com, and even at ChinaDaily.com.cn.

Anthony published an article by David "funny sunny" Archibald. For a change it was a fairly straight bit of reporting although I won't vouch for the WUWT diagrams.

Anthony had the WUWT article up for a while, attracting at least 58 "thoughts", but now it's disappeared. It could simply be a glitch in the WUWT system, of course. Someone might have accidentally deleted it. The evidence in favour of that is that Anthony's tweet about it was still up when I last looked.

The paper was about a study of people born in Norway between between 1676 and 1878. The abstract makes a strong claim, stronger than some might think is warranted. It states:
...we show that solar activity (total solar irradiance) at birth decreased the probability of survival to adulthood for both men and women.

If you're scratching your head at this point, it's because the wording is sloppy and imprecise.  What they meant to say was that people born at a time in the solar cycle when there was highest solar activity, had a decreased probability of survival to adulthood.

What the scientists are arguing is that when there is more sunspot activity then it affects pregnant women, and there is higher infant mortality. People born during solar minima will, on average, live about five years longer than people born during a solar max.

There are lots of ifs and buts etc. The authors found a correlation between solar cycles and survival, and they attempted to see if there was causation. They eliminated some factors and suggested it was because of "folate degradation during pregnancy caused by UVR".

These authors weren't the first to see a correlation between sunspot activity and human life span. There was a study in 1993 that found a correlation too. Except it wasn't to do with infant mortality, it was a study of adults.

Anyway, thought I'd just put it out there. Firstly because WUWT apparently decided it wasn't suitable for climate science deniers. (Is that because they think more sun is good for you, whereas this study suggests that less sun might be better - if you are poor and live in Norway?)

Also because it's the sort of paper that invites lots of scepticism, of the real kind - not the fake kind you get at WUWT.

(Also because, while I'm flat out on other things, I didn't want to totally neglect HotWhopper - and this didn't take long to write :D)

Gine Roll Skjærvø, Frode Fossøy, Eivin Røskaft. "Solar activity at birth predicted infant survival and women's fertility in historical Norway" Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2014.2032 (open access)

Juckett, David A., and Barnett Rosenberg. "Correlation of human longevity oscillations with sunspot cycles." Radiation research 133, no. 3 (1993): 312-320. (paywalled here)

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

The relevance of (climate) models - increasing understanding

Sou | 2:15 AM Go to the first of 117 comments. Add a comment

Climate science deniers in the main, do not understand why models are used in science. Nor do they typically understand how they are used, or how they are constructed.

Today Wondering Willis Eschenbach demonstrated this quite well (archived here). He wrote about a recent article in Science, by Professor Alex Hall. The article was discussing the merits and limitations of using General Circulation Models (GCMs) to model regional climate change, through a process known as down-scaling.

In his article, Dr Hall describes downscaling as follows:
The concept behind downscaling is to take a coarsely resolved climate field and determine what the finer-scale structures in that field ought to be. In dynamical downscaling, GCM data are fed directly to regional models. Apart from their finer grids and regional domain, these models are similar to GCMs in that they solve Earth system equations directly with numerical techniques. Downscaling techniques also include statistical downscaling, in which empirical relationships are established between the GCM grid scale and finer scales of interest using some training data set. The relationships are then used to derive finerscale fields from the GCM data.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

More dumb disinformer tactics at WUWT: From China to the world

Sou | 2:41 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment

Climate disinformers like Anthony Watts (who runs a pseudo-science blog, wattsupwiththat (WUWT)), use various tactics to keep climate science deniers happy. Today a single sentence combines several propaganda tactics used by climate disinformers.

Anthony Watts (archived here) has a lead-in to a press release about two papers about temperature reconstructions in the South China Sea. He wrote:
While government science and media begin the ramp-up to claim 2014 as the “hottest year ever” China’s Sea’s biggest bivalve shows that the Middle Ages were warmer than today, when Carbon Dioxide was lower.

Ironically (because of deniers' distaste of communism and 'guvmint'), but not unusually, he went to the People's Republic of China for the press release he copied and pasted.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Logic fail x 2: Anthony Watts is confusingly disappointed with Pope Francis

Sou | 7:34 AM Go to the first of 86 comments. Add a comment

Anthony Watts runs a pseudo-science blog called wattsupwiththat, sometimes known as WUWT. Let's just see what's up with this.

Pope Francis has made various pronouncements on science lately, endorsing the Big Bang, evolution and climate science - as reported by Chris Mooney at the Washington Post.

Logic Fail 1.

"Galilee" by Ottavio Leoni
French WP
Source: Wikimedia Commons
Anthony says he is disappointed with Pope Francis, and this is his convoluted, back-to-front, upside-down reasoning. He wrote:
As a Catholic myself, I’m disappointed in this stance, especially since it seems out of place with doctrines of the past where there Church denounced many issues of science through its history, only to later admit they erred, jumped to conclusions, and admitted such errors in judgment decades or centuries later.
For example, it only took the Catholic church 359 years to decide that Galileo was right after all, and that the Earth DOES in fact revolve around the Sun.

Because it took the Catholic Church 359 years to "decide Galileo was right after all" - except:

  • the link that Anthony provided wasn't to an article where the Catholic Church decided Galileo was right, it was about the Church deciding that the Church was wrong to condemn him, and that the Church did him a wrong.
  • even were Anthony's wrong interpretation right, he is arguing that the Church was wrong to reject the science in the past, and in this situation, where the Pope is accepting the science, the Pope is wrong.

Got that? Ha. If you're a denier you won't get it. If you're a clear, logical thinker you'll be thinking that Anthony Watts has not a logical bone in his body - or that his head is pure bone, or something like that.

Logic Fail 2.

Anyway, all Anthony really wanted to say is what he got to finally, in his last point. He's going to ignore what the Pope says - because Anthony is a science denier. He wrote:
I plan to ignore the Pope and its science panel, as many are likely to do given their track record on getting science wrong in almost every case where science and religion have collided through history,
Except once again, science and religion aren't colliding are they. The Pope is agreeing with the science. Double logic fail.

Oh - what a confused little man is Anthony Watts. Will he be denying evolution, the Big Bang and maybe even his religion next? Because if the Pope is right then the science must be wrong - or something like that.

From the WUWT comments

First up was a sensible comment from John fisk, who wrote:
January 4, 2015 at 11:04 am
As population must be one of the biggest drivers of increasing CO2 , then you would expect him to pass an edict allowing birth control?

With a name like Danny Thomas I'm not surprised he comes out in the Pope's defense - somewhat:
January 4, 2015 at 11:16 am
Just thinking out loud. Why don’t we wait to see what the Pope has to say and address it specifically to see what portions are reasonable, and what portions are not?

ConTrari wonders what it will take for Anthony to lose his faith - his religion, that is. Anthony has no faith in science:
January 4, 2015 at 11:17 am
Dear Anthony, this is just a simple thought from a baffled (although not very practising) Protestant; how can one ignore the words of the supreme leader of one’s faith, without losing faith?
Just a question, no need to answer, lest we veer into the murky dephts of religious debate. 

The Expulsive thinks that humans trashing the environment is "part of His plan" (Him being the Christian's God). He's also a conspiracy theorist of the One World Guvmint/New World Order type:
January 4, 2015 at 11:38 am
How does a man who represents an omnipotent being not accept that this may be part of His plan? Or is this related to the ability of man to choose?
And how does anyone educated person believe an agency like the UN, dominated by regimes that don’t respect basic human rights or abide by the rule of law, is interested in anything more than power? 

That's all the comments there are so far. Well, I didn't copy them all. There are only 13 comments.  I'll keep an eye on it because going by what's been posted so far, there could be some gems.


There aren't too many gems after all. The general consensus is that the Pope is wrong because he's a communist or at best a progressive who wants to redistribute wealth to the poor. The fact that he wants to "redistribute money" (as the WUWT-ers put it) is his biggest crime, naturally enough. (The new testament be damned - by the WUWT folk.)

There are a few people who seem mighty puzzled though. Especially so since it's WUWT. I'd say that the Pope's stance is likely to affect some fence-sitters.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Defamation tricks: "Slur and Slurp"

Sou | 2:27 AM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment

WUWT is one of the main disseminators of lies about scientists in the climate blogosphere. Anthony Watts has, at times, tried the defense that he doesn't read what goes up on his blog. As publisher, I doubt would hold up in court. In any case, he also is a source of some of the lies about science and scientists.

Today he provides another illustration of how climate disinformers try to cement a lie as "fact" in the minds of their readers. Anthony Watts published an article by Tim Ball (archived here). In it he tells so many lies and misrepresents so many people I reckon it could almost form the basis of a class action suit, if scientists decided to do so.

Tim Ball can't even get his lies right!

Let me add, that Tim Ball can't even keep his lies straight. His opening sentence is:
The most recent aberration of climate science is the apparent cherry picking of ocean temperature data by government scientists, Richard Feely and Christopher Sabine. 
Except the lie about Drs Feely and Sabine related to pH not temperature.

"Slur and Slurp" strategy

This article isn't about ocean acidification. It's about how climate disinformers spread lies. In particular, the use of the "slur and slurp" strategy, which is quite simple:
  1. The slur: Plant the seed of the lie in enough places
  2. Eventually someone will water the seed and it will grow and bear fruit
  3. Sit back smugly and slurp the fruits of your sins.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Why aren't all the fish dead? Willis Eschenbach on marine biology

Sou | 11:42 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment

See also Update 2 below.

Deniers at WUWT are busy protesting ocean acidification right now. Since 23 December there have now been five protest articles, four of which were arguably defamatory.  That's not including the silly WUWT articles on OCO-2, some of which are of peripheral relevance to the subject.

I've written a couple of articles about this latest spate of protests already (here and here), and at the risk of overloading on one topic, I couldn't resist another. Wondering Willis Eschenbach is so full of it.

Today Willis goes berserk. He's written one of the silliest articles I've read in a while at WUWT. He's pretending to be an expert on marine biology. His qualifications? He goes fishing sometimes. Well one thing is for sure, he might be able to catch and kill fish, but he certainly knows nothing about the biology and chemistry of the oceans.

Verum in obscuro no more: Is OAS, WUWT's secretive open society about to reveal itself to the world?

Sou | 12:09 AM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment

Every now and then at WUWT there is a hopeful comment (usually unanswered) asking about the mysterious society: "The Open Atmospheric Society" or OAS (but not the other OAS). There is irony in the name, because despite the word "open", as far as I am aware not a single person has ever been identified as a founder or board member or executive director or other employee. It's a secret open society.

But all that secrecy is about to end. Today's the day when all should be revealed. Here's some background to whet your appetite and tide you over while you wait with breathless anticipation.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Predictions for 2015

Sou | 9:02 AM Go to the first of 27 comments. Add a comment

At the turn of the year some people make New Year's resolutions, others look back on the year just gone, while others (or the same people) make predictions for the year ahead. I was reminded of this when I read an article on the ABC, about how many predictions are wrong. It didn't discuss the ones that were right.

So here are some predictions in black and white, so you can look back at the end of this year and see what a bad predictor I am :)

This year, there will be:

  • At least one article at WUWT predicting an "ice age cometh"
  • No articles at WUWT looking at all the failed predictions of deniers
  • Nary a peep about Force X and the Notch at Jo Nova's (unless it's from a reader) As William Connolley reports - already failed!
  • Several articles and many more comments on denier blogs about how the poor need coal to better themselves
  • At least one more person banned from HotWhopper, who will end up sending a stream of increasingly incoherent and abusive one-liners (that you probably won't get to read, so that one will be hard to prove one way or another)
  • At least one article written by Anthony Watts himself, of equal or greater absurdity to Russian Steampipes and Airport UHI Disease
  • At least one new scientific paper that will generate more than ten protest articles at WUWT
  • At least one article by David Rose of the Daily Mail, misrepresenting Arctic sea ice
  • Several articles by Judith Curry in which she urges no action to mitigate global warming, illogically - because of "uncertainty"
  • No articles at Judith Curry's blog pronouncing the death of the stadium wave
  • Several articles from Bob Tisdale at WUWT claiming it's not CO2, it's only warming because it's getting hotter
  • A build up of protest at denier blogs as COP21 in Paris draws near.

Feel free to add your own predictions. If I remember (or if I'm reminded) we can look at them at the end of the year.

Know your data - ocean acidification again

Sou | 5:55 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
There's been another article (archived here) on the World Ocean Database (WOD) pH data, which was previously the subject of a wrong and malicious article alleging fraud. (Levitis et al (2013) provides an introduction and background to the database.)

It's kept some of the deniers at WUWT busy examining the data - and some who aren't deniers, too. While others just transferred via keyboard whatever random thought popped into their head.

My apologies in advance. This is another too long article - I got carried away playing with a new toy I found. Click read more if you want.