Friday, June 5, 2015

NOAA global temperature paper prompts a torrent of paranoid conspiracies at WUWT

Sou | 6:09 PM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment
If you ever want to get overloaded with conspiracy ideation, just go to a denier blog. It's almost unbelievable that there really are people whose first thought, when they think "climate science" is: it's a hoax; scientists are faking it. Some might argue that it's just that gullible people who are fed lies are being deceived. I don't see it as that. It's that people go to disinformation sites because it's only there that they will find what they want to believe. The visitors to conspiracy theory sites are by nature prone to conspiracy ideation.

This article won't interest everyone. It documents the conspiratorial and illogical reaction to climate science that you read every day on anti-science blogs. This article is a record of some of the reaction to the new NOAA paper on global surface temperature. You can read the main article about Karl15, if you want to know what caused such a knee-jerk response of conspiratorial thinking in the deniosphere.

Responses to NOAA paper from selected scientists

First, some responses from scientists to Karl15 (see the main HW article here). This first lot of responses are from the Australian Science Media Centre. See the list of links under the main article for some other responses. You might notice the slightly more equivocal (defensive?) responses come from scientists in the UK.

There’s nothing all that new in this paper and nothing that surprises me. The bottom line is that multiple data sets and multiple lines of evidence have shown that global warming hasn’t stalled at all. This is another paper adding to this evidence. - Professor Matthew England, Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at UNSW

...This suggests that the much-discussed recent slowdown in global temperatures is far less pronounced than previously thought. In addition, estimates of climate sensitivity constrained by past observations may need a slight upwards revision, increasing the risk of negative consequences from our warming climate in future. - Dr Ed Hawkins, climate scientist at NCAS, University of Reading

A whole cottage industry has been built by climate skeptics on the false premise that there is currently a hiatus in global warming. This is despite climate data showing continued warming of the Earth surface. Much of the media have latched on to this supposed slow-down as it continues the ‘for and against’ climate change debate. The weight of evidence for anthropogenic climate change is overwhelming and this new study shows that the global warming hiatus was just wishful thinking. - Prof Mark Maslin, Professor of Climatology at University College London

This reassessment of global temperatures, which gives that there has been no pause or slowdown in surface warming since 1998, is very important as it comes from an extremely well regarded group at a US Government laboratory. It has been known that the storage of the excess heat caused by increased greenhouse gases has continued, and it had been thought that the reduction in surface warming must be due to natural variation in the heat exchanged between the atmosphere and ocean. Now it appears that any such exchange of heat between the atmosphere and ocean has not been large enough to obscure the global warming trend, even in the relatively short period we have so far had in the 21st century. It also suggests that some of the lower estimates of warming that depend on the low trend in recent temperatures may no longer be credible. - Prof Sir Brian Hoskins, Chair of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College London

...Nevertheless, I would caution against dismissing the slowdown in surface warming on the basis of this study, nor to downplay the role of natural decadal variability for short-term trends in climate. There are other datasets that still support a slowdown over some recent period of time, and there are intriguing geographical patterns such as cooling in large parts of the Pacific Ocean that were used to support explanations for the warming slowdown. It will be interesting to see if these patterns are still present in the revised NOAA dataset (the new paper shows only the global average temperature). Furthermore, a key feature of the apparent slowdown in surface warming was that it left the observed warming close to the bottom of the range of climate model projections of warming during the last few years at least. The newly revised NOAA data can be used to update that comparison, though it’s not likely to resolve that issue. - Prof Tim Osborn, Professor of Climate Science at the University of East Anglia

...Overall this study demonstrates the importance of further work in narrowing down uncertainties in global temperature datasets and in better understanding climate variability. These are areas the Met Office has been working on for a number of years. The numbers in this study are within the uncertainty ranges calculated in our own global temperature dataset and we’re in the midst of a long-term project to further improve and narrow down our understanding of uncertainties. Understanding variability in the rate of global average surface warming is an ongoing and active research topic. - Dr Peter Stott, Head of Climate Monitoring and Attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre

The results and conclusions reached by Thomas Karl and others are certainly in accord with what we are seeing amongst the world’s glaciers, where melting – retreat or thinning – is taking place very widely. The results are also consistent with broader disruptions in the global climate system that the world’s people are feeling. The idea being pushed blindly by some with vested interests that somehow the planet is not responding to continued emissions of greenhouse gases doesn’t make sense from a simple physics viewpoint; but the climate-change denialism also doesn’t sit well with people who can read the newspaper and watch the TV news about climate change in action and who can recognize the effects in their own experiences. - Prof Jeffrey Kargel, Glaciologist at the University of Arizona

This is a careful and persuasive analysis, and I think shows clearly that the so-called ‘hiatus’ does not exist and that global warming has continued over the past few years at the same rate as in earlier years. - Prof Peter Wadhams, Professor of Ocean Physics at the University of Cambridge

And from realclimate.org:

This kind of update happens all the time as datasets expand through data-recovery efforts and increasing digitization, and as biases in the raw measurements are better understood. However, this update is going to be bigger news than normal because of the claim that the ‘hiatus’ is no more. To understand why this is perhaps less dramatic than it might seem, it’s worth stepping back to see a little context...The harrumphing from the usual quarters has already started. The Cato Institute sent out a pre-rebuttal even before the paper was published, replete with a litany of poorly argued points and illogical non-sequiturs. From the more excitable elements, one can expect a chorus of claims that raw data is being inappropriately manipulated. The fact that the corrections for non-climatic effects reduce the trend will not be mentioned. Nor will there be any actual alternative analysis demonstrating that alternative methods to dealing with known and accepted biases give a substantially different answer (because they don’t). - Dr Gavin Schmidt of GISS NASA

Reaction from WUWT deniers and disinformers

In stark contrast to the above are WUWT comments demonstrating the conspiratorial and illogical thinking in response to Karl15. These are from the WUWT "thoughts" written under the most calm response to Karl15 at WUWT, an article by Ross McKitrick (archived here). Notice the conspiratorial comments from Pat Michaels who is employed by the denier lobby group, the CATO Institute. I've highlighted some of the key conspiratorial phrases in bold italics.

Conspiracy theory: scientists will do anything for money

Ted G  June 4, 2015 at 12:26 pmRoss
The hiatus in global warming is provable, a fact but that is not enough for the doom and gloom crowd. After all if it is this is the case, they will have to get real jobs and no more exotic travel junkets!

Conspiracy theory: scientists will do anything for fame

Mike Smith  June 4, 2015 at 2:03 pm
Karl et al wanted their 15 minutes of fame. And they got it.
The end.

Conspiracy theory: Scientists will fake results for political masters or political agenda

pat michaels  June 4, 2015 at 3:23 pm (excerpt)
It is useful because Karl’s boss needed the result. They are obviously getting hurt by the pause. He doesn’t care that the fact that he raised all the buoy data by .12degC, coupled to the fact that the number of buoy datapoints is increasing compared to the intake data, MUST induce a warming trend....The truth does not matter to Obama Administration scientists.

kim  June 4, 2015 at 5:38 pm
This is monstrously perverse inquiry. What, in Gaia’s name, made them think this was scientific rather than politically useful information? I shudder to think they ignored that calculus in their deliberations. How much madness and evil can this discipline, and the policy it has misbegotten, stand?

Salvatore Del Prete  June 4, 2015 at 4:36 pm
The only data that matters is data that is not agenda driven which is satellite data. End of story. 

joelobryan  June 4, 2015 at 6:13 pm (excerpt)
That AAAS and Science Mag would publish such an arguably piece of garbage, confirmation-biased result of K15 speaks volumes to the levels of political corruption that has invaded the AAAS. 

mem  June 4, 2015 at 6:35 pm (excerpt)
Propaganda in Action?
Should anyone wonder how the mainstream media will respond to this new paper they needn’t go any further than the AustralianScienceMediaCentre. This site coordinates pre-prepared responses from a range of selected scientists. Remarkably these all give credibility to the warmist cause. (Goebbels would be proud of what amounts to a scientific propaganda filtering for journalists.) This organisation has been duplicated in other countries so performs a global propaganda purpose which appears to be strongly influenced by the UN and left. I recommend anyone who cares about freedom of scientific thought and the media goes to this site now and see for themselves how this operates. 

joelobryan  June 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm
The behavior of a politicized executive branch agency under the Obama Administration is by now to be expected. The Obama Admin mantra is firmly in the “If you aren’t lying, you aren’t rying” realm.
No, the real takeaway for me is that credibility of the AAAS is on hiatus, and possibly may fall fatally off the cliff in a few years when the fraud of this pseudoscience is exposed. 

Conspiracy theory: Climate science is a scam, a hoax (general)

pat michaels  June 4, 2015 at 7:14 pm
Ross is amazingly polite, both in print and in person. I do not know how he does it, given the magnitude of the bull$hit he is documenting.

Stephen Richards  June 4, 2015 at 1:11 pm
You see how the FIFA scam is unravelling. They are all turning on each other to save their themselves from prison. Well that’s how the AGW scam will end, I HOPE. These scam all end eventually and very often in super quick time. Like a cascade.

Brian R  June 4, 2015 at 1:48 pm (excerpt)
...Or, they could just be working for The Team in trying to remove or reduce the impact that “The Pause” has had on the psyche of the believers and non-believers alike.

carbon-based life form  June 4, 2015 at 1:57 pm
Of course the record reflects continued warming, just add fudge.

Bill Illis  June 4, 2015 at 2:08 pm (excerpt)
We all know this simply a continuation of the process to adjust the temperature trend higher and higher to postpone the day of reckoning and having to face self-introspection.

Neo  June 4, 2015 at 2:15 pm
The Tobacco Institute would be proud of this work product.
The data was tortured until they got the answer they wanted. Proof that torture doesn’t work.

Thomas  June 4, 2015 at 8:36 pm
“skeptics have placed an awful lot of faith in the argument no warming for 18 years.” Because the satellite temperature records show just that. They can fiddle with super uncertain ground based measurements but they can’t fiddle the satellite data. We don’t “place an awful to of faith.” We just read the numbers and calculate the trends. NOAA and NASA ignore the most precise state-of-the-art data set. That is very odd … Okay, maybe not. Witch doctors and faith healers have no faith in modern medical imaging technology.

steve in seattle  June 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm
All the more reason to look at RSS and UAH ONLY, all the rest is manipulation, adjusting and homogenizing so as to keep the faith in their ” religion “. Counter their fraud in the MSM to the extent you / we can ! 

franktoo  June 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm (excerpt)
Their conclusions are settled and the data says whatever they want it to say

pochas  June 4, 2015 at 4:07 pm
Data fiddling is never justified. Too much potential for bias confirmation. If the data is not suited for purpose, get new data. We have plenty of time. 

Chuck Wiese  June 4, 2015 at 4:14 pm
...Another cheap and dishonest attempt to change and fake the history of the climate so as to save these shameless scientists from the throttling they deserve in helping the government steal from the public and enrich themselves in the continued taking.
Chuck Wiese

hunter  June 4, 2015 at 4:39 pm
Twisting the knobs and torturing the data until they get the pre-selected answer. 

M Seward  June 4, 2015 at 4:46
Is this as big a fiddle as the Hockeyschtik? Basically the same device, data manipulation, to achieve the same end, get rid of an inconvenient historical record.
The best explanation is that pre ARGO the SST data was not fit to yield a global aggregate figure other than to say 0.5 or 1.0˚C say. Using it for identifying the sorts of variations and trends being sought is fundamentally flawed and so obviously so that in all honesty it should not have been attempted let alone relied on in any way. Using as a basis for policy is therefore utterly lunatic and you might be better off reading sheep’s entrails. 

Salvatore Del Prete  June 4, 2015 at 4:49 pm 
This is so agenda driven and does not deserve discussion. Their adjustments of the data are a fabrication of the truth and as far as I am concern are a non issue. Many reliable sources from Weatherbell Inc., to satellite data, to radiosonde data paint an entirely different correct truthful picture in contrast to the BS of the AGW agenda supporters.

Andres Valencia  June 4, 2015 at 6:28 pm 
Thanks, Dr. McKitrick. Good explanation.
Karl et al. is trying to rewrite the climate records to revive a dead parrot, so to speak. 

durango12  June 4, 2015 at 7:59 pm 
It is of course unabashed data buggering. The only question is whether these people believe their own manipulations or are they out and out liars. 

Neo June 4, 2015 at 8:21 pm 
The real takeaway from this paper isn’t whether or not the hiatus is real or not.
The real takeaway is that the folks at NOAA et al can use and abuse statistics to make the numbers say virtually anything. The could even tweet the numbers to make AGE go away.

joelobryan  June 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm 
The behavior of a politicized executive branch agency under the Obama Administration is by now to be expected. The Obama Admin mantra is firmly in the “If you aren’t lying, you aren’t rying” realm.
No, the real takeaway for me is that credibility of the AAAS is on hiatus, and possibly may fall fatally off the cliff in a few years when the fraud of this pseudoscience is exposed. 

Logical fallacy: only one part of the system can heat up with greenhouse warming

Aphan  June 4, 2015 at 2:30 pm 
So, I’m confused. If this paper is correct, doesn’t this mean that Trenberth and Co. were flat wrong about the heat being “missing” at all, and thus wrong about deep ocean warming? Wouldn’t it make a laughing stock of the entire climate science A Team because it was laying on the surface of the ocean all along and they’ve bent themselves into pretzels trying to explain something that never existed? Doesn’t it mean skeptics are free to apply random adjustments that cool the trend if they see fit? How on Earth does NASA think this makes them look like anything except idiots?

Logical fallacy: the strawman - scientists do not say "all the science is settled", plus the observations are in situ - from data collectors on ships and buoys on the sea surface.

franktoo  June 4, 2015 at 3:12 pm (excerpts)
Ross: Given satellite coverage, don’t we have one homogeneous source of SST data for since 1980 that doesn’t require adjustment. Doesn’t it show slower warming since 1998 than before?
...Then they have the audacity to say climate science is “settled”. Their conclusions are settled and the data says whatever they want it to say. If the hiatus can disappear by tweaking some adjustments, the main conclusion should have been that climate science has placed too much confidence in all of their results!
A real SCIENTIST who wanted to improve the SST temperature record would get his a$$ out from behind his computer and into the laboratory – by sailing around the world for a year or more measuring SST and MAT with a variety of current and historic methods. Then maybe we would have a scientific basis for combining a variety of incompatible records and calculating the uncertainty inherent in that process.

Selective belief: selecting information that supports a belief and rejecting everything else

steve in seattle  June 4, 2015 at 2:57 pm 
All the more reason to look at RSS and UAH ONLY, all the rest is manipulation, adjusting and homogenizing so as to keep the faith in their ” religion “. Counter their fraud in the MSM to the extent you / we can !

Logical fallacy: based on ignorance - tide gauge records are adjusted for pressure and land movement, among other things
Steve Case  June 4, 2015 at 3:14 pm 
You know what’s interesting? There seems to be no limit to the amount of temperature adjusting to various sources of manual temperature recording shipboard or land based. But as near as I can tell, manual records of sea level from tide gauges hasn’t been touched. I wonder if there is any sort of an assault on those records by people who wish they said something other than what they do. I know that the sea level data from satellites is regularly adjusted.

References and further reading

Thomas R. Karl, Anthony Arguez, Boyin Huang, Jay H. Lawrimore, James R. McMahon, Matthew J. Menne, Thomas C. Peterson, Russell S. Vose, Huai-Min Zhang. "Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus." http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/recent 4 June 2015. doi:10.1126/science.aaa5632 (subs req'd)

A First Look at Ross McKitrick's "A First Look" by Alexander Coulter at Michigan Secular Student Alliance

Related from HotWhopper


  1. If you look at these comments, it simply boggles the mind why that psychology paper retracted the Lewandowsky paper.

    1. Exactly my first thought, Neven. But Frontiers was bullied into that retraction decision (I agree it was a bad decision) by a few of the usual very vocal deniers threatening them with legal action. Apparently, analysing comments made on public forums is the same as breaching patient/psychiatrist confidentiality. Who knew?

      Also, the way Frontiers is structured is like a MLM scheme, so the people at the top were afraid of losing part of their revenue stream:


    2. On Kurt Mathieson's Guardian article about NOAA's paper, some commenter gave a link to this self-published e-book as an "authoritative source".


      The author is anonymous and uses the name "Polar Vortex". A quick look at the first chapter and it's obviously someone who had compiled denier blog posts and faked graphs for his sources. A fantastic example of the Dunning Kruger effect and conspiracy ideation.

    3. Ceist,
      Did you read the Preface? An excerpt from the book:

      Admittedly, I have not read extensively in the more technical areas of climate science; nor do I intend to as frankly this is a field that has never interested me. Aside from the controversy which is the subject of this book, it still does not interest me much,. My concern, at the moment, is not with the mastery of this field but evaluating some of the more troubling claims being expressed by climate scientists, claims I consider unwarranted and also extremely dangerous.

      It reads like a parody of a Dunning-Kruger paper.

  2. Those conspiracy nutters can get pretty vicious, obsessive and relentless when exposed by people like Lewandowsky. Maybe the publishers didn't want the headache dealing with hysterical legal threats from a horde of nutters.

  3. Thanks for the quotes from other scientists on the paper Sou.

  4. Oh this one is rich, truly the finest cry of outrage to date:


    1. And the potty peer adds his unique form of nuttery to the fray.

      Is that 6 protest articles or 7 now on WUWT?

    2. Still has a ways to go to catch up with the number of protest articles about Lewandowsky et. al.'s Recursive Fury paper. I recall there being something like 22 protest articles about that on WUWT alone.

      But... it's early days yet :-)

    3. Or the 21 or so whining about Marcott et al 2013.

    4. Sou - whatever ad you have showing up on your page right under the recent comments keeps grabbing my browser (Chrome) and scrolling to the ad video instead of what I'm reading. Most annoying...

    5. Sorry about that KR. If you send me an email and describe the advert that's causing the problem, I'll see if I can block it.

    6. This comment has been removed by the author.

    7. AdBlock Plus works great! And oh yeah, he has another one up from S. Fred. At this rate he'll make it to 17 before the end of the day!

    8. Although there may be a slight underestimate to the slope he shows, I like the way Monckton fits a line to temperature data of unknown source (claimed to be Argo data from 70°S to 70°N and 0 to 1900 m, but the temperature scale and annual variation shows it cannot be that), derives a warming rate of 0.023°C/decade and then calls that "barely warming". Even that warming rate, pulled out of who knows what data, is equivalent to a minimum of 7x10^21 J/year of ocean heat accumulation.

    9. And this immence heat accumulation would result in a temperature increase of what magnitude exactly?

  5. I wonder if Patrick Michaels from the Cato Institute (and a member of the evangelical Cornwall Alliance) pray to Jesus after every bare-faced lie he tells?

  6. Let's not forget that the poor old numpties don't have much choice here: either a very large part of all they have said for the last decade is wrong or this paper is wrong. Without the hiatus that never was they are left with some emails that don't say what they claimed and accusations of temperature adjustments that don't make sense if you know what the net effect of the adjustments are.

    I am reminded of the fall of Tenochtitlan where the Aztecs, in desperation, sent their ultimate weapon against the Spanish - the Quetzal Owl Warrior. Unfortunately, a bloke in a chicken suit doesn't really work against people who aren't impressed by such things: but the Aztecs just couldn't get their heads around how their world had changed.

    I look forward to seeing a denier (perhaps Lord Monckton because he likes dressing up) in a chicken suit.

  7. In all the commentary about the lower trends of RSS and UAH I have never once seen anyone accuse Drs. Christy and Spencer of "fudging" numbers to get a pre-determined result.

    There may be uncertainties, the issues may need further examination, but never, ever have I seen conspiracy accusations.

    Seems to be a fundamental difference of approach.....

  8. In testimony before successive US Senate Committees, John Christy has been economical with the data. If the UAH 6.0 logarithm turned out to be overly favourable to a negative slope, I would only be a little bit surprised.

  9. In fairness to the AGW-theory haters (to avoid the d*n**l word) the press release by NOAA, on Karl et al.(2015), at http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/news/recent-global-surface-warming-hiatus, is SERIOUSLY misleading: "The study refutes the notion that there has been a slowdown or “hiatus” ".

    It doesn't refute it at all in the original sense of the word, as meaning a falsification of a proposition by logical argument. What it does is to provide evidence to undermine the hiatus claim - a valuable contribution.

    While this may look like pedantry on my part, I would suggest that organisations like NOAA need to be extremely careful about not overstating their case. As it is it provides ammunition for characters like Curry-Watts et al., who only appear to read the press releases anyway. I've written to NOAA requesting a rewording of the article, and suggest others follow suit. I think the problem lies in a more general misuse of the word "refutation" to mean merely "counter claim" as in expressions like "X refutes claims of wrong doing", so often used by lazy journos.

    1. Bill, the paper was fine. I only read the press release last night and I think I see what you mean. It seems to be equating "pause" or "hiatus" with slowdown.

      Although the trend this century is similar to that from 1950 to 1999, it is less than from the late 1970s to the late 1990s. (In a large part this reflects internal variability, with the predominance of La Nina type conditions this century).

      So the surface temperature slowed a bit this century compared to the previous couple of decades, but it didn't stop. There was no pause or hiatus. This can be seen in decadal charts quite strongly. I've added a couple to the main HW charts page. One chart with the decades starting in 1881-1890 through to 2011-2014, and the other starting in 1885-1894 through to 2005-2014. (The other thing is that the ocean as a whole keeps accumulating heat at a great rate.)

      Andrew Freedman has a more nuanced article with scientists discussing the implications of the new NOAA analysis. Not that different to the spread of quotes from scientists I included in this article.

  10. I agree with Bill.

    Someone takes a multi measured, multi instrument, spatially varied, much adjusted data set and re interprets it, and that is refutation?

    Luckily the average citizen knows little and could not care less about data and statistics.

    1. Don't extend it beyond what Bill said, marke.

      BTW what would be lucky about the average citizen being innumerate? (I doubt that's true. You can't judge the average citizen by the average commenter or guest writer at your favoured denier blogs. WUWT etc is designed for the 8% Dismissives.)

  11. That's some nice concern troll tag team action going on there. :-P

    1. People seem to have lost track of the derivation and meaning of the word 'troll' (as it is now used on the internet).

      It derives from a fishing practice: Trolling. Trailing a baited line from a moving boat and waiting for the fish to hook themselves.

      It has nothing to do with hairy lumpy human-like beings living under bridges.

      And does not apply to someone simply pointing out a fact, or a detail, or something they may partially or fully disagree with.

      It seems to be widely used on both sides of this debate as some sort of a shorthand label to refute a point.

    2. People seem to have lost track of the derivation and meaning of the word 'troll' (as it is now used on the internet).

      We haven't lost track of anything, marke. But you seem to have missed the important qualifier, 'concern', there. 'Concern troll', look it up. It's what you and bill are doing, to a tee.

    3. Thanks Metzo, it is always nice to correspond with people who have spent their tie and energy doing useful reading and research. And it seems some in here have PhDs in "trolling definitions and the application thereof".

      My position is well known to Sou and others: Somewhere in the middle: Sensible, plausible theory, but 'proof' seems to me to be 'multi measured, multi instrument, spatially varied, much adjusted data sets' and rapid purloining of any suitable climate or weather perturbation, whilst ignoring all others.

      Concern? How else does one put forward the idea that use of the word "refute" in this case may be overstatement?

      marke (can't seem to log in here).

    4. Marke,

      speak for yourself - I know what a troll is.

      It does apply to someone "pointing out a fact" if they do so dishonestly.

    5. Sounds like marke would like climate science to be simple. He seems to want evidence of greenhouse warming to be only measured by a single variable and a single instrument, preferably in an easy-to-find location. (Try the Arctic, or the HImalayas, or Texas, or India, or California, or Australia, or....).

      Instead, evidence for global warming is all around us. It's in the atmosphere, on the land, in the oceans, in glaciers, in ice sheets, in ecosystems. And the waste CO2 we're pouring into the air isn't just causing global warming - it's causing a drop in pH in the oceans.

  12. Sou, I'm just curious -not being a blogger and knowing the mechanisms of this kind of thing- is there any way to tell whether the "Pat Michaels" in the WUWT comments thread is really the same Pat Michaels from the Cato Institute?

    1. No more than anyone else who makes a comment. However that's how Pat Michaels of CATO comments at WUWT generally. See here and here.

      Also, he wrote a dumb response to the NOAA paper. Disinformation lobby groups really don't know what to do now that one of their main talking points has been demolished - again. (Pat's paid job seems to include spreading disinformation and doubt about climate science - papers like this NOAA one are probably considered a threat to his livelihood.)

    2. Yep, it looks like the same guy alright.

      The contrast with Gavin Schmidt's response at RealClimate couldn't be greater. Schmidt, sounding like...a...(gosh),.. scientist, says Karl et al is no big deal, the adjustments are routine, and what it proves more than anything else is the temperature record's extreme sensitivity over short time frames, the "real conclusion is that this criteria for a ‘hiatus’ is simply not a robust measure of anything".

      I think it's important that Schmidt quite pointedly steps back from the idea that "this update is going to be bigger news than normal because of the claim that the ‘hiatus’ is no more." He doesn't need to hype it up as some kind of last nail in the denialist coffin -Karl et al just doesn't decisively change much about climate science.

      Then we have the...well, plain unhinged...reactions of the Wutters. They just have no way to separate out what a scientific paper actually says, from which mill they think a scientific paper adds grist to.

    3. He, Mark, that will be my next blog post. Start your own blog instead of stealing my ideas. :)

      I always comment by logging in to Wordpress or Blogger. If you see a comment by my name that is not linked to an account, it is most likely a fake.

    4. My new post is now published: No! Ah! Part II. The return of the uncertainty monster. Not sure if we should interpret a wiggle this small.

  13. Dear Sou et al.,

    I thought you might find an email exchange I had yesterday with Anthony Watts interesting.

    16 hours ago I received this email from Anthony Watts:

    Dear Dr. Peterson,

    This latest paper, Karl et al. 2015 is an embarrassment to science. It epitomizes president Eisenhower’s second warning in his farewell address about science and politics becoming hopelessly intertwined, and thus corrupted.

    In my last telephone conversation with you, I stated (paraphrasing) that “I believe you folks aren’t doing anything fraudulent, but you are doing what you feel is correct science in what you believe is a correct way”.

    After seeing the desperate tricks pulled in Karl 2015 to erase “the pause” via data manipulation, I no longer hold that opinion. You needed it to go away, so you prostituted yourselves, perhaps at the direction of higher ups.

    This will be NCDC’s Waterloo, and will backfire on all of you terribly on the world stage. Take a lesson from Yamamoto’s own observation after he bombed Pearl Harbor. Take a lesson from what is on WUWT today.

    How sad for you all.

    Anthony Watts


    14 hours ago I sent Anthony Watts this email response:

    Dear Mr. Watts,

    As you might imagine, my views about our paper and our motives are somewhat different than yours. To explain why, I should start by explaining my views on what science is and how it works.

    is a 14 minute TEDxAsheville talk I gave in January on What is Science. While I can't do justice to a 14 minute talk in a single sentence, the bottom line is that science is the result of tests.

    So let me give you two examples from our paper. One of the new adjustments we are applying is extending the corrections to ship data, based on information derived from night marine air temperatures, up to the present (we had previously stopped in the 1940s). As we write in the article's on-line supplement, "This correction cools the ship data a bit more in 1998-2000 than it does in the later years, which thereby adds to the warming trend. To evaluate the robustness of this correction, trends of the corrected and uncorrected ship data were compared to co-located buoy data without the offset added. As the buoy data did not include the offset the buoy data are independent of the ship data. The trend of uncorrected ship minus buoy data was -0.066°C dec-1 while the trend in corrected ship minus buoy data was -0.002°C dec-1. This close agreement in the trend of the corrected ship data indicates that these time dependent ship adjustments did indeed correct an artifact in ship data impacting the trend over this hiatus period."

    The second example I will pose as a question. We tested the difference between buoys and ships by comparing all the co-located ship and buoy data available in the entire world. The result was that buoy data averaged 0.12 degrees C colder than the ships. We also know that the number of buoys has dramatically increased over the last several decades. Adding more colder observations in recent years can't help but add a cool bias to the raw data. What would you recommend we do about it? Leave a known bias in the data or correct the data for the bias? The resulting trend would be the same whether we added 0.12 C to all buoy data or subtracted 0.12 C from all ship data.

    You are, of course, welcome to share this with your readers (or not), as you deem appropriate.



    13 hours ago I received this email reply from Anthony Watts:

    Thank you for the reply.

    I’ll consider and advise.



    And that is the last I heard from Anthony up to now.

    1. A random comment from a stranger, I know, but well done Thomas.

    2. "...consider and advise...?!

      This, from a demonstrated incompetent who doesn't even understand that the selection of a particular anomaly baseline doesn't change the actual magnitude of movement in the anomalous parameter?

      Watts has delusions of grandeur on top of his Dunning-Kruger.

      It's interesting indeed though to see that Watts is happy to accuse Thomas Peterson and his co-authors of fraud. I hope that endeavour grows legs.

    3. I'm sorry you even had to read that vile unhinged personal attack from Watts. Your response was professional, courteous... and addressed the science. Far more than he deserved, but nicely done.

    4. Dr Peterson allowed me to post his comment as an article. There are now a few articles as a consequence of Anthony being irate that his very public views, which he also expressed privately in the above email, caught the attention of Andy Revkin at the New York Times. Below is a list of some of the articles, including my description of the NOAA paper itself.

      That's gotta hurt! - HotWhopper was right. It did hurt him.

      Anthony Watts publicly accuses NOAA scientists of fraud (again) - plus his "people go to jail"! - a topsy turvy Anthony Watts reveals his double standards and complains about Andy Revkin's article, and doubles down on his accusation of fraud

      NOAA: No pause in the global surface temperature - main article describing the NOAA paper (Karl15) published in Science

      The perversity of deniers - and the "pause" that never was with Tom Peterson - Anthony Watts' email with the full response from Tom Peterson

      More perversity from Anthony Watts @wattsupwiththat - about a very perverse Twitter protest from Anthony Watts

      Pausing for a dozen protests at WUWT - summary of a dozen WUWT protests

      NOAA global temperature paper prompts a torrent of paranoid conspiracies at WUWT

      No pause in the frenzy of denial: at WUWT

      Anthony Watts alleges fraud by the NOAA - Anthony's pre-embargo announcement "preparing the ground" and his first allegation of fraud

  14. Zeke can likely add more, but he notes this on Twitter

    they discuss Argo in sup mats. Not much SST measurements. 1% of buoy data. Will be in ERSST v5.

    1. I looked into that one too.

      The diurnal variability appears to be the main bug-a-boo, the surface boundary layer also. There's a lot of info on this if you go to the ARGO website. Other background materials elsewhere's suggest circa ~2008-2010 when this near surface measurement stuff really took off. Approximately 300 ARGO floats can now take near surface measurements (all floats take ~5m depth readings of temperature going back to the start of ARGO), I believe.

      I've asked for a copy of the paper that RM refers to, as I've been unable to find a public domain version (paywalled).

      I can post some links (have to look at my browser history from 2-3 days ago).

      Really interesting stuff though.

    2. Everett, if you spelt things out instead of using shorthand (not just here, but elsewhere too), you might get more responses.

    3. I'm a little tired right now (and I probably posted my previous comment in the wrong thread).

      But RM = Ross McKitrick mashup on Karl15 with respect to the ARGO temperature measurements taken at ~5m water depth (a PDF version of his mashup is available at his homepage).

      The paper RM referenced is here:

      Unabated planetary warming and its ocean structure since 2006

      I just received a copy (of this paper) in my email today, the Figure 1: Globally averaged SST anomaly of that paper is what RM is referring too. Figure 1 is important as a jumping off point for the main body of that paper which is mainly with respect to OHC (basically, SST itself is not a good indicator of total OHC buildup as SST appears to be a rather very weak function of time (at least as presented in their paper)).

      Figure 1 shows an insignificant trend of SST as measured from the ~5m depth readings and Figure 1 shows rather very good agreement with (I believe as I've just given that paper a very quick read) satellite derived SST measurements.

      Long story short? Many people involved in the ARGO efforts have known for quite sometime of the need to collect near surface measurements, overlapping the historic 5m reading and on up to the surface. There is a strong diurnal effect (overturning at night as the ocean cools) at the water surface boundary layer and also the near surface temperature gradient can be very significant given the right conditions.

      I found a bunch of stuff in trying to find the referenced paper above related to near surface surface measurements using upgrades to the current ARGO system.

      Note, that this is all very new stuff to me, but anytime the utter nutters get involved, it's usually time to go out and find the real science firsthand, if you know what I mean.

      I've got to go now, I'm getting tired and sleepy, but tomorrow I can post some links from my browser history file if anyone is interested.

  15. You know you run a joke of a blog if you created it solely for the purpose getting back at another blog because they banned you. But hey, I know you'll either delete this comment or allow your small (but voracious) group of anti-science alarmists to attack me anyway, so, it doesn't even matter.

    The AGW debate is much like the Atheist/Creationist debate. A fairly small group of people (in comparison) who believe in evolution go out and debunk the nonsensical rhetoric of creationists and are met with nothing but hatred and fury.

    1. A trollish comment but I will bite.

      "anti-science"? Really? Around 97% of climate scientists agree with this evidence for AGW. Are they all anti-science as well.

      "The AGW debate is much like the Atheist/Creationist debate" Care to elaborate, and show evidence.

    2. His comment is only somewhat off topic, Harry. He's picked up the general theme, though. (The main article discusses conspiracy ideation, which is usually associated with a certain amount of paranoia, and mixed up thinking.)

      Could be a Poe.

    3. Anthony it is not a joke, your doubt in Creationism gives you away. You are not a true believer. So shut the F_ck up! Bert


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