Monday, August 31, 2015

WUWT's Latest Alarmism: The Climate Hoax Collapsing Civilisation Global Governance Hypothesis

Sou | 7:35 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment
Just after an article about reproducibility of psychological research, Anthony Watts has put up an article from Paul Driessen from CFACT (archived here), which is full of irreproducible nonsense. Paul is one of those people who wants to get rid of any and all environmental regulation. He won't rest until the USA brings back smog.

As you'd expect from a person whose job is to spread disinformation (Paul is employed as the "senior policy analyst" for CFACT, which I gather is code for "propaganda officer"), his article is full of falsehoods.

On reproducibility: Replicated errors and double standards from Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 2:32 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
The most recent article from Anthony Watts, who runs a climate conspiracy blog called wattsupwiththat, or WUWT, demonstrates once again that he doesn't understand the first thing about scientific research. It also provides another lesson in the telltale techniques of climate science denial, and the double standards of Anthony Watts. 

What the WUWT article (archived here) is about is an article in the New York Times (without a link), which in turn is an article about a paper in Science about the lack of reproducibility of many psychology papers. That is, Anthony published a "guest essay" about a New York Times article about a paper, topped and tailed with some irrelevant silly comments from Anthony himself. (Anthony doesn't write much himself these days. He's probably conscious that most of what he writes is too silly for public consumption so he copies and pastes press releases and denier blog articles from elsewhere, and relies on "guest essays" of dubious quality from his readers.)

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nothing New: On natural variability and global mean surface temperature

Sou | 4:46 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Denier blogs are going through a hiatus so I wandered a bit and got to reading a conversation, of sorts, at Judith Curry's blog (archived here). A couple of pro-science types decided to join in to help inform lurkers, while deniers were busy flogging their dead horses.

The subject was the slowdown on global mean surface temperature over the past few years, when various influences came together in a particular way. (Eg the PDO in a cool phase, volcanic aerosols in the stratosphere etc).

At one point someone wrote how he didn't think scientists anticipated natural variability in climate. He was questioning Tamsin Edwards who he reported as writing: "That pause in warming of the atmosphere surprised the media and public, even though scientists always expected this kind of thing could happen in the short term".

It was cold in the 1930s, really it was (compared to now)

Sou | 2:50 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
There's little if any quality control at WUWT. Blog-owner Anthony Watts doesn't have what it takes to do the job, according to his friend Willis Eschenbach. And I'm inclined to agree with Willis, which makes a change, since I don't often agree with him.

Today there's an unsophisticated article that Anthony's posted (archived here). It's by someone I've not come across before to my knowledge, Sheldon Walker. Sheldon is wanting to tell WUWT readers about the change in trends in global mean surface temperature since records began.

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Satellites rule in deniersville, except when sea levels are rising

Sou | 4:49 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
Science deniers at WUWT are a funny lot. Their sole purpose in visiting denier blogs seems to be to sing the refrain "it's not happening", with the occasional faint chorus of "if it is it's not bad". WUWT deniers in the main haven't got quite as far as "if it is bad, there's nothing we can do about it".

Some of Anthony Watts' guest articles are good illustrations of that. There was a "guest essay" by David Middleton  yesterday (archived here) about a press release on the NASA website about how quickly sea levels may rise.  The press release was consistent with other recent estimates that seas will probably have risen by a metre or more by the end of this century or early the next, particularly if we stay on our current emissions trajectory (and maybe even if we don't).

David Middleton, who you might recall thinks all lizards are the same, wanted to reject the NASA article outright, claiming that "The only way sea level rise could approach the high end of the IPCC range is if it exponentially accelerates…". And he drew a chart with an exponential curve. Having made that wrong statement and putting up his exponential chart, he then drew a wrong conclusion, writing: "The rate from 2081-2100 would have to average 20 mm per year, twice that of the Holocene Transgression. This is only possible in bad science fiction movies."

One major flaw in David's argument was that he assumed that seas would rise according to some smooth chart, either linearly or exponentially. What he failed to factor in was that the main contribution to sea level over coming decades will be from melting ice. Another major flaw was that he himself used data and referenced a paper that showed that seas have risen at more than double his "impossible" rate in the relatively recent past.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Arctic sea ice extent is fourth lowest so far this year

Sou | 10:34 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment
It's that time of the year again when the sea ice in the Arctic is disappearing. It doesn't look as if there will be a record low extent this year, but there's not a lot of ice around. At the moment it's the fourth lowest on record for this time of the year, according to the interactive chart provided by NSIDC (with my annotations).

Source: National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC)

There are links to most of the main sea ice pages on the HotWhopper Climate Metrics page. Here are a couple of charts from the University of Bremen, as at 28 August 2015:

To stay up to date with what's happening, go to Neven's Arctic Sea Ice Blog.  His latest article is about a storm in the Beaufort Sea, which is undoubtedly breaking up ice in that region.

There's not much more to say, except to express concern that the region is at high risk. Not just from melting sea ice and all the changes that brings, but from shipping traffic and resource exploration. Those risks affect the Arctic and because of the wider impact of changes in the Arctic, affect the whole world.

I'll keep an eye on things and probably post an article shortly after the minimum, which should be within the next three weeks.

Denier weirdness: Magical warming and hurricanes

Sou | 4:05 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
It does seem like going over old ground again and again and again. Science deniers keep repeating the same tired denialisms again and again and again. It's happened on two anti-science blogs today, at Judith Curry's blog and at Anthony Watts' blog. Anthony Watts is, I think, trying to argue that because New Orleans is still on the map, then climate science is a hoax. Judith appears to be trying to argue that most (75%) of the warming since 1950 was caused by magic. Okay - I exaggerate a tad, but not much. See if you agree.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Judith Curry's conscience

Sou | 10:48 PM Go to the first of 37 comments. Add a comment
There is not a lot that is more irritating in life than some holier than thou person telling everyone how much holier they are than thou -  most especially when that person is anything but holy. When I think about it, the people who I know who really are holier than most of us mere mortals, don't boast about it. It probably never enters their head to make a "goodliness" or "godliness" comparison. Their essential humility is one reason people choose good people as role models.

What you'll find particularly yucky (the best word I can think of at the moment), is Judith Curry setting herself up as the "conscience of the profession". You think I'm joking? Nope - I'm not.

Urban heat confuses deniers at WUWT

Sou | 3:50 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment
Today Anthony Watts has copied and pasted a press release about urban heat (archived here.) A team led by Lahouari Bounoua of NASA's Biospheric Sciences Laboratory has completed an analysis of the impact of urbanisation on surface temperatures across the USA. Anthony said it was "obvious", implying there was no value to the research. He's wrong. The research quantified what to Anthony might have seemed "obvious", and came up with some less obvious findings as well.

The bottom line is, if you live in a city that gets hot, do what you can to get plenty of trees and shrubs planted. The more the better.

This work isn't to be confused with factoring in the impact of urban heat on the mean global surface temperature anomaly. What it is about is how urban centres are mostly hotter than the surrounding rural centres. It says nothing about differences in the rate of warming, or trends over time.

The paper is published in Environmental Research Letters and is open access.  (It's taken a while for the research to be completed from the look of things. Some of the authors presented early findings at the AGU Fall Meeting in 2009.)

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

To S Fred Singer, thanks for the name-calling, but with regret...

Sou | 11:57 PM Go to the first of 27 comments. Add a comment
Science deniers sometimes complain that there are gatekeepers to peer reviewed publications. Yes indeed. They are called editors and scientific peers. Their job is to try to make sure that published papers meet certain minimum standards - like being accurate, being supported by evidence, and meeting accepted standards of professional decorum. In the case of S Fred Singer one would have to say he is without peers. Earlier this month, in an article at that strange website called most inappropriately "American Thinker" (archived here), Fred posted three reviews he said an article of his received from a quality journal, Eos. What is surprising is that the editor sent Fred's article out to review. What is even more surprising is that Fred seems unashamed by the scathing reviews. So much so that he shared them with the world at large (or the narrow segment that reads articles at American Thinker).

Dear Dr. Singer:

Thank you again for submitting to Eos your Opinion manuscript entitled "Geo-engineering - stopping ice ages."
Based on the recommendation of the 3 reviewers, I am not able to accept it for publication at this time. I have attached the reviewer reports for your reference.

Thank you for the opportunity to examine this work.
[redacted by Sou]

Around the traps

Sou | 1:28 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
I've two excuses for the lack of new articles the last couple of days. There's really been nothing exciting happening on denier blogs, and I've been otherwise occupied (on matters unrelated to climate).

Regular blogging will resume shortly. In the interim, here's a rundown on some of what's been happening at WUWT and elsewhere:

A coordinated approach to climate action: A scandal (not really) has been uncovered by Chris Horner. He's a chap who's employed by a right wing lobby group to submit FOI requests of all kinds for emails and text messages - as long as they are not about what right wing lobby groups get up to. What he's discovered is that in the USA governments and NGOs and others have been talking to each other on ways to make the world and the USA safer - by getting some coordination and agreement on climate action. It's being shaped as the scandal of the year in denier-land. Chris Horner didn't compare it to the right wing shenanigans of ALEC, by which large corporations get together to draft legislation and instruct governments to pass it - and there's no comparison. This wasn't closed door meetings drafting legislation like ALEC. It was people talking to each other by email about climate action. (I think Chris Horner thought right wing lobbyists had governments all to themselves.) It's not clear what shocks deniers more - that there are people who don't want to destroy the environment, or that there are people who communicate by email.

Willis Eschenbach has been posting his various thoughts at WUWT - here and here and here. One day it's fry pans or non-solar cycles and the next day he's writing about comments to what he wrote the day before. Either corrections to his article or some other random thought that pops into his head. Not too many at WUWT are following or understanding what the heck he's on about. It's filling what would otherwise be empty spaces I suppose. I couldn't see any good reason to spend any more time on his latest wonderings than this short para.

Tony Brown, a UK denier who likes to boast how he can talk with UK scientists, has been busy biting the hand that feeds him. That's in the context of the BBC not renewing the contract with the UK Met Office for weather services. (Most people (and the UK Met Office) wouldn't agree with Tony's take on the subject.)

For the conspiracy nutters: Then there's the usual same-old same-old climate conspiracy hoax from Tim Ball, who can't think of anything new to write about. Anthony Watts has to keep all his readers happy and as long as there's a demand for wacky paranoid conspiracy theories of the anti-semitic kind, he'll oblige.

On denier scientists: Some scientists are only now waking up to how far ex-scientist Judith Curry has moved across into denier-land, with her calling the theft of scientists' personal emails "responsible" - or it's roll out; and spreading fibs about the content of the emails themselves.

It's been a slow few days in the blogosphere.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Is it too late to prevent dangerous climate change?

Sou | 11:22 AM Go to the first of 67 comments. Add a comment
A lot of people think it is too late to prevent dangerous warming. That we have already passed the point of no return in regard to limiting the increase in global mean surface temperature to 2°C above that of pre-industrial times. Some people think that we'll be lucky to stay within 4°C of warming this century. Anthony Watts doesn't think we've passed the point of no return. He wrote about how Dr Pauchari said, back in 2007, that "If there's no action before 2012, that's too late. What we do in the next two to three years will determine our future. This is the defining moment." Anthony called it a failed prediction (archived here).

Anthony Watts claims a scientist ignored his own work on US droughts

Sou | 3:05 AM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts latest claim (archived here, latest here) is that a scientist ignored his own research. At Anthony's climate conspiracy blog today, he copied and pasted a press release about a new paper on the Californian drought. Anthony wrote his article under the headline "Ridiculous claim from Columbia University: ‘Warming climate is deepening California drought". He thinks that it's ridiculous to think that evaporation will be higher under hotter conditions. He doesn't understand the basics of science at all. He also wrote:
From the THE EARTH INSTITUTE AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY and the department of “intense droughts only occur in the age of the SUV” department, where they apparently failed to take the climatic history of the region into account:
And he put up a chart that he claimed came from from one of the authors of the new paper (though Anthony clearly didn't know that), in an attempt to dismiss this new work. In any case, it didn't. His graphic wasn't in the 2007 paper and the graphic didn't refute the new paper:

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Mid-August ENSO report - El Niño still strengthening

Sou | 1:46 AM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
The latest ENSO wrap up from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology indicates that the El Niño is likely to continue to strengthen, with trade winds weakened.

The 2015 El Niño has continued to strengthen over the past fortnight. The ocean and atmosphere are reinforcing each other, with tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures well above El Niño thresholds, consistently weakened trade winds, and a strongly negative Southern Oscillation Index. Strong coupling of the tropical Pacific Ocean and atmosphere is typical of a mature El Niño, and suggests only a small chance of the event finishing before the end of the year.

All international climate models surveyed by the Bureau of Meteorology indicate the tropical Pacific is likely to warm further, peaking later in the year. Typically, El Niño peaks during the late austral spring or early summer, and weakens during late summer to autumn.

Warning to the bandwidth challenged - one of the files below the fold is rather large (just under 1 MB).

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

What astounds Anthony Watts: that anyone other than he would send "hate mail"

Sou | 4:35 PM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts, owner of the climate conspiracy blog WUWT, doesn't get much mail from people who like science. I doubt he gets too many from researchers at universities, for example. Over the past few weeks he's posted a couple of emails and comments that he calls "hate mail". (Never mind that Anthony himself sends hate mail.) He was going to do it more often, but he probably doesn't get enough to make an article worthwhile. This latest one he's posted (archived here) is very mild. It's asking Anthony how he sleeps at night. If that's the worst he gets, then he gets off very lightly, compared to climate scientists.

Today he wrote:
You know what astounds me in this world? That there are people with so little moral character that they have to hurl insults about scientific integrity from behind faux names.
Not Anthony. He hurls insults about scientific integrity in public and in private. Though he only does it when he's safely ensconced behind his computer screen.

Willis Eschenbach makes false claims about surface temperature (again)

Sou | 3:02 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
Wondering Willis Eschenbach is wondering about rainfall and the role of the water cycle in regulating weather (archived here). In his article he made the false claim that he makes often, probably because no-one at WUWT has the wit to challenge him on it. He wrote:
My hypothesis is that the earth has a thermoregulatory system keeping the global temperature within narrow bounds (e.g. ±0.3°C over the 20th century). 
What I'd like to know is what planet Willis lives on. Where does he get his "±0.3°C over the 20th century" from?

Here is a chart of surface temperature, including over the twentieth century (highlighted box) and using the entire twentieth century as the baseline. I've also shaded the area bound by ±0.3°C:

Data source: GISS NASA

How could any person claim that in the twentieth century, global mean surface temperature stayed "within narrow bounds (e.g. ±0.3°C over the 20th century)". Look at how it jumped out of all bounds in the 1970s. How the span from the beginning of the century to the end was in the order of 1°C. The only time it fluctuated around ±0.3°C was for a few years mid-century. Over the whole century it just kept going up and up and up.

Mind-boggling toxic hypocrisy at WUWT over Gold King Mine and EPA

Sou | 1:24 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
You have to read it to believe it. Anthony Watts and Paul Driessen have an article at WUWT (archived here) in which they castigate the EPA for an accidental spill of toxic water from Gold King Mine into waterways in Colorado. Now who or what is to blame for that particular incident is a good question. But that's not what I am writing about.

The point of this article is that both Paul and Anthony are often posting articles where they don't want any environmental regulations. In which they want to send America back to the smog age. They don't give a damn that toxic waste from mining operations accumulated to such an extent that this accident occurred. All they care about is trashing the people who have come in to try to contain or clean up the mess that the grossly negligent miners left behind.

Nowhere in the WUWT article or the comments is there any finger pointing at the companies and people that caused the water to get so toxic in the first place. Nowhere is there a call for companies and people to be held responsible for toxic dumps.

No, it's all about how it's all the fault of the Environmental Protection Agency - the very agency that is trying to do something to clean up the mess left behind by the mates of the anti-environment brigade.

Such gross hypocrisy and double standards is mind-boggling, but is all too common at denier blogs and on anti-regulation websites.

You can read another version of what happened in an article by Alan Prendergast on westword.com.

Monday, August 17, 2015

WUWT goes from denying the ozone hole to blaming it for global warming!

Sou | 11:30 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
You'd hardly credit it. There are umpteen articles in which Anthony Watts and his crew denied the ozone hole (it's existence and that human activity caused it - yep! Probably both at the same time.). Now he's now posted an article where it's real and blamed for global warming (archived here, latest here). Some new bloke called Steven Capozzola has written an article in which he says: "The evidence is compelling, and the subject deserves further scrutiny."

The evidence for what exactly? Well, that's not so easy to figure out. I'll see if I can step past the waffly bits to the nuts and bolts of his hypothesis. It goes something like this:

Denier weirdness: WUWT makes a foray into celestial cycles

Sou | 10:05 AM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
Well, well, well. It had to happen sooner or later I suppose. Anthony Watts has added astrology (or as good as) to the weird and weirder articles he promotes (archived here, latest here). He tried to wriggle out a little bit by writing at the top of his article:
[Note, I don’t necessarily agree with the conclusion this publication, as it smacks of barycentrism, which I don’t give any credence to, but it does discuss some other concepts, and  I thought it might make for an interesting and entertaining discussion – Anthony]
All that does is emphasise what his good friend Willis Eschenbach wrote about Anthony:
Even if Anthony had a year to analyze and dissect each piece...(he couldn't tell if it would)... stand the harsh light of public exposure. 
Here's an excerpt from his astrology article, which was from his guest Brian T. Johnston:
It is demonstrated that the fundamental economic cycles of the world are based upon the cycles of the planets as is the timing and magnitude of the sunspot cycle and the also the changes in the earth’s climate which are at the foundation of the world’s economic cycles. It also shows that even though all of these cycles are linked the cycles of the sun are not the causes of the world’s economic cycles, but rather the cycles are driven by the changes in the electromagnetic climate of the solar system that appear to be associated with the interactions of the planets.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Watching the global thermometer - year to date GISTemp with July 2015

Sou | 8:55 AM Go to the first of 81 comments. Add a comment
Every month since March, I've posted a chart of the progressive year-to-date global average surface temperature, from GISS. This is the update with July included. I'll repeat the explanation with each update and add what seem to be things to watch.

Obviously - what? Bob Tisdale on global mean surface temperature trends

Sou | 7:58 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
"Obviously, Cowtan and Honeycutt are overlooking something very important. Their graph shows that it took well over a century for global surface temperatures to reach the 1.0 deg C halfway point. Many newcomers will look at the graph and wonder what all of the hubbub is about."

Oh my! Those words were actually written with serious intent. Can you believe it? That's from the keyboard of Bob Tisdale (archived here). He's one of the resident pseudo-scientists at Anthony Watts' climate science denial blog, WUWT. His forte is conspiracy theories, not scientific research.

Let's see what will happen if surface temperatures keep going up at different rates.

Global Warming and the Pacific: Kevin Trenberth's Perspective

Sou | 2:57 AM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment
Earlier today, Anthony Watts copied and pasted a press release about a new article from Kevin Trenberth (archived here). Anthony, who didn't even link to the press release, complained he couldn't find the article and asked his readers to tell him where it was. Did he really want that? Or did he just pull out that press release because, for a change, he recognised the name and figured it was sure to rouse the lynch mob? Anthony wrote:
Another excuse for the pause, Trenberth says ‘Internal climate variability masks climate-warming trends’

From the  AMERICAN ASSOCIATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF SCIENCE and the “if warming can’t overcome Nature, is it really there at all?” department.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Marginalised, alienated and put upon: climate science deniers are not innocent

Sou | 7:11 PM Go to the first of 66 comments. Add a comment
Yesterday's article got a few comments complaining that I went too far when I wrote:
The first hockey stick was, probably correctly, viewed in some quarters as a real threat to the anti-science, anti-mitigation movement. These are immoral people. People who want the world to continue with unfettered burning of fossil fuels, endangering society. People who are willing to sacrifice the well-being of their fellow human beings, their children and their grandchildren and all future generations. Their motives were various - some did it for ideological reasons. Anthony Watts did it because he didn't want to pay tax. Others dispute climate science arguably because that's what they are employed to do. There are dedicated denier organisations who pay people (and get freebies from more) to cast doubt on established science that they see as contrary to their aims. The backers of deniers probably also have mixed motives - pure profit for fossil fuel companies and ideology for others (rampant capitalism/libertarian anarchy gone wild). For some it seemed to be more personal - perhaps professional jealousy mixed with ideology.

There were protests by some people of the type "I am not a bad person" and that I shouldn't impugn motive to the ugly denier.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Vicious attacks on Michael Mann: More smears from Mark Steyn and Anthony Watts' lynch mob

Sou | 6:27 PM Go to the first of 167 comments. Add a comment
Today Anthony Watts is promoting Mark Steyn's last ditch attempt to discredit one of the world's leading climate scientists. Professor Michael Mann is Distinguished Professor of Meteorology and Director, Earth System Science Center at Penn State University. Mark Steyn is an ex-smut columnist turned smut blogger, who arguably viciously defamed Professor Michael Mann (any others?) and is now being sued by Professor Mann. Anthony Watts is a blogger who promotes climate conspiracy theories of the ugly kind, and falsely accuses scientists of fraud and more.

Note: I've added an addendum about the contents of the book below. [Sou 7:52 pm 13 August 2015]

The Hockey Stick

In 1998 a paper by Professors Michael Mann, Raymond Bradley and Malcolm Hughes was published in Nature - hereafter called MBH98. The paper had the title: "Global-scale temperature patterns and climate forcing over the past six centuries".  In that paper was a figure that was to become a symbol of global warming, even getting a name - the hockey stick. Below is Figure 5b, the Hockey Stick, from MBH98:

Figure 5 Time reconstructions (solid lines) along with raw data (dashed lines). ... b, for Northern Hemisphere mean temperature (NH) in 8C. In both cases, the zero line corresponds to the 1902–80 calibration mean of the quantity. For b raw data are shown up to 1995 and positive and negative 2j uncertainty limits are shown by the light dotted lines surrounding the solid reconstruction, calculated as described in the Methods section. Source: MBH98.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Anthony Watts denies volcanic forcing

Sou | 4:02 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
In another fit of Dunning-Krugeritis, conspiracy blogger Anthony Watts is touting Wondering Willis Eschenbach as an expert on volcanoes and climate. Sheesh.  He has picked up a cutesy intro to his copy and pastes of press releases, inserting the words "maybe they should have" in under his "claim" headlines. He's done this for three of his most recent articles. This time (archived here) it was:
Claim: NASA simulation indicates ancient flood volcanoes could have altered climate
From NASA/GODDARD SPACE FLIGHT CENTER and the “maybe they should have checked with Willis first” department comes this modeling claim: 

Rather than scientific experts asking Willis anything, Willis should be reading more science before putting digits to keyboards. Willis wrote an article a couple of weeks ago in which he was using volcanic eruptions to argue that the climate is self-correcting. He got it mostly wrong as usual. Perhaps an article for another day. (Among other errors, Willis confused forcings and feedbacks.) About the only things his article (archived here) had in common with this new paper were the words "climate" and "volcano" - proving (yet again) that:
  • Anthony doesn't read the press releases he copies and pastes, or if he does he doesn't understand them
  • Anthony Watts doesn't understand his blog articles from his "guest" essayists (that is, the freeby articles written by his fans), and probably doesn't read them
  • Willis Eschenbach once got one thing right: even if Anthony had a year to digest the articles he posts on his blog, he wouldn't be able to tell if it was pseudo-science crap or the real thing
  • Anthony Watts promotes fake experts (the No. 1 Telltale Technique of climate science denial).

Monday, August 10, 2015

Whatever you do, don't let deniers near a power grid

Sou | 4:59 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
You'd think that with all the engineers who hang around denier blogs there'd be one or two who knew something about designing a power grid sourced from renewable energy. Not so. They are hopeless. There's an article at WUWT today where some chap has had a shot (archived here). He's made a real mess of it. No planning. No decent distribution system. Not even a national grid let alone a smart grid. He started with just wind and natural gas and only added PV some time later as an afterthought. Given the low cost of wind (and solar), he went way over budget. Probably gave the contracts to shonky mates. It was a woeful design and his planning was next to useless. It wasn't long before patched his flawed design by resurrecting an outdated filthy coal plant.

That's what can happen when you hand the reins to incompetents.

Thank goodness we're not relying on WUWT's engineers is all I can say. You can read his dismal attempt here if you want to.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

ICYMI - there's no stopping the rise in surface temperature!

Sou | 8:40 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
In case you missed it (ICYMI), a couple of new papers have been published recently, demonstrating that there has not been any "pause" or "hiatus" in surface temperature in recent years. Yes, the rate of increase wasn't as high as it has been in some other periods. However these papers demonstrate that there was nothing different from what can be expected from a warming trend with interannual variability imposed on it.

Change points of global temperature: Cahill, Rahmstorf and Parnell

If you're a fan of realclimate.org (the benchmark of world best practice in climate blogs), then you might remember the change point analysis written up there last December, by Stefan Rahmstorf. The article was called "Recent global warming trends: significant or paused or what?" This new work looks to be on the same topic written as a peer-reviewed paper in IOP Science: "Change points of global temperature". It's open access so you can read it at your leisure.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Things that scare Anthony Watts at WUWT: Air-conditioning, Oklahoma City, and rising seas

Sou | 4:37 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
Arguably, one good explanation for why people reject climate science is that it scares them. Today Anthony Watts, who runs the climate conspiracy blog WUWT, said he was scared by air-conditioners, and Oklahoma City. He also said he was scared of rising seas. He often rejects the fact that seas will rise as ice melts.

I'd say that being scared is probably one of the main reasons for deniers denying. It fits with the research on the conservative brain. It's been shown already that free market ideology is a predictor of climate science denial. Pair this with the research on the conservative brain and it is apparent that emotions are more likely to get in the way of reason for people who are politically conservative than for others. In particular, fear rather than reason is probably what drives a lot of people to reject climate science.

The Extra Terrestrial Tamperers are Coming - by Christopher Monckton @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 3:18 AM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment
The Aliens are Coming. Christopher Monckton knows who "They" are, but won't give any details.  All I can glean from his WUWT article is that "They" are (Extra) Terrestrial Tamperers and Dictators who are about to strike and take over the world, grabbing Supreme Global Power. Today on his second favourite conspiracy blog (after Infowars), Christopher Monckton, the potty peer of Brenchley, wrote:

 I expect that we’ll hear a great deal less about climate change once the world government is safely installed. As the divergence between prediction and reality continues to widen, the new dictators will not want anyone to be reminded of the great lie by which they took supreme and – for the first time – global power.

Anthony Watts is probably on the phone now to his favourite Doctors for Disaster Preparedness, getting tips, and stocking up on lentils and rice.

About that divergence from reality...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Glaciers retreat faster than ever, with Anthony Watts and his ice melt denial

Sou | 11:33 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
A new paper has been published in the Journal of Glaciology, by a big team of 39 researchers from more than 30 countries. It's from the the World Glacier Monitoring Service, which has been compiling worldwide data on glacier changes for more than 120 years. The title of the paper says it all:

Historically unprecedented global glacier decline in the early 21st century

The paper is open access, so anyone can read it. Some, like Anthony Watts don't bother. He's too busy complaining, with his usual "claim" dogwhistle:
Claim: Glaciers melt faster than ever

From the UNIVERSITY OF ZURICH and the “lets ignore some of these other growing glaciers” department
Seriously? Does Anthony Watts think that glaciers won't melt faster than ever as the world heats up faster than ever? True. He doesn't. He's often indicated that he doesn't believe that ice melts when it gets warm enough.

Rud Istvan disputes Anthony Watts' surface station findings

Sou | 6:14 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
I notice that Anthony Watts has posted an article (archived here) that disputes his surface station project paper, Fall et al (2011). To be more accurate, Rud Istvan seems to be misrepresenting Anthony's paper - by cherry-picking the bits he likes and ignoring the bits he doesn't. Then Rud gets some facts wrong while apparently trying to "prove" that the global surface temperature hasn't risen this much:

Monday, August 3, 2015

Putting the foot to the floor - with Willis Eschenbach again

Sou | 2:41 PM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
Yesterday I wrote about how Willis Eschenbach, a frequent contributor at Anthony Watts' denier blog WUWT, got his feedbacks and forcings all mixed up. I've been thinking more about where he went wrong. Willis used an analogy of a car with cruise control.

The external forces acting on the car are gravity and friction. Willis didn't mention those forces. The cruise control can kick in to oppose changes in these forces by introducing an opposing force of the engine. It can add fuel to increase or decrease the engine power, apply brakes to oppose the engine, and shift gears to increase or decrease the power of the engine. It will do this when it detects a change in speed. The change in speed trigger will only come about when there is a change in forcing.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

On forcing and feedback with Willis Eschenbach

Sou | 11:40 PM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment
For a long time now (at least six years), Willis Eschenbach has been going on about governors, forcing and feedback. For a long time now (at least six years), the engineers at WUWT have been pointing out where Willis gets his terminology and concepts wrong. For a long time now, Willis hasn't listened to the experts.

Willis Eschenbach maintains, despite all evidence to the contrary, that climate doesn't change. He seems to think that every time a forcing is applied, it will be met with an equal and opposite force. Today he's arguing the same thing that he's argued time and time again.

As in the past, Willis gets quite a bit wrong (archived here):
  • uses the analogy of cruise control (wrongly)
  • confuses positive and negative feedback
  • mistakes feedback for forcing.

This article is about some fundamental concepts in climate science, mainly for the benefit of people new to the subject. (You'd think deniers at WUWT, who've been writing about climate for years, would have grasped these concepts by now. But many of them, like Willis Eschenbach, haven't.)

Is it Parody or Dunning Kruger by Mike Jonas at WUWT?

Sou | 4:51 PM Go to the first of 80 comments. Add a comment
Mike Jonas recently wrote a four part series of articles for Anthony Watts denier blog WUWT. I don't think it's meant as a parody of deniers, but that's how it reads. It's like a caricature of classic denialism. I'm almost surprised Anthony Watts decided to host it - it was that bad. Mike brought up all the denial oldies, which he might as well have got from the list of most used climate myths at SkepticalScience.com:- medieval warm period (myth 27), little ice age (myth 47), CO2 lags temperature (myth 12), climate models and equilibrium climate sensitivity. If Mike was trying to demonstrate that Dunning and Kruger were right, then he did a great job of it. His series was in four parts:
  1. His first article (archived here) was a lot of arithmetic around climate sensitivity and attribution, which I won't bother with. 
  2. It wasn't CO2 before therefore... - in his second in the series (archived here) he resurrected the ancient denier meme about the medieval warm period (or medieval climate anomaly) and the little ice age. This calls on the logical fallacy that if CO2 wasn't the cause of warming in the past then it can't be causing warming now. Which is a non sequitur (it doesn't follow).
  3. CO2 doesn't lag temperature as much as deniers think - the third article (archived here) was the denier meme "CO2 lags temperature".
  4. Equilibrium climate sensitivity - in his fourth article (archived here), Mike sets out to demonstrate how little he knows about ECS, climate models and climate science in general.