Thursday, December 31, 2015

Fake Sceptic Awards for 2015

Sou | 9:33 PM Go to the first of 52 comments. Add a comment
Happy new year, one and all. It's been quite a year, and another hot one. It's also that time of the year when bloggers do a round up of what happened in 2015. This year I've put together some of the most memorable denier moments and present them as awards. Ask me tomorrow and I might put together different instances. There are so many examples from which to choose. Anyway, here goes:

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

More about the hot weather in North America, and more

Sou | 11:59 PM Go to the first of 67 comments. Add a comment
In the comments today, under the article about the extreme weather around the world these past few days, there was a claim that "It was warmer in the US in 1955". There was nothing else except a link to two maps of the USA. The top map was labeled 2015 and the bottom map was labeled 1955. The maps were coloured but there was:
  • no legend
  • no date
  • no information that would explain anything about what the charts were meant to represent.

That sort of behaviour is more common on denier blogs than it is here at HotWhopper. Anyway, it prompted me to do some reading and research, and in the process I got diverted a bit into US temperature records, and trends in diurnal temperature range. So this article is a bit of a wander, and a bit long.

How hot was it in 1955 in the USA?

First, though, let's see about the very short and somewhat cryptic comment from HotWhopper reader, Andy Wilkins. He wrote that it was warmer in the US in 1955. But was it? No, it wasn't. At least not if you are looking at mean annual surface temperatures.

Below is a chart showing the annual mean surface temperature for the contiguous USA from 1895 to 2015 (average to November). I've marked the mean temperatures for 1955 and 2015, and this year so far is 1.31 °C hotter than the annual mean temperature in 1955.

Data source: NOAA ClimDiv

Now if Andy had somehow mistaken 1955 for 1954, then the difference between then and now would have still been 0.41 °C . That is it's been 0.41 °C hotter this year so far than it was back in 1954. (Note: The US temps and chart were corrected shortly after posting.)

Monday, December 28, 2015

Extreme December weather

Sou | 3:02 PM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment
December was not without extreme weather in many parts of the world. This past week has seen floods in South and North America, the UK and Ireland, worsening drought in southern Africa, wildfire in Australia and southern California, and unseasonally warm weather across the USA and Canada.

Worst floods in 50 years in South America

The BBC headline is "Flooding 'worst in 50 years', as 150,000 flee in Paraguay, Argentina, Brazil and Uruguay".  Rivers have broken banks after days of heavy rains.

Source: BBC
The worst affected is Paraguay, where more than 90,000 people were forced to leave their homes, many of them poor people living on the banks of the River Paraguay. This underscores the fact that it is the least wealthy who are most vulnerable to weather-related disasters.

Shooting the stars

Sou | 1:30 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
While you're waiting for HotWhopper to crank up again, here is the link to Bert from Eltham's Large Magellanic Cloud photograph that he shared with HotWhopper for Christmas. Below is a shrunken version, which of course doesn't do the magical sky justice, you need to see the full sized image. It represents an awful lot of careful work (from Bert, not me.)

Below is a small section, full size:

Bert has the following equipment to take images like this one:
  • Astrograph is an Officina Stellare RH200 which has a focal length of 600mm and is F3. Clear aperture is 200mm. 
  • FLI Atlas Focuser. 
  • FLI ten position filter wheel CFW-3-10 with 50mm square filters. 
  • Astrodon E series LRGB and HA, NII, SII and OIII 3nm NB filters. Also a continuum filter 5nm. 
  • Camera is a FLI PL16803 which has a sensor size 36.8 X 36.8 mm. 
  • The FoV of this system is 3.5 X 3.5 degrees. 
  • Mount is a Software Bisque PMX. 

Bert's links to his photographs are here.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Season's Greetings to you all

Sou | 2:41 PM Go to the first of 34 comments. Add a comment
Wishing you all a very happy Christmas, or happy holiday - whatever you are celebrating.

Deniersville: in the spirit of Christmas, the gift that keeps on giving

Sou | 2:07 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
Over the past few days I've begun but not finished several articles - guiltily enjoying time spent on other worthwhile activities (such as making jam from nectarines fresh from the tree; and roasting coffee beans; and finding pretty jars; and wrapping them up for the family for Christmas). On Monday Sunday I drove to Albury, through weird stormy weather, watching the smoke from a scary bushfire in the next valley over. (I was reminded that the danger from bushfires isn't just the fire itself, sometimes the roads are impassable because of fallen trees. The wind was fierce and wild and the day was another scorcher - 42 °C, 107.6 °F)

In a fit of rationalisation, I figured this is as good a time as any to take a short break. HotWhopper turned 3 earlier this month, and over those 36 months, it has averaged almost one and a half articles a day. That seems like a good target for the next three years.

Credit: John Cook

Denialism doesn't take breaks

If you are missing your daily dose of denial, it marches on relentlessly.

At first, the fake sceptics didn't know how to react to the COP21 agreement in Paris this month. Some tried to argue that the leaders of 195 nations are deluded, along with their advisers, most of the world's media, 97% of climate scientists and almost all professional associations of scientists throughout the world.

Maybe they realised that wouldn't fly because that effort didn't last. It's old news, or maybe they are pretending it didn't happen.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Anthony Watts' #AGU15 poster on US temperature trends

Sou | 7:26 PM Go to the first of 64 comments. Add a comment
Credit: NOAA
Anthony Watts has a poster at this year's AGU Fall Meeting. He is very proud of the effort he made (his WUWT article is archived here). He is also looking over his shoulder, fearful of a conspiracy to stop him from publishing. Actually, Anthony's main contribution seems to have been organising other people to do the work, which is a talent well worth having.

Anthony has made his poster available for downloading from his own website, though it's not available on the AGU15 website (yet). His press release is on the AGU website. The poster has some gaps that could be important. But first, what does it show.

Watts' US surface station temperature trends (revised)

According to the poster, the researchers took the following steps with US temperature records dating between 1979 and 2008. First they removed all weather stations that had been moved or had had a change in time of observation. They classified the remainder using one (not all) of the criteria set out in Leroy (2010), specifically "proximity to artificial surfaces, buildings, and other such objects with unnatural thermal mass".

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Judith Curry plays (nuclear) politics

Sou | 7:24 PM Go to the first of 143 comments. Add a comment
Judith Curry is of the view that science deniers like herself are the only people permitted to "play politics with science".  On her climate conspiracy blog today she wrote about an article in the Guardian by Naomi Oreskes. Professor Oreskes was writing about the push from some quarters into what she called "wholesale expansion of nuclear power". Her article came after a previous Guardian article by Professors James Hansen, Kerry Emanuel, Ken Caldeira and Tom Wigley.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

How to attend AGU Fall Meeting 2015

Sou | 2:46 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
With all that's been happening this past few days, I neglected to write about how to attend the AGU Fall Meeting 2015, when you can't be there in person.

The AGU Fall Meeting 2015 runs from Monday 14 December to Friday 18 December inclusive (USA Pacific Time).  Instructions for access are provided below. The details for the scientific program are:

8:00 am to 6:00 pm daily US Pacific Time
4:00 pm to 2:00 am GMT
3:00 am to 1:00 pm Australian Eastern Daylight Time (next day)

San Francisco, California, USA.

To register for Virtual Options

Go to this website to register or log in: http://fallmeeting.agu.org/2015/virtual-options/

Watching the global thermometer - year to date GISTemp with a very hot November 2015

Sou | 1:12 PM Go to the first of 40 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 October included. I'll repeat the explanation with each update and add what seem to be things to watch.

Monday, December 14, 2015

WordPress comments on HotWhopper - two solutions

Sou | 4:47 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
After hearing several Wordpress users say they had problems commenting here, the problem may lie with WordPress itself, and there are solutions - hopefully.

The problem apparently lies with how WordPress authenticates users. (Update: To clarify - HotWhopper is on Google's Blogger. The ID of people who leave comments can be authenticated by different platforms such as WordPress, TypePad, Google etc. if you comment using those IDs. Or people's ID won't authenticated if comments are posted as "Anonymous" or if you comment using "Name/URL".)

From an article from November last year, it's likely that "WordPress, which in general is using SSL security, has an OpenID server that has not been upgraded" - which causes the problems when commenting as WordPress.

Read on for two possible solutions.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Paris Agreement has been adopted by COP21

Sou | 10:16 AM Go to the first of 54 comments. Add a comment
It's agreed. On Saturday 12 December at 7:31 pm (Paris time), 195 nations adopted a new, universal Paris agreement. A momentous step signalling a commitment to end the use of fossil fuels.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

COP21 update - highlights of the final draft agreement

Sou | 11:05 PM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
In case you missed the live streaming of the final draft COP21 agreement, here are some of the key points. These are taken from the stirring speeches from the COP21 President H.E. Mr. Laurent Fabius, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and the President of France François Hollande.

Some highlights from the final draft agreement

Some of the main elements of the final draft agreement are:
  • Keep well below 2C, and aim for no more than 1.5C
  • Legally binding - a universal legal agreement
  • Differentiated, depending on the circumstances and capacity of each nation
  • Updated / stocktake every five years
  • Includes an increased role for adaptation to climate change
  • Cooperation on loss and damage - $1 billion a year at the base level to be be reviewed by 2025 (I think)
  • Caters for: island states re sea level, Africa re development, South America re forest protection
  • Also addressing food security, public health, poverty and peace.

This week governments try for a sane response while some in the climate world went a little bit mad

Sou | 1:44 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
Today is the day when COP21 is hoping to finalise the climate change agreement. The meeting was extended by a day, with many people remaining hopeful that a meaningful agreement will be reached. The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon put out a press release saying that while there were still some important issues to be resolved, there has been considerable progress.

The latest draft can be downloaded here. As at the time of writing, it's Draft 2. (You can compare it with Draft 1 to see the progress in negotiations. Where the brackets have been removed it signifies agreement was reached on that point.)

UPDATE: I've just seen that the final text has been agreed. I'll let you know as soon as it's available - or you can keep an eye on the UN website. There's a press conference scheduled for 11:30 am CET today - Saturday (Europe time).
Sou 2:23 pm AEDT 12 December 2015

This week there was real silliness from deniers and from people campaigning to stop climate change.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Wild weather report - early December

Sou | 12:27 AM Go to the first of 112 comments. Add a comment
Do you know one explanation for science deniers not "believing" that weather extremes are getting more extreme more often? It's because they only read climate conspiracy blogs, like WUWT. Despite Anthony Watts claiming to be a meteorologist (unqualified) - that is, someone who used to announce the weather on television - he doesn't like to report unusual weather. Some of his readers might wake up to the fact that he's a charlatan, a fake, a fraud.

For example, in the last few days there were at least 245 people who were killed as a result of unseasonal torrential rains in Chennai, India. You can read about that disastrous weather event at the Times of India, which reported that:
The deluge destroyed crucial road and rail links, shutdown the airport, snapped power and telecom lines and left lakhs [hundreds of thousands} of people stranded. 

Then there's northern England and Scotland that was drenched and battered by record-setting Storm Desmond. You can read about that at the BBC. There are also some photos on Quartz, just in case you thought it was a fuss over nothing. It isn't. The BBC reports that thousands of homes were flooded, one person died, and power is slowly being restored to thousands. As quoted on Quartz:
Storm Desmond dropped a total of 262.6 mm (10.3 inches) of rain in Cumbria county, in northwest England, from Friday through Sunday. Floods minister Rory Stewart told the BBC that Desmond had “broken all the UK rainfall records.”
There's also wild weather in the Pacific north west. Not as bad as the flooding rains in the UK, but the storm has caused power outages affecting 18,000 homes in Washington state.

While down here in Australia not long ago, there were deadly bushfires. The fire in South Australia's mid-north was burning at a rate of 580 acres a minute. One woman described it as ""It was like a fireball, 90 kilometres an hour." If you can't imagine a fire burning that quickly, then just make sure you aren't in the bush on a catastrophic fire danger day. To make matters worse, the communications systems failed the volunteer firefighters. Two people died in those fires, and at least 87 homes were destroyed or severely damaged. One man was watching his property burn from 3,000 km away (from Darwin) via a feed from cameras he'd installed. He saved his home by activating sprinklers via his mobile phone. The ABC has mapped what happened where in the fires in South Australia's mid north. The agricultural land could take years to recover.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Denier weirdness: Heartland Institute deniers don't want their disinformation questioned

Sou | 8:05 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
You know how deniers are always going on about free speech. What they mean is that sometimes when they protest climate science they get rebuffed with sciency facts. I've already commented on the fact that Mark Steyn, that champion of "free speech" (or his version of it) doesn't allow comments on his blog. Now it seems that the Heartland Institute has decided that their public denier fest is not going to be public after all - although I'm guessing they will still be streaming the event to anyone who won't be bored senseless by it. (The only people who'll like it will be the already senseless.)

Kyla Mandel from DeSmogBlog reported on Twitter that the Heartland Institute has just kicked out one third of the women who rolled up to attend their denier fest at COP21, which has just begun - that is, Kyla Mandel, I'm guessing:

COP21 Week 2 - and open thread

Sou | 1:02 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
The COP21 meeting in Paris continues this week and is due to conclude on Friday 11 December. There is a draft agreement on the table now, which runs to 46 pages including Annexes. There is also an addendum. The main document has the following at the start of the draft agreement:

Saturday, December 5, 2015

El Niño in the Lower Troposphere - watch this space

Sou | 9:05 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Some people wonder when El Niño will show up in the lower troposphere. It takes some months before the temperature of the lower troposphere peaks - up to three months later than the peak in surface temperatures. That means that it will still be a couple of months before the El Niño shows up strongly in lower troposphere temperatures.

Roy Spencer has posted an update of UAH lower troposphere temperature. Here is an update of the chart from a few weeks ago, with November 2015 included. This version is 6.04 beta which is slightly different to previous beta versions in the detail. The shaded area covers the general period of an El Niño - from around April in year 1 to March in year 2. The lower troposphere temperature doesn't normally peak till the end of the El Niño:

Fig 1 | Lower troposphere temperature anomaly - global. Data source: UAH

Thursday, December 3, 2015

What a treat for Judith Curry - supping with the morally depraved

Sou | 2:22 PM Go to the first of 208 comments. Add a comment
Judith Curry is going to be testifying to a Senate Committee next week, along with some other climate science deniers and at least one scientist defamer. The others testifying are from the rogues gallery of science disinformers. The GOP could only find two people who are employed as climate scientists, Judith Curry and John Christy. So they reached into the science denier bag and fished out two disinformers for hire: Will Happer, and Mark Steyn.

Why do the Republicans bother with this crude pantomime? Why not just hang a sign around their necks saying "we want the world to burn"?

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Schoolboy sniggers at COP21 and conspiracy theories from WUWT deniers

Sou | 5:47 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
While the leaders of the free and less free world have gathered in Paris to address the biggest problem the world is facing, there is nothing but schoolboy sniggers from deniers. You may remember sneering, sniggering lads or lasses in your class when you were at high school. The underachievers of low self-esteem who thought a leer, a forced swagger and a dab of Clearasil might get them the admiration they sought. These types were either ignored or scorned by the rest of the class, just as the world's leaders are ignoring the abysmal efforts by disinformers and deniers to make the world hotter instead of containing global warming.