Monday, February 29, 2016

The Worlds Collide at WUWT - Astronomy is a Hoax!

Sou | 5:33 AM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment
What can I say? After promoting Tim Ball's wacky One World Guvmint conspiracy theories, now Anthony Watts has got Tim Ball resurrecting Velikovsky's Worlds in Collision. Scientists pointing out that the 1950's book was gobsmackingly stupid is another sign that climate science is a hoax.

I wonder what the WUWT-ers will make of that?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Conspiracy theorising Lamar Smith can't hack change

Sou | 4:04 PM Go to the first of 54 comments. Add a comment
I see that Lamar Smith hasn't been able to find any evidence for his conspiracy theory yet, so he's asked NOAA for more emails. He complained that he "only" got 301 pages of emails. He figured the search terms were "unnecessarily narrow". If you want to get a feel for Lamar's conspiracy theory that climate change is a Presidential hoax, he now wants NOAA to send him all emails containing any of the following words:
  • Karl
  • buoy
  • ship
  • Night Marine Air Temperature
  • temperature
  • climate
  • change
  • Paris
  • U.N.
  • United Nations
  • clean power plan
  • regulations
  • Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • President
  • Obama
  • White House
  • Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ)
He gave them seven whole days. In his next request, he'll no doubt separate words white from house, united from nations, clean from power and plan, Council from quality, and maybe boy as well as buoy,  etc. He might also widen temperature to temp, which would allow him to get any emails relating to temporary whatever.

I sincerely hope that he gets sent all emails that include stuff like:
  • "there's been a change to my mobile phone number"
  • "can you change the staff meeting to 2:00 pm"
  • "Lamar Smith is spelt with an "i" not a "y". Change all versions of "Smyth" to "Smith""
  • "please ship the staplers to our Seattle office"
If he does, then he'll probably spend years trying to work out the coded messages in the above.

This could go on forever. Will Lamar Smith call for NOAA's budget to be expanded to cover the cost of his private army of email searchers? As Gavin Schmidt tweeted:

Nobody makes them like the Republican Party in the USA. Nutty as a fruit cake.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Sheldon Walker gets into a pickle picking pauses at WUWT

Sou | 7:35 AM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
Sheldon Walker has written another two articles for Anthony Watts' blog WUWT (archived as Part 1 and Part 2). What Sheldon was trying to do was prove there was a Pause (with a capital P) in global surface warming recently. He didn't manage that, though he thinks he did. What I'm going to show is that in order to pick a Pause, Sheldon had to:
  • carefully select a 13-year period for a linear trend (aka cherry-pick)
  • avoid an interval just two years longer
  • ignore a finding he started out with, that even 15 years is too short to be assured of a meaningful trend
  • ignore another finding that non-overlapping trends suggest real differences
  • accept that a Pause is not the same as a stop!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Global surface warming continues without pause contrary to denier claims

Sou | 9:02 AM Go to the first of 49 comments. Add a comment
There's another new paper out in Nature Climate Change today that discusses the recent trends on global surface temperature. It's by a rash of notable authors: John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka, Neil C. Swart. Anthony Watts heralded the paper (archived here), which is unusual because he normally scoffs at the findings of most of these authors. He referred to an article in the Examiner newspaper, which claims that this paper contradicted "another study last June" that stated that the "the hiatus was just an artifact that “vanishes when biases in temperature data are corrected.”

Well it doesn't contradict it. Needless to say Anthony and the Examiner was comparing apples and oranges.

The new paper, Fyfe16, discussed the reality of the slowdown. There was no "hiatus" or stopping of global warming, contrary to Anthony Watts' headline. The rise in global surface temperatures slowed down earlier this century compared to the rate of rise from the mid-1970s to the late 1990s. As Jeff Tollefson of Nature wrote about the lead author: "Fyfe uses the term “slowdown” rather than “hiatus” and stresses that it does not in any way undermine global-warming theory."

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

He..e..e..lp! We need our CSIRO climate scientists...

Sou | 9:49 AM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
Hey, Malcolm Turnbull, Chris Pyne, Larry Marshall, Greg Hunt:

What the hell do you think you are doing?

We need our CSIRO climate scientists.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Anthony Watts pushes anti-semitic conspiracy theories wrapped up as a climate hoax

Sou | 2:39 AM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
There is not much happening on the denier front. They are either licking their wounds from two hottest years in a row, or hunkering down pretending that "it's not happening". For example, I don't know if Jo Nova believes what she writes (as archived here) or if she is really as deluded as she appears. She is says she is convinced that global warming "paused" and that it's about to get very cold. She claims to be also convinced that despite the world getting much, much hotter, more people are turning into science deniers. She's an oddball. I suspect having hooked up with her husband who has been bludging off her for quite some years now, by all accounts, she's finding it hard to admit she took the wrong turn. (Jo used to accept science, some years ago, though she was always a bit odd being a goldbug.)

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Denier Deception #67: Disgusting Jim Steele misrepresents Dr. Kevin Trenberth

Sou | 3:32 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
Kevin Trenberth is one of the world's leading climate scientists and a top science communicator. He is one of the experts who is more than willing to explain the science of climate to the general public and is often approached by journalists.

Jim Steele is a science denier and disinformer. I doubt he would ever be approached by mainstream scientific journalists. Jim uses climate conspiracy blogger Anthony Watts to promote his denial and his vanity-published denier manifesto.

Kevin Trenberth has 700 papers listed in his Google Scholar listing, and an h-index to weep for (97). Jim Steele has zero peer-reviewed publications and probably doesn't know what an h-index is.

Jim Steele goes to Serengeti to hunt Kevin Trenberth

Kevin Trenberth stands head, shoulders
and neck above the rest.
Today Jim Steele has written a Gish gallop attacking Dr Kevin Trenberth (archived here). As you know, this is a favourite technique of science deniers. It doesn't work so well these days, since the technique was named the Serengeti Strategy (by Michael Mann in his book "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars"). The aim is to try to discredit an individual scientist, isolate them from all the other climate scientists, and then say "aha - climate science is a hoax".

Yeah - it's pretty dumb, isn't it. Even were someone to find a mistake in a scientific paper, or object to something a scientist once said, it's hardly going to tear down the fabric of science. Most of the time, however, as in this case, it's the deniers who get it wrong, not the scientist they are attacking.

I thought about which Serengeti animal would typify Dr Trenberth and settled on the giraffe. It's got a great personality, it stands head, shoulders and neck above the rest of us mere mortals, it's elegant, and it would respond to attacks from dim deniers with the grace and wit befitting an honest person of strong character, like Dr Kevin Trenberth.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Fiji is hit by record-setting Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Winston

Sou | 6:20 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
You've probably already seen how Fiji is being hammered by possibly the strongest cyclone ever to hit it in recent times. Tropical cyclone Winston is a Category 5 storm, and there's no record of Fiji having ever been hit by a category 5 cyclone in the record books. I tried getting onto the website of the Fiji Meteorological Agency but it's slow, which probably isn't surprising given the situation. I don't want to slow it down further, so I'll repost a chart that the ABC got from them three hours ago:

TC Winston is only the eleventh Cat 5 storm in the southern hemisphere east of Australia since 1970. Winds of 165 mph or 266 kph have been reported. I don't know if these are wind guts or sustained wind speeds. For comparison, Yasi was thought to have reached wind gusts of 285 km/h at landfall. Jeff Masters and Bob Henson reported that when it hit the airport at Vanua Balavu, 10 minute wind speeds were around 170 kph (106 mph), suggesting 193 kph (120 mph) one-minute wind speeds.

Conspiracy theorising deniers at WUWT are waiting, hoping for a La Niña

Sou | 3:43 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
The current El Niño is still going and will continue for a while yet. Science deniers are hoping against hope there will be a La Niña later this year. Anthony Watts has posted an article where he says that one source predicts a La Niña (archived here). I don't know why he wants one. He lives in California, which is suffering extreme drought. A La Niña could well exacerbate the drought. Anyway, you'd think they'd all be very glad of this current El Niño. It may allow them in a few years to start claiming that "it hasn't warmed since 2016".

I won't make a prediction, but here are a couple of charts and some indications from more experienced sources. Australia's Bureau of Meteorology states (archived here):
Based on the 26 El Niño events since 1900, around 50% have been followed by a neutral year, and 40% have been followed by La Niña. International climate models suggest neutral is most likely for the second half of the year. However, La Niña in 2016 cannot be ruled out, and a repeat El Niño appears unlikely.

Below is the latest BoM chart of the model outlook through to the end of the year. The blue shaded area is La Niña territory.

Anthony Watts finds another squirrel in Arizona when he knows there is no bias

Sou | 1:35 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is busy looking for squirrels in Arizona to distract from all the record high temperatures. He's found another poorly sited weather station (archived here). Without acknowledging that his previous find wasn't used in any dataset, national or global, he is delighted to find that this one is. It's located at the small town of Parker in north-western Arizona near the border of California.

Parker 26250 is included in the GISTemp global data set up until 2007. It is also included in the NOAA USHCN dataset. There are quite a few quality problems with it, as shown at Berkeley Earth. There is missing data, it's very poorly sited, and it's had several replacements of an MMTS sensor.

The issue is not that there are poorly sited weather stations in the data sets. The question is: are they biasing the record?

The answer would be a resounding NO! They are not.

NOAA now uses a lot of data in its official CONUS dataset, nClimDiv, and uses sophisticated algorithms to correct wonky data and present the information on temperature as close as it can. It must be quite good, because there is very little difference between its pristine record of its Climate Reference Network (CRN) and the larger dataset (ClimDiv) as you can see below. I've highlighted where there are the biggest differences and they are miniscule:

US CRN and US ClimDiv January to December annual data from 2000 to 2015 Source: NOAA

Friday, February 19, 2016

To Anthony Watts, the Nature paper is about ecosystem sensitivity not climate sensitivity in a temperature sense

Sou | 9:12 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
I see that Anthony Watts is mixing up his sensitivities and satellite instruments (archived here). He copied and pasted a press release about a new paper in Nature. The researchers analysed ecosystem responses to changing climates, looking just at the last 14 years (from 2000 to 2013), using a vegetation index based on data from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS). Anthony seems to have only got as far as the headline to the press release. Either didn't read the press release itself or if he did he didn't understand it. (I very much doubt that he bothered to read the paper that the press release was about.) I say that because he introduced the press release with the following headline and his own words:
Satellites – “not good enough to tell us global temperature”, but apparently good enough to tell us global climate sensitivity
Remember that video produced a few weeks ago from the usual suspects that says satellite data is no good for climate data? Others in science don’t seem to think so.
First of all, the paper is about ecosystem sensitivity not climate sensitivity in the temperature sense. That is, how the different ecosystems around the world are responding to climate variability and change, not how much temperature will increase with a doubling of CO2.

Figure 1 | Global map of the Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI), a new indicator of vegetation sensitivity to climate variability using satellite data. Red colour shows higher ecosystem sensitivity, whereas green indicates lower ecosystem sensitivity. Grey areas are barren land or ice covered. Inland water bodies are mapped in blue. Source: U Bergen

Secondly, the satellite-derived data is from the imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), and shows vegetation changes. It's not from the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) or other microwave scanning instrument, used to measure "brightness temperature" or the radiance of the microwave radiation of the atmosphere, from which air temperature in different layers of the air is estimated).

Thursday, February 18, 2016

The real story of honey bees and a straw man from Anthony Watts at WUWT

Sou | 9:07 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
Any time there's a chance to reject science, Anthony Watts will grab it with both hands. Today he's decided to build a strawman out of bees. He's found a rather shallow article at Washington Post, which looks to me to have a lot wrong with it. The article was about how beekeepers have managed to rebuild the honey bee population in the USA. It's not yet back to its heyday of 1990, however it's increased from the low days of 2006 by about 20%. Close to the end of the article, a couple of economists are quoted cheerily calling the recovery "a victory for the free market", oblivious to the government support that helped address all the huge problems.

Anthony Watts' strawman

Anthony Watts wrote the headline: "Bee-pocaclypse called off, bees doing OK, global warming was never a cause" and referred to an old article from Wired. I say he referred to it, but he didn't link to it, he just copied and pasted a snapshot of the headline. That very short 2007 Wired article was about an article at Salon. That Salon article in turn was about how scientists were starting to look into the massive decline in the US population of honeybees. There were a lot of possible reasons put forward in the Salon article, but at the time (2007), all the research wasn't in.

Needless to say, Anthony Watts didn't give any insight into US honey bees. He doesn't do background research. His forte is copying and pasting slabs of text pinched from somewhere or other, putting his "claim" dogwhistle headlines on top of scientific press releases, and promoting logical fallacies and wacky climate conspiracy theories.

Anthony Watts promotes Ari Halperin's climate conspiracy theories at WUWT

Sou | 7:28 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is busy trying to divert attention from all the record hot temperatures. He has posted another article from Ari Halperin. He's the chap who created a Google search tool for deniers, which filters out science websites and only leaves in denier websites.

Here is what Anthony doesn't want to say too much about:

Figure 1 | January only - global mean surface temperature January 1880 to January 2016. Data source:GISS NASA

And below are six denier talking points, with full on conspiracy ideation, that he posted instead.

1. Scientific consensus on the greenhouse effect goes back to the 1800s

Ari's first point is, in typical denier fashion, non-specific:
  1. The alarmists first declared “scientific consensus” in 1988, and have been digging their heels in, persecuting skeptics, and constantly suppressing scientific inquiry since then, just as Richard Lindzen reported in 1992. They have been repeating their mantras and persecuting all other viewpoints.
That point that he listed is very mixed up. Ari doesn't indicate what the consensus he's complaining about was. Nor does he cite any evidence, which might have given a clue. Is he referring to global warming? That was known way back when. Callendar made detailed calculations of how the increased CO2 would warm the planet way back in the 1930s. Gilbert Plass wrote an important paper after the war in the 1950s. Over subsequent decades there were more and more papers written on the subject. Why Ari has picked out 1988 as a year for a declaration of scientific consensus on who knows what, I don't know. Nor do I know who he thinks has been persecuted. Is that denier-speak for refuted, rebutted or debunked?

Look at the squirrell! Dull deluded deniers moan about a single unused weather station

Sou | 5:15 PM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts was sent a bunch of photos from a fan of his, Mark Albright (archived here). If you've been hanging around climate blogs for a few years you might recognise the name. Mark is listed as Research Meteorologist at the University of Washington, and hangs out with Cliff Mass, who flips and flops between acting like a full-on climate science denier and accepting that humans are changing the climate. Mark Albright got himself into the climate spotlight a few years ago, when he did something foolish with snow data. Given his preference for WUWT, and his past antics, I'd say he's just another science denier from the USA.

What Mark found was a poorly sited weather station in a park in Arizona: Picacho 8 SE. So he sent lots of photos to Anthony Watts. Anthony, in turn, for want of anything meaninful to write about, has filled his blog with the photos.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Why does science denier Bob Tisdale tell such big fat lies at WUWT?

Sou | 4:31 AM Go to the first of 53 comments. Add a comment
Most people will know very well why Bob Tisdale uses a 61 month running filter when he compares HadCRUT4 temperature anomalies with CMIP5 model mean (as archived here). It's so he can string out his false claim that there is a "growing difference" between model projections and observations. He's lying. There is now practically no difference.

Let me illustrate. In all these charts except the one down the bottom, the CMIP5 projections are as for the IPCC report, using RCP8.5. That is, they don't have the actual forcings from 2006 onwards, only estimates. The actual forcings would have made the projections lower from 2006.

Below is a chart showing GISTemp vs CMIP5 model mean.

See also Addendum below.

Monday, February 15, 2016

Detecting ripples in the fabric of space-time

Sou | 10:02 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
You've probably by now heard about how scientists have detected gravitational waves for the first time. The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) has reported how, shortly after newly designed and built detectors became operational last September, they detected gravitational waves from the merging of two black holes. The event happened around 1.3 billion years ago and it took that long for the waves to propagate here. The description is very sci-fi, with the opening lines of the press release:
For the first time, scientists have observed ripples in the fabric of spacetime called gravitational waves, arriving at the earth from a cataclysmic event in the distant universe. This confirms a major prediction of Albert Einstein’s 1915 general theory of relativity and opens an unprecedented new window onto the cosmos.

Who killed Justice Scalia? Anthony Watts sets some rules for crazy conspiracy theories at WUWT

Sou | 8:37 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
As you know, most crazy conspiracy theories are encouraged at WUWT, however there is one at least that is not allowable. The rules for which conspiracy theories are permitted and which aren't only become evident after Anthony Watts has considered them. Very few conspiracy theories are barred from WUWT. Until now, the only ones that I've seen frowned upon are the "chemtrail" conspiracy theory and maybe the HAARP conspiracy theory. Everything else is fine at WUWT. Anthony actively promotes "New World Order" conspiracies of Tim Ball, and the related Agenda21 conspiracy theories. He promotes his own conspiracy theories that scientists are fudging and faking data. As long as a conspiracy is tied in some way to climate science, it's all systems go at WUWT.

Which might have been the problem for the person whose comment Anthony disallowed. It didn't link Justice Scalia's death with climate science.

Hottest January on record, with El Niño years comparison

Sou | 3:01 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
Yes, there's another hottest on record, with January data from GISS, NASA. This month is 1.13 °C (2.03 °F) hotter than the 1951 to 1980 average. This month's anomaly is 1.83 °C or 3.29 °F higher than that of than the coldest January on record, which itself was 107 years ago in 1909. Below is a monthly chart, showing all months from January 1880 through to January 2016:

Figure 1 | Monthly global mean surface temperature 1880 to January 2016. Data source: GISS NASA
Some comparisons with January 2016 at 1.13 °C above the 1951-1980 mean:
  • The previous highest monthly anomaly was December 2015 at 1.11 °C above the 1951-1980.
  • The previous hottest January was January 2007, at 0.95 °C above the 1951-1980 mean.
  • The coldest January on record was in 1909, at 0.7 °C below the 1951-1980 mean.
  • Each of the past four months, from October 2015, have had an anomaly greater than 1 °C.
  • The average anomaly for the past 12 months, from February 2015 to January 2016 is 0.89 °C.

In January the world was probably around 1.4 °C above the pre-industrial average global temperature - by my rough estimate.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Another cool prediction from the Force X duo from downunder: David Evans and Jo Nova

Sou | 6:30 PM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment
Today there's another in the current multi-year series from David Evans (archived here). I wonder if Jo's been on his back to produce something, anything at all, so she can fill their coffers. The article doesn't have anything new to add to what's been written in the multiple articles to date. Or not that I can see. This is article 22 in the current series, and there were eight articles in their first series. By my count that makes 30 episodes altogether so far, with precious little to show for it. They are now banking on a La Niña developing later this year or next, so they can drag things on a bit longer. (Their latest prediction is that massive cooling will start in 2017.)

In case you missed it, David Evans and Jo Nova are science deniers from Western Australia who make a living from gullible skeptics. David and Jo claim it's going to get very cold very soon because of an undetectable, mysterious, magical Force X that lives in the sun. I don't know if that's what they really think or if they know it's a big sham and are scammers. (Given they both claim some scientific education, the latter is quite likely. The fact that they have been stringing their fans along for so long without giving them anything much new makes it even more likely.)

To summarise, as I understand David Evans' "theory":

Global sea surface temperature and model projections, with Bob Tisdale

Sou | 2:34 AM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
A couple of days ago at WUWT Bob Tisdale posted a whole heap of charts of sea surface temperature and compared them to CMIP5 models (archived here). He was doing his usual thing of complaining the climate models don't model weather. He wrote:
The climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are not simulating climate as it exists on Earth. 
What he was really complaining about was that:
The multi-model mean of climate models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) are not simulating climate as it exists on Earth. year to year variations in the weather as recorded by the older version of Reynold's OI v2 data, when looking at some sections of the ocean
Well, they aren't meant to do that. Climate models are for, you guessed it, climate not weather. The CMIP5 models are used for climate projections as well as learning more about particular aspects of climate. They are pretty good when it comes to global projections. Not as good (but not that bad) when looking at large areas like entire oceans. They are not intended to be used for weather forecasts. (Bob wants them to time ENSO events at the same time as they happen. That won't happen. There are other models specially developed for localised projections looking ahead a few months.)

There were some charts that were noticeable by their absence, so I figured I'd fill in the gaps in his article.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

What's not said at WUWT - wild swings in temperature

Sou | 6:17 PM Go to the first of 19 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has thrown a bone to the ice-age comethers at WUWT. He wrote a short article (archived here) about how parts of the USA are going to get a bit chilly in the next day or so. His article was under the headline:
Record cold: Single digit to subzero Valentine’s Day expected for much of NE USA
Anthony is a lazy-bones. For a supposed climate blog owned by an ex-weather announcer, there was scant information. Anthony didn't explain:
  • What was causing the predicted cold weather
  • How long it would last
  • Anything much about it at all, except that some parts of the USA would get chilly.
His article was nothing more than a static image of a minimum temperature map and two tweets from Ryan Maue. So I decided to go elsewhere to check the weather out.

Weather disasters in 2015

Sou | 4:07 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
A few days ago the UN issued a press release on natural disasters in 2015, the hottest year on record (so far). It stated that 92% of the disasters were climate-related. The ones affecting the most people were drought (50.5 million people) and floods (27.5 million people). The chart below shows where the disasters were reported.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Kip Hansen's badge of dishonour

Sou | 1:23 PM Go to the first of 58 comments. Add a comment
I was going to add this in reply to a comment from Kip Hansen but since it's a pointer to just a few of the ongoing science scams and lies from his fellow crooks, it's worth an article. Kip Hansen, in a fit of denier weirdness, regards it as a badge of honour to have his nonsense ridiculed. Kip seems to think that his fellow climate science denying conspiracy theorists are the "best company in the world".

Kip said I didn't understand his denial but, as is common with deniers, (and unlike yours truly) doesn't say where he thinks I was wrong. Do I need to point out that it's Kip and the immoral, heinous crowd he hangs out with who either don't understand climate science or knowingly lie about it? It's Kip Hansen who is an anti-future activist who rejects 97% plus of two centuries of science.

This is what is happening, while the Kip Hansen's of the world strongly agitate for more heat waves, floods, wildfires, droughts, civil unrest, famine, and worse:

Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature change of the past 165 years. Data source: UK Met Office.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Those Russian steampipes are back at WUWT

Sou | 4:15 AM Go to the first of 30 comments. Add a comment
Remember when Anthony Watts blamed global warming on Russian steampipes? Well, he's back with it all over again (archived here). Anthony posted a chart of global temperature anomalies from October 2008 and wrote:
From the “we told you so years ago” department comes this interesting study that might explain the 8 °C red spot in the Russian Arctic that NASA GISS always seems to have: [replaced link with archived version]

The study was about how some cities in Murmansk Oblast were warmer than their surrounds, which was attributed to the Urban Heat Island effect. That's mildly interesting but not unexpected. Thing is, Anthony referred back to his article about Russian steam pipes, and the map he showed above had the hottest areas in quite a different area.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

A strong, alarming warning from scientific luminaries: We have to decide...

Sou | 1:03 PM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment
This is an alert for denier watchers. Get ready for the possibility of another "whopping mad (crazy)" onslaught from the climate conspiracy theorists. Peter U. Clark and a team of leading scientists have published a paper in Nature Climate Change, this time looking ahead 10,000 years to changes in climate and sea level. The team is laden with some of the heaviest of heavyweights from the world of climate science:
Peter U. Clark, Jeremy D. Shakun, Shaun A. Marcott, Alan C. Mix, Michael Eby, Scott Kulp, Anders Levermann, Glenn A. Milne, Patrik L. Pfister, Benjamin D. Santer, Daniel P. Schrag, Susan Solomon, Thomas F. Stocker, Benjamin H. Strauss, Andrew J. Weaver, Ricarda Winkelmann, David Archer, Edouard Bard, Aaron Goldner, Kurt Lambeck, Raymond T. Pierrehumbert, Gian-Kasper Plattner.

Monday, February 8, 2016

An unreasonable sample of a resident WUWT conspiracy theorist Tim Ball

Sou | 9:30 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Climate conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts is widely regarded for his ongoing services to climate disinformers. He's also well known for not knowing anything about climate. He can't read a temperature chart, not even for the USA, he fails at arithmetic and logic, and is willing to promote any notion, no matter how ridiculous, as long as it fits his view that climate science is a hoax dreamt up by scientists cemturies ago.

Today he's decided to give up on satellite data, and give up on his precious surface stations, and throw his lot in with uber-conspiracy nutter Tim Ball. (Yes, that Tim Ball. Defamer, "sky dragon slayer", and fan of Hitler and Osama bin Laden.) Anthony posted an article with the headline: Long -Term Climate Change: What Is A Reasonable Sample Size? ... Except that wasn't the question.

WUWT failed predictions: Nicola Scafetta and his astrological prediction from 2012

Sou | 6:16 AM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment
Having written about one failed prediction, I was prompted to investigate another. This time it's from Nicola Scafetta from 2012. He wrote an article at WUWT (archived here), which was based on a paper he had published in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics. As with Girma Orssenga, Nicola's model has failed. It's failed even more spectacularly than Girma's did.

Nicola likes to look for patterns. He sees shapes he likes and turns them into waves. He calls his updated prediction a widget, though I don't believe it is. At least I can't find it anywhere. It's just a chart. Nicola wrote:

WUWT failed predictions: Girma Orssengo, PhD 2011 with boundaries and cycles

Sou | 2:59 AM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
I was trawling the internet and came across another failed prediction from WUWT. This one was from Girma Orssengo, PhD, and he made his prediction in 2011 (archived here). Even though his prediction was only four years ago, and even though it was projecting ahead to 2030, I think it's fair to say that it's not looking too hot.
Girma's pendulum, from Wikipedia via WUWT

I should say, it is looking too hot for Girma Orssengo, PhD.  I predict his prediction will fail. Any takers in a bet?

As is common with articles at WUWT, the article is quite a mess and the diagrams aren't pretty. What Girma was postulating was that the global surface temperature acts like a pendulum. He even posted a picture, in case any WUWT readers didn't know what a pendulum is.

Girma started off quoting Richard Feynmann, which at WUWT is a dead giveaway that he's a science denier. Then, after whining that it wasn't fair to blame poor innocent CO2 for warming (bizarre was a word he used), Girma wrote:
In this article, following Feynman’s advice, an alternative interpretation of the same GMT data is provided that throws doubt on the accelerated warming interpretation of the IPCC.
This alternative interpretation was also used to estimate the GMT trend for the next two decades, which shows global cooling from the GMT peak value of about 0.45 deg C for the 2000s to 0.13 deg C by the 2030s.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Christopher Monckton's trend of disinformation continues at WUWT - without pause

Sou | 6:34 PM Go to the first of 50 comments. Add a comment
Christopher Monckton has written an article (archived here) signalling that his wavering pause is probably about to come to a dead stop. There's about to be a halt in the pause. The cold air above us has been getting hotter than ever recorded these past few months. For both RSS and UAH, November was the hottest ever November, December the hottest ever December and January the hottest ever January ever reported in the satellite record. That's looking back 35 years, since 1979.

Christopher wrote a lot of nonsense in his article as usual. Here are some examples:

Christopher Monckton builds a 19 year straw man

Science deniers like to make up stuff so that they can shoot it down. Here is one of Christopher's strawmen:
Schmidt and Karl, like the Met Office this side of the pond, say there has been rapid surface warming over the past 19 years. If so, where on Earth did it come from? 
Christopher Monckton just made that up. That's because he wants you to think that global warming stopped when it didn't. Scientists haven't been talking about "rapid" warming of the past 19 years. They've been warning of rapid warming since industrialisation. They've been warning us about the particularly rapid warming since the early 1970s. What they have said is that warming slowed for a short spell in the early part of this century at the surface (but not in the oceans), but that the longer term trend hasn't changed. It could even be speeding up again. We'll have to wait a few years to see. However the medium term trend hasn't changed so far, and it's high, at around 0.17 C/decade.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Sheldon Walker came to HotWhopper to get help for his WUWT article

Sou | 4:46 PM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment
As OSweetMrMath noticed, Sheldon Walker came here the other day looking for help with a question he had. It turns out he was wanting our advice on an article he was putting together for WUWT (archived here). I think that's really funny. Do you think Anthony Watts appreciates our assistance? :)

Sheldon wanted to know:
How much of the 2015 temperature increase do you think is due to el Niño, and how much do you think is due to AGW?
He got a lot of help, including from OSweetMrMath but didn't know what to do with it. I sent him over to The Carbon Brief at one point, to where a number of different scientists explained how they estimated the contribution of El Niño to last year's record heat. So over he trotted. Rather than come back to HotWhopper, his next port of call was WUWT where he repeated the errors he made here at HW. Anthony Watts posted the following extremely dumb, extremely wrong claim as his headline to Sheldon's error-ridden article:
Hottest year ever update: El Niño effect in 2015 was 20 times larger than the global warming signal

Lower troposphere RSS update

Sou | 12:00 PM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment
The January data for RSS is now online. At 0.663 °C above the 1979-1998 mean, January is the hottest January on record for the lower troposphere, and the fourth hottest month on record. For RSS there are three consecutive hottest for the respective months, the hottest November, hottest December and hottest January.

Data source: RSS

The only months hotter than January 2016 were in 1998:- February (0.736 °C), April (0.857 °C) and May (0.667 °C). The chart below compares the El Nino years of 1997-98, 2009-10 and 2015-16 for the lower troposphere, as recorded by RSS.

Data source: RSS

UAH has a new version but the data isn't up yet. I've posted preliminary charts here. (The changes in the latest UAH version are mostly to the northern hemisphere temperature anomalies which is where the divergence from surface temperature is the greatest.)

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Australia's CSIRO dims the lights on climate and environment

Sou | 7:16 PM Go to the first of 44 comments. Add a comment
If the article at the Sydney Morning Herald is true, then the CSIRO and Australian government have decided to dim the lights on climate science. Instead of researching climate science and climate change, the CSIRO management has decided to research how we can adapt to it.

It should not be a case of either/or. We need both.

Now applied research and development is the stock in trade of the CSIRO. That R&D organisation was established primarily for the "D" in R&D. It exists for the economic benefit of Australia. As with a lot of universities these days, it is expected to earn money through patents, licences, contracts and partnerships with industry and business. I've no problem with that. CSIRO has some very worthy successes. The problem I see is that in order for development there has to be research. Research precedes development in the R&D chain. If we don't properly understand what is happening and what is going to happen, then we won't properly understand what it is that we need to adapt to. So the question becomes - how are we going to adapt if we don't understand well enough what the future holds?

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Judith Curry adopts a pet ostrich, Kip Hansen, promoting the Dozen Bright Minds Climate Workshop

Sou | 4:19 PM Go to the first of 81 comments. Add a comment
After attacking scientists who push for open data, Judith Curry now wants to muzzle climate scientists. She promoted another article from a science-denying WUWT-er, who wants to restart climate science research (archived here).

Kip Hansen wants to ban monitoring of at least the following:
  • global mean surface temperature
  • ocean heat content
  • global sea level.
He doesn't say why, but I expect that he's tired of hearing about the "hottest year on record" and the rest, and thinks that if he doesn't know what's happening it can't hurt him.

Judith Curry attacks open data advocates and encourages people who try to suppress science

Sou | 1:42 AM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
No-one will be surprised to learn that Judith Curry supports vicious attacks on scientists who publish on controversial topics (archived here). She gave up science for blogging her science denial a few years ago. Now she's turned her attack onto two people who have been strong advocates for open science, Professor Stephan Lewandowsky and Professor Dorothy Bishop.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How does the earth balance energy?

Sou | 10:43 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts doesn't seem to like this new paper about how energy moves around the Earth system and out to space (archived here). I don't know where EurekAlert got the headline from, which Anthony didn't like. "Long-term global warming not driven naturally - Study debunks argument that warming is driven by natural factors". The press release at Duke, the home of the researchers, is different and reads:
Long-Term Global Warming Requires External Drivers
Regardless of the headline, the body of the press release is clear, and the study is quite interesting. The paper was by Patrick T. Brown, Wenhong Li, Jonathan H. Jiang, and Hui Su. (The authors thanked Drew Shindell in among other acknowledgements.) What the scientists did was look at the obvious and explore it in detail.

Tracking the 2015-16 El Niño, plus more

Sou | 8:22 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
The lower troposphere data is out for January, so here's an update of the comparison of El Niño years. First the lower troposphere, with UAH data for January added. The shaded area is the approximate time span for El Niños. These charts aren't precise. They are a mix of v6.04 beta and v6.05 beta. That's because the latest beta version isn't up on line yet. I got the latest months' data from Roy Spencer's blog:

Figure 1 | Lower troposphere temperature for selected El Niño years. Data source: UAH

It's a bit closer to the lower troposphere temperatures in previous El Niños, which is less of a rise than I expected. The January global value is 0.54 C above the 1981-2010 baseline average. In 1998 and 2010, January was 0.49 C above the baseline average, so only 0.05 C difference. This is much less than the difference in previous recent months. Not that you can tell a lot by a single month.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Tim Ball is conspiratorially lost in the blizzards of 2015 and 2016

Sou | 2:53 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment
Not content with denying climate change, now WUWT is denying the weather. I noticed this claim about storm Jonas at WUWT today, which the meteorologist (ret'd) missed. Tim Ball is claiming that Jonas forecasts failed (archived here). In his article he weaves a conspiracy theory of mammoth proportions, ticking the boxes of six of the seven criteria for conspiracy ideation. This includes twisting the facts to fit his conspiracy theory. It also requires Tim to refer to a 12 month old article about last year's blizzard as proof that the this year's blizzard didn't happen - or something. Wrong storm, wrong year - Tim got his blizzards mixed up.

An overview of storm Jonas

Before beginning on Tim's wildly imaginative conspiracy theorising, here's a short recap of storm Jonas.

Storm Jonas was the fourth most severe storm in the region in at least the past 66 years. Early warnings began more than a week before the storm was forecast to hit, giving people plenty of time to prepare. All the weather models were in general agreement, unusually for a storm like this. The forecasts were remarkably accurate. The dump of snow on New York city was a bigger than expected but otherwise the weather forecasts were pretty well spot on. The storm killed 55 people, caused a storm surge as big or maybe bigger than Hurricane Sandy, dumped record snow in some built up areas, shut down activity in some of the busiest parts of the USA, and resulted in more than $2 billion damage.

I've added more detail below, as well as in the references at the bottom of this article.