Thursday, March 31, 2016

A longer view of Arctic sea ice: 1953 to now

The other day I wrote about Arctic sea ice and showed a chart from Meier et al (2012). The chart went from 1953 to 2011. In case you can use these somewhere while you're talking Arctic sea ice, I've now got updated data and have plotted charts from 1953 to the present. I can do others if you want (just ask in the comments).

I'll be a bit busy over the next few days, so won't be able to respond immediately - should be within a few hours tops.

Desperate Deniers: Bob Tisdale is lost in uncertainty of February temperatures

Bob Tisdale has got himself lost in a world of uncertainty. He's written an article at WUWT (archived here) with the headline: "February 2016 Global Surface Temperature Anomalies May or May Not Have Been Highest on Record, According to the UKMO".

In fact it was the hottest February on record. What Bob does to support his claim is say how the UK Met Office Hadley Centre publishes uncertainty limits with the global surface temperature data. Bob went looking for any month that might have had an anomaly that came close. He couldn't find any other February, but he did find a January. He wrote:

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Another low: Richard Verney's Arctic sea ice fudge at WUWT

Some of the "thoughts" of deniers at WUWT defy belief. I'm talking about a comment from WUWT regular Richard Verney today under an unusual article (for WUWT). The WUWT article was unusual because despite being posted by Anthony Watts, and despite it being a press release from a scientific organisation, and despite it being about how winter sea ice hit another record low maximum this year - there was no "claim" in the headline (archived here, latest here).  There was even a link to the NASA press release.

This is the comment that I'm talking about, from richard verney on March 29, 2016 at 1:48 am
They have satellite data going back to the early 1970s. They should use all the data, not just that post 1979, but then again the early 1970s would be inconvenient especially since the amount of ice observed today is more than in 1974.
He's wrong in his conspiracy ideation. The amount of Arctic sea ice observed today is a lot less than it was in 1974. Here are some plots of sea ice extent going back as far as the satellite era will travel.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Willis Eschenbach and his carbon uptake mistake at WUWT

Willis Eschenbach is wondering about how much extra CO2 can go into the air (archived here, latest here). He's done some calculations and figured that atmospheric CO2 can't double. Even without doing any calculations it's easy to see that he's wrong. This is why.

Willis has used two models for his estimate, and two estimates of fossil fuel available to burn. He got his estimates from a diagram in the IPCC WG1 AR5 report, which put fossil fuel reserves at between around 900 GtC (gigatonnes of carbon) and 2000 GtC.  I will leave it to the experts to quibble over how much of the remaining fossil fuel reserves would be technically feasible to exploit. This article is about how and perhaps why Willis has underestimated the impact - or so it seems to me. Willis' two examples are described here as:
  • Example 1: burning 900 GtC by 2100 and
  • Example 2: burning an extra 2,000 GtC by 2100.
As far as I can tell, where he went wrong was in using single pulse models. That is, there's an inherent assumption in the models he used that CO2 will be released as a single pulse, followed by nothing. (Willis doesn't assume that himself, but the models he uses do, I think. That leads to a flaw in his reasoning.) Update: Willis mentions a tau of 33 years, suggesting he has factored in additional removal of CO2 from the air, over and above what the biosphere, oceans and land surface can already handle. In other words, he's erroneously double counted.

Cognitive dissidence: Quiet, if confusing, on the denier front, and a peep at Hansen (2016)

It's still quiet if a bit confusing on the denier front. Judith Curry admits to being a knowing dissident. She says she's suffering cognitive dissidence in one of her mixed up articles where, apart from that, she commits to little if anything as is usual with Judith. While it was probably a Freudian slip, it's a great term, isn't it. One that sums up disinformers rather well.

Other people seem to be afflicted by cognitive dissidence as well, arguing for the sake of arguing.

Over at WUWT, Bob Tisdale wants to know what Presidential hopefuls are going to do to protect the US populace against weather-related disasters (archived here), which he admits are happening now.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

How false denier memes are built on quicksand

Science deniers build memes on quicksand, but the memes can hang around as if they are built on solid rock. Today there is another example. At WUWT there's an article with the headline: "Friday Funny: more upside down data". Except the data wasn't upside down or back to front or wrong in any discernible way.

John McLean sent an email to Bishop Hill blog owner saying he found things wrong with the sea surface temperature data from the Hadley Centre, UK Met Office (archived here). Among other things, he thought that the data labeled nh (northern hemisphere) should have been sh (southern hemisphere) and vice versa. Parts of the email were published on the blog without much fanfare, just asking if others could confirm or otherwise what John thought he found.

Update: John McLean was partly correct, there were some errors in the data files. They have now been rectified. (See also this update article, which includes an explanation from Nick Stokes.)
Added by Sou at 2:16 pm, 12 April 2016 AEST

Scientists checked but found nothing wrong

ATTP was the first to look and couldn't find anything wrong with the data and about two hours after the blog article was written he said so. (He also suggested checking with John Kennedy of the UK Met Office.) An hour later, Zeke Hausfather also said he couldn't find the problems that John McLean identified. A few hours later Eternal Optimist checked some of John's other numbers and got something different to what John got. Around the same time Nick Stokes said he also looked and couldn't find anything wrong with the data. He wrote:

Friday, March 25, 2016

Spinning in fright at WUWT

I wrote about the AMS survey yesterday, so this will be short. The survey has belatedly hit the news at WUWT, with much denier spin (lumping the half and halfers in with the human-caused deniers). Anthony wrote about his conspiracy-minded colleagues:
Two colleagues I know locally also got this survey, and they didn’t send it in because they didn’t believe their opinion or identity would actually be protected. 
Ooh, scary! Anthony added that he doesn't want anyone to know that he rejects climate science. Must be why his blog is so secret:
I can’t say that I blame them. I wouldn’t have sent it in either when the man asking the questions might flag you for criminal prosecution for having an opinion he doesn’t like.


Shady journalism at WUWT: Investigative reporting vs disinformation smears

There's quite a bit of difference between investigative reporting, "science" via FOI email fishing, and lazy smears via word association games. There are some examples of the difference at WUWT today (archived here). As you know, Anthony Watts isn't the sharpest tool in the toolshed, which is maybe one reason his fans forgive him his lack of critical thinking and dreadful double standards. Another reason is that his disinformation is aimed at the bluntest tools in the toolshed, so the content doesn't matter. As long as there are some slogans to toss about, the facts are irrelevant.

Today I happened to notice, belatedly, that Anthony Watts whistled for my attention, using me as an excuse to beg for money again - so I'll do him the honour of responding. He copied and pasted a smear attack on some top notch investigative reporting. The closest that his sloppy, lazy copy and paste came to "investigative reporting" was:
  • misrepresenting a press release, 
  • reading a paragraph publicly available for all to see on a web page (I'm guessing Katie read it), and 
  • adding some sensationalist language.

Untenable denier delusions: Another Norman Page "ice age cometh" at WUWT

Times are tough in climate conspiracy land. Today there is another ice age cometh article at WUWT by Dr Norman Page (archived here). His headline is "Collapse of the CAGW Delusion: Untenable Past 2020". Anthony hasn't posted an "ice age cometh" article from this greenhouse effect denier for some time. His article seems to be based on the "work" of Syun-Ichi Akasofu, who is also a greenhouse effect denier. Akasofu's article was published in one of the journals of Scientific Research Publishing, which Beale has identified as a predatory publisher of junk. That is, it accepts any old nonsense. It's a "Little Ice Age bounce" paper otherwise known as a "the world warms by magic" article.

Norman Page's forecasts and imaginary millenial peak

Norman is also a "world warms by magic" proponent. He hides it by writing a lot of gobbledegook about patterns and cycles that don't have any physical basis. This time he put up some of his own forecasts. Here they are:

Creationist and anti-vaxxer Galileos - step this way

Pinocchio by André Koehne
A couple of lawyers seem to be wanting to make a name for themselves as defenders of anti-science defamers (archived here). David B. Rivkin Jr. and Andrew M. Grossman have written an article at the Wall Street Journal about how they or their current or future clients (presumably) want to press their right to falsely defame climate scientists. Why do I say this? Because right in the middle of the article is written:
The Climate Inquisition began with Michael Mann’s 2012 lawsuit against critics of his “hockey stick” research—a holy text to climate alarmists. The suggestion that Prof. Mann’s famous diagram showing rapid recent warming was an artifact of his statistical methods, rather than an accurate representation of historical reality, was too much for the Penn State climatologist and his acolytes to bear.
That is a complete fabrication of the situation. Dr Mann's case isn't about critics of his research. It's about defamation. This pair of scallywag lawyers seem to want to join the queue waiting to be sued. Since they are lawyers, they must know that the case is about the ugly and false allegations of fraud by the people Professor Mann is suing.

New survey shows more AMS members accept global warming

There was a report of a survey of American Meteorological Society (AMS) members published a couple of years ago, which deniers touted quite a bit. It showed that the least well-informed about climate science were also the least likely to accept that humans are causing global warming. Just released are the initial results of another survey of AMS members by some of the same researchers. It's not exactly a repeat, but the questions are not dissimilar. They are close enough for a comparison I believe. There's been a shift toward understanding climate science among AMS members since the first survey was conducted.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Despondent deniers: Why fake sceptics are losing and more...

There isn't a lot happening in the deniosphere. The hottest ever records and latest US opinion polls are making the climate conspiracy theorists somewhat despondent. I've pulled together a round-up of some recent articles at WUWT. It's a motley collection covering the fake sceptics war against science, denier hustlers, and weather forecasts and climate models.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Bob Tisdale tries to hide the massive warming

How do you get rid of warming that you want to deny? That's easy. You just subtract it from the record and ignore it.

Bob Tisdale is a pseudo-scientist at WUWT who doesn't believe that CO2 is warming the planet. He's a greenhouse effect denier. His notion is that El Ninos are what's warming the Earth by magic, or what he calls "sunlight-created warm water". I didn't know that sunlight created water, but who am I to say?

In a new article (archived here), Bob is trying to persuade the climate conspiracy theorists that the big spike in the global mean surface temperature was just what he expected. That's despite his numerous articles where he tried to show this El Nino isn't as big as the 97/98 one. And despite the fact that it's way hotter now than it was in the late 1990s. Bob weirdly thinks that the recent rise in global surface temperature has nothing to do with the increase in greenhouse gases.

Bob is wanting to divert attention from the unrelenting rise in global surface temperature.  The linear rate of warming since the mid 1970s is around 0.17 °C each decade. Bob Tisdale doesn't want his readers to notice that, so what he did was subtract 0.42 °C from the 2015/16 monthly temperatures and superimposed the plot on a chart of 1997/98 global monthly temperatures. He was trying to make the last 18 years of global warming disappear. In fact he over-reached, as I'll show you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Correcting underestimated heat wave intensity - it's plants

A new paper just published in the Nature open access journal Scientific Reports suggests that some plants may be exacerbating heat waves as climate change kicks in. As I read it, what happens is:
  • Certain plants will release less water in very hot weather, that means less evapotranspiration
  • Evapotranspiration has a cooling effect at the surface, because of the latent heat of evaporation (energy required to evaporate water comes from the surrounds, thus cooling the surface)
  • Because there is less water put out by some plants, there will be less of a cooling effect, therefore hotter days are even hotter than they would otherwise be.
The Australian research team, led by Jatin Kala, estimated that by the end of this century, that could add up to 5 °C to a heat wave day, and even more mid-century. From the press release the "biggest temperature changes were projected to occur over needleleaf forests, tundra and agricultural land used to grow crops".

Anthony Watts sticks his neck out and predicts La Niña

Today Anthony Watts is sticking his neck out and predicting a La Niña later this year (archived here). What he's done is copied and pasted the first four paragraphs and a chart from a Reuters article by Karen Braun, changed the headline and, in defiance of copyright, provided no attribution, just an unlabeled link. That means that unless you notice the link, you might think that Anthony himself was the author (except his writing isn't as good). He's not the author. He has added no original words himself except for a slight word change in the headline. The original headline was:
COLUMN: How much clarity do we have on transition to La Niña? - Braun
Anthony Watts' changed it to:
How Much Global Cooling Will We See On Transition To La Niña?
Karen Braun in her article didn't totally commit to La Niña. Anthony, by leaving out most of her article and changing the headline did. Time will tell if his prediction guess wishful thinking works out.

James R. Barrante Ph.D., ex-physical chemistry teacher, flunks organic chemistry

The latest bit of idiocy at WUWT is from someone who goes by the name of  James R. Barrante, Ph.D. A Google search shows that for many years now, young James has been trying to convince whoever is silly enough to take any notice of him that it's the oceans that are causing atmospheric CO2 to increase or something like that. He's a very mixed up chappie and can't seem to keep his story straight. Today at WUWT he wrote how burning hydrocarbons doesn't produce CO2, or words to that effect:
...if the measurement of ocean pH were not so complicated, and we had that data for the last 150 years, I would bet that we could show exactly that the increase in atmospheric CO2 from 280 ppmv to 380 ppmv in the last 150 years is an ocean temperature effect and not at all related to burning fossil fuels.

Monday, March 21, 2016

TLDR at WUWT, and the Fountain of Youth at SEPP

1546 painting by Lucas Cranach the Elder.
Every week at WUWT Anthony Watts dutifully reposts a very, very long screed put together by Ken Haapala at S. Fred Singer's SEPP. It's got dreadful formatting, silly quotes, is crammed with denierisms, and did I mention it is inordinately long, meriting the Too Long Didn't Read (TLDR) tag. I don't usually bother with it and neither do many other people. Today, about four hours after the article was posted, there was a single star and this lone plaintive "thought" from one of WUWT's climate conspiracy fans:

…Am I only one that reads these ???

Not quite, Marcus, but almost, from what I've seen.

SEPP has discovered the fountain of youth (and immortality)

While researching this I came across the 2014 Form 990 for SEPP. It makes interesting reading. Did you know that the then 90 year old S. Fred Singer worked 60 hours a week for SEPP in 2014 (and no hours for a related organisation)? And without pay! Hard to believe, I know. It was the same in 2011 and 2012

That's nothing. A full 17 months after he died, Frederick Seitz, Ph.D was still listed on the SEPP website as Chairman.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

The dark side of humanity at WUWT: Tim Ball's hopes have been realised, his lies have not

Anthony Watts has posted another article from his resident conspiracy theorist Tim Ball (archived here, latest here). I won't bore you with all the details. You know that Tim's articles are usually ugly paranoid conspiracy theories written to feed the salacious appetites of Anthony's deluded fans. There are just a couple of points I'll make.

The hope

The first one is that Tim's hopes are realised. He says: "I Hope The IPCC Is Correct About Warming Because Cooling Is a Bigger Problem". Here you go, Tim:

Data source: GISS NASA

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Denier weirdness: Robot overlords are a bigger threat than global warming Who knew?

Anthony Watts doesn't agree with climate scientists. In his latest effort (archived here) he thinks that the biggest threats to humanity are: "the threat of nuclear war, asteroid and comet impacts, a super volcanic eruption, robot overlords, or a global pandemic". I've no doubt that some of these are potential threats, but none are as big a threat as global warming.

This is the YouTube clip to which Anthony Watts objected. We can overcome this biggest of challenges, but will we?

Too much heat: Anthony Watts is becoming a greenhouse effect denier

Anthony Watts is protesting the record heat so much his brain must be hurting. He's been stuffing his blog with protests. I can't tell if it's because he's got nothing else to fill up his daily quota, or if it's that he's really disturbed by the record heat. In a very mixed up article (archived here), Anthony once again protests. He keeps mixing up USA surface temperatures with global. I wonder does he know the difference? He is also starting to show strong signs of denying the greenhouse effect, which up till recently he vowed he "believed" in.

Yesterday he posted another dumb article (archived here) protesting the record hot year, using a tweet from Andy Revkin about an article by Seth Borenstein as his excuse. He didn't post a link to either the tweet or the article. All he did was post an image of the tweet. So it's a fair bet that he didn't want his readers to read it.

Today he's made up two lies in his headline:
NOAA declares current El Niño stronger than 1997-98 event, then says record warm temperatures have little to do with it
First of all, NOAA didn't declare that the current El Nino was stronger than the 1997-98 event. Secondly, it didn't say that record warm temperatures had little to do with the El Nino (which I think was Anthony's meaning). On the contrary, the article he was referring to said that El Nino did contribute to the record warmth in the USA this winter.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Is CO2 sentient? Ari Halperin and Anthony Watts claim the carbon cycle is "fraud"

After a rattled Anthony Watts spat out dummies yesterday, today he's going for broke and has posted an article denying the carbon cycle (archived here). You may recall how, earlier this week Anthony fibbed to his readers, claiming "I don’t like to use the word “fraud”"? Well, here he is not five days later with a blog article alleging IPCC fraud. The supposed fraud? Well, it turns out that Anthony's guest blogger doesn't believe in the carbon cycle. You could say he's a carbon cycle denier.

Excuse the lengthy article. It's not exactly a primer, but there's some detail. I figured people who've never heard of the carbon cycle might find it useful. (The image is because at one point, Ari seems to be suggesting that CO2 is sentient.)

The carbon cycle

The carbon cycle has been described as a fast cycle plus a slow cycle. The fast cycle involves short term fluxes as happens with photosynthesis (an annual cycle) and other short term processes of the order of decades (vegetative growth and decay etc). The slow cycle involves medium term fluxes on a timescale of centuries, particularly the exchange between the ocean and atmosphere, as well as very slow chemical and geological processes (thousands to millions of years), such as weathering of rocks.

Absurd levels of cranked up disinformation from Bob Tisdale at WUWT

This article will be short, I promise. It will be much shorter than Bob Tisdale's latest protest (archived here). Bob's posted a bunch of charts that show just how hot February was. The contrast between Bob's first lot of charts and what he wrote is quite extraordinary. (Bob then fudged the next lot of charts to make the warming go away, which is typical behaviour from him.) Bob thinks that people are silly to react to this chart of global mean surface temperature - and this is only since 1997!

Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature since 1997. Data source: GISS NASA

Denier weirdness: How not to look at temperature changes in USA, with Leland Park at WUWT

There's a very weird bit of denier weirdness at WUWT today. It's from some bloke called Leland Park. He's put together some charts and is, I think, protesting the warming of the USA (archived here). I'm not sure about that because his article is very odd. I've read it twice and then read it again and I still can't figure out what point he is trying to make.

I'll go through what he did and see if anyone here can help me out. Leland started off with an equation that he's obviously quite proud of. He wrote it like this:
the relationship between the heat content of a substance and changes in its temperature is given by:
Q = m * c * ΔT
where m is the mass and c is the heat capacity of the substance being measured

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Anthony Watts' strawman and cherries and the hottest year on record

Anthony Watts must be losing income or just getting desperate in his denial. He's jumped into Bob Tisdale's bed and is claiming that it's not extra greenhouse gases that's causing global warming, it's ENSO. Today he's got an article (archived here and here) about how he thinks 2015 wasn't proof of human-caused global warming. Well, I ask you: who ever said that a single hottest year was proof that humans are causing global warming? It's the ongoing onslaught of increasing temperatures over decades, together with physics, that shows that it's us who are causing the world to keep getting hotter and hotter and hotter.

What caused 2015 to be so hot?

Anthony is wrong when he claims that it was El Niño that made 2015 a record hot year. Scientists have worked out it would have been a record hot year anyway. The El Niño lifted temperatures a bit higher (around 0.07 °C), but it wasn't the only factor that caused the 0.12 °C jump in global mean surface temperature over that of the previous hottest year on record, 2014.

Below is a chart of the annual anomalies around the world from GISS NASA.

Figure 1 | Map of global mean surface temperature anomalies for 2015 vs the 1951-1980 mean. Source: GISS NASA

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Denier weirdness with greenpower offer

This is weird (odd). Anthony Watts says he got an offer from his electricity company to buy renewable energy, at a small premium (archived here). The weird thing is not that he scoffed at the offer, that is to be expected from a dim denier. No, the weird thing is that it seems that Anthony has never heard of such a product before.

I don't know about where you live, but where I live I've worked with electricity distributors who've offered this as an option for more than twenty years. (I just checked my records and one of my clients was preparing to launch a "green energy" option back in 1991/92. It might have taken a couple of years before the company that bought them offered it, but that's still twenty years ago or more.) Now as far as I know, the option is offered by most electricity resellers here in Australia - for example Red Energy, Origin, and AGL all offer "green" options.

I used to think Australia was behind the USA when it comes to new ideas. It could be that we've been decades ahead of California in this regard. Electricity is much more expensive here in Australia than it is in the USA, where it seems to be practically given away for free, although I understand the price varies from one state to the next. Maybe that's why, if no-one has offered greenpower there before it's because electricity was so cheap that a "green" product wasn't considered viable.

Money money money...

Anthony explained also how he's got solar panels. He made it abundantly clear that it's not because he gives a damn about the environment. He doesn't. In fact the purpose of his blog WUWT is largely to urge his readers to rape and pillage nature. He's been an activist for planetary destruction for more than seven years now.  The reason Anthony got solar panels was so that he could save some money, and so that he could make money off his readers - seriously - see here. He's shameless.

Does your electricity reseller offer a "green" option?

I'm curious to know from people in other parts of the world. Are you able to purchase renewable electricity or "green" offsets?

I can't be bothered looking through the 164 thoughts underneath Anthony's mock shock, so this article will stay short, sweet and as green as your electricity :)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Assaulting Reason: The Climate Inquisition and silencing science - with Tim Ball and Chuck Wiese

Be afraid. Be very afraid...Climate science deniers are running scared. Tim Ball has donned his sandwich board and picked up his megaphone. He is broadcasting to the little conspiracy theorists at WUWT that they are all at risk of being hung, drawn and quartered. He warns them of the coming Climate Inquisition, which is apparently like the Spanish Inquisition only worse. The headline for Tim's latest meandering diatribe is: "Use of Fear to Silence Climate Skeptics Is An Assault On Reason" (archived here).

The dim deniers are putting on a brave front, faking bravado in the face of imminent peril. They are proud of their allegiance to the war against knowledge. They refuse to be cowed by the scary thought that they will soon become martyrs for the cause or sent to FEMA camps in chains.

I wondered what it could be that so made the WUWT-ers so fearful (this time around). (Conspiracy theorists are a weird bunch who thrive on paranoia.) Tim Ball mentioned the US Attorney General, so I did a Google search. It turns out that it's not just the dim deniers at WUWT who are shaking in their boots. Science deniers in other dark corners of the Internet are panicking. The rumour has gone around that there are to be RICO prosecutions of climate science deniers.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

HotWhopper is now on Facebook

I've succumbed to requests to have a Facebook page. I can't say I like Facebook much, but I think I've managed to learn it well enough to have a page for HotWhopper.

I believe it needs some likes to get anywhere. I wouldn't normally cadge for such things and it's very infradig to do so (to resurrect a word from the dim distant past). However until it gets something like 25 likes, it can't have it's own tailormade web address. So if anyone uses Facebook and is so inclined, a bit of help would be appreciated.

I'll use it for HotWhopper articles, plus other things I come across that are interesting as far as climate and weather goes. For example,
  • In my part of the world we've been having some very unusual hot record-busting weather, and BoM has issued a statement explaining what's happening.
  • There's a new extreme weather report just published from NAS: "Attribution of Extreme Weather Events in the Context of Climate Change"
I've also added a link to the HotWhopper Facebook page in the sidebar, with other facebook pages.

Hottest February by far at a whopping 1.35 C above the 1951-1980 mean

While science disinformers falsely accuse scientists of fraud and dig up decades-old television claims of a climate conspiracy, the world is getting very, very hot. GISTemp has now released the results for February and they are startling, even for an El Nino year.

Below is a chart of annual mean surface temperature anomaly, on which I've added the anomaly for last month:

Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature, anomaly from the 1951-1980 mean. The chart also shows the anomaly for February 2016. Data source: GISS NASA

Last month, February, the global mean surface temperature was a whopping 1.35 °C (2.43 °F) above the 1951-1980 mean. That smashes previous records, and is the hottest February on record by 0.47 °C. The previous hottest February's were in 1998 at 0.88 °C and 2015 at 0.87 °C.

More BS from the unethical fraud Anthony Watts - 97% of climate science *IS* for real

Anthony Watts is continuing to work hard to appeal to the dregs of humanity. He has all but rid his blog, finally, of any normal-thinking human being. He thinks he has to keep up his fight against reason and ethics, and has another protest about the 97%. Anthony really doesn't like it that 97% of scientific papers that attribute a cause to warming have it caused by humans. It seems he'll go to any lengths. That's because more than 97% of his readers are climate conspiracy nutters who think climate science is a hoax, and he can't bear to lose a source of income (his blog). Anthony Watts is trying to corner the market of paranoid conspiracy theorists and other shady types. Surely no sane person who prides themselves on their rational ability would admit to being a fan of WUWT.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

No censoring of ice age cometh articles at WUWT

Within hours of Anthony Watts talking about legitimacy, openness and honesty on his blog, he posted an utter rubbish "ice age cometh" article from Stanmore Coal director Viv Forbes (archived here). No openness about Viv's coal connections. Anthony might need more time to "research and write", however by promoting Viv's article he demonstrates that research and writing count for little at WUWT.

Viv claims "it's the sun", though he acknowledges there are also Milankovitch cycles. After dismissing decades of rapid warming as "weather ripples and waves", he wrote:
In the medium term, Earth temperature trends are influenced by variations in solar activities as evidenced by sun-spot cycles. These variations affect solar intensity, cosmic rays, clouds and Earth temperature, causing medium-term climatic events like the Little Ice Age and the Modern Warming. There are persuasive signs that recent solar activity has peaked. So we can expect cooler weather soon.

Curiously, immediately after that paragraph, there was a garish picture showing how the current waning solar cycle was considerable less strong than the previous one, which was also less strong than the one before it, yet global mean surface temperature is at record high levels.

Denier weirdness: About face on "free speech" at WUWT

Anthony Watts is competing with Roy Spencer with most unexpected results (archived here). Roy Spencer has just announced he has disallowed comments on his blog. Roy got fed up because his blog became infected with a physics denier called Doug Cotton. Perhaps Anthony sees stopping comments as a status symbol.

In addition to the possible competition motive, it could be that Anthony was feeling under-appreciated. He may have been feeling the need for a little love and affection and hoped his article and poll would garner lots of compliments. What else can he do to distract his readers from the rapidly warming world?

Whatever the reason, the very peculiar result from all this is that almost 40% of WUWT readers do not support unfettered "free speech".

Friday, March 11, 2016

Biomass research is a dead giveaway of the politics at WUWT, with Agenda 21 conspiracy theories

Anthony Watts has an article (archived here) about a new paper in Nature. The paper was about how humans have altered the land surface so that the biomass is a net emitter of greenhouse gases, which was a surprise to them. The scientists looked at the net emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide from every region of land.
Source: Carnegie Science

Logical fallacies and conspiracy theories from Rick Wallace at WUWT

As you probably know, five telltale techniques of science deniers have been documented. These are: fake experts, logical fallacies, impossible expectations, cherry-picking and conspiracy theorising. This article is about an example of logical fallacies and conspiracy theories.

Red herrings and non sequiturs - logical fallacies

A guest at WUWT today (archived here) has decided that climate science is a hoax because:
  1. there are differences of opinion among biologists about the definition of species, and
  2. Lubos Motl's blog suggests there are still things being learnt about quantum physics.
Now you might wonder what this has to do with climate science. It doesn't. I'd say it's both a red herring and a non sequitur. Fake sceptics might not be much chop at science, but they excel at logical fallacies. This one, who goes by the name of Rick Wallace has decided that: real science any state of agreement is labile at best – and establishing a consensus is about the last thing on peoples’ minds. I would go so far as to say that under these conditions, as often as not, a leading idea is a target to take aim at rather than a flag to rally ‘round.
What he has decided in his wisdom is that climate science is a hoax because scientists agree that greenhouse gases are what keeps the Earth warm.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Record-breaking hot years almost impossible without humans - and Anthony Watts' conspiracy theory

Recent record hot years are almost impossible in the absence of human-induced forcings, a new study shows once again.  A multi-national team of scientists led by Andrew King from the University of Melbourne did a study of hot weather years, and found human influences on heat extremes going back to the 1930s globally, and earlier in some places. The new paper has just been published in Geophysical Research Letters.

Anthony Watts, a climate conspiracy blogger at WUWT, didn't read the paper, but he decided it made unfounded claims (archived here). Anthony decided, in his foolishness, that the team, led by a University of Melbourne scientist, and including other researchers from Universities in Melbourne, South Korea, Switzerland, Oxford UK, New Zealand and the New South Wales, must be wrong because Professor Chris Turney (not an author) led an expedition on a ship that got caught in the ice in Antarctica a couple of years ago. Need I say more about the weirdness of science deniers?

Record hot years influenced by human activity - going back to the 1930s globally

The authors weren't looking at heatwaves (a duration of days), they restricted their study to timescales of at least a month. They performed an analysis of hot years looking at the globe as a whole and selected regions. They found that by using the technique knows as Fractional Attributable Risk (FAR), they could determine years in which there was a detectable anthropogenic influence on especially hot years globally and in different regions of the world.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Denier weirdness: unraveling the climate cabal

It seems to me there is a direct correlation between the weirdness level of science deniers and the release of new evidence that shows just how much climate is changing. For example, three years ago there was a pandemic of Marcott madness. Then in January last year, there were people trying to argue that 2014 wasn't really the hottest year on record. Then there was the almost hysterical reaction to the new NOAA dataset, which even infected prominent members of the Republican Party. That's despite the fact that all it did was bring NOAA data a bit closer to the other datasets (but still showing the lowest trend.)  This year deniers were desperate to deny the hottest year 2015. And when the very favourite pristine unchallengeable satellite dataset was changed this week, there was much scurrying and scampering searching for a "fatal flaw". That's just since HW started.

What I haven't worked out yet, is whether the correlation arises from:
  • an increase in the madness of deniers - that is, individuals become more weird as their world heats up; or
  • a reduction in the number of deniers - that is, as each new piece of evidence emerges, the least irrational science deniers begin to question their assumptions. That would increase the "craziness quotient" of the pool as a whole. Fewer of them, with the least crazy having left the pool.

The golden days of science denial are in the past, if you go by the number of comments at WUWT. Back when fake sceptics were rummaging around in stolen emails, there were a lot more comments. So maybe it's a bit of both.

Crank magnet WUWT defends pseudo-science and promotes Velikovskyism "in the context of learning"

Credit: Donna Foster Roizen
Source: Wikipedia
This doesn't warrant a long article but it ended up being longish. It's just to comment on the fact that Anthony Watts has published another article from Tim Ball, pushing Velikovsky's crank ideas as science. Tim argues that scientists shouldn't point out dumb and wrong notions posing as science. Tim calls such behaviour "scientific elitism".

Anthony Watts gives an excuse (if you can call it that) for publishing such nonsense, saying that he promotes Velikovsky "in the context of learning" and seems to think the Director of GISS NASA is a coward for not doing the same.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

WUWT Weirdos: Anthony Watts is hoping for email science

More desperation from deniers. Anthony Watts is very hopeful of getting his grubby paws on some more emails. The mindset of conspiracy theorists is mind-bogglingly stupid - and rancid.  The Peeping Toms among the denialati can't read or understand science, but they can spread snippets of emails all over the internet, provided someone tells them how to misinterpret them. Anthony starts off badly with a wrong headline:
Uh, oh, Mann’s MBH98 ‘hockeystick’ emails ruled fair game by judge

That wasn't remotely like the ruling of the appeals judge, according to the article Anthony linked to. He ruled that trial judges are to determine what documents the University of Arizona is to release to E&E Legal Institute. That organisation, E&E, seems to specialise in tying up the courts' to try to get access to scientists' email so that they can pore paw through them to try to prove that climate science is a hoax. Utter nutters.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Hostess Anthony Watts and his conspiracy theory factoids at WUWT

Anthony Watts continues his foray into conspiracy theories. He's posted another Josh cartoon under the headline "Not so Friday Funny – Science is turning back to the dark ages" (archived here). The four words at the start of the headline were his only original contribution to the article. The cartoon was by Josh, and the two snippets were from a denier at the Times (Melanie Phillips) and a slime editorial at the denier paper the Washington Times. He got both snippets from the UK denier lobby group the Global Warming Policy Foundation (which actively tries to get the globe to warm faster).

Friday, March 4, 2016

101 conspiracy theories about troposphere temperature: the RSS love affair is over

Over at WUWT there have been three articles about the lower troposphere temperatures. The first (archived here) was a Guest Post by Werner Brozek and Nick Stokes, Edited by Just The Facts with the title: "Long Satellite Pauses Ending (Now Includes January Data)".  The second article was about the February data for UAH (archived here, latest here). It had the wistful wishful title: "Global Temperature Report: Warmest Ever February 2016 driven by El Niño". The third article is the real doozy (archived here). It's by Anthony Watts so could well have some awful blunders in it. He's called his article: "The ‘Karlization’ of global temperature continues – this time RSS makes a massive upwards adjustment."

This article is a few hours late, and I'm not satisfied that I've got everything right because this is a subject on which I am feeling distinctly out of depth. Science deniers will try to tell you that there are little thermometers on satellites sending raw data to Earth and miraculously drawing temperature charts - or something like that. That's a pile of hogwash. The real story is much more complicated. Satellites come and go. Instruments change. Orbits decay. Temperature isn't measured directly, it's estimated from measurements from microwave sounding instruments (MSUs). What's reported is the result of complex calculations after adjustments and conversion to temperature. What we get are temperature trends in very thick layers in the atmosphere (kilometers thick, looking upwards into space), not the temperature of a particular spot or distinct level in the sky. Then there is "diurnal drift" - which is largely what the new paper by Carl Mears and Frank J. Wentz is all about.

Warning: this article is rather long. It explains the new RSS paper in more detail than I did in the previous article.

Thursday, March 3, 2016

The mid-troposphere has been warming faster than you thought

A new version of the RSS dataset has been announced in a paper in the AMS Journal of Climate. The paper, by Carl Mears and Frank J. Wentz, was published before the new version has appeared. This is in contrast to UAH, where the paper hasn't yet appeared but version 6.0 beta came out in April last year, and is now at beta 5.

The paper is about middle troposphere measurements, not lower troposphere which is what is usually discussed here. However, it's about the same instruments that are used to estimate lower troposphere temperatures: Microwave Sounding Unit (MSU) channel 2, and the Advanced Microwave Sounding Unit (AMSU) channel 5.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Record lower troposphere temperatures are feeling El Niño

According to the latest UAH temperature data, the lower troposphere is feeling the effect of El Niño, as expected. This latest month (February) the anomaly was 0.83 °C (1.5 °F) above the 1981-2010 average. Think about that. The average of 1981 to 2010 is taken as zero, and the temperature for February was 0.83 °C above that. That's huge, even for an El Niño. This is the largest monthly anomaly in the UAH record.

The chart below shows the annual average lower troposphere temperature to 2015, with the February anomaly shown as a line at the top.

Figure 1 | Lower troposphere temperature changes from 1979 to 2015. The chart shows the annual average temperature anomaly with the anomaly for February 2016. Data sources: UAH and Roy Spencer's blog