Saturday, April 30, 2016

Do the hustle...

I've been a bit tied up lately so you can talk about anything. A few deniers are talking about this, or something.

Rumour has it that Sarah Palin didn't get to see what she has been raving about.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Raucous stupidity at WUWT with Charles G. Battig

While Anthony Watts is away there have been some articles at WUWT. The latest one was a copy of a letter by a conspiracy theorist called Charles G. Battig. He's appeared here before in an hysterical frame of mind. Charles retired some time ago to take up science denial. In his letter to the Editor (archived here), he starts by claiming that stupidity is not a handicap in politics. That may be the case or not. It's a handicap when trying to make points that contradict all known science, which is what Charles Battig does. He wrote:
Behind these claims is the unsubstantiated assertion global climate change is driven primarily by manmade CO2, and that there is a magic CO2 knob to set climate to a Utopian level. 
First of all, science shows that global temperature, and hence climate, is controlled by the amount of atmospheric CO2. That's been known for a very long time. Back in the 1800s there were even newspaper articles in remote rural Australia, that informed people of this known fact. As for his "Utopian level", Charles just made that up. The fact is that for all of civilisation the global mean surface temperature varied only slowly and over a small range. We are now pushing it way above anything we as humans have experienced before, since we evolved. Whether or not Charles or anyone else regards civilisation as Utopia, we're moving out of it.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Desperate Deniers: Larry Kummer, replication of ice melt and other climate changes

There was another tattered, mixed up article from Larry Kummer, Editor of the Fabius Maximus Website, at WUWT a couple of days ago (archived here).  He was postulating that the big experiment being conducted on the planet can't or won't be replicated. I hope he's right, if there is a replicate planet somewhere out there. I hope that any inhabitants of that replicate planet don't do what we're doing, for their own sake and that of their world. Larry's headline was: "Climate science might become the most important casualty of the replication crisis".

Larry has picked up on studies that show that in some fields of science, particularly those disciplines in which experiments can only use tiny sample sizes, there have been shown to be problems in replicability. There would not be many climate-related studies that fit these criteria. In any case, Larry was talking more about climate science in general, or perhaps climate modeling only.

Walt Cunningham's Conspiracy Theory: Climate Science is a Hoax

Strange what possesses a man after he retires and looks to retain purpose in life, any purpose, any friends. Even fake friends who'll foster his paranoia and shamelessly exploit it. This was plastered at WUWT the other day as part of the latest Heartland Institute's "climate hoax" conspiracy theory.
“The president obviously does not know that he is participating in one of the greatest scientific hoaxes in history.”

Walter Cunningham
Apollo 7 Astronaut and Author
Policy Advisor
The Heartland Institute

Saturday, April 23, 2016

What WUWT and the anti-world movement doesn't know - Earth Day 2016

This Earth Day, leaders from 175 nations signed the Paris Climate Agreement, which was a record for a one-day signing, according to the UN.

On this day each year there's also a tradition, if you can call it that yet, that anti-environment blogs like WUWT publish a list of unsourced quote-mines purportedly from the first Earth Day. Anti-environmentalists say that predictions didn't come to pass. The unspoken message is that therefore they will never come to pass and all their anti-environment fans can therefore feel free to continue to destroy the planet. It's an unspoken plea to "bring back smog".

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Open thread, plus deniosphere update

I've been busy on a couple of things this week so am a bit behind in denier-oogling. There isn't a lot happening. Deniers are probably licking their wounds from all the record hots, and biding their time waiting until the El Niño dissipates. It's three weeks now since there was an ice age cometh article at WUWT :)

There is the usual irony. WUWT, a blog that specialises in climate disinformation, had an article about accuracy and trust in science (archived here).  On the same day, it published yet another grossly inaccurate article by Albert Parker aka Alberto Boretti about sea level (archived here). And it also had an article by Anthony Watts (archived here) about a dip in total solar irradiance - of around 1 W/m2, out of 1360 W/m- with Anthony writing: "If nothing else, this demonstrates that sunspots can have quite a large, if only temporary, forcing  on TSI and Earth’s received energy budget." Yeah, right. A huge temporary forcing, isn't it. About 0.074% large!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Beyond loopy: Latest Judith Curry-ism: the Earth could be flat after all

Judith Curry has tipped into "beyond denier weirdness". She's picked up an article that looks as if it first appeared at WUWT three years ago (archived here) - and who knows where Anthony Watts dug it up from. Anyway, according to Judith Curry (see here), if scientists generally agree about something then it's evidence of a lack of evidence of that something. Yes. You read that right.

Credit: Plognark
Here is what Judith Curry thought so nice she quoted it thrice (here and here and here):
In our view, the fact that so many scientists agree so closely about the [causes of the] earth’s warming is, itself, evidence of a lack of evidence for [human caused] global warming – D. Ryan Brumberg and Matthew Brumberg

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Hottest March on record, tracking El Niño, and a year to date comparison

Yes, it's another hottest on record, this time in March 2016. According to GISS NASA, the average for March was 1.28 °C, which is 0.36 °C above the previous hottest March, in 2010. It's the second highest anomaly for any month, the highest being last month, February, which was 1.34 °C.

The average for the three months to the end of March is 1.25 °C, which is 0.39 °C higher than any previous Jan-March period. The previous highest was last year with an anomaly of 0.86 °C. This is the sixth month in a row of "hottest months", all of which had an anomaly more than one degree Celsius above the 1951-1980 mean. Update: I did a quick check and that hasn't happened before in the record since at least the 1950s. Earlier times probably aren't sufficiently accurate on a month by month basis to say and, in any case, pre-1950s temperatures would probably have been hotter at some time in the last couple of millenia.

Below is a chart of the month of March only:

Figure 1 | Global mean temperature anomaly - month of March only. Data source: GISS NASA.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Oddity of the Week: McCarthyism is alive, just, barely, at WUWT

There is not much happening at WUWT today. The only item of interest is that the AGU Board has deliberated on whether to continue to accept sponsorship from Exxon and has decided that yes, it will.

The other item (vaguely related) that I thought worth commenting on was the WUWT Quote of the Week article (archived here). Not the article itself, it was the discussion underneath (see below). The quote itself was lame. Just another dime-a-dozen fossil fuel shill called Alex Epstein saying the same old thing. Here's Anthony's quote of the week:
As long as your life is being made possible by the people in the fossil fuel industry, I think you should be grateful, and I think it is a crime — a moral crime — that you are damning anyone by association,” “I wish Sen. Whitehouse were here because what he is doing to the free speech of those companies and anyone associated with them is unconstitutional and I think he should apologize or resign,”
Seriously - by investigating harmful disinformation campaigns, Senator Whitehouse is threatening the free speech of mega-companies - and acting unconstitutionally? Give us a break! Deniers are getting very hard up for material these days.

Is there a denial of twilight? - with Judith Curry and Mario Loyola

Earlier this week Judith Curry claimed that the "climate movement" is in twilight. Her headline was the deniosaur's plaintive hope "Twilight of the Climate Change Movement". I don't know what was going through Judith's mind when she wrote that. Was it that global warming will go away soon? Was it that the science of the past two centuries is nothing more than a "movement"? Whatever it was, it is evidence that Judith wants to continue to cement her place in the science denial movement.

Judith's evidence of twilight or movement or something was a copy and paste from an article by a science denier from the USA called Mario Loyola (who gets some minor mentions at DeSmog Blog). Judith emphasised some of the passages she liked, which were straight from the climate conspiracy handbook. She wrote:
I excerpted about a third of Loyola’s essay, highlighting the parts that I find most insightful. 
(I'm not sure Judith's excerpting without any substantive critique or analysis would pass the fair use test.) I read Mario Loyola's article at The American Interest (you only get one shot before you have to pay). It was your run-of-the-mill gish gallop complaining about efforts to mitigate global warming, with the sciency bits mostly about "ice age" and "CO2 is plant food". Mario wants us to adapt to multi-meter sea level rise rather than reduce the impact of climate change.

Judith said she highlighted the bits that she found insightful. Here's my take:

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Settled science: there is a scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change

You probably think this topic has been done to death, however there are still people who won't or can't accept that there is a strong scientific consensus on climate change. Even people who accept the strong scientific consensus keep coming up with claims that it isn't. The science on the consensus is "settled science". (I say that to annoy science deniers who don't understand the difference between settled science and ongoing research.)

There are two new papers about the extent to which there is a consensus that humans are causing global warming. One is a rather silly comment by Richard Tol (who can't let it go). The other is a reply to Richard's comment by a team of heavy hitters, including many of the people who have already published papers quantifying the consensus, plus more. The reply is much more than a mere reply. It's a synthesis of the consensus papers and something that you'll no doubt find useful the next time you come across a climate science doubter.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

La Niña Watch announced by the Bureau of Meteorology

Although El Niño is still in effect, the latest ENSO wrap-up from the Bureau of Meteorology has put La Niña into watch status. The Bureau says that there's now a 50% chance of a La Niña developing later this year.

The model outlooks are shown below. The average is above the threshold for La Niña but some are dropping below. We're still in autumn which is when modeled projections are especially iffy (a meteorological term meaning things could change):

The HadSST error was an error and has been fixed

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how John McLean thought he found an error in HadSST data, and how no-one else who looked could find the same error (except for some "missing data" notations that Zeke Hausfather noticed). Well it turns out there were some errors - in the files (not the data - see below). I found out from WUWT that there's an update on the HadSST website:
08/04/2016: An error in the format of some of the ascii files was brought to our attention by John McLean. Maps of numbers of observations and measurement and sampling uncertainties provided in ascii format ran from south to north rather than north to south as described in the data format. This has now been fixed. In some cases, the number of observations in a grid cell exceeded 9999 and were replaced by a series of asterisks in the ascii files. This too has been fixed with numbers of observations now represented as integers between 0, indicating no data, and 9,999,999, indicating lots of data.
So if you've been using HadSST lately, you might want to check the data.


After someone said that Nick Stokes and Zeke Hausfather should apologise, Nick Stokes points out why no apology is warranted and has clarified what the error was and what in the original claim was wrong:

Bob Tisdale has no empathy for millions of Americans affected by rising seas

Three years ago I wrote about how fake sceptics see things differently from most people. When most people see up, deniers see down. Today Bob Tisdale wrote about how he and the "rest of us" (ie climate conspiracy theorists) look at potential disaster with different eyes to those of most people (archived here, latest here).  Unlike the "most of us", Bob enjoyed reading how 4.2 million people in the USA could be affected if sea level rises by 3 feet (almost a metre) by the end of this century. Instead of empathising with the 4.2 million people, Bob, with a hint of sadism, turned it into a small number. He wrote:
What did I see?

Less than 1% of Forecast U.S. Population by 2100 Might Be, Or Might Not Be, Displaced by Projected Sea Level Rise of 3 Feet That Might, Or Might Not, Happen. The Other 99% of U.S. Residents Couldn’t Give a Rat’s…  Some Optimistically Looking Forward to Their Inland Properties Becoming Oceanfront.

As Gavin Schmidt once wrote:
Changing a unit to have a small sounding number doesn’t actually change anything; neither the significance nor the accuracy. .... – gavin

Monday, April 11, 2016

The illogic of deniers: David Legates on the 971 vs 20 in a thousand abstracts

David Legates is a Professor at the University of Delaware who somewhere along the way managed to get a tenured position. I don't know what he teaches or if he's allowed to get anywhere near students - his profile gives not a clue. However he spends some of his time writing articles for climate conspiracy blogs. Today he's written an article for WUWT (archived here) where he's making wild and wrong claims about consensus studies. That is, about studies that show that almost all scientific papers that attribute a cause to global warming attribute it to human activity. David tells outright lies and also builds a few men of straw along the way.

971 in a thousand vs 20 in a thousand

Let's get the numbers from the Cook13 study. Did you know that Cook13 found that since 1991, there were less than 7 abstracts out of every thousand, that disputed humans are the main cause of global warming? That's not how it's presented in Cook13 though. In that paper they properly looked at the numbers only in the context of abstracts in which a position was expressed. In Cook13 the researchers categorised 4,014 papers that expressed a position on the cause of the current global warming.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Yucky tasting medicine: You can't do that - only us - sez CEI

At WUWT today, Eric Worrall has written how the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) is getting a taste of its own medicine (archived here). The CEI is complaining that they've been issued with a subpoena to produce twenty years of emails and other documents relating to their climate science denial campaigns. You might have heard of CEI, they are the same mob who usually appear at WUWT boasting how they asked for decades of emails from other people. Now the tables have turned and CEI doesn't like it.

In a complete about face, the CEI is now claiming that letting people know what is said in emails is a violation of freedom of speech! The article claims it to be part of "an intimidation campaign to criminalize speech and research on the climate debate". Wow! (Is that why Chris Horner and the CEI spend almost all their time suing people for emails - to intimidate and stop research on climate?)

Friday, April 8, 2016

Dave Burton wants to level the seas at WUWT

Over at WUWT, deniers are clutching at straws to continue to reject science in the face of all the "hottest evers". They really, really liked the last big El Nino in 1997-98, but they really, really dislike this current El Nino of 2015-16. It means they'll have to wait a while before they can start pointing to a drop in the surface temperature although Anthony Watts keeps jumping the gun and is excitedly telling his readers that a La Nina is just about here.

Here is some of what they got up to today, with a moan and lots of misdirection from a WUWT regular commenter called Dave Burton about another bane of deniers' existence - rising seas (archived here). But first, what's been happening...

Most of the Arctic sea ice is on land and other WUWT musings

Arctic sea ice from 1953
 Willis Eschenbach has been wondering about sea ice trends of the past few decades. He's written a couple of articles but seems to me to be more interested in hiding the trends than exploring them. In today's article (archived here, latest here), he has used HadISST data from the UK Met Office Hadley Centre. I don't know why he chose that over the more often cited Sea Ice Index from the National Snow and Ice Data Center.  I think he's meant his title to this latest article to be sarcastic, in the way that the Dunning-Kruger set use sarcasm: "The Awful Terrible Horrible Global Sea Ice Crisis".

Willis decided to look at the data from 1974 only because he found that for Antarctica before that time there was not good data. Then he said he removed the seasonal component, which looks like he deducted something from each month. Since Willis used HadISST data, let's look at what the authors of the authoritative text on the subject found in the 2003 paper by Rayner et al:

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Some early history about Australia's deeply troubled R&D organisation, CSIRO

Peter Hannam at the Sydney Morning Herald has been writing a series of articles about the deep troubles at Australia's flagship R&D organisation, CSIRO. Some of you won't be aware of the early history of this institution, so I thought I'd pull a few threads together to give you a taste.

Billy Hughes vision for a national focus on science

The origin of the CSIRO goes back to 1916, when the Australian Government established the Advisory Council of Science and Industry. The purpose was to put a national focus on scientific research. This was during the first World War when Labor politician William Morris ("Billy") Hughes was Prime Minister. It was Hughes who convened the conference in January 1916, with the purpose of establishing the organisation. The main offices were in Melbourne originally (Canberra didn't exist).

Denier weirdness: Ari Halperin thinks the IPCC's climate change definition is too broad

The Stupid It Burns Credit: Plognark
There could be an entire field of study devoted to how the brain of a climate science denier is wired, or miswired. There is a very strange article at WUWT (archived here) that shows up the deep flaws in thinking processes of deniers. The best explanation I can come up with is that Ari Halperin doesn't understand what climate is and the people commenting at WUWT are not able to process logic.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lower troposphere temperatures March 2016

The lower troposphere temperatures are out for March 2016, as UAH v6 beta 5 and RSS v3.3. In both cases the global anomaly is lower than it was for February, but the hottest March in the record. Below are charts for the month of March only for each year going back to 1979. First is RSS lower troposphere. The anomaly was 0.842 °C above the 1979-1998 mean, which was 0.26 °C higher than the previously hottest March in 2010 and 1998 (equal at 0.585 °C):

Figure 1 | Lower troposphere temperature for March only. Data source: RSS

Anthony Watts protests the California drought

Anthony Watts has another "claim" article at WUWT (archived here). This time it's about the extreme drought afflicting his home state of California. Anthony seems to think it's not so bad. He'd not find too many people who would agree. He didn't actually commit himself to a position other than the dogwhistle "claim" in his headline. He wrote up top:
Noah Diffenbaugh of Stanford is a well-known source of papers claiming alarming things about weather and climate. He churns out a paper about 2-3 times a year, with the typical bent of climate change is causing “X”. This one is no different. 
Anthony's wrong as usual. Dr Diffenbaugh has a lot more than 2 or 3 papers published each year. Last year Google Scholar shows he had thirteen papers published.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Climate hustlers are impaling Palin at WUWT

Credit: Gage Skidmore
Over at WUWT there's an almost (not quite) complete condemnation of the people promoting the deniers latest travesty, Marc Morano's climate conspiracy film "Climate Hustle". As if the name of the film isn't bad enough, the promo published at WUWT today (archived here) has the headline:
"Climate Hustle" goes to Washington: Skeptical film to premiere on Capitol Hill; Riveting panel with Gov. Sarah Palin and other guests
If you've never experienced cognitive dissonance before, now you know what it feels like. The word "riveting" in the same sentence as "Gov. Sarah Palin" must be making you squirm in discomfort. Of course it might have provoked a guffaw and memories of Tina Fey. Or you might have wondered if Sarah Palin has started reading any newspapers yet (or if she still can't remember the name of even one news source).