Friday, September 30, 2016

Opportunity to double your donation - TODAY - Climate Science Legal Defense Fund

Sou | 7:53 PM One comment so far. Add a comment
I know you're probably hit with donation requests a lot, however this organisation is worth consideration. If you live in the USA it's tax deductible. If not, it's still very worthwhile - even a small donation will make a big difference.

CSLDF board member Charles Zeller is matching all donations up to $50,000 made before September 30. When you donate today, your gift does double duty. Thank you!
Help to counter the efforts of the disinformation lobby groups who use legal means to try to stop scientific research.


The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund was established to make sure that legal actions are not viewed as an attack against one scientist or institution, but as attacks against the scientific endeavor as a whole.

PS If you scroll down the bottom of the donate page, you can do it via PayPal.

Betrayed by political cowardice from Australia's "One Nation" Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull

Sou | 5:59 PM Go to the first of 70 comments. Add a comment
You might have seen the appalling comments from Australia's Prime Minister yesterday. He was doing a good imitation of Malcolm Roberts. They both linked the worst storm in living memory in South Australia with renewable energy, and not in the manner one would expect.
Australia's Prime Minister and his act of political cowardice. September 2016

What you'd expect is that our political leaders would view the storm and statewide blackout as a stark reminder that we have to hurry up and reduce carbon emissions. Instead Malcolm Turnbull, in an incredible display of political cowardice, turned his back on Australians and all of humanity and used it as an opportunity to say we've got to slow the shift to renewables.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Are you seriously telling me...

Sou | 1:14 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Spotted at RealClimate.org (not in the borehole) - from our friend Mack, who cannot believe that the atmosphere is what keeps our planet liveable (and hasn't heard of the snowball Earth):

Mack says:
23 Sep 2016 at 5:24 AM
Jim Eager @54
That 324w/sq.m. from the atmosphere is the reason earth’s global mean temp is 15C instead of -18C.”

Hell Jim, earth’s global mean temp of -18C would have the earth as one FROZEN ball….even the oceans would be frozen solid. Are you seriously telling me that radiation from the atmosphere..or some atmospheric effect, is actually keeping the whole planet from totally freezing up !!?. I always thought it was the sun that melted ice.

Gavin Schmidt dryly pointed out that Mack is only 200 years behind the rest of the world:
[Response: This was the mystery that Fourier thought a lot about in 19th Century. Turns out it is an atmospheric effect. Pretty well accepted now though. – gavin]
(Normal programming will resume shortly. There's a bit to catch up on this week from the climate conspiracy crowd.)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Stung? Gotcha? The games deniers play.

Sou | 6:32 AM Go to the first of 64 comments. Add a comment
Here's a change from WUWT. Well, not a change of subject, just a change of venue.

I don't usually bother with science deniers on Twitter these days. They are too predictable, pointless and boring. However this little episode is an example of how science deniers operate. I feel for scientists when they are quote-mined, misrepresented and libeled. It shows how far deniers have to stretch to get any joy these days, when the climate isn't behaving as they think it should.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Climate Science Denial: A rational activity built on incoherence and conspiracy theories

Sou | 7:51 PM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment
Climate science denial is therefore perhaps best understood as a rational activity that replaces a coherent body of science with an incoherent and conspiracist body of pseudo-science for political reasons and with considerable political coherence and effectiveness.

That is the closing sentence of a new paper called: "The ‘Alice in Wonderland’ mechanics of the rejection of (climate) science: simulating coherence by conspiracism". Great title! The work is by Professor Stephan Lewandowsky, Dr John Cook and Professor Elisabeth Lloyd. It's another wonderful read about the lack of coherence in the arguments put forward by climate science deniers as their reasons for rejecting mainstream science.

"Something must be wrong". Four words. "Something is wrong". Three words.

Do either of the above have any meaning on their own? Not really. However they do invite questions.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Barmy bloopers from John Christy and co at WUWT seven years later

Sou | 2:09 PM Go to the first of 34 comments. Add a comment
Another Oh My! article has hit the denier-waves. This time from John Christy of UAH infamy, and friends (WUWT article with link is archived here, update here). It purported to be about green houses that are gassy, or something like that. The first sentence in the preface is:
On December 15, 2009, EPA issued its Green House Gas (GHG) Endangerment Finding, which has driven very significant and costly regulations beginning with CO2.  
Seriously. These guys claim to be writing about greenhouse gases and they don't even know how to spell greenhouse?

Warning: this is another long article.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

It's doozy week at WUWT, with Christopher Monckton and his InfoWar on science

Sou | 4:20 AM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
With all the record-breaking temperatures and extreme weather lately, Anthony Watts is reduced to published a load of vague unsubstantiated codswallop claiming climate science papers are a "scam". That and claiming that 13,000 years ago there was an even bigger glacial maximum than the last glacial maximum, which so far no-one is aware of except Anthony and his tame cartoonist called Josh. (I'm not certain that they are even aware that this is what they've claimed.)

Christopher Monckton has added to the doozies at WUWT by claiming that climate scientists are committing fraud (archived here). He wrote about a case in the UK and leaped off that in a fit of illogic to claim that public authorities have received reports of fraudulent papers by climate scientists.

Yeah, right!

Has Christopher finally come through with his multiple threats of vexatious litigation against scientists? I'd say the chance of that is between Buckley's and None.

Yep. I call woo. BS. More batshit crazy from Anthony Watts and Christopher Monckton.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Another exceptional doozy from WUWT - physically impossible global temperatures!

Sou | 3:52 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
This is kind of funny if you're into denier humour. Anthony Watts likes people to think that he knows something about the Earth's surface temperature when he doesn't even understand the concept of anomalies. Today he is telling everyone that it's not just okay, it's correct to splice the record of ice cold temperatures in Greenland with those of the entire world, and claim it is global surface temperature. Wow!

Anthony posted a cartoon from Josh (archived here, latest here). It's sort of a copy cat of the new xkcd cartoon that is meant to put what's happening now into perspective. Instead what he's done would be a terrific parody of denier weirdness, if not for the fact that Anthony and his band of deniers believe it to be so. (Sometimes I wonder if Josh is poking fun at deniers, going overboard with silliness to see what he can get away with. Thing is, I don't think he knows the first thing about climate, or science. So, no.)

By the way, what I mean by physically impossible is that the temperature changes that Anthony Watts and Josh are claiming just could not have happened. If they had, there would have been evidence of an ice age 13,000 years ago that was at least as cold as the last glacial maximum (24,500 years ago) and evidence of major, major forcings both hot and cold. (Meaning very substantial, impossible to miss.) There isn't.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Something went wrong at WUWT. Is Anthony Watts ceding his title?

Sou | 6:22 PM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has just discovered, more than two weeks after everyone who is anyone in climate-land knew about it, that Dr John Cook is moving from Queensland to take up a new post at George Mason University. He's been appointed as Research Assistant Professor in the GMU Center for Climate Change Communication, and will take up his post in January 2017.

Congratulations, Dr Cook.

The reason I say that something went wrong at WUWT isn't that Anthony has only just got the news, or at least is only just spreading it to his disciples. He's shown before that he's out of the loop when it comes to climate news. No, it's because a comment from ATTP got past the WUWT sentinels.

What motivates Walter Donway to reject climate science?

Sou | 2:26 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
There's a rather long essay written by a chap called Walter Donway. It's on what looks to be a (US style) libertarian website. Walter starts with the question: "What leads an objective non-scientist, examining the arguments, to reject “global warming,” a.k.a., “Big Climate alarmism”?" Many of you would stop reading at that point, expecting it to be a Gish gallop of the usual denier memes written by someone desperately trying to justify his "climate hoax" conspiracy. Not me. Or not this time. I find that there are sometimes clues about why a person rejects science in among their lengthy protests.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Don't make promises you can't keep...

Sou | 8:52 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
Occasionally I've made promises that I haven't kept, including some here on this blog. On rare occasions I've promised to write about something at some point in the future and haven't. In the past few months Judith Curry hinted that she would be paying more attention to her blog. Or that's how I've interpreted Judith. She doesn't write much herself, apart from long lists of links to what she finds interesting on the internet. Her blog is mainly a notice board for denier tripe. Even the articles Judith posts under her own name are usually large slabs copied from somewhere else, with a short note from Judith at the bottom saying as little as possible.

Anthony Watts is the same. It does look as if he's at least reading his blog from time to time now, but there's little sign that he's going to write much himself in the future, any more than he has in the past. Which is probably a good thing.

One of the fastest Arctic sea ice growths on record!

Sou | 5:06 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
The Arctic sea ice extent reached a minimum a few days ago, to much consternation as usual at WUWT (here and here and here). Deniers don't much like reports about sea ice. It's a difficult measure for them. When there are open seas in the Arctic it's a stark reminder of just how much we are affecting the climate.

Below is a chart of Arctic sea ice extent, comparing 2016 ice extent to the average of recent decades and to the years 2007, 2012 and last year. This chart is from the National Institute of Polar Research. Click to view enlarged.

Figure 1 | Arctic sea ice extent for 2016, 2015, 2012 and 2007. Source: National Institute of Polar Research

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Deniers against nature at WUWT with Andy May

Sou | 4:41 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has posted a puff piece at WUWT (archived here). In it Andy May says how he wants a world without nature, or at least that's the subtext. What puzzles me is what on earth is it that deniers find so enticing about ridding the world of the abundance of amazing, wondrous flora and fauna? What is it that makes people so irate about having to share the planet with other species?

Andy May likes science fiction. He wrote about how fiction writer Michael Crichton was 'a wonderful writer'. Yes, he could write a compelling yarn, but why Andy prefers Crichton pseudo-science to real science remains a mystery. I guess that the only thing deniers have on their "side" is fiction.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Come and join HotWhopper Chat

Sou | 9:00 PM Feel free to comment!
There are oodles of weather discussion boards, and lots of climate blogs, and some people like Facebook and Twitter. However there aren't too many options for people who aren't bloggers but who occasionally want to write something about climate change at the time they think of it, and chat about it with other people.

HotWhopper Chat was conceived as a place where people with a common interest in climate change can develop a real sense of community - a climate community, that they can own. A place where everyone can feel welcome, from scientist to complete climate newbie.

So come and join in the discussions.

Crikey! Hottest August on record - vies with July for hottest month ever

Sou | 4:05 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for August was 0.98 °C, which is 0.16 °C higher than the previous hottest August in 2014.

Because July is the hottest month of the year, I've seen this July reported as the hottest month ever in recorded history! I asked the question whether August beat July and was told it's too close to call.

The average for the eight months to the end of August is 1.05 °C, which is 0.25 °C higher than any previous January to August period. The previous highest was last year, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.8 °C.

There are now eleven in a row of "hottest months" from October 2015 to August 2016 (that is, hottest October, hottest November etc). If we could look back over the entire Holocene, it's probably more than 7,000 years since there was a similar run of hottest months on record, that is, not since the Holocene climatic optimum (it's probably hotter now than it was back then).

Here is a chart of the average of 12 months to August each year. The 12 months to August 2016 averaged 1.03 °C above the 1951-1980 mean and was 0.23 °C hotter than the 12 months to August 2015:
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to August each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Troposphere temperatures for August 2016

Sou | 1:03 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures for August 2016 have been released. The lower troposphere is recorded in UAH v6 beta 5 and RSS TLT v3.3. This report also covers RSS TTT for the troposphere (without the "lower") and follows pretty much the same format as previous monthly updates.

In all records, the August global anomaly was higher than it was in July but lower than earlier this year as El Niño is now over.

For RSS TTT (troposphere), last month was the hottest August on record. For 2016 to be colder than the previous hottest year (1998), the troposphere would have to average less than 0.19 °C for the remaining months.

In the lower troposphere (UAH beta v6.05) last month is the second hottest August on record, lower than it was in 1998. For 1998 to remain the hottest year in the UAH lower troposphere record, the average for the next four months would need to be below 0.32 °C.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Weather Reality Check: What a La Niña looks like...in pictures

Sou | 6:12 PM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment
The wacky conspiracy theorists at WUWT think that every nation who watches and warns about ENSO events, so that farmers and fishers can plan ahead, are hiding reality from deniers. They seem to think that it helps weather reporting agencies maintain the "climate hoax" conspiracy to say there's probably not going to be a La Niña this year after all, so that when the temperature plunges to new lows just short of an ice age in a few weeks (as deniers seem to think) ...well, I don't know what conspiracy theorists think the weather bureaux will do then ...

Losing his grip on ENSO: Bob Tisdale thinks he's an expert, and yet...

Sou | 3:57 AM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
Bob Tisdale fancies himself as an ENSO expert, yet he doesn't show that in his WUWT article today (archived here). He's complaining that a couple of days ago NOAA removed the "watch" status for La Nina. Bob's headline was "NOAA Cancels La Niña Watch While La Niña Conditions Exist". Well, he seems to be the only person who thinks La Nina conditions exist. Oh, except maybe for Anthony Watts who, way back in June, declared that we are already having a La Nina.

Today Bob Tisdale wrote:
Regardless of the existing (and strengthening) La Niña conditions, NOAA has canceled its La Niña Watch, which had been in effect since April.
Except there are not conditions currently existing for La Nina. Bob's wrong. This is where he was wrong - almost everywhere:
  1. Bob didn't base his assessment on the ENSO definition's standard of the ONI, which is a 3 month running mean;
  2. He based his current sea surface temperature anomaly in the Nino 3.4 region on the wrong average baseline, making it appear approx 0.4 C colder than it is (the cutoff is -0.5 C) (h/t Rattus Norvegicus);
  3. He used the wrong dataset (Reynolds OI v2), not the one used as standard for ENSO estimates (ERSST v4).
Summary added by Sou 4:57 pm 10 September 2016

Bob Fernley-Jones' fixation on hot Marches toward coral bleaching

Sou | 12:43 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
There are some things associated with climate change that seem to upset deniers more than others. Deniers don't care much about killer heat waves, record floods or major long-lasting drought. They do seem to get upset by reports of coral bleaching. Today there was an article at WUWT by some denier called Bob Fernley-Jones (archived here). Bob was writing about an article at The Conversation published more than four months ago, on April 29, 2016.

The article was about the extraordinarily hot temperatures in the Coral Sea in March this year. Here's the chart that was shown in the article, which I've copied directly from the Bureau of Meteorology:

Figure 1 | March temperature for the Coral Sea. Source: Bureau of Meteorology.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Lordy! Christopher Monckton's miracle - there never were and never will be any ice ages!

Sou | 5:33 AM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
In case you missed it, Christopher Monckton has been writing a series of articles proving beyond a shadow of doubt that the earth has never slipped between glacial and interglacial conditions. He's now up to Part 3 (archived here) of who-knows-how-many-parts in the series.

One thing that stands out is that in his Part 3, Christopher ignored corrections people made to his multiple errors in his previous (Part 1 and Part 2) articles.

There were more than 300 comments on Christopher's Part 2, so he just must be right :)

Monday, September 5, 2016

Dissenting view on Climate Change Action - No longer silent, but is it too little, too few, and too late?

Sou | 9:15 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
Two members of Australia's Climate Change Authority have published a minority report, dissenting from a new report from the Authority.

Unlike the Climate Commission, the The Climate Change Authority (CCA) wasn't shut down when Tony Abbott became Australia's Prime Minister in September 2013. Instead it was left to all but disintegrate, with budget cuts and no filling of board vacancies until Turnbull took over as Prime Minister in September 2015 (half the board seats were vacant - 5 out of 10, for most of those two years). [Update: see article by Clive Hamilton and an article on the resignation from CCA of former Reserve Bank Chair Bernie Fraser, for more on this subject. Sou 6 Sept 16] The CCA was set up as an independent statutory body, or as independent as a government body can get these days, which isn't much. It's been a toothless tiger struggling along with occasional mostly wimpy reports promoted by government when it suits them, and buried when it doesn't.

The members of the Authority (ie the board) include Clive Hamilton, John Quiggin and David Karoly who were all appointed under the Labor Government in 2012. In the past, these three people were prominent advocates for climate action, and were willing to speak out fearlessly. They've been much quieter since they were appointed to the CCA. It's now six years since Clive Hamilton's book "Requiem for a Species". (Update: It's not as bad as I thought. See comment from MikeH below to articles by Clive Hamilton. Sou 6 Sept 16)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Is there any difference between Willis Eschenbach's head and his feet?

Sou | 3:01 AM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Science deniers are running out of ideas with the climate change that's happening all about them. Massive floods all around the world these past few weeks. No big La Nina coming to rescue fake sceptics, and the world shows no sign of cooling down. Even the precious satellite record hasn't been doing it's bit to give conspiracy theorists hope of an ice age.

Willis Eschenbach has written how he's throwing in the towel and, instead of talking about science, he's going to ridicule it (archived here). Today at WUWT he wrote a topsy turvy article that shows that he can't make up his mind whether climate change is real or not. He seems to be shifting between two denier stages:
  • Climate science is a hoax, and
  • If it's not a hoax, there's nothing we can do about it.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Do WUWT-ers live on another planet? Dim Denier David Middleton takes on science journalist Seth Borenstein

Sou | 3:16 AM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
At WUWT, Anthony Watts has posted another article by David Middleton (archived here) who asks: "Is Seth Borenstein a journalist or a political activist?". He adds "This should matter to the associated press, but clearly doesn't." David described a recent article by award-winning journalist Seth Borenstein as "a particularly ignorant rant" and then proceeded to write a particularly ignorant rant on the conspiracy blog WUWT.

Seth Borenstein's article is part of the series called "Why It Matters", which is examining three dozen issues at stake in the presidential election in the USA. In this particular article, Seth Borenstein begins by comparing what Hillary Clinton says about climate change with what Donald Trump has been saying. He said "it's as if Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump live on two entirely different planets: one warming, one not." You can guess which planet Donald Trump thinks he lives upon.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

WUWT wants universities to teach both sides of the flat earth debate

Sou | 4:44 AM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has swung into hyperbolic overdrive. He is incensed that in this day and age, university professors are balking at teaching creationism, and flat earth truths, and that gravity and climate science are a hoax. He didn't mention all those specifically. He only mentioned climate science, but it's the same thing.

Anthony has written a headline:
Intolerance by the Climate Thought Police at University of Colorado
According to Anthony's outraged copy and paste, some college professors wrote to their students and said:
The point of departure for this course is based on the scientific premise that human induced climate change is valid and occurring. We will not, at any time, debate the science of climate change, nor will the ‘other side’ of the climate change debate be taught or discussed in this course,