Saturday, December 31, 2016

Wishing you all Happy New Year

Sou | 4:27 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
It's New Year's Eve where I live, so let me wish everyone a very happy, healthy and safe 2017.

This coming year is high risk from many perspectives. Climate change is an ongoing threat and will undoubtedly cause problems in many locations. It will contribute to civil unrest, food shortages, and more extreme weather events. The rise of corporations running governments is a threat to people everywhere, including those places where it's not happening to the same extent because of the on-flow impact on world trade. There is a heightened threat to world-wide security with the election of the unstable, reckless Donald Trump to the highest position in the USA. There is a threat to science and a devaluation of knowledge, which are being disregarded in many countries particularly in the USA, Australia, the UK. Many people in power are actively pursuing plans and policies to spread falsehoods on a scale that is unimaginable to some. The tactics being used are very familiar to those of us who've been watching them applied to climate information: smear the experts, create fake experts, make up false "facts", appeal to greed and fear and bigotry.

We cannot afford to just sit back and wait to see what happens. This is a time to take action in whatever way we can.

While some people are worse off and for some their circumstances have changed little, most people in the world have never been better off materially or health-wise than they are today, yet they have elected corrupt leaders or had them foisted on them, in part because their expectations exceeded the reality. We have allowed the wrong people to run (ruin) the world, people who are motivated not by any intent to make the world a better place, but by greed and a lust for personal power at the expense of the world as a whole.

Don't let them get away with it.

I'm sorry to write such a downer article while wishing you all a Happy New Year. We are on the edge of a dangerous precipice. Let's not fall into it.

Deniers hang their hopes on wrong information from a government website in Wisconsin

Sou | 4:17 AM Go to the first of 61 comments. Add a comment
It's not clear that the partial scrubbing of climate change from the website of the Department of Natural Resources in Wisconsin was at the directive of the Governor Scott Walker, or if there happens to be a stray science denier who got lodged in the Department itself. What is clear is that it's got climate conspiracy theorists at WUWT enthused and hopeful. They seem to think that if the words "climate" and "change" are scrubbed from government websites, then global warming will stop. It won't.

(Scott Walker was a presidential hopeful at one stage, and reportedly dodged questions on climate change.)

Anthony Watts is so excited about this latest bit of climate censorship that he's posted two articles about it. One was written by Bob Tisdale (archived here) and the other by Kip Hansen (archived here).

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Denier weirdness in Las Vegas, and WUWT wages war on clean energy in California

Sou | 5:19 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
This comment can be seen at WUWT today, under another article by Eric Worrall (archived here). (Eric was protesting California's intent to modernise the energy sector. He prefers smog and dangerous climate change.)

Before I post the comment, you may have read how Las Vegas has joined other cities in the USA and shifted to 100% renewables, which is is expected to save the city an annual $5 million in operating costs. It's the city that's shifted, not all of the strip. On the official Las Vegas blog, it was announced that:
This morning, Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman and NV Energy Senior Vice President of Customer Operations Pat Egan announced that we are the first large city in the country and one of the first major customers in Nevada to be served exclusively with renewable energy. We are now one of the few cities of the world that can say all the power we use comes from a green source.  In partnership with NV Energy, every streetlight, city park, community center, fire station, service yard and public building owned by the city, totaling 140 facilities, will be 100 percent powered by renewable energy.
All the power used by the city itself now comes exclusively from renewable energy. While that doesn't mean that all the power used on the strip or in households come from renewable energy, it's a big step forward. On Snopes, it was pointed out that some businesses on the strip are following suit because it makes good business sense.

A climate science denier, John Barry, loses his #climate cool on Twitter

Sou | 2:25 PM Go to the first of 31 comments. Add a comment
You'd think climate science deniers would be more laid back these days, basking in the election of an anti-science billionaire, Donald Trump. Instead, it seems to me they've just got more upset with climate science. Maybe they are figuring out that Trump won't stop climate change and can't change scientific knowledge.

This little exchange is quite typical of anti-science deniers and climate conspiracy theorists. Deniers are such fake sceptics that they cannot bear to see tweets from a climate hawk on Twitter, as this episode with John Barry @CardsFanTX illustrates.

To explain - this just happened. Someone called John Barry @CardsFanTX tweeted me, before blocking me. He made an easily disproven statement (link):

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Happy Holiday

Sou | 11:28 PM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
Happy holiday one and all. It's Christmas at our place, and we'll be having a family get-together, on a warm 38 C (100 F) sunny day.

Whatever you're up to, be happy, stay safe, and enjoy the break if you're lucky enough to have one.

PS If you think I'm jumping the gun, it'll be Christmas Day in just half an hour here :)

Anthony Watts, Tim Ball, Christopher Monckton, and Willie Soon and chemtrails, HAARP, and the New World Order

Sou | 10:51 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
I'm of the view that one shouldn't get on the same platform with people who aren't credible. It gives them an undeserved legitimacy and you'll end up confusing anyone ignorant of the subject.

Anthony Watts, who runs a  "climate hoax" conspiracy blog wattsupwiththat.com, doesn't agree. He gives a platform to greenhouse effect denying "sky dragon slayers", despite weakly protesting on occasion that he "believes in" the greenhouse effect. However if you've read about Tim Ball and Christopher Monckton of Brenchley before, you know they are more than mere science quacks, they are wacky conspiracy nutters. Anthony Watts frequently promotes them and their silly ideas on his blog. Today I discovered they are associated with a whole society of utter nutters. A group, or if you like, a collective of individualists, wanting to take over the world. (Seriously.)

At WUWT, Anthony posted another conspiracy-laden article by Tim Ball, where he said: "Recently I spoke at the Freedom Force Conference in Phoenix on Climate Change. " So off I trotted to see what this "Freedom Force" group was all about.

Friday, December 23, 2016

The social cost of carbon is positive, admits Anthony Watts

Sou | 2:04 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
Prickly Pear Qld 1930s.
At last Anthony Watts admits that there is a social cost of carbon (archived here). He doesn't say what it is, he's not a climate economist after all but at least he admits it. His headline was: "The Social “Cost” of Carbon is Positive".  Unfortunately the article he posted, by ex-coal director Viv Forbes, doesn't discuss the social cost.

Viv Forbes is a climate disinformer from Australia. He's no longer a director of Stanmore Coal, but he used to be. As he's done before, his article is in the form of a letter to some unnamed editor of an unnamed publication. I guess it's to the "editor" of WUWT.

Viv lists "social benefits" of burning fossil fuels in the following terms:
Greens seem unaware that “carbon” coming from man-made CO2 is beneficial plant food supporting all life on Earth including polar bears, cane toads, prickly pear, rain forests and wheat.

Another court victory for Michael Mann and climate science

Sou | 10:21 AM Go to the first of 22 comments. Add a comment
There's been another victory for science and climate scientists everywhere. In case you missed it, Michael Mann is suing for defamation, and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals has just now removed yet another obstacle some of the alleged defamers put in his way.

Acting with reckless disregard

The decision is worth reading. One of the key paragraphs is, as Professor Mann wrote on his Facebook page:
" [The defendants' statement that] Dr. Mann has engaged in misconduct has been so definitively discredited, a reasonable jury could, if it so chooses, doubt the veracity of appellants’ claimed honest belief in that very notion. A jury could find, by clear and convincing evidence, that appellants “in fact entertained serious doubts” or had a “high degree of awareness” that the accusations that Dr. Mann engaged in scientific misconduct, fraud, and deception, were false, and, as a result, acted “with reckless disregard” for the statements’ truth when they were published." (p. 101)
Michael Mann is suing the following for defamation based on articles appearing on websites: Mark Steyn, The Competitive Enterprise Institute, Rand Simberg, and The National Review, Inc. All but Mark Steyn tried to get the case tossed under Anti-SLAPP Act. They tried this in a trial court and lost, so took it to the Appeals Court, where Michael Mann prevailed again.

The way is now cleared for Professor Mann to pursue his case for defamation.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Flashback to 1883: Burning coal is polluting the atmosphere

Sou | 1:05 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
The letter below gets some things right and quite a bit wrong. What it does show is that 133 years ago, back in 1883, the general public was reading about how burning coal is polluting the atmosphere. Other newspaper flashbacks can be seen here, including my favourite, from 1884. Weirdly, there are still a few very vocal people who think gravity is a hoax or should I say the equivalent - that climate science is a hoax.

From the Wallaroo Times, South Australia, Saturday 1 September 1883

(The paragraph breaks and emphasis are mine.)

Pollution of the Atmosphere

There was a letter in Nature some time since, calling attention to the pollution of the atmosphere by the burning of coal; and it was calculated that in the year 1900, all animal life would cease, from the amount of carbonic dioxide; but, the author had overlooked the fact that the rain is continually cleansing the atmosphere of this, and the fall of this rain on the ground, and the combination of this with various salts ; besides the oceans alone would absorb their own bulk at normal pressure, but at an increased pressure of, say half a mile deep, would dissolve more than we are likely to need for hundreds of years.

But there are other products of combustion, or rather of incomplete combustion, that are not brought down in this manner by rain, as hydrogen and the hydrocarbons, chiefly marsh gas and ethylene. The latter has, I believe, been observed by the spectroscope on the Alps, and was supposed to have come from space.

Friday, December 16, 2016

It's still hot! Second hottest November in the NASA GISTemp record

Sou | 11:35 AM Go to the first of 61 comments. Add a comment
According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for November was 0.95 °C, which is the second hottest November on record, and only 0.07 °C lower than the hottest November during the El Niño in 2015.

The average for the eleven months to the end of November is 1.01 °C, which is 0.17 °C higher than the previous hottest January to November period in 2015, which with the latest data had an anomaly of 0.84 °C.

Here is a chart of the average of 12 months to November each year. The 12 months to November 2016 averaged 1.02 °C above the 1951-1980 mean and was 0.14 °C hotter than the 12 months to November 2015:
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to November each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Atmospheric water vapour is a feedback (not forcing) - on Watts and Eschenbach #AGU16 poster

Sou | 11:08 AM Go to the first of 34 comments. Add a comment
Willis Eschenbach has a poster at AGU16, to which Anthony Watts added his name. Anthony's now written a blog article about it (archived here). Actually, Anthony put his name first although I strongly suspect he doesn't have a clue what the poster is all about.

They haven't made the poster available on the AGU16 website, or not at the time of this article. It is downloadable on Anthony's blog at WUWT, here.  He's also made available what he calls "data and code". The file is 500 MB or so, therefore I won't be downloading it till I get home in 20 hours or so.

There are a few points I'll make:
  • The poster is based on a couple of blog articles by Willis Eschenbach at WUWT, including the one I wrote about here.
  • Willis Eschenbach still doesn't know the difference between a forcing and a feedback (more below). Nor does Anthony Watts.
  • Their poster supports what real scientists tell us, that there's more water vapour in the air because of global warming.
  • Most of the data they use is ocean only, not land.
  • They seem happy to rely on RSS data, while disparaging it elsewhere.
  • They seem happy with lots of data carefully collected and analysed by climate scientists, despite calling it fraudulent elsewhere, and despite WUWT-ers wanting to stop all research.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

After the Rally for Science, Anthony Watts' illiterati crowd call for science to end

Sou | 10:09 PM Go to the first of 12 comments. Add a comment
I wrote to flag the rally that was held to coincide with AGU16. Anthony Watts, who yesterday missed the fact that it was on, finally found a flyer but I don't know if he went or not. He posted some photos, but he didn't take them. Instead he filched them from Twitter and gave no credit. This tweet has one of the photos Anthony posted, but didn't take himself.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Rally to Stand Up for Science: and Anthony Watts, a fish out of water at #AGU16

Sou | 12:01 PM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
First things first. As you may or may not know, there's a rally for science in San Francisco Tuesday and it's not AGU16. This is a rally organised to coincide with the gathering of scientists. It doesn't seem to have been all that highly publicised, at least not outside of the science community.

I didn't learn about it until a day or so ago. It's been promoted on Facebook and by @ClimateTruth and others on Twitter, but so far I haven't found any blog or normal website or much of anything else.

The rally is at Jessie Square, 740 Mission Street, San Francisco, CA on Tuesday 13 December at 12 PM - 1:30 PM PST. (see map)

Despite the minimal publicity, lots of people will be there from what I can gather. The 25k plus crowd at AGU provides a decent base from which to draw people to rally. So if you're in the San Francisco area - go and show your support for science. If you can't make it, I understand the event will be streamed live from the Facebook page of ClimateTruth.

Cycling disinformers: A mini update of denier waffle at WUWT

Sou | 12:20 AM Go to the first of 49 comments. Add a comment
I admit to being bored with the petty deniers and conspiracy theorists at WUWT. What's happening at the political level in the USA and Australia is much more fascinating in a grim way. Still, until I have a bit more time to focus on the blog, you'll have to make do with this mini-update about the goings on in deniersville - from Eric Worrall, Andy May, Willis Eschenbach and Ira Glickstein, PhD.

It's pretty much the blind leading the blind in the sense that there's none so blind...(nothing to do with vision-impairment).

Monday, December 12, 2016

Get ready for the AGU Fall Meeting #AGU16

Sou | 9:50 AM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
A reminder to everyone who isn't in San Francisco at AGU16, that it's best to be prepared in advance. (Fine words coming from me, when I can barely find time at the moment to write a simple blog article.)

I think that last year's registration details probably work this year too. If so, you've probably already received an email from AGU with all the links. If not, you can register and logon to AGU On-Demand here. (Let me know if that link doesn't work for you.)

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Just remember this moment, Anthony Watts! Dunning Kruger in the Arctic.

Sou | 4:26 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Today, finally, Anthony Watts has written about the record low Arctic ice extent that is being observed in the Arctic (and Antarctic) (archived here). He copied and pasted a press release from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (with no link to the original, as usual). What I'm writing about is the weirdly ignorant comment he added at the top. Anthony wrote:
It’s weather folks, but do remember this moment the next time we get a record high Arctic sea ice extent, the same people that are caterwauling on Twitter right now about this will tell you that it doesn’t matter. 

Yep - just remember this moment

Oh my! Anthony won't see a record high in his lifetime. It's highly likely that no-one will -  for thousands of years at least. Even just going back over the satellite record, since October 1978, there hasn't been a high record in the average annual sea ice extent since 1982. (Data is here - and the spreadsheet is here) If you analyse the monthly records, most months have the record high recorded in the first year of observations - 1978 or 1979 - almost forty years ago. The exceptions are the months of: May (1985), July (1983), August (1983), and September (1980).

In other words, the most recent record high sea ice extent in the Arctic was in May 1985, more than 30 years ago! And that's just the satellite record. If you go back to 1953, except for January when the record high was in 1979, the latest monthly record highs were in 1971 or earlier - 45 years ago.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Scott Adams puff piece on disputing climate science torn apart by Victor Venema

Sou | 11:15 AM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Scott Adams is very perceptive of the human condition in his Dilbert cartoons. He is not as perceptive when it comes to things that matter a lot. (From my reading of his tweets recently, he fell for conspiracy theories about Hillary Clinton and for the lies of Donald Trump, for example.) Today he's come out as a wilful science denier - or as good as.

I would love to do an analysis of Scott Adams' new article for fake sceptics, but I have more pressing matters to attend to right at this moment. In the comments to his article I did ask him to elucidate one point he made. I wrote:
Scott, I appreciate you want to hedge your bets, that you aren't able to learn about climate science despite all the information available to the general public, and that your preferred position is that climate science is a hoax but you aren't game enough to say it out loud.

You say: "In my experience, and based on my training, it is normal and routine for the “majority of experts” to be completely wrong about important stuff."

Can you list three examples? I am keen to see examples that are comparable. That is, where 98% of the thousands of scientific experts on the subject have for decades been finding one result (made up of multiple results pointing to the same conclusion) based on theory and observation, and it turned out to be completely wrong. Not merely opinion on some minor matter, I'm talking about situations where the same theories have been shown to be consistent with observations every time in one context, but for some reason not in a different context.

If as you say this is "normal and routine", just three examples that are comparable to showing 200 years of an entire large scientific field are completely off track, should be a breeze for you. That is, unless this was just a throwaway comment of the type that fake sceptics make to support their authoritarian inclinations.

What is interesting is that he refers to his "experience and training" as support for his claim, but provides not a jot of evidence for that claim. At the same time, he dismisses as largely irrelevant the "experience and training" based on years of observations and analysis of climate scientists over the past 200 years.

While I don't have time right now to write a detailed analysis, Victor Venema did manage to make the time. So go read what he's written - and dwell on it. Especially if, like Scott, you have an unhealthy rather than a healthy, scepticism of specialist advice.

No, there's no La Niña. BoM has announced ENSO inactive

Sou | 2:13 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Some of you might have noticed the changed picture in the ENSO report in the side bar. Today the Australian Bureau of Meteorology has announced that ENSO is inactive. There is no La Niña expected in the near term.

Figure 1 | ENSO dial - derived from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology graphic.

From the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM):
The El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) in the tropical Pacific Ocean remains neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña). Although some very weak La Niña-like patterns continue (such as cooler than normal ocean temperatures and reduced cloudiness in the central and eastern Pacific), La Niña thresholds have not been met. Climate models and current observations suggest these patterns will not persist. The likelihood of La Niña developing in the coming months is now low, and hence the Bureau’s ENSO Outlook has shifted from La Niña WATCH to INACTIVE.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Lying Willis Eschenbach defames a prominent scientist and spreads fake news @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 3:27 AM Go to the first of 33 comments. Add a comment
Willis Eschenbach is one of the sleazier climate disinformers who tells lies quite freely at WUWT (and is a shameless misogynist). Most of the time he pretends to be a "scientist" who is "just wondering" about something or other. He seems to think he was the first to discover the mechanisms of thunderstorms, for example, which is pretty weird. I mean this has probably been part of Meteorology 101 going way back before Willis was a twinkle in his father's eye.
Sleazy pseudo-scientist - Willis Eschenbach
Credit: unknown

Other times (and often at the same time) he loses his cool and lashes out and all and sundry. That's when he brazenly outs himself as a committed liar. Willis has a very short fuse.

Today he ventured beyond the pale, even for a creep like him. He was complaining about an article in Scientific American: The 9 Best Reactions to the House Science Committee’s Breitbart Tweet. He effectively said he no longer reads SciAm much because it isn't anti-science.

But that's not what I want to write about. That's the norm at the fake science blog, WUWT.

Disgusting untrue defamation

What I was much more disgusted with were the lies he told about the renowned scientist Peter Gleick. Willis told several big whoppers. He falsely claimed that Peter Gleick "was forced to quit his job in disgrace". Which is an outright lie. This is what he was referring to - a transition, four years after the incident with the Heartland Institute and completely unrelated. Willis might as well claim that Obama is resigning from the Presidency because he failed the American people.

Then Willis claimed that Dr Gleick "never did say one word of contrition for his actions". Another huge lie. Here is part of what Peter Gleick wrote after he helped expose the extent Heartland Institute's funding of science disinformation. It includes his apology:
I will not comment on the substance or implications of the materials; others have and are doing so. I only note that the scientific understanding of the reality and risks of climate change is strong, compelling, and increasingly disturbing, and a rational public debate is desperately needed. My judgment was blinded by my frustration with the ongoing efforts — often anonymous, well-funded, and coordinated — to attack climate science and scientists and prevent this debate, and by the lack of transparency of the organizations involved. Nevertheless I deeply regret my own actions in this case. I offer my personal apologies to all those affected.

Peter Gleick

Why is it that despicable people like Willis Eschenbach tell such outrageous lies about scientists? Is it because they think it makes them look big and important?

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Head slap: Deniers feign "shock" at James Hansen. It's just @wattsupwiththat using denier tricks

Sou | 3:13 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
There are several points to note in this rather silly WUWT article (archived here), written by someone called Robert Bradley Jr. (who I'm guessing is this one-man show - of fossil fuel advocates). The article provides a good illustration of common denier tricks - as well as the usual misrepresentation of climate science:
  • The headline is completely wrong. It is a "fake news" article typical of WUWT.
  • Robert has applied the Serengeti strategy - attacking a single scientist, Dr James Hansen, hoping to isolate him and bring him down (as if!).
  • It resorts to quote mining and quote splicing to fake that Dr Hansen said something different to what he actually said.
  • It illustrates that the author doesn't understand much of anything about greenhouse gases - or pretends he doesn't and assumes WUWT readers don't.
  • It is trying to persuade readers that Dr Hansen is saying there's no rush to cut CO2 emissions - when he isn't.

Robert's WUWT article is a quote mine of things Dr James Hansen has written over the years. Problem is that Robert is either incapable of understanding what he copies and pastes, or believes that WUWT readers are incapable.

Robert Bradley Jr. seems to think that all it takes to reduce atmospheric GHG amounts is to reduce GHG emissions.  In fact, from what I can tell, Robert doesn't know the difference between atmospheric greenhouse gases and human emissions of greenhouse gases.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Denier Irony: Climate denial support group, WUWT, mocks climate "Good Grief" support group

Sou | 9:45 PM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment
The "world's biggest" climate conspiracy support group is today mocking a group that meets once a month to talk about climate change, how it affects them, and what can be done about it.

Some years ago, Anthony Watts set up a support group for climate science deniers called wattsupwiththat - or WUWT for short. He made it a denier-friendly zone that propagates fake news by banning almost everyone who is a friend of science. A few months ago he handed the reins to a nonentity called Eric Worrall from Australia (formerly of the UK), who has been writing several disinformation articles a week - often several a day, to keep up the spirits of dim deniers while global temperatures sky rocket.

This is typical behaviour from climate deniers. They are oblivious to irony. The support group Eric is mocking meets only once a month. The WUWT support group meets several times a day.

Hottest November on record for the troposphere - with a comment on Trumped Up Courage

Sou | 6:27 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Despite what David Rose, the Global Warming Policy Foundation, the fake press (Breitbart), WUWT, and the US House Science Committee will try to claim - global warming is real and happening now. There is no ice age about to arrive.

For the troposphere, November was the hottest November on record!

The troposphere temperatures for November 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.

For RSS TTT (troposphere), last month was the hottest November on record. For 2016 to be colder than the previous hottest year (1998), the troposphere would have to average a negative anomaly:- less than -1.57 °C for the remaining month. It's an understatement to say that is unlikely.

The lower troposphere (UAH beta v6.05) was also the hottest November on record with 2015. For 1998 to remain the hottest year in the UAH lower troposphere record, the anomaly for December would need to be below minus 0.21 °C. That's not likely but not impossible.