Sunday, December 24, 2017

Happy holidays and all that

Sou | 11:49 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Wishing everyone greetings of the season, whatever the season is for you - winter, summer, Christmas, new year or  just an excuse for a holiday if you are fortunate enough.

If you've noticed I've been a bit distant this past few months, I'll be back in the new year and may even sneak in a couple of blog articles before then.

Thanks for all your support this past year, and best wishes for 2018.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Confirmation bias affects visual perception at WUWT - on carbon trading in China and the LA Times

Sou | 7:45 PM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has posted an article by a bloke called Larry Hamlin, which is a stark example of how confirmation bias affects visual perception. Larry is a climate science denying conspiracy theorist who has the occasional "essay" at WUWT.

He wrote about something he read in the LA Times. It was a recent announcement from the Chinese government that it is preparing to set up what will eventually be a nationwide carbon trading program. The article was by Jonathan Kaiman reporting, from Beijing, a news conference of the National Development and Reform Commission in China.

The article set out the timetable, which stated that it would be three years before transactions begin (my emphasis):
China’s carbon market will initially apply only to the power-generation industry but will later expand to cover seven other sectors, including petrochemicals, chemicals, building materials, and iron and steel.

The Chinese government will spend a year building a nationwide registration system covering all companies participating in the market, the state-run China Daily reported. It will spend another year testing the system, and actual transactions will begin in about three years.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Has Anthony Watts just claimed he's on Scott Pruitt's #climate science denying "Red Team"?

Sou | 10:40 AM Go to the first of 42 comments. Add a comment
Scott Pruitt
Gage Skidmore/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)
You may have heard that the EPA Secretary, Scott Pruitt, keeps promising to put together a "Red Team" to support him in his rejection of climate science. He's getting names from various unsavoury organisations, I gather. I doubt any of those organisations have suggested WUWT owner and promoter of "climate hoax" conspiracy theories, Anthony Watts. However, it looks as if Anthony is hinting he's on the team.

I stumbled across something at WUWT this morning that suggests this. It was in among a lot of self promotion as an AGU member "in good standing", some misogyny, and various other rantings from Anthony. (What are the criteria for good vs bad standing among AGU membership? If it ever decided to draw a line Anthony would never appear on the "good" side.)

Here's what Anthony wrote, implying that he is already on Scott Pruitt's "Red Team". He was writing how he dislikes New Orleans and doesn't think he'd get enough money from his fans to go this year, so he won't try (or something like that :D). (AGU17 is at New Orleans.) Then he wrote how it's not a bad thing he won't be going, saying:

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Polar bears, sexism and climate science denial

Sou | 7:21 AM Go to the first of 43 comments. Add a comment
Adult polar bear on the look-out.
Source: Ian Sterling
When a science paper about polar bears generates multiple articles on denier blogs you can see it has hit a nerve. This happened recently when a paper was published, with a classic illustration of how deniers reference each other to make out there is dispute about climate change impacts.

The paper was by Jeffrey A Harvey and a bunch of other leading scientists. When I say a bunch, there were fourteen scientists listed as authors, comprising rising stars and heavyweights in the climate science world.

It's fortunate I wasn't able to write about this paper when it was first released because it allowed time to see the numerous articles about it on denier blogs. However, before looking at deniers' various reactions, how about a quick summary of the paper. It's open access and is easy to read. It may help if you understand the analytical techniques used, though that's not essential.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Funny peculiar: #Climate "guru" Anthony Watts' doesn't know the oceans accumulate energy

Sou | 12:29 AM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment
Two days ago Anthony Watts, who runs a climate conspiracy blog WUWT, posted what he called "Friday Funny – Climate Central’s scare graph excuse: ‘The oceans ate the warming’".

It is funny, as in odd, peculiar, that Anthony Watts doesn't know that more than 90% of the extra energy we've been adding is stored in the ocean. I mean, Anthony makes himself out to be an expert on climate change, more expert than the experts who research the subject. He's been blogging about climate for about ten years now. To think that he doesn't know one of the most basic facts about global warming is very strange indeed.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Second hottest October on record, just above October 2016

Sou | 5:38 AM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
Summary: October 2017 was the second hottest October on record. The 12 month period to October 2017 was the second hottest November to October period on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for October was 0.90 °C, which is 0.18 °C less than the October 2015. October 2017 was just 0.01 °C hotter than the next hottest October in 2016.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to October each year. The 12 months to October 2017 averaged 0.90 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.13 °C cooler than the 12 months to October 2016.

This makes it the second hottest September to October 12 month period on record.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

"Climate hoax" conspiracy theorists don't value logic or evidence - who knew :)

Sou | 11:14 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
In a copy and paste at WUWT, Anthony Watts highlights a paper with research suggesting why WUWT-ers are so willing to adopt their "climate hoax" conspiracy theories. The researchers, Tomas Ståhl and Jan-Willem van Prooijen argue that people holding irrational beliefs (such as Anthony Watts and his ragtag mob of climate hoax conspiracy theorists) lack analytical skills and/or don't value logic or evidence.

Even if one or two WUWT deniers were endowed with reasonably high cognitive skills, evidence suggests they wouldn't value these skills and therefore don't use them. When it comes to climate science, they discard those skills in favour of one of the myriad conspiracies Anthony touts.

In the abstract of the paper itself, the authors write about how both analytical skills and motivation to be rational are required if one is to avoid adopting silly and unfounded beliefs:
We propose that part of the reason why unfounded beliefs are so widespread is because skepticism requires both sufficient analytic skills, and the motivation to form beliefs on rational grounds. 
It's immediately obvious to anyone who reads the articles and comments at WUWT that the bulk of Anthony's commenters lack a lot more than the motivation to be rational. Most of them lack analytical skills. Oh, there are still a few WUWT fans who can string words together to form whole sentences, but they are few and far between.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Give us your climate predictions, Andy May

Sou | 5:03 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Every so often WUWT publishes what it describes as "failed climate predictions". It is often timed to distract from more bad climate news, such as the fact that last year there was a record increase in the annual rise in atmospheric CO2.

The list published today, from Andy May at WUWT, follows the normal pattern. It takes a bunch of statements that were published at various times, including several from 27 years ago, and claims they are failed predictions. This includes statements that refer to things that may happen by 2100.

Yep, science deniers tend to oscillate between living in the past and living way ahead in the future. Tim Ball, one of Anthony's pet conspiracy theorists, rarely manages to emerge beyond 1970. Andy May (and Anthony Watts) both implicitly claim they have a time machine that has taken them into the future.

There are two other points worth making before I give you some examples of the low regard they (rightly) hold for WUWT fans. (They know they are a the dullest of the dim-witted.)

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Anthony Watts is already crowing it hasn't warmed since 2016 (last year), with a La Niña watch

Sou | 7:21 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment
If you've been missing HotWhopper's take downs of deniers, you haven't been missing a lot. Wattsupwiththat is just repeating common denier memes over and over again.

In the last day Anthony Watts has even managed - it hasn't warmed since 2016 (therefore global warming is a hoax)! If you can believe that. (It's mostly true, though he only blew on the dog whistle and didn't spell out that last bit.)

He's a bit late to the party. The latest ENSO wrap-up from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology was an announcement of a La Niña watch, and that was last Tuesday. Here's an excerpt (my emphasis), which may disappoint the global cooling believers:
Seven of the eight international climate models surveyed by the Bureau suggest that sea surface temperatures will reach or exceed La Niña thresholds by November 2017. However, indicators need to remain at La Niña levels for at least three months to be considered an event. This is forecast by six of the eight models. If a La Niña does occur this year it is likely to be short and weak, as sea surface temperatures are forecast to warm again in early 2018, as the austral autumn is the time when La Niña events normally decay.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Andy Skuce - you will be sorely missed

Sou | 8:52 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
Andy Skuce sadly passed away a short while ago on 14 September. He was a wonderful person and will be sorely missed by many. I was privileged to know him, if only online. He was thoughtful, wise and kind and a real gentleman in the true meaning.

If you haven't yet, do read his recent article where Andy let his readers know about his illness. That article is so typical of Andy.

August 2017 is the second hottest August on record - the #climate is changing

Sou | 8:21 PM Go to the first of 23 comments. Add a comment
Summary: August 2017 was the second hottest August on record. The 12 months to August 2017 was the second hottest September to August period on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for August was 0.85 °C, which is 0.14 °C less than the August 2016. August 2017 was 0.05 °C hotter than the next hottest August in 2014, which had an anomaly of 0.80 °C.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to August each year. The 12 months to August 2017 averaged 0.91 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.13 °C cooler than the 12 months to August 2016.

This makes it the second hottest September to August 12 month period on record.

Monday, September 4, 2017

If everyone thought the way Rud Istvan thinks, civilisation would soon crumble

Sou | 3:31 PM Go to the first of 24 comments. Add a comment
There's an article at WUWT that gives some insight into the minds of the ideologically-constrained at WUWT. Rud Istvan wrote why he doesn't want his tax going to assist in recovery efforts in Texas and Louisiana (archived here). It boils down to him being able to afford to live in a fancy apartment that was designed to withstand Cat 5 storms. Those who can't afford that should suffer the consequences, according to Rud.

This is symptomatic of all that is wrong in the deniosphere and some "free market" survival of the fittest thinkers. It's ideologically opposed to the fundamentals of most of the world's religions, and society as a whole. Society functions best when we look out for each other, not when we worship money, greed and selfishness.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Hypocrisy alert: Don't make us pay for Harvey floods sez Eric Worrall at WUWT. We paid for his, though.

Sou | 3:30 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
Credit: Trudy Lampson
I made a comment the other day about paying for floods. I was remarking about how Roger Pielke Jr likes to view the cost of disasters as a function of GDP. He says that GDP is going up faster worldwide than the big spike in the cost of weather disasters and implies that therefore the world can afford to pay for them.

There are flaws in Roger's GDP argument. One I didn't mention was that the cost of the clean up and restoration is part of GDP. The other is that I think a lot of wealthy people will object to their money being paid to recover from disasters unless they themselves are the victims. Remember how many Republicans voted against aid after Sandy.

Anthony Watts wants coral reefs to face extinction - again

Sou | 12:44 AM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Photo: Toby Hudson
Coral reefs are critically important to the marine ecosystem. Despite this, there's another attempt to make corals extinct at Anthony Watts' blog wattsupwiththat.com (WUWT) (archived here). Anthony wrote an article saying how it was hilarious for scientists to want to study corals, because they've been made extinct a number of times before and came back hundreds of millennia later. Or something like that.

As Phil Clarke pointed out in a comment here, Anthony started his strange plea to stop studying corals by referring to an article on the website of the Global Reef Project. Anthony quoted the first sentence of the article, and decided to not post any more of it. Here is the first sentence, plus a bit more (my emphasis). The part that Anthony quoted is in italics. The part that contradicted his whole article is in bold:
Corals are 500 million years old, and date back to the late Cambrian period, during the Paleozoic era (Fig. 1). Evidence suggests that they started as simple, solitary organisms but, in response to changes in their environment, later evolved into the coral reefs we know today. It is also known that over the 500 million years, during which corals are known to have existed, they have experienced a number of extinction events. These extinction events were largely the result of dramatic changes in their environment, such as we are seeing today. 

Friday, September 1, 2017

We can't say Hurricane Harvey caused climate science deniers but it certainly worsened them

Sou | 3:29 PM Go to the first of 37 comments. Add a comment
Harvey. Credit: NASA
Science deniers were so put out by the deadly rains from Hurricane Harvey that they lost their sense of sight. Now we can't say that Hurricane Harvey caused climate science deniers, they've existed since we changed climate in a big way. We can say that Hurricane Harvey hasn't improved them.

Joe Bastardi, a science denying weather forecaster, got all excited and wrote a dumb article that was copied and pasted in the deniosphere. Danny Hayes first alerted us here at HotWhopper. It took some time before it was copied and pasted at WUWT (archived here). It was in response to an article in the Guardian, by Professor Michael Mann. The Guardian article had the following:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Club of Rome conspiracies from Timothy Ball at WUWT

Sou | 12:46 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Timothy Ball is Anthony Watts' most conventional conspiracy theorist, and an utter nutter. Anthony decided for his blog audience he would target the crank end of cyberspace and Tim fits the bill admirably. His latest theory is that the Club of Rome invented climate science, and as a nefarious plot.

Some might call WUWT fans wackadoodles, others will think of the funny farm. Wattsupwiththat is a natural meeting place for paranoid conspiracy theorists who think that efforts to protect humanity and nature are a satanic plot.

Tim is a greenhouse effect denier who wrote the first chapter in an obscure book that gained modest popularity among climate conspiracy nutters a few years ago, called "Slaying the Sky Dragon - Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory".  There was no death, of course, but the book is a bible of some of WUWT's "climate hoax" conspiracy theorists. Not that they understand anything in it (who would? It's gobbledegook.) Nor would they understand anything about physics, chemistry, climate or mathematics. They just get some comfort from seeing they are not the only weirdos in the world.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Stefan Rahmstorf wins the AGU Climate Communication Prize, so WUWT compares him to Hitler

Sou | 2:57 PM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
Is it the horrors of Hurricane Harvey that have unhinged deniers at WUWT? I don't know, but something has.

There have been two articles bashing Stefan Rahmstorf, one of the world's leading ocean scientists. He is Professor of Physics of the Oceans at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The AGU is awarding him the Climate Communication Prize, which he richly deserves. As some sort of payback, deniers are using the Serengeti Strategy to defame Dr Rahmstorf in two (so far) ugly and ridiculous articles at WUWT.

In the first WUWT article, Charles the Moderator has copied and pasted an unhinged article by someone called Duane Thresher, who has a huge chip on his shoulder against climate scientists. Charles the Moderator included a photo of Hitler because that's what deniers do when they want to smear and defame. It's a Law of Deniers. That article is a nasty denier take on how Dr Rahmstorf took a newspaper to task way back in April 2010, after it published false information about an IPCC report. You can read about this on Dr. Rahmstorf's blog (if you don't read German you'll need to translate).

See the update below for more context.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Hurricane Harvey through the eyes of science deniers

Sou | 9:28 PM Go to the first of 47 comments. Add a comment

This image of Hurricane Harvey from NOAA and GOES shows water vapour is, in parts, almost off the scale.

The recent 5:00 am CDT statement from the National Hurricane Center includes these tidbits:
A NOAA tide gauge at Port Lavaca, Texas, recently measured a water level of 6.6 feet above Mean Higher High Water.

An automated mesonet rain gauge near Victoria, Texas, is reporting a 24 h precipitation total of 16.43 inches.

From the deniosphere

It's wrong to regard climate science deniers as being harmless idiots. It's not enough for them to deny, lie and play down the dangers of climate change. Not acting on climate change will cause a lot of death and destruction and ruin the livelihoods of many. It will also threaten world food supplies in future.

As can be seen today, climate science deniers are a threat to people in the here and now. In the last day or so, prominent climate disinformers have been playing down the dangers of Hurricane Harvey. Their motive seems to be, as always, because they want people to reject the fact and risks of climate change. Why they would want to downplay an immediate risk for ideology is unfathomable.

Hurricane Harvey - realising the worst

Sou | 11:43 AM Feel free to comment!
Hurricane Harvey is fulfilling the worst case predictions and is now a Category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale. This is equivalent to a Category 5 cyclone on the Beaufort scale, used to categorise cyclones in Australia.

Hurricane intensity is measured by wind strength. Although winds are hugely destructive, Harvey brings bigger problems. As with all hurricanes, Hurricane Harvey is likely to dump huge amounts of rain and bring storm surges. Harvey will be worse than most because it is expected to hang around for several days. Below is the quantitative prediction forecast from the National Hurricane Center of NOAA as at 4:08 pm Central Daylight Time (USA). It shows horrific rain in Texas. Although the scale goes to 20 plus inches (500 plus mm), see how big that area is. There are warnings that the rainfall may be much higher in parts of that purple area. (I wouldn't want to be in the middle of it.)

Figure 1 | Rainfall potential from Hurricane Harvey: 120-hour Day 1-5 rainfall forecast (inches). Source: National Hurricane Centre, NOAA.

When extreme weather hits these days, it often breaks all records. This prompts science deniers to become more vocal, shrieking their denial of science. They seem to think that if they yell loudly enough, then some idiot will believe them and they'll be able to keep the coal fires burning a bit longer.

I'll write more about this, with despicable examples, shortly. (I am only able to write in short bursts at the moment, as I am dealing with other commitments. This might be a good thing, as some articles in the past have ventured into the TLDR category.)

Meanwhile, you can read more from the Cat6 team at Wunderground.com.

My thoughts are with everyone in the path of the hurricane and its effects, and with all the volunteers and agency workers who will be assisting with response and recovery.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Roy Spencer's latest silly conspiracy theory at WUWT. Delusions, including of grandeur

Sou | 11:28 PM Go to the first of 20 comments. Add a comment
Roy Spencer feels he is being attacked. It's all because he wrote an ebook in two weeks and put it up for sale on Amazon. Anthony Watts promoted his conspiracy theory at WUWT (archived here). His headline and opening sentence were:
After publishing new book critical of Al Gore, climate scientist has website shut down by attacks 
This is the equivalent of a modem day book burning.
Is poor little Roy Spencer being singled out by Al Gore for attack or has Roy found a novel way to get people to buy his little ebook?

I'm sceptical. However, let's look at his claim that was echoed and amplified by climate conspiracy theorist Anthony Watts. I've mixed up the facts with Roy and Anthony's hypothesis, which demonstrates (again) the foolishness of deniers. It also demonstrates their delusions of grandeur and their paranoia.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Don Easterbrook asks a question about global surface temperature

Sou | 11:52 PM Go to the first of 13 comments. Add a comment
Remember Don Easterbrook? He's the retired geology professor who knows less than nothing about climate science. He is the one who falsely claims the temperature on the summit of Greenland is a proxy for the temperature of the entire world.

Today at WUWT he posed a question in response to an article about recent global temperatures. Don Easterbrook wrote:
August 20, 2017 at 5:15 pm
And where do 1936 and 1934 fit in these ‘record temps?’ Before blatant tampering by NOAA and NASA, they were easily the hottest years (and probably still are!)

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Some photos - snow on Mount Bogong in the Kiewa Valley

Sou | 3:34 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
I'm away at the moment, and went home to the Kiewa Valley for a couple of hours yesterday. It was a glorious winter day, more like spring, except for the snow. I took a few photos of the snow on Mount Bogong and neighbouring peaks, and of some cockatoos that were grazing by the side of the road.

And no, heavy snow in winter doesn't signify a shift to cooling, in case anyone is wondering. It does remind me of years gone by when snow like this was more common. (Click the arrow in the middle to start the slide show, click the arrow bottom right to view full screen.)

From the beautiful Kiewa Valley in north eastern Victoria. Credit: Sou as Bogong Breeze

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Hurrah for Trump! say deniers. Let's flood federal buildings.

Sou | 11:22 PM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment
Port Vincent flood. Photo: NASA
WUWT is scrambling for articles since Anthony Watts went on a holiday a few weeks ago. There have been quite a few re-posts of articles at the Daily Caller, which is one of those dime-a-dozen science-denying libertarian website in the USA. Today Charles the Moderator copied and pasted an article (archived here) about how Donald Trump proposes to undo an executive order designed to reduce environmental harm. Among other things, this will mean that federal agencies no longer have to account for flood risk and climate change when they provide funds for roads, bridges or other structures.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

2017 has just had the hottest July on record!

Sou | 4:00 AM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment

Summary: July 2017 was the hottest July on record by just a smidgen. The 12 months to July 2017 was the second hottest August to July period on record.

Because July is the hottest month, it also makes it the hottest month ever on record. Edit: it's been pointed out to me that August last year pipped July 2016 and July 2017 as the hottest month on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for July was 0.83 °C, which is 0.01 °C more than the July 2016, making July 2017 the hottest July in the record.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to July each year. The 12 months to July 2017 averaged 0.92 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.11 °C cooler than the 12 months to July 2016.

This makes it the second hottest August to July 12 month period on record.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Matthew England wins the 2017 Tinker-Muse Prize. Charles Rotter spruiks mistruths @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 1:00 PM Go to the first of 29 comments. Add a comment
Congratulations to Professor Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Centre (CCRC) at the University of New South Wales. He is this year's winner of the Tinker-Muse Prize for Science and Policy in Antarctica. It's a prestigious award and comes with a prize of $US100,000. The Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research (SCAR) administers the award process independently of the Tinker Foundation.

A pioneer scientist with a rare ability

Professor England does a huge amount of research covering multiple topics. One subject on which he has made an important contribution is increasing our understanding of the Southern Ocean and the Southern Annular Mode (SAM). As stated on his website, "Quantifying the natural variability of Southern Ocean water masses, including their properties and overturning rates, is vital for detecting anthropogenic climate change."

Figure 1 | Schematic depth-latitude diagram showing the major circulation and water masses of the Southern Ocean. The following water masses are highlighted: (1) Antarctic Bottom Water flowing along the abyssal ocean, (2) Circumpolar Deep Water upwelling into the Antarctic Divergence Zone, (3) Antarctic Intermediate Water in the temperature range 4-6°C, and (4) Subantarctic Mode Water in the upper ocean north of the Subantarctic Front (SAF). Source: Matthew England's website

Saturday, July 15, 2017

June is cooler in 2017 but still the 4th hottest June on record

Sou | 2:06 AM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment

Summary: June 2017 was the fourth hottest June on record. The 12 months to June 2017 was the second hottest July to June period on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for June was 0.69 °C, which is 0.10 °C less than the hottest June in 2016, making June 2017 the fourth hottest June in the record. It's the hottest June in any year when there was no El Nino.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to June each year. The 12 months to June 2017 averaged 0.91 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.10 °C cooler than the 12 months to June 2016.

This makes it the second hottest July to June 12 month period on record.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Gigantic ice block, A-68, impressed Anthony Watts so much he came back from his holiday from @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 3:42 PM Go to the first of 21 comments. Add a comment
Photo: John Sonntag, NASA
Most of you will by now have heard that the cracked ice shelf on Larsen C has split the whole way through. This means a gigantic block of ice is now floating free. It's got a name as bland as all the other recorded icebergs: A-68.

The block measures about 5,800 km² in area and weighs more than a trillion tonnes. It is one of the ten biggest icebergs ever recorded.  The weight is equivalent to the weight of 7,142,857,143 fully grown blue whales, the world's largest mammal.  To visualise the area, think of somewhere that's 29 km by 200 km or 18 by 124 miles. The iceberg is around the same size as Australia's largest island after Tasmania, Melville Island north of Darwin, which is 5,786 km² in area.

There's an article at Quartz by Zoë Schlanger, Jennifer Brown and Katherine Ellen Foley, with some other international comparisons, for example, it covers an area twice as big as the Australian Capital Territory and 60 times the area of Paris.

This isn't the largest iceberg ever. The largest recently recorded is B-15, which split off from the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica 17 years ago, in March 2000. It was almost twice the size of this one, measuring 295 km (183 miles) by 37 km (23 miles), and having a surface area of 11,000 km² (4,200 sq miles). Wikipedia also lists other recent large icebergs - here and here.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Not as hot June troposphere temperatures, with a new version from RSS

Sou | 7:03 PM Go to the first of 14 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures for June 2017 are out. This report covers the lower troposphere as recorded in UAH v6 and the new RSS TLT v4, and RSS TTT v4 for the troposphere (without the "lower"). It follows pretty much the same format as previous monthly updates.

The troposphere is the part of the atmosphere directly above the surface. The temperatures are estimated from measurements recorded by satellites orbiting the earth.  They are not direct temperature measurements (the satellites don't record thermometer readings). And they are of an average of a depth of the atmosphere - up to several kilometres above the surface. The different versions of reported satellite temperature data tend to vary more than different versions of surface temperature.

For all three different temperature data sets shown, the 12 months to June 2017 is the second hottest 12 months in the record (comparing similar July-June periods).
  • For RSS TTT (troposphere), June itself was the just the eighth hottest June, with June 1998 the hottest.
  • For RSS TLT (lower troposphere), June was the equal fifth hottest June (with June 2014). June 2016 was the hottest.
  • The lower troposphere (UAH v6) June was the eighth hottest June on record. June 1998 was the hottest.

Monday, July 3, 2017

A frosty look at David Archibald's latest speculation about global cooling

Sou | 2:12 AM Go to the first of 17 comments. Add a comment
It was so cold this morning that I had to hop into the fridge to warm up. It's winter, of course, but it got quite cold even for winter in this part of the world - measuring about minus 6.4 Celsius this morning at our place.

Okay, I know for some of you that would be a mild winter's morning. Here it's worth lots of tweets. We're no longer used to having the sort of frosty mornings that were common when I was a child. What used to be the norm has now become a novelty with the world warming up so much.

Figure 1 | Frosty nights in Australia via BoM

Deniers can get all of a twitter when there's a frost. They are scared that it means an ice age is coming. Take David Archibald. He's been predicting an ice age for something like twelve years, ever since (he says) he "started out in climate science". He says his first paper was written just a few months later, but the only place he could publish it was in the denier journal Energy and Environment.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Website feedback

Sou | 8:47 PM Go to the first of 43 comments. Add a comment


Thank you for all the help. I've made some more changes as a result of emails and comments here:
  • The sidebar is now white. Some of you were finding the dark background hard to read and/or ugly. 
  • The font has been made easier to read from what was there at first, and is bigger than the font on the old blog.
  • New menu: There's a new menu. Until tomorrow, I'll leave it so it opens when you visit the page. However it's quite intrusive when it's open, so I'll only leave it like that for a short while, so you know it's there.  I hope in time, people will notice the little hamburger icon in the top right hand corner. Click on that and the menu will open and close. Click near the top of the open menu itself (it doesn't have to be right on the spot marked with an X) and it will close.
  • Less white space: Not really, though it might seem that way. What I've done is adjusted the page so that on medium and higher resolution screens, such as you'll find on high end notebooks and with larger desktop monitors, the sidebar no longer sits right on the edge. The gap between the sidebar and the main articles is now a bit smaller. Smaller screens and lower resolutions can still enjoy maximum breathable space :)
  • I've put the latest comments and the newest articles up the top of the sidebar. Just click on what you want and the panel will open up. It's the same content as it was on the old blog, but should now be easier to get to for most of you. 
  • If on your screen the side bar is missing, it probably means you're looking at a very small screen (a small tablet or similar). The content of the sidebar is still there and accessible to you. It's just moved down the page under the main articles. You should be able to get to it easily by scrolling down the page. Or, if you know what you're looking for, use the main menu (click on the hamburger icon on the top right of the page). The sidebar items are listed under Blog Menu (the top item in the menu).

There are a few other things I've done, and I'll continue to make refinements over time, most of which you probably won't notice but I'll feel better for it :)

If there's something bugging you about the site, please let me know either by leaving a comment here, or by sending an email or tweet or even a comment at facebook . (The first three are better options. I don't really use Facebook except to let people know about blog articles).

Time to get back to the business of blogging and other important matters :)

Sou - 11:05 pm + 10 UTC, Thursday 29 June 2017

I'd be glad of any comments on the new website - speed of loading, ease of navigation, readability, colours, fonts, difficulties, complaints whatever.

It's a work in progress. (It's not been possible to test it fully before going live, because it's hosted on Google.) The old site was getting to the end of it's usability from a management perspective, but it did work.

If enough people find this new design doesn't work for them, I'll revert back to the old design. On the other hand, if you prefer this, I'll continue to do my best to overcome any drawbacks.

This is what the website should look like at the moment (I've updated the picture to show the changes as of now, 29 June in Australia). Click to enlarge.


Anthony Watts is foxed yet again by temperature anomalies

Sou | 3:42 AM Go to the first of 40 comments. Add a comment
I read the latest article from Anthony Watts at WUWT. It reminded me that he really is dumb as an ox and blind as a bat.

Now you and I know that temperatures have been going only one way - up. And it's been getting really hot these past few years. Last year was the third year in a row that was the hottest on record. This year is shaping up as possibly the second hottest.

So what does Anthony Watts do? He plunges deep into idiocy with a most ridiculous article today (archived here).

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Pat Michaels theorises climate conspiracies, at Judith Curry's place

Sou | 2:30 PM Go to the first of 25 comments. Add a comment
Judith Curry has posted an article by Patrick J. Michaels from the Cato Institute (archived here).  He is wearing his conspiratorial tendencies on his sleeve, and wants Donald Trump to prevent the publication of a report mandated by the US 1990 Global Change Research Act, the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). The chapter headings of the new report are listed here.

Pat describes his conspiracy theory in the second paragraph, where he believes that US civil servants "portray global warming as alarming" for money. He wrote:
The Assessment Report will be produced by civil servants in the federal government (mainly unfireable GS15’s reporting to Obama Administration bosses), many of whom handle large amounts of climate research money. It has always been in their interest to portray global warming as alarming, and therefore in need of even more federal research dollars.
I call this projection. Would Pat Michaels retain his own job for the Cato Institute if he started to write about climate science in an objective, factual manner? It seems to me he managed to get a job with them because he was a science disinformer.

Leo Goldstein has an oddly paranoid poke at the IPCC

Sou | 2:22 AM Go to the first of 6 comments. Add a comment
Some of articles at WUWT are indistinguishable from gibberish. In the past few months, Anthony Watts has taken to publishing articles by a very strange man. He now calls himself Leo Goldstein. When he first wrote articles for WUWT, he wrote as Ari Halperin. He's the chap who came up with the Google conspiracy, and developed a tool to combat it, made by Google :D.

Here's one bit of gobbledegook from Leo today (archived here, latest here). He wrote about equilibrium climate sensitivity and quoted the IPCC's AR5 Working Group 1 report:
The equilibrium climate sensitivity quantifies the response of the climate system to constant radiative forcing on multicentury time scales. It is defined as the change in global mean surface temperature at equilibrium that is caused by a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration.” (p. 16)
That's fine. Thing is, I don't understand what Leo's difficulty is.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Neanderthal Anthony Watts joins the sky dragon slayers

Sou | 7:45 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts has joined the sky dragon slayers he used to ban from his blog at WUWT. Well, he used to ban some of them. He's joined forces with Rick "Neanderthal" Perry, the US Secretary of Energy, who rejects climate science outright.

The sky dragon slayers are among the dumbest of the dim deniers, who don't believe the science of climate change. Most of them have spent their retirement years trying in vain to disprove the greenhouse effect. Sky dragon slayers reject the notion that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and is causing global warming. They think our planet stays warm by magic, or from the warm breath of their god, or from pixie dust, or something.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

No hiatus (or vacation) from denial - Anthony Watts and Ryan Maue misrepresent a new scientific paper

Sou | 2:00 PM Go to the first of 108 comments. Add a comment
It looks as if Anthony hasn't yet left on his promised vacation his fans have paid for. Today he copied and pasted an article from, of all places, the Daily Caller (archived here, latest here). Now the Daily Caller is not regarded as a reputable source of scientific information. It's a right wing website from the USA, apparently widely read, particularly by Republicans seeking a daily outrage fix of sensationalised sentiment. (It's owned by a guy called Tucker Carlson, who replaced Bill O'Reilly at Fox. I gather there's not much to distinguish the opinions of the two.)

The shock and awe at WUWT is over a new paper by a team of scientific heavy-weights, led by the world-renowned climate scientist, Dr. Benjamin D. Santer. The paper, published in Nature Geoscience, reports an exploration of the reasons for any differences between modeled and observed temperatures in the upper air (the troposphere). The authors examined data for the satellite era, January 1979 to December 2016, which is when there were more reliable temperature observations of the upper air.

[Note: the paper itself is about troposphere temperatures. The charts I've added are surface temperatures, in part because I'm still short of time, plus I don't have model data for the troposphere to hand (Fig 3).]

Saturday, June 17, 2017

The Open Atmospheric Society has disappeared from WUWT

Sou | 5:25 PM Go to the first of 28 comments. Add a comment
A heads up for everyone who was saving up their pennies to join Anthony Watts' secretive Open Atmospheric Society.

Between the 25 Apr 2017 04:13:51 UTC and 26 Apr 2017 13:21:40 UTC, Anthony Watts quietly removed his plug for people to join the quiescent, dormant, or dead Open Atmospheric Society from the sidebar of his WUWT blog.

Was this action prompted by the end of the US tax reporting year? Was Anthony feeling a rare pang of conscience about taking money from his fans and not delivering the goods?

Or was the disappearance an oversight, a temporary glitch, with the advert about to make a reappearance?

If you are still hoping to join that fake sceptic society, the OAS website is still there, though there is no sign of a board or journal or anything else. In fact, nothing has been added to the website for almost two years.

You can read more about the secretive open society with the help of Google - this is the timeline.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Second hottest May on record

Sou | 2:08 AM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for May was 0.88 °C, which is 0.05 °C less than the hottest May in 2016, making May 2017 the second hottest May in the record.

Here is a chart of the average of 12 months to May each year. The 12 months to May 2017 averaged 0.91 °C above the 1951-1980 mean, which was 0.10 °C cooler than the 12 months to May 2016. This makes it the second hottest May to May 12 month period on record.
Figure 1 | Global mean surface temperature anomaly for the 12 months to May each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

(Google has just made some changes to its charting program, and has yet to iron out some of the kinks. Let me know if you see any problems. I am having trouble seeing the values to the right of the charts. Hopefully it will get fixed soon.)

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hugs to climate scientists wherever you are

Sou | 9:52 PM Go to the first of 26 comments. Add a comment
Lots of HotWhoppery hugs to all the climate scientists around the world from Antarctica to the Arctic, in Australia and surrounds, Africa, America north and south, Asia, Europe or running a hopeful experiment on Planet B.

First Dog on the Moon sent a reminder that It's Hug a Climate Scientist Day. Just remember: no surprise hugs!

See the full huggy greeting cartoon here at The Guardian.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Experts react to the Finkel Review on the future for Australia's electricity generation

Sou | 7:30 PM Go to the first of 32 comments. Add a comment
Many of you will have been glued to the internet (or television) over the past few hours, first watching the Comey session before the Senate Committee in the USA, then the elections in Britain. While you were being entertained, an important report was released here in Australia. It's known as the Finkel Review, because the panel preparing it was headed by Australia's Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel.

The report is called the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market. It has important implications for how Australia manages the transition away from fossil fuels (particularly coal) into the new energy economy.

Some people are being pragmatic about it, others are concerned that it will mean that Australia will not move quickly enough, and that we won't meet our international obligations.

Below is an article about the report, just published at The Conversation.

All about weather radar from Australia's Bureau of Meteorology

Sou | 4:57 PM One comment so far. Add a comment
Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is a wonderful organisation, highly valued by almost everyone who lives here. In the last year or so, BoM has been promoting a series of videos under the heading of #Ask BoM.

The one below is all about weather radar (h/t @windjunky). Did you know that Australia has the fourth largest weather radar network in the world? It's the service I use most of all together with their weather forecasting service. I've even used it during bushfire season, because the radar can sometime pick up smoke.

Eric Worrall denounces criticism of Trump, who he knows little about

Sou | 4:27 PM Go to the first of 7 comments. Add a comment
I just noticed an article at WUWT by Eric "eugenics" Worrall (archived here). This is someone who for years likened climate scientists to eugenicists. He's a bit upset at Jeffrey D. Sachs, who wrote a strongly worded piece denouncing Trump for pulling out of the Paris agreement. Eric, who is a Brit now living in Australia, was quite irate and keen to show off his double standards.

What I think upset Eric the most was when Sachs wrote that Trump's actions were anti-society. I think it was the word "sociopathic" that he regarded as "hate speech", not so much the "willfully inflicting harm" part:
President Donald Trump’s withdrawal of the United States from the Paris climate agreement is not just dangerous for the world; it is also sociopathic. Without remorse, Trump is willfully inflicting harm on others. 
(It's telling that climate science disinformers regard their audience as being so illiterate that they don't come up with any alternative to "hate" as a word to describe opposition to their efforts to ruin the world.)

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Exploring South East Asian heat extremes of 2016 elicits silly comments from Anthony Watts

Sou | 7:23 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
There's a new paper out in Nature Communications this week, in which the authors explore the factors affecting the extreme heat in south east Asia last year.  In mainland south east Asia, April 2016 was the warmest April on record, by a long way. It was 0.9 °C hotter than the previous hottest April (1998).

The paper opens with the following:
In April 2016, southeast Asia experienced surface air temperatures (SATs) that surpassed national records, exacerbated energy consumption, disrupted agriculture and caused severe human discomfort.
It seems a worthwhile research project, particularly with global warming likely to cause more disruption and discomfort like this over time.

[The figure at the top right is from the paper, and shows the relative contribution of El Niño (green bars) versus global warming (red bar) for the 15 hottest Aprils on record in mainland Southeast Asia. Click to enlarge it.]

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

David Archibald (again) predicts an ice age to cometh @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 8:57 PM Go to the first of 39 comments. Add a comment
No sooner had I predicted that an ice age cometh article would appear at WUWT than Anthony Watts posted one. My wish is his command :)

David "funny sunny" Archibald wrote another of his solar articles (archived here) and, despite all the failures of his previous predictions, snuck in this comment (my emphasis):
On that assumption, Solar Cycle 25’s amplitude is likely to be two thirds of that of Solar Cycle 24, and thus 60. Further climatic cooling is therefore in store.
What climatic cooling has there been? How can there be "further" climatic cooling in store, when there's not been any so far?

Inside the Matrix: Deniers @wattsupwiththat are still debating evolution!

Sou | 5:09 PM Go to the first of 4 comments. Add a comment
This will be short and weird. Today Anthony Watts posted an article at WUWT touting red pills and blue pills or red teams and blue teams or something (archived here). He's still waiting and hoping for someone from his "side" to disprove 200 years of science.  Goodness knows, they've had enough time and opportunity to do so, but haven't because they can't.

I mean, 200 years is long enough, surely, for someone to prove that we have physics, chemistry, biology and geology all wrong. That our technology can't possible work because it's based on fake science.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Reaction to Trump taunting "Drop Dead, World!" from @wattsupwiththat

Sou | 12:48 AM Go to the first of 55 comments. Add a comment
Over at WUWT, eight of the nine most recent articles are celebrating Trump's decision to abdicate his responsibilities to people in the USA (see here). As you'll have heard, he has declared his intention to isolate the USA even further than he has already. In particular, at WUWT they are celebrating Trump declaring that he refuses to fulfil US obligations to mitigate global warming.

Let America and the world go jump, is the cry at WUWT. We live for the moment. If tomorrow we drown, starve or burn, at least we'll have shown those libtards what we think of them. We don't give a damn about people in far flung places, or the fact that the USA is responsible for more global warming to date than any other country on Earth.

(The picture shows how Trump's recklessness is viewed elsewhere in the world, by Der Spiegel. H/t Brian L Kahn.)

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Trending troposphere temperatures to May 2017

Sou | 8:36 PM Go to the first of 9 comments. Add a comment
The troposphere temperatures for May 2017 are out. This report covers the lower troposphere as recorded in UAH v6 and RSS TTT for the troposphere (without the "lower"). It follows pretty much the same format as previous monthly updates.

For RSS TTT (troposphere), the 12 months to May 2017 is the second the hottest 12 months in the record (comparing similar June-May periods). Now that last year's intense El Nino has dissipated, May itself was the just the fourth hottest May, with May 2016 the hottest.

The lower troposphere (UAH v6) also showed the 12 months to May as the second hottest on record. However, in the UAH record, May was the third hottest May on record, after May 1998 and May 2016.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Donald Trump's push to worsen climate change will reshape the world more quickly

Sou | 1:41 PM Go to the first of 66 comments. Add a comment
Why does Donald Trump want to destroy the USA? What is his notion of "great again"? Going by his comments today when he announced that the USA will no longer play a leadership role in the modernisation and restructure of the energy sector, he believes that to bring back smog and increase black lung disease is what will "Make America Great Again". He referred to Pittsburgh as an example. This was Pittsburgh in its heyday:
This is how the Mayor of Pittsburgh reacted:

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Sides - to fry or not to fry, or covfefe? WUWT is a haven of climate science denial

Sou | 9:49 AM Go to the first of 55 comments. Add a comment
Anthony Watts is running another poll on his blog wattsupwiththat, to see how many of his readers accept science and want to mitigate global warming. He's done this before. A few years ago he found that 98.1% of his readers declared themselves as "skeptics", meaning they are conspiracy theorising climate science deniers. Today he wants to test his readership again, to make sure he's still got what it takes among the dimwit dismissives. He wrote about "sides":
Since WUWT is read by both sides of the issue, I thought I’d run a poll to ask, so here goes.