Supreme irony: wind farms can cause atmospheric warming, finds a new study?

What is it about GW that brings out such levels of stupidity in so many people?

Lets start with the easy bit. There’s a paper Impacts of wind farms on land surface temperature by Zhou et al.. It isn’t very exciting, but it made into Nature Climate Change, probably because of the inevitable stupidity it would arouse. What it says is Our results show a significant warming trend of up to 0.72 °C per decade, particularly at night-time, over wind farms relative to nearby non-wind-farm regions. This isn’t ironic or even particularly surprising: the effect is due to mixing down of warmer air on nights with an inversion. At least, that’s what I expect, not having read the paper, and its what Black of the Beeb wrote, having talked to Zhou: At night, air above ground level tends to be warmer than the ground. Dr Zhou and his colleagues believe the turbine blades are simply stirring up the air, mixing warm and cold, and bringing some of the warmth down to ground level.

But if you’re silly, like the Torygraph, you find yourself obliged to headline your story Wind farms can cause climate change, finds new study. The actual article itself isn’t too bad – it correctly notes this is a local effect, largely night-time only, and it permits itself a little speculation that if done on a large enough scale this might just be noticeable regionally. And, being generous, you could call this “climate change” – though to most people, “climate change” will mean global climate change, which this isn’t.

However, you then get people who really should know better repeating Windmills cause climate change! Timmy manages the oh-how-I-wish-it-was unusual feat of having nothing useful to say, whilst quoting the worst bits of the article and suppressing the useful bits. This is global cooling come again – people just can’t resist the “counter intuitive” stuff. He has another go at Forbes but gets it even wronger there – now its explicitly become Wind Farms Cause Global Warming!

But the funny thing is to look at the comments. Like:

I had a good laugh about that, it’s fairly obvious really you convert kinetic energy into electricity and get heat as a bi product. Silly eco mentalists


Think it through & you’ll realise there’s no climate warming effect whatsoever. The energy is in the wind. The bird shredders remove some of the energy as electricity but the process of doing so isn’t 100% efficient so it also creates heat

These are wrong – they are fairly typical of the “I know nothing about climatology, but rather than trying to find something out I’ll just speculate and call it truth” sort of commentator. But they have absolutely no excuse for being wrong, because even the Torygraph got it right, in the first few paragraphs of its article: “Usually at night the air closer to the ground becomes colder when the sun goes down and the earth cools. But on huge wind farms the motion of the turbines mixes the air higher in the atmosphere that is warmer, pushing up the overall temperature.”

Since its Timmy’s blog, and he is often rude to people, I get to call him and his commentators idiots. Which he (in this instance) and they (oh so often) richly deserve. Which brings me neatly on to…

WUWT, which is where I stole my headline from. That too reports the same study, and in the same sensationalist terms. What is, again, funny is that the commentators there completely miss the point and run off down the same inefficient-conversion-leads-to-heat rabbit-hole (and they even find some new ones), even though Watts has half-said it in the very top paragraph. I tell them the truth, but they aren’t grateful. In fact Watts is very ungrateful indeed – but that is after the inevitable degeneration of the dicussion into a pointless demonstration of their lack of knowledge of wikipedia.


* Potential Climatic Impacts and Reliability of Very Large Scale Wind Farms – Chien Wang and Ronald Prinn

RP Sr is a tosser

I haven’t had a tosser for a while, but I think its time for a new one. The evidence is all at Open Mind, that increasingly valuable resource who has done such a good job of shredding so many thoughtless folk. And RP Sr’s 7-fold updated post neatly puts him into that category. But what wins RP the coveted award is outing Tamino (whose name isn’t exactly a secret anyway) under the guise of “professional courtesy”. Well done, Wodger.

Junk from von S

A tedious detail in the fall-out from the latest Lovelock nonsense. If you’re not following, our favourite electron-capturing emeritus has recanted, or perhaps not, who knows.

Klimazwiebel has a thread in which, clearly over-awed by his early reputation, they delicately tip-toe around the fact that he has been talking nonsense for years. Apparently we are to believe that But Lovelock is unique in his self-critical attitude. Twaddle. Lovelock knows precious little about climate science, and is merely flip-flopping around, lost.

I pointed this out to von S, and got a pile of garbage in return. Is von S lost too? Seems so. Hopefully he’ll recover; he hasn’t dared reply to my reply.

I had the temerity to suggest that Lovelock’s stuff was the toothless mumblings of an old man by the fire bemoaning the evil of the younger generation and that was too much; its fallen down the memory hole. Of course von S – well, its his blog – allows himself to tell me that I’m the gatekeeper for climate issues at Wikipedia, right?. So I think von S has suffered a certain amount of Curry-like “capture”, though not nearly as far down as her.

Ha ha, it gets better. this comment (which was a simple link to this post) has been deleted, as has this comment (which was a complaint that they’d been lying about me and didn’t much seem to care). That enough for me: Klimazwiebel is off my watchlist and von S is forgotten.

[Update: BS points out that he, and Tim Lambert, also called out Lovelock ages ago:

I’ll just parachute in here to mention that in addition to scientists like Connolley and Annan, the non-scientist climate hawk bloggers also called out Lovelock in ’06 as being full of it. See, e.g., me:
“exaggerations like his just get the environmentalists in trouble, even the people who don’t exaggerate. How do we rein him in? Is it through a bet offer?”

also Tim Lambert:

You believe your lies and we will believe ours?

From a comment at Forbes, found by R. I found it hard to believe that anyone would say such, but indeed its true:

Mr. Zwick you believe your lies and we will believe ours. The sun controls the climate not man. Our earth was more polluted back when there were very few humans roaming the earth that it is today. And that is fact. When the day comes that everyone of your believers gives up their cars, their mansions, shuts off all electricity and ceases all the dirty destructive habits you claim humans impart on the earth is the day many of us might take you seriously. Really. How can we believe a word Al Gore and any of you say when your so called ” carbon footprint” is bigger than most 100 hundred people rolled together. Al Gore is the biggest liar on the face of this earth. And he is getting very rich off the lie. As are many other of the believers. Yes most of us will be dead and gone in 10-20 years but I truly hope you and your children are still around to eat your words. You demand we live like monks while you and your faithful live like Kings…

This is by karenbracken, a fairly std content-free septic ditto head (notice that she continues with an argument that, classically, is classified as the “Al Gore is fat” fallacy). But I think she has somewhat let the cat out of the bag, in a way reminiscent of The New Aristotelians. She doesn’t care about the truth, or the science – to her its just a fight, with no respect for truth – or perhaps, being more generous, that she “knows” the truth, in some vague sense, but can’t be bothered to find out or understand any actual facts, and somehow believes everyone else do the same.

[If you want to find the comment for yourself, its on page 31 of 32 (currently). The Forbes comment system appears to be somewhat broken; this is a nominal direct link, but it doesn’t work.]

After a pause for thought

I’ve realised that I shouldn’t be so literal. Its a great failing of mine. By “lies” she doesn’t really mean lies – at least, I assume she doesn’t really think she is lying (few people think that) or believing other people’s lies (even fewer do that).

What she really means is something like “foundational myths”, or “memes”, or “well-known truths”, or “common talking points”, or “things assumed to be true”, or even “things that need to be true in order for my world view to hold up”. And in that sense, all she is doing is expressing the tendency of people to talk past each other, which you’ll see so often – especially in places like the comments in WUWT. Rather than listen to or answer anyone’s arguments, people just revert to “ah, but temperature isn’t rising” or somesuch (or, to give the “warmist” example, “ah, but GW will destroy our ecosystems”). There is no value in such stuff; you’ve all heard it many times before, so has everyone else; its just ritual chanting to drown out the noises you uneasily sense coming from outside the circle.


* The Uncertainty Monster Swallows the Magic Sky Dragon

I'm famous

You knew that, obviously, or you wouldn’t be here. I have an entry on Conservapedia, you don’t get much more famous than that. Compare that with so-called climate “scientists” like James Annan – even his tippling great-uncle only gets a few lines (and no invective, how dull). I see that a while ago I mocked Conservapedia for being dumb but said that, whilst nearly fact free, it was “not really even very funny”. I’m pleased to see that they’ve corrected that: now Global warming is the liberal hoax[2][3] that… and so on. Conservapedia is so risible that no-one (not even the WUWT folks) would dream of using it for a reference. In the comparatively unimportant world of science I’m a has-been, of course, and (as I thought when I left but kept blogging) I find it harder to keep up with the real science. Fortunately lots of other people do and I can read them.

If you’re wondering where this is going: well, my world-spanning fame has taken a minor boost from WUWT having a go at me, though like so many his ability to spell my name is limited.

A few people there seemed to have a desire to talk, though I rather suspect they won’t step up to the plate. So! This post is for them to comment and ask questions, if they want to. To my regulars: please be kind to any that do come over; I will heavily moderate any comments that are too discouraging, though of course you’re welcome to post fact-filled rebuttals of anything they might say. To any WUWT folk who have come over: Welcome! Please feel free to ask your (preferably science based) questions. Though if you’re puzzled by how wiki works you can ask that too. Be aware that I have a comment policy which I’ve just recently updated.


* Who am I?. Lawrence Solomon’s “The opinionator” story containing the glorious quote “Next to Al Gore, William Connolley may be the world’s most influential person in the global warming debate”. The link seems to have expired now, but the wayback machine still has it.


I’ve given up calling it “yet yet more misc” as I’ve forgotten where I’ve got to. So, in no particular order:

In war you will generally find that the enemy has at any time three courses of action open to him. Of those three, he will invariably choose the fourth

via Schneier. Which reminds me of We don’t even know how many legs he’s got.

The Policy Lass is sick of arguing with stupid people. Anyone who has been to WUWT and the comment threads there will empathise. It is all a hopeless morass of nonsense; it cannot be fixed, only risen above. And indeed (as I’ve tried to tell them) the science just goes on without them. But I’ll still visit occaisionally in case there is anyone there who wants to listen.

DA notes another court case in Mann’s favour; weird stuff indeed over there. Will America be brought down by the weight of parasitic lawyers? You’re heading that way.

Its fun to know that hobbyists are playing with our old chips. Thats very hard to do without the specs, which of course aren’t public.

RC has a post about the dangers of extrapolating from PIOMASS, concluding Until then, we believe, we need to let science run its course and let previous model-based predictions of somewhere between “2040 and 2100″ stand. Which reminds me its about time to look at the ice again; not that I have any new ideas.

Then there was the wildly exciting Shakun stuff, about CO2/T lead-lags during the last deglaciation. This wound the Watties up no end (there was a whole tedious series of posts) because it is an article of faith with them that (a) T preceeds CO2 and (b) this actually matters. (a) is the interesting science, but (b) is wrong, if you mean in anything but a rhetorical sense. But we’re back to arguing with stupid people, so lets not.

But inevitably that’s where news is. “Dr” Roy Spencer isn’t stupid, but some of his ideas are. Most notably, his idea that all his ideas are wonderful, but the Giant Global Climate Conspiracy is conspiring to prevent publication, so he’ll just put it on blogs instead with no review. Which is a really bad idea. His latest is yet another retread of the-temperature-record-is-all-wrong (actually he seems to have two incompatible versions, each incompatible with his own satellite record, but this doesn’t trouble him). No-one seems to care enough to rip it apart properly; NS has a go.

Tamino looks at some more stats and finds them woefully bad. I remember doing Fourier analysis and being surprised by the statistical properties of the spectrum. But I did at least get it right before publishing.

Well. Bill Gray. As he says, “Frozen in Time”. His Homage to the Heartland Institute is weird, srsly Weird. I assume it must be ghost-written, but still its got his name on: We should all be grateful for the Heartland Institute and for its Nobel Mission to bring enlightenment and truth to the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) question. “Nobel Mission”? Does he mean “noble mission”? Or are they on a mission to get a Noble prize – that would be so far beyond a joke as to be incomprehensible. And why the caps? Well, its probably just a doddery old man being swindled by the septics; sad.

And DA has some nice quotes re the shallowness of the likes of Dyson when they try to talk about climate science.


* Rapid coupling of Antarctic temperature and atmospheric CO2 during deglaciation
* HadCRAP4