The strange case of the denialists inability to read

Or, perhaps, not so strange, you might well say. I’m talking about Has Global Warming Stalled? I’m not sure what is supposed to be new about it – it looks like the same tired old stuff. The “gotcha” bit is supposed to be

The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more

and we then are shown a picture with some flat lines on it. The picture doesn’t show the 95% confidence intervals for the trends – I suspect that was beyond the poster’s ski1z. But anyway, that’s not the point: the point is the words that have been omitted, which I’ll bold below:

ENSO-adjusted warming in the three surface temperature datasets over the last 2–25 yr continually lies within the 90% range of all similar-length ENSO-adjusted temperature changes in these simulations (Fig. 2.8b). Near-zero and even negative trends are common for intervals of a decade or less in the simulations, due to the model’s internal climate variability. The simulations rule out (at the 95% level) zero trends for intervals of 15 yr or more

This isn’t even a new mistake. Its the same as in the American Drinker Climate Forecaster of The Year 2010. So rather than thinking, I may as well copy what I said there:

So this is the familiar situation: the denialists are cherry-picking their starting year of 1998. If you don’t do that, or if you take out ENSO (as the 2008 report explicitly did; or as Foster and Rahmstorf did), then you see the warming you expect.

Not everyone at WUWT falls for the nonsense. “Phil” points out the ENSO adjustment bit (as well as some other errors, never mind them for now). It goes quiet in the comments after that. It would be nice to think that’s because they’re all embarrassed at their carelessness, but more likely its because they’ve moved on to the next piece of tripe.

Refs

* Updated comparison of simulations and observations by Climate Lab Book.

60 thoughts on “The strange case of the denialists inability to read”

  1. Interesting – I hadn’t realized that NOAA had done an ENSO adjustment in that analysis. I’m surprised at how much natural variability remains after subtracting ENSO… (in the model runs, they presumably didn’t have volcanic or solar variability either).

    [In the C20C runs, they should have solar and volcanic. Not in the future bits, unless they threw in some stochastic stuff. I strongly suspect that the model ENSO will be smaller than the real 1998, though -W]

    (if you look at the original paper, their ENSO corrected temperature plot shows a flattening from 1999 to 2008 which is in fact the justification for looking at 10 year flat periods in the models… this flattening, however, is not evident in the Rahmstorf, Foster, Cazenave paper, so I’m curious if the solar influence is the key for that difference, or the volcanic aerosols, or if they use a different ENSO correction method?)

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  2. (one other option for the difference between the BAMS figure and the Rahmstorf et al. figure is the dependence on HadCRUT3 for BAMS whereas Rahmstorf et a. used an average of 5 surface temperature datasets)

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  3. Have you seen the recent Tung and Zhou PNAS paper? (http://bit.ly/VLcigB; pay-walled) They’re proposing a that the AMO can explain much of the recent “pause”. From the end of the abstract:

    “The underlying net anthropogenic warming rate in the industrial era is found to have been steady since 1910 at 0.07–0.08 °C/decade, with superimposed AMO-related ups and downs that included the early 20th century warming, the cooling of the 1960s and 1970s, the accelerated warming of the 1980s and 1990s, and the recent slowing of the warming rates. Quantitatively, the recurrent multidecadal internal variability, often underestimated in attribution studies, accounts for 40% of the observed recent 50-y warming trend.”

    Also, their anthropogenic trend estimate is half that of Foster and Rahmstorf (…notwithstanding any potential anthropogenic influence for the AMO). I need to digest it more, but I am surprised that WUWT (etc) have not yet picked up on it, especially as this is from a “mainstream” atmospheric scientist.

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  4. The strange case of the warmist inability to admit that (for now at least) the warming has ceased.

    [Um, so – are you OK to admit that the WUWT post has got it badly wrong? -W]

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  5. If anthropogenic warming ceased, the globe would get really cold really fast.

    What we have is, largely, an episode of oceans cooling the atmosphere at a far lesser magnitude than would be case if not for continually increasing anthropogenic warming.

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  6. David Benson:

    “Indeed, the current stand-still of the 5-year running mean global temperature may be largely a consequence of the fact that the first half of the past 10 years had predominately El Nino conditions, while the second half had predominately La Nina conditions (Nino index in Fig. 1). Comparing the global temperature at the time of the most recent three La Ninas (1999-2000, 2008, and 2011-2012), it is apparent that global temperature has continued to rise between recent years of comparable tropical temperature, indeed, at a rate of warming similar to that of the previous three decades. …” – Hansen

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  7. While you’re on the subject of WUWT foolishness, there’s the (unintentionally) hilarious post about the massive expansion of Arctic sea ice.

    Yes, that’s right. The annual minima and maxima are both decreasing, but because the minima are decreasing faster than the maxima, the amplitude of the seasonal cycle is increasing. Therefore, each winter’s “recovery” is “unprecedentedly large”.

    According to the WUWT post, we’re supposed to believe that “This continued growth of ice in the Arctic make the arguments for ice mass loss in Antarctica rather hard to believe.”

    Another Goddard/Watts special.

    [That one was all too predictable. Indeed I’m fairly sure that someone did bother to predict it -W]

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  8. [That one was all too predictable. Indeed I’m fairly sure that someone did bother to predict it -W]

    When Watts was in a lather last August/September, trying to magnify any possible issue with sea ice observations (presumably they’re fine now?) and scrabbling around for a dataset which seemed to give different results (it very much didn’t in the end) I did wonder why all the desperation when he has a nailed-on ‘Unprecedented sea-ice growth season’ story for the new year. Not sure I wrote that anywhere though.

    Would bookies take bets on the future utterances of Watts?

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  9. Read it again. If anthropogenic warming were to stop; as in: stopped, the globe would quickly cool. Absent AGW, the globe would be cooling. I do not think this is controversial.

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  10. Imprecision confuses, and “quickly” means different things to computer architects, paleoclimate researchers, or cosmologists.

    If humans suddenly disappeared, it would take decades for the temperature rise to flatten off, given the lag time.

    Since agriculture started, human activities have kept the planet in a fairly narrow temperature range, unlike most interglacials. We almost certainly contributed strongly to both the MWP and the LIA, such as they were.

    Of course, we’ll be departing that range on the high side this time, but if there had been no human civilization, we’d already be on the long slow temperature downslope. As it is, there likely won’t be another real ice age as long as a technologic civilization exists. David Archer’s “The Long Thaw” has a good exposition, explaining the sensitivities.

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  11. I agree that the shorter term trends are not statistically significant in the somewhat noisy global average temperature data sets.

    What may be more significant is the fact that for the last third of a century, trends are somewhere between 1.3 and 1.6 degrees C per century.

    Warming, to be sure, but at the low end of projections.

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  12. If humans were to disappear, the immediate obvious effect on climate would be a considerable warming spike due to a lack of aerosols.

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  13. Come to think of it, that spike perhaps might be enough to enhance various feedbacks (e.g., in the short term, permafrost loss, Arctic sea ice loss and Amazon deforestation, maybe adding up tp enough to eventually take a large bite out of the ice sheets, resulting in a climate state that probably would take hundreds of thousands of years to return to balance with background CO2). But I hope modelers aren’t spending a lot of time on questions like this, except insofar as the results would be helpful with more pertinent issues.

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  14. I think JCH is saying that by magically removing all the contribution by human activity since the last glacial maximum, see the same glacially rapid (-: cooling seen in the geologically recent 🙂 past, as illustrated here, would be expected. That’s ten year old info, I do hope Robert Rohde continues to update these.

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  15. Jan Morten, if you look carefully enough you will realize that sea surface temperatures of the 1940s where again reached only in the 1990s. Hence SSTs, i.e. surface temperatures representing the major part of the earth’s surface does not show any global warming from the 40s to 90s of the last century. This is corroborated by satellite data.

    The major fault of realism denialists is that they selectively pick temperature values which fit their warming model prophecies and leave out evidence which they don’t like.

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  16. “Hence SSTs, i.e. surface temperatures representing the major part of the earth’s surface does not show any global warming from the 40s to 90s of the last century. This is corroborated by satellite data.”

    You can’t make this stuff up. Oh wait…

    A pointer to that 1940s sat data, please.

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  17. Steve Bloom, there are no satellite data from the 1940s, but satellite data do not correlate with land-based surface temperature data and show no warming, like the SSTs. Realism denialists like only warming data, but no temperature series which don’t show warming.

    [The denialist here is you. Quite why you bother when its so trivial to prove you wrong I don’t know: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satellite_temperature_record -W]

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  18. W, wikipedia is NO scientifically acceptable reference. You have to learn this. Wikipedia is often partial, trivial and I NEVER read there as I don’t consider it a reliable source. Would you mind letting Steve Bloom answer my comment himself which I addressed to him? Thank you.

    [If you’ve never read wiki, you’ve not got a clue whether its reliable or not – unless of course you’re committing the unpardonable sin of “relying on authority” where in your case “authority” is some denialist blog. Ho ho, you disappear in a puff of logic -W]

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  19. Good catch, Marco. Sockpuppetry, oh my!

    [I can confirm, having now looked, that independent evidence supports their being the same person -W]

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  20. Steve Bloom, thank you for your reply, but you missed completely what I was responding to you. Where you able in the meantime to check that SSTs from the 1940s to the 1990s did not show ANY global warming. Is it imaginable to you to answer this question?

    [Kai, you made that up. Why would anyone bother check your nonsense? -W]

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  21. And now to you, WMC

    1. Have you ever heard of the hypothesis that in recent earth history (i.e. several 100’000 years) every time when it was cold in the northern hemisphere it was warm in the southern hemisphere and vice verse.

    [The idea you’re struggling for is “Polar see-saw”. Check the edit history: http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Polar_see-saw&action=history -W]

    2. Are you aware of the fact that the IPCC AR4 did NOT seriously elaborate on this hypothesis?

    [Again, you’re making stuff up. You’ve never read the IPCC reports so you haven’t got a clue what they say. http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/tar/wg1/074.htm -W]

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  22. “Hence SSTs, i.e. surface temperatures representing the major part of the earth’s surface does not show any global warming from the 40s to 90s of the last century.”

    Is this assertion even true in some global sea surface temperature data set ? It doesn’t appear to be true in HadSST3 – see http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2011/07/revisiting-historical-ocean-surface-temperatures/ – for either the decadal average or the warmest year in each decade.

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  23. I think the *warmest* years in the 1940s might have been warmer than the *coldest* years in the 1990s. Maybe that’s the source of Kai’s claim.

    Yeah, it’s ridiculous, I know.

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  24. WMC said: “You’ve never read the IPCC reports”

    You are wrong and, you cannot know this. Is this your ordinary way to define the truth (as you like it?)

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  25. freddy/kai # 33

    Where you able in the meantime to check that SSTs from the 1940s to the 1990s did not show ANY global warming. Is it imaginable to you to answer this question?

    I think it’s confusing to say that SSTs between ~1940 and ~1990 ‘did not show any global warming’. It suggests that SSTs are an accurate metric for the accumulation of energy in the climate system, which I think is debatable. As I understand it, this is because SSTs are broadly indicative of energy leaving the ocean rather than entering it.

    The better measure of energy accumulating in the climate system (‘global warming’) would be OHC, which rose over the same period (see link below).

    The statement that ‘SSTs from the 1940s to the 1990s did not show ANY global warming’ (read as ‘did not rise’) is also strongly dependent on which data are used.

    Whatever the case, the increase in OHC since ~1970 clearly shows energy accumulating in the climate system (Levitus et al. 2012).

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  26. (Sorry. The usual dazzling mastery of html tags)

    Where you able in the meantime to check that SSTs from the 1940s to the 1990s did not show ANY global warming. Is it imaginable to you to answer this question?

    I think it’s confusing to say that SSTs between ~1940 and ~1990 ‘did not show any global warming’. It suggests that SSTs are an accurate metric for the accumulation of energy in the climate system, which I think is debatable. As I understand it, this is because SSTs are broadly indicative of energy leaving the ocean rather than entering it.

    The better measure of energy accumulating in the climate system (‘global warming’) would be OHC, which rose over the same period (see link below).

    The statement that ‘SSTs from the 1940s to the 1990s did not show ANY global warming’ (read as ‘did not rise’) is also strongly dependent on which data are used.

    Whatever the case, the increase in OHC since ~1970 clearly shows energy accumulating in the climate system (Levitus et al. 2012).

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  27. My new paper is now online …

    ABSTRACT

    The paper explains why the physics involved in atmospheric and sub-surface heat transfer appears to have been misunderstood, and incorrectly applied, when postulating that a radiative “greenhouse effect” is responsible for warming the surfaces of planets such as Venus and our own Earth.

    A detailed discussion of the application of the Second Law of Thermodynamics endeavours to settle the much debated issue as to whether or not a thermal gradient evolves spontaneously in still air in a gravitational field. The author is aware of attempted rebuttals of this hypothesis, but cogent counter arguments are presented, together with reference to empirical evidence.

    The ramifications are substantial, in that they eliminate any need for any “greenhouse” explanation as to why the surface temperatures are as observed. No other valid reason appears plausible to explain how the required energy gets into the planetary surfaces, this being especially obvious in regard to the high temperatures measured at the surface of the crust of Venus.

    The paper includes some counter-intuitive concepts which sceptical readers may be tempted to reject out of hand. Physics sometimes has some surprises, and so you are encouraged to read and understand the argument step by step, for it is based on sound physics, and unlocks some mysteries of the Solar System, including core and mantle temperatures, not previously explained in this manner to the best of the author’s knowledge.

    Click to access PROM-COTTON_Planetary_Core_and_Surface_Temperatures.pdf

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  28. Doug Cotton — However the so-called greenhouse effect is real. Read Ray Pierrehumbert’s “Principles of Planetary Climate”.

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  29. Thanks, Hank! PSI’s co-founded by the infamous Joe Olson.

    “This incredible revelation confirms what scientists and engineers at Principia Scientific International (PSI) had long claimed: abiogenic oil theory was far more credible, based on the actual evidence, than the fossil fuel theory.”

    Cotton, you on board with that, too?

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  30. This incredible revelation confirms what scientists and engineers at Principia Scientific International (PSI) had long claimed: abiogenic oil theory was far more credible, based on the actual evidence, than the fossil fuel theory

    The World Net Daily has a couple “eminent scientists” who push this as well. (Just to put the validity of the idea in more context.)

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  31. If I follow their argument, that hydrocarbons are formed by nuclear reactions at Earth’s core and in space, logic tells us we should also be seeing a detectable trickle of new abiogenically formed hydrocarbons accumulating in nuclear reactors as well. Has anyone checked the drain valves for buildup?

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  32. Not everyone at WUWT falls for the nonsense. “Phil” points out the ENSO adjustment bit (as well as some other errors, never mind them for now).

    Yes every time I see that nonsense I point out the context, usually gets indignant protestations that he hasn’t left out the context or that it doesn’t matter anyway!

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  33. Cripes, any photochemical model gives you a mess of hydrocarbons. See Titan for example. All you need is methane and some light at shorter than 200 nm as in

    CH4 + hv —>CH3 + H
    CH3 + CH3 —> C2H6
    C2H6 + hv –> C2H5
    —> CH3 + CH3 and off you go.

    Methane is everywhere as in comets, atmospheres etc.

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  34. Oh man, I love the abiotic oil nutters… It’s a great example of how people don’t think about rates. The usual line of argument (AKAIK) is that if oil is being continually produced, we can never run out of it, therefore peak oil will never happen. This completely neglects the fact that if the abiotic theory is true, then the oil reserves we currently have have been formed over the entire 4.5 billion year history of the Earth, rather than over the 600 million years or so petroleum geologists think. Therefore the rate at which oil is formed is nearly an order of magnitude less than previously thought… Which was already so slow compared to the rate at which we extract the stuff as to be completely negligible.

    The real way to tell whether anybody actually believes this stuff is to look for people buying up depleted oil fields and waiting for them to refill… As far as I know, nobody is doing that.

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  35. They’re publishing some other guy’s theory that sounds a lot like wossname’s about gravity causing warming. The stuff’s hard to distinguish from word salad though.

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  36. Once agian.

    “Denier” or the even more tongue twisting “denial;ist” (both terms designed to produce a spurious link with holocaust deniers, & thus nazis) is simply using insults as an alternative to factual debate. It does tend to prove that alarmists have a problem with factual debate.

    Or would you prefer alarmists to be called econazis? Since you censored more gentle terms I assume not.

    [I doubt the two sides will ever agree. You cling to your holocaust associations, whilst refusing to recognise that denialist is simply accurate. Meanwhile, you don’t see that “alarmist” is just a silly insult -W]

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  37. Denier” or the even more tongue twisting “denial;ist” (both terms designed to produce a spurious link with holocaust deniers

    Hardly. Denier is used to name those who, despite the abundance of scientific support for climate change, deny that it is valid and deny that it is happening.

    The only people who call others “Nazi” are those who intend to diminish the horrors actual Nazis carried out, and humanize those who were Nazis.

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  38. It is trivially simple, at least for those who can read, to distinguish between Nazi’s and people who deny the science involved in our understanding of global warming. One is called a “Holocaust denier”, the other a “Global warming denialist”. Or you could have a “Moon landing denier”.

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  39. Well Dean if you are in some way honest you will here publicly acjnowledge that the only people who have ever denie4d that climate changes are Mann and his followers who claimed a flat “hocky Stick” for 1,000 years.

    Then you will admit that has been proven to be a deliberate fraud and [so on and so forth, the usual ranting and trolling deleted -W]

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  40. Neil, I have previously directed you to the classic MBH papers and even told you which pages the relevant graphs are on. They are clearly not flat by any stretch of the imagination. Why do you persist with your absurd insistence that these papers (which are fully available online for anyone to read) say something which they very obviously do not? Have you even bothered to look at them?

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  41. Your a [PA redacted]. Yeah, taking science by the throat and [PA redacted].

    [This is your one content-free comment composed of nothing but PAs. Any more like this will get burrowed -W]

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