Roy Spencer jumps the shark

I’m delighted to announce that Roy Spencer has joined the select company of such as Lindzen (sea ice; also emeritus), Curry (septic capture) and von S (wikipedia) as a shark jumper. Its all there in full public view.

How Much of Atmospheric CO2 Increase is Natural?… Natural Variations in CO2 are LARGE… We should remember how much we have anthropomorphized recent warming: Human activities produce CO2 in reasonably well known amounts, humans do the monitoring of CO2, then humans do the modeling. Since we really don’t understand the natural sources and sinks very well — not to the <1% level needed to document that a “natural balance” exists (since human emissions are now close to 5% of natural sources and sinks) — we just assume they are “in balance”. There, problem solved. So, we impose a human explanation on what we observe in nature. A common tendency throughout human history. We are searching for answers at night under the only streetlamp where we can see.

[Update: obviously, I didn’t bother read RS’s article carefully. So I’m grateful to JM for pointing out that RS goes for extra credit by reffing Murry Salby:

I believe that pointing this out is part of the reason why Murray Salby got into trouble recently. The scientific community doesn’t take kindly to some of us suggesting nature itself might be causing “carbon pollution”. Baaad scientist.

Other than a direct reference to Beck, you really can’t do more.]

I was going to do you a nice Pathetic Sharks pic, but I got distracted by the Bottom Inspectors along the way. Sorry about that.

Dawn of the Bottom Inspectors


* Time to push back against the global warming Nazis
* It has not stopped
* Comment on “The phase relation between atmospheric carbon dioxide and global temperature” [by Ole Humlum, Kjell Stordahl, Jan-Erik Solheim] by Troy Masters and Rasmus Benestad: The paper by Humlum et al. (2013) suggests that much of the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since 1980 results from changes in ocean temperatures, rather than from the burning of fossil fuels. We show that these conclusions stem from methodological errors and…

The fruitarians are lazy

No no don’t go away, there’s actually some science in this post, courtesy of the increasingly-heavyweight Nick Stokes. Or, perhaps more fairly, whatever science there is comes from NS. But there’s a lot of snark too, as I hope you’d expect. That comes from me. The title isn’t quite right; I could have tried anopsologists but I bet you wouldn’t have recognised that – I wouldn’t have, until I looked it up. But let me attempt to come to the point. Over at JoNova is yet another of those tedious posts where they complain that a weather station has been “adjusted” to show warming (and they’re still gnawing on the same dry bone), and that one should only ever eat raw data because only raw data is good for you. If you find raw “skepticism” too raw, you could try the WUWT echo chamber which, errm, just echoes JoNova.

In this case the station in question is Amberly, and if you care about what’s actually gone on then you should of course read Nick Stokes and if that isn’t enough you could read part 2. Nick also has a convenient post showing the affects of adjustment on trends, which is reasonably convenient for pushing at people who claim (without bothering to check, obviously) that adjustments always push the trends upwards. Or this one.

JoNova has a “home crowd” who can be relied on to say the right things, much like some of the WUWT regulars. Here’s one saying the artificial concept of homogenisation (which literally means removing all difference), is an act of unthinking vandalism which is probably typical enough; I don’t think I’ll bother quote any more. What’s unfortunately-not-at-all-surprising in this case is that they’re all mouthing off without having bothered to do even the most basic of checks. Is there good metadata for this station, to rule out a move or other change that might justify an adjustment? No. Is that the Bureau Of Meteorology’s fault? Not really; the station was run by the RAAF when the “move” occurred. That doesn’t stop some of the commentators there actually literally accusing the BoM of criminal behaviour.

Trivia: Evan Jones makes a cameo appearance, saying “I hate and despise homogenization with an ice-cold passion” which is jolly fun, but he doesn’t tell us why. But it sounds like he’s a fruitarian.


* If you’re actually interested in the details of homogenisation, then VV is a good place to go. This one might be a good start.
* Oh no, now I need to eat my words! – ATTP on internal variability.
* Constructive and External Validity for Climate Modeling – Serendipity
* A database with parallel climate measurements – VV.
* Climate sceptics see a conspiracy in Australia’s record breaking heat – Graun

Happy Second Birthday to Watts’ paper!

9370835583_71673354d2_o A year ago, the entirety of the intertubes were rocked to their foundations by a post of epochal proportions – me taking the piss out of AW’s “paper”. And now, I’m rather distressed to see, the anniversary of this anniversary has passed unnoticed by everyone. When your major “paper” is so contemptible that people don’t even remember to mock it on time, you’ll probably be reduced to publishing cartoons. Oh, wait.

As George Montgomery said in August 15, 2012 at 5:24 pm: I know you’ve been really busy, but when’s the final draft coming out, Anthony?

[Update: revivification effort / assertion spotted in the wild by MMM; see here]

Very like a fruitcake

Alternatively, “Despair of the Dork Side part 2″. But I’d thought I’d stick with the Hamlet theme.

So, no sooner does AW write not one but two barking mad posts about CO2 (see DotDS) than the what-I-had-thought-comparatively-sane Jo Nova complete the trilogy with It’s an Unsettling Climate for skeptical scientists like Murry Salby. Its all totally hatstand, as you’d expect. Salby is a brave noble scientist whose ideas are being suppressed – suppressed I tell you – by the black helicopters. But the truth is that Salby’s mad ideas on CO2 are drivel; I took them apart and plenty of other people have too; its not difficult, after all. But every now and again its good to be reminded just how disconnected from reality the “skeptics” are.

But I did learn two quasi-interesting things from that:

1. Salby… submitted a paper on his initial findings to the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences. … Salby received a letter rejecting his revised paper on the basis of a second reviewer’s claim—contradicted by the first reviewer—that his paper offered nothing new and that all of it had already been covered in the IPCC’s reports. So the claim is that Salby has a paper. Unfortunately, there’s no dates for any of that, or even a title for the paper, and while we’re lead to believe that its about his CO2 work, even that isn’t said: all we’re told is it’s “his initial findings”. You might have thought that he’d release a pre-print onto the wub, if its so great; and indeed if the black helicopters are suppressing his work in the journals he might as well. Or then again, perhaps it just doesn’t exist.

2. The second, utterly contradictory claim, is that Salby has already published his CO2 work in a text book. Yes, really. And this brilliant theory is contained in comments within the very same thread. This is where you see the epicycle-like mind of the “skeptics” at work: they all have totally contradictory theories, but they never challenge each other. Kenneth Richard [August 13, 2014 at 7:51 pm] propounds the its-all-been-published-before theory. But can’t then explain why Jo Nova is complaining about Salby being censored. Or indeed, how Salby can possibly be trying to publish, in a paper, material that KR thinks is already published. As it happens, he also can’t point to where in the said book Salby claims that the CO2 rise isn’t human caused. If you follow the links you’ll find that the text book does indeed contain some pretty dodgy stuff (see comments around August 14, 2014 at 5:10 pm for example).

And now for something completely different… science

RC on the hole in Siberia is the latest in the methane saga.

Not-science-but-economics-or-maybe-really-politics: Monbiot On Saving Nature with Price Mechanisms. I was wondering about writing a whole post on it, but can’t raise the enthusiasm, so you’ll have to make do with my long comment over there.


* A challenge? from ATTP.
* John Mashey’s comment there supplies some more detail

It is backed like a weasel

DSC_4035 Carlos Frenk, Director of the Institute for Computational Cosmology at Durham University says some sane-but-not-surprising things about peer review. In other respects, the venue this appears in – IAI, the Institute of Art and Ideas – appears to have been taken over by septics, see for example Climate Change: a Rhetoric of Risk, Are climate change sceptics unfairly ignored by mainstream media? where they take Benny Peiser seriously.

Musings on Quantitative Palaeoecology is Richard Telford’s blog, which I’ve only just found. He takes the piss out of Monkers which is always a difficult sport and (although I didn’t know it at the time) joined in the, errm, examination of Pattern Recognition in Physics (looking at it looks to me as though nothing has happened since the re-launch, incidentally). However, unlike me he actually has some interesting things to say about real science – for example Thoughts on tipping points relevant to Praetorius & Mix (2014).

And ATTP has a post on Nic Lewis’s paper on priors, which as far as I can tell mostly says the same things about uniform priors that James Annan has been saying for some time, and then says some wrong things about Jeffries’s prior, which JA has already talked about. I should point out that I’m not following the details; all this amounts to is that I’ve learnt to trust JA in these matters.


“Very Like A Whale”

by Ogden Nash

One thing that literature would be greatly the better for
Would be a more restricted employment by the authors of simile and
Authors of all races, be they Greeks, Romans, Teutons or Celts,
Can't seem just to say that anything is the thing it is but have to
go out of their way to say that it is like something else.
What does it mean when we are told
That that Assyrian came down like a wolf on the fold?
In the first place, George Gordon Byron had enough experience
To know that it probably wasn't just one Assyrian, it was a lot of
However, as too many arguments are apt to induce apoplexy and
thus hinder longevity.
We'll let it pass as one Assyrian for the sake of brevity.
Now then, this particular Assyrian, the one whos cohorts were
gleaming in purple and gold,
Just what does the poet mean when he says he came down like a
wolf on the fold?
In heaven and earth more than is dreamed of in our philosophy
there are great many things.
But I don't imagine that among them there is a wolf with purple
and gold cohorts or purple and gold anythings.
No, no, Lord Byron, before I'll believe that this Assyrian was
actually like a wolf I must have some kind of proof;
Did he run on all fours and did he have a hairy tail and a big red
mouth and big white teeth and did he say Woof woof woof?
Frankly I think it is very unlikely, and all you were entitled to say,
at the very most,
Was that the Assyrian cohorts came down like a lot of Assyrian
cohorts about to destroy the Hebrew host.
But that wasn't fancy enough for Lord Byron, oh dear me no, he
had to invent a lot of figures of speech and then interpolate them,
With the result that whenever you mention Old Testament soldiers
to people they say Oh yes, they're the ones that a lot of
wolves dressed up in gold and purple ate them.
That's the kind of thing that's being done all the time by poets,
from Homer to Tennyson;
They're always comparing ladies to lilies and veal to venison,
And they always say things like that the snow is a white blanket
after a winter storm.
Oh it is, is it, all right then, you sleep under a six-inch blanket of
snow and I'll sleep under a half-inch blanket of unpoetical
blanket material and we'll see which one keeps warm,
And after that maybe you'll begin to comprehend dimly
What I mean by too much metaphor and simile.

(this is a copy of the text as found at puisipoesy).

Despair of the Dork Side

I can’t hold back from taking the piss any longer, although Sou has done it already. WUWT has had not one but two ridiculously stupid articles about the rise in CO2 not being human-caused just recently. You don’t even need to read the details to know they are stupid, because that the CO2 rise is indeed from human activities is well known. People have been writing down patient explanations for some time; see, e.g., RC from 2004. Or even Willis Eschenbach from 2010. And Moyhu has just had another go. But it will do not good; if people haven’t managed to read and realise the bleedin’ obvious by now, there’s no hope for them.

Of the two posts, the first is most stupid, because it was based on an erroneous post by Hockeyschtick that had already been retracted when the WUWT post was made (the history of the Schtick post is tricksy, because it popped into and out of existence; see Moyhu for the story).

But the second one is also the most stupid, because its written by Tim Ball and its hard to imagine anything stupider than it. It would be possible to take it apart in detail, but also pointless, like taking apart a turd. Better to quote the indefatigable Ferdinand Engelbeen:

Sorry Dr. Ball, this is such a bunch of nonsense and misinterpretations that I don’t even know where to start… CO2 emissions inventories are not done by the IPCC… this is just nonsense… Callendar was right, Beck was wrong… Completely irrelevant… Thus sorry Dr. Ball, too many misinterpretations and non-factual remarks not based on actual information

Its vaguely odd that WE doesn’t show up in the comments to tell Tim Ball, and AW, that they’re talking drivel. Errm, or perhaps it isn’t odd after all :-).

There. I feel better now.

[Update: there’s more dorkiness from JoNova pushing Salby-is-a-hero drivel.

Probably the most interesting thing to come out of that is someone pointing out that Lennart Bengtsson (remember him?) also thinks its drivel:

Pehr You’ll have to excuse me but I have great difficulty in taking this very seriously. Firstly, as has largely CO2 increase in the atmosphere have been monotonous and as a result the increase of emissions, where basically about half of the emissions accumulated in the atmosphere. Measurements of CO2 concentration since 1957 when they began at Mauna Loa until today’s 3-dimensional measurement system including the Japanese Ibuki satellite, shows this clearly. No one questions the longer these data as well as the CO2 emissions reported by the IEA. Secondly , we have now had a period in over 15 years when, according to measurements, no increase occurred in mean sea temperature, although we had areas where temperatures have risen slightly but also areas where the temperature dropped. During these 15 years, the CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has increased by 30 ppm (v) corresponding to approximately 60 billion tons of coal, or 220 billion tons of CO2. , I have therefore extremely difficult to understand the reasoning that both Murray Salby and Gosta Pettersson defends. Now, if the carbon dioxide of some odd reason wanders back and forth between the ocean and atmosphere that is of course quite uninteresting as it is the actual net increase in the atmosphere, which is what is important. Thirdly , we have good reason to believe that CO2 increases in sea by the slow acidification and addition, we have good reason to believe that CO2 is also a net increase in the biosphere. Here the course of the many proposals put healthy fertilization of CO2 a role. It seems to be more or less unanimous among the experts involved in these estimates Although there are several relevant questions regarding I have a hard time understanding all of this reasoning but it could be due to my lack of ability. Greets Lennart B [source]


* Dumb America.
* Colo(u)r blind with Eli.

Energy and Climate Change committee: new inquiry: IPCC 5th Assessment Review: published

Back in 2013 I didn’t take terribly seriously an announced review of the IPCC AR5 by a ctte of the UK parliament. Now they’ve been rude enough to publish their results without consulting me, and sneaked it out while I was on holiday. Do I regret my snark? I can hardly complain about their conclusions:

AR5 provides the best available summary of the prevailing scientific opinion on climate change currently available to policy-makers. Its conclusions have been reached with high statistical confidence by a working group made up of many of the world’s leading climate scientists drawing on areas of well-understood science. The overall thrust and conclusions of the report are widely supported in the scientific community and its summaries are presented in a way that is persuasive to the lay reader. As in all areas of science that involve highly complex dynamic systems, there are uncertainties. But these uncertainties do not blur the overwhelmingly clear picture of a climate system changing as a result of human influence.

The IPCC has responded extremely well to constructive criticism in the last few years and has tightened its review processes to make AR5 the most exhaustive and heavily scrutinised Assessment Report to-date. We believe that the IPCC would benefit from increasing the level of transparency by recruiting a small team of non-climate scientists to observe the review process from start to finish including during the plenary meetings to agree the Summary for Policymakers. However, the authority of the reports comes not from the process and procedure per se, but from the evidence itself: the thousands of peer-reviewed academic papers that together form a clear and unambiguous picture of a climate that is being dangerously destabilised.

Of course there are those who will continue to be critical of the conclusions and the process through which the IPCC produces its Assessment Reports. But our conclusion here is clear. There is no scientific basis for downgrading the UK’s ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Government and the international community must heed the IPCC’s warning and work to agree a binding global deal in 2015 to limit climate change to manageable levels.

(Other than to say that I’d probably tone the last paragraph down a bit).

Eli takes this as a chance to take the piss out of the weakness of the denialist bench, and indeed its a good point. Unfortunately the comment thread dribbles off into nonsense; ATTP has better quality comments. On the other side, Curry takes the opportunity to say that she doesn’t need no stinkin’ science. Errm.

I’m still not really sure what the point was, though.