The AR5 comments are available!

Can I really be the first to snark about this?

Expert and Government Review Comments on the IPCC WGI AR5 Second Order Draft – General is now available for download.

As you’d expect, the pompous “Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, United Kingdom” notches up a string of “reject”, please read the guidelines. Someone called “Jyrki Kauppinen, Finland” gets all his comments rejected with “please read what we said the first time”. That was just the general stuff. There may be some treasures buried in the individual chapters.

John McLean gets lots of retractions; he seems to be some NN from the ASSC.

I should say, though, that merely having your comment rejected doesn’t make you a wacko. Plenty of sane people have had comments rejected.

Watts et al. 2012 rides again, or not

Good for a laff, anyway: on Chapter 10, attribution one David Hagen reckons the IPCC ought to cite Watts et al. 2012 and has the gall to try to use the pre-print at WUWT as a reference. The reviewers are baffled: Rejected. This comment does not seem relevant. Seems to refer to Pg 16 ln 21-27. Still, this is an issue for the observations chapter. This is discussed in chapter 2.

Crok doesn’t fare well in chapter 2 either.


Update: Hot Topic finds a lovely one for Vincent Gray:

Rejected – The comment does not reflect the scientific understanding. The errors in individual observations are not additive; we are also doing relative analysis that eliminates many of the concerns about individual errors. The reviewer obviously has a limited understanding of the associated error evaluation for analysis of large datasets. See Chapter 2 for more on the evaluation of these datasets. Or maybe even read a basic textbook.

(my bold).

Retirement of a Dr* Salesman

Image credit: The Phytophactor

After a hard day down the lint mines realigning brackets, its nice to turn to the comic section and such greats as:

rpielke says: January 3, 2014 at 1:21 pm: …Your work really should be funded by the NSF or other such grant awarding organizations.

I hasten to add that RP Sr is not speaking of me, no, he is talking of renowned blogger Bob Tisdale. BT has, he says, been spending 8 to 16 hours-per-day blogging, writing books and producing videos over the past few years, but alas it doesn’t pay the rent so he needs to get a job. I don’t think I need to say any more about that.

The “*” is another great one:

*You are a Ph. D. de facto; Einstein’s doctorate from Oxford was “honorary.”

As you’d expect from the Dork Side, this is wrong/misleading: Einstein had an earned doctorate from Zurich.

[Update: 2014/01/17: BT has yet another whinge up at WUWT (don’t bother follow the details) in which he says I am an independent climate researcher and regular contributor at the award-winning science blog WattsUpWithThat. But this isn’t really true. He’s retired, as he says himself, and no longer a regular at anything.]


* Death of a salesman, part 2
* My main talent is having a big gob
*BT is having some trouble retiring – but he’s doing fine at now producing anything new 😉

The AGU climate policy statement as redrafted by Monckton!

The AGU has a revised policy statement on Human-induced climate change requires urgent action (h/t: everyone).

As with any serious item like this, people release comedy versions. RP Sr had a go and JC threw in her bit, and now Screaming Lord Monckton has had a go, at the home of Blog Science Comedy, WUWT. To paraphrase M’lud:

* Global warming isn’t happening
* But if it was, it would be great

But whilst risible, he wins no points for originality: that kind of stuff is old hat.

So, I proudly announce (don’t let me down now) the Stoat Competition of the Month (ta da!): in your own words (but not to exceed a paragraph or two) just what should Monckton’s statement be? Points will be awarded for every septic talking point included, and deduc[t]ed for every truth you inadvertently include.

[The result: dorlomin (verdict: “easily”) -W]


* Anthony Watts calls inhomogeneity in his web traffic a success – VV

It speaks clearly to truth

What a weird phrase. It sort of sounds like it ought to mean something, but it means nothing at all. “It speaks clearly of truth” would be better – but the grammar doesn’t quite work. The alternate title to this post, incidentally, was “Like a trouser, yet not a trouser“. I’ll reserve that for future use.

I picture a large mountain, immaculate and shining with pure snow, glowing with inner fire: Mt Truth, the abode of all that is truthy. And down below, gazing up at the summit glimpsed dimly through the clouds, a small (but clear-voiced) figure speaking. Errm, to the mountain. Is the figure asking a question of Mt Truth? “Dear Mt Truth, I am small and confused, please help me to see further”? Alas no, the figure is hectoring Mt Truth with gobbledegook. Which is probably the fate of all who try to talk to Mt Truth, rather than asking questions of it.


(Here’s my poppy, also glowing with inner fire, or rather with transmitted fire. I like the picture, even though its not really a picture of the poppy – the colours are wrong, the red too orange and not deep scarlet. anyway, on with the show…)

Well, that was a jolly exciting story, no? But what am I on about? Alas, nothing worthwhile. Its yet another of those occasions when WUWT posts nonsense (the “speaks clearly to truth” is part of AW’s intro; perhaps (were we to credit him with sufficient insight) a subtle hint at the garbage to come), this time The “ensemble” of models is completely meaningless, statistically its by Robert G. Brown, some wacko physicist who, in the usual way of these things, may or may not be a competent physicist but is utterly (and like so many physicists, forcefully) clueless outside of his field. Large parts of the post are, I think, literally nonsense; most of the rest and the title point is just wrong, as pointed out by William Briggs, himself a bit of a wacko. But he’s entertaining:

Brown is wrong. What he said was false. As in not right. As is not even close to being right. As is severely, embarrassingly wrong. As in wrong in such a way that not one of his statistical statements could be repaired. As in just plain wrong. In other words, and to be precise, Brown is wrong. He has no idea of which he speaks. The passage you quote from him is wronger than Joe Biden’s hair plugs. It is wronger than Napoleon marching on Moscow. It is wronger than televised wrestling.

That’s Briggs trying to get things through into WE’s thick skull. Naturally enough, it bounces off. Because we’re in New Aristotelians – WE is unable to abstract: he can’t see past his hatred of climate models to the underlying statistics, which is the point that Briggs is trying to make.

I probably shouldn’t snark too much, though. I’ve never been entirely happy with the IPCC habit of drawing spaghetti graphs with little attention to which of the models are any good; and I’ve even got a paper suggesting we might try to weight the models by how much they resemble reality. But really you’re better off reading James Annan.

Oh, but I wanted to add something else: all that stuff is going nowhere; the arguements are not only wrong, but not really interesting or relevant (I’m not talking about JA, of course). They’re just wandering lost in the darkness. But that’s part of the point: for the denialists, the entire point is to go nowhere and understand nothing. I find it hard to believe, though, that very many other than the hardcore really want to go down that path; or that path has any coherence. So while there’t lots of noise, there’s no substance and no weight. The denialists have no “bottom”, to use a seafaring term. The terms of debate are set by the IPCC reports, which are coherent; and the upcoming AR5 will move things onwards, somewhat.

[Update: Briggs says “Update I weep at the difficulty of explaining things” which is fair enough. Its practically a quote from Leviathan in The Deep; or indeed from anyone trying to talk to the more unthinking denialists. On a more serious note, I’m pleased to say that I’m now the #2 google hit for “like a trouser, yet not a trouser” -W]

* Government to reduce cull opposition by demonising literary badgers

Super snarky fun!

Yes, its the wonderful Heartland / WUWT own-goal over the Chinese translations of HI’s Climate Change Reconsidered. I have nothing to add except laughter, so you may as well read

* BCL(SB),
* Eli,
* HW.

Not edifying, true, but certainly amusing.

Since I’m here I may as well put up something: can I interest you in this fine photo of a goldfinch, lying symbolically on a bed of peony petals? The peony represents transient beauty, and so it would seem does this particular goldfinch. The culprit may just be circumstance, or may be closer to home.


After a day, she decided to eat it anyway:


Interestingly, in the end, only the colourful bits survived:


Shocker: solar physicists interested in solar physics

Um. sorry folks, don’t blame me, blame Eli. ’twas the now-aged lagomorph who attempted to interest me in the good old days of sci.env when we were all young and bushy-tailed. And indeed that thread does make for interesting reading: the present-day switch to blogs doesn’t encourage that style of discussion any more.

Anyway, what prompted this post (is this incestuous enough for you yet?) was TB’s witty rejoinder that “Clearly Eli hasn’t kept up with recent developments in the literature at JASTP, Elsevier and elsewhere. Well, what fun, I could but follow, and discover that

My thanks to Nicola Scafetta for pointing out this page of the most downloaded articles at science publishing house Elsevier’s title ‘Journal of Atmospheric and Solar Terrestrial Physics. Our Solar-Planetary Theory is gaining traction. It asserts that the Sun is a more significant climate driver than human emitted trace gases and aerosols and…

…so on. You get the idea. But JASTP is for the solar folk. Mostly, I think, for the respectable ones; but even they are hard-pressed not to try to make their stuff “relevant” to GW, no matter how hard that is. You can read the JASTP statement-of-purpose and it is

The Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics is an international journal concerned with the inter-disciplinary science of the Sun-Earth connection, defined very broadly.

So given that the whole purpose of the journal is sun-earth connections its not terribly surprising that’s what the papers are about.

And to all you who say, correctly, stop wasting time on shooting fish-in-a-barrel I say Yes, you’re right, and I’m about to read More about Fears of Climate Change.


Geoffrey_Howe h/t to JM for More on the Iconography of IPCC 1990 Figure 7 – scroll down for the breathless prose.

First the background: why does anyone care about figure 7.1.c of the IPCC ’90 report? Well, if you’re a denialist you care, because it represents the true uncorrupted state of climate science before the evil taint of the hockey stick crept in. I suppose if anyone doesn’t believe that and challenges me I’ll have to go crawling in the slime for references, so please don’t make me do it. So, the septic storyline is “true uncorrupted state” -> “corrupt hockey stick”. That works OK with a naive audience; it doesn’t work very well if you put the correct dates in because if you write “true uncorrupted state (1990)” -> “corrupt hockey stick (2001)” even naive people will start to say “hold on there’s a bit of a gap in the middle there, no?” And indeed there is; the gap is filled, in IPCC world, by the 1992 supplementary report and the 1995 second report. Neither of which feature fig 7.1.c or anything like it. So (just to spell this out to make it really obvious) figure 7.1.c had already disappeared from the IPCC narrative well before the hockey stick ever came into being; the hockey stick did not displace it because it was already gone; the hockey stick was not created to displace it because it was already gone. So the entire denialist narrative falls apart, again. Read more about it at the snappily titled Description of the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age in IPCC reports.

Anyway, errm, where was I? Oh yes, The Significance of the Hockey Stick at CA. This post has now been corrected, ungraciously, after I pointed out it was wrong. But now it has been corrected, it makes no sense, because of the unseen presence of the ’92 and ’95 reports, which CA is obliged to ignore. And then we go back to the weird stuff in the last CA post, which seems to be McI scrabbling for credit. He has a very thin publication record but I didn’t think he was that desperate.


hvs Ah, superb.


Sorry for the all-caps, I couldn’t be bothered to re-type it without.

Why Watts's new paper is doomed to fail review

I’ve started reading it (I was going to read BEST, but the little b*gg*rs have it behind a permission-wall at the moment. So much for openness. Update: because their site is screwed; its really here), and got to:

As documented in surveys presented in Watts, (2009)

OK, well, obviously, its “Watts (2009)” not “Watts, (2009)” but he’ll fix that eventually. Perhaps Christy can help, assuming he is on the author list for doing something and not just to add respectability. But Watts (2009)? I didn’t realise he had any pubs. And indeed he doesn’t, because this turns out to be:

Watts, A., 2009: Is the U.S. surface temperature record reliable? The Heartland Institute, Chicago, IL. 28 pp.

Srsly? He’s trying to cite Heartland trash in a real journal?

Anyway, I haven’t got to the science yet.

[Update: Eli arises from the monitor to cry: the Sun! (you get points if you can identify that). McI isn’t keen, either -W]

[Update: Still haven’t read it. But I was very struck by a comment from McK’s review of BEST: With regard to their own empirical work, a basic problem is that they are relating a change term (temperature trend) to a level variable (in this case MODIS classification) rather than to a corresponding change variable (such as the change in surface conditions). I will give a simple example of why this is a flawed method, then I will demonstrate it empirically. At least to first sight, that appears to apply to Watts’s stuff, as I was thinking to myself before reading McK.]

Muller is still rubbish

When BEST first came out I said it was boring, because it just said what everyone knew already “Summary: the global temperature record is just what we thought it was”. There was some soap opera thrown in for fun, but that didn’t affect the science.

But now (New Global Temperature Data Reanalysis Confirms Warming, Blames CO2, Ronald Bailey at, h/t JB at RR) it seems that Muller is announcing his “new” findings via op-ed in the NYT [Important note: isn’t exactly a brilliant source, but I can’t see a good reason why they’d make this up. Update: the real thing is now available, and the early version was correct]. Although I’m not really sure what the new findings are. They appear to be:

* the temperature record is, still, just as we thought it was, and
* it appears likely that essentially all of this increase is due to the human emission of greenhouse gases.

The first bit is, still, boring. The second bit is true, but isn’t a consequence of the study. Their work is (as far as I can tell) purely a matter of pulling together a temperature record. They’ve done none of the attribution work you’d expect, in order to talk about attribution. And what they say (How definite is the attribution to humans? The carbon dioxide curve gives a better match than anything else we’ve tried. Its magnitude is consistent with the calculated greenhouse effect – extra warming from trapped heat radiation) appears absurdly naive. [Update: it appears there is an as-yet-unrevealed paper that covers this. Based on the thin info currently available, I’m dubious. DA puts it nicely. More: At dotearth Elizabeth Muller gives a non-answer to the “attribution” question; naive still looks to be the order of the day.]

So I think my original contention – that Muller is rubbish – holds up remarkably well.

Muller also says These findings are stronger than those of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the United Nations group that defines the scientific and diplomatic consensus on global warming. To which the answer is: no, your actual findings are simply the same as IPCC 2007: all the UHI stuff, and the data selection issues: its been done before. You’ve added a bit of extra data, which makes no difference post 1850, and you may have done better with the early record, though I imagine people will suspend belief until they actually see the proper results. [Update: on reflection, I’m being a bit unfair here. They have made some incremental improvements. But its nothing earth-shattering, and indeed arguably nothing terribly important; it certainly doesn’t justify the attention the op-ed says that Muller thinks he deserves. Also, via La Curry I find this figure and the accompanying “For the period from 1700-1800 Berkeley uses 27 percent more station months”. So I think its hard to see them having much more data for the early period.]

But the bit that really annoys is:

CALL me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified scientific issues that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Now, after organizing an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I’ve concluded that global warming is real, that the prior estimates of the rate were correct…

All of that is bollocks. What Muller is saying is that he read a few septic blogs, didn’t bother read any of the scientific literature, and so decided to run his own project. So is that his model for converting septics? Everyone who has doubts gets to run their own re-analysis of the temperature reccord? Its going to be a pretty slow process at that rate. Wouldn’t it be quicker if people just read the existing literature? Of course, Muller is a prima donna and must invent his own wheel: as far as he is concerned, now that he believes, everyone else should, too. Idiot.

[Update: Romm quotes Caldeira as saying I am glad that Muller et al have taken a look at the data and have come to essentially the same conclusion that nearly everyone else had come to more than a decade ago. The basic scientific results have been established for a long time now, so I do not see the results of Muller et al as being scientifically important. However, their result may be politically important. Which is what I’m saying, only he is more polite, as you’d expect.

Another item: WUWT has been off-air for a day or two, promising something weally exciting. Could that be a leak of BEST results? I hope so, because if that’s it, he’s going to look like the twat he is. Though that doesn’t obviously fit “something to do with one of my many projects”, so maybe not. Oh well, reading chicken entrails was never my favourite sport. Actually my favourite sport is rowing; I don’t know if you’ve noticed (and if you follow that link, please ignore 4’s blade height, he’s a good lad really but does tend to dive at the catch).]

[Update: Update: the real thing is now available (webcite), and the early version was correct. Jolly good. So, yes its still rubbish, and in fact goes on to even more rubbish lower down. It also says “The careful analysis by our team is laid out in five scientific papers now online at… Four of our papers have undergone extensive scrutiny by the scientific community, and the newest, a paper with the analysis of the human component, is now posted, along with the data and computer programs used…” I don’t see any changes, though, from when I looked earlier. There are still only 4 papers listed, there isn’t one on attribution, and the 4 that are there are marked “submitted” (see-also Eli for some parsing of the review status).]


* QS on the rumour; and TP seems to believe it, too
* webcite of the article (I have learnt something over the years…)
* according to the BEST site their publication output is 4 papers, all still under review by JGR. If those, too, talk the same nonsense about attribution its no wonder they are coming out slowly.
* The Incidence of Solipsism Among Physicists by Eli.
* Michael Mann is unimpressed: Muller’s announcement last year that the Earth is indeed warming brought him up to date w/ where the scientific community was in the the 1980s. His announcement this week that the warming can only be explained by human influences, brings him up to date with where the science was in the mid 1990s. At this rate, Muller should be caught up to the current state of climate science within a matter of a few years!
* The Grauniad, shamefully falls for the hype.
* Gold award for most garbled take goes to topdailybreakingnews for “Muller, who has total P.T. Barnum climax and scholarship via his three-year project” and more.
* Andy Revkin “quotes” me but the paraphrase is badly wrong; see my comment.
* Muller talks bollocks to the Graun
* Berkeley Earth, part 1: Divergences and discrepancies – Deep Climate. It looks like BEST isn’t doing a great job admitting errors.
* Want more shite from Muller? its here.