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.