The ‘planetary tidal influence on climate’ fiasco: strong armed science tactics are overkill, due process would work better

“The ‘planetary tidal influence on climate’ fiasco: strong armed science tactics are overkill, due process would work better” (2014-01-18). Hey Anthony, this is just like that day the football team locked themselves in the school office and replaced morning announcements with fart sounds and declarations that “art class sucks”. Eventually the adults pulled the plug and it slowly dawned on the jocks that they’d made a laughingstock of themselves.

So, in the here and now, a little cabal of denialists managed (with just a smidgen of misrepresentation) to launch a “peer-reviewed” journal they titled  Pattern Recognition In Physics under the legitimate auspices of Copernicus Publications. They even managed to pull off two issues, stacked with their own papers, before the bullshit detectors pegged and their journal was abruptly terminated.

Says Copernicus Publications about the editorial conniving:

the editors selected the referees on a nepotistic basis, which we regard as malpractice in scientific publishing and not in accordance with our publication ethics we expect to be followed by the editors.

and

Therefore, we at Copernicus Publications wish to distance ourselves from the apparent misuse of the originally agreed aims & scope of the journal as well as the malpractice regarding the review process, and decided on 17 January 2014 to cease the publication of PRP.

Anthony Watts can merely sniff about unsubstantiated external pressure from “team climate science”, “strong-arm gang tactics” and how, if they’d only been given a chance to ‘splain, “due process would have been the right way to approach the issue”. This has to be done carefully though, because even Anthony is backing away from the stupid as fast as he can and admits, as meekly as possible, that their claims of a “planetary tidal influence on climate is likely a bit of overkill”.

Anthony sniffs that Astronomy and Astrophysics didn’t collapse after publishing a similarly poor paper by Abreu et alentitled Is there a planetary influence on solar activity? so why should this journal?

Anthony, there’s a difference between a bad paper getting through review at a reputable journal and a dishonest journal created for the purpose of giving a stream of bad papers the appearance of credibility. Perspective’s a bitch.

Still, celebrated scientist denialist blogger Joanna Nova trumpets that “the new line in the sand is to write a paper so hot they have to terminate the whole journal!” I guess Pattern Recognition in Physics’s science jujitsu is so strong that Jo’s cute idea of flooding the Copernicus Publications inboxes with hate mail is only a polite suggestion. It just looks like editorial and scientific deception!

Too bad for Roger Tattersall, aka “Tallbloke”, a truculent denialist blogger engineer/historian and regular commenter at Watts Up With That. He’s wearing two conflicting hats here; appointed to the journal’s rigged editorial board on the basis of no qualification whatsoever (denialist blogging?)  and also tagging along as a delighted junior author of one of the papers that broke the camel’s back. Now he wails about the harsh fist of censorship while his readers sagely drop the Hitler bomb.

This new comedy is just another instance of resentful, impotent, denialists clustering together like cockroaches in a little backwater hoping to boil forth and startle a small child into dropping their ice-cream. Remember the Climate Research misfireEnergy & Environment also has a long history of slipping denialist boners into the mix.

Follow the new bouncing ball at Open Mind and Rabett Run.

There’s also a good perspective at And The There’s Physics

A bit more on this juicy incident;

  • Greg Laden’s blog: Science Denialists Make Fake Journal, Get Shut Down.
    Greg coverage brought this statement by Copernicus Publications, from Roger Tattersall’s own bitter post, which kind of puts the whole matter in perspective:

    We were alarmed by the authors’ second implication stating “This sheds serious doubts on the issue of a continued, even accelerated, warming as claimed by the IPCC project”. Before the journal was launched, we had a long discussion regarding its topics. The aim of the journal was to publish articles about patterns recognized in the full spectrum of physical disciplines. PRP was never meant to be a platform for climate sceptics. In addition to our doubts about the scientific content of PRP, we also received information about potential misconduct during the review process.

  • Science magazine: Alleging ‘Malpractice’ With Climate Skeptic Papers, Publisher Kills Journal

Dana Nuccitelli’s holiday trick for sobering up quick: put a little less rum in your egg nog

“Dana Nuccitelli’s holiday trick for sobering up quick: put a little less rum in your egg nog” (2012-12-28). Funny how a post on Anthony Watts’ “uncensored” website attacking Dana Nuccitelli doesn’t have any responses from Dana Nuccitelli. Just sayin’.

So Anthony’s denialist buddy Alec Rawls, a self-appointed whistle-blowing IPCC expert, posted this bunk to lash out at Dana Nuccitelli. Dana had the temerity to ridicule Alec’s idea that there is a lag of secret duration and unknown cause in our climate’s response to “solar variation” (which… doesn’t). Thus proving that it really is all because of the sun and we can go back to our coal-powered land yachts free from communist oppression.

After-all, your level of inebriation can rise even after you stop drinking! And a wacky biological analogy is even better than a physical science proof. To be blunt, you’d know more about solar physics and climate from staring straight into the sun for a minute than Alec could figure out in a lifetime.

If you have the patience the 400+ comments are a comedy goldmine, especially when actual solar scientist Leif Svalgaard pops in for a serious round of whack-a-mole. Paul Vaughan’s wounded howl “Do not ever address me again” seems to capture the flavor of the reactions. Poor Alec must have anticipated an unopposed playing field, because he swaggers and sneers hilariously:

I have to feel bad for Dana on this point. It isn’t his fault. He has been systematically duped by this parade of so-called scientists all telling him that a persistent high level of forcing can’t cause continued warming. Makes me want to put him on a milk carton. The poor guy isn’t just lost, he was kidnapped. Want a piece of candy little boy? Credulous Science indeed.

Leif Svalgaard finally calls a spade a spade:

lsvalgaard says:December 29, 2012 at 3:28 pm
Alec Rawls says:
December 29, 2012 at 2:39 pm
UV-shift effects is one obvious candidate, so the NewScientist actually belittles TWO of the main candidates for this unidentified solar amplification mechanism
The Steinhilber et al. paper you cite, ends with “The UV irradiance may not be the viable solution because its observational data do not show a similar distinct decreasing trend as TSI [Frohlich ¨ , 2009], implying that its level during the MM was similar as in present solar cycle minima.
So you will quote selectively and omit what you don’t like.

IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’

IPCC AR5 draft leaked, contains game-changing admission of enhanced solar forcing – as well as a lack of warming to match model projections, and reversal on ‘extreme weather’ (2012-12-13). What’s this? A GAME-CHANGING revelation about global warming? That’s, like, the tenth time! This one’s gotta stick, right Anthony?

Let’s see… this is a leak by an actual insider IPCC expert! Now that ought to get everyone’s attention! Oh, our expert is just Anthony Watts’ blogging buddy Alex Rawls and his “expertise” consists of being able to promise that he wouldn’t release any of the IPCC AR5 draft text. (Looks like he dropped that ball pretty quick via a bit of self-sainting: “As for my personal confidentiality agreement with the IPCC, I regard that as vitiated by the systematic dishonesty of the report“.) Actual science credentials? Zip. He’s just another denialist nutter who thinks he’s the next Galileo.

But still, he must have found something juicy to break his earnest confidentiality pledge! Wazzit? Here’s the game-changing sentence Alec decided to hang his hat on:

The forcing from changes in total solar irradiance alone does not seem to account for these observations, implying the existence of an amplifying mechanism such as the hypothesized GCR-cloud link.

Here’s what NewScientist said in covering the tomfoolery:

if Rawls had read a bit further, he would have realised that the report goes on to largely dismiss the evidence that cosmic rays have a significant effect. “They conclude there’s very little evidence that it has any effect”

So the juicy sentence was just a minor aspect of a solar influence discussion (spoiler: the influence is big, obviously, but so invariant as to be irrelevant to modern climate trends). Really, how could there be anything “game-changing” in an IPCC report? It’s freakin’ based on the existing published science!

Is Alec stupid enough to think that a bit of draft text from a scientific summary would be how we suddenly recognise a paradigm shift in climate science? Apparently, yes. Alec also consider’s himself a national hero for bravely blowing his whistle. Both of these beliefs merit a solid whack on the side of the head.

A few other worthwhile comments on the matter:

  • RealClimate – “A review of cosmic rays and climate: a cluttered story of little success”
  • Skeptical Science – “IPCC Draft Report Leaked, Shows Global Warming is NOT Due to the Sun”
  • Scientific American – “Climate deniers used the leak to press their case but the new IPCC report closes the case on a human cause for global warming”
  • NewScientist – “Leaked IPCC report reaffirms dangerous climate change”
  • The Guardian – “Global warming is not due to the sun, confirms leaked IPCC report”

Why is 20 years statistically significant when 10 years is not?

Why is 20 years statistically significant when 10 years is not?” (2011-11-05). Anthony Watts loves a long-winded sneering crank who can slap together reams of irrelevant charts (see Willis Eschenbach). Here he gives us James Padgett, ironically also known as WUWT commenter “Just the Facts”, who asks if PhD climatologists “are smarter than a 5th grader” after implying that climate scientists are only vaguely aware of the sun.

Padgett has a “simple vision” that beats the pants off of all those chrome-domes and their complicated ‘takin’ everything into account’. It’s just the sun, don’t you know! Thus ending Global Warming forever.

The statistical question posed in the post title is, unsurprisingly, never answered. When all is said and done James Padgett has simply gone to great lengths to prove that he’s not “smarter than a 5th grader.” Naturally Anthony’s commenters declare Padgett’s assertions to be “Very, very interesting and important” and rail about the arrogance of them scientists and their studyin’.

You know you’re reading the theories of an utter idiot when Padgett’s opening paragraph is this:

Many of you are aware that the concept of continental drift, proposed by Alfred Wegener, was widely ridiculed by his contemporaries. This reaction was in spite of the very clear visual evidence that the continents could be fit together like a giant puzzle.

Wegener’s theory is a perfect example of that pinnacle of denialist scientific method known as “eyeballing”. Wegener’s theory always had its supporters but wasn’t accepted for 40 years until evidence emerged that explained how the continents had actually moved (although he almost had it right). Just like no-one takes denialist Global Warming “science” seriously because it is utterly unable to explain the observed climate trends with only natural influences.

You do have to admire Padgett’s determined arm-waving though. It’s eye-wateringly hard work pawing through reams of charts, squinting as hard as possible to ignore everything that doesn’t suit his pre-determined conclusion.

Why do denialists make so many contradictory arguments at once? None of them stand up, they’re all merely efforts to distract:

  • The temperature records are wrong / OK, maybe they’re pretty good.
  • It’s not warming / OK, maybe it is warming.
  • The warming has stopped / OK, maybe it hasn’t stopped.
  • It’s not us / OK, maybe it is us.
  • It’s not harmful / OK, maybe it is harmful.
  • It’s not unfixable / OK, maybe “fixing” it would be really difficult.

Sharpen those eyeballs, James, if you want to be more than noise.

Earth’s Climate System Is Ridiculously Complex – With Draft Link Tutorial

Earth’s Climate System Is Ridiculously Complex – With Draft Link Tutorial (June 30th, 2011). I’m waaay behind commenting on Anthony Watts’ anti-science, but this post recently came to my attention. Gosh, if the Earth’s climate is so “ridiculously complex” how could we possibly really know anything? We might hurt our thinkin’ muscles trying to figger it out.

The Earth rotates! It orbits the Sun! There’s gravity! The Sun shines! Volcanoes and hot springs are hot! Cosmic rays rain down, as do comets! Funny, I didn’t notice any references to the much-discussed greenhouse effect.

Most importantly; even though the Earth’s climate is “ridiculously complex” it is absolutely clear that all changes are completely natural.

WUWT reader and obsessive googler “Just The Facts” has assembled a collection of mainly Wikipedia entries to prove this point, but it seems to me that he’s unintentionally shown the exact opposite. Climate scientists are well aware of our climate’s complexity, and are able to integrate the processes quite well. Thanks, Facts.

Of course denialists are waging a fighting retreat using the “complexity” and “imperfection” arguments, so a huge list of anything is useful for waving in the air. I think Winnie-the-Pooh said it best:

“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”

Climate scientist Michael Tobis tries to inject a little reality to the comments, but faces a determined onslaught of ignorance as well as the usual  passive-aggressive moderation by Anthony and his staff. Eventually solar scientist Leif Svalgaard gets chokes on the ignorance and starts correcting them.

The comment by “Thomas S”, third one in, wins today’s booby prize: “Holy….!! This post will go down in history as the post that killed the AGW debate once in for all.” I wouldn’t put money on that, Thomas.

New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC

New solar reconstruction paper suggests 6x greater solar forcing change than cited by the IPCC (May 10, 2011). Could a paper brought to Anthony Watts’ attention by a hockey stick-obsessed denialist be right? Has it really all just been the Sun’s natural variation? We’re making such a fuss over nothing! Damn those stupid lying climate scientists.

Unfortunately, no. Anthony and his eager associates are conflating, either willfully or through ignorance, amounts of change with rates of change.

Shapiro et. al. (2011) reconstructed “the total and spectral solar irradiance covering 130 nm–10 μm from 1610 to the present” and presented a new model that suggests that TSI (Total Solar Irradiance) may have been “substantially lower during the Maunder minimum than observed today.” But being an actual scientist he also acknowledged that “there is general agreement on how solar forcing varied during the last several hundred years“. Which, surprise, is when man-made global warming happened. Once again, Anthony has toppled the global warming house of cards (not).

Stepping out of Anthony’s narrative for a minute what do the scientists, including Dr. Shapiro, agree upon about Total Solar Irradiance? That global temperatures increased with TSI from 1880 until about 1950. After about 1975 TSI flattens while global temperatures resume their increase. This renewed  global warming (without any help from TSI) is what climate scientists attribute to greenhouse gases (see below, link to Skeptical Science).

Actual TSI vs global temperature. Not a great correlation once greenhouse gases kicked in, huh? Source: Skeptical Science.

Back to Anthony’s narrative: Funny how reconstructions, proxies, and computer models are A-OK with Anthony if he thinks they support the conclusion he wants. Otherwise, the anti-scientific howling is continuous. Hypocrisy much?

Funny how uncertain pre-instrumental records are A-OK with Anthony if he thinks they support the conclusion he wants. Otherwise, the anti-scientific howling is… you can fill in the blanks.

So, perhaps six times as much increase in TSI since 1850? Six times as much sounds huge. The historical TSI fluctuation is around 0.1%, which suggests that the fluctuation may have been up to about 0.6%. However this says nothing about the actual levels of TSI. Those values are neither changed or contested by the paper. If you compare the Figure 2 in Shapiro (2011) with that of  Solanki (2004), shown above, you’ll see that in 1900 Shapiro’s TSI value is 3.9 lower in 1900, and 1.4 higher in 1960. The post-1960 peaks on both the Shapiro (2011) graph and Solanki (2004) TSI graph are the same: 1366 W/m2.

The unfortunate paper authors seem to have done some good refining work on historical Total Solar Irradiance that has minimal impact on the climate change debate but now find themselves falsely held aloft by denialists. I suppose bad publicity is better than no publicity…

The sun is still in a slump – still not conforming to NOAA “consensus” forecasts

The sun is still in a slump – still not conforming to NOAA “consensus” forecasts. Sunspot counts are staying low, confounding predictions for Solar Cycle 24. So is the Ap geomagnetic index. Does this mean that scientists are money-wasting idiots who can’t get anything right Anthony?

ISES Solar Cycle, January 4, 2011.

Question: if a declining solar magnetic field, “a phenomenon that in the 17th century coincided with a prolonged period of cooling on Earth” (Science Now, Sep.t 14, 2010) means that the natural solar influence should be a cooling one, why is the global temperature rising? Is it possible that there’s some kind of… unnatural influence at work?

I wonder if when solar geomagnetic activity rises again we’ll see that instead of counteracting the… uh, unnatural influence it begins amplifying it.

Do solar scientists STILL think that recent warming is too large to explain by solar activity?

Do solar scientists STILL think that recent warming is too large to explain by solar activity? Alec Rawls, an apparently anti-gay, anti-muslim, rigidly partisan failed sheriff, tells us that the temperature anomaly that coincidentally started at the same time as atmospheric CO2 climbed is entirely driven by Sunspot cycle length, somehow. He read it on a commercial weather company’s website.

Those solar scientists and climatologists all have it backwards and wrong. Don’t they know that sometimes there’s a lag in climate response to solar activity and sometimes there isn’t? And that it’s the duration of a sunspot cycle that matters, somehow, not the actual energy output?

Strangely, actual solar scientist Leif Svalgaard disagrees with him at length in the comments.

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero. No sunspots! Has this ever happened at this point in a solar cycle? (Yes.) This means the Earth must be cooling according to “It’s the Sun” denialists. Except 2010 was the hottest year in the instrumental record.

Anthony Watts gives us a big blob of copy and pasted Solar data and hopes we don’t draw the logical inference from it all. The comments, as always when the Sun is mentioned, are a glow with arguments about whether the Sun is externally heated or not…

Confirmation of Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day

Confirmation of Solar forcing of the semi-annual variation of length-of-day. December 23rd gave us Anthony Watts’ first Christmas Guest, and Paul Vaughn (M.Sc.) served up a delightful slice of Dunning-Kruger pudding. There’s nothing a denialist likes more than a new and obscure correlation to (briefly) divert the conversation… Causation is for sissies.

Paul wants to show that Earth’s Length of Day is influenced by cosmic rays, which slightly affect atmospheric density. Hence, using the power of wishful thinking, all Global Warming is natural and will reverse itself. Eventually. Paul gives us lots of cluttered stock promoter-style charts, spreading a tiny proportional change over a full chart range. You’d think an analytical genius like, perhaps, Steve McIntyre would call him to task on it wouldn’t you?

Yes, atmospheric and oceanic angular momentum impacts Length of Day. Trivially. This influence, measured as being on the order of one millisecond out of 86,400,000 over a period of months, is significant? Try again. Cue the ignorant arguments about magnetic fields in the comments.