Whither went the warmer weather?

Whither went the warmer weather? (2013-12-16). “17 years, 3 months with no global warming” says Anthony Watts, our all-knowing guide to the Universe. He knows this because Britain’s celebrated Morris Dancer of the intellect, Lord Christopher Monckton of Brenchley says so in his usual tangential, conspiracist, long-winded, self-delighted way. He even has a tongue-twister post title and a poem to back him up, who can beat that?

Furthermore, the Lord declares that “the models are in fundamental error”, trying to imply that conventional climate science is somehow wrong. As usual he’s too busy pontificating to consider, in this case, the distinction between prediction and projection.

Monckton tops it off by jumbling the cautionary statistical aphorism “correlation doesn’t imply causation” into “absence of correlation necessarily implies absence of causation.” That’s logical mastery that rises above grimy reality!

Never mind that this November just past was the hottest ever in the GISS record, or that the HadCRUT3 warming trend is pretty glaring if your eyes are open. Look at Monckton’s data!

Wait that’s the GISS data, posted by Tamino, which kinda undermines the Lord. We only trust the RSS data! Look again:

Damn, that’s not flat! Can’t a right-thinking denialist count on Dr. Roy Spencer? Oh, his chart wasn’t playing the long game, it was just designed to boast about his UAH satellite data corrections (it’s only “fudging” when other scientists do it).

Best to stick to Lord Monckton’s own chart, with the messy contradictions and distracting numbers tucked away out of sight. Squish the scale down too and draw a nice thick flat line on it:

Monckton 20131216 RSS chart

Now that’s useful science!

Antarctic warming courtesy of Mr. Fix-it

Antarctic warming courtesy of Mr. Fix-it (2012-12-27). Anthony Watts posts some profound scientific analysis – “Just a little something [David Middleton] threw together”.

On the basis of Middleton’s “Mk I eyeball”, careful scientific work on Western Antarctic temperature records is dismissed with a sneer as “manufactured” and denialist cooling (via squinting) replaces objective evidence of significant warming.

So David, did you just “throw it together” or just throw it up?

Here’s Anthony Watts’ own attempt to disparage the study three days earlier, in it’s entirety, supported by a cartoon of Santa’s sleigh:

They can’t find any recent warming, so they took a broken sensor with “intermittent gaps and other problems”, “recalibrated” it, “used computerized analyses of the atmosphere to fill the gaps” and “discovered” warming that “happened in the 1980s”. If you believe that this is science, then I strongly suggest you prep your telescope, lest you miss out on a spectacular sleigh sighting…

If you believe Anthony’s interested in science, you probably believe in the tooth fairy.

New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial

“New study shows half of the global warming in the USA is artificial” (2012-07-29. Originally titled “PRESS RELEASE”). Here it is! The game-changing scientific announcement from Anthony Watts that the entire world will want to know about!

“U.S. Temperature trends show a spurious doubling due to NOAA station siting problems and post measurement adjustments.”

So… Anthony Watts’ science revelation is that his inkjet has finished printing a typo-ridden do-over of his attack on US surface station weather data, “to be submitted for publication”, with his usual denialist pals (McIntyre, Christie, Jones).

Strange that Anthony’s promoting his sciencey-ness before publication (let alone acceptance). Didn’t he rail against the practice when he didn’t like former pal Dr. Muller’s temperature analysis? I guess that was then and this is… now.

Let’s see who he tries to submit this too (Journal of Geophysics, anyone? Oops, all the planted editors have decamped) and how the peer-review turns out. Should be funny to watch him squirm and sputter.

Wait, I just got it!

Anthony knows the evil conspiracy of competent climate scientists will never allow  a threat to the secret communist world government. Like every denialist proclamation yet, Anthony’s moment of shining triumph will last no longer than the delay between clicking “post” and being read by tamino or RealClimate.org (that will be some good readin’).

Make hay while the sun shines, Anthony.

P.S. Looks like Anthony’s barrage was timed to deflect attention from his former denialist buddy Dr. Muller. Muller’s Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature publication confirmed the conventional scientific conclusions. His op-ed today in the New York Times is “The Conversion of a Climate-Change Skeptic”:

Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw doubt on the very existence of global warming. Last year, following an intensive research effort involving a dozen scientists, I concluded that global warming was real and that the prior estimates of the rate of warming were correct. I’m now going a step further: Humans are almost entirely the cause.

Anthony’s been hiding behind a fence, nursing his snowball-with-a-stone-in-it waiting for Muller to walk past. Hell hath no fury like a betrayed denialist.

2012-07-31 Update: Victor Venema (commenting here too) has some good first-pass comments on Anthony’s mediocrity. Eli Rabett has also gathered some entertaining insights into Anthony’s latest self-congratulatory own goal.

But this lack [of perspective] makes amateurs prone to get caught in the traps that entangled the professionals’ grandfathers, and it can be difficult to disabuse them of their discoveries. Especially problematical are those who want science to validate preconceived political notions, and those willing to believe they are Einstein and the professionals are fools. Put these two types together and you get a witches brew of ignorance and attitude.

Unfortunately climate science is as sugar to flies for those types.

New paper blames about half of global warming on weather station data homogenization

“New paper blames about half of global warming on weather station data homogenization” (2012-07-17). Anthony Watts eagerly embraces a “peer-reviewed paper” conference abstract that uses some garden-variety data diddling. Sez Anthony:

Authors Steirou and Koutsoyiannis, after taking homogenization errors into account find global warming over the past century was only about one-half [0.42°C] of that claimed by the IPCC [0.7-0.8°C].

Them climate scientists are manipulat’n data for their Commie bosses! Not Steirou and Koutsoyiannis…

Strange how Anthony forgets that even denialist Roy Spencer’s satellite temperature records show a 0.46°C rise in 33 years. One might think a bit of caution is in order when someone claims that only there’s been 0.42°C of warming over the last century.

Anthony Watts just types “told ya so” as fast as he can work his trembling fingers. Where’s the skepticism? Up his ass of course. He, like the paper’s authors, doesn’t seem to understand data homogenization. Here’s Dutch scientist Victor Venema on Anthony’s intentional ignorance:

A student can make an error and conferences are there to talk about preliminary results, much more worrying is that Anthony Watts keeps on getting his facts wrong. An EGU abstract is simply not a peer reviewed paper. Of the three sentences Watts cited from the “peer reviewed paper”, two can only be found in the slides of the talk, which are not reviewed. Every post on Watts up with that?that is on a topic I am knowledgeable about, contains serious factual errors and clear misrepresentations. I am not talking about having another opinion, but facts. If clear facts are already wrong, I start doubting the rest. One wonders why the readers of Watts up with that? keep on reading that stuff. There seems to be little interest in the truth among these self-proclaimed skeptics.

We’ll leave the final insight to one of Anthony’s squad of censors “moderators” who is proud of how enthusiastically and regularly wrong WUWT is:

[REPLY - What it means is that WUWT, unlike nearly all alarmist blogs, does not censor contrary points of view. Science is a very back-and-forth kind of thing. Anyone can be wrong. Anything can be wrong. Consider that. ~ Evan]

Detecting regime shifts in climate data – the modern warming regime ended in 1997

Detecting regime shifts in climate data – the modern warming regime ended in 1997 (2012-07-03). Anthony Watts blindly publishes another piece of scientific nonsense. Sam Outcalt, Emeritus (naturally) Professor of Physical Geography (naturally) has screwed around with Excel and discovered you can turn pretty much any data trend into a parabola that suits your goals if you just rescale things and only plot cumulative sums of deviations from average.

“This short analysis indicates that an alternate model of climate change based on serial regime transitions rather than anthropogenic global warming is consistent with the results of the Hurst Re Scaling analysis.”

It’s so simple! Um, too simple:

“Cumulative sums can show very interesting behavior. They can also be extremelytricky to deal with statistically. That’s not a problem for Outcalt, his post doesn’t seem to have any statistics.” – Open Mind

This is what fake linear temperature trends look like when plotted along side real temperature the the way Outcalt did:

Looks like Dr. Outcalt’s dunce-cap methodology turns any linear trend into a parabola that can be presented as proof that the trend has reversed…

955 words and four references (do “personal communications” really count?) are all Outcalt needs to underpin his argument. I think Anthony’s denialist blog is the pinnacle of this “paper’s” trajectory. Outcalt is a retired permafrost guy, his last paper seems to have been in 1994.

‘Ads by Google’ helpfully suggests that “If you use a spreadsheet to manage work, you should watch this helpful 1 minute video.” Maybe the good Perfessor should take Google’s inscrutable advice?

Update: Here’s a real temperature trend, from 1800 to 2010. Notice the lack of “regime change” in 1997? This data is from the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, in which Anthony placed great faith until it didn’t give the result he wanted.

“So what?” you say, another emeritus academic outside of his area of expertise who thinks he’s “proved” everyone else is wrong. Dime a dozen at Watts Up With That. Well… true. But every now and then (meaning several times a week) a classic example of Anthony’s tactics comes along and gives us a useful way to deconstruct Anthony’s method:

  1. He will publish literally anything with a “conclusion” that suits his agenda, even if he has no ability whatsoever to understand it. Perhaps especially if he doesn’t understand it.
  2. He will imply that any forthcoming criticism will be malicious so that his readers will think that Anthony has the intelligence to anticipate and dismiss factual scientific criticism:

    “Great paper. Thanks for re-posting this Anthony. Hurst makes perfect sense and it is well defended in the paper. I think Tamino is over his head with a paper like this.
    REPLY: Oh, he’ll try to shoot it down anyway. – Anthony”

  3. He posts new stuff so fast that by the time anyone intelligent can respond his mesmerized audience has forgotten about it other than a few unshakable rearguard commenters. Although they will all keep a vague memory of another perfect proof, probably contradicting earlier perfect proofs, that there is no global warming, which stopped in 1997 anyway.
  4. He counts on his denialist ditto heads to repost WUWT posts so that if any intelligent analysis infects the comments of his own posts and disrupts the head-nodding the copies will remain uncorrected and continue to deceive. (Of course he’ll never correct his own post either, so that readers that don’t mine the comments will remain unaware.)
  5. His censors “moderators” will always invoke (im)plausible deniability when Anthony’s caught and will pretend his readers are up-to-date in all the physical sciences anyway:

[REPLY: Anthony publishes lots of stuff, not all of which he agrees with. It is simply "interesting". WUWT commenters are fully capable of critiqueing the work and have done so. Anthony is not a co-author on this article and is not required to justify or explain anything, especially to anonymous individuals using anonymous proxy servers. Check site policy regarding that. -REP]

Not particularly clever, but effective if you lack peripheral vision.

Update: Anthony re-applied his denialist french kiss to Outcalt’s fake technique one day later when Outcalt sends him some rigged solar data: Another regime change indication – this time in solar data. One day the climate switch flipped in 1997, the next day the switch flipped in 2005. Just pick one and stick with! This time Anthony gets called on it too fast to slip away and pulls an “as I expected”:

UPDATE: As I expected he would, Dr. Leif Svalgaard takes exception to this characterization of the identification of October 2005 being a regime changepoint, saying:

While I agree that the sun is going quiet, the ‘step change’ is spurious. It is mainly due to a sporadic, single magnetic storm in September 2005: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005%2c09%2c04 and here is the next rotation: http://hirweb.nict.go.jp/sedoss/solact3/do?d=2005%2c10%2c01 You can find many such steps.

Such step changes happens all the time: http://www.leif.org/research/Ap-1844-now.png They are just weather, not climate.

Of course Anthony takes as “skeptical” view of the opinions of actual solar experts as he thinks can get away with:

While I defer to Dr. Svalgaard’s overall superior knowledge on the dynamics of sun, and agree there are many sharp transitions in the Ap record, this looks to me to be a step change event of merit based on the factors listed above. I’ve yet to see a fully convincing explanation that this was a spurious event rather than a regime changepoint. But, I remain open to seeing such an explanation.

NASA notes sea level is falling in press release – but calls it a “Pothole on Road to Higher Seas”

NASA notes sea level is falling in press release – but calls it a “Pothole on Road to Higher Seas” (2011-08-24). Anthony Watts reminds his readers that if an increase doesn’t happen every single year then it’s not happening. And a NASA press release admits that sea-level didn’t rise in 2010! You’d think after all the denialist accusations them gubmint scientists would be better at falsifying observations to prove whatever they wanted.

So the slight reversal of sea-level increase (which was not happening anyway) means that sea-level rise has stopped (even though it wasn’t happening anyway). Therefore humanity’s CO2 emissions, which don’t cause warming, are not causing climate change (which isn’t happening anyway). Got it?

So we have years of Anthony and his pals claiming that rising temperatures and sea-level are all down to various vague and supposedly cyclic natural causes and definitely not man-made causes. Of course actual scientists have always factored in natural influences and have studied them in great depth to determine their contributions. But here the natural causes are suddenly discounted by the denialist arm-chair critics.

Willis Eschenbach adds a deep scientific insight by noting that Greenland received more precipitation than usual in 2010, so it’s glaciers are apparently not in danger after-all, thus disproving global warming once and for all. Willis somehow didn’t notice that the satellite precipitation data is considered incorrect for that region… And his analysis of NASA’s discussion of the causes of the dip in sea-level dispenses with even a cocktail napkin this time around. Sounds like he’s talking about himself when he pontificates:

When people make claims like that, with no numbers attached, my Urban Legend Detector™ goes off like crazy … and in this case, it was right.

Analysing the complete hadCRUT yields some surprising results

Analysing the complete hadCRUT yields some surprising results” (2011-08-04). Anthony Watts learns from a post by right-wing “Global Warming Policy Foundation” lobbyists about a post by Luboš Motl that proves that 30% of the Earth has cooled. Run from the Ice Age! Or something like that.

After five years of denialist pretense that the data was being hidden from them (because they had to go to the trouble of requesting it from the various national meteorological organizations that owned it) the unified release of the global data set used by the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia has forced them to switch to a new fake numbers game. Expect a lot more of this kind of transparent misdirection, designed to keep the uninformed public distracted. Expect Anthony to make a big fuss about it each time.

Luboš Motl's plot of HADCRU3 data showing historical warming or cooling trend.

Look at how much of that cRaZy blue there is!

So if we are to believe Motl, the Earth is actually 30% cooler than it was 77 years ago. Run from the Ice Age! No wait; some places have cooled even though most other places have warmed, so it’s not global warming. No wait, it’s that the HadCRUT3 temperature data comes from weather stations that only represent particular small areas, so it can’t tell us anything about global temperature. (Dang! They should have just used that one temperature station that records the whole planet.)

Err, maybe this is why scientists use statistics? To collect and objectively interpret large data sets with complex trends and arrive at an objective understanding.

Hold on. Is Motl really trying to make the point that unless every station shows a warming trend then we can’t claim that there is global warming? Is his point really so dogmatically stupid? Maybe, because in spite of his self-declared brilliance Motl has to admit that he got “standard deviation” mixed up with “root mean square“. Unfortunately he says “I don’t have the energy to redo all these calculations – it’s very time-consuming and CPU-time-consuming” but I’m sure it’s a wash, huh?

Anthony Watts and the “Global Warming Policy Foundation” are certainly happy to overlook this, because to them the fact that 30% of the recording stations show a cooling history apparently makes their heads reel. Not climate scientists however. Only an idiot would expect a trend to be uniformly expressed throughout a complex natural system.

Oh, that’s right. We’re talking about Anthony Watts, aren’t we?