Website News

Yes, I’ve been a bad boy lately, focusing on my own activities and generally letting the WUWT howlers fade into the background. There have certainly been a few doosies though!

I’ve made use of the break to do some jigging of the intertubes and now and both redirect to this WordPress site. That’s something, isn’t it?

Here are a few recent entertaining links.

15 thoughts on “Website News

  1. This is a great site, and a lot for one person to keep up with. Have you even thought about getting some guest debunkers to help with the workload? I for one would be happy to pitch in.

    [It is a heavy load… The suggestion is starting to appeal to me! – Ben]

  2. Well, this may be a start. I’ve just popped this into the Comments at WUWT regarding Willis’s attempt to regain the ground lost by the AmazonGate retraction. My posts have about a 50-50 chance of appearing [we don’t censor here, oh no] so here’s a copy for posterity.

    … And there, the trail stops […] other than a paper by Dr. Lewis himself about Amazon carbon sinks, there are no citations […]

    Really? Lewis refers us to his colleague Daniel Nepstads article on the issue both online and as an Appendix to his PCC Complaint. This is amply referenced, here’s the relevant extract:

    Our 1999 article (Nepstad et al. 1999) estimated that 630,000 km2 of forests were severely drought stressed in 1998, as Rowell and Moore correctly state, but this forest area is only 15% of the total area of forest in the Brazilian Amazon. In another article published in Nature, in 1994, we used less conservative assumptions to estimate that approximately half of the forests of the Amazon depleted large portions of their available soil moisture during seasonal or episodic drought (Nepstad et al. 1994). After the Rowell and Moore report was released in 2000, and prior to the publication of the IPCC AR4, new evidence of the full extent of severe drought in the Amazon was available. In 2004, we estimated that half of the forest area of the Amazon Basin had either fallen below, or was very close to, the critical level of soil moisture below which trees begin to die in 1998. This estimate incorporated new rainfall data and results from an experimental reduction of rainfall in an Amazon forest that we had conducted with funding from the US National Science Foundation (Nepstad et al. 2004). Field evidence of the soil moisture critical threshold is presented in Nepstad et al. 2007.

    Which leads Nepstad to state:

    In sum, the IPCC statement on the Amazon was correct. The report that is cited in support of the IPCC statement (Rowell and Moore 2000) omitted some citations in support of the 40% value statement.

    Hope this helps.

    • Ben,

      One oft-repeated theme around the climate blogs is the censorship at Realclimate. We all know that they only publish posts from warmists or lame ‘sceptical’ arguments that they can debunk with a shrug of the alarmist shoulder. Yet anyone who can use a computer should be able to capture text before it is submitted, if the post is then censored it would be trivial to send the killer argument along to WUWT, CA, Bishop Hill to expose the outrageous supression of contrary views. By now there must be a mountain of these snipped posts. [Actually I asked Steve Mosher for evidence of his claim of RC censorship, apparently he is still smarting that RC failed to print a ‘thank you note’ he sent 3 years ago. That’s it].

      Finally getting to the point, the post I reproduced above, which I thought reasonable and within the site guidelines never appeared.

      So, if you don’t mind, I reproduce below another that I just sent in, within the bounds of civilised conversation, I thought, but which seems to have been discarded. Perhaps we could start a occasional feature … posts that never made it and posters who are banned … from the site that never censors.

      “They were writing in response to a slightly different challenge, however in this document

      Click to access scientists_amazon_response.pdf

      18 active researchers into tropical rainforests assert that the IPCC statement is scientifically accurate and present the peer-reviewed references to support it. The now-vindicated Simon Lewis is one of the authors. They write:

      “The (IPCC) statement is not as carefully worded as it should be, and incorrectly referenced, but basically scientifically correct and defensible with recourse to the peer-reviewed literature available at the time. Rainforest persists above a threshold of rainfall, below which one finds savanna. If this threshold is crossed a landscape dominated by rainforest can ‘flip’ to savanna. Therefore a ’slight’ reduction can lead to a ‘dramatic’ reaction. Of course, evidence of a shift to a new lower rainfall climate regime is needed, and evidence of large areas of forest close to that rainfall threshold would be required for the IPCC statement to be reasonable; there is ample published evidence for both.”

      Now one could present oneself as better-informed than these guys, one could thrash around debating the point that nowhere in the literature is the exact phrase ‘up to 40%’ deployed. One would then look exceedingly foolish. Assessment Reports are like that, they are an assessment of the state of the science, which sometimes is nuanced, complex and unamenable to trite summarisation. The IPCC, amazingly, accurately conveyed the state of understanding in the thousands of pages it published. Obsessing about one instance where they got the science right – according to the scientists – but were a little sloppy in their referencing makes one look, well, obssessive.”

      • Ben – I spoke too soon, my last comment just showed up. Let’s give Anthony the benefit of the doubt on this one.

        [Delaying the appearance of critical comments is a favorite trick at WUWT. By making them pop up in the behind newer comments it greatly increases the chances that it won’t be seen by active readers but doesn’t leave any evidence of interference. – Ben]

      • IIRC, I’ve had more than one comment at WUWT that never appeared.

        I specifically remember one instance where I pointed out the hypocrisy of attacking Mann for trying to take legal action over the “Hide the Decline” smear video, when Anthony himself wrongly used the DMCA to get an episode of “Climate Denial Crock of the Week” that was critical of him removed.

        I’ve also seen a lengthy audit trail documented of earlier posts containing embarassing mistakes rewritten or removed, and all reference to them excised from comments.

  3. “Latest Barrow Ice Breakup On Record” (WUWT, June 26, 2010)

    REGIONAL……….This article draws Arctic Ocean conclusions from Barrow,AK, weather data. Enough said.

    GISS AGAIN……….In the comments Steve compares his Barrow weather projection to GISS’ extrapolation of shore temperatures across the Arctic.
    Of course GISS only does this to get the polar region into its GLOBAL average temperature anomaly. This avoids the HadCRUT alternative, which is a ‘global’ average that excludes the Arctic Ocean.
    Steve is the only one drawing POLAR conclusions from such projections.

    WHY BARROW?……….Nobody else is looking to landfast sea ice for clues to Arctic Ocean conditions. Scientist’s are interested in landfast ice (and Barrow’s in particular) mostly because it’s ACCESSIBLE sea ice.

    I saw only one abstract (among 10) that tried to predict the date of the landfast breakup. This was for the benefit of the local Inuits, who cross it.

  4. Well – it may be a technical thing. I used to get the ‘Your comment is awaiting moderation’ holding message. Now the page just refreshes without the comment, the text may or may not appear sometime later. But it’s a bad and futile habit, I really should quit….

  5. I just posted the following on the “Latest Barrow Ice Breakup” thread. Freakin hilarious. I wonder if the comment will pass moderation.

    Steve’s post: 06/26/2010.

    The following image: 6/27/2010, presumably at 04:15 local time Point Barrow
    Shore Ice Cam
    Enough said.

    There’s even less left today. (Yeah, there’s probably still shorefast ice off to the right of the camera view, but the “one day later” aspect of this is just hilarious.)

  6. “Sea Ice News #11” (WUWT, Jun 28, 2010)

    THE OBVIOUS……….In the Arctic decreasing summer sea ice extent minima suggests increasing temperatures. The graph shows the recent Antarctic summer to have relatively low sea ice extent minima, compared to the other years. Wouldn’t this suggest that Antarctic summer temperatures are also increasing?

    ADDITIONALLY……….Skeptical Science summarizes the subject best here.

    “If the Southern Ocean is warming, whey is Antarctic sea ice increasing? There are several contributing factors. One is the drop in ozone levels over Antarctica. The hole in the ozone layer above the South Pole has caused cooling in the stratosphere…This strengthens the cyclonic winds that circle the Antarctic continent…The wind pushes sea ice around, creating areas of open water known as polynas. More polynas lead to increased sea ice production……Another contributor is changes in ocean circulation (stratification).”

    During the Antarctic winter the ozone hole’s effect is to increase the circumpolar winds, lower some temperatures, and increase the sea ice. The Aug-Dec Ozone Hole Area graph coincides with the Aug-Dec period of greatest Antarctic sea ice extent.

    Etc, etc.

  7. “Sea Ice News #11” Not continued

    I lost interest when I sensed that Steve had lost interest. The Ozone Hole Area confusion??? Volcanic ridge under the ice (that only skeptics know about?). A global temperature map that doesn’t show the Southern Ocean warming up faster than other oceans. Mentioning South Pole cooling, as if it weren’t an oft-stated consequence of the ozone hole. And his third I couldn’t understand.

    There is something more interesting, with some perspective, that is linked to (TIP #2) in Neven’s ‘Sea ice extent update 9’ blogpost here.

    “A new study shows the Arctic climate system may be more sensitive to greenhouse warming than previously thought, and that current levels of Earth’s atmospheric carbon dioxide may be high enough to bring about significant irreversible shifts in Arctic ecosystems…”

    “Our findings indicate the CO2 levels of approximately 400 parts per million are sufficient to produce mean annual temperatures in the High Arctic…(such that)…it becomes exceedingly difficult to maintain permanent sea and glacial ice in the Arctic. Thus current levels of CO2 in the atmosphere of approximately 390 parts per million may be approaching a tipping point for irreversible ice-free conditions in the Arctic.”
    CU Press Release, June29,2010

  8. Don’t know whether on not you want this one.
    Latest WUWT title – New Zealand’s Prime Minister: Climate Change a “load of rubbish” and “hoax”

    But in the text

    “that is, the Climate Change Response Amendment Bill is a load of rubbish”


    “This is a complete and utter hoax, if I may say so.”

    So he is talking about the Bill. What does he say about climate change?

    “even if one believes in global warming—and I am somewhat suspicious of it”

    There you are, suspicious of it but doesn’t disbelieve it. Doesn’t call it rubbish or a hoax.

    I immediately posted a comment: “How disingenuous, Anthony”. It got moderated to: “[SNIP], Anthony.
    [Baseless name-calling. ~dbs, mod.]” Third post.

    Can anybody see where I called anybody names?

    [Classic manipulative editing by the WUWT “moderators”. – Ben]

  9. The Penn State investigation into possible research misconduct by Michael Mann has found him not just innocent but …

    Dr Mann’s success in proposing research and obtaining funding to conduct it clearly places Dr Mann among the most respected scientists in his field. Such success would not have been possible had he not met or exceeded the highest standards of his profession. Dr Mann’s work, from the beginning of his career has been recognised as outstanding […] clearly, Dr Mann’s reporting of his research has been successful and judged to be outstanding by his peers. This would have been impossible had his activities in reporting his work been outside of the accepted practices in his field.

    Now, it is implausible that Anthony will ignore this news, but how will he spin it?

    – Whitewash?

    – Professionals closing ranks?

    – No credibility – (didn’t interview M&M, found Mann innocent of SERIOUS misconduct, not just common-or-garden normal misconduct etc, etc)

    Place your bets. In the meantime, rejoice in the good, if utterly expected, news.

  10. “Amazing Grace” (WUWT,Jun29,2010)


    The Science Daily caption for the green map reads, “Grace estimate of changes in Antarctica’s ice MASS…” (emphasis added)

    Steve’s straw man is: “The claims that ice is melting in East Antarctica…”

    CONJECTURE…Might he have originally intended to just keep to his stated purpose of discrediting the GRACE satellites? With a little luck, the “thinning glacier” theme wouldn’t be hard-pushed, and serious responses would be lost amidst groupie cheering.

    TALE OF A LONG THREAD……….However, there was serious opposition, and numerical support from his side (which might have diluted the thread, and obscured the core argument) fell away.

    And his straw man argument (that GRACE was wrong because East Antarctica was too cold to melt) collapsed utterly and visibly.

    HIS LAST STAND……….He then pointed to the most inland fuzzy area (on his first map) and declared that it was too far distant to be reacting to current conditions on the coast.

    There are general accounts of glacier movement caused by uphill snowfall accumulation. By his second map, our fuzzy area is undergoing increasing temperatures. And by his 6/30/2010,6:59pm reference, here, it has areas of snowfall thickening. So, our fuzzy area can generate its own glacier movements.

    Such a fuzzy hypothesis makes me uncomfortable. But I’m only following suit. I think any hypothesis that allows inland movement that is independent of coastal situations is preferable to his full-length dependence (a second straw man).

    STEVE’S PROBLEM……….In this article Steve has chosn to deny much of what is known about ice sheets, in the service of his ‘melting’ straw man.

    Does he continue down this road? Or does he back-up, to accept GRACE and glaciology?

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