goes dark – is it permanent? goes dark – is it permanent? (2015/11/21). It’s nice to see that Anthony Watts’ jumping-to-conclusions/wish-fulfilment muscles are still in top shape! had some momentary domain registration problems last week (I love the denier comments there – a momentary website technical problem is proof that PhD climate scientists are incompetent in climate research!).

While few have noticed, since hardly anyone but the handful of extreme faithful visit there anymore [this reminds me of the old restaurant joke: no-one goes there any more, it’s too busy! – Ben], it seems that the website run by the climate alarmist cabal of Dr. Gavin Schmidt, Dr. Michael Mann, Dr. Stephan Rahmstorf, and others has gone dark this week.

In exactly the same way that snow fall, anywhere for any reason, is proof that global warming is a hoax (or is over, or has reversed, or has paused) so too does Anthony trumpet that RealClimate must be shutting down in despair:

‘Tis a puzzle, did Gavin or EMS forget to pay the hosting bill, have they given up, or is something else going on?

I’ll just take a moment to remind Anthony that RealClimate is a website run by highly qualified climate scientists for the purpose of rational communication on their subject of expertise, not an angry firehose blast of ill-informed accusations, paranoia and flat-out lies like Watts Up With That.

Anthony finishes up with a bit of stalker truculence; boasting that he can read Dr. Gavin Schmidt’s Twitter feed even though Dr. Schmidt has blocked him (“Help! Help! I’m being repressed!”). Here’s a hint, Anthony: Twitter blocking means you can’t pester him, can’t piggyback on his tweets to spread your bullshit. It’s about dealing with trolls.

Antarctica Has Sea Ice Rabbit Ears, a V for Victory or Maybe It’s a Peace Sign?…

“Antarctica Has Sea Ice Rabbit Ears, a V for Victory or Maybe It’s a Peace Sign?” (2014-01-19). Anthony Watts’ friend “Just The Facts”, better known as “Just the Ignorance” has a keen scientific eye, based on no education whatsoever, and has noticed that Antarctica has bunny ears. Ice, anywhere, means cooling everywhere!

Funny how “Just The Facts” manages to ignore so many of them. Maybe he meant just a fact, not the relevant ones. Do glaciers float when the reach the sea, for instance? Do they become thinner? Something for JTF to ponder.

Antarctic Ice Extent 14-01-19

Sea Ice bunnies have ears, but not toes. Great science,”Just The Facts”! Image Credit: NSIDC

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: and here is the next rotation: You can find many such steps.

Such step changes happens all the time: 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.

Media 101 – How to jump a shark

Media 101 – How to jump a shark” (2012-01-07). Anthony Watts gives a lesson in media awareness, but it ain’t the one he thinks he’s giving. Anthony’s earlier post started as a standard “them corrupt lyin’ climate scientists and their gullible mainstream media partners” post but turned into “oops, I misread a journalist’s simplification of research results and used it to falsely malign the scientists, But I was right anyway.”

Anthony’s entrée into this subject is some Christian Science Monitor and Business Insider articles, not a scientific report. But that’s more than enough for Anthony to wade in swinging.

‘Peer-reviewed journal’ Business Insider said:

Researchers from the University of Queensland found the hybrids to be a mix between the common black-tip shark and the smaller Australian black-tip, which thrives in warmer waters than its global cousin.

“Renowned scientific pillar” Christian Science Monitor said:

The team is looking into climate change and human fishing, among other potential triggers.

Now Anthony acknowledges:

the [actual researcher’s] press release DOES NOT contain the words “global warming” nor “climate change”.

Hence he is once again shouting about nothing. What’s the lesson again Anthony?

Some reactions to the CLOUD experiment

Some reactions to the CLOUD experiment” (2011-08-25). Strangely Anthony Watts’ selection of “reactions” to the preliminary results of CERN’s CLOUD experiment are all denialist or sympathetic. “Some” means “the ones we like” I guess. Just another day in Anthony’s cramped mind…

Pielke Sr. on new Spencer and Braswell paper

Pielke Sr. on new Spencer and Braswell paper” (2011/07/26). Who’d ‘a thunk that Roger Pielke (the dad who’s a grumpy scientist, not the son who’s just a grumpy economist) would, again, sing the praises of Dr. Roy Spencer’s latest paper proving, again, sort of, that there is no global warming? Anthony Watts is excited enough by this startling development to copy and paste Pielke Sr.’s insights.

Dr. Pielke Sr. intones that Dr. Spencer’s paper, On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance in Remote Sensing, “raises further questions on the robustness of multi-decadal global climate predictions”. Yes, it’s the final nail in the coffin of global warming alarmism! Again! This time, for real! Oh, they have to be smart questions? Oops. Remote Sensing, for their part, is a new journal that seems more interested in publication fees than ensuring the scientific credibility of their papers.

Not yet referenced by Anthony, there’s also an enthusiastic “so there!” article in Forbes magazine. Right-wing climate change denying Heartland Institute lobbyist James Taylor sings the praises of right-wing climate change denying scientist Dr. Spencer, also tightly associated with Heartland Institute, in a right-wing climate change denying magazine! It stirs the soul to see all the pistons firing together so smoothly but using “alarmist” in 15 times, in practically every sentence, shines the spotlight in a presumably unintended direction.

So, what about Dr. Spencer’s science? Do clouds really cause climate like Spencer keeps saying? Is the Earth really failing to warm up quite as much as alarmist scientists say it is?  This is just a laugh-at-Anthony-Watts’-lies blog, so today I’ll simply point out some of the criticisms from around the web.

Synchronized shouting seems the only tactic left to the denialists.

2011-08-01 Update: Climate Progress weighs in on Spencer’s science that Pielke Sr. likes so much. Climate Scientists Debunk Latest Bunk by Denier Roy Spencer.

2011-08-10 Update: John Timmer covers Spencer’s paper in the larger context at Ars Technica – Climate change: cloudy, with a chance of competing realities.

2011-09-02 Update: More embarrassing fallout for Spencer covered at Ars Technica – Editor who published controversial climate paper resigns, blasts media.

2011-09-07 Update: Well this hasn’t taken long. Spencer’s ‘final nail in the coffin of AGW’  has completely unravelled. Turns out his crayon version of atmospheric physics has in fact proven the validity of current “alarmist” climate theories and models! Thanks Roy. That’s what happens when you work backwards from a baseless conclusion and ignore logic. Thanks for wading through the stupid, Dr. Dessler (preprint here, watch a video summary here).




“Earth itself is telling us there’s nothing to worry about in doubled, or even quadrupled, atmospheric CO2″

Earth itself is telling us there’s nothing to worry about in doubled, or even quadrupled, atmospheric CO2 (June 2, 2011). According to Anthony Watts, Pat Frank writes excellent essays on climate science. The beaming Anthony helpfully offers a new example of his excellence, copy-and-pasted from his echo chamber partners at The Air Vent: “Future Perfect“, which asserts this comforting “fact”:

Spread the word: the Earth[‘s] climate sensitivity is 0.090 C/W-m^-2. [This of course begs the question: how did the Earth ever enter or leave an Ice Age in the geological past?]

Anthony Watts and his readers embrace Frank’s dim-witted numerology wish-fulfillment with surprisingly open arms. Frank’s conclusion (based on his intuitive grasp of climatology?) is that all this alleged warming is somehow merely the recovery from the Little Ice Age and that we can pump out as much CO2 as we like.

Once again Excel is put to good use, disproving those dang climatologists and their thinkin’. Nothing like invoking from thin air a “combined cosine function plus a linear trend” to explain everything, without the bother of actually explain anything. If Frank could actually explain why his magic squiggle occurred, he’d actually have something. Sadly, it’s clear that he simply pecked away at Excel until he stumbled across an equation that sort-of matched the historical record.

More of a citizen-scientist’s mind at work: “The rest of the analysis automatically follows.”

Pat Frank discovers that Excel can draw flat lines.

My “technical analysis”: Frank has discovered that if you subtract a bunch of numbers from themselves you get zeros!  You’ll aways get a flat line when you plot a squiggle that’s a pretty close fit to the data and then remove the squiggle.

Tamino at Open Mind lays out how a sentient person might respond to such nonsense, first with the quick double-take post Circle Jerk and in more detail with Frankly, Not.

Some nuggets from the keenly skeptical comments at Anthony’s blog:

  • Andy G55 – “This is the sort of REAL analysis I love to see. propa science !!! well done, mate !!”
  • Shaun D – “I agree. This is real science. But I have no idea what it means.”
  • Alan the Brit – “Sound, common sense, well thought through, & logially applied, so it won’t be published in the MSM then!”
  • Ryan – “Fantastic post Mr Frank, very plausible and difficult to refute.”