2010 – where does it fit in the warmest year list?

2010 – where does it fit in the warmest year list? Christmas Guest pudding from Geology Professor Dr. Don Easterbrook. Apparently 2010’s record temperature is “really much to do about nothing.” After-all, if you go back 10,000 years you can find plenty of warmer years. I guess the denialist leg-puller about only needing to look at the last 15 years is out of favor now that 2010 can’t still be brushed aside.

What strikes me in all of Easterbrook’s sloppy “data” is that, at a time when the Earth should now be following a pronounced cooling trend it is emphatically not. Wiggle your way out of that one, Professor.

There are enlightening insights into Easterbrook’s scholarship at Only In It For The Gold (Garbled Reasoning at WUWT) and Hot Topic (Easterbrook’s Wrong (Again)), but I’ll leave the technical criticism to this comment in the Watts Up With That post by “BillD”:

Where is peer review when you need it? This post conflates the global climate record with regional records for the US and Greenland. Then it fails to point out that “present” only goes up to 1905. Over the last 21 years, I have been the editor or reviewer for over 600 manuscripts submitted for publication in peer-reviewed scientific journals (I need to keep a record for my employer). I have to say that I have never seen a submitted manuscript with such blatant errors as in this post. Even submitting a manuscript such as this would be damaging to one’s career and would certainly cause the loss of all credibility with the journal’s editor and the reviewers if any (In most cases the editor peruses a manuscript to check it’s suitability for the journal and to decide on expert reviewers. These kinds of errors and misleading comparisons would almost certainly lead to rejection by the editor, without even sending the ms. out to reviewers).

Even Dave Springer, a Watts Up guest author, comments unhappily (emphasis mine):

The new guest author program, which include myself as one of those new guest authors, appears to have fostered a greater need for internal peer review before the articles are published. Anthony and Willis and guest authors like Spencer and Lindzen didn’t seem to need much in the way of peer review but with this new influx of guest authors the comments are now stuffed with repetitious exposure of errors in the articles.

Is Prof. Easterbrook really so sloppy? Or his he more concerned with finding a story that he can enjoy telling?

Simple Physics – In reality my feather blew up into a tree

Simple Physics – In reality my feather blew up into a tree. Christmas Guest pudding from Barry Woods. Do you know that climatology theories are only correct under ideal laboratory conditions? After all, the cannonball and the feather only fall at the same rate if there is no wind (hence odd reference to feathers in the post title). This means that in the real world climatology theories can’t possibly be right! Actually, I think “simple physics” says that’s true if they are in a vacuum.

Barry’s hopeful and yet flawed logic lets him grudgingly admit that yes, CO2 can produce a greenhouse effect in glass tube, but continue to stoutly deny that it operates out here in “the real world.”

Too bad climatology principles are actually well-supported by empirical results.

How I learned to stop smoking and love Global Warming

How I learned to stop smoking and love Global Warming. Christmas Guest pudding from archaeologist Michael A. Lewis, Ph.D. Unlike most denialists, he believes in tree ring data. Good luck defending that in the comments! He also knows that modest Arctic warming a thousand years ago is proof of natural global warming in the same time period. Somehow. Funny, the Yamal tree-ring proxy chart he includes doesn’t particularly show that.

Lewis falls into the trap of seeing the forest and not the trees. He sees nothing worrying over the long timescales he’s used to thinking in, so why worry?

Two problems. First, the current rate of change is completely unprecedented, so his incurious lack of concern is ill-advised. Second, his own work on changing Arctic populations shows that climate change, whether natural or not, can have massively disruptive impacts. The existing Dorset Inuit disappeared and were completely replaced by the Thule Inuit. It must have sucked to be Dorset.

Some of the Missing Energy

Some of the Missing Energy. Willis Eschenbach keeps trying to use Excel to disprove the Earth’s accepted energy balance. He’s suddenly learned about evaporation and now the counter-proof is “thunderstorms!” Apparently they make CO2 irrelevant. He also introduces the new preferred energy unit, the “tiny bit”.

Try again.

3% of Earth’s landmass is now urbanized

3% of Earth’s landmass is now urbanized. Anthony Watts goes back in time to 2005 for some fresh insight: 3% of the Earth’s landmass is urbanized. This means about 1% of the Earth’s surface. For Anthony, this is proof that all temperature readings are corrupted by the dreaded Urban Heat Island effect, and thus there is no Global Warming.

People! In places! Source: Earth Institute

But what do the satellite readings say Anthony? Oh, not so useful. Too bad your surface-stations project blew up in your face too.

Step one: copy and paste (in this case a 2005 report from Columbia University’s Earth Institute).
Step two: insinuate (in this case about the temperature record quality).
Step three: profit!

Where Did I Put That Energy?

Where Did I Put That Energy? More Christmas Guest pudding. Willis Eschenbach is always good for a snort, but before I even caught up to this post he’d admitted a factor of 10 calculation error…

Willis is trying once more to misrepresent Kevin Trenberth’s “travesty“‘ statement that “we can not account for what is happening in the climate system” (he was talking about simple data collection issues, not that the evidence disproved Global Warming). This time he tries to include the oceans in his argument. Why not, eh? They do cover 71% of the Earth’s surface.

Willis’ complicated equation for solving the puzzle is ∆Q (change in energy added) = ∆U (change in energy lost) + ∆Ocean (change in energy in/out of ocean). He substitutes surface temperature “T” divided by the climate sensitivity “S” (conventionally estimated as 0.8) to get this: ∆Q = ∆T / 0.8  + ∆Ocean  (Joules/year). Nuanced, isn’t it?

As always, Willis’ only path to enlightenment is through crappy Excel charts. He theorizes (let’s be generous for a moment) that:

because energy cannot be created or destroyed. If we add extra energy to the system, it has to either leave the system via increased radiation or get stored in the ocean. There is no “lag” or “in the pipeline” possible.

This lets him assert that any discrepancy is proof that the mainstream climatologists are wrong. Handy that, although it doesn’t show any awareness of what Trenberth’s real concern was: that there were areas of the ocean that are inadequately monitored, with potentially unaccounted energy flows.

Still, Willis races on to his profound insight:

I make no hard claims about any of this, as I don’t know where the missing energy really is. I don’t even know if this is the missing energy that Trenberth was talking about. My theory is that the energy is not missing, but that Equation 2 is wrong. My hypothesis is that the earth responds to volcanoes and other forcing losses by cutting back on clouds and thunderstorms.

Sorry dude, a climate hypothesis isn’t something pulled out of your ass, it’s something that uses a real physical mechanism to accurately explain measured values. Changing thermodynamics to suit your interests doesn’t pass muster.

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.

The Story Told by the Southern Oscillation Index

The Story Told by the Southern Oscillation Index. David Archibald guest-posts on Anthony Watts’ blog, trying to make the case that the Southern Oscillation Index, which supposedly influences the Pacific Ocean’s El Niño currents, proves that Global Warming is all just a natural wobble.

Except the “The Story” boils down to arm-waving over very noisy data (with a side reference to Climategate) and concludes with “for some as yet unknown reason.”

Now that’s blog science, Anthony-style…

Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change?

Has Charles Dickens shaped our perception of climate change?” Anthony Watts re-posts a massive indigestible lump of old nonsense from the Air Vent by Tony Brown. Apparently the novels of Charles Dickens prove that the thermometers all over the world were wrong! Uh huh.

Yup, snow in winter proves that there’s no Global Warming.

Testing … testing … is this model powered up?

Testing … testing … is this model powered up?” Willis Eschenbach guest posts on Anthony Watts’ website and mentions about Judith Curry’s “excellent blog”, where she has apparently been talking in her usual vague way about a subject that she seems to have only a superficial understanding of. In this case about “verifying and validating” climate models.

After drowning us in a deluge of Excel charts derived from a variety of old (6+ years) climate models and using a conveniently short 20-year span, Willis tells us that generalized climate models don’t mirror the specific fluctuations of real temperature trends well enough. This, somehow, is a surprise to Willis. Apparently all the climate models must be discarded now.

Newsflash: “general” is not “specific”. The impact of one-time events will never be predicted. Regardless, I guess we can’t trust any of them sneaky climate computer models, can we Anthony?