Species Extinction is Nothing New

Species Extinction is Nothing New (2012-06-04). Anthony Watts thinks that Australian denialist Viv Forbes’ reviewed scientific paper unposted Letter to (no particular) Editor deserves a wide audience, so he makes it a “Top Post”. “Steam engines” didn’t kill the mammoths, so why would a few puffing coal plants? This is pure stupidity being given a gold star.

DId you know that them “professional alarmists” are trying to replace the “deflating” “global warming bubble” with a crazy new scam called “species extinction”? Anything to force us back into caves with the commies, I guess.

Humans (well a few of them at least) will be able to use their “freedom” to innovate out of any theoretical environmental crisis, so them animals should stop complaining and start innovating too. Otherwise tough luck and rightly so.

Anthony with his usual acumen uses a Dodo (unequivocally hunted to extinction by humans) to mis-illustrate Viv’s deep environmental insight, but I think he just forgot about the Ostrich.

Anthony’s proudly ignorant commenters are near universal in espousing libertarian tough love for the critters…

“Snowball Earth” ended by methane – now an impossible theory

“Snowball Earth” ended by methane – now an impossible theory (May 26, 2011). It seems that, like the White Queen in Through the Looking-Glass, Anthony Watts tries to believe six impossible things before breakfast. We see how hard he tries pretty much daily, but his apparent copy and paste delight here over a Caltech paper in Nature is just routine self-delusional over-interpretation.

“A hydrothermal origin for isotopically anomalous cap dolostone cements from south China” is about cap dolostone sediments overlying 600 million year-old glacial deposits and controversially thought to be associated with microbial consumption of abundant methane. The paper concludes that the cap dolostone was deposited after the abrupt end of a prolonged glacial period (aka Snowball Earth), not as it ended. Also, those rocks seem to have been formed under abiotic high-temperature hydrothermal conditions.

Thus, in Anthony’s fixated mind, it is impossible for greenhouse gases to cause abrupt ancient warming. Some other unspecified thing did.

Strangely the primary theory of how Snowball Earth ended doesn’t revolve around ocean sediment methane discharge, which this research seems to disprove. The primary theory is based on evidence of increased volcanic CO2 and methane emissions (greenhouse gases!) which this research can be inferred to support. Hydrothermal environments are associated with volcanism.

Note to Anthony: arguing over “abrupt” ancient natural climate change, taking place over millions of years, is a weak criticism of evidence for man-made climate change taking place thousands of times faster.

Time Travel and Causation in the Climate Debate

Time Travel and Causation in the Climate Debate  (May 16, 2011). Anthony Watts posts Craig Loehle’s petty irritation with the IPCC.

In the climate change debate, by contrast to physics, the force of GHGs and human evil is so great that it transcends time. Bad things happen BEFORE their cause. It is simply amazing.

He’s annoyed with the IPCC AR4 Report’s attribution chapter, in a general sort of way. Why doesn’t it restrict itself to the post-1950 era when man-made greenhouse gases (maybe) started to (maybe) influence climate? How dare they talk about glaciers in the 1850’s (um, see Skeptical Science), or that “impacts claimed by the IPCC to be likely in the distant future are claimed to be already evident.” After-all, changes predicted by the distant future must only happen in the distant future. All at once (or were they supposed to be a perfectly linear transition over time? I can never keep the story straight).

See, everything's fine! From Skeptical Science.

I guess he’s simply too worked-up to bother providing references or quotations for the IPCC’s implied scientific transgressions. It would help though.

Craig’s main peeve is that “Climate change will cause bad things, and climate change is happening. Therefore, if bad things happen it is due to climate change” is circular reasoning. Those lazy alarmists! QED, if that’s the way you choose to tell it. Strangely he has no problem with the denialist corollary that all climate change is natural, except in retrospect (Oops, too late).

Stanford claims farmers “dodged impacts of global warming” in the USA, but you have to find it first.

Stanford claims farmers “dodged impacts of global warming” in the USA, but you have to find it first. (May 6, 2011). When Anthony Watts does his own posting you can be sure that it will be short and dishonest. Here Anthony disputes a Stanford University report on the impact of global warming on US crop production, which states:

Global warming is likely already taking a toll on world wheat and corn production, according to a new study led by Stanford University researchers. But the United States, Canada and northern Mexico have largely escaped the trend.

Anthony rebuttal is to slap together charts of US corn yield and US temperature to “prove” that noisy regional weather data shows no global warming. He also alludes to the comical “CO2 is essential for life” argument.

Yep, US corn yields are going up. It’s gotta mean something! Anthony grudgingly allows that “some of the gains seen below are likely the result of improved seed lines”, but the honest first approximation is that all of corn yield gains are “likely the result of improved seed lines”. After-all he’s pretty sure that there hasn’t been any change in the climate, isn’t he? Sez Anthony:

What global warming? The last two years of annual mean temperature for the USA (2009, 2010) is about the same as it was in 1980 and 1981, and lower than many years since.

So Anthony’s entire argument is to compare two years of the US annual mean temperature, 1980 and 1981, against the two most recent years and declare that since they are “about the same” this proves that there’s no global warming? Dude, you’re a frickin’ cherry-pickin’ idiot.

Anthony’s lame “we’ve seen exactly this before” deception is only faintly plausible if he deliberately removes the default trend line from his chart. We can fix that though (replicate it here, but ignore Anthony’s advice to exclude the trend line):

Anthony Watts took care to remove the trend from his version of this chart.

As usual Anthony’s also using several levels of cherry-picking to gin-up his “What global warming?” climate claim aside from the two-year comparison windows. The US Corn Belt is not the same geographic area as the continental US, so he’s not demonstrating anything at all about the Corn Belt climate. Likewise, the continental US represents only a fraction of the global record.

The Stanford article also mentions an US trend towards anomalously cooler summers, which coupled with the unequivocal rise in annual average temperature implies warmer winters. US agriculture has been partly insulated from global warming by keeping the growing season temperatures within the crop’s tolerance zone. Why didn’t Anthony address that? Hmmm.