CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata

CO2: Ice Cores vs. Plant Stomata. More Christmas Guest pudding! Geologist David Middleton takes on the “Warmista Junk Science”. I think he was a classmate. [Update: No, thank god] How depressing to see him parroting the decrepit “Hockey Stick” aspersions and casting about for excuses to prefer weaker data that ‘suggests’ results that suit his purpose.

Ironically David reflexively deplores “Mike’s Nature Trick“, which boils down to plotting temperature proxies over just the period for which they can be demonstrated to be reliable, but mimics it in his arguments. He tries to deprecate the widely accepted ice core data by combining sparse, erratic, leaf stomata temperature proxies and the insensitive (10 million year increments!) GEOCARB III geochemical model of Phanerozoic atmospheric CO2. This apparently requires lots of very busy charts to give the impression of analysis, but lets him simultaneously claim that ice cores don’t capture the variability the way the stomata proxies allegedly do and that the ice core CO2 is too low in CO2 when compared to the monotonic GEOCARB III data. Nice “trick”.

After all those charts, what is David’s compelling “analysis”? Wishful eyeballing.

In his conclusions David repeats the debunked denialist claim that the “carbon cycle lags behind the climate cycle and thus does not drive the climate cycle” and that “anthropogenic contribution to the carbon cycle since 1860 is minimal and inconsequential.” Yeah, the carbon cycle lag was true over geological time when organic productivity was linked to natural climate variation. The problem now is that carbon release by man has turned the feedback response into the driver and is proceeding at a rate that is an order of magnitude faster. Claiming that the anthropogenic contribution is minimal is just a baseless assertion. Plugging your ears and singing “lalalalalala” isn’t going to change these things.

This is just another case of a denialist who can’t find a successful argument resorting to fabricating one, and David has embraced as many old denialist themes as he can. Naturally he’s greeted by the usual thoughtful exclamations of his Copernican brilliance in the comments that will one day be embarrassing to read. I suppose that in the land of the blind the one-eyed man is king, but why do so many of Anthony’s readers feel compelled to praise such pedestrian efforts? It seems like a hollow attempt at self-reassurance.

What argument could David have made about ice core data without exposing his bias? That they are not sensitive to short-term CO2 variations. Unfortunately this would lead to a new question: so what?

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero

Solar Geomagnetic Ap Index Hits Zero. No sunspots! Has this ever happened at this point in a solar cycle? (Yes.) This means the Earth must be cooling according to “It’s the Sun” denialists. Except 2010 was the hottest year in the instrumental record.

Anthony Watts gives us a big blob of copy and pasted Solar data and hopes we don’t draw the logical inference from it all. The comments, as always when the Sun is mentioned, are a glow with arguments about whether the Sun is externally heated or not…

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 Madden – Julian Oscillation

The Madden – Julian Oscillation. Anthony Watts discovers that our atmosphere sloshes! There are currents everywhere! This means that there is no Global Warming, it’s all natural oscillations!

Anthony pastes in a 1998 atmospheric science web textbook chapter to show his new knowledge, in particular about the short-period (40-50 days) tropical Madden – Julian Oscillation. But he must have choked on this sentence, unless he never read it:

Notwithstanding its complexity and dependence on convection, the essence of the MJO (its periodicity, structure and zonal asymmetry) can be simulated in a GCM.

That sounds like a vindication of Global Circulation Models… They’re evil, corrupt, and always wrong!

Is the warming in the 20th century extraordinary?

Is the warming in the 20th century extraordinary? Frank Lansner guest-posts on Anthony Watts blog, this time with a “proof” that all this warming is nothing to worry about.

You see, we’ve had natural periods of warming in the past and they never got much higher than where we’re at right now. So clearly it’s going to stop warming soon too, and amateur data plots prove it!

Squish anything together enough and you can hide whatever you want.

But weren’t all those earlier periods of warming caused by natural cyclic inputs over thousands of years? And isn’t this one caused by abrupt and open-ended human inputs? Not such a good bed-time story after-all, even though Anthony’s “skeptical” readers are rapt.

Sea level rise: “jumpy” after last ice age

Sea level rise: “jumpy” after last ice age. Anthony Watts thinks that a paper in Global and Planetary Change about sea-level changes 10,000 years ago, at the end of the last Ice Age when sea-level was rising rapidly, means that any rise in sea-level now, when natural sea-level fluctuations are minor, is also entirely expected. Therefore Anthony has a press release that proves that there is no man-made Global Warming.

If sea-level was jittery during periods of rapid rise then of course it can be jittery during periods of stability! After Global Warming Art.

A regional approach to the medieval warm period and the little ice age

A regional approach to the medieval warm period and the little ice age“. Anthony Watts jabbers about the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age again, using a paper by Dr. Fredrik Charpentier Ljungqvist by a history grad student at Stockholm University titled “A regional approach to the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age“. Has it been submitted? Reviewed? Published? Who knows.

Funny how denialists are always pointing out regional evidence to try to challenge global climate trends. Well, it’s not really funny, it’s kind of boring and a predictable intellectual bankruptcy. Strange that there’s no whining about Urban Heat Islands and sneaky “corrections” to proxies or mutterings about the failings of computer models, etc. when the denialists think the result suits them.

The paper, using only use northern hemisphere locations, claims that the Medieval Warm Period and Little Ice Age were global although they seem to have somehow happened a different times in different regions. Hmmm. But this is the first sentence of Dr. Ljungqvist’s concluding remarks:

The presently available palaeotemperature proxy data records do not support the assumption that late 20th century temperatures exceeded those of the MWP in most regions, although it is clear that the temperatures of the last few decades exceed those of any multi-decadal period in the last 700–800 years. (Emphasis mine)

Anthony seems to find the Greenland reconstruction fascinating, as it plays in to his meme that “it’s been warmer in the past, so why worry about this warmth (which isn’t happening).”

Greenland and China temperature reconstructions from Ljungqvist, 2010. Anthony apparently sees a global MWP and LIA in both, I see two regions responding differently.

Length of day correlated to cosmic rays and sunspots

Length of day correlated to cosmic rays and sunspots. See? Anthony Watts was right all along! It’s the Sun!

Thus, the [rotation of the] Earth (specifically the mantle), is accelerated or slowed according to the fluctuations of cosmic rays under the influence of solar activity through the zonal winds… (original article – in french)

Oh, the variations are on the order of a 10th of a percent. Well, it’s still all natural. The solar kooks come out in full force in the comments.

GISS on: How Warm Was This Summer?

GISS on: How Warm Was This Summer?. It was weather, not climate in Russia this summer! NOAA and NASA agree! Thanks Anthony.

It's like a heat wave!

Sure Russian’s hot summer can linked to particular weather patterns. But what about the global climate? Hmmm.

“Though calendar year 2010 may or may not turn out to be the warmest on record, the warmest 12-month period in the GISS analysis was reached in mid-2010.” – GISS director, James Hansen.

Oh, I see. Nothing more than Anthony Watts’ regular cherry-picking.