Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?

Real Climate on Spencer – Bad timing or just bad judgment?” Anthony Watts decides to read nefarious purpose into the timing of a RealClimate review of denialist scientist Roy Spencer’s book “The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists”. They seem to have posted it on the same day that a series of massive tornadoes (nothing to do whatsoever with global warming!!!!!) took out power in Spencer’s hometown of Huntsville, Alabama.

Did they deliberately release their review when they thought they would be safe from Spencer’s devastating intellectual rebuttal? Those cunning, corrupt, dishonest communist climate scientists! But the always high-minded Anthony Watts sorted it out with an e-mail offering ethics advice. Anthony’s readers start the libeling by themselves.

So what of Spencer’s book? Could he be right? Would it really take “only one research study to cause the global warming house of cards to collapse”?

Well unless you embrace Spencer’s astonishing belief that decades of work by thousands of scientists around the world could actually flip into untold thousands of admissions of “my bad”, no.

Instead Spencer accuses “the IPCC researchers” of “fundamental mistakes” that only he has discovered, but never identifies the dumb scientists or references their alleged mistakes. He waves away detailed paleo data with “we don’t have a clue”. (I suppose as a creationist he is uncomfortable with any date before 4004 BC.) He’s so intellectually flexible that he’s already contradicted his own book in later papers. Is it true that “short-term fluctuations in the energy balance and surface temperature are consistent with a low climate sensitivity” (the whatever-he-can-get-away-with book, April 2010), or  that “the climate system is never in equilibrium” ( the peer-reviewed Journal of Geophysical Research, August 2010)? I guess the ice ages are impossible.

Perhaps next Spencer will be confidently asserting that toothpicks are made when beavers sneeze? He should stick to remote sensing, where he actually has some expertise.

Read some other critiques at Climate Progress and Barry Bickmore. Anthony Watts and right-wing blogs such as “The American [un]Thinker” offer gullible high praise of course.

Climate models go cold

Anthony illustrates Evans' science with cartoon of a CO2 molecule (or maybe deadmau5).

Climate models go cold. Hey, we’re golden! Anthony Watts assures us that “Carbon warming [is] too minor to be worth worrying about”! After-all, there’s a paranoid right-wing opinion piece by Australian crank David Evans in Canada’s Financial Post newspaper that proves it.

David Evans tells us that he’s “a scientist” (although not a climate scientist as he likes to imply) who used to be an “alarmist”. But he learned that the “whole idea that carbon dioxide is the main cause of the recent global warming is based on a guess that was proved false by empirical evidence during the 1990s”? Wow! Did someone just hit the That Was Easy button?

Evans is mainly interested in muttering about political corruption, gravy trains and “the possibility of world government and total control riding on the outcome”. But here’s the core of Evans’ claim (note his inability to solve the equation 1 + 3 = x):

For each bit of warming due to carbon dioxide, they claim it ends up causing three bits of warming due to the extra moist air. The climate models amplify the carbon dioxide warming by a factor of three — so two-thirds of their projected warming is due to extra moist air (and other factors); only one-third is due to extra carbon dioxide.

So… if Evans can disprove the implied relative contributions to warming, which he has already got wrong, the whole house of cards comes tumbling down I guess. Evans sets to work. No tropospheric “hotspot”, as posited by climate science, was found in the upper atmosphere! [Except it was.] Evans says all that water vapor was turning into clouds that offset the warming. [Except it didn’t.] Those corrupt climate scientists never noticed the clouds, so they’re wrong! [Except clouds have always been part of climate modeling.]

With this very shaky underpinning, Evans proceeds to assure us that the reason climate scientists won’t admit their error now is because they want to keep their “well-paying jobs with lavish research grants” and are slavishly eager to offer “political power to their government masters.” Why, they “ignored the crucial weather balloon evidence” [nope], and they  are playing tricks with “the way they measure temperature” [a lame invocation of Anthony’s discredited science fair project], and they ignore the satellite record [you know, the ones they put up there].

Kind of confusing until you realise that this whole dissertation was made at an Anti-Carbon-Tax Rally, probably from Evan’s Perth, Australia front porch. The only science in his entire rant is Anthony’s addition of a Wikipedia CO2 molecule cartoon. There could be some nasty backlash over his inconvenient admission that CO2 has even a slight warming effect though…

2011-04-13 Update: Michael Tobis highlights Evans’ flim-flam at Only In It For The Gold.

Help asked for Dr. Tim Ball in legal battle with Dr. Mann

Help asked for Dr. Tim Ball in legal battle with Dr. Mann. I’ve started dipping back into the putrid dung heap that is the archives of Anthony Watts’ blog and came across this recent plea by Sky Dragon Co-Slayer John O’Sullivan. Anthony Watts naturally professes to “have no dog in this fight.” Neither do all the other denialist blogs singing along in beautiful harmony.

Dr. Michael Mann has sued Dr. Tim Ball, “a 72-year-old pensioner”, for libel. He’s also suing the right-wing think tank Frontier Centre for Public Policy, which is probably also a 72-year-old pensioner. That’s not just mean, that’s double-mean!

After all, isn’t poor victimized Dr. Ball “widely recognized as one of Canada’s first qualified climate scientists”? [Not a chance. He’s a geography professor who left the University of Manitoba in 1996. Here’s his rap sheet.] Maybe he’s just a caught-out liar who readily turns to puffed up legal threats against his critics.

Judge for yourself of course but this is how the nut-jobs at the graphic arts crime scene called the Canada Free Press blog (who are curiously fixated on how much longer Barack Hussein Obama will be the President of the United States) recently defended him on a similar matter:

Apology to Dr. Andrew Weaver
By Canada Free Press  Thursday, January 20, 2011

On January 10, 2011, Canada Free Press began publishing on this website an article by Dr. Tim Ball entitled “Corruption of Climate Change Has Created 30 Lost Years” which contained untrue and disparaging statements about Dr. Andrew Weaver, who is a professor in the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences at the University of Victoria, British Columbia.

Contrary to what was stated in Dr. Ball’s article, Dr. Weaver: (1) never announced he will not participate in the next IPCC; (2) never said that the IPCC chairman should resign; (3) never called for the IPCC’s approach to science to be overhauled; and (4) did not begin withdrawing from the IPCC in January 2010.

As a result of a nomination process that began in January, 2010, Dr. Weaver became a Lead Author for Chapter 12: “Long-term Climate Change: Projections, Commitments and Irreversibility” of the Working Group I contribution to the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC.”  That work began in May, 2010.  Dr. Ball’s article failed to mention these facts although they are publicly-available.

Dr. Tim Ball also wrongly suggested that Dr. Weaver tried to interfere with his presentation at the University of Victoria by having his students deter people from attending and heckling him during the talk.  CFP accepts without reservation there is no basis for such allegations.

CFP also wishes to dissociate itself from any suggestion that Dr. Weaver “knows very little about climate science.”  We entirely accept that he has a well-deserved international reputation as a climate scientist and that Dr. Ball’s attack on his credentials is unjustified.

CFP sincerely apologizes to Dr. Weaver and expresses regret for the embarrassment and distress caused by the unfounded allegations in the article by Dr. Ball.

But reading John O’Sullivan’s spoon-fed “interview” one can’t help but conclude that a vicious liberal-environmentalist climate conspiracy is unquestionably trying to punish Dr. Ball, honorable truth-speaker, through the courts. Any money he received from oil companies was “accidental“. The only real error that he made, charmingly central to his accusations, was an “honest” one. And by gosh he’s terribly worried about “the credibility of science in general”.

I urge Dr. Ball’s courageous supporters to keep those donations rolling in. I sense that there’s so much more on-the-record entertainment ahead.

MetOffGate – the questions begin

MetOffGate – the questions begin. A press release from the right-wing think tank Global Warming Policy Foundation! Thanks Anthony, and thanks for the collection of right-wing UK papers singing the same song. Thus disproving Global Warming.

Benny Peiser of the Foundation sez (italics mine):

Not only is the lack of Government preparedness a cause for concern, but we wonder whether there may be another reason for keeping the cold warning under wraps, a motive that the Met Office and the Cabinet Office may have shared: Not to undermine the then forthcoming UN Climate Change Conference in Cancun.

Nothing like a good conspiracy theory. Here’s the first question: how long have you lads been off your meds?

The Dessler Cloud Feedback Paper in Science: A Step Backward for Climate Research

The Dessler Cloud Feedback Paper in Science: A Step Backward for Climate Research. Anthony Watts is tickled with his teammate Dr. Roy Spencer (Ph. D.)’s attack on a new climate paper by Dr. Andrew Dessler:

How’s this for “rapid response“? This rebuttal comes out at exactly the same time the press embargo lifts in Science. We were able to obtain advance copies of the Dessler paper

“Rapid response” in the sense of knee-jerk… Spencer’s critique of Dessler’s paper on cloud feedback, which uses the same data as an earlier paper of Spencer’s, is basically a determined effort to tear down a superior paper published in a superior journal and crow about his own obstinate analysis (phase space!). Accusations by the highly fallible Dr. Spencer of “flawed logic” should be greeted with skepticism, the real kind, and in this case someone has a serious chip on their shoulder…

Dessler concludes that cloud climate feedbacks are positive, and generally agree with what Spencer incorrectly calls “the IPCC computerized climate models.” (The IPCC only consolidates climate research, it has never performed it. Spencer knows this.) Spencer says that clouds stabilize the climate and prevent climate change from occurring (i.e. a negative feedback) and claims that in particular cloud formation triggers the Pacific Ocean’s El Niño circulation pattern.

Unfortunately Spencer’s theory is pure wish-fulfillment, he has neither a theoretical mechanism for the proposed process nor evidence of its occurrence. Dessler’s theory, which predicts that the El Niño circulation pattern instead drives cloud formation, has both.

This blog isn’t the place for detailed scientific discussion, so I suggest readers follow the conversation at Real Climate, and perhaps follow Dr. Dessler’s comments in the Watts Up With That post.

Tip for Dr. Spencer, Ph. D.: Avoid muttering about conspiracies and censorship if you hope to be taken seriously, and stay away from meaningless analogies about x-rays vs. MRI’s to “prove” that your superior methodology unless your purpose is simply to distract your readers.

Monckton’s Mexican Missive #3

Monckton’s Mexican Missive #3. Anthony Watts offers more profound insights from the comical Lord Monckton. The UN’s Cancun climate conference is the beginning of a World Government, probably communist, eager to create vast un-answerable bureaucracies! Etc, etc, etc.

Wait, I thought that the crypto-communist climatologists that are conspiring to rule the world received a mortal setback in Copenhagen. Ooh, this wild speculation thing is tricky.

Examination of CRU data suggests no statistically significant warming

Examination of CRU data suggests no statistically significant warming“. Anthony Watts’ ferociously qualified associate A.J. Strata says:

Bottom Line – Using two back-of-the-envelope tests for significance against the CRU global temperature data I have discovered:”


“let me explain how I derived (by eye – ugh!) the two primary pieces of data I used”

Back-of-the-envelope tests? Eye-balling? Does anyone need to read any further? A.J., who seems more like a Tea-Bagger than a climate expert, is apparently working backwards from various printed graphs! This is classic denialist bunk, even down to accusations of “deception off on a global scale”. It’s kind of pitiable watching these obsessions play out in public.

So how did A.J. pull the Global Warming edifice down? He’s taken sets of what he claims are raw country temperature data (well actually pretty much of his own invention as he’s pulling the numbers from printed graphs) and slapped a line on them so he can declare that there is no Global Warming. I think I’ll wait for the cover story in Nature before I join the parade. Although he has been “working on [this] for about a week now”.

For a laugh, here's a cherry-picked sample of the printed temp charts A.J. Strata used to prove that there's been no Global Warming. These are from Mozambique and South Africa.

In the comments we get more examples of Anthony threatening critical commenters when he asks “Onion” about the weather in England. Anthony likes to use information from his website logs to reveal private details of his critics so he can make them feel exposed.