Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Fraud Behind Anthony Watts's "pHraud"

MWAcompilationOfGlobalOcean_pHJan82014You may have seen the recent claims that ocean acidification is all a fraud, because some graduate student dug up old data that shows it was variable (and sometimes low) in the past.

"...the oceans are not acidifying," Anthony Watts wrote. "(For another day, Wallace found that the levels coincide with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation.) As Wallace emphasized: “there is no global acidification trend.”"

Now, any monkey can look at this graph up there to the right, with points helter skelter and no error bars, and wonder about the quality of the data from decades past.

But not Watts, who misses no opportunity to accuse real actual scientists of "fraud."

Anthony Watts wasted no time in labeling this "pHraud," because that's who Anthony Watts is, who he has always been, and who he will always be.

Watts doesn't try to understand the science, he just wants to destroy it.

He's a taker, not a maker. He only wants to burn, not to create.

Watts seems to have spent no time at all inquiring about the data behind this claim. He seems to have no idea what good data is, and why.

Of course, any person past high school physics knows this graph is suspicious, and would immediately ask of its origins and about the quality of the measurements of ocean acidification from many decades ago.

And that person might ask the person who created the graph: where are the error bars?

The person who created that graph is Mike Wallace, apparently a graduate student at the University of New Mexico (my undergraduate alma mater; their quality has obviously dropped).

You would find that Mike Wallace isn't interested in simply answering the question about error bars or his science -- he expects the questioner to dig all around for the answer himself, or to buy it from him for $2000 (see below).

Wallace is a graduate student who has a great deal to learn about the world of science. As far as I can tell, Wallace also hasn't made much of an effort to determine the quality of these data, let alone communicate about them responsibly. He hasn't tried at all to warn Watts+ that charging "fraud" is in no way appropriate, given the obvious issues here with data quality.

His graduate education is off to a rough start.

In fact, the fraud taking place here is that of Anthony Watts, and Thomas Lifson at (quote-unquote) American Thinker. And Mike Wallace too.

So you can see the quality of the science fraudsters like Wallace and Watts are putting out -- without the slightest regard for quality. For science. For people.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: mwa <>
Date: Sat, Dec 27, 2014 at 5:52 PM
Subject: Re: your data on ocean acidification
To: David Appell <>
Cc: Marita <>

Hi Dave,

I've considered your request and, along with your lack of effort to follow up on the crucial information I recommended that you review, and given the questions I've also posed to you which you haven't answered, I have to think at this time that your query is not authentic.

Please note that you have emailed to my business site.  For me as a business person, who is not funded by any for the ocean pH data work I have pursued to date, I do offer a package of additional supporting material to the crucial information that I have already directed you to (which you have neglected to visit).  I charge $2,000.00 US, in advance for this additional information at this time. That information consists of a series of .csv files containing the data I extracted from WOD and a few other sources, and which I used for my curve development.  In those files, I also have included some basic statistical parameters.

One of the numerous reasons I had for asking you to visit my site was because it wasn't clear what type of error bars you are seeking.  Had you gone where I recommended, you might have learned eventually that my curve wasn't from a model but from the data.  Typically error bars are associated with the need to compare model results with actual data.  My plot did no more than represent in a standard way, the actual data I extracted from the NOAA WOD.  Another reason why I invited you to visit my site is because through the related posts, you would see how I went further than that minimal activity and began a long term exercise (still a work in progress) to profile in more detail the actual data.

Or perhaps you were seeing information on experimental/measurement error etc associated with the data prior to entry into the NOAA WOD?  For that information please go to the source, as it is the WOD's responsibility, if any, to report that.   Finally I hope you are aware that many time series data products are posted online and used by many scientists, without error bars.  This another reason that I feel that you don't appear to understand the nature of your own request.

In summary, you don't appear to understand what you are requesting and you don't appear to be interested to learn. Moreover you don't appear to be responsive to my own questions which were important to me to ask. This is in sharp contrast to the journalist I favor working with, Marita Noon.  Marita has put extensive time in to understand, question, and process the data that I've already pointed you to.  Then she produced a set of news articles which accurately reflected the sequence of events regarding many of the Feel2899.pdf issues.  Please GOOGLE 'feel2899.pdf' if you remain unaware of this source.  Marita's good faith efforts were much appreciated by me, and I took the perogative to not charge her anything for the information I provided.

As I said, you are welcome to purchase the data package I've produced, or if you want to continue to correspond with me via my business site and ask questions about my field of hydroclimatology (which includes ocean pH), then my fee for the remainder of this calendar year is $500/hr for private citizens or any other out of state (NM) customer. Please consider our email exchanges to date as my free initial consultation, which is now concluded.

For further communication, we can Skype if you like, but payment will be required in advance and I must work in a reasonable business hour time slot.
If you wish to purchase a product or service accordingly, please email back and I will provide you payment details.

Mike Wallace

On Dec 26 2014 9:27 PM, David Appell wrote:
Mike, thanks for your reply.

My question is simple: are there error bars for your graph (yes or
no), and, if yes, why they aren't on the graph? I'm not going to do an
"intensive review" of your site to answer a basic question the
graph-maker should have answered himself.


PS: I have no idea who "Feel289.pdf" is. I assume that, if you used
their data, you asked them about uncertainities.

On Wed, Dec 24, 2014 at 3:50 PM, Mike Wallace <> wrote:

Hi Dave I would be happy to see how I can help after Xmas
In meantime please consider an intensive review of all relevant pages and posts at my site. You should find error bars proposed for my first time series plot where I only had a handful of points to work from. The rest of the posts are all about the rich datasets that I later explored.  Accordingly after you are more familiar with that material then you might want to rephrase questions or add more etc.

Have you also requested error bars from the authors of Feel289.pdf?

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE smartphone

-------- Original message --------
From: David Appell
Date:12/24/2014 4:10 PM (GMT-07:00)
Subject: your data on ocean acidification

Mr. Wallace,

Hi. Do you have error bars for your OA graph that begins in 1910? [4]


David Appell, freelance science writer
w: [1]
t: @davidappell
b: [2]
p: 503-XXX=XXXX [3]
m: Salem, OR


David Appell, freelance science journalist
w: [1]
p: 503-XXX-XXXX
m: Salem, OR

[3] tel:503-XXX-XXXX

David Appell, freelance science journalist
p: 503-XXX-XXXX
m: Salem, OR

Friday, December 26, 2014

Friday Stuff

2014 is not going to be the warmest year in the records. Cowtan & Way's December anomaly will need to be +0.92 C or greater for that to happen, when the year-to-date average is +0.61 C. November was 0.57 C, the 11th warmest November sine 1850.

You can't extol Cowtan & Way on the one hand (which many people are now using in papers), while pointing to GISS or HadCRUT4 with the other because it shows a record year. 2010 will remain the hottest year.

The Guardian: "Wind, solar and other renewable power capacity grew at its strongest ever pace last year [2013] and now produces 22% of the world's electricity, the International Energy Agency a new report."

Previous world numbers were 18% in 2007 and 21% in 2012.

Wind & Solar = 77% Of New US Electricity Generating Capacity In November.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

More About "Scientific Cleansing"

A few days ago I wrote about the trials and tribulations of Ben Santer in the 1990s, and then I wrote an article for Yale Climate Connections about Santer's talk at AGU last Friday: "Dealing with the 'Forces of Unreason.'" (That was the term Santer used.)

Since then I've come across a copy of an email Santer sent in July 1996 to the leading authors of the 2AR WG1 and all contributors to his chapter (8), a month or so after his ordeal began unfolding.

His words on the accusations of "scientific cleansing" give an insight into how that term was taken by him and others, and the context of the term at the time:
"You will all have received (from Dr. S. Fred Singer) copies of Dr. Singer’s letter of July 25th to the Wall Street Journal. This letter makes some very serious allegations, and again raises the spectre of “scientific cleansing” of Chapter 8. I am disturbed by the use of this term. Over the last few years, “ethnic cleansing” has taken on vivid meaning for most of us. We have seen examples of “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia and Rwanda. “Ethnic cleansing” is a synonym for genocide – the systematic and planned extermination of an entire national, racial, political, or ethnic group. Singer’s allegations of “scientific cleansing” are morally repugnant to me, playing as they do on our familiarity with the use of the word “cleansing” in a non-scientific context." 
It's worth reading the whole thing. Santer notes that "Singer states that there is “an absence of any evidence for a current warming trend," a false claim then and one he repeated at his 2011 symposium at Portland State University.

Near the end of the email, Santer writes "Singer’s charges of “scientific cleansing” are odious in the extreme," and that
"No matter how loudly Dr. S. Fred Singer broadcasts his visions of political tampering and scientific cleansing, he cannot halt the inexorable progress of the science itself."
Santer was certainly right about that, and Fred Singer was wrong.

The (Strong) Ice-Albedo Feedback of Melting Arctic Sea Ice

There was a press conference at the AGU meeting on the Arctic sea ice report, which I wrote about here.

At question time I asked what was the effective global radiative forcing of this ice loss, due to the ice-albedo feedback -- ice reflects sunlight (that's why it's white), and dark sea water absorbs it. So as ice melts the region absorbs more heat, a positive feedback on AGW.

The speakers thought someone must have calculated this, but didn't know the number themselves. A few scientists who were in the crowd sideled up and gave me their business cards and offered to talk about it. One of them pointed me to this paper that came out earlier this year:
K. Pistone, I. Eisenman, and V. Ramanathan (2014). Observational determination of albedo decrease caused by vanishing Arctic sea ice. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 111, 3322-3326.
This paper calculates the effective global radiative forcing due to melting Arctic sea ice,and their result is astonishing, to me at least:
We find that the Arctic planetary albedo has decreased from 0.52 to 0.48 between 1979 and 2011, corresponding to an additional 6.4 ± 0.9 W/m2 of solar energy input into the Arctic Ocean region since 1979. Averaged over the globe, this albedo decrease corresponds to a forcing that is 25% as large as that due to the change in CO2 during this period, considerably larger than expectations from models and other less direct recent estimates. Changes in cloudiness appear to play a negligible role in observed Arctic darkening, thus reducing the possibility of Arctic cloud albedo feedbacks mitigating future Arctic warming.
25% as large as CO2's extra forcing! I find that remarkable -- I never would have guessed the Arctic ice-albedo feedback could be that large.

Of course, Antarctic sea ice is increasing (probably due to changes in winds, some rushing down off the heights of Antarctica -- no many people realize that the elevation of the South Pole is quite high: 9,300 feet.) Eric Steig just wrote about this on RealClimate, and a separate paper just came out.

Using the NSIDC's daily data on Arctic sea ice extent, I calculate the linear trend from 1979 to 2011 is -60.1 Kkm2/yr.

Integrating that from 1979-2011 givea a loss of -1,980 Kkm2.

The albedo difference between sea ice (0.5, according to Pierrehumbert's textbook, pg 154)) and open ocean water (0.1) is 0.4.

However, the calculation of the equivalent global radiative forcing is much more complicated by the angle of sunlight in the Arctic, and the fact that it disappears completely for about six months of the year. (WUWT's chief pretend-scientist Willis Eschenbach just badly barfed on that fact.)

So really the calculation requires knowing where the ice is (its range of latitude) for all individual times, so you can do the integral. That's pretty difficult, which is why this Pistone paper is a good one.

DBT: Marry Me

Just cause I don't run my mouth
don't mean I got nothin' to say....

-- Drive-By Truckers, "Marry Me"

Monday, December 22, 2014

Things I Saw or Learned at the AGU Meeting

A woman pushing a stroller with a cat in it, about 9 pm.

Surprisingly, not one phone went off in any of the sessions or press conferences I attended.

You have to really focus to get something out of the poster sessions, and eventually you're overwhelmed and you go sit off the side and check Twitter.

Twitter gives you eyes and ears in sessions you can't attend. Make sure you follow the meeting hashtag (#AGU14), and maybe others.

Scientists like when, as "Press," you ask them relevant technical questions that show you've thought about some of the particulars.

The meeting badge comes with a bright green strip along the bottom sthat says "Press" -- no one can overlook it. You feel a little marked, but you get used to it.

I heard some people complain when they learned there were RFID chips in the badges, but not enough, I suspect, for AGU to undo the policy. (This petition has only 47 signers, which, besides being epsilon of conference attendees, is weird because when I looked at it on Friday it was around 70.)

The iPhone app "Where Am I?" has more detailed, useful maps than Google Maps; but Google Map's public transit information is extremely useful.

Don't eat all your meals in front of your computer. Or at least try not to.

Make use of the meeting's Virtual Options after the conference ends for stuff you missed and are interested in. You could probably mine that all year.

If you're written an article that includes information from phone interviews, try to find those people if at AGU and show them who you are, especially if you will want to ask them more questions in the future.

I can't even fathom how I ever got anywhere without a smartphone (and that goes double for the Web and Google maps).

When it was raining heavily or I had my luggage, taking a taxi was worth it (about $8 to and fro, compared to $2.25 on the buses and $6 on the streetcars).

If you leave your cats home alone for 6 days, they have a bit of a "Lord of the Flies" look in their eyes when you get back.

I wish I could afford to go to more EGU conferences. (I went to the joint EGU/AGU conference in, I think, 2003 -- it was just a few days after the Iraq War 2 started.) It's a very similar conference and has plenty of good information, but mostly without the American focus. Then afterward you can have some fun running around Europe for a little while. Alas.

If you have N cats and are gone for D days, you need to put out at least ND/4 litter boxes. You will need to clean them out RIGHT AFTER you get home and give your lonely felines some much-missed wet food, then attention.

Put some unique ribbon or band on your luggage's handle, dummy, so you can find it on the baggage claim conveyer belt, or (especially) when someone from the airline gets it via a backdoor and sets it off to the side.

AGU's no picture policy isn't very convenient, but I heard they're unlikely to change it because some pre-publication data and results might be presented at the conference, especially those bound for Science and Nature magazines.

There is going to be a really cool article coming out in Nature Geosciences that will definitely get a lot of attention, but I can't talk about it. Maybe in a month or a few.

Scientists, postdocs, grad students and those who run the conference, babysit the press, provide security and sell food are all very nice people.

I think I read that the AGU recommends you not wear your badge when you're out of the Moscone Center.

There was no net melting (change in ice mass balance) in Greenland this year (compared to 2013).

It is enjoyable to be in a place where no one doubts the existence of the greenhouse effect or that the planet is warming. I need to pay less attention to deniers.

I'll put up a separate post about a result on albedo change in the Arctic sea and what its effective radiative forcing is compared to CO2's. It kinda floored me.

I didn't notice any presentations from prominent, legitimate contrarians, which is really too bad, because if they have results they believe in and think are important, they should present them instead of shying away from the conference. Maybe they got burned too many times.

There are a lot of amazing data being collected from satellites and being used in all kind of interesting ways you never thought of (like calculating groundwater depletion). You can see the day when all this data will be available in real time and archived, with pretty software to led anyone slice and dice everything. Eventually this vast network of satellites and sensors and servers will become self-aware, like SkyNet in the Terminator movies. (My guess is that the very first thing any self aware, omnipotent, intelligent entity does is shut down all the coal plants.)

Book your room and flight as soon as you're able, especially if you're taking advantage of conference discounts. (Like, do it in the first hour after you're notified of deals.)

Early Greenland explorers. Danish, I think.
Use the meeting app or make a spreadsheet of what you want to attend by the hour, or something, because trying to decide on the fly can mess up your day.

There is a huge amount you will miss. That's just he way it is. Keeping checking Twitter.

Everyone goes to the sessions with big-name  speakers, but the people presenting the hard most recent and undercovered (if covered at all) are very often postdocs or advanced graduate students or very young professors -- those with pasty skin who effectively live at their department. Such sessoins are down way at the end of the hall around a corner in sessions that start at 5:30 pm or 6:30 am not enough people attend (including me).

There can never be too much WiFi.

If you're a journalist, try not to attend too many press conferences, if you can. Pick them judiciously. If you do go, go up afterwards and ask more questions or just listen to others asking them, because that's often when scientists, feeling the performance pressure gone, lighten up and say the most interesting and useful things.


"Basically, at the very bottom of life, which seduces us all, there is only absurdity, and more absurdity. And maybe that's what gives us our joy for living, because the only thing that can defeat absurdity is lucidity."

-- Albert Camus

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Heartland Institute Badly Misunderstands CO2

The Heartland Institute tried to be cute on Twitter, but just proved how miserable their science is:

Breathing doesn't create CO2 -- it just recycles it. Breathing is carbon neutral, which is why atmospheric CO2 levels were essentially constant for millennia before the Industrial Revolution, despite lots of humans and other animals breathing --and, as well, lots of animals breathing for a few hundred millions years before the Industrial Revolution.

In any case, I recall reading somewhere that humans exhale only 0.9 kg/day of CO2 -- just a couple percent of what we Americans emit (an per capita average of 47 kg/day (= 104 lbs/day)) by burning fossil fuels.

Sad thing is, I doubt @HeartlandInst care one iota that they got this wrong.

Figure: Carbon Dioxide Levels in the Holocene. Taken from the IPCC's AR4 Synthesis Report (Figure 2-3). Via PeakWatch.

What I Learned Yesterday About the Word "Denier"

Some people who are called "climate deniers" take umbrage at the label -- they think they are being compared to Holocause deniers.

Some people who deny the evidence for AGW are happy to be called "deniers."

I don't have a problem with using the word, because "denier has a very relevant defintion before climate change happened, and before the Holocaust happened: "one who denies." It was first used in the 15th century, according to Merriam Webster.

And some don't have any problem complaining about the word while themselves throwing around the term "global warming Nazis."

So it's a useful word in the English language, applied to people who don't seem susceptible to reason anyway, and no one has the right to tell users of the language what certain words mean or how and when they can be used.

But get this -- the umbrage completely ignores some very relevant historical context.

Yesterday at the AGU meeting in San Francisco, Ben Santer spoke about his experiences following his Convening Lead Authorship of Chapter 8 of the the IPCC's Second Climate Assessment, on "Detection and Attribution."

As you may know, Santer was the subject of brutal and false accusations by (especially) Frederick Seitz, who was president of the National Academy of Sciences in the 1960's and who co-founded the George C. Marshall Institute in the 1990s. Wikipedia:
"A week after the report was released, The Wall Street Journal published a letter from the retired condensed matter physicist and former president of the US National Academy of Sciences, Frederick Seitz, chair of the George C. Marshall Institute and Science and Environmental Policy Project. In this letter, Seitz criticized the IPCC report, in particular the conclusions of Chapter 8. Seitz wrote that "key changes were made after the scientists had met and accepted what they thought was the final peer-reviewed version." He said that the deleted passages removed "hints of the skepticism" with which many scientists regard claims about global warming, and called this "a disturbing corruption of the peer-review process."
Seitz's op-ed for the WSJ is here, and a followup letter can be found here. In between was a reply from a long list of scientists, with Santer first. (Fred Singer also added his venom in a second letter.) Santer said he spent a year and a half of his career responding to these attacks, which included threats made against his family.

In fact, a few weeks before the Seitz letter, the oil industry front group Global Climate Coalition (GCC) had made the first accusations, as Paul N. Edwards and Stephen Schneider wrote in 1997:
The WSJ op-ed was not the first time charges of suppression of scientific uncertainty in Chapter 8 had been aired. On May 22 [1996], a few days before the Seitz op-ed appeared, the small journal Energy Daily reported the same allegations in considerably greater detail. The Energy Daily article also reported their source: a widely circulated press release of the Global Climate Coalition (GCC, an energy industry lobby group).

In its June 13 issue, the prestigious science magazine Nature also reported on the GCC allegations. The Nature report, unlike the Seitz and Energy Daily articles, included explanations of the revision and review process from Santer and the IPCC. Under the hot-button headline “Climate report ‘subject to scientific cleansing,’” an accompanying editorial argued that the GCC analysis was politically motivated and generally false. But the editorial also noted that the Chapter 8 changes may have resulted “in a subtle shift... that... tended to favour arguments that aligned with [the SAR’s] broad conclusions."
Note the deliberate phrase "scientific cleansing."

In 1996.

What else what going on in the mid-1990s? The Bosnian War. Which included the (true) accusations of "ethnic cleansing," a term that has been around since at least 1914 and the Balkan Wars.

And in fact the term "racial cleansing" was used in pre-War Hitler Germany. Wikipedia:
Eugenics researcher Harry H. Laughlin often bragged that his Model Eugenic Sterilization laws had been implemented in the 1935 Nuremberg racial hygiene laws. In 1936, Laughlin was invited to an award ceremony at Heidelberg University in Germany (scheduled on the anniversary of Hitler's 1934 purge of Jews from the Heidelberg faculty), to receive an honorary doctorate for his work on the "science of racial cleansing". Due to financial limitations, Laughlin was unable to attend the ceremony and had to pick it up from the Rockefeller Institute. Afterwards, he proudly shared the award with his colleagues, remarking that he felt that it symbolized the "common understanding of German and American scientists of the nature of eugenics."
So you know what would immediately come to mind in the mid-90s when Santer and the IPCC were accused of "scientific cleansing."

This term continues to be used to this day (right). See also here.

So if you're a quote-unquote skeptic who doesn't like the word "denier" because you think it is an unfair reference to deniers of the Holocaust... well, how about first casting the speck out of thine own camp?

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Just down the street from my hotel in San Francisco:

Monday, December 15, 2014

NOAA Sea Surface Temperature Again Sets Monthly Record; 2014 Wins

For the 7th month in a row, NOAA's global average sea surface temperature (SST) was the highest for its month, and 2014 will easily have the warmest SST in their records, which start in 1880.

To break the record, December has only to have an anomaly above -0.05°C. The last time it was that low was May 1976, when "Rocky" was the most popular movie and Abba's "Fernando" was atop the UK charts.

If you were alive then and you didn't want to be Rocky Balboa, man you didn't want to be anything. (Abba, not so much.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Creature of Desperate Impulse

"Suddenly from speed I turned to lethargy. I dropped the train. I dawdled about. I slept in an abandoned freight car on a siding and made friends with a stray mongrel I knew I would be forced to abandon. Once never should do this, but I found him a little food and shared it for a day or so. I still feel the pain....

"Still, I dawdled. I moved, yes; one has to move to live. I hit the little bakeries. I lived, but in a wilderness of slow freights and sunflowers. Sometime, I knew, winter would come. In the meantime I was content to bob about in the shallows. If there is any truth about these deceptive shallows, which I doubt, I was finally among them. I was as lost as the mongrel pup I had been forced to abandon.

"If anyone taught me anything about love, it was that dog. It is almost fifty years since I last saw him running desperately beside the freight to which I clung. I didn't even have a name for him. I wish we might meet somewhere. I hope...that he survived. But I know better. I am almost seventy. I have lived a rough life.... I know that I will never see that dog again. I may have given him his last meal.

"Let men beat men, if they will, but why do they have to beat and starve small things? Why?--why? I will never forget that dog's eyes, nor the eyes of every starved mongrel I have fed from Curacao to Cuernavaca. Not the drowning one I once fished out of an irrigation ditch in California, only to see him limp away with his ribs showing as mine once showed in the cabin long ago in Manitou. This is why I am a wanderer forever in the streets of men, a wanderer in mind, and, in these matters, a creature of desperate impulse."

-- Loren Eiseley, All the Strange Hours: The Excavation of a Life (1975)

Should Greenpeace Disband?

Greg Laden is calling for Greenpeace to disband after their defilement of the desert at the Nazca lines, the remarkable geoglyphs in Peru that are 1,500 to 2,500 years old.

It was indeed a exceptionally boneheaded move -- right up there with "New Coke," if all they were about was selling crappy sugary liquid. Imagine spending your whole life trying to sell ever more and more crappy sugary liquid.

I hope some of the Greenpeace people go to jail.

Had any corporation in the world done something similar -- maybe laid out a message there that said "Fossil Fuels Saves Lives" or some such, they would rightly be the scorn of the world -- environments, certainly including Greenpeace, would be livid. So you can't treat Greenpeace any differently here. But such a corporation probably wouldn't get the business like Greenpeace is now. After all, we expect corporations to defile the world in pursuit of profits. But not environmentalal organizations.

Of course, Greenpeace won't disband. Last year their income (yes,they call it "income") was €288 million ($356 million at the current exchange rate), and have a staff of 2,400.

But, at least in this case, they do seem to have forgotten what their mission is. I have real idea what their influence is in D.C. or London or elsewhere. How are they supposed to compete against massive corporate bribery of our politicians? I don't know. They almost can't. They, like PETA, are dependent on stunts in this shitty world where only money matters.

Greenpeace has probably done permanent damage to their rep, but perhaps they can recover much of it with some very grand gesture action, something no one has ever done before. Submitting their leaders to authorities for these actions -- all the way up to their Board if that's where this idea came from -- would be a start. Walk into the relevant authority's office and accept whatever punishment is appropriate in the eyes of Peruvian officials.

It would be far more than any corporation has ever done. But none of them should get a pass as outrage is directed at Greenpeace. I'm sure that's just what they're hoping for. It's Shell and BP and Exxon Mobile who need to disband, no less than Greenpeace. But it's like we can't even say that, let alone dream it. That's how fucked up the world is.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Volcanoes Have Caused 0.05 - 0.12°C Cooling Since 2000

A paper in GRL by Rindley et al finds that since 2000, volcanoes are responsible for 0.05 to 0.12°C of cooling.
"...we determine the global volcanic aerosol forcing since 2000 to be −0.19 ± 0.09 W/m2. This translates into an estimated global cooling of 0.05 to 0.12°C. We conclude that recent volcanic events are responsible for more post-2000 cooling than is implied by satellite databases that neglect volcanic aerosol effects below 15 km."
The study examined the years 2000-2013, so the reduction in the trend would be 0.04 to 0.09°C/decade of cooling. That's could be up tonearly half the expected (from models, with no natural variability) 0.2°C/decade.

Here's their time series of the stratospheric aerosol optical depth (SAOD) since shortly after the 1991 large eruption of Mount Pinatubo washed out of the atmosphere:

After putting this all together, they get the following impacts on total radiative forcing and on temperature:

Friday, December 12, 2014

The Bird is the Word

Someday I would like to understand this marvelous song:

which, like many people, I first heard in the movie Full Metal Jacket (which I just watched again last night):

Except I think the line of soldiers in this particular scene, wisecraking right on cue while the camera crew films steadily along the line is badly written, unbelieveable, and facile. (Sorry Stanley K.)

Back a pretty good while now I became friends with someone over the Internet (it's been known to happen), and when I went to visit her and got off the plane in Philadelphia I saw her and her hair was short and spiky. I said the first thing that came to mind: "you look like a bird" and rubbed her head.

Despite that, we were together for 4-5 years, eventually (she first took a 10-month teaching job in Dubai), first in Tempe, Arizona, where I played around in a creative writing program and first started freelancing, then we did a lot of hiking together -- 350 miles on the Appalachian Trail in 1994 (NJ to Manchester Center, VT) and 1550 miles in 1996 (Georgia to Great Barrington, Mass.) -- then we moved to Winooski, Vermont. Because it was Vermont. It was cold. We broke up the summer after we hiked the AT -- we didn't make it all the way -- I developed a pain (that I still have today) in my left ankle after 550 miles, which mysteriusly flared up suddenly over the course of 3 steps, and after hiking another thousand on a bad foot it got to be too much, physically but especially mentally. By Massachusetts I could no longer lace up my boot for the swelling, and we stepped off the trail at some brewery in Great Barrington, where we drank a lot of beer then slept in our tents in their backyard. We couldn't find the energy to go back.)

On such hikes you talk a lot, often just to keep your mind off the pain (especially pain in the feet), and I still often called her Bird (though others knew us by our trail names: Puddin' and Bronco), but I thought the line in the song went "the bird is a winner," not "the bird is the word," so I was always telling her the Bird is a Winner especially near the end of the day to cheer her up, when both our spirits started to flag from the pain and our feet felt like we were walking on bloody stumps.

And still that's how I hear that song. I really miss hiking the AT, and very much regret I didn't make it all the way to Katahdin. Someday I will probably have to go back and try it again, again starting from the beginning on Springer Mountain in Georgia. That is going to be tough.

Somewhere atop one of the first southern balds, early April

Just before Blacksburg, Virginia (me in upper left; Bird third from left, in back)

With Download... somewhere on the AT, resting our feet

With our friends Joe, Lauren, and their daughter Rebecca, who came from Silver Springs, MD to  meet us in Shenandoah National Park. Lauren, bless her, brought a half-dozen rolls of sushi she made, which Bird and I quickly devoured in their motel room while Rebecca played in our set-up tent.

More Venom from Gordon Fulks, Pee-ach Dee

The Pacific Northwest's resident climate denier, Gordon Fulks, Pee-ach Dee, has been keeping busy harassing local authors and the people at Linfield College near Portland, including its president Thomas Hellie.

As if the president of a college like Linfield cares what Fulks thinks.

Below is a recent message from Fulks, passive-aggressive as always, demonstrating the complete absence of the personal skills needed to engage with an institution like Linfield College (or anybody, really) in order to communicate his thoughts and ideas.

Clearly, Fulkes is far more interested in spraying venom.... while looking for support from his googlegroups sycophants.

One question stays front and center: who is Fulks working for? He won't say, even when I've asked him directly -- yet his efforts are clearly beyond that of any possible hobbist or any personal extracurricular activities....

BTW, the speaker he's complaining about is Robert Musil, former CEO of Physicians for Social Responsibility and the author of Heated Planet: How Americans Are Fighting Global Warming and Building a Better Future. Musil was a resident at Linfield, and spoke there on November 10th. Fulks went venomous four days after.

Note that Fulks thinks he's qualified to deliver a rebuttal to Michael Mann's paleoclimate research. Ha. And he calls consensus scientists "non-scientists." Sheesh. This guy couldn't charm his own mother into cooking him dinner.


From: Gordon Fulks <>
Date: Fri, Nov 14, 2014 at 2:11 PM
Subject: RE: [GWR] climate advocate at one of my alma maters ugh
To: Marcia Turnquist <>, "" <>
Cc: Thomas Hellie <>, Jim Diamond <>, "" <>, Therese Bottomly <>, "" <>

Dear Marcia,

I left this comment:

When I went to college and later graduate school, ALL of my teachers were PhDs in the fields they taught.  We did not have PhDs in Public Health lecturing us about Physics - or in this case "Climate Change."  Yes, smart people can talk a good line about many subjects, but in the physical sciences it is especially important that they have a sturdy background.  Robert Musil clearly does not.

Should Linfield College invite only ill-informed propagandists like Musil* or the well-informed but clearly less than honest scientists like Michael ("Hide the Decline") Mann to talk to them about Climate Change?  By doing so they cannot hope to provide a first-rate education.  All that they will turnout are automatons who have been brain-washed on climate.  Is that what they intend?

President Thomas Hellie SHOULD exercise some leadership and insist that students at his college get what was termed a 'Liberal Education' when I went to school.  That meant a well-rounded education.  Students need to be exposed to many ideas, not just those that non-scientists think are 'consensus science.'

Gordon J. Fulks, PhD (Physics)
Corbett, Oregon USA

* Musil's claim that "the earth is melting" is mocked by the evidence:

This graph from the University of Illinois Cryosphere Today shows that Antarctic sea ice has been running at or near record levels for most of this year.  It reached a peak more than 500,000 square kilometers greater than it ever has over the satellite record.

Worldwide sea ice has been running very close to normal over the last two years, as the Arctic sea ice has substantially recovered from its low in 2007.

As you well know, Linfield has been among the most backward of all Oregon colleges.  President Thomas Hellie will not return my emails or phone calls.  Chemistry teacher Jim Diamond responds but usually with political nonsense.  He is very sure he is right about climate change, but cannot and will not discuss it.  Neither Hellie nor Diamond will allow their students to hear ANY second opinions on Global Warming from real scientists with real knowledge of this subject.  The fact that I have the same background in Astrophysics as the Great Global Warming Guru James Hansen, PhD should suggest to them that I might have something intelligent to say.  Perhaps it does, and that is what worries them.

These academics live in a very dangerous Orwellian world, turning out little automatons who are programmed to spread the Gospel according to Gore, yet know nothing about this subject.


cc: Robert Musil, PhD, Linfield President Hellie, PhD, Chemistry teacher Diamond, PhD,  Oregonian journalist Kelly House

P.S. My reference to Michael Mann calls attention to his invited talk at Linfield years ago.  They would not permit any rebuttal.

Date: Fri, 14 Nov 2014 08:25:28 -0700
Subject: [GWR] climate advocate at one of my alma maters ugh
From: Marcia Turnquist (

Linfield again.
I left a comment.
Marcia Coffey Turnquist
Author and Blogger

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Another Sea Surface Record Temperature

Map of sea-surface temperature anomalies from HadSST3 for latest monthThe Hadley Centre's global average sea surface temperature for November breaks the previous November record high -- the sixth straight month that's happened.

It guarantees a record year for HadSST3 -- December's anomaly has only to be above -0.29°C. November's anomaly was 0.48°C, which is the same as the year-to-date average. Easy peasy.

And there's no hundredths-of-a-degree wiggle room with this one -- if December's anomaly is just the year-to-date average, 0.48°C, it will easily beat the second-warmest year, 1998, by 0.11 0.06°C.

It's the warmest 5 years (60 months) in the record, the warmest 10 years, and the warmest 30 years.

It's just warm no matter how you look at it. Record warmth.

PS: Notice the Hadley Centre now gives "Unadjusted SST data" (near bottom of their download page), with the caveat "Bear in mind that the unadjusted SST anomalies contain significant uncompensated biases and should not be used for climate trend analyses." A good idea, nicely worded.

Climate models compared to Observations: Updated

Remember this model-observation comparison in the 5AR? (Sure you do.)

Ed Hawkins recently tweeted (twote?) an update as of October 2014:

Now the observed temperatures are inside the 5-95% confidence band...barely.... But until the PDO changes its phase (which is currently negative), it's probably premature to rule out agreement at the 95% C.L.... (Of course, then people will argue about the influence of the PDO.) (And the surface stations, which have been good enough to show a hiatus, will again be claimed to be faulty, bet'cha.)

Besides, I never know what people think would happen if "the models are falsified," quote-unquote. Yeah -- so what is the alternative? There's lots of modeling to make better before the conclusion is that the GHG parts of the models are wrong. The GHG parts of the models are some of the best known science that is in the models -- it's the feedbacks (& aerosols) that are hard.

I don't see CO2 ever regaining its innocence -- which is what I think a lot of pseudo-skeptics think is going to happen...any day now....