Open Thread 49

Time for more thread.


  1. #1 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2010

    Posted this to Open Thread 48 before I saw 49 had started.

    Hansen and co-authors report that [the last 12 months have been the hottest 12-month period in the GISS instrumental record](

    Cue the usual denialist tizzies, complete with a whole load of goldfishes in orbit…

  2. #2 Paul UK
    June 3, 2010

    Oh curses, another denial meme bites the dust:

    Pacific Islands are ‘rising’.
    I’m a bit concerned though that the BBC are using a popular science magazine as their key reference point!??!

    According to the New Scientist article, the research is published in “Global and Planetary Change”.

    [Link to research paper](

  3. #3 Paul UK
    June 3, 2010

    Actually, i’m not really sure whether my last post supports one side or the other??

    I assume if sea levels rise enough, it won’t really matter how much silting occurs, it won’t be enough to compensate for the sea level rise.

  4. #4 BCO
    June 3, 2010


    Was wondering that myself when I read the link. FYI, this is already on Watts and Drudge as “evidence” that AGW is hokum.

    Personally, for me, it seems to counter the longtime AGW assertion that sea rise would swallow nations. At the very least it tells me that we don’t have a full understanding of the situation if the opposite of the expected is happening, even in the short term.

  5. #5 johnl
    June 3, 2010
  6. #6 John McManus
    June 3, 2010

    A recent Nanos poll in Canada shows climate change identified as the primary concern of thev populace.
    Are we the only people who weren’t impressed by a few stolen Emails?

  7. #7 JamesA
    June 3, 2010

    PaulUK: The article says nothing about either side’s argument, as it is occurring completely independently of changes in sea level, much less climate. It won’t stop the deniers trying to tout it as ‘proof’ that sea levels aren’t rising or aren’t a concern, though.

  8. #8 JamesA
    June 3, 2010

    BCO@4: Thanks for proving my point (I hadn’t read your comment before I posted my last one). This is a classic example of people latching onto localised, short-term phenomena and somehow trying to imply they mean a damn in the big picture. If these Pacific islands have been given an unexpected stay of execution, then good for them, but I don’t see how it makes sea level rises less of a concern overall. Can we expect coral debris to protect all the world’s coastal settlements by 2100?

    And quite how this undermines climate science is completely beyond me. Sea levels are rising, exactly as predicted, and this result doesn’t change any of that in the slightest.

  9. #9 Paul UK
    June 3, 2010

    My take on the Pacific islands research is that:

    1. A number of denialists have been suggesting the islands were sinking due to geology features, volcanic activity etc.
    Hence the research points out that they never really had a clue about what was going on and were just making up an alternative theory as to why the islands were sinking!

    2. The research doesn’t have any real impact on the sea level rise issue. Time scales may be different, but sea levels will wipe them out eventually.

    But of course denialists just deny.
    So all they will do is deny they ever suggested the islands were sinking!

  10. #10 Paul UK
    June 3, 2010

    Another thought, does the research take into account coral bleaching and ocean acidification?!

  11. #11 Chris Noble
    June 3, 2010

    Has anyone studied the remarkable correlation between the rate of arctic sea ice extent melt over the last few months and the number of hysterical posts at WUWT asserting that arctic sea ice is recovering?

  12. #12 Vince Whirlwind
    June 3, 2010

    Remember back in March how Arctic Ice was “back to normal”?

    Oh dear:

  13. #13 Lotharsson
    June 3, 2010

    > Remember back in March how Arctic Ice was “back to normal”?

    And now that the areal extent is … a little concerning, WUWT is “hiding the decline” by making simple little volume models – complete with WUWT-standard horribly (and comically) flawed analysis – but that’s no drawback if you don’t care if you’re describing reality or not.

  14. #14 SteveC
    June 4, 2010

    For reasons best known to himself, Watts seemingly couldn’t resist using his thread on Memorial Day in the US to indulge in some sly character insinuations.

    His closing comment (“…there are people that still want to make an issue out of my question about whether some other bloggers fly flags to show their patriotism or not”) seems to me like a blatant attempt to wriggle out of the corner he put himself in. If he really didn’t want commenters making an “issue”, why raise it as one in the first place?

    And before anyone tries taking shots at me, no I’m not anti-American, or anti-flag-flying nor against honouring the dead.

    More at Open Mind.

  15. #15 Timothy Chase
    June 4, 2010

    Paul wrote in 10:

    Another thought, does the research take into account coral bleaching and ocean acidification?!

    That’s it, Paul!

    Sea levels aren’t actually rising. The islands that are sinking are simply being eaten away by oceans that are becoming increasingly acidic due to our CO2 emi… Nevermind.

  16. #16 Dave H
    June 4, 2010


    > WUWT is “hiding the decline” by making simple little volume models – complete with WUWT-standard horribly (and comically) flawed analysis

    Comically and conically flawed, no? πŸ˜‰

  17. #17 lord_sidcup
    June 4, 2010

    On the pacific islands issue, I recall a couple of years ago a similar study that claimed the land area of Bangladesh is actually increasing because of river sediment deposits. That too was trumpeted by deniers as proof that the IPCC was wrong, even though any increase in land area is happening completely independent of climate and sea level rise.

  18. #18 Andrew Dodds
    June 4, 2010

    Vince –

    Arctic sea ice has a well-known leftist bias, what with being next to the Russians and, even worse, Canadians.

  19. #19 Lotharsson
    June 4, 2010

    > Comically and conically flawed, no? πŸ˜‰


    > Arctic sea ice has a well-known leftist bias…


    Deltoid is in fine form tonight πŸ˜‰

  20. #20 Ezzthetic
    June 4, 2010

    Aw man!! The Wattsmeister himself is [tourin’](!!!

  21. #21 David Duff
    June 5, 2010

    Are you lot still here? Well, you are all very naughty boys – and girls! The game’s over, I told you that the last time I was here. Nobody believes any of that old warming tosh any more and you’re just talking to yourselves. The last time I was here I did try my best to give you something else to be ‘frit’ about, that is, earth-colliding astroids but obviously there were no takers.

    So, how about global cooling? Now, to be honest, but for the Intelligent Designer’s sake, don’t tell anyone I said so, even I am becoming slightly nervous about that prospect. Well, I mean, if the sun doesn’t hurry up and put his hat on and come out to play then cooling will definitely be the order of the day. And cooling, with its effects on agriculture, would be a real problem. Mind you, a winter market on a frozen Thames would be fun – just like the old days.

    Still, if you are all happy to chatter amongst yourselves whilst the rest of the world has a quiet snigger, then so be it.

  22. #22 Robert Murphy
    June 5, 2010

    “Well, I mean, if the sun doesn’t hurry up and put his hat on and come out to play then cooling will definitely be the order of the day.”

    Yeah, because the recent solar minimum coincides with the warmest 12 months on record. Better get out the parkas! lol

    Don’t you denialistas ever check the temp record?

  23. #23 Stu
    June 5, 2010

    >Don’t you denialistas ever check the temp record?

    Why check something you know to be deeply flawed? Must be why I’m not up with the latest ramblings on WUWT.

  24. #24 J Bowers
    June 5, 2010

    23 Stu: “Why check something you know to be deeply flawed?”

    Umm… You know it’s flawed because you didn’t check it? Run that by me again.

  25. #25 J Bowers
    June 5, 2010

    @ 23 Stu. Sorry, reacted too quickly to the first sentence. My bad.

  26. #26 Stu
    June 5, 2010

    No worries J.

    Can anyone help me find that Manabe et al artical we talked about in open thread 47?

    Evidently I read it, but I can’t remember where and now I can’t find it again.

  27. #27 TomG
    June 6, 2010

    Andrew @ 18…
    I’m a Canadian and the only bloody ice I’ll see at this time of the year is if I order something on the rocks at me local pub.
    But if you’re talking political left I’d be willing to contest that bit considering the crew of idiots in Ottawa at this moment.

  28. #29 TrueSceptic
    June 6, 2010

    28 Bernard,

    Have some of us got our irony detectors switched off?

  29. #30 JasonW
    June 6, 2010

    Picked this one up:

    “Carbon ‘burps’ from ocean started global warming”

    At first I thought “eh?” but the article is referring to a recent Science article postulating that these ‘burps’ are a major contributing factor to triggering the switchover fom ice age to interglacial period. Indeed, the amount released into the atmosphere triggering this switch appears to be pretty much equivalent to the amount that was put in in the past 200 years by humans.

    This is further good evidence that a) carbon dioxide is indeed a powerful climate driver and b) the amount of co2 released into the air since the start of the industrial revolution is more than enough to trigger a substantial change of climate.

    it will hopefully shut up the relatively obscure but nevertheless persistent ‘neanderthals drove hummers’ meme that crops up from tim to time amongst the denialati, although i won’t hold my breath.

  30. #32 Bernard J.
    June 7, 2010

    Anthony Watts was just interviewed on Counterpoint, making rather grubby comments about Mennes and about the professional climatology community in general.

    Poor Diddums witht the persecution complex also claims that his paper is days away from completion, and that he did the “data collection and quality control” for it, not the statistics.

    I can’t wait…

  31. #33 JasonW
    June 7, 2010

    Of course ‘days’ could just as well mean ‘five days’ or ‘many, many days’, so I see he’s got his arse covered there. I wonder if he’ll provide all data and code? ‘The Auditor’ must surely be waiting in the wings. Surely…

  32. #34 Stu
    June 7, 2010

    Well this is exciting. One struggles to imagine how Watts will come up with a different result to Menne et al, but my guess is he’ll change the definition of ‘good’ and ‘poor’ sites. Henceforth, ‘good’ sites will be any that don’t show warming, while ‘poor’ sites will be those with lots of warming, regardless of proximity to environmental influences. That should solve the problem nicely.

  33. #35 JasonW
    June 7, 2010

    Sweet. Floored Discount Munchkin of Barking has now been named deputy leader of UKIP, an extremist far-right party in the UK.

    This man is walking satire! Here’s a fabulous quote that had me laughing: “After 1000 years of inexorable progress towards democracy, in the last 30 years _pernicious peculation by Parliament’s political pygmies_ has thrown Britain’s democracy away.” (My emphasis)

    Great alliteration there, Floored Munchkin.

    Right, sorry for this, but some amusing side shows are necessary once in a while. Now back to the science.

  34. #36 SteveC
    June 8, 2010

    Jason, I’ve got the FOI application forms ready, just in case. Not that I’d suggest for a minute Watts would hide anything or falsify data, but should I also ask to see all his emails relating to the subject of his “paper”?


  35. #37 Stu
    June 8, 2010

    Moseying round other blogs I noticed comments from Lubos Motl and, having engaged with him previously (he seemed very unbalanced), I wanted to know more about his career, what happened at Harvard etc. But here’s you random fact of the day: if you search for Lubos Motl on youtube, you get Lubos singing.

    I kid you not.

    Anyone here actually met Lubos in person? If so, did you punch him in the face? Sorry, but he just seems the type to invite that…

  36. #38 Bernard J.
    June 9, 2010


    Sorry for not noticing your post earlier.

    Yeah, I was being ironic, but I only realised after I sent it that I might have been a bit ambiguous…

  37. #39 TrueSceptic
    June 9, 2010

    35 Jason,

    You want alliteration? πŸ™‚

  38. #40 TrueSceptic
    June 9, 2010

    37 Stu,

    There’s an article at Wikipedia with some links you can follow.

  39. #41 Bernard J.
    June 11, 2010

    For the masochistic, [Anthony Watts on Counterpoint](

    One John McLean makes an appearance or two in the comments…

  40. #42 frank
    June 11, 2010

    Tom Harris’s shiny new PR gimmick, the self-styled “Climate Scientists’ Register”, is now up.

  41. #43 Chris S.
    June 11, 2010

    Climate Scientists?

    6: David Bellamy
    29: Gerhard Gerlich
    68: Ian Plimer
    80: Ralf D. Tscheuschner
    84: Anthony Watts

    nuff said.

  42. #44 Chris S.
    June 11, 2010

    …actually I do have one more thing to say. The latest petition has 88 signatories. [Scruffy Dan]( has enumerated 5000 scientists that have signed statements that endorse the consensus including 1700 from the UK alone. Compare & contrast.

  43. #45 Stu
    June 11, 2010

    >Climate Scientists?

    >Hmm: 6: David Bellamy 29: Gerhard Gerlich 68: Ian Plimer 80: Ralf D. Tscheuschner 84: Anthony Watts

    >nuff said.

    ‘You too can be a “climate scientist”! You don’t need any relevant qualifications, just sign on the dotted line!”=’

  44. #46 frank
    June 11, 2010

    > ‘You too can be a “climate scientist”! You don’t need any relevant qualifications, just sign on the dotted line!”=’

    Just think of how the inactivists are going to dodge and weave regarding this…

    Harris: We vet the signatories to make sure they’re highly qualified!

    Us: Obviously some are not.

    Harris: Argh! Argument by Authority! Qualifications don’t matter, it’s the actual scientific substance that counts!

  45. #47 pough
    June 11, 2010

    The mark of a true climate scientist is the use of a real name. For example, Steven Goddard could be a true climate scientist, but Rabbett could not. Rabbett is “anonymous”. Steven Goddard is real.

  46. #48 jakerman
    June 11, 2010

    From the Register:

    >*A common misunderstanding amongst the general public, mainstream media and politicians is that only a small proportion of experts in the climate science community have serious problems with the concept of a carbon dioxide-driven climate crisis. In reality, thousands of climate experts are highly skeptical of this hypothesis.*

    So Harris and friends go ahead and demonstrate the perception is correct! Count the experts in the climate science community. From a small list of (far less than the Oregan Petitions 30 thousand) a small subset of those meet the criteria.

    I believe the term is **”scraping the bottom of the barrel”**.

  47. #49 frank
    June 15, 2010

    The audio ‘proceedings’ of Heartland’s Fourth International Conference of Climate Cranks are out:

  48. #50 TrueSceptic
    June 15, 2010

    45 Stu,

    When did Richard Courtney get his PhD?

    I see that John Christy is not on the list, yet Roy Spencer is.

  49. #51 TrueSceptic
    June 15, 2010

    46 Frank,

    And also, why is the deniosphere so keen on producing all these lists when they also keep telling us that science is not about consensus and that arguments from authority are a logical fallacy?

  50. #52 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2010

    Some of Australia’s scientists are [taking up cudgels against the Denialati’s snake oil](

    Ironic that it coincided with the same day that Tim Curtin waltzed with Watts and Archibald.

  51. #53 sod
    June 15, 2010

    documenting random WuWt stupidity:

    stevengoddard says: June 15, 2010 at 7:35 am Lee Klinger Concentration is a dimensionless number. It has no units.

  52. #54 Bernard J.
    June 15, 2010

    stevengoddard says: June 15, 2010 at 7:35 am

    Lee Klinger Concentration is a dimensionless number. It has no units.


    That equals [Tim Curtin’s](

    So re your last, when you bleat “Or do you now agree with me that R2-fishing is not the sole reason for using a particular curve type” No I do NOT. R2 is the ONLY basis for preferring one fit over another.

    as a contender for stupid comment of of the year.

  53. #55 TrueSceptic
    June 15, 2010

    53 sod,

    See AG Foster’s reply. That’s not something you see in common use but it makes sense, or does it? I’ve got no idea if that is the true ratio of molecules.

  54. #56 Aureola Nominee, FCD
    June 15, 2010

    Re: concentration

    Sorry, I’m afraid I don’t get it. Why is weight over weight, or volume over volume, not a dimensionless number? Maybe my definitions are off, but I would greatly appreciate a pointer in the right direction.

    Thanks in advance.

  55. #57 sod
    June 15, 2010

    now i am not an expert, but here is what wikipedia says:

  56. #58 Aureola Nominee, FCD
    June 15, 2010

    Thank you, sod.

    So, if I understand correctly, the ways of expressing concentration that I was thinking of ARE dimensionless numbers, but there are other ways – and apparently the most frequently used – that are not.

    Good to know.

  57. #59 Lotharsson
    June 15, 2010

    The comment immediately below AG Foster’s reply includes this little gem [my emphasis]:

    > Even if an anomaly value of (e.g.) +4C were correct (doubtful), **it has little physical significance if it is the difference (e.g.) between 260K and 264K**. Both values are below freezing and dang cold.

    So, you heard it here first…er, second – apparently it doesn’t matter if the cold parts of the planet warm up a lot as long as they remain below freezing.

  58. #60 lord_sidcup
    June 17, 2010

    The publication date for the Muir Russell report has been announced as 7 July:

    The denialist response has been available for at least 4 months – “its a whitewash”.

  59. #61 ScaredAmoeba
    June 23, 2010

    Regarding the study ‘Expert credibility in climate change’
    William R. L. Anderegg et al. 2010
    Dr Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, from the University of Hull, UK,
    said: “Who judges expertise and prominence? It looks to me that the authors belong to an IPCC supporting group that must count as believers and belong to the beneficiaries of the man-made warming scare.”

    As a non-scientist, I am ambivalent about this study, it’s a bit like an appeal to authority, but OTOH it’s working scientists who are publishing in the field are most likely to have the opinions closest to the truth. It’s also telling that that the BBC chose only to ask [or at least print] the responses of Von Storch [concern troll No. 352 on Morano’s 400 list] and Boehmer-Christiansen [what expertise does B-C have in climate science? It doesn’t look like much. According to Stoat, she’s on the Official Nutters list

  60. #62 ScaredAmoeba
    June 23, 2010

    Does anyone have a list of Piers Corbyn’s actual predictions versus the results?
    I did some googling, but there’s so much dross out there and it’s hard not to conclude that a significant amount of it originates from sources close to Piers Corbyn. I don’t believe a word of it.

    After-all, if Corbyn’s astrology was as accurate as claimed, he would be very famous and very rich. AFAIK, he isn’t so all these fantastic claims >80% accuracy have a nasty smell of lie BS.

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