March 2012 Open Thread

Comments

  1. #1 Marco
    March 21, 2012

    GSW, you could, of course, check the scientific literature. We have been measuring arctic sea ice for much more than 30 years. You could start here and follow up on the references:
    http://adsabs.harvard.edu/abs/2007AnGla..46..428M
    That paper alone already extends the record to almost 60 years.

    You can also do analysis based on proxies and go even further back:
    http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap1-2/public-review-draft/sap1-2-prd-ch8.pdf
    Note also figure 8.13 in that chapter.

    There we have it: supporting evidence shows Jeff right, and GSW wrong. Is anyone here surprised?

  2. #2 chek
    March 21, 2012

    As Marco says, there’s a lot of information (National Snow and Ice Data Center founded 1957 for instance, integrating many local records) to be found out there, already known of course to scientists who take studying the subject seriously.

    The problem is that there are many like Grima who aren’t interested in the science, but are eager to be spoonfed political conspiracy garbage by the anti-science think tanks and their PR creatures, who have no interest whatsoever in presenting a rational picture of reality, particularly if it conflicts with their effort to discredit science and scientists. Hence the head full of similar tripe (cf #265) Grima sustains.

  3. #3 GSW
    March 21, 2012

    @marco,chek

    In case you missed Jonas comments on Arctic ice, a link [here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/09/jonas_thread.php#comment-6246223).

  4. #4 Jeff Harvey
    March 21, 2012

    *WARNING* GSW’s link takes you to the asylum: the Jonas thread. Nobody in his right mind wants to go there. Its a veritable padded cell. I wouldn’t now touch that clown with a ten meter pole. Until I see their arguments published in the emprical literature, then they are to be avoided.

    GSWs analogy is that any aspect of global change should be considered unworthy if we do not have historical records that are completely accurate. So here is an analogy. The populations of many Paleractic and Nearctic birds are in decline, in some cases in freefall. In Europe, tree sparrows, song thrushes, red-backed shrikes, pied flycatchers, corn buntings, yellowhammers et al. have declined markedly in recent decades. In North America, the same is true for Eastern Towhees, Bachman’s Sparrows, Henslow’s Sparrows, Loggerhead Shrikes, Olive-Sided Flycatchers, Barn Owls, Upland Plovers and many others. A number of factors are involved: habitat loss, compeition for nest sites with agressive invasive species like the starling, boord parasitism from cowbirds, and climate change. However, according to the logic GSW spells out here, we don’t really have accurate demographic data for many of these species beyond 50-100 years, then it all may be natural and we ought to do nothing.

    So goes his argument over the extent and loss of Arctic ice, which is projected to be gobe during summer periods within half a century or even less. Again, like most deniers, GSW wants a wait and see’approach whilst Rome burns. He appear to think that 30 years is a long time and that 100 years (the maximum time estimated between the commencement of the ice loss and its estimated summer disappearance) is a veritable geological time frame. And Polar Bear? Harp Seals? No worry. Highly k-selected species like apex predators will adapt in the space of 2 generations. Forget genetic bottlenecks, the very low chance of adaptive random mutation, and the normal time scales involved, these quadrupeds will simply move to terrestrial landscapes. They must have done it before, eh GSW? At least in your lexicon they did. And, if we are to believe you, maybe multiple times in the space of a century or two.

    Earlier you wrote that coral reefs and amphibians are doing fine. B*. They most certainly are not. Here is a very recent (2011) study in Nature: “Bleak future for amphibians”.

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v480/n7378/full/480461a.html

    And a recent NY Times article on coral reefs:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/21/science/earth/21coral.html

    Next thing you know, GSW will run back in tears to his idol begging for help. And I will be smeared again. Fair enough. As I said earlier, if I was being attacked by a deluge of fellow scientists on Deltoid and elsewhere for my opinions on the causes and consequences of climate change, I would do a major rethink. But what is the status of those attacking me? Are they Professors at prestigious universities. NO. Are they fellow scientists working in relevant fields of endeavor? NO. Do they possess any relevant expertise in the field of climate or Earth Science. NO. At least not formally. Have they published anything in the empirical literature? NO, at least nothing they would admit to. That means almost certainly NOT. One of them is a genius in his own mind. But that doesn’t count. Letters and titles after your name do. And these guys don’t have any.

    Next thing you know, they’ll be claiming that every one of the thousands of scientists who are writing about the effects of AGW on biodiversity aren’t ‘real scientists’ because they accept the broad consensus on the subject. If these guys had their way, there would hardly be a working scientist in any Earth or Life Sciences Department, because all those who accept the IPCC conclusions would be booted out. As I said, they are a joke.

  5. #5 Jeff Harvey
    March 21, 2012

    I am too busy today to engage in any more of the comedic rants going on next door. As I said, the fact that a few no-names attack me relentlessly on a blog site means nix to me. Nada. If one of them had any pedigree in science, then I’d sit up and listen. But this sad little bunch are anonymous.

    Frank: great post. Goddard clearly has NO grasp of even basic math. Quite embarrassing, really. But then again, hardly surprising.

  6. #6 Jeff Harvey
    March 21, 2012

    For GSW (and while you are at it, please provide me with your ‘proof’ that coral reefs, polar bears and amphibians are ‘doing fine’. Methinks you either made this up on the spot or else were told this by the resident loony).

    http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2011/11/22/science-arctic-sea-ice-loss.html

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v479/n7374/full/nature10581.html

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/science/vast-methane-plumes-seen-in-arctic-ocean-as-sea-ice-retreats-6276278.html

    Sigh. I guess none of these people are ‘real scientists’ either? FYI: check out the one who is begging his readers to believe him, who is making all the insults, false innuendoes, whilst claining that somehow the vast majority of contributors to Deltoid actually support him. One guess, people. He’s nuts. Hence why I won’t go there again.

  7. #7 Marco
    March 21, 2012

    GSW, care to tell me why I should take notice of Jonas’ comments on Arctic sea ice? Who is “Jonas” that his comments should bear any weight similar to that of actual working scientists studying the subject on a daily basis?

    BTW, these are rhetorical questions, I already know your answer: you believe Jonas should be listened to, because he has an opinion that fits your delusion-du-jour. Whether it is well-informed or not, fits the facts or not, matters not to you, as it is all about the conclusion that can be drawn from his opinion: “nothing to see here, just move on”.

  8. #8 GSW
    March 21, 2012

    @jeff,marco,

    I sure you are aware, hence your hopping up, down and general frothing at the mouth. For others, links to [Jonas' responses](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2011/09/jonas_thread.php#comment-6246315).

    He’s a bright chap Jonas, get’s to the “core” of issue immediately. Infuriating for you I’m sure , but reality just “is” I’m afraid.
    ;)

  9. #9 ianam
    March 21, 2012

    GSW, referring to that thread is verboten. You’re just doing it to bait people, because you’re a piece of denialist scum feces who should be banished to that thread along with your other sockpuppets.

  10. #10 ianam
    March 21, 2012

    How do you know?

    Because, you denialist troll scum, unlike you we aren’t ignorant, stupid, and dishonest.

    So much for doing “Science” jeff.

    Indeed Jeff does science, moron, a subject quite beyond you.

  11. #11 chek
    March 21, 2012

    He’s a bright chap Jonas, get’s to the “core” of issue immediately.

    *Guffaw*
    I’m inescapably reminded of Krugman’s comment about “a stupid person’s idea of a smart person”.

  12. #12 Jeff Harvey
    March 21, 2012

    *He’s a bright chap Jonas, get’s to the “core” of issue immediately*

    Yeh, too bad the core is rotten.

    Besides, GSW, when are you going to get to the ‘core’ of your quip about the curent status of Polar Bears, coral reefs and amphibians?

  13. #13 Marco
    March 21, 2012

    I think I am getting inocculated against stupidity, because I am not even mildly disappointed that GSW does not give a substantial response. He’s just hiding behind Jonas, the serial obfuscator.

    I’m not sure if that’s a good development, as it may mean getting indifferent when my own students don’t know what they’re talking about, or when nonsense is published in the scientific literature.

  14. #14 GSW
    March 21, 2012

    @jeff #308

    “He’s a bright chap Jonas, get’s to the “core” of issue immediately”

    Yes he is a bright chap jeff, saw thru you straight away didn’t he?
    ;)

  15. #15 bill
    March 21, 2012

    Um, could we get the Scandinavian Dunning-Krugerite League, and all that pertains to them, back in the specially-designed encosure, please?

    I really find it hard to imagine anything more inconsequential than their opinion on any matter. They’re a reliable indicator for where The Stupid lies in a debate, sure, but scarcely worth exposing oneself to in any detail…

  16. #16 chek
    March 21, 2012

    Seconded, Bill. It could be christened the Beavis and his two loyal Buttheads thread.

  17. #17 Stu
    March 21, 2012

    Oh come on guys, it’s fun. Just follow GSW’s link to Jonas’s rebuttal. (TL;DR: But, but: HOLOCENE!)

  18. #18 Scribe
    March 21, 2012

    The rally, which was entitled ”The Planet is Cooling” was then addressed in person by South Australian geologist Professor Ian Plimer. Report.

  19. #19 John
    March 22, 2012

    >Mr Pearson, a retired New South Wales public servant, said his headware was a sartorial riposte to journalist Laurie Oakes for describing anti carbon tax protesters as “wing nuts.”

    >He said he’d gone to Bunnings, bought the biggest wing nut he could find, enlarged images of it on a photocopier, and made it into a hat.

    Well I’m sold

  20. #20 adelady
    March 22, 2012

    Speaking as a South Australian, I’d just like to say …..

    Oh, look. The grapes have been picked and this year’s vintage from the premier wine state will be up for tasting pretty soon. And there’s a terrific show on at the National Wine Centre beside the Botanic Gardens.

    Otherwise I’d have to hang my head in shame. (At least he wasn’t born here.)

  21. #21 bill
    March 22, 2012

    Re John @#315 Maybe they could just bolt the nuts straight on to Clive Palmer’s tinfoil hat?

    Applying The Stupid to The Irony…

  22. #22 Lotharsson
    March 22, 2012

    > The rally…

    Wow, about 200 people (about 20 of which were in penguin suits). Huge mass movement there…

    …and I wouldn’t be surprised if Sting was pissed off by their use of his song.

    And tangentially invoking [people who addressed the little rally](http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/opinion/blogs/blunt-instrument/clives-ruined-it-for-all-us-ciafunded-rabble-rousers-20120321-1vjr3.html):

    > How is Tony going to demonise the Greens now that the whole world knows they’re not a bunch of lentil eating flatulators bent on winding civilisation back to the days when we all lived in bark huts and ate bowls of bugs and twigs for breakfast? How will the Boltbrechston Hivemind portray them as enemies of the state when we now know every second person in the Greens party is not just an agent of the state, but a totally freaking awesome super agent with nano-missiles embedded under their fingernails and scramjet nozzles where the rest of us have a standard issue anal orifice[?]

  23. #23 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2012

    I see that GSW and his idol still cannot substantiate their claim that ‘polar bears, coral reefs and frogs are doing fine’. Just another example of their so-called ‘scientific’ discourse. The truth is quite different from that they make up on the spot.

    Now, unlike the Scandinavian trolls (led by the self-professed God of Knowledge) and their single foreign worshipper, I have REAL science to do. This is what must really gall them – me being a real scientist and all, doing all the things a scientist does, and they, stuck in one tiny innocuous thread in the blogosphere, where their rants reach the very few. It must hurt, given the amount of time they spend here. So all that’s left is more insults, smears, silly denigrating remarks that I have become used to receiving from anti-environmentalists over the years.

    The thing is that honest and esteemed scientists – like Michael Mann, James Hansen, Paul Ehrlich, and even Edward O. Wilson – realize that in stepping into the public arena they were going to take hits from loonies on the far end of the political right. I have since I did so more than ten years ago. To reiterate what I said yesterday, the fact that I have raised the ire of the nutters here says that I must be doing something right. Note that the most strident deniers are generally those who are intellectual wannabes, and who are not practicing scientists. The other thread has proven that in spades.

  24. #24 GSW
    March 22, 2012

    @jeff

    “polar bears, coral reefs and frogs are doing fine”

    Whats wrong with that? all these have been simplistically misatributed to CAGW at one time or another. Gore and his PBs, bleaching events and coral recovery have likely always occured, and the 80% decline in frog populations was due to a virus, not CAGW as you lot have unashamedly peddled.

    Looking back, I mentioned the Himalayas and Greenland in the comment to Scribe, Not You, how rude! The fact you don’t mention them now is some acknowledgement you don’t think they are problem. Progress!

    As for your work today, Good Luck with the Spells and incantations.
    ;)

  25. #25 John
    March 22, 2012

    >Whats wrong with that? all these have been simplistically misatributed to CAGW at one time or another[citation needed].

    >Whats wrong with that? all these have been simplistically misatributed to CAGW at one time or another[citation needed]. Gore and his PBs, bleaching events and coral recovery have likely always occured[citation needed], and the 80% decline in frog populations was due to a virus, not CAGW as you lot have unashamedly peddled[citation needed].

    Fixed

  26. #26 rhwombat
    March 22, 2012

    GSW. Chytrid is a fungus, fuckwit.

  27. #27 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2012

    “80% decline in frog populations was due to a virus”

    Citations needed, GSW, not information gleaned off the top of your own head. And now you are claiming that frogs aren’t doing fine at all, just that in your opinion AGW plays only a small role in the global declines. So, in the end, you shoot yourself in the foot. No wonder you go crying back to wonder boy. If this is the level of your debating skills, then its no small wonder you need help from ‘above’.

    Besides, the various factors involved in the global amphibian declines are almost certainly not mutually exclusive but are synergized. In other words, different stressors work in concert – the organisms become more susceptible to viral infections when abiotic conditions – the amount of exposure to uv radition, climate change etc. challenge them physiologically. So to apportion 80% of the decline to a simple causative factor is wrong.

    But why tell you this? You’ve already dug yourself a hole to deep to get out from.

  28. #28 GSW
    March 22, 2012

    @Jeff,

    I thought frogs were your area of expertise, never heard of the Ranavirus? or chytrid fungus? There’s been a world-wide epidemic. I know you don’t read the “Primary” climate science literature but I thought you may do slightly better in your own field!

    And Yes, none of these potential Catastrophes are down to a single cause, it’s a complex mix. The simplistic “The World’s going to hell in a hand basket because of C02″ is just downright wrong – No matter how ideologically you would like it to be so.

    Signs are frog populations are recovering, good news I’m sure you will agree, Co2 levels still rising though, go figure.

    You happy to agree the scares over the Himalayas and the 10′s of metres of sea-level rise this century due to Greenland Ice sheet melt were somewhat over-stated (twas ever so)? – you seem to be ignoring this.

    How’s the Alchemy going?
    ;)

  29. #29 John
    March 22, 2012

    >I thought frogs were your area of expertise, never heard of the Ranavirus? or chytrid fungus?[citation needed] There’s been a world-wide epidemic. [citation needed] I know you don’t read the “Primary” climate science literature [citation needed] but I thought you may do slightly better in your own field!

    >And Yes, none of these potential Catastrophes are down to a single cause, it’s a complex mix. The simplistic “The World’s going to hell in a hand basket because of C02″ [citation needed] is just downright wrong [citation needed] – No matter how ideologically you would like it to be so. [citation needed]

    >Signs are frog populations are recovering [citation needed], good news I’m sure you will agree, Co2 levels still rising though, go figure.

    >You happy to agree the scares over the Himalayas and the 10′s of metres of sea-level rise this century [citation needed] due to Greenland Ice sheet melt were somewhat over-stated [citation needed] (twas ever so)? – you seem to be ignoring this.

  30. #30 chek
    March 22, 2012

    Grima Suckas the question is, why on Earth do you imagine that your inane, startlingly uninformed, klutz-brained opinions are of interest to anyone on a science blog?

    Are you really that starved of attention trhat derision is good enough?

  31. #31 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2012

    GSW, sure I have heard of the viral pathogens, and I never said they didn’t play a major role in the global decline of frogs and other amphibians. Also, its a bit rich for you and your idol to repeatedly call me a liar when I never claimed that climate change was the major factor in these declines. But it is a major factor. And no, as the Nature article I cited yesterday shows, a large number of amphibian species and populations continue to decline. Most species are not receovering, because they face a number of environmental threats of which climate change is decidedly in the mix. Where is your list of citations reporting large-scale recoveries? These organisms have a semi-permerable mebrane and are therefore very susceptible to rapid changes in the environment – chemical, physical, biotic and abiotic. Throwing your hads in the air and leaving warming out of the scenario is plainly stupid. It is a factor that exacerbates the effects of other stressors, and will clearly become more important as biotic zones shift polewards.

    I also never claimed C02 and its attendant climate change is the only – or even the most important – process with respect to human simplification of the biosphere. But it is certainly a major threat to biodiversity. Just because you and few other non-scientific right wingers here think otherwise does not make it so.

    While you are at it, you might as well tell your sidekick over at his own thread to shut up. I don’t go there anymore. It appears that the only people who read his guff are you, Olaus and a few other contrarians from Sweden.

  32. #32 John
    March 22, 2012

    You have to laugh when deniers like GSW point to the most extreme claims (divorced of context, of course) and decide that because the claims are wrong there is nothing to worry about.

    >Where is your list of citations reporting large-scale recoveries?

    GSW’s thinking is:

    1. Al Gore claims frog populations are falling because of global warming
    2. Global warming is a hoax, therefore:
    3. frog populations are increasing

  33. #33 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2012

    As I said, forgs and other amphibians are in deeper trouble than ever. Here is a good overview on Wikipedia:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decline_in_amphibian_populations

    Climate change is certainly an important factor, along with others described here. Teasing apart the causes is difficult, if not impossible to do independently. But more extreme conditions, such as droughts, heat waves, cloud cover, etc. will certainly impact amphibian populations. These organisms are the metaphorical miner’s canaries: excellent indicators of profound changes in the environment mediated by human actions.

  34. #34 Jeff Harvey
    March 22, 2012

    …and to top if off is the heatwave across the midwestern USA that is now reaching the east. Its unbelieveable by any stretch of the imagination. Some areas are breaking their old high records by as many as 15-20 degrees F – and Chicago is only one day shy of breaking its April record for days in that month over 80 F!!!

    During the past few weeks, 3550 warm weather records have been broken against only 18 cold weather records. This is certainly a sign of things to come.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/capital-weather-gang/post/exceptional-march-heat-wave-re-writing-history-in-midwest-great-lakes-and-northeast/2012/03/21/gIQAp8MESS_blog.html

  35. #35 lord_sidcup
    March 22, 2012

    Wow, what a car crash – James Delingpole interviewed on BBC radio today. The interpreter of interpretations comes in [at 1 hour 16 mins](http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b01djp25/Richard_Bacon_22_03_2012/).

    It is a shame Richard Bacon didn’t do a bit more preparation. He might have picked Delingpole up on the no warming since 1998, more polar bears than 50 years ago (when they were being hunted to near extinction) and other nonesense. Even so, Delingpole does just come across as the preposterous and angry conspiracy theorist he is.

  36. #36 jerryg
    March 22, 2012

    Hi Jeff, There was a regional record here for the 2011-2012 winter. Beat the previous average set in 1931-1932 by more than a degree F. The average was also 7 degrees higher than normal winter temps. We’ve been hitting over 70 degrees every day this week in rural NE Pennsylvania.

  37. #37 MikeH
    March 22, 2012

    Thanks for the link Jeff. Here is another.

    Pellston, Michigan in the Northern Lower Peninsula is called “Michigan’s Icebox”, since it frequently records the coldest temperatures in the state, and in the entire nation. But the past five days, Pellston has set five consecutive records for hottest March day. Yesterday’s 85° reading broke the previous record for the date (53° in 2007) by a ridiculous 32°, and was an absurd 48°F above average.

    http://www.wunderground.com/blog/JeffMasters/article.html?entrynum=2058

  38. #38 GSW
    March 23, 2012

    While we’re all getting excited by “Weather” in the US,

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/22/all-time-snowfall-records-fall-across-western-oregon-sw-washington/

    ““Many cities across Western Oregon and Southwest Washington are setting all-time cold and snowfall records for this late in the season. Since Tuesday night, the Willamette Valley has been blanketed with anywhere from 2″ to 9″ of snow from Vancouver, WA. south to Eugene, Oregon.”

  39. #39 chek
    March 23, 2012

    The point that you seem to be willfully missing Grima is that these extreme and record weather events (and the record snowfall story is already covered in MikeH’s link well enough without any further input from Watts’ ignorati) are following a pattern as predicted by AGW.

    Your alternative ‘it’s all natural’ assertion is powerless, whereas AGW theory tells us such events will increase in frequency as planetary warming continues with hot weather events outnumbering cold weather events by [approx ten to one.](http://www.wunderground.com/climate/extremes.asp)

  40. #40 Jeff Harvey
    March 23, 2012

    GSW,

    Watts is full of you-know-what. But we all know that. Check the ratio of warm-cold weather records in the US. More than 3500 of the former against 18 of the latter. And warm records are not only being broken, but as MikeH said they are being smashed to pieces. Like it or not, these conditions are well outside of any normal variance. By any stretch of the imagination what has transpired over much of the US and southern Canada is incredible.

    Trust the deniers to grasp at their ever dwindling straw supply and to cite a few cold weather examples, as if there is a balance. There isn’t. Like the heat wave that hammered Russia in 2010, we are seeing a broader pattern of exceptional conditions occurring over more of the globe that are probably unprecedented in a long, long time. And its almsot certain to get worse.

  41. #41 Karen
    March 23, 2012

    Dream on Jeff, can you prove that last statement ?

    Also try to the same with Sth America, China, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, it will be difficult.

    CO2 is rising and global temperatures appear to be on the decline, quite the contrary to the doom mongers predictions.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/plot/esrl-co2/normalise

  42. #42 GWB's Nemesis
    March 23, 2012

    GSW and Watts miss the fact that the small number of cold weather records are linked to the large number of warm weather records. A high school level of understanding of synpoptic scale weather processes allows one to recognise that the warm weather has been driven by an unusual jetstream pattern, which basically consists of a cut-ff low forming a giant eddy above the Western US. This is responsible for the extreme temperatures across the east and for drawing in cold weather to the west.

    In other words these cold weather records are indicative of a continental-scale exceptional weather event. It is pitiful to watch denialists trying to imply that cold weather records in some way balance the warm weather records elsewhere.

  43. #43 Hasis
    March 23, 2012

    I thought this comment worth importing from RC where DanH is attempting the same BS

    DanH says: “Yes, many of us here in Michigan are enjoying these four sigma above normal days – it is a real rare event for us to be this warm this early. On the flip side, my dad in Arizona is two sigma below normal.”

    to which t-p-hamilton responds:

    4 sigma 2 x 10^-8

    2 sigma 5 x 10^-3

    Not even close to the same. The number of record highs is increasing, the number of record lows is decreasing. The odds of that being just due to chance, and not a shift in the distribution, are google sigma.

  44. #44 Karen
    March 23, 2012

    GWB’s Nemesis, here is a new paper for your perusal.

    Environmental Research Letters Volume 7 Number 1 Create an alert RSS this journal

    N Pederson et al 2012 Environ. Res. Lett. 7 014034 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/7/1/014034

    A long-term perspective on a modern drought in the American Southeast.

    abstract

    “The depth of the 2006–9 drought in the humid, southeastern US left several metropolitan areas with only a 60–120 day water supply. To put the region’s recent drought variability in a long-term perspective, a dense and diverse tree-ring network—including the first records throughout the Apalachicola–Chattahoochee–Flint river basin—is used to reconstruct drought from 1665 to 2010 CE. The network accounts for up to 58.1% of the annual variance in warm-season drought during the 20th century and captures wet eras during the middle to late 20th century. The reconstruction shows that the recent droughts are not unprecedented over the last 346 years. Indeed, droughts of extended duration occurred more frequently between 1696 and 1820. Our results indicate that the era in which local and state water supply decisions were developed and the period of instrumental data upon which it is based are amongst the wettest since at least 1665. Given continued growth and subsequent industrial, agricultural and metropolitan demand throughout the southeast, insights from paleohydroclimate records suggest that the threat of water-related conflict in the region has potential to grow more intense in the decades to come.”

  45. #45 Hasis
    March 23, 2012

    So dendro is back in favour now is it?

  46. #46 Lars Karlsson
    March 23, 2012

    lord_sidcup @ 331,

    Delingpole acutally claims that there is a concensus among paleoclimatologists that it was warmer during medieval times than it is now. (Around 1:22)

    What a completely shameless liar that man is.

  47. #47 John
    March 23, 2012

    It’s cold somewhere is it? All I see if GSW scraping the bottom of the barrel. C’mon GSW. Not even gullible old you believes that one.

  48. #48 Jeff Harvey
    March 23, 2012

    Sunsp…. er Karen, writes, “CO2 is rising and global temperatures appear to be on the decline, quite the contrary to the doom mongers predictions”.

    This is kindergarten-level science. To be ignored. It assumes that at very short time scales the relationship between atmsopheric C02 and temperature must increase linearly. But of course this ignores short term perterbations that can transiently mask the longer term effects. Its akin to saying that one week in one year is warmer in March than in May, hence there is no relationship between month and temperature.

    Come on Spotty, you can do better than this. Its clear you’ve never set foot near a science class or lab in your life. Take your D- shinanigans elsewhere.

  49. #49 chek
    March 23, 2012

    What a completely shameless liar that man (Delingpole) is.

    Once again, some consensus are more equal than others in denier la-la land.

    It’s quite plain to hear, listening to the pompous little git, how easily Paul Nurse ‘intellectually raped’ him. Mind you Homer Simpson could likely intellectually gang-bang ‘Dellers’ too.

  50. #50 lord_sidcup
    March 23, 2012

    @342

    Delingpole acutally claims that there is a concensus among paleoclimatologists that it was warmer during medieval times than it is now. (Around 1:22)

    Whilst also insisting science doesn’t work by consensus! It would be fab to see Delingpole up against someone who knows their stuff. He got off really lightly when he came up against Paul Nurse.

  51. #51 Dave H
    March 23, 2012

    Karen supplies a link which takes three clicks to turn into [this](http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/rss/trend/plot/esrl-co2/normalise).

  52. #52 GWB's Nemesis
    March 23, 2012

    Karen, thanks – that’s interesting. First, I am really pleased that you now accept the veracity of dendrochronology as a technique – that is a big step forward as it means that you can no longer argue against the hockey-stick. Second, the paper indicates that the climate has been much drier even without warming (note that this work is about rainfall deficit not temperature). That suggests that the threats to SE USA from the combination of a return to drier conditions and increased temperatures from AGW are even more serious.

    It is an impressive feat to shoot yourself in both feet with a single post, but then it is not the first time you have done so.

  53. #53 chris
    March 23, 2012

    In other news, on Dennis Miller’s radio show the highly respected Lord Monckton denies that he is a birther but…

    [Via the Daily Caller](http://dailycaller.com/2012/03/22/lord-monckton-im-no-birther-but-obama-birth-certificate-plainly-a-forgery/).

    Can’t wait to hear his views on EVILUTION!!!

  54. #54 Jeff Harvey
    March 23, 2012

    Glad to see the crazies are having fun in their little asylum. Stu, for heaven’s sake let them wallow in their pit of ignorance. Its an incestuous thread: the three stooges bandying around drivel that no one else reads. Two of them (Olaus and GSW) veritably worship the third (Jonas). That’s it. End of story. The scientific community pays them no attention. Not a single person with any scientific credibility will go there. What galls them is that scientists like Mann, Hansen et al. are listened to. They get a forum. They speak at international scientific conferences and prestigious venues like the TED lecture series. Heck, I have been invited to the Ecological Society of America venue in Portland, Oregon to speak in a session there in August. I recently gave an invited lecture at the University of Toronto. Don’t hold your breath waiting for the three stooges to be invited anywhere soon. The only invite they’ll get is to a local watering hole. There is justice is science after all.

  55. #55 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    can you prove that last statement ?

    It follows deductively from your own observation, “CO2 is rising”, via basic physics.

    Also try to the same with Sth America, China, Australia, New Zealand and Russia, it will be difficult.

    Incoherent non sequitur.

    global temperatures appear to be on the decline

    Only to someone stunningly blind, stupid, and dishonest. After Mike H’s post, a human being would hide forever in shame, but Karenspot, being a mere fecal stain, is unfazed.

  56. #56 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    Via the Daily Caller.

    The average IQ of commenters on that article appears to be around 75.

  57. #57 Karen
    March 24, 2012

    “Only to someone stunningly blind, stupid, and dishonest.”

    inaman, you couldn’t answer the question for Jeff because it was bigger than a yes or no question ?

    Now do try to get rid of that smell, go to mummy for a nappy change little one.

    For those that are interested here is a recent photo of inaman

    ( http://www.yourinternets.com/storage/lobotomy.jpg?__SQUARESPACE_CACHEVERSION=1270566721351 )

  58. #58 Jeff Harvey
    March 24, 2012

    It gets funnier. First, several of us counter Kar-spot’s nonsense and he/she/it replies as if their C02-temperature argument had withstood scrutiny. It doesn’t.

    Then we have GSW on another thread claiming that he and his idol have ‘done’ me (heaven forbid what that means) when of course they’ve done nothing of the sort. GSW wrote in here claiming off the top of his head that ‘frogs, coral reefs and Polar Bears are doing fine’. Of course this is nonsense. I counter it with empirical studies, then he changes his argument by saying that global amphibian declines are due primarily to a virus. But just a few days earlier he said these organisms were doing fine. Then when I argue that there are many causes for the global decline in amphibian numbers, he says that I’d blamed it primarily on AGW (which I never did; all I said was that it is an important factor amongst others). After this, nothing. Nothing on coral reefs or polar bears, and an admission by him that amphibians are actually not doing well at all. Now GSW thinks he is some kind of big guy because his posts are being pasted on Real Climate. He must think he’s just published an article in Nature or Science. He runs off to his idol saying, “Look what I did! Aren’t I special?!!!”. And then expects a pat on the head. Its pathetic. And also sad.

    I am used to this kind of argument from the anti-environmental fraternity. They ALL do it. Make unsubstantiated comments off the tops of their heads, then, when their arguments are vanquished retreat claiming some kind of intellectual victory. Note that in 7 months since Jonas entered Deltoid, there have been no more than half a dozen people who have written to support his arguments. At the same time, 30 or more think he’s a loon. People like him claim to speak for science when science has already spoken, and it is not in support of their views. Otherwise, they would be publishing their ideas on the pages of the world’s best scientific journals, and not in one little innocuous corner of the blogosphere. They’d be invited speakers at major conferences, and would be regular contributors to media reports. Note that the names of the most prominent climate warming deniers haven’t changed in about 20 years. A few new ones have come along, but the denial industry still predominantly relies on the same old guys that it did in the early 90s to spread their gospel of doubt. Standing behind these deniers are a veritable army of D-K acolytes like the few who venture into Deltoid with their 5 cents worth of wisdom. These people are clearly ideologically driven because, when repeatedly asked, they never tell us what special institute of learning they gleaned their self-professed wisdom from. They consistently dodge this relevant little question. Instead, they routinely dismiss the qualifications of people who have worked in the field for more than 20 or 30 years as if they, somehow, possess the skills that are able to separate ‘good science’ from ‘bad science’, and, along with it, ‘good [or real] scientists’ from phonies.

    Certainly I expect the usual barrage of ‘Jeffie’ posts on the other thread from the “Deltoid-3″ along with the usual denigrating remarks and smears. But it comes with the territory. I have yet to be attacked over the past 10 years since I ventured into the public arena to discuss contemporary environmental problems by a single scientist with relevant expertise. I’ve been attacked by scribes and think tanks, as well as by laymen like those few on Deltoid, but I have received enormous support from scientists wherever I have spoken around the world. The only reason I persist here and elsewhere is to explain to people not familiar with the insides of academic establishments in the elusive search for the ‘truth’ that the vast majority of the scientific community are in general agreement over the causes of climate change. While we are uncertain as to how it will play out in the coming years on the functioning of complex adaptive systems and in turn, how this rebounds on human civilization, the truth is that the scientific community by-and-large agrees that humans are the primary culprit. So don’t be take in by the snake-oil brigade who try to give the impression that they have some kind of intellectual authority. They don’t. If they did, you’d read their articles on the pages of the best science journals and you’d see them getting media attention. And this particularly applies to the deniers who haunt the blogosphere. Their views are out of line with the scientific community. Bear in mind that every Academy of Science in every country on Earth agrees that humans are dangerously influencing climate patterns over the biosphere. These prestigious bodies do not reach these conclusions lightly. They are based on input from a large sector of their membership including experts in the field.

  59. #59 bill
    March 24, 2012

    Re Monckton and the Birth Certificate.

    This really is a hoot!

    But I do know that birth certificate isn’t genuine…It appears in layers on the screen in such a way you can remove quite separately each of the individual dates. You use Adobe Illustrator and each of the individual dates is in its own separate layer. This thing has been fabricated.

    Monckton knows the certificate is a fake because it breaks into sub-groups in Illustrator (he wrongly claims various bits are on separate layers – not so, there’s only the one with several separate (and messy) groups – but I suspect he’s not talking from first-hand experience here! ;-) )

    Now, PDF’s created straight from software always have these individually selectable components, but they’re not usually messy blobs and random gibberish as in this case.

    So I scanned a document with text overlaid on a graphic background into a PDF via my Epson scanner, opened it in Illustrator, and got a PDF with only one layer and one group in the whole image.

    So, I thought, maybe Monckton and Arpaio are on to something, but, hang on; maybe whoever scanned the original used something like OCR software to do it?

    Lo and behold, I scanned the same text and background graphic document letting ABBYY FineReader handle the scanning to PDF, and what do I get when I open it in Illustrator?

    An extraordinarily good reproduction of the background, and then various blobby shapes and gibberish snatches of text in separate groups. The Obama certificate has a clear ‘non’ a section of ‘none’ in the original, for instance, and the software has grabbed portions of some of the dates.

    But, if you were faking the doc – and were, we note, very thorough, but inexplicably stupid enough not to just print it out and scan it – you would not, I’d suggest, end up with little snatches like ‘non’ where you’d actually typed ‘none’, or AUG 8 196′ or DATE AUG 8 6′ where you’d actually typed ‘AUG 8 1961′.

    (Unless you were trying to out Agatha-Christie Agatha Christie with some bizarre double-bluff. In Denier world this might make sense, in, um, reality, rather less so!)

    No, that would all really only be likely to happen if you’d been silly enough to let OCR software handle a ‘straight’ scanning that should have been done as a simple image conversion to PDF!

    Which is, I suggest, what happened.

    Don’t take my word for it, Sportsfans, try it yourself!

    I think some people were insufficiently skeptical here, they found the bits, jumped to a conclusion they liked, and forgot to check if it was possible to create the same effect by means by perfectly reasonable means other than creating – i.e. faking – the document!

  60. #60 Bob
    March 24, 2012

    Good stuff, Bill. This crackpot behaviour reminds me of the painful ["enhance... enhance... enhance..."](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vxq9yj2pVWk) routines beloved of crime dramas everywhere.

    On a related note, two videos for your perusal: [Potholer54's open letter to Christopher Monckton](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DCoi94n0aJg) and [Conversation between Potholer54 and Greenman3610](http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WZKzJwMOWAI)

  61. #61 FrankD
    March 24, 2012

    Jeff, Giving up on trolls is a bit like giving up cigarettes. Those nicotine patches help, but ultimately, you have to mentally reset yourself as an ex-addict.

    It’s great tyou’ve decided to stop engaging on the other thread, but that’s only part of the way there – you actually have to stop reading it. As long as you post anything here about what they are saying over there, they know you are reading. They know they are getting a rise out of you, which is their raison d’etre. From their point of view, it doesn’t matter too much whether you post there or here, you are still rewarding their time and effort. Posting about them here is just a slightly healthier form of the same addiction….

    Now, everybody here knows you have better things to read than their twaddle. And better things to write than a critique of that twaddle (that no one else here read). We know because we have all read so many of your insightful and informative posts. But they are incapable of learning, and since almost no one else here reads their crap, no one can here benefit from your responses. So while you are venting your own frustration, you are guaranteeing future frustration. Only when they are denied the oxygen of publicity, will they eventually die.

    And until then, believe me, when you can look at the side bar and leave it at “Hah – still posting crap in their own little twilight zone, like anybody cares” you will feel a lot better.

    Respect.

  62. #62 bill
    March 24, 2012

    Sorry, post above loaded during proofing! (Bugger!)

    To clarify; I scanned a printed document consisting of text on a patterned background – i.e. much like the birth certificate – to see if I could replicate the ‘separate groups effect’ similar to the one found in the birth certificate in Illustrator quite innocently.

    I could. As detailed above.

    And it’s hard to explain the messy inconsistencies, gaps, and bits and blobs if the birth certificate was in fact cunningly generated ‘whole cloth’ in software. Not to mention understand how sweeping technical mastery in the original forgery could then collapse into such blatant stupidity in allowing the multiple ‘group’ artifacts to remain.

    Now, less-than-the-best scanning practice was apparently employed somewhere along the line, sure, but can these artifacts in Illustrator be taken as incontrovertible evidence of a sinister conspiracy to fake an identity for global citizen No. 1?

    Hardly!

    People who are fond of playing Defence Lawyer – you know; all we have to do is create some doubt and then shout ‘unproven’ – when it comes to atmospheric pollutants might not relish the irony of being rather, I’d suggest, hoist on their own petard in this instance.

    But some of the rest of us might find ourselves enjoying it a little more!…

  63. #63 Jeff Harvey
    March 24, 2012

    Frank,

    You’re right. I have to give that up. Its just that when I log into Deltoid, the recent posts list in filled with crap from there. But you are correct. Moving on time.

  64. #64 Jeff Harvey
    March 24, 2012

    My final riposte:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change

    Overwhelming proof from every survey that the climate science community believes that humans are strongly influencing climate warming. The deniers can quibble all they want, but the scientific community is as strongly united on this issue as on almost any other. This explains why, as I said earlier, the denial camp depends on the same bunch of ‘experts’ that it did 20 years ago. They can’t find new recruits to join them. So we are stuck with the Lindzen’s, Singer’s, Idso’s, Balling’s, Soon’s, Baliunas’s, Ball’s etc. The same crew that spoke against warming back in 1990-1995. Their credibility is shot.

    Also, note how the deniers use the same old canard: that without 100% proof of a process – in this case that the National Academies reached their consensus based on very broad support of their membership (which of course they do if anyone who is a member of these prestigious bodies will attest) then the position of all of these academies is to be dismissed entirely. Why this is even ‘debated’ is beyond a joke. The positions of these academies across the planet is a very important

    As for my scientific achievements, well how many does you-know-who want? My former job as Editor at Nature? My 400+ citations in the literature annually? My several keynote and plenary lectures at conferences and workshops? My 115 (and growing) publications? My invitations as guest lecturer to >20 universities around the world? Now I will be accused of waving my CV. As I said before, at least I have one to wave. Note how most of the deniers don’t. Hardly a coincidence.

    Now its your turn, big shot.

  65. #65 GSW
    March 24, 2012

    @jeff,

    I don’t think anyone gives a damn jeff. Your verbose, indulgent, tiresome, rants about “jeff” are embarrassing to read.

    “the truth is that the scientific community by-and-large agrees that humans are the primary culprit”

    Yeah fine, no mention of C02 there, is it implied? 80% of predicted species loss in sensitive regions over the next 50yrs is due to land use changes – chopping down forests for economic development, draining marsh areas for farmland, building shopping malls, etc. Even in the worst case climate scenarios of “Climate Envelope Models”, land use still dominates, C02 is only a bit-part player alongside agricultural practices and “traditional” pollution.

    The “C02 biodiversity armagedon” rants you are so fond of completely misrepresent the environmental challenges of the coming century. Are “humans the primary culprit” yes, is Anthropogenic C02 the primary threat, No! – No matter how much you’ve tried to play it up here.

    Why does your ineffectual whining oscillate between IGW and personal “background info” to support the over-inflated view you have of yourself? why does that matter to anybody other than you?

    It just ain’t pretty jeff. Another one of your “final ripostes”? we can only hope.

  66. #66 Bernard J.
    March 24, 2012

    Skeptical Science [has been hacked](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Skeptical-Science-hacked-private-user-details-publicly-posted-online.html).

    Log on and change your details, everyone.

  67. #67 Richard Simons
    March 24, 2012

    Jeff – GSW is needling you. Ignore him. He’s another one who is not worth your attention.

  68. #68 Geoff Beacon
    March 24, 2012

    I’ve just written a piece [Climate officials and climate provisionals](http://http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/climate-officials-and-climate-provisionals/) suggesting a categorisation of those that discuss climate should include a third group – the climate provisionals – alongside the sceptics and the official climate scientists. The climate provisionals think official science is behind the game. The official/provisional debate is the most relevant.

    Is this a useful categorisation?

  69. #69 John
    March 24, 2012

    Monckton is obviously too busy curing AIDS to debate Hadfield.

  70. #70 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    A troll using a sockpuppet to evade a restriction is extremely bad behavior. Given that, on top of the Karen sockpuppet so thoroughly demonstrating the qualities (and lack of them) that led to Sunspot’s restriction in the first place, I urge Tim to enforce the restriction.

  71. #71 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    Is this a useful categorisation?

    I think it’s quite wrong-headed; there’s a spectrum of legitimate scientific opinion on these matters and what one subscribes to is not determined by whether one is “official”.

    And here’s your corrected link: http://www.brusselsblog.co.uk/climate-officials-and-climate-provisionals/

  72. #72 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    the over-inflated view you have of yourself

    Remarkable projection. Your stupidity, ignorance, and immense intellectual dishonesty make your opinions worthless, Grima.

  73. #73 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    Jeff, to enter a URL containing underscores, surround it with backquotes: `http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_opinion_on_climate_change`

    And thanks for doing so much science. Try not to let yourself be baited by fecal stains like Grima.

  74. #74 ianam
    March 24, 2012

    Are “humans the primary culprit” yes, is Anthropogenic C02 the primary threat, No!

    The agenda behind this Lomborgian line is well known … inaction. At least “out of ammo” is out there shooting cats, while people like Grima do their best to see to it that nothing happens.

  75. #75 Geoff Beacon
    March 24, 2012

    ianam

    Thanks for the reply and thanks for correcting the link.

    If you confine your spectrum to “legitimate scientific opinion” are you excluding those commentators that have no peer reviewed publications in climate science?

    One problem is the “officials” have pressures and instincts that make them conservative and less likely to be affected by emerging trends. I have been communicating with “official” science for a decade or so. I got a typical response from the UK Committee on Climate Change a few years ago:

    “Thank you for your email. On the subject of methane and climate feedback; we do not assign probabilities to methane release because we do not yet know enough about these processes to include them in our models projections.”

    I read that as “we don’t understand it so it doesn’t exist”.

    I also heard Julia Slingo’s recent evidence to the Environmental Audit CommitteeTranscript [here](http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201012/cmselect/cmenvaud/uc1739-iv/uc173901.htm).

    Her estimates of the thinning of Arctic sea ice were much lower than those of the Arctic Methane Emergency Committee who gave evidence in an earlier session. She seems like an “official” to me.

    A post on Joe Romm’s Climate Progress [NYTimes.com Strikes False Balance On Climate Change](http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/09/17/321712/nytimes-com-strikes-false-balance-on-climate-change/) has an illustrative graph of [Distribution of professional opinion on anthropogenic climate change](http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_QNv9CPAjNvE/S06gZ_U0ZDI/AAAAAAAAA0U/Lye6M_XEUPs/s1600-h/ClimateChangeReporting.jpg)

    It shows a sceptical group and a warmist group distributed along an axis Predicted Impact of Climate Change -from Slight to Catastrophe. The warmist group (“Slight cost” through “substantial cost” to “catastrophe”) contains the IPCC (the officials) placed nearer the “slight cost” end of the range. I think that judgement is right but I think the warmists split into two, which I have called the climate officials and the climate provisionals. (I’m open to better names!).

    I also think these that these two groups have significantly different sociologiocal and psychological characteristics – but that’s a bit academic. What’s important is that the policies that are implied by these different warmist groups differ greatly. (e.g. To geoengineer or not.)

    I see the Environmental Audit Committee’s enquiry a interesting start of a debate between the two groups.

  76. #76 Billy Bob Hall
    March 24, 2012

    On the QLD result.
    I only hope Julia Gillard was watching closely.

  77. #77 FrankD
    March 24, 2012

    Geoff, (and sorry for the longiness)

    Speaking as a thoroughly under-qualified “provisional”, there is something of a false dichotomy in your observations here. “Provisionals” use “official” sources, so you need to be careful to consider whether a “provisional” argument is their own work, or a direct derivation of the “official” source.

    Although Wadhams himself is probably best placed with the “officials”, AMEG’s arguments in this specific area are derived from the “provisionals”. But while AMEG’s arguments were weak, Slingo’s rejection of those arguments, in the context of “officials” -v- “provisional”, is equally weak.

    With regard to Wadhams 2015 date, much of the “evidence” he uses was derived from some curve-fitting spitballing done at Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice blog. The discussion has run on and off for 15 months, lack of physicality is clearly noted – e.g. we don’t know what feedbacks will have what effects as more open water appears – and Slingo would have been right to reject AMEGs argument on the basis of physics alone.

    But (based on the quotes on your blog) she rejects it for other reasons:
    >”She also said that suggestions the volume of sea ice had already declined by 75% already were not credible.”

    That “suggestion” did not originate with Wadhams. Nor did it come out of the blogosphere discussion. It comes from the output of the PIOMAS model developed by the Polar Science Centre at the University of Washington – people whose expertise is not questioned.

    Her dismissal of that figure as not credible is simply handwaving. In her oral evidence to the committee, the only “proof” I saw is that their model results differ from PIOMAS (to be fair, I only skimmed it). To determine why they differ would be an interesting exercise for the expert, but it is my understanding that PIOMAS results are well validated against as much thickness data as is available at present. If Slingo has any basis for preferring the Met’s model over PIOMAS, she would have done well to discuss this.

    2015 is a number from the “provisionals” and can be ignored at the readers discretion. 75% decline in volume is a number from the “officials”, and can’t be dismissed so easily.

    In any case, even if Slingo is correct, shifting from 2015 to 2025 (her earliest possible) is hardly grounds for moving from “panic” (a bit of a cheap shot, IMO) to “don’t worry”.

    Disclaimer: I am of the opinion that an ice-free Arctic is neither a necessary precondition for methane release, nor an automatic trigger for it. OTOH, while I believe increased methane release is more-or-less inevitable on our current trajectory, I’m not convinced geoengineering is a suitable response. The above blather is not related to the question of “panic”, only whether Slingo rejected Wadhams claims for sound reasons. I don’t believe that to be the case.

  78. #78 Geoff Beacon
    March 25, 2012

    FrankD

    Thanks

    As a provisional you are putting forward the sort of argument that should be aired.

    Getting the officials to do the same is like pulling teeth.

    One problem with the officials is that, as a group characteristic, they are reluctant to express judgements that cannot be uttered with a high degree of confidence. Perhaps that is their role.

    From my sample of contacts with officials I sometimes find that their wider knowledge is lacking and will assume the official line is correct without any specific knowledge. Also they avoid giving opinion by referring to a topic without any indication of their judgement . They may be waiting for “scientific facts” but if we can’t get “scientific facts”, we need some best calls.

    I think officials often have their own judgements but they are reluctant to express them publicly. Geoffrey Lean once told me “They knew but they didn’t tell us.” Too right.

    I’d put Peter Wadhams in the provisional camp.

    Also I’d put James Hansen in the provisional camp. He has the confidence to express himself clearly. Another sign: One eminent “official” told me Hansen was mad – but as with all encounters with the officials there was no time to elaborate and I’m sure he won’t respond to my emails.

    What’s good about the HOC Environmental Audit Committee is that some of them seem to have the urge to come to judgements that are useful to policy making and at last they can bring the officials to account.

    Of course, all provisionals are not of one mind and neither are all officials but in declaring yourself as a provisional you are showing to me that the official/provisional dichotomy may be a useful one.

  79. #79 FrankD
    March 25, 2012

    As an enthusiastic amateur, with the emphasis on enthusiastic and amateur, I’m happily free of the need to confine myself to 95% certain positions in this area. If I swung and missed as many times in what is supposed to be my area of professional competence, I wouldn’t be employed for long… ;-)

    I don’t envy the scientists who find themselves living between “on the balance of probabilites” and 2-sigma “beyond reasonable doubt”. I agree that there are more than a few who are privately deeply vexed, but through training and personality, are unwilling to voice their concerns beyond the scientifically “provable” position.

    Wieslaw Maslowski is probably the only person who is simultaneously a professional in the field and a “provo” on the specific subject of Arctic sea ice decline, as Hansen is one of the very few in the field as a whole. He is fortunate in working for the US Navy, which is naturally more focussed on real-world balance of probabilities than a scientific gold standard. Maslowski’s first projections was done in 2006 (when the “official” position was 2080+). Each new year of data adds confidence to that projection (and subsequent revisions), yet he is still an outlier compared to the “official” position (which has now moved to around 2040-2050, apparently).

    And there’s the thing – the argument is framed as denial versus very conservative (in a good way), yet there is a whole range of opinion beyond the consensus position, some of which has sound reasons for saying some things are probably much worse than the consensus, centrist, position. It’s a bit like our ultra-right parties ridiculous framing of our fairly-right parties as a bunch of socialists…

    One thing though; unlike in the troubles, few “provisionals” in this area regard the “stickies” as sell-outs, although I suspect the “officials” sometimes (as in this case) regard the “provos” as a nuisance and a distraction.

  80. #80 David Duff
    March 25, 2012

    Off topic, if there is one, as this is an Aussie-based blog, could anyone who lives in Queensland please let me know if you can find anyone, anyone at all, who voted Labor (as you spell it ‘down under there’). I understand that the Labor party were tremendous HAFs (Hot Air Fanatics) and enacted all sort of anti-global warming measures. Sow and ye shall reap!

  81. #81 John
    March 25, 2012

    Duff, I understand that your reason for being here is to gloat that nobody believes in AGW anymore:

    >Chicago has broken high temperature records for nine days in a row – though today is likely to end that streak. The temperature in Chicago this week has been sometimes 15 degrees higher than the average – more similar to June weather than March.

    >Many Canadian cities including Toronto, Montreal, Halifax, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Quebec City, St. John, Windsor, Hamilton, and London, all broke high-temperature records on Wednesday. St. John’s high of 25.4°C was higher than any recorded temperature in April.

    >The low temperatures in Marquette, MI and Mt. Washington, NH, was higher than the record high temperature in the past.

    >Lake Michigan has a water temperature closer to average June readings than March, reaching into the mid-10s in the middle of the lake.

    >The server that handles NOAA’s weather records has been down for days, due to unprecedented traffic. (Note: link doesn’t work. See previous sentence for explanation.)

    >New York City has had seven days of record-breaking temperatures, with yesterday’s high of 25 breaking a 74-year-old record.

    Even your favourite peer reviewed science journal, The Daily Mail, has been forced to comment.

    It isn’t just America:

    >The heatwave will strike the whole of Britain, with Sunday’s high expected in Scotland, while the Welsh town of Aberystwyth will show the largest rise on average temperatures.

    >”There is a high pressure system in the North Sea which is affecting the whole of Europe. There is another south of Greece and in combination the two mean unseasonably high temperatures across the continent. Western France is 6C above average for this time of year, some parts of Germany are 7C higher.

    You have previously admitted your belief that cold weather proves global warming isn’t happening. As you can see, by your own reasoning you are wrong.

    At the very least I am sure the data is being cooked by Al Gore and there is nothing to worry about.

    Do have a nice day, son.
    :)

  82. #82 bill
    March 25, 2012

    Yeah sure, Duffster, imagine a party that’s been in power since 1998 (and has been out of power for only 2 years since the notorious pro-National Gerrymander was revoked in 1989) being comprehensively turfed out.

    And climate was a huge part of the state-level debate, was it? You’d know this from your armchair on the other side of the world, wouldn’t you? Hell, you’ve probably been reenacting the campaign over your whisky-fortified Cocoa, with the aid of your Napoleonic and Russian toy soldiers!…

    I was waiting for some moron to trot this out. I’m little surprised it was you.

    PS, Thicko, it’s an ‘open thread’, so your cultural-smugness is as misplaced as everything else in your impoverished intellectual repertoire.

  83. #83 MikeH
    March 25, 2012

    Who better to deflate Duff and dumber than the winners on Saturday.

    http://www.liberal.org.au/Issues/Environment.aspx

    Now being locals, we know that the “mad monk” tailors his message on climate change depending on the audience but nominally the Liberals have the same carbon mitigation targets as the ALP. Both inadequate but that is a different story.

  84. #84 ianam
    March 25, 2012

    If you confine your spectrum to “legitimate scientific opinion” are you excluding those commentators that have no peer reviewed publications in climate science?

    You seem rather confused. Whether someone’s opinion is scientifically legitimate has nothing to do with what they have published … but it certainly has something to do with what they base that opinion on.

    I read that as “we don’t understand it so it doesn’t exist”.

    Ok, you’re just not very bright.

  85. #85 ianam
    March 25, 2012

    She seems like an “official” to me.

    You need a course or twenty in basic logic. Hansen is an official … does that disprove your position?

    One problem with the officials is that, as a group characteristic, they are reluctant to express judgements that cannot be uttered with a high degree of confidence. Perhaps that is their role.

    Um, perhaps it is a constraint on people who are held responsible for what they say. Scientists, as a rule, are reluctant to express judgments without a high degree of confidence, especially in peer-reviewed journal papers … ah, but you seem to place all of those in the realm of “official”, given your question about commentators with no peer reviewed publications.

  86. #86 ianam
    March 26, 2012

    Of course, all provisionals are not of one mind and neither are all officials but in declaring yourself as a provisional you are showing to me that the official/provisional dichotomy may be a useful one.

    That’s extraordinarily stupid when he described himself as a thoroughly under-qualified “provisional” (those quote marks mean something), and noted a false dichotomy. Frank simply spoke your language to say that he’s not a professional climate scientist, which in no way supports your dichotomy, and your attempt to take it that way demonstrates that you’re engaging in dogma, not reason.

  87. #87 ianam
    March 26, 2012

    From Geoff’s blog:

    Briefly, the officials are mostly hard core professional of academic scientists, who are cautious in their approach and chosen by governments to work on the science and publish or advise when they are sure of their work. Many of them are climate modellers, who are using computer programmes to predict the future course of our climate from a myriad of data sources.

    Sigh. Not prediction, projection.

    And then we have

    A good quote from an honorary provisional “The trouble with climate modellers [the officials] is that when there is conflict between their models and the real world, they believe their models.”

    and

    Tim Lenton and Julia Slingo are experts in climate models. Peter Wadhams is a scientist that measures ice thickness.

    So we’ve got modellers = officials = cautious conservatives, vs. scientists = measurers = provisionals = alarmists/realists.

    As I said, this sort of dichotomy is quite wrong-headed. What is useful is to point out that, in the face of uncertainty, the principles of risk assessment say that we should treat estimates of harm as understating it, and should act accordingly.

  88. #88 ianam
    March 26, 2012

    Also I’d put James Hansen in the provisional camp. He has the confidence to express himself clearly.

    Ah, missed this earlier … it goes to show how utterly irrational, dogmatic, and unfalsifiable this nonsense is, a textbook case of a No True Scotsman fallacy.

  89. #89 Geoff Beacon
    March 26, 2012

    ianam –

    “modellers = officials = cautious conservatives, vs. scientists = measurers = provisionals = alarmists/realists.”

    Not a bad summary. Except I think modellers would call themselves scientists. So would I.

    “utterly irrational, dogmatic, and unfalsifiable this nonsense is”

    I’n not a great fan of simple falsification in Popper’s philosophy of science – his “simplicity” criterion does not work. Try Imre Lakatos.

    Even so, my dichotomy can be put into a theoretical framework that contains falsification – and it would survive Occam’s Razor.

    Given more time than I’ve got at the moment, I cold predict the responses of the “officials” to new evidence – relative to the “provisionals” responses. These predictions would be falsifiable.

  90. #90 Geoff Beacon
    March 26, 2012

    ianam -

    “Whether someone’s opinion is scientifically legitimate has nothing to do with what they have published … but it certainly has something to do with what they base that opinion on.”

    Well said.

  91. #91 Bernard J.
    March 26, 2012

    Mediawatch recently [tore shreds from Jenifer Marohasy's crusade to stymie attempts to ensure adequate environmental flows in the Murray River](http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/s3458728.htm).

    Today [Counterpoint attempted to discredit Mediawatch's piece](http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/counterpoint/murray-mouth/3908760). High on the list was Marohasy’s overarching straw-man attempt to seed doubt about the salinity or otherwise of the lower lakes, as if an estuarine history here somehow invalidates any attempt to ensure that the thousands of kilometres of the rest of the Murray-Darling system are not hydrologically over-extracted.

    Listen to the interview carefully, and see if you can pick the occasions where Michael Duffy asks Marohasy some pre-arranged questions, and where she responds with pre-written answers.

    Oo, and John Mashey, you might be interested to know that there was a brief discussion of some funding arrangments for some of the astroturf organisations in Australia.

  92. #92 Karen
    March 26, 2012
  93. #93 Karen
    March 26, 2012

    I shouldn’t forget Jooliar Gilard.

    The importance of the Security Council to the maintenance of international peace and security is as great now as it ever has been. Not since the founding of the United Nations have we faced such uncertain times, when the contours of a “”new world order”” are emerging but not yet apparent.

    ( http://australia-unsc.gov.au/australia-and-the-un/ )

    What next ? CO2 Marxism

  94. #94 John
    March 26, 2012

    Like David Duff, Jonas, Olaus, GSW and Pentaxz before him, Sunspot has outed himself as a ideologically motivated conspiracy theorist. I am shocked. I didn’t see this coming at all.

  95. #95 chek
    March 26, 2012

    The problem for you ‘Karen’ is that your private/individualistic outlook has conditioned you to think that public collective action is anathema, when in fact it has been the route by which many large-scale infrastructure benefits have been delivered to society.

    You’re the member of what is now a death cult with no answers except denial, because every attempt at a solution which requires collective action is off-limits to your ideology.

  96. #96 Trent1492
    March 26, 2012

    I just saw a this article from the Daily Fail claiming that a new paleoclimate article is disproof global warming. I took the time to contact the researcher named in the study and he said, “i don’t think that reporter read my paper at all.”

    I have urged him to write a letter of correction to the Daily Mail and to contact Skeptical Science for a fuller response.

  97. #97 GSW
    March 26, 2012

    @Trent

    Article along the same lines from [The Register](http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/03/23/warm_period_little_ice_age_global/)

  98. #98 Jeff Harvey
    March 26, 2012

    @391-392

    Right wing papers/media owned by giant media corporations that depend
    on corporate advertising from industries with an axe to grind distorting science to downplay the prevailing scientific opinion over climate change? NEVER!!! Tell me it ain’t so!!!!

  99. #99 John Mashey
    March 26, 2012

    re: 386 Bernard J
    Yes, interesting. I assume the refrence to American CSC is actually this.

  100. #100 bill
    March 26, 2012

    John M – yep, that’s the site you get – in a weird flash pop-up – from the link on the Australian CSC’s website.

    The two sites – whether nominally Australian or American – are very similar, with a virtually identical banner, which they share, I now note, with a third entity, the ICSC. (‘I’ is for ‘International’.)

    They all say they offer ‘climate for laypeople’. (Actually, in the ACSC’s case it’s ‘guidance for laypeople’, which makes them seem a bit like Opus Dei or the Salvos!)

    It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the pretty-well the entire Denier edifice – at least its leadership cohort – consists of 2 or 3 dozen tireless windbags who must keep ceaselessly changing clothes and buying new megaphones, perpetually recreating and remanifesting themselves in order to present the illusion of a social and scientific ‘movement’ that’s going somewhere.