Matt Ridley’s first response to my post about his failed prediction was denial:

I did not write for the Globe and Mail in 1993 let alone about climate!

Then he moved onto stage 3, bargaining:

global av temp (ignoring pinatubo drop) is about 0.2C above 1991 level after 22 yrs – so I was spot on so far!

UAH_LT_1979_thru_Dec_2012_v5.51

As you can see, the graph he cites shows 0.5 degrees of warming since he made his prediction, so it seems that he is applying a 0.3 degree correction for Pinatubo.   Which brings us to Ridley’s next column, published in The Sunday Telegraph on 30 Jan 1994 (one month after his column with the failed prediction):

The satellites, however, tell a very different story about the 1980s (their data do not go further back). Orbiting the planet from north to south as the Earth turns beneath them, they take the temperature of the lower atmosphere using microwave sensors. By the end of 1993 the temperature was trending downwards by 0.04 of a degree per decade.

The satellite’s masters explain away this awkward fact by subtracting two volcanic eruptions (Mount Pinatubo in 1991 and El Chichon in 1982) and four El Ninos (sudden changes in the circulation of the water in the Pacific).  Since they assume that all these would have cooled the atmosphere, they conclude that the 1980s did see a gradual warming of the air by 0.09 degrees: still less than a third of that recorded by the old method.

Even with this sleight of hand (and when I was a scientist I was trained not to correct my data according my preconceptions of the result), the startling truth remains that the best measure yet taken of the atmosphere has found virtually no evidence of global warming.

So according to Matt Ridley in 1994, Matt Ridley in 2013 used a “sleight of hand”, something that he was trained not to do.   If we hold Matt Ridley to the standard he declared at the time of his prediction there has been 0.5 degrees of warming since he predicted that there would be just one degree by 2100.

But if we do want to know what the long term warming trend is, it is not a “sleight of hand” to remove the short term effects of volcanoes and El Nino/La Nina. It is, however, a sleight of hand for Ridley to just correct for Pinatubo and not El Nino/La Nina.  Here is the graph from Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) that shows what temperature records look like if the short term effects are removed:

figure05

Using Ridley’s preferred UAH data set we see that there has been 0.4 degrees of warming since he made his prediction.

Any way you slice it, there has been much more warming that Ridley predicted.  I hope this information will help him reach stage 5, acceptance.

Comments

  1. #1 Rob Painting
    New Zealand
    January 25, 2013

    I’d just like to point out some of the scientific gibberish posted by Latimer Alder:

    No argument that if you increase the partial pressure of CO2 over a jar of pure water, you will end up with a solution of carbonic acid that will be slightly acidic. Basic physical chemistry.

    This is comment reveals this person knows nothing about ocean acidification, nor ocean chemistry. Less than 1% of carbon dioxide taken up by the ocean exists in the form of carbonic acid. Only a contrarian studying contrarian blogs and not the scientific literature would make such a glaring error. Contrarians tend to think the oceans are chockful carbonic acid, but that is a fallacy.

    ” It is not at all obvious that the weak carbonic acid like carbonic will overwhelm the buffering effect of the solution and surrounding rocks.”

    This simply compounds Latimer Alder’s previous misunderstanding. It is the change (reduction) in carbonate ion concentration (activity) that makes seawater corrosive to calcium carbonate (chalk) shell/skeleton-building marine critters, because the carbonate ion is a building block of the calcium carbonate shell.

    Alkalinity (which is not technically the opposite of acidification) is supplied back to the oceans over long time scales (tens of thousands of years) through the chemical weathering of carbonate and silicate rocks, however it is the silicate weathering which draws down atmospheric CO2. Buffering, by the dissolution of calcium carbonates in the oceans, is unlikely to provide a ‘get out of jail free card’. Not only do we have calculations, but we only need to look back at Earth past. Geologically-rapid increases in atmospheric CO2 were accompanied by ocean acidification. The Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is an example – the oceans acidified.

    That’s why we are now witnessing, today, the dissolution of calcium carbonate-shelled marine life. Tatoosh Island off Washington, USA, is an extreme example. Marine life is being dissolved away due to the incredibly rapid increase in corrosive seawater. Oyster larvae off Oregon and Washington have been killed by too corrosive seawater since about 2006, and now the Antarctic is beginning to show signs of corrosiveness.

  2. #2 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    So @guth, according to you, “the real reason” Latimer’s dictum is “total mince” is that it’s partial mince. Thanks for that… I suppose.

  3. #3 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    Corrected that for you.

    Nope.

    You have your own private definition of what is scientific and what is not. It rejects conclusions based on evidence and methodology that you don’t admit exists – and arguably aren’t even aware of. That’s not scientific skepticism. That’s denialism.

    it is driven by observations of the real world.

    Yep, and that’s EXACTLY why science concludes that CO2 drives increasing acidification. You’re only hanging on to your claim by ruling most of the previous observations and hard won knowledge out of bounds with respect to that phenomenon. You allege the scientists are wrong – that’s an inescapable implication of your claim – but…

    And yet you all seem to have an absolute terror of actually looking at data…

    ROFL! That’s a beautiful projection from the guy who shows no sign of knowing what the scientific case is for concluding that ocean acidification is occurring. How do you know they are wrong when you don’t even know the reasons underlying their claims?!

    But wait, it gets better still:

    I’ve asked you many times to describe what you think science is and how it is done.

    Now we’re at IMAX projection levels. You flat-out refuse to give a fair account of the scientific case which you are rejecting, but you’re accusing others of not knowing how science is done?! The hubris level is quite stunning.

    The other slight difficulty I see is that it would need to prove a negative – that the data isn’t there.

    Logic Fail.

    But I’m sure you don’t understand why.

  4. #4 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    FWIW I’ve always thought continental drift was a brilliant idea and explained so much that previous theories couldn’t.

    And careful matching rock-by-rock across the oceans provided a powerful demonstration that it was correct.

    I’d note also that the ‘consensus’ of geologists a century ago was that this crazy guy was either bonkers or deluded for pointing out that Africa fits into America and that NW Scotland is ever so like NE N. America.

    But today’s ‘consensus’ is that you’d be bonkers not to believe it.

    So what changed – and what made people change their individual and collective mind? The rocks are still pretty much what they were 100 years ago and pretty much in the same places.

    The actual geology ain’t changed.

    What did?

  5. #5 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    “The actual geology ain’t changed.

    What did?”

    The consensus.

    And, thereby, the actual geology. Expert agreement influences—nay, governs—plate movements. This is basic oreskeonics! What part of it are you not understanding, Latimer?

  6. #6 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    It’s your immediate, reflexive resort to personal denigration as in the exchange I’ve just quoted…

    I’m not seeing the personal denigration in the quote you provided – unlike your own copious attempts over the last few days. And your “reflexive” is wrong too. I told you to stop relying on your mind-reading until you demonstrate some actual skill at it.

    …that can’t fail and haven’t failed to push passing readers in the direction of gravely doubting the claims of the catastrophist camp to which you belong,…

    Tone trolling doesn’t work. Especially from someone who enthusiastically engages in personal denigration, including vigorously and repeatedly jerking the Godwin lever yesterday – and even more so when the nastiness from the denialists is way worse than you see here.

    Besides, wasn’t the narrative from you lot that this was an inconsequential low readership blog off the beaten track? You can’t keep your memes straight.

    And this particular trope has been claimed here over and over again but I’m struggling to recall ANYONE turn up here who was genuinely undecided claiming it was a factor. It’s ONLY people who are obviously already fairly deep into denialism who do. Like your good self. And Latimer. And chameleon. Interesting, no?

    It is amusing, however, that you’re admitting that many who oppose the scientific position do so for reasons entirely unscientific.

  7. #7 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Ah, so you’ve chosen Option C. (Again, excuse my Shakespeare.)

    That’ll learn me to extend the benefit of the doubt.

  8. #8 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @lotharsson

    ‘You allege the scientists are wrong – that’s an inescapable implication of your claim’

    No it isn’t. You are suggesting something that isn’t true.

    Let me spell it out one more time.

    We do not yet have enough real world data to say that ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact.

    It is possible – quite rightly – to say that many scientists believe it is occurring, that they infer or imply or model that it is occurring.

    And when we have collected a lot more data maybe it will be possible to say for definite that it is a proven scientific fact. Or maybe we won’t. We don’t know for sure until we have done the work.

    That’s it. That’s my only point. Data rules OK! If you ain’t got data you’ve only got theory.

    If you think I ma arguing something more complex or significant than this then you have fallen into the trap I mentioned above of assuming a lot of imaginary stuff..

  9. #9 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “No it isn’t. You are suggesting something that isn’t true.”

    More content free effluent thrown in the river.

    Carpet-baggers used to do the same sort of thing to drive out settlers from land they wanted.

    Teabaggers are doing it on the internet to drown out reason in a sea of shite.

  10. #10 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “And your “reflexive” is wrong too. I told you to stop relying on your mind-reading until you demonstrate some actual skill at it.”

    Heck he needs to demonstrate some actual MIND!

  11. #11 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Latimer

    Skipping again.

    You claim (Page 11: # 57; # 58) to have answered the questions I asked you (now for the sixth time) here. Your response was:

    I have no opinion as to what *will* happen.

    The questions were:

    1/ Do you argue that the average pH of the vast majority of the world ocean is already so low that ~390ppmv CO2 (well mixed and continuously rising) will *not* reduce pH further? Is this what you believe? Yes/no.

    2/ If no, please explain *why* robust, fundamental theory with copious experimental confirmation is an unreliable predictor of what to expect.

    - Be sure to explain *why* you think the fundamentals of chemistry will not apply in this case.

    3/ Please explain *why* average ocean pH will *not* continue to fall as CO2 concentration increases if pH is *not* already so low that further reduction cannot be driven by the increase in atmospheric CO2.

    Obviously, you did not answer the questions. You evaded them. And you have just done it again. We are now on Page 12.

    I do not accept your claim of uncertainty (Page 11: # 67) that we are unsure about (1), as there is ample evidence that average ocean pH is >8.1. Nor do I accept that a trained chemist can be agnostic about (2) and (3).

    In order to be agnostic you must *deny* the validity and consequent predictive power of the fundamental theory underpinning the chemistry involved. You must further *deny* the validity and consequent predictive power of the exhaustive experimental confirmations of the theory that have been carried out under laboratory conditions.

    How can you – a trained chemist – do that?

    Please explain your reasoning by answering all three questions.

  12. #12 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    @Lotharsson:

    “I’m not seeing the personal denigration in the quote you provided”

    Now you’re just denigrating yourself.

    Alternatively:

    may I ask if you (actually, literally, clinically) are autistic or somewhere reasonably far along that spectrum? This is a genuine question, even if the ethical thing would probably be to ask you about it elsewhere. It would make sense of some idiosyncrasies of yours, not all of them bad.

  13. #13 Vince Whirlwind
    January 25, 2013

    Latimer:

    We do not yet have enough real world data to say that ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact.

    False.

    The relevant experts, (ie, not Latimer or any of the other faeces-flinging simians who hang around at Curry’s place) say you are wrong:

    The oceans of the world naturally act as a reservoir for carbon dioxide (CO2) and have absorbed about one-third of the total anthropogenic CO2 emissions during the past 200 years (Sabine and others, 2004). Although this net oceanic uptake of CO2 may have moderated the rate of anthropogenic climate change, this uptake has caused rapid and unprecedented changes to ocean chemistry, reducing pH of surface waters and leading to a series of chemical changes collectively known as ocean acidification.

    ..which is presumably why you prefer to deny information you are provided rather than learning from it.

  14. #14 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    “We do not yet have enough real world data to say that ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact.”

    Wrong. We do. Epic fail. If we didn’t then it would the subject of intense debate amongst academics working in the field. It isn’t. You can pontificate all you like, but science has moved on to the next questions:

    1. How much will pH decline in the near to mid-term future as a result of increasing atmospheric C02 concentrations?
    2. What are likely to be the biological and ecological effects of this?

    As for the link between increasing atmospheric C02 and lowering marine pH that’s established. Done, No doubt. Scientists are now trying to address the 2 questions I posited.

    Thus Latimer, you are more than a decade out of date. Uf you are so sure that the link has not been empirically proven, then may i suggest you take your wisdom to the Royal Society, the National Academy of Science, or to a major international conference on the issue. I can assure you though that the scientists you’d meet would ignore you. They are focused on effects and rate of change, not on the link. Not any more.

  15. #15 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Again, the looong pause from Lotharsson.

    Call me an incurable optimist (hell, call me a “denialist” of your irredeemability) but I think that’s your soul trying to say in Morse code:

    “I’m in here. Somewhere.”

  16. #16 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    may I ask if you (actually, literally, clinically) are autistic or somewhere reasonably far along that spectrum?

    Good grief! First mind-reading and now this.

    Mate, you’ve got far bigger problems than speculating about my psychology. (You might ask someone you trust for feedback on your own, for example. If it’s someone you don’t know point them to your sterling contributions to this thread, since you appear to think that it’s sufficient evidence to speculate about someone’s position or otherwise on the autistic spectrum.)

    And look, you’ve just argued that my behaviour is turning hypothetical undecided readers off your specious caricature of “my camp” – and you appear to have no idea that, were that to be a valid argument, your own behaviour over the last couple of days would have driven them firmly away from whatever “your camp” is never to return.

  17. #17 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    Brad,

    These ‘torsos’ you talk about don’t reach their conclusions easily. They base them on a huge volume of empirical and theoretical studies. If Latimer is correct, then a lot of people who have spent many years in the field of marine chemistry must all be playing dumb. Or else, as I said earlier, they are all conspirators in some huge global plot.

    I am sorry if I appear facetious, but I just don’t take an undergrad and an IT specialist with a basic degree in chemistry very seriously. Sorry, folks, I tend to prefer the opinions of people with specialist training and years of expertise. For every Galileo who changes the course of science, there are tens of thousands or pretenders who fall by the wayside. That’s how it goes. The lowering pH of marine systems and its link with increasing atmospheric C02 is basic chemistry, It is proven beyond any reasonable doubt. As I said, science has moved on to explore possible consequences. The process is established.

    Now if you can find some esteemed well published experts who disagree with this, then I am all ears. Shills don’t count. By that I mean people on the corporate payroll. Also, I don’t care how you spell Marohasy or Mahorasy or whatever. She’s a paid up member of the denier club. Sells her soul to a right wing think tank. You can bet your bottom dollar she wouldn’t be associated with them if her views were different.

    Rampton and Stauber write quite elegantly about people like her in ‘Trust Us – We’re Experts’. How industry, anxious to recruit scientists to join them in denial, have managed to gainfully sign up a number of people on the academic fringe. Its a classic PR ploy that would have made Edward Bernays proud. Put the words in somebody else’s mouth. Use third parties to deny various threats posed by economic activity. The tobacco industry mastered the art, and the fossil fuel lobby has learned a lot from them.

  18. #18 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Ah Jeff, I thought you’d exited the pit.

    Do you anticipate having a break from interrogating Latimer and, if so, taking a look at #85 on the previous page? They are, I think, reasonable and pointed follow-up questions for you.

  19. #19 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Again, the looong pause from Lotharsson.”

    Again, Brad shows his psychopathy: the entire world must revolve around his needs.

    Sad, really, really sad.

  20. #20 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Please explain your reasoning by answering all three questions.”

    Mind you, why the hell should he bother?

    Even if he was only pounded with repeated requests to do so from everyone here, he can continue to ignore them.

    Why?

    Because the absentee landlord lets him.

    Get in touch with Tim and get him to tell Latte to answer the damn question or get banned.

    At that point he may (note, only MAY) actually answer.

    But as it is, there’s absolutely no need for him to answer.

  21. #21 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    You are suggesting something that isn’t true.

    I disagree, and so do most people here – and the scientists in question – as far as I can tell. I find that particular denial the most intriguing of all. You deny that you’re implying that the scientists’ statements are wrong? When they make claims that seem to be clearly at odds with yours?

    Perhaps you’d care to moderate your earlier statement so that it’s more consistent with this latest claim of yours. So we have:

    1) You aren’t disagreeing with the scientists who say that acidification is occurring.
    2) You are claiming it’s not “established scientific fact”.

    There’s probably one one reasonable way out of this conundrum. Please specify how confident you think the scientists are who say “acidification is occurring”. Feel free to use a probability estimate for some definition of “occurring”, or a probability range on that occurrence, or an uncertainty interval around (say) the decadal trend rate of acidification, or some other scientific measure that you define sufficiently well and accompany with a suitable confidence interval.

    Then define what confidence level you require for an “established scientific fact”, and compare the two.

    Bear in mind that you allege you’re not disagreeing with the scientists…so presumably you will agree with the confidence interval you state that they place on the proposition, right? Or failing that, you’ll start the task that you’ve ducked and weaved for 1100+ comments – that of showing how they reached their conclusions complete with confidence level, and why your estimate of confidence level is more plausible.

    Over to you…

  22. #22 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “You deny that you’re implying that the scientists’ statements are wrong?”

    If he denies saying the scientists statements are wrong, HE IS AGREEING WITH THEM.

  23. #23 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Lotharsson,

    So I was wrong. My clinical empathy is known to get the better of me from time to time.

    Just to take one example, when I said your petty nastiness was a “reflex,” I was offering you an out.

    Now that you assure me you can help being you—and I’ll do you the courtesy of believing it—it should save me some time.

  24. #24 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @bbd

    ‘I do not accept your claim of uncertainty (Page 11: # 67) that we are unsure about (1), as there is ample evidence that average ocean pH is >8.1. Nor do I accept that a trained chemist can be agnostic about (2) and (3)’

    Sorry that you don’t feel able to accept my answers. But since our cathecism seems to have nothing much to do with the topic at hand, then that’s all you’re going to get.

    If you’d care to explain in detail why you think this these are relevant and important questions about my views then maybe I’ll reconsider. But I feel under on obligation to submit myself to an irrelevant interrogation from you or anybody else.

    But on a far more interesting and pressing question…how do you think Middlesb’ro will get on in the Cup tomorrow. Will they make it to Wembley?

  25. #25 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Sorry Jeff, that was a case of simultaneous postage—I realise you are responding to #85. Ta.

  26. #26 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    My clinical pathology is known to get the better of me from time to time.

    FTFY.

  27. #27 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Sorry that you don’t feel able to accept my answers.”

    You replied, but not all replies are answers.

  28. #28 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Just to take one example, when I said your petty nastiness was a “reflex,” I was offering you an out.”

    Nope, there’s no “out” needed because you CREATED the claim.

    But then again, you think that if you insult someone then they should be grateful.

    Another example of your dangerous pathology.

  29. #29 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @lotharsson

    Wow …where are we today – at the Nit Pickers Jamboree?

    ‘You deny that you’re implying that the scientists’ statements are wrong?

    The statement that

    ‘ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact’

    is wrong. It has not (yet?) been proved. Further statements that assume that it is true are therefore not soundly based in proven science.

    I have not given any opinions about any other statements by scientists. And I have no plan to do so at this time.

    Note also that nothing above says anything at all about what may or may not be proven in the future

    Again I sk you to please read what I have actually written, not what you think I might.should/could /have.

    That the best you can do is nitpicking semantics, suggests strongly that we are not on the verge of the sudden breakthrough with the appearance of the missing data.

    But more like hanging on with your fingernails before you have to admit the truth.

  30. #30 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    One hopes for other people’s sake that Brad is not actually in training in a field where he can practice clinical anything, let alone a position that requires empathy.

  31. #31 Lionel A
    January 25, 2013

    Latimer,

    1. Yes. I know that pH is a log scale. That;s what ‘eric’ was trying to point out to you.

    Oh! You ducking and diving twisting and weaving sophist who mangles context.

    Eric was not pointing that out to me, I brought it to your attention because you don’t want to recognise the enormity of the problems that can arise from even a small log-scale change of pH.

    I did? Where? Since I don’t remember having made any discussion of effects on the biosphere, I’m struggling to recall this

    But your refusal to take the presented evidence for the deleterious effects of pH change in the oceans on creatures sensitive to such is comment in itself. To still claim that there is no measurement of changing pH is therefore mendacious.

    As for condescendingly throwing O-level chemistry at me – that in itself is a clear indication that you didn’t even bother looking at sources that I have cited which explains the chemistry in detail. Or if you did and decided to insult anyway then that is once again a display of highly obnoxious mendacity.

    It seems that you get a kick out of insulting others who do not merit such,

    One has to resort to other sources to supply the theory as blog posts are not ideally suited for laying out chemical equations.

    And yet still you repeat this silly mantra:

    We do not yet have enough real world data to say that ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact.

    Well in fact we do, as has been pointed out to you time and again. How do you think the global charts of pH changes are drawn up – by rolling dice!

    What is it with deniers that they continue to deny in the face of presented evidence and denying the existence of data underpinning the various OA studies is just another example.

    And note the hypocrisy:

    ‘Science by consensus’ isn’t a topic I recognise.[2] Nor ‘science by qualifications’ [1]

    [1] So why present us with this

    And if you happen to be passing this way (SE England) and can drop the ‘attitude’ for a bit, I’ll be happy to show you both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degree certificates in Chemistry. You can then ring the University – and if you like my old thesis supervisor – to confirm. He’s over 70 now but still hale and hearty as an Emeritus Fellow.

    As for the Emeritus, hale and hearty he may be but if your are feeding off of his assistance then perhaps you need to contact those working in the field doing real research.

    Sadly, for reasons of age and disability I cannot do this myself, heck even typing this is a struggle, so I have to rely upon the papers and research of others and I kinda trust their judgement over and above yours which are based upon nothing more than denial as described above and laced with a good deal of condescension and prejudice at that as exemplified by this statement of yours:

    And this is where your lack of knowledge of science lets you down.

    .

    [2] So you don’t understand the concept of consensus as applied to the findings of the many disparate branches of science which all support the conclusions WRT APGW, climate change and related problems such as OA.

  32. #32 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    ‘Mind you, why the hell should he bother?

    Even if he was only pounded with repeated requests to do so from everyone here, he can continue to ignore them.

    Why?

    Because the absentee landlord lets him.

    Get in touch with Tim and get him to tell Latte to answer the damn question or get banned.

    At that point he may (note, only MAY) actually answer.

    But as it is, there’s absolutely no need for him to answer.’

    That’d be a really wise policy for a blog owner

    ‘Answer the question or you will be banned’ is the sure fire way to attract custom and readership (not).

    And it still doesn’t achieve your aim. If a contributor is banned they will never answer the question. If they hang around they might.

    Double shoot oneself in foot!

    Great strategic thinking wow man! Quite according to the standard I expect from you.

    Keep it up!

  33. #33 guthrie
    January 25, 2013

    Brad – the behaviour of Latimer is clear evidence that having a smidgen of correctness to start with can lead to going horrendously wrong later on, so the mince/ total mince thing is still sort of correct, although I could have phrased it a bit better.

  34. #34 chameleon
    January 25, 2013

    JeffH?
    I don’t see ‘shill’ in Marohasy’s quals.
    You wrote she has no pedigree in science.
    A simple google check says otherwise.
    She also has published research.
    It’s clear that you don’t approve of Marohasy but your statement re her quals is incorrect.
    BTW are you and Lotharsson in some sort of competition that is about who can write denial/denialist/denier/denialism the most times in a sentence/paragraph/post?
    I think you may have edged out in front :-)
    Also? Is it some sort of scientific crime for a scientist to contribute to a ‘think tank’.
    I was not aware of that.

  35. #35 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    ‘Answer the question or you will be banned’ is the sure fire way to attract custom and readership (not).

    You are making claims far less certain than the scientists are making about ocean acidification.

    It’s a surefire way to get rid of mendacious trolling, and many people are attracted to sites where the signal to noise ratio is high. You can connect the dots from there, but will probably misinterpret them instead…

    If they hang around they might.

    I’ll live with the loss of the 1 in 10,000 chance which won’t redeem the 9999 refusals we’ve already seen.

  36. #36 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    @Jeff:

    “If Latimer is correct, then a lot of people who have spent many years in the field of marine chemistry must all be playing dumb.”

    Let me guess, you’re debating ocean neutralization? I haven’t been following that threadlet.

    With that disclaimer, what—hypothetically—would be “dumb” about paying off one’s mortgage?

    “Or else, as I said earlier, they are all conspirators in some huge global plot.”

    Again, as a question of logic—not of alkalinity—this argument has never struck me as remotely convincing.

    Solo ad argumentum, let’s say it were a GIANT SCAM!!!—what part of it would require anybody to conspire?

    The difference between massively, plurally parallel mortgage-directed human activity and a conspiracy is gaping.

    “I am sorry if I appear facetious, but I just don’t take an undergrad and an IT specialist with a basic degree in chemistry very seriously.”

    1. No, the word is “pretentious,” but don’t apologise—I don’t forgive that.

    2. Who are the “undergrad and IT specialist with a basic degree in chemistry,” anyway?

    I imagine Latimer is meant to be the latter. But I didn’t know entomologists[?] were in the business of looking down their noses at people who understand both software and chemistry. In which case, I may have to rethink my whole prejudice about students of the bug etc., based, as it was, on a grand total of 2 data points: the greatest prose stylist of the 20th century, and the sardonic cat with the ocular palsy who inferentially banged Clarice Starling, both of whom are rapidly appearing much cooler than you.

    “Shills don’t count. By that I mean people on the corporate payroll.”

    But the government payroll is OK? Got it.

    “The lowering pH of marine systems and its link with increasing atmospheric C02 is basic chemistry,

    That sounds more like Latimer’s alley, Mister ….Entomologist. (Right?)

    “Rampton and Stauber write quite elegantly about people like her in ‘Trust Us – We’re Experts’. “

    Sorry if I appear facetious, but that’s a stupid title for a book.

    (Weren’t you going to try to link me to some of your own talks about Wise Use and so on, which are hopably much more un-silly than this dumbness, Jeff?)

    Are you really the same Jeff H I promised to buy a round yesterday, calling him “a kind of anti-Michael Mann”, or supreme praise to that effect? You’re breaking my heart with this weak-ass pre-scientific snobbery, man!

    Finally, MAROBLOODYHASY.

  37. #37 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @lionel a

    ‘Eric was not pointing that out to me, I brought it to your attention because you don’t want to recognise the enormity of the problems that can arise from even a small log-scale change of pH’

    Where have I made any remarks whatsoever on this topic? I’ve been familiar with the logarithmic scale of pH for over forty years. I know how it works. Your point is without foundation.

    ‘But your refusal to take the presented evidence for the deleterious effects of pH change in the oceans on creatures sensitive to such is comment in itself. To still claim that there is no measurement of changing pH is therefore mendacious.’

    No. Gamma minus. Circular argument.

    You assume that the deleterious effects are due to pH changes and then try to use the presence of these changes to prove pH change is true.

    ‘How do you think the global charts of pH changes are drawn up – by rolling dice!

    If you look carefully you will see that such maps are based on models, not on observations.

    Why present you with number 1 – my qualifications? Because the commenter wrongly claimed I was a ‘failed’ chemist. No other reason.

    ‘So you don’t understand the concept of consensus as applied to the findings of the many disparate branches of science which all support the conclusions WRT APGW, climate change and related problems such as OA.’

    I understand the concept of ‘consensus’ in politics and in social circumstances. But I’m baffled as to what you think it it has to do with science. Science is at heart about experiments and observations, not about conferences and agreements among humans.

    See the earlier remarks about ‘Continental Drift’ for an excellent example of the failure of ‘consensus’ to tell us anything useful about the real world.

  38. #38 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Latimer @ 23

    Refusal to answer straightforward questions indicates inability to answer straightforward questions.

    Since you have now refused to answer these questions several times, I feel free to pass comment.

    You are unable to explain why the relevant theory and experimental confirmations lack predictive power because they do have predictive power. This means that you are wrong to claim that you have no idea what will happen to ocean pH as the atmospheric fraction of CO2 increases.

    You know, as well as I do, that it will decrease. Because theory and experimentation predict that this will happen.

    You are dishonest and evasive, but worst of all, you are boring.

  39. #39 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    Brad,

    Its clear to me that you are green behind the ears, but a bit headstrong. There’s a lot you write that is pretty blindingly simple, but most of it I let pass.

    One thing that did catch my attention, however, was this little nugget:

    ““Shills don’t count. By that I mean people on the corporate payroll.”

    But the government payroll is OK? Got it”.

    You clearly don’t geddit’, if the gist of your remark is correct. People working for government agencies hold all kinds of political and economic opinions. But if you work for a think tank you certainly won’t have views that digress from theirs. The reason is because people who are employed as spokesman for think tanks in turn funded by industries with an axe to grind have been selected precisely because their views are in line with those promoted by the industries. They have, in effect, gone through a corporate filter. One can use the same analogy to describe many journalists who write for the corporate media. Nobody says that are forced to write articles that promulgate a pro-elite or pro western bias. But they are sitting where they are because their views are in line with those who have power and influence. If their views differed, they wouldn’t be sitting where they are. This is exactly the same as with people like Marohasy, who are employed by think tanks because their views are one and the same.

    Your little argument fell a little flat there. You aren’t quite as clever as you think you are.

    As for ther title of Rampton and Staubler’s book, its MEANT to be ironic. Wakey, wakey, Brad. Their first book was entitled, ‘Toxic Sludge is Good for You’, an expose of the public relations industry. Both are quite outstanding sources of information on PR, think tanks and the like.

    Finally, I am not talking about ocean nueutralization. I am talking about acidification. Call it what you like, but marine pH is maintained over immense temporal and spatial scales, and thus can be defined as being largely deterministic. That means that to push it out of short-medium term equilibrium it would take some quite profoundly signifciant external or internal forcing. The fact that pH has declined by 0.1 units in just 150 years (a blink of an eye for such a determinstic system) is worrying. We should expect changes like this to take many thousands of years, not just a century. And of course, due to the scales involved, there are lags in cause-and-effect. That means that even if humans stopped burning fossil-fuels today the increase in atmospheric C02 would continue to impact marine pH for the next century or so at the very least.

    We also know that marine biota are sensitive to what we might think are hardly noticeable changes in pH. This means 0.1-0.3 units. The problem is that most people cannot think outside of the mental ‘box’ in which we have been conditioned through evolution. Therefore, a change that we perceive as humans to be small is, in the scope of nature, profoundly large. A few degees C, minor reductions in forest habitat, apparently marginal decreases in oceanic pH.

    I may as well be speaking to a wall as far as you are concerned. Why people on Deltoid are annoyed with you Brad is that appear to be arguing for the sake of it. Not because you bring anything new or important to the table, but more because you come across as a headstrong, angry young man. Its clear to me that your scientific education is pretty basic. Now you’ve had to resort to calling me an entomologist. Fair enough, even though I use insects to test all kinds of models and hypotheses in community and population ecology. I study genetic variation in plant-related traits such as primary or secondary metabolites and morphology; I examine biotic and abiotic constraints on plant invasions and repercussions for native insect and plant communities; I also study life history evolution in parasitic and hyperparasitic wasps (amongst the most species rich organisms on the planet). I also research interactions between soil and above-ground communities. Our institute here studies a wide array of fields, and I speak with many colleagues during the course of a working week. Most importantly, thanks to my professional background, I know when I am overstepping my field into those of others, and when to defer to their specialist training. People like Latimer, Jonas, SD and others (you?) don’t appear to know your own academic limitations. This is why so many references are made to the now famous 1999 Dunning-Kruger study. It perfectly applies to many of the sceptics who write on blogs as if they possess some inherent wisdom that has escaped the real experts. They have no formal expertise in the field, and therefore greatly overestimate what they do know. Real experts are far more cautious.

    The sceptics here are throwing caution to the wind. That”s why, if I have to choose, I go for the Academies, and the scientists doing the actual reseasrch, and not a few armchair experts on blogs.

    Most importantly, as far as I am concerned, you haven’t said much in any of your posts that has much in the way of scientific merit. Sorry, but that’s my professional opinion. You appear to want to be a devil’s advocate without knowing much about what you are writing. Your government versus corporate comment in your last post was just more evidence of profound naivete on your part.

  40. #40 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    All

    Can you believe the boss-eyed dishonesty on display here?

    Latimer says:

    Sorry that you don’t feel able to accept my answers. But since our cathecism seems to have nothing much to do with the topic at hand, then that’s all you’re going to get.

    Nothing much to do with the topic??

    Beyond belief.

    When people behave like this, they shouldn’t just be reviled, they should be shut out.

  41. #41 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    Here are Jennierf Marohasy’s stunning scientific credentials:

    10 papers in her scientific career. Her work has been cited 64 times. The h-factor is 4.

    My work was cited more in December of last year.

    Mediocrity personified. If these are the kinds of luminaries that Chameleon gets some her information from, then its a small wonder she is a ‘sceptic’.

    And no, its no crime to be working for a fasr right think tank that promotes deregulation and free market absolutism. But this defines the use of the word ‘shill’. The term ‘bought and paid for’ comes to mind.

    Good grief, Chammy, you are naive. Why I waste my valuable breath on you shows that I must be crazy.

  42. #42 chameleon
    January 25, 2013

    Actually Brad,
    One of my best friends is an entomologist. He works for DPI.
    He is certainly not in the habit of looking down his nose at people who understand software or chemistry or any other profession.
    So the problem doesn’t appear to be connected to entomology.
    I think it might have more to do with that pretentious and/or weak ass pre scientific snobbery issue you raised :-)

  43. #43 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @bbd

    ‘You are unable to explain why the relevant theory and experimental confirmations lack predictive power because they do have predictive power.

    You know, as well as I do, that it will decrease. Because theory and experimentation predict that this will happen’

    And if and when the predictions are confirmed by actual observations (or not) then you can say that you have proved the case.

    Until then you can only say that it is ‘predicted’ or ‘modelled’ or ‘expected’ to happen.

    Which is all I have been trying to say since about Tuesday.

    As to

    ‘ Because theory and experimentation predict that this will happen’, then I’d strongly suggest that you spend a bit more time in the real world doing real things. Lab based theory and lab based experimentation can only ever provide a subset of the real world conditions out there. It is naive in the extreme to imagine that they produce perfect predictions. Informed best guesses perhaps – as any engineer will tell you. .But you still have to do the real life work.

  44. #44 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Latimer @ 31

    And it still doesn’t achieve your aim. If a contributor is banned they will never answer the question. If they hang around they might.

    You have no intention of answering my questions no matter how many times I repeat them. We both know that you can’t answer them because the cut straight to the heart of the intellectual dishonesty you are perpetrating on this thread.

    Sustained displays of evasion and dishonesty do, in fact, merit censure by the blog owner.

  45. #45 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Just be specific Latimer

    I do not accept your claim of uncertainty (Page 11: # 67) that we are unsure about (1), as there is ample evidence that average ocean pH is >8.1. Nor do I accept that a trained chemist can be agnostic about (2) and (3).

    In order to be agnostic you must *deny* the validity and consequent predictive power of the fundamental theory underpinning the chemistry involved. You must further *deny* the validity and consequent predictive power of the exhaustive experimental confirmations of the theory that have been carried out under laboratory conditions.

    How can you – a trained chemist – do that?

  46. #46 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Be specific Latimer. Answer the question Latimer. Come on Latimer.

  47. #47 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @bbd

    See my earlier remarks which seem to have crossed. Especially wrt

    ‘exhaustive experimental confirmations of the theory that have been carried out under laboratory conditions.’

  48. #48 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Be specific Latimer. You are a trained chemist. You know the predictive power of theory is very strong. Theory confirmed by experiment stronger still. As near to certainty as we get. So, how can you claim to be agnostic about future reduction in ocean pH as CO2 increases?

    You must explain your *reasoning* for DENYING the predictive power of theory (in chemistry, FFS) supported by experiment.

  49. #49 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Answer the question Latimer. Be specific Latimer. Come on Latimer.

  50. #51 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Be specific Latimer. You are a trained chemist.

    No, he CLAIMS to be a trained chemist.

    But by his actions here, that claim is doubtful.

    Of course, he could just be stalling.

    That’s not a shock to anyone here, is it.

  51. #52 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Wow …where are we today – at the Nit Pickers Jamboree?

    No.

    Scienceblogs.

    the hint is in the name.

    But you’ll make ANYTHING up to avoid answering BBD’s questions. In case you missed, them, here they are again:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2013/01/14/matt-ridley-responds-with-a-sleight-of-hand/comment-page-8/#comment-144742

    Now why is avoiding answering these simple and straightforward questions worth so much effort from you?

  52. #53 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @bbd

    ‘As near to certainty as we get.’

    You can get much nearer by making the real world observations. Then you don’t need to ‘predict’ anything, You can measure it directly

    There was no huge intellectual problem doing them for global warming. Why the bashfulness over OA?

  53. #54 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Wow

    I want Latimer to be a trained chemist. If he is, then he knows how completely stuffed he is trying to deny the predictive power of experimentally confirmed theory in chemistry.

  54. #55 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    I said be specific Latimer. Not be evasive. You need to explain your reasoning for DENYING the predictive power of experimentally confirmed theory in chemistry.

    So – explain your reasoning. Come on. Let’s have it.

  55. #56 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    More comedy gold from Chameleon:

    “One of my best friends is an entomologist. He works for DPI.
    He is certainly not in the habit of looking down his nose at people who understand software or chemistry or any other profession”

    More utter bull****. I never said I looked down my nose at people who are software engineers, you clot. I said that I don’t think they have much to offer to the complex fields of climate science or marine chemistry. I wouldn’t trust a garage mechanic to do medicine even though I trust him to fix my car. Its about relevant fields. You just don’t geddit, do you?

    Your posts are reaching the utter depths of stupidity. And if anyone is arrogant, its those people who are smearing Michael Mann, Ben Santer, Paul Ehrlich and other qualified scientists. You should read some of the choice comments the deniers have used to describe scientists or their work that they don’t like. After critically reviewing Lomborg’s book for Nature in 2001 I was called everything under the sun by the right wing media and think tanks. So don’t come off all high handed here, Chammy. It doesn’t wash.

    By the way, here’s some of the things that have been said about scientists and environmental groups by think tanks and contrarians over the years. Much of this is in the public domai. The follwoing comes from a single book: :

    ‘extremeist’, ‘apocalyptics’, ‘alarmists’, ‘zealots’, ‘emotional extremists’, ‘ignorant’, ‘chemophobes’, ‘fundamentally elitist’, ‘professional scaremongers’, ‘potentail mass murderers’, assaulting reason’, ‘full of environmetnal paranoia’, ‘overzealous environmentalist rhetoric’, ‘environmental tyranny’, etc.

    And these are all quotes from a single book, ‘Rational readings on Environmental Concerns’. This is but a snippet of the shit we have to put up with from so-called sceptics. When one factors in the media, think tanks and astroturf groups, it gets a helluva lot worse.

  56. #57 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    I want Latimer to be a trained chemist

    Only if he’s knowingly lying and avoiding facts is this a good thing, mind.

    But at the moment, he’s not being a chemist at all.

    Since we have a claim he’s a chemist and his actions are the opposite of those of a trained chemist, we’re left with conundrums caused by his avoidance.

    And the only way out is for him to admit his lies, wherever they may be.

    Either in his statements about chemistry or in his statement about being a chemist.

    But one of the two has to be a lie.

  57. #58 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Latte, the null hypothesis is that sea water will acidify the same way as tap water.

    If you wish to claim that they do it differently, you MUST answer BBD’s questions, since they are about how you know that claim is correct.

  58. #59 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    Wow

    You are getting the general idea.

  59. #60 BBD
    January 25, 2013

    # 58 was in response to your # 56 btw.

  60. #61 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    I wonder if Latte’s 77-year-old “Emeritus Professor” is this dude:

    The project seems to be headed by H. Leighton Steward, a 77-year-old former oil and gas executive. The press release also links the NASA group to his website, “co2isgreen”, which also has an extensive history of receiving fossil fuel industry funding.

    From the SkS report on NASA contrarian retirees who won’t have to live through AGW, but will have to change to avoid it.

  61. #62 chameleon
    January 25, 2013

    JeffH,
    It would be far easier and far smarter if you just politely retract your incorrect statement about Ms Marohasy.
    She definitely has science quals and you claimed she had no science pedigree.
    A simple google check was enough to prove you were incorrect.
    Whether you have published and been cited more than she or whether you personally approve/disapprove of the people and/or organisations she has worked with has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that you were incorrect when you made that statement.
    You also took a while to work out how to spell the name correctly.
    And JeffH?
    WTF does Media Watch have to do with it?
    Since when were they experts or a good resource on scientific matters?

  62. #63 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    Can you believe the boss-eyed dishonesty on display here?

    Yep, he started out very dishonestly (and fallaciously), never acknowledged being caught out repeatedly on that behaviour, only improved marginally from there and now seems to be reverting to his original level.

    As Wow points out he refuses to even answer the question about what is more likely to happen, and as I’ve shown he won’t even define the confidence levels he attaches to the terms he chooses to use.

    He didn’t start out arguing in good faith, and he’s not doing so now. But at least he’s basically admitted his point is irrelevant to the case for concern re: ocean acidification. That case does not require that we wait until there’s essentially no doubt that it’s occurring at dangerous rates.

  63. #64 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    There was no huge intellectual problem doing them for global warming. Why the bashfulness over OA?

    Good grief. You really are that ignorant?

    There is huge value in acting on strong predictions where acting sooner is cheaper or safer or easier than acting later. If we’d acted on global warming when it first became obvious enough, instead of waiting for “high proof” like you’re quibbling about here with respect to OA, then globallly we’d have saved ourselves a shit load of money – not to mention all the ancillary benefits, up to and including a significantly reduced impact on the ecosystem.

  64. #65 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    She definitely has science quals and you claimed she had no science pedigree.

    So does this dude:

    http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/bios/j_lisle.asp

    Jason Lisle, Ph.D.
    Biography

    Most astronomers and astrophysicists today believe in a secular, naturalistic origin of the universe – a big bang that allegedly happened billions of years ago. Few are willing to accept what the Creator Himself has said about the beginning of all things as recorded in the pages of Scripture, and as confirmed by scientific evidence. Dr. Jason Lisle is one of those few astrophysicists that stand on the authority of the Word of God.
    More about Dr. Jason Lisle

    Dr. Lisle grew up in a Christian home, and was taught to respect the absolute authority and accuracy of the Bible, and to be discerning about what is taught in secular schools. These critical thinking skills helped Jason to spot the fallacious arguments that are often used in the universities to supposedly prove evolution.

  65. #66 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Qualifications, that is.

    However, no science pedigree.

  66. #67 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    It would be far easier and far smarter if you just politely retract your incorrect statement about Ms Marohasy.

    Perhaps Jeff should – but you go first. You have a loooooooooooooong list of incorrect statements here at Deltoid, and I can’t see retractions for any of them. I look forward to them. Finding them all and typing them up should take you a couple of days.

    (Then Jeff can replace his statement with a corrected version that leads to essentially the same point. Marohasy has a mediocre scientific research pedigree in an unrelated field, and has abandoned scientific principles (presumably) in order to support her shilling career.)

    Bet you don’t apply your advice to yourself.

  67. #68 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Jeff, thank you for the compliment about the blinding simplicity of my writing. And hey, you come across pretty clearly yourself! A lot of the time.

    Feel the pleasantness? See what we can achieve when fear and Loth’ing are out of the equation? Communication!

    You raise a lot of points but I really need to single out this one: you accused me of “resorting to calling [you] an entomologist”!!!!!

    1. That’d hardly be an insult, as I (and latterly chameleon) have spent some time stating and restating to any who care to listen. Apparently all in vain. Perhaps we should have written it even more blindingly simply.

    2. I think the fact you even see it as an insult teaches me more than I really wanted to know about the intricate system of caste prejudices that evidently occupies quite a lot of your CPU cycles. (Really? Is this stuff worthy of you, Jeff? Have I overestimated you as I did Lotharsson before you? Not quite as grossly as that, of course[!], but still I wonder—am I as incurably optimistic about human beings as my friends affectionately allege?)

    3. I didn’t exactly call you an entomologist so much as state (albeit not clearly enough to rob you of all vision, evidently) that I thought you’d said you were an entomologist, “right?”

    4. Apparently my memory was faulty. It now seems you’re an insect ecologist, or something.

    Sorry for my vagueness here—it’s not that I don’t care about your background. Oh wait. That’s pretty much it. I don’t care about your background.

    Don’t get me wrong—it’s an interesting, friendly conversation piece, but I don’t care enough to learn how many rungs you are above, say, a mere eco-entomologist, and whether they’re allowed to marry entomo-ecologists without their children automatically being declared dalits, etc.

    Seriously, you’re a grown scientist.

    Don’t alarm bells start going off when you find yourself stooping to social proof on an in-principle science blog, Jeff?

    You seem reasonably smart. For instance, you’re literate, which has got to count.

    So I’m going to do you the honor of assuming you do hear the alarm bells I just mentioned.

    Let me explain, hopefully with a simplicity that will leave you migrainous for a couple of hours at least, what those alarm bells are trying to tell you.

    They mean that you have left the confines of science. Temporarily, of course. We all have, the moment we set foot on this blog (for all our diverse motives) to “argue” about “climate science”—the scare quotes being imprescindible in the name of accuracy.

    Once you start arguing from authority (and you can deny it all you want, but that’s what you’ve spent a sizable chunk of your time here doing), you’ve regressed to PRE-SCIENTIFIC ways of settling arguments about nature.

    I know it’s not science. Latimer knows it’s not science. chameleon seems to know it’s not science. To us, or perhaps I should say, to me at least (I must remember to defer to the rich diversity of human motivation, of course) this place is just a rhetorical ludum or gym. I used to derive the same fun pulling the wings off IDers and other god-bothery types at a slightly different genre of website. Hell, I used to derive the same fun braining the shambling undead in Diablo III. I used a unique set axe instead of a clue bat, but the principle was the same. This place is a bit more target-rich, which is why I’ll forgive the lack of cool graphics.

    If you think it’s science, then (by simple definition) the role it’s playing in your mind is that of PSEUDOSCIENCE.

    It’s NOT science—climate catastrophism lost all remaining scientific qualities in 1995 in the city of Madrid, if I remember my history of science—and when you think that something which is, in truth, NOT science IS science, that’s PSEUDOSCIENCE.

    Get it? Have I blinded you with simplicity?

    If you can still make out your surroundings, I’ve clearly failed. Ah well, back to rhetorical gym for me!

  68. #69 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    ‘Latte, the null hypothesis is that sea water will acidify the same way as tap water’

    !!!

    Give me strength…the man who consistently decries my chemistry hasn’t got beyond elementary school stuff.

    Been to the seaside recently? Tasted the water? Salty?

    Now do the same with your domestic water supply. Does it taste the same? If so, call the water company. It shouldn’t.

    Now try boiling a kettle with seawater in it. Pour the water out. Look inside. There’ll be lots of ‘scale’. Try the same in a ‘soft water’ area like Sheffield. You;ll get very little scale as the water is pretty close to ‘pure’.

    So what makes the difference between tapwater and seawater? Special bonus point to those who said ‘dissolved salts’. Yippee = we’re getting there.

    Next question: Do the dissolved salts affect the interaction of CO2 with water? A banana for the man in the front row who says yes. And another if he can answer the question..do the dissolved salts affect the pH.

    Whoppee Yes! They;re the reason why seawater starts off on the alkaline side (ph ~8), not the acid. They are alkaline salts. Seawater is alkaline. Stick some litmus in or a drop of UI and you;ll see. Do the same for pure water and you;ll see different behaviour. Pure water is neutral.

    So can we deduce that the characteristics of seawater are not those of tapwater as far as we are concerned here? Yes!!

    Here endeth elementary school aqueous ionic chemistry

    It might just be nice, my dear wow, if you refrained from casting aspersions on my qualifications when yours have been exposed as so elementary.

    You’ve reminded me of a long ago night job teaching A level chemistry to A level rejects. Had to keep it simple for them too. One of them bought me a whole side of smoked salmon for Xmas (v. nice) and introduced me to the music of the (Guildford) Stranglers. And he passed his resit (grade C I think).

  69. #70 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    I wonder if Latte’s 77-year-old “Emeritus Professor” is this dude:

    The project seems to be headed by H. Leighton Steward, a 77-year-old former oil and gas executive. The press release also links the NASA group to his website, “co2isgreen”, which also has an extensive history of receiving fossil fuel industry funding.

    From the SkS report on NASA contrarian retirees who won’t have to live through AGW, but will have to change to avoid it.’

    Nope. Not even the right continent. And my Professor is a proper one. With a Chair at a University and all.

    Do you know what ‘Emeritus’ means? I begin to doubt it.

  70. #71 Lotharsson
    January 25, 2013

    But at the moment, he’s not being a chemist at all.

    Ain’t that the thing though?!

    A scientist – even a chemist – makes the best inference from all the evidence and attaches an appropriate confidence level to it. Latimer’s talking up how he’s hewing to the scientific method and everyone else (many scientists included – although he later contradicted himself and excluded them) aren’t doing so – except that he refuses to hew to the practice of drawing the best inference and attaching a confidence level. Heck, he refuses to define the confidence level he’s using for his quibble, let alone the ones the scientists attach to “the ocean is acidifying”.

    If he were to step up and do so, he might find many people not so far from his position as he thinks.

  71. #72 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    ‘If you wish to claim that they do it differently, you MUST answer BBD’s questions, since they are about how you know that claim is correct.’

    Do the kettle experiment I suggested and you will see that they are very different beasties. No need to go through BBD’s rigmarole. You can prove it qualitatively in your kitchen.

  72. #73 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @lotharsson

    ‘Heck, he refuses to define the confidence level he’s using for his quibble, let alone the ones the scientists attach to “the ocean is acidifying”.

    The statement that ‘ ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact’ is a 100% statement. And it is wrong.

    If somebody else wants to say that they are50% certain or somethjng else like that – and can produce and publish some numerical data and reasoning to back up their numeric view, that’s cool with me.

    But it ain’t ‘proved’ till they’ve made the real observations.

    End of argument. Only took half a week.

  73. #74 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    Anyway Jeff, despite my tone, which I’m sure you’ll read as angry (I’d call it “irritable” at this time of night), and whatever angriness you’re about to type back in my direction, you still have my respect for what you said yesterday (Thursday) about evidence and my beer vouchers are non-revocable, so if we ever cross paths in less virtual circumstances, which will necessarily be more convivial ones, I owe you that drink.

    By the way, whatever you’re typing now will be improved if you subtract any personal criticisms—as I’m kind of wishing I’d been vigilant enough to do before sending comments in your direction.

    Later.

  74. #75 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Once you start arguing from authority (and you can deny it all you want, but that’s what you’ve spent a sizable chunk of your time here doing), you’ve regressed to PRE-SCIENTIFIC ways of settling arguments about nature.

    You mean like “I’m a trained chemist, so I know about OA”?

    Or do you mean like Joan who says “I definitely know more than all you, as evidenced by the fact you don’t understand I’m right”?

    Besides, the scientific method hasn’t worked.

    So why shouldn’t we go back down to pre-school to see if your level manages to rise that high?

  75. #76 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Been to the seaside recently? Tasted the water? Salty?

    This proves what? That there’s salt in there?

    Talk about pre-school thinking, and Latte here, in the eternal struggle to avoid answering BBD’s questions, makes no hesitation whatsoever to drive right down into it…!

    Here’s a wee clue: PROVE YOUR CASE.,

    You claim that because it tastes salty, it can’t become acidic by absorbing CO2.

    But CO2 doesn’t go “I don’t like the taste of that seawater”.

    PROVE YOUR CASE.

    And that is why you must answer BBD’s questions.

    However, YOU CANNOT prove your case since it is complete and utter hogwash.

    So you pretend that “it tastes funny” is “scientific proof” of your assertion.

    BOLLOCKS.

  76. #77 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    The statement that ‘ ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact’ is a 100% statement.

    What IS a 100% statement?

    But this is what you do to avoid answering BBD’s question.

    Make asinine claims so that someone points them out and then you can skitter away like a cockroach and avoid the elephant in the room:

    BBD’s questions:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2013/01/14/matt-ridley-responds-with-a-sleight-of-hand/comment-page-8/#comment-144742

    It’s a 100% statement.

    And you still haven’t answered them.

    And that is 100% accurate.

  77. #78 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @lotharson

    ‘There is huge value in acting on strong predictions where acting sooner is cheaper or safer or easier than acting later. If we’d acted on global warming when it first became obvious enough, instead of waiting for “high proof” like you’re quibbling about here with respect to OA, then globallly we’d have saved ourselves a shit load of money – not to mention all the ancillary benefits, up to and including a significantly reduced impact on the ecosystem.

    So you’re never going to go back and prove that the effect you’re so scared of actually exists? That could be equally bad news since you’ll never know if you beat it or not – or where to spend your money.

  78. #79 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    1. That’d hardly be an insult, as I (and latterly chameleon) have spent some time stating and restating to any who care to listen.

    Stating and restating what?

    Complete rubbish?

    But then why should it be accepted as not rubbish just because you state and restate it? YOU are the insane ones who think that doing the same thing over and over again will eventually do something different.

    2. I think the fact you even see it as an insult teaches me more than I really wanted to know

    And your internal sociopathy and insanity is nobody’s problem but yours.

    We just point it out for you.

    As a public service to the poor family that raised you, wondering what the hell they’ve done wrong.

    3. I didn’t exactly call you an entomologist so much as state

    So you did call him an entomologist.

    Why you thought he was one is not disproof of you calling him one.

    You really don’t understand a word, do you.

    4. Apparently my memory was faulty.

    Why “apparently”?

    Are you saying you might still have been calling him an entomologist? Or that you don’t remember if you thought he was or not?

    But it’s your M.O., isn’t it.

    Put a huge wool coat over every word you say so you can deny ever saying it in the future.

    Try not saying anything.

    They can’t be “misconstrued” by others, then.

  79. #80 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    So you’re never going to go back and prove that the effect you’re so scared of actually exists?

    The only one talking about fear of OA is you.

    But you’ll do anything to avoid answering BBD’s questions:

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2013/01/14/matt-ridley-responds-with-a-sleight-of-hand/comment-page-8/#comment-144742

    100% fact: you refuse to answer.

    The only thing we don’t know is why.

    Do you?

  80. #81 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    ‘What IS a 100% statement?’

    ‘The cat sat on the mat’ is a 100% statement. It leaves no wiggle room. It is a definite statement about the cat and where it was.

    ‘ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact’ is a 100 statement. It has no wiggle room. You cannot have a more definite statement unless you think that ‘abc is an even more proven scientifc fact’ is viable. But all that is doing is debasing the language.

  81. #82 Brad Keyes
    January 25, 2013

    One last thing, Jeff—I completely see your logic about the different types of payroll and will be happy to present some counterlogic for your consideration when I’m less than half-asleep.

    This will all need to be qualified, though, by an appreciation that we’re no longer talking about marine science and have digressed into the (far more fascinating, if you ask me) subject of organisational psychology, and it’s not going to tell us jack-**** about pH at the Great Barrier Reef no matter which of us “wins” the conversation ;-), okay? Sound reasonable, mate?

    Night all.

  82. #83 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Still 100% avoiding answering the questions, Latte.

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2013/01/14/matt-ridley-responds-with-a-sleight-of-hand/comment-page-8/#comment-144742

    (and making up words to pretend isn’t working).

  83. #84 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    ‘ocean acidification is a proven scientific fact’ is a 100 statement.

    So no longer 100%, but now 100 statement.

    English not your first language, is it.

    Is THAT why you won’t answer BBD’s question? Because it’s in English?

  84. #85 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    ‘You claim that because it tastes salty, it can’t become acidic by absorbing CO2′

    I made no such claim. But you’d need to absorb an enormous amount of CO2 to overcome the natural alkalinity and make the whole thing ‘acidic’. Not even the most alarimist commentator I have read has ever suggested that unlikely event will happen.

    As ever, you are flounderign around with imprecise terms.

    But the purpose of my little gedanken experiment was simply to show that sea water and tap water are different things. And you can’t necessarily expect the effect you see in pure water to be the same in tap water.

  85. #86 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “Night all.”

    Given it is only mid-afternoon in SE England (being on GMT), I see you need your nap.

    5 years old or 95?

    Is *that* the reason why you won’t answer BBD’s question?

  86. #87 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    And you can’t necessarily expect the effect you see in pure water to be the same in tap water.

    You have to prove it will be different.

    But you can’t.

    That’s why you avoid BBD’s question.

    Can you boil seawater? Can you dissolve asprin in it? Can CO2 dissolve in it?

    Yes to all.

    Can you do that in tap water? Yes to all.

    Therefore you have to prove that acidification acts in seawater differently to saltwater.

    Prove your statement.

    It’s not up to us to do it, since YOU are the only one insisting it must be.

  87. #88 mike
    January 25, 2013

    @BBD & Jeff “Frequent Flyer” Harvey,

    Hey, guys, this business of asking Latimer questions and demanding answers is good stuff. I like it! Let me try my hand it, but in a form that directs questions at you guys instead of Latimer:

    -So BBD and Jeff could you please describe the size of the carbon-footprint your lifestyle tracks on Gaia’s carpet and how if everyone in the world limited the “footprint” of their lifestyle to that of yours ol’ carbon-demon would cease to be a worry?

    -BBD and Jeff, do you hold in complete contempt those (please do name names) carbon-piggie hypocrites who feed at the CAGW trough; spend their quisling, parasitic lives cooking up scare-mongering, alarmist-booger “narratives” for the cynical use of their grasping make-a-buck/make-a-gulag, trough-provider betters; and then fail to LEAD FROM THE FRONT AND BY PERSONAL EXAMPLE WHEN IT COMES TO CARBON AUSTERITY?

    -Do you think, BBD & Jeff, that greenshirts who espouse carbon-austerity for us “little-guys” at the cyclic rate, but then traipse around the planet, leaving billowing clouds of CO2-spew in their wake, attending this, that, or another phoney-baloney, boon-doggle eco-confab, most often held at taxpayer, shake-down expense, when such conferences could easily be video-conferenced at vast savings to tax-payers dollars (not your concern, I know) and carbon “pollution” are just a bunch of, like, painfully obvious hustlers, flim-flammers, B. S. artists, con-creeps, sell-outs, the-modern-equivalents-of-for-hire-tobacco-scientists, Delinquent Teenagers, “Merchants of Rip-Offs”, and onanistic-momma’s-boys-who-have-affixed-their-unhealthy-need-for-an-overbearing-smothering-overly-protective-maternal-authority-figure-to-a-Gaia-fantasy-of-the-perfect-mommy-dearest-and-now-labor-with-frantic-intensity-and-a-Sisyphean-mono-mania-to-win-mom’s-so-very-sparing-and-rather-manipulatively-dispensed-praise?

    Can hardly wait for your guys’ answer.

  88. #89 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    Listen Brad, I speak my mind. I also know when I am treading on thin icne – outsode of my field of expertise. For this I’ve been labeleld as arrogant and self-righteous by some pundits on Deltoid. On anotrher thread I was constantly baited by a guy who said over and over again that I am not a ‘real scientist. So when I desrfibed my professional background, I was then accused or waving my CV in his face. Its a no win situation.

    I attended the annual meeting of the British Ecological Society in December. Gloabl change was a prominent theme, including keynote and plenary lectures from several eminent scientists. When they got to the topic of climate change and other attendant symptoms, it was taken as a ‘given’ that it is happening and that some of the side-effects of increasing atmospheric C)2 concentrations like declines on marine pH levels are also occurring.

    As an asdie, its strange to me how contrarians are super selective in how they interpret the science. In the past people would write into Deltoid and say that increased atmsopheric C02 is a gift from the industrial revolution because of the fertilizing effect that extra C02 will have on plants. In other words, C02 is not a pollutant but an essential plant nutrient. Therefore, pumping more and more of the gas into the atmsopher is a good thing because it will increase plant biomasd and thus act as a buffer against starvation. Now we have people saying that the bad side effects of C02 – such as uptake by the oceans and declining pH levels, is based on bad (or no) science. Talk about being choosy.

    As it turns out, carbon is not a limiting nutrient for many plants. Nitrogen and phosphorus are. Moreover, insects are N and not C limited in their diets. Increasing concentrations of C in plant tissues is liekly to mean that herbivores will have to consume more plant tissues to acquire sufficient N to survive and reproduce. The there is the fact that plant allelochemicals are C or No based. Plants with C-based defences may become more toxic to herbivores, whereas if N-based defences are shunted out of plant tissues as the plants take up more C, then these plants may become less-well defended. Its a huge ecological experiment.

    Check out some fo the denier sites – such as C02 Science or the Greening Earth Society (both connected to the coal lobby) and you’ll see commentaries lauding the benefits of extra atmospheric C02 whilst downplaying the possible negative effects. These sites are also famous for taking exisiting studies and distorting their findings to bolster their own agendas. This is why science by blog most certainly is NOT science. Its a lot of wild and wacky theories that are used to downplay the human fingerprint across the biosphere. The we have to ask ourselves what motivates many of these contrarians. And if one bothers to look for the evidence, its clear that there are profit-related motives at work. Short-term profits over long-term considerations.

  89. #90 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    <blockquote?I made no such claim. But you’d need to absorb an enormous amount of CO2 to overcome the natural alkalinity

    *THIS* is why you demonstrate you are not a trained chemist.

    It doesn’t matter how alkaline something is.

    If it becomes more acid, EVEN IF IT REMAINS ALKALINE, it is acidifying.

    ANYONE who has done chemistry beyond the age of 12 in the UK will know this.

    Hence you’re not only not a trained chemist, you never even took science at school (which since it is a required subject in the UK education establishment must mean you skipped schooling).

    That would explain your uneducated grammar.

    So the answer to BBDs questions are:

    Yes
    Reference: because you don’t know what CO2 or acid or ocean or water or any of those terms mean, but you believe what WUWT said. And they refused to admit it happened. Therefore I believe it too, because I’m a moron with an opinion.

  90. #91 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    “-So BBD and Jeff could you please describe the size of the carbon-footprint your lifestyle tracks on Gaia’s carpet”

    Zero.

    Since Gaia doesn’t have a carpet.

    Mike, can I ask you a question: do you use that mouth to BJ your dad with?

  91. #92 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    I made no such claim. But you’d need to absorb an enormous amount of CO2 to overcome the natural alkalinity

    *THIS* is why you demonstrate you are not a trained chemist.

    It doesn’t matter how alkaline something is.

    If it becomes more acid, EVEN IF IT REMAINS ALKALINE, it is acidifying.

    ANYONE who has done chemistry beyond the age of 12 in the UK will know this.

    Hence you’re not only not a trained chemist, you never even took science at school (which since it is a required subject in the UK education establishment must mean you skipped schooling).

    That would explain your uneducated grammar.

    So the answer to BBDs questions are:

    Yes
    Reference: because you don’t know what CO2 or acid or ocean or water or any of those terms mean, but you believe what WUWT said. And they refused to admit it happened. Therefore I believe it too, because I’m a moron with an opinion.

  92. #93 Jeff Harvey
    January 25, 2013

    MIke, IMHO you are nuts. Take that as a compliment.

    I live in a very small house in Holland and my wife and I don’t have any children. We spend very modestly and don’t live an extravagant lifestyle (hardly possible on a scientists salary anyway). I would say that our carbon footprint on the basis of these facts is smaller than the average European and much less than the average Austalian or American. So you can come off your high horse.

    I also find it funny that you label your opponents as ‘greenshirts’. Pretty ironic that. But certainly in keeping with fruitcakes. Nobody is preachibng austerity to anyone. But I can tell you this – if humans in the developed world continue along the same trajectory, austerity is going to be rammed down our throats by mother nature. Like it or not, we don’t possess anything like the technology required to counter the cumulative damage we are doing to the biosphere. The debt is going to have to be paid. And its growing.

    Why I respond to such a ninny is beyond me. Your posts sound like you are drunk in a bar. Perhaps you ought to stay there and chill out.

  93. #94 Stu
    January 25, 2013

    Ah well, back to rhetorical gym for me!

    Yes, please go. You argue like an infant.

  94. #95 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    ‘Acidic’ is your word, not mine

    ‘You claim that because it tastes salty, it can’t become acidic by absorbing CO2′

    And I was going to write you a nice piece about carbonate/bicarbonate/CaCO3/CO2 chemistry in seawater (very different from pure water).

    But I just can’t be arsed to fill in the lacunae in your chemical education and doubt you’d be capable of understanding it anyway.

  95. #96 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    ‘Acidic’ is a real word, not mine.

    You don’t even know what this means, do you:

    But you’d need to absorb an enormous amount of CO2 to overcome the natural alkalinity

    You can’t answer BBD’s question because you have no answers to give.

    You have an opinion and that is all. No reason.

    You don’t even know what you’re saying.

    And complain when others, trying to find out and assuming you have at least knowledge of what YOU say, get it wrong.

    And I was going to write you a nice piece about carbonate/bicarbonate/CaCO3/CO2 chemistry in seawater

    If it answers BBD;s questions, go ahead.

    If it doesn’t, then it won’t prove your assertion.

    But I just can’t be arsed to fill in the lacunae in your chemical education

    Oooh, the pointing out of you arrant and obvious lack of education has made you ask daddy to find a big word for you!

    I bet you don’t know what THAT means, either.

    But go ahead, write your little fiction piece.

    If it answers BBD’s question, then it will answer BBD’s question.

    If it doesn’t, we know that you are still talking bullshit.

  96. #97 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    I’m not going to waste any more time on you.

    Just for a moment I thought that there might be a reasonable person hiding inside the thuggish and repellent persona.

    Clearly I was mistaken.

  97. #98 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    So you admit you can’t do as you claimed:

    write you a nice piece about carbonate/bicarbonate/CaCO3/CO2 chemistry in seawater

    You avoid answering questions, merely go “I don’t know! I don’t know!” and, because YOU don’t know, YOU say that it doesn’t exist.

  98. #99 Wow
    January 25, 2013

    Sorry, whining about how you’re a sack of crap getting aforementioned crap beaten out of them is not going to cut any ice.

    Boo hoo say I.

    Boo fucking hoo.

  99. #100 Latimer Alder
    January 25, 2013

    @wow

    Whatever.