Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk.

If global warming is real, then why is it so cold?

We are hearing this question quite often today and it will be asked many times by many people over the next few days as record low temperatures are set in many parts of the United States. Here in Minnesota, for example, we have a good chance of setting a record low daily high beating the previous record of 14 degrees below zero F. We may or may not beat the record daily low but we are going to get close. (Donald trump is probably the most famous person to have gotten this wrong over the last few days.)

Global warming is real. The apparent contrast between extreme cold and global warming is actually an illusion. If we look at the local weather in many parts of the US we see a giant blob of cold “Arctic air” moving south to engulf our humble hamlets and cities, as though the Arctic Coldness that we know is sitting on the top of our planet, like a giant frosty hat, is growing in size. How can such a thing happen with global warming?

Actually, if you think about it, how can such a thing happen at all? Imagine a somewhat different scenario. Imagine the giant global hulu-hoop of warmth we know of as the tropics suddenly expanding in size to engulf the United States, Europe, Asia, and in the south, southern South America, southern Africa, Australia, etc. for a week or so, then contract back to where it came from. How could that happen? Where would all the heat necessary for that to happen come from? That seems to be a violation of some basic laws of physics. Now, cold is not a thing — it is the absence of heat — but the same problem emerges when we imagine the giant frosty hat of arctic air simply getting many hundreds of percent larger, enough to engulf the temperate regions of the planet. As easy as it might be to imagine such a thing given the images we see on regional weather maps, it is in fact not possible. The physics simply does not work that way.

What is happening instead is the cold air mass that usually sits up on the Arctic during the northern Winter has moved, drooped, shifted, gone off center, to engulf part of the temperate region. Here in the Twin Cities, it is about 8 below zero F as I write this. If I go north towards the famous locality of International Falls (famous for its cold temperature readings often mentioned on the national news) it will in fact be colder. If I go even farther north, at some point it will start to get warm again, as we leave the giant blob of cold air that has engulfed us. In fact, it is relatively warm up on the North Pole right now. Alaska and Europe are relatively warm as well.

The graphic above from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts shows what is happening. The Polar Vortex, a huge system of swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air has shifted so it is not sitting right on the pole as it usually does. We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon. We are seeing the usual cold polar air taking an excursion.

So, this cold weather we are having does not disprove global warming.

In fact, the cold snap we are experiencing in the middle of the US and adjoining Canada may be because of global warming. The Polar Vortex can go off center any given winter, but we have been having some strange large scale weather activity over the last few years that is thought to be related to global warming and that may have contributed to this particular weather event (explained here). This may be an effect of this strangeness, though the jury is still probably out on this particular weather event.

UPDATE: Chris Mooney has THIS on the drunken Arctic.

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Other items of interest:

Comments

  1. #1 Max Erwengh
    January 5, 2014

    Just a small edit: It’s not really a shift, it’s current weather dated at Monday 6 January 2014. But yes I agree totally. Interested readers knew this beforehand, as it is totally clear that warming will lead to more extreme weather events. Thanks for your post.

  2. #2 Max Erwengh
    January 5, 2014

    Also, our most accurate models predicted this fact, not to mention the extensive amount of energy saved in the oceans. It’s real, now deal with it deniers.

  3. #3 Michael D Smith
    http://naturalclimate.wordpress.com
    January 5, 2014

    “Interested readers knew this beforehand, as it is totally clear that warming will lead to more extreme weather events.”

    Totally clear by what evidence?

  4. #4 adelady
    January 5, 2014

    Evidence?

    The shift in occurrence of extreme weather events. When you focus on extreme heat events, they used to occur on about 1% of the earth’s surface each year. They’re now occurring over about 10% of the surface each year. That’s a big change – and the graphics show it quite clearly.

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2012/08/extreme-metrics/

  5. #5 MikeH
    January 5, 2014

    Here is a NASA animation of a similar event from 2009
    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972

    And some commentary here
    http://www.businessinsider.com.au/what-is-a-polar-vortex-2014-1

  6. #6 Sou
    January 5, 2014

    Thanks, Greg. The graphic shows what’s happening rather nicely.

    Also, while it’s been chilly in North America in winter, it’s been warmish elsewhere in summer – like Australia and South America.

  7. #7 Dale Husband
    January 5, 2014

    Read this:
    http://dalehusband.com/2009/01/19/those-terrible-twins-of-climate-change-co2-and-h2o/
    It explains why global warming due to greenhouse gases can result in colder winters. If the sun was the only cause of global warming, our winters would be warmer.

  8. #8 Dale Husband
    January 5, 2014

    http://dalehusband.com/2009/01/19/those-terrible-twins-of-climate-change-co2-and-h2o/
    It explains why global warming due to greenhouse gases can result in colder winters. If the sun was the only cause of global warming, our winters would be warmer.

  9. #9 Rosie Redfield
    Vancouver
    January 6, 2014

    Not all of North America is unusually cold. Vancouver’s having an unusually warm winter – the local ski runs typically open well before Christmas but most of them are still closed.

  10. #10 Smarter Than Your Average Bear
    Trail
    January 6, 2014

    #9 Rosie Redfield – same here in Trail so far as snow is concerned – lots of cold though. -9 C right now

  11. #11 Desertphile
    January 6, 2014

    The anomalous loss of Arctic sea ice might be one of the most likely reasons the jet stream has been elongating and slowing down.

  12. #12 Mary Spaulding
    Colorado
    January 6, 2014

    You’re talking over the heads of most people who scoff at global warming.

  13. #13 Mark
    Norway
    January 6, 2014

    Bizarre weather is hitting everywhere! Over here it is normal to have -20 centigrades on Christmas and January. Instead we are experiencing +5 centigrades. Theres no snow or ice… feels so weird. Recommend everyone to see the inconvenient truth by Al Gore. He might clear some misconceptions and shed some insight why its only fair that America pays the biggest toll for the weather change.

  14. #14 mickey
    Wisconsin
    January 6, 2014

    Earth has had a few volcanos go off that has shifted the earths axis. If anyone has notice in the last 15 years the sun comes up and sets in a little different place. My Dad noticed this in the early 2000′s. His front window had a full view of the sun rise. He noticed quite a shift. Remember when the north side of your house never got full sun light. Notice that now it does. So this new tilt could possibly have some effect on the weather. Just saying

  15. #15 SirJustyn
    Flat Top, West Virginia
    January 6, 2014

    This focus on “Global Warming” is just silly. Yes, anyone whom can produce less waste should be doing, hell it should be taught and required. I’m grouping waste in all areas from Light Pollution, to doing your part in reducing the need for industry farming. That being said, our climate is changing, and not just on Earth, but on Saturn with it’s great storm coming sooner and lasting longer, Jupiter which Red Spot jr forming, Mars getting warmer, and Venus’ winds blowing faster. We human are only causing a tiny faction of environmental change ( deforestation, city heat sinks, nuclear waste ) the rest of the major factors are out of our control. We need to step off our high horse and start planning for the future to be wild and crazy. More extremes in all areas. What should we be planning for. Everything. Rethink how we build, rethink where we live, rethink how we grow food. Instead of focusing on the getting warmer, getting colder lets make plans to survive the changes. Permaculture, Natural Material for home building, Extreme local weather reports, less fear more action. All life is cycle folks, if you believe the earth is alive, then it too will go through it’s own cycle. “Eyes Open No Fear”

  16. #16 Roni
    California
    January 6, 2014

    There is a difference between climate and weather. Climate is not an individual weather event. Climate is the average of all weather (temp and precipitation) for a given area. One weather event will have little effect on a location’s climate. This concept is not taken into account by those who deny climate change, which is the change in the entire Earth’s climate. So, if its colder than ‘normal’ in your area, its going to be warmer than ‘normal’ in another area.

  17. #17 oldebabe
    Studio City, California
    January 6, 2014

    Nice post.

    FYI, if you didn’t already know, while the north and east US is shivering, especially southern CA these last few months (some sources say the last 3 years) is dry as a bone and warm. This has happened before, and probably will again. If not, well, then not.

    Lately, any extreme weather event seems to become a source of dispute/denial/affirmation re: climate change/global warming/CO2 rise. ISTM that the best way is that we must continue to look at ways to make any necessary changes in our species’ general lifestyles, just to survive, regardless of whatever the outcomes.

  18. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  19. #19 Omri
    January 6, 2014

    ” We human are only causing a tiny faction of environmental change ( deforestation, city heat sinks, nuclear waste ) the rest of the major factors are out of our control.”

    120 years of scientific research indicate you are grossly mistaken on that count.

  20. […] Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk. – Greg Laden’s Blog […]

  21. #21 camilla drummond
    United Kingdom
    January 6, 2014

    As a totally ignorant observer; could the solar storms that have given rise to to the amazing Aurora Borealis’s we’ve seen lately have weakened or stretched earth’s magnetic field? does the magnetic field normally hold the weather systems in place?

  22. #22 Sean
    44310
    January 6, 2014

    Global warming is a lie. Al Gore said the arctic would be melted by 2014. Instead, the ice pack has INCREASED. The only place we saw real Glacial disappearance was in Greenland and Iceland, WHERE A VOLCANO CAME UP

  23. #23 Sean
    44310
    January 6, 2014

    Look up “Agenda 21″. In the 90s, when the U.N. came up with 21, they, infront of a HUGE audience, said they would use a new game plan. They introduced a THEORY that 21 was needed because of the potential for global warming. When that was HEAVILY disputed, the U.N. hired a British team to “find” evidence of warming. THAT report is what ALL Global Warming theories come from, originally. That British team was discredited when it was admitted, by the team, that they had made up all their facts.

  24. #24 Gilbert Fernandez Jr
    United States
    January 6, 2014

    More of a question that a statement. I don’t think that many people are questioning global warming per se, but more that man has added to this seemingly natural occurrence. So the question I have is, has man actually had an impact or, is it a natural cyclical event or series of events. Now, that being said, I would appreciate a forthcoming discussion, not the this idea that people who don’t subscribe to man-made global warming as less intelligent or anything of the sort. In my opinion, the minute you start challenging someone’s intelligence, you’ve lost the argument.

  25. #25 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2014

    Sean, no it isn’t.

  26. #26 Greg Laden
    January 6, 2014

    Gilbert, it has been established scientific fact for some time now that the release of fossil carbon, mainly as CO2, into the atmosphere is a thing. There are three reasons that anyone would not understand this at present. 1) They have been paying absolutely no attention whatsoever. For babies and toddlers, that’s understandable. For many others it may be as well, but for those who make claims that there is a debate over this scientific issue it is not very likely. 2) They have some reason or another (and there may be many different reasons) to deny the reality of anthropogenic climate change, so they are being dishonest. 3) They can’t understand for some reason or another.

    No, I do not lose an argument by trying to describe why people are saying things that are utterly, demonstrably wrong. I can give the best explanations I can think of for that … feel free to add your own. But being correct is not an explanation for denying this science, because the science is by and large correct.

  27. […] Greg Laden/ECMWF […]

  28. #28 Laurie Duraney
    Baraboo, WI
    January 6, 2014

    As a person currently sitting in the middle of the Arctic vortex, a really good, entertaining explanation and illustration of the way global warming works is Kim Stanley Robinsion’s trilogy “40 signs of rain”, “50 degrees below” and “60 days and counting”. Reading these helped me understand how the various elements of climate change interact.

  29. #29 Joan
    United States
    January 6, 2014

    Perhaps it’s the flip of the polar caps?

  30. #30 Karl
    Riga
    January 6, 2014

    Here in Baltics we’re experiencing one of the warmest January in many years. US snow should be here!

  31. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  32. #32 DazzaJ
    January 6, 2014

    ” We human are only causing a tiny faction of environmental change ( deforestation, city heat sinks, nuclear waste ) the rest of the major factors are out of our control.”

    “120 years of scientific research indicate you are grossly mistaken on that count.”

    That should read 120 years of “government backed and controlled” research ! The same governments that are raking in BILLIONS of dollars.

    The earth is heading towards a new ice age, as REAL scientist have predicted and proven, and apparently we’re 1000′s of years overdue for. The same as that has happened many many times in the earths history, before greenies, before politicians and before global warming, cooling, change crap!
    Adapt or die!

  33. #33 Stefan Klein
    Vienna, Austria
    January 6, 2014

    “Alaska and Europe are relatively warm as well.”

    that´s true. I am living in the middle of Europe and we´re experiencing exactly the opposite weather situation right now. Normally January is one of the coldest months of the year but at the moment it´s only freezing cold at night. And due to the local forecast the weather will stay unusual warm for this period of the year. Today we enjoyed a beautiful sunshine as we only know it from springtime. Also at christmas day we had a very unusual warm temperature of 59 degree °F (15 °C). It was one of the warmest christmas days since I can remember and the local weather recordings tell us the same. My country is famous for its many ski regions but unfortunately the villages in the alps are suffering under the lack of snow. So they are using snow cannons to compensate absence of any snowfall – of course that´s incredibly expensive, takes big efforts and is not sustainable at all. Even our farmers are moaning about the warm weather because freezing temperatures are a guarantee for natural pest control.
    To summarize, as far as I can tell even in Europe extreme weather conditions are increasing and the smooth transitions between summer and winter are declining.

  34. #35 Don Johnson
    USA
    January 6, 2014

    Climate science is often presented as a hard science, and it often produces hard facts. But the general population has a hard time swallowing these claims. How can anything be said for certain? Aren’t they just modesl? Aren’t they subjective? How is it science again?

    And add to this the fact that we have so many political interests involved. Who are we to believe. It all gets very confusing.

    For example, here it is explained in less than 127 seconds why the IPCC’s findings make the science you are supporting very suspect, if only by association.

    [link to denialist propaganda deleted as per policy]

    How do you feel about these sorts of conflicts?

    Reply: Don, what are you talking about? Your argument that the complex mathematical models worked out over decades, constantly refined, repeatedly demonstrated to work rather well, are not hard science because the general public does not swallow the claims? “Just models”??? What does that even mean? You ask “how is it science again?” … My question for you is, “how is it not science again?” because the only thing you’ve offered to back up your claims are your claims. That’s not particularly impressive. -gtl

  35. #36 Don Johnson
    January 6, 2014

    Climate science is often presented as a hard science, and it often produces hard facts. But the general population has a hard time swallowing these claims. How can anything be said for certain? Aren’t they just modesl? Aren’t they subjective? How is it science again?

    And add to this the fact that we have so many political interests involved. Who are we to believe. It all gets very confusing.

    For example, here it is explained in less than 127 seconds why the IPCC’s findings make the science you are supporting very suspect, if only by association.

    [link to denialist propaganda deleted as per policy]

    How do you feel about these sorts of conflicts?

    Reply: Don, what are you talking about? Your argument that the complex mathematical models worked out over decades, constantly refined, repeatedly demonstrated to work rather well, are not hard science because the general public does not swallow the claims? “Just models”??? What does that even mean? You ask “how is it science again?” … My question for you is, “how is it not science again?” because the only thing you’ve offered to back up your claims are your claims. That’s not particularly impressive. -gtl

    GTL, In fact yes, that is EXACTLY what I am talking about. The part that ended in ‘rather well,’ which is not particularly impressive, is exactly what I’m talking about. It is not a hard science. It is a science, but not a hard science. It can give us correlations, but you’re going to have a really hard time nailing down the cause. Which is just fine. But let’s be honest about it. I hope that answers your question back to me.

    Back to what I was really addressing, which is the troubling amount of disinformation on this topic. The controversy surrounding fellow scientists and organizations has really turned this debate on it’s head.

    Please answer the question. How do you feel about these sorts of conflicts now that they have threatened to discredit the whole field.

  36. #37 Don Johnson
    USA
    January 6, 2014

    For anyone that would like to know what DENIALIST PROPAGANDA I was linking to, simply google IPCC fraud and you’ll find plenty of interesting things to read.

    I’d also like to comment on the fact that your denialist policy towards what you have labeled as ‘denialist propaganda’ really speaks volumes.

  37. #38 Don Johnson
    January 6, 2014

    How is the IPCC “95% Certain” that Climate Change is Manmade?

    I suggest you all look it up

  38. […] the best analogy yet for the insane cold weather now afflicting the US came from science blogger Greg Laden, who created the viral image above. “Go home, Arctic,” it reads. “You’re […]

  39. […] the Polar Vortex is an interesting phenomenon. I stumbled upon scienceblogs.com, and found “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk” by biological anthropologist Greg […]

  40. #41 Mal Adapted
    January 6, 2014

    Sean and Don Johnson, you can read all kinds of “interesting” things on the Internet. Why do you think what you read is reliable?

  41. #42 Don Johnson
    January 6, 2014

    Mal Adapted, I don’t. I think that’s the point I’m trying to make here. After the IPCC leaks and hockey stick stories, which side are we to believe? Notice gtl didn’t respond to what I was asking. Instead he attacked me for a question I posed in jest, ‘how is it science again?’

  42. […] By ameliaurry Greg Laden/ECMWF […]

  43. […] Greg Laden/ECMWF […]

  44. […] According to ScienceBlogs.com: […]

  45. #46 Adam Bowman
    United States
    January 6, 2014

    There is a difference between a weather event and climate.

  46. #47 Leslie Graham
    January 6, 2014

    I’ve noticed that now climate change is simply obvious it’s only the truly lunatic conspiracy whackjobs and the jaw-droppingly ignorant deniers who remain.
    Some of the comments in this thread are quite literaly border-line insane.
    We don’t know everything about climate change but that doesn’t mean we know nothing. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if you add an extra 40% of heat-trapping gas to the atmosphere then the atmosphere is going to trap more heat.
    It is a simple fact that for the last 8,000 years the Earth was going through a very slow cooling of about .5C over that time.
    Begining around 1900 that very slow cooling was suddenly completely and rapidly reversed and the warming in the following century was almost twice the previous 8,000 years cooling.
    You would have to be insane not to see the obvious reason for this. I guess that explains some of the comments in here.
    “The other planets are warming too” for instance. What utter junk. We have no idea about the climate on other planets – some of them take 200 years to complete their cycles just for a start. Madness.
    Good grief deniers – get some help. It’s over. No-one with half a brain takes your nonsense seriously.

  47. […] the best analogy yet for the insane cold weather now afflicting the US came from science blogger Greg Laden, who created the viral image above. “Go home, Arctic,” it reads. “You’re […]

  48. #49 derek
    texas
    January 6, 2014

    [link to heartland institute propaganda deleted]

    game.set.match.

  49. #50 holy cow
    January 6, 2014

    nobody can deny the weather is changing. but the amount of name calling by the people touting science is just hilarious. Leslie, that’s an awesome display.

  50. #51 datechguy
    January 7, 2014

    Seriously it’s hot because of global warming, it’s cold because of global warming, cripes the Life of Brian Messiah crowd has nothing on you guys.

    Wouldn’t a planet & a sun that’s millions of years old naturally have cycles hundreds or thousands of years old?

  51. #52 beau jeste
    UK
    January 7, 2014

    Utter tosh.

  52. #53 beau jeste
    UK
    January 7, 2014

    The term ‘global warming’ has been replaced by ‘climate change’ and IPCC is 95% certain it’s man made.
    Well no sh*t Sherlock. That wouldn’t by any chance be down to government weather modification programmes and ‘climate control’ by any chance?
    So the current ‘polar vortex’ has moved from the Arctic to US mid-west. Any journalists want to properly investigate the subject before accepting the lies trotted out by David Keith and his yes men?
    Access to Arctic oil and mineral resources and if it can happen a north west passage, that’s what it’s all about.

  53. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  54. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  55. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titledthe […]

  56. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  57. […] for more than ten minutes, your legs will feel like they are burning. This is with pants on. The Arctic got drunk and wants to cuddle with us for a day or two, and even if the Arctic doesn’t mean to […]

  58. #59 GregH
    January 7, 2014

    Hilarious! Can we talk about sunspots next? And what about chemtrails? Surely they’re the favourite tool of the UN mind-control agenda 21 alien controllers? And how about them cosmic rays?

    (/sarcasm, in case you were wondering)

    “Science, you’re soaking in it.”

  59. […] From Greg Laden’s Blog, over on Science Blogs. […]

  60. […] writes that this whirlpool-like swirl of moving cold air we’re currently experiencing is the result […]

  61. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  62. […] First let’s quote from Greg Laden’s article called: “Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk.” […]

  63. #64 Mother Jones:
    January 7, 2014

    […] Know About The ‘Polar Vortex’,” by Emily Atkin, Jan. 6, 2014 (original quote from “Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk.” by Greg Laden, Jan. 5, 2014, […]

  64. #65 dean
    January 7, 2014

    For anyone that would like to know what DENIALIST PROPAGANDA I was linking to, simply google IPCC fraud

    Really? You use that as your search term and think what you get back will be something other than science denialist bullshit?
    Would you be as gullible in what you believe if you were to search on “Relativity propaganda” or “Evolution propaganda”?

    (Don’t bother answering – it’s reasonably certain the answer you and the rest of the clowns who made the anti-science comments would give is “Yes”.)

  65. […] down home) doesn’t confirm climate change any more than the current deep freeze refutes it. ScienceBlogs.com  explains why the polar vortex in no way negates climate […]

  66. #67 Max Erwengh
    January 7, 2014

    Hey it IS hard science! Their models are based on the Navier-Stokes equations etc., stop denying, keep acting

  67. […] down home) doesn’t confirm climate change any more than the current deep freeze refutes it. ScienceBlogs.com  explains why the polar vortex in no way negates climate […]

  68. […] Read: http://scienceblogs.com/gregladen/2014/01/05/go-home-arctic-youre-drunk/ […]

  69. […] 2. Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk. […]

  70. […] The “polar vortex” is defined as “a huge system of [Arctic] moving swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air” by bioanthropologist Greg Laden. According to Laden, “We are not seeing an expansion of cold, an ice age, or an anti-global warming phenomenon.” Instead, this Arctic air is “taking an excursion” south to regions that are usually more temperate. […]

  71. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  72. #73 John Morgan
    January 7, 2014

    I am reminded of Orwell’s doublespeak. “The coldness you are experiencing is really due to global warming.” Look, I was trained as a scientist and engineer. I’m not saying that what we’re trying to explain isn’t complex and might not have unexpected pertubations. But to try and justify global warming using supposed “predictable exceptions” of cold snaps begs the questions, it’s a reach. Simpler explanations are more likely.

    I wanted to reply to an earlier post that basically stated that “obviously manmade emissions have altered the weather”. I deny that premise. Those emissions might very well be (and it seems to me, best estimate from surveying the sources, and highly subjective) less than 10% of the issue. So sure, they’re a factor, but not a driving factor. Don’t get sidetracked on the real forces involved. If the earth’s cycles dominate the observed data, stop trying to make more of a “pertubation theory based on man-made causes” than is warranted. I don’t see the predictability part of the scientific theory being employed here. Make a prediction, vary the inputs, watch the results. Aside from that, stop trying to fit your pet / much desired theory to observed data. Therein lies silly numerology and phrenology, the very faults blind accepters of global warming supporters accuse its detractors of practicing.

    REPLY. This is not unexpected. Nobody is going beyond what is warranted. Perhaps this is just an area you don’t understand well.

  73. […] Arctic is drunk. That’s how science blogger, Greg Laden, describes the current weather phenomena: The mass of cold air that typically sits atop the north pole has stumbled down the western […]

  74. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  75. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  76. #78 John O
    Tulsa, OK
    January 8, 2014

    #26 – It is a scientific fact? What journals are you reading? I thought “theory of global climate change” by definition was theory.

    I am unconvinced as yet, due to the complexity of the problem being analyzed, and the limited data we actually have. That’s really the bottom line. I remember when it was -35F one winter, due to a “freak arctic current” coming out of Alaska (per the local news) and nobody panicked. We did replace lots and lots of water pipes around town, as -5 was usually as cold as it ever really got.

  77. #79 Ben
    Los Angeles
    January 8, 2014

    Or it could just be that we have cut down on the pollution in the areas that would have blocked the transfer of heat…

  78. […] at 4:45 on January 8, 2014 by Andrew Sullivan Greg Laden insists that this week’s frigid temperatures don’t mean […]

  79. #81 Greepeace Is Anti Science Terrorism
    January 8, 2014

    “The apparent contrast between extreme cold and global warming is actually an illusion.”

    Yup, just as surely as tornadoes and hurricanes didn’t exist until people like Al Gore discovered they could make millions off of carbon credit scams, right?

    “REPLY. This is not unexpected. Nobody is going beyond what is warranted. Perhaps this is just an area you don’t understand well. ”

    WOW, even for an AGW scaremonger, you’re a disengenuous, ads hominem-invoking weasel.

  80. #82 Jennifer
    MO
    January 8, 2014

    Yes, that’s Jennifer Francis’ model that everyone who is a believer is submitting as fact because it makes the believers look good.
    interesting model came out of Colorado from Elizabeth Barnes with a completely different model with the same data. Barnes is claiming that this cold snap cannot be definitively linked to global warming there is simply too many factors that haven’t been considered yet.
    as an independent thinker I like to look at all the details before I make my decision.
    furthermore if it is global warming we’re already hosed anyway, this isn’t going to end anytime soon so why not go down enjoying life?

  81. […] it’s not really what I would have expected. I would have thought, given climate change, polar vorticies, Inconvenient Truths, and Chasing Ice that we’d actually be talking (and writing presumably) […]

  82. #84 Paul
    Minneapolis
    January 8, 2014

    It should be pointed out that few if any records were established in Minnesota during this cold wave. A record low or low high on a particular date is not that significant anyway. We were 10 degrees short of the all time low ever in Minneapolis.

    The interesting fact about this mass of cold air is that it modified very slowly on it movement South. This meant that the further SOUTH you were, the more cold it was relative to normal. So, this was a bigger deal in Chicago, a much bigger deal in Nashville.

    On January 6 it was in the low 20s below throughout the state including the urban Twin Cities. For the later, that was signficant, tho hardly historic. For the rest of the state, it was nothing.

  83. #85 Greg Laden
    January 8, 2014

    Paul: Yes indeed. I’m pretty sure it was not much of a record setter in Minnesota, though for several years we’ve not had that much cold so it still had an impact.

  84. #86 Pat Loonsfoot
    Michigan
    January 8, 2014

    Seems to me no one has thought about the large earth quake and resulting suinomi with such force it knocked our planet off it’s axis a little. Couldn’t this be one reason why our weather has changed?

  85. #87 Greg Laden
    January 8, 2014

    Pat, the only reason we know that is because our instrumentation is so amazingly good. It did not have an effect on the weather.

  86. #88 richard
    January 8, 2014

    I work in the Arctic, so let me tell all you arm chair hippy’s that global warming is bull.

  87. #89 Jesse
    Seattle
    January 8, 2014

    Weather… ALL weather is caused by the uneven heating of the earth’s surface. The earth’s surface is heated primarily by the sun.

    Any relation to ‘crazy weather’ will coincide with solar activity… NOT carbon monoxide emissions. The sun has been undergoing strange activity for the last decade, more so the last couple years, and the crazy weather of the planet has totally reflected that. Enough to not need secondary, profit and corporate beneficial opinions such as Global warming. The US spent over 35 billion dollars last year on Global warming. Over 10 Billion of our tax dollars sent to other countries to teach them about global warming.

    Yet in all the data we see, we produce less carbon monoxide emissions than we did during America’s industrial age. Yet there as no global warming going on when we were burning dirty coal like it was going out of style.

    Meteorology and many other environmental sciences are bullshit. human learn by looking for patterns and trying to figure out a way to turn those patterns into an understanding of the world. Weather, is random. There aren’t enough true patterns to be able to gain a clear understanding of weather, let alone predict it. This is why after all these years and billions of dollars in research, Weathermen still can’t tell you what the weather is going to be like 7 days from now. They could… and probably will be off by a factor of 10 degrees by the time the 7 day forcast becomes live weather. This is due to such sciences trying to make patterns out of random events. All weather men can do accurately is “track” weather. Nothing more. And most important of all… you’ll NEVER see a climate scientist retract anything they say or take accountability for any false claim they make. Instead, they’ll just cover their old claims with excuses and make new claims. Apparently, we’re not suppose to have any ice caps now. That’s what they said 10 years ago. Have you heard any climate scientists admit they were wrong? Fuck no. What do they do instead? They claim that 10 years from now… yadda yadda bullshit bullshit yadda yadda bullshit.

  88. #90 Greg Laden
    January 9, 2014

    Jesse, OMG you just made that entire thing up! Putting the occasional wore in all caps does not substitute for trying to embrace reality, even just a little.

  89. […] om den berusade ormen tycks börja på Greg Ladens´blog. Han skriver inte om någon orm men däremot att Aktis är berusat. Han skriver också att […]

  90. #92 Marco
    January 9, 2014

    Oi, Greg, Jesse is complaining about carbon monoxide emissions. Tells you how much he really knows.I knew the rest would be a load of bull.

  91. […] warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. “Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk,” he titled the […]

  92. […] nu winter is. De uitzonderlijke kou in Noord-Amerika was de afgelopen dagen wereldnieuws. Blogger Greg Laden meende dat de Noordpool van zijn plek was gekomen. Hij had daar een wonderlijke verklaring […]

  93. […] an article entitled, Go Home Artic, You’re Drunk, bioanthropologist Greg Laden discusses why the existence of cold weather does not disprove global […]

  94. #96 GregH
    January 9, 2014

    Marco: To be fair though, he didn’t say “Al Gore is fat!” because that would have been too easy.

  95. #97 GregH
    January 9, 2014

    Richard: I work in the Arctic, so let me tell all you arm chair hippy’s that global warming is bull.

    Which Arctic? The cold one? Or the one where melting permafrost is a problem for northern communities?

  96. #98 Don Johnson
    January 9, 2014

    The amount of arrogant ignorance and personal attacks on here is Medieval. And the funniest part, it’s coming from all of you science loving Tucker Carlsons. I know that you guys have been through a lot, with all the truly nutty stuff being flung from the right and the anti science religion crowd. But aren’t you seeing the amount off bs coming from all angles?

    Clearly, the only people that are pointing out any potential wrong-doing by climate researchers or organizations like the IPCC are all complete loons. Because they must be since they are against the global warming people, so they are bad. and stupid. Good grief climate truthers, give it up, nobody is going to hurt your precious co2 theory. But does it really take someone more full of shit than Al Gore to get your gears turning?

  97. […] Midwest. A few days ago, during the height (depths?) of the cold wave, science blogger Greg Laden, wrote that “the Polar Vortex, a huge system of swirling air that normally contains the polar cold air, […]

  98. #100 Carole Mandryk
    United States
    January 10, 2014

    Hey Greg, congrats on the excellent viral meme:)

  99. #101 Denier
    January 10, 2014

    As soon as I saw “[link to denialist propaganda deleted as per policy]” I wrote you off.

  100. […] I pulled this meme from a good article explaining the polar vortex: Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk. […]

  101. […] 2014/01/05: GLaden: Go home, Arctic, You’re Drunk. […]

  102. […] Laden does a better job of talking about the polar vortex in his blog post entitled “Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk.” With the title alone he’s far more engaging. Other gems include describing the tropics as the […]

  103. #105 dean
    January 16, 2014

    Clearly, the only people that are pointing out any potential wrong-doing by climate researchers or organizations like the IPCC are all complete loons.

    No, they aren’t loons. They’re incredibly dishonest and ignorant about the science, and too lazy to actually read the research and see what it says. (Don Johnson and denier are clearly included in this collection of assbags.) It’s telling that the only people who reference Al Gore are the ones who have no clue about the science.

  104. #106 Don Johnson
    January 17, 2014

    Dean, this is the second post you’ve made and again it’s the same bs. Calling people assbags in the name of science. Hilarious. If people like you would just stop and think for a second instead of taking this as a red vs blue or science vs religion ground war, which is just damning this whole discussion, you’ll see that all I am getting at is the clearly dishonest moments caught on record. Burning your email to avoid FOIA requests? And asking other scientists to do the same.That’s the type of scientists you trust? Do some research before you look like an assbag.

    It is really simple. The debate has been completely warped by both sides. And that’s all I’ve tried to say. Why do the people on the side of science swallow up everything they are fed? Why don’t you have some skepticism? Why don’t you take a moment to look into how scientists aren’t at all happy after their experience with the IPCC?

    You know something is rotten when the people posing on the side of science are acting like dean.

  105. #107 stewart
    January 19, 2014

    Dan, the problem you’re having is that ridiculous statements deserve to be ridiculed. I googled IPCC fraud and saw the usual gang of liars and fellow travellers. I then googled Hiroshima fraud, and heliocentrism fraud. Did you know all of astronomy and astrophysics for the past 500 years IS A LIE? Did you know that NUCLEAR BOMBS DON’T ACTUALLY WORK? and that the whole cold war/nuclear establishment is a FRAUD? Did you know that ANY CRANK OR PRESSURE GROUP CAN GET A WEBSITE AND SPOUT WHATEVER NONSENSE THEY LIKE?

    Don’t like the IPCC or the IPCC process (for whatever arbitrary reason)? Fine. Where are you located? Go to your national academy of science, which has nothing to do with the IPCC process, and look up their webpage on climate change. It will be written by scientists, focused on the science (not the politics), and will have to balance the interests and goals of all the members of the scientific community. After all, money for climate research means less money for social science research (a concern for our host) and less money for neuroscience research (who fund my work).
    In the UK? go to the Royal Society
    In the US? Go to the National Academy of Science
    In Canada? Go to the Royal Society of Canada
    In Australia? Go to the Australian Academy of Science

    But you know how to google – and if you want to google science, use google scholar – it has a crap filter.

  106. #108 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    ” If people like you would just stop and think for a second instead of taking this as a red vs blue or science vs religion ground war,”

    It is in large part a red vs blue ground war, and this fact was created by the denialists, not the scientists.

    ” which is just damning this whole discussion,”

    Yes, the whole discussion is damned, by the denialists, and the denialists hold the full responsibility for that. Part of the denialist strategy is to try to make it look like that is not the case, and this goes along with the whole false balance thing.

    “you’ll see that all I am getting at is the clearly dishonest moments caught on record. ”

    There are no “clearly dishonest moments” … that is part of the made up rhetoric of the denialists such as those at the Heartland Institute, Tallbloke, and the rest of them. Repeating that there are “clearly dishonest moments” again and again does not make it so. It is, actually, dishonest to do so.

    “Burning your email to avoid FOIA requests? ”

    Burning one’s email to avoid having the emails hacked and misinterpreted, cherry picked and lied about, seems like a rather good idea given the dishonest and nefarious intentions and actions of the denialists.

    “The debate has been completely warped by both sides. ”

    Repeating the false balance lie is one of the strategies of the denialists.

    “And that’s all I’ve tried to say. ”

    Somehow I doubt that.

    “Why do the people on the side of science swallow up everything they are fed? ”

    Fed by whom? That is an absurd statement. Science is exactly the opposite of swallowing up one is fed, or feeding such things to others.

    “Why don’t you have some skepticism? Why don’t you take a moment to look into how scientists aren’t at all happy after their experience with the IPCC?”

    There is some unhappiness with the IPCC process. The process is too slow, so the “accepted” estimates of process and risk are often months (or longer) but the situation is changing quickly. The IPCC is slow and ponderous. The ponderous part is good, but the slowness is a problem.

    This wouldn’t be too much of a problem if everyone using the information was smart about it and honest about it, but the denialist community throws a wrench in the works.

    “You know something is rotten when the people posing on the side of science are acting like dean.”

    Again with the false balance.

  107. #109 Richard Simons
    January 19, 2014

    Dean:
    CO2 is transparent to incoming light but absorbs longer-wave outgoing radiation, thus keeping Earth warmer than it would be otherwise (known for 150 years).
    Human activity is causing the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to increase (known for 50 years).
    Therefore, Earth’s temperature will increase (in large part because of positive feedback from water vapour), roughly in line with calculations made 110 years ago.
    The warming is not uniformly distributed and more energy is being added to the system, therefore climates will change (understood for 50 years).
    You will find denialists never address these basic issues but concentrate on twisted, third-hand quotes and bizarre claims of government manipulation. BTW, I think you will find that most climatologists feel that the IPCC is being too timid about its warnings as it has to reach a consensus on each point.

  108. #110 dean
    January 19, 2014

    Calling people assbags in the name of science.

    If you don’t like it Don then stop being an assbag – a disingenuous one at that.

    You know something is rotten when the people posing on the side of science are acting like dean

    If you were to stop with the false statements, the unfounded comparisons of the two sides, and outright mis-interpretations we’ve come to expect from denialists, you would find a gentler reception.

  109. #111 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    “BTW, I think you will find that most climatologists feel that the IPCC is being too timid about its warnings as it has to reach a consensus on each point.”

    That’s true but also, for some areas, the IPCC is simply too slow moving. I think they should form a subcommittee for each of a handful of issues that are fast moving and important, including effects of arctic amplification and glacial melting.

  110. #112 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    You’re afraid they’ll cherry pick, so you damn yourself by deleting emails. Don’t you see what I’m getting at? And you’re so afraid of deniers that you’ll shut out anyone that questions those instances of dishonesty. I never once said anything about climate change. The science is overwhelming. So I think it’s crazy scary that you all jump on me and call me a ‘denier’ for saying things that make you clearly make you uncomfortable.

    Don’t you see how your basically screaming blasphemy. Maybe it’s the rights fault. Ok, IT IS WITHOUT DOUBT THEIR FAULT. But what you’re basically saying is, we didn’t start it! Please. Grow up.

    Greg, from what you are saying the right seems to have scientists, even the honest ones that would never do something like delete emails when they have nothing to hide, playing right into their hands. And your response was mostly about how your side isn’t as bad as the other side so I’m wrong. It’s absurd. Seems like the right has put us in the dark ages. And the science crowd is responding by calling people assbags and justifying things like the destruction of evidence/emails?

    What I originally asked was, aren’t you afraid that all this crap is going to discredit the real science and the real threat we are facing? And if so, WHY PLAY INTO IT? Given all the crazy coming from the anti-science pro-business groups, and that the actual science is a clear touchdown, why would you do something as stupid as send out a an email asking fellow scientists to delete emails?

    THE STUPIDITY!!! not to mention illegality? And you all go along like nothing stinks. You all clearly love the smell of your own farts.

  111. #113 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    You are absurdly suggesting that you, and or the denialist community, gets to dictate the nature and procedures of security used by the people you attack.

    That is the definition of being a bully.

    I have no idea if anyone has ever deleted emails but for you to suggest that this would be dishonest or illegal is astonishing.

    I think I might just go and delete an email right now. Because it is my email and I can delete it if I want too.

  112. #114 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    This absolutely childish.
    I’m again troubled by the way respond, snide and arrogant.

    Are you saying that deleting emails is a security measure? Who am I ATTACKING?

    And continuing to call me a denier… even after I said that I am not, is the definition of being a bully. And a much simpler one.

  113. #115 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    Don, when you said “You all clearly love the smell of your own farts.” you gave up any legitimate right to describe anyone else’s comments as childish, snide, or arrogant.

    Deleting files is commonly done in many areas of life, and it is often done as a security measure, yes. Now you know!

    So, fine, you’re not a denier. But frankly, the jury may still be out on that one. Waiting for more evidence.

  114. #116 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    I’m guessing that if you are facing an FOIA request, the legality of deleting those emails is probably questionable! And at the very least, it makes you look dishonest. Why would you do that if the science is solid and you have nothing to hide?

    I’m not using this as a way to refute the science!!!!! I’m saying, WTF? Why would you put yourself and your community’s reputation at risk? And why doesn’t the rest of the community say WTF?

  115. #117 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    I wasn’t suggesting anyone do that, and in fact, no one does that, and this is just you making shit up about what people do (that they don’t do) but you feel somehow a need to scold them for.

    Meanwhile, it is prudent to delete lots of different kinds of things, just as we would have shredded things in the paper world, and this is routinely done by businesses, professionals, and private individuals all the time. Hell, we had a big shredding party here just last week the day before recycling.

  116. #118 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    Ok, I’m not asking you to antagonize you. From what I can find, P Jones asked several people to delete emails. And from what I can see, it is being used to discredit them by the people on the right. But the only response I see is, Hey they are all assbags! Which I’m sure is mostly true, but it is besides the point here. Why are they deleting emails when there is nothing to hide?

  117. #119 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    I don’t know anybody deleting emails, but having nothing to hide is irrelevant, given what happened with climategate. Those scientists had nothing to hide.

  118. #120 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    So why did P Jones send out an email that was forwarded by M Mann to another scientist that asked them to delete certain emails…. if they weren’t hiding something? it sure seemed like they were.

  119. #121 Don Johnson
    January 19, 2014

    BTW, my case for why the sorts of people on here calling other folks assbags love the smell of their own farts, meaning they can’t smell their own stinkiness because they love themselves too much, was neither childish, snide or arrogant.

  120. #122 Greg Laden
    January 19, 2014

    How many times do I have to answer the same question?

  121. #123 Don Johnson
    January 20, 2014

    So you do or don’t know about people deleting emails?

  122. #124 Greg Laden
    January 20, 2014

    I only know that you are going on and on about how if somebody deletes an email they must have done something wrong, which is, of course, not true. I don’t know why you think people can’t delete emails, because people can, I don’t know who P Jones is, but I do know that every month or two I delete a gazillion emails in order to make room for mor.

  123. #125 Stewart
    January 20, 2014

    Don, where are you getting the information for your questions? Did you think others might have the same questions? Maybe some politicians could have a commission to examine this? Maybe they did, and found it’s all a bunch of smoke and mirrors? What might you find if you google climategate inquiry? Could you find full exoneration of the scientists you are accusing (oh so nicely, of course). Check and tell me what you find. After all, you now agree the IPCC and scientists have it right.

  124. #126 Don Johnson
    January 20, 2014

    Stewart, you are the only person here responding in a reasonable way. Thanks.

    Yes, investigations by those commissions have cleared the scientists of any wrong doing. But full exoneration? I think it’s really hard to know what to believe in this debate. And I think that’s what I’ve been complaining about most here. Or at least I hope that’s what I got across to you. I have a really hard time with this subject because I have to stick to the science side or cross to the dark side. And I really hate this atmosphere. The reason why I’ve bothered with these comments is because what I hate most are the smug responses coming from the science side. I’ll admit that I expected to get responses like this, but I was still surprised when it happened. I’ve worked in a university lab, and I’ve seen researchers under pressure. Let’s be honest, there’s an incentive to cheat on both sides in this debate (if you’re going to yell at me and say that it isn’t even close to comparable, get real. The science needs money, but more importantly, these changes will mean big money for business. Curbing global warming will involve billions). So it’s really troubling when the science folks aren’t asking questions that to me are really obvious if you read more than your own camp’s sources. Yes, science is political. And these questions are really important in this debate if we are going to be open and reasonable. Why would Phillip Jones want to delete emails? Sure you can say they found “full exoneration,” but you could also say that they got away with it. It seems like that was their whole intention all along. And it seems like some of this was dropped, at least in the violation of FOIA law, due to statute of limitation constraints. Is that the sort of exoneration you are comfortable with? And are you really ok with scientists deleting emails that regard work they are getting paid to do and be honest about?

    So, as a scientist, or simply as a person who would rather trust their own reason and not take anything on faith (even when it’s coming from your camp or side), why aren’t you taking that second option as a possibility? Maybe they just got away with it. At the very least, doesn’t it seem odd that they would need to delete emails? Have any of you actually read those leaked emails? Or has all the bashing of opposition in places like this convinced you it isn’t worth it?

    And that’s really what gets me. Sure the right is going medieval, but why is the science crowd following?

  125. #127 phillydoug
    January 21, 2014

    Don J.,

    You state: “So, as a scientist, or simply as a person who would rather trust their own reason and not take anything on faith (even when it’s coming from your camp or side), why aren’t you taking that second option as a possibility? Maybe they just got away with it. At the very least, doesn’t it seem odd that they would need to delete emails? Have any of you actually read those leaked emails? Or has all the bashing of opposition in places like this convinced you it isn’t worth it?

    And that’s really what gets me. Sure the right is going medieval, but why is the science crowd following?”

    What precisely is your concern here? What nefarious plot of ‘the science crowd’ (love that phrase) do you suspect? What hidden truth resides in the now deleted e-mails of these scientists with something to hide? Is there that smoking gun e-mail that says: “AGW really is a liberal hoax; we, the science crowd know it, but there’s too much money to be made in basic research as long as we keep the fraud going, so let’s not let the public know the truth?”

    Is there clear evidence that the effects of AGW are exaggerated by the sinister UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, so: glaciers aren’t really receding all that much, ocean levels aren’t rising that much, severe weather events (floods, droughts, polar vortices) aren’t really happening in just the way the AGW models happened to predict?

    Right, somewhere in those deleted e-mails the truth remains hidden.

    So, Don J., “as a person who would rather trust their own reason and not take anything on faith”,– What does your reason tell you about AGW– is it real? Are the effects severe? Are the effects going to worsen before they are (maybe) addressed?

    If you answer yes to any of those questions, then it’s not clear what ‘truth’ you suspect is hidden, and what ‘malfeasance’ is being covered up.

    To equate ‘the science crowd’ with denialists in this off-hand way, aside from being simply a false equivalence, suggests you are not really pursuing ‘open and reasonable’ inquiry; instead you’re trying to dismiss evidence through insinuation.

    Of course, dismissing scientific evidence through insinuation is the stock and trade of denialists of all stripes, whether the ‘cigarettes aren’t proven to cause cancer’ shills for tobacco companies, anti-evolution fundamentalists, or AGW denialists.

    The common denominator? The fraudulent claim that there is a debate about the fundamental facts within the scientific community (sorry, ‘the science crowd’).

    The only people debating the evidence for AGW, and its effects, are doing so out of ideological preference, or naked economic interests (i.e., oil and coal companies and their employees).

    Where do you stand?

  126. #128 Don Johnson
    January 21, 2014

    You’re trying to get me to ‘dismiss evidence through insinuation.’ That is not what I’m doing. And I’ve had to repeat that several times. It’s why I have accused the ‘science crowd’ here (not the scientific community, don’t take me for an idiot and you might get what I’m saying) of treating this as a red vs blue or green whatever ground war. What I’ve said is, why would scientists risk another ‘climategate’ type fiasco by telling fellow scientists to delete emails when someone is facing a FOIA request. Especially when it’s so easy to write these attackers off as industry shills. That to me does not add up. And seeing people like you write such long, well-written responses that ignore what I am actually saying, also doesn’t add up. I’m not saying there is a nefarious conspiracy to create AGW. Never in fact have I come close. I’ve said the complete opposite, the science is overwhelming. I’m saying this atmosphere sucks. And sure it may be fed by oil interests, but that just begs the question even more, why are the scientists playing along with it? Why not keep your integrity, be as transparent and honest as possible (ie not trying to hide the discussions that went into making the science, because a lot of this data needs to be looked at in the right way so lets see how that process plays out). What is the science community afraid of and why are they shooting themselves in the foot when facing scoundrels with FOIA requests? If they cherry pick, respond with an explanation. That is far less damaging to the debate, as small of a debate as it is according to most. And why are you so against a person saying that?

  127. #129 Stewart
    January 22, 2014

    Don, what did the investigations say? Tell us.
    If you are familiar with all this stuff, tell us what the inquiries said about these very points. They were covered, after all.

  128. #130 Greg Laden
    January 22, 2014

    The science community is not afraid of anything. But there is a certain interest in being treated like normal human beings and to preserve the rights everyone else has.

  129. #131 Greg Laden
    January 22, 2014

    “Yes, investigations by those commissions have cleared the scientists of any wrong doing. But full exoneration? I think it’s really hard to know what to ”

    You are one messed up dude, aren’t you. The false accusations were so loud they left tour head ringing. That is your problem. What you are implying here is very serious, and very wrong.

    “smug responses coming from the science side. I’ll admit that I expected to get responses …”

    Your continuous implication of wrong doing by those who were nothing other than victims gets you a Doug response? You think this is smug? No, you are offending people. You are being an ass. Almost libelous.

  130. #132 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    I think my only point is, shouldn’t we expect emails to be stolen? If I’m making an accusation, it’s that there is enough money to steal emails. Why are we so surprised about that? What am I being libelous about?

  131. #133 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    Stewart and phillydoug, I’ll help you find what I’m talking about. let me know what you think.

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jul/11/climategate-muir-russell-review
    “On the same day the Russell review was published, the Information Commissioner’s Office published a little-noticed notice stating that UEA had breached two FOI regulations in relation to requests made in 2008. Professor Geoffrey Boulton, an eminent earth scientist and Russell review panel member, said: “We have to move science from a private enterprise to a public enterprise.”

    hence the question on the technicality of that exoneration. Yeah, the science is solid, like I said I am not a denier and I have said over and over, this about discredint the science. What I am saying is, why is it taboo to ask about all the bad behavior? Or at least not so smart behavior?

    for examples

    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/cif-green/2010/jul/07/climategate-scientists
    “The report is far from being a whitewash. And nor does it justify the claim of university vice-chancellor Sir Edward Action that it is a “complete exoneration”. In particular it backs critics who see in the emails a widespread effort to suppress public knowledge about their activities and to sideline bloggers who want to access their data and do their own analysis. Most seriously, it finds “evidence that emails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them [under Freedom of information law].”

    and
    http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/jul/07/climategate-review-clears-scientists-dishonesty
    “The row was sparked when 13 years of emails from CRU scientists were hacked and released online last year. Climate change sceptics claimed they showed scientists manipulating and suppressing data to back up a theory of man-made climate change. Critics also alleged that the scientists abused their positions to cover up flaws and distort the peer review process that determines which studies are published in journals, and so enter the scientific record. Some alleged that the emails cast doubt on the findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Announcing the findings, Russell said: “Ultimately this has to be about what they did, not what they said.”

    now that sounds like the skin of teeth to me. But, like I also had said earlier,
    “He added: “The honesty and rigour of CRU as scientists are not in doubt … We have not found any evidence of behaviour that might undermine the conclusions of the IPCC assessments.”

    Most of what I think is smug is in part from the overreacting. When I said that you could also say they got away with it, I’m saying it’s a bad PR blow. Not that it is an accusation I am making. I would have actually made that accusation if it was what I was trying to say. You’d think people would stop reading it that way after the amount of times I’ve had to say I am not a denier.

    And, yes, I am one messed up dude.

  132. #134 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    this about discredint the science.

    *this isn’t about discrediting the science.

  133. #135 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    Don Johnson, while one may expect that at times e-mails are stolen, it is impossible to live continuously considering whether an e-mail you have written can be interpreted in a way that looks “bad” and may be stolen. Perhaps paranoid people live like that, but I certainly would not be able to sustain a life in which I consider with each and every e-mail whether it can be misinterpreted or be used to attack my personality if it were stolen and then publicised widely.

    For example, I have one e-mail in which I say some pretty nasty stuff about an Editor (and my e-mail partner does the same). It is an honest exchange about how we feel, but when it were widely publicised, I’m sure people will tell me I was out of line, since you just don’t say that stuff in public. True, I would not say it in public, but that’s mainly because I know how vindictive people can be and since it requires a thorough understanding of the situation to understand why I came to my conclusions about said Editor.

  134. #136 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    Yeah, so that’s why I don’t talk that way on my work email, and I do on my private email. And that’s why we have work email, and private email. So what is your point exactly?

  135. #137 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    The question is, would you write that way in an email that would potentially be subject to FOIA request? And, more seriously, would you delete those emails?

  136. #138 Marco
    January 23, 2014

    Don, who says your private mail cannot be stolen?
    And would I wrote such stuff that is potentially subject to FOIA requests? Well, yes, again because I do not live a paranoid life and am a regular human being, with my own way of dealing with frustrations.

    Would I delete e-mails potentially subject to FOIA requests? Yes, I would. In fact, I regularly delete e-mails, just to remove the clutter and noise in my mailbox. However, they could well be “subject to FOIA requests” in some countries (not mine, I’m happy to live in a country that still considers private communications private, with only law enforcement allowed to ‘snoop’ in that information).

  137. #139 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    “I think my only point is, shouldn’t we expect emails to be stolen? If I’m making an accusation, it’s that there is enough money to steal emails. Why are we so surprised about that? What am I being libelous about?”

    You are being (a little bit) libelous because you are very strongly implying that if someone deletes emails that they are hiding something, thus doing something wrong.

    Interesting, though, that you note that your “only point” (which it isn’t) is that we should expect emails to be stolen.

    Yes, perhaps we should, and this is why any records or documents that a) contain information that might be stolen and used against you, such as for identify theft, etc and b) are no longer needed, are best destroyed.

    But you are saying that climate scientists are an exception to this common sense security rule and must keep their emails handy just in case hackers want to steal them, or a FOIA is generated.

    This is a little like saying that I must walk around with 100 bucks in my pocket in case any muggers want to mug me.

  138. #140 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    No, it’s saying that you are doing science and should have to be honest. Deleting emails is a little less than than that. In fact, it’s in violation of law. In case you missed the quotes,

    “Information Commissioner’s Office published a little-noticed notice stating that UEA had breached two FOI regulations in relation to requests made in 2008.”

    and

    “Most seriously, it finds “evidence that emails might have been deleted in order to make them unavailable should a subsequent request be made for them [under Freedom of information law].”

    Greg, you are way off. You should stop making all the false analogies. You are either misunderstanding the difference between breaking the law and throwing out trash, or you are lying. I really do think it’s your head that is ringing from all the false accusations. In fact, that’s what I had been trying to say in less offensive ways.

    And as for the hacking of emails and being mugged. Try this analogy, don’t carry around 100 bucks in your pocket in case you get mugged. It’s a lot smarter than doing the opposite, like you suggest.

  139. #141 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    “see in the emails a widespread effort to suppress public knowledge about their activities and to sideline bloggers who want to access their data and do their own analysis.”

    So just to clarify, we are talking about separate issues, hacking and following FOI law.

    Sow the hell can you call bloggers on the internet that ask (perhaps too many) questions and pursue FOI law, MUGGERS?

    I caught that you tried to put them together, and I call horseshit. Especially when scientists are the ones caught breaking the law. And I have to wonder if these scientists didn’t become targets of the hack after the blogging community met with so much frustration, which is described in the three articles I referred to above. I’m not saying it justifies it, I’m saying that If getting your email hacked is a possibility we all face, it might make sense to start thinking in these terms: responding like an asshole (which they admittedly were doing) and keeping secrets when you are working on (even artificially) contentious science is probably a lot like making a formal request to the internet to be hacked.

    And like I’ve said before, It’s absurd. Why would scientists do this when the science is solid. If that sounds to you like I’m discrediting science with insinuation, WAKE UP, you are projecting and making that up on your own. All I am saying is it’s a bad move, it’s illegal, and it doesn’t help the science look any better.

  140. #142 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    I can’t think of a single case of a scientist acting illegally. You are edging further and further into the libel zone.

    And, you are also blaming the victims.

  141. #143 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    Can you not read the articles I referred to? Let me help you again.

    “Information Commissioner’s Office published a little-noticed notice stating that UEA had breached two FOI regulations in relation to requests made in 2008.”

    Breaching the law is a fancy way of saying they violated it Greg. And the only reason they didn’t get in more trouble was because it was an old violation and the statute of limitations protected it from prosecution. Not much of an exoneration is it.

  142. #144 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    If I’m blaming the victims of anything, it’s of being stupid.

  143. #145 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    There is also the question of whether or not British law or quasi-legal opinion is relevant globally.

  144. #146 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    So that is where you are going to make your retreat? Forget the law and the fact that it’s there for a reason and (now) that IT WAS violated, and let’s just remember that we are talking about SCIENCE and honesty and what is prudent in this reality. How about looking over the matter and not being such a prejudiced (and mean and nasty) angry person about it.

  145. #147 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    I really can’t believe you are now saying, hey it’s just British law. It’s completely crazy how you keep thinking you are being fair and honest here.

  146. #148 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    Don, it is British law … the specific document you pointed out. I’m not retreating.

    You do manage to get more and more obnoxious every time you comment. I’d love to see you just try to make your point clearly and concisely without couching it in so much mystery and innuendo.

  147. #149 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    And please do it politely.

  148. #150 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    I think it’s really funny that you are asking me to be polite after hurling all those nasty things at me earlier. It’s laughable. Just compare your posts #130 and #131 to Stewart’s post #129 in response to the same comments I made. It’s amazing.

    And yes, you first said there were no violations of law. Now you are saying it’s just British law that was violated, as if that somehow matters. Sounds like a retreat.

    What mystery innuendo? You want to make a point Greg and not just rely on personal attacks?

  149. #151 Greg Laden
    January 23, 2014

    “I think it’s really funny that you are asking me to be polite after hurling all those nasty things at me earlier. It’s laughable”

    I was laughing when I wrote it.

    “And yes, you first said there were no violations of law. ”

    I don’t think there are any violations of law. Even the British thing is equivocal on it. I did not say that British Law was violated. I was merely pointing out that you seem to have left out that important detail.

    My point, with or without personal attacks, is that you are wrong. Also, you are trying to make what looks like a huge general point about the dishonesty of climate scientists but basing it on a poorly referenced and not well understood, cherry picked, bit of confusing commentary with absolutely no legal finding or action indicating that anyone has done anything wrong.

    I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt by suggesting that you had some other point to make and suggested that you try to do so more clearly. But apparently that is not the case.

  150. #152 Don Johnson
    January 23, 2014

    “Information Commissioner’s Office published a little-noticed notice stating that UEA had breached two FOI regulations in relation to requests made in 2008.”

    I’m sorry if all this is over your head, but yes the law was violated. Yes that law was a British law. And yes it was relevant, because it was under British jurisdiction. Where are you getting that there was no legal finding or action indicating that there was no wrong doing? You completely made that up. It’s your own make believe. When a notice is submitted by the gov’t (Information Commissioner’s Office) saying that a law was breached, that is what it is. And it was not a smart thing for those scientists to be doing. Are you really having a hard time understanding that?

    Your point is that I am wrong. Amazing. You keep having fun on your blog Greg. This is over.

  151. #153 Marco
    January 24, 2014

    Don, the “little-noticed notice” actually was pretty poorly worded, since the best the ICO could do was to claim there was prima facie evidence that something had possibly happened. The ICO had not even investigated whether those e-mails would fall under the British FOIA (in fact, the ICO did rule later they did not!), nor had it determined that e-mails had been deleted (it had not investigated), so the claim that a law had been breached was not established. This unsubstantiated claim by the ICO was criticized for being unproven by the parliamentary committee charged with investigating climategate.

    Of course, the ICO is a bit of a loose cannon anyway, considering they ordered CRU to release data that the original providers explicitly told CRU they were not allowed to release. In other words, the ICO demanded CRU violate an NDA, which very likely would have led to prosecution if the NMO had taken that to court. It was a true “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” case, with the one advantage in selecting “do” being the ability to put the blame on the ICO.

  152. #154 Don Johnson
    January 24, 2014

    Sure Marco, there was only prima facie evidence, and like I said before nothing else was done by the ICO because it was time-barred by a six-month statute of limitations. I haven’t seen where the ICO gave clemency to that request, which doesn’t make much sense but is possible and I can’t argue against. Where did you find this? I do see that they provided guidelines afterwards on what is and isn’t covered, which will hopefully prevent this in the future. I’m not alone in making these criticisms. Transparency and openness seems to be the way forward in a lot of areas. And you wouldn’t have to look hard to find that scientists involved hold the same sentiments, as well as the commissions that conducted the investigations. Look at the guardian’s 12-part coverage on the CRU emails.

    My other complaint, and the actual reason why I started writing here, is all the ad hom attacks and nastiness that is coming from people supporting the science. Why not push the science and keep your dignity. One of the main criticisms from the commissions is tribalism. I can’t believe the amount of shit I’m getting for addressing these things. It’s taboo to raise questions here, and that isn’t the way the public or anyone expects to see science behaving. I’ve tried to make the point that maybe all the crazy religious nuts have made you all a bit on edge, only to be told that the false accusations have my head ringing, I’m one messed up dude, etc etc. That’s not the way adults talk, and it’s really fucking crazy to see science acting that way.

    Like I said, it’s really rotten. You would expect batshit crazy right wingers to act that way given the money available to keep the co2 status quo. But something is really rotten when the science is behaving this way. I was told I was fucking crazy and disingenuous for making that point before.

  153. #155 Marco
    January 25, 2014

    Don, there is a reasonable write-up here:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freedom_of_Information_requests_to_the_Climatic_Research_Unit
    with many links (although also a few dead links, unfortunately).

    Regarding “transparency and openness” I would again point out that there often are good reasons to keep certain discussions private, and those good reasons do not include discussing some kind of nefarious actions. It is the fact that some people demand stuff gets out in the open and then do little or nothing when that information is misinterpreted (and not uncommonly on purpose) which makes others angry. You point to the Guardian’s coverage, and on the other thread I point you to a rebuttal from the Realclimate people, showing how many errors are made in the claims, and how context matters.

    It also looks like you are blaming humans for being humans. We would like to discuss things in a safe environment, and not one that is if not openly hostile, at the least inherently suspicious. It’s pretty unsettling to be treated as a potential criminal all the time, and have your accusers roam around with impunity.

  154. #156 Stewart
    January 25, 2014

    Don, I was working hard to be polite. I’ve had enough myself. Scientists get grumpy when people lie about them. Scientists write things to others that are not intended for publication. You omit all context in the process of misrepresentation. You may not be a total denier, but you are heavily invested in false equivalence and misrepresentation. You’ve demonstrated this to everyone’s satisfaction. For example, about the FOI requests: what were they, what was the violation, and what was the consequence? Absent that, you are just throwing mud and shadows. You’ve shown your game – I’m not interested in playing.

  155. […] “relatively warm” and our temperate region not-so-temperate. Go Home Arctic, You’re Drunk, he titled the […]

  156. #158 Don Johnson
    January 25, 2014

    I’d really like you to point to any mud or shadows. But since I’ve been hearing nothing but the same, I can guess that what is playing in your head probably sounds something like this, from wikipedia: “Newspapers misrepresented this as a decision in relation to raw data” – but I keep having to say that I am not making that misrepresentation. I am not saying it shows that the science is crap. I’m saying it’s stupid to do this stuff when you are doing science. It’s illegal, but also it’s just been counterproductive.

    What’s really being misrepresented here is that there is something wrong with stalwarting data, deleting emails with the actual specific intent of avoiding requests for openness to the point of violating the law. Another thing that gets misrespresented: Phil Jone’s deletion was not prosecuted in his violation of FOIA law because it was time-barred by the statute of limitations. The data was good, but deleting the emails was a bad idea and it was illegal… but they didn’t find out until the emails making the requests to delete were leaked two years later. This is from wikipedia, which is where Marco is getting his info:

    ‘ A 2008 FOI request by David Holland for emails discussing work on the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report was refused by the university. In November 2009 he alleged that CRU emails posted online discussed deleting the emails he had requested: in January 2010 the Deputy Information Commissioner told a journalist that this indicated an offence under section 77 of the FOIA, but prosecution was time-barred by statute of limitations. Newspapers misrepresented this as a decision in relation to raw data, and the issue was discussed by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee inquiry, which found there had been a lack of openness. The ICO decision published on 7 July 2010 stated that this potential offence had not been investigated as it was time-barred. ‘

    Marco, I still don’t see where the ICO retracted and decided that this stuff didn’t need to be released under FOI, like you claimed before. You could easily paste that evidence here. What I do see are a few different decisions that P Jones violated FOI law.

    Stewart, do you see the violation I am talking about? You could also look this stuff up yourself.

    What game am I playing exactly. And can’t you see the game being played by the regulars here? I keep being accused of being a denier and trying to discredit science by showing there’s suspicions (Stewart, I’ve been accused of throwing shadows before, but you were at least nice about it.) But I keep referring to the simple fact that deleting and being less than open is bad for science, ESPECIALLY with all the nuts screaming climate terrorr or whatever. If you don’t mind, tell me where I am omitting context. I am really amused by that statement because it is the rallying cry against anyone that says anything about those emails. I haven’t quoted any, so I’m scratching my head here wondering how I took anything out of context. Please make a point that is relevant to me when you are criticizing what I have said or what I am doing.

    Are you all really too afraid to see what’s in those emails? Have any of you actually took the time see what’s there for yourselves?

  157. #159 Marco
    January 26, 2014

    Don, it is on the Wikipedia page where the ICO determined the requested e-mails were not subject to FOIA but to the EIR. Also, it remains rather odd for an organisation to claim something was violated, and then admit it did not actually investigate whether there was a violation. The correct statement would be that there may have been a violation, but no evidence for such violation was available, because it could not be investigated. In other words, the “potential violation” is just that: a “potential violation”.
    Just imagine a judge saying that someone committed a crime, but well, the crime was not actually investigated because the statute of limitations was already passed anyway. No one would accept a judge saying that.

    Just FYI, I have indeed looked at the e-mails, and I see a lot of normal human frustrations, and even more outright misrepresentations of what those e-mails actually say. Jones’ request was ill-advised, but in my opinion understandable based on his (and his colleagues’) prior experiences of people just trying to harass him (in his view) so he would not be able to do actual science. From what I know, Phil Jones works in a similar way as I do, and considering my regular workweeks, a request to find all e-mails related to subject A within a rather tight time period would mean I had to leave other urgent jobs for the next week, which then come in the way of other urgent jobs.

  158. #160 Greg Laden
    January 26, 2014

    “What’s really being misrepresented here is that there is something wrong with stalwarting data, deleting emails ”

    You’ve linked emails to data. Why do you do it? Also what do you mean by ‘stalwarting’

    I didn’t know this was about data.

  159. #161 Don Johnson
    January 26, 2014

    Marco, it’s a lot to ask of researchers. And as this discussion has dragged on I’ve become more aware of that. I don’t want to make any bad analogies, but I see the same discussion online at the moment with police officers. It’s easy to have very high expectations of people even when you might not realize how hard the job is.

    And you’re right. I always see FOI and not EIR when this is brought up. Thanks for pointing that out to me. So the EIR ” applied rather than the equivalent FOIA.” It seems like they are similar, but not sure if they were both relevant. Anyhow “the university had failed to provide responses within the correct time” and Phil Jones chose instead to tell people to get rid of emails. And since then, his lawyers tell him to be very careful about “how” he deletes his emails.

    So that brings me to the big deal you are making about it being a ‘potential violation.’ Like you said, a judge decides not to investigate a crime because there is a lack of evidence, not because they don’t think a crime was committed. It doesn’t seem like you have thought that through. What evidence were you expecting them to find? Remember, we are talking about deleted emails. Most of the time, the reason why somebody gets away with a crime is because they were able to make something disappear. It’s law enforcement’s biggest problem. And that is all the judge said.

    The ICO said about the evidence they had and the relevant statute of limitations, “The fact that the elements of a section 77 offence may have been found here, but cannot be acted on because of the elapsed time, is a very serious matter. The ICO is not resiling from its position on this.”

    I think this goes along with my point about tribalism. Nobody wants to think anything bad happened here. Somehow, regardless of the evidence showing their efforts, to you there is a lack of evidence because a judge wasn’t able to prosecute a crime that would require producing emails that have been deleted. That line of thinking appears to be just a bit bonkers for most.

    When Schmidt talks about gatekeeping, saying “Pearce has a view of the peer review process that does not correspond to the actual peer review process. Peer review is explicitely a gate-keeping excercise”, I think that statement is a bit slippery if you apply it to what is covered in that piece, and in the whole climategate circus in general. Yes, the process should be ruthless and there should be a guardian for mainstream science and/or for the opposing side testing the claims. All that is missing in the Pearce article. But it really seems like there is too much pressure/concern amongst scientists to close ranks against the ‘deniers.’ It might help the science and the public’s ability to perceive the science fairly if there was a sort of conscious move towards transparency and openness (that’s all I meant about the data, giving it to people when it is yours to give when they ask for it), and if the scientists didn’t behave more like gangs even when in private amongst themselves. Sure, maybe in other sciences, where billions of dollars and all that aren’t at stake, this wouldn’t be necessary. So maybe it is a lot to ask I guess.

  160. #162 Don Johnson
    January 26, 2014

    Greg,

    I didn’t connect data to emails. You did. Anyone can see that.

    One complaint was that the researchers could have shared data because it belonged to them (and not to someone else) and it regarded published work, but they didn’t want to. They don’t have to, but it might help if they were more open. I’m not sure where I read it specifically, but I believe the inquiries made this recommendation more than once.

    The other issue is the email stuff. They are separate issues, that’s why I put a comma in between them, to list two separate issues. I don’t really understand what you are doing telling me I connected them.

    I don’t like it when you accuse me of things I didn’t do.

    How do you feel about the comments you made before, for example in post #113 and #131. I don’t think there was anything close to full exoneration found by the inquiries. Far from it. Since you say I’m one messed up dude for thinking this way, I really would appreciate it if you told me what you are seeing that is so different.

  161. […] modern record. Blogger Greg Laden offered a smart and funny answer to the denialist question, “If global warming is real, then why is it so cold?” The Daily Climate site tracked down the Newsweek reporter who wrote a nine-paragraph story […]

  162. […] as the polar vortex descended upon the US in early January, pop culture references abounded. One particularly popular Internet meme declared, “Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk,” a line that even made its way onto to […]

  163. […] as the polar vortex descended upon the US in early January, pop culture references abounded. One particularly popular Internet meme declared, “Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk,” a line that even made its way onto to […]

  164. […] vortex descended upon the United States in early January, pop culture references abounded. One particularly popular internet meme declared, “Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk,” a line that even made its way onto to […]

  165. […] vortex descended upon the United States in early January, pop culture references abounded. One particularly popular internet meme declared, “Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk,” a line that even made its way onto to NPR’s popular […]

  166. […] Der Polarwirbel, der normalerweise  auf dem Pol sitzt, franst dabei gewissermaßen aus und schleust arktische Kaltluft in Richtung Süden, wie Abb. 4 schematisch zeigt. Ein Kollege verglich die Situation mit einem Kinderkarussell, bei dem die Pferde nun statt anständig im Kreis herum zu reiten auf einmal ausbrechen. Der US-Wissenschaftsblogger Greg Laden fand die wunderbare Schlagzeile: Go home, Arctic, you’re drunk! […]