I feel dirty

Browsing the crackpottery that is Unified Theory of Climate: Reply to Comments at WUWT (“Dr” Roy Spencer shreds it, if you care, which you shouldn’t) I noticed fig 4, Antarctic temperatures, which is ripped off from wiki, and I drew that figure. Eurgh.

Comments

  1. #1 Michael Hauber
    2012/01/22

    So you helped the Septics prove that the greenhouse effect is about 3 times bigger than the scientists say it is?

    [I didn't actually *read* the post, I was just scrolling down to the comments -W]

  2. #2 Hank Roberts
    2012/01/22

    I see they copied the picture (“from Wikipedia” they say) rather than linking to it:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Antarctic_surface_temperature.png

    Sinful of them.

    [He put the contour labels into K, presumably to be more "scientific" -W]

  3. #3 Davey
    2012/01/22

    They invoke Einstein in the second paragraph so you know it’s got to be a valid theory.

  4. #4 Marco
    2012/01/23

    It should be noted, or at least I think so, that one of those “unified theorists”, Ned Nikolov, claims on Tallbloke’s blog that the increased CO2 in the atmosphere comes from ocean outgassing. Supposedly Roy Spencer showed that (well, in a typical mathturbation Spencer-style, he indeed did).
    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/#comment-13361

    Nikolov’s research interests include “Process modeling of the biophysical exchange of energy and trace gases (i.e. CO 2 , H 2 O, and O 3 ) between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere.”

    For someone with that kind of interest, the USDA Forest Service should be concerned that he bases his knowledge on someone who has no discernible expertise within the area. It is also a concern that Nikolov does not even consider the implications of Spencer’s claim: there must then be a sink, which is not the ocean, that takes up more than 30 Gigatons of carbon each year…you’d think we’d notice such a sink.

    Of course, Nikolov’s comments over at Tallbloke’s provide an interesting insight into his mind: apparently Joel (Shore, I think) is paid to comment at WUWT, young students are deliberate misinformed for monetary reasons (I assume related to climate) on the behavior of gases, etc. etc.

  5. #5 Harry
    2012/01/23

    Hey, he’s only putting it there for ‘educational’ purposes.

    “However, I’m providing this for the educational value it may bring to those who can take it all in and discuss it rationally,”

    I will now look for the rational content.

  6. #6 Nick
    2012/01/23

    I read the whole post (what was I thinking?), and in the end, it’s just another ‘atmospheric-pressure-produces-heat’ post.

    Watts et al. discover perpetual energy machine, more at 9:00.

  7. #7 Arthur Smith
    2012/01/23

    Hey, their whole post seems to be a response to my arXiv paper refuting Gerlich and Tscheuschner – woohoo! Funny what fools G and T have made of so many…

    But the comment thread is priceless. Can somebody preserve that for posterity? I don’t know which had me laughing more, the over-the-top praise for the post and its high-falutin’ math and logic, or the people claiming the main post is wrong for highly diverse and each separately stupidly wrong reasons. So sad poor Joel Shore had to pollute the thread with his rather clear logical arguments on why the post actually was wrong. Could it be WUWT is mainly occupied now by Poe’s? Or are they really all that breathtakingly stupid? I really don’t go there often…

    [When I first read that, and wrote my post, there were only 1 comments - rather few for WUWT - and I assumed that the hordes were hanging back, possibly because they sensed there was something wrong. But, I was giving them far too much credit -W]

  8. #8 Marco
    2012/01/23

    Arthur, note also my link in comment #4, and look for Nikolov’s comments. There’s one in which he makes some funny claims about Joel:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2011/12/28/unified-theory-of-climate-nikolov-and-zeller/#comment-13237
    It seems Joel “has an agenda”, and is perhaps “paid”, etc. etc.

  9. #9 The Bishop of Stratocaster
    2012/01/23

    Right at the top it says:

    “Ned Nikolov, Ph.D. and Karl Zeller, Ph.D.”

    Yet again, we see that charlatans insist on using “Ph.D.” after their name. This is becoming such a reliable marker for nonsense that there’s hardly any need to read further.

    [Are you dissing that nice "Dr" Roy, Bishop? And surely, a Bishop outranks a Dr any day... -W]

  10. #10 Arthur Smith
    2012/01/23

    Marco – yes, the tallbloke thread looks just as bad as WUWT’s, though I haven’t read many of the comments there. Joel is an old friend of mine from grad school. I haven’t seen him in person for a long while but I know quite well where he’s been working in recent years, and posting at WUWT is definitely not a paid gig for him. I’ve also tried to persuade him he’s wasting his time with his many comments at various denier sites, but he seems to get some joy out of it somehow anyway.

    [Tweaking them can be fun. But actually trying to educate them would be very hard work. It might be worth it, if you had the patience, which I don't. Weirdly (from the comments) they seem to value civility above all else and mistake it for truth -W]

  11. #11 chek
    2012/01/23

    >Weirdly (from the comments) they seem to value civility above all else and mistake it for truth.

    The one one thing crackpots cannot stand is ridicule, or not being taken ever-so-seriously.

  12. #12 Eli Rabett
    2012/01/23

    Eli clutches pearls and falls to the floor laughing

  13. #13 Russell Seitz
    2012/01/24

    Throw another roll of tinfoil on the barbie- Watt’s has rolled over to a new leader denouncing elitist who want TV weathermen to know their climatology cold. his co-author this time ? Michael Lewis PhD. who according to his website :

    ” studies the developmental biology of the mammary gland as it relates to both normal breast function and breast cancer progression. Current laboratory research is centered on the role of hedgehog signal transduction in mammary gland development and breast cancer using the mouse as a model organism.”

  14. #14 Marco
    2012/01/24

    Oh, you are going to love this thread:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/23/the-mystery-of-equation-8/

    The Wattsians are running around in circles, not understanding what is going on. But at least some point to the important thing: AGW may still be wrong! (urgh)

    ["Thanks" for that. I think I'm going to be obliged to blog it -W]

  15. #15 Russell Seitz
    2012/01/24

    According to WUWT ,Nikolov & Zeller term their fit of planetary insolation and surface pressure ” the MIRACLE equation.” but Watts seems unacquainted with a certain cliche blackboard cartoon and this deservedly famous quotation :

    With four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.

    John von Neumann to Enrico Fermi, as quoted by Freeman Dyson in “A meeting with Enrico Fermi” Nature 427,297 , 2004

    [New post just coming up... -W]

  16. #16 Robert Murphy
    2012/01/24

    What could be wrong with a claim that claims Mercury is 40K cooler than the Earth (and 200K cooler than everybody else says)? Or that says,

    “Large climatic shifts evident in the paleo-record such as the 16C directional cooling of the Globe during the past 51 million years (Hansen et al. 2008; Fig. 8) can now be explained via changes in atmospheric mass and surface pressure caused by geologic variations in Earth’s tectonic activity. Thus, we hypothesize that the observed mega-cooling of Earth since the early Eocene was due to a 53% net loss of atmosphere to Space brought about by a reduction in mantle degasing as a result of a slowdown in continental drifts and ocean floor spreading.”
    http://tallbloke.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/unified_theory_of_climate_poster_nikolov_zeller.pdf
    (page 13)
    ?

    They’ll believe *anything*, as long as it means rising CO2 isn’t a problem. It’s the new Paradigm! Again.

    As Nikolov said:
    “As far as we understand it now, all pieces of the new paradigm fit together very nicely, but this has to be conveyed to others in a way they can see it too. And that’s where our current challenge and commitment is … One should always remember, though, that this type of situation is not new to the history of science. Think about Copernicus and the 250 years it took for his idea of the Sun-centered solar system to become a mainstream science concept. The history repeats itself! We just hope that this time the paradigm shift will happen much quicker … -:)”
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/29/unified-theory-of-climate/#comment-848284

    The embodiment of D-K.

  17. #17 Hank Roberts
    2012/01/24

    Good lord, they do fire weather forecasts.

    http://fireweather.info/
    Real-Time Fire-Weather Intelligence & Smoke Forecast
    for the Conterminous USA
    Webmaster: Ned Nikolov (ntconsulting@comcast.net)
    http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/

    [You mean this wacko is a US govt employee? You Americans are strange... -W]

  18. #18 Hank Roberts
    2012/01/24

    Hmmm, he’s the webmaster for “fireweather info” at the Rocky Mountain Research Station?

    How’s this look?
    http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/climate-change/

  19. #19 Hank Roberts
    2012/01/24

    Aside — I’d like to see some of the scientists talk about how much of Spencer’s explanation to the s[k]eptics is sound. This for example:

    “The rate of absorption of IR by a layer is mostly independent of temperature; the rate of emission, though, increases rapidly with temperature. In general, the rates of IR absorption and emission by atmospheric layers are quite different. The difference is made up by convective heat transport and (especially in the stratosphere) solar absorption.”

    He’s trying to find very simple language to explain this stuff — recall the average US literacy level is about 7th grade reading comprehension, so half of the audience is below that.

    It seems to me he’s sincerely trying to explain some of the physics (if you separate that from promoting what he believes must be true to support his free-market approach).

    [Spencer does a good job when he is trying to explain basic stuff to the skeptics. And because he is "one of them" there is even a chance that they will listen (though you can tell, they are nervous: are they being sold a line? They know after all that it is a huge fake, so how can any of it be true? And they are, at heart, nervously aware that they really understand none of it -W]

  20. #20 dhogaza
    2012/01/24

    You mean this wacko is a US govt employee? You Americans are strange… -W

    Well, he’s the webmaster and gives a private “ntconsulting” e-mail, not a USFS one.

    So it appears he’s a US govt contractor, not employee.

    Besides, we’re not supposed to discriminate against people with weird religious beliefs :)

  21. #21 The Bishop of Stratocaster
    2012/01/24

    Well, it turns out these guys are published scientists in the broad area of land-atmosphere interactions.

    Which makes things even stranger, because they know better than this, or at least they should. Their papers have perfectly sane and normal equations for things like the surface energy balance. So this is a puzzler.

    Maybe it’s an elaborate practical joke.

    Maybe it’s a false-flag operation in which they say foolish things to see how many contrarians will agree.

    Maybe it’s a straw man, set up so that the contrarians can look intelligent and reasonable for rejecting it.

    Or maybe they actually believe all this malarkey?

    I note in passing that they used the “Ph.D” postnominal in their WCRP poster (available at http://www.climatethoughts.org/WCRP_Poster_Nikolov_Zeller.pdf). Because we all know that people attending such a conference are going to be really impressed by the fact that someone has a Ph.D.

    [I can't understand it either. Perhaps he is like the TV weathermen, who think they understand climate? -W]

  22. #22 Hank Roberts
    2012/01/26

    Can anyone make anything out of this?
    http://www.fs.fed.us/rmrs/climate-change/

    [Appears to be blank. http://www.fs.fed.us/ccrc/ isn't, though -W]

  23. #23 crandles
    2012/01/26

    >”Well, he’s the webmaster and gives a private “ntconsulting” e-mail, not a USFS one.

    So it appears he’s a US govt contractor, not employee.”

    Well I came across nnikolov02 at fs dot fed dot us on an employee search:
    http://www.fs.fed.us/contactus/employee_search.shtml

    That also finds Zeller under Non Forest Service Contractors again with an fs fed us email address. Nikolov was under Rocky Mountain Research Station.

  24. #24 Eli Rabett
    2012/01/27

    Crandles, which makes it even more fun because if he is (still) employed as a Physical Scientist, he has to run publications through an approval chain and then it gets interesting in the Hungarian sense

  25. #25 EFS_Junior
    2012/01/27

    #23/#24

    Well having been both a former federal employee and a former federal contractor, I can say this with certainty;

    As a contractor, I had a federal *.mil email address.

    As a contractor, I had a job title of Research Hydraulic Engineer.

    As a contractor, I had a full time office in a federal building.

    As a contractor, I was not within the formal internal review processes, as is required of all federal employees.

    Meaning, that I could publish on any topic of interest, outside of federal contractual obligations specific to the contract itself (if I so chose to do so, my decision, not their decision).

    Hope that clears up any confusion or budding conspiracy theorists.

    [Thanks for the info. Always nice to meet someone who knows -W]

  26. #26 Dave
    2012/04/04

    Rocky Mountain Research Station is otherwise known by N&Z as Brokeback Mountain Research Station. Tallbloke has more in common with them than meets the eye, if you get my drift.

  27. #27 colin
    2012/05/05

    I think one of them is the resident skeptic at Neven’s Blog, that recently suggested
    adherence to the almighty carbon god is just restricting so much other research.
    To which I asked
    Which other research? You would think that if this was the case – the rest of us scientist would be jumping on the denailists band-wagon.

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