ph This entire episode is so depressingly stupid that I almost threw the post away. But, courage!

As my title suggests, this is a morass of stupidity, of interest only to the navel-gazers within the incestuous world of climate blogs. Anyone with an interest in the actual science should steer clear. Metaphorically: if you’re starting from one side of the Sargasso Sea and wish to reach clear water on the other side, you’re better off going round rather than pushing through and clearing an endless buildup of weed off your rudder.

The motive for this was, now that I have a moment from the rowing to pause to think, me thinking “hmm, I haven’t written about science much recently”. That is partly an inevitable, and predicted, consequence of me not doing science any more. But also, it seems to me, because there isn’t that much going on. So since James and Eli are on hols, and not much was showing up elsewhere, I thought I’d range off into Curry-land, to see what she had found. And it was looking pretty thin to me: weekend discussion threads and stuff. But then I found Ocean acidification discussion thread, and took a look. On the surface, its yet another of those rubbish posts that JC does which boil down to “I haven’t got a clue about subject X, but here are two people who disagree, errrm, well that didn’t teach anyone anything did it, never mind I got a pile of page hits”. But there is far more wrong with it than that.

Lets do the surface stuff first. Actually lets not. Lets first notice that she attempts to use her “Italian flag method” to reason about the situation. That method is drivel, as many people have pointed out. Set that aside, and return to the surface.

JC complains about

Today the surface ocean is almost 30% more acidic than it was in pre-industrial times

on the grounds that the speaker, Doney, provided “no evidence or reference”. But this is dishonest of her because she’s clipped the preceeding sentence:

Over the past two centuries, human activities have resulted in dramatic and well documented increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and acidification of the upper ocean

That is a hint that he isn’t bothering to docuemnt the bleedin’ obvious. Anyone less clueless that JC, or the legions of fools who form the majority of her commentators, could simply look it up. And furthermore Doney (who I don’t know, but is a “Senior Scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution”, and even JC pretends to respect his expertise) just isn’t going to lie about basic, easily-checked facts to the US Senate. There’s a basic dumb America fallacy to this, as to so much of the denialist tripe. But anyway.

Then we need to clear away some confusion: a change in pH from 8.25 to 8.14, which is what has happened, is indeed a change in H+ [*] ion concentration by ~30% (covered in some detail here, wot I got via DA, thanks). That little mathematical transformation ties up people for quite a long time over on the Dork Side.

She then complains that Doney isn’t providing enough expressions of uncertainty. However, since we’re actually certain of this particular factoid, expressions of uncertainty would be wrong. But there seems to be no place in JC’s science-is-a-social-construct type worldview for this; expressions of scientific information have a strengthened credibility if they contain uncertainty.

And here we come to the nub of it all: JC is clueless, and is (if we pretend for a moment to believe what she says) attempting to evaluate these two competing views as texts to try and determine credibility. She needs to use this method, because she lacks the ability, or the time, to understand or verify what is being said. But the problem is that her method is worthless. The only way to evaluate such texts accurately is to read, understand and verify them. Or a useful shortcut is to depend on the authority of the speaker – this is, inevitably, what most of the populace are obliged to do, since “read and understand” simply isn’t open to them.

But the last (and to me worst) part of all this is that JC is just spraying disinformation around. If she finds this issue interesting, and finds this very basic fact to be beyond her ability to verify, then she can f*ck*ng well talk to some of her colleagues (assuming she hasn’t managed to cut all her ties to people of any quality). She’s at a university, no? She can talk to the prof of Chemistry. Or of Oceans. Or something. But one way or another, she can f*ck*ng well find out the truth, first. Then she could have written a post that might have been informative, and might have reduced people’s confusion on this issue. Instead she’s made the world a little bit worse.

[Update: hello, Watties! Are any of you brave enough to leave your walled garden and click through? How about being brave enough to comment. Not much hope there I suspect, you talk big in your little world but you’re not so brave in the Real World. You might be wondering why I’m not making sarky comments over at the Dork Side. The answer is that AW the gutless coward banned me for exposing his fantasies.

And to add a pic from a pdf suggested by NS]

[*] There’s a subtlety here that I hadn’t at first appreciated: pH is -log_10(a_H+), whereas the original p[H] is -log_10(H+). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PH for details. For our purposes, the difference doesn’t matter.

Refs

* Eli will arise to say “the Sun”
* Eli again on pH measurement
* The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification Bärbel Hönisch et al..; Science, 2012 (via MV).

Comments

  1. #1 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/07/22

    As it happens, Eli had pre-read that thread.

    The stupid is neck deep over there.

  2. #2 Joseph O'Sullivan
    2013/07/22

    Curry’s argument seemed to be that in form more than substance Idso was better than Doney because Idso brought up more uncertainty and had more pages of references. On its face it made some sense, but it was a weak argument when closely examined.

    There were many comments that acidification was an incorrect term and even if it were accurate, acidification is not a problem. I commented that regardless of what Idso or the “legions of fools who form the majority of her commentators” think the government has begun to take regulatory action. I got a rise from one regular at Curry’s who brought up the latest right-wing anti-regulation foolishness. I started to correct the inaccuracies, but I soon became bored and ended it with the excuse that it was too off topic to continue.

    [I hope you noticed the careful phrasing of “the majority of her commentators” – I did notice that there were some folks there doing their best -W]

  3. #3 Alan
    2013/07/22

    NIce spray, WM. Interestingly (or perhaps not) I used to frequent Climate Audit up to about 5 years ago, unitl I tired of the endless cynicism and doublespeak.

    Anyhoo, I remember when JC first dipped her toes in the water there and how shocked she claimed to be at the bile and ignorance what would froth up from time to time and how she would defend the “mainstream” science.

    What on earth happened? I can only imagine that she decided that at least pays attention to meI Perhaps I can tame them and creat my own cheer squad.

  4. #4 David B. Benson
    2013/07/22

    Already harming the shellfish industry here in Washington state.

    Acidification that is, not stupidification.

    But now that I think about that a bit more…

  5. […] runs a blog called “Stoat” under the National Geographic brand. In his latest episode rant, he is complaining about his personal perception of Dr. Judith Curry’s professionalism […]

    [Notice that I never mentioned “professionalism” -W]

  6. #7 Sou
    http://blog.hotwhopper.com/
    2013/07/22

    Yes, with Watts having nothing interesting except detrended Australian temperature datasets (to “prove” there’s no trend!); and a lot of silly monthly charts by the potty peer, I was going to attempt an article on Judith’s latest ramblings. But you have done a much better job than I would have, William.

    I notice that Watts is critical of your excellent criticism. I expect he has a soft spot for uncertainty monsters like Curry.

    He even adds to the stupidity, writing “This is a small amount of variance which may very well be within the bounds of natural variability.” – Yeah, right! And then calls on denier and rabid conspiracy theorist Jo Nova of all people. It’s like him arguing a short while back that Chicago has hot summers and cold winters therefore a rise in the average global surface temperature of 4 degrees or more is “nothing to worry about”.

    The nutters get nuttier all the time.

    [Watts must be desperate – I’m pretty sure he does his best to ignore the likes of me, on the grounds that he’s far more famous than the rest of us (which reminds me, I must snark him for the wiki one, too).

    Meanwhile, the stupidity and ignorance at WUWT just gets worse:

    When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement

    Aiee! -W]

  7. #8 thomaswfuller2
    Shanghai
    2013/07/22

    You’re a [redacted – I know how much you love that -W], Connolley. And a [Moar -W]. But what to do at closing time? Ah, yes, another rant. But don’t worry. We’ll use the newly acidified oceans as a base for future shampoos and all will be well.

    As for the courage to beard the lioness in her den, I was over at that thread–I didn’t see you fulminating over there…

    [Dahling, how pleasant of you to visit. But are you the real TF? I thought the real TF had sworn blind never to comment here ever again. You’re right though, I haven’t gone over to tweak JC and the Curryettes – I really ought to. You tempted me, and I have fallen:

    I have indeed. But you’re wrong. The truth will be arrived at by “open” discussion. But open means “visible to all” – in the scientific press. It doesn’t mean “open to all to comment” because this post, and the replies to it, are a prime example of what happens when you open discussion to a pile of ignorant bozos – you get mess, not knowledge [my apologies to the one ror two people here who do know what they’re talking about; I don’t include them in my contempt, of course].

    and

    This thread is very very stupid indeed. I’ve carefully explained why at http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2013/07/21/currys-wide-sargasso-sea-of-stupidity/

    -W]

  8. #9 alex
    Deutschland
    2013/07/22

    Hmm. Very funny blog here.
    Put aside the factoid that the guy (W.C.) is evidently insane and needs a medicine, there is little to comment on this.

    Science is all about evidence and there is no evidence that ocean pH has reduced. Only “models”.

    Anyway, more CO2 in the water = more food for sea life, more material to build shells.

  9. #10 Russell
    2013/07/22

    The real problem is badly sited underwater pH meter shelters, and the main stream scientific media’s arbitrary rejection of the Eschenbach Calcite Compensation Concordia collected by Willis while angling for L. spookytuethys in the Challenger deep. That and the kraken that ate Willard’s homework.

  10. #11 anon
    2013/07/22

    “hello, Watties! Are any of you brave enough to leave your walled garden and click through? How about being brave enough to comment.”

    Getting desperate for hits, are you?

    [Logic fail, old fruit. If you’ve read that text, you’ve already hit the page -W]

  11. #12 Quiet Waters
    2013/07/22

    alex (#9) posits a variation on the “CO2 is plant food” meme that I’ve not seen before.

    Unfortunately:

    w3.sciencemag.org/content/284/5411/118.full

    …Coral reef calcification depends on the saturation state of the carbonate mineral aragonite of surface waters. By the middle of the next century, an increased concentration of carbon dioxide will decrease the aragonite saturation state in the tropics by 30 percent and biogenic aragonite precipitation by 14 to 30 percent…

    jeb.biologists.org/content/214/22/3857.abstract

    …[A]cidified [sand dollar] larvae had significantly smaller larval stomachs and bodies, suggesting reduced feeding performance.

    w3.pnas.org/content/106/6/1848.abstract
    …Larval clownfish reared in control seawater (pH 8.15) discriminated between a range of cues that could help them locate reef habitat and suitable settlement sites. This discriminatory ability was disrupted when larvae were reared in conditions simulating CO2-induced ocean acidification…

    But still:

    w3.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v3/n3/full/nclimate1753.html?WT.ec_id=NCLIMATE-201303

    …Although acidification may become a serious threat to marine calcifying organisms, our results suggest that over the study period the primary driver of North Atlantic calcifying plankton was oceanic temperature.

  12. #13 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/07/22

    less material to build shells, which is one of the problems, because there is less CaCO3. the chemical equilibrium is shifted. Try Figure 2 here.

  13. #14 ds
    2013/07/22

    re Watts: there’s an anniversary coming up:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/07/29/press-release-2/
    12 months, and still nothing!

  14. #15 Speed
    2013/07/22

    William Connolley wrote,

    “JC complains [ … ] on the grounds that the speaker, Doney, provided ‘no evidence or reference’.”

    “But this is dishonest of her because she’s clipped the preceeding sentence: ‘Over the past two centuries, human activities have resulted in dramatic and well documented increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and acidification of the upper ocean'”

    That is neither evidence nor reference. That is a claim.

    [Sigh. Go read a scientific paper sometime. It isn’t necessary or practical to reference every obvious non-controversial statement. Indeed, part of the point of learning is to know what is known, so you don’t waste time re-learning it and can move onto the unknown.

    That’s what’s wrong with you lot: you’re stuck at the most basic level, because you never learn anything; you’re unable to progress -W]

  15. #16 Kevin
    USA
    2013/07/22

    I liked it better when environmentalists were scared to death of the rainforest being chopped down. Fear if AGW is boring. Either come up with something new to be frightened of, or go back to fearing the rainforest’s destruction please. Rainforests are quite interesting from many different perspectives.

    Or you could just stop worrying so much, but of course that’s never going to happen :).

    [If none of this interests you, feel free to pay no attention and not comment.

    But since you are paying attention and commenting, you won’t fool anyone with your faux ennui -W]

  16. #17 Lady in Red
    2013/07/22

    As a layperson who has been banned from both RealClimate and DeepClimate for asking probing questions, I find this outrage over Judith Curry, well, ….funny.

    But, mostly, sad. ….Lady in Red

    [You’ve failed to ask any questions here. Or, as far as I can see, at JC’s. If your contributions are at the level of Frankly, the math bores me…. That’s why God made men? then I fail to see how you managed to ask any probing questions. Go on… don’t be a tease… tell us one of the probing questions you asked that RC didn’t like -W]

  17. #18 Speed
    2013/07/22

    William Connolley wrote, “Sigh. Go read a scientific paper sometime. It isn’t necessary or practical to reference every obvious non-controversial statement.”

    “Today the surface ocean is almost 30% more acidic than it was in pre-industrial times” is neither obvious nor non-controversial. But if I’m wrong, you can surely prove your point by simply linking to an authority on something so obvious and non-controversial.

    Sigh.

    [http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-4-2.html will do. But you’re wrong about it being non-controversial. You’ve failed to understand the difference between scientifically controversial, and a bunch of denialists muttering together in their walled garden. As has JC -W]

  18. #19 American Idiot
    2013/07/22

    Something WMC linked in passing, but deserves more attention, is this:

    http://onymousguy.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/guest-post-by-chem-prof.html

    Here someone attempts to clear up the WUWT crowd about some misconceptions involving things like calculation of pH and how buffered solutions work. This is very basic arithmetic and science that has nothing directly to do with whether global warming or ocean acidification is happening, much less due to mankind. It’s absolutely uncontroversial stuff, topics that are covered in a decent first-semester chemistry or biology course.

    The response from the WUWT commenters is torrent of ridicule and self-assured dismissal.

    There is just no point in trying to engage these folks. It is a complete waste of time, even when you are polite and stick to basic uncontroversial facts.

  19. #20 Observer
    2013/07/22

    Both sides of this and similar AGW-related topics (e.g. here and over at WUWT) are populated by a wide spectrum of folks. At one end you have those who BELIEVE in one viewpoint for whatever reason (e.g. the science behind that viewpoint) and have become emotionally invested in that viewpoint. From these folks you get heated, emotional comments, ad hominem attacks and outright dismissal of any scientific evidence or research contrary to their position. The contrary science may or may not have any merit…but will be dismissed none the less.

    At the other end you have folks who suspect that, despite all of the science, we really don’t have a very good understanding of the world we live in. They have seen “settled science” proven wrong in the past and are reluctant to jump to conclusions. These people just watch the debates and rarely post anything, or perhaps just a few technical questions.

    These are the two ends of a spectrum…most folks are somewhere in between. Where does JC fit into this spectrum?

    Anyway, just an observation…

  20. #21 deconvoluter
    2013/07/22

    This use of flags appears to lead to a rather curious renormalisation.

    Consider:
    Unormalised. Big green flag; tiny red and white ones.
    A report neglects the red and white and this is regarded as suspicious by JC who regards this as a finger print of ‘normative science’, so JC searches for red and white ; anything will do. Its just as if their diminutive size has caused the red and white flags to be re-normalised into something quite massive.

    Another example to-day refers to the CO2 going into the atmosphere ; Murry Salby says the rise is not man made and GhaNok’s ‘defence’ of his argument is given

    here

  21. #22 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/07/22

    Eli believes that pH measurement is fairly accurate and Curry varies between fairly silly and exceptionally misleading.

  22. #23 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/22

    Well, I would like an answer to my basic questions on the subject (hopefully with unwarranted insults and ridicule kept to a minimum).

    Why do you think ocean acidification from carbon dioxide is going to be a problem when carbon dioxide levels have been an order of magnitude (or greater) higher for most of the history of life on this planet?

    Do you think life has become much less robust and is now unable to cope with the conditions that it evolved under?

    [I think you’re doing better than JC and AW and their commentators; you’re at least not bothering to query what is well-known, but are asking slightly more interesting questions. Unfortunately, you’re asking Bio questions of Phys people, so you won’t get anything more than the obvious in reply.

    The best answer I can give, I think, is not dissimilar to the answer you’d get for temperature changes: they’re potentially harmful because of the speed at which they’re occurring, and which life may not be adapted to -W]

  23. #24 Rikkert
    2013/07/22

    @Observer

    I am curious about your examples of when has settled science been proven wrong in the 20th century. Especially since 1950’s.

    I think what you view as those other settled sciences were actually only settled in public media and not at all in scientific literature or were seen as settled, but with far less evidence than there is for AGW and in a different field.

  24. #25 American Idiot
    2013/07/22

    TGL, in response to your questions:

    1. “Going to be a problem” is a value judgment or political/economic issue, not a scientific one. Ocean acidification is unlikely to be a serious problem for me, living in the landlocked part of the U.S. It might be more of a problem for my niece’s husband, who is a lobster fisherman. And so on, for others.

    2. “Life” is pretty broad; I’ll assume you mean ocean life. Think about that word “evolved”: it means some genetic lines died off and were replaced by others that were better fitted to their environment. (Google “modern evolutionary synthesis” for more details.) Ocean organisms that cannot tolerate lower pH will be displaced by those that can. There’s also the point that acidification is occurring rapidly compared to the time scale of evolution for major species.

  25. #26 Speed
    2013/07/22

    William Connolley wrote, “http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-4-2.html will do.” in response to my questioning the authority behind the statement, “Over the past two centuries, human activities have resulted in dramatic and well documented increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide and acidification of the upper ocean”

    The link is to a page titled, “Total Change in Dissolved Inorganic Carbon and Air-Sea Carbon Dioxide Flux” containing a graphic titled, “Changes in surface oceanic pCO2 (left; in μatm) and pH (right) from three time series stations.” The data runs from about (it is not well reproduced at the link) 1983 to 2006 which clearly includes neither “pre-industrial times” nor “the last two centuries.”
    Sigh.

    It’s interesting that the sources for the graphic were published in 2002 and 2003 but the data shown runs to 2004, 2005 and 2006.
    Sigh.

    Science is hard.
    Sigh.

    [Is it? You’re not doing any – how would you know; you’re just asking to be spoon fed by others. If you want more details, you need to poke around, but e.g. http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch5s5-4-2-3.html will do -W]

  26. #27 David Springer
    nowhere
    2013/07/22

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v388/n6642/abs/388526b0.html

    Nature 388, 526-527 (7 August 1997) |

    CO2 increases oceanic primary production

    Mette Hein and Kaj Sand-Jensen

    The regulation of oceanic primary production of biomass is important in the global carbon cycle because it constitutes 40% of total primary production on Earth1. Here we present results from short-term experiments in the nutrient-poor central Atlantic Ocean. We find a small but significant stimulation of primary production (15-19%) in response to elevated CO2 concentrations that simulate the CO2 rise in surface waters that will occur over the next 100-200 years.

  27. #28 Doug Proctor
    2013/07/22

    Global oceanic pH values vary a lot, down to 7.2 in the upwelling from deep oceanic levels along western Vanvouver Island and off the California/Baja coast. No big deal, but definitely shows there is a wide variety of surface pH levels.

    Values of 8.25 or 8.14 definitely need error estimates because they represent different qualities and quantities of data. What was collected in 1880 is not what was collected in 2013, either in terms of instruments, techniques or analytical processes. The difference is large in terms of quantities of components, but small in terms of pH values. Let’s make sure we are talking apples and apples.

    It is not true that oceanic pH values are known as well in the “8.25” days as now. Error estimates are essential when you are discussing such an important consequence of CAGW as oceanic pH: how much overlap is there, really?

    You imply but do not state why there is no question that the two are very different. A simple +/- without expletives/euphimisms would suffice.

  28. #29 KR
    2013/07/22

    Speed – Try http://shadow.eas.gatech.edu/~kcobb/ocean_acid/Pelejero%20et%20al%202005.pdf for pH measures over the last 300 years.

    Or http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/regional%20anthropogenic%20trends%20in%20ocean.pdf for calcification trends since the year 800 – wherein they show that “…the current anthropogenic trend in ocean acidification already exceeds the level of natural variability by up to 30 times on regional scales. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the current rates of ocean acidification at monitoring sites in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans exceed those experienced during the last glacial termination by two orders of magnitude.”

    I will note that finding that information took me roughly 90 seconds. Clearly you have not been looking.

  29. #30 American Idiot
    2013/07/22

    Sorry Doug Proctor, you blew it at “CAGW.”

  30. #31 Brandon Shollenberger
    2013/07/22

    Do you really think accusing Judith Curry of “spraying disinformation around” is wise? How many people do you think will actually believe you when you accuse her of dishonesty like that? I mean, if you had said “misinformation” maybe some people would listen, but only the most biased of people are going to believe Curry is intentionally trying to deceive people.

    [Wise? No. Satisfying? Yes. True? Certainly.

    I’m not writing propaganda -W]

    [Updated: I see you’re worried about being censored. Fear not; I leave that stuff to Watts. And Curry, it seems; my most recent comment there was rejected. Perhaps you’d care to proffer your fears of censorship to her, instead? -W]

  31. #32 metzomagic
    Dublin
    2013/07/22

    I just wonder what percentage of the people commenting on this here, over at WUWT, or JC’s even realise that the pH scale is logarithmic. Of course, they’ll all say “I knew that” when it’s put up to them, but really…

    KR says it all at #28:

    “…the current anthropogenic trend in ocean acidification already exceeds the level of natural variability by up to 30 times on regional scales.”

    Nothing to see here, move along.

  32. #33 Lady in Red
    2013/07/22

    Well. You are sweet. Let’s see…. (That was a loong time ago. back before Climategate….) I asked about the 1970’s for one…. The coming ice age?… Gavin told me to read your paper, counting papers….

    I, actually, did.

    The bar graphs were, duh, kinda funny: these are the folk who are Professionals And Think The World Will End in a Crispy Cinder versus the Professionals Who Think The World Will End in Ice.

    I am not a scientist, Mr. C, but I don’t think the paper counting unnamed/unreferenced papers was your finest moment. I like Judith, and her denizens. She is complicated — and free.

    You are niggardly and narrow. You know truth, perfection, whatever, no room for back and forth.

    I think that simple, smart Steve McIntyre is going to be “up there” one day, for exposing the mainstream climate science corruption.

    That is what I have learned, reading the blogs, as a layperson, in about four years. ….Lady In Red

    [This is pathetic. You’ve learnt nothing; you have nothing to say -W]

  33. #34 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/22

    I guess the question should be, “What is an acceptable pH range for the oceans?”

    This seems like something we can, somewhat, answer scientifically. My guess is that people who take care of saltwater aquariums have some knowledge of this.

    According to this website:

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/

    they say, “7.8-8.5 OK, 8.1-8.3 is better.”

    So how many ppm of CO2, at a given temperature, is going to take us below the “better” and “OK” ranges?

    Again, this seems like something that could be experimentally determined.

    I don’t find the “rate of change” argument to be compelling at this moment for a couple of reasons. For one, how accurate are the proxies used to determine what the pH was a couple hundred years ago? My second problem is that the CO2 levels have fluctuated much faster in the past ( http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/images/co2-levels-over-time.jpg ) – are they well-linked with mass extinctions in the oceans?

    [“My guess is that…”. If you’re entering a totally unknown field, with no real prior work, a completely uninformed guess might be of some use. But as you know, this is a well studied field. If you’re interested, you really need to try reading up some of the literature -W]

  34. #35 Øystein
    2013/07/22

    “That is what I have learned, reading the blogs, as a layperson, in about four years”

    So, nothing then?

  35. #36 metzomagic
    Dublin
    2013/07/22

    ‘I think that simple, smart Steve McIntyre is going to be “up there” one day, for exposing the mainstream climate science corruption.

    That is what I have learned, reading the blogs, as a layperson, in about four years. ….Lady In Red’

    Funny that. I started reading up about climate science ever since Climategate broke (also about 4 years ago). Before that, AGW was completely under my radar. I was curious to find out what the fuss was all about. But I mostly read the science-based sites, whereas you seem to have been hanging out on the anti-science sites. And we have obviously come to the completely opposite conclusion.

    IMO, McIntyre is a grubber who leeches off other people’s hard work, and doesn’t understand the science one iota. On the face of it, it would seem he has some stats fu. But then you come to understand, by watching how he operates over the years, that his only goal is to get rid of the hockey stick, no matter what it takes. Even outright cheating:

    http://deepclimate.org/2010/11/16/replication-and-due-diligence-wegman-style/

  36. #37 Gator
    2013/07/22

    Locust — yes, people do experiments to see what changing PH levels do to sea creatures. You can find them if you look. Most of the ones I’ve seen have not made me optimistic. Yes, life will go on, but it may not be the tasty sea life we’ve grown to love.

    As far as your graph attempting to show CO2 has changed quickly in the past — you do see the units on the x-axis, don’t you? From your graph, during the Cenozoic, the rate of change is about 700ppm/70 My = 10 ppm/My. We’ve added what, 80ppm in 50 years = 1,600,000 ppm/My. Quite a different rate of change wouldn’t you say?

  37. #38 Joseph O'Sullivan
    2013/07/22

    [I hope you noticed the careful phrasing of “the majority of her commentators” – I did notice that there were some folks there doing their best -W]

    Yes, I did notice, and true, there are some folks doing their best at Curry’s blog. Occasionally you will find a contrarian who is factually incorrect but at least polite. Willis Eschenbach is not one of these. I crossed words with him and he tried the same contrarian tactics, but this time with government agencies and the laws that govern them. This was my profession at one time and I found Willis’ comments were not even wrong.

  38. #39 John Mashey
    2013/07/22

    metzomagic:
    See Replication and Due Diligence… and especially Nick Stokes’ Effect of Selection in the Wegman Report..

    McIntyre used a 100:1 cherry-pick (I’ve read the R code) atop bad statistical parameters to manufacture his results, which Wegman then just used.

  39. #40 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/22

    @Gator I’ve seen some people create unrealistic pH situations, but that isn’t what I’m talking about. I want to see an environment with let’s say 800 ppm CO2 in the atmosphere. I want to see how that will affect the pH of the aquarium.

    There has to be an aquarium in a greenhouse somewhere right?

    And yes, I do know that isn’t the greatest graph because of the time scales involved, but it is the best one I have that shows almost the entire history of life on this planet.

  40. #41 Gator
    2013/07/23

    Locust — you stated that “CO2 levels have fluctuated much faster in the past .” The graph you posted does not support that statement. What makes you think CO2 levels have changed much faster in the past? You’re off by > x10^5 so far.

    Re the aquarium in the greenhouse — like I said, people are doing those experiments. You just have to look. I’m feeling too lazy to do your research, but I can remember seeing some articles in Science about this for example. So far not hopeful.

  41. #42 metzomagic
    Dublin
    2013/07/23

    John Mashey: in fact, I have commented extensively on both those threads you linked to above, as Steve Metzler. I got into a real tussle with Carrick in the Nick Stokes thread.

    I’m no statistician (though roughly your equivalent, an EE who has been programming computers since 1974). But even I can see that McIntyre’s choice of ARFIMA as an auto-correlation function way overcooked the noise in his null proxy simulations, with an auto-correlation persistence, roughly equivalent to AR1(.9), of 19 years (1 + .9)/(1 – .9). This does not have any basis in nature. Random non-climatic effects on tree growth due to disease, insect infestation, etc. would typically only last 1.5 – 2.5 years. The idea here is to inject realistic noise into your climate signal, and then see if your PCA method still has the necessary skill to pick out the signal. By using an unrealistically persistent ACF, McIntyre severely degraded his null proxy simulations. That’s primarily how he obtained his hockey stick shaped PC1s: by cheating. And also by cherry picking the top 1% of results from his 10,000 simulation runs, of course. McIntyre doesn’t operate within the physical constraints of the system like scientists have to. In his book, any statistical trick is fair game as long as it gets rid of that pesky old hockey stick.

    Ritson had McIntyre pegged from Day One. See here for an excellent summary (though the discussion is about van Storch 2004) of what McIntyre was trying to do, but completely bungled:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2006/05/how-red-are-my-proxies/

  42. #43 Rattus Norvegicus
    2013/07/23

    Lady in Red,

    If be Stevie Mac being up there you mean in the dock I completely agree.

  43. #44 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/23

    @Gator It seems logical to me that there would be much faster changes in the past at some point during the Earth’s enormous history since both CO2 levels and temperatures (e.g. Younger Dryas) have changed a great deal.

    I recall reading some time back about a sea-based plant that just gobbled up CO2 and then sank to the bottom of the ocean. I wish I could remember the name of it. That would be one mechanism for CO2 plummeting quickly.

    I imagine CO2 could also rise very quickly through many different natural mechanisms – rapid warming releasing CO2 from tundra and increasing plant decomposition rates; an enormous limnic eruption triggered via meteorite, earthquake, or a glacial dam breaking; or perhaps even a supervolcanic eruption (not sure how much CO2 that would release).

    I would be fascinated to find such an experiment Gator. I haven’t heard of it but that doesn’t mean it isn’t out there somewhere. Usually when people talk about ocean acidification experiments they do silly stuff like put sea shells in vinegar and call it “science.”

    Perhaps this experiment, if it exists, isn’t well-publicized because it doesn’t demonstrate that ocean acidification is a significant problem?

  44. #45 Brandon Shollenberger
    2013/07/23

    It amuses me to see Nick Stokes’s deceptive blog post promoted as showing other people are deceptive. Not only is his post deceptive, it’s hypocritical. Nick Stokes claims it is “subterfuge” to flip PCs in PCA (even though their orientation is irrelevant), yet his entire post is based upon using a flipped version of Mann’s PC1.

    But no, Judith Curry is the liar. Because… you don’t like what she says.

    [JC is, as I say, making the world somewhat worse. Her Italian Flag method is junk, her research in this case is somewhere between shoddy and absent. And she has no excuse: she has access that very few others have to academic expertise on these topics. If you or I want to know whether the ocean has acidifed by 30% since pre-industrial, we have to go poking around amongst online sources (admittedly if you do that you very soon find out that its true; but you do have to look and interpret and understand). JC doesn’t have to do that: she can just phone a colleague. That makes her disinformation all the more inexcusable. She could be promoting knowledge; instead, she is promoting stupidity -W]

  45. #46 Kevin O'Neill
    2013/07/23

    WC says: “… you’re just asking to be spoon fed by others…”

    Obviously there’s a big need for a course on how to use search engines. Or how to find Wikipedia. The “Ocean Acidification” entry on Wiki has 74 references – from the titles alone they answer half or more of the questions asked here.

    It’s really not that hard to find something like this (though I grant it took me 5 minutes – not 90 seconds):

    Ocean acidification: background and history Jean- Pierre Gattuso and Lina Hansson Page 6:

    The distribution of pH in the oceans, its changes with depth, tide, and other physical and biological processes, and the impact of the changes on organisms were studied early in the 20th century. Some studies even pre-date the definition of pH (technically, p[H] as the initial definition was based on concentration rather than activity as used today) by Sørensen ( 1909 ). For example, Moore et al. ( 1906 ) investigated the effect of ‘alkalies [ sic .] and acids’ on growth and cell division in the fertilized eggs of a sea urchin.

    A few key early studies can be mentioned, some of which were remarkably innovative even by today’s standards. McClendon ( 1917 ) showed that the oxygen consumption of certain marine invertebrates varies with pH. He subsequently reported that the pH range compatible with the life of seaweed is rather broad, may be different for different species, that little was known about the effect on different life stages, and that there may be interaction with other environmental factors ( McClendon 1918 ). He also found that corals from deep waters are smaller, more fragile, and deposit less CaCO 3 than those of shallow waters, and proposed that this was related to the decline of pH with depth ( McClendon 1918 ).

    The term ‘acid rain’ was coined in the 1850’s. The deleterious effects on marine life have been known for 100 years. But hey – let’s disregard all that and pretend the science is unsettled!! Maybe deniers aren’t evil – they’re just friggin’ stupid.

  46. #47 Kevin O'Neill
    2013/07/23

    P.S.

    One of those Wiki references, The Geological Record of Ocean Acidification involved twenty-one different researchers and reviewed 300 million years of the earth’s history and their conclusions can be summarised as:

    The current rate of ocean acidification is faster than at any time in the past 300 million years.

    The most recent de-glacial transition phase, while similar in temperature and increases in CO2 levels, was “two orders of magnitude slower than current anthropogenic change.

    The period 56 million years ago known as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum was determined to be the closest future analog. This period of sustained CO2 release was associated with a decline in ocean pH of between 0.25 and 0.45 units. However, current acidification is occurring at almost 10 times this rate.

    Historically sustained periods of acidification and CO2 increase — which were similar but not as extreme as the last 1,000 years — have led to the collapse of coral reefs and, in one instance, to the extinction of 96% of marine life.

    OK, you’ve been spoonfed. Now go share your newfound knowledge and enlighten others.
    (Now what are the odds of that?)

  47. #48 John Mashey
    2013/07/23

    metzomagic:

    Oops, sorry, I hadn’t gone back and reviewed the comments there. You’re right on.
    This was almost as bad as generating 10,000 random walks and then picking the 100 that drifted furthest upward or computing an average height of men in a town by sampling the players on an NBA court.

  48. #49 Martin Vermeer
    2013/07/23

    The best answer I can give, I think, is not dissimilar to the answer you’d get for temperature changes: they’re potentially harmful because of the speed at which they’re occurring, and which life may not be adapted to -W]

    True, but also too simple. For what you’re missing, see this overview article, Figure 3a,b. Executive summary: ocean-surface pH tracks atmospheric pCO2 only on time scales < 100 kyrs.

  49. #50 Mark
    United States
    2013/07/23

    @ William M. Connolley

    You are raving lunatic – period. I battled you for a decade on Wiki and you had me banned numerous times for items which are common accepted knowledge today.

    There is no AGW and never was – you need help or at the very least some strong meds…

    [I’ve no idea who you are. If you treated wiki as a battleground, though, its no surprise that you were banned. I’ve never had anyone banned.

    But go on: tell us just *one* of the “items which are common accepted knowledge today” -W]

  50. #51 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/23

    @Kevin O’Neill “The current rate of ocean acidification is faster than at any time in the past 300 million years.”

    I’m sorry, but this is quite the claim.

    For one you are assuming the proxies are an accurate reflection of oceanic pH changes over the course of 300 million years, but the elephant in the room is the sample size.

    Let’s say that the ocean pH proxies show the rate of pH change for every 100 year period – that would be mean that you’d need either 3 million or 6 million samples (depending on how you measure it) – that would be an enormous amount of work.

    I find it hard to believe such scientific work has been accomplished. Prove me wrong.

  51. #52 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/23

    Why do you think ocean acidification from carbon dioxide is going to be a problem when carbon dioxide lev order of magnitude (or greater) higher for most of the history of life on this planet?

    1. Because the oceans only acidify when atmospheric CO2 increases in a geologically-abrupt manner, and atmospheric CO2 is increasing faster than it has in the last 300 million years.

    2. Ocean acidification is now implicated as a kill mechanism in a handful of past extinction events, including the largest marine extinction – The Great Dying.

    3. Oyster larvae off the Oregon and Washington coasts have been killed by corrosive (calcium carbonate undersaturated) seawater for about 5-6 years now. And pteropods around Antarctica are beginning to have their shells corroded away by undersaturated seawater.

    It appears to be very bad to me, and will only get much worse, but then I’m not anti-scientific. YMMV.

  52. #53 Brandon Shollenberger
    2013/07/23

    William M. Connolley, you’re free to keep calling Judith Curry a liar. You’re even free to do so without offering the slightest shred of evidence. All it’ll do is make you look like a fool, but it’s your option.

    [The one talking about liars is you, only.

    Let me spell out what you’re doing. Its childish, and its transparent, but its worth pointing out explicitly. Its a tedious lawyers trick you’ve learnt from the likes of McI:

    – you thrive on dissent and controversy; because you have nothing real to say
    – so you need to escalate disputes; you have no interest in resolving them
    – so when people use words, you twist and spin them into the worst possible interpretation
    – then you keep repeating words – in this case, “liar” – that no-one has actually used except yourself, in an attempt to fool onlookers.

    Essentially, you’re lying to onlookers -W]

  53. #54 Kevin O'Neill
    2013/07/23

    @TheGoodLocust
    “I find it hard to believe such scientific work has been accomplished. Prove me wrong.”

    Yeah right buddy. I gave you a link to the full paper. Read it. Do the work if you think they’re wrong and point out a faster period of increase. Otherwise, go away.

  54. #55 VeryTallGuy
    2013/07/23

    WC @44

    “That makes her disinformation all the more inexcusable. She could be promoting knowledge; instead, she is promoting stupidity ”

    Spot on. The interesting question is *why* she is doing this. Any views?

  55. #56 Martin Vermeer
    2013/07/23

    > Any views?

    Is that a trick question?

  56. #57 Jon
    2013/07/23

    Two quotes from TheGoodLocust upthread:

    #33 “My second problem is that the CO2 levels have fluctuated much faster in the past ( http://www.acceleratingfuture.com/michael/blog/images/co2-levels-over-time.jpg )…”

    #43 “@Gator It seems logical to me that there would be much faster changes in the past at some point during the Earth’s enormous history since both CO2 levels and temperatures (e.g. Younger Dryas) have changed a great deal.”

    Why should I, or anyone else, trust anything written by someone who asserts something as fact not because he actually has strong evidence for it but merely because it “seems logical” to him? Has TheGoodLocust somehow managed never to learn that sometimes reality is counterintuitive?

  57. #58 VeryTallGuy
    2013/07/23

    @55 “Is that a trick question?”

    No, genuinely it’s pretty hard to see what JC is trying to achieve. To me at least.

    The comments on her blog read like an online analogue of Lord of the Flies, and WC has done a pretty fair deconstruction of her personal input here.

    So what’s the motivation?

    [I’m sure I’ve said this elsewhere, but I can say it again, since it was ages ago. This is all speculation, of course.

    Scroll back a few years, before she got tainted.

    JC is a middle-of-the-road atmos-prof type, doing research that is worthy enough but not desperately exciting. The wild excitement in climate research is elsewhere: Kool Kids like Mann are getting all the attention. And (we’re back in time, remember) she genuinely feels that the blogosphere debate has become tainted by warfare, and she will step in like some calming influence and everyone will just talk nicely to each other and Reasonable People Will Agree, and what’s more they’ll do it in her forum. But as we all know, this doesn’t and didn’t work. All that happens is that the sci types see she is offering nothing new, and the denialists are happy to embrace her for some cheap legitimacy. So we get embarrassing stuff like the T-shirt incident. And so she feels rejected by the sci types, and moves off towards the denialists. Fairly soon she has a wildly popular blog, of which 95% of the comments are drivel and 95% of the commentators are std.septics. But, its popular! And that was the initial aim. Initially, she can get that popularity fairly cheaply without too much compromise. But that kind of blog needs a constant stream of Stuff to keep the crowd amused; if not, they’ll go get their fix elsewhere (WUWT is trapped in this nothing-worthwhile-to-say-but-a-desperate-need-to-say-things trap too. JA by contrast is a fine example of someone who says nothing if he has nothing to say). And so… junk. But it has to be junk that doesn’t frighten the horses -W]

  58. #59 dhogaza
    2013/07/23

    WC:

    “The wild excitement in climate research is elsewhere: Kool Kids like Mann are getting all the attention.”

    She’s made her professional jealousy of Mann, in particular, public in the past.

    “And (we’re back in time, remember) she genuinely feels that the blogosphere debate has become tainted by warfare, and she will step in like some calming influence and everyone will just talk nicely to each other and Reasonable People Will Agree, and what’s more they’ll do it in her forum. But as we all know, this doesn’t and didn’t work.”

    I don’t agree with this. Her original forays into Real Climate were not consistent with what you think might be her motivation for starting her blog (talk nicely to each other, etc). She was very close to flat-out accusing mann, gavin, etc at RC of being dishonest, scientifically fraudulent, etc. She said some of the most astonishing things about the science itself (demonstrating the same level of ignorance one sees today, she’s neither regressed nor moved forwards AFAICT), stubbornly sticking to her guns when corrected by the good folk at RC, given references, etc.

    I think she’s politically motivated …

    [I don’t discount that as a possibility, but I can explain away “Her original forays…” without bad will on her part: she (naively, in my view) had partly accepted the septics view that it was all a big war and everyone in the war was to some extent at fault. Since Mann, Schmidt etc. refused to accept this Reasonable and Impartial Person’s viewpoint, they must therefore be Bad. They were Tribal (that was a terribly fashionable framing at one point) -W]

  59. #60 MMM
    2013/07/23

    “Why do you think ocean acidification from carbon dioxide is going to be a problem when carbon dioxide levels have been an order of magnitude (or greater) higher for most of the history of life on this planet?”

    I want to add my two cents: I think that there is an unfortunate but understandable tendency to conflate atmospheric CO2 concentrations, oceanic pH, and biological response… indeed, they are all tightly correlated over short time periods, but over long (geologic) timescales, they aren’t so much because an increased pH will lead to increased dissolving of CaCO3 from the seafloor, which will help balance things out again. So, hypothetically, if we were to shoot to 1000 ppm CO2 and hold it for 100,000 years, we’d see an initial hit to those species which can’t handle the increased energy cost for creating carbonate shells (or see their existing shells dissolve), but eventually they’d come back…

    A metric that is more closely linked to the key biological parameters, to my understanding, is aragonite saturation, and there is the potential for a non-linear transition between unsaturated and saturated states (google aragonite saturation horizon, and you can see that the observations suggest that the depth of this threshold point has been decreasing)

    I might also recommend http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/science/indicators/oceans/acidity.html as a nice resource…

    Finally, the usual paleo-analogue has been the permian-triassic extinction event, where there is evidence for massive carbonate dissolution in sediment cores simultaneous with widespread marine calcifier extinctions and evidence that some normally shell-bearing marine species may have survived for a while without shells at all…

    (note, of course, that some species will be happy as clams with ocean acidification. though clams are probably not one of those)

  60. #61 American Idiot
    2013/07/23

    Don’t forget also that there are very few contrarians with solid qualifications in the field. So they end up being big fish in a small pond.

    Thus when journalists want “balance” (or more cynically, controversy) in a story on climate they need to know where to go for a quote form someone reliably contrarian but whose qualifications look good. There aren’t many of those. So the available ones get called upon a lot.

    Imagine: A few years ago you were just a scientist doing solid but not groundbreaking research in your field, like hundreds or thousands of others. Now you see your name in the national news on a weekly basis, are called upon to give congressional testimony, and so on. This is a big ego-boost to people who are susceptible to such things.

  61. #62 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/07/23

    > promoting stupidity … *why*

    It’s The Trouble With Tribals

    Starts by petting just one or two; soon you’re breathing them.

  62. #63 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/23

    @Rob Painting [quote]Because the oceans only acidify when atmospheric CO2 increases in a geologically-abrupt manner[/quote]

    You aren’t making sense here. The pH decrease would be progressive – not abrupt.

    [quote]and atmospheric CO2 is increasing faster than it has in the last 300 million years.[/quote]

    Again, you’d need at least 3-6 million data points to show that. None of you have shown me this data – and that’s being generous by assuming that the proxies are even reliable that far back.

    “2. Ocean acidification is now implicated as a kill mechanism in a handful of past extinction events, including the largest marine extinction – The Great Dying.”

    Give me a break – there are many theories as to how such events happened. Reasonably explain how “ocean acidification” is going to kill 70% of land-based animals during the Great Dying.

    It wouldn’t – most plants and animals don’t rely on the sea to survive.

    [quote]Oyster larvae off the Oregon and Washington coasts have been killed by corrosive (calcium carbonate undersaturated) seawater for about 5-6 years now. And pteropods around Antarctica are beginning to have their shells corroded away by undersaturated seawater.[/quote]

    Maybe that’s the case. Perhaps some species are more vulnerable to this sort of thing (aren’t those oysters actually a cultivated species anyway?).

    However, I will remain skeptical of your claim because so far you’ve already stated several things that are false and environmentalists have a strong record of pointing to local or specific events as evidence of global warming only for such claims to be proven false later (e.g. Kilamanjaro and Himalayan snow/ice, corals being killed by acidification, etc).

    @Kevin O’Neill [quote]Yeah right buddy. I gave you a link to the full paper.[/quote]

    No, you gave me a link to a review – not a link to a research paper with 3-6 million data points. If you are going to make a claim of “record” anything for the past 300 million years then you are going to need a lot of data points to back up your claim.

    If you don’t have that data then it is a dishonest presentation of already extremely spotty evidence.

    [quote] Do the work if you think they’re wrong and point out a faster period of increase.[/quote]

    I don’t know for sure if they are wrong. I do know they can’t rationally make the claim if they don’t have the data to back it up. And for such an extraordinary claim you are going to need that proof.

    My claim is far more likely and reasonable – I just need one out of 3 million data points to favor my view. They need every single data point out of those millions to favor their view.

    @Jon[quote]Why should I, or anyone else, trust anything written by someone who asserts something as fact not because he actually has strong evidence for it but merely because it “seems logical” to him?[/quote]

    If you are intellectually consistent then you wouldn’t believe the opposite claim either – because there isn’t strong evidence for that claim either – they just have a far greater burden of proof for their claim than I have for mine. That’s kind of my whole point.

  63. #64 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/23

    The Good Locust – now might be a good time to slip quietly away before you embarrass yourself any further.

    1. You don’t understand that it is the calcium carbonate saturation state is what is important to marine calcifiers – not pH directly. pH and saturation state can become disassociated over geologic intervals due to the slow processes of chemical weathering and dissolution of ocean carbonates which supply alkalinity back to the ocean.

    2. The oceans are acidifying today because these two processes operate on ten thousand to hundred thousand-year time scales.

    3. Your comment about millions of data points is gibberish. Original perhaps, but gibberish nevertheless.

    4. Scientific research reveals that during some major extinction events, such as the Great Dying, marine calcifiers that were less well equipped to handle ocean acidification, were preferentially extinguished. On the other hand, marine calcifiers expected to be more resistant to corrosive seawater, were the ones that survived. That’s why those scientists are pointing the finger at ocean acidification.

    5. Yes, the death and corrosion of sea life happening today blows a big hole in the contrarian ‘theory’ of ocean acidification. Did you really expect it was going to be any different?

    6. Every point I have made is supported by actual experts in the field of ocean acidification. I know this because I made the effort to read the actual scientific literature, and have corresponded with some experts.

    7. So to summarise:

    – Understanding the actual chemistry of the ocean explains why the oceans acidify when atmospheric CO2 increases in a geologically-abrupt manner.

    – Chemical weathering of rock, and the dissolution of ocean carbonates, supplies alkalinity back to oceans over long (10,000-100,000-year) time frames. This is why the White Cliffs of Dover (made of calcium carbonate shells from ancient coccoliths) were able to form during the Cretaceous. The oceans were not corrosive. That one really confuses contrarians.

    – This also explains why some ocean life is dying and/or being corroded away in the oceans today. The water is becoming too corrosive due to the dearth of carbonate ions (undersaturation).

    – The observations support what the experts have been trying to convey to the public. By contrast contrarians, such as yourself, have nothing but handwaving to explain why sea life is being killed by corrosive seawater. It is rather revealing……

  64. #65 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/23

    @Rob Painting [quote]The Good Locust – now might be a good time to slip quietly away before you embarrass yourself any further.[/quote]

    With an attitude like that I suspect you’d make a good public school teacher.

    [quote]
    1. You don’t understand that it is the calcium carbonate saturation state is what is important to marine calcifiers – not pH directly. pH and saturation state can become disassociated over geologic intervals due to the slow processes of chemical weathering and dissolution of ocean carbonates which supply alkalinity back to the ocean. [/quote]

    And in return I can say that you guys at Skeptical Science don’t understand the reverse of that process – namely that the formation of limestone has slowly taken carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere to the point where we are now at below optimal levels.

    Are we done measuring our dicks yet?

    [quote]3. Your comment about millions of data points is gibberish. Original perhaps, but gibberish nevertheless.[/quote]

    It is quite understandable if you have the capacity and desire to understand it.

    Quite simply, if I take 500 data points across 300 million years, and then compare then to modern instrumental records (and more modern proxies) then I don’t have enough data to say anything with statistical certainty.

    To break it down even more, if I have 500 data points to represent 300 million years then that means each data point represents 600,000 years. It doesn’t have the resolution to tell me what happened with any specificity during those 600,000 years.

    And then you want to compare 500 such spans with a mere 300 year window?

    That’s ridiculous.

    [quote]4. Scientific research reveals that during some major extinction events, such as the Great Dying, marine calcifiers that were less well equipped to handle ocean acidification, were preferentially extinguished. On the other hand, marine calcifiers expected to be more resistant to corrosive seawater, were the ones that survived. That’s why those scientists are pointing the finger at ocean acidification.[/quote]

    Ah, so let me get this straight. 96% of all marine species went extinct 250 million years ago and somehow we are able to tell the biological capabilities of all those now extinct lifeforms?

    Impressive stuff, it makes me wonder why we even bother to have medical trials if we are able to tell so much about life just from ancient fossils.

    But it isn’t quite as impressive as you knowing with certainty the cause of the Great Dying even though there are so many scientific opinions on the subject.

    [quote]5. Yes, the death and corrosion of sea life happening today blows a big hole in the contrarian ‘theory’ of ocean acidification. Did you really expect it was going to be any different? [/quote]

    I expect a global problem to be a global problem – not some peculiarity limited to some locality.

    [quote]This also explains why some ocean life is dying and/or being corroded away in the oceans today. The water is becoming too corrosive due to the dearth of carbonate ions (undersaturation).[/quote]

    “Corrosive?” I thought you said this had nothing to do with pH (on a side note you guys might want to stop calling it ocean acidification if you really believe that)?

    If you are saying some marine life can’t build their shells because there isn’t enough carbonate then I wouldn’t describe that as “corrosive.”

    That also seems like something quite measurable. Do you have 50 years of data from different stations that show such a trend?

    Could such a trend be from shell-building lifeforms increasing dramatically in population in response to CO2?

    [quote]By contrast contrarians, such as yourself, have nothing but handwaving to explain why sea life is being killed by corrosive seawater. It is rather revealing……[/quote]

    Total pounds, for all species caught, seem to have been stable since 1970:

    https://wiki.colby.edu/download/attachments/13893718/ES493_08_MF_Fig34.jpg?version=1&modificationDate=1228424772357

    If you want to prove there is some sort of acidic global genocide going on then use numbers like that – not small scale local occurrences. We use large samples because they help control for unknown variables that one would clearly expect at some localities.

  65. #66 Craig Thomas
    2013/07/23

    I tried to ask Curry why she thinks Scott Doney, with his raft of qualifications and publications in the field should have his opinions tested against those of Craig Idso, a person who has no apparently relevant qualifications or expertise, and who has funding from politically-motivated lobby-groups who do not fund climate change research, but do fund anti-climate-change lobbying.

    She censored my question.

    I think you are all being way too generous about Curry – she is not stupid and knows what she is doing.
    Her Doney v. Idso setup is rankly dishonest and does nothing except further Heartland’s agenda to give the false impression of the existence of any controversy.

  66. #67 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/07/23

    > total pounds … all species caught … stable since 1970
    > colby.edu

    Snicker. As though the industry hadn’t changed since 1970.
    http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/fisheries/glocatch.gif
    http://www.globalchange.umich.edu/globalchange2/current/lectures/fisheries/fisheries.html

  67. #68 Gator
    2013/07/23

    JC has had a consulting business since 2006 according to LinkedIn.
    President at Climate Forecast Applications Network (CFAN)

    She links to her blog from the website. Maybe the blog attracts customers.
    She just won a $981K SBIR to work on modeling climate as it applies to wind turbines.
    http://www.sbir.gov/sbirsearch/detail/410156

    [Interesting. Though you can’t tell from that how much is expenses and how much profit -W]

  68. #69 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/23

    @Hank Roberts

    [quote]Snicker. As though the industry hadn’t changed since 1970.[/quote]

    I never said it hasn’t changed. I simply stated that the harvest levels appear to have been stable since 1970 – and they wouldn’t be stable if ocean acidification was causing significant problems.

    “Snicker” indeed.

  69. #70 Kevin O'Neill
    2013/07/23

    @TheGoodLocust … are you intentionally obtuse? The full paper is a review of the current science. Every detail/claim is referenced. Read it. Follow references. Read them.

    BTW. There’s no need for 3 million data points and claiming so just proves you’re talking out of your league. Go play with the kiddies. You admit you know nothing – but claim they can’t be right. Do we even need to point out the D-K is running strong?

  70. #71 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/24

    @Kevin O’Neill Then it should be easy for you to find me the several million data points if it is linked in there.

    I’m assuming you don’t have an education in statistics or you aren’t applying it, because you would indeed need at least that many data points to make the claim you are making.

    You are comparing a time period of 250+ years, the claimed time of acidification in the modern age, to 300,000,000 years.

    How can you make the claim that the current rate of change is the “greatest in 300 million years” if you don’t have millions of data points?

    Otherwise you are just showing the rate of change between vast spans of time and then comparing it to a very short period of time using entirely different measurement techniques.

    Obviously you still aren’t getting it because you don’t want to get it, but I’ll pose this question to you – how many data points did Michael Mann use for the hockey stick?

    It covers about a thousand years. How many proxies do you think he used to create it? A hundred? A thousand?

    Now come back to this 300 million year baloney – you’d need to multiple the amount of data points Michael Mann used by 300,000 to get his level of resolution.

    Starting to get the picture yet?

    That means if Michael Mann needed only a single data point for his hockey stick then a hockey stick spanning 300 million years would take 300,000 data points.

    Obviously he did not use a single point of data.

    And please, if you don’t know what you are talking about, and you don’t, then stop with the unwarranted condescension.

  71. #72 Joseph O'Sullivan
    2013/07/24

    re: Thegoodlocust

    People replying to him/her, stop feeding the trolls!

  72. #73 American Idiot
    2013/07/24

    @71, (J. O’S) I responded to him in good will at first, but stopped when it became clear that it was a fool’s errand. Oh well, such is life.

  73. #74 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/07/24

    Welcome to the Anthropocene. What’s changed?

  74. #75 Quiet Waters
    2013/07/24

    “…stable since 1970 – and they wouldn’t be stable if ocean acidification was causing significant problems.

    “Snicker” indeed.”

    40+ years of advancement in fisheries science & finshing technology for “stable” catches. Is this all just wasted time?*

    Oh, and look up as far as comment #11 perhaps.

    *(…Paranoid delusions they haunt you…)

  75. #76 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/24

    @Quiet Waters 40+ years in ever-stricter fishing regulations and catch limits – a much greater impact than improved netting.

  76. #77 Martin Vermeer
    2013/07/24

    > @TheGoodLocust … are you intentionally obtuse?

    Is that a trick question?

  77. #78 Craig Thomas
    2013/07/24

    “TheGoodLocust” is a lab assistant with delusions of intellectual grandeur.
    Essentially, he hasn’t reached the stage of intellectual development when you realise how little you really know, and that, it’s all “a bit more complicated than that”.

    One thing his limited intellect causes him to have missed is the fact that over a dozen groups have successfully replicated Mann’s work, some using his data, and most using their own entirely different proxies.

    What MrLabAssistant is implying, is that none of these many groups of well-trained professional scientists have spotted the large-scale instantaneous variations that fall within the gaps between the available data points.

    Of course, MrLabAssistant will not be contributing any original research that makes this idea even vaguely plausible – the idea is simply to sell some doubt.

  78. #79 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/24

    @Craig Thomas [quote]Essentially, he hasn’t reached the stage of intellectual development when you realise how little you really know, and that, it’s all “a bit more complicated than that”.[/quote]

    Amusing since I’ve consistently been arguing that things are more complicated than some people are making them out to be.

    [quote]One thing his limited intellect causes him to have missed is the fact that over a dozen groups have successfully replicated Mann’s work, some using his data, and most using their own entirely different proxies.[/quote]

    And you apparently missed that I wasn’t criticizing Mann’s work. I was using it as an example or even a crude baseline of how many data points a person might need to create a proxy record over a period of time.

    So much for “limited intellect.”

    [quote]
    What MrLabAssistant is implying, is that none of these many groups of well-trained professional scientists have spotted the large-scale instantaneous variations that fall within the gaps between the available data points.[/quote]

    When the “gaps” between data points number in the hundreds of thousands of years then it would be impossible to spot those variations now wouldn’t it?

    I must have really thrown some of you in quite a fit because I’ve received nothing but insults after pointing out the obvious fact that an enormous number of data points would be <b<required in order to make the statement they are making.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that all you guys can do is call me stupid – the two of you that I’ve googled don’t even have degrees in any sort of scientific field. Maybe when you get a degree beyond “international studies” you can come up with some valid criticism rather than insults and logical fallacies.

  79. #80 dhogaza
    2013/07/24

    TheGoodLocust:

    “Amusing since I’ve consistently been arguing that things are more complicated than some people are making them out to be.”

    More complicated, perhaps, than the person who posted this made them out to be?

    “@Gator It seems logical to me that there would be much faster changes in the past at some point during the Earth’s enormous history since both CO2 levels and temperatures (e.g. Younger Dryas) have changed a great deal.”

    Yes, that was TGL.

    Don’t feed the troll.

    [I think its time for one of my futile appeals, that precedes me actually clamping down: I think this back-n-forth has pretty much run its course for useful content. By all means add more useful information but further he-said-she-said type stuff will have to go; I have a reputation for censorship to maintain. Also, more civility would be pleasant -W]

  80. #81 Sven
    2013/07/24

    “Craig Thomas
    2013/07/23

    She censored my question.”

    That Curry would censor a question like that is highly unlikely.

    [I wouldn’t be surprised. Comments of mine have failed to appear there -W]

  81. #82 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/24

    Take note that the following is not intended to educate an ignorant and anonymous person on the internet (the goodlocust). It simply intended to inform the casual, scientifically-inclined, reader of what the actual science has to say about ocean acidification.

    namely that the formation of limestone has slowly taken carbon dioxide out of our atmosphere to the point where we are now at below optimal levels.

    You have a strange interpretation of optimal. Dying oysters, lethal conditions for cod larvae, and dissolving foraminifera and pteropods is bad. You do understand that ongoing ocean acidification, on current trajectory, will cause ecosystem collapse. That’s kind of the reason many scientists are concerned about this – a re-run of previous ocean acidification-driven extinctions will not be a pleasant experience for humanity.

    “Corrosive?” I thought you said this had nothing to do with pH (on a side note you guys might want to stop calling it ocean acidification if you really believe that)?

    This is a telling comment. It demonstrates that you do not even understand the basics of ocean acidification.

    For many marine calcifiers (but not all), it is not the acidification itself (an increase in hydronium ions) that is the major problem, it is the decrease in carbonate ions – one of the two ‘building blocks’ of the calcium carbonate shell/skeleton. This makes shell formation energetically more costly.

    When the concentration (activity) of carbonate ions falls to extremely low levels – undersaturation – the surrounding seawater is physically corrosive because the background state of the water favours dissolution of calcium carbonate forms.

    “I expect a global problem to be a global problem – not some peculiarity limited to some locality’

    I’m unsure what you’re point is here. You are an [Civility police belatedly step in -W]. What you might expect to see is irrelevant. Scientists studying ocean acidification, however, expect certain regions of the ocean to acidify faster than others. The polar seas for instance. Here water temperature is lower (enabling more uptake of CO2 into the surface ocean), prone to upwelling (through Ekman suction) and has vast reservoirs of low pH water ready to be dumped into the oceans as global warming melts the land-based ice.

  82. #83 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/24

    W – ” but further he-said-she-said type stuff will have to go”
    Duly noted.

  83. #84 metzomagic
    Dublin
    2013/07/24

    Hey, John Mashey. OT, but kudos to you are in order. I just finished reading Mann’s book for the 2nd time, but on this pass I followed up more of the footnotes. Yourself and Deep got a lot of credit for the work you did exposing the Wegman report for the partisan stitch-up that it actually was. Good on ya!

    And… I was delighted to learn that Mann had read and acknowledged the findings of “Replication and due diligence – Wegman style” (linked to by both of us above). Funny how the McIntyre sycophants go all quiet when you point them at that, though it’s nearly impossible to get them to read it for comprehension.

  84. #85 Martin Vermeer
    2013/07/24

    Civility is overrated

    (I could actually write something sensible, but I don’t find the mood)

  85. #86 Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/07/24

    Moderation is not all it is cracked up to be either

  86. #87 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/07/24

    On occasion, to avoid poisoning the atmosphere, the only workable approach to moderation is:

    Yell SCRAM! while swinging the axe.

    Enrico Fermi may have invented that method.

  87. #88 dave s
    2013/07/24

    How daur you accuse Professor Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, of teh stupid, when the world renowned BBC in the eminent person of Andra Neil assures us that she is “a world authority on global warming”…

    He assures us that they “quoted no deniers or even sceptics”, though for some reason he seems to quote as an authority Dr Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama Hunstville, which carries out world-renowned and heavily-relied upon satellite measurements of global temperatures, without noting Woy being signed up to the Cornwall Declaration that “Earth and its ecosystems – created by God’s intelligent design and infinite power and sustained by His faithful providence – are robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting, admirably suited for human flourishing, and displaying His glory.”

    Anyway, how can one possibly question the BBC on the basis of quibbles put up by el Graun at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/climate-consensus-97-per-cent/2013/jul/23/climate-change-andrew-neil-bbc-errors-take2 . . .

  88. #89 dave s
    2013/07/24

    p.s. see the thoughts of Andra Neil at
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-23405202

    [He sounds rather defensive -W]

  89. #90 Mark Ryan
    Australia
    2013/07/25

    I long ago stopped being surprised at the hubris of people who burlesque a whole discipline into their own terms, then proceed to ‘falsify’ it, or demand that the experts who have spent years in the discipline ‘prove’ its core principles to outsiders.

    There’s a premise which first has to be true if I, from the standpoint of an economics degree, or engineering, or whatever else, think I have cut through to the heart of the atmospheric sciences; the premise is that communities of scientists build knowledge for reasons of political or cultural convenience -not through uncovering the nature of the world they study.

    How else could it be possible for me to know what’s wrong with climatology, given I’ve invested about 1% of the time the climatologists have in learning about it? Really, I need to subscribe to a conspiracy theory that climate science doesn’t have much actual knowledge -because the alternative is that I’m a genius savant who doesn’t need a degree in any given field to understand it…and that’s, well, kind of unlikely, isn’t it?

    So I understand the irritation those of you with real expertise feel at someone asking you to ‘prove’ what you learned in your undergraduate degrees. If I were inclined to think I know better than you, calling me on my DK would just seem like tribal denial -there is no winning this argument on a blog.

    But as Rob Painting #81 noted, there are benefits for the rest of us in you guys explaining this stuff -so thankyou. There is one issue in this dialogue with TGL that I for one hope to see addressed a bit further:

    I suspect one reason TGL’s arguments are so irritating to the experts in this forum is that they question the sheer possibility of statistically understanding proxy data -in any field. His (or her) assertion, that we only really understand a dataset if we have an enormous and continuous stream of variables, is a common form of scepticism about time series analysis -I recall some of the attacks on Marcott et al were along these lines.

    As I understand it, the argument is that it is invalid to interpolate between partial or widely spaced data -or at least, that natural variability might occur at frequencies within the sample frequency, so that it is effectively invisible. This is not my field, but it seems like making a frequentist objection to what is really a Bayesian problem. Some of Tamino’s responses to this question were very good, but I’m still not very clear about how we build a reliable (defensible) picture of paleoclimate from potted data.

    I personally think that misunderstanding -and suspicion- of statistical work is one of the deep themes of AGW denial. Any input or links would be much appreciated.

    Thanks William, and the regular contributors, for this blog -it’s right at the top of my favourites.

  90. #91 Susan Anderson
    Boston
    2013/07/25

    Sometimes a little strong language is just the thing. Having served as the pincushion of the moment for MacIntyre and his troops (DotEarth, silly me, over Shakun and Marcott), and gotten in trouble with la Curry (early days at RC and daring to mention the noticeable fudge process that emanates from her loci, it is nice to know I’m not alone. As for laypeople reading up, it is possible to get at the truth if one keeps an open mind. It takes is some real skepticism, some idea of what one does not know, curiosity, and five open senses looking outwards.

    Thanks all.

  91. #92 Brandon Shollenberger
    2013/07/25

    William M. Connolley, you’ve now accused me of dishonest behavior because I keep pointing out you called Judith Curry a liar. This is despite the fact I went out of my way to demonstrate how you accused her of dishonesty, and you responded without taking any issue. It is absurd for you to, only now, claim you haven’t called her a liar despite accusing her of creating disinformation.

    Disinformation explicitly requires dishonest intent. If you want to accuse me of dishonest behavior because I hold you to the meaning of the words you use, you can. It won’t change anything. I suspect there is little you could do to make yourself look more foolish at this point.

    But by all means, keep trying.

    [Dahling, have I offended you? I have questioned one of your heroes, nay your gods. Unfortunately your gods have no answer to the rather basic questions being asked; their silence is telling -W]

  92. #93 Craig Thomas
    2013/07/25

    What kind of intent could possibly lie behind the act of promoting the irrelevantly-qualified lobbyist Craig Idso as a competent critic of well-qualified science researcher Scott Doney?

  93. #94 Ned
    2013/07/25

    Brandon has nothing at all to say about the substance of the post — ocean acidification, and Curry’s more or less total ignorance thereof — so he latches onto the one word “disinformation” and gets all huffy and offended.

    The point here, Brandon, is that JC is using her platform to spread incorrect information on a subject that she ought to be able to learn more about with relatively little effort.

    I can see several possible explanations for this:

    (a) Curry is deliberately trying to misinform her readers,

    (b) Curry doesn’t know that she’s misinforming her readers and just doesn’t care or is too lazy to find out, or

    (c) Curry would prefer to provide correct information to her readers, but despite having risen to a prominent position in her scientific field she is totally unable to distinguish between good and poor sources, valid and invalid reasoning, facts and misinformation.

    Curry would look pretty bad regardless of which of those three explanations you choose. Perhaps there are other possibilities (e.g., someone is forcing Curry to post nonsense against her will, though that seems improbable).

  94. #95 Ned
    2013/07/25

    As for Brandon’s faux outrage over the term “disinformation”, I can’t speak for WMC but his usage would be perfectly compatible with JC naively serving as a useful idiot for somebody else’s disinformation. In fact, WMC’s use of the word “clueless” might point the reader in that direction. So it looks to me like Brandon is jumping to conclusions here.

  95. #96 afeman
    2013/07/25

    An accusation of lying requires the presumption of competence.

  96. #97 FrankD
    2013/07/25

    Mark @ #49 [I’ve no idea who you are. If you treated wiki as a battleground, though, its no surprise that you were banned…]

    Marknutley, perhaps? I’m sure anyone who read the CC pages at Wikipedia remembers him. I wonder if he would still be upset to be addressed as “old fruit”. :-)

    But shockingly (assuming its him), he misrepresents his ban – that wasn’t because WMC is a big meanie, it was for sockpuppetry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Marknutley

  97. #98 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/25

    TWIMC, I have no further interest in more back-and-forth on the ocean acidification topic.

    @Mark Ryan [quote]the premise is that communities of scientists build knowledge for reasons of political or cultural convenience -not through uncovering the nature of the world they study.[/quote]

    Do you believe that premise is true for things like gender and ethnic studies? I personally think those disciplines are almost entirely political and cultural in nature.

    If you accept that those communities aren’t really scientific then you must accept the possibility that other such groups of academics can behave in a similar fashion.

    [quote]I suspect one reason TGL’s arguments are so irritating to the experts in this forum [/quote]

    An incorrect premise on your part, the specific people I was discussing this with are not experts.

    [quote]His (or her) assertion, that we only really understand a dataset if we have an enormous and continuous stream of variables[/quote]

    No, my assertion was that meaningful comparisons between high resolution data and extremely low resolution data must be done with a great deal of care.

  98. #99 Mal Adapted
    2013/07/25

    Brandon Shollenberger:

    It is absurd for you to, only now, claim you haven’t called her a liar despite accusing her of creating disinformation.

    The nuance may be beyond you, but JC is more likely a bullshitter than a liar:

    The philosopher Harry Frankfurt, in his essay On Bullshit, attempts a rigorous philosophical definition of bullshit. For Frankfurt, this consists of drawing a sharp distinction between a bullshitter and a liar; the difference being that a liar cares enough about the truth to state known falsehoods, whereas a bullshitter does not care because some other goal is paramount. “Liars at least acknowledge that it matters what is true. By virtue of this, Frankfurt writes, bullshit is a greater enemy of the truth than lies are.”

    IMO, that characterizes a large segment of the denialati.

  99. #100 dhogaza
    2013/07/26

    TGL:

    “Do you believe that premise is true for things like gender and ethnic studies?”

    The claim was made for science.

  100. #101 Mark Ryan
    Australia
    2013/07/26

    TGL #97:

    Is it “possible” that the work of natural scientists has a similar “political and cultural nature” to the work of feminist historians?

    Is it “possible” that some guy sitting in front of his home PC has realized that “meaningful comparisons between high resolution data and extremely low resolution data must be done with a great deal of care”, while it hasn’t yet occurred to the scores of climate scientists actually doing the comparisons?

    Richard Feynmann spoke often of having to argue about flying saucers with people on the street. “It’s possible”, they would keep saying, as though that meant something. Feynmann’s response was that the problem is not to demonstrate that something -against the backdrop of everything- is possible, but to demonstrate that it is actually happening.

    Of course there is politics and culture in the production of scientific knowledge; it is, after all, a human activity. But research communities, particularly in the natural sciences, have their own cultures and norms which push themselves towards greater and greater explanatory power -they discipline themselves to avoid subjective bias more than any other kind of culture. The social psychologist David Dunning (whose work you really, really ought to read) has found that peer communities evaluate one another much better than individuals evaluate themselves. Is it “possible” that the process lets through errors? Obviously so. The result is probabilistic; the certainty of knowledge progresses unevenly, asymptotically, towards completeness.

    The “it’s possible” argument is bankrupt; it is an attempt to leverage the banality that nothing we know is 100% certain, in an effort to convince someone to give up the most probable explanation for the less probable one -as though simply saying “it’s possible” somehow means “it’s just as likely”.

  101. #102 Mark Ryan
    Australia
    2013/07/26

    One further point:

    The phrase “political and cultural” was used as a contrast to “scientific”.

    What can be more “political and cultural” than criticising a field of study (be it social or natural science) from outside, without having gone deeply into the field itself?

    Surely the most elementary notion of scientific method dictates that one should deeply investigate a field of study before judging it…

  102. #103 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/26

    dhogaza [quote]The claim was made for science. [/quote]

    And I’m sure they claim their work is scientific.

    If you like we can talk about other “scientific” disciplines. Recently there was a paper in the Journal of Organic System, peer-reviewed of course, entitled, “A long-term toxicology study on pigs fed a combined genetically modified (GM) soy and GM maize diet.”

    The author has great credentials. Unfortunately her advocacy has colored her “science” and she used statistical tricks to get the answer that she wanted (namely that GMO feed is harmful).

    @Mark Ryan [quote]Is it “possible” that the work of natural scientists has a similar “political and cultural nature” to the work of feminist historians?[/quote]

    Of course – unless somehow all scientists are immune to bias.

    [quote] while it hasn’t yet occurred to the scores of climate scientists actually doing the comparisons? [/quote]

    Who says it hasn’t occurred to them? That review refers several times to the lack of resolution in the proxy records.

    In fact, after looking at the review in a bit more detail it looks like the real claim should be, “Current rate of pH decline is potentially the greatest for the past 300 million years (of the eight periods we compared the modern era too).

    The author further makes the same claim that I did by pointing out that taking an average of a large period of time may not be accurate because the assumption that they use of a uniform rate of CO2 release is not a good assumption.

    Maybe the point of all this is that striking headlines with all the caveats and doubts taken out aren’t really a good way of spreading actual science?

    What you should find really interesting is that I noted the same limitations that the author noted, but before I actually read them, while other people were calling me stupid for saying essentially the same thing as the lead author of the paper.

    Oi vey.

    On a side note, that review shows a very interesting graph on page 1061, graph D. Notice the pH levels for the past 300 million years? That’s right – according to her they are FAR more acidic than modern levels.

    [quote]The social psychologist David Dunning (whose work you really, really ought to read) has found that peer communities evaluate one another much better than individuals evaluate themselves. [/quote]

    Maybe so, but does that apply to ALL peer communities? Or are “peer communities” a magical data set that never has any outliers?

  103. #104 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/07/26

    > Locust
    > … claim their work is scientific … great credentials …

    Bzzzt! Locust puts up a straw man … [that] does not appear in PubMed, suggesting it is not taken very seriously in the scientific community …. [by] a long-time anti-biotech campaigner that’s been cited by nobody, per Scholar.

    Boring.

  104. #105 Rattus Norvegicus
    2013/07/26

    TGL, there’s a reason that paper was published in the anti-GMO version of E&E.

  105. #106 American Idiot
    2013/07/26

    Please stop responding to him.

  106. #107 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/26

    @Hank Here are her credentials:

    “Dr. Judy Carman is an adjunct associate professor at Flinders University in Adelaide, Australia. She has a Bachelor of Science, an Honours Degree in Organic Chemistry, a PhD in Medicine in the field of nutritional biochemistry and metabolic regulation, and a Master of Public Health specializing in epidemiology and biostatistics.

    She has taught chemistry, biochemistry, epidemiology, research methods and statistics in Universities. She has held senior population health positions in Australia, including as the Senior Epidemiologist investigating outbreaks of disease for her State government. In that role, she conducted a government-funded, multi-State investigation into whether Rabbit Calicivirus (Viral Haemorrhagic Disease of Rabbits) could infect people, after the virus had escaped from quarantine in Australia to spread across the landscape. She also has considerable experience in conducting animal feeding experiments.”

    Her scientific credentials are impressive, but credentials do not a proper scientist make. By all rights she should be able to tell you better than I whether or not GMO products are harmful.

    I say they aren’t any more dangerous than normal hybridization techniques (probably less so actually) and she’s made it her life’s work to prove that they are harmful.

    Who do you believe? The expert or me?

    The fact also remains that her paper was peer-reviewed. It was also very well done. The main problem with it was a simple one of statistics – using stats to imply meaning where there was none. The other problem, not surprising for an activist scientist who wants to save the world, is that she ignored the data that didn’t fit in with the narrative she desperately wants to tell.

    By the way, your amusing assertion that it hasn’t been cited by anyone is correct – which isn’t surprising since it was [i]just published last month[/i]. Remember, I did say that it was published “recently.”

  107. #108 Susan Anderson
    Boston
    2013/07/26

    JC was quite insistent that Montford was the one true authority. She insisted not reading it demonstrated a closed mind. It did seem to have been a road to Damascus moment for her.

    Lot of that – attacking without checking sources – going around. I have to admit based on descriptions of his assertions I dismissed him out of hand and did not read it.

    I read Mann instead.

  108. #109 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/26

    On a side note, that review shows a very interesting graph on page 1061, graph D. Notice the pH levels for the past 300 million years? That’s right – according to her they are FAR more acidic than modern levels.”

    You appear are either immune to learning, or suffer from anterograde amnesia.

    For many marine calficiers it is the saturation state of calcium carbonate forms that matters, i.e. the seawater was not physically corrosive back then, due to the supply of alkalinity back to the oceans. The concentration of hydroniums ions must have been high (and pH low) if the atmospheric concentration of CO2 was as high as indicated (see Henry’s Law & Dalton’s Law of Partial Pressures).

    Remember the discussion about the massive calcium carbonate deposits, from coccoliths, that formed the White Cliffs of Dover? This occurred during the Cretaceous when seawater pH was low. The ocean clearly wasn’t corrosive -nor would we expect it to be.

  109. #110 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/26

    W – but further he-said-she-said type stuff will have to go

    Oops forgot. Feel free to delete along with GoodLocust’s drivel that I was responding to.

  110. #111 Barry
    USA
    2013/07/26

    Alan

    “Anyhoo, I remember when JC first dipped her toes in the water there and how shocked she claimed to be at the bile and ignorance what would froth up from time to time and how she would defend the “mainstream” science.

    What on earth happened? I can only imagine that she decided that at least pays attention to meI Perhaps I can tame them and creat my own cheer squad.”

    I imagine that it’s always soooooo tempting to fall off the science wagon. It’s hard. You spend lots of time trying to measure things accurately and to make sense of them, when you know that you might not be measuring the right things. You might do it right, and have somebody else get there a year earlier, in which case your contribution is valid (as a confirmation), but you don’t get published.

    Denialism is easy, as JC demonstrates. Instead of working through the literature to understand what’s been shown, making sure that you miss nothing, you get to just handwave things away, saying that ‘it’s complicated’. Instead of proving or disproving things, you establish whatever BS rules you want, and let others do it. And disproving things is so much easier when you’re willing to ignore proof.

    It’s so much easier than being a scientist.

    What amazes me is that (according to Wikipedia), she’s the chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at GIT. I can understand why she sill has her position, but putting her in charge is crazy.

  111. #112 TheGoodLocust
    2013/07/26

    @Rob Painting The argument is both amusing and schizophrenic Rob. If the pH isn’t the problem then why does everyone keep on arguing about? Why do I constantly hear that it is a logarithmic scale?

    If her chart is accurate then it shows pH levels for the past 300 million years were FAR lower than they are now.

    The whole calcium carbonate thing comes off as an ad hoc excuse to keep the ocean acidification scare going through essentially an argument from ignorance.

    “Yes, the oceans are far less acidic now, but more corrosive.”

    Perhaps “Ocean Decalcification” doesn’t quite have the needed ring to it now does?

  112. #113 Ned
    2013/07/26

    TGL, if you don’t understand carbonate chemistry in the ocean, why don’t you go learn something? It would be more productive than pestering people here with your ignorance.

    Seriously, you really have no idea what you’re talking about.

  113. #114 Bernard J.
    2013/07/27

    Eli Rabett
    http://rabett.blogspot.com
    2013/07/24

    Moderation is not all it is cracked up to be either

    As a man once said – all things in moderation, including moderation…

  114. #115 Rob Painting
    www.skepticalscience.com
    2013/07/28

    I can only echo Ned’s sentiments.

  115. #116 Quiet Waters
    2013/07/29

    It’s interesting that someone who says this:

    “William M. Connolley, you’re free to keep calling Judith Curry a liar. You’re even free to do so without offering the slightest shred of evidence. All it’ll do is make you look like a fool, but it’s your option.”

    Can also say this:

    “It’s rampant dishonesty hiding behind a fig leaf of deniability”.

    When sounding off about the 97% paper.

    Double standards ahoy!

  116. #117 Holly Stickv
    Canada
    2013/07/29

    Hey those WUWT commenters aren’t so dumb. Some of them have figured out that a stoat is a kind of weasel. Take that, Connelly!

    [A journey of a thousand steps starts with a single mile -W]

  117. […] here is that the SEJ are completely wrong: JC isn’t a denier (I don’t know what she is; hopelessly confused and lost, I’d say) but she certainly isn’t committed to reason and evidence. She is entirely […]

  118. #119 guthrie
    2013/08/02

    The important point to remember is that bringing up past CO2 and acidification isn’t very relevant, except with caveats. This is because oddly enough, a million years ago, there weren’t biollions of humans fishing out the sea, dumping pollutants into and generally mucking things up.

    Thus the dangers of acidification would have been smaller because of the large geographic scale of the ecosystems permitting more flexibility. But now we’ve cornered the ecosystems and they have no way out, so acidification is a real issue.

  119. #120 Hank Roberts
    hankroberts.wordpress.com
    2013/08/02

    acidification is a rate of change over time problem, not (or not only) geographic scale:

    “Even though the amount of CO2 that has entered the ocean in the last 200 years is smaller than that added during the Ordovician, the CO2 has built up to a much higher concentration in the surface ocean. As a result, upper ocean pH has decreased more rapidly and by a greater amount than in the geological past. Both the rate of change of pH and the magnitude of the change present problems for organisms that evolved in an ocean that experienced smaller, slower pH changes in the past. — Chris Langdon, Associate Professor, University of Miami, USA; Andy Ridgwell, Royal Society University Research Fellow, Bristol University, UK; Richard Zeebe, Associate Professor, University of Hawaii at Manoa, USA; Daniela Schmidt, Senior Research Fellow, University of Bristol, UK”

    http://www.epoca-project.eu/index.php/what-is-ocean-acidification/faq.html

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