Week in review 1/7/11

by Judith Curry

Here are a few things that caught my eye this past week:

Climate BS awards for 2011

The BS stands for ‘bad science.’  These awards have been bestowed by Peter Gleick in an article entitled Climate BS awards for 2011.  Before taking a look at who gets the awards, what does ‘bad science’ mean?  Published science that is based on false premises or derives incorrect conclusions (e.g. skydragons)?  Boring or irrelevant science?  Other ideas?  Well, Gleick has defined ‘bad science’ as interfering with climate ‘action’.

The winners of the bad science awards are:

  • All of the Republican candidates for U.S. president
  • Fox News and Murdoch’s news corporation
  • Spencer, Braswell and Christy for their lack of climate “sensitivity”
  • Koch brothers for funding the promotion of bad climate science
  • Anthony Watts for his BEST, and worst, climate hypocrisy

Runners up:

  • Harrison Schmidt and the Heartland Institute for “Arcticgate”
  • Rush Limbaugh for his consistent falsehoods about climate change
  • Seve McIntyre, for his despicable smear of Mike Mann

The only one of these that is actually about science is Spencer, Braswell and Christy.  These were discussed extensively at Climate Etc., and are part of active scientific debates:

So what are we to make of this, other than that Gleick confuses science with politics?  Looks like the UNFCCC/IPCC ideology at work.

Solar power

Peter Morocombe has an interesting post at BraveNewClimate entitled Solar Power in Florida.  I won’t try to summarize the post here, it is well worth reading (and also the comments).


gallopingcamel has made available many of the zero-order-drafts of IPCC AR5 chapters for WG1 and WG2.  The camel is looking for volunteers:

Inspired by Donna Laframboise’s example I plan to assemble a group to make an objective review of these documents. If you are interested please let me know which of the papers you want to work on. At the very least we should aim to answer these questions:

1. Who are the authors? Scientists, bureaucrats, activists or what?

2. Are there any respected scientists in appropriate fields whose views are being ignored?

Here is a chance for Dorothy to find out who the Wizards of Climate are and to grade their work.

Global monsoon rainfall has intensified

Recent change of the global monsoon precipitation (1979–2008) – Wang et al.  Abstract:   “The global monsoon (GM) is a defining feature of the annual variation of Earth’s climate system. Quantifying and understanding the present-day monsoon precipitation change are crucial for prediction of its future and reflection of its past. Here we show that regional monsoons are coordinated not only by external solar forcing but also by internal feedback processes such as El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). From one monsoon year (May to the next April) to the next, most continental monsoon regions, separated by vast areas of arid trade winds and deserts, vary in a cohesive manner driven by ENSO. The ENSO has tighter regulation on the northern hemisphere summer monsoon (NHSM) than on the southern hemisphere summer monsoon (SHSM). More notably, the GM precipitation (GMP) has intensified over the past three decades mainly due to the significant upward trend in NHSM. The intensification of the GMP originates primarily from an enhanced east–west thermal contrast in the Pacific Ocean, which is coupled with a rising pressure in the subtropical eastern Pacific and decreasing pressure over the Indo-Pacific warm pool. While this mechanism tends to amplify both the NHSM and SHSM, the stronger (weaker) warming trend in the NH (SH) creates a hemispheric thermal contrast, which favors intensification of the NHSM but weakens the SHSM. The enhanced Pacific zonal thermal contrast is largely a result of natural variability, whilst the enhanced hemispherical thermal contrast is likely due to anthropogenic forcing. We found that the enhanced global summer monsoon not only amplifies the annual cycle of tropical climate but also promotes directly a “wet-gets-wetter” trend pattern and indirectly a “dry-gets-drier” trend pattern through coupling with deserts and trade winds. The mechanisms recognized in this study suggest a way forward for understanding past and future changes of the GM in terms of its driven mechanisms.”  [Full text]

More rainfall is good news for the Asian monsoon region. This is a good analysis that illustrates the interplay between AGW and natural variability.

Interesting new paper on Arctic sea ice

On the Arctic Ocean ice thickness response to changes in the external forcing – Stranne & Björk .  Abstract:  “Submarine and satellite observations show that the Arctic Ocean ice cover has undergone a large thickness reduction and a decrease in the areal extent during the last decades. Here the response of the Arctic Ocean ice cover to changes in the poleward atmospheric energy transport, F wall, is investigated using coupled atmosphere-ice-ocean column models. Two models with highly different complexity are used in order to illustrate the importance of different internal processes and the results highlight the dramatic effects of the negative ice thickness—ice volume export feedback and the positive surface albedo feedback. The steady state ice thickness as a function of F wall is determined for various model setups and defines what we call ice thickness response curves. When a variable surface albedo and snow precipitation is included, a complex response curve appears with two distinct regimes: a perennial ice cover regime with a fairly linear response and a less responsive seasonal ice cover regime. The two regimes are separated by a steep transition associated with surface albedo feedback. The associated hysteresis is however small, indicating that the Arctic climate system does not have an irreversible tipping point behaviour related to the surface albedo feedback. The results are discussed in the context of the recent reduction of the Arctic sea ice cover. A new mechanism related to regional and temporal variations of the ice divergence within the Arctic Ocean is presented as an explanation for the observed regional variation of the ice thickness reduction. Our results further suggest that the recent reduction in areal ice extent and loss of multiyear ice is related to the albedo dependent transition between seasonal and perennial ice i.e. large areas of the Arctic Ocean that has previously been dominated by multiyear ice might have been pushed below a critical mean ice thickness, corresponding to the above mentioned transition, and into a state dominated by seasonal ice.” [link to abstract]

If this paper wasn’t behind paywall, I would do a complete post on this (will keep looking for an online version).

192 responses to “Week in review 1/7/11

  1. Steven Mosher

    Those are ZODs

    Zeroth order drafts.

  2. Steven Mosher

    Funny I read Gleick and had the same reaction.
    Of course he wants to take the term BS two ways.

    I’m also struck by the attack on Spenser and Christy. Like some stupid skeptics who criticize Hansen for making corrections as he goes along, some in my AGW tribe, seem to think the fact that Spenser corrects his work
    is a sign of a problem.

    The problem is guys like Mann, who fight corrections, who dont give attribution for the corrections when they make them, and who hide corrections in SI and corrigeum ( not citeable I imagine as Peer reviewed)

    • I agree about Hansen – there is so much to criticise legitimately, it is just laziness [on my part, often] to pile on and say ‘he was wrong 25 years ago’. What makes it harder for me is to see the likes of Gavin (who perhaps is in a difficult position..) and SkS jumping in and defending failed predictions. It wouldn’t be such a big deal if it was just accepted and then left in the past.

      My real problem with Hansen is that he uses his alleged scientific expertise to back up utter garbage – rhetoric concerning things he knows nothing about. This, for instance –

      “Coal is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on the planet”

      I’m all for free speech, but somehow I think this kind of statement should legitimately disqualify someone from any kind of employment in a science-related field.

      • Gavin isn’t bad fellow. He occasionally allows my comments and some of my controversial graphs on his blog, despite me causing rumpus with blogers Grant Foster (Tamino) and Daniel Bailey (Sceptical Science). I thought I would get a life ban but didn’t; ergo Gavin is OK guy.

      • Misprint, A: ‘Cool is the single greatest threat to civilisation and all life on the planet’.

      • Schmidt would go up immensely in my estimation if he would admit some of the issues raised by climategate and Mann’s hockey stick. I do agree he seems to be much more reasonable than most in his tribe.

      • David
        Considering his position, he may be forgiven to keep some of his views to himself. On his blog he often comments on the posts he disagree with and binned one or two of mine.

        #76 poster :Gavin, can you expand upon this (or maybe give a pointer?) I’d thought that solar variability would have its greatest effect in the tropics.
        Gavin: [Response: Polar amplification is mostly driven by the greater amounts of the feedbacks in the polar regions (snow/ice albedo feedbacks, ice sheet/vegetation feedbacks. for instance). Over really long time scales, polar amplification is larger than we can currently explain (especially for the Eocene, Cretaceous etc.). – gavin]

        I got in uninvited, didn’t expect comment to be accepted, but he did allow me step on his toes, may I say without word of criticism:

        That would be the case if the TSI was the driver of the temperature oscillations. This may not be entirely in line with current thinking (so it may get chopped by the moderator), but it appears that sun-earth link is electro & magnetic one (ionospheric currents inductions), making the effect far stronger at the poles then the equator. The Arctic is the geo-magnetically less stable than the Antarctica (due to bifurcation of the Earth’s magnetic field on the Hudson Bay-Central Siberia line, see map from NOAA: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/data/mag_maps/pdf/F_map_mf_2010.pdf )
        as the result N. Hemisphere temperature may be somewhat more volatile.
        It appears that there is a geomagnetic link to the occasional splitting of the polar vortex (which is responsible for the winter weather over the N. Hemisphere (see the NASA’s article: http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=36972 ).
        Further more, the AMO is directly correlated to the Arctic temperatures; couple of years ago I written somewhat speculative article on the subject (approach it with large dose of scepticism), it can be found here: http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/NFC.htm

        I say again, in my book Gavin is OK guy.

      • In the Pliocene, with CO2 at 390ppm, and the sun dimmer than today’s, the Arctic was 12-19C warmer than today.

        Abbot & Tziperman have written a series of papers arguing that certain cloud/air circulation feedbacks may at a certain point kick in, flipping the Arctic into an ice-free state — even in the winter.

        I was a little surprised by this, as I had thought the concept of an Arctic tipping point or points had been more or less abandoned. But as I found in researching further, while conventional climate models do not show a tipping point, there is paleoclimate evidence of one, and there is also evidence of cloud and circulatory feedbacks not incorporated into conventional models.

        If interested, see the post and discussion here: http://theidiottracker.blogspot.com/2012/01/could-there-be-tipping-point-for-arctic.html

      • thanks for the link, nice article. I have long been arguing against a tipping point associated with arctic sea ice. Once the continents migrated into their current position, mostly closing off the arctic ocean, you are guaranteed winter ice formation in the arctic ocean. Even if the sea ice completely disappears during one summer, it will come back during the winter, and there is no particular reason to expect disappearing ice the following summer unless conditions are the same as the previous summer. So no tipping point.

      • Dr.Curry
        Profile of the Greenland-Scotland ridge (living geology) is far more important to the Arctic than any of the CO2 forcing speculations.
        There are causes, consequences and symptoms (consequence often confused with a primary cause, but often a secondary degree cause , e.g. geomagnetic).

      • Dr Curry,

        I think your view represents the current consensus. Still, I was interested to see some questions remain. I hope the conventional view proves to be correct, given the amount of carbon (permafrost and methyl hydrates) concentrated in the Arctic.

  3. I didn’t see Gleick’s definition of bad science as ‘interfering with climate action’ but if he did he’s reached new levels of hilarity and unintentional irony.
    I was laughing by the end of his very first sentence – that 2011 was

    “A year in which unprecedented combinations of extreme weather events killed people and damaged property around the world”

    Strictly speaking this is probably true, but in a meaningless, idiotic way – that all combinations of extreme weather have been unprecedented and have killed people and damaged property……… every year since people and property came into existence.

    And this man wants to give awards for B.S.? Real B.S.?

    • It’s amazing that Gleick would lead by linking “extreme weather” to CAGW, a trope that virtually all climate scientists (even those leading the CAGW side) acknowledge has been soundly falsified. Gleick is such a rabid, propagandist he certainly won’t let facts or reality get in the way of his socialist political agenda.

      Lest we forget, in 2011 Gleick wrote a scathing review of a book he clearly had not bothered to even read. Then huffily claimed that, in fact, he did read it – and he demanded apologies. Then he failed to respond to very generous offers of donations to his favorite earth-saving causes if he would only produce any receipt or electronic purchase confirmation proving he had indeed purchased the newly available book prior to forming his pretentious review opinions.

      What a tool…

  4. More like ZVD’s…zero-valued drafts

  5. Well put, Steven.

    • In the climategate 1 mails it was funny to watch the scientists get all giddy over the fact that spenser made a mistake. it was as if they had lost the notion of how science works.

      What is lost when politics and personality get involved is the notion that science is never correct. It is the best explanation we have today and finding mistakes and correcting them is a good thing.

      When personality and politics dominate, then mistakes and “success” gets personalized. The appearence of personalization ( my code, my data, my results..) is a good first clue that things are going awry.. that the culture may driving mistakes rather than our tiny minds

      • So true.
        And whatever ability we have to keep our minds open to new ‘facts’, is progressively compromised by tribalism, partisanship and the poison of fundamentalism.
        Someone likely to have even a partially objective view is someone out of the public eye, who’s avoided the lure of definitive statements.

  6. So what are we to make of this, other than that Gleick confuses science with politics?

    He’s far from unique in this regard, he’s just more blatant than most. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; nobody in this foodfight cares about science; it’s all about politics and policy, and always was. The problem is when you somebody like Hansen who tries to play both roles at the same time.

  7. Toto, I don’t think we’re in Cancun anymore.

  8. The solar power in Florida link goes here, http://judithcurry.com/2010/11/07/no-ideologues-part-iii/ ? instead of here http://bravenewclimate.com/2011/05/15/solar-power-in-florida/

    Interestingly, Algae and switch grasses like miscanthus are pretty efficient solar energy technologies that require less arable land area per unit energy and they provide ready made storage. Perhaps they should be the standard for solar efficiency?

    • thx, link fixed

    • The beauty of algae is that they can be pumped. The Israelis are doing some work in this area. In concept, you could have a pond and a power plant in a closed system, which would effectively be a large solar power generator. This I could see penciling out some day.

      By sparging the flue through the pond, the CO2 gets recycled, and algae growth is accelerated. Slick, huh? At least in concept.

      • Arizona has a test algae project using the CO2 recovery. Too complex of a design though, the Israeli concept is less efficient but more sustainable. It should be a player in more arid regions before too long.

      • One other MAJOR plus to this scheme is that the algae slurry is also an energy storage medium. Such a plant could collect solar energy during the day and produce the power on demand. That is huge.

    • The world is currently using about 32 billion barrels of oil each year. How many acres of algae ponds is that?

  9. Steve McIntyre

    The article to which Gleick took offence was entitled “Penn State President Fired” and, far from being a “despicable smear” of Michael Mann was a commentary on former Penn State President Graham Spanier and the Penn State Inquiry Committee.

    I had specifically criticized Spanier early in 2010
    article for untrue puffs about the Penn State Inquiry Committee. In the criticized post, I referred back to this incident as follows:

    CA readers are aware of Spanier’s failure to ensure proper investigation of Climategate emails and his untrue puffs about the ineffective Penn State Inquiry Committee, reported at CA here and by the the Penn State Collegian as follows:

    Graham Spanier addressed the inquiry and the panel’s work during the Board of Trustees meeting on Jan. 22. Penn State President Spanier is quoted as saying:

    “I know they’ve taken the time and spent hundreds of hours studying documents and interviewing people and looking at issues from all sides,” Spanier said.

    Spanier’s claims were totally untrue. Not only did the Inquiry Committee fail to “look at issues from all sides”, they didn’t even interview or take evidence from critics – as they were required to do under the applicable Penn State policy. As I reported at CA at the time:

    The only interviews mentioned in the report (aside from Mann) are with Gerry North and Donald Kennedy, editor of Science. [Since they are required to provide a transcript or summary of all interviews, I presume that the Inquiry did not carry out any other interviews.] What does Donald Kennedy know about the matter? These two hardly constitute “looking at issues from all sides”. [A CA reader observed below that “North [at a Rice University event] admitted that he had not read any of the EAU e-mails and did not even know that software files were included in the release.”] They didn’t even talk to Wegman. Contrary to Spanier’s claim, they did not make the slightest effort to talk to any critic or even neutral observer.

    The CA article was a criticism of conduct of Penn State administration rather than Michael Mann. As I read the CA article, it does not contain ANY assertions about Mann himself, let alone any that rise to being a “smear” or a “despicable smear”.

    In addition, to my knowledge, the statements in the CA article (of which the above is an excerpt) were completely accurate. If any of the statements in the article are incorrect, please inform me and I will provide an appropriate amendment.

    • While Penn State’s cover-up of the coaches was despicable, their cover-up of the Piltdown Mann’s derelictions has far more victims.

    • Steve, I thought your inclusion on the list was ridiculous for several reasons. I understood your point about the Penn State admin, and during this episode I pondered publicizing an issue that I had with them back when I was at Penn State ca 1990 (I decided not to). Apart from the valid points you raise above, why is smearing Mike Mann some sort of special offense? Beyond smearing other climate scientists? (I am smeared by somebody on a weekly basis). And if smearing Mike Mann is a special offense, why not Tim Ball (who is actually being sued by Mann)? Looks like you are being singled out because of your effectiveness.

      • Maybe smearing is just wrong?

      • Smearing individuals is wrong. But it is irrelevant to science. Calling smearing bad science is, well, political.

      • Steve McIntyre is about as far from “smearing” as one can get. He is always very careful to lay out the case and is a master of understatement. That is I think why he is regarded as a threat.

      • Smearing may not be “bad science”, but scientists who do it shouldn’t be surprised when it hurts their credibility. One thing the “consensus” hat has been resting on all along is the high opinion the general population has of scientists. We (the public; not me) expect lawyers to lie and smear and carry on in an unethical fashion, but we (again, the public; not me) are shocked when we see scientists do it. Maybe the public perception is wrong, but it does have consequences.

      • I agree that scientists smearing each other is distasteful, and that is partly why people reacted so negatively to the climategate emails. But politicians, media people, bloggers smearing a scientist, why is this noteworthy, particularly in the context of science?

      • Judith,

        I agree with that – Glieck should have had a Bad Politics section for most of this…or Politics Meddling in Science, or Politics Pretending to be Science. Any would do.

      • surely it’s only smearing when it’s done in public? Hard to see how a private email discussion could be a smear…….oh, unless someone steals private corresponance and makes it public.

      • Steven Mosher

        smearing in private is worse

      • I wasn’t aware that Steve McIntyre had smeared Michael Mann. I thought that all he did was to point out that Michael Mann had done some cherry-picking in his hockey-stick graph. Please can you provide a link to the smear.

      • Smearing indicates a “political” motive, whether it occurs in primaries or high school cliques.
        However, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Nietzsche. One might expect academics to be familiar with that.

      • Dixie;
        “makes us stronger” on average, anyway. Almost by definition, since the lower end of the distribution is always being removed. >;)

        Is it, I wonder, related to such things as the anomalous situation at Lake Wobegon, “where all the children are above average”? Or the recent goal announced by a Scots trade union leader to ensure that those in the lower tiers of the pay scales earned more than those in the upper tiers?

    • Steven Mosher

      Gliek has a habit of criticizing what hasn’t read

      • randomengineer

        Wasn’t it Gleik who recently posted the amazon review of the book he had not read?

      • we can never say with certainty that his eyes did not look at the words in that text before writing the amazon review.
        It was clear that he had not the text.

        so: stupid or a liar or a stupid liar.

        Not a way to go through life

      • Yes it was. That’s not that unusual; somewhere in the far reaches of the internet, there’s a guy with a hate-on for a certain woman who actually organized a negative review campaign for her book before it was even published. That is possible on Amazon, or at least it used to be.

      • we can never say with certainty that his eyes did not look at the words in that text before writing the amazon review.
        It was clear that he had not Understood the text.

        so: stupid or a liar or a stupid liar.

        Not a way to go through life

        arrg preview function needed

      • steven,

        Given there’s nothing in his review that is evidence he hasn’t read it (ignore the fact that he said he did), your not all unpleasnt conclusions must have been arrived on the basis that you don’t like the fact that he diidn’t like the book.

        Well done.

      • Perhaps Gleick read only the lede:

        > On the same day that Nature published yet another editorial repudiating public examination of the conduct of academic institutions, Penn State President Graham Spanier was fired from his $813,000/year job for failing to ensure that a proper investigation was carried out in respect to pedophilia allegations in Penn State’s hugely profitable football program.


        Perhaps Gleick simply read a sentence including four “Penn State” and one “rape”:

        > Even though a Penn State staff member witnessed a rape of a 10-year old by a more senior Penn State official, the junior Penn State staff member did not intervene at the time and investigation by more senior Penn State officials appears to have been cursory until a recent grand jury.

        Perhaps Gleick noticed the sentence introducing the “transposition”:

        > It’s hard not to transpose the conclusions of the Penn State Climategate “investigation” into Penn State’s attitude towards misconduct charges in their profitable football program

        Or perhaps Gleick simply skimmed to the end:

        > Spanier planned to introduce Michael Mann at an invited lecture next February. I guess that someone else will make the introduction.

        Auditors will notice that nothing was asserted of Mann himself in that sentence. Nothing at all. Only that he was to have a lecture next February, a lecture to be introduced by Spanier, whom happened to lose a $813,000/year job because he failed to ensure a proper investigation in a rape case, an investigation it would be hard not to transpose about Climategate, as Gleick might have misread.

      • Yes, I had a ‘urrgghh’ moment when I read McIntyre’s use of this as a lead in to the Pen investigation.

        Not a fine piece of judgement there.

    • Steve,
      Gleick is that rare sort who does not need to actually read things to condemn them. Consider the sort of people who think “false but accurate” is a valid defense.

      • I think that was Dan Rather who said “fake but accurate”. But that leads to a whole nuther discussion that doesn’t belong here. Suffice to note that that approach is rampant outside of the climate sphere, and not unique to it.

      • P.E.
        But notice that those who ascribe to that ethic are very predictable in their stands.

    • McIntyre’s post was contemptible: smear by association.

      • if You made the association, then you made the smear.
        The target of the piece is the administration. period.

      • Furthermore, in the associated comment section, Steve snipped several people who did make the association. He actively resisted connecting one with the other.

      • Holly took reading comprehension from Gliek

      • I doubt Holly or P.E have read the climateaudit post, I did and there was an association with Mann, in that Steve McIntyre pointed out that the almost identicalform inquiry held by Penn State had resulted in the same outcome. There wasn’t the slightest, remotest, hint that Mann had anything to do with the paedophilia case, it was about the inquies and how they didn’t investigate in both cases.

  10. “A year in which unprecedented combinations of extreme weather events killed people and damaged property around the world”.”

    Utter nonsense. And yet my progressive friends buy it completely. If nothing else, this demonstrates the tactical brilliance of switching from “global warming” to “climate change.”

  11. Judith

    surprised you have not mentioned Robert Brown’s contributions at WUWT and Tallbloke’s – unless I have missed this somewhere. Looks interesting.

      • This: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/01/06/what-we-dont-know-about-energy-flow/

        Which I’m neither endorsing nor criticizing.

      • Steven Mosher

        eli does a nice take down of this piece

      • What is amazing to me is the number of very bright people that are having difficulty dealing with the thermodynamics of climate. It seems as though it might be somewhat complicated, perhaps non-linear :)

      • I have a post on nonequilibrium thermo coming up early next week

      • Dr. Curry, could you do one on local emissivity variation. I read a PHd thesis by a young student I think his name was Robert Taylor at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee that noted that in the Arctic, there seemed to be some energy absorbed by the atmosphere that wasn’t measured. Odd thing. He reference a paper by a Curry, J and another by Lindzen, R. It seems that missing 1 RU, whatever that is :) is a big deal.

      • Capt, can you post a link to this?

      • What I see as a big deficiency is how people talk about thermo and transport as if they have nothing to do with each other, and then talk about radiation and convective/conductive heat transport as if they don’t have anything to do with each other. Whenever somebody says that radiative physics is all you need to know, they make this mistake.

      • P.E. said, “Whenever somebody says that radiative physics is all you need to know, they make this mistake.” How true. I can’t remember which blog it was, Tallbloke in the comments I think, where someone mentioned that Trenberth admitted that there was a 20Wm-2 discrepancy in his Energy Budget. For some reason that number sticks out in my mind. Oh well, I am sure it could not have anything to do with conductivity, since that is negligible :)

      • Dr. Curry, I could only find his dissertation
        The main issue is mixed-phase clouds, which can exist below temperatures of 250K in the Arctic.

        I believe that the composition of clouds as water, mixed-phase or ice is important in the models, since mixed-phase clouds can have a thermodynamic impact that may be difficult to measure or model.

        UWM has a Dr. Allen that is working on Maximum Local Emissivity Variance, but it is pay walled as far as I can tell.

      • Capt., I am very familiar with this research re the radiation climate of the arctic and mixed phase clouds. I spent about a decade working on this problem, substantial headway has been made recently on this problem, including incorporating these effects into climate models.

        Nature Geoscience just published a paper on this, first author hugh morrison, who was my ph.d. student and now is carrying on this line of research (I am not too active on this topic as of late). See this link http://www.nature.com/ngeo/journal/v5/n1/full/ngeo1332.html
        Unfortunately the paper is behind paywall.

        Re the emissivity angle, not sure exactly what you are interested in?

      • See comments from the RC by Gavin S. and myself on the Arctic:

      • Dr. Curry said, “Re the emissivity angle, not sure exactly what you are interested in?”

        The increased rate of vertical convection in the tropics without as much warming in the upper troposphere would lead me to believe that mixed-phase clouds could be creating an atmospheric heat pipe. Being able to determine changes in local emissivity variation would help determine if that is happening and how much impact it may be having.

      • actually, not much in the way of mixed phase clouds in the tropics. In active convective systems, falling ice particles quickly result in collection or evaporation of drops. Persistent mixed phase clouds are mostly important in mid-high latitudes

      • interesting essay, thanks for the link

      • Dr. Curry,

        I recently became aware of John Adams (professor of geography, University College London) work and I found his thoughts on risk aversion, the precautionary principle and virtual risks insightful….. A quote from one of Dr. Adams works- http://www.timeshighereducation.co.uk/story.asp?storyCode=175819&sectioncode=1 -on risk and uncertainty seems to cover Dr. Gleick’s BS awards.

        ……..”The second, even larger, category consists of virtual risks, risks about which science confesses ignorance, or about which reputable scientists disagree in ways that mystify the rest of us.
        “This is the foggy realm in which the trade associations ply their trades and do battle with their opponents. In this realm doubts are sometimes manufactured – by both sides – but more commonly genuine ignorance is exploited to fit the agenda of the lobbyist. True uncertainty is liberating; everyone is freed to argue from belief, conviction and prejudice. For those seeking to manage individual directly perceptible risks, or virtual risks, there is little the frequentist can do to help.”

        His recent example of the uncertainty principle taken to an extreme reminded me that the economic concept of opportunity costs seems to get lost in a lot of the discussions of alternatives-

        “Those with an institutional responsibility for safety can always find one more thing that could happen. Their task is open ended. The above example of bureaucratic risk aversion is a small one of no great consequence – on its own. But it is endlessly repeated and wastes an enormous amount of money. Many things “could happen” – the precautionary principle allied to a vivid imagination can bankrupt any government.” http://www.john-adams.co.uk/2011/07/08/reducing-zero-risk/

      • Mark thanks for this link

    • Judith

      apologies for the lack of a link which I see has been provided by PE. Note that Robert Brown adds detailed comment at
      January 7, 2012 at 9:10 am

  12. I thought this study about GHG’s and fracking did a nice job of rebutting that Howarth study from a while back.


  13. Gleick of course deserves an award for volume and quality of both types of BS to the climate issue.

  14. “So what are we to make of this, other than that Gleick confuses science with politics?”

    You have it exactly backwards: the winners are the ones confusing politics with science, leading them, on the basis of their right-wing ideology, to make strong and repeated assertions about the science, despite having little or no understanding of the science.

    Did the Republican candidates for president regularly make assertions of fact as regards climate science, and issue judgements about the strength or weakness of that science? Yes they did, endlessly. Therefore they are clearly engaged in B.S. The argument that their understanding of the subject is so poor, and themselves so blatantly dishonest, that they should be considered “not science” rather than “bad science,” is a less than compelling defense.

    It’s also kind of amusing that an aggressive advocate for science deniers as an “extended peer community” — and thus as partners in doing science — would be so quick to disregard that “peer community” as not doing science at all, “not even wrong,” as it were. Anthony will be crushed.

    • Latimer Alder


      Is it your considered opinion that ‘Anthony will be crushed’ before or after his site gets its 100 millionth reader?


      Just wondered…….

      • “Is it your considered opinion that ‘Anthony will be crushed’ before or after his site gets its 100 millionth reader?”

        Read a little more carefully. “Crushed” is not used in the denier sense of “crushing” enemies. It refer to an emotional state upon his learning Curry thinks of his temperature pronouncements as having nothing to do with science.

        Watts is very popular on the Internet. So are S&M porn, “Friday,” and videos of kittens playing. Hit count does not equal being right, being good or even being significant.

      • Why is Watt’s frustrations with the BEST group of any scientific significance? To me, their scientific points of disagreement seem minor. Watt’s is on the list apparently because his blog is too influential for Gleick’s preference.

      • I look forward to now reading someone argue that the vast left wing monopoly on climate information is well argued explained a site that will be getting it’s 100 millionth reader.

        Reminds me of when people cite large Fox News viewership #’s to explain how the vast left-wing media that brainwashes all but a few of the American public is becoming so irrelevant.

      • First we have this:

        Why is Watt’s frustrations with the BEST group of any scientific significance?

        Which, of course, dismisses the concerns that are the source of much “scientific” discussion from the vaguely-defined “extended peer community.”

        And then we have this:

        Watt’s is on the list apparently because his blog is too influential for Gleick’s preference.

        Which, after just dismissing Watts as having little scientific significance, indicates that Watts’ blog is very influential.

        I suppose that one could construct a logical scenario there if someone believes that there’s no cross-over between the science and the public climate debate and/or the impact of science and the public debate w/r/t policy development. But that would be entirely inconsistent with much of what Judith writes.

      • “Watt’s is on the list apparently because his blog is too influential for Gleick’s preference.”

        C’mon. He hugely championed BEST and swore to accept the results whatever they were. Then, when they got a result he didn’t like, he reversed course and attacked them. That is a glaring example of the tragically unskeptical confirmation bias of “skeptics.”

        Now, do you have to have a certain level of popularity to even be noticed by Gleick? I’m sure you do. He went for big, instantly recognizable examples. This is typical of awards, serious and satirical alike. Ever watch the Oscars? In my opinion this represents a desire to be relevant and engaging to readers, not a desire to confront the powerful and take them down.

      • Let’s see now… 100,000,000 views… Saul David Alinsky’s wing of the AGW crowd… Robert the I Tracker site… just how old will you be Robert, when your site hits a big number like that? Why not give it to us in ‘dog’ years just to keep it simple. You know us.

      • Latimer Alder


        I bow to your superior knowledge of the popularity of S&M porn on the internet.

      • Tom, you might want to Google “argumentum ad populum.” I think it will help you see where you’re going wrong.

      • quod si quis, why not Robert?

      • Watt’s is on the list apparently because his blog is too influential for Gleick’s preference.

        Yes. As I keep saying, nobody cares about science, everybody cares about policy. What he hates about Watts is his political impact. But that’s pretty obvious when you look at the whole list. Why did all the GOP candidates make first place? What’s that got to do with science?

      • randomengineer


        You’re not talking about deniers, but Arnold Schwarzeneggar —

        Mongol General: “Conan! What is best in life? ”

        Conan: “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women.”

      • Robert: “C’mon. He hugely championed BEST and swore to accept the results whatever they were. Then, when they got a result he didn’t like, he reversed course and attacked them.”

        What’s (or is it Watts?) not to like? the chart I saw showed a 1C rise between 1810 and 1900, during coinciding with a huge urbanisation of the USA and a relatively low growth in CO2 output.

    • You forget, Robert –

      Judith isn’t concerned about blogging non-scientists.

      Well – depending on which side of the debate they’re on, that is.

    • Did the Republican candidates for president regularly make assertions of fact as regards climate science, and issue judgements about the strength or weakness of that science? Yes they did, endlessly.

      Speaking of which – I seem to recall a while back Judith thinking that climate “skepticism” wouldn’t be a particularly viable platform for Republican presidential candidates.

      I seem to have missed those reports on Republican candidates expressing concerns about the potential of anthropogenic CO2 to affect the climate.

      • It was saddening to see not only the usual suspects but even Huntsman, Romney, and Gingrich running against science.

        But doubtless, as Dr. Curry says, the insufficient efforts by climate scientists to characterize uncertainty compelled them to take a principled stand. ;)

      • But doubtless, as Dr. Curry says, the insufficient efforts by climate scientists to characterize uncertainty compelled them to take a principled stand. ;)

        I’m no longer allowed to use lolz – so imagine a smiley emoticon here (still don’t know how to put them in a blog post).

      • randomengineer

        Colon dash right parenthesis? as in… :-)

      • When you start behaving, we’ll let you have the good ones :mrgreen:

      • randomengineer

        Oh. And thanks for the “lolz” promise.

      • Here’s a hint. When I don’t know how to do some innernet stuff, I aks the innernet. He usually tells me, but I knows how to aks. Innernet’s a funny guy that way.

      • 8-O :arrow: :lol:

        Just to see if those work

        :popcorn: ?

    • Robert,
      You are still the star idiot of your tracking efforts.

      • Maybe so.

        I’m continually encountering people in the climate discussion who are more knowledgeable and cleverer than I am.

        It’s quite humbling.

      • you could encounter people more knowledgable and clever than you just about everywhere. Its finding people dumber and duller than you that is the challenge.

      • That’s why I hang out with you, Steve.

      • “”Robert | January 7, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
        Watts is very popular on the Internet. So are S&M porn, “Friday,” and videos of kittens playing. Hit count does not equal being right, being good or even being significant.””

        Unlike some Idiot trackers, Anthony Watts blog does at least get some counts.

      • Mosher, I know where they’re all hiding, if you’re interested.

  15. Phyllograptus

    As the current post is about the week in review,here is an interesting article regarding researcher bias leading to false positive results. Which when I read it I could not help but think of the whole science of Dendrochronology and how due to the fact that researches make so many arbitrary decisions to include/exclude data that are very likely leading to false positives. The recommendations at the end of the article remind me a lot of the things Steve M is always saying about releasing the raw data. An interesting read

  16. Robert wrote” It’s also kind of amusing that an aggressive advocate for science deniers as an “extended peer community” — and thus as partners in doing science — would be so quick to disregard that “peer community” as not doing science at all, “not even wrong,” as it were. Anthony will be crushed.”

    Is English your native language, Robert? Just curious.

  17. More rainfall is good news for the Asian monsoon region.

    Citation needed. Too much rain can be a problem just as too little can. Is there any evidence of a net benefit?

    Also, you quote this passage — “the enhanced global summer monsoon not only amplifies the annual cycle of tropical climate but also promotes directly a “wet-gets-wetter” trend pattern and indirectly a “dry-gets-drier” trend pattern through coupling with deserts and trade winds” — but in addition to ignoring the potential downsides of “wet-gets-wetter” you seem to have wholly ignored the “dry-gets-drier” part of the statement.

  18. While Gleick’s work is alsways fun to analyze and watch implode on its own emptiness, I wonder why he rates any sort of note at all?
    He is not a scientist. He is not a good critic. He misrepresents issues, facts and positions.
    He is just a high profile troll: A wannabe falling to neverwuzzer status quickly and predictably.

  19. Paul Vaughan

    “This is a good analysis that illustrates the interplay between AGW and natural variability.”

    Careful there Dr. Curry (with the former in particular).

    Note this:

    “Figure 7 presents the first two EOF modes of SST variation during a longer period (1950–2010). The first EOF represents a long-term global warming trend, whereas the second EOF depicts the IPO.”

    Wang, B.; Liu, J.; Kim, H.-J.; Webster, P.J.; & Yim, S.-Y. (2011). Recent change of the global monsoon precipitation (1979–2008). Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-011-1266-z.

    Now look carefully at the graph labeling. They’re using 3 year averages – i.e. they’re leveraging Central Limit Theorem to crush regression to the mean and reorder the EOF components. You should have noticed this instantly. (They’re also making untenable assumptions about the temporal stationarity of the PDF, rendering their p-values meaningless.) They’ve likely succumbed to funding pressures. They’re interpretations were brilliantly on the right track with their observations about the interannual & multidecadal zonal SST & pressure gradients and the multidecadal interhemispheric gradients, but then they sabotaged themselves (deliberately for funding purposes, perhaps? – i.e. maybe they’re walking a fine line to convey both the truth & the required funding hook…)

    Interesting article all the way around. Looking forward to more from these authors.


    • Paul Vaughan

      Also worth considering in conjunction with the comically sneaky EOF eigenvalue shuffling:

      “[…] wet-get-wetter and dry-gets-drier precipitation trend over the past 30 years […] While this trend bears similarity to the precipitation trend pattern projected by the majority of the global climate models under increasing anthropogenic forcing, we should note that the observed ‘‘wet-gets-wetter’’ pattern is associated with enhanced Walker circulation, while the similar pattern found in the future projections is associated with weakening Walker circulation and mainly caused by increased water vapor”

      The plot thickens…

      Here’s the link (which I accidentally omitted from my above comment):

      Wang, B.; Liu, J.; Kim, H.-J.; Webster, P.J.; & Yim, S.-Y. (2011). Recent change of the global monsoon precipitation (1979–2008). Climate Dynamics. doi:10.1007/s00382-011-1266-z.

      Bob Tisdale might appreciate Figure 6 on p.8. Some readers may also appreciate Figure 8b&c on p.9, which underscores Land-Ocean Contrast.

    • I think we have too many TLA’s. For most people PDF is a document.

  20. 2 milestones:

    WUWT 100,000,000.
    Steven Hawkings 70th.

    Hawking was given months to live many decades ago. The survival of AGW skepticism must have seemed in doubt 5 years ago.

    Glad both survive and thrive.

  21. With members like Gleick, the NAS doesn’t need enemies.

  22. Nicola Scafetta provides quantitative temperature predictions based on natural/solar cycles and contrasts IPCC’s projections. Testing an astronomically-based decadal-scale empirical harmonic climate model versus the IPCC (2007) general circulation climate modelsJournal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics

    the proposed harmonic model (which herein uses cycles with 9.1, 10–10.5, 20–21, 60–62 year periods) is found to well reconstruct the observed climate oscillations from 1850 to 2011, and it is shown to be able to forecast the climate oscillations from 1950 to 2011 using the data covering the period 1850–1950, and vice versa. . . .the presence of these large natural cycles can be used to correct the IPCC projected anthropogenic warming trend for the 21st century. By combining this corrected trend with the natural cycles, we show that the temperature may not significantly increase during the next 30 years mostly because of the negative phase of the 60-year cycle. . . .
    the same IPCC projected anthropogenic emissions would imply a global warming by about 0.3–1.2 1C by 2100, contrary to the IPCC 1.0–3.6 1C projected warming.

    This is similar to predictions by Don Easterbrook and Tim Patterson.

    • Nicola Scafetta discusses his paper at WUWT with numerous graphs:
      Scaffeta on his latest paper: Harmonic climate model versus the IPCC general circulation climate models
      E.g. First Figure compares Harmonic vs IPCC

      Scafetta links to Humlum et al. (2011)
      Identifying natural contributions to late Holocene climate change, Ole Humlum et al. Global and Planetary Change Volume 79, Issues 1–2, October–November 2011, Pages 145–156

      Humlum give a very important 4000 year temperature graph. Humlum et al. show the Minoan Warm Period, Roman Warm Period, Medieval Warm Period, all higher than the Modern Warm Period.

      • * Curve-fitting is not modeling.

        * Central Greenland temperatures are not global temperatures.

        * The 4,000-year graph you are alluding to does not show the “Modern Warm Period”: “The last year in the reconstructed GISP2 temperature record is 1855 AD” (pg 152).

      • Robert
        Scafetta models the temperatures based on natural physical oscillations. That’s “modeling”. His models fit better than GWM and provide explicit temperature predictions that can be verified. Predictability based on natural phenomena is science, even if the physics behind the phenomena is not fully understood.

        The Humlum figure shows the beginning of the Modern temperature rise and the projected full temperature period which is still lower than the previous three warming periods.

        A much greater concern than “global warming” is “global cooling” and periodic global glaciations or ice ages. See:
        New paper: AGW may save us from the next ice age

      • Scafetta does use some interesting statistical techniques to try to figure out what parts of the signal are random walk versus what parts are potentially deterministic.

        Scafetta uses Diffusion Entropy Analysis (DEA)
        Ludecke uses Detrended Fluctuation Analysis (DFA)

        The problem with DFA is that a measure of variance will diverge if fractal random walk is involved, so DEA works better in the situation of large amounts of disorder. There is also a method known as Multiscale Entropy Analysis that this is similar to (developed by M.Costa)

        In the paper, Scafetta also appears to use a Maximum Entropy method (MEM) to pull out the harmonics, as well as a conventional periodogram. He puts a lot of trust in the harmonics that he sees are deterministic and not random.

      • What “natural physical oscillations”? Not the sun. Not volcanoes. Not ocean heat transfer. Not anything.

        He’s curve fitting. Modelling requires something to model. You can’t model a physical process without being able to say what it is or how it works. That’s mathurbation, not modelling.

        “His models fit better”

        You’re proving my point. He’s a curve-fitter. By definition, curve-fitting always produces nice fits to data. It’s not modelling and it’s not science; it’s a basic basic con game.

        “Predictability based on natural phenomena is science”

        Curve-fitting to past data is not the same thing as prediction.

        “A much greater concern than “global warming” is “global cooling” ”

        That’s utter nonsense, and your source says nothing of the kind. I suspect you know it’s nonsense, but feel free to try and produce some extraordinary evidence for this extraordinary claim.

  23. Anthony Watts for his BEST, and worst, climate hypocrisy

    Can someone explain what “climate hypocrisy” is, and what it has to do with Watts? I could see the connection to someone like Gore, or even Hansen (who commutes from Pennsylvania to Manhattan).

    Curious term.

    • randomengineer

      Tough to keep up with the (imagined) soap opera but this would probably be a reference to BEST and Watts doing *anything* other than lick Mullers boots.

  24. “More rainfall is good news for the Asian monsoon region…” -JC.

    I haven’t read every comment, so apologies if anyone has alerady noted this……


    Suggest this to anyone around Bangkok at the moment and I suggest you be wearing body armour.

    NB to note: “intensification” is not necessarily more rain, though that is how it is used here.

    The question that matters a lot here is in the pattern – is is more rain days, or moerian in the same number of days, the obvious implication being in flooding.

    Last monsoon here, we had a way above average rainfall total for the season – but almost all of it came in a single extreme event when had 600mm (around 24 inches for those of you labouring under the ancient system) in just a few hours.

    So, is enhanced monsoonal rainfall “good news for the asian monsoon region”?

    Well, that all depends……………

    • Dr Curry referenced a post she did discussing the benefits or the expected changes in Asian monsoons. I haven’t been able to locate it yet. Anybody know?

      • I believe she said she had a post planned, not published. It should be interesting since there are papers that discuss the changes in the tropical belt width that appear to be natural not CO2 related. Which is the main issue for most skeptics, how much is natural variation?

      • i did a previous post on this topic. water shortages already in most of the south asian countries, with population doubling times being quite short.

        That’s the one I’m looking for, if it rings a bell.

      • She has a couple, http://judithcurry.com/2011/08/27/water-too-little-too-much/ is the closest, but I think it deserves and more Asian post of its own.

        The Asian monsoon issue would be associated with Hurricane ACE, I imagine which should increase over the next 30 years if natural variability is involved. Since there are a great deal of paleo recons of monsoon cycles, it should be a more interesting topic for the tropics. I am of course biased, since I am a tropical kinda guy :-)

      • Thx for the link.

      • Michael, The pattern should become more uniform. The Tropical Cyclone patterns are a big deal for the monsoon regions, Unlike paleo temperature, paleo precipitation seems to be reasonable in the tropics. A good thing for Asia, not such a good thing for the Southern US, based on New Mexico and Mexico reconstructions.

        I would really like to see more regional reconstructions used since global average just smooth out what people really need to know.

      • “Should”


        There’s nothing uniform about it now, so I’d be interested to know what is going to make it so.

      • Michael, more uniform does not mean uniform, it is still weather, the is from Ryan Maue’s site,
        http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_major_freq.png The increase in major storm should begin to decrease. Whether anyone can agree on the mechanism, climate still has quasi-periodic oscillations.

        This is tropical cyclone power dissipation, http://policlimate.com/tropical/global_running_pdi.png


        Typhoon historical tracks only go back to 1945, but it gives a fair idea how the general pattern of storms and tracks vary.

        If the ARGO data is right, I think it is pretty close, the tropical belt should narrow as one paper I can’t find the link to suggested, tropical cyclone patterns should return somewhat to what they were pretty much like those radical unscientific meteorologists suggest.

        Now if the ARGO data is wrong, I should have been a believer :)

      • Capt,

        You’re still only talking cyclones/hurricanes.

        Typically most rain falls outside these events.

        So we still seem to know little about the intensity of the likely increase in monsoonal rainfall.

    • “More rainfall is good news for the Asian monsoon region…” -JC.

      A vague generalization without supporting evidence?

      Now where have I see that before?

      • Is it really that vague, Josh? Since the ground water level is dropping because of more irrigation, more rainfall, preferably more uniform rainfall, would be good news for the region.

      • Of course it’s vague, Cap’n.

        More rain at various times in various areas (the Asian monsoon region covers a fairly large area I’d suspect) would suggest a fair amount of regional variability along a number of metrics.

        As was mentioned elsewhere- more intense monsoons and more gentle rainshowers spread out over time would have obviously different impacts.

        More rain in the densely populated cities in the monsoon regions of Asia would have different impact on the groundwater depletion due to irrigation than more rain in agricultural reasons – with, again, obviously different impact.

        Given Judith’s track record, I would imagine that there is a scientific basis for her statement – but when she makes vague generalizations without evidential support it is hard to know if her comment reflects some biases.

      • Capt.,

        That’s just my point – the pattern of rainfall is the issue.

        More, but at a greater rate, is not good news, but bad news.

        And since we’re talking the wet-dry monsoonal regions, it’s very unlikely to be uniform, in line with exsiting patterns.

        Just look at Pakistan last year and Thailand this year – anyone there think higher monsoonal pecipitation is better??

        And even with these events where there is clearly more water, one of the short term effects is a negaive impact on the availability of safe drinking water.

    • Capt,

      You might be mixing up rainfall events with tropical storms.

      Yes, they can lead to high rainfall events, but not always (we just had one skim by and got SFA rain from it) and plenty of rain falls in active bursts of the monsoon that are not associated with cyclone/hurricane activity.

      The question remains – what is the pattern, in terms of intensity, for increased rainfall projections.

      The paper cited, only talks about ‘intensity’ as a total measure (total/days) , which dosn’t tell us that much. A metric like total/rain days would be more useful in looking at intensity.

      • The patterns are pretty messed up in India at least.

        India Meteorology Department doesn’t have the neat graphs that NOAA has, but if pre 1950 was somewhat normal and uniform, it should return to somewhat normal and uniform.

        Tropical related rainfall makes up a substantial portion of monsoon precipitation. So on that same page they have, Frequency of cyclonic disturbances. The intensity total measure directly relates to total precipitation and ACE relates to the frequency of cyclonic activity. So low intensity and moderate ACE is the kinder gentler monsoonal situation. Living in the Florida Keys, I prefer the kinder gentler to the mongo hit or miss.

        Anywho, there should be a few papers out fairly soon noting the astonishing trend in climate towards 1950s to 1970s patterns that are only a temporary reprieve from catastrophic warming of up to 4C with a confidence of +/- 50%. :(

        Then, in about 5 to 10 years, the data will be long enough to determine if it is really closer to 4C or more like 2C meaning maybe 1C more that we have to deal with.

        Maybe Judith can get Dr. Maue to do a guest post?

      • “Tropical related rainfall makes up a substantial portion of monsoon precipitation…”


  25. randomengineer

    Glieck is probably what passes for an expert in a narrow field, so obviously he’s an expert in everything. Check.

    • Seriously? Do you remember the Easter Island thread, where you were instantly transformed into an expert archeologist?

  26. While I rarely read Judith’s blogs and less often the comments, this one caught my eye, for obvious reasons. I’ll ignore the normal troll-type ad hominem comments about me (they are an all-too-common feature, as you all know, and we’re all developing thick skins), and ask a simple question to the group:

    Is there anyone here who REALLY thinks the Republican candidates for president either respect or understand the science of climate change? [The Climate BS Award committee would have been equally critical of Democratic candidates for president who espoused the same positions. We just don’t have any this cycle.] And if so, which ones and why?

    Or anyone here who REALLY thinks that Watts didn’t put his foot in it with his comments about BEST (no matter what you think about Muller)?

    Or anyone who doesn’t think that McIntyre was grossly out of line with his Penn State post (yes, even you Steve must regret that one)?

    How about a moment of honest reflection here… perhaps too much to hope for, but I think that was an original purpose of Judith for even starting this blog.

    • Yes you do have thick skin, thick enough to complain about ad hom attacks hypocritically after your ad hom attacks in B.S Awards.

    • I agreed wholeheartedly with all of the awards except McIntyre’s. While I don’t agree with McIntyre’s take, as someone who has long been critical of Penn State’s administration, it’s unreasonable to expect him to ignore a scandal at Penn State in which the president was forced to resign for failing to thoroughly investigate his employees. I think that has to be in play.

      McIntyre does not say Mann is comparable to a child molester or resembles a child molester, though some of his commenters are more than willing to go there.

      I think we might ask if this post would be considered odious if it had been about the president of Penn State resigning over a hazing scandal or a cheating scandal. I think probably not. Some things are so horrible that people want to put them in a category outside normal political discourse, but I don’t think we can do that by fiat.

      I have taken a lot of flack for drawing attention that the mass-murdering Norwegian terrorist Anders Behring Breivik was a vocal climate denier, and part of his right-wing extremist were denunciations of “Climategate” and praises of Monckton. Some people thought that was beyond the pale, but I never thought the mere fact of how horrible the crime was meant it was wrong to look at the killer’s ideological motivations, including climate denial.

      So I have to respectfully disagree on McIntyre. Especially when there is so much competition for these awards, I don’t think that article made the cut.

    • “Gleick has defined ‘bad science’ as interfering with climate ‘action’.”

      You would have to explain to me how any Republican candidates could interfere with climate “action”.

      How did Anthony Watts’ outburst on seeing the BEST results published with his name on them before he’d seen them himself interfere with climate action?

      And as appears to be a habit of yours you could not possibly have read Steve McIntyre’s posts on the Penn State enquiries else you would know that there isn’t the slightest hint that Mann was in anyway involved with the paedophilia inquiry. They were about how the enquiries were run to provide a not-guilty verdict.

      If you want to award prizes for interfering with climate “action” then they should go to the Chinese and Indians who bring the only semblence of common sense to the annual CO2fests that the enviros enjoy in exotic places every year. Every year they come along and ruin the show, God Bless ‘Em.

    • There is a WHOLE world outside of America you know…

    • dennis adams

      When I read comments from someone who purports to be a scientist and then that person engages in troll baiting as you have, it denigrates the word scientist and reminds me of the adolescent behavior that went on in my 7th grade science class. What happened to the dignity that scientists used to possess.

    • The Rep candidates know as much as the Dem candidates, some more than others. I imagine all have expert advisers. Perry knows a lot. They all know enough to have informed opinions. No one knows more than a small fraction.

    • Peter, one side believes in the Hockey Stick and all that implies and the other side doesn’t. Politics is not simple, except in this case.

    • Peter –

      You have to understand that some “skeptics” are very thin-skinned and very concerned about political correctness. That, plus their unimpeachable moral standards lead them to take it very, very seriously when someone publishes denigrating comments about someone else on blog posts.

      They uniformly require solid and validated evidence before they will condone any derogatory, let alone insulting remarks.

      This is particularly true if such remarks come from a scientists or a member of the “extended peer review community.”

      That’s why Judith and her “denizens” were so quick to jump all over McKitrick when he called a scientist a “grovelling, terrified coward” (based purely on anecdotal conjecture) or why they get so upset with Willis when he posts rant after rant filled with personal attacks against Muller (as just one example), or why they uniformly criticize any other member of the “extended peer review community” if they, in a weak moment, post a denigrating or satirical comment about some other member of the climate debate community (unless there are mountains of unambiguous evidence of ethical or otherwise unacceptable behavior).

      Clearly, the fact that you don’t regularly read Climate Etc. must be the explanation for why you haven’t realized this.

      • Peter –

        To make sure that I’m absolutely clear, I should add just a bit more:

        It wasn’t because you’re on the other side of the climate debate that Judith and her “denizens” took offense at your comments.

        No. They are not partisan in their approach to the climate debate, only objective with a standard of often passionate but yet never partisan analysis.

        It was because their delicate sensibilities and high moral standards wouldn’t permit them to do anything less than take you to task for rudeness and/or partisan-based bickering.

      • sarcasm is a little passive agressive Joshua.
        as you know Willis and Ross are both personal friends of mine and I criticized both of them publically for their behavior.
        You should try to be more objective and less angry

      • steven mosher


        Ross called an editor those names, not a scientist. However, I would not your fairness in this regard. I note how you publically criticized mann for the falsehood he spread about McIntyre to journalists and potential reviewers. Unlike you, I have no problem calling Ross out and calling mann out. Personally by name. in public where they can defend themselves. That’s known as being consistent. You should try it.

    • Peter, to the extent that a Republican candidate avoids confusing climate science with AGW policy demands, any of them will do better than the status quo. Hour aside about at him is so ironic considering the title of your post and your political bigotry.

    • Peter, to the extent that a Republican candidate avoids confusing climate science with AGW policy demands, any of them will do better than the status quo. Your aside about ad hom is ironic considering the title of your post and your political bigotry. Perhaps you confuse your thick head with a thick skin? But congrats on the gig as party hack for AGW.

    • I agree with Robert on the McIntyre article but for a different reason. I actually thought it was inviting the reader to a sort of guilt by association. I read it and felt disappointed. Usually I like Steve’s stuff. I wouldn’t call it a smear. Maybe it gets a “too soon”.

      Peter – what if ANYTHING did it have to do with climate science?

    • Peter:
      I put the republicans on the same level of science understanding as obama.
      But, you’re not much better at basic reading comprehension.
      Anthony Watts . I think his criticism of BEST is wrong and have said so publically. However, its a bit more complex than you understand or know, especially if you havent talked to watts or muller or met with either.
      Steve mcIntyre. Nobody else I know could have handled that article with the care he did. The issue is the administration and how
      it handled investigations. Of course some people, like you, who never read the article, would believe what others tell them. Mann isnt mentioned because mann isnt the subject.

    • Peter Gleik said, “Is there anyone here who REALLY thinks the Republican candidates for president either respect or understand the science of climate change? [The Climate BS Award committee would have been equally critical of Democratic candidates for president who espoused the same positions. We just don’t have any this cycle.] And if so, which ones and why?”

      Jeff Id has and interesting post on the Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security. I am sure that PISDES will file as a political action committee this year, but how is the transition from science to politics impacted the funding for PISDES?

  27. McIntyre equated oversights by the President, not the offences. The President was clearly guilty of coverups in both cases. Or is the topic on your list of “didn’t read it but it must be bad” items?

    From my foreigner’s point of view, the candidates of the two major parties appear to fall into true-believer and non-believer camps. There is more than a little blindness in both groups. I suspect that “good science” may further tarnish your image.

  28. A quick glance Chapter 2 of the AR5 ZOD didn’t show any mention of the recent “pause” in surface warming. Perhaps I missed it. On the other hande, they did note that methane levels began rising again in 2009.

  29. Dr. Curry,
    More on the Maximum Local Emissivity Variance and Clouds,
    I don’t have access to the full article, but detecting clouds, in this case, optically thin low level clouds in the arctic, is an issue.

    Surface latent cooling is assumed to be directly related to total precipitation. Latent cooling is not necessarily confined to the surface. Atmospheric mixed-phase water can be warmed by outgoing or incoming/down welling radiation. As I mentioned on another thread, there are plenty of surface to TOA spectra and TOA to surface spectra, but few tropopause up/down spectra, which would help determine variations in emissivity that happen in the atmosphere.

    Trenberth’s budget showed 40Wm-2 directly from the surface to space, which is probably correct enough. What his budget did not show was approximately 20Wm-2 in the atmospheric window spectrum from the clouds that would either be from energy absorbed from the surface or above the clouds from solar or DWLR. 20Wm-2 should be a fairly significant uncertainty related to physical processes not instrumentation error which Trenberth seems to have assumed when he used the modeled value of the energy imbalance of 0.8 or 0.9 Wm-2.

    Since the models have to make assumptions as to cloud phase based on estimated temperature, your research and others have mentioned the uncertainty on cloud phase, not including up to 20Wm-2 of physics when attempting to determine impact of 3.7Wm-2 of theory, seems a little cart before horse to me.

    So that is why I would like for MLEV included in the atmospheric thermodynamics post if possible.

  30. P.G. asks ” Is there anyone here who REALLY thinks the Republican candidates for president either respect or understand the science of climate change?”

    I don’t believe any one of them does the skeptical case any good at all.They make it ever easier for lefties to conflate CAGW skepticism with creationism and general dumb-ass fundamentalist flat-earthism.

    At the same time, I do not believe Obama has any better grasp. Certainly not Al Gore. Certainly not Hillary. These are politicians, not scientists. I’d be willing to bet that the dems would flunk any climate related science test just as spectacularly the other side.

  31. …as the other side.

  32. Peter Gleick,
    As a long time social liberal, conservationist and follower of climate science.
    I was astounded by the obvious corruption of science by the apologists for the hockey stick. That’s because I had read many of the weather/climate textbooks since my interest began in the 1950’s and knew about the medieval warming period and little ice age. That, and the “very likely” confidence levels expressed by the IPCC, in areas where there was so much uncertainty, made me very uncomfortable with the liberal agenda on climate science. My liberal “tribe” was claiming the mantle of science when what they were doing was, at best, a variant of noble cause corruption.
    When Steve McIntyre did some very fine detective and statistical work and, for that, was smeared by some of the leading IPCC scientists, I became motivated to help many liberal friends and acquaintances to study the scientific issues and not just accept the NYT and Huffpo “the science is settled” articles. What has happened and is happening is this. Many of us who would have been your political allies, have done our homework and realize how Al Gore’s and the IPCC’s over-reaching alarmism is a corruption of science and, ironically, counterproductive to the environmental concern that, I’ll be generous, motivates you. Your Amazon “Delinquent Teenager…” book review and Climate BS awards are, likewise, a disservive to science, to civility, and to respect for science. If you read more carefully, including Climate, Etc., and the comments, you would understand this and have a more thoughtful and helpful approach. Instead, you are the deserved butt of jokes by people like me, luke-warmers, who value science, conservation, and liberal values.

  33. “This is a good analysis that illustrates the interplay between AGW and natural variability.”
    With about the same relation to reality as animé.
    Begs the question. Since AGW is a failing hypothesis, the interplay is imaginary, too.