How Fake Skeptics Fool Themselves, part 3

Jeff Condon seems unhappy with me. Enough to blog about it. And Anthony Watts cross-posts. But what I’d really like to discuss is yet another way in which Condon fools himself about trends in sea ice.


He thinks he shows that the trend in global sea ice (both area and extent) is just barely statistically significant, so “just barely” that if you leave out the first few months of data, significant it no longer is. Here, for instance, is his result for global sea ice area:

Note the numbers for the slope and its uncertainty near the top of the graph.

I’ve done similar analysis, using global sea ice area data from Cryosphere Today (UIUC, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign). Even restricting to data no later than December 2009 (when Condon made his post), I get a result which is undeniably significant, not “just barely” so:

The rates we computed are nearly the same, and since we seem to be using different data sets the small difference is no surprise. But the uncertainty levels are dramatically different. The trend I get is “fer shure.” Wherefore art thou “just barely”?

Condon’s problem seems to be that he has overstimated the lag-1 autocorrelation. Note that on his graph he indicates “lag-1 value 0.998″ for the AR(1) model he’s using to correct for autocorrelation. But that value is too high. When I compute the lag-1 autocorrelation of global sea ice area anomaly from UIUC data I get 0.9913 (data through December 2009). Numerically that’s not much different from 0.998, but in terms of its impact on the uncertainty level of a trend analysis, it’s way different.

I’m not sure, but I think the UIUC data represents a multi-day average of ice conditions. But that can’t cause the lower value, because such a process will inflate the autocorrelation even more, so it can’t explain this value being so much lower than 0.998.

If we use an AR(1) model with lag-1 autocorrelation 0.9913, then the “number of data points per effective degree of freedom” is about 229. This increases the uncertainty in an estimated trend slope by the square root of that, making it about 15 times larger. Clearly that’s a very strong effect. But if we use a lag-1 autocorrelation value of 0.998, the “number of data points per effective degree of freedom” is a whopping 999, increasing the uncertainty in a slope estimate by a factor of almost 32. That’s more than twice as large a correction factor as actually applies.

Where did Condon get his 0.998? I can’t be sure but I have a theory. I think he computed the lag-1 autocorrelation, not of the anomaly values, but of the data values. For the UIUC data, that gives a lag-1 autocorrelation of 0.9986, which is even higher than Condon’t 0.998, possibly because of the UIUC data being a multi-day average.

If it’s true that Condon estimated the lag-1 autocorrelation from the raw data rather than the anomalies, then the only proper characterization is — rookie mistake. In any case, the value 0.998 is too high, as is Condon’s estimate of the uncertainty of the slope.

By the way, it can also sometimes be a mistake to use an AR(1) model for the errors. In fact it’s a good idea to look at the autocorrelation function (ACF) in order to determine whether or not such a model is plausible. For the UIUC data, we can compare the ACF estimate from the data (in black) to that which would follow from an AR(1) process with autoregressive parameter given by the lag-1 autocorrelation (in red):

Note that the AR(1) model values are consistently higher than the values estimated from the data. That shows that the AR(1) correction will overcompensate for autocorrelation, giving uncertainty levels which are too high. A better (but still imperfect) model is ARMA(1,1). Either way, the trend is “fer shure.”

Having established that the trend is real, we should estimate the autocorrelation from the residuals to the linear fit. This lowers the lag-1 autocorrelation from 0.9913 to 0.9888.

Bottom line: the trend is real, with or without the first few months of data. By no means is it “just barely.” Condon’s estimate of the trend uncertainty is way too high. He has fooled himself (and others too).

He closes by taking the anomaly values and adding to them the overall average value, in order to produce this graph:

That certainly accomplishes his purpose.

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243 responses to “How Fake Skeptics Fool Themselves, part 3

  1. I’m not sure, but I think the UIUC data represents a multi-day average of ice conditions.

    I believe this was discussed on the Arctic Sea Ice blog last summer, but I forgot the conclusion. I’m sure one of the other commenters will pop up here with the answer.

    On-topic: it’s a shame that someone like Jeff with his abilities loses himself in these time wasting exercises, just to conclude that yes, the ice is melting, and yes, the warming probably has something to do with that. It’s a pretty lame smokescreen, even if Watts loves it. I understand the Arctic sea ice is a problem that challenges their rationalisation mechanisms, but come on.

  2. Tamino, can you explain why estimating the lag-1 autocorrelation from the raw data rather than the anomalies is a rookie mistake? I suspect it is because the raw data still contains the seasonal signal which is suppressed by the anomalies, and hence contains much more variability, and of course a built in 12 month auto-correlation, but would appreciate clarification.

    Also, I assume the final graph by Condon ranks as rampant deception because, again, it does not show the seasonal signal.

    In talking of a seasonal signal, I am assuming that the NH summer ice loss does not match area the SH winter ice gain, and vise versa. Correct me if I am wrong.

    [Response: What we really want is the autocorrelation of the *noise*. The seasonal signal is correlated with itself, including on extremely short time scales, so retaining it increases the autocorrelation of the data above that of the noise alone -- and we can be quite sure that the seasonal signal is not just noise.

    The final graph is rather like plotting sea level rise using a zero point of the ocean floor, say at the bottom of the Marianas trench. On that scale, rise of a 10 meters (over 30 feet) would be dwarfed by the depth of the ocean (over 10 km at the Marianas trench), but that wouldn't be an honest representation of the impact of such a sea level rise, or evidence that sea level rise isn't caused by global warming, would it?]

  3. Tamino,

    I can’t even keep up with rebutting your nonsense. I regularly caution readers that the Quenouille autocorrelation is an estimate.

    I also calculated the same trend using daily data up until January of 2012
    376000 +/- 143000 km^2/decade.

    http://noconsensus.wordpress.com/2012/01/28/sea-ice-2012/

    Very close to your trend and CI but two and a half years more recent with up to date daily data.

    [Response: Didn't it occur to you to wonder why adding 2.5 extra years (out of more than 30) would cut the uncertainty to less than half your previous estimate?]

    Are you happy with that one?
    I also included my signature offset anomaly plot:

    http://noconsensus.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/global-ice-trend-with-offset.png

    with this little disclaimer: “Ok, to be honest, the other purpose is to drive advocates nuts with the very data they promote.”

    You guys are a literal blast. You are so worried that I’m going to write some thing wrong that you are flailing around like zoo monkeys. Good stuff. Relax people, you look silly.

    [Response: We don't worry at all that you'll write something wrong. You do it so often.

    Your estimate of the autocorrelation was just plain wrong. So was your estimate of the uncertainty in the trend. I suspect you really did estimate the autocorrelation from the raw data rather than the anomalies -- but that you won't admit it.

    Your definition of "first-year ice" is wrong. Your estimation of its importance is wrong. Your bellowing about global sea ice "hitting average" was wrong.

    So you're much more than just a source of endless amusement. You are a fount of examples of a fake skeptic fooling himself.]

    • Condon,
      “…that you are flailing around like zoo monkeys. Good stuff. Relax people, you look silly.”

      Sigh, Jeff is projecting again. Thanks for the amusement, time to get more popcorn. I wonder if he has read Stroeve et al. (2012) yet? ;)

      “Ok, to be honest, the other purpose is to drive advocates nuts with the very data they promote.”

      So Condon admits then that he is using the data to play games. Tut tut.

      • Jeff’s certainty is based on his political beliefs, nothing more.

        He’s written enough to make it clear.

  4. I very much appreciate the pedagogic approach. Thank you for a very instructive post.

  5. I did not estimate the autocorrelation from the raw data. That would be stooopid. I believe my code at the time had a five day filter in it though to infill missing holes in the early data but I would have to dig deep to find the code. It was a crude solution but it worked. It is also an AR no-no for a more serious CI analysis.

    Something missing from the whole context though is that I often write at tAV is that these CI’s are estimates. When they get this close to 1, they are very distribution dependent and cannot be trusted. TAV readers hear it all the time. I don’t even trust my recent post CI (which basically matches Tamino) because of its near 1 value.

    In my 2012 post, I wrote this “AR corrected confidence intervals are reasonable but are getting close to 1 so don’t interpret them too closely.”

    Why someone would look back 2 1/2 years to critique a sea ice AR coefficient when I had done the same post a month ago is a little odd.

    [Response: Because this post isn't about global sea ice. It's about how fake skeptics fool themselves. You do that so well.

    I selected that particular post because a reader linked to it in comments.]

  6. A child’s treasury of sea-ice decline stories: Sea Ice.

  7. Tamino, aka spoonerized sunglass boy, people who mess with Jeff Condon on mathematical matters end up crying for their momma. Give it up. BTW, when the 2012 Giss data puts the first point in the no more warming region in your “You Bet” post, what excuse will you use to weasel from your challenge?

    [Response: Ordinarily I trash-bin such nonsense. But it was just too funny not to share.]

    • Not really a Spoonerism, FWIW.

      Demo’ing with my name–

      Spoonerism: Mevin KcKinney
      Not: McKinney Kevin

      Carry on.

    • Peter doesn’t even know what a spoonerism is, does he?

    • Horatio Algeranon

      FWIW,
      the “You bet” post required two years in the ‘decisive” (in this case “not-warming”) region for a ‘win” — to protect against a chance occurrence due to “noise” (something fake skeptics make a lot of but don’t understand ) — and there has not yet even been one.

      So, momma can relax for a while at least.

  8. Wow. I was sure you would censor that. Rethinking………..

    • Tamino is a professional statistician.

      JeffID is not.

      Nor is jeffID a professional mathematician.

      He’s a [edit] right-wing extremist with some engineering chops, with an obvious libertarian bias (he believes that all taxes are anti-liberty. Do you?)

      • Jeff Condon always wants to have the last word. In that he goes as far as far can go…also he clearly overestimates himself. Two nasty habits…

      • Jeff Condon

        “He’s a [edit] right-wing extremist with some engineering chops, with an obvious libertarian bias (he believes that all taxes are anti-liberty. Do you?)”

        That’s the nicest thing you have ever said to me Dhog.

  9. Peter, if you are being honest about rethinking then you are two steps ahead of the fake skeptics. lol

  10. Does Condon view the retreat of Arctic permafrost (e.g., Canada permafrost recedes 130 km in 50 years) as a coincidence?

    • Does he view in at all?

      • @#$@#

        “View it at all?”

        If notice were to be taken, precedent suggests responses might include:

        1) “It’s in Canada, who cares?”

        2) “Who needs palsas? People, it’s a damn bog.”

        3) “This will be prime real estate in just a few centuries, when there’s some topsoil! You have to take the long view.”

        4) “Oh, good, more places to grow potatoes! Ray Kroc would have been so pleased.”

        5) “Climate feedbacks can’t exist, because if they did, the seas would have long ago boiled away.”

  11. “If we use an AR(1) model with lag-1 autocorrelation 0.9913, then the “number of data points per effective degree of freedom” is about 229. ”

    I wonder why you chose not to use the Nychka method which recognizes the underestimate of rho that I thought you had previously pointed out a few years ago?

    Neff=n (1-r-0.68/sqrt(n))/(1+r+0.68/sqrt(n))

    It cuts the DOF estimate down to 54. hmm.. How much fun could we have with that? Why didn’t I do it before?

    The method is probably more accurate but honestly, if i wanted to mess with you people as a primary motivation, it would be entertaining. Non-technical readers wouldn’t be able to parse the difference. There is a ton of room to mess with stats (as CS has shown in spades) and were that my motivation, you would have a lot more posts to do.

    [Response: The problem is that you're not really interested in getting the right answer or in exploring interesting statistical possibilities. You just want to find something that will support your "don't worry" agenda, so you're willing to do sloppy work then proclaim your result to the world uncritically. In other words, you lack the genuine skepticism a real skeptic should have.

    You also seem to have a penchant for statistical name-dropping when you've been caught out -- a sign of insecurity. How sad.]

    • A scientist gathers and studies the data to find the truth. A scientist will go to great lengths to get the right answer, not just the answer he or she wants. We all have biases, but the scientific method is a way to minimize bias and statistical analysis, done properly, is a way to apply a standard to the results. Being deceptive to “drive advocates nuts” has no place in real science.

    • Jeff Condon

      “You also seem to have a penchant for statistical name-dropping when you’ve been caught out ”

      I’m curious what you mean by that? Your autocorrelation posts were quite good so I know you understand that an unexplored AR1 model is a very weak test. My point here was that you are stomping around about a two year old coefficient on a blog post when you know other methods would ‘probably’ give substantially wider and more defensible CI’s. If I really wanted to play games, as you are so certain of, I would be a lot more trouble.

      My second point was that tAV readers are warned about these things yet yours are not.

      • If I really wanted to play games, as you are so certain of, I would be a lot more trouble.

        Jackbooted thugs! Ending liberty! One world order!

        And we know you’re not playing games. You’re deadly serious.

        And dangerous, based simply on ideological grounds. Even if you were right about the science, you’d be a political enemy of anyone who actually understands the words “liberty” and “freedom” in the context of our country’s founding.

        If science supported your extreme views regarding extinguishing most of what’s good about our country, you’d support it.

        As it happens, science doesn’t.

        We get that.

    • Rob Honeycutt

      Tamino said, “You just want to find something that will support your ‘don’t worry’ agenda, so you’re willing to do sloppy work then proclaim your result to the world uncritically.”

      That perfectly sums up pretty much every denier I’ve ever read. They start from the position that there is some eco-conspiracy and then torture reality until they they get the answer they expect. This is true of Watts, Monckton, Soon, Lindzen, Spencer and all the others. In their world anything that doesn’t support their conclusion is somehow suspect or corrupted regardless of how many times they’re shown wrong.

    • How pathetic… It is not the street here dude…Showing off your skills only adds to the realization that you are not anything but bravado and big talk. Put your so called talents in use and publish something….

  12. How come with fake skeptics there’s always time for rethinking, but never enough for properly thinking it through in the first place?

  13. > How come …?

    “There’s never time to do it right,
    but there’s always time to do it over.”

  14. It seems both parties are missing a central and fairly fundamental point here. In reality the autocorrelation structure is not AR(1). An autocorrelation on daily series this high would imply a decay distance <1 year (I think, he says scribbling on the back of an imaginary envelope). Yet, if you average to annual first and then redo the calculation you will likely find there is a degree of autocorrelation (even after detrending) in the annual series. So, the system has memory on multiple timescales. AR(1) gets you only so far, its a necessary but not necessarily a sufficient constraint. I suspect (and I have not checked) that if the same calculation were done on e.g. daily, monthly, seasonal and annual resolution means where the only difference is the degree of temporal averaging prior to the calculation the trend would be very similar but the AR(1) adjusted uncertainties would vary substantially. The question then surely becomes what degree if any of temporal averaging is justified / required to get a stable and defensible trend +/- uncertainty. Lies, damned lies and statistics …

    • Horatio Algeranon

      Tamino has cautioned his readers about blind use of AR(1) on numerous occasions (including this very post).

      In fact, he published a comment on a paper by Schwartz (under the “Spoonerized sun glass boy” moniker, of course) that criticized (among other things) the use by Schwartz of the AR(1) noise model to estimate a climate “time constant”, which Schwartz then used to estimate climate sensitivity (in error).

      Tamino has also produced a series of posts on different noise models in which he has talked about the inappropriate use of AR(1) to model noise in the global temperature anomaly in particular (and the superiority of the ARMA(1,1) model for that case).

      • Horatio,

        Thanks for that. For a while there, I thought nobody here other than Tamino had the chops to realize what AR1 meant.

      • Jeff, If you actually read Tamino’s blog, you would know that many here are technical–indeed, many with PhDs in technical subjects. Many here are quite conversant with statistics and probability–and we find you not so much a threat as an embarassment.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        “Lame Chops”
        – by Horatio Algeranon

        “Chops” might be fine
        But good sense is better
        To recognize the line
        Between climate and weather.

      • Jeff Condon

        Ray,
        You are silly. If you have a PhD in something other than fingerpainting then you know that AR1 is probably an underestimated CI in this case. Yet here you guys sit, accusing me of looking for ways to say ‘not significant’. What a joke.

        Were I serious, I would look at the distribution of the data. Maybe I should put up that barely significant global ice thread using more vetted techniques and you can use your well hidden technical skills to tell me where I made my mistake. Naw, it’s no fun.

        The offset anomaly plot does put tamino’s significant quadratic fit and claim of accelerated sea ice doom into perspective though, doesn’t it.

      • Actually, Jeff, I do know what AR(1) is. I do know there are strong correlations. I also know that the trend in ice lost is significant. Indeed, even the acceleration thereof is significant.

        If you were serious, you would look at the data rather than at the politics of those who present it. If you were serious, you would look at all the data. If you were serious, you might even understand what a scientific consensus, and why anthropogenic causation of the current warming epoch fits the definition classically.

        But you are not serious. You are a sad, pathetic joke.

      • Jeff: “You are silly. If you have a PhD in something other than fingerpainting then you know that AR1 is probably an underestimated CI in this case. Yet here you guys sit, accusing me of looking for ways to say ‘not significant’. What a joke.”

        That’s the point, Jeff. Your target audience doesn’t know what AR1 is, and you depend on that fact. Why would you perform and publish such an analysis if you knew that people who did know what AR1 is would find the study meaningless and those who didn’t know what AR1 is would be confused and probably think that you’re saying that Arctic sea ice is not in a declining trend? Why would you allow Watts to trumpet it at WUWT when you know that most of the readers do not have the skill to understand what you’re doing? The question is not whether or not you’re smart, Jeff. The question is whether or not you’re wise.

        [Response: And AR(1) probably does *not* give an underestimated CI. In fact for the data from Cryosphere Today it gives an overestimated CI.]

    • Annual anomalies would make the most sense for a series of this length, IMHO.

      The fact that the AR1 lag-one estimate is so high for the daily series (calculated correctly or not) would appear to indicate that this is not a useful time scale for trend analysis in the first place.

  15. Is “global sea ice” a meaningful measurement in any case, given the differences between the arctic and antarctic regions? I’m sure I’ve read that antarctic sea ice is expected to remain stable or even increase with higher temperatures. If that’s the case then how can it make sense to combine the arctic and antarctic sea ice measurements?

    • I’ve been trying to make just that point over at Jeff’s bloggy place.

      In a very fundamental way the point of statistics is to reveal things, not blur them.

      • Hmm. Looks like we need to update Andrew Lang’s little zinger about lamp posts and stats.

        Condon uses statistics the way a child uses his father’s eyeglasses–to blur things rather than to clarify them.

    • Andrew Dodds

      Indeed, Arctic and Antarctic sea ice are almost entirely different beasts; The Antarctic sea ice is, apart from a small area, completely dominated by the one-year freezing of the completely open ocean surrounding a continental ice cap; whereas the Arctic is the polar(sic.) opposite, with a complex interplay of multi year ice with various coastlines and ice caps and an enclosed basin.

      Given this, adding the values together does not seem a very revealing thing to do. Even calling it ‘global sea ice area’ is not a very good description – it’s two distinct, different systems, with different expected behaviours under global warming conditions, being added together.

    • Andrew Adams,

      A bit late, but I agree. Global sea ice is a pretty meaningless metric.

  16. Tamino, is it legitimate to use resampling stats on time series? That is, can you throw all the values up in the air and let them fall in what order they will, and do this a thousand times, and for each time calculate some sort of trend, and then compare the actual trend to range of “experimental” values you got by randomising the time series? Thus giving you some idea of how likely the real trend is?

    [Response: It's a legitimate technique, but in this case it would destroy the autocorrelation structure of the data. But one can slice the time series into a small number of pieces and permute those, so as to retain the autocorrelation structure.]

  17. Susan Anderson

    Stating the obvious:

    Volume is the best (almost like to say only) measure at the end of the day. Yes, I know there are reasons for using extent and area, and they are not trivial, and I have read most of them, so please don’t waste a lot of time educating me unless I’ve got it seriously wrong, in which case correction is welcome.

    We are talking about disappearing ice. If most of the disappearance is under the visible surface, that does not make it nonexistent, just easy to ignore in inaccessible places.

    This is a very amateur opinion, but after years of looking at this I’m tired to the somersaults people turn to emphasize the less important appearances over the undeniable facts.

    • Nicely said Susan. Volume loss of sea ice, mass loss from continental glaciers, and permafrost melting are the best ways to tell what is happening with the cryosphere and they all tell the same story– retreat and melting.

  18. Condon’s article also includes this, referring to all of us here, which I found much too precious to leave unshared:

    “Unlike the Air Vent and WUWT, his crowd is comprised primarily of non-technical readers who often jump at any statement they can find with literally zero understanding of why or what they are attacking.”

  19. Rob Honeycutt

    I think I’ve figured out Jeff Condon’s problem…
    From the sidebar on AirVent:

    “Blogs I read:
    Bishop Hill
    Bob Tisdale
    Climate Audit
    Climate Skeptic
    IceCap
    JoNova
    Judith Curry
    Lubos Motl
    Lucia – Blackboard
    Roy Spencer
    Steve Mosher
    TallBloke’s Talkshop
    Watts Up With That”

    I would diagnose this as acute brain poisoning. Very sad case. There are additional blogs listed but I think most of the severe poisoning is coming from this list.

    • This thing called “acute brain poisoning” I actually like to think of as a hallucinatory experience brought about from eating psychotropic cherries as so much data is cherry picked on many of those blogs.

    • And, of course, the Air Vent will be on the “blogrolls” of most of those. Jeff is, of course, one of the brain poisoners.

    • That blog list by itself is sufficient to make me want to say:
      “Oh, I think I see your problem!”

      Can anyone say “Epistemic closure?”

    • If you’ve ever had a friend or family member taken by a cult, you’ll see similar behavior: the knowing smirk, the façade of certainty masking the underlying doubt, the relentless proselytizing. Maybe Robert J. Lifton’s model applies here:

      Eight Criteria for Thought Reform

      1. Milieu Control: This involves the control of information and communication both within the environment and, ultimately, within the individual, resulting in a significant degree of isolation from society at large. …

      • Rob Honeycutt

        Carl Jung said, “Fanaticism is always a sign of repressed doubt.”

        After Jeff’s comments of “my jackbooted friend” and “dismantling the economy” (among others) I think we can safely say that he is clearly fanatical.

  20. Jeffs first post appears to be claiming that sea ice is unrelated to temperature and so the decline is not human induced.
    The latest post justifies his approach by showing that ice south of 72N is strongly correlated with temperature, and is therefore a good metric for demonstrating that, um, sea ice is unrelated to temperature.

  21. True Sceptic, Kevin McKinney,

    I realize it is not a true spoonerism, part of why I was impressed that Tamino posted it, rather than circle file it, or mock the stretch to call it such was because he did neither. I realized he has a sense of humour (Canadian) which goes along way to resonable debates as oppposed to shouting past each other.

    Sadly, you two do not.

  22. Hmm… Peter did make a comment, that might be interesting to examine. He forecasts that 2012 will be the first point (GISS reported annual global temperature anomaly) to fall into the “Not-Warming” area of the plot in the “You Bet” post.

    Give it up. BTW, when the 2012 Giss data puts the first point in the no more warming region in your “You Bet” post, what excuse will you use to weasel from your challenge?

    I guess Peter expects the GISS anomaly to come in below approximately 0.43 for 2012, perhaps based on the one month data point we have so far: the January report 0.36 monthly anomaly. The 2011 annual anomaly was 0.51, so he expects this year to be much cooler than last year, even though 2012 will be the second La Nina year in a row.

    In spite of Peter’s confidence that 2012 will be cold enough to plant one data point in “Not-Warming” category, I don’t see it. The La Nina is waning, and most forecasters expect neutral ENSO conditions by May-June. OTOH, we aren’t likely to break 0.735 annual anomaly in the next El Nino year either, and won’t put a point into the “Still-Warming” category. We won’t likely see that high of an annual anomaly until the second El Nino event from the present date.

    But the next El Nino year should provide data close enough, to give Peter some second thoughts, if he has the capability to reappraise his forecast.

  23. BTW, Tamino, I can’t make the equation in the “You Bet” post work… If I use the equation, I get a minimum anomaly of 0.659 for 2012, which doesn’t match the graph. What am I doing wrong?

    [Response: The original post contained an error, giving the wrong constant term in the formula so that it specified the center line rather than the lower-limit line. This was corrected, but the archived copy seems not to include that correction. I think the corrected constant is 0.085655 (rather than 0.277455).]

  24. The torture the innocent numbers problem represents a failure of statistics. Too often statistical analysis ignores physical reality. For example, in this discussion the to and fro about the autocorrelation structure. That is a physical reality, either of the system or the measurement. What is it? What drives it? are much more interesting and basic questions.

    So let us ask a very basic question, if we have an acknowledged physical reality and we do not see a statistically significant effect, what is the reason?

    1. We are using the wrong statistical model
    2. We have measured the wrong thing
    3. There is something else in our system that we have not accounted for.

    1. Was the subject of this post
    2. Was the subject of one the previous post in this series
    3. It’s the sun! It’s the sun? nope

  25. Bernard of Chartres wrote that “we are like dwarfs on the shoulders of giants” (later appropriated more famously by Newton in discourse with Hooke).

    It is clear from reading this series of posts that Tamino has benefited from a position astride those giants’ clavicles. And it is clear to me, at least, that Condon still aspires to be a giant.

  26. P. Lewis, more like Condon aspires to pose as a giant.

  27. Well, reading that thread at Condon’s place is pretty funny– the Dunning-Kruger over there is very strong. There are many priceless statements, including claims of superiority etc., and claims that their discussion is ever so technical compared to here. Good God, they sound like a bunch of high-school kids.

    One comment in particular stood out for me though,

    “97.RomanM said
    March 6, 2012 at 4:43 pm
    #84:
    “The real problem is doing a N.H. / S.H. seasonal / annual mash up at all.” [he is referring to Jason here]

    LOL! I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I see a global mean temperature.”

    [I have annotated the comment so that the context is clear]

    Now keep in mind that RomanM is a devote Steve McIntyre supporter– you know, the clan who believe that they know better than the scientists and statisticians. RomanM’s glib dismissal of the very valid critique made by Jason (“Sea Ice Extent is seasonally important. Using statistics that hide seasonal changes by combining the two hemispheres is a fundamentally poor way to investigate a seasonal impact”) points a fundemental misunderstanding of the physics at work here by him and Condon and Condon’s supporters. RomanM is also fabricaing a stupid strawman argument, and being an uncritical bunch, noone over there has called him on it.

    • I lolled at that one too. Right tool for the right job springs to mind.

      That wasn’t actually my bestest youtube comment ever – I meant to include regional issues as well as seasonal issues as reasons not to mix up the seasons and hemispheres, but I didn’t type it quite right. – Just to be clear.

      Not that it changes much.

      We know Antarctica is behaving weirdly, what with the great big ozone hole and no doubt some other regional stuff. And we know the impacts and influences of ice extent are seasonal because of the polar day and night.

      I did get it exactly 100% bang on right later. That didn’t change much either.

      • Andrew Dodds

        There are reasonable hypotheses as to why Antarctica could be seeing more sea ice. For example, Katabatic winds are well known; these form when pooled very cold air in the interior rushes down and outwards (northerly); higher temperature gradients caused by warming at the edges of Antarctica could conceivably enhance this effect and hence lead to colder sea surface conditions and more ice.

    • Horatio Algeranon

      claims of superiority etc., and claims that their discussion is ever so technical compared to here”

      How very condonscending.

  28. steven mosher

    Maple, Roman actually is a statistician, but let’s leave that aside for now and try to ask some constructive questions.

    Here is the question that you and others can chime in on

    1. what impact does warming have on sea ice in areas which don’t support multi year ice ?
    2. How would you go about answering that.

    Perhaps we can put aside all the acrimony and just focus on that question for a bit. We can always go back to fighting about other stuff that doesnt matter.

    We are all pretty much aware that sea ice is declining and we are awarethat it declines for a variety of reasons, some significant ( like global warming) and others that are more rhapsodic ( like this seasons weather patterns)
    It would interesting to see if one can tease out the contribution that warming makes. If I asked you ” what impact does warming have on sea ice in areas that dont support multi year ice?” how would You go about answering that question. You might argue that the answer doesnt matter. But, If you had to look at that question, how would you go about answering it?

    Simple question.

    [Response: It's ironic that you state "We are all pretty much aware that sea ice is declining and we are aware that it declines for a variety of reasons, some significant (like global warming) ..." when Jeff Condon clearly does not agree that global warming is one of the reasons. It strikes me as an attempt to divert attention from the real issue of this post, which is: how fake skeptics fool themselves.

    Perhaps you could simply admit that Condon's analyses are examples of that phenomenon. Perhaps we can discuss sea ice the next time I post on the topic. That happens often.]

    • Steven

      “1. what impact does warming have on sea ice in areas which don’t support multi year ice ?”

      Why are we asking this question? What physical process does this represent? Jeff wouldn’t outline what the question actually means and to my mind it is wequivalent to asking Why doesn’t my bank balance on Wednesdays show much variation?

      “2. How would you go about answering that.”
      Why are we answering it?

      The additional problem with the question is that there is an influx of multi-year ice in that area that Jeff initially refused to acknowledge and then refused to account for.

      • “Why are we asking this question?” indeed. Half the battle is knowing what questions to ask. Sea ice extent/area/volume are metrics worth studying, because they demonstrate regional warming.

    • “It would interesting to see if one can tease out the contribution that warming makes. ”

      That is actually an interesting problem. However, I don’t see how looking at sea ice area between 72N and 72S can answer that. It looks more like a question about sea ice volume.

    • Steve: 2. How would you go about answering that?

      For the arctic: total ice – multiyear ice = first year ice
      Analyze the the max/min or monthly trends.
      Analyze the basins,
      Don’t conflate the Arctic with Antarctic.

      For MYI, look at Maslanik 2011,

      That’s how an honest amateur would approach it.

    • Kevin O'Neill

      What impact does warming have on sea ice in areas which don’t support multi year ice ? The question of ice outside of the arctic has been studied pretty extensively. For instance Trends and Variability for Ice Cover on Inland Lakes a slideshow by one of the authors of Historical Trends in Lake and River Ice Cover in the Northern Hemisphere

      Or Analysis of climate change impacts on lake ice phenology in
      Canada using the historical satellite data record

      Or Temporal and spatial variability of Great Lakes ice cover, 1973-2010 slideshow based on http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/abs/10.1175/2011JCLI4066.1

      Of course there are dozens more papers. Short synopsis: the ice is forming later, melting earlier, and the zone of monomictic lakes is moving north at a steady rate.

    • Jeff Condon

      “when Jeff Condon clearly does not agree that global warming is one of the reasons. ”

      Tamino, I have been very clear about this. I attributed all of the NH multi-year ice melt below 72 to WARMING.

      Not some, not insignificant, ALL!

      If you are going to criticize, please be accurate.

      [Response: What could possibly have given me a different idea? Maybe it was when you said this:

      “Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe it has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!!”

      ]

      • Jeff,

        I don’t see a smiley. You are joking, aren’t you? You said in your post at your site

        With Layman Lurker’s help we recently discovered that nearly 100% of the sea ice to the South of 72 degrees North latitude and the equator has melted every year since satellite records started.

        Since the Antarctic sea ice is known to melt annually as well, we can say that nearly all of the sea ice south outside of 18 degrees from the North pole vanishes every single year.

        So I masked off and ignored all of the data north of 72 degrees representing basically the only multi-annual sea ice on Earth.

        Since the Antarctic ice also melts nearly completely every year, the red line at the North and upward represents the entire area of multi-year sea ice on Earth.

        What did you do there, repeatedly?

    • Philippe Chantreau

      That’s a good one Mosher.
      “We are all pretty much aware that sea ice is declining and we are aware that it declines for a variety of reasons, some significant ( like global warming) and others that are more rhapsodic ( like this seasons weather patterns)”

      What would be really, really interesting would be to have you take that statement to Jeff’s blog and defend it against the crowd there. I will even waste some of my time to read the responses, ought to be mighty interesting. That will show you exactly how many are “aware” of these facts.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Piltdown Mosher’s use of “rhapsodic” makes no sense

        rhapsodic
        – feeling great rapture or delight
        ecstatic, enraptured, rapt, rapturous
        joyous – full of or characterized by joy; “felt a joyous abandon”; “joyous laughter”

        Even the “Lyrical”, “rhythmic” or “harmonious” definition would not fit in this context. If anything weather is quite the opposite, cacophonous)

        His entire commentary here is not only incoherent, but is ironic in the extreme, referring as it does to “diversion” (when he himself was attempting to divert the conversation from the topic) and even citing “talk about emails” as a prime example of such diversion(when he literally wrote the book!)

        And of course, the fact that he is trying to rationalize away what is a clear example of self-deception (which requires an Olympic effort of fooling himself) may be the supreme irony.

      • I respectfully offer up an interpretation of “rhapsodic” as used by SM: the term is, of course, the adjectival form of “rhapsody,” which is:

        “A usually instrumental composition of irregular form that often incorporates improvisation.”

        Taking the descriptors “irregular” and “improvisation” and extending them just a bit, we arrive at the ideas of unpredictability, randomness, and fluidity–in short, the qualities characterizing unforced variability.

        Admittedly, an extended usage, non-standard–but that’s how I took it. (And of course, the aspects of “elevated expression” and “extreme joy” would be inapplicable here.)

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Horatio stands corrected on “rhapsodic” by the resident musical expert.

        Every blog should have one.

        Thanks Kevin.

        ~@:>

      • I’m not sure my comment quite rises to the level of a ‘correction’–just, as I said, an interpretation.

        But thanks!

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Horatio would not wish to deprive Mosher of his one claim to being right, even if it was on something that had nothing to do with climate.

        now that you mention it, fake skepticism has some of the elements of the musical definition of rhapsody: “irregularity” and “improvisation”.

        Or maybe that’s crhapsody?

      • I sense a Muse hovering near…

  29. steven mosher

    Tamino,
    I think it’s fair to say that Jeff’s position is probably more complicated than that. For example, he believes that the planet is warming, believes that C02 plays a role in that warming. Let me see if I can explain. Here is what he wrote:

    “Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe it has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!! Now we still believe ice does melt from warmth”

    One can interpret this this way

    Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe [warming due to C02 as opposed to other causes] has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!! Now we still believe ice does melt from warmth”

    Nevertheless, the “we” here, do believe that warming ( whether anthropogenic or not ) will lead to less ice, not more ice. Comes the question I asked. If you wanted to see the effect of warming on non multi year ice, if you wanted to isolate the problem, what approach would you take? That’s not a diversion in my mind. A diversion, would be something like coming on here and talking about capitalism or emails, blahblah. If you want to show that someone is fooling themselves, a good step is understanding what they were trying to do

    [Response: Rather than admit the obvious, you indulge in semantic contortionism in order to act as apologist for his nonsense. If you really can't tell that Condon's motive was to bolster his "Nutin!!" belief and that he's willing to use sloppy analysis to do so, then I thank you for another sterling example of a fake skeptic fooling himself.]

    • So Steven Mosher, I think this forum (and Jeff Condon as well) owes you a debt of gratitude for coming in here to rescue Jeff Condon from his own remarks. For example from your post above we see you quoting Jeff:
      “Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe it has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!! Now we still believe ice does melt from warmth”

      And then suggesting an interpretation for this forum:

      “One can interpret this this way.”………..You then continue with your interpretation stating:

      ……….“A diversion, would be something like coming on here and talking about capitalism or emails, blahblah. If you want to show that someone is fooling themselves, a good step is understanding what they were trying to do.”

      Funny you should mention it Steven Mosher but it was Jeff himself who brought up the topic of capitalism in one of the threads on this subject where he broadstrokes the members of this forum with this mindless absurdity:

      “I already believe the ice melt is vastly over-hyped and this didn’t change my opinions at all. Like warming, it hurts nothing. Unlike this group, I’m not an extremist bent on shutting down capitalism in a fake effort to change the weather.”

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/03/02/how-fake-skeptics-fool-themselves/#comment-59761

      So explain to this forum Steven Mosher is Jeff engaging in diversion here? Perhaps you could speculate on why that might be the case. Or should this forum write it off as just another episode of the pompous self-aggrandizing salami slamming that you like to publicly engage in from time to time?

  30. Moshpit,

    Duh! I know very well that RomanM is a statistician. That much is also obvious from his ignorance of the important differences between Arctic and Antarctic sea ice.

    Additionally, him uncritically signing off on Condon’s latest attempts to mislead people and even going so far as to deride people who are making valid critiques of Condon’s prestidigitation, speaks volumes about how RomanM is willing to undermine his own credibility to defend an ideologue/extremist (i.e., Condon) and poor science.

    We have data for multiyear ice and we know that multiyear ice in the Arctic is being lost rapidly, more rapidly in fact than the young ice (see Comiso (2012). And the mechanisms for that are quite well understood (see for example ,a href=”http://www.springerlink.com/content/c4m01048200k08w3/fulltext.pdf”>Stroeve et al.(2012) for an overview). From Comiso (2012),

    “The sea ice cover is shown to be strongly correlated with surface temperature, which is increasing at about 3 times the global average in the Arctic but appears weakly correlated with the Arctic Oscillation (AO), which controls the atmospheric circulation in the region.”

    I seems that you too cannot bring yourself to note that what Condon has been up to is a) not statistically sound as demonstrated by Tamino, b) misleading as shown by Tamino, and c) that his interpretation of the scientific literature is incorrect (i.e, him claiming that the loss of Arctic ice since 2000 is because of a shift in weather patterns), and d) That the relatively rapid loss of Arctic ice is hurting nobody (Condon should tell that to the folks losing their homes in Alaska, or to the Inuit people and see how his ignorance and indifference is received by them).

    And while I have your attention, a simple question, did you (or do you know of anyone) have access to any of Gleick’s computers? Before you ask, Gavin Schmidt’s statement on that affair sums up my position too.

    This game of you trying to pretend to be an honest broker grew tiresome and transparent a very long time ago.

  31. Mosher

    “If you wanted to see the effect of warming on non multi year ice, if you wanted to isolate the problem, what approach would you take? ”

    The problem with this is that it is a pointless question. Non multi-year ice melts every year. So obviously the effect of warming on non multi-year ice is to melt it.

    • correction : non multi-year ice melts every year, so warming melts it faster and for a longer time each year.
      Which is precisely what can be observed with longer NE passage opening time …

    • That seems right.
      By definition, FYI = previous min – current area/extent
      or for historical perspective: FYI = annual max – annual min

  32. Horatio Algeranon

    The material for this series of posts would appear to be increasing exponentially.


    • “The material for this series of posts would appear to be increasing exponentially.”

      That’s because denier stupidity increases exponentially with the square of ideology…

    • Susan Anderson

      As an acquaintance once remarked, “either a colossal waste of time or a civic duty.”

      I’m not sure this is going anywhere, with armed camps across a chasm.

      • Chris Mooney has a book coming out next month that addresses some of the resistance to science that clashes with ideology/world views. A couple of previews are available here and here. I am sure that these pieces will result in a great deal of self-reflection among right-wing science skeptics. And unicorns.

        It is interesting to see how this fits into the paradigm described by Daniel Kahneman in his book Thinking, Fast and Slow. Maybe this could be entitled “Why Fake Skeptics Fool Themselves.”

    • Susan Anderson

      The truth is disadvantaged in this situation. So few people can follow the facts, so most go with what seems plausible and agrees with them.

    • Even as the ice extent in the arctic is decreasing exponentially!

      • Susan Anderson

        Sad, innit? What will it take to get everyone to abandon American Idol and sports spectaculars, roll up their sleeves, and get to work? Most people have no sense how fragile things like hot and cold running water really are, let alone their fancy cell phones.

      • “Most people have no sense how fragile things like hot and cold running water really are, let alone their fancy cell phones.”

        The really, really sad thing for me is that fancy cell phones, lots of lovely hot water and all the rest of it could so easily be run – and the necessary equpiment manufactured for that matter – using renewable power and appropriately recycled materials. No discernible impact on whatever fancy modern lifestyle you prefer.

        If we’d just got our act together 30 years ago and done things steadily and sensibly. As it is, we will have to make sacrifices, and some poor unfortunates will sacrifice a whole heap more without ever seeing so much as a glimmer of a ‘modern lifestyle’.

      • Susan Anderson

        Thanks Adelady. You are of course right, but to some extent I was talking about the addictive habit of mind, the exceptionalist bent that entitles us to “pleasures” that could so easily be enhanced by getting out, noticing, and sharing with a wider circle. This is OT for the post, but the increasing Roman circus aspect of our “needs” – more more more – is going in exactly the wrong direction. I don’t mean to imply that in their personal lives all the people we hope might wake up aren’t kind and generous and caring, just that agape is one of the best feelings going and doesn’t need a scream track.

        And on energy, I was struck once again that for an “advanced” nation even our “high speed” trains are primitive and inadequate.

      • Veritas, do you realize that your graph is utterly beside the point?

      • Susan Anderson

        Veritas and anyone else claiming Arctic ice is not decreasing on a curve, not a straight line (or even sillier, it’s increasing); try this one, more relevant:
        http://dl.dropbox.com/u/3476601/tcoe%20graphics/piomas_2_2012x02x05.png
        That way you’ll know what people are talking about.

      • The topic is sea ice extent, not volume. Please do try to keep up. Arctic winter ice extent has declined 3% per decade for the last 3 decades. This is not exponential.

        [edit]

        Response: Most of us were aware that he was being hyperbolic, for humorous effect.

        And the topic is not sea ice extent. It’s how fake skeptics fool themselves.]

      • Susan Anderson

        You wish to set the terms, I see. In addition to the title of this piece and actual topic, you’re trying to persuade your reader into magic thinking about ice. You appear to be angry that I dare bring up a measure that shows what is actually happening. In that sense, you demonstrate perfectly the way the argument is conducted to mislead.

        At the end of the day, as long as we are talking about ice melt, volume is the real item. It’s about total ice, not about the appearance of ice. An attempt to limit it to something you can claim is more moderate misses the point.

        An ice cube has volume as well as surface and its totality is that volume. Two-dimensional measures just don’t capture the reality.

        [Response: Even so, the real topic of this post isn't sea ice, but how fake skeptics fool themselves. I post about sea ice often enough that there'll be no shortage of opportunity to discuss it there.]

      • Just because someone–even NSIDC–has fit a linear trend of 3% (or whatever–IIRC that’s about the lowest monthly mean figure you could pick), that does not imply that the linear trend is the best fit to the data. For example:

        http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b014e606c83af970c-pi

        The same post fits a Gompertz curve (not exponential, but also not that different in this part of the curve from exponential):

        http://neven1.typepad.com/.a/6a0133f03a1e37970b014e8747f65a970d-pi

        Note the modeled prediction of 3.5-53, with a best estimate of 4.4 million km2.

        And from last September:

        http://nsidc.org/news/press/20110915_minimum.html

        4.33 million km2, just a tad below the Gompertz best estimate.

        It’s also worth recalling that Tamino’s 2011 sea ice extent prediction was not based on a linear trend, and also came quite close:

        http://tamino.wordpress.com/2011/07/20/ice-forecast-update/

        RN’s comment was humorously intended, and a bit hyperbolic–but is still arguably more accurate than a linear trend would appear to be, based upon the last few years of observations, at least.

      • Susan Anderson

        Apologies, quite right. My “you” was meant to be Veritas …

  33. Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe [warming due to C02 as opposed to other causes] has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!! Now we still believe ice does melt from warmth”

    I think I missed the part where Condon’s analysis teased out the different contribution of global warming due to CO2 on non-multi year sea ice from the effect of global warming due to other, non-specified forcings …

  34. Zinfan94, the lower bound in the “you bet” post for 2012 is 0.467288, and since GISS reports to two decimal points, the rounded version is 0.47. Not much of a drop from 2011.

  35. just a OT post to thank Tamino : looking at ACF graphs and links-discrepancies with AR1 models, I just understood why seismologists love to filter datas with a AR1 filter. 5 years in the field, and I couldn’t add one and one. Sheez.
    (for the record, seismic noise is partly due to the backscattering of seismic waves towards the receiptor, and it can be estimated with a AR1 filter)
    End of OT

  36. Mosher,
    I think Kevin O’neill’s references cover your question. By definition non-multi-year ice is first-year ice. As to how it behaves in a warming world…well, we’d expect it to melt earlier and refreeze later. Moreover, as we lose more and more multi-year ice, first-year ice will probably increase in extent/area during the Winter. After all, the poles are still cold during winter.

  37. Tamino,

    Talking of how fake skeptics fool themselves. Today we have today have radical elements like Craig Loehle (with the help of Anthony Watts) claiming that “Climate Change Impacts In The USA are Already [NOT] Happening” and Roy Spencer claiming that “A Little Pollution Saves Lives”.

    The delusion and paranoia amongst deniers is stronger than ever it seems, and they clearly have no problem lying or deceiving themselves and anyone who is willing is listen.

    Jeff Condon has of course lapped up Loehle’s BS with not a hint of skepticism or critical thinking. In fact, he is somehow convinced that there is a conspiracy afoot to shut down all CO2 emissions now. Sad but true.

  38. Jeff condon

    Grant,

    I have to thank you for allowing my replies on these threads. I did not expect it and have saved every comment except this one. Everyone with a mind can parse the difference between my quote on what causes ice melt and AGW. There is a lot of room for constructive dialog on these issues, however, allowing dialog is the first step.

    • Jeff,

      “There is a lot of room for constructive dialog on these issues, however, allowing dialog is the first step.”

      So Jeff Condon please tell this forum is this some of that constructive dialog you’re talking about, coming in here and laying this on the members of this forum:

      “I already believe the ice melt is vastly over-hyped and this didn’t change my opinions at all. Like warming, it hurts nothing. Unlike this group, I’m not an extremist bent on shutting down capitalism in a fake effort to change the weather.”

      You remember that one doncha Jeff? Ya see you make it hard to take the first step when you have no interest in taking any step yourself except maybe to get the first shot off. Too bad too since I had a couple of questions on some of the time series work you did that you could have helped me with. But hey what are you gonna do?

      Just one more thing Jeff. Your lap dog got loose, came in here and crapped all over your reputation while you were away:

      http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/03/05/how-fake-skeptics-fool-themselves-part-3/#comment-59988

      You might do well to keep him tied up when you can’t watch him.

    • Jeff, the way my mind parses it is that you think the globe is warmed by extra CO2, but that Arctic sea ice has not been responding to any warming caused by CO2.

      So here’s an invitation for you. Will you talk straight about what you think is the primary cause of sea ice decline in the Arctic, and indicate where you have seen (or performed) some solid analysis on this?

      If you believe you’re being misinterpreted, then keep it really simple and say what you actually think.

      • Horatio Algeranon

        Whether increased temperature causes ice to melt is case dependent?

        Ah, so that’s why Jeff used all caps (WARMING) in one of his replies to Tamino above.

        Horatio would find following this stuff a lot easier if there were a “key” provided.

    • Jeff,

      Tamino, I have been very clear about this. I attributed all of the NH multi-year ice melt below 72 to WARMING.

      Did you mean annual sea ice?

      Did you mean long-term warming caused by rising CO2?

    • Ian Forrester

      Of course the ice isn’t melting, It is the wind, I’ve always known it was the wind. The wind blows the first year ice under the second year ice then that gets blown under the third year ice and so on. How do you think these ice bergs get so big, Did you think they came from Greenland?

      • The answer my friend
        is it’s blowing in the wind
        the ice is just blowing in the wind …

    • Jeff, can you explain why rapid warming in the Arctic would not cause increasing sea-ice melt?

  39. Horatio Algeranon

    “Clear as Ice”
    – by Horatio Algeranon

    Warming is not warming
    Unless, of course, it be
    Ice won’t melt from warming temps
    Unless it does, you see?

  40. Does anyone else find it odd that Mosher did a drive bye? He normally oustays his welcome. I wonder if it perhaps had anything to do with him being asked:

    “And while I have your attention, a simple question, did you (or do you know of anyone) have access to any of Gleick’s computers?”

    Just wondering Steve, just wondering ;)

    [Response: He did try to overstay his welcome, but the attempt to hijack the thread was rejected.]

  41. Philippe Chantreau

    Condon pulled a Monckton maneuver, the traditional desperate measure of fake skeptics when they realize that someone has been paying attention.
    http://www.skepticalscience.com/the-monckton-maneuver.html

    This is the guy who calls others here “jokes” and paradesd around all cocky talking technical.
    And then, when caught knee-deep in his own BS he goes all noble about constructive dialogue. Now, that’s a joke. The best thing to do with skeptics, as was proven by Jeff ID, is to let them talk. They inevitably end up putting both feet in their mouth, then a buddy puts in a third one if there is any room left. By all means, allow their posts. In Jeff’s case, it gave us these 2 wonderful pearls:

    “Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe it has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!!”

    “I attributed all of the NH multi-year ice melt below 72 to WARMING.” With all caps to boot.

    How do they do it?

    • I believe that for an ideologue (left or right), this is their conception of compromise. Their confidence in their ideology is so fragile and their fear of the slippery slope so great that they consider even glancing in the other direction a great concession.

    • Yes, but did you see my comment above? What are Jeff’s definitions of single- and multi-year ice?

  42. Off Topic. My 14 year old wants to read some Tamino posts and asked that I show him the best ones tomorrow morning. I have 11 hours till the deadline. Does anyone have suggestions?

  43. Phil Mattheis

    In this bimodal thread of arctic-ice-extent as object lesson for failed loginoi self-delusion, 2 points occur (one each, related):
    1. Now that JC has acknowledged that not all annual ice forms south of 72, and that multiyear ice does move south to melt away, has he withdrawn the construct as too artificial to be useful?
    2. If not, could someone pursue this issue directly in its own thread, to point out all the many things wrong with the idea? It needs a good beating, with a dead horse.

    • Susan Anderson

      Dear Phil,

      I’m flattered you cited my grab of RC recaptcha “failed loginoi” as a meaningful word, but have now tried to find out what it means and google doesn’t respond; perhaps there is a Greek meaning but outside the choir that’s not going to help. Despite its seeming cleverness, I don’t think it a useful phrase. A little humor about a typo is one thing; giving it significance is another. Perhaps failed logic might be more accessible.

      Tamino correctly called me on my OT opinionating about ice volume in an article that is talking about deception on ice extent, perhaps partly because I said “you” in an ambiguous way (about a commenter rather than the article author). We should be careful, not least because we are all too ready to be hypercritical of people we agree with, and of course the attack machine has no such scruples.

      • “failed loginoi” is what the Jewish mother said when she realized she had forgotten her password!

      • Phil Mattheis

        I’ll happily apologize for being deliberately obscure with that made up word. There is a point here – “loginoi” sounds real, but you won’t find a definition if you go looking (unless a search actually got back to its accidental emergence on that RC thread). I might argue that we need to find consensus on category names for folks otherwise cast as denialists, skeptics, fake skeptics, contrarians, etc, if only to decide which are insults and which might be acceptable to all, but not here/now…

        “Global Sea Ice” also sounds real. But you won’t find a definition for that one either, except in reference to TCondon’s sequence of stuff, here, and at WUWT. That definition is even more contrived, and deliberately so, to enable graphs that imagine arctic ice stability in face of increased warming. At a time when the melting reality will be pretty stark evidence of impact, this is pretty useful stuff, for some. It is likely to live on, at least at WUWT and ilk, because it fills a need for the proponents, most of whom won’t care a bit that there are no peer-reviewed articles in support of the concept.

        So, one summary of these three threads: As an example of “fake skeptics” fooling themselves, Condon’s “Global Sea Ice” is discussed as a novel parameter for assessing arctic ice in context of warming. The science is challenged, with the author admitting (partially) that maybe the category isn’t as well defined as he’d said. But no indication is given that it won’t continue to be used, and misused, without revision.

  44. Trent1492,

    There are many interesting topics in climate science and statistical data analysis (largely of climate data or related) presented and discussed at this site. Without knowing your son’s particular interests it might be a bit of a guess to suggest something.

    There is a search engine for the site on the right side of the page that you could use to filter on topics that might be of interest to your son. It is under the heading Mathematics

    Also the Skeptical Science site contains the archives of older blog entries that might prove very useful as they provide a listing by blog entry title. The link is on the right side of this page under the heading Global Warming.

    Hope that helps.

  45. It seems to me that the primary purpose of Condon’s visit to this blog is simply to support the marketing of the idea of the controversy in Climate science. By coming here he gives the illusion to those who do not have the expertise to know any better, that he carrying out scientific debate.
    He will never admit error, that would ruin the illusion.

  46. The loss of sea ice in the arctic should be a concern to all if it is really happening, the dumping of heat to space from open waters in arctic climes is the fore runner of huge climate change for north america and europe but in a cold direction. The sinking cold water causes a current that brings even more warm water north, the current term used for this condition is an ice age. The cold going south meets the humid warm going north and north america and europe gets snow dumped on it, the actual BTU content remains constant, the hot and cold just gets moved around a bit.

    This is a cyclic thing that happens to the world now and again, unconcerned as it is with the inhabitants. I do hope for all of us that the arctic is not treading this path of melting as cold is not a good future.

    A little research will show that the arctic did not have much ice in the last ice age.

    • Umm, no, Wayne. You pretty much have everything wrong there.

      “A little research will show that the arctic did not have much ice in the last ice age.”

      Actually, a little research (by you) would be a good idea. Starting with science sites and textbooks. Because you are oh-so-wrong, boyo.

    • Wayne, I am quite impressed. Not one bit of your post is correct. That’s very difficult to do.

      I would strongly suggest doing more reading, and perhaps less time with Just So Stories…

    • Oh, Wayne. You are so lost.

    • Good heavens!

      Jeff Condon’s twists of thinking had me suspicious, but Wayne Job has confirmed it for me.

      The Denialati live in Wonderland.

      Seriously. Really, truly.

      The manifold parallels are staggering.

    • Rob Honeycutt

      Very strange, Wayne. I’m curious where all those glacial erratics all over the northern US come from?

  47. FYI, I think Wayne might be referring to this process http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_age#Positive_feedback_processes and then extrapolating. Wikipedia reference is a Science article from 1956. Since it is so old it might be interesting to know how this theory worked out.

  48. You may be interested to know that I do not agree with the vast majority of sceptics.

    Within about 24 hours there will be a new paper Radiated Energy and the Second Law of Thermodynamics at http://principia-scientific.org/

    In over 6,000 words I cover a wide range of reasons why carbon dioxide can have no warming effect and only a slight cooling effect.

    This is only the sixth paper to be accepted by this organisation which is dedicated to the truth in science.

    [Response: Is there a full moon?]

    • Susan Anderson

      Since the word “principia” sounded rather grand, I took a look at this link. Seems to be another branch of fake skeptic central, for example this:
      http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/127-open-letter-to-dr-s-fred-singer-american-thinker

      Would this be a form of self-publication by a political organization?

      which begins:

      “Following your excellent seminar at the University of Houston on February 6, 2012, I introduced myself, indicated Greenhouse Gas Theory (GHG) is a perpetual motion machine to drive anthropogenic global warming (AGW) violating First & Second Laws of thermodynamics”

      wrt the laws of thermodynamics, I’d suggest some real physicists; this is outlandish.

    • Well bless your little heart!

      (Note: It’s better if you imagine it said by a Southern Church Lady.)

    • Doug-san, you need to take a basic physics course. If you want to study it on your own, may I suggest Halliday, Resnick and Walker’s “Fundamentals of Physics?” But don’t just read it, work the problems, too.

    • FYI – Principia Scientific, Doug Cotton’s publisher, is founded/run by John O’Sullivan, Hans Schreuder, Joseph A. Olson, and Dr. Tim Ball – the folks who brought us “Slaying the Sky Dragon”, one of the worst pieces of blithering non-science around. I’ve been subjected to a couple of chapters, including Claes Johnson’s not even wrong work, and I don’t recommend reading without strong drink. I certainly don’t recommend buying it.

      In other words, PSI is a flat out ‘denial’ group. Weight their publications accordingly.

      Tamino – I don’t understand it either; the full moon was four days ago…

    • Rob Honeycutt

      Oooo! Principia Scientific. Sounds compelling!

      Hm, until you go to the website….

      “Principia Scientific International (PSI) was originally conceived in 2010 after 22 international climate experts and authors joined forces to write the climate science bestseller, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory.’”

      Intriguing… and this little ditty:

      “The two-volume publication is the world’s first and only detailed refutation of the greenhouse gas effect. According to prominent climate skeptic, Lord Monckton the book soon became ‘ the talk of the Cancun Climate Conference.’”

      Wow! According to a thoroughly debunked serial liar, it’s a great book. Excellent endorsement.

    • That organisation is so far-fringe that even Singer and Spencer are attacked!

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      > You may be interested to know
      You may be disappointed to know that, no

    • Oh gads, a vanity press for misunderstood pseudoscientists. Doug, one day you’ll understand why “the truth in science” makes actual scientists spew their coffees and waters in great convulsions of laughter. You may be making progress, though: you didn’t use a capital T.

      High comedy. All it needs is an appearance by Fred Singer.

    • Oo, oo! Stop – please!

      Stop before I pee myself as a consequence of unrestrained mirth!

      Really:

      In over 6,000 words I cover a wide range of reasons why carbon dioxide can have no warming effect and only a slight cooling effect.

      Then how do you explain this and this?

    • PSI is “Dedicated to the truth in science” and John O’Sullivan’s the founder? Beyond hilarious.

    • Doug Cotton“It may be deduced that none of the radiation from a cooler body (and only a portion of the radiation from a warmer body) has any thermodynamic effect on the other body. All such radiation from a cooler source is rejected in some way, and it can be deduced that resonance and scattering occurs without any conversion to thermal energy.” (emphasis added)

      Simple counterexample. Microwave energy is characteristic of temperatures on the order of only a few degrees K. By your “physics” this means your microwave oven would never be able to heat the leftovers. And yet it does – hence you are incredibly incorrect.

      Think on that. And please, read a textbook or two…

    • Dikran Marsupial

      It says something about the scientific standards of principia-scientific that they are lower than those of WUWT

      http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/13/climate-skepticism-blamed-on-the-economy-stupid/#comment-921877

  49. Wayne and Doug: Evidently you forgot to add some critical language to your statements: “and pigs will fly”.

  50. > a full moon?
    Yes, several at Jupiter, one or two at Saturn, another at Neptune …

  51. In over 6,000 words…

    Word count correlates positively with accuracy. Sounds very promising, but couldn’t you have made it longer? How long was G&T? Your paper must be longer in order to advance the science.

  52. Oh man. principia-scientific is very, very high grade idiocy ore. You don’t even have to look to find large, pure nuggets of the stuff.

    My favorite so far: the ‘paper’ titled:
    ROY SPENCER’S FATAL ERROR: BELIEVING THE VACUUM OF SPACE HAS A TEMPERATURE
    AUTHOR // John O’Sullivan, guest

    With sections titled:
    What did the ‘Cold Space’ Fallacy do for Greenhouse Gas Believers?
    No ‘Heat Loss Blanket Effect’ because Vacuum Space is ‘Neutral’ not ‘Cold’
    Paging James Hansen: NASA’s Errant Evangelist of Climate Fraud
    NASA Literature Contradictory and Confused on “Cold” Outer Space
    Our Planet: the Air Conditioning Chiller

    All together arguing that space has no temperature because it’s a vacuum, so therefore getting rid of heat is a problem, so earth’s atmosphere is actually a refrigeration system, not a blanket keeping us warmer.

    Ending with the paragraph:
    “Once climate scientists understand that the concept of a ‘blanket’ trapping effect is false then they will grasp the fact that the very foundation of the greenhouse gas effect itself is also proven to be false. As such, the necessary scientific proof is now in hand to bring a swift end to the needless and grossly expensive restriction on human emissions of the benign trace gas, carbon dioxide.”

    It doesn’t get much better than that.

  53. Well, if it’s on a par with this, from your site:

    I accept the data provided by you and Roy Spencer that the sky emits infrared radiation toward the earth. Everyone knows gas scatters and emits in all directions. But this does not prove that the warmer surface absorbs all or any of the back-radiation from cold CO2 molecules, thus emitting more infrared than otherwise and heating the Earth.

    …then I can only wish you good luck.

    You’ll need it, not to become a complete and utter laughingstock.

    • Well, Kevin, there are these two Maxwell’s Demons, Gerlich and Tsch, and they are up all night protecting the tender surface from those evil thermal photons. Gotta thank those guys

      • You know, I was just reading some interesting history of physics today, and in the frame of reference of some late 18th-century theories of heat, such ideas made sense.

        Still physically wrong, of course, which is why they didn’t survive, but still…

      • Yes, before the statistical interpretation of the 2nd law became common in the late 19th C, this might have been a valid argument.

        However, as much as these clowns want to compare themselves to Galileo, they are much more akin to the chuch. They are clinging to an obsolete interpretation of observations and how they map onto reality. All glory to the Pope!

  54. Principia Scientific has a distinct whiff of Brenchley about it– see the mission statement. Verbal dysentery, but maybe not enough alliteration to pass the test?

    • A distinct whiff of the Anti-Relativity Theoretical Co., Ltd. and the likes of Paul Weyland, too. The parallels are quite staggering. Replace anti-semitic* with anti-environmentalism.

      * (No, not breaking Godwin’s Law)

    • From ‘China and Abert Einstein’ by Danian Hu.

      Weyland was an open anti-Semite with an education in engineering and “journalistic and political ambitions.” Financed by anonymous people, he offered money to any physicist willing to speak publicly against the theory of relativity. For this particular meeting, Weyland found an experimental physicist named Ernst Gehrcke as his cospeaker. The rally was concerned less with physics than with anti-Semitic politics. Speaking first at the rally, Weyland denounced the relativity theory as “a publicity stunt” and “scientific DaDa,” and defamed its creator as “a plagiarist” and “a charlatan.”

      • Rational Wiki on Conservapedian relativity, from which we can find that Conservapedia makes the following claim about relativity

        …It is heavily promoted by liberals who like its encouragement of relativism and its tendency to mislead people in how they view the world.”

      • I’d forgotten about Conservapedia and just how funny it is. I like the way Brian Cox doesn’t mess about when giving his views on such stupidity.

        It takes comic genius to compile a list of shit as long as this one – very amusing indeed !

        I do sometimes wonder if a Poe might’ve contributed to some of the Conservapedia articles: after all, how could we tell? ;)

  55. Oh, look: there’s Dr. Lindzen at Principia Scientific in company with lunatics.

    • Gavin's Pussycat

      They copied/linked it from Lawson’s operation.

    • This quotes Lindzen’s piece at the Peiser-Lawson fantasy factory (GWPF). He didn’t write it for PSI.

    • Hmm, Oliver K Manuel’s listed as one of their friends. Pure class.

    • Susan Anderson

      “Perversion of science” indeed. Complete with Wikipedia image of Royal Society. What is sickening is all the naifs who will be misled.

  56. OK, here’s what I don’t understand. When Idjits like Doug and John O’ decide they are going to write something down that is batshit crazy, how do they decide what to write down? I mean there is only one way to be right and the number of ways to be wrong is unbounded. Do they ever write something down and erase it saying, “Naaah! That’s too crazy!” If so, how does the irony field avoid collapsing into a singularity?

    • That’s a very interesting question, Ray.

      I’m going to have to work very hard not to think about it.

      ;-)

    • Ray, you’re discounting the possibility that they are constructing physics around a world view rather than attempting to construct a world view that is physically consistent. Thus, their physical theory is bound by their beliefs about the way the world should be. All one has to do is find bits of theory that seem to cover the bases of everyday life as one wants to live it. The bits don’t need to be coherent with each other. It’s postmodern science, where the plurality of theory is the objective rather than part of the process. All hail uncertainty, true freedom. Judith, you goddess.

  57. Well, seeing as we were talking about ice and how you can lead yourself astray if you just try hard enough ………

    This is what happens when you _don’t_ try and you let yourself slide all the way to the bottom of the slippery slope. The pure, pure water of enchantment awaits to enthral, soothe and further confuse your already wandering mind.

  58. I think Doug C has shown on Skeptical Sci that he is not afraid of becoming a complete and utter laughingstock. Contributions to date suggest Doug would believe almost anything if it would count against AGW.

  59. Lawsuit threats for the above 10 commenters in 3…2…1…

  60. Horatio Algeranon

    “Despite my belief in CO2 global warming’s effect, I really don’t believe it has had any scientifically discernible impact on sea ice. Nutin!!”

    I accept that the world is round…but Columbus was still lucky he didn’t sail off the edge.

  61. Shorter Open Letter to Dr. S Fred Singer:

    “Engineers demonstrate “smart” photons; superluminal information transfer proven.”

  62. Oh goody. A pre-release of Doug’s new magnum opus is available
    here.

    8. Conclusion.

    Consideration of the effect of the processes involved when the Sun is warming the Earth’s surface in the morning leads to the logical conclusion that each such process must stand alone and not violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics. Thus radiation from a cooler atmosphere cannot transfer thermal energy to a warmer surface.

    As a corollary, the absorptivity of spontaneous radiation from a cooler source to a warmer target must be zero.

    As the assumption of a far greater absorptivity is inherent in the models and explanations of the so-called Atmospheric Greenhouse Effect (in which radiation from the atmosphere is assumed to warm the surface) such models and explanations do not reflect reality.

    • Over 6000 words, and 10 references(6 to Wikipedia). I am unsurprised.

    • I really must write about this. The experimental basis ‘falsifying’ (why am I enjoying writing that word so much?) this nonsense goes back to 1657–though the correct interpretation took about 150 more years to come down the pike.

      Doug should try harder to keep up, I guess.

    • What I found most saddening was that Claes Johnson (an actual scientific computing expert I’ve crossed paths with) has managed to convince himself that people have been wrong about thermodynamics since the 19th century and he has the answer that resolves everything about global warming, via thought experiments (which are easily refuted of course). So Doug is not bluffing that a real professor is vetting his work.

  63. Magnum opus, indeed! But we’re left hungry!

    …the only feasible explanation is that, even though there may be two-way radiated energy transfer, the radiation from the cooler body to the warmer one cannot be absorbed and converted to thermal energy when it reaches the warmer body.

    Photons know where they’re going and go somewhere else instead because conditions are not right at their original destination. Sounds likely enough; what could be simpler?

    Darn it, I was hoping for a proper explanation of “smart” photons and their superluminal perceptual capabilities. These people keep on taunting us, hinting at their amazing discovery, but they never really let us in on the secret.

  64. Boy, this guy is a major wacko…

    • jasonpettitt

      Perhaps a minor wacko.

      That some guy doesn’t get science or thermodynamics isn’t that much of a stretch, is it?

      • Susan Anderson

        I don’t “get” physics, but at least I know what I don’t know. It’s not difficult. If it were their plumbing they wouldn’t be this silly.

      • jasonpettitt

        “I don’t “get” physics, but at least I know what I don’t know. It’s not difficult. If it were their plumbing they wouldn’t be this silly.”

        You’re absolutely right. That probably didn’t come out right. I think the guy is so far out there that he’s harmless. I suppose I see tin foil hatters as sad characters and feel a bit sorry for them.

        Minor in that sense that no one’s going to listen to him and there’s no point worrying about it.

  65. I wonder if the Dadaist Professor of Geology will be making any submissions to Principia Science?

  66. You know, a minor mystery in all of this is how folks can be so adamant in asserting (a mangled version of) the Second Law, while utterly forgetting about the the existence of the First.

    I know, there would be no denialism without a strong capacity to tolerate inconsistency, but this, IMO, is one of the more egregious examples.

  67. “It is not necessary to understand things in order to argue about them”…Pierre Beaumarchais, 18th century… Nice work Pierre, and perhaps more true than ever.

  68. One can go back even farther than that. “Once a man’s understanding has settled on something (either because it is an accepted belief or because it pleases him), it draws everything else also to support and agree with it. And if it encounters a large number of more powerful countervailing examples, it either fails to notice them, or disregards them, or makes fine distinctions to dismiss and reject them, and all this with much dangerous prejudice, to preserve the authority of its first conceptions.” Sir France Bacon, The New Organon, Chapter XLVI (1620).

  69. Kevin,

    It’s odd that they haven’t looked at that. Let’s see …

    The First Law of Thermodynamics states that the change in the internal energy of a closed system is equal to the amount of heat supplied to the system, minus the amount of work performed by the system on its surroundings. The Greenhouse Gas Hypothesis is clearly in violation of the First Law because it claims that a gas within a system can generate energy in the form of heat without additional energy being supplied from outside that system.

    • No, it does not. You don’t understand how the greenhouse effect works.

      1. Sunlight passes through the atmosphere with little being absorbed.
      2. It heats the ground.
      3. The warm ground gives off infrared light.
      4. Greenhouse gases absorb the infrared.
      5. Being warm themselves, they radiate infrared as well.
      6. Half this IR goes back down to the ground.
      7. The ground warms more.

      In fact, atmospheric back-radiation is present at an average of twice the flux density of sunlight.

      There is no violation of conservation of energy. The energy is simply being redirected. There is no law of conservation of temperature.

      • Susan Anderson

        Very nice simple layperson’s exposition of the basics, even if you were caught by the irony.

    • The Climate Ferret

      Well the greenhouse gas effect does not represent a claim that CO2 is generates heat so there goes that objection out the window quick smart.

    • I actually started to rebut that, ts–nice Poe!

      • Thanks Kevin.

        That’s the trouble with a Poe, isn’t it? Even people you would expect to “get it” sometimes don’t. Does that mean I did it too well? ;)

      • Yeah, nice Poe. I understood it and didn’t respond, but hey, TS is probably a predictor of future denialist arguments!

      • Climate Ferret

        Yeah, I did smell a rat after I dashed this off and looking at TS previous posts concluded some context was missing.

        So a deliberate Poe you say. Oh well, there you go.

        Luckily I am so polite, otherwise I could have made real ass of myself.

      • The Climate Ferret,

        The lack of context was partly my fault, as I meant my comment as a reply to Kevin’s

        You know, a minor mystery in all of this is how folks can be so adamant in asserting (a mangled version of) the Second Law, while utterly forgetting about the the existence of the First.

        I know, there would be no denialism without a strong capacity to tolerate inconsistency, but this, IMO, is one of the more egregious examples.

        but it appeared further down. Even so, as I did start with “Kevin”, I thought the connection might be made.

    • Susan Anderson

      Huh? Where exactly are the boundaries of this “closed system”? The sun they often carry on about, that old chestnut … heat trapping seems a concept too far for these guys. Or, altogether too likely, they are manipulating a gullible public and know perfectly well it’s nonsense.

  70. Speaking of (the misuse of) thermodynamics, a very interesting case study is the work of William Charles Wells, who observed backradiation in 1811 during the course of his investigation into the formation of dew. Though thermodynamics didn’t yet exist as such, Wells’ understanding of thermal flow seems rather superior to some commenters on this thread.

    All of which is on my mind because of my debut post on Skeptical Science, an examination of Well’s life and work on dew:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Shorter_Wells.html

    • That name is new to me. It seems that Wells is indeed a neglected pioneer in what would become thermodynamics. I enjoyed the excellent style of your writing too.

    • That was a very enjoyable read on a Sunday morning. Thanks!

    • jasonpettitt

      One of the very lovely things about science is that after you scratch the surface you can keep on digging and uncover layer after layer of finds, revealing a coherent narrative of exactly how we’ve arrived at the knowledge we have today.

      Dig underneath the phony skeptic talking points and you discover they are nothing but a tissue of lies, nonsense and long long resolved misunderstandings.

  71. Nice post Kevin. The more reading I do on Climate Change the more impressed I am with the real scientists that contributed to the development of Climate Change Science. Doing some reading on Arrhenius I came upon the work of Arvid Högbom, a Swedish geologist who helped Arrhenius with CO2 cycling by providing information on the natural geological cycling of CO2. As a geologist, it’s interesting to see some of the contributions geologists have made to the science; particularly since some geologists seem to be inclined towards the “climate has changed before” viewpoint….

  72. Does anyone know where I could find figures for the distance of cities from the nearest coast? I’ve found it for exactly one city so far after an extensive web search: Addis Ababa is 495 miles from the coast.

  73. Tamino,

    Oh dear, you have to read the latest insanity from Tisdale at microWatts. Note the tricks he uses in his Figures 2-4 to continue deluding himself and other fake skeptics like Anthony Watts.

    Do you have room for a part 4? ;)

    • jasonpettitt

      I couldn’t be bothered to read the words, I just looked at the pictures.

      Am I right in thinking they’ve run an IPCC model and compared it to observations and discovered that the model fits the observations incredibly well.

      I’m not sure what all those other random lines they’ve drawn on the charts are about though. Watts going on there?

    • I have a statistics question: what would be the best way to determine whether the two trends in each period are different from each other at a certain level of significance? Is the t-test applicable? I guess to obtain greater accuracy autocorrelation would have to be taken into account. Presumably there are more complicated MC methods.

  74. Tamino, Thanks for a useful and enlightening series of posts.

  75. Hot drink alert! Here’s another way fake sceptics fool themselves:

    http://principia-scientific.org/supportnews/latest-news/118-thermometer-manufacturer-destroys-greenhouse-gas-warming-myth

    That is, they imagine that after designing and building their own instruments for the better part of a century, scientists who can now buy (some) gear off the shelf have a) forgotten their own history b) don’t care what their instruments actually measure, and c) are too stupid to read spec sheets…

    • TrueSceptic

      Kevin,

      Umm … John O’Sullivan?

      (Ad hom alert.) I think we can assume with very high probability that for any claim made, the truth is the precise opposite.

      “Principia Scientific”? Isn’t that sad? Do they somehow think they’re Newton (not Galileo, just for a change)?

  76. “So sea ice south of 72 correlated better to the NH temperature than that North of 72. It appears that the ice I’ve chosen is a better indicator of NH temp than ice north of that point.” Jeff Condon at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/03/05/taminos-trick/
    Wouldn’t one expect sea ice S of 72, which by definition melts annually, have a higher correlation with annual temperatures, than multiyear ice, which by definition would filter out annual changes?

    “1. what impact does warming have on sea ice in areas which don’t support multi year ice ?
    2. How would you go about answering that?” steven mosher | March 7, 2012 at 8:03 pm
    1. Were I a regular on WUWT, I would demand to see the sea ice melt out to less than 0% before I would accept that the alleged warming has any impact.
    2. Snarkily. &;>) (but if I were to post 1 on WUWT, would any of THAT “crowd NOT comprised primarily of non-technical readers who often jump at any statement they can find with literally zero understanding of why or what they are attacking” recognize a Poe without a smiley?)

    • Susan Anderson

      splutter … (sound of melt to less than 0%) – maybe *that’s* what causes black holes? (refuse to provide smiley)

  77. Mosh-pit is still spreading Condon’s memes, this time on Neven’s Arctic Sea Ice blog, here.

    ‘Ware the stench…