Can We Talk?

Recently Walt Meier posted about artic sea ice 2010 on WUWT. Good for Anthony for giving Dr. Meier the podium. Meier emphasized that the state of arctic sea ice has changed dramatically. Referring to predictions of this year’s summer minimum in arctic sea ice extent:

The first thing to point out is that none of the estimates approached the 1979-2000 monthly September average of 7.0 million square kilometers. Even the highest estimates were nearly 20% lower. This is a recognition that conditions have clearly changed since the 1980s and 1990s. It is no longer plausible to prognosticate anything near average levels.

So: things have changed.

Meier mentions that several factors affect the extent of sea ice (and its summer minimum), including winds and currents and generally “weather,” but makes it clear that these factors are not responsible for the long-term decline we’ve witnessed. That’s due to warming:

The bottom line is that while winds can make a difference at times, the overriding factor in seasonal and long-term Arctic sea ice decline is that warmer temperatures lead to less ice.

So: things have changed. Warming is the reason.

Another of the notable changes, in addition to simply having less ice, is that the arctic has thinner and younger ice. As Dr. Meier says:

… what we’re seeing is that the MYI [multi-year ice] just is not surviving like it used to. There is now almost no ice older than 4 years old remaining in the Arctic. This is a stark and fundamental change in the character of the Arctic sea ice.

So: things have changed. Warming is the reason. The change is “stark” and “fundamental.”

Is this truly something new, or does it happen all the time? Dr. Meier addresses the common (but faulty) claims that things were pretty much the same in the early or mid 20th century, concluding:

However, this doesn’t mean conditions in the past were anything like today. They were not.

Not only were things in the past not like they are today, they weren’t anything like today. Not.

So: things have changed. Warming is the reason. The change is “stark” and “fundamental.” Over the past century or so things were not anything like they are today.

What about even longer before now? Dr. Meier points out:

the most recent and comprehensive analysis of all available proxy sea ice records, published earlier this year (Polyak et al., 2010 – note that Polyak is a co-author on the 2006 paper), indicates that current total Arctic-wide sea ice extents are likely lower than any time in the last several thousand years and are “not explainable by known natural variabilities”. The data are still sparse, but this is the best information we have at the moment.

Let’s summarize.

Things have changed. Warming is the reason. Stark and fundamental. Last century or so at least, nothing like today. Extent probably lowest in the last several thousand years. Not explainable by known natural variabilities.

It’s glaringly obvious that conditions in the arctic, and especially of arctic sea ice, are some of the strongest evidences of global warming. This isn’t some “urban heat island” effect and it really was not like this back in the 50s or the 40s or any other decade you care to mention, and probably not like this since at least sometime B.C. Things have changed in a fundamental way, unexplainable except by the fundamental change in our atmosphere we brought about via the industrial revolution.

The arctic is only one region of the globe, and its dramatic changes are not complete proof of anthropogenic global warming. But it is strong evidence. Very strong. Damn strong.

So if we’re to talk, seriously, please stop denying that.

You may disagree that global warming is really happening as fast as I think. Or that humankind is the principal cause. Or that the polar bears are endangered. You might think I overestimate the seriousness of the consequences. You may doubt forecasts of sea level rise, you may pooh-pooh any connection with hurricane frequency or intensity. Etc. etc. till the cows come home.

But if you try to tell me that what’s happening to the arctic, and especially to its sea ice, is not damn strong evidence of global warming … then I have to wonder whether it’s possible for us to have a productive dialogue. Because I don’t think you’re a “skeptic.”

81 responses to “Can We Talk?

  1. I imagine that only leaves people with tendencies of denial to argue one point: black carbon. Thanks for printing this here so I don’t have to go WUWT and face a great disappointment in the comments section.

  2. Watching the Deniers

    Credit where credit due: at least Watts allowed the post, and many commentators have been appreciative.

    My favorite comment:

    “What impact do Ice Breakers have on ice melt. I know it’s small in comparison to total area but as more and more research vessels enter the artic [sic] there must be an effect.”

  3. Steve L, I should have taken your aprpoach.

    I made the mistake of following the link, finding such gems on WUWT as “Would it be a bad thing if Arctic sea ice disappeared every summer?”


  4. Good luck trying to get the wingnuts in touch with reality.

    You’ll need it. ;)

  5. Unfortunately not the case, Steve.

    Logically it should be, but if reality were in charge of human psychology, we’d have a working international accord to mitigate emissions by now.

    No, you’ll hear about “the wind-driven event of 2007” and all kinds of hoo-ha. You’ll point out apparently at least in vain that 2005 was a huge shock, up until 2007, and that the trend is robust, and whatever else you want. (How much would the trend change, I wonder, if you just pulled 2007 out of the data? Not much, I’d say.)

    I’m thinking of one fellow I used to encounter quite a bit; he’s pretty much stopped commenting. I’m pretty sure he’s not convinced, though; rather, like a number of denialist commenters I’ve encountered lately, he thinks he’s won.

    He’s wrong, of course, but it may take a while yet for that to become evident. Yet when I contemplate the prospect of an ice-free Arctic, I rather wish it were longer than I expect it to be in fact.

  6. Tamino,

    Are you addressing Dr Meier? I thought he made it clear where he stood, and if he didn’t do so in the OP, he certainly did in his reply to the first batch of comments.

    Likewise, we know that the climate changes we’re seeing today are different because we know the chemistry/physics. We know that CO2 and other gasses have a greenhouse effect on the earth and we know humans are emitting a lot of GHGs. The observations are in a sense just confirmation of the process and an indication of the how much of an impact the GHGs have on various parts of the climate.

    I do have doubts about genuine scientists posting on WUWT, though. They reach an audience they otherwise wouldn’t, especially one with a particular view that might benefit from education by an expert, but they also enable Watts to claim a degree of otherwise undeserved legitimacy.

    [Response: No, I wasn’t addressing Dr. Meier. I’m aware that he regards arctic changes as strong evidence of global warming.]

    • So, Watts and his followers, then, or “sceptics” in general? I think I’m being unusually obtuse today!

      • Did you read Tamino’s post? He was clearly pointing that comment at anyone who argues that arctic melt isn’t happening, is natural, or otherwise isn’t evidence for climate change. No-one else.

  7. You could add to these sea ice changes the accumulating observations of ice sheet and glacier changes in Greenland:

    “Greenland climate in 2010 is marked by record-setting high air temperatures, ice loss by melting, and marine-terminating glacier area loss. Summer seasonal average (June-August) air temperatures around Greenland were 0.6 to 2.4°C above the 1971-2000 baseline and were highest in the west. A combination of a warm and dry 2009-2010 winter and the very warm summer resulted in the highest melt rate since at least 1958 and an area and duration of ice sheet melting that was above any previous year on record since at least 1978. The largest recorded glacier area loss observed in Greenland occurred this summer at Petermann Glacier, where 290 km2 of ice broke away. The rate of area loss in marine-terminating glaciers this year (419 km2) was 3.4 times that of the previous 8 years, when regular observations are available. There is now clear evidence that the ice area loss rate of the past decade (averaging 120 km2/year) is greater than loss rates pre-2000. ”

    From the Arctic Report Card, 2010 update

  8. Hi, Tamino..
    Thanx for sharing your knowledge and brilliant usage of statistics here on your blog. But I would like to post one question about your statement in this blog (ok, maybe there is information you may provided already and I did’t found it and since I am lousy in statistics, maybe I just didn’t realize the importance of information). You wrote:
    But if you try to tell me that what’s happening to the arctic, and especially to its sea ice, is not damn strong evidence of global warming …
    Now, my question is, if you know the answer: How high is the probability that arctic change is caused by AGW versus that is just natural variation of some kind (confidence level) ? Are we 90% sure, 97 or more ? What level of confidence in GW theory is actually met – I guess it is not so low, but I really do not have enough knowledge to assess that. If you have blogged before, I will appreciate if you point me there.

    [Response: Excellent question. Let me answer you in my next post.]

    • Thank you very much, Tamino :). I just cannot wait for some more interesting and educational reading you are providing us :)

  9. Wow, Watts actually allowed a serious guest post on his site? I am utterly stunned. Perhaps he is seeking some sort of legitimacy status – allowing this so he can later point to it and say that “warmists” publish on WUWT as well.

    Regardless, nice article by Dr. Meier, and good points by Tamino. If ‘skeptics’ want to be included in serious climate discussions, they need to stop denying at least the most obvious realities, like rapid Arctic warming and sea ice decline.

    • This is not the first time that a “genuine” scientist has posted to WUWT. In fact, Anthony Watts has issued an open invitation to Tamino to make a contribution as well.

    • IIRC, this is not the first time that Dr. Meier has posted there, and I think there have been other comparable instances as well. Others will recall more detail, I’m sure, as I don’t “do WUWT” too often.

    • I’ve watched WUWT for a while now and he should be commended for letting the other side have guest posts. When it happens the comments seem very constructive, there is very little bashing going on. I’m very impressed by the level of discourse in the Watts camp, they seem to be both passionate and well read, and they do try to refute arguments using peer reviewed science much more often than our green side seems to, they don’t accept arguments from authority or the conscience but demand verifiable facts which is hard to argue with. We shouldn’t dismiss them as naysayers but rather engage them, we can only make our arguments more concrete if we test them against someone who will provide a decent argument.

      [Response: I think you need to take your blinders off.]

      • Re: nano pope @ November 19, 2010 at 10:42 pm

        “You will be subject to scrutiny, but it’s not the terrible thing you envision but merely some disgruntled scientists trying to see the big picture.”

        Um, yeah. Sure, “Scrutiny“. Get right on that.

        The Yooper

      • nanopope,
        I fail to see the advantage in engaging with those who have rejected the scientific method in favor of ideologically driven delusion. Care to enlighten me on how scientists benefit by engaging in those who refuse to even consider evidence?

        I haven’t spent much time over at microWatts’ place, but those few times I’ve visited, I’ve never left having learned anything. Near as I can tell WUWT serves a useful purpose as a voluntary asylum where the morons can hang out and leave the rest of us alone to learn.

      • Fair enough, I might have had blinders on but how about yourself? You have an open invitation to post at WUWT, I think you should take it. You willl be subject t o scrutiny, but it’s not the terrible thing you envision but merely some disgruntled scientists trying to see the big picture. You should post there and find out.

      • You willl be subject t o scrutiny, but it’s not the terrible thing you envision but merely some disgruntled scientists trying to see the big picture

        Disgruntled scientists? At WUWT?

        Watts has a high school diploma plus an unknown number of hours of university coursework (but less than is needed for a degree).

        I suspect he’s had more education that nearly all of those who post on his site.

        “disgruntled scientists” … what a joke.

      • Daniel Bailey

        Sounds like nano pope has us Poe’d.

        ‘Cause the alternative is scary.

        The Yooper

      • Robert Murphy

        Daniel Bailey:
        Like any good Poe, it’s so hard to tell. For instance, the Conservapedia site that you linked “Poe’d” to is so far removed from reality I would almost be persuaded to believe it was a Poe too, except I know Andrew Schlafly runs it and he’s legitimately bonkers and not just pretending.

      • Daniel Bailey

        Re: Robert Murphy

        Sorry, was bored with linking to the usual Wiki page (which, in my cursory eyeball Mk4 perusing, read pretty much the same for their Poe pages, IMHO). Perhaps more (or less) beer would’ve helped my judgment.

        Or not.

        The Yooper

      • I think this is exactly what I was talking about when I mentioned setting the bar low.

      • Wow, so many questions to ask:
        What is the mass of the electron in your alternative universe?

        Is pi–the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter a transcendental number there too?

  10. Unclear phrasing–I meant guest posts by other legitimate scientists aside from Dr. Meier.

    • I think there is sort of an open invitation for scientists to post at WUWT. They can then claim that they are open to all viewpoints. Not sure that the this actually changes any minds, but I think it is a good thing.

    • Watts has certainly tried to offer an “unedited” post to lots of reputable scientists (including Tamino).

      Got to feed those pageviews. A nice high post volume keeps the controversy roiling.

      Some scientists are going to think that engagement with differing opinions is a good thing. But it takes nerve to walk into the bearpit, and some scientists don’t survive. Look at Curry, for example.

  11. JTF:
    Well, I entered “arctic sea ice attribution” in the search box of Google scholar, then ran it again with the date range limited to “since 2008” since the first search yielded “about 31000” hits…and I found out some at least partial answers to your question, and lots of other interesting stuff besides….

    And then it occurred to me that what I had just done was obviously less work than what you did in pulling together all those links for the post in which you asked the question. Which caused me to wonder…maybe the point of your comment wasn’t to gain a better understanding of what’s been happening to arctic sea ice.

    But I may of course be wrong about that, in which case may I recommend to you Google Scholar as a way to learn more.

    The nice thing about doing that type of investigation is this:
    since no one paper (that I saw) has _all_ of the exact things you were asking about (wind, black carbon, temperature, and other factors, quantified relative contributions, past 30 years), one has to try to gain pieces of knowledge from many different papers…and inevitably picks up much more information not explicitly asked for in the initial question! Instead of just getting what you ordered like a fast-food drive-through, you get lots of **context**.

    And IMO, you can often tell an honest person from a deceiver based on the way each treats context.

    • Just The Facts

      That’s some good advice. I am well acquainted with Google’s search tools and encourage others to do their own research. My use of links is simply to support my assertions and offer others easy access to supporting documentation. My objective in asking the question above is unequivocally to “gain a better understanding of what’s been happening to arctic sea ice.” I had researched the subject thoroughly before posing the question and found no answer. Partially the question is posed in hopes that if such a study doesn’t exist, someone will conduct it.

  12. While rational people will come away from that article with the slant that Tamino has kindly distilled, the comments from the peanut gallery at WUWT (which I first plucked up the courage to visit just 2 weeks ago) are pretty much of two flavours:

    1. Very nice article Dr. Meier (i.e. tl;dr)


    2. But… but… Al Gorrrrrrrre!

    I gather that would be the predicted response when anything of actual substance is posted there.

    • Steve Metzle, beware; too much time in the peanut gallery there can be hazardous to one’s mental and emotional health.

      There should be a warning notice.

  13. Tamino, IMHO that next post will be of more interest if you add a discussion of Mahlstein & Knutti (2010) to it (title/abstract):

    “Ocean heat transport as a cause for model uncertainty in projected Arctic warming

    “The Arctic climate is governed by complex interactions and feedback mechanisms between the atmosphere, the ocean and solar radiation. One of its characteristic features, the Arctic sea ice, is very vulnerable to anthropogenically caused warming. Production and melting of sea ice is influenced by several physical processes. In this study we show that the northward ocean heat transport is an important factor in the simulation of the sea ice extent in the current general circulation models. Those models which transport more energy to the Arctic show a stronger future warming, in the Arctic as well as globally. Larger heat transport to the Arctic, in particular in the Barents Sea, reduces the sea ice cover in this area. More radiation is then absorbed during summer months and is radiated back to the atmosphere in winter months. This process leads to an increase in the surface temperature and therefore to a stronger polar amplification. The models which show a larger global warming agree better with the observed sea ice extent in the Arctic. In general, these models also have a higher spatial resolution.

    “These results suggest that higher resolution and greater complexity are beneficial in simulating the processes relevant in the Arctic, and that future warming in the high northern latitudes is likely to be near the upper range of model projections, consistant with recent evidence that many climate models underestimate Arctic sea ice decline.”

  14. Michael Hauber

    It is sad that the blogosphere is dominated by conversation of whether the sea ice reduction is even real, and whether it is strong evidence of AGW or not.

    A much more interesting question that I’d rather see more discussion on is why the retreat is fater than predicted. Have we underestimated the effect of Co2 – if only on Arctic ice? Is it Black Carbon?

    Or did a natural variation such as PDO cause a change in circulation pattern which sped up the ice loss? It is ironic that some blame the PDO on the current ice conditions, and expect ice to return to normal as the PDO cools. Despite the fact that the PDO has been cool for roughly the same time period that ice loss has sped up. I do wonder sometimes if a cooling PDO may boost the Arctic Dipole anomaly and contribute to the ice loss.

    • My feeling is that the failure to predict the speed of Arctic ice loss is connected to the lack of good data on ocean heat content. If we had better data there, we’d have a clearer picture of just how much heat is lurking in deeper waters ready to pop its head up in the Arctic inflows.

      The albedo, precipitation, air temperature calculations could be swamped by revised ocean heat flows. Maybe not, but it’s a good candidate when we’re looking for additional explanatory material.

    • Kevin Stanley

      This 2010 publication might be a step forward in that department, although they’re still not replicating the extreme summertime decline:

      • Kevin Stanley

        Hmm looks like I screwed up my tags trying to make blockquotes.
        I was referring to this:
        “Arctic sea-ice development 1948-2008: Insights from coupled regional climate model simulations
        Dorn, W., Dethloff, K., Rinke, A., Gerdes, R., Handorf, D.”

        The investigators are getting more realistic results because they were able to improve the modeling of some features like ice albedo, snow on top of ice, etc.

        But they’re still not able to reproduce the recent summer decline.

  15. Hi Everyone
    I spent a quite enjoyable time yesterday talking to lots of sceptics over at Judith Curry’s blogs. I’m pretty sure I didn’t convince anyone, but at least the discussion was civil (in the end). I was rather disappointed that she didn’t intervene in the more ludicrous posts (there is no GHE; CO2 is not a GHG…that sort of thing). I felt she was being quite selective.

    • Monty. I admired your persistence.

      I’ve been popping in and out regularly, but the comments and the references provided (Art Robinson & friends) are just too discouraging at times. The same kind of nonsense is rearing its ever uglier tedious head at Climate Clash. At least we’re guaranteed one, real, experienced and knowledgeable climate scientist over there, but it’s all a bit surreal.

      • Yes, it’s also the constant refrain that:

        ‘Lots of notable climate scientists are predicting catastrophe in the near future unless we are all taxed half to death’

        Which is endlessly repeated as an article of faith regardless of the complete lack of evidence for it. That and the endless repetition of the ‘GCMs are the only evidence for AGW and hence any uncertainty in GCMs = no AGW’ strawmen.

    • It is hard to see what basis one could have for discussion with those that won’t even acknowledge physical reality. Do they really think scientists have been plotting to take over the world since the 1820s?

      • Ah Ray, not since the 1820, but actually since the days of Newton! you do know he was a Mason and part of the English government right?


      • And of course the Queen is part of the Trilateral commission, the New World Order and a drug dealer, besides, right?

    • Haven’t visited there yet; just today a frequent skeptic antagonist suggested I visit there on the grounds that Dr. Curry, whom he perceived as “pro-AGW,” could use some help.

      Amusing, in a sardonic sort of way.

  16. In terms of rates, I think a critical component which I’ve not seen discussed much is the role of surface-down vs. bottom-up melt. Help get at the mechanism, forcing vs feedback, black carbon, etc.

  17. Very well written. You should write a book ;-)

  18. With respect to Black Carbon as a cause of recent sea ice decline we must keep in mind the longer historic record of BC, which indicates BC at much higher levels early in the 20th century as noted in papers by McConnell. and Greenland ice core showing that atmospheric deposition was much higher than expected in the early 20th century, with tenfold increases from preindustrial levels by the early 1900s that were two to five times higher than during recent decades.

  19. Actually, Dr. Walt has posted on numerous occasions and even comments when he feels the need:

    Aside from the really out there people, Dr. Walt gets a good hearing and in my opinion has slowly started to help the reasonable sceptics start to see his point of view on the arctic.

    And Tamino, you really should do a guest post on WUWT. Actually, maybe not, you would just get too much grief.

  20. Great article Tamino.
    Is it now safe to say we’ve passed a tipping point for the arctic?

  21. You know, Tamino, you shouldn’t be so shy about asking Anthony
    Watts to place a permanent link to your blog at WUWT. Real Climate, Stoat and several other pro-AGW blogs are already prominently displayed on WUWT blogroll. So it is better to ask than to throw up occasional tantrums in order to draw his attention this way.


    [Response: It’s very revealing that when Anthony gets pwned, his supporters call it a “tantrum.” Nice rhetorical trick … but you guys just can’t take the heat.]

    • sHx,
      MicroWatts serves a very useful function as an asylum for the nutjobs. Pray, why would we want them over here where the adults are trying to have intelligent conversation?

  22. to the folks praising wuwt’s response to Walt:
    Is this a new thing, or are your standards just different than mine? I happened to be reading wuwt at the time of walt’s first foray over there. Even with watts engaging in fairly active moderation, he said, and I did notice some of the worst ‘you’re just part of the liebrul conspiracy’ responses’ get taken down, it was something like 80% of comments were merely attacking walt personally, or science generally. Of the remainder, most were praising watts for having walt post, or, less common, telling the 80% that they shouldn’t have acted like that. It was a vanishing small fraction of responses that were thanking _walt_ for the post (vs patting watts and themselves on the back), and even smaller who engaged the scientific substance of walt’s note (and the zero who expressed significant agreement with walt)..

    perhaps that 80% is what you mean by the ‘usual idiots’ or whatever the phrase was.. if so, please consider that not all of us have or will spend enough time to become familiar in like way, and that if it’s the bulk of response, we’re liable to think it fair to characterize the site by that strong majority. so things will look rather different to us.

    I was recently over there and a couple of comments became interesting to me right before I broke my wrist. The interesting-to-me commenters have taken up my suggestion and reposted their thoughts over at my place. So when I can take up something semi-serious, I’ll be able to .. vs. watts closing comments at his place. The ‘standing offer’ is interesting — conditional to the answers to the previous questions. Is the really an open offer from watts to host posts from any scientist? Please provide the link to just what the offer is, and any names other than walt who have been accomodated.

    • Robert, i happen to visit a lot of CC sites, the good and the bad. As far as i know, yes, there is a standing invite to all scientists. More then likely, though, he knows that most will not post, because as you pointed out, there are way to many posters who just like to rip. Sad really. But as you may have noticed, the replies to Dr. Walts’ posts seem to be more specific and intelligent, could maybe?????
      I travel the blogs looking for informed debate, because you never know where the diamond in the rough is going to pop up. As an illustation of such, for the last week or so over at the Air Vent, there has been a very technical (most of it beyond me, but still interesting) discussion about Makarieva’s latest paper. You know it has substance when someone like Dr. Gavin gets involved! and of course we know that Mr T.’s site is always a good place to put your feet up and learn!

      • leo:
        well, ‘more specific and intelligent’ is rather a matter of opinion. or one of measuring against a very low standard. They’re better than merely chanting about libtards, lie-bruls, algore, etc.. but there was little that showed the commenter had even read walt’s post, so much as repeating the authors’ preconceptions.

        walt might make good replies to such things, but that is a reflection on the fact that he’s a good guy trying hard to be understood and to understand. it doesn’t show that the people he’s responding to are making effort to understand.

        anyhow, if you can provide a link to watts making a specific offer, specifically saying that the offer is a standing, open offer, it’ll be interesting. elsewhere it was described as being an offer open to ‘true believers in cagw’. that would exclude me, nor would I be interested in participating in a place where that kind of poisoning of the well was considered honest discussion.

      • If there are stable critics at WUWT, I’ve never noticed them. Then again, I haven’t been there in months.

        So, LeoG, care to share the handles of the “stable critics” so we can make up our own minds?

      • Puff Dida, I guess what i have observed is that As Dr. Walt has posted more, the “ripping” has dropped off, and mostly the stable critics respond. I have learned a lot from those exchanges as Dr. Walt is very good at layman explanations.

      • Possibly this effect you think you are seeing is purely because Walt Meier’s post contained sensible science, so any reply that addresses the science (even if to disagree for silly reasons) has some meaning. Whereas the normal Goddard sort of post is silly to start with, and there is little more tedious than silly people saying silly things about some other silly thing.

  23. Okay. We agree the globe is warming. And humans are to blame. What have you done today to reduce your carbon footprint. I quit heating my house with oil 5 years ago. I heat with wood I cut on my property. I’m curious how you cut your carbon footprint this year.

    • Do kick us off. What have you done today (as opposed to 5 years ago)?

      • That’s good David and I thank you. I’ve done many similar things, and I bet many others here have too, but this is not the topic at hand and such discussions have a tendency to turn into pissing contests.

      • I now carpool every single day. I got rid of my hot tub. I cut my grass with a reel mower. Okay so that’s 5 things I’ve done. Anyone care to go next?

      • Meant to also say I replaced my LPG pool heater with a solar heater. That makes the 5 I quoted. Now please, tell me what you’ve done beside spout off on blogs?

      • Yeah, that’s what’s I thought. Nobody is taking personal action. Sad, very sad.

        [Response: Lots of readers here (and myself as well) have taken personal action. So get the hell off that high horse — you don’t belong.]

  24. If everybody heated with wood, we would have a big big sliver with which to deal.

  25. Ordinary Fool

    RE: “The full Tamino” (WUWT,Nov2,2010)
    …..Following are some reasons for not getting a permanent link to this blog from WUWT.

    “New atmospheric model says tail wags the dog” (WUWT,Nov2,2010)
    …..”Stay tuned for models that produce global heating without containing any earth-solar dynamics, like the pesky diurnal variation of seasons.”
    …..This is an example of the WUWTian abstract article. Anythony doesn’t think it’s necessary to read the papers themselves.
    …..In the comments Bob Tisdale provides a link to the paper and a quote from it, “The results suggest that the atmospheric forces may play a more important role…than it has been show so far.” Which sounds neutral and useful…

    “A few thought’s on California’s Proposition 23 ‘battle for the planet'” (WUWT,Nov1,2010)
    …..Prop 23 is more than a political story. This is getting a small start on the future, somewhere. Which will hopefully make it easier for the rest of us when we eventually follow.
    …..Anthony objects to the $1,000,000 ‘NO’ donation by the ‘elite’ James Cameron, who lives in California. Anthony does not mention that ~95% of the ‘YES’ money came from two Texas oil companies.

    “Sea Ice News #28” (WUWT,Oct31,2010)
    …..Watching Arctic ice melt has some small justification, because of the significance of the September minimum ice extent, and volume.
    …..Why is WUWT watching water freeze?

    “New peer reviewed paper says, “There appear to have been periods of ice free summers in the central Arctic Ocean in the early Holocene, about 10-11,000 years ago.” (WUWT,Oct30,2010)
    …..Anthony draws unjustifiable conclusions from his chosen graph. And doesn’t notice that the graph legitimately shows anomalous warming in Greenland at the time. Which suggests that the Arctic warming was a unique situation.

  26. WUWT encourages and welcomes papers, articles and comments. There are many excellent articles and there is nothing to prevent anyone from anywhere having a go at debating them.

    Like any web site there are commentators who are irritating but so what? You need to spend some time there and put your point of view without fear of being edited or struck out . It certainly isn’t a bear pit and tolerance levels are high. Anthony runs a good operation over there.

    As for the shrinking Arctic ice, well I have seen a number of well reasoned arguments for the shrinkage but not much denial that it is happening, or at least has been. There is plenty of difference of opinion over the various sources for ice cover with DMI being the preferred one. Come on over and tell us where we are wrong, we like that.


    [Response: The reason DMI is preferred at WUWT is that it’s barely six years of data — short enough that they can pretend there’s no trend.

    I have pointed out where Anthony and his contributors are wrong many times. Rather than ever admit the truth, they invent a reason to deny reality. Apparently you’re a member of that club.

    Perhaps the worst offense was Anthony and D’Aleo writing that horribly insulting document for SPPI in which they claimed that NOAA scientists had committed deliberate fraud by the “march of the thermometers” and by the application of adjustments. When it was proved beyond doubt (not just by me, but by half a dozen other analysts) that both claims were false, I called for Anthony to issue a public apology for making claims of fraud based on incompetent analysis.

    When we get that public apology, and admission of his analytical incompetence, maybe then Anthony will deserve something other than scorn.

    Anthony owes NOAA scientists an apology. Until he gives it, clearly, without equivocation, and publicly, he has no honor.]

    • Anthony owes NOAA scientists an apology. Until he gives it, clearly, without equivocation, and publicly, he has no honor.

      Rather than an apology, I suspect that Anthony and D’Aleo will be invited to testify at the upcoming congressional hearings into “climate science fraud”, during which they’ll repeat their claims, which will continue to provide some of the “evidence” used to pillory mainstream climate scientists.

  27. @ Keith Battye:
    “spend some time there and put your point of view without fear of being edited or struck out”

    I know that Watts encourages people to beleive this, but it simply is not true. I know several people who are blocked from posting at WUWT. I’m one of them. Not only am I blacklisted, Watts went back and removed every comment I had ever made in close to a year of commenting at WUWT, and also removed many of the responses to those comments.

    My sin was being persistent in asking Watts when he was going to get around to the followup posts to his ”histogram baseline’ argument. He had put off several challenging questions with a promised followup, which has never appeared.

    You might ask him when he’s going to get around to publishing his analysis of his weather station project, or at least releasing the data. If I recall correctly, he promised ‘a few months’ well over a year ago. If I were one of the people who had contributed time and effort to that project, I’d be pissed that he’s not at least making the data available. I cant ask him – I’m blocked from WWT.

    • Lee, what is interesting is that I was also unable to post comments at WUWT after being persistent about the apology mentioned above. After a conversation at Kloor’s place with a polite “skeptic” , a mod chimed in and like magic I was then able to post there.

  28. Philippe Chantreau

    The promised followup never happening defines the whole WUWT thing. How many stations have been surveyed by now? When was the last time that Watts said a full data analysis was coming? Well, it’s too late, because the data analysis has been done and indicates that the very premise leading to the creation of the web site has been invalidated by its own “effort.”

    There is not a single minute reading that pathetic imitation of a “science” blog that couldn’t be better used.

    • As I recall – he’s handed off the whole project to someone else (as of a few months ago).

      • Well, one of the RP’s (I forget which) was the original sponsor of the project, and was supposed to help with the analysis afterwards.

        Apparently that’s moving forward “slowly”, for whatever reason one might want to presume.

      • This in-line appeared today concerning the status of the project:

        “REPLY: The paper is written, submitted, and in peer review. We’ll give a full release of data when published. It is out of may hands now, waiting on the journal – Anthony”

        A set up for peer review victimhood.

    • Timothy Chase

      Philippe Chantreau wrote:

      … it’s too late, because the data analysis has been done and indicates that the very premise leading to the creation of the web site has been invalidated by its own “effort.”

      And yet the website continues and its cadre soldier on as before…

      What’s up with that?

  29. Ordinary Fool

    @Keith Battye:
    The above little list of what’s wrong with WUWT includes just a few recent quickies. Longer and wiser criticisms can be found on many websites, but they’re randomly occurring, and thus hard to find.

    Wottsupwiththat is a WUWT-following website (now,sadly,idle) that has a one to one response to WUWT’s articles. Browsing its pages is a sure cure for any thoughts of WUWTian credibility.

    To debunk them, you only need to know enough to recognize an erroneous conclusion. And go looking for the misstep (the ‘WUWT-nut’). Its an inelegant and indirect process when the subject is unfamiliar. But you develop an expectation that the answer is always there, waiting.

    “Arctic Temperatures and Ice – why it is Natural Variability” (WUWT,Nov1,2010)
    …..For example, the given TSI graph looked wrong. And some googling produced a discrediting reference:
    …..”…large unresolved discrepancies between Soon’s 2005 Geophysical Research Letters paper on solar irradiance and other peer reviewed literature on the subject. In particular we (LBC) noted that Soon’s 2005 paper was not cited in the AR4 WG1.”
    …..”Soon 2005 is based on a reconstruction of TSI…based on proxies e.g. sun spot numbers…The reconstruction used by Soon(2005) grossly overestimates TSI measured by satellites by more than 5 Wm-2, and its variability by a factor of more than five.” Bill Allan, 16 June,2008