Asses Bray

It’s what they do. Some have two legs and come from Texas, like Ted Cruz and Lamar Smith, and what they like to bray about is their belief that global warming isn’t happening.

They seem inordinately fond of satellite temperature data because it doesn’t show as much warming as data from actual thermometers (the satellites don’t actually measure temperature, they measure microwave brightness). But satellite temperature data have some very serious problems (the Rabett has an excellent post on that very topic). The UAH satellite data are cloaked in darkness and fraught with errors, while the RSS satellite data come mainly from Carl Mears who himself says the surface thermometer data are better for determining climate trends. But using that would mean being reasonable, something asses tend to be uncomfortable with.

The asses don’t like temperature measurements from actual thermometers (especially, it seems, Lamar Smith), whether it be at earth’s surface or in the troposphere. You see, surface thermometers say this about global temperature:


Thermometers carried aloft through the atmosphere (in balloons) say this:


They also seem to dislike nature’s thermometers. Those are things that aren’t direct temperature measurements, but are such strong indicators that you can’t dispute they’re telling a temperature story. Not without looking like an idiot (which makes one think that maybe it’s a bit surprising they don’t do exactly that).

The clearest of all is sea level, which is ruled by temperature-related processes: thermal expansion of sea water and melting of land-bound ice. And, it too puts the lie to the “not global warming” narrative:


We can also “go local” with nature’s thermometers. Sometimes the asses like to do that themselves (e.g. those from Oklahoma who find snowballs), whenever some local and temporary fluctuation goes their way, but they don’t much cotton to those with actual trends, like the day when the ice covering a lake finally breaks up. Known as “ice-out day,” here it is for Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire:


The ice is breaking up earlier, in fact these days it’s happening about two weeks sooner on average than it used to. Some lakes, like Mendota in Wisconsin, not only have data for ice-out day:


which is happening about two weeks sooner than it used to, they also have data for ice-in, the day when the ice forms on the lake:


That’s coming, on average, more than three weeks later than it used to. With the ice forming three weeks later and breaking up two weeks earlier, the average duration of ice cover is 5 full weeks less than it used to be:


But of course, the asses can usually find at least one place where things are going their way, even when looking at the trend (rather than just a single snowball). There are glaciers, for instance, which are actually getting bigger rather than shrinking. A few. A very very few. But if you do a genuine, thorough survey of the world’s glaciers, if you dare to get thorough about it, then the asses are likely to have a conniption fit because they, too, put the lie to the “no global warming lately” line.

Considering that the evidence, from the world’s thermometers and nature’s too, makes it so bleedin’ obvious that global warming continues, one wonders that some of the asses are still trying to assault the thermometer data and malign the scientists who tally it. After all, the more they talk about it, the more it draws attention — to the very global warming, and how like the ever-ready bunny it’s “still going,” that frustrates them so.

And they must be exhausted from constantly having to change their story as each temporary fluctuation they fell in love with, and each crackpot theory du jour, crumbles before their eyes. All in all, climate deniers have a very hard time deciding what their story should be. But they’re working on it. Bingo, anyone?


13 responses to “Asses Bray

  1. Congressman Lamar Smith recently donated $5,000 to Ted Cruz’s campaign for President. Birds of a feather –

  2. Lamar Smith recently donated $5,000 to Ted Cruz. Birds of a feather.

  3. Nick Stokes has a new article up that compares adjustments for GISS and UAH. You’ll need a magnifying glass… for GISS.

  4. Bingo indeed! The phrase “lower than pond scum” comes to mind. Those two aren’t smart enough to answer the questions “Where do satellites live? Where do people live?”

  5. Not exactly on topic, but not exactly off topic either:

    Other examples of FactCheck’s science feature can be found here:

    “SciCheck’s SciCheck feature focuses exclusively on false and misleading scientific claims that are made by partisans to influence public policy.”

    The articles are sober, full of valid information, and well sourced.

  6. Our local paper used to publish some opinion column nearly every spring saying there’s no difference in ice-out dates on our backyard lake and so much for global warming. In 2012 I ran the data myself, found there was a difference (May 4 vs April 25th), wrote the paper and said regardless of what the columnist thought of global warming the ice-out dates were earlier, and saying otherwise indicated someone hadn’t bothered to take the 10 minutes needed to graph the data themselves, which didn’t reflect well on the columnist.

    For the past three springs there has been no comment from the opinionist about ice-out dates.

  7. Please please please try to understand that facts are irrelevant to a dedicated ideologue/believer. Those graphs are pearls before swine.

    Noelie, veteran of the cre-evo wars

  8. Ive been cataloging ice-out of Minnesota lakes for the past 3 years. The DNR keeps track to at least some lakes before 1900. The last few few years it has been a bit colder but this year will correct to the warming trend (due to El Nino likely)

  9. Hi- I wondered how much you charged to do a study of increased flooding in the UK- we have had a number of events – not of global significance of course but interesting.

    Its more curiosity on my part but something to post up in future comments when the next UK flood comes which will be soon given the record breaking El Nino this winter.

    [Response: I’ll email you.]

  10. the plot I was hoping would come up in this post but didn’t seem to: comparing the NASA and RATPAC data…

    the offset is presumably because the baseline for the anomalies aren’t the same but, despite this, the NASA and RATPAC data appear to have a similar rate of warming over the period 1960-2015

  11. Lakes are too suggestionable, you see. People keep talking about rising temperatures, lakes buy it and end up melting.