Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Elevator pitch to co-authors of Fyfe et al. 2016 - need for clarification

Dear Fyfe 2016 Co-Authors,

All of you by virtue of being experts of the highest caliber possess a nuanced understanding light-years beyond ordinary citizens, politicians and business leaders.  Belonging within that rarified world you risk being out of touch with how non-scientists, particularly those with hostile agendas, read your papers.  To us nonscientists Fyfe et al. 2016 offered up a muddled Rorschach test rather than the promised clarifications.

Please give this summary of my previous effort a moment to see if something resonates, or not.  I don’t need a response, all I'm hoping is for you to take it seriously, if only for a moment.
¶10  Understanding of the recent slowdown also built upon prior research into the causes of the so-called big hiatus from the 1950s to the 1970s. During this period, increased cooling from anthropogenic sulfate aerosols roughly offset the warming from increasing GHGs (which were markedly lower than today).  This offsetting contributed to an approximately constant global mean surface temperature (GMST). Ice-core sulfate data from Greenland support this interpretation of GMST behaviour in the 1950s to 1970s, and provide compelling evidence of large temporal increases in atmospheric loadings of anthropogenic sulfate aerosols. The IPO was another contributory factor to the big hiatus13. 

Clarify the process so people can 'appreciate' what you're talking about.

Sulfate aerosols reflected the sun’s energy back into space 
before it had the opportunity to be converted into the infrared energy 
that fuels our climate system.  

Thus a cooling trend in the GMST and the global system.
¶11  Research motivated by the warming slowdown has also led to a fuller understanding of ocean heat uptake. … In summary, research into the causes of the slowdown has been enabled by a large body of prior research, and represents an important and continuing scientific effort to quantify the climate signals associated with internal decadal variability, natural external forcing and anthropogenic factors.

Clarify the process …

The heat was moved into the oceans where ~90% of our climate system’s heat resides, thus it was absorbed into the global climate system - even if not registering in the GMST estimate.

Help people viscerally visualize the dynamics.            
Claims and Counterclaims 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Poptech's "Truth" re WhatsUpWithThatWatts.blogspot - Examined

In my decades long experience dialoging with climate science “skeptics" they consistently respond to reasoned critique of their arguments by sidetracking the discussion with personal attacks intent on making their 'opponents' seem as detestable as possible thus making any facts irrelevant, as Zoe so ably demonstrated in the last post.  

Respect, fairplay, honesty, honor, constructive learning means nothing.  Decapitate one’s ‘opponents’ before they can drive home any arguments or evidence regarding Manmade Global Warming. 

Poptech at “populartechnology-net” provided a text book example last year and since he seems to be slinking around the internet peddling his fable again, I figure I’ll get personal myself and share the response which separates Poptech’s fabrications from the facts.

Besides, it fits right in with the pathetic John Bates’ Affair - John’s MO is the same, malicious manipulation and omission of facts, spin the narrative away from the matter at hand and aim for character assassination.

ORIGINALLY POSTED FEBRUARY 2nd 2016 under the title: "Lord of the Flies* (#8 Poptech's Truth).

I thought I could avoid Anthony Watts and Andrew 'Poptech's' attack piece on me, figuring I'd get to it later.  But my old pal AL (a debate mate from this past November 23 to December 13th in the "debating sock-puppet" series.) just couldn't resist rubbing it in my face, and since his link went to Poptech's post, I figured, OK in for a nickel, in for a dollar.  
AL writes Sunday, January 31, 2016 - 1:19 citizenschallengeYT Hahahahaha…:P  http://www.populartechnology.net/2016/01/the-truth-about-whatsupwiththatwatts-et.html?m=1
Oh boy, talk about desperation to dig up shit, well they dug and they dug and oh the facts and links they've unearthed. But, even more impressive than what they unearthed - is the vindictive theatrical spin they put on everything.

Then, There’s Anthony’s Parrot - A dance with hopelessness.

As it turns out I’m not ready for John Bates just yet.  Still wrestling with Fyfe 2016, I realize I need to write a summary, sort of an elevator pitch for very busy scientists. 

For now I thought I’d share this recent and all too typical “dialogue” with a Republican sort of climate science “skeptic” as an example of what climate science communicators are up against.  This comes from a single YouTube comments thread and is intended for the curious student of the rhetorical tactics of denial - here's a case study in stonewalling. 
AFA Dr. Willie Soon - Are CO2 Levels and Climate Change Related?https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVdKuNLmcCc 
Astroturfed by the co-called American Freedom Alliance
The thread starts with Martha Ball hocking her hubby's book
{The fun doesn't really start till Zoe shows up ;- ). }
I would like to tell you of my latest book, “Human Caused Global Warming”.
Available on ‘Amazon.ca’ and 'Indigo/Chapters'.
Dale writes: Perhaps you need to stop trying to hijack this thread to sell your own book. That's totally unethical.

It's not near as unethical as Soon is http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/imageo/2015/02/21/willie-soon-takes-corporate-cash-for-science/#.WLBHTxiZNPs. -  Although should add that Tim Ball is as contrarian a fool as Soon and every bit as dishonest in his presentation of the issues. http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/Tim_Ball - https://www.desmogblog.com/timothy-f-ball-tim-ball

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fyfe et al. 2016: stamp collecting vs informing and clarifying. Examining a failure to communicate

(edited March 21, 2017)
... and a question of perspective.
Alternately, Behold Seepage in Action.

In working on my review of Lamar Smith’s press release I distractedly glanced at Fyfe et al. 2016 a couple times.  Then given that John Bates’ singled it out in his ClimateEtc attack piece I took the time to read it carefully.  It was written by some of the foremost experts in the field, I’ve listened to their talks on YouTube, I’ve exchanged emails with some.  A couple have endured malicious and vicious attacks based on pure fabricated deception, yet they continue doing world class science.  These are the real deal, heck some are among my heroes.  I don't presume to second-guess such experts about their science.  

Yet, I was stunned reading their treatment of the so-called “global warming hiatus” - it’s not their facts I question, but their presentation.  Can’t help it, I take climate science communication very seriously and their wording knocked me right off my pins.  I've felt compelled to explain my reaction ever since, if only to myself.  I've been spending days wrestling with this and I admit I hope some of the authors and a few others will give me a chance to make my case - I've striven to keep my comments as concise as possible.  Give it a skim.  You decide if I succeed.

NATURE opinion & comment
Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown

Nature Climate Change | Vol 6 | March 2016 | Pages 224 to 228
www.nature.com/natureclimatechange © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited. All rights reserved

I am reprinting the full text of this paper by right of the Fair Use doctrine - 
for the purpose of doing the following detailed critique.
John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka and Neil C. Swart
The introduction:
It has been claimed that the early-2000s global warming (b) slowdown or hiatus (a)(e), characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming (c), has been overstated, lacks sound scientific basis, or is unsupported by observations. The evidence presented here contradicts these claims (d).

Why the labyrinthian phrasing?  Simplify wording. Clarify meaning.  

(a)  Creates a false equivalence between “slowdown” and “hiatus” - hiatus means STOPPED!  But, Global Warming never stopped!

(b)  Creates a false equivalence between “global warming” and “global mean surface warming.”  

(c)   Furthermore: “early-2000s global warming slowdown or hiatus, characterized by a reduced rate of global surface warming” -  implies “surface” warming slowdown (or faux hiatus) is a symptom of a “global” warming slowdown.

(d)  “Evidence presented here contradicts these claims.”  Given the paragraph's convoluted wording one could easily conclude this is saying: the “hiatus” (that is global warming stopping) is not contradicted

… which is exactly what the contrarian PR machine was hoping they could twist any science into.  Why make it so easy?

(e)  Why even use the politically charged term “hiatus” beyond a footnote?  What possible purpose does it serve other than to fatally wound clarity and invite gross misinterpretation?

This paper seems a textbook example of “seepage” in action.  Or as I would phrase it, unconsciously adapting the contrarian’s script.  Please keep this in mind as you continue.
¶1  A large body of scientific evidence — amassed before and since the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC AR5)1 — indicates that the so-called surface warming slowdown, also sometimes referred to in the literature as the hiatus

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Fyfe 2016, Global Warming Hiatus? Nope. Not even!

I've been spending the past couple days digesting Fyfe 2016 on account of John Bates, and his ClimateEtc hit-piece, which uses it to imply the global warming ‘hiatus’ was a real thing >>> Mind you “hiatus" = "A pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process.”:
J. Bates writes: "The most serious example of a climate scientist not archiving or documenting a critical climate dataset was the study of Tom Karl et al. 2015 (hereafter referred to as the Karl study or K15), purporting to show no ‘hiatus’ in global warming in the 2000s (Federal scientists say there never was any global warming “pause”). The study drew criticism from other climate scientists, who disagreed with K15’s conclusion about the ‘hiatus.’ (Making sense of the early-2000s warming slowdown)" 
Link to a readable Fyfe et al. 2016: http://www.meteo.psu.edu/holocene/public_html/Mann/articles/articles/FyfeEtAlNatureClimate16.pdf
When I read Fyfe 2016 I was stunned and appalled by how it was worded.  Yet, it’s co-authored by some of the foremost climate scientists in the world.  A couple having endured vicious and vile attacks fabricated out of pure lies at the hands of the Republican PR campaign of climate science deception.  Scientists whom I consider genuine heroes.  I am under no illusion.  I cannot dispute their facts, but it's the way their facts were presented that seems to me a prime example of the “Seepage” suffered by well meaning, but extremely conservative and cautious scientists, playing right into the Contrarian’s Script, rather than clarifying how our global heat and moisture distribution engine operates in a manner were it can “click” with non-sciencie citizens.

Before I post my critique, which is far from finished, I want to share what Sou at HotWhopper has to say.  She was trained as a scientist so approaches this paper differently than I do, from my own street-level perspective, that of a high school grad (‘73) lay-person, albeit one that’s spent a lifetime paying attention to developing Earth Sciences and the evolving insights they’ve offered into Earth’s fantastical pageant and our place in that pageant.
Therefore I think it appropriate to first REPOST her article of February 25th.  She explains the scientific perspective in a way I never could.  I’m going to begin with her closing paragraph because that’s exactly what I’m struggling with.  I also a thank you Sou, for allowing me to repost your work.

Global surface warming continues without pause contrary to denier claims
Sou | Feb 25, 2016

I want to start with Sou's closing paragraph since it echoes the thing that got under my skin and that my review is struggling to articulate.
This is a useful paper from a scientific perspective. 
From the perspective of informing the public, I would have preferred the authors were more constructive rather than making it appear there are disputes in scientific circles when there aren't.  
Deniers aren't going to read the paper. They aren't going to care that there was no change in the long term trend. They aren't going to care that the models differed from observations because the estimated forcings were wrong. All they are going to do is point to the paper falsely claiming it is "evidence" that scientists disagree, when on these issues there would be very little disagreement (if any) among climate scientists.  
Or they'll do as Anthony Watts {and also John Bates}  did, and point to the paper claiming there was a "hiatus" or stopping of global warming, when there isn't and hasn't been. 

There's another new paper out in Nature Climate Change today that discusses the recent trends on global surface temperature. It's by a rash of notable authors: John C. Fyfe, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Michael E. Mann, Benjamin D. Santer, Gregory M. Flato, Ed Hawkins, Nathan P. Gillett, Shang-Ping Xie, Yu Kosaka, Neil C. Swart. Anthony Watts heralded the paper (archived here), which is unusual because he normally scoffs at the findings of most of these authors. He referred to an article in the Examiner newspaper, which claims that this paper contradicted "another study last June" that stated that the "the hiatus was just an artifact that “vanishes when biases in temperature data are corrected.”

Well it doesn't contradict it. Needless to say Anthony and the Examiner was comparing apples and oranges.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Confirmed Lamar Smith Manipulated Bates (feb 5th) A Line by Line Review.

Been doing some reviewing and noticed I got carried away with my introduction to the examination of Lamar Smith's press release - "Former NOAA Scientist Confirms Colleagues Manipulated Climate Records" - probably lost readers before the main course began.  I'm correcting that with this post.  If you'd like some introduction visit previous posts - For the appendix link here.

(now including a complete list of committee members and contact info)
Incidentally, a 30 point complaint has been filed by Grantham Research Institute with the Independent Press Standards Organization for gross misrepresentation of the facts in the Mail's Feb 5th article written by David Rose.  It clearly disputes all of the claims and arguments Lamar makes in the following. http://www.lse.ac.uk/GranthamInstitute/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/Mail-on-Sunday-follow-up-February-2016.pdf
Now to the Press Release that started everyone talking about the Bates Motel mystery.

Congressman Lamar Smith: 
Feb 5, 2017. -  Press Release

WASHINGTON – U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology members today responded to reports about the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2015 climate change study (“Karl Study”){I changed those to “Karl et al. 2015”}. According to Dr. John Bates, the recently retired principal scientist at NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center, (Karl et al. 2015) was used “to discredit the notion of a global warming hiatus 
{11}    PeterThorne:
… The 'whistle blower' is John Bates who was not involved in any aspect of the work. NOAA's process is very stove-piped such that beyond seminars there is little dissemination of information across groups. 

John Bates never participated in any of the numerous technical meetings on the land or marine data I have participated in at NOAA NCEI either in person or remotely. 

This shows in his reputed (I am taking the journalist at their word that these are directly attributable quotes) misrepresentation of the processes that actually occurred. In some cases {Bates’} misrepresentations are publicly verifiable. …

and rush to time the publication of the paper to influence national and international deliberations on climate policy.”

All this begs the question:

Is Bates obsessed with forcing tedious drawn out archiving red tape for quality control standards?    Or, is Bates’ concerned with delaying release of scientific information as long as possible?

“   Bates alleges that the Karl et al. 2015 was “rushed” for political reasons, but Peterson said the reality was that NOAA was well behind the times, waiting to include known improvements like additional recording stations in the rapidly warming Arctic. 

“I had been arguing for years that we were putting out data that did not reflect our understanding of how the temperature was actually warming—[for] literally years we slowed down to try to account for some of these processing things that we had to do,” Peterson said. (At the time of the Karl paper, NOAA’s dataset showed less warming in recent years than other datasets, like NASA’s.) … ”

… Bates expected the same approach (as satellites) from his surface temperature counterparts, but Peterson explained that their work with weather station data was not nearly so high-stakes—problems could easily be fixed on the fly. The engineering-style process NOAA was using for endlessly double-checking the software for all dataset updates could drag on for quite a long time—years, in fact—and Bates opposed any attempt to speed this up. Peterson and other scientists were naturally anxious to incorporate changes they knew were scientifically important.

Chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas): “I thank Dr. John Bates for courageously stepping forward to tell the truth about NOAA’s senior officials. 
OR was it self-serving opportunism?

Instead, the dispute appears to reflect long-standing tensions within NOAA's National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI), based in Asheville, North Carolina, over how new data sets are used for scientific research.
Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and (Bates) never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms.  …

Lamar Smith's baseless smears against NOAA scientists - HotWhopper Repost - Nov. 2015

Like I mentioned recently, trying to discuss serious science based topics with GOP representatives of climate science denial is worse that trying to explain serious things to kids, it's more akin to trying to get through to a profoundly autistic kid, with Lamar Smith of Texas being a prime example of a person so locked up within his ideology that no evidence from outside his faith-shackled mindset has any change of registering with the dude's brains.  Excuse the outburst, but it what comes from dealing with the GOP's filthy dishonesty up front and close up.

I have been asking myself what's the point of what I'm doing, why even care?  No one else seems to.  I find myself asking me that more and more.  But, for some god awful reason I really do love and care for this planet I was born into.  W
alking away from the GOP driven insanity and simply ignoring the willful stupidity - and the future that we are committing our children's lives and our miraculous planet's to - doesn't work for me either.

In any event, today I noticed Lamar Smith's hard-on against serious science has been mentioned over here previously.  Here is a reposting from a November 20, 2015 article written by Sou over at HotWhopper.com.


There are times I feel like setting up another blog simply to mirror Sou's steady flow of quality news regarding climate science contrarians.  Why?  In order to add some counterbalance to the phenomenal amount of right-wing astro-turfing going down on the internet these days.  But, I can't even keep up with what's on my plate, so it remains a vague notion.  Instead, I have to self-censor myself and keep my reposts of Hotwhopper's many informative articles to a minimum. 

The other day she wrote one that is a must addition to my collection looking at climate science contrarian dirty tricks.  With thanks to Sou for all the work she does at Hotwhopper.

Sou | Hotwhopper.com | Friday, November 20, 2015

You may have read about US Congressman Lamar Smith's ongoing vindictive harassment and smear campaign against scientists at NOAA. You might have also read about his latest allegations of "whistleblowers". If you are wondering if there is anything behind this, other than a deranged attack on science, scientists and the NOAA, then wonder no more.

There is not.

To prove this point, just read the letter to Lamar Smith from Congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson, a member of the committee of which Lamar Smith is chair - the Committee on Space, Science and Technology.

I'll quote some segments damning the unconscionable actions of this vindictive, out-of-control, grandstanding US congressman, Lamar Smith. The bolding and some paragraph breaks are mine.

What exactly is Lamar Smith alleging? That the scientists are doing science!