Climate Science Glossary

Term Lookup

Enter a term in the search box to find its definition.

Settings

Use the controls in the far right panel to increase or decrease the number of terms automatically displayed (or to completely turn that feature off).

Term Lookup

Settings


All IPCC definitions taken from Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. Working Group I Contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Annex I, Glossary, pp. 941-954. Cambridge University Press.

Home Arguments Software Resources Comments The Consensus Project Translations About Donate

Twitter Facebook YouTube Pinterest MeWe

RSS Posts RSS Comments Email Subscribe


Climate's changed before
It's the sun
It's not bad
There is no consensus
It's cooling
Models are unreliable
Temp record is unreliable
Animals and plants can adapt
It hasn't warmed since 1998
Antarctica is gaining ice
View All Arguments...



Username
Password
New? Register here
Forgot your password?

Latest Posts

Archives

PBS False Balance Hour - What's Up With That?

Posted on 20 September 2012 by dana1981

We have previously criticized the mainstream media for favoring false balance over factually accurate scientific reporting when it comes to climate change.  In one of the worst examples of this unfortunate and counter-productive practice, the US Public Boadcasting Service (PBS), which is funded by both taxpayers and private donations, (for example, from the Koch brothers) aired a climate story on the PBS News Hour which began by featuring the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature (BEST) project's Richard Muller, "balanced" with a subsequent interview of contrarian blogger Anthony Watts.

Ultimately, Watts' comments suffered from a double standard, dismissing Muller's comments as not yet being supported by peer-reviewed research, but offering his own opinions despite the fact that they were not only unsupported, but even contradicted by Watts' own peer-reviewed research.

Surface Temperature Record Accuracy

When asked to describe his 'skepticism' about human-caused global warming, Watts went into a long discussion about his concerns that encroachment of human development near surface temperature stations has introduced a bias into the temperature record.  However, what Watts failed to mention is that the scientific groups who compile the surface temperature record put a great deal of effort into filtering out these sorts of biases

Watts also failed to mention that there have been many peer-reviewed scientific studies investigating whether these efforts have been successful, and they have almost universally concluded that those extraneous influences on the temperature record have been removed.  For example, Fall et al. (2011) concluded that for all temperature stations classifications with regards to the influence of urban influences, the long-term average global warming trend is the same.

"The lack of a substantial average temperature difference across classes, once the geographical distribution of stations is taken into account, is also consistent with the lack of significant trend differences in average temperatures....average temperature trends were statistically indistinguishable across classes."

The second author on Fall et al. is a fellow who goes by the name of Anthony Watts.

There are also of course many 'natural thermometers' confirming the warming of the globe - rapidly rising seas, melting sea ice, melting land ice, etc. (Figure 1).

warming indicators

Figure 1: Natural thermometers indicating a warming world.

Peer-Review Irony

When asked about the research of Muller and the BEST team, which has also confirmed the accuracy of the surface temperature record, Watts provided a very ironic response.

"Unfortunately he has not succeeded in terms of how science views, you know, a successful inquiry. His papers have not passed peer review."

Anthony Watts himself has co-authored two peer-reviewed scientific papers, one of which was the aforementioned Fall et al., which confirmed the accuracy of the surface temperature record with respect to the average global surface warming. 

On his blog, Watts has attempted to defend his claims on PBS news hour by referencing a preliminary, unsubmitted, unpublished paper he has drafted  which purports to identify problems in the temperature record.  However, that preliminary paper contains numerous fundamental flaws which entirely negate its conclusions, and since it has not passed peer-review, according to Watts' own comments it is not "a successful inquiry."

So we have Watts dismissing Muller's comments because his research has not passed peer-review, and yet Watts' own comments contradict the results of his own peer-reviewed paper.

Global Warming Attributed to Humans

After agreeing that global warming exists, Watts shifted over to the myth "it's not us."

"...the ability to attribute the percentage of global warming to CO2 versus other man-made influences is still an open question."

This comment simply illustrates a lack of awareness of the body of peer-reviewed climate science literature.  A number of studies using a variety of different statistical and physical approaches have investigated how much various factors have contributed to global warming.  These studies have universally concluded that humans are responsible for close to 100% of the observed global surface warming over the past half century (Figure 2).

HvA 50 years

Figure 2: Net human and natural percent contributions to the observed global surface warming over the past 50-65 years according to Tett et al. 2000 (T00, dark blue), Meehl et al. 2004 (M04, red), Stone et al. 2007 (S07, green), Lean and Rind 2008 (LR08, purple), Huber and Knutti 2011 (HK11, light blue), and Gillett et al. 2012 (G12, orange).

There is a fairly large degree of uncertainty in these figures, primarily because the magnitude of the cooling effect from human aerosol emissions is not well known.  However, the amount of warming caused by human greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is known to a high degree of certainty, and these same studies have all found that GHGs are responsible for over 100% of the observed warming over this timeframe (Figure 3).

50-65 years

Figure 3: Percent contributions of various effects to the observed global surface warming over the past 50-65 years according to Tett et al. 2000 (T00, dark blue), Meehl et al. 2004 (M04, red), Stone et al. 2007 (S07, green), Lean and Rind 2008 (LR08, purple), Huber and Knutti 2011 (HK11, light blue), and Gillett et al. 2012 (G12, orange).

Political Tools

In claiming that climate science has become too politicized, Watts claimed

"some of the scientists who are the leaders in the issue have become for lack of a better word, political tools on the issue."

It is unclear to whom Watts refers here, since the few contrarian climate scientists like John Christy and Richard Lindzen have been trotted out before US Congress virtually every time a congressional committee has held a climate hearing.  It seems unlikely that Watts would refer to his fellow climate contrarians in such unflattering terms, but they do seem to best fit his description as "political tools."

Watts on His Motives and Double Standards

At Skeptical Science it is against our site policy to speculate about a person's motives, but in this case, Watts volunteered the information.

SPENCER MICHELS: What's the thing that bothers you the most about people who say there's lots of global warming?

ANTHONY WATTS: They want to change policy. They want to apply taxes and these kinds of things may not be the actual solution for making a change to our society.

It is interesting that Watts responds to a question about a science-based opinion with a criticism about policy.  For example, Watts is not most bothered that people are ignoring or unaware of the biases that he incorrectly believes exist in the temperature record.  No, Watts is most bothered that we might implement an economically-beneficial carbon tax.

In another related piece of irony, Watts criticizes his opponents for using "scare tactics" and then claiming that if they get their way, it will mean economic catastrophe.

"Some people don't respond well to scare tactics and there have been some scare tactics used by some of the proponents on the other side of the issue....We can't just rip all that up or change it in the space off five, 10 or 15 years because it'll be catastrophic to our economy."

Watts Fails Risk Management 101

At the interview, Watts illustrates that he understands neither pragmatism nor risk management.

"I would call myself a pragmatic skeptic...I think that some of the issues have been oversold, may have been oversold, because they allow for more regulation to take place."

Pragmatism involves taking a practical approach to problem solving.  In terms of climate change, there is no more practical approach than implementing a carbon pricing system so that the costs of climate change are reflected in the price of the products which cause them.  Without knowing the climate costs of the products on the market, consumers cannot take those costs into account when making purchasing decisions.  Yet this pragmatic approach is exactly the one which Anthony Watts most fears.

There are also two key words in the quote above - "I think."  We know that Anthony Watts personally believes that the consequences of climate change will not be very bad.  However, Watts' opinion is contradicted by the body of peer-reviewed scientific evidence.  There is a very slim possibility that Watts and his fellow contrarians are right and the consequences of climate change will be manageable.  However, when faced with the mere possibility of a catastrophic scenario, the proper risk management approach is to take steps to prevent that scenario from happening.  In our case, catastrophe is not just possible, it is the most likely outcome if we continue in a business as usual scenario.  It is in no way pragmatic to continue along this path.

Peer Review and False Media Balance

Ultimately Anthony Watts was correct to note that peer review is an important step in ensuring the accuracy of a scientific paper.  It is fair to criticize Muller for publicizing the BEST team results prior to their acceptance in a peer reviewed journal.

However, if we apply that same standard to Anthony Watts, his sole scientific argument against human-caused global warming falls apart.  Not only has the accuracy of the surface temperature record been confirmed by BEST and Watts' own Fall et al. (2011), but also by a number of other peer-reviewed papers such as Peterson et al. (2003) and Menne et al. (2010).  If Watts believes these studies are flawed, he should attempt to demonstrate it in a peer-reviewed paper.  Until he has accomplished this, by his own standards his argument is invalid.

It is also very concerning that PBS interviewed Watts to begin with.  Watts only has one two peer-reviewed studies to his name, and they were not even mentioned in the interview.  In fact, hiw own peer-reviewed research contradicts the main argument Watts made in the interview.  The PBS interviewer also failed to challenge Watts' many incorrect and hypocritical statements, instead tossing him one softball question after another. 

Apparently Watts was recommended for the interview by the Heartland Institute.  PBS should obviously not be contacting a fossil fuel-funded global warming denying anti-science think tank which has previously compared climate realists to mass murderers for interview suggestions on a climate story.  This also isn't the first time that PBS News Hour has consulted with the Heartland Institute to provide false balance for a climate story.

PBS has responded to criticisms of their News Hour piece here and here, essentially by saying that they have also interviewed climate scientists and done accurate reporting on climate change.  While we applaud their more accurate and informative climate stories, it does not excuse the Heartland-consulted false balance in this particular piece.  In fact, Michels admitted that he interviewed Watts to "hear more about the skeptical perspective," which is the very definition of false balance - presenting "the other side" for the sake of presenting it, regardless of its factual accuracy.

We do appreciate that Spencer Michels referenced Skeptical Science in his follow-up post and provided an explanation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) regarding how we know the temperature record is accurate (which referenced Menne et al. and Fall et al., as we did in the above post).  In fact, this would have been useful information to include in the original PBS News Hour piece - perhaps an interview with NOAA scientists instead of a blogger.  Instead, PBS sacrificed factually accurate scientific reporting for the sake of creating a false perception of balance.


Further Reading:

0 0

Printable Version  |  Link to this page

Comments

Prev  1  2  3  4  Next

Comments 101 to 150 out of 180:

  1. What Watts doesn't know is that Dana gets a royalty fee from the scooter company everytime someone posts the picture on a blog. I sure would like to get on that gravy train. PS - There's also a virus embedded in the photo and Dana can activate as he sees fit.
    0 0
  2. Further to Rob Honeycutt's comment at #56 regarding Dale's comment at #4:
    Well, not without taxing your own population into poverty...
    Dale might like to ponder the implications of The Most Terrifying Video You'll Ever See. And if, after watching the video, Dale still thinks that his fears trump Greg Craven's challenge, I would invite Dale to post a counter-analysis here actually refuting Craven's summary of the choices that we face.
    0 0
  3. Dale at #93. I'm also impressed by your comment. Kudos. Apply the same discrimination to the body of scientific evidence, and I might just have to 'friend' you on FaceSpace. Or MyBook. Or whatever. ;-)
    0 0
  4. Bernard @102 Seen the video a few times now, and I agree. The responsible action is column A. However, the possibility of either those two columns occurring, is small. The probability of futures lies mostly in between those two scenarios presented in the video. Take column A. The possibility that humans are not impacting climate at all, is minuscule. Same as column B, the possibility that humans will completely destroy climate, is minuscule. Thus the weight of probability is in the middle somewhere. Thus single-focused action (or inaction) is not correct. It's some balance of middling action (in economic terms). With knowledge we can reduce the pool of possibilities and narrow in. Thus reducing the cost to human society whilst dealing with the problem. But throwing everything into one basket, is a bad investment. If everything goes into the basket, there's nothing supporting it.
    0 0
  5. (-snip-). Can any of you explain that given Dana's attribution of 110% of climate change to CO2?
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] The endless complaining about moderation (snipped above) does you disservice and accomplishes the very thing you complain about: you force the moderation staff to intervene. Either find a different venue to complain in or cease with the complaints & offer up substantive comments that add to the discussion, not detract from it.
  6. It has been a while since I commented here
    'geoffchambers', is that you?
    0 0
  7. I would have thought GC had passed algebra. Guess not.
    0 0
  8. And, btw, it is not "Dana's attribution" either, he only interprets the data, but has not done the research. That is to say, comments that find errors in posts are most welcome, so they can be corrected. Comments that point to different interpretations of the data used in a post, need to be made equally clear and are welcome when constructive.
    0 0
  9. Bernard@103....FaceTube. Get it right. >;-D
    0 0
  10. Dale @ 104: Using words like miniscule and thus might make you sound smarter, but it doesn't make you any more correct. Would you care to back up your assertions? This is not a case of 'opposing sides have extreme views, so the truth must lie exactly in the middle'. Or even anywhere near the middle. The truth is that there has already been a lot of research into the future impact, and it overwhelmingly looks bad.
    0 0
  11. "When asked to describe his 'skepticism' about human-caused global warming, Watts went into a long discussion about his concerns that encroachment of human development near surface temperature stations has introduced a bias into the temperature record. However, what Watts failed to mention is that the scientific groups who compile the surface temperature record put a great deal of effort into filtering out these sorts of biases." If this assertion - the scientific groups who compile the surface temperature record put a great deal of effort into filtering out these sorts of biases. - is true, (-snip-). "5.1.3 Planning for Thermal Impacts Experiment Initial funding was provided this year by the USRCRN Program for a multi-year experiment to better understand the thermal impacts of buildings with parking lots on air temperature measurements." NCDC Annual Report
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] Imputation of dishonesty snipped.
  12. I find it highly entertaining--and insightful--seeing the two "Dales:" One is the Dale we know who is, IMHO, at least a fake skeptic but makes the attempt to work it all out as a real skeptic, and for that I give you/him/her credit. Then, there is the "Dale" that posts over on WUWT (when JC/DB *force* me to go read it--jk, fellers!) and that Dale is....ah, er..., well, let's say not as charitable towards SkS and the scientific method as one might think he/she would be, as many here can be charitable towards Watts. That said, I think it's just another bit of data, showing how utterly screwed-up the general public's (and almost all of the MSM's) understanding is, of what constitutes true, ethical journalism and scientific debate. Can't remember who stated it here, but it hit me like a lead balloon: "Error" in scientific debates does *not* mean the same as it does in general conversations; it means a level of uncertainty. To my somewhat steam-powered brain, it's not a far reach to see how disconnected all the various parties are wrt the filed of climate change research. I can only hope forces such as this site, Tamino's, DeSmogBlog RA et al, can stem the flow of stupidity, before it really is too late. PBS certainly deserves the oft-overused term of 'epic fail' in its broadcasting of Watts as anything like a credible source of information.
    0 0
  13. gallopingcamel, 110% is a valid number. See if you can figure it out. Consider it a homework assignment.
    0 0
  14. Have you heard? Skeptical Science to be featured on National Talk Radio.... (-snip-).
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] Off-topic snipped.
  15. @111: NOAA is "quietly funding" it by announcing it in their annual report? How devious! I smell a conspiracy! Seriously? They're researching it because that's what researchers do: research things. Methods can always be refined and there is always room for better understanding. This in no way, shape, or form undermines their statement to PBS. And, as mentioned ad nauseum on this site, including in the big pretty picture at the top of this very article, the theory of global warming does not rest on temperature readings; it is just one of many lines of evidence.
    0 0
  16. >115 Conspiracy? See Lewandowsky, he's the, er, expert. (-snip-)
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory snipped.
  17. Is National Talk Radio in Australia?
    0 0
  18. Vroomie #112: Thanks for the research on Dale's two personas. Thank Goid that not a lot of people can pull it off in a convincing manner.
    0 0
  19. fretslider@116; your fake skeptic underwear are showing..;) There is *no* "alleged" taking care of biases in the temperature record: it's well-documented, utterly open to anyone whoc ares to learn about it, and there's simply no 'there' there. If you are truly trying to learn, and not just be a troll, you can find all that info on this website, among many others. There's no conspiracy here...except in some folks' *heads.*
    0 0
  20. Lars Larson is going to feature Skeptical Science and the claim that ‘…we need a conspiracy to save humanity‘ on his program today. How very scientific! The final nail in the coffin of global warming, again? But where's the climate science part? Do skepticons even do climate science these days? The picture seems to be shifting entirely to cognitive psychology and gossip.
    0 0
  21. fretslider, appreciate the heads-up on the Lars Larson bit, which you almost undoubtedly got from WUWT's trumpeting of it..I for one, welcome it. It may make a few fake skeptics come over here, and then folks here can steer them to the real story--not the conspiracy, tin hat-fueled one Watts shovels--and maybe learn somce real *science* for a change.
    0 0
  22. vrooomie My smalls have naff all to do with anything here. I never mentioned a conspiracy. Let me restate the question so you can get your head around it. If this assertion - the scientific groups who compile the surface temperature record put a great deal of effort into filtering out these sorts of biases. - is true, (-snip-). (-snip-).
    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    This is a good topic for the Why we can trust the surface temperature record thread. Please take it there.

    [DB] Imputations of impropriety and off-topic snipped.

  23. Fret, I can answer it, and it's up to you to go where it can be answered for yourself. We'll do some hand-holding, for those who truly want to learn; methinks that may not be the case, here. Anyway, hike ye on over to the link the moderator provided, and all ye shall know how utterly *bogus* the claim is, that the surface temperature record is only an "alleged" one.
    0 0
  24. ... says the person insinuating dishonesty on the part of NOAA.
    0 0
  25. vrooomie @112 If you will notice, my comment last night over there pointed out a fact which I particularly noticed missing over here. If you take the Arctic record minimum seriously, you should also take the Antarctic record maximum as seriously. That's balance.
    0 0
  26. Dale, that's NOT balance: that too is a false equivalence. The "news" that is the apparent increase in precipitation in the Antarctic *is* an effect that was postulated quite a few years ago. Remember, weather is *not* climate. That one Pole is melting, while the other increases its ice burden, does *not* necessarily mean AGW as a theory is kaput, and that is *precisely* what fake skeptics would like the public to think. I'll go so far as to say that it is likely not a good sign. I'll check Nevin's ice blog to see what the real poop is, for I trust *nothing* Tony posts.
    0 0
  27. fretslider why do you think physicists keep measuring the acceleration of gravity (here for example)?
    0 0
  28. Re Dale at 127: By all means consider Arctic and Antarctic and work the numbers to see how it compares. Tamino just did that: http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/poles-apart/#more-5650 The difference is painfully obvious.
    0 0
  29. Dale did you notice that it's winter in Antartica? And that the continent is isolated from the rest of the planet by oceans and atmospheric currents? And that not that much is going on down there afterall?
    0 0
  30. Thanks, Phillipe@130: It's hard to keep up with all the fake skeptics' real hand-waving...;) so noted, for when next I hear of that "fact."
    0 0
  31. Dale, are you trying to tell us that you think arctic sea ice loss is being compensated for in terms of global climate? Now where would you get that idea? Try looking here for an answer.
    0 0
  32. Please note I did not advocate one way or the other whether a higher Antarctic ice extent meant anything. I do understand the concepts of how Antarctica will respond to global warming (increasing extent first, then mass melting later). I said that for reporting balance you should have an article on Arctic ice extent AND Antarctic ice extent. That way you will avoid finger pointing at and accusations of biased reporting. In fact, there's on over reporting on Northern Hemisphere items, and me being from the Southern Hemisphere wishes there were more. I will admit though, that I found it quite amusing how Jo Nova reported it. "Record minimum Great Southern Ocean extent". You have to admit, that's 'headline brilliance'. Hehehe.
    0 0
  33. Dale, Can you, either completely on your own or by doing some research, come up with a plausible explanation whereby, given the premise that global warming is happening and is warming both poles, Antarctic winter sea ice is expanding? Consider it an exercise in skepticism. Let's see where it takes you. When you think you have a good answer, post it on the Antarctica is gaining ice thread.
    0 0
  34. Fretslider, most scientific funding is done quietly. Of course, it's hardly quiet to mention it on PBS in the middle of a big s-storm. NOAA's effort is probably in part a response to the efforts of the doubters. Is it a waste of money? Probably, because the resulting clarity will be insignificant for those who will be using the data, and the professional doubters will continue to claim fraud regardless of the results (unless, of course, the results match the desired message). Watts set the precedent with his response to BEST. All of this is goofy anyway. We're talking about possible small variations in surface temperature measurement for the US. We're not talking TOA energy imbalance. The joules involved in any alleged or real discrepancy (positive or negative) in the US surface temp record pale in comparison to the joules represented in the difference between IPCC sea ice loss projections and the reality. The purpose of Watts' allegations is to cast doubt on NOAA. If it were anything else, Watts would have quietly developed a study and sent it to NOAA as a courtesy before eventually publishing. No fanfare. Why no fanfare? Because ultimately, the alleged errors are insignificant. Adjustments are made all the time, as the publication record shows.
    0 0
  35. Sphaerica @135 With a full time day job, a second business I'm trying to get off the ground, and 3 kids and a wife, I lack the time to fully research something now. :( How about you summarise into an article so I can read it and understand. That way you will benefit not just me, but also the other many readers of this site. And pointing to an old article doesn't really do anything. A report on why the new maximum occurred, debunking denier claims of "it's not global, Antarctica is growing".
    0 0
  36. Dale@137, unless I'm misunderstanding the last sentence in your post, Tamino's blog has answered this, and the link was posted above, in comment #130. Tamino on why the Antarctic is at a maximum http://tamino.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/poles-apart/#more-5650
    0 0
  37. Dale @127, It's not about taking sea ice minimums or maximums "seriously". It is about those who disingenously imply that sea ice growth around the south pole means that the rapid loss of summer ice at the north pole is not of concern. But many "skeptic" blogs, articles, etc say or imply just that - an examle is a current WSJ piece by James Taylor. And more ice does not neccessarily mean cooling just as less ice does not neccessarily mean warming. Sea ice growth in the antarctic does not falsify global warming or somehow balance out the problem. Understanding the bigger picture is crucial to understanding what is really happening, and it is hard to justify the opinion that Watts and other "skeptics" want you to see it. So thanks to sks for for showing that bigger picture.
    0 0
  38. DSL Nice spin, however, not taken. The general tone is one of thou shalt not question, Galileo went down that path - under duress. Have you forgotten the most basic principle of science, falsifying the null hypothesis. (-snip-).
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [DB] Inflammatory snipped.
  39. Let's see: NOAA is undertaking a validation of the surface temperature record, and that is an example of "thou shalt not question?" How does that follow?
    0 0
  40. ["And more ice does not neccessarily mean cooling just as less ice does not neccessarily mean warming. Sea ice growth in the antarctic does not falsify global warming or somehow balance out the problem."] Ergo, sea ice loss in the Arctic does not prove global warming - or that it is anthropogenic. According to your logic, of course.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: Please follow the existing discussion of Antarctic versus Arctic ice loss/gain here: How does Arctic sea ice loss compare to Antarctic sea ice gain?
  41. Note that while we haven't discussed this year's barely maximum Antarctic sea ice extent (as other commenters have noted, tamino has), we have compared Arctic and Antarctic sea ice extents and trends here. It's even got an animated GIF. fretslider @142 - There are several studies attributing Arctic sea ice loss to anthropogenic factors.
    0 0
  42. fretslider @142 - There are several studies attributing Arctic sea ice loss to anthropogenic factors. Don't you worry, I read the journals. I'm well aware of what is out there.
    0 0
  43. ["Ergo, sea ice loss in the Arctic does not prove global warming - or that it is anthropogenic."] Right - and right. Increasing temperatues in the Arctic prove, umm, that the Arctic is warming. On balance, more places on earth (i.e. the globe) are warming, including the antarctic. That proves global warming. My point was that "skeptics" just want their audience to think everyting just balances out so they will not ask "what do climate scientists think is causing the global warming?"...and see the bigger picture.
    0 0
  44. Roger D: I'm not trying to push the sceptic msg that Antarctica "cancels things out". It doesn't, I know that, it just reacts differently. What I'm trying to point out is that the REAL global warming story is in the Southern Hemisphere. Due to geographic configuration, the SH is dampening GW presently, due to the oceans. But when it starts to change, it will change in a big way, and very strongly. For instance, if all Arctic ice melts what's it do? No sea level rise, some methane escapes and a little extra ocean heat content absorbed. If Antarctic all melts what's it do? Probably sharply uptick humidity and vapor content, raise sea levels massively and generally destroy life for billions of people. Which is more important? A minor bullet from the Arctic now, or the thermonuclear weapon being primed in the Antarctic? ANY change in the south is massively important.
    0 0
  45. @ Dale #137: I find it rather cheeky of you to ask Sphaerica to summarize the findings of a paper for you because you are so busy. Perhaps if you were to cease bashing SkS on WUWT, you would have the time you need to do your own research. I suspect that you have a hidden agenda in posting comments on SkS.
    0 0
  46. OK Dale - maybe I misunderstood your point. And regarding 'minor bullets' vs 'thermonuclear weapons', I have to admit I'm not versed enough in the science to distinguish one from the other. But I'm skeptical that the Arctic melt rate is accurately described as a minor bullet. And of course to do so is to make that case that there is only minor global warming if/ when it goes the rest of the way and simply disappears...but as the moderator noted above, this Arctic vs Anarctic discussion is deviating from the topic of Dana1981's post - so I'm done with ice here.
    0 0
  47. Dale #147: You have some potential to make an interesting point here, but unfortunately with several misconceptions ... namely that you think melting of the Arctic sea ice cap is largely without serious consequences. But what's happening? You are changing a large shiny white and dry part of the Northern Hemisphere to be a large dark absorbant and humid part of the NH. That is extremely likely to significantly change weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, perhaps very substantially indeed. Meteorologically, the Arctic may become a region dominated by low pressure and rising air, rather than high pressure and descending air. As whether the observed changes in the jetstream will have an impact, in the words of Jennifer Francis, "How can it not?" Of course, you may think that fundamentally altering the weather patterns across the Northern Hemisphere, where most of the world's food is grown, is of little consequence, but I would disagree. And that's without considering the consequences for Greenland (likely enhanced melt and SLR). We need to be very concerned about the Arctic.
    0 0
  48. One interesting takeaway from the upcoming Lars Larson segment will be the opportunity for the "what's that little horizontal bar next to the number" aka "negative and positive: never the twain shall meet" problem to be cleared up. If inability to deal with adding a positive to a negative is repeated on a nationally broadcast radio program that'll be a very sad thing. Listen for "110%," if you bother to listen at all.
    0 0
  49. Roger & skywatcher: A minor bullet can still kill you. But compared to what could happen if Antarctica melts? As bad as the Arctic melt will be, it'll pale in comparison to the change that will occur if Antarctica melts. I will also now follow mods direction and drop the ice discussion. I apologise, I didn't notice the msg till pointed out just now. John @148: I've probably posted what, 5 or 6 times at WUWT in the last couple of months? And in I think two of them I mention this site. Neither inflammatory or derisively. Please get your facts together first.
    0 0
    Moderator Response:

    [DB] As Eric(skeptic) notes below, your very own words hoist thee by thine own petard.

    Dale says:

    February 9, 2012 at 1:19 am

    As typical of SkS I posted a comment (not insulting, but a summary of Mandia’s review to prove to the dolts I’d actually read the reviews) and it was deleted by John Cook. Asking if my deleted post breached comment policy also got deleted. I also notice my original comment was “amended”. I’d originally said:

    “The book looks to be more about Mann’s sob story than any real science.”

    It now reads:

    “But since the book looks to be more about Mann’s sob story than any real science, I wouldn’t have read it regardless.”

    SkS at its finest.

    Note that when inflammatory comments are needfully moderated at SkS, the offending text is hidden with html text rather than deleted. This makes it possible to later show what the offending, "excised", text actually was in the first place.

    In the interest of full transparency and to illustrate the impoverishment of Dale's position, here is the original comment that Dale made at SkS in its entirety, unedited:

    As a reader of both sites (SkS and WUWT) and having read the Amazon reviews, I must admit to being disappointed by both sides.

    It's obvious that both "sides" are going in and contaminating the waters. The negative reviews slamming Mann and the book in my opinion are the same as the positive reviews literally fawning over Mann like he's a deity.

    To be honest, if I were looking to buy this I would be ignoring all of the reviews as it's obvious posturing by both "sides". But since the book looks to be more about Mann's sob story than any real science, I wouldn't have read it regardless.

    Climate denial at its embodied finest.

    dolt

    A mental retard who is clueless not only about current events, but also has the IQ level of a rock.

    Nope. Nothing inflammatory nor derisive about that.

  50. Dale, did you post this at WUWT Is it true? It is possible to post something but forget the exact words later on.. Same question to the mods, did any of you edit Dale's comment here? Do any of you ever edit comments? I can say with certainty that none of my comments have ever been edited here.
    0 0
    Moderator Response: [d_b] Edits to comments are rare and will be explicitly pointed out by moderators. Such edits might be performed if a comment is of high merit but the author slipped up and was gratuitously rude, that sort of thing, with an eye to cleaning up the comment so as to comport with moderation policy.

    The matter sounds as though it was a misunderstanding on the part of the "victim."

Prev  1  2  3  4  Next

You need to be logged in to post a comment. Login via the left margin or if you're new, register here.



The Consensus Project Website

THE ESCALATOR

(free to republish)


© Copyright 2020 John Cook
Home | Links | Translations | About Us | Privacy | Contact Us