Saturday, August 11, 2018

Guest Post: Manipulated by the Referees!


Submitted by Peter Johnson:
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MANIPULATED BY THE REFEREES!

In response to comments I made on the following website:


I disputed the claims of another commenter who used the name Bodhisattva 1, and who used a photo of the Dalia Lama next to this screenname, but, I have had some of my best posts removed. In one of those posts, I disputed the commenter’s claims that climate scientists have failed to prove that virtually any climate warming at all has happened in the last 40 years—a claim that taken on face value, is completely absurd! So, I used the following link to provide some info about Roy Spencer which contradicts his claims to have never accepted money from any source for his support of climate change deniers (or as he prefers) from skeptics.



“Spencer is a registered speaker at the Heartland Institute's “America First Energy Conference” (AFEC 2018) in New Orleans, Louisiana. [100]
“The purpose of this event is to promote and expand energy freedom in the United States, as outlined in President Donald Trump’s bold America First Energy Plan, a proposal first released during the 2016 presidential campaign. The president’s plan marks a decisive change in direction from the Obama administration’s 'war on fossil fuels' and focus on the theory of catastrophic man-caused climate change,” the conference description reads. [101]


And about Spencer’s supposed lack of ties to anti global warming special interest groups--take a look at this link:



“A research scientist with the University of Alabama at Huntsville's Earth System Science Center (ESSC), Roy Spencer is a climate contrarian with solid academic credentials. And his website bio notes that he "has never been asked by any oil company to perform any kind of service. Not even Exxon-Mobil."

“But Spencer doesn't disclose his leadership roles in climate skeptic groups financed by Exxon and other key players in what's been dubbed the "climate denial machine": the network of companies, think tanks and foundations that have sought to deny and downplay the scientific consensus that global warming is real and is caused in large part by human activity.”


The bottom line is, even if he (willingly) accepts funding from special interests without being directed by them, he is still accepting money from those who would likely expect his research to mirror their own claims.

And from the following links I provided evidence that the Dalai Lama actually acknowledges human caused climate change, and urges us to take actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions:



“Yesterday, the Dalai Lama released a video urging world leaders to take strong action at the UN climate talks starting on November 30 in Paris. The Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader is one of growing number of religious leaders, including Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew, to call for immediate climate action.”


And here are some of his comments reported in the following link from The Guardian;



“Logically, human beings have the responsibility to reduce these problems and finally eliminate these problems because we created them,” he said.
Like Pope Francis’s plea for younger generations to take more action in his environmental encyclical, the Dalai Lama also appealed to the young to “take a more active role in protecting this planet, including the Tibetan plateau.” We can only pray that world leaders will actually listen to these hopeful young voices, though.”


Why the Dali Lama needs to hide behind the screen name of Bodhisattva 1, I’ll never know. And as the quote above indicates, he rejects man’s role in causing (dangerous) global warming. Here is a link to another Guardian article:



“Perhaps the darlings of the denialist community are two researchers out of Alabama (John Christy and Roy Spencer). They rose to public attention in the mid-1990s when they reportedly showed that the atmosphere was not warming and was actually cooling. It turns out they had made some pretty significant errors and when other researchers identified those errors, the new results showed a warming.”

“To provide perspective, we know the Earth is warming because we can measure it. Most of the heat (93%) goes into the oceans and we have sensors measuring ocean temperatures that show this. We also know about warming because we have thermometers and other sensors all over the planet measuring “the temperature at the surface or in the first few meters of air at the surface. Those temperatures are rising too. We are also seeing ice melting and sea level rising around the planet.”


So, the evidence is clear. What Christy and Spencer focus on is the temperatures measured far above the Earth’s surface in the troposphere and the stratosphere. Generally, over the past few decades these two scientists have claimed the troposphere temperatures are not rising very rapidly. This argument has been picked up to deny the reality of human caused climate change – but it has been found to be wrong.” Take for example statements made in regard to his studies science worthiness;



“The editor-in-chief of Remote Sensing, Wolfgang Wagner, later resigned over publication of Spencer and Braswell (2011),[23] stating, "From a purely formal point of view, there were no errors with the review process. [...] the problem I see with the paper by Spencer and Braswell is not that it declared a minority view ...but that it essentially ignored the scientific arguments of its opponents. This latter point was missed in the review process, explaining why I perceive this paper to be fundamentally flawed and therefore wrongly accepted by the journal."[24] Wagner added he, "would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate skeptics have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements".[23][24]


Andrew Dessler later published a paper opposing the claims of Spencer and Braswell (2011) in Geophysical Research Letters.[25] He stated, among other things:
“First, [they] analyzed 14 models, but they plotted only six models and the particular observational data set that provided maximum support for their hypothesis. Plotting all of the models and all of the data provide a much different conclusion.”
 
Here is approximately what I said in the last paragraph of my comment, and which has also mysteriously vanished;


“How do you sleep at night? First you slander the Dalai Lama by calling him Bodhisattva 1 and misrepresenting what he actually says about man’s role in global warming. Then you failed to mention all of the associations (Spencer) has with big oil companies and special interests even though you tacitly rely on claims that Spencer has never been asked to do anything for such companies. The bottom line is that whether Spencer is asked by big oil companies to do bogus research or not, voluntarily, or by way of bribes, he has willingly provided inaccurate and dishonest information to the big oil and think tanks which support them! But, those who really want to communicate the truth don’t need to depend on lies to bolster their positions—shame on you!”


May I also point out that, since the screen name of this commenter is Bodhisattva 1, and includes a photo of the Dali Lama, that this commenter is only avoiding charges of slander by way of calling him or herself, Bodhisattva 1, and thus  did not overtly claim that  he or she represents the specific opinions held by the leader of the Tibetan Buddhist faith—however the purpose for his or her using that screen name is clear! I posted some of the things he or she said near the end of this comment.

Although this comment was not available via the printout of individual posts made on the Katherine Hayhoe thread, I was able to go back to my primary forum notifications which were received via email and make copies of them:

And, although his or her screenname would not copy, the following statements including the graph, were posted by the commenter using the name Bodhisattva 1 on the same website when discussing the views of Katherine Hayhoe.

“Exactly why the word "skeptic" does not apply to those who are full of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change Alarmism. They refuse to see over 20 years of data... in fact now going on 40 years... that show that the gloom and doom predictions of their ilk are false. Here's one small part of the proof:”



Personally, I think the black line indicates the exact opposite of what Bodhisattva 1 claims. In fact, even when disregarding actual amounts of increase, almost all the charted lines on it, are indicative of rising or increasing global temperature averages.

Thanks, Pete,

In closing I would also like to note that on many supposedly liberal forums such as Media Matters, I have consciously tried to avoid obscenities and nasty comments towards others. But, if one simply glances down the list of comments made on any controversial website, one will see so many obscene and childish comments tossed at one commenter by another, that one will be tempted to laugh.

So yes! When site moderators refuse to publish my comments---at least until after they have been banished indefinitely to my disqus page—even though nothing in them breaks the rules---how can these moderators honestly say that someone who flings around mentions of the F word, and whose entire response consists of one ad hominem insult after another, is leaving more polite and reasonable comments than mine?

I find that, on many websites, on which one would think my rebuttals would be welcomed, even the moderators on those left leaning sites are censoring comments made by liberals and/or left-wing commenters? —what for I don’t know? —even if such comments are written respectfully and without the use of obscenities or insults, they are still not permitted? —Why? Anyone’s guess is as good as mine?

Peter W. Johnson
Superior WI.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Hurricanes 2018

There was a lot of press about the 2017 hurricane season. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria caused hundreds of billions of dollars in damage, killed thousands, and left untold more injured. By themselves, these three storms caused an estimated $265 billion in damage to the U.S. That figure is from January 8, 2018 and is likely to be even higher by now. Official records show 64 deaths in Puerto Rico, but analysis indicates this number is extremely low and the real number of fatalities lies between 1000 and 5000 people.

The question that was immediately asked was how much manmade global warming had to do with all of this. The deniers in government responded that 'this wasn't the time to talk about that.' Of course not. They didn't want to be held accountable for their actions. But, that didn't stop the conversation and the analysis. The conclusion? Yes, AGW most certainly made these storms worse. Attribution science shows global warming made the storms stronger, slower, and wetter. They are also growing in strength faster. Three independent studies last fall found that human activity made the damage from Hurricane Harvey more intense. The disastrous rainfall from Harvey was three times as likely as from a storm a hundred years ago and 15% more intense. The seven day rainfall was as much as 40% greater than from a similar storm even a few decades ago. The lead researcher on one study, Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, stated,
This multimethod analysis, drawing upon both observed rainfall data and high-resolution climate models, confirms that heavy rainfall events are increasing substantially across the Gulf Coast region because of human interference with our climate system.
[Of course, much of the damage could've been avoided if not for the climate-change denying director for the Harris County Flood Control District, Mike Talbot, who insisted climate change was a hoax and allowed construction in known flood plains for many years. It would be wonderful if Talbot was arrested for his crimes, but it won't happen.]

The problem is that the average hurricane strength has remained pretty constant with the accumulated cyclone energy (ACE) remaining relatively steady. But, while the ACE has remained constant, there has been an increase in storms in recent years of such incredible strength they are being referred to as category 6 storms, which would constitute a new level in the Saffir-Simpson index used to categorize cyclonic storms and would consist of storms with constant winds exceeding 175 or 180 mph.

The science is clear - global warming is resulting in cyclonic storms that develop faster, become stronger, move more slowly, and dump more rain. And, at the same time, the total energy of storms has remained fairly constant. How do you reconcile this contradictory information? One way is that small storms and large storms are both becoming more common. This results in the average remaining nearly the same. Another way is that very active years (2017) alternate with relatively quiet years.

This year, 2018, appears to be one of those slow years. The July forecasts are for below-average activity with eleven named storms and four hurricanes. Despite the fact that we've already had three full-strength hurricanes, it appears this should be a slow year. There are several factors leading to this conclusion.

Take a look at this plot of the sea surface temperature (SST) anomaly:

Source: CCI

This image is showing us three really important things.

First, note the red area in the North Atlantic. The sea surface is hotter than usual here. That is causing a high pressure system in the North Atlantic. This creates a clockwise cycle of wind which goes down past the Iberian Peninsula and westward across the mid-Atlantic. Take a look at this graphic illustrating the wind patterns:

Source: Earth


The result of this is to cool the sea surface. This is indicated by the blue, lower-than-normal temperature region in our SST figure above and is the second thing to note. That area is known as the Main Development Area for hurricanes.

Hurricanes need warm ocean water. The threshold temperature is typically regarded as at least 79 degrees Fahrenheit (about 26 degrees Celsius). The winds blowing across the mid-Atlantic are keeping the sea surface temperature down, which is bad for hurricane formation.

The third thing to note in the image above is the red area west of equatorial South America indicating hotter than usual SSTs. This is an El Nino possibly forming. The July ENSO Diagnostic Discussion estimates a 65% chance of an El Nino this fall and a 70% chance for this coming winter. Even if it doesn't turn into a full-scale El Nino, it has the effect of creating high-altitude wind shear across the Caribbean Sea. Hurricanes gain strength by forming a rising column of air in the eye, resulting in a low-pressure area and sucking in hot, moist air to replace it. This air rises, condenses, releases its energy and then cycles around to continue fueling the storm. High-altitude shear winds crossing over the top of this column will essentially chop it off, robbing the cyclone of its reinforcing wind pattern. This is also bad for hurricane formation.

So, two bad things for hurricane formation. But, there's a third. Take a look at this satellite image:

Source: NOAA/RAMMB, via Weather Underground

What you can see here is a big cloud of dust blowing off Northern Africa across the mid-Atlantic and into the Caribbean. This dust is contributing to the lower SST for the region by shading the sunlight.

So, we have cool SSTs caused by wind and dust, and high-altitude wind shears. This is a bad combination for the formation of tropical cyclones. So, despite having three hurricanes already, the estimate remains that it will be a slow hurricane season in the Atlantic.

The interesting thing is all of those factors are made worse by AGW. The high-SST area in the North Atlantic is the result of ocean warming, as is the El Nino. Manmade global warming makes both of these events more likely and more extreme. The dust blowing off Africa is due to more extreme drought conditions, again made worse by global warming.

So, does AGW make tropical hurricanes worse? Or, better? Apparently, depending on the year, it can be either.








"This multimethod analysis, drawing upon both observed rainfall data and high-resolution climate models, confirms that heavy rainfall events are increasing substantially across the Gulf Coast region because of human interference with our climate system."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-climate-harvey-rainfall-percent-intense.html#jCp
"This multimethod analysis, drawing upon both observed rainfall data and high-resolution climate models, confirms that heavy rainfall events are increasing substantially across the Gulf Coast region because of human interference with our climate system."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-climate-harvey-rainfall-percent-intense.html#jCp
"This multimethod analysis, drawing upon both observed rainfall data and high-resolution climate models, confirms that heavy rainfall events are increasing substantially across the Gulf Coast region because of human interference with our climate system."

Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-12-climate-harvey-rainfall-percent-intense.html#jCp

Monday, July 16, 2018

The crazy things climate change deniers say

Being involved in the public forum on climate change brings a requirement to listen to any number of crazies. Normally, climate change deniers have some foothold in reality and are probably perfectly sane. Then, there are the ones you really have to wonder about. You would like to think even the science-hating crowd realizes these people are wacko, but I have found, unfortunately, that misery loves company. Seldom is someone so bad that even the science haters shut them out.

Let me give you some examples. Here are some comments posted on an article that appeared on the CFACT webpage. The article is quite bizarre by itself. Granted, CFACT is a true voodoo group of people with very twisted ideas of reality, but it's still surprising to read some of the comments appearing there. It is a trip worthy of H.P. Lovecraft. This exchange, for instance:
  • We have a display to marvel at, with not a bit of science in support.




    No one has ever stated a theory that explains how your man made global warming belief could be physically possible.





    If you think your link contains a theory that explains how your man made global warming belief could be physically possible, then quote the theory.

Source: CFACT

You read that correctly. There's not one, but two, anti-science individuals who aren't happy claiming global warming and climate change aren't real. They need to claim there is NO science at all to support it. Even as I type these words, I still can't believe it. They really are stating there is NO science at all to support the idea of climate change, despite the one link provided.

Bwaaa-haaaaa-haaaa!

Okay. I was going to give a list of sources, but this one is so stupid. It's one thing to give the typical science-hater's false and deceptive arguments. But, to state there is no science at all is to take a permanent detour into the land of the irrational. Here's a search for 'science of climate change.' Take a look at how many hits it produced.

 


Once again, you read that correctly. 366,000,000 hits. That's right - three hundred and sixty-six million hits! Oh, and these guys want to tell you that there is no science supporting climate change.

I can hear the deniers already - 'Well, that's only two guys. That doesn't prove anything."

No, it isn't, and yes it does.



c keating, you obviously do not know anything about science! Your so called climate scientists still HAVE NOT SHOWN ONE STUDY THAT SHOWS A DIRECT CORRELATION BETWEEN INCREASING CO2 LEVELS CAUSING INCREASING GLOBAL TEMPS WHEN IT IS A PROVEN FACT THAT GLOBAL TEMPS INCREASE HUNDREDS OF YEARS(NOT ONE YR OR DAYS) BEFORE CO2 LEVELS INCREASE THUS PROVING THAT CO2 IS NOT THE PRIMARY DRIVER OF INCREASING GLOBAL TEMPS!!!

Source: CFACT

Uhmmm, yeah.

So, who cares? Clearly, these guys are so far gone that there is no way to reach them, so it isn't even worth the effort to try. Yeah, these three twits (and the others who believe in CFACT) are morons and the only people who are going to read their comments on CFACT and think they're credible are also morons. But, take a look at the article written by this guy. This is why I care. Some of these morons get bigger venues. Someone might actually believe this twit knows what he's talking about.

He doesn't.

Ed Berry is a wacked-out physicist who spends time making anti-science claims and uses his Ph.D. as a proof that he's right. He isn't and he has been called out on a regular basis, including by me. Based on his comments, I have to conclude he is not rational. But, people will still listen to him. 

So, let's take a quick look at how invalid this latest piece of his is.

Berry's claim is that climate change is not possible because it violates Einstein's equivalence principle. Right away, he demonstrates how invalid his claim is because he uses the principle in an incorrect manner. For those of you who may not be familiar with it, the equivalence principle states that gravity cannot be distinguished from acceleration, a key concept in his general theory of relativity. For instance, if you mysteriously woke up in a sealed room and the gravity was the same as before, you could not tell, by any experiment within the confines of the room, that you are on Earth and not in a spaceship accelerating at one earth-gravity of acceleration. But, that isn't what Berry says.
The Equivalence Principle says if data cannot distinguish between two things, then the two things are identical.
No, that is not what the equivalence principle states and his statement is false. You can have incomplete data on two different things and not be able to distinguish between them. So, his basis is wrong right from the first sentence when he claims climate change violates the equivalence principle. 

And, then it gets worse.

He goes on to make the claim that the IPCC is stating manmade CO2 is treated by nature differently than naturally-caused CO2. 
IPCC’s Big Idea (its fundamental hypothesis) is that nature treats human CO2 emissions differently than it treats nature’s CO2 emissions.
This is a false statement, in and of itself. It is not IPCC's fundamental hypothesis and no one, that I'm aware of, is claiming manmade CO2 emissions are treated differently by nature. CO2 from burning fossil fuels, and other manmade sources, goes into the big mix and is cycled around just like naturally produced CO2. The issue is that this manmade production is overwhelming the ability of the natural environment to remove CO2 - any CO2 - from the atmosphere. The natural system has limits and we have exceeded those limits. Atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing as a result of exceeding nature's limits, not because manmade CO2 is treated differently.

But, in reality, CO2 coming from fossil fuel burning IS different than natural CO2. The isotopic ratio is different, which is how we know manmade emissions are responsible for increasing CO2 levels. So, the data really can distinguish between the two.

This is how laughable Berry is. His claim is that we can't tell one CO2 source from another, therefore the equivalence principle applies. Not only is his application of the EP wrong, but you can, in fact, tell the difference between one source of CO2 and the other. 

In other words, his entire claim is false!

But, you know what? People will still believe him. And, that's the sad truth.