Friday, July 25, 2014

Another EXCLUSIVE day at climate denialist headquarters ...

It should be remembered that it was Graham Lloyd that earned yesterday's Press Council rebuke to the lizard Oz, a rebuke which naturally sent the Bolter into a frenzy:

In a September 16 article, since changed online but archived here on the Media Watch website (in pdf form), The Australian environment editor Graham Lloyd rehashed a British story published a week before the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC was released that claimed the report update would say the true figure of warming since 1951 had been 0.12 degrees Celsius per decade, and not the 0.2 degrees Celsius claimed in previous reports. 
 The Oz’s piece continued: “Last week, the IPCC was forced to deny it was locked in crisis talks as reports intensified that scientists were preparing to revise down the speed at which climate change is happening and its likely impact. 
 “It is believed the IPCC draft report will still conclude there is now greater confidence that climate change is real, humans are having a major impact and that the world will continue to warm catastrophically unless drastic action is taken to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts would include big rises in the sea level, floods, droughts and the disappearance of the Arctic icecap. 
 “But claimed contradictions in the report have led to calls for the IPCC report process to be scrapped.” 
 These reports were wrong. The Daily Mail got its numbers wrong, and The Australian repeated the error, as Media Watch and The Guardian pointed out last year. The long-term trend in the IPCC report is 0.13 degrees of global warming a decade, and has been for some time — there was no retreat from higher figures.

That reminder courtesy of Crikey and 'Considerable concern': Oz in hot water over climate denial errors, though comically enough, in writing it, the Crikey scribbler committed a couple of basic howlers, confusing years with decades.

Still, Crikey provided a handy link to climate denialist central, and the offending Lloyd piece, which now appears in this form:

And so on. The pond reprinted that adjudication yesterday, but you can find it at the Press Council here.

Frankly, after that sort of smack down, the pond doesn't know how Lloyd manages to get out of bed and keep scribbling, or look at himself in the mirror.

The pond would be inclined to go hide in a room and stare at the ceiling, but hey, the force of the kool aid is strong in this one.

And so to today's effort, yet another attempt by Lloyd to evoke puzzles, concerns, pauses, mysteries, confusions, obfuscations and a failed science which can't account for a "pause" in global warming.

So what's the first bit of cheekiness?

Yep, there it is, it's lit up in bright red, with the claim that Lloyd, in writing Puzzle of deep ocean cooling (behind the paywall because you have to pay to read a failed environment editor), is somehow writing an EXCLUSIVE.

It is, in fact, just a beat up of a scientific paper, and climate denialist sites have already been over it like a rash.

There it was two days ago at the impressively titled The Global Warming Policy Foundation, "Restoring balance and trust to the climate debate", under the header Deep Oceans are Cooling Amidst A Sea of Modeling Uncertainty.

The take home message there?

So it remains unclear if and how Trenberth’s “missing heat” has sunk to the deep ocean. The depiction of a dramatic rise in deep ocean heat is highly questionable, even though alarmists have flaunted it as proof of CO2’s power. As Dr. Wunsch had warned earlier, “Convenient assumptions should not be turned prematurely into ‘facts,’ nor uncertainties and ambiguities suppressed.” … “Anyone can write a model: the challenge is to demonstrate its accuracy and precision… Otherwise, the scientific debate is controlled by the most articulate, colorful, or adamant players.” 
 To reiterate, “the uncertainties remain too large to rationalize e.g., the apparent “pause” in warming.”

It's the use of "alarmist" that gives the "balance and trust" game away. The takeaway message is pure denialist, and it's the routine use of "alarmist" which permits the pond to fling around cheerfully the word "denialist".

And Judith Curry was all over it three days ago, though the more canny Curry was more circumspect and questioning, in Are the deep oceans cooling?, ending with a slightly different bottom line:

All in all, I don’t see a very convincing case for deep ocean sequestration of heat.

But at least Curry provided a link to the original paper, available in pdf form and may be slow to load here, and readers will be amused to discover that the actual bottom line of the paper is a plea for more funding and more observations and more expenditure ... well amusing if you remember that the denialists routinely suggest that fat cat scientists are only after lavish grants designed to ensure they have a lifestyle up there with Bill Gates.

Never mind, the important thing to remember is that it isn't in any sense of the word an EXCLUSIVE.

Why that internationally renowned scientist, the Bolter, was also all over it three days ago, taking precious time away from bashing blacks and other pesky minorities, to scribble a definitive No, not enough ocean heat to explain that warming pause.

The world's leading climate scientist knows where to get his second hand science, and that's Jim Steele at Watts Up With That. (yes that was published back on July 21st, but hey exclusive is as exclusive does).

Well you can't expect the world's leading climate scientist to bother doing actual science, or even actual analysis, not when it's environmentally sensitive and thoughtful to recycle the thoughts of others ...

Now the scientists can argue amongst themselves - the pond doesn't pretend to be a player in that game - and the denialists can cheerfully jump to all the conclusions that they like - when confronted with unshakeable faith, that's like debating transubstantiation with a fundamentalist Mel Gibson - but the point about Lloyd is that what he's doing is worse than blogging.

Here's how it works. There is an amplifying circuit out in the ether which seizes on any scientific paper and immediately concludes that it's further evidence that global warming is a hoax, a conspiracy, a fraud, possibly involving the UN and its puppets, and possibly even a way to lead the planet by the nose to a world government ...

Lloyd routinely dips into this fuzzy, ideological amplification, and every so often surfaces with an EXCLUSIVE that's not, and it leads to the sort of simplifications and errors that the Press Council chivvied him for last time.

And because he's amplifying the denialists, it turns the allegedly mainstream media he's fronting into denialist central, home of rumours, uncertainties and confusions.

It's precisely the same strategy that was deployed by big tobacco for decades - you know Restoring balance and trust to the cigarette and tobacco debate - and it's symptomatic of the decline of the lizard Oz as a newspaper that in recent times it has taken to running faux statistics and alarmist nonsense from big tobacco, along with its cheerful propaganda for the big fossil fuel players.

Towards the end of his superficial coverage, Lloyd does try to cover himself from further PC complaints and adjudications:

Andy Hogg from ANU said while there was uncertainty about temperatures in the deep ocean, shallower regions were well understood, and the findings of the Wunsch paper were “consistent” with warming oceans. He said cooling of the deep ocean was not necessarily significant. “Most parts of the abyssal ocean take a very long time (centuries to millennia) to come into equilibrium with surface forcing,” he said. “So if cooling has occurred over large parts of the abyssal ocean, it is unrelated to global warming of the atmosphere over the last century.” 
He said there were key parts of the abyss, which had a closer connection with the surface. “The paper indicates that these regions have indeed been consistent with the expected heat uptake of the ocean in a warmer world,” Dr Hogg said.

But what Lloyd is really doing is "publishing the controversy", in which he explains that there are two contending balanced forces at play and in dispute, and each to be taken seriously as they debate such topics as global temperatures, "a key area of dispute between climate scientists and sceptics".

You might just as well end a story about god by noting that the creation of the earth is "a key area of dispute between Darwinists and creationists".

Never mind, devoted followers of the circus will remember that one of the scientists involved in the paper, Carl Wunsch of MIT, not so long ago, well at least in dinosaur terms, but back in 2007 featured in a scandal which erupted around his appearance in The Great Global Warming Swindle (for all those Greg Hunts who love to wiki).

Wunsch complained he was mislead and deceived about the nature of the show, and after his complaints his material was deleted from the international and DVD versions. Back then, Wunsch found himself writing climate change is:

... climate change is "real, a major threat, and almost surely has a major human-induced component. But I have tried to stay out of the `climate wars' because all nuance tends to be lost, and the distinction between what we know firmly, as scientists, and what we suspect is happening, is so difficult to maintain in the presence of rhetorical excess." He further cautiously states that "The science of climate change remains incomplete. Some elements are so firmly based on well-understood principles, or for which the observational record is so clear, that most scientists would agree that they are almost surely true (adding CO2 to the atmosphere is dangerous; sea level will continue to rise, ...). Other elements remain more uncertain, but we as scientists in our roles as informed citizens believe society should be deeply concerned about their possibility: failure of US midwestern (sic) precipitation in 100 years in a mega-drought; melting of a large part of the Greenland ice sheet, among many other examples.

As for Patrick Heimbach? Well he's just as bad, publishing papers that take a look at Greenland and what might happen in future years, and yes, suggesting more funding is needed for more observations for a problem that will impact future generations (A look back and ahead at Greenland's changing climate).

But if you read Lloyd, all you get is a take home message is confusion and chaos, unanswered, perhaps unanswerable questions, hypotheses that need confirmation or refutation, negligible implications that might turn out to be massive, and a high stakes game being played with blank cards:

Professor Wunsch and Dr Heimbach say trends showed a warming in the upper ocean and a net cooling below 2000m. Below 3600m, the cooling is about 0.01C over 19 years. 
“As with many climate-­related records, the unanswerable question here is whether these changes are truly secular, and/or a response to anthropogenic forcing, or whether they are fragments of a general red noise behaviour,’’ the paper says. 
Some climate scientists claim the deep oceans are not significant because of the long time­frames over which temperature changes occur. 
Professor Wunsch and Dr Heimbach say shifts in deep ocean properties “may indeed be so slight that their neglect in discussions of heat uptake and sea level change is justified”. 
“The history of exploration suggests, however, that blank places on the map have either been assumed to be without any interesting features and dropped from further discussion, or at the other extreme filled with ‘dragons’ invoked to explain strange reports,” they say. 
The paper says that, given the combination of the high stakes for society in the accurate ­estimation of global heating rates and sea level rise, and the fundamental science questions of understanding of oceanic variability, direct confirmation or refutation of the existing hypothesis was essential.

Scientists full of saucy doubts, confusions and fears.

What to do, what to do?

Why read the Bolter, the world's greatest climate scientist, he'll sort things out ...

Just another day at the EXCLUSIVE headquarters of climate denialist central ...

(Below: and now for another great moment in science. You can find the story at Followup on the WSJ climate denial OpEd, and you can find the cartoon here, along with this:

Add caption

And so to the cartoon:

Oh okay you probably read Neutrino researchers admit Einstein was right, but here's a couple of XKCDs arising from the subject matter, and more of XKCD's cartoons here:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments older than two days are moderated and there will be a delay in publishing them.