Sunday, March 26, 2017

¶3 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

This is the third installment (paragraph 3) of this citizen's examination of the article at the heart of this season’s faux climate scandal media sensation the John Bates Affair.  For some background and introduction link here.  I’ve borrowed Bates’ subtitle since I’m exploring his wordsmithing in order to ponder his motivations and it seemed to fit well enough.

by John Bates, posted on February 4, 2017 | ClimateEtc - J. Curry
“A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”
(Can you see the difference?)

Bates writes in ¶3:   In the following sections, I provide the details of how Mr. Karl failed to disclose critical information to NOAA, Science Magazine, and Chairman Smith regarding the datasets used in K15. 
This sounds like Mr. Bates the prosecuting attorney setting up a jury to convict.  Critical information like what?  

Technical infractions of documenting protocols?  Procedures that take years to satisfy and were the source of many contentious meetings between departments and Bates trying to iron out his fastidious (perhaps even obstructionist) red tape with real world needs.  Bates does not share that side of this story.

What’s galling with that sentence is that having read through all this a number of times I already know Bates provides nothing of the sort.  Not a hint of any slight or infraction against Chairman Smith by Dr. Karl.  The NOAA claim perhaps woven between the lines.  The Science Magazine claim amounts to nothing more than another creative and hostile insinuation.  I can’t help but wonder if this wasn’t Judith’s ghostwriting.

Bates ¶14   ... Did Karl et al. disclose to Science Magazine that they would not be following the NOAA archive policy, would not archive the data, and would only provide access to a non-machine readable version only on an FTP server?

Has Dr. Bates stopped beating his wife?  That sort of framing is gratuitous and only good for contriving prejudices.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

¶2 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

This is the second installment (paragraph 2) of this citizen's examination of the article at the heart of this season’s faux climate scandal.  For some background link here.  I’ve borrowed Bates’ subtitle since I’m exploring his wordsmithing in order to ponder his motivations.

Climate scientists versus climate data
by John Bates, posted on February 4, 2017 | ClimateEtc - J. Curry
“A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”

For perspective, all this hubbub is over the difference between these two lines


Bates writes in ¶2:   ‘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’ 

If this is Bates’ “most serious example” - what’s the big deal?  If it was a big deal, why wasn’t Dr. Bates duty bound to formally raise concerns while in his position of responsibility at NOAA?

“Bates does not directly challenge the conclusions of Karl's study, and he never formally raised his concerns through internal NOAA mechanisms. (W. Cornwall, P. Voosen

Instead Bates retired and only then does he drag his personal dirty laundry over to Judith Curry for her make-over skills.  Then he releases his complaint to a public that has no technical understanding of the issues.

That’s not how serious scientists or competent administrators operate.  Smells more like vendetta ensnarled by political dirty tricks.

This begs the question, why doesn’t Bates take his own advice?

(Bates) cautioned scientists against advocating policy.
"You really have to provide the most objective view and let the policymakers decide from their role," Bates said. "I'm getting much more wary of scientists growing into too much advocacy. I think there is certainly a role there, and yet people have to really examine themselves for their own bias and be careful about that."(W. Cornwall, P. Voosen)

Friday, March 24, 2017

¶1 A look behind the curtain of John Bates’ facade - The John Bates Affair

This is a citizen's examination of the article at the heart of this season’s faux climate scandal.  For more background you can start here.

Climate scientists versus climate data
by John Bates, posted on February 4, 2017 | ClimateEtc.- Curry's blog
“A look behind the curtain at NOAA’s climate data center.”
I’ve borrowed John’s subtitle since I intend to explore his wordsmithing and ponder his motivations.

Bates' beloved Protocol
Bates writes in ¶1   “I read with great irony recently that scientists are “frantically copying U.S. Climate data, fearing it might vanish under Trump” (e.g., Washington Post 13 December 2016)." 
Red flag right out of the gate.

It’s telling that Bates makes light of what the Trump Administration had already done to climate science information.  Given such an intro we must consider the possibility John Bates’ is motivated by politics and opportunism rather than any concern over data records.

With Trump in Charge, Climate Change References Purged From Website
By Coral Davenport | Jan. 20, 2017 | New York Times

WASHINGTON — Within moments of the inauguration of President Trump, the official White House website on Friday deleted nearly all mentions of climate change. The one exception: Mr. Trump’s vow to eliminate the Obama administration’s climate change policies, which previously had a prominent and detailed web page on

The purge was not unexpected. It came as part of the full digital turnover of, including taking down and archiving all the Obama administration’s personal and policy pages.

All References to Climate Change Have Been Deleted From the White House Website
Jason Koebler | Jan 20, 2017


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
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? 
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 ‘’ 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 -  Although should add that Tim Ball is as contrarian a fool as Soon and every bit as dishonest in his presentation of the issues. -

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 © 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