Saturday, December 3, 2011

Peter Hadfield Examines The Science of Climate Change

Since my interest is sharing what climatologists have to explain to us {as opposed to the crazy-making over at WUWT} - allow me to introduce a man that does a superb job of explaining what real scientists have been learning about our planet and the climate upon which all of us depend.  At the end of Mr. Hadfield's article is a list of Potholer54's "Climate Change" series along with links.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Chris Mooney: "Anthony Watts and Defensive Reasoning"

I came across this article today and believe it's worth sharing.
Tip of the hat to Chris Mooney and

Anthony Watts and Defensive Reasoning: Three Episodes
Chris Mooney, November 16, 2011 ~

"Over the last year, I’ve had numerous blogospheric encounters with the conservative climate “skeptic” Anthony Watts, the author of WattsUpWithThat.
"In the process, I’ve been particularly struck by how Watts handles inconvenient evidence.
"Twice now, I’ve seen Watts make a mistake, and then seem to rationalize it, rather than simply correct it. 
"I’ve also seen Watts shift the goalposts, refusing to accept inconvenient evidence even after saying he would do so.
"What’s up with that?
"Look: We all make mistakes. And we all adopt beliefs that later turn out to be incorrect. There's nothing wrong with that per se; it's actually quite natural. What really matters is what we do after we’re proven wrong. So let’s see what Watts does:"
~ ~ ~
"Research on Astroturfing. A while back, I introduced the blogosphere to a social science study on online anti-global warming astroturfing. Watts then leapt in, accusing the researchers of having “setup fake websites to gather fake data."
"Note the underlying point here. Watts launched a baseless attack on the astroturfing study. When his error was pointed out, he tried to blame the study authors, and came up with new criticisms, including protesting that they should have conducted the study in a way that he himself had previously claimed would have been deceptive and misleading, or even unethical."
~ ~ ~ 
"On to episode two:
The BEST Study. I just wrote about this one, and it is quite telling.
A while back, Anthony Watts wrote of the headline-grabbing Berkeley BEST study that “I’m prepared to accept whatever result they produce, even if it proves my premise wrong.”
But when the study came out and he didn’t like its findings, Watts instead engaged in  a phenomenon called goalpost shifting. Look at how he now talks about the BEST work: In a recent post, he referred to the “incomplete and rushed, non quality controlled, error riddled BEST science.”
Are we noting a common theme here?"
~ ~ ~
"On to episode three:
The Republican Brain: My next book will not be out for about 6 months. Nevertheless, much like the Astroturf study, Watts attacked it without reading it. He justified doing so by claiming that someone else had reviewed the book, so he could rely on that review instead: link"

"Why is all of this significant?

If you can’t admit it when you’re wrong,
 you also can’t know when you’re right.
If you don’t hold your opinions and beliefs tentatively, subject them to scrutiny, and then try to parse out which of them truly hold weight, then you run the risk of rushing headlong into all manner of self-serving biases."
~ ~ ~ 

"And please note: This has nothing to do with whether or not you’re smart.
Smart people (like Watts) are in fact particularly vulnerable to this problem, because they’re extra good at rationalizing their views. Even as they’re super awesome at finding apparent problems with the arguments of those who disagree with them, and arguing back against their opponents, they're often oblivious of their own biases.

But it doesn’t matter how many great arguments you can spin out to defend what you believe, if you can’t also perceive where your beliefs might be untrue.

Without self criticism, all your self-supporting arguments amount to little more than spinning your wheels—while you remain stuck in the mud."

Chris Mooney
As posted at DeSmogBlog

IRMACS Global Warming Lecture Series 2011

The Dr. Trenberth lecture featured in the previous post came from the IRMACS website.  
They have other valuable lectures available... for those interested in learning rather than debate-games.


IRMACS ~ the Interdisciplinary Research in the Mathematical and Computational Sciences

Established in 2004,  the centre is a unique, interdisciplinary research facility that enables collaborative interaction - intellectually, physically and virtually.
IRMACS removes traditional boundaries between scientific disciplines and creates a stimulating environment for its researchers. It provides a versatile, computationally sophisticated infrastructure for scientists whose primary laboratory tool is the computer.


IRMACS Global Warming Seminar Series 2011 

Unauthorized Notes: Dr. Trenberth lecture: "The Role of the Oceans in Climate

I'm slowly building up to an examination of Watts' treatment of Dr. Trenberth and the science that he has been producing.  I feel that this project requires a more detailed presentation of exactly what Dr. Trenberth is trying to explain.  

To further that effort I have gone over the following talk and typed up another Unauthorized Notes.  Trenberth is gracious enough to pack his talk with slides and outlines, so most of these notes are simply his slides transcribed.  {curly brackets indicate my own comments}


Dr. Kevin Trenberth: The Role of the Oceans in Climate

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Watts up with that Radiative Return Effect

During Ben Santer's Question and Answer session Anthony Watts asked the following question.
As it happens over at there was a detailed comment that seems to me speaks to Anthony's question but more importantly addresses many of the crazy-making claims/charges surrounding this important topic. 

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

1:02:05 - Anthony Watts: Would you describe the Radiative Return Effect of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere as being linear or logarithmic?
~ ~ ~

Denial Tango

Dear Anthony Watts,
since every good conversation needs some light moments allow me to share this wonderful little ditty I was just turned on to by a band of old guys called MEN WITH DAY JOBS.
click here

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Watts up with Old PI: Humans adapt nature to our desires, we don't adapt to nature

With the Santer session behind me and today being a snow-day I was catching up on WUWT.  It seems that Dr. Trenberth has been receiving a lot of attention and abuse over there and I hope to do a series of posts dedicated to those threads.  

But, for now a comment smacked me in the face enough to share.  It seems to me to reflect on a main reason for our collective failure to communicate:


Friday, November 4, 2011

Watts, Surface Stations and BEST {SkS}

Anthony Watts made his fame doing studies on surface weather stations, claiming he proved they are unreliable.  Since then surface stations have received much closer scrutiny and it turns out Watts' fears and claims are not born out by the evidence.

Unfortunately, Anthony Watts is not one to admit to nor correct errors so it is left to other sources to fill in the gaps Mr. Watts chooses to ignore.

Fortunately, the good folks over at SkepticalScience have been kind enough to review this question in light of the recent release of the Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project, a project that was a sort of last hope for skeptics trying to deny a warming planet.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Watts Up With That "Ben Santer" discussion thread?

{Saturday, November 5th.} 
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ 

The following is a selection of reader comments from over at What’s Up With” discussion thread regarding a talk given by Dr. Ben Santer to Anthony Watts and friends at Chico State University, California October 21, 2011.

"Dr. Ben Santer speaks on climate modeling, and everything else"

I copied the comments (unaltered other than formatting adjustments) into this WUWTW.blogspot blog in order to share the comments and ask the questions that are impossible to present over at WUWT.

Watts up with this?

  Anthony Watts affords me my 15 seconds of fame.
Since I intend to examine various posts at WUWT: "Ben Santer speaks on climate modeling, and everything else"  discussion thread,  I figured why not start with this exchange:
For what it’s worth, someone was asking if anyone would take the time to transcribe Santer’s talk at Chico State. Well, I have. It’s not the full hour talk, only about 4,000 words worth of highlights with time signatures.
Unauthorized notes of Dr. Ben Santer’s October 21, 2011 Chico State talk to Anthony Watts and friends.”

Ben Santer's Chico State Question and Answer - unauthorized transcript

{posted 11/4/11} 

{I tried posting the following message to Mr. Watts at his Watts Up With That ~ Ben Santer discussion thread, but it appears I have been blackballed, banned. . .   ignored as all messengers bearing inconvenient information or questions.  Shame on you Mr. Watts for fostering willful ignor-ance toward the full spectrum of available knowledge !} 

Anthony Watts,
I do appreciate your posting Ben Santer’s talk at Chico State University which I understand was given at your behest.  Though I've got to say, in light of spending much time transcribing highlights from the main talk and Ben Santer's full answers I'm doubly confounded by the contempt both in your own initial post, but more particularly, the comments of your fan base in the discussion thread following the above talk.

I thought his talk along with the question and answer session provide a powerful learning tool for those who want to understand the AGW reality with some better clarity.  But it's like an absolutist cold shoulder is all he got from you folks.  Watts up with that?  I thought a better understanding of what's going on in our biosphere was the top priority?  Why does it seem like your crowd is all about distorting or ignoring relevant information?
~ ~ ~ 

How long will the charade of applying engineering rules to understanding Natural Sciences continue?

How long will the terror of economic change drive your frivolous, crazy making attacks on the integrity of the global climatological scientific community? 

Mr. Watts' when will you honestly and skeptically look at what's driving your own selective reading of the full spectrum of information available?  And of course, what about the world we are leaving our descendants?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In the interest of the dialogue here's my unauthorized transcription of Dr. Ben Santer's question and answer session.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Dr. Ben Santer explaining climate science to Anthony Watts

Unauthorized notes of Dr. Ben Santer’s October 21, 2011 Chico State talk to Anthony Watts and friends.

Anthony Watts' blog posted a personal video of a talk given to him by Dr. Santer.  The WUWT comments section is dismaying in its predictable knee jerk denial that sidesteps much of what Santer was explaining.  It's like folks simply believe they can ignore anything he has to say because he's been labeled a 'bad guy' by a bunch of smooth PR guys with an axe to grind.

But, before I take the time to review some of the comments from over at WUWT to Santer's talk I believe it is appropriate to share highlights from the talk.  To that end I have transcribed large portions of the talk. 

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Expert Credibility in Climate Change

It was suggested* I share this abstract from a study surveying publications by active climatologists. 
I think it's a good suggestion so here it is.


From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America:


The Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature project

“Berkeley Earth Surface Temperature” was a project that intended to review the voracity of the official temperature records.  In it’s inception it was enthusiastically supported by many skeptics including Mr. Watts of “What's Up With That” blog fame.

The results are coming out and it looks as though the climatologists have be presenting us with accurate information.  So this begs the question: When are committed AGW “skeptics” going to start taking climatologists seriously.


Berkeley Earth Analysis of Full Data Set (October 2011)

The Berkeley Earth team has completed the analysis of the full data set, and summary charts are available here. The Berkeley Earth team has already started to benefit from feedback from our peers, so these figures are more up-to-date than the figures in our papers submitted for peer review (see below).

Watts's this got to do with understanding climatology?

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

 What an ironic start to this little blog I feel compelled to construct.
Being as the point of this blog is to highlight the utter foolishness that parades as right-wing-science over at Watts Up With  I present exhibit #1: 

WHAT: I ASK YOU does WUWT guest post by Willis Eschenbach 10/24/11 have to do with trying to understand anything about our climate?