Dr. Roy Spencer’s Ill Considered Comments on Citizen Science

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

Over at Roy Spencer’s usually excellent blog, Roy has published what could be called a hatchet job on “citizen climate scientists” in general and me in particular.  Now, Dr. Roy has long been a hero of mine, because of all his excellent scientific work … which is why his attack mystifies me.  Maybe he simply had a bad day and I was the focus of frustration, we all have days like that. Anthony tells me he can’t answer half of the email he gets some days, Dr. Roy apparently gets quite a lot of mail too, asking for comment.

Dr. Roy posted a number of uncited and unreferenced claims in his essay. So, I thought I’d give him the chance to provide data and citations to back up those claims. He opens with this graphic:

roy spencer homer simpson climate scientistDr. Roy, the citizen climate scientists are the ones who have made the overwhelming majority of the gains in the struggle against rampant climate alarmism. It is people like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts and Donna LaFramboise and myself and Joanne Nova and Warwick Hughes and the late John Daly, citizen climate scientists all, who did the work that your fellow mainstream climate scientists either neglected or refused to do. You should be showering us with thanks for doing the work your peers didn’t get done, not speciously claiming that we are likeable idiots like Homer Simpson.

Dr. Roy begins his text by saying:

I’ve been asked to comment on Willis Eschenbach’s recent analysis of CERES radiative budget data (e.g., here). Willis likes to analyze data, which I applaud. But sometimes Willis gives the impression that his analysis of the data (or his climate regulation theory) is original, which is far from the case.

Hundreds of researchers have devoted their careers to understanding the climate system, including analyzing data from the ERBE and CERES satellite missions that measure the Earth’s radiative energy budget. Those data have been sliced and diced every which way, including being compared to surface temperatures (as Willis recently did).

So, Roy’s claim seems to be that my work couldn’t possibly be original, because all conceivable analyses of the data have already been done. Now that’s a curious claim in any case … but in this case, somehow, he seems to have omitted the links to the work he says antedates mine.

When someone starts making unreferenced, uncited, unsupported accusations about me like that, there’s only one thing to say … Where’s the beef? Where’s the study? Where’s the data?

In fact, I know of no one who has done a number of the things that I’ve done with the CERES data. If Dr. Roy thinks so, then he needs to provide evidence of that. He needs to show, for example, that someone has analyzed the data in this fashion:

change in cloud radiative effect per one degree goodNow, I’ve never seen any such graphic. I freely admit, as I have before, that maybe the analysis has been done some time in the past, and my research hasn’t turned it up. I did find two studies that were kind of similar, but nothing like that graph above. Dr. Roy certainly  seems to think such an analysis leading to such a graphic exists … if so, I suggest that before he starts slamming me with accusations, he needs to cite the previous graphic that he claims that my graphic is merely repeating.

I say this for two reasons. In addition to it being regular scientific practice to cite your sources, it is common courtesy not to accuse a man of doing something without providing data to back it up.

And finally, if someone has done any of my analyses before, I want to know so I can save myself some time … if the work’s been done, I’m not interested in repeating it. So I ask Dr. Roy: which study have I missed out on that has shown what my graphic above shows?

Dr. Roy then goes on to claim that my ideas about thunderstorms regulating the global climate are not new because of the famous Ramanathan and Collins 1991 paper called “Thermodynamic regulation of ocean warming by cirrus clouds deduced from observations of the 1987 El Niño”. Dr. Roy says:

I’ve previously commented on Willis’ thermostat hypothesis of climate system regulation, which Willis never mentioned was originally put forth by Ramanathan and Collins in a 1991 Nature article.

Well … no, it wasn’t “put forth” in R&C 1991, not even close. Since Dr. Roy didn’t provide a link to the article he accuses me of “never mentioning”, I’ll remedy that, it’s here.

Unfortunately, either Dr. Roy doesn’t fully understand what R&C 1991 said, or he doesn’t fully understand what I’ve said. This is the Ramanathan and Collins hypothesis as expressed in their abstract:

Observations made during the 1987 El Niño show that in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, the greenhouse effect increases with surface temperature at a rte which exceeds the rate at which radiation is being emitted from the surface. In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat, shielding the ocean from solar radiation. The regulatory effect of these cirrus clouds may limit sea surface temperatures to less than 305K.

Why didn’t I mention R&C 1991 with respect to my hypothesis? Well … because it’s very different from my hypothesis, root and branch.

•  Their hypothesis was that cirrus clouds act as a thermostat to regulate maximum temperatures in the “Pacific Warm Pool” via a highly localized “super greenhouse effect”.

•  My hypothesis is that thunderstorms act all over the planet as natural emergent air conditioning units, which form over local surface hot spots and (along with other emergent phenomena) cool the surface and regulate the global temperature.

In addition, I fear that Dr. Roy hasn’t done his own research on this particular matter. A quick look on Google show that I have commented on R&C 1991 before. Back in 2012, in response to Dr. Roy’s same claim (but made by someone else), I wrote:

I disagree that the analysis of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism has been “extensively examined in the literature”. It has scarcely been discussed in the literature at all. The thermostatic mechanism discussed by Ramanathan is quite different from the one I have proposed. In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins said that the albedos of deep convective clouds in the tropics limited the SST … but as far as I know, they didn’t discuss the idea of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism at all.

And regarding the Pacific Warm Pool, I also quoted the Abstract of R&C1991 in this my post on Argo and the Ocean Temperature Maximum. So somebody’s not searching here before making claims …

In any case, I leave it to the reader to decide whether my hypothesis, that emergent phenomena like thunderstorms regulate the climate, was “originally put forth” in the R&C 1991 Nature paper about cirrus clouds, or not …

Finally, Dr. Roy closes with this plea:

Anyway, I applaud Willis, who is a sharp guy, for trying. But now I am asking him (and others): read up on what has been done first, then add to it. Or, show why what was done previously came to the wrong conclusion, or analyzed the data wrong.

That’s what I work at doing.

But don’t assume you have anything new unless you first do some searching of the literature on the subject. True, some of the literature is paywalled. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules. And I agree, if research was public-funded, it should also be made publicly available.

First, let me say that I agree with all parts of that plea. I do my best to find out what’s been done before, among other reasons in order to save me time repeating past work.

However, many of my ideas are indeed novel, as are my methods of analysis. I’m the only person I know of, for example, to do graphic cluster analysis on temperature proxies (see “Kill It With Fire“). Now, has someone actually done that kind of analysis before? Not that I’ve seen, but if there is, I’m happy to find that out—it ups the odds that I’m on the right track when that happens. I have no problem with acknowledging past work—as I noted above,  I have previously cited the very R&C 1991 study that Dr. Roy accuses me of ignoring.

Dr. Roy has not given me any examples of other people doing the kind of analysis of the CERES data that I’m doing. All he’s given are claims that someone somewhere did some unspecified thing that he claims I said I thought I’d done first. Oh, plus he’s pointed at, but not linked to, Ramanathan & Collins 1991, which doesn’t have anything to do with my hypothesis.

So all we have are his unsupported claims that my work is not novel.

And you know what? Dr. Roy may well be right. My work may not be novel. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong … but without specific examples, he is just handwaving. All I ask is that he shows this with proper citations.

Dr. Roy goes on to say:

But cloud feedback is a hard enough subject without muddying the waters further. Yes, clouds cool the climate system on average (they raise the planetary albedo, so they reduce solar input into the climate system). But how clouds will change due to warming (cloud feedback) could be another matter entirely. Don’t conflate the two.

Please note the title of my graphic above. It shows how the the clouds actually change due to warming. I have not conflated the two in the slightest, and your accusation that I have done so is just like your other accusations—it lacks specifics. Exactly what did I say that makes you think I’m conflating the two? Dr. Roy, I ask of you the simple thing I ask of everyone—if you object to something that I say, please QUOTE MY WORDS, so we can all see what you are talking about.

Dr. Roy continues:

For instance, let’s say “global warming” occurs, which should then increase surface evaporation, leading to more convective overturning of the atmosphere and precipitation. But if you increase clouds in one area with more upward motion and precipitation, you tend to decrease clouds elsewhere with sinking motion. It’s called mass continuity…you can’t have rising air in one region without sinking air elsewhere to complete the circulation. “Nature abhors a vacuum”.

Not true. For example, if thunderstorms alone are not sufficient to stop an area-wide temperature rise, a new emergent phenomenon arises. The thunderstorms will self-assemble into “squall lines”. These are long lines of massed thunderstorms, with long canyons of rising air between them. In part this happens because it allows for a more dense packing of thunderstorms, due to increased circulation efficiency. So your claim above, that an increase of clouds in one area means a decrease in another area, is strongly falsified by the emergence of squall lines.

In addition, you’ve failed to consider the timing of onset of the phenomena. A change of ten minutes in the average formation time of tropical cumulus makes a very large difference in net downwelling radiation … so yes, contrary to your claim, I’ve just listed two ways the clouds can indeed increase in one area without a decrease in another area.

So, examining how clouds and temperatures vary together locally (as Willis has done) really doesn’t tell you anything about feedbacks. Feedbacks only make sense over entire atmospheric circulation systems, which are ill-defined (except in the global average).

Mmm … well, to start with, these are not simple “feedbacks”. I say that clouds are among the emergent thermoregulatory phenomena that keep the earth’s temperature within bounds. The system acts, not as a simple feedback, but as a governor. What’s the difference?

  • A simple feedback moves the result in a certain direction (positive or negative) with a fixed feedback factor. It is the value of this feedback factor that people argue about, the cloud feedback factor … I say that is meaningless, because what we’re looking at is not a feedback like that at all.
  • A governor, on the other hand, uses feedback to move the result towards some set-point, by utilizing a variable feedback factor.

In short, feedback acts in one direction by a fixed amount. A governor, on the other hand, acts to restore the result to the set-point by varying the feedback. The system of emergent phenomena on the planet is a governor. It does not resemble simple feedback in the slightest.

And the size of those emergent phenomena varies from very small to very large on both spatial and temporal scales. Dust devils arise when a small area of the land gets too hot, for example. They are not a feedback, but a special emergent form which acts as an independent entity with freedom of motion. Dust devils move preferentially to the warmest nearby location, and because they are so good at cooling the earth, like all such mechanisms they have to move and evolve in order to persist. Typically they live for a some seconds to minutes, and then disappear. That’s an emergent phenomenon cooling the surface at the small end of the time and distance scales.

From there, the scales increase from local (cumulus clouds and thunderstorms) to area-wide (cyclones, grouping of thunderstorms into “squall lines”) to regional and multiannual (El Nino/La Nina Equator-To-Poles warm water pump) to half the planet and tens of years (Pacific Decadal Oscillation).

So I strongly dispute Dr. Roy’s idea that “feedbacks only make sense over entire atmospheric circulation systems”. To start with, they’re not feedbacks, they are emergent phenomena … and they have a huge effect on the regulation of the climate on all temporal and spatial scales.

And I also strongly dispute his claim that my hypothesis is not novel, the idea that thunderstorms and other emergent climate phenomena work in concert planet-wide to maintain the temperature of the earth within narrow bounds.

Like I said, Dr. Roy is one of my heroes, and I’m mystified by his attack on citizen scientists in general, and on me in particular. Yes, I’ve said that I thought that some of my research has been novel and original. Much of it is certainly original, in that I don’t know of anyone else who has done the work in that way, so the ideas are my own.

However, it just as certainly may not be novel. There’s nothing new under the sun. My point is that I don’t know of anyone advancing this hypothesis, the claim that emergent phenomena regulate the temperature and that forcing has little to do with it.

If Dr. Roy thinks my ideas are not new, I’m more than willing to look at any citations he brings to the table. As far as I’m concerned they would be support for my hypothesis, so I invite him to either back it up or back it off.

Best regards to all.

w.

UPDATE: Dr. Spencer has responded here – Anthony

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1,182 thoughts on “Dr. Roy Spencer’s Ill Considered Comments on Citizen Science

  1. Willis, as I noted on Dr. Roy’s blog, I like your work.

    I read his article as commending you for your effort but look before you leap because it may have already been done. I didn’t see any personal attack on you whatsoever.

    Your work is important Willis because it causes excellent dialog.

  2. Everyone breaks, but how they break is different case to case.
    With you on this,W. Very well put.

  3. Pity it entered the public arena whoever started it. May be best to have a private conversation with Roy asap, Willis.

  4. Let’s try and keep it civil.

    The one advantage that professional scientists have is access to the academic libraries that lets one be more assured of one’s originality. The internet has weakened that advantage.
    But the change is not complete.

    Both sides may have something of value to say here without falling into partisan flame fights.

  5. You can tell something is going on because he used Homer the Citizen vs Homer the “Scientist”.

  6. BBould says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:09 pm

    It’s easier now than ever to “look before leaping” by searching the literature on line, to avoid reinventing the wheel or an analysis. Citizen scientists can & have done valuable original research & analysis, including those in the climate field cited by Willis above.

  7. If the world’s ocean turns out to be too shallow to harbor Trenberth’s missing heat, it may very well next be asserted to be hiding in the unfathomable depths of Willis Eschenbach’s ego.

  8. He sounds just like the rest now.
    The problem with “The Science” is that it’s only just poor communication of the excellent work, you see – because they are not professional communicators.
    I think Dr. Roy can qualify to be funded by Fenton now!

    “Career scientists like myself have not done enough public outreach to describe what they have done. And when we do such outreach, it is usually too technical to understand. We are too busy publishing-or-perishing.”

  9. Willis stuff may not all be entirely original but for most of us he is the one who got it out there onto the web. If Joe Schlubb thinks that it is all Willis’ original work then I don’t see any great harm done but given the amount of stuff referenced in Willis’ articles I am surprised that anyone would come to that conclusion.

  10. Don’t quite know how, Willis, but it sure looks like you unintentionally stepped on someone’s toes. Maybe you’re getting too close to an area Dr. Roy or one of his grads is researching.

  11. Gentlemen. We must all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.

    B. Franklin

  12. Willis,
    While I have not always agreed with everything you have written, I have never found you to be lazy or inept as Dr. Spencer seems to be implying. Since the good doctor felt it appropriate to criticize you in public, I have no problem with you defending yourself in kind; in fact I believe it is your right. Cheers to Anthony for allowing you to do so. To those out there that object, who never put their names and reputations on the line by publishing their thoughts and ideas online, I say: your words have no credibility until you walk that lonely road.

  13. Dr Spencer appears to be calling Willis either unoriginal or a plagiarist. As Carl Sagan was wont to say “Extraordinary claims..”

  14. Can we avoid picking sides in comments that are fewer than 7 paragraphs long?
    This isn’t a simple “he is good and he is bad” issue.

    This is about a fundamental change on the search for knowledge.

    The opportunity for amateurs to have the same access to evidence as professionals (due to the internet) removes the barriers to entry into the science market.
    And yet it also removes the institutional quality control standards.

    Willis admits he is willing to be wrong in the haste to new ideas and understanding. Mistakes and Sesame Street are how we learn. He is not so arrogant as to be afraid to be publically wrong. Better mistaken once than never gaining any new knowledge – if you are willing to be corrected.

    But that is a big rupture with the dignified and private establishment of science that has allowed scientists to gain such prestige in the modern world.
    And the old guard aren’t necessarily wrong because they are the establishment, hippies.

  15. Timely comment from straight thinking, Paul Penrose.
    I’m fascinated by Roy’s us eof Homer the Scientist being led away in cuffs.
    That was Homer the Activist!
    What’s up with Dr. Roy?

  16. Joe Crawford says at October 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Don’t quite know how, Willis, but it sure looks like you unintentionally stepped on someone’s toes. “Maybe you’re getting too close to an area Dr. Roy or one of his grads is researching.”

    That has the ring of truth. There are commitments made in academia that cannot be ignored, rightly.

  17. When it comes to the Thunderstorm Refrigerator Hypothesis I READ ABOUT IT HERE FIRST, and it was written by some guy called Willis Eschenbach. What is more it was very well explained, so I could understand it on the first read through, and also peppered with anecdotes about boats and the Pacific Islands, which made it interesting and kept me reading right through to the end.

  18. ““Career scientists like myself have not done enough public outreach to describe what they have done. And when we do such outreach, it is usually too technical to understand. We are too busy publishing-or-perishing.”

    This sounds plagiarized. From RealClimate. Or Mrs Hot Whopper?

  19. Given the choice of persons playing the roles of Homer the Scientist and Homer the Citizen, I give more credence to the latter.

  20. Good on you, Willis. It’s important not to let such accusations slide. As Dr Roy raised the issue, he should most certainly cite references, or man up and apologize and then back off. It sounds to me like he did not read your work but dismissed it out of hand, which is shabby to say the least.

    @ M Courtney, there is nothing uncivil here. Willis has done some amazing work that took a lot of time and effort. Roy has claimed Willis’s work is not new. This should be discussed, not ignored.

    It’s always the “citizen climate scientist” who is told to compromise, always the skeptic who is told to “play fair” and go sit quietly in the corner and not to make a ruckus. Well, this side has always played fair, always listened to the other side and always weighed the evidence. Willis has a valid complaint here and he is right to voice his objection.

    Dr Roy should pull out those references if he wants to be taken seriously in his claim. Otherwise, he is just attacking the man. This is not scientific. “Both sides have something to say here” doesn’t hold water. Dr Roy may have something of value to say in this issue, but so far he hasn’t said it, and Willis is correctly inviting him to do just that.

  21. I like the cartoon of the Professional Climate Scientist.

    Maybe he had his tongue in his cheek too! Just sayin’ (Though it’s hard to write with a tongue in your cheek…)

  22. I believe that the internet has turned the orthodoxy, the keepers of the orthodoxy, and their funders on their heads, very much the way the printing press and books in the vernacular did. I suspect that at his point establishment researchers feel very threatened.
    Willisi’s work would not have seen the light of day without the internet.
    The internet has also shined a light into the goings on in the climate science / government complex.
    I suspect there will be a lot of road kill on the information highway.

  23. I’m sure that other people have done the work Willis has on the CERES data.

    However having done the work is not the same as having published it. It’s quite possible they didn’t like the answer they got.

    Climate science is full of people knowing information and then keeping it very quiet. If it wasn’t then WUWT and CA etc wouldn’t be needed.

  24. “Since the good doctor felt it appropriate to criticize you in public, I have no problem with you defending yourself in kind; in fact I believe it is your right”

    I agree with the above.. so keep up your reseach Willis, you are making a huge difference to the entire climate discussion.

    I think there might be some academic egos being upset by your original work, and that is normal, but unfortunately painful.

  25. I also enjoy and respect all your work Willis. I really like the emergent phenomena idea. It really makes sense to me.

    I have to add that I respect Dr. Roy also, but think he crossed a line here.

    Let’s try to keep this about trying to find the truth.

    EJ

  26. “Muir soon became convinced that glaciers had sculpted many of the features of the valley and surrounding area. This notion was in stark contradiction to the accepted contemporary theory, promulgated by Josiah Whitney (head of the California Geological Survey), which attributed the formation of the valley to a catastrophic earthquake.” From Wiki on John Muir.

    One was a citizen geologist the other professional geologist. Guess which one was correct.

    Both gents put forth valuable ideas and information for us to feast on.

    I second Tom G(ologist).

  27. Well, my two cents probably aren’t worth two cents. Here they are anyway.

    I don’t know (or much care) if Willis’s ideas have been covered elsewhere in the literature; I haven’t read but a bare handful of climate related papers in my life. Willis asking Dr. Spencer to particularize seems reasonable to me, but still I don’t much care one way or the other. The point is, the ideas are new to me.

    In virtually every other area of science (excepting my profession), I’m perfectly content to take career scientists at their word. For reasons well known to the folks here, climate science isn’t a good area to take this approach in. Too many scientivists out there, too much of an agenda, way too much spin.

    Dr. Spencer seems to me to be suggesting, when I think it though, that I do the one of the following: go be a PhD, spend your time studying papers until you’ve become expert on what’s already out there, or sit down and shush. Well, sorry. I’m not doing that. I care enough about the issue to try to follow along, to try to grasp as much of the science as I can follow. Heck I’m even willing to crack my old math textbooks once in a while, or read and practice maths I don’t generally use from time to time. But between the evils, I’d rather stumble along, knowing perfectly well that people have studied this material in greater depth and sophistication than I can possibly appreciate, I’d rather stumble along and try to understand for myself than close my eyes and follow blindly. Nor do I have the slightest intention of devoting my life to the study of climate; I’ve got other priorities. I’m sure that means I’ll step on tons of well trod sopohmoric land mines along the way. I’ll live with that.

    Obviously Dr. Spencer didn’t make the scientivist mess and political circus we suffer from in this field. Clearly he suffers due to this fact more than most, certainly more than I do. But, no, I’m not going to pursue a PhD in climate change, and no, I’m not going to sit down and shut up.

    ~shrug~

  28. Willis, I am sure you will read all the comments, so I get to tell you that I tried breathing out after your post on that. It caused me to inhale deeply and I coughed up a storm. I have continued to do this a few minutes every day. I have mild (unmedicated) asthma, and I have been breathing a little better ever since. My stamina is a bit improved as well.

    As for you, Dr. Roy Spencer, I have one of your books and you are one of my heroes, too. I bet you take this post to heart and become an even better scientist.

    And as for you, Mister Anthony Watts, you have created a science blog that is more scientific in nature than many scientific journals–especially some of the “old gray mares” that “ain’t what they used ta be.” Those of us horrified at the trashing of science by the Church of Global Warming can take comfort here.

  29. I used to enjoy Willis’ posts, but it’s getting too much. This blog is getting to be less of Watts Up With That? and too much of What’s up with Willis !…

  30. Willis … you said:

    “And you know what? Dr. Roy may well be right. My work may not be novel. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong … but without specific examples, he is just handwaving. ”

    I say it doesn’t matter if its been done in some fashion before. There is absolutely nothing wrong with doing work that has been done before. Sometimes doing so may find something new, but its is just as valuable to have someone like you walk thru the process and attempt to explain it – in a way that many can follow, discuss and contribute to.

    Roy is simply wrong. It doesn’t matter if the work has been discussed before. There are numerous positive benefits to a new look – especially with a “crowd sourced” discussion along with it.

    I don’t always agree with you, but I always learn from and am both challenged by and benefit from
    your work.

  31. yeah right….like Spencer only posts “new” stuff on his blog….

    New, old…don’t matter
    Who’s got the time to dig all this crap out..

    Thanks to bloggers like Willis, JTF, and on and on…
    we are all exposed to material we wouldn’t even know about any other way

    It’s a blog Spencer….get over it…sorry it picked a nerve with you

  32. Not knowing either man, my impression is this conversation should have taken place one-on-one between Roy & Willis (i.e.: a phone call). Roy would appear to draw the foul here because he initiated the public rebuke and (according to Willis) failed to properly research & document his argument, which, ironically, is one of the faults he finds with Willis.

    Roy (PhD) should be more supportive of “citizen climate scientists” who, like Willis (no PhD), invest hundreds of hours researching and analyzing the topic.

    One absolute certainty learned from this whole CAGW cow pie is citizens should be leery of simply accepting pronouncements from (PhD) scientists. Willis may not have observed all the academic niceties, but he’s behave in a more rigorous and intellectually honest manner than Gore, Mann, Gleick and Hansen (among others).

    My comments are not intended to denigrate Roy Spencer – the above is simply my opinion of the public rebuke.

  33. What you talking about Willis -

    Dr. Roy’s article is not a hatchet job, it is a cautionary tale and a reminder to cite precedent. All he is doing is advocating good science. Don’t be so thin skinned.

  34. Willis,
    I don’t think it was an attack. But it does look like he was too busy to do a proper look at what you have done and by dismissing your work in the way he did, he is doing us all a disservice. I am fairly good at research and your work tends to make me do a lot of reading and research. I have not found anything like this in the literature but anyone who has spent a significant amount of time at sea would understand exactly what you are talking about. Thanks Willis, keep up the good work!
    v/r,
    David Riser

  35. Joe Crawford says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:30 pm

    Don’t quite know how, Willis, but it sure looks like you unintentionally stepped on someone’s toes. Maybe you’re getting too close to an area Dr. Roy or one of his grads is researching.
    ——————————————————————————————————————-

    Got to say, that was my first thought when reading Dr Spencer’s curious post.

    Without speculating further on that, or on any merits of his argument, I’m not happy to see an otherwise respected scientist launch an ad hominem attack like this – and the cartoon at the start of Dr Spencer’s post alone qualifies it as that to me – for any reason whatsoever.

  36. Well, there are several definitions for ‘original.’ There’s ‘original’ meaning novel and there’s ‘original’ meaning independently derived. And then there’s ‘original’ meaning “a person whose way of thinking is unusual or creative.” That last is you, Willis. The rest is not so important. Just keep on doing what you’ve been doing.

  37. “Willis, you’re way overreacting.”

    He always does. PLus, I don’t think this is the place. Willis, you’re just not as important as you obviously think you are.

    So tiresome.

  38. Willis, don’t over react to Dr. Spencer’s over reaction. There is an old saying that two wrongs don’t make a right.
    Having researched a number of Climate, energy, and other deeply technical topics (usable nanosurface in Helmholtz double layer capacitors), I can say with certainty that any academic advantage (other than real labs to do new physical experiments, which I had to contract for) is now minimal compared to any citizen willing to learn and research. Everything is on line, and pay walls can be breached with a credit card and a maximum charge of $32 per.
    I know for a fact this has a lot of the old science guard upset. Not just those behind the IPCC. In the case of my issued NanoCarbon patents, including the most famous researchers in the US and Europe in that obscure physics/electrochemistry subject, Gogotsi, Frackowiac, and Beguin, at a June 2013 Strasbourg conference where my experimental results scooped them. I caught the same flak about not having read the literature. Thier problem was, I had, it was wrong, and my experimental results proved same. This looks like a very similar case. You must be getting close to something Roy wishes he had thought of, and that is important.

    BTW,the closest thing to your thunderstorm thermoregulation idea appears to be Lindzen’s adaptive iris hypothesis published in 2000. I am stunned Roy missed that- more evidence of a bad hair day on his part. But what you have done IMO is flesh out Lindzens idea and provide concrete observational support Lindzen didn’t. Further, IMO, what you are doing with Lindzen’s hypothesis is more important than you may yet realize (but already written up separately for the next book) because it also explains the GCM model overstatement of positive water vapor feedback, especially in the most important upper troposphere. By far the most important positive feedback, by itself explaining over 2/3 of climate model oversensitivity. You also have a concrete explanation for the absence of the tropical troposphere hot spot predicted by CMIP3 and CMIP5. TStorm rain washes out the humidity before it is sufficiently convected to the upper troposphere, and the latent heat from condensation is free to radiate away from TStorm tops. Thermoregulation of both heat and humidity.
    Regards. Enjoy your ‘limelight’. Just means you are officially in the major leagues.

  39. Friends:

    I like and respect both Roy Spencer and Willis Eschenbach. Also, I have had direct interaction with each of them in the past, so I am saddened at this situation and I do not intend to take sides.

    However, I write to make a point of fact.

    Roy Spencer is mistaken when he thinks the work of Ramanathan and Collins (R&C, Nature, 1991) is similar to the work of Willis Eschenbach, and he is also mistaken in his misunderstanding that Willis was unaware of the work of R&C.

    A few weeks ago I raised the subject of the R&C Effect in a WUWT thread discussing a Guest Essay from Willis. At September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am I cited, referenced, quoted the Abstract of that paper by R&C, and I explained it. The post is at

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423700

    In that post I wrote

    The R&C Effect can induce a fall in surface temperature when surface heating is increased. And the Eschenbach Effect does that, too.

    Subsequently, and in response to Greg Goodman, I posted a more full explanation of the R&C Effect and its great difference from the Eschenbach Effect. That post was at September 22, 2013 at 11:30 am and this is a link to it

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/22/the-eruption-over-the-ipcc-ar5/#comment-1423748

    In that post I wrote

    I point out that the Ramanathan & Collins (R&C) effect induces cirrus not thunderstorms. They argued – initially against much opposition which their finding withstood – that when sea surface temperature reaches 305K the induced evapouration rate is so great that warm air rises to lift evapourated moisture so high that cirrus formation occurs. This cirrus sets the maximum surface temperature by reflecting sunlight so it cannot reach the surface.

    The Eschenbach effect raises heat from the surface to high tropospheric altitude where it radiates to space. It starts to operate at temperatures below 305K.

    They are very different – and complimentary – mechanisms.

    As he normally does in threads discussing his essays, Willis interacted throughout that thread. He made no disagreement of any kind with my posts.

    Hence, I am certain that Willis Eschenbach was fully aware both of the R&C Effect and its fundamental difference from his proposed Eschenbach Effect in his recent writings. Clearly, Roy Spencer was in error to have suggested otherwise. Being the gentleman I know him to be, I anticipate a retraction of that assertion.

    Richard

  40. mcourtney at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442036 says

    The opportunity for amateurs to have the same access to evidence as professionals (due to the internet) removes the barriers to entry into the science market.
    And yet it also removes the institutional quality control standards.

    i think the big problem most of us have is with those very same quality control standards.if those quality control “standards” in climate science were actually worth something i doubt this blog would have the readership and views it does. i have made a post over at dr roys blog, i sincerely hope this difference of opinion is resolved amicably,and dr roy can indeed provide the evidence willis asks for to support his conclusions.

    i think dr roy has the support of many interested in the debate due to his apparent honesty ,and clarity of presentation,but so does willis . someone has mentioned the willis ego,show me a man without an ego,and in reality i will be looking at a eunuch.man would have achieved little without the ego and arrogance of supreme confidence in his ability.

    in my opinion the regular beating many ego,s in the climate science world have received of late is partly responsible for dr roys post.

  41. Willis,
    ==> how does a citizen scientist in the 21st century nail down the science so others can
        stand on their shoulders
    rather than
        stomp on their toes?

    Let me suggest a couple of things.
    1) I view your work as “crowd sourcing”.
        you haven’t necessarily done the academic article/research
        to sort through the chaff to find the useful information or carry it
        forward to provide substantiation.
    => and you aren’t being paid to do that!
    2) There are a large number of folk who technically review the work on WUWT.
        you might ask for (and have a good place to enter) relevant previous
        research/technical article that they are aware of.

    Bottom line:
    a) folk who are paid and must dot i’s and cross t’s get frustrated with folk who aren’t but who are willing to stand up and publically hypothesize solutions.
    => the non i dotters may have interesting insight, but it isn’t going anywhere solid

    b) you might take Dr. Spenser’s comments to heart: how does one solidify the ad-hoc conceptual approaches into a solidly supported (or disproved) theory or knowledge set?
    For example: you hypothesize and give anecdotal insight into a possible mechanism for thermal feedback mechanisms in the tropics.
    => what would be the next step to “nail this down”: what experiment, what data, etc?
    => who else has investigated this and what have they found?

    Key things:
    => you aren’t being paid to do this which tends to leave it “hanging”, and
    => you might want to take the approach of “crowd sourcing”
        where you coordinate, organize, and articulate the result.

    Unfortunately, WordPress would seem to be somewhat of a poor fit for such a research discussion and even the “collaborative work tools” out of IBM, Microsoft, and startups seems to be lacking; blogs are useful but not archival except for the author (until they crash).

  42. Now wait Tom G(ologist)… B. Franklin was just a “citizen scientist”. Toss all he discovered and said, he wasn’t a “professional”.

    This rings from one of Densel Washington’s great movies:

    “I’m a professional, I’m a professional, I’m a professional … ”

    No Dr. Spencer, you are really just a “citizen scientist” too, just one with an unfair, and to me, many times dishonest advantage harbored in the current science community cartel. We all went to much the same universities, took much the same courses, have read much the same science papers and books for decades, the only difference is you got a job getting income from the science monolith.

  43. Willis, as an outsider you are encroaching on the academia’s hallow turf of ‘truth licensing’.

  44. I was really put off when Roy engaged at the end of his testimony to give what seemd a pre- arranged message on his religious leanings.
    I would be put off by that were I living in a country as different as Denmark is to Pakistan.
    He was supposed to be talking about what Science knows.

  45. Climatologists are predicting an increased chance of tempests due to heat hiding in a teapot.

    Gotta say though, this is just caste-baiting nonsense from Mr. Spencer. His entire complaint is that Mr. Eschenbach is duplicating work. But the entire point of replication in science is? To duplicate work. Don’t want to say nasty things about Spencer, but it doesn’t seem to me more than fancy Argument to ‘Argument to Authority’.

    Which is all that needs to be said on the matter, Willis. Don’t get sidetracked over clay feet.

  46. I have learned a lot about science since I started reading WUWT and other blogs. I also learned a fair bit about academia
    Seems to me that academics are like horse sh1t.
    Spread them around thinly, and they do a power of good. Pile them into a heap and they just stink

    Stay clear of the heap Willis

  47. Rud Istvan,that is a fantastic post. the group think mentality is very evident in many areas of established science,well done done for beating it down with cold hard evidence.

  48. Looking at these two:
    Their hypothesis was that cirrus clouds act as a thermostat to regulate maximum temperatures in the “Pacific Warm Pool” via a highly localized “super greenhouse effect”.

    My hypothesis is that thunderstorms act all over the planet as natural emergent air conditioning units, which form over local surface hot spots and (along with other emergent phenomena) cool the surface and regulate the global temperature.

    it seems like the two hypotheses are tangentially related. A average guy like me would read yours as extending theirs to a larger, global scope, advancing (aka “adding to”) what others have done before. Isn’t that what Dr. Roy says he wants or am I being to Homer Simpsonish?

  49. I’m not sure what is going on with Dr. Roy. I’m not sure why he is attacking Willis. He seems to hint that he does not want people to get off on the wrong science road (where, he implies, Willis is taking them), but then he hints that Willis “copied” (my wording, not Spencer’s) from peer-reviewed papers. The two ideas don’t equate.

    And, why WIllis? Great garbled garbage, aren’t there literally 100′s of “establishment scientists” that Dr. Roy needs to be attacking, to clean up his profession?

    If Dr. Roy has so much free time on his hands that he can attack Willis, maybe he should find a charity where he can donate some of his time–THAT would be constructive.

  50. Since Dr. Roy’s article is without references my guess is that his future funding is being threatened.

  51. it is a great pity to see two of the most prominent anti-Warmist figures fighting with each other in public view. This sort of thing is best worked out in private exchanges. There is enough work to be done in the struggle against the Warmists without the effort being weakened by this sort of wrangle.

  52. IMHO, if Dr. Spencer is correct and Willis’ ideas have been extensively published before, then his criticism is much more profitiably directed to the IPCC, which has completely failed to recognize or cite any of it. Any failings ascribed to citizen scientists for lack of proper research should apply a thousandfold to an organization claiming to include hundreds of “top climate scientists” having just spend 4 years studying all the latest research.

  53. “my ideas about thunderstorms regulating the global climate ”

    That may well be original to Willis but is likely wrong as being insufficient.

    “that emergent phenomena regulate the temperature”

    That is a whole different scenario since it covers the entire global climate system including all aspects of the hydrological cycle.
    It is likely correct but I would be surprised if it is original to Willis.

    “the idea that thunderstorms and other emergent climate phenomena work in concert planet-wide to maintain the temperature of the earth within narrow bounds.”

    There Willis combines the two but is that idea original ?

    It was first published at WUWT on 14th June 2014 and described the behaviour of tropical weather systems as the regulating process.

    The year before that I published several articles proposing the entire global air and ocean circulation as a regulating mechanism:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-hot-water-bottle-effect/

    June 25, 2008

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/weather-is-the-key-after-all/

    June 18, 2008

    and:

    “The Earth is well able to adjust it’s built in thermostat to neutralise all but the largest categories of
    disruption (usually geological or astronomic) and humanity does not come anywhere near what would be required.”

    from here:

    http://www.newclimatemodel.com/the-unifying-theory-of-earths-climate/

    January 8, 2009

    I am sure all overlaps are inadvertent since it is often the case that different enquiring minds come to similar conclusions around the same time.

  54. A.D. Everard Yes, Dr Spencer needs to be clear as to how Willis has been unoriginal.
    And I would prefer such discussions to be made in private.
    But that is not the way of internet citizens and Dr Roy chose to play on Willis’s turf; that is an admirable choice.

    I maintain that we who are not in the firing line should not become partisan.

    From my perspective both sides are honourable searchers for truth.

  55. Wilis, I don’t read Dr. Roy’s comments as an attack on you at all – I am not sure why you took it that way. From a disinterested 3rd party, it all looked like constructive criticism to me. Your comments on the other hand, were defensive & much more of an attack on Dr. Roy.

    It is always good to be deferential to those is power, such as Dr. Roy – look at his comments as constructive criticism & improve your product. I am guessing everyone will be pleased with the outcome, including yourself.

  56. Roy is wrong to slander anyone not doing “novel” work. There’s plenty of scientists who never do an original piece of work in their lives, their work and expertise have great value.

  57. @Willis,
    In automation and system control, “regulator” or “controller” would be used instead of “governor”.

  58. Excellent essay, Willis. You defended yourself in all the right ways and you questioned Spencer in all the right ways. You have shown a nasty side to Spencer. He writes:

    “But if you increase clouds in one area with more upward motion and precipitation, you tend to decrease clouds elsewhere with sinking motion. It’s called mass continuity…you can’t have rising air in one region without sinking air elsewhere to complete the circulation.”

    Here he is simply applying a rule of thumb from textbook climate science and failing to look at the details of your actual empirical hypothesis. When he made this comment the first time, here on WUWT, I pointed out then that the rising and sinking of air might tell us something about cloud formation but it does not determine cloud formation. There is need for empirical study on the latter.

    Then the mainstream climate scientist in Spencer comes out:

    “So, examining how clouds and temperatures vary together locally (as Willis has done) really doesn’t tell you anything about feedbacks. Feedbacks only make sense over entire atmospheric circulation systems, which are ill-defined (except in the global average).”

    So, according to Dr. Spencer. all climate science will ever give us are global averages based on time series analysis? In that case, he has left science and joined the Alarmists. There has never been a science based on the results of time series analysis and there never will be. Does anyone use time series analysis outside of economics, political science, climate science, and corporate directors of budgeting?

    Willis offers physical hypotheses about cause and effect in cloud formation that invites empirical investigation and Spencer dismisses it out of hand. Ridiculous. Trenberth has explained recently that he will be investigating the particular ocean mechanisms that transport heat from shallow water to deep waters. Trenberth needs to find mechanisms described by physical hypotheses. Will Spencer call him down and tell him to use time series analysis to provide global averages?

    Finally, Willis should not be held to the standards of tenured professors of climate science. Those tenured professors work in buildings where someone in that building has ready memory of all the papers written on any topic you want. Willis works alone.

    Willis is fortunate that he works alone. It is becoming apparent, through the opinions of people such as Spencer. that everyone who works in climate science is averse to formulating and testing physical hypotheses about cloud formation. Spencer wants to keep us in the doldrums of global average non-science and nonsense.

  59. Citizen Science should be appreciated for what it achieves. It is not important if someone repeats work done by others even if ignorant of such previous research, in fact that should be one of it’s strengths, either providing an independent confirmation or providing an opportunity to view the subject from a different perspective.
    With a mechanical engineering background, I always sought to surround myself with a team of people who rather than all having been trained to approach problem solving from a text book, were instead mainly independent thinkers who tended to think outside the box.
    Sure, some weird solutions were often thrown up, but as problems progressed from the easily solved where the solution was readily arrived at with most of those addressing it locking onto it fairly quickly, the more difficult problems as they progressed upwards saw the solutions being suggested becoming more and more divergent until finally, with the most difficult to solve of all problems, often it came down to one person who happened to see or consider something that nobody had seen or considered, that is until that one person pointed it out, then everybody could see it.
    Whenever I heard the words “Why didn’t we think of that” I took that as having been a success for the team as the last thing I wanted to here was “We all came up with the same idea at the same time”

    Keep doing what you are doing Willis. Don’t worry about what criticism others might make, especially if it comes from them defending what they consider their territory. Even though they may try to profit from it, such knowledge ultimately belongs to all citizens.

  60. There is a 100% certainty that whatever you do in public will upset some people and make others happy. Count me among the happy ones here; I just like seeing errors corrected. I would like it as much if it were Roy correcting an error made by Willis. In this case, I do appreciate Willis’s taking the time to show the less experienced among us here how to do it properly.

    Overreacting? I don’t know, but I am 100% certain that whatever your reaction to something is, many will judge your reaction excessive, and perhaps just as many will find it insufficient.

    But I have a slightly off-topic question about feedbacks.

    Willis, I am sorry to be so thick, but I fail to understand the importance of your taxonomy of feedbacks. If I have a system with a negative feedback, I can use it as a regulator, or governor, whether its feedback factor is fixed or variable. For example, linear op amps are used in feedback circuits such as power regulators because their linearity and the constancy of the feedback factor make them easy to design. On the other hand, the fill valve in my lavatory cistern is controlled by a float through a variable (but consistently negative) feedback. What difference does it make if both systems succeed at keeping a quantity of something at a set level?

    The only difference I can imagine will be in the dynamics of their response to perturbations, or the accuracy of their steady state.

    So I wonder if you could perhaps explain us with more examples what makes the word “governor” more important to you than other synonymous terms, and why just “feedback” does not work. I grew up with the word “feedback” meaning any mechanism whereby part of the output is combined with the input, and the use of the word was not sensitive to the nature of that mechanism (or I failed to sense it).

  61. I made a mistake….I should have read Dr. Spencer’s blog first..
    …I withdraw my comment and sincerely apologize to Dr. Spencer
    ===========
    Latitude says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm

  62. After years of reading papers on climate science.
    I am convinced that I have read the definitive answer.
    Michelson and Morley
    They proved that climate models do not depend on the real existence of CO2.
    Hendrik Lorentz:
    Proposes the existence of temporal dilation of heat in the ocean depths.

    Meanwhile at the patent office, Bern, Switzerland ……..

    ========
    Boys [W. and RS] back to the drawing board.

    You two. Did not know how to do politics.

  63. Jeff L says: October 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm
    “Wilis,(sic) I don’t read Dr. Roy’s comments as an attack on you at all – I am not sure why you took it(sic) that way. From a disinterested 3rd party, it all looked like constructive criticism to me. Your comments on the other hand, were defensive & much more of an attack on Dr. Roy.

    It is always good to be deferential to those is(sic) power, …”

    Ah yes Deference to Power that’s what we need. A million dead here 50 million dead there, doesn’t matter as long as we have Deference to Power.

    Maybe I missed your irony; yeah that’s it. Sorry, my mistake.

  64. bit chilly says at October 9, 2013 at 2:07 pm…

    The institutional quality control standards are very weak at the lower end of the market. The dumber journals accept any old rubbish. Nature Climate Change is a fine example of a journal that lives off exciting papers which are never cited again after 3 months.

    The institutional quality control standards are very strong at the upper end of the market. Yet those journals don’t get anywhere near the readership of WUWT.

    The as yet unanswered question is how important and skilful are the readership of WUWT.

  65. Roy Spencer is a professional scientist and has worked in remote sensing for many years. He is likely to have a sophisticated understanding of his field.

    Is Steven McIntyre a citizen scientist? He is a trained mathematician and has years of experience in the practical use of statistics. Because of this, he was able to dissect the mathematics used by Mann, publish his results, and show that it was incorrect. It is unlikely that someone who has not had mathematical training would have spotted Mann’s error.

    What is the problem with citizen scientists (CS)? None, anyone is entitled to express their opinions and good luck to them. The difficulty is when the CS uses techniques that he/she doesn’t understand, produces slip-shod work, can’t perform experiments and then wants to convince the scientific community that he or she is correct and everone else is wrong.

    The training of a scientist is directed at learning experimental and theoretical methods but, above all, to understand how to apply these methods in a sensible and critical way. A scientific training is a foundation to be able to apply critical thought in a scientific context. To say that the citizen scientist can, in general, perform in advanced science is to say that scientific training is superfluous and a deep understanding of experimental methods, mathematics, data analysis, statistics isn’t really necessary to achieve sensible results. In fact why have scientists at all when any CS can knock up antibiotics, design large bridges, discover atomic particles and so on?

    There are of course notable examples of Citizen scientists. Einstein for example. The thing that makes these citizen scientists proper scientists is that they publish their results in mainstream journals, expose themselves to independent criticism and defend there theses with logic.

    This is the critical distinction. Probably every scientist becomes obsessed by an attractive hypothesis, performs the wrong experiment, fails to calibrate a device properly and so on. The essential aspect of science is that one opens up one’s ideas to criticism so that one’s logic and methods can be attacked by knowledgeable critics. If they show you that you are wrong, then you are wrong, if you can defend your thesis you may be right.

    Unfortunately, there are other types of CS, who do not understand data, its limitations, experimental methods, calibration or any relevent mathematics and produce absolute nonsense. In my experience these individuals are extremely sensitive to criticism and distinguish themselves by refusing to adhere to the normal disciplines of science. If their ideas are not tested they can’t tell if they are are correct. Unless their ideas are revolutionary, it’s unlikely that anyone is going to try and test them experimentally and so what they have to say is unlikely to be important. In this case what passes for citizen science isn’t science.

  66. Roy should not be your hero Willis. All the great people who write for WUWT are being slandered. Stop giving your enemies a break.

    don’t be polishing a turd.

  67. Latitude says at October 9, 2013 at 2:41 pm…
    I drafted a confrontational post to your earlier comment and then deleted it without posting. It would have been self-defeating to fight every partisan post.
    Now I’m very glad I did.

    Thank you and well done for such a courageous action as a retraction.
    You are well worthy of my respect.

    Please point it out next time I get over-emotional with you.

  68. Hmmm ….I hope that Dr Roy has not been placed in the position of the “herd bull” (guard/protector) and notices that a possible predator is in view….and the herd has grazed a bit away from him…so he snorts,tosses his head/horns,paws a bit of dirt in the air…the herd notices,trots up behind him and now present a united front….feel safe…
    Sure hope that this is not the case . Best wishes for both of you.

  69. M Courtney says:
    October 9, 2013 at 2:51 pm
    ===
    well, you know, what can I say
    …I was dead wrong and made a total ass of myself

    thanks M!

  70. I think Dr Spencer would never have accused a fellow ‘professional’ scientist, of having published something which basically copied someone else’s work, without quoting the references. Just not done!

    I don’t see why he should do this therefore to a ‘citizen’ scientist frankly. It is discourteous at best..

    What is a ‘citizen’ scientist and a ‘professional’ scientist anyway?

    I studied maths and physics originally and my first job was as a scientist, helping to develop the RB211 jet engine.. I subsequently moved on in my career and took further degrees and took non science jobs. Did I hand in my ‘scientist’. brain along the way somewhere, I don’t recall?

    At what stage did I become and cease to be a ‘scientist’?

    Willis stands on falls on being a ‘scientist’ by reference to his ideas and his backing of them with written referenced work, not by the title of some current position he holds.

    Alan

  71. Bit Chilly, thanks. You might ‘enjoy’ my two ebooks even if you disagree with them. Real cheap.
    In re scientific quality control, the real world does a very good job, albeit sometimes slowly. The AR5 hiatus handling is a topical example.
    But that raises other issues where Willis and I have fundamentally disagreed on this blog and over at Judy Curry’s concerning energy. We disagree, probably because I have done a deeper dive, and possibly because I have less faith in being able to innovate out of the basic situation than he. No matter, he is a true seeker of truth that Roy should not have so backhandedly disparaged. And whom I would always defend as a truth seeker. Unlike many at the IPCC, or Mann, or Trenberth, or Dessler, or Marcott, or Feely, or …( it is a very long list, mostly posted over at Judith’s)
    regards

  72. Willis, I don’t understand all your posts (well above my educational level), but I try and I have learned a lot. I want to thank you for being such a great teacher. Your posts are always most clearly written and the graphics are well explained. But what I admire most is the respect and patience you show to people who question your posts. If questioners have the courtesy to do what you ask,

    “if you object to something that I say,
    please QUOTE MY WORDS, so we can all see what you are talking about.”
    and to cite your references so that everyone knows PRECISELY what they are talking about.

    Personally I enjoy the acerbity with which you occasionally respond to the trolls and the Climate Agnotologists.

  73. Well ..Willis kicked the ball over to DrRoy now…rightly so. I think that DrRoy will answer in some way. Theres lots of room to boost boths egos and all the egos of us AGWsceptics…if the answer from DrRoy is made in the WUWT spirit…lets hope it is.

  74. pokerguy says: Willis, you’re just not as important as you obviously think you are.

    Willis is important to me.

    Whether Willis is important scientifically can only be determined by hindsight after we know where his conjecture and rather splendid graphs led.

  75. Willis – I think Roy’s statement should be seen as helpful not antagonistic. He’s positive about you (“I applaud Willis, who is a sharp guy, for trying“), and recognises the difficulties (“Sorry, I didn’t make the rules“). He points out that you need to give credit to the past work of others when yours overlaps, and I’m quite sure you will very willingly do that if you find any. But he also says neatly what I was trying to say in my comments on earlier threads: “examining how clouds and temperatures vary together locally really doesn’t tell you anything about feedbacks“. Naturally, I think this is an important point too!

  76. Willis

    I have to agree with the sentiment of your post. Although I think the Dr Roy Spencer’s article wasn’t as dismissive as you think.

    I hope Dr Spencer hasn’t decided to join the great and good who think that science should only be done by a chosen few. That’s partly what got us in this mess in the first place. We have a young scientist called Brian Cox here in Britain and his arguments for public science seems to circle around the notion that scientists should be given due deference wherever and whenever. Furthermore his attitude toward citizen scientists is one of “it’s fine for them to play just so long as they don’t challenge real scientists”.

  77. I have found squall lines to be far from specific to warmer temperatures. Meanwhile, I have noticed that when a squall line forms where otherwise only isolated thunderstorms form, there is much more uplifting of air by the thunderstorms. That air has to come back down somewhere, and it will generally be clear air.

  78. Dr Roy saw fit to comment on Willis’ character: ” sometimes Willis gives the impression that his analysis of the data (or his climate regulation theory) is original, which is far from the case. ”

    The comment appears snide or condescending. It is as close as it can get to calling his work plagiarised (the ultimate sin in academia) without explicitly doing so.

    Willis reacted – at length:) and made a reasonable case.

    Dr Roy seems to be suffering from ivory tower syndrome and cannot be taken too seriously on this subject. If he deigns to successfully back up his statements, he might regain some credibiity.

    To those complaining continuously of Willis’ ego – you clearly have never dealt with egomaniacs and you would be better off addressing your own insecurities, rather than projecting on someone else.

  79. Hi Willis,
    I too am a citizen climate scientist. However I have only one guest post here at WUWT.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/11/15/northern-sierra-trees-falsify-claim-of-unprecedented-global-warming/

    Like your work, my Seat-of-the-Pants Dendroclimatology is original. But unlike you, I am ‘flying under the radar’.

    My understanding is that academics are supposed to publish at least two articles in peer-reviewed (or pal-reviewed) journals per year. You’ve done far more than that. And yes, I’m sticking my neck out, and putting WUWT on a par with the very best academic climate science journals.

    If it’s any consolation, a friend — who happens to be a leading mathematician — plus his institutionally afffiliated sponsor at Caltech, got some flack from American Mathematical Monthly. (If my ageing memory is correct, that’s the name of the prestigiuous journal in question.)

    Anyway, they were getting TOO MANY articles accepted for publication there. Never underestimate the power of academic pettiness.

    I’m sorry to hear that Dr Roy was having a Bad Hair Day. I hope that the two of you are able to reconcile soon. And by all means, keep up the good work — even if you inadvertently step on a few toes. Best wishes.

  80. Why did WUWT even permit this essay??

    As many others, above, have noted Spencer was emphasizing the need to avoid “re-creating the wheel” (to paraphrase). And Spencer gave a succinct & profound reason for why this is a broad problem — of which Eschenbach’s cited essay is just one example:

    “In retrospect, it’s now clear that public interest in climate change has led to citizen-scientists like Willis taking matters into his/her own hands, since so little information is available in a form that is easily digested by the public. Career scientists like myself have not done enough public outreach to describe what they have done. And when we do such outreach, it is usually too technical to understand. We are too busy publishing-or-perishing.”

    Going on Spencer says:

    “Anyway, I applaud Willis, who is a sharp guy, for trying. But now I am asking him (and others): read up on what has been done first, then add to it. Or, show why what was done previously came to the wrong conclusion, or analyzed the data wrong.”

    That’s hardly an insult at all. It is also a polite way of saying, “Great kid, you independently came up with something significant, you’ve got some smarts, but your independent findings are old news–now go back and come up with something new. Meantime, I’m really too busy to help you more as much as I’d like to. So please go away & try not to waste my, and others, time unnecessarily.”

    More significantly, what Spencer is advocating is for anyone that’s not involved full-time in formal research and all that arena’s processes–the “citizen scientist”–to engage in the established systems and build from there consistent with established procedures.

    What Eschenbach, and WUWT by extension, are expecting (demanding?) is typical of the du jour self-serving/self-centered approach that, if it were to have been permissible a century ago would have had an unknown patent clerk publish in 1901 (years before gaining his “PhD” academic credential in 1905) in some newspaper or pamphlet and then expect the then-experts to cow-tow to his findings in his way. Things didn’t work that way (A. Einstein worked within the system & got his work published in a prestigious/reputable physics journal on its merits). Things still don’t work that way. It remains incumbent on the outsider to work with the established system.

    In other words, Eschenbach’s essay, and WUWT’s obvious willingness to publish it, reflects/conveys the rampant narcissism afflicting our society — where so many expect things should revolve around them in the particular manner they want … where ignorance of prior findings is an implicit virtue imbuing one with special needs the established authorities are expected to address as some sort of intellectual welfare entitlement (e.g. Eschenbach says: “If Dr. Roy thinks my ideas are not new, I’m more than willing to look at any citations he brings to the table. As far as I’m concerned they would be support for my hypothesis, so I invite him to either back it up or back it off.”). If one wants to get in the game they need to get on the right playing field & play by the rules, do not expect the pros to drop what they’re doing to come in play in your sandbox…or expect them to come & coach you in your private sandbox so you can get up to speed! Eeegads!!!

    It’s time to stop whining & grow up.

  81. Jean Demesure:

    I am writing in hope of clarifying a side-issue and, thus, averting a side-track.

    At October 9, 2013 at 2:33 pm you say

    @Willis,
    In automation and system control, “regulator” or “controller” would be used instead of “governor”.

    There is no definition of emergent effects such as the Eschenbach Effect, the R&C Effect, and any similar effects which may exist. So, for convenience, I will call them ‘Reversal Effects’.

    Feedbacks and governors moderate the behaviour of a system. Reversal Effects establish a different system.

    A positive feedback increases the magnitude of an effect.

    A negative feedback reduces the magnitude of an effect.

    A governor limits the magnitude of an effect.

    A Reversal Effect arises in response to a direct effect, and it combines with the direct effect such that the combination has opposite sign to the direct effect (i.e. when the direct effect is +ve the combination is –ve).

    So, for example, a surface warms as it is supplied with additional heat until a Reversal Effect initiates. After that any additional heat induces the surface to cool and the degree of cooling increases with increased heat input until the Reversal Effect ceases. This happens because the Reversal Effect removes heat from the surface, and it differs from a thermostat which reduces the heat being input to the surface.

    Richard

  82. Ramanathan and Collins 1991 ? Hummm ….. , published 23 years ago. Never heard of it or any discussion of its content. Was it buried for some reason? Either way the patent would have expired long before now. But then it seems to not even cover what Willis has been posting with regards to the “thermostat hypothesis” here on WUWT for quite some time and over numerous posts.

    Thank you Willis for your enlightenment. I think the publicly paid-for scientists like your idea and want the patent. I think you have documented your ideas quite well in a public forum here @ WUWT. It must be quite a blow to the “establishment of peer reviewed journals and the voice of authority of the publicly funded academics” to be out done by you sitting in your den and possibly taking down CAGW as well as their claim of authority. To top it all off you have had a real and exciting life while they were sucking-up as would be required in their employment.

    Keep up the good work Willis. Have a few cold beers with us little people while the academic establishment sips tea with two fingers.

    Hope I didn’t step on any toes here ;-)

  83. The two men that have brought this topic to the fore in their posts both have written in a way that I have found to be good. I believe these gentlemen will take care of the issue between them and I’ll be surprised if they don’t do a good job of resolving it. That said, the issue they are shining a bright light on is important and that is the lack of respect for the nonscientists.

    As nonscientists we can hold the scientists responsible for the quality of their research and public comments about the research. As scientist they need to respect all of us that are supplying their funding and who at the same time, share the world with them.

  84. @Ken
    I hope there are some senior establishment figures who can help me out. I am a ‘citizen w@nker’ but I have real aspirations to become a professional. Could you put me in touch with a true expert, possibly someone with tree ring expertise ?

  85. The history of Electronics is comprised of contributions from all kinds of people. Many of those people would have been described as amateurs. One of my favorites was Oliver Heaviside.

    Oliver Heaviside FRS[1] (/ˈɒlɪvər ˈhɛvisaɪd/; 18 May 1850 – 3 February 1925) was a self-taught English electrical engineer, mathematician, and physicist … Although at odds with the scientific establishment for most of his life, Heaviside changed the face of mathematics and science for years to come.

    Heaviside attracted lots of criticism and even animosity from the “professionals”. Most of those have faded into a richly deserved obscurity. On the other hand, if you want to make a circuit board that works in the GHz range, you had better master Heaviside’s Telegrapher’s Equations.

  86. Ken says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    …. If one wants to get in the game they need to get on the right playing field & play by the rules….

    It’s time to stop whining & grow up.

    ============================

    Ken,

    Sounds like a claim of academic authority from you. When are you going to stop whining and grow up?

    Congratulations Willis, someone really wants a patent on your idea.

  87. We’re all quite busy. But few of us have taken the heat that Dr. Roy has put up with.

    Dr. Roy was hounded into commenting on Willis and gave it the time he could. Might he have done better…sure. Do we all love and appreciate them both…sure.

    Let’s move on!

  88. I agree with Ken. Willis should take his spanking like an 8th grade boy instead of like an 8th grade girl, and move on. Get over it. It wasn’t a big deal.

  89. Now now boys, let us not be like the Syrian rebels and fight each other. We are in this together.

  90. 1 – There’s nothing wrong with duplicating work in science – in fact, it’s vital. Someone completely independently replicating work that someone else has done adds considerably to our confidence that something is right. It may feel maddeningly repetitious. ALL proper deep science, examining fundamental principles, is like that. Striving for ‘novel’ findings is not the ONLY worthwhile thing to do.

    2 – There is NO SUCH SPECIAL THING as a ‘scientist’. There is a ‘scientific method’ – a way of thinking. To paraphrase it, it’s hypothesis/theory/experiment. ALL humans think like this occasionally – for instance, when we drop another pin to indicate where the first one might have fallen. When you do, are you a ‘scientist’? Perhaps…

    Some people are paid to use this thought process to investigate nature full-time. I tend to call these people ‘Researchers’. They use the scientific method a lot (or are meant to) but they have NO MONOPOLY on the process. You can easily see that an implication that people who aren’t researchers shouldn’t use the scientific method is stupid, if you frame it in the words I have just used.

    Philosophers seem to have a much better appreciation of this. They have no difficulty at all in working with non-specialists in addressing philosophic issues. Perhaps it’s because philosophers, generally, aren’t paid a lot, and don’t feel that their livelihood is threated by people from outside their group. Medical doctors, by contrast, are usually VERY unhappy discussing any aspect of their knowledge with an outsider…

    • Dodgy Geezer: “There’s nothing wrong with duplicating work in science – in fact, it’s vital.”

      +1

      The only tiny nuance is that it has become impossible for a publicly funded scientist to replicate somebody else’s work on his employer’s dime. This vital means of validation is all but gone from modern science.

  91. Jeff L says:

    Wilis, I don’t read Dr. Roy’s comments as an attack on you at all – I am not sure why you took it that way.

    Because the only thing bigger than Wilils’ ego is the chip on Willis’ shoulder for anyone who has even the slightest disagreement with Willis.

    Roy went out of his way to sugar coat what was very constructive and very gentle criticism that was as much directed at the other people who fawn over Willis as it was at the Willis who fawns over Willis. Undoubtedly, Roy made those feather smoothing gestures because he understands what a jerk Willis can be when Willis’ opinion of Willis is confronted with the reality of Willis. Futile effort.

  92. @CD.
    Science can be done by anybody. But to be a scientist does mean defending your ideas against criticism and testing them.

  93. kingdube says: October 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    “Dr. Roy was hounded into commenting on Willis and gave it the time he could.”

    Dr Spencer was not “hounded’ into publishing the disgraceful graphic. He has now lost all credibility with me(it was already very low due to his belief in fairies). I have never visited his website, due to the aforesaid belief, but take Willis’ word for the fact that it was published there.

  94. Cooler heads on both sides should prevail. Maybe he is correct that your analysis is either incorrect or unoriginal- I don’t know. Citizen climate scientist are the result and not the cause of poor climate science. Possibly before your analysis you could ask him or another in the field if they can recommend some relevant papers. I’m sure this can be worked out.

    I realize they may feel it is tedious to contribute outside of their own projects but I think many scientists like Dr. Spencer actually enjoy teaching what they know.

  95. I’ve always enjoyed reading Willis’ theories and ideas, but I have to admit, even I assumed that others must have done work on this before, because so much of it just seems rather obvious. I find it very interesting that so far, no one can actually point to real work being done on this in the field or academia. That’s the really interesting part.

    I kind of thought it was the most obvious thing in the world, that hot air rises, and hot water evaporates and forms rain and thunderclouds, and all that helps cool the planet. I’m no expert in climate science, so I assumed that it was the kind of thing climate science would have looked into first, and not last, when looking at how the earth’s climate works. That it hasn’t, and that it takes ordinary citizen-scientists like Willis to bring it up, is the real story here.

  96. “There is a ‘scientific method’ – a way of thinking. To paraphrase it, it’s hypothesis/theory/experiment.”

    Willis uses real data in his presentations. That to me is science. Some others, such as Steven Wilde, post hypothesis all the time, with no follow through with real data to prove/disprove the hypothesis. I gain nothing from his posts.

    Thus I enjoy Willis’ posts immensely. They are easy to read and show imaginative thinking. That keeps me coming back to WUWT.

  97. Spencer would be taken more seriously if he wasn’t a creationist. He doesn’t help the cause of skeptics when he falls in the stereotype that all skeptics lack scientific knowledge.

  98. @CommieBob.
    I agree with you about Heaviside – what a genius. Recasting Maxwell’s equations, the D operator and a very practical knowledge of electricity.
    I also agree that lots of “amateurs” have made contributions to electronics. The important thing is that they did experiments and compared them to theory – the essence of the scientific method.
    The problem with citizen scientists is that they may not all be Heavisides but some think that they are!

  99. RC Saumarez

    I agree, but there is something quite insidious creeping through the UK at the moment; the emergence, via celebrity scientists, of a science-cult with in its culture, complete with priesthood and council of cardinals (Royal Society). This is worrying to me, they seem to feel entitled to tax-payers money (almost without justification) and their followers claim sophistication by showing blind obedience to prevailing scientific opinion and loyalty to the priesthood. Climate change is probably the most prominent writ but it’s not the only one.

  100. Ronald Voisin says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Willis, you’re way overreacting.

    Thanks, Ronald. I was accused without foundation, both in the title and in the body of Roy’s post. What makes it harder is, I like and respect Dr. Roy, and his scientific work has been important.

    If you should ever have the misfortune to be wrongly accused in that manner and compared to Homer Simpson, and I hope you never are in that situation, well, I guess we’ll see then how calm and mellow you remain.

    w.

  101. The “consensus” loves to slam skeptics as being ignorant amateurs. I don’t see why Dr. Spencer would want to give the very same people who smear HIM for his religious beliefs, additional ammunition . Perhaps it is a time issue, as suggested. Scientists may not have the time to answer posts on other people’s blogs or even to keep their own going, for that matter. Dr. R. Pielke, Sr. shut down his climate blog due to that issue – busy writing a book on atmospheric models, I think. Maybe the pros need to assign a grad assistant to follow internet content? They’ve been assigned worse tasks no doubt, lol.

  102. Willis, It has been years since I was a freshman engineering student, but when I read Dr. Spencer’s response to questions raised for him to comment on your exposition of your theory, I was quickly brought back into the classroom where the “teaching technique” was to publicly humiliate an as yet uneducated student who asks an innocent question in class that was directly answered in the text they should have read in the last reading assignment! Another technique used was to single out the student who has been doing well on the quizes and seems to have the respect of the others in the classroom and attempt to publicly humiliate them by quizing them until they fail to answer, just to elevate the authority of the professor and squelch student dissent about some disagreement the class might have raised.

    The teaching technique is far more sensitively illustrated (because it does not involve public humiliation) in this classic:

    ” Do you hear your heart beat?”
    “No”
    “Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?”
    “Old man – how is it that you hear these things?”
    “Young man – how is that you do not?”

    I was never, and still am not, an advocate for public humiliation as a motivational teaching method because it rarely motivates anyone and instead just antagonizes students who now think of the professor as arrogant, impatient and one of those typical grey hairs who is always “looking down from his ivory tower of learning with disdain on the ignorant masses”.

    In this case, you were never given the syllabus, so how could you expect to KNOW everything Dr. Spencer has read on the subject that is germaine to your postulate? He chides you for not googling “cloud radiative forcing”. I did. 306,000 results hardly narrows down the field to find the gems of truth. Still, Dr. Spencer did give you one really good review article which I have skimmed and am going to sit back and savor. He stated, “If you want to get some idea of what has been done on cloud feedback, then a good place to start is Graeme Stephens (2005) review of cloud feedback work performed over the years.” The link included goes to a pretty good review of literature.

    In my humble opinion, Willis, Dr. Spencer’s criticism is something that you should take as a positive thing. He thinks you can take it and get better at what you do. Humility is a positive virtue. You have proven that in your writing in the past. If Dr. Spencer thinks you should read a little bit more, then perhaps that is a good thing. I certainly am going to read a little bit more.

    At the same time, I too have not, in all my reading come across any other theory that so simply and logically states, in clear English, a theory about why thermaggeddon has not happened. Granted it does not answer the question about long term surface temperature meandering over decades and centuries, but it does completely squelch the Chicken Little, The Sky Is Falling alarmism. Why? Because it explains why 1 degree over a decade is nothing to worry about, when the daily temperature fluctuations of 10 – 20 – 30 degree variance are unfailingly regulated back to 298 K. It gets everyone to step back and look at the far more influential feedback – water – and stop the insane moaning about CO2.

  103. This isn’t a very nice situation. Willis has reacted ‘strongly’ no doubt but Spencer is bang out of order and rubs salt into the wound by posting a dud link supposedly to back up his point. If Spencer is sloppy enough to muck up a blog what else does he not bother to check?

    It seems that the nut of Spencer’s whine is that he gets asked to comment on the work of people who publish their own original (to them) research that they have funded themselves and via their tax dollars.

    If Dr Spencer is too busy to comment then he doesn’t have to. It’s not like Willis will get pissed with him.

    Spencer patronisingly asserts that ” And we already knew that clouds, on average, cool the climate system, as described almost 25 years ago from the first Earth Radiation Budget Experiment (ERBE) data.” OK how come none of the proper scientists have got the stones to stand up and say that?

    Maybe the proper pay check scientists have already done all the possible analyses on all of the data but they just don’t like to tell anyone the results.

    It’s self evident that Mr Eschenbach has an ego easily large enough to power a medium sized city but unfortunately for Spencer et al he also has the brains and wedding tackle to match it.

    I urge Mr Eschenbach to keep calm and carry on.

  104. General P. Malaise says:
    October 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    Roy should not be your hero Willis. All the great people who write for WUWT are being slandered. Stop giving your enemies a break.

    Hey, people are complex. Roy has done very important work, and has been transparent and clear in his science. I respect that, even if he does attack me.

    w.

  105. I always enjoy your posts Willis & think you are really onto something with your emergent phenomena thermostat idea. That being said, I think Joanne Simpson’s early work on clouds as heat pipes is quite similar to your thesis (& I think it supports it). I’d give you the link, but it was on a NASA site and that seems to be down currently.

  106. Ken says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Why did WUWT even permit this essay??

    As many others, above, have noted Spencer was emphasizing the need to avoid “re-creating the wheel” (to paraphrase). And Spencer gave a succinct & profound reason for why this is a broad problem — of which Eschenbach’s cited essay is just one example:

    Ken, I would have had no problem with his accusations if they had been cited and referenced. They were neither. The accusation about Ramanathan was ludicrous, and other than that, he didn’t give one single example of the ignorance and plagiarism he accused me of.

    In addition to it being good science to cite the previous work that he claims I either don’t know about or am stealing from, it’s downright nasty to accuse a man of malfeasance without giving one damn example to back up the accusation. How on earth can I defend myself against such vague nastiness?

    w.

  107. mcourtney at http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442136

    i accept the the comment relating to the low quality journals vs the high quality journals. i believe this is down to the quality of the scientists that submit to them.this in turn leads me to believe the quality of the scientists in climate science is rather low.

    i have a background in industrial ceramics and have worked with scientists in developing materials and processes.in every instance i had complete confidence in the ability of those scientists as they demonstrated not only correct knowledge,but also ability.
    quite possibly the fact climate science is in its infancy and suffers from a real lack of solid evidence has lead to the debacle we face today, however, the level of confidence placed in its output by major world governments is far from justified,and i am mystified as to why members of the traditional science communities have not been more outspoken against what is going on.

    as to your final comment : The as yet unanswered question is how important and skilful are the readership of WUWT.

    only time will tell,but i will hazard a bet no less skilful than the climate science community :)

  108. “C’mon, folks! Do you really think that of the billions of dollars spent on designing, launching, and keeping these satellite instruments going, that no one thought to analyze the data? Really? That’s why hundreds of scientists and engineers collaborated on such projects in the first place! ”
    Roy Spencer

    Then up pops Willis, who does it for fun on his own and offers an analysis and some conclusions into the public arena before they choose to, or are allowed to?
    I am hoping it is just sour grapes from RS , anything else is quiet worrying.

  109. Alan Millar says:
    October 9, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    Very well said. What really rankles me is that the most generous description of Spencer’s effort against the citizen scientist is that he is trying to pull rank. That is disgusting in itself. However, Spencer works in a field where quite some so-called scientists and quite a few others have tried to pull rank, tried to throw in the kitchen sink, and tried just about everything under the sun to ensure that no one does any empirical science, that all the science is top down from radiation theory, and that we are forever stuck with global averages and statistical magic.

    • Theo Goodwin: Your brilliantly expressed observation of the top-down science and statistical magic bloody well applies to all of modern physics. Just replace “radiation theory” with whatever it is that people were awarded Nobel prizes for during the last 70 years or so. Spot on.

  110. Mardler says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:13 pm
    “Pity it entered the public arena whoever started it. May be best to have a private conversation with Roy asap, Willis.”

    The shoe is on the other foot. Read Willis’ post.

  111. Hi Willis, whilst agreeing that Dr Roy’s choice of words left a great deal to be desired, I thought I’d share a personal observation on dust devils. You mentioned them in passing saying, “Typically they live for a (sic) some seconds to minutes, and then disappear.” I agree with you here as well. There are, however, some very atypical dust devils!

    I grew up in Eastern Washington State, which, due to the rain shadow of the Cascade Mountains, is quite dry in the summer. Large portions of the state are, in fact, desert.

    It was not atypical for dust devils to form during the day and last for several hours. They could be seen miles away as they pulled dust from the ground and ejected it from the top of the maelstrom. This resulted in a yellow-brown plume, situated well above ground, extending several miles downwind from the dust devil. They were largely stationary, perhaps moving so slowly that it was not apparent to the naked eye. They seemed to prefer plowed fields absent of vegetation. This made sense to me as vegetation would inhibit the localized ground heating necessary for their formation.

    Thought you might enjoy a respite from the emotional maelstrom with a bit of observation on maelstroms….

    Thanks for all your fine posts and keep up the good work!

  112. Ronald Voisin says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:21 pm
    Willis, you’re way overreacting.

    Nope. Willis spelled out in great detail how Spencer could go about comparing Willis’ novel physical hypothesis to the “source” that Spencer alleges has priority of publication over Willis. Spencer has refused to do so. He should do so.

  113. Come on guys. You both make scientific enquiry an honororable profession. I’d suggest you both get together for a beer and chow-chow.

    BTW There is obviously not a positive feedback in the Earth’s so-called climate system. If there were, we would have frozen or shriveled long before now. I speak as an engineer who understand the math of feedback.

    How. Often. Must. This. Be. repeated. Basic math, guys.

  114. Willis Eschenbach said:

    Like I said, Dr. Roy is one of my heroes, and I’m mystified by his attack on citizen scientists in general, and on me in particular.

    ————————————————————————————————–

    It’s always nice to have heroes.

    About two and half years ago, Dr. Spencer’s partner, Dr. Christy, told me he was working on making public the source code he and Dr. Spencer use for their climatology work. I don’t suppose Dr. Spencer has provided any updates on the status of this project in his conversations with you?

  115. kingdube says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    We’re all quite busy. But few of us have taken the heat that Dr. Roy has put up with.

    Dr. Roy was hounded into commenting on Willis and gave it the time he could. Might he have done better…sure. Do we all love and appreciate them both…sure.

    Let’s move on!

    Thanks, King. I would have loved to “move on”. Or as others have suggested, I’d have loved to settle it over a beer.

    But now, I stand accused in public of either ignorance or plagiarism, by someone of some stature. Perhaps you’d just move on. Me, I’m not built that way. I’m not leaving that kind of accusation unanswered. If I do, people will assume that Dr. Roy’s bogus claims are true.

    w.

  116. Mark Bofill says:
    October 9, 2013 at 1:57 pm

    Brilliant! You have a talent for the essay. You have portrayed who and what Spencer’s criticisms of Willis tend to betray. What impels Spencer to these criticisms remains a mystery that he should explain.

  117. So what if it’s duplication of effort. Replication is NEEDED to verify concepts, as is Publication, better yet open source publication.

    Have at it Willis.

  118. richardscourtney says:
    October 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    Once again, brilliant and definitive work from you, Richard. You have described the difference between Willis and Ramanathan that Spencer should address. Given your work, I can stop posting until something more occurs in the “exchange,” such as it is, between Willis and Spencer.

  119. OldWeirdHarold says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    I agree with Ken. Willis should take his spanking like an 8th grade boy instead of like an 8th grade girl, and move on. Get over it. It wasn’t a big deal.

    Easy for you to say. You’re some anonymous humanoid, might be a 16-year-old Valley girl for all we know, who is totally safe from such untrue accusations because you never have to take responsibility for your words—you hide your identity behind an alias like some kid in a chat room.

    Who is acting like an adult here? Me, or you, you who won’t stand behind what you say, you who are too ashamed to sign your own work? Unlike you, I have a reputation to uphold and defend, and defend it I will.

    w.

  120. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    Jeff L says:

    Wilis, I don’t read Dr. Roy’s comments as an attack on you at all – I am not sure why you took it that way.

    Because the only thing bigger than Wilils’ ego is the chip on Willis’ shoulder for anyone who has even the slightest disagreement with Willis.

    Aw, JJ, you’re just jealous because you didn’t get attacked by name in public … oh, wait, you hide behind an alias, you don’t take responsibility for your own words by signing them, so you can’t be attacked by name in public.

    I love the random anonymous internet popups who snipe from the safety of their alias, nameless children who want to lecture adults on how to defend their good name. I suppose if you don’t have a name, just an alias, the whole concept of “a good name” must seem strange …

    w.

    PS—JJ, and Jeff L., perhaps for you guys, getting compared to Homer Simpson is not an attack. If so … well, I guess I can understand that …

  121. Dr Roy breaking bad to regain lost lab cred? Let’s hope not.

    Willis, stand your ground. Dr. Roy, stand and deliver. It’s the way of science. I particularly applaud your commitment to the way of, intent of, and spirit of the scientific method Willis with your exceptional essay above. You avoided any ad hominem personal attacks with professionalism and grace showing your commitment to the scientific method. You’ve gone from hero status to mega hero status, Batman, the Hulk and Thor had better watch out! [;-)]

  122. Ashby Manson says:
    October 9, 2013 at 4:22 pm

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/MG/PDFs/mono03_houze.pdf

    In formulating their “hot tower” hypothesis, Simpson & her colleagues relied upon actual experiment & observation rather than computer models, which is just one reason why she was a real scientist, ie a meteorologist, & not a bogus “climate scientist” designing computer models to support their baseless assumptions. Their work also led to further advances in understanding after satellites launched based upon it added to aircraft flights into tropical cyclones.

  123. I thought what Willis was posting was amazing information.

    I’ve read hundreds of climate science papers and, the vast, vast majority of them are obfuscation, containing no data, completely unfathomable charts and outright garbage. They are really a waste of time and effort, but because I want to KNOW, I read them anyway and waste my time and energy.

    Willis’ posts were the opposite of that.

    The Cloud Feedback is a make-or-break factor in climate science. We need to know what the real data says and not what Dessler and Ramanathan and the IPCC think we are supposed to believe.

    If you are global warming skeptic, then you do not automatically “believe” something that is in a climate science paper abstract because most of it is bogus, exaggeration. If you are a global warming skeptic, it is because you have seen contradictory real data yourself. Give me the numbers because I want to know.

  124. @George Steiner: “What is the definition of a citizen scientist?”

    In this context I think it means Forrest Mims III, rather than a government scientist.

    @Willis Eschenbach: “Unlike you, I have a reputation to uphold and defend, and defend it I will.”

    “Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and by opposing end them? ” — Some Brit

  125. DonV says:
    October 9, 2013 at 4:04 pm

    … Still, Dr. Spencer did give you one really good review article which I have skimmed and am going to sit back and savor. He stated, “If you want to get some idea of what has been done on cloud feedback, then a good place to start is Graeme Stephens (2005) review of cloud feedback work performed over the years.” The link included goes to a pretty good review of literature.

    I’m sorry, Don, but you don’t accuse a man of either being ignorant of or plagiarizing from previous work without specifying the exact study, page, and paragraph of previous work you’re talking about.

    At that point, Dr. Roy waving his hand at a general review of the literature is not acceptable in the slightest. He’s accused me of not knowing something I should know … but what is it that he’s claiming I don’t know?

    That’s the problem, Don. He’s attacked me without a shred of evidence, either of what I’m supposed to be ignorant of, or what study it was that I should have read to relieve my ignorance.

    w.

  126. Mr. Eschenbach ‘s charts indicate that sea surface temperature hardly ever exceeds 30C. There are precious few data points above that approximate value. Why is 30C so magic? Why not 25 or 35? Does the 30C “wall” imply that our average global surface temperature cannot go up very much because the ocean will evaporate the energy away to space – which is to say nothing about it going way down?

    Mr Eschenbach?

    Dr. Spencer?

  127. As an engineer, i am confounded by the way learned scientists behave.

    In engineering, I am happy to hear another’s opinion on how we intend to build something we designed – the last thing we want is an unforeseen design flaw that results in a less than best of breed product or something that does not do that for which we designed it.
    In fact over many years building stuff, I can;t think of a single successful product or project we concluded that DIDN’T have critical input from others.
    Still, in light of the cartoon lead-in to this excellent responsive article, I thought you good folk here might like to go to a 1935 movie that outlines just how manic two behavioural scientists can get in the pursuit of their theories – and their demented attack on opposing views,

    OK it IS the Three Stooges in a colourised print of Hoi Polloi – Enjoy

  128. Because of my background (I grew up in a socialist country) I always rebel when I hear references to an authority. Willis, who is not part of academia and probably draws no significant salary from his research, has introduced many of us, not the climate scientists, to a better understanding of what the issues were and how complex things can get in the climate science. And, I have to say the same about Roy’s many posts on his blog, which accomplished the same thing – gave me a better understanding of the complexity and unresolved issues; contrasting with the consensus seeking politicians and some cooperative scientists.

    Kudos to Willis for continuously searching and prying into the realm considered by some as sacred by their education and societal status.

    Unlike some on this blog, I am not disturbed by this argument and as much as I side with Willis in this case (sorry Roy) I think the debate is healthy and a whole lot better than blogs where sycophantic sheep just chant the same thing over and over again.

  129. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 9, 2013 at 4:53 pm

    Change that to “either wilful ignorance or plagiarism.” Spencer spends a lot of time thinking about right and wrong. He knows what he implied.

  130. I can see why Willis would take offence at being likened to Homer, but doesn’t the presentation of the “professional” climate scientist offset that? Good grief, that photo is of a complete disaster…of the two, I’d rather be likened to Homer

    just sayin’

  131. Dr. Roy:
    ‘nature abhors the vacuous’ (there, fixed that for you)
    When I do think of the billions spent doing your research – I wonder if the vast scale of pillage required for it is not the distinguishing characteristic and the major achievement.

  132. I’m no scientist but I am a human.
    IMO this is an clear cut example of two very talented and decent guys simply being human.

    Dr. Roy humanly misperceived some of Willis’ work and sounded off in public about it without first asking Willis about anything he had a problem with. In doing so he teed up Willis to get some unearned trashing in the comment section. That exacerbated Roy’s misstep in going off on Willis in public.

    Willis, quite humanly responded in public and people have now waded in with all sorts of twists, embellishments and opportunistic slights at both.

    Too bad it wasn’t a private discussion between Roy and Willis.

  133. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm

    “At that point, Dr. Roy waving his hand at a general review of the literature is not acceptable in the slightest. He’s accused me of not knowing something I should know … but what is it that he’s claiming I don’t know?”

    My take is that he referenced that article specifically as a means of teaching you all the platitudes of the field. What upsets him is that you have proposed an empirical, testable hypothesis. He wants you back in the fold of time series analysis, global average temperatures, and statistical magic. You may ignore my take.

  134. I beg to differ, but it is of absolute truthness that whenever you have upward motion over a determined área you must have subsidence somewhere else….or the upper atmosphere would get “loaded”…this happens even in hurricanes namely in the eye and in between the convective banding features.
    The second thing is that squall lines emerge upon certain synoptic contexts that don´t necessarily have to do with surface “overheating”, on the other hand, a hurricane or a MCS is indeed a convective mechanism more typical of areas that experience continued accumulation of low level energy.

    Regarding the rest of your post, i find the idea you are expressing that cloud cover acts as a major thermodynamic balancing machanism is a valid premiss, and further testing of this should be done…my own opinion is that low clouds would have a bigger impact than convective clouds, precisely because of the idea that if you get strong lift in a region ( with cooling efect) you would have subsidence somewhere ( with heating effect thus balancing the cooling efect you had where there was lift), the point is that this doesent happen with low stratiform clouds because the gensis of low stratiform clouds doesent require major vertical motion.

  135. Some time ago (years ago), I wrote to Roy Spencer on a number of occasions, pointing out that there was a major flaw in his repetitive claim that “clouds cool the climate system on average (they raise the planetary albedo, so they reduce solar input into the climate system)”.

    My simple point is this – Clouds Do NOT cool the Earth when it is in darkness !

    On average half of the Earth is in Darkness at any time, and the Clouds in that Half of the Earth will act as an insulator surely, so then it is important to include sunrise/sunset data in any calculations. So far as I am aware Spencer has never done so. Clouds do vary from night to daytime at any location, so this is important. On a cloudless night we are more likely to have a frost in the Fall. Every Farmer and Gardener knows this.

    Spencer has never replied to me, or published any such data, and without it, his statements and hypotheses are meaningless clap-trap. I believe Spencer is panicking because he never considered this, and all his years of work and theories are now meaningless. I imagine he is hoping by ignoring it, it will be of little consequence.

    This is not how science is done is it ?

    I could be wrong, since I may be a “mere amateur” like Willis, but if I am mistaken, then no doubt some person in here will point me to the sunrise/sunset data in Spencer’s calculations, and hypotheses, or in some published paper of his.

  136. Willis Eschenbach says:

    Aw, JJ, you’re just jealous because you didn’t get attacked by name in public …

    Neither did you.

    Roy Spencer did not attack you. He offered some constructive criticism to you and (mostly) to the people who read you uncritically. ‘Hatchet job’ and ‘attacks’ and ‘slamming me with accusations’ are all inventions of your own mind, as it tries to rescue your overstuffed self-image from being confronted by the view from outside.

    The persecution complex bit is one of the least attractive manifestations of your delusions of grandeur. Anthony does a disservice to himself and his other regular contributors when he allows you to throw these tantrums here. It devalues their work to be associated with your self-serving belligerence.

  137. It doesn’t matter whether it is original. It is interesting and every different explanation of something is interesting. Keep up to good work Willis!

    Most of the time you would find that if you could read Russian that the Russians already did it years ago anyway!

  138. Chipotle says:

    October 9, 2013 at 5:26 pm

    I can see why Willis would take offence at being likened to Homer, but doesn’t the presentation of the “professional” climate scientist offset that? Good grief, that photo is of a complete disaster…of the two, I’d rather be likened to Homer

    just sayin’
    ————————————————————————————–

    It’s doubly ironic as Hansen is they guy who made the claim Venus is hot due to CO2, when in fact its temperature is due to atmospheric pressure.

  139. Right on Willis. I have read many commentors stating that Willis should basically shut his yap and take his medicine, well screw that. Being a political person, I have been told on many occasions that I too needed to shut up and just let the “big boys” take care of everything by giving the opposition what it wants, but we’ll stand up next time. Except there is never a next time, just the same excuse. Willis is right to stand up to this accusation for if he doesn’t now, then when?

  140. Willis,
    I completely agree with your comments and the reasons for them. I hope Dr. Roy issues an appology or at least a statement that proves his accusations, because I also respect him and his science. Please keep sharing your science with us.

  141. Keep up the good work Willis. I don’t always agree with your conclusions but have confidence in your integrity and honesty. The same cannot be said about the 97%.

  142. FIG. 4. (a) The cloud longwave forcing as a function of SST.

    5. Cloud feedbacks and the regulation of
    tropical SSTs

    house effect and that a negative feedback must operate
    to limit the climatological SSTs to about 30°C. This
    point was notably raised in the observational study of
    Ramanathan and Collins (1991) who referred to this
    runaway effect as the “supergreenhouse” effect and the
    regulation of SSTs as the thermostat hypothesis. The
    idea of a runaway greenhouse effect in the absence of a
    regulatory negative feedback is also supported by
    simple energy balance arguments (e.g., Pierrehumbert
    1995; Kelly et al. 1999; among others).

    tonsof good references

    Tsushima, Y., and S. Manabe, 2001: Influence of cloud feedback
    on annual variation of global mean surface temperature. J.
    Geophys. Res., 106, 22 635–22 646.

    a a few by peter webster and judith curry

  143. Rud Istvan (Oct 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm),

    bit chilly has already said it but I can’t let it go without heartily seconding him. Yours was a SUPERB comment.
    _______

    On a separate note, I can’t stand the word ‘citizen‘ — in any context. I associate it with the forced totalitarian attitudes of that hideous French Revolution and for me it is the equivalent of the USSR’s komrade.

    Citizens? NEVER!

    People? ALWAYS.

    Of course, some are lucky enough to be one’s fellow countrymen, but most aren’t — thank God. :)

    Fcuk ‘citizenship’, and all who sail in her.
    _______

    Willis,

    I don’t know if he is without sin or not, but Dr Roy has cast the first stone. In my book that gives you carte blanche. If you have to, I’d say start with a pebble. You can work your way up to the trebuchet and boulders later if needs be. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that and that the affair is sorted out amicably, and soon. Either way, good luck. :)

  144. We should not cede the IPCC the right to reinvent the wheel. Roy, Willis, keep up the good work.

  145. Great essay Willis!

    I completely agree with your criticisms of Dr. Roy’s blog post “from on high” of citizen scientists,, and you in particular.

    After having read his blog post, I was left with the impression that the reason he didn’t support his claims with quotes and citations was because Roy doesn’t really view you as his intellectual equal in the first place (hence the Homer Simpson graphical reference) so why should he bother?.

    I think that Roy has gotten too full of himself

  146. Ken says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Why did WUWT even permit this essay??

    As many others, above, have noted Spencer was emphasizing the need to avoid “re-creating the wheel” (to paraphrase)….

    “Going on Spencer says:

    “Anyway, I applaud Willis, who is a sharp guy, for trying.”

    Ken, and you actually think this was a nice thing for Spencer to say? People must have fun saying things to you between the lines. No, Roy Spencer and other climate scientists are upset that Willis is onto something big here (with all his posts). With all the dreck that has come out of the noisiest professional climate scientists and the bickering and politicking, it is dawning on some of them that Willis is leading climate science out of the phlogiston while most of its practitioners are sidelined as spectators. The IPCC and the thousands of “top” scientist contributors have rewritten the 1990 (?) report five times with no essential changes and, with climate behaviour getting more uncertain, they are getting more certain that humans are causing a global warming that hasn’t been happening for 17 years (after only 17 years of warming!). You will see more of these attacks on Willis when many of the mainstream recover from the warming halt that sneaked up on them and virtually shut them down. The most prolific of the pre- Climategate authors’ publishing efforts of late have dropped to less than a trickle, except for scoriating op eds and twitter twaddle . It is dawning on many of them that they have been horribly wrong as evidenced by their desperation and public prayers for everything to melt, dry up and blow away in a hurry. It casts me back aways: I remember many times brewing up tea from swampy brown water on remote geological surveys and watching the bugs swim faster and faster looking for cooler water before they sank under a handful of tea.

    Roy was a surprise. He has done a lot of heavy good work and taken a lot of flack for his criticism of the mainstream CAGW guys. If Willis had nothing to contribute with his stuff, a prominent climate scientist would not be moved to attack in this fashion. Willis this was an affirmation.

  147. When Roy played the religion card after his testimony, he demonstrated that he is every bit a political animal first.
    He’s doing bizarre behaviours.

  148. Willis seems to be a very logical thinker, has that rare motivation to actually go and do something about his ideas, and has enough skills and energy to find, examine and analyze relevant data.

    But above all he has the skill of clear, concise communication.

    He is able to clearly express and illustrate his findings with words and graphics in a way which gets bite sized concepts and backing data to be read by the average citizen.

    He has no need in communicating here to descend into chapters and pages of convoluted scientific obscurese, a craft where Michael Mann excels, and which is probably a bit of a necessity in work for scientific publication which will usually reference and discuss all prior work on the subject at hand.

    The remarkable, and in retrospect, very obvious highlight of his articles (to me) is the clear illustration of a 30°C ceiling on SST. Whatever the mechanism, there is one helluva lot of buffering capacity right there between the equator and the poles – I’d guess that zone only has to extend by a few meters in each direction to get us through the next few hundred years.

  149. Willis, I hear you. And I agree. Public castigation and humiliation must be answered. I empathize with how pissed off this must have made you. I applaud the restraint you showed in your blogged response.

    In the review article I found this reference that shows some plots similar (but not quite), to the ones you came up with in both of your posts:

    http://langley.atmos.colostate.edu/publications/Documents_1993/Stephens_Randall_Wittmeyer_Dazlich_Tjemkes_JGeo_1993.pdf

    The lack of color that the journal forced on these authors leaves much to be desired in trying to figure out what is being conveyed. Yours made the information quite understandable.

    My advice still is to “take the high road”. We will all respect you even more for it.

  150. As a long-time (now retired) veteran of academe, I know that there is no magic in a degreed tenured connection with a university; the people are no smarter, and are often pettier, than people in the general public. If they are better informed, it is often in a narrow specialty; the Renaissance man of yore is rare in the modern university. There are, of course, many fine scholars and teachers in academe; however, advancement in their profession requires pursuit of publication and publicity, and it often involves a certain suspicion or jealousy of persons or ideas from outside their academic circle. Please believe me; I was in that milieu long enough to know.

    In the present confrontation, Willis has my wholehearted support. He and his work have been attacked in an extremely unprofessional manner; and his reply, while a bit plain-spoken for most academics, laid out the issues properly and comprehensively.

    Several commenters have remarked on the clarity and vividness of Willis’s writing. That attribute is one of the clearest possible distinctions between his work and so much of what passes for research writing in academe. For many, the working hypothesis seems to be: If the common man can understand it, I shouldn’t have written it. If it ceases being mysterious and jargonistic, I have failed in my effort to write a suitably opaque and obscure paper–thus, if someone can understand it, that someone might be able to falsify it. Not a favorable outcome. I am grateful to Willis for his clear and well-authenticated writing.

  151. I this and I that and I am the best and I know better and I figured it all out when nobody else could!

    This is the ugly side of the blogosphere, IMHO. Let’s park the egos please on all sides.

  152. Yes, this is all very strange. For what it’s worth I support you on this Willis. I would also want to see chapter and verse from those who choose to criticize. It is all very reminiscent of the occasional reviewer comments that I get on my own publications. I also think that you may have inadvertently stepped on someone’s toes as has already been suggested. I’ve done this before as well. Such unsupported speculation may be unworthy but there you go.

    The resentment that you generate in others is staggering and the plain rudeness is almost beyond belief (I’m writing here of the comments and not Spencer), but I like your approach and I hope that I have your gumption when I am your age, which is only a couple of years from now. Damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead. Who cares if it has been done before as it will all come out in the wash in the end. Use my approach and do the literature research afterwards. When you (I?) do weird and wonderful things the chances of duplication is slim in any case.

    Although I rarely comment be assured that I read and enjoy everything that you write here.

    Cheers,
    WS

  153. To paraphrase Clemenceau on war:

    La science est une chose trop grave pour la confier aux “experts”.

    And that goes double for “climate science”.

  154. Seems to me that Willis, is the lightning rod. Whatever really set Dr. Spencer off, Willis got the brunt.

    If I used a graphic of Homer, friendly like to represent a close friend, I’d better have the apology shortly after the picture or be prepared to apologize mightily in person.

    If Hansen going to jail was supposed to be the counterpoint softening the Homer implication, it is not enough because Hansen’s picture is absolutely true. Many another professional climate leech’s name and picture could be in that picture and the simple citizen’s thought response would still be the same.

    I, as a simple citizen take offense to being portrayed as Homer. A citizen scientist should really take offense. After all, the Dr. Spencer’s climate scientists get paid for their work; anything a citizen scientist does is on their own time, dime and effort. Dr. Spencer gets to bounce ideas off of co-workers, honest feedback and ideas without too much acrimony. Willis in this case posts his ideas open for criticism on the net, and when necessary retries and reposts with identified errors/oversights corrected.

    Whether Dr. Spencer intended ill with his blog post is not the question. Dr. Spencer’s blog post caused ill and Roy is directly responsible. Hopefully a responsible scientist, citizen or professional, will own up to their mistakes and apologize.

  155. I hope it’s OK that I invited folks to the show at Spencer’s blog. This should be good for a scientific process debate. Willis, I love your work and honesty here. You’ve been consistent wrt “show me the data, show me the sources”

  156. RC Saumarez says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    … The problem with citizen scientists is that they may not all be Heavisides but some think that they are!

    A hundred years from now most scientists, amateur and professional, will be forgotten. We don’t know who will be remembered and who will be forgotten. When I was a student I worked with a fairly prominent scientist whose work was followed by many. Someone else came up with the proverbial game changer; and reduced my supervisor’s career to irrelevance.

    A professional scientist has a small but non-zero chance of coming up with something important. An amateur has a smaller but still non-zero chance. That’s not why we do science though. It’s about the journey, not the destination. If the professionals get shirty about the amateurs, they are probably missing this important point.

  157. Jeremy says:

    October 9, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    “…..Let’s park the egos please on all sides.”
    =============
    Well put.

  158. I personally don’t care WHO does “something” that was done previously.
    If someone can explain it to me to where I learn and I understand better, that is GOOD WORK. We need people like that — who make the knowledge accessible to many without formal training in a certain field.
    AllI know is Willis makes me smarter and probably a great deal many others.

  159. Willis
    A key issue I got from Spencer’s post was the importance of doing a decent literature search before diving in, to better understand the field. That is drummed into graduate students before you ever dream of starting the research.

  160. Willis’ theory of global climate homeostasis bears examination and discussion.
    In mammals and other animals there are centres in the brain that regulate temperature heat flow and heat creation.
    Clearly since the Earth lacks any form of central nervous system this mechanism cannot explain the robustness that the Earth achieves in dampening changes of incoming and exiting heat.
    The heat engine mechanisms that transport heat to the upper atmosphere could be modeled and seen if predictive.
    The use of the term ‘governor’ is apt in that it correlates with say the mechanism of a steam engine,a machine, more than a random collection of inputs and outputs,which runs smoothly and not chaotically.
    The fact that the discussion years ago was of Cirrus cloud formations and not Storm fronts, in the Tropics especially, points to the evolution of the discussion,as every scientist stands on the shoulders of those who precede.
    As such this site needs to be congratulated as it lets other Citizen Scientists have a look at what is going on in climate science.

  161. ATheoK says:
    October 9, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Very well said. Given that Spencer used the image of Homer, Spencer had a hissy fit. I am truly floored.

  162. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    Aw, JJ, you’re just jealous because you didn’t get attacked by name in public …

    Neither did you.

    Roy Spencer did not attack you. He offered some constructive criticism to you and (mostly) to the people who read you uncritically. ‘Hatchet job’ and ‘attacks’ and ‘slamming me with accusations’ are all inventions of your own mind, as it tries to rescue your overstuffed self-image from being confronted by the view from outside.

    Not a bit. He said:

    I’ve previously commented on Willis’ thermostat hypothesis of climate system regulation, which Willis never mentioned was originally put forth by Ramanathan and Collins in a 1991 Nature article.

    Now, that is a clear accusation of plagiarism—he’s saying that I lifted the idea from R&C1991, and that I never mentioned that little detail. It’s total bullshit, of course, but nasty false accusations like that grow legs. I won’t stand to be lied about like that, JJ. R&C1991 was about an entirely different hypothsis.

    That’s an attack, JJ.

    It’s also a hatchet job to accuse me of not doing my homework without pointing out the prior studies that I’m supposed to be ignorant of. Roy’s all over my case … but he hasn’t yet pointed out either:

    a) what I’m supposedly ignorant of, or

    b) just what past study would have alleviated my ignorance if I’d only read it.

    Accusing a man of that kind of thing, without a single scrap of evidence to back it up?

    That’s an attack, JJ.

    w.

  163. Willis, I applaud your work. Specially since it is accessible by all. I find it ridiculous that someone would put you down because ‘it has been done before’. In this age of puplish or perish, one must sieve through 100 or 200 papers just to find one or two of any worth. And we are expected to pay $35 for each crappy 4 page paper? Ridiculous, when dover sell high quality scientific paperbacks for $10. I just cant afford to pay $3500 to $7000 just for a decent paper one a single subject. In my mind this is nothing more than censorship, keeping science within a ‘select’ group. I never thought of Mr. Spenser as a snob or elitist. I hope hes not

  164. W
    This brings to mind Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Darwin who each independently formulted, through observation of the natural world, the theory of evolution by natural selection…unbeknownst to each other.
    That others may have also reached the same conclusions in no way diminishes your own orriginal thinking.
    A wise man once said “there is nothing new under the Sun”.

    “Alfred Russel Wallace OM FRS (8 January 1823 – 7 November 1913) was a British naturalist, explorer, geographer, anthropologist and biologist. He is best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection; his paper on the subject was jointly published with some of Charles Darwin’s writings in 1858.[1] This prompted Darwin to publish his own ideas in On the Origin of Species”. -Wiki

  165. I agree that the thermostat was originally Roy’s hypothesis. If you’re posting on his website, then he has every right to comment and respond. Chill!

  166. Well, I haven’t read Roy’s comments, but any commentary that starts with that graphic is not friendly. And on top of its cruel mockery and imposition of some kind of hierarchy of mental capability, he got it wrong. The second panel should show someone in prison stripes, because what passes for a “professional climate scientist” these days, in my eyes at least, is a crook or a crank or a totalitarian playing the system for every bit of money, power or both that our idiot political class will allow. Shame on Roy Spencer for that.

    JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:41 pm: PS. Screw you too. If you want to argue with Willis, be specific and factual. If you do that, he usually responds in the same tone. The cranks and misanthropes who sometimes surface here don’t deserve kind treatment.

    I’m a geologist, and I love holistic solutions that call on the various real forces of earth to explain the earth’s behavior. Such as plate tectonics, an exercise in density contrasts, first and foremost, that overcame two centuries of sterile attempts to explain (and pigeonhole) “geosynclines” and all kinds of similar occurrences (rock types and fossils and metamorphic zones, etc.) on widely separated cratons that any child with a globe could piece back together. Willis has put out an holistic concept of a thermal regulator that I believe is true and important in climate. This earth has been pretty warm, and pretty cold off and on for four billion years, but it never incinerated itself nor became an eternal ice ball. Its climate is somehow regulated within boundaries fit for life as we know it, and CO2 is one tiny bit of that. There’s a lot of explanation waiting to be elucidated, and Willis at least is among those looking at what makes the earth tick.

  167. Willis, I wish I could write as well as you do. I could care less whether or not some one n a cloistered dungeon speaking to the walls previously considered something that now draws your interest. You wish to share.it. To share it well. The spirit of the exercise is to peek the curiosity and improve the collective understanding. so that we can (“So it’s time to) abandon the religion of environmentalism, and return to the science of environmentalism, and base our public policy decisions firmly on that.” – Michael Crichton …and rush into an era of enlightenment. The world has made a remarkable transition and the internet has demolished the barriers of distance, boarders and time in the aggregation of critical thought to challenges. It is absolutely inspiring.to be able to engage in a global conversation at the speed of light with individuals with facile minds. . There is a lot more to the process of advancing science than meets the eye. some times one has to rework already plowed ground to find the ring. Finally I am absolutely delighted with the gray beards who choose to share their perspective and expertise. IN our family we have a saying that one should never allow their schooling to get in the way of their education and you are well educated. Thank you for your efforts. .

  168. I am very pleased with Willis Eschenbach’s post, his reply to Dr. Roy Spencer, and his reasonable support for the “citizen scientist”. Human hubris being what it is, we need everyone — from “inside and outside” science — to insist on the truth, on the scientific method. I also have critiques at times (from “outside”) of some of Willis’ position and any way Roy the academic scientist helps Willis the citizen scientist be more effective all the better. However, Roy did not do his thing well! Name calling? No citations? It suggests a need to be condescending (someone wrote interestingly about “public humiliation”) for whatever reason. Thanks Willis for responding. I hope you and Scientist Roy can enjoy a beer together. Thanks Anthony for supporting this kind of conversation. I, being an outsider, liked this comment, as of 7:47 pdt, among the many intelligent, cogent, pointed, and hilarious comments, the best:

    MarkUK says:

    October 9, 2013 at 4:27 pm

    “C’mon, folks! Do you really think that of the billions of dollars spent on designing, launching, and keeping these satellite instruments going, that no one thought to analyze the data? Really? That’s why hundreds of scientists and engineers collaborated on such projects in the first place! ”
    Roy Spencer

    Then up pops Willis, who does it for fun on his own and offers an analysis and some conclusions into the public arena before they choose to, or are allowed to?
    I am hoping it is just sour grapes from RS , anything else is quiet worrying.

  169. ” Dr. Spencer’s blog post caused ill and Roy is directly responsible. Hopefully a responsible scientist, citizen or professional, will own up to their mistakes and apologize”

    I agree.

    If Dr Spencer has any character, he will delete that post of his and apologize.

  170. teven Mosher says:
    October 9, 2013 at 6:01 pm

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/wp-content/uploads/Stephens-review-of-cloud-feedback.pdf

    actually a pretty good place to start.

    I know when I started looking at UHI I started with the literature review, and then read the 100 or so papers. Its a good practice to read on your own first rather than force people to give you links

    S.M. Funny, I recall you recently “dissed” to use the modern teenaged vernacular, a certain Dr. Svensmark, visa vie his Cosmic Ray Hypothesis, saying there was NO EVIDENCE, based on a “fictitious understanding” of the ground weather observing stations.

    I corrected you by pointing out Svensmark’s papers on the Forebush decreases and the correlation with a decrease in overall cloud cover. A case of the kettle calling the pot black? (Obviously YOU had not been reading Svensmark’s work.)

    Perhaps making ANY presumption about someone’s background research is perhaps “poor form” at best, and just dangerous (in the long run for the critic) at worse.

  171. I would like to comment, even though I said it before, on what is being said here is the “Eschenbach Effect”, as one of 2 mechanisms of “regulation” of temperature of the humid convective subset of tropical weather:

    One is that W. Eschenbach has recently cited mentioned thunderstorms having negative feedbacks other than radiative / “cloud albedo” feedback. I continue to note that these specifics are not so much lumped into “cloud albedo feedback”, but the “lapse rate feedback”. Where I see paleohistory showing that feedback having nonlinear response – its negativity increases as greenhouse gases increase. I see that feedback as having paleohistory of capping global temperature at 24-25 C, even with 6,000 PPMV CO2, with stability dominating past of warming of the world decreasing coverage of year-to-year variable snow/ice cover.

    However, I doubt his proposed “thermostat” is completely one, because I doubt Earth would maintain its current or paleo-past global surface temperature if Earth gets its orbit moved to perhaps, 1/3 of an orbit circumference ahead-of or behind Venus in its orbit. (Which I am hearing is a stable orbit for a small object, possibly not for a similar-mass object.)

    Suppose the sun achieves TSI around 5-10-plus what it has now, as predicted for 4-5 billion years from now, when the sun’s “swan song” has 2 layers of 2 different fusion reactions. Certainly, I don’t expect thunderstorms to continue to continue to regulate earth’s surface temperature over the warmest of tropical waters to a 30 degree C cap.

    What I see, is increased thunderstorm activity as a result of increased surface heating, especially if due to increasing greenhouse gases cooling the upper troposphere, as being a negative feedback that increases its negativity as greenhouse gases increase. I don’t see the regulation being strict on global surface temperature (assuming the sun does not brighten) until the global average surface temperatures gets to paleohistorically regulated levels of 24 to briefly 25 degrees C.

    Also, even if this is a repeat, I see such regulation by thunderstorms as by being highly in a negative feedback class named by IPCC as “lapse rate feedback”, as opposed to “cloud albedo” or “cloud net radiation” feedback. Even though I see nonlinearity, of increased greenhouse gases increasing this negative feedback once the increase gets noticeable increasing thunderstorm activity – especially over tropical waters.

    I would say 25 degrees C is what 6,000 PPMV CO2 would accomplish nowadays considering what I have seen in planetary paleohistory presented to me in such matters of debate, even considering a slight brightening trend in stellar evolution of main sequence stars.

    And as for regulation to something that is a function of solar output – I ask for consideration that the negative feedbacks are probably less, and the positive feedbacks are probably greater, when global temperature is in-between the more-stable (historically only intermittently so) schemes of “snowball” and “ultimate greenhouse”.

  172. The Church of Global Warming ?

    ….. and still Roy Spencer won’t say where his sunrise/sunset data is
    I personally doubt if it even exists. see my #comment-1442376 @ 5:36 pm

  173. As I browse the comments about “originality”, “reinventing the wheel”, blah blah blah, I am struck by the curious assumption that reinventing the wheel is a bad thing. How many iterations are required to get the “Right” answer anyway?

    /Tangent. In a time and place far far away, I was taking data processed by an 8, yes 8 bit (predating personal computers) processor that had been running for years to another machine that operated differently. It was soon discovered that the data contained a rather large number of question marks in supposedly numeric fields. Not so good when working with the general ledger. Suffice it to say the number of iterations mean squat.
    /end tangent

    I sense a trend similar to that of amateur astronomy. Amateurs were all fine and dandy when they could supply observations as good or better than the professionals. But once the the big money meant big equipment the amateurs were not so welcome.

    It appears the the size of the equipment (cough cough) means more then the size of the intellect that runs it. Even worse, it supposes that only guys with big equipment are able to correctly interpret the output. Not sure this is a good assumption.

    Different folks, different strokes. The more the merrier I say.

    Doug

  174. Respectfully, Willis, I love you but this doesn’t mean that Roy doesn’t have a point. Ramanathan and Collins make some statements very similar to what your Thermostat hypothesis does. From Roy’s point of view asking him to comment on whether there is a thermostat that acts in the tropics is, he can legitimately answer that this question was answered 22 years ago.

    It might be instructive to lay out precisely the way in which your hypothesis differs from R&C’s especially where and when the testable predictions between the two are different.

    Personally, like you, I am very dubious about the mass balance idea but I don’t know that much about it. Personally, I don’t see how an increased cloudiness has to be balanced by decreased cloudiness in another area. I think increased cloudiness is balanced by increased
    *rain*.

    Cheers, :)

  175. Willis, I understand your concern about Dr. Roy attacking you. He did so in a similar manner in WUWT about a year or so ago. You asked for references at that time but essentially brushed it off. Now he comes back again in a similar attack on his own blog. His excuse he did it because someone asked him to check out some of your work is unprofessional.

    Roy makes mistakes too frequently for me to hold him in as good a light as you do. I think he is an okay guy but he may be jealous of your innate ability to lay out a problem, solve it and then tell it. If he is willing to offer you a apology, please accept it graciously but tell him privately that he needs to straighten up and fly right. Once was more than enough.

  176. When someone has the “facts” on hand, they usually bring them to bear quickly in order to make their point.

    Links, direct quotes, citations & etc.

    When someone just says “your wrong” and doesn’t back it up with specifics, it’s most often because they don’t have anything more to offer.

  177. Dr. Spencer,

    All here (I presume) will be interested in your considered response. You have leveled criticism. Willis has responded in depth. We await your rebuttal.

    Sincerely,
    William

  178. Never a dull moment in the climate wars is there?

    Dr. Spencer is correct, everything Willis is saying has been said a thousand times before and more to the point Willis is largely correct in what he is saying.

    The problem isn’t plagiarism either, Willis is using data that is only now becoming robust enough to glean any useful conclusions from, so while his conclusions may be old his methodologies and data are new, much like Bell’s Theorom wasn’t ‘new’.

    The problem is that the Climate Scientists have never learned or forgot everything they learned in Meteorology 101. Water vapor (clouds) are a negative feedback if for no other reason than water vapor lowers the lapse rate. Willis is simply providing modern data and methodology to old forgotten theories.

  179. I’m reminded of the following from Roger Pielke, Sr.’s blog post on the Wagner-Spencer controversy, of which CACA spewers like the odious Gleick tried to make so much:

    http://pielkeclimatesci.wordpress.com/2011/09/04/hatchet-job-on-john-christy-and-roy-spencer-by-kevin-trenberth-john-abraham-and-peter-gleick/

    Hatchet Job On John Christy and Roy Spencer By Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick

    There is an opinion article at Daily Climate that perpetuates serious misunderstandings regarding the research of Roy Spencer and John Christy. It also is an inappropriate (and unwarranted) person attack on their professional integrity. Since I have first hand information on this issue, I am using my weblog to document the lack of professional decorum by Keven Trenberth, John Abraham and Peter Gleick.

    The inappropriate article I am referring to is

    Opinion: The damaging impact of Roy Spencer’s science

    published on the Daily Climate on September 2 2011. The article is by Kevin Trenberth, John Abraham, and Peter Gleick.

  180. I’ve still never understood how, I might be accused of plagiarism for producing a theory from all this great info Anthony has/and let authors post, when I couldn’t possibly remember it all, or make citations of its origin.
    Is that also my job ??, should it be ??

  181. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

    “Roy Spencer did not attack you. He offered some constructive criticism to you and (mostly) to the people who read you uncritically.”

    —————————————————————————

    JJ hits the point exactly – Willis, you have recognize that many read these blog posts uncritically (primarily due to lack of scientific training) & accept everything that is stated as truth. And that is not a trivial point. It is a huge burden, even more so as a “citizen scientist” that doesn’t play within the rules of normal professional scientists (ie no peer review of prior to blog posting).

    A large part of that burden is to accept constructive criticism from professionals , such as Dr. Roy. Not blow it off. Not to be so arrogant to assume you know more than an expert in the field. To be humble. To use the feedback to grow & learn & create better blog posts, so that information present in this non-traditional format (blog w/o peer review) has greater credibility & those who read posts uncritically can walk away with confidence that they have read good information.

    This isn’t about who is right or wrong, Use this opportunity to sell your case to Dr. Roy. If you feel you are right, talk to Dr. Roy directly; ask him questions which you feel will lead him naturally to your point of view. Perhaps he will then see your point of view. Alternatively, if you listen to his answers, you may learn something that increases your knowledge & changes your point of view. It is potentially a great learning opportunity for you with an expert in the field. Responding defensively is no way to sell your deal. This rarely generates a good response from the other side of the argument.

    Willis, my advise is don’t be defensive. This is an opportunity to learn & grow from an expert in the field. You should be honored that an expert in the field has even taken the time to read & analyze your work as a citizen scientist. That ,in & of itself, is quite an honor. One that few, if any, citizen scientists will reach.

  182. I wished for some time now that (no offense) real scientist who post here and on other climate blogs would reference more papers, not behind a pay wall, that is. That pay wall stuff has to stop.

  183. @Willis — “Now, that is a clear accusation of plagiarism—he’s saying that I lifted the idea from R&C1991, and that I never mentioned that little detail. ”

    Eh. That would be a lack of citation, not plagiarism. Which is, I assume, a big deal in the publish or perish world. But even then, to support the claim of not giving due credit requires accepting:

    1) That it is not an obvious idea.
    2) That people cannot come up with non-obvious ideas on their own.
    3) That you knew about R&C 1991 at some point in that past.
    4) That you remembered it in the present.
    5) That you R&C 1991 says the same thing you are.
    6) That you understand that R&C 1991 says the same thing you are.

    There are 6 spots to fill out on a lottery ticket also. But the Spencer’s claim is the weakest of sauce in general and is hardly deserving of the sound and fury being raised.

    That said, right now I would kill to see a photo here of Mr. Mims sporting a fedora.

  184. Let’s see how long this takes for it to bounce around the blogs and come back as laughter at Spencer, Protector of Real Science.

  185. Ellis,

    I think mockery or rebuttal of Dr Roy’s fatuous post is absolutely called for! Pile on! Not because of his science (which as Willis says is OK), or his tone, but because he chose to be the establishment Read it as the 17th century French button makers guild complaint (except the government/King Louis cannot yet burn us at the stake). Established client scientist is aghast/perplexed and horrified that mere citizens have R, Mathematica, access to government (guild) datasets, terabytes and supercomputers (by 2000 standards) at home. And some of us even know how to use them. Oh my, whatever are they to do?

  186. It all comes across as a ridiculous clash of egos. Willis, if you followed the common professional practice of adding a list of relevant references relating to your work, at the end of your submissions, it might keep Dr Roy happy. You are both doing good work. Stop the in-fighting and get back to attacking the IPCC nonsense and scams.

  187. This outburst by Roy Spencer in defence of a defunct climate establishment is puzzling. Establishment climate science is a curiosity-free dead zone with nothing to offer scientifically. Citizen climate science will bury establishment climate science.

  188. Willis, get a degree and shot them up, lesser minds than you did it.
    Dr. Roy, save your time and ammunition to shoot warmist points of view
    We don’t have the time for this BS.

  189. Conrad6: “Oh my, whatever are they to do?” (established client scientists)

    Heh. If I had it in my power, send most home for a few-year break and on their own terabyte desktop super-computers research for free as many “citizen scientists” here already do so.

    No really, wonder what they would do if locked out of “peer review”, have no chance of grants, face the pay walls. Would they still remain proper climate scientists simply for an interest and curiosity of the science during their spare time from another unrelated and boring job? Or just find something else, anything else, to sell to the government? Interesting question.

  190. I agree with Dr. Spencer as the climate debate is tiring enough with credentialed skeptics (there are plenty). I believe there is a place for citizen scientists, especially with commentary but I never reference (and rarely read) any of Willis’s scientific blog posts but would have no problem citing his peer-reviewed papers. The reason is, once a paper is published, it’s scientific credibility is not questioned relating to the author’s credentials and citizen scientists are generally on equal footing.

    The people who find this unfair have either not been debating this long enough or are fooling themselves.

    If you look at what Dr. Spencer is complaining about is the comments from people on Willis’s posts who come away believing things to be “so obvious” when they may not be so. I saw this problem when people were wanting Willis to testify in front of Congress on climate change issues over credentialed scientists. Once a congressman asks Willis for his climate science credentials it would be game over. From then on, anyone not a Willis fan would disregard everything he has to say as coming from someone who does not know what they are talking about.

    There is a way around this and that is for people who want to be taken serious on a subject to get a relevant graduate degree on the subject and or employed in the field of interest (which usually requires a graduate degree on the subject).

    This is why I am not interested in Mosher’s (B.A. English Literature with a career in Marketing) “scientific” analysis of anything either.

    There is some form of bizarre jealously with certain people against relevant credentials as “elitist” (see various comments to this post) when it simply demonstrates proficiency. So these people naturally attach themselves to an Everyman like Willis.

    I have never ever seen a citizen scientist argument win anyone who was not already a fan of said citizen scientist over without them publishing a paper on it.

    While I’ve convinced plenty of people (or significantly reduced their alarm) using arguments from Dr. Lindzen, Dr. Michaels, Dr. Pielke, Dr. Christy ect… so why make your life harder?

  191. Willis, you published “The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis” in Energy Environment Vol 21 No4 2010. but it is strange that you have not mentioned the next paper in the same edition of the journal by Dr Noor Van Andel “Tropical rainstorm feedback” . I would imagine that Dr Roy Spencer has not read either paper or looked at the references cited. Have a look at his figure 2. Has it any relation to your graphs? The late Dr Van Andel was a chemical engineer who certainly knew more about heat transfer than Dr Roy and probably knew more than all the so-called climate scientists put together. His paper (p277) in the same edition “Note on the Miskolczi theory” shows that he is one of the few that understood what Miskolczi has proposed.

  192. I’ve got 4 Higher degrees related to statistics: it does not give me the right to assume I know more about a certain subject especially statistics which most of Meteorology and “climate science” relies on, and even more so in today’s world of the internet with instant access to data. Dr Spencer has got a fail on this one.

  193. Poptech says:

    October 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    “There is a way around this and that is for people who want to be taken serious on a subject to get a relevant graduate degree on the subject and or employed in the field of interest (which usually requires a graduate degree on the subject).”
    ==================
    I read this deep into the thread cus I take it serious.
    There might be more “degrees” commenting here than you assume.

    You finish with:
    “… so why make your life harder?”
    ——
    In a word…….. citizen.

  194. Although Willis can at times be a difficult and prickly fellow to deal with I think Dr Roy’s cartoon is totally unjustified if he meant to have an exchange of ideas or to present constructive criticism. It just seems he meant to denigrate. If he doesn’t have the time to explain issues in simple terms then he needs to to make time and provide an essay on this site not in journal gobbledygook but in more simple language that puts forward his views with references. Then there can be an exchange of ideas rather than a left field ambush. I am disappointed in Spencer’s approach, he goes down a couple of rungs in my opinion.

  195. thunderstorms and cirrus clouds are entirely different animals….that said,an overly mathematical analysis of something like cloud cover…which varies constantly and cannot be measured accurately is a waste of time…similarly Dr Spencer’s most famous product…the UAH…’global average temperature’…purporting to measure something that constantly varies with time and place…is a nonsense term…as for citizen scientists… i recall that a certain third class clerk in the swiss patent office named Einstein made some important contributions.

  196. I am reminded of the harsh thumping I got as I wrote, re-wrote, re-wrote, and again re-wrote my Masters Thesis. And then of the harsh thumping I got as I wrote, re-wrote, re-wrote, got rejected, and again re-wrote with SUBSTANTIAL help from a much smarter guy then I could ever hope to be, the journal article that eventually got published. Not one reviewer sugar coated their comments. It was harsh right up to the acceptance notification.

    In the end, after I ate my fill of humble pie, I ended up with a pretty darn good piece of work, with credit not to myself but to all those folks who took the time to thump on me (not to mention the scientists I referenced in the much expanded literature review section). I came out too head-sore and bloodied to want more of that. But the work has since been duplicated by others and thus stood the test of time. So the trial by fire was good.

  197. Boys, boys! The enemy is over there! :-)
    ___________________________________

    And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
    From this day to the ending of the world,
    But we in it shall be remember’d;
    We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
    For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
    Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
    This day shall gentle his condition:
    And gentlemen in England now a-bed
    Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
    And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
    That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day,
    - Henry V

  198. cementafriend says:
    October 9, 2013 at 9:48 pm

    Thanks for the reference to the papers by Willis & Dr. van Andel in:

    http://www.eike-klima-energie.eu/uploads/media/EE_21-4_paradigm_shift_output_limited_3_Mb.pdf

    I note that Willis cited a paper co-authored by Dr. Spencer among his references:

    Spencer, R, et al., 2007, Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical
    intraseasonal oscillations, GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L15707,
    doi:10.1029/2007GL029698

    Whether Willis’ contribution is original or not, it is IMO well argued, even if not couched in traditional scientific paper format & style.

    I was also impressed by Dr. van Andel’s paper, which cites Willis’ preceding study. The abstract & conclusion of Dr. van Andel’s “Tropical Rainstorm Feedback” state:

    “In the set of radiative feedbacks to global warming due to a doubling of the CO2
    concentration, from all the models the increase in latent heat transfer as a
    consequence of an increase of [sea] surface temperature is left out. Starting from
    measurements of increased evaporation and increase of wind speed as a function of
    sea surface temperature increase, I derive a large global feedback of −20 Wm−2K−1.
    This negative feedback is much larger than the balance of feedbacks, range +0.8 to
    +2 Wm−2K−1, included in the climate models. If the latent heat transfer feedback, i.e.
    tropical rainstorms, would be included in the models, the local climate sensitivity
    would decrease from 1.5 to 4 ºC for a doubling of CO2 to less than 0.2 ºC. This is
    lower than the temperature variations due to solar magnetic, ocean current and
    volcanic aerosol effects.”

    “Modern ground based and satellite measurements, climate history data and geological
    data all point to the fact that when it becomes warmer, the high latitudes rise much
    more in temperature than the tropics. This can only be the result of increased heat
    transfer from the tropics pole ward. Established physical transport phenomena science
    lets us quantify this heat transfer and its dependence on surface temperature. The result
    is a much larger negative feedback than the positive sum of feedbacks incorporated in
    the known climate models. This large negative feedback should be incorporated into
    these models. The result would be that the climate sensitivity is reduced tenfold. A
    doubling of the CO2 concentration has such a small temperature effect, that this is
    indiscernible from all other effects.”

    His estimate of climate sensitivity of only 0.2 K is lower than I’d go, but is a defensible number. In effect, whether 0.2 or 2.0 K, ie net feedbacks negative or slightly positive, the effect of CO2 is negligible & swamped out by other factors. Either Lindzen & Choi’s (2011) 1.0 K, net feedbacks neatly balanced at 1.2 K or even the bottom of IPeCaC’s latest, new lower, narrower range of 1.5 K all work for me.

    Earth’s Phanerozoic climate system indeed appears to be homeostatic within established temperature bounds, by whatever hydrological or other processes. In the Precambrian or in another 543 million years hence, maybe not so much.

  199. In the end we all have to stand proud and defend ourselves, and Willis is doing just that.

    In another age it would be pistols at 20 paces, and that would never do; we need both of them.

  200. RC Saumarez says: Is Steven McIntyre a citizen scientist? He is a trained mathematician and has years of experience in the practical use of statistics. Because of this, he was able to dissect the mathematics used by Mann, publish his results, and show that it was incorrect. It is unlikely that someone who has not had mathematical training would have spotted Mann’s error.

    That depends on the definition but McIntyre’s credentials are relevant to the work he did and he did get it published thanks to Dr. McKitrick (but might not have if Ross did not push the issue). Jones and Mann only began to panic when his papers were getting published.

    Stephen McIntyre, B.Sc. Mathematics, University of Toronto (1969), Graduate Scholarship, Mathematics, MIT (1970); Commonwealth Scholarship, Oxford University, UK (1970); PPE (Philosophy, Politics and Economics), Oxford University, UK (1971)

    Choices in life have an effect and if Steve had chosen the graduate degree from MIT instead of a PPE from Oxford (if only he knew he would be devoting so much of his life in the future to climate science), it would likely have made some of his life now easier.

  201. Spencer isn’t concerning himself with science per se or how it is done, rather he’s concerned over postiive reactions to Willis’ posts. He says so.

  202. u.k.(us) says: I read this deep into the thread cus I take it serious.
    There might be more “degrees” commenting here than you assume.

    You finish with:
    “… so why make your life harder?”
    ——
    In a word…….. citizen.

    Yes and No, comments from those with science degrees are usually easier to separate from those without. More degrees than I assume? Possibly? Relevant degrees commenting attacking Dr. Spencer? Unlikely. People who follow Willis generally look down on relevant credentials as “elitist” or some other nonsense.

  203. Poptech says:

    October 9, 2013 at 10:29 pm

    “…..it would likely have made some of his life now easier.”
    ===========
    Someone told you it would be easy, or what ?

  204. thisisnotgoodtogo says: Spencer isn’t concerning himself with science per se or how it is done, rather he’s concerned over positive reactions to Willis’ posts. He says so.

    Then you did not read it clearly. He is concerned with what he believes is misinformation in Willis’s posts and commentators going, “Willis you are the best! …so obvious no one thought of this before” …when they did.

    I have nothing against Willis personally but I recognized his long winded posts as more rambling than scientific. The problem with fanboys is they cannot see it.

  205. I don’t see Dr. Spencer’s article as being an attack. It reads as an objective, cautionary article aimed at trying to set a demarcation between retrospective analysis built on existing knowledge and new research and contribution to the body of literature. I don’t intend to criticize Willis as his insight is valuable but I also fail to find fault in Dr. Spencer’s views on the issue.

  206. Let me break it to all the Willis fanboys, outside of Watts up With That and some of his friends in the skeptic community, no one takes him or what he posts here seriously.

  207. u.k.(us) says: Someone told you it would be easy, or what ?
    I take it you either don’t actually debate this topic much or don’t win those debates?

  208. Poptech says:

    October 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

    u.k.(us) says: Someone told you it would be easy, or what ?
    I take it you either don’t actually debate this topic much or don’t win those debates?
    ============
    Its not easy, but somebody has to do it.

  209. Willis Eschenbach says:

    “I’ve previously commented on Willis’ thermostat hypothesis of climate system regulation, which Willis never mentioned was originally put forth by Ramanathan and Collins in a 1991 Nature article.”

    Now, that is a clear accusation of plagiarism—he’s saying that I lifted the idea from R&C1991, and that I never mentioned that little detail.

    No. From your commentary on Ramanathan and Collins, it is clear to those that have read the paper that you have not. Roy undoubtedly understands that, and of course he also understands the corollary: that you cannot have plagiarized a paper that you have not read and do not comprehend.

    He isn’t accusing you of plagiarism, he is attempting to get you to read the damn thing and acknowledge what is in it the next time you reinvent the wheel. Hint: A component of the R&C hypothesis is the assumption that the increased longwave (greenhouse) forcing under a warming environment gets exported by atmospheric dynamics. Sound familiar?

    It’s also a hatchet job to accuse me of not doing my homework without pointing out the prior studies that I’m supposed to be ignorant of.

    Among the papers that Roy has pointed out to you:

    Ramanathan and Collins, 1991.

    Manabe and Strickler, 1964

    Graeme Stephens 2005

    Hartmann and Michelsen 1993

    Lau et al. 1994

    You have not read more than the three-sentence abstract of the first. How far did you get with the rest?

    And do understand the broader point that Roy is making: You are treading over very well worn ground, while giving the impression that you are breaking trail. He is giving you a “heads up” that a significant length of your neck is sticking out. That is a friendly thing for him to have done – yet again – and he was consciously gentle in how he went about it.

    Swallow your pride and express gratitude for the gift.

  210. re #poptech
    “Willis fanboys… no one takes him or what he posts here seriously”
    This forum IS peer review and debate, unlike whatever echo chamber your mind lives in.

    I certainly take him seriously: as we thumped each other in a long thread about models, their meanings, reality, corruption and real world shadows. I think I won on points, but I had done the modeling stuff off and on for 40 years while Willis was off wrestling polar bears or something.

    Willis is not the citizen theorist scientist (imho), he’s the citizen observer scientist. Like whoever found the dawn redwoods. And if they look too much like scrub pine, he’ll say so. No NSF grants are binding his tongue.

  211. Fanboys to the rescue…

    farguard says: This forum IS peer review…

    Hilarious laughter ensues. Distorting the implied meaning of a word is a strawman argument.

  212. Dr. Spencer, I’m sure it’s tough getting out of bed some days, knowing you have to carry the heavy burden of being a “climate change denier”, but of all people, I would have thought you would know better and take the high road by contacting Willis directly and privately, rather than to go postal and vent your frustrations, airing your dirty laundry in public as you chose to do. Would you have us believe you have nothing better to do with your time than engage in a public pissing match with someone who’s on the same team? Willis, whom you derogatively referred to as a “citizen scientist” and insultingly depicted as Homer Simpson, has made enough of a contribution to the debate to deserve the courtesy of a private conversation about your issues, not to mention that he has a right to expect you to provide citations that defend your point and to not be depicted in such a manner. You really blew this and you owe Willis a long apology.

  213. Poptech says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Let me break it to all the Willis fanboys, outside of Watts up With That and some of his friends in the skeptic community, no one takes him or what he posts here seriously.

    Remind me again who you are and why anyone would or should take you seriously?

  214. Daryl, don’t take me seriously if you wish, I do however have extensive experience in debating this subject online, in hundreds of forums and websites for over seven years. So you may find my anecdotes helpful or you may not, I really don’t care.

  215. milodonharlani says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:24 pm
    Thanks for the amplification of my comment. I should have put a link to the papers -my lame excuse is that in the past links have caused my comments to go into cyberspace (or those pesky dimensions above four which the quantum mechanics people like to play with)

  216. Poptech says:

    ‘ thisisnotgoodtogo says: “Spencer isn’t concerning himself with science per se or how it is done, rather he’s concerned over positive reactions to Willis’ posts. He says so.”

    Then you did not read it clearly. He is concerned with what he believes is misinformation in Willis’s posts and commentators going, “Willis you are the best! …so obvious no one thought of this before” …when they did.”

    Right! that’s what he’s conscerned about he says. Why be concerned about that? If it’s not science, then so what? He’s not concerned about junk science being put out ata ll. He’s concerned that someone admires Willis and Willis’ writings.

  217. The irony is that R&C’s cirrus clouds are the consequence of convective thunderstorms moving tons of water vapor (and heat) into the stratosphere.

    Typical cart-before-the-horse causality reversal by climate science.

  218. Poptech says:

    October 9, 2013 at 11:15 pm

    Fanboys to the rescue…

    farguard says: This forum IS peer review…

    Hilarious laughter ensues. Distorting the implied meaning of a word is a strawman argument.
    ===================
    Your cut-and-paste comment has devolved into name-calling, are you almost done ?
    Don’t know where you go from here.

  219. And that’s exactly what Gavin Schmidt was concerned about with Dr. Roy!
    HIlarious stuff by Roy.

  220. Poptech says (along with other babble not quoted
    “Daryl, don’t take me seriously if you wish, I do however have extensive experience in debating this subject online, in hundreds of forums and websites for over seven years. So you may find my anecdotes helpful or you may not, I really don’t care”

    Question – are you one of those machines trying to pass the Turing test? If so, you need another semester or 2.

  221. JJ

    On which page of IPCC AR5 is Ramanathan and Collins 1991 cited? Or Van Andel 2010? Or maybe Miskolczi?

    So none of them can read either? I guess that’s your point.

  222. Re: JJ @October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm
    “Hint: A component of the R&C hypothesis is the assumption that the increased longwave (greenhouse) forcing under a warming environment gets exported by atmospheric dynamics.”

    But increased longwave forcing is not the mechanism that causes the clouds to form in the first place. It’s direct solar insolation of the sea surface.

    Again, cart-before-horse. Climate science: Clouds cause localized longwave forcing which causes…clouds.

  223. Can someone direct me to examples of Dr. Roy putting up cartoons of real scientists who do what he considers substandard or biased work?

  224. @milodonharlani: Absolutely made my day. Many thanks.

    @conrad6 — “Question – are you one of those machines trying to pass the Turing test? If so, you need another semester or 2.”

    I suspect he wears a fedora.

  225. “As a result, just about every time someone posts an amateur analysis of data that becomes popular, I’m asked to read it, critique it, and respond. Well, I simply don’t have the time. But these things sometimes get legs, and when they do, I get even more e-mails.” Roy Spencer.

    Wow, aren’t we a precious little scientist. He’s too busy with his, real science, to deal with the, common public.

  226. The thing that remains curious to me is that Dr Roy chose to show the “real” scientist being cuffed for illegal activity.

  227. Poptech said @ October 9, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    once a paper is published, it’s [sic] scientific credibility is not questioned

    Absolute balderdash! Eighty percent pf published papers die a natural death and are quickly forgotten. In a word, they are balderdash.

    Keep up the good work Willis. I briefly perused SAR, TAR and AR4 and Oke’s Boundary Layer Climates but couldn’t find anything resembling your Thunderstorm Thermostat. I guess if 2,500 IPCC scientists missed the paper(s) you supposedly plagiarised I wouldn’t feel too bad about it.

    Funny thing too, the guy on the right in Spencer’s blog believes in strong positive feedbacks that will fry us all to death RSN and Susan Solomon told us it would take thousands of years to reverse what we have already done to take us down that path. Ya gotta laff :-)

  228. Poptech says:

    October 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    ” People who follow Willis generally look down on relevant credentials as “elitist” or some other nonsense.”

    I find this comment uncharitable and unwarranted.

    Willis, I appreciate your keen insight, enormous amount of work, and clear writing style. I guess I am one of those people.

  229. Willis: “Dr. Roy, the citizen climate scientists are the ones who have made the overwhelming majority of the gains in the struggle against rampant climate alarmism. It is people like Steve McIntyre and Anthony Watts and Donna LaFramboise and myself and Joanne Nova and Warwick Hughes and the late John Daly, citizen climate scientists all, who did the work that your fellow mainstream climate scientists either neglected or refused to do. You should be showering us with thanks…”

    Willis, on a technical point I have to disagree with you, dude.

    WUWT and CA kept the world from being 100% stampeded by the Chicken Little falling sky, yes, and who knows if anything would have ever happened if Steve and Anthony had not been around.

    But in point of fact, nothing they were doing was changing ANYTHING, other than raising Michael Mann’s blood pressure enough for Hide the Decline to happen. But even though Hide the Decline DID happen, the world didn’t know about it. It was between Mann, Briffa, and Jones, and a few others laughing their heads off. They still had 100% of the press and 100% of the governments getting wet at their every word.

    Nope. The ONLY person who really made a difference was Mr Climategate himself. And we don’t know if he (she?) was a climatologist or a citizen climatologist. It seems virtually certain to ME that he/she could not have had access without being an inside climate person.

    But WUWT and CA only were holding the fort – and making Mann do the stupidest thing he’s ever done, career-wise. He had the world by the gonads. And now half the world trusts him as much as they would have trusted Josef Goebbels. But it was Climategate that took him and them down, not Anthony and Steve.

  230. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Among the papers that Roy has pointed out to you:

    Ramanathan and Collins, 1991.
    Manabe and Strickler, 1964
    Graeme Stephens 2005
    Hartmann and Michelsen 1993
    Lau et al. 1994

    You have not read more than the three-sentence abstract of the first. How far did you get with the rest?

    I hope Willis will address these articles and other relevant literature (again?) in a future post.

    In Graeme Stephens 2005, the most recent paper, they say this:

    The lack of maturity of feedback analysis methods also suggests that progress in understanding climate feedback will require development of alternative methods of analysis.

    That’s exactly what Willis is doing. I doubt that anybody has ever shown the complex data in intelligently colored scatterplots the way Willis has done. Mostly they talk about averages, parameterization and feedbacks.

    Willis’ approach of a minute by minute analysis of cloud development and thunderstorms in the tropics and the identification of a possible governor mechanism seems novel to me. And even if not, Willis’ clear and concise posts with their beautiful graphics move the discussion in the right direction. I’m glad Dr. Roy Spencer noticed.

    Willis for Governor – stop the Feedbaggers! :-)

  231. Willis,
    Whether your work is original or not it was clearly original to you. (There has been many examples of scientists working on the same theory, oblivious to the others work). The point is you thought of it, you developt it and you presented it in a manner that even I could understand. Science moves forward not by peer review, but by a study or an experiment being successfully being reproduced. If you have unwittingly reproduced an existing body of work then you have moved the science on. Why is this a problem to Dr Spencer?
    Keep up the good work, I look forward to your next work.

    All the best Steve

  232. Oops, that should have read Spencer, my immediate and sincere apology to Dr Carter. :(

    [Fixed. -w.]

  233. It is of course feasible that Dr Roy has been leant on by the hierarchy that seek to control the destiny of mankind. Thus his apparent change of position by comparing Willis and those like him to Homer Simpson. Pretty offensive to put it mildly, but clearly calculated. Pity, but it is essential to recognise the determination of the said hierarchy to reduce most of us to penury and perhaps even starvation in pursuit of their ideology (religion). Keep up the honest work Willis, Antony et al, you do greater service than you know.

  234. Dr. Spencer has apparently suffered a mischief to his logic circuits or possibly never had a course in the history of science. Science is a process for structured inquiry; anyone who uses that process is arguably a “scientist.” The sole important difference between a “professional” and a “citizen” scientist is a matter of attachment to an institution, funding source and access to publishing venues. Neither degree nor formal education is a guarantee of “scienciness.” Coming from a character who cannot explain and does not “believe” in a natural process that is far better documented than the conjectured effects of CO2 on climate, the response is remarkably – revoltingly – condescending.

  235. Can I point out to anyone reading Dr Spencer’s original article that it is not me making remarks over there. Someone else has decided to use the name I have been using on blogs for many years and is causing confusion as his views are often completely contrary to mine and he often expresses himself in a much ruder way than I do.

    Whilst Willis and I write articles on entirely different subjects nevertheless it is worth pointing out writing an article and expressing it clearly takes an enormous amount of research. With my own articles that can be as much as six months. I am sure that Willis would not claim that ALL his research is original but, like me, sufficiently novel to be able to put over a new perspective on a subject that might be obscure or not very well understood.

    What many climate scientists are often guilty of is writing papers that are full of terminology and hard to understand dense prose. Sometimes I have to read a research article two or three times to understand the point they are making.

    Willis has a knack of interpreting in every day language the more technical aspects of climate change that perhaps has not been very well expressed by regular scientist.

    I consider my self as standing on the shoulders of giants from previous generations such as Hubert Lamb and reinterpreting and adding to their writings with the huge benefit of being able to access information from that vast storehouse of knowledge-the internet. Having said that in my own field I doubt if 1% of the useful material out there is available digitally. Willis is no doubt in a similar position as a lot of stuff resides in obscure places and it often costs money to get at the latest papers.

    So Willis is doing a useful job in pointing out things that need examining and as has been noted already, a blog such as this is a useful place to express ideas such as his and get responses. It is NOT a peer reviewed journal.

    Willis might like to see if more of his articles could go down that route but it is very time consuming and without grants or other resources is not an easy route to follow.

    tonyb (the real one)

  236. clouds actually change due to warming…. and warming actually changes due to clouds.

    and all of this with a lot of inacurracies, inprecisions, and spatio-temporal averaging!

    Chicken or egg?

  237. Barry Sheridan says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:32 am
    It is of course feasible that Dr Roy has been leant on by the hierarchy that seek to control the destiny of mankind. Thus his apparent change of position by comparing Willis and those like him to Homer Simpson. Pretty offensive to put it mildly, but clearly calculated.

    That possibility crossed my mind also. We have no idea what pressure Dr. Spencer may be under, I’d guess that the powers that be are not too happy at the moment. Better stop the words short right there.

  238. Willis,
    We corresponded briefly about expanding investigation into that flat-topped data of SST in the tropics. Since then, you have pulled apart relevant data in much the way I’d hoped to see. It has been enlightening and I thank you for it. Here’s hoping you are able to develop it further. Geoff.

  239. DHR:

    At October 9, 2013 at 5:19 pm you ask

    Mr. Eschenbach ‘s charts indicate that sea surface temperature hardly ever exceeds 30C. There are precious few data points above that approximate value. Why is 30C so magic? Why not 25 or 35? Does the 30C “wall” imply that our average global surface temperature cannot go up very much because the ocean will evaporate the energy away to space – which is to say nothing about it going way down?
    Mr Eschenbach?
    Dr. Spencer?

    Your question was answered in this thread in my post at October 9, 2013 at 2:06 pm. This link jumps to it

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442089

    I here add a clarification.

    The 305K maximum to sea surface temperature (SST) exists in the tropical warm pool and not elsewhere; for example, the Gulf often has higher SST than 305K and the Indian Ocean sometimes has higher SST than 305K. This is probably an effect of geography and weather which I explain as follows.

    Evapouration increases as temperature rises and this creates warm, moist air that rises to high altitude. The evapouration removes heat from the sea surface but this cooling is not sufficient to provide the 305K limit. Hence, R&C proposed that the limiting effect was induced by the warm, moist air rising to create high altitude cirrus clouds which shield the surface from solar radiation by reflecting it. This reduction to solar heating provides the 305K limit to SST.

    Initially the R&C effect acts as a proportional controller (i.e. a thermostat) which moderates the thermal input to the sea surface. But it starts to act as a Reversal Effect at higher thermal inputs to the region of maxim SST (I define Reversal Effect in my post in this thread at October 9, 2013 at 3:09 pm
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442181 )

    The amount of generated cirrus increases as the heat input is increased to the region at 305K. So, the area of cirrus increases and the shielding from solar radiation increases. This reduces the thermal input to ocean surface surrounding the region at 305K. Thus, the total area of shielded surface obtains a forced reduction to its average temperature: evapouration pumps heat from the region at 305K while heating of both that region and its surrounding region is reduced.

    This Reversal Effect does not initiate if the sea is surrounded by land or is covered by high winds. This is because winds transport the warmed moist air from directly over the region at 305K and, therefore, the cirrus may not form over that region. Cirrus which forms over land shields the land and not the water. And cirrus which forms over water distant from the region of 305K does not inhibit that region from rising above 305K. In both these cases the 305K maximum limit to SST is not imposed. Importantly, in these cases the cirrus acts as a governor which reduces the heating of the Earth (by reflecting solar energy) but does not act as a Reversal Effect. This is because the cirrus does not induce the system to lose heat at an increased rate which is greater than the heat input so temperatures continue to rise – not fall – but temperatures do not rise as much as without the cirrus formation.

    This R&C Effect is very different from the proposed Eschenbach Effect which is increased thermal transport from the sea surface to altitude by increased thunder storms.

    Richard

  240. Seeing this play out reminds me of what happened between writer Stephen Ambrose (Band of Brothers) and his critics in the academic historian community. Ambrose took facts and wrote a story around them in a way that brought history alive and made it interesting to common everyday folks. He had a real gift and was villified for it by historians.

    In a way, Willis is doing the same thing. BUT… even Ambrose knew the actual facts before writing. I see nothing wrong with what Dr. Roy said other than he probably should have said it privately. Conducting research always starts with assessing what’s been done in the past… good or bad. That way the new research can build upon what’s already been done and avoid problems that were found.

  241. The scientist-activist is dangerous to science, as anyone who has a good impression of what science is and what it ought to be can see through the activist prostituting it to his or her own ends. It puts lay people off as impressions of science derive from curiosity, hankering for insight and respect for those who work towards it.

    Repelled thus from science, one encounters a self-described antithesis: an amateur, pursuing knowledge for its own sake, driven solely by curiosity and speaking the local dialect.

  242. I hate to defend a man who cannot take a slightest criticism in stride, and insults with impunity anyone who disagrees with him about anything, but… there is no worse attitude than “I am a real official scientist, and you are not, therefore shut up.”

    Many scientific breakthroughs have been achieved by “amateurs” and ridiculed by “professional scientists.” Anyone remotely familiar with the history of science knows that by heart. Anyone familiar with the human condition understands also that discoverers and pioneers, “amateurs” and “professionals” alike, can display execrable character flaws.

  243. Three points.

    1 – I don’t know about Willis, but I would be quite honoured to be compared to Homer Simpson rather than Hansen. First, because Homer probably knows more science than I do, and second because the child-like wonder with which Homer approaches the world has always been a marker of the best researchers in the business. Newton, Faraday, Feynman; they all used to say that they really didn’t know what was going on….

    2 – I don’t think that Dr Spencer has accused Willis of plagiarism, so much as warned everyone that there was a lot of other work in this area which needed considering. The money quotes are these:

    The reason I am picking on Willis a little bit here is that his posts sometimes lead to comments like this:
    “Geez – if I was one of the hoard of IPCC enthusiastic fools, this would be downright embarrassing. I sure wouldn’t want my mom to know I was so ineffective that some guy named Willis sits in his den and does more and better work than my entire IPCC crowd of hundreds of scientists, economists, psychologists, train engineers, tree surgeons, etc does in 4-5 years.”
    C’mon, folks! Do you really think that of the billions of dollars spent on designing, launching, and keeping these satellite instruments going, that no one thought to analyze the data? Really? That’s why hundreds of scientists and engineers collaborated on such projects in the first place!

    Note that Dr Spencer is NOT saying that Willis is claiming that ‘all the IPCC are incompetent’. He is saying that some people respond to Willis by smearing ALL climate science. And that can create a difficult working atmosphere for the paid researchers who ARE trying to get it right. Note that he later says:

    ..Anyway, I applaud Willis, who is a sharp guy, for trying. But now I am asking him (and others): read up on what has been done first, then add to it. Or, show why what was done previously came to the wrong conclusion, or analyzed the data wrong.

    This seems a reasonably polite request. I interpret it to be aimed, not solely at Willis, but also at the generality of WUWT, who, he believes, are in danger of thinking that all current climate science is wrong and that WUWT holds the only real truth.

    To a large extent, of course, this is originally the fault of some researchers working in the IPCC. It was the ‘team’ who started to use politics to push their agenda, and many WUWT readers are happy to return the compliment. This is, of course, bad for science on both sides. It is an unfortunate necessity nowadays, and I depreciate it.

    The third point? Oh, just that a much better author than I has said (I rely on memory):

    “A little insolence is good for the Great Arts”…

  244. JJ:

    In your post at October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm you say to Willis

    From your commentary on Ramanathan and Collins, it is clear to those that have read the paper that you have not. Roy undoubtedly understands that, and of course he also understands the corollary: that you cannot have plagiarized a paper that you have not read and do not comprehend.

    That would make more sense if your writings demonstrated that you had read R&C 1991 and understood it. Clearly, you have not and you do not.

    The Eschenbach hypothesis is very different from anything in R&C 1991. And it is very clear that Willis knows and understands the contents of R&C 1991: in my first post in this thread I explained that I know this for certain fact.

    And before you redirect your daft assertion at me, I first read R&C 1991 on the day it came out, I still have my copy of Nature magazine in which I first read it, and I have referenced it in peer reviewed publication. Also, since you claim that Appeal to Authority is valid, I retain a copy of the email from Mike McCracken where he commends a summary I provided in the late 1990s of R&C 1991 and the series of papers which attempted to dispute that paper.

    Your posts in this thread amount to misleading character assassination of Willis Eschenbach provided from behind a cowardly shield of anonymity. Whatever motivation you have for this behaviour, it is despicable.

    Importantly, those – including me – who respect both Roy Spencer and Willis Eschenbach hope their disagreement can soon be resolved. Your series post in this thread inhibit that.

    Richard

  245. I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back when it was apparent that his pursuit of climate science gold nuggets, while commendable for being dogged, lacked the substance and overall accuracy one sees in truly scientific papers. Too often have I seen Willis come back to a blog entry and correct a major underpinning of his original thoughts. If you wish to maintain credibility, that is something that cannot be done even once, let alone several times a year.

    What Roy Spencer wrote was not derogatory toward Willis, but an acknowledgement that the casual layperson (such as Willis and myself) does not have the overall academic expertise and access that would allow for new ground to be covered in a paper. That is all that he is saying, and anything else that is being read into his statements is an attempt to push blame for being honest onto the messenger.

  246. Dear Willis,
    We all want a pat on the back from people we respect. I can see why you feel you got a slap on the face this time. When I read Dr, Spencers article i hoped you would not take it too personal as it was clearly not the feedback you hoped for. I’m not competent to judge between you but let it be clear nothing of the critique of your science has any bearing on how I regard you as person, writer or (amateur) scientist.
    I still apreciate your article and admire how you with appearant ease retrieved data, analysed and presented your findings.
    I still also apreciate Dr. Spencer who takes the time and trouble to educate the Public on climate physics and what he sees as errors in the mainstream Climate reserarch. Far to few scientists have the energy to be volontary educators in this time of publish or perish. Especially in the infectous area of climate science where a taking a public position like Dr. Spencers will cause him real harm.
    I’m not asking you to grin and bear it but will remind you that a discussion on the interpretation of details in different articles takes time and energy that is better spent on new science. I for one woudl much prefer to read about that.

  247. I have had dealings with both Roy and Willis and will not opine on this matter. I like them both.

    They will probably make peace in due time and do not need our help or our criticism.

    I suggest that his sort of forum (WUWT, Climate Audit, etc.) provides, with some modification, a better model for the peer review process than the formal peer (pal) review practised by the “eminent” scientific journals.

    The obvious corruption of these scientific journals, through scientist-activist misbehaviour, is apparent from the ClimateGate emails, the utter screed that had been published on climate science in once-respected journals, and the alarmist nonsense that appears in the IPCC reports, particularly the SPM’s.

    I suggest that the peer review process needs to be open to more (reasonably qualified) participants, much more transparent, and thus much less susceptible to corrupting influences.

    I suggest that climate science has experienced a “New Dark Age” and is slowly emerging from the abyss, in no small part due to the activities of “citizen scientists”, enabled by the internet, publicly-available satellite data, and also by the exceptionally low standards of the “official“ climate science community, too many of whom produced and lauded the aforementioned screed.

    The mainstream media, with a few notable exceptions, also deserve censure for their hysterical promotion of global warming mania, and their lack of competence and objectivity. Based on scientific principles, global warming hysteria was unbelievable when it appeared in the 1980’s, and is even more unbelievable today after about two decades of “lack of warming”, despite ever-increasing atmospheric CO2.

    I finally suggest, as I have since 2002, that Earth is entering a natural cooling cycle that may or may not be severe, some energy systems, particularly in Europe, have been crippled by “green energy nonsense” related to global warming mania, and some societies are ill-prepared for imminent global cooling.

    At a minimum, “green energy” nonsense should stop now, energy systems should be shored up on an emergency basis, and serious efforts devoted to frost-resistant crops and other such low-cost, high impact mitigative measures. It has also been suggested that the storage of grains should be accelerated – this would seem to be a better alternative than the current practise of converting huge amounts of grain into fuel ethanol.

    Regards to all, Allan

  248. Willis has a refreshingly clean and engaging writing style. It is easier to learn from him than it is from some others.
    I do not know who penned the following from the IPCC AR5 draft of WGII -

    (It’s a jpg because I don’t have a key to unlock the Adobe stuff that IPCC used. It’s parked on my rudimentary web site that is used for passing on quotes).
    I have no idea if this IPCC text is meaningful or not. It’s practically incomprehensible.
    ………………………………
    It comes in a section containing astonishing new IPCC discoveries such as -
    “Both male and female deaths are recorded after flooding …”
    “Tropical cyclones (….) cause high winds, torrential rains, high waves and storm surge…….”
    “The mean of the individual-realization mean and variability values are (sic) then calculated across the realizations of that model in each period, yielding model-mean mean and variability values derived from the timeseries of each realization (rather than from the mean of the timeseries).”
    “Robust evidence demonstrates that low per capita incomes, economic contraction, and inconsistent state institutions, all of which are sensitive to climate change, are associated with the incidence of civil wars.”
    ………………………………
    Really, what were they smoking?
    Willis, please press on.

  249. I dare you to read Chapter 7 from the IPCC AR5 Report that deals with Cloud Feedbacks (and water vapor, lapse rate, aerosols, etc.)

    http://www.climatechange2013.org/images/uploads/WGIAR5_WGI-12Doc2b_FinalDraft_Chapter07.pdf

    You will not come away with a better understanding of what is really going on, just the many vagaries of the assumptions used in climate models to simulate high cloud, low cloud, clouds, mid-latitude clouds, tropical clouds, more clouds, grade-school illustrations, stratiform convective interactions. No data or observations is presented but the cloud feedback is slightly positive, even though they are uncertain of its strength or even sign.

  250. pokerguy says: Willis, you’re just not as important as you obviously think you are.
    I have an enormous amount of respect for Willis, I HAD an enormous amount of respect for Dr. Spencer and I have NO respect for Pokerguy….

  251. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 9, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    If you should ever have the misfortune to be wrongly accused in that manner and compared to Homer Simpson, and I hope you never are in that situation, well, I guess we’ll see then how calm and mellow you remain.

    Dodgy Geezer says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:45 am

    1 – I don’t know about Willis, but I would be quite honoured to be compared to Homer Simpson rather than Hansen. First, because Homer probably knows more science than I do, and second because the child-like wonder with which Homer approaches the world has always been a marker of the best researchers in the business. Newton, Faraday, Feynman; they all used to say that they really didn’t know what was going on….

    Willis, it’s important to see both images, (linked by Fedoras). Then apply some positive spin. On the left is a folksy character loved by millions. The other is a tired scientist whose science is increasingly rejected who has to resort to public protest to attract the attention of thousands.

    The colonial song “Yankee Doodle” was the rebels’ reaction to the derisive tag applied by the redcoats to what they saw as upstarts who would flee for their lives when facing a well disciplined British line.

    You’d do better developing a kinship with Homer Simpson, or Yankee Doodle, or whatever a west coast analog is than obsessing over Roy’s attempt at cute humor.

  252. So much of science as practiced in the “publish or perish” environment is the relentless climbing of ladders leaned up against the wrong wall. And climate science is a perfect illustration of this. Willis is more of an observational thinker and not blinded by the professional requirement that he engage in the everlasting searching for the next rung, without regard for where the ladder is actually stationed. He says in effect, “Hey guys, lets put this ladder over here and compare it to the real world. This is how it looks to me!” Sometimes he is inevitably wrong. But sometimes he may be right. But the crowd that just keeps climbing, rung by rung, up the wrong wall (C02 as the climate governor, ulcers, and tectonics for example) are always wrong.

    Now a fellow who keeps wanting to move your ladder is a nuisance to the people climbing it. They have to keep climbing back down and and explaining to him and everyone else why the wall they are leaned against is the right one. Or they can just suggest that no on should pay attention to him because he’s failed to do the proper rung by rung exercises. That’s the easy way out and saves you the trouble of fundamental analysis or communication. And you could also loudly compare the ladder mover to the world’s most famous no nothing doofus. That would surely convince the world of the high regard you had for that “sharp” fellow and amateur ladder movers in general. /sarc

    But more to the point. Spencer has made very specific criticisms of Willis’s work which appear to be flat out wrong. He needs to make his case or retract and apologize. It appears to the casual observer that he’s guilty of exactly the thing he accused Willis of. And what’s with that cartoon and the Hansen picture? It makes no sense. What is his point with that? Does he just detest everyone?

  253. Isn’t it amazing how rapidly social mores are changing? How we are reverting, in our new virtual environment, to a truly egalitarian forum in which a functioning and natural meritocracy is arising? WUWT has to be one of the most important of many worthy examples of this process of change online. A process that is seeing the legacy establishment lose control of the narrative.

    And that’s the nub of it, that’s what drives men (and women) on the inside of the bubble so crazy – apoplectic even. They, in their ivory towers above the line, cannot perceive that nobodies like me could possibly possess or even develop the ability to sift out the dross. To nurture discernment. Sure, I’ve stepped on many metaphorical mines in my search for truth. But every cognitive injury I have sustained has only strengthened my resolve to henceforth be more disciplined and focused in my studies. And surely that is the essence of learning. What’s more, it sure as hell develops the capacity for self-criticism. And it makes one increasingly anti-fragile, to boot (bring on the Black Swan!)…

    Through this blog Anthony Watts is facilitating that process for many lurkers like me. And Willis Eschenbach and others here are creating a disciplined environment for challenging the received wisdom on a wide range of issues. Of course there are many good-hearted, hard-working men like Roy Spencer on the inside of the bubble, but their apparent monopoly on truth is being severely and swiftly eroded – ultimately to the benefit of all of us who inhabit the worlds outside of academic nerdsville.

    But my appreciation of the Eschenbachs of this world does not make me a Willis groupie or ‘fanboy’. I know for sure that he and I would disagree vehemently on many important matters. It’s his intellectual discipline and irrepressible, almost childlike, inquiring mind that I respect and value. He’s earned my respect.

    So sorry my dear Drs, PhDs, etc., but there are many men of my ilk and era who do not give a canine testicular appendage for the fancy abbreviations before or after your names. In my experience, they are quite frankly meaningless in the quest for wisdom. Often they in fact denote an arrogance and pride that stand in the way of wisdom. Fortunately there are many men and women of note – both with and without ‘credentials’ – that possess a humility and humanity that engenders respect in folk like me (I don’t feel I’m being treated like the idiot I quite probably am – ‘he is no friend that guides not, but ridicules, when one speaks from ignorance’).

    So the argument that one must work within the system to be taken seriously, and if you refuse you’re being narcissistic, is specious in the extreme. What such people mean of course is that one must work within the system to be taken seriously by others in the system. Sure, there may be a place for that. Many are clearly happy with that particular dynamic. But as you might have guessed, I’m not one of them! And I’m not alone. And I’m not being narcissistic (and yes I have painful personal experience of what NPD really involves!). There’s a myriad nobodies ‘out there’ who fly under the system’s radar, learning on the go. Developing wisdom and understanding in the school of hard knocks, otherwise known as life.

    We give no automatic deference to assumed or usurped authority. You have to earn our respect, and that is not easy. It means you have to act out of a different relational code. One that is based on seeing your interlocutor as your equal and not your inferior, regardless of his or her ‘credentials’, or lack thereof. Men and women who act in such a fashion are comparable in my eyes to the ‘prophet’ featured in Albert J. Nock’s ‘Isaiah’s Job’ (well worth a read, by the way).

    So that’s my take on what’s really going on here behind the scenes. Take it leave it as you see fit…

  254. The idea of thunderstorms as some kind of tropical thermostat precedes even Ramanathan and Collins in1991. I remember a talk by Walter Munk in the mid 70′s where he was discussing thunderstorms as tropical thermostats and the general research question of why is there a limit on tropical ocean surface temperatures. He also talked about the failure of models to appropriately capture mesoscale atmospheric properties, something still true today. Unfortunately I don’t have a reference. My memory is that he was referring to somebody else’s work not his own, but something from that period should exist – even if it’s only in the grey literature.

    All this misses the big point which is that trying to investigate the exact mechanism by which thunderstorms operate in the tropics is both very important and appropriate. It’s also different than the general statement that they seem to somehow act in this way. Thunderstorms are nowhere near “settled science”. Kudos to you Willis for tackling this in an interesting and informative way.

  255. To W. Eschenbach RE: “I would have had no problem with his accusations if they had been cited and referenced. … The accusation about Ramanathan … he didn’t give one single example of the ignorance and PLAGARISM he accused me of.

    “In addition to it being good science to cite the previous work that he claims I either don’t know about OR AM STEALING FROM, it’s downright nasty to ACCUSE OF MAN OF MALFEASANCE without giving one damn example to back up the accusation. How on earth can I defend myself against such vague nastiness?” [EMPHASIS added]

    RESPONSE: Dr. Spencer made a consistent pattern of remarks–NONE OF WHICH ACCUSE YOU OF “STEALING” or “MALFEASANCE.” E.G.: “But don’t assume you have anything new unless you first do some searching of the literature on the subject. True, some of the literature is paywalled. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules. And I agree, if research was public-funded, it should also be made publicly available” … “…read up on what has been done first, then add to it…”

    Dr. Spencer’s statement indicates suitable research was not done…NOT that such research was done and was being attributed as original (not that it was “stolen” or “plagiarized”). Obviously, one cannot plagiarize what one hasn’t researched (“read up on what has been done first” unmistakably indicates his observation you didn’t consult pre-existing findings, hence, you couldn’t have stolen or plagiarized them as you mis-perceive him of accusing you of having done).

    At worst, he’s “accusing” you of INDEPENDENTLY DEVELOPING AN ANALYSIS & REACING FINDINGS OTHERS HAVE DONE PREVIOUSLY and thinking you’ve done something new. Spencer concedes that much of what you may be ignorant about might not be readily accessible to you even if you did look (i.e. that it’s not all your fault).

    That sort of thing is very common. At some point or other almost everyone will do something really neat & innovative and later learn some else got there first; pretty much everybody takes it in stride & moves along.

    There’s absolutely no need to get defensive about it — esp. to the point of working hard to extract insulting meanings that simply are not there.

    You have been informed by an expert in the field that you’re duplicating old work & need to go back & do more research up front to come up with something new.

    And there’s no reasonable expectation that he, or anyone else, has it incumbent upon him or them to provide you with the information you either didn’t look for or couldn’t find if you did look. Or to guide you regarding techniques for finding & accessing information. If you want it, you should ask. Politely. Or go look, or look again. Or take some courses…. Foundational research that is common knowledge in the community in which it applies need not be cited.

    The fact you are expressing such an expectation as an entitlement, and doing so from a self-proclaimed position of unsupportable defensiveness, indicates other issues…. Publishing this attitude is doing yourself no favors. Perhaps you should consider that, by not pointing out the specific references that ought to have been known, Dr. Spencer did you a favor — identifying these would only highlight [to everybody] the extent to which due-diligence background research is both overdue and not diligent.

  256. richardscourtney says:

    Richard, don’t go all Courtney on me :). I respect what you do here immensely, and numerous times you and I have tagged-teamed on some of the usual suspects to good effect. Pay attention to those attempting to divide the house, and do not be led astray.

    The Eschenbach hypothesis is very different from anything in R&C 1991.

    R&C’s hypothesis depends on increased transport of large quantities of heat from the surface to the higher atmosphere by thunderstorms. R&C’s cirrus cloud effect is driven by the latent heat released by such deep convection, providing the diabatic forcing for the vertical velocity field, and it becomes (in their opinion) a hugely negative feedback in part because the LW forcing that would otherwise constitute a positive feedback greenhouse effect at the surface is exported in that manner. In an important way, R&C’s thermostat subsumes Willis’ thermostat. That is Roy’s point, and it is valid.

    And it is very clear that Willis knows and understands the contents of R&C 1991: in my first post in this thread I explained that I know this for certain fact.

    No. Willis thinks that R&C91 is only about cirrus cloud albedo. Because that is all that is mentioned in the three sentence abstract. Please read Willis’ comments on Roy’s blog page to divine Willis’ understanding.

    Importantly, those – including me – who respect both Roy Spencer and Willis Eschenbach hope their disagreement can soon be resolved. Your series post in this thread inhibit that.

    Those of us that see value in Willis’ work understand the extent to which his tantrums detract from it, and we certainly see the harm in Willis launching on Roy Spencer, who takes more than his share of crap from the warmists of the world and does not deserve it from any of us. Willis has grossly overreacted. Resolution will come from that starting place.

    JJ

  257. For Dr. Spencer to picture James Hansen as a “Professional climate scientist” is an example of sarcasm par excellence.

    Just consider the handcuffs.

  258. I would suggest that if Willis wants to be taken seriously as a citizen scientist, he should start behaving like a proper scientist.

    He should write up his thoughts into a proper scientific paper with the mathematics, data and processing clearly defined. This should then be presented for peer review at a respectable journal to see if they meet an acceptable intellectual level.

    Writing folksy articles, with incorrect maths, which he claims to be of ground breaking quality and refusing to acknowledge criticisms does not cut the mustard as respectable science.

  259. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    You have not read more than the three-sentence abstract of the first. How far did you get with the rest?

    JJ, do you really believe the crap that you write, or are you just trying to provoke? On which grounds do you assume that Willis only read an abstract of the first? Does he need to copy the whole scientific article for you to recognise that perhaps he has read it? Or will you then assume that Willis has copied it but didn’t really read it? Gosh…

  260. A governor, on the other hand, uses feedback to move the result towards some set-point, by utilizing a variable feedback factor.

    I haven’t read through all 300 posts, so please forgive if someone has already mentioned this.

    In my experience, a “governor” in a mechanical systems sense, prevents a system from exceeding a predetermined maximum. It does not “move the result towards some set-point”. Willis made this reference in another post that I don’t have time to find at the moment (literally about to run out the door for work), equating a governor to a “cruise control” in a car. The two aren’t the same. “Cruise Control” or “Speed Control” DOES “move the result towards some set-point”, but doesn’t prevent the vehicle from exceeding that set point. If I step on the gas, I’ll exceed that set point. A governor will prevent me from exceeding the max allowed speed no matter how much I step on the gas.

  261. RC Saumarez says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:26 am

    He should write up his thoughts into a proper scientific paper with the mathematics, data and processing clearly defined.

    They are always there. I’ve never seen Willis not providing all the supporting material of whatever he publishes. I cannot say the same of some “respectable” scientists in “respectable” journals. What makes them more “proper”?

    Writing folksy articles, with incorrect maths, which he claims to be of ground breaking quality and refusing to acknowledge criticisms does not cut the mustard as respectable science.

    I’ve seen nobody critizise his maths so far. He is being accused of not having done his homework regarding previous research, not about anything wrong with his maths. And what the h*ll is “folksy”? Do you mean readable? Can you give an example of a “folksy” expression used by Willis?

  262. Keep up the good work Willis. There is nothing better than the joy of finding things out. Those of Poptech’s ilk don’t understand how things get done in the real world. It’s not about debating on the internet, nor having degrees. It is often someone outside the box of conventionality that sees what those who live on the inside cannot or will not see.

  263. For those criticizing Willis, it appears to me Dr. Roy in essence “called him out” so I think the OK Corral fight is called for. I like to follow the money. Dr. Spencer may have a different view if HE was a citizen scientist like Willis. Makes all the NSA news curious as to effect on many.

  264. Interesting that Dr Spencer gets no more support on his own blog than here. Nor does he provide a reference with a graphic similar to Willis’.

  265. Nylo:

    re your post at October 10, 2013 at 7:26 am.

    Yes. Thankyou.

    I really do wish that people ‘stirring the pot’ were attempting to resolve the Spencer&Eschenbach disagreement which warmunists must be relishing.

    Science is about seeking the closest possible approximation to ‘truth’ and it is not about personal attacks. It is not about the demeaning of people: that is the business of politics.

    Richard

  266. Ken said:
    “You have been informed by an expert in the field that you’re duplicating old work & need to go back & do more research up front to come up with something new.

    And there’s no reasonable expectation that he, or anyone else, has it incumbent upon him or them to provide you with the information you either didn’t look for or couldn’t find if you did look. Or to guide you regarding techniques for finding & accessing information.”

    Absolutely true that there is no reasonable expectation, but in kind there is no reasonable expectation that said expert make comments on said issues in the first place.
    No reasonable expectation that said expert supply examples and facts, true – unless the expert makes comment on said issues!
    Then, having commented but not shown expertize, said expert is shown to be not expert at all, but sham.

  267. Dr. Roy Spencer admits academia limits the public’s access to science in a couple different ways:

    ”so little information is available in a form that is easily digested by the public. Career scientists like myself have not done enough public outreach to describe what they have done. And when we do such outreach, it is usually too technical to understand.”

    ”True, some of the literature is paywalled. Sorry, I didn’t make the rules. And I agree, if research was public-funded, it should also be made publicly available.”

    But then assumes Willis (and others) hasn’t made an attempt to access the previous work and places a burden upon such science commentators to add something novel or to refute conclusions or data analysis:

    ”I am asking him (and others): read up on what has been done first, then add to it. Or, show why what was done previously came to the wrong conclusion, or analyzed the data wrong. “

    ”But don’t assume you have anything new unless you first do some searching of the literature on the subject.”

    I respect Dr. Spencer a great deal and I’m trying hard to appreciate his position but I can’t help but wonder if his next post will “pick on” Lord Monckton for calling a shovel a spade instead of A one-person-operated, manually-controlled, foot-powered implement of simple and robust yet adequately efficacious ligno-metallic composition designated primarily though by no means exclusively for utilization on the part of hourly-paid operatives deployed in the agricultural, horticultural, or constructional trades or industries, as the case may be, for purposes of carrying out such excavational tasks or duties as may from time to time be designated by supervisory grades as being necessary, desirable, expedient, apposite, or germane with regard to the ongoing furtherance of the task or objective in hand or, on the other hand, underfoot

    Willis presents his “research” more as learning together as we go as opposed to some academia elitist approved incomprehensibly written pronouncement from the ivory tower. He also comments on science in a way that makes it accessible to many, i.e. a commentator; not a scientist.

  268. My very initial thought on reading this post, if Willis duplicated work based on newer CERES data & originally hypothesized by R&C in ’91 based on observations in ’87 was Great!. That is how science, i.e. knowledge, advances.
    About 2 milliseconds later, AH HA popped up! Spencer is pissed (because Willis has scooped him or someone close to him) and he knows something that he can not talk about because Honor is at stake, thus the smoke screen.

    This have already been discussed in other comments above but the quality of these comments, throughout, have been superb indicating to me that the commitments to the Truth here at WUWT far exceeds the ego’s of the commentator’s. This is 180° opposed to what I see at alarmist sites like SkS.

  269. Poptech says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:27 pm

    Daryl, don’t take me seriously if you wish, I do however have extensive experience in debating this subject online, in hundreds of forums and websites for over seven years. So you may find my anecdotes helpful or you may not, I really don’t care.

    Sure, whatever you say. Not. Do you think I care that you really don’t care? Get a clue.

  270. Jeff Alberts:

    Your post at October 10, 2013 at 7:33 am says

    A governor, on the other hand, uses feedback to move the result towards some set-point, by utilizing a variable feedback factor.

    I haven’t read through all 300 posts, so please forgive if someone has already mentioned this.

    In my experience, a “governor” in a mechanical systems sense, prevents a system from exceeding a predetermined maximum. It does not “move the result towards some set-point”. Willis made this reference in another post that I don’t have time to find at the moment (literally about to run out the door for work), equating a governor to a “cruise control” in a car. The two aren’t the same. “Cruise Control” or “Speed Control” DOES “move the result towards some set-point”, but doesn’t prevent the vehicle from exceeding that set point. If I step on the gas, I’ll exceed that set point. A governor will prevent me from exceeding the max allowed speed no matter how much I step on the gas.

    I take your point, and I attempted to avoid the thread being side-tracked onto that point in my above posts which these links jump to

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442181

    and with specific reference to the R&C Effect

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442893

    I hope those posts are helpful to your thought.

    Richard

  271. The EXPERTS have spoken, lo and behold ye mighty ones.

    BOOOOOM!

    19 April 2013
    The student who caught out the profs
    This week, economists have been astonished to find that a famous academic paper often used to make the case for austerity cuts contains major errors. Another surprise is that the mistakes, by two eminent Harvard professors, were spotted by a student.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22223190

    BOOOOOM!

    Guardian – 17 September 2012
    This collapse, I predicted would occur in 2015-16 at which time the summer Arctic (August to September) would become ice-free. The final collapse towards that state is now happening and will probably be complete by those dates“.
    [Professor Peter Wadhams - Cambridge University]

    BOOOOOM!

    BBC – 12 December 2007
    Our projection of 2013 for the removal of ice in summer is not accounting for the last two minima, in 2005 and 2007,”…….”So given that fact, you can argue that may be our projection of 2013 is already too conservative.”
    [Professor Wieslaw Maslowski]

    BOOOOOM!

    What happened to the climate refugees?
    By Gavin Atkins Apr 11, 2011
    In 2005, the United Nations Environment Programme predicted that climate change would create 50 million climate refugees by 2010……..

    The UNEP even provided a handy map. ……

    Meanwhile, far from being places where people are fleeing, no fewer than the top six of the very fastest growing cities in China, Shenzzen, Dongguan, Foshan, Zhuhai, Puning and Jinjiang, are absolutely smack bang within the shaded areas identified as being likely sources of climate refugees.

    Similarly, many of the fastest growing cities in the United States….

    http://asiancorrespondent.com/52189/what-happened-to-the-climate-refugees/

    “Science is the belief in the ignorance of the experts”
    Richard Feynman

  272. Wow! What heavy news.

    Daryl M says:October 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm
    “Let me break it to all the Willis fanboys, outside of Watts up With That and some of his friends in the skeptic community, no one takes him or what he posts here seriously.”

    Alarmists don’t take skepticism seriously? Say it ain’t so.

    What does “take seriously” mean though?

    From my watching this global debate for many years it’s more like alarmist they don’t take anything skeptical, serious or otherwise.
    That’s their problem.
    Alarmists are so busy being purposefully mendacious they can’t recognize how seriously scurrilous they are.
    Your dismissing the whole of their neglect and dishonesty as simply not taking skeptics seriously is just another added layer of the deceit.

    It’s no surprise to the many honest contributors here that this Willis thread has piled up over 300 comments.
    He’s been a respected, appreciated and admired contributor.
    Dr. Roy’s misguided piece that teed up Willis the not surprising mud slinging that followed has not altered that one bit.

    Willis towers above the lowly Joe Romm, Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann who hide from being held accountable.

  273. @Nylo,
    There have been many critics of Eschenbach’s maths, from myself included. These have been from people who have training in the subject who feel that his work lacks statistical, signal processing and mathematical skill.

    If you attempt to point this out and dare to suggest that Mr Eschenbach’s conclusions may not be supported by his calculations, you are simply treated to an intellectually arrogant, ill-educated rant that is rather more extreme than the one in this post. Since you haven’t seen anyone critices Willis’ maths just go back a couple of posts. You will see the rational, well thought out responses to proper, serious criticisms made by professional commentators on his work.

    Unfortunately Eschenbach’s background is so limited that he cannot even understand the problems with his work when it is presented to him by people with a serious background in the subjects of his posts.

    The methodological details in his postings (so that one might want to reproduce his findings) are completely inadequate.

    As regards “folksy” try this:

    “Figuring that it was about time I did some more scientific shovel-work, I downloaded the full ten-year CERES monthly satellite 1° x 1° radiation dataset (link below). I also got the Reynolds monthly Sea Surface Temperature 1° x 1° dataset, and the GHCN monthly 1° x 1° land dataset …….”
    it ends with
    “Like I said … lots of surprises. All comment welcome, and please remember, this is a first cut at the data.”

    Of course some comments are more welcome than others.

    To even scratch the surface of the problem he claims to have cracked, would take an ordinary mortal (i.e.: a first year PhD student) months to begin to understand the problem. But oh no, Willis is such a genius that he can do it in a day!

    I’m not surprised that Spencer doesn’t take his opinions very seriously.

  274. We have multiple layers of opposing views between Spencer and WE.. Spencer claims previous work and identifies that work predates WE’s effort. WE disagrees that work is similar. They can’t both be right. Since all the source information for at least one of Spencer’s claim are on the table there is no room for opinion and fanboy response for or against either camp. Since demanding a consensus is not a legitimate position we are all left to form our own conclusion using readily available information and such additional research as desired. For those interested, go do that. For those who wish not to, thank you for your opinion.

    I have no opinion on who is most accurate in their claims but I do have an opinion on the dispute itself and that is it is impossible to resolve it to an acceptable agreement of correctness. Both parties believe they have read and understand the facts and one or the other would have to see and admit to their error. I don’t entertain the thought that either party is going to do the exhaustive self analysis to find their own error, if it exists, and neither accepts the opinion of the other at this point. The participants will have to agree only to disagree and that happens all the time. Secondly, I don’t care who is more accurately presenting their ideas. In fact there is legitimate room for error here on both sides and to be wrong about something they are sure of. Without a deep dive into the available information to ferret out those possible errors, the complete truth can’t/won’t be found. And here is my problem with the dispute – it has no relevance to me. What matters is the science and not the personalities and this dispute has nothing to do with the science that generated the dispute. This belongs on Twitter under the tag of #SomebodyIsWrongOnTheInternet.

  275. “.In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins said that the albedos of deep convective clouds in the tropics limited the SST … but as far as I know, they didn’t discuss the idea of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism at all.”

    Seems to me thurnderstorms are deep convective clouds Willis. You need a bit more than semantics to make the claim you appear to be trying to make.

  276. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    Willis Eschenbach says:

    “I’ve previously commented on Willis’ thermostat hypothesis of climate system regulation, which Willis never mentioned was originally put forth by Ramanathan and Collins in a 1991 Nature article.”

    Now, that is a clear accusation of plagiarism—he’s saying that I lifted the idea from R&C1991, and that I never mentioned that little detail.

    No. From your commentary on Ramanathan and Collins, it is clear to those that have read the paper that you have not. Roy undoubtedly understands that, and of course he also understands the corollary: that you cannot have plagiarized a paper that you have not read and do not comprehend.”

    JJ, I truly don’t know how to answer this bizarre claim. Let me review the bidding:

    The R&C 1991 paper hypothesized that in certain extreme conditions a “super-greenhouse effect” arises, and as a result, cirrus clouds form that prevent the sea temperature in the Pacific Warm Pool from going over 30°C.

    I, on the other hand, hypothesized that under normal everyday conditions, thunderstorms and other emergent phenomena act in concert to keep the entire planetary surface within a narrow temperature range.

    If you (or Dr. Roy) think those are the same hypothesis, I fear you need professional help—it’s beyond my poor abilities to add to or subtract from that kind of ignorance.

    w.

    PS—And yes, saying that I “never mentioned” that my hypothesis was “originally put forth by R&C” is indeed a false accusation of plagiarism.

  277. Nylo:

    At October 10, 2013 at 8:09 am RC Saumarez says to you:

    There have been many critics of Eschenbach’s maths, from myself included. These have been from people who have training in the subject who feel that his work lacks statistical, signal processing and mathematical skill.

    If you attempt to point this out and dare to suggest that Mr Eschenbach’s conclusions may not be supported by his calculations, you are simply treated to an intellectually arrogant, ill-educated rant that is rather more extreme than the one in this post. Since you haven’t seen anyone critices Willis’ maths just go back a couple of posts. You will see the rational, well thought out responses to proper, serious criticisms made by professional commentators on his work.

    In reality RC Saumarez has been mounting a bombastic and insulting campaign against Willis Eschenbach. Over four recent WUWT threads he has made assertions which he has failed to substantiate and Willis – not surprisingly – has refuted the campaign in less robust terms than RC Saumarez has directed at him.

    This is a recent example of Willis’ response to his so-called “criticisms”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/06/evidence-that-clouds-actively-regulate-the-temperature/#comment-1440695

    This is an example of what RC Saumarez calls “rational, well thought out responses to proper, serious criticisms made by professional commentators” (i.e. himself) in reply to that response from Willis

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/06/evidence-that-clouds-actively-regulate-the-temperature/#comment-1441541

    I suggest you read the links I have provided then judge for yourself the degree of credibility which should be afforded to any comment on the subject of this thread provided by RC Saumarez.

    Richard

  278. Roger Sowell says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:25 am
    @ Tucker on Oct 10, 2013 at 4:19 am,
    Exactly right, well-said.

    IMO Tucker’s explanation for his no longer reading Willis is woefully insignificant and embellishes Willis’ occasional correcting himself into meaning what it does not.

    Tucker and Roger may feel it represents a lack of credibility but their feelings are not a valid measure of Willis’ writing substance or his credibility.

  279. RC Saumarez says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I would suggest that if Willis wants to be taken seriously as a citizen scientist, he should start behaving like a proper scientist.
    He should write up his thoughts into a proper scientific paper with the mathematics, data and processing clearly defined. This should then be presented for peer review at a respectable journal to see if they meet an acceptable intellectual level.
    Writing folksy articles, with incorrect maths, which he claims to be of ground breaking quality and refusing to acknowledge criticisms does not cut the mustard as respectable science.

    And I’d respectfully suggest it appears someone’s nose is out of joint here.

    Willis makes no claims of ‘ground breaking quality’ … he is simply the guy yelling “Hey, look at what I have spotted! … Waddya reckon??!”

    To many of us,it’s all fascinating stuff. If it has been done before, well and good. I’m sure Willis won’t weep for a second, rather he’d chew on it for a while, see if any interesting bits pop out, and if not, go onto the next thing.

    If his maths is wrong, well and good too. Point out the problems, and someone will run the numbers again for sure. That is the beauty of human nature, we love to prove the other guy wrong! ;-)

    Folksy? = very readable.

    If you don’t like it, rebut the work itself, not the fact he is doing it. That, or ignore it.

    So where are you really coming from? Ban all citizen scientists? No-one can pronounce the ‘holy words’ or gaze upon the ‘sacred scriptures’ unless suitably consecrated? Hell, this is starting to sound like a religion. Again.

  280. Poptech says:
    October 9, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Let me break it to all the Willis fanboys, outside of Watts up With That and some of his friends in the skeptic community, no one takes him or what he posts here seriously.

    Goodness, yet another whiny random internet popup hater without the stones to sign his name to his laughable ideas … Let me break it to you gently, Poptech, I’ll use small words so you can follow my thoughts:

    Nature magazine takes me seriously, they published my peer reviewed “Communications Arising” regarding climate … and Diversity and Distributions take me seriously, they published my paper on climate not causing extinctions … funny, that.

    And my posts here on WUWT attract about a million page views per year … not only that, but given how much people disagree with what I say, the idea that they are “fanboys” is laughable.

    And since your claims are so easily falsified … I guess we don’t need to take you seriously.

    w.

  281. Bill Hunter:

    re your post at October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am.

    Willis is NOT “making a claim”. He is refuting an untrue claim.

    The R&C and Eschenbach Effects are very different. To say they are the same or similar is a false claim.

    Richard

  282. Consider the use of the Homer Simpson carton. From the show.
    Homer \noun\ 1) American Bonehead. 2) Pull a Homer – To succeed despite idiocy.

    I don’t think he’s accusing Willis of stealing the ideas. More that those ideas were already out there and Willis occasionally “Pulls a Homer” and “succeeds despite idiocy”. Moreover Spencer is upset because nobody listens when he says something but people think it is brilliant when Willis, the American bonehead, says it.

    Dr. Spencer could have simply said your work replicates and validates paper xxxxx. Instead he scolds the bone head and his bone head followers for actually believing that there is anything worthwhile about this work. Too bad and I wouldn’t be surprised if the bulk of the review/attack was done by a graduate student on behalf of Dr. Spencer.

  283. Willis, I found your posts informative. I don’t care whether or not they are original.or not. Dr. Spencer’s comments will change my opinion of you or your work one iota. I also find Dr. Spencer’s posts informative.

    With that said I hope Dr. Spencer and you would write with more courtesy to about each other.

    klee12

  284. Dr. Roy Spencer PHD is aware about not repeating old work. He should have a word with a few folks. :-)

    BOOOOOM!

    Jan 30, 2013
    Scientists may have received millions in duplicate funding, study says

    Funding agencies may be paying out duplicate grants, according to an analysis completed at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech and led by Harold R. Garner, a professor in the departments of biological science, computer science, and basic science. The study points to the possibility that millions of dollars in funding may have been used inappropriately….

    Submitting applications with identical or highly similar specific aims, goals, objectives, and hypotheses is allowed; however, accepting duplicate funding for the same project is not.

    http://phys.org/news/2013-01-scientists-millions-duplicate-funding.html

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/01/30/duplicate-science-funding-agencies-may-have-awarded-millions-and-possibly-billions-of-dollars-to-scientists-for-duplicate-studies/

  285. Willis, keep up the good work.

    Thank you for the link to R&C.

    I note here that Dr. Spencer did not respond to my request on the other thread to provide us with some specific information and links. At best, that’s being a poor sport. In my opinion, he ought to apologize to all of us.

  286. JJ says:
    October 9, 2013 at 11:05 pm

    … And do understand the broader point that Roy is making: You are treading over very well worn ground, while giving the impression that you are breaking trail.

    JJ, I do understand that that is Dr. Roy’s claim. And I’m quite happy to be schooled in this, by Dr. Roy or someone else.

    But to establish it, he needs to show two things:

    1. That I’ve claimed I’m breaking trail in some specific arena, and

    2. That it was actually covered in some specific previous study.

    He has done neither. Instead, he has made a false claim that I plagiarized my hypothesis that the climate is ruled by thunderstorms and other emergent phenomena.

    But other than that, he hasn’t specified where I’m claiming that my work is original, nor where the claimed previous studies might be.

    Look, JJ, the ugly truth is that a lot of my work actually is original. I don’t know if Dr. Roy is talking about that work or some other work.

    Let me be perfectly clear. The problem is not with Dr. Roy’s claims. It is that he has not put forward a scrap of evidence to support them. As I said above:

    Yes, I’ve said that I thought that some of my research has been novel and original. Much of it is certainly original, in that I don’t know of anyone else who has done the work in that way, so the ideas are my own.

    However, it just as certainly may not be novel. There’s nothing new under the sun. My point is that I don’t know of anyone advancing this hypothesis, the claim that emergent phenomena regulate the temperature and that forcing has little to do with it.

    If Dr. Roy thinks my ideas are not new, I’m more than willing to look at any citations he brings to the table.

    Despite that invitation, which I repeated on another thread where Dr. Roy made a one-line drive-by posting to the same effect, Dr. Roy hasn’t come up with a single specific about what I’m supposed to have said, nor a single citation showing that my specific idea was anticipated by someone else.

    w.

  287. Skeptic: Dr. Spencer could have simply said your work replicates and validates paper

    Actually, Willis’ work extends the R&C work, and Willis had cited it earlier. Dr Spencer was wrong on both counts.

  288. Willis,

    You need to read more than the abstract. There is more in there than cirrus cloud albedo.

    Meanwhile, Roy has posted another gentle and kind remonstration to you on his blog. Read the totality of what he is saying. Recognize that he is not attacking you. Realize that he is not accusing you of plagiarism. Understand that he is being nicer and more conciliatory to you than at this point you deserve. Perhaps you will be motivated to respond with uncharacteristic humility and gratitude.

    JJ

  289. Willis: Dr. Roy hasn’t come up with a single specific about what I’m supposed to have said, nor a single citation showing that my specific idea was anticipated by someone else.

    Exactly so.

  290. Steve Garcia says:
    October 10, 2013 at 12:31 am

    … Nope. The ONLY person who really made a difference was Mr Climategate himself. And we don’t know if he (she?) was a climatologist or a citizen climatologist. It seems virtually certain to ME that he/she could not have had access without being an inside climate person.

    Well, I’m the guy who filed the very first FOIA request to the UEA folks, an act that was the unwitting genesis of the actions described in the Climategate emails.

    So while you are right that Mr. Climategate did a great thing by revealing how the UEA folks and the rest lied, cheated and broke the law in response to my FOIA request and others as well … you’re misunderstanding the causality here. Without Warwick Hughes and me and Steve McIntyre and all the others putting the pressure on Phil Jones and the rest of the un-indicted co-conspirators, there would have been nothing for Mr. Climategate to reveal.

    Mr. Climategate was just the reporter, Steve. All he did was let people know how the UEA folks were responding to our FOIA requests, with lies and trickery.

    You’re mistaking the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself. The reporter that broke the story is important, sure … but the participants in the story, the actual actors, are the reason that the story exists to be revealed.

    w.

  291. Willis: To start with, they’re not feedbacks, they are emergent phenomena

    They are feedbacks, and the whole concept of “emergent phenomena” has problems. You should stick with “feedbacks” and avoid “emergent phenomena”. “Phenomena” are the mental results of physical processes: when phenomena “emerge” it means that we think about the processes differently. That has no particular implication for how the system actually works, but expresses the idea that as we learn more we think differently. “Feedback”, by contrast, denotes a process in the system, not a process in the mentation. You are writing about “feedbacks”.

  292. I don’t know whether Willis is onto something or not. But they say you get flak when you are over the target. Unless someone shows you that it’s already been covered then keep digging. This could be smoke, mirrors and misdirection at work.

  293. Dave says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:10 am

    I see nothing wrong with what Dr. Roy said other than he probably should have said it privately.

    What Dr. Roy said was totally without specifics. All he did was make vague accusations with nothing to back them up.

    He didn’t say specifically what he thought I was claiming priority on (other than his farcical allegations about R&C1991), and he didn’t say what prior studies contradicted whatever claim of priority that he thinks I was making.

    In other works, it was a baseless, uncited, unreferenced attack, in which among other things he accused me of plagiarism.

    If you truly can see nothing wrong with that, Dave, then you desperately need new glasses.

    w.

  294. Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back …

    Since you read this one, you’ve started out your rant with an obvious lie … sorry, didn’t read any further.

    w.

  295. JJ:

    In your post addressed to Willis at October 10, 2013 at 9:17 am you say

    Meanwhile, Roy has posted another gentle and kind remonstration to you on his blog. Read the totality of what he is saying. Recognize that he is not attacking you. Realize that he is not accusing you of plagiarism.

    In that “another gentle and kind remonstration” Roy Spencer writes

    In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins advanced in Nature their theory of surface temperature regulation by deep moist convection in the tropics. This became known as the “Thermostat Hypothesis”, which led to a field experiment (CEPEX, 1993). Yet, on WUWT, you will find Willis talking about the Thermostat Hypothesis as being ‘his’ theory. For scientists, this would be a major faux pas.

    I fail to understand how that can be read as anything other than an accusation of plagiarism.

    I have posted a refutation of it in the thread beneath that accusation which is at

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/willisgate-take-2/

    I had hoped the matter would have been resolved by now, and I am saddened that Roy Spencer has chosen to continue it.

    Richard

  296. Ric Werme says:
    October 10, 2013 at 5:56 am

    … You’d do better developing a kinship with Homer Simpson, or Yankee Doodle, or whatever a west coast analog is than obsessing over Roy’s attempt at cute humor.

    When a man uses that graphic as an introduction to a piece wherein he accuses me of plagiarism, and makes a number of uncited, unreferenced, and untrue accusations about me … sorry, that’s no longer “cute humor”.

    w.

  297. RC Saumarez says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:26 am

    I would suggest that if Willis wants to be taken seriously as a citizen scientist, he should start behaving like a proper scientist.

    He should write up his thoughts into a proper scientific paper with the mathematics, data and processing clearly defined. This should then be presented for peer review at a respectable journal to see if they meet an acceptable intellectual level.

    Writing folksy articles, with incorrect maths, which he claims to be of ground breaking quality and refusing to acknowledge criticisms does not cut the mustard as respectable science.

    Ah, yes, another comment from the professional carper, RC Saumarez. Folks, if you don’t know him, study his style. He manages to cram more insults and accusations into one paragraph than almost anyone I know … but he never, ever gives us specifics of what he’s accusing me of. Note that there is nothing in his rant that I could possibly answer or reply to … because just like Dr. Roy in his post, RC is just waving his hands and making accusations without any specifics, quotes, or citations.

    RC, as I’ve said to you many times before, if you object to something I said, then QUOTE MY WORDS so we can all understand what it is you are raving about. Just claiming that my math is “incorrect” goes nowhere. If you think some of my math is incorrect, then point to the equations and show where it’s incorrect.

    w.

  298. Al Gore has called an Earth First/Greenpeace meeting for a cirlcle of jerks smirking.

    Ego has its on way with any who do not see the background in the mirror.
    May be the side story, story telling distracted the good Dr. Roy.

  299. This has some similarity to the legal profession here in the UK, split between barristers (providing specialist advice/advocacy services) on the one hand and solicitors (general practitioners working for the public, able to call on the entire pool of specialists as necessary) on the other. Each side generally values the system and the other branch, but spats can sometimes develop between the two – generally regretted (on both sides) after short reflection.

    Gentlemen – the world needs and values you both: (a) the professional researchers/experts (of which I am sure Dr Spencer is a renowned member) operating at a scientific level far above the rest of us and (b) the “citizen scientists” such as Willis with the gift of explaining the principles clearly to us lesser mortals (along with his many interesting illustrations/examples) and always ready with some new hypothesis, accepting that it might come crashing down in the course of a single thread.

    Now that each party has had his say, might I suggest a brief time-out for reflection?

  300. Matthew R Marler:

    In your post at October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am you mistakenly assert

    Willis:

    To start with, they’re not feedbacks, they are emergent phenomena

    They are feedbacks, and the whole concept of “emergent phenomena” has problems. You should stick with “feedbacks” and avoid “emergent phenomena”.

    No, they are NOT feedbacks. I have repeatedly explained this in the thread.

    A feedback acts on the existing system. An emergent phenomenon adds to – thus changes – the system.

    The difference can be shown by analogy.

    A room is heated and may have a proportional thermostat. The thermostat has an effect on the system of the heated room; i.e. as the room temperature nears its set-point the thermostat adjusts the heat supplied to the room.

    Then an air conditioner (ac) unit is switched on. The heating system still operates and the heat supply to the room stays at maximum but the room temperature falls because the ac extracts heat from the room faster than the heating unit supplies it.

    The room temperature has two control systems; i.e. one with and the other without the ac.

    In this analogy the ac unit is the analog of an emergent system. At issue is what switches the ac on and off because that determines which system is controlling the room temperature.

    Richard

  301. What Roy is trying to point out is what Willis and the rest of the world should have learned in Jr. High – attribution and understand the full set on information. Site and recongnize who originated the information. Dont’ write as if you’re the discoverer if, in fact, your not. And understand the ful set of info. As Roy’s example in his essay pointed out, some people claim clounds in the lower atmospherer cool – ergo – water vapor as clouds don’t warm. Except – when they are in the the upper atmosphere, they warm the atmosphere. Got to be irritating – and time consuming – being asked to comment/correct claims like this. If you can’t carry out these two basic steps, attribution and knowing the subject fully, you’re rude, are undermining the hard work of others, and not too bright and/or dishonets. Willis seems to be weak on attribution. He

    Heres’ the thing – it’s common in my experienece for someone with limited knowledge & high egos (graduates with associates degrees from a community colleges, teenagers, tenured professors at universities, bosses, not-bosses, people for other countries, people from this country, i.e. – nearly everyone) to think they know and understand far more than they do. We should strenuously avoid acting that way.

  302. Bill Hunter says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:46 am

    “.In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins said that the albedos of deep convective clouds in the tropics limited the SST … but as far as I know, they didn’t discuss the idea of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism at all.”

    Seems to me thurnderstorms are deep convective clouds Willis. You need a bit more than semantics to make the claim you appear to be trying to make.

    Sorry if that wasn’t clear. R&C said that under certain extreme conditions that they called a “super-greenhouse”, cirrus from convective clouds (thunderstorms) limits the sea surface temperature in a very small localized part of the planet, the Pacific Warm Pool.

    I said nothing about extreme conditions or super-greenhouses or local areas. I said that thunderstorms, not their cirrus clouds but the actions of the thunderstorms themselves as inter alia natural air conditioners, are a core part of the temperature governing mechanism that regulates the temperature of the whole world.

    Those are very different propositions.

    w.

  303. All said and done and proved up as firm as the speed of light the fact that CO2 is a plant food and the climate changes notwithstanding if it is man or some other unknow species who are the top of the hill on the planet,,,Still yet the tax and spend of the CO2 fraud crowd will go on and on by this fraud or some other they cook up in the back rooms of the U.N. now and forever.

  304. Intelligence is where you find it and sometimes the most profound come from unlikely sources. For example, years ago it was a production operator with an 8th grade education that came to me and said that the engineers had better soon design a method of electronically determining the quality of the integrated circuits she was inspecting with a microscope because each new generation ‘chip’ had smaller features. Specifically, she said “It will soon be like trying to find missing garbage cans while flying over Los Angles.” That comment directly led to the creation of whole product lines of circuit and board testers. Noteworthy was that none of the PhD (and the many more BS and MS degreed) scientists and engineers on staff saw it coming.

    While the odds of the presence of increased intelligence is higher in degreed individuals, there is still a vast range in intelligence as typified by medical doctors. It also seems that ego comes with having ‘toughed out’ a demanding scientific education yet it is ego that can blind even the most competent. As we get older the exposure to the medical profession increases. It has become easy to see the need for a “second opinion” because doctors range from ‘how did that bozo get a degree’ to the truly brilliant. That range of intelligence (and ego) certainly exists in ‘Climate Scientists.

    Willis’s work is not only insightful but he has the ability to clearly communicate in a way that gets the attention of the non-scientist which arms them with concise ‘talking points’ to counter the prevailing propaganda. This latter point is the true brilliance of Willis because climate debate has moved into the political arena and that is where the ultimate decisions will be made.
    l problems. An early learning is that intelligence is where you find it and sometimes it comes from unlikely sources.

  305. RE: Ken’s comments at 7:02 — Ken, Your comments give a picture of your character. Willis’ complaint really hinges on the utter disregard, nay disrespect, that Dr. Roy displayed in his post. And you pile on, waving your pompoms and cheering wildly, showing your support for the arrogant, ego driven put down that the post really was. I respect smart people. I loath smart people who want to tell me how smart they are and then try to pat me on the head as if I were ten years old. Your ‘I don’t pay attention to what it is, I just want to know who it is’ attitude is reminiscent of every status quo defending, snarky, put down artist that has ever inhabited academe. They aren’t teachers and they don’t care if the students learn. They just want to be enthroned with the aura of settled science glowing from their closed minds as they lord it over those beneath their recognition and beneath their self appointed station. The presumption to know without asking what another has read or understands is the height of hypocrisy. Pretending to be all knowing while knowing nothing at all about another individual (read citizen) is too lay your own ignorance bare. Why the arrogance? Why the snide? Why the supercilious? Why not join the rest of the mortals who slog through this life? We’d welcome your company once you stop sneering.

    pbh

  306. Well I have read Spencer’s Take Two and I don’t see that it has added anything new unless you count the CEPEX reference. Still no chapter and verse. Roy complains about doing other peoples’ homework (in comments) but I don’t see where this is done. There is a lot of bluster but little revelation.

  307. “‘It’s called mass continuity…you can’t have rising air in one region without sinking air elsewhere to complete the circulation. “Nature abhors a vacuum”.

    Not true. For example, if thunderstorms alone are not sufficient to stop an area-wide temperature rise, a new emergent phenomenon arises. The thunderstorms will self-assemble into “squall lines”. These are long lines of massed thunderstorms, with long canyons of rising air between them. In part this happens because it allows for a more dense packing of thunderstorms, due to increased circulation efficiency. So your claim above, that an increase of clouds in one area means a decrease in another area, is strongly falsified by the emergence of squall lines.”

    The rule that for every place you have rising air someplace else you have falling air is hardly falsified by the existence of squall lines Willis. In fact the squalls being in a line provides evidence of what Roy states to be true. Thunderstorms would expand chaotically if there were no such rule. I suspect that when air starts rising everywhere then we will have a real problem.

    Seriously though, I don’t see Roy taking swipes at your underlying hypothesis other than noting that the CEPEX experiment arose out of the Ramanathan and Collins paper and that the issue is more complex and has been on the climate radar for a considerable period of time.

    But that appears to be the case with every hypothesis so far advanced purporting to have answers about our climate system so you should not take that personally either. Once we get past that then we can build climate models that actually predicts stuff.

    In the meantime its probably more useful to note that a lot of alternatives have been overllooked in the rush to certainty so your article is in fact useful and I would take Roy’s comments in a positive way as it would become more useful to include as much on the topic as possible. I think Roy was understanding about your lack of education (studying history so as to not relive it) and your lack of access to existing science on the topic. . . .both major issues and obstacles for me also.

  308. OssQss says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:59 am

    Justin case it was not posted yet in the 300+ above.

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/willisgate-take-2/

    The part I loved in Dr. Roy’s latest rant is this one:

    Now, both Anthony and Steve have formal technical backgrounds, which I don’t believe is necessary… a person can be self-taught, which is what Willis is. And that’s fine.

    But in Willis’ case, as far as I can remember, he has not revealed anything that we did not already know.

    Gosh … I’ve never published one single thing that Dr. Roy and professional climate scientists didn’t already know?

    Really? Not anything?

    My entire corpus of work, including the parts that were published by Nature magazine and other scientific journals, was completely and entirely derivative and already known to Dr. Roy? That’s his claim, that I’ve never done any original work at all?

    I give up. When a man backs himself into a corner with fingers-in-the-ears stuff like that, it means he’s lost the plot and is desperately inventing things.

    I do note that other than repeating his ridiculous claim that R&C1991 is the same as the ideas I’ve advanced about emergent phenomena regulating the temperature, Dr. Roy has not pointed out one single example of what he is accusing me of. He has not pointed to one of the ideas I’ve put forwards and shown where it was already published and known.

    In short, he’s just slinging more mud at the wall and hoping that some sticks.

    I’ve invited him, over and over, to specify what work I’ve done that I thought was new that actually wasn’t new.

    Not to wave his hand and just repeat his puerile accusations, but to actually link to my claim(s) and show how they were anticipated in the literature.

    He. Has. Not. Provided. One. Single. Example.

    Not one.

    When he gets around to doing that (if he ever does) I’m more than happy to discuss whatever his ideas might be.

    But I can’t discuss vague accusations with no specifics … and that’s all that he’s provided to date.

    w.

  309. In Roy Spencer’s rebuttal (posted this morning ) he flatly claims that “…you will find Willis talking about the Thermostat Hypothesis as being ‘his’ theory. For scientists, this would be a major faux pas.”

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/willisgate-take-2/#comments

    Yet, in Feb 2012, Willis said this:

    …”Let me be clear that I am by no means the originator of the claim that there is a thermostat regulating the maximum ocean temperature. See among many others the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment. I am merely looking at the Argo data with this thermostat in mind.”

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/02/12/argo-and-the-ocean-temperature-maximum/

    I would suggest that Roy is not completely familiar with what Willis has been doing.

  310. The most regrettable thing about this whole affair is the publicizing of fights among skeptics. While everyone may have different views about exactly how much or how little man’s activities or CO2 affect climate, I think there is general agreement that the effect is nugatory, and it does not serve our “cause” (to borrow the alarmists’ term) to disagree in this manner. It gives the AGW crowd a stick to beat skeptics with, and it violates the rules of civility (amongst ourselves, as skeptics – no holds barred with respect to the alarmists, of course) that is one of the things that distinguishes our informed discourse from the claptrap emanating from the AGW crowd.

    I would respectfully point out to Dr. Spencer two things: first of all, ordinary laymen can easily see the irrationality of the AGW position if they aren’t themselves blinded by ideology. It is so obvious that it just doesn’t add up. And if you’ve lived long enough (as I think I have, at age 66) you can see simply from your life experience that the AGW meme makes no sense. Second, you don’t have to have a Ph.D. in atmospheric physics to understand the basics of things like a greenhouse effect. What I am saying is that a great deal of citizen science is possible with respect to this issue that does not require advanced degrees in the field, but merely common sense (something altogether lacking in too many academics).

    As a history Ph.D., I have read enough of the historical record to see that it provides compelling evidence of past climate change that does not fit the AGW meme. This evidence alone is sufficient to debunk the AGW hypothesis, even without the hard science. I’ve also researched extensively into radical and revolutionary ideologies, which gives me some perspective on how the AGW crowd thinks (and which, incidentally, shows an amazingly close parallel between the tactics of Hitler in Germany in 1933 and our own der Fuehrer today – and of th4e AGW crowd in their efforts to suppress contrary evidence).

    Let’s not forget, also, the citizen science that has led to crucial discoveries. The name Milton Humason comes to mind – a high school dropout who revolutionized stellar observation techniques, as an amateur.

    Finally, dissing “citizen science” is really only a form of the ad hominem fallacy. One could be a gorilla, and if the gorilla finds the right answer to a scientific question, that answer is still right despite the gorilla’s lack of credentials. (A bit hyperbolic, maybe, but I think it makes the point.) Even if a congenital liar like der Fuehrer says 2+2 = 4, it’s still true.

  311. In his latest tirade against me, Dr. Roy says:

    In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins advanced in Nature their theory of surface temperature regulation by deep moist convection in the tropics. This became known as the “Thermostat Hypothesis”, which led to a field experiment (CEPEX, 1993). Yet, on WUWT, you will find Willis talking about the Thermostat Hypothesis as being ‘his’ theory. For scientists, this would be a major faux pas.

    Dr. Roy, what part of “cirrus clouds” are you not understanding? They are the central part of the R&C hypothesis. Here’s the purpose of the CEPEX experiment (emphasis mine)

    Why do maximum SSTs in the tropical oceans remain within a few degrees of the 300 K threshold SST for deep convection?
    What are the restoring forces that limit SST and deep convection to observed tropical Pacific values?

    It has been argued that cooling by evaporation from the ocean surface provides such a mechanism.

    However, observations from space and from the atmospheric boundary layer indicate that this process is not sufficient. Rather, it may be the very high and cold cirrus clouds, streaming from tropical thunderstorms, stretching over large areas of the Pacific, and reflecting the incoming solar radiation that, in fact, act as a thermostat (see Figure 1).

    The purpose of the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment (CEPEX) is to investigate this mechanism. The overall scientific goal of CEPEX is to establish the respective roles of cirrus radiative effects and surface evaporation in limiting maximum surface temperature in the equatorial Pacific.

    So the CEPEX experiment was to test the R&C1991 hypothesis, which was that very high and cold cirrus clouds act as a thermostat.

    Dr. Roy, if you can’t see the difference between that hypothesis about high cirrus clouds putting a lid on SSTs in the Pacific Warm Pool, and my hypothesis that thunderstorms and other emergent phenomena regulate worldwide temperatures … well, I don’t know what to say.

    w.

  312. Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back …
    ___________________________
    In contrast, I always read WIllis’ posts. I like to keep tabs on the fellow and this is a good way to find out if he’s eaten his Wheaties. I see he’s also had banana pancakes this morning…

  313. Willis, please do not get discouraged in your work due to hateful remarks from Dr Spencer. I can see that you may well have pissed off many a scientist for your insightful work.(jealousy is the best word for it imo)

    I truly think you have been one of the brightest lights in the climate analysis. I hope I can see more of your creative and original thoughts posted here in the future.

  314. Why should not Willis have spoken about this quietly and privately, whatever the meritsof his complaint?
    Dr. Spencer is a friend of honest ethical science, a true skeptic, someone I have had the great pleasure of meeting with in person, and incredibly accomplished. To the extent that skeptics are winning in the public square it is because people Dr. Spencer have held their ground. As brilliant as Willis is, and as important as citizen scientists and journlaists have been in exposing the (many) problems with the climate consensus, this article is too much and not constructive.

  315. richardscourtney: Then an air conditioner (ac) unit is switched on.

    The feedback mechanisms in Willis’ thermostat model do not turn on and turn off. The clouds, for example, vary continuously from relatively small coverage to relatively large coverage, and they reflect, correspondingly, less or more incoming radiation. Thus they are feedbacks in the Sun-Earth climate system. The thunderstorms are spiral waves like the spiral waves that arise in many observed and simulated nigh dimensional non-linear dissipative systems, like the rotational eddies in the sea currents and like dust-devils in deserts. They convey energy from the surface and lower troposphere to the upper troposphere: if in addition they result in increased net cloud cover, they are feedbacks.

    “Emergent phenomena” arise from processes in the system studied that had not previously been observed, but they are within the system. That’s why they are called “emergent”. A mushroom, to pick another example, emerges from a complex fungal network, but it is within the system; it just was not at first known to be related, so mushrooms were though to be independent entities.

  316. Those who are supporting Spencer in this debate are overlooking the elephant in the room. You can see that elephant in a quotation from Spencer that Willis provides above:

    “So, examining how clouds and temperatures vary together locally (as Willis has done) really doesn’t tell you anything about feedbacks. Feedbacks only make sense over entire atmospheric circulation systems, which are ill-defined (except in the global average).”

    Is it not plain as the nose on your face that Spencer is protecting his paradigm. Spencer’s claim is not about Willis’ work or Ramanathan’s work or a comparison of the two. Rather, Spencer is dismissing (‘dismissing’ is the right word) all work that creates physical, testable hypotheses about how temperatures and clouds vary together locally. Empirical science that creates physical hypotheses about local phenomena does not belong to Spencer’s paradigm. What is Spencer’s paradigm?

    Read the second sentence in the quotation. According to Spencer, cloud feedback cannot be studied locally but must be studied over entire atmospheric circulation systems defined in global averages. What does that mean? It means that Spencer’s vision of the future of studies on feedbacks consists of time-series analysis on global averages; that is, it means that the status quo in mainstream climate science will always be the status quo.

    Time-series analysis and computer models are wonderful analytical tools. They are used extensively in business. However, neither of them (nor both of them together) can substitute for genuine scientific theory. Neither provide predictions; that is, neither provides predictions that meet the standards for scientific predictions.

    Spencer should stop playing games and explain why he is unwilling to countenance a theory of cloud feedback that does not depend on global averages that are products of time-series analysis or computer models.

    If the study of cloud feedback must use time-series analysis or computer models alone then a pause of 30 or 300 years would not count as evidence against such a study. Neither method specifies some relationship to the data, unlike scientific theory, and some statistical analysis or computer model can be found that is consistent with whatever data.

  317. lurker, passing through laughing says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:26 am
    ~
    ____________
    Science isn’t performed in secret and applied by decree. Back rooms are for politics. This forum is for science.

  318. I’m going to put this one in the “When the Elephants Dance, get off the dance floor” category.

  319. RC Saumarez: The thing that makes these citizen scientists proper scientists is that they publish their results in mainstream journals, expose themselves to independent criticism and defend there theses with logic.

    I occasionally wish that Willis Eschenbach would write up his work for publication and publish it. However, he does good work, and he chooses to publish very little of it. He does expose his work to independent criticism, and he defends his theses with evidence and with logic.

    The problem here is that Dr. Spencer posted a diatribe that was wrong on its two main counts.

    Willis’ proposals fit well within the mathematical analyses and empirical studies of other high-dimensional non-linear dissipative systems. Right or wrong with respect to the actual climate, his writings make perfect sense in light of other such systems. I dislike some of his language (“thermostat”, “emergent phenomena”), but the ideas of self-organizing systems include processes such as he has hypothesized and investigated. For an example of mathematical analysis and empirical study of other spiral waves, namely ocean eddies, read “Nonlinear Physical Oceanography”, by Henk Dijkstra, pp 245-254, where he includes discussion of the Gulf Stream.

  320. richardscourtney says:

    “In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins advanced in Nature their theory of surface temperature regulation by deep moist convection in the tropics. This became known as the “Thermostat Hypothesis”, which led to a field experiment (CEPEX, 1993). Yet, on WUWT, you will find Willis talking about the Thermostat Hypothesis as being ‘his’ theory. For scientists, this would be a major faux pas.”

    I fail to understand how that can be read as anything other than an accusation of plagiarism.

    That is certainly your failing.

    There is no accusation of plagiarism in that statement. It is instead a very kind way of pointing out to Willis that much of what is attributed to him as original is in fact his own exploration of territory that has been well mapped by previous travelers of whom Willis is woefully ignorant. That is the plain reading of the situation, and Dr Spencer has confirmed explicitly that was his intent.

  321. If a PhD is supposed to indicate a certain level of basic competence in a subject, then somehow the system failed in the case of Mann. But then maybe the statistical incompetence he exhibited in perpetrating the Hockey Stick was intentional, not out of ignorance of the discipline. For whatever reason, Mann failed & McIntyre, et al corrected him after publication. The pal review process also failed in allowing the HS travesty to see the light of day in the first place.

    IMO competence can be tested, or at least should be, through a rigorous yet fair review process of papers submitted for publication, both from amateurs & professionals. The system worked in the case over a century ago of a Swiss patent clerk’s submission of a physics paper to a journal. In this century, the process has become corrupted by government & academic scientists who support a dubious at best orthodoxy.

  322. Willis, most of your theories are quite original & interesting, being sincere attempt to discover the way nature work by observation & reasonable logic.

    Me think this is similar to a “Black Swan” or “Egg of Columbus” effect…

  323. Willis, would you be willing to discuss /debate this with Dr. Spencer on WUWT TV?

    I have proposed the same to Dr. Spencer also.

    It would be an opportunity to clear the air and clarify that of which can be far too easily misinterpreted in text.

    All being subject to project support from Anthony in the end.

    I think it would be much healthier than what we have at hand.

    A cordial end to any disagreement is one with less chance of resentment.

    Just my take folks!

  324. I’m impressed that according to Dr. Spencer it is a well worn path that Willis is following. If this is such an old chestnut, why is it nowhere to be found in climate models or in the voluminous waste of paper that 5 iterations of the same theme by IPCC’s 5000 climate scientists? Something missing from Spencer’s prose is how he stands on the thermostat hypothesis? If he disagreed with the idea, no matter who he thinks came up with it, why didn’t he say so. No Spencer has been blown away with this simple, compelling idea or he would have cheerfully shown us how it was all wrong. I’m not a climate scientist (I am a geologist who did study paleoclimate almost 60 years ago and an engineer) but surely climate science starts with the idea that we have an unbroken chain of life extending back a billion years that in itself is near invincible proof that the climate system has negative feedbacks of enough effect to keep the planet within ~8C of variation or so throughout most of its history. There has to be a thermostat!!

  325. Roger Sowell says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:25 am
    @ Tucker on Oct 10, 2013 at 4:19 am,

    Exactly right, well-said.

    Guys, how is this anything but a disguised appeal to authority? You basically said “Spencer is a professional scientist, therefore he understands things better than nonprofessional scientists.” Besides from being logically inept, Spencer made specific criticisms—some of which could be fairly characterized as accusations—both personal (Willis allegedly did not know about R&C ’91) and scientific in nature. Given that a few of them appear to be false, instead of merely citing to Spencer’s status, or noting that Willis has been wrong on occasion about other subjects, can you respond to Willis’ rebuttal on this subject with examples of why he is wrong? This is not a rhetorical question. My specialty lays somewhat far afield from climate science, so I use sites like this one, including the many invaluable comments left by readers, to better inform myself. Merely telling us that Willis is wrong and Spencer is right because Real Scientist is logically laughable and does a disservice to the community. Of course, you are under no obligation to explain the facts of life to me or others, especially as you note that you are not an expert, but I don’t think asking for some sort of minimal intellectual exertion in composing a critical comment is all that unreasonable. Willis might very well be wrong, as he notes, but I’d like to know why.

  326. I put this comment together a few hours age and the thread is moving quite rapidly. I’m posting now and follow up on previous comments.

    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

    Ken says:
    October 9, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Ken says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:02 am

    =========================

    Ken,

    You seem to have much interest in this issue between Willis and Roy. Do you simply surf the net looking to try to be the arbitrating judge or do you have a vested interest here?

    You wrote : “…. If one wants to get in the game they need to get on the right playing field & play by the rules….” —- You are clearly an advocate of the claim to “academic authority” by your own words in your first post on this thread. I responded in a comment.

    You wrote : “It remains incumbent on the outsider to work with the established system.” — Same response as above.

    You wrote : “Why did WUWT even permit this essay?” — Your sandbox?

    You wrote : “It’s time to stop whining & grow up.“ — You wrote this. Can you digest it?

    You seem like a smart kid (sophomore perhaps), so you get a “B” for trying. Now go back and come up with something worthwhile. Meantime, I’m really too busy to help you more as much as I’d like to.

    P.S. With regards to the fanboy snipes on this thread, I’m just not one of yours.

    P.S.S. Ken I welcome your contribution to this thread (unlike your questioning Anthony for allowing Willis’ reply). As you mature you will understand.

    P.S.S. Are you walking the plank in your academic studies? Sucking-up is no longer cool.

    —————-

    Willis, you are receiving much flack so you must be over the target. Some clearly don’t want YOU there. Full speed ahead, there is an army of ‘ones’ supporting you all the way. Your mission, should you choose to continue, may well deliver the final blow to the sinking ship CAGW. Why the hell did I write “should you choose to continue”, you will not back off from the two fingered tea sipping wannabes, I retract that statement. Carry on.

  327. Willis Eschenbach……
    A fellow climate change skeptic who has an Ego bigger than Michael Mann.
    For some reason..Watts grants him special status. Friendship? Financial support? Really interested in his “Heroic Life Story?”
    The greatest Skeptic site..A site that explains the questions of settled science and leads the scientific curious to examine the science. .. Is not skeptical of Willis. It posts his travel monologue.
    It’s so stupid.
    Bless you Spencer. It’s hard enough to be a honest broker .

  328. Dear Willis,
    I think it is great what you are doing.
    Even in his response Roy takes a broad sweep without necessarily responding in detail. It is unfortunate but I think his rep suffers as a result.
    Cheers
    Ben

  329. This argument is silly – let’s please stop it. Willis and Dr. Spencer, bury your respective hatchets and get together and dispassionately discuss the issues you talk about and disagree over.

  330. Willis Eschenbach says: October 10, 2013 at 9:26 am
    I now dub thee MR. FOIA (as an appreciative smile spreads across my face)!!! A presidential medal of freedom would be in order.

    As to your antagonists: “illigitimi non carborundum est”.

  331. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 10, 2013 at 9:37 am
    Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back …

    Since you read this one, you’ve started out your rant with an obvious lie … sorry, didn’t read any further.

    w.

    Willis,

    You act like a child with posts like this. And for the record, I didn’t read your rant, I went straight to comments. So again, you are letting your emotions run ahead of your intellect. I’ve learned to ignore what I consider to be blog posts that are meant mainly to make the author more important. That’s what this whole charade is all about. To make you feel loved after someone of greater importance gave you a dose of reality. You simply can’t accept that your work has less impact than you had hoped. Again, I commend your efforts, but they miss the mark more often than not. This you should know because I said it previously in your other blogs that had too many errors in it. No need to respond. You’ve already shown how mean-spirited you can be.

  332. JJ:

    re your post addressed to me at October 10, 2013 at 10:52 am.

    NO, it is NOT my “failing”: it is your obfuscation. The accusation by Roy Spencer can only be understood as plagiarism which is either deliberate or inadvertent. But the R&C Effect and the proposed Eschenbach Effect are very different so the accusation cannot have any foundation.

    I refer you to my conversation with Roy Spencer on his blog. He could only arm-wave in response to my repeated requests for citations which would show he was refuting a different point – which Willis actually claims – from the work of R&C. This link goes to the start of that conversation

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2013/10/willisgate-take-2/#comment-89244

    I also I refer you to Willis Eschenbach’s post on the same quotation in this thread at October 10, 2013 at 10:20 am.
    This link jumps to it.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1443291

    Richard

  333. You’re both acting like children. Like I said, cut the crap and sit down and talk it over. Neither of you has anything to lose by doing that.

  334. Alen,
    No back rooms needed. Just some manners and more reasonably sized egos.
    Willis is conflating this completely out of proportion and seems to act as if he is seeking to inflate his own self importantce. I like his writing and hiw out-of-the-box thinking. I don’t care for the ego driven high maintenance behavior from anyone.

  335. @ Blue Sky – completely agree! I have stopped reading WUWT blog after Willis Eschenbach posted a series of novels that were unrelated to the topic of the blog. At my remark questioning this literature exercise Mr. Watts commented that it is what it is and if I don’t like it I can leave the blog. And that’s what I did. Returned back after the IPCC Report just to check what’s up and discovered (not a surprise!) that quite a few people are fed up with WE “science”… It took though a “heavy weight” to finally point out obvious – low quality science. Nothing yet in regard to the “stories”…
    Blue Sky, you ask what is the reason for WE special status at WUWT. It is interesting question. I am afraid that old mafia – Mann, Hansen, Schmidt, and Co – is on the way out and new mafia in on the way in; hence, the special status, literature excursions, and capitalizing words in the discussions. I hope I’m wrong.

    @ WE – You write: My entire corpus of work, including the parts that were published by Nature magazine and other scientific journals, was completely and entirely derivative and already known to Dr. Roy? That’s his claim, that I’ve never done any original work at all?

    This article in Nature you wrote is just data analysis and no any concept is proposed. Am I wrong? I also thought Nature is a journal, is it a magazine?

  336. Chad,

    The most regrettable thing about this whole affair is the publicizing of fights among skeptics. While everyone may have different views about exactly how much or how little man’s activities or CO2 affect climate, I think there is general agreement that the effect is nugatory, and it does not serve our “cause” (to borrow the alarmists’ term) to disagree in this manner.

    Yeah, in one sense. In another it’s reassuring. I don’t want skeptics to start worrying about the “cause”; look what it did to the Team. So long as we squabble publicly, it’s easier to believe that when we don’t squabble it’s not a show for company.

  337. I posted on Dr. Spencer’s site this reply to a telling comment by this blog’s esteemed owner:

    It is certainly easier for academics to find relevant papers, & to obtain from recent printed journals those paywalled on the Net. Yet it’s not impossible, since public universities do let taxpayers use their facilities.

    For older papers, Google Scholar presents an increasingly useful resource. Here for instance is the result of a search for the work of Joanne Simpson & citations of her contributions, to take but one early researcher in the field addressed by Mr. Eschenbach.

    http://scholar.google.com/scholar?hl=en&q=Joanne+Simpson&btnG=&as_sdt=1%2C38&as_sdtp=

    Given the time constraints on citizen scientists, however, maybe the convention of citing in a paper relevant prior work should not apply. I’m also sympathetic to the argument that even if the Eschenbach Effect be not original, then presenting it on a popular blog still has educational value & serves as a basis for discussion & possible elaboration, amendment, confirmation or falsification.

    In the “Origin”, citizen scientist Darwin listed all the forebearers he could find for his hypotheses (& added to them as more emerged), but then he was a gentleman of leisure, if however a busy father.

    Dr. Spence, maybe a photo of Forrest Mims or another respected amateur scientist to contrast with Dr. Hansen might have served better than Homer Simpson in a sharp fedora. Just sayin’…

    For your blog & your own citizen scientific efforts, Mr. AW, thanks.

  338. Haven’t read all the comments yet but enjoying all the public debate. As many above have mentioned, this is an excellent forum for the open discussion of scientific ideas and the fact that it is not controlled by the establishment must really get up their collective noses.

    I think Willis has the right to defend himself and – as to the hypothesis – I read it here first as well. I read it at the time and have thought about it since. The response he has produced above explains it further for me actually. I think the hypothesis makes a lot of sense, has a lot of evidence supporting it and fits with the traditional knowledge idea that ‘nature finds a way to balance things out’. Certainly fits with the geological record, in a broader sense, i.e. the planet can look after itself (see George Carlin).

    I’ve read Dr. Spencer’s posts on this website also, and thank him for his contributions and for Anthony for making all this possible. But when it comes to the self-regulating through emergent phenomena climate hypothesis, Willis is…. the gov’nor.

  339. @milodonharlani
    No, the system didn’t fail in case of M Mann. His PhD certifies his high level of competence in a subject. He used his competence to rig the data and make it look like he discovered something of super urgent importance. Peer review, although in general works well, failed. However, eventually, everything is being corrected – clever, competent, PhD, manipulator is exposed.

  340. Walt The Physicist says:
    October 10, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    IMO a high level of competence in Mann’s subject should include a basic knowledge of statistical analysis. I tend to agree with you that he knew what he was doing in violating elementary statistical practice, just as he clearly knew he was trickily hiding the decline behind a mass of spaghetti in creating his bogus graph. However it’s also possible IMO that Mann really is that statistically incompetent.

    In any case, we’re in agreement that peer review failed & Climategate shows why, if ever there were any doubt.

    In response to your prior comment, I’m glad you returned to this blog. I was surprised when Willis attacked my mention of NASA scientists’ speculation about the remote possibility of strange life on Titan as unscientific, even though there were actual physical observations supporting the hypothesis. I found it ironic that he asserted that this is a science blog, with no place for such speculation, yet published his life story here. However, IMO the blog belongs to its owner & he is free to permit whatever material he wants. I find value in the blog & in Willis’ own hypotheses, so have remained a fairly regular reader & commenter.

  341. @Mark Bofill -

    I agree that disagreement is healthy – it’s the essence of skepticism and science. What I am objecting to is the manner in which it shows itself here, in this tiff between Willis and Dr. Spencer. I think that is unhealthy and gives alarmists grist for their mill – it lets them say, “See, they’re all a bunch of children who can’t have an orderly discussion on controversial issues.” Whereas, if we go about our disagreements in a civil and professionally courteous manner, without name calling, that is a strength we can use to compare ourselves favorably with the irrationality and chaotic mental processes (I wouldn’t say “thinking”) of the alarmists.

    Hope this clarifies matters.

  342. I am in support of Willis. Perhaps some of his explanations and data analysis may have been considered and presented before. However, even if they have been, they have NOT been circulated to a wide audience. Anything that doesn’t fit with the CAGW narrative is generally buried, never to see the light of day. So, for the vast majority of us, what Willis does is new and very important to the “citizen scientist” community.

  343. Richard,

    The accusation by Roy Spencer can only be understood as plagiarism which is either deliberate or inadvertent.

    There is no accusation of plagiarism by Roy Spencer. There is a statement that is easily understood to be an admonition for Willis to learn more about the field that he is publically commenting on, to include subjects that have been thoroughly investigated long before they captured his attention.

    I refer you to my conversation with Roy Spencer on his blog.

    You mean the one where he says to you:

    “It is you who suggested plagarism…I suggested he probably just thought it up on his own as an original thinker. So don’t put words in my mouth.”

    That’s the conversation you’re talking about?

    There is no accusation of plagiarism. Nor is there any plagiarism. There could not be. One cannot be said to have plagiarized that which he has not read.

  344. @Mark Bofill again -
    I would add further that while it certainly isn’t a “cause” in the sense that it is for the alarmists, I do believe we all have a common objective of putting a stop to the AGW nonsense.

  345. JJ:

    You conclude your nonsense to me at October 10, 2013 at 1:09 pm by repeating your daft assertion

    There is no accusation of plagiarism. Nor is there any plagiarism. There could not be. One cannot be said to have plagiarized that which he has not read.

    Willis had read R&C 1991. I refuted that stupid allegation when you first made it and Willis refuted it at October 10, 2013 at 8:53 am. This link jumps to that

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1443165

    Your comments are progressing from bizarre to farcical.

    Richard

  346. Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm

    ===================

    Oh Tucker, Tucker, Tucker. You’re such a childish little tucker. You act like a child with posts like this.

    I initially thought that perhaps ken, jj, rs and apparently you were sophomore college. Perhaps I may have been wrong. High school children most likely.

  347. Willis is so over reaching and always thinks he is correct and the rest of us are wrong.
    Quick to be critical with those he does not agree with , but very reluctant to accept those that may be critical of him.

    Look at the response today, ridiculous. Dr. Spencer was right to point out what he has pointed out.

    Willis,and his volcanic study is another study that needs to be taken to task.

    I HOPE DR .SPENCER WILL STRIKE AGAIN.

  348. Poptech,
    Here are a few facts.

    1) WUWT is a blog and not a scientific journal.
    2) Willis can write almost whatever he likes on this blog.
    3) His articles / theories / hypothesis are hardly ever published in scientific journals.
    4) His articles / theories / hypothesis here will not be considered by government policy makers.
    5) His articles / theories / hypothesis here will not mean we get taxed more or less.

    So I have to ask you, why the excitement? Why is there so much attention being paid to this amateur ‘climate scientist’? This is simply baffling for me. Think hard about what I have just pointed out.

  349. Poptech,
    You are using the same argument that many Warmists make: trust those climate scientists with the credentials. If you don’t have the credentials then shut up. Sorry Poptech but I for one will not shut up. These people want to make my energy more expensive. They want to restructure our energy infrastructure. As an amateur I have found many examples of laughable science (I’m sure you seen a few) and failed expert predictions. I WILL NOT REMAIN SILENT. If people don’t like what amateurs say then don’t come here!!!! No one forces anyone to click WUWT and read it. Sheeesh!

  350. Salvatore Del Prete says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    …………
    I HOPE DR .SPENCER WILL STRIKE AGAIN.

    Why don’t you strike? Here is your chance, expose him here now.

  351. Steve Garcia says:
    October 10, 2013 at 12:32 am

    . . . Take away Climategate and we are back in 2007. . .

    Not quite. The temperature standstill got out because of blogs kept beating on about it until newspapers like the Daily Mail picked it up allowing the word to reach many more people. (Daily Mail is among the top 3 most read online newspapers on the Net). Other media outlets picked up on it. As a result the IPCC’s press conference was inundated with questions about the standstill which threw them off balance. Bringing down the Climate Change Zombie is a long and difficult process but the blogs are chipping away, bit by bit.

    Mail Online to expand as it hits top spot
    March 10, 2013 1:17 pm

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/8cc6e348-84f9-11e2-891d-00144feabdc0.html

  352. It’s like this so often. Tucker childishly rants against Willis, then after Willis points out his childish behavior, Tucker accuses Willis of being childish. It’s the… I’m rubber, you’re glue defense.

    Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 12:01 pm
    You act like a child with posts like this.

  353. Jimbo says:
    October 10, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    New media beyond the control of the MSM priesthood have affected many areas of public policy, not least fighting CACA.

    I wonder if the Met Office would have ‘fessed up about the 17-year plateau without a better informed public.

  354. Willis, with folks such as “pop tech” and “Salvatore Del Prete” taking the side against you, how can you lose???

  355. richardscourtney says:

    Willis had read R&C 1991. I refuted that stupid allegation when you first made it and Willis refuted it …”

    No, he did not.

    In addition, Willis’ comments regarding his understanding of RC91 did not stray from the contents of the three sentence abstract.

    You have a good head on your shoulders, Richard. Use it.

  356. I’m trying to recall how many thermally-generated thunderstorms have big anvils of cirrus clouds at the top.

    To my recollection, I can’t think of many at all.

    Here are a few examples of what I see:

    Cloud 1

    Cloud 2

    An exception might be this:

    Cloud 3

    Still, I don’t normally see cirrus clouds at the top of thunderstorms but then, I don’t live in the tropics—I live in Idaho.

    Since Willis’ past write-up dealt with thunderstorms in the tropics, I researched “thunderstorms” thunderstorms in the tropics and found such thunderstorms occasionally produce their anvils of cirrus clouds. And these might be stretched downwind as much as several kilometers.

    So somehow the occasional “shade bonnet” of cirrus clouds from a thunderstorm has as much impact as the more considerable action within the thunderstorm itself in redistributing heat, while formation of a cirrus cloud anvil certainly isn’t a given?

    It sounds like someone’s stretching these flimsy clouds to the breaking point.

    Note—it isn’t cirrus clouds that have given the name “thunderstorm” to the type of clouds Willis is talking about. And since I’m sure Willis has seen more tropical thunderstorms than any of us here, I’m wondering what Dr. Spencer might be looking at.

  357. RockyRoad says:
    October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’m trying to recall how many thermally-generated thunderstorms have big anvils of cirrus clouds at the top.

    To my recollection, I can’t think of many at all.
    _____________________________________
    Come on out to Oklahoma next spring- anvil tops aplenty.

    • RockyRoad says:

      > I’m trying to recall how many thermally-generated thunderstorms have big anvils of cirrus clouds at the top.
      >
      > To my recollection, I can’t think of many at all.

      Am I the only one to have noticed that a couple of those can be seen right at the top of this page?

  358. Chad Wozniack: ‘…it violates the rules of civility (amongst ourselves, as skeptics – no holds barred with respect to the alarmists, of course)…’

    Which is a part of the problem. If your enemies are fair game, eventually the incivility will be turned on your friends when they oppose you.

    In a movement headed by a charismatic personality, the greatest potential threat is the emergence of a Wondrous Personage, characterised by a driven ego, a highly polemical style and a tendency to view opposition as treason.

    These attributes wouldn’t matter much if the Wondrous Personage remained a lone gunslinger. Problems develop when the Wondrous Personage generates not only a loyal and like-minded following, but also an opposition, and thus are born factionalism and polarisation.

    The test of leadership is the resolution of this issue. Ultimately, there can be only one gunslinger in town.

  359. I have read all the comments to this point and I have to say that Willis was right to leap to defend himself, and that he did a good job of it. I am amazed that Dr. Roy Spencer stooped to such low-life, undocumented accuzations. I have lost much respect for that man.

  360. In the long run, The work in question exists in black and white regardless of unsubstantiated opinion or data to the contrary. Perhaps Dr Spencer had a bad day, his words were personal and hurtful but really inconsequential without supporting information.

    Now he did cite another work but the relevancy has been challenged. Maybe he confused it with a talk he attended or a paper he reviewed but if true, since I’m sure Dr Spencer is not in the habit of giving spurious links, it suggests he simply did not understand what Willis Eschenbach was claiming.

    Again, its moot, the blog post stands on its own, anyone can bring data to refute it if it exists,

  361. Richard,

    I refuse to engage in your childish ‘Yes he did, No he didn’t’ argument.

    Then you acknowledge that he did not claim to have read more than the abstract of RC91, and you will not make further unsupported assertions to the contrary. Good. That is progress.

    I again refer you to Willis explicit rebuttal of your assertion …

    I see your rebuttal, and I raise you its content … which does not stray from what is presented in the three-sentence abstract of RC91.

    Use your head, Richard.

  362. RockyRoad says:
    October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’m your neighbor in NE Oregon, who does see anvil-shaped thunderheads quite often rising up against the Blue Mountains, but not with the regularity of the tropics.

    Here’s a paper on water vapor transport by continental as opposed to marine tropical thunderstorms:

    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/252117256_The_connection_between_tropical_thunderstorms_upper_tropospheric_water_vapor_and_cirrus_clouds

    Its consideration of lightning puts me in mind of Florida. The subtropics may contribute a lot to water & heat transport, too. In co-writing a chapter in the history book “NASA’s Contributions to Aeronautics”, I was struck by the remarkable height achieved by some energetic tropical storms.

  363. I’ve found this exchange:

    He should write up his thoughts into a proper scientific paper with the mathematics, data and processing clearly defined.

    They are always there. I’ve never seen Willis not providing all the supporting material of whatever he publishes. I cannot say the same of some “respectable” scientists in “respectable” journals. What makes them more “proper”?

    Writing folksy articles, with incorrect maths, which he claims to be of ground breaking quality and refusing to acknowledge criticisms does not cut the mustard as respectable science.

    ———————————————————————————————
    OK, to the BOTH of you…have ANY of you actually taken a markedly technical paper and worked through it’s mathematics, equation by equation? That was one assignment, in my graduate Mechanical Heat Transfer/Conduction course. The professor gave everyone (all 8 of us) a choice of papers. I choose one on a “variational method” of solving transient heat conduction. It look clear enough. 7 pages long, about 25 equations and 5 or 6 graphs, starting data (initial conditions) transient response and steady state.

    In that era (I’m dated, I’ll admit) you used an “overhead projector” to do your discussion. I came in with 38 overheads. Each FILLED with equations, and derivations. The author of the paper was a MASTER at “normalization” (i.e., putting everything in 0 to 1 ranges, making for easy graphing of results.) He also was extreme clever at using the fact that log(n)(1.0000000X) = X (essentially) and
    likewise, when worked in radians, sin(.00000X) = X. Taking my full 45 minutes plus a bit, I PAINFULLY chewed through the paper, EXPANDING all the “simplifications” and showing whence the results. PROBLEM: Assignment was to APPLY IT TO A PROBLEM OF OUR OWN CREATION to complete the 3 week assignment. I did not do that. I didn’t come close. —– I was assigned an “A” by the professor (Thank you Dr. Lu!) He then gave a nice, impromptu speach about the necessary “compactness” of published papers, and that having 1 page be equivalent to 5 to 10 pages of derivation and expansion, was very common…depending on the level of the journal and the nature of the problem.

    Now that brings us to the current connundrum. WITH the ABILITY to EXPOSIT COMPLETELY all details going into a “work”….is there an ETHICAL AND MORAL IMPERATIVE TO DO SO? Particularily with public financed work?

    In many ways, I think so. So my comment to Willis is: Take advantage of hyperlinks, and provide (as you do “mostly”) all the threads from which you are making your tapestry.

    My comment to Dr. Spencer is: “Ditto that…” and remember that I PAID FOR YOUR DATA AND YOUR WORK. Sorry, no sympathy. You get private funding? You can keep private information.

    You get MY TAX DOLLARS… you live off a PUBLIC INSTITUTION… you have an OBLIGATION TO PROVIDE ALL THE DATA.

    If someone else uses YOUR data and extends your work, comes to different conclusions, finds flaws or even genius in your work….that’s the way it is. THE WORLD IS NOT A PERFECT PLACE.

  364. Fingers firmly in ears, eh Richard?

    Next time you set up to fling that link at me, click it first.

    Then read it.

  365. @Jimbo

    “These people want to make my energy more expensive. They want to restructure our energy infrastructure.”

    sums up your motivation. And your reasoning starts from there.

  366. Jimbo said @ October 10, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    So I have to ask you, why the excitement? Why is there so much attention being paid to this amateur ‘climate scientist’? This is simply baffling for me. Think hard about what I have just pointed out.

    Jimbo, the reason for all the excitement revolves around originality. Roy claims that Willis was claiming originality for the TS Hypothesis when Willis specifically stated that he did not know whether it was original or not. So far, nobody has come up with a money quote demonstrating that Willis’s TS Hypothesis is not original. So far, I have failed to find anything resembling it in the lit. This leads me to conclude that Willis’s TS Hypothesis is original.

    This causes excitement because despite having been published in several journals, Willis is not one of the anointed priests of scientism. I surmise that in thirty years’ time one will read of the Eschenbach Effect, rather than Herr Professor Doctor Doctor Schmidthead’s Hypothesis.

  367. In the big picture of climate study this is really a waste of time to get aLl worked up over. it is good we have Willis and Dr. Spencer who are both trying their best to help solve the climate puzzle. Agree or not, at least they are giving a sincere effort, even though I get frustrated at times with Willis.

  368. richardscourtney says:

    I keep providing you with this link because I have read it repeatedly.

    Excellent! Then you will have no trouble whatsoever quoting from it the part wherein Willis says “I have read R&C91″.

    And you should also find it quite easy to follow up with a quote from that linked text wherein Willis refers to something from R&C91 that is not present in the three-sentence abstract.

    Please do so, or kindly admit that I am correct about the content of that “rebuttal”.

  369. Willis, you’re doing a great job. Always an interesting read. (and Spencer really blew it here)

    Don’t let the bozos get you down.

  370. @ Eschenbach,

    Quoting your words (as you demand):

    “. . .thunderstorms, not their cirrus clouds but the actions of the thunderstorms themselves as inter alia natural air conditioners, are a core part of the temperature governing mechanism that regulates the temperature of the whole world.” Citation: above comment by Eschenbach at 9:55 am.

    This is certainly not original. This fundamental fact was taught to millions of school children, including me, in fourth grade science class, in 1963 in my case. It remains part of the fourth grade curriculum to this day. It has been taught as basic science in elementary schools far earlier than 1963.

    That, the claim of originality, is the core of Dr. Spencer’s complaint. The absence of this fundamental scientific fact in the published literature is not surprising. The literature typically contains new findings, or disputes older findings.

    The fact that thunderstorms cool the atmosphere is well-known, and has been well-known for thousands of years. Agrarian societies certainly knew this. Ancient mariners certainly knew this.

    Not new.

  371. As an admirer of both Dr. Spencer and Mr. Eschenbach, both as people who explain things to me on a level and in terms I understand, I regret their dispute. Further, I don’t understand their dispute.

    Apparently R&C was published in 1991. In 2008 Dr. Spencer published his most excellent book, Climate Confusion, and on pages 55-61 he describes “Heat Removed from the Earth’s Surface” in terms of evaporation, latent heat, ascending air currents, condensation, and high level radiation back to space. Is this what R&C described – I really don’t know or have access to their paper. If they instead talk about high level clouds reflecting more incoming sunlight, that’s indeed something quite different. In his book, Dr. Spencer does not reference R&C (in fact he has no references at all – so much for proper attribution – but possibly the whole book is “old hat”). So I’m lost.

    I, like many readers at this blog, am concerned with learning. I value Roy Spencer, Willis Eschenback, and so many others. I don’t care about what the perceived level of expertise on the part of my teachers is or is not. Goodness – am I really about to quote Noam Chomsky:

    “Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is concern for content. “

  372. Sisi says:
    October 10, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    @Jimbo

    “These people want to make my energy more expensive. They want to restructure our energy infrastructure.”

    sums up your motivation. And your reasoning starts from there.

    Where does your reasoning start? What is your motivation?

    I would pay more for energy and concede to having our energy infrastructure restructured if I thought they had a case. They don’t. Show me the case. 16 years of a surface temperature standstill? FAIL. Ice free Arctic in 2013? FAIL. 50 million climate refugees by 2010? FAIL. Cheap alternative energy? FAIL. Do I need to go on? Come back when you have something serious to add to this discussion.

  373. Well, I’ve read the arguments from both sides now, and what I see is the underlying contempt that academics have for self-taught people, and as a self-taught person, I find that contemptible. This “leave it to the experts” crap is what got us into this mess in the first place.

    It grieves me to say this, Dr Spencer is not, and never will be, a Feynman. He needs to lose this arrogant idea that he cannot learn something from someone he considers lower in the pecking order. Sad.

  374. Michael Cohen said @ October 10, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    Please read Waliser and Graham, 1993:

    http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/geo622/paper_thermostat_Waliser1993.pdf

    Thanks for that. Please note though that such a link is more likely to be followed if you also post the abstract. So many links don’t make the point that the poster claims and we are not all on the end of a gigabit internet connection. So:

    Questions regarding the upper limits on tropical sea surface temperatures and the processes determining those limits have recently come under renewed interest and debate. We present results from an analysis of the relationship between observed sea surface temperature (SST) and organized deep convection in the tropics that has produced new and important findings relevant to this issue. First, the analysis reveals that the highest observed tropical SSTs are generally associated with diminished convection. Second, the maximum convective activity occurs, on average, at an SST of about 29.5øC. Third, at SSTs of about 29øC and greater, intense deep convection is associated with ocean surface cooling of approximately 0.1øC per month, while suppressed deep convection is associated with a similar degree of ocean surface warming. These three findings, together with results from simplified model analyses, emphasize the importance of the cooling mechanisms associated with deep convection in determining the observed upper limits on tropical SST. Implications of the observed relationship between deep convection and SST on the temporal correlations between these fields is discussed, as is the convective cloud system’s relative influence on the solar and evaporative heat flux components of the surface energy budget

    However, this still leaves several interesting questions dangling:
    1. Why did Roy not link to this paper?
    2. Why is this paper not referenced in SAR, TAR, or AR4 or did I just fail to find them?
    3. Why did Roy’s post include a photograph of a “real” climate scientist whose career has been largely devoted to denial of Earth’s self-regulating mechanisms?

  375. Cissy wants to know about my motivation. You should not have asked because I have been asking the same question about Warmists taking fossil fuel funds and investing in fossil fuel companies. Does it have something to do with getting oil money?

    May 2013
    The Guardian
    The giants of the green world that profit from the planet’s destruction

    The Nation
    Time for Big Green to Go Fossil Free

    The Nation
    Why Aren’t Environmental Groups Divesting from Fossil Fuels?

    Cissy, you are barking up the wrong tree. I will now be merciful but in future watch your step. ;)

  376. Willis, I think that you are a rare and extremely excellent person of science plus have an uncanny ability to sort out problems by thinking them through then analyzing them using unusual techniques. You also have the ability to teach yourself tough stuff in a hurry. No one is a better writer than you. I have told you this before.

    Roy is in the wrong on this one, you know it and he knows it as well, as do most of the posters in WUWT. However, it is apparent that he is not going to apologize because he would have done so by now. It is up to you to put a halt to this acrimony because you are a bigger man with more talent than he. Please call him and the two of you write a finishing post together saying you have compared notes and think that it is best to work together to rebut the falsehoods proffered by Mann & company.

    There is a battle to be won and you and Roy feuding is not the right way to fight the battle. You have kicked his butt plumb up between his shoulder blades, enough is enough. Please refocus on the true enemy.

  377. My motivation? Read the quotes from hypocritical environmentalists. Ask yourself how many houses they own? How many children? What is their co2 footprint? Do they have carbon investments? Are they making lots of money off this CAGW SCAM? Once you have answered these questions honestly, and checked the mote in your own eye, then we can talk.

    http://www.green-agenda.com/

  378. I keep going back to the issue of the cloud feedback process is one of the most important unanswered questions in climate science.

    The net cloudy-sky radiation imbalance is the overall Earth’s net radiation imbalance. The clear-sky radiation balance is more-or-less just random up and downs that balance out to Zero over time.

    So Clouds are where it is at.

    If we could figure out what how cloud changes actually influence the climate, many other questions would be answered – how warm will the climate finally get, paleoclimate history would become more clear, what did clouds do during the ice ages (climate science actually has them increasing if you can believe that), the faint young sun paradox could be partially answered and we would find a benefit to offset the cost of all those satellites which have been put up to answer the cloud feedback question. So far, we have got nothing solid out of the hundreds of millions spent.

    If anything, the data should be more widely available so that someone could do the number crunching in order to answer the question. Maybe some new way of looking at it will answer the question.

    Willis’ charts of the CERES satellite data showed that there was a very, very strong negative cloud feedback as temperatures approached 30C. He wasn’t able to finish the calculations because of this side-tracking. It looks like it would have produced some type of non-linear equation which, in itself, would be new I believe.

  379. Roger Sowell said @ October 10, 2013 at 5:13 pm

    @ Eschenbach,

    Quoting your words (as you demand):

    “. . .thunderstorms, not their cirrus clouds but the actions of the thunderstorms themselves as inter alia natural air conditioners, are a core part of the temperature governing mechanism that regulates the temperature of the whole world.” Citation: above comment by Eschenbach at 9:55 am.

    This is certainly not original. This fundamental fact was taught to millions of school children, including me, in fourth grade science class, in 1963 in my case.

    So crunching the numbers is a complete waste of the taxpayers’ dime?

  380. I don’t think it’s fair to expect Roy to respond to everyone’s pet theories. He has a business to run and he’s probably just venting a little frustration at having to help out so many “citizen scientists” with their pet theories at the expense of his time. Normally he responds fairly, but everyone has his breaking point. Anthony has had the same problem from time to time as well.

    I see some trying to pin the elite academic label on him. There is nothing further from the truth in Roy’s case.

  381. Chad,

    I think that is unhealthy and gives alarmists grist for their mill – it lets them say, “See, they’re all a bunch of children who can’t have an orderly discussion on controversial issues.” Whereas, if we go about our disagreements in a civil and professionally courteous manner, without name calling, that is a strength we can use to compare ourselves favorably with the irrationality and chaotic mental processes (I wouldn’t say “thinking”) of the alarmists.

    I take your point. Still, I don’t believe it much matters. We’re not on ‘their side’, so we’re right wing nut Koch brother big oil operative flat earth religious fanatic no good dirty gosh darn deniers regardless of all other considerations, in their eyes.

    But thanks for your response.

  382. Don Worley said @ October 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    I don’t think it’s fair to expect Roy to respond to everyone’s pet theories.

    That has to be the most inane comment yet on this thread! I am quite sure that Willis did not expect Roy to publish a public comment on his “pet theory”. If you have any evidence that Willis solicited Roy’s comments, then please feel free to correct me.

  383. Git,
    The comment was not specific to Willis. There are lots of folks there vying for attention. It’s really quite distracting at times.

    Your opinion is well taken. Hope this blog does not become another version of pal review.

  384. Willis. IMO you’ll find a lot of material on squall lines on line, much of it by this scientist & his colleagues:

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/~houze/

    http://www.atmos.washington.edu/MG/houze_publist.html

    Houze worked with a 1950s pioneer of “hot tower” thought, the late Dr. Joanne Simpson:

    Houze, R. A., Jr., 2003: From hot towers to TRMM: Joanne Simpson and advances in tropical convection. Cloud Systems, Hurricanes, and the Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM): A Tribute to Dr. Joanne Simpson, Meteor. Monogr., No. 51, Amer. Meteor. Soc, 37-47.

  385. milodonharlani says: If a PhD is supposed to indicate a certain level of basic competence in a subject, then somehow the system failed in the case of Mann. But then maybe the statistical incompetence he exhibited in perpetrating the Hockey Stick was intentional, not out of ignorance of the discipline. For whatever reason, Mann failed & McIntyre, et al corrected him after publication. The pal review process also failed in allowing the HS travesty to see the light of day in the first place.

    Mann is not necessarily incompetent, he is ideologically biased and knew exactly what he was doing. Competence and ideology are two different things. Mann’s ego led him to believe he could get away with it.

  386. RockyRoad says:
    October 10, 2013 at 2:10 pm

    I’m trying to recall how many thermally-generated thunderstorms have big anvils of cirrus clouds at the top.
    Thanks for pointing this out. Thunderstorm fronts here in Sydney don’t have cirrus cloud tops to my own observation, but cause cooling immediately.
    Thunderstorms are hardly confined to the Tropics. Willis is looking for a better theory than the concept that its all about known feedbacks but when we model them they don’t work,ie give runaway global warming as the answer or prediction, the antithesis of both thermostatic and governed process.

    That does not mean that cirrus clouds are not a feedback of some kind, depending on when they form day or night,however they must only be part of the mechanism which is planet wide.
    The present argument reminds me of the progress of science in another discipline.
    It was thought that neurotransmitters were a key that fitted into a lock in a receptor site and turned the lock. The theory was adapted to talk about a hand fitting into a glove that conformed to the hand as the glove wrapped around it.
    One theory stood on the shoulders of the other.
    As I understand it the Willis theory implies a thermostatic process that ‘detects’ a rise in heat at the surface, viz an increase or decrease in the evaporation of water and consequent increase or decrease of cloud formation.
    If the heat promotes a temperature higher than some set point temperature range, as the proximate trigger,then emergent phenomenon appear to bring it back in line with the set point temperature.This set point temperature varies across the globe but may be averaged.
    Much longer term processes such as ENSO,precession, dust,
    then govern the placing of the set point within a margin possibly derived from Paleoclimactic study.
    This is then a theory that may be modeled and tested.
    Others may well model their own theories and test them.
    The citizen who is interested in science will then ask.
    Lets see the model predictive output. Is it better than the existing models?

  387. I tried to explain that whether or not anyone is correct, it is important to make sure the argument is not based on an error somewhere.

    The effects he mentions being discussed in his links are complementary to the cloud onset effect Willis is discussing.

    The critical point I picked up from your posts, Willis, is the fact that a few minutes of delay between the onset of thunderstorm formation shifts the location at which said formation occurs by around 15 km to the west per minute (~277 meters per second to the east used for near equatorial rotation velocities here) with your proposal being that this difference in location affects the distribution of energy input and dispersal that day, and this then influences the location of thunderstorm formation onset the next day, and so on.

    The ONLY paper I’ve seen which uses the term Thermostat in a similar fashion describing a similar effect as you discuss was this one linked in Roy’s thread on his site: http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/geo622/paper_thermostat_Waliser1993.pdf

    That, btw, I will link again and bold, as I am VERY sure you will want to go over it, Willis.

    http://lightning.sbs.ohio-state.edu/geo622/paper_thermostat_Waliser1993.pdf <~ Willis should look at this.

  388. Steve Oregon says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Wow! What heavy news.

    Daryl M says:October 9, 2013 at 11:21 pm
    “Let me break it to all the Willis fanboys, outside of Watts up With That and some of his friends in the skeptic community, no one takes him or what he posts here seriously.”

    Steve, if you look further up, you will see that I did not make the statement that you are erroneously attributing to me. That statement was made by poptech.

  389. Willis,

    slow down man!!

    ” It’s called mass continuity…you can’t have rising air in one region without sinking air elsewhere to complete the circulation. “Nature abhors a vacuum”.

    Not true. For example, if thunderstorms alone are not sufficient to stop an area-wide temperature rise, a new emergent phenomenon arises. The thunderstorms will self-assemble into “squall lines”. These are long lines of massed thunderstorms, with long canyons of rising air between them. In part this happens because it allows for a more dense packing of thunderstorms, due to increased circulation efficiency. So your claim above, that an increase of clouds in one area means a decrease in another area, is strongly falsified by the emergence of squall lines.”

    How do squall lines disprove the basic physics of necessary circulation??? If air goes up, air somewhere else goes down, PERIOD. Circulation happens!! Your squall limes could not happen if the first one left a vacumn in its path.

    In the area where the air is coming back down, will there be clouds Willis?? In our atmosphere does the air convected upwards by the thunderstorms generally come back down within, say, a 50 mile radius or does it generally move much further horizontally before returning to the surface?? I think the buzz word is Hadley Cell??

    I would suggest the proper argument to refute Spencer’s statement would be to question whether the AREA of the air movement changes or primarily the SPEED!!! That is, the warming increases the speed of the convection over the same area. As you pointed out earlier, Spencer seems to be confusing the general Cloud Feedback theory with your theory of not only increased albedo, locally around the thunderstorm, but increased convection and evaporation.

  390. @ Max

    It is interesting that the Waliser paper appears to have been ignored until Willis independently came up with apparently independent confirmation. Also interesting that Willis has attracted opprobrium for it.

  391. Roger Sowell says in part: ”It has been taught as basic science in elementary schools far earlier than 1963.” Clearly he does not suggest that the “It” here was the complete thesis of the rainstorm-cooling/thermostatting – at least not in the fourth grade (else I am very impressed).

    Did his class discuss the 2nd Law, latent heat, convection, phase changing, radiation, density, etc.? Certainly the ancients noticed the correlation of rainfall and cooling. But causality or even the implications? But it is quite silly to suggest modern atmospheric science (relative to the ancients, or even to Roger’s 1963 4th-grade) does not involve at least several orders of magnitude increases in knowledge, with more people contributing than you can count. It is unwise to suppose that most accounts do not involve at least some new ideas.

    A personal and very satisfying learning (or teaching) victory is achieved when we examine information, draw a correct conclusion, and then read the same conclusion (not as well described as we now understand it ourselves!) in the text book we were supposed to have already read. In such a case, we are unlikely to ascribe precedence to ourselves. But likely we will correctly “feel” that “I am as smart as the authors and in fact got it ‘before’ they did”. According to reports, this was Feynman’s SOP. It served him well.

    The specific instances when we ourselves learn (or teach) something are what is most notable for us. But not unlikely, the notions were embarrassingly nearby, and perhaps well-known, all along.

    The road to priority is full of bumps and almost always, at best nebulous. But even if supposedly just a retelling, something new and important may emerge. In engineering and many sciences, “Introductory” texts are ubiquitous and are largely copied (kind of plagiarized if you prefer). “Advanced” texts are newly written (often in a stilted and useless style). “Intermediate” level texts are hen’s-teeth rare, but it is from them that genuine progress in true understanding could be made. Many blog posts constitute, in fact, intermediate level texts. Let’s not discourage participation in them, or underestimate the contribution of citizen-scientists to them.

  392. Poptech says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:31 pm

    As I replied above, I grant you of course that Mann is ideologically biased, & financially motivated to boot, as shown by his childish “hide the decline” trick. What I’m not sure about is whether the statistical incompetence on shameful display in the Hockey Stick graph resulted from the same bias & self-interest or ignorance & stupidity.

  393. I’m late to this forum, lots of comments to read.

    The posts criticizing Willis and defending Spencer are for the most part breathtakingly condescending of Willis and of amateur science enthusiasts. I’ve avoided threads that get into a Willis vs ad hom. critics like the plague, but the tenor of Spencer’s article and some comments here are completely inappropriate. If Spencer thinks Willis is misleading people here, the place to offer criticisms is within the threads, rebutting specific points – or in a rebuttal article, not an ad hominem article that offers generalized condemnation, however mild and ‘well-intentioned’.

    If the only misleading that is going on is a ‘re-invention’ of theories already buried in dry literature, inaccessible to amateur scientists and enthusiasts, then ABSOLUTELY no harm is being done. It is no sin, academic or otherwise, to think things through and write about your ideas, based on your personal and independent processing of data that is freely available. As others have pointed out, moreover, many great scientific discoveries were made by multiple scientists working independently of each other. Eg Newton’s fluxions vs. Leibniz’s calculus. Robert Merton, the great sociologist of science, had a lot to say about this, and I believe was the first to draw scholars’ attention to this phenomenon.

    I have been appreciating Richard S. Courtney’s comments – glad he was not away from WUWT for long.

    Conversely, Steve Garcia’s comment about the relative uselessness of WUWT and Climate Audit caused massive localized splenetic warming. He says the only thing that has altered the climate conversation was Climategate. I suppose we would all know about it in the absence of WUWT and Climate Audit? (sarc) Because these blogs did nothing at all to bring together a community of interested and largely skeptical thinkers, academic and amateur alike? (further sarc)

    As I stated the first few times I dared to post here, after lurking for nearly a year – well before Climategate – WUWT was performing a valuable service, giving interested amateurs a chance to critique scholarly articles, or at the least abstracts and puff pieces. I was blown away by the adeptness of regular bloggers, including Willis — who in those days did not post articles nearly as frequently — in quickly finding gaping holes in the ‘scientific’ arguments of the highly speculative computer-model-driven rubbish and analysis that passes for science in the professional climate science community.

    I want to reiterate something I said several times pre-Climategate: WUWT was doing and continues to perform a service that is beyond value. I predicted that it would become historically important, and what impressed me the most about WUWT, Climate Audit and a few other blogs was their opening up the forum of science to everybody who wanted to participate. For the first time in a hundred years, amateur scientists have a role to play – and it is not a trivial role.

    Contrary to some of the condescending comments here from sheeple who revere men and women with science PhDs, the loss of respect for climate scientists did not come from a lack of ability to understand the turgid rubbish and jargon they often use to communicate, or the niceties of their ‘science’. No – our respect was lost over their inability to form arguments using basic logic, and their inability to see the logical inconsistencies in the ‘evidence’ and theory.

    I am too familiar with the vanity and close-mindedness of some academics whose PhDs and well-funded work and comfy pal-reviewed papers turn them into complacent, arrogant and condescending jerks. These are people, folks, not heroes. In too many cases, they are blinded by their political ideologies, and unlike Willis, have no interest in the truth that they do not even believe exists.

    I do not think Spencer falls into this category but am disappointed that he treated Willis like a well-funded academic sparring partner needing to be put down a notch.

    Keep the wonderful posts coming, please, Willis.
    Thank you, Anthony and dedicated moderators.

  394. I urge Willis to take advantage of the literature search crowd sourced here on WUWT to work his hypothesis into traditional scientific paper format & submit it to a peer-reviewed journal. It should be possible to point out the similarities & differences between his conclusions & those of previous studies published on related topics, thereby highlighting precisely what is indeed original in his conception.

  395. Nothing wrong with being a citizen scientist. Darwin was one such. However it does not absolve you from the need to study the literature to find out what has been done. To take an example:

    ThePompousGit says ” It is interesting that the Waliser paper appears to have been ignored until Willis independently came up with apparently independent confirmation.”

    The Waliser paper has been cited 118 times since its publication. This means it is regards as significant in its field, and so, far from being obscure, it is something that should be found by a proper literature study. It is can also be found through Google Scholar so excuses that it is “paywalled” would not be valid.

  396. The Pompous Git says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    This causes excitement because despite having been published in several journals, Willis is not one of the anointed priests of scientism. I surmise that in thirty years’ time one will read of the Eschenbach Effect, rather than Herr Professor Doctor Doctor Schmidthead’s Hypothesis.

    ——————–
    Bingo! It’s the alliteration of “Eschenbach Effect”, which does rather have a ring to it, that probably excited “someone’s” interest in Willis’s work. I hope you are right.

  397. RC Saumarez says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:09 am:

    Wow, that is one hell of an inferiority complex you have there, dude. I haven’t seen any “mathematics, signal processing blah blah” out of you worth reading. Write something that is original and/or stimulative and other than an outright incoherent attack on another’s work, and get Anthony to publish it (after all, he publishes the “rubbish” that Willis writes.)* Otherwise you appear like a gnat on the withers of an ass, biting and bothering, but adding nothing to the process.

    Likewise, to good old JJ and Poptech, the latter one of the more pitiful cynics I have seen in a while.

    Note added at * : That was purely sarcastic, in case some of you brilliant minds missed it.

  398. milodonharlani says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:21 pm (Edit)

    I urge Willis to take advantage of the literature search crowd sourced here on WUWT to work his hypothesis into traditional scientific paper format & submit it to a peer-reviewed journal. It should be possible to point out the similarities & differences between his conclusions & those of previous studies published on related topics, thereby highlighting precisely what is indeed original in his conception.

    I’ve already published it, three years ago, in Energy and Environment. It’s available here.

    w.

  399. Cross posted from Dr. Roy’s blog …

    Dear Dr. Roy:

    Let me start by expressing my surprise and my sadness at your words and graphic. It seems as if I’ve unknowingly done something that has deeply upset you, but I’m not clear what it is. If so, you have my apologies.

    Regarding my thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis, back in 2010 I did what you and many other people have advised I do with my ideas. I published my thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. It’s available here. Oh, it was published in the journal that alarmists love to hate, Energy & Environment, but to the alarmists’ dismay E&E publishes peer-reviewed science. Heck, Tom Wigley even advised his confidantes in the Climategate emails that E&E is peer-reviewed, quite funny actually.

    And among the peer-reviewed papers they’ve published is my hypothesis. Heck, you’re even listed among the references … but not Ramanathan and Collins, because they were looking at an entirely different mechanism.

    My paper starts, of course, with an abstract, which opens by stating my hypothesis:

    The Thunderstorm Thermostat Hypothesis is the hypothesis that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at an equilibrium temperature regardless of changes in the forcings.

    I went on to detail how this happens, primarily through changes in the daily time of onset of the tropical cumulus threshold and thunderstorm threshold. When the earth is cool, those phenomena emerge later in the day or not at all. This allows the full power of the sun to heat the surface. And conversely, when the earth is warm they emerge earlier in the day.

    So my hypothesis, as clearly laid out in that paper, is that variations in the daily times of onset of the tropical cumulus and cumulonimbus regimes regulate the tropical surface temperature with scant regard to changes in forcings. And thus eventually this regulates the global surface temperature, through a whole host of cloud-related mechanisms. The hypothesis contains the corollary stated in the abstract, that this keeps the temperature within fairly tight bounds (e.g. ± 0.3°C over the 20th century) without much regard to what the forcings do. Another way to say this is that the thresholds for the formation of cumulus and thunderstorms are temperature-based, not forcing-based.

    Note that my hypothesis is radically different from the hypothesis put forwards in Ramanathan and Collins 1991. Their abstract says:

    Observations made during the 1987 El Niño show that in the upper range of sea surface temperatures, the greenhouse effect increases with surface temperature at a rate which exceeds the rate at which radiation is being emitted from the surface. In response to this ‘super greenhouse effect’, highly reflective cirrus clouds are produced which act like a thermostat, shielding the ocean from solar radiation. The regulatory effect of these cirrus clouds may limit sea surface temperatures to less than 305K.

    Their hypothesis is about the effect of cirrus clouds on the local maximum sea surface temperature from a “super greenhouse effect” that occurs in and around the Pacific Warm Pool … and my hypothesis isn’t about any of those things. Not one of them. My hypothesis is not about cirrus clouds. Not about a “super greenhouse effect”. Not about maximum sea surface temperatures. And not about the Pacific Warm Pool.

    Now, perhaps as you say, someone before me advanced the same hypothesis I’ve put forward, which is that the time of the daily onset of the tropical thunderstorms and cumulus clouds regulates the global temperature with little regard for changes in forcings. But it certainly wasn’t Ramanathan and Collins …

    So I still await your identification of the study which put forward that hypothesis prior to my own journal publication. Note that I’ve never said such a study doesn’t exist—to the contrary, here’s what I wrote in my post on the subject:

    And you know what? Dr. Roy may well be right. My work may not be novel. Wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been wrong … but without specific examples, he is just handwaving. All I ask is that he shows this with proper citations.

    That’s all I’m asking—if not mine, then whose name should we put on the idea that the time of onset of the tropical cumulus and thunderstorm regimes regulates the global temperature?

    Now to your other point, which is whether I give sufficient acknowledgement to prior art and studies. At any point in my life, I only know what I know. I do my best to acknowledge scientists and cite prior work. I think such acknowledgement is important. As I said, I cited your own work in my journal paper on thunderstorms. I acknowledge prior work when it is relevant.

    R&C’s hypothesis about a “super greenhouse effect” in the Pacific Warm Pool was and is not relevant to my hypothesis about cumulus and thunderstorm regimes regulating the temperature. So I did not cite or mention it in that context. Instead, in 2012 I said the following:

    I disagree that the analysis of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism has been “extensively examined in the literature”. It has scarcely been discussed in the literature at all. The thermostatic mechanism discussed by Ramanathan is quite different from the one I have proposed. In 1991, Ramanathan and Collins said that the albedos of deep convective clouds in the tropics limited the SST … but as far as I know, they didn’t discuss the idea of thunderstorms as a governing mechanism at all.

    At that time, no one provided any examples of prior analysis similar to mine … and if they were known, people would certainly have posted them. Lots of folks out there would like nothing better than to prove me wrong, and that’s wonderful. I’m serious. It is precisely that hostile audience, full of folks who love to hate on me, that is the essence of science. If those people can’t punch holes in my claims, if they can’t falsify my claims, I can sleep easy.

    On the other hand, when I wrote in 2012 about maximum SSTs in the Pacific Warm Pool, R&C 1991 and the CEPEX experiment were definitely relevant … and so I said:

    …”Let me be clear that I am by no means the originator of the claim that there is a thermostat regulating the maximum ocean temperature. See among many others the Central Equatorial Pacific Experiment. I am merely looking at the Argo data with this thermostat in mind.”

    SOURCE

    So yes, Dr. Roy, I definitely do acknowledge prior work as you advocate, like you I think it’s important … but only when it is relevant to my work.

    I’m also uninterested in doing anything that someone has done before. I read voraciously, and could do so for another fifty years without being able to read all the studies. But I want to create new looks at things. So I am constantly inventing novel techniques and ideas and putting them in practice.

    Now, it’s not unusual for me to later find out that some technique I invented was invented before me by someone else. I actually take a curious pride in finding that out, it means I’m on the right trail. And it’s also not unusual for me to find out that my ideas and methods and techniques and hypotheses are in fact new and novel. I take pride in that as well.

    You seem to be interpreting what I say as somehow dissing the work of previous climate scientists. Not in the slightest. However, many of them have been seduced by the simple-but-wrong idea that changes in global temperature are a linear function of changes in forcings. This fundamental misconception has left vast areas of the climate realm relatively unexplored. That’s where I spend my time.

    w.

    PS—Since you have such distaste for citizen scientists, I’m curious. My hypothesis is published in a scientific journal. If you have objections, why are you making them on the web? Surely a professional scientist would write a letter to the editor of the journal, pointing out the prior work that shows my ideas about time of onset to be derivative.

    At least that’s what people always advise me to do …

    In any case, Dr. Roy, next time … could you give me a phone call first?

  400. jimmi_the_dalek said @ October 10, 2013 at 8:47 pm

    The Waliser paper has been cited 118 times since its publication. This means it is regards as significant in its field, and so, far from being obscure, it is something that should be found by a proper literature study. It is can also be found through Google Scholar so excuses that it is “paywalled” would not be valid.

    There’s no doubt that it’s an important and certainly interesting paper. However, Google Scholar returns on the search terms “thunderstorm thermostat”:

    The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis: How clouds and thunderstorms control the Earth’s temperature
    W Eschenbach – Energy & Environment, 2010 – Multi-Science

    Waliser does not appear in the first five pages of 977 results. While I would agree that this is not a “proper” literary search, it does have the virtue of not costing a great deal. Does this mean you are volunteering to do literary searches for Willis gratis? I doubt that his family budget stretches to paid lit. searches.

  401. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 10, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    I know. I read it & commented on it in this blog.

    But in that version of your hypothesis, you explicitly state that you’re not following standard paper protocol. With the researches here, you could rework that piece & bring it up to date, citing it, & resubmit it to a more widely circulated journal.

  402. Why people don’t take Willis seriously,

    Willis Eschenbach, B.A. Psycology, Sonoma State University (1975); California Massage Certificate, Aames School of Massage (1974); Commercial Fisherman (1968, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1994, 1995); Auto Mechanic, People’s Garage (1969-1970); Cabinet Maker, A.D. Gibson Co. (1972); Office Manager, Honolulu Emergency Labor Pool (1972); Construction Manager, Autogenic Systems Inc. (1973); Assistant Driller, Mirror Mountain Enterprises (1975-1976); Tax Preparer, Beneficial Financial Company (1977); Accountant, Farallones Institute (1977-1978); Peace Corps and USAID (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1994); Cabinet Maker, Richard Vacha Cabinets (1986); County Director, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1986-1988); General Manager, Liapari Limited (1989-1992); Regional Health Coordinator, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1994-1995); Project Manager, Eschenbach Construction Company (1995-2003); Construction Manager, Koro Sun Limited (1999); Construction Manager, Taunovo Bay Resort (2003-2006); Accounts/IT Senior Manager, South Pacific Oil (2007-2010)

  403. thisisnotgoodtogo says: Right! that’s what he’s conscerned about he says. Why be concerned about that? If it’s not science, then so what? He’s not concerned about junk science being put out ata ll. He’s concerned that someone admires Willis and Willis’ writings.

    Wrong, he is concerned with people being misinformed by Willis.

    Mr. Eschenbach is the pied-piper of the “dumb like me crowd” who think everyone is intellectually equal, despite obviously education and experience gaps.

    His rambling stories attract fanboys who obviously do not understand what Dr. Spencer is saying so they knee-jerk attack him. I have long just ignored most of Willis’s posts but these people are like a virus and spread throughout the skeptic community wasting scientist’s like Dr. Spencer’s time. I highly doubt he is the first or the only one who shares that view of Willis but it needed to be said. So I am saying what they will not say.

    Of course these same people who think credentials don’t matter have either never held a job or never applied for one. They conflate credentials with being scientifically right, instead of scientifically competent. They also look for conspiracies when things can be explained by ideologies.

  404. Poptech says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm
    Why people don’t take Willis seriously,
    ++++++++++++
    Your personal and quite offensive immature attack tells us more about you than Willis. Think back to your childhood and grow.

  405. The Pompous Git says: There’s no doubt that it’s an important and certainly interesting paper. However, Google Scholar returns on the search terms “thunderstorm thermostat”:

    The thunderstorm thermostat hypothesis: How clouds and thunderstorms control the Earth’s temperature
    W Eschenbach – Energy & Environment, 2010 – Multi-Science

    Waliser does not appear in the first five pages of 977 results. While I would agree that this is not a “proper” literary search, it does have the virtue of not costing a great deal. Does this mean you are volunteering to do literary searches for Willis gratis? I doubt that his family budget stretches to paid lit. searches.

    Willis fanboys don’t know how to use Google Scholar? Why am I not surprised.

    Why would Google Scholar return a result that does not include one of the words you used in your search query?

  406. Mario Lento says: Your personal and quite offensive immature attack tells us more about you than Willis. Think back to your childhood and grow.

    So listing a person’s credentials is now considered a personal attack? Is that some form of a joke?

  407. Could Roy be tweaked because, as I have noted before, he wrote a very nice account himself of how the speed of the rain cycle acts as what he called “nature’s thermostat,” with section headings like: “precipitation systems: nature’s air conditioner?” For reasons I never understood Roy took this extended essay down in 2008, only to see Willis go on a tear with the same terminology and the same subject matter starting in 2009, with Willis’ own ever elaborating additions and understandings piling up.

    When I saw that Roy had taken his Thermostat essay down I went and found it on the Wayback Machine and posted a copy on my own website. It was/is much to important to be out of the public eye:

    http://www.crescentofbetrayal.com/SpencerThermostat.htm

    I always thought this essay was the best account I had seen of why the feedback effects of the hydrological cycle could well be negative, so that the warming effects of changes in forcing would be dampened rather than multiplied up. Roy said it was his attempt to flesh out Lindzen’s “iris effect,” which is very necessary, since Lindzen’s paper is practically unreadable, being written in energy balance terms that leaves the possible mechanisms poorly explained (at least to my untrained eye). According to Wayback Roy’s essay was first posted in March of 2007, two years before Willis’ Thermostat Hypothesis post:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/06/14/the-thermostat-hypothesis/

    Just as Willis says that his thermostat hypothesis is entirely different from the mechanism put forward by Ramanathan and Collins in 1991, so too Roy seemed to think that his Willis-like “thermostat” hypothesis was entirely different from R+C 91. At least, there is no mention of R+C in Roy’s essay. He only mentions Lindzen. So it is very strange to see Roy now criticizing Willis for not crediting R+C for an analysis similar to the one that Roy himself did not credit R+C for.

    Maybe Roy took his Thermostat essay down because he decided that such a partial analysis would not illuminate feedbacks (his statement that clouds rising in one place means clouds descending in others, so you can’t resolve the effects of the whole by looking in one place). But maybe Willis’ idea of looking at precipitation systems as a governor, not a numeric feedback effect, gets around that objection. Could it be that Roy took his essay down prematurely and is miffed that Willis has grabbed his thunder?

    Roy is one of my favorites just as he is one of Willis’ favorites. Hell, Roy is my number one favorite climate scientist, but he is off on a bender criticizing Willis for doing what he once did. And how can Roy write on and on about other researchers having previously written about the rain cycle as a thermostat without mentioning that he himself is one very prominent such person? Roy seems to be pretending that his earlier really super great essay never existed, as if he is ashamed of it or something. Hey Roy: that essay is the number one reason why I consider you the number one climate scientist in the world! Don’t be embarrassed about it, even if it is only a partial analysis, and good for Willis for taking up what Roy dropped, even if he did not know that Roy had ever held it or dropped it.

  408. Poptech writes “They conflate credentials with being scientifically right, instead of scientifically competent.”
    +++++++++
    Your sentence makes no sense, or you don’t understand the words you’ve written. You suggest that that only a title of a specific degree or credential can be competent in that subject matter. You sound like the kind of person who jumps in when you feel it’s safe, but lack the courage to lead.

  409. Mario Lento says: Your sentence makes no sense, or you don’t understand the words you’ve written. You suggest that that only a title of a specific degree or credential can be competent in that subject matter. You sound like the kind of person who jumps in when you feel it’s safe, but lack the courage to lead.

    Use that argument when you apply for a job you have no credentials in, tell me how it goes. Tell them “I’m smart because I say so”.

    Pied-pipers lead people very well, right off cliffs.

  410. Poptech says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm
    Mario Lento says: Your personal and quite offensive immature attack tells us more about you than Willis. Think back to your childhood and grow.

    So listing a person’s credentials is now considered a personal attack? Is that some form of a joke?
    ++++++++++
    Poptech, I expected you to not understand. There is nothing about Willis credentials that prevents him from being smarter than you. No reasonable person could take what I wrote to imply that listing Willis’ credentials was the attack. It’s everything in your post except Willis credentials that was offensive. Read that as YOU are offensive.

  411. Mario, sorry if I hurt your “feelings”. Obviously when you reply by quoting a certain post of mine I am REALLY supposed to interpret that to what is only in your mind.

  412. Forest vs. Trees.

    The main problem here is that Dr. Spencer… and JJ (whoever the hell he or she is)… and Roger Sowell, and several others… the main problem is that they are looking at, discussing, arguing about, and focused on the trees. Willis is talking about the forest.

    The fact that these individuals can’t see the difference between the two (forest vs. trees) simply drives home the difference between education and intelligence.

    R&C 1991, and Dr. Spencer, and JJ, etc. are focused on the mechanism of thermal transport via thunderstorms in the tropics. Willis is discussing something more than that. Sure, the same (or rather a similar) mechanism exists in Willis’ work… but the original point that he has proposed is the holistic system that utilizes this mechanism, but does so in an unexpected, and prior to this, undocumented way.

    In short, if you all go back and re-read Willis’ articles, he is showing why mainstream climate science is wrong and is showing what they are ignoring in their lousy models. I don’t see anyone in academia doing that.

    Everyone understands that thunderstorms cool the local environment (at least anyone that lives around thunderstorms). But it IS a truly original work to take that small isolated fact, and build a nicely woven tapestry that pretty much entirely refutes the primary thrust of of mainstream climate science. He is refuting the entire notion of feedbacks… and is talking about emergent phenomena and governors.

    The fact that he uses tropical thunderstorms as an example of these emergent phenomena (and just as one eample) does not constitute a rehashing of R&C-1991. Sheesh people… read with a clear mind, and leave the preconceptions at the door… and it’s easy to see that Willis and R&C-1991 are discussing entirely different things.

    JJ, Sowell, Dr. Spencer. You all are wrong. And no… I don’t expect you to recognize that… let alone admit it.

    Stop staring at the trees… and step back and look at the forest. It’s quite lovely.

  413. Poptech says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:42 pm
    Mario Lento says: Your sentence makes no sense, or you don’t understand the words you’ve written. You suggest that that only a title of a specific degree or credential can be competent in that subject matter. You sound like the kind of person who jumps in when you feel it’s safe, but lack the courage to lead.

    Use that argument when you apply for a job you have no credentials in, tell me how it goes. Tell them “I’m smart because I say so”.

    Pied-pipers lead people very well, right off cliffs.
    +++++++++++
    Poptech, it’s tiring trying to school an adult sized child. I actually use that argument in one of the fields I work in. I say straight off that I have zero welding experience or training and that I am not technically qualified to tell others what a good weld is. Yet, I design welding technology used in spent fuel canister welding and train welders on parameter development to make welds of meticulous quality. I’ve generated welding recipes that are used to make some of the best welds possible on critical applications. I’ve also been invited several times to give presentations to the American Welding Society members to discuss challenges with welding process control.

    Poptech, drop the emotional tirades, and realize that you’re out of your league here.

  414. Poptech says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:46 pm
    Mario, sorry if I hurt your “feelings”. Obviously when you reply by quoting a certain post of mine I am REALLY supposed to interpret that to what is only in your mind.
    +++++++++++
    Your emotion tirade continues to lead you astray. I learned a long time ago, that my feelings can only be hurt if they point to some flaw I have no control over. I thrive on criticism when it’s constructive. However, people of your ilk have no power to hurt me.

  415. Willis asks of Roy:

    Now, perhaps as you say, someone before me advanced the same hypothesis I’ve put forward, which is that the time of the daily onset of the tropical thunderstorms and cumulus clouds regulates the global temperature with little regard for changes in forcings. But it certainly wasn’t Ramanathan and Collins …

    So I still await your identification of the study which put forward that hypothesis prior to my own journal publication.

    It would seem that the publication he has in mind is his own withdrawn “Nature’s Thermostat” essay, but he can’t say it, because in some fit of doubt withdrew from the public eye one of the best things he has ever written, and now nobody remembers (except for me it seems). No wonder Roy is upset in a degree that seems hard to fathom, as Willis notes:

    It seems as if I’ve unknowingly done something that has deeply upset you, but I’m not clear what it is. If so, you have my apologies.

    I think the way to make this better is for WUWT to republish Roy’s 2007 essay in its final form as Roy withdrew it in 2008, so that everyone can see how much of Willis’ thermostat hypothesis had already been put forward by Roy. It’s Roy who is not getting the due credit, but he feels he can’t ask for it and it seems to be eating him up. We need to make Roy whole. It was crazy for him to withdraw something so good that he had put so much work into. He should get credit, as well as noogies for his lack of faith in his own work. And all credit to Willis as well.

  416. The Pompous Git says: once a paper is published, it’s [sic] scientific credibility is not questioned

    Absolute balderdash! Eighty percent pf published papers die a natural death and are quickly forgotten. In a word, they are balderdash.

    Nice hatchet job of a misquote, here is the full quote,

    “it’s scientific credibility is not questioned relating to the author’s credentials

    Because it has been peer-reviewed by scientists with credentials.

  417. Mario Lento, Poptech, it’s tiring trying to school an adult sized child. I actually use that argument in one of the fields I work in. I say straight off that I have zero welding experience or training and that I am not technically qualified to tell others what a good weld is. Yet, I design welding technology used in spent fuel canister welding and train welders on parameter development to make welds of meticulous quality. I’ve generated welding recipes that are used to make some of the best welds possible on critical applications. I’ve also been invited several times to give presentations to the American Welding Society members to discuss challenges with welding process control.

    Poptech, drop the emotional tirades, and realize that you’re out of your league here.

    You need to do better than this. Mario, is this you? http://www.linkedin.com/in/mariolento

    If this is you, your argument is ridiculous. It is like saying all Boeing engineers should be expert pilots.

  418. Poptech said @ October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Because it has been peer-reviewed by scientists with credentials.

    Who would appear to have gotten it wrong 80% of the time. Now why doesn’t that inspire me with confidence in their pronouncements?

  419. Poptech said @ October 10, 2013 at 10:31 pm

    Willis fanboys don’t know how to use Google Scholar? Why am I not surprised.

    Why would Google Scholar return a result that does not include one of the words you used in your search query?

    Let’s assume that Willis did his due diligence using Google Scholar and performed the search that I did. Let’s further assume that Willis actually checked each of the 977 found documents. Now tell us why he would want to widen the search term until it found Waliser 1993? Can you really not comprehend that Willis does this stuff because it’s fun, not to be original, not to climb the academic ladder, not to upset Roy etc etc…

    BTW I am not a Willis fanboi. I do appreciate the learning opportunities Willis presents, but I suspect that often enough I irritate him. But that’s all part and parcel of being a Pompous Git :-)

  420. Poptech said @ October 10, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    If this is you, your argument is ridiculous. It is like saying all Boeing engineers should be expert pilots.

    That’s a serious misinterpretation of what Mario wrote!

  421. The Pompous Git says: Who would appear to have gotten it wrong 80% of the time. Now why doesn’t that inspire me with confidence in their pronouncements?

    Just because something is peer-reviewed does not mean it is “right”, it means it has passed an additional level of scientific scrutiny. Peer-review is not designed to determine scientific “truth” but to weed out scientifically baseless claims. It like any other system can be abused (gatekeeping) but that does not mean it is not useful as a filter against scientific nonsense.

    My argument again, is a citizen-scientist can be taken seriously if they get their work peer-reviewed and published. Relating to Willis, the only scientific arguments of his I do are the ones he has published in peer-reviewed journals.

  422. The Pompous Git says: Let’s assume that Willis did his due diligence using Google Scholar and performed the search that I did. Let’s further assume that Willis actually checked each of the 977 found documents. Now tell us why he would want to widen the search term until it found Waliser 1993? Can you really not comprehend that Willis does this stuff because it’s fun, not to be original, not to climb the academic ladder, not to upset Roy etc etc…

    If he performed the search you did and came to those conclusions, he would need to learn how to do better research. Just because a result does not come up for the key words you choose, does not mean results do not exist using similar but alternate wording. If you are doing scientific research like Willis, it is important to understand the proper scientific terminology for what it is you researching, instead of relying on your invented catch phrases (thunderstorm thermostat) for such a hypothesis.

  423. Poptech said @ October 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    My argument again, is a citizen-scientist can be taken seriously if they get their work peer-reviewed and published. Relating to Willis, the only scientific arguments of his I do are the ones he has published in peer-reviewed journals.

    So why don’t you take seriously this work of Willis’s that has been peer reviewed and published?

  424. Poptech says…

    “Anton, are you saying Dr. Spencer does not understand Willis’s paper? Seriously?”

    Yes Poptech… that’s exactly what I am saying… seriously. His own words condemn him. He clearly doesn’t understand it. And apparently, neither do you.

    And despite comments you have made to the contrary, an advanced degree is a demonstration of nothing other than that person really wanted an advanced degree… and had the time, resources, and drive to obtain one.

    I do salute that drive.

    And yes… I do have an advanced degree, so my statement is not a sign of degree-envy.

    But that said, there is almost no correlation between an advanced degree and a person’s ability to be perceptive or insightful. Some of the stupidest people I have ever met had a PhD… in the hard sciences.

    That’s not intended as a knock on those that have a PhD. But PhDs should be judged by their ability, their actions, and their words… not by the degree framed on the wall… just like everyone else.

  425. Poptech said @ October 10, 2013 at 11:46 pm

    If he performed the search you did and came to those conclusions, he would need to learn how to do better research.

    Given that perusing 977 documents would be considerably more than the average scientist would undertake, you would appear to be expecting rather more of Willis than you do of the average scientist; even though you have no evidence that Willis has sufficient resources to undertake such an enterprise.

  426. All of this talk of credentials is actually quite amusing. These many long years ago, The Git applied for a job teaching computer users. He failed in this “because you do not possess a degree in computer science”. Several years later, he was hired by the same company to do some specialised training (Pagemaker) and the sales manager suggested The Git apply for the position of manager/trainer that had just become vacant. This time round, he was successful “because you have the practical hands-on knowledge and managerial expertise that university graduates lack”. Ya gotta laff :-)

  427. While I have not read every comment here it clearly does cover a lot of turf, everything from pro to anti Willis and the space in between. Some of this input diverts entirely to gripe about the occasional forays provided by Willis that throw light on his past and recent safari’s, off topic but interesting enough, and anyway if there is no interest in these ramblings no one compels the reading.

    The outcome of this healthy exchange of views is what debate is all about, what science should be about, argument to get at the truth, or as well as we can at any one time. Nonetheless it is shame that Dr Roy joined in the chorus, led by qualified scientists, that aim slurs at the ordinary who try to understand what is going on and, if they are not convinced, will say so. Science is not meant to be a tool of propagandists, its purpose is to employ the best of our intellectual capacities to further our understanding in whatever field of endeavour we seek to know.

    Alas today, especially in the sciences related to human impact on the world, these honourable aims have been subverted. It is profoundly disappointing.

  428. Matthew R Marler says:
    October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am
    Willis: To start with, they’re not feedbacks, they are emergent phenomena

    They are feedbacks, and the whole concept of “emergent phenomena” has problems. You should stick with “feedbacks” and avoid “emergent phenomena”. “Phenomena” are the mental results of physical processes: when phenomena “emerge” it means that we think about the processes differently. That has no particular implication for how the system actually works, but expresses the idea that as we learn more we think differently. “Feedback”, by contrast, denotes a process in the system, not a process in the mentation. You are writing about “feedbacks”.

    Not so. “Phenomena” are not mental results of physical processes, phenomena are physical events – before all judgment. Mental results of physical processes are called concepts.

    In scientific usage, a phenomenon is any event that is observable, however common it might be, even if it requires the use of instrumentation to observe, record, or compile data concerning it.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenon#Scientific_phenomena

    Thus, the term phenomenon refers to any incident deserving of inquiry and investigation, especially events that are particularly unusual or of distinctive importance.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phenomenon#Modern_philosophical_usage

    What I like about Willis’ approach is that he always stays close to the phenomena, to what can actually be observed, measured and described.

    We got in this mess because way too many climate scientists – and politicians, activists and journalists – are discussing their mental representations of the phenomena, not the phenomena itself.

    This is also true for this discussion. Dr. Roy Spencer’s mental representation of what Willis is doing seems to be wrong. He thinks Willis is just replicating deep moisture feedback observations. He does not look at the phenomenon that Willis might have identified a possible governor mechanism for global temperature control.

  429. Further to my comment of October 10, 2013 at 6:21 am, and in light of subsequent comments, I’d just like to emphasize a very important fact about WUWT that is sadly lost in many of these discussions.

    There are many lurkers out there like me who, for many different reasons, did not enter adulthood with a ‘thorough scientific grounding or academic background’ and therefore lack the ‘credentials’ necessary to garner ‘respect’ in the bubble.

    For many of us this will have been through no specific fault of our own. Perhaps we were failed by the world around us, let down badly by those charged with our protection and education. Maybe we just didn’t ‘get it’ in the classroom, or we were struggling with ‘unresolved childhood traumas’ when we should have been listening to teacher…

    Until the advent of the Internet and the meteoric rise of the blogosphere, we were often doomed to a life of terminal mediocrity and servitude, lacking the material and intellectual wherewithal to better ourselves significantly, despite a desire and an innate capacity to do so.

    But now, thanks to the many dedicated but unpaid people in the wider blogosphere, such as Anthony Watts and Willis Eschenbach, disadvantaged people like me have access to an almost unthinkable pool of wisdom, understanding, knowledge and insight. Please enlighten me: in what way exactly is that not a good thing?

    And I know that there are supremely arrogant men out there who hate that fact. They just can’t stand the idea that poorly educated ‘simpletons’ like me now have the opportunity to access the same intellectual fodder they feed on. They think that we do not have the cognitive capacity to engage with the material critically. To some degree of course they have a point – I was never taught to think critically.

    But what really riles me is their cynical assumption that people like me are therefore unable to learn critical thinking, that I could never develop my critical faculties to the same degree they have. Well I’ve got news for you, you haughty ones: times they are a changing, and there are many good folk out there with vast but until now under-exercised intellectual potential who are educating themselves way beyond the confines of your pompous little construct and who will fly past you so fast you won’t know what hit you!

    Yes, folks, at no time in history has humankind had such a golden opportunity to create a nebulous, unaffiliated and informal global wisdom community beyond the closed ranks of the gatekeepers and their paylords. Of course there’s danger. Of course it’s risky. Sure, there will be some who get burnt by it or who go off at wild tangents, barking up the wrong trees. And naturally there are those whose critical faculties are underdeveloped. But you know what? – treating them like idiots is not the way to help them develop those abilities!

    So please alight from your vertiginous equine mounts, you sour creatures, and accept the fact that you no longer have control of the narrative. It’s the community that controls it now, just as it should be. Speak reason and wisdom to ordinary men’s hearts with respect and they will follow you. Talk down to them and, as sure as night follows day, they will tell you where to stick your ‘credentials’…

    So I for one would like to say a massive thank you to Anthony in particular for the immeasurable contribution he has made to science education across this wonderful planet. And thank you to Willis, Viscount Monckton, Robert Brown, and the other regular contributors and commenters for engaging in this forum and rekindling our love of science in a disciplined but non-condescending way.

    You never know who’s out there reading what you write and what an important difference you may already have made in their lives…

  430. Poptech:

    At October 10, 2013 at 10:32 pm you ask Mario Lento

    So listing a person’s credentials is now considered a personal attack? Is that some form of a joke?

    No. Please try to not be an idiot.
    Mario Lento was replying to your post at October 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm which said

    Why people don’t take Willis seriously,

    Then listed what you claim are the credentials of Willis Eschenbach.

    Your post was an egregious form of the Appeal to Authority fallacy; i.e.
    Your post asserted that Willis Eschenbach is not – and, by implication, should not be – taken seriously because he does not have credentials which you assert as being important.

    If you had a valid argument concerning the work of Willis Eschenbach then you would have stated it instead of attempting to demean him by use of a childish and egregious logical fallacy.
    As Mario Lento wisely advised you

    Your personal and quite offensive immature attack tells us more about you than Willis. Think back to your childhood and grow.

    Your subsequent posts are a series of excuses which attempt to avoid facing the reality of that wise advice.

    Richard

  431. So many words (on both blogs) and so much bile. One might have expected someone to silence Willis the easy way, by providing references to the paper(s) that he has recognisably plagiarised.

  432. Alec Rawls:

    Thankyou for your superb post at October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1444067

    I write to support your suggestion; viz.

    I think the way to make this better is for WUWT to republish Roy’s 2007 essay in its final form as Roy withdrew it in 2008, so that everyone can see how much of Willis’ thermostat hypothesis had already been put forward by Roy. It’s Roy who is not getting the due credit, but he feels he can’t ask for it and it seems to be eating him up. We need to make Roy whole. It was crazy for him to withdraw something so good that he had put so much work into. He should get credit, as well as noogies for his lack of faith in his own work. And all credit to Willis as well.

    Perhaps Willis can ask Anth0ny to negotiate this possibility?
    Indeed, the ideal solution to the present problem would seem to be a joint Spencer and Eschenbach WUWT Guest Essay on the ‘global thermostat’ which emphasises their argreements and differences concerning that subject.

    Richard

  433. Matthew R Marler says:
    October 10, 2013 at 9:27 am
    They are feedbacks, and the whole concept of “emergent phenomena” has problems. You should stick with “feedbacks” and avoid “emergent phenomena”. “Phenomena” are the mental results of physical processes: when phenomena “emerge” it means that we think about the processes differently. That has no particular implication for how the system actually works, but expresses the idea that as we learn more we think differently. “Feedback”, by contrast, denotes a process in the system, not a process in the mentation. You are writing about “feedbacks”.
    ————————
    I also have difficulty following the attempts to distinguish these “emergent phenomena” from feedbacks. In the case of thunderstorms, for example, they may be seen simply as a subset of feedback phenomena. But they are still feedbacks inasmuch as they are part of all mechanisms that trigger evaporation/cooling as a result of heat buildup. The word “emergent” seems to have purchased its presence here from the observation that thunderstorms have a more sudden, seemingly spontaneous onset than other, more continuous feedbacks. But even this is misleading. The sudden onset is only at the individual thunderstorm level. Around the earth, thunderstorms as a whole form a permanent process which is harder to describe as “emergent”. They are simply part of the whole set of feedback processes.

    The only way an emergent phenomenon would not be a feedback is if it’s caused by mechanisms totally outside the system under consideration. An area being heated by an eruption, an area being flooded and cooled by a tsunami… are not temperature feedbacks. But thunderstorms are. I don’t see why not.

  434. Gee Whiz Willikers!
    A fella’ like me can learn a lot reading this blog. I’m one of those lurkers.
    My thanks to Anthony for this blog; for me personally, maybe the most important blog extant. Thanks to Willis for what he provides here, informative, entertaining, enjoyable. And thanks to the many others who contribute to making this blog what it is.

  435. Anton Eagle says: Yes Poptech… that’s exactly what I am saying… seriously. His own words condemn him. He clearly doesn’t understand it. And apparently, neither do you.

    And despite comments you have made to the contrary, an advanced degree is a demonstration of nothing other than that person really wanted an advanced degree… and had the time, resources, and drive to obtain one.

    Oh ok, then please go over and “explain” it to Dr. Spencer. As for myself, I did not make a single comment on his paper.

    So anyone can obtain an advanced degree? And by obtaining that degree you are no more educated in that field than someone who did not? I am learning amazing things here.

  436. The Pompous Git says: Given that perusing 977 documents would be considerably more than the average scientist would undertake, you would appear to be expecting rather more of Willis than you do of the average scientist; even though you have no evidence that Willis has sufficient resources to undertake such an enterprise.

    Please, stop digging the hole.

    Your idiotic search using Willis’s catch phrase in Google Scholar (the problems with your apparently do not understand) has nothing to do with research the average scientist would do.

    What you said is not an argument, it is a sign of computer illiteracy. I ask again,

    Why would a paper show up in Google Scholar’s results for a query using a word that the paper does not include?

    The word ‘Thunderstorm’ is not in the paper. <—— DO YOU COMPREHEND THIS?

  437. May I politely suggest that Willis need not respond to Spencer at all? Spencer spells out the fundamental problem and surrenders in the same paragraph.

    “In retrospect, it’s now clear that public interest in climate change has led to citizen-scientists like Willis taking matters into his/her own hands, since so little information is available in a form that is easily digested by the public. Career scientists like myself have not done enough public outreach to describe what they have done. And when we do such outreach, it is usually too technical to understand. We are too busy publishing-or-perishing.”

    There it is. Spencer admits that:
    1) There is intense public interest;
    2) Useful (to the public) information is lacking;
    3) Willis and other citizen-scientists are filling that void;
    4) Spencer and other official scientists are well aware of the void; and
    5) Spencer and whomever he thinks he speaks for are “too busy” and choose not to change their behavior.

    What exactly is the substance of Spencer’s complaint? There IS no substance. His petulance and dog-in-the-manger antics don’t change the fact that Willis is providing a service that many members of the public find valuable. The service is one that Spencer refuses to do.

    The whining about properly crediting previous work and originality are not the issue. Even if the allegations were true (and I largely accept Willis’s arguments that they are false) they don’t change the fundamental issue.

    Change the venue to music rather than science. Willis is akin to Steeleye Span, who took old English ballads, rocked them up, and sold many records to a wide audience who had never heard this minor branch of music. Spencer is a college professor of musicology who has devoted a lifetime to study of old English ballads, published many papers that only other musicologist professors read, and couldn’t attract a large gathering of paying listeners to a concert to save his life. So he criticizes and insults Steeleye Span for not boring their audience with scholarly prose before and after each performance of each song.

    Spencer is trying to boss someone who is successful and talented in an area (helpful explanations of complex topics) that Spencer is not. Spencer likes to think he could do what Willis does, but he offers no proof, he does not do it. He refuses to do it in so many words. If Spencer doesn’t like Willis work, he need not read it. If he feels compelled to read and disagree, he is free to do so. But his demands that Willis alter his work and style to suit Spencer’s peculiar tastes are silly to the point of being stupid. Ignore him.

  438. richardscourtney says: Then listed what you claim are the credentials of Willis Eschenbach.

    Ok, tell me which credential I listed is inaccurate;

    Willis Eschenbach, B.A. Psycology, Sonoma State University (1975); California Massage Certificate, Aames School of Massage (1974); Commercial Fisherman (1968, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1994, 1995); Auto Mechanic, People’s Garage (1969-1970); Cabinet Maker, A.D. Gibson Co. (1972); Office Manager, Honolulu Emergency Labor Pool (1972); Construction Manager, Autogenic Systems Inc. (1973); Assistant Driller, Mirror Mountain Enterprises (1975-1976); Tax Preparer, Beneficial Financial Company (1977); Accountant, Farallones Institute (1977-1978); Peace Corps and USAID (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1994); Cabinet Maker, Richard Vacha Cabinets (1986); County Director, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1986-1988); General Manager, Liapari Limited (1989-1992); Regional Health Coordinator, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1994-1995); Project Manager, Eschenbach Construction Company (1995-2003); Construction Manager, Koro Sun Limited (1999); Construction Manager, Taunovo Bay Resort (2003-2006); Accounts/IT Senior Manager, South Pacific Oil (2007-2010)

    I don’t “claim” anything, I copied them off his own CV!

    Your post was an egregious form of the Appeal to Authority fallacy; i.e.
    Your post asserted that Willis Eschenbach is not – and, by implication, should not be – taken seriously because he does not have credentials which you assert as being important.

    No, I explained why no one but those at WUWT and some in the skeptic community, take him seriously. If people here don’t like reality I cannot help them. I personally do not consider Willis a “scientist” by any stretch of the imagination nor do I take his unpublished scientific arguments seriously. People can sit here and punch the wind hoping it will stop blowing, it is not going to change anything. For the record I don’t consider Lord Monckton a scientist either but rather an excellent communicator of skeptic arguments.

  439. It appears that Dr. Spencer is a grain of sand in Willis’ oyster and Willis is a grain of sand in Dr. Spencer’s oyster.. from this mutual irritation I would expect both will develop pearls of research that will move our collective understanding of the climate forward. Isn’t mutual irritation a part of the scientific process to motivate more rigor in the research?

    BTW I find both Willis and Dr. Spencer’s writings to have contributed a great deal to my understanding of Climate Science…

  440. Poptech:

    I have read all your posts including the daft post addressed to me October 11, 2013 at 6:27 am.

    It quotes much of what I wrote to you but demonstrates you failed to understand a word of it. Importantly, it omits this part of my post at October 11, 2013 at 3:25 am which you claim to be answering

    If you had a valid argument concerning the work of Willis Eschenbach then you would have stated it instead of attempting to demean him by use of a childish and egregious logical fallacy.
    As Mario Lento wisely advised you

    Your personal and quite offensive immature attack tells us more about you than Willis. Think back to your childhood and grow.

    Your subsequent posts are a series of excuses which attempt to avoid facing the reality of that wise advice.

    All your posts since then – including the post I am answering – show more of your inability to accept Lento’s wise advise, and they say nothing else.

    Richard

  441. The problem with the openness of blogs is that they get hijacked as a soap box for egoists. The main reason Anthony has been so successful is that he tends to keep his ego out and allow his blog to be varied and interesting. Big egos are generally the reason that “save the world” activists’ blogs are repulsive.

    Anyway, just two cents, but I find the entire hoopla about who said what about who is boorish and distasteful. Why did this spat need to even be brought up on WUWT? Does a minor kerfuffle on Roy Spencer’s blog need to be brought here at all – what interest does it serve your readers? IMHO, the whole discussion is self-serving and of little interest.

  442. Alec Rawls says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    +1.

    Is this the paper?
    “Spencer, R, etal., 2007,
    Cloud and radiation budget changes associated with tropical intraseasonal oscillations
    , GEOPHYSICAL RESEARCH LETTERS, VOL. 34, L15707,doi:10.1029/2007GL029698″

  443. Jeremy:

    At October 11, 2013 at 6:41 am you say

    IMHO, the whole discussion is self-serving and of little interest.

    But it was of sufficient interest for you to post to it. Hmmmm

    Richard

  444. Poptech, please understand, it’s not someone’s genuine abilities and hard-earned credentials that irritate so many of us less cognitively adept mortals. It’s the arrogance with which many of those intellectually so well endowed pronounce from on high Ex Cathedra. It’s the sense that so many highly educated individuals seem to assume a moral superiority by dint of their superior intellect. That they have, for instance, some intrinsic right to include or exclude from a privately owned open forum like WUWT in accordance with their own perception of their own importance. But there’s only one person who has the right to exclude here, and that’s Anthony.

    And as far as many lurkers like me are concerned, Willis does not behave in this manner. He is a disciplined educator and gifted communicator. I have learned a great deal from his writings and the ensuing discussions, and I know that there are many others out there who would second that. Sure, he’s an irrascible type. So am I. So f******g what? Perhaps life has given us good reason to bark! The main thing is, does an argument hold water? And quite obviously this site is an excellent place to crowdsource criticism and test the soundness of a poster’s theory, irrespective of his establishment credentials or lack thereof.

    As I do not have the capacity to judge for myself whether something Willis says is wrong or right in its technical details (a partly justified concern of people like yourself), I am always very careful to follow the intelligent criticisms among the many comments his posts invariably trigger. Sure, he could be leading me a merry dance, but that’s my responsibility, not yours or anybody else’s. So stop trying to mother me. If you have a valid criticism, it will stand. If not, we’ll all move on a little wiser anyway – bloody wonderful, and in my opinion exactly how popular science should work…

  445. Richard, your implication is a strawman argument as I did not make any appeal to authority logical fallacy and clearly stated that “citizen scientists” are on equal footing once their work is published.

    I believe people have the right to know what Willis’s scientific credentials (or lack there of) are, they are of course free to make up their own minds afterwards. How knowing this information “demeans” someone is a rather revealing statement.

    If the topic was Commercial Fishing, Construction or the Peace Corps I would be interested in reading Willis’s analysis. Science? Not so much.

    But I am a “crazy” person because I am not interested in medical advice from plumbers.

  446. Jan Smit,

    I liked your comment. Well done.

    Poptech: I like your posts, too. Please try to avoid getting into a pissing match with folks on our side. You all have something valuable to contribute. I especially like your data base, which you regularly post and email.

    We’re all on the same side here, we are skeptics regarding the manmade global warming narrative. Please, let us be on the same page, without attacing our teammates. A difference of opinion is fine, but don’t let it get out of hand. That only benefits the other side.

  447. richardscourtney says:
    October 10, 2013 at 7:54 am

    I take your point, and I attempted to avoid the thread being side-tracked onto that point in my above posts which these links jump to

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442181

    and with specific reference to the R&C Effect

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1442893

    I hope those posts are helpful to your thought.

    Thanks Richard. It seems like your points agree with mine, yours are just stated more succinctly.

    p.s. To all, I wish folks would learn to use the blockquote tag. It’s not much more difficult that using the italics tag, just a few more characters, but makes a post with quotes eminently more easy to read. It’s easy. Just put <blockquote> at the beginning of a quote, and </blockquote> at the end of it.

  448. Poptech says: October 11, 2013 at 6:58 am

    “But I am a “crazy” person because I am not interested in medical advice from plumbers.”

    I’m sorry Poptech, but that statement is just absurd in the context of WUWT. I for one am not here to purchase the services of Willis Eschenbach, medical or otherwise. I do not require him to be officially trained in the subject he is discussing. This is an open and free intellectual forum mainly focusing on climate science. Please try and give others credit for understanding the framework of what they’re reading and it’s relative merit in the wider context.

    Sure, there will be those who think the sun shines out of Willis’s backside, but that’s their lookout. If you’re so concerned about it, engage with them and try to lead them to a greater appeciation of his undoubted human frailty, but please do it in all humility without sounding like an apparatchik.

    And thanks dbstealey for you compliment. I too have often enjoyed Poptech’s contributions, so my comments are not born of any underlying grudge or hidden agenda. Just by a deep-seated personal revulsion at being made to feel stoopid, and by implication a lesser mortal. Call me hypersensitive if you will, but I have good reason to feel like that…

  449. Dear Mr. Poptech,

    Please list your academic credentials for us to peruse. It would make for some good reading, I’m sure. I must say, without credentials that would give credence to your incessant nattering, we are all left with the impression that you have not the cognitive ability to understand either Dr. Roy or Willis. You have not addressed their science in any of your posts.

    Where did Willis go wrong? What mistakes has he made? Which equations are in error? But then that is the same error displayed in both of Dr. Roy’s posts. No quibble with the science, just the lame fallacy that ‘if you are not in my club you are wrong’. Perhaps coming down from your autoconstructed throne would help you to understand that there just might be some really smart people who don’t have a PhD and don’t mind at all. And perhaps, if you actually read some of Willis’ folksy stories, you might realize that a man who can buy a college textbook on refrigeration, design a shipboard system, and then redesign the system at the owner’s whim and make the whole thing work just might be smart enough to learn a little on his own. Maybe.

    No handwaving now. Show us the credentials. Show us a little humility. And of course, show the proper respect for Willis’ CV. Fanboy? No. But highly respectful of man who has accomplished much in his life. Perhaps you could even post your CV. It might be interesting to put them side by side.

    pbh

  450. Poptech

    If you can fault what Willis wrote in his article, do so and prove him wrong with proper citations, if you really want to talk science. Instead you start a slimejob attacking the man. If you’d care to do your homework, you could have searched this site and seen that Willis already made public his qualifications and background and what he does and never hid anything. So, what you state about his qualifications and experience is not anything new. It is a well known fact which Willis himself posted here and which you were too lazy to search for.

    Willis has also said many times that anyone is welcome to attack is work and show with citations where he was wrong. And when shown wrong he has also admitted mistakes openly and corrected his articles.

    So just quit sliming Willis the person and show what’s wrong with what he stated in this article. If you can’t do it, shut up.

    Nobody forced you to read Willis’ articles just liken nobody forced you to take medical advice from plumbers. You piled on here at your own will and are doing a dirty slime job.

  451. Poptech says:
    October 11, 2013 at 6:58 am
    But I am a “crazy” person because I am not interested in medical advice from plumbers.

    ====================

    Slice your hand open and the plumber informs you to apply pressure and elevate to stop bleeding, are you fool enough not to heed the advice recommended by every first aid procedure there is just because the plumber doesn’t have a medical degree of high enough standing that would meet your standards? I have looked forward to your comments in the past but they have become bizarre on this thread.

    —————

    @ Jan Smit, well said in both of your comments.

  452. McComberBoy, Sorry but I don’t post personal information online as I understand the dangers in doing so, see: http://www.theguardian.com/world/the-nsa-files

    I am simply a computer analyst who attended a technical university.

    I do not post original climate science research but rather analyze and compile existing information.

    Like all things that sound too good to be true, I am skeptical of some of Willis’s claims in his stories. He actually lists on his resume, “Refrigeration Engineer”… which he has no business claiming.

    Pretty much any project he worked on he lists as a “job” but I only counted ones where he was actually employed by a company in that position. Using this logic I should also be an auto mechanic, electrician, TV repairman, bicycle repairman, landscaper, insulation installer, washer and dryer repairman, plumber… you name it.

    Willis’s CV reads like someone who could not hold down a job (his choice or not it is still a valid point) and is as rambling as his posts.

    The Willis Fanboys here can deny they are but demonstrate two characteristics,

    1. Resent or argue against relevant credentials (likely because they do not possess any).
    2. Knee-jerk defend Willis as if they are being personally attacked, yet do not understand the argument.

  453. Some of us felt this ego preening in public was a peacock thing and not the best thing for dealing with the true fruad fact finding needed to over come the CO2 cargo cult of the tax and spend tribe.

    Should be a lesson learned.

    Stick to the subjet at hand on the main blog, if some pass time fun in the sun post are needed, put tthem aside in a place where that is clear to all.

  454. The tactics being exposed by Willis are the standard tactics that have allowed AGW to thrive. Spencer’s tactic–a tactic employed by all AGW alarmists–is to simply address the issue/challenge. Make a dismissive comment about it, and move on. Their goal is to create confusion and leave their audience with impression that this is a subject better left to experts.

    The only effective way to counter this tactic is by being extremely impolite and aggressive. If one is polite and helpful you will be perceived by the audience as weak and not credible.

  455. Looks to me as if Poptech is using the usual ad hominem attack when the unarmed loose an argument. Seems to me Willis has a lot of interests and wears many hats. What’s the problem with that?

  456. Ventor, I have been reading this site long before you were. I never claimed he has not stated some of his background here before. The problem is many people are unaware of these facts and read his posts, falsely believing he is some kind of a scientist.

    Since when is posting someone’s “credentials” a slim job? Can’t handle the truth?

    Willis Eschenbach, B.A. Psycology, Sonoma State University (1975); California Massage Certificate, Aames School of Massage (1974); Commercial Fisherman (1968, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1994, 1995); Auto Mechanic, People’s Garage (1969-1970); Cabinet Maker, A.D. Gibson Co. (1972); Office Manager, Honolulu Emergency Labor Pool (1972); Construction Manager, Autogenic Systems Inc. (1973); Assistant Driller, Mirror Mountain Enterprises (1975-1976); Tax Preparer, Beneficial Financial Company (1977); Accountant, Farallones Institute (1977-1978); Peace Corps and USAID (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1994); Cabinet Maker, Richard Vacha Cabinets (1986); County Director, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1986-1988); General Manager, Liapari Limited (1989-1992); Regional Health Coordinator, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1994-1995); Project Manager, Eschenbach Construction Company (1995-2003); Construction Manager, Koro Sun Limited (1999); Construction Manager, Taunovo Bay Resort (2003-2006); Accounts/IT Senior Manager, South Pacific Oil (2007-2010)

  457. plumber…

    So Poptech you are the plumber?
    Well, that’s funny!

    P.S: Have you ever published in peer reviewed journals like Willis has done? Even if you have, please change the tone and subject of your attacks. Thank you.

  458. Bair Polaire says: So Poptech you are the plumber?
    Well, that’s funny!

    Um …yeah OK.. sure I am. I take it Willis fanboys do not comprehend what they read very well?

    This thread may be all the scientific evidence I need to support my fanboy hypothesis.

    P.S: Have you ever published in peer reviewed journals like Willis has done? Even if you have, please change the tone and subject of your attacks. Thank you.

    Nope, Willis’s two peer-reviews papers beat me (one co-authored with Dr. Loehle). His comment in Nature was not a paper.

  459. Lets take a poll on who knows more about science,

    Willis Eschenbach, B.A. Psycology, Sonoma State University (1975); California Massage Certificate, Aames School of Massage (1974); Commercial Fisherman (1968, 1969, 1971, 1979, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1994, 1995); Auto Mechanic, People’s Garage (1969-1970); Cabinet Maker, A.D. Gibson Co. (1972); Office Manager, Honolulu Emergency Labor Pool (1972); Construction Manager, Autogenic Systems Inc. (1973); Assistant Driller, Mirror Mountain Enterprises (1975-1976); Tax Preparer, Beneficial Financial Company (1977); Accountant, Farallones Institute (1977-1978); Peace Corps and USAID (1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1993, 1994); Cabinet Maker, Richard Vacha Cabinets (1986); County Director, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1986-1988); General Manager, Liapari Limited (1989-1992); Regional Health Coordinator, Foundation for the People of the South Pacific (1994-1995); Project Manager, Eschenbach Construction Company (1995-2003); Construction Manager, Koro Sun Limited (1999); Construction Manager, Taunovo Bay Resort (2003-2006); Accounts/IT Senior Manager, South Pacific Oil (2007-2010)

    or

    Roy W. Spencer, B.S. Atmospheric Sciences, University of Michigan (1978); M.S. Meteorology, University of Wisconsin (1980); Ph.D. Meteorology (Thesis: “A case study of African wave structure and energetics during Atlantic transit“), University of Wisconsin (1982); Research Scientist, Space Science and Engineering Center, University of Wisconsin (1982-1984); Senior Scientist for Climate Studies, Marshall Space Flight Center, NASA (1984-2001); MSFC Center Director’s Commendation (1989); NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal (1991); U.S. Team Leader, Multichannel Imaging Microwave Radiometer (MIMR) Team, NASA (1992-Present); Team Leader, AMSR-E Science Team, NASA (1994-Present); American Meteorological Society’s Special Award (1996); Principal Research Scientist, Earth System Science Center, University of Alabama in Huntsville (2001-Present)

    Tough call.

  460. Poptech, your analogy doesn’t make sense to me so I don’t want your help. Yes, you pulled me down to your level on this response. If my posted comment to your analogy doesn’t make any sense to you, you can’t be helped. Contact your medical professional and see if he/she would recommend Valium and rest to help alleviate your bizarre responses. Pardon me if I cop out on you now but I can’t provide any help to you at this point.

  461. “Willis stuff may not all be entirely original but for most of us he is the one who got it out there onto the web.”

    Scientists have often cared about who gets it first and proper credit, not just who got it out there so that the public can read about it.

  462. Poptech says: I take it Willis fanboys do not comprehend what they read very well?

    From your earlier comment I read you would like to get professional medical advice.
    I applaud that.

  463. Poptech, I get your point about their resumes, but Albert Einstein’s resume would have read “Patent Clerk, Swiss Patent Office”.

    Your appeal to authority argument is beneath you.

    Sure, you can point out their resumes and what that implies, but you imply this is a slam dunk. It isn’t.

  464. Poptech:

    Your post at October 11, 2013 at 6:58 am begins saying

    Richard, your implication is a strawman argument as I did not make any appeal to authority logical fallacy and clearly stated that “citizen scientists” are on equal footing once their work is published.

    No! How dare you!?
    I made no “implication” and I never – not ever – provide a “strawman argument”.

    I make as statements, explanations and arguments of my views which are as clear as I can make them. If I think I am right then I stand my ground, if I don’t know then I admit it, and when shown to be wrong or mistaken I thank whomever showed me that. But I never pose straw men.

    In this case we are referring to my post at October 11, 2013 at 3:25 am

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/10/09/dr-roy-spencers-ill-considered-comments-on-citizen-science/#comment-1444222

    I there wrote saying to you

    your post at October 10, 2013 at 10:08 pm which said

    Why people don’t take Willis seriously,

    Then listed what you claim are the credentials of Willis Eschenbach.Your post was an egregious form of the Appeal to Authority fallacy; i.e.
    Your post asserted that Willis Eschenbach is not – and, by implication, should not be – taken seriously because he does not have credentials which you assert as being important.

    If you had a valid argument concerning the work of Willis Eschenbach then you would have stated it instead of attempting to demean him by use of a childish and egregious logical fallacy.

    I made no “implication”. I posed no “straw man argument”.
    I bluntly stated and I accurately explained that you had made “an egregious form of the Appeal to Authority fallacy”.

    You have repeated that fallacy subsequently. It is offensive.

    Richard

  465. This fanboy disease is much worse than I thought. I wish Dr. Spencer had said something sooner, like a couple of years ago. Willis’s ego will likely derail any attempt at reconciliation and the fanboys will follow Willis off the cliff.

  466. Richard, your implication was that I made an appeal to authority logical fallacy. This is a strawman argument because I never claimed Willis was wrong because of his lack of credentials. I stated why people do not take him seriously using his credentials as evidence, which is an observation on how people value expertise.

  467. @Max Hugoson
    Have I ever gone through the mathematics of papers equation by equation. Yes frequently – I have to. Also, one has to go through statistics very carefully in my field.

    @Poptech.
    Willis’ CV is interesting. My problem with his maths is that it is extrordinarily naive. He uses concepts that I didn’t encounter until I was a postgraduate. His CV confirms that he hasn’t got the formal background in maths that allows him to understand the concepts that he attempts to use. It certainly explains why he is incapable of understanding any criticisms levelled at his “science”.

    As regards all the comments along the line of PhDs are thick, scientists don’t know anything etc, etc… One has to distinguish between personality and expertise. I’ve encountered some pretty thick PhDs and many behave pretty badly. However, if one has stuidied a subject and used for many years, it is likely that one will have a better understanding of the subject than one who doesn’t. I can function in my field because I am trained and experienced in it. I cannot design computers, I know nothing about atomic particles or cosmology, I do not know how to fly an airliner. If I were to write lengthy articles on these subjects, I would rapidly be bowled out by professionals and made to look an idiot.

  468. Poptech, I was with you and still am in one of your past arguments with Dana Nuccitelli, but you cannot possibly have said something this retarded:

    Richard, your implication is a strawman argument as I did not make any appeal to authority logical fallacy and clearly stated that “citizen scientists” are on equal footing once their work is published [by people in authority].

  469. @Poptech: you wrote “http://www.linkedin.com/in/mariolento
    If this is you, your argument is ridiculous. It is like saying all Boeing engineers should be expert pilots.”
    ++++++++
    Richardscourney and The Pompous Git tried to help you understand how to string words together to form cogent debate. Evidently my credentials are too complex for you to understand. You spout off like you’re the smartest guy in the room, but everyone here can see you’re incapable of comprehending the subject matter.

  470. “If this is you, your argument is ridiculous. It is like saying all Boeing engineers should be expert pilots.”

    The process for getting a pilot’s certification is not in any way like passing pal review.

    We have a good understanding of what gets a plane from A to B, less agreement on the cutting edges of science. The one who is making ridiculous arguments would be you.

  471. Friends:

    Let us be clear concerning this nonsense about credentials proving the worth of work. They don’t.

    Credentials are evidence that a person has successfully achieved training which enables the person to conduct quality work. They are evidence of nothing more and nothing less.

    Absence of credentials provides evidence of nothing. However, it is more likely that a credentialed person will provide quality work than an uncredentialed person. Which is NOT to say that every uncredentialed person is incapable of quality work.

    This is demonstrated by the following one of countless examples.

    Two brothers who sold bicycles were self-taught in engineering principles and scientific experimental study and methodology. They had no academic qualifications but used the expertise they had gained for themselves to make a seminal discovery which is the foundation of all aeronautics. They examined their ideas with experiments they devised and designed using wind tunnels they devised and designed. Then they demonstrated their findings with a full-scale working model. Finally, they published their work in a magazine about bee keeping.

    The value, importance and quality of their work is not demonstrated by their lack of credentials, the lack of peer review for their work, and/or where they published that work.

    The value, importance and quality of their work is demonstrated by, for example, the AirbusA310.

    Richard

  472. Highest marks to Jan Smit for four eloquent comments above on having a proper regard for credentials. Well said – very well said. I quoted Noam Chomsky above, but will repeat it here:

    “Generally speaking, it seems fair to say that the richer the intellectual substance of a field, the less there is a concern for credentials, and the greater is concern for content. “

    Lowest marks for Poptech (whoever he/she is) for comments to the contrary that are borderline offensive. Thanks nonetheless to Poptech for posting Willis Eschenbach’s resume. Clearly Willis is a man with wide self-developed abilities. This in contrast to many more conventional academic types with an alphabet soup following their name, who in too many cases, while receiving Poptech’s admiration, have the “narrow worldview of the proctologist” to revisit the old joke.

    I sincerely feel that the mind-set of Poptech represents a very tiny minority of readers of this blog; the majority having a proper “concern for content”. Thanks to so many here.

  473. Jan Smit says:
    October 11, 2013 at 2:43 am

    Brilliant essay, Jan Smit. As regards the “high and mighty” that you criticize very well, I am reminded of teaching students what fallacies are and how to avoid them. I begin by explaining why fallacies continue to exist. After all, we have known most of them for centuries and we have taught that they are mistakes in reasoning for centuries, so why haven’t they gone away? The answer is that fallacies enable unscrupulous people to use a facade of reasoning to gain control over people who are not practiced in reasoning. In other words, fallacies continue to exist for roughly the same reason that lies continue to exist.

    What does this have to do with the “high and mighty?” Check out their reasoning. When they commit a fallacy, they know what they are doing. In their own minds, they probably think that committing a fallacy is like telling a “white lie.” If only that were true. It is not.

    The legendary Michael Mann published an editorial in the NYT about two years ago. He argued that the work of climate scientists should be treated in the same way as the work of physicians to save the life of patients is treated. Mann is smart enough to know better. The goal of a physician is first and foremost to do no harm but secondly to relieve the suffering of his patient. Scientists do not have the same goals as physicians. The scientist’s primary goal when acting as scientist is to discover the truth and publicize the truth. So, Mann’s main error was to commit the fallacy of False Analogy. If Mann had been able to persuade the government and the public that climate scientists should be treated as physicians to the Earth, he would have found the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

    Study the fallacies. There are good websites on fallacies. Buy a used copy of Irving Copi’s Introduction to Logic, edition 3 or later. (The latest edition is like 15.) To survive in public debate you must know “ad hominem,” “red herring,” Obama’s favorite “strawman,” “begging the question” which is the same as “arguing in a circle,” “false analogy,” and a few more.

    Continue your efforts. You have clearly made great progress, you will make more, and you will find that progress greatly rewarding.

  474. RC Saumarez says:
    October 11, 2013 at 9:33 am

    … Willis’ CV is interesting. My problem with his maths is that it is extrordinarily naive. He uses concepts that I didn’t encounter until I was a postgraduate. His CV confirms that he hasn’t got the formal background in maths that allows him to understand the concepts that he attempts to use. It certainly explains why he is incapable of understanding any criticisms levelled at his “science”.

    To date, despite my repeated invitations, RC has not posted any actual objections to either my math or my work.

    Instead, he constantly claims things like that I’m “extraordinarily naive” and “incapable of understanding” and similar personal attacks. I guess he thinks if he repeats it enough it will make me look bad … but instead it only makes him look bad.

    For example, RC complained bitterly (but again without content) about my analysis of the effect of the volcanoes on the temperature. However, when I asked him for his brilliant analysis, he said he’d have to think about the problem for two months before saying anything … and this is his pattern.

    Whenever he is pressed for an actual answer, he comes up with some bogus excuse. Most recently, his excuse was that he couldn’t post equations on WUWT. I patiently explained that yes, Latex is available to all here on WUWT, including him … but of course, that didn’t get him to post anything with any substance either, it was just another in his endless whirl of reasons why he is prevented from demonstrating his true genius …

    Read through what he says about me, and look for anything of substance … you’ll find nothing. Ad hominem attacks by the score, dozens and dozens of claims that I’m a fool, that I don’t understand … but never anything relating to the actual science. Never anything falsifiable. Never anything with numbers, or citations, or support, or observations.

    So go ahead, RC, bring on more ad hominems … at this point people around here know who you are. They know that no matter how hard you flap your lips, your science never gets off the ground. At this point, you’ve basically cancelled your own vote due to your continuous string of personal attacks and other inanitites.

    You might consider decamping to somewhere that you can fool people with your claims, because here, your word is worth nothing.

    w.

  475. Theo Goodwin says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:09 am

    I regard a PhD as an academic union card or qualification to get a job in industry. That doesn’t mean that the scientific work done by a researcher with a doctorate will necessarily be better than that done by a citizen scientist with a BS or without any college degree at all. The proof is in the pudding, just as a journeyman union carpenter might not be able to make as fine a cabinet as a hobbyist wood-worker.

  476. Now I do think there can be advantages to both an extensive formal education and a concentrated academic work history. Nothing I’m saying about Poptech’s appeal to authority argument is meant as a defence of Willis’s work. I thought Roy Spencer raised some good points, especially about researching the literature on what has come before and giving credit where credit is due.

  477. Which, even if you intend to do that, isn’t possible if you don’t try to find out who did what first.

    Anyway, I’m sure there could still be some inadvertent duplication, but what Spencer said was reasonable.

  478. “That doesn’t mean that the scientific work done by a researcher with a doctorate will necessarily be better than that done by a citizen scientist with a BS or without any college degree at all.”

    Well, maybe not, but I’d still say the odds are better of a PhD knowing more about the field than a long-haul trucker. Exceptions might occur.

  479. Alec Rawls says:
    October 10, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    Willis asks of Roy:

    Now, perhaps as you say, someone before me advanced the same hypothesis I’ve put forward, which is that the time of the daily onset of the tropical thunderstorms and cumulus clouds regulates the global temperature with little regard for changes in forcings. But it certainly wasn’t Ramanathan and Collins …
    So I still await your identification of the study which put forward that hypothesis prior to my own journal publication.

    It would seem that the publication he has in mind is his own withdrawn “Nature’s Thermostat” essay, but he can’t say it, because in some fit of doubt withdrew from the public eye one of the best things he has ever written, and now nobody remembers (except for me it seems). No wonder Roy is upset in a degree that seems hard to fathom, as Willis notes:

    It seems as if I’ve unknowingly done something that has deeply upset you, but I’m not clear what it is. If so, you have my apologies.

    I think the way to make this better is for WUWT to republish Roy’s 2007 essay in its final form as Roy withdrew it in 2008, so that everyone can see how much of Willis’ thermostat hypothesis had already been put forward by Roy. It’s Roy who is not getting the due credit, but he feels he can’t ask for it and it seems to be eating him up. We need to make Roy whole. It was crazy for him to withdraw something so good that he had put so much work into. He should get credit, as well as noogies for his lack of faith in his own work. And all credit to Willis as well.

    Alec, I must confess that I have no memory of anything like that from Roy. Where was it published and then withdrawn?

    And although it does kinda make sense out of the intensity of Roy’s upset … if that’s the case, if he thinks I’m plagiarizing him, why wouldn’t he say so?

    Look, the last thing I want to do is to not give credit when it’s due. But until and unless Dr. Roy himself tells me what study anticipated mine, I can’t give credit to anyone.

    What I find online from Dr. Roy regarding a natural thermostat is actually an interesting claim … but it has little to do with my own hypothesis:

    It is now reasonably certain that changes in solar radiation cause temperature changes on Earth. For instance, the 1991 eruption of Mt. Pinatubo caused a 2% to 4% reduction in sunlight, resulting in two years of below normal temperatures, especially over Northern Hemisphere land areas.

    But the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect (again, mostly from water vapor and clouds) is under the control of weather systems — especially precipitation systems — which are generated in response to solar heating. Either directly or indirectly, those precipitation systems determine the moisture (water vapor and cloud) characteristics for most of the rest of the atmosphere.

    Precipitation systems could, theoretically, cause a much warmer climate on Earth than is currently observed. They could allow more water vapor to build up in the atmosphere, but they don’t. Why not?

    The reason must ultimately be related to precipitation processes. I believe that precipitation systems act as a thermostat, reducing the Earth’s greenhouse effect (and thus causing enhanced cooling) when temperatures get too high, and warming when temperatures get too low. It is amazing to think that the ways in which tiny water droplets and ice particles combine in clouds to form rain and snow could determine the course of global warming, but this might well be the case.

    I believe that it is the inadequate handling of precipitation systems — specifically, how they adjust atmospheric moisture contents during changes in temperature — that is the reason for climate model predictions of excessive warming from increasing greenhouse gas emissions. To believe otherwise is to have faith that climate models are sufficiently advanced to contain all of the important processes that control the Earth’s natural greenhouse effect.

    So Dr. Roy says that precipitation systems act as a thermostat. It’s a very interesting speculation, worthy of thought … but I don’t see any explanation of the mechanism or how it actually works, and he doesn’t go into it on that page. I don’t find any clear exposition of his precipitation theory anywhere on the web, but it certainly may be out there somewhere.

    Still, though, my hypothesis is totally different. I’m not discussing his ideas, about how the key is precipitation, in any sense.

    So I’m still in mystery about why he decided to abuse citizen scientists in general, and me in particular.

    w.

  480. Roy does good experimental work but does not want to hear suggestions on how to display it. I have suggested to him several times not to label the 1982/83 La Nina as Pinatubo cooling on his web site but he has never responded nor has he changed the label. It is simply an ordinary La Nina that accidentally happened to be in a location where the volcanic cooling paradigm says that cooling should appear. There is no such thing as volcanic cooling as I have pointed out and proved but he like other climate scientists do not want to be corrected. Nor do they bother to read the publications where the science is laid out. In this case, “What Warming?”

  481. Christoph Dollis says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    Of course you’re right, but to write a single paper, a researcher doesn’t necessarily need to know as much about the subject as a PhD. Originality & new insight have historically often come from outside the scientific establishment, sometimes by PhDs & sometimes not.

    Copernicus’ doctorate was in canon law & he worked as a church canon in remote Prussia. He didn’t teach astronomy at a university. Lavoisier had a law degree & became a tax-farmer. Faraday was an apprentice bookbinder. Darwin’s undergrad degree was in divinity & he lived as a country gentleman. Einstein was a patent clerk with an four-year teaching diploma, although he did earn a PhD in the same year in which his relativity papers were published.

    Still, the way to bet is on the professional, but IMO the quality or lack thereof of the work should stand on its own, whether written by a rank amateur or the holder of an endowed chair.

  482. PS: Cavendish, discoverer of hydrogen, went down from Cambridge without a degree. Other commenters here have cited more recent citizen scientists who have made important contributions to their fields.

  483. Good grief Poptech, what is your problem? I’m beginning to detect a hard cynical edge to your comments. Your repeated references to Willis’s CV and to his ‘fanboys’ – whoever they are supposed to be – betrays something oddly bitter within you.

    Firstly, I am perfectly aware of Willis’s background as he has been very open about it over the years (like many others, I arrived here when Climategate first broke and have read WUWT almost every day since). Consequently I understand perfectly that he’s neither a credentialed scientist nor an indentured scientist. That he is in fact very much the amateur citizen-scientist. In my eyes that is actually his greatest strength. He looks at things as it were from the same end of the telescope as most of us aspiring citizen-scientists. This means that he is far better able to take his readers on a journey and get them to enjoy science. This in contrast to so much of the dry, po-faced crud that emanates from the professional sinecured scientists who are obviously technically more qualified to pronounce on the subject.

    Secondly, as regards my own lack of qualifications, I am quite open about this. I make no claim to comprehend the intricacies of quantum physics, though it’s one of my favorite subjects, or to be able to fathom the depths of Hofstadter’s GED and artificial intelligence. Such things are clearly beyond my intellectual capacity. But that’s why I come here. Here I find accessible science that sharpens my understanding yet does not patronize me. Here I find a fiercely intelligent environment that doesn’t suffer fools gladly – I like that! I’m not defending Willis. If he’s proven one thing beyond all doubt it’s that he is very capable of defending himself.

    What’s more, I resent no man who has made the effort to study and become qualified in a specific field. What I resent is being told that because I do not fall into this category that I somehow have less right to comment on things that interest me on an open forum populated by a wide variety of interesting people with varying degrees of aptitude. Or that owing to my lack of credentials I am incapable of discerning nonsense when I see it. Please, though my lack of formal education and training may well be a handicap, it is not by definition a sign that I am stupid or lack insight, though that may also be true – only time will tell.

    So I suggest you take a long hard look in the mirror, have yourself a nice glass of single malt and put your feet up in front of the fire. Relax, and ponder just how silly your cries are becoming.

    @ Theo Goodwin and Bernie Hutchins

    Thanks for the feedback guys. Your kind suggestions are duly noted. That excellent book on logic will have to wait, but I have indeed come across some great websites on the logical fallacies (https://yourlogicalfallacyis.com being my favorite). I too have discovered that the people who display the greatest humility regarding their credentials are the polymaths and the generalists, i.e. the ones with the broadest perspective. The ones who are acutely aware of the fact that the more you known, the more you know you don’t know – a quantum phenomenon if ever there was one…

  484. One point in all this discussion is being overlooked by those that make a claim to “Academic Authority”. Here on WUWT there is a tremendous amount of info and detailed discussion covering and in depth the various elements primarily with regards to atmospheric science. It is PHYSICS. Now if one is capable of understanding basic physics then 40 hours, 200 hours, or like many of us, thousands of hours of reading the posts and comments would equal far more than the time spent in a classroom digesting that presented by a professor/textbook that was likely obsolete (especially the professor) by the time it was taught. Toss in the need/desire for funding and fame and the entire academic structure becomes bankrupt. WUWT is the premier university. I understand physics and have no financial dog in this game. I want the truth. It is offered here on almost a daily basis. The academic establishment is in shock.

  485. @Willis Eschenbach
    I have frequently told you why I think your maths is wrong. The more mathematically aware on this blog understand what I say, If your background was less limited, you would understand why as well. Perhaps if, instead of insulting everybody who disagrees with you and telling people who are much better trained that they are incompetent, you actually took some notice of what said and learnt some maths, you standard of citizen science might improve.

  486. Arno Arrak says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:39 am

    I agree with you that volcanic eruptions cannot adequately explain climatic phenomena such as the LIA, but IMO they can & do account for some weather observations, as those after Tambora in 1815 & the 1257 event:

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/09/26/1307520110

    The presumed consequences of this eruption are detailed in a study from GISS (I know, I know…):

    http://jrscience.wcp.muohio.edu/climatepdfs02/ClimImpts1258VolcaClimChg00.pdf

  487. RC Saumarez says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

    @Willis Eschenbach
    I have frequently told you why I think your maths is wrong. The more mathematically aware on this blog understand what I say, If your background was less limited, you would understand why as well. Perhaps if, instead of insulting everybody who disagrees with you and telling people who are much better trained that they are incompetent, you actually took some notice of what said and learnt some maths, you standard of citizen science might improve.

    Another vacant yet venom-filled comment from RC. Folks, please note that once again and true to form he’s just making empty, unsupported claims—as with almost every one of his comments, there’s not a number, a link, a citation, an observation, a reference, a quotation, or a fact in the lot.

    He’s just treating us, once again, to his vitriolic opinions.

    w.

  488. vigilantfish says:
    October 10, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    The Pompous Git says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    “This causes excitement because despite having been published in several journals, Willis is not one of the anointed priests of scientism. I surmise that in thirty years’ time one will read of the Eschenbach Effect, rather than Herr Professor Doctor Doctor Schmidthead’s Hypothesis.

    ——————–
    Bingo! It’s the alliteration of “Eschenbach Effect”, which does rather have a ring to it, that probably excited “someone’s” interest in Willis’s work. I hope you are right.”

    I am pleased that I coined the term “Eschenbach Effect” a while back and also differentiated it from the Ramanathan and Collins work, hoping that it would catch on before it is simply stolen as someone else’s effect which seems to be the central issue of this post. Here is my post from April:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/26/updates-to-and-enso-observations-from-the-wuwt-ocean-reference-page/

    Gary Pearse says:
    April 28, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    richardscourtney says:
    April 28, 2013 at 9:59 am

    Your link to Ramanathan and Collins “possible” limit of 30C for SST is a good start, but I would have also added the link to the more recent work by Willis Eschenbach who actually illustrates the phenomenon using buoy data and connects it to the creation of cumulus (not cirrus), followed by thunderstorm heat engines that cool hot spots – published in E&E.

    Volume 21, Number 4 / August 2010

    A later work has unequivocal graphics of data showing that 30C is pretty much the limit. Scroll down to the blue “dotted graphics” to see these unequivocal illustrations

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/04/21/dehumidifying-the-tropics/.

    Despite prior mention by Ramanathan and Collins, I propose that this phenomenon be named the “Eschenbach effect” for the full clear explanation for the phenomenon.

  489. eyesonu says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:55 am

    I made a misstatement in my earlier statement.

    …. It is PHYSICS. Now if one is capable of understanding basic physics then 40 hours, 200 hours, or like many of us, thousands of hours of reading the posts and comments would equal far more than the time spent in a classroom digesting that presented by a professor/textbook that was likely obsolete (especially the professor) by the time it was taught. ….

    Please strike; ” (especially the professor)”. In reality only those professors and textbooks created over the past 20 years would be obsolete.

  490. Bair Polaire: Mental results of physical processes are called concepts.

    You cite wikipedia? “Pnenomena” and “phenomenon” have more than one meaning. Mental results of physical processes include percepts as well as concepts. The part that “emerges” in an “emergent phenomenon” is merely something in a system studied that on initial viewing and study can’t be explained from what is already known. Once there as a lot of understanding, as with some of the recurring eddies at the edge of the Gulf Stream, it is clear that they are part of the process from which they arise. Thus, the “emergence” is purely mental. The other example was mushrooms that emerge from the fungal net: once there is enough study and understanding, it can be seen how the mushrooms emerge, and two mushrooms are no longer distinct physical process, but related and highly similar processes occurring simultaneously in different parts of the net. You can say the same for spiral waves that emerge and dissipate and emerge some more in dynamic systems: eddies and spiral waves on the surface of heart muscle are examples, and cyclonic storms may be (to my knowledge, mathematical analysis of cyclonic storms has not progressed to where they emerge in simulations, but they form continuously through time, and it makes more sense [to me, anyhow] to view them analogously to other physical spiral waves.

  491. Gary Pearse:

    re your comment at October 11, 2013 at 11:40 am.

    I accept much that you say. However, as I have repeatedly said (and explained) in this thread, I consider the R&C Effect and the Eschenbach Effect to be very different. Importantly, Willis has also said in this thread that he thinks they are different effects.

    Richard

  492. RC Saumarez says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:55 am
    @Willis Eschenbach
    I have frequently told you why I think your maths is wrong. The more mathematically aware on this blog understand what I say, If your background was less limited, you would understand why as well.
    +++++++++
    I am getting caught in the fray here because I think the hateful attacks do not advance science, nor are the attacks constructive.

    So what if I don’t understand why [or if] Willis’ “maths” is wrong? Would that have anything to do with my lack of credentials? I find lots of what Willis writes about well above my level of knowledge! BTW, my starting level of math in college was Calculus, then Calc2 and Calc3, Differential Equations, Complex Variables. I’ve also taken Statistics 1 and 2 and Statistical Process control.

    When people of your ilk beat their chest with credentials instead of being able to have a cogent dialogue, it’s more telling of your own shortcomings. Look within yourself and wonder when you became so arrogant. You may feel a short term sense of elevated status by spewing irrational fodder, but everyone else sees you for what you are. Both you and Poptech suffer from both narcissism with an underlying dose of self loathing.

  493. Tucker: I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back …

    You are as free to choose as anyone, but you are missing good stuff. At least, if that is a true statement. It’s appearance in a thread initiated by Willis is at least paradoxical.

  494. Christoph Dollis says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:30 am

    “That doesn’t mean that the scientific work done by a researcher with a doctorate will necessarily be better than that done by a citizen scientist with a BS or without any college degree at all.”

    Well, maybe not, but I’d still say the odds are better of a PhD knowing more about the field than a long-haul trucker. Exceptions might occur.
    ++++++++++++++
    Christoph: riddle me this: Which has better odds of being more honest, a PhD or a long-haul trucker?

  495. Willis Eschenbach says:
    October 10, 2013 at 9:02 pm

    Cross posted from Dr. Roy’s blog …

    Well done again.

  496. Willis, thank you for taking the first step to get back together with Dr. Roy to fight the true enemy, not each other. As I said you are a bigger man than he and should be the one to take that first step. Roy, you screwed up royally, mon ami. Admit it to yourself and meet Willis half way. We have a war to win.

  497. poptech: His rambling stories attract fanboys who obviously do not understand what Dr. Spencer is saying so they knee-jerk attack him.

    A couple days ago when Dr. Spencer posted his short criticism I asked him to supply some details and references. Instead he posted a rant on his own web page that was wrong on its two main (decipherable) assertions. Your course of life post on Willis is totally irrelevant to the scientific and ad hominem points in this debate. Willis has a hypthesis that (stripped of the word “thermostat”) fits well within the field of mathematical and empirical dynamic systems analysis (e.g. “Nonlinear Climate Dynamics” by Henk A. Dijkstra. His data analysis is hypothesis-driven, and insightful.

    Personally I skip Willis’ autobiographical stories (well, I read a couple paragraphs and skip the rest) but lots of denizens read them and praise them. Some people don’t like them, but they are incidental to the analyses he performs (though like a scientific biography of any scientist, they are part of the whole picture of the man — like, say Einstein’s first child.) It is a fact that in this debate, Dr Spenser made mistakes, so he was criticized. If there is a knee-jerk reaction here it is your disparagement of the person of Willis based on not reading enough of the writings here to be informed.

  498. Richard S Courtney,

    Since I sometimes spar with you, it’s only fair that I note an excellent post by you: Two brothers who sold bicycles were self-taught in engineering principles and scientific experimental study and methodology.

  499. Matthew R Marler:

    Thankyou for your comment addressed to me. I think a quid pro quo is in order.

    I think your post at October 10, 2013 at 9:14 am was both excellent and timely. Willis is schooled in hard knocks but he must be feeling the need for encouragement.

    Richard

  500. The colors are showing in this thread. Dig past the so-called colors and view deep into the psych. It has been a revealing and informative thread. The truth will prevail.

  501. RC Saumarez: I have frequently told you why I think your maths is wrong. The more mathematically aware on this blog understand what I say

    Really? Whenever was that?

  502. Richard S Courtney, thank you.

    Phew! I have read the whole thread. If anybody responds to me, I’ll check back tomorrow.

  503. Steve314 said @ October 11, 2013 at 6:18 am

    What exactly is the substance of Spencer’s complaint? There IS no substance. His petulance and dog-in-the-manger antics don’t change the fact that Willis is providing a service that many members of the public find valuable. The service is one that Spencer refuses to do.

    Actually, this is untrue. Spencer has an interesting blog and has written a very accessible book:
    The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists
    . Unlike many such, it is also rich in humour and therefore even entertaining as well as educational.

    Your Steeleye Span comparison is very apt. I used to do security at a (sadly) now defunct annual folk festival. When we had Steeley Span, I was backstage after they performed. A local journalist asked Maddy why she sang. Maddy responded: “Because I like it.” The journalist rephrased the question and Maddy responded as she had previously. This happened a third time, whereupon Maddy said: “F**k off you stupid b***h!” and turned to me and said: “That will appear in tomorrow’s paper as my in-depth interview with Maddy Pryor”.

  504. Richard Feynman: “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts”, 1966.

    OK, maybe too often quoted, but the fact remains that even scientists with the best credentials have sometimes fallen victim to group think, defending orthodoxies against contrary claims by outsiders, even when the new ideas come from other credentialed professionals, such as Bretz & Wegener, rather than from amateurs.

  505. I’m coming in a bit late here, but I don’t think that one need be any sort of climate expert to see that Dr. Spencer most assuredly did accuse Willis of plagiarism and a fair amount of ignorance. Whether you agree or not with Dr. Spencer’s assessment that Willis is putting forth someone else’s ideas as his own and without attribution, that’s what Dr. Spencer did. Willis might be the biggest blowhard on the face of the planet, suck at maths, only read abstracts, and be utterly ignorant of the way science works in the big leagues, but all that’s completely irrelevant to the fact that Dr. Spencer threw down the plagiarism card. He wasn’t being kind or gentle or good natured about it, either.

    I’m not arguing whether Willis’s hypothesis is the same as that he purportedly plagiarized (but it doesn’t look to me as if it is), I’m just saying that if a man is challenged in a public forum that man has every right to respond in kind. A couple of years ago someone was angry with me and went on TV to air his complaints. I was not allowed by my employer to defend myself in any way at all, which caused me no end of frustration that my lack of a rebuttal would somehow give credence to that person’s whinge. Public accusations–particularly those unsupported by anything but opinions–require equally public responses, and debate such as I am reading here is always better than pistols at dawn.

  506. richardscourtney said @ October 11, 2013 at 9:49 am

    It’s worth noting that a year after the Wright brothers flew their aeroplane that Scientific American declared the event had not taken place. Had the Wright brothers actually achieved what they claimed, then surely a journalist would have written about it.

  507. @Willis Eschenbach
    I have frequently tried to point out that there are things wrong with your mathematical approach.

    Take your climate model in which you model the thermal capacity of the climate system is the form
    y(n)=(1-alpha)*x(n)+alpha*y(n-1)..

    This autoregressive equation has huge physical implications. It implies that the climate “heat sink” is a single compartment linear system.. There is a large body of eveidence that this is not the case. I have tried to explain to you that this is very important be cause the climate system shows persistance, that is not encapsulated by the above equation. One of the important indicators of this is the temperature auto-correlation function. This is very important because it affects the trends in temperature created by random inputs. I referred you to Luck and Lederle, Tol, and McIntyre. I even referred you to a piece that I had written.

    You write about dynamic systems but you do not understand the significance of the autocorrelation function, This is elementary and also central to understanding system behaviour.

    On a more recent thread I introduced the possibility of aliasing. Another commentator on the thread who says that he does signal processing in Earth Sciences as his job agreed. This was met by blast from you in which you told us that we were incompetent.

    I suggested that the problem could be seen through a simple model. When challenged to say what this model was I produced it. OK. it uses Laplace Transforms and I used the conventional symbol for feedback in this notation, which is B(s). You responded that this was all BS! I don’t think that is a very intelligent response.

    Let me remind you that you are the person who is posting about dynamics of systems, feedback etc. Laplace transforms are quite useful in analysing linearisable systems, and yield considerable insight into their behaviour. You clearly do not know what a Laplace Transform is, but it might help you if you discovered what it is and what it means because it is very important technique.

    [SNIP that last paragraph was not only rude and condescending toward me and Willis, but an over the top policy violation - discuss the science issues, but don't try to play that role again or it will end up in the bit bucket - Anthony]

  508. The Pompous Git:

    Thanks for your post to me at October 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm. This thread needed an input of levity.

    Richard

  509. I need to say this about Willis. Seeing his resume helps me appreciate more what people are capable of. It’s incredibly rare for someone to be so thoroughly adroit in so many seemingly disparate areas. People that have been casting stones to quell their jealousy don’t get it.

    Poptech, based on your credentials listed on your site, one such as you would ask what qualifies you to argue with Dana? After all, you are not a climate scientist, so you are not qualified for the debate.

  510. Poptech says: October 11, 2013 at 8:32 am

    [...] I am simply a computer analyst who attended a technical university [...].

    [...] I do not post original climate science research but rather analyze and compile existing information.[...]

    So, although you are not, according to your stated primary qualification, able to understand, analyze or comment upon climate science – you chose to do so anyway? Surely, by the same strange law, Willis may also ‘pretend’ to understand or comment (publish even) upon matters climate science?

    As to the non-thread related ‘machine gun’ posts (mostly concerning Poptech). There really should be some auto function that moves ‘local arguments’ here to “unthreaded”.

    Anyhoo…

    Had to laugh that some of the earliest posters on the Dr. Roy blog. Ned Nikolov for example. Now what possible grudge could he be holding? Oh, I remember, having his crap “theory of everything” pulled to pieces in minutes here. No grudge there then Ned?

    Oh hum … Like Cockroaches, they wait around in the woodwork for the chance to attack. Afraid to venture out into the light unless they feel a bit numerous. Stoat, I understand. After all, once outed as the back room slime he is, he can say whatever he wants to – nobody listens or cares.

    We have Stephen (Wilde), “[of Willis] His non scientific output reminds me of those occasional missives from ‘friends’ not seen for years that make every mundane event sound like a world shattering achievement” Ah, yes Stephen then again we have your own “proper new ‘scientifcal’ climate model wot I ‘ave tried for years to promote with no success”, No grudge there then eh Stephen?

    And let’s not mock “Salvatore”. Poor bastard couldn’t drum up a coherent argument over a bar tab.

    Anyhoo…

    There should also, by now, be a link or two posted (see my earlier post (many hours ago)) demonstrating quite clearly that Willis simply stole his ‘Hypothesis’ from x,y and z (xxxx). I’m still waiting for a simple link to a ‘paper’ covering “The Thermostat Hypothesis” and if it can pre-date Willis then I will be even more impressed.

    One paper?
    Anyone?
    No?
    OK … moving on …

  511. Mario Lento says:
    October 11, 2013 at 11:54 am

    There may not be much to chose between PhDs & truck drivers in terms of honesty. However, speaking not of ethics but the mental abilities of truck drivers, there’s this on Malcolm McLean from Harvard B-School:

    http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item/5026.html

  512. milodonharlani says:

    October 11, 2013 at 1:14 pm
    +++++

    But but… he was not qualified,… //sarc off.
    Brilliant retort!

  513. RC Saumarez says:
    October 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm
    @Willis Eschenbach
    I have frequently tried to point out that there are things wrong with your mathematical approach.
    Take your climate model in which you model the thermal capacity of the climate system is the form
    y(n)=(1-alpha)*x(n)+alpha*y(n-1).
    ++++++++++
    Is this what you meant when you said to Willis, “If your background was less limited, you would understand why as well”

    Do you really think Willis’ background prevents him from understanding whether or not y(n)=(1-alpha)*x(n)+alpha*y(n-1) is valid or useful?

    Admit it. You’re attempting to discredit someone with whom you do not like, so instead of challenging him on the technical merits of your view point, you say hateful and arguably inaccurate things.

    Let’s keep this about the science.

  514. RC Saumarez says :October 11, 2 013at 9:33 am

    His CV confirms that he hasn’t got the formal background in maths that allows him to understand the concepts that he attempts to use.

    Why does it take a “formal background” to understand any particular “concept(s)”? Maybe he has an IQ of 175(although I personally doubt it, judging from his writings, it is possible).

    A lot can be accomplished by those without formal training. I, for instance, taught both my daughters to read when they were babies. Not young children, but babies. I was able to do it because I didn’t know that it was impossible(was told that by a qualified, credentialed infant school teacher years later). I started as soon as they could speak, at eleven months, and stopped by their second birthdays. I stopped because no further teaching was necessary as they were teaching themselves so quickly at that stage. I did no phonetic training, they got that from Sesame Street. By age four and a half they could read like a TV news reader.

    Another example of “credentials”: For decades, in New Zealand, the medical establishment and government insisted that nobody had need for dietary supplements. Now they admit that that is untrue. They never apologised to the hundreds of children born with unnecessary neural tube defects.

    As regards all the comments along the line of PhDs are thick, scientists don’t know anything etc,

    I think that’s called “poisoning the well”(I could be wrong with that name as I don’t have any formal training in logic). Either way I think that you are incorrect. I’ve read all the comments, down to the one to which I’m replying, and haven’t seen those claims at all let alone the multitude(“…all the comments…”) that you claim. What I have seen are claims that credentials are not needed to ascertain truth*. Could you please quote at least one comment where the claim along the line “PhDs are thick, scientists don’t know anything…” is made?

    I thank you in advance for the cite, otherwise look forward to your retraction.

    * With no training in psychology, in 1961, I detected the Burt fraud/error and I wasn’t even looking for such, as I was in broad agreement with his thesis. This was about ten years before the anointed noticed it. I am personally sure that it was fraud.

  515. Christoph: riddle me this: Which has better odds of being more honest, a PhD or a long-haul trucker?

    About the same. (What? You think they keep their drive time (and by inference, sleep time) logs by the book?)

    Tucker says:
    October 10, 2013 at 4:19 am

    I stopped reading Willis’ posts a while back …

    Since you read this one, you’ve started out your rant with an obvious lie … sorry, didn’t read any further.

    w.

    That’s silly, Willis. Tucker said he stopped reading your posts because he doesn’t have confidence in what you’re saying. Obviously, he an anyone else in his position would — upon seeing your name in the headlines and realising that a prominent scientist is criticising you — probably read that particular post — or if not the post itself, as he’d lost confidence in you, the original criticism.

    By way of analogy, if one had a business writer whose analysis one found lacking, one may stop reading their column. However, a column written by that person defending themself from criticism from another business writer who you greatly respected just might peak your interest. Anyone can understand this.

    milodonharlani says:
    October 11, 2013 at 10:43 am

    Yes, great examples. I brought up Einstein, but you provided more information about the timing of his doctorate, and more about the others, most of which I knew about, but not all.

    Definitely a layperson, or more frequently an expert in a different field, can do groundbreaking work.

  516. richardscourtney said @ October 11, 2013 at 1:11 pm

    The Pompous Git:

    Thanks for your post to me at October 11, 2013 at 1:05 pm. This thread needed an input of levity.

    Richard

    And thank you for your excellent input to this fascinating thread. If you liked that anecdote:

    I am currently reading a lovely little book about Stephenson and the other railway pioneers published in the early 19th C. It tells me that a Frenchman had mooted the idea of a steam-powered locomotive, but the authorities had locked him away in a lunatic asylum for making the suggestion.

  517. when it was apparent that his pursuit of climate science gold nuggets, while commendable for being dogged, lacked the substance and overall accuracy one sees in truly scientific papers. Too often have I seen Willis come back to a blog entry and correct a major underpinning of his original thoughts.

    While I totally get this, it has to be pointed out that far too many scientists do this too little.

  518. @ Christoph Dollis & milodonharlani

    Regarding Einstein, few (outside of historians) know that of the 300 or so papers he wrote, only one was peer reviewed. Einstein took great exception to being reviewed and wrote to the editor of Physical Review that the reviewer’s criticism was invalid (it wasn’t) and that he would submit the paper he had co-written with Rosen elsewhere. Physical Review had introduced peer review only recently (mid 1930s) and was an early adopter of the concept. Also, towards the end of his life, Einstein said that none of his early papers would have been published had he been a reviewer. An interesting character as well as thinker.

  519. The Pompous Git:

    We are going off topic but I make this one post in response to your post addressed to me at October 11, 2013 at 1:48 pm. I make this off topic reply because the nature of this thread needs something for Willis to cheer him up.

    In light of your and Willis’ interest in steam age technology, you may want to come here to Cornwall in April for Trevithick Day in Camborne to share in the annual celebration of the town’s ‘son’ who invented the steam locamotive. The police get frantic about the steam parade through the Camborne because the ancient vehicles lack proper brakes and their route is packed with onlookers. Anyway, this is a link to an indication of a grand day out

    http://www.trevithick-day.org.uk/

    Richard

  520. @Mario Lento.
    This is about science and mathematics. If you use mathematics, it should be used properly with a proper understanding of what it means.

  521. Interesting, TPG.

    So during the most innovative period in theoretical physics, papers weren’t peer reviewed much to speak of?

    Makes sense to me. The idea that peer review, a form of politics and consensus, is the sine qua non of science is ludicrous.

  522. Christoph Dollis said @ October 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    While I totally get this

    Actually, I suspect that you do not. A fully credentialled scientist has no need to correct error; it’s not a requirement. Willis shows his amateur status by correcting his mistakes. It would be far more professional of him to emulate the M Manns of this world and tough things out.

    Do I really need to put a sarc tag after this?

  523. @ Christoph Dollis

    If we take the period of late 19th C through to 1930 as the most innovative period in theoretical physics, then there was no peer review that I know of. Even after it was introduced, it was often enough not used. The famous Crick and Watson paper comes immediately to mind. John Maddox wrote of this in his autobiography.

    You might enjoy Daniel Kennefick’s article about the contretemps between himself and John Tate (editor of Physical Review).

    http://physicstoday.org/journals/doc/PHTOAD-ft/vol_58/iss_9/43_1.shtml?bypassSSO=1

  524. Matthew R Marler says:

    The part that “emerges” in an “emergent phenomenon” is merely something in a system studied that on initial viewing and study can’t be explained from what is already known. Once there as a lot of understanding (…) it is clear that they are part of the process from which they arise. Thus, the “emergence” is purely mental.

    Again, your understanding of an “emergent phenomenon” as something that can’t be explained from what is already known, and that is purely mental, is rather unusual. At least in the context of physics. Whereas Willis’ use of “emergent phenomenon” is exactly as defined in Wikipedia:

    In physics, emergence is used to describe a property, law, or phenomenon which occurs at macroscopic scales (in space or time) but not at microscopic scales, despite the fact that a macroscopic system can be viewed as a very large ensemble of microscopic systems.

    In Wikipedia they even use convection cells as an example for an emergent phenomenon:

    Convection in a liquid or gas is another example of emergent macroscopic behaviour that makes sense only when considering differentials of temperature. Convection cells, particularly Bénard cells, are an example of a self-organizing system (more specifically, a dissipative system) whose structure is determined both by the constraints of the system and by random perturbations: the possible realizations of the shape and size of the cells depends on the temperature gradient as well as the nature of the fluid and shape of the container, but which configurations are actually realized is due to random perturbations (thus these systems exhibit a form of symmetry breaking).

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emergence#Non-living.2C_physical_systems

    A more philosophical definition of “Emergent” in my own language is here. It also does not support your understanding. Maybe you can direct me to an english definition that supports your view?

    Does it happen to you quite often that wikipedia is totally wrong and you are right? There are several possible reasons for that. If it is because you are much more knowledgeable than the wikipedia authors you might consider helping to improve Wikipedia. After all Wikipedia is quite a good example for what impact can be made when citizen scientists, career scientists and the interested public work together. Just like here on WUWT.