Open Thread Weekend

Away from net for awhile, climbing radio station tower.

Anything goes within site policy.

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January 28, 2012 9:46 am

A little more to the right…. hold it there…. Perfect!
*opens popcorn to watch saturday cartoons*

January 28, 2012 9:52 am

If Josh is about I hope he isn’t to mad at me for cannibalising his cartoons.

January 28, 2012 9:57 am

Remember trying to get the antenna set juuuust so? Then you could get all 3 channels in and mostly w/o snow.
I’m getting old.

January 28, 2012 10:01 am

Has anybody heard how Al and his friends are doing in the South Pole? I haven’t heard a thing. I was hoping there was a website tracking their progress but I can’t find any.
Gilligan’s Island comes to mind, I wonder if there were any movie stars on board.

January 28, 2012 10:05 am

M.A.Vukcevic says:
January 28, 2012 at 9:52 am
If Josh is about I hope he isn’t to mad at me for cannibalising his cartoons.
Vuk. An excellent cartoon and very funny . I’m sure Josh will laugh his head off.
Anthony. From a selfish point of view. Work hard, enjoy the view, most importantly come back safe and sound.

January 28, 2012 10:09 am

While you’re up there, check out the adiabatic lapse rate. Maybe you can provide the final word on that discussion. 🙂

January 28, 2012 10:10 am

I think 2.7deg average for a month might start to cross over into the realm of climate…

Mike M
January 28, 2012 10:10 am

*opens popcorn to watch saturday cartoons*
Yeah like the Itchy and Scratchy Show whenever electricity or wires are around…
Wear lots of rubber Anthony!

January 28, 2012 10:14 am

Setting Feral Cats Among Pigeons
Having both laughed and sorrowed over Willis’ recent antics, I was recently brought to heel with the realization that I too could spark strong reactions, and get people to diss me on what I personally regard as scientifically inadequate grounds. Ha!
Things like that always give me pause for thought, and the good side is that they drive me back to basics. Like, What is Scientific Method? How is it calling me? How can it best be practiced here on a blog where sometimes, as Willis says, it’s like herding feral cats? How can we develop and refine our own approach? How could the blog environment be improved? Is there sufficient info for newcomers to get up to speed? Are we in danger of creating another echo-chamber?
To me, Scientific Method is an extension of a deep instinct for truth, and when I look at Scientific Method I experience it more than just a methodology, I experience it as a whole way of being and perceiving, that colours everything I say and do. I hold it up against an unspoken inner plumb-line, an intuitive feeling of what constitutes integrity and usefulness and squaring with the honorable tradition of Science. It doesn’t of itself come from anyone else’s definition – but it needs to show it is at least aware of going definitions.
And it fishes me out of trouble – together with the quiet practices of self-awareness and courtesy, which for me both align closely, curiously, to Scientific Method – certainly enable it to unfold its wonders.

January 28, 2012 10:19 am

An interesting post by William Briggs….Statistician to the Stars…….

Gilbert K. Arnold
January 28, 2012 10:25 am

And in other news: from yahoo science the usual suspects weigh it with more scare mongering
The more things change the more…..

January 28, 2012 10:29 am

I wonder a bit about our beloved warmist trolls. Seems to me that they have enjoyed star status; i.e. a few have been able to atrophy a thread by uttering a meme verse or two. Lardy jeez, byes, that’ll be a pain in the patoot! While it is fun to bash one’s head on the wall and toss in a comment, one really should just ignore the temptation…shouldn’t one? Note the ‘cherry-picking’ of threads to troll. One never hears from them when there’s an obvious revelation about CG2 or the like; the silence is deafening. But recently there has been a spate of poo thru the FloodGates, and a huge response from us indignant sceptix. Irresistible cannon-fodder, yea, but really, does it do much? Just wondering.

January 28, 2012 10:40 am

This is a comment on “Open-mindedness is the wrong(?) approach” posting on Judith Curry’s Climate Etc blog
which is a report on a recent Naomi Oreskes polemic in the LA Times in which she uses the familiar line about AGW non-believers being like the tobacco industry:

Consider for a moment the case against tobacco. There too scientists were nearly unanimous in their conclusion, based on research, that tobacco use had serious health consequences. Meanwhile, the tobacco industry tried to play the role of defense attorney, offering up denials and dodges and pseudo-scientific studies denying a link between smoking and lung cancer.

I highly recommend to everyone, on both sides of the AGW debate, read this excellent book:

The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer
by Siddhartha Mukherjee

There are indeed all sorts of analogies and similarities between the IPCC effort and the anti-smoking effort, but they are not as simplistic as Naomi thinks, and the bad guys are not all on one side. I won’t spoil the plot for you. It is well written, highly informative and it is not a polemic, which is quite refreshing.
PS, it was not that easy to prove that tobacco caused cancer, for surprising reasons.

January 28, 2012 10:58 am

Dave says:
I’m sure Josh will laugh his head off.
Funny thing is that Gavin did say those words, I am sure if he is about and has a sense of humour, should have at least a smile (even if a wry one). We all occasionally make Freudian slips, so he shouldn’t blame himself for it.
Gavin, if you pop in, the Gower St boys always thought of being superior to our lot from the Exhibition Rd (or that was the case when I was around), so I am only trying to get even.

January 28, 2012 11:03 am

I would love to see a thoughtful review of the new USDA plant hardiness map
The data seems to be available online but at very high prices. But they used a computer model to estimate the average low temperature in between stations based on geography, urban area size, bodies of water etc…. I would love to hear anything or see a post here where somebody who knows what they are talking about examines this new map.

michael hart
January 28, 2012 11:20 am

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead,
I hope you’re not suggesting that people go off to “real-you-know-what” for entertainment while Anthony is away from the office?

January 28, 2012 11:22 am

Climbing the radio station tower? Isn’t that something usually done when there’s freezing rain and/or hurricane winds? ;->

January 28, 2012 11:26 am

Vuc: “If Josh is about I hope he isn’t to[o] mad at me for cannibalising his cartoons.”
Josh has a great sense of humour, but you have the barefaced cheek to add: “© m.a. vukcevic”.
Oi, mate, yer ‘avin a larf encha? Josh is deploying his great talent to combat the wicked warmists -lucky us! – and apparently giving his artwork away for free. He deserves better.

January 28, 2012 11:26 am

PaulH says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:22 am
Perhaps just to probe with a raised wet finger how is the weather… 🙂

January 28, 2012 11:32 am

UNEP says Climate Change fuels s3x trade in Cambodia. h/t Climate Depot
Now, we don’t have rising temperatures for a decade. Imagine WHAT would happen if temperatures were rising!
UNEP and the warmists are now completely desperate.

January 28, 2012 11:35 am

I spent my entire week fighting PERL to try to make all WMO temperature trends available via a simple map. Did I succeed ? – well judge for yourself – the distribution of those weather stations used by the Hadley CRU analysis with data all the way back before 1860 can be seen here.
If you want to see all the stations divided into 3 duration categories then visit instead
This is a work in progress so I may well be update the graphics over the next week.

January 28, 2012 11:48 am

Lucy Skywalker @ 10.18:
You put that beautifully.

January 28, 2012 11:51 am

How about setting up WUWT polls ?
just for starters…
Is ‘peak_oil_is_now!’ for real ?
Is Earth’s climate variation controled mostly by variation in the sun?
Is AGW financed covertly by international bankers?
WUWT is visited by some pretty smart people. I’d be interested to see what they think, and the mass media might notice such polls.

January 28, 2012 11:53 am

PaulH @ 11.22:
I can remember climbing a radio tower on top of a mountain in a blizzard!!! I’ve a photograph of self holding a large icicle. It was a very long time ago and I doubt I could be persuaded to do that ever again.

January 28, 2012 11:57 am

Brent Hargreaves says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:26 am
but you have the barefaced cheek to add: “© m.a. vukcevic”.
Hi Brent
Being preoccupied with graphic work I forgot that it was there, so since you found it objectionable I have removed it.
Most of my web pages containing any graphics are done on a template, and “© m.a. vukcevic” is part of it,
Here are some examples: here and here and
here and
here etc., etc.
Your criticism is out of place, it is wise not to assume the worst at first instance but as it happens I have a bit more to do with that cartoon than it is known.
My sincere apologies to Josh.

January 28, 2012 12:05 pm

meemoe_uk says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:51 am
“Is AGW financed covertly by international bankers?”
No, it’s financed candidly by international bankers. Each and everyone of them loved the idea of taxing the air and making fortunes with carbon credits.

January 28, 2012 12:16 pm

michael hart says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:20 am
Mike Bromley the Canucklehead,
I hope you’re not suggesting that people go off to “real-you-know-what” for entertainment while Anthony is away from the office?

One mustn’t troll when the lake dries up. Real-I-know-what? Nahhh. Gr*st. Much more entertaining. As long as you bring a barf bag for the turbulent bits. Notice that I refrain, with nostrils elevated, from using ‘leet’ in my post. Only a humble asterisk to aid in getting by the ever-vigilant censors.
[Reply: WUWT only deletes or snips comments that violate site policy. But I’ll bet you already knew that. ~dbs, mod.]

January 28, 2012 12:26 pm

Watts says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
Remarkable!, so, according to Scott Rasmussen’s you are to blame for killing “Climate Change”!
Wow!. Congratulations! May “Climate Change” rest in peace….along with “Ponzi Scheme” and other inventions of those who profit from “pouring the empty into the void”.

Judy F.
January 28, 2012 12:38 pm

I can’t give you an in depth critique about the new USDA hardiness zones, but it does concern me. I think that climate is cyclical, and whereas we had more warm, now we will probably have more cold. Plants can generally adapt down the hardiness zones, but usually can’t move up easily. Plants and trees are long lived, and it would be sad to lose a whole “generation” of trees based on not understanding natural cycles. The following article pre-dates the new USDA chart. If the cycle does get colder, the city planners are going to regret not planting oaks in favor of more southern trees.
Whether or not a plant will even live is only one consideration using the Hardiness Zone map. The following article brings up some points about leaf budding and leaf drop times, as well as flowering times.
The longer leaves stay on trees in the fall leads to the kind of damage that happened in October on the Front Range of Colorado, especially in Fort Collins. I saw that damage first hand and it was incredible.
From what I have read, the zones changed about 5 degrees F or about 1/2 a zone on the previous chart. I had trouble keeping things alive using the old zone map guidelines (mostly because of our lack of humidity with winter temperatures). I am wary of the new map.

Dr. Dave
January 28, 2012 12:54 pm

Congrats Anthony. Very high praise from Dr. Michaels (one of my heroes). Now tell us what you’re doing up on the tower. Something fun like new ham radio beam antennas or something more work-related like radar receiving equipment?

January 28, 2012 1:04 pm

@ Lucy Skywalker – January 28, 2012 at 10:14 am
Setting Feral Cats Among Pigeons
Not quite sure of everything you mean, but the Scientific Method (hypothesize – test – conclude – repeat) certainly is a good habit for the mind to learn. And tempered with civility, as you imply, it goes a long way to make us good citizens. Throw in a little artistry and we become a charming people.

January 28, 2012 1:09 pm

@Clive Best
It looks good! very handy.

January 28, 2012 1:13 pm

In reply to Naomi Oreske’s polemic in the LA Times
Naomi: “Yet many Americans cling to the idea that it is reasonable to maintain an open mind. It isn’t, at least not to scientists who study the matter. They have been saying for some time that the case for the reality and gravity of climate change has been proved beyond a reasonable doubt. But there’s the rub. The public seems to view scientists as the equivalent of the prosecuting attorney trying to prove a case. The think tanks, institutes and fossil fuel corporations take on the mantle of the defense.”
You are on the wrong side of the climate change debate.
Global warming due to a doubling of atmospheric CO2 will warm the planet less than 1C, as planetary clouds in the tropics increase and decrease to resist forcing change. Most of the warming will occur at high latitudes increasing the growing season and the biosphere.
Plants eat CO2. Commercial greenhouses inject CO2 into the greenhouse to reduce growing times and to increase yield. C3 plants (all broad leaf type plants) loss roughly 50% of the water to transrespiration. When atmospheric CO2 increase C3 plants reduce the number of stomata and hence can make more effective use of water. Plants are moving into arid, desert regions due to the reduction in transrespiration. There is a reduction in desertification.
Unfortunately, if the past is a guide to the future the planet is about to abruptly cool. The biosphere shrinks when the planet cools.
There are cycles of warming in cooling the paleorecord. See figure 3 which an excerpt from Richard Alley’s paper on the Greenland Ice sheet cores.
“Fig.3. The upper panel shows the air temperature at the summit of the Greenland Ice Sheet, reconstructed by Alley (2000) from GISP2 ice core data. The time scale shows years before modern time, which is shown at the right hand side of the diagram. The rapid temperature rise to the left indicate the final part of the even more pronounced temperature increase following the last ice age. The temperature scale at the right hand side of the upper panel suggests a very approximate comparison with the global average temperature (see comment below). The GISP2 record ends around 1855, and the red dotted line indicate the approximate temperature increase since then. The small reddish bar in the lower right indicate the extension of the longest global temperature record (since 1850), based on meteorological observations (HadCRUT3). The lower panel shows the past atmospheric CO2 content, as found from the EPICA Dome C Ice Core in the Antarctic (Monnin et al. 2004). The Dome C atmospheric CO2 record ends in the year 1777.”
The solar cycle has been interrupted. If the past is a guide to the future the arctic will cool.
“Solar activity and Svalbard temperatures
The long temperature series at Svalbard (Longyearbyen) show large variations, and a positive trend since its start in 1912. During this period solar activity has increased, as indicated by shorter solar cycles. The temperature at Svalbard is negatively correlated with the length of the solar cycle. The strongest negative correlation is found with lags 10-12 years.
The relations between the length of a solar cycle and the mean temperature in the following cycle, is used to model Svalbard annual mean temperature, and seasonal temperature variations. Residuals from the annual and winter models show no autocorrelations on the 5 per cent level, which indicates that no additional parameters are needed to explain the temperature variations with 95 per cent significance. These models show that 60 per cent of the annual and winter temperature variations are explained by solar activity. For the spring, summer and fall temperatures autocorrelations in the residuals exists, and additional variables may contribute to the variations.”
“These models can be applied as forecasting models. We predict an annual mean temperature decrease for Svalbard of 3.5\pm2 oC from solar cycle 23 to solar cycle 24 (2009-20) and a decrease in the winter temperature of \approx6 oC.”

January 28, 2012 1:24 pm

Come now my good man. I am not looking forward to colder temps.
Please post something credible that shows we are going to at least maintain or increase global temps by a degree C or so. I want to bask in the radiant glow of warmth.

January 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Anthony Watts says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
“Back down for lunch and a break.”
It is not nice to torment your faithful readership like this 🙂

January 28, 2012 1:26 pm

Congrats Anthony,
That’s quite an acknowledgement in Forbes! I’d say that it puts into perspective the “science communications award” that Gavin Schmidt won…

January 28, 2012 1:29 pm

Lucy, thanks for your comments and i like very much how you reflect over “what is real science” etc.
I think personally that we need BOTH types that can break walls ahout out, and then types that can refine things. Both “types” may have a tendency to critisize each other without realising the importance of both.
Monster Cold formation coming to Scandinavia like shot out of a Canon from East:
The Scandinavian weather blogs.debates have started guessing what minimum temperatures will be… any guesses for an area?
K.R. Frank

Joachim Seifert
January 28, 2012 1:36 pm

Most important is the present post: “Giant veil of cold plasma discovered high above Earth”
it shown, how atmosphere gets away from Earth and then by the sunlight decomposed,
both water vapour and N2/ O2 ……
THIS AMOUNT SHOULD BE SUBTRACTED from global warming calculations…. this is
clear: one cannot only add heat from CO2 and forget heat/air loss at the top of the
Since the atmosphere does not expand in volume…..therefore….the same volume, as
added with CO2 for example, should be subtracted from the top of the atmosphere….
since this plasma-cloud does not grow, therefore it gets lost as a trail behind Earth…
Who can answer whether atmospheric losses in space are taken into account in
IPCC GMC-circulation models…….?

January 28, 2012 1:40 pm

William says:
January 28, 2012 at 1:13 pm
“In reply to Naomi Oreske’s polemic in the LA Times
You are on the wrong side of the climate change debate. ”
Don’t be silly. She studied English and Philosophy but dropped out without a degree. She probably doesn’t even know how a linear trend is computed.

January 28, 2012 1:42 pm

Thanks Judy, I’m very familiar with plants and how they are zone this or that, the map just takes the coldest night per year and averages that. But the plants, or how they define the zone is not whats new, but he algorithm that figures out the temperatures between the official stations. Its very central to what Anthony does with the weather stations. I think despite headlines that the map is pro AGW, I doubt that very much but it is a new way to record the temps and it seems really cool. But duration of cold and growing degree days (GDD) are really what limits plants, not just the one time low temps 🙂

January 28, 2012 1:42 pm

DirkH says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
“Don’t be silly. She studied English and Philosophy but dropped out without a degree. She probably doesn’t even know how a linear trend is computed.”
Oh sorry. Confused it with Naomi Klein.

A Lovell
January 28, 2012 1:44 pm

The article from the site below states that the Al Gore cruise will leave on 29th January from Argentina, and finish on 6th February.
I was going to wish Anthony a nice break, but he’s back already!

January 28, 2012 1:48 pm

And Judy the last map 1990 used 1974 to 1986, this new map is 1976-2005. I think the important thing would be to include at least 1 full cycle as you point out, but it would be better with 2 cycles! So you get an accurate average.

Al Gored
January 28, 2012 1:55 pm

Trouble in Greeny Land.
The Canadian government has really rattled the eco-extortionist business by threatening to look at their ‘charitable’ tax status while pointing out how many of them are backed by meddling American (Soros et al) interests.

Al Gored
January 28, 2012 2:02 pm

Anthony Watts says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
Back down for lunch and a break.
Here’s something of interest:
Anthony. To paraphrase a famous political debate line… You sir are no Al Gore! Your humility about your accomplishments is breathtaking! From that article:
“But the sense of free inquiry and thought Watts has fostered on his site has shamed the climate apocalypse machine into inconsequence. David whupped Goliath, one of the most amazing achievements in the history of science communication.”

January 28, 2012 2:12 pm

climbing radio station tower
an I go too???? Please????

Robert of Ottawa
January 28, 2012 2:25 pm

Climbing radio towers?
Could be a new X-treme sport; do you base-jump from them?
Or are you Radio-Man! tara!! Who, in his electromagnetic lair, is ever alert to signs of scientists going bad.
Perhaps Watt you really need is mountains; or is that mountain-envy?

Robert of Ottawa
January 28, 2012 2:28 pm

I hope it’s turned of while you climb, or do you wear a super-conductive Electro-Man suite? If not, you may be unintendedly “grounded”.

January 28, 2012 2:39 pm


Anthony Watts says:
January 28, 2012 at 11:35 am
Back down for lunch and a break.
Here’s something of interest:

In the Forbes item Patrick Michaels lightly touches on the demise of the
Weather Channel’s Forecast Earth program and the layoff of most
of their climate change staff.
Your readers may recall Dr. Heidi Cullen od Forecast Earth and her
call (threat) for the AMS to pull the Certification of any meteorologist who
did not subscribe to the goodthink concept of “global warming” back then.
Where is she now ? Still doing her thing as a member of the American
Geophysical Union (like Mike Mann) and the American Meteorological
Society, and a sometime CEO of ClimateCentral.
Please take special note this citation in the publications part of her bio:
H.M. Cullen, R.D. D’Arrigo, E.R. Cook and M.E. Mann, 2000:
Multiproxy Reconstructions of the North Atlantic Oscillation, Paleoceanography,
16(1): 27-39. (emphasis added)
Stu Ostro, The Weather Channel’s Senior Director of Weather Communications
seems to now be satisfied allowing folks like Mike Bettes, Jim Cantore and even
Stephanie Abrams the occasion personal comment under the guise of a “scientific”
observation plugging man made climate change.
Since The Weather Channel is currently running a whole bunch of half hour
extreme weather and situational “infotainment” shows, the spirit of an “angry
Earth” is still part of their corporate agenda.
…at least until Mike Mann’s emails are allowed to escape court sequestration.

Robert of Ottawa
January 28, 2012 2:41 pm

Al Gored says anuary 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm
Canadian government has really rattled the eco-extortionist business by threatening to look at their ‘charitable’ tax status while…
You cannot imagine how happy I am. I have advocated this line of attack for some time; I have worked tirelessly to get this government elected (yes, I am a realist, not a Fabian).
Environmnetal realists around the world should publicly question the “charitable” status of the enviromental (sic) groups. David Suzuki … watch out fruit-fly man,

Robert of Ottawa
January 28, 2012 2:45 pm

Joachim Seifert (BTW that’s a famous name) the atmosphere does expand and contract in volume; it has, during the recent solar minimum, been at its lowest level since measurement began. We’re talking Ionosphere here.

Joachim Seifert
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
January 28, 2012 3:08 pm

Thanks Robert,
some literature if possible…. be grateful…..
The atmospheric losses, however, are what counts, if the atmosphere wobble
around….well, let it wobble up and down…..
…The air LOSSES and the ENERGETIC losses have to be accounted for and
SUBTRACTED in Warmist GCMs…..otherwise they just ADD CO2 and forget the
losses into space……which is clearly wrong….
(it is also not new knowledge, rather long time around….)
Strange also is that WUWT does not take this losses into its list of Climate Variables
Reference Page…..what happens there…?

January 28, 2012 2:50 pm

Ok…help me here. IF the Arctic is warming, won’t that produce more grass? The grass that lemmings eat? And with that said, wouldn’t there be more lemmings? And food for snowy owls?
Something amiss with that “reason” isn’t there?

January 28, 2012 2:56 pm

Climbing onto this radio transmitter is piece of cake; also of interest to the early mobile radio enthusiasts.

January 28, 2012 3:02 pm

I don’t really think the USA wants to “double down” on any more of these charitable investments:

January 28, 2012 3:14 pm

Anthony Watts @ 11.35 am
Anthony, mods and writers; the very best wishes and congratulations to all for your extraordinary work and commitment.
“But the sense of free inquiry and thought Watts has fostered on his site has shamed the climate apocalypse machine into inconsequence.”

Interstellar Bill
January 28, 2012 3:44 pm

Just had to laugh at the latest copy of Nature, 26-Jan-12,
with its alarmism article of the week (p. 433)
being even more ridiculous than usual.
Did you know that (gasp!)
Yeah, and if we (Govt) don’t do something right away,
why , why… there’ll be…. (gasp!)… economic crises!!!!!!!!!!
Did you know that (gasp!)
the recent Crash was all Oil’s Fault?
Yup. First the oil price ran up, then the Crash followed.
Ipso fatso, ‘major spikes in fuel prices CAN cause economic crises’.
This trite drivel from two professors, of oceanograph and environmentalism.
Their solution, of course, is to waste even more on ‘renewables’.
Nature magazine seems to have reached an advanced stage of desperation,
if this is all they can come up with.
P.S. to the Professors:
ALL economic crises are caused by Government Interventionism.
Without Government bungling, there’d only be problems, not crises.
Oil price shocks are merely a trigger for the Bunglers to cripple us again.

Judy F.
January 28, 2012 4:05 pm

I went to the USDA link and found some of the info on the algorithm they used. It does look impressive, using almost 8,000 stations and grid cells of 1/2 mile per side.
You are right about the GDD, although for me with only 14 inches of precipitation a year, that limits me almost as much as GDD.
Good luck finding someone to talk more in depth on algorithms.

January 28, 2012 4:24 pm

Thanks to for the through links to
and Telling the folks that there will be is nice annular eclipse for viewing in
our western and southwestern states this coming May 20th, 2012.
A good depiction of the viewing swath is at:

January 28, 2012 4:27 pm
January 28, 2012 4:30 pm

Judy F:
Care to share that link where the methodology was presented?

Judy F.
January 28, 2012 5:00 pm

It was the same link as referenced by grzejnik upthread: Go to “about” then “mapmaking”

January 28, 2012 5:07 pm

Thank you Judy F.

January 28, 2012 5:12 pm

Pics from the climb Anthony?
Us hams are always interested.

cui bono
January 28, 2012 5:52 pm

Re: Dr. Michaels. Well done, Anthony! You will have a statue, somewhere, sometime, when the present stupidity is over.
Re: climbing radio tower. Trying to knock out Russian space probes again? They’re still very upset about the last one you sabotaged!

January 28, 2012 5:59 pm

I’m afraid the USDA’s new Carboncultist zone map is going to cause some serious problems. On this morning’s KXLY Gardening Show, the host was delighted by the new map because it rates Spokane as less frigid than before. She’s hoping to try some warm-tolerant plants that wouldn’t grow here before.
Classic case of following theory instead of reality. She’s going to be disappointed with the results. Spokane’s actual winter temps haven’t changed in any linear or permanent way; we’re in a somewhat less frigid period on average, but it looks the same as the period around 1900.
NCDC records for Eastern Wash: (Spokane is on the boundary between these two divisions):

January 28, 2012 6:14 pm

Re: Camburn says:
January 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm
In Maine old timers stated snowy owls coming south were a sign of a cold winter. I never heard any talk about the summer before being especially good to the north, leading to an abundance of snowy owls. The fact this year’s appearances are mostly to the west, “as far south as Oklahoma,” may have something to do with the extreme cold in Alaska spilling southeast through the Yukon into the western provinces, from time to time.
I can relate a personal experience with a snowy owl appearing in Maine in early November. It was in 1976, and the northwest wind had already set in, in a way that had old geezers muttering ominous threats about the coming winter. Considering the winter of 1976-77 was one of the worst I ever experienced, many of the “signs” the old timers pointed out have stuck in my head. One was that the smoke was “falling from the chimblies,” day after day.
Back then L. L. Beane was still small, though the mail order business was starting to take off. It was the only place open in Freeport after eleven o’clock, because hunters often drove north in the dead of night, and L.L. Beane was still primarily known as an outfitter of hunters. I’d go there late at night to get cigarettes, because there was no place else to go. They operated from a single building, though there was talk about expansion.
Now, where did the snowy owl choose to sit, in broad daylight, (because snowy owls, unlike other owls, are out at day, due to living in “midnight sun,”) when it came south? It sat right upon the L.L.Beane sign, in downtown Freeport. Talk about great advertizing! (There was a picture in the front page of the local paper.)
I’m not sure whether the snowy owls are an ominous sign about the second half of this winter. However the businesses they land on in Montana and Oklahoma may very well be about to succeed beyond investor’s wildest dreams.

January 28, 2012 6:18 pm

Behavior speaks louder than words: obviously, the liberal utopianism of the Left is simple self-defeating nihilism.

January 28, 2012 6:28 pm

Scientists know that what occurs on the Sun can be described as a pattern for change and that these patterns determine the interactions within the Sun-Earth connection.
• In something that consists of many parts, the parts usually influence one another.
• Thinking about things as systems means looking for how every part relates to others.

January 28, 2012 6:50 pm

I noticed the following in the “about me” part of the author of the Forbes article (which was excellent) …
I am a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
High praise from the enemy camp no less!

January 28, 2012 6:55 pm

A modification my comment earlier on an out of cycle post:
Gene, ok, I agree [that we can’t have “our own Greenpeace”]. So I make a revision of sorts. We need a PAC — all we need is a few smart people to start, and $£ money. Once going, the plan for it would be to grow big via additional donations — both from individuals sympathetic, to pirate a warmist phrase: to “the cause” (like us !), and from organizations & angels.
The goal won’t be like to push for clean or dirty water in any specific case, but to change public sentiment about one thing: AGW. This can be sold as important (to donaters) because sentiment on AGW has a major impact on public policy, and on elections. In the U.S., with Republicans generally anti-AGW now, a change in public sentiment on AGW will thus favor the election of conservatives, across the board. So I say ‘Greenpeace’ with a lot of latitude.
I add also that, even if it looks like we are going to ‘win’ this one, it make all the sense in the world to carry forward with the PAC idea anyway. We should strive to run up the score, and embarrass the opposition — because we need to make sure that the perpetrators of AGW don’t succeed in rising again like Zombies with a rebranded de-industrializatin Chicken Little “the sky is falling” scheme (this may not even involve CO2, but it will involve de-industrialization!).

January 28, 2012 7:15 pm

Caleb says:
January 28, 2012 at 6:14 pm
Interesting observations about Snowy Owls. I have not seen any so far this winter, so maybe they just flew over on their way south. Mid Jan thru Mid Feb is usually when we see the most numbers of them.
Wherever they landed, may they prosper and eat well.

January 28, 2012 7:15 pm

Truthseeker says:
January 28, 2012 at 6:50 pm

I noticed the following in the “about me” part of the author of the Forbes article (which was excellent) …
I am a contributing author and reviewer of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.
High praise from the enemy camp no less!

Pat Michaels is definitely not enemy camp. [go there if you dare]

January 28, 2012 7:45 pm

“But the sense of free inquiry and thought Watts has fostered on his site has shamed the climate apocalypse machine into inconsequence. David whupped Goliath, one of the most amazing achievements in the history of science communication.”
There’s got to be room for that somewhere…

Marlow Metcalf
January 28, 2012 9:26 pm

Things for somebody way smarter than me to do.
Has anybody done a real study to prove whether or not the Al-Gore effect is for real?
Is there a sea level chart for the last 1,000 or 400 years? Maybe based on records of a few European castles and a couple of ports in other parts of the world. It would be interesting to know the sea levels for the years 1000 AD, 1300, 1600, 1830, 1900, 2000 based on the same measuring devices.
If we were to have another little ice age starting now, in 200 years what would be (expressed in numbers and percentage change) the sea level, ice coverage on land and ocean, how much water is changed to ice and the amount of heat loss for water both liquid and ice.

Neil Jordan
January 28, 2012 10:43 pm

The package of kale that I just bought at Trader Joe’s had this on the label:
Quote KALE Kale is a form of wild cabbage in which the central leaves do not form a head. It’s said to have originated in European mediterranean prior to the Middle Ages. Its hardy leaves resisted frost damage, making it a staple for winter cooking when most vegetables were unavailable. End quote.
Perhaps someone with paleo botany experience might find this information useful, because it implies thart pre-Middle-Age Mediterranean climate was colder than today’s Mediterranean climate.

Steve C
January 28, 2012 11:20 pm

As someone whose “bit of wet string” – wrapped around the brickwork of my flat a couple of floors up – is already skating very close to local planning restrictions, my eyes are green with envy just thinking about towers. (Actually, they’re green anyway, but let that pass!) Stay safe.

January 28, 2012 11:59 pm

Eric Simpson,
I saw your comment on the Forbes article and thought you were being sarcastic.
” We need a PAC — all we need is a few smart people to start, and $£ money. Once going, the plan for it would be to grow big via additional donations — both from individuals sympathetic, to pirate a warmist phrase: to “the cause” (like us !), and from organizations & angels.”
I’m not much in favor of pushing for political activism and calling skeptism a “cause”. Not all skeptics share the same views about the science. Branching out from WUWT to many papers and reference materials and climate blogs from all perspectives seems to help me understand better. Personally, I would be appalled to see groups of people carrying signs and asking for donations for a skeptical PAC. I’m not saying that politics don’t play a huge part (imo) in the AGW camp. The obvious political agenda is what many people can’t ignore and also don’t trust. Why would we imitate them instead of continuing to hold their feet to the fire about the poor performing models and extreme prophecies, which were paid for with tax dollars? 100 million hits…do you think WUWT isn’t getting the message out?

January 29, 2012 12:32 am

Interesting to see that the Russians are concerned about the accuracy of the temperature data used by CRU: “On Tuesday, the Moscow-based Institute of Economic Analysis (IEA) issued a report claiming that the Hadley Center for Climate Change based at the headquarters of the British Meteorological Office in Exeter (Devon, England) had probably tampered with Russian-climate data.”
I don’t speak Russian so have not read the source article, but it is briefly mentioned in an English language round up of the Russian newspapers:

J B Williamson
January 29, 2012 12:37 am

Spotted this article in the Daily Mail (UK) this am.
Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about…–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html

January 29, 2012 2:03 am

“Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again)”–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html
“Meanwhile, leading climate scientists yesterday told The Mail on Sunday that, after emitting unusually high levels of energy throughout the 20th Century, the sun is now heading towards a ‘grand minimum’ in its output, threatening cold summers, bitter winters and a shortening of the season available for growing”
This mornings mail on line

John Marshall
January 29, 2012 3:57 am

Don’t fall off!

Rogelio Escobar
January 29, 2012 4:28 am

I get the feeling that MSM and top politicians are now copping on to whats been going on and that we are about to see a major run for cover by the team. Expect resignations, retirements ect pretty soon. I don’t think any will stick around to see court action.

January 29, 2012 4:31 am

Thanks Judy and everyone.

January 29, 2012 4:55 am

Congratulations Anthony et al, you have the hottest product !!!
You really are demonstrating world’s best practise, and it would appear that the world is watching.
obviously the internet has taken the sharing of information and human endeavour to greater and global levels – the truth will be told.
there’s been some discussion of where too from here, in a political/legal sense. I think that banks are the preferred candidates for cleaning up the global warming mess. e.g. who made the most money? who made the most mess ? we could invest in stocks. .
I’m interested in the production of food. I had a ‘small holding’ (12 acres), including a market garden, in the adelaide hills (australia). It appeared that the best economy of a market garden was an individual or family enterprise of a mixed holding. controlled environments were most desirable for extending opportunities and harvest time. definitely a small economy of scale e.g. 2 – 5 tonne truck trailer to market, glasshouse, greenhouse, aquaponic house, aquaculture house pond , outdoor crops …ad infinitum.

January 29, 2012 5:44 am

Giggle: Flashing image of Anthony Watts on radio mast swatting a biplanes piloted by porky, balding, middle-aged men … biplane callsigns IPCC-xxx
Crap. I wish I could draw as well as Josh.

January 29, 2012 6:10 am

Dabble says:
January 29, 2012 at 12:32 am

Interesting to see that the Russians are concerned about the accuracy of the temperature data used by CRU

I checked that bastion of Truth (and substitute for tabloids I read in the checkout line),
No luck.
They did have
“Public sex can be extremely dangerous”
It’s about insects getting preyed upon while distracted.
A note that H5N1 is still out there and that a few human deaths have occurred recently. Similar stories are in a western media.
Photos of “Snow disaster in Eastern Europe.” At least it’s snowing somewhere, I have only 1.5″ on the ground.
“Official conclusion of Phobos Ground crash shocks scientists”
Offcial: most likely, the spacecraft did not enter the departure trajectory to Mars due to the influence of plasma formation in the magnetosphere of the Earth.
Other scientist: This is impossible. Plasma formations of this type may appear at certain altitudes. As a rule, they are much weaker than would be required for exerting any influence on the spacecraft,”
I missed the article about Germany losing billions on alternative energy, and skipped the Michael Jackson arrest on a subway and “McDonald’s to expose everything about its chemical food in Russia”

January 29, 2012 6:11 am

Wow, it didn’t go in the spam bin. Maybe the folks at WordPress like Pravda!

Paul Coppin
January 29, 2012 6:31 am

Anthony, if you’re good with towers, the next time you are in the Toronto area, I have a frozen rotor and a HF beam that’s disintegrating, that could benefit from some TLC… (or we can just sit around with a beer and ruminate on how to get somebody younger and stupider to go up and change it… 🙂

January 29, 2012 7:02 am

My man and compatriot NOVAK DJOKOVIC just won Melbourne tennis tournament (3:2). Congratulations to our Nole.

Bob Diaz
January 29, 2012 8:58 am

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.
The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.
Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.
. . .
Read more:–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html#ixzz1krq3mOu1
Interesting, very interesting….

January 29, 2012 9:13 am

The following article was written to express in the simplest possible terms to explain my views on AGW. While I do take a snipe at the “sceptics” they should not take it to heart. If anyone can explain why the laws of Physics are wrong please feel free to explain which ones and how….
He global warming concept hinges upon the idea that greenhouse gasses cause an increase in mean global temperatures . The basis for this concept is that such gasses are better radiators than non greenhouse gasses and as a result keep the global mean temperatures higher as a result of feeding back radiation to the Earth’s surface. Let us investigate this hypothesis:
First of all we need a model upon which all can agree is a good approximation to the real thing. The model I have chosen is familiar to most engaged in the debate and in my view lies closest to the hearts of the so-called global warmists. In this model we are concerned only with radiation from the sun which interacts thermally with the Earth’s surface and atmosphere. We are not concerned with radiation that is reflected either specularly or diffusely back into the space from which it came. Neither are we concerned about radiation which is absorbed and re-emitted without intermediate thermal processes. Without such processes there can be no warming of the Earth’s surface and atmosphere so such non thermal interactions can be neglected
Removing such non thermal processes from our model leaves us with this: the Earth’s surface is treated as an approximation to a black body, it absorbs radiation from the sun, becomes hotter and then re-emits radiation more typically at longer wavelengths. We also have an atmosphere which is composed of two types of gas: greenhouse gasses and non greenhouse gasses, both of which may or may not absorb and re-emit radiation or receive thermal input via convection and conduction from the Earth’s surface as is their wont. It does not concern us for now as to the nature of these processes.
To further the debate we have the concept propounded by the pro-greenhouse warming lobby that because greenhouse gasses are better radiating gasses than non greenhouse gasses they re-radiate more radiation back to the Earth’s surface than do non greenhouse gasses. This leads us to an obvious thought experiment:
We replace all greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere with an equal volume of non greenhouse gasses. There are then three logical possibilities:
1) Greenhouse gasses are less good radiating gasses than non greenhouse gasses.
2) Greenhouse gasses are equally good radiating gasses as non greenhouse gasses.
3) Greenhouse gasses are better radiating gasses than non greenhouse gasses.
If (1) or (2) are true then the theory of global warming is falsified. If (3) is true then greenhouse gasses produce relative global warming. I believe (3) is true.
We now consider the Earth’s radiation budget.
Integrating over a sufficient time period to average out the effects of night and day and the seasons then at equilibrium the average energy received by the Earth in the form of radiant energy from the Sun must equal the average energy lost by the Earth in the form of radiation. This is the only significant form of energy capable of influencing global mean temperatures. I take a warmist’s view here and do not include such effects as the solar wind, the Sun and Earth’s magnetic field coupling lateral flare currents into the oceans, cosmic rays inducing cloud formation or variations in solar energy output or spectrum.
We then consider the Earth’s outgoing energy budget. It has three components: that from greenhouse gasses, that from non greenhouse gasses and that from the black body Earth itself. We then perform the same thought experiment we performed above, and replace the greenhouse gasses in the Earth’s atmosphere with an equal volume of non-greenhouse gasses:
As discussed above, we know that if (1) or (2) are true that the hypothesis of global warming is falsified. If (3) is true then greenhouse gasses cause absolute global cooling. This is because they contribute significantly to the Earth’s outgoing radiation budget. If they are removed from the Earth’s atmosphere the amount of energy radiated away into the absolute zero of space goes down and in consequence the temperature of the Earth and its atmosphere will rise, I neglect here the 4 degrees Kelvin background radiation left over from the Big Bang. It is thus demonstrated that:
A) Greenhouse gasses cause absolute global cooling.
B) In order to believe that greenhouse gasses produce relative global warming it is first necessary to believe that greenhouse gasses produce absolute global cooling.
At first sight the hypothesis of global warming through feedback radiation is self contradictory. Can we simultaneously have the situation in which greenhouse gasses produce both relative warming and absolute cooling of the planet? The answer is yes! This is because the so-called feedback radiation is a negative feedback on the absolute cooling caused by greenhouse gasses. This means that the presence of the feedback term in the equation of global cooling reduces the rate at which radiation is lost from the Earth by re-cycling energy back to the Earth’s surface. This amounts simply to an observation that secondary radiators are not 100% efficient. What this means is perhaps better explained with reference to the analogous system of coupled primary and secondary radiators we find under the hood of a typical auto-mobile:
In the Earth model above we treat the Earth’s surface as the primary radiator. We can do this because the amount of radiation fed back to the real primary radiator of the system, the Sun, is negligible. The secondary radiator of our system is the Earth’s atmosphere which is closely thermally coupled to the surface of the Earth by conduction and convection as well as radiation. In our auto-mobile engine analogy the primary radiator is the engine block and head with the secondary radiator being not surprisingly, the radiator! (If you like the engine can be treated as being supplied with both gasoline and air through a pipe so it can be run in vaccuum and thus tighten up the analogy).
We now imagine that our engine and radiator are sitting in an auto-mobile on our collective drive and that the engine has been running for some time and has reached thermal equilibrium with the environment. We lift the hood and examine the engine in operation with reference to a manual: The engine generates heat energy some of which it loses directly to the environment. Most heat energy however is removed from the engine by a water based coolant which is pumped though a series of channels in the block and head then via a radiator hose to the radiator. A second feedback radiator hose returns the cooled water from the radiator to the engine and closes the system loop.
We have just concluded that the engine and cooling system is working satisfactorily when our collective neighbour, a Mr. Gore, drops by and with the skilful use of a thermometer amidst all those moving parts demonstrates that the return hose from the radiator is operating above ambient temperature and is thus maintaining the engine at a higher temperature than it otherwise would be. Mr Gore is completely correct of course; feeding warm water into the auto-mobile engine will maintain it at a higher operating temperature. Mr Gore therefore prevails upon us to disconnect the feedback hose from the radiator to the engine block in order to keep the engine cooler.
Would you take Mr. Gore’s advice? Your answer to this question will not only determine your position in the global warming debate but whether or not you drive to work next week!
The lessons learned above can be reinforced by considering the black-body Earth and atmosphere in a little more detail. Consider a black-body Earth without any atmosphere whatsoever. Without an atmosphere not only will more radiation get through to the Earth’s surface because there are no greenhouse gasses to intercept any of this radiation and re-radiate it back out into space without it having first to interact with the Earth’s surface, but there will be no conduction and convection into the non-existent atmosphere to keep the surface cool. The job of re-radiating energy into space will fall squarely on the surface of the black-body Earth itself. Increasing the radiation from a black-body can only be accomplished by increasing its radiative temperature.
If we now add an atmosphere of non-greenhouse gasses to our black-body Earth we find that heat energy can leave the surface not just by radiation but by conduction and convection as well. If we also include surface water the latent heat of evaporation of water will contribute to this heat loss mechanism too. The situation is now similar to that of a domestic central heating radiator which loses heat to heat a room mainly by conduction and convection with a small component of radiative loss; the central heating radiator would be better described as a convection heater. Of course if the atmospheric gasses did not radiate away any energy into space eventually the Earth’s surface would rise to the temperature it had before we added any atmosphere. However all gasses radiate and the non-greenhouse gasses do so too. The reason for this is that all accelerating charges radiate and all molecules in the atmosphere accelerate, often negatively, as they constantly collide with each other. The faster the molecules move the more frequent are the collisions, the greater the accelerations and the greater the loss though radiation. The atmosphere can now be seen for what it is, a secondary radiator which by adding to the Earth’s outgoing radiation budget keeps the Earth’s surface cooler. The non-greenhouse gasses component of the Earth’s atmosphere are thermally radiating gasses. In other words in order to radiate more they must be at a higher temperature, just like the black-body Earth itself.
Finally we add to the Earth’s atmosphere the greenhouse gasses. While these gasses radiate thermally just like non-greenhouse gasses they have a secondary mechanism too based on a form of electronic transition related to quantised states of dipole moments. Greenhouse gasses as a result are not only able to radiate much more energy at lower temperature but are also able to pick up thermal energy from both the Earth’s surface and non-greenhouse gasses and radiate this energy into space as well. Greenhouse gasses thus add very significantly to the Earth’s outgoing energy budget and thus keep the Earth’s surface and atmosphere very much cooler than they would be in the absence of these lower temperature radiating gasses.
From consideration of the arguments given above it is very easy to see that the concept of greenhouse gasses as a planet warming blanket is completely erroneous. Greenhouse gasses are cooling gasses, part of a secondary radiator system and in my view the principal mechanism by which the temperatures at the Earth’s surface are kept cool enough for life to exist across the globe.
In the face of such obviousness the real question is why the concept of greenhouse gas induced global warming has persisted for so long in the face of so much entrenched opposition from global warming sceptics? The answer is perhaps surprising: The global warming debate has three factions which can be loosely described as warmists, luke-warmists and sceptics. These factions however all have one thing in common: they all believe in global warming!
These three groups all believe that warming is produced by greenhouse gasses to greater or lesser degrees with the warmists predicting large increases in global mean temperature with increasing man made emissions of carbon dioxide and the sceptics predicting very small increases in global mean temperatures as a result of these same emissions. The global warming debate has been monopolised by these three groups since the inception of the IPCC. It is a one sided debate in which no voices of opposition are heard.
The simple reality is that greenhouse gasses cause global cooling and lots of it. It is only by stepping outside the radiative feedback paradigm foisted upon us by warmists and sceptics alike and then viewing the the system as a whole using overarching energy arguments that we begin to glimpse the truth.
Safe driving!

Mike M
January 29, 2012 11:33 am

Anthony Watts says: Here’s something of interest:

David was a nerd? Who knew! 😉

January 29, 2012 2:11 pm

@Laurie. I say that we need a PAC like entity to fight the leftist radicals for public opinion. Pub opinion will determine the outcome of this war. Our ’cause’ is to thwart the leftists plans of w govt, unfree enterprise, and unfreedom. In the last few years we have made some gains with the public, but only with the benefit of a HUGE headwind in our favor (ClimateGate 1 & 2, Obama, temps arguably dipping, and more). But some polls show that even with all this, things are starting to head south again for us.
We can’t be complacent, and take the McCain style ‘high ground’ Goody Two-Shoes position, and lose. Cap & Trade, with 83% CO2 reductions set for 2050, passed the u.s. House, and they were just a couple votes short in the Senate. The leftists were that close to seeing their Utopian dream of severe de-industrialization and unfreedom realized. Don’t think it won’t happen again. A huge lot is at stake, but we are not playing like that’s the case. With the liberal establishments and liberal MSM every day pushing the leftist cause, we can soon find ourselves — defeated, and humiliated. Perhaps Nuremberged. Turn the tables!
Wake up. Start thinking about playing to win.
We need to say in 30 effective seconds: 1. there is nothing wrong with the climate (hockey stick a debunked deception: current temps are not unusual), and 2. CO2 has nothing (or very little) to do with it. There are secondary points to be made, but those two points are the main ones to deeply imprint in the public mind. We need a smart, coordinated web & tv attack plan.
By the way, most of the support for Point # 2 on CO2 can be made in 5 or 6 seconds, through a distillation of this 3 minute video, which also shows Al Gore in a pivotal deception:

January 29, 2012 2:22 pm

Bob Diaz says:
January 29, 2012 at 8:58 am
“Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.”–Cycle-25-need-worry-NASA-scientists-right-Thames-freezing-again.html
Good grief, they’ve just admitted they’ve been hiding the decline in temps for the last 15 years!

Mickey Reno
January 29, 2012 3:42 pm

Lucy, I was intrigued by your post, and have been thinking about the issue of web-based peer review for science, generally, for some time now.
Many professional journals seem to be dying out, and this death spiral could speed up as publishing costs and price goes up and subscription numbers go down. Many academic libraries are reducing their investment in all forms of paper-based publishing, including the expensive specialty journals. And once a journal goes online, especially if behind a prohibitively expensive paywall, it seems to me that the journal itself has become an unnecessary level of control, both restricting access by readers, students and follow-on scientists, all to serve a now superfluous business model.
It seems to me an open, web-based communication environment COULD become a much better mechanism to perform honest to goodness scientific peer review, not to mention be a great place to archive scientific work, with version-controlled components of the entire body of literature, published papers, raw data sets, formal review documents, and even feedback from both invited and uninvited reviewers. This would make science so much more transparent, I think. And if public funding is used to pay for the experiments, with the exception of publishing dangerous material (the discussion of which itself could be discussed openly), I cannot imagine any reasonable objection to full and open views of every aspect of a field of study like Climate Change (I can imagine some reasons, mind you, just not productive, positive ones).
Let’s ignore the issues of tendentiousness and open-mindedness and presume a good web interface will never change human nature. What bothers me about blog posting in general, is that threading is difficult to maintain, version control is not routinely possible, and the signal to noise ratio is often very small, making the study of any particular topic more difficult than it should be. A science interface requires navigation that’s more humane than is currently possible.
Science review blog SW would need many things that blogs already have; to wit, a way to log in either as an identified person, or a guest (pseudonymous IDs don’t bother me in the general case), threaded topic chains. But i also needs version control of whole threads, and a data archive (also version controlled), a set of conventions that restrict (publicly policed) threads to objectively stated hypotheses or questions, and a rating system to vote down low signal to noise posts and posters, and a corresponding viewing filter to select a reader’s tolerance for low signal to noise posts.
Science review site might have top level threads limited to a number of simple yes/no scientific propositions, implicitly geared toward falsification. The second level threads might follow a convention of having both a YES and a NO subthread. In the Yes thread, are all propositions / experiments claiming for Yes begin. If a pro-YES proposition is judged as having been ‘falsified’ by reviewers, the experiment moves to the NO thread. Conversely, if an experiment actively seeks to prove NO, it stays in the NO thread until it is judged as falsified by reviewers, in which case it moves to the YES thread. A third subthread is a communal group written (in the manner of a WIKI) “What We Think We Know” (WWTWK) executive summary, akin to an elevator statement (search WUWT if you don’t know what that is) describing the analysis of the complete set of YES/NO threads, and the currently “accepted’ state of which side (Yes or No) is winning, or intermediate conclusions, such as too early to tell, etc. Reviews and comments would be allowed as follow-on posts, and version control allows modifications, revisions, and even reversals in the WWTWK statement. And a communally written “minority report” would be generated, too, for the best cases opposed to WWTWK. Comments and reviews belong to their version only, so turn invisible to the latest version when it is published, but the old statement and it’s entire thread can still be accessed.
For Climate Science, I’d propose a top level thread called:
Proposition: the Earth is warming up, globally
-> Yes, it’s warming (thread top for experiments ‘proving’ warming (not AGW, just plain warming)
-> No, it’s cooling (thread top for experiments ‘proving’ cooling)
-> What we think we know
-> Minority Report (the best arguments of those who disagree with WWTWK
Burning fossil fuels by human civilization significantly alters the Earth’s Climate
-> No, human use of fossil fuels has little to no effect in the context of natural variability
-> Yes, anthropogenic activity has a significant affect on the climate
-> What we think we know
-> Minority Report
Climate models can predict the future.

Harold Ambler
January 29, 2012 4:14 pm
Ian L. McQueen
January 29, 2012 6:30 pm

You and most of us have been taken in by the warmists and discuss only radiation. What that leaves out is the important role the evapo-convection plays, plus other properties of water.
Yes, CO2 is radiatively active. But so is water, and there is up to 100 times as much water in the air as CO2. The water swamps any effect of the CO2.
Beyond that, there is the evapo-convection thing. Water is evaporated at the surface, thus absorbing latent energy; the moist air rises high skyward due to convection (particularly thunderheads in the tropics); the water vapor condenses at altitude, releasing the heat for radiation to outer space. I have read (and would like to have confirmed or countered) that up to 75% of the heat lofted upward is conveyed by evapo-convection.
Some thermal energy is raised just by the surface heating air, which also rises by convection.
And water has one more kick at the can by forming clouds, which block incoming radiation.
The radiative effect of CO2 is minuscule by comparison.
If anyone finds what I have written to have errors, kindly inform me. Otherwise, let’s stop playing the game of CO2 + radiation by the warmists’ rules!

January 29, 2012 9:41 pm

Just in case nobody’s posted it yet, here’s an unbelievable film of exactly what Anthony is doing.

January 30, 2012 11:16 am

Ian, L. McQueen,
I beg to differ, while I do mention conduction, convection and latent heat of evapouration which I fully agree are the main cause of heat energy leaving the Earth’s surface, the only significant way in which energy leaves the planet is through radiation. I am simply pointing out that greenhouse gasses (not just CO2) radiate this energy more effectively than the Earth’s surface and NGHGs and therefore in their absence the planet would be wamer. i.e. GHGs cause global cooling. Indeed it is the warmists who are caught in their own trap. I simply examine the warmist position and show it to be untenable, if this is indeed the warmists position. I have heard no explanation from them as to how warming can take place as a result of gasses which increase the outgoing radiation rate for any given temperature which they therefore reduce. They cannot have it both ways. I can.
I do not think you read it!

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