Stoat – unhinged

William Connolley, aka the wiki warrior of climate, runs a blog called “Stoat” under the National Geographic brand. In his latest episode rant, he is complaining about his personal perception of Dr. Judith Curry’s professionalism regarding her ocean acidification discussion.


Is is just me, or does professionalism and f-bombs not go together? Sheesh.

Here is the screencap:


Both he and “Eli” (Chemist Dr. Joshua Halpern of Howard University) seem to have trouble with their own self images when it comes to professionalism.

All this over a change in pH from 8.25 to 8.14 (values given is Stoats rant). This is a small amount of variance which may very well be within the bounds of natural variability.

Maybe the Stoat never read this article from Jo Nova about a paper from Scripps on ocean pH:

It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly.

The authors draw two conclusions: (1) most non-open ocean sites vary a lot, and (2) and some spots vary so much they reach the “extreme” pH’s forecast for the doomsday future scenarios on a daily (a daily!) basis.

Even the more stable and vast open ocean is not a fixed pH all year round. Hofmann writes that “Open-water areas (in the Southern Ocean) experience a strong seasonal shift in seawater pH (~0.3–0.5 units) between austral summer and winter.”

This paper is such a game changer, they talk about rewriting the null hypothesis:

“This natural variability has prompted the suggestion that “an appropriate null hypothesis may be, until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions””


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Isn’t water’s capacity for CO2 governed by temperature? I thought the sea would have to cool down in order to increase its capacity for CO2..?


My 18 month old has illogical tantrums based more in reality than Stoat.
Maybe he just needs a Popsicle or to be held and burped.


Really? Someone actually slid over and read what the Con(nolley) writes? I feel sorry for whoever does that, it must fry a few brain cells each trip.
The irony of Con(nolley) writing about “spraying disinformation” is almost painful.


Well, there’s one small phrase of truth in his rant – “… me not doing science any more.”
Did he ever?


Dr Curry is one of the politest and most tolerant bloggers on the planet.
This rant says nothing about her, but a great deal about the author.


8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement. Given that they have not measured the whole ocean or even 1% of it I doubt the accuracy of the measurements being extrapolated to the whole ocean.
We also were told that chemists were sloppy with there errors (but that’s another story) 😮

Corny-olley wants the monopoly on disinformation – perhaps there’s a good reason why he left RC

Willis Eschenbach

Judith actually used her lack of information on the subject to raise interesting points about exactly how we make choices when we don’t have all the information … as usual, Connolley’s not following the bouncing ball.


Was that ‘stoat’ or ‘weasel’ ?

Willis Eschenbach

While we’re on the subject, I’ve often wondered why someone would name his blog after a weasel. My final conjecture was that it was something to do with the “Truth In Advertising” laws, but that’s just a hypothesis, it’s still an enduring mystery.


WC is an idiot, we all know that. To be honest, if you want to look at something with more intelligence than the weselly stoat – you’d be better off lifting a local manhole and seeing the lifeforms in the underlying sewer!
Forget him – he ain’t worth the effort.
Mind you, having his rants ‘saved for prosperity’ isn’t a bad idea. After all, humankind needs to learn from its mistakes 😉


‘weselly’ should be weaselly !

Now didn’t we have a gentleman a week or two ago here who paralysed the “ocean acidification” hypothesis with garlic and a crucifix, shot it with a silver bullet and buried it at a crossroads with a fresh sapling stake through its heart?


Actually, I had pictured Connolley as a rotund gentleman, somehow his actions have reminded me of a few people I know who sit in the basement typing and filling their keyboard with crumbs (those who watch SouthPark, remember the WoW adversary?) I realize it’s not nice to make fun of someone’s appearance, but in his picture he reminds me of some other ill-tempered know-it-alls I’ve had to work with that refuse to listen to logic and reason.


CO2 solubility does indeed fall with increasing temperature, BUT, at any given temperature, the amount that will dissolve is roughly proportional to the partial pressure of CO2 in the atmosphere.


ps The above was a reply to Rune – my parentheses were badly chosen and deleted his/her posting.


Well, it seems to me that the Weasel has explained a little of his own monomania. Note his belief that a review of the literature will produce the ‘truth’. Note now the vast deficit of knowledge we have about acidification and the ocean.
Note in particular here his mistaken belief and his acts in response to this mistaken belief. This is grandeur.

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead

What an angry, snide nitwit.

Lawrie Ayres

It is encouraging to see the panic that exists among the deluded who blindly supported the “save the planet by banning CO2” hypothesis. The confidence that once was rife is fading as even the most committed accidently come across facts which challenge their beliefs. So paranoid are they I feel many must have invested their life savings in carbon futures or renewables. Watching UK minister Ed Davies try to swing a debate away from the temperature record toward ocean warming and melting ice caps where he is convinced the evidence for AGW is more robust it was obvious his chief scientist advisor is one of the fraudulent few. Oceans are cooling and ice caps are growing yet Minister Davies hasn’t been briefed as such. Such embarrassment when the penny finally drops. I notice some of your senators are no better informed and your president seems even more ignorant. Who votes for these clowns???


One thing that ‘the Team’ and his followers don’t lack is ego , honest yes , accuracy yes , scientific decency yes , all those thing they have in very short supply . But ego they have on an epic scale .


I have been assuring my friend in Nova Scotia that acidification of the ocean will make cracking lobsters effortless. I guess I’ll have to send her a ball-peen hammer and an apology. 😛
As for Connolley, his mother is probably still looking for a strong enough soap to cure his vocabulary problem. To address Dr. Curry this way shows his impudence rather than an understanding of the subject. Maybe the college kids are impressed.


“Isn’t water’s capacity for CO2 governed by temperature? I thought the sea would have to cool down in order to increase its capacity for CO2..?”
The partial pressure is also important. I.e the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Henry’s law explains this.


Never a trust a middle aged man with a pony tail ….now anyone seen Grant Foster.


This pH change is well with the normal variance, 8.4-7.4pH, so what is the problem? Seawater pH changes daily depending on many factors so this panic says more about the panicers than anything, total ignorance about ocean chemistry perhaps.


If the man had facts, he wouldn’t insult. Otherwise, he is just plain sadistic.

Mike (UK)

Surely its Ocean Neutralisation not Acidification, it has to go neutral before it gets acidic. I know it doesn’t fit their agenda so I’m not holding my breath on them accepting that.


Ocean acidification 101. Where is the problem again?

“The fishes and the coral live happily in the CO2 bubble plume”
“Observations on Growth of Reef Corals and Sea Grass Around Shallow Water Geothermal Vents in Papua New Guinea”
“It seems that coral reefs are thriving at pH levels well below the most alarming projections for 2100.”

The really funny thing about corals is they evolved at a time of very high co2. Ocean acidification scare stories are a joke. From now until 2100 there really is nothing to see here folks, move along Stoat.


There was I, completely deluded. Assuming all the junkett monkeys were swimming in a sea made by their own poo.
I’m soo mistaken.
It seems stoaty [snip -over the top].
When I was a kid we managed to pull out a freshwater mussel the size of a half brick from the Leeds Liverpool canal back in the early 70’s when the water was totally clear – just South of Halsall.
The early corals, plankton and diatoms that created limestone, chalk and many other minerals lived at times when the atmosphere had a scary amount of C02 and atmospheric pressure so temperatures were far higher than today.


I don’t think you can use local pH variation to imply increasing the average pH of the oceans will have little affect.
The Nevada desert has a temperature range of about 120F to -50F. Yet when the average global temperature was just 10F less we were in an ice age and Nevada was a very different place.
Also the hypothesis “until evidence is obtained to the contrary, that major biogeochemical processes in the oceans other than calcification will not be fundamentally different under future higher CO2/lower pH conditions” is very unlikely to be true as there is plenty of research showing enzyme efficiency changes greatly with small changes in pH even when the particular enzyme operates within a broad range of pH.

Dr. John M. Ware

Could someone with knowledge of the state of ocean PH research tell me where we stand in terms of actual measurement? When PH readings are taken, or water is analyzed, what specific places have had measurements? At what depths? How often? At what time(s) of day? Under what conditions (clear, cloudy, rainy, calm, windy, stormy, hot, mild, cool, cold, and other variables too numerous for me to think of)? My impression is that our knowledge is of such a fragmentary nature as to rival or surpass Virgil’s phrase “rari nantes in gurgite vasto” (“scattered swimmers in a huge whirlpool”). It might be comparable to taking a few grains of sand from the Sahara or the Atacama and generalizing from them. Acidification of the oceans (as a concept) should depend–at least–on being able to quantify the beginning and ending states, I would think.

Michael in Sydney

I’ve always believed it is best to stay away from the computer keyboard when I have been drinking.


Oh, here is a thought.
If its because man is making too much C02, which becomes carbonic acid in water. Then it comes to prove the minuscule amount of this farmed C02 from the air feeds to the sea as rain. Our rain obviously must be fit to rip the flesh off your face.
This model proves it.

William Astley

It is obvious that William Connelly is a very, very frustrated warmist.
Ocean acidification will be the last ‘climategate’ scientific distortion to fall.
It appears the 16 year plateau with no warming is over. William Connelly is a very frustrated warmist as it appears both poles of the planet have started to cool. It is ironic or perhaps fitting that AR-5 will be issued when there is the start of unequivocal global cooling.
How will the warmists explain away global cooling. 1) Temporary setback? Oops the darn cooling does not go away 2) TSI change? Oops orders of magnitude too much cooling. 3) Bait and switch to ocean acidification: Oops the public and media are stuck on the darn global cooling. 4) No comment: Oops the darn public and media are going on and on about global cooling. It appears the public finds crop failures, massive power failures due to winter storms, and road/airport closures due to winter storms to be very annoying.
The solar magnetic cycle observational date is screaming deep, deep Maunder like grand solar magnetic cycle minimum. The question is not if the sun will be spotless but rather when and how long. The second question is not if the planet will cool but rather how much cooling will occur and how long the cooling period will last (Based on past cooling periods 50 to 100 years).
Do you think the public and media will notice a rapid return to Little Ice age winters for 50 to 100 years? Climate change, the cooling type, cannot be used to justify job killing greens scams. Good luck with the ocean acidification scam.
Nature hides the decline.
The heat hiding in the ocean does not work. The ocean level is not rising. Bummer.
Sea level is not rising by Professor Nils-Axel Mörner, Main points:
– At most, global average sea level is rising at a rate equivalent to 2-3 inches per century. It is probably not rising at all.
– Sea level is measured both by tide gauges and, since 1992, by satellite altimetry. One of the keepers of the satellite record told Professor Mörner that the record had been interfered with to show sea level rising, because the raw data from the satellites showed no increase in global sea level at all.
– The raw data from the TOPEX/POSEIDON sea-level satellites, which operated from 1993-2000, shows a slight uptrend in sea level. However, after exclusion of the distorting effects of the Great El Niño Southern Oscillation of 1997/1998, a naturally-occurring event, the sea-level trend is zero.
– The GRACE gravitational-anomaly satellites are able to measure ocean mass, from which sea-level change can be directly calculated. The GRACE data show that sea level fell slightly from 2002-2007.
– These two distinct satellite systems, using very different measurement methods, produced raw data reaching identical conclusions: sea level is barely rising, if at all.
– Sea level is not rising at all in the Maldives, the Laccadives, Tuvalu, India, Bangladesh, French Guyana, Venice, Cuxhaven, Korsør, Saint Paul Island, Qatar, etc.
– In the Maldives, a group of Australian environmental scientists uprooted a 50-year-old tree by the shoreline, aiming to conceal the fact that its location indicated that sea level had not been rising. This is a further indication of political tampering with scientific evidence about sea level.
– Since sea level is not rising, the chief ground of concern at the potential effects of anthropogenic
“global warming” – that millions of shore-dwellers the world over may be displaced as the oceans
expand – is baseless.
-We are facing a very grave, unethical “sea-level-gate”


But what about the poor fishes in the acidic Great Barrier Reef? They are surely doomed by acid? Stoat, pay attention.

Gabrielle M. Miller et. al. – 2013
Increased CO2 stimulates reproduction in a coral reef fish
……….We investigated the effects of near-future levels of pCO2 on the reproductive performance of the cinnamon anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, from the Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Breeding pairs were held under three CO2 treatments [Current-day Control (430 μatm), Moderate (584 μatm) and High (1032 μatm)] for a 9-month period that included the summer breeding season. Unexpectedly, increased CO2 dramatically stimulated breeding activity in this species of fish. Over twice as many pairs bred in the Moderate (67% of pairs) and High (55%) compared to the Control (27%) CO2 treatment. Pairs in the High CO2 group produced double the number of clutches per pair and 67% more eggs per clutch compared to the Moderate and Control groups. As a result, reproductive output in the High group was 82% higher than that in the Control group and 50% higher than that in the Moderate group. Despite the increase in reproductive activity, there was no difference in adult body condition among the three treatment groups. There was no significant difference in hatchling length between the treatment groups, but larvae from the High CO2 group had smaller yolks than Controls. This study provides the first evidence of the potential effects of ocean acidification on key reproductive attributes of marine fishes and, contrary to expectations, demonstrates an initially stimulatory (hormetic) effect in response to increased pCO2. However, any long-term consequences of increased reproductive effort on individuals or populations remain to be determined.

peter laux

CO2 makes water acidic in a sterile Laboratory but in nature it makes it alkaline.
It feeds vegetable plankton and weed !
A simple experiment – with ph measuring strips, get distilled water, add a pinch of fertiliser – Ph should be neutral.
Add CO2 into bottles atmosphere, to make it wildly in excess of normal, a real ‘what about the children’, nightmare scenario for the “CO2 mystics ‘ (from a soda stream canister etc)
Get a pinch of soil or pond weed and add.
Leave in a lit area, wait a few weeks – measure – alkaline.
Real life defies Lab again !

stan stendera

For 2kevin(above)
You hold him and burp him. I wouldn’t touch him.

Stoat? Smells more like a weasel to me.

Connolley knows temperatures are cooling, and that the Global Warming panic has to switch from temperatures to ocean acidification. It makes him furious to see the new Alarmism is not going to work either.
Connelley’s rant is an amazing example of psychological projection. He needs to clean his glasses of his own dirt. What a irony it is that he accuses anyone of “disinformation.”
In the future, when people look up “disinformation” in a thesaurus, I wonder if people will see a reference to Mr. Connolley’s work at Wikipedia.

Soren F

The seasonal shift in pH being one thing, what would be the natural _climatic_ shift, the mean shift seen during a typical late Holocene, e.g. medieval warming-type, excursion? – a background component of current change to be considered.

My comment went into moderation. I’m curious. What bad word did I use?
I confess I thought a lot of bad words, but also thought I did a good job holding my tongue, which is a bit difficult in this case.


Ok, I’ll bite. I am a marine scientist and I am tasked with work on ocean acidification. Yes, the oceans are alkaline and yes scientists play fast and furious with the word ‘acidification’. Nevertheless, as atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations go up, more CO2 dissolves in the oceans leading to a chemistry that adds more protons to seawater. However, it will not enter the realm of a solution being classified as acidic as hydroxide ions will always exceed hydrogen ions. The shift of the equilibrium is towards the acidic end of the scale (event though it is, and will be, alkaline) and hence some scientists are all too willing to play the hand of the oceans going acidic to hype the issue. So, yes some scientists are playing loose with the facts but they are trying to protect the source of research funds since as a topic wanes in the public interest the research dollars dry up. Seawater surface pH varies in the various oceans of the world presently by up to a pH unit, and deep seawater is well into the lower regime of predictions of below pH 8.0. So far there is evidence both ways that changing pH impacts on some marine life, especially calcifiers, but the evidence is confusing to say the least. Many experimental designs are so un-natural that it would take a brave person to extrapolate the artificial experimental design to the real world – but that doesn’t stop some. Go to any public aquarium that has a coral exhibit and the curators will tell you that the corals are alive and well into pHs that are well below anything that is predicted as their semi-closed aquarium systems fluctuate widely towards pHs lower than natural seawater. They corals may take more energy to create the same amount of calcium carbonate but as one famous (late) coral biologist once said ‘coral reefs are drowning in their own success of calcification’, i.e. coral atolls are created by fringing coral reefs developing so fast that they actually ‘sink’ the island land mass below the waves (a theory put forward by no less than Charles Darwin (who is not the late coral biologist above)). If the island didn’t sink the corals would emerge from the surface of the water and dry out. Their successful calcification is what eventually limits their growth. The ocean acidification story is over sold presently and environmental journalists spitting the dummy over doubters only demonstrates further that they are not objective nor worthy of claiming that they express rationale views.


Checked Judith Curry’s wikipedia page. By now, no obscenities. Wonder how long the weasel can hold it.

Up there, somebunny said
8.25 to 8.14 a difference of 0.11, which is 1.351% of 8.14.
When I was carrying out my undergraduate physics experiments we had it drummed into us that + or – 4% was statistically insignificant as it was within the bounds of an error due to measurement. Given that they have not measured the whole ocean or even 1% of it I doubt the accuracy of the measurements being extrapolated to the whole ocean.
Firstly, a change of 0.1 pH is a change of 30% in [H3O+] ion concentration because ph is defined as -log10[H3O+] where the square brackets indicate concentration of whatever is inside them. So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one.
Second, consider the fact that in your undergraduate physics labs you did not exactly have state of the art equipment. Eli was just reading a paper that had measured the consistency of the speed of light to 1 part in 10^14 and in some experiments we can do better than that.
Third, Google Scholar can be your friend. Go read about how ocean pH is measured, both now andd extending back into the past using proxys. Here is a place to get you started


Connelley is a failed, ex-climate modeller. He thinks this gives him the authority to rewrite half of Wikipedia and insult serious honest scientists like Judith Curry.
She, like myself, naively took the IPCC line at face value to start with. Once all the maggots started coming out of the woodwork and she took a courageous and risky professional stance that we needed to get back to proper objective science.
That is what Connelly and his cohort of egotistical would-be eco-nazis find so upsetting. That is the reason for the expletives and the hate.
Their little game of “do exactly what I say or else the world is going to be destroyed” is not working out the way they had hoped.


On 9 January 2012, Jo Nova had observed:

“It turns out that far from being a stable pH, spots all over the world are constantly changing. One spot in the ocean varied by an astonishing 1.4 pH units regularly.”

Jeez, that’s supposed to be news? I took an undergraduate Marine Biology course some forty-odd years ago (my high school science teacher had done her Masters degree work at Woods Hole, and she made me promise to get a look at the field while en route to medical school), and one of my research projects required – incidentally – that pH measurements be made at various times and depth levels as we were sampling with a Nansen-type container we’d improvised.
While the literature back then didn’t specify such a large degree of acid/base variability (1.4 pH units), pH fluctuations of 0.11 – and more – at each sampling site and depth were well within the expected range, especially if allowance were made for instrumental limits of accuracy. Insofar as I recall, that’s pretty much what we recorded.
Ain’t it interesting that the musteline Mr. Connolley had named his blog after a species of weasel?
Wouldn’t surprise me none if that sucker were absolutely tone-deaf when it comes to the connotation commonly accorded the concept of “weasel” (“shifty, scheming person who will do whatever is needed to escape whatever is feared in the moment”) in American usage.

Aussie Luke Warm of Australiastan

[snip – over the top – Anthony]


The Weasel says “Instead, she’s made the world a little bit worse.”
The weasel really seems to live under the delusion that through his censoring of 5,000 climate science articles he makes the world “better”; and he seems to think that everybody should have the same opinion about everything. He probably even thinks of his never ending censoring activity as “good” – probably his co-censors think the same; probably they confirm each other in this belief. We have discovered one very sick cult there.
BTW what is it with warmists? A Weasel, and a rabbit? Are they all furrys?


Thing is, these guys (Connelly, Mann, Trenberth, Hansen etc etc) all KNOW that their little charade is drawing to a close.
They KNOW the Earth is heading towards a cooler period.
We will see more of this as things progress;
The lies will get bigger and braver and more manic.
There will be a ‘desperation’ about their actions.
Many of these guys see their future heading down the tubes, and they are going to sulk, big time.
Some of the honest ones will come out and say.. WHOOPS, SORRY….. WE GOOFED !
But not many.

Mike McMillan

You know, I always thought stoat was a type of pig. But thanks to wikipedia, I now know that it is a type of weasel.
Learn something new every day now and then. The swine is a shoat, the stoat is a weasel. Got it.

Lew Skannen

“So yesm a change of 0.1 in pH is a large one.” – Eli Rabbet.
A 0.1 change is a 0.1 change. As you correctly state the pH is the log not the ratio. It is the log for a reason and the reason is that [H+] can vary greatly without having much affect on anything. The pH is what is relevant and a change of 0.1 is a change of 0.1 ie. rather small.