The WUWT Hot Sheet for Wednesday July 31st, 2013


Shocker: Global Warming Kneejerker Admits It

You can go wading in the lake at the North Pole – Boing Boing

At Climate Central, Andrew Freedman provides some really fascinating context that illustrates the changing nature of, well, nature … and draws a big, heavy underline on how difficult it can be to make assumptions about what is and what isn’t an effect of climate change. Arctic sea ice is melting in concert with rising global average temperatures, but (contrary to the knee-jerk assumption I made about this story) the lake at the North Pole may or may not have anything to do with that.

What? Global warming true believers making knee-jerk assumptions? Perish the thought.

Kudos for owning up, though.


North Pole ‘Lake’ Vanishes – Yahoo! News

Now, instead of 2 feet (0.6 meters) of freshwater slopping against a bright-yellow buoy, a remote webcam shows only ice and clouds.

Told ya so:


PJ Tatler:

National Geographic: You Know, James Hansen Just Might be a Bit of a Chicken Little

Don’t look now, global warmists, but National Geographic just put some science to one of James Hansen’s most outlandish claims.

In his book Storms of my Grandchildren, noted climate scientist James Hansen issued the following warning: “[I]f we burn all reserves of oil, gas, and coal, there is a substantial chance we will initiate the runaway greenhouse. If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.”

Keep your eyes on the ball here. Hansen doesn’t give us a number, but does say that Earth stands a “substantial chance” of going hot like Venus and burning off all our oceans if we were to burn up all of our reserves of oil, gas and goal.

What’s a “substantial chance?” And does it matter that Venus is only 67 million miles from the Sun, while Earth is 93 million miles from the Sun?

You’d think it would. It does.

Respected as Hansen is, the argument hasn’t convinced climate scientists who specialize in the evolution of planetary atmospheres. During the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM), 56 million years ago, a huge natural spike in CO2 sent temperatures on Earth soaring—but life went on and the ocean remained intact.

“I think you can say we’re still safe against the Venus syndrome,” says Raymond Pierrehumbert of the University of Chicago. “If we were going to run away, we’d probably have done it during the PETM.”

Maybe Hansen shouldn’t be so respected. I know from my years at NASA that among the staff who worked nearest him at the Goddard Space Flight Center and had to deal directly with him, he wasn’t.


Tamsin Edwards: Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies

I became a climate scientist because I care about the environment, but we have a moral obligation to be impartial .

As a climate scientist, I’m under pressure to be a political advocate. This comes mainly from environmentalists. Dan Cass, wind-farm director and solar advocate, preferred me not to waste my time debating “denialist morons” but to use political advocacy to “prevent climate catastrophe”.

I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism. I find much climate scepticism is driven by a belief that environmental activism has influenced how scientists gather and interpret evidence. So I’ve found my hardline approach successful in taking the politics and therefore – pun intended – the heat out of climate science discussions.


David Archibald will be giving a lecture on climate (predicting cooling) in a US Senate hearing room on Monday 16th September at noon. (Details to follow later.)


Donna Laframboise: The IPCC, UFOs & Pseudoscience

The head of the IPCC has written a novel in which the central character is infatuated with pseudoscience and in which UFO enthusiast Shirley MacLean is presented as credible. The final installment of the Nobel Laureate Summer Reading series.


Disappearing islands h/t to Jeff Pitts:

“The loss of the islands is part of a natural process of delta barrier island evolution that may well be accelerated due to more frequent storms resulting from climate change,” Lopez said. “The loss of the islands is a tragedy that can be averted.”


Mike Jonas advises: The Royal Society of NSW, Southern Highlands Branch, is presenting a climate science forum on Thursday Aug 8, in Bowral NSW Australia.

If you know anyone who may be within range of Bowral and might like to attend, please can you let them know. Bowral is about 1½ hours from Sydney, Canberra and Wollongong.

Also, please note that we are asking for questions in advance (about the science of climate, not on things like cutting CO2 emissions). Contact details etc are in the above website.


Five or More Failed Experiments in Measuring Global Sea Level Change


Dr. Soon, an astrophysicist, authored The Maunder Minimum and The Variable Sun-Earth Connection. Presented at the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness 31st Annual Meeting, July 13, 2013, Houston, Texas.


New papers call into question the global sea surface temperature record

Two new companion papers published in Ocean Science call into question the data and methods used to construct global sea surface temperature records of the past 150 years. The authors find that measurements taken from ship engine cooling intakes can be “overly-warm by greater than 0.5°C on some vessels,” which by way of comparison is about the same magnitude as the alleged global sea surface temperature warming since 1870.

Furthermore, the authors “report the presence of strong near-surface temperature gradients day and night, indicating that intake and bucket measurements cannot be assumed equivalent in this region. We thus suggest bucket and buoy measurements be considered distinct from intake measurements due to differences in sampling depth. As such, we argue for exclusion of intake temperatures from historical SST datasets and suggest this would likely reduce the need for poorly field-tested bucket adjustments. We also call for improvement in the general quality of intake temperatures from Voluntary Observing Ships… We suggest that reliable correction for such warm errors is not possible since they are largely of unknown origin and can be offset by real near-surface temperature gradients.”

Data sets combining ship intake and bucket measurements show ~0.5C warming since 1870, but this new paper argues that the two types of measurement are from different sampling depths and should not be combined. Graph source: Bob Tisdale via WUWT

For more on the ship intake vs. buckets issue and the questionable adjustments involved, see these posts at WUWT & links to Climate Audit:

Historical Sea Surface Temperature Adjustments/Corrections aka “The Bucket Model”…

Buckets, Inlets, SST’s and all that – part 1


Is Shrinking Arctic Ice a Bad Thing?

Chart In Focus

There has been considerable alarm in recent years about the shrinking arctic ice cap.  Some shippers look forward to actually using the “northwest passage” for shipping to cut off a few thousand miles versus going through the Panama Canal or around Africa, while others fear the rising sea levels associated with glacial melting.  Polar bears who hunt for seals on polar ice have become the poster representatives of those who worry about ice caps melting.


Matt Dempsey writes:

Watch: State Department on President Obama’s Keystone XL Jobs Claims: “Sounds like there’s some confusion on this issue”

Imagine you are the spokesperson at the State Department live on TV having to answer questions from a number of reporters trying to find out how President Obama came up with the Keystone XL job numbers he cited in his New York Times interview this weekend.

They certainly didn’t come from the State Department Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).

On Monday, Oil Sands Fact Check sent out an Issue Alert questioning whether President Obama had even read the State Department’s report on Keystone XL. If he had, why didn’t he use the numbers that professionals in his own administration had researched for nearly five years? And if he’s not relying on the experts at State, where exactly did he get his numbers from?

These are the questions reporters have been asking this week but have yet to get an answer out of the White House.  “[T]he White House could not say late Saturday what analysis Obama is basing his 2,000 jobs estimate on…” reports the Washington Post. The Hill, too, contacted the White House but they “didn’t respond.”

The Washington Post Fact Checker summed up the White House’s mystery job numbers this way:

“Ordinarily, we would expect the president to cite an estimate from his own State Department, rather than a think tank opposed to the project. (Note to President Obama: When researching such matters, reporters generally look askance at estimates produced by advocates or foes of a particular issue.)  Of course, perhaps the president just took State Department estimate of the construction jobs and divided it in half, to come up with an (incorrect) yearly figure. But that doesn’t make much sense either, because the White House routinely claimed the job gains created by the stimulus by adding up the number of “person-years” — in other words, one person employed per year. That’s how the White House could claim 3 million jobs were saved or created by the stimulus through 2012. (See Table 12 of this White House report.) Thus, using the White House’s stimulus math, the president should be saying Keystone XL would create as many as 7,800 construction jobs.”

The Tampa Bay Times Politifact did some homework too and found that even the Sierra Club had higher job numbers than President Obama on Keystone XL: “We looked at the website of the Sierra Club, one of the leading environmental groups opposed to the pipeline, and they used the State Department’s 3,900 annual number.” As Politifact put it, President Obama’s job numbers are simply “false”:

Our ruling

Obama said the Keystone XL pipeline might produce about 2,000 jobs during construction, based on the most reliable estimates. The White House provided no supporting evidence and the administration’s own State Department predicted that while the pipeline would produce few permanent jobs, the construction process itself would create nearly twice as many jobs as the president said.

We rate the statement False.

Perhaps today’s Grand Forks Herald editorial put it best: “This is pretty close to ludicrous.”

Which brings us back to the poor State Department spokesperson, who was left trying to explain this whole situation on live TV.  She certainly gave it her best shot before finally saying, “Well, sure. It sounds like there’s some confusion on this issue, so why don’t I take the question…”

Full Transcript

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Nick Stokes(@bilby)
July 31, 2013 6:10 pm

But who is the global warming knee-jerk admitter?

July 31, 2013 6:48 pm

“What? Global warming true believers making knee-jerk assumptions? Perish the thought.”
I believe we’ve shown that “global warming true believers making knee-jerk assumptions” is business as usual.
I, on the other hand, am willing to study the correlation between a global increase in knee-jerk assumptions and the global increase in atmospheric CO2.
Please send grant money to me immediately for further analysis.

Robert Clemenzi
July 31, 2013 6:52 pm

Thanks for the info on the National Geographic article. It is easy to disprove the Venus analogy. It is hard to see why Hansen and National Geographic support it.

July 31, 2013 7:00 pm

Arctic Death Spiral: The North Pole Lake

July 31, 2013 7:05 pm

JohnWho says:
July 31, 2013 at 6:48 pm
That’s funny stuff.
Count me in on that study!
Hummm, when was the last poll here anyhow?

Terry Jay
July 31, 2013 7:37 pm

Nice feature, the Hot Sheet.
Sort of like InstaPundit for weather.

July 31, 2013 8:04 pm

Extraordinary developments in the Arctic:
Temperatures now almost back to 0 degrees. Did this ever happen before since 1958 in mid summer ?
Stunning recovery of DMI > 30% ice extent
What is going on ? Just weather or AMO turning ?

July 31, 2013 8:11 pm

We’re at the beginning of a colding cycle. Artic ice lags normal temperature flux because it’s also affected by ocean temperature which takes years longer than the atmosphere to cool. I think it takes a lot longer to melt the ice than it does to refreeze once the conditions are favorable. I think those conditions are there now. I expect ice to continue building and warming to continue to ignore it (see Antartica).

July 31, 2013 8:12 pm

warming should be warmists…

July 31, 2013 8:22 pm

there must be something exceptional this year as well to have stopped or even reverse this trend (at least for now):comment image
Either it is a freak summer (with perhaps extraordinary cloud cover ?), or the influx of warm water into the Arctic basin has decreased very substantially,..

July 31, 2013 8:53 pm

Speaking of Climate Central and leg jerk reactions, seems AIT-level sea level rises are “locked in for some distant tomorrow.” This is apparently what all of the hand-wringing is about:
As advertised by the author here:
Gotta love “some distant tomorrow.” USA Today announced it with a warning of over 1,400 U.S. cities under threat, with “at least 316 U.S. cities and towns [that] will be mostly submerged unless pollution can be pulled from the sky.”
No mention from either source that this “new paper” was featured in PNAS Commentary section. It does provide for some humor, but when the laughter ceases it is replaced with incredulousness and more than a tinge of anger at the lengths the CAGW machine will go to.
The campaign had already become desperate, asinine, absurd, ridonkulous and such, but they have become worse than cornered rats. It is true desperation. From the author’s “conclusion”:
“However, within a rapidly closing window, deep and rapid cuts in carbon pollution may have the potential to avert this fate.”
Yeah dude, that window’s been slammed shut on your fingers. Too bad Ben “Levee” Strauss and the Copenhaters offer a prescription that promises a far worse fate for “some immediate tomorrow.” You know the recipe. And it taste like…something you wouldn’t want to eat. A few acronyms spring to mind, but the bottom line is we need to knock this heinous Goliath on its butt.

July 31, 2013 10:03 pm

I’ve been dodging “jerking-knees” for 3- 4 years now.
Avoidance is the easy part, it is all muscle memory.
Getting really boring now, all the new moves have been defeated.
Which leaves only politics.
The pawns have been sacrificed, to no end.
The real game goes on.

July 31, 2013 10:15 pm

The only thing I could come up with was a twisted version of a line from the Rocky & Bullwinkle show.
“Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my a$s, nothing up my sleeve…PRESTO!!”
“Oh Bullwinkle, it’s all covered in sh!t”

August 1, 2013 12:28 am

Tamsin Edwards: “Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies”
Ya think?
“I became a climate scientist because I care about the environment, but we have a moral obligation to be impartial .”
No, you saw it as an opportunity to get eternal funding to play with Sim Earth and get rich and famous like Hansen for doing so, while having fun scaring the children. And you sure don’t have a moral obligation to be impartial. You have the obligation to fulfill the conditions of your job contract with the state, your employer, and when the state wants propaganda, you jump.
“I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral.”
Na, you don’t risk anything; you never had credibility to start with. You don’t start out with the reputation of Einstein in my book just because you are lucky enough to get that government research job. You start out with the same reputation as any other government worker, and that is the reputation of a liar and a thief.

August 1, 2013 1:16 am

Manfred says:
July 31, 2013 at 8:22 pm
“there must be something exceptional this year as well to have stopped or even reverse this trend (at least for now):”
PIOMAS is a model, probably with tons of fudginess in it. About as believable as US GDP numbers. Or Chinese for that matter.

View from the Solent
August 1, 2013 1:43 am

‘Melting North Pole’ webcam also in 31 July (UK) Times weather commentary by Paul Simons (paywall)
” In future, we might now expect there to be nearly ice-free summers across much of the Arctic Ocean
The North Pole is melting. A big lake is all that can be seen on a webcam at the North Pole. The surface ice has melted into small pools that have joined up to form a large lake of meltwater. A time-lapse animation of this summer’s vanishing ice can be seen at Unusually high temperatures over the Arctic Ocean — currently 1-3C above normal — have caused the ice to melt. Once warm air causes the surface ice to melt it sets off a vicious cycle as the open water traps more heat from the Sun and causes further melting.
In future, we might now expect there to be nearly ice-free summers across much of the Arctic Ocean. A recent study predicted that a large area of the Arctic will become open water during summer before 2050, with the possibility of a major loss within a decade or two, sooner than many previously thought. Already the Arctic countries bordering the Arctic Ocean are preparing to trade across the open seas. On the central Arctic coast of Russia a huge liquefied natural gas plant is currently being built ready to export gas to Asia through the Northeast Passage for about seven months a year in three years’ time. …… contines with more woo”

Nyq Only
August 1, 2013 2:32 am

Why has WUWT stopped talking about Murry Salby?

Gail Combs
August 1, 2013 4:43 am

…I believe advocacy by climate scientists has damaged trust in the science. We risk our credibility, our reputation for objectivity, if we are not absolutely neutral. At the very least, it leaves us open to criticism….

Love this from the comment section. It says it all.

SteelyGlint says:
“What’s the difference between a policy wonk who’s up to date with the science and someone employed as a scientist who is informed about the policy questions? Indeed, one might expect a possible career path to include a transition from scientific practitioner to policy adviser.”
dave204 answers:
As someone who worked for years in ‘policy’ and ‘advice’ I think that’s one of the funnier things I ever read. The qualities that take you forward as ‘policy adviser’ are not the qualities that help you to succeed in science. To put it bluntly, people who do well in policy advice are by and large people who are willing to make the figures/facts say whatever the politician/career loon wants to hear. Hope that helps.

That answer is certainly a keeper!

Gary Pearse
August 1, 2013 4:45 am

“… If we also burn the tar sands and tar shale, I believe the Venus syndrome is a dead certainty.”
Yeah I’m with you on that Jimmy, the certainty is dead.
And what about the turning screw at an expanding number of MSM! Imagine a newspaper now having a “fact checker”. I thought fact checkers went out with the hoola hoop. And the growing “confessions” and defections from the synod of ecclimesiastics – WUWT? Definitely a surge of climate scientists differentiating themselves from the madding crowd. It would be interesting to see if the differentiation is age-related – younger ones ‘careering’ away from the herd of sold-out near-retirees. Now there is a statistic I would like to see. Anyone? The experts pooh-poohing the hype about the north pole lake – could this be because the experts realize that north of 80 is refreezing early and has the coldest mid-summer temperatures since the series began in 1958 – check it out.
and the Danish +30% ice extent, Japanese 15% extent and Norway’s:
Oh it may blow away in a big storm but this will get less and less likely if the freeze-up continues North of 80.

Gail Combs
August 1, 2013 4:47 am

galileonardo says: @ July 31, 2013 at 8:53 pm
The campaign had already become desperate, asinine, absurd, ridonkulous and such, but they have become worse than cornered rats…..
What is interesting is reading the comment and more important the “likes” from people with facebook accounts.

Jack Herron · Top Commenter
I love it – yet another article about global cooling…whoops…global warming…whoops, climate change….that predicts the end of the world, coming to a community near you at some point in time.
And once again, notice the suppositions, the maybes, the ifs, and certainly notice the time frame involved.
Also notice the contradictions in the story, and then see what you think.
Now – cue the climate change alarmists calling me an idiot in 5…4…3…2…1

Seems WUWT, CFact, and all the others are having an affect at least with those on line.

Eustace Cranch
August 1, 2013 6:22 am

Who the heck is “Shirley MacLean?”

Bruce Cobb
August 1, 2013 8:44 am

WRT “Climate scientists must not advocate particular policies”, if only that were the only problem. They first and foremost need to start telling the truth, regardless of funding issues. Terrible thing to ask, I know.

Roger Andrews
August 1, 2013 9:00 am

The “spike” in the SST record during WWII in Bob Tisdale’s graph is generated by bad wartime data. This is what the graph looks like after these bad data are discarded and allowing for the 61 month smoothing:

August 1, 2013 9:36 am

DirkH says August 1, 2013 at 1:16 am

PIOMAS is a model, probably with tons of fudginess in it. About as believable as US GDP numbers. Or Chinese for that matter.

The NEW AND IMPROVED (/sarc) GDP numbers or the old GDP numbers?
For those not yet aware, courtesy of ZH/WSJ: The Government “Revises” 84 Years Of Economic History This Week
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 07/29/2013
Don’t like how high debt-to-GDP figures are? Revise ’em.
Unhappy at the post-‘recovery’ growth rates? Revise ’em.
Disappointed at the pace of economic improvement in the last decade or two compared to the rest of the world? Revise ’em.
This week “we are essentially rewriting economic history” as the BEA is set to revise GDP data from as far back as 1929. The ‘adjustments’ to account for intangibles (that best known of micro- accounting fudge factors) and as we noted previously in great detail, will increase GDP by around $500 billion. Of course, these changes are defended aggressively (just as the hedonic adjustments to inflation calculations ‘make perfect sense’) as GDP will now reflect spending on research, development, and copyrights as investment – and reflect pension deficits for the first time (think of all that potential future GDP from massive pension deficits now). With Q2 GDP growth estimates set for a dismal 1.1%, expectations are for the short-term economic data to be revised upwards (and with any luck the great recession never happened at all).

August 1, 2013 4:07 pm

Eustace Cranch says:
August 1, 2013 at 6:22 am
Who the heck is “Shirley MacLean?”
Mea culpa. The original version of this post misspelled Ms. MacLaine’s surname.

August 1, 2013 4:15 pm

Who the heck is “Shirley MacLean?”
Shirley MacLean Beaty

August 1, 2013 4:26 pm

clipe says:
August 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm
Who the heck is “Shirley MacLean?”
Her mother was from Nova Scotia hence the the pronunciation of MacLean as by the Scottish as MacLaine much like MacKay is pronounced as MacAye.

Ben Darren Hillicoss
August 1, 2013 8:11 pm

:Love the “Hot Sheet” it is some hot sheet man!!!!

August 3, 2013 1:09 am

Hansen KNOWS that Earth can NEVER be like Venus. Ever. It’s not possible.

%d bloggers like this: