Science as agitprop: “Climate Change Is Strangling Our Oceans”

By Larry Kummer of the Fabius Maximus website

Summary:  The public policy debate about climate science shows the dysfunctional nature of the US media. It’s one reason why making effective public policy has become difficult or impossible. Here’s another example of how propaganda has contaminated the news reporting of this vital subject, looking at stories about a new study of our oceans.

Oxygen loss in the oceans

Image courtesy Matthew Long, NCAR. It is freely available for media use.

NCAR’s press research accurately describes the paper: “Widespread loss of ocean oxygen to become noticeable in 2030s” (although it omits a crucial detail, mentioned below). Phil Plait at Slate turns this into agitprop:  “Climate Change Is Strangling Our Oceans“. His conclusion: ““messing with {the ocean} habitat is like setting fire to your own house. Which is pretty much what we’re doing.” Maddie Stone at Gizmodo also has a sensational headline “The Oceans Are Running Low on Oxygen” (the paper says nothing like that; for example, “detectable change” does not imply a “low” level).

To see how science becomes sensational propaganda let’s start by looking at the paper — “Finding forced trends in oceanic oxygen” by Matthew C. Long et al, Global Biogeochemical Cycles, February 2016. Ungated copy here. It is interesting and valuable research about climate dynamics. The abstract…

Global Biogeochemical Cycles

“Anthropogenically forced trends in oceanic dissolved oxygen are evaluated in Earth system models in the context of natural variability. A large ensemble of a single Earth system model is used to clearly identify the forced component of change in interior oxygen distributions and to evaluate the magnitude of this signal relative to noise generated by internal climate variability. The time of emergence of forced trends is quantified on the basis of anomalies in oxygen concentrations and trends.

“We find that the forced signal should already be evident in the southern Indian Ocean and parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins; widespread detection of forced deoxygenation is possible by 2030–2040.

“In addition to considering spatially discrete metrics of detection, we evaluate the similarity of the spatial structures associated with natural variability and the forced trend. Outside of the subtropics, these patterns are not wholly distinct on the isopycnal surfaces considered, and therefore, this approach does not provide significantly advanced detection. Our results clearly demonstrate the strong impact of natural climate variability on interior oxygen distributions, providing an important context for interpreting observations.”

Note the difference between the paper and Slate’s agitprop. The climate scientists ran models and said “We find that the forced signal should already be evident” (not that it is evident). Their conclusions are similarly modest (i.e., we don’t have sufficiently detailed or long records to validate the model’s output)…

“Our results suggest that ocean deoxygenation might already be detectable on the basis of state anomalies and/or trends in regions within the southern Indian Ocean, as well as parts of the eastern tropical Pacific and Atlantic basins. Observations have insufficient spatiotemporal coverage, however, to adequately characterize the natural [O2] distribution, in the case of evaluating state anomalies. Furthermore, in most regions where early detection is possibly {sic}, relatively long records (>50 years) are required to assess the exceedance of a trend from the O2 variability generated in a stationary climate without external forcing.”

Slate sweeps all this away. Model outputs become definite observations of damage appearing today. Tentative conclusions become certainties. Those are Slate’s smaller misrepresentations of this paper.

Ministry of Propaganda

The big omission

The paper clearly states that the model was run using a specific scenario: “the CMIP5 Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 (RCP8.5) for 2006–2100”. The nightmarish predictions of climate change that dominate the news almost all rely on this, the most severe of the four scenarios used by the Fifth Assessment Report (the IPCC’s most recent report). It describes a future in which much has gone wrong (details here), most importantly…

  • a slowdown in tech progress (e.g., coal becomes the major fuel of the late 21st century, as it was in the late 19thC), and
  • unusually rapid population growth (inexplicably, that fertility in sub-Saharan Africa does not decline or even crash as it has everywhere else).

RCP8.5 is a valuable scenario for planning, reminding us of the consequences if things go wrong. But presenting forecasts based on it without mentioning its unlikely assumptions is agitprop. The current bankruptcies of coal miners already suggests that the late 21st century will not be dominated by burning coal (details here). There is little evidence that fertility in Africa will remain high as their incomes grow.

Some journalists more accurately reported this paper. The WaPo wrote “Global warming could deplete the oceans’ oxygen – with severe consequences” — saying “could deplete”, not “is depleting” or “will deplete”. They also say “High levels of greenhouse gas emissions, the study reports, produce a ‘sharp acceleration of oceanic deoxygenation in the first half of the 21st century’” — a nod to the RCP8.5 scenario.


The steady flow of this kind of propaganda is already slowly shaping US public opinion. A few large extreme weather events — promptly (even if inaccurately) blamed on CO2 — and the course of US public policy might change radically.

Climate skeptics’ lack of strategy or coordination makes this kind of propaganda easy and effective. It’s one of the reasons I believe that skeptics will lose the US public policy debate about climate change (details here).

Other examples of sensationalist reporting of climate change

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Tom Halla
May 4, 2016 6:46 pm

Computer games based on what they admitt is inadequate evidence. Typical climate science.

Reply to  Tom Halla
May 4, 2016 7:27 pm

Actually this is real science making a definite prediction, i.e. by 2040 we will be able to measure a
drop in ocean oxygen levels. This is a testable prediction and so is exactly the sort of thing that Larry
Kummer has been asking for.

FJ Shepherd
Reply to  Germinio
May 4, 2016 7:58 pm

Since there have been so many other failed predictions, and yet the AGW hypothesis is still running strong throughout various levels of society. So failed predictions do not really discredit AGW.

Anne Ominous
Reply to  Germinio
May 4, 2016 8:47 pm

Yes, but the point here isn’t what the actual paper said, but how it was presented by the alarmists and alarmist media. (Phil Plait counts as both.)
Considering that we can relatively easily measure dissolved oxygen with an uncertainty of less than 0.000018g per liter, saying that we should “detect” deoxygenation 15 years from now really isn’t saying much.
I read the statement we “should” be able to detect it now as equivalent to saying we have not detected any difference yet.

John Harmsworth
Reply to  Germinio
May 4, 2016 9:26 pm

Local and regional algal blooms, many or most aggravated by nutrient run off can and will cause oxygen depletion in some areas- especially in warmer waters. These examples will be dragged out and sensationalized as “the worst ever!”

Reply to  Germinio
May 4, 2016 11:43 pm

The authors of the paper don’t believe in your interpretation. The paper essentially concludes that observations are too crude to make accurate measurements, and use that as a reason for the importance of the paper. (See my post below).

David A
Reply to  Germinio
May 5, 2016 6:10 am

Anne O, although it should be clear that accurately measuring one sample is vastly different then measuring the entire ocean.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Germinio
May 5, 2016 9:49 am

Don’t forget that they also say that we’ll need about 50 years of data to find the secular trend and that current spatial/temporal coverage won’t cut it for determining the current natural component. This isn’t an unreasonable paper.

May 4, 2016 7:07 pm

“Climate skeptics’ lack of strategy or coordination makes this kind of propaganda easy and effective.”
Anyone here skeptical of climate? . . Anyone?

Reply to  JohnKnight
May 4, 2016 8:33 pm

I don’t own a large media company to which I can show a dry reservoir when in fact they are having to release water to keep the dam from breaking from too much rain. Or continue to make statements with key alarm words ” could”, ” maybe”, ” might” .
If the earth looses it magnetic field, the solar wind MIGHT strip the earth of its oceans. You don’t want that to happen do you? Well, there is a connection between the production of man made electricity and the declining magnetic field strength. What would it hurt to stop all electrical production right now to save the planet? We have to act now! ( send money) and I have a solution cap and trade. And by the way, I’m selling the rights to produce what little electricity that will be left ( I have a access to a 4 color printing press). … look at the graph, what pops out at you, magnetic field strength has declined 10% since the start of the Industrial Revolution.
That strategy?

May 4, 2016 7:37 pm

It seems to me that if the models suggest that evidence of O2 depletion should be detected and it is not then this is good news demonstrating the models are in error and thus there is no cause for alarm.

Reply to  getitright
May 4, 2016 8:09 pm

Say, how ’bout climate alarm skeptic, Larry?
Just one word . . four letters. Matches up with “climate alarmist”.

Reply to  JohnKnight
May 4, 2016 8:10 pm

Oh, wait, that’s five letters . . never mind ; )

Reply to  JohnKnight
May 5, 2016 6:04 am

Considering the other crap on Slate, it’s pretty obviously a propaganda site. These people live in their own alternate universe.

Reply to  getitright
May 4, 2016 8:27 pm

Seems like a “can’t miss” scenario. The authors want to detect a signal. That means, by definition, they are working at or near the detection limit of their measurement/detection method. Work at the detection limit is difficult, loaded with traps for the unwary, and full of mischief, particularly statistical mischief.
Getting a positive signal, or detecting the desired trend, depends of getting data which passes muster at the 95% confidence interval, with a p-value less than 0.05. This sort of scenario is possibly the most used, misused, and abused in all of analytical measurement in science. For a quick, scary publication, one need only repeat the analysis over and over again until that much vaunted wee p-value arises.
As to Kummer’s main point, I think he is dead right. msm and pop media are going at warp speed with alarmist propaganda, with no effective counter message at all being heard. This does not bode well for the climate wars.

FJ Shepherd
May 4, 2016 8:14 pm

AGW propaganda is strangling science.

May 4, 2016 8:21 pm

Unfortunately for the NCAR graph-naughts they do not yet comprehend, 60 years hence, that in the ocean basins are volcanic spreading centers! Plate Tectonics! The O2 in the oceans is supplied by the volcanism of the spreading centers, i.e. spreading ridges. Dar I say that Kevin Trendberth, the the greatest human being to ever be born on Earth, still does not understand or cannot understand plate tectonics. Whatever the “advance” of NCAR, that “advance” is 60 years backward into the dark past!
Ha ha

Anne Ominous
May 4, 2016 8:25 pm

I disagree that skeptics will lose the policy battle. From what I see, they’re already winning.
Despite a slightly larger number who call “climate change” a concern, when asked to rate it next to other current concerns the vast majority of U.S. citizens and even most in Europe rate it dead last.
More and more science is coming in which contradicts the alarmist agenda, and while certain media outlets have become more shrill, more have become tolerant and even accepting of a skeptical view.
Politically, the largely Left-driven alarmist narrative is rapidly losing favor, as are the Leftists themselves. More people are starting to wake up from their drone-like trance and see them for what they are.
Even more: we are starting to get back solid evidence that the “green economy” is not only far from the ideal the greenies would have us believe, but it has lost jobs, not created them. It is becoming apparent that reliance on new renewables at this time is probably even unworkable.
So there are a lot of positive signs. I don’t share the pessimism Larry is bringing to the table. Otherwise a good article, though.

Reply to  Anne Ominous
May 5, 2016 8:50 am

I agree.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Anne Ominous
May 5, 2016 8:55 am

Don’t forget, the Left controls the propaganda being fed our children in both K through 12 and college. And, it seems to be working. Where do you think dear Bernie gets all his support for ‘democratic socialism”?

Reply to  Joe Crawford
May 7, 2016 9:05 pm

Good point, most of us are unaware of the crap being fed to the children other than the evidence of the leftest belief expressed by our elite college students. And that includes CAGW parrots as well as a free college education for all including those who never learned anything in the 4 free years of high school..
Of course this means they will learn even less in college due to the watering down of intelligence as well as the fact that daddy does not have a dime invested in the attempt to get an education.
ZERO pressure to study

Reply to  Anne Ominous
May 5, 2016 10:41 am

We don’t live in the same world, it would seem. Despite the failures and despite the “lack” of concern, the general public simply takes the AGW party-line as a given. They have managed to stifle ANY reasonable discussion of the topic.
The fact that it’s not a major concern reflects the voter apathy – the government is dealing with it, no need for me to worry. And when the policy issues come up, there is no outcry, no protests. Because nobody cares.
But it seems whenever I point this out around here, it falls on deaf ears.
Based on my living in the real world with real people with whom I interact regularly, the AGW meme is firmly entrenched and you are scoffed at, or at least looked at funny, if you disagree. Even in rural NC.

Reply to  Anne Ominous
May 5, 2016 11:38 am

Agreed. The media will swing whichever way the wind is blowing, and Trump is already making it OK to make skeptical statements in public. As the WSJ, NYPost, etc. get behind him, more will be coming out about how the science has been with us all along.

May 4, 2016 8:37 pm

I do wonder how many of the fires in western Canada, have been started by employees of the UN, Greenpeace, and “Friends of the Earth” to name more than a few.
I see U

Reply to  601nan
May 4, 2016 8:52 pm

Or the Waldo Canyon fire here in Colorado or the Black Forest fire. If the state doesn’t play to the tune of climate change ( close it’s coal fired electrical generating stations) there could be accidents, like polluting a river from an old mine. Who wants to go rafting? What’s a little arsenic? Don’t eat the fish.

Reply to  601nan
May 4, 2016 9:14 pm

There is talk of human caused fires, I think think your right fanatical green hands could be lighting the matches.

Reply to  601nan
May 5, 2016 7:38 am

I had to de-friend someone on Facebook last night, who maintains that the fires are Gaia’s revenge on the tar sands.
Before I did so, I posted that this is like saying the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is revenge for Godzilla…

Reply to  CaligulaJones
May 5, 2016 8:34 am

+1. I wish I could come up with such replies in real time!

Reply to  CaligulaJones
May 5, 2016 1:39 pm

For some reason I strongly suspect that your ex-friend would, if given the chance, be extremely dis-respectful towards anyone who confessed to being a Christian.

May 4, 2016 9:09 pm

When the grants become scarce the scares will become scarce – The socialist are starting to run out of other peoples money, reality is starting to bite. Trump will roll back every executive action of Obama and puff will go the Paris agreements. Trump for president!

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  TG
May 5, 2016 8:41 am

Just a thought: the more scarce support of science is, the more prosperous and dominant the shysters are, since only shysters can survive in funding depleted environment. The funding of science already is so scarce and so political that the science is practically dead. Now, it seems that you propose to starve shysters out the science by first killing all science. How about returning to more abundant funding of science by reducing or, better, eliminating competition for grants. I submit to you, that in such environment shysters will be pushed out of the scene by the scientists. However, the time is running out and when the leftover of what you’d call real scientists who are in their 50s – 60s will retire or will be laid off, the science here will be dead for generations. So, please advise your presidential pick to increase funding of science otherwise we will end up with Michael Manns, Michio Kakus, Neil DeGrasses and Bill Nyes as our “scientists”.

Reply to  Walt The Physicist
May 5, 2016 10:49 pm

That’s an interesting hypothesis, but I’m not sure it’s rational. Your suggestion seems to be that, in a world where science is funded by public money (and I’m including money from non-profits like environmental organizations here), and in times when money is hard to come by, corrupt scientists are incentivized to feed the political desires of the elected officials to claim the bigger share of the pie. Conversely, if only money were freely available the corrupt scientists would get less share of the pie because somehow there would be less “competition” and the good scientists would enter back into the marketplace.
That’s not how the world works. If you throw money indiscriminately at something, you get more corruption instead of less corruption. The only reason climate science gets the vast amount of money it does today is because it feeds the political needs of the politicians and eco-wackos (that’s a technical term) providing the money. A quick Internet search reveals that nuclear fusion research was awarded an average of 393 million a year over the last 57 years by the federal government. (Here’s the link – U.S. government funding for climate research was 11.6 BILLION in 2014 alone. Funding fusion research over climate climate science should be a no-brainer, but, you see, fusion research research provides insufficient opportunity for graft, since at the end of the year you can tell whether fusion research has produced any objectively tangible results.
But climate science, well you can say whatever the hell you want in a paper because no way, no how will you ever be proven wrong – it’s all theoretical with no practical applications to use as benchmarks. This is one of the reasons I never trust the opinion of climate scientists – they’ve self selected themselves into professions where not only will they never suffer consequences for being wrong, but we’ll never know whether they are right, or wrong. People in such occupations tend to be awfully cavalier about what they claim to “know.”

Joe Crawford
Reply to  TG
May 5, 2016 9:09 am

I wonder how academia will react if/when college education becomes free as Bernie has proposed and they become government employees instead of government contractors (which they basically are now). Do they really think they can remain independent once the fed, through Congress, provides 100% of the funding? I’ve worked as both employee and contractor and believe me, contractor is a much better position to be in.

Walt The Physicist
Reply to  Joe Crawford
May 5, 2016 9:42 am

Interesting question! I’d guess that their incomes (9months salary plus what they get from research funding plus their consulting) will go down dramatically. I also predict that there will be no research done in the universities under such conditions.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Joe Crawford
May 5, 2016 2:32 pm

Hadn’t thought of that Walt. You are right. The government already has around 42 research labs (a.k.a. Federally Funded R&D Centers). Granted, several (~8) are associated with specific Universities But, I can see some interesting budget battles between the labs and the 2 or 3 thousand U.S. colleges and universities. Just maybe the lost art of teaching will come back into vogue.

Reply to  TG
May 5, 2016 11:05 pm

I’d like to know what reasoned basis you have to think that Trump would do any such thing. His entire campaign is nothing more than a cult of personality built around his public (and I think illusory) persona as a successful person who gets things done. I can’t think of a single position he has, on any issue at all, that is based on a principle. As far as I can tell, he has none.
I watched all of the Republican debates, and I’ve never before seen in my life a candidate with such a toxic combination of ignorance and intellectual laziness. He didn’t even know the responsibilities of the job he’s running for (thinking that judges signed bills). He is unaware that it is the first amendment that imposes the requirement of actual malice in a defamation action by a public figure, not some statute he thinks he can change if he’s president, he doesn’t seem to know that China is desperately trying to raise the value of its currency, and had to be informed by Rand Paul that China was not involved in the TPP after spending several minutes on a diatribe about how China supposedly took us to the cleaners when we negotiated that agreement.
Anyone who thinks they know what Trump would do if he is elected is deluding themselves.

May 4, 2016 9:36 pm

What is killing the oceans is waste and over fishing. Right after that are fertilizer and pesticide run off. This silly climate crap is distracting.

May 4, 2016 11:02 pm

If Slate wrote it, it must be wrong. The problem not being discussed is why Slate has any influence in this matter. They haven’t the talent for it which is self-evident. So the reason Slate has any influence is because their readers are accept an interpretation of a report as equivalent to the report. The readership haven’t the intelligence to go to the source. At least in the US we can blame our education for failing to teach critical thinking. And since the education is largely a function of the left, we now have our root cause. We are just three election cycles away from solving the problem, but as a population predominantly grown up under a leftist education agenda we are no longer capable of using our votes to make our world better.
That doesn’t mean Slate isn’t a huge embarrassment.

Reply to  dp
May 5, 2016 6:25 am

One could ask the same question about any form of print (paper or electronic) media. For reasons which are not at all apparent to me, a bonehead who writes nonsense for a newspaper is often taken seriously by readers who ought to know better.

May 4, 2016 11:40 pm

One quibble with this post – the NCAR press release did NOT accurately describe the results of the paper. The title implied certainty that widespread oxygen loss will become noticeable, and more egregiously, included the following falsehood: “A reduction in the amount of oxygen dissolved in the oceans due to climate change is already discernible in some parts of the world.” The Abstract of the actual paper makes it clear that they only determined that in their MODEL SIMULATIONS, oxygen loss was already noticeable (which from the paper means statistically significant over modeled inter-annual natural variability).
Now a huge complaint about the paper – it is garbage. They only used runs from a single model, and their only attempt to validate the model against observations failed miserably in the statistic that is relevant to their conclusions. Specifically, they compared a measured temporal standard deviation of dissolved oxygen concentrations along lines of constant pressure, to those of the model, near Hawaii. The paper implied that this was the only area in which the observations of standard deviation were reliable. At that location near Hawaii, the observed standard deviation (natural variability) was more than twice the modeled standard deviation. The paper glossed over this discrepancy by stating that “a comparison of the magnitude of inter-annual variability from the Hawaii Ocean Time-Series (HOT) station and the same location in CESM demonstrates that CESM does indeed have weaker variability.” (My guess is that the location near Hawaii was the one where the two standard deviations were closest, so they cherry-picked it for the paper.)
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that if the model has less than 1/2 the the natural variability than the system it’s modeling, forced trends in the model runs will become statistically significant much more quickly than in the real world.
Moreover, because the paper made no effort to verify the quantitative accuracy of the trends programmed into the model due to the “forcings” this whole exercise is simply an example of scientists fabricating data and treating it as evidence. They use a single model, with a single set of programmed instructions that produces quasi-randomized runs about a trend predetermined by the beliefs of the people who programmed the computer regarding how they THINK the ocean will respond to changes in surface temperature. They run the model many times, treat each run as if it were real data and perform statistical operations on the faux-data to get an average trend, and then figure out how long it would take that trend to become “statistically significant” over the modeled “inter-annual variability.”
If anyone needs any further convincing of this last point, consider a simple question: of what practical importance is statistical significance in a computer simulation? Statistical significance is an arbitrary cut-off (typically defined as 95%) used by scientists to assess whether an observed variation is not the result of random chance, but instead reflects a REAL, non-random, phenomenon. The authors at first seem to understand this by stating that “the ability to distinguish a forced signal from NATURAL variability is central to the problem of DETECTION.” (emphasis added). Nothing is “natural” in a simulation, and the output of a computer is programmed – not “detected.”
This paper might have been worthwhile if it was presented as a commitment to a test of the accuracy of the model used – by telling actual scientists to go forth and make real world observations in the areas that a signal is supposed to already be evident. Do they do this? Of course not. Conveniently, the paper concludes by listing all the reasons why reliable measurements simply cannot be taken, and therefore asserts that the value of this presentation is in “its dramatic illustration of the forced signal superimposed on natural variability.” Of course with the caveat (which they know will not be picked up by the gullible press) that the “biases in the simulation of interior O2 make the estimates of ToE provided
by the model difficult to trust precisely.”
Utter garbage,

bit chilly
Reply to  Kurt
May 5, 2016 1:16 am

a paper by the gullible for the gullible.

Reply to  bit chilly
May 5, 2016 2:07 am

I don’t think the authors are gullible. I think they are dishonest. They clearly understand the limitations of their “research,” but couched the conclusions in language that makes an insignificant paper seem significant. I think they do this to justify the continued funding of climate research and perhaps because they personally believe that human contributions to atmospheric CO2 concentrations are dangerous. But they have to know that the paper ultimately means nothing, but will surely be represented as adding to a phantom body of “science” purportedly showing the consequences of man-made global warming.

David A
Reply to  bit chilly
May 5, 2016 6:17 am

Thanks Kurt, good comments.

Reply to  Kurt
May 5, 2016 6:33 am

the model due to the “forcings”…
Kurt, warmer water holds less O2…..they didn’t need a computer for that
They are just assuming ocean temps will increase….making O2 levels decrease
…it a fluff paper

Reply to  Latitude
May 5, 2016 3:23 pm

Simply saying that warmer water holds less O2 is a useless qualitative statement, not a quantitative one where you can then proceed to the next step of assessing practical consequences. Without verifying the quantitative accuracy of the model’s trends in ocean surface temperature, or in the accuracy of the trends in O2 content itself given that the ocean behaves as a system rather than a homogeneous lump of fluid, the results of the study are meaningless. Even the authors of the study admit this at the end when they say that the results are “difficult to trust precisely.” (BTW – what weasel language this is. As if trusting a quantitative conclusion “imprecisely” wasn’t an oxymoron.)

Chris Hanley
May 5, 2016 12:15 am

“The steady flow of this kind of propaganda is already slowly shaping US public opinion. A few large extreme weather events — promptly (even if inaccurately) blamed on CO2 — and the course of US public policy might change radically …”.
Once alarmists to obviously start to relish “extreme weather events”, particularly if deaths occur, then they might find public opinion “might change radically”.
Wishful thinking from Larry Kummer and where is the evidence that US public opinion is moving towards greater concern about Climate Change™?
BTW “agitprop” refers to works of art with an overt political message.

Reply to  Chris Hanley
May 5, 2016 12:39 am

“agitprop” refers to works of art with an overt political message.”
That’s commonly said, but not accurate. “Agitation and propaganda” even a century ago referred to what we now call “multi-media” political campaigns — pamphlets, op-eds, public speeches, demonstrations, films, plays, books, etc. The multi-decade multi-media campaign to create panic about climate change is classic agitprop.
“Wishful thinking from Larry Kummer ”
Padawan, you have not mastered the Force. Instead of attempting to read minds — or just making stuff up — try sticking to what the text says. That’s quite a daft interpretation of my views.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 1:03 am

Well what are your views?
For instance if alarmists, particularly those with pecuniary interests, used “extreme weather events” to proselytize climate change™(meaning the whole panoply of costly ‘mitigation’ measures to their advantage) a la Al Gore, would that be morally reprehensible?
A simple “yes” or “no” would suffice.

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 2:36 am

Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
People don’t listen or comprehend. They are too busy with their own agenda. Some people are truly objective but most are subjective. I would consider it a human failing. I have had 12 recent years of teaching in a university. If I were to present something on trees I would be told that I presented something on the lifestyle of fish.
Sigh! the money is ok and some of the girls are quite pretty.

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 2:43 am

My last statement will elicit a response from some of inappropriate behaviour. Although no inappropriate behaviour was mentioned

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 4:00 am

Alex –
biology does matter to the species
not “inappropriate”

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 1:13 pm

““Agitation and propaganda” even a century ago referred to what we now call “multi-media” political campaigns — pamphlets, op-eds, public speeches, demonstrations, films, plays, books, etc. The multi-decade multi-media campaign to create panic about climate change is classic agitprop.”
That’s what I keep suspecting you are a part of, when I read your posts here . . honest. Your use of the nonsensical label ‘climate skeptics’ within an article bitching about a “lack of strategy” is just so . . perfect, in terms of failure to actually think strategically, that my reaction was basically; Oh crap, here’s fifth columnist Kummer again, pretending he’s an expert on effective resistance to “agiprop”, while he engages in it . .
It is utterly stupid to use the very label your enemy chooses for you in a war of words (and I denounce this site most adamantly for joining in this folly) . . I mean too stupid for me to swallow as a mere boo boo in an article with ‘agiprop’ in the title . . NO sane person is skeptical of climate. You are calling “us” crazy, sir.

May 5, 2016 12:30 am

At least 97% of climate scientists fail to call out the remorseless propagandization of their science by the media. Their preference seems to be turn a blind eye or even add to the voices spreading such propaganda rather than knocking it on the head. It follows that at least 97% of climate scientists are totally lacking in scientific credibility.

Reply to  tcprag
May 5, 2016 2:14 am

Made-up statistics aren’t going to convince anyone, and a conclusion from a flawed premise is a flawed conclusion.

Reply to  Kurt
May 5, 2016 5:19 am

You miss the point. Which climate scientists are publicly expressing outrage at the media distortion that has been going on for many years now? Very few as far as I can see. That alone justifies the conclusion that the vast majority lack scientific credibility and, even more importantly, scientific integrity. Feynman = scientific integrity. Until climate scientists start speaking out against the propaganda, they cannot complain about people challenging their credibility and integrity.

May 5, 2016 3:26 am

We won the policy debate years ago. The alarmists got their way on too many things and the mass of the whole turned out to be financially unaffordable. The political establishment have been disentangling themselves from their predecessors’ rash promises.

M Seward
May 5, 2016 3:32 am

The media behaviour about climate change has been disgusting and utterly debilitating insofar as facilitating a rational public discourse.
I think it began in the days of the Viatnam War and the intergenartional gulf of that time compounding with the advent of TV news, quick delivery of battlefield film, then sattellite images and so on. The media simply became intoxicated with their power. It has been that way since. It has been Evelyn Waugh’s “Scoop’ on ice with churnalisty utterly off their faces on the power of the schlok they can put to air.
There was agreat article in yesterday’s Australian newspaper by a New York journo who basically watched brand Trump being created and actually participated. It was a forensic examination of how this guy just lied and lied and lied to his own advantage and basically never got called to account. The irony is his support comes from those who are utterly pissed of and frustrated at the state of the national polity, its surface triviality and its subterranean corruption.
The media’s unprofessional and utterly unethical abandonment of objectivity and honesty, the only reasons they are recognised as an ‘estate’ by the community, is at the core of Trump’s rise to notoriety and now to the cusp of power as well as the ‘climate change’ alarmist campaign. The common denominator? Media immediate self interest.

May 5, 2016 3:44 am

They completely ignore the fact that the vast majority of oxygen is produce IN THE OCEANS of the world and added to every day! And, it is clear that marine life has survived many even warmer times than now. I do not even begin to detect a problem.
The biggest problem is that, during this warm period, we are at some of the lowest atmospheric CO2 concentrations in the record. I just hope there is enough CO2 to support the oxygen production Earth’s life needs.

Reply to  higley77
May 5, 2016 4:06 am

that is truly the frightening part …

Reply to  higley77
May 5, 2016 4:43 am

The surface layers of the oceans are the most oxygenated waters. Phytoplankton also consume CO2 and produce oxygen in the same water layers.
Recently on WUWT it was published about melting ice being fertilisation for O2 producing plankton, increased CO2 would also be a benefit.
It from here appears to be a natural cycle of re oxygenation of deeper lower oxygenated waters, in other words, if the ice were not mostly melted regularly on geological time scales, there would be much less life in the deep oceans as that water returned to the deep ocean by say the AMOC, which carries that oxygen from the plankton and atmosphere with the cool deep water return, colder the water, the more CO2\O2 water retains, which makes it a good mechanism for replenishing the deep waters that biological processes depend on. Without that things would be very different.
AMOC takes up warm waters which cool and oxygenate and sink while melting ice which ferts plankton, plankton which creates more O2 and consumes CO2.
Melting ice and oceanic emission of CO2 drives the oxygen cycle I suspect×320.gif

Reply to  Mark
May 5, 2016 7:08 am

Nice graph of the deep water ocean currents…or the conveyor belt as it is commonly known. What is unknown and extremely variable in the parts we do know are the mid-ocean currents–that is the crux of the matter.
Which begs the question of how a prediction like the ocean is losing O2 and will be detectable in 20 years (there is that magic number again) can be made when we don’t know much about how the water moves except on the surface or on the bottom (and that’s a working hypothesis in an of itself)? The answer is very simple: you can’t.
Again, we know more about the surface of the moon than we do about the mid-level of the oceans on Earth. So any prediction about the “entire” ocean is bogus junk.

Reply to  higley77
May 5, 2016 4:56 am

The GMOC has to slow down for oceanic oxygen to decrease by mechanism alone, or at least partial shutdown. It would take a stoppage in the cool return from the AMOC or PMOC at least.
Surface layers provide the O2, so unless we have Hansen like disaster, or pollute the surface layers of the oceans to the point where micro organisms consume the O2 as in dead zones from pollution (notCO2) it’s just not going to happen.

Reply to  higley77
May 5, 2016 5:10 am

An increase in sinking cold water in the arctic, which is relative to more heat is being released by the ocean say the anomalies and Greenland’s coasts, it meas the AMOC could not be slowing down.
If water up in the pole does not sink, then Hansen can start fretting. More fresh water means less density but cold water will still sink lower than warmer waters, less saline or not. Less dense cold water may flow quicker?

Reply to  Mark
May 5, 2016 7:26 am

Again, you are only considering the surface and deep water–it is the interplay in the mid levels that is the crux. It all depends upon thermoclines and haloclines which can form, dissolve and form again depending upon too many unpredictable factors. We simply just don’t know enough to say with any kind of certainty about what a massive influx of cold freshwater might or might not do to the conveyor belt. We can hypothesis that if the mid levels are equal what it might do, but again we don’t really know–at least not yet.
Imagine it this way–if all you could see was the top of the Grand Canyon (which looks flat but isn’t) and the bottom you can make a pretty good map. But if I asked you to map a single type of rock that might or might not be in every single layer–could you do it? How bout this–what if I ask you to map the path of a drop of water through all the layers of rock in the Grand Canyon (from the top to the bottom)? You’d have to calculate how that drop of water will behave in each layer in order for it to move to the next. Now imagine if those rock layers were in motion. That is the mid-level ocean, except we can’t see it like we can with the Grand Canyon.

Reply to  higley77
May 5, 2016 10:59 am

Jenn Runion yes conveyor belt thank you.
Agree with your points. We don’t know enough, especially to claim the oceans are going to have a human signal in oxygen levels by 2100.
More if then shot to nothing science, the scientists will be deceased by then.
This sort of “science” is sickening. Mathematics at some point replaced empirical science on the main, it’s creepy, PhD mathematicians think they are scientists.

May 5, 2016 3:59 am

While scientists cannot control what the media says, silence from those scientists when the media completely misrepresent their work makes them complicit in misleading the public.
This fact makes those scientists morally and ethically bankrupt

Reply to  Mark
May 5, 2016 4:04 am

This is especially true for scientific institutions because they are public facing, they have PR and media access. Those institutions who remain quiet when the work of their scientists is being grossly misrepresented also call into question the moral ethics of the institution. it seems they facilitate the misrepresentation by using the uncertainty obfuscating language that is also used in so many papers.
Sadly, it is the Institutions that silence the majority of scientists with the invisible but no less tangible Sword of Damocles hanging over their heads

Reply to  Mark
May 5, 2016 8:38 am

I agree. “Science means assent.” Scientists de facto participation in the climate activists’ campaign makes them to some extent complicit in it.
So it would only be rough justice if climate science — as an institution, including its members — would suffer should the forecasts of doom which flood the media eventually prove false. Loss of credibility, of the public’s trust, of funding.

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 10:50 am

Correction: I meant to say “Silence means assent”.
Although perhaps in climate science the reality is that “science means assent”.

Reply to  Editor of the Fabius Maximus website
May 5, 2016 1:17 pm

I thought you were being clever about the Climate Clique there. I liked it. You may want to make that misteak again on purpose.

May 5, 2016 4:06 am

I admit I’m only on my first cup of coffee right now, but did somebody change the formula for water to be two H’s and something else besides Oxygen? Are our farms and factories threatening the existence of the third most abundant element in the universe? And where’s all the oxygen going, is it defying gravity and drifting up through the atmosphere and out to space? Or is there a Snidely Whiplash out there with a nuclear reactor changing the element oxygen to other random letters in the periodic table?

Reply to  Notanist
May 5, 2016 5:06 am

Drink your coffee before you post next time. You clearly don’t see the consequences of more oxygen leading to accelerated rust, faster-spreading house fires, and drug resistant super germs. Women and children will naturally will be hit hardest.

Reply to  Bernie
May 5, 2016 6:05 am

The topic and context is the a signal in oxygen loss in the oceans. You are conflating rust prevention, fire prevention with increased O2. Fire burns hot with more oxygen, that has nothing to do with house fire prevention as all house fires are a bad thing. Rust happens and can be prevented on the main
Plus drug resistant super germs are prevalent because people were not finishing their courses of antibiotics, and virus evolution, Viruses have always adapted, it’s a war between our immune systems and virus adaption, what on earth are you talking about?
I dont know where to begin with the last bit, “Women and children will naturally be hit hardest”.
You seem to have made up a concept, but it buckles when it comes into contact with reality

Reply to  Bernie
May 5, 2016 6:12 am

>Women and children will naturally will be hit hardest.
They allegedly are in Chris Brown’s house.

Reply to  Bernie
May 5, 2016 6:32 am

Mark, I see you are on the Koch payroll too. I forgot to mention the tiny Pika are already being forced to higher altitudes just to avoid the Lorrain Smith effect. Yours is another great mind lost to skepticism. You need to get into the line before accelerated oxygen rise destroys your great-grandchildren’s world. 😉
[ The Pika scare has been called off – mod]

Reply to  Bernie
May 5, 2016 10:48 am

Oh Bernie you’re a sweetheart.
You take out your Koch in a climate science fight
What have Pikas got to do with it?
You still haven’t even remotely supported your argument. Just saying.. Don’t trigger on me now!

Reply to  Bernie
May 5, 2016 12:04 pm

Ok, I’m done. Can’t wink any harder.

Reply to  Bernie
May 7, 2016 4:51 am

Bernie May 5, 2016 at 5:06 am
Drink your coffee before you post next time. You clearly don’t see the consequences of more oxygen leading to accelerated rust, faster-spreading house fires, and drug resistant super germs. Women and children will naturally will be hit hardest.

Ok. I guess there are some benefits to more CO2 I was unaware of.
Manmade CO2 production (which is mostly produced from fossil fuel and atmospheric oxygen) has a small negative effect on the O2 level. The oxygen level is 50+ times the CO2 level so the effect is small.
However the slight decrease means that giving in to the warmunists would tend to result in “accelerated rust, faster-spreading house fires, and drug resistant super germs.”

May 5, 2016 7:13 am

Mark, I made it sound pretty much like CAGW, didn’t I?

Reply to  Bernie
May 7, 2016 4:36 am

You did indeed, and I am terrified and aroused

May 5, 2016 7:19 am

The Gulf of Mexico changes temperature by over 20 degrees between winter and summer.
Yet they want us to believe that a 1 or 2 degree change in water temperatures will be devastating for sea life.

May 5, 2016 7:35 am

Based on the latest climate change scare mongering, one would have to assume that in the Cretaceous, when earth was 10 to 12 degrees C warmer than today, oceans were so oxygen depleted, nothing survived in them. Right?
And these temperatures held for most of 80 million years. It’s amazing listening to the garbage that spews forth from these people. But it’s astonishing how it goes unquestioned by the media.
If the media did their jobs, there would be many people in jail today for perpetrating the greatest scientific fraud in history. But, since the media is complicit…

May 5, 2016 8:29 am

Larry, many thanks for taking this on. Astronomy is Phil’s science, but Climate science is his religion.

Alec Rawls(@alecrawls)
May 5, 2016 9:10 am

The paper makes a fundamentally misleading distinction between forced and natural climate change, reinforcing one of the IPCC’s leading frauds, where variations in natural forcings are minimized so that their effects can be misattributed to human forcings. This misleading usage (actually an incorrect usage) is established right in the opening of their abstract:
“Anthropogenically forced trends in oceanic dissolved oxygen are evaluated in Earth system models in the context of natural variability. A large ensemble of a single Earth system model is used to clearly identify the forced component of change in interior oxygen distributions and to evaluate the magnitude of this signal relative to noise generated by internal climate variability.”
Notice the slip between the cup and the lip? In the second sentence the complement to “anthropogenically forced” shifts from “natural variability” to “internal variability,” pushing naturally forced change out of sight, out of mind for the duration of their analysis, allowing them to avoid the glaring fact that if the actual forcing that drove late 20th century warming was not increased CO2 but was the high level of solar activity then the expectation going forward is that total forcings will be diminished, the planet will cool, and the effect on the oceans will be (according to their models) an increase in ocean oxygenation.
They obviously don’t want to bring up this uncertainty about the direction of total forcings going forward, which makes the paper itself a piece of agitprop that is being used exactly the way they want it to be used.

May 5, 2016 10:11 am

Get ready for the seven season run called Zombie Oceans.

Johann Wundersamer
May 5, 2016 2:45 pm

Global Biogeochemical Cycles
“Anthropogenically forced trends in oceanic dissolved oxygen are evaluated in Earth system models in the context of natural variability. A large ensemble of a single Earth system model is used to clearly identify the forced component of change in interior oxygen distributions and to evaluate the magnitude of this signal relative to noise generated by internal climate variability. The time of emergence of forced trends is quantified on the basis of anomalies in oxygen concentrations and trends.
Says nothing but they’re in the mood of tuning the oxygen knob on climate models.
Selfassuring ‘widespread detection of forced deoxygenation is possible by 2030–2040’ weeping into sleep.

Johann Wundersamer
May 5, 2016 3:23 pm

‘Observations have insufficient spatiotemporal coverage, however, to adequately characterize the natural [O2] distribution,’
Kind’a people standing at the checkout counter in the supermarket having insufficient coverage of money in their wallet.
One of the reasons Larry Kummer believes that skeptics will lose the US public policy debate about climate change ?

Reply to  Johann Wundersamer
May 7, 2016 4:42 am

The general public (the ones who want to look at how all of this “science” is produced) are skeptical and rightly so.
The basic intuitive logic here is warmer water contains less O2, the adiabatic zone contains less O2 and the deep oceans depend on upper layers returning O2 via overturning. They built a paper around that reasoning. Unfortunately, the amount of deeper water returned by upwelling and seismic activity disturbances also contribute Oxygenation. So many claims are made on models that have not quantified all of the variables, even remotely and this is the main problem for the core argument of AGW, and every if then study based upon AGW
Thing is, ocean temp measurement is not accurate and can be half a degree, up to a degree or more off the mark.

May 7, 2016 3:02 pm

It is time to begin to file charges against these news (and I use the term loosely) agencies! Two can p[ay at that game. Proof is proof. Truth is truth!

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