“Cooking” up Denialism in some universities?

Guest essay by  Bob Fernley-Jones (Mechanical engineer retired)

Australia is blessed with a university-partnered blog The Conversation which is of mostly alarmist bent in the category of Energy + Environment. Only scholars are permitted to author stories but comments are open to the public which includes a hard core of regulars most of whom are badged Friends of The Conversation clip_image002 for their nominal $300 contributions. Given its high academic status it is globally cited with some of the more sensational stories going viral.

The following story image is copied from the archival index. You may have heard of the author.

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Without pondering his controversial views it is interesting to review some aspects of the comment activity:

After only six days of many unsympathetic comments, 61 of them were deleted but that was out of a total of only 102 (or 60%). Activity then rapidly faded to end with a total of 108 comments of which 64 were deletes

I should mention that in preparation for this post and from prior experience on this website I took the precaution of taking copies of comment submissions (despite taking care over the written site rules), although I wasn’t quick enough to capture many comments from others.

Here is Screenshot 1 which is a tidied copy of the sole exchange I had with Cook:

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Although Cook also replied to three other commenters, on day two that was the last we heard from him and when I sought clarification on some unanswered elements and whether he endorsed the misleading photo there followed six deletions (including of two regular commenters that supported inclusion of the photo).

In Screenshot 2, because Cook appeared to condone use of the photo, I enquired of the thread editor:

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It seems that the moderator may have felt it was mischievous but as far as I can see it did not break the written site rules. However, it was deleted and I received the standard email advising:

Hello Bob,

Your comment on ‘A brief history of fossil-fuelled climate denial’ has been removed.

There are several reasons why this may have occurred:

1. Your comment may have breached our community standards. For example it may have been a personal attack, or you might not have used your real name.

2. Your comment may have been entirely blameless but part of a thread that was removed because another comment had to be removed.

3. It might have been removed for another editorial reason, for example to avoid repetition or keep the conversation on topic.

For your reference, the removed comment was: [removed by me and instead shown above]

For practical reasons we reserve the right to remove any comment and all decisions must be final, but please don’t take it personally.

If you’re playing by the rules it’s unlikely to happen again, so feel free to continue to post new comments and engage in polite and respectful discussion.

For your reference, the removed comment was:

For more information you can read our standards.

Kind regards,

The Conversation

Here are some important extracts from the written rules:

We won’t discuss moderation on the site. If you need to discuss anything, contact our Community Manager: moderation@theconversation.com

Keep comments relevant to the article and replies relevant to the initiating post. We reserve the right to delete off-topic comments to keep threads on track.

For example: in an article about the policy response to climate change, comments about the science of climate change will be considered off topic.

Since it was unchallengeable on-thread, I tried some different tacks with four other commenters. All were deleted but for brevity I’ll skip most of them here. All eleven of them are revealed in both of the two files attached; file 1 = Short summary of my deleted comments and a few related matters and file 2 = All comments at 5/July/2016 with my available archived deletions reinstated.

Screenshot 3 follows showing the final deletion #64 of 108. It is rather interesting because deletion #63 was mostly the same message and was my first attempt to cheer-up a poor soul whose forlorn hope was that heat from the sun would diminish in the next year or two. I advised very good news of a recent article in the prestigious Science journal giving that things are looking better now. I was disappointed at its deletion and thinking it a mistake, tried again…..wondering what was wrong with good news?

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Alas, the good news was deleted but the tragically negative thoughts from a regular commenter which prompted my submission were retained.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

But, we have other ways at ‘The Conversation’:

(We don’t just delete). A common tactic employed by authors is to respond to easy or supportive comments but to remain silent when it’s “difficult”.

Cook is a Research Fellow in Climate Communication @ University of Queensland (Oz), and Prof Ove Hoegh-Guldberg (hereinafter H-G) is Director at the same institute. H-G is a prominent Great Barrier Reef (GBR) activist and darling of Oz media who was a notable co-author named in the following story (my emphasis):

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This story did not go well for the authors and was closed without warning when still busy at only five days and after 143 comments. There were a total of 43 deletions or 29% involving some non-conforming comments.

Multiple issues included that in the absence of adequate Sea Surface Temperature (SST) records for the GBR at the time, their modelling for it was based on BoM monthly data for the vast 2.4 Km (1.5 mile) deep Coral Sea. It’s quite a chunk of ocean covering 4.8 million Km2 and its whole-area-average monthly temperatures were employed whereas the GBR on the shallow Continental Shelf has a north-south SST relatively massive range of over 30 C. Putting aside that monthly data are too coarse to detect shorter temperature spikes that are known to cause bleaching, the following figure is the first of some inconvenient graphics communicated to those five scholars and others.

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Accompanying text elaborated that the Coral Sea SST data have no past correlation in at least seven authenticated observations on the GBR over the past twenty years. Yep, 2016 was OK but just about any global metric correlated (no exclusivity for the Coral Sea). Notice that SST’s in [red coloured items 1 and 8] are a tad inharmonious WRT the words of that great American scholar Kevin Trenberth, who recently identified those years as being of the 2nd and 3rdSuper El Niños”.

Another issue communicated to them is that the hottest SST month in the season is February and that modelling that month might be more logical than selecting the coolest month of March. (However, it seems that they were mesmerized by March 2016 having a record high anomaly) Also, newly released BoM data for the GBR shows a different story to the Coral Sea, e.g.-

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And here’s another quite succinct inconvenience that ‘they’ have declined to comment on in which the thermodynamic implications are rather interesting, including greater daytime volatility on the GBR:

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‘They’ include the Dean and Head of Science over Prof David Karoly at The University of Melbourne. Karoly took the lead in “our study” and you may have heard that he’s an active fellow such as with the Gergis et al hockey-stick and even in Biology Letters at the UK Royal Society over the phonology J of the Oz common brown butterfly. (J o is quite well separated from e on a qwerty keyboard. The poor butterfly has emerged ten days early at a declared UHI affected Melbourne suburb because of increasing CO2)

Karoly (another darling of Oz media) did respond in comments to several readers and partially to my first. Sadly, when I elaborated in comments and later in follow-up emails with further inconvenient empirical info, all authors fell silent.

Why did I emphasize the claim of 175 times more likely record bleaching on the GBR? Well putting aside that the story did not clarify stuff like ‘when’ and it was released into the public domain without peer review, it went globally viral. Here is the top of page 10 of a Google search on 30/June in which two exact search phrases are bolded by default (hyphen optional):

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It is still going with 4,210 hits on 22/July and 4,330 on 27/July/2016.

If Google is only half right, the public domain remains grossly misinformed after over three months and the Dean and Head of Science at The University of Melbourne have dismissed advice to this effect, apparently with no thought of remedy. It’s odd that a non-peer-reviewed astonishing claim is treated as if it were authoritatively true and that independent review of it in the same domain where it was released is not accepted?

 

An interesting comparison:

The UK offspring site had an article last January by the controversial* Stephan Lewandowsky (who BTW was the supervisor for Cook’s PhD in Cognitive Psychology…….):

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Strong non-conforming comments abounded and the thread reached 296 comments without any deletions and still remains open. Even though the site rules are identical in the UK as in Oz, there were zero deletions on 296 comments, compared with 60% on 108 on John Cook’s thread in Australia. Lewandowsky made no replies to any of the 296 comments although his name was mentioned 39 times.

* E.g. this at WUWT; Social psychologist Jose Duarte pulls no punches in describing Lewandowsky’s failures

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102 thoughts on ““Cooking” up Denialism in some universities?

    • I refuse to contribute to my alma mater due to their overt political behavior. They can find the cash elsewhhere.

  1. In regards to The Conversation: It takes no intelligence to hit the delete key. Come to think of it, no intelligence is required to adhere to dogma.
    I ask: Would the The Conversation perhaps be better named The Monologue?

    • HR,
      I have been a thorn in the side of the liberal academics and liberal commenters on The Conversation for a couple of years, particularly on their articles about climate and gun control. The only time that I’m aware of being deleted is when I once publicly took a thread editor to task for not doing his job. I have observed numerous occasions when the comments were all critical of the author’s position and they have let them stand, even though they should have been an embarrassment to the author(s). Usually the authors don’t have the integrity to respond to substantive criticism of their fantasies. Being a retired academic, I once submitted an article to the editor and didn’t even receive the courtesy of a “Thank you but no thank you.” The Conversation should be an embarrassment to Australians.

      • Thank you, Clyde Spencer. You provide a different perspective than was given by Bob Fernley-Jones, but you come to a similar conclusion; The Conversation isn’t getting much in the way of ‘thumbs up.’
        Thanks again.

    • I gave up on the conversation when I referred to a report from the UK met office regarding the 20% possibility of an ice age arriving by about 2050, this provoked a fairly intense correspondence after being accused of peddling misinformation. What on earth has happened to a once melting pot of ideas and debate. Just awful.

      • it really is an appalling state our universities are in if this qualifies for thinking – I mean really warming lower atmosphere, and cooling upper atmosphere a fingerprint! what warming for a start and hang on we only contribute a tiny about amount to the carbon cycle anyways.

    • H.R.
      It should be called The Taxpayer Funded Conversation as The previous Gillard Labor Government gave it 3.5 million Oz Dollars (75% US) as a Start Up Sweetener. The Abbott Conservatives decided to give no further support to this Academic Online Blog so to ensure that the propaganda continued to flow The Victorian Labor Government comes up with a further 3 million to take it thru to 2017.
      So a nice little 6.5 million over a 6 year period or some 20000 a week for 6 years.
      If only every private business set up got 20000 odd juicy ones for the first 6 years of its life but it does come at a price.
      Let the orthodoxy and establishment propaganda flow. And The Conversation loves Promoting Traditional Left Orthodoxy and Conformity. And moderates like there is no tomorrow if you challenge the Consensus.

  2. “Well, these days with the internet, there are SO MANY comments that we HAVE be selective about replying and delete some. It’s just a pure coincidence that the deleted comments are ones that don’t share our worldview.”

  3. I fully expect to get deleted whenever I raise a non PC perspective, which is usually counter to some alarmist topic such as climate alarmism or social alarmism.
    I got my account suspended from The Guardian a while back when I challenged the $5 trillion a year subsidy for Big Oil report. I yanked a few fools along before I finally told them that the article was only a working paper meant to be a thought experiment and not an actual report. They didn’t appreciate that very much it seems.
    If you do not play by their “PC” rules, you get deleted or banned. Ideological bigotry is the last bastion of bigotry that is socially acceptable… make that encouraged… by the left.

    • Being banned by the Guardian does not mean you are right wing.
      I’ve been banned a few times but have been let back on because the bans contravened the Guardian’s own policies.
      To be banned at the Guardian you just need to challenge their economic model of providing advertisers with wealthy, mis-educated readership.
      Knowledge is finite. But you can sell an infinite package of fantasy.

  4. The documentation is not surprising. That the UK clone appears not to practice it is surprising. Same censorship thing at SkS, ATTP, and to a lesser extent Real Climate. Active censorship at Guardian. Its a sign skeptics are slowly but surely changing the momentum. Of course, it helps that Mother Nature isn’t cooperating with CAGW, and that renewables are a growing catastrophe.

    • This is a university publication. A progressive university’s mission is to spread correct thinking and to suppress incorrect thinking. This is the meaning of “free speech”. Anybody who disagrees will be jailed.

  5. This problem isn’t limited to a few publications like E+E. The censorship of opposing or contradictory views is becoming routine, even in formerly great publications like Scientific American.
    Refusing to publish different points of view proves that the goal is propaganda, not science. They don’t want the public to see other views, and they can’t provide a credible response. So they simply delete anything that conflicts with the official Narrative.
    ‘Climate’ alarmism cannot withstand even minimal scientific scrutiny. Universities used to be staunch defenders of free speech. But those days are rapidly disappearing, because most schools are dependent on government funding.
    The official narrative is: “dangerous man-made global warming”. But supporting evidence is lacking. So these universities and publications have made their decision: censorship of opposing ideas.
    Money trumps free speech. We’re seeing it everywhere.

  6. NEVER continue to post comments on any forum where moderators remove your post – when it DOESN’T actually break the rules…never. What it shows is that they will remove comments they don’t like. It means they make up their own rules as they go along. If you stop contributing, and others do to, then that forum is all the poorer for your absence.

    • Hi Bazzer,

      If you stop contributing, and others do to, then that forum is all the poorer for your absence.

      It’s not entirely a waste of time ‘cos I’m collecting stuff to present to the Minister of Education et al to enquire why the site should be supported.
      Also, the Cook episode was an extreme case and not all unsympathetic comments were deleted. Without such, the ardent regulars would dominate. (Some even donate $ to the site)
      Maybe some rational readers might take note and maybe the faithful squirm a bit, and it creates entertaining wonder at some of their replies.

    • SORRY
      Hi Bazzer,

      If you stop contributing, and others do to, then that forum is all the poorer for your absence.

      It’s not entirely a waste of time ‘cos I’m collecting stuff to present to the Minister of Education et al to enquire why the site should be supported.
      Also, the Cook episode was an extreme case and not all unsympathetic comments were deleted. Without such, the ardent regulars would dominate. (Some even donate $ to the site)
      Maybe some rational readers might take note and maybe the faithful squirm a bit, and it creates entertaining wonder at some of their replies.

      • bobfj
        I think that’s an excellent idea. People SHOULD screen cap their reasonable, intelligent, completely on topic posts and then when they get deleted, they get added to a detailed list that then gets presented as evidence to the University supporting such a site, or to any “authority” that might not approve of how the “academics” are running a site with their name on it. Such a list would provide concrete evidence that some so called “scientists”:
        1-DO NOT allow the open discussion of science
        2-CENSOR and delete any opinions that differ from theirs
        3-Engage in tribalism/group think
        4-Are not rational, reasonable, or capable of thinking outside of their own cognitive biases
        5-Do not truly support the Scientific Method
        I can imagine that once such behavior is exposed, and to what degree that behavior takes place regularly, it might make an impact on the censoring, or the withdrawal of financial/organizational support from such sites.

    • What I do is I keep a separate copy of the comment and if it is deleted I go back and make a stink on my own. If enough people do this the cloud will be filled with evidence of innapropriate deletions and lack of open mindedness that will eventually hopefully become embarassing enough or proof of actual malfeasance.

  7. I guess this is funny: this topic is about commenting on a forum; I add an opinion, and my comment goes straight to ‘awaiting moderation’. Anthony, I think the settings might be wrong.

    • …Patience little grasshopper…if you say “moderator”..it goes to the “moderator”…or so I assume….
      [Yep. .mod]

    • Trigger word was mod**** in full. It acts to call a mod’s attention. It happens to all of us. I use that word deliberately when I want to call attention to something that is way off or outright sick.
      [mod sticks his head in the door. Waves. Closes door. .mod]

    • There’s a “hotlist” of words that will automatically flag a post for moderation, because they commonly show up in trolling or otherwise unsavory posts. Doesn’t mean you’ve done anything wrong. I’ve had innocent enough comments held a few times, and they went through after a while.

      • How many REAL data points are the climate models based on? Especially the sensitivity assumptions?

      • to define a quadratic function you need at least 4 points on a curve. remember we measure T/annum2.
        Obviously you must realize that every point is the average obtained of the linear regressions of all daily data. [54 x 4 linear regressions to summarize 365 x 54 x 42 recordings]
        here you can see the first 11 stations – that showed me that there never has been any “warming” here where I live…and that every place on earth is apparently on its own “curve’ …
        https://i1.wp.com/oi58.tinypic.com/2mnhh74.jpg

      • Any more points, you could model an elephant and make its trunk wriggle, y’know what I mean 😉 (rolling_on_the_floor_laughing_my_ass_off)

      • “How many REAL data points are the climate models based on? Especially the sensitivity assumptions?”
        Ideally a climate model would start with no data, that is measurements of climate, there would have to be assumptions about external forcings such as the solar constant, emissions of greenhouse gases from combustion of fossil fuels, etc.
        Climate sensitivity and similar values emerge as the model is run.

      • Eli Rabett writes “Climate sensitivity and similar values emerge as the model is run.”
        Incorrect. The TOA radiative imbalance from which climate change originates in the GCM (as opposed to weather) is fitted. Anything that emerges and is a “climate” measure is ultimately as a result of that fit.

      • Eli Rabett writes

        Climate sensitivity and similar values emerge as the model is run.

        No they dont, Eli. The TOA radiative imbalance is tuned by adjusting arbitrary criteria in the model and that makes the radiative imbalance a fit. Having the TOA radiative imbalance “emerge” is what makes a model a GCM rather than weather model and since its fitted…well nothing else can emerge in any useful predictive way.

  8. The whole idea of paid-for-conclusions to mislead the public never resonated with me before.
    But the tobacco companies ( “more doctors smoke marlboro…” ) and the sugar companies ( Ancel Keys lipid hypothesis was funded by big sugar ) do exemplify the process.
    But as far as fossil fuels, it’s largely laughable, largely because while temperature increase continues, the harms are not appearing and were scientifically unsound to begin with. And try as they might, no one can change the fact that we’re all carbon based life forms here only by the grace of photosynthesis.
    Much more suspicion should go to Tom Steyer and the democrats ( and the founders of the IPCC for that matter ) for trying to scare the public into legislation.

    • Ed they don’t care about public opinion anymore, they just do what they want.
      There’s no organized opposition and they know it. The vast majority simply don’t care about ruling the world. It’s a relatively small group of sociopaths and we aren’t going to stop them until they go too far. How far is too far? Who knows. We’ll no doubt find out though and I sincerely hope to be dead before that happens because it’s going to get ugly.

    • http://www.bl.uk/britishlibrary/~/media/bl/global/english-online/collection-item-images/g/i/l/gillray%20james%20more%20b20089%2071.jpg
      Published:
      estimated 1818 , London
      Creator:
      James Gillray
      More Pigs than Teats is an allegory on the interminable pursuit of sinecures and political places that existed amongst the friends of the Prince Regent around the time of the Napoleonic wars, many of whom were literally feeding on the state. Britain is depicted here as a huge, wallowing sow, on whom suckle her numerous piglets, many of whom are clearly identifiable as government ministers and other office holders. John Bull meanwhile looks on aghast over a wall, declaring that there will be nothing left for Bonaparte once they were all done with her.

  9. The Conversation is an anagram of ‘rotten anchovies.’ This could account for the stink.

  10. I love it!
    Karoly as professor of phonology>/i>! Wonderful!
    By default, Lewserandopsky is mentoring Cook’s
    phonology>/i> Doctorate.
    Phoneys anywhere they tread, speak or write.

    • Hi ATheoK,

      I love it! Karoly as professor of phonology! Wonderful!

      Yes, it’s quite entertaining that he is an expert on the vocal sounds of the common brown butterfly which BTW has a huge range from South Australia to Queensland so the alleged 10-day too early emergence at a UHI affected Melbourne suburb is I suggest not an earth shattering concern.
      I pointed out to Karoly (in 2014?) that what was actually a lab experiment was deeply flawed and of course he did not agree. Professor Karen Day is his Dean and a biologist so I sought her advice on whether she felt his conduct was professional. She delegated reply to Professor David Phillips Head of Science who denied unprofessionalism etcetera.
      I didn’t bother to take it up with Biology Letters at the Royal Society because for instance they published a study claiming extinction of a tiny hard-to-find snail on a remote island which others advised was too difficult to prove. The attempted rebuttal was rejected by the RS. A few years later the snail was rediscovered but the RS refused to retract the study because of the passage of time.

  11. I posted FOI emails showing Gergis was lying in her piece on The Conversation, deleted. Broke no rules.
    Just poof gone.
    Propaganda source, that’s all it is, just like Grauniad and Sks, delete comments to win the debate

    • Sorry, you can’t win, because the Konversation is not for conversation. It is for Gergis to spread her truth-free assertions and the cheerleaders.

    • Read some of the comments after that ” live snow etc report?” unbelievable, the best one was “yes it is cold and snowing now because of global warming.” Is this the new mantra?

      • Asybot, You hit the nail on the head there. Any type of climate can be blamed on global warming it seems. The mantra takes care of the possibility that the temperature record may show cooler temperatures. E.g. it is just the gulf stream moving because of global warming, etc etc.
        Remember animal farm, the implication that only a few of us can actually think, and those that can think beyond the people in power’s intentions are screwed down so their opinions are never heard.
        Cheers
        Roger
        http://www.thedemiseofchristchurch.com

  12. The Australian, French and UK versions of the site (but not the US one) are entirely financed by universities and other government money. This raises interesting questions of university-funded censorship.
    I once got in first with a comment which was a simple link to a WUWT article (the monthly satellite temperature update I think.) It was removed, together with all the follow up comments. The environment editor then invented a new rule, that comments which cited sources considered “unreliable” would be removed. Dr Roy Spencer would maybe have some ground for complaint that universities are funding a site that is automatically censoring the views of a distinguished scientist.
    I’ve since been banned entirely. The last thread I was on someone told me to “crawl back under your rock and die”. Possibly my reply wasn’t polite enough.

    • Hi Geoff,
      Sorry to hear you’ve been banned but you sure did make them squirm. I think I emailed you a while back but wasn’t sure if the address was the right Geoff Chambers

    • I’ve since been banned entirely. The last thread I was on someone told me to “crawl back under your rock and die”. Possibly my reply wasn’t polite enough.

      That is a standard procedure of these rogue sites. They have inmates who comment nastily in violation with the site moderation rules. They are not necessarily moderated for that, at least not very quickly, but be sure if you try something comparable, you will be instantly blocked.
      The rules for the home crew (warmists in this case) and outsiders (contrarians) are bluntly different and you need Steve McIntyre like nerves to comment with absolutely no rude language, sarcasm, irony, or satire. You must also be strictly on topic (inmates do not have that requirement), and be sure you say your thing only once in one comment.
      It is, in my opinion, the neatest of manipulative policies to let people to provoke somebody, and then promptly block the person who got provoked. The Konversation utilises this tactic all the time. It is easy from the moderator perspective. You find a warmist to break rules => you don’t see that, at least not immediately. You see a contrarian break the rules in response => you ban the contrarian.

  13. The Conversation is a dumping ground for a series of ‘academic’ opinions that are too trivial or weak to be considered for publication in academic journals. It is infested with camp followers, who display little knowledge of the subjects under discussion, but a conviction of their own rectitude, and a complete intolerance of any dissenting opinion. Hence, contrary opinions are quickly eliminated, aided and abetted by compliant moderators.
    The fact that it is outrageously Left-wing may explain its support by many reputable universities.

    • . It is infested with camp followers

      I’m not even sure it is a camp. It looks so much like sock puppeteering that it could well be the camp is much smaller than perceived.

    • Hi Geoff,
      That’s a useful piece of intelligence over Paul Matthews. I had heard that the CON in their university elitism did not tolerate disagreeable alumni and certainly not mere highly qualified people with five-year intensive diplomas from advanced tertiary colleges.
      But, even currently active credentialed university types may be forbidden to post inconvenient information? WOT?

  14. Great work, Mr. Fernley- Jones. We are all familiar with the dirty tricks employed by the warmists and it is good to see such things exposed.

  15. Hi Moderator,
    Re near the end of essay:

    ”Karoly took the lead in “our study” and you may have heard that he’s an active fellow such as with the Gergis et al hockey-stick and even in Biology Letters at the UK Royal Society over the phonology J of the Oz common brown butterfly. (J o is quite well separated from e on a qwerty keyboard. The poor butterfly has emerged ten days early at a declared UHI affected Melbourne suburb because of increasing CO2)”

    The J may not be clear to readers ……it was a smiley in the original……please edit……It makes me smile (Joke) OK?

      • Easy fix please is:
        In the paragraph below the third graph
        Delete in two places the J
        On Sun, Aug 7, 2016 at 11:36 AM, Watts Up With That? wrote:
        > Anthony Watts commented: “Not enough info to make a correction. Don’t use > wingdings or any other fonts that require installation.” >

      • Moderator,
        No need to shout I took note not to use Smileys or Wingdings (I did not know)
        I was simply saying an easy solution was to remove the consequential meaningless J in two places
        [Sorry, but without the bold indication of the single letter, it cannot be readily seen.
        Just like bold over these words make them stand out. if sarcasm, fine. But the essential thing to remember when writing sarcasm, is that your reader is not a person with whom you are speaking – you MUST be more clear, much more clear, in a typed discussion on line than in a regular face-face conversation. .mod]

      • Dearmod,
        You’ve lost me and please trust me; I’ll try to type this very slowly:
        Unwittingly my original essay included in the text a Smiley (which I very rarely use for such emphasis).
        I did not know at the time that that was an html or whatever posting problem but now fully comprehend that to be so at WUWT.
        My intended Smiley was confusingly transcribed as J which is a daft outcome potentially causing puzzlement to your readers.
        If I were to proceed with the previously considered parts 2, 3 and 4 maybe 5 proposals to Anthony, I would solemnly swear not to commit such sin again.
        I’m baffled why you cannot see the simplicity of simply deleting the corrupted J in two places.
        I’ve had lengthy assignments in Michigan and California (Oh and that other place Ontario Canada) and it would not be the first time that my Anglo-Oz use of the English language has been misunderstood over your way.

  16. It would be interesting to perform this experiment: take two large glass vessels half full of seawater and half normal atmosphere, with a heat source shining on them. Wait until they reach temperature equilibrium, then in one vessel, increase the CO2 by the same amount Earth’s atmosphere has, while leaving the heat source the same. On the other, turn up the heat source until the atmosphere inside has increased by the amount Earth’s has since 1980. Then compare the temp/CO2 in the CO2-boosted vessel with the temp/CO2 in the temp-boosted vessel.

  17. Hi Moderator,
    Re paragraph just under figure 1:

    Notice that SST’s in  and ˆ are a tad inharmonious WRT the words of that great American scholar Kevin Trenberth, who recently identified those years as being of the 2nd and 3rd “Super El Niños”.

    Please edit:
    Notice that SST’s in  and ˆ
    To:
    Notice that SST’s in red coloured items 1 and 8……..or use the original Wingdings text
    Cheers BobFJ

  18. Great article Bob. Too much of course to comment on, but perhaps you should submit this article to “The Conversation” – just joking of course. I have just looked at an article in The Weekend Conversation by Matthew England. Comments, of course, were “closed” but looking down the list it seemed that 80% of them had been deleted and the few remaining were by, you guessed it, Mike Hansen, Alice Clarke and a few others of their ilke.
    I made a mental note on the ones which were deleted, and thought perhaps BFJ had spent a day at his desk writing suitable comments!!!
    Best,
    John Nicol

  19. Hi John,
    I see that they had to rapidly close that thread which is good.
    The one before it is still going after three days and I’ve just posted this over yet another astonishing claim
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    To the authors,
    You claim with my bold:
    “The record-breaking temperature anomaly in 2015 (around 1℃ higher, on average, than what would be expected in a world without humans) was in large part due to human-caused climate change. A small fraction of the heat was because of a major El Niño event, which developed midway through 2015 and ran into this year.”
    The latest UAH TLT graphic shown here: http://www.drroyspencer.com/latest-global-temperatures/ shows the sharpest high spike in temperatures for a very long time and it coincides with what Kevin Trenberth has described as a “Super El Nino” here: http://www.alternet.org/third-ever-super-el-nino-underway-heres-what-north-america-can-expect
    It is dropping like a stone towards La Nina. Are you claiming that is human-caused?

  20. you should read Cook’s latest effort on the Conversation. The article is meant to debunk the newly elected Malcolm Roberts to the Australian Senate who is a climate skeptic and has been all over the meja recently scaring the heck out of left wing commentators down under. The article is complete with videos of climate denials 101 – really they are required viewing for any climate skeptic. We have the fingerprints of CO2 on the climate and an embarrassingly infantile graphical explanation of the greenhouse effect – yes yes we get CO2 is a greenhouse gas and the world is warmer because of it. A posted a comment say I look wth interest to the experts debating Senator Roberts and debunking his views ‘with all the overwhelming evidence’, which will undoubtably be deleted. I don’t think they like sarcasm, assuming they detect it.
    [??? .mod]

  21. I looked into the alleged ‘bleaching’ problems with the GBR and found that the bleaching is localized. In particular the area most affected is continually bathed by a persistent current that crosses the Coral Sea from the volcanically active area between Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. The water would pick up geothermal heat and chemicals such as sulfur dioxide (acid) and heavy metals from any active hydrothermal vents.

    • Hi Tadchem,
      That’s very interesting. I think it would need to be erratic rather than persistent to be a primary cause though. If it were persistent it seems likely that the corals would acclimatise over the long term. For instance there is an over 3 C north-south temperature range along the GBR and the corals have clearly adapted to that. It is claimed that anomalies from long term averages of much less than 3 degrees can cause bleaching (including cold bleachings). Thanks for the tip!

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