Skepticism is a Full Time Job

The following post is officially Anthony approved.

Quoting me:

I know I can be brusque.  I can also be funny.  I can even be kind.  Who knows what the wheel will bring on the next spin?


Two days ago I received this story tip:

WUWT Tip submission
Lack of sunspots to bring record cold, warns NASA scientist November 12, 2018 by Robert “It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. ________________ “The sun is entering one of the deepest Solar Minima of the Space Age,” wrote Dr Tony Phillips just six weeks ago, on 27 Sep 2018.

Yesterday I received this one:

WUWT Tip submission
NASA Scientists: Lack Of Sunspots To Bring Record Cold

These story tips set off my incongruency radar.

Here are excerpts from the story

“It could happen in a matter of months,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center.


Record cold in a matter of months

“If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold,” says Mlynczak. “We’re not there quite yet, but it could happen in a matter of months.”

This story gave me pause.  Who is this NASA scientist saying these  heretical things? So I looked up the original article from which the above two derived their stories and quotes.

Here are quotes from the article that provide context.

“We see a cooling trend,” says Martin Mlynczak of NASA’s Langley Research Center. “High above Earth’s surface, near the edge of space, our atmosphere is losing heat energy. If current trends continue, it could soon set a Space Age record for cold.”


“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak, who is the associate principal investigator for SABER.

Mlynczak was speaking of the thermosphere on the edge of space, not the surface climate where people live.  His statements in context are not remotely controversial.  It is accepted by most mainstream astronomers, atmospheric scientists, climate modelers, climatologists, solar scientists, atmospheric chemists, and just about every field of mainstream climate science that:

The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum (sic).

I view this little episode as illustrative of much of the state of the anti-climate alarmism movement.

My current assignment in charge of this blog is open-ended, unlike the specific length of my previous assignments.  I have no idea if I’ll be here five weeks or five years.  I intend to try and enhance real skepticism, in context arguments, and real scientific discussions on this blog.

I long for the romantic days when the Godfather of Climate Science skepticism, Steve McIntyre, was active at Climate Audit and there were brilliant discussions,  biting comedy, as well as heated arguments, and not just the same echo chamber talking points we so often see today.  Yeah, I’m old and I miss 2008 and the days of baby ice for you insiders.  Even though some may remember that, did you know I was “jeez”?  Those were also the exciting days of Anthony’s making huge waves with his Surface Station project.

Ponder this, Rud Istvan is Iionized here, and Steve Mosher is vilified.  Many, if not most of you don’t know that it was Mosher’s prominent “Free the Code” movement that influenced NASA to open up its model code and greatly move toward transparency.  A bunch of you recently learned he outed Gleick’s forgery.  I understand Mosher is snarky and often behaves like a prick, but most here don’t realize it is because long ago he became fed up with the lack of skepticism and quality arguments I noted in the beginning of this essay.

If you were to sum up the primary scientific disagreement between Istvan and Mosher, it is that both have thoroughly examined  the historical temperature record and one believes it is fit for the purpose of analyzing climate and other doesn’t .  They can have rational, intelligent, scientific discussions over this disagreement and still stay friendly.   Obviously differing policy choices logically flow from this disagreement.

But a core level it all comes down to a legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data.

There are massive amounts of good here at this blog.  I want to nurture that good and make it grow.  But the echo-chamber aspects are not helpful to convincing others, or to being taken seriously by the currently unconvinced.  I want this blog to be a force for education and to grow in influence and that requires upping our game, and maybe even some growing pains.

\end pontification



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Tom Halla
November 15, 2018 12:36 pm

A rather pointed, and sufficiently documented, example of how an overblown story gets going. Nice work.

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 15, 2018 12:52 pm

Trust, but verify.

How hard is it for adults to figure this out?

Reply to  Caligula Jones
November 15, 2018 1:22 pm

Apparently it’s real hard.

You literally do not have time to check everything. The solution is that, if you don’t know for sure that something’s true, shut up about it.

Jordan Peterson’s Rule #8 is “Tell the Truth, or at least Don’t Lie”:

I soon came to realize that almost everything I said was untrue. I had motives for saying these things: I wanted to win arguments and gain status and impress people and get what I wanted. I was using language to bend and twist the world into delivering what I thought was necessary. But I was a fake. Realizing this, I started to practise only saying things that the internal voice would not object to. I started to practise telling the truth—or, at least, not lying. I soon learned that such a skill came in very handy when I didn’t know what to do. What should you do, when you don’t know what to do? Tell the truth.

It’s not nearly as easy as it sounds.

Peterson’s flag for determining what to say is that untruths, or things he didn’t know for sure, made him feel weak. I suppose that’s a good place to start. If you have inner reservations about something, then shut up.

Ben Vorlich
Reply to  commieBob
November 15, 2018 1:54 pm

Yes, I found that saying “I don’t know but I can find out/ask someone who does” gained far more respect than waffling and being found out.

Juan Slayton
Reply to  commieBob
November 15, 2018 4:45 pm

When in doubt tell the truth. It will confound your enemies and astound your friends.
-Mark Twain

James Bull
Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 15, 2018 11:15 pm

A friend of mine could spin some great lies always with enough truth in them to sound plausible and if challenged would have two replies.
I always tell the truth……as I see it.
I always tell the truth…..but I also tell lies.
Leaving you to work out what was fat from fiction.

James Bull

Reply to  Juan Slayton
November 16, 2018 1:36 am

If you don’t read the news paper, you are un-informed. If you read the news paper, you are mis-informed.

-Mark Twain.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2018 9:00 am

No I didn’t know you were ‘jeez’

I remember asking you to look after baby ice whilst I went on holiday for a couple of weeks and you utterly failed to safeguard the poor little creature. Shame on you.

I like and respect Mosh but do wish he would cease his recent habit of conducting snarky one liners from his phone.

Nick Stokes is a model contributor. always patient even if we disagree with him

Joel Snider
Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2018 11:36 am

Honestly, if you expand your scope you’ll realize this is hardly restricted to the climate change debate – it’s simply how the press operates.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2018 12:28 pm

I am interested to find out if CTM
will censor a comment
critical about his
ranting and raving,
er, I mean
his “article”.
Charles the Moderator
claims he is a pontificator,
but I think he is a bloviator.

He found two rare examples of
global cooling bias headlines,
that misinterpreted the underlying science.

Why pick on that very small subset
of climate-related articles?

On the “other side”,
are wild guess articles
about a coming
global warming disaster
published every day.

Why not pick on them?

Oh, wait, isn’t that a primary purpose
of a climate skeptic website?

I’ve been reading about climate change
since 1997, and not a year goes by
without at least one article predicting
a coming global cooling.

Well, we are living in a pleasant interglacial,
so I suppose global cooling is the next thing
on the agenda to worry about.

But after 21 years of reading, the one thing
I learned, perhaps only one thing, is to ignore
predictions of the future climate,
in either direction !
Charles the Moderator wrote:
“I intend to try and enhance real skepticism,
in context arguments, and real scientific
discussions on this blog.”

What does that mean?

I’d like to remind you that
the causes of climate change,
other than planetary geometry,
are unknown — just unproven theories.

That’s why there is no “correct”
climate physics model,
to support a good global circulation model
that makes reasonably accurate predictions
of the future average temperature.

There are lots of climate change theories.

There are lots of climate predictions.

There is a lot of politics,
and junk science,
with little real science.

If you are intend to focus
this website on real science,
does that mean ignoring
all the climate change
junk science / speculation
in the mainstream media?
CTM wrote:
“But a core level it all comes down to
a legitimate disagreement
on the interpretation of data.”

The surface data, with all the infilling
and multiple “adjustments”, is not fit
for any real science.

And only 150 years of real time surface
measurements, out of 4.5 billion years,
is too short a period of time !

Even the 150 years of real time measurements
include little data from the Southern Hemisphere
before World War II.

This all adds up to
surface temperature data
not sufficient for serious analyses,
even if government agencies
falsely claim
a ridiculous margin or error
of +/- 0.1 degree C. !

The real question is whether to
“interpret” the surface temperature data
or completely REJECT IT !

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 16, 2018 5:56 pm

“The real question is whether to
“interpret” the surface temperature data
or completely REJECT IT !”

I would go with “interpret”. But I think it’s a good question to ask.

I believe we are still recovering from Little Ice Age, which means I believe there has been global warming. Though not global warming which means the same thing as human caused global warming.
Or global average temperature since “about the time of LIA” has warmed by about 1 C. I see no evidence of acceleration of warming, nor would claim it’s been somehow a completely uniform rise in global temperature, but can’t give a good number of how much it’s accelerated or decelerated from any one point to another point in time since time of Little Ice Age.

I don’t believe there was ever a snowball Earth, and far as I know the last million years have coldest global temperature ever on planet Earth.
And it’s completely irrational to not want global temperature to increase, and there nothing to indicate the pre-industrial times were better in any way as compared to the present time- especially in regards to global climate or global weather.

Reply to  Tom Halla
November 16, 2018 12:40 pm

Tom Halla
After forty years of wrong climate predictions,
why would anyone with sense read any article
predicting the future climate,
in either direction ?

There have been “coming global cooling” articles
every year since I began reading about climate change
in 1997.

But the “coming global warming” articles
must outnumber them by 1000 to 1.

I don’t understand why CTM would focus on
a few “coming global cooling” articles when
they are so rare.

I realize the writers misinterpreted the science
article they intended to summarize.

With any articles or papers that claim
to predict the future climate, there is no
real science — just unproven speculation.

Skepticism is not a full time “job”,
it is a pro-real science attitude,
and a very important characteristic
of real scientists.

Skepticism is a characteristic
that seems absent
in the government bureaucrats
with science degrees who scaremonger
about the global warming catastrophe.

Reply to  Richard Greene
November 16, 2018 6:19 pm

“I don’t understand why CTM would focus on
a few “coming global cooling” articles when
they are so rare.”

Well, we might not have the global warming hype without first having the ice age scare.
We aren’t going to have any significant global warming or global cooling anytime soon.

Because global average temperature is directly related to average temperature of the entire ocean and it takes a long time to change this temperature.
Global weather or weather is different, as it can change pretty fast. Though no one can predict it if talking about months or years in the future.
Being able to predict weather is important and Solar min and max seem to have something to do with weather, rather than global average temperature.
I think we could have cold weather this winter and cause all kind of mayhem, but not much opinion of whether or not we will get global cooling in next 6 months

Dave Yaussy
November 15, 2018 12:37 pm

Well said, CTM. And let me add that we need people like Nick Stokes, to hold us accountable. I learn a lot from the (rational) responses to him (here and at Climate Audit) that buttress my skepticism, much more than I do from the reflexive anti-Gore crowd that spews invective rather than logical argument. We can win this battle by challenging each other as much as we challenge the warmists.

Alan Tomalty
Reply to  Dave Yaussy
November 15, 2018 1:06 pm

Nick Stokes has a lot of knowledge, good with statistics, and a very good programmer. The easy thing for us skeptics in countering him is that we have the truth on our side. However he does keep us on our toes. The main problem is that Nick doesn’t believe in conspiracies and blindly accepts what the climate scientists from the government agencies feed him. He refuses to believe that they have committed fraud.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 15, 2018 2:01 pm

Like most of the scientists on the side of the IPCC, Nick can’t accept that such well funded and ostensibly intelligent scientists could be so incredibly wrong about something so important to the future of the world and for so long. The problem is that it’s not just about the science. If that was all it was about, the skeptics would have prevailed decades ago.

The science can be settled by the obvious answer to a simple question that I have posed to Nick and many others, yet nobody has an answer.

How can the climate system distinguish the next Joules of incident W/m^2 so they can be many times more powerful at warming the surface (4.3 W/m^2 of surface emissions each) than any of the other Joules arriving at the same time (1.62 W/m^2 of surface emissions each)?

Once the sensitivity is recognized for its predictable and measurable average value of about 1.6 W/m^2 of incremental surface emissions per W/m^2 of incremental solar input (forcing) which when converted into a temperature change starting from 288K is about 0.3C per W/m^2, all this CAGW nonsense goes the way of an Earth-centric Universe.

Pat Frank
Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 15, 2018 4:10 pm

Climate modelers aren’t scientists. Neither is Nick Stokes. Maybe that’s why he has such an easy time believing them.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 5:50 pm

more personal attacks

good skeptic

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 6:31 pm

Perhaps a better wording is he isn’t qualified to really comment on this area. After some of my interactions with him I would definitely say that is true he simply doesn’t have enough science background to not be consider a layman. I would also add Steve above to that category his use of his English Lit degree is lacking even in comments and it is of little help to the field we are talking about.

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 6:45 pm

Mosh, perhaps you can explain SR5 and the claim of .7C rise since 1970 citing Marcott 2013. A claim Marcott specifically denies.

There were apparently 90 climate scientists involved in SR5.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 6:51 pm

You aren’t a scientist either, Steve. That’s a fact, not a personal attack.

I’ve shown the freshman mistakes of climate modelers at the link given just above, and also here at WUWT; mistakes no one trained in a physical science would ever make.

Anyone who wants the gory details can download my reviews and responses, (44.6 MB scanned zip file) and see for themselves the incompetence of climate modelers as regards physical error analysis.

They all might be wonderful people (I’ve not met any of them) and skilled at mathematics, but scientists they’re not. It’s not a personal attack to point that out.

And by the way, your “more” implies I’ve made personal attacks here in the past. I categorically reject that and challenge you to find one; just one Steve.

If you can’t prove your claim, it becomes a canard, and you, Steven Mosher, become guilty of … guess what … a personal attack.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 6:54 pm

Are your comments directed at me, LdB? If so, what interactions are you talking about?

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 10:29 pm

No Frank sorry I was referring to discussions I have had with Nick where he got basic science wrong. It was obvious his science background is very limited and a much badly out of date, like pre 70’s stuff.

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 1:48 am

Steven. Personal comments are OK when discussing the psychology of people

How else can one do it?

They are not relevant when discussing impersonal science.

You knee jerk response is disappointing.

The topic under discussion was how, given that he is not totally stupid, the Stokes can come up with defence of indefensible hypotheses. The implication is that he believes the hypotheses not because they are supported by the data, but because they are supported by an establishment he holds in respect.

If that is what you call and ad hominem attack then that merely shows that you yourself are playing games with emotional narratives and polemic.

And devalues any position you might have adopted.

Your choice.

John Endicott
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 5:31 am

Another drive by post from Mosh, good English major.

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 8:41 am

Steven Mosher – November 15, 2018 at 5:50 pm

more personal attacks

A prime example of the lefty liberal’s Political Correctness (PC) going amok.

And the very reason that parents and/or guardians are prohibited/prevented from nurturing their children to becoming well mannered, productive members of their communities.

Also, the very reason that teachers and/or public school personnel are prohibited/prevented from nurturing their students to becoming well educated, productive members of their respective societies ….. and thus the reason that America’s students are now sucking hind tit in the world’s educational ranking in science and math.

Its only a matter of time until the lefty liberal’s Political Correctness prohibits any and all “personal attacks” against Lawyers, witnesses, accusers or defendants who become engaged in either civil or criminal Court litigations.

If everyone is innocent and not held accountable for anything they do or say, ….. then no one is guilty and our society as we know it will collapse into anarchy and never rise again like the fabled Phoenix.

personal-attack – (noun) Making of an “off topic” abusive remark on or relating to one’s person instead of providing evidence when examining another person’s claims or comments.

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 11:50 am

Pat Frank
about climate modelers.

In summary, the modelers
are real scientists
being paid to do junk science,
and the money is obviously
more important to them,
than real science is:

Climate modelers
who have science degrees,
could call themselves scientists,
and work on real science.

They should be capable
of real science.

But that’s not what their bosses
pay them for.

Modelers are being paid
for junk science,
just like “real scientists”
were paid by cigarette companies
to claim cigarettes were safe.

The computer games
the modelers play
are not real science,
because they make
very wrong predictions
of the future average
yet no insiders
reject the models
as being wrong !

Wild guess predictions
of the future climate
are not real science,
especially when the
predictions are wrong,
yet the computer
gamers never go back
to the “drawing board”
and try again.

They’ve made the same
wrong predictions
for three decades
or more.

It is as if they HAVE TO
predict a +3 degree C. warming
for a doubling of the CO2 level,
or else they will lose their jobs !

The politicians
leading the way
simply declare
the science is settled,
which is the most
anti-real science
statement one could make !

The “science”
apparently was settled
in the 1979 Charney Report,
and never changes.

The wrong predictions
never change, because
wrong predictions
don’t seem to matter.

Nothing can be falsified.

Infilled numbers
can never be verified.

Any prediction of climate change doom
in the future will be accepted
by the leftist-biased media,
and published without questions.

I believe a climate scaremonger
could get an article printed
claiming man’s favorite organ
is going to shrink significantly
due to climate change,
and it would get published !

I’m surprised that has not
yet been claimed !

WE know skepticism is the
primary characteristic
of a good scientist.

But the government bureaucrats
with science degrees know
high confidence predictions,
with no skepticism or doubt,
is what THEY are being paid for.

And in return,
they get to play computer games
all day, for a good salary and
excellent benefits !

Modern climate “science”
especially the computer games,
is junk science,
supporting a leftist
political agenda
(“we need more political power
to save the Earth for the children”).

Never mind that the Earth
doesn’t need saving, and
our current climate is wonderful.

Reality has no place in junk science.

My climate change blog:

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 12:00 pm

LdB, thanks. That you might have meant Nick occurred to me later. 🙂

Joel Snider
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 12:23 pm

‘more personal attacks – good skeptic’

Hey Mosher – have you ever once gone public against the accusations of ‘murder’, ‘genocide’, comparisons to Holocaust deniers, or demands for Nuremberg trials? Or have you just sat there with your bad grammar, spelling errors, and typos making snarky comments when someone is called out for obvious bias?

jim hogg
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 15, 2018 2:12 pm

Och, I had a lengthy response typed out but just deleted it. It’s broken record v broken record. I’ve said it all before and it was just a waste of time it seems. Though I will say this: you certainly don’t appear to be a sceptic Alan.

If you were you wouldn’t be so easily convinced by the CAGW conspiracy theory stuff.

Nor would you be so confident in your suggestion that the sceptics on here counter Nick Stokes easily. I’ve seen very little evidence of that. He does a very good job or keeping the train on the tracks when it’s inclined to veer off all over the place.

Nor would you be suggesting that sceptics have “truth” on their side. No-one has a monopoly on truth and of that particular “substance” there’s not a lot to be had that isn’t very contestable indeed, especially in relation to Global warming.

A real sceptic would be very sceptical of all of these. A real sceptic would be directing his scepticism at least as forensically in his own direction continuously, at every view and hypothesis that enters his/her mind.

As for the “inner reservations” mentioned by commieBob, I disagree. I think they should be expressed. Reservations are a good place to start in any debate. Certainty rarely is, if ever.

Great head post by CTM. Thank you. Real scepticism is a very demanding standard. Our egos and the particular type of apophenia covered in a recent post, plus confirmation bias and all the other numerous biases are constant and seductive threats to it, and to the achievement of accurate knowledge and understanding, or acceptance that we don’t have either.

Apologies for any typos. I suspect that senility is conspiring against me, and unfortunately the evidence is accumulating!!

Reply to  jim hogg
November 15, 2018 3:55 pm

What I meant was that if you’re worried about the truth of what you’re about to say, you shouldn’t say it. As you day, expressing doubts about things is always a good starting point but that’s not what I was talking about.

jim hogg
Reply to  commieBob
November 16, 2018 6:16 am

Apologies for that commieBob. I see what you mean now.

Charles Higley
Reply to  jim hogg
November 15, 2018 4:57 pm

However, CO2 is a gas like any other gas, has both IR and Raman spectra, and emits according to its temperature. All gases are greenhouses gases or all are not. With no atmosphere, earth would be about 200 deg C in daylight and -100 deg C at night. Instead, Earth hovers around 15 deg C. So, the atmosphere cools the day, by allowing conductive and convective cooling, movement of heat to altitude, away from the surface, and it warms the night by slowing the losses of energy to space.

The specific, narrow emission peaks for CO2 are minuscule and meaningless compared to the over all Raman emissions of atmospheric gases. We have a gas that has been politicized and demonized into a planet killer based on the confidence that the public is scientifically ignorant, most scientists are not aware of IR versus Raman IR spectroscopy, and a multibillion dollar budget to push their junk science.

Ed Bo
Reply to  Charles Higley
November 16, 2018 8:15 am


I’m afraid you have it exactly backwards. The overall Raman emissions of atmospheric gases are miniscule and meaningless compared to the specific, narrow emission peaks for CO2.

The article creating a stir in Slayer circles is written by someone who is utterly ignorant of spectroscopy.

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Ed Bo
November 16, 2018 11:06 am

Water vaporhas9 absorption bands whereas CO2 has 3. Moreover, from Arrhenius to NASA, the effects are inseparable

Reply to  jim hogg
November 16, 2018 8:55 am

My issue with Nick Stokes is that he repeatedly picks out a single, nearly irrelevant detail to dissect and skewer while completely ignoring the big picture faults of the Warmist arguments.
It appears to me to be willful blindness.

Percy Jackson
Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 15, 2018 6:20 pm

The main problem is that you and others believe in conspiracies.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
November 15, 2018 6:46 pm

You aren’t clear on who you consider the others to be. I would say from comments those who believe in any conspiracy are a very small minority. I would say that the largest group believe that CAGW is a political game.

We could also add there a number on the CAGW side who believe in conspiracies just search the wording “shill of the oil companies” or is that conspiracy okay to you?

I wonder if there is such thing as politically correct conspiracies #myconspiracyisjust

Percy Jackson
Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2018 6:58 pm

LdB – Tim Ball for one regularly posts about global conspiracies being the cause of
the global warming scare. Donald Trump has claimed it is a hoax invented by the Chinese while just today the new foreign minister of Brazil has claimed it is a plot by “cultural Marxists” to promote the growth of China.

More fundamentally if you don’t think that global warming is a conspiracy then you have to either think that the overwhelming majority of scientists who have studied it have made a basic error that no-one in the science community has spotted or else that they are publishing what is probably correct. To me at least the importance of the consensus is that it suggests that any errors are extremely subtle and that the basic over-all picture is most likely correct.

Take for example the consensus about Newtonian gravity — it was wrong but only
very slightly. We still teach it in schools and universities and use it to put people
on the moon etc. The consensus on climate science is similar. It is almost certainly
not 100% right but it is good enough to use on a regular basis.

Reply to  LdB
November 15, 2018 11:02 pm

The problem with your statement is you have to rate the “number of scientists” that have looked at the problem as being capable of understanding it properly. Sorry I don’t rate many at all, I think Ramsdorf was about the only one rate. I also find far to many of the Climate Scientists are activists which causes me problems in taking anything they say at face value, does that make me a conspiracy believer?

I can also go the other way, I totally ignore most scientist on GR because many who commented on it didn’t have a clue or worst were so wrong it hurt. Stephen Hawkings is rated by many as a great scientist but some of his last papers are nothing short of junk that flies in the face of data. We have a running joke where we refer to him to him as the idiot in the wheelchair a joke picked up by Simpsons Writers and they tried to tactfully deal with it.

So this leaves the problem how do we decide who knows enough to have there views considered as valid and what is the significance of a consensus. The answer to both questions in no-one and nothing and that is just the way science operates. I don’t rate your consensus at all and it has nothing to do with a conspiracy I just think too many refugees from other fields invaded Climate Science and I don’t rate there science skills.

As for Newtonian gravity we still teach it because the formulas are easy to use and useful. I would hope most teachers explain it’s actually wrong and sometimes not in a minor way but can lead to major misunderstandings.

As you say the question in Climate Science becomes do we trust it enough to make very real hard decisions now and what options do we have. I am pretty sure the whole world has already voted that they don’t trust it because our emissions are still going up in contrast to what has been proposed, every major country will fail there 2020 and 2030 targets. They other question of what should we do is actually a question that was never asked to the world or even other areas of science that now a hell of a lot more on specializations than climate science. So the field finds itself in a mess wholelly of it’s own making and it has become toxic to most people.

Reply to  LdB
November 16, 2018 2:20 am

LdB – Tim Ball for one regularly posts about global conspiracies being the cause of the global warming scare. Donald Trump has claimed it is a hoax invented by the Chinese while just today the new foreign minister of Brazil has claimed it is a plot by “cultural Marxists” to promote the growth of China.

Are you so simple minded that you think there is on simple single explanation?
ALL of tehse may be true at least in part.

For sure Margaret Thatcher was happy to embrace AGW to have a stick to beat the coal miners with. Whether she believed it or not is unknown.

More fundamentally if you don’t think that global warming is a conspiracy then you have to either think that the overwhelming majority of scientists who have studied it have made a basic error that no-one in the science community has spotted or else that they are publishing what is probably correct. To me at least the importance of the consensus is that it suggests that any errors are extremely subtle and that the basic over-all picture is most likely correct.

Here we have an classic assumptive close. No I don’t believe it was a planned and coordinated conspiracy not wholly anyway and neither do I believe that its a basic error – not wholly anyway. You simply wont allow of any other possibility will you?

Dealing with the science first. It was a a plausible hypothesis. However of and by itself CO2 effects on radiation would lead to a climate sensitivity of less than 1C in all probability. Barely worth mentioning. So a hypothesis almost impossible to pick out of the climate noise and confirm or refute. Of no use to anyone.

Then it was noted that climate had been getting warmer since the 1970s a lot faster than that. And this is where the mistake was (deliberately?) made.

The hypothesis became not merely the direct effect of CO2 but a mysterious positive feedback to amplify its effects!

There was absolutely no good scientific reason to suppose that this feed back existed as against say something else unknown affecting climate. And many good reasons to deny it could exist, not the least being that the historical and geological record shows swings unconnected with CO2 or leading CO2 and the fact that had such an effect been present the effect of say pinatubo would have been amplified way more than happened. Predicted tropical hotspots were refuted by balloon evidence, the hypothesis of <feedback without which AGW is really insignificant, was blown to bits. And of course post 1998 the world slowed its warming down to such a level they had to start adjusting the data to keep the ball rolling

And this is where it should have been consigned to the dustbin of history.

Enter big business, Enron and a gas pipeline. Coal (and nuclear) compete with gas in a a way that renewable energy does not. Let’s give Al Gore some money to create a convenient lie, and call it an inconvenient truth!.

The Big Lie is always the best.

And start to channel money into scientists who will ‘say the right thing’ even with a lot of ‘mights’ and ‘coulds’ as caveats.

Well it worked, but then something else happened. It got out of control, and became what I have termed a bandwagon of convenience. Journalists, media tarts, politicians, green activists, windmill manufacturers, solar panel manufacturers, everybody was making money out of the plebs by jumping on ‘climate change’ and ‘renewable energy’ It became a trillion dollar business. Government wase handing out money to anyone who said ‘climate change’

It was an excuse fore the Left to justify even bigger government.

No one cared about the truth Who knows? Who, in fact, cares if AGW is real or not? Like any bubble, maximise your profit, watch for the warning signs and get out before the crash.

The Donald has called time. The smart money that’s still in – and most of it left 5 years or more ago – is leaving. Scientists don’t want to talk about it, and are busy finding other stuff to do. The public is bored with it. It’s losing political traction.

AGW isn’t quite dead yet, but it smells that way, It was a mixture of honest mistake, a theory that might have been true but wasn’t, that was promoted as part of a small conspiracy that grew into a global movement because it suited so many people to pretend to believe in it, because it matched te ignorance and prejudice of hoi polloi exactly.


Now to get all those windmills back into museums

Samuel C Cogar
Reply to  LdB
November 17, 2018 4:08 am

@ Leo Smith – November 16, 2018 at 2:20 am

Leo, that was a super great commentary that pretty much condensed the past 38+ years of “climate science” flim-flamming hysteria that much of the world’s population has embraced because of its “Cash Cow” value that personally enriches their socio-economic status.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
November 16, 2018 4:54 am

@ Percy,
It’s not hard to understand a conspiracy when at every meeting by those involved in the IPCC are advocating an overthrow of western democracies in favor of a communist system. Nor is it hard to understand a conspiracy when the explicit agenda is spelled out. The support for such an idea is rooted in obfuscation, lack of transparency, and outright manipulation of data in favor of that agenda. Neither is it hard to understand that those same people can convene at international conferences without being considered foreign agents.
It’s a high hurdle to jump when every negative adjective has been thrown at anyone who disagrees with AGW for any reason. ” Commit any crimes against humanity ” lately? I will think the same thing about the AGW community if the solar activity puts us in another LIA. I will/am think they knowingly lied.
After all the money that has been spent, nobody knows any more about how warming and cooling occurs. And that is a problem. That is the entire reason people started studying the stars, weather, and keeping records.. it affected the crops, and that affected governing regimes.

Reply to  rishrac
November 16, 2018 9:09 am

I’m not much on conspiracies usually. It’s just too hard to keep everybody quiet about them. But I do believe in conspiracies of common interest. With AGW it is the career lifeline for scientists who are ambitious and environmentally minded. For Lefties it is an opportunity to bash industry and get control of “the means of production”. For politicians it is a vehicle to power-the only thing they are interested in. For manufacturers and service providers in the renewables industry, the benefits are obvious and measured in dollars. For opportunists like Gore it is just another brand of soap to sell.
As long as they all have their reasons they have no interest in the truth.

Reply to  Percy Jackson
November 16, 2018 7:25 am

Never suspect conspiracy when hubris and Groupthink will do just fine as Lindzen described it so well-

Reply to  Percy Jackson
November 16, 2018 7:33 am

Are you saying that no conspiracies have ever existed Percy?
If one can provide evidence of a conspiracy, and we have, why is believing in the evidence bad?

Joel Snider
Reply to  MarkW
November 16, 2018 12:18 pm

Anytime more than one person gets together with another to pull something shady, it’s a conspiracy. That’s why the word exists.
It’s also become a knee-jerk defense to call the most obvious and outrageous examples of wide-spread chicanery ‘conspiracy theories’.

James Clarke
Reply to  Percy Jackson
November 16, 2018 8:13 am

There is a serious problem with using the word ‘conspiracy’ in connection with climate change. It triggers an emotional response in those who embrace what is now the dominant paradigm. They will cease to listen to anything you have to say, if you use the word ‘conspiracy’, and justifiably so. ‘Conspiracy’ implies a conscious attempt to hide the truth, in the same way, by a very large number of people, from all over the globe. I posit that such a thing is impossible! People are not that willing or able to fully participate knowingly in a scam. When you suggest that is what is happening, your listeners will turn away, feeling that you are full of excrement.

A paradigm is not a conspiracy, although it could possibly have its roots in one. A paradigm is a story that is believed to be true by those who embrace it. This belief ‘by the many’ does not add any credence to the story in a scientific or logical sense, although the many will profess that it does. This is the argument of consensus. Climate change arguments that do not begin with the acknowledgement of the overriding, emotionally anchored paradigm in which they reside, are doomed to pointlessness.

False paradigms are defended by those who have something to gain from the paradigm being seen as correct, even if all that they gain is a feeling that their world view is cognitively coherent. This does not make them conspirators. It makes them human. If a false paradigm fits your world view, you will likely embrace the paradigm as true, with no need or desire to look deeper into the facts.

On the other hand, if the paradigm is true, but does not fit in your world view, it can take an overwhelming amount of evidence to convince you.

Most of us grew up in a world where the role of humanity was much different than in past generations. Our forebears believed in a nearly Divine role for humanity. They were taught that humans had dominion over the creatures and the land. The were taught to struggle and aspire for greatness; to reach for the stars.

Over the last 100 years, that paradigm shifted to one in which humanity was viewed as a disease upon the planet. Reaching for the stars shifted from a noble cause to one of greed and selfishness. Humans are now considered a threat to the planet, and consequently, to future generations of humans. Both paradigms were emotionally anchored in the fabric of society. Shifting a paradigm cannot easily be done with cold hard facts, but require a reweaving of the overriding world view in which the paradigm resides.

The story of catastrophic global warming would never be accepted in the old world view, even if we were indeed warming the atmosphere. The warming would have been embraced as a grand achievement; a huge gift to future generations. Now, in our current paradigm, the very same possible scenario is viewed as a huge catastrophe!

It is not a conspiracy. It is a paradigm that fits nicely in the current world view. If you want to change someones mind about climate change, you will first need to change how they FEEL about humanity. And to do that, you will first need to show understanding of how they feel about the future of their children, and that you have similar concerns. Only then do you have a chance of them listening to facts.

Reply to  Alan Tomalty
November 16, 2018 1:42 am

Indeed. And who among us has not battled with exactly the same disbelief … Surely they can’t be…and yet having gone back over and over all the evidence we are forced to conclude that yes, indeed they did…

It is the problem of the less than first rate minds that are still smart. Perhaps less than 1% of people are really able to think for themselves and less than 5% are able to at least critique others thinking. The rest who may be well above average intelligence and know it, are forced to take authority on trust.

And that has been noted by those who would subvert that process.

Stokesy is just another victim.

We have all been there. We came out the other side. He hasn’t.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Leo Smith
November 16, 2018 9:36 am

“We have all been there. We came out the other side. He hasn’t.”

“Nothing, perhaps, is more painful than disillusion, but all the same, nothing is more necessary.”
—H.L. Mencken

November 15, 2018 12:39 pm

You tell me it is cooling and I say: great minds get the sane results as mine.

November 15, 2018 12:47 pm

I’ve heard through the grapevine that this story may have played a role in the recent spike in natural gas prices.

Although, the spike is more likely due to the fact that the weather has been unseasonably cold over much of the nation recently and we’re entering withdrawal season with natural gas storage at the lowest level in quite a long time.

Bryan A
Reply to  David Middleton
November 15, 2018 2:08 pm

It is difficult to heat your home with Solar power in the Winter

Reply to  Bryan A
November 15, 2018 7:41 pm

Actually that depends on where you live–it is very easy to heat with solar during the winter and costs practcially nothing–of course whent he sun goes down.. you have to have other fuels. but it saves 50% of the bill if you build the right solar window boxes.
They really work–I built one and used it in the Utah mountains–the amount of heat the box roduced was amazing–it was passive but if I’d installed a solar fan it would have heated more than the room I had it in.

Reply to  Shelly Marshall
November 16, 2018 4:50 am

yeah i tied to get the mens shed(retired and talented blokes) to help me make these to give out for cost of materials(what had to be bought that we couldnt scrounge) they werent interested at all yet we have a lot of pensioners and low income people like myself who would benefit greatly even saving daytime heating when days are 9c or so.
meanwhile govt bribes are offering discounts on?
flatscreen tvs! new ones to replace older higher poweruse ones..and less help on new fridges!
priority to entertainment agitprop media over NEED.

on the upper levels cooling issue, well doesnt that blow co2 warming anything and the non existent warm spot further outta the water?
if its cooling up high then it is NOT warming is it?
nature trumps(lol) unicornfart modelling

Reply to  David Middleton
November 15, 2018 2:13 pm

I have been a day trader for the last 10 years, as a profession. I trade futures and stocks. The natural gas spike was due to a hedge fund (that was short) blowing up and having to unwind a position, that is all. The price went right back down again today as the markets digested the trade.

jim hogg
Reply to  Rurik
November 16, 2018 6:27 am

Thanks for that Rurik.

November 15, 2018 12:52 pm

An aside regarding Martin Mlynczak. His actions precipitated Ferenc Miskolczi’s departure from NASA.

“The co-author of the article was his boss at NASA Langley Research Center (Martin Mlynczak). Mlynczak put his name to the paper but did no work on it. He thought that it was an important paper, but only in a technical way.

When Miskolczi later informed the group at NASA there that he had more important results, they finally understood the whole story, and tried to withhold Miskolczi’s further material from publication. His boss for example, sat at Ferenc’s computer, logged in with Ferenc`s password, and canceled a recently submitted paper from a high-reputation journal as if Ferenc had withdrawn it himself. That was the reason that Ferenc finally resigned from his ($US 90,000 /year) job.”

November 15, 2018 1:03 pm


The possibility that a journalist may have misrepresented a scientist’s paper has me gob smacked!

November 15, 2018 1:14 pm

I’ve been a lurker for some years. I have read here daily to improve my awareness. But I didn’t comment, because I knew I did not have the education/knowledge to do other than try to learn from what I read.

But I came here (among other sites) so I could read reports and comments by people I didn’t know from Adam but whom seemingly knew what they were talking about. I could then make up my own mind about what made sense to me and what didn’t.

Recent posts seem to be more focused on a personality cult. The big “I.” It may be safe to return when the focus is more on climate and its impact and ramifications than on someone’s ego. Until then…

Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 2:36 pm

Sure. Thanks and accepted. Now try writing it without I/me/my and the “bigger point” may have a bigger impact.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 3:03 pm

Thank you for that.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  andy
November 15, 2018 3:54 pm

I mostly concur as a fellow lurker, I come for the critiques in the comments as much as the reports. I can get personal attacks etc. on CBC’s website.
Please do not overdo the 3rd person as the first person is also valuable. It can point to personal knowledge of the point being made while the 3rd person can obscure the source.

Robert Scott
November 15, 2018 1:15 pm

Although I visit the site every day at least once, I rarely comment because (a) I do not have sufficient expertise to enter the bullring and make a sensible and knowledgeable contribution (not that deters others) and (b) making snarky comments doesn’t achieve much (have I just broken that rule?)

It’s strange that I was bemoaning to myself only yesterday that Nick Stokes, whose past regular contributions have made an enlightening and thought provoking contribution to the blog (see point (a)) seemed to have given up. Although I don’t agree with many of the points he makes, I read and think, rather than merely clap my hands or boo and hiss. Welcome back Nick.

Is the blog getting back on track? I hope so.

Bob Weber
November 15, 2018 1:23 pm

I agree skepticism is a fulltime job, and you gotta love it.

There is presently ongoing solar minimum cooling at the surface and in the ocean.

There’s already been a lot of early cold and snow records set worldwide this fall.

Oct 22 I said The bluer it gets, the lower TSI is, the colder it gets. This morning was very cold in the US:

A blue sun:comment image

US weather this morning: comment image

The northern hemisphere is already an icebox five weeks before the solstice!

The solar minimum blues are just starting…

November 15, 2018 1:25 pm

CTM ==> Reference my essay: Researchers: Never Let the Press Office Quote You

Bottom Line: No researcher/scientist should ever let the Press Office quote them or their work without demanding the right to pre-approve the entire press release or article.

Reply to  Kip Hansen
November 15, 2018 1:49 pm

But they do it all of the time, and purposely (IMO) leverage that asset for their own purposes. What does that tell us?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  icisil
November 15, 2018 2:15 pm

Tells us bad things about the ethics of powerful scientists in today’s (construct your own) world.

November 15, 2018 1:26 pm

Good comments CTM.

Gary Kerkin
November 15, 2018 1:31 pm

Good article Charles. It highlights some considerations I have been giving to the lack of indisputable evidence when the hypothesis of AGW is being pushed by alarmists. Just today I came across an article in Aeon Magazine entitled “Believing without evidence is always morally wrong” ( It is well worth reading and, I believe, worth aiming the moral angle at alarmists when countering their rubbish. Possible not the “great unwashed” but certainly supposedly knowledgable scientists.

You’d have to be careful though. Presumably Mann would take you to court for suggesting he is immoral!

Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2018 1:43 pm

The problem is that people like to pretend that the two sides of the debate are equal. But that is just wishful thinking. Those who warn about cooling may be wrong as far as the timing, since no one can know with certainty what our future climate will be. And that is the point. The Warmunists claim they do, in fact know, and blame man. And make no mistake; Warmunism has run rampant throughout governments, the MSM, various and sundry NGOs and even once-respected scientific organizations. It has become the default “knowledge” of climate. So that is what we skeptics/climate realists are up against. There is no level playing field, nor has there been. To pretend otherwise is the height of naivete, or just stupidity.

Bruce Cobb
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 2:22 pm

It is better not to use red herring arguments or straw man arguments.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 3:45 pm

One who wants to know the truth about some statement looks into the strongest counterclaim. A person who has looked into those tough questions is willing to face all who appose.

One who merely wants to be on the popular side of an issue only engages weak counterclaims and evades the rest. This is also the tactic of those who know their position cannot be defended.


jim hogg
Reply to  Steve Reddish
November 16, 2018 6:34 am

I’d have upvoted this if I could.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 5:14 pm

Is it better to play along with a known dishonest opponent (knowing that they don’t care if YOUR argument is pulled from your arse, or that it came straight from God) & try to outmaneuver them;

or is it better to try to call attention to dishonest opponents’ advantage before bringing argument.

Duncan Smith
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
November 15, 2018 5:58 pm

To Bruce’s argument, we skeptics are not playing with a full deck of cards, the Ace is under the table.

Global Warming Causes Stratospheric Cooling

November 15, 2018 1:50 pm

“Skepticism is a Full Time Job”
Indeed it is. And one constant requirement is to check the dateline on stories, because they keep coming back.

In fact the thermosphere article did appear in WUWT here, in September, pretty much as described.

Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 15, 2018 2:25 pm

Yes, the text is much better

Reply to  Nick Stokes
November 15, 2018 7:02 pm

Rare but I agree with you Nick.

However I have to confess I am very skeptical that sunspot number has anything to do with climate change so perhaps it is a personal bias 🙂

M Courtney
November 15, 2018 1:55 pm

Well said. It was better back in 2008 when the science was debated and interesting things were discussed.
We could always ignore the interminable, unprovable solar battles.

Yet the site turned into a mini-Breitbart. All political. Never primarily empirical.

It was no place for me.
But I do miss it and wander back occasionally for old times sake.

Honest liberty
Reply to  M Courtney
November 15, 2018 4:04 pm

What would you expect M?

This topic is political and CAGW is an extension of eugenics programs, thinly veiled under the mantra of science. This had always been about wealth redistribution and energy austerity. Where is the real science? Does not every damn leftist MSM rag scream the sky is falling? Every day! I get bombarded in my phone’s feed of all this unsubstantiated catastrophic propaganda.

The science discussion is settled, this is normal variation with human intervention seen primarily as Urban heat island. Period. All the rest is noise, adjusted, or corrupted.
They had to hide the decline for Pete sake.
Maurice Strong.

For those who have grown weary of the politics… Too bad. That’s life. These misanthropes will stop at nothing to implement the globalist Utopia, and all the useful idiots will continue to parrot the narrative. I don’t care if that’s uncomfortable or you think I’m wearing a tin foil hat… It’s reality.
History, words, intentions, patterns, and finally all of those coming into fruition in the modern day have vindicated our concerns.

Ten years ago, when people were warning of global carbon tax initiatives, they were dismissed as kooks. How’s that kookery looking now? Exactly.

Polar bears? Hmm, not exactly.
No snow? Hmm, not exactly.
Catastrophic Rising Sea levels? Hmm not exactly.
Tuvalu drowning? Not exactly.
More hurricanes, tornadoes, droughts, floods? Not exactly.

And then I see some nonsense from NBC claiming climate change will kill sperm!!!
C’mon Man! It’s a friggin joke

If it’s not political, why then is the Arizona scandal dragging on? Are they not scientists bound by ethics? Why wouldn’t they submit unadulterated emails, which in public University ought to be publicly available?

This is political and whatever the hell has become of the modern left, appear to be incapable of critical thinking. Maybe that has something to do with critical theory..

The more the world turns, the more it stays exactly where it is. History repeats, and dominators never satiate their desires to dominate, this is just another chapter of world domination by the few sociopaths, and their minions who think they are “in the club”.

Reply to  Honest liberty
November 15, 2018 8:27 pm

Well said, Liberty!
Some people fear being accused of being a conspiracy theorist, as it’s seen as a pejorative character trait and definitely not p.c. Some can’t bear to contemplate living in a world in which conspiracies exist at a political level. Yet they have always existed. Just look back in history. Why would they stop now? When certain groups can’t achieve their aims openly, they resort to secrecy and subterfuge. If they have power and can use it to monopolize and brainwash a largely uninformed public, after a while most people fall in line – few want to be left out in the cold of unpopular beliefs.

Reply to  Honest liberty
November 16, 2018 11:53 am

+ 100000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000

Reply to  M Courtney
November 16, 2018 1:56 am

M Courtney/Honest liberty

When a high level UN official i.e Christiana Figueres, and others, make statements like “This is the first time in the history of mankind that we are setting ourselves the task of intentionally, within a defined period of time to change the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years, since the industrial revolution. That will not happen overnight and it will not happen at a single conference on climate change, be it COP 15, 21, 40 – you choose the number. It just does not occur like that. It is a process, because of the depth of the transformation.” can we, should we, ignore or dismiss the possibility of the mobilisation of wholesale global political change by an influential, central, global agency?

Perhaps Christina meant to ensure the political shift of China and others to capitalism, perhaps she doesn’t. I don’t know.

But the fact is, the intention of global political change, using climate change as an agent, has been stated a number of times by different people in positions to influence that desire.

So I’m not sure the term ‘conspiracy theory’ is appropriate. It is a stated desire even if it is just wishful thinking. However, numerous tyrants have expressed similar desires, some have mobilised those desires with disastrous consequences. Some had the best intentions at heart, some were perhaps foolish, some just greedy, some simply ideological, but all were blind to the law of unintended consequences of abrupt, wholesale political change. I’ll dispense with the usual list of names here.

There’s nothing wrong with vigilance. Condemning people with genuine concerns over the stated intentions of powerful people as conspiracy theorist’s is unwise.

Indeed, is it a conspiracy if the desire has been articulated by people with the means to effect change?

Roger Knights
Reply to  HotScot
November 16, 2018 9:59 am

It’s appropriate here to quote a famous comment from long ago:

“A ckonspiracy is unnecessary when a carrot will suffice.”

Roger Knights
Reply to  M Courtney
November 16, 2018 9:54 am

Way back around 2010 I urged that WUWT delete all political comments (even if correct) and all celebration of cool-weather events. They’re fun to read, but they lower the site’s tone. Similarly, mere ankle-biting comments, which have increased over the past three years, should be deleteted. Similarly, low-class remarks inside otherwise OK comments should be snipped.

Back in 2008 through 2010 (?) comments were pre-moderated, which made such snipping and deleting easier. And the volume of threads and comments was much lower, again making tighter moderation easier.

Reply to  Roger Knights
November 16, 2018 1:18 pm


When wuwt started winning awards the number of commentators increased, as did the number of topics. The politics also became decidedly more right wing and strident.

The net result is that individual articles now rarely get the chance for a detailed and considered discussion taking place over several days as a variety of non regulars become aware of a post of particular interest to them and participate

It would be good to see more considered guest articles from those we might disagree with but I suspect this forum would be largely rejected by them after the mauling richard Betts received


November 15, 2018 1:59 pm

I never took that article seriously despite seeing it posted in several places, it never made sense to me.

Meanwhile the echo chamber problem is all over the place not just here, which is partly due to alarmist/warmists not being here and when they are, they are often poor at debating. They have a bad habit posting ad homs, fallacies and consensus baloney, they rarely concentrate on the story or the science behind them.

The problem occurs because Skeptics have won the science side of the debate long ago, but still have to deal with the Media side who continue to falsely promote climate babble, which is what alarmist/warmists feast on these days.

November 15, 2018 1:59 pm

Budget Surpluses, Fire and Water in California: Governor Jerry Brown continues to declare that all of this year’s forest fires (including “Camp Fire,” “Woolsey,” “Hill Fire,” and “Rocky Peak Fire) have been caused by climate change. In fact, the WSJ points out that the State Of California has MISSPENT 10 times more on electric vehicles than on controlled forest fires and underbrush removal, $335 million to $30 million, in the last fiscal year.

Then, there is the matter of spending billions and billions of dollars annually on the bullet train that is expected to cost north of $100 Billion, which many knowledgeable people suspect will never be completed.

Additionally, the plethora of forest fires this year have likely put as much pollution into the atmosphere as has been reduced through emission reduction strategies in 2018. Also, the State has a $9 billion surplus this year, while spending only $30 million on forest management.

Finally, a February report by the Little Hoover Commission, the State Oversight Committee for the State of California, found that CA has “ignored the gathering underbrush and dead trees in their forests for 100 years by underfunding any systematic removal of it.” As the Committee put it, these forest fires probably nullified California’s “hard-fought carbon reductions.”

One can only wonder what would have happened if the California had spent as money on forest management as they spent electric vehicles?

Curious George
Reply to  Stephen Heins
November 15, 2018 2:18 pm

I don’t know, but Governor Jerry Brown has an excellent reason: Electric cars are glamorous . The clearing of underbrush is not.

Reply to  Curious George
November 16, 2018 2:48 am

Curious George

Golden Bullet syndrome. Like most climate alarmism.

Instead of eradicating poverty in developing nations and thereby deal with innumerable problems like deforestation, malnutrition, infant mortality, population growth, terrorism etc. spend lots of taxpayers money on material items such as electric cars for the wealthy west.

Propose more Golden Bullet solutions like extracting CO2 from the atmosphere, cloud seeding and, of course, expensive, wasteful and virtually useless renewable energy because they are quick fixes.

Good housekeeping is better than building a new house.

Margaret Arnold
November 15, 2018 2:01 pm

fantastic post.

I have not been at all comfortable with the echo chamber – and the way we too have been criticising real research because the results don’t fit what we want rather than because the methodology is flawed.

Mosher is just one case of a wider pattern …

November 15, 2018 2:05 pm

Good to see Steve McIntyre back on the case recently.

I think part of the issue is that the global debate long ago ceased to be primarily about science. Politics took over – for many in the UNFCCC it was only ever about politics. Once that happens, partisanship often gets in the way.

John Robertson
Reply to  Keith
November 15, 2018 6:21 pm

I agree , we won the science debate a decade ago.
The problem is that CAGW was always political.
Now that I know this,the fire is gone,all that awaits is the drudgery of exposing the fools and bandits,hopefully removing them from the public trough.
What the IPCC and our own government agencies has shown us is Policy Based Evidence Manufacturing, is their new standard of evidence for policy making.
And after “A blinder well played” it is clear the ruling cabal of bureaucrats and media really do not care what the sceptical taxpayer might think.

What sets me back,is the realization that the only reset may be of the 1789 French styling.
Corruption is widespread and self supporting, kleptocracy is the chosen path.
So yes the science conversation is rather stale just now.
Kudos to Anthony he does offer up great articles of interest but the Climate wars are over.

Joe Born
November 15, 2018 2:09 pm

With all due respect to the editors/moderators who put in so much time here, I’m afraid the site’s effectiveness as a “force for education” won’t improve much unless they become better able to judge head-post quality.

I’ll bite my tongue here about Mr. Istvan’s head posts since I’ve taken to ignoring them. But Christopher Monckton’s posts, for example, have been execrable. Critics of those posts haven’t brought up a mere “legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data”; they’ve identified errors of rudimentary math and logic. Yet the editors seem unable to recognize those high-school-math errors even after commenters have pointed them out.

That may be one reason for Steve McIntyre’s dismissal of Monckton-theory discussions with “I discourage people from thinking in over-simplistic terms. If you wish to pursue, better to do so at WUWT.”

That isn’t to say that the site has become a laughingstock. It hasn’t. But promoting absurdities such as Lord Monckton’s work does tend to bring us skeptics into disrepute.

I sincerely hope the current regime can find a way to do better.

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 2:20 pm

The beauty of Monckton’s essays are the generating of a LOT of comments over them. I recall having to moderate YOU, Monkton and others for getting too worked up in the comments at times, even deleted some to try keeping it from falling apart.

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 3:03 pm

Joe –
I agree very much with CTM’s sentiments and the general disapproval of reflex, political and insubstantial commenting, and even of reflex and insubstantial head-posts, of which there have been plenty lately. But you are wrong about Monckton. I thought his recent contributions were challenging and direct in a way that provokes deep consideration, and I think he was able to make a good fist of answering his critics. I know that he particularly irks you (irks many, indeed) but that is because of his strident single-mindedness, and fixation on certain points and a certain method of delivery. He really drew out some very useful points of view, both opposing and tangential to his argument. I learned a great deal from it, whether or not he is right or wrong. I don’t think you should put him in the same category as those that we criticise above. He stands and answers all his critics, does not run and does not dissemble, unlike many others. He sets an excellent example.

Joe Born
Reply to  mothcatcher
November 15, 2018 4:19 pm

Look, I recognize that Lord Monckton has a lot of fanboys here, but that’s the problem: since this site promotes him, a lot of people think his point is arguable.

It isn’t. His last seven posts here were based on one clearly incorrect theory: that where feedback is concerned the usual approach to extrapolation is a “grave error.” That isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s just plain mathematically wrong. Just as 2 + 2 = 5 isn’t a matter of opinion. It’s wrong to a mathematical certainty.

The same is true of that “irreducibly simple climate model” paper sponsored here a few years back. It was based on the proposition that the response of a time-independent system with memory can be approximated as a time-dependent stateless system. That’s as incorrect as saying that xy can be closely approximated by x + y: occasionally it can, but you have to do the multiplication anyway to see how close.

His propositions are just plain wrong, but because his language is flowery and his writing has so many latent ambiguities he gets a large following. In short, this site is helping him dupe its readers. I don’t like seeing that.

I recognize that you disagree. I’m okay with that.

(You seem to forget that you and others who didn’t agree with him manage to post many times against his essays, you had just as much freedom to dispute him as he did with you, you come across as a whiner here) MOD

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 6:58 pm

Well, I also took issue with Monckton’s Irreducibly Simple paper, since showed on a rather too mathematical post at Judith’s Climate Etc both that it was easily further reducible , and that when plugging those further reducible constants, his no feedback sensitivity was just wrong.
Monckton and I have tangled over many of his papers, usually at CE rather than here, for the obvious reasons you note.

Joe Born
Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 15, 2018 7:31 pm

Well, no.

Your post at Dr. Curry’s site was really a puff piece. You said “The mathematical derivation of the ‘irreducibly simple’ equation is impeccable.”

It wasn’t even close to impeccable. Nor was it “rigorous,” as you also said.

The central problem, again, is that he treated a time-invariant system that has state as a stateless time-variant system. There’s nothing “impeccable” or “rigorous” about that. It’s a fundamental flaw that yields wildly inaccurate results, and you said nothing about it.

Again, yours was in essence a puff piece. It merely quibbled about some minor details: it praised his theory with faint criticism.

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 7:36 pm

3 rounds and Monckton is a clear leader in points in all 3.
Sorry Joe.
Apart from being a bit [very] verbose and repetitive and too detailed in the science for me, Monckton has always brought a clever sense of humour to his bouts to go with the detailed scientific explanations.
Disagree with him “Monckton and I have tangled over many of his papers,”[Rudd] but Joe be clear [and short] in your answers and drop the denigrations and need to constantly win.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Joe Born
November 16, 2018 2:10 pm

Joe Born,
The modern blog is a recent invention, still evolving its rules of conduct and etiquette. One might expect some friction as blogging evolves to a more regular form.
That does not excuse ad homs. You are not being kind to Lie Moncton. I do not know if you have spoken in person to him. If you had, you might feel like using respect, not slagging, if you did feel compelled to describe the person.
Chris Monckton has a mind that I have seldom seen matched. But this is by the way when the objective is to discern the plausibly of scientific assertions. Here, he clearly has a valid point, however well he expresses it, or you comprehend it. It is logical to question why a physical method, feedback here, is said to have different conditions before and after a date or era defined by society. If classical feedback as misunderstood by many, where is the energy source that powers the process, when earth operates on a near constant, closed source of Salar irradiation?
If you wave your arms, proclaim he is wrong without detailing why, your acceptance will be less than if you detail your objections. Ideally you should pay out an alternative mechanism that debunks his. Can you do that? Geoff

Joe Born
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 16, 2018 5:09 pm

Yes I can. And I have.

As to the “irreducibly simple” model, Anthony Watts published two of my posts. The math and physics are there. If you think anything I said is incorrect, make your case. All Lord Monckton did was spray a lot of jargon to frighten the natives. Those of us who know even undergraduate linear-systems theory know that what he said was just gibberish. I’m pretty sure you didn’t really understand what he said; if you had, then you, too, would have known it was gibberish.

As to this year’s seven Monckton posts about the “grave error,” I’ve set the problems out in detail. However, since Lord Monckton took to calling me a liar (without proof), Mr. Watts wouldn’t run my piece. So you won’t see it. (Yes, Mr. Watts suppressed incongenial facts.)

But if you know the basics of how to do high-school extrapolation, all you have to do is go through the slide at the end of Lord Monckton’s last post (plot E against R) and you’ll be able to see his clear error.

But I doubt that you will. I suspect you’ll be content with conclusory aspersions. That’s what his fanboys do.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 16, 2018 5:42 pm

Anticipatory adjustments to text are a pain.
“Lord Monckton”. Apologies, Geoff

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 16, 2018 6:36 pm

In a few of your simplest words, how do you, personally, refute Lord Monckton’s general observation that feedback factors used on new or changed input values are (wrongly) treated differently to existing values? Geoff

Joe Born
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 16, 2018 9:52 pm

Mr. Sherrington:

“how do you, personally, refute Lord Monckton’s general observation that feedback factors used on new or changed input values are (wrongly) treated differently to existing values?”

No, no, no, no; that’s Moncktonspeak: it’s gibberish. It’s too vague to make sense of.

If you want to have an adult discussion, show that you can justify what Lord Monckton said at, namely, “Here’s the end of the global warming scam in a single slide.” That slide encapsulates his seven WUWT posts and two YouTube videos—all of which are embarrassingly bad.

In that slide he erroneously infers from two values of E as a function of R a third value of E for a third value of R by basing it on the average slope; i.e., he computes it as E_1+\Delta E_2, where \Delta E_2=\frac{E_1}{ R_1}\Delta R_2. If you have mastered secondary-school math, you’ll be able to see why it’s not a “grave error,” as Lord Monckton contends it is, instead to base estimation of that value on perturbations \Delta E_1 and \Delta R_1, i.e., to compute the equilibrium climate sensitivity as \Delta E_2=\frac{\Delta E_1}{\Delta R_1}\Delta R_2\equiv\frac{E_2-E_1}{R_2-R_1}\Delta R_2. (Or, rather, it wouldn’t be a grave error if the E and R values he gives us were correct and meant something.)

Lord Monckton contends that circuit theory, from which many feedback results were obtained, dictates using “entire” values instead of the perturbations he says “climatology” uses. I may be just a lawyer, but I can assure you that circuit theory dictates no such thing; using perturbations is precisely what circuit theory dictates.

Now, if you could come up with a convincing argument for why I’m wrong about that, then I’d be willing to discuss the matter.

But I know you can’t, so I’m not. No offense meant, but I’m an old man, and I’ve no intention of wasting any more of my remaining hours on high-school-caliber debates.

Joe Born
Reply to  Joe Born
November 21, 2018 8:12 am

To the nameless entity behind the “MOD” moniker:

You miss the point. I don’t at all forget that I “manage to post many times against his essays.” But allowing a comment doesn’t provide nearly the same emphasis as running a head post. And if this blog is to “be a force for education and to grow in influence,” then “upping our game” will necessitate this site’s placing at least as much emphasis on rigorous refutations as it does on making such refutations necessary by hosting mathematically incoherent theories.

Yet ever since Lord Monckton has taken (without foundation) to calling me a liar Mr. Watts has refused to run my proposed head posts. So it borders on hypocritical, or at least lacking in self-awareness, for this site to criticize such a lack of intellectual hygiene when it occurs among alarmists.

Now, I’m fairly sure—or at least I’d like to think—that the reason for rejecting my proposed posts is not a desire to suppress dissent. It appears instead to be the editors’ ignorance of the relevant disciplines (feedback theory in the case of Lord Monckton’s more-recent posts and linear systems in the case of his “irreducibly simple” climate model). After all, they wouldn’t have run Lord Monckton’s appalling posts in the first place if they had mastered those disciplines’ rudiments. And that ignorance is understandable if regrettable; none of us can know everything. I, for example, must confess that I’m clueless about many if not most of the disciplines that arise on this site.

But the fact remains that someone will need to find a way to base head-post selection on something other than ignorance of math and physics if it is to achieve Charles the Moderator’s goal of “upping our game.”

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 4:31 pm

Monckton is right about one thing, which is that the misapplication of Bode’s linear feedback amplifier analysis to the climate is the root of all that’s wrong with the IPCC’s version of climate science. He didn’t apply the analysis properly either, mostly because it doesn’t apply, but it seemed that his motivation was to try and fix it within the constraints of consensus terminology that assumes there’s actual amplification taking place, which per Bode means adding new energy to the system.

What’s being observed is not amplification, but is the redistribution of existing energy across time, where the energy from old surface emissions gets intercepted and temporarily stored by the atmosphere, some of which eventually returns to the surface and accumulates with new solar forcing in support of a higher surface temperature then solar forcing alone can do while the rest is combined with surface energy not intercepted by the atmosphere and emitted into space to achieve balance.

The atmosphere is not a mysterious, incomprehensible collection of ill defined feedbacks and couplings, but is simply a conduit that quasi-chaotically modulates the attenuation in the radiant path between the surface and space which on average allows about 62% of the radiant energy emitted by the surface to find its way off the planet. All that really matters is the result, not how it got there.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 15, 2018 5:45 pm

Only 62% makes its way off the planet?? What do you think happens to the rest?

Joe Born
Reply to  Snape
November 15, 2018 7:16 pm

co2isnotevil is impervious to instruction; he repeatedly regurgitates the same unintelligible thing.

But there is a sense in which “only 62% makes its way off the planet.” The sense is that, because there’s some internal re-emission, you multiple-count at the surface some of the power that leaves the planet. Here’s a simplified example I’ve used before to show that it may appear that 2.2 times as much power leaves the surface as leaves the planet.

Because of convection and conduction, an altitude layer in the real atmosphere can emit more or less radiation than it absorbs. To keep things simple, though, let’s imagine that there’s no convection or conduction: at equilibrium each layer has to emit all it absorbs. Also, although the real atmosphere absorbs some solar radiation directly, the atmosphere in our hypothetical is completely transparent to solar radiation; it absorbs radiation only from the surface and other layers.

Each atmosphere layer in this (no-convection, no-conduction, lumped-parameter) hypothetical absorbs ¾ of the radiation it receives, and it emits all the radiation it absorbs. Also, 1 W/m^2 comes from space and the same amount is returned to space, but the surface emits 2.2 W/m^2. If you go through the arithmetic you can confirm this. (If you so change it that each atmosphere layer absorbs all the radiation it receives, then the surface will emit 3.0 W/m^2.)

The point is that no energy is created or destroyed, yet the surface emits 2.2 times as much power as the system receives from space (the sun). Each atmospheric layer receives more, too.

\begin{array}{lcccccc}  &&&&&&\mathrm{Total}\\  \mathrm{Absorbed\,from:}&\mathrm{Surface}&\mathrm{L.Atm}&\mathrm{U.Atm}&\mathrm{Space}&&\mathrm{Absorbed}\\  &&&&&&\\  \mathrm{Absorbed\,by:}&&&&&\\  \mathrm{Surface}&0.0000&1.0500&0.1500&1.0000&||&2.2000\\  \mathrm{Lower Atmosphere}&1.6500&0.0000&0.4500&0.0000&||&2.1000\\  \mathrm{Upper Atmosphere}&0.4125&0.7875&0.0000&0.0000&||&1.2000\\  \mathrm{Space}&0.1375&0.2625&0.6000&0.0000&||&1.0000\\  &&&&&&\\  \mathrm{Total\,Emitted:}&2.2000&2.1000&1.2000&1.0000  \end{array}

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 8:38 pm


I agree with you, but the idea that only 62% finds its way to space is nutty.
All the energy leaving the surface eventually exits the planet, it just takes longer as a result of the the “multiple- count” you mentioned.

I explained it to myself this way:

Imagine that a runner starts from one side of a 100 meter field every second, and makes it to the other side in 10 seconds. Soon, there will be 10 runners on the field, one exiting at the same moment another enters.

Now, imagine instead, each runner must first run 50 meters, turn around and go back to where he came, before starting again…….this time being allowed to cross the whole field and exit.

At a steady state (in 20 seconds), there will always be 20 runners on the field. TWO runners starting every time ONE runner exits.

Reply to  Joe Born
November 15, 2018 9:20 pm


Joe’s example is non physical and has no correspondence to what we actually measure. First, he asserts that 86.25% of the emissions by the planet originate from the atmosphere while 54.5% of the energy received by the surface also originates from the atmosphere. 86.5% of 240 W/m^2 is 207.6 W/m^2, while 54.5% of 390 W/m^2 is 212.7 W/m^2, which means that the atmosphere is providing 420.3 W/m^2 which it must be absorbing, while there’s only 390 W/m^2 available to be absorbed by the surface and there’s still the 13.75% of the emissions to space that need to be accounted for. His numbers just don’t add up.

He also fails to understand that any black box system can be uniquely quantified by the behavior at its boundaries and that’s all I’m doing here where the atmosphere is being considered a black box.

If you think that all the radiant power that leaves the surface leaves the planet, then you need to explain either how the emissions of the planet are not 390 W/m^2 or how the surface can emit only 240 W/m^2 at a temperature of 288K. I’m not trying to be condescending here, but it seems like you don’t know that 1 Watt is the same as 1 Joule per second and that applying COE to W/m^2 is as valid as applying it to Joules.

Joe Born
Reply to  Joe Born
November 16, 2018 4:13 am


Good analogy. If my experience is any indication, a very sizable minority of this site’s regulars (such as co2isnotevil) will never get what you have.

And some of these are the guys who write this site’s head posts. For example, co2isnotevil wrote the post at Remarkably, some of his fellow electrical engineers have agreed with him.

Don’t get me wrong. My legal career had me dealing extensively with electrical engineers, and some of the smartest people I’ve known were among them. It was EE’s who taught me all I know about feedback, for instance.

Like scientists, though, not all EE’s know what they’re talking about–even about feedback, which EE’s should be the champs at. And, having the credentials, they tend easily to mislead laymen by throwing around a lot of jargon.

That’s why I welcome Charles the Moderator’s goal of upping the site’s game.

Anthony Banton
Reply to  Joe Born
November 16, 2018 7:39 am

“If you think that all the radiant power that leaves the surface leaves the planet, then you need to explain either how the emissions of the planet are not 390 W/m^2 or how the surface can emit only 240 W/m^2 at a temperature of 288K. ”

I’ll try again, despite knowing that it’s fruitless.

It is a lag in the system.
Back radiation delays LWIR photons exiting to space.
SW Solar is not delayed incoming through the atmosphere.
What is the outcome of that?
More gets absorbed than is emitted in any given time period.
The more delay (more GHG’s) the greater the delay and the greater the surface temp and consequently the greater the surface emission ratio to that at TOA.
It’s the same W/m^2 as entered Earth IT JUST STAYS LONGER before leaving and so there is a build-up.

Reply to  Joe Born
November 16, 2018 9:09 am


You’ve made a classic error when decomposing the atmosphere into multiple layers. You should start with a 1 layer equivalent model and then extend to 2 layers. If you don’t get the same answer, then your 2 layer equivalent model is not representative of the 1 layer equivalent model. Whether you break the equivalent model of the atmosphere into 1, 2 or N layers, if you’re not getting the same result regardless of the number of layers, then your layer decomposition methodology is flawed.

I’ll give you a hint. You’re double counting the absorption of surface emissions and treating the second absorption by the atmosphere as new energy entering the atmosphere when it’s actually representative of energy being retained by the atmosphere.

Reply to  Snape
November 15, 2018 8:52 pm


Isn’t it obvious that the rest is returned to the surface and that this is the net result of GHG’s and clouds as they affect the surface temperature? Despite what Joe may want you to believe, the net bulk behavior of the atmosphere is not any more complicated than this. Don’t get so hung up on the low level details of how the atmosphere manifests this bulk behavior. You need to understand where it’s going before you have a chance of understanding how it’s getting there.

The math is pretty simple. The average surface temperature is about 288K, making the net average radiant emissions of the surface about 390 W/m^2. The average emissions of the planet are 240 W/m^2 which is about 62% of 390 W/m^2. What makes this so hard to grasp?

If you think latent heat or thermals affect the net radiation leaving the surface, then you need to explain what effect these plus the return of that energy to the surface has on the average temperature and the average emissions other than the effect they’re already having on the average temperature and average emissions.

You still haven’t answered the question about how the climate system can distinguish the next Joule from from all the others so that it can be so much more powerful at warming the surface than any other. Don’t you believe that COE and the SB Law are valid first principles laws of physics? What other laws of physics can override them? If you still insist that some W/m^2 of incident forcing contribute only 1.6 W/m^2 to the surface emissions while others can contribute 4.3 W/m^2, you going to need to show your work. If you’re going to deny the validity of the question, you’re going to need to explain what laws of physics support your position.

I get that you don’t want to admit that the climate system can’t tell the difference, because once you take that leap, it’s all over.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 15, 2018 10:19 pm


It didn’t make sense to me that 390 w/m^2 could be emitted by the surface, but only 240 at the TOA.

The “runner” example (above), although a great simplification, made it clear how this could work. Did you read it?

2 runners enter the field every time one leaves, and yet there are never more than 20 runners on the field.

This is possible because only one of the two is new to the system, so to speak. The other is “re-emitted”.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 16, 2018 8:09 am

Thanks, Joe

I’ve learned a lot from some of the engineers who comment at the UAH blog. Really smart people.

Of course, there’s a few Inspector Clouseau’s running around as well.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 16, 2018 8:41 am


Yes, I saw your runner example. Runners enter at 1 per unit time and leave at a rate of 1/2 runner per unit time, where the other half of a runner returns to the starting point. And yes, this is kind of how GHG and cloud (i.e. atmospheric) absorption works. What doesn’t leave is recirculated back and this is exactly what I’ve been saying.

In the steady state of your example, you have 2 runners entering the field (a new one and the one that was recirculated back and then turned around) but only 1 runner leaving the field. This is analogous to less power leaving TOA than is entering from the surface. What you neglected is that if every other runner is returning to the starting point and there’s a queue of new runners waiting to go, where do you put the returning runners? To conserve runners at the start of the field, the one that returns must start over along with the next runner in the queue, otherwise, runners will accumulate at the start without bound. You need to conserve runners on both sides of the field just like you need to conserve W/m^2 at both ends of the atmosphere. Moreover; for your example to be representative of the steady state, the rate of new runners entering the field must be equal to the rate of runners exiting the field.

From a narrow perspective, energy leaving the surface and returned will leave again in the future and ultimately find its way off the planet. i.e. every runner will eventually find their way off the field, but the final drain can only happen when no new runners are starting and it doesn’t drain immediately once the runners stop entering the field, but is spread out over future time. Furthermore, upon staring new runners after all have been drained, it takes time for the returning runners to build up and reach a steady state.

I’m only considering what happens to surface emissions when they leave the surface the first time. The second time it leaves after returning and being re-absorbed by the surface is associated with a different transaction between the surface and space and at a different time. Moreover, the returned Joules are indistinguishable from new Joules arriving from the Sun and must be treated the same.

November 15, 2018 2:15 pm

…at this point Lat shows his total ignorance about the thermosphere…..

Isn’t the thermosphere really hot?…..if it’s hot, wouldn’t that slow heat radiating away from the planet??
…and if it’s cooler….wouldn’t heat radiate away faster?

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Latitude
November 15, 2018 2:30 pm

Where does the thermosphere get its heating from Lat?
“The thermosphere is so hot because it absorbs a large amount of the ultraviolet and x-ray radiation coming to Earth from the sun, converting it to heat. Its temperature is extremely variable, based on both the time of day and the sun’s activity.”
The thermosphere does not move heat from the surface.

Mark Smith
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 2:53 pm

Saying the thermosphere is hot or cold is pretty meaningless given it contains very few atoms in each litre of space. Direct solar radiation heats more when in the thermosphere.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 3:06 pm

well….but doesn’t the heat from the surface have to go through it to escape into space?
..and if it’s cooler, it’s a lot smaller/thinner and closer to earth….that would make space a lot closer and shorten the time for heat to escape….wouldn’t that make heat go through it easier and faster??

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 3:25 pm

From Wikipedia:
“The thermosphere is the layer of the Earth’s atmosphere directly above the mesosphere and below the exosphere. Within this layer of the atmosphere, ultraviolet radiation causes photoionization/photodissociation of molecules, creating ions in the ionosphere. Taking its name from the Greek θερμός (pronounced thermos) meaning heat, the thermosphere begins at about 80 km (50 mi) above sea level.[1] At these high altitudes, the residual atmospheric gases sort into strata according to molecular mass (see turbosphere). Thermospheric temperatures increase with altitude due to absorption of highly energetic solar radiation. Temperatures are highly dependent on solar activity, and can rise to 1,700 °C (3,100 °F) or more. Radiation causes the atmosphere particles in this layer to become electrically charged (see ionosphere), enabling radio waves to be refracted and thus be received beyond the horizon. In the exosphere, beginning at about 600 km (375 mi) above sea level, the atmosphere turns into space, although by the criteria set for the definition of the Kármán line, the thermosphere itself is part of space.

The highly diluted gas in this layer can reach 2,500 °C (4,530 °F) during the day. Despite the high temperature, an observer or object will experience cold temperatures in the thermosphere, because the extremely low density of gas (practically a hard vacuum) is insufficient for the molecules to conduct heat. A normal thermometer will read significantly below 0 °C (32 °F), at least at night, because the energy lost by thermal radiation would exceed the energy acquired from the atmospheric gas by direct contact. In the anacoustic zone above 160 kilometres (99 mi), the density is so low that molecular interactions are too infrequent to permit the transmission of sound.

The dynamics of the thermosphere are dominated by atmospheric tides, which are driven by the very significant diurnal heating. Atmospheric waves dissipate above this level because of collisions between the neutral gas and the ionospheric plasma.

The International Space Station orbits the Earth within the middle of the thermosphere, between 330 and 435 kilometres (205 and 270 mi).”

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 3:34 pm

Think of the thermospheric temperature as only being an indicator of the amount of the ultraviolet and x-ray radiation coming to Earth from the sun. It has no bearing on surface temperatures.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 3:56 pm

Yet, this phenomenon is also a reflective of the heliospheric dissipation of GCR flux, so the Svensmark theory would suggest that cloud cover increases might cool the oceans and surface to the point that the global temperature would subsequently drop. Only time will tell.

Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 5:38 pm

Thanks Pop!

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 6:11 pm

Just a coincidence that I studied it after Dr. Phillips posted it on but glad I could help, brother.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 8:31 pm

It has no bearing on surface temperatures.

The TCI is half based on F10.7cm flux, which correlates with TSI that has a realtime direct and cumulative surface warming/cooling effect. So therefore TCI is an indirect proxy for solar warming/cooling at the surface. The authors of the several articles glossed over or neglected to mention the indirect connection.

…so the Svensmark theory would suggest that cloud cover increases might cool the oceans and surface…

No. Time has told: comment image

Reply to  Latitude
November 16, 2018 9:58 am


Sorry for posting here. There was no “reply” attached to your last comment.

” To conserve runners at the start of the field, the one that returns must start over along with the next runner in the queue….”. Yes, that’s the idea. Each runner has to run 50 yards and back before being allowed to proceed across the whole field and exiting. 100 % of the runners make it to the other side, the initial “wind sprint” just makes it take longer. 20 seconds instead of 10.

Here’s a much better analogy for the GHE:

Reply to  Snape
November 16, 2018 11:37 am

The fact still remains that in order for 1/2 the runners to leave the field, twice as many must be starting to run across. And the runners starting to run across are ‘surface emissions’, the runners leaving the field are ‘planet emissions’ and the new runners entering the race are the ‘solar forcing’. Also, 100% of the runners don’t make it across the next time either, as half of those need to run back to the start too as they can not be distinguished from the new runners who started running from the start of the field when they did. You need to model the steady state, so new runners must keep being added at the same rate that the runners are finishing. So, 1 runner per interval is entering, and 1 runners is leaving across the same interval, but in order for this happen, twice as many runners must start than are entering the race. These are returning runners, which in the steady state are returning the the start at the same rate new runners are adding and that old runners are finishing.

Reply to  co2isnotevil
November 16, 2018 12:33 pm

(Glad you found my post.)

When a steady state is reached (takes 20 seconds), 1 new runner will enter the field every time a runner exits at the far side. I’m not sure why you think I need to change the model…..this is already how it works.

(A runner who has just completed a wind sprint, turns around and joins the new runner. They are side by side until at 50 meters, the old runner continues on, while the new runner turns around and heads back to the starting line.)

The point being:
a) two runners enter the field from the near side every time only one exits from the far…….and yet this is the steady state.

b) every runner makes it to the far side in 20 seconds. Nobody is trapped.

c) given a constant rate of entry, the longer it takes each runner to make it across the field, the more runners will have accumulated when a steady state is reached.

Reply to  Snape
November 20, 2018 5:51 pm


OK. So you agree that it’s possible for the energy rate emitted by the surface to be more than the energy rate emitted into space as long as the energy rate emitted by the surface is the same as the rate of new energy arriving plus the difference between the rate leaving the surface and the rate emitted into space. So to answer your original question, the rest of the power beyond 62% is sent back to the surface and this comprises the extent of the ‘excess’ warming effect from GHG’s and clouds.

The implication that nobody is trapped is incorrect as in the steady state the recirculated runners are all trapped once they are turned around at the end. When new runners stop entering the field, the runners stored in the field will eventually work their way out. Trapped only means temporarily stored on the field and is analogous to what it means relative to surface emissions energy ‘trapped’ by the atmosphere.

A better model of the atmosphere would be that 76% of the runners are trapped and of these, half are returned to the start and the other half eventually leave the field. You can conceptualize this as when half way towards returning to the start, half the trapped runners turn around and leave the field while the remaining half continue back to the start.

If only 24% of the runners entering the field make it the first time and 1/2 of the others made it the second time, .24 + .76/2 = 0.62 , or 62% of the rate of runners entering the field are exiting the field. Note that the RATE of runners is not the same as identifying individual runners and its the rate that’s relevant to W/m^2 which is also a rate.

Equilibrium is when the rate of new runners entering the field is equal to the rate of runners exiting the field. The rate of runners entering the field is the rate of new runners plus the rate of returning runners, thus 1 = r + .76/2 where r = .62 , or 62%. Note that 76% of the runners are running twice the distance as the others.

If all of the runners entering the field were forced to turn around the first time (analogous to 100% absorption), half would still exit, except that they would all be traveling twice the distance. This sets an upper limit on the maximum possible rate of runners starting the race to be twice the rate of new runners entering the race. In other words, runaway runners is precluded.

November 15, 2018 2:29 pm

“It is accepted by most mainstream astronomers, atmospheric scientists, climate modelers, climatologists, solar scientists, atmospheric chemists, and just about every field of mainstream climate science that:”:

sounds familiar. just sayin

November 15, 2018 2:32 pm

Regarding the possibility that the World may be getting colder the IPCC should take advantage of that, and thus claim the credit for it. Ie that their proposed measures are finally paying off, but no, they will continue to claim that it is in fact its still getting wormer, and that somehow its all hiding in the deep Ocean. Well the ARGO bouys say otherwise.


Reply to  Michael
November 16, 2018 3:52 am


Give them time.

They reduced warming expectation from 2.5C to 2.0C because observational temperatures weren’t doing what they wanted.

When it came time to reduce them to 1.5C they realised that to release that news would be to big an admission of their models failures, so they made up the current scare story about only having 0.5C to go before complete climatic collapse within 12 years.

The scare story successfully diverted the MSM’s attention away from the fact that they are gradually backing away from the global temperature claims they made.

I have maintained for some time that there is an announcement coming that efforts to save the planet by renewables, house insulation, energy conservation (switching off power stations as in Australia) et.c etc. have all bee successful in saving the planet so we must redouble our efforts!

November 15, 2018 2:33 pm

Skepticism is required by science. Too little and you’re gullible, too much and you’ll never accept anything new. You need just the right amount, and that amount varies depending on the situation. From my observations, your skepticism is very well balanced

November 15, 2018 2:35 pm

Regarding the possibility that the World may be getting colder the IPCC should take advantage of that, and thus claim the credit for it. Ie that their proposed measures are finally paying off, but no, they will continue to claim that it is still getting wormer, and that somehow its all hiding in the deep Ocean. Well the ARGO buoys say otherwise.


November 15, 2018 2:40 pm

Not a scientist but I understand the significance of the solar minimum in relation to climate is not its affect on the thermosphere, but its affect on the magnetosphere and the resulting increase in cosmic rays entering the earths atmosphere. I understand that research has found a correlation between increased amount of cosmic rays and increased cloud formation. More cloud cover will result in cooling of the climate.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Bob
November 15, 2018 8:36 pm

I understand that research has found a correlation between increased amount of cosmic rays and increased cloud formation. More cloud cover will result in cooling of the climate.

I’m very skeptical of this idea. comment image

November 15, 2018 2:47 pm

I like Steve Mosher, he’s wicked-smart and has good insights and science-fu, and I’ve defended him on many occasions in many forums.

The bad news is his drive-by style of commenting, where he acts like he’s being charged a hundred dollars per word … frustrating.

Anyhow, that’s a side issue. Charles, I’m glad to see the direction that you’re thinking of taking the blog. Should make things very interesting.

Best to you all,


Honest liberty
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2018 3:50 pm

Drive by commenting, arrogant dismissal, ad hominem attacks, lazy criticism, lazy perspective, abrasive, combative, intransigent, childish….

The guy is a troglodyte, from what I’ve seen of his commenting. I’ve yet to see anything of substance. Glad to hear he helped with transparency but that is irrelevant to his behavior on this site

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2018 5:58 pm

when the behavior toward guest posters like Nick changes, I’ll gladly stick around

heck when people start treating you better or Lief better I will stick around

Read any article and comments.

Sarcasm rulz. Well, (SNIPPED) I can do sarcasm, and other annoying things.

Its just become way too much of an echo chamber

So every once in a while I will stick my head in, shout, and then come back after a few days
to watch the pattern of reverberations.

Its always the same.

Except when you show up, THEN its original.

I may do something for CTM.. It will be long

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2018 3:36 am

when the behavior toward guest posters like Nick changes, I’ll gladly stick around

heck when people start treating you better or Lief better I will stick around

You mean this and others?

Well, yes, Samuel J C wrote

for you and all the others that have expended literally BILLION$

while having zero proof (I think it was Nick Stokes he was referring to) has expended any money. I think what we see here is a personal attack, equating the guest author with the supposed other ‘tribe’. Not nice. But Mosher, you can’t expect people to behave. There are so many people with so many differing views, some sensible, some not, some educated, some knowing, some not. When the language gets too rough, CtM hopefully gets in between. In the meanwhile, please bear and don’t feed the troll.

Don’t feed the troll. I should remember is myself. No sarcasm included.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2018 3:57 am

Steven Mosher

What I find irritating is that when I use the ‘F’ word, it’s moderated.

Stephen gets a free pass.

Any observations Mod?

(When too many bad comments flows by, it gets a lot harder to keep up with it, better if everyone stop being continually upset over what Mosher, Stokes or Svalgaard says, more productive to stay on topic instead. Better yet let everyone try to moderate themselves, which is the desirable way) MOD

John Endicott
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2018 5:56 am

when the behavior toward guest posters like Nick changes, I’ll gladly stick around

like the atrocious behavior you supply towards guest posters that don’t agree with you, you mean? Change starts at home, Mosh.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2018 7:40 am

In other words, when all of us start behaving better than Mosher does, Mosher will stick around.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Steven Mosher
November 16, 2018 3:00 pm


Reply to  Willis Eschenbach
November 15, 2018 6:53 pm

I agree totally Willis. However he doesn’t seem to even answer formal published objections, there is an outstanding list from the Climate Science community.

Walt D.
November 15, 2018 3:06 pm

Record cold in a matter of months?
Try Texas today. According to a friend who works in Houston, it snowed today.
You can blame it on Global Warming. However, building more wind and solar units will not fix the problem of heating homes and offices.
As the woman said – you may chose to ignore reality. However, you still get to suffer the consequences of ignoring reality.

S. Geiger
November 15, 2018 3:13 pm

Would love it if this site returned more to its former self. Might actually read it more often. Its turned into a propagandizing echo chamber and the best commenters (for us true skeptics, who appreciate nothing more than real discourse about the ‘science’ issues surrounding AGW and climate) such as Nick and Mosher are regularly derided without any discussion of their arguments/points.

So thanks, a much appreciated move in the right direction!

Mark Pawelek
Reply to  S. Geiger
November 15, 2018 4:00 pm

What points and arguments do Nick and Mosher make? The reason a large number of climate alarmists do not debate “The Science”: because they cannot defend it. Yet those are the “experts” I hear so much about. Just felt obliged to put a spoiler on mutual back-slapping.

Reply to  Mark Pawelek
November 16, 2018 3:44 am

What points and arguments do Nick and Mosher make?

I’ll classify this as a ‘personal attack’. Please don’t comment when there are no arguments to comment. When you see an argument, you may comment it (and you then implicitly accept there was an argument).

John Endicott
Reply to  Hugs
November 16, 2018 8:45 am

Looks more like a question to me. (see the question mark at the end?) I’ll classify your reply as a ‘personal attack” seeing as it attacked the poster rather than answer his question.

John Endicott
Reply to  S. Geiger
November 16, 2018 5:58 am

What arguments does Mosher make. All he supplies is drive-by snark. If that’s your bar for “real discourse” then thanks, but no thanks.

November 15, 2018 3:50 pm

No, it is not a job! A job requires “work”. Laughing at and ridiculing idiots is just good, clean fun! Kicking them in their fecal stained teeth is the height of entertainment.

Jan E Christoffersen
November 15, 2018 3:53 pm

Don’t forget Steve Mosher (along with Thomas Fuller) gave us “Climategate: The Crutape Letters”, the book that detailed the malfeasance of a significant number of climate researchers over a decade or more. I have read and enjoyed the book from cover to cover at least twice and refer to it from time to time when seeking to confirm events.

We owe Steve a big debt.

November 15, 2018 4:10 pm

I don’t have much problem with people trying to “clean up” the surface temperature record. I personally believe that the data is bad enough, and prior to 40 years ago, scarce enough to make the task impossible. But if you want to spend your own time and money on such a project, go for it.

What gets my goat is the claim by many that this cleaned and “spread out” data results in an accuracy that is an order of magnitude or two greater than the original data.

That is total BS, and I’ll call them on it every time.

Reply to  MarkW
November 15, 2018 4:12 pm

PS: Another point, if you want to justify re-working the entire world’s economy you need much better data than has been presented so far.
That goes double to implementing plans that will result in the deaths of millions.

Reply to  MarkW
November 16, 2018 4:04 am


With you on both posts 100%.

Pat Frank
November 15, 2018 4:20 pm

CTM, “If you were to sum up the primary scientific disagreement between Istvan and Mosher, it is that both have thoroughly examined the historical temperature record and one believes it is fit for the purpose of analyzing climate and other doesn’t.

Neither Steve Mosher nor those at BEST have “thoroughly examined the historical temperature record,” because they have completely ignored the the most basic source of uncertainty: systematic sensor measurement error. If anything, they have all actively run away from it.

Even more incredible, they also ignore the limits of resolution of the temperature sensors themselves, primarily of the LiG thermometers, which readings make up the bulk of the record.

The published record is an unscientific crock. It’s a product of negligence, that is indistinguishable from incompetence.

I can’t speak to Rud Istvan’s argument about the record because I’m unfamiliar with it.

steve case
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 3:25 am

… LiG thermometers…

I had to look it up – Liquid in Glass

Undefined acronyms jargon and other abbreviations slow the transmission of meaningful information.

Geoff Sherrington
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 6:31 pm

Pat, agreement.
Here is a short, subtle consideration. Think liquid in glass thermometers in Stevenson screens.
Imagine their deployment at all earth latitudes, then the validity of thinking them to be similar enough to have results compiled somehow into a global average. Are they same enough to each other? No.
At all points inside the Tropics, the sun is directly overhead at least once a year. At the poles, it is never directly overhead. Therefore, some screens will have roofs heated by direct sunshine. Others will never have sunlight on the roof. The thermometer inside responds partly to air flowing through, partly to radiation from the nearby heated or cooled screen. It follows logically that a screen in the tropics operates basically differently to one at a pole, with those between grading between these extremes.
One might laugh off this difference as too small to worry about. Others might try to quantify the effect to see if it is worth the bother, then they might remember that thermometers like these were replaced by electronic devices in different houses, so how does the direction of incident sunshine affect them?
The example of uncertainty I chose to use here is but one of many, many concepts still unexplored or underexplored in climate research. There are innumerable sources of errors, some easy to describe like my example, others rather more subtle. The nett effect is a large basis of unquantified errors that have the capacity to aggregate into an uncertainty in global warming estimates that is larger than the alleged global warming is.
Concepts like his have not been treated with the seriousness that they deserve. Too often they are shrugged off as annoyances, too often they are in the hands of people who have never been educated in error analysis or don’t want to know.
Serious, good quality scientists to not disregard proper error analysis.
If proper error analysis was the norm in climate research, my informal guess would be that 90% of papers would be rejected before publication because their main result was hidden in the noise and had no real physical meaning. It is a crisis, rather like the reproducibility crisis. Geoff.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 16, 2018 10:38 pm

I’m in complete agreement with you, Geoff. There are huge problems with the global record, some of which you’ve outlines.

I focused on systematic measurement error because it’s straight-forward and representative errors can be estimated with direct calibration experiments. But it’s only the tip of the problem, as you’ve pointed out.

In my experience, the people compiling the record hotly reject the idea of systematic measurement error. Their papers make outrageous and self-serving assumptions to support an assignment of random error only, such as that any given ship always has the same distribution of normal errors in their SST measurements.

It’s incredible incompetence, and they’ve been getting away with it for more than 30 years.

You’re undoubtedly right that a proper assessment of the errors would lead to uncertainty bars larger than any purported increase in air temperature over the last 150 years.

Just accounting for instrument resolution and the measurement error alone already does that. See Figure 12 on the linked page.

Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 17, 2018 2:05 pm

Stevenson screens are painted white. Originally they were painted with white wash, over time, this was replaced by white latex paint.
Only a small fraction of the screens make note of when this change over occurred.

A question was asked, while both paints are white, how well do they reflect the other frequencies of light?

Somebody, it may have been our host Anthony, conducted an experiment. He painted two boards, one with white wash and one with white latex, placed thermal sensors on both and put them into the sun.

It turns out that white wash reflects infra red better than does white latex. As a result the board painted with white latex got hotter. I don’t remember by how much.

Peter Morris
November 15, 2018 4:21 pm

One thing that would help is if people didn’t feed the trolls. There are those who are simply contrarian, and then there are those who enjoy stoking the fires, then sitting back and watching the burnination.

Don’t feed the trolls.

Reply to  Peter Morris
November 15, 2018 5:10 pm

live wood doesn’t burn easily. fires clear away a lot of debris.

Steve R
November 15, 2018 4:35 pm

Climate Science should elevate as a priority the understanding of the Pleistocene and endeavor to understand more fully:
-What causes the Laurentide and Eurasian ice sheets to expand slowly and contract quickly. Is it possible that the arctic was largely ice-free at this time, allowing tropical moisture to move to high latitudes to create heavy sierra-like snows in areas that are relatively dry today?
-How the biomes of the earth respond to the climate changes of the past, and the apparent bare minimal CO2 (280ppm?). Why did the planets rainforests contract while the areas of Steppe expand?
-Why the early present interglacial was interrupted by a “younger Dryas” event while others do not appear to have been.
-Were areas of eastern Siberia and Alaska really ice-free? And if so, could this be tied to poorly understood circulation patterns due to Beringea’s cut-off from the Pacific ocean?
-Why the extinction of so much mega-fauna at the end of the Pleistocene? Is human-driven extinction really plausible?
-Is CO2 gas trapped in ice cores really representative? Are we certain that equilibrium reactions do not occur with the surrounding ice as they they would with water?
It seems to me these are the kind of “Big Questions” we should be investigating before we can drill down into the minor little ups and downs of the present climate.

old engineer
November 15, 2018 5:17 pm

First thank you for your years of service as moderator. Your efforts have kept this site civil, which is something very worthwhile in these times.

I reread your post before writing this comment. This sentence stuck out to me:

“But a[t the] core level it all comes down to a legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data.”

Would that this were so. If the idea that increasing CO2 might cause the planet’s atmosphere to heat up had not been co-opted by those with a political agenda, then the disagreement might be regarded that way. But unfortunately it has been co-opted for political ends. Those with a political agenda have decreed that “the science is settled” There can be no skepticism. To these people, there are only two groups: (1)those who agree that increasing atmospheric CO2 will lead to catastrophic global warming, and (2) everybody else. If you are not part of group 1, you are the enemy and evil.

All that would be mildly funny, except that those political groups have already done considerable damage to society around the world, and stand poised to do much, much, more damage.

As I understand Anthony’s intent, this is not a website for group 1. It is a website for group 2. How this site is used to large extent will be up to you, and I know you will do a good job. But as for me, I hope it will be used for education, understanding, and yes, perhaps even venting frustration that the ACGW crowd is so powerful and unrelenting.

Jay Rhoades
November 15, 2018 5:34 pm

For many years, we (“skeptics”) heard a constant drum beat: the science is settled, scientific consensus, we must act now, etc, etc… It is my understanding that this site was born to combat this garbage.

The site met this need by giving us a forum to examine research methodologies, published articles, etc. The high standards of critical thinking in this Forum stand as proof that real science was not — and is not! — dead.

I do not see this blog as an echo chamber. The tone has changed a bit of late. Looks to me like this change in tone is due to a sense of relief. Relief that there are politicians currently in power who aren’t just cheer leaders for the climate con crowd.

Rud Istvan
November 15, 2018 5:48 pm

Well, since a semi inadvertent protagonist here, might as well make a few observations. So important I left the comfort of iPad cruising while watching Thurday night football to fire up the trusty home office MacPro.

1. I fully agree with CtM. Both Mosher and I get tired of refuting the same old threadbare arguments posted by less involved reader commenters. We can collectively up the WUWT game, especially now that Judith Curry is no longer a GIT professor and otherwise more preoccupied with CFAN, and Steve McIntyre has moved mostly on after tiring of winning the same old arguments agains the same old climate paleontology Borg year after year. WUWT is the last major climate skeptic blog left fully standing. Kudos to Anthony Watts.

2. I am relatively neither a newbie or a veteran here, and at the outset had ‘no dog in the hunt’. My first post here and at Judith’s Climate Etc was somewhen in 2011. I had already spent almost two years researching my first ebook, Gaia’s Limits, and had discovered that possible future water and food carrying capacity constraints could not be adequately addressed without reference to the IPCC consensus version of future global warming.
Then I found that NRDC had deliberately misrepresented an NSF report to Congress, which NSF report itself failed to understand a fundamentally flawed paper on US corn and soy crop yields. (The search function of WUWT will probably still take you to that now ancient first post.) That AHA! converted me to instant CAGW skeptic, with parts of one additional ebook and all of a second on the CAGW subject following.

3. For ebook Blowing Smoke, I spent a year researching the global temperature record. My conclusions (with many examples) are set forth in essay When Data Isn’t in ebook Blowing Smoke, foreword by Judith Curry herself. I concluded the surface temp data are not fit for purpose, and no amount of clever effort can salvage them despite Mosher and BEST heroic tries. Steve respectfully disagrees, and that enables a useful and informative science debate. In my view, Land has inadequate global coverage, and the Land rest has insurmountable problems. Ocean is even worse prior to ARGO. As one example, ship engine intake water temp depends on how the ship is laden which determines how deep the intake port is. NOT RECORDED! There are many other examples in that essay. ‘When Data Isn’t’ footnote 25 gives some specific reasons to doubt BEST, that Mosher and I could fruitfully debate as I am not BEST and he is. I would since add to that footnote the BEST ingestion problem at Rutherglen ag station in Australia as a second fundamental example of the futility of trying to correct data not fit for purpose. None of that means Mosher and BEST are somehow wrong or misleading, nor that we should have that debate in comments to this post. It just means I do not think that data is fit for purpose can heroically be fixed, and he does–precisely as CtM says.

4. CtM has persuaded both of us to cooperate with him on a possible series of joint posts upping the WUWT science game. Provisionally, the presently envisioned three include ‘Loser Arguments’ since we are all tired of refuting silly pseudoskeptical comments, ‘Killer Sound Bites’ that provide simple, referenced refutations to the usual warmunist consensus talking points (like Susan Crockford’s oft repeated point that polar bears do NOT depend on summer sea ice for hunting success, so the notion that summer Arctic sea ice decline threatens them is laughable from first principles), and Failed Predictions, for which an unequivocal and irrefutable and referenced long list has yet to be compiled.

Who knows, as we chew on these maybe they will morph or others will emerge. But CtM has inspired us to get going as a team on Anthony watt’s behalf. So we are.

(Edited for paragraph spacing) MOD

November 15, 2018 6:11 pm

“Ponder this, Rud Istvan is Iionized here, and Steve Mosher is vilified. Many, if not most of you don’t know that it was Mosher’s prominent “Free the Code” movement that influenced NASA to open up its model code and greatly move toward transparency. A bunch of you recently learned he outed Gleick’s forgery. I understand Mosher is snarky and often behaves like a prick, but most here don’t realize it is because long ago he became fed up with the lack of skepticism and quality arguments I noted in the beginning of this essay.”

Utter BS.

Mosher is extremely capable and has performed near wonders in the past.
Nowadays, he snarks endlessly, drops idiot bombs in threads and often twists his arguments endlessly desperately trying to not be wrong. Which apparently is based on Mosher forcing others to simply give up holding Mosher to task, not whether Mosher was wrong.

I label Mosher’s fly by comments idiot bombs, because often it is obvious that Mosher did not read the comments. Obvious when Mosher’s comment is opposite to the direction of the comments.

Often Mosher challenges any negative comments regarding BEST. Yeah, we know Mosher works there, but most of us who have been hanging around since 2008 are well aware that BEST was discussed here extensively.

Steve McIntyre’s site does have some excellent discussion and always has excellent analyses.
Steve also practices a very strict regimen of banning commenters.
I got banned from ClimateAudit after 3 comments early on and I was unable to discover exactly why. Every method of communication to Steve that I tried was blank, no response.
Being unable to comment, did not stop me from reading every one of Steve McIntyre’s posts; well, except the poison gas posts and the inflated football post sequels.
When Steve came back from his break a few years back, I could comment again.

” I understand Mosher is snarky and often behaves like a prick, but most here don’t realize it is because long ago he became fed up with the lack of skepticism and quality arguments I noted in the beginning of this essay.”

Mosher has dropped many comments claiming there is a lack of skepticism on WUWT. Every time Mosher made that erroneous claim, it was because Mosher did not read the comments.
Making Mosher’s claim a logical fallacy, the red herring; along with another logical fallacy the argument from ignorance.

N.B. That Mosher’s claim about being “fed up” with lack of skepticism and quality arguments; then why does Mosher still read WUWT articles?
After which Mosher often drops a brief useless terrible quality comment…

You will need to highlight when Rud is getting lionized. I must’ve missed those groveling sessions.

Lionizing is what Willis Eschenbach, Willie Soon, Lord Monckton, Steve McIntyre and Dr. Bateman get, as do many others.

Reply to  ATheoK
November 16, 2018 7:52 am

I’m pretty sure that I have never lionized anyone on this site.

November 15, 2018 6:21 pm

Regarding Nick Stokes… Every time I discuss a topic here with him I learn something.

Regarding Steve Mosher… The same was true for Steve 5-6 years ago. I still enjoy “debating” things with him because I appreciate quality snarkiness.

I personally look forward to my discussions with both of them.

Reply to  David Middleton
November 15, 2018 10:51 pm

I have only been reading WUWT for a few years and have only had a couple of discussions with Mr. Stokes on WUWT, but I have always found his comments to be interesting and he has always been very generous with his time in answering my questions. Mr. Tomalty says he is a very good programmer and having worked as a programmer myself for over 40 years, I can appreciate that trait in him.

Rud Istvan
November 15, 2018 6:21 pm

As a named protagonist, I left my iPad and Thursday night football and went to my main MacPro to compose a lengthly and ‘very profound’ comment. Disappeared. Perhaps God is just after all.
Short version, I think CtM is right. And he has persuaded Mosher and I to work together with him on some future stuff that will further his and Anthony’s goals for WUWT.
Meanwhile, CtM also personally shook me out of my blog ennui, and he already has some nifty (well, IMHO only) new sciency stuff to consider posting. Time will tell on that.
Regards to all

Reply to  Rud Istvan
November 15, 2018 6:22 pm


Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 6:26 pm

@ CTM, I see what you mean, If commenters took the time to provide citations, there would be a lot less undocumented garbage to read through. If folks would tag their opinions (e.g. IMO) it might be much appreciated by others looking for actual information.

Pop Piasa
Reply to  Pop Piasa
November 15, 2018 6:54 pm

Also, much as I hate to admit, overt sarcasm is better replaced with subtle recognition of irony. The boundary between the two remains as subjective as ever, though.

Geoff Sherrington
November 15, 2018 6:49 pm

Good post, thank you.
A decade or so ago I used to blog on The Air Vent, Climate Audit, etc and it was enjoyable to read Mosher’s inputs. I even wrote him a reference for a job application. Then at some stage in his work on BEST, something changed. It might have been that his hard work gained some criticism from people like me who were not nearly as aware about the finer points of BEST, but there was a personality change in his later blog comments. (Possibly there is one in mine, also.) Mosh’s comments often had a strong element of logic. Same goes for Nick Stokes. I want to be friends with these guys in a two-way exchange of knowledge, laced with logic.
It is not so easy. There are some science fundamentals, such as the proper, classic treatment of errors in measurements, that were taught to scientists my age (late 70s). They do not seem to be taught with the same importance today, if one can tell that from blog comments. Pat Frank knows what I mean. Nick does not seem to. Mosh does not often address this problem, whic has the effect of people getting stuck into each other because they had different educational upbringings.
The other difficulty is that the average sceptic has nothing like the resources that The Establishment has. The average sceptic is likely to be older, retired even, and short of discretionary funds and time to formalise scepticism into a peer-reviewed paper. Our BOM refuses to look at my short essays about errors needing correction, saying only a peer-reviewed paper will be considered. There are moves now afoot in Australia to set up a research group on questionable climate assertions and to prosecute these with formal papers, but it is still early days. Geoff

Pat Frank
Reply to  Geoff Sherrington
November 15, 2018 6:59 pm

knows what I mean.” Boy, I sure do Geoff.

And best wishes to you. 🙂

Gary Pearse
November 15, 2018 6:57 pm

Charles, as always you inject a different tone, challenge commenters to put forth their best, and have teased them with invited posts from pro green energy/warming proponents. All well and good.

I have been guilty of some of the sins you state. I plead no contest. However, there are a few reasons for a more jaded bunch now than in the “good old days”.

1. The scientific debate on wither climate and the end of days began to end, first with McIntyre’s deconstruction of the hockeystick symbol of doom. It was the first sign that the cat was back and the mice could no longer play with impunity.
2. Climategate glimpse into loaded dice, gatekeeping in the publishing world, discussions on getting rid of the LIA and the MWP, the Karlization of the Dreaded Pause.
3. Coming out into the open of UN, EU officials on the real issue of global governance for which climate change was the front.
4. A realization by proponents from overheating models after 30 years of observations (more than half of which time was The Pause) that warming was unlikely to even reach the once acceptable +2C by 2100. Moreover, they pushed the starting gate from 1950 back to 1850 in order to bank 0.8C and declare 1.5C in 250 years as a threshold to danger!

In sum, they believed they had lost the debate. The plan global progressives had for the rest of us meanwhile was, until Trump came along, very scary and many including myself couldnt see how they could fail to pull it off. Hey, this wasnt a scientific debate afterall.

Charles, you are obviously a very nice, level headed guy that I would value as a friend. But I’m afraid like many you may be mistaking Bertrand Russells Teapot for serious science. BTW, in the 1990s I had no reason to doubt AGW. It was evidentally warming. But when I saw the elite non scientists involved, like Mauruce Strong and the Eurocentric left funding and promoting global poli-econ overhaul policies and then the feloneous goings on with the scientific establishment supporting all this, yeah! BTW I am a geologist and studied paleiclinate in the 1950s, so I wasnt unfamiliar with the subject.

Gary Pearse
Reply to  Gary Pearse
November 15, 2018 6:59 pm


Reply to  Charles Rotter
November 17, 2018 2:07 pm

koo koo catchoo

November 15, 2018 7:50 pm

I long for the romantic days when the Godfather of Climate Science skepticism, Steve McIntyre, was active at Climate Audit and there were brilliant discussions, biting comedy, as well as heated arguments, and not just the same echo chamber talking points we so often see today.

I miss Steve McIntyre’s brilliant analyses. You might say he set the Gold Standard.
Yet he did not shoot Silver Bullets with his well aimed shots. The Beast lives.

Roger Knights
Reply to  Toto
November 16, 2018 1:10 pm

The commenter I miss mkost is RGB at Duke. Remember him?

Roger Knights
Reply to  Toto
November 16, 2018 1:12 pm

PS: I also miss E.M. Smith.

November 15, 2018 8:07 pm

” CtM has persuaded both of us to cooperate with him on a possible series of joint posts upping the WUWT science game.”
Good. Bring it on.
Would prefer that people play fair with their data, opinions and claims.
There seems to be a level of making or refuting a claim using cherry picked periods or data sets that are known to be wrong in bigger picture deliberately.
Nothing wrong with a cherry picked example, has to be proved or disproved anyway for a theory to be right.
There is a dishonest way of changing the answer to something else that looks the same but is not. We had a racehorse like that in Australia called Fine Cotton.
This should be called out and clarified for what it is.
Prickly customers Rudd and Steven, comes with the abuse they get.
Perhaps one of the posts could enlighten us on how many stations are actually used, how many invented, sorry, extrapolated and how many unregistered but real stations and computer unreal composite stations are used to modify the real station data.
What could be good is Steven and Roy Spencer doing an article on how we do not need stations at all. Temperature being entirely dependent on time of day, time of year, elevation, position and cloudiness.
Pick 5 places, plug the details in and voila, no thermometers Mum.
Finally, where appropriate, moderation has a place.

November 15, 2018 8:59 pm

I think the main reason why this is becoming more and more like an echo chamber compared to the “good old days” is that the ammount of WUWT followers has increased a lot. There are still very good comments here and there, but they get a bit “lost in the noise” of the rest. The noise means that there is always someone saying at some point something incredibly stupid, alarmist or skeptic, and then a miriad of people who feel the need to show disagreement. Because replies now appear directly under the original comment, this moves possibly intelligent but unrelated comments further down the list. And given the ammount of comments, yo really need some patience to go through all the unnecessary replies to a stupid comment that didn’t merit a response, to try to find if there is or there isn’t something worth reading somewhere down the list. There might be ways of fighting this without using censure, but it is not easy. It would require giving moderators the power of highlighting in some way the comments that are actually good… but to make this effective, the moderators would need to read all comments. We all know that this is not feasible without involving a LOT more moderators, and knowledgeable ones, than WUWT currently have.

Ken L.
November 15, 2018 10:20 pm

I am one of those non-professional climate consumers who follow the issue with just enough background to read what the experts say and form some impressions and ideas – the general sort of person whose native skepticism the content here might hope to solidify through evidence based common sense and objectivity. I have tried to read the alarmist blogs and can’t make it through a whole entry, because it is so nauseatingly predictable and ideology based. I don’t come here looking for the same.

Dr. Strangelove
November 16, 2018 2:55 am

“The thermosphere always cools off during Solar Minimum. It’s one of the most important ways the solar cycle affects our planet,” explains Mlynczak

I doubt it affects the climate. The thermosphere is already in space. The ISS is in the thermosphere. It has the most extreme temperatures on Earth (technically thermosphere is still part of Earth’s atmosphere) from 120 C to minus 160 C in two hours. Earth radiates to space at the tropopause (10 to 17 km altitude)

Doug Huffman
November 16, 2018 4:37 am

People love to quote and mis-quote George Santayana, so I’m often referring back to his works. Recently I found this gem on scepticism;
Scepticism and Animal Faith (1923)
Scepticism is the chastity of the intellect, and it is shameful to surrender it too soon or to the first comer: there is nobility in preserving it coolly and proudly through long youth, until at last, in the ripeness of instinct and discretion, it can be safely exchanged for fidelity and happiness.
The Works of George Santayana p. 65
(This from Wikiquotes, on-line and convenient)

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Doug Huffman
November 16, 2018 6:08 am

“Fortune favors the prepared mind.” Skepticism can be too harsh.

Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 4:57 am

Regardless of the cynical skeptical misunderstanding posted – the early snowfall poses an interesting lesson. It is the 22-year anniversary of the earliest snow in DC. 14 inches near Buffalo, 5 cm in Toronto. Maybe the 22-year lapse is coincidental but it is also the full solar cycle of magnetic polarity and the solar magnetic cycle now is very weak. The thermosphere is approaching the low T of the previous solar minimum and Tony Phillips has added it to the Space weather site. The thermosphere is not a cause but a symptom of the solar control of climate. As the minimum occurs the thermosphere cools and shrinks and satellites must be moved or they may sink and burn. The lower atmosphere also shrinks and the jet streams meander creating the polar vortex and extreme weather.

According to the Danish Technical Institute, the weak solar magnetics at the solar minimum, incoming cosmic radiation seeds the clouds and the clouds are fundamental to climate change as water vapour is the most effective GHG.

The Danish theory is stronger than a hypothesis because of experimental support and the lack of support for the CO2 model. What am I missing here? CO2 probably has nothing to do with climate change.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 6:04 am

Lower atmosphere? The troposphere shrinks too? The jet streams that affect weather are in the tropopause where air pressure is 200 mb. The air pressure in thermosphere is less than 0.1 mb. How can gas at 0.1 mb compress a gas at 200 mb?

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 8:03 am

“incoming cosmic radiation seeds the clouds and the clouds are fundamental to climate change as water vapour is the most effective GHG.”

In Svensmark’s theory, clouds cause cooling by increasing Earth’s albedo not by reducing water vapor. It works in cloud chambers and the physics is sound but the atmosphere is more complicated. It should work but we need evidence that it does.

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
November 16, 2018 11:03 am

The solar cycle compliments the cloud experiments. Albedo is one factor but likely not the only one.….pdf?dl=0

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 6:31 pm

Water vapor causes warming not cooling. The relative humidity inside clouds is 100% because water vapor will not condense until the air is saturated. So clouds have greenhouse warming effect due to water vapor but their cooling effect due to reflection of solar radiation is greater.

Evaporation and precipitation are part of the water cycle. All things equal, warm climates have more evaporation and precipitation. So rainfall is an effect not a cause of temperature changes.

Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 5:13 am

The thermosphere is not a cause but a symptom of the solar control of climate.

Yes sir.

The Danish theory is stronger than a hypothesis because of experimental support and the lack of support for the CO2 model. What am I missing here?

It’s a poor theory, as Inverted Oulu cosmic rays have next to zero correlation with ISCCP clouds:

comment image

CO2 probably has nothing to do with climate change.

True, CO2 is a response to the climate:comment image

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 6:06 am

It’s not going to show with crosscorrelation lags; the reaction in the Danish cloud chamber experiments (Svensmark, et al …) is nearly instantaneous. Sorry, the papers are on another computer.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 7:11 am

It’s not going to show with crosscorrelation lag

At zero lag, ie, instantaneously, the cross-correlation perfectly shows a very insignificant 0.0097 correlation, so I don’t care one whit about the Danish chamber experiment any more than I do the CO2 in a bottle experiments.

I use the real world to conduct my hypothesis tests, not a chamber or a bottle.

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 7:30 am

Sulfate clusters in a cloud chamber are real experimental support. Crosscorrelation is a process that needs further work.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 8:37 am

Dr. Manns the data shows you have it backwards.

Real-world cloud data and other climate data are superior to lab experiments. That data shows it’s a fact that clouds nor climate are driven by cosmic rays.

You are holding on to a hypothesis falsified by real-world data, like the CO2 people.

What needs further work is your pov.

November 16, 2018 5:32 am

I think the tension is reducible to two irreconcilable paradigms: a science co-opted by the methodologies of post-modern relativism, and a science constrained by scientific method. There will never be agreement between those who view science as a means of discerning immutable truth, and those who view science as a means of achieving results for the purpose of preserving privilege. One IS right and serves the interests of humanity, and the other IS destructive and serves the interests of a privileged guild. To take the stance that it’s all simply a matter of interpretation is to succumb to the post-modern framing that truth is relative. You always lose when you let someone frame the argument fraudulently.

Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 5:54 am

I am skeptical of appreciating the skepticism of North American science cohort. We must remember that it was a stubborn mindset which delayed American research into continental drift for most of the 20th century. It also ruined some pretty good researchers who were ahead of the curve. I might remind solar skeptics that American science has no monopoly on intelligent life. The quibbling on WUWT is clearly useless and supports my hypothesis. Scientific advance is punctuated equilibrium because of it. We are in some sort of dark age as a consequence. If you have nothing material to add, don’t comment, just think.

Please read Karl Popper’s elegant philosophy book, “The Logic of Scientific Discovery” and then consider your words carefully because ‘fortune favors the prepared mind’. The Paradis fire has occurred during a solar minimum on the lee side of the jet stream. Many notable wildfires in North America appear to be set up during solar minima.

I’m well aware of the problem’s of proof and disproof; I’m only commenting on one of several working hypotheses in my computer and consciousness, and the minute I start to believe my own hypothesis, I know I’m a dead duck as a scientist.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Dr Francis Manns
November 16, 2018 7:02 am

Many notable wildfires in North America appear to be set up during solar minima.

The solar minimum wildfires set-up is primarily due to growing droughts caused by low TSI low tropical evaporation and subsequent high summer UV index over the SW and midwest US.

I might remind solar skeptics that American science has no monopoly on intelligent life. The quibbling on WUWT is clearly useless and supports my hypothesis.

Sounds like Macron whining for respect. Quibbling usefully sharpens the contrast between ideas.

Scientific advancement has already occurred here at WUWT on the solar-climate front, and the quibbling over it that you call useless helped sharpen the right arguments for that advancement.

Scientific advance is punctuated equilibrium because of it. We are in some sort of dark age as a consequence.

We’ve been in a dark age because too many have believed climate science fiction over empiricism, and too many are under the sway of cult of personality authority figures expousing that science fiction and propaganda.

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 7:22 am

I partly agree.

Dr Francis Manns
Reply to  Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 7:27 am

The wildfires are usually in the lee of the stalled Jetstream meander and the floods are in the cold front as it stalls. You have seen part of the story I would never have known. We are all blind men holding a piece of the elephant.

Respectfully whining…

Gordon Lehman
November 16, 2018 9:35 am

Interesting to frame the echo chamber as lionizing Rud and vilifying Mosh. Havn’t noticed Rud treated with kid gloves here. Mosh has a bad habit of treating even substantive objections as echo chamber fare. I look forward to his long post.

November 16, 2018 9:43 am

“I intend to try and enhance real skepticism, in context arguments, and real scientific discussions on this blog.”
“But a core level it all comes down to a legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data.”

Noble sentiments but not when I’m bombarded daily for years by the most outrageous claims by so called scientists that produced this sort of drivel and even that list wouldn’t do it justice as you couldn’t keep up with it all-

A lot of it driven by MSM illiterates and political flunkies but the silence of any so called climatologists to all that was deafening and if none of them called it out then they also served with the silence of lambs. How on earth can you possibly call WUWT an echo chamber when faced with all that junk science over the years and the criminal debasement of the scientific method? It was never about the science for these half baked idealogues and their lunar prescriptions that will be the only thing that brings them undone in the longer term.

All was politics and still is and there’s no escaping that now for any of them hitching their shooting star and tenure to it all. There’s no half way house anymore and you’re either with us or you’re with them because that’s the way they wanted their deniers but now for their prescriptions with the odd reminder of why we don’t believe their pseudo science. I’ll keep my ear out for any real investigative climate science that isn’t pushing a barrow but that’s very thin on the ground. You can’t live in the past Charles.

patrick michaels
November 16, 2018 10:26 am

I think CTM is dead-on here, giving credit where credit is due. Mosh is brash, but he has a good mind and is worth reading. In that vein, I am seaking comments on my Levin tape, where I am tryint to run a middle ground between a Levin I suspect would like me to go into the “there is no such thing camp” and the Hansens of the world:


Pat M.

Pat Frank
Reply to  patrick michaels
November 16, 2018 12:15 pm

Pat Michaels, Steven Mosher has nothing worthwhile to say about climate science.

And CTM is wrong about this: “But a core level it all comes down to a legitimate disagreement on the interpretation of data.

It is not a legitimate disagreement about interpretation of data. It’s a disagreement between people who know how to interpret data, and those who do not.

Climate modelers do not know how to interpret data.

After *considerable* experience with their lack of training in data analysis, I know that they are not competent to evaluate their own models.

Climate models have no predictive value at all. It’s now easy to show that. But the field does not brook falsifications and obstinately carries on with their false narrative.

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 4:26 pm

Pat Frank “Pat Michaels, Steven Mosher has nothing worthwhile to say about climate science. ”
You learn lot from the absence of data as well as the presence of data.
Mosher has done some extremely good things and is quite up to speed on all things climate.
He differs in having evolved from a Luke warmer/?skeptic to a believer that we have to take action now to prevent/moderate future damage.
This has led him to consciously or uncosciously interpret his data in a way that fits global warming. It may be having to work with the people he does but I feel he is too principled for that.
Takes all sorts of beliefs to make a world. You can have people with lots of knowledge take opposite positions but they stick to their core beliefs.
His belief springs from an unwavering attachment to CO2 GHG forcing and an inability to see that other factors obviously mitigate against the temperature rise such as proposed by Spencer.
One can always see the forcings that work for your ideas but are quite blind to the forcings against, and that is equally true for skeptics, but we cannot see it either.
He has a lot of worthwhile things to say about climate science, challenge his position.

Pat Frank
Reply to  angech
November 16, 2018 5:19 pm

angech, Steve Mosher wrote a book about climategate with Thomas Fuller. He also outed Peter Gleick as the composer of the Heartland fraud memo. Steve has also apparently mastered R and has written some code for BEST. All very wonderful things.

However, Steve has no training in science at all and knows neither climate science or measurement evaluation.

He has nothing worthwhile to say about climate science, unless one elevates subjective opinion to objective value. I don’t. You shouldn’t either.

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 9:13 pm

Mosher and Fuller’s book got me started after I read about Climategate in the WSJ. I have never commented on any of his pointless drive-bys – it’s like they’re from his evil twin; but feel a debt to him and Fuller.

I’m an engineer of some 40+ years practicing with no interest whatsoever in climate or earth science, but have followed this blog and others since about 2010 and remain interested in this very weird animal climate change. A game of fractions of a degree temperature divided by a planet. And somehow, this vanishingly tiny delta; practically immeasurable, with no practical empirical effect on anything whatsoever, is a hot political topic of concern driving legislation across the world. Fascinating.

And as for our friend Mosher, yes, he is mercifully ignorant of error analysis / measurement evaluation in a game of tiny fractions of a degree temperature. To me, the entire field of Climate Science is pure junk science due to the lack of attention to detail of measurement and measurement error. The so-called heating is possibly within the error band of our measurement capability. Really. Absolutely nothing may be happening. If this was a real problem, we’d fix the measurement part. The Surface Stations Project was simply awesome. Incidentally, I’ve designed temperature sensors. They’re tough to get right. Offset. Hysteresis. Drift. Calibration. It’s real work making a transducer that is honestly right.

As far as the “science” here; it’s interesting to read this blog – it’s still one of my favorites. It’s not an echo chamber. The conversation has shifted though, because the climate hasn’t, and it was supposed to. It’s 2018; practically nothing climate-wise is out of the ordinary. Yawn.

And this topic has been made political – by the advocates not the skeptics.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 10:56 pm

gregole, I completely agree with your take. The entire AGW field is a scientific crock.

I’ve published on error in the air temperature record. I hope you might like the papers, both open access.

1) a representative global systematic error: (869.8 KB pdf)

2) a false but unrecognized error imposed on the record by the poor methodology in the field: (1 MB pdf)

3) Here’s a look at the entire field, models, paleo-T and global T. Not open access, sorry.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 2:20 am

“However, Steve has no training in science at all and knows neither climate science or measurement evaluation.”

weirdly you know nothing about the training I went through from 1985 to 1993

you know nothing out my publications in that period either.


more fact free assertions from Pat Frank

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 12:20 pm

Whatever training you went through, Steve, there’s no evidence that any of it was scientific, given the science-free content of your posts that are purportedly about science.

Publications … I searched Web of Science for Mosher, Steven, between 1984-2018, when you should have finished your training and published whatever it was you say you’ve published.

Five papers turned up, none of which have anything to do with science. All of them are by Steven W. Mosher, whose address is at the Population Research Institute in Washington DC, and who isn’t you.

Google Scholar turned up a Steven Mosher who’s published on the biomass of copepods and clams. But he’s at the University of Washington and is not you, either.

What have you published in science, Steve?

Google Scholar also turned up some patents by SM Mosher, who likely is you, given your CV at Berkeley Earth.

They include 1993 US5272652A “An expanded field of view visual display concept [for] air-to-air combat…” and US Patent 8,762,843, 2014 “modifying media content playback based on limited input…”

I didn’t search further, but acknowledge you have several patents. They appear to be software-related.

So congratulations on career successes in a technical field.

Your academic accomplishments, while very wonderful, do not mention any training in science or any publications. Your CV says you have, “BA’s with honors in both English Literature and Philosophy” from Northwestern University. Admirable, but no science.

So lay it out for us, Steve. Show everyone I’m wrong about your apparent lack of training in science and lack of measurement experience. Justify that “Meh.” Or have it for dinner.

(You have attacked Mosher long enough, lets it go since you are too deep into the education fallacy, damaging your credibility in the process. Go look up Milton Humason, or Clyde Tombaugh then try disregarding their early contributions despite their having NO science degree.) MOD

Steve Heins
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 12:37 pm

Frank, do you have the same problem with Eschenbach that you have with Mosher?

steven mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 3:46 pm

you assert i have no training.
proving a negative should be fun.


of course if you found evidence you would alter your claim.

we disagree.
you versus me and the rest of science. ho hum

Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 5:46 pm


Thanks for the kind reply and thanks for the links to the papers you’ve authored. They look interesting and when I rest up a bit and get a little time, I’m studying them in detail. This is why I keep coming back to WUWT.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 9:47 pm

CTM, my comments follow from Pat Michaels and angech. It’s not about Steve Mosher’s training. It’s about the lack of science in his comments that reflects a lack of training. I’ve acknowledged his accomplishments. None in evidence are in science.

Steve Mosher has made personal attacks repeatedly on many threads, e.g., the above accusation of dishonesty: “of course if you found evidence you would alter your claim.” and including lying about me (see April 3, 2012 at 10:44 am).

He lied here (November 17, 2018 at 4:07 pm) as well. I have never, ever, denigrated Willis. Nor have I equated Steve and Willis.

I have criticized Steve’s posts and questioned his training, but have never made personal attacks on him. I’ve challenged him to produce evidence of my doing so and he has never produced a single instance.

Steve wrote that I didn’t know of his training or publications, so I researched them. Doing so is not a personal attack or engaging an education fallacy.

Were Steve’s comments about science to be knowledgeable, his training would not be an issue. Hence your references to Milton Humason and Clyde Tombaugh are not relevant.

My criticism of Steve does not involve an education fallacy but rather a content absence.

Steve has been obstreperous in his criticisms of me, none valid many insulting.

I have nothing but high respect for Willis Eschenbach. He has contributed mightily to this board and has produced many extremely insightful and technically challenging studies with significant, perhaps unique, scientific content. Most of them looked publishable to me. The difference with Steve Mosher’s production here could not be greater.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 18, 2018 12:08 pm

gregole, thanks for your interest. It’s very appreciated. 🙂

steven mosher
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 17, 2018 4:07 pm


your approach is to vouch for yourself and denegrate others like me and willis who do science without formal degrees.

you sound like the guys who claim believe me i am climate scientist.

Mann like behavior.

Pat Frank
Reply to  steven mosher
November 18, 2018 12:39 pm

My approach is to do the work and publish the results for everyone to see, Steve.

I’ve authored several posts here at WUWT, all open to public scrutiny and criticism, and have engaged my critics in the comments sections.

I’ve published peer-reviewed papers on error analysis in climate science, listed in my reply to gregole at November 16, 2018 at 10:56 pm.

They also include the 2016 Conference paper from the 48th WFS International Seminars on Nuclear War and Planetary Emergencies in Erice, available at World Scientific Publishing, which is a more extended look at the impact of systematic error and instrumental resolution on the global air temperature record.

I have never asked for belief. Anyone who likes can read my published work and decide for themselves the merits of my work.

The work you do at BEST ignores the limits of instrumental resolution and neglects systematic measurement error. When did that sort of thing become science?

I have never, ever denigrated Willis. Anyone can ask Willis and decide for themselves the relative truth content of our declarations.

Bob Weber
Reply to  patrick michaels
November 16, 2018 12:28 pm

Hello and thank for standing up in public for climate skepticism. We really don’t have enough people doing that, and you certainly exude competence and authority, but so do a lot of nice people with whom I disagree. I want to offer you constructive feedback, as you requested.

I made it to 2:42, and had to stop.

You mentioned the 1976 thermosphere temperature drop prediction as an indicator of the soundness of greenhouse gas theory. This is wrong. It was a solar minimum year, and the thermosphere was cold then for the same reason it is now from low solar activity. So the prediction was based on the wrong attribution. I see this happen so often, the attribution owed to solar activity going to GHG theory.

The attribution for the great 2014-16 ENSO goes to solar activity:

comment image

ENSO development, long-term ocean warming/cooling, and the “pause” all depend on the amount of incoming solar energy over time wrt the solar warming threshold, the ‘solar anomaly’ zero point I empirically determined in 2014 of 120sfu F10.7cm, 94 v2 SSN, and 1361.25W/m^2 SORCE TSI, as shown in the solar collage images.

You mentioned ‘about half’ the 0.9 temperature rise since 1880 was from GHGs.

Here’s where the rubber hits the road:comment image

GHGs caused none of the temperature rise. Further, the IPCC started out in 1880 at the bottom of low solar energy, and they completely ignore the magnitude of the modern solar maximum and the warming from it. The first 3 solar cycles #12-14 after 1880 were low cycles that brought down the temperature.

comment image

That was for less than a minute of your speaking. If you are interested, I’m willing to watch the rest and give you further feedback. Be careful what you ask for 😉

I see no reason to try to run the middle ground. CO2 is a climate response not a driver.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Bob Weber
November 16, 2018 2:26 pm

Bob Weber, you put your finger on a central mistake made by all the AGW aficionados. They invariably take CO2 radiation physics as a greenhouse theory.

That’s what Pat Michaels does in the video, when he discusses thermosphere temperature drop.

The CO2 radiatively decays in the thermosphere. It decays by collision in the troposphere. The collisional decay puts extra kinetic energy into the atmosphere.

The AGW crowd immediately jumps to more kinetic energy = more air temperature = greenhouse heating. Pace Pat Michaels.

But the terrestrial climate has a number of fast response channels. Convection, evaporation, cloud formation, precipitation, all can remove that extra kinetic energy without any perceptible change in atmospheric sensible heat. Fritz Moller pointed that out in 1963, and the field has studiously ignored his point ever since.

Richard Lindzen has made the same point and he’s been vilified for it. Lindzen has also pointed out that the atmosphere can gain heat without any necessary change in total energy flow at all. He’s been vilified for that, too.

The whole AGW thing is a pseudo-scientific charade, led mostly by people who don’t even know they’re acting.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Pat Frank
November 16, 2018 7:26 pm

Bob and Pat,
Dr. Michaels said stratospheric cooling not the thermosphere. It’s a prediction of GHG radiative transfer. Weather phenomena and greenhouse effect occur mostly in the troposphere. The thermosphere is already in space where the ISS is orbiting.

Bob Weber
Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
November 17, 2018 8:00 am

Thank you. I stand corrected and my apologies for that quick oversight. However…

Simultaneous evidence of 1976, 2008/9, and 2018 solar minimum whole earth cooling, from the ocean, the surface, and atmosphere through the stratosphere and thermosphere indicate the cumulative solar cooling effect is pervasive at all levels.

So the principle in my original point also applies to the stratosphere, therefore I make the same conclusion as before that the attribution to GHGs for stratospheric cooling in 1976 is still owed to solar activity.

It’s still a mistake to attribute warming or cooling to GHGs, which are passive and don’t store energy as GHG theory says. The ocean depths and land surface are the store for incoming solar energy. The sun’s activity and varying energy state provide either enough energy for warming, or not, over time.

The prediction of heat leaving, or the stratosphere cooling as caused by GHG radiative transfer is missing the point as to where the heat comes from, what is in control. It was a lucky prediction based on the wrong reason, mis-attribution.

The solar minimum atmosphere cools and shrinks because the sun has provided less energy, not because of something GHGs do.

Pat Frank
Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
November 17, 2018 12:39 pm

Thanks, Dr. S, you’re right. Pat Michaels said stratosphere, not thermosphere.

You’re also right that the cooling a prediction from radiative transfer. Thank-you for that. You’re entirely accurate.

Pat Michaels said the cooling is a prediction of greenhouse theory, which it is not.

A complete theory of the climate will explain the physics of the warming of the atmosphere. It will include radiative physics. But radiative physics is not that theory.

There is presently no physical theory that predicts the radiative transfer of energy from vibrationally excited CO2 will produce sensible heating of the atmosphere.

Dr. Strangelove
Reply to  Dr. Strangelove
November 17, 2018 6:53 pm

Bob, looking at the UAH chart, there are several temperature drops (“cooling”) 1985, 1989, 1993, 2000, 2008, 2012, 2018. Do you attribute them to solar cycles?
comment image

“It’s still a mistake to attribute warming or cooling to GHGs, which are passive and don’t store energy as GHG theory says.”

GHG theory doesn’t say GHG store energy. It says IR is absorbed and emitted by GHG.

“The prediction of heat leaving, or the stratosphere cooling as caused by GHG radiative transfer is missing the point as to where the heat comes from”

Atmospheric physicists know where the heat comes from but that is not their point. Engineers know the heat in car’s engine does not come from the radiator. But if the radiator malfunctions, the car’s engine will overheat.

Dr. Strangelove