Don Easterbrook is a zombie

Don Easterbrook is back, and his misunderstanding of Greenland’s climate history rides again in two remarkable posts at µWatts — attempted demolitions of the new paper every denier worth his (or her) salt is frothing at the mouth to claim has been rubbished, the 11,300 year global paleoclimate reconstruction of Marcott et al1. Unfortunately Easterbrook is as far off the mark in his two essays at µWatts (one, two) as he has ever been, which makes not only him look stupid, but everyone who relies on his “work”2.

The easiest thing for me to do to debunk Don would have been to republish this post from January 2011, because all of the points I make there remain true, and are sufficient to discredit Easterbrook’s interpretation of Greenland temperatures and their relevance to Marcott et al, but this time round Don has actually added a couple of extra mistakes — I presume just to keep people like me on their toes. So, for the record, here are Don’s new errors:

Continue reading “Don Easterbrook is a zombie”

  1. A. Marcott, J. D. Shakun, P. U. Clark, A. C. Mix. A Reconstruction of Regional and Global Temperature for the Past 11,300 Years. Science, 2013; 339 (6124): 1198 DOI: 10.1126/science.1228026 []
  2. That means the Heartland Institute’s James Taylor, who relies on Easterbrook’s efforts in his latest Forbes article, and looks like a chump because of it. Well, he already looks like a chump in many respects, but this is a doozy, as chump-making status goes. []

Arctic sea ice forecast: it’s going to be tough to stay cool

Bad news from the Arctic is piling up as we head into the last few weeks of the melting season. The various measures of sea ice area, volume and extent are plummeting towards a new record minimum. I have therefore reviewed the history of Arctic sea ice melting seasons since 2007, and compiled my own forecast of how the rest of the year is going to pan out. Remember, you read it here first…

When Arctic sea ice area sets a new record low in the next couple of weeks, the usual suspects1 will say: “You can’t trust area, sea ice extent is the only valid metric“.

When Arctic sea ice extent sets a new record low in September, the following arguments will be run in parallel:

  • There will be a frantic search for a definition of extent in which a new record was not set
  • There will be a complaint that the satellite record has been blighted by the failure of a sensor and the calibrations needed to get a new sensor in operation have corrupted the record2
  • It will be claimed that it was all caused by the major Arctic storm that hit in August, and thus can’t be attributed to global warming3
  • It’s cyclical — it’s all happened before, in the 1930s4, and is therefore nothing unusual
  • That it’s irrelevant, because it’s not global and not happening where anyone lives so can’t possibly matter.

When the sea ice extent and area anomalies blow out to record levels in early October because of the delayed freeze-up, there will be silence.

When the re-freeze starts, and the Arctic basin is covered in ice once more (early December), Anthony Watts will report on the record rate of ice formation, calling it a “stunning recovery“.

When a cold spell hits the Eastern US and/or Western Europe in December/January, caused by a major Arctic Oscillation excursion and the resulting big slow-moving loops in the polar jetstream5, the usual suspects will cackle loudly that global warming has suffered another mortal blow from which it will never recover.

Long range forecast for the next five years, until the Arctic Ocean is ice free in summer? Rinse and repeat.

  1. Being Watts, Goddard, Bastardi, Jo Nova, Delingpole, the GWPF, Morano and their NZ poodle, Richard Treadgold. []
  2. With added bonus insinuations of fixing and fraud by “warmist” scientists. []
  3. In 2007, the record low was all down to winds, remember? []
  4. Or pick a date (any date), based on an old press clipping reporting anecdotal evidence of ice loss. []
  5. A result of massive heat loss from the Arctic Ocean during the refreeze, see the work of Jennifer Francis, reported earlier. []

Hypocrisy rules: Monckton ducks debate

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Peter Hadfield, aka video blogger potholer54, notes with some interest that while the noble Lord, Christopher, the discount Viscount Monckton of Brenchley has plenty of time on his current US trip to indulge in fantasies about the President’s birth, long Skype chats with classrooms of students, and addresses to California politicians, he has been unable to find the time to respond to the very public debate with Hadfield that he had committed to on Anthony Watts µWatts blog. The uncharitable might suggest this was because he was getting a drubbing. There’s a big difference between winning a debate through oratory, one of the potty peer’s genuine accomplishments, and living by the undeniable facts. Full text of Hadfield’s open letter here, together with a list of his debunking videos. Good value.

See also: Climate Crocks, Barry Bickmore, and Eli’s burrow.

[Lemon Jelly]

The real Climategate: Heartland’s hypocrisy on display

It’s been a bad week for the Heartland Institute — the US lobby group recently shown to have funded New Zealand climate denialists. Documents leaked this week expose Heartland’s fund-raising and climate strategies to the cold light of day, and a major new piece of research by John Mashey demonstrates that Heartland has been acting outside of the rules governing the tax-exempt status it claims for itself.

Documents relating to a Heartland board meeting held in January were sent to a number of bloggers earlier this week, and have been made available by DeSmogBlog. The papers give a very full account of Heartland’s budget and plans for 2012, right down to individual staff salaries, and provide details of funding streams from players big and small. The largest — described as the “anonymous donor” — provided Heartland with $8.6 million over 2007-11 for its climate campaigns (see pps 20 and 21 of this document).

Key points from the documents:

  • Heartland plans to create a “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Schools” that “isn’t alarmist or overtly political”, and plans to pay Dr David Wojick $25,000 a quarter to develop the materials.
  • Heartland is planning to fund Fred Singer’s Not the IPCC project to the tune of $1.5 million over 2010-13, and is budgeting monthly payments of $11,600 to Craig Idso, $5,000 to Singer and $1,667 to Bob Carter during 2012.
  • Anthony Watts (of µWatts fame) is being funded to the tune of $88,000 to develop a web site featuring US temperature data.
  • Current funders include tobacco companies, fossil fuel interests, and even Microsoft.

Heartland claims the documents were stolen, and that one — relating to their strategy on climate denial — was faked, even though the main points in that “confidential memo” are corroborated by the other documents. The Heartland response includes threats of legal action against web sites and media carrying stories based on the documents, and says:

…honest disagreement should never be used to justify the criminal acts and fraud that occurred in the past 24 hours. As a matter of common decency and journalistic ethics, we ask everyone in the climate change debate to sit back and think about what just happened.

Those persons who posted these documents and wrote about them before we had a chance to comment on their authenticity should be ashamed of their deeds, and their bad behavior should be taken into account when judging their credibility now and in the future.

Back in 2009, when the emails stolen from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia first hit the web, Heartland president Joseph Bast wrote:

The release of these documents creates an opportunity for reporters, academics, politicians, and others who relied on the IPCC to form their opinions about global warming to stop and reconsider their position. The experts they trusted and quoted in the past have been caught red-handed plotting to conceal data, hide temperature trends that contradict their predictions, and keep critics from appearing in peer-reviewed journals. This is new and real evidence that they should examine and then comment on publicly.

The hypocrisy burns…

Meanwhile, the news that Bob Carter is retained by Heartland to undermine the work of mainstream science through the NIPCC is making waves in Australia (Graham Readfearn, SMH), but hasn’t yet been picked up in New Zealand. Carter’s role as a “science advisor” to the Heartland funded NZ Climate Science Coalition and its ICSC spin-off, as well as to Nigel Lawson’s secretive Global Warming Policy Foundation raises serious questions about just how lucrative denial can be, as well as illuminating the international web of climate denial.

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The unfettered rage of dismal denial

I knew that climate scientists were on the receiving end of some nasty emails, but it was still a shock to read James Hansen’s recent communication, in the course of which he gives a sample of the emails that he’d had in just the one week. They’re a dismal example of the unfettered rage which marks at least some sectors of the denialist world. Imagine receiving this sort of thing in your mail not just on the odd occasion but regularly:

  • You rework your temperature data sets every time Mother nature proves you wrong, in an effort to force Her to agree with your ill conceived ideas about energy and nature. You, in fact, are the one committing crimes against humanity by lying, conniving, and concealing the truth about climate change on our world.
  • What a pile of nonsense, Hansen. You take money and junkets hand over fist from people who pay you to mouth off trash like that. You aren’t exactly “forthcoming” about the “sources and amounts” of your graft – I mean, “gifts.” You ought to be ashamed of yourself,
  • You sir are a walking crime against humanity and you know exactly why. You lie constantly about man-made global warming.
  • You are not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination. You are a global warming shill and a con-artist.
  •  Are you some kind of lunatic??

And those are just my extracts from his selection from a week’s haul.

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