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Comments matching the search bob carter:

    More than 100 comments found. Only the most recent 100 have been displayed.

  • Models are unreliable

    MA Rodger at 21:00 PM on 6 July, 2021

    Bob Loblaw @1289,

    The paper that fuelled the 2011 Scientific American item linked @1288 is presumably Carter et al (2005) 'Our calibrated model has poor predictive value: An example from the petroleum industry' [ABSTRACT] which may provide the argument for "6 or 7 in interdependant variables" preventing model calibration although likely this is no more than a different version of the famous Fermi quote:-

    “I remember my friend Johnny von Neumann used to say, with four parameters I can fit an elephant, and with five I can make him wiggle his trunk.”

    However, this Fermi quote concerns "arbitrary parameters" and what Carter had in mind when he says "As far as I can tell, you'd have exactly the same situation with any model that has to be calibrated," isn't defined. But this 2011 Scientific American quote of Carter (I don't see an earlier statement of it) has occasionally been used by denialists to suggest the same calibration situation affects climate models. Of course GCMs do have a big challenge with calibration but I don't think it is down to the number of independent variables. There are many physical measures that can be used to callibrate the processes within GCMs, which is probably why they can (collectively) demonstrate useful predictive qualities. (The graphic is from this 2021 RealClimate post.)

    RealClimate GCM performance 2020

  • Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    MA Rodger at 07:55 AM on 18 January, 2019

    Dan Joppich @12,

    You are entirely wrong to suggest that the graphic you linked to (below) was the work of Bob Carter. (Even an image he does use is attributed to others & not his work. See image here of graph photographed at a Bob Carter talk which is derived from Davis & Bohling (2001).)

    Holocene Temperature from Wikipedia

    You are rather naive in believing that a google search will yield a Bob-Carter-created graphic of Holocene ice-core tempoerature records. And if you had bothered to read the description of the graph on the web-page you linked-to, you would know it is not a plot reconstructed from Greenland ice-core data and has zero Bob Carter authorship.

    And your naivity must be ridiculously great to think any would believe that you "didn't even read whatever the article was on the page" when @8 you have reproduced two (almost) full paragraphs from that very page word-for-word.

  • Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    MA Rodger at 09:57 AM on 17 January, 2019

    Dan Joppich @8 is cutting-&-pasting comment from this denialist web-page which is why the Wikipedia holocene temperature graphic he provides link-to is being wrongly attributed to Bob Carter. Also the cutting-&-pasting failed to transfer a link within the comment, the link to Willard Watts's other website. Apparently, familiarity with this other website is assumed

  • Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    Daniel Bailey at 07:52 AM on 17 January, 2019

    "And, although looking at the past 2,000 years, we see several warming periods (Roman, Medieval), overall, cooling occurred at an even faster rate. Significantly, the last 700 years, which includes the historically colder Little Ice Age (LIA), brought even faster cooling and then warming coming out of the LIA into the Modern Late 20th-Century Warm Period"

    Let's look at the global temperatures reconstructed from proxies over that interval:

    NCA4, Volume 1

    "Scientists have concluded that over the last 10,000 years, the temp is relatively flat...The graph was created based on Greenland ice core data by the late paleoclimatologist, Professor Bob Carter"

    Why would you think that a temperature reconstruction from Greenland, a regional-to-local record, would have any meaning for the rest of the globe?

    Let's look at the global temperatures reconstructed from proxies over the past 20,000 years, for context:

    Last 20,000 years

    For fun, here's the same over the past 800,000 years:

    Last 800,000 years

    For more on Bob Carter, see here.

  • Climate Carbon Bookkeeping

    Dan Joppich at 05:31 AM on 17 January, 2019

    Thanks. This is very cool stuff. I haven't had a chance to read it thoughtfully due to my day job demands but I was curious about how this graph plotting temp data since the last glacial period (sorry, I couldn't figure out how to insert it here) . Scientists have concluded that over the last 10,000 years, the temp is relatively flat. Here's the link:

    The graph was created based on Greenland ice core data by the late paleoclimatologist, Professor Bob Carter. 

    It seems that over the past 10,000 years, we've seen warming and cooling oscillate within a range of +/- 2.5 degrees Celsius (D.C.). The rate today using satellite data (if you're familiar with Anthony Watts's other website, you know that nothing else will do) is 1.5 D.C./century, which is right within the Holocene averages.

    And, although looking at the past 2,000 years, we see several warming periods (Roman, Medieval), overall, cooling occurred at an even faster rate. Significantly, the last 700 years, which includes the historically colder Little Ice Age (LIA), brought even faster cooling and then warming coming out of the LIA into the Modern Late 20th-Century Warm Period.

    Of course, this data needs to be superimposed onto the CO2 data to be truly comparable to the conversation here, but it does narrow down our range to a possibly more relevant period in human history.

  • Ivar Giaever - Nobel Winning Physicist and Climate Pseudoscientist

    Atc at 09:59 AM on 15 March, 2018

    Magellan @90 and Tom Curtis

    We often see scientists from non-climate fields who believe they have sufficient expertise to understand climate science despite having done minimal research on the subject; William Happer, Fritz Vahrenholt, and Bob Carter, for example.

    What bothered me the most isn’t that they are from other fields or did minimal research; that could be a plus for having a different perspective. What bothered me the most is that nobody actually doing the research was able to convince nobel laureates on this topic of global warming. These guys are not idiots. It seems that with some good convincing presentations you should be able to get them all to fall in line. If you are not able to explain or convince another scientist and a Nobel laureate, it raises very very serious concerns that climate scientists don’t really have any substantive evidence. Why would any trained scientist remain unconvinced if you present him with the data and a good argument? 

    For instance, if he questions how you can even get an average temperature, the correct response should be. Here is how the scientists did it. Here are the considerations.  How we took the averages. Here are the questions and discussions. Here are the criticisms of this method. Here is what we finally settled on. This is the correlation and this is the causation. Remember he is a physicist. He is used to just doing an experiment to verify his theories. Climate scientists don’t have that luxury. They have to use some other method. They are in the same league as Darwin. And you know how evolution debate went. Almost parallel climate science. A consensus of Darwinian evolution. Finally giving way to accepting a minority view. My own understanding of evolution is now. Yes. There is evolution (not the current definition, undefined for me). No. It is not Darwinian. It is not random.   Likewise, a concensus of catastrophic man-made global warming.  Giving way to a minority view. My own understanding of global warming is: Yes. There is global warming (as partially due to natural variabilit). No. It is not catastrophic. It is only partially man-made. Probably not significant. Pollution is probably more of a pressing problem.

    I am not a scientist. I have come to my own conclusions by watching the various discussions on the internet. My belief is that from a starting point of zero knowledge on any scientific topic and using the scientific method you should be able to get to the truth logically. I also believe that if a scientist is unable to convince me logically by means of the scientific method, I remain unconvinced. No need of any consensus.

  • Analysis: How well have climate models projected global warming?

    Eclectic at 17:49 PM on 12 October, 2017

    Thank you, Dr Hausfather, for the summary on climate model projections (of past & present).

    "The models are much hotter than reality" is an enduring part of the Denialist faith.   An idee fixe, quite impervious to the evidence of the last 3 or 4 years of record-breakingly hot global surface temperatures.  And quite impervious to the concept of underlying physical causations of fluctuations in observations (or indeed, of causations of AGW).

    By chance, I came across the mention of an upcoming "Climate" book — the title escapes me, but the Editor is J. Marohasy [the Marohasy of zero credibility] and there are a score or so of chapters written as individual contributions, each by a different Denialist.  By the Usual Suspects, of course.  And including the late Bob Carter.

    However, among the Usual Suspects, one name stood out like a petunia in an onion patch — the journalist / poet / commentator Clive James [currently age 78 and in very poor health].   I had often enjoyed his informed & witty literary comments in his radio programs [discussions with poet the late Peter Porter] but I had never heard anything from him regarding scientific topics.   So, being curious, I chased down the newspaper article/essay (that he had composed in Dec2016 - Feb2017 or thereabouts) which was said to be his chapter in the upcoming "Climate" book.

    Result : the contents were a Denialist's usual mishmash of garbage.  "The climate models are wrong" was one of James's most prominent assertions — but he also threw in quite a number of other pieces of nonsense (too tiresome to relate the list: and I am sure readers of SkS can guess most of it!).  I particularly like Clive James's assertion that sea levels have hardly budged a millimeter since the 1950's.

    Altogether, his essay bristled with Strawman arguments, fake information, false analogies, and gross failure of logic.

    Sad to see a first-rate literary mind displaying a fourth-rate understanding of science & logic.   I would like to put the blame on the infirmities of age & illness — but the same degree of mental incapacity is seen in Denialists who are middle-aged and presumably fairly healthy.   Perhaps a deep current of underlying anger is the common factor in the personalities of science-deniers.

    There might have been, at a superficial glance taken 5 or 10 years ago, some sort of justification for making a tentative suggestion that "models" had a tendency to "run too hot".   But that suggestion can no longer be made, in view of the overall conditions of the last 30+ years.

    But I think few Denialists can face the truth, and they will take their concept of "incompetent models" with them to the grave — of course, since the models are incompetent, it simply must follow that the Earth cannot be warming & the ice cannot be melting & the sea level cannot be rising.   QED

  • Heartland Institute's misinformation campaign into schools

    MA Rodger at 20:25 PM on 21 April, 2017

    I'm surprised there is no link to the offending book(let). If for nothing else, there is the idea set out in the audio (Ep8 in theOP) that the book(let) is so wrong in its message that it presents an educational opportunity. So a link is surely needed for all those educational institutes who the deluded denialists Heartland Institute have yet to reach.

    I was also a bit shocked by the reference in the audio to Bob Carter's death. It is true that the booke(let) is the work (I should simply call it "lies" rather than "work") of three fake experts and such fake experts are indeed not such a numerous species. But Carter's name on the book(let) is not a case of postumous attribution of authorship. The book(let) was published a month or so prior to Bob Carter's death.

    Mind, the book(let) tells us it is based on a chapter from a far bigger work but that bigger work has yet to see the light of day. From what we are told, the bigger work would be 1,000 pages. (It is described as the third volume of a marathon 3-volume writing exercise which will apparently total 3,000 pages. The first two volumes comprise 933 pages & 1,062 pages.) Presumably, this Volume 3 of their magnus opus will be no more truthful than the preceeding pair. (I assume the second volume is nought but a pack of lies for the first certainly is. I checked a random section of their first volume  (Section 2.1: Forcings & Feedbacks - Carbon Dioxide, pp151-165.) and found fifty-seven fundamental errors.)


    The audio does discuss addressing the bare-faced lies within the book(let) ("...refute all the physical science claims they are making which are wrong...") but argues that it is more important to counter the bogus claim that "the 'scientific consensus' on the causes and consequences of climate change is without merit." While I would agree, pointing out the eye-watering stupidity of the bogus experts from NIPCC & Heartland can surely assist in showing how bogus is their primary claim.

    And with that in mind, when I randomly picked a chapter from the book(let) and then examined the primary evidence presented to support their first claim in that chapter I found these liars are actually 'hiding the incline' in a manner many time more significantly than the famous 'hide the decline' which they made such a fuss over. Their 'hide the incline' is illustrated by this graphic (usually two clicks to 'download your attachment').

  • Lots of global warming since 1998

    Tom Curtis at 19:29 PM on 18 March, 2016

    barry @29:

    "Once again you are presenting a different argument to the one I made."

    No!  I am presenting my own argument in relationship to the claim that you made.  If you were not so busy trying to call strawman or agreement, you might have learnt something - possibly realized that what you already knew but weren't thinking about made your original claims misleading and obfusticatory.

    Very briefly, once more, had Dana said:

    "The line which has the least sum of the squared differences for the satellite data has a positive slope"

    and you objected:

    "It does not. Not to statistical significance."

    Your claim would be simply false, representing a category error.  You would have interpreted a claim about the data as a claim about reality.

    Conversely, had Dana said:

    "That the line which has the least sum of the squared differences for the satellite data has a positive slope shows temperatures in fact rose over the interval"

    and you had objected:

    "Not it does not, for the error margin on the slope of the line includes zero"

    you would have been correct.

    Dana, of course, said nothing so precise as either of those statements.  He wrote:

    "The satellites show warming since 1998[.]"

    The question is then, which of the more formal statements above most closely conveys Dana's meaning.  It think it is the first, and clearly the first.  That is (firstly), because it was made to a popular audience, and popular audiences do not trouble themselves with error margins.  Therefore, it is invalid to interpret the claim in a way that requires understanding of error margins to be understood unless dictated by necessity.  It is also because Dana would, if challenged as to whether or not the satellite record by itself shows the warming to be real (ie, statistically significant), be genuinely puzzled as to why you would ask that question to the exclusion of the majority of the data, and to the exclusion of physics.  Why, in fact, in a popular discourse, are you discussing a purely academic question.

    Perhaps you are confused on this point because the 'no warming since 1998' has gone through several incarnations.  It started in 2005 with Bob Carter pointing out that the annual temperature of no year to 2005 was higher than 2005 (totally ignoring trends).  Overtime, it started bringing in discussion of statistical significance, but over the last year the argument has reverted to Carter's fraudulent basis.  In particular, the deniers have countered the fact that 2014 and 2015 were record setting years in the surface record by pointing out that they were not in the satellite record.  And, that simplistic argument no longer works.  Indeed, given that Spencer and Christy know about the lag in satellite temperature response to ENSO as well as anybody else, they knew it was only a matter of time before that argument would stop working when they made it.  That is, they knew the argument to be deceptive as they spoke. 

  • Scientists' open letter to the Wall Street Journal re: Ridley and Peiser

    Tom Curtis at 09:32 AM on 6 December, 2015

    With the hopeful permission of the moderator, and in respect to ryland @29:

    1)  Bjorn Lomborg was not denied a position at the UWA.  Rather, the AGW denied and then PM of Australia offered the UWA a special monetary grant on condition that they set up a "consensus center" administered by Lomborg.  The center was not to employ Lomborg, but other researchers by his invitation working on his flaws "Copenhagen concensus" model.  This was money entirely outside the normal academic grants process, and was not based on any academic assessment of the merits of Lomborg's work.  It was quite rightly rejected as a blatant attempt to provide Lomborg an additional platform for his pontifications which were considered desirable by the government not because of academic merit but because of political convenience.

    No attempt by Lomborg to be employed in Australia via normal academic processes has been rejected, and nor should it be.

    2)  Salby was sacked for: a)  Not undertaking his prescribed teaching load; b) failing to teach a course he was directly instructed to teach; and c) using university funding without permission to undertake a trip to Europe he was expressly denied permission to make as it conflicted with his teaching duties.  

    3)  Bob Carter was not sacked from James Cook University, and nor could he be as he had already retired.  He was not offered a renewal of his annual, unpaid position of adjunct professor because he was not undertaking the duties thereof.  That the failure to renew the offer was not due to his opinions on global warming is evident from the fact that the position has been renewed annually from 2002-2012, ten years over which he has been as vocal on climate change as he is now.  From JCU:

    "Dr Carter’s very prominent public contributions to the climate change debate is not something new. He has been promulgating his views, which of course he was entitled to do, for many years while holding an adjunct appointment. But what has changed over the years is the level of his contribution to the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences where he held his adjunct appointment.

    Academics holding adjunct appointments are expected to contribute on a regular and ongoing basis to one or more of the following University activities:
    • Teaching;
    • Collaborative research;
    • Postgraduate supervision; and
    • Staff and student consultations.

    The key question for an adjunct appointment is: “Proposed activities and Perceived Benefits to the School”. While Dr Carter has continued his own research and gives “public talks and advice about climate change and climate change policy” – again as he is perfectly entitled to do – such outreach activities are not related to the work of the School, and do not meet the need to contribute to the School as outlined above.

    The simple fact was that in the School’s view Dr Carter was no longer undertaking any of the activities within the School of Earth and Environmental Sciences that is required of an adjunct."

     In short, the adjunct professorship was not renewed because he was no longer teaching, undertaking collaborative research, supervising any post graduates or consulting with staff or students.  Rather, he was merely using his office for non-academic purposes.

  • Scientists' open letter to the Wall Street Journal re: Ridley and Peiser

    ryland at 07:54 AM on 6 December, 2015


    You comment "But in 15 years of following this subject quite closely I can't remember a single instance of someone losing their job in a significant scientific institution or failing to secure one becauser of their views about climate change or any aspect of it."

    Perhaps you need to follow it a bit more closely.  Bjorn Lomborg was denied a university position here in Australia because of his views of climate change.  He is not a "denier" but believes the dangers of climate change are overstated and there are more pressing problems. (see here)

    You will note no doubt that the vice president of the Academic Staff Association states

    "This isn't about censorship at all ... Lomborg is not a climate [change] denier; he believes the scientific evidence which overwhelmingly shows that climate change is happening, he just debates the economics of how we should deal with it," Mr Bunt said.  But he would say that wouldn't he?

    A more telling quote is from Greens Senator Rachel Sieweret who is reported as saying:

    "It was very clearly the Government's design to get someone in place that was running a different argument on climate change, to try and suggest that climate change isn't as significant an issue as it is," Senator Siewert said.

    "It was bad science, and I'm pleased that UWA has realised that.

    "[The Federal Government] clearly had a political agenda, and it was a mistake for the University of Western Australia to go along with it."

    As you can see Bjorn Lomborg's views cost him a position at UWA, which is where I got my PhD from.  I do not support the actions of UWA in this instance.

    You also may not of heard of Murry Salby and Bob Carter both climate change sceptics. Salby was dismissed from his position and Carter was not re-employed. You can read about it here and here.  The two references, the second of which is by Dana Nuccitelli give quite different views

  • Skeptical Science honoured by the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry

    mancan18 at 12:59 PM on 18 October, 2015

    Congratulations. This accolade is well deserved. The SkS site was and is a breath of fresh air in a country like Australia where the dialogue of Climate Change is dominated by the Institute of Public Affairs (IPA), the likes of Ian Plimer and Bob Carter, the Mining Council of Australia, the conservative contrarians in the ruling Liberal National Party of Australia and the Murdoch Press. I can at least now say to those who have been influenced by their contrarian line to go to SkS and do a bit of extra reading.

    However, it is not all done and dusted. Even today, the Sunday Telegraph has run a column by Miranda Devine (one of the big three along with Andrew Bolt and Piers Ackerman) that extols the virtue of digging up fossil fuels to save poor people in poor countries, and that global warming is not happening and it is all a conspiracy. I am not sure how you overcome such an overwhelmingly one sided view in the popular media. Usually the contrian debate goes along political lines or merely pays lip service to perhaps there has been some mild warming but it isn't a problem. The only response you can make to such arguments is that the person needs to understand the science more and they need to do more research. Sks is an important reference for that reason.

    Unfortunately, there seems to be two types of contrarians. There is the doubter, who may well argue with you on a purely scientific level, which is Ok. They are just demonstrating the natural skepticism of science, so Sks is important in giving them extra information; AND then there is the doofus, the blind denier, who just doesn't want to know, totally ignores it all, just isn't able to understand the scientific arguments, thinks it is all political or thinks it is all some sort of greenie/socialist conspiracy. You can easily tell who they are. They will call you a "warmist" or a "carbonite" or something. Not sure that Sks is going to be helpful informing people like these. Those people wouldn't go to the Sks site anyway and are likely to use derogatory language to describe the site and the scientists who write for it. Matt Ridley did, when describing John Cooke's 97% Consensus project as being discredited, in his recent contrarian article in the June 2015 edition of "Quadrant", by using parts of the IPAs latest contarian publication "Climate Science - The Facts" to make his case.

    Anyway SkS and John Cooke, well done. Keep it up, even though I sometimes feel that some of the discussion in the threads becomes a bit too esoteric for the lay public to follow at times. Mind you, I do understand why this is. It is because Sks still has to maintain scientific integrity so it can remain a valuable resource in the continuing AGW CC debate.

  • In a blind test, economists reject the notion of a global warming pause

    Tom Curtis at 15:10 PM on 19 September, 2015

    gregcharles @8, the economists where shown the NASA GISTEMP LOTI from 1880-2010 complete with a 5 year running mean, with the running mean value for a given year being the mean of that year plus the four previous years.  The data they were shown is shown as Fig 3 of the paper.  (Note, because this is a preprint, all figures and tables are shown at the end of the paper after the references.)  The economists where told:

    “A prominent Australian critic of conventional economics, Mr. X., publicly stated in 2006, that ‘There IS a problem with the growth in world agricultural output—it stopped in 1998.’ A few months ago, Mr. X. reiterated that ‘. . . there’s no trend, 2010 is not significantly more productive in any way than 1998.’ ”

    The six "test items" the experts where asked to respond to each refer to "the claim" by Mr X, but at least three claims are made in the quoted sentences, ie,:

    1)  That there was no growth in global "agricultural output" from 1998-2006 (first quote);

    2)  That there was no trend in global "agricultural output" from 1998-2010 (second quote, first clause); and

    3)  That 2010 was not significantly more productive "in any way" than 1998 (second quote, second clause).

    Depending on how each economist filtered this into one claim, they may have had different responses.  In particular economists who parsed the claim as "there was no trend" may well have responded differently to those who parsed it as "2010 was not significantly more productive than 1998".  Further, although these claims are in fact claims made by Bob Carter, with "world agricultural output" subsituted for "global means surface temperature" (or what ever equivalent Carter used), they are not the more typical claim that "the trend from 1998-2010 is not statistically significant".  This ambiguity raises questions about the interpretation of the economists responses.

    More troubling are the introduction of "Mr X" as a "prominent ... critic of conventional economics", which arguably might prime economists to disagree with Mr X; and (most troubling of all) that NASA GISTEMP was used when Bob Carter always uses either HadCRUT or UAH.  That is, the economists were not presented with the same data that Carter uses in support of his claims.  With HadCRUTv3 (the data actually avaible from the CRU and Hadley center in 2010), the economists might have supported Carter's claims, or not.  But this survey does not tell us.

    The latter point means we cannot infer from the economists conclusions about incompetence and/or fraud that Carter himself is incompetent and/or fraudulent (although there is far stronger evidence of this elsewhere).  Given the assumption that GISSTEMP better represent global temperature variation than HadCRUT, however, we can still draw the weak conclusion that it is either incompetent or fraudulent to conclude that there was no trend from 1998 to 2010 given the best available GMST index.  We cannot, however, similarly conclude from the economists responses that it is incompetent and/or fraudulent to conclude that the trend is not statistically significant, or that 2010 was not more productive than 1998, within statistical significance.  The reason for the restricted claim is that given ambiguity of the test items, the test results can only support the weakest claim.

  • Global warming deniers are an endangered species

    mancan18 at 10:19 AM on 25 July, 2015

    In Australia, Climate Change denial does pay. Australia is one of the world's largest coal exporters, a significant proportion of it's power generation comes from coal, and coal products are an important component the national income that underpins Australia's wealth. As a result, attitudes towards climate change follows party lines, with one party, Labor, promoting it as a serious issue and the other, Liberal/National Party, while giving it token support, take a "lukewarmer" position. This is the reason that the Government has implemented it's clayton's climate change policy, "Direct Action" and has attacked the climate advisory bodies, climate change funding arrangements for developing needed technologies, and promoted many climate change deniers to important positions upon it's economic advisory bodies.

    The reason for this is actually quite simple. One of the main Liberal/National party policy think tanks is the Institute of Public Affairs (the IPA). It is Australia's equivalent of the George C Marshall Institute. The IPA, along with other Liberal Party policy think tanks like the Menzies Research Centre and the H. R. Nicholls Society, all actively promote Climate Change denial. Scientists like climate change deniers, Ian Plimer and Bob Carter are attached to the IPA, providing advice related to climate change policy. Plimer is also an important member of the Mining Council of Australia, having been it's chairman, and he influences it's political stance. Gina Reinhart, Australia's wealthiest person, who made her money from huge mining projects, is also related to the IPA. She funded a Christopher Monkton speaking tour of Australia, at the height of the ETS/Carbon Tax debate when Labor tried to introduce an ETS. The IPA is also an important source of climate change denial material and underpins the political stance of Murdoch media outlets who reach around 83% of the Australian population, where right wing commentators like Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, and Piers Ackereman, and right wing shock jocks like Alan Jones and Ray Hadley, disseminate IPA inspired climate change denial material to their readers and listeners.

    Also, the IPA, through it's journal, provides climate change material to its readers, and it's latest effort comes in the form of a book called "Climate Change - the Facts 2014" with contributions from Ian Plimer, Richard Lindzen, Bob Carter, Nigel Lawson, Bill Kininmonth, Willie Soon, Christopher Monckton, Garth Paltridge, Richard Tol, Brian Fisher, Bob Carter, Donna Laframboise, Anthony Watts, Alan Moran amongst others and other climate change deniers. Also, this book seems to form the basis of Matt Ridley's latest essay in June's Quadrant magazine "How the Climate Wars Undermine Science", where John Cook's Consensus Project is discredited, (in their eyes), by referring to it as being biased and unrepresentative.

    Now I don't know about you, but, I don't think that climate change deniers are being marginalised in Australia. If anything, they are still pre-eminent due to the IPA's political and media reach. Trying to take effective action to tackle climate change in Australia has already seen the toppling of two prime minsters and a leader of the Liberal Party who did think that the issue was important. It will be a significant issue in the next election but whether the electorate will embrace it, after a fear campaign related to the hip pocket nerve and xenophobic fears related to asylum seekers, is questionable.

    While it is easier to have a debate with like minded people; what is happening in Australia, while the Sydney Morning Herald and the Guardian do present material properly conveying the 97% consensus; demonstrates why climate change advocates need to be more engaged with the climate change deniers from the IPA, the Murdoch press, and the right wing shock jock community, because, at the moment the denier/lukewarmer argument is still pre-eminent and not getting it's proper voice with Australia's public.

  • Lomborg: a detailed citation analysis

    mancan18 at 17:37 PM on 26 April, 2015

    Tom Curtis

    I am not saying that being wrong in science is a problem. Its not. In fact it normally leads to better understanding and a science that is more robust. I am also not saying that the h index is not an important measure to determine the credentials of professional academics. I was being devil's advocate in suggesting a SLC (safe level of carbon dioxide) index for those who enter the climate change argument. While the h index should be enough amongst professional academics to assess credentials, it does not help those outside academia in assessing credentials. Some form of SLC index would at least inform outsiders about the merits and positions of the various advocates. Or perhaps some CSC (Climate Science Credibility) credential based on the Consensus Project might be more useful in assessing climate scientists. Again I am being devil's advocate. Amongst climate science commentators, there is a huge difference in climate science credentials between the likes of Andrew Bolt, Richard Lindzen, Ian Plimer, Bob Carter, David Karoly, James Hansen, Judith Curry, Al Gore, Tim Flannery, Bjorn Lomborg and the various scientists who regularly contribute to sites like SkS. Unfortunately, for outsiders, there is a lot of noise which is hard to penetrate and creates doubt that allows any politically motivated denier to drive a truck through the arguments. There needs to be a simpler measure for the wider public to make an assessment as to the quality of what is being claimed. After all, those who believe the level of CO2 is not the key issue in the whole debate probably should not be given any credibity in the discussion. Because at the moment, we are right on track to release the CO2 that was naturally sequestored in the Earth's crust over millions of years in a little over 300 years putting CO2 levels not seen since the dinosaurs. Now anyone suggesting that this is a good thing needs to have their arguments closely scrutinised.  

  • Climate Deniers Employ Predatory Tactics in Fight Against Facts: Scientist

    william at 04:03 AM on 12 January, 2015

    Tom Curtis you're correct on Bob Carter at JCU not Macquarie.  Whilewriting I was thnking of Prof Salby but left him out as I didn't think he really fitted. I wrote Drapela but the spell interferer on Word altered it to Draper and I didn't check carefully enoiugh.  Phillippe Chantreau and Tom Curtis, I taught in a University for just over 33 years reaching the position of Professor and certainly at my university contrarian views on many things were put forward.  Universities are of course the places were controversy is or should be  brought up and discussed civilly.  I used to tell my students each year that some of the concepts in Biochemistry might well be proven wrong by next year but at the moment I was presenting the current thinking. And of course one man's garbage may be another man's treasure. And as for ministers being sacked if they don't conform to the thinking to which  the Greens consider they should conform, that is bordering on the sort of society satirised by George Orwell in "1984".  Of course univerities will say they dismissed an academic for whatever reason, it may not always be the real reason and who can prove otherwise?  

  • Climate Deniers Employ Predatory Tactics in Fight Against Facts: Scientist

    Tom Curtis at 23:19 PM on 11 January, 2015

    William @10 skates very quickly through some faux controversies regarding the dissassociation between certain professors known to have contrarian views on climate and their universities.  In every case he mentions, the university has denied the association was dissolved due to the persons views on climate, but William uncritically accepts the views of the contrarian on this, rather than the stated views of those in the know.  Further, he gets the facts wrong in both cases.  Bob Carter was Adjunct Professor at James Cook University (in northern Queensland), not at Macquarie University (in Sydney, New South Wales).  And Nicholas Drapela (not Draper) was informed that his contract would not be renewed, he was not sacked.

    What intrigues me is William's view that, "Surely a University with any credibility should welcome the airing of differing views".  As it happens, Drapela's "differing views" still survive on the internet, in the from of 80 slides from a 2008 talk.  The tone is easilly determined by considering slide 8:

    This is not atypical.  Indeed, the first 77 slides contain an indepth diatribe against climate science as being promoted by scientists and media personalities for notoriety and money, which is provided by government to further its assault on freedom.  He does take the time, however, to swipe at the Oregone State University (his employer) for founding an "Oregon Climate Change Research Institute" for the purposes of garnering more money (slides 11 &12).

    Of course, Drapela does (eventually) get of the conspiracy theories and starts discussing science.  On slide 77 he asks "If not CO2, then what?".  At that stage, however, he has not given one reason why not CO2.  Not a scintilla of science has crossed his path.  But all the science behind climate science is swept away as irrelevant because he wants to spin a conspiracy theory.

    But he does get onto his two slides of "skeptical" science eventually, with the first presenting his theory (solar fluctuations modulated by cosmic rays), and the second presenting the evidence in support of the theory:

    That is right.  His evidence is a graph from a 1991 paper, that was refuted by one of its coauthors in 1999, nine years before Drapela used it as the only scientific "data" in an 80 slide talk on cimate change.

    So in response to William's rhetorical question, I would have to say that Universities should welcome the airing of well presented, scientific views supported by data which the person discussing the topic has taken every effort to ensure is accurate, up to date and germain.  On the other hand they should take a very dim view of staff discussing outside their discipline and teaching by example that conspiracy theories are an adequate substitute for scientific rebutal, and that cherry picked falsified data are permissible means of supporting your "science".

    Perhaps William could clariffy his view?  Does he believe the openness of universities to debate should mean the complete dropping of any intellectual standards to make that debate possible?  Or should they perhaps require of their staff that they conduct scientific debates scientifically?


    h/t to Tamino, from whom you can get the link to the slides.

  • Climate Deniers Employ Predatory Tactics in Fight Against Facts: Scientist

    william at 21:09 PM on 11 January, 2015

    At the very real risk I run of being moderated to oblivion, Professor Mann conveniently, if understandably, totally ignores the  the actions of the anthropogenic global warming proponents.  Does Professor Mann consider it acceptable for the UK Greens to call for the sacking of "any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK seriously"?  Does he consider Owen Paterson, the UK Environmental Secretary, should have been sacked from his position as he was less than totally supportive of  AGW?  Should Professor Nicholas Draper have been fired from Oregon State University becasue he gives anti-climate change lectures?  Surely  a University with any credibility should welcome the airing of differing views.  Should Professor BobCarter have had his position of Adjunct Professor at  Macquarie University terminated, arguably because of his "Climate denier" views?  The role of human activity in causing Climate Change is a politically hot topic that has resulted in acres of the printed word and galaxies of electrons poured into emails and the internet in the on-going debate, a debate clearly not yet conclusively settled in the minds of many lay people.

  • The epidemic of climate science false balance in the media

    MA Rodger at 01:11 AM on 1 March, 2014

    Chris Snow @11.

    Back in October the BBC Radio 4 Today programme reported that the BBC could not find a British climate scientist that was not signed up to the IPCC's findings. That morning there were 6 items on the IPCC AR5 SPM release. The only skeptical voice was that of Lawson but from the archive and presented as an exemplar of wrongheadedness. It made for refreshing listening.

    However, by luchtime the numpties had managed to get Bob Carter onto The World At One, resulting in an attrocious piece of news reporting by the BBC (transcript here - Peter Stott was not even allowed to hear what Carter had said, due to 'technical problems' apparently). Of course, in 'finding' Carter the BBC had not found a British climatologist. Carter is Australian and a geolologist. But he does have a UK connection - as one of Lawson's Gentlemen Who Prefer Fantasy, by dint of the GWPF being a charity, he is thus able to spread his untruths at the UK taxpayer's expense.

  • US school infiltration attempt by Heartland’s IPCC Parody

    MA Rodger at 21:29 PM on 3 November, 2013

    Rob Nicholls @36.

    It wouldn't be so bad if it were solely those "who is completely new to climate science."  But it's not.

    The BBC recently gave Bob Carter free reign on Radio 4's World At One programme. Complaints were made. One said that this is like "the equivalent of giving a stork the right to reply on every appearance by Prof Robert Winston." The BBC's Head of Programmes' reply was "I believe this completely misrerpresents our approach wich is to give airtime on occasion to sceptics." (Their stress.) The BBC is saying that because not one denier appeared earlier in the day on Radio 4, the likes of Bob Carter is allowed to run riot on the mid-day news.

    The BBC said the interviewer "challenged him (Carter) about his credibility comparing the NIPCC's work" with the IPCC's work. Challenged? Here is the transcript (less the shorter following interview with Peter Stott who was asked by the interviewer to explain the IPCC's credibility and then challenged over the 'pause' and on Himilayan glaciers). And Peter Stott was unable to reply to Carter's nonsense because he wasn't allowed to know what Cater had said. (Due to "technical reasons", apparently.)

    So demonstrating the complete lack of veracity of the NIPCC reports, perhaps by debunking some exemplar section, does look like a useful peoject. That is, unless you actually do believe storks leave babies under goosberry bushes.

  • 2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes

    chriskoz at 21:23 PM on 5 July, 2013


    "dramatic music" is for large, poorly educated audience. Like most TV shows, they must add some "drama" to entice audience. Otherwise they would go out of business if they'd left with viewers like you & me only.

    I think it is getting better: not so long ago they used to entice audience by falsely pretending  the existence of "debate": i.e. showing Monckton, Bob Carter and even Tony Abbott arguing this science is "crap". No need to say that none of those characters (with the exception of Bob Carter) are even worth mentioning along the names of the scientists, let alone give then any air time. In case of Bob Carter, if giving him any time, it is mandatory to mention his personal  bias due to regular payments from The Heartland Institute in appreciation for his scientific opinion. Otherwise his apearance is misleading for poorly educatred audience.

    But not a hint of any "skepticism" in this program. Let's hope this change is for good, at least in Catalyst.

  • The Big Picture

    scaddenp at 11:17 AM on 27 March, 2013

    Pers. comm. comments from unnamed paleoclimatogist arent easy to pursue because cant see papers on which he bases opinions, but unless this Bob Carter, I would say he is somewhat uninformed on current literature. However, as a general point, paleoclimatology suffers from unconstrained problems. The discipline is important because obviously any theory of climate must work for past climate as well as present and so it is a "testing" ground for theory. However, paleoclimate abounds with problems where there is insufficient data to constrain one possibility against another. In particular you have uncertainty in forcings as well as uncertainty in observed cliamte. While interesting and areas for active research, they arent that relevant to climate for the next 100 years.

    That said, the broad picture for glacials with known (eg see fig 3 here from Hansen and Sato 2012) but disentangling the relative sources and influences of CH4,CO2 etc is work in progress.

  • Ed Hawkins: Hiatus Decades are Compatible with Global Warming

    Klapper at 12:42 PM on 22 January, 2013

    @Tom #31:

    "Having previously argued that a change in solar forcing of 0.1-0.14% is significant....."

    It's the change in W/m2 not % that's important. Tell me the W/m2 change in forcing from the small volcanos post 2000. And while you're at it tell Foster and Rahmstorf, since their graph shows no volcanic input post 1997 or so.

    As for Bob Carters 2006 claim, you're wandering off topic. It's not 2006 any more. However, I think your point is that 0.10C/decade for 8 years should be the threshold trend.

    Why don't we check the last 10 years if you want to check a shorter trend? For the last 10 years the GISS number is -0.007C/decade. How common do you think a 10 year trend of zero is in AOCGCM model output, imperfect as it is?
  • Ed Hawkins: Hiatus Decades are Compatible with Global Warming

    Tom Curtis at 11:39 AM on 22 January, 2013

    Klapper @24:

    1) Whether they include ENSO effects but understate the resulting variability, or just do not include them, the consequence is the same - your estimate is an underestimate of the probability of a 15 year trend below 0.043 C per decade.

    2) In fact the Stratosphere was not essentially free from aerosols following Pinatubo until Dec 1996. NASA shows the evolution of stratospheric aerosols as follows:

    Having now calculated the most recent 15 year trend of the Stratospheric Aerosol Optical Thickness, I see it is just barely negative (-6.89810^-5 per annum), contrary to my eyeball estimate. That trend is so slight that it is understandable that Foster and Rahmstorf should neglect it. Nevertheless, stratospheric aerosol optical thickness rises to 3.4% of peak Pinatubo values in 2009. Having previously argued that a change in solar forcing of 0.1-0.14% is significant, it is inconsistent of you to then treat volcanic forcing as irrelevant.

    Far more importantly, and the point you neglect, is that AGW deniers have, and indeed continue to use the period of the early '90s as evidence of a period with no warming. The interest in your estimate lies only in whether or not it is a good predictor of how frequently deniers will be able to say "there has been no warming" when in fact the world continues to warm in line with IPCC projections. As such it is a poor estimate. It significantly underestimates the actual likelihood of a low trend over 15 years for reasons already discussed. But it also fails to encompass the full range of situations in which deniers will claim they are justified in saying, "There has been no warming since X."

    To give an idea of the scope deniers will allow themselves in this regard, we need only consider Bob Carter in 2006, who wrote:

    "Consider the simple fact, drawn from the official temperature records of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, that for the years 1998-2005 global average temperature did not increase (there was actually a slight decrease, though not at a rate that differs significantly from zero)."

    (My emphasis)

    In actual fact, from January, 1998 to December, 2005, HadCRUT3v shows a trend of 0.102 +/- 0.382 C per decade. Not negative at all, despite Carter's claims, and while he as a professor of geology must have known better, we can presume his readers did not. But that sets a benchmark for the no warming claim. Deniers are willing to make a claim that there has been no warming, and that that lack is significant as data in assessing global warming (though not actually statistically significant) if we have a trend less than 0.1 C per decade over eight years. They are, of course, prepared to do the same for longer periods.

    So, the test you should perform is, what percentage of trends from eight to sixteen years are less than 0.1 C per decade.
  • It hasn't warmed since 1998

    Doug Hutcheson at 11:28 AM on 3 January, 2013

    Simon @ 243, Bob Carter's Gish Gallop is still worth reading, as an example of faulty reasoning by someone who should know better. His opposition to AGW seems rooted in his politics, rather than in his superior understanding of the evidence. No doubt, this polarised view is being passed on to his students. Sad to see.
  • It hasn't warmed since 1998

    Simon at 22:33 PM on 2 January, 2013

    The link to Bob Carter's Telegraph article no longer works. It has moved to: There IS a problem with global warming... it stopped in 1998
  • Hurricane Sandy: Neither weather nor tide nor sea level can be legislated

    Bernard J. at 16:02 PM on 30 October, 2012

    Indeed Uncle Pete.

    And not to forget the real estate industry's liaisons with the likes of David Archibald, Ian Plimer, and Bob Carter.
  • SkS: testimony to the potential of social media and the passion of volunteers

    chuck101 at 02:18 AM on 25 September, 2012

    SirNubWub repeats one of the favourite denialist memes, (along with the ones about Einstein and Galileo), that billions are spent on government research into AGW, so the fact that Big Oil spends a few million here and there on countering the science is no big deal.

    The big difference is the word RESEARCH. When you carry out proper research, you do not necessarily know what you are going to find. So you could, for example, set up an experiment to measure ice pack thickness by satellite, year by year. The results may be different from what you expect, but you report them honestly, regardless of any ideological bias you might have. Contrast this with the 'research' carried out by the likes of Watt, or our very own Bob Carter. The result is preordained. We and they know that they will never in a million years admit that AGW is happening, or even express any doubt whatsoever.

    That is not research. That is propaganda pure and simple. If they ever started accepting the possibility that AGW is happening, they would lose their oil industry funding immediately.

    THAT, is the difference, and I am constantly amazed that supposedly intelligent people (well, so they claim to be), cannot see this.
  • A vivid demonstration of knee-jerk science rejection

    chuck101 at 19:46 PM on 10 September, 2012

    I just have a further comment on Fake Expertise. This applies equally to real scientists like Carter and Plimer who claim expertise in a field unrelated to their own.

    Carter, for example, has 50 or so peer reviewed papers to his credit, in Geology (when he obviously didn't have an issue with the peer review process). That however doesn't qualify him to comment on climate science authoritatively. In fact, when he was co-author of a climate related paper in 2009; it failed the review process miserably:

    It really does seem this is a defining characteristic of climate change deniers
  • A vivid demonstration of knee-jerk science rejection

    chuck101 at 05:03 AM on 10 September, 2012


    " The examples chosen as cherry-picking are not really cherry picking, they just look like assertions to me..."

    That really is an asinine comment. There is no reason why a cherry pick cannot be presented via an assertion. For example, from our very own Bob Carter, parroted ably by a poor apology for an anthropologist on an adjacent blog:

    "The planet hasn't warmed since 2001"

    That is both a (false) assertion and simultaneously a cherry pick.

    Attempting to redefine what a cherry pick is won't work on this blog.
  • Lindzen, Happer, and Cohen Wall Street Journal Rerun

    dana1981 at 05:56 AM on 23 August, 2012

    Coincidentally, if you want to see real defamation of climate scientists' characters, stop by WUWT or any climate denialist blog on any day of the week. It really gets funny after they've spent years insulting climate scientists and the entire scientific field, if you even have the temerity to say a word against one of their 'skeptic' heroes, they go ballistic. I once got a nasty email from Anthony Watts for calling Bob Carter a 'fake climate expert'. After the insults he's hurled at Hansen and Mann and any number of climate scientists, that just cracked me up.
  • Greenhouse gases are responsible for warming, not the sun

    chuck101 at 18:20 PM on 24 June, 2012

    Hmmm, difficult stay away from political comments when Heartland is, at heart (sorry), a political institution; set up by big business and big oil, to look after their interests, and with the stated aim of casting doubt in the minds of the public about AGW.

    In order to do this, they hire scientists willing to plead their cause. Sadly, since the science is so rock solid, the only way they can do this is by twisting the science itself, by a combination of 'errors', 'mistakes', misrepresentation, and in some cases, outright falsification. These aren't accidental mistakes or errors. They are deliberate, so no way are these guys going to retract. They would lose their funding from Heartland. Hence the same scientists keep making the same sorts of 'errors'. They get called on it, refuse to admit it, then get called on it again in some other context, refuse to admit it, etc, and so the merry *Gish Gallop' continues.

    For example Bob Carter, the serial cherry picker, gets called on it time after time, but still we get 'GW stopped in 1998', or 'slight decline since 2002', or 'no warming since (insert future date here)'. Still he continues, because he is not out to persuade fellow scientists, he is out to bamboozle the general public, who are, in the main, scientifically challenged and do not even see the various cunning tricks that have been played on them.

    So while these 'scientists' need to be held to account scientifically, (and you guys are doing a great job), the actual battle is in the political area. The scientific battle was won long ago.
  • Pal Review - the True Story and the Fairy Tale

    Composer99 at 22:33 PM on 15 June, 2012

    I can only say that if Dr Carter asserts that money can corrupt science [snip]

    It looks like this, combined with Dr Carter's previous FP article (debunked by Skeptical Science) is another instalment of the National Post/Financial Post "war on science".
  • Pal Review - the True Story and the Fairy Tale

    CBDunkerson at 21:01 PM on 15 June, 2012

    Well, it is official now.

    Having absolutely no grounds on which to refute the peer reviewed science, the 'skeptics' have now switched to 'refuting' peer review itself.

    Bob Carter claims peer review is corrupt.
  • Models are unreliable

    Bob Loblaw at 11:36 AM on 2 June, 2012

    Clyde @537:

    1) You are still just providing a circular definition of "computer modeller". If you don't know what a circular definition is, look it up in the dictionary under "definition, circular".

    Or admit that you don't have a definition.

    2) I'm not interested in analogies with heart surgeons or doctors. I want you to identify an actual, real "climate expert" that you know of, and explain why that person is not "knowledgeable about computer modeling, and how would this affect the work that they are doing" (to quote my original question). In other words, what is it you think that they are doing that is weakened by your belief that they have insufficient knowledge of "computer modelling"?

    Or admit that you don't actually have any specifics that you can use to back up your claim.

    3) You said that I "don't know enough about computer modeling" in this comment here,
    where you said "Why is it that folks who critique AGW are dismissed if their not experts in climate science, but we should just accept a climate scientist's work on models when their not experts in computer modeling?"

    You've cast a pretty wide net with that general claim, and as the old saying goes "I resemble that remark".

    - I have studied climatology through a Physical Geography program (B.Sc. and Ph.D.).
    - I have taught climatology in a major Canadian research universty (in a Geography department)
    - I have published journal papers on my research in reputable scientific journals
    - my research included writing/coding and using "climate models"

    I think this is sufficient to be called a "climate expert"

    - I took one first year "computer science" course in the 1970s.
    - I stopped taking mathematics course after first year calculus and algebra.

    I think that makes me someone that you might think of as "not an expert in computer modelling"

    Yet, somehow I still wrote computer models of climate. Please, tell me what it is you think I need in my background to convince you that I actually knew what I was doing? Surely, with my weak "computer training", I must be an easy target for you to criticize. If you can't argue that I fit your broad, sweeping generalization, then who does? (Which takes us back to point 2.)

    Back up your claim, instead of just avoiding it.

    Or admit that you're wrong.
  • Models are unreliable

    skywatcher at 15:52 PM on 1 June, 2012

    Clyde #537 - I see you have attempted to answer Bob and I's questions (both are similar).

    However, your answers consciously avoid any statement of why the expert in a field (heart surgery or climate) cannot become an expert modeller of a process in that field. Why is it that somebody, who has attained skill in understanding the processes of how something works, is precluded from encapsulating that knowledge in computer code?

    What I want to know is this: What is unique about a "modeller", that means neither a climatologist or a heart specialist can ever become one? How, in your opinion, do you become a "modeller"? Exactly what are the unique skills a modeller has? You see, fundamentally, what a "modeller" is, in this context, is someone who has the ability to generate computer code that results in an approximate representation of one or more processes in the climate system. They will have the ability to test that code, and to validate that code against expected results using synthetic data, as well as against real-world data. They can then correct their code or adjust the uncertainties accordingly. They will be able to estimate the uncertainties in their results and evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of their model. This is a technical skill, but one that is eminently achievable by physical/environmental scientists. By doing so, they become specialist climate modellers. You still have provided not one shred of justification as to why such scientists cannot do this. I don't actually believe you are willing to answer these questions adequately.

    Your subsequent casual comment concerning a Greenland climate paper equally shows you have little understanding of climatology, palaeoclimate, forcings, and regional versus global variations, to add to your evident failure to substantiate your original disparaging claims about climate modellers. Did you think warming/cooling was globally monotonic?
  • Models are unreliable

    Composer99 at 15:33 PM on 30 May, 2012

    Clyde, you appear to be attempting to make a case against climate science (or at least, echoing Dr Pielke Sr's case) on the basis of its use of computer models to project future states of the climate.

    This is likely to be an exercise in futility on your part.

    As I intimated on the Bob Carter thread, the mainstream scientific position on climate is the result of an intertwining web of:

    (1) Physics & chemistry theory (ranging from quantum-mechanic radiative properties of IR-trapping gases, to the physics of blackbodies, to the chemistry of ocean buffering of CO2, to many other strands of theory besides);

    (2) Lab or computer experiment (starting with Tyndall's experiments demonstrating the atmospheric IR-trapping gases and confirming the atmospheric IR-trapping 'greenhouse' effect all the way to the elaborate atmosphere-ocean-surface coupled models of the present);

    (3) Empirical observation (the surface, satellite & sea surface temperature datasets, measured ocean heat content, measured crysophere melt, shifting wind currents & atmospheric cells, shifting animal & plant distribution, and so on).

    It it this intertwining of these various strands of evidence which has led to the formation of the generally-accepted scientific consensus on climate change, as expressed by the IPCC, the US NAS, the UK Royal Society, and virtually every major national, transnational, or intranational scientific organization.

    Even supposing you could chip away at the reliability & accuracy of computer models, you would still have an enormous task ahead of you to knock down enough of the theory, experiment & observation supporting the mainstream consensus to cause a substantial re-think.
  • Models are unreliable

    Jim Eager at 07:15 AM on 30 May, 2012

    Continued from here

    In other words, Clyde has no evidence what so ever, only conjecture and assumption.

    A question for you, Clyde:
    Which would you find more believable as a climate modeler, a climate scientist, or rather team of scientists, who are also competent at building a computer model of the physics and chemistry of the coupled land-ocean-atmosphere system, or an expert at computer modeling who knows absolutely nothing about the underlying physics and chemistry of the coupled land-ocean-atmosphere system that is being modeled? (Why should they, they are not climate scientists, they're computer modelers, while practically all physical scientists work intensively with computers.)

    And why did you fail to consider that climate scientists work with actual computer modelers when developing climate models, as I suggested, before leaping to defend your assertion that climate scientists have no expertise in the use of computers?
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    adavid at 06:48 AM on 30 May, 2012

    Bob Carter first referred to himself as a Palaeoclimatologist in his book "Climate: The Counter-Consensus". Apart from a brief mention of peering at ocean sediment cores, there was no reference to any of his geological work in that book.

    The glaring oversight to me is mentioning the sun with respect to recent warming. Any palaeoclimatologist knows that incoming solar radiation peaked 10,000 years ago.
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Composer99 at 00:40 AM on 30 May, 2012

    Geologist & Kevin C:

    Research in psychology increasingly shows how people tend to make decisions first, based on snap judgements, mental shortcuts, and biases, and only then use reason to rationalize their decisions after the fact. Going about things the other way around, using reason and evidence to come to a conclusion, is a difficult skill which must be carefully cultivated (especially among scientists, for whom the proper exercise of reason-based thinking is crucial).

    Suffice it to say, I do not think it unreasonable to expect even the best of us to operate using rational thinking all the time. Indeed I suspect most of us use instinct/irrational thinking more often than not.

    Given that, I think there is the wherewithal to describe Dr Carter, in the context of his activity as a climate science contrarian (including the Financial Post column which is the subject of this post), as a fake expert, without necessarily accusing him of general incompetence or of other malfeasance. All that is required is the acknowledgement that in this specific case he is not behaving with the respect for evidence & inference required in good scientific practice.

    ScienceBlogs' denialism blog (from which the 5 characteristics of denialism discussed elsewhere on Skeptical Science are drawn) adds context to the discussion of fake experts:

    Clearly, the exact definition of what an “expert” is still eludes us, but it becomes readily apparent from the legal, dictionary and common practice definitions employed by scientists what experts are not. They aren’t merely an empty set of credentials and they aren’t merely people who have at some point published in some random field. Even the rather silly expert wiki would seem to agree on this.

    Therefore I would say a fake expert is usually somebody who is relied upon for their credentials rather than any real experience in the field at issue, who will promote arguments that are inconsistent with the literature, aren’t generally accepted by those who study the field in question, and/or whose theories aren’t consistent with established epistemological requirements for scientific inquiry.

    There's no rule that fake experts can't be real experts in other contexts (e.g. Michael Egnor is a real expert neurosurgeon while a fake expert in evolutionary biology on account of espousing science denialism with regards to evolution).

    Bottom line:
    (1) Not even the best scientists are immune to irrational thinking, which is simply a function of human nature
    (2) Someone who is a fake expert in one field can be a real expert in others
    (3) Given the above, characterizing Bob Carter as playing the part of fake expert in his Financial Post letter is accurate and is not necessarily a general attack on his competence or character
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Geologist at 06:18 AM on 29 May, 2012

    My primary objective is not defending Bob Carter, his article is obviously full of nonsense, but as I generally consider SkS to be of the highest standard I get disapointed when I believe that it is making poor arguments.

    Geology is a rather small and young subject and I believe that the subfields are a lot less distinct than in most other fields. People therefore often move between subfields and you may readily find your self doing research that could be considered to be within three or four different subfields at the same time. On the other hand each subfield can be quite diverse, working with Ordovician ice ages is obviously quite different from studying Holocene lake deposits but you might still both be working with paleoclimate. For example there isn't (or at least very few) educations or PhD-programs in paleoclimatology, instead your overall field is normally Quaternary geology, Marine geology, Sedimentology or even Ecology and then you specialize.

    This means however that if you want to define whether someone belongs to a subfield or not the only reasonable way is to see if they publish in the field. I would say that if you have published articles corresponding to a PhD (a few articles)in a certain field you may claim to belong within it. We can argue whether this is still on the low side but it is not "fake". Of course before you deserve to be called an expert you need more. Carter has published several articles in paleoclimatology. It is not that he isn't a paleoclimatologist that is the problem it is that he is in the wrong part of paleoclimatology and obviously haven't educated himself about the rest. Thus it isn't by calling himself a paleoclimatologist that he is mistaken, it is by moving outside his own area of expertise without realizing that he is no longer an expert.

    And if I, who really like SKS, thinks that calling Carter a fake is unfair, it is likely that a somewhat "skeptical" geologist would conclude that SkS is calling anyone who disagrees a fake no matter if it is correct or not.
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Composer99 at 05:37 AM on 29 May, 2012


    I do not see how your question is applicable.

    On the topic of Bob Carter (whose Financial Post column is the topic of this post) while Dr Carter sets himself up as an expert in paleoclimate, his post is full of factual errors pertaining to paleoclimate, misrepresentations, and logical fallacies. As several of the errors & misrepresentations pertain to paleoclimate, they bely his claim to expertise in this field.

    It is these errors &c which allow his critique to be dismissed, and not his lack of expertise, in and of itself.

    Speaking more generally, I suspect you will find that other attempts to critique the mainstream findings of climatology will tend to fall on similar grounds (factual errors, misrepresentations & sloppy logic).

    The climate scientist vs computer modelling question is unclear. As far as I am aware, some, perhaps even most, climate scientists use computer models as part of their work, but only a few climate scientists would be accurately described (or characterize themselves) as expert computer modellers.

    Since the mainstream findings of climatology depend on an intertwining web of physics theory, empirical findings, and experiment, and computer modelling is but a small part of this web, I do not think there is a double standard in play.
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Composer99 at 05:02 AM on 29 May, 2012


    I played trumpet in the final years of primary school. Although I am now a semi-professional musician (singer & composer) I would not go so far as to call myself a trumpet player.

    By analogy, Bob Carter may have published some work on paleoclimatology, but if that is not a primary focus of his research & other professional scientific activities, I think it is too much to classify him as a paleoclimatologist.
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Albatross at 04:26 AM on 29 May, 2012


    "I strongly object to characterizing Bob Carter as a fake climate expert."

    That is not a "characterization" but a statement of fact. Also, the reality is that it is Carter who is characterizing himself in the media as something that he is clearly not. James Cook University does not list him as a "climate expert" or "paleoclimatologist", and even Carter's online bio states that:

    "He is a palaeontologist, stratigrapher, marine geologist..."

    Regardless, as this post demonstrates, Carter's claims are at complete odds with the data, the science and the facts. Sadly, this behaviour is par for the course for most "skeptics".
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    Geologist at 03:02 AM on 29 May, 2012

    I strongly object to characterizing Bob Carter as a fake climate expert. The field of paleoclimate is rather wide and much of the IODP research (International Ocean Drilling Program), where Bob Carter has been involved and published (eg. Carter 2005, Land et al. 2010), can very well be included. In my opinion he is perfectly entitled to call himself a peloclimatologist and even if you prefer a stricter definition it is still highly unfair to call him a fake expert. That of course makes it worse that he is arguing such nonsense.
  • Bob Carter's Financial Post Gish Gallop of Scientific Denial

    chriskoz at 19:39 PM on 28 May, 2012

    This time around, Carter's Gish Gallop does not include some of his stronger claims from some 1y ago: e.g."CO2 is elixir of life, and the base of most of the food chains on our planet". At least I don't see that in this article.

    Does it mean that Carter softened his stance or climbed couple of rungs on the ladder of denial (as Mike Mann would say) comparing to that summary?
  • It hasn't warmed since 1998

    Tom Curtis at 01:58 AM on 1 May, 2012

    hutch44uk @178:

    "Remembering that the radiative effects of extra carbon dioxide occur at the speed of light, and that both the ocean and the atmosphere are currently cooling, just where is this 0.5°C. of "pipeline" heat supposed to be hiding?)."

    (Bob Carter, The Drum, 19th Dec 2011, my emphasis).

    There is no strawman. Just a misrepresentation of the facts by Carter.
  • Cliff Ollier: Swimming In A Sea of Misinformation

    indulis at 20:22 PM on 25 April, 2012

    Prof Cliff Ollier is also part of the Australian Climate Science Coalition which includes such well known and respected thinkers in the climate field such as:
    - Prof Bob "My logic is impeccable CO2 lagged temperature rises in the past, so it can't be the cause now" Carter
    - Dr David "I will ignore BEST and continue to claim that 'heat islands' are being used to "inflate official temperatures" Evans
    - Professor Ian "The CO2 is mostly from volcanoes, I will ignore carbon isotope analysis of atmospheric CO2, and any facts to the contrary from the USGS- anyway the world is not warming!! Plimer

    Not one of whom has published a single scientific paper in a reputable (peer reviewed) journal.

    The ACSC web site also has links to the Heartland Climate Conference and other denier hangouts.
  • Lindzen's London Illusions

    logicman at 20:01 PM on 6 March, 2012

    there is an error in my comment. Bob Carter is not a trustee.
    Please substitute the link below and delete this comment. Thanks.
    Bob Carter is an academic adviser to the GWPF
  • Lindzen's London Illusions

    logicman at 19:56 PM on 6 March, 2012

    The Heartland Institute, not widely know for accurate reporting, fell for the 'Lindzen addresses Parliament' hoax - hook, line and sinker.

    "Massachusetts Institute of Technology atmospheric scientist Richard Lindzen delivered a comprehensive presentation to the British House of Commons last week explaining why humans are not creating a global warming crisis."

    Lindzen's pdf of his seminar talk commences with thanks to the organisers: the campaign to repeal the climate change act. One of their patrons, Bob Carter, is a trustee of the GWPF. The GWPF is an "educational" charity and as such is not permitted to engage mainly or entirely in political activities. Perhaps Lord Lawson will now drop Bob Carter from his panel of "scientific" advisers. Even better, perhaps the GWPF, an organisation which merely publishes biased opinion pieces and does nothing to promote education, will stop calling itself an educational charity.
  • DenialGate - Highlighting Bob Carter's Selective Science

    Composer99 at 13:16 PM on 29 February, 2012

    It turns out Bob Carter was a guest lecturer for a 2nd-year university course at Carleton University in 2010/2011 (see this report here).

    All I can say is that, while in general I'm sure Carleton has a strong science programme, this makes me ashamed to be an alumnus.
  • DenialGate - Highlighting Bob Carter's Selective Science

    dorlomin at 21:23 PM on 28 February, 2012

    Bob Carter does like to tout around a graph taken from Royer et al 2003 showing no correlation between CO2 and temperatures through the Phanerozoic but leaving out the changes in solar energy during the same time. As its mentioned in Royers paper one is left with less that charitable views on his reasons.
  • 2012 SkS Weekly Digest #8

    JMurphy at 03:12 AM on 28 February, 2012

    David Kirtley, fortunately, your American Thinker link has it wrong when it claims : "British Parliament heard devastating testimony overturning the global warming hoax".

    It was actually a seminar in a Committee Room and I doubt whether many MPs (apart from Sammy Wilson, who arranged it) were there. I believe Monckton may have been - enough said !

    However, the list of those associated with it makes it even clearer what its agenda was :

    It was chaired by Philip Stott (another Emeritus Professor).

    Included Reverend Philip Foster.

    Repeal the Climate Change Act (which includes such luminaries as David Bellamy, Johnny Ball and Bob Carter)

    The Association of British Drivers (who claim on their website to "reveal the scientific truth behind the scare stories about climate change, and the impact cars have on health and the environment").

    The Country Guardian.
    The Campaign Against Wind Farms.
    (Both connected to the same issue)

    And the recommended reading on climate and energy policy from the organisers included the letter from the 'concerned' 16 'scientists' to the Wall Street Journal, and references to Ross McKitrick, James Delingpole and Tim Ball. Hmmm.

    As for what transpired, there is this transcript from Lindzen, which begins :

    I wish to thank the Campaign to Repeal the Climate Change Act for the opportunity to present my views on the issue of climate change – or as it was once referred to: global warming. Stated briefly, I will simply try to clarify what the debate over climate change is really about. It most certainly is not about whether climate is changing: it always is. It is not about whether CO2 is increasing: it clearly is. It is not about whether the increase in CO2, by itself, will lead to some warming: it should. The debate is simply over the matter of how much warming the increase in CO2 can lead to, and the connection of such warming to the innumerable claimed catastrophes. The evidence is that the increase in CO2 will lead to very little warming, and that the connection of this minimal warming (or even significant warming) to the purported catastrophes is also minimal. The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.
    (And just look at some of the dates on those graphs he uses)
  • Denialgate - Internal Heartland Documents Expose Climate Denial Funding Network

    Rob Honeycutt at 06:01 AM on 16 February, 2012

    Phila... Well, you can say one thing about Idso. He's very effective at negotiating his compensation. Can't say the same for Bob Carter.
  • Denialgate - Internal Heartland Documents Expose Climate Denial Funding Network

    CBDunkerson at 04:54 AM on 16 February, 2012

    dorlomin, subsequent stories have reported that Bob Carter has confirmed he is being paid by Heartland and that James Taylor (of Heartland) responded to questions about the curriculum program by writing;

    "We are concerned that schools are teaching climate change issues in a manner that is not consistent with sound science and that is designed to lead students to the erroneous belief that humans are causing a global warming crisis. We hope that our efforts will restore sound science to climate change education and discourage the political propaganda that too often passes as “education”."

    That thus indicates there are at least two things contained in the documents which were not previously known and have now been confirmed to be accurate. What do you suppose the odds would be for two completely fabricated 'revelations' to turn out to actually be true?
  • Denialgate - Internal Heartland Documents Expose Climate Denial Funding Network

    catamon at 01:43 AM on 16 February, 2012

    Well, that's hit the papers here in Oz!

    Oh, and since John Brookes asked:
  • Denialgate - Internal Heartland Documents Expose Climate Denial Funding Network

    Glenn Tamblyn at 14:46 PM on 15 February, 2012

    I just tried posting a couple of comments over at WUWT, wondering what theur response might be to DenialGate. Instead of the usual awaiting moderation message nothing appeared at all. So I thought something had gone wrong and resubmitted the comments. And got a 'you have already posted that comment' reply. So they have them but they aren't coming up. Very queer. I wonder if they have gone into lock-down.

    Anyway, these were the comments I posted to no avail - maybe Anthony might get around to responding when he is a little less busy:

    Since you don't have a post up yet about Denialgate, I will comment here and you can then transfer comments across when WUWT does comment.

    One important comment that struck me from Heartlands little treasure trove was this this juicy little gem:

    “Development of our “Global Warming Curriculum for K-12 Classrooms” project.

    Principals and teachers are heavily biased toward the alarmist perspective. To counter this we are considering launching an effort to develop alternative materials for K-12 classrooms. We are pursuing a proposal from Dr. David Wojick to produce a global warming curriculum for K-12 schools. Dr. Wojick is a consultant with the Office of Scientific and Technical Information at the U.S. Department of Energy in the area of information and communication science. His effort will focus on providing curriculum that shows that the topic of climate change is controversial and uncertain- TWO KEY POINTS THAT ARE EFFECTIVE AT DISSUADING TEACHERS FROM TEACHING SCIENCE (my emphasis).We tentatively plan to pay Dr. Wojick $100,000 for 20 modules in 2012, with funding pledged by the Anonymous Donor.

    Cant have teachers teaching now can we.
    And pay a lot of attention to the ‘Anonymous Donor’ We will no doubt hear more about them, whoever they are. And generous to a fault:

    2006 – $1,559,703
    2007 – $3,277,000
    2008 – $4,610,000
    2009 – $2,170,590
    2010 – $1,664,150
    2011 – $979,000

    Nearly 15 Million ponied up so far to fund the denial machine in just one ‘dont think tank’. Wouldn’t we love to see similar accounts from all the other dont think tanks.

    In the best of American traditions. You can always get what you want if you are willing to pay enough for it. And so the dumbing down of America continues….
    Anthony, when will the new Temperature website be up and running? I'm sure Heartland and their Anonymous Donor would like to know their $88K is being well spent.

    And nearly $400K for the NIPCC Report. A bit pricy don't you think when the scientists who work on the IPCC report do it Pro Bono.

    Still $144K for Craig Idso, $60K for Fred Singer, even $20K for Bob Carter down in Australia. One only needs a few nice gigs like that and you have yourself a 'nice little earner' as they say.
  • Plimer vs Plimer: a one man contradiction

    mancan18 at 10:19 AM on 22 December, 2011

    In describing Ian Plimner’s new book, How to Get Expelled From School: a guide to climate change for pupils, pundits and parents, John Howard referred to leftie science teachers as being the problem regarding proper debate in relation to climate change. The book is supported by the Institute for Public Affairs, and the comments were made at the book’s launch at a meeting of mining company executives. Ian Plimner, and his fellow IPA scientist mate Bob Carter, have attacked the scientific consensus related to climate change; that global warming is occurring and is causing climate change and is due to excess human emissions of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. In trying to debunk this hypothesis, they have also attacked the integrity of world’s climate scientists. They have attacked the integrity of the national science academies of the world’s leading nations. They have attacked the stance made by many of the world’s leading companies. They have attacked the integrity of the scientific process and now, in publishing this new book, he and John Howard have attacked the integrity of the nation’s science teachers. Is there nothing and no one that these climate deniers will besmirch in order to deny the basic scientific hypothesis: “That carbon dioxide is increasing, average global temperatures are increasing and that climate change is occurring at an unprecedented historical rate and it is due to human activities”?

    However, Plimner and his IPA and conservative political mates like Howard, do not attempt to disprove the hypothesis, they simply deny it. They have conducted no scientific research related to climate change and they have published no scientific papers related to climate change in the recognized scientific journals for peer review and scrutiny by recognized climate scientists. What have they done? Nothing. Instead they publish their politically motivated scientifically distorted views in the public media because what they are saying is so scientifically inconsistent that the mainstream scientific media won’t print it.

    And how do they do it? Make statements like Plimner’s “undersea volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans do”. Do we see the research? Have we seen the Plimner undersea volcano survey with its CO2 measurements from a representative sample of volcanoes? No, we see Plimner’s estimates of what he thinks are the number of volcanoes and how much CO2 he estimates is emitted. Now this type of pseudo scientific research might be enough to fool the popular media but it will not fool reputable climate scientists.

    Like any good propagandists, deniers of the likes of Plimner (and Carter, Monkton, Spencer, McIntyre, and Lindzen et. al.) will use their scientific credentials gained in other fields and use most of the truth to appear credible but in doing so confuse the scientifically uninformed. In reality, they fail or neglect to clearly explain scientifically; how greenhouse gases can be increasing, how temperatures are increasing, how climate change is occurring, and is having significant impact on the biosphere that we all rely on for life and how all this is natural.

    Plimner might be a good mining geologist and mining CEO but as a climate scientist, he is a dud.
  • 9 Months After McLean

    sylas at 11:32 AM on 10 November, 2011

    Tom, you say "Tamino has dissected similar nonsense from Bob Tisdale"; but the link goes a dissection of similar nonsense from Bob Carter.
  • 9 Months After McLean

    Tom Curtis at 11:01 AM on 10 November, 2011

    Fred Staples @48 indulges in some serious misrepresentation of the temperature record which requires a serious response.

    He begins by characterizing "all available data" as showing "a steady rise from the little ice age, peaking in the forties". The best available data set for that period is the HadCRUT3v temperature index which commences in 1850. (BEST is land only, while GIStemp starts in 1880, making neither suitable.) The plot of HadCRUT3v below (from the trends from 1850 to 1910, 1910 to 1940, 1940 to 1975, and 1975 to 2010. Trends where plotted to encompass known inflection points, and to ensure that they were at least 30 years long to ensure statistical significance:

    Fred correctly describes the period from 1940 to 1975 (actually '79) as a slow fall. Given that, his description of the period between 1850 and 1910 as part of "a steady rise" is not only false, but shows clear bias in interpretation of the data.

    This fall in temperature from 1850 to the early twentieth century is a feature of almost all temperature reconstructions over the last 1000 years:

    Indeed, most also show a rise in temperature from the end of the Little Ice Age to a peak around 1790 which is as hot as, or hotter than 1850, before a sharp fall for the Dalton Minimum and Mount Tamora Eruption, before a further rise to 1850 (actually closer to 1865 on HadCRUT3v). The temperature record is anything but a gentle rise from the LIA to 1940. Rather, it staggers around like a drunken miner under the influence of known changes in forcings - while post 1975 it rises sharply under the influence of other known changes in forcings, primarily due to changes in Green House Gas concentrations.

    Fred's characterization of the period from the LIA to 1940 as "a steady rise" is, of course, an attempt to feed into the fake "skeptic" meme of a "recovery" from the LIA. That idea is nonsense as an explanation, and contradicted by the data.

    Turning to more recent times, Fred immediately changes his data source. If you look at my first figure, you will see why. Desperate to avoid clear evidence, Fred Cherry Picks the UAH data set, which he characterizes is containing to flat intervals separated by "step change". In other words, having cherry picked his data set, he also needs to cherry pick his intervals. He tries to go down the up elevator.

    Tamino has dissected similar nonsense from Bob Tisdale:

    (Note, Tamino's second trend is from 1999, whereas Fred cherry picks 2002 as the start date for his second trend. That does not prevent the trend from being towards increased warmth, but it does reduce it.)

    Given the extent of Fred's cherry picking, the obvious thing to do is to check alternative sources of data to see whether the low trend from 1979 to 1997 is just a result of short term variations. Fortunately radiosondes have taken temperature series from approximately the same altitude that is measured by the TLT "satellite" channel:

    Clearly the rise in temperatures around 1981-3 is just a short term fluctuation, and the long term trend from the mid 1970's to 1997 is rising. In addition to his explicit cherry picking, Fred is highly dependent on the truncated nature of the satellite record to make his case.

    Finally, we are frequently told that posting here is a privilege, not a right. Abusing data as Fred does shows his clear intent to abuse that privilege.
  • 9 Months After McLean

    NewYorkJ at 09:35 AM on 26 October, 2011

    So McLean's website states that he's a "computer consultant and occasional travel photographer", but no matter. He is a "climate realist" after all, and published with Bob Carter another "nail in the coffin of manmade global warming" or what not. His arguments deserve scrutiny.

    His website has lots of cute blurbs, some of them highly ironic.

    "The science simply does not add up, predictions do not match observations and the whole issue is loaded with a huge number of unproven assumptions, distortions of facts and outright lies."

    McLean on global warming

  • Clouds Over Peer Review

    lord_sidcup at 02:47 AM on 8 October, 2011

    Speaking of Bob Carter, and as an example of a paper published in a journal outside the subject area, I offer this travesty:

    Knock, Knock: Where is the Evidence for
    Dangerous Human-Caused Global Warming?
  • Modern scientists, following in Galileo’s footsteps

    Albatross at 14:10 PM on 30 September, 2011

    Stevo @29,

    Thanks. You made me look closer at the Galileo Movement, and what I read is very interesting/disturbing. Look who the advisors are for the Galileo Movement in Australia:

    Professor Tim Ball
    Warwick Hughes
    Professor Fred Singer
    Professor Dick Lindzen

    Bill Kininmonth
    Professor Bob Carter
    Professor Ian Plimer

    David Archibald
    Professor Peter Ridd
    Professor Garth Paltridge
    Dr Vincent Gray
    Dr Jennifer Marohasy
    Jo Nova
    Des Moore
    John Nicol
    David Flint
    Andrew Bolt
    John McLean
    David Evans
    Pat Michaels
    Joe D'Aleo
    Viscount Monckton


    Their purported guiding principles ironically include:
    "Honesty: rely on factual data, ensure decisions are based on facts;
    Fact based science: protect and use science, a key to human progress, objective and fair decisions and freedom"

    and under "Purpose and Aims" ironically include:
    "Protect science and restore scientific integrity"

    Sounds great does it not? But, there is a very big problem with those proclamations, because unfortunately those lofty ethics and goals do not seem to be endorsed or even practised by several of their advisers, as has been demonstrated multiple times here at SkepticalScience and elsewhere. Some of the names on that list shocked me. What are Drs. Lindzen and Gray thinking?
  • One-Sided 'Skepticism'

    NewYorkJ at 16:07 PM on 16 September, 2011

    Dr. Pielke,

    Since comments aren't allowed on your blog, I'll address this question here.

    You say "The ad hominem presentations on this subject include those from the weblog Skeptical Science"

    with the subject being the robustness of the UAH MSU temperature data. In your response, you do point out an article entitled "Satellite measurements of warming in the troposphere". I looked over this article and could not find any ad hominens. In fact, I see a very good analysis of the claim being addressed, which was Bob Carter's fairly recent statement "Satellite measurements indicate an absence of significant global warming since 1979, the very period that human carbon dioxide emissions have been increasing rapidly." The article ends with the statement "Science advances by trial and error. The result is an increased knowledge of how to measure the temperature of the troposphere from space." which I would hope you can agree with.

    So please identify the ad hominens in that article on any others dealing with the UAH record. If you find no ad homs, perhaps you could highlight and discuss what specifically you feel is inaccurate.

    Next, is there anything about Spencer or his work you are willing to criticize? SkepticalScience has been remarkably reserved at staying away from anything personal, given Roy Spencer series of statements overstating his case, past and present. Recall that in 1997, he wrote:

    "So the programs which model global warming in a computer say the temperature of the Earth's lower atmosphere should be going up markedly, but actual measurements of the temperature of the lower atmosphere reveal no such pronounced activity.

    In theory, one could argue that the computer models are accurate, and that the real measurements have some problem. However this is not the case. An incredible amount of work has been done to make sure that the satellite data are the best quality possible. Recent claims to the contrary by Hurrell and Trenberth have been shown to be false for a number of reasons, and are laid to rest in the September 25th edition of Nature (page 342). The temperature measurements from space are verified by two direct and independent methods. The first involves actual in-situ measurements of the lower atmosphere made by balloon-borne observations around the world. The second uses intercalibration and comparison among identical experiments on different orbiting platforms. The result is that the satellite temperature measurements are accurate to within three one-hundredths of a degree Centigrade (0.03 C) when compared to ground-launched balloons taking measurements of the same region of the atmosphere at the same time."

    Accurate Thermometers in Space

    Given the history and magnitude of the errors, I find it strange that there are many who will swear by the satellite record, all the while depicting the surface record as fraudulent, and those who manage it as frauds.

    Lastly, I don't see anything fundamentally wrong with what Trenberth, Abraham, and Gleick wrote, other than perhaps their use of the word "forced" in reference to the major errors. I suppose "forced" isn't technically true, in that they could have ignored the errors that had become obvious, but such a course of action would have been unlikely. The authors could have done without that word. Could you point out specifically what you feel is inaccurate and what needs to be retracted?

    Thanks for your time. I'm glad you've stopped by here on occasion and hope you will stick around to read beyond the headlines, and maybe make some constructive contributions here.
  • Monckton at odds with the very scientists he cites

    Tom Curtis at 01:53 AM on 19 July, 2011

    Rob Honeycutt @22, you obviously like your humor black.

    Not only is he (as you put it) an all round bad seed, he is also intimately connected with all the major deniers in Australia. These are the "independent advisers" of the ironically named "Galileo Movement":

    Professor Tim Ball
    Warwick Hughes
    Professor Fred Singer
    Professor Dick Lindzen
    Bill Kininmonth
    Professor Bob Carter
    Professor Ian Plimer
    David Archibald
    Professor Peter Ridd
    Professor Garth Paltridge
    Dr Vincent Gray
    Dr Jennifer Marohasy
    Jo Nova
    Des Moore
    John Nicol
    David Flint
    Andrew Bolt
    John McLean
    David Evans
    Pat Michaels
    Joe D'Aleo
    Viscount Monckton

    Jo Nova in particular, has been sharing the podium with Monckton on his speaking tour. While she has been saying,

    "We sceptics are not calling for anyone to be silenced."

    he has been getting up and saying:

    "So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you, we are going to prosecute you and we are going to lock you up!"

    Apparently they do not see the disconnect. What is transparently lacking is responsible media who put to those involved why they are willing to associate with a man like Monckton (no more accurate description can be given with in comment policy).
  • Carter Confusion #3: Surface Temperature Record Cherries

    From Peru at 08:06 AM on 18 July, 2011

    As a student and future geologist, I feel ashamed from those geologists , like Bob Carter, that deny climate science.

    What should be evident tob any with a minimum knowledge of Geology, in particular Historic Geology (that includes paloclimatology as a branch) is that we are doing in a few decades what nature did in hundred thousands or millions years in the past. This wil cause necessarily a disruption, because life on Earth cannot tollerate such radical changes in so little time.

    One of the graphs he presented was this:

    With greenhouse gases at levels not seen in 15 million years, he should be very concerned about abrupt athropogenic climate change, because the glacial-interglacial oscillations evident in the graph above will be gone so we we are on track to an ice-free Greenland and a small ice sheet in Antartica, like in the Miocene 15 million years ago.

    But he isn't, and the places where he gives his conferences, associated with free market capitalism such as the Heartland Institute suggest that his thoughts are strongly influenced by political/economical ideology.

    He also make a conference at Sydney Mining Club, suggesting a link with coal industry.

    So it seems that Bob Carter was either blinded by ideology or by economic convenience. What a shame for the geoological community!

    Nota Bene:

    If one thinks about it, the mining industry should be very concerned about climate change and peak oil, because them could make the costs of extraction skyrocket resulting in heavy economic losses. So them should be sustaining climate regulations, not opposing them....

    ...unless you extract coal, of course !

    The mining professionals in extracting metals (copper, iron, lead, zinc, silver, gold, platinum, etc) and gemstones (diamonds, smeralds, zaffires, rubys, etc) should break away from the fossil fuel industrial monster, so that the mining industry as a whole would not be morally stained for the wrongs of one of his branches (the fossil fuel extraction branch).
  • Why Wasn't The Hottest Decade Hotter?

    NewYorkJ at 10:21 AM on 16 July, 2011

    Along the lines of #16 and #51, more decadal variability in global temperature presents deniers with more opportunities to put forth visually-appealing "step change" nonsense.

    Bob Carter Does his Business
  • Great Barrier Reef Part 1: Current Conditions and Human Impacts

    Rob Painting at 07:55 AM on 6 July, 2011

    John Bruno - I wonder how those researchers would react in the following situation:

    Say for instance Sweatman was feeling poorly; stomach cramps, nausea, headaches and a high fever. Off he trundles to the doctor (Bob Carter), who hasn't treated him before and isn't aware of his normal physical condition. Dr Bob Carter diagnoses and prescribes various medications. A week later he hasn't improved at all, so back he goes to the doctor. Dr Bob examines him again and, based on Sweatman's condition in the first visit, finds his condition hasn't deteriorated any further, whereupon he declares "You're in fine fettle Mr Sweatman!"

    I think that little analogy reflects the absurdity of the claims. And I hope none of your poorly informed colleagues make it into practicing medicine!
  • Great Barrier Reef Part 1: Current Conditions and Human Impacts

    John Bruno at 10:48 AM on 5 July, 2011

    Dear jmsully,

    The AIMS Osborne paper, although strikingly similar to Sweatman et al in many regards, comes to a different conclusion about the historical state of the GBR. In their abstract, Osborne et al state:

    "While the limited data for the GBR prior to the 1980’s suggests that coral cover was higher than in our survey, we found no evidence of consistent, system-wide decline in coral cover since 1995"

    Thus, like many others (eg, Bruno and Selig 2007 PLoS One), they interpreted evidence of no trend during that time period as indicating no trend during that time period. Sweatman et al - along with Andrew Bolt, Bob Carter and others - in contrast used this evidence to support their argument that the GBR is pristine or near pristine, ie, it hasn't change much if at all (i.e. they argued that the state of the reef in 1995 is representative of the system baseline).
  • Climate half-truths turn out to be whole lies

    dawsonjg at 22:28 PM on 1 July, 2011

    JC = John Cook’s Age piece
    JD = my comments.


    Half the truth on emissions
    John Cook
    June 28, 2011

    Cherry-picking the evidence to suit a pseudo-scientific argument misses the alarming reality.

    A Yiddish proverb states ''a half truth is a whole lie''. By withholding vital information, it's possible to lead you towards the opposite conclusion to the one you would get from considering the full picture.

    Absolutely right. For example, the 20 years and billions of dollars spent looking for a man made cause of climate change proves nothing until as much effort is exerted looking for alternative explanations.


    In Bob Carter's opinion piece on this page yesterday, this technique of cherry-picking half-truths is on full display, with frequent examples of statements that distort climate science.


    Read: “that contradict our man-made climate change narrative”.

    ( - Snip - )
  • Climate half-truths turn out to be whole lies

    CBDunkerson at 23:09 PM on 28 June, 2011

    Hmmm... let's see. In the past Bob Carter has said;

    "The Climategate files have demonstrated the scientific malfeasance of an influential and internationally well networked segment of the climate research community. A small group of scientists and computer modellers - with the aid of an enormous supporting cast of environmental activists and organisations, self-interested business groups, and crusading journalists - have managed to turn the global warming issue (which in 1990 was an entirely sensible matter to have raised) into the scientific scam of the century, if not the biggest ever."

    Carter's "Kill the IPCC" article

    So, Carter claims the people at HadCRUT are guilty of "scientific malfeasance" and "the scientific scam of the century"... and therefor he holds their results above all others?

    Are we sure he knows what 'scientific malfeasance' means? Cuz... that'd be it.
  • Bob Carter’s climate counter-consensus is an alternate reality

    heystoopid at 10:21 AM on 26 June, 2011

    Ouch! Reading Bob Carter's anti-science propaganda drivel, hurt my brain.

    Amazon's internal book review hyperbole "Professor Robert Carter - Professor Robert Carter is one of the world's leading palaeoclimatologists, and his work investigates the past cycles of the earth's unpredictable natural climate change, especially over the last few million years of planetary ice ages."

    Desmogblog: Bob Carter:

    Perhaps, those who have managed to read this anti-science book, could dispel the myths of how a geologist, who has published zero peer reviewed research papers on palaeoclimatology, became an overnight expert in that subject.
  • Climate change is real: an open letter from the scientific community

    Chris at 13:45 PM on 14 June, 2011


    You may want to look at Today's Telegraph where Piers Ackerman has written an article denying the science of Climate Change. He refers to an article written in Quadrant by Bob Carter and 3 other scientists that refutes all the scietific research as overblown and exaggerated. Cater even makes the claim that the peer reviewed scientists are liars.
  • Geologists and climate change denial

    ginckgo at 12:10 PM on 10 June, 2011

    I'm a geologist/palaeontologist myself, and know many geologists here in Australia, and overseas. The majority of them accept that AGW theory correctly describes what's going on (a few are skeptical that we can do much about it anymore); Mike Sandiford, my lecturer in metamorphic geology, now at Melbourne Uni, is a strong advocate of AGW (Ian Plimer used to work at Melbourne Uni, but there is little respect for his academic prowess here, partly due to his very meagre publication recordl; and yet he is touted as Australia's most renowned geologist). I have actually collaborated closely with Bob Carter in the late 90s, and have respect for his work in marine geology, so it is disappointing that he is undermining another field of science, blatantly due to political convictions (Heartland Institute, srsly?).

    Geology is vitally important in understanding what's going on (I'm involved in organising a conference on the relevance of palaeoclimate on today's climate change in the next year), and geologists should be very involved in the whole thing. But scientists must understand that expertise in one subject does not automatically translate to others. And interestingly, the geologists more closely involved with climate (palaeontologists, palaeoclimatologists, etc) are much more likely to agree with AGW theory than those who are far removed: economic geologists can get a degree (or just go straight to a job) without ever doing any classes outside of ore formation or hard rock geology, which are as relevant to climate as inorganic chemistry is to evolution. Indeed, we see similar patterns in lists that supposedly show scientists denying evolution.
  • Carter Confusion #1: Anthropogenic Warming

    Marcus at 10:16 AM on 23 May, 2011

    "Nevertheless, discussion of ACSC and John's membership therein isn't relevant to this topic, so let's leave it at that."

    Well I only mentioned it because both he *and* Bob Carter are part of this Group, so I thought everyone should know...but you're right, Dana, I won't say anything more on the subject.
  • Carter Confusion #1: Anthropogenic Warming

    Marcus at 09:47 AM on 23 May, 2011

    Hey guys, should just warn you that John Nicol is a member of the Australian Climate Science Coalition-which also has such "august" individuals as William Kinnimonth, John McLean (of "hide the incline" fame) and, of course, Bob Carter himself (hence John's very spirited defense). This organization is a typical Denialist Organization, with strong ties to the Lavoisier Group, whose sole goal is to prevent any meaningful action on Climate Change via the use of pseudo-science-like the stuff this very article focuses on. As such, I think its fair to say that any future contributions by John will be equally irrelevant & equally unscientific.
  • Carter Confusion #1: Anthropogenic Warming

    jonicol at 08:36 AM on 23 May, 2011

    I was only attempting to change the approach here to one of more genuine debate on the science which Bob Carter is proposing, as a very experienced (thirty five years) paleo-geologist whose work has centred on past climate for millions of years worth of records, I believe he understands much more about climate than you give him credit for. As a "marine" geologist, he spends his time on marine expeditions which are internationally funded, drilling for both deep and shallow cores - in the ocean floor - with which to study past climates and other geological history. Your article stated that it was intended to examine "In this first installment, we will examine Carter's claims that there is no evidence that the observed global warming is man-made.. ". I was simply responding, I thought, to that comment in the article. Your phrase "Carter seems to attempt to jam as many climate myths into as few words as possible, interspersed with a lot of empty political rhetoric and the usual misunderstanding of climate economics..." suggests that you are criticising the person, not his statements and seems to me to move at least to the edge if not outside your own guidelines. I would like to hear your comments on the newest "climate scientist" to enter the debate, Ross Garnaut.
    John Nicol
  • Carter Confusion #1: Anthropogenic Warming

    Bern at 13:15 PM on 19 May, 2011

    I see Bob Carter has now appeared on the list of "Independent Advisors" to the newly minted "Galileo Movement". Said list also includes such distinguished names as Singer, Lindzen, Plimer, Marohasy, Nova, Bolt, and Monckton, among others.

    It's a veritable picnic of denier arguments. They even repeat the "$100 billion spend on research" argument...
  • There is no consensus

    Bruce Frykman at 05:53 AM on 14 April, 2011

    RE: PC- 335

    RE: "It is a consensus of research results, built over many years. It is not some sort of vote in which people get to say what they believe. It is constrained by the results of a a very large body of scientific work.

    OK, I get it, science demands precise data but ethereal and formless consensus that cannot be quantified. Only politics requires precise consensus.

    RE: "Science has not been done by consensus, it's the other way around."

    I get it; consensus is a meta-process that builds science that can stand entirely upon its own legs.

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "As for Bob Carter, all you are demonstrating is how biased you are."

    Of course I am biased, to be human is to be biased. I would never trust anyone who claimed he was not. Its not the bias of our individuality that is of any importance but only that our biases may be freely aired. Science operates in a world of humans and of human bias. Your position appears to support the notion that there are a class of people who are not biased and are therefore what?
    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "You believe him because you like what he says."

    Of course I do, and you don't like him for the reason that you don't like what he says - let him say it.

    RE: "Can you be sure that he is not corrupt?"

    I'm not a religious person, but I do find lessons to be taken from faith: Have you ever listened to Handel's beautiful Messiah? - "And we shall be raised incorruptable"

    ( -Snip- )

    RE: "No, just like you can't be sure that all the other scientists you half accuse have done anything wrong."

    I 'have' accused no one, I do not trust the processes of climate science. I might make the same judgment of the processes of my own physician without accusing him of anything.

    RE: "In the El-Nino paper, he tried to push a conclusion that was not supported by the data."

    Oh by that you mean he is human?

    RE: "James Hansen has been under pressure, from his governement, with an official order; isn't that exactly the kind of thing you object?"

    If I can stand in the kitchen and take the heat I don't see why he can't - I'm not paid to do this.
  • There is no consensus

    e at 04:30 AM on 14 April, 2011


    Don't worry I have seen your deleted comments.

    My request was simple, let's forget the whole "is their consensus"/"isn't there consensus" argument and focus on the actual evidence. Do you agree with this approach?

    If so, the next steps are simple: organize your own thoughts on the evidence (do not just summarize what Bob Carter has to say), then find where the subject is covered in this site's List of Skeptic Arguments. If the content of the post does not address your concerns, then feel free to post your thoughts within that thread. Your posts will be clearly visible to anyone checking the recent comments link from the top menu. No need to clutter this thread with off-topic discussion.

    Is this not a reasonable request?
  • There is no consensus

    Philippe Chantreau at 03:20 AM on 14 April, 2011

    Bruce Frykman, you're confused about what scientific consensus is.

    The subject has by now been extensively reasearched. The results of the research all point in the direction of one coherent whole, which can be called the consensus model of Earh climate. It is established enough that it has been elevated to the level of a scientific theory. Please do not start ranting about "theories are not fact"; if you know anything about what a scientific theory is, you know how stupid that argument is.

    That is what the consensus is. It is a consensus of research results, built over many years. It is not some sort of vote in which people get to say what they believe. It is constrained by the results of a a very large body of scientific work. Science has not been done by consensus, it's the other way around.

    As for Bob Carter, all you are demonstrating is how biased you are. You believe him because you like what he says. Can you be sure that he is not corrupt? No, just like you can't be sure that all the other scientists you half accuse have done anything wrong. But in his case, he says what you want to hear, so you trust him. This is the exact opposite of a skeptical attitude. I'l add that Carter's record of publications in climate is less than impressive. In the El-Nino paper, he tried to push a conclusion that was not supported by the data.

    Talk from "skeptics" about scientists under pressure always makes me smile. James Hansen has been under pressure, from his governement, with an official order; isn't that exactly the kind of thing you object? Did you object in that case? If not, why not?

    Cuccinelli engaged on a whitch hunt/fishing expedition against a scientist he didn't like and did so purely for political reasons, abusing the legal and political power given to him. Did you object to that? These are real, observable, documented occurrences of what you complain about. But they don't mandate your protest because they are perpetrated against those who say stuff you dislike.

    On the other hand the accusations you are trying to relay here have not yet been substantiated. No real evidence has been brought, zilch. The so-called climategate has only revealed how solid the science actually is.

    And yes, it is possible that Bob Carter is lying. Or that he's twisting the truth, or misrepresenting it, or taking it out of context. If you think all these other people are lying without a shred of evidence that they are, why would that not also be a possibility?
  • There is no consensus

    e at 03:10 AM on 14 April, 2011

    Bruce>He made no such claim. I believe you have inadvertently created a straw-man.

    Check out your first video at 1:10, quote:

    "... no evidence at all that any these changes have anything to do with human activity or influence"

    Anyways, I'm not interested in Bob Carter's claims, I'm curious about your claims. Please take a look here, and post your specific scientific points in the appropriate thread. Don't worry we'll be able to see your posts wherever you put it, note the comments link at the top that displays all recent comments across all threads.

    I think we are all in agreement that evidence is better than consensus. So please, indulge us and bring forward your comments on the evidence (in the appropriate thread and in your own words, not Bob Carter's).
  • There is no consensus

    Bruce Frykman at 03:00 AM on 14 April, 2011

    RE: Bob Carter's claim is that no evidence exists for an anthropogenic source for recent warming.

    He made no such claim. I believe you have inadvertently created a straw-man. Bob Carter clearly has stated that carbon dioxide is indeed a greenhouse gas and that we are releasing more carbon into the fluid surface of the earth. Of course he also points out the fact that agriculture (wheat fields etc) represents another facet of anthropogenic climate change.

    It's the fact that growing crops and burning fossil fuels appears to redound to well understood benefits for mankind that recommends these activities to us.

    Computer modeling of various input scenarios might be interesting, but none of these models are predictive in nature and have established no such understanding towards making some reasoned fact based decision that curtailing either is in fact beneficial.

    These are thrusts of his claims.
  • There is no consensus

    e at 02:02 AM on 14 April, 2011


    The specific topic of this thread is "is there a scientific consensus". Displaying the opinion of a single scientist does not refute this claim. Nobody is arguing that dissenting opinion does not exist, only that it is a small minority when considering those with the most expertise on the subject.

    Bob Carter's claim is that no evidence exists for an anthropogenic source for recent warming. That claim is addressed here and here. Please review those posts and place any relevant arguments within the appropriate thread. Thus far you have not provided any specifics about why you doubt AGW (and this thread would not be the appropriate place to do so).
  • There is no consensus

    Bruce Frykman at 01:36 AM on 14 April, 2011

    This following interview with Bob Carter might be useful to this debate. Bob Carter, to me, seems to be a mild and reasonable fellow who also speaks with a soft and pleasing accent regarding the heat of climate change that is indeed man-made; the heat of the debate seen here and all over the world as well.

    He is in fact a paleoclimatologist. I subscribe entirely to his comments here:

    Would this place either himself or me, as one endorsing his comments, as "a denier" in the vernacular of the partisans here who either speak-for the editorial process of this website or are indeed directly involved with it.

    Your comments are welcome.
  • Hansen's 1988 prediction was wrong

    wingding at 21:02 PM on 3 April, 2011

    Another misleading analysis of Hansen's 1988 scenarios

    this time bob carter and david evans getting it hideously wrong.

    Note the substitution of tropospheric temperatures when the projections were for surface temperatures.

    Note the complete disregard of non CO2 greenhouse gases in order to claim scenario A best fits reality. Check the comments. There is a quote mine of Hansen 1988 to support that disregard.

    Worse of all a complete lack of research. It's like they haven't even bothered reading any analyses of the 1988 scenarios, including in some of hansen's later papers. Like they didn't even use google.

    There's enough wrong in that article for a skepticalscience correction imo. If you google some of the text in the article you will find it's been copy pasted around over the years.

    Another bad thing is how none of the commenter seem to know it's wrong.
  • It's cooling

    Notsure at 05:58 AM on 12 February, 2011

    JMurphy 'So far the sceptics seem to be more open''Do you have any examples you can give and link to' Prof Bob Carter James Cook University, Queensland. He has strong views on the subject that are worth listening to. From there you can search for many others. All come from different angles but unfortunatly if they dare to question global warming, even if they agree its happening they are labeled deniers. As far as cranks are concerned I have views and I will leave you to judge others.
  • The science isn't settled

    JMurphy at 20:33 PM on 25 January, 2011

    LandyJim, I think you saw what you wanted to see in that programme because Phil Jones came out of it very well - as a scientist trying to do his job, while trying to fend off spurious FOI requests. He explained very well what the splicing was all about and it was made clear in the programme that what he and his team at CRU had done, had been cleared by four enquiries. There was, of course, mention made of clearer explanations and the work and data being made more available, but the programme certainly didn't make a big deal of it except in a more general way which also involved scientists and data in all fields.
    There was certainly no "unprofessional behaviour" admitted or, indeed, any such accusations made in the programme. And there was definitely no hints of "dishonesty", "lieing" or any implications on him or his work - that is your opinion, which you no doubt held before the programme.

    The two interviewees who came off the worst were, as you mentioned, the journalist Delingpole but also Bob Carter - the latter looking seriously out of touch.

    Generally, the programme (to me) was a good example of the science and the scientists fighting back by presenting the evidence (as accepted by the vast majority of scientists), showing what the alternatives were (not a lot), and trying to win back the public from the idealogues and political interferers, especially from the media and various blogs - all mentioned, and shown, as untrustworthy and biased to their own agendas.

    Let's hope it is the start of scientists getting out there and showing the facts, to persuade the mass of the public who are presently confused by what they read from those who have little idea of the science in the first place.
  • Sea level rise: the broader picture

    Rob Painting at 19:06 PM on 31 August, 2010

    BP, I don't know where you live, but down here in the Southern Hemisphere, citing Bob Carter doesn't bolster credibility, quite the reverse.
  • It hasn't warmed since 1998

    sailrick at 18:47 PM on 16 August, 2010

    I don't know if Bob Carter would be high on my list of good sources of climate information.

    "Climate scientists continue to respond to badly flawed, politically driven, papers by those who deny the strong evidence for humans affecting climate in ways that portend major future disruptions".

    "Such papers have confused the public debate, but increasingly scientists are stepping up to provide strong refutations. Last year, John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter, published a paper in the Journal of Geophysical Research using a
    mathematical procedure that eliminates long term trends to claim that there is no long term trend in global temperatures."

    "How Low can you Go?"
    April 3, 2010

    McLean, de Freitas and Carter rebutted... by McLean, de Freitas and Carter that is not clearly shown in this graph and only discovered through analysis of the
    original data is that the mean values of the weather balloon and satellite data during their period of overlap differ by nearly 0.2°C. Splicing them together introduces an artificial 0.2°C temperature drop at the boundary between the two. In other words,
    they "hide the incline".

  • Watts it like at a climate skeptic speakers event?

    johnd at 00:25 AM on 21 June, 2010

    David Horton at 17:37 PM, it's possible Bob Carter might just be promoting the CO2 is plant food line because he is aware of real world FACE wheat trials that have produced results that contradicts much of what you claim. A link to the trial results is in my post above.
    Results from the first three years of the experiment include increases in biomass, which in agriculture, translates into increases in yield with about a 20% increase in yield because of the elevated CO2.
  • Watts it like at a climate skeptic speakers event?

    John Bruno at 12:41 PM on 20 June, 2010

    Wonderful post Megan and I think a great description of the event. Something that really struck me in Bob Carters summation was his argument that "we don't know" what is going on with temperature or glaciers. He said (to paraphrase) some are shrinking, some are growing, we don't measure enough to know what the mean trend is. Archibald made the old argument that there has been no warming over the past 10 years, then showed a graph that seemed to disprove his point, even though it only went through mid-2009. But wait, Archibald also argued that there is warming but it is caused by the sun. And in a recent paper, Bob argued there is warming, but it is caused by El Nino. Yet at the event he said there is no warming then a few minutes later said we don't know if there is any warming. Which contradicted Archibald's strong argument that the earth has been cooling for thousands of years and continues to so. Confused? Me too. But the contradictory nature of their arguments is a common trait of the skeptic case against AGW. All fodder for future posts. - JB
  • Kung-fu Climate

    Ned at 21:40 PM on 8 May, 2010

    Poptech writes: Riccardo, I have much longer lists of skeptical scientists than the NAS letter, one I self compiled and others by third parties.

    Having looked at your list of "skeptical scientists" I can confirm that it is in fact useless.

    There are people on there who are indeed good scientists, but who are not remotely in doubt about the existence of anthropogenic global warming. (For example, Dennis Lettenmaier: "It's happening ... Where it's going to lead is uncertain. But I think it's untenable to pretend we can keep pumping this stuff into the atmosphere at current rates and it's not going to make any difference.")

    There are also people on there who are indeed opposed to the idea of GW, but who aren't actually scientists (e.g., Richard S. Courtney, E.-G. Beck).

    The list is padded with sections of "meteorologists" (some of whom, like Anthony Watts, are just TV personalities), economists, and so on.

    It's also got quite a few names of people who are deceased. Given that the NAS letter in Science was just published this week, I'm not sure how confident we're supposed to be that somebody who's been dead for five or ten years opposes the letter in Science. Can I assume that Einstein, Maxwell, Newton, Galileo, and Eratosthenes would all support the NAS letter? (Joking aside, over the past decade several of the largest skeptical arguments have collapsed -- see, for example, the repeated corrections of errors in the UAH record that changed it from cooling to warming -- so I don't think one should assume that someone who was dubious in the past would still doubt the existence of AGW today.)

    Finally, I'd just add that the list contains a very, very large number of names of people that (how can I put this politely?) are not even remotely credible on this subject. I mentioned Watts and E.-G. Beck and Courtney above, but that's just the beginning. Who on the scientific side is going to be convinced by your inclusion of Piers Corbyn, Sonja Boehmer-Christiansen, Steve Milloy, Tim Ball, Zbigniew Jaworowski, Ralf D. Tscheuschner, Bob Carter, Luboš Motl, Joseph D’Aleo, Gerhard Gerlich, Louis Hissink ... You've got the entire Robinson family on there (Arthur, Noah, and Zachary -- aka the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine). I could go on and on ... the point is, every name in this paragraph adds negative credibility to your list.

    In summary, I don't think comparing your list to the letter published in Science this week strengthens your case. Quite the opposite, in fact.
  • A peer-reviewed response to McLean's El Nino paper

    skepticstudent at 15:21 PM on 7 May, 2010

    I will admit that my level of science expertise is not as august as those that surround me. However at the age of 50 I’ve been around the block a few times and I’m able to put 2 and 2 together and see through a few holes.
    However I would like to make some comments and ask some questions out of full seriousness not being trite.
    I believe I did offer some evidence in regards to oceanic cooling. The end all be all of scientific focus on the side of global warming seems to be from James Hansen and the NASA Goddard institute, and Michael Mann’s Hockey stick. However let’s just focus on Oceanic Temperatures for now. Since this thread is talking about whether or not the oceanic temperature frame could be cooling or stable and related to Antarctic Ice melt is at the core of that As I mentioned earlier a joint NASA Remote Sensing Systems paper shows the combined science of satellite imagery and oceanic buoy readings which show a general oceanic temperature decline over the last 10 + years.
    If you look at their website it shows In Situ Data collocations for the most recently completed day. It shows a group of buoys placed all over the oceans of the world.
    Now as to your comment of forcings then, versus forcings now, and the forcings that were around 10million years ago that are not active today. What is your basis in fact in this comment?

    There is ice core evidence and lake bed sediment evidence that during the last 10 million years there have been numerous periods where the ice in the Antarctic has done the same thing as it is doing now, what forcings were in play then that aren’t now. I have heard that said over and over but yet never proven to my satisfaction.
    One of the major contentions against the McLean/Carter et al.’s paper is that El Nino has been around since about 1895 even though that’s almost a century earlier than what I have heard for the last two decades but I’ll just go with the flow for this argument, the other part of the contention is that McLean/Carter et al. are trying to deny ongoing activity. Well how can you say on one hand this has been going on for a very long time and then on the other hand say that there is no evidence that the forcings 10milion years ago aren’t continuing today? You are robbing from Peter to pay Paul in your argument.
    I think one of the major errors that people who believe one thing and one thing only are missing is that there is a multiplicity of things causing fluctuations of temperature.
    Also this is a regional thing not a global thing. Also there has been a major ignoring of the fact that there is evidence over eons, that when the Arctic ice has a major growth pattern, the Antarctic recedes and vice versa. The Arctic ice pattern has had some major growth patterns since 2008. Now if anyone wants to debate me on the amount of snow and ice and windstorms in the state of Alaska in 2008 and 2009 I lived up there and I will be glad to debate you on “warming” in Alaska. I won’t argue that perhaps the Antarctic ice has melted a little more than expect in the last two years. I won’t argue that most likely the Pacific Decadal Oscillation would most likely not be the single culprit of Antarctic melting. But I would also stand strong and deny that any amount of anthropogenic CO2 output is the sole cause of any amount of warming.
    I’m trying to stay to the theme of this thread but it is rather difficult, without bringing in corollary evidence.
    You might be asking yourselves where this guy is getting his information from if he admits that he is not a scientist per say. I am a scientist of sorts. I am a Network Engineer and I have to understand electronics and a million other things and piece things together one step at a time forming theories and hypotheses as to what might keep one part of a communications network from functioning properly with another. If that is not the heart of the scientific method I don’t know what is. I have also studied for years about weather and astronomy.
    I also happen to have two friends who are a retired meteorologist expert for the US Weather Bureau, and another is a climatologist.
    As far as whether or not the McLean/Carter et al. paper is fit for peer review, I would say that what they were saying is that you have to look at the facts and see that there are other things besides mankind’s contribution to carbon footprint globally. I believe they proved that. Did they prove that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation was the sole corollary cause of global warming? No but having read the paper I don’t think that was the intention. As in so many areas I believe that when science can’t be refuted you attack the scientist.
    I believe since their paper is stating that other things are at play in any temperature fluctuation and that is the main bone of contention I believe it is fair to quickly discuss the fact once again, that during the carboniferous period there was 7000 to 14000 ppm of CO2. Who drove cars then? What factories were putting out CO2?
    Was the temperature any different than it is now? (At different periods of time yes at others no) On the opposite side of the coin, there were times when CO2 was at around 400ppm the equator was nearly frozen solid. So the main quest of their paper was to show that CO2 really isn’t the cause of any warming past, present, or future.
    I’m not going to get into the other areas as they are not within the confines of this thread and I’m trying to play within the rules of this blog since I’m not the author.

    Ps... I just got an email from Mr. Bob Carter and I advised him of this blog, I'm sure he will be thrilled beyond description over the excitement and enthusiastic discussion of his hard work.
  • CO2 effect is saturated

    kdkd at 20:47 PM on 27 April, 2010

    qball17 #13

    That's not a proper scientific paper, it's a paper from the partisan Science and Public Policy Institute (home of among others the rather badly discredited "Lord" Christopher Monkton, and the australian geologist Bob Carter). If there was any merit in the presentation/summary that you printed, then it would be easy for him to publish in a reputable scientific journal. So you have to ask the question why hasn't he?

    The papers cited at the top of this page are a much better source for you to form your opinions from.
  • A peer-reviewed response to McLean's El Nino paper

    John Bruno at 13:47 PM on 18 March, 2010

    Amazing. A scientist caught manipulating data to achieve a pre-determined result. Lets wait to see if the denial-o-spehere goes wild with outrage. I somehow doubt it.

    The conclusions Bob Carter drew from this work,even if it were not flawed, are nuts. I also wonder if he will now retract his opposition to carbon trading schemes...
  • Empirical evidence that humans are causing global warming

    Robbo the Yobbo at 14:27 PM on 18 October, 2009

    Douglas and Knox looked at periods of radiative imbalance in the light of the multidecadal ocean/climate states - they say that the radiative imbalance changed again with the climate shift in 2000 to -0.2 W/m2. The best argument for a natural origin of decadal climate shift is the shift in climate after 1999.

    The difference between Schuckman and Douglas is 1 W/m2. There is obviously no agreement. There is also no agreement of Schuckmann to the OHC data at the National Oceanographic Data Center.

    The Douglass graph you show stops at the most recent climate shift. You certainly can't have read the paper - or even the blog - to come to the conclusion you have.


    Ocean heat content and Earth’s radiation imbalance
    D.H. Douglass and R, S, Knox

    Dept. of Physics and Astronomy, University of Rochester, PO Box 270171, Rochester, NY 14627-0171, USA

    Earth’s radiation imbalance is determined from ocean heat content data and compared with results of direct measurements. Distinct time intervals of alternating positive and negative values are found: 1960–mid-1970s (−0.15), mid-1970s–2000 (+0.15), 2001–present (−0.2 W/m2), and are consistent with prior reports. These climate shifts limit climate predictability.

    The recent change to a -ve radiative imbalance is certainly in line with observations of Earth albedo since 1999. Google Project Earthshine and look at the most recent additions to the bibliography.

    The PDO is not the cause of anything - but is in itself one outcome of 20 to 30 year global ocean states. There is a 100 years of science on this in both the Atlantic and Pacific and thousands of papers. Don Easterbrok, Pielke Sn, Bob Carter, Roy Spencer and Stewart Franks – amongst many others - have been discussing this for a decade. How this must rankle. Keenlyside has been talking about multidecadal Atlantic influences on global surface temperature for years. Recently Kyle Swanson and Anastasio Tsonis used a numerical method to analyse for shifts in ocean/climate states. They found what was evident for many years from eyeballing (that is, after all, what they are for)the ocean indices graphs. The mid 1940's, the mid 1970's and 1999/2001 are the most recent climate shifts. At least half of recent warming between 1976 and 1998 was the result of the most recent warm ocean mode.

    We are now in a cool ocean mode - a cooling influence in the atmosphere and oceans that lasts for 20 to 30 years from the last climate shift around the change of the millenium.

    The IARC is based at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. I linked to ICECAP to find a nice summary - but by all means link to the IARC directly and search for decadal changes.

    If you look at any Artic temperature reconstruction - you will see very pronounced decadal temperature variation. A peak in the 1940's and a recent peak around 2000. There are some temperature anomalies here for instance -

    The satellite sea ice anomalies referred to are not of sufficient record length to capture decadal variability. The satellite record doesn’t give enough information to draw meaningful conclusions at this time. The Arctic should, like the rest of the planet but more strongly, cool over the next couple of decades.

    ‘Multidecadal fluctuations in the Arctic/North Atlantic climate system should be taken into account when assessing long-term climate change and variability. Understanding the key mechanisms influencing the Arctic/North Atlantic multidecadal variability is essential for developing robust climatic forecasts.’

    Schuckmann et al is utter rubbish because they – like most people around the world – have not come up to speed with multidecadal ocean/climate shifts. Mojib Latiff said that asking the uncomfortable questions about climate variation was needed lest the questions be asked by less forgiving people like myself.

    Simply claiming that Latiff was misrepresented – by a right wing journal such as New Scientist for God’s sake – is very, very silly. Clinging to denial of multidecdal ocean/climate states would be foolishness of monumental proportions.

    It is not suggested that carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas - simply that most of the recent warming between 1976 and 1998 was due to natural climate shifts - and all of the current cooling. Do you have another explanation for current cooling? Didn't think so.

    Ocean heat content is the best way of monitoring for radiative imbalances - but you have to expect that this is not constant nor linear - and none of the researchers - as Susan Wijfells said last month - agree with each other as yet. Obviusly - more development in methods is needed.
  • Global warming and the El Niño Southern Oscillation

    Robbo the Yobbo at 18:30 PM on 11 August, 2009

    The climate shifts are from one ocean state to another over a year or three and back again over 50 years. The states amplify global warming in the warm state and mask global warming in the cool state. It is a cyclic state of sea surface temperature in the world's oceans that influences global surface temp rather than an oscillation in atmospheric temp. The states seem to be associated with changes in cloud cover.

    Let's accept for the time being that Swanson and Tsonis are correct in assuming that this is 'warming interupted'- 2 or 3 decades of no warming from 1998 - rather than planetary cooling. Swanson and Tsonsis in the graph at realclimate exclude the years of climate shift (1977 and 1998) from the recent trend to get a trend due to greenhouse gases and other factors. You get the same answer if the residual trend is considered for a full cycle between 1946 and 1998 - or even a longer time frame back to 1850.

    The residual trend for all other factors is 1/2 of that commonly quoted. Seen in the context of prudent foresight - the issue is merely less urgent and more amenable to technological solutions. I have no particular urge to continue the ocean and atmosphere experiment past the middle of the century at most. 100% decarbonisation by 2050 is, I feel, achievable. My 'ideological bias' is in not believing that government intervention will achieve any sigificant gains and do so at great cost in human life and to the legitimate aspirations of the world's poor. This is, I believe, a measured and reasonable bias.

    Not sure what the McLean et al reference is about. Bob Carter sent me a copy of their latest paper. I have discussed the paper with John McLean by email (who has pedantically corrected my interpretation)and used their Figure 4 in an upcoming non-peer reviewed article for the dreaded Energy and Environment.

    All that is being claimed is that ENSO has a huge impact on global temperature variation. Fairly obvious but nice to be able to put a number to it. They are not saying anything about a rising trend other than in comment that 'perhaps' ENSO conditons post the 1976/1977 climate shift contributed to recent warming.

    I suspect you might mean Lean et al from the British Met Office? Who expect that that solar irradiance will reassert itself at the peak in the next 11 year solar cycle and record surface temps will again occur by 2014? This assumes that solar irradiance is not trending rapidly down from a thousand year high - to a Dalton or perhaps even Maunder Minimum. And I wonder what implications there are for temps later in the 11 year cycle?
  • Global warming and the El Niño Southern Oscillation

    NewYorkJ at 09:41 AM on 7 August, 2009

    The formal refutation linked by Ian is likely to cover the obvious errors we've seen here and elsewhere, and perhaps a few more. The paper's propaganda value (providing largely faux cover for Bob Carter's public statements) should live on for awhile. I see several now obsolete "skeptical" papers that still float around political circles and the blogosphere.
  • Global warming and the El Niño Southern Oscillation

    canbanjo at 08:34 AM on 2 August, 2009

    Thanks Chris, I sent an e-mail to Bob Carter to get his side of the story, he responded as follows (the websites he refers to are this one and realclimate):

    Dear canbanjo,

    Thank you for your interest in our paper.

    There is little point in my responding to ridicule when that ridicule is based upon wilful misunderstanding of the science in question.

    Unfortunately neither of the web sites that you mention provide dispassionate scientific analysis of the AGW issue, and they are therefore not sites that I spend time reading. For their authors are primarily committed to defending against all comers the IPCC's hypothesis of dangerous human-caused warming, rather than testing it independently.

    The McLean et al. paper supports earlier understanding of the effects of ENSO and volcanic eruptions on the climate system, and shows that much of the variance in the global temperature record can be explained by changes in ENSO 7 months prior. That fact leaves no room for a major influence from human carbon dioxide emissions, and cannot simply be shrugged of.

    The paper does not address trends as such (which Real Climate and similar websites often appear to be obsessed by).

    I attach a leaflet which contains some recommended websites and other sources of information on AGW that are of higher quality, and exhibit better scientific balance, than the two that you are currently relying upon.

    Thanks again for writing.

    With kind regards.

    Bob Carter

    Professor R.M. Carter
    Marine Geophysical Laboratory
    James Cook University
    Townsville, Qld. 4811

    Phone: +61-7-4781-4397
    Fax: +61-7-4781-4334
    Home: +61-7-4775-1268
    Mobile: 0419-701-139

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