Climate Change

I was going to write a bit about the recent paper on the 2005 rain forest drought, but Tim Lambert of Deltoid beat me to it. It’s a damn good read so I suggest anyone interested in current research and/or denialist tactics pop on over.

For the life of me I don’t know why I do it. Listen to right wing radio talk shows I mean. They really do elevate my blood pressure, and I’m getting to the age where that kind of stuff matters, but I insist, contrary to my advice, on tuning in and pounding the dashboard.

There are three shows I tend to listen to, John Gormley Live, The Adler Show and Roy Green. I’ve spent a fair bit of time on the Gormley show, and at one time had a good relationship with his producer and with John himself. I even respected his opinion somewhat despite disagreeing with it most of the time.

But now… But now, he, along with the other two anti-science bozos, has decided to jump on the anti-AGW bandwagon and put out his opinion, full of sound bites by the likes of Tim Ball, Potty Peer Moncton, and the Aussie hack Plimer, as if it is an informed opinion. Of course his opinion in this is absolute nonsense, but take a moment to call him on it and he’ll push that button. Oh yes, I forgot to mention, he has this little button under his sweaty pudgy fingers that disconnects the phone line. Because of the delay in broadcast he can actually chop off 7 seconds of your comment. Typically he’ll slam that sucker down as soon as he disagrees with you and figures he, despite his obvious lack of knowledge, knows more about the situation than you do, and will then bravely make some totally nonsensical comment when you can’t respond.
It looks like he has convinced himself that his ability to push that button, cut you off, and then offer up his twisted and meaningless opinion, and do so without any rebuttal being voiced, makes him correct.

Obviously if no one rebuts him he’s right, isn’t he?

In his world that works I guess, but not in the real world.

Gormley, instead of having professional denialists do your thinking for you, do a little research of your own, preferably from professional journals known for their integrity. And when someone with more information than you gets on the line, have the guts to argue the points without running to the button.

Back about a year and a bit ago, I called in to the John Gormley Live radio talk show on newstalk980 to help John improve his grasp of the fundamentals of AGW science. Well actually it was just to get him to use the word ‘consensus’ the same way climate scientists do. Good luck right?

His argument was that consensus means 100% agreement and since the science behind climate change does not have 100% agreement (some deniers are actually climatologists – go figure) there is no AGW consensus. I simply informed him that consensus, in this context, means majority.  He disagreed with me then hung up, of course putting me in the position of being unable to defend my argument. Can you guess what the validation for his argument was? Yup, the dictionary lists the 100% definition first. He went to all the work of visiting 5 on-line dictionaries and on 4 of the 5, and even though every one had the definition I told him, they listed his definition first. So his definition was right. At least in his mind.

Well John, I guess you got me there didn’t you? Oops, I guess not, since the meaning behind a word is determined by the issuer of that word and the context it is used in. Sorry Mr. John Gormley, but the argument from dictionary is one of the weakest arguments out there. Epic fail.

John, you might try listening to someone speak and when he/she uses a word with more than one meaning, do your best to understand what he/she means, either through context, assuming that isn’t too difficult for you, or simply by asking him/her  to clarify her/himself.

You are capable of that I hope.

This one, just because of the inadvertent humour, rates a 6.5 out of 10 elephant turds.



things turn busy for my business, preventing me from researching more anti-global warming faux pas and exposing them for what they are – utter nonsense.

There is one making the rounds lately that is interesting – the idea that the years from 1998 on indicate a leveling off of the warming trend, or even a dip in the trend suggesting an end to AGW. Of course this is a bunch of garbage, but for some reason (OK, I know the reason), it has been embraced by the rabid anti-AGW crowd.

It goes something like this; 1998 was the warmest year on record and each year since then has experienced a lower temperature than 1998 so the climate has not been warming. If the climate is not warming each and every year then warming has come to an abrupt end.

Here are the figures: (Left figure is NASA, right HadCRUT3)

testWhat should be obvious is that indeed all the years following 1998 are lower than 1998. Taken out of context, it appears that warming has indeed stopped. But this isn’t the entire story.

When determining a long term trend, any smaller chunk of data has to be examined in context of the larger trend in order to obtain an accurate image of what is really happening. This is, of course, what the Anti-AGW crowd do not want to do, because it undermines their claim of an end to warming.

The first thing that has to be mentioned is that, although lower than 1998, all following years are warmer than any other since 1890.

Secondly, the slope of the linear trend line calculated from these 10 years is still positive (.00468), meaning that statistically, the warming trend is still alive and well. Since 1890 there have been a number of times when 10 year trend lines have had negative slopes yet did not portend the end of warming.

This become obvious in the following graph:

Graph of temperature anomolies.

When viewed in relation to the years preceding and following, 1998 can be seen to be highly unusual in that it varies from the mean far more than any other year. This in itself eliminates 1998 from being used as an end point in any trend line or analysis of a trend. For the anti-AGW people to try to use it as such is, in my opinion, dishonest.

I will have to leave a debunking of the idea that each year has to be warmer than previous years for a later date. I believe what I have visually shown here is that a short term downturn in temperatures is not significant when taken in context and that the years following 1998 are not an indication of a downturn.