Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Hilarious!  NPR and psychologist rely on a withdrawn paper to prove that climate skeptics are bad eggs!

Earlier this year, Greenie psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky had a paper accepted by Psychological Science which claimed to prove that climate skeptics were bad eggs indeed.  It was listed as "In press" as of July 27th. and was much publicized at the time.

Its research methods were so ludicrous however that protests to the journal caused it to be withdrawn -- perhaps for rewriting.  I have however just done a search on the journal site and it is not mentioned at all.  Only a 2011 paper by the nutty professor is listed.  The 2012 paper has not been published nor is it any longer listed as "In press".  It is rejected research  -- rejected by the fellow psychologists who run the journal. It FAILED peer review.

But in the article excerpted below you get no hint of that.  Lewandowsky speaks as if his paper were scientifically acceptable and accepted.  If you read carefully,  it appears that he did revise his paper but could get even the revised version published on a blog only,  one called  -- He He!

The article below is however carefully written to skate around all that. It is a DELIBERATE fraud -- JR

That's right: climate-change denial, discussed in last week's post by Adam Frank, is associated with conspiratorial thinking.

The paper that reports this finding, forthcoming in the leading journal Psychological Science, has already caused a major flurry in the blogosphere, particularly among those who reject climate science. Assorted bloggers denounce the paper's "Anthropogenic warmist nonsense," suggest that the paper is "not scientific or competent," and describe it as "an ad hom[inem] argument taken to its absurd extreme," an "inane, irrelevant and completely biased rant study."

Disgruntled climate skeptics have gone beyond digs at the science to suggest "hidden motivations" for the paper — perhaps a systematic attempt by left-wing academics to discredit those who reject climate science. And in support, they've cycled through a number of hypotheses for how the results were obtained: by deliberately biased sampling, by collecting data from "warmists" posing as "skeptics," or by statistical sleight of hand, among others. This sounds awfully ... conspiratorial (a point made here and here).

Meanwhile, calls for the paper's retraction and accusations of ethics violations on the part of the researchers have come to naught. The fact is, the paper reports solid research, with all major findings now replicated in a new sample and with several specific critiques addressed in detail by the authors in a series of posts at So why the aggressive (and ironic) response?

I recently had an opportunity to chat with Stephan Lewandowsky, the paper's first author, on his visit to California for the American Geophysical Union's annual fall meeting. Lewandowsky is a Winthrop Professor in the department of psychology at the University of Western Australia, with broad research interests that include human memory, the persistence of misinformation, and more recently, the motivated rejection of science.

Lewandowsky has also written for a general audience about why people reject science, the pivotal role of perceived scientific consensus, the distortion of climate science in the media and the link between climate change denial and free market ideology, among other toothsome topics, as well as co-authoring the handy Debunking Handbook, a psychologically-informed guide to combatting misinformation.

I asked Lewandowsky about his experience as a researcher working on the psychology of science denial, and in particular his take on the blogospheric reception to his forthcoming paper. He suggested that the paper engendered such hostility because it not only "cast people who rejected climate science in a less than favorable light," but also because "it was too close to the truth." Of course, he points out, "the way the blogosphere responded was really by confirming my finding. What they basically did was spin one conspiracy theory after another, trying to invalidate the data."

"They," a number of active bloggers who are skeptical of climate science, also tried to discredit Lewandowsky and the paper by contacting the editor of Psychological Science and officials at his university, and by filing four Freedom of Information requests for all correspondence associated with the research, including ethics approvals for the use of human subjects and communications between authors. "If you talk to climate scientists," Lewandowsky noted, "you find that pretty much anyone in climate science is subject to these kinds of attacks."


A SMALL CLARIFICATION: Since it was never in fact published, we may never see a formal withdrawal notice for the 2012 Lewandowsky paper. Its absence from the "In press" list indicates however that it is not currently accepted. It is conceivable that Lewandowsky may eventually produce a form of his paper which is acceptable to the journal. We will judge that if and when we see it.

Warmist professor has totally lost touch with reality

Mojib Latif Now Claims Half Of Both Poles Melted Since 1979!

Lately we’ve seen how leading IPCC scientists have been ignoring real data and presenting instead fantasized catastrophe scenarios as the real facts.

Global temperatures, they claim, are rising faster (in fact they haven’t risen in 15 years), sea level rise is accelerating (in fact it is decelerating), and storms are increasing (when in fact they have been decreasing). Yet, despite the recent flurry of hysterical claims, policymakers are no longer listening anymore. In Doha they simply brushed them aside and pushed off the whole process yet another year – this for the 19th time in a row.

So what are climate scientists to do?

The answer: exaggerate even more scenarios, like polar ice melt. At least that’s what leading IPCC scientist Prof. Mojib Latif of the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research appears to have done. Just ignore the real measurements and make up your own scary story. And because you are a renowned climate scientist, hapless, lazy journalists will automatically believe everything you say.

Prof. Latif’s latest scare fantasy is reported by journalist Heinrich Pantel of the Kieler Nachrichten here. He reports, quoting Latif:
   ‘Whatever our grandparents and parents blew into the atmosphere is still there today.’ The problem here is: ‘The climate reacts slowly.’ It could take decades before we feel the full force of our actions.

    The speaker [Latif] referred to the retreat of the ice in the Arctic and Antarctic. Since the first satellites in space have enabled precise measurements, it is known that the ice area at the poles has decreased by almost a half over the last 30 years.”
At the rate suggested by the Kieler Nachrichten, who we assume quoted Latif correctly, the remaining half of the ice at the poles will likely disappear over the next 30 years – if not sooner should the warming indeed be accelerating. Moreover, if half of the polar ice area has disappeared, wouldn’t sea levels be rising something like 100 times faster?

This is yet another classic example of both sloppy science communication by an IPCC scientist, and irresponsibe and negligent journalism by Pantel and the Kieler Nachrichten. Any journalist, who had even posessed just an inkling of knowledge about climate science, would have immediately known something was amiss here. Fact-checking? What for! Journalist Heinrich Pantel just accepted “expert” Latif’s nonsense as the Holy Gospel truth.

To be fair to Prof. Latif, it’s possible that the hapless journalist just got the facts all mixed up and thus completely misinformed his readers.  Unfortunately this has become the norm of science communication in Germany.

And so one should not wonder that many German citizens and policymakers have become hopelessly hysterical on the climate issue. And we should not be surprised that more and more readers are turning their backs on the print media and opting instead for information from blogs.


Some polar facts

To help us evaluate Prof. Latif's verbal fart (above), let us look at an actual recent research report on the subject.  Greenland is the only large ice-mass on land in the Arctic so as Greenland goes, so goes the Arctic.  As the bit in red shows,  Greenland ice is GROWING, not shrinking
Greenland ice sheet mass balance reconstruction. Part I: net snow accumulation (1600-2009)

By Jason E. Box et al.


Ice core data are combined with RACMO2 regional climate model (RCM) output (1958-2010) to develop a reconstruction of the Greenland ice sheet net snow accumulation rate (Ât(G)) spanning years 1600-2009. Regression parameters from RCM output regressed on 86 ice cores are used with available cores in a given year resulting in the reconstructed values. Each core site’s residual variance is used to inversely weight the cores’ respective contributions. The interannual amplitude of the reconstructed accumulation rate is damped by the regressions and is thus calibrated to match that of the RCM data. Uncertainty and significance of changes is measured using statistical models.

We find a 12% or 86 Gt y-1 increase in ice sheet accumulation rate from the end of the Little Ice Age in ~1840 to the last decade of the reconstruction. This 1840-1996 trend is 30% higher than that of 1600-2009, suggesting an accelerating accumulation rate. The correlation of Ât(G) with the average surface air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere(SATNHt) remains positive through time, while the correlation of Ât(G) with local near-surface air temperatures or North Atlantic sea surface temperatures is inconsistent, suggesting a hemispheric-scale climate connection. We find an annual sensitivity of Ât(G) to SATNHt of 6.8% K-1 or 51 Gt K-1.

The reconstuction, Ât(G), correlates consistently highly with the North Atlantic Oscillation index. Yet, at the 11-year time scale, the sign of this correlation flips four times in the 1870-2005 period.

Journal of Climate 2012

Misguided PBS spreads acid ocean alarm

On December 5, the PBS News Hour showed a segment titled “Endangered Coral Reefs Die as Ocean Temperatures Rise and Water Turns Acidic,” with Hari Sreenivasan reporting. The story discussed the recent loss of Florida coral reefs and the possible impact on recreation and tourism if reef degradation continues. But PBS wrongly told viewers that reef degradation was due to warmer ocean temperatures and “ocean acidification,” both allegedly caused by human carbon dioxide emissions. Sreenivasan concluded with, “Time that maybe is running out for coral reefs in Florida and elsewhere.”

Scientists, environmental groups, and the United Nations promote the fear of ocean acidification. According to claims, man-made emissions of carbon dioxide are absorbed by the oceans and converted into carbonic acid, thereby changing the chemical balance of the oceans. The basic concept of acidification is correct, but hugely exaggerated.

The PBS segment is wrong in several ways. First, while today’s temperatures are the warmest in the last 400 years, oceans were warmer still during the Medieval Warm Period ten centuries ago. Peer-reviewed studies found that both the Gulf of Mexico and nearby Sargasso Sea were warmer about 1000 AD than at present. These warm temperatures were due to natural climatic changes of Earth―not man-made emissions. Caribbean reefs adapted to these warm seas to remain with us today.

Second, the segment paints a misleading picture of carbon dioxide entering the oceans, without providing perspective for the viewer. Sreenivasan interviews scientist Chris Landon who states, “And it’s enough railroad cars stacked end to end to wrap around the earth seven times. That’s how much carbon is going into the ocean every single year.” This sounds alarming, unless you know that the oceans absorb and release about 90 times that amount of CO2 every year from the atmosphere naturally. In addition, carbon dioxide is absorbed by vast deposits of limestone rock in the ocean floor, removing it from sea water.

Third, the oceans are alkaline, not acidic. We’re discussing a reduction in alkalinity. Solutions are measured as acidic or alkaline (basic) on a logarithmic 14-point scale, called the pH Scale. Battery acid has a pH of about one, while the base lye has a pH as high as thirteen. Milk is slightly acidic, as are most of the foods we eat.

Measured in the open ocean, sea water is alkaline, with a pH of about 8.2. According to computer models, doubling of atmospheric CO2 would decrease ocean pH to about 7.9, still basic, but less so. The concern is that this change would destroy the coral reefs by dissolving the carbonate shells and skeletons of reef creatures. Sreenivasan states, “Acidification acts a lot like osteoporosis does in humans. But in marine animals, it makes their shells and skeletons brittle. The more acidic the water, the harder it is for corals to grow their skeletons.”

But, empirical evidence does not show it harder for today’s marine animals to grow their shells. A study of corals at the Great Barrier Reef shows that shell calcium growth rates today are about 25 percent higher than 300‒400 years ago when both ocean temperatures and levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide were lower.

Scientists still know little about the alkalinity of today’s ocean or the oceans of past centuries. Ocean pH varies by depth, becoming less basic as one goes deeper. It varies by latitude from the equator to the poles. It varies by location, such as the open ocean, coral reef, or kelp bed.

But the PBS segment ignores this uncertainty and implies that the rate of change in ocean pH is alarming. Dr. Langdon states, “What’s really and completely unique about what’s going on now is the rate of change. And that’s what is so difficult for organisms.”

However, evidence shows that a high rate of change in ocean alkalinity is natural. A 2011 study by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography found large variations in ocean pH by day, week, and month. Changes in some locations were as high as 0.35 units over the course of a day, higher than computer models are predicting for the next century.

Scuba divers know that reef creatures already experience acidic conditions near CO2 vents in the ocean floor. These vents bubble CO2 gas amidst coral reefs and grassy ocean pastures in millions of locations. Fish and reefs appear to be doing quite well near these CO2 vents.

The coral reefs in the Caribbean and other seas may be endangered due overfishing, chemical pollution, and human abuse. But let’s not blame reef degradation on misguided fears about global warming.


Yet more problems with Anderegg et al “denier black list” paper

In “Climate scientists’ “consensus” based on a myth” I described how one of the sources of the idea that 97% of climate experts agree there is a human-induced climate crisis—“Examining the Scientific Consensus on Climate Change” by Doran and Zimmerman—was not a meaningful indicator of  expert opinion.

The other major source of the consensus myth is “Expert credibility in climate change”, the 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States by Anderegg et al.  On December 5, the CBC cited this poll, writing:
   “In 2010, a survey of more than 1,000 of the most cited and published climate scientists found that 97 per cent of them believe climate change is very likely caused by the burning of fossil fuels.”

What the network don’t know, or chose to not tell readers about, is that many articles have taken this study apart. Here are some:

 *   A New Black List, by Roger Pielke, Jr.  professor of environmental studies at the Center for Science and Technology Policy Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

*   The Myth of the 98 Percent, by Joseph L. Bast, President of The Heartland Institute, Chicago, Illinois.

*    What else did the ’97% of scientists’ say?, Guest Post by Barry Woods, at

*    “Climate change sceptics are less ‘credible’ scientists, finds survey”, by James Dacey, a reporter for

*   “Science held hostage” by Thomas Fuller in “It is the creation of a blacklist designed to intimidate scientists going forward and persuade them not to sign public statements that deviate from the James Hansen climate hysteria line…. It wasn’t science–it is blackmail. They broke the rules to create an instrument that will be used in the future (Joe Romm has already called for this) to deny funding, grants and tenure to people who at any point in their career dared to criticize the consensus on climate change.”

*    “Global warming: The Blacklist Paper violates every ethical standard“, by Thomas Fuller in “The paper is tagged ‘Climate Deniers.’…This is an outright violation of every ethical code of conduct for research…”

*   “Global warming’s Stephen Schneider: The Light That Failed”, by Thomas Fuller in “…no matter how they pretty the title up, it’s essentially ‘Damned Global Warming Denialists Who Should Never Get a Job or Get Published Ever Again’ [list]. And that is how it will be used…”

*    The Climate Experts, published in Collide-a-scape – many of the 409 comments are useful.

One of the major problems with the Anderegg et al study has not, to my knowledge, been discussed, namely the way it selects scientists to represent the two sides of the debate.

As has already been discussed by the authors of the above articles, dividing scientists into merely two groups makes no sense in such a complex field. Many scientists agree with some elements of the climate scare while disagreeing with others. Many scientists support the idea that, while humanity’s greenhouse gas (GHG, the one most discussed being carbon dioxide) emissions are causing some warming, it is not enough to be dangerous. Other experts dispute even the existence of the “greenhouse effect”.  Many scientists, perhaps the majority of experts in the field, simply say they do not know the degree to which our GHG emissions affect climate (“Ask me in ten years!” is a common answer).

But let’s examine the way Anderegg et al derive their lists of scientists in the fictitious two camps to see if it makes sense.

    The “convinced of the evidence”, or “CE” camp: Anderegg et al write in their paper. “We defined CE researchers as those who signed statements broadly agreeing with or directly endorsing the primary tenets of the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report that it is “very likely” that anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for “most” of the “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature [sic] in the second half of the 20th century. We compiled these CE researchers comprehensively from the lists of IPCC AR4 Working Group I Contributors and four prominent scientific statements endorsing the IPCC (n = 903).”

   The “unconvinced of the evidence” or “UE”, camp: from the paper, “We defined UE researchers as those who have signed statements strongly dissenting from the views of the IPCC. We compiled UE names comprehensively from 12 [it was really 13] of the most prominent statements criticizing the IPCC conclusions (n = 472).”

Of course, the issue they are examining is wrong. Of concern is not whether “anthropogenic greenhouse gases have been responsible for “most” of the “unequivocal” warming of the Earth’s average global temperature [sic] in the second half of the 20th century”.

The public concern is whether scientists agree that we are due for dangerous warming and other problematic climate change due to continued GHG emissions. The past is past. It is the future we should be concerned about. Several authors point out that the Anderegg et al is therefore not helpful to today’s debate.

Regardless, let’s continue with analyzing whether the Anderegg et al study accomplished what it says it did, or if it was even possible, given the populations of scientists they chose to assess.....

Anderegg et al write concerning their work:

 *   “Such expert analysis can illuminate public and policy discussions about ACC [anthropogenic climate change] and the extent of consensus in the expert scientific community.”

*   “…we have likely compiled the strongest and most credentialed researchers in CE and UE groups.”

*    “We provide a large-scale quantitative assessment of the relative level of agreement, expertise, and prominence in the climate researcher community.”

*    “…we provide a useful, conservative, and reasonable approach….”

*    “Based on the arguments presented here, we believe our findings capture the differential climate science credentials of the two groups.”

Obviously, none of these statements are even remotely credible. Yet, Anderegg et al is cited by Professor Peter Doran (co-author of the Doran and Zimmerman paper), as evidence to help substantiate their equally flawed work.

Dr. Spencer Weart, past Director of the Center for History of Physics of the American Institute of Physics and author of The History of Global Warming, summed up the feeling of many in the scientific community when he said that there were so many defects in Anderegg et al that the paper should never have been published.

“Expert credibility in climate change”, the 2010 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences does make one contribution to the climate debate, however. It demonstrates that even peer reviewed papers in prestigious journals can be complete bollocks.

Much more HERE  (See the original for links)


Three current articles below

Greenies using lies about Great Barrier Reef to attack industry

REEF experts believe the loss of half the coral cover on the Great Barrier Reef is a "national crisis" worthy of a rescue package similar to the $12 billion plan to save the Murray Darling Basin.

They blame Queensland's biggest industries, coal and sugar cane, for the rapid decline and question the fate of the $5 billion tourism icon given mining, farming and port developments.

But leading tourism identities warn the state's tourist trade and international reputation is being damaged as scientists send a "skewed" and "misleading" message that the Reef "is half-dead".

Federal Environment Minister Tony Burke and Industry Minister Martin Ferguson met with state counterparts Andrew Powell and Andrew Cripps to discuss the Reef in Brisbane yesterday.

Professor Terry Hughes, director of the Townsville-based ARC Centre of Excellence Coral Reef Studies, said the talks failed to reveal how officials would handle the show-cause notice by UNESCO on the Reef becoming an "at risk" World Heritage site.

Prof Hughes said authorities had to impose a cap on dredging and stop farm run-off.

"It is a national crisis and it needs a rescue package response equivalent to that in the Murray Darling Basin," he said. "We need to ask: 'Do we need to have a sugar industry or a coal industry?' "

Mike Ball, a veteran dive industry figure, said much of the outer and northern Reef system was still pristine and figures from coastal reefs sent a skewed message overseas.

Canegrowers chief executive Steve Greenwood said it was irresponsible for scientists to suggest the end of the state's $2 billion sugar industry.

Mr Powell said: "Our target is to see a 50 per cent reduction in nutrients run-off by 2013 and a 20 per cent reduction in sediment by 2020."


ABARES report confirms that Australian fisheries stocks are sustainable

The release of the ABARES wild fish stocks report today confirms what marine scientists such as Professor Robert Kearney have been saying consistently: that Australian fishing practices are some of the best in the world, Senator Boswell said today.

The ABARES report comes just one month after the Federal Minister for the Environment Tony Burke declared new marine reserves that will cover 2.3 million square kilometres around Australia -- banning commercial and recreational fishers from vast areas.

“Tony Burke has never explained why these areas needed to be locked up and what our oceans needed protection from. He has never established the case for declaring these marine parks -- and sadly Australian fishermen will bear the brunt of this flawed Government policy,” Senator Boswell said.

“This has never been about marine protection. Australia has a proud record of sustainable fishing practices. We extract less than 30 kilograms of marine catch per square kilometre compared to Thailand who extract almost 6000 kilograms of marine catch from their oceans.

“This Labor Government policy has been driven by a coalition of local and international green groups financed by the American PEW Foundation. The latest network of Marine Reserves will lock up sustainable, productive and valuable fishing grounds and will devastate coastal communities.

“Australians will be denied a vital source. We currently import 72 per cent of our seafood from overseas from countries with a less than enviable environmental record.

“The impact will be the greatest in Queensland with the Coral Sea marine park covering over 989,842 square kilometres, an area that is more than half the size of Queensland.

“The government’s own figures show that the planned fishing bans would have a substantial impact on Mooloolaba, Cairns and Karumba. “Cairns based fishers will lose catch valued at $3.6 million a year and Mooloolaba-based fishers will lose catch valued at $1.5 million a year.

“The declaration of marine reserves has been all about placating the Greens; meanwhile, commercial fishermen will be denied a living and face a compensation package that is woefully inadequate.

“Today’s report confirms what we have known from the beginning: these marine reserves are not about marine science but are all about Greens preferences at the next Federal election,” Senator Boswell said.

Press release from Qld. Nationals Senator Ron Boswell

Climate Skeptics in Australian politics still skeptical

THE most prominent political climate sceptics see no reason to change their minds, despite the welter of studies over the past fortnight showing forecasts of global warming were correct or underestimates.

Many of the climate sceptics, influential in elevating Tony Abbott to Coalition leader, say they see nothing to convince them that human activity is causing the climate to change.

The Global Carbon Project has released forecasts that the planet could warm by between 4 degrees and 6 degrees by the end of the century and Nature Climate Change on Monday published a study finding that warming is consistent with 1990 scientific forecasts.

South Australian senator Cory Bernardi, formerly Mr Abbott's parliamentary secretary, said: "I do not think human activity causes climate change and I haven't seen anything that changes my view. I remain very sceptical about the alarmists' claims."

Queensland senator Barnaby Joyce said the whole debate about whether humans were causing the climate to change was "indulgent and irrelevant".

"It is an indulgent and irrelevant debate because, even if climate change turns out to exist one day, we will have absolutely no impact on it whatsoever … we really should have bigger fish to fry than this one," Senator Joyce said.

West Australian backbencher Dennis Jensen, who had read the recent scientific literature, said he interpreted the findings in different ways and believed climate scepticism within the Coalition was increasing.

"The scientific papers saying it is as bad as we thought, or worse, are talking about concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere - and concentrations are indeed increasing - but global temperatures have not gone up in a decade," he said.

"It's the impact of the increased concentrations of CO2 that is in dispute and I agree with [US professor] Richard Lindzen that it is more likely to be 0.4 degrees than 4 to 6 degrees … the doomsday prophesies do not stand up to reason."

Mr Abbott now says he accepts "we have only one planet and we should tread lightly upon it".

Questioned about climate science last year, Mr Abbott said: "I think that climate change is real, mankind does make a contribution and we should have strong and effective policies to deal with it. As far as I am concerned, the debate is not over climate change as such. The debate is over the best way of dealing with it."

He has never repeated his 2009 comment that the "settled" science of climate change was "absolute crap".

His $10.2 billion "Direct Action" climate policy was deliberately crafted to straddle the deep divisions over climate science within his party.

To qualify for grants from the Coalition's proposed emissions reduction fund, a proposal must "deliver additional practical environmental benefits" as well as reducing carbon dioxide emissions.

Mr Jensen said it was this proviso that allowed him to back the Coalition plan.  "At least we will be doing things that make sense for other, practical reasons," he said.

Tasmania senator David Bushby said he remained a true "sceptic".  "I know eminent scientists have one view but I know other eminent scientists - usually ones who have retired and are no longer reliant on government grants - have a totally different view," he said.


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