Monday, February 10, 2014

Answering a Gish Galloping critic, part 2

In case you missed it, the original comments I'm answering are found at the end of my bibliography of hockey sticks found here.  Part 1 of my response is here.  Now on to the second comment.

Claim: "I have read the papers. I coauthored some of them."

Response: I highly doubt that you've either read or coauthored any of them.  You claimed to be a paleogeneticist, not a paleoclimatologist.  You're in the wrong field of study to have coauthored any of those papers.  Second, if you'd read them, then you'd know that several of them absolutely refute your BS that none of them show hockey sticks without adding in thermometer data as I pointed out in Part 1.

Claim: "I am can look at MBH98 and see a flat line traversing the MWP"

Response:  Wrong paper, ignoramus.  Mann et al. (1998) covered only the past 600 years, which included the Little Ice Age and did NOT include the Medieval Warm Period.  It was Mann et al. (1999) that covered the Medieval Warm Period.  If you can't even get your references straight, how do you expect us to believe that you're some sort of "expert" who has coauthored temperature reconstructions?  Oh, and by the way, the line traversing the MWP in Figure 3 from Mann et al. (1999) was most definitely not flat.

Claim: "and (then) look that the papers that correct Mike's mistakes (including the plot that you reproduce above) and see the MWP. There ... Is .. No ... Hockey ... Stick."

Response: And you've a bridge to sell, right?  There are multiple papers I listed that show your nonsense for lie it is.  I've already listed several before.  Here's the list again: Moberg et al. 2005, Oerlemans 2005, Wilson, et al. 2007, Kaufman, et al. 2009, Kellerhals et al. 2010, Thibodeau et al. 2010, Büntgen et al. 2011, Kemp et al. 2011, Martin-Chivelet et al. 2011, Spielhagen et al. 2011, Ljungqvist et al. 2012, Abram et al. 2013, and PAGES 2k 2013.  Happy reading, as you obviously never did the first time.

Claim: "One needs to be a bit less ignorant to know that HADCRUT4 is direct temperature measurements, highly massaged. With the community quite divided as to whether they have been inappropriately massaged."

Response: The only community "quite divided" on the corrections in surface temperature data is the science denier community, most of whom cannot grasp the basics of what those statistical corrections do or why they are necessary.  As for the scientific community, that community already knows that the corrections are necessary and that HadCRUT4 has major coverage gaps that artificially lowers its estimate of the true global average temperature.  Furthermore, real scientists are attempting to correct the coverage flaws (i.e. Cowtan and Way 2013) while merchants of doubt like you try to confuse the public.

Claim: "And one does need to have science training to know that one is not allowed to splice together two kinds of data together and then draw conclusions as if they were one kind of data."

Response: Seriously?   I mean, Seriously??  You claim to have coauthored temperature reconstructions and to be a paleogeneticist yet somehow think that we cannot calibrate data that measures the same variable, convert one type of data to the other, and splice them together for analysis?  Are you that flipping ignorant of data analysis techniques and statistics?  That statement makes it very hard for me to believe that you've coauthored temperature reconstructions, as the entire premise of a temperature reconstruction is to take proxy data, calibrate it against known 20th century atmospheric temperatures, then use that calibration to convert hundreds of years worth of proxy data to atmospheric temperatures.  Yet you claim that we cannot splice 20th century temperatures into the proxy record despite the proxy record being calibrated against 20th century temperatures to begin with?  Your claim makes no sense whatsoever and you, given your claims about your background, should know that better than anyone.

Claim: "The meaning for science? Well, for one thing, the fact that the historical past has had temperatures higher than today,"

Response: Temperatures have been higher—5 million years ago back in the Pliocene.  You have absolutely no data to support your bull that temperatures in the historical past have been higher.  In fact, the data that does exist shows that you have to go back 8,500 years to the Holocene Climatic Optimum find temperatures that even come close to today's average, as Marcott et al. (2013) demonstrated.

Claim: "we did not see a "thermal runaway" due to any of the mechanisms presently feared (loss of albedo, outgassing of methane from the permafrost, ...) means that these need not be feared."

Response:  Your statement is based on the demonstrably false premise that historical temperatures have been higher.  As for your "peace and safety" line, tell that to the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, the End-Triassic Mass Extinction, or the Permian Mass Extinction.  Know what ties all those in with today?  Today's rate of change is faster than any of those.  And as anyone who has studied ecology should know, it's the rate of change rather than the absolute change that impacts species the most.

Claim: "But the primary greenhouse wavelengths are soon to be saturated, and the water vapor needed to carry the warming is not behaving as models suggest it should."

Response:  The "CO2 is saturated" argument has been debunked several times (i.e. here and here) and is completely contradicted by satellite measurements (i.e. Harries et al. 2001, Anderson et al. 2004, Griggs and Harries 2007, Chapman et al. 2013).  As for your water vapor tripe, Sherwood et al. (2014) showed that low-climate sensitivity models cannot correctly model convective mixing between the lower and middle troposphere whereas high-climate sensitivity models do.  But of course, you would know that, given that you originally claimed to be an expert in climate models, right?

Claim: "What YOU should take away from this is an object lesson of how badly public policy is served when science is politicized and (therefore) corrupted."

Response: You're the one trying to politicize and corrupt science by spewing ignorance, misinformation, and all-around BS.  Given what you've displayed in your comments, I'd say that a) You lied when you claimed to be a scientist and b) That you're actually an operative for some right-wing organization, a professional Merchant of Doubt.  What you should learn from this is that you stick out like a sore thumb given your blend of ignorance, arrogance, and lies.

Claim: "To have the Vice President (and, arguably, the man who was elected president in 2000) determine the "science" to be "settled" and to pick as his "winner" someone who cherry picks data to get his desired outcome (or, being charitable, cannot do statistics correctly) has created enormous dysfunction."

Response:  You have zero credibility, given that you can't even get your references straight, have demonstrated that you do not follow the scientific literature (you didn't know about Sherwood et al. (2014)?), and merely spewed long-debunked right wing talking points like the astroturfer I suspect you to actually be.


  1. I wish more people read this debunks because it clearly shows the deniers lousy attempt to misinform and to be quite frankly outright lie. I'm starting to believe some of those trolls are paid.

  2. Good work Dr. Milks. I have gone back and read Mr. Unknown's original comments. He seems to follow the classic professional astroturfing profile. He attempts to establish himself as qualified to make such comments. But then he immediately switches identities and proceeds to list much of the old denier playbook of canards.

    Mr. Unknown has me convinced that he is a fraud and is not actually involved with any science.

    Mr. Unknown claimed to be a scientific professional and to actually have coauthored some of your list of hockey stick papers. By signing his name to those papers he said that he agreed with them. But now he sneaks over to this blog and anonymously proceeds to claim they are false.

    I note that Mr. Unknown seems to have disappeared and cannot provide substance for his fossil fuel inspired claims.

    I can think of another hockey stick to add to the growing list. The Arctic sea ice death spiral where the ice volume is down some 75% from traditional levels of deep pack ice. The Arctic will melt completely clear some summer this decade or the next. And then the trend will continue from there. The Arctic will melt clear earlier and stay open longer. And then the warming will continue.

    Mr. Unknown, what a poseur you are. I am glad to see your rock overturned here.