Patterico's Pontifications

10/13/2015

Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™: Comparing the Treatment of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz by “Fact-Checkers”

Filed under: Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™,General — Patterico @ 7:47 am

I have decided to launch a new occasional Patterico series titled Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers.™ Here’s the problem: so-called “fact-checkers” gain an artificial credibility in political discourse, simply by invoking “fact-checking” as the name of their enterprise. But, as any sentient conservative knows, Big Media “fact-checking” is nothing more than leftist opinionating disguised in faux factual garb. We’re seeing more and more Democrats use these phony “fact checks” in their campaigns, and with 2016 just around the corner, I sense an urgent need for a fairly regular series of posts fact-checking the fact-checkers. Patterico to the rescue!

As most of you know, Ted Cruz recently slammed the head of the Sierra Club in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. If you missed the video, here it is again:

Cruz’s principal point was that there has been a “pause” in global warming, according to the satellite data, which has shown no significant warming for 17 years. There’s really no disputing that fact — yet the Sierra Club invoked Politi(cized)Fact to assert that Cruz’s claims had been “debunked.” This is how lefty organizations defuse effective attacks by conservatives: they cite an analysis by a “fact-checker” that says the conservative is lying — and the public gets the idea that the conservative must indeed be dishonest, because, after all, a “neutral” fact-checker said so!

Today, we’re going to look at the Politi(cized)Fact analysis of Cruz’s statement, and reveal how fact-checkers take true facts uttered by conservatives, and deem them “mostly false” because the conservatives didn’t give the lefty argument, but only their own. Then we’ll analyze a Politi(cized)Fact analysis of a Hillary Clinton claim, and show how the very same defects are present in Clinton’s statement — yet that one is deemed “mostly true.”

As we will see in detail below, Ted Cruz’s statement is found “mostly false.” He stands accused of “cherry-picking” because his data encompasses the years and measurements that best suit his argument, while he omits the arguments of his leftist opposition that the lefties think undercut his main point.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton’s statement is found “mostly true.” She bases it on a study done by two economists, at least one of whom is a rank partisan Democrat who has been an advisor to her husband and other Democrat presidential candidates, and who has donated thousands to Democrats. That study cherry-picks certain data that best suit the pro-Democrat argument, and Hillary omits the parts of the study that undercut her main point.

That, my friends, is how the “fact-checkers” do their work. The lefties can assert misleading facts and get a clean bill of health as long as the “facts” are true. Meanwhile, conservatives can state true facts, but still get accused of lying because the other side has arguments too.

Full details in the extended entry. Ready? Let’s do this!

First, the Ted Cruz satellite data claim. Here’s how Politi(cized)Fact handles Cruz’s claim that “satellite data demonstrate for the last 17 years, there’s been zero warming” (a claim that he has since qualified, including in his exchange with the Sierra Club head, to more accurately say “no significant warming”):

Cruz does have a point: There hasn’t been any significant warming over the past 17 years.

That should be the end of the fact-check, no? But they go on, as you knew they would:

However, the scientific mainstream counters that it’s misleading for climate change skeptics to assume this flat trend line will continue indefinitely, or that it negates the long-term likelihood of global warming.

Politi(cized)Fact says: “So global temperatures have not changed much since 1998, aside from minor fluctuations.” But it claims that Cruz is “cherry picking” because 1998 was “an abnormally hot year” (because of El Niño). They consulted a bunch of scientists who believe in AGW who said Cruz was being misleading because he left out the lefty version of events. In other words, he didn’t present what they would have presented as the case for AGW. The ultimate conclusion of Politi(cized)Fact was that Cruz’s statement “contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.”

Cherry-picking, bad when done by Cruz, becomes Awesome! when Hillary Clinton does it.

Politi(cized)Fact analyzed a Hillary Clinton statement: “under Republicans, recessions happen four times as frequently as under Democrats.” Politi(cized)Fact concludes that this is “mostly true” — based on a study by two economists (one of whom is a Clinton crony), which . . . you guessed it! cherry-picks data to come up with the figure cited by Hillary.

The authors of the study pick the time frame of 1947-2013 to conclude that recessions are four times more likely under Republican presidents than Democrats.

Is that data cherry-picked? Why, you betcha! Even the authors admit that if you go back to 1875, recessions are only 1.3 times more likely for Republicans than Democrats. That hardly sounds impressive at all.

(Politi(cized)Fact merely alludes to this finding, saying: “The paper also looked further back in history to 1875 and found that the trend held, though it was less pronounced.” They don’t tell you how much less pronounced, or opine that this fact has any relevance whatsoever to Hillary’s claim, which was itself not limited to a cherry-picked period of time, that “under Republicans, recessions happen four times as frequently as under Democrats.” Nope, that’s not significant at all, that it’s really only 1.3 times and not four times when you take a broader measure. Just something to allude to, you know, in passing.)

More importantly, the authors of the study don’t assert that presidential policies are the reason for the gap. The authors conclude that “oil shocks, productivity shocks, and shocks to consumer expectations about the future each help explain the growth gap,” and say that the first two “look a lot more like good luck than good policy” while the third “comes close to circular reasoning.” They also concede that “neither fiscal nor monetary policy shocks seem to provide any explanatory power at all.”

Yet somehow, the introduction to their paper says that the positive correlation between Democrat presidencies and economic growth, “while hardly a secret[,] is not nearly as widely known as it should be.” Hmm. Why are the authors so eager to publicize a cherry-picked version of data that even they have to admit is not really attributable to presidential policy? I’ll tell you why. One of the authors of the study, Alan Blinder, is a former member of Bill Clinton’s Council of Economic Advisers, and has been an adviser to Al Gore and John Kerry during their presidential runs. (My, how do you suppose Hillary Clinton got these statistics?) He has also donated over $12,000, exclusively to Democrats, including (among others) John Kerry, Al Gore, MoveOn.org, and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Let’s just call a spade a spade. Blinder is a committed Democrat partisan, and in this paper he is serving as part of the intelligentsia that provides intellectual support for the notion that Democrats run the country better.

The other economist, Mark Watson, does not have a long paper trail of political involvement. His CV does show that, in addition to Blinder, one of his favorite collaborators is Harvard professor James Stock, who was appointed by President Obama in 2013 to the Council of Economic Advisers. So while Watson may or may not spend a lot of time running around with prominent Democrats, he sure likes to write economic papers with people who do.

So. Hillary’s data takes cherry-picked facts from a partisan study that does not conclude presidential policy affects the economy, and asserts that Democrat presidents are much better per the statistics! What does Politi(cized)Fact conclude? Do they say, as they said of Cruz’s statement, that Hillary’s claim “contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression, so we rate it Mostly False.”

Um, no. They say: “Clinton is right on the numbers, but her claim needs additional information to put its implication into the proper context. We rate her claim Mostly True.”

Cherry-picking: it’s cool when we do it, but if you try it, right-wingers, you’re getting some Pinocchios, Mr. Pants-on-Fire!

67 Responses to “Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers™: Comparing the Treatment of Hillary Clinton and Ted Cruz by “Fact-Checkers””

  1. This problem, so well explicated by your Patterico, is one reason the Right has such a problem. The other, of course, is our circular firing squad.

    Simon Jester (c8876d)

  2. Cruz does have a point: There hasn’t been any significant warming over the past 17 years.

    Interestingly enough, the record heat in southern California over the past several days, and the unpleasantly hot, drought-ridden conditions going back months — or hellhole weather, which I really dislike — reminds me on a daily basis that AGW has to be a bunch of BS, because much of the rest of the US in 2015 has been enjoying a rather comfortable or generally non-sweaty summer. IOW, if the horroris of GLOBAL WARMING!!! really were something increasingly evident, the crummy weather of California should have been quite widespread, stretching far beyond a few hundred miles.

    Mark (f713e4)

  3. However, the scientific mainstream counters that it’s misleading for climate change skeptics to assume this flat trend line will continue indefinitely, or that it negates the long-term likelihood of global warming.

    The whole idea behind the global warming hoax is the hypothesis that there’s a correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global mean temperature.

    We have 17 years worth of data saying there’s no correlation.

    How does this not negate the long-term likelihood of global warming?

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  4. I haven’t read your post in full yet. I just wanted to stop by and say that I’m reading a Michael Hiltzik column and my blood is boiling. haha

    g (f85a02)

  5. If you want to enjoy reading about the abuse of science that underlies the religion of Climate Change, I recommend Mark Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession”

    http://www.amazon.com/%2522A-Disgrace-Profession%2522-Steyn-editor/dp/0986398330/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1444749888&sr=8-1&keywords=steyn+%22a+disgrace+to+the+profession%22

    The book is directed at Michael Mann’s contribution to this fraud, but the evidence Steyn brings forth is grist for any number of rebuttals of the central tenants of AGW. And it is generally funny. The main source for the book appears to be responses to the ClimateGate emails by prominent scientists from all over the world, but Steyn also focuses on the response to the work of Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick by the scientific community. This is helpful in putting their criticism in perspective. He is uncompromising in exposing Mann’s lies and half-truths, such as the assertion by Mann that he was a recipient of a Nobel Prize.

    We live in strange times. Politicians like Cruz who seek to expose such abuses are regarded as divisive, while those who pretend there are no problems are regarded as mature and statesmanlike. The one thing about Trump that I like is that he hasn’t fallen for this idea that the most important thing is that we all get along. Trump seems to glory in making enemies, and that is refreshing. Particularly since there are so many prominent people … Krugman for one … who richly deserve our contempt. When RINOs grant Pelosi, Reid, Clinton, the current incumbent, and Kerry respect, they muddy the waters.

    BobStewartatHome (a52abe)

  6. I wonder if all presidents have been responsible for recessions on their watch? The 2008 recession was caused by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae selling derivatives backed by AAA loans that weren’t AAA. This caused the drying up of credit which caused the recession. President Bush between 2001 and 2008 asked for controls to be put on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac 18 times. Chris’s Dodd, Barney Frank, and Maxine Waters all said that everything was fine.

    When the Senate and house were taken over by Democrats they refused to pass a budget and instead passed continuing resolutions. I think you can make a case that the economy tanked after democrats took the house and put Nancy Pelosi in charge.

    Unfortunately the newly republican controlled Congress under McConnell and Boehner have continued using continuing resolutions instead of passing a budget.

    Tanny O'Haley (c674c7)

  7. #3

    However, the scientific mainstream counters that it’s misleading for climate change skeptics to assume this flat trend line will continue indefinitely, or that it negates the long-term likelihood of global warming.

    The whole idea behind the global warming hoax is the hypothesis that there’s a correlation between atmospheric CO2 concentrations and global mean temperature.

    We have 17 years worth of data saying there’s no correlation.

    How does this not negate the long-term likelihood of global warming?

    Likewise – how do do you account for the rapid warming from circa 1850-1900 when CO2 went from 280 ppm to 282 ppm

    Joe from Texas (debac0)

  8. The “pause” has allegedly been refuted.

    However, it appears that the refutation is based on surface temperature data, not satellite. It’s the surface data that keeps going up year after year by a couple hundredths of a degree.

    But even those scientists who accepted the idea of a climate hiatus are starting to express the opinion that the pause is now ending. This view has been spurred by an unusual period of warmth: 2014 was the warmest year on record, and 2015 may be shaping up to top it.

    Satellite data does not show 2014 as the warmest year on record or that 2015 is shaping up as the warmest.

    The WaPo article has the Orwellian claim that scientists erroneously accepted the idea of a pause because they’re under a lot of “societal pressure”.

    Discussion of the alleged debunking here.

    Gerald A (e1ec12)

  9. if you go back to 1875,

    picking a nit, perhaps, but I think it an important nit.
    The true flex point should be 1915, the first year the Federal Reserve was in operation.

    kishnevi (870883)

  10. Likewise – how do do you account for the rapid warming from circa 1850-1900 when CO2 went from 280 ppm to 282 ppm

    Nevermind. How do you account for the warming of the globe which ended the Ice Age, at a time when human contribution would have been Og the Neanderthal lighting his fire to barbeque a nice mammoth steak?

    One important point to remember

    Earth had been warming and cooling on its own since it started out to be a planet.
    Science still has not figured out what causes those fluctuations. So, assuming there is a global warming trend, science does not really know why Earth is warming, or how much it will warm.

    Which renders any claims that human activity is an important factor an unsubstantiated speculation (it may be, for all we know…but we don’t know nearly enough to know if it is) at best.

    kishnevi (870883)

  11. It’s like when liberals on Twitter start one of their “truth and facts” lectures. There’s no sense of irony or self-awareness in their tone, as if they don’t know that declaring something to be “truth and facts” doesn’t make it so, even if they type it with capital letters.

    CrustyB (69f730)

  12. @kishnevi:How do you account for the warming of the globe which ended the Ice Age, at a time when human contribution would have been Og the Neanderthal lighting his fire to barbeque a nice mammoth steak?

    How do you account for lung cancer in people who don’t smoke? Smoking must not cause cancer then.

    There’s a lot of reasons why climate changes. And climate scientists are fully aware that in the past the climate was different–they are the ones who conducted and disseminated that research, which is why you know about it.

    In fairness to them, they are not saying that all climate changes everywhere have always been due to industrial emissions. They are saying that the ones we are seeing now are.

    Whether you agree or disagree with that, arguments that non-anthropogenic climate changes somehow invalidate any effects of humans on climate is analogous to saying that smoking couldn’t cause lung cancer because there are people who get it and never smoked.

    Incidentally life-long smokers have an 80% chance of NOT getting lung cancer. I mention it because most people accept take the lung cancer-smoking connection for granted. But few of them are aware of what the evidence actually says.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  13. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate. There is no such evidence in the paleoclimate record. There is evidence that warming causes more CO2 to enter the atmosphere but no real evidence that this additional CO2 causes any additional warming.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  14. The AGW theory is that adding CO2 to the atmosphere causes an increase in its radiant thermal insulation properties causing restrictions in heat flow which in turn cause warming at the Earth’s surface and the lower atmosphere. In itself the effect is small because we are talking about small changes in the CO2 content of the atmosphere and CO2 comprises only about .04% of dry atmosphere if it were only dry but that is not the case. Actually H2O which averages around 2% is the primary greenhouse gas.

    H2O is also a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere transferring heat energy from the Earth;s surface. which is mostly H2O, to where clouds form via the heat of vaporization. More heat energy is moved by H2O via phase change then by both convection and LWIR absorption band radiation combined. More H2O means that more heat energy gets moved which provides a negative feedback to any CO2 based warming that might occur. Then there is the issue of clouds. More H2O means more clouds. Clouds not only reflect incoming solar radiation but they radiate to space much more efficiently then the clear atmosphere they replace. Clouds provide another negative feedback. Then there is the issue of the upper atmosphere which cools rather than warms. The cooling reduces the amount of H2O up there which decreases any greenhouse gas effects that CO2 might have up there.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  15. @10– Science still has not figured out what causes those fluctuations
    A minor nit that might be do to be picked: There are some astrophysicists out there who seem to think that the sun has something to do with all this. You know, that big (by our standards, not by all the universe) red-orange thing that shows up early in the morning… Some of those astrophysicists have found that “storms” on the surface of the sun and irregularities in the chemistry that drives the sun’s energy output effect all kinds of things here on Earth, including temperatures.

    These same guys (and gals) also say that as the sun continues to burn it expands and is destined to absorb the inner planets as it grows to a size matching, roughly, Earth’s orbit. Now THAT will be global warming… No CO2 required.

    Gramps (bc022b)

  16. They are saying that the ones we are seeing now are.
    But they are in no position to say that. To validly assert that, we would need to know much more than we do about the mechanisms by which Earth cools and warms as a natural event. You can’t say X (human activity) is the cause of A unless you can also say Y and Z (naturally occurring factors are not the cause. We know too little about Y and Z to say they are not the cause.

    kishnevi (870883)

  17. Temperature is the movement of air molecules. How fast the individual oxygen, nitrogen, water vapor, co2, aerosol molecules, and all the trace gasses move, banging into each other, is directly related to what the temperature is outside.

    CO2 is a heavy molecule – 44.01 g·mol−1. This means it takes many collisions to bring it up to ambient temperature (make it move at the speed of the warmer molecules ; oxygen, nitrogen). The amount of extra collisions it takes for co2 to achieve ambient temperature is perversely referred to by fraudsters as global warming potential.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  18. Through a process called thermophoresis heavy molecules like CO2, which require many more collisions to warm up to ambient, are preferentially nudged toward low temperature gradients, where they mass into droplets in the case of H2O, or dry ice crystals in the case of CO2.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  19. In other words global warming is complete and total bs, start to finish, and all points in the middle.

    I use to think to myself, “Why is it so easy for me to defeat climate changers in debate? I’m not that smart.”

    The reason is because global warming is a lie beginning to end. A passably intelligent person can defeat a global warming advocate every time.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  20. This video of Cruz whacking the stupid Sierra Club President, this shows the arc of every story involving global warmers trying to support their position on it’s merits.
    AGW campaign in all it’s political, technical, and philosophical permutations, has at it’s core no merit what so ever.

    The truth is this President of the Sierra Club, as stupid and inept as he appears, this clown show is most likely the best representative they could field.

    It’s not by accident that Al Gore leaves the car running out back when he is appearing at a climate change event. He needs to run before anybody asks a question.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  21. In the present time the EPA is contaminating Colorado and nobody gives a darn.

    mg (31009b)

  22. @papertiger:H2O is also a primary coolant in the Earth’s atmosphere transferring heat energy from the Earth;s surface…

    Right, through clouds and ice and such. But the key fact, which is unknown at this point, is how much of an offset is it to the warming? If the cooling effects of H2O are smaller than the warming effects of H2O and CO2 you’d get net warming and if the cooling effects were greater you’d get net cooling.

    You can’t just point to a cooling effect and assert that it must all cancel out. The relative size of each effect is what you need to know.

    No one knows how to answer this without building models and seeing what happens for different size effects. Hence the emphasis on models. Which can match past climate pretty well, but so far not good at predicting future climate.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  23. @kishnevi:But they are in no position to say that.

    Apply your reasoning to lung cancer. Here is a smoker, but we know that people get cancer without smoking, and we can’t rule out any of the other reasons that people might get cancer (because sometimes people just get it). Therefore we can’t conclude that a smoker got lung cancer from smoking.

    If that’s the standard reasoning you are going to use, run with it, but know what you are getting into and be prepared to apply it consistently.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  24. Patrick, in just fifteen minutes, demonstrates how to apply critical thinking. What most universities nowadays can’t do in four years!

    Brett King (cf96bb)

  25. the record heat in southern California over the past several days, and the unpleasantly hot, drought-ridden conditions going back months

    This is el nino in action but, of course, no one remembers any history anymore. I’ve been through these drought cycles and el nino cycles afoul 55 years and the main difference is that no new water storage facility has been built in California in 50 years while,the population has increased 33%. Also, during the last drought crisis in 1977 we had a lot of desalination plants running which have not been built this time.

    Mike K (90dfdc)

  26. how much of an offset is it to the warming? If the cooling effects of H2O are smaller than the warming effects of H2O and CO2 you’d get net warming and if the cooling effects were greater you’d get net cooling.

    First you’ll have to show some warming effects. You’re referring to “warming effects” of H2O and CO2. Where? What are they?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  27. Apply your reasoning to lung cancer

    There’s an important distinction. We know a lot more about how and why people get cancer than we do about how and why the globe cools and warms.

    kishnevi (870883)

  28. @papertiger: You’re referring to “warming effects” of H2O and CO2. Where? What are they?

    The normal modes of the bonds in the molecules.

    @kishnevi:We know a lot more about how and why people get cancer than we do about how and why the globe cools and warms.

    I don’t think we know much about cancer at all. We can sometimes cut it out and we can sometimes poison it and we can make some general recommendations that might reduce some cancer risk.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  29. @25– If CA had spent some of the money thrown at AGW — which may not even exist in the first place — to hire a bunch of bulldozers and dump trucks to remove material from the now-exposed lower regions of our reservoirs (Folsom, New Hogan, New Melones to name a few) so they could have greater capacity in the future, the effects of the NEXT drought would be mitigated. But that is something called planning and preparation, and it doesn’t happen when it addresses a problem that lies beyound the next election.

    Gramps (bc022b)

  30. No seriously though. We’re not smashing atoms. IN the thermodynamic real world where is the heating effect from H2O? Hell CO2 is even worse. That is you can use CO2 as a coolant in a radiator. Don’t have to alter or adulterate.

    Go to the Home Depot and ask for the evaporative heaters isle sometime.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  31. “Which can match past climate pretty well, but so far not good at predicting future climate.”

    I have seen few, if any, of the climate models that are even remotely close to being back-predictive, or able to produce known results with their “modeling”.

    JD (e7b907)

  32. I don’t trust the surface data. When corrupt scientists have the option of using ‘correcting adjustments’ to get the proper outcomes only a fool would trust the conclusions. The satellite data is better, but doesn’t go back far enough for the warmists. So it’s ignored and the media does the bait and switch to the corrupted surface numbers.

    East Bay Jay (c65ac0)

  33. @papertiger: IN the thermodynamic real world where is the heating effect from H2O? Hell CO2 is even worse.

    It’s radiative heat transfer, which is why you’re probably unfamiliar with it, since it’s not something most of us have ever had direct experience with. It’s not conduction, convection, or evaporation.

    Any object at the Earth’s surface temperature emits light at around 14 microns. Water and carbon dioxide absorb light near these wavelengths. If the Earth had a much higher or much lower surface temperature, these gases would have a negligible effect and some other gases would be “greenhouse gases”.

    Go to the Home Depot and ask for the evaporative heaters isle sometime.

    The Earth is not evaporatively cooled to any significant degree. The Earth is always absorbing sunlight, which makes its temperature go up. Its temperature would increase forever if it had no radiation to emit. It emits radiation and it emits more radiation the higher temperature it is. Conversely, anything that causes the Earth to be a stronger absorber will increase its temperature until emission balances absorption.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  34. @JD:I have seen few, if any, of the climate models that are even remotely close to being back-predictive, or able to produce known results with their “modeling”.

    Depends on how accurate you insist they be. But they’re not of much use if they don’t predict forward. This is a problem of any complicated model, like those used by economists–there are many combinations of parameters that can give you the similar results, and so you can never be sure that going forward they will still be predictive.

    But there isn’t anything else to try. So they do.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  35. Wait, so they fact checked Cruz, but not the idiot repeatedly quoting a known bogus study?

    scrubone (c3104f)

  36. Mike K #25 – there you go again, relying upon reality and your direct observational experiences !

    The Canadian-ferrous nature of the Deity is emphasised by the fact that, in California, we have the *same* Governor, same governing party, and same governing policies today that we had back during the last significant drought period in the 1970s – and they are just as ineffective …

    As I understand it, California has had drought periods back in the 1890s, back in the 1930s, back in the 1970s, and now in the 2010s … scientists worthy of respect would tend to wonder about the periodic nature of these drought periods, just from those four points, and would seek to prove or disprove the cyclic nature … climate “scientists” seem scared to even consider the possibility … (even Wikipedia currently acknowledges these drought periods – “The 1890s drought, between 1890 and 1896, was the first to be widely and adequately recorded by rain gauges, with much of the American West having been settled.” – by my pointing them out, that situation may change, however) …

    (Canadian-ferrous nature of the Deity => Iron, eh => Irony)

    Alastor (2e7f9f)

  37. Willis Eschenbach and Argo on warmest oceans

    It’s not shocking that 31 °C is the highest ocean surface temperature you may get

    Willis Eschenbach has performed a very interesting analysis of the ocean temperature data from Argo, a system of floating probes.
    However, Willis has also produced an interesting histogram.
    The histogram of temperatures is sorted according to the latitude.
    You see that the temperatures generally decrease from 30 °C to 0 °C or so as you get closer to the poles. The lower limit on the temperature seems to be around –1.5 °C: the devices have to decide how to operate or stop when the ocean starts to freeze over. Otherwise be sure that the ice may reach temperatures much lower than –1.5 °C if it’s thick enough; if it’s thin sea ice, the temperature can’t deviate from the temperature of the nearby liquid water which can’t really drop too much below 0 °C as you know very well.

    However, interestingly enough, there’s also a pretty sharp flat plateau at the top: the instant temperature never seems to exceed 31 °C or so; you may expect a smoother curve at the top instead of a plateau.
    In fact, the maximum latitudes where the plateau reaches in the horizontal direction – where you may saturate the temperature limit – is pretty much going from –23° to +23° which reinforces the idea that the warmest temperature, around 31 °C, is reached when the Sun is shining vertically (which is possible everywhere in the tropics at some point, in the latitude interval –23° – +23°) and when there are no clouds. In this “optimum weather”, all parts of the atmosphere and the ocean always arrange in pretty much the same way and the ocean surface temperature simply reaches 31 °C.

    See the oceans have a maximum temperature, which occurs obviously enough in the tropics, where the sun is directly positioned overhead. Temps fall off from the tropics precipitously and consistently to bottom out at the poles. What holds the lid on tropical ocean temperatures?
    If water vapor and co2 absorb 14 micron (sunlight), why isn’t the lid wider than the tropics?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  38. @papertiger:If water vapor and co2 absorb 14 micron (sunlight), why isn’t the lid wider than the tropics?

    They don’t, sunlight doesn’t peak anywhere near 14 micron. It’s the emitted light that gets absorbed by water and carbon dioxide, the sunlight absorption is very small.

    Because the fraction of emitted light is reduced, the earth’s overall temperature has to increase in order to emit enough light to balance what it absorbs from the sun.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  39. I’m starting my new series called “Fact-Checking the Fact-Checker Fact-Checking the Fact-Checkers.”

    Cruz’s principal point was that there has been a “pause” in global warming, according to the satellite data, which has shown no significant warming for 17 years.

    I’ve got to rate this C”pants on fire” false, Pat.

    According to the RSS satellite data the pause is 18 years and 8 months. The UAH satellite data shows a pause of similar but slightly shorter time period.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/10/08/theres-life-in-the-old-pause-yet/

    So, you and Cruze are just flat wrong about a 17 year pause in global warming. There hasn’t been a 17 year pause for nearly two years.

    Long enough for you and Cruze to learn the facts and stop dealing in these climate lies.

    I’m putting you on notice, Pat. I’ll be watching, so straighten up and fly right.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  40. I can’t find the most recent July UAH satellite data, but as of March of this year UAH was showing no significant global warming.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/29/new-uah-lower-troposphere-temperature-data-show-no-global-warming-for-more-than-18-years/

    At the time the UAH data had the pause at 219 months, while the RSS data had the pause at 220 months. Since neither data set showed any warming in the four intervening months we have a pause according to the satellite data of 223/224 months respectively, or 18 years and either seven or eight months.

    So can you puh-lease stop trafficking in the LIE of a 17 year pause?!?!

    Tell your buddy Ted, too.

    Remember, I’m watching both of you.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  41. Steve57, if you watched the video, Cruz repeatedly used 18 years. It was the first group of “fact-checkers” who turned it into 17 years.

    -Jay

    Easy Target (d7a02c)

  42. 32. I don’t trust the surface data…

    East Bay Jay (c65ac0) — 10/13/2015 @ 1:20 pm

    And for good reason.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/27/approximately-92-or-99-of-ushcn-surface-temperature-data-consists-of-estimated-values/

    Steve57 (d94282)

  43. Easy Target, I was being facetious.

    Also, I enjoy taking every opportunity to post information about the lengthening glo-bull warmista pause, which they can’t explain and which would completely invalidate the theoretical basis for AGW per a NOAA report (back in 2008) should the pause continue past 15 years.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  44. http://wattsupwiththat.com/climate-fail-files/list-of-excuses-for-the-pause-in-global-warming/

    List of excuses for ‘The Pause’ in global warming

    The Official list of excuses for the 18-26 year ‘pause’ in global warming (compiled by WUWT and The HockeySchtick)

    The current count: 52 excuses…

    Steve57 (d94282)

  45. Gabriel Hanna @ 38

    Why do barbeques have stands? If radiation makes a piss compared to evaporation, then your BBQ, glowing red hot with coals would have to be sitting on the ground in order to prevent wildfires, and comply to city ordinances.

    Now I checked this earlier while making some burgers. With my BBQ, standing about 3 feet off the ground on castors, glowing red hot coals and the lid on, in fact the prefect circumstance for co2 to display it’s amazing downwelling LWIR radiation properties, but still the cat sleeps on the tray underneath.
    If you hold that same cat over the top of the barbi, you’ll get scratched.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  46. “Which can match past climate pretty well, but so far not good at predicting future climate.”

    It’s called a curve fit. A useless exercise when it comes to making an accurate projection.

    Random Numbers (b62152)

  47. Returning to the Washington Post there is no pause “study” I referenced in #8, it has this bizarre element:

    The paper also describes a separate experiment that lead author Stephan Lewandowsky, a cognitive psychologist at the University of Bristol, says is “the most exciting part.” The researchers subjected the idea of a warming pause to something called a blind expert test.

    They presented the climate data to a group of 25 professional economists, but told them that the data represented world agricultural output, not temperature. They did this to prevent any personal biases the economists might have, essentially “dressing up the data as something different that doesn’t have any political or emotional connotations,” Lewandowsky says.

    They then asked the economists whether a pause in output had occurred in the period after 1998. The experts rejected this idea, and some even agreed that such a statement was “fraudulent.”

    “When you do a blind study and it comes out that strongly … that’s a pretty compelling view,” says John Abraham, a professor of thermal sciences at the University of St. Thomas.

    The point of this alleged refutation of the pause is that subjecting it to statistical analysis supposedly demonstrates that it falls within the range of random variation that would be expected within a longer uptrend.

    As I pointed out, the first problem is that they’re using surface temperature data.

    But it suffers from two serious logical problems:

    (1) It’s a straw man. The question is whether the pause is compatible with climate models. Asking whether such a pause has some statistical probability of occurring within a longer term uptrend is changing the subject.

    (2) It smacks of circular reasoning. Using some statistical technique to demonstrate it could occur within an uptrend doesn’t tell us that’s what actually is happening. The mere possibility that’s happening is all they need to verify that it’s still within an uptrend, because they already know it is.

    Then they added the bizarre element of apparently asking economists to look at the graph and ask if that represents world agricultural output. They’re asking people about

    (1) Something that has already occurred and which some of these economists would have direct knowledge of.

    (2) Something which is for the most part not a natural phenomenon. other than weather events. Agriculture is man made. Agriculture should follow predictable patterns over any period of years. It presumably roughly tracks some combination of world growth in living standards and population growth. The economists would know that a plateauing of agricultural output doesn’t make any sense.

    The fact they have to resort to this kind of BS is revealing.

    Gerald A (e1ec12)

  48. 22. …No one knows how to answer this without building models and seeing what happens for different size effects. Hence the emphasis on models. Which can match past climate pretty well, but so far not good at predicting future climate.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1) — 10/13/2015 @ 11:01 am

    The models are craptastic in both directions because.

    1. Nobody has accounted for all the variables that impact climate.
    2. Nobody knows how to quantify how much the variables that are known impact climate.

    Tomorrow we could discover that the Earth produces twice as much of a gas that contributes to warming than previously thought. Knocking all the models into a cocked hat. Or, the reverse. Which, figuratively speaking, happened just yesterday.

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/09/30/new-discovery-surface-of-the-oceans-affects-climate-more-than-thought/

    …he results underline the global significance of the chemical processes at the border between ocean and atmosphere, write the researchers in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. Isoprene is a gas that is formed by both the vegetation and the oceans. It is very important for the climate because this gas can form particles that can become clouds and then later affect temperature and precipitation. Previously it was assumed that isoprene is primarily caused by biological processes from plankton in the sea water. The atmospheric chemists from France and Germany, however, could now show that isoprene could also be formed without biological sources in surface film of the oceans by sunlight and so explain the large discrepancy between field measurements and models. The new identified photochemical reaction is therefore important to improve the climate models.

    The oceans not only take up heat and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, they are also sources of various gaseous compounds, thereby affecting the global climate. A key role is played by the so-called surface microlayer (SML), especially at low wind speed. In these few micrometers thin layer different organic substances such as dissolved organic matter, fat and amino acids, proteins, lipids are accumulating as well as trace metals, dust and microorganisms…

    … So far, however, local measurements indicated levels of about 0.3 megatonnes per year, global simulations of around 1.9 megatons per year. But the team of Lyon and Leipzig estimates that the newly discovered photochemical pathway alone contribute 0.2 to 3.5 megatons per year additionally and could explain the recent disagreements. “The existence of the organic films at the ocean surface due to biological activities therefore influences the exchange processes between air and sea in a unexpected strong way. The photochemical processes at this interface could be a very significant source of isoprene”, summarizes Prof. Hartmut Herrmann from TROPOS.

    The models are garbage. Modeling a fictional climate adds absolutely nothing to our collective knowledge.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  49. Thanks Steve57 – this is news I can use.

    felipe (b5e0f4)

  50. Any time, felipe. Consider me your one-stop shop for all your settled science needs.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  51. @papertiger: If radiation makes a piss compared to evaporation,

    Are you saying that a BBQ stand in thermal contact with the ground and a surrounding atmosphere is exactly like the Earth and its atmosphere orbiting the Sun in near vacuum, thermodynamically?

    I hope you are not saying that, and that I am misunderstanding.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  52. @Steve57:The models are craptastic in both directions because.

    1. Nobody has accounted for all the variables that impact climate.
    2. Nobody knows how to quantify how much the variables that are known impact climate.

    That can be said about virtually anything that people think they understand, perfect knowledge and understanding simply does not exist.

    It is a question of degree. It is simply not true that less-than-perfect knowledge is equivalent to total ignorance. We do not live our lives this way. We make decisions based on the best information available at the time.

    Climate models, I agree, aren’t much help in predicting future climate and so I don’t think they should be used as a guide to environmental or economic policy decisions. But that doesn’t make them valueless.

    The individual parts of the climate system are not very hard understand, it’s that the interactions between them are so complicated that they might not be understandable. It may be that the best that can be done is to simulate them. The danger then is that at any time a model that has been working may cease to work for no apparent reason, simply because the combinations of parameters that can yield similar results are so numerous you can never be sure you have exactly the right ones.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  53. @papertiger:

    The Earth and its atmosphere can’t exchange heat with anything else except by radiation. That’s one of the many, many ways it’s not like a BBQ grill on a stand.

    The Earth is not in contact with other large objects, so it can’t exchange by conduction. It is not immersed in a Solar-system-wide fluid or gas, so it can’t exchange by convection. While a small percentage of the atmosphere does leak away all the time, mostly hydrogen and helium, this only accounts for a tiny amount of thermal energy.

    The Earth does receive energy from the sun in the form of light radiation, and it emits light radiation away from itself in all directions, just like any object at above absolute zero does. These are the only two ways the Earth can exchange thermal energy with anything outside it.

    The Earth has a stable temperature because the energy from the Sun matches the emitted energy. Anything that reduces the ability of the Earth to emit will force the Earth’s temperature up, since it will be getting more energy than it receives.

    When the Earth’s temperature goes up, the amount of energy it emits goes up as well, and the wavelength of the emission gets shorter. At the current temperature the emitted peak wavelength is 14 microns. When the temperature gets high enough that emission balances absorption, then the temperature is stable again, but higher than it was.

    So, not much like a BBQ grill at all, no.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  54. #35

    Wait, so they fact checked Cruz, but not the idiot repeatedly quoting a known bogus study?

    scrubone (c3104f) — 10/13/2015 @ 2:36 pm

    Ever wonder how someone who lacks the intellectual capacity to recognize a bogus survey/study somehow possesses the superior intellectual capacity to ascertain the scientific validity of climate science.

    Joe from Texas (debac0)

  55. Gabriel Cat tested.

    Your theory of heat saturated CO2 back radiation doesn’t survive in 3 feet of airspace.
    What could be more filled with CO2 than charcoal?
    And since it doesn’t survive the local.

    For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.
    Richard Feynman
    US educator & physicist (1918 – 1988)

    Why isn’t there a back radiator on the market?

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  56. i saw one on craigslist but it was too far to drive

    happyfeet (a037ad)

  57. —————————- Original Message —————————-
    Subject: Fwd: SHIPWRECK
    From: ruberube11@comcast.net
    Date: Wed, October 14, 2015 8:29 am
    To:
    ————————————————————————–

    —– Original Message —–

    From: “Ed Kittler”
    To: >
    Sent: Tuesday, October 13, 2015 8:35:50 PM
    Subject: Fw: Fwd: SHIPWRECK

    Subject: FW: Fwd: SHIPWRECK

    SHIPWRECK

    ________________________________

    A Lonely Man on a Beach…

    A man washed up on a beach after a shipwreck. Only a sheep and a sheepdog were washed-up with him. After looking around, he realized that they were stranded on a deserted island. After being there awhile, he got into the habit of taking his two animal companions to the beach every evening to watch the sunset. One particular evening, the sky was a fiery red with beautiful cirrus clouds, the breeze was warm and gentle – a perfect night for romance.

    As they sat there, the sheep started looking better and better to the lonely man. Soon, he leaned over to the sheep and put his arm around it. The sheepdog, ever-protective of the sheep, growled fiercely until the man took his arm from around the sheep.

    After that, the three of them continued to enjoy the sunsets together, bu there was no more cuddling. A few weeks passed-by and, lo and behold, there was another shipwreck. The only survivor was Hillary Clinton.

    That evening, the man brought Hillary to the evening beach ritual. It was another beautiful evening – red sky, cirrus clouds, a warm and gentle breeze – perfect for a night of romance.

    Pretty soon, the man started to get those feelings again. He fought the urges as long as he could but he finally gave-in and leaned over to Hillary and told her he hadn’t had sex for months.

    Hillary batted her eyelashes and asked if there was anything she could do for him.

    He said, ‘Take the dog for a walk.’

    Colonel Haiku (0f4bb0)

  58. @papertiger:Your theory of heat saturated CO2 back radiation doesn’t survive in 3 feet of airspace.

    It’s not my theory. It’s black-body radiation.

    Here’s the Wikipedia article, point out the errors, publish them in a journal, and collect your Nobel. But if you don;t believe in black body radiation you must not believe that IR cameras work.

    What could be more filled with CO2 than charcoal?

    Charcoal is C, in actually. Not CO2. When you burn charcoal you get CO2. That CO2 absorbs near 14 micron. Here’s a spectrometer you can use to check.

    Why isn’t there a back radiator on the market?

    You canget something very similar at Costco right now.

    Not to mention every electric and ceramic burner.

    Gabriel Hanna (64d4e1)

  59. Models that can replicated known weather patterns are effin useless other than to show that the models suck.

    JD (d59e42)

  60. Can’t replicate.

    JD (d59e42)

  61. No, your theory was that the amount of photons absorbed by a co2 molecule outweighs evaporation.

    “The Earth is not evaporatively cooled to any significant degree.”, you said.

    You college boys never can admit when you’re wrong. The energy it takes to lift an individual co2 molecule from the BBQ all the way up into the high atmosphere where it condenses into dry ice turns the imperceptible back radiation into a fart at a football game.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  62. @papertiger:You college boys never can admit when you’re wrong.

    Grown man with a PhD in physics, actually–but at least I know the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide.

    your theory was that the amount of photons absorbed by a co2 molecule outweighs evaporation.

    No, it wasn’t. It’s that the Earth has to radiate energy away in the form of light. This has been known since the 19th century, long before anyone ever thought of carbon dioxide and climate. It doesn’t depend on the Earth having carbon dioxide at all. It’s true of all objects and it’s part of the properties of light, fundamentally.

    Since the carbon dioxide in your example is incapable of leaving Earth’s gravity well, it is incapable of cooling the Earth by evaporation. Only very small molecules like hydrogen can do that.

    Gabriel Hanna (940cc0)

  63. @papertiger: It’s encouraging that you accept Feynman as an authority. Here is a link to where he works out how high gases can get in the Earth’s atmosphere.

    Can you show from these equations how hot the Earth would have to be in order for the carbon dioxide to actually leave the Earth’s atmosphere?

    Gabriel Hanna (940cc0)

  64. 59. Models that can replicated known weather patterns are effin useless other than to show that the models suck.
    JD (d59e42) — 10/14/2015 @ 3:57 pm

    60. Can’t replicate.
    JD (d59e42) — 10/14/2015 @ 3:58 pm

    Indeed. And a Perth, Western Australia, electrical engineer and professional modeller, including working as a climate modeller for the government’s Australia Greenhouse Office (part of the Australian government’s Dept. of the Environment) has spent 20 trying to figure out why climate models suck. And after two decades spent working on the problem, Dr David Evans has discovered at least two mathematical wild cards in the basic model that causes them to overestimate climate sensitivity to CO2 by a factor of five to ten.

    He will not be easy to dismiss given his background and education. It isn’t like he doesn’t believe in models. He develops models of the physical world for a living, and as I mentioned earlier worked for the Aussie government as a climate modeller. And he has more than a few relevant advanced degrees, so he knows what he’s talking about.

    Dr David Evans is an electrical engineer and mathematician, who earned six university degrees over ten years, including a PhD from Stanford University in electrical engineering (digital signal processing): PhD. (E.E), M.S. (E.E.), M.S. (Stats) [at Stanford], B.E. (Hons, University Medal), M.A. (Applied Math), B.Sc.[University of Sydney]. His specialty is in Fourier analysis and signal processing. He trained with Professor Ronald Bracewell late of Stanford University.

    He’s broken up his work on the subject into 11 sections. These headings are briefly explained at the below link, and which in turn has links to the web pages where each topic is explored in detail.

    http://sciencespeak.com/climate-basic.html

    New Science 1: Pushing the edge of climate research.
    New Science 2: The Conventional Basic Climate Model — the engine of “certain” warming.
    New Science 3: The Conventional Basic Climate Model — In Full.
    New Science 4: Error 1: Partial Derivatives.
    New Science 5: Error 2: Model architecture means all feedbacks work through the surface temperature?
    New Science 6: How the Greenhouse Effect Works and “four pipes” to space.
    New Science 7: Rerouting Feedback in Climate Models.
    New Science 8: Applying the Stefan-Boltzmann Law to Earth.
    New Science 9: Error 3: All Radiation Imbalances Treated the Same — The Ground is not the sky!
    New Science 10: Whatever controls clouds controls the climate.
    New Science 11: An Alternative Modeling Strategy.

    I bolded the title of part 10 as it underscores the importance of the work that the researchers in Leipzing and Lyon have done regarding the Surface Microlayer of the ocean. The fact that the SML plays a far bigger role in the generation of isoprene, producing it abiotically through a chemical reaction previously unknown, is huge as isoprene plays a large role in cloud formation.

    Steve57 (d94282)

  65. @Steve57: Thanks for those links. Chapter 8 is what I’ve been trying to explain to papertiger; perhaps he’ll believe it if he hears it from a source you vouched for.

    The problem of multiple layers, though, is not difficult to address; you simply set up multiple concentric shells and integrate, numerically if you have to.

    Gabriel Hanna (940cc0)

  66. Grown man with a PhD in physics

    I’m impressed, that you would admit it in public forum.

    But then you come off with – but at least I know the difference between carbon and carbon dioxide.

    Hurtful. So did you order the beer, or the whiskey?

    Then he trots out stefan boltzmann. The Raiders of the Lost Ark of climate debating. I notice your radiative heater’s base is made of plastic. How could that be, so close to your radiation generator?
    Orange glow that’s 2012 degrees. Divide by four. That’s oven temperature. Stefan Boltzmann says your electric burner mounted on a dinner plate should be sitting in a puddle of plastic goo.

    papertiger (c2d6da)

  67. From the wikipedia

    A black body in thermal equilibrium has two notable properties:[2]

    It is an ideal emitter: at every frequency, it emits as much energy as – or more energy than – any other body at the same temperature.
    It is a diffuse emitter: the energy is radiated isotropically, independent of direction.

    So far so good. Still from the wiki.

    A blackbody allows all incident radiation to pass into it (no reflected energy) and internally absorbs all the incident radiation (no energy transmitted through the body). This is true for radiation of all wavelengths and for all angles of incidence. Hence the blackbody is a perfect absorber for all incident radiation.

    A perfect absorber and a perfect emitter. Just like the global warming theory, Stefan Boltzmann does everything and predicts nothing.

    You would expect being a black body that absorbs every wavelength, naturally a collapsed star black hole would qualify. You’d be wrong.

    radiation with a wavelength equal to or larger than the radius of the hole may not be absorbed, so black holes are not perfect black bodies

    So Stefan Boltzmann “law” is another model that describes nothing in the reality.

    papertiger (c2d6da)


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