About

The elevation of the hockey stick and the whole global warming thing to iconic status makes it a giant with feet of clay – poorly founded and ready to crumble.  Time to do some digging…

A blog about analysis of climate data and digging deeper into the science.

On starting the blog (Verity Jones)….

I’m a scientist, or at least I was, but the usual thing happened to me: less and less time at ‘the bench’ and more time managing – people – projects – budgets. I liked to think I never really lost it. That edge. The ability to critique and question. I was wrong.

Climate change came along. I embraced the science and became quite evangelistic about it. But then finally something happened. The scientist in me can’t help but listen to debate, and I didn’t like what I was hearing. The scientists began to sound like politicians and the politicians looked as if they were being asked to kiss babies. And it all became loud and complicated. So I dusted the cobwebs out of my brain and started to read, and learn, and question. I read everything I could, lurked on blogs then began commenting using various silly names. Then I got fed up with it all and just lurked again. After two years I have something to say.

I’ve learned two things. First, the science is not settled. Second, and perhaps most importantly, communicating the complications of the science in everyday terms is a challenge:

  • There is so much of it – where do you start?
  • It’s easy to get information on climate change – it’s everywhere. But what do you believe?
  • If the science isn’t settled, then it is theories that are driving the show – right?
  • So, then, some scientists are better at pushing (or defending) their theories than others
  • Now that politics is involved, who is telling it straight?

You’ve probably guessed by now that I’m sceptical, cynical even of this whole global warming thing. Well, I won’t tell you “it’s not happening”. I can’t say that with any certainty, but I am sure that we can’t be certain it is.

Contact: Verityajones [at symbol] gmail [dot] com

Collaborator: KevinUK (the one with the database and mapping knowhow)

Kevin’s Climate Website: www.climateapplications.com

35 Responses to About

  1. Holly Martin says:

    Thanks, Verity!

    Reply – Thank you – Glad to have you stop by!

  2. Jeff Id says:

    Not so unsimilar from myself. After promoting myself to president – of nobody and working to build a company, there weren’t enough good puzzles left. The politics of climate were obvious but when Mann 08 came out right at the time I started the Air Vent, my focus shifted. Obviously bad math promoted as though it were normal science and swept under the rug by the mainstream – until they needed it.

  3. kevinincornwall says:

    About time the murky world of AGW politics was exposed to some daylight. Watch out for the trolls & spammers, like moths to a flame.

  4. Varco says:

    Best of luck with your new blog, and thank you for stepping into the frey.

  5. sdcougar says:

    I just clicked on your link at WUWT. Just had to say ‘thanks’ for the laugh of the day…the ONE way ticket for Dr. Hansen!

    [Reply – you’re welcome. I see a few others thought of it too below my comment.]

  6. Robert J. Guercio says:

    Hi,

    I’m not sure if I’m going about this correctly but if not, please accept my apologies.

    I wrote a blog explaining how greenhouse gases cause the stratosphere to cool. Here I offer a summary:

    Temperature is a measurement of the translational Kinetic Energy (KE) of the particles. When CO2 and other particles collide with each other, some of the translational KE is converted into vibrational KE of the CO2. The loss of translational KE lowers the temperature and thus excites the CO2 molecules.

    Nature prefers the lowest energy state and the excited CO2 molecules give up the vibrational Kinetic Energy by returning to the unexcited ground state. In so doing, they emit Infrared radiation. In the rarefied atmosphere of the stratosphere, this radiation does not impinge on stratospheric particles and simply escapes into space.

    If the CO2 level of the stratosphere increases, there are more of these reactions and the temperature is lowered.

    For a complete explanation, please see my blog:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/Stratospheric-Cooling-and-Tropospheric-Warming.html

    Please consider posting this blog on your site.

    Thank you,

    Bob

  7. Abraham says:

    Ms Jones,
    What do you believe to be the cause or causes for such a large majority of active climate scientists and scientists in general to believe AGW IS settled science and that the theory does NOT have “feet of clay”?

    Might I also ask what was your field of research?

    Thank you.

    Abraham

    • Verity Jones says:

      Abraham,

      Thank you for asking – that’s a good question and deserves more than a set of glib answers. It’s late where I am at the moment so I hope you’ll forgive that I take the time to give it some thought and and come up with a decent answer.

      Update – sorry for the delay in answering, I hope this answers sufficiently. As to your other question – ‘biotech’ is the simplest answer.

  8. Andrew says:

    Dr. Jones…

    I stumbled here via Tallbloke…I will be back!

    Great stuff!

    [Reply – good to add you to those who drop by. Um, don’t know where you got the Dr. from ;-)]

  9. Bloke down the pub says:

    Have an Happy Christmas and keep up the good work in the New Year.

    [Reply – thank you and the same to you. Blogging may be a bit light in January as I have a contract to deliver on and a stack of other work. I’m planning to get a few things prepped over Christmas so that I can have a couple of posts “ready to go”.

  10. Doug Cotton says:

    You may be interested in my new peer-reviewed paper ..

    Climatologists love to talk about energy being trapped by carbon dioxide and thus not exiting at the top of the atmosphere (TOA.)

    It is nowhere near as simple as that. All the radiation gets to space sooner or later. Carbon dioxide just scatters it on its way so you don’t see radiation in those bandwidths at TOA. The energy still gets out, and you have no proof that it doesn’t, because you don’t have the necessary simultaneous measurements made all over the world.

    In the hemisphere that is cooling at night there is far more getting out, whereas in the hemisphere in the sunlight there is far more coming in. This is obvious.

    When I placed a wide necked vacuum flask filled with water in the sun yesterday (with the lid off) the temperature of the water rose from 19.5 deg.C at 5:08am to 29.1 deg.C at 1:53pm while the air around it rose from 19.0 to 31.9 deg.C.

    What did the backradiation do at night? Well from 9:15pm till 12:05am the water cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 23.4 deg.C while the air cooled from 24.2 deg.C to 22.7 deg.C.

    According to those energy diagrams the backradiation, even at night, is about half the solar radiation during the day. Well, maybe it is, but it does not have anything like half the effect on the temperature as you can confirm in your own backyard.

    This is because, when radiation from a cooler atmosphere strikes a warmer surface it undergoes “resonant scattering” (sometimes called pseudo-scattering) and this means its energy is not converted to thermal energy. This is the reason that heat does not transfer from cold to hot. If it did the universe would go crazy.

    When opposing radiation is scattered, its own energy replaces energy which the warmer body would have radiated from its own thermal energy supply.

    You can imagine it as if you are just about to pay for fuel at a gas station when a friend travelling with you offers you cash for the right amount. It’s quicker and easier for you to just pay with the cash, rather than going through the longer process of using a credit card to pay from your own account. So it is with radiation. The warmer body cools more slowly as a result because a ready source of energy from incident radiation is quicker to just “reflect” back into the atmosphere, rather than have to convert its own thermal energy to radiated energy.

    The ramifications are this:

    Not all radiation from the atmosphere is the same. That from cooler regions has less effect. Also, that with fewer frequencies under its Planck curve has less effect again.

    Each carbon dioxide molecule thus has far less effect than each water vapour molecule because the latter can radiate with more frequencies which “oppose” the frequencies being emitted by the surface, especially the oceans.

    Furthermore, it is only the radiative cooling process of the surface which is slowed down. There are other processes like evaporative cooling and diffusion followed by convection which cannot be affected by backradiation, and which will tend to compensate for any slowing of the radiation.

    This is why, at night, the water in the flask cools nearly as fast as the air around it. The net effect on the rate of cooling is totally negligible.

    The backradiation does not affect temperatures anywhere near as much as solar radiation, even though its “W/m^2″ is probably about half as much.

    And there are other reasons also why it all balances out and climate follows natural cycles without any anthropogenic effect. This is explained in detail in my peer-reviewed publication now being further reviewed by dozens of scientists.

    http://principia-scientific.org/publications/psi_radiated_energy.pdf

    [Reply - Doug, you almost tempted me to wade in here, but the comment above has reminded me why I shouldn’t and I plan to stick to where I have longstanding interest. Please don’t add more to this ‘About’ thread or I’ll just snip the reply (looks like I need a Tips page). You have a good forum for it at Tallbloke’s Talkshop – anyone wanting to read more may do so there: http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/03/13/doug-cotton-radiated-energy-and-the-second-law-of-thermodynamics – Verity]

  11. j ferguson says:

    Hi Verity,
    I saw a comment at E.M.’ s which suggested that you visualize the calendar in a way that is similar to the way I do numbers and the calendar.

    I see days of the week and months of the year in asymmetrical counterclockwise polygons. The facet lengths vary and the distances to the center of the polygon vary. They don’t cascade. The year is one polygon and the days of the week are another – independent. There is no helical progression either, nor start point although Monday is at 6:00 and Friday at 12:00. June is 4:30, December 12:30 (as would be seen on a clockwise turning clock, but mine is actually counterclockwise).

    Days of the month are a 3 dimensional line with short tangents of varying length between integers and changes in angle all running from right to left but also away from start.

    I see numbers same way but only from zero. negative numbers go out in straight line – must have something to do with not being aware of negative numbers or fractions when the complex linear visualization scheme was concocted. It looks as thought the positive number scheme – armature? – design is expansive since it works out to terrabytes while I’m thinking about disc- storage. Fractions are related to reading a ruler, again likely because they came after the armature.

    For some reason, I wrote this up in college for an English class of 25. Professor was fascinated. Paper was read to class. No-one else in that class had this condition.

    I asked around in physics and there were some others.

  12. j ferguson says:

    The sequence of years is like numbers. Goes off in sequence of tangents (think railroad track) and angles in 3 dimensions – no helix – one long complex line.

    • Verity Jones says:

      How fascinating. Yours sounds quite complex to me although I am sure it is simple to you – perhaps if I read again what you’ve described.

      My visualisation of dates is mostly linear, numbers too. it is just that the helix is useful for compaction and the zoom in/out deals well then with scale.

      My realisation of having a visual memory is very recent – only in the last few years – and since then I’ve probably embraced it and developed it a lot. This has benefited my overall memory. I’ve always used it for design and conceptual thinking, but realising why I was having issues with a few things now (for example “management speak”) it has allowed me to find ways past them.

      I’ve always used visual memory for text – I’ll remember what the page looks like and where the text is on the page, even if I can’t remember (“read”) the words exactly. Much more likely to be able to picture and remember the diagram.

      • j ferguson says:

        I’m not sure it’s simple, it just is. That you were interested makes me want to take a shot at drawing the number line.

        i understand that the people who can do incredible math calcs in their heads “see” the patterns. I’m not so blessed.

        I did spend a summer doing structural calcs for small steel buildings of various sizes. Slide rule and Curta Calculator (little coffee grinder which you are likely too young to have ever seen). About half way through the summer, i could look at the calc and know what it was. I had to run the numbers anyway because this made my work easier to check, but it got so that i could write the numbers down without actually doing the detailed calculations – scared the hell out of me. I can’t do it anymore. It may have been possible that I had absorbed the characteristics of the steel sections we were designing with and “knew” what was needed.

        I’ve never run into anyone else who had this experience but wouldn’t be surprised if I did.

        It’s hard to imagine that the guys who design other repetitive structures wouldn’t gradually fall into this.

        best, john

        Reply – I’ve been looking at the climate stuff for long enough that I can ‘see’ graphs – at least once I’ve looked at a few sets of data I can easily see them in three rather than two dimensions.

        The Curta Calculator has a great wiki page.

        Glad to hear about your eyesight.

        Verity

  13. Verity Jones says:

    I’ve moved a series of comments partly because it was a good conversation (despite my lack of replies) with some great information, partly because I wanted to follow up on it, and partly becasue it was Off Topic – i.e. not about the blog or directed towards me personally. Don’t let that put you off posting here, but it may be more appropriate to say what you want to say under “Tips & OT”.

  14. ktwop says:

    Just found your site and I’m glad I did.
    Don’t get bored – get even! There is a funny side even to the earnest, self-righteous ideology of the global warming orthodoxy.
    ” I am the very model of a modern Enviro-Mentalist”

  15. ktwop,
    I imagine your comment was inspired by “Mostly Harmless” but just in case it was not:

    http://diggingintheclay.wordpress.com/2013/04/28/a-modern-climatologist/

  16. Pingback: We have reached the Nadir of the Age of Stupid | CraigM350

  17. Wyss Yim says:

    An important key to understanding UK floods is what really drives the North Atlantic Oscillation. Natural or human-induced changes? For natural drivers we need to include submarine volcanic activity for switching on hot seawater. For example, the El Hierro submarine eruption off the Canary Archipelago from October 2011 to March 2012. See my article in Imperial Engineer Autumn 2013 issue.

  18. Pingback: El Hierro eruption: climatic impacts? | Digging in the Clay

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