Friday, November 27, 2009

Watson vs. Singer

S. Fred is being very economical with the truth as usual. Watson tries to be a nice guy (a change from the early Bob that Eli remembers). Going up against Singer requires pointing out his dirty feet, something Watson does not do.


Alastair said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I have actually scored them, and the result is Singer 2 Watson 4. That is Singer was economical with the truth twice, Watson four times. I can explain on my renamed blog if you like.

S: We see no evidence that the increase in CO2 has made any difference to the climate.
1 - 0.
S: It has always been natural, no reason to believe that it should stop in the 20th C.
2 - 0.
W: Simple physics says that increasing the concentration of CO2 then the climate will warm.
2 - 1.
W: There is a very good correspondence between what you would predict and what we have observed.
2 - 2.
W: the satellite data is quite consistent with the surface data.
2 - 3.
W: The inter-decadal variability is well understood, basically.
2 - 4.

Cheers, Alastair.

BCC said...

Simple physics says that increasing the concentration of CO2 then the climate will warm.

That's being 'economical with the truth'? You do realize that Ångström's 100 year old experiment was flawed?

Marion Delgado said...

Alastair and slightly off partly quack science are iron filings and magnet. You should not score professionally, Alastair.

Alastair said...


I am fairly confident that Karl Ångström's experiments, which showed that carbon dioxide does not obey the simple physical Beer-Lambert-Bouguer Law, have never been disproved. Moreover the absorption of radiation by greenhouse gases is only explained using Quantum Mechanics which is hardly simple physics.


I cannot answer you because I do not understand the point you are making.

carrot eater said...

oy. Something isn't 'simple physics' because it involves quantum mechanics? If that's the quality of analysis you're treating us with, I'll skip your blog, whatever you name it.

Ian Forrester said...

Here is an update on the score:

Singer 2
Watson 0
Alastair 4

Alastair, is your poor score due to a lack of understanding of the science involved or due to other considerations?

Alastair said...



jg said...

Alastair has helped me with a couple of my projects, so I'm biased, but I give him credit for posting here, where he'll find skepticism and the intellectual skills to give him a good argument.

Most readers here are probably beyond the need for climate science remediation, but I'm not. Alastair's comments got me started reading the wikipedia page on Beer-Lambert(, which I'm finding fascinating. I welcome any links or comments that help me get up to speed on this.


turboblocke said...

What's wrong with saying that the satellite data is consistent with the surface data? Taking into account the differing baseline periods the anomalies agree very well.

Alastair said...

There is a little known "Tropical lapse rate quandry" described here.

So there are still discrepancies between the troposphere temperatures(satellites and radiosondes) and the models, which it is claimed predict the surface temperatures correctly.

turboblocke said...

Alistair: who were you answering with your 3.40 PM post? It's a non sequitur to my post, as I'm referring to the data not models (as was Watson in your first post, where you mark him down.)

Alastair said...


It is not me who is not addressing the question. It is Bob Watson! Agreed that the original dispute was about whether the troposphere was warming, which it is now agreed that it is, but that is no longer the question. The question now is why is the troposphere not warming more in the tropics as the models predict?

It is not much different from Singer claiming that all past climate changes were not man-made. True but irrelevant.

But if you like I will only score Bob 1/2 a mark on that one.

Cheers, Alastair.

EliRabett said...

Alastair raises the issue of how do you deal with the dug in but ever so wrong once they have established their bonafides? Alastair is a nice person, unlike some of the usual suspects, so you really don't want to let loose, but he is so dug in that you can't really ever convince him and he will never stop posting. One could keep on, that leads to 1000 comment threads (not here, Eli hastens to add), or Eli could start deleting, but that would be work, or one could go away, but that leaves the dug in with the last word. Eli doesn't know that the last is so bad, but there are always innocent youngsters trolling for climate porn. Suggestions?

Alastair said...

Professor Rabett,

I must respond because, and I am sure you will agree, it would be wrong to let innocent youngsters believe that they can silence the opposition with ad hominem arguments!

Moreover, isn't it also wrong to let those youngsters believe that appeals to authority should win the day, whether they are the views of an professor emeritus of environmental science, or of an ex-chair of the IPCC and now a professor at the CRU?

Hank Roberts said...

Alastair, posts to your new blog are apparently blocked. I tried to leave this there, about your notion that molecules have to be extremely hot (which would mean moving extremely fast) to radiate in the infrared. I think Mark pointed out how you got your number for that?

Hank Roberts has left a new comment on your post "Error in OLR Model?":

Alastair, an analogy:

If you want to throw a rock at a particular speed, let's say 110 miles
per hour, you can

-- run 110 mph carrying the rock, and let it go

-- run 10 mph and throw the rock at 100 mph, adding leverage from the
length of your arm

-- put it in your ballista, wind that up, and throw it using the energy
in the twist plus the lever arm of the device.

Which forms can energy take in a greenhouse gas molecule?


I also posted a note there describing an infrared astronomical telescope (on the ground), working in the bands you believe are totally blocked, seeing stars.

Alastair said...

Hank, fixed now!

Eli, Thank you for letting us use your blog as a notice board for mine, and in recompense you have found my posts entertaining.

I have just realised that the charges that you brought against me are the same of which Socrates was convicted: corrupting the youth. Moreover, rereading my previous post, I seem to have shown no remorse, and so I must plead guilty.

However, rather than follow Socrates example and take the hemlock, I will escape and go into exile in my own blog :-)

Antiquated Tory said...

Is there some kind of reward for internet quacks who compare themselves to Socrates when Departing In A Huff? Though as the Host Bunny points out, he still gets another reward for Politeness Beyond the Scope Of Quackery.