Refer to the Update at the end of the post.
If you’ve never stopped in at the blog Wott’s Up With That? (not Watts Up With That?), it’s worth an occasional visit, if just for the laugh. The blogger there, Ben, normally rebuts a post at WattsUpWithThat with a remark that simply opposes what had been written, without any documentation on his part. Reading what Ben writes reminds me of the arguments of a five-year-old. Anthony or a guest author at Watts Up With That?will provide a detailed analysis and description, and Ben’s unsupported rebuttal amounts to little more than a reply of, “No, it’s not.”
Ben apparently disagrees with or dislikes my post Are Gulf Of Mexico Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies Near To Record Levels?, which Anthony Watts cross posted at Watts Up With That? Ben came to the defense of Jeff Masters’s post “Tornadoes, floods, and fires continue to pound U.S.” Joe Romm repeated much of what Masters had written in “Masters: Midwest deluge enhanced by near-record Gulf of Mexico sea surface temperatures”.
Take a few moments to read Ben’s comical critiqueof my post. His attempt to redirect the topic of discussion fails, and he contradicts himself—which is the funniest part in my opinion.
Ben could have, should have, plotted the Gulf of Mexico Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies from 1900 to present using the dataset that Jeff Masters had used, HADSST2 data. And he could have, should have, had his spreadsheet software determine the linear trend, just as I do. Refer to Figure 1. But that would only have shown a not-too-threatening linear trend of 0.36 deg C per Century.
Ben could have, should have, plotted the Gulf of Mexico Sea Surface Temperature (SST) anomalies from the start of the HADSST2 dataset, 1850, to present, Figure 2, but that would’ve shown an even-less-threatening linear trend of 0.2 deg C per Century.
If I had made a mistake with the graph of the Gulf of Mexico SST data starting in 1930, the one that showed that Gulf of Mexico SST anomalies have not risen in more than 80 years based on linear trends, Figure 3, Ben should have, could have, proven me wrong.
He could have, should have, plotted the data and had his spreadsheet software add the linear trend. Why didn’t he do that? Because the linear trend for Gulf of Mexico SST anomalies since 1930 IS FLAT.
WHAT DID BEN DO INSTEAD?
Ben took my graph that starts in 1930 and added the earlier data from 1900 through 1929 in the background (in grey). Refer to Figure 4. Then he added an unfounded, unsupported curving line in blue that he describes as “My blue trend is just eyeballing but it’s a lot less contrived than Bob Tisdale’s flat red line in this example from his ‘analysis’.” Hmmm. We’ll have to let the scientific community know that linear trends according to Ben are now “contrived.” GISS will assuredly want to change how it calculates trends at its Global Mapwebpage to Ben’s unsubstantiated blue curvy-line methodology.
THE FABRICATIONS – OR – IF ALL ELSE FAILS, DROP BACK AND PUNT
Not satisfied with his inability to prove that I was wrong and not satisfied with his failed attempt at misdirection, Ben then resorts to fabrication:
“Unfortunately for Bob any open-eyed reader will see that every chart he tries to use as evidence reveals that he has deliberately picked dishonest comparison points that minimize the increase and he has ignored everything in-between. Details, details.
“Statistics, Bob. Look into ‘em. There’s a reason scientists use ‘em.”
Did Ben attempt to prove his points by plotting the data and the linear trend? Nope. Because Ben can’t prove them. I did not “deliberately [pick] dishonest comparison points that minimize the increase,” and I did not ignore “everything in-between.” I, like most bloggers, understand very clearly that anyone with internet access and spreadsheet software can reproduce any graph I create. I provide links to data sources, and I identify time periods, base years, coordinates, etc., as necessary for that reason. If I attempted to mislead my readers, someone would find the error quickly. I have no doubts about that, and I welcome those who are skeptical of my graphs and my presentations of them to verify them. I have been advised in comments at WattsUpWithThat that there are persons who do actually check. Did Ben find an error in my post? No. He blew a little smoke, but it amounted to nothing more than a pretty funny blog post.
And maybe Ben should read the Microsoft description of their Linear Trend Analysis in Excel . They write, “Returns values along a linear trend. Fits a straight line (using the method of least squares) to the arrays known_y’s and known_x’s. Returns the y-values along that line for the array of new_x’s that you specify.”
And if you hadn’t caught the irony in his post, his self contradiction, Ben suggests I use statistical devices, but he attempts to and fails to rebut the linear trend with an unsupported blue curvy line. (For those with keen eyes, Ben’s blue curvy line does bear a striking resemblance to a 4thorder polynomial. It’s slightly different.)
We should all thank Ben for trying his hand at comedy. I hope you enjoyed his failed attempts to rebut my post as much as I did.
The HADSST2 data presented in the post is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:
UPDATE 1 (May 6, 2011): Ben’s fabrications and untruths persist. He writes in today’s post “More Arctic & sea level “worse than we thought” scare stories.”
“Steven [Goddard], just like Bob Tisdale a few days ago, thinks that straight lines are the best way to describe environmental changes. Pick two useful points and connect ‘em. Job done.”
Ben understands very well that linear trends are not created by picking “two useful points and connect[ing]” them. (Or maybe he doesn’t.) I don’t create linear trends that way. Steven Goddard in his post Experts : “Arctic ice is melting faster than had been predicted” which is the post referenced by Anthony Watts, presented a graph with a linear trend that was created by the AVISO website, so there was no way for Steven to pick the “two useful points.”
As usual, Ben’s nonsensical claim is simply an unfounded fabrication.