The Silliest Rebuttal Yet From Ben At Wott’sUpWithThat

Refer to the Update at the end of the post.

INTRODUCTION

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.

SHOULDA’ COULDA’

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.

Figure 1

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.

Figure 2

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.

Figure 3

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.

Figure 4

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.)

CLOSING

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.

SOURCE

The HADSST2 data presented in the post is available through the KNMI Climate Explorer:

http://climexp.knmi.nl/selectfield_obs.cgi?someone@somewhere

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.

Advertisements

About Bob Tisdale

Research interest: the long-term aftereffects of El Niño and La Nina events on global sea surface temperature and ocean heat content. Author of the ebook Who Turned on the Heat? and regular contributor at WattsUpWithThat.
This entry was posted in CAGW Proponent Arguments. Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to The Silliest Rebuttal Yet From Ben At Wott’sUpWithThat

  1. Ben says:

    So Bob why did you, objectively and with careful scientific understanding, choose 1930 as your comparison point? Skeptical minds want to know. Statistics isn’t just plugging numbers into Excel, no matter how thick the user guide is.

    You know full well that your cherry-picked “flat” Gulf of Mexico SST chart will be shown the unknowing public in isolation and touted as impartial evidence.

    I do indeed have fun with Anthony’s denialist foaming and it’s easy to casually expose the emperor’s latest wardrobe malfunction. I leave the detailed unravelling of the scientific deceptions that pass for evidence in the denialist camp to the professional climatologists. They do a great job, as you have had the pleasure of experiencing many times.

  2. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ben says: “So Bob why did you, objectively and with careful scientific understanding, choose 1930 as your comparison point?”

    You must’ve only looked at the graphs. As I wrote in the post you commented on…
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/04/30/are-gulf-of-mexico-sea-surface-temperature-anomalies-near-to-record-levels/
    …I’ve studied Gulf of Mexico SST anomalies and I knew that the trend there since the 1930s was basically flat. Here’s a link to an earlier post:
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2009/03/02/sst-anomalies-of-u-s-%e2%80%9ccoastal%e2%80%9d-waters/

    I also knew that there had been recent significant declines in the SST anomalies of U.S. Coastal Waters, so Jeff Masters’s claim of near-record SST anomalies for the Gulf didn’t ring true. Refer to:
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/02/20/the-recent-drop-in-the-sea-surface-temperatures-of-u-s-coastal-waters/

    And of course I was right. The Reynolds OI.v2 SST anomaly for the Gulf of Mexico was approximately 0.8 deg C for April 2011, which is 0.2 deg less than the 1.0 deg C anomaly Jeff Masters had assumed from looking at the contours levels on a map. You’d have to use the NOAA NOMADS website to confirm that for yourself, Ben.

    You could attempt to dispute my results and try to show that they were cherry-picked, Ben. You could show the linear trends from 1920 to present or from 1940 to present for example, but you won’t find a significant difference from what I had reported. Just look at the trends from 1900 and from 1850 in this post. There’s nothing alarming about the variability of Gulf of Mexico Sea Surface Temperatures. And there’s really nothing alarming about the variation in the Sea Surface Temperatures anywhere else in the world.

    You wrote, “You know full well that your cherry-picked ‘flat’ Gulf of Mexico SST chart will be shown the unknowing public in isolation and touted as impartial evidence.”

    There’s nothing wrong with showing the “unknowing public” the truth, Ben. The truth is always a good thing.

    You concluded with, “I leave the detailed unravelling of the scientific deceptions that pass for evidence in the denialist camp to the professional climatologists. They do a great job, as you have had the pleasure of experiencing many times.”

    I don’t believe a “professional climatologist” has “unraveled” one of my posts. If I understand correctly, Tamino’s a professional statistician. He tried and failed to dispute my post on the impact of the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation. Recall that in his attempt…
    https://bobtisdale.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/comments-on-tamino%e2%80%99s-amo-post/
    … he used North Atlantic SST anomalies from the wrong SST dataset (Kaplan) when he compared them to GISS Land-Ocean Temperature Index (LOTI) data, which uses HADISST and Reynolds OI.v2 SST data. So we can dismiss that one. One of my posts was mentioned briefly in the Climategate emails. But there was no “unraveling”. If you know of a post or a paper where “professional climatologists” have “unraveled” one of my posts, please provide a link. Otherwise, I believe you’re making a unfounded statement, as usual.

  3. Mike Mangan says:

    Romm is an a**hole because he’s paid by Goerge Soros to be so. Ben is an a**hole for free.

  4. pat says:

    Ben, your just eye-balling is clearly wrong. While the temp anomalies are relatively extreme for the short term, they are remarkably consistent over time and this is visible even with the use of a 30 year average commencing in the year of 1971. I would like to see a 30 year average commencing in 1945 to 1975, to coincide with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.

  5. Chill Out says:

    When someone is clueless about how to form the best fit line like Ben, they shouldn’t make it so blatently obvious.

  6. Nursey says:

    Ben!
    Calm down dear.
    Your medication has arrived at last.

  7. Galvanize says:

    “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’.”

    Absolutely diamond. What next? Disembowelling a goat and eyeballing the entrails?

  8. joe says:

    is the data back to 1850 even worthwhile? good lord…

  9. Ron Dean says:

    This is one of the most entertaining posts I have seen in a while.

    Bob, you are easily one of the most careful bloggers I follow. You will use very careful language when you are contradicting someone, and your data evidence is *always* solid.

    Thus, when I read this post about “Wott’sUpWithThat” (which I had never heard of before), I was a bit taken aback. However, as you point out, our friend Ben posts only contrived, “I-told-you-so, but-I-won’t-tell-you-what-I-told-you” articles, and he is a clear representation of all that science should not be: assumptions, logical fallacies, and out right lies.

    I see that Ben even attempted to cover his tracks by deleting his blog quote of: “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’.”.

    But such backtracking only shows he is a wimp. If one is wrong, just admit it and move on. But Ben prefers to delete and cover up.

    Don’t let such people get under you skin Bob. Your careful analysis’ are appreciated by the likes of me, and I hope you continue with your level headed deconstruction of oceanic data.

  10. Bob Tisdale says:

    Ron Dean says: “I see that Ben even attempted to cover his tracks by deleting his blog quote of: ‘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’.'”

    I still see it. It’s the description of his graph, directly below it on his webpage.

  11. Pascvaks says:

    I’m sure “Ben” is very thankful for the $millions in free publicity that you’ve given him. I can’t fathom why you did it. Sure there was a good reason. Wouldn’t recommend doing it too much. Can’t imagine anyone who can’t even think up a better blog name for his blathering has much in his character to redeem.

  12. Bob Tisdale says:

    joe says: “is the data back to 1850 even worthwhile? good lord…”

    It exists, but one should be skeptical of it. In those early periods, there may only be one sample for the 5X5 grids (HADSST2 data) that make up the Gulf in a given month. In more recent years, since 1982 for example, with satellites…

    …fixed and free-floating buoys, and ship observations…

    …there should be a couple of hundred.

  13. Bob Tisdale says:

    pat says: “I would like to see a 30 year average commencing in 1945 to 1975, to coincide with the Atlantic multidecadal oscillation.”

    I should be posting a comparison of Gulf of Mexico & North Atlantic SST anomalies next week. Detrended and smoothed with a 121-month filter, the curves are similar. Curiously, the Gulf SST anomalies peaked around 1999.

  14. Bob Tisdale says:

    Pascvaks says: “I’m sure “Ben” is very thankful for the $millions in free publicity that you’ve given him.”

    $millions? I could use a few.

    Ben fabricates and his posts are convoluted to the point of being silly. Hopefully more people will understand that.

  15. PJB says:

    Residing in northern climes, I am grateful for that small but gradual warming that has been occurring over my lifetime (with small, natural, oscillations). Were it to be in the opposite direction, I would not care greatly for the extra shoreline added by the receding waves as they were taken up into continental glaciation.

    Always enjoy your posts for their brevity and clarity. Keep up the good work, Bob, it is appreciated and necessary.

  16. Ron Dean says:

    Bob Tisdale says:
    May 7, 2011 at 5:05 am

    Ron Dean says: “I see that Ben even attempted to cover his tracks by deleting his blog quote of: ‘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’.’”

    I still see it. It’s the description of his graph, directly below it on his webpage.

    Yep. You’re right. My mistake. It does make his post just that much more funny.

    If he wishes to do a piecewise linear regression (which Excel can handle just fine), then he should just do that, and try to provide his analysis of it. But to accuse you of making a “contrive[d]” trend line, when you are following common statistical protocols, and he is merely eye-balling and throwing down lines, is just laughable.

  17. Fernando (in Brazil) says:

    Another Ice Age?
    Monday, Jun. 24, 1974

    As the winds swirl around the globe, their southerly portions undulate like the bottom of a skirt. Cold air is pulled down across the Western U.S. and warm air is swept up to the Northeast. The collision of air masses of widely differing temperatures and humidity can create violent storms—the Midwest’s recent rash of disastrous tornadoes, for example.

    Read more: http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,944914,00.html#ixzz1Lh9TY8w9

    About 1974 outbreak

    Very funny.

    Sorry Bob.

    AGW ….. explains anything.

  18. Bob Tisdale says:

    Fernando (in Brazil): Thanks for the link.
    1974 —> A couple of years before the Pacific Climate Shift
    1974 —> A couple of years before the AMO reached its minimum and started to climb back up.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s