A not-actually-a-paper has the Right excited about global warming denial again

One of my favourite topics is the methodical destruction of our planet’s climatic status-quo by our fun habit of burning the deep past for larks aka Global Warming. As a reminder, global warming currently looks like this*:

UAH satellite temps – not because they are the best record but just because they avoid two thoughtless arguments

The 1990s argument of ‘we need more research is dead, the 2000s ‘pause’ argument is dead. It’s getting hotter and anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are definitely the cause.

One lingering hypothesis is Henrik Svensmark’s comsic-rays versus cloud cover theory (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henrik_Svensmark#Galactic_Cosmic_Rays_vs_Cloud_Cover ). It doesn’t work and the evidence is against it but the mills of denial keep coming back to it because cloud cover is hard to model. So there’s always some mileage to obstuficate the question by waving your hands at clouds.

Enter a new ‘paper’ with the clickbait title “No experimental evidence for the significant anthropogenic climate change”. The paper isn’t about experiments or experimental data and doesn’t back up that title. Instead it is an unreviewed discussion of some modelling that’s available on the open access arXiv.org: https://arxiv.org/abs/1907.00165

The paper points to a relationship between temperature and cloud cover (fewer clouds ~ warmer temperatures) asserts that it is the changes in clouds cover that is driving changes in temperature (rather than vice versa or a complex mix of both) and that if clouds change temperature following their model then they can account for all the increase in warmth.

Except, that then leaves a massive hole in why the anthropogenic gases aren’t leading to warming as well, never mind why cloud cover should be changing in this way.

It would be uninteresting, except the usual suspects have got very excited about it because it looks sciencey. Russia Today published this article: https://www.rt.com/news/464051-finnish-study-no-evidence-warming/ and from there the story was picked up by braniacs such Paul Joseph Watson, Stefan Molyneux and, of course, our old pal Vox Day.

5 thoughts on “A not-actually-a-paper has the Right excited about global warming denial again

  1. It’s something of a mystery to me that the various arXiv repositories haven’t been more swamped with crank papers and nonsense than they have been, given the ratio of cranks and nonsense purveyors to actual scientists. You’ll note that the ‘paper’ under discussion, for example, is not only unreviewed, it has apparently not been submitted to any professional journal (and never will be).

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      1. You get some professor emeritus cranks publishing papers in areas other than what they taught/researched when they were active. I think it’s a retirement plan. Find what is in demand, publish, make appearances, and earn some much needed money for your golden years.

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      2. Methinks, the US needs better pension plans for professors emeriti. Though a now retired linguistics professor with whom I worked is writing a regular column on language for a newspaper.

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  2. Christ it’s literally old men shouting at clouds now isn’t it. Are we positive this isn’t some sort of elaborate trolling that’s just gotten out of hand?

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