2011-12-29 03:36:44First draft of '2011 year in review (pt 1)'
Mark Richardson

NOTHING TO SEE HERE  - see other thread

2011-12-29 04:12:31First draft of '2011 year in review (pt 1)'
Mark Richardson



It's a bit of a mess now, it's just a first draft. I want to cut the word count, and I still need to add pictures and most of the references, but I could use you guys to help me with that. :p

My plan is to also do a second part, which will include;


- measurements of feedbacks (Gardner, Dessler), the Spencer/Trenberth spat

- the moving species paper

- CERN's initial results

- permafrost feedback, why it's not been included in models until now etc

What else?

2011-12-29 04:29:31



To add a link you need to a forum post just select the text you want to act as a link, click the "link" icon in the bottom row of the toolbar (near the middle -- it looks like three links in a chain) and then type or paste in your link there.

You can also select the text and right click, and select "Insert/edit Link" from the contextual menu that appears.

If you insist on tinkering with an anchor tag you can edit the HTML directly by going into HTML mode by clicking the HTML button in the editor toolbar.

2011-12-29 04:35:01
Mark Richardson

Thanks Sphaerica, I normally find it quicker to put the html in and then refresh the post, but I forgot to refresh it this time ;)

2011-12-29 05:43:54


You seem to have used bold for headings.  You should use the drop down menu (it normally says "Paragraph") to use Heading 1 or Heading 2.


The opening comes across as very alarmist and heavy handed: "walls of fire" and "biblical floods" (that latter term is used twice, once for 2011, once for 2010).  You temper it marginally later by saying "science is not about picking individual events that suit the story you want to tell," but that struck me as too little too late.


Later this line bothered me (as if scientists like to find things that prove global warming is real and we're all doomed):

Scientists look at all the data, not just the bits they like.


I wouldn't put naturally in quotes below (it's a pet peeve, because deniers do it so often, putting terms into quotes to belittle their use as if the words are code that don't really mean what they seem to mean, like global 'warming' or climate 'scientists'):

occurring 'naturally' with the climate of a few decades ago

In fact, I think the word naturally could be removed from the sentence.  The statement basically says that there has been enough warming to be responsible for the heat waves; that the cause of the warming is anthropogenic isn't required (although it is relevant).


You might include this graphic (or just the top histogram) from the Rhamstorff and Coumou study (not needed, just a suggestion):



The following statement bugged me because it is so vague:

insulated by the Southern Ocean,

You might want to link it to one of these:




This one also needs a link:

it rained so hard that the seas fell

to here



Do we know the following?  If sea levels are not now 6.4mm above 2010, then the rising trend isn't back, and sea levels have simply recovered from the "pothole":

in 2011, sea levels rose once again, returning to the rising trend.


The word "whilst" is clumsy for blogs and informal writing IMO (beter to use "while").  Also, 2 links appear to be missing:

(discussed here and here), whilst scientists have found that


It really bugs me to see Spencer's graph in this image.  Do you have another to use instead?  Or did you intend for his data to be in this?

I would suggest using the Foster and Rhamstorf (2011) graph:



The following sentence is again extreme, and smacks of "the science is settled."  I don't think it's helpful to make this sort of proclamation, especially when every other denial study claims to be the death of AGW Theory:

2011 - the death knell for claims that...


I presume you meant to put links on each "here" in the following sentence fragments:

(discussed here, and publically by the scientists involved here 11 years before the email release)

(discussed here, and publically by the scientist involved months before the criminals published the emails).


The BEST sentence could use a link and a graph:

2011 saw the results published, and they confirmed...

to here:


and this:



This could use a link:

work by Foster and Rahmstorf (2011) used thermometer



It could also use this image from that page:



Is the following sentence accurate?  ENSO certainly doesn't cool the earth.  I think it's more a question of removing noise (variability) to expose the underlying warming signal:

They found that, combined together, the 3 natural causes had been acting to cool down Earth, but the global warming trend was strong enough to overpower them.


Suggest "cumulative result" instead of "buildup":

Science is the buildup of work by hundreds or thousands of scientists year after year.


Suggest "vast amount" or "wealth" instead of "huge pile":

Their efforts mean we have a huge pile of data


Superfluous "and"... did something get cut by accident?:

pile of data: and the melting glaciers, shrinking ice caps,


I can't stop smiling at this back-handed dig:

...the temperature record by Watts, Muller and Foster has torpedoed the idea that global warming is an 'artifact' of measurement errors...


Again, I don't think the following is accurate.  All they did is more clearly expose the signal by removing the noise:

that the 3 strongest known natural causes of climate change are not responsible

2011-12-29 06:57:37
Rob Painting

Re - the bolded headings, the html editor often does that all by its lonesome. Doesn't matter that you've chosen heading 2 or 3, it just changes it when you save the post. Weird.

I like it Mark, but agree some of the language is laying it on a bit thick. I don't have a problem with it (it's pretty catastrophic if you're caught in the middle of one of these extreme episodes), but it's not in keeping with the general tenor of SkS posts. 


2011-12-29 07:38:04
Dana Nuccitelli

Actually we use Heading 3 for section headings.

2011-12-29 20:33:52
Mark Richardson

I've fixed the headings inc. changing the last title, thanks for the heads up. I've also updated the references in the first 2 sections.

I'm having to do this quite slowly, free time is at a premium atm!



Sphaerica comments:

1) re: the language, I plan to re-write the beginning slightly but want to keep some of the florid language at the beginning because I don't believe this part is alarmist, it's just what happened and the events were spectacular. The florid language is more to try and grab interest, although maybe you're right that it'll put people off. I'll try to re-write to make it more clear that right now we can't blame these events on global warming (although now 3 heat-waves that were 1-in-750-year or less events all happened in the space of 7 years... after nothing like that occurring in the hundred years beforehand)

2) removed quotes

3) right now I think there are enough graphs (I will add more into part 3/4), so will leave it out atm

4) changed 'insulated' to something else, and linked

5) linked to 'pothole' article

6) changed phrasing on sea level (an individual measurement went above the trend, but the smoothed values aren't there yet. Perhaps it is not rigorous to say 'returned to trend', so I just put returned to rising instead)

7) I might put the Foster and Rahmstorf one in, i sort of wanted UAH because it's the 'skeptics'' favourite source and it still shows global warming.

8) the science pretty much is settled on those points. But I guess that because of the stupid denial publicity campaign it's bad phrasing, so I changed the title.

9) links and graphs will be added as I go through...

2011-12-30 04:06:13


On the UAH graph, what bugs me the most is Spencers "polynomial for entertainment purposes" which is really meant to trick people into thinking we're entering the downward have of a natural cycle.  At the bare minimum, you have to remove that.

2011-12-30 23:33:04
Mark Richardson

Ok guys, I'm pretty happy with what's up there now. I've replotted the UAH data, added links and changed the wording.

I need a second/third opinion on the language at the beginning; I've tried to make it clear that it's weather and climate related, and that we need more work to determine whether any are likely attributable to human causes.

My arguments for keeping it as is, is that it's kind of a 'hook' for readership, and it would be a bit silly to ignore events which exactly match the predictions of global warming (except for the tornadoes I guess) just because we haven't got solid research on them yet. Also, the slow accretion of evidence is now sying that we've seen the first disasters from human caused global warming, which is a huge story.

2011-12-31 03:11:06comments
Dana Nuccitelli

Looks good, couple little things:

The first two paragraphs, make it clear you're talking about 2011 events.  Likewise in the "Last year" paragraph, make it clear that refers to 2010 (since the year is just about over, "last year" could mean 2011).

I'd move Figure 2 below the WMO paragraph so that you're explaining the figure before presenting it.

You'll also have to shrink Figures 1 and 3 to 500 pixels so they're not stretching the page horizontally.  You can link to the source if that makes them too small.

Where you talk about BEST, you should link to our relevant rebuttal.

2011-12-31 03:37:47
Mark Richardson

Changes made.


I like the escalator graph. I want to include that too, it's one of the best images SkS has come up with this year. Not sure how to squeeze it in though. Maybe just put a part 3 with images in?


The CO2 plant science comics are nice too ;)

2011-12-31 03:59:39
Dana Nuccitelli

Part 3 - cool climate graphics of 2011?  I like the idea.  Actually we have a plan to create a graphics page for the animated GIFs and jg's cartoons.  Maybe we can get John to do that and highlight the page in Part 3.

2011-12-31 04:23:35
Mark Richardson

Changed figure 3 so that it's taller but thinner. On my screen the important points are readable, whilst I've linked to the data in the text so I think that's ok.

2011-12-31 05:23:00
Dana Nuccitelli

Yeah that looks good Mark.  Actually, as long as we're still debating the Schneider video, maybe we can publish this one today.  Ready to go?

2011-12-31 05:35:19
Mark Richardson

You can publish whenever you want, but I won't have part 2 ready for tomorow. I'd also be happier if JC could take a look over it before publication, if the language is still considered borderline.

I'll have the second part finished on the 2nd, as a worst case. Hopefully before, but things are a bit rushed right now :P

2011-12-31 07:16:13
Dana Nuccitelli

No worries, we don't need the various parts to be particularly close together.