Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
Miscalibrated Internet Receptor Stalks
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Why dismissing comments is so fun

Illustration for article titled Why dismissing comments is so fun

There's an article on the mainpage from Monday about Antarctic ice loss which hasn't drawn in a lot of contrarians and/or trolls, possibly because it doesn't use a tag they flock to.


One of the trolls was kind enough to stop by, and he or she put up a comment about how global sea ice is increasing. Because that's how climate trolling works: if someone talks about data supporting global warming, you create a tangent and then frolic as people pay attention to your tangent instead of the data.

I put up a dueling comment really quickly and, honestly, it's not as great as it could be. My comment used a graphic that the troll used which, somewhat confusingly, tries to show two things. On the top, it shows recorded daily sea ice area (in blue) compared to the 1979-2008 daily sea ice mean area (in grey). So you can look at, say, 2012, and see that sea ice volume was low compared to the 1979-2008 mean, whereas 2013 and 2014 have been pretty much exactly on that mean. On the bottom, it shows the daily sea ice area anomaly compared to a baseline of … I have no idea. I don't know what that baseline is. I guess it's also supposed to be the 1979-2008 mean? So that daily values are either above or below the mean for that day between 1979 and 2008.


This graphic seems to really solidly show that global sea ice has not increased over the past 17 years. Since 1997, the blue graph has generally been below the 1979-2008 mean: that suggests stability or decline. Since 1997, the red graph is generally giving negative anomalies: that suggests stability or decline.


And because a gif sometimes expresses things faster than a graph, I included the above gif borrowed from skepticalscience.com. This data is smoothed with a 12 month running average, so maxima and minima are both made less pronounced in order to reduce noise in the signal. This gif also shows that global sea ice has not increased over the past 17 years, although (!!!) it doesn't extend all the way to this year. I should have noticed that before I put it online...

I didn't expect my comment would get any attention other than a few clicks of the recommend button, because it wasn't saying anything that hasn't been said before.


Someone gave it attention

And by someone, I mean a climate troll. The troll in question has only been posting content since late March of this year, and so far they have made a lot of noise, of which I'll pick out a random top ten:

Twenty five years ago, I was promised Illinois beach-front property, and instead, all I get is sub-freezing temps and snow.

Does the IPCC explain why the has warming stopped?In the early '90s, there were all of these hockey stick charts created by computer models that predicted increasingly record high temperatures. All of them were wrong.

Just don't tell the poor climate scientists who got their boat stuck between Australia and Antarctica that the ocean is heating up.

this global warming stuff is junk. When I worked on the policy-side 17 years ago, it seemed like junk, and sure enough, everyone (to the extent that they actually go on the record) has been wrong.

Heat cannot just magically be transferred from greenhouse gases to bodies of water, that is, unless you are climatologist who is attempting to explain the inadequacy of your computer model.

global surface temperatures have not risen on this earth (including over oceans or coast) in 17+ years.

I cannot fathom how anyone is still falling for these shell-games played by the so-called "climatologists."

considering global temperatures have been flat for 17.5 years

if average global temperatures were, in fact, rising and not stable for 17.5 years?

Of course, record-high ice extent on Antarctica completely contradicts the basic tenants of man-made global warming.


And so on and so on. This is not the kind of person that seems fun to talk to, which is why I dismissed their first response to my comment. I even gave him or her a really quick explanation why, because I felt that he or she deserved as much:

I dismissed a comment by someone who, at least in their commenting history, repeats the same debunked statements over and over again. I have no interest in Points Refuted A Thousand Times from one individual, because I accept that people who are unwilling to change their wrong opinion when it's confronted with facts are not people who are fun to talk to.


I thought that was pretty fair and a lot nicer than what I would be willing to say about someone who has repeatedly lied again and again. And in response, they gave me a second response, which was a little testy, but mostly about being dismissed. And it finished with some pleading:

I assume that once again, you are going to delete my post, but I would be happy to discuss the topic with you further.


No kidding? Someone who is happy to repeat false claims about science is willing to discuss science further? In my 18 years of internetting I'm pretty aware of how much fun that is going to be. So I dismissed the second reply comment, and got...

Did you really just dismiss my comment again? Are you serious? How can you expect anyone to believe anything about global warming science if you distort and misrepresent facts that are freely available and updated daily over the Internet?


Yep. This is definitely someone I would be happy to discuss this topic with further…

Anyway the fun thing is that I spent some time poking at sea ice data and made a comment out of it which contains most of what is currently known about global/Northern Hemisphere/Southern Hemisphere sea ice increase/decrease since late October 1978. So if you needed a quick link for that kind of thing, there ya go.

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