About Me

I am not a climate scientist, but a professional and active scientist who teaches and carries out research at a university in the UK. The views I express here are my own and not those of my employer.

This blog used to be known as WottsUpWithThatBlog, which was chosen to indicate that a goal was to address climate science claims made on Anthony Watts’s Watts Up With That (WUWT) site. I say “address” because the goal wasn’t to simply refute what was said on WUWT. It was also to acknowledge contributions there that added positively to the discussions around climate science – didn’t happen often, sadly.

I did, however, eventually realise that there wasn’t much merit in continuing to mainly address claims made on WUWT, so decided to change the name of the blog and to change the focus somewhat.  Hat Tip to BBD for the idea.  ..and then there’s physics is an appropriate response (in my opinion, at least) to those who try to convince you that there are problems with climate science because of – for example – the climategate emails, or because some scientists are advocating for action.

If, for some reason, anyone would like to get in touch with me, I can be contacted on andthentheresphysics1@gmail.com.   For no particularly good reasons, I have been running this blog pseudonymously.  Part of the reason is that I think it’s more important to consider what is being said, than who is saying it.  However, if you think it’s important to know who I am, you can find out here.

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75 Responses to About Me

  1. Sometimes it’s better to talk about ideas than let people attack you on the grounds of some assumptions they make about your value, just because of what you look like or who they think you are based on a tiny bio. Judge my ideas, not me, right?

  2. Thanks for the comment. Yes, I agree. This certainly gives me a chance to express my views and, to a certain extent, have some control over the dialogue. By that, I don’t mean that I want to artificially change the dialogue, but I can envisage scenarios where moderating a comment may be necessary – something that you can’t do when commenting elsewhere.

  3. Kev says:

    this is better than the other imitator.

  4. Thanks, I think 🙂

  5. Paul Matthews says:

    In fact you are at least the third blogger to use the WUWT name – there is another one that starts with vv instead of w. I’m sure Anthony is flattered.

  6. Tom Curtis says:

    I knew of two before this one. Still don’t know the one starting with vv, though.
    http://wottsupwiththat.com/
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com.au/

  7. Paul, thanks, a comment that isn’t personally insulting. Indeed, I know there are others. As Tom mentions below, there is even a fourth. As I think I’ve said elsewhere, I’m more than happy for Anthony to be flattered – imitation is sometimes thought to be the sincerest form of flattery.

  8. Tom, it’s this one – Russell Seitz, a physicist at Harvard I believe.
    http://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.co.uk/

  9. Pingback: Real Sceptic » Anonymous Opinion “Not Worth Bucket Of Warm Spit”

  10. Earthling says:

    “The sincerest form of flattery” is using a name that sounds like Watts Up With That? | The world’s most viewed climate website.

  11. I couldn’t really tell if you were asking a question, making a statement, or just having a bit of a dig?

  12. Earthling says:

    Why am I not surprised.

  13. I’m still not sure (actually, I’m giving you the benefit of the doubt :-)).

  14. richard says:

    A good discussion would be how did the climate alarmists lose the battle and have to resort to copy successful skeptic websites.

  15. richard says:

    copying

  16. richard says:

    The views I express here are my own and not those of my employer.

    Yes could be dangerous.

    Remember the female scientist who left NASA, she said now that I am no longer affiliated to any organization I can speak out – she was a skeptic.

    Anyway do feel free on this website to come up with your own stories. I think a great one would be agriculture. This year has seen bumper crops worldwide. Even Africa is making great progress. Who would have thought Ethiopia would start exporting food. So discuss, does bumper crops from around the world signify a benign climate. To get you going a good report.

    http://spectrum.ieee.org/at-work/innovation/africa-continent-of-plenty

  17. richard says:

    do bumper crops

  18. Hey Richard – fancy finding some/any of the excellent research done showing where crops may benefit and where they may suffer? Global warming is… global, you know. I’m not googling it for you if you insist on cherrypicking.

  19. Rachel says:

    The link doesn’t work for non-facebook users. Here’s a direct link: http://www.bbc.co.uk/newsbeat/25231134

    Personally I don’t think a rottweiler and a westie make a Wotts. Maybe a terrier x retriever.

  20. Pingback: Known? | Wotts Up With That Blog

  21. I approve the new name. But its going to take a while to get used to.

  22. Thanks, William. It’ll take a while for me too probably 🙂

  23. john vonderlin says:

    Just passing by, but thought I’d leave a few comments. Kudos for picking a new name for your blog. Playing off the name of a well-established blog is often used for humorous purposes, malware installation, harvesting advertising click-dollars from the mistakes of the unwary or other parasitic Internet motives; none of which seems applicable to what you would seem to want to accomplish on your site.
    While typos, poor grammar, etc. are to be expected in hastily, possibly passionately, typed out blog entries, careful proofreading is always a good thing in the introductory pages of your blog. You might start with adding the missing “be” as the fifth word in your second “About Me” paragraph above. Eliminating the “–regarded by some–as amongst the best in the world” would be wise too, as it reads as both pretentious and is meaningless homerism even if Pom poms aren’t involved.
    Lastly, being a generalized knowledge sponge who has had to reformulate a depressingly large number of his scientific beliefs over the last half century, I suggest you try to be more skeptical in yours and be more gracious to those who have trouble believing things are as you say they are. I thank the Cosmos that the Internet wasn’t around to immortalize every one of my firmly held youthful beliefs or I’d never be able to get the taste of crow out of my mind. Enjoy. John Vonderlin

  24. John,
    Rather ironic that you regard some of what I’ve said as pretentious. Otherwise, thanks.

  25. richard (October 24, 2013 at 3:57 pm) says:

    “A good discussion would be how did the climate alarmists lose the battle and have to resort to copy successful skeptic websites.”

    Sure, you can start by becoming familiar with the following information.
    Then, maybe we can discuss.
    ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

    The IPCC, Climate Change and Bad Faith Attacks on Science
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-e-mann/climate-change-report_b_3999277.html
    ~ ~ ~

    Climate Science Under Attack: How Can We Change the Narrative?
    http://www.ucsusa.org/global_warming/solutions/fight-misinformation/climate-science-under-attack.html
    ~ ~ ~

    An insider’s story of the global attack on climate science
    An epic saga of secretly funded climate denial and harassment of scientists.
    by Jim Sallinger Jan 23 2014,
    http://arstechnica.com/science/2014/01/an-insiders-story-of-the-global-attack-on-climate-science/

  26. Roddy Campbell says:

    I was a proof-reader in a previous life, so apologies for this:

    “I am not a climate scientist, but am a professional and active scientist who teaches …..” the second ‘am’ is incorrect.

    “…who teaches and carries out research at a university – regarded by some – as amongst the best in the world.’ should be ” …teaches and carries out research at a university regarded by some as among the best in the world.”

  27. Roddy,
    I’ll take you word for it and have no doubt that you’re almost certainly correct 🙂

  28. Roddy, do any proof reading on the side.
    I can think of a few blogger who could use one, with me at the top of the list. ;- }

    Andthentheresphysics, the quality of your substance, more than makes up for your few stumbles on the grammar.

  29. graemeu says:

    ATTP
    Interesting blog, I have been looking at some of your recent posts and the lengthy discussions that ensue. It’s a shame that they get so off topic at times especially as physics was never a strength but it doesn’t mean I don’t need to understand where the truth is likely to lie.
    If I understand correctly you agree that the world is statistically significantly warmer; that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that human generated CO2 is a contributor to warming but you are skeptical about some of the science on both sides of the argument? and more than a little irritated by the populist hogwash thrown up by pushy folk on both sides who are wearing blinkers (for whatever reason). Very much my own viewpoint except I am very much dependent on the media to dumb it down for me.
    Any chance of you doing a page that sums up your understanding (with references/links in support)? so good to find someone with an open mind.
    Graeme

  30. Graeme,
    Thanks. I am pretty irritated by those who have blinkers and who say things that aren’t consistent with the evidence. Ignoring media nonsense, though, my views are pretty aligned with the mainstream science views (IPCC for example). To be honest, if you really wanted to get an idea of where we stand with respect to the science, Skeptical Science is very good. How they present the scientific position is excellent and well-referenced.

  31. graemeu says:

    Thanks I’ll see if I can find it.
    G

  32. You still don’t say what your quantitative physical science background is .
    I got sucked into this brouhaha only because , as an APL programmer , the amateurish understanding of math and physics I saw in the blogsphere .

    I would love your review of my Heartland presentation of the most basic computations of the radiative balance of a uniformly colored ball which are some of the most basic required to construct the quantitative thermal model of a planet :

    http://cosy.com/Science/HeartlandBasicBasics.html .

    Even these distinctly undergraduate level experimentally testable computations show Venus would have to have 10x higher heat gain than the most absorptive surface humanity has yet created in order to explain it surface temperature being about 2.25 times the temperature of a gray ball in its orbit in terms of the energy it receives from the Sun .

    I also welcome anybody translating these computations into more common programming languages and playing with and testing them , themselves .

    I respect only in quantitative equations and algorithms . I consider comments without quantitatively testable expressions simply word-waving and an admission that the commenter can add nothing to the quantitative model .

  33. Bob,

    the amateurish understanding of math and physics I saw in the blogsphere .

    You don’t say. Have you actually published your ideas or do you only present them in the blogosphere?

  34. “Pal” review is so 20th century .
    I’ve just implemented the most basic classical physics and presented them in a powerpoint containing all the algorithms So , it’s open for anybody’s review and comment .

    If you can’t judge for yourself whether the implementation of this most essential physics is right or wrong and point out any errors in computable and testable equations , I have to question your physical science credentials ,

  35. Bob,
    If you’re interested in explaining the basic physics behind your ideas, I’ll respond. I don’t really plan to wade through your site, though.

    Oh, and

    I have to question your physical science credentials ,

    I don’t care.

  36. Bob,
    Okay, so I watched it and really can’t make head nor tail of it. From what I saw, you presented numbers and equations. That doesn’t really mean anything. Here’s my suggestion. Go and talk to some physics professors at your local university (more than one) and see what they think. If you’re serious you’d do that, and you’d take what they said seriously.

  37. If you don’t know the orbital geometry and Stefan-Boltzmann and understand how to calculate the temperature of a gray body as a function of it’s distance from the sun , what relevant physics do you know ?

    Actually , I guess you admit you are not a physics professor so your background is not particularly relevant to understanding planetary temperature .

    But you are the one who names their blog “and then there’s physics” and uses the twitter handle @theresphysics .

  38. Bob,

    If you don’t know the orbital geometry and Stefan-Boltzmann and understand how to calculate the temperature of a gray body as a function of it’s distance from the sun , what relevant physics do you know ?

    I do. I’m trying to work out if you do. Look, I’m trying not to be insulting. You might considering trying the same yourself. I’ll make my offer one more time. Explain your reasoning, and I’ll respond. I’m not watching your presentation again.

  39. Interesting mix of a denier and a programming language evangelist.
    I wonder if he still uses the special APL keyboard?

  40. [Mod : I don’t have much time for people who throw around insults, here and on Twitter. You have one go. Lay out your reasoning and I’ll respond. Otherwise, go away. I don’t care either way. ]

  41. [Mod : You chose go away.]

  42. WHT,
    I have no idea, but it is interesting how people who have revolutionary new theories that overthrow our current understanding are rarely willing to actually explain them. I wonder why?

  43. I’ve run across his stuff before. With APL in the mix, the Mentaculus comes to mind.

  44. Alrightie, took a look at who were dealing with here: “Bob Armstrong studied visual psychophysics at Northwestern University where he learned APL, … Now living in Colorado, offended by the amateurish math and physics in the AGW debates,” ~~~ “visual psychophysics” now that’ll give you a fancy grounding in geophysics.
    ~~~ So Sad, another one who fancies himself smarter than experts who actually study the stuff full time. ~~~ What’s that they say about knowledge, a little intoxicates, but the more you learn the more it sobers one’s illusions.

    Hang in there ATTP – you are doing a great service, we hope you keep it up.

  45. Oh and perfect way to deal with Bob – offer clear chances to explain himself
    If he can’t do it, no point in wasting more time on him.
    The proof is in the pudding, not the handwaving.

  46. Rachel M says:

    Apparently there was a mathematician who used to get lots of letters from people claiming to have a proof for Fermat’s Last Theorem. He got his graduate students to read the proofs and gave them a template reply to fill in which went something like this:

    Dear [fill in name],
    Thank you for your letter. Your first mistake is on page [fill in page number] and line [fill in line number] ….

  47. Bob Armstrong should go over to Tallbloke’s blog. The zookeeper Rog nurtures his resident zanies as if they are budding Alan Turings.

  48. Oh no, who is going to fill out the template form for Ferenc Miskolczi’s latest paper?
    http://www.seipub.org/DES/paperInfo.aspx?ID=21810

    “Ferenc, Your first mistake is on page [fill in page number] and line [fill in line number]”

    What a pain to decipher !

  49. WHT,
    Yes, a paper who’s abstract ends with

    Many authors have proposed a greenhouse effect due to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions. The present analysis shows that such an effect is impossible.

    Is probably not worth debunking, or even reading.

  50. anoilman says:

    citizenschallenge: “Oh and perfect way to deal with Bob – offer clear chances to explain himself
    If he can’t do it, no point in wasting more time on him.
    The proof is in the pudding, not the handwaving.”

    Actually SOD (Science Of Doom) offered a challenge to Bob Armstrong and a few others I think;
    http://scienceofdoom.com/2014/08/07/a-challenge-for-bryan/

    They all refused to answer. Yet it speaks volumes.

  51. [Mod : Sorry, I thought I’d banned you after our last exchange. Must have forgotten to actually put you into my blacklist. My apologies.]

  52. ATTP, I got an email so I was able to read BA’s comment.
    (don’t worry folk, you ain’t missing nothing)
    Still it got me to thinking. I know and you know that I don’t pretend to be able to keep up on the math, I can follow rough outlines but that’s as far as it goes.

    Still it seems to me BA is looking at only the “material spectrum” as though that’s all that was going on up on Venus. And based on his under-educated understanding and one parameter (“material spectrum”) he feels comfortable proclaiming: “Ergo , Hansen’s claim is false”

    How in hell did so many people get so full of themselves??????????????????????????

  53. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award—Again! | Far Beyond the Stars

  54. Perse says:

    Hello, I nominated you for the Versatile Blogger Award a while back—because participating in the climate science debate requires versatility! Sorry it took me so long to notify you and my other nominees. Accept if you wish. Either way, consider yourself nominated.
    https://perseshow.wordpress.com/2015/10/18/versatile-blogger-award-again/

  55. Perse,
    Not sure what the Versatile Blogger Award is, but thanks 🙂

  56. For any casual visitor, shortcuts for avoiding nonsense might be useful. Heartland is not skeptical, it is certain in the service of its wealthy patrons, and promotes a dangerous misrepresentation of reality. Perhaps the most neutral source I can find is Wikipedia. Big money goes into the effort to replace proper skepticism with political advocacy; people’s ability to ignore the universe of facts is quite stunning.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Heartland_Institute

    Ecowatch does an in-person visit; from the 3-D world, one person he succeeds in putting on the record is Roy Spencer, for anyone inclined to give that gentleman a pass.
    http://www.ecowatch.com/an-inside-look-at-the-worlds-largest-climate-denial-conference-1882054392.html

    only one consistent theme: do not try to solve global warming. They’re all pretty clear on that.

    That’s why we need independent people—with zero obligation to enrich corporate clients—to call out climate change deniers. We’ve wasted enough time giving consideration to these fake “skeptics.”

    The best we can do is help them trip over their own words, and push forward with real solutions to climate change.

  57. Rick O'Sheh says:

    Just to leave a late note on the Bob Armstrong / Venus Greenhouse issue: I actually like it that Heartland et al use presentations of this level as their “scientific proof”. I would not even call that crackpot science, and mental masturbation by means of flashing words like “multi dimensional Algebra” and APL code snippets really doesn’t change that. The power point presentation of this individual gave me the impression he never gave a scientific presentation before in his life, but he is used to sell something to people who have no inkling about the subject he is presenting. A pitiful poser. For anyone interested: A solid scientific treatment of the Venus Radiation Balance looks like this 2012 dissertation (warning – there actually is real quantitative reasoning and empirical evidence ahead…): https://www.mps.mpg.de/3183836/Dissertation_2012_Lee__Yeon_Joo1.pdf

  58. I so far have not been able to get that .pdf to download . The essential physics should only take a couple of equations , not megabytes .

    I present essentially one experimentally testable equation for radiative balance of a sphere of isotropic spectrum asymmetrically irradiated by an arbitrary power spectrum :

    dot[ sourceSpectrum ; objSpectrum ] = dot[ Planck[ T ] ; objSpectrum ]

    Do you claim that is wrong ? Experiment can settle the issue .

    The only other equation you would have to provide is the one that overcomes the constraint of the divergence theorem explaining how some spectral effect causes the interior of the ball to have a higher energy density than that calculated for its surface by that equation .

    The only spectral equation I have ever seen presented to fill that gap , other than by adding gravitational energy to the total energy balance , is the Schwarzschild absorption differential .

    Show me for what parameters that equation causes a higher energy density on the side away from the source , and you will change my mind .

    Otherwise , you don’t have the quantitative education to say anything meaningful .

  59. And when are you ever going to have the courage to put your name, Ken Rice. int he “About Me” section? I’m guessing never.

  60. Anthony,
    Happy New Year to you too. Try reading the very last sentence and following the link at the very end.

  61. Anthony Watts, the disconnected weatherman, is that the best you can come up with for ATTP?

    Rather than trying to get into ad hominem nonsense, why not focus on the substance the matter being discussed? Or perhaps your time would be better spent getting caught up on the tempo of 500 yr and 1000 yr downpour events happening these days. What could be causing that, anyone have a theory?

    While you’re at it, you might try getting caught up on the physics of the matter.
    “CO2 Science – Why We Can Be Sure.”
    http://whatsupwiththatwatts.blogspot.com/2016/12/co2-science-just-facts.html

    Signed, one of your spawn, xoxo
    Peter M. 😉

  62. Despite all the claims of “the science is “very well understood” I have yet to see anyone present either the experimentally testable equation for the equilibrium temperature of a simple uniformly colored ball irradiated by a disk of a given power spectrum .

    Nor , and this is where the utter nonscience enters , an equation or experiment which show how any spectral filtering can “trap” kinetic energy on the side away from the source explaining why the surfaces of planets are hotter than their tops . This claim might be labeled “Hansen’s absurdity” .

    It is slowly being recognized that the cause of the temperature gradient is the other macroscopic force gravity which is left out of the GHG energy balance equations despite its obvious reality .

  63. Bob,

    It is slowly being recognized that the cause of the temperature gradient is the other macroscopic force gravity which is left out of the GHG energy balance equations despite its obvious reality .

    Yes, gravity does play an important role in the temperature gradient. The lapse rate (vertical temperature gradient) is

    \dfrac{d T}{d z} = - \dfrac{g}{c_p},

    where g is the gravitational acceleration, and c_p is the specific heat capacity at constant pressure. And, no, it is clearly not being left out.

  64. So you agree that Venus’s extreme surface temperature , 2.25 times its orbital gray body temperature is due to gravity ( and likewise the Earth’s 1.03 higher surface temperature ) are due to gravity not some spectral “green house effect” , and that thus Hansen’s claim was and is alarmist BS ?

    Then , considering Beer’s law , I would expect you to agree that at even these concentrations just a couple of times that necessary for life would have de minimus effect on our spectrum as seen from outside and thus our temperature . And that talk of “tipping points” other than the obvious one at 0c are also BS .

  65. Bob,

    So you agree that Venus’s extreme surface temperature , 2.25 times its orbital gray body temperature is due to gravity

    No, because that would be silly. Without what are commonly called “greenhouse gases” Venus (and the Earth) would emit into space from their surfaces and the average surface temperature would be the same temperature as a blackbody that emitted the same energy per square metre per second as the planet was receiving from the Sun. The presence of greenhouse gases means that the energy emitted from the surface cannot escape directly into space, and – instead – is emitted from within the atmosphere. That there is a temperature gradient in the atmosphere (due to gravity) means that the surface is therefore warmer that it would otherwise be, but it is not correct to claim that the increased surface temperatures are due to gravity.

  66. Show us the equations and I’ll implement them and see if they match observations .

    Frankly I think at this point you are being patently self-contradictory . Either gravity balances the energy gradient from the effective radiative surface , or it doesn’t .

  67. Bob,
    The temperature gradient is a consequence of a balance between gravity and pressure (technically, the lapse rate is actually the adiabatic gradient – it’s the gradient above which the atmosphere would become convectively unstable). However, the gradient tells you nothing about the actual values. What greenhouse gases do is move the effective emission height from the surface into the atmosphere. Since the temperature at this height is set by basic energy balance, the surface temperatures increases as you increase the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosophere.

  68. Ok . Show us the equations .

    Do you disagree with any of the computations at http://cosy.com/#PlanetaryPhysics , particularly the computations of the temperature of a gray body in our orbit and the ratio of dot products equation for arbitrary spectra in the box on http://cosy.com/Science/RadiativeBalanceGraphSummary.html ?

    If not , please present your alternative computation . Then we can table this discussion until someone presents a YouTube experimental demo quantitatively resolving the matter .

    If you do , then please present the equation which overcomes the constraint of the Divergence Theorem .

    Also , please point out where the gravitational energy is included in your energy balance equations .

    I am far past being interested in any verbiage other than testable quantitative equations .

  69. Bob,

    I am far past being interested in any verbiage other than testable quantitative equations .

    I’m far past doing other people’s homework for them. Try reading Raymond Pierrehumbert’s book.

  70. [Mod: If you can’t even try to be polite, you’re welcome to go elsewhere.]

  71. Emma says:

    Hi ATTP,
    I used to hang around your blog a lot a few months ago, but then life happened (and then college happened) and I haven’t been by recently. I went by Perse back then. Just thought I’d drop by again. I thought your posts might also turn out to be a good resource for a new post series I’m starting—I’m over at ftlofacts.wordpress.com now and write about climate science every other Thursday. Thanks for your posts—it’s nice to see there’s one fewer misinformed voice out there! Keep it up, I’ll be around 🙂

  72. Emma,
    Thanks, I remember you as Perse. I see you’re now doing an English and Astronomy degree. Hope it goes well.

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