The David and Judy Show

In case today’s headline metaphor doesn’t readily translate into other cultures, it refers to the popular fairground sideshow in which a couple of puppets dance on the end of some strings, accompanied from time to time by a baby, some sausages, a crocodile and a police officer.


The Great White Con was recently mentioned on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog, where the discussion turned to news of a recently published academic journal article by Marcia Glaze Wyatt and Judith A. Curry entitled “Role for Eurasian Arctic shelf sea ice in a secularly varying hemispheric climate signal during the 20th century”.

In one response it was suggested that:

I always think it’s terribly sad when a study is immediately condemned on the basis of not whether it has been peer reviewed, or methodology, or objectiveness, but on the basis of who wrote it. It’s the classic open goal displayed by supporters of the consensus (which includes myself) to anything which may challenge entrenched beliefs.


In partial answer to that point, here’s a screenshot from an article entitled “Arctic sea ice minimum?” on Judith Curry’s personal blog this morning:

An extract from Judith Curry's blog article "Arctic sea ice minimum?" on October 13th 2013
An extract from Judith Curry’s blog article “Arctic sea ice minimum?” on October 13th 2013


From the other side of the fence here’s a couple of screenshots from the September 4th edition of the NSIDC’s Arctic Sea Ice News entitled “A Real Hole Near the North Pole“:

NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News report for August 2012
NSIDC Arctic Sea Ice News report for August 2012

The NSIDC discuss "Water Near the Pole" on September 4th 2013
The NSIDC discuss “Water Near the Pole” on September 4th 2013

Would anyone care to play “Spot the difference” with me? If the differences between the official National Snow and Ice Data Center version of recent events in the Arctic and David and Judy’s version aren’t immediately obvious to you there are plenty of clues sprinkled throughout the rest of this web site to help. Does any of that help to explain my comment on the Arctic Sea Ice Blog to the effect that:

If [Judith Curry] can’t even get the basics right I fail to see why anyone (apart from David Rose of course) should place any credence whatsoever in her “Stadium Waves”, although I must admit I haven’t read the paper yet. I fear it will be a while before it rises to the top of my “to do” list.

7 thoughts on “The David and Judy Show

  1. “If [Judith Curry] can’t even get the basics right I fail to see why anyone (apart from David Rose of course) should place any credence whatsoever in her “Stadium Waves”, although I must admit I haven’t read the paper yet. I fear it will be a while before it rises to the top of my “to do” list.”

    In many years of representing individuals in various hearings experience has taught me that because a witness may be wildly mistaken on an obvious fact, it is a gross error to dismiss the rest of their evidence as being of no consequence, especially if you have not read it. It was a hard lesson! Good site by the way, I’d advise not to take the Daily Mail or Telegraph too seriously, if it were possible for anyone or anything to be consistently wrong, the Daily Mail would be first in line for the prize.

  2. Hi Gareth,

    Thanks for popping by. I hope I’ve guessed your first name correctly? Please let me know if not!

    Thanks for your kind words, now let’s examine the evidence shall we? It seems you think The Daily Mail shouldn’t be taken seriously? The Telegraph reprints some nonsense from The Mail so it shouldn’t be taken seriously either? Judith Curry republishes the same nonsense, but then neglects to publish even a similarly mealy mouthed “correction”, let alone anything remotely resembling the information originally published by the NSIDC upon which this collective fantasy is allegedly based. Therefore Judith should be taken seriously, and as a climate scientist rather than a tabloid journalist or a fantasy fiction writer?

    I’m afraid your logic escapes me. As I said, let’s play “Spot the difference” between Judith’s statements and the NSIDC’s. Can I take it that you have done the requisite background reading? What differences have you spotted so far?


    1. Jim,
      William has started the deconstruction on Stoat: .
      Re so-called ‘skepticism’, the parasitic relationship would seem frequently to be the most persistent analogy. It may be a step too far to call the ‘club’ a conspiracy, but on the internet and the media the worm feedeth upon itself.
      Hi G. Don’t be discouraged by the critics on Neven’s site; they like to play hardball there; but make sure you have your armour on and your facts straight first…
      Some years ago I corresponded in private with Judith Curry and recall her discomfort with ‘alarmism’. She was never less than fair and honest with me though. But I’ll confess I’m quite perplexed by the direction in which her outreach has gone. My concern is that she has chosen the Dark Side and needs to find the child to inspire her redemption…

  3. Fergus – Thanks for the heads up. Once you’ve chosen the Dark Side, and then neglected a golden opportunity to recant, is any redemption possible?

    Gareth – Having read William’s precis, Wyatt & Curry still hasn’t risen to the top of my Arctic sea ice learned paper reading list!

    If you look through the paper to find the core substance, you won’t. There are layers of mush and piles of words but precious little hard matter.

  4. The slow melt season was certainly fueled by the coldest summer on DMI record with the shortest melt season. The three coldest summers now occurred in the last 5 years.

    The second reason was, the PDO shift to negative has now reached the Arctic, especially Alaska with the latest breakup of the Nenana river ice.

    Once the Gulf stream weakens and AMO goes down, sea ice may fully recover (if we assume 1970s cold conditions as “normal”).

    1. Hi Nop,

      None of that explains why David and Judy can’t get their basic facts about Arctic sea ice right though!

      Can you supply any links to learned articles that support your suggestions? “The coldest summer on DMI record” as you call it seems to me to be more effect than cause for example. What do you make of my theory that, in summer at least, less ice = less insulation = colder air?

      What do you make of DMI’s current temperature chart for that matter, which shows an abnormally warm start to the refreeze?

      DMI daily mean temperature and climate north of the 80th northern parallel on October 27th 2013

  5. As a somewhat belated postscript, all the recent brouhaha over at Judy’s place about “skeptical denizens” reminds me that earlier this year I reminded her about this lingering little inaccuracy on her personal blog. She responded as follows:

    What problem, exactly? I read your post. I stand by what I have written at Climate Etc. on the subject of Arctic sea ice. David Rose’s headline had an error because he used erroneous information that was posted on the NSIDC web site. The NSIDC website fixed the error, David Rose acknowledged the error in print, and I noted all this on my blog post.

    David Rose’s erroneous headline still remains on proud display at Climate Etc. to this very day.

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