The only thing we can be sure of about the future is that it will be absolutely fantastic. So if what I say now seems to you to be very reasonable, then I have failed completely. Only if what I tell you appears absolutely unbelievable, have we any chance of visualizing the future as it really will happen.

- Arthur C. Clarke (h/t Brin)

Monday, January 19, 2009

The third most important, version 87

I saw the following in comments on Steinn SigurĂ°sson's blog in his article on the new sunspot minimum:
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either; in fact, CO2 in the atmosphere trails warming which is clear natural evidence for its well-studied inverse solubility in water: CO2 dissolves in cold water and bubbles out of warm water. The equilibrium in seawater is very high, making seawater a great 'sink'; CO2 is 34 times more soluble in water than air is soluble in water.
This seemed oddly familiar. There really is no sensible way to make methane more important than CO2, so it stuck with me. I could swear I had just recently replied to someone making the same mistake.

Specifically, there are 87 occurrences of "most important green house gas followed by methane", an odd rendition (owing to the two words in 'green house' as well as the indefensible position.) Here are the first five:
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The Warming Earth Blows Hot, Cold And Chaotic - Care2 News Network
Jan 2, 2009 ... Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not ...
www.care2.com/news/member/510010530/1004181 - 106k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Way of the Woo: The Pandemic vs. The Maunder Minimum
Dec 22, 2008 ... Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not ...
wayofthewoo.blogspot.com/2008/12/pandemic-vs-maunder-minimum.html - 86k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Sunspots? | Clipmarks
Jan 1, 2009 ... Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not ...
clipmarks.com/clipmark/6E413CB1-C680-4FE8-BCB6-73C24995526B/ - 36k - Cached - Similar pages -
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insciences.org - Sunspot data vital clue to climate change
Dec 22, 2008 ... Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not ...
insciences.org/article.php?article_id=981 - 27k - Cached - Similar pages -
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China Encourages Innovation by Awarding Top Scientists - Two ...
Jan 12, 2009 ... Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate ...
news.softpedia.com/news/China-Encourages-Innovation-by-Awarding-Top-Scientists-101765.shtml - 48k - Cached - Similar pages -
and for completeness, the last five:
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GREENIE WATCH
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with ...
antigreen.blogspot.com/2008/12/worst-climate-predictions-of-2008-2008.html - 91k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Something about everything: Doomsday-the end of the world on Dec ...
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with ...
survival-of-d-fittest.blogspot.com/2008/12/doomsday.html - 75k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Western Civilization and Culture: Documenting the global warming fraud
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with ...
westerncivilizationandculture.blogspot.com/2008/12/documenting-global-warming-fraud.html - 170k - Cached - Similar pages -
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Blame the Sun for a Cloudy Day? - All Scientific
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with ...
allscientific.blogspot.com/2008/12/blame-sun-for-cloudy-day.html?showComment=1229868960000 - 104k - Cached - Similar pages -
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weather conditions
Water vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane. The third most important greenhouse gas is CO2, and it does not correlate well with ...
ocracoke-island.net/search/more.php?id=20090102022841AAWDw5X&search=weather+c... - 13k - Cached - Similar pages -
Now the idea that someone would post the exact same (incorrect) words on the web 87 times strikes me as odd. Presumably this is a paid agent provocateur. Does this pattern come up elsewhere? Or is someone cutting corners on his work?

But I could swear I had responded to it recently, so I looked again. Sure enough, here it is:
Water vapour (0.4% overall but 1 – 4 % near the surface) is the most effective green house gas followed by methane (0.0001745%). The third ranking greenhouse gas is CO2 (0.0383%), and it does not correlate well with global warming or cooling either;
So here is a slightly different version. And there are some other variants like "third important" vs "third most important". And a mispaste "WateWater vapour is the most important green house gas followed by methane."

A couple of sites are so lucky as to get it twice!

Many are anonymous or signed by "Francis" or Francis M" but some get a full name: Francis Manns, sometimes with a PhD claimed.

So the first Google hit on "Francis Manns" will be a bio or a research page? Well, sort of. And, I see he is not new at this technique.

I hope he is getting paid for all this tedious effort since he apparently needs the money.

9 comments:

Geography 312 said...

I'm struck by this. Do you think you would have taken notice, and been able to track the comment down, if it were not so unique? (ie. if it were one of the standard climate skeptic talking points). It makes one wonder what fraction of comments repeating the same old incorrect points can be traced to a few dedicated users, paid or not.

Steve Bloom said...

I wonder if some sociologist somewhere has done a real study of this, but my impression is that most denialist internet activity can be traced to no more than a few thousand individuals, with the bulk of the activity concentrated in a subset.

Dano said...

but my impression is that most denialist internet activity can be traced to no more than a few thousand individuals, with the bulk of the activity concentrated in a subset.

Yes.

It is important to remember that there are folks out there that provide material for others to spread. What Michael has done here has been done many, many times before.

But it is a good reference and I'll bookmark this post.

Best,

D

Brian said...

Extending Steve Bloom's remark, I'd like to take the opportunity to plug Frank Bi's twisty maze echo chamber, which provides some pretty strong evidence to link the think tanks to only a handful of individuals. Be sure to check the followup links, as it expands to something significantly larger. By the time we reached PolicyCom, the think tanks themselves were bragging about this strategy.

(This is Brian D, by the way; my Google Account only displays the first name.)

The skepTick said...

Whoever "Mann" is, he's not working too hard to only post his copy/paste comments on only 87 blogs. It might be interesting to figure out what each of the blogposts have in common to figure out what search terms triggered his half-hearted attempts.

Thanks for the research. I'll update my blog with this apparent campaign. Do you know if ever replies to people who address his comment? I know he didn't for me. For the record, my first words back to him were:
"You are establishing relations among greenhouse gases without definition. What do you mean by 'most important green house gas'?"

Anonymous said...

thanks
I hadn't picked up on that

and I owe you a statement on climate change etc

Steinn

Marion Delgado said...

God help me, I am starting to understand denialspeak. Water vapor is more important than C02 because there's more of it and it's the most immediate greenhouse gas. Methane is more important for the opposite reason - a given weight of methane is a better GHG than C02, even though there's less of it in the atmosphere. QED, C02 is the 3rd most important GHG.

Simple, really.

Just follow the white rabbit with the pocket-watch.

Hank Roberts said...

Well done sir.

I've started using some of the online plagiarism detection web engines to check similarities like this one.

Michael Tobis said...

Hank, thanks. I don't think this guy is on the A team, though. Although there is a tiresome sameness to the more vehement denials, I rather doubt that they are typically verbatim reposts.