Hansen refuses to explain why he does it

Dr James Hansen

While on the subject of awkward, unanswered emails, let me pass on a message I recently sent to Dr James Hansen, the scientist widely famed as the “father” of global warming. I still hope he will offer some explanation.

4 March 2010

Dear Dr Hansen,

The Climate Conversation Group and I have become interested in the very meaning of “taking the temperature”, calculating the so-called “average” temperature for a place and a region and the meaning of doing so. I have just seen your web page [The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)], discussing these and related matters. It is an interesting and informative page.

You say there is no agreed method of measuring surface air temperatures and, in fact, there are numerous practical and theoretical obstacles to ever achieving such a measurement.

There is a very obvious question raised by that discussion. We are interested to know why, if it cannot be done, do you do it?

Regards,

Richard Treadgold
Convenor
Climate Conversation Group

Renwick goes off the air

Dr James Renwick

Earlier this year I struck up a conversation with Dr James Renwick, NIWA Principal Climate Scientist. But we only exchanged a few messages; these were the last. After eight weeks I guess he no longer intends answering so I want to reveal the awkward questions he wasn’t prepared to answer. Here is his last email to me, followed by my response.

1 March 2010

Dear Richard:

In response to your mail of 23 February –

We have tabulated the adjustments (the “SOA”) and put them on our web site. Members of the CSC (Warwick Hughes, Vincent Gray) have had the necessary information for some time, as we have pointed out. Your document “Are we feeling warmer yet” illustrates the adjustments as step changes in the station graphs on pages 5-8. Continue Reading →

Nick, nobody has an ETS like ours

The Earth's atmosphere

In the Parliament today, Chris Auchinvole asked Nick Smith (Minister for Climate Change): “Are claims correct that New Zealand is the first in the world to have an emissions trading scheme, and that it is just a tax for revenue purposes?”

And thus did Nick reply:

No, 38 countries have commitments under the Kyoto Protocol, and 29 of them, or three-quarters, already have an emissions trading scheme. Nor is the scheme a tax. Although consumers and businesses will pay $350 million in the first year of the scheme for their emissions, foresters will receive $1,100 million in carbon credits for post-1989 forests. Far from providing net revenue to the Government, the scheme is actually a cost to the Crown. There are 12,000 New Zealanders who, in good faith, planted trees on the assurances of both National and Labour Governments that they would receive carbon credits for those post-1989 forests. The emissions trading scheme honours that commitment.

But the facts are different from those presented by our Nick. Continue Reading →

Please listen to us Mr Key

It is significant that there are so many voices raised against the ETS.

a humorous ETS cartoon

Rodney Hide confirms this, saying that he has never received such a high level of public support on any other issue. He says Kiwis around the country are annoyed. They know there’s no need for an expensive ETS that will deliver no benefits whatsoever.

It behoves you to listen to us and very smartly do something about our concerns or next year you will find yourself back in the loneliness of Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition. Our ETS will do nothing for the environment, will diminish the budgets of hard-working families and will require a monstrous create-nothing bureaucracy.

In addition, though the ETS purports to be based on movements of carbon dioxide into and out of almost every large-scale process in the country, there is no way to measure such movements. If you don’t believe me, ask your officials; uptake and emission of CO2 are based predominantly on computer models.

Since it can’t be measured, everyone can overstate with impunity the quantities involved and has an incentive to do so. Fraud is rife in the overseas schemes and there’s no reason to think it won’t occur here, too.

Because of our power generation structure, even the price of renewable electricity will go up because of the ETS, giving windfall profits of millions of dollars to the generators.

It’s too much to pay; and we refuse to stroke the over-anxious egos of comfortable, middle-class, socialist greenies.

Pay attention: We don’t want an ETS.

The Great Global Warming Blunder

How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists

I’ve reposted Roy’s announcement because the book sounds stunning and because of the penetrating comments he makes, such as:

“Believe it or not, [a] potential natural explanation for recent warming has never been seriously researched by climate scientists.”
“Clouds are the Earth’s sunshade, and if cloud cover changes for any reason, you have global warming — or global cooling.”
“When properly interpreted, our satellite observations actually reveal that the system is quite INsensitive.”
“We already know that nature is gobbling up 50% of what humanity produces, no matter how fast we produce it. So it is only logical to address the possibility that nature — that life on Earth — has actually been starved for carbon dioxide.”
The Great Global Warming Blunder

Continue Reading →

Up down all around it ends where it begins

A Mobius strip

Most people take for granted that New Zealand’s surface air temperatures (SAT) have gone up over the last century. But is that true?

NIWA’s official graph of the national temperatures is well known. You can get it from their web site. By the way, if you go there, let me know if you think they’ve recently stretched the image laterally; it is definitely wider than before — even the text is obviously stretched sideways. Could they be trying to make the vertical change less prominent and thus reduce the apparent slope of the trend line? What goes through their minds at NIWA? Anyway, as copied a few months ago, and so a little different, it looks like this:

NIWA's official NZ temperature graph

You should be aware that the Climate Conversation Group and the NZCSC have delivered a rip-snorting criticism of this graph, so we don’t agree with it even for a moment. Now I will raise further objections to NIWA’s graph because it contains features inconsistent even with NIWA’s own conclusions. Continue Reading →

Throw us a bone, mister?

A magnifying glass

Royal Society dwells in rarified realm

In their philosophical banquet hall they dine on pure science. Their table groans under the weight of hypotheses, complex thinking and evidence. Their huge intellects, beyond the ken of we ordinary folk, address issues we cannot imagine and their highly skilled minds devise solutions to problems we didn’t even know existed.

We are grateful when at last the Royal Society academicians let us know what for our good they have decided to do, then we can express our appreciation for the care they take over us.

Yesterday, the Chief Science Advisor, Peter Gluckman, made a speech at NIWA in Auckland. He addressed, as was proper for a scientist in the exalted position of advisor to our Prime Minister, high questions of science and its practise and development. He referred to the Royal Society, in England, celebrating this year the 350th anniversary of its founding. What a wonderful society, wonderfully inspired and courageous in countless periods as it championed the cause of empirical, evidence-based truth and reason.

Too much dogma…

The good Dr Gluckman bemoaned the fact that “too many decisions are still based on dogma rather than knowledge”. How true that is. But see how that barb lands uncomfortably close to our admirable Royal Society. Does he know that the vexed question of anthropogenic global warming, about which he asserted later in his speech quite firmly: “I am not going to enter the debate about whether the world is warming and whether that warming is anthropogenic,” is ruled by the very dogma he appears to deplore? Continue Reading →

Trenberth and Royal Society clash head-on

A few fish in the sea

Here’s an article by Kevin Trenberth from this week’s Science Journal that directly contradicts the recent statement on Science, Climate Change and Integrity by Professor Keith Hunter, Vice-President of the NZ Royal Society. We look forward eagerly to the public debate that will surely follow this disclosure of discord within the formerly close-knit climate science community.

‘Missing’ heat may affect future climate change

Satellite instruments and ocean sensors limited

Current observational tools cannot account for roughly half of the heat that is believed to have built up on Earth in recent years, according to a “Perspectives” article in this week’s issue of the journal Science.

Scientists at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, warn that satellite sensors, ocean floats and other instruments are inadequate to track this “missing” heat, which may be building up in the deep oceans or elsewhere in the climate system.

“The heat will come back to haunt us sooner or later,” says NCAR scientist Kevin Trenberth, the article’s lead author. Continue Reading →

Impressively complex. Of course, we ignore it — NIWA

A Stevenson screen in the snow

NIWA keep talking about various reasons to adjust the official New Zealand temperature readings. They say one must account for changes in location, exposure, urbanisation and instrumentation. For some reason they continually harp on about the altitude difference between Thorndon and Kelburn (Wellington).

But it is empty talk, because they have never made changes for those reasons. Are you listening? People of New Zealand: scientists from the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), your country’s publicly-funded, premier environmental research organisation, have lied to you and continue to lie to you. Continue Reading →

Ferric Mass-Shifting new Menace

The Earth's magnetic field

The next hobgoblin

The mining of iron-ore alters the planet’s magnetic field and results in an increased incidence of cancers, plus assorted pandemics, due to increased penetration of cosmic rays, mainly of solar origin. Furthermore, the unbridled “mass-shifting‟ of iron from Nature‟s uniform distribution within the Earth‟s crust toward concentrated artificial “lumpy‟ distribution when it is used to construct buildings, bridges and other structures and products of mankind‟s evil inventiveness, causes the planet’s magnetic field to become “unbalanced” and dangerously diminish in strength.

It will ultimately reach a tipping point whereby a total magnetic field collapse or reversal will occur unless we desist from mining and halt the spread of civilization. The Earth will become uninhabitable and all life forms will expire.

This is called “Ferric Mass-Shifting” or FMS. Continue Reading →

Sorry the site went down

hard disk drive

I’m sorry if you couldn’t reach our site today (Friday). A technical glitch has been resolved and we’re up and running again. Some comments have been delayed but not, I think, lost. If your comments don’t appear, please post them again.

Thanks,
Richard.

Salinger claims warming but can’t feel the heat

A man with his head in the sand

The Waikato Times today carries an interview with Dr Jim Salinger by Jeff Neems.

The heading is Salinger doesn’t feel critics’ heat. Which probably explains why he doesn’t reply to the criticism.

I think there is something to be said to Dr Salinger. He gets away with some elasticisation of the facts. Do you think we’ve attacked Salinger personally and not on facts? I don’t. We’ve directed our criticism squarely at his PhD thesis and some things he has said. We have deliberately not attacked Jimmy himself.

Do you think Salinger is being a mite hypocritical? First he says:

Science is about facts, not beliefs. I like to look at the facts and see what they say – if people want to attack me as a person, that has nothing to do with my science. It doesn’t worry me.

Then he attacks the Coalition on personal grounds through their alleged connection with big oil. I myself have no connection with the oil industry; I suppose that’s why my cheque from them is overdue. Continue Reading →

Oceans don’t warm as they lose heat

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement gives another reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming:

It is also clear that the oceans absorb about 85% of the excess heat resulting from this radiative forcing by greenhouse gases (as well as about 40% of the carbon dioxide). Detailed measurements of the changes in oceanic heat content, and the temperature rise that accompanies this, agree quantitatively with the predicted radiative forcing.

This is far from “clear”. It is both absurd and wrong.

  • The ARGO programme has found that the ocean has been cooling since 2003. Despite expectations of warming, temperature measurements of the upper 700 m of the ocean from the ARGO array show no increase from 2003 to 2008.
  • It is physically impossible. CO2 radiates infrared at wavelengths of about 12 microns, while the limit for sea absorption is 3 microns.

The greenhouse effect involves wavelengths greater than 3 microns (mostly around 14 for CO2), while the absorption spectra for the oceans cover wavelengths less than 3 microns (mostly in the visible light range). It is not physically possible for the oceans to absorb 85% of the energy recycled by the Greenhouse Effect – and it’s even harder if you accept the IPCC argument that the impact of an enhanced greenhouse effect occurs near the tropopause (10-15 km above the ocean surface with a CO2 optical depth of the order of 10 m).

Is Prof Hunter right? Is this a reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming?

So it’s simple — so describe it

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement gives, as the third reason to believe in Anthropogenic Global Warming, this piece of evidence:

It is simple physics that these extra gas concentrations will trap an increased amount of outgoing solar radiation reflected off the Earth’s surface, of the order of 1.5 watts per square metre of the Earth’s surface.

Simple physics? If it is “simple physics” it should be able to be derived and written up in one page or at most a few pages of equations and calculations. How about it, Professor?

In reality, the climate systems are vast, complex and we understand them poorly. If we understood them well, people like Keith Hunter would describe them and not take refuge in weasel words that obscure the difficulties of understanding.

It was a silly mistake to mention “outgoing solar radiation” and damage his credibility. I guess that was the risk he ran of commenting outside his expertise.

The physics of the greenhouse effect might be considered simple, but Hunter here ascribes causation for warming to humanity’s increased emissions of carbon dioxide.

Which is a very different thing.

Am I wrong?

Sustainability the new tyrant

Royal Society web site banner

The statement from Professor Hunter includes this comment regarding what we actually do about the problem of climate change:

The mitigation measures suggested for climate change (reduced use of carbon-based fuels, more renewable energy sources, carbon capture and storage, less use of nitrogen-based fertilizers) are all part of a portfolio of approaches that are needed to produce a more sustainable world.

See how the problem of climate change morphs at the end into producing “a more sustainable world”? Why does the focus change? What is the connection between climate change and the notion of sustainable practices, which covers an enormous range of activities, from sensible use of water supplies to mining for minerals to best farming practice to how to supply our hospitals?

Surely climate change is involved in only some of the “sustainability” issue?

Or could it be that a new codeword has been introduced? Sustainability is as ill-defined (or remains as undefined) as climate change. So as climate change dissolves as an unquestioned excuse for socialistic interference in our lives and as the mother of all tax justifications, will sustainability take over? Has it already taken over?
Continue Reading →

Do emissions match measured increases in sea and air?

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement asserts: The evidence pointing towards AGW comes from multiple independent lines of argument, each pointing in the same direction. … a few examples follow.

This is his second example:

The amount of extra carbon accumulated in the ocean and the atmosphere matches the known quantity emitted by the combustion of fossil fuels.

How can he be so sure, when nobody else is?

Have human activities increased CO2?

Royal Society web site banner

Keith Hunter’s statement asserts: The evidence pointing towards AGW comes from multiple independent lines of argument, each pointing in the same direction. … a few examples follow.

This is his first example:

It is a plain fact that human activities have significantly increased the concentrations of greenhouse active gases in the atmosphere, particularly since the mid-20th century.

Who will tell him that nothing could be further from plain? What does he mean by “greenhouse active gases”? Does he mean that water vapour has increased in the atmosphere? Does he include methane? Nitrous oxide? Or does he only mean carbon dioxide?

Does he exclude the possibility that increased temperature has driven more carbon dioxide from the oceans into the atmosphere?

The Decreasing Influence of Carbon Dioxide

On 8 March, 2010, David Archibald wrote a guest post on WUWT entitled “The Logarithmic Effect of Carbon Dioxide”. This was brought to my attention recently as an article worthy of attention, so here it is.

The greenhouse gases keep the Earth 30° C warmer than it would otherwise be without them in the atmosphere, so instead of the average surface temperature being -15° C, it is 15° C. Carbon dioxide contributes 10% of the effect so that is 3° C. The pre-industrial level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was 280 ppm. So roughly, if the heating effect was a linear relationship, each 100 ppm contributes 1° C. With the atmospheric concentration rising by 2 ppm annually, it would go up by 100 ppm every 50 years and we would all fry as per the IPCC predictions.

But the relationship isn’t linear, it is logarithmic. In 2006, Willis Eschenbach posted this graph on Climate Audit showing the logarithmic heating effect of carbon dioxide relative to atmospheric concentration:

modtrans graph

And this graphic of his shows carbon dioxide’s contribution to the whole greenhouse effect:
Continue Reading →

Urgent public meeting – reject the ETS now!

John Boscawen has issued a notice which has just reached me. I urge everyone to send it on to family, friends and colleagues. This is your chance to be heard by the government.

Do you want to see all prices rise after July 1?

On July 1, the most pointless tax ever inflicted on New Zealanders will come into force.

It’s called the Emissions Trading Scheme. And it will make not the slightest practical difference to the Earth’s climate.

carbon emissions

BUT it will make a HUGE difference to your household budget. Whether you believe in global warming or not, all New Zealanders should be asking why we are the only country in the world to be forcing economy-wide cost increases on all its citizens. For no genuine reason!

Cost increases that will make it harder for our businesses and exporters to compete. And cost essential jobs.

* If you live in Auckland, Hamilton or Christchurch, come to an URGENT PUBLIC MEETING and learn how: *

  • The government and power generators will soon be celebrating windfall profits while you’re suffering a 5% price rise.
  • Petrol will soon go up 4 cents a litre because of the ETS.
  • The above rises will double to 10% and 8 cents a litre by 2013.
  • The cost of EVERYTHING ELSE will go up after July 1, as the increased cost of power and transport forces increases across the board.

Continue Reading →

Emanations from Royal Society less than lordly

Hot air being blown into a balloon

There’s little of royalty attached to recent climate change missives emanating from the Royal Society. Did I call them missives? I meant to say emissions.

Professor Keith A. Hunter, FNZIC, FRSNZ, Vice-President, Physical Sciences, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology, Royal Society of New Zealand, issued a statement on 7 April entitled Science, Climate Change and Integrity.

He means to support the hypothesis that human activity is dangerously warming the world’s climate. He uses whole sentences and impeccable syntax, but the evidence he cites is wrong.

The package is lovely but the contents rotten.

There are now several of our prominent public scientists who are unaware it is not sufficient merely to tog themselves out in the royal or other esteemed branding — they must actually live up to it and, before all else, speak the truth.

The senior scientists who’ve made misleading public statements about global warming include Peter Gluckman, David Wratt, James Renwick, Brett Mullan, Andrew Reisinger and Jim Salinger.

Their cheeks are smooth and their mouths are smiling but their breath stinks. Continue Reading →

NIWA disowns Salinger thesis

An old book

Yes, the title is correct: I can now reveal that NIWA have actually disowned the famous Salinger thesis, which describes a method of adjusting a time series of temperature readings when they become no longer homogeneous. Despite their repeated citing of the 30-year-old student paper, they don’t actually regard it as important. This has become clear after several months of diligent research by members of the NZ Climate Science Coalition.

But first, we’ve discovered the true nature of the “public” access that NIWA claims for the thesis. And not is all as it seems.

Thesis available, but only in Wellington

ACT MP John Boscawen asked a question in the Parliament of the Minister of Research, Science and Technology, Dr Wayne Mapp:

Can the minister confirm that Dr Salinger’s PhD thesis is still “publicly available”? If so, where, and how may it be obtained?

A simple question, you might think, and so it is. Listen to the answer from Dr Mapp. Continue Reading →

Man-made global warming a science built on sand

Sand castle in imminent danger from ocean

It seems urgent to directly attack the lack of evidence for dangerous AGW. Adaptation should be a no-brainer driver of public policy, but since the Greens stand in the way of that, shouting stridently instead for the nonsensical reduction in our emissions of harmless greenhouse gases, based on the falsehood of sinful human interference in the climate, they should be taken on by courageous politicians and electors alike. I note that some time ago Greenpeace took the cowardly decision to simply fail to respond to anyone questioning the causes of global warming, saying the matter was now decided.

They and the rest must be somehow winkled out of their holes to confront the obvious and lamentable lack of evidence, much as NIWA has recently been forced into admitting some shortcomings. Continue Reading →