Don’t lie to me Nick Smith — 1

Image from TV series 'Lie to me'

A CCG reader reported on Nick Smith’s presentation on the ETS last Tuesday (I’m not sure where, as I couldn’t see a Tuesday meeting in his published schedule) and mentioned his use of a combined CO2/temperature graph showing a good correlation (h/t to Bulaman). He mentioned its resemblance to the famous hockey stick graph of late 20th Century global temperatures. It deserves a separate post. He says:

The road show here on Tuesday was well attended and a polite reasoned session. The 2 cops in the back of the room after the Gore fiasco might also have moderated things a bit! The rationale for being in the ETS was effectively the precautionary principle jacked up to cost us $1.5 billion. The evidence was our hockey stick friend with CO2 and temp graphed together.

At the Royal Akarana Yacht Club presentation on Thursday which yours truly attended, the combined graph Smith showed us resembles the Mann hockey stick graph, but it is different. It comes from the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change; you can see it in a brochure at the NZ government Climate Change site. The brochures were handed around at the meeting.

This is the graph:

CO2 and temperature, 1880 to present

Spurious, unscientific correlation

The temperature portion is similar to the HadCRUT3 temperature record since 1850 available at Junk Science. Smith’s version is rather compressed horizontally to produce a steep rise at the end. But the rise is less than half a degree, which is undetectable without instruments — so the intent is surely to alarm, more than to impart the truth.

The CO2 record over the same period also shows it rising steeply at the end. However, a correct depiction of rising atmospheric CO2 is shown by the blue line in the HadCRUT3 graph cited above; the rate of rise is slight, becoming steeper over the last 50 years. I believe it is weakly correlated to the concurrent temperature (I’m no statistician).

The unscientific, deeply sickening aspect of the graph Smith uses is the way the CO2 record is matched to the temperature record by the simple expedient of altering the scale on the Y-axis: it begins at 250 so it exhibits a wonderful, but entirely spurious, correlation to temperature since 1880, mimicking the same steep rise over recent years. Our government and MfE bureaucrats think it’s acceptable because it’s been produced by UK scientists.

A scurrilous graph

But it’s a piece of bald-faced chicanery; it conveys incorrect information (in other words, it lies), it is addressed to the householder, so it’s aimed at ordinary people and children (in other words, at people who can’t know it lies) and we should all be ashamed to be led by anyone who adopts deception (in other words, who tells lies). I almost hope that someone sues me for libel for saying this, for it would give me an opportunity to publicly expose their lies.

Perhaps they think they’re secure against the allegation of lying, since they don’t use words to convey the lie, however pictures communicate facts just as well as words, else they wouldn’t be used. We must ask NIWA publicly if they approve the use of this scurrilous graph in official material, because obviously they do.

Deception falsifies their belief in dangerous human influence

If humanity is responsible for a dangerous influence on the Earth’s climate, and if the agency for that influence is carbon dioxide, then there will be, of necessity, a correlation between CO2 and temperature over time. That correlation would be evident without falsifying the data.

The fact that the UK Dept of Energy and Climate Change, our own Ministry for the Environment and our own Minister for Climate Change Issues distort the data demonstrates that the raw data are not correlated and thus belies their evident belief in a dangerous human influence on the Earth’s climate.

Is there a better conclusion to be drawn from their deception?

Confirmation bias not conspiracy

I hesitate before suggesting anything resembling a world-wide conspiracy to prove dangerous AGW, for, as many climate alarmists point out, it is highly improbable. But the above are the facts, and, since this graph is produced by a government department in the UK and used down under by at least two of our government departments, it is without doubt both at a high level and world-wide – but surely it is a conspiracy only superficially, created in fact by a shared anticipation of the truth, or confirmation bias.

This shows how it can come about that we find the same tricks, lies and subterfuges around the world, though the people responsible might never have met – one person stretches the truth and others of a similar mind believe it, because they expect it to be true and they simply don’t examine it.

P.S.: I want to say more about this meeting, for finding false facts in it furnishes far too many for one article.

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24 Thoughts on “Don’t lie to me Nick Smith — 1

  1. Andy on 24/07/2010 at 4:43 pm said:

    Jo Nova has a better graph here

    It proves conclusively (using Nick Smith’s logic) that US Postage charges are driving warming, not CO2

  2. Andy on 27/07/2010 at 7:28 am said:

    A review of “The Hockey Stick Illusion” has just been published on Quadrant Online

  3. qfrealist on 02/08/2010 at 4:28 pm said:

    This is really scurrilous alright. If they want to convince the public of the internationally criminal scam of AGW and TAX us this is just what they need. Nick Smith should be taken to task over this deliberate lie. Well nature will prove them wrong in the next few years as the PDO global cooling takes place not that will stop taxes!

  4. I’m no statistician

    I’d say. Correlation is about variance, not absolute numbers. It makes sense to display graphs like these scaled so that the variance in each dataset accounts for about the same amount of room. Lead me show you an example. Do you think the number of seats taken by Act will be correlated with the number of party votes received by that party? I did, but then I made a graph as per your idea that we need to start at 0 (can’t be squeezing up one axis after all!):

    Of course their really is a correlation, the coefficient is 0.996! There is nothing scandalous about scaling each axis to show the real data (I think it’s actually better to just to do a scatter-plot of co2 on temperature, which would also make the correlation obvious, but of course then you miss the temporal scale)

    • I appreciate your explanation, David. And you’ve slowed me down to think again.

      First, you haven’t been too hard on my statistics, so I won’t frown overmuch on your spelling: “Lead” me show you… “their” really is a correlation… ;>) .

      I’m enthralled to learn that axis rescaling might be a valid technique to display the truth of a situation.

      But surely it is still misleading in the case I cite, since the lack of correlation is so obvious early in the period, when CO2 rises steadily from 290 to 310, while temperature varies greatly. How can atmospheric concentrations of CO2, rising at a constant rate, cause cooling, then warming, then cooling, then warming?

    • No one has ever said that CO2 is the only driver of climate, just that it’s a major one and the only one capable of explaining the most recent warming.

      Before about the 1960s C02 was one of a bunch of forcing (solar pushing temps up and volcanoes and sulphates depressing them) that contributed to temperatures. Since then greenhouse emissions have increased greatly, and they’ve been shown to be the major driver of recent change (since solar, and other forcings can’t explain it).

    • No one has ever said that CO2 is the only driver of climate…

      You and I know that, but the other drivers are seldom mentioned. For example, why does the government pamphlet downplay or ignore water vapour and clouds? It’s easy to explain the warming if you know about clouds but for some reason they are not favoured by those who speak for the IPCC. Only about a 2% variance in cloud cover would adequately account for the warming, according to Spencer.

      But the important thing to point out is that CO2 is the only climate influence anyone is trying to regulate; that sends a message, don’t you think? Is it any wonder everybody focuses on CO2? That they think nothing else affects the temperature? Even though there are many influences on it?

      Yet, to say it must be CO2 because we don’t know what else it might be is nothing but a blatant admission of ignorance. Not a scientific process, that.

      Now, tell me, what about before 1940 — what sent the temp down then up? There wasn’t much CO2 then.

    • Richard C on 08/08/2010 at 9:35 pm said:

      “How can atmospheric concentrations of CO2, rising at a constant rate, cause cooling, then warming, then cooling, then warming?”


      Given that the IPCC is already out of the money in their projections of continued (and alarming) warming after the warming of the 90’s in their own correlation/causation leap of faith then what is a sensible projection of the above sequence?

      Bryan Leyland asserts that “The chances are that the present warm spell will end quite suddenly before the end of this year” on the strength of the McLean, de Freitas and Carter (2009) paper “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature”. His prediction is documented here:

      Obviously time will tell and in Bryan’s favour 2010 still has time to run even if his graph depiction has been premature.

      Don Easterbrook makes a longer term projection where the cycle repeats and contrasts that with the IPCC projections here:

      Found on his website:

      Don analyzes the disconnection between CO2 levels and the warming/cooling cycle over the past century here:

      At present the departure of temperature trend from CO2 trend over the last decade (i.e. broken correlation) is not apparent in the Dept of Climate Change graph but it will become embarrassing as time progresses and a cooling phase is realized..

      Also, the Dept of Climate Change should take a look at the Vostok Ice Core graphs for some perspective. (Dept’s 130 yrs vs Vostok’s 420,000 yrs):

  5. Well, this looks a little like the Gish Gallop, but let’s go.

    I suppose the pamphlet doesn’t say much about clouds because it’s not at all clear whether clouds amplify or dampen warming. And if Spencer is Roy Spencer I don’t think I’d quote him in a post that start off accusing people of cooking graphs.

    The reason people talk about greenhouse gas is that’s the one we are responsible for, and more importantly the one we can do something about.

    The attribution of recent warming to CO2 is not a “we don’t what else” argument, it’s that we can very happily account for recent warming if we include anthropogeneic forcings. And we can’t if don’t.

    I have no idea why temperatures were unusually high in the 1940s.

    • Andy on 03/08/2010 at 10:09 pm said:

      For some reason, links to Realclimate leave me feeling cold.

      Maybe it’s that open-minded Gavin guy, and his charming friends?

  6. qfrealist on 04/08/2010 at 3:48 pm said:

    The whole argument about the atmospheric temperatures is most likely wrong anyway. The whole climate oscillations seem to me to be very closely associated with the PDO and NOTHING to do with the atmosphere. The deep ocean circulating currents are poorly understood let alone thee deep ocean temperatures. As a physics student water is the greatest heat sink (natural ) on the planet. Two sources of heat driving the atmosphere are SUN and ocean heat capacity, and yet very much less studied undersea volcanism and heat flow I think it is possible the cart is before the horse.

  7. Andy on 05/08/2010 at 4:02 pm said:

    Follow the money:

    This is an excellent article.

    “The EU Connection in Climate Research
    by John Rosenthal
    Millions of euros come with an agenda”

  8. Bulaman on 06/08/2010 at 8:28 am said:

    Where’s slick Nick??
    Why here he is..

    The future of climate policy will be up for discussion at the 6th Australia-New Zealand Climate Change & Business Conference with The Hon Penny Wong (Labor), Senator Christine Milne (Greens) and Senator Simon Birmingham (Liberals) all confirmed to address the event.

    New Zealand will tell its story with the Hon Dr Nick Smith also presenting.

    International policy will also be in the spotlight, with presentations by Christiana Figueres, the new head of the UNFCCC and Dr Ralph Sims, formerly with the IEA, reviewing the success of complementary measures overseas.

    The conference theme is “Business Taking Action” and the core discussion will be around what business is doing now to address climate change and what policy settings it needs.

    Whether your focus is investment in clean technology, carbon, managing your company’s sustainability program or analysing the physical risk of climate change, join us for this important discussion on the best way forward and take the opportunity to learn from one another.

    Full details and registration are available at:

  9. Richard C on 09/08/2010 at 2:57 pm said:

    The graph in question is accompanied by the following text in the NZ Govt climate change information brochure linked in the post above:

    “What is the problem?

    The burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests is changing the chemical composition of the atmosphere. CO2 levels are 35 per cent higher than they were before industrialisation. If the current rate of increase continues, we could see a doubling by 2050. Other gases like methane and nitrous oxide from agriculture are also increasing in concentration.

    Scientists’ concern is that these greenhouse gases will raise global temperatures, increase sea levels and lead to more extreme weather events. The risk to future generations justifies action now to curb our growth in emissions.”

    Firstly, CO2 is not a pollutant in terms of toxicity (or an endangerment to humans as the US EPA states) so a doubling of CO2 is not a problem in terms of pollution unlike say SO2. Similarly there is no threat from the insignificant levels of methane and nitrous oxide i.e. no problem.

    Secondly, the significance of CO2 as a contributor to the greenhouse effect and the mechanism by which CO2 might be able to “raise global temperatures” is in dispute among scientists (Physicists, Chemists, Climatologists etc). The issue at stake is “back radiation” and “radiative forcing”.

    Because the greenhouse contribution of CO2 is so small, the mechanism of back radiation can only work (raise temps) if it produces a magnifying effect of increased water vapour which at 95% is by far the major greenhouse contributor. The water vapour must be produced by the interaction of back radiation with the surface of the oceans, lakes and rivers. This is problematic in that the wavelength of the back radiation prevents penetration of the water surface. The other major problem with the mechanism lies with the laws of physics: by itself radiation is not heat so is not constrained by the 2nd law of thermodynamics and yes, a molecule of CO2 will re-radiate a component back to a warm earth but the heat produced at the earths surface by the back radiation will conform and will then flow towards cold outer space.

    CAGW proponents then say that this extra heat accumulates in the upper troposphere above the tropics. Over the last decade this phenomenon has not been observed or measured i.e. again, no problem. Not only that but a disconnect between CO2 levels and global temperatures has been observed over the last decade i.e. no correlation, no causation, no problem. The proponents cannot grasp that heat is slowed in its progress to outer space by the greenhouse (insulation) effect, not contained by it.

    I challenge the NZ Govt office of Climate Change to document in detail (molecularly, chemically, thermodynamically and diagrammatically) the mechanism they describe to give credible and coherent support to their argument, the graph supplied is completely inadequate. Good luck with that by the way, other attempts by NASA, IPCC et al to document the earths heat balance are being mercilessly dissected in science circles (neglecting to account for the night side of a circular globe does not help their cause). Then there is the little matter of radiative balance (Ferenc Miskolczi) vs chaotic imbalance (Vincent Gray). Miskolczi really upsets the proposition by showing that any increase in CO2 is offset by a commensurate reduction in water vapour.

    Lastly, it is only the scientists that subscribe to the CAGW hypothesis that are “concerned” that greenhouse gases “will” raise global temperatures. There are plenty of scientists who do not subscribe and are not concerned. For example, Prof Don Easterbrook shows here how there is no correlation between CO2 levels and global warming and therefore not part of a cause-and-effect relationship:

    Roy Clark presented this submission to the EPA CO2 endangerment finding deliberations (subsequently dismissed):

    This from the summary:

    “The energy transfer processes that occur at the Earth’s surface are examined from first
    principles. The effect of small changes in the solar constant caused by variations in the
    sunspot cycles and small increases in downward long wave infrared flux due to a 100 ppm
    increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration on surface temperature are considered in detail.
    The changes in the solar constant are sufficient to change ocean temperatures and alter the
    Earth’s climate. The effects on surface temperature of small increases in downward LWIR
    flux are too small to be measured and cannot cause climate change. The assumptions
    underlying the use of radiative forcing in climate models are shown to be invalid. A null
    hypothesis for CO2 is proposed that it is impossible to show that changes in CO2 concentration have caused any climate change, at least since the current composition of the atmosphere was set by ocean photosynthesis about one billion years ago.”

  10. Richard C on 10/08/2010 at 9:20 am said:

    “Back Radiation” aka Downwelling Longwave Radiation or Downward LWIR – real or fictional?

  11. Richard C on 11/08/2010 at 10:10 am said:

    Questions for the NZ Climate Change Office.

    They say,

    “Scientists’ concern is that these greenhouse gases will raise global temperatures…”

    Therefore, to “raise global temperatures”, the greenhouse gases must produce extra heat.

    Question 1.
    How does atmospheric back radiation from the greenhouse gases (Downwelling long-wave infra-red or DLR) produce extra heat in the oceans that cover 70% of the globes surface plus the lakes and rivers?

    Given that it is solar short-wave radiation that heats the ocean down to approx. 100m and that DLR is only able to impinge on the top 100 MICROm of the oceans surface, the only heat produced is latent hear of evaporation released on condensation approx. 1km up in the atmosphere – so no extra heat in the oceans.

    Question 2.
    Where is the evidence that atmospheric DLR from the greenhouse gases is producing extra heat (in Joules) in the top layers of the land-mass that covers 30% of the globes surface and how significant is that evidence compared to geothermal and volcanic heating?

    Question 3.
    Where is the scientific evidence that atmospheric DLR from the greenhouse gases is increasing in magnitude sufficient to cause the temperature rise shown in the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change graph showing an apparent correlation between CO2 levels and global temperature in the NZ Climate Change brochure? i.e. Present evidence of causation.

    It might be helpful to consider the findings of a scientist while answering this question. Dr Roy Clark made “A Null Hypothesis For CO2” submission to the US EPA that can be viewed here:
    Quoting from Dr Clarks “California Climate Change Is Caused By The Pacific Decadal Oscillation, Not By CO2” report that can be viewed here:

    “In a recent (‘Null Hypothesis’) article, Dr. Clark demonstrated from first principles that it is
    impossible for the observed 100 ppm increase in ‘anthropogenic’ atmospheric CO2
    concentration to cause any kind of climate change.[1] Only solar radiation can penetrate the
    air-ocean interface and heat the oceans to depths of up to 100m. The penetration depth of
    long wave infrared (LWIR) radiation into the ocean is less than 100 µm. This is the width of a
    typical human hair. The increase in ‘clear sky’ downward LWIR flux from a 100 ppm increase
    in atmospheric CO2 concentration is 1.7 Watts per square meter. This is less than the
    uncertainty in the estimated long term evaporation rate or latent heat flux from the ocean
    surface. Over the ocean, the increase in LWIR flux from CO2 is ‘buried in the noise’ of the
    fluctuations in ocean evaporation from wind and surface temperature variations and changes
    in downward LWIR flux due to fluctuations in humidity, aerosols and cloud cover. Over land,
    the increase of 1.7 Watts per square meter in the LWIR flux is such a small part of the total flux at the surface that it cannot cause any measurable change in surface temperature. The
    ground surface temperature depends on the absorption coefficient, the thermal conductivity
    and heat capacity of the ground, the surface area and angles of incidence, the balance of the
    upward and downward LWIR flux and the direct air convection. If the ground is moist, latent
    heat effects also have to be included.”

    Will the NZ Climate Change Office dismiss this finding by a scientist in the same manner as the US EPA?

    Question 4.
    If the NZ Climate Change Office cannot demonstrate extra heat produced by atmospheric DLR from the greenhouse gases in the oceans, lakes, rivers and land-mass (Questions 1 and 2) of the globe then the only place left for extra heat to accumulate is in the atmosphere. Where is the evidence of accumulated heat in the atmosphere?

    Given that the International scientific community has searched in vain for this hypothetic heat accumulation the NZ Climate Change Office should alert the world’s climate scientists post-haste if they know the location (Kevin Trenberth would be most interested). Over the last decade there has been no measurable tropospheric “hot spot” above the tropics as prescribed the AGW hypothesis so where is the missing heat?

    The NZ Climate Change Office has produced one contentious graph accompanied by a bland unsubstantiated statement in order to justify an ETS and continued promotion of the CAGW hypothesis. This is not good enough, the Office must be able to answer these 4 questions satisfactorily to support their case or if they can’t the ETS must be repealed i.e. put up or shut up.

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