On Kiribati sinking

Island of Tabiteuea, Kiribati.

We didn’t mention straws, only facts


Bryan Walker, of Hot Topic, insists on the fact of the sinking of Kiribati along with a human cause of the sinking. Under the heading “Clutching at straws” he says:

The vigour of denial is as evident as always.

I remain unconcerned about criticism he got from the pugnacious Ian Wishart at The Briefing Room, along with “others” on the Herald web site. I believe that Ian correctly quotes from Kiribati’s marketing material, but now I comment on what Walker says about our post here at the Climate Conversation, Kiribati sinking beneath waves again.

Because his criticism of me is frail, since he ignores what I say. The best that can be said about his summary of our post is that he slides past its substantive arguments, replacing them with “straw man” arguments easily dealt with.

But first, I must express annoyance at his use of “denial”. He says it just once, but securely tars his opponents with it, yet it must be the last resort of the desperate, for where is his argument that the denial has no substance? Absent — he leaves it hanging.

Certainly, when one argues with anything, one denies something. On that definition, Walker himself is a “denier”, for he denies what I said. A denier label cannot be the end of rational thought nor award an uncontested victory, for it applies to both parties to an argument.

But, apart from this attempted smear, how does his complaint fail?

Among the statements I make, he ignores these:

  • No connection is shown between our “greenhouse gas” emissions and the problems on Kiribati.
  • [he offers no observations] of the rate of rise [in sea level], or the length of the period during which a rise has been observed.
  • For at least the last nine years there has been no acceleration in sea level rise at the monitoring station on Kiribati.
  • The sea is not threatening to overwhelm Kiribati.

In ignoring a point, he allows it to stand. Such is debate — statements must be supported by facts. So far, no challenge.

What is Mr Walker’s answer to the Australian-managed South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP)? For the observations from that programme show no sea level rise. Yet, in Walker’s original post in the Herald, he referred to (emphasis added):

the changes they [vulnerable nations] have begun to experience

He quoted the Kiribati President, Anote Tong, as saying (emphasis added):

“I think this will be the first opportunity for the large countries to actually see first hand what it is we have to contend with. To actually experience the high tides and the very marginal rise in elevation and land when the tide is coming in at the very highest level.”

These comments attest to existing sea-level rise. They therefore conflict with the observations of the SPSLCMP. I already alluded to the lack of factual observations from Walker or Tong; in the continued absence of observations, we must let the scientific statements stand.

There has been no accelerated* increase in sea level in Kiribati. However you slide by this fact, Bryan, as long as you fail to refute it you fail to persuade anyone that Kiribati has already experienced any “adverse impacts of climate change”.

Further, as long as you rely on unvalidated computer models for your predictions of catastrophic sea-level rise (for there is no other support, such as observations, for them) you similarly fail to persuade anyone there is cause for concern. The fact remains that the computer models you rely on are based on inadequate descriptions of reality and no real-world observations are available to support your assertions of an acceleration in sea-level rise.

All the rest of your sermon is irrelevant without these facts being established. For all the international conferences in the world will not make the sea level rise and thus validate the “$100 billion annually from 2020 to assist poorer developing countries mitigate and adapt to climate change.”

If you get connected with reality and start to quantify the real climatic changes likely over the next 20 to 50 years and agitate to fund emerging nations to cope with those challenges, I will stand with you for the sake of a better world.

But all this nonsense of man-made inflating oceans proceeding from our exhaust pipes and our chimneys is a criminally wasteful diversion.

Oh, did I say “criminally”? Sorry, I guess I’m a bit sensitive to increasingly strident calls to prosecute climate “deniers”.

* CORRECTION: 18 NovemberHot Topic gently points out my error in claiming no increase at all in sea level — sorry about that. I have changed it to “no accelerated increase”.

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35 Thoughts on “On Kiribati sinking

  1. Good stuff! Here in the UK, the Guardian has been running little puff pieces in their ‘Poverty Matters’ blog, each written by a local to the area they write about, every writer seems to be coached in the story of their particular Island/state/whatever being affected by the climate change caused by us wicked and eficient producers of afforable food and energy. The ‘Poor disadvantaged me, give me money’ theme gets very irritating after one has read a few of them. There are very real and significant ecological problems that we should be focusing on, such as providing cheap energy, clean water, healthy sanitation, education, public health etc, without being sidetracked by mindless nonsense..

  2. Andy on 18/11/2010 at 8:02 am said:

    They must be getting desperate. Gareth even blogs about an email he received from Roger Dewhurst


    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/11/2010 at 9:39 am said:

      They’ll be reading Gareth’s Evans/Nova smear in WA over breakfast (wink).

    • Andy on 18/11/2010 at 11:22 am said:

      Well they better stay away from the NZ’s resident Hitler Youth then


      Of course, if I could be bothered to reply to “Thomas”, one could mention the name Bob Ward, a professional “PR man” whose job it is to smear anyone who questions the consensus line. Bob Carter probably knows a thing or two about this.

      One could also mention the untold harm to developing and developed nations that carbon taxation will bring, the fuel poverty that will kill old people in Britain, the starvation that will be caused by biofuel production.

      This never enters the heads of the warmists. Why is this? Because they are incredibly thick.

      We need to treat them so.

      Thankfully, Richard North has got this message as does Dellers.



    • Andy on 18/11/2010 at 12:16 pm said:

      and just to drive the point, Gareth states “Let’s ignore the main paper (it’s nonsense) ”

      and then provides no less than THREE links to the URL at which the Evans paper is published.

      First rule of propaganda – don’t draw attention to your enemies arguments.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/11/2010 at 1:38 pm said:

      Another time I might follow the link to HT but after spending some time there yesterday, there’s only so much silliness I can take.

      I can happily engage with those of an opposing view on climate and can sometimes learn from those that know their stuff but the keepers of the faith at HT are so out of date datawise and can’t cope with even the simplest of observational trends that there’s no point trying to move into physics or modeling discussion.

      Gareth has somehow convinced himself that the AR4 models did a good job in hindcast so when I present the relevant IPCC section showing how they completely missed the 30s, 40s and 50s warm-cool cycle he can’t cope and immediately resorts to his own special custom version of argument from authority and ad hom.

      The notion that we just might be in a similar warm-cool cycle over the 90s, 00s and 10s is completely alien to him because the world only warms and the seas only rise in concert with rising CO2 levels irrespective of conflicting data trends. He always deflects inconvenient data inflexions with his “long-term” trend argument but his “long-term” negates any warm-cool cycles because there’s none in the model hindcasts.

      So the chances of Gareth or Bryan actually eyeballing the SPSLCMP plot that Richard T found (news to me) and then clicking on it and zooming for a better view are very remote. We can only come to the same conclusion as Richard T:-

      “I haven’t been to Kiribati, but I have seen on the Internet the data from a sea-level monitoring project which has a station on Kiribati. Data that Bryan Walker should have found. Perhaps he found it and didn’t like it. ”

      i.e. There are none so blind as those who will not see

      : : “Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings” by Gregory Y. Titelman (Random House, New York, 1996). Mr. Titelman agrees that this saying has its roots in the Bible, specifically Jer. 5:21 (King James version): “Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes, and see not; which have ears, and hear not.”

      : : “There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know. The proverb has been traced back in English to 1546 (John Heywood), and resembles the Biblical verse quoted (above). In 1738, it was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation,’ and is first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’…”


      I would have thought that Bryan Walker at least would be able to grasp this concept given his English/Lay Preacher background so that simple “seeing” does not require the scientific expertise that he opening admits is absent from his skill-set.

    • Bob D on 18/11/2010 at 2:40 pm said:

      My Gran used to quote the old Yorkshire saying: “There’s none as thick as them that wants to
      be”. Applies well to HT I’m afraid.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/11/2010 at 4:32 pm said:

      “but the keepers of the faith at HT are so out of date datawise and can’t cope with even the simplest of observational trends”

      As if to prove my point, Gareth’s doing it again

      “The figures come from the September 2010 monthly data summary (pdf) from the sea level project, and are quoted accurately (For a broader overview, with lots of good background information, the 2009 full year report (pdf) is recommended).”

      So let’s not look at 2010 data (sea level falling) when we can look at “long-term” 2009 data instead – got to find that rise somewhere even it means ignoring the present trend.

      And oooo look “warming in the pipeline”:

      “And you don’t need to be a genius to work out that with the rate of ice loss from the big ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica increasing, 30-40 years of unavoidable further warming in the pipeline,”

      He can’t extract thermal expansion from a cool upper ocean, sooo…….

      “and the long term sea level rise that will come from thermal expansion of the deep ocean”

      Yes, of course, Trenberth’s “missing heat” lurking in the depths..

      You are quite right Gareth, you don’t need to be a genius to work out that rubbish – just an ordinary group-thinker is quite adequate.

    • Hi Richard C,

      You say:

      So let’s not look at 2010 data (sea level falling) when we can look at “long-term” 2009 data instead – got to find that rise somewhere even it means ignoring the present trend.

      I realise the sarcasm switch is on, but what data are you referring to? The South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project run by the BoM shows trends for the past 12 months for each of the monitoring stations, and they range from +3.2 mm/yr to +14.8 mm/yr. Most of the trends (9 out of 12) have either reduced or remained the same as the previous 12 months, but all are still positive.

      Oddly enough, the trends at the two most contentious “sinking islands” in the group — Tuvalu and Kiribati — have the smallest trends: +3.8 and +3.2 mm/yr, respectively.

      They’re listed on page 4 of the September report which you can find at the reports page.

      Renowden rightly takes me to task for saying (inadvertently): “There has been no increase in sea level in Kiribati.” I’ve corrected the post, as you’ll see.

    • Andy on 18/11/2010 at 9:36 pm said:

      The reports page you link to is useful, but they don’t make it easy for us do they?
      You would think it would be helpful to provide an Excel or csv file instead of a load of pdf’s all with virtually identical fillers.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 18/11/2010 at 11:32 pm said:

      “what data are you referring to?”

      Short-term sea level trends in BOM study terms for Kiribati starting 1994 08?

      *The plot (graph) from the Dec 2009 report versus the plot from the Sept 2010 report

      *The tables showing numerical trends, 2009 vs 2010.

      There’s a note:-

      “Please exercise caution in interpreting the short-term trends in the table below – they will
      almost certainly change over the coming years as the data set increases in length.”

      2009 12
      Figure 4. Evolution of relative sea level trends (mm/year) at SEAFRAME stations. The trends continue to stabilise as the length of record increases.

      Net Sea Level Trend (mm/yr) December, 2009 was +3.9 (Table 4)


      2010 09
      Figure 13 (near end of report) SEA LEVEL TRENDS THROUGH 2010 (mm/year). This figure illustrates that as the sea level record becomes longer, the relative sea level trend estimates become more stable and reliable.

      Net Sea Level Trend (mm/yr) September, 2010 was +3.2 (Tables, pgs 4,11)


      Change Aug 2010 to Sept 2010 -0.2 (Fall)

      Change Dec 2009 to Sept 2010 -0.7 (Fall)

      So although the rate from 1994 is still rising, the 2010 trend is falling. This is consistent with thermal contraction of that area of ocean due to cooler ocean temperatures in 2010.

      Your statement:

      “There has been no increase in sea level in Kiribati.”

      was correct for 2010.

      The reverse is the case as the plots and data show. There has been a fall in sea level at Kiribati in 2010.

      So I’m not in sarc mode, I’m just observing the latest trend. Gareth does not and that’s the same with land temp series and ocean heat content, Sure if you pick the right time frame you get a rising trend for SSL, SST, OHC and NST but he ignores (denies?) the cycles within those trends (that the models can’t mimic in their current configuration). Those same cycles show CO2 lagging 700 yrs behind temperature but Gareth can only see the CO2 hockey stick trend (also imposed in the models) so every other metric must conform to that in his view.

      What is amusing is that Gareth is convinced that the “missing heat” is in the deep ocean but another branch of the church has just announced that they’ve “found the hot-spot” in the troposphere. See “Thorne 2010: A very incomplete history of the missing hot spot”


      Strangely, I subscribe to the Easterbrook et al prediction that circa 2050 will be warmer than present but that prediction also looks at the cyclical trend coming out of the LIA and predicts a cool phase bottoming out circa 2030 in the intervening time.

      The question that will be answered prior to AR5 is; are we just observing La Nina and after that the warming will continue from where it left off 1998 (Gareth’s view) or are the cycles (11 year solar, 60 year etc) converging to produce a cool phase lasting 30 – 40 years (my view).

      Time will prove one of us right and the other wrong and Gareth did acknowledge this in one lucid moment I recall.

      If you go through the same exercise for Tuvalu, the 2010 fall is -0.9 mm/yr (but it’s 11:15pm and you should check this).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 8:00 am said:

      From the Sept 2010 report (pdf):

      • Sea levels were depressed across the equator, where the SEAFRAME stations of Kiribati and Nauru registered anomalies around 10cm below normal. Slightly lower than normal sea levels were observed at Vanuatu and Fiji, while higher than normal sea levels developed at Marshall Islands and FSM.

      Ok that’s just La Nina but the Pacific is a climate driver and that may be enough to cause a climate shift. We should know by this time next year.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 18/11/2010 at 9:45 am said:

    “What is Mr Walker’s answer to the Australian-managed South Pacific Sea Level and Climate Monitoring Project (SPSLCMP)?”

    Shouldn’t be difficult because as Bryan writes:-

    “The science is not difficult to comprehend.”

    • Well, quite! Neither Walker nor Renowden are in a hurry to address the substance. I can’t wait to hear their rebuttal of the facts about sea level rise in the vicinity of Kiribati. Or, when the next alarming article appears, Tuvalu.

      Accepting that a rise of around 1.8 to 3.6 mm/yr is “normal” (as it’s been that much since the ice age), then our lifestyle over the last 150 years cannot have been responsible for it.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/11/2010 at 10:10 am said:

      I think this quote from Gareth Renowden puts on display his complete lack of physics understanding in the context of ocean – atmosphere processes:-

      you don’t need to be a genius to work out that with the rate of ice loss from the big ice sheets of Greenland and West Antarctica increasing, 30-40 years of unavoidable further warming in the pipeline, and the long term sea level rise that will come from thermal expansion of the deep ocean,

      Just 2 points (leaving aside the dubious ice loss claim – nuther story):

      1) Even if there was 30-40 years of unavoidable further warming in the pipeline, that would have minimal effect even on ocean surface temperature. It is solar insolation that heats the ocean, not the atmosphere. That 30-40 years of warming would have to go into the atmosphere but there is no capacity there in which to store it. From NOAA: “The atmosphere does not have much capability to store heat. The heat capacity of the global atmosphere corresponds to that of only a 3.2 m layer of the ocean.”

      2) Warm water is not like a WinZip file that lies dormant for years then unzips (thermal expansion) at some time in the future (“long term”). If there is heat in the deep ocean, it will expand the water right now. Surely Gareth has seen photos of steel train tracks that have buckled from thermal expansion on a hot day, they didn’t wait ten years to do it.

    • I must thank you for this, Richard C! You’ve connected the dots between Renowden’s “missing heat” residing in the ocean and real oceanic behaviour (showing no untoward rise).

      If the heat is in the ocean, expansion has already occurred. If the heat isn’t in the ocean, it is vanishingly small.

      He cannot have it both ways and I will spell it out for him.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 20/11/2010 at 5:28 pm said:

      Because Gareth gets his info from RealClimate we can anticipate what he will come back with.

      From RC:

      “Why greenhouse gases heat the ocean”

      September 2006

      Guest commentary by Peter Minnett (RSMAS)


      “………..how can a forcing driven by longwave absorption and emission impact the ocean below since the infrared radiation does not penetrate more than a few micrometers into the ocean? Resolution of this conundrum is to be found in the recognition that the skin layer temperature gradient not only exists as a result of the ocean-atmosphere temperature difference, but also helps to control the ocean-atmosphere heat flux. (The ‘skin layer‘ is the very thin – up to 1 mm – layer at the top of ocean that is in direct contact with the atmosphere). Reducing the size of the temperature gradient through the skin layer reduces the flux. Thus, if the absorption of the infrared emission from atmospheric greenhouse gases reduces the gradient through the skin layer, the flow of heat from the ocean beneath will be reduced, leaving more of the heat introduced into the bulk of the upper oceanic layer by the absorption of sunlight to remain there to increase water temperature. Experimental evidence for this mechanism can be seen in at-sea measurements of the ocean skin and bulk temperatures.”

      [Some interesting comments]

      So in their view warm GHGs slow the loss of heat from the ocean (but it has to be heated by the sun first).

      That was written in 2006 but since 2004 OHC as determined from ARGO project data has been flat.


      So the explanation requires the missing heat to be below the reach of the ARGO buoys (2000m) i.e. DEEP.


      Even the latest warmist papers seek to perpetuate the “atmosphere heating the ocean” fallacy e.g. Lin et al 2010

      “Although only the temperature of the ocean
      mixed layer is linearly related to surface temperature, the climate
      forcing driving the variations of the surface temperature,
      along with feedbacks, heats not only the ocean mixed
      layer but also the deep ocean owing to oceanic vertical heat


      So they have heat being transported down – not up as would normally be expected.

      Lin, Trenberth and others countered Lindzen’s Iris Hypothesis with some reasonable rebuttals but since then Lindzen and Choi 2009 have shown

      “It appears, for the entire tropics, the observed outgoing
      radiation fluxes increase with the increase in sea surface
      temperatures (SSTs). The observed behavior of radiation
      fluxes implies negative feedback processes associated with
      relatively low climate sensitivity.”

      This sent Lin et al into a tizzy because negative feedback and low climate sensitivity is a no-no.

      From Lin 2010.

      “Because of the extreme importance of the climate energy
      imbalance for climate studies as shown in this report, longterm
      measurements of the TOA radiation with both high precision
      and high absolute accuracy are desperately demanded.”

      Hence Trenberth at GEWEX for that express purpose.

      Meanwhile others are addressing the same questions as Cohenite has explained in a comment kindly left at CCG Open Threads:

      cohenite says:
      November 5, 2010 at 4:14 pm

      The idea of a homeostatic climatic process continually reorientating climate towards an equilibrium has of course been made famous by Miskolczi. The role of water in this process is at least starting to get some traction. The slightly chicken and egg debate about forcings and feedbacks in respect of water and particularly the climate dominant form of water, clouds, is perhaps best explained by these papers:



      As Spencer et al say: “This indicates that the net (SW + LW) radiative
      effect of clouds during the evolution of the composite ISO is
      to cool the ocean-atmosphere system during its tropospheric
      warm phase, and to warm it during its cool phase.”

      That is, clouds are moderators of climate movement in either direction and continually adjust climate towards the equilibrium defined by the water content of the Earth.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 8:21 am said:

    German Scientist: CO2 Not The Cause of Climate Change – Cold Period Is Anticipated

    By P Gosselin on 16. November 2010

    The European Institute For Climate and Energy (EIKE) released a paper today written by German physicist Dr. Horst Borchert. The paper reveals a clear relation between solar activity and ocean cycles, and thus act as the main climate drivers. Measured data shows no CO2 impact on climate.

    “It was found that the South Pacific Oscillation (SO) is influenced by solar activity, similar to the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO). Especially during the warming period from 1980 to 2009 the oscillation of solar wind – Index “aa“ – was in good resonance with the delayed South Pacific Oscillation. The same observation was found between the oscillation of cosmic radiation, which is controlled by Forbush– reduction by the magnetic fields of the sun protons of the solar wind and the delayed SO (K=0.8). The consequence of these observations is the postulation that the increase of global temperature in the Southern Hemisphere was caused by solar activity with strong emissions of proton-rays in the Earth ‘s direction during the 22nd and 23rd sunspot-periods, reducing cosmic rays. This led to a reduction of cloudiness, increased solar rays and warming up the lower atmosphere (Svensmark –Effect). As a consequence, dissolved CO2 was continuously emitted by the slowly warming ocean, providing fertilizer for the flora of the world. A relevance of CO2 concerning climate change could not be found. With the end of solar activity in 2006, a cold weather period has also started in the Southern Hemisphere.

    “Temperature increases also in the southern hemisphere from 1980 until 2009 are not caused by man, but by unusual solar activity. A control of the warmth development in the South Pacific region by increasing CO2 concentrations during this warming period is not discernible from the measured data.

    Hooray for physicists.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 8:47 am said:


    Thursday, November 18, 2010

    IPCC Forecasts are Incorrect

    Thank you for inviting my testimony. I am a Senior Fellow in Environmental Studies at the Cato Institute and Distinguished Senior Fellow in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University. This testimony represents no official point of view from either of these institutions and is tendered with the traditional protections of academic freedom.

    My testimony has four objectives

    1) Demonstration that the rate greenhouse-related warming is clearly below the mean of climate forecasts from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that are based upon changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations that are closest to what is actually being observed,

    2) demonstration that the Finding of Endangerment from greenhouse gases by the Environmental Protection Agency is based upon a very dubious and critical assumption,

    3) demonstration that the definition of science as a public good induces certain biases that substantially devalue efforts to synthesize science, such as those undertaken by the IPCC and the U.S. Climate Change Science Program (CCSP), and

    4) demonstration that there is substantial discontent with governmental and intergovernmental syntheses of climate change and with policies passed by this House of Representatives.


    I like this in regard to the “missing heat” that is either in the deep ocean (Trenberth, Renowden) or the troposphere (Santer, Thorne):-

    “.An additional and important discrepancy between the models and reality extends into the lower atmosphere as well. In the lower atmosphere, climate models expectations are that the degree of warming with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations should be greater than that experienced at the surface, with the lower atmosphere warming about 1.4 times faster than the average surface temperature. Despite claims that observations and models are in agreement (Santer et al., 2008), new analyses incorporating a large number of both observational datasets as well as climate model projections, clearly and strongly demonstrate that the surface warming (which itself is below the model mean) is significantly outpacing the warming in the lower atmosphere—contrary to climate model expectations. Instead of exhibiting 40% more warming than the surface, the lower atmosphere is warming 25% less—a statistically significant difference (Christy et al., 2010).”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 3:59 pm said:

      From “the truth is what we want it to be” file (Gareth Renowden please note).

      A Discernible Human Influence …

      by John L. Daly

      In a major paper published in the British science journal “Nature” (Vol.382, 4 July 1996, p.39-46) the top players in the Greenhouse Industry (Benjamin Santer of the IPCC, Tom Wigley of NCAR, Philip Jones of CRU, John Mitchell of the U.K. Hadley Centre, A. Oort and R. Stouffer of GFDL among others) all lent their names to a paper titled “A Search For Human Influences On The Thermal Structure Of The Atmosphere”. This paper was trumpeted by the Greenhouse Industry as the final `proof’ that Greenhouse was already here, proved not just by models, but also by actual observed data. And it was little surprise that the `observed data’ agreed with the models.

      They claim to have found the imprint of human influence in observations of upper troposphere temperatures as recorded by sonde balloons, matched these observations with what their model would predict under similar conditions and found the very match they were `searching’ for.

      This result then inspired the much quoted claim that there was “… a discernible human influence on global climate”, a remark made in the notorious Chapter 8 of the 1995 IPCC Report, a remark added later to the report after the meeting of drafting scientists in Madrid.

      Here’s how they found their “discernible human influence …”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 4:01 pm said:

      This link might be helpful.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 5:09 pm said:

      Global Warming: How to approach the science.

      (Climate Models and the Evidence?)

      Richard S. Lindzen

      Program in Atmospheres, Oceans, and Climate
      Massachusetts Institute of Technology

      Testimony: House Subcommittee
      on Science and Technology hearing on A Rational Discussion of Climate Change: the Science, the Evidence, the Response

      November 17, 2010


      Where do we go from here?
      Given that this has become a quasi-religious issue, it is hard to tell. However, my personal hope is that we will return to normative science, and try to understand how the climate actually behaves. Our present approach of dealing with climate as completely specified by a single number, globally averaged surface temperature anomaly, that is forced by another single number, atmospheric CO2levels, for example, clearly limits real understanding; so does the replacement of theory by model simulation. In point of fact, there has been progress along these lines and none of it demonstrates a prominent role for CO2. It has been possible to account for the cycle of ice ages simply with orbital variations (as was thought to be the case before global warming mania); tests of sensitivity independent of the assumption that warming is due to CO2(a circular assumption) show sensitivities lower than models show; the resolution of the early faint sun paradox which could not be resolved by greenhouse gases, is readily resolved by clouds acting as negative feedbacks.

      So far we have approached the science in a somewhat peripheral way. In the remainder of this testimony, we will deal with the science more directly.

      [Easy read – even politicians should be able to get to grips with it]

    • Andy on 19/11/2010 at 5:18 pm said:

      Some of Lindzen’s testimony sounds very similar to the keynote he did at the ICCC in Chicago, but it doesn’t diminish the message.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/11/2010 at 5:48 pm said:

      That’s the thing. The John Daly article above is from 1997 and Landscheidt goes back further.

      There really is not much need now for new findings when such a huge backlog of previously ignored disproof and exposure of misrepresentation can be taken off the shelf. I think 2010 has brought it all to a head.

      But how do you make the same rebuttals new and fresh and how many are really reqd?

      As long as the root issues are addressed everything else falls apart for the AGW camp.

      I think Lindzen’s presentation did address the root issues and it’s an easy read but some content could be left out in order for attention spans to take in the essence.

      I saw this observation at JoNova;

      November 19th, 2010 at 7:04 am

      Did you notice in the picture for witness panel I, Lindzen is hidden from view from Cicerone’s thumb sucking? This is a pose called ‘steepling fingers’, which generally implies a closed off mind which is subconsciously establishing a barrier to communication.


  6. (not so) Silent on 22/11/2010 at 10:20 am said:

    The “steeple” as a form of body language is actually a sign they are considering and thinking about what is being said.
    If he had folded his arms then that would be a negative response as he is forming a “barrier”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2010 at 11:10 am said:

      I did wonder whether George was reading the wrong signal.

      Using body language to gauge a politicians thinking is fraught with difficulty anyway given that their neural processes are subject to genetic modification once elected and exposed to the excess of counter-intuition that pervades political decision making.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2010 at 10:50 am said:

    Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature

    J. D. McLean,1 C. R. de Freitas,2 and R. M. Carter3

    Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

    [1] Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 19582008 period. GTTA are represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period 1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the
    longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Nin˜oSouthern Oscillation is known to exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with tropical temperature anomalies between 20S and 20N. The results showed that SOI accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics.
    Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to account for most of the temperature variation.
    Comment on “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature” by J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter

    G. Foster,1 J. D. Annan,2 P. D. Jones,3 M. E. Mann,4 J. Renwick,5 J. Salinger,6 G. A. Schmidt,7 K. E. Trenberth8

    Abstract. McLean et al. [2009] claim that the El Ni˜no/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), as represented by the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), accounts for as much as 72% of the global tropospheric temperature anomaly (GTTA) and an even higher 81% of this
    anomaly in the tropics. They conclude that the SOI is a “dominant and consistent influence on mean global temperatures,” “and perhaps recent trends in global temperatures”. However, their analysis is incorrect in a number of ways, and greatly overstates the influence of ENSO on the climate system. This comment first briefly reviews what is understood about the influence of ENSO on global temperatures, then goes on to show that the analysis of MFC09 severely overestimates the correlation between temperature
    anomalies and the SOI by inflating the power in the 2–6 year time window while filtering out variability on longer and shorter time scales. It is only because of this faulty analysis that they are able to claim such extremely high correlations. The suggestion in their conclusions that ENSO may be a major contributor to recent trends in global temperature is not supported by their analysis or any physical theory presented in that paper, especially as the analysis method itself eliminates the influence of trends on the purported correlations.
    Anyone know if anything has arisen since – rebuttal to comments? revised paper? new paper?

    • val majkus on 22/11/2010 at 11:03 am said:

      Hi Richard, I think this is what you’re after
      there may be more about it on Bob Carter’s website
      but I can’t find it quickly

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2010 at 11:49 am said:

      This response, without Fig. 7, was rejected by JGR as described earlier. We reproduce it here with Fig. 7, and with a number of small changes from the submitted version (less than 20 words) to take account of reviewers’ comments, as is the normal practice for the publication of refereed papers.

      Response to “Comment on ‘Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature’” by Foster et al.

      J. D McLean1, C.R. de Freitas2* and R.M. Carter3

      Key data presented in McLean at al (2009a) show that the Southern Oscillation is a dominant and consistent influence on mean global temperature and, contrary to what Foster et al. (2010) imply, the data in question (Figure 7) were not subjected to contrived statistical analysis. We explain that there are natural mechanisms that might account for the strong coherence of Southern Oscillation Index and mean global temperature. Our research did not set out to analyse trends in mean global temperature, but, should any such trend exist, it follows from our analysis that in most part it would be a response to the natural climate mechanisms that underlie the Southern Oscillation. We believe the findings of our work are important and reinforce similar conclusions from previous research using other datasets. We therefore stand by the analysis and conclusions of our paper.
      No wonder this had to be rejected; Foster, Annan, Jones, Mann, Renwick, Salinger, Schmidt and Trenberth got nothin’.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/11/2010 at 11:32 am said:

      Wow, thanks Val, I’ll also set up a comment in RT’s Climategate post.

    • Andy on 22/11/2010 at 11:59 am said:

      This of course, is one of the key issues in the Climategate issues.

      The other paper by MM is just garbage – as you knew. De Freitas again. Pielke is also
      losing all credibility as well by replying to the mad Finn as well – frequently as I see
      I can’t see either of these papers being in the next IPCC report. Kevin and I will keep
      out somehow – even if we have to redefine what the peer-review literature is !


  8. val majkus on 29/11/2010 at 9:50 pm said:

    Tuvalu is in the news again
    by Prof Cliff Ollier
    Vincent Gray, an IPCC reviewer from the start, has written SOUTH PACIFIC SEA LEVEL: A REASSESSMENT, which can be seen here:


    For Tuvalu he comments that “If the depression of the 1998 cyclone is ignored there was no change in sea level at Tuvalu between 1994 and 2008; 14 years. The claim of a trend of + 6.0 mm/yr is without any justification”.

    Think this may have been mentioned before but didn’t have time to check

  9. Pingback: How to be a denier #2: the truth is what we want it to be

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