Flaherty slays denier Delingpole, takes aim at me

James Delingpole

Wherein Flaherty is thanked and congratulated, it is explained where Flaherty goes wrong in his criticisms of me, and the reader is reminded of what is still outstanding in connection with NIWA’s Review report. Delingpole gains a mention.

Matt Flaherty has been visiting us recently, questioning me about the New Zealand (you can’t believe it’s official!) Temperature Record. Matt wrote recently on James Delingpole and the “denialism” of “climate change.” That tells you where Matt’s understanding lies. Anyone who a) uses the term climate denier, and b) considers that an intelligent person is capable of denying that climate changes, something akin to denying the earth revolves around the sun, demonstrates a voluntary level of ignorance and a lack of incentive to listen.

Having somehow become aware of the CCG, he thought to use us as an example of

how one should deal with a denialist of Delingpole’s ilk

Matt elevates me to dizzying heights, for which I thank him. But I protest I’m unworthy, just an honest toiler for truth, not even in the same league as consummate wordsmiths like James (right about everything) Delingpole.

He cites the Daily Bayonet and Bishop Hill, who mangled the message of my Dec 2010 press release, but he is wrong to blame this messenger for that, and quotes (accurately) from that press release: Continue Reading →

Call for calm over hot, rising seas

underwater light

Richard Cumming takes a look at recent observational data on two topics often raised and guaranteed to cause concern. They are used both to “prove” the existence of rapid warming and as an example of the ills soon to befall us if we don’t prevent them. But both uses fail on a cool examination of the facts. The Climate Conversation Group calls for calm to prevent public hysteria.

Recent global mean sea level and ocean heat content trends

UPDATE 31 JAN 2011

“The sea level continues to rise” is a familiar refrain, but the AGW hypothesis, along with the IPCC AR4, both predict an accelerating rate of rise in the global mean sea level. The IPCC prediction is simply:

“Anthropogenic forcing is also expected to produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise.”

That sea levels are rising is undisputed, but what are the recent trends of both mean sea level (MSL) and its companion, ocean heat content (OHC)? Is MSL accelerating in accordance with the predictions?

Cumulative sea level change from 1905 to 2000, adapted from Holgate (2007), shows a steadily decelerating trend over the period: Continue Reading →

UN head calls off sky-dragon slaying

sky dragon

‘Personal mission’ abandoned

No possibility of a ‘single grand deal’

Those unconvinced of the possibility of catastrophic global warming caused by human activity could, perhaps, be forgiven for relaxing their guard a little.

Everywhere you look, there are signs that the theory of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW) has been defeated or is in the process of being defeated.

From the revelations of Climategate, where the venal motivations and cynical manipulations of leading climate scientists were made embarrassingly public, to the geological history of the last 5 million years of temperature (which shows a slow decline, meaning the modest modern rise is not a bit unprecedented), mounting evidence of severe quality problems with the surface instrumental temperature record, evidence of declining SSTs and surface air temperatures, no evidence of acceleration in sea-level rise, no increase in ocean acidification or bleaching of coral reefs, natural cycles reported as well capable of accounting for late-20th century warming and strong support for a solar influence on cloud formation moderated through intergalactic cosmic rays, not to mention changing results from opinion surveys around the world, it is beyond doubt that support for the CAGW hypothesis, based almost entirely on human emissions of the minor greenhouse gas carbon dioxide, is evaporating. Continue Reading →

BoM the Terminator

They’ll be back?

the Terminator

The Terminator

But would NIWA want them back?

The original plan was that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) would provide an external peer review of NIWA’s new official temperature record.

It couldn’t really be an independent review because there are many close ties between the organisations, but at least it would be better than no review at all — like the last time, when young Jim Salinger made up the first temperature graph. Not reviewed? Hell, that one wasn’t even published!

However, the review by the BoM didn’t go to plan, because they managed to get out of giving any positive endorsement of the new NZT7 [see “Tepid Support from BoM”]. You’d think NIWA’s friends might at least pretend to like the review! But all the BoM said was:

In general, the evidence provided by NIWA supports the homogeneity corrections that have been applied to the temperature record to create the ‘seven station’ series.

Wow! Talk about underwhelming support! How would they sound if they didn’t like it? “In general” supports the corrections? So some of the evidence doesn’t support them? Notice the glaring lack of mention of the methodology.

What a huge disappointment that must have been for NIWA — but there was more to come. Continue Reading →

7SS – R.I.P.

dead parrot

Stone dead

NIWA’s long-defended ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch… it rests in peace, bereft of life, demised; it has shuffled off its mortal coil, its metabolic processes now history.

On the eve of Christmas, when nobody was looking, NIWA declared that New Zealand had a new official temperature record (the NZT7) and whipped the 7SS off its website.

NIWA’s spin-doctor, Network PR, likes to pretend that the NZT7 is really only a ‘revised’ version of Jim Salinger’s original 7SS. So when does a revision become a replacement? Continue Reading →

Nothing random about NIWA

no dice? loaded dice?

Loaded dice for temperature record?

In producing a new temperature record for New Zealand (NZT7), NIWA has again adjusted the raw measurements. Whilst no systemic error was found, one-off issues were raised by random site changes, especially during the early decades of the 20th century.

Curiously, NIWA’s adjustments are not random. Instead, their changes display a near-perfect symmetry, where amplitude is directly proportionate to age. Small adjustments apply to the 1950s, grow larger back in the 1940s, and larger still in the 1930s – before reaching their apogee in 1910-20.

Could this have happened by chance?

Continue Reading →

ETS review just for show

The Gisborne Herald of 12 January, 2011, carried the following letter from my good friend Neil Henderson, founder of Climate Realists, and who has kindly consented to this republication. We might all learn from Neil’s wonderful political instincts. I could mention that the 23% Neil mentions, by which our present emissions exceed our 1990 emissions, match the population increase we have experienced since then. Nick Smith doesn’t mention it, though.

ETS ‘game’ achieves very little

THE terms of reference for the 2011 review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have been announced. The need for an ETS in the first place is not up for review, so one must ask “why bother having a review?” If Minister Nick Smith and his colleagues are so convinced the science is settled on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), then why do they not get on with the action instead of fluffing around?

Neil Henderson

Neil Henderson

Let me illustrate with an analogy. Suppose river flow experts told us that the Waipaoa river system was changing in such a way that the present flood protection system would allow Gisborne to be flooded so often in 50 years that the city would be unsafe to live in. They further calculated that to maintain the present level of protection the stopbanks would need to be raised two metres. It is obvious that if we decide to only raise the banks by half a metre, our city would be in grave danger of regular flooding.

The “experts” advising on AGW argue that we need to restrict warming to no more than another two degrees. Reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 is considered by them to be the minimum action required to achieve this. Our Government accepts the need to hold the temperature rise to two degrees. Why then are they procrastinating about the action required? Continue Reading →

Trading on our emotions

clouds in the thin air

Never more truth said in error

Brian Fallow, in the Herald today, emphasis added (h/t Richard Cumming):

“The review, to be chaired by David Caygill, is a statutory requirement. It is expressly not to revisit the issues, debated at tedious length for at least the past decade, about whether New Zealand should be taking action on climate change at all or whether an emotions trading scheme is the most appropriate response.”

Oh, the emotions trading scheme? Ha-ha! His error illuminates an inconvenient truth about the ETS! It’s founded on emotion. Yes, Brian, I know it was a simple mistake, saying ’emotions’ instead of ’emissions’, but it reveals a great deal about the ETS and it’s worth laughing at because you say it again! Further on:

The Obama Administration has acknowledged that a national cap-and-trade (emotions trading) scheme is a non-starter for at least the next couple of years. Japan has shelved its plans for an ETS. Climate policy in Australia remains up in the air.

There can be no clearer example of an “error” revealing the writer’s true thinking. For the ETS depends entirely on trading on our emotions. There’s no science persuading us to reduce our emissions — there’s no evidence. There’s only speculation and the electronic dreams of computer models. The activists convince us only through emotive appeals to save polar bears and other cuddly animals, using graphs of carbon dioxide and temperature to illustrate fraudulent descriptions of climate science. Continue Reading →

Wrong side of the pain

window in the snow

Thanks, Ross!

I just got off the phone with a friend in Minnesota.

He said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping below zero and the north wind is increasing. His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window all day. He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in.

Ross Muir

The very definition of stasis

UPDATE 22 JAN 2011

Temperatures dishonestly twisted

stasis: Latin; to stand; inactivity.

There is a simple trick by which the recent non-rising temperature record is pretended everywhere to be soaring dangerously.

A merry wee post at Treehugger put me on to this handy table of figures from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) State of the Climate report for 2010. The figures come from the National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) and show the top ten average global temperatures since 1997. I started thinking about them.

Notice that the table shows your (US) tax money at work — public scientists toiling for the good of their fellow citizens, finding never-ending practical uses for the torrent of objective science pouring from publicly-funded institutions, laboratories and universities. A process which no doubt repeats itself in progressive democracies around the world. Continue Reading →

Record warming caused by El Nino, not us

Global Warming Science Fiction cartoon

One or the other, but not both

Our warming nerve has been over-stimulated. Every time we hear of warming we get defensive and/or afraid for the future.

But there’s an important feature to the latest “record high” years we would do well to remember — humanity had nothing to do with them.

Dr Roy Spencer discusses the 2010 global average temperature on his web site, concluding that the difference between 2010 and the previous record high year, 1998, is hardly worth mentioning.

In 1998, the world experienced the greatest El Nino ever recorded, pushing temperatures to a new record.

In 2010, the world again experienced a very strong El Nino. Fuelled by that alone, 2010 might have been another record year but for the end-game intervention of a very deep La Nina, which immediately dragged temperatures down so they did not exceed the high temperatures of 1998.

But it’s rather obvious that neither record year owes anything to man-made global warming. The high temperatures were caused by the natural cycles of the ENSO.

This is non-controversial and nobody denies it.

If anyone disputes this, and says it’s all been “exacerbated” by our emissions of CO2, they must answer this:

In 2010, the global average temperature anomaly was about +0.411 °C. How much of that was caused by human emissions?

If human emissions were responsible for, say, 0.4 °C over the last hundred years (which is disputed), that’s the same as an annual increase of 0.004 °C, which was neither here nor there in determining whether 2010 set a record temperature.

Be neither guilty, nor afraid.

Green power generates red ink

quill pen
To the Editor
Climate Conversation

12th December 2010

It’s time to end the mollycoddling of wind and solar energy toys before this stupidity does irreversible damage to Australia’s electricity supply and costs.

The mindless green dream of producing serious base load power from whimsical breezes and intermittent sunbeams has caused a halt to new low-cost coal power, a boom in expensive gas power, a national debate about nuclear power and no effect at all on global climate.

The frivolous wind and solar generators already installed have caused a surge in electricity prices, a bonanza for Chinese manufacturers and well founded doubts about our future ability to keep the lights on.

Provision of cheap reliable energy is a basic requirement for modern civilisation and is the engine that lifts people from poverty. It is far too important to be left to green dreamers, anti-industrial zealots, vote seeking politicians, engineering illiterates and guilt-ridden millionaires.

It is already obvious from Denmark, Spain, California and Germany that subsidising green power creates very little power but much red ink in the accounts. It always causes massive burdens for tax payers, electricity consumers and industry. Tax payers and investors will rue the day they allowed politicians to waste their savings on chimeras.

Get rid of all the mandated markets, subsidies and tax breaks for all energy generators, and leave power engineers and business managers to work out how best to supply our future energy needs in a free competitive market.

Subsidised power must collapse under its own dead weight. But every day’s delay increases the eventual cost.

Viv Forbes

More proof global temps lag SOI

SOI forecast January 2011

NIWA, listen to this, it’s amazing

UPDATE 1, 11 JAN 2011, 09:30 NZDT

On December 1 last year, we wrote about Bryan Leyland’s prediction of significant cooling before the end of the year coming true. You can see from the chart exactly what happened. Not only that, it would appear that the temperature has not finished going down yet.

This remarkable forecast, now some eight months old, comes out of a 2009 paper showing a lagged correlation between global temperatures and the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI), calculated from fluctuations in the air pressure difference between Tahiti and Darwin, and indicative also of the start (and the state) of a La Nina (as now) or an El Nino. This correlation is a lot more convincing than comparing global temperature with CO2 levels! Continue Reading →

Computer model is not evidence

NZ Herald crest

Letter sent to the Herald on 7 Jan, 2011
quill pen

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that you published a (further) letter from a Dr Doug Campbell, again challenging Professor Chris de Freitas’ recent article about the science of global warming. Dr Campbell said: “The facts support anthropogenic global warming with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting in warming of between 2 °C and 4.5 °C.”

I wish to point out that, as a matter of fact, that is not a fact.

Dr de Freitas was talking about an expected temperature increase from carbon dioxide alone of about 1 °C, and he mentioned that was, “by itself, relatively small” and “not controversial.”

Dr Campbell, if he disagrees with that, should cite his authority for doing so. The only source of temperature increases greater than one degree is various computer climate models. These models give different results on each run. Continue Reading →

Straight talking on that crooked consensus

crooked line

Crooked.

Lawrence Solomon: 97% cooked stats

First published in the Financial Post, Jan 3, 2011
(h/t Gary Kerkin)

How do we know there’s a scientific consensus on climate change? Pundits and the press tell us so. And how do the pundits and the press know? Until recently, they typically pointed to the number 2,500 — that’s the number of scientists associated with the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Those 2,500, the pundits and the press believed, had endorsed the IPCC position.

To their embarrassment, most of the pundits and press discovered they were mistaken — those 2,500 scientists hadn’t endorsed the IPCC’s conclusions, they had merely reviewed some part or other of the IPCC’s mammoth studies. To add to their embarrassment, many of those reviewers from within the IPCC establishment actually disagreed with the IPCC’s conclusions, sometimes vehemently. Continue Reading →

NZ vs S. Hemisphere temperatures

The “Seven-Station Series” (7SS) constituting the official New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is analysed and compared with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) temperature record using an interesting new data analysis technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD).

UPDATE 1, 10 JAN 2011, 22:28 NZDT

Analysis of temperature trends usually employs extrinsic data smoothing techniques such as regression, moving average and Fourier filtering, but there is a more appropriate technique available.

Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is an intrinsic data analysis technique now being used across a number of disciplines, including climatology. You can find out more from these two background papers: On the trend, detrending, and variability of nonlinear and nonstationary time series (Wu et al., 2007)(pdf) and Analysis of Temperature Change under Global Warming Impact using Empirical Mode Decomposition (Molla et al., 2007)(pdf). If you want to study EMD in detail, there’s a lot of help available — even a free command line utility.

EMD uses a sifting algorithm that filters the data until an overall adaptive trend (monotonic residual) is revealed. The first paper linked above shows how a decadal trend was also extracted from the global record but the 100-year 7SS time-frame used here is too short to do the same. A longer 7SS record would probably reveal an intermediate decadal trend similar to that presented plus an overall trend that cannot be extracted (by this author) from the 7SS at its current length. Continue Reading →

Tepid support from BoM

Sydney Opera House at dusk

Constrained support

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), like the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand, is an advisory group of Government scientists responsible for the compilation and maintenance of official temperature records.

After NIWA scientists rewrote the official NZ temperature record — the Seven-Station Series — during 2010, their ‘Review Report’ included a letter of support from the BoM. This was seen as necessary, as NIWA’s credibility had been somewhat strained by its lengthy (and ultimately futile) defence of the old record.

Some are critical of the selection of the Bureau to review work by NIWA, as both groups have been widely criticised (especially in the blogosphere) for applying the same biases and questionable adjustment methods. See, for example, Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!? at Jo Nova’s blog.

As climate archivists, both agencies are extensively engaged in the work of the IPCC; and both are firmly of the school of thought led by Professor Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The NZ Climate Science Coalition wrote to Science Minister Wayne Mapp, suggesting the appointment of two genuinely independent reviewers, and putting forward names of highly regarded scientists and statisticians. Continue Reading →

Figures he doesn’t believe

CCG site traffic figures

Analyse this!

Perhaps I bang these traffic figures into this post like slamming a report onto the desk.

Just hear the satisfying report!

After firmly refusing and being advised to refuse, I grudgingly present the traffic figures for the first seven days of this month. They apply, as the screen dumps make clear, only to the subdomain ‘climateconversation’, not to the whole ‘wordshine’ domain.

Ken will get no more than this from me. I do this only to remove the bad taste that lingers in my mouth after being accused of lying by a man whose admitted aim is quarrel, dissent and discord. That’s what you told me, Ken, isn’t it?

Who knows what innocent visitor might have that unsubstantiated slur stick? Where might it again surface? Better to strangle it at birth — and strangle it with the truth. Better many things had such short lives. Pity more don’t.

What the figures mean, I don’t know. If there are deficiencies in them, point them out, argue about them. I prefer to spend my time fighting climate ignorance and spreading climate facts.

But in this thread, at least, these inane hostilities will not be off topic.

CCG site traffic figures

Many surprised to learn global warming basics

From the pen of Chris de Freitas comes this short but compelling narrative, inspired and inspiring, and calming, like a cool balm on an inflammation. Read it and watch the heat from the global warming debate dissipate and important issues clarify. Reprinted here with Chris’ kind permission.

Chris de Freitas: Emotion clouding underlying science of global warming

First published in the NZ Herald, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Jan 5, 2011
Professor de Freitas

Professor de Freitas

Unlike most other hot-button environmental issues, global warming is widely misunderstood. As a climate scientist, thinking about this, it struck me that it was not surprising, since accounts of the scientific basics of global warming almost never appear anywhere in the press.

There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers that might accompany such an account. In their place is a necessarily brief summary.

Most people are not shocked to learn that global warming discussions evoke polarised views, but many are surprised to discover that the scientific basics are not contentious. An awareness of these is helpful in building an understanding of the extent to which there is a problem and how it might be addressed. Continue Reading →

The 11SS — a Dog that didn’t bark

a stunned dog

Too stunned to bark.

One of the best-known episodes in The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes is “Silver Blaze”, concerning “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time”. Curiously, the dog did nothing. Sherlock rightly deduced that because the dog didn’t bark, there could have been no intruder.

A similar deduction may be made in regard to the silence which now surrounds NIWA’s heavily promoted “Eleven-Station Series” (11SS).

Interested observers naturally expected that the 11SS would again feature strongly in the NIWA Review Report as support for the new NZTR. But, to their utter surprise, they discovered that it’s been left out!

The Review Report flails around seeking supporting evidence from sea temperatures, wind flows, etc., but there is nary a word about the once-talismanic 11SS. One may scour the whole 169 pages, and delve among the footnotes, to no avail.

The 11SS is highly conspicuous in its absence. As it does not bark in the Review Report, we can surmise that it will never bark again. Although it did not join the 7SS in being whipped off the website within hours, it appears to be an equally deceased canine. Continue Reading →

Rotted minds at Hot Topic

UPDATE 1, 2 JAN 2011, 23:10 NZT

An answer for RW, of Hot Topic — see end.


There, I did it again — ventured over to Hot Topic. When will I learn?

Briefly optimistic someone wanted answers and really was listening, I was called liar and worse, then quickly censored. “Open and frank discussion forum”, indeed!

I’m posting the deleted response to Gareth’s demand for an apology and a reply to an HT reader. diessoli — see the end of this post for my response to your comments.

WARNING

What follows is just “I said, he said” argy-bargy. It’s not important and is posted simply to document my last encounter with the proprietor at Hot Topic, Gareth Renowden. I think the exchange typifies his lack of charity and his stubborn refusal to admit that NIWA has made or even could make a mistake, but others will have a different opinion.

It started with a visit to read about an ‘award’ HT published (actually recycled from the Pacific Institute) — the 2010 Climate B.S. of the Year Award. NOTE: BS means Bad Science, apparently. Anyway, you can verify my conversation there if you’ve a mind to hurt yourself.

I left a short note pointing out the hilarity of awarding a prize to four unrelated statements and making a couple of comments. Gareth asked me, as he often does, to apologise for my “smear campaign against NZ climate scientists.”

I sent this response: Continue Reading →

Ignore climate fakirs and shamans

quill pen
To the Editor
Climate Conversation

1st January 2011

Queensland has wasted millions on the global warming industry. Residents would be better off had they spent it on water storage, flood gauges and flood-proofing of highways, railways and airports.

Europe and USA have wasted billions on the global warming industry. Residents would be better off had they spent it on reliable power stations and snow-proofing of highways, railways and airports.

Climate change and extreme weather have endangered every generation of humans. But this is the first generation that has sacrificed its savings on the altars of the climate gods instead of preparing for whatever weather shocks we may encounter.

“We can forecast and control the weather” has always been the false promise of fakirs and shamans.

Sensible people make sure they have the equipment to cope with extreme weather events.

It’s time to ignore climate fakirs and shamans, and cease paying tributes to them.

Viv Forbes