Prof Kelly shows the middle way

Principled sceptical stance

An extraordinary letter to the Taranaki Daily News (copied to Climate Conversation) from a climate sceptic well-placed to hear and and well-qualified to judge competing sides in the global warming controversy. Professor Kelly’s written testimony to the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee, for The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails, published on 25 January 2011, set out pointed questions directed to Jones and Briffa. This letter, clear and moderate, is in stark contrast to Miss Stewart’s anguished squalling and offers those who share her beliefs an easy delivery from the gut-wrenching fears of their own alarming predictions: check the facts. We echo Prof Kelly’s appeal for moderate language because so-called climate change has a profound importance for the vast amounts of money in it, the tyranny it’s bringing over our lives and the damage being done in its name to scientific integrity. (I hope the Daily News publishes the letter.)

4 June 2011

Dear Editor,

As a New Plymouth Boy, I would like you to do me a favour and let Rachel Stewart know that I think she is doing journalism a disservice.

I expect better from my home town.

An ancient foot in the mouth

It is perfectly possible to adopt a position, as I have, of ‘a principled climate science scepticism.’ It is based on the fact that every time an engineering-standard analysis is done of the climate data, one ends up contradicting the results of the climate change modellers. I am heavily involved in the debate in the UK.

My views on the East Anglian Science are on the web, and in the UK Parliamentary record. See pp21ff of The Reviews into the University of East Anglia’s Climatic Research Unit’s E-mails.

If she cares to take a look at the attached ppt slides, she will see that there is a systematic divergence, now 16 years old, between the modelling results and the actual data on climate temperatures. At what point do we accept the data over the IPCC models?

She might like to look at the recent analysis by Pat Franks which tightens the conclusion that the anthropogenic contribution is at most 0.3°C per century. This concludes that it is rising temperatures that are increasing the atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the other way round.

Can I plead for temperate language in this debate as trillions of dollars are at risk of being misinvested?

I am involved in another area of controversy, namely nanotechnology, and when you add in controversies in biomedicine, there is enough around to suggest that the scientific process is being corrupted, and is in need of reining in. You will see my views on this when the Royal Society publishes the evidence it receives in its study of ‘Science as a Public Enterprise‘.

Engineers take legal liability for their work, and can be sued if they are wrong. This should also apply more widely to those who pronounce in the public domain on matters of policy. This would then confine statements to a more measured and nuanced standard.

I hope my points are clear: there is a principled sceptical stance to be taken about the causes of the measured global warming.

Michael Kelly
Professor Michael J. Kelly, FRS, FREng,
Prince Philip Professor of Technology,
Centre for Advanced Photonics and Electronics,
Department of Engineering,
University of Cambridge,
9 JJ Thompson Avenue,
Cambridge CB3 0FA,


This is the basis of the graphic Professor Kelly presents in the Powerpoint slide he refers to above.

Akasofu graph 2010

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49 Thoughts on “Prof Kelly shows the middle way

  1. Flipper on 05/06/2011 at 1:44 pm said:

    This is excellent……,
    Richard T
    Can you email me please. I have lost your email address.
    Tks & KBO!

  2. Andy on 05/06/2011 at 2:24 pm said:

    Thanks for a very valuable contribution from Prof Kelly.

  3. Andy on 05/06/2011 at 9:50 pm said:

    Prof Kelly was, of course, involved in the UEA (climategate) enquiries

    Steve McIntyre has a summary of Michael Kelly’s quotes here:

    As Judith Curry says in the comments on this post, MK is “spot on”.

    My feelings too. I just hadn’t joined the dots and realised that MK was a New Zealander.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2011 at 10:03 pm said:

    Cometh the hour, cometh the man. And we really need men and women like Prof Kelly.

    Re Akasofu’s projection. A pity there is an omission of the alternative 2010 – 2030 trend that Scafetta presents which looks similar to 1940 – 1975 i.e relatively flat. I know there are plenty of Maunder Minimum type predictions around but I think the alternatives are flat vs cold rather than warm vs cold.

    Interesting too, that many of the conditions that AGW predict will be valid around 2050 – 2060 if the natural cycle plays out but to a lessor degree. Fossil fuel emissions wont be to blame but I’m sure that The Team (and cheerleaders) will be saying “I told you so”. Being 40 years older they will probably be appreciating some warmer weather though, I know I will if I’m still around. Winter heating costs are bad enough now so I dread the thought of a cooler clime on the way.

  5. Andy on 06/06/2011 at 10:38 am said:

    Bishop Hill has also linked to this story after I left a short comment in his unthreaded section.

  6. Alexander K on 07/06/2011 at 12:40 am said:

    A marvellous letter from Prof Kelly and a very reasoned and welcome antidote to the strident, unscientific and unprofessional green nonsense of Ms Stewart.

  7. Pingback: The (un)principled sceptic

    • Andy on 08/06/2011 at 11:34 am said:

      Nice set of responses to this on HT so far

      e.g RW: These unprincipled characters are giving us AWMs a very bad name! Moral cowardice of the worst sort, that’s what they all have in common.

      and the ageist, racist comment from robint
      Now this is a surprise – an aging white male at the top of his little hierarchy thinks that AGW is bogus?

      Compared with Judith Curry’s comments at Climate Audit:

      Michael Kelly’s comments are absolutely spot on.

      I can’t really comment on the specific articles that Kelly references as I haven’t read them, but I think his general comments on the scientific process that he made during the Oxburgh inquiry were very appropriate. It is often the engineering disciplines that are critical of climate science (and other science too, for that matter) because of the (apparent) lack of process, transparency, and accountability. This is particularly true of the IPCC’s role, in my view.

    • Andy on 08/06/2011 at 3:01 pm said:

      Pat Frank makes some observations worth reading in respect to this post over at BH:

      Comment number 21 or so

  8. Robert on 09/06/2011 at 2:02 am said:

    Guess it should be mentioned that Pat Frank’s method has been completely eviscerated by an expert in statistics and mathematics…

    • Hi Robert, I’m glad you mentioned this.

      I’m advised that, if you read all that Kelly said, you will note that Frank merely corroborates what Akasofu observed and that is that the climate models are missing the key feature of the actual climate data for 15 years now, namely that the temperature is flat and turning down, and not rising ever more steeply.

      When faced with this dilemma, when do the modellers accept that something is wrong? Akasofu is a more useful and superior source than the climate modellers to engineers that have to decide on what to do in terms of mitigation or adaptation over the next decade. That does not guarantee that Akasofu’s prediction will be right, but it is pretty good so far.

      There is a venerable history in solid state physics of using fits to data to try to establish possible mathematical forms that any subsequent theory should reproduce – that’s how much of magnetism was sorted out. You will see that is what Akasofu proceeds to do.

  9. Cthulhu on 09/06/2011 at 12:01 pm said:

    Actually you should audit that graph a little better.

    There are a myriad problems with the data handling.

    For one thing the dot shows 2008, why not 2010?

    more seriously though the 2008 dot is not even aligned correctly on the y-axis. It seems to exist in 2010.

    Furthermore the graph in the PPT and the graph here are both different. There are more serious problems with alignment in the previous graph.

    If you do this analysis with the same data properly you’ll actually find the temperatures are at the high end of the IPCC range.

    • I don’t know that these are serious deficiencies, even if true, although showing the measured temps to be at the high end of the IPCC range would be serious! Would you please show what you mean by doing the analysis properly?

  10. Cthulhu on 09/06/2011 at 12:07 pm said:

    I might as well mention the serious error in the graph in the PPT slide.

    If you trace the data you find it uses the GISTEMP land stations dataset. But notice the data has been cut off around 2000. Yet the graph was first published in 2008.

    If the data is carried forward past 2000 there is no peak and in fact the data runs into the upper end of the IPCC projection:

    I guess this is the reason why people who matter don’t take the likes of Prof Kelly seriously. Especially when he also pushes even worse nonsense about the CO2 rise being caused by the temperature rise.

    • That’s interesting, Cthulhu. First, please explain why “higher temperatures raise CO2 levels” is nonsense, because it sounds like good physics to me.

      Second, the basic shape of the recent global mean surface temperature is well known from the satellite record — in other words, it rises to the end of the 20th century then falters, almost falling. However, you’re nit-picking an argument based on fractions of a degree, when the accuracy of the thermometer record is scandalously well established and renders your reasoning a carping nonentity. But there might be something to what you say, so please explain the difference between your “Fig.A” graph and this from GISS data published a few weeks ago:

      The GISS Fig.A graph is climaxing nonsensically, in contradiction of the observed data in four or five other datasets. They’re an obvious outlier. But if you can explain why we should take it seriously, we will.

      Please explain why NASA refuse the data from their own satellites in favour of error-ridden, deprecated, abandoned and greatly diminishing surface stations that leave significant areas of the globe unmeasured and requiring “infilling”.

    • Andy on 09/06/2011 at 1:32 pm said:

      I guess this is the reason why people who matter don’t take the likes of Prof Kelly seriously

      Who are “people that matter”?

      Those sucking at the teat of climate science funding, perhaps?

    • Bob D on 09/06/2011 at 2:17 pm said:

      Nobody uses GISTEMP. Even Hansen’s office admitted it isn’t as good as Hadley (global) or NCDC (US).

      Since this is a technical question and Dr. Hansen is busy this
      afternoon, I’ll answer it: .
      No, your statement is NOT correct; to get the US means, NCDC’s procedure
      of only using the best stations is more accurate. If that were our goal,
      we would proceed in the same way. Actually, whenever we report on US
      means in our publications, we recompute all US means using only USHCN
      My recommendation to you is to continue using NCDC’s data for the US
      means and Phil Jones’ data for the global means. Our method is geared to
      getting the global mean and large regional means correctly enough to
      assess our model results.
      We are basically a modeling group and were forced into rudimentary
      analysis of global observed data in the 70’s and early 80’s since nobody
      else was doing that job at the time. Now we happily combine NCDC’s and
      Hadley Center’s data to get what we need to evaluate our model results.
      For that purpose, what we do is more than accurate enough. But we have
      no intention to compete with either of the other two organizations in
      what they do best.

      There is, in my opinion, no excuse anyway for using any of the surface temperature records for any post-1978 analysis, because of the satellite records (UAH and RSS) that now exist. They monitor 24/7, and exclude only a tiny portion of the planet at the poles.

      If one must use the surface records to check IPCC projections, then this is a better graph.

    • Bob D on 09/06/2011 at 3:00 pm said:


      If you trace the data you find it uses the GISTEMP land stations dataset.

      I guess this is the reason why people who matter don’t take the likes of Prof Kelly seriously.

      So, Cthulhu, the “people who matter” are very clever, aren’t they? They can determine exactly where the data came from, even when the data source is clearly referenced. And yet they still get it wrong.
      The PPT clearly references Akasofu. Get the paper here:

      Note that the PPT simply shows Akasofu’s graph (fig. 9). In clear text on Fig 9 is this:

      Global mean over Land and Ocean

      and also:


      Note also that just below the graph, in the text, is this:

      The blue line is taken from the NOAA data shown in a small box above the large box.

      And if this isn’t enough, look in the References section, under ref [42] and you’ll find:


      Follow the link through and you’ll find the graph as displayed.
      Now look at the graph. Note that the graph is exactly as displayed by Akasofu.

      So, your contention that Akasofu used GISTEMP, and only the land values, is looking a little frayed right now. As is your criticism of both Akasofu and Prof Kelly.

  11. Cthulhu on 09/06/2011 at 12:08 pm said:

    It’s high time Akasofu was questioned about these graphs btw.

  12. Anivegmin on 09/06/2011 at 2:59 pm said:

    The Pat Frank article on WUWT is just an amateurish curve fitting exercise that has absolutely no meaning. See as linked to by Robert above.

    As for the Akasofu graph and – “If she cares to take a look at the attached ppt slides, she will see that there is a systematic divergence, now 16 years old, between the modelling results and the actual data on climate temperatures. At what point do we accept the data over the IPCC models?” I am reminded of a similar act of misrepresentation performed by Christopher Monckton. This short presentation – – reveals the Akasofu graph and Professor Kelly’s statement to be (let’s not put too fine a point on it) complete bullshit.

    • Bob D on 10/06/2011 at 3:45 pm said:

      This short presentation – – reveals the Akasofu graph and Professor Kelly’s statement to be (let’s not put too fine a point on it) complete bullshit.

      Please explain how the presentation you link to (that deals exclusively with Monckton’s graph) “reveals the Akasofu graph and Professor Kelly’s statement to be … complete bullshit.” How exactly is a supposed refutation of Monckton’s graph related to Akasofu’s graph?

  13. Bob D on 09/06/2011 at 3:27 pm said:

    This short presentation – – reveals the Akasofu graph and Professor Kelly’s statement to be (let’s not put too fine a point on it) complete bullshit.

    Difficult to know where to begin with this one. Akasofu never references or mentions Monckton, neither does Prof Kelly. If we want to check the temperatures against the IPCC projections, all we need to do is look here:
    Dr Liljegren is not a denier, and she also doesn’t like Monckton’s approach in his graph. However, her graphs are obtained by taking the actual model run data and the actual NCDC data, not by digitizing Monckton’s graphs or some other method.
    So the data clearly shows that global temperatures are tracking well below the A1B scenario, even with the large sigma spread. The IPCC A1B scenario predicted 0.21°C/decade. We are currently seeing close to zero.

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 09/06/2011 at 8:44 pm said:

    @ Robert, Cthulhu, Anivegmin.

    This may come as news to you guys, but Akasofu’s graph is corroborated by other studies including:-

    Zhaohua Wu et al, 2007 (Using CRU data note)

    Scafetta 2010

    Keenlyside et al., 2008].

    Your “evisceration” is invited on these three but don’t relax – there’s more to come if you REALLY want to continue down this track.

  15. Anivegmin on 10/06/2011 at 11:43 am said:

    Sorry for the delayed reply. I’m very busy.

    @Bob D

    I didn’t say that Monckton was referenced, only that a similar misrepresentation was being performed – Dr Kellys 16 year systematic divergence, and the Akasofu graph showing a cherry picked single year red dot outside the IPCC predictions, together with a bizarre prediction of his own. ! Are you serious? A trend close to zero! Over a 10 year period!

    Luckily Lucia provides us with a time period that gives us a more reasonable estimate of the current trend – This shows a 30 year trend of approximately 0.16 C. Not a trend close to zero! Looks to me like a trend pretty close to IPCC estimates.

    For the A1B scenario the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report 2007 predicts a best estimate temperature change of 2.8 C within a likely range of 1.7-4.4 C by the end of this century (Table SPM.3). Also – “For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios.” That’s from 2007 – 4 years ago! Give it a chance.

    @Richard C

    Again a curve fitting exercise that calls a cyclical curve of 2 cycles a trend! WTF! The following quote from the paper gives the game away – “The origin of this 65-year time scale is not completely clear because there is no known external force that varies with such a time scale.” Exactly, this so called trend is not based on any physics, it’s just a meaningless curve.

    Oh I can’t be bothered to trawl through this. I am not a climate scientist, all I can say is this paper runs counter to the established literature and the conclusions of the IPCC

    Not sure in what way this corroborates Akasofu? I don’t even know who Akasofu is. I don’t have the time. Also this paper is criticised by climate scientists –

    • Bob D on 10/06/2011 at 2:35 pm said:


      …reveals the Akasofu graph and Professor Kelly’s statement to be (let’s not put too fine a point on it) complete bullshit.

      I don’t even know who Akasofu is. I don’t have the time.

      Syun Akasofu is a highly respected scientist. No doubt your own qualifications and experience are greater than his.

      Since you don’t have the time or inclination to check up on people whose work you refer to as “complete bullshit” (while freely admitting you haven’t even read the work) I’ve reproduced some of his awards below:
      * 1976 – Chapman Medal, Royal Astronomical Society
      * 1977 – The Japan Academy of Sciences Award
      * 1979 – Fellow of the American Geophysical Union (AGU)
      * 1979 – John Adam Fleming Medal, AGU
      * 1980 – Named a Distinguished Alumnus by UAF
      * 1981 – Named one of the “1,000 Most-Cited Contemporary Scientists by Current Contents
      * 1985 – First recipient of the Sydney Chapman Chair professorship, UAF
      * 1985 – Special Lecture for the Emperor of Japan on the aurora (October 3)
      * 1986 – Member of the International Academy of Aeronautics, Paris
      * 1987 – Named one of the “Centennial Alumni” by the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges
      * 1993 – Japan Foreign Minister’s Award for Promoting International Relations and Cultural Exchange between Japan and Alaska
      * 1996 – Japan Posts and Telecommunications Minister Award for Contributions to the US-Japan Joint Project on Environmental Science in Alaska
      * 1997 – Edith R. Bullock Prize for Excellence, University of Alaska
      * 1999 – Alaskan of the Year – Denali Award
      * 2002 – Named one of the “World’s Most Cited Authors in Space Physics” by Current Contents ISI
      * 2003 – Order of the Sacred Treasures, Gold and Silver Stars by the Emperor of Japan
      * 2011 – European Geosciences Union, Hannes Alfvén Medal

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/06/2011 at 8:59 pm said:


      Again a curve fitting exercise that calls a cyclical curve of 2 cycles a trend! WTF! The following quote from the paper gives the game away – “The origin of this 65-year time scale is not completely clear because there is no known external force that varies with such a time scale.” Exactly, this so called trend is not based on any physics, it’s just a meaningless curve.

      Not “a cyclical curve” but an underlying curve overlaid with a cyclical curve – please pay attention. Scafetta’s “curve fitting excercise” assigns a quadratic equation to the underlying trend and EMD analysis corroborates (i.e. it is not related to CO2 emissions).

      No known force but ample correlations (far better than CO2 – see Scafetta and Keenlyside) The reason that the exact cause(s) is(are) not proven is that there has not been the focus of science (and billions of dollars) on this avenue of research that there has been chasing the AGW Chimera. [See Chimera (mythology) “……..a monstrous fire-breathing female creature………The term chimera has also come to mean, more generally, an impossible or foolish fantasy, hard to believe”]

      Oh I can’t be bothered to trawl through this. I am not a climate scientist, all I can say is this paper runs counter to the established literature and the conclusions of the IPCC

      Can’t be bothered or prefer to remain blinkered to all but that which panders to your confirmation bias? It takes a great deal of effort to stay abreast of emerging science (and the mountain of studies to date) but you never will if you “can’t be bothered” to trawl through it (good grief, it’s only one paper – how hard can it be?). That the paper “runs counter to the established literature and the conclusions of the IPCC” is an astute observation on the other hand and the point entirely because the IPCC “can’t be bothered” either. There are literally hundreds of such papers.

      Not sure in what way this corroborates Akasofu? I don’t even know who Akasofu is. I don’t have the time. Also this paper is criticised by climate scientists

      Keenlyside shows that natural variations of a cyclical nature override anthropogenic warming. His prediction; “Our results suggest that global surface temperature may not increase over the next decade, as natural climate variations in the North Atlantic and tropical Pacific temporarily offset the projected anthropogenic warming” is a direct result of the hindcast success of incorporating natural variation GCM initialization instead of relying solely on the normal IPCC table of forcings which are anthropogenic except for TSI but do not facilitate skillful hindcasts.

      I would take it as given that this paper’s prediction is “criticised” by The Team at RC – so what?.

      I realize that you are very busy and not inclined to be bothered but just in case you harbour a glimmer of curiosity as to the case for natural variation providing answers to what drives the climate and the means to make useful climatic predictions that AGW does not, I’ve saved you some time. See:-

      The Primary and Secondary Climate Drivers.

      A compilation of papers and articles evidencing solar, lunar, cosmic ray and celestial influence on climate change.


    • Nice work Richard. But the Goggle compilation doesn’t work.

    • Andy on 10/06/2011 at 9:53 pm said:

      RT – for the Google doc to work, you have to have a gmail account and be logged into it when you click on the link (I think)

    • OK, but it timed out twice before getting that far. I’ll try again.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/06/2011 at 10:46 pm said:

      Works OK for me but I’m accessing my own Doc. I’ll email you a copy tomorrow.

      Anyone else that wants a copy emailed, leave your address here.

  16. Bob D on 10/06/2011 at 12:35 pm said:


    Are you serious? A trend close to zero! Over a 10 year period!

    The trend from Jan 2001 to the present is, as shown, close to zero, so yes I suppose it’s fair to say I’m serious. I wouldn’t be serious if I claimed, for example, that the trend was 0.21°C/decade, as some have done.
    The trend from 1980 is interesting, but of no account when checking IPCC model runs from 2001 using the SRES A1B scenario. That’s why Dr Liljegren is checking against 2001. The fact that the IPCC continued to use these predictions in 2007 despite the evidence by then that they weren’t all that accurate is the IPCC’s problem, not mine. I’m simply showing that the model runs over-predict the climate temperature response, from the moment they were run.
    I expect this situation to continue. In five to ten years time the discrepency will be greater, and it’ll be even more obvious that the models were incorrect. The reason they are incorrect, I suspect, is they all assume positive feedbacks from water vapour, and are programmed with a climate sensitivity that is too high. I’m not an expert on the models, you may get a more detailed answer from Richard C, who has looked into them in more depth.

    But I suspect you’re missing the whole point of this discussion – the plot from Dr Liljegren is presented simply to confirm that Akasofu’s graph is valid. The NOAA/NCDC temperatures are in fact well below the IPCC predictions since 2001, contrary to Cthulhu’s claim above:

    If the data is carried forward past 2000 there is no peak and in fact the data runs into the upper end of the IPCC projection

    The data clearly does not run into the upper end of the IPCC projection.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 10/06/2011 at 10:12 pm said:

      @Bob, Anivegmin, all the IPCC models are hard-wired with “Representative Concentration Pathways” (RCPs). This means they inexorably react to the specified forcings that are fed to them. When a scenario or avenue of investigation is required, the call goes out to all the model institutions for simulations accompanied by forcing specifications lifted from the pre-compiled projections of concentrations for each scenario held in the RCP database (guesses basically) for all the modelers to adhere to (i.e. it’s a giant group-think exercise). There’s also a spin-up initialization spec using some dodgy values but ‘nuther story.

      I can expand on that process if required but I can’t think how WV concentrations are parameterized (if in fact they are) at the moment, I’d have to look that up and I don’t see WV in the RCP database. It is the parameterization of cloud using cloud super-parameterization modules that is revolutionizing GCMs and that is where the feedbacks come into play with the controversial negative feedback indications from the use of that technique. There’s a series of papers and articles I could link you to if you want to school up on this but it might be a week or so before I could put it together.

      RCP Database blurb

      RCP Database

      It’s worth clicking on a few variables and checking out the query results and charts. One thing I have never got around to (was supposed to be a project over last Christmas break) is to check how the RCP scenario (guessed) values tracked against actuals over the last decade, CO2 being the easiest to check.

      The whole shebang relies on the IPCC’s RF methodology being valid of course – that’s looking increasingly bogus.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 11/06/2011 at 8:31 pm said:

      Bob, two cloud SP model papers are:-

      1) A report by The Climate Process Team on Low-Latitude Cloud Feedbacks on Climate Sensitivity (cloud CPT) – Bretherton 06

      First finding:- The world’s first superparameterization climate sensitivity results show strong negative cloud feedbacks driven by enhancement of boundary layer clouds in a warmer climate.

      2) Climate sensitivity and cloud response of a GCM with a superparameterization – Wyant 06

      There’s also a revision but I don’t have a link right now.

      Discussion and Conclusions

      [20] We have presented the first climate sensitivity tests using superparameterization embedded within a conventional GCM. The overall climate sensitivity of SP-CAM for the
      Cess-type perturbation is relatively weak compared to other GCMs, but fairly similar to the climate sensitivity derived from limited duration aqua-planet simulations of the NICAM global CRM. [Note: CRM = cloud resolving model]

      [21] This weak sensitivity of SP-CAM is associated with negative net cloud forcing changes in both the tropics and the extra-tropics

      The IPCC would have known of this development prior to AR4 2007 but there will be no escaping it in AR5..

      Interesting too that Figure 1 Working Group I Workshop on Climate Sensitivity 2004 shows negative WV feedback from both observations and models.

      You might also be interested in my responses to Andy under the Methane post in regard to WV and CH4.

  17. Anivegmin on 10/06/2011 at 12:54 pm said:

    10 years does not constitute a trend of any real meaning.

  18. Bob D on 10/06/2011 at 1:03 pm said:

    10 years does not constitute a trend of any real meaning.

    The “real meaning” of a trend depends entirely on the nature of the underlying data. Hence statistical confidence limits, as shown in Lucia’s graph. Note where they fall.

  19. Bob D on 10/06/2011 at 1:17 pm said:

    While we’re on the subject of IPCC projections, Dr Clive Best has just put up an interesting blog post on the IPCC FAR predictions in 1990.

    The last graph is quite instructive. It shows that from 1990 to 2001, the projections appeared to be tracking according to plan. They were slightly below the Best estimate, but in 2000 it appeared they were catching up. However, from 2001 things haven’t gone at all well. CO2 has continued to climb unabated, but the temperatures flattened out. They are now somewhat below the lowest estimate.

    Will they catch up? Personally, I doubt it, based on the reasons I gave above. Every year that goes past means it becomes even harder to get back on track. And now that we’re beginning to understand more about the mechanisms driving clouds, we’re beginning to realise we won’t catch up.

  20. Alistair on 11/06/2011 at 9:15 pm said:

    The IPCC models are irretrievably broken because of two incorrect assumptions.

    1. ‘Back radiation’, an idea from Arthur Milne in 1922, has been shown by ex-NASA physicist Miskolczi to be a mathematical mistake. As a thought experiment, I’m on a beach and put up a wind break. Sand temperature rises so extra radiation exactly compensates lower convective heat transfer. Do it around the World and I’ve increased ‘back radiation’ by c. 20 times claimed AGW in the industrial age’: ludicrous.

    2. This ‘heating’ is supposedly compensated by ‘global dimming’, mostly polluted clouds with reduced droplet size. By 2004, NASA knew there was no experimental proof of it and as well as internal diffuse scattering there’s pseudo-reflection. Look at a thick cloud with coarsening droplets: it gets darker underneath, albedo increases. Plug lower ‘optical depth’ into the optical equations in the models, albedo should decrease.

    You correct the physics using Mie theory. At the first scattering, you get tremendous forward intensification. This then hits a second droplet and a few % of a very large number is backscattered. Because pollution turns this process off, it’s a powerful AGW and explains fast heating at the end of an ice age far better than CO2-AGW.

    In 2004, apparently to keep ‘cloud albedo effect’ cooling alive, the only ‘proof’ of ‘high feedback’, NASA claimed polluted clouds with smaller droplets have higher albedo because higher water surface area reflects more light. This is widely believed in climate science but is fake physics. AR4 is wrong: no IPCC climate model can predict climate.

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  22. Jamie Cawley on 21/06/2011 at 5:13 am said:

    There are many erudite critiques of the IPCC and other AGW forecasts but perhaps the simplest point is being missed: there is no such thing as a scientific weather forecast for any period longer than 2 weeks except that associted with El Nino. ‘Climate’ is defined as the average of 30 years weather. There is no reason or evidence to suggest that it is any more predictable than one year’s weather.

    Only one weather forecast, defined as predicted deviation from the annual average for temperature or precipitation, for any period longer two weeks has ever been validated as better than a random guess.

    The only exception is forecasts following an El Nino when, for wide areas of the southern and central Pacific and its American littoral, forecasts made for divergences for up to 12 months ahead have been shown to be broadly valid.

    It would perhaps fit the rationalist position a little better to stick to this point rather than present alternative forecasts; even if they do seem better founded there is no (current) reason to believe that they will be any more correct than a random guess or the IPCC.

    If we don’t know next month’s weather, or next year’s weather, there is no known process by which we could know next decade’s weather or the 30-year average we call climate.

    Jamie Cawley

    • Well said, Jamie. I would point out the possibility of Leyland getting outside those traditional limits on weather forecasts. The results he’s getting by using the SOI certainly look interesting.


    These are temperature sites I have found to be the best. You can track the weekly SST (sea surface temperature) anomaly at the first site, from 1990 to the present, and you will find the SST is now, and has been since the beginning of 2011, tracking at the same level as 20 years ago (i.e., 1991-2 versus 2011-12). Variations in the global mean surface temperature follow variations in the SST by about 7 months, and you can find–with Roy Spencer’s graphs of the former–that global mean surface temperature is also at the same level as 20 years ago.

    “Backradiation” is a scientific fraud, because it is emitted by the cooler atmosphere, absorbed by the surface, and re-emitted by the surface AT THE HIGHER TEMPERATURE OF THE SURFACE–which would require the surface to act as a free energy pump. Consensus climate scientist and their defenders refuse to see that obvious fact, so I looked for hard empirical evidence that would be definitive, that no one could deny, and found it very quickly:

    The word of my simple comparison of the temperatures in the atmospheres of Venus (with 96.5% carbon dioxide) and Earth (with a mere 0.04%) has been slowly growing, as it is a revolutionary finding, and an elementary analysis that should have been done 20 years ago, when the Venus data was obtained by the Magellan spacecraft. That no one did, is an indictment of the competency of all climate scientists, indicating that their science has been mistaught for at least a generation. In fact, my disproof of the IPCC-sponsored greenhouse effect, of increasing temperature with increasing carbon dioxide, also disconfirms the radiative transfer theory that underpins that greenhouse hypothesis–and that is holy writ indeed, for climate scientists who have been taught it as fact for over 40 years.

    At bottom, the failure of climate science–and this can be seen from my Venus/Earth comparison, which compared Earth’s Standard Atmosphere model for the troposphere with the detailed Venus data over the same pressure range, and confirmed the Standard Atmosphere as the equilibrium state of our atmosphere–is due to that science’s turning away from, or forgetting of, the Standard Atmosphere, which describes a STABLE atmosphere, not one prone to “runaway climate” at all. And you can thank Carl Sagan for selling the latter idea to the public and the scientific community back in the 1960’s, and his main acolyte, James Hansen (and if you are not familiar with Hansen as one of the central figures in the global warming debacle, it’s time you were). False dogma was allowed in and taught as fact for the past two generations, and shortcomings, errors and outright and outrageous manipulation of data sets has been the result (GISTEMP is not to be trusted, as it is the odd man out in comparison with other widely used data sets).

  24. Andy on 29/02/2012 at 7:35 pm said:

    Prof Kelly crops up again in a letter to The Times

    Sir, Andrew Motion (report, Feb 23) is correct to castigate climate change deniers, but he is profoundly mistaken in linking all those who oppose the current climate science orthodoxy into one group. The interpretation of the observational science has been consistently over-egged to produce alarm. All real-world data over the past 20 years has shown the climate models to be exaggerating the likely impacts — if the models cannot account for the near term, why should I trust them in the long term?
    I am most worried by the billions of pounds being misinvested and lost as a consequence. Look out to sea at the end of 2015 and see how many windmills are not turning and you will get my point: there are already 14,000 abandoned windmills onshore in the US. Premature technology deployment is thoroughly bad engineering, and my taxes are subsidising it against my will and professional judgment.
    Professor Michael Kelly
    Prince Philip Professor of Technology, Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge

  25. Andy on 29/10/2012 at 8:20 am said:

    Prof Kelly also has a letter published in a recent edition of the NZ Listener which I repeat verbatim here:

    In 1798, the Rev Thomas Malthus predicted civilisation in the UK would collapse through mass starvation by the mid-19th century because the population was growing faster than food production. Just as he spoke, the first fruits of the Industrial Revolution were ripening, with a trebling of the efficiency of farms through the use of machines. On Earth Day in 1970, several predictions were made by learned men, of which here are just two: “Civilisation will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” – George Wald, Harvard biologist. “By [1975], some experts feel that food shortages will have escalated the present level of world hunger and starvation into famines of unbelievable proportions. Other experts, more optimistic, think the ultimate food-population collision will not occur until the decade of the 1980s.” – Paul Ehrlich, Stanford University biologist. As a deep sceptic of such dire predictions, I have history on my side. My scepticism is also bolstered by the failures of the 1970 Club of Rome about our running out of minerals before now, and of those espousing imminent peak oil when our known reserves have never been higher. The weather this summer in the US is just that, weather, not climate. The weather was worse in the US in the dust bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in a mass exodus from Oklahoma to California. Today, if a dozen people went the same way, it would be big news in the connected world. The globally averaged surface temperature peaked in 1998, and has been on a slight downward trend since then. If recent history has any lessons, it is that this trend will not change until 2025, and maybe even later if the current low solar activity persists. Although Arctic ice is at a recent minimum, Antarctic ice is at a recent maximum. This is at a time when CO2 emissions continue to rise faster than ever, proof that man-made CO2 is at best weakly coupled to the climate. History tells us it’s entirely rational to be an optimist about the future. Certainly, improve the efficiency of our lives by sensible means, but don’t panic about the climate and espouse unproven and uneconomic technologies for climate mitigation.
    Michael Kelly
    Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge, and visiting professor at the MacDiarmid Institute, Victoria University of Wellington

  26. Andy on 03/07/2013 at 9:18 pm said:

    Mike Kelly writes in The TImes

    Sir, If we have rolling blackouts in the grid in the coming winters, where does the responsibility lie? Real engineers know that infrastructure projects take a decade to deliver. Our preoccupation with alternative energies that do not generate electricity for weeks on end in dark winters originates with the drafters of the Climate Change Bill, who should have taken heed of engineers. A lack of electricity on demand is characteristic of Third World countries, and our country has been betrayed that this should happen to us. We are contemplating sanctions for misbehaviour in the healthcare and banking sectors; why not in the energy policy sector?

    Professor Michael J. Kelly
    Prince Philip Professor of Technology, University of Cambridge

  27. Pingback: Power does not equal responsibility. | Climate Enquiry

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