Aust. Climate Commission plumbs new depths

Published at Quadrant Online on March 6, 2013

Just one day after the IPCC Chairman claimed that global warming had stopped happening 17 years ago, the Australian Climate Commission rushed out a press statement (February 23), “The Earth Continues to Warm.”

Clearly, there is a lack of consensus here. Are these diametrically-opposed views between leaders in the field of climate change? Not at all. On closer inspection, it all turns out to be that well-known sleight-of-hand which Americans call “bait and switch.”


This is an adopted article.

For over 20 years, the IPCC has been noisily agitating about an unprecedented rate of global warming at ground level — where we all live. They told us that a predicted rise in surface temperatures of 3°–6° C by 2100 had the potential to harm mankind in a myriad of ways. These warnings certainly attracted our attention. They were the bait.

Now, it turns out that the Climate Commission (ACC) has very little to say about surface or atmospheric temperatures. Its press statement and accompanying report rely almost entirely upon its opinions regarding the heat content of the deep oceans. This is the switch.

The deep oceans have nothing to do with the climate we experience, which is wholly manufactured in the atmosphere. Nothing to do with droughts or floods or fires or cyclones or temperature records. Nothing to do with what the ACC calls Australia’s “Angry Summer,” or the spread of malaria, the melting of glaciers, the shortages of food or other aspects of the long-threatened AGW Armageddon. The whole ACC report is a red herring.

Dr Pachauri was addressing the real thing — surface (or lower atmosphere) temperature anomalies averaged over the whole globe. They haven’t moved since 1996. He says that the sharp warming phase which began in the late 70s levelled off in the late 90s. The whole episode lasted only 20 years, and we now know that nobody should believe the IPCC models which projected that this warming would continue into the 21st century.

Might the warming start again? Nobody knows. All we know for sure is that either it is in remission or it is over.

The ACC report says that 2000-09 was the warmest decade since modern measuring began. But that is because it commenced at a warm level. To pick another decade, 2003-12 was notably cool in comparison.

Some diehards suggest we should take account of apparent warming/cooling tendencies that are insignificant in a statistical sense. Such an approach seems to be an abandonment of science. If skilled climatologists are unable to detect any clear signal amongst screeds of noisy data, then that should be an end to the argument.

Although irrelevant to the lack of climate change in the last 17 years, ocean heat content (OHC) is a challenging metric. There has been no warming in the upper 700m, which has been measured by the ARGO float project since 2003, and we can’t monitor the temperatures in the depths below 700m. The ACC claim that “missing heat” could be in the ocean depths is merely an assumption — a faith statement.

Saying nothing at all about “the bait,” the ACC report “switches” to pages of material on other topics. Shakespeare described it well: “Methinks, the lady doth protest too much.”

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3 Thoughts on “Aust. Climate Commission plumbs new depths

  1. Mike Jowsey on 03/04/2013 at 6:06 am said:

    Thanks for sharing this article RT. Barry writes with clarity.

    “The deep oceans have nothing to do with the climate we experience, which is wholly manufactured in the atmosphere.”

    Perfect – I will keep that quote in my armoury.

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 03/04/2013 at 2:18 pm said:

    Ocean Cooling Contributed to Mid-20th Century Global Warming Hiatus

    Sep. 23, 2010 — The hiatus of global warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the mid-20th century may have been due to an abrupt cooling event centered over the North Atlantic around 1970, rather than the cooling effects of tropospheric pollution, according to a new paper appearing Sept. 22 in Nature.

    David W. J. Thompson, an atmospheric science professor at Colorado State University, is the lead author on the paper. Other authors are John M. Wallace at the University of Washington, and John J. Kennedy at the Met Office and Phil D. Jones of the University of East Anglia, both in the United Kingdom.

    The international team of scientists discovered an unexpectedly abrupt cooling event that occurred between roughly 1968 and 1972 in Northern Hemisphere ocean temperatures. The research indicates that the cooling played a key role in the different rates of warming seen in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres in the middle 20th century.

    “We knew that the Northern Hemisphere oceans cooled during the mid-20th century, but the sudden nature of that cooling surprised us,” Thompson said.

    While the temperature drop was evident in data from all Northern Hemisphere oceans, it was most pronounced in the northern North Atlantic, a region of the world ocean thought to be climatically dynamic.


    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/04/2013 at 3:31 pm said:

      Global Cooling – Methods and Testable Decadal Predictions
      Posted on April 2, 2013 by Guest Blogger

      Guest post by Dr. Norman Page

      1. Methods and Premises


      4.The present analysis which looks ahead to 2042 and 2106 is based on a few simple ideas and empirical observations..
      a) There has been no net warming since 1997 with CO2 up 8+% .Global Temperatures have been declining since 2003-4 The period from 2003- 2005 represents a peak in both the 60 year PDO cycle and in a millennial solar cycle.
      b) Because of the thermal inertia of the oceans and the more extreme regional high frequency variability of the land data the Global SST data are the most useful representation of the overall global climate trend.


      3. Summary

      1. Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
      2. Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
      3. Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
      4. Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
      5. Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
      6. General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
      7. By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the little ice age.
      8. The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields .
      9. Warning !! There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.

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