Students desire knowledge

student wanting knowledge

and they will find it

Amid all the world-wide signs of a major sea-change in climate thinking (yes, that’s a pun) comes the encouraging news that New Zealand university students prefer the truth over activist drivel. Why did we ever doubt them?

See, I’m told the majority of first-year earth science students have been so disaffected by the unrelenting barrage of global warming propaganda at secondary school that they now ignore the message of imminent climatic danger and are entirely unmoved by strident activist demands to reduce our emissions. Apparently it’s difficult even to convince them that climate is interesting…

Here’s my point: alarmingly, VUW teaches the same kind of climate crap that high schools dish out, and disenchanted students are transferring to other institutions to learn the truth.

This could be a good time to mention that nobody under the age of 18 has experienced global warming unless they’ve spent time in the deep ocean, where heat is accumulating (allegedly).

The heat cannot change the average global surface temperature while it’s down in the depths, so I don’t really care how much the ocean collects.

If it really can get down there secretly, without detection, it might leave the same way.

Why should we worry?

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81 Thoughts on “Students desire knowledge

  1. Gary on 30/04/2014 at 8:49 pm said:

    Let them keep repeating the stories so they loose all credibility.

    Remember the Chicken Little story… The phrase “The sky is falling!” features prominently in the story, as a common idiom indicating a hysterical or mistaken belief that disaster is imminent. Versions of the story go back more than 25 centuries.

  2. Dave Broad on 01/05/2014 at 10:04 am said:

    My son was taught about the hypothesis of CO2 driven global warming in year 8 & 9. We had a discussion about it, I said don’t accept it without being given numeric & calculable proof. The numbers simply aren’t there, & the quantities are inconsequential when you consider the astronomic scale of the Earth’s atmosphere. Luckily my son has a rational mind, & has since told me AGW is not part of the year 11 & 12 science curricula. But they still teach it in “social studies” So he gets it.

    • He’s lucky he has you, though the advice is pretty basic science, isn’t it? I wonder why they take AGW out of science at intermediate level? Does it reappear at high school?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 10:20 am said:

      >they still teach it in “social studies”

      George Will: “Global Warming Is Socialism By The Back Door”

      George Frederick Will (born May 4, 1941) is an American newspaper columnist, journalist, and author. He is a Pulitzer Prize-winner best known for his conservative commentary on politics. In 1986, the Wall Street Journal called him “perhaps the most powerful journalist in America”, in a league with Walter Lippmann (1889–1974)

    • Andy on 01/05/2014 at 2:13 pm said:

      There has been a bit of discussion about environmentalism teaching in schools on Bishop Hill and elsewhere, recently

      The curriculum in Scotland seems particularly bad, where they teach things that are just plain wrong.

      It seems that there is no subject, French, Maths, Science, that doesn’t have a green tinge or some other PC slant to it these days.

      One example from a friend there was that a chemistry lesson on polymers had a sidebar on ” why plastic bags are bad”.

      Here is nothing wrong with discussing the relative merits of plastic vs reusable bags, but I don’t really think a chemistry lesson is the place for it, and it displaces actual scientific teaching.

  3. Simon on 01/05/2014 at 10:52 am said:

    I’m not sure that going to Auckland’s Earth Science Dept is a better idea though. One of the lecturers there thinks that because climate is really complex we shouldn’t try predicting it. He also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition. It’s not, the accepted definition is a warming of at least 0.5°C averaged over the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean. Probability of occurence is more like 20% so NIWA informing farmers of a 50% probability is useful information.

    • Hi Simon.

      Can you provide some kind of reference for this? The students who move obviously consider it better than VUW. There’s a big difference between “should not” and “cannot” forecast climate — and you don’t mention the period concerned. Clearly, we can fairly reliably forecast weather over a few days to weeks, but over years to decades it’s impossible. If you’re talking about de Freitas, I think he would seriously consider a forecast, but not put too much faith in it — he wouldn’t, perhaps, agree to reconfiguring our industrial or agricultural base in response to it. I’d be keen to have a reference to him saying we “should not” forecast.

      El Nino is either occurring or not occurring, so to that extent you can accurately call it binary. But what do you mean? The comment in the Herald article about flipping a coin is precise. What evidence is there of an El Nino later this year? How do you know that its likelihood is 20%? Do you mean this year or any year? A 50:50 prediction is no assistance at this stage of the season. If you were a farmer in, say, the hills behind Gisborne, what preparation would you make to such a “prediction” of an El Nino? How does it help you? What’s better than tossing a coin?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 1:43 pm said:

      >”He [de Freitas] also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition. It’s not, the accepted definition is a warming of at least 0.5°C averaged over the east-central tropical Pacific Ocean.”


      bi•na•ry (ˈbaɪ nə ri, -nɛr i)

      adj., n., pl. -ries. adj.
      1. consisting of, indicating, or involving two.
      2. a. of or pertaining to a system of numerical notation to the base 2, in which each place of a number, expressed as 0 or 1, corresponds to a power of 2.

      Greater than 0.5°C = 1
      Less than 0.5°C = 0

      ‘ENSO: Recent Evolution, Current Status and Predictions’

      Update prepared by:
      Climate Prediction Center / NCEP
      28 April 2014

      ENSO Alert System Status: El Niño Watch
      ENSO-neutral conditions continue.*
      Equatorial sea surface temperatures (SST) were above-average near the International Date Line and across much of the eastern Pacific.
      While ENSO-neutral is favored for Northern Hemisphere spring 2014, the chances of El Niño increase during the remainder of the year, exceeding 50% by summer.*

      NOAA Operational Definitions for El Niño and La Niña

      El Niño: characterized by a positive ONI greater than or equal to +0.5ºC.
      La Niña: characterized by a negative ONI less than or equal to -0.5ºC.

      By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode, these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping
      3-month seasons.

      CPC considers El Niño or La Niña conditions to occur when the monthly Niño3.4 OISST departures meet or exceed +/- 0.5°C along with consistent atmospheric features. These anomalies must also be forecasted to persist for 3 consecutive months.

      The most recent ONI value (January – March 2014) is -0.7oC.

      The ONI is based on SST departures from average in the Niño 3.4 region, and is a principal measure for monitoring, assessing, and predicting ENSO

      The latest weekly SST departures are:
      Niño 4 0.6ºC
      Niño 3.4 0.4ºC
      Niño 3 0.4ºC
      Niño 1+2 0.1ºC

      So, El Nino current status is binary condition 0 (“neutral”).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 3:33 pm said:

      >”[de Freitas?] thinks that because climate is really complex we shouldn’t try predicting it”

      What he actually says:

      “Quality risk communication involves providing the public with information that is useful. A 50:50 prediction is not. It is no better than flipping a coin.

      Worse, it can lead to an impression that skill exists when it does not.”


      “To the climate scientist, a 50:50 prediction is a safe prediction; as safe as predicting, say, that next summer’s rainfall will be about the long-term summer average. The probability of occurrence is usually always greater around the mean.”

      A 50:50 prediction is no better than any competent farmer can derive themselves but I very much doubt any of them plans in coin-flip mode.

      >”Probability of occurence is more like 20% so NIWA informing farmers of a 50% probability is useful information”

      Again, I think farmers are quite capable of coming up with information as loose as that without NIWA’s help. But dubious usefulness at this early stage given the nature of farming and as de Freitas’ alternative strategy puts it, a focus on adaption means readiness for any event anyway. And it;s not as if they don’t have recent experience, for example 2012:

      ‘Farmers warned to prepare for El Nino’

      Federated Farmers recommends farmers have contingency plans in place in case the current mild El Nino intensifies, bringing a higher risk of drought, Federated Farmers adverse events spokesperson Katie Milne says

      “It is times like these we see the real value in building more and better water storage schemes, particularly in areas prone to drought. Good water storage would help buffer farmers from the vagaries of the weather. Fingers crossed the current El Nino weather pattern does not deepen and any plans made by farmers now need not be put into action,” Katie concluded.

      CPC predicts from the widely divergent models (pages 25, 26 at link previous comment) that require renewed observed initial conditions regularly to get the near-term situation within reason. Given the observation curve on page 26, is a near-term prediction really that difficult. by anyone, without models?

      CPC probabilities on page 24 start from 20% MAM and go to 66% NDJ, They’re catching a lucky break, [de Freitas] – “the challenge in climate science is correctly attributing cause”. There’s no causal driver in the CPC predictions but elsewhere similar predictions are being made from solar cycles:

      ‘Studies find El Ninos can be predicted from solar activity’

      A recent paper concludes that the El Nino Southern Oscillation [ENSO] “may be entirely unpredictable” using climate models, and another finds that the failure of climate models to predict drought and climate is due to the inability to model El Ninos. The “pause” of global warming that climate models did not predict has also been attributed to the inability to model ENSO, which has profound influence on global climate.

      However, other research has found a remarkable correlation between the 11-year solar cycle and the onset of El Ninos about 11 months following a solar geomagnetic maximum. Raimund Leistenschneider from the German EIKE site describes his work below, as well as a similar published paper in PNAS which finds all El Ninos of the past 140 years have been correlated to increases in solar geomagnetic activity. Both Leistenschneider and the authors of the PNAS paper predict on the basis of current solar activity an El Nino will occur in late 2014 and peak in January 2015.

      Landsheidt was successfully predicting El Nino from solar geomagnetic activity years ago.

  4. Simon on 01/05/2014 at 2:29 pm said:

    As Richard C has suggested, there are three possible states: El Niño, La Niña, and neutral (La Nada :-)) On average, El Niño occurs once every 5 or 6 years. NIWA warning of an increased probability of occurrence next summer is useful information.
    Even though climate is ‘incredibly complex’, if a strong El Niño develops and there is no large volcanic event, then 2015 will likely be the hottest year on record.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 4:04 pm said:

      >”there are three possible states: El Niño, La Niña and neutral ”

      Weasel words. Your initial statement was – “He [de Freitas] also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition”.

      El Nino (not ENSO), and El Nino IS a binary condition, 2 states possible (1 or 0) by definition. Same for La Nina, binary condition 1 or 0. de Freitas is correct if he actually made that statement as you say.

      But now you’re referring to ENSO and 3 states. I think Chris de Freitas knows ENSO has 3 possible states Simon. But can you quote him as stating otherwise?

      >”if a strong El Niño develops and there is no large volcanic event, then 2015 will likely be the hottest year on record.”

      Why strong? Isn’t that just wishful thinking on your part? And why above 1998, 2007, 2010 or 2012? Current temperature is little different now to the end of the 20th century:

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 4:24 pm said:

      >”As Richard C has suggested, there are three possible states: El Niño, La Niña, and neutral”

      Untrue. I made no such “suggestion”. My explicit words in regard to El Nino were these:

      “Greater than 0.5°C = 1 Less than 0.5°C = 0” (i.e. a binary condition by CPC definition).

      And (with recourse to CPC),

      “So, El Nino current status is binary condition 0 (“neutral”)”

      These are the same terms (El Nino, not ENSO) as your initial statement: “He [de Freitas] also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition” i.e. he thinks correctly and contrary to your assertion that “It’s not”.

      You really have to learn to quote people specifically Simon. Better that than spreading the blog equivalent to libel.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 5:02 pm said:

      >”NIWA warning of an increased probability of occurrence next summer is useful information.”

      Mildly useful but there’s winter to get through first and after that is little different from what was anticipated in 2012, Water storage for 2015 as an ongoing adaption strategy is little different to the 2012 Federated Farmers admonition from upthread re El Nino:

      “It is times like these we see the real value in building more and better water storage schemes, particularly in areas prone to drought. Good water storage would help buffer farmers from the vagaries of the weather”

      If farmers adapted appropriately then whether by water storage, financial arrangements or whatever and survived, they’ll be doubly prepared now from that experience for any event increased probability or not. On the other hand, if they’re leveraged to the hilt financially and haven’t got the resources to build reservoirs and irrigation systems then news of increased El Nino probability wont be of much use because not much can be done about it anyway.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 5:44 pm said:

      >”winter to get through first”

      And Autumn to get through before that:

      [NZ Weather Forum] Re: Further heavy rain for Canterbury

      post by NZ Thunderstorm Soc on Mon 28/04/2014 20:08

      Deano wrote: Round two has just hit,over 50mm for the day so far,heavy rain and blustery winds currently. Must be approaching record rainfall for April for this area!

      Yes, there was an interesting article of the news tonight about Canterbury Crop farmers facing crop failures because of the continuing damp weather, also North Otago farmers are feeling the same fate because of the wet weather.


      >”Canterbury Crop farmers facing crop failures because of the continuing damp weather”

      But at least they know there’s a 50/50 chance of an El Nino next year.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 01/05/2014 at 6:40 pm said:

      >Why strong?”

      Judith Curry:

      Some scientists are predicting a super El Nino, such as seen during 1997/1998, and 1982. Mashable has two posts on this [here] and [here].

      Both of these two super El Nino events occurred during the warm phase of the PDO. During the cool phase of the PDO (which we are currently in), overall the El Nino events are less frequent and of lower magnitude. The strongest El Nino in a previous cool phase of the PDO was in 1972/1973

      Pause buster?

      Joe Romm is clearly looking for a Super El Nino to shatter global temperature records [link]. The 1998 El Nino clearly had a very large warming effect on global surface and atmospheric temperatures. The 1982 and 1972/1973 El Nino events did not have much a an impact on global temperatures (although 1982 coincided with the eruption of El Chichon).

      A new paper provides some insight into this issue:

      ‘The influence of different El Nino types on global average temperature’

      [See Abstract]

      So will a 2014/2015 be a pause buster? Probably not, given that we are in the cool phase of the PDO.

  5. Simon on 01/05/2014 at 8:19 pm said:

    The probability of El Niño occurring is not binomial, i.e. each alternative is not equally probable.
    The only person being potentialy libellous is de Freitas when he says (direct quote):
    So, if the period for which the prediction is made is beyond the end of the climate scientist’s lifetime, such as with long-term predictions of human-caused climate change, or “global warming”, any scary prediction will attract attention and hopefully also research funds or job promotion.
    Does de Freitas really believe that climate scientists manipulate conclusions to secure funding? Does he do that in his own research? This blog has implied many times that it does happen.

    • Magoo on 01/05/2014 at 11:55 pm said:

      What happens to the funding if there is no problem with AGW, does the funding still exist or does it disappear?

      How about Sherwood 2008, where he changes the colour of 0.0C to red to imply there’s a tropospheric hotspot when it doesn’t exist? Why would he do that?:

      And we can’t forget ‘Mike’s nature trick’. Shame he won’t release the data so it can be verified.

      NIWA’s another good example, the method they say they used is not the method they actually did use, and they refuse to release any information so their findings can be replicated – much like Mikey. What would happen to their funding if it were proven that their method can’t be replicated, and why would they hide their method from those who’d like to verify it in the name of science?

      The high priests of climate science are no purer than any other human being. People sell out for money or personal beliefs all the time regardless of what their careers are – why would climate scientists be any different?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2014 at 6:58 am said:

      >”each alternative is not equally probable”

      So what? El Nino status is either: greater than +0.5? Yes (1). No (0).

      That’s a binary condition Simon.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2014 at 7:21 am said:

      >”The only person being potentially libellous is de Freitas when he says……”

      How does that libel anyone? Such a scientist could never be held accountable if they were radically wrong (they’re hardly being held accountable for prediction failures right now – e.g. models, Hansen’s Manhattan inundation) so what gains traction now no matter how far fetched, and whether or not valid in the future, fits the bill.

      And given De Freitas’ journal position some time back, you can be sure he can point to some home truths of climate science (instances of what he is referring to) if forced to legally.

  6. Simon, you say: “He also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition.” Please provide a reference for this. I asked before, but you’ve just argued around it. You’re sounding silly.

    You say: “Does de Freitas really believe that climate scientists manipulate conclusions to secure funding?” Are you saying this doesn’t happen?

    • Simon on 01/05/2014 at 9:45 pm said:

      Direct quote:
      For instance, send an email to, say, 512 people with the message that there is a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing over the coming summer. Of these, 256 should get the correct prediction. You email them another 50:50 climate prediction; this time 128 receive the correct prediction twice in a row, and so on until a useful number of people are convinced you have some skill at forecasting future climate.
      The analogy is flawed because in any given year, the probability of an El Niño occurring is not 50% (assuming no prior information). I am not sure how I can make this any clearer.

      Yes, I am saying that climate scientists do not manipulate conclusions to secure funding. Anyone who does this gets caught out eventually by the peer review process. This is especially true in such a heated subject as climate change, if you excuse the pun.

    • Andy on 01/05/2014 at 9:51 pm said:

      The peer review process,

      Which gets editors sacked, as we saw in the Climategate emails.

      Anyone who thinks that scientist activists are impartial is either on drugs, or should be.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2014 at 7:37 am said:

      >”The analogy is flawed because in any given year, the probability of an El Niño occurring is not 50%”

      The context is not an El Nino in “any given year”. The context is the 50/50 forecast for an El Nino predicted for 2014/15. It is that prediction that is emailed out in the analogy obviously.

      Besides, why NIWA have latched on to 50/50 when the CPC prediction range (page 24) is 20% MAM increasing to 66% NDJ is odd. It is only about 50/50 at JJA.

      Why bother with all that modeling (pages 25 and 26) when a coin flip will suffice?

  7. Mike Jowsey on 02/05/2014 at 2:21 pm said:

    “Why bother with all that modeling (pages 25 and 26) when a coin flip will suffice?”
    Because you can’t get funding for coin-tossing.

  8. Alexander K on 02/05/2014 at 2:46 pm said:

    Simon very obviously does not understand that the terms ‘binary’ and ‘probability’ have nothing to do with each other.
    I am no scientist and not great with maths either, but one does not require anything beyond an ability to think to understand the difference.
    I suffered a maths lecturer many years ago who decided that, because I could not do arithmetic in different bases at the speed he demanded, that I did not understand the concepts involved.
    To demonstrate my understanding, i built a counter in my workshop which would operate in different bases upon changing a gear. When I attempted to demonstrate this device to him, it became obvious to me that he could not understand the mechanical principles involved.
    I emerged from the experience happy with being ‘slow’ at maths rather than a ‘mechanical idiot’.

  9. Simon on 02/05/2014 at 4:33 pm said:

    ‘Binary’ in respect of a coin toss of which the cumulative sum is a binomial distribution.
    If someone wanted to appear accurate in predicting things then they would repeatedly pick the most likely occurrence, i.e. El Niño will not occur. This is what Ken Ring does. He is also a notable AGW denier; cranks usually congregate in the same corner.

    • Mike Jowsey on 02/05/2014 at 5:27 pm said:

      Simon, when losing an argument, it is unwise to resort to stupid ad-hominen non sequiturs. It simply reinforces the observation that your conflation of probability and binary logic is illogical. Your true colours are showing, Simon, and they are niether engaging nor intelligent.

    • Magoo on 02/05/2014 at 5:37 pm said:

      Quick, he’s having a tanty!! Strap down all the toys before he throws them out of the cot.

    • Simon, you say ‘also a notable AGW denier’ — ‘also’? Do you mean to include Prof de Freitas with that appellation? Or us? But we were discussing neither global warming nor its likely causes.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2014 at 8:50 pm said:

      >” ‘Binary’ in respect of a coin toss of which the cumulative sum is a binomial distribution.”

      Simon, RT has repeatedly asked you to provide proof that, as you assert, “He [de Freitas] also thinks that El Niño is a binary condition” but you’ve continually avoided addressing the request with a quote or suchlike.

      I suspect that your inability to produce the goods is because nowhere in the article does CdeF actually state that he “thinks” El Niño is the condition you state in your terms (“a binary condition”), see article:

      This misrepresentation, misconstrual, untruth, lie, or however else we could put it, by you (your MO evidently), just demonstrates that you’re simply attempting to denigrate CdeF. Unfortunately you’ve got yourself out of your depth in your attempt as Alexander so succinctly observed.

      However, if CdeF had in fact stated that El Nino is a binary condition he would be correct even so (i,e, you shot yourself in the foot Simon). Even correct in terms of ” the cumulative sum is a binomial distribution”, see below.

      But there are actually 3 separate concepts we are addressing:

      1) El Nino status by temperature and time threshold criteria (El Nino by definition);
      2) The chance that the El Nino criteria threshold of 1) will be crossed in successive moving 3 month timeframes; and,
      3) Risk factors pertaining to ENSO activity, not just El Nino.

      In regard to 2), the current 50% chance of 1) is not until JJA (SH winter) and NIWA (not CdeF, he just quoted Herald/NIWA see below – that’s where you spun the lie Simon), for some reason, have chosen that probability in isolation to the other 8 three month periods of chance indication:

      [Herald quote from top of CdeF article] A headline in the Herald reads: “Farmers warned to prepare for the worst as risk of El Nino grows.” The report states: “The National Institute of Water and Atmosphere has given a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing over winter.”

      However, as CdeF points out, just stating a 50% chance in isolation (the arbitrary selection of JJA) is not “quality risk communication” and “a 50:50 prediction is not. It is no better than flipping a coin”. As pointed out upthread, the CPC range of chance is from 20% MAM to about 66% NDJ. This provides the indication of “as risk of El Nino grows”, just stating 50% JJA in isolation does not.

      The binary El Nino condition is in respect to 1) i.e. it is a yes/no, on/off, 1/0 status. Currently the status is no, off, and 0. Equally the same for La Nina in the current neutral conditions (by definition).

      NIWA’s 50/50 El Nino chance in isolation indicates risk factors of 0.5 and 0.5, and the risk factors add to 1 (0.5 + 0.5) or 100% (50% + 50%). This El Nino chance, as you correctly state re binomial distributions Simon, is exactly the same as a coin toss and binomial distribution But 50/50 is not indicative of “as risk of El Nino grows”, it is a fixed probability, from the link:

      “When you flip a coin, there are two possible outcomes: heads and tails. Each outcome has a fixed probability, the same from trial to trial. In the case of coins, heads and tails each have the same probability of 1/2”.

      But even for JJA, the risk factors of 3) are not just 0.5/0.5 El Nino chance of 2) in isolation. The forecast risk factors are actually in terms of ENSO (as per CPC graph page 24):

      0.52 (52%) El Nino
      0.46 (46%) Neutral
      0.02 (2%) La Nina

      These factors should add to 1 (100%) when assessing risk and they do (0.52+0.46+0.03=1). But that scenario is JJA only from model simulations with the latest initial conditions. The JJA scenario will have changed from the last update and model runs just as for weather forecasts and risk scenarios are different for each 3 month period ahead. They will all change again with the next update from new initial conditions and new modeling.

      The current ENSO risk scenarios for MAM, AMJ, MJJ, JJA, JAS, ASO, SON, OND, NDJ as per the current update could be broken down even further: WE=Weak El Niño, ME=Moderate El Niño, SE=Strong El Niño WL=Weak La Niña, ML=Moderate La Niña, SL=Strong La Niña

      Say, for example, JJA with El Nino risk breakdown guesses,

      0.02 SE El Nino (JC – “pause buster? Probably not, …….cool phase of the PDO”)
      0.10 ME El Nino
      0.40 WE El Nino
      0.46 Neutral
      0.02 La Nina

      The constraint of course for future updates being the observations. In 2012, El Nino predictions became moot as the observed drivers fizzled out. That’s not out of the question for 2014/15 either. hence the JJA factor of 46% Neutral probability and 80% to 30% Neutral probability range, MAM to NDJ. Note also that as the chance of El Nino increases and Neutral decreases, the chance of La Nina also increases from 1% to 3%.

      This should demonstrate the difference between “Quality risk communication” (CdeF) and NIWA’s communication which equates to risk assessment by coin toss.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 02/05/2014 at 8:59 pm said:

      Typo, should be – “(0.52+0.46+[0.02]=1”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 03/05/2014 at 1:28 am said:

      >”The JJA scenario will have changed from the last update and model runs just as for weather forecasts and risk scenarios are different for each 3 month period ahead. They will all change again with the next update from new initial conditions and new modeling”

      For that see this IRI page:

      Note: The CPC/IRI forecast upthread was as at early April. IRI below includes both early and mid month forecasts including the current mid April forecast.

      ENSO Quick Looks

      Compare 2014 February (early and mid) ENSO forecast

      To 2014 March (early and mid) ENSO forecast,

      And 2014 April (early and mid) ENSO forecast,

      Each red bar is only an indication of the onset of El Nino conditions for that 3 month period – not that ENSO has El Nino status by definition (contrary to the IRI top line statement). For conditions to be classified as El Nino status the NOAA/CPC definition is:

      “By historical standards, to be classified as a full-fledged El Niño or La Niña episode, these thresholds must be exceeded for a period of at least 5 consecutive overlapping
      3-month seasons”

      Given the most recent ONI value for January – March 2014 (JFM) is -0.7oC and late April Niño 3.4 SST departure is still 0.4ºC, the earliest El Nino conditions onset can only be May and the AMJ period if June pulls up the average, otherwise MJJ. Therefore, full-fledged El Nino must extend AMJ, MJJ, JJA, JAS, ASO at the very earliest and classification cannot be declared until end of October 2014 even though El Nino conditions persist in the interim over just one of those 3 month periods i.e. the conditions exist, the status doesn’t necessarily.

      The herald article that CdeF refers and links to, ‘Farmers warned to prepare for the worst as risk of El Nino grows’ is dated Apr 28, 2014 and states:

      “The National Institute of Water and Atmosphere has given a 50 per cent chance of an El Nino developing over winter, while international forecasts have put the probability of one arriving by the end of the year as high as 80 per cent.”

      “Arriving” (onset) is accurate but only in terms of conditions – not status. According to NIWA’s assessment (rather than earliest onset possible, AMJ) there’s a 50% chance of the onset of El Nino conditions over winter (JJA) but that does not also mean a 50% chance of El Nino status occurring. The latter can only be in respect to JJA, JAS, ASO, SON, OND, declared full-fledged El Nino status end of December, and then only if conditions persist JJA to OND in terms of NIWA’s winter onset, In 2012, conditions didn’t persist for the 5 overlapping periods so no El Nino was declared (by definition) in 2012 even though the conditions were present (onset occurred) and drought was widespread.

      And the “international forecasts” (see mid April above) actually have the probability of onset decreasing from 80% OND, to 75% DJF i.e. the high probability onset window starts closing from December-ish.

      The warmist outlook of course, driven by the deep seated craving for warming that unwavering AGW belief produces, just sees the impending onset of El Nino conditions as the real deal providing, hopefully, in Simon’s case at least (but likes of Romm too), a hottest-year-ever pause buster at last, as he states: “if a strong El Niño develops and there is no large volcanic event, then 2015 will likely be the hottest year on record”.

      Yes, “if” only.

  10. stan stendera on 02/05/2014 at 8:27 pm said:

    Getting back to the original post. While I have the greatest regard for Bishop Hill I take the study of he and John Shade concerning indoctrination of students with AGW propaganda with a large dose of salt. The simple reason is while kids might parrot the PC answers to get a good grade they (at least the bright ones) have a very reliable BS detector and also a tendency to reject adult thinking as passé. For these simple reasons I don’t worry too much about indoctrination of children. As for the not bright ones they turn out like Simon.

    • Mike Jowsey on 02/05/2014 at 8:53 pm said:

      LOL! Thankyou Stan for an injection of sanity (and humour). Thoroughly agree with everything. I bet you were a bright but slightly unruly student too.

    • Andy on 02/05/2014 at 10:10 pm said:

      The issue that I was trying to point out up thread was that the more time teachers spend on indoctrination the less time they have for actual,science. This also has the effect that kids get disillusioned with science and can’t be bothered anymore.

      This is the biggest tragedy in my view.

  11. stan stendera on 02/05/2014 at 10:21 pm said:

    Thanks Mike. Yes I was an unruly student. As for bright you’ll have to judge. A lot of my male friends seem to think I am bright. The female ones not so much.

  12. Alexander K on 03/05/2014 at 3:29 pm said:

    Richard T, are you impugning my status as a Kiwi male? I have always had a workshop. I had to do without one while my wife and I rented a small second-story flat in the UK during our big OE, but we moved as soon as possible into premises where I had room to have a work bench and work on stuff.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 1:47 pm said:

    So, >“Students desire knowledge”

    But what happens in response to this CCNF article

    Dr. Garth Paltridge on Reluctance of IPCC and others to reduce confidence levels in light of hiatus and misunderstood climate mechanisms shows a lack of scientific skepticism.

    Judith Curry has the Twitter responses (e.g. Mann, Hayhoe, Venema):

    Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann 18h
    Troubling problems w/ the “Climate Change National Forum” via @VariabilityBlog: … #FalseBalance #Fail

    Michael E. Mann ‏@MichaelEMann 8h
    I’m afraid there appear to be deeper problems w/site. serious* false balance issues 🙁

    Katharine Hayhoe ‏@KHayhoe 5h
    sorry to say (given amt of effort I know has been put into this) I agree with Mike

    Victor Venema ‏@VariabilityBlog 8h For balance, for every @curryja you would need 30 from mainstream.There are not so many blogging scientists.

    [JC] The publication of Garth Paltridge’s essay and publication of my first essay has caused some in the twitosphere to voice their concern. The funny thing about Paltridge’s essay is that in the fact checking section, the only fact that was challenged (by Andreas Schmittner) was this:

    “no scientist close to the problem and in his right mind … would say there is only a very small possibility (i.e. less than 5%) that internal ocean behaviour could be a major cause of the warming over the past half-century.”

    [JC again ] Victor Venema of the Variable Variability blog has a post Climate Change National Forum introduces the nonsense amplifier [hotlink]. Some excerpts:

    An older treasure has the “title”: “Dr. Garth Paltridge on Reluctance of IPCC and others to reduce confidence levels in light of hiatus and misunderstood climate mechanisms shows a lack of scientific skepticism.” It could be a stupid WUWT post pretending that global warming has stopped because the surface temperatures have not grown as fast as before, fully ignoring that the climate system as a whole keeps on warming and that only more of the warming went into the ocean rather than the atmosphere during the last decade. What makes this CCNF post even worse is that Judith Curry is defending it. Thus we have a confident wrong article above the line and little bickering scientists below the line. Great Fact Checking. That is science communication.

    If the “Fact checker” stays this way, I would suggest all scientists to stop participating in CCNF. Let it succumb to another WUWT or Climate Etc. There are a lot of such homepages already; one more won’t hurt. That is better as a homepage that has credibility due to the participation of scientists, but that is actually helping spread misinformation.

    That may happen automatically. Michael Tobis of Planet 3.0 writes:
    I have been trying to convince scientists that this site presents a level playing field where the true balance of science can emerge, and I’ve been rebuffed with the idea that this site is another example of “false balance”, wherein the politically structured arguments will again take precedence. That argument is being bolstered by this article…

    Scott Mandia writes below the hiatus article:
    “Michael, I know your heart is in the right place but posting this piece really damages the credibility of CCNF. There is no place for the “It’s not happening” argument. … You have just elevated Dr. Paltridge to the status of the other experts who write here. You also run the risk of deterring real experts from future posts because they do not wish to be associated with this National Enquirer-type nonsense. Keep the discussion where it belongs. … Michael Quirke Please do a search for “Familiarity Backfire Effect” and you will see why this post is not helpful.”

    And Bart Verheggen writes:
    “Also, I’d be [in] favor of setting a higher bar for articles to be posted in that section. Most scientists are growing tired of the same old “global warming stopped” type memes and have no interest and no time to engage in a game of whack-a-mole. Plus there are excellent myth-busting websites out there already. If there’s an intelligent argument brought forward that shines a new light on something, now that’s different. Bring it on!”

    And CCNF scientist Scott Denning writes:
    I agree with Bart that the first impression of the CCNF forum is visually dominated by sometimes-bizarre and inflammatory posts that are not even remotely credible, and that this detracts from the quality of the forum.

    It’s just not feasible to “fact-check” all these articles. Most of them are not fact-oriented in the first place. Propagandist rhetoric dripping with contempt for science has worse problems than can be addressed by simply “fact checking.”
    It seems like Michael Quirke did notice the discontent among the scientists:
    Will post up less of the inflammatory and complete B.S. for a while. Don’t want it to become whack a mole or lose the scientists’ participation. That being said, it is important to show readers what “the mole” looks like.

    But I have the feeling, he does not really understand why. “Less of the inflammatory and complete B.S. for a while” sounds more like pacifying of the flaring protests than like a long-term solution.

    I have wondered whether I should add NoFollow tags to the links to CCNF. [UPDATE: Have added rel=”NoFollow” to all links to CCNF.]

    [JC] Some might call these concerned individuals the ‘climate bigots’, but of course I would never say anything like that (h/t to Francis Urquhart, House of Cards).

    # # #

    How exactly then, can students acquire the (climate) knowledge they desire by open minded rational critique on their part (i.e. make their own assessment) when there’s a host of “scientists” actively working to suppress any view contrary to what MUST be thought?

    Insult to injury (or is it irony?), we now have this:

    ‘New Mann Paper Pins Pause Partly On Atlantic Variability’

    Apparently, fine for internal ocean behaviour to be a major cause of the warming pause over this century so far (according to Mann et al), but even a 5% possibility that “internal ocean behaviour could be a major cause of the warming over the past half-century”? Oh no, no-one is allowed to even entertain the notion, let alone read it, consider it on it’s merits, and (worst of all) investigate and decide on the validity of it for themselves.

    Climate bigots? Well that could be applied, but for the student desiring knowledge they are self appointed knowledge gatekeepers deciding, by their own standards, what the student is ALLOWED to think by erecting a knowledge wall around the student. At which point learning ceases, the student is no longer a student, he or she is then simply a regimented pawn in someone else’s game where rule #1 is: free thinking forbidden.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 2:02 pm said:

      [Bish] – “Apparently one single post by Judith Curry needs thirty alarmist posts to rebut it, so says Victor Venema. Yes, her arguments are that good and alarmism is that weak!”

      See Cartoon by Josh

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 2:47 pm said:

      [Venema] – “…more of the warming went into the ocean rather than the atmosphere during the last decade”.

      1) Why? Did all the CO2 molecules collectively decide around the turn of the century to redirect energy that was being directed to the atmosphere into the ocean instead?

      2) But what mechanism? The IPCC hasn’t come up with one yet, apart from a bit of speculation, because they have no science to refer to that they can present over 25 years and 5 assessment reports.

      3) What “warming”? Is it the warming that MUST be occurring in accordance with the AGW hypothesis? In other words, hypothetical warming that might just be non-existent.

      4) Has the hypothetical 21st century atm => ocean energy transfer been quantified? If so, has the transfer of that quantity of energy been observed at the atm/ocean interface? If it hasn’t, there’s a problem to be addressed (the hypothesis might just be null for example).

      5) And so on……..

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 3:09 pm said:


      [Venema] – “…more of the warming went into the ocean rather than the atmosphere during the last decade”.

      [Mann] – “”The true AMO signal, instead, appears likely to have been in a cooling phase in recent decades, offsetting some of the anthropogenic warming temporarily.”

      Time for a Team huddle perhaps.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 3:53 pm said:

      TIME 100 “most influential” people (in this case, self appointed knowledge gatekeeper):

      Katharine Hayhoe | By Don Cheadle

      An environmental evangelist

      There’s something fascinating about a smart person who defies stereotype. That’s what makes my friend Katharine Hayhoe — a Texas Tech climatologist and an evangelical Christian — so interesting.

      It’s hard to be a good steward of the planet if you don’t accept the hard science behind what’s harming it, and it can be just as hard to take action to protect our world if you don’t love it as the rare gift it is. For many people, that implies a creator. Katharine and her husband, evangelical pastor Andrew Farley, have authored the defining book for the planet-loving believer, A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. I got to know Katharine as we worked on Showtime’s climate documentary Years of Living Dangerously. But we are all getting to know and benefit from her work.

      Global Warming Facts? Or Doctrine?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 4:13 pm said:

      ‘Meet The Surprising Star Of Showtime’s New Climate Change Series’ [Katharine Hayhoe]

      “A lot of my political opinions are Republican,” Farley [Andrew, a pastor, Katherine’s husband] tells Cheadle from the couple’s kitchen table. “The politics, the questions about God, and then the climate change — it’s all just become this ball of sound bites and people can’t parse it out.”

      The tipping point for Farley? When the two went to the NASA website, downloaded global temperature data, and plotted it on their own computer. “It was clearly going up,” Hayhoe said, so “he had to decide, was NASA, the organization that put people on the moon, involved in some worldwide massive hoax or were they telling the truth?”

      The same data, simply plotted, makes an appearance in the Showtime episode. “We see that temperature and carbon dioxide track together,” Hayhoe tells Cheadle, running her finger along the jagged line to the sharp uptick at the end. “We also see that right now we are way out of the ballpark.”

      In hindsight, Hayhoe recognizes that the hours spent debating climate science with her husband were critical to sharpening her understanding of the fundamental science behind climate change and, perhaps more importantly, her ability to communicate it to a doubtful audience.

      >“We see that temperature and carbon dioxide track together” – Katherine Hayhoe, rare breed, top-knotch climate scientist. One of world’s 100 most influential people and Showtime star.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/05/2014 at 6:37 pm said:

      [Hayhoe] >“We see that temperature and carbon dioxide track together”


      >”“We also see that right now we are way out of the ballpark.”

      Global temperature estimates (UAH, RSS, GISS, NCDC, HadCRUT3) and CO2 (Mauna Loa):

      She’s right! We (aCO2) are way out of the (temperature) ballpark – right now.

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:16 pm said:

    Dr. Lennart Bengtsson, former director of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology, has resigned from the Academic Advisory Council of the U.K.’s Global Warming Policy Foundation.

    So why did Dr. Bengtsson suddenly resign?

    Here is the content of his resignation letter, written to GWPF Academic Advisory Council Chairman, Dr. David Henderson:

    Dear Professor Henderson,

    I have been put under such an enormous group pressure in recent days from all over the world that has become virtually unbearable to me. If this is going to continue I will be unable to conduct my normal work and will even start to worry about my health and safety. I see therefore no other way out therefore than resigning from GWPF. I had not expect[ed] such an enormous world-wide pressure put at me from a community that I have been close to all my active life. Colleagues are withdrawing their support, other colleagues are withdrawing from joint authorship etc.

    I see no limit and end to what will happen. It is a situation that reminds me about the time of McCarthy. I would never have expect[ed] anything similar in such an original peaceful community as meteorology. Apparently it has been transformed in recent years.

    [glad you noticed!—eds]

    Under these [sic] situation I will be unable to contribute positively to the work of GWPF and consequently therefore I believe it is the best for me to reverse my decision to join its Board at the earliest possible time.

    With my best regards

    Lennart Bengtsson

    This letter is stunning in its candor and shows that that all the conspiring and bullying that the was on full display in the Climategate email release continues unabashedly today.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:29 pm said:

      Roger Pielke, Jr. said… 23

      For experts in the climate issue, there is enormous social and peer pressure on what is acceptable to say and who it is acceptable to associate with. My recent experiences are quite similar to Bengtsson’s:

      Unfortunately, “climate mccarthyism” is not so far off. It has been practiced for a while:

      The main problem here is not that people have strong views or call people names. It is that the elite in this community – including scientists, journalists, politicians — have endorsed the climate mccarthyism campaign, and are often its most vigorous participants.

      Over the long run, of course, good science will win out and policy will muddle through. In the short term however, the community will continue to do itself a lot of damage.

      The climate issue is coming to represent a globalized version of the US abortion debates. I tell my grad students that there is no use for policy analysts in the abortion debates. I should follow my own advice!

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:34 pm said:

      Dr. Judith Curry on Lennart Bengtsson:

      ‘We have also seen a disgraceful display of Climate McCarthyism by climate scientists, which has the potential to do as much harm to climate science as did the Climategate emails.’

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:37 pm said:

      ‘Scientist intimidated and forced into resigning: Lennart Bengtsson leaves the GWPF’

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:42 pm said:

      ‘The Cleansing of Lennart Bengtsson’

      Begtsson’s planned participation in GWPF seemed to me to be the sort of outreach to rational skeptics that ought to be praiseworthy within the climate “community”.

      Instead, the “community” has extended the fatwa. This is precisely the sort of action and attitude that can only engender and reinforce contempt for the “community” in the broader society.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 5:46 pm said:

      ‘Shameless Climate McCarthyism on full display – scientist forced to resign’

      Climate McCarthyism: “Are you now or have you ever been a climate skeptic?”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 6:02 pm said:

      ‘The 97% In Climate Science: McCarthyism Is Alive & Well In 2014′

      McCarthy made a habit of intimidating, abusing, smearing and threatening others who were opponents (full explanation of the demagoguery evil referred to as ‘McCarthyism’). And various subsequent senators have filled his shoes admirably.

      Emboldened by the techniques used very publicly by the “elite” leaders of America, the “97%” climate science community have chosen to do the same.

      Their latest victim is climate scientist who wanted to speak honestly about his science. But he became a scientist who took a step too far – he challenged the ideology of the “consensus.” Thus, he had to be intimidated to reform, ASAP.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 6:05 pm said:

      Again, from the thread header:

      ‘Climate Science: No Dissent Allowed’

      By Patrick J. Michaels and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger

    • Richard C (NZ) on 15/05/2014 at 11:13 pm said:

      [Mark Steyn] – If you’re older, tenured, sufficiently eminent and can stand his acolytes jumping you in the parking lot and taking the hockey stick to you, you’ll acknowledge that his greatest achievement is distinguished mainly for its “misrepresentations” and “falsifications”.

      But, if you’re a younger scientist, you know that, if you cross Mann and the other climate mullahs, there goes tenure, there goes funding, there goes your career: you’ll be cut off like Briffa’s tree rings. I’ve been stunned to learn of the very real fear of retribution that pervades the climate world. That’s why I’m playing this one differently from the Maclean’s case: Dr Mann will be on the witness stand under oath, and the lies that went unchallenged in the Big Climate echo chamber will not prove so easy to get away with. I didn’t seek this battle with this disreputable man. But, when it’s over, I hope that those who work in this field will once again be free to go where the science leads.

      >”Maclean’s case”. Canadian Islamic Congress went to Canada’s human rights commissions to criminalize Steyn’s writing

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 11:30 am said:

      ‘Science as McCarthyism’

      Another scientist gets blackballed for his skepticism about global warming.

      By Rupert Darwall

      […background, including models vs observations…]

      Especially significant was a tweet from Gavin Schmidt, a leading climate modeler at the NASA Goddard Institute, who for many years worked alongside James Hansen. “Groups perceived to be acting in bad faith should not be surprised that they are toxic within the science community,” Schmidt tweeted. “Changing that requires that they not act in bad faith and not be seen to be acting in bad faith.”

      Evidently the right to practice and discuss climate science should be subject to a faith test. It is an extraordinarily revealing development. Fears about unbelievers’ polluting the discourse, as some academics put it, illustrate the weakness of climate science: The evidence for harmful anthropogenic global warming is not strong enough to stand up for itself.

      Inadvertently Schmidt’s tweet demonstrates how far climate science has crossed the boundary deep into pseudo-science. Karl Popper observed of the trio of pseudo-sciences prevalent in 1920s Vienna that their followers could explain why non-believers rejected their manifest truths. For Marxists, it was because of their class interests. For subscribers to Freudian psychoanalysis and Alfred Adler’s psychology, non-belief was evidence of unanalyzed repressions crying out for treatment. So it is with climate science. Only the pure of heart should be allowed an opinion on it.

      Science regresses if it becomes intolerant of criticism. At the beginning of her reign, Queen Elizabeth I of England spoke words of tolerance in an age of religious strife, declaring that she had no intention of making windows into men’s souls. Unlike religion, science is not a matter of the heart or of belief. It exists only in what can be demonstrated. In their persecution of an aged colleague who stepped out of line and their call for scientists to be subject to a faith test, 21st-century climate scientists have shown less tolerance than a 16th-century monarch.

      There is something rotten in the state of climate science.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 11:35 am said:

      ‘Scientists in cover-up of ‘damaging’ climate view’

      Ben Webster Environment Editor
      Published 11 minutes ago

      Research which heaped doubt on the rate of global warming was deliberately suppressed by scientists because it was “less than helpful” to their cause, it was claimed last night.

      In an echo of the infamous “Climategate” scandal at the University of East Anglia, one of the world’s top academic journals rejected the work of five experts after a reviewer privately denounced it as “harmful”.

      Lennart Bengtsson, a research fellow at the University of Reading and one of the authors of the study, said he suspected that intolerance of dis- senting views on climate science was preventing his paper from being…………..[subscription reqd]

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 11:42 am said:

      ‘Climate scientist forced from position after ‘McCarthy” style pressure’ ‘

      Swedish climate scientist says he was subjected to a witch-hunt reminiscent of the McCarthy era

      By Lucy Kinder, 5:54PM BST 15 May 2014

      The director of the GWPF Benny Peiser said: “This is a huge embarrassment to the climate science community. Why should people believe them if their critics are treated in that way? It will be self destructive if they do not stand up for free speech and discussion.”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 11:52 am said:

      ‘Climate change scientist claims he has been forced from new job in ‘McCarthy’-style witch-hunt by academics across the world’

      By Wills Robinson

      Published: 10:33 GMT, 15 May 2014 | Updated: 20:43 GMT, 15 May 2014

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 11:55 am said:

      ‘This bullying of climate-science sceptics must end’

      When did demonising your opponents become so acceptable?

      Matt Ridley
      Published 42 minutes ago

      Lennart Bengtsson is about as distinguished as climate scientists get. His decision two weeks ago to join the academic advisory board (on which I also sit, unremunerated) of Nigel Lawson’s Global Warming Policy Foundation was greeted with fury by many fellow climate scientists. Now in a McCarthyite move — his analogy — they have bullied him into resigning by refusing to collaborate with him unless he leaves.

      The GWPF aims to ensure that the climate-change debate is more balanced. Its members are not “deniers”, yet as Lord Lawson said in a recent speech: “I have never in my life experienced the extremes………….[subscription reqd]

    • Magoo on 16/05/2014 at 11:59 am said:

      ‘First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.’

      Almost there.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 12:21 pm said:

      Flashback 2009: Climate Depot round up of threats to Skeptics: ‘At what point do we jail or execute global warming deniers’

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 12:32 pm said:

      [WUWT] – Here is the front page of The Times for Friday May 16th….

      ‘Scientists in cover-up of ‘damaging’ climate view’

      [Watts] – Uh oh, another “climategate” like moment is upon us as the law of unintended consequences kicks in. As Dr. Roger Pielke put it:

      “Appears that Bengtsson can play hardball too”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 17/05/2014 at 11:02 am said:

      ‘The Bengtsson paper rejection – It’s models, all the way down’

      Posted on May 16, 2014 by Anthony Watts

      Steve McIntyre writes: IOP: expecting consistency between models and observations is an “error”

      Read Steve’s entire post here:

      Ross McKittrick writes in comments at CA:

      I have no idea if Bengtsson et al. is a good paper, not having seen it. But the topic itself is an important one, and notwithstanding those attempts at gatekeeping mentioned above, there’s no stopping the flow at this point because the model/observational discrepancies are so large and growing. A few recent examples in print include:

      – Fyfe, J.C., N.P. Gillett and F.W. Zwiers, 2013: Overestimated global warming over the past 20 years. Nature Climate Change, 3, 767-769, doi:10.1038/nclimate1972
      – Swanson, K.L., 2013: Emerging selection bias in large-scale climate change simulations. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, DOI: 10.1002/grl.50562.
      – McKitrick, Ross R. and Lise Tole (2012) Evaluating Explanatory Models of the Spatial Pattern of Surface Climate Trends using Model Selection and Bayesian Averaging Methods. Climate Dynamics DOI 10.1007/s00382-012-1418-9.
      – Fildes, Robert and Nikolaos Kourentzes (2011) “Validation and Forecasting Accuracy in Models of Climate Change International Journal of Forecasting 27 968-995.
      – Anagnostopoulos, G. G., D. Koutsoyiannis, A. Christofides, A. Efstratiadis & N. Mamassis (2010). “A comparison of local and aggregated climate model outputs with observed data.” Hydrological Sciences Journal, 55(7) 2010.
      – McKitrick, Ross R., Stephen McIntyre and Chad Herman (2010) “Panel and Multivariate Methods for Tests of Trend Equivalence in Climate Data Sets”. Atmospheric Science Letters, DOI: 10.1002/asl.290

      And I know of another one nearly accepted that continues the theme. It may be that Bengtsson et al. had some flaws, though I agree that the reviewer didn’t point to any. Instead the reviewer tries to argue that models and observations are not meant to be compared, and the editor swallowed this nonsensical argument, no doubt happy for a straw to clutch at.

      But nobody should be surprised that ERL has the slant that it does: This is a journal with Peter Gleick, Stefan Rhamstorf and Myles Allen on its editorial board:

      You can’t advertise a hard-line editorial stance any better than that. Well, maybe they could: they list as their #1 Highlight publication of 2013… Cook, Nucitelli et al.

      Strangely, they really seem to be objecting that the Times had the nerve to run the story after all the work that’s been done to convince the press about the supposed dangers of “false balance”:

      “With current debate around the dangers of providing a false sense of ‘balance’ on a topic as societally important as climate change, we’re quite astonished that The Times has taken the decision to put such a non-story on its front page.”

      Evidently they too subscribe to that editorial position: don’t print anything that might give the impression there’s actually a range of scientific views out there.

      Re >“false balance”

      See Twitter: Results for #falsebalance

  15. RC,

    [Venema] – “…more of the warming went into the ocean rather than the atmosphere during the last decade”. Why?

    That is the correct question.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 12:10 pm said:

      Delicious irony because, according to Peter Hannam at SMH……………..

      ‘Conspiracist’ climate change study withdrawn amid legal threats

      Read more:

      No legal threats were actually made of course. Unlike U of Q’s missive to Brandon Schollenburger.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 12:53 pm said:

      ‘First Amendment versus the University of Queensland’

      Bishop Hill, May 15, 2014

      The University of Queensland has come over all litigious with Brandon Schollenberger, threatening him with a legal suit if he continues to examine John Cook’s 97% consensus paper:

      [Schollenberger] – ” I wanted to talk about the Cook et al data I recently came into possession of. I wanted to talk about the reaction by Cook et al to me having this data. I can’t though. The University of Queensland has threatened to sue me if I do. I understand that may be difficult to believe. I’d like to provide you proof of what I say. I’m afraid I can’t do that either though. If I do, the University of Queensland will sue me.”

      I’m almost speechless with the sheer ineptitude of the university authorities here. Have they not heard of the First Amendment? They are going to make themselves a laughing stock and attract the attention of people all round the world to the problems in Cook’s work.

      What planet are they on?

      That was my immediate reaction too after all the Bengtsson goings on then seeing this – has a part of the world suddenly lost their mind? Or, what planet are they on?

    • Magoo on 16/05/2014 at 1:12 pm said:

      When a ‘university’ states that an academic paper isn’t allowed to be scrutinised to see if it’s results & working methods hold up, then the university and all the degrees completed there become redundant. The fact the ‘university’ actually tries to stop somebody doing so by threat of legal action is utterly unbelievable – what are they hiding, academic fraud?

      Perhaps someone might contact places like the following when this has played out a bit more:

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 1:51 pm said:

      >”when this has played out a bit more”

      That was U of Q’s problem, that it was playing out and they had to stop it ASAP. But good luck to them on that.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 19/05/2014 at 3:38 pm said:

      >”when this has played out a bit more”

      >”That was U of Q’s problem, that it was playing out and they had to stop it ASAP. But good luck to them on that.”

      Yes, good luck:

      ‘Shollenberger calls Cook’s and University of Queensland’s legal bluff!’

      ‘John Cook’s consensus data is so good his Uni will sue you if you discuss it’

      Steve McIntyre points out that The UQ letter raises a variety of interesting issues:

      # The original Consensus rating project was carried out by SKS volunteers. How did title migrate from SKS to the University of Queensland?

      # If the ratings data has been owned by UQ all along and the UQ had confidentiality obligations, why did they leave it lying around the internet (apparently) without password protection?

      # Are there any documents that actually demonstrate the existence of “contractual obligations to third parties”? This is eerily reminiscent of the U of East Anglia.

      # On what conceivable basis can the University justify its refusal to provide anonymized rater information and datestamps?

      John Robertson, May 15, 2014 at 5:03 pm, adds that The University of Queesnland appears to be partaking in OPEN DATA STRATEGY 2013 that states:

      In response to the Queensland Government’s request, Queensland’s universities have developed an Open Data Strategy to guide the availability of data for other individuals and organisations.

      >”How did title migrate from SKS to the University of Queensland?”

      I wondered about this too. How is that U of Q is suddenly Cook’s legal representative?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 21/05/2014 at 4:07 pm said:

      Still playing out……

      ‘University of Queensland doubles down on Shollenberger – with a straw man argument on ‘confidentiality’ for names already listed in the paper!’

      Brandon Shollenberger responds:

      Suppose it truly is important to keep the identity of raters private. Why then did I just load this image at Skeptical Science:

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/05/2014 at 4:08 pm said:

      ‘Is it copyright infringement to post a lawyer’s cease-and-desist letter?’

      By Eugene Volokh, May 19

      The University of Queensland (Australia) seems to think so; its letter to blogger Brandon Shollenberger (Izuru) states, among other things,

      “The University of Queensland owns the copyright in this letter and you are advised that any publication by you of this letter, or persons acting in concert with you, will constitute an infringement of The University’s copyright. The University of Queensland reserves its right to take any and all legal action against any person, including you, who publishes this letter.”

      Shollenberger has indeed published the letter, in the process of responding to it (see also here). Is posting cease-and-desist letters in such a situation indeed copyright infringement? I can’t speak to Australian law on this, but here is my view of American law, which I first blogged about in 2008:

      A. Letters are indeed presumptively protected by copyright. Generally speaking, pretty much anything that’s at all original (not necessarily innovative, but just the author’s own writing) and longer than several words is indeed copyrighted the moment it’s written down.

      B. But this presumption can be rebutted if the person copying the work shows (among other things) that his use is a “fair use” of the work. Here’s a quick run-through of the four fair use factors, and how they apply to such uses of cease-and-desist letters:

      [see article for applications]

      1a. The purpose of the use:
      1b. The purpose of the use:
      2a. The nature of the copied work:
      2b. The nature of the copied work:
      3. The amount of the work taken:
      4. The effect on the market for the work:

    • Richard C (NZ) on 22/05/2014 at 6:46 pm said:

      Brandon Schollenberger’s account of his post-“hack” SkS forum “hacking” in the CCG ‘Skeptical Science’ thread:

      And at his Izuru site:

      >post-“hack” ?

      Because Brandon was not the original “hacker”.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2014 at 12:02 pm said:

      ‘An Open Letter puts the University of Queensland in a dilemma over John Cook’s ’97% consensus’ paper’

      Posted on May 22, 2014 by Anthony Watts

      Rud Istvan, sends this open letter along for publication and writes: This puts UQ on the horns of a terrible dilemma. The preferred political response is always to sweep such a situation under the rug and ignore it.


  16. Andy on 16/05/2014 at 12:15 pm said:

    From the SMH article

    Sadly, it has turned into a routine for outsiders with no scientific standing to approach, bully, or intimidate journals, editors, and academics,” said Professor Lewandowsky, now at the UK’s University of Bristol.

    Presumably as a psych professor, Lewandowsky has heard of “projection”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 1:14 pm said:

      >”outsiders with no scientific standing”

      Meaning no [climate] scientific standing including, presumably, statistician Brandon Schollenburger who is compiling (hotlinked to posts):

      ‘A List of Mann’s Screw Ups’

      Mann’s Screw Up #1 – “Excelgate”
      Mann’s Screw Up #2 – Non-Robust
      Mann’s Screw Up #2.5 – 5%
      Mann’s Ego – Basis of Climate Change Evidence?
      Mann’s Screw Up #3 – Statistics is Scary
      Mann’s Screw Up #3 – Cherry Picking
      Mann’s Screw Up #3.2 – Rotten Cherry #1
      Mann’s Screw Up #3.2 – Rotten Cherry #2
      Mann’s Screw Up #4 – Hiding Results
      Mann’s Screw Up #4.1 – Covering Up Results
      Mann’s Screw Up #5 – Inappropriate Data
      Mann’s Screw Up #6 – Altering Data
      Mann’s Screw Up #6.1 – “Fixing” Data
      Mann’s Screw Up #7 – His “Trick”
      Mann’s Screw Up #7.1 – Semantics
      Mann’s Screw Up #8 – Hypocrisy
      Mann’s Screw Up #9 – Overstated Conclusions
      Mann’s Screw Up #9.1 – Nonsense Data

      U of Q and Lew and Cook really should be scared witless by Brandon – as they appear to be.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 6:59 pm said:

      The graph that London’s Daily Mail published on December 13, 2009, shows how Mann & Co concealed their “amputation” of the inconvenient truth (from Mark Steyn article below):

      Re “amputation”:

      [Steyn] – This is from Dr Christy’s damning evidence to Congress:

      “Regarding the Hockey Stick of IPCC 2001 evidence now indicates, in my view, that an IPCC Lead Author working with a small cohort of scientists, misrepresented the temperature record of the past 1000 years by (a) promoting his own result as the best estimate, (b) neglecting studies that contradicted his, and (c) amputating another’s result so as to eliminate conflicting data and limit any serious attempt to expose the real uncertainties of these data.”

      Truncation being the other indispensible Team tool i.e. NEVER present up-to-date data. I note too that the the latest Mann et al 2014 AMO paper (pause excuse #13?) displays elements of a) and b) (dismissal of the “stadium wave” paper by Marcia Wyatt and Judith Curry for example).

    • Richard C (NZ) on 16/05/2014 at 7:10 pm said:

      Should be – “NEVER present up-to-date data [if it doesn’t show warming].

  17. Richard C (NZ) on 19/05/2014 at 5:52 pm said:

    ‘A Queenslander’s Guide to Australian Universities’

    Guest essay by Eric Worrall


    If you fancy the cooler Mediterranean climate of Australia’s southern coast, Melbourne University might be your choice – the Melbourne University which hosted to the Gergis study, $300,000 worth of effort which lasted 3 weeks before it had to be pulled due to a major flaw.

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