Fog of the Blog

Expressed sometimes as State of the Nation

The Chinese hackers have been battering on the blog door until a couple of days ago but have now given up and gone away. The technical team at the web hosting company ( have dealt to them. Turns out the high traffic figures I’ve alluded to over the past months were spurious.

The blog will be moving away from WordShine soon, to

This writer is becoming busy with editing work, as the academic year gets under way.

Thank you, my loyal readers and friends, for keeping up the conversation in my frequent absences of late. I especially like the mentions of breaking, noteworthy stories. I’m now catching up and will post new comments shortly.

The unfinished analysis of the report from the Commissioner for the Environment has not been forgotten. It is at the top of the list.

It looks to be an exciting year ahead; my belated Season’s greetings to you all, a Happy New Year and may you each find in it that which opens your heart.

Peace and blessings.

Richard Treadgold.

Visits: 245

26 Thoughts on “Fog of the Blog

  1. HemiMck on 27/01/2015 at 8:23 pm said:

    And a happy New Year to you and yours Richard.

    One thought for a new year

    Coming up to six years from Gareths “Poles Apart”, isn’t it time he is called out on his conclusions. He is after all an analyst who is not beholding to anyone and is basically I believe a good man. His book did serious harm in that it reinforced false premises on which political policies were based.

    Come on Gareth, the models don’t work which means the whole house of cards falls over.

    • Richard Treadgold on 28/01/2015 at 3:39 pm said:

      Thanks, Hemi.

      I haven’t read the Morgan book; how would you summarise the conclusion?

  2. Richard C (NZ) on 29/01/2015 at 9:34 am said:

    For the record:

    ‘Clarification: Hottest Year story’

    By SETH BORENSTEIN, Jan. 23, 2015 1:32 PM EST

    WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that the odds that nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000 are about 650 million to one. These calculations, as the story noted, treated as equal the possibility of any given year in the records being one of the hottest. The story should have included the fact that substantial warming in the years just prior to this century could make it more likely that the years since were warmer, because high temperatures tend to persist.

    The story also reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, but did not include the caveat that other recent years had average temperatures that were almost as high — and they all fall within a margin of error that lessens the certainty that any one of the years was the hottest.

    An earlier version of the story quoted Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis as noting that the margin of error makes it uncertain whether 2014 was warmest, or the second, third or sixth warmest year. She said that regardless, the trend shows a “clear, consistent and incontrovertible” warming of Earth. That reference to the margin of error was dropped in later versions.

    ‘Super-Heated Air from Climate Science on NOAA’s “Hottest” Year’

    Guest Post by Roman Mureika / January 23, 2015

    It was bound to happen eventually. We could see it coming – a feeding frenzy from “really, it is still getting warmer” to “we told you so: this is proof positive that the science is settled and we will all boil or fry!” The latest numbers are in and they show the “hottest” year since temperature data has become available depending on which data you look at.

    The cheerleader this time around seems to have been AP science correspondent Seth Borenstein. Various versions of his essay on the topic have permeated most of America’s newspapers including my own hometown Canadian paper. In his articles, e.g. here [hotlink] and here [hotlink], he throws enormous numbers at us involving probabilities actually calculated (and checked!) by real statisticians which purport to show that the temperatures are still rising and spiraling out of control:

    “Nine of the 10 hottest years in NOAA global records have occurred since 2000. The odds of this happening at random are about 650 million to 1, according to University of South Carolina statistician John Grego. Two other statisticians confirmed his calculations.”


    Using the techniques of the AP statisticians, a simple calculation indicates that the chance of all eight years being the highest is 1 in 5047381560 – almost 9 times as unlikely as what occurred in the most recent years! Not to mention the five records…

    By now, most of the readers will be mumbling “Nonsense, all these probabilities are meaningless and irrelevant to real-world temperature series” … and they would be absolutely correct! The above calculations were done under the assumption that the temperatures from any one year are all independent of the temperature for any other year. If that were genuinely the case in the real world, a plot of the NOAA series would look like the gray curve in the plot shown below which was done by randomly re-ordering the actual temperatures (in red) from the NOAA data.


    For a variety of physical reasons, measured real-world global temperatures have a strong statistical persistence. They do not jump up and down erratically by large amounts and they are strongly auto-correlated over a considerable period of time due to this property. Annual changes are relatively small and when the series has reached a particular level, it may tend to stay around that level for a period of years. If the initial level is a record high then subsequent levels will also be similarly high even if the cause for the initial warming is reduced or disappears. For that reason, making the assumption that yearly temperatures are “independent” leads to probability calculation results which can bear absolutely no relationship to reality. Mr. Borenstein (along with some of the climate scientists he quoted) was unable to understand this and touted them as having enormous importance. The statisticians would probably have indicated what assumptions they had made to him, but he would very likely not have recognized the impact of those assumptions.


    Hence the necessity for a “clarification”.

    • Andy on 29/01/2015 at 6:34 pm said:

      There was a piece in this weeks Press which my father in law alerted me to, entitled “Austrialia is getting hotter,faster”

      When I read the article, I could find no reference to back up the present tense claim. It was all future projections which the Aussies are “very confident” are correct, based on their modelling

      Having said that, it has been a long hot and dry summer in the South Island so far. Good for swimming and general playing, not so good for farmers. lake Opuha near Fairlie is getting close to having no water at all

    • Mike Jowsey on 29/01/2015 at 10:46 pm said:

      Andy – wait for it…. can you hear the rustle? Can you feel the thunder of hooves? Wait…. you will. “With no El Nino, Scientists Point to Global Warming as Most Likely Cause”

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/01/2015 at 7:25 am said:

      The present is a bit mysterious but the future climate is no mystery Andy, just needs lots of guesses:

      “The projections are the most comprehensive ever released for Australia and have been prepared with an emphasis on informing impact assessment and planning in the natural resource management sector. Information has been drawn from simulations based on up to 40 global climate models.”

      Jo Nova puts it differently:

      “Those who believe the Glorious Climate Models (GCMs) are in trouble.”


      ‘The Prophets of Doom are still at The Guardian (and the CSIRO)’

      “Climate change will hit Australia harder than rest of world, study shows”

      The first paragraph contains the word “could”. It’s all a guess based on models they already know are broken:

      “Australia could be on track for a temperature rise of more than 5C by the end of the century,…….”

      In other news – chicken warns sky is falling.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/01/2015 at 8:08 am said:

      But claims the models are wrong are “unfounded” apparently:

      ‘Forcing, feedback and internal variability in global temperature trends’

      Jochem Marotzke & Piers M. Forster (2015)

      Most present-generation climate models simulate an increase in global-mean surface temperature (GMST) since 1998, whereas observations suggest a warming hiatus. It is unclear to what extent this mismatch is caused by incorrect model forcing, by incorrect model response to forcing or by random factors. Here we analyse simulations and observations of GMST from 1900 to 2012, and show that the distribution of simulated 15-year trends shows no systematic bias against the observations. Using a multiple regression approach that is physically motivated by surface energy balance, we isolate the impact of radiative forcing, climate feedback and ocean heat uptake on GMST—with the regression residual interpreted as internal variability—and assess all possible 15- and 62-year trends. The differences between simulated and observed trends are dominated by random internal variability over the shorter timescale and by variations in the radiative forcings used to drive models over the longer timescale. For either trend length, spread in simulated climate feedback leaves no traceable imprint on GMST trends or, consequently, on the difference between simulations and observations. The claim that climate models systematically overestimate the response to radiative forcing from increasing greenhouse gas concentrations therefore seems to be unfounded.

      ‘Study: Models Not To Blame In Failure To Predict Pause’

      Unpredictable random fluctuations in the climate system are to blame for the apparent failure of computer climate models to simulate the so called pause in global warming, according to new research.

      This study finds that computer simulations of the climate work and that there is no evidence from recent observations to support the suggestion that models systematically overestimate the response of the climate system to greenhouse gas warming, according to Piers Forster of the University of Leeds, co-author of a new paper describing this research.

      See figure:

      Fifteen-year temperature trends. The solid black line is the time series of the global mean surface temperature, plotted as a departure (anomaly) from a baseline period 1961–90. The dashed black line is a smooth fit to this series, representing the long-term warming rate

      Except the dashed line is not “the long-term warming rate” as determined by more sensitive analysis (certainly not recently):

      ‘Application of the Singular Spectrum Analysis Technique to Study the Recent Hiatus on the Global Surface Temperature Record’

      Diego Macias, Adolf Stips, Elisa Garcia-Gorriz (2014)

      A clear case of the scientifically blind leading the scientifically blind.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 30/01/2015 at 8:59 am said:

      Amazing. Marotzke & Forster appear to be completely oblivious to the oscillatory component in global temperature (see Macias, Stips, Garcia-Gorriz above):

      “What people have done before is cherry picking to try to come up with their preferred explanation for a particular period,” Forster said. “We tried to be more objective than that and look at all the possible begin dates and end dates.”

      For instance, if you take 1927 as a beginning, then 110 of 114 simulations turn out to under-estimate the observed temperature trends, the study noted. With 1998 as a beginning date, the models over-estimate the actual change.


      “The ocean just fluctuates and changes from time to time and that is quite unpredictable, so it can give significant 15-year counter-trends,” Forster said. For that reason, some 15-year intervals can lag behind the measured temperature trends, he said.


      “The best explanation we offer is these chaotic and random fluctuations within the oceans,” Forster said. “It does seem to be that the Pacific and the Atlantic are drawing heat down from the atmosphere.”

      >”It does seem to be that the Pacific and the Atlantic are drawing heat down from the atmosphere.”

      These guys are brain dead.

  3. Richard C (NZ) on 30/01/2015 at 11:47 am said:

    UK Met Office Decadal Forecast: 2015

    They have omitted their forecasts after 2005 and there’s no readily available archive to access the sequence i.e. these have been expunged unless you dig for them:

    Decadal Forecast: 2014

    Decadal Forecast: 2013

    Decadal Forecast: 2012

    Decadal Forecast 2012 vs 2011

    Decadal Forecast: 2009

    Note the anomaly baseline changes from 1971-2000 in 2013 to 1981-2010 in 2014.

    The radical change was the 0.35 C downgrade from 2011 to 2012 and the shorter forecast horizon (they were obviously wrong, they had to do something). From 2012 onward, basically the same forecast is being moved along each year but with similar re-initialization due to the “pause”.

    Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results – Albert Einstein

  4. Andy on 03/02/2015 at 8:49 am said:

    Reading the Listener piece on ACT’s David Seymour, the claim was made that Seymour “accepts” human induced climate change, but is sceptical about the models.

    In other words, he is a sceptic.

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 04/02/2015 at 9:44 am said:

    I like this commenter’s identifier:

    Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

    • Richard C (NZ) on 04/02/2015 at 9:48 am said:

      Also this:

      Ruairi #19

      A measure to third decimal place,
      Is hardly a temperature trace.
      The results from the buoys,
      Is really just noise,
      And no threat to the globe, or the race.

    • Richard Treadgold on 04/02/2015 at 12:05 pm said:

      Ruairi #19:
      Cute ‘n clever!

  6. Andy on 06/02/2015 at 9:23 am said:

    “Cornwall to build the first ever “sea level lowering pipe” to cure global warming”

    Good for a chuckle

    • Richard C (NZ) on 06/02/2015 at 11:13 am said:

      >”The pipe should be finished in the next couple of weeks”

      Snappy work for a 100,000 km pipe laid, er, vertically.

  7. Andy on 06/02/2015 at 9:32 am said:

    I had an interesting exchange with someone at Hot Topic over the last few days who accused me of “lying” about a Wikipedia quote on Arrhenius

    My quote was about Arrhenius’ revision downwards of climate sensitivity to 2 degrees. I was accused of “lying” because the Wikipedia page was altered by “deniers” and wasn’t correct

    I was then provided a paper in German, by Arrhenius, which apparently proved I was “lying”

    I then found the English translation, and in a roundabout way, found the passage in the original German text that supported the 2.1 degree CS value (including water vapour)

    Apparently this is not relevant because there is some other evidence that Arrhenius’ thought the value was higher.

    So, in conclusion, I am a liar because I quoted Wikipedia, found the original German text that supports the Wiki quote, (and is a quote widely used at SkS, for example), but it is not relevant because it doesn’t fit the narrative

    I’m still struggling with post-modern thinking.

  8. Richard Treadgold on 08/02/2015 at 10:16 pm said:

    You expose yourself to the contagion over there with some courage. The simplest approaches at Hot Topic are inevitably met with white-hot scorn by someone but you exhibit remarkable self-control, well done.

    • Andy on 09/02/2015 at 9:08 am said:

      I would be called a lIar if I claimed the sky is blue. I think I have better things to do with my life.

    • Richard Treadgold on 09/02/2015 at 9:15 am said:

      Yes, and if you went off to do them, who could blame you? Still, the contributions you make here are valued. You often provide links we haven’t seen, analyses we haven’t thought of and comments to die for. So here’s hoping you don’t burn this bridge!

  9. Andy on 09/02/2015 at 9:24 am said:

    No I don’t intend to burn this bridge.
    I noticed that the usual pyschoanalysis goes on after my departure.

    Rob Taylor opines

    Denialists are a form of economic parasite preying on their own offspring, running up a bill they’ll die before having to pay. And every year of delay increases the costs that future generations will have to bear.”

    Which is an interesting observation of someone who has worked at home for several years and been self employed for 15 years. I don’t have a particularly big “carbon footprint” and I am not stopping these people doing anything to “take action”

    The only reason they hate me is because I am not a believer, I am an infidel.

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/02/2015 at 9:31 am said:

      I could understand your excommunication if had been for questioning Saint Arrhenius’ sainthood.

      But for questioning ISIS barbarity?

      What happens when Key (Jewish) sends troops on behalf of NZ?

    • Richard C (NZ) on 09/02/2015 at 9:38 am said:

      >”a form of economic parasite”

      This from a supporter of those who beg professionally – Greenpeace.

  10. Andy on 10/02/2015 at 7:28 am said:

    Obviously when you have such erudition from James Delingpole as your guide, language can get a little florid…

    Right, snivelling, mendacious, corrupt, shrivelled-and-syphilitic-membered, pseudo-scientific, rabid climate trolls. Let’s be hearing your pitiful excuses….”

    Note that this article references work from former Act leader Jamie Whyte

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