Stakes on climate change are indeed too high to keep silent

But not in the way the Herald means it.

Phillip Mills and Barry Coates, like good zealots everywhere, loyally maintain the view pushed down our throats by the IPCC that we need to reduce our emissions “to meet the aim of limiting global temperature rise to 2°C.”

They say they can’t stay silent, as the stakes are too high. I actually agree, but they’re thinking nobly of the whole world. I see the stakes a little differently. We’re just a small country and I want to know how much it could cost.

The MfE is setting the country’s target for emissions reductions after 2020. It says the cost to each family of a 20% reduction would be $1400 per annum. But why don’t they tell us the total cost?

The 2013 census says the country has 1.136 million families. If fighting climate change cost each family $1400, the total would be $1.6 billion per annum. Projections suggest that by 2027 there could be another 364,000 families, which would add $500 million. But there’s more.

But they know what they’re doing, right?

There will also be an economic cost because the economy won’t flourish under a “price of carbon” of perhaps $50 per tonne. If our target is a reduction of 20% on 1990 levels, the MfE says the annual economic cost by 2027 in lost production could be $4 billion.

Total estimate: $2 billion from families + $4 billion from taxpayers = $6 billion per annum. It only takes $1.5 billion to run our prisons; $3 billion for our Defence Force; and $1.6 billion for the Police.

Yep, stakes are high. But they know what they’re doing. I mean, the science is all settled, isn’t it? Actually, it isn’t settled, but that’s not the worst of it. Much of it has been obfuscated, distorted and fraudulently misrepresented (but that’s for another post).

Everyone else says it hasn’t been warming for about 20 years. Our two brave opinion-makers must have heard about it: this hiatus in the Earth’s brief temperature rise from the mid-1970s to the millennium has been talked about for years. Doesn’t it make them curious? It makes hundreds of thousands of us curious, but not them.

The ones we call “deniers”

I would encourage them to give quiet thought to this problem. The climate is gigantic and complex and any investigation will quickly discover a daunting array of materials and processes about which little is known. It will require many facets of study and our two zealots will quickly find themselves lost in a swamp of climate facts, figures and theories. But they might notice a conjunction of two facts in particular. Let me help by pointing them out.

1. The current complete failure of the climate to warm.
2. The shrill predictions of dangerous climate warming.

Now that they can acknowledge the incompatibility of these two facts, a question may pop up in them (as it did in us) that simply asks why.

Sceptical inquirers (you know, the ones we call “deniers”) have been asking this and other questions for a long time.

Never mind why it might be a good idea to limit our emissions; never mind how the figure of 2°C was derived; don’t even be concerned that we regularly go on winter holidays where temperatures are 20 or 30 degrees above the ones we’re escaping and it doesn’t feel a bit dangerous.

Never mind that: if you can respond reasonably to this incompatibility of undeniable facts, you are no denialist.

They say, “This is the time for us to make a decision on New Zealand’s role. We cannot afford to fail again.” Well, I agree this is too wrong to stay silent on because any climate change target New Zealand sets will not change the climate. See the first point in my submission to the MfE in my post Assisting the Minister fight the climate.

Naively uninterested in investigating

Mills and Coates present an article devoid of science, urging us to respond to this urgent global warming but naively uninterested in investigating it. They waffle on about boosting the economy through unspecified “low-carbon policies” and reductions in the cost of batteries and insinuate that just because electric cars and solar panels have gone down in price they are now affordable. They rely not on science to persuade us but appeal instead to some nebulous morality. If they persuaded us properly (evidence works well) they wouldn’t need to resort to morality.

They display ignorance of Germany’s phase-out of nuclear reactors, apparently not knowing it has forced a desperate return to coal-fired generation (and, to correct their article, Germany generated only a quarter, not a half, of its electricity from renewable sources last year, and increased their use of coal). They might be horrified to learn that Germany’s heroic installation of about 70 gigawatts of renewable capacity since 2002 has not reduced its dependence on fossil fuels one bit. In fact, it’s risen to the highest ever.

They will certainly be horrified to learn that China is not “transitioning away” from coal: they are building a coal-fired power plant every 7 to 10 days, and they intend to keep that up for the next ten years. Japan is building 43 coal-fired plants to replace its nuclear generators.

China puts into the atmosphere the same amount of carbon dioxide in seven weeks as we produce in a whole year. Just the increase in China’s emissions over six to eight weeks is equivalent to New Zealand’s emissions for a year. Our emissions are puny—a mere 28 hours’ of China’s output. [My apologies for misconstruing Dr Mike Kelly’s presentation on 9 April. – RT]

Old-fashioned and irrelevant

Mills and Coates wax fairly passionate about fixing this climate peril we’re in. But it’s oddly irrelevant and even seems (dare I say it) old-fashioned to panic about dangerous man-made global warming when there’s been for so long so much evidence against it.

As always, don’t believe what I say, believe what the scientists tell us. Here’s Dr Roy Spencer’s comparison between a bunch of climate models and the reality of atmospheric temperatures observed by balloons and satellites. It clearly shows the blue blobs of reality and the out-of-this-world model temperatures soaring high above them. It’s been about four years since this graph was assembled, but temperatures have not risen and the model predictions show no sign of coming down.


Carbon dioxide is the most important determinant of atmospheric temperature, according to the models—but only because that’s what the modellers tell them. Doh! Click to enlarge.

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40 Thoughts on “Stakes on climate change are indeed too high to keep silent

  1. “China puts into the atmosphere the same amount of carbon dioxide in seven weeks as we produce in a whole year. Our emissions are puny.”
    Suggest you check this. I think it may be more like a day, maybe a bit more, not seven weeks. The last bit is right though. Our emissions in comparison are indeed puny.

  2. Richard Treadgold on 22/05/2015 at 10:41 pm said:

    Hi Robin. I received this from Dr Mike Kelly during his presentation at UofA a few weeks ago. If you have other information, please give a reference. Thanks.

    The list is for 2010 and shows China as producing 24.65% and New Zealand 0.09%. The ratio is 273; equivalent to about 32 hours of the year. China has continued to develop since then, so NZ in proportion is now even more puny than that.

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2015 at 12:06 pm said:

    >”As always, don’t believe what I say, believe what the scientists tell us. ”

    Even the IPCC can be believed that their models aren’t valid, they dumped them in favour of “expert opinion” in AR5. No wonder, as they state in Chapter 9 Evaluation of Climate Models, Box 9.2:

    ‘Climate Models and the Hiatus in Global Mean Surface Warming of the Past 15 Years’

    “However, an analysis of the full suite of CMIP5 historical simulations (augmented for the period 2006–2012 by RCP4.5 simulations, Section 9.3.2) reveals that 111 out of 114 realizations show a GMST trend over 1998–2012 that is higher than the entire HadCRUT4 trend ensemble (Box 9.2 Figure 1a;
    CMIP5 ensemble mean trend is 0.21ºC per decade). This difference between simulated and observed trends could be caused by some combination of (a) internal climate variability, (b) missing or incorrect radiative forcing and (c) model response error”

    # # #

    In other words, the bulk of the IPCC’s climate models are junk in the current configuration.

    But this is their “evidence” isn’t it?

  5. Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2015 at 12:55 pm said:

    ‘On Climate, Science and Politics Are Diverging’

    by Rupert Darwall May 22, 2015


    Selecting isolated phenomena — an iceberg here, a typhoon there, even the disintegration of Syria into barbarism — is a substitute for the real thing, namely, the eighteen-plus years’ failure of average global temperature to rise in line with climate-model predictions. The pause, or hiatus, is a problem for climate scientists in the sense that nature is presenting them with something they had not anticipated and want to understand. For climate alarmists led by President Obama, it is a bigger problem than that. “The science is indisputable,” the president said Wednesday at the Coast Guard Academy commencement address. “The planet is getting warmer,” he falsely claimed.

    The non-warming is rattling alarmists who are adopting two distinct coping strategies. Nassim Taleb of black-swan fame argues that the less we understand about climate change, the more we ought to try and stop it. Climate models don’t need to tell us that pollution puts the planet into uncharted territories, he argues. Invoking the case for precaution, Taleb’s convoluted logic places the burden of proof with deniers to demonstrate absence of harm.

    Twenty years ago, the political scientist Aaron Wildavsky called the precautionary principle a marvelous piece of rhetoric: “It assumes what actually should be proved.” He cited Harvey Brooks, the senior statesman of the science, technology, and policy field, according to President Obama’s science adviser John Holdren. Brooks observed that the only proof of a negative is an impossibility theorem demonstrating that the contemplated action or reaction is contrary to the laws of nature. Far from buttressing a reasoned policy case, Taleb’s position, in requiring climate skeptics to prove a negative, merely underscores the weakness of current scientific understanding of the climate. If temperatures had been rising faster than climate-models prediction, nature itself would have provided a stronger rationale for action than does the precautionary principle.

    A second strategy is to claim that the pause is a false artifact created by vested interests and political agents hostile to regulation. “Mainstream scientific discourse has inherited, and is now extensively using, a framing that was demonstrably created by contrarians,” argue psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes in a new paper. The skeptic meme of the pause has seeped into how climate scientists frame their research. “Pressures of climate contrarians has [sic] contributed, at least to some degree, to undermining the confidence of the scientific community in their own theory,” the authors conclude.

    Their argument that climate scientists were researching the impact of natural variability at the behest of skeptics received short shrift from Richard Betts, a climate scientist at Britain’s Met Office. The observed temperatures in the 1990s were much as had been anticipated. In contrast, the trajectory of global temperatures in the last fifteen years or so had not been specifically predicted. “This time, there is an interesting puzzle to be investigated,” Betts wrote.

    In the last chapter of her book Merchants of Doubt (2010), co-written with Erik Conway, Oreskes outlined a “new view” of science. It was certainly novel. History, she claimed, showed that science does not provide certainty; it does not provide proof; it provides only “the consensus of experts, based on the organized accumulation and scrutiny of evidence.” Oreskes’s new science jettisons the standards and methods established during the scientific revolution. Indeed, it’s a view of science that could also be applied to the study of theology or any other body of knowledge.

    Global warming is preeminently a political project. On Tuesday, the leaders of France and Germany met to set a goal for the December climate summit in Paris: to fully decarbonize the world economy by the end of the century. It required, Angela Merkel and François Hollande declared, “a profound transformation of the world economy and society.” The role of experts is to provide a scientific consensus to support the drumbeat of alarm. When the president of America declares climate change an immediate threat to national security and accuses skeptics of “negligence” and “dereliction of duty,” scientific skepticism becomes an enemy of the state. The shrillness of the president’s rhetoric draws attention to the weakness of the science. The true believers have given up trying to win over the undecided.

    — Rupert Darwall is the author of The Age of Global Warming: A History (Quartet, 2013).

    Read more at:

    # # #

    When Prof Bob Carter first pointed out the standstill in global temperatures in 2006 he was called a “liar” on Australia’s ABC. UofNSW “Centre of Excellance” climate scientists Sherwood and England were at the forefront of the “liar” claim. Now they’re busy attempting to explain the hiatus (and Sherwood’s just manufactured a hotspot that’s neither hot nor spot).

    And Richard Betts could have given credit to Bob Cater too, but not likely.

    Rupert Darwall’s essay title puts the issue in a nutshell. Phillip Mills and Barry Coates are elucidating the political, they dare not address the science.

  6. Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2015 at 1:20 pm said:

    >“Mainstream scientific discourse has inherited, and is now extensively using, a framing that was demonstrably created by contrarians,” argue psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky and Harvard historian of science Naomi Oreskes in a new paper

    Mainstream climate scientist pushes back against Lewandowsky’s ‘seepage’
    Anthony Watts / May 18, 2015

    The indefatigable Barry Woods has left this comment over on Lewandowsky’s “Shaping Tomorrow’s World” blog on “seepage”. It features IPCC lead author Professor Peter Thorne, who is none too happy about Lewandowsky’s latest “seepage” paper and pulls no punches in his pushback.

    Barry Woods at 05:32 AM on 17 May, 2015

    Professor Peter Thorne (IPCC lead author) commenting on an article about all this in the Guardian:

    “As a contributor to the hiatus box in IPCC AR5 and an author and reviewer of several relevant papers frankly this whole thing is depressing and shows extreme naivety as to what constitutes the scientific process and the accrual and acceptance of scientific knowledge. Indeed the only relevant part is the final sentence. That as climate scientists we have to develop thick skins.

    To maintain that as scientists we should not investigate the pause / hiatus / slowdown (there I used the phrase …) is downright disingenuous and dangerous. It is important to understand all aspects of climate science and that includes recent and possible future decadal timescale variability and its causes. We all experience climatic variability so we should understand it. The large volume of papers on the hiatus will undoubtedly have served to improve our knowledge of climate variability and the climate system and will almost certainly lead to improved climate projections in future through improved climate modelling.

    If it had been decided to ignore the hiatus then those benefits and insights would not have accrued. So what if some of those papers resulted from segments of society asking questions about this? First, its an entirely reasonable and policy relevant question because what has caused it has very real implications as to what we should do vis-a-vis short-term adaptation decisions. Second, even if it weren’t a reasonable question, then it would still be entirely reasonable to address it to explicitly head off mis-conceptions.

    So, this whole thing is a side-show and as such depressing.”-Peter Thorne


    ‘Uh, oh: Looks like Lewandowsky and Oreskes will be going after the AGU now for admitting the ‘hiatus’ exists’
    Anthony Watts / May 22, 2015

    Given Lew and Oreskes latest admonition to scientists who use the word “pause” or “hiatus” it looks like they’ll be applying the “D” word to the entire AGU community of scientists any minute now. From the AGU website, EOS:

    ‘Tracking the Missing Heat from the Global Warming Hiatus’

    “Despite indications that the Pacific Ocean is helping to take up the world’s missing surface heat, the heat doesn’t linger; oceanographers now find that heat has moved over to the Indian Ocean.”


    Gee, big news from the AGU, Nature Geoscience and the University of Miami. Don’t they have internet access to this page?

  7. HemiMck on 23/05/2015 at 2:24 pm said:

    “The list is for 2010 and shows China as producing 24.65% and New Zealand 0.09%. The ratio is 273; equivalent to about 32 hours of the year. China has continued to develop since then, so NZ in proportion is now even more puny than that.”

    It is in fact about 20 hours if the agricultural gases which make up half our number where given the proper weighting.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2015 at 2:41 pm said:

    ‘Climate zealots blinded by confirmation bias’

    Written by Joseph Perkins, OC Register on 22 May 2015.


    Indeed, as I read the White House transcript of Mr. Obama’s remarks at New London, I was reminded of an observation by Leo Tolstoy.

    “I know,” the Russian author wrote in his 1897 treatise, “What is Art?,” “that most men – not only those considered clever, but even those who are very clever, and capable of understanding most difficult scientific, mathematical or philosophical problems – can very seldom discern even the simplest and most obvious truth if it is such as to oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they have formed, perhaps with much difficulty – conclusions of which they are proud, which they have taught to others, and on which they have built their lives.”

    This phenomenon to which Tolstoy referred is known today as “confirmation bias.” Raymond Nickerson, founding editor of the Journal of Experimental Psychology: Applied, defines it as “the seeking or interpreting of evidence in ways that are partial to existing beliefs, expectations or a hypothesis at hand.”


  9. Richard, there is an interesting article at Climate Etc along these lines. Talks of the writings of T C Chamberlain, on the theory of multiple hypotheses.

  10. Richard Treadgold on 23/05/2015 at 5:23 pm said:


    I went off and found 2013 emissions of China and New Zealand. Incidentally, sources vary considerably; I don’t know which ones to trust. I thought I’d found a reliable source in the UN, but the latest figures were about 2010, but using five-year-old data is unacceptable when you’re examining the most challenging issue of human existence.

    I found that China lets out our annual amount of CO2 (though I think these are CO2-equivalent emissions) in 28 hours. Very close to your 32 hours.

    Total emissions CO2 (kt): China 9.993.4101 NZ 31,551 2
    per day: China 27,379 NZ 86
    per hour: China 1140.8 NZ 3.6
    per minute: China 19.01 NZ 0.06
    therefore time for China to issue NZ’s annual emissions = 28 hours (1.2 days)

    Thanks, Robin!
    Now, what was I doing…

    Hemi, I agree. Methane and NO2 are not the devils they’re made out to be.

    1 CDIAC –
    2 MfE –

  11. Richard C (NZ) on 23/05/2015 at 8:28 pm said:

    Robin, I followed the Climate Etc hotlink “politicized in Madrid”, arrived at this 5 Part series:

    ‘Madrid 1995: The Last Day of Climate Science’ [SAR]

    by Bernie Lewin

    We continue our quest for how human attribution was first established by the IPCC with a close look at the dramas on the final day in Madrid using the Australian Delegation Report as our guide. The first and second essays on the Chapter 8 Controversy will help readers follow the story, but the main tip for new readers is to catch up on the importance of Barnett et al 1996 in maintaining the scepticism of all but the published version of Chapter 8.

    I wasn’t aware of this series so thanks for the lead.

  12. Michael Kelly on 23/05/2015 at 8:49 pm said:

    My comment in Auckland recently was that the Chinese increase their carbon emissions by an amount equal to the total NZ emissions every 6-8 weeks. NZ could decarbonise completely at great self-harm and China would replace those emissions within 2 months. And you can only decarbonise once!

  13. Richard Treadgold on 23/05/2015 at 10:09 pm said:

    Thanks, Michael, fixed it. Sorry I got that wrong. Thanks to Robin Pittwood, too, for raising it.

    But now it’s worse than I thought! 🙂

  14. Very happy to have joined the discussion here today. Thanks Richards T and C, and thanks to Dr Kelly for clarifying. That statement makes good sense now, and is a very important statistic. The point would be a useful addition to my submission to MFE re NZ’s proposed emission targets post 2020. Dr Kelly, are you OK with me mentioning your name in the submission to MFE?

  15. Andy on 24/05/2015 at 2:24 pm said:

    Phillip Mills has made his money from the successful Les Mills fitness centres, and from franchising their intellectual property of strutting around in gyms to tunes, around the world.

    Since he now wants to save the world, why doesn’t he combine the two and connect spin bikes to the grid, so that fitness fans can generate carbon free energy while they get fit?

    What could possibly go wrong?

  16. HemiMcK on 25/05/2015 at 1:52 pm said:

    Finally economic realities are driving decision making. Fortunately it is not too late for NZ as the wasted investment in nutter projects has been relatively small compared to others countries.

    “Origin Energy is set to enjoy some relief to its stretched balance sheet after its majority owned New Zealand subsidiary Contact Energy declared it would return $NZ367 million ($343 million) to shareholders after failing to find suitable growth opportunities in renewable energy.”

  17. Andy on 26/05/2015 at 8:36 am said:

    Gareth Morgan weighs into the argument with his piece “Why are we still dragging our feet on climate change?”

    There is lots of droning about “deniers”, who we are advised, have been “marginalised” (thankfully, he says) and a brief mention of Milankovic Cycles

  18. Alexander K on 26/05/2015 at 8:50 am said:

    Strewth, Gareth Morgan does love the sound of his own voice, even when he’s talking arrant nonsense. His opinions should not be taken seriously as they are nothing more than ‘his opinions’.

    • Richard Treadgold on 26/05/2015 at 10:23 am said:

      Mr Morgan has a fortune, an investment business, he’s written books, made fearless motorcycle journeys and has become a household name in New Zealand. He boldly mounted a campaign against cats. Many people trust him. His latest post is clearly wrong about climate sceptics, calling them deniers and crassly mischaracterising their arguments; he must be opposed for the sake of the audience that believes him. I try to keep up with the deluge of propaganda on the one hand, to provide some answer to it, and news of non-warmist climate research on the other hand, which never appears in the MSM. I don’t really have the time, but who else is handling the New Zealand scene?

  19. Andy on 26/05/2015 at 8:54 am said:

    Alexander, yes his opinions do seem a little light on facts. However, Dr Morgan apparently spent a million dollars of his own money researching his book “Poles Apart”

    Would you buy a used car/investment portfolio from this man?

  20. Andy on 26/05/2015 at 10:44 am said:

    I have left a few polite comments on GM’s blog. I don’t respond to the “denier” rhetoric anymore.

    Also, I would add that when GM claims that “deniers” are small in number and marginalised, might I suggest that the UK Labour Party also thought the same about the Tories before the last UK election? Just because they have locked themselves in their echo-chamber doesn’t mean that the world outside doesn’t exist anymore

  21. Simon on 26/05/2015 at 11:37 am said:

    Gareth Morgan gets it. A common meme here is that concern about climate change is green or socialist zealotary when in fact it is about economically rational behaviour in the face of overwhelming evidence.

  22. Andy on 26/05/2015 at 11:48 am said:

    No it is not zealotry alone. it is also crony capitalists lining up to cream subsidies off the government for their useless green projects.

    Then again, the whole socialist edifice seems to be built on “inspirational leaders” using the false premise that they are either helping the poor or saving the planet whilst lining their own pockets.

    Take Tony Blair, for example

  23. Andy on 26/05/2015 at 12:24 pm said:

    It is a shame, for someone that “gets it”, that Gareth Morgan’s arguments are content-free. Apparently the “evidence” of whatever is getting stronger every year.

    All non-anthropogenic climate sources are Milankovic cycles, “deniers” are getting shriller and less in number, and their only argument is that models don’t work.

    It is really a shame that someone could spend a million dollars of their own money and this is all they can come up with.

    At least I know not to invest any money in his Kiwisaver scheme.

  24. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 12:47 pm said:

    I submitted this at Gareth’s World.

    >There are two common objections to the weight of evidence. The first is
    that either there’s not enough evidence yet. The second is that it’s
    fair game for any lightweight to blithely dismiss climate models because
    after all, they’re “just a model, not reality”.

    Wrong and wrong.

    There isn’t ANY evidence yet. Read the IPCC’s AR5 report, full of conjecture but rather than evidence they’re desperately trying to come up with excuses as to why their models are wrong. Chapter 9 Evaluation of Climate Models in particular. 111 of the 114 simulations submitted to CMIP5/AR5 are junk. They have not modeled reality and the IPCC is trying to explain why. One of their reasons, natural variability i.e. ocean oscillations, is what deniers have been telling them for about 20 years that they’ve neglected.

    Tim Groser should not be going anywhere near Paris (or any COP) until the models are reconciled with reality.

    But the IPCC got their solar reasoning horribly wrong (And so have you and Dr Jan Wright Gareth – “Milankovic cycles”? No,not a model forcing, that’s TSI). The IPCC’s solar excuse for the lack of warming this century is a downward phase in the 11-yr solar cycle (SC 23). This is bunk. Since 2007 there has been an upward phase in SC 24, now just passed peak. And why wasn’t the downward phase of SC 22 a factor in the 90s when there was actually some warming?

    The solar case is this Gareth (contrary to your ignorance): the significant solar change takes place in the bi-centennial timeframe (not 11-yrs). Shapiro et al (2011) returned 6 W.m-2 solar increase LIA -CWP (present). The IPCC dismissed this out of hand in Chapter 9 (Mike Lockwood admits he didn’t understand their methodology). The sun is going into recession right now, there has already been around 0.4 W.m-2 change from peak 1986 levels which continued on to 2005 then dropped (see PMOD). It is not out of the question that solar levels return to Gliessburg, Dalton, or Maunder/LIA levels by the late 2030s.

    Anyone, including CO2-centric IPCC solar specialists, demanding an almost instantaneous atmospheric temperature response from solar change (as they do) is thermodynamically illiterate to the thermal lag in the sun => ocean => atmosphere system. The lag is estimated variously as e.g. 8 – 20 yrs (Abdussamatov), 30 – 40 yrs (Feng & Zhao), 10 – 100 yrs (Trenberth). In other words, after ocean oscillations are filtered out, we should expect the secular trend in global temperature to peak sometime after 2020. The secular trend is already decelerating (see Macias et al 2014) which immediately disqualifies CO2 as the driver of the secular trend.

    I could move on to the critical contra-AGW case which is radiative heat transfer and radiation-material heating but I don’t think you’re ready for it Gareth. The IPCC and climate science seem oblivious to the fact that radiation in the solar spectrum has a heating effect on surface materials but radiation in the DLR spectrum (e.g. from CO2 at 10 microns WL) doesn’t heat anything, net longwave is a cooling effect. The IPCC speculate in Chapter 10 (no citation support yet after 25 yrs and 5 reports) about “air-sea fluxes” being the “expected” anthro ocean heating mechanism. Nonsense of course. And when they actually look for the flux in Chapter 3, they can’t find it.

    Climate science could defer to radiation specialists who are expert in this area (e.g. medical laser physics) but no. Even the cancer society knows more about radiation-matter interaction differences than climate science does (e.g. UV-A and UV-B on dermis and epidermis). Climate science makes no distinction across the EM spectrum.

    Then there’s the “enhanced” greenhouse effect. Has it not occurred to you Gareth, that the the nightly temperature forecasts for your locality make no recourse whatsoever to the IPCC’s RF methodology or the greenhouse effect. And climate is the aggregate of weather. Meteorology derives temperature from mass, gravity, pressure etc. Same for the US entry to the space race. They had to model the atmosphere, including temperature, from the surface to TOA. Their final model was the US Standard Atmosphere 1976 (prelim 1963). Their surface to TOA temperature profile was subsequently confirmed by weather balloons and satellites.

    And here’s the thing, the temperature profile was obtained by inclusion of the elements that matter – CO2 was insignificant and neglected. And again, no recourse to a greenhouse effect required just mass gravity pressure.. There is no enclosed greenhouse in the troposphere anyway, it is open space free to convect – like a greenhouse but with the doors open at each end.

    If you think there are just 2 common objections as you’ve outlined them above then you’re not even beginning to understand the issues Gareth.

  25. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 1:02 pm said:

    Also replied to Peter, the climate model tester.

    >”Climate models are built from around 1million lines of fortran code that
    solve mathematical time-dependent equations based on our fundamental
    understanding of fluid dynamics”

    And after being run they produce garbage like this:

    [BTW, the graph is from RT’s post above]

  26. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 2:10 pm said:

    Simon, you say:

    >”economically rational behaviour in the face of overwhelming evidence”

    What exactly (specifically) is the evidence that is “overwhelming” (let alone evidence at all)? Cite it. Quote it from the IPCC reports (if you can find it).

    I’ve already shown in the previous post the sheer redundancy of the IPCC’s case from their SPM but let’s see it again:

    First note the IPCC’s anthro attribution period (page 15 pdf):

    D.3 Detection and Attribution of Climate Change

    • It is extremely likely that more than half of the observed increase in global average surface temperature from 1951 to 2010 was caused by the anthropogenic increase in greenhouse gas concentrations and other anthropogenic forcings together. The best estimate of the human-induced contribution to warming is similar to the observed warming over this period. {10.3}

    OK, 1951 to 2010 (and note there has been no statistically significant warming this century).

    Figure SPM.1 (a) on page 4 pdf shows just how weak the IPCC case above is.

    1) Only 2 decades of warming within the anthro attribution period (1980s and 1990s). At first glance looks like 0.6 C, but the 1940s (prior to the attribution period) were already higher than the 1970s so the net warming 1940s to 2000s is about 0.45 C, fractionally more than 1900s to 1940s (say 0.42 C).

    2) the slope of the warming 1910s to 1940s (4 decades) is the same as the slope of the warming from 1970s to 2000s (4 decades).

    3) What exactly, makes the 1970s to 2000s any different to the 1910s to 1940s that enables the IPCC anthro attribution to the latter above?

    # # #

    OK Simon, what is the “overwhelming evidence” that applies to the anthro attribution period where temperature is little different to the non-attribution period in 1, 2, and 3 ?

    Or, put differently, couldn’t the anthro attribution be dropped and the same natural driving factors still remain for the entire period 1900 – 2010 because there’s no difference 1900 – 1951 than there is 1951 – 2010?

  27. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 2:22 pm said:

    >”Gareth Morgan gets it”

    Yes, gets it politically and ideologically.

    But clueless as to the contra scientific argument given his conception of it above..

  28. Simon on 26/05/2015 at 2:59 pm said:

    Richard C,
    Read this with an open mind (if you can).

  29. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 3:29 pm said:

    I had read it some time ago Simon (it’s a Dec 2014 post), Tamino, like Lewandowsky and Oreskes, is desperately trying to discount any notion of a pause.

    Except it’s not me he has to convince, it’s the IPCC. They recognize the “hiatus” (as they term it).

    Contrary to Tamino’s linear and GISTEMP-based reasoning, the trajectory is flat when all metrics and trends (not just linear) are considered (including satellites). And Tamino might include a bit more data, say the entire 20th century.

    His blog post is simply conjecture, the title confirms that:

    “Is Earth’s temperature about to soar?”

    He answers himself with this:

    “Of course there will still be fluctuations, as there always have been. But if future temperature follows the path which really is indicated by correct statistical analysis, then yes, Earth’s temperature is about to soar.”

    Except Tamino has indicated an erroneous path. The path of the secular trend is determined by signal analysis, see Macias et al (2014):

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

    From the abstract:

    “However, and contrary to the two previous events, during the current hiatus period, the ST shows a strong fluctuation on the warming rate, with a large acceleration (0.0085°C year−1 to 0.017°C year−1) during 1992–2001 and a sharp deceleration (0.017°C year−1 to 0.003°C year−1) from 2002 onwards. This is the first time in the observational record that the ST shows such variability, so determining the causes and consequences of this change of behavior needs to be addressed by the scientific community.”

    The deceleration (negative inflexion) in the secular trend immediately disqualifies CO2 as the driver. Macias et al can’t identify the actual culprit but it’s obviously lagged solar. Expect, given the inflexion. a change of phase, positive to negative, in the 2020’s.

    So, is Earth’s temperature about to soar?


    BYW, I hope that’s not your “overwhelming evidence”. I’m completely underwhelmed by it if it is.

  30. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 4:12 pm said:

    Simon, these are the 2 figures from Macias et al that relegate Tamino’s simplistic linear analysis to irrelevancy:

    Figure 1. SSA reconstructed signals from HadCRUT4 global surface temperature anomalies.

    The annual surface temperature (gray line), multidecadal variability (MDV, blue line), secular trend (ST, red line) and reconstructed signal (MDV+ST, black line) are indicated. ST represents 78.8% of the total energy of the series; MDV accounts for 8.8% of the energy and the reconstructed signal for 88%. The dashed thin red lines indicate the range of variability of the ST obtained by applying SSA to the temperature time series obtained for each individual month.


    Figure 3. Global warming rate analysis.

    a) Warming rates (°C year−1) obtained from the different signals identified in the SSA: ST (red line), MDV (blue line) and reconstructed signal (black line). The dashed thin red lines are the confidence intervals for the warming rate associated with the ST obtained from each individual month’s time series. b) Zoom on the last 25 years of the time series.

    Tamino doesn’t come close to emulating this analysis which isolates MDV and ST signals from the original signal. Macias et al is not the only paper in this body of literature either, it started with an EMD paper in 2003 that discarded Fourier analysis as outmoded. EMD identified a decelerating ST before SST did.

  31. Simon on 26/05/2015 at 4:19 pm said:

    Ha, that paper has zero citations.
    Signal processing? Next you’ll be talking about notch filters and a mysterious Force X from outer space.
    Solar variation is only about 0.1% of total output as you well know. It can’t explain the increase in temperature.

  32. Richard Treadgold on 26/05/2015 at 4:23 pm said:


    Solar variation is only about 0.1% of total output as you well know. It can’t explain the increase in temperature.

    I was going to ask about this too. Is it like cloud cover, whereof, according to Roy Spencer, approximately 2% could account for all GMST variance?

  33. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 4:42 pm said:

    RT, your quote is from Simon, viz:

    “Solar variation is only about 0.1% of total output as you well know. It can’t explain the increase in temperature.”

    What he’s referring to here is the 11-yr solar cycle which is completely irrelevant. He doesn’t know what he’s on about (or does and is indulging in misdirection). Of course the 11-yr cycle cannot explain centennial scale temperature but so what?

    The 2 relevant solar forcings are Grand Mimimum to Grand Maximum (e.g. LIA – CWP) change at TOA and surface solar radiation (SSR) or solar received at surface. The former explains the increase in temperature both before the IPCC’s anthro attribution period and during it (the secular trend, ST). The latter is a major factor in multi-decadal variation (MDV).

    >”Is it like cloud cover, whereof, according to Roy Spencer, approximately 2% could account for all GMST variance?”

    SSR forcing is, yes but in respect to MDV – not ST. Cloudiness changes, especially over the last 3 decades means a change in SSR. SSR forcing (from Martin Wild’s report) from 1990 was about 27 times greater than CO2 forcing in some regions (assuming CO2 forcing is valid of course).

  34. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 4:50 pm said:

    >”Ha, that paper has zero citations.”

    It’s only just been published, why would you expect any?

    >”Signal processing?”

    You might look at the references (by no means exhaustive):

    25. Vautard R, Yiou P, Ghil M (1992) Singular Spectrum Analysis: A toolkit for short noisy chaotic signals. Phys. D. 58, 95–126.

    27. Broomhead DS, King GP (1986) Extracting qualitative dynamics from experimental data. Phys. D. 20(2–3), 217–236.

    Gee, 1986 and 1992, goes back awhile doesn’t it?

    I can dig out other earlier papers than Macias et al, that was just the latest. But it’ll have to be tomorrow now.

  35. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 5:27 pm said:

    >”I was going to ask about this too. Is it like cloud cover…”

    RT, there’s articles and papers by Martin Wild dealing with SSR forcing, cloudiness changes, and global dimming and brightening that will clarify all this e.g article (see references for papers):

    by Martin Wild

    But there’s a better Wild poster that I can’t bring to hand at the moment but I know where to get it (Robin Pittwood’s). It’l be tomorrow now.

  36. Richard C (NZ) on 26/05/2015 at 6:56 pm said:

    The poster isn’t better, here’s what can be gleaned from Wild above:


    Fig. 2. [page 29] Changes in surface solar radiation [SSR] observed in regions with good station coverage during three periods. (left column) The 1950s– 1980s show predominant declines (“dimming”), (middle column) the 1980s–2000 indicate partial recoveries (“brightening”) at many locations, except India, and (right column) recent developments after 2000 show mixed tendencies. Numbers denote typical literature estimates for the specified region and period in W m–2 per decade. Based on various sources as referenced in Wild (2009).

    Average USA/Europe/China-Mongolia/Japan/India:

    1950s-1980s: -4.8 W.m-2
    1980s-2000: +2.0 W.m-2
    After 2000: -0.6 W.m-2

    Table 1. [page 33] Magnitudes of linear 2-m temperature trends shown in Fig. 4 during dimming and brightening phases in the NH………Units °C decade–1.

    Dimming phase (1958–85)
    Observed T trend NH −0.002
    Model-calculated T trend NH +0.12

    Brightening phase (1985–2000)
    Observed T trend NH +0.29
    Model-calculated T trend NH +0.19


    The latest updates on solar radiation changes observed since the new millennium show no globally coherent trends anymore (see above and Fig. 2). While brightening persists to some extent
    in Europe and the United States, there are indications for a renewed dimming in China associated with the tremendous emission increases there after 2000, as well as unabated dimming in India (Streets et al. 2009; Wild et al. 2009).

    Cloud/aerosol forcing range 1950s to 2000+:
    -10 W.m-2 to +8 W.m-2. Sfc

    By comparison, the current rate of CO2 forcing is:
    +0.3 Wm-2/decade.TOA

    It is impossible to detect +0.3 CO2 forcing among SSR fluctuations at the surface of -10 to +8. Neither will CO2 forcing of +0.3 have made any difference among SSR after 2000:

    +8 USA
    +3 Europe
    -4 China/Mongolia
    0 Japan
    -10 India

    >”Average [SSR] USA/Europe/China-Mongolia/Japan/India:
    1950s-1980s: -4.8 W.m-2
    1980s-2000: +2.0 W.m-2
    After 2000: -0.6 W.m-2″

    3 decades x -4.8 = -14.4 W.m-2 SSR 1950s-1980s
    3 decades x +0.2 = +0.6 W.m-2 CO2 1950s-1980s (roughly)

    2 decades x +2.0 = +4.0 W.m-2 SSR 1980s-2000
    2 decades x +0.3 = +0.6 W.m-2 CO2 1980s-2000 (roughly)

    1 decade x -0.6 = -0.6 W,m-2 SSR after 2000
    1 decade x +0.3 = +0.3 W,m-2 CO2 after 2000 (calculated)

    SSR was obviously the radiative temperature driver 1950-2010 – not CO2.

  37. Andy on 27/05/2015 at 12:32 pm said:

    Gareth Morgan’s latest post on climate change is making the very sensible suggestion that we change our views on methane as a short-lived GHG.


  38. Richard C (NZ) on 27/05/2015 at 3:35 pm said:

    Re cloudiness changes and increased SSR:

    ‘Observational support for Lindzen’s iris hypothesis’

    by Judith Curry on May 26, 2015

    It’s nice to see that our ‘discredited’ theory doesn’t seem to go away. – Richard Lindzen

    The new Mauritsen and Stevens paper (discussed in the companion post by Rud Istvan [see link below]) is breathing new life into Richard Lindzen’s iris hypothesis.


    9Lindzen] – “So, what was the result of these criticisms that were clearly made in the absence of any serious attempt to understand LCH [the original iris hypothesis paper]? In the environmental literature as well as in papers by scientists like Jim Hansen and Steve Schneider, LCH is accompanied by the adjective discredited.”

    discredit (from American Heritage Dictionary 4th Edition)

    TRANSITIVE VERB: Inflected forms: dis-cred-it-ed, dis-cred–it-ing, dis- cred-its 1. To damage in reputation; disgrace. 2. To cause to be doubted or distrusted. 3. To refuse to believe. NOUN: 1. Loss of or damage to one’s reputation. 2. Lack or loss of trust or belief; doubt. 3. Something damaging to one’s reputation or stature.

    “I would suggest that this is an unusual word to use in connection with a serious paper.”


    Scroll down and you get to this:

    Trenberth and Fasullo (2009) Global warming due to increasing absorbed solar radiation [TrenberthFasullo2009GL037527]

    “There is an increase in net radiation absorbed, but not in ways commonly assumed. While there is a large increase in the greenhouse effect from increasing greenhouse bases and water vapor (as a feedback), this is offset to a large degree by a decreasing greenhouse effect from reducing cloud cover and increasing radiative emissions from higher temperatures. Instead the main warming from an energy budget standpoint comes from increases in absorbed solar radiation that stem directly from the decreasing cloud amounts.”


    ‘Modeling Lindzen’s adaptive infrared iris’

    by Rud Istvan on May 26


    A new paper modeling Lindzen’s possible iris effect has just been published by Mauritzen and Stephens.[3] (Paywalled, but the Supplementary Information is available.) The abstract reads (emphasis added):

    Equilibrium climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 falls between 2.0 and 4.6 K in current climate models, and they suggest a weak increase in global mean precipitation. Inferences from the observational record, however, place climate sensitivity near the lower end of this range and indicate that models underestimate some of the changes in the hydrological cycle. These discrepancies raise the possibility that important feedbacks are missing from the models. A controversial hypothesis suggests that the dry and clear regions of the tropical atmosphere expand in a warming climate and thereby allow more infrared radiation to escape to space. This so-called iris effect could constitute a negative feedback that is not included in climate models. We find that inclusion of such an effect in a climate model moves the simulated responses of both temperature and the hydrological cycle to rising atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations closer to observations. Alternative suggestions for shortcomings of models — such as aerosol cooling, volcanic eruptions or insufficient ocean heat uptake — may explain a slow observed transient warming relative to models, but not the observed enhancement of the hydrological cycle. We propose that, if precipitating convective clouds are more likely to cluster into larger clouds as temperatures rise, this process could constitute a plausible physical mechanism for an iris effect.

    This important paper got recent attention at BishopHill, and at Climate Audit in part 3 of Nic Lewis’ explanation of his Ringberg climate sensitivity presentation.


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