Royal Society will save our climate

The Royal Society has made a submission to the MfE on Setting New Zealand’s post-2020 climate change target (pdf, 217 kB).

Nine pages of high-powered propaganda, impressive, sciencey-sounding scary stuff from real professors. Let me know what you think of it.

The alarmists are REALLY ramping up the scare tactics Have a peek at this, from Professor William Nordhaus, who apparently “put it succinctly”:

‘They emphasize that, for climate change, dealing with possible tail events is the central task of policy. They argue that current policies are leading to a substantial chance (perhaps one in ten) that global temperatures will eventually rise by at least six degrees centigrade. This will, in their words, be “the end of the human adventure on this planet as we now know it.” Policies should above all aim to cut off the possibility, the tail, of catastrophic temperature increases.’

Six degrees??!! The end of the human “adventure”??!! That is insane.

Yet we say the world is not ending and they tell us we’re the lunatics.

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27 Thoughts on “Royal Society will save our climate

  1. Bulaman on 05/06/2015 at 7:06 am said:

    In my submission I suggested that we not agree to anything. Instead we should take the energy taxes currently collected and use that money to plant a new forest on marginal land. The result of this policy is IF there is a problem we will have mitigated and if not then we have a timber resource to replace the one destroyed by the ETS.
    I read in the Telegraph a couple of days ago that the UK govt. collects 44.6 billion pounds per annum in “Environment Taxes”. More than enough to actually achieve something useful you might think!
    Bulaman (B.For.Sc., M.Sc.)

  2. Andy on 05/06/2015 at 9:10 am said:

    The costs of climate change, if left unchecked, will make it increasingly difficult to be able to afford
    adaptation, let alone mitigation, because climate change will depress economic activity.

    They reference the Stern Report for this. There are no economists on the author list and all they do is dredge up a 10 year old report that has been widely criticised.

  3. Andy on 05/06/2015 at 9:31 am said:

    Z Energy have also jumped on the bandwagon (or jumped the shark, perhaps) with their submission

    in which they are advocated a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030.

    This may be related to their biofuel business. Presumably the taxes on petrol will have to go up substantially to make biofuels economic, which is why they are making this proposal.

    Either that, or they want to destroy their business. Hard to tell these days

  4. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 10:13 am said:

    >”Our submission is based upon the science of climate and climate change, as encapsulated in the most recent (5th) Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and in ‘emerging issues’ reports published by the Society. Our over-riding motivation is to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system (Article 2 of the UNFCCC).”

    The “danger” is exactly?

    “Danger” based on a somewhat less than exhaustive (no solar chapter) and speculative report (AR5) that has not identified a human fingerprint outside natural variability. Presents junk climate models that are not modeling earth’s climate as evidence. Makes up stuff, overrides junk models with “expert opinion” on the future (they have a crystal ball?).

    Not much of a basis, not much of a danger.

  5. Richard Treadgold on 05/06/2015 at 10:22 am said:


    Not much of a basis, not much of a danger.

    Exactly, and I agree with you. But the question is, how do we persuasively refute their arguments? It’s not enough simply to be convinced, or even to be right; we must bring the message to sufficient numbers that our public policy is changed.

  6. Andy on 05/06/2015 at 10:32 am said:

    we must bring the message to sufficient numbers that our public policy is changed.

    A couple of points: they focus on the “long tail” of probability distributions for climate sensitivity. However, newer studies have short, sharp probability distribution functions (pdf’s) so the long tail is not so significant

    Second, as I said upthread, they are, I believe, seriously underestimating the cost of their proposed emissions reductions, based on the widely criticised (and old) Stern Report.

    Do they really believe it will only cost $500 a year for a family to make these kinds of deep emissions cuts?

    An electric car costs at least 2-3 times the cost of a petrol one, for starters.

  7. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 10:43 am said:

    >”how do we persuasively refute their arguments?”

    Well, I’m letting the climate do it for me (with the help of the odd graph from this blog)..

    At Gareth’s World, Gareth Morgan pointed to rising temperatures and sea levels as the “weight of evidence” (he was apparently unaware of the departure from natural variability required by AGW).

    I showed Gareth the IPCC’s NZ air temperature prediction from NIWA’s scenario page plotted against observations (BEST NZ monthly). And the Commissioner for the Environment’s IPCC-based (but incorrectly interpreted) SLR prediction applied to Wellington Harbour PSMSL tide guage.

    Neither of these apparently “dangerous” predictions are being fulfilled. This is the most persuasive argument I can think of, it is simple (politicians should be able to grasp it) and easily communicated.

  8. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 11:07 am said:

    >”An electric car costs at least 2-3 times the cost of a petrol one, for starters.”

    Not to mention (because the silence is deafening on this) the alternative proposals (except for TAX TAX TAX) for heavy road transport, shipping (reefers, containers, cruise) and aviation.

    They want to cut emissions of non-toxic gasses but the non-domestic heavy transport sectors are still struggling (or have barely started) to filter toxic gasses and particulates. China has not even bothered to try with either transport or industrial combustion. The US at least has new filtered combustion plants complying with regulations.

    Attention is turning to aviation:

    ‘Unhinged EPA About to Make Air Travel More Expensive’

    Written by Stephen Kruiser, PJ Media on 03 June 2015.

    I’m sure that will work out perfectly.

    But if emissions are to be cut the resources allocated from revenues to do so should first be applied to toxins and particulates i.e. real pollution. The US EPA may have won the right to regulate CO2 as a pollutant but everyone knows it isn’t.

  9. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 11:19 am said:

    ‘Is There No “Hiatus” in Global Warming After All?’

    Written by Patrick J. Michaels, Richard Lindzen, and Paul C. “Chip” Knappenberger, CATO on 04 June 2015.


    It is important to recognize that the central issue of human-caused climate change is not a question of whether it is warming or not, but rather a question of how much. And to this relevant question, the answer has been, and remains, that the warming is taking place at a much slower rate than is being projected.

    See graph

    The distribution of trends of the projected global average surface temperature for the period 1998-2014 from 108 climate model runs used in the latest report of the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)(blue bars). The models were run with historical climate forcings through 2005 and extended to 2014 with the RCP4.5 emissions scenario. The surface temperature trend over the same period, as reported by Karl et al. (2015, is included in red. It falls at the 2.4th percentile of the model distribution and indicates a value that is (statistically) significantly below the model mean projection.

  10. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 11:52 am said:

    ‘Tim Naish: If emission talks focus only on short-term costs, we will pay dearly’

    Friday Jun 5, 2015

    “We have only recently discovered that 93 per cent of the excess heat from anthropogenic global warming has gone into the ocean”

    # # #

    Naish is an outright liar.

    The IPCC reports no such “discovery”. There is no physical mechanism (but there is a mechanism for solar energy accumulation). The IPCC only speculates (Chapter 10) on “air-sea fluxes” being the mechanism but cites no scientific basis whatsoever – none. Observations (Chapter 3) were not able to isolate said “air-sea fluxes”.

    And yet Professor Tim Naish, director of the Antarctic Research Centre at Victoria University of Wellington, can peddle this garbage in a major print outlet with free rein.

    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”

    ― Adolf Hitler

  11. Richard Treadgold on 05/06/2015 at 12:03 pm said:

    The IPCC reports no such “discovery”.

    Anyone want to mount a search for papers that might have been published since AR5?

  12. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 12:13 pm said:

    [Judith Curry] – “This short paper in Science [Karl et al (2015)] is not adequate to explain and explore the very large changes that have been made to the NOAA data set. The global surface temperature datasets are clearly a moving target. So while I’m sure this latest analysis from NOAA will be regarded as politically useful for the Obama administration, I don’t regard it as a particularly useful contribution to our scientific understanding of what is going on.”

    “Politically useful” yes, that would have been the intent.

  13. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 12:25 pm said:

    ‘The climate warming pause goes AWOL (or not)’

    Written by S. Fred Singer, American Thinker on 04 June 2015.

    The bottom line

    “One thing is quite certain, however: Current IPCC climate models cannot explain what the observations clearly show. This makes the models unsuitable for climate prediction – and for policy purposes generally.”

  14. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 12:35 pm said:

    ‘NOAA/NCDC’s new ‘pause-buster’ paper: a laughable attempt to create warming by adjusting past data’

    June 4, 2015

    By Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts, commentary from Dr. Judith Curry follows

    “Their intent and methods are so obvious they’re laughable…………It’s hard to imagine how anyone could take the new NOAA global surface temperature data seriously.”

  15. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 12:50 pm said:

    ‘A First Look at ‘Possible artifacts of data biases in the recent global surface warming hiatus’ by Karl et al., Science 4 June 2015’

    Guest essay by Ross McKitrick University of Guelph, June 4, 2015


    The idea that there has been a hiatus in global warming since the late 1990s comes from examination of several different data sets:


    HadCRUT(land surface + ocean)

    HadSST(ocean surface only)

    NCDC(land surface + ocean)

    GISS(land surface + ocean)

    RSS(lower troposphere)

    UAH(lower troposphere)

    Ocean Heat Content (0-2000m)Argo floats (black line) [SST]

    NOAA SST est’s (red solid and dashed lines)


    K15 New Estimates

    Karl et al. (2015, which I’ll call K15) have struck a very different note, saying that the post-1998 trend is much higher than previously thought, and is in fact about the same as that of the post-1951 interval. Their trend estimate revisions are as follows:


    The big source of the change is an upward revision (+0.06 oC /decade) to the global post-1998 Sea Surface Temperature (SST) trend, with only a small change to the land trend:


    So what changed in the SST records? Bear in mind that there are very few records of air temperatures over the oceans, especially prior to 1950. So to get long term climate estimates, scientists use SST (i.e. water temperature) data, which have been collected since the 1800s by ships. The long term SST records were never collected for climate analysis and they are notoriously difficult to work with. Many judgments need to be made to yield a final record, and as the K15article shows, changes in some of those assumptions yield major changes in the final results.



    Are the new K15 adjustments correct? Obviously it is not for me to say – this is something that needs to be debated by specialists in the field. But I make the following observations:

    · All the underlying data (NMAT, ship, buoy, etc) have inherent problems and many teams have struggled with how to work with them over the years

    · The HadNMAT2 data are sparse and incomplete. K15 take the position that forcing the ship data to line up with this dataset makes them more reliable. This is not a position other teams have adopted, including the group that developed the HadNMAT2 data itself.

    · It is very odd that a cooling adjustment to SST records in 1998-2000 should have such a big effect on the global trend, namely wiping out a hiatus that is seen in so many other data sets, especially since other teams have not found reason to make such an adjustment.

    · The outlier results in the K15 data might mean everyone else is missing something, or it might simply mean that the new K15 adjustments are invalid.

    It will be interesting to watch the specialists in the field sort this question out in the coming months.

    # # #

    Yes, very interesting. As Fred Singer puts it (article linked upthread):

    “Now watch the sparks fly — as there are two major constituencies that have a vested interest in the pause:

    There are at least two rival data centers that may dispute the NCDC analysis: the Hadley Centre in England and the NASA-Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS). In fact, Hadley’s partner, the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, was the first to announce, on the BBC, the existence of a pause in global warming.

    Then there are also dozens of scientists who have published research papers, purporting to provide an explanation for the reported pause. Yours truly turns out to be amongst these. They will all be mightily disappointed if their intellectual efforts turn out to be for naught.”

  16. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 12:52 pm said:

    [Fred Singer] – “Of course, NCDC-NOAA and Science may end up with egg on their collective faces. It does look a little suspicious that NCDC arrived at this earth-shaking “discovery” after all these years, after “massaging” its own weather-station data, just before the big policy conference in December in Paris that is supposed to slow the rise of CO2 from the burning of energy fuels, coal, oil, and gas.”

  17. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 1:44 pm said:

    Karl et al (2015): +0.106 C/decade 1998 – 2014

    BEST NZ 37SS: -0.096 C/decade 1997 – 2013

    Isn’t it great that NZ is avoiding all this Karl-inspired global warming?

  18. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 1:56 pm said:

    I should add that the NIWA/IPCC prediction for NZ 1990 – 2040 is +0.18 C/decade but the current observed rate is +0.072 C/decade.

    In other words, the prediction is two and a half times (2.5x) the observed rate.

    And the prediction is based on CO2-forcing.

    That’s bad science.

  19. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 5:54 pm said:

    ‘Global warming ‘hiatus’ never happened, US government scientists say’

    SMH, June 5, 2015

    Not surprisingly, this conclusion was quickly dismissed by so-called climate change skeptics – ……………

    More surprising, however, was the fact that researchers on the opposite side of the debate also rejected the idea of a vanishing slowdown.

    “It is a bit misleading to say there is no hiatus,” said climate scientist Kevin Trenberth of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

    “I would argue the study is misleading on the implications of its results,” said Piers Forster, an atmospheric physicist at the University of Leeds, in England. “This study has not ‘magiced’ the hiatus away or somehow corrected the IPCC.”

    Karl’s team and other researchers have noted that a large swath of the industrialised world has enjoyed a period of land surface cooling during the first 15 years of the 21st century. This cooling has occurred in the mid latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere.


    # # #

    Mixed messages.

  20. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 6:20 pm said:

    >”Attention is turning to aviation: ‘Unhinged EPA About to Make Air Travel More Expensive’ ”

    And to heavy road transport:

    ‘EPA’s latest target has 18 wheels’

    Written by Charleston Daily Mail on 02 June 2015.


    It means the government will provide a steeper challenge for tractor-trailer fuel efficiency, seeking to raise the average from the current five to six miles a gallon of diesel up to nine miles a gallon by 2027.

    This could be a welcome development for those who’ve gotten stuck behind exhaust-heavy tractor-trailers in traffic, but it’s a worry for America’s transportation industry — including plenty of trucking companies that hit the highway on West Virginia’s strategically-located interstates.

    “Talk is cheap, but I don’t see how they get there,” John Yandell Jr., president of Yandell Truckaway in Pleasant Hill, Calif., told the Times.

    The Times story calls the trucking industry “the beating heart of the nation’s economy,” noting the food, raw goods and freight crisscrossing America’s highways.

    It’s worth watching how much cost of meeting new regulations gets passed on to consumers.

    The new rules could add $12,000 to $14,000 to the cost of building each new tractor-trailer. EPA estimates, though, that the cost could be recouped after 18 months through fuel savings.

    EPA helpfully suggests that truck operators could benefit from regulation in a way that the market presumably could not point. “Fuel is either at the top or near the top of truck operators’ costs,” Christopher Grundler, director of the EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, told the Times.


    >”“Fuel is either at the top or near the top of truck operators’ costs,”

    Yes, obviously (duh!). I’m sure they’re all dreaming of “nine miles a gallon”. If competitive market driven technological developments have not extracted that efficiency by now they are hardly likely to do so in the next 12 years, regulation or no regulation.

  21. Richard C (NZ) on 05/06/2015 at 6:48 pm said:

    >”….the [NZ] prediction is two and a half times (2.5x) the observed rate. And the prediction is based on CO2-forcing. That’s bad science”

    ‘When scientists become bureaucrats: A recipe for tyranny’

    Written by Dr. Tim Ball, The Rebel on 03 June 2015.

    “A simple definition of science is the ability to predict. If your prediction is wrong your science is wrong. How good is the “science” these bureaucrats produce. The answer is, by their measure, a complete failure.”

  22. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2015 at 10:17 am said:

    John Hayward, Breitbart:

    “Too many climate-change activists mistake the forcible creation, and vigorous policing, of a “consensus” with the decisive defeat of uncertainty.

  23. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2015 at 10:46 am said:


    Case in point:

    ‘Study shows ARGO ocean robots uncertainty was up to 100 times larger than advertised’

  24. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2015 at 10:56 am said:

    ‘Exotic adventures in global data to unfind “the Pause”, by Karl in 2015’

    Jo Nova’s response.

    Seven steps to unfind the Pause?

    1 Use a weak test: p < 0.1, not the usual significance. Bit desperate.

    2 Use assumptions and apply large adjustments to sea surface data. Don’t use the best dataset for sea-surface temps (ARGO). Ignore the satellites.

    3 Create Arctic sea surface temperatures by extending data from land measurements. The ocean there is covered in ice. There aren’t many land measurements to go from. What could possibly go wrong?

    4 Don’t mention the eighties or nineties. The fastest recent global warming occurred in the 1980′s and1990′s. Obviously the 2000′s are red-light bad news for the alarm-us camp, because that was when CO2 emissions increased dramatically but the warming slowed. The worst possible thing is to compare those decadal trends to the previous ones.

    5 Cherry pick the time frames! Karl et al carefully choose a long trend — all the way back to the 1950s – in order to find a weak long term warming trend that the recent decade can outdo. Back in the 50s and 60s, the world was cooling, so wrapping in and averaging the long cooling and then warming cycle, they can come up with a small warming trend number.

    6 To find warming in the sea surface during the pause, it helps to adjust the late 90′s sea surface temps down and the recent measurements up, thus increasing the trend in the last 15 years, but not affecting the trend across the whole period. Check.

    7 Ignore contradictions like: why can’t we find a hot spot? If the surface warmed more than we thought, the upper troposphere should have warmed even faster. This means the missing hot spot is more missing than before.

  25. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2015 at 11:51 am said:

    ‘Rethinking solar resource assessments in the context of global dimming and brightening’

    Bjorn Muler, Martin Wild, Anton Driesse , Klaus Behrens (2013)

    “However, solar radiation at the Earth’s surface is not stable over time but undergoes significant long-term variations often referred to as “global dimming and brightening”. This study analyzes the effect of these long-term trends on solar resource assessments. Based on long-term measurement records in Germany, it is found that the additional uncertainty of solar resource assessments caused by long-term trends in solar radiation is about 3% on the horizontal plane and even higher for tilted or tracked planes. These additional uncertainties are not included in most uncertainty calculations for solar resource assessments up to now. Furthermore, for the measurement stations analyzed, the current irradiance level is about 5% above the long-term average of the years 1951–2010”

  26. Richard C (NZ) on 06/06/2015 at 12:25 pm said:

    >”solar radiation at the Earth’s surface” (Muller et al, not Muler)

    Surface solar radiation (SSR) – heating effect.

    Net longwave radiation (OLR – DLR = Rnl) – cooling effect

    Global Energy Flows:

    396 – 333 = 63 W.m-2 cooling of the earth’s surface (DLR includes CO2 component about 6 W.m-2).

    On a clear cool night enough cooling to freeze water:

    ‘Nocturnal ice making’

    In India before the invention of artificial refrigeration technology, ice making by nocturnal cooling was common. The apparatus consisted of a shallow ceramic tray with a thin layer of water, placed outdoors with a clear exposure to the night sky. The bottom and sides were insulated with a thick layer of hay. On a clear night the water would lose heat by radiation upwards. Provided the air was calm and not too far above freezing, heat gain from the surrounding air by convection would be low enough to allow the water to freeze by dawn.[1]

    From Radiative cooling

    # # #

    So much for the idea that CO2 heats the surface of the earth.

  27. Alexander K on 07/06/2015 at 9:58 am said:

    That our Royal Society uses a paper in their current exercise that has been so thoroughly discredited that it’s author, Lord Stern, has lost what little scientific reputation he had – he was elevated to the Peerage by one Gordon Brown in payment for political favours – and is now referred to in harshly derisory terms, demonstrates that the NZRS has been very thoroughly subverted by warmism, in a similar fashion to the parent body.
    As someone with no ‘scientific’ qualifications but a good understanding of the issues at play, I suspect that we must wait until the Paris talkfest, which will, in all likelihood, mark a turn for the colder in the global climate.
    There is so much wrong with the NZRS’s position re Climate Change that deciding where to begin to show where they are wrong is something of a poser, but wrong they are and, hopefully, we will see a great shooting of feet from that august body in the near future.
    And my faith in the rectitude of either RS is now at an all-time low.

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