TVNZ, you are telling porkies

• Guest post •

— by John McLean

Beyond a joke — this must stop!

It’s Tuesday evening and TV One isn’t improving. This time it claims that climate refugees will be leaving Kiribati due to rising seas, caused by man-made climate change, and heading to New Zealand where, surprisingly, the new government is preparing to issue ‘climate refugee’ visas. Continue Reading →

TV One says climate change, facts say otherwise

• Guest post •

— by John McLean

Vunidogoloa, Fiji

TV One is emphasising climate change this week and demonstrating just how bad the media can be.  It’s not clear if it’s incompetent journalists or incompetent climate advisors but it makes a mockery of the idea that TV One tells the whole story accurately and honestly. Continue Reading →

What the media aren’t telling you about climate change

From our friends at Daily Media Review comes this revealing story of how the IPCC itself announced that we can expect no dangerous warming from our CO2 emissions. – RT

By Daily Media Review
24/06/15

The mainstream media love to lecture us daily about the coming apocalypse as a result of catastrophic climate change, but are we being told the complete story?

There is little dispute amongst the scientific community about the warming effect of CO2. Both those who accept and those who reject the climate change hypothesis agree on this—they even agree as to how much warming CO2 is capable of causing. But according to the International Panel on Climate Change, CO2 only accounts for half of the expected warming in the computer models. Continue Reading →

Fossil fuels are greening the Earth

That’s science, so don’t argue

caption

Matt Ridley. One smart Viscount.

Did you know that the Earth is getting greener, quite literally? Satellites are confirming that the amount of green vegetation on the planet has been increasing for three decades. This will be news to those accustomed to alarming tales about deforestation, over-development and ecosystem destruction. Continue Reading →

The profiteers of doom are at it again

by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Christopher Monckton puts together a riposte to the rather weak-kneed criticism by Wratt, Reisinger and Renwick of the Dominion Post article by Bob Carter and Bryan Leyland in which they make a case for open climate discussion. – RT

When climate scientists unfairly give only one side of the story, as Professor Wratt et al. did earlier this week (Opinion, Dominion Post, February 10), taxpayers should keep a tight grip on their wallets. Continue Reading →

Analysis of Renowden’s analysis of our reanalysis

• Guest post •

— by Bob Dedekind

Introduction

I chuckled at Gareth Renowden’s attempt to rebut our paper, for two reasons: he makes many mistakes and whoever is feeding him bits of information seems to let him down.

I printed out and highlighted his mistakes so I could deal with them individually. However, when I had finished the whole article was one big highlighted blob, so I’ll focus just on the most glaring mistakes. Continue Reading →

Egos on ice

If you have been following the story of the Akademik Shokalskiy, you’ll know it’s a global warming boat stuck in an Antarctic ice pack. What piqued my curiosity was that the expedition is called ‘Australasian’. Now, I don’t mind when Aussies make absolute fools of themselves, but when Kiwis are involved in the foolishness, I get brassed off. More so when the stupidity is funded by my taxes. Continue Reading →

Anthropogenic ocean heating Part 1

Skeptical Science offside

Introduction

Anthropogenic attribution to sea level rise and ocean heat accumulation relies on there being a verified mechanism or process by which rising anthropogenic greenhouse gas (aGHG) emissions impute heat to the ocean. John Cook’s Skeptical Science has been promoting one such posited mechanism in particular as explaining the accumulation of heat in the ocean over the last 40 years or so, the most prominent example being How Increasing Carbon Dioxide Heats The Ocean, posted in 2011 by Rob Painting. That post adapts a 2006 Real Climate article by Professor Peter Minnett, Why greenhouse gases heat the ocean, where an enhanced ocean surface insulation effect was posited.

Go to full article

…with attractive formatting and with all the references provided as working links.

NOTE: to easily get back here to comment, press the Back button or first load the article in a new tab and swap between them.

You can read the whole article here, but it lacks most of the formatting (which aids understanding) and all of the links (which are provided to assist understanding and to justify what is said). I apologise for any inconvenience this causes, but it takes a long time to convert the word document into the particular html format required by WordPress and to copy each link. So I haven’t done it yet. I’ve converted it to a “standalone” html page so you have access to the links. – RT

Continue Reading →

No evidence no reason for complacency

Chris de Freitas is a proper scientist with a wonderful sense of humour — just wait until you see his conclusion! His articles are easy to read and I always read them.


Regrettably, the Herald has turned comments off, but that’s why blogs exist — leave your comments here where influential people will see them!


Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Chris de Freitas: Science proves alarmist global warming claims nothing but hot air

Several aspects of Jim Salinger’s op-ed “Climate hurtling towards a hothouse Earth” Herald 24/5/13 are quite misleading. It is true most climate scientists would agree that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel use could affect global climate. The basic physics is there to support this view. But there is no evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging. Output from computer models is not evidence unless model performance has been validated. So far, it has not. Continue Reading →

Emotional knowledge

Chris Hedges

   Chris Hedges

The other day I was listening to an interview on C-Span of one Chris Hedges, an American journalist and author specialising in American politics and society. It was a very interesting interview about the signs of collapse of the American Empire. Hedges is remarkable for his ability to easily quote and cite many sources as he outlines his reasons for predicting the fall of the Empire. He is eloquent, well-versed in historical examples and, in a quiet and calm way, very provocative.

He talks about the mainstream media’s lack of investigation into contentious government policies and social issues. Continue Reading →

How the IPCC writes its own ticket

Published at Quadrant Online on March 12, 2013

The end of this week (March 15) marks the cut-off for scientific papers if they are to be cited in the Working Group I contribution to the forthcoming IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, due in 2014. Unless the papers are published or accepted for publication the report cannot refer to them. The final expert review of the draft document ended on November 31, 2012, some 15 weeks ago. But according to IPCC procedures, the draft document can still be modified to accommodate new papers.

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

You might reasonably wonder what’s going on, especially when the IPCC claims that its report is comprehensively reviewed by experts. To borrow the catch phrase beloved of ads for “miracle” knives and so much of the other schlock merchandise sold on late-night TV: but wait, there’s more! Continue Reading →

Give us the bodies

Habeas Corpus – late Middle English: Latin, literally ‘you shall have the body (in court)’ (oxforddictionaries.com)

Raveena Aulakh

A heart-string-tugging humanitarian piece was published in the Toronto Star last weekend. It concerns the plight of some 250 million climate change refugees expected worldwide by 2050 and was entitled Climate change forcing thousands in Bangladesh into slums of Dhaka.

Rising sea levels could flood 17 per cent of Bangladesh and create between 20 million and 30 million refugees, experts say. The Star’s environment reporter Raveena Aulakh recently travelled to the country to look at how climate change is affecting one of the world’s most densely populated countries and its people. Continue Reading →

Death of Kyoto – a Scottish view

Dear fellow followers of the Climate debate,

As a result of finding out that the Kyoto commitments technically comes to an end on the 31st December, the Scottish Climate & Energy Forum have been investigating the likely consequences of this both in terms of what is likely to happen to the protocol and the wide implications when (as it seems) the protocol effectively ends operation on the 31st December.

We have written this up as a report. The main intention of this report has been to try to find the actual facts and having sorted the chaff from the wheat, ascertain what this might mean (with particular emphasis on Scotland). Continue Reading →

Herald shows what to avoid in climate debate

Here’s an agreeably restrained response to Brian Rudman’s repellent, unsophisticated bluster against the Coalition. The Herald declined to publish this, but we’re delighted to present it in their stead. If Rudman has the sense I think he has, or the slightest genuine interest in climate change, he’ll pay close attention to Tom’s analysis. – Richard Treadgold

Columnist sets bad example in attack on Climate Science Coalition

The September 12th column by Brian Rudman of the New Zealand Herald, “One small word, one giant setback for denial”, exemplifies how much of the climate debate has descended into a sort of murky underworld where logical fallacies, personal attacks and made up “facts” all too often replace rational discourse. While Herald editors are to be congratulated for allowing the publication of my letter to the editor correcting some of Rudman’s more obvious mistakes, his piece is worth analyzing as a sample of what other journalists must avoid if a civilized discussion about this vitally important topic is to be possible.

Rudman’s repeated references to “climate change deniers” is a particularly nasty and nonsensical phrase frequently employed by those who want to silence debate about the causes of climate change. Continue Reading →

Aussie analysis of High Court decision

From Australian fellow sceptics – the NO CARBON TAX Climate Sceptics Party (NCTCS)

A court challenge to the validity of the New Zealand temperature record [NZTR] has concluded. The Judgement refused all three parts of the challenge to the NZTR.

The challenge had been initiated by a group of climate researchers called The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust [the Trust] against the government funded scientific body which prepared the NZTR, the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research LTD [NIWA].

The Trust issued a Statement of Claim [SOC] seeking:

A declaration that the New Zealand Temperature Record is not a full
and accurate record of changes in the average surface temperatures
recorded in New Zealand since 1900.

Continue Reading →

Court no substitute for science

Professor de Freitas from time to time advises the NZ Climate Science Coalition, but he does not speak for it. Nevertheless, this op-ed in today’s Herald gives such a clear view of the issues touching our court case that it deserves a hearing here.

One assumes scientific analysis is objective, so it may come as a surprise that this was challenged in a New Zealand High Court case, the results of which were released last week.

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) contested the claim by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) that New Zealand air temperatures had climbed by 0.9°C over the past century. The trust maintains that objective analysis of the data shows a trend closer to 0.3°C per 100 years. Continue Reading →

Are 1800 Kapiti homes really threatened by sea level rise?

Seemingly sloppy science seems to have sullied our coastal planning process. Dr de Lange describes, in the polite, scholarly way of his, a scientific blunder in a Kapiti Coast erosion report that anyone less courteous than him would call a dereliction or worse. Why? Because the wrong formula was used to calculate the amount of foreshore vulnerable to damage from sea level rise, and many hundreds of properties are now apparently at risk. The report explains correctly why a certain formula should not be used, but then, in a stupefying about-turn, goes ahead and uses it anyway. Prices for those properties will plunge, yet the new risks just aren’t justified.

The author (or principal author) of the Kapiti Coast Erosion Hazard Assessment 2012 update is Dr Roger Shand, of Coastal Systems Ltd. He said the report was peer-reviewed by “Coastal Scientist Dr Mike Shepherd” – who effectively works for Dr Shand. Why didn’t they admit that they’re colleagues? This isn’t a peer review, it’s a pal review, and if values plummet, land owners will descend on the High Court demanding compensation. Does the District Council realise its exposure?  – Richard Treadgold

Recent news stories have highlighted the redefinition of coastal hazard zones along the Kapiti Coast. The populated region is concentrated on a coastal landform known as a cuspate foreland, which has formed due to enhanced accretion of sediment in the lee of Kapiti Island over the last 7500 years. Examination of the coastal landforms in this region indicates that there has been long-term accretion over the Holocene disrupted by storm-induced erosion associated with large waves from either the southwest or northwest.

Kapiti Island

So has that pattern changed recently? Continue Reading →

Reflections on a changing climate

Was Villach the start of global warming?

Among the many climate science meetings I have attended, the most significant, at least as far as climate change is concerned, was my involvement in the UN-sponsored international conference held in the beautiful Austrian town of Villach in October 1985.

One hundred experts from 30 countries attended the meeting (in contrast to ten to twenty thousand who now attend such meetings), and I was privileged to be the only New Zealander invited. We were all there as experts – not representing our respective organisations – in various fields of science, endeavouring to do the best we could in looking at the complexities of climate science.

One of the principal findings of this conference was that

“while other factors, such as aerosol concentration, changes in solar energy input, and changes in vegetation, may also influence climate, the greenhouse gases are likely to be the most important cause of climate change over the next century.”

Continue Reading →

Models of reality

NZCSC chairman Barry Brill has suggested to Environment Waikato that its Regional Policy Statement (RPS) should not be influenced by the climate change ‘Guidance Manuals’ (here and here) issued by the Ministry for the Environment in early 2008. Like the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (4AR), their recommendations have been overtaken by recent scientific papers and data. His submission notes that modelled projections of 21st century warming rely upon two components – emission volumes and climate sensitivity. Here is his comment regarding Climate Sensitivity.

CLIMATE SENSITIVITY (Model Uncertainties)

1: THE IPCC REPORT

The 17 models used for the 4AR produced a 2100 temperature range of 1.8°C – 4.4°C. Note at page 122 of the Manual, “this arises from taking the best estimate temperature change, and subtracting 40% to get the low end, and adding 60% to get the high end of the range”. The “most likely” temperature trend is 2.7C per century. Continue Reading →

Local bodies deserve better than an outdated guess

coastal erosion

NZCSC chairman Barry Brill has suggested to Environment Waikato that its Regional Policy Statement (RPS) should not be influenced by the climate change ‘Guidance Manuals’ (here and here) issued by the Ministry for the Environment in early 2008. Like the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report (4AR), their recommendations have been overtaken by recent scientific papers and data. His submission notes that modelled projections of 21st century warming rely upon two components – emission volumes and climate sensitivity. Here is his comment regarding future CO2-e tonnages – or, in other words, emission volumes.

1. The IPCC Report (2007)

In 1998, the IPCC commissioned consultants – economists, futurists, statisticians, demographers, etc. – to establish story-lines of how the world might develop over the following century. This group eventually brought out a detailed book, the “Special Report on Emissions Scenarios” (“SRES”) of 40 diverse story-lines, any of which might conceivably capture the emissions profile of the 21st century.

Trenberth says the IPCC itself has no view as to the correctness of the Scenarios: “They are intended to cover a range of possible self consistent “story lines” that then provide decision makers with information about which paths might be more desirable… There is no estimate, even probabilistically, as to the likelihood of any emissions scenario and no best guess.” Continue Reading →

Insensitive climate

Barry Brill points out the warmists don’t seem pleased at the recent good news about climate sensitivity (a new paper says it’s not going to warm catastrophically). Could it be because the warmists cry only crocodile tears about the forecast disaster and they’re actually looking forward to it? (It lets them control us.) – Richard Treadgold

Whether the future level of Anthropogenic Global Warming is dangerous or catastrophic or merely interesting turns entirely on how “sensitive” the climate is to carbon dioxide emissions.

The key sensitivity measure is the increase in temperature resulting from a doubling of the CO2 atmospheric concentration of 280ppm that is said to have existed in pre-industrial times.

Laboratory experiments have shown that sensitivity should be about 1°C before feedbacks – but the net impact of positive and negative feedbacks is the subject of incessant debate. Sceptics generally say negatives (especially clouds) are dominant so that the final outcome falls back to about 0.4°C. The majority view is that positives (especially water vapour) drive the outcome up to 3-4°C, while some catastrophists see runaway warming up to 6°C or above.

There is no consensus.

The science is not settled. The debate is not over. Continue Reading →

In a climate of listening

The Editor
NZ Listener

Dear Sir,

I was not going to bother to respond to your editorial (Listener Dec 17) forewarning us of the impending catastrophe of man-induced dangerous global warming; in any case there was no time — I have been like everyone else caught up in that state of human-induced seasonal silliness.

Today is different. All the shopping is done, all the last-minute reports completed. I am at home now in relative peace on Christmas Eve. I reach for my weekly palliative dose of intellectual fare — my Listener (dated Dec 31) has arrived. It contains two long letters beating the the same dangerous human-induced global warming drum. We are all doomed! We are destroying planet earth!!!! Spare me, I thought, it’s Christmas.

So, in the spirit of the festive season, I offer your readers the following facts:

1) There has been no global warming for 13 years despite increasing emissions of carbon dioxide.
2) The earth was warmer during the medieval warm period than it is today, long before man discovered oil!
3) The earth’s climate has always changed, both up and down, relative to the present and long before man appeared on the scene — maybe something else apart from carbon dioxide drives the earth’s temperature?
3) The only evidence now for the theory of dangerous carbon dioxide-induced global warming is the IPCC models, which assume, incorrectly it now appears, that clouds exacerbate the warming due to carbon dioxide.
4) NIWA tells us that NZ has warmed by about 0.9 °C in the last 100-odd years but they have been unable to put forward the crucial supporting evidence.

So my New Year wish to all is: relax, enjoy life, be glad and proud of what mankind has achieved. Mother nature will continue to do what she has always done, both good and bad. All we need to do is what all life on earth has done for eons: to continue to adapt and evolve. Go well.

Dr D. C. Edmeades
Managing Director
AgKnowledge Ltd
www.agknowledge.co.nz

Finalist Agribusiness Person of the Year 2011

“The only antidote to pseudo-science is science itself”
Carl Sagan

Laking, liking words, lacking in science

It’s not possible even to keep track of the alarmist stories about climate, far less to refute them all. But when one is personally cited close to home and statements are wrongfully attributed to one, one ought to address them. This Laking/Herald howler is a case in point. Laking has taken his information from the Hot Topic side of the tracks without verification, not knowing the distortions of Renowden and friends (no matter how often corrected) and must now suffer the consequences; the formerly revered Herald similarly. My good friend Barry Brill here humorously draws our attention to the doctor’s faux pas. Regular readers will know that Richard C and Andy already mentioned the Herald article in comments on our Brash post. Thanks, guys. Apologies – one is only just getting around to it – but a refuting post will follow this. – RT

The NZ Herald runs climate alarm propaganda in every shape and size, and from every imaginable point of view. But it was scraping the barrel with its recent patronising but content-free sermon from a certain George Laking – presented on its weather page under the heading of “Epsom and climate change”.

Laking is apparently an oncologist. He transparently knows nothing whatever of meteorology, and even less about economics – and therefore relies upon a quote from an IEA economist to define the state of the science. He then buttresses his scientific bombast with other strongly-held opinions from non-scientists – the World Bank, UK Ministry of Defence, the Medical Association, and the World Health Organisation.

Each one of his sources has heard a real scientist say something, somewhere, about climate science. And they are almost sure they can remember part of what was said. But, says George, global warming isn’t about science anyhow, it’s about MORALITY!

If you want to know how morality works, ask a cancer doctor. George has seen what tobacco sellers got up to and he wouldn’t be a bit surprised if climate sellers weren’t just as bad.

And it turns out George’s medical training also left him well-versed in the need to manipulate raw data to get the result you are after. He says:

“If you take the raw temperature recordings alone (like ACT or… Richard Treadgold did), you won’t see a temperature rise. But that is because the readings have to be corrected for changes in site location, exposure, and instrumentation. Treadgold overlooked this and so ACT constructed a whole court case on the most abysmal scientific howler.”

Hmm. George obviously doesn’t read very much in pursuit of his climate hobby. He certainly doesn’t express any methodological preferences as between Salinger (1981) and RS93; or even NIWA’s 2010 review versus the audit published by the NZ Climate Science Coalition. He doesn’t even differentiate between the old 7SS and the NZT7.

Poor George seems to think Richard Treadgold is helping ACT to sue somebody in Epsom. Perhaps the teacup taper?

Does the Herald read these Op-Eds before publication, or is a burning zeal to hurl abuse at non-believers seen to be a sufficient qualification?

NZ shale gas – will we get lucky?

A member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition asked about shale gas exploration in New Zealand. He received the following reply. — RT

I can advise that several petroleum exploration companies are actively looking at shale gas potential in NZ.

At present almost all of the onshore eastern North Island (the “East Coast Basin”, east of the main North Island ranges) is covered by petroleum exploration permits, or by applications for permits. Operators of these permits are investigating shale gas potential as well as more conventional (sandstone) reservoir targets.

More recently there have been applications for new petroleum exploration permits in the onshore Canterbury basin, as well as in Marlborough and Southland, specifically targeting shale gas. It is unlikely that the offshore basins are prospective for shale gas at present, but as the technology develops, it may happen. Across the Tasman, there is also great interest in exploration for shale gas. Continue Reading →

What’s this shale gas gig?

shale rock

Shale gas will save us. It has no nasty emissions like coal does, its modest wellheads sit in our landscapes much gentler than great, ugly, noisy wind turbines, it’s more abundant than oil, it’s easy to extract (with a clever new technique), it’s far cheaper than any “renewable” energy, including nuclear, it could last the world for 250 years and it beats wind and solar handsomely when the wind stops and the sun sets. What’s not to like? Here I’ve somewhat shortened Ridley’s superb summary, but his laconic style is available in full at The Rational Optimist. H/T Bob Carter.

Which would you rather have in the view from your house? A thing about the size of a domestic garage, or eight towers twice the height of Nelson’s column with blades noisily thrumming the air. Over ten years, eight wind turbines of 2.5 megawatts (working at roughly 25% capacity) roughly equal the output of an average Pennsylvania shale gas well (converted to electricity at 50% efficiency).

Let’s make the choice easier. The gas well can be hidden behind a hedge. The eight wind turbines must be on hilltops, where the wind blows. New pylons are needed; the gas well is connected by an underground pipe.

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Unpersuaded? Wind turbines kill thousands of birds of prey every year. And bats: the pressure wave from the passing blade just implodes the little creatures’ lungs. You and I can go to jail for harming bats or eagles; wind companies are immune.

Still can’t make up your mind? The wind farm requires eight tonnes of an element called neodymium, which is produced only in Inner Mongolia, by boiling ores in acid leaving lakes of radioactive tailings so toxic no creature goes near them. Continue Reading →

One man’s mission

Will NIWA ever be free of Jim Salinger? What will it take to rid the organisation of his pervasive influence? He was fired long ago for his maverick media mouth, but his spirit never leaves, and the bright ideas of his younger self, not good enough to attract other scientists, still torment NIWA’s management as they strive to defend them. Salinger’s youthful enthusiasm for the then-radical crisis of man-made global warming, hatched by his mates in his old stamping ground at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, has crippled New Zealand with a “scientific” temperature “record” that shows remarkable warming — a feature we now know is entirely reliant on fiction, not on fact. – RT

Jim Salinger

When young geographer James Salinger was at Otago University in 1974, he noticed that a number of the glaciers in the Southern Alps were retreating. So he wrote an article for the journal Nature, contending that New Zealand was warming up.

This made him a noted sceptic, as the scientific consensus then was that the world was rapidly cooling. The news media worldwide were running horror stories, demanding that governments “do something” about the impending ice age. Continue Reading →

Ocean acidification and then what?

shellfish

The School of Chemical Sciences at the University of Auckland hosted a lecture by Assoc-Prof. Mary A. Sewell, of the School of Biological Sciences, on “Ocean Acidification: Integrating chemistry and marine biology and what it means for you.
 
Our friend Roger Dewhurst, engineering geologist and founding member of the NZ Climate Science Coalition, went along and paid close attention. Then he sent Mary Sewell the following entertaining and informative letter, which he kindly shares with us to provoke conversation.

Past is key to future; CO2 ruined nothing before; there’s no evidence of ruin to come; alarming climate predictions are inconsistent and unconvincing.
Roger Dewhurst writes:

Thanks for an interesting seminar.

Demonstrating that the appendages of a larval echinoderm tend to be stunted when the little beastie is grown in soda water is one thing. To extrapolate that to an absence of oysters, mussels and scallops on the dinner table next year is, in my view, stretching things a little too far. I was reminded of Al Gore’s polar bear on an iceberg!

When I was at Victoria University in the 1960s science was divorced from politics, and zoology, botany and geology were separate subjects. Now zoology and botany are lumped together as biology, and geology has been lumped in with geography as earth science and includes — would you believe it — a strand called ‘feminist geography’. I suppose that feminist mathematics is next in the pipeline. Sic transit gloria [“thus fades the glory of the world” – RT].

I suspect, on the basis of opinions from two universities, that no science student will get a decent degree now without paying obeisance to anthropogenic global warming and its apostles, ‘Piltdown’ Mann and his gang who, I presume, you know as ‘The Team’. This is not science as I know it but the ‘science’ of Lysenko. Continue Reading →

Forget global warming — Kyoto is about trade

handshake

When the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997, the base year for calculating emissions was back-dated to 1990. They knew then that the ratification process would take many years (it was actually completed in 2005), so why did it hark back to the distant past?

EU

Two big European events occurred in 1991. As a result of the Soviet collapse, heavy industry had closed down in droves throughout the East. And North Sea gas came ashore in the West with a “dash to gas” displacing coal power in the UK, Netherlands, Germany and Denmark.

At the time of the Berlin COP in 1995, EU countries collectively had enough past credits from the 1991-94 period to cover all the obligations they later accepted under the Protocol. It was a no-brainer for them to demand that other developed countries match the EU misfortunes during “the First Commitment Period.” Continue Reading →

Confidence in climate scientists plummets

public confidence survey

In the latest Rasmussen national telephone survey of American adults, 69% say it’s likely that some scientists have falsified research data in order to support their own theories and beliefs. Only 6% say it is not at all likely. Continue Reading →

Will ILUC save our livestock?

biofuel

“Biofuels” are combustible liquids made from plants. They can replace petrol and diesel in our engines and are extracted from many different types of plants.

These biologically-based fuels have long been supported by green activists because when you burn them they only emit as much CO2 as the plants absorbed while growing. Their CO2 is taken out of the atmosphere and then returned, while fossil fuels add new CO2, removing nothing. Using biofuels adds no new CO2.

But it was difficult to ignore the fact that world food prices soared in 2008 as a result of US legislation requiring the conversion of US corn into fuel for motor vehicles. That price explosion led to farmers everywhere seeking to expand their cropping areas, often chopping down forests in the process. Here was another of the unforeseen consequences which seem endemic in climate policies.

This led to the new concept known as indirect land-use change (ILUC) being brought into the calculations. If you take a field of grain and sell the crop for biofuel, then somebody, somewhere, will go hungry unless those missing tonnes of grain are grown elsewhere. If the shortfall is grown on farmland created by cutting down forests or draining peat land, it can create enough new climate-warming emissions to cancel out any benefits from using the biofuels in the first place.

That’s an indirect land use change (ILUC). Continue Reading →

Some questions for the BoM’s FOI executive

Warwick Hughes’ request under the Australian Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), has been declined by the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) on the grounds that it might divulge information supplied “under an obligation of confidentiality” by a foreign Government to the Australian Federal Government.

The Court ruling which established this exemption to the FOIA dealt with a case involving intelligence-sharing with the Australian Security Intelligence Office (ASIO). In contrast, Mr Hughes’ case dealt with old weather records.

Several questions arise

1. Did NIWA impose an obligation of confidentiality on the Bureau?

It seems clear that neither party even thought about confidentiality until the request was made. Continue Reading →

The uncertainties of averages

Dr Vincent Gray

Those who provide us with the supposed Mean Annual Global Temperature Anomaly (graph shown below) treat the annual points in their graph as if they were constants. The points on the graph do not represent actual observations. They are processed versions of actual observations and they are subject to statistical uncertainties.

The latest CRU paper to calculate these uncertainties is Brohan, P., J.J. Kennedy, I. Haris, S.F.B. Tett, P.D. Jones (2006). “Uncertainty estimates in regional and global observed temperature changes: a new dataset from 1850.” J. Geophys. Res. 111: D12106. doi:1020/2005JD006546.

This paper combines many sources of uncertainties and the final figures vary from year to year, but are typically about ±0.2 ºC on a 95% confidence basis. Some versions of their graph include these figures as “error bars” attached to the data points.

Brohan et al even admit that they do not include “unknown unknowns”, even referring to the internationally recognised expert on this subject, Donald Rumsfeld.

It is surprising that they have left out of their discussions the most important source of uncertainty in their figures, one which is “known” to every person who has studied stratistics. It is the uncertainty which arises every time you take an average. Continue Reading →

NIWA’s maverick methodology

maverick

A sober analysis from an indefatigable leader of our Campaign for True Temperatures. Barry’s careful, professional reticence stands in stark contrast to the concerns emerging over the work of our premier climate institution. — Richard Treadgold


“NIWA uses internationally accepted techniques” — Hon Dr Wayne Mapp, Minister of Research, Science and Technology.

The principal methodology used by NIWA in calculating adjustments to historical data for both the Seven-station Series (7SS) and its provisional replacement, the New Zealand Temperature Seven (NZT7), is by comparison with other temperature stations. This is well explained in the Review Report published December 2010 (page 11) as follows:

  • Micro-climates exist: Within a general region, taking Wellington as an example, there are many micro-climates, and thus temperatures vary from place to place. This is because of Wellington’s varied topography, meaning that the sites have different exposures and aspects and are at different altitudes. All these factors can influence the measured temperature. There is no such thing, therefore, as “the” Wellington temperature; there are many Wellington temperatures, and they are all different.
  • Neighbouring sites vary together: Comparison of temperatures from neighbouring sites shows again and again that trends and interannual variations at nearby sites are very similar. So although the base level temperatures may be different at two sites (due to micro-climate effects), the variations are almost in ‘lock-step’, with occasional exceptions. (See examples in the seven-station documents and on the NIWA website).

Continue Reading →

Call for calm over hot, rising seas

underwater light

Richard Cumming takes a look at recent observational data on two topics often raised and guaranteed to cause concern. They are used both to “prove” the existence of rapid warming and as an example of the ills soon to befall us if we don’t prevent them. But both uses fail on a cool examination of the facts. The Climate Conversation Group calls for calm to prevent public hysteria.

Recent global mean sea level and ocean heat content trends

UPDATE 31 JAN 2011

“The sea level continues to rise” is a familiar refrain, but the AGW hypothesis, along with the IPCC AR4, both predict an accelerating rate of rise in the global mean sea level. The IPCC prediction is simply:

“Anthropogenic forcing is also expected to produce an accelerating rate of sea level rise.”

That sea levels are rising is undisputed, but what are the recent trends of both mean sea level (MSL) and its companion, ocean heat content (OHC)? Is MSL accelerating in accordance with the predictions?

Cumulative sea level change from 1905 to 2000, adapted from Holgate (2007), shows a steadily decelerating trend over the period: Continue Reading →

7SS – R.I.P.

dead parrot

Stone dead

NIWA’s long-defended ‘Seven-station Series’ (7SS) is as dead as the parrot in Monty Python’s famous sketch… it rests in peace, bereft of life, demised; it has shuffled off its mortal coil, its metabolic processes now history.

On the eve of Christmas, when nobody was looking, NIWA declared that New Zealand had a new official temperature record (the NZT7) and whipped the 7SS off its website.

NIWA’s spin-doctor, Network PR, likes to pretend that the NZT7 is really only a ‘revised’ version of Jim Salinger’s original 7SS. So when does a revision become a replacement? Continue Reading →

Nothing random about NIWA

no dice? loaded dice?

Loaded dice for temperature record?

In producing a new temperature record for New Zealand (NZT7), NIWA has again adjusted the raw measurements. Whilst no systemic error was found, one-off issues were raised by random site changes, especially during the early decades of the 20th century.

Curiously, NIWA’s adjustments are not random. Instead, their changes display a near-perfect symmetry, where amplitude is directly proportionate to age. Small adjustments apply to the 1950s, grow larger back in the 1940s, and larger still in the 1930s – before reaching their apogee in 1910-20.

Could this have happened by chance?

Continue Reading →

ETS review just for show

The Gisborne Herald of 12 January, 2011, carried the following letter from my good friend Neil Henderson, founder of Climate Realists, and who has kindly consented to this republication. We might all learn from Neil’s wonderful political instincts. I could mention that the 23% Neil mentions, by which our present emissions exceed our 1990 emissions, match the population increase we have experienced since then. Nick Smith doesn’t mention it, though.

ETS ‘game’ achieves very little

THE terms of reference for the 2011 review of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) have been announced. The need for an ETS in the first place is not up for review, so one must ask “why bother having a review?” If Minister Nick Smith and his colleagues are so convinced the science is settled on Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW), then why do they not get on with the action instead of fluffing around?

Neil Henderson

Neil Henderson

Let me illustrate with an analogy. Suppose river flow experts told us that the Waipaoa river system was changing in such a way that the present flood protection system would allow Gisborne to be flooded so often in 50 years that the city would be unsafe to live in. They further calculated that to maintain the present level of protection the stopbanks would need to be raised two metres. It is obvious that if we decide to only raise the banks by half a metre, our city would be in grave danger of regular flooding.

The “experts” advising on AGW argue that we need to restrict warming to no more than another two degrees. Reducing emissions to 40 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 is considered by them to be the minimum action required to achieve this. Our Government accepts the need to hold the temperature rise to two degrees. Why then are they procrastinating about the action required? Continue Reading →

Wrong side of the pain

window in the snow

Thanks, Ross!

I just got off the phone with a friend in Minnesota.

He said that since early this morning the snow has been nearly waist high and is still falling. The temperature is dropping below zero and the north wind is increasing. His wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window all day. He says that if it gets much worse, he may have to let her in.

Ross Muir

NZ vs S. Hemisphere temperatures

The “Seven-Station Series” (7SS) constituting the official New Zealand Temperature Record (NZTR) is analysed and compared with the Southern Hemisphere (SH) temperature record using an interesting new data analysis technique called Empirical Mode Decomposition (EMD).

UPDATE 1, 10 JAN 2011, 22:28 NZDT

Analysis of temperature trends usually employs extrinsic data smoothing techniques such as regression, moving average and Fourier filtering, but there is a more appropriate technique available.

Empirical mode decomposition (EMD) is an intrinsic data analysis technique now being used across a number of disciplines, including climatology. You can find out more from these two background papers: On the trend, detrending, and variability of nonlinear and nonstationary time series (Wu et al., 2007)(pdf) and Analysis of Temperature Change under Global Warming Impact using Empirical Mode Decomposition (Molla et al., 2007)(pdf). If you want to study EMD in detail, there’s a lot of help available — even a free command line utility.

EMD uses a sifting algorithm that filters the data until an overall adaptive trend (monotonic residual) is revealed. The first paper linked above shows how a decadal trend was also extracted from the global record but the 100-year 7SS time-frame used here is too short to do the same. A longer 7SS record would probably reveal an intermediate decadal trend similar to that presented plus an overall trend that cannot be extracted (by this author) from the 7SS at its current length. Continue Reading →

Tepid support from BoM

Sydney Opera House at dusk

Constrained support

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), like the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) in New Zealand, is an advisory group of Government scientists responsible for the compilation and maintenance of official temperature records.

After NIWA scientists rewrote the official NZ temperature record — the Seven-Station Series — during 2010, their ‘Review Report’ included a letter of support from the BoM. This was seen as necessary, as NIWA’s credibility had been somewhat strained by its lengthy (and ultimately futile) defence of the old record.

Some are critical of the selection of the Bureau to review work by NIWA, as both groups have been widely criticised (especially in the blogosphere) for applying the same biases and questionable adjustment methods. See, for example, Australian Temperatures in cities adjusted up by 70%!? at Jo Nova’s blog.

As climate archivists, both agencies are extensively engaged in the work of the IPCC; and both are firmly of the school of thought led by Professor Phil Jones, head of the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The NZ Climate Science Coalition wrote to Science Minister Wayne Mapp, suggesting the appointment of two genuinely independent reviewers, and putting forward names of highly regarded scientists and statisticians. Continue Reading →

Many surprised to learn global warming basics

From the pen of Chris de Freitas comes this short but compelling narrative, inspired and inspiring, and calming, like a cool balm on an inflammation. Read it and watch the heat from the global warming debate dissipate and important issues clarify. Reprinted here with Chris’ kind permission.

Chris de Freitas: Emotion clouding underlying science of global warming

First published in the NZ Herald, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Jan 5, 2011
Professor de Freitas

Professor de Freitas

Unlike most other hot-button environmental issues, global warming is widely misunderstood. As a climate scientist, thinking about this, it struck me that it was not surprising, since accounts of the scientific basics of global warming almost never appear anywhere in the press.

There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers that might accompany such an account. In their place is a necessarily brief summary.

Most people are not shocked to learn that global warming discussions evoke polarised views, but many are surprised to discover that the scientific basics are not contentious. An awareness of these is helpful in building an understanding of the extent to which there is a problem and how it might be addressed. Continue Reading →

NZ ETS: Analytic Negligence

blue sky

Our approach

The reality of political decision-making is that much of it is driven by the bevy of backroom advisers retained by the government for the purpose of providing sound, unbiased and well-researched information as the basis on which to make the aforesaid decisions. This group of people are at the forefront of policy formation and much of the research and analysis by them is economic in nature.

What better place then, to go looking for an example of economic analysis to gauge the level of analytical critique directed at the NZ ETS, than the Institute of Policy Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand?

A convenient example that addresses an ETS issue “Free Allocation in the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme A Critical Analysis” Policy Quarterly – Volume 6, Issue 2, February 2010, by Christina Hood will do nicely. The author has impeccable credentials and presents some perfect material for us to gain an insight into the sphere of policy influence in respect to climate change policy. It should be noted that the article has been sourced from outside of the stream that would normally be compiled into executive summary for ministerial consideration, but it is not out of the realm of possibility that an article such as this may gain some traction on the strength of its source — hence the caveat next. Continue Reading →

Pyramid of fraud

Cheops pyramid

20th December 2010

One of the fastest growing industries in the world is based on a pyramid of frauds and its inevitable collapse will be worse than the sub-prime crash.

The Global Warming Industry is now fed by billions of dollars from western taxpayers and consumers. It is based on the unproven and now discredited claim that man’s production of carbon dioxide causes dangerous global warming.

The basic fraud is this:

There is no evidence that carbon dioxide controls world temperature – just a theory and the manipulated results from a handful of giant computer models that very few people have checked or understand. But there is clear evidence from historical records of atmospheric carbon dioxide and temperature that carbon dioxide does not control temperature. Rather the reverse – as solar or volcanic heat warms the oceans, the waters expel carbon dioxide. Global warming causes an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide, not the reverse. Continue Reading →

Call a monkey

mosquito sucking blood

Powaqqatsi is an Uto-Aztecan word from the language of the Hopi people of northeastern Arizona, for a parasitic spirit that draws sustenance from human life. Powaqqatsi: Life in Transformation was an experimental Godfrey Reggio film portraying, in vivid imagery, lives ebbing away from the sheer drudgery of day-to-day work, mainly in third-world countries, as if possessed by the spirit of Powaqqatsi.

The earth is inhabited by another spirit that saps the life-blood of nations with a voracious appetite – a parasitic spirit from the realm of Powaqqatsi. It pervades the halls of governments, national institutions and global organisations, wreathing its way into the minds of rulers, destroying their ability to function normally. Afflicting, haunting and mentally encumbering them with the debilitating power of a Powaqqatsi kindred spirit, deceiving and deluding its victims into believing its illusions and whisperings.

This insidious parasitic spirit changes name and guise in bewildering transformations that defy efforts to subdue it and break its iron grip on leaders and followers, rich and poor, slave and free. It demands sacrifice and subjugation, obedience and oblation, ritual and reparation, but it is never satisfied. There is always another demand to be satisfied.

The world’s leaders know their lives are at the behest of the spirit. They resent its power over them and desperately seek the elixir that will free them from subservience to it. They consult their advisers, but to no avail. The spirit inhibits the faculties of leaders and advisers alike, capturing reason.

But not everyone has fallen for the wiles of the parasite spirit. Some have discovered the key that unshackles minds from subjection to it: a simple application of human intuition and observation, combined with techniques of measurement and calculation, some of which are so simple that “even a monkey can do it”. There’s Marcel, Tweeter, Watts and Copeland, SOI past and present; monkey means, providing the sought-after antidote to the evil spirit of foolishness that has beset our world, sucking sense from otherwise sensible people.

So help is at hand for those who labour under the hypnosis of Powaqqatsi’s pal.

Call a monkey – here’s the number:

0800 MONKEY

Call now.

Vast political conspiracy

cliffs

We now have the details of a proposed stitch-up at Cancun. $100bn, it is intended by 2020, should be levied from the taxpayers of “rich” nations to help poor ones adjust to the manifestly and absurdly extravagant alleged effects of climate change. The outcome of any such a fund actually being collected and distributed is predictable, of course.

Unimaginably vast sums will go to enriching the dictators of such countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa but elsewhere too, no doubt, as well as the so-called environmentalist movement in the West. A few years hence there will be little, if any, measurable evidence of investment in “measures to save the planet”.

It is illuminating to recall that Kenya now acknowledges that 43% of its annual receipts of grant aid are syphoned off into sleaze. It is also salutary to recall that WWF now expects to reap revenues of $2bn plus from such a “world fund”.

Is it too fanciful to suggest that the quid pro quo for the enrichment of the third world classe politique is an undisclosed agreement for a percentage back-wash into the Lichtenstein bank accounts of our own political protagonists, amongst whose number in the UK, may well be the heir to the throne as well as individual propagandists at the BBC and not forgetting other dedicated quangos, for example?

Will they get away with it? I don’t think so – after all, where’s the money to come from? And let’s not forget that there’s an ocean of difference between promise and performance. Still, if personal enrichment is actually the real undisclosed name of the game, we may have to anticipate interesting times.

Just a thought – ignoble, I know, but then we live in a funny old world, do we not?

Political feet in the Cancun mire

Feet in the mire

— by Joe Fone, member of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

The political consensus in this country is that New Zealand will look good on the world stage because we have an emissions trading scheme in place and that we are therefore leading the world in “fighting climate change”. This dubious honour comes despite earlier assurances by Prime Minister John Key that New Zealand would be a “fast follower” behind Australia.

Back in 2005, Nick Smith argued that any form of carbon tax would be “mad” because “New Zealanders will be the only people in the world paying it” and that it “will drive up the costs of living and undermine the competitiveness of New Zealand business for negligible environmental gain.” Continue Reading →

NIWA generating warmth

NIWA temperature adjustments, before and after

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

This graph summarises how NIWA’s recent adjustments to the historical temperature data has created a 20th century warming trend of 1.0°C. There were 22 changes in the period 1900-75 and almost all of those adjustments went downwards. Over 90% of the adjusted station-years moved in the same direction – a very surprising result.

Another curious aspect of the NIWA adjustments is that their amplitude is almost directly proportional to their chronological age. The further back one goes from 1975, the larger the adjustment becomes. Continue Reading →

Nick Smith: heed German dilemma

German wind turbine

This account is the more arresting for being written by a man clearly well-informed about and sensitive towards environmental considerations. If even he is questioning the wisdom — financial and environmental — of wind turbines, we should take notice. It is also instructive that this is the experience of the largest and strongest economy in Europe; if they cannot solve the problems even with their enormous resources in both research and manufacturing, then New Zealand cannot. You’ll read below how German consumers are grossly overcharged for the generation AND DISTRIBUTION of electricity — surely the only financial reason these behemoths can survive. If you want energy now, don’t rely on wind generation. I’ve said before that the only sensible use for wind power is for digging a big hole you don’t need yet.
Richard Treadgold

      

A new dark age for Germany?

published at CFACT Europe December 1, 2010 – h/t Roger Dewhurst

Offshore wind power projects pave the way to frequent blackouts

Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Thousands of bureaucrats are preparing for another cushy climate confab in Cancun — while U.S. Senators Bignaman, Brownback and Reid are contemplating how to ram renewable energy standards through a lame-duck session of Congress. If they’re wise, American voters and congressmen will pay extra careful attention to the awful dilemma of German climate and energy policy, as exemplified by recent events, and make sure their country doesn’t make the same “green” mistakes Germany did. Continue Reading →

Seismic shift in climate thinking

Newspapers

by Ben Webster of The Times
Wednesday, September 29, 2010, 22:09

The Royal Society, bastion of conventional thinking on global warming, is about to announce a change in its thinking! What a glad day. I cannot wait to read their whole statement.     – Richard

Here’s the full story: Continue Reading →

Temperature adjustments science or art?

a beautiful iced-up waterfall

Barry Brill rips into NIWA’s showcase paper on the Hokitika weather adjustments — the one intended to demonstrate that data adjustment is science rather than art.    – Richard Treadgold

— by Barry Brill, Chairman of the New Zealand Climate Science Coalition

In February 2010, NIWA published a showcase paper titled Creating a Composite Temperature Record for Hokitika, offering details of adjustments it made to the NZ Climate Database for the Hokitika Airport weather station — one of the “Seven-station Series” (7SS) which makes up the official New Zealand temperature record.

The NZ MetService measurements for Hokitika cover the 20th century and display no significant linear trend up or down. The temperature recorded here in 1900 was 11.8°C, while 2008 was 11.93°C, and the 30-year average from 1971–2000 was 11.74°C.

The NIWA-adjusted version, on the other hand, shows a linear warming trend of 1.3°C, largely brought about by downward adjustments in the Hokitika temperatures in the first half of the century. The justification for those adjustments has been cited repeatedly as being an Appendix to a university thesis submitted in 1981 (see “The Salinger Thesis”).

NIWA temp adjustments with scales of justice

The Hokitika details were made public as a worked example of the adjustments that NIWA has made to all seven weather stations in the 7SS, in consequence of the Salinger thesis. Accordingly, the credibility of the entire project stands or falls on the strength of reasoning advanced for the Hokitika alterations.

But that reasoning is not sound. Continue Reading →