A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).


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Japan: Fifty solar PV companies already gone in 2017 as subsidies end. Coal soaring.

What’s the word for competitive-but-needs-a-subsidy?  Broke…

One hundred solar PV companies are forecast to collapse in Japan this year alone.

Up to 100 solar PV firms in Japan could face bankruptcy this year, with more than double the number of firms going bust in the first half of this year than the same period in 2016.

According to corporate credit research company Teikoku Databank, which surveys companies across various industries and has produced its third report on solar PV company bankruptcies, 50 companies in Japan’s solar sector have already gone out of business in the first six months of 2017.

While the market overall has rapidly expanded from the launch of the feed-in tariff (FiT) in July 2012, Teikoku Databank acknowledged that there has been a slowdown in deployment in the past couple of years as the government successively made cuts of 10% or more on an annual basis to the premium prices paid for solar energy fed into the grid.

Bankruptcies have doubled in the industry since last year.

Meanwhile Japan plans to build at least 45 HELE Coal Plants.

Check out the map of “coal in versus coal out” in Japan. For a dying technology things are not looking too shabby.

Japan, Coal generation, electricity, map, planned, cancelled, retired, construction.

Thanks to the EndCoal Tracker :-)

Current operating coal fired plants in Japan, 2017.

Coal plants, operating in Japan 2017. Map.

Current operating coal fired plants in Japan, 2017.

Coal seems to be doing just fine.

h/t Marvin.

PS: The EndCoal Tracker is published by “CoalSwarm“. Where the global EndSolarSubsidies Tracker? All that fossil fuel funding, and no activist group to track the parasites?

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Climate change gives us less devastating natural disasters

Funny, Al Gore didn’t say anything about 2017 being “less devastating”:

Frankfurt am Main (AFP) – Natural catastrophes worldwide were less devastating in the first half of 2017 than the average over the past 10 years, reinsurer Munich Re said Tuesday, while highlighting the role of climate change in severe US storms.

Some 3,200 people lost their lives to disasters between January and June, the German group found — well short of the 10-year average of 47,000 for the period or the 5,100 deaths in the first half of 2016.

Every year there is a long list of disasters somewhere (aka weather-porn items for Al Gore :)

April floods and landslides in Colombia that claimed 329 lives were the deadliest single event.

Elsewhere, an April-June heatwave in India killed 264 people, while floods, landslides and avalanches claimed around 200 lives in Sri Lanka, 200 in Afghanistan and 200 Bangladesh.

In terms of costs — that’s 60 billion “saved” this year:

Disasters inflicted a financial cost of around $41 billion in the first six months, Munich Re reported.

That was less than half of the $111 billion toll in the same period last year, or the average of $102 billion over the past 10 years.

The most costly single event was flooding in Peru between January and March, which killed 113 people and inflicted damage worth around $3.1 billion, followed by Cyclone Debbie’s toll of 12 lives and $2.7 billion in Australia.

No one is suggesting one-year stats and ten year averages are meaningful. Unless you are Al Gore, then you need even less.

Here’s Gore using events exactly like these to sell his renewables salvation. From the transcript to the Al Gore speech:

In Australia, there may be less rain overall but much more in these big storm events.

A couple of months ago, there was a 1 in 500 year flood in NZ and similar in Brisbane a couple of years ago. Last week in  Lagos Nigeria, this (slide)  was in my state just two months ago and  another 1 in 1000 years.

I was in Houston Texas last year training climate activists , there was 240b gallons came down, equivalent of 3 days of Niagara Falls flowing right into the middle of  Houston. In one calendar year they had  two 1 in 500  years and one in one 1000 years. [Footage of flood slides from Quebec,  Guatemale, Columbia, Rio,  Lima, Chile, Bangladesh, Guangzhou, UK, Spain, Madagascar].

Gore and others are using events that are happening anyway to imply that every flood/drought/storm/landslide/sticky-road is worse than it would have been unless we buy his snake oil. Where’s the ACCC when you need them?

Hearts go out to the actual victims of these events.

Wouldn’t it be something if we had models that worked that could predict them?


*ACCC: Australian Competition and Consumer Commission  (ie consumer rights in Australia)

Thanks to Tony Thomas for the transcript of Al.

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Climate Change remains Malcolm Turnbulls Kryptonite

As long as “climate change” is on the agenda in Western politics it will keep tearing the right-conservative side of politics apart. Because it is built on a mistake, the only stability for the right (and eventually the left) will be resolute skepticism. Truth will out in the end. Til then, the right side hobbles along with the exception of a few like Abbott, then moreso, Trump. Trump is the only politician to laugh at the snake oil salesmen and he won the most powerful democratic battle on Earth. When will other non-leftie politicans get the message?

Here in Australia the issue is so toxic that the only kind of carbon tax we can have is the secret, mislabeled kind. The climate issue is so toxic it has gone underground.

The legacy media keep telling us “the science” is all one way so they are baffled that so many in politics don’t get it. What the media hide from themselves is that skeptical scientists vastly outnumber and outrank the believers, and that most of the public doesn’t buy the message either (see these climate polls). If politicans truly represented the public on this, over half would be skeptical.

Australian Financial Review: “More than half of federal Liberal MPs ‘don’t trust’ climate science: think tank

John Roskam, the executive director of the Melbourne-based Institute of Public Affairs, said he hadn’t conducted a formal count but found most Liberal politicians shared his doubts about what many experts say is the greatest global threat to mankind.

“More than 50 per cent are solid sceptics and more than 50 per cent feel they need to be seen to do something,” he said in an interview. “The science is not settled.”

Journalist Aaron Patrick drops the usual line in about “climate scientists” as the gospel:

The overwhelming majority of climate change scientists accept the atmosphere is warming and humans are responsible.

What he probably has no idea of, is how that small sub branch of science has failed utterly to convince any other branch of it’s central thesis. Surely if climate scientists were right, the first people to recognise that would be meteorologists, followed by engineers, geologists, chemists, etc.

The fact is (and any genuine reporter would find this out easily) almost half  of meteorologists — fergoodnesssake — are skeptics, survey after survey shows that two-thirds of geoscientists and engineers are skeptics, and most readers of skeptical blogs (who chose to respond to surveys and list their qualifications in  comments^) have hard science degrees. Of the twelve astronauts who ever walked on the moon, three are outspoken skeptics (Harrison Schmidt, Buzz Aldrin, and Charles Duke). Not to mention that some skeptics have Nobel prizes (the real kind in Physics, not “Peace”). If we had to name a list of skeptics versus believers, the skeptics number 31,000, yet there is no list of named scientists who believe that comes close — let alone a list of 300,000 which would imply some truth to the statement that the science is settled, and the world’s scientists agree.

The one sided reporting leaves us open to these kinds of myths — as if a large part of conservative politics disagrees with “science”:

But many right-wing politicians, commentators and voters aren’t convinced the scientists are correct, or suspect the consequences of global warming are being exaggerated for ideological or economic reasons. Some Liberals unenthusiastically support climate change policies in the hope scientific opinion will shift in future years, Mr Roskam said.

 Top marks to Peta Credlin

The Coalition backbench is “deeply sceptical about climate theology,” the former chief of staff to Prime Minister Tony Abbott, Peta Credlin, wrote in the Daily Telegraph last week.

“Make no mistake, even his strongest supporters in Cabinet understand that climate change remains Malcolm Turnbull’s kryptonite,” Ms Credlin wrote.

Nick Cater is brilliant, when asked what his think tanks climate position was he said “Should we have one?”

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There have been far bigger Antarctic icebergs than the latest A68 Larson C berg

CNN is  “freaking out” about the latest large iceberg. But John Sutter doesn’t mention that there was an iceberg twice its size in the year 2000 which was 11,000km2, and that as long ago as 1967, two other icebergs of a similar size were recorded. Thanks to John McLean for the links.

UPDATE:  Tony Heller has found a newspaper story about an even bigger one from 1956. This monster iceberg was allegedly 334km x 96km or 32,000 km2.  (h.t John of Cloverdale).

UPDATE #2: Monster bergs are everywhere. Lazzara lists two other massive icebergs as well as B15 that occurred in just 18 months: A38 in Oct 1998 was  7,600km2 and A43 in May 2000 was almost as big as B15, being 9,250km2. h/t WS All three of these were larger than the current “freak”.

When it comes to long term trends in iceberg sizes, the only scientific answer is “who knows”. Satellite records are so short, if a bigger iceberg broke off in say, 1811, how the heck would we find out? Not much is left of an iceberg 100 years later. What kind of proxy could show it ever existed — ancient stone carvings of satellite pics from ancient Greece?

The latest 2017 Larson C iceberg is 5,800 square kilometers and weighs a “trillion tons”. But back in 1967, two icebergs calved – one of 7,000km2 and one of about 5,000 km2:

Swithinbank (1969), basing on analysis of the ESSA-3 satellite imageries, reports that in 1967—68 two giant icebergs were seen in the eastern part of the Weddell Sea, measuring 70 by 100 km, and 45 by 100 km respectively, with total area of about 11.000 km.

– Birkenmajer, 1980

Apparently the smaller of these two was called “Trolltunga” and floated around til 1978. (See the map far below). Sadly, the real Trolltunga was pre-youtube, no photos I can find, except of the region in question.

Trolltunga, large iceberg, 1967.

This is the Trolltunga region. The little iceberg on the left is not “Trolltunga 1967″ which was around 45km  x 100km.

But an even larger iceberg apparently was  B15 — nearly 11,000 square kilometers in the year 2000:

Wesche:  B15 …. This giant iceberg—the largest observed from satellite (dimensions of 295 km × 37 km [28])—calved from the Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000.

The B15 iceberg on youtube.

B-15 iceberg, largest satellite recorded iceberg, photo.

B-15 iceberg, largest satellite recorded iceberg, photo.


If I read this correctly, we are talking about ice that takes a century or even 2,000 years to go from the “grounding line” to the front. The Grounding line is the last point that the ice sheet touches land. The part beyond that is hanging out over the ocean:

We were mainly interested in the differences of residence times dependent on the density of surface patterns on the 15 km strip along the ice front. In case of very dense patterns we found that the ice needs between 78 and 968 years to move from the grounding line to the ice front. For less dense patterns we obtained a range between 140 and 2,764 years. — Wesche 2013

 In Table 3 of Wesche, there are ten potential calving fronts greater than 200km wide spread over four sectors of Antarctica. It’s just a matter of time before another big berg breaks off.

For the curious, Encycploedia Britannica  has this map and path of Trolltunga, which bounced around near the Antarctic coast for years before heading into the Atlantic Ocean, where it still took a year to melt. Strangely Encyclopedia Britannica has no article any more.

Path, Antarctic Iceberg, massive Trolltunga, 1967-1978.

And in other unrelated but curious news, apparently Winston Churchill was considering using an iceberg as an aircraft carrier in WWII.


Birkenmajer, K. (1980)  The last stages of Trolltunga drift in the Weddell Sea, Antarctica *, Polish polar research, 1, 2-3, 235-237.

Lazzara, M.A.; Jezek, K.C.; Scambos, T.A.; MacAyeal, D.R.; van der Veen, C.J. On the recent calving of icebergs from the Ross ice shelf. Polar Geogr 2008, 31, 15–26.

Wesche et al (2013) Calving Fronts of Antarctica: Mapping and Classification, Remote Sensing 20135(12), 6305-6322; doi:10.3390/rs5126305

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Forget extreme temperatures: Nothing kills as many people as moderate cold

Some are scoffing at the idea that rising heating costs will kill people. But check out the number-one temperature-killer in 74 million deaths across 13 countries. It’s not the extremes that we need to worry about, the deadly phrase is “mildly suboptimal temperatures”. Look at the blue finger of death in the graph below, starkly showing how irrelevant “extreme heat”, or any other ambient temperature zone, is.

Do you need an excuse to turn the heater on in winter? Low ambient room temperatures will thicken your blood.

Moderate cold accounted for as many as 6.6% of all deaths. Extreme temperatures (either cold or hot) were responsible for only 0·86%.

Join the dots — will we save more lives by:

a) making homes cold now in the hope that lower “carbon” emissions will,

b) mean less deaths from heat in 90 years time despite people probably having better access to heaters and air conditioners?

Would you sacrifice ten years of your life…

Death rates, mortality, international, room temperature, Lancet, graph.

Note the big killer “moderate cold”  |  Click to enlarge

Cold is more likely to kill you in Sydney than in Sweden

Check out the curves below. As a percentage of the population, there are more deaths in Sydney than in Bejing at 5C.

Australian houses are not designed to be warm. Sweden’s are.

Lancet, Graph, Death, Mortality. excess, country, ambient temperature, UK, USA, Australia, Korea, Canada, Sweden, Taiwan, Italy, BrazilJapan.

Figure 1 shows overall cumulative exposure-response curves (best linear unbiased predictions) for 13 cities selected to represent each country, with the corresponding minimum mortality temperature and the cutoff s to defi ne extreme temperatures. |. Click to enlarge

Blame house design, we Australians don’t take the cold seriously (read more about the flaws at this link).

Professor Adrian Barnett, a researcher based at the Queensland University of Technology, has studied death rates associated with abnormal weather conditions plus occupant access to heating and cooling, and has established a link to the quality of housing in Australia and a corresponding increase in death rates during cold spells.

Professor Barnett’s studies have concluded that Australia’s death rate due to cold weather, which at 6.5% is almost double that of Sweden’s at 3.9%, is almost entirely due to the poor quality to which we build our homes.

Swedish homes are designed and built to stay comfortable during all weather conditions, whereas comfort in Australian homes is often an afterthought, usually covered by an oversized air conditioner which continually battles poorly insulated walls, leaky doors and windows.  Australian homes are referred to as “glorified tents” due to this phenomenon, which particularly affects less affluent homeowners and of course, renters.

The internal temperatures of Federation or Queenslander style homes in winter often drop well below 17°C, while Swedish homes usually remain at a stable 22-23°C whatever the weather.  According to Barnett, “Many Australian homes are just glorified tents and we expose ourselves to far colder temperatures than the Scandinavians do.”

In the Energy + Illawarra program the University of Wollongong’s Sustainable Buildings Research Centre team recently identified surprisingly cold living conditions in 158 households across the Illawarra, Shoalhaven & Wingecarribee regions of NSW.  Researchers found that approximately half of all households studied were experiencing extended periods (>25% of the time) when the living room temperatures were well below 16°C.  In fact some houses did not exceed 14°C throughout a number of days, some occupants reported being too anxious to turn heating on due to the cost of energy and ‘bill anxiety’.

Save carbon emissions and raise your blood pressure

In the cold, the naked ape suffers from thickened blood, local inflammation, weakened immunity, bronchoconstriction:

 The biological processes that underlie cold-related mortality mainly have cardio vascular and respiratory effects. Exposure to cold has been associated with cardiovascular stress by aff ecting factors such as blood pressure and plasma fibrinogen, vasoconstriction and blood viscosity, and inflammatory responses. Similarly, cold induces bronchoconstriction and suppresses mucociliary defences and other immunological reactions, resulting in local inflammation and increased risk of respiratory infections. These physiological responses can persist for longer than those attributed to heat, and seem to produce mortality risks that follow a smooth, close-to-linear response, with most of the attributable risk occurring in moderately cold days.

 I wrote about this enormous study, on 74 million deaths across Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, UK & USA: Cold weather kills 20 times more than heat does. But the paper is now fully available with more detail, and hardly any politician seems to have got the message the first time around. Hence the revisit.

Please someone send this to Craig Kelly and the SMH.

The benefits we can derive,
From warming, helps keep us alive,
While our true foe is cold,
Killing both young and old,
Who with warming would otherwise thrive.

-  Ruairi


Antonio Gasparrini et al.  (2015) Mortality risk attributable to high and low ambient temperature: a multicountry observational study. The Lancet, May 2015 DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(14)62114-0Full PDF.

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Al Gore 2017: Was that science or gratuitous random weather-porn to fuel superstitious belief

Gore’s a modern day soothsayer with powerpoint

Thanks to CFACT I was lucky enough to get to see Al Gore in Melbourne yesterday (and even luckier to see Climate Hustle the night before and meet some great people!). Gore wanted everyone to spread the word, but banned anyone recording him. (The staff actively patrolled for wayward cameras. We’d love to have helped share Gore’s message, but we would have been kicked out for doing so).

The intrepid Marc Morano even managed to meet Al in an inconvenient encounter:

Al Gore, Marc morano, Melbourne, 2017.

Marc Morano kindly offered Al Gore a copy of Climate Hustle, (which might have helped him feel a lot better about the future). Gore refused to take it. Possibly, he’s not that interested in climate change.

What I saw was nearly a whole hour of primal weather-porn – gratuitous, non-stop, scenes from the apocalypse,  glowing clouds boiled about incandescent forests, and giant drains in the sky emptied massive clouds in a flash. Glaciers crumbled before our eyes.  Poor victims were stuck in boiling tar on hot roads, they crawled out of mud slides, and were dragged in spectacular rescues from cars being swallowed by turbulent floods. Biblical is the word.

Gullible, naïve devotees gushed, awed, and murmured collective fear as Al spun a story of record doom and disaster with a google hit-list of extreme weather snaps. Al offered almost no graphs, long term data, or paleostudies. Few in the audience seemed to realize it was just a grab bag of the latest disaster-fest, and if a million people had had mobile phones in 10,000BC, the footage from then might have looked exactly the same or even worse, as Gore milked pretty much every weather event in the news to sell the salvation of renewables.  Few seemed to wonder how Gore could know that floods were not worse in 1598, or that droughts were not longer and nastier in, say, 1174, or during the summer of 2 million BC. But the all-seeing, all-knowing Al knew.

Through tricky double-negative convoluted sentences Al effectively sends the message that fossil fuels cause extreme weather (but whatever you do, don’t quote him):

Scientists used to say you cannot attribute any single extreme weather event to the climate crisis. But you have to say the odds of extremes increase, but now they are saying it very differently …

If you have a complex system causing a lot of consequences and you radically change it, every one of the consequences is different. With all this extra water vapour in the sky and all the extra heat energy in the atmosphere, every storm is different now.

And they are making advances in how much to attribute to the  climate crisis but increasingly more of it is directly contributed.

This is what the reinsurance industry measures with climate related extreme weather events. The only plausible explanation of course is the climate crisis.   —

– Al Gore in Melbourne  (That’s the full transcript thanks to Tony Thomas writer for, who must be a whizz at live-shorthand.)

Following in the footsteps of a million years of witchdoctors, the message was that the weather is worse than ever and he know how to stop it. His only effort to scientifically connect those dots was to quote a few scientists opinions, while ignoring thousands of others, most historical accounts and 2 billion years of paleohistory. Cherry-picked extremes.

The long tenous chain of cause and effect was glossed over repeatedly with handwaving. The system was the most complex on earth, yet somehow scientists know what causes what. The chain of influence goes like this: fossil fuels make CO2, CO2 makes heat, heat causes droughts and more humidity, which in turn causes floods, intense rain, nastier storms, stickier roads, sliding mud, rising seas, etc etc blah-de-blah.

Has there ever been a year on Earth when there wasn’t a drought somewhere and a flood somewhere else?  This is a never ending game for Gore. Until we get perfect weather on Earth, on all 150 million square kilometers terra firma, he will always be able to say “boo”.

This video was typical of the scientific depth — “drowning dogs can be saved”:

I think the message here is that if you use petrol you cause women and dogs to be trapped in sinking cars.

If only she had driven a hybrid.

Roads are melting in India!

NDTV shows a video where this man’s shoes stick to the hot road and fall off. (Watch the video at the link). Call me a skeptic. I’ve bounded across searing bitumen roads here in Australia, and this man is not behaving as if the pavement is blisteringly hot. Would you put your hand down?

Note the “Highlights” in the NDTV story: “Tar on roads melts in Valsad, Gujarat, temperature was only 36 degrees”.

Yeah. yeah. That’s “body temperature”. Terrifying.

Al Gore, Gudjarat, India. Melting roads, heatwaves, climate change.

Most likely the melting roads are due to sloppy road construction and cheap materials instead of our fossil fuel emissions. Tar was melting at just 40C in India, according to the Times of India, due to “improper mixing of bituminous” materials.

“According to the UK-based Road Surfaces Treatment Association, most roads will start melting at a temperature of 50 degrees celsius. Roads in the United Arab Emirates are made of special “polymer modified binders“ which keep them solid up until around 80 degrees celsius.”

Watch as floods wash away cars in Spain!

I bet that didn’t happen 300 years ago.

Gore has a talent for finding spectacular footage and uses it to argue for renewable power (because mudslides are not about building codes or land management, and preindustrial mudslides were much nicer, right.)

Remember one piece of extreme-weather he couldn’t get? Gore asked for the Firenado footage of a mini-tornado sucking up a bushfire, but photographer Chris Tangney wouldn’t give him a licence to use it. Thank you Chris.

There was a spirit of salvation.

All ye peasants gather hither, for ye are the leaders, the chosen ones who see the light, only you can save the poor and downtrodden from the evils of fossil fuels. Unless we build enough windfarms we will never stop mudslides. Hail for a mudslide-free-future!

Your house will be washed away, unless you give up air-conditioning.

Gore had so many images, the onslaught ran at subliminal pace. He spoke of storm surges north of Sydney. I’m pretty sure I saw the infamous lost swimming pool at Collaroy.

Collaroy, storm surge, washes away houses in NSW.

Collaroy 2016, a storm surge washes away houses in NSW. | ABC News

At the same beach in 1967, 1945, and  1925, Collaroy houses were washed out to sea. Al didn’t mention that.

The speech finished by telling the world how renewables are cheap, competitive, and are taking over, which, if it were true, pretty much neutralizes the need for Al to do these tours, right? And who need subsidies.

Gore made much of closing coal fired stations, but unlike yours truly who showed the same maps, Gore didn’t show the massive number of new coal stations to his audience. The lies by omission tell you all you need to know about his interest in the climate.

Gore argues that renewables creates jobs, but Jo asks whether we want our electricity grids to provide electricity instead. If the aim was “jobs” first, we would create more if we shut down all the renewables, let industry “go wild” with cheap electricity and then use the savings to bury bottles of cash for the unemployed to dig up.

h/t Craig, Marc, Chris, Tony and Debbie, what a great trip.



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Chiefio: minor changes in clouds swamp the effect of CO2 — see it every day

I was taken by the way Chiefio slices away the clutter to leave bare the most pertinent point. From day to day, the sun, the latitude, our orbit, and the CO2 levels are the same as the day before, yet the temperature can swing wildly. Over a whole month, most variables are constant, yet one obviously dominates the monthly average, a factor we don’t even have good data one in the long run.

Is The Average Variation Of Clouds CO2?

Now the one big thing I can add to the graph itself is simple. I watched the sky during that time, closely. The cool days were cloudy to overcast. The hot days were clear blue sky. Temperature directly matched to degree of clouds. Cloudy days are cool. Clear days are hot.

During these three weeks of data, there is nearly zero change of any of the Milankovitch parameters. Insolation is a functional constant to a large number of decimal places. Our latitude and longitude and distance to water do not change. All manner of variables in this complex soup are held constant by the nature of their 1000s of year rate of change. On the scale of a couple of weeks, geologic time scale events ARE constants.

Even the slow rise of CO2 on a decadal scale is a constant and the seasonal change similarly near zero. CO2 is also a functional constant.

NONE of these temperature changes can be attributed to anything solar, celestial, gas composition changes, volcanic, etc. etc. What changed was the clouds, as observed.

So where is CO2 in all this? Nowhere to be found. It didn’t change the clouds. It didn’t change the sun. It didn’t change the light on the ground. It didn’t change anything. So IF we have a 20 degrees F to 30 degrees F change of temperatures from clouds, and then ignore changes in clouds, how can we say ANYTHING about CO2? If we average all those daily temperatures for this month, it tells us about clouds, not about CO2.

 Then, given such a daily Average Of Global Temperatures is driven by clouds, how can one assert that changes over years, of a fraction of the daily changes of temperature, can not also be entirely explained by changes of cloud cover (that is poorly tracked at all, and completely ignored in vast areas of the planet)? Hmmm?

Cloud levels and precipitation are shown to control temperature ranges in the short run, so averages of them over long runs will also be dominant. Yet we do NOT have good data for changes of clouds or precipitation over time…

Read it all at Chiefio’s.

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Turkey can’t get free money from US, decides climate is safe, Paris unneccessary

Ergodan does his own climate maths — decides that the most significant inflatable cash cow has  disappeared from the sky. The global climate suddenly looks clearer, and so Turkey pulls back from Paris accord:

(Reuters)  The U.S. decision to pull out of the Paris climate agreement means Turkey is less inclined to ratify the deal because the U.S. move jeopardizes compensation promised to developing countries, President Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

“Therefore, after this step taken by the United States, our position steers a course towards not passing this from the parliament,” he said.  (link)

Turkey, saving the planet, one bank account at a time.

How many other nations do the same maths but are aren’t quite so, ahem,  honest?

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Satellite battle: Five reasons UAH is different (better) to the RSS global temperature estimates

And so the adjustments war ramps up a notch.

There are two main groups that use essentially the same NASA and NOAA satellites to estimate global temperatures. In the last year, they’ve both made adjustments, one down, and one up, getting further apart in their estimates. In ClimateWorld this is a big deal. Believers are excited that now a satellite set agrees a bit better with the maligned “hot” surface thermometers. But UAH still agrees more with millions of weather balloons. The debate continues. Here’s my short synopsis of the  Roy Spencer (and John Christy) from the “Comments on the new RSS lower tropospheric temperature set.” (If something is wrong here, blame me).

The Bottom Line:

1. Both data-sets show far less warming than what climate models estimate.  UAH shows +0.12 C/decade, the new RSS trend is up to +0.17 C/decade. But climate models estimate  +0.27 C/decade in the lower troposphere.

2. The headline suggesting that the RSS revisions found “140% faster warming since 1998” is the usual hype.  The warming trend was tiny to start with. The headlines didn’t tell us that RSS is now warming a few hundreds of a degree per decade faster, because “who cares”?

Five reasons UAH is different to RSS

  1. UAH agrees with millions of calibrated weather balloons released around the world. RSS now agrees more with surface data from equipment placed near airports, concrete, airconditioners and which is itself wildly adjusted.
  2. In the latest adjustments UAH uses empirical comparisons from satellites that aren’t affected by diurnal drift to estimate the errors of those that are. RSS starts with model estimates instead.
  3. Two particular satellites disagree with each other (NOAA-14 and 15). The UAH team remove the one they think is incorrect. RSS keeps both inconsistent measurements.
  4. Diurnal drift probably created artificial warming in the RSS set prior to 2002, but created artificial cooling after that. The new version of RSS keeps the warming error before 2002, but fixes the error after then. The upshot is a warmer overall trend.
  5. UAH uses a more advanced method with three channels. RSS is still using the original method Roy Spencer and JohnChristy developed with only one channel (which is viewed from three angles).

The Future — more good data will be adjusted to match bad data

In January Roy Spencer predicted that RSS would be revised upwards, that he and John Christy would not be asked to review the paper (despite them being the longest running experts in this area), it would sail through peer review quickly, and would have multiple authors. Roy was right on almost all of that. h/t to Tony Heller at RealClimateScience.

Roy now predicts that the radiosondes will be adjusted to “agree” with the RSS version. This pattern of good data series being adjusted to agree with bad ones is a continuation of what happened to surface thermometers, where the worst sites are not removed from the series, but used to adjust the better sites.

All these points have finer details, which I’ll try to summarize below, but Roy Spencer’s blog is the place to read it all.

Keep reading  →

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