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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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Another test of the BOM vs Corbyn

Piers Corbyn of WeatherAction appears to be getting noticed (finally). Recently, the Telegraph reported on The man who beats the Met Office. But, some people (especially outside the UK) don’t seem to realize Corbyn has been doing this for a long time. He started placing bets on his predictions way back in 1990, and set up his his long range forecasting business in 1995. His accuracy during a 6-month period of 2008 at predicting extreme weather events in  narrow time windows was audited at 85%. WeatherAction sells forecasts that are 30, 45, and 60 day advance notices. Could you imagine our BOM giving us warnings now about a storm or flood on, say, February 23 – 25th 2011? Try to picture the weather girl suggesting anything like that in the local Channel Nine Weather Update.

The BOM in the UK have said they don’t do seasonal forecasts (“BBQ-summer” and “mild-winters” no more). Yet, here is Piers, still putting his name to forecasts, not just of a seasonal nature across an entire country, but for particular dates and particular regions.

If the CSIRO or BOM were really interested in predicting the climate, they could, say, pay to fly in a consultant who had a far better record than they do, and immediately set up an Australian branch. The NHMRC is prepared to spend $350,000 of  special initiative funding to Identify connections between climate, and the health and well-being of Indigenous people in the tropical north of Australia. Can’t a government department find a similar amount to kick start a step-wise improvement in our long range forecasts? Surely the health and well being of our farmers (not to mention their finances and tax contributions) would be improved if the meaning of the “long” in long-range-forecasts was extended beyond next Wednesday.

Corbyn sometimes get’s it completely wrong (it is the “weather” after all), but make no mistake: He has literally been beating the Met Office at their own game for years. He was so good, the bookies stopped him placing bets on the weather, because they were trying to use BOM forecasts, and he kept winning.

“In 4,000 Weather Test Bets over 12 years with William Hill, Weather Action forecasts made a profit of some 40% (£20,000).  The Odds were statistically fair and set by the Met Office before being shortened by William Hill by a standard 20%; the results were then provided by the Met Office for William Hill to settle each bet. Piers Corbyn was excluded by the bookies from such account betting in 2000.

Bets and notional bets can be used to estimate Forecasting Power which is the % profit (or negative for  losses) on stakes that would come from bets placed at fair odds.  For general long range forecasts for the three most extreme recent seasons, namely Summer 2007, Summer 2008 and Winter 2008-09 The Met Office long range forecast Power is minus 100% (ie Met Office long range forecasts failed in all three cases) and WeatherAction (Solar Weather Technique) scores about plus 500%.” [From WeatherAction]

The BOM use models tuned with a focus on CO2. Corbyn prefers solar magnetic effects, and gives CO2 no influence at all.

This week is another test of his long record

On Dec 12 this year, he made several very strong specific predictions — namely  that severe weather events would occur around the world on 25 – 27 and 29 – 30 December.  So far it appears he’s done extremely well on the blizzards of NE USA (aka Snowmageddon II). He toned down his UK warning a week ahead (though Charles de Gualle airport shut due to snow, ice and a lack of deicing fluid), and definitely didn’t get a heatwave in Brisbane (which was 25 C and wet on Dec 27).

For people who want more information about how and why he makes his forecasts, see Piers’ explanation here: Solar Weather Technique of long range weather and climate forecasting. Specifically, see this video.

The Predictions were Strong:

“There will be many dangerous weather events around the world in this period”, said Piers Corbyn astrophysicist of WeatherAction long range weather & climate forecasters. “Snow/blizzards/rain (where appropriate) and winds will be much more severe than standard meteorology will predict from 2 days ahead in these periods”

“For NE/E USA we predicted (12-12-10)
Very Major snow and blizzard events will strike NE & E USA in a double hit centered around 25-27th & 29-30th Dec; One of the most significant snowfall/blizzard periods in NE & east USA for decades.”

For Britain/Europe, NE/East USA & East Queensland Australia we have specific long range extreme weather event warnings which we first issued end Nov / early December. The extremes to come are a consequence of Jet stream blockings and changes in both hemispheres caused by predictable solar-lunar effects”.

“For South/East Queensland eg Brisbane region of Australia 25-31 Dec we predicted (11-12-10) HEATWAVE maybe peaking at 36C to 38C around 28th but date unclear.

For Britain and Europe we stated in forecast words & maps:
Two waves of blizzards and drifting snow especially 25th-27th & 29/30th largely for East/South Britain and for a large part of NorthWest Europe (along with thundersnow) around South Scandinavia, Benelux, N Germany, North Poland and perhaps parts of the Baltic States. AND that thundersnow is likely in (North) Italy in this period also.

Piers commented on 23 Dec re Xmas “Our expectation of snow in the UK on Xmas Day is at the starting edge of this Weather period so there are uncertainties. We notice short range forecasts have been changing a lot for Xmas Day which is probably a reflection of increasing solar factors which will upset standard forecasts in this period. We still expect snow in parts of the UK on Xmas day but note that the general centre of this activity appears interestingly to be shifted somewhat Eastward in Europe so snow amounts on Xmas day itself in the UK will not be large.

On climate change issues, Piers commented:

“Standard meteorology doesn’t know what is hitting the world this Northern hemisphere winter and will continue to make serious errors throughout. They will significantly underestimate the ferocity of events especially of snow amounts in our forecasted extra activity / red warning periods, and at other times may make some overestimates.

“Their forecasts for the cold / snowy parts of Europe and USA will continue to predict temperatures to return closer to normal in about a week’s time but such forecasts will fail and generally be extended to further ahead on a daily basis until one of our less cold / milder periods is reached”.

“Standard meteorology models ignore solar and lunar factors and are associated with the failed science and falsified data of the CO2-based warmist view of climate and are bound to fail again and again.

“This winter is like the battle of Stalingrad in the ‘Climate war’. It will be long and hard and the public will suffer until the failed pseudo-science of man-made climate change – which become like a religion – is defeated; and instead available proven solar-based advances in forecasting science are applied to reduce misery and save lives”.

Read more…

Got a good photo of your local “climate”?

If people suffering extremes of weather would like to send me a photo or two, I’d most appreciate it. It’s nice if I can use (and credit) shots from readers, and I’ve no doubt there are great shots out there of floods, blizzards, and piles of snow.  Heatwave and drought shots also accepted. :-)

UPDATE:

Piers has commented today on his blog to explain his recent hits and misses. He mentions that his Australian forecasts are only a trial, and that he doesn’t provide as much spacial resolution for the US as he does for the UK and Europe. There is no world BOM. Again, Piers is competing in his own class.

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Another test of the BOM vs Corbyn, 10.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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72 comments to Another test of the BOM vs Corbyn

  • #
    John Campbell

    Piers’ problem with the Met Office is that he won’t lie and say he’s using a CO2-based model to forecast weather. So the Met Office can’t afford to use his non-IPCC-approved forecasting method. If they did, they’d lose all their Global Warming funding that us tax payers are forced to pay for. Aside from that, there would be many red faces amongst certain senior politicians. And that, as you know, is not something that said politicians like. So they ignore Piers, stick with the Met Office (and with billions of pounds worth of windmills which have not been doing much windmilling in this recent cold spell), and happily consign us to freeze. Much better that than admit they were wrong and have utterly wasted billions of our hard-earned money.

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    Nick

    The easiest way to understand why we are being lead astray by Weather Witch doctors is they have no idea.

    Earths climate system has an energy budget very similar to a household finances budget.

    Income deposited, expenses & savings deducted.

    There are elements to the household budget…
    Utilities, fuel for car/s, school costs, weekly expense allowance, food, insurances etc. The total income of the household must

    be distributed amongst these elements. In some weeks savings are made, and therefore money is available to be distributed to

    other areas, such as savings. Some weeks income is increased. The household may be treated to entertainment.

    When these elements become variable, i.e. their value is not known, the household budget is disorganised, unpredictable and

    unworkable. You can’t accurately put money asside to allow for future expense and/or developments.

    You have to buy property, buy cars, make career decisions, make educational decisions for the kids, know when to spend and what

    on, when to save and where to put the savings. All based on unkowns that effect every member of the household.

    The planet also has a budget, and energy budget. Some years we have good income, more Sunlight, some years not so much, less

    sunlight. Some years volcanoes distribute their energy, eruptions.

    This sunlight must be distributed amongst all the elements. Photosyntesis for plants, Evaporation of the oceans, Warming of

    oceans, cooling of the oceans, warming and cooling of the lower, mid and upper atmosphere. Some sunlight is absorbed by elements

    that make up the atmosphere, Co2, Methane etc. Some of the energy is spent making clouds etc.

    Now imagine if all the values of these elements of your budget are constantly being argued about, Co2, Methane, amount of

    sunlight into the system, cloud formation, warming and cooling of the oceans. This means no one in the house knows, FOR SURE!,

    what all the elements of the budget are, and what their value is, and how they effect other elements of the budget.

    When unknowns outnumber knowns how is a rational decision made? IT ISN’T! Decisions end up being made based on what is

    beleived, felt, and speculated about.

    Good luck with that.

    Humans have embarked on beleif based exercises throughout history, Stonehenge, Easter Island, Inquisition, most religous wars

    are based on beleif. Explorers didn’t sail far because they beleived the world was flat for for gawds sake and they’d fall off.

    This is the state of our knowledge of the climate and we are making society (Household) altering decisions based on a truckload

    of unkowns.

    Are you serious? Understand WTF is going on first. We’ll chat when it’s sorted.

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  • #
    Mark D.

    Jo, I’ll work on some still photos but in the interim your readers might like to see some web cameras located across the northern USA snow country.

    I don’t know if the television show “Northern Exposure” is known outside of the US market but if it was and after looking at the web cameras, you might start to think that there are a lot of places like “Cicely Alaska” in the North US & Canada (it could be true) :)

    http://johndee.com/ncn/ncn.htm (for web cams)

    http://www.grandmarais.com/harborcam/

    Northern Exposure (TV show) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Northern_Exposure

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    Bruce of Newcastle

    For reasons beyond my mortal understanding, for a couple of weeks SMH has had Boris Johnson’s article on Piers Corbyn on prominent view on their website. Big green ‘Environment’ box, right hand side about 3/4 of the way down. The Age website has a different environment story in that location.

    Is Fairfax starting to play each way bets or have they just forgotten? It was odd enough to have an anti-AGW article on their website, let alone for two weeks.

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    Jeremy

    Not to throw cold water on this, but I’ve heard that Piers has actually also had some spectacular misses in his predictions. I have no link to any example of this, which is why I’m posting it here, I’m hoping someone has details or has a link to details about such misses. All I’ve been hearing lately is about his successes, and I’d really like to know the nature of his misses.

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  • #

    Jo, your links to Kane-TV on Youtube regarding Piers’ Weather prediction methods are down. Looks like a server error.

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    cohenite

    “The BOM use models tuned with a focus on CO2. Corbyn prefers solar magnetic effects and gives CO2 no influence at all.”

    Says it all really.

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    Warren

    Corbyn got one out of five ‘correct’ in his big predictions. The correct guess was the first date for an east coast US blizzard,the double-hit part has not happened,as the NE US is in a bit of a thaw at the moment.

    The heat wave in SE Qld is a complete miss.Couldn’t be more wildly wrong.Why did he miss the extraordinarily widespread,persistent and intense rain events of the last few months? Isn’t this a case of Corbyn himself “significantly underestimating the ferocity of events”? Our BOM’s probabilistic outlook made in September was successful in suggesting that northern and eastern Australia were likely to be wetter than the mean,and before anyone gets in a snip, this kind of forecast does not predict quantities,just odds for above or below mean. On its criteria ,it is a successful prediction. Their dynamic rainfall modelling five days out has been consistently excellent.

    The blizzards and blowing snow for northern Europe was a miss for Corbyn,too.Very cold east and north-east of France,misty,a little light snow but no blizzards.

    Of course,Corbyn will revise and qualify his forecasts closer to the events.He’d be foolish not too use the resources of the world’s meteorological agencies.Everybody else does.

    I’d appreciate some auditing of Corbyn not actually commissioned or commented on by Corbyn himself.Where’s your evidence that BOM dynamic weather modelling uses models “tuned with a focus on CO2″?

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    The links: “Solar Weather Technique of long range weather and climate forecasting”. Specifically “see this video”.
    don’t work for me?

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    Florida

    He was 100% wrong about hurricanes in and around Florida and the other southern states this year.

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    cohenite

    warren @7:”Where’s your evidence that BOM dynamic weather modelling uses models “tuned with a focus on CO2″?”

    We’ll assume you’ve been in a log for the last 2 years and are a bit out of touch; try the State of the Climate report, although the word ‘report’ is far too much praise:

    http://www.csiro.au/resources/State-of-the-Climate.html

    Then wander off and have a look at the Drought Exceptional Circumstances ‘report’ which was the predecessor of the former report and equally egregious; both reports make their conclusions entirely dependent on AGW, ie CO2.

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  • #
    Joe Lalonde

    The interesting hit with this weather is to the world food supplies.
    Ground too wet or too cold hampers plant growth and frozen grounds and crops add to spoilage.
    Being a “free market system” prices are really rising because of the supply/demand.
    Selling your house for food can’t be too far away.

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    On Dec 12 this year, he made several very strong specific predictions — namely that severe weather events would occur around the world on 25 – 27 and 29 – 30 December. So far it appears he’s done extremely well on the blizzards of NE USA

    Extremely well? The forecast for my area, central New Hampshire:

    Tonight: Partly cloudy, with a low around 15. North wind around 5 mph becoming calm.

    Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 38. Calm wind.

    Thursday Night: Mostly clear, with a low around 13. Calm wind.

    That’s about +3°C on the 30th. Way too warm for a blizzard. Too sunny also, though one can have sun and a blizzard concurrently. (You need enough wind and cold to lift snow into the air to reduce visibility to some low level.)

    Half right shouldn’t be scored as “extremely well!”

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    Lets remember when comparing success rates that the BOM prediction of “above average rain” over a season has a 50:50 chance of being right and isn’t very specific. A prediction about a particular region three weeks in advance with an extreme forecast, “worst blizzards for decades”, is in a different class. Piers Corbyn predicts the seasonal swings so well, no one seems to notice that we expect an entirely different standard from one small business than from a large well funded government agency.

    But yes, I too would like a list of big hits and big misses, documented, but it’s a big job. I mean, is a forecast 6 months ahead a hit or a miss if he revises it one month ahead and gets it right then?
    —————————————————————————–

    Piers comments on this latest round of predictions

    http://www.weatheraction.com/displayarticle.asp?a=288&c=5

    Piers Corbyn wins Xmas UK snow bets despite all other forecasters!

    25th-31st Dec WeatherAction World extreme events forecasts confirmed in UK, NW Europe & NE /E USA – despite all other forecasters.

    Piers on main TV stations USA but ignored by UK’s BBC & ITV!

    Snow & Ice hit the UK – despite the forecasts of the Met Office and other standard meteorologists until a few days ahead for a mild UK Xmas!

    December 25th and nights before and after were some of the coldest ever recorded in the UK especially in Shropshire in the West Midlands where Piers Corbyn started his meteorological pursuits as a teenager and he made sizeable net winnings on the snow on Xmas day PUBLIC* bets he placed in November with William Hill.

    * *Piers is banned from weather account betting with William Hill following years of winning but can enter public bets and won money on all the UK stations which recorded snow. These were Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Newcastle, York & Lincoln.

    Piers said: “We predicted snow was most likely in Scotland and East parts of England and that is where it came. Newcastle made me the most cash. Punters who stuck to our detailed advice are well ahead.

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    Bob in Castlemaine

    Thanks DirkH: December 30th, 2010 at 10:34 am

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    Warren

    cohenite,Jo makes the allegation that BOMs weather forecasting uses models ‘tuned with a focus on CO2′,while Corbyn’s weather forecasting technique does not. Is her sentence meant to be taken literally,or is it some kind of humor? Is she deliberately or unintentionally confusing weather forecasting with climate projection? Now BOM has a few pages on their methods,and ‘tuned with a focus on CO2′ really is not there. The levels of GHGs in the atmosphere,and therefore represented in model runs, really do not change for the purposes of a one or two week forecast. Like wise,GHG levels are irrelevant to probabilistic forecasting’s precedent based technique. CSIRO’s SOC report is not forecasting weather,so it’s irrelevant to a comparison of or comments about weather forecasting techniques.

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    Warren

    Jo,clearly,Corbyn’s six month forecast should be judged on its original claims. Anyone can shift goalposts.

    I notice he is crowing about his success-even before the period is over- on the E coast of the US,but,as Ric points out @13,the second half of his forecast was plain wrong. He also conspicuously fails to mention his utter failure with the Qld forecast,and tries to fudge his failure on the UK and Europe front by claiming ‘more is coming for UK and Europe is being very hard hit’ Sorry,Piers you predicted northern European blizzards for 27-31/12 and they are not happening,and no amount of self-glorification and batty triumphalism will conceal this. Yes ,there is a very cold puddle of air over NE Europe,but winds are not strong and snow fall is scattered and light.

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    cohenite

    Warren@16; now you are being disingenuous; the BoM, CSIRO and every other pro-AGW group in the world base their short-term, weather, and long-term, climate, predictions on AGW principles; one of the emerging principles is that macro-climate factors have an anthropogenic characteristic; see Santer’s new paper:

    http://www.springerlink.com/content/w661873236444q18/fulltext.pdf

    See also the work of Vecchi, Meehl and others for further examples of how AGW advocates argue that AGW, that is CO2, is present in the climate structure. Given this you cannot assert that BoM does not base its short-term and long-term predictions on CO2 ‘tuning’.

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  • #
    grayman

    JO welcome back; If i remember correctly the BOM in England testfied in parlament inquires recently that they tested their weather and climate models 2 daily and found them to be ROBUST. But did not know why they kept getting it wrong ie; bbq summers, can not remember whether it was here or WUWT but it was something to that effect that the model they tested was that 30 mill;pound monstrosity. They use it for weather prediting and climate modeling so yes IMO it is bent towards AGW and CO2 again IMO the reason they keep getting it wrong.

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  • #
    Warren

    cohenite,GHGs as part of the atmospheric background are but one tiny element in what is fed into the super-computer for a regional weather forecast. It would be disingenuous to imply otherwise,as it would be to imply that when comparing BOMs weather forecasting with Corbyn’s we are talking ‘long-term’. One week,one month,six months is not ‘long term.’

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  • #
    spangled drongo

    Can I get a bet with the bookies against the IPCC’s very likely [95%/19:1 on] ACO2 warming

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  • #
    wendy

    All here on one webpage. Links to literally hundreds of articles and papers debunking about 25 myths associated with global warming.

    The Other Side of the Global Warming Debate:-

    http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/OSGWD.htm

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    wendy

    It has a gigantic supercomputer, 1,500 staff and a £170m-a-year budget. So why does the Met Office get it so wrong?

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1240082/It-gigantic-supercomputer-1-500-staff-170m-year-budget-So-does-Met-Office-wrong.html

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    wendy

    World cooling has set-in warns astrophysicist – BBC & ‘Global Warming apologists’ challenged to end ‘cover-up’ by Piers Corbyn

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3307&linkbox=true&position=4

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    Llew Jones

    Seems to this lay person, at the risk of being repetitive, that the definition of climate needs some work done on it. It seems the better way to think of climate is not in terms of historical weather produced but by the way in which the many factors that determine weather combine. That of course immediately leads one to the necessity to focus on local and regional weather. As those factors, as a set, are unique in the local and regional context. That contemplation leads to the irrelevance of any change in “average global temperature” and its suggested cause, namely anthropogenic emissions of CO2.

    To illustrate; what are the known factors that produced the unpredicted (by BOM) weather conditions in say Victoria over the last few months. It seems La Nina was one big influence but BOM knew of its presence and still got its forecast terribly wrong. The question arises, does it know enough about La Nina and all the other known factors involved? If so then is it possible that unknown (by BOM) factors were likely to be involved if the BOM was up to speed with the known factors but still got its forecasts wrong.

    One suggestion is for weather forecasters to stop playing fun and games with an insignificant factor like AGW and get to work on learning more about the knowns and discovering the “unknowns”.

    When more is known about those factors and how to measure them, forecasting local and regional weather then becomes a mathematical exercise in calculating the probabilities for predicted weather outcomes.

    One could argue that all that information is available from historical weather data because weather tends to be cyclical. If however local/regional weather is influenced by many local/regional factors do those factors ever/always combine in exactly the same way?

    Of course we could say that Corbyn’s reliance on solar activity input (only?) is in much the same basket.

    It seems that meteorology, at present, is possibly only slightly ahead of Astrology as a scientific discipline. If however the Earth’s climate system is too complex for the cleverest model and most powerful computer then perhaps the Bet Shop or spinning a coin is still the best option.

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    cohenite

    Warren@21; did you even read the State of Climate Report [sic]? From the report:

    “CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology use scientific modelling based on the laws of physics and thoroughly tested against recorded observations. Models make assumptions about future events such as CO2 emissions, and are designed to paint a picture of a series of possible future states based on known facts.

    Because models are representations of the future based on a range of emission scenarios, they tend to produce a range of results, as opposed to observations which are accurate measures of an event that has already occurred. Models are based on an understanding of fundamental science and increased computer capacity allows us to make projections with increased accuracy.”

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    Warren

    You’re being deliberately obtuse,cohenite. What is the point in quoting a description of century-long model runs in which CO2 is reasonably expected to be an increasing element,when this article is comparing weather forecasts for here and now? Models used for weather prediction this week and next are not ‘tuned with a focus on CO2′-a claim made without substantiation-nor are they ‘representations of the future based on a range of emission scenarios’,to cite your SoCR quote. Weather forecast models are representations of the near future using fundamental physics, and thousands of observations from surface to upper atmosphere. You are confusing time frames and purposes. For purposes of short-term forecasting models are built on the state of the atmosphere right now…they are ‘tuned’ to a myriad inputs. Rising CO2 is not one of them.

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    John Brookes

    Hey Warren, maybe cohenite’s obtuseness is not deliberate?

    Anyway, the only way to actually test Corbyn is not by looking at how accurate his predictions have been, but to publish some new ones for (say) 3 months from now, and then look at them in 3 months. So, Piers, tell me what April will be like in Perth next year. I’ll place my bet on pleasantly warm, with not much rain.

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    wendy

    Looks like “Warren” and “John Brookes” are getting too familiar witht the Christmas SPIRITS…….

    Seriously fellas,

    YOU SHOULD NOT DRUNK POST!

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    wendy

    The models are wrong by William Kininmonth: Meteorologist and former head of Australia’s National Climate Centre. He was also Australian delegate to the World Meteorological Organization’s Commission for Climatology (1982-98) | Climate Realists

    http://climaterealists.com/index.php?id=3855

    Global Warming Science vs. Computer Model Speculation

    http://www.capmag.com/article.asp?ID=1816

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    wendy

    NASA MODELS ARE RUBBISH – New NASA model: Doubled CO2 means just 1.64°C warming

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2010/12/08/new_model_doubled_co2_sub_2_degrees_warming/

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    cohenite

    The only obtuseness around here is all yours Warren; and Brooksie’s catty remarks from the hill.

    You are saying that weather is not subject, for purposes of official forecasting, to AGW imputs? Is that what you are saying? So BoM and the other official forecasters ignore CO2/AGW for short-term predcitions but base their long-term, climate predictions on AGW/CO2. What glorious amphigory.

    IPCC, which BoM and the rest capitulate to, says that AGW has short-term effects, as expressed in transient climate sensitivity, and long term effects, as in equilibrium sensitivity. The distinction is completely wrong but BoM does not accept that. The IPCC also maintains that short-term or weather is affected by AGW on a regional basis; so AGW works its magic both on a short time-scale and a small area scale. For a repudiation of that hokum look up Koutsoyiannis’s latest paper.

    As a final rejoinder on the issue of obtusness this statement:

    “For purposes of short-term forecasting models are built on the state of the atmosphere right now…they are ‘tuned’ to a myriad inputs. Rising CO2 is not one of them.”

    is one of the most obtuse and patently, demonstrably wrong assertions I have read. I challenge you to find one ‘official’ GCM which does not have AGW as a dominant parameter.

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    Rereke Whakaaro

    Computer models are limited to those aspects of the physical environment that can be expressed in mathematical formulae or through computational algorithms.

    Such is the nature of computer science – it is not magical.

    If you can accurately define the cause and effect of correlated events, in terms of the physics and chemistry involved, and if you can identify all of the constant and variable factors that impact the observed effects, and if you can determine accurate measurements of the individual variables, at a known point in time, and if you can establish the rate of change for each of the individual variables, then it is possible to calculate a probable outcome with a reasonable degree of accuracy.

    This is done on a regular basis in electronic engineering, chemical engineering, aerodynamics, and other applied sciences in the physical world.

    But climate science is not as mature as electronic engineering or chemical engineering or aerodynamics. It lacks the means to undertake experiments to determine what all of the variables are, let alone establish variable values at a given point in time. All you have is series of observations that have an undefined and indeterminate set of variable factors that fail to consistently produce accurate predictions from the known inputs.

    So, when we discuss “computer models” we need to distinguish those used in the engineering world, from those used in the infinitely more complex area of climate. The former always give you a definitive answer, the latter only give you a probable answer, for a percentage of the time.

    In this particular debate, we are therefore comparing the probabilistic outcomes of the models used by the BOM – which does include the perceived impacts of positive feedback from CO2, but ignores solar influences – with the probabilistic outcomes of the models used by Piers Corbyn – which ignores CO2, but does consider solar and cosmic influences.

    Based on history, we were informed in 2000, that snow in the southern UK would be unknown by as early as 2010. In 2001, and we were informed that sea levels would have risen by as much as 300 centimetres, “in the next decade”. And there are other examples of predictions regarding climate change in the literature that have not been fulfilled. In fact I am at a loss to think of any that have been.

    But these professional predictions, that may well relate to climate change, are nevertheless expressed in terms of weather outcomes, and so must be judged in those terms.

    So if we accept that neither faction is, or can be, 100% correct all of the time, looking at who would make more money in a wager on the outcome of a prediction is a good way of assessing the merits of one approach over another.

    And on the basis of a series of such wagers, over a period of years, Piers Corbyn wins.

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    Llew Jones

    Here is a salutary conclusion from “Too busy watching the climate” from The Australian: ”

    “Like the recent Royal Academy of Science report, the AAS document offers a measured commentary on the science of climate change after a period when politicians and advocates used science to present a false certainty about the extent and causes of global warming.

    This year marked the end of certainty for science, or more correctly perhaps, the world is rediscovering that, as the AAS says, “No scientific conclusion can ever be absolutely certain”.

    Predicting the weather is as fraught for meteorologists as predicting climate change is for scientists, but a healthy level of uncertainty is a useful antidote to the complacency that helped ruin Christmas for so many.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/too-busy-watching-the-climate/story-e6frg6n6-1225

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    Llew Jones

    cohenite @ 36

    The confirmation of your claim is obvious in what governments are doing in response to BOM climate change alarmism.

    There is little doubt that the information organisations like BOM gave governments on the certainty of continuing drier Australian conditions due to ACC, is behind the expensive and likely to be unused Wonthaggi desalination plant. One can only assume that the politicians are not fools and asked the right questions so must have been given the impression that doomsday was imminent, if not already upon us, solely because of worldwide industrial and transport CO2 emissions feeding into higher atmospheric concentrations of CO2.

    Had the BOM been using historic data to make those predictions it would have been aware of the cyclical nature of long periods of drought followed by high rainfall, in Australia and advised accordingly. In other words BOM was spooked by climate change alarmism and thus it is apparent in the above case and many others that AGW formed the basis upon which advice was/is given to governments.

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    Joe Lalonde

    Jo,

    Corbyn’s trick to being more correct than most is he is following the seasurface temperatures, warm air tracks and the bending gulf streams.
    Warm water + warm air = little storm occurances
    Cold water + cold air = little storm occurances
    Warm water + cold air = storm disturbance
    Cold water + warm air = more massive disturbance

    The seasurface temperatures around the equator this year was very abnormally cold to the “record breaking” warmth of 2010.

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    Mervyn Sullivan

    … And just imagine what Piers Corbyn could accomplish if he had the resources of the UK Met Office at his disposal?

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    Paul Maynard

    Re Climate Models

    The UK Met has confirmed that it uses the same models for short term ( up to 5 days) forecasting as it does for 100 year “projections” – note use of weasel words.

    Since we do not know all of the factors that drive the climate – about 90% of them per IPCC4, the models cannot work from first principles and indeed they don’t work anyway. For example all of the models exagerrate both the effect of CO2 and then multiply its effect through positive feedback neither of which have been demonstrated by observation ( as opposed to Playstation games). Indeed, a senior scientist from the UK Met has said that the only way they can resolve their model output is by using CO2 forcing and then amplification by positive feedback citing this as proof of CO2 forcing.

    I do agree that Piers Corbyb seems a bit reticent about his incorrect forecast and if I were him, I would not offer a hostage to fortune in this way. However, he is right when he says that CO 2 is trivial or non-existent in its impact.

    Regards

    Paul

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    Doug Proctor

    Piers has models that do not incorporate CO2 forcings that are better short-term predictors of weather than the various governmental models that follow the CAGW meme. Watts, McIntyre et al have statistical studies that show strong time, location and station selection warming bias in Hansen’s global temperature records and adjustments. The New Zealand Science Coalition successfully forced a backdown from the “official” temperature history of New Zealand and a review by the BOM (though first response was “everythings all right here, move along”, correct?). Australia is the land of the Darwin “Smoking Gun”, so an Australian challenge to the official record seems a reasonable followup to that of New Zealand. Yet, despite what appears to be straight forward indications of error, bias and self-serving choices to support CAGW and its funding, laws and political agendas, there is no call to question this data. Isn’t this odd?

    The global and local/national temperature record is the cornerstone of CAGW. From 1850 to about 1965 all temp records are not considered by the AGW crew to reflect CO2 forcing. The temp rise was about 1.8K/century. CAGW requires significantly more. Hansen/Gore claim that GISS shows this to be the case. If incorrect UHIE adjustments and others drop the current temperature anomaly by 0.34K as some have suggested, then Hansen’s claim that CAGW is already present is false. The claim that there is a temperature anomaly in many places, period, is also false: any “signature” in those places cannot be temperature related but must be environmental variations of natural consequences. The CAGW premise falls apart.

    So, in your opinion, what is stopping a legal challenge (on the basis of fraud, use of Postal Services to conduct mail fraud would be a good couple) to the NASA/Hansen claims? Or is it the case that, in fact, the statistical basis for questioning the global temperature records are weak or insignificant, more a rallying point than grounds for demonstrable challenge?

    We can be like two feuding families and rail at selected, supportive cousins if CAGW is of no import. But if CAGW is a social and economic problem, then the disagreement needs to go to a higher level. If our data is legitimate, then we should move with it. It our positions are based on mushy data, we should recognize the problem and resolve it. Otherwise we as skeptics are the same as Gore, but without the money.

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    co2isnotevil

    Anyone can predict extreme weather somewhere across the globe on some date and probably be right 85% percent of the time. It’s like astrology or Nostradamus predictions. If you make a prediction that’s vague enough, somethings bound to happen which makes the prediction look like it became true. For example, I will say with 100% certainty that it will rain somewhere every day of next year, Anyone want to predict otherwise?

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    Warren

    Cohenite @ 36,once more into the breach….yes,short term forecasts ignore changes in GHG levels.For short periods,any level is effectively unchanging. Seriously,how much has the average atmospheric CO2 level risen in one or two weeks,which is the limit of useful modern techniques? A tiny fraction of a ppm. Any expression of CO2 radiative forcing in a short-term weathermodel is scarcely of any significance.Changes in atmospheric water concentrations are much more volatile. The meat and potatoes in ‘numerical’ forecasting is in the surface to upper atmosphere observations for wind strength,direction,temperature and air pressure,and determining rates of change in all these factors.

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    pat

    happy new year jo and all who visit here.

    an ode to coal:

    30 Dec: WaPo: George F. Will: China has seen the future, and it is coal
    Half of the 6 billion tons of coal burned globally each year is burned in China. A spokesman for the Sierra Club, which in recent years has helped to block construction of 139 proposed coal-fired plants in America, says, “This is undermining everything we’ve accomplished.” America, say environmentalists, is exporting global warming.
    Can something really be exported if it supposedly affects the entire planet? Never mind. America has partners in this crime against nature, if such it is. One Australian company proposes to build the Cowlitz facility; another has signed a $60 billion contract to supply Chinese power plants with Australian coal…
    Fallows reports that 15 years from now China expects that 350 million people will be living in cities that do not exist yet. This will require adding to China’s electrical system a capacity almost as large as America’s current capacity. The United States, China, Russia and India have 40 percent of the world’s population and 60 percent of its coal…
    In his new political science treatise (“Don’t Vote – It Just Encourages the Bastards”), P.J. O’Rourke says, “There are 1.3 billion people in China, and they all want a Buick.” So “go tell 1.3 billion Chinese they can never have a Buick.” If the future belongs to electric cars, those in China may run on energy currently stored beneath Wyoming and Montana.
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/12/29/AR2010122902899.html

    julia/combet et al: leave carbon dioxide alone.

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    cohenite

    Warren; you are missing the point; short term predictions by IPPC modeling used by BoM etc all operate within the context of AGW modelling. The short termers are deductive examples of the general theory and are meant to be iterative proofs; this is why the IPPC and AGW theory has distinguished, as I said, transient and equilibrium sensitivities [see http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch10s10-5-2.html; the transient climate sensitivity is meant to be the short term response of the climate to CO2; all these MET and BoM predictions are failed examples of transient climate sensitivities. So when you say “The meat and potatoes in ‘numerical’ forecasting is in the surface to upper atmosphere observations for wind strength,direction,temperature and air pressure,and determining rates of change in all these factors” you are right; it is just that the IPPC models are not meat and potatoes models, they are fairy dust ones which use the maxims of AGW reduced to the short term and small scale.

    Now, as I said, before Brooksie interrupted, you need to show that the MET, BoM etc do not use transient climate sensitivity parameters to make their short-term forecasts.

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    chris

    Warren, how many dead people do you need to see before you realise that CO2 pays their wages and they are unwilling to see anything else affecting the weather, Corbyn is way ahead of anyones game statisticaly in predicting the behavior of an unstable, unpredictable system! the met office cannot predict a few months ahead without being wrong but are confident, along with their paymasters of the climate in 50 years!! they need culling mostly.

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    wendy

    The Other Side of the Global Warming Debate

    http://www.breadandbutterscience.com/OSGWD.htm

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    Warren,

    If the long term projections of the GCMs (50+ years)are any good at predicting , sorry “projecting” (I wish someone would explain the difference)climate then it should be just as easy to predict a season 3 months ahead of its start. Clearly this isn’t so even though the short term models are the same as the long term ones. This must cause doubt about the validity of these long term projections.
    While the CO2 content and its effects might not change much over a few weeks or months the cumulative effects are built in to the rates of change assumed by the models. That’s where the met offices go wrong.

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    Ian Hill

    Mike, predictions are guesses. Projections are guesses with provisos.

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    Phillip Bratby

    I was in the same physics class at Imperial as Piers in the 60s (in those days Imperial was the top university in the UK for physics – before the need to generate money, eg Grantham, and politics took over). He was a brilliant physicist and got a first class degree with ease. He was a maverick left-winger (coming from a left-wing family – his brother Jeremy is a Labour MP) and was into squats and the like. At least he can’t be accused of being right-wing, anti-science and in the pay of big oil. His long range forecasts have geat merit.

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    Roy Hogue

    All the technical stuff aside, one would think that Piers Corbyn’s extraordinary success would be something others would want to learn from to improve their own rather dismal record. But sadly, they do not learn.

    It may be trite but it’s also true: you can lead the horse to water but you can’t make him drink.

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    Stephen Richards

    Warren
    Can I assume from your comments regarding the accuracy of PC’s forecasts that you must have bought one from him? If so, then I’ll ask his people to confirm and that you can publish those elements you think he missed entirely. He does modify his long range foecasts when necessary but in terms of general long term efforts he is way better than government organisations. In fact, I remember a BBC interview with the Met Off some years back where they were asked why PC was more accurate and they complained that he won’t give them a detailed look at his methods.
    Also, Climate Models GCM as per IPCC have NEVER predicted El Niños/Niñas more than 9 mths in advance and fail miserably even after they have begun. If they can’t do that then they certainly cannot predict/project/estimate climate wartming/change/disruption.

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    Warren, part of the blindness of the BOM, even in it’s short term forecasts, is that everything they know about climate or weather is coloured by the GHG theory.

    Because they “think” their long term models are working and that CO2 plays a significant role, there is not much space in their minds or their models for other factors — like solar magnetic ones for example. If they allowed the other theories to affect their weekly or seasonal predictions (and improved their predictions) they’d be stuck. They’d have to admit that those other factors could also influence “the long run”. If the importance of those other factors grows, the role of CO2 shrinks.

    The monopolistic funding and focus on GHG’s in climate science (which I have documented) does affect the seasonal forecasts, even if all it does is act like a brake on human understanding. It’s what their short term models are missing that makes them so crippled.

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    Debbie

    It still all sounds remarkably similar to the “doomsday prophecies” of earlier centuries. It bugs me that so much public money is being spent to prop up something that is clearly not working.
    Throwing more money at a deficient theory, will not change the fact that it’s not working!
    I believe that scientists and climate experts should definitely keep working on solving the climate puzzle.
    They need to be humble and just admit that they haven’t cracked it yet.
    It’s a bit like searching for the cure to diseases. We can recognise the symptoms and we can even diagnose the complaint but the real success comes when we nail the causes.
    C02 and Solar Activity are probably part of the symptoms and also possibly part of the complaint but they are not the total answer because we can still be just as accurate by “tossing a coin”!
    Crowing loudly in the media with dire “predictions” or “projections” and then making woeful excuses later because they did not eventuate is losing the point.
    It seems people are more interested in protecting their public funding and protecting their credibility than actually trying to find real answers.
    What a waste of resources and what a shame!

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    Debbie

    http://www.foxnews.com/scitech/2010/12/30/botched-environmental-forecasts/#
    Here is an example of what I mean.
    Some humility would be just marvellous!

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    Pete Hayes

    I notice the Trolls have ignore the part in the post that Corbyn’s forecasts are mainly for the UK and it’s admitted that the forecasts for Aussie and U.S. are not as exact.

    If you sad people want to check his accuracy out at least have the decency to not bad mouth the guy and check the statistics out for the UK where he sells his work (Farmers swear by him!). The guy is a true scientist and put his money where his mouth is despite all the flack he has received. I am sure he is watching this post and if anyone in the “Climate Scientist” world can falsify his theory he would be the first to accept the science that proved it.

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    Pete Hayes

    By the way, Jo and family and Mods…. Happy New Year from Freezing Shanghai! Nice to know on the 5th I will be checking out Singapore temperature for the next year….Wanna bet it snows there? ;-) Have fun guys and, in advance, I hope your captain has got a little more humility before the next test starts!

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    Pete Hayes

    oops, Off not of.

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    Roy Hogue

    From the Fox News article linked by Debbie at 58:

    I couldn’t help but laugh at this by Dr. Paul Ehrlich.

    The proverbial excrement is “a lot closer to the fan than it was in 1968,” he said. “And every single colleague I have agrees with that.”

    He added, “Scientists don’t live by the opinion of Rush Limbaugh and Palin and George W. They live by the support of their colleagues, and I’ve had full support of my colleagues continuously.”

    The only word I can think of to describe this mutual back patting society is incestuous. It’s worse than nepotism. They’re surrounded by yes-men and never get a sanity check. This same theme prevails throughout the whole of climate science.

    Humility is only the first step in what they need to get them straightened out.

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    Siliggy

    “The Commonwealth Bureau of Meteorology reported adversely on his methods in both 1939 and 1953. He dreamed nevertheless of seasonal forecasting and tried to forecast sunspot activity several years ahead. Testing the hypothesis that the magnetic fields of the planets, especially Jupiter, influenced sunspot activity, he sought connexions between planetary positions and the weather since the first century and was unfairly branded by opponents as an astrologer.”
    http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/biogs/A090511b.htm

    “…shortly before his death in 1954, Jones predicted a 10-year drought across south eastern Australia from the turn of the century.
    He saw conditions being similar to those prevailing during the great drought of 1902, sometimes referred to as the Federation drought.
    Betty said the best hope now was that Jones was also right about the drought ending in 2010.”
    Merimbula News Weekly
    Dry predicted 60 years ago
    19 Aug, 2009
    http://www.merimbulanewsonline.com.au/news/local/news/general/dry-predicted-60-years-ago/1599998.aspx

    “Conclusions: The results of a testing of Inigo Jones “planetary orbit -solar magnetism-solar energy cyclic methodology” from 1974 to 2008 shows a 71% accuracy of forecasting general yearly Growing Season rainfall, on a simple correct or not correct system. This result shows that Jones methodology for rainfall forecasting has indeed some merit for forecasting General Yearly Growing Season Rainfall in SE Australia (SA/VIC/NSW).”
    http://www.holtonweather.com/LEGEND%20OF%20AUSTRALIAN%20LONG%20RANGE%20WEATHER%20FORECASTER%20INIGO%20JONES.pdf

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    Doug Proctor

    Two simple questions (as my more detailed post appears to gather no moss):

    1. Are the adjustments done to the Australian temperature record reasonable in the eyes of the Australian skeptics?

    2. If the adjustments are NOT resonable, are they sufficient for legal challenge as the impending doom (forecast due to the records) is used to obtain taxpayer funds for research, careers and legislation?

    There must be statisticians who can answer the first, and lawyers, the second, who follow JoNova.

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    Mark D.

    Doug Proctor @ 65,

    Good questions. I think you might be on to something but unfortunately this thread has gone cold (I think). Lets bring these ideas forward to the new and upcoming posts.

    I don’t know much about AU laws or what can be done by way of bringing suit to bureaucrats in office. I think in the US it is possible to charge malfeasance or fraud where appropriate.

    At this point we need to try anything.

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    wendy

    LEFT WING GENE DISCOVERED! – Scientists Find ‘Liberal Gene’ ……….

    http://www.nbcsandiego.com/news/weird/Scientists-May-Have-IDd-Liberal-Gene-105917218.html

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    Ted Cooper

    Siliggy comments on Inigo Jones.
    Inigo was very popular amongst the country people in the 1940s.

    On a different tack, after WWII we had weird weather according to the recollections of people – a constant universal theme is the weather was always better when I was young. The weird weather was attributed to AA guns being fired into the skies etc., and then there was the A-bomb – I guess this was the first vestige of human induced climate change!

    Ted Cooper

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    A.Mc.

    “World temperatures trend will continue
    down in 2008 and all the way to 2013 and
    almost certainly beyond”
    – Piers Corbyn, 2008.

    Here we are and 2010 is fighting with 1998 for warmest year of the last 3 decades.
    Corbyn couldn’t be more wrong on this prediction. Maybe he’d like a spoonful of El Nino with his bucketful of solar-magnetic particles?

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    chris

    A.Mc:-
    Wake up there was little warm about 2010 except the cooked books of you warmists, grow up,

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    Steven Davies

    [Steven Davies of SE of SA writes: I have made four predictions in the past six months. All printed in the local press. All four correct and predicated on the assertion that global warming is bunk and we are headed for a ‘degeneration of global cooling.’ 1. At that time, in the face of every greenie, politician and concerned scientist bleating on about a warmer drier future. Printed in the Loxton News 18-8-10 that the Murray River will be running bankers and 2. that even in this flood, irrigators will not get to see the water (Caica still holds out on 67%) 3. Printed in the Stock Journal on 29-9-10, the SE Times, Portland Observer, Naracoorte Herald & other local press; that we will have diminished grain yields. (this, in the face of the turbo charged start the the season and wide spread optimism from every agronomist and related expert. 4 In the same letter and two subsequent letters predicted that we will have a mild summer with persistent cloud cover.

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    robert s

    Will someone please tell me where the alrmists get their facts
    that make them say that the last 10 years have been the warmest on record.
    I suspect they are just playing with figures.
    In japanese competition the judges will strike out the highest and the lowest figure and then work out the score.
    This makes sense unlike in weather, where one or two days of the so called hottest days does not really make sense to claim that this is a sign of long term weather events or climate change.
    I suspect that no fair dinkum scientist on both sides of the camp would use this to claim so.
    The only difference is that an alarmist scientist would use the words ” I believe that this is because of climate change bla bla”.
    This is when I lose respect for them because in science, beliefs should never over-ride cold hard facts, and cold hard facts are not determined by one of two off events especially in weather.
    And the lies, I call them lies to make claims like, The hottest day in recorded history, where does their word ‘history’ begin.
    The earth is over 4.5 billion years old.
    And they totally ignore the fact that the earth once was a CO2 only atmosphere.
    The media has never ever mentioned this, not once.
    Is it because they are idiots and don’t know any better?
    The SMH are idiots when it comes to climate change.

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