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


The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper




The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX



IPCC in denial. “Just-so” excuses use ocean heat to hide their failure.

In answer to the excuse du jour: “The Ocean ate my Global Warming”.

Now that the plateau in air temperatures has lasted for 15 years, everyone, even IPCC lead authors, can see the “90% certain” models were 98% wrong. So the IPCC now claims the heat went into the deep abyss, which they didn’t predict, can’t measure accurately, and, even by the best estimates we have, has not been anywhere near large enough to explain the missing energy.

They predicted the surface air temperature would increase, but it didn’t. (The 1990 IPCC predictions about temperatures were so wrong the trends have come in below their lowest possible estimate.) They predicted the oceans would warm more than twice as much as they actually have (as best as we can tell). They did not predict the air temperature would level out for 15 years, and the oceans would suddenly start producing “natural cooling”.

The oceans are a bit of a mystery black box

There are 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of ocean out there — it’s so big it hid a 650 km volcano until two weeks ago. Only two people have been to the bottom ever (correction, three men), and they [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

We could discuss that 95%-certain sermon from yon IPCC…

Michael Brown, astronomer, says science is not about debate, people are too stupid to judge

Michael Brown, recipient of taxpayer funds for astronomy, tells us that science is not about debate because people are not smart enough to judge the winner. He doesn’t list any evidence to support his faith in climate models (he’s just part of the herd following the consensus pack). Nor does he have any serious scientific criticism of the NIPCC climate report. But he uses plenty of names, baseless allusion, and innuendo. In the article ”Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” in The Conversation he resorts to a group smear (with the help of the taxpayer funded site) in the hope that people won’t listen to those who disagree with him. Apparently he can’t win a fair and open debate, so he’s doing what he can to stop one.

If science now has “Gods” who are above question, it’s not science, it’s a religion. A scientist who says “I’m right because I’m a scientist” is neither right nor much of a scientist. Brown is acting like a self-appointed High-Priest of the Climate Doctrine.

The NIPCC report is more balanced, more comprehensive, and more accurate than the politically-guided tome from the IPCC . It contains hundreds of peer reviewed references put [...]

Plants suck half the CO2 out of the air around them before lunchtime each day

A paper that is nearly 60 years old shows us just how intrinsically important CO2 is to life.

An acre of corn is a living machine drawing CO2 from the air around it. In windless conditions, CO2 concentrations over a cornfield build up each night as CO2 diffuses from higher air and the organic matter and bacteria create CO2 from the soil.  A paper by Chapman et al  from 1954[1], shows that as soon as the sun comes up, to power-up those dormant photosynthetic cells, the plants rapidly draw down as much CO2 as possible, and when the CO2 levels fall too low, plant growth surely slows.

On a windless day CO2 values rose to 410ppm overnight and fell to 210ppm during the morning.

This graph shows CO2 content of the air over a cornfield on a still day (no wind). Sunrise occurs at 5am and CO2 levels plummet til 8am, reaching their lowest by 1pm, which is nearly half the CO2 concentration of the peak reached overnight. The corn is affecting CO2 levels in air even as high as 150m or 500ft above. These level out by around 8am and only start to increase again, a couple of hours [...]

10 million pageviews, 1.6 million visitors — new media reaches an influential audience


Admire the power of the Internet. Since I started blogging we’ve had 9,999,619 pageviews. Minutes to go…

UPDATE #1: 10,000,075 pageviews. Thank you.

UPDATE #2:  Extra special thanks to the volunteer moderators who work anonymously to keep things on track, who deal with the malcontents, complaints, and unpublishable bile and my evolving strategies. They made the 10 million pageviews possible and the 180,850 comments.  They are spread over three countries and every timezone, and have been helping for 2 – 4 years each. They are a source of wisdom and advice. I would not be able to do this without their help.

Statistics show 1.67 million unique visitors from 225 countries have come to the site.  From the extraordinary comments on Monday’s thread many readers are highly qualified in Engineering, Geology, Physics, Law, Medicine, Accounting, Architecture, Agriculture, Chemistry, Ecology and Education. From personal contact I know readers also include three national cartoonists, several members of the Australian and British Parliaments, State MPs, staffers to elected representatives, IPCC lead authors, journalists and at least six well known columnists. Readers include a professional full time carbon trader and several major investors, at least one of which [...]

David Suzuki bombs on Q&A, knows nothing about the climate

“What data? “  David Suzuki on Q&A

David Suzuki’s performance on Q&A last night was extraordinary. I was knock-me-over amazed that he has not heard of UAH, GISS, HADcrut and RSS, and knew nothing of the pause in global surface temperatures that even the UK Met Office and IPCC lead author climate scientists like Hans von Storch are discussing.

How afraid is Suzuki about man-made global warming? So afraid, it doesn’t occur to him to check the data, incredibly he doesn’t even know what the data is. Tony Jones had to rephrase the questions to explain them to Suzuki, who doesn’t even understand them.

How much is his reputation as a scientist worth when he doesn’t even bother to check the evidence for a cause he stakes his reputation on?

Three times in Q&A he admitted he didn’t know — he didn’t know there was a pause in warming for the last 15 years, he didn’t know how global temperatures are measured, and he didn’t know that cyclones were not increasing over the Great Barrier Reef. He wants politicians jailed for “denying the science”. “You bet!” he exclaims, but then admits he hasn’t thought that through either.

The cartoon-like [...]

“Honey, I shrunk the consensus” — Monckton gets readers signatures, qualifications on on Cooks paper

If you are fed up with dismal papers passing peer review and exploiting the good name of science, join us in protest. Christopher Monckton was not content to let John Cook and others get away with a paper where 0.3% becomes 97%, so  Monckton is formally asking the journal to retract it — suggesting it would be wise to protect the journal from any allegation of scientific misrepresentation. Here is his entertaining background on events, and below that, a very serious letter 273 scientists and citizens have already signed to jointly send to the Editor Daniel Kammen. If deceptive wording and hidden data make you angry, join us by commenting below or emailing. — Jo


 Honey, I shrunk the consensus

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Michael Crichton said: “If it’s consensus, it isn’t science. If it’s science, it isn’t consensus.” Thales of Miletus, Abu Ali Ibn al Haytham, Newton, Einstein, Popper and Feynman thought much the same and said so. Science by head-count is mere politics.

Doran and Zimmerman (2009) and Anderegg et al. (2010) each concluded that 97% of a few dozen carefully-filtered climate scientists held Man guilty of some of the 0.7 Cº [...]

Cook’s 97% consensus is a case study of Agnotology – ignorance and misinformation

Agnotology is the study of how ignorance grows through repetition of misleading misinformation. You might never have heard of it, but it’s the perfect term for the climate science “debate”. Predictably its use began when those convinced of man-man global warming claimed fossil fuel groups were funding misinformation. But as per usual, unskeptical scientists opened a promising new front only to got burned by the evidence.

In the latest volley, from Legates et al 2013, John Cook’s “97% consensus” survey has become the case study in agnotology. Based on incorrect results, a flawed method, and a logical fallacy,  it kept key facts hidden while sloppily blending vague language into a form that is easily and actively misinterpreted. That it passed peer-review is another damning indictment of peer review.

Cook still refuses to provide about half the data, but the data that has been made public shows (after some digging) that a mere 41 papers out of 12,000 was called a 97% consensus. The trick is that Cook et al interchangeably use different definitions of consensus.

The Bait and Switch

The Bait: In the introduction Cook states that the reason for the paper is “to determine the level of scientific consensus that human [...]

An open invitation to Tim Flannery to explain climate science to us here

Tim Flannery. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Dear Tim,

Now that the government funded golden platform is gone, you say you will “not be silenced. ” Bravo, I say.

Perhaps I can help? When I didn’t want to be silenced five years ago, I set up my own blog. I got no government grants. Any financial support comes from readers voluntarily (thanks to Peter, Bill, Bernd, and Malcolm yesterday).  I forgo a job to run this blog and get called a “denier” by government funded academics and politicians. Nevertheless, this is the largest skeptical climate science blog in the country, and one of the handful of largest in the world.

To help you until you get your own blog running in full, I extend an open invitation to you for a guest post anytime, unedited, and in full with graphs and images. Links to your own material will help your google rank.

You talked about the importance of scientific discussion, after the Climate Commission was abolished yesterday: “I believe that Australians have a right to know – a right to authoritative, independent and accurate information on climate change.”

Where better to post accurate information on climate change?

Keeping in the [...]

Saturday Unthreaded

For James…