JoNova

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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UK Met office predicts 15% chance of heavy rain. Britain gets “biblical floods”.

UK Met Office in December predicted a 15% chance of Jan-Feb-March being the wettest category. Instead the UK got “Biblical floods”.

Cartoon thanks to Panda at It’sNotClimateScience

The Prediction

SUMMARY – PRECIPITATION: Latest predictions for UK-precipitation show a slight signal for near or just above average rainfall during January-February-March

as a whole. The probability that UK precipitation for January-February-March will fall into the driest of our five categories is around 20% and the probability that it will fall into the wettest category is between 10 and 15% (the 1981-2010 probability for each of these categories is 20%).

Photo Chris Murray

The flooding continues:

[RT] England’s largest river, the Thames, has burst its banks, devastating homes in the southeast in the worst floods in 50 years. PM David Cameron has called the flooding “biblical,” as economists predict the crisis will cost close on $1 billion.

The latest bout of rainfall caused the Thames River to swell and burst its banks, forcing people in Berkshire and Surrey from their homes. On Monday evening Surrey Police issued a statement saying that over 150 people had been rescued from their flooded homes. So far about 5,000 homes across the country have been flooded [...]

Global Wind excuse — monkey-modeling shows global warming theory is Still Not Wrong.

The backdown continues. Faced with the ongoing failure of their models, the search rolls on for any factor that helps “explain” why the official climate scientists are still right even though they got it so wrong.  The new England et al paper endorses skeptics in so many ways.

The world might warm by only 2.1 degrees this century, not 4c. (Skeptics were right — the models exaggerate). There has been and is a pause in warming which the 95%-certain-models didn’t predict. (The science wasn’t settled.) What the trade-winds giveth, they can also taketh away. If they “cause cooling” after 2000, then they probably “caused warming” before that. How much less important is CO2? Ultimately, newer models are less wrong if they include changes in wind speed, but they don’t know what drives the wind. It’s curve fitting with one more variable.

As usual, the models still can’t predict the climate, but they can be adjusted post hoc with new factors to trim their overestimates back to within the errors bars of some observations.

As I said nearly 2 years ago, Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology:

Nick Minchin: ” there is a major problem with the warmist argument [...]

Coal is a gift from Gaia

Solar Energy Storage – A Gift from Gaia

There is a massive problem with photo-voltaic solar power. Modern cities and industries require power 24/7 but solar panels can only deliver significant energy from 9am to 3pm on a clear day – a maximum of 25% of the time. Even within this time, energy production peaks at midday and falls off steeply on either side.

Science has yet to develop a solar storage battery suitable for grid power. It must be sufficiently large, cheap and efficient to hold the solar power generated during the short solar maximum so it can be used later, when peak demand usually occurs. This process requires that much of the solar energy produced in peak times would have to be devoted to recharging the massive battery.

A linked hydro plant would work in certain limited locations, but the same people advocating solar power are opposed to dam building for hydro power.

But Planet Earth has already solved this problem. For millions of years Earth has use photosynthesis to store solar energy via wood and plant material then converted this to long-term storage in the form [...]

Do winds control the climate or does the ocean control the wind? Kininmonth on England 2014.

William Kininmonth essentially says that it’s possible that the trade winds have changed the climate, but asks why the winds themselves changed. Kininmonth explains that the ocean is much larger and holds much more heat than the atmosphere, and that the ocean drives the winds rather than the other way around. He points out again (as he did before here so eloquently in more detail) that what the paper describes is what we’ve known for a long time about the ENSO patterns and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO): when an El Nino Strikes, trade winds fall, ocean surface doesn’t turn over as much, the ocean surface is warmer, and the air stays hot above. When La Nina’s occur, trade winds speed up, the ocean stirs, and the cold deep water takes the heat out of the surface of the ocean and the air above.

His points are:

“Natural variability” is hardly a credible, useful scientific explanation. The IPCC said natural variability was small, so if it is larger now, then it was also larger during the rest of the 20th Century? This reduces the effect CO2 had earlier (and the effect it will have in future).

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Guest [...]

Australia: more skeptics than believers, and few really care about “Climate change”

First up, despite the endless repetition in the media that the science is settled and the evidence is overwhelming, the latest CSIRO survey shows 53% of the Australian population don’t agree that “humans are causing climate change”. When the ABC gives 50% of its climate budget and time to skeptical arguments we will know it is fulfilling its charter. Right now, the ABC serves less than half the population. Secondly, even with 47% of the population agreeing that humans are “largely” causing climate change, many of these people still don’t think climate change will be that bad. The issue “Climate Change” ranks 14 out of 16 general concerns, and among environmental concerns a pathetic 7th out of 8. It seems a large section of the 47% think the warming will be minor, or even beneficial. The CSIRO has done another clumsy survey, the fourth in a series, still not learning that inaccurate survey terms make the results of most questions meaningless. The unmistakable bottom line from this is that only a minority of Australians think that humans are changing the climate in an important way. Most Australians are more concerned about their health, their income, their job, water shortages, or [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

For everything else…

Get Headlines! How to find a heatwave in five easy steps

Heatwaves have become a publicity tool. Far from there being a clear trend in Australian heatwaves, Geoff Sherrington shows that it’s also legitimate to claim heatwaves were worse 80 – 100 years ago in Adelaide and Melbourne and things are getting better. Those officials who cherrypick their claims might be technically correct, but it’s outrageously deceitful and unscientific at the same time.

Just how hard is it to get a record heatwave? It’s so easy that if it’s summer in Australia, it’s hard not to set a record. That’s because heatwaves come in so many flavors  –  there are seven capital cities which can all have 3 day, 4 day, 5 day or 6 day heatwaves. Then there are the heatwaves over 40C, or over 38 C, or over 35C… already that makes 84 flavours of wave. If a hot spell doesn’t break one type of wave, it could easily break another. Then there is the pre-heatwave, and there would be another 84 types of heatwaves that we haven’t had, but might get, you never know. You might think I’m kidding, but pre-heatwaves get headlines already:

“More Canberra heatwaves forecast”

“A heatwave could return to Canberra next month, [...]

Thanks to Green schemes Queensland dumps gas for coal

Green Fairy Gods of Economic Management

Another unintended consequence of policies to control the climate. Who would have guessed? Laws aimed to disrupt the energy market, disrupted the energy market. Just like Germany, parts of Australia are now dumping expensive gas, resurrecting old coal burners, and voila: The Fairy Gods of Economics tinker — and get the opposite of what they intended.

Here’s the chain of events as best as I can figure. The greener-governments raised the cost of all electricity, but tried to slap an advantage on some forms at the expense of others. The catch is that there is just not enough alternate energy to go around.

More projects used gas, partly due to other state based green schemes like the Gas Electricity Scheme of Queensland. So gas demand rose and gas became more expensive. At the same time, those who owned gas found that export markets will pay more for gas for other uses. So it didn’t make sense to keep the gas for the power-stations here when they could sell it for a greater profit elsewhere. Meanwhile, other forces were also at play. The Green drive created a glut in fickle solar and wind power. [...]

$7b paid in carbon tax to reduce CO2 by 0.3% and cool us by zero degrees

This news was so boringly predictable I almost didn’t post it, but numbers like this of actual outcomes of visionary Big-Government Experiments are hard to come by.

Seven billion dollars works out to $350 per person, and $1,350 per household of four, for one year. If Bill Shorten (leader of the opposition) had to knock on doors to collect this tax, there would be a riot in the street tomorrow.

The Australian reports that the $1,350 from your house for the year to Sept 2013, produced an emissions fall from 543.9 million tons all the way down to 542.1 .

National greenhouse accounts to be released today show carbon emissions fell just 0.3 per cent in the year to September 2013. This was despite the carbon tax raising $7 billion over the period.

But I hear some cry that it did help reduce emission from electricity:

The Department of Environment figures, obtained by The Australian, show electricity emissions fell 5.5 per cent or about 11 million tonnes in the year to September.

However virtually none of the 11 million tonnes “saved” had much to do with the carbon tax. About 5 million tons was due to reduced economic activity (arguably, [...]

Hulme tries to throw all scientists under a bus. It’s just “the debate is over”. Cook, consensus take collateral hit.

It’s another tiny marker on the road to reality. Mike Hulme has admitted that Cooks 97% study is “infamous” and “irrelevant”. He’s trying to wash himself of both the “Consensus” argument and Cook’s work which he can see are becoming a liability. But make no mistake Hulme is more alarmist than ever. He’s just trying to rebrand the gravy train.

In Science can’t settle what should be done about climate change he’s not trying to argue from scientific authority. But–watch the pea–it is just a different form of authority — his. He’s trying to chuck both sides of the science debate under the bus-of-oblivion and pretend that science is completely irrelevant. With his mere statement that the science is settled (according to him), he’s hoping to get the policies discussed and stop people raising awkward points about the science.

What’s amazing is that anyone falls for this nonsense at all. It’s a naked attempt to divert the national conversation with statements that are self evidently inane. He wants us to discuss how much money to spend to change the weather, but not discuss how much the weather is going to change. What, no discussion of value for money–how much for [...]

Climate Change is making us mental — fear of “storms” undoing evolution!

These days people are practically getting post traumatic climate disorder after bouts of extreme weather. More pointlessly, some are getting pre-traumatic stress from events that haven’t even happened.

Makes you wonder how humanity survived the ice ages every time a storm hit — no fire department, no Hurricane-Relief funds, no phones, no food stores, no doctors. Electricity out for 90,000 years.

Americans’ Mental Health is Latest Victim of Changing Climate (Op-Ed)

For months after Hurricane Sandy sent nearly six feet of water surging into her home in Long Beach, N.Y. — an oceanfront city along Long Island’ s south shore — retired art teacher Marcia Bard Isman woke up many mornings feeling anxious and nauseated. She had headaches, and inexplicable bouts of sadness. She found herself crying for no apparent reason.

“I would feel really sad, and that’s just not me,” she said. “I felt like the joy was out of my life. I still haven’t recaptured it.”

What Isman is experiencing is one of the little-recognized consequences of climate change, the mental anguish experienced by survivors in the aftermath of extreme and sometimes violent weather and other natural disasters. The emotional toll of global warming is expected [...]

We are 95% certain you are a big-tobacco funded anti-semitic denier: alarmist keyboard leaked.

@GalileoMovement has been leaked a peek of the main Catastrophic Climate Change keyboard. This is where the emergency response team arguments are generated for the public debate.

For example: 97% of climate models didn’t predict the “pause”.

The correct response is…

Alarmist Debating Keyboard

… all of the above.

h/t, credit to Paul Evans of The Gallileo Movement.

The Age columist says democracy, free press not the answer for climate damage

The Age, sometimes the free press is not enough…

Gay Alcorn suggests when voters get it wrong (and you are but a powerless columnist on a major daily paper) the answer is not “explain your case”,  or “publish and study the views of the people who disagree” but be fiercer, get arrested and resort to civil disobedience and blockades. Meanwhile her “respected” CSIRO scientists let her step into an obvious scientific hole, and Naomi Klein spins a fantasy that Alcorn finds appealing.

Ask all the wrong questions

The journalists of The Age have read their own paper for so long, they don’t even know what questions to ask:

The Age: “Applying heat to Canberra’s climate stance”

“There are a few barely questioned principles that most citizens assume in a representative democracy such as ours. One is that, whichever party you voted for, you accept the result of an election and give thanks for a peaceful transfer of political power.

But what if there was an issue where you couldn’t accept the elected government’s position, believing it so wrong, dangerous, and damaging to the country’s economic and social future that to treat it as just part of the [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Prince Charles says headless chickens should have more blind trust in science

“Baffled”

Switch off your brain, Prince Charles has said you are a headless chicken if you do not accept what political committees tell you to think.

PRINCE Charles has called people who deny human-made climate change a “headless chicken brigade” who are ignoring overwhelming scientific evidence.

Thus Chicken Little yells “headless chickens”, and climate sensitivity must be 3.3C. Right?

The heir to the throne, a dedicated environmentalist, accused “powerful groups of deniers” of mounting “a barrage of sheer intimidation” against opponents.

So one of the richest men in the world, future ruler of nations, feels bullied by unfunded volunteers? Such bravery from our next Head of State. (I’m not Monarchist or Republican, but if Charles keeps talking, that could change.)

This is the same old argument: authorities want us to believe authority, while stupid punters ask for data instead.

Using all the inductive reasoning he could muster, Charles admits he cannot figure out why everyone does not accept the pronouncements of people who hide declines, data, emails and methods:

Charles said it was “baffling … that in our modern world we have such blind trust in science and technology that we all accept what science tells us about [...]