JoNova

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


Handbooks

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Advertising

micropace


GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

Sea level rise has slowed. (It must be time to correct that data!)

Filed under the Semi-Satirical Press.

The Universe is surely conspiring against ecologicist scientists*. Their task is to convince the world that things are dire, and yet just as humans pump out more carbon dioxide pollution than ever before, many natural markers start behaving as if CO2 was having barely any effect at all. It’s all potentially so misleading.

A new paper by Cazenave et al 2014 digs deep to uncover the reasons for yet another unfortunate un-catastrophic trend change.

First, global surface temperatures stopped rising in the late 1990′s. Now, it’s become irrefutable that, for the last ten years, the rate of sea-level rise slowed by thirty percent. Seas were rising at 3.5mm a year up til 2003, then the rate fell to 2.2mm per year for the next eight years. This is exactly what ninety-eight percent of expert Global Climate Models did not predict. The slowing sea level rise is extra problematic because it forms the backbone of the excuse for the long pause in surface warming that wasn’t supposed to happen either.  The fact that it coincided with the global pause in surface temperatures was no comfort at all. The missing heat, after all, must be [...]

Sun controls half of the groundwater recharge rate in China for last 700 years

Could this be why climate models do rainfall with all the competence of tea-leaf-reading? Tiwari et al report that as much as 47% of the recharge rates of ground water in China are controlled by the sun. Apparently climate models miss the minor factor of the major cycles.

Try this radical idea on: imagine a world where climate models worked. Not only could the BoM warn people that there would be a drought coming, they could name the region, and the years.

Tiwari et al:

Here for the purpose of comparison of long term ground water recharge rates with long term solar activity, we used the 10-year average sunspot time series, for the period 1300 to 1905 AD, published by Solanki et al., [2004]. Also the additional average annual sunspot number time series (1700 to 2000 AD) is used from data source Solar Influences Data Analysis Centre. In addition to decadal data annual sunspot number data from 1700 to 2000 AD downloaded from Solar Influences Data Analysis Centre is used in the present study. The cross-correlation coefficient (+0.63) between the groundwater recharge rate time series and decadal sunspot number [Solanki et al., 2004] shows that there is statistically significant solar [...]

Pat Michaels IPA Australian Tour sells out in Perth, Melbourne. Tickets available for Sydney Brisbane

Pat Michaels has been a skeptic in the climate change debate since the beginning, speaking his mind for 25 years and writing six books. He has been a research professor  for 30 years. He was The State Climatologist of Virginia, and a past president of the American Association of State Climatologists, and has published hundreds of papers.

Controversially, in 2007 the Governor of Virginia told Michaels his views were not welcome, and Michaels resigned saying it was ” because I was told that I could not speak in public on my area of expertise, global warming, as state climatologist.” Lubos Motl lamented that “Prof Patrick Michaels was effectively stripped of his title”, in another act of “blatant ideological cleansing.” He was replaced with someone who had published hardly any papers but evidently had the “right” views. Newsbusters notes the hypocrisy over the reporting of the incident. Where NASA asked James Hansen not to speak about policy but to stick to science, a huge fuss was made. When the Governor of Virginia tried to stop a skeptical scientist talking about science, where was the outrage?

These events are booking out fast! -   Jo

Dr Patrick Michaels in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney [...]

Unthreaded Lewandowsky weekend

What can I say. Not another “downfall” video, oh yes. Oh Yes! But for those who know the background on the Recursive Fury retraction, the irony is delicious. Enjoy. Right to the end.

… …

Yesterday I said I had to learn German. Today it’s probably better that I haven’t.

Read on for clues if you are not familiar with the saga.

[...]

Long live satire. Amen. Germans mock their green faith.

We’ve reached the end-game. The sensibles have all left the room and there is no point trying to fight a religion with reason.  What utter foolishness to treat their ideas as sensible! The only response to satirical science (thank you Green-ecologicists) is to hold it up for the world to see its true nature.

Green-electricity may not run your heaters well, but it is excellent fuel for the funnies. Enjoy!

These Germans are so good at this, I have to learn to speak German.

H/t to the brilliant James Delingpole

As the video notes, every single German must now pay Euros 240 a year (“a total of 21.8 billion Euros for power which on the market had a value of only 2 billion. That’s sick!”) in order to subidise worthless green energy projects – such as the ugly wind farms for which swathes of forest are being cut down and the ludicrous solar panels now found on every other roof (in a country not exactly known for its sunshine) – which, as even Germany’s former Godfather of Green Professor Fritz Vahrenholt has now conceded, are the wrong solution to the wrong problem.

Germans spend ten times as [...]

Why Life in the 21st Century Will Be Nasty, Brutish, and Short

While some global whiners are predicting death, disease and reckless fish, an ominous array of other forces are gathering. The time of plenty, peace and abundance could be coming to an end. I’ve finally had a chance to look at David Archibald’s hot new book, and it’s a book that needs to be discussed. It’s the debate we ought to be having. (I’ll be referring to it again on this blog).

In the West we have rarely had it so good: since World War II things have been relatively peaceful; the sun reached a once-in-8000-year global maximum, keeping us warm; the big easy oil fields were tapped, gifting  us the cheapest energy in human history; and the most obvious gains in agriculture meant food supply increased even faster than populations grew.  David Archibald paints a provocative argument of a world where a cooling sun means grain supply can’t keep pace with demand, oil production starts to slide and forces of unrest in the mid East collapse to chaos while those in the far East rise ascendant.

David Archibald writes:

Who are those four horsemen?  A severe, solar-driven cooling is one.  Over the next twenty to thirty years, we are [...]

Too funny. Roy Spencer invented satellite temperature analysis, gets called “a blogger”

Careful Cheryl Jones, your groupthink is showing. She’s a science writer who writes today in The Australian about “climate bets”, but without seemingly using The Internet.

Here’s how she describes Roy Spencer:

Although a blogger, Spencer does publish research in the scientific journals. He was not surprised that Newman had invoked his name. “I’ve testified in the United States Congress probably half a dozen times,” he tells The Australian. “My name is out there.”

To put this in perspective, this is Roy Spencer, Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. He’s not just a climate scientist either.  Roy Spencer and John Christy were the first two scientists to develop a method for getting temperatures from satellites, and the pair won NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, and the American Meteorological Society’s “Special Award.” But Roy does write an excellent blog…

No sure bets in the climate debate

Cheryl Jones, The Australian

LAST summer, Nobel laureate Brian Schmidt challenged Tony Abbott’s chief business adviser Maurice Newman to bet $10,000 that the Earth’s average surface temperature would be lower in 20 years than now.

If Cheryl Jones had gone so far as to type “climate bets” into a [...]

Climate-trivia headlines and the BoM’s unscientific obession with “hottest ever” records

Bob Fernley Jones takes a close look at Australian temperature records, and finds that while the BoM can fish out records that are technically true, those “records” can also be paradoxically irrelevant and largely meaningless at the same time. Not so long back weren’t these same people telling us that only long term climate trends mattered, and that one hot or cold year, or bad storm was cherry picking and unscientific?

Dare I suggest the obsession with headline records is more a PR stunt than a scientific measure?

Its true, that 2013 was probably the warmest year in Australia averaged over the whole land mass and the whole year, at least since we started recording temperatures  (a microsecond ago in geological time). But even so, for individual Australians it didn’t necessarily mean anything much at all. Nor has it got any scientific meaning; one hot summer over 5% of the surface of the world doesn’t tell us anything about cause and effect and CO2. But who would know that from reading a BoM release? But from BoM data we can tell that:

All seven states and territories of Australia have had significantly warmer summers in past years. (So, except for [...]

Want to stop climate change? Happy to see black babies die?

How the concern for the worlds poor hurts. The pain! Ian D’oherty skewers the fake compassion. As I said in Global Bullies Want Your Money, How many people would you kill in order to save us from a theoretical “modeled” threat? Would that be thousands? Could it be more?

Could be… Let’s count the ways wasting money on climate change betrays sick? Indur Goklany estimates that biofuels lead to nearly 200,000 deaths in 2010 alone. Is that enough?  Warming kills less people than cooling, but let’s demand money to stop the warming. Poor climate predictions lead to real deaths, so why not shut down polite debate before it begins? Jail those deniers!

Researching pointless things will undoubtedly mean some people die who could have been saved — (never ever count the opportunity cost, unless you’re talking about how much funding green programs could have got). Fake markets feeds corruption, farmers die, rivers run dry and some are left homeless, what does a caring person do, call the fake market a “free” market and ask for more. Who hurts the most when cheap energy gets more expensive, not the rich doctors wives who can afford subsidized solar (see point 4).

Skeptics [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Cumulonimbus over Queensland | Photo by Geoff Derrick | Click to enlarge

Magnificent.

Climate change believers are using ‘medieval’ tactics to silence debate says George Brandis

How loaded and vitriolic the conversation is about the weather. Too loaded.

George Brandis describes how the left have stopped arguing for free speech and instead do everything to silence different views. He was shocked, he said, at the deplorable attitudes in two particularly white-hot topics: climate change and racial discrimination. Australian Senator Brandis is the Attorney General of Australia, and at the center of the debate about the noxious 18C legislation on hate-speech and whether we Australians have to make sure we don’t say anything to offend anyone. Curiously, this interview has got The Guardian and Sydney Morning Herald talking. Commenters at The Guardian are doing their best to say why Brandis is wrong (“he is a lunatic”), while at the same time proving nearly everything he says about their tactics is true. Brandis, after all, explains that he agrees with the climate consensus, but doesn’t see why asking questions about the science should evoke a shocking form of authoritarianism and anti-intellectualism. He speaks of the emergence of a habit of denying the legitimacy of any other point of view.

Commenter “scuzzlebutt” says: “I’m starting to believe that Brandis may just be one of the most dangerous people in [...]

Prof Fiona Stanley jumps on climate-pulpit, says skepticism “is like child abuse”

It’s another pious scientist. Sigh.

Why do good researchers sometimes throw their professional standards to the wind (or in this case, just blow them right up?)

Fiona Stanley has done great work in the prevention of spina bifida with folic acid, and with indigenous health problems. The new big state funded hospital in WA is named after her, and she’s another Australian of the Year. (Is that award the worst thing that can befall a good scientist? Post hoc, they seem to think the world wants to know their personal feelings on topics they know nothing about.) Cue Professor Fiona Stanley who assumes all fields of science “work” even though she herself says climate science is politicized.

Stanley goes so far as to say that being skeptical of the IPCC view is like “child abuse”. But isn’t it a form of child abuse to throw away the Scientific Method, to sacrifice the next generation’s quality of life, their careers and then burden them with debts to the the God of Wind-farms and the Saint of Pink Batts? Don’t we owe our kids the transfer of a culture of logic and reason that was handed to us?

At least Stanley admits [...]

Abusing statistics in the name of global warming

UPDATED: Lovejoy has responded (in PDF and in comments. See below.)

I could tell from the headline below this was going to be a candidate for the Top-Ten most vacuous papers. It lived up to expectations, and then some.

“Odds that global warming is due to natural factors: Slim to none”

Is there anyone with the lights on at McGill University or “Climate Dynamics“? Surely ScienceDaily ought to have laughed at the press release and sent it back?

Seriously, people wield the magic wand of “statistical significance” without realizing that a/it isn’t magic, and b/ tiny p values can still mean nothing. (Depends on the hypothesis and assumptions underneath, hmm?). LoveJoy looked at 4500 years of a very squiggly line (the last 5% of this graph) and pronounced his magic tool could tell whether the last wiggle was …. ahem, unnatural. If that looks like tea-leaf reading to you, join the club.

Modern climate science can predict virtually none of the spikes and wiggles on this graph. Note the graph doesn’t include the last 100 years which adds about 1C to the rise.

Don’t look now, but it’s another Nail In the Deniers Coffin.

Sciencedaily

Odds [...]

Ask Stephan Lewandowsky anything, except “please can I have that data”.

Good news, according to The Guardian Stephan Lewandowsky is doing Reddit/Science Ask Me Anything session (finished for today, but back again tomorrow).

Richard Tol asked Stephan Lewandowsky how he felt about data. Stephan Lewandowsky replied with exactly the right answer, saying it’s crucial, and “I release all relevant data immediately”. Then Barry Woods quoted the Vice Chancellor of UWA refusing to provide Lewandowsky’s data (after many requests). Apparently it is UWA practice not to release data, no matter how many times researchers politely enquire. How unfortunate for Stephan to have worked at such a backward institution?

Strangely,  Barry Woods comment disappeared completely. (Lucky there’s a screen-shot.)

There must be something wrong with the server at Reddit, surely? Nonetheless Stephan Lewandowsky is passionate about data, I’m sure he will fix this as soon as possible in the morning. (Actually he is probably emailing Stephen McIntyre this minute). It could all be solved so quickly.

Of course, it is too late for him to call the Vice Chancellor, so it may take til lunch time tomorrow to change UWA’s data hiding practice.

We look forward to advancing cognitive science with open data too Professor Lewandowsky.

-Jo

—————————————————————————————————————–

The Reddit Comments

Look out! Climate change makes fish reckless

AIMS researchers found that fish near a natural CO2 vent were not as scared of predators as their colleagues from more alkaline water: “Ocean Acidification robs reef fish of their fear of predators”.

They compared populations in reefs with normal pH levels with those near the vent. I note this line in the abstract didn’t make it to the press release:

“Contrary to expectations, fish diversity and community structure differed little between CO2 seeps and nearby control reefs.”

So the natural laboratory of the vent has biodiversity and a community, despite the “acid” (which is not acidic of course). Milne Bay, I gather, has pH of 7.7.

The abstract points out that there might be a reason why fish are bolder:

“Our results suggest that recruitment of juvenile fish from outside the seeps, along with fewer predators within the seeps, is currently sufficient to offset any negative effects of high CO2 within the seeps.”

Less predators, anyone?

So these might be well adapted little fish that suit the natural environment around them? Call the press…

If warming were politically correct, then people might say the fish became more confident. : -)

Indeed shouldn’t we worry that fish in higher [...]