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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Are transfer functions meaningless (the “white noise” point)? Beware your assumptions!

Some people are claiming that the transfer function is meaningless because you could use white noise instead of temperature data and get the same notch. It’s true, you could. But the argument is itself a surprisingly banal fallacy. It looks seductive, but it’s like saying that it is meaningless to add 3 oranges to 3 oranges because you could add 3 oranges to 3 apples and you’d still get six!

It is trivially obvious that the transfer function will find a relationship between entirely unrelated time series, as any mathematical tool will when it’s misapplied. The question that matters — as with any mathematical tool — is has it been misapplied? What matters is whether the base assumption is valid, and whether the results will be a useful answer to the question you’ve asked. If the assumption is that apples and oranges are both pieces of fruit, and the question you ask is “how many pieces of fruit do we have”, then it is useful to add apples and oranges. But if you are trying to compare changes in fruit consumption, adding the two is mindless. So let’s look at the assumptions and the question being asked.

Assumptions first

Two [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

I’m sure some people must be tired of discussing the solar model

Sea level rise less than 1mm for last 125 years in Kattegatt, Europe — Nils-Axel Morner

Nils‐Axel Mörner has a new paper out (his 589th). For 60 years he has been tracking the coastlines close to him, and carefully isolated the exact part which appears to be the most stable. From that he shows that the real sea-level rise in Northern Europe is less than 1 millimeter a year since 1890. This is less that the 1.6mm trend in 182 NOAA tide gauges, and far below the estimates of the IPCC reports.

There is also no sign of acceleration in sea-levels for the last 50 years. (How much should Europeans spend to stop a 1mm annual rise that was already going in 1890 and has not changed much since then?) If anything, Nils work shows how difficult it is to measure true sea-level rise on land that shifts.

In this graph below, he compares the rise of most tide gauges with the Kattegatt region, and the IPCC results. This is only one result from one place, but it is based on thousands of readings from sites all around Kattegatt. His painstaking attention to extreme detail and empirical data stands in stark contrast to the IPCC where the trend depends heavily on adjustments. (Those adjustments appear to [...]

BIG NEWS VIII: New solar theory predicts imminent global cooling

To recap — using an optimal Fourier Transform, David Evans discovered a form of notch filter operating between changes in sunlight and temperatures on Earth. This means there must be a delay — probably around 11 years. This not only fitted with the length of the solar dynamo cycle, but also with previous independent work suggesting a lag of ten years or a correlation with the solar activity of the previous cycle. The synopsis then is that solar irradiance (TSI) is a leading indicator of some other effect coming from the Sun after a delay of 11 years or so.

The discovery of this delay is a major clue about the direction of our future climate.  The flickers in sunlight run a whole sunspot cycle ahead of some other force from the sun. Knowing that solar irradiance dropped suddenly from 2003 onwards tells us the rough timing of the fall in temperature that’s coming (just add a solar cycle length). What it doesn’t tell us is the amplitude — the size of the fall. That’s where the model may (or may not) tell us what we want to know. That test is coming, and very soon. This is an unusual [...]

Color me skeptical – the Gore and Palmer paradox

The Fairfax press say the improbable Gore-Palmer play was a win for alarmists. The Australian calls it for skeptics and says Gore is a fool. I’m not calling anything until I see the fine print. Palmer says he’s met P.M. Abbott and he was ‘encouraged’ by his climate plan.

The only thing I can say for sure is that the science of CO2 is irrelevant to both Gore and Palmer. Everything else is a paradox. We’re not being told everything.

It seems now that Palmer’s amendments to repealing the carbon tax do not include an Emissions Trading Scheme (even the Fairfax press agrees). That makes it look like a skeptic win, but keeping the $10b Clean Energy Finance Corporation is a win for Gore, and so is keeping  the RET (Renewable Energy Target) and the Climate Change Authority — it’s another government funded advertising unit for the carbon scare campaign. The more patrons who are dependent on the  carbon-subsidies, the more pro-carbon lobbyists there are. And they lobby like their livelihood depends on it — because they have nothing if the government policies don’t prop up their pretend free market.

Why would Gore  have any interest in standing next to [...]

Unbelieveable – Palmer to axe the tax, but vote for Carbon trading scheme?

This is not what PUP voters thought they were voting for… but the  Big-Bankers will be happy.

Really? Clive Palmer holds the balance of p0wer in the new Australian Senate, due to start on July 1. He’s the coal magnate who made it clear he would get rid of the carbon tax. Now he’s palling up with Al Gore, and saying he’ll vote the tax down but only if we add a clause for an emissions trading scheme that is conditional on China, the US, the EU, Japan and Korea joining in too. Is this a meaningless dead-duck promise that is unlikely to happen, or is this the long softening up for the UN convention in Paris next year, when weak schemes (like China’s, where lots of permits are free) are used as leverage to call in the sub-clauses? I don’t think Gore would be flying out here if there was no chance this legislation would matter. At the very least he will use it to lean on other countries, as evidence that “Australia wants in”. At the very least this is about keeping the illusion of momentum going.

What is going on behind the scenes for this extraordinary turn-around? [...]

BIG NEWS Part VII — Hindcasting with the Solar Model

The Solar Series: I Background   |  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting (You are here)   | VIII — Predictions

All models are wrong, some are useful. That’s how all modelers speak (except perhaps some climate scientists).

The barriers to making a good climate model are many. The data is short, noisy, adjusted, and many factors are simultaneously at work, some not well described yet. Climate modeling is in its infancy, yet billions of dollars rests on the assumption that CO2 will cause catastrophic warming and the evidence that most recent warming was due to CO2 comes entirely out of models. It’s important to focus on the pea:

“No climate model that has used natural forcing only has reproduced the observed global mean warming trend” (IPCC 2007)

It is a crucial plank that modelers say “we can’t explain the current warming without CO2″. Current climate models assume that changes in solar radiation have a small immediate effect and [...]

Don’t miss Jennifer Marohasy speaking in Sydney Wednesday

Jennifer Marohasy has been very involved in looking at Australian temperature data this year. She is speaking in Sydney on Wednesday about what she’s found. She’s talking about the new temperature dataset the BOM uses called ACORN, which they built after we asked them for an independent audit of their High Quality set.

Modelling Global Temperatures – What’s Wrong. Bourke & Amberley – as Case Studies

From Jennifer’s site: “The most extreme example that Ken found of data corruption was at Amberley, near Brisbane, Queensland, where a cooling minima trend was effectively reversed, Figure 1.” Jennifer has also raised her concerns (repeatedly) with Minister Greg Hunt.

Venue: The Gallipoli Club, 12 Loftus Street (between Bridge Street & Alfred Street), Sydney Time: 5.30 for 6pm

Additional Information: **Bookings from 11 June only **    BAR OPENS AT 5 PM – LIGHT REFRESHMENTS

Click here for info on how to book

Weekend Unthreaded

Sorry…we’ve been busy in the comments

Climate Rage: We absolutely cannot have… a rational conversation!

This post bumped to the top so it doesn’t get lost under the newer post: Solar Model Part IV below.

In The Rage of the Climate Central Planners, Jeffrey Tucker describes something we’ve all experienced. That moment where the social atmosphere turns suddenly poisonous. Climate Rage!

Namecalling is a tool to stop debate. It works to keep the wandering minds in the square. But the flipside is that sooner or later the smallest crack, the tiniest doubt, elicts a bizarre over-the-top response and the mismatch reveals the game. How many passionate skeptics are created in the moment a fence-sitter realizes that those who say they love the environment will risk friendships and burn relationships in order NOT to discuss it? For surely there is only one possible interpretation of Climate Rage.

“They really can’t allow a debate, because they will certainly and absolutely and rightly lose.”

“When that is certain, the only way forward is to rage.”