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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New satellite analysis fails to find the hot spot, agrees with millions of weather balloons

Here I go, harping on about the missing hot spot again.

Roy Spencer has been hunting for the famous missing hot spot (like half the climate world) but he’s been looking in the UAH satellite temperature data. Last week Sherwood et al claimed they finally found it (again!) in an iteratively reiterated homogenized and adjusted version of radiosondes. Spencer was not impressed with the black box statistics approach. As I pointed out here, the Sherwood results was adjusted so much it did not look like the original data, and they somehow found the hotspot by adding in data from years when a hot spot shouldn’t occur. They mushed the data to fit one part of their model, but it broke in other parts.

Roy Spencer has used new methods to improve the satellite signal of the hot spot, and is “increasingly convinced” the all important mysterious hot spot is really not there, which fits with 28 million weather balloons and humidity data too.  Satellites are not particularly good at finding the hot spot because it is a very thin layer over the tropics and satellites peering down from on high find it difficult to measure signals from 10km up and [...]

Study on 74 million deaths: Cold weather kills 20 times more than heat does.

Of seventy four million deaths (that is quite some study) 7.7% of all deaths could be blamed on “non-optimal” temperatures according to Gasparrini et al in the Lancet. But look closely, and 7.3% of deaths were due to the cold and only 0.4% were due to the heat.

This may be part of the reason people retire to Florida, and not so much to Barrow, Alaska.

The biggest killers were not the heat waves that score the headlines, but the the moderate cold. Winter kills. (Time to ban winter?)

Cold weather kills far more people than hot weather

Cold weather kills 20 times as many people as hot weather, according to an international study analyzing over 74 million deaths in 384 locations across 13 countries. The findings, published in The Lancet, also reveal that deaths due to moderately hot or cold weather substantially exceed those resulting from extreme heat waves or cold spells.

“It’s often assumed that extreme weather causes the majority of deaths, with most previous research focusing on the effects of extreme heat waves,” says lead author Dr Antonio Gasparrini from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in the UK. “Our findings, [...]

Thank you UWA — The spectacular collapse of the Lomborg centre was good for skeptics

The new UWA logo?

The UWA debacle has been the best thing to happen to skeptics for years. People who have never mentioned the climate debate to me are now approaching me to talk about it — aghast that something so tame was treated like an outbreak of Ebola. The over-reaction to Lomborg’s Consensus Centre is priceless — it has exposed just how much the pro-climate-crisis team are scared of even the tiniest deviation from their religious doctrine. They depend so entirely on their unchallenged “university” authority that the threat of any official dissent could cause the collapse of the whole facade. (What a disaster.)

Figure just how innocuous and banal their target was: The Consensus Centre at UWA  wasn’t even going to discuss the climate. Lomborg wasn’t going to work there, he wasn’t going to be paid a salary, and he completely accepts the IPCC scientific position, wild exaggerations and all. He’s not a climate scientist and doesn’t pretend to be one. He is a political scientist who discusses economics. On other campuses and in other contexts, Lomborg tries to find ways to help the environment with smarter spending. Oh the crime, twice removed, to seed an errant thought [...]

Nobel Chutzpah Prize 2015: UN, World Bank need “$89 Trillion” to fix climate

The ambit claims know no bounds. Who else would ask for $89,000,000,000,000? If the evil “more developed” nations pay for their carbon sins, the bill for those 1.3 billion people works out at $70,000 per person by 2030 (babies included).*  When the target is 89,000 billion dollars, anything the Global Saviours get, can be painted as “not enough”. (It’s never enough). A trillion in funds is a “tiny”, “insufficient” amount that is “barely adequate”. Compliant journalists will print those headlines. The crowd will pay the money and feel guilty they are not paying more.

Speaking of the loot, the world’s GDP is currently $70 trillion, so asking for $89 trillion is a claim on 8% of all the money turned over in the world economy for a decade and a half. Handsome!

There is a grand array of climate junkets for Global Worriers this year. A gala of red-carpet events culminating in Paris, from November 30 to December 11. The wheeling and dealing is on right now, months ahead — and though they talk about the importance of Paris, I expect that Paris is mostly the cabaret show (like UNFCCC event in Bali that I went to), and it’s the [...]

Wind farms only 80% effective at CO2 reduction (0% effective at temp reduction). UK to allow homes to stop turbines!

In the latest news about wind-generators, The Australian reports that a new Australian study estimates we wasted $70m on RET* certificates last year because of losses the wind turbines put on the rest of the grid. About a fifth of the CO2 supposedly cut by wind-farms was emitted by the rest of the grid as it ramped up and down trying to cope with the erratic supply from the on-and-off whirly-gigs.

If we double our wind-farms the losses are proportionally even greater (every extra wind farm is even more useless than the one before). With twice as many, all of the wind towers would only be 70% effective. But this is all a wild fantasy overestimate, since the point of wind towers is not to reduce CO2, but to reduce global temperatures, stop storms, and hold back the tides. The 3.5% reduction in total Australian electricity emissions changed global temperatures by 0.00C, hence RET on wind is 100.00% useless, accurate to two decimal places. The Clean Energy Council said they had no answer at all, and wouldn’t talk about it, except to say that Australians like “renewables”.

In other news in from the UK, the new majority conservative government says [...]

Weekend Unthreaded

Desperation — who needs thermometers? Sherwood finds missing hot spot with homogenized “wind” data

Who’s desperate to find the missing hot-spot? Sherwood’s new paper claims to have found it, but after years of multi-layered adjustments, and now kriging the gaps, and iteratively homogenizing, the results of the new data partly “solve” one problem while creating others. There’s no documented, physical reason for the homogenizing and there’s no new insight gained. The raw data was used by airlines, the military, and meteorologists for years, yet the suggested new results are quite different to the raw data. It’s as if we can’t even measure air temperature properly. Somehow we’ve made multivariate complex models work but not simple temperature sensors? The main problem with the old results was that they didn’t fit the models. Now, after torturing the data, they still don’t. 

Twenty-eight million weather balloons had shown by 1999 that the key assumption in the climate models was wrong. Without feedbacks, the models only produce 1.2°C of warming with a doubling of CO2. With feedbacks the simulations ramp that up to a dangerous 3 – 4 degrees C, and water vapor was the most important feedback. It’s just no fun for the Global Worriers without it.

No hotspot = no water vapor feedback like [...]

Forecast-the-facts has no facts left — just demands that newspapers do inflammatory namecalling

Forecast the Facts wants newspapers to label anyone who disagrees with them as mentally deficient deniers. Climate change is settled, beyond debate, and the evidence is overwhelming, but the the team with all that certainty seems awfullly scared that the public might listen to their critics.

Look at the first line of their defining statement Who We Are:  “Forecast the Facts is dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change”.  In this case the truth is not about the planetary atmosphere so much as “facts” about newspaper word use, opinions of science pin-up personality, and a club with a long nerdy sounding name. The research they want to share is not about the troposphere, but about their “success” in silencing alternate views: can we cancel an ad campaign, or harrass an executive who is not toeing the line?

 Forecast the Facts is a grassroots human rights organization dedicated to ensuring that Americans hear the truth about climate change: that temperatures are increasing, human activity is largely responsible, and that our world is already experiencing the effects. We do this by empowering everyday people to speak out in the face of misinformation and hold [...]

Facebook study: Climate Believers have more “friends” (Skeptics think for themselves)

Many psychologists are looking at “political ideology” as a predictor of belief in the theory of man-made climate disasters, but I’m convinced it’s the more basic element of personality types that matters more. A new study shows (no surprise) that climate believers are more networked in the Facebook world.

In the press release, the researcher, Juha Itkonen, calls these Facebook connections “friends” as if the terms facebook-friend and friend are interchangeable. Mark Zuckerberg would be happy.  Extroverts on Facebook might also agree, but I’d bet the introvert types would not. Sometimes fewer relationships means deeper ones.

Perhaps extroverts are more likely to be group-thinkers, and introverts are more likely to have some inbuilt immunity to mob thought? No doubt it will be reported with the usual shallow semi-narcissistic flare “climate deniers have fewer friends”. So sharpen your pencils, smile, and remind everyone that skeptics have better things to do than spend all day on social media, that Facebook friends are not always real friends, and that having fewer deeper friends would suit people who are deeper thinkers.


Climate change attitudes are reflected on social networks

11 May 2015 Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki)

People who believe [...]

The scandal of sea levels — rising trends, acceleration — largely created by adjustments

Headlines across Australia yesterday told us the dire news that a new study finds that “Sea level rising faster in past 20 years than in entire 20th century“.   A new paper by Watson et al is driving the headlines, but underneath this Nature paper is a swamp of adjustments, an error larger than the signal, and the result disagrees with many other studies and almost all the raw measurements. Paper after paper kept showing that sea levels rates had slowed (e.g Chen showed deceleration from 2004, Cazenave said in the last decade sea-levels had slowed 30% (but argued post hoc adjustments could solve that). Beenstock used 1000 tide gauges and found no acceleration of sea levels over the last 50 years. A different researcher — Phil Watson, found that Australian sea levels rose faster before World War II then slowed down.)

Firstly,  hundreds of tide gauges show sea level rising at about a third of the rate than satellites do. Worse, the original satellite raw data showed the same slow rise, until it was suddenly adjusted. The real scandal is that the rapidly rising trend was largely created by adjustments in the first place. These latest corrections just adjust down [...]