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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Around the world seismic measurements were quieter during lockdown

Something that marks how strange times are, was that in March and April, a group of seismologists found seismic activity fell by 50% at 185 stations around the world (at least in certain high frequency bands from 4 – 14 Hz). For example the three graphs below show seismic activity in Brussels, Barbados and New Zealand. A slight downturn happens at Christmas but the lockdown period fell far below that.

For the first time seismologists could identify small quake signals they had missed before.

Co-author Dr Stephen Hicks, from Imperial’s Department of Earth Science and Engineering, said: “This quiet period is likely the longest and largest dampening of human-caused seismic noise since we started monitoring the Earth in detail using vast monitoring networks of seismometers.

Who knows what they might figure out now they have a handle on human background “noise”.

(B) Lockdown effects in hiFSAN compared with audible environmental noise and independent mobility data in Brussels, Belgium. (C) Lockdown effect in Barbados compared to noise levels in the last decade (in gray) and correlation with local flight data at the Grantley Adams International Airport (TBPB) (24). (D) Lockdown noise reduction recorded on borehole seismometers in [...]

Stop the press: Solar panels could stop Earthquakes

Experts predict a warmer world will be “geologically turbulent”. Join the dots, get a solar panel, and stop the world cracking up ok? 

Below one national news outlet speculates about the effects storms, melting ice and floods have on crustal plates, and fault lines. It’s possible, unknown, or at least not-entirely-ruled-out that man-made CO2 could maybe theoretically lead to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tsunamis. The story contains stacked “ifs”, “buts”, “coulds” and caveats, plus some links that are not-statistically-significant and several “unknowns”.

This is essentially one-sided scientific rumour mongering. Quick let’s transform our economy.

h/t Andrew V

This is what our future looks like if climate change goes unchecked

Jamie Seidel

… experts predict a warmer and more geologically turbulent future for the planet.

The US Geological Survey has discovered there is one link between weather and earthquake.

 Just one link?

Major storms, such as cyclones and hurricanes, can produce substantial changes in atmospheric pressure. This sometimes triggers a ‘slow earthquake’ – a slow but steady movement that does not create any noticeable jolt.

“They note that while such large low-pressure changes could potentially be a contributor to triggering a [...]

1970s Spock documentary — Climate scientists believe the next ice age may have already started

Watch Spock in the 1970s describing how climate scientists were predicting a mile high wall of ice that could cover Canada down to Boston “in your lifetime”, and it may already have started. Commenter Bulldust found Gary Orsum’s droll commentary on that documentary. Great stuff.

Best part begins from 5:45 mins on:

In 1977 the worst winter in a century struck the United States… one desperate night in Buffalo, eight people froze to death…

the brutal Buffalo winter might become common all over the United States. Climate experts believe the next ice age is on its way.

Temperatures have been dropping for thirty years…

With 40 years headstart on climate scares, Orsum has all the answers.

Leonard Nimoy: Arctic cold and perpetual snow could turn most of the inhabitable portions of our planet into an Arctic wasteland.

Sure says Orsum, but there are ways to allieviate that threat even with your primitive caveman technology, just get the kids to take Fridays off school.

The opening five minutes explaining how he’s not a denier though he keeps being called one. Readers here have lived that landscape already. Just say “lukewarmer” and [...]

Glaciers on the move: Two minutes of extreme climate change on Swiss Alps, Italian beaches

The next ice coming to Europe might look something like the last ice age shown in this simulation. A time when Venice will be top of a long paddock that stretches to Albania.

In school children are taught to hyperventilate about the last 30m retreat of glaciers that never stayed put ever.

Instead, they could be studying this… (click to start)

At the 24,000 year BC point glaciers have wiped out Zurich, Bern, Geneva.

Image the effect on people if this were shown everytime a Swiss Alps disaster story was run?

OK, so it is a model

Advance and retreat of the Alpine glaciers during the last glacial cycle from Julien Seguinot on Vimeo.

About 25000 years ago, Alpine Glaciers filled most of the valleys and even extended onto the plains. Using a computer model that contains knowledge on glacier physics based on modern observations of Greenland and Antarctica and laboratory experiments on ice, help from traces left by glaciers on the landscape, and one of the fastest computers in the world, this animation is an attempt to reconstruct of the evolution of Alpine Glaciers in time from 120000 years ago to today.

Meanwhile, WWF [...]

Scottish summers not doing anything they haven’t done for 800 years already

Gotta love a long unbroken proxy.

Scientists looked at 44 pines sites across the Scottish Highlands and used their tree rings to create a continuous temperature series for the last 810 years. Showing admirable restraint, they did not paste on adjusted thermometer records to create a hockey stick effect. Instead we can see that Scottish summers were just as warm in the 1300s, the 1280s and around 1500 as well.

The rate of warming is not unprecedented. The temperature is not unusual. But thermometers don’t tell the same story as the tree rings in the last 50 years. They both can’t be right. Either the tree rings are always unreliable thermometers or the thermometers are placed near ice cream trucks and adjusted up-the-kazoo?

Thanks to CO2Science:

Rydval et al. extended “the previously published Scottish dendroclimatic record (Hughes et al., 1984) by nearly 500 years,” in order to create an 810-year-long proxy over the period AD 1200-2010. The reconstruction was derived from a network of 44 Scots pine (Pinus Sylvestris) sites across the Scottish Highlands from both living and subfossil samples that correlated well with summer (July-August) temperatures.

In placing the most recent warming of the instrumental [...]

Now that was “climate change” 8200 years ago — California lashed by 150 years of storms

Don’t tell me that cold is nice and the climate was ever ideal

A few scientists thought that the climate was stable and well behaved during the Holocene until we invented coal power and the Ford Model T and everything fell apart “unprecedentedly”.

But 8200 years ago things apparently got pretty wild. See the GISP graph below where there was a three degree fall in temperatures suddenly (circled in red below). A new study found that at the same time China and California also cooled. Strangely, this cooling effect probably did not produce calm, happy days for the Californians at the time. Instead it looks like they got 150 years of intense winter storms and a lot of wet weather.

UPDATE: This graph shows the ice-core data up until 1855. The last 150 years (1705 to 1855) are highlighted in red to show the warming as the Earth began coming out of the LIA. Obviously that red line would continue up further if it was drawn to the present.

Looks like real climate change….

The reason for the sudden snap is possibly that a couple of massive glacial lakes in North East America collapsed and suddenly drained out [...]

History rewritten, Global Cooling from 1940 – 1970, an 83% consensus, 285 papers being “erased”

The Global Cooling Scare of the 1970s was real, there was a consensus, and it was all over the media. It flies in the face of the man-made warming campaign. After World War II there was a massive industrial escalation in the West. And just as coal fired power was going in everywhere, the world damnwell cooled by -0.3°C. It’s obvious that the modern Climate Witches don’t want people bringing this up.

Where’s that cooling gone? The modern NASA GISS dataset adjusted it away:

What happened to 40 years of cooling from WWII onewards?

That’s the magic of homogenisation.

In 2008,  Peterson, Connolley, and Fleck published “The Myth of the 1970s Global Cooling Scientific Consensus” . The Myth paper “found” that from 1965 through 1979, there were only 7 cooling, 20 neutral, and 44 warming papers. It was published in Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (AMS), showing how pathetically weak the caliber of review is there. Kenneth Richard searched, found and documents 220 papers, not 7 in the same period. He estimates there are probably many more.

The Connolley there is none other than the  William Connolly who abused Wikipedia’s editing rules — barred 2,000 other Wiki editors [...]

Fossils show models can’t predict how climate affects animals

Fossils show those dang mammals lived in all the spots they weren’t supposed to live in. Climate models don’t predict the climate, and animal distribution models don’t predict (or in this case hindcast) animal distribution either. How little we know, and how adaptable is biology?

This calls into question all the headline prophecies about the extinction of cute furry critters due to climate change.

The modelers were sure that animals would be unable to cope with temperature changes and would not have lived in the same places as they do now during a climate so different. By crikey, it was an ice age!  Yet those small mammals, whose defining biology is that regulate their own temperature, flummoxed the models by living nearer the glacier sheets where the models predicted they would not live.

All the alarming forecasts of local extinctions of mammals come from assumptions built into modern models that fail in multiple ways. The temperature changes from the last 20,000 years show that these mammals have already survived massive shifts, both colder and warmer, and that anything we face in the next century is but a flea on a hippo.

In the graph, the dots are the fossils, the [...]

Climate science hopelessly politicized. Geological Society of Australia gives up on making any statement

So much for the consensus.  In 2012 The Geological Society of Australia (GSA) was one of the few associations to make a slightly skeptical position on climate. For poking their heads above the parapet they’ve had years of headache and debate, and finally have issued a statement saying they have given up entirely on putting out any statement. The debate is so furious and divisive that no position could be agreed on. (I wonder exactly how many of their members are fans of climate models? Was this the work of just a few zealous believers?) I think I’ve hardly ever met a geologist who wasn’t somewhat skeptical.

The back story is that, like most science associations, in 2009 the GSA chanted the litany. (Their 2009 statement is here). They wrote that governments should take strong action to reduce CO2 and that meant paying geologists more to do research and sit on plum advisory committees. How predictable…

1. That strong action be taken at all levels, including government, industry, and individuals to substantially reduce the current levels of greenhouse gas emissions and to mitigate the likely social and environmental effects of increasing atmospheric CO2.

2. That Earth Scientists with appropriate expertise [...]

The Marcott Hockey-stick: smoothing the past and getting a spike from almost no data?

The message to the world is unequivocal:

“We are heading for somewhere that is far off from anything we have seen in the past 10,000 years – it’s through the roof. In my mind, we are heading for a different planet to the one that we have been used to,” said Jeremy Shakun of Harvard University, a co-author of the study.

Source: The-world-is-hottest-it-has-been-since-the-end-of-the-ice-age–and-the-temperatures-still-rising.

There are two factors in the new Marcott paper that are major red flags. For one, there is hardly any data in the modern end of the graph. Ponder how researchers can find 5,000 year old Foraminifera deposits, but not ones from 1940? Two: they’ve smoothed the heck out of longer periods. Marcott et al clearly say there is “…essentially no variability preserved at periods shorter than 300 years…” So if there were, say, occurrences of a warming rise exactly like the last century, this graph won’t show them.

Some of the data has a resolution as poor as “500 years” and the median is 120 years. If current temperatures were averaged over 120 years (that would be 1890 to now), the last alarming spike would blend right in with the other data. Where would the average [...]

The message from boreholes

There have been suggestions that Jo Nova might be trying to hide or ignore the most recent boreholes graph from Huang et al. So here it is. This is the last 2,000 years according to 6000 boreholes, with the last 100 years also using the “instrumental record” which gives us that hockey-stick uptick at the end. Below I explain the pros and cons of this study and update my thoughts.

Huang and Pollack 2008: Their latest boreholes published study

 

A borehole sounds like a bit-of-a-stretch as a proxy. How could we tell if the world was warmer in 1066 by drilling a hole in the ground? Yes, fair point. But what makes boreholes useful is that they are global and there is a lot of data: specifically 6,000 holes all over the world.

I’ve been looking at boreholes in more detail, analyzing them in the light of newer proxies. When all the evidence is considered, boreholes turn out be not-much-use at giving us meaningful numbers in degrees C, and in my opinion, not-too-hot at telling us the “when” of an event either. Too much depends on assumptions.

But what are they good for is that, when combined with [...]

The big picture: 65 million years of temperature swings

Greenland Interglacial Temperatures – last 10,000 years. Are we headed for an ice age? (See below for more detail.)

David Lappi is a geologist from Alaska who has sent in a set of beautiful graphs–including an especially prosaic one of the last 10,000 years in Greenland–that he put together himself (and which I’ve copied here at the top).

If you wonder where today’s temperature fits in with the grand scheme of time on Earth since the dinosaurs were wiped out, here’s the history. We start with the whole 65 million years, then zoom in, and zoom in again to the last 12,000 from both ends of the world. What’s obvious is that in terms of homo sapiens history, things are warm now (because we’re not in an ice age). But, in terms of homo sapiens civilization, things are cooler than usual, and appear to be cooling.

Then again, since T-rex & Co. vanished, it’s been one long slide down the thermometer, and our current “record heatwave” is far cooler than normal. The dinosaurs would have scoffed at us: “What? You think this is warm?”

With so much volatility in the graphs, anyone could play “pick a trend” and depending [...]

Carbon rises 800 years after temperatures

Ice cores reveal that CO2 levels rise and fall hundreds of years after temperatures change

In 1985, ice cores extracted from Greenland revealed temperatures and CO2 levels going back 150,000 years. Temperature and CO2 seemed locked together. It was a turning point—the “greenhouse effect” captured attention. But, in 1999 it became clear that carbon dioxide rose and fell after temperatures did. By 2003, we had better data showing the lag was 800 ± 200 years. CO2 was in the back seat.

[...]