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



Books

High pressure propaganda: Greens using children to write activist letters in school

Gary Johns (former Labor Minister in the Keating Government) writes in The Australian that children are being dished up green speakers at school, asked to write letters about “their thoughts” to politicians, and taking letters home to parents seeking their permission to join the campaign which is run by a volunteer for The Greens. The children were offered sample activist letters to copy.

Greens infiltrate the classroom

I received a letter this week that had been sent to the parent of a 10-year-old schoolboy and signed by the deputy principal of Cottesloe Primary School, Perth. The letter requested her permission to send a letter, allegedly written by her son, to Julie Bishop regarding the UN climate talks.

The activist site is Curtin’s CASE: Climate Action for a Safe Environment. Curtin refers to the electorate (not the university). The site has sample letters to ask Julie Bishop to get climate action and change the weather. The speaker at schools was Dr Chilla Bullbeck, who was “chair of women’s studies at ­the University of Adelaide until 2008 but is now a full-time “volunteer” for the Greens in Western Australia.” She claims “Curtin’s CASE is not a political organisation, [...]

Using IPCC numbers we can expect only half a degree of warming this century. Time to Panic?

Christopher Monckton calculates below that even if we assume the IPCC and mainstream estimates are right, the warming from here to 2100 is likely to be a minor half a degree. (He doesn’t even bother to argue about whether this would be beneficial or not). Monckton just makes the point that for all the scare campaign about preventing a “two degree” apocalypse, what we are really talking about is a half degree in the next ninety years with some theoretical further warming in the centuries after that. The “two degrees” of fear is measured from the bottom of the Little Ice Age, as if that was the ideal “pre industrial” climate that we somehow want to return to.

As usual, everything about the Great Global Warming Scare falls apart under the most cursory glance, yet the billion dollar PR truck rolls on. The climate sensitivity of the IPCC dropped in Assessment Report 5 to about 2.2 C as it slowly is dragged toward a more realistic number.  The data coming in tells us that the climate feedback factors are likely net negative, so climate sensitivity is below 1°C. Hence even a  “half a degree” due to [...]

Scandal: BoM thermometer records adjusted “by month” — mysterious square wave pattern discovered

There is some major messing with data going on.

What would you say if you knew that the official Perth thermometer was accurate at recording minimums for most of time in October  in the eighties, but 0.7°C too warm all of December, and 1.2°C too cool in January? Bizarrely that same thermometer was back to being too warm in February! Try to imagine what situation could affect that thermometer, and require post hoc corrections of this “monthly” nature. Then imagine what could make that same pattern happen year after year. All those weather reports we listened to in Perth in 1984 were wrong (apparently). And this bizarre calendar of corrections is turning up all over Australia.

Bob Fernley-Jones has looked closely at all the adjustments done to achieve the wonderful homogenized ACORN data, as compared to the theoretically “raw” records listed in Climate Data Online (CDO) on the BOM website. He can’t know what the BOM did (since they won’t tell anyone), but he knows the outcome of their homogenization. He was shocked when he noticed a strange square-wave pattern repeating year after year; he was astonished that there were corrections calendar month by calendar month, up and down, switching [...]

Global Warming to destroy sea-food as well

It’s a disaster for fish and chip shops. Children won’t know what a sea-food restaurant is.

Our oceans are warming by 0.005 °C per year (if you believe a thermometer system with a 0.5 °C error). But fish that cope with five degrees of natural variation will apparently be devastated by an average rise of five thousands of a degree per year. Who knew?

Earth’s oceans vary from 0 – 30° C. Warm and cold currents wander, eddy currents swirl. Very little of the ocean’s surface is actually at the exact “average” temperature. In any one spot, temperatures can be a full five degrees above or below average (as in this NOAA graph, below).

The sea surface temperature varies by up to five degrees from average every day

Humans may well be changing global fish stocks, but why toss in the unscientific advertising for “climate change”? As for the acidification scare, ocean pH changes on a daily basis, and hundreds of studies show that marine life might even benefit from a slight increase in “acidification”.

ScienceDaily

Seafood supply altered by climate change

The global supply of seafood is set to change substantially and many people will not [...]

History rewritten? BoM wrong on “first” July cyclone, forgets 1935, 1954, 1962

Cyclones down the memory hole?

July 1935, Click to enlarge | Trove

A weak tropical cyclone has formed off the Solomon Islands, and the BOM is reporting that there has never before been a July cyclone in the Queensland region. But Warwick Hughes has already posted up details showing that there have been quite a few cyclones in July. The cyclone is hardly extraordinary, and certainly not “historic”, but what about the BOM?

Forecaster David Grant on the ABC:

“We’ve never had a July tropical cyclone in the Queensland region before.

Australia has only had one other officially declared July cyclone, which formed off Western Australia in 1996.

The official tropical cyclone season runs from November 1 to April 30.”

The July cyclone “first” scores headlines in both The Australian and The Courier Mail. “Queensland weather forecasters record first cyclone in July “. But it’s wrong. Commenter Siliggy on Warwick Hughes site found a HardenUp link listing cyclones and storms in Queensland. Some of the older July cyclones listed below may not qualify as “cyclones” under the new scale, but some clearly did — and rather than being far to the north near the [...]

Climate change causes more tsunamis — The ABC will believe anything

Too much panic is never enough. Fran Kelly asks Stephen O’Brien, lawyer and UN official, about that the effects of climate change which are “already being felt”. She does not blink when his answer includes more frequent and more severe tsunamis. His qualifier…  It’s not a question of “if”, but “when”.

Yes, yes, this is “best and brightest” ideas from around the world, apparently.

 ABC Radio National

Fran Kelly: “Give us a sense of the effects [of climate change] which are already being felt in our region and discussed at this conference.” (at 1 minute)

Stephen O’Brien: “The Pacific Region, and particularly the Pacific Island countries whose land, as you rightly say, are the ones just above sea-level, are the ones that really do have the greatest challenge when it comes to climate change effects on humanitarian need, with the regularity of cyclones, tropical storms, and tsunamis coming through [at 1.30 minutes]. It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when. And we see that [these] effects of climate change seem to be exacerbated so that they are more frequent and even at times more severe…”

ABC gives free advertising for “the cause”

ABC staff [...]

Largest lake in world turned to dust bowl with no help from man-made fossil fuels

In a shocking discovery, the largest lake on Earth, covering 360,000km2 in central Africa, dried up to a dust bowl during times when CO2 levels were perfect. Climate change was abrupt, savage, and climate modelers have absolutely no idea what caused it.

Apparently, the dust now blows across the Atlantic and fertilizes the Amazon. So while Climate modelers in Chad circa 2000BC were dismayed and blamed Sahelian traders, Amazonian tribesman sang and danced for the last 1000 years.

 

[ScienceDaily] Largest freshwater lake on Earth was reduced to desert dunes in just a few hundred years

Researchers from Royal Holloway, Birkbeck and Kings College, University of London used satellite images to map abandoned shore lines around Palaeolake Mega-Chad, and analysed sediments to calculate the age of these shore lines, producing a lake level history spanning the last 15,000 years.

At its peak around 6,000 years ago, Palaeolake Mega-Chad was the largest freshwater lake on Earth, with an area of 360,000 km2. Now today’s Lake Chad is reduced to a fraction of that size, at only 355 km2. The drying of Lake Mega-Chad reveals a story of dramatic climate change in the southern Sahara, with a rapid change from a giant [...]

Carbon tax and Sydney Uni economics, both slugs on the economy

Michael Harris,  Senior Fellow in the School of Economics at University of Sydney, has the impossible job of defending the monstrously ineffective carbon tax against the pointless-but-efficient “Direct Action” program. The carbon tax cost $15b, and cut emissions by 12 million tonnes. The Direct Action plan cost $660m, and is projected to save 47 million tonnes.

Having no numbers remotely on his side, Harris goes quantum semantic. Watch the leap. A tax is not a cost, only a transfer. That makes your tax bill so much easier to pay:

There is also a difference between costs to the economy, and transfers within it. The amount of revenue raised through any tax is not a cost; it is simply a transfer from one “pocket” to “another”. The money has not been destroyed, and it remains available to be spent on something.

Now it seems to me that if I buy a beer, it’s a transfer from one “pocket” to another pocket and if that money is destroyed in the process, that would be the end of the bottle shop. The world of economics rather depends on that money not being vaporised and being available for the shop owner [...]

Northern Greenland warmer 1000 years ago, warmer in the 1920s too

Thanks to the Hockeyschtick for pointing us at a new study of Greenland ice cores[1]. For the first time, 12 ice cores drilled in the northern section of Greenland have been “stacked” and published.  Curiously, these 12 ice cores were drilled from 1993 to 1995, so this is not new data– but it’s the first time that all 12 oxygen isotope records, which are a proxy for temperature, have been published together. The area represents about 10% of Greenland, and seems to behave differently to the southern part. The warm event in 1420 is described as a local effect. The researchers acknowledge that solar activity is important and solar activity correlates with temperatures. It must be growing more and more obvious to climate researchers that their models have to include the long term solar cycles.

The take-home messages for me are: 1/ Natural variability is big and unpredictable. 2/ When we get this kind of detail from all the continents and regions of the ocean we’ll definitely be in a position to start getting the big Global Climate Models to work. 3/ Until we figure out how the Sun causes climate change, the current models are useless.

… Click [...]

Weekend Unthreaded