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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North Atlantic cooling means climate change of a different kind coming?

Figure 3 | Sea-level circulation index, the NAO and the AMO on multidecadaltimescales. Shown are the accumulated sea-level index (blue), which isrepresentative of subpolar heat content evolution, the accumulated NAO (red,dashed) and the AMO (black). The heat content proxy and the accumulatedNAO have been normalized. All timeseries have been 7-year low-pass filtered.The accumulated sea-level index and accumulated NAO have been detrended.

This Nature paper will be tricky to feed into the “Panic Now!” scenario. It’s still climate change, but it’s a half a degree of cooling that might be headed your way if you live around the northern Atlantic.

UPDATE: A quick summary of the paper. McCarthy et al created a circulation index (blue line, fig 3) which appears to lead the AMO (Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, black line) by two years. The sea level index is generated by comparing sea levels north and south of Cape Hatteras, USA. The authors spend quite a bit of time explaining why that area is the most useful proxy for changes in ocean circulation. Their circulation index suggests the AMO has shifted to a “negative” colder phase which may last decades.

If McCarthy is right, there’s going to be pain and suffering for [...]

US Republicans vote to spend more on hard science, less on social-climatey type stuff

US Republicans have passed a bill through the House (but not the Senate yet) aiming to get back some control over the 7 billion dollar science budget. Previously the National Science Foundation (or NSF) had all the fun in dishing out the dough, but the Republicans have had enough. Their wish list includes cutting social sciences by 55%, climate science by 8%, and putting extra money into biology, computers, engineering and hard sciences. It can’t come soon enough.

Critics are howling that this will politicize science, but it’s just the opposite. Science was already politicized, and thanks in no small part to the NSF itself. This would put control of the funding back slightly closer to the voters. The NSF is almost unaccountable to the taxpayer, and if the NSF had not wasted money on so many one-sided pointless extravaganza’s (like $5m for “climate games”) and tipped so much money into “behavioural” studies, the elected members would not be knocking at their door. The NSF has only itself to blame.

Ultimately, elected representatives have to be accountable for public spending, but they like to hand over control to a committee of experts. Said committee grows on the gravy train, and [...]

Most Australians are skeptical: mankind is not main driver of the climate

The IPCC has told us in letters of fire for twenty years that humans are the dominant cause of climate change. But despite the unending propaganda 60% of Australians are not convinced. This fits with other better designed and much larger surveys by CSIRO showing that 53% of the population are skeptical, and a UK study which showed that 63% of British people were skeptical that storms and floods are probably man-made.

The IPSOS polls have been running for years, and are unashamedly pro-IPCC in leaning, but despite that obvious bias, and loaded, ambiguous questions, most Australians don’t agree that it is mainly our fault. The climate is changing but it is mainly or partly natural. IPSOS gloss over that, but if humans are responsible for less than half of “climate change” that makes Direct Action twice as useless. If natural forces caused more of the recent warming, that also reduces the scary projections.

The IPSOS Climate Change Report 2015 (Online poll, 1,063 people)

Q3: Which best describes your opinion about the causes of climate change?

Only 40% of Australians accept the IPCC position that mankind is the main cause of climate change (orange and red). | Click [...]

Maurice Newman knows more about climate models than the BOM’s Dr Rob Vertessy

In the topsy turvy world of modern science, big-government has strangled science to the point where bright outsiders know more than the fully trained “experts”.

Maurice Newman, the chairman of the P.M’s business advisory council, daringly wrote in The Australian:

“It’s a well-kept secret, but 95 per cent of the climate models we are told prove the link between human CO2 emissions and catastrophic global warming have been found, after nearly two decades of temperature stasis, to be in error.”

In Senate estimates, a Greens spokesperson asked Dr Rob Vertessy, Director of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) on his view of this. “That is incorrect,” he said, showing how little he knows about climate models, where everyone (even the IPCC) is trying to figure out excuses for their failures. Some even invent time-travelling climate models that can finally “predict” today’s climate correctly a decade after it happened.

If Maurice Newman was wrong, he was far too generous to the climate modelers. Instead of a 95% failure rate, it’s well up over 98%. Hans von Storch et al published a paper nearly two years ago comparing models and observations of a 15 year long pause. Statistically von Storch [...]

Unthreaded Weekend

Kalbarri, Western Australia, about 600km North of Perth….(Click to enlarge)

The colors are glorious in the land of iron oxide.

Though I pitied any poor shipwrecked soul staggering ashore here at the wrong time of year. How forbidding, dry and vast that landscape.

No one has engaged the deniers! Says Graham Richardson. Oh really? says Jo Nova.

” Labor vacated the arena of argument. The sceptics and deniers have turned the 70 per cent-plus belief in climate change into a minority because no one has engaged them.“

— Graham Richardson, Friday May 22nd, 2015

No one has engaged them?

That’s right Graham, we unfunded bloggers and the few surviving skeptical scientists not evicted and blackballed from our universities (yet) have tricked 20% of the population because no one has put forward the climate change arguments except for:  The Climate Commission, CSIRO, Deutsche Bank, Citigroup, Royal Dutch Shell, GE, Panasonic, The ABC, The BBC, The Guardian, Fairfax, The Australian government, most universities, The EU, The UN, The World Bank, and the IMF.

With a budget of nothing we’re winning. Why? We have nature on our side.* The world isn’t warming, the models can’t predict the real climate, and half the population have wised up to the propaganda. The main arguments of those who would control CO2 are not scientific, but insults and bluster, shutting up and disqualifying critics rather than answering politely, and producing the evidence. The University of Queensland offers a whole course in namecalling to train people to “engage” deniers. [...]

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 [...]