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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So NASA – GISS says it does not ‘fudge’ numbers

The NASA climate tweet:

“NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias.”

Thanks to Ole Humlum at Climate4U we can see NASA – GISS not-fudging temperatures below. They are very active at it.

This graph shows how thermometers from 1910 still need to be adjusted, even 100 years later. They need constant correction (the bottom blue line is the month of Jan 1910). Strangely, even modern thermometers need  correction too (the top red line is January 2000).

Over the eight years since 2008, the anomaly for Jan 1910 was re-estimated in many steps to be 0.7C cooler than it was thought to be back in 2008. Meanwhile the anomaly for Jan 2000 was adjusted to be 0.09C warmer between 2008 and 2016. Presumably the original raw temperatures were already adjusted prior to 2008. Who knows?

And you thought that temperature data was just a number on a page and once a calendar year was over it was finished. How naive. Turns out it’s a fluid entity traveling through the fourth dimension. Luckily NASA GISS are able to capture the way temperatures of the past are still changing today.

NCDC adjustments to temperature

Diagram showing the adjustment made since May 2008 by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in anomaly values for  the months January 1910 and January 2000. See also this diagram. Last diagram update 16 April 2016.

Climate4U notes that the historic temperatures bumps and troughs are smoothed to a rising line, the “net effects of the adjustments made since May 2008 are to generate a more smoothly increasing global temperature since 1880.”

Climate Audit discusses the background for the lack of temporal stability for the GISS temperature record can be read Rewriting History, Time and Time Again.

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Coal power on the rise: Will China end up selling electricity to Germany?

Get a load of this.  China has been adding a new idle coal fired plant nearly every week. It is building 368 coal fired plants and planning a further 803. The Greens think the Chinese have over capitalized, made a bubble, and have built a bunch of white elephants (maybe they have). But Germany has crippled its electrical generators in order to make the weather cooler, and pays exorbitant prices per kilowatt hour that are driving businesses overseas. Merkel is still trying to get solar power to work in a land where the only thing that will make the current panels economic is if the Earth changes its orbital tilt.

Well say hello to the savvy Chinese investors who may be able to solve both problems. It seems hard to believe but all that surplus energy might just find its way to Germany. With new ultra hot coal power there is talk they can produce electricity so incredibly cheap they can send it on ultra high voltage lines all the way to Berlin. Barking? They’ll probably earn carbon credits for doing it too.

Coal’s future burns bright — Graham Lloyd

Greenpeace likes to think that China’s future coal plant projections are the result of “dysfunctional planning systems and cheap credit’’.

But there is another possibility highlighted by Britain’s Financial Times: that is, that China’s proposed investment in long-­distance, ultra-high voltage power transmission lines will pave the way for power exports from China to as far away as Germany.

Liu Zhenya, chairman of State Grid, told reporters that wind and thermal power produced in Xinjiang could reach Germany at half the present cost of electricity there.

… the World Coal Association maintains new high-­efficiency coal technology will deliver power at half the cost of gas and one-fifth the price of wind in Asian countries in the future.

China looks to export surplus energy to Germany — Financial Times

Talk of exporting power is a reversal for China, which as recently as 2004 suffered rolling blackouts across its manufacturing heartland. But huge investments in power in the decade since, and the construction of a number of dams, nuclear reactors and coal-fired plants due to begin operating in the next 10 years, mean the country faces a growing surplus.

The distance from the edge of China to Berlin is apparently only 600km further than across China to Shanghai. And China has nuclear power, many hydroelectric dams, and also other markets along the way — like Pakistan and India. They have 32 nuclear power plants in operation, 22 under construction, more about to start, and even more in the planning stage.

China is happy to pay lip-service to the Paris Climate Deal — it doesn’t have to do anything different for 15 years when population growth meant it was going to slow emissions then anyway. Meanwhile the Paris deal hobbles competition, and tosses money at China to shift from older, higher emissions power to newer cleaner styles.

H/t David

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Weekend Unthreaded

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NASA — done moon — now “smacking down” people on facebook (to help Bill Nye the science guy)

Forget spacewalks and mars missions, today it’s newsworthy if NASA writes on Bill Nye’s facebook page.

“NASA BRUTALLY shuts down climate change deniers on Facebook as they mock Bill Nye” — Express

“NASA smacks down climate change doubters in Facebook discussion” –Washington Post

Here comes a “smackdown”…

When it was accused of “fudging numbers” in producing global warming data, it retorted: “NASA does not ‘fudge’ numbers. All data requires statistical adjustments to remove bias.”

… more a tap on the wrist with a logical fallacy and a loose generalization.

The language Jason Samenow at the Washington Post, and Sean Martin of The Express are using is less “reporter”, more rap-song hyperbole. This, err brutal event seems to have shut down nobody, and answered nothing.

Bill Nye’s Facebook comments  are eye opening — skeptics are all over it. One skeptic somewhere made a silly comment and it became a Washington Post story?

Ponder how often NASA would have been so casually and repeatedly accused of “fudging numbers” back in 1969.

The real story is the decline of NASA. It’s getting trashed on Facebook.

I wonder what odds one would get,
From a warmist, if willing to bet,
That a N.A.S.A. decree,
By some hundredths degree,
Claims this year the warmest one yet.

          — Ruairi

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Apocalypse of sea levels coming. Global Worriers on beach should sell up to deniers

Coastal Risk, Sea levels, 2016, climate change.


A group called NGIS Australia are helping climate skeptics find cheaper beach-houses. They’ve put up a website called and an App to scarify homeowners. There’s a spike coming, it’s accelerating, and we’re talking billions of dollars.

Do I hear tipping point? It’s a tipping point:

At the moment, there are only a few homes impacted by coastal flooding, high tides and storms but Mr Mallon said we needed to brace for a big spike.

“Tens of thousands of homes in Australia — meaning hundreds of millions of dollars in property — are under increasing threat,” he said.

You could say they’ve gone full mental with the fear factor — especially when global sea levels are rising at about 1mm a year (according to a thousand tide gauges). In Sydney, sea levels are streaking up even slower, at 0.6mm a year.

Changes in sea levels in Australia don’t fit the carbon meme too well. Sell up anyway.

Sea levels, Australia, Sydney, Perth, Newcastle, Auckland, NZ.

Australian-NZ seas were changing as fast or even faster before World War II.


How many Australians? Seriously…

About 80 per cent of Australians who live near the coast could be the target of rising sea levels, which were predicted in a Climate Council report in 2014.

This is a continent of beach suburbs –  85% of Australians live within an hours drive of the beach.

More than $200 billion of our infrastructure could be at risk, with parts of the country suffering from more frequent, and severe, floods.

All light blue areas on the map show the parts of Australia most at risk of flooding.

Homeowners and investors will also be hugely impacted by rising sea levels.

Look out for psychic market forces:

Climate Valuation Project head Karl Mallon said unknown to most buyers and owners, there were suburbs in every state where houses were devalued due to climate change.

That’ll be all the buyers that devalue something for a factor they don’t know about.

“Extreme weather risk is rapidly driving up insurance premiums and insurers are already refusing to cover large parts of Australia,” he said.

Last time I looked, no one lived in large parts of Australia. But insurers would be wise to steer clear of flood plains below dams that use Tim Flannery Forecasting.

If insurance premiums are up it hasn’t got much to do with cyclones.

Tropical Storms, Cyclones, Australia, Trend

Severe and non-severe cyclones in the Australian region from 1970 – 2011.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology, Tropical Cyclone Trends.

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Bill Nye offers lame bets on pointless noise, talks of slavery, jail — other “sciencey” stuff

Climate Money, Hottest Year bets.

Bill Nye and co at DeSmog are congratulating themselves on his bold $10K offer to bet that 2016 will be one of the ten “hottest” ever years. But 2016 is already the hottest ever year — it’s been reported in The Guardian, and New Scientist. And even if it isn’t the hottest ever year yet,  it will be one day after the results get post hoc adjusted.

Heck, It only has to be two hundreds of a degree hotter to get a NOAA and NASA special spin and press release. In 2014 the error bars were 500% bigger than the record but it’s the spirit that counts, not the signal-to-noise ratio.

Forget century-trends, in it’s dying days, the Trillion Dollar CO2 theory apparently boils down to 8 month bets on El Nino ephemera. Which coupled climate model predicted this El Nino from way back in 2010?

Marc Morano was totally right to call it “silly”. Nye’s other bet on offer was o’so bravely predicting that essentially the next three years won’t be super cool. O Bravo. Will the current decade be the “hottest on record”?  The climate just has to stay the same as it has for most of the last 20 years and “voila”.

If Bill Nye wanted a real bet on the theory of a man-made climate crisis he can copy the formula of serious climate bets years ahead of him — We’re talking about actual climate trends not just bets on noise.  The Nye bets were not bets that the climate models were right, or that the theory could predict the trends.

Jail for climate deniers?

Marc Morano asked Bill Nye about the possibility of jail for climate scientists as “war criminals”, and Bill Nye replied

“Well, we’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys from ENRON?”

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What fossil fuel conspiracy? Big oil hates big coal, likes big carbon

Seems some fossils are cheaper than others, and the Big Oil guys are not happy that Asia is buying so much Big Coal. Apparently quite a few Big Oil companies have become predominantly more Big Gas companies, but they are struggling against cheaper coal and lower demand.

It’s just a coincidence that four big oil gas companies are also headed by guys who want to save the Earth (with gas):

June 5th, 2015:  Shell, Total, BP Plc and other oil companies said …  that they’re banding together to promote gas as more climate friendly than coal.

Here’s the head of  French oil supermajor Total this week describing how coal is the competition:

Mr Pouyanne, who last year declared coal was “the enemy” of the gas industry, told the LNG18 conference in Perth that LNG demand was suffering just as a raft of new projects were coming on.

“We face a situation where we have more supply than demand, which has grown slower than expected because of competition between coal and gas,” he said.

“In Asian countries there is a shift from gas to coal because, the coal price has collapsed as well.”

Here’s another gas company head lamenting that the Paris agreement is not helping Big Oil enough, I mean, helping the planet:

Origin Energy managing director Grant King has joined the head of French oil supermajor Total in criticising nations that signed up to the Paris climate treaty but are increasing their use of coal at the expense of gas.

“The thing that is a big puzzle is that the world entered into a treaty to limit emissions to 2 degrees, yet many of the countries in that treaty are increasing coal consumption and it doesn’t square,” Mr King told The Australian on the sidelines of the LNG18 conference in Perth.

“Something’s got to give, you just can’t keep chasing lower emissions and adding higher intensity fuels into the mix.”

Big Oil-Gas CEO’s care about the climate, so they are worried when people are not switching to gas instead of coal, hence the need for the government to jump in and hobble the competition:

“We call for a carbon pricing mechanism because we think, and we observe today, that nothing is happening because of the differential in pricing between coal and gas,” he [Mr Pouyanne] said.

The Big-Oil guys will be more convincing when they offer to sell their gas as cheap as coal — “for the planet”.

Read more about the story in The Australian : Origin’s Grant King joins Total opposition to climate hypocrites

UPDATE: DavidS says I thought Big Oil was the funding source for sceptics. The reality is that big oil is the funding source for big Oil.

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Hot globe was a very cold year at the South Pole, very average year in Australia

I call it Met Bureau Bingo. Ultimately there are so many hair-splitting quixotic variants of weather stats that a dedicated team can always find a record. Here are some other trends that didn’t make the media.

We all heard about the record heat in the Arctic, but we didn’t hear about the unusual cold in Antarctica where running twelve month averages are equal to the lowest recorded since satellites began in 1979.

So carbon dioxide causes a hot Arctic and a cold Antarctic, and both at the same time.* Where’s the global warming?

Ken Stewart looked at the UAH 6.0 version of all the major regions. The graph below is a 12 month running average of the Southern Polar area.  The last  low “dotpoint” covers the whole last year to March. Pretty cold.

March 2016, Southern Polar Temperatures, UAH. Cooling.

Error bars are 0.2C

There’s a bit more error with satellites at the poles, so I won’t crack the second decimal and declare it a “record”. Maybe it was. Maybe it wasn’t. Maybe records are irrelevant worthless distractions. What’s 40 years out of 4 billion? Nitpicking.

Reader Phill suggests that the cold at the pole may be connect to the El Nino, see his interesting thoughts below. Scott of the Antarctic died in an El Nino year, caught in the coldest March. Curious.

Hot March in Australia, not hot year

We heard about how warm autumn nights made the hottest March in Australia, but we didn’t hear about the most ordinary year that the last 12 months was. Slightly cooler than average, if you care, but who would?

We’ve had 21 years of no warming downunder. We have to stop that. So fire up the windmills and put another $Billion on the barbie.

Australian Temperatures, UAH satellite, March 2016, not record heat.

Some Pauses have stopped some have not, but it really doesn’t matter

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Cut carbon emissions by 50%? — Greens nightmare — Coal gasification may be the answer

A new MIT report suggests a better way to use coal in power-stations and potentially cut CO2 emissions by 50%. The process involves gasifying coal and producing electricity in one process at the same site. The coal only has to be heated once,  and the electricity comes from a fuel cell, not a fire — it’s a chemical reaction across a membrane.  The output is potentially much more efficient, and makes no ash. The researchers argue we could get twice as much electricity for each ton of coal burned. Currently coal fired power pulls out 30% of the chemical energy in coal, but coupling these two processes might increase it to 55-60%.

This report is based on simulations, but the separate processes are already well developed and running. The next step would be a fully functioning pilot plant to put the two together and test the idea. If there was the political will it could be done in a few years. There probably won’t be.

The Greens of course will hate the idea because the Evil-Factor of coal is near 100%.

In the eco-collectivist-world, cutting “carbon” is important, but apparently not as important as propping up a dependent lobby group for big government (that’s the entire renewables industry) or crippling independent corporations which have power and money outside big-government control. There is also the reputational damage of admitting that windmills and solar were a fantasy that has wasted billions of our children’s money. On top of that, there’s the potential death of a Really Useful Scare. All up, the future of Life on Earth is at stake, but that probably won’t be enough for the Greens to lobby for this approach to get tested.

Hybrid coal powered electricity system could cut coal-plant emissions in half

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Unthreaded Weekend

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