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 Science 7: Rerouting Feedback in Climate Models

Conventional models assume increasing atmospheric CO2 warms the surface, then apply the feedbacks to the surface warming. But if feedbacks start up in the atmosphere instead, everything changes.

This is a post with big potential. A feedback the other climate models miss?

All the establishment models assume carbon dioxide warms the sky, which leads to the surface warming*, and the feedbacks then apply to the surface warming. It’s in the model architecture, the models can’t do it any other way. But what if the feedbacks don’t wait — what if the feedbacks start right away, up in the atmosphere? What if, say, CO2 warms the air, and that affects humidity and or clouds right then and there? These would be feedbacks operating on tropospheric warming, and they can reroute that energy.

Potentially, this blows everything away. If the energy blocked by increasing CO2 is merely escaping Earth through emissions from another gas in the atmosphere, like say, the dominant greenhouse gas, water-vapor, then could this explain why the effect of Co2 has been exaggerated in the conventional models?

We call this the “rerouting feedback” because when it’s harder for energy to escape to space through the CO2 pipe, this [...]

New Science 1: Pushing the edge of climate research. Back to the new-old way of doing science

For those of you who are die-hard puzzle solvers here to spar about cutting edge research: good news, here’s where we begin the long awaited update to Dr David Evans’ climate research. There are a few surprises, sacred cows, we did not expect we would need to challenge, like the idea of “forcings”.

Government science is stuck in a rut, strangled – trying to capture the creative genius of discovery and force it through a bureaucratic formula, like it can work to a deadline or be judged by the number of papers, or pages, or citations, or by b-grade officials. Blogs are new, but this form of independent scientific research, done for the thrill of discovery, outside institutions and funded by philanthropists, is the way science was mainly done before WWII.

For the first time we are going to explain the architecture of the inner core of the climate models, the small model at the center that the big GCM’s are built around. It is mostly a physics model, and it’s mostly “basic” and mostly right. It’s the reason for the implacable confidence of the establishment in the climate debate. But there are a couple of big problems… [...]

Climate Scientists give up on science, talk tobacco, want to jail skeptics

Poor climate scientists know they can’t win the science debate against the engineers, geologists, chemists and physicists who are better scientists, better informed, mostly unfunded and unleashed all over the Internet.

To avoid coughing up the “overwhelming evidence” the climate experts say they have, but can’t seem to find, they are pulling out the Panzers, resorting to pleas for RICO investigations. Treat the skeptical scientists like Racketeers, they say! And what’s their evidence for this conspiracy of corruption… oh lordy, these people are scientists, they must have emails, cheques, tapes and photos. Surely? But no, their evidence are pop-smear-books where the deepest darkest evidence is the common use of “tobacco tactics”! But every activist group under the sun, including honest groups, uses at least some of the exact same tactics. How does anyone point out flaws without “seeding doubt” about them? Either the flaws are real or they’re not, and that’s what a scientist discusses, not “motives”.

There is no law of science called “tobacco-tactics”. If man-made global warming is a dire threat, the evidence comes from instruments that measure the climate, not from smear-o-rama by association.

Indeed, the Team-Tobacco of climate are the believers not the skeptics

I looked [...]

Former NOAA Meteorologist tells of years of censorship to hide the effect of “natural cycles”

Pierre Gosselin has a great post: Former NOAA Meteorologist Says Employees “Were Cautioned Not To Talk About Natural Cycles”.

David Dilley, NOAA Meteorologist, tells how for 15 years work on man-made climate change was pushed while work on natural cycles was actively suppressed. Grants connecting climate change to a man-made crisis were advertised, while the word went around to heads of departments that even mentioning natural cycles would threaten the flow of government funds. Speeches about natural cycles were mysteriously canceled at the last minute with bizarre excuses.

But jobs are on the line, so only retired workers can really speak, and no one can name names.

We can corroborate David Dilley’s remarks. Indeed, he is probably just one of many skeptics hidden in the ranks of NOAA.  Way back in 2007, David Evans got an email from a different insider within NOAA, around the time he started talking publicly about the missing hotspot. The insider said, remarkably: “As a Meteorologist working for [snip, name of division] it has been clear to me, as well as every single other scientist I know at NOAA, that man can not be the primary cause of global warming and that the predictions of [...]

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists (correcting ABC mistakes, strawmen, and misleading lines)

#TalkAboutIt: Climate change sceptics versus the scientists, By Clara Tran and staff

Busy slaying strawmen instead of real debate?

What a facade. The ABC says its skeptics versus “the scientists” except there are no skeptics present. In typical Newspeak the ABC says “#TalkAboutIt”, but it’s a conversation with themselves. They invent “DorothyDixer” strawman questions for their own team to bravely kill.

If the ABC really wanted their listeners to discuss skeptical views, they would invite skeptics to make them — but interviews are a thing of the past (back in the days when the ABC was an institution of repute). The fake debate is the only kind that professors like Matthew England can win.

This is why the ABC fails so dismally to dint skeptical numbers in Australia. If they want to convince skeptics of their point of view then they have to deal with actual skeptical arguments, but they are too afraid to air them. Consequently they sideline themselves out of the national debate, relegated to the propaganda wars.

Correcting the ABC:

Skeptical Scientists versus The Unskeptical

The ABC offers arguments allegedly made by climate skeptics, all of them minor and of little consequence (short version first, more [...]

Sherwood’s devout unscientific faith in “climate change” and the hot spot

In The Age this week, Stephen Sherwood explains how misleading skeptics have been for repeating obvious, incontestable results from millions of weather balloons. See, all along, Sherwood knew the weather balloons were wrong, and if only skeptics had his psychic powers, or connection to God, they would have too. Naughty skeptics,eh?

The article in The Age gives away a lot more than either Steven Sherwood (or Peter Hannam, the Fairfax journalist) probably meant to reveal. Sherwood’s still spruiking his latest study, which repeatedly adjusted and blended the weather balloon data and finally “found” the hot spot so effectively it even shows up in years when  it’s not supposed to occur. I’m not talking about his technique, but about his slip of the tongue. Spot the conflicting messages. (As usual, the gullible Peter Hannam let him step right in it, by failing to ask the obvious questions.)

Stephen Sherwood effectively tells four points. Figure out how they can all be true at the same time:

The hot spot is vital to the models, indeed to the current scientific understanding of our climate! This is the first time they have finally resolved the missing hot spot. Sherwood always knew the hot spot [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

UQ’s Denial 101x : Putting the stink in distinction

Guest Post By Tony Thomas*

A keen student, I have just completed Week One of John Cook’s MOOC at Queensland University: “Denial 101x – Making Sense of Climate Science Denial.”

A MOOC is a Massive Online Open Course, and Cook’s course has 13,000 students so far.  He is a Climate Communication Fellow for the Global Change Institute at the University  and author of the notorious 2013 study purporting to find a 97% climate consensus in the science literature.

One normally gets a buzz from study. But my brain needs a shower and scrub to feel clean again.

I was not intending to write about my studies so early, in case that got me prematurely expelled. But one week of it is enough.

For example, in case I forget elements of Cook’s denialist ideation, he provides an acronym FLICC. This covers Fake experts, Logical fallacies, Impossible expectations, Cherry picking and Conspiracy theories.

Worse is in store. Cook says, “Next week’s interviews are equally exciting, as we speak to Phil Jones from the University of East Anglia…” Jones is the author of   “pretty awful emails” (his words) in Climategate. Other stars in the Cook course firmament will be Michael “Hockey-stick” Mann and [...]

BIG NEWS Part VII — Hindcasting with the Solar Model

The Solar Series: I Background   |  II: The notch filter  |  III: The delay  |  IV: A new solar force?  |  V: Modeling the escaping heat.  |  VI: The solar climate model   |  VII — Hindcasting (You are here)   | VIII — Predictions

All models are wrong, some are useful. That’s how all modelers speak (except perhaps some climate scientists).

The barriers to making a good climate model are many. The data is short, noisy, adjusted, and many factors are simultaneously at work, some not well described yet. Climate modeling is in its infancy, yet billions of dollars rests on the assumption that CO2 will cause catastrophic warming and the evidence that most recent warming was due to CO2 comes entirely out of models. It’s important to focus on the pea:

“No climate model that has used natural forcing only has reproduced the observed global mean warming trend” (IPCC 2007)

It is a crucial plank that modelers say “we can’t explain the current warming without CO2″. Current climate models assume that changes in solar radiation have a small immediate effect and [...]

Debunking every IPCC climate prophesy of war, pestilence, famine, drought, impacts in one line

We could spend hours analyzing the new IPCC report about the impacts of climate change. Or we could just point out:

Everything in the Working Group II report depends entirely on Working Group I.

( see footnote 1 SPM, page 3).

Working Group I depends entirely on climate models and 98% of them didn’t predict the pause.

The models are broken. They are based on flawed assumptions about water vapor.

Working Group I, remember, was supposed to tell us the scientific case for man-made global warming. If our emissions aren’t driving the climate towards a catastrophe, then we don’t need to analyze what happens during the catastrophe we probably won’t get. This applies equally to War, Pestilence, Famine, Drought, Floods, Storms, and Shrinking Fish (which, keep in mind, could have led to the ultimate disaster: shrinking fish and chips).

To cut a long story short, the 95% certainty of Working Group I boils down to climate models and 98% of them didn’t predict the pause in surface temperature trends (von Storch 2013) . Even under the most generous interpretation, models are proven failures,  100% right except for rain, [...]

Catalyst says consensus wrong on cholesterol – but unquestionable on climate

On the ABC program Catalyst this week, Dr Maryanne Demasi slayed a few dietary myths–like, cholesterol and saturated fat cause heart disease.

She described how medical science was distorted for decades by the influence of money, and how one key researcher networked his way to the top of an influential association, casting ad hom insults at his competitor, ridiculing him, and calling his rival theory about sugar “quackery”. The personal attacks and name-calling worked, and for fifty years people have been paranoid of cholesterol, and scoffing corn syup instead, while study after study showed that that approach was not working.

Everything said about the processes in this tale could be equally well said about climate science: Correlation is not causation.  Weak, flawed studies can be cherry picked while good studies are ignored.  Associations can be taken over by one activist. Large financial interests distort science.

So the consensus was wrong about cholesterol, but is untouchable on climate? (See Witchcraft on Catalyst — Scary weather is coming, it’s all our fault, be afraid!)

Will it take 50 years for Catalyst to stop repeating the verdict of associations, and start investigating the evidence? The big lesson of the Enlightenment is that [...]

Michael Brown, astronomer, says science is not about debate, people are too stupid to judge

Michael Brown, recipient of taxpayer funds for astronomy, tells us that science is not about debate because people are not smart enough to judge the winner. He doesn’t list any evidence to support his faith in climate models (he’s just part of the herd following the consensus pack). Nor does he have any serious scientific criticism of the NIPCC climate report. But he uses plenty of names, baseless allusion, and innuendo. In the article ”Adversaries, zombies and NIPCC climate pseudoscience” in The Conversation he resorts to a group smear (with the help of the taxpayer funded site) in the hope that people won’t listen to those who disagree with him. Apparently he can’t win a fair and open debate, so he’s doing what he can to stop one.

If science now has “Gods” who are above question, it’s not science, it’s a religion. A scientist who says “I’m right because I’m a scientist” is neither right nor much of a scientist. Brown is acting like a self-appointed High-Priest of the Climate Doctrine.

The NIPCC report is more balanced, more comprehensive, and more accurate than the politically-guided tome from the IPCC . It contains hundreds of peer reviewed references put [...]

Even with the best models, warmest decades, most CO2: Models are proven failures

This beautiful graph was posted at Roy Spencer’s and WattsUp, and no skeptic should miss it. I’m not sure if everyone appreciates just how piquant, complete and utter the failure is here. There are no excuses left. This is as good as it gets for climate modelers in 2013.

John Christy used the best and latest models, he used all the models available, he has graphed the period of the fastest warming and during the times humans have emitted the most CO2. This is also the best data we have. If ever any model was to show the smallest skill, this would be it. None do.

Scores of models, millions of data-points, more CO2 emitted than ever before, and the models crash and burn. | Graph: John Christy. Data: KMNI.

Don’t underestimate the importance of the blue-green circles and squares that mark the “observations”. These are millions of radiosondes, and two independent satellite records. They agree. There is no wiggle room, no overlap.

Any sane modeler can only ask: “But how can the climate modelers pretend their models are working?” Afterall, predicting the known past with a model is not-too-hard; the modeler tweaks the assumptions, fiddles with the fudge [...]

IPCC plays hot-spot hidey games in AR5 — denies 28 million weather balloons work properly

The classic hot spot prediction (A) compared to 28 million weatherballoons (B). Click to enlarge. You won’t see this in the new report.

It was a major PR failure in 2007. The IPCC won’t make the same mistake again. They’ve dumped the hot-spot graphs.

In AR4 they put in two graphs that show how badly their models really do. In the next report they plan to bury the spectacular missing-hot-spot images through “graph-trickery” and selective blindness. Each round of IPCC reports takes the spin-factor up another notch. It’s carefully crafted.

See the draft of AR5: Chapter 9: Evaluation of Climate Models

It’s hot-spot hidey games and PR tricks

In the new extra-tricky AR5 version, the IPCC “quote the critics” and ignore them at the same time. That way they can say they include the McIntyre’s, McKitrick’s, Douglass’, and Christy’s: the words are on the page, but that doesn’t mean the information is used in the conclusions. The models have failed and they bury that undeniable result under the clutter.  (You’ll need to read the fine print). There is no acknowledgement that this issue of the “hot spot” drives more amplification of predicted warming in their models than any [...]