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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Two-thirds of Australias warming due to “adjustments” — according to 84 historic stations

1954 Yearbook Brisbane

Here’s an update to the digging through our historic records we discussed a month ago, we can now include nearly twice the stations and the difference between temperatures originally recorded 100 years ago and temperatures today are even smaller.

Chris Gillham has been working with CSIR documents and official Commonwealth Year Books. Last month he used the 1953 Year Book which contained 44 weather station averages for 1911-40 to compare with 2000-14 temperatures, but has since discovered that the 1954 Year Book provides an additional 40 stations with 1911-40 data. The average rise in mean temperatures across all 84 weather stations around Australia over the last 70 years of global warming is about 0.3C. This larger dataset suggests as much as two thirds of the current official trend in Australian warming was due to post hoc adjustments, not heat recorded by thermometers.

These historic temperatures were calculated by the best scientists of the day, using the best equipment of the era (the same Stevenson Screen we use now). Yet again, global warming appears to have a “man-made” contribution. Far more important than CO2 is man-made “pollution” called homogenisation.

When doubling the recorded trend makes “No difference”

Bear in mind – some adjustments are necessary because raw is not automatically right. Stations have moved. But the Australian Met bureau can’t explain why all these adjustments are necessary, and indeed still claims the adjustments make no difference to the trend when clearly they do. Ken Stewart heard Dr Vertussy, the Director of the Bureau of Met (BoM), claim on radio last week that the adjustments make “no difference at all”. We look forward to Dr Vertussy’s reply.

And then there is the bizarreness of the half a degree adjusted cooling that occurs in these historic records when modern screens are much more likely to be near tarmac, bitumen, jumbo jets and 15 storey apartment blocks. The Urban Heat Island effect means that modern temperatures are artificially elevated in city CBDs by as much as 5- 7 C, with tests also showing several degrees of UHI at regional weather stations. So we have the paradox that the old records near dirt roads and horse drawn carriages were apparently reading artificially warm compared to thermometers today near roads with 10,000 internal combustion engines passing daily.

Guest post by Chris Gillham

New historic temperatures suggest even more of Australia’s warming trend is due to adjustments

The earlier analysis of unadjusted temperatures in the 1953 Year Book found a 0.4C increase in mean raw temperatures from 1911-40 to 2000-14 at 44 weather stations across Australia, but it turns out that the 1954 Year Book adds another 40 to create a pretty large network of 84 stations.

These 84 stations suggest Australia’s mean temperature increased 0.3C from 1911-40 to 2000-14.

The Year Book network also suggests that the raw mean minimum has only increased 0.1C nationally and was static or cooled in NSW, Victoria and WA. When capital cities are removed and a comparison made of only regional weather stations, the average nightly minimum is nowadays cooler in those three states than when your grandparents were born – particularly in winter.

Keep reading  →

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Al Gore warned of a planetary holocaust in 1989. Twenty-five years on where’s the Ecological Kristallnacht?

Almost exactly 25 years ago Al Gore, a Democrat Senator at the time, warned us of an ecological Kristallnacht in the New York Times. He didn’t use the term “denier” but he was talking up an unmistakable environmental holocaust. Since then CO2 levels have risen 50ppm, and the global population increased by two billion. Yet much of the article could be rerun today and who would know? He could just change the dates.

The 1990′s are the decade of decision. Profound changes are required.

In 1987, carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere began to surge with record annual increases. Global temperatures are also climbing: 1987 was the second hottest year on record; 1988 was the hottest. Scientists now predict our current course will raise world temperatures five degrees Celsius in our lifetimes.

The holocaust was coming

Here’s the headline and opening paragraphs: March 19 1989

An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.

“Humankind has suddenly entered into a brand new relationship with our planet.  Unless we quickly and profoundly change the course of our civilization, we face an immediate and grave danger of destroying the worldwide ecological system that sustains life as we know it.”

It is time to confront this danger.

In 1939, as clouds of war gathered over Europe, many refused to recognize what was about to happen. No one could imagine a Holocaust, even after shattered glass had filled the streets on Kristallnacht. World leaders waffled and waited, hoping that Hitler was not what he seemed, that world war could be avoided. Later, when aerial photographs revealed death camps, many pretended not to see. Even now, many fail to acknowledge that our victory was not only over Nazism but also over dark forces deep within us.

In 1989, clouds of a different sort signal an environmental holocaust without precedent. Once again, world leaders waffle, hoping the danger will dissipate. Yet today the evidence is as clear as the sounds of glass shattering in Berlin.

The science was settled 25 years ago

This was “the evidence” according to Al Gore back then in six points. Carbon dioxide was important, but just one of the pack of troubles. (Possibly the potential “value” of carbon trading was unseen):

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Should Tony Abbott go Thatcherite on climate change? Skeptics say Yes please

Ian Dunlop in the Canberra Times, The Age, and The Sydney Morning Herald namecalls away, discusses a mythical creature called a “climate denialist” and shows how little research it takes to get an opinion page in the Fairfax mastheads. (Comments are “open” at these sites).

He thinks that PM Tony Abbott ought follow Margaret Thatcher on climate policy, without realizing that skeptics would say “Bravo — Yes Please” to that. Thatcher was a chemist, and no fool. In 2003 she made it clear, when few people did, that she was absolutely a skeptic.

Ian Dunlop 2015:

It is too much to expect the male-dominated, eminence-grise of the incumbency to rise to the occasion, but women might. There is a precedent. Margaret Thatcher, addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 1989:  ”We should always remember that free markets are a means to an end.  They would defeat their objective if, by their output, they did more damage to the quality of life through pollution than the wellbeing they achieved by the production of goods and services”Just so.  You may not agree with Margaret Thatcher on many things, but on climate change she was spot on, three decades ahead of her male compatriots in Australia. Time for our stateswomen to step forward.

Christopher Booker 2010:

In 2003, towards the end of her last book, Statecraft, in a passage headed “Hot Air and Global Warming”, she issued what amounts to an almost complete recantation of her earlier views.

She voiced precisely the fundamental doubts about the warming scare that have since become familiar to us. Pouring scorn on the “doomsters”, she questioned the main scientific assumptions used to drive the scare, from the conviction that the chief force shaping world climate is CO2, rather than natural factors such as solar activity, to exaggerated claims about rising sea levels. She mocked Al Gore and the futility of “costly and economically damaging” schemes to reduce CO2 emissions. She cited the 2.5C rise in temperatures during the Medieval Warm Period as having had almost entirely beneficial effects. She pointed out that the dangers of a world getting colder are far worse than those of a CO2-enriched world growing warmer. She recognised how distortions of the science had been used to mask an anti-capitalist, Left-wing political agenda which posed a serious threat to the progress and prosperity of mankind.

In other words, long before it became fashionable, Lady Thatcher was converted to the view of those who, on both scientific and political grounds, are profoundly sceptical of the climate change ideology. Alas, what she set in train earlier continues to exercise its baleful influence to this day. But the fact that she became one of the first and most prominent of “climate sceptics” has been almost entirely buried from view.

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Flashback: Climatologists tell us an ice age cometh. The last couple of cold winters…

It was 1977. Things looked ominous:

 ”The argument that we face some long cold years is pretty convincing.”

The story was that some professors at the largest meteorology center said so — we’d had a couple of really cold winters, temperatures are falling, and the armadillo is moving.

“There’s a theory among climatologists that the  last two years of battering by winter mean that an ice age is returning to the Earth and ice ages Glaciers Down to the Mason-Dixon Line.”

“…the headlong retreat of the heat loving armadillo from Nebraska to the southwest and to Mexico…”

Climate scientists have come so far in 40 years. They would never make a fuss over a few freak seasons and an armadillo.

H/t to Tom Nelson (he’s back on twitter @tan123, thanks to skeptics) and Heartland. This is a great video originally reported by Julia Seymour at MRC Business report. See that link for the full commentary.

40 Years of Media Hype for Climate Alarmists | Heartlander Magazine

“Warm periods like ours last only 10,000 years, but ours has already lasted 12,000. So if the rhythm is right, we are over-ready for a return of the ice,” Smith said in his comment on the January 18, 1977, ABC evening newscast.

He cited “experts like Reid Bryson” who based their worries on “cooler temperature readings in the Great Plains” and elsewhere and the “retreat of the heat-loving Armadillo from Nebraska to the southwest and to Mexico.” Bryson argued the return to an ice age had begun in 1945.

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Hints of an Arctic Pause? 2007 – 2013

Another excuse may be on the rocks. The Arctic ice melt has been a favorite clarion of catastrophists. What will they do if it stops declining? It is early days, but if the missing heat is hiding in the Arctic this pattern is not following the green machine plan.

David Whitehouse GWPF

A New “Pause?”

Examining the sea ice extent data for the past eight years it is obvious that there has not been any statistically significant downward trend, even though there is more noise (interannual variability) in the data. There are interannual variations but they do not form a trend. For the 2002 – 2006 period the annual differences are mostly in the extent of maximum and not minimum ice cover. The period 1990 – 1996 displays much more interannual variability. The main difference between the ice-curves is that in recent years there has been an increase in the gradient around the beginning of June.

Of the general decline and the interannual variability how much is due to external forcing and how much to internal variability? Estimate from climate models give about equal measure to forcing and internal variability, Kay et al (2011), Stroeve et al (2012). That 50% internal variability is almost never illustrated graphically when presenting Arctic ice data.

That the minimal extent of Arctic ice has “paused” is admitted by Swart et al (2015)

“…from 2007–2013 there was a near-zero trend in observed Arctic September sea-ice extent, in large part due to a strong uptick of the ice-pack in 2013, which has continued into 2014.”

Swart et al (2015) maintain that “cherry-picking” such short periods can be “misleading about longer-term changes, when such trends show either rapid or slow ice loss.”

- See more at:

The Australian

Melting Arctic sea ice, a keenly watched measure of global clim­ate change, has “paused”, sharpening debate on whether humans or natural variability are to blame for the earlier decline.

After shrinking 35 per cent over several decades, the low point reached in Arctic ice cover each year appears to have stabilised. This is despite a record low maximum ice extent this winter and new research that shows the annual melt was beginning days earlier each decade.

Scientists who first identified the “hiatus” in global average surface temperatures are claiming a new climate change “pause”.

Keep reading  →

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Cartoonist accidentally finds entire scientific basis of IPCC: Jedi Mind trick

I believe we’ve seen this method before, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away:

Thanks to Steve Hunter 2015

Credit Steve Hunter illustrations

Happy Easter to everyone!



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My new goal is to get suspended on twitter (UPDATE @tan123 is back!)

UPDATE April 4th: Tom Nelson’s account was unsuspended today. Success!

What fantastic publicity. Twitter suspended Steven Goddard’s account last week, then reinstated it after getting inundated with complaints. Now Tom Nelson’s twitter account is gone, also “suspended”, because he used the word “crap” in response to Gavin Schmidt using the word “crap”.

Those two accounts that have made the all new celebrity Twitmo Hall of Fame:

@SteveSGoddard     and     @tan123.

The word is that trolls abuse the “report abuse” link to get skeptics silenced. We note Michael Mann recommends blocking and reporting. What else can you do when you don’t have an answer?

So let’s show them that silencing voices doesn’t work.  Follow @SteveSGoddard to show that trying to silence people only makes them stronger. To get Tom Nelson reinstated, send your thoughts on this to @Support.

WattsUp calls it abusive censorship.  ✔ @MarkSteynOnline wants to know why @twitter “suspended” another climate dissident, Tom Nelson @tan123.  See also  @iowahawkblog.

Useful hashtags to watch and join in on are #BigClimateEnforcers and #twitterthoughtpolice.


Follow me @JoanneNova

UPDATE: Do you hate twitter? Is it a land you never visit? Read my comment #7.1.

Read the other comments where I make the case that it’s worth bothering to learn the bare essentials so you have a voice. Read my four rules of Twitter below.


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Climate change increases chance of dragons

Be warned. Don’t write this off as the usual exaggerated hype from Nature.

Zoology: Here be dragons

Emerging evidence indicates that dragons can no longer be dismissed as creatures of legend and fantasy, and that anthropogenic effects on the world’s climate may inadvertently be paving the way for the resurgence of these beasts.

Figure 2: The rise and fall and rise again of dragons. The relative frequency of ‘dragons’ in fictional literature (thick red line), as determined as a unigram probability4, with two historical reconstructions of Northern Hemisphere temperature (decadal smoothing) shown in blue5 and purple6. Global temperatures have been measured since 1855 (thick black line5). Temperature anomalies represent deviations from the 1961–90 reference period. The rising incidence of dragons in the literature correlates with rising temperatures, and suggests that these fire-breathing lizards are being sighted more frequently. As a result, the large-scale ‘Third Stir’ is deemed to be imminent.

Ominous signs are there:

Further work has revealed that the early medieval period was a veritable paradise for dragons. This can be attributed to the period’s unusually warm temperatures (Fig. 2) and an abundance of knights, the beasts’ favourite combatant and food. It was also a time when wealth and status were measured in terms of gold and silver — the preferred nesting material for Western dragons.

So dragons forage for knights, and nest in gold and silver. The Nature researchers don’t even mention the rising price of gold and silver nor the volume of trades. Now that’s a hockeystick.

Australia gets the blame again:

Sluggish action on global warming is set to compound the problem, and policies such as the restoration of knighthoods in Australia are likely to exacerbate the predicament yet further by providing a sustained and delicious food supply. It is now only a matter of time before The Third Stir takes place, and this, to borrow a phrase from Godfrey of Exmouth, will be the “bigge one”.

USA Today reports one of the authors is expecting attacks from skeptics:

Some skeptics continue to deride the notion of human-induced climate change, “so we will not at all be
surprised that our finding that this climate phenomenon will see a burgeoning of fire-breathing dragons is
treated with extreme suspicion, if not contempt, scorn and ridicule,” said Andrew Hamilton, a professor of
entomology and an expert in pest management at the University of Melbourne in Australia.

I would say “Not at all”. There’s far more empirical support here than for man-made global warming.  ;- )

Read it all at Nature.

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Welcome to the CO2 disaster — 4 billion tons more plants, more greenery

During the recent warmest decades on record, Earth suffered under the highest CO2 levels of the last 800,000 years. Life responded to this devastating situation by — flourishing. There are now some 4 billion tons more living matter on the planet than there was in 1993. What a calamity. (And what a lot of carbon credits.)

It has, naturally, got nothing to do with warmth and aerial fertilizer. The researchers tell us it due to that force of nature known as “good luck”. Remember, human CO2 emissions were pollution that was going to afflict life on Earth. After twenty years of predicting the loss of forests and species, it turned out that biology bloomed instead. Notch up another model “success”. The press release headline: Good luck reverses global forest loss. (What else would we expect from UNSW?)

To those who know basic biology — and that almost half the dry weight of plants is carbon, sucked straight out of the air — this is not so much good luck as one entirely foreseeable and foreseen consequence of rising CO2. Acquiring carbon is often a plant’s hardest task. When the sun comes up, a cornfield begins sucking, and by lunch time its already got all it can get, so growth slows til night returns to pump up the CO2 levels again. Pulling out all that plant fertilizer from under Middle Eastern deserts and spreading it around where the plants could get it has a predictable effect on plant life (though it’s fair to ask if our emissions actually contribute very much).

Remember in post-modern climate science, your air-conditioner causes snowstorms, but if CO2 rises and plants grow — that’s “luck”.

Lui et al studied, as they call it, natural radio waves, recorded in satellite data of our land surfaces.

Fig 2:  Mean annual change in aboveground biomass carbon between 1993 and 2012.

Press release UNSW

         Good luck reverses global forest loss

Global vegetation has increased by the equivalent of 4 billion tonnes of carbon – despite ongoing large-scale deforestation in the tropics.

Analysis of 20 years of satellite data has revealed the total amount of vegetation globally has increased by almost the equivalent of 4 billion tonnes of carbon since 2003. This is despite ongoing large-scale deforestation in the tropics.

Keep reading  →

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