A science presenter, writer, speaker & former TV host; author of The Skeptic's Handbook (over 200,000 copies distributed & available in 15 languages).



Australian Speakers Agency


The nerds have the numbers on precious metals investments on the ASX

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Yet another paper shows the hot spot is missing

Remember the evidence is overwhelming, and deniers deny the evidence. But in Oct 2012, two atmospheric scientists were reporting, yet again, the models are wrong. Twenty years after we started looking for the fingerprint of the amplification required to make the CO2 theory of global warming work, it still isn’t there. Forgive me for harping on. It’s still The Most Major Flaw in climate models.

Never heard of “the Hot Spot”? See the first post on the hot spot argument. The models are wrong (but only by 400%!) See how climate scientists admit it’s important and missing. See how they stoop to changing color scales on graphs to pretend they’ve found it and ignore 28 million weather balloons. Or just read the summary with scientific references I wrote in May.

Background: The assumption that was wrong

Researchers made an assumption that water vapor would amplify the direct warming of extra CO2 from a small harmless amount to a large catastrophe. They started with the theory that relative humidity would stay constant in a warmer world and the thicker layer of water vapor would warm the world even more. Greenhouses gases in this instance means mainly water [...]

In Australia if you try to clear a firebreak on your land you could go to gaol

Maxwell Szulc

As Greens blame coal miners and SUV drivers for contributing to firestorms that destroy houses, ponder that one man tried to reduce the risk of fires and cleared firebreaks on his property in WA in 2011 and is currently in jail for it, serving a 15 month sentence. Most of the cleared land had been cleared before in 1970 or 1983. This was mere scrubby regrowth. He was trying to separate his property from DEC (Dept of Environment and Conservation) managed land with a 20m wide fire-break. He is due out of jail sometime around Feb 10th, though his government minders have not even fixed that date (are they having trouble calculating “15 months”?) He had previously been jailed for three months in 2010 for a similar action.

This was true civil disobedience. He knew what would happen. He felt someone had to protest and I gather he felt that at 62 and without children or a wife to support, it was his duty.

Szulc cleared his land as a protest. He was in contempt of court, he is in contempt of the DEC.

Some will say that Maxwell Szulc is technically not in jail for clearing [...]

Fasullo and Trenberth find spurious success, make headlines, but still the models crash

It’s worse than we thought — again….

Fusulo and Trenberth scored headlines around the world recently with a new paper that suggested that a few models got the relative humidity right in some tropical spots, and they also happened to be the models that predicted the hottest global outcomes.

John Christie pointed out that the models with the highest climate sensitivity are also the ones which are the worst at predicting future temperatures.

But there is more to this. It is a likely a case of twenty models predicting 40 parameters, and you can take your pick of the permutations and combinations which give one or two models a “success” here and there on one or two factors. But in the end, as Richard Courtney says, all the models are different so only one model can possibly be The Right One for the whole atmosphere, and quite likely they are all wrong.

In this case, they are still all wrong. The hot spot is still missing, and the region below it with which they scored some success is not that important.

The words hot spot and humidity over the tropics lead many commentators to think this was something to do [...]

David Evans in the Fairfax press: Climate change science is a load of hot air and warmists are wrong

Today in the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age, for the first time, David Evans has been published in the Op-Ed section. Something is going on in those newsrooms…? This article, below, simply makes the point that the models amplify the direct effect of CO2 by a factor of three and that is where the most important uncertainties lie. This key factor in the debate — which we cover repeatedly on this blog– has virtually never been made before in these newspapers which are the major dailies for Australia’s two largest cities. Any debate about the effects of CO2 needs to start with the fact that most of the warming in the models comes from amplification of humidity and clouds. If the models were right about water vapor, we would have found that missing hot spot.  –   Jo  PS: The SMH and The AGE have both closed comments already! Have they run out of electrons? Oh my? Or were they afraid the comments looked like a debate?

UPDATE: I’ve just posted that these major dailies have “disappeared” the Muller conversion article too!


Dr David M.W. Evans

31 Jul 2012

Climate scientists’ theories, flawed as they are, ignore [...]

Models get the core assumptions wrong– – the hot spot is missing

This is part of a series that Tony Cox and I are doing that references the most important points and papers, as a definitive resource about the evidence. The missing hotspot is not just another flaw in the theory, it proves the models are wrong: not just “unverified”, not just “uncertain”, but failed. Apologies to those who feel I harp on about this! This is a condensed review, squishing years of a scientific battleground down to it’s bare bones… — Jo

It is not well known that even the IPCC agrees that the direct effects of CO2 will only increase world temperatures by 1.2°C. All of the projections above that (3.3°C , 6°C  etc) come from model projections based on assumptions of what water vapor and clouds will do (these are the feedback effects of the original 1.2°C).[i] Are the feedbacks correct?

If the IPCC models are right about the feedbacks, we would see a hot spot 10km above the tropics. The theory is that with more heat, more water will evaporate and rise, keeping relative humidity constant at all heights in the troposphere. The point has been conclusively tested with 28 million weather balloons since 1959.[ii]



The intellectual vacuum – alarmists are afraid of debate, they namecall and break laws of reason

In response to the ABC doco I Can Change Your Mind, the believers of man-made global warming are out attacking with logical fallacies, cherry picking deceit, and the usual barking mad irrelevant lines about tobacco and AIDS.  Desperate eh?

Never before in one day on one post have I enjoyed responding to Mr Unskeptical himself (John Cook), as well as Stefan Lewandowsky (aka Lysenko-strikes-again) and Clive-break-democracy-Hamilton.

John Cook on the ABC website.

Cook is from the University of Queensland, and he runs the ambush site “Skeptical Science” (where even the name of the site is misleading, and where he dutifully parrots the government scientists).

John Cook

His litany of logical errors continues:

He’s still resorting to namecalling with a term he can’t define scientifically. Which paper do we deny John? You’ve had two years to find it, and you still can’t come up with anything better than papers which cheat by changing color schemes, or which use wind-shear instead of thermometers to measure temperature? He’s clinging to that consensus, when evidence is what matters. The fallacy is known as argument from authority — but in science, authority is trumped by data. In contrast, I keep referring to 3,000 ocean [...]

So is the hotspot a “fingerprint” or signature? Is it unique?

Some people claim that I mislead people. But it seems they are the misled — not by me, but by their own heroes.

In the Skeptics Handbook I wrote:

“The greenhouse signature is missing If Greenhouse gases are warming the earth we are supposed to see the first signs of it in the patch of air 10 kilometers above the tropics. But this “hot spot” just isn’t there.

Weather balloons have scanned the global atmosphere but could find no sign of the predicted “hot-spot” warming pattern that greenhouse gases would leave.”

Sources: Sources: (A) Predicted changes 1958-1999. Synthesis and Assessment Report 1.1, 2006, CCSP, Chapter 1, p 25, based on Santer et al. 2000; (B) Same document, recorded change/decade, Hadley Centre weather balloons 1979-1999, p. 116 , fig. 5.7E, from Thorne et al., 2005

With all the benefits of hindsight, it stood up extremely well. (Damn, but I did do a good job )

There are claims I should not call it a “signature”, but here’s how it is: The top alarmist researchers called it a fingerprint or a signature, the graph explicitly states that the hot spot is the pattern caused by “well mixed greenhouse gases”, and basically, if [...]

Climate Coup — The Politics

How the regulating class is using bogus claims

about climate change to entrench and extend their

economic privileges and political control.

Guest Post: Dr David M.W. Evans, 29 Feb 2012, last updated 13 Mar 2012, latest pdf here

The Science

The sister article Climate Coup—The Science (a more mainstream version of The Skeptic’s Case) contains the science foundation for this essay. It checks the track record of the climate models against our best and latest data, from impeccable sources. It details how you can download this data yourself. It finds that the climate models got all their major predictions wrong:

Test Climate Models Air temperatures from 1988 Actual rise was less than the rise predicted for drastic cuts in CO2 Air temperatures from 1990 Over-estimated trend rise Ocean temperatures from 2003 Over-estimated trend rise greatly Atmospheric hotspot Completely missing –> water vapor feedback not amplifying Outgoing radiation Opposite to reality –> water vapor feedback not amplifying


The latter two items are especially pertinent, because they show that the crucial amplification by water vapor feedback [i] assumed by the models does not exist in reality. Modelers guessed that of the forces on [...]

Dr David Evans: The Skeptic’s Case

A new brief summary of the reasoning and evidence behind the skeptics case. –Jo


The Skeptic’s Case Who Are You Going To Believe – The Government Climate Scientists Or The Data? Guest Post Dr David M.W. Evans

We check the main predictions of the climate models against the best and latest data. Fortunately the climate models got all their major predictions wrong. Why? Every serious skeptical scientist has been consistently saying essentially the same thing for over 20 years, yet most people have never heard the message — here it is, put simply enough for any lay reader willing to pay attention.

What the Government Climate Scientists Say


Figure 1: The climate models. If the CO2 level doubles (as it is on course to do by about 2070 to 2100), the climate models estimate the temperature increase due to that extra CO2 will be about 1.1°C × 3 = 3.3°C. [1]

The direct effect of CO2 is well-established physics, based on laboratory results, and known for over a century.[2]

Feedbacks are due to the ways the Earth reacts to the direct warming effect of the CO2. The threefold amplification by feedbacks is based on the [...]

Influential people are getting the message: Gina Rinehart explains the science of climate change

Cover: Australian Resources and Investment Dec 2011

The key messages are not lost on the bright and influential, and even if the mass-media avoid the evidence, the facts are quietly storming their way through the echelons of power. For the future historians, here’s a glimpse of how information networks grow and evolve behind the scenes.

Once upon a time, the missing hot spot and the water vapor amplification were virtually unknown. In Jan 2009 2010, Tony Kelly (a member of the Royal Society) met David and me privately in Perth. He grasped the implications of the model amplification in a flash. There’s a world of difference between the certainty of the 1.2 C direct effect of CO2, and the highly uncertain assumptions that push it up to 3.3 C. Three months later, not coincidentally, the Royal Society was approached by deeply concerned skeptical members, and had to formally reconsider its position.

In June this year, we were lucky enough to dine with Matt Ridley, who likewise picked up the message, and is spreading it — see his acclaimed speech in November. A few weeks ago,  I noticed Lord Lawson and Lord Turnbull  similarly argued the same meme (though I [...]

Australia picks last possible moment to leap ONTO burning ship

Gillard — the Australian Prime Minister — got the timing perfectly wrong.

Within two weeks of the Carbon Tax finally becoming Law, it’s becoming hard not to notice that the whole Global Scam is fragmenting. This Carbon ship is on fire,  the lifeboats are leaving, the rats are jumping, and the Australian team just turned up with the family jewels. Their policies are “take no prisoners” and “bring no life jackets”. Their exit plan is to have No Exit.

Sergey Abramov (ship, 1960) …By Leksey

It’s hard to imagine how the timing could have been more quintessentially insane, or their  “Leadership of Clean Energy” more poignantly inane.

After subterranean lakes of Shale Gas were discovered two months ago under Lancashire in the UK , even half-tinted-Green governments started stepping backwards from diabolical renewables deals. Nearly everyone popped up and said No No No to Kyoto. “Let’s be frank” said EU Climate Commissioner Connie Hedegaard, “At best we could only get the EU, Norway and maybe two or three more countries to sign up for a second Kyoto period.” The Bloomberg article about the collapse of the Kyoto agreement discusses 14 nations and two continents, but Australia wasn’t  [...]

The Age does award winning PR — oops was that meant to be science?

RE: “Sceptic: one inclined to doubt accepted opinions” by Michael Bachelard, The Sunday Age

———————————– For free, and just because I’m a nice person, I’m going to help Michael Bachelard with his science articles.

He’s a Walkley Award winner writing for the two largest “broadsheet” circulation papers in Australia. He knows indigenous issues, politics and industrial relations, so “climate science” was the … er, obvious next step, right?

The Age (and by default, it’s sister The Sydney Morning Herald) decided to pretend to investigate the most burning climate questions the public could offer. But their investigations apparently amounted to phoning up government agents and fans of the policy, and asking them what to write.


It’s titled: Sceptic: one inclined to doubt accepted opinions, but it could have been titled Journalist: one inclined to parrot groupthink

Poor Bachelard is out of his depth in the science trying to answer Stephen Harper and Harry Hostan’s questions. For an investigative journalist he had odd ideas about how to get answers, almost never contacting the people or groups he wrote about directly. Who knows, maybe the servers at Fairfax don’t allow emails out to non-lefties at the moment, because he doesn’t seem to [...]

Skeptical scientists are like… frauds who hunt yetis?

What’s the worst thing you could call a scientist? Apparently, a “climate change denier” and “a fraud”.

Even scientists who are hunting Yetis are not suspected of being as evil, unscrupulous and deranged as skeptics-of-the-extent-of the-UN-committee’s-projections-of-man-made-global-warming, aka, “climate-change-deniers”. I mean, who would dare question the UN, eh? It is a collective God, it can’t be wrong — like, say, the Pope in 1633. If they say it’s 3 degrees / 2 degrees /3.3 degrees, whatever, they must be right (even if they do keep changing their mind).

Scientists who are hunting Yetis have no credentials, poor sods and are ripe for a whack.

Who are these “international scientists” who are going to find his Yeti for him? We have been given no names, nor credentials, nor institutions they belong to. I suspect, like so many of the so-called climate-change deniers, they are frauds.

But here’s the thing, I know the author, Darren Curnoe (though it’s been a while), and he’s a really nice guy. We shared a group house once, when I was on the way from science to TV, and he was on the way from TV to science. We had avid conversations about the evolution [...]

This is 90% certainty? Really? (Yet another paper shows the hot-spot is missing.)

Fu and Manabe agree the hot spot is missing

GRL June 2011.

Yet another study hunted for a form of the missing hot spot–  and again the results show the models are unable to make useful predictions.

The upward rising trend predicted in the models is of critical importance. The models assume that the 1.1 degrees of warming directly due to CO2 will be tripled by feedbacks from humidity and water vapor. Studies like Fu and Manabe are looking to see if the assumptions built into the models are right. If relative humidity stays constant above the tropics throughout the troposphere, we should see the upper troposphere warm faster than the surface.

Fu and Manabe used satellite data  rather than weather balloons, and compared the tropical upper troposphere to the lower middle troposphere during 1979 – 2010. (Other papers I’ve written about compared the upper troposphere to the surface, and mainly used weather balloons.)

“One of the striking features in GCM‐predicted climate change due to the increase of greenhouse gases is the much enhanced warming in the tropical upper troposphere”

Satellites cannot separate out the altitudes at narrow resolutions, as the radiosondes can, but they produce reliable data [...]

Dr David Evans: Four fatal pieces of evidence

Dr David Evans lays out four crucial pieces of evidence, and calls for a debate with Prof Andrew Pitman. But the evidence is so unarguably strong for skeptics, we know that the name-calling-team-who-want-our-money will do anything to avoid a public debate. If the evidence is “overwhelming” why are they so unwilling to explain it?  — Jo


Submission to the Inquiry into Carbon Tax Pricing Mechanisms

Dr David Evans

20 September 2011

Dr David Evans consulted full-time for the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2005, and part-time to the Department of Climate Change from 2008 to 2010, modeling Australia’s carbon in plants, debris, mulch, soils, and forestry and agricultural products. Evans is a mathematician and engineer, with six university degrees including a PhD from Stanford University.

Global warming has become a scam. Let me explain how it works.

It has superficial plausibility. Yes, global warming is occurring. Yes, carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and levels are rising. And yes, every molecule of carbon dioxide we emit causes some global warming.

Many non-scientists think that proves the case, but it doesn’t. In particular, it doesn’t rule out the possibility that carbon dioxide is merely [...]