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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Poll shows Australians are more skeptical of extreme drought, flood and fire voodoo

The message that CO2 causes fires, floods, storms, reef damage and refugees is wearing off

What a problem for the vested interests — it’s their main propaganda message.

It’s witchcraft:

When the witchdoctors ran out of long term trends and supporting evidence they started blaming every storm on CO2. It was a sign of desperation. In more respectable days they would say these were “weather” not climate trends. Storms, floods, droughts and fires are caused by many variables, none of which the climate modelers can predict even ten days in advance. Furthermore, huge 1 in 100 year events need a thousand years of data (at least) before we could pretend to have even a hint of statistical significance that they are not just natural events which have always happened and always will.

About 10% more Australians have woken up

New polling shows that about 1 in ten Australians that used to find this witchcraft convincing are smelling a rat and don’t believe it anymore. Back in 2015 when IPSOS asked the exact same climate change question 62% of Australians thought that climate change was already causing more droughts. Now after a vast drought, it’s only 52%.  In 2015, 61% of [...]

Townsville floods again: 1881, 1892, 1946 and 1953. It’d be climate change if it stopped flooding

After epic flooding in Townsville, witchdoctors are blaming climate change.

 Queensland’s recent extreme weather – bushfires, heatwaves, coral bleaching, drought, Cyclone Penny, Townsville’s floods – showed Queensland is clearly experiencing climate change, Professor Ian Lowe said.

 Thus spake the Druid of Runes waving a bunch of multifactor complex processes that have been happening forever, can’t be predicted and only have scary trends if you draw short graphs with no error bars. Verily we see doom, doth payth my grant, or whatever it is that keeps Prof Ian Lowe going. He is allegedly in the  Queensland Climate Advisory Council (QCAC) — an organization so successful its only existence on the internet appears to be a sidebar on page 15 of a government PDF. But whoever they are, they’re experts, trust us, that the media doesn’t need to ask for an alternate opinion.

Wouldn’t you know it though, floods seem to happen quite a lot in Townsville

This is not to say that the current floods are not serious but just that Townsville is a floody kind of place. It’d be climate change if things stopped flooding in Townsville.

In the last ten days Townsville has had 600mm of rain [...]

ABC Climate fiction: Life at 0.5 degrees hotter, dead plants, animals, ghost towns, jellyfish hell

The job of ABC environment reporters is not to serve the public and ask scientists hard questions about whether we can rely on their climate models that fail 98% of the time and on every scale in time and locality.

Instead their job is to be fiction writers, converting failing models into vomiting babies:

Under IPCC forecasts babies born today will be 22 when warming hits 1.5C. What will life be like?

By environment reporter Nick Kilvert

Meet Casey X. She was born in Alice Springs Hospital on October 13, 2018.

She came into the world screaming, before projectile-vomiting over the hospital floor and falling asleep.

For this the ABC gets $3 million dollars every day.

We are talking about a half degree Celsius of warming spread over 22 years. This is double the decadal rate currently shown by satellites. But even if we assume that climate models are right for the first time ever, and this dramatic change in trends occurs, it’s still only half a degree more in a world where humans live from minus 50C to plus 40C and every day temperatures vary by 10 – 20 degrees.

Alice Springs 2040, unlivable [...]

Dinosaurs wiped out by … Darkness and Cold

Now this is climate change. If you can believe this study, wow:

“In the tropics, annual mean temperature fell from 27 to 5 degrees Celsius”

And we worry about a warming of one degree in a century.

“It became cold, I mean, really cold,” says Brugger. Global annual mean surface air temperature dropped by at least 26 degrees Celsius. The dinosaurs were used to living in a lush climate. After the asteroid’s impact, the annual average temperature was below freezing point for about 3 years. Evidently, the ice caps expanded. Even in the tropics, annual mean temperatures went from 27 degrees to mere 5 degrees. “The long-term cooling caused by the sulfate aerosols was much more important for the mass extinction than the dust that stays in the atmosphere for only a relatively short time. It was also more important than local events like the extreme heat close to the impact, wildfires or tsunamis,” says co-author Georg Feulner who leads the research team at PIK. It took the climate about 30 years to recover, the scientists found.

The real threats are not fertilizer and balmy weather, but rocks from space, and cold, cold, cold…

How the [...]

Witchdoctors blaming climate change for storms again

Collaroy Beach 1967

Seas Pound Beachfront, Collaroy and Manly.  Weds 6th Sept 1967

“…at Collaroy, heavy earth-moving equipment is standing by to prevent the huge seas from further undermining home units and a house which has been in danger for several days.”

Roger Franklin at Quadrant, wrote about a time  When weather was just weather, and a Collaroy Storm of 1945.

Houses washed away, Collaroy Beach, 1945

Weds June 13, 1945.


Weds, June 13, 1945

14 Deaths in NSW Storms

Source: Houses Washed Out to Sea.

Blame climate change, without blaming climate change

The climate scientists are telling us that there will be less of this type of winter storm. But all the other experts, planners, engineers  — get their moment of glory in the media to tell us that climate change will make this worse. In such a way does a media marketing team (like, say, the ABC) convey the sense of alarm, even when their favourite experts are actually saying the opposite.

Here’s Karl Braganza, head of climate monitoring at the Bureau of Meteorology, in the SMH, saying that this is [...]

Hottest seasonally adjusted month EVER! Hyperbole runs wild.

Who needs a trend when you can have a hot month?

The news is all over the media — Feb 2016 was a record hottest ever month — and the Global Worriers  are saying “Meltdown“, “Planetary Crisis” and “Terrifying Milestone.”

But the Pause is still there. No matter what happens now, the world didn’t warm for 18 years, and that shows the models can’t predict a thing. (Unless they take solar factors into account, which they don’t).

One big El Nino didn’t fix the climate models now. (They can’t predict El Nino’s either).

Nothing that happens after 2015 can change the amount of energy that went missing during the Pause that no mainstream modeler predicted. Remember these models are supposed to be coupled ocean and atmosphere models, but none of them understand what causes shifts in the PDO, or many other natural cycles and currents of the ocean. So with every natural spike up, modelers unscientifically leap in glee, and with the other 99% of the data, they blame internal variability. But a real scientist is scientific every month. Trends, guys, trends. That’s what this debate was supposed to be about. Not spikes. Not noise.

During the last whopper El [...]

Camouflage illusions in the matrix: same mysterious temperature, same day, year after year

Wait til you see what Lance Pidgeon has found. He was looking at the BOM website temperature archive maps of Australia for early last century (using AWAP data). He was wondering how the Bureau of Meteorology could possibly create maps this detailed for specific days that long ago. He was especially curious about the remote, vast areas where there were no thermometers, yet there were wiggly jiggly temperature lines on the map, shaded as if they had meaning. I’ve heard that more people have visited the South pole, than have stood at the point in central Australia where the three large western and central states meet.

Then he noticed something positively strange — April 14th in 1915 and one year later in 1916 looked almost identical, as did the same day in 1917. The more he looked, the weirder things got. He plodded, year after year, all the way from 1911 to 1917, then through Jan, Feb, March, and so on.  Worse, he tells me he could keep going right through to 1956 without seeing much change (though there are interesting exceptions). After that, temperatures of the area start to vary from year to year, like the “weather” we’d expect if we [...]

Humans live from -50C to +40C, but two more degrees will kill us. Panic now.

Humans can adapt to live in locations where the monthly average is over 40°C, and as low as -50°C. That’s a 90°C range. The world has warmed by 0.9°C in 100 years (or less, depending on adjustments). This warming was so dangerous that global population only expanded from 1.7 to 7 billion.

Now, if the IPCC are right, we might heat up by another half a degree by 2100 — shifting those extremes from -49°C up to 41°C.

Prof. Andy Pitman, one of Australia’s leading climate scientists, responds to this risk with all the usual careful analysis we’ve come to expect from mainstream climate experts. Here’s another “children won’t know what snow is” type of Global Panic quote:

“I expect by 2050 … people just don’t go outside,”

– Professor Andy Pitman, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at UNSW.

So that’s the end of golf, surfing, and picnics then. Somewhat confusingly, he also said (in the same interview) that we won’t necessarily notice that extra warmth: “… because humans acclimatise to heat quite quickly”. This is what 95% certainty looks like in 2015, ladies and gentlemen — abject panic and [...]

CO2 is not making storms worse near Japan either

Yet more evidence that there is no relationship between CO2 and cyclones, hurricanes, and typhoons. This paper from 2012 tests the theory that global warming made storms more severe and tried to find any effect on typhoons hitting Japan that could be linked to climate change since 1980.

There has been no increase in “super typhoons”. The typhoon season is not longer, nor is it delayed in starting. There has been no change in intensity. The wind speeds are not increasing. The minimum pressure is pretty much the same.

CO2 appears to influence storms in simulated worlds, but not so much in the real one. There is no sign of more severe storms in Australia, New Zealand or the South Pacific either. Nor is there any pattern in the Global Energy indicies, US Hurricanes, US Tornadoes either.

When will scientists and reporters make sure that their audiences know that?

The authors conclude:

“The results suggest that typhoons have not been influenced by global warming. In conclusion, global warming has not significantly changed the characteristics of typhoons, and there is no close relationship between the two.”

Figure 19. Number of super typhoons that develop


Playing politics with every disaster: Vanuatu cyclone blamed on “climate change”

So far 24 are confirmed dead in Vanuatu, a figure that seems likely to rise.  About 100,000 are homeless, according to the local Oxfam director, which, if accurate, is an awful lot in a country of 270,000. There is no doubt the nation needs help.

Despite the pressing need to solve immediate problems, the predictable claims are already starting. How many journalists will bother to check these claims against the history of cyclones in Vanuatu?  Accuweather lists a lot, including one in 1951 that killed 100 people when CO2 levels were just 311ppm. In 1987 another storm killed 48.

President Baldwin Lonsdale is blaming “climate change”.

Pacific nations regard themselves as at the frontline of climate change, given many are low-lying islands dangerously exposed to rising sea levels, and Lonsdale said changing weather patterns were partly to blame for the destruction.

“Climate change is contributing to the disaster in Vanuatu,” Lonsdale told reporters in Japan, saying rain had been unusually heavy this year.

Even President Hollande, host of the Paris UNFCCC later this year, is milking this disaster: “…the cyclone “is a new cry for the international community to take seriously its responsibility in the fight [...]

Category Five storms aren’t what they used to be

UPDATE: Data for Middle Percy Island has disappeared from the BOM site, but Jennifer Marohasy kept a copy. (I’m sure the BOM will be grateful!) The Courier Mail has an article quoting Jennifer.

The facts on Cyclone Marcia: the top sustained wind speed was 156 km and the strongest gust 208 km/hr. These were recorded on Middle Percy Island in the direct path before it hit land and apparently rapidly slowed.  The minimum pressure recorded after landfall was 975Hpa. BOM and the media reported a “Cat-5″ cyclone with winds of 295 km/hr. To qualify as a Cat 5, windspeeds need be over 280km/hr. The UN GDACS alerts page estimated the cyclone as a Cat 3.

The damage toll so far is no deaths (the most important thing), but 1,500 houses were damaged and 100 families left homeless. It was a compact storm, meaning windspeeds drop away quickly with every kilometer from the eye, so the maps and locations of the storm and the instruments matter. See the maps below — the eye did pass over some met-sites, but made landfall on an unpopulated beach with no wind instruments. It slowed quickly thereafter. The 295 km/hr wind speed was [...]

Global warming dumps late snow in Australia. Fires one year. Flood the next.

A major stormfront in NSW has dropped 170mm on rain on Ulladulla, ploughed down trees, drove waves 8m high onshore, and put the airport underwater in Sydney. It has carpeted the Blue Mountains in 20cm of snow. 30,000 homes lost electricity and 60 people were stuck in a train for two hours. This time last year the region was burning. Amazing photos at the Daily Mail.

Proof of man-made global warming…

h/t to Eric Worrall and Waxing Gibberish.

Image (Top) Photographer Nick Moir, SMH | (Bottom) No photographer listed, Daily Telegraph.

Story of the Fires in 2013 in the SMH  |   Story with the photos of snow Daily Telegraph

Doreatha Mackellar 1908: 

I love a sunburnt country, A land of sweeping plains, Of ragged mountain ranges, Of droughts and flooding rains.

We hope everyone is safe.

Be afraid! Trapped atmospheric waves on the rise. Extreme heatwaves to come.

There are waves piling on waves in the weather.

A new press release tells us that there have been an “exceptional” number of weather extremes in summer.

Weather extremes in the summer — such as the record heat wave in the United States that hit corn farmers and worsened wildfires in 2012 — have reached an exceptional number in the last ten years. Human-made global warming can explain a gradual increase in periods of severe heat, but the observed change in the magnitude and duration of some events is not so easily explained.

Heatwaves lend themselves to headlines. Not only are they scary, but for climate researchers at a loose end, there are 1,000 flavors of wave to comb through. Is that a 3 day, 4 day or 7 day wave you are interested in? Is the cut-off 40C, 38C, 35C or a flexible percentile anomaly above the monthly average? Is it a statewide average, a national record, or a hot week in Houston? Shall we analyze that in seasons, by months, years, or part thereof? The combinations and permutations can keep a supercomputer up late at night. There’s a whole field of cherry trees ripe for the plucking.

It [...]

Broken models predict extreme cold snaps. (CO2 causes every sort of weather.)

Remember how CO2 is supposed to cause warmer winters, and warmer nights? Well now CO2 also produces cold snaps. No matter what weather you get, there is a citation to blame CO2. Nature (the formerly great science journal) and Northeastern University have produced another permutation of outputs from models we know are broken.

The first line in the press release is false and smugly so: “most sci­en­tists — 97 per­cent of them, to be exact — agree that the tem­per­a­ture of the planet is rising and that the increase is due to human activ­i­ties….”  10 seconds on Google would have shown — 60% of geoscientists and engineers don’t agree.

If Kodra and co were trying to be accurate, they could have said “97% of annointed climate scientists agree… “. If they were trying to be scientific, of course, they wouldn’t mention a consensus at all. If they had good evidence, they’d talk about that instead.

They dug deep in The-Book-of-Cliches for the press release. Strip away the advertising spin and I think this is the nub of the work:

“While global tem­per­a­ture is indeed increasing, so too is the vari­ability in tem­per­a­ture extremes. For instance, while each [...]

What the CSIRO State of the Climate report forgot to tell you

The CSIRO decided to leave out some information about the state of our climate in their  State of the Climate Report CSIRO.

CSIRO published these “Fast Facts” in bold. I’m publishing the things they didn’t say, but could have, in points in between.

UPDATE: The CSIRO budget is $1.2 billion a year and the BOM’s is $300 m. Why is it left to unfunded volunteers to provide the full story?

Fast Facts from the CSIRO and BOM “Australia’s climate has warmed by 0.9°C since 1910, and the frequency of extreme weather has changed, with more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.” The CSIRO-BOM team could have said: Scientifically, extreme weather measures are lousy indicators. They’re noisy and not very meaningful. They are however useful for getting newspaper headlines. It depends on what your aim is… Australia’s had extreme hot days for as long as we’ve been measuring the temperature. Charles Sturt recorded 53C in 1828 which seems fairly extreme. Thomas Mitchell did it too in 1845 and are many others (see the map below, check Trove, ask the BOM — no don’t ask the BOM). The records prior to 1910 seem to have gone down the memory hole, [...]