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

The Skeptics Handbook

Think it has been debunked? See here.

The Skeptics Handbook II

Climate Money Paper


Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012



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

Global warming, not so bad at all really: says NIPCC report and thousands of references

I decided that the IPCC Impacts report was irrelevant speculation because it utterly depended on the IPCC science report and the climate models which we already know are wrong. But the dedicated team at NIPCC show that, even if we take the claims of “impacts” working group seriously, they still come to nothing. Atmospheric CO2 is not a pollutant, there is little risk of famine due to our emissions or due to global warming. Life in the oceans is likely to adapt reasonably well as so many studies have shown, and less humans will die overall as a bonus. For those of you who enjoy well written, well researched arguments, and especially if you are looking for scientific references and the nuance of this debate, there is much to learn. The NIPCC reports are an invaluable reference for me. Careful scientific language is so much more informative than the full-gloss IPCC double-speak about theories which are consistent with uncertainties but not with observations   – Jo


Report Finds Global Warming Causes ‘No Net Harm’ to Environment or Human Health Independent review of climate science contradicts “alarmist” views of United [...]

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, [...]

IPCC spin translated – the leaked Synopsis admits 97% of models fail

Joint Post: Geoff Sherrington and JoNova

The IPCC Synthesis Report first order draft has been leaked (h/t Tallbloke) . It is part of the big Fifth Assessment report  see the parts already released here. The Synthesis Report supposedly summarizes the science. In the real world the topic du jour is the plateau, pause, or hiatus in warming which the IPCC can no longer ignore. Instead the masters of keyword phrases test new bounds in saying things that are technically correct, while not stating the bleeding obvious. Luckily we are here to help them. : -)

Translating IPCC-spin:

“The rate of warming of the observed global-mean surface temperature has been smaller over the past 15 years (1998-2012) than over the past 30 to 60 years (Figure SYR.1a; Box SYR.1) and is estimated to be around one-third to one-half of the trend over the period 1951–2012. Nevertheless, the decade of the 2000s has been the warmest in the instrumental record (Figure SYR.1a).”

Translated: Yes temperatures are not rising faster as we predicted, even though more CO2 was pumped out faster than ever. Let’s ignore that this shows the models were wrong, the important thing is to [...]

IPCC says abrupt irreversible clathrate methane, ice sheet collapse are unlikely.

For years we’ve been warned via the media that there was a risk of irreversible global catastrophe. Is the IPCC stepping back from those forecasts too?  The words abrupt, irreversible, and tipping point didn’t make it into the Headline Points in 2013.

Reader Katabasis at Bishop Hill reports on the Royal Society meeting where abrupt and irreversible changes were discussed. Katabasis notes that in the IPCC Chapter 12 Table 12.4 many of the catastrophic changes being forecast are described as “unlikely” or “very unlikely” or even “exceptionally unlikely”. The only one now considered “likely” is that the Arctic might be ice free 40 years from now (which is a big step back from “ice free by 2013″ as some commentators predicted). Moreover confidence is low.

Will IPCC authors now correct Gore, Flannery, or other commentators when they tell us that CO2 emissions will probably lead to abrupt or irreversible ice sheet collapse, or collapses of the monsoonal circulation or Atlantic currents. Note the IPCC is saying “low confidence” for  long term megadroughts, and monsoon changes, which means, “we don’t know” rather than “unlikely”. But why spend billions to prevent something you have low confidence will happen?

Table 12.4: Components [...]

Kill the IPCC says Judith Curry. After decades and billions there is nothing to show for it.

And the public conversation finally starts to move on to discussing not whether the IPCC is wrong, but why it was wrong, and what we need to do about it. Credit to Judith Curry and the Financial Post. I’ve posted a few paragraphs here. The whole story is in the link at the top. – Jo

Judith A. Curry, Special to Financial Post

Kill the IPCC: After decades and billions spent, the climate body still fails to prove humans behind warming

 The IPCC is in a state of permanent paradigm paralysis. It is the problem, not the solution

The IPCC has given us a diagnosis of a planetary fever and a prescription for planet Earth. In this article, I provide a diagnosis and prescription for the IPCC: paradigm paralysis, caused by motivated reasoning, oversimplification, and consensus seeking; worsened and made permanent by a vicious positive feedback effect at the climate science-policy interface.

In its latest report released Friday, after several decades and expenditures in the bazillions, the IPCC still has not provided a convincing argument for how much warming in the 20th century has been caused by humans.

We tried a simple solution for a [...]

IPCC in denial. “Just-so” excuses use ocean heat to hide their failure.

In answer to the excuse du jour: “The Ocean ate my Global Warming”.

Now that the plateau in air temperatures has lasted for 15 years, everyone, even IPCC lead authors, can see the “90% certain” models were 98% wrong. So the IPCC now claims the heat went into the deep abyss, which they didn’t predict, can’t measure accurately, and, even by the best estimates we have, has not been anywhere near large enough to explain the missing energy.

They predicted the surface air temperature would increase, but it didn’t. (The 1990 IPCC predictions about temperatures were so wrong the trends have come in below their lowest possible estimate.) They predicted the oceans would warm more than twice as much as they actually have (as best as we can tell). They did not predict the air temperature would level out for 15 years, and the oceans would suddenly start producing “natural cooling”.

The oceans are a bit of a mystery black box

There are 1.4 billion cubic kilometers of ocean out there — it’s so big it hid a 650 km volcano until two weeks ago. Only two people have been to the bottom ever (correction, three men), and they [...]

More media pressure finally forcing the IPCC to cut the spin

The race in the media continues: The UK Daily Mail (again), The Spectator, The UK Express. The headlines the IPCC must hate  just keep coming, now in major newspapers and magazines. Finally, maybe, some of the media is starting to get it. At last also the IPCC is feeling the pressure to explain the halting of global warming and the poor performance of its climate models.

This is all well and good, but before we celebrate, ponder that if science journalists had been doing their job 10 years ago, the IPCC would have been put on the spot before before the wild evangelistic doom-fest of 2007 where national GDP points were roasted with every chapter. Billions could have been saved.

As I keep saying: The media is the problem. With good journalists, and real reporters, everything else gets better. Shine the light…

The UK Daily Mail  Tamara Cohen

World’s top climate scientists told to ‘cover up’ the fact that the Earth’s temperature hasn’t risen for the last 15 years

But leaked documents seen by the Associated Press, yesterday revealed deep concerns among politicians about a lack of global warming over the past few years.

Germany called for the references [...]

PR Wars: IPCC fights for relevance, halves warming, claims to be 95% certain of something vaguer

We are over the peak. Years late, the IPCC concedes some territory and wears headlines they must hate (“Global warming is just HALF what we said“, “We got it wrong on warming“), but PR still rules, and in the big game, this will quickly spin to a minor bump. It’s a classic technique to release “the bad news” before the main report, to clear the air for the messages the agents want to stick.

Since 2007 they’ve burned through their credibility in so many ways:  think Climategate, and getting caught pretending activist material was science, being busted for 300-year-typos like the Himalayan Glaciers, plus 15 years of no warming, no hot spot, models being wrong, droughts ending, and ice returning, all the while pouring scorn and derision on anyone who questioned them. The IPCC were being hammered and they had to change tacks. Now, for the first time, the IPCC is making a serious retreat, presumably in the hope of being able to still paint itself as “scientific” and to fight from a different trench. Anything to continue the yearly junkets and to save face. What they hope is that no one will notice that the deniers were right [...]

Ocean temperatures – Is that warming statistically significant?

The oceans as measured by ARGO are warming, but that warming is not only far less than the models predicted, it is far less even than the instrument error.

The background of a crucial point

Everyone agrees: 90% of the energy in the Earth’s climate system is stored in the oceans. Rocks and sand don’t transmit the heat down, except at incredibly slow rates. The wil-o’-the-wisp-atmosphere hardly holds any energy. But water covers 70% of the surface, to an average depth of 3,700m, and it can store septillions of joules.

Climate models say the Earth’s energy balance is out of whack, and therefore 90% of the extra energy trapped by increasing greenhouse gases is stored in the ocean.  The oceans are warming (probably), but the extra energy found in the top 700m of the world’s oceans is not enough. The modelers argued the heat was hidden below, that from 700m-2,000m. Skeptics argue the missing energy was flung out to space. This is the big enchilada, and as far as measuring oceans goes, everything changed in 2003 when we finally got the ARGO system, and that’s why it’s worth a closer look now.

David points [...]

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 [...]

Unpaid students to review AR5. This is rigorous expert science right?

The Risk Monger (David Zaruk) was astonished to receive an advertisement from the Dutch government looking for 60 young PhD students to help with the next Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report.

They salary is “none”. But they are not just looking for any old student. You don’t need experience, but to qualify you need “an affinity with climate change”. I guess they are not looking for skeptical students who feel an affinity with logic, reason, and empirical evidence?

The reasons for asking the unpaid students is actually described as an “ambitious plan” to do a “thorough review” because there were “errors in the fourth assessment report…”. O.K.

The Risk Monger:

Maybe I am jumping to conclusions, but with all of the mess of the last IPCC Assessment Report (including a non-scientific WWF campaign document predicting the disappearance of Himalayan glaciers getting through the review process and becoming one of the IPCC’s main conclusions), shouldn’t they try to do a more rigorous review process this time around? Students, working for free, are not perhaps the ideal choice of reviewers needed to challenge the experts

What troubles the Risk-Monger more here is that many environmental activists are working on their PhDs and [...]

Pachauri quietly blows goalposts away, pretends to like skeptics. It’s all PR to keep the gravy train running.

There’s a PR war going on

Pachauri is chief PR officer for the Global-not-so-Warming-Gravy-Train. His job is to say things with a straight face that are the complete opposite of what he’s said before, and to pretend he has never said anything differently.

The IPCC are a government committee who’ve stamped the brand name “science” to their policy wish list. They got away with it by using ancient tribal rhetorical techniques. Call your opponent names, spit on their reputation, spread nasty rumors, and tell the useful idiots who follow you that they are smart, caring, and superior — even as you teach them to chant “denier” in response to the dog-whistle. The good thing about having Idiot followers is that can believe at the same time that “denier” is a scientific term and that they have a high IQ.

It is also handy if you give out plum government jobs and consultancies, to keep your supporters ardent. The power of patronage, what ho!

But the game is changing, skeptics have scored too many points.

Thus and verily skeptics have been hitting home runs by shining a light on the religious attitude of the IPCC which keeps declaring unscientifically [...]

Donna Laframboise – Secret Santa leak of AR5 Working Group II material

BREAKING:All the files from Working Group II of AR5 are now available just as “ahem” the open-and-transparent-IPCC would want them. There are 661 files amongst 1 gigabyte of material. This includes their meeting in Japan, in Jan 2011 and a year later in San Francisco, and then Buenos Aires, 10 weeks ago.

Leaked — Working Group II drafts

Behind the scenes Donna Laframboise finds that there is a layer of aggressive activists who are privvy to the IPCC drafts process, and actively lobbying. WWF are pushing the IPCC to cite the WWF. They helped create Himalaya-gate where the IPCC ridiculously predicted the end of the massive Himalayan glaciers by 2035, and got caught embarrassingly. Donna’s book showed that “two thirds of the chapters in the 2007 IPCC report included among their personnel, at least one individual linked to the WWF. One third of the chapters were led by an WWF-affiliated author.” Apparently nothing much has changed.

Donna Laframboise writes:

My 2011 book, The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert, documents the IPCC’s numerous credibility problems. Among these is the disturbing influence of green activists on what is supposed to be a rigorous [...]

Unleashed: Monckton releases his AR5 reviewer comments

Because the AR5 report is now leaked into the public domain, Christopher Monckton has released his AR5 review comments on the Lord Monckton Foundation site. Notably, Monckton does his absolute best to help the IPCC operate as a useful honest public service. In the most statesman-like manner, Monckton works from the principle that the IPCC’s credibility could theoretically be rescued. (How generous is he?) Monckton also provides a few peer reviewed papers that the team of hundreds of experts has missed — just the odd 450 references or so. As always, meticulously researched, carefully thought out, and with impeccable logic. The IPCC must be paying him well for this rigorous input… oh wait…

In order to produce a respectable useful document the IPCC has to improve:

The IPCC needs to address the failure of their past key predictions. Split up the science from the politics. (Political appointee’s can write their own chapter*, not rewrite the scientists ones). The alterations to the scientists final draft need to be marked as such and sent back to the expert reviewers. All references from gray literature (eg activist press releases) should be removed. To stop the goal posts moving, the IPCC should update projections [...]

Draft IPCC report leaked (the evidence is so overwhelming it has to be kept secret!)

UPDATE: IPCC officially confirms that when it says “transparent” it means “secret”.

UPDATE2: Donna La Frambois points out Working Group III documents are still secret. “This is What Transparency Looks Like”

What was the point of keeping the IPCC draft secret? The point is so the IPCC can control both the content and the PR. The IPCC wants a free kick, and they get one if the world doesn’t see how they arrive at the conclusion, and if critics can’t specifically point to errors or flaws until weeks after the giant press circus has done its megaphone production.

It’s how the media game works. First they release the “up and coming” scary headline. (Already done for AR5.) Critics can’t criticize what they can’t see.

Then they release the Summary with a three ring display of terrifying headlines. The black box that justifies it is shown off in all its mysterious glory: 4,000 experts labored for 5 years, produced 2,000 papers, 2 million emails, and rigorously, savagely dissected the science to give you this ominous, frightening message. Pay us your tithe! We will stop the Storms! The inner workings of the black box are held in the Sacred Vault. Those who question [...]

The IPCC was not right. Frame & Stone ignore main IPCC predictions

Professor David Frame and Dr Daithi Stone have produced a paper claiming the IPCC predictions in 1990 were successful and seem accurate.

Those who read the actual FAR report and check the predictions against the data know that this is not so.

They ignore the main IPCC predictions (the prominent ones, with graphs, in the Summary for Policymakers) They don’t measure the IPCC success against an IPCC graph or within IPCC defined “uncertainties”. They measure success against  a “zero trend” — something they defined as any rise at all beyond what they say are the limits of natural variability (which they got from the very models that aren’t working too well). Circular reasoning anyone? Frame and Stone themselves say the IPCC models didn’t include important forcings, and may have been “right” by accident.

Why did Nature publish this strawman letter? It’s an award-winning effort in selective focus, logical fallacies, and circular reasoning to be sure, but does it advance our understanding of the natural world? Not so.

Frame and Stone have produced a Letter to Nature saying that 3 is a lot like 6 (they are both larger than zero). If you ignore the Summary for Policymakers, pick a line [...]

The IPCC was wrong. (Matthew England and the ABC mislead Australians)

This is a rare unequivocal case of overreach.

Prof Matthew England proves he is either willing to stretch things beyond reason “for the cause”, or he doesn’t know what he is talking about, or both. Sarah Clark at the ABC didn’t do five minutes research on the story to check the facts or ask informed questions. This is not science, and it isn’t journalism either.

The Facts: The IPCC used the word “prediction” in 1990 and predicted a best estimate of 0.3°C with a  range of 0.2°C – 0.5°C per decade Even with the most generous overestimate of current trends, the temperature trend has fallen below their lowest estimate, while CO2 emissions were higher than expected. The 1990 predictions can not be called “true”, “consistent” or to have “occurred” by any definition in any English dictionary. The IPCC Prediction was Wrong

The quote from the first page of the Executive Summary of the Summary for Policy Makers, FAR 1990:1

“Based on current model results, we predict:

Under the IPCC Business-as-Usual (Scenario A) emissions of greenhouse gases, a rate of increase of global mean temperature during the next century of about 0.3C per decade (with an uncertainty range of 0.2°C – [...]

Don’t miss Donna Laframboise in Australia – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth

Donna Laframboise — author of the ground-breaking book “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert” and writer of the NoFrakkingConsensus Blog — is finally coming to Australia. I’ve booked. Have you?

Donna has been a key player, researching the way the IPCC works with an experienced eye of a real journalist (how rare). Her book scored media attention around the world as it documented how the so-called experts at the IPCC had often not even finished their PhD’s.

“In 1994, Kovats was one of only 21 people in the entire world selected to work on the first IPCC chapter that examined how climate change might affect human health. She was 25 years old. Her first academic paper wouldn’t be published for another three years. It would be six years before she’d even begin her doctoral studies and 16 years before she’d graduate.”

She described how WWF affiliates are lead authors and involved in two thirds of the IPCC’s 44 Chapters. She organized the citizens audit of the 18,000 odd references in the last IPCC report. The 40 volunteers checked every reference to see which were peer reviewed, and found that a staggering [...]

The IPCC 1990 FAR predictions were wrong

Have the 1990 IPCC predictions been proved completely, unarguably and utterly wrong? Yes.

They predicted that if our emissions stayed the same, temperatures would rise by 0.3 C per decade, and would be at the very least 0.2, and the most 0.5. Even by the most generous rehash of the data, the highest rate they can find is 0.18 C per decade which is likely an overestimate, and in any case, is below the very least estimate, despite the world’s emissions of CO2 continuing ever higher.

Climate Scientist Matthew England called that “very accurate”. Since when did 0.18 = 0.3? (Shall we call it “climate maths”, or just call it wrong?) The IPCC had a whole barn wall to aim at, and a battalion of government funded gold plated AK-47s to hit the target, but they still missed.

Both England and the ABC owe Minchin an apology.

The un-Skepticalscience page uses a pea and thimble trick to argue the IPCC 1990 predictions were right (“Lessons from Past Climate Predictions: IPCC FAR”). As usual John Cooks site looks  “technical” but uses complexity to hide the way they redefined the prediction in order to pretend it wasn’t wrong. Excuses excuses. Intellectual wordsmiths [...]

Nir Shaviv: On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes

Nir Shaviv, the well known astrophysicist from Israel, points out that climate sensitivity (according to the IPCC and co) has barely changed in 33 years. Therefore their predictions from the FAR (IPCC, First Assessment Report) in 1990 ought to mean something. Yet observations are now tracking outside and below even their lowest bounds of estimates. When will the IPCC admit those models need to change?




On IPCCs exaggerated climate sensitivity and the emperor’s new clothes Guest Post by Nir Shaviv (Reposted from ScienceBits , with permission. Thank you Nir). A few days ago I had a very pleasant meeting with Andrew Bolt. He was visiting Israel and we met for an hour in my office. During the discussion, I mentioned that the writers of the recent IPCC reports are not very scientific in their conduct and realized that I should write about it here.

Normal science progresses through the collection of observations (or measurements), the conjecture of hypotheses, the making of predictions, and then through the usage of new observations, the modification of the hypotheses accordingly (either ruling them out, or improving them). In the global warming “science”, this is not the case.

What do [...]