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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Australian Environment Conference Oct 20 2012



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

Global Wind excuse — monkey-modeling shows global warming theory is Still Not Wrong.

The backdown continues. Faced with the ongoing failure of their models, the search rolls on for any factor that helps “explain” why the official climate scientists are still right even though they got it so wrong.  The new England et al paper endorses skeptics in so many ways.

The world might warm by only 2.1 degrees this century, not 4c. (Skeptics were right — the models exaggerate). There has been and is a pause in warming which the 95%-certain-models didn’t predict. (The science wasn’t settled.) What the trade-winds giveth, they can also taketh away. If they “cause cooling” after 2000, then they probably “caused warming” before that. How much less important is CO2? Ultimately, newer models are less wrong if they include changes in wind speed, but they don’t know what drives the wind. It’s curve fitting with one more variable.

As usual, the models still can’t predict the climate, but they can be adjusted post hoc with new factors to trim their overestimates back to within the errors bars of some observations.

As I said nearly 2 years ago, Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology:

Nick Minchin: ” there is a major problem with the warmist argument [...]

Do winds control the climate or does the ocean control the wind? Kininmonth on England 2014.

William Kininmonth essentially says that it’s possible that the trade winds have changed the climate, but asks why the winds themselves changed. Kininmonth explains that the ocean is much larger and holds much more heat than the atmosphere, and that the ocean drives the winds rather than the other way around. He points out again (as he did before here so eloquently in more detail) that what the paper describes is what we’ve known for a long time about the ENSO patterns and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO): when an El Nino Strikes, trade winds fall, ocean surface doesn’t turn over as much, the ocean surface is warmer, and the air stays hot above. When La Nina’s occur, trade winds speed up, the ocean stirs, and the cold deep water takes the heat out of the surface of the ocean and the air above.

His points are:

“Natural variability” is hardly a credible, useful scientific explanation. The IPCC said natural variability was small, so if it is larger now, then it was also larger during the rest of the 20th Century? This reduces the effect CO2 had earlier (and the effect it will have in future).


Guest [...]

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 – [...]

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 [...]

ABC Biased. Scientist Matthew England, outrageous error or dishonest? Nick Minchin owed an apology

Bottom line: On Q&A Nick Minchin said the IPCC predictions were wrong. Matthew England said “Not true” their 1990 prediction was “very accurate”. But the IPCC predicted 0.3C per decade, and we got at most 0.18C per decade. (Forster and Rahmsdorf 2011 ) How is is “very accurate” when the result is below their lowest estimate?


Oceanographer Matthew England owes Nick Minchin an apology. Will Tony Jones correct the record on Monday?

How strange is this debate where politicians know the science better than the “scientists”?

The ABC Q&A program shows they have no interest in pursing the truth on climate change. The panel was, as always designed to push an agenda. Five believers, with a sixth in the audience, faced two skeptics. No skeptical scientists were invited to attend, let alone sit in the front row with a mike, like England who was called in so the warmists could get the last word on the science without fear that a skeptic might disputing their version of events. We can’t allow people to damage the faith of those duped ABC viewers.

Nick Minchin claimed there is a major problem with the [...]

Funded arrogance

Professor Matthew England

The debate that Senator Steve Fielding started continues, this time between heavyweights in Australian climate science. Yet again, the side with the funding, the power, and the large claims is unable to answer basic polite science questions. The pompous arrogance is evident. Why not just answer the question?

Professor Matthew England’s research teams have received nearly $2.5 million in funding from the Australian government, much of it for studying oceans and climate change. So when we need good answers on the topic, he would be the man. If a school student asked for help, we might expect only a two line reply passing on a link. But when the question comes from one of the most informed climate scientists in the country, with 12 years as head of Australia’s National Climate Centre, and it’s about a graph at the centre of legislative negotiations, it’s inexcusable that the reply was vague, poorly reasoned and didn’t answer the question. All this, in a conversation that England himself started.