JoNova

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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Are dead fish worth more than live person? Could be… Let’s ban fishing too.

Did you know you can change the weather by not eating deep sea fish? Me neither. But apparently fish and other marine life in the high seas contain $148 billion dollars worth of carbon dioxide. (The carbon price used, which includes mitigation costs, is apparently almost $100/tonne — a tad higher than the current EU carbon price of 5 Euro. The “price” was derived from a US govt agency, wouldn’t you know, not the free market.)

The high seas catch is worth a mere $16 billion and is only 1% of all fish caught. But it follows that either hungry people will have to pay a bit more for their fish, or fishermen will switch to take more fish from the low seas. Either that, or hungry people can just eat more rice, right? And it’s not like anyone cares about the protein content of poor people’s diets is it? (Look who made a hyperbolic fuss about a potential 5% reduction in the mineral content of rice by 2050.)

Lets think for a minute about how anyone would make a global oceanic ban work?  Since people only catch deep sea fish for fun, I suppose we  just ask them to [...]

Mass carbon emissions, yet Australian sea levels rise at similar speed as 1920 – 1950

Australia is one of the most stable land masses on the planet, and has more gauges than anywhere else in the southern hemisphere, so it’s very useful for sea-level measurements. It also had a couple of rare continuous long records “… the two longest sea-level records in the southern hemisphere, Sydney Fort Denison from 1886 and Fremantle from 1897″ .

A new paper by White et al, concludes that Australian sea level rises are similar to global measurements (so not a bad proxy for the world), and that during times when CO2 levels were much lower — like before World War II, sea levels were rising at the same speed (or possibly faster) than they are today.

A generalized additive model of Australia’s two longest records (Fremantle and Sydney) reveals the presence of both linear and non-linear long-term sea-level trends, with both records showing larger rates of rise between 1920 and 1950, relatively stable mean sea levels between 1960 and 1990 and an increased rate of rise from the early 1990s.

Does a “larger rate of rise” mean larger than today, or larger than average — I think, given the error margins, that we could only be sure it [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Ocean plankton suck up twice the carbon we thought they did

Hyperia | Credit Wikimedia

Despite the fuss about CO2 emissions, on a global scale no one is quite sure where a lot of it ends up. Those mystery “sinks” draw in a large proportion of CO2. Here’s a big sink that just got twice as big.

Science Daily  Mar. 17, 2013 — Models of carbon dioxide in the world’s oceans need to be revised, according to new work by UC Irvine and other scientists published online Sunday in Nature Geoscience. Trillions of plankton near the surface of warm waters are far more carbon-rich than has long been thought, they found. Global marine temperature fluctuations could mean that tiny Prochlorococcus and other microbes digest double the carbon previously calculated.

The trouble started when someone made an assumption.

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The Travesty of the Missing Heat — deep ocean or outer space?

(See the Hammer link below, for more information on this graphic).

If there is one topic that trumps all others in climate science, it’s ocean heat.

If there is a planetary imbalance in energy, and Earth is acquiring more heat than it’s losing, we ought to be able to find that heat. Energy can not be created nor destroyed. It has to be somewhere.

On this Water-Planet, virtually every scientist agrees that the vast bulk of the extra energy ought be stored in the water. The oceans cover 70% of the surface, and are 4km deep; water has a high heat capacity (meaning it can store a lot of energy), and, because water flows quickly (unlike rock), turbulence and mixing can take that heat energy away from the surface.

Every skeptic (and taxpayer) ought to know that since 2003 (when we started measuring oceans properly) the oceans have been cooling:  Douglass and Knox 2010.

Five years of planetary heating amounts to a massive amount of energy. That’s 2,000 days of the sun bearing down on an atmosphere with growing levels of CO2. According to the IPCC favored models, the extra heat stored should be 0.7 x [...]

10% of sea level rise is due to land rising too. Got that?

Just in case you missed it, there has been yet another example of data manipulation in the endless round of adjustments that bring reality closer to the models. Thanks to James Taylor in Climate Change Weekly for drawing our attention to it.

Sea levels are one of the top five most critical measurements to tell us about the planet’s “heat”. Remember, they say “it’s worse than we thought” and that sea level rise is accelerating. Yet the measurements by the best equipment available — satellites — tell of a steady linear rise of just 3mm year after year, except for lately, when it’s been lower. (What kind of scientist can’t predict where a straight line is headed?)

Sea level is hard to measure — the sea is not flat — the ground also moves, but satellites measure the world’s oceans every ten days to an accuracy of several millimeters, and what’s more, they measure it compared to the center of the Earth (see below). NASA says so. So it is hard to explain why, after delaying the latest (shrinking) results for a couple of months past the usual posting date, they now announce that they’ve added “a correction of 0.3 [...]

Is the Western Climate Establishment Corrupt? Part 3

There are two strong points here:

The Argo system is state of the art, and public property. Yet the most recent Argo Data of ocean temperatures is virtually impossible to get. We could assume that if it showed definitive warming, we’d see those graphs on breakfast cereal packages. Ocean temperatures trump everything. Where is that warming? The same people who are paid to analyze the data sets are the ones who also manage them: they decide who has access. It’s a system without external independent checks, and the lack of audits makes for a loophole big enough to drive a planetary body though. — JN Part 3: Ocean Temperatures

The public might not understand the science, but they do understand cheating

Dr. David Evans

6 October 2010

[A series of articles reviewing the western climate establishment and the media. The first and second articles discussed thermometer tricks with air temperatures.]

Click to download a pdf file containing the whole series

Measuring Ocean Temperatures Properly

Measuring ocean temperature globally is harder than it sounds. But it is crucial to understanding climate, because most of the heat in the climate system [...]

A climate change paradox (part II)

Part I was posted in The antidote to 150 million quadrillion joules.This is the updated and revised calculation.

Michael Hammer previously calculated that if the IPCC were right, the oceans should have absorbed a lot more heat, but just how much? He has revised his previous calculation after discovering an error. Now instead of oceans missing as much as 90% of the heat capacity, they are missing less, but it’s still around two-thirds. Its a lot of energy that somehow, somewhere, is not being absorbed. Where is the energy that greenhouse gases are supposedly ‘trapping’? Not in the air, and not in the water. What sort of radiative imbalance is this? Not one to get scared of.

Naturally, as always, Michael is keen for people to check his numbers and give us feedback.

Here is another example of a skilled expert doing pro bono work because he is concerned at the state of the science and the unnecessary damage to our society that it will bring. Michael Hammer has around 20 patents in the field of spectroscopy, that means he’s produced work that’s so useful and original that his employers have shelled out hundreds of thousands of [...]

The antidote to 150 million quadrillion joules

Oceans are critical to proving that humans are having an impact on the climate.

The big scary number of the week is 15 × 1022 (or 150 million quadrillion). It’s the number of Joules the ocean has apparently heated by since 1961. But convert it to degrees per year and suddenly the big scary 15 × 1022 becomes three thousands of one degree per year. Unmeasurably small. So realists everywhere, lets check the math, and get ready to spread the word. Everywhere you see the ocean heat capacity argument or graph, let people know the numbers just don’t add up.

THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED SEE HERE FOR THE LATEST FIGURES.

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Ocean temperatures: the new bluff in alarmism

There are 2014 updates on this topic:

Ocean temperatures – Is that warming statistically significant? IPCC in denial. “Just-so” excuses use ocean heat to hide their failure.

There has been a change in direction by the alarmists, as shown by their new “Synthesis Report.” The independent scientists noticed it during the Wong-Fielding meeting.

The alarmists have abandoned air temperatures as a measure of global temperature, because the air temperature graphs are just too hard to argue with (like the second figure below, from the Skeptics Handbook). Instead they’ve switched to ocean temperatures, which they often disguise as ocean heat content (a huge number like 15×10²² Joules sounds much more scary than the warming it implies of 0.003° C/year).

All three pages of the Synthesis Report that deal with ‘evidence’ are about factors or trends that tell us nothing about whether or not the warming is due to carbon emissions. If God put the galaxy in a toaster, sea levels would rise, ocean heat content would increase, and ice would melt.

Notice how the graph above from the Synthesis Report that came out this month doesn’t include the last six years of data? Carrier pigeons from the remote worldwide [...]

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.

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Missing Climate Headlines from May 2009

Undoubtedly the best summary of the current state of affairs is the SPPI monthly CO2 report. The April report contains news that—if there was a free and high quality media—would have generated headlines like these (well, sort of—you get the idea).

Any investigative journalist who was doing their job only had to Google for the other side of the story. I’m not saying those journalists have to agree with us, just that, at the moment most environmental writers think ‘balanced’ means saying, “The world will cook: the question is, lightly toasted OR totally pan-fried’.

Here’s the counter summary of the headlines we didn’t see, accompanied by an analysis you probably won’t see anywhere else.

Planet Unmoved by IPCC Forecast

Despite the power of the authority vested in the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), The Planet appears to be unswayed by the large well funded international bureaucracy, and is similarly immune to following the collected wisdom of the software engineers who compress it’s 1100 billion cubic kilometers of complexity into a PC.

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