JoNova

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


Handbooks


Advertising


Australian Speakers Agency



GoldNerds

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



Archives

Books

Mystery solved: Rain means satellite and surface temps are different. Climate models didn’t predict this…

A funny thing happens when you line up satellite and surface temperatures over Australia. A lot of the time they are very close, but some years the surface records from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) are cooler by a full half a degree than the UAH satellite readings. Before anyone yells “adjustments”, this appears to be a real difference of instruments, but solving this mystery turns up a rather major flaw in climate models.

Bill Kininmonth wondered if those cooler-BOM years were also wetter years when more rain fell. So Tom Quirk got the rainfall data and discovered that rainfall in Australia has a large effect on the temperatures recorded by the sensors five feet off the ground. This is what Bill Johnston has shown at individual stations. Damp soil around the Stevenson screens takes more heat to evaporate and keeps maximums lower. In this new work Quirk has looked at the effect right across the country and the years when the satellite estimates diverge from the ground thermometers are indeed the wetter years. Furthermore, it can take up to six months to dry out the ground after a major wet period and for the [...]

Tim Flannery in 2007: after a two month crash course in climate change, the man was a prophet

Tim Flannery, 2004, The West Australian.

Flannery will be on Q&A tonight (bet you can’t wait, copy your questions and tweets below please!). Let’s check the exact wording of his original 2004 prediction that Perth would become a ghost town. It tells us something, not just about Flannery and a messiah complex (he really does talk of himself as an old testament prophet), but about journalism. Back then journalists interviewed critics too. Flannery was even called “alarmist” in 2004.

The original story had the calm headline: “Perth Will Die, says Top Scientist”. That article has gone beyond the space time continuum, but thankfully, it was preserved by the Wayback Machine.

Perth will become a ghost city within decades as rising global temperatures turn the Wheatbelt into a desert and drive species to the brink of extinction, a leading Australian scientist warns.

–Carmelo Amalfi, The West Australian

Perth in 2018, is wet, cool and productive and 30% larger:

Dams are at their equal highest level at the end of summer since 2002, and Perth has 67 billion litres more than any year of the last seven. The desert seems to be shrinking, arid regions [...]

Climate change creates free real estate in Tuvalu: “climate refugees” can all go home

The Green Blob is going to have to get rid of satellites. Real data is so inconvenient.

For years many people called scientists have assumed, like any smart 5 year old would, that islands are fixed blobs of rock and sand that just sit there and sink as oceans rise. Now satellite images show that three quarters of the islands in Tuvalu are growing rather than shrinking.

Total land area is up 2.9%. Total government funded scientists who predicted reality, down 97%.

Since our emissions helped create nearly a square kilometer of free real estate in Tuvalu, it seems only fair that they return any climate funds, and pay a royalty.

The whole of Tuvalu is 26km2 and about 10,600 people live there. Total GDP is $32 million. It’s a cheap marketing tool. In May last year, despite Tuvalu being used as an advertising posterchild for climate change for years, it had not received funding from the Green Climate Fund. In August 2017 UNDP finally promised $38 million. That’s theoretically an extra income equivalent to 20% of their GDP for the next seven years. No wonder these islanders are keen to talk “climate change”.

Scientists who have [...]

Perth plan to become ghost town delayed, with average rain and dams highest in 8 years

South West WA and Perth have been the Australian posterchild for Water-Panic for years.

We were destined to be an abandoned ghost town with worthless property:

Perth is set to become the world’s first ‘Ghost City’ according to a long-term weather forecaster and a news anchor. “I’m reading here that unless drastic action is taken, Perth could become the world’s first ghost city – a modern metropolis abandoned by the 1.7 million people there for lack of water,” she said.

Tim Flannery started the Ghost Town scare in 2004. He felt the best way to fill WA dams was to vote for emissions reductions.

As I write, the remnants of a small cyclone are raining down on us in midsummer, which the ABC earlier warned was a “deluge” dropping “three months of rain”. What they don’t mention is that, even before this “downpour” (of 90 mm or 4 inches so far), Perth Dams already have 35% more water than at the same time last year, and an extra 69 gigalitres of the precious wet stuff.  We have more water than we’ve had since 2009, and more is on the way.

WA Water corporation data shows Perth Dams have [...]

Carbon pollution rises and the world gets less windy…

Wind speeds have slowed since the sixties

God is playing a joke on wind investors:

The stilling: global wind speeds slowing since 1960

Known as ‘stilling’, it has only been discovered in the last decade. And while it may sound deceptively calm, it could be a vital, missing piece of the climate change puzzle and a serious threat to our societies.

While 0.5 kilometre per hour might barely seem enough to ruffle any feathers, he warns that prolonged stilling will have serious impacts.

‘There are serious implications of wind changes in areas like agriculture and hydrology, basically because of the influence of wind on evaporation,’ said Dr Azorin-Molina. ‘A declining trend in wind speed can impact long-term power generation, and weaker winds can also mean less dispersion of pollutants in big cities, exacerbating air quality problems and therefore impacting human health.’

Here’s a rare concept in science these days: Dr Azorin-Molina isn’t sure if this is natural or man-made. No doubt, climate modelers will coming up with the answer they didn’t predict, post hoc, any day now…

In idyll speculation, researchers wondered if perhaps humans built too many obstacles (which seems hard to believe [...]

Five years after rain returns, climate modelers redo models and “predict” more, less, some, different or same rain

The same modelers were predicting drought and letting their friends nail their reputation to statements about how the dams would never fill, and Perth would be a ghost town. When Australia wasted billions on desal, they said nothing about the “extreme rain” coming. Then the endless drought broke, the rains returned, and now, years later, they’ve rejigged and tweaked their skillless models and put forward ambiguous, vague, yes-no-maybe, scare-scare-scary predictions that could have come from a tarot card reader.

Get ready for the full genius of expert modelling:

“There is no chance that rainfall in Australia will remain the same as the climate warms,” said an author of the paper UNSW Professor Steve Sherwood.

“The only way that this intensification of extreme rainfall falls at the lower end of the scale is if the continent becomes drier overall. The long and the short of it is that with 2°C of global warming Australia is stuck with either more aridity, much heavier extreme rains, or some combination of the two,” said Sherwood, from UNSW’s Climate Change Research Centre.

 – A hard rain to fall in Australia, Phys org.

Other, less astrological climate researchers have found [...]

In 2009: Warming would stop 2020 Olympics. Now disaster moved to 2084

In 2009: The 2016 Rio Games predicted be the last

Global warming could make 2016 Games ‘the last Olympics in the history of mankind’, says Tokyo governor.

“Global warming is getting worse. We have to come up with measures without which Olympic Games could not last long.

“Scientists have said we have passed the point of no return,” said Ishihara.

August 2016: The 2080 Games predicted to be the last

Move that disaster by 60 years:

“A sobering new study shows that by the 2084 Olympics, rising temperatures will make it practically impossible for most cities to host the summer games.

How will the Olympics cope with a 1.5C rise?

Answer, easily. Assuming the world warms, the IOC could shift games a whole 400km from Rio, where the average max is 28C in August to  Sao Paulo where it’s 3 degrees cooler. Or they could shift the timing by all of eight weeks. If Moscow held the Olympics in September instead of July the event could survive an apocalyptic nine degree future rise. (Moscow in July has a 24C average max temperature, by September that has fallen to 15C average.)

The government [...]

New satellite analysis fails to find the hot spot, agrees with millions of weather balloons

Here I go, harping on about the missing hot spot again.

Roy Spencer has been hunting for the famous missing hot spot (like half the climate world) but he’s been looking in the UAH satellite temperature data. Last week Sherwood et al claimed they finally found it (again!) in an iteratively reiterated homogenized and adjusted version of radiosondes. Spencer was not impressed with the black box statistics approach. As I pointed out here, the Sherwood results was adjusted so much it did not look like the original data, and they somehow found the hotspot by adding in data from years when a hot spot shouldn’t occur. They mushed the data to fit one part of their model, but it broke in other parts.

Roy Spencer has used new methods to improve the satellite signal of the hot spot, and is “increasingly convinced” the all important mysterious hot spot is really not there, which fits with 28 million weather balloons and humidity data too.  Satellites are not particularly good at finding the hot spot because it is a very thin layer over the tropics and satellites peering down from on high find it difficult to measure signals from 10km up 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

[...]

Sea level rise was less than thought (skeptics were right)

Skeptics, and particularly Nils-Axel Mörner have been saying that sea level rise, as recorded by tide gauges has been much slower than widely advertised. They’ve also pointed out how the rates of sea-level rise have either stayed the same or slowed down. There’s been no sign of the acceleration needed for the wildly speculative  hypothesis that your SUV, and China’s coal plants are warming the ocean.

This week a new Nature paper (Hay et al) shows the skeptics were right  — but did that view make it to any news broadcast?

Watch the sea-level scare mutate

Even in The Australian the spin from the propaganda machine gets a running, and the previous slow rise is used to pump the scare that the modern “acceleration” is even scarier. What the Australian (and selected sea level “experts”) don’t mention is that the tide-gauges don’t show any acceleration, and nor did the raw recordings from satellites. The 3mm rising sea claims apparently come from satellites that were calibrated to one subsiding tide gauge in Hong Kong.

It’s cherry picking par excellence. We might finally accept tide gauges up to 1990, but after that the tide gauges don’t count — bring in the “adjusted” [...]

Only three days left to save The Earth

Prof Penny Sackett, Herald Sun December 04, 2009

We’ve got 5 years to save world says Australia’s chief scientist Professor Penny Sackett

THE planet has just five years to avoid disastrous global warming, says the Federal Government’s chief scientist. Prof Penny Sackett yesterday urged all Australians to reduce their carbon footprint.

The professor said even if all the world stopped producing carbon dioxide immediately, temperature increases of 1.3C were unavoidable.

Asked to explain data that showed the earth had been cooling in recent years, the trained astrophysicist acknowledged air temperatures had leveled during the La Nina weather pattern, now nearing an end.”

Disastrous Global Warming will be locked in by Thursday I would say. Start packing the bunker.

West Antarctica: more evidence it was the volcanoes that melted the ice

As I’ve repeatedly posted this year, there is a strange coincidence between geothermal activity and warming in Antarctica. We are still discovering volcanoes underwater, so we can’t pretend we have accurate data on their contribution in joules or the trends in that. On Antarctica almost all the headlines of doom and collapse come from West Antarctic peninsula or the ice sheet nearby which also happen to be over the West Antarctic Rift System. Most other places in and around Antarctica are cooling or staying the same, and sea ice is hitting record levels. “Must be CO2 then.” ; -)

Damiani et al looked at the crustal thickness beneath Thwaites Glacier, and finds it is quite thin, like that beneath the Pine Island Glacier. The researchers conclude that it is likely there is a major volcanic dome in Marie Byrd Land.[1]

Spot any media mention of the possibility that hot lava might be to blame instead of your SUV.[2]  Good little propaganda writers produce plenty of gloom and doom headlines of the imminent collapse of ice-sheets. Where are the journalists? For that matter — which climate scientist tries to make sure journalists present an accurate report?

h/t The HockeySchtick

..

[...]

Global sea level rise a bit more than 1mm a year for last 50 years, no acceleration

Here’s a novel approach. Beenstock et al  wondered if tide gauges were placed in any old spot around the world or were biased toward area where sea-level did more rising. They compared the location of tide gauges in the year 2000 to sea level rises and falls as measured by satellite altimetry. It turns out the placement seems to be independent (meaning anywhere). This is pretty important because the infernally tough thing about measuring sea levels is whether the land is subsiding or rising at the same time, and how to correct for that. If tide gauges are spread evenly (or quasi-randomly), it means we could average the lot instead of trying to correct and reconstruct each one individually. So that’s what they did – average (they did not reconstruct).

The consensus estimate is that sea-levels are rising by 2mm a year (and 3mm lately, with adjusted satellite data). Beenstock et al used 1,000 tide gauges and found global sea level rise was  more like 1mm a year (very similar to the rise Nils Axel Morner found on that stable spot in Denmark). The conclusion is that sea level is rising slowly at 1mm a year, and that it hasn’t [...]

The miracle gas that causes everything and nothing

In the true spirit of satire Steve Hunter manages to pretty much expose the grand flaw.

Thanks to Steve Hunter

Credit Steve Hunter illustrations

Man-made global warming is unfalsifiable.

Scientists make predictions and test them. Only unskeptical scientists ignore the failures.

Flannery has missed a few. Bolt has a copy of Flannery’s Dam Predictions. For the record.

For your entertainment, the list of things that global warming can cause has been collected by NumberWatch:

A list of things caused by global warming

A snippet from I – K:

 … indigestion, industry threatened, infectious diseases,  inflation in China, insect explosion, insect invasion, insurance premium rises, Inuit displacement, Inuit poisoned, Inuit suing, invasion of alien worms, invasion of Antarctic aliens,  invasion of Asian carp, invasion of cane toads, invasion of caterpillars,  invasion of cats,  invasion of crabgrass, invasion of herons, invasion of jellyfish, invasion of king crabs, invasion of lampreys, invasion of midges, invasion of pine beetles, invasion of rats (China), invasion of slugs,  island disappears, islands sinking, Italy robbed of pasta, itchier poison ivy, Japan’s cherry blossom threatened,  jellyfish explosion, jets fall from sky,  Kew Gardens taxed, kidney stones, killer cornflakes, killing us, kitten boom, [...]

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 [...]