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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Jet streams playing havoc — bringing snow to Brazil

h/t Electroverse, WX Cycles:

“’I am 62 years old and had never seen the snow’: Brazilians revel in unusually cold weather” 


Watch the Antarctic cold burst reach up into South America. If only climate models could predict Jet Streams.

There are wandering jet streams at work, watch the video. We get some idea of how vast these weather systems are.

And yet it reminds me of a candle flame…

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Weekend Unthreaded

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Running out of time in the Holocene…

At some point, the ice sheets want their land back

We’re balanced at the end of a ten-thousand-year warm spike, in an ocean of ice-ages, reshaping our economy to try to stop a half a degree of warming.

 Lamplugh Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, United States

Those glaciers are coming…                                                             |    Photo by Diego Delso

The last million years have been whipsawing climate action. While modern Homo sapiens sees two degrees of warming as an apocalypse, for most of the last million years it would have been God’s gift to Pleistocene man.

Five Million years of Climate Change and sediment Cores. Paleoclimate, ice ages, Graph.


Ken Stewart compared the current interglacial with the last three, and found our favourite – the Holocene — has already run longer than all of last three did.*

Global Warming or Global Cooling: Keep an Eye on Greenland

Ken Stewart

There are several ways of identifying the start and end of interglacials.  I have chosen points when Antarctic temperatures first rise above zero and permanently fall below zero relative to 1999.  Graph 3 shows the length of time between these points for the previous three interglacials compared with the Holocene.

Vostok Ice Ages, Interglacials, Holocene. Length of. Graphed.

The Holocene has lasted longer than the previous three interglacials: and is colder.

The point where the green, black and purple lines end is when temperatures fell permanently below our current baseline temperature (1999 give or take a decade). We can also see just how tame the current interglacial has been — with all the others getting 2 – 3 blockbuster degrees hotter.

The key question is when does a little ice age become a Big One? Where’s the point of no return?

Possibly it’s the point when the Northern Hemisphere turns into a giant white mirror:

Many scientists think glacial periods start when summer insolation at 65 degrees North decreases enough so that winter snowfall is not completely melted and therefore year by year snow accumulates.  Eventually the area of snow (which has a high albedo i.e. reflects a lot of sunlight) is large enough to create a positive feedback, and this area becomes colder and larger.  Ice sheets form, and a glacial period begins.  This is a gradual process that may take hundreds of years.

Well before global temperatures decrease, the first sign of a coming glacial inception will be an increasing area of summer snow in north-eastern Canada, Baffin Island, and Greenland.

Despite fifty years of greenhouse gas production, snow on Greenland isn’t melting away in summer as much as it used too. If this trend continues, Ken calculates Greenland might be completely covered in snow all year round in just 45 years.

Greenland Minimum Snow Cover

It’s probably nothing…

But as Ken says, it’s only a short trend, and the Little Ice Age was colder but didn’t trip the albedo feedback loop and plunge us into a Big Ice Age, which was very convenient.  We probably have a few centuries yet.

More to the point though — if climate models actually understood the climate, we might know the answer. What are our governments doing about that? They’re working hard to make the planet cooler, which is probably the best thing they could do, since they’re so bad at it, they might unwittingly help.

If the start of the endless winter was 50 years off, would we even know or will we still be holding UN Conferences to stop the warming as the Ice sheets reach Ontario?

Thanks to Ken. Go and say hello at his blog. It’s great work.


*Inasmuch as water evaporating off then falling as snow at Vostok represents global temperatures.

Photo (top): Lamplugh Glacier, Glacier Bay National Park, Alaska, United States. By Deigo Delso

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Saved by a pyroclastic-winter? Man-made Mega wildfires cause climate cooling

Fire Australia, smoke cloud.


Who knew? Climate change causes horrible wildfires but these dump aerosols in the sky which causes cooling which will in theory, stop more bushfires. It’s another feedback loop the models got wrong.

One author even admits the models “have to take fires into account” — which is the same as saying that their robust settled science of the last thirty years was wrong.

It has all the hallmarks of high quality astrology. The science writing is full of colorful vagaries like “vast amounts of energy”, and “overwhelming evidence” without ever spelling them out. There is spooky inference: we “suspected the world might be witnessing something new”. And then there are the vague predictions: if we scale these fires up by (pick a number) we either set off a nuclear winter or we are turbo-charging climate change. That provides excuses for the next fail in any direction.

If only the ABC had real science reporters they could have asked real questions.

h/t Eric Worrall, WattsUpWithThat (and RicDre)

Super-outbreaks of fire thunderstorms could change Earth’s climate, Australian and US experts warn

          • Fire thunderstorms during Australia’s Black Summer released as much energy as about 2,000 Hiroshima-sized nuclear explosions
          • Clusters of fire thunderstorms may be powerful enough to change the climate, scientists say

Fire thunderstorms — which occur in pyrocumulonimbus clouds — not only create their own weather system but may also be powerful enough to actually change the climate, according to scientists from Australia and the United States.

A “super-outbreak” of fire thunderstorms — also known as pyroCb events — during Australia’s Black Summer fires of 2019-20 released the energy of about 2,000 Hiroshima-sized nuclear weapons, according to a study published recently in the journal Nature Climate and Atmospheric Science.

“The energy released was just vast,” said Rick McRae, somewhat innumerately, from the University of New South Wales.

The Hiroshima counting system sounds frightening, but every second the Sun dumps 2,700 Hiroshima bombs of energy on the Earth at the top of the atmosphere. So the entire Black Summer of bushfires in Australia produced less than one extra second’s worth of energy from sunlight on Earth.

Keep reading  →

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The battle worth fighting for: Let us and our doctors choose what medicine we take

Adriana Midori Takara,

Adriana Midori Takara,

Adriana Midori Takara was only 38 when she died of Covid in Australia last week. She instantly became a posterchild for the vaccine advertising campaign. But the true story may be something else entirely. Rebecca Weisser treads where few dare:  Adriana’s family tried to get her ivermectin, which may have have saved her, but even though they found a doctor willing to try, he was not allowed to.

The Guardian and MSN both report relatives saying she wanted but had been unable to get any vaccine.  But Rebecca Weisser reports that other journalists heard she was vaccinated, and asked whether she had a vaccine dose. The NSW authorities, who would surely be very interested in her vaccine status, won’t answer that question.

Meanwhile no one is turning the latest 44 and 48 year old victims of Astra-Zenica side-effects into posterchilds for anything. Where are their photos?

This is the battle worth fighting for.

The fastest way to stop lockdowns is by allowing every doctor and patient the choice to use cheap antivirals, not just limit their choices to drugs that earn their manufacturers $45billion dollars.  Ivermectin can be used prophylactically to prevent as many as 86% of infections. Vitamin D could also reduce the spread, the hospitalization and help get the state out of restrictions. At the very least, Vitamin D reduced intensive care by 80%. If cheap safe drugs reduced Covid infections by 10% they’d be worth it. The risks are so low.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian must be getting desperate (the people of NSW are). If ever there was a time, surely it’s now…

Chronicle of a Covid death foretold

Rebecca Weisser, The Spectator

Friends in the Brazilian community said that she had received her first jab just before she tested positive. Yet when a journalist told NSW chief health officer Kerry Chant that ‘Some people close to her are suggesting she had at least one dose of the vaccine,’ Chant replied that she’d have to check but she’d been advised that Adriana did not have any underlying health issues. It was an odd comment because Chant should be briefed on the vaccine status of every Covid victim since it is the first question that every journalist wants answered. Yet days later Chant has yet to confirm or deny Adriana’s vaccine status. It floats in the air like a spectral phantom.

Yet the shocking truth is that Adriana died not because she was unable to get a Pfizer vaccine if that is indeed what happened – Sydney is awash with AstraZeneca – she died because she was unable to access the life-saving early treatment that her family desperately sought to provide.

McCullough contacted the Covid Medical Network who are set up to provide this therapy to every person in Australia who tests positive. One of the doctors was appointed by the family but by then it was too late. Adriana had been hospitalised and could not have been saved even if her doctor had been allowed to treat, which he was not, disregarding the wishes of her next-of-kin. Yet her doctor is adamant that had she received treatment at diagnosis, she would be alive today.

At the same time vaccine injuries and deaths in the under-50s are mounting. According to official UK government data, there have already been 180 people under 50 who developed thrombosis with thrombocytopenia (TTS) after the AstraZeneca shot and 29 who died as well as 463 reports of myocarditis and pericarditis, mostly in the young. Yet this is only a handful of the more than a million adverse reports including nearly 1,500 deaths.

Doctors are legally allowed to prescribe ivermectin “off label” in Australia — Greg Hunt the Health Minister said so, but they need information and well informed, but determined patients.

Start with this one — the Big peer reviewed study: The Ivermectin Review: showing how it may prevent 86% of Covid cases. 

More background information below:

Keep reading  →

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Thursday Open Thread

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The Not so Clean Green Future: Germany uses 20% less wind, and (wow) 38% more coal

Coal is dead, an old relic, but Germany is burning a lot more coal

If the world cools and gets cloudier will renewables stall as margins become even less appealing? Will wandering jet streams interrupt reliable trade winds as the intersection of hot and cold air generates more clouds over solar panels?

German Wind Power Consumption Plummets 20% In First Half 2021… Coal Power Consumption Jumps 38%!

Pierre Gosselin

What would we do without coal?

The first half of 2021 saw a massive 20% drop in wind power consumption in Germany…while “coal power saw a renaissance.”

The reason for the steep drop, according to the findings, was due to unfavorable weather conditions.

The Germans ran out of wind both on and off shore. People stopped investing because the subsidies ran out and the populace insisted on not having the giant industrial plants in their backyard. Then the winds slowed (why didn’t their climate models see that coming?) Europe talked itself out of building gas plants in order to stop global warming, then got an extra cold winter, and they also run out of gas. So what was left was good old reliable brown lignite coal. The kind The Green really hate.

Photo German wind turbines, Emben. Emden, Germany by Gritte

Emden, Germany by Gritte


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Flash floods will be more common, say climate scientists right after flash floods happen

In the Great Pagan Tradition of neolithic fortune telling, modern climate witchdoctors predict everything right after it starts

Last year it was droughts and bushfires. This year its floods. If only the climate models worked, they could have warned the people of Europe, China and India that there would be rampant flooding before it happened.

Imagine a world where climate models worked and they could give people three months notice?

Dr Jess Neumann, a hydrologist at the University of Reading, said: “Flooding from intense summer rainfall is going happen more frequently. No city, town or village is immune to flooding and we all need to take hard action right now if we are to prevent impacts from getting worse in the future.”

As usual, to stop floods, the first recommendation is cutting greenhouse gas emissions. If only the UK had put in more windfarms, they might have avoided this flash flood in London!

They don’t mention how climate models have no skill in predicting rainfall, or low solar activity is associated with central European floods, and that Asian rainfall has been linked to solar activity for last 6000 years, or that 178 years of Australian rain has nothing to do with CO2.

Imagine if they wrote that in every flash flood story…

Sympathies to people in London, India, Russia and Myanmar.

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Tuesday Open Thread

* * *

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Get serious about Borders: The biggest failure in NSW was letting one limo driver get infected

NSW, New South Wales, Map, Australia.

UPDATE: New readers might find it hard to get their head around this post. Stick with me. There is a path to freedom from masks, mandatory vaccines and from Chinese bioweapons. But we must plan ahead and understand virology. Strangely, the tool no one wants to mention is Sovereign Borders.

*  *  *

There might have been no lockdown in Sydney (and then Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane)  if that one Limo driver had been protected

Nobody is talking about the best way to stop lockdowns in Australia — stop the virus leaking in through shoddy quarantine in the first place. “Hard Borders”.

Odds are, we could have stopped the July lockdowns if we made sure drivers of flight crews and international arrivals weren’t put at risk. It’s not about vaccines, which reduce but don’t stop people catching the virus, it’s about a $50 type solution that stops a billion dollar lockdown.  The economy of a city of five million (and indirectly the rest of the nation) is relying on just leaky vaccines, masks and hand sanitizer when there are so many better options.

So far, thanks to one leak, 2,227 people have been infected, 10 people have died, and currently 156 people are in hospital. (In NSW). Plus four city lockdowns.

Cheaper than lockdowns:

  1. Put a floor-to-ceiling air tight acrylic sheet between drivers and passengers in the limo’s and don’t recirculate the air.
  2. OR get limo drivers to wear a hazmat suit and a respirator.
  3. AND offer free prophylactic antivirals and Vitamin D to everyone working near travellers in quarantine and in hospitals. A big review shows Ivermectin may prevent 86% of infections.

It’s almost like we want that virus to leak?

Coronavirus structure

Image: Scientific Animations

No system is perfect, but we are not even trying

To stop feeding the virus new bodies we need a gap between people, and the easiest place to put that gap is at national borders. If that gap is breached then everything gets harder. Borders go up around each state, and if that fails, the borders go around each suburb or (really) around each house.   A hazmat suit is “a border” around each person. Hypothetically, if we all wore Hazmat suits we could go from a mass national outbreak to zero in a few weeks. (Obviously the logistics are harder than that sounds. Medico’s get training and disrobe with a vigilant onlooker so they don’t make mistakes. Then again, Officeworks sell coveralls for $3.50. 😉 OK, I’m stirring… )

Obviously, it’s worth spending a lot on National borders to avoid the bonfire of money that comes with household lockdowns. Yeah?

The Sydney leak affects the whole of Australia. It spread causing lockdowns in Victoria, Queensland and Western Australia*. The Victorian latest lockdown — while better and shorter — was a border failure too. It could have been avoided with a strong state border —  then the removalists wouldn’t have brought the virus in. National borders are much easier and cheaper to get right. But there are ways to improve state borders.  Trucks could even drop containers and trailers at the border, and new cabs and drivers could  finish the trip so all drivers stay in their home state. It’s harder with smaller trucks, but we can unload them and reload them. Sure it costs more, but is a few weeks of hard state borders cheaper than a two week state lockdown?

Covid, Coronavirus, Bioweapons.

For what it’s worth, the Limo driver did all he was supposed to, feels scapegoated and traumatized. He’s not even sure he caught the virus at work. He can’t return to work either now unless he gets the Astra Zenica vaccine, even though he’s had Covid recently and has a family history of clotting disorders. He wants the Pfizer vax and has tried to get it. NSW Health announced an update to the rules, which only amount to mandating vaccines and a mask. It’s like we want more infections to leak in?


We can’t shut the borders forever

It’s temporary. While this virus is mutating, and there are no good approved treatments and only an experimental emergency-use vaccine, the best economies and the healthiest ones are the ones that keep Chinese Bioweapons out. Even China is keeping Chinese Bioweapons out.

We’re buying time to watch the UK and Israeli experiments, and get data. Every month we learn more. Like that current vaccines only provide a few months of protection against catching and spreading the virus, though they appear to protect against severe disease (for now). We hope someone is collecting data on all the risks from the vaccine too (but it appears they are not). There are plenty of potential nasty surprises — like enhanced future infections (ADE), or long term autoimmune diseases. What if we vaccinate 90% of the population against the original covid variant only to find out that the antibodies it generates make reactions to the 2022 variant disease worse? That’s kinda bad to put it mildly, and hard to reverse. (Thanks and commiserations to friends in the UK, Israel and the USA for testing this out. We pray it works out well for you.)

We can’t get to zero

Maths (and Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane) shows we can. What goes up exponentially can go down exponentially. Get the R0 below one, and the borders shut, and zero is coming.  The lower the R0 (rate of spread), the shorter the lockdown. That’s why the worst lockdowns are the ones that keep the R0 near one and go on forever. Like Sydney at the moment.

We can’t keep doing lockdowns

That’s exactly why we must fix the borders. We need to build asap emergency good quarantine. The last likely CCP bioweapon leak appears to be working well for China. The next one is surely coming. What will stop it? If the West builds good quarantine and hard borders and the CCP know that no matter what they dish up, we will stop it at the border. All good Chinese bioweapons belong in China, and nowhere else.

How to make things easier for suffering border towns:

Instead of border towns getting hit with lockdowns in two states, let’s put the border checkpoint outside them to keep these twin towns as one unit and out of lockdown. The PM could ask the states to agree to a system where border towns would be temporarily assigned together, as one unit, to whichever state had the clean slate. For example, the Covid fence and checkpoint would go in north of Albury-Wodonga when the outbreak starts in Sydney, and south if the outbreak starts in Melbourne. For the duration of lockdowns, the border towns become a part of the other state’s health system.


*Did the Limo driver’s virus also cause the lockdowns in SA and NT? I’m open to suggestion…

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