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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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 […]

David Kear, former Director-General of NZ Scientific Research, says global warming is a non-existent threat


Dr David Kear

Climate Depot reports on a New Zealand geoscientist who has worked at the highest levels and has just released a detailed statement about why the threat of rising sea-levels has been blown out of all proportions, and “An ‘innocent gas, CO2, has been demonized and criminalized’”.

“The widespread obsession with Global-Warming-Climate-Change, in opposition to all factual evidence, is quite incredible.”

Kear laments the ‘Astronomical Cost of Major Measures to Combat a Non-Existent Threat’.

His scientific caliber: “Dr David Kear has a background in geology and engineering, becoming the Director General of the DSIR (Department of Scientific and Industrial Research) in 1980. He is a Fellow and Past Vice-President of the Royal Society of New Zealand, and Past President of the New Zealand Geological Society [which promises to catalogue his work here]. Dr Kear has over 100 publications on New Zealand and Pacific geology, vulcanology and mineral resources.” Apparently a foraminifera shell was named after him in 1962.

He has been in this for a very long time.

h/t to Ian for the link to Steven Goddard.

Six Grave Scientific Errors and the history of an absurd idea

Kear […]

Sea level rise has slowed. (It must be time to correct that data!)

Filed under the Semi-Satirical Press.

The Universe is surely conspiring against ecologicist scientists*. Their task is to convince the world that things are dire, and yet just as humans pump out more carbon dioxide pollution than ever before, many natural markers start behaving as if CO2 was having barely any effect at all. It’s all potentially so misleading.

A new paper by Cazenave et al 2014 digs deep to uncover the reasons for yet another unfortunate un-catastrophic trend change.

First, global surface temperatures stopped rising in the late 1990’s. Now, it’s become irrefutable that, for the last ten years, the rate of sea-level rise slowed by thirty percent. Seas were rising at 3.5mm a year up til 2003, then the rate fell to 2.2mm per year for the next eight years. This is exactly what ninety-eight percent of expert Global Climate Models did not predict. The slowing sea level rise is extra problematic because it forms the backbone of the excuse for the long pause in surface warming that wasn’t supposed to happen either. The fact that it coincided with the global pause in surface temperatures was no comfort at all. The missing heat, after all, must be […]

What the CSIRO State of the Climate report forgot to tell you

The CSIRO decided to leave out some information about the state of our climate in their State of the Climate Report CSIRO.

CSIRO published these “Fast Facts” in bold. I’m publishing the things they didn’t say, but could have, in points in between.

UPDATE: The CSIRO budget is $1.2 billion a year and the BOM’s is $300 m. Why is it left to unfunded volunteers to provide the full story?

Fast Facts from the CSIRO and BOM “Australia’s climate has warmed by 0.9°C since 1910, and the frequency of extreme weather has changed, with more extreme heat and fewer cool extremes.” The CSIRO-BOM team could have said: Scientifically, extreme weather measures are lousy indicators. They’re noisy and not very meaningful. They are however useful for getting newspaper headlines. It depends on what your aim is… Australia’s had extreme hot days for as long as we’ve been measuring the temperature. Charles Sturt recorded 53C in 1828 which seems fairly extreme. Thomas Mitchell did it too in 1845 and are many others (see the map below, check Trove, ask the BOM — no don’t ask the BOM). The records prior to 1910 seem to have gone down the memory hole, […]

Sea level rise slowed from 2004 – Deceleration, not acceleration as CO2 rises.

A new paper shows that sea levels rose faster in the ten years from 1993-2003 than they have since. Sea levels are still rising but the rate has slowed since 2004. This does not suggest that the missing energy from the atmosphere has snuck into the ocean, but rather that the oceans and the atmosphere were both warming faster in the 1990’s, then as coal power ramped up in China and billions of tons of CO2 was released, both the atmosphere and the ocean did not gain more energy per year, but less. That message again — something else appears to be the main driver the climate, not CO2.

Their highlights include:

The global mean sea level started decelerated rising since 2004. Deceleration is due to slowdown of ocean thermal expansion during last decade. Recent ENSO events introduce large uncertainty of long-term trend estimation.

This paper discusses and graphs total sea level rise, steric sea level rise and the global mean ocean mass. The Steric Sea Level is the part of the rise due to warming and salinity changes, so it best represents changes in ocean heat content. The total rise also includes water coming or going due to changes […]

Did an ice sheet collapse 120,000 years ago pushing sea levels up to 9m higher than today?

Proving that nature can outdo anything humans have done, a new paper shows that sea-levels off Western Australia may have risen as high as 9 m above the current level during the last warm period over a hundred thousand years ago. The authors (O’Leary et al) conclude that seas were 3-4 m higher for most of the last warm period (known as the Eemian) but towards the end of the period a large sudden rise occurred. They suggest that an ice shelf collapsed in Antarctica or Greenland or both, causing a 5m rise (17 feet).

The point of the paper was this double spiked shape of the sea level rise during the last warm interglacial known as the Eemian.

The Age interviewed O’Leary who said “he was confident that the 17-foot jump happened in less than a thousand years – how much less, he cannot be sure.”

Figure 3 j Relative sea-level curve for Western Australia. Ageomorphically defined palaeoMSL datum of C2:5m 120 kyr ago (Fig. 1c) anchors a predicted relative sea-level curve at Red Bluff, which includes a GIA signal based on the test calculation (see Methods) plus the following ESL history: ESL jumps from 0 to 3.4m […]

Five or more failed experiments in measuring Global Sea Level: Willie Soon

Willie Soon has some fun with the sea-level debate, going back to William the Conqueror, and landmarks in England.

Are sea-levels “accelerating”? Can the satellites resolve sea-level to 1mm changes a year? Why is the raw data so different?

I think the strongest point is the one Nils Axel Morner has made about the extraordinary adjustments in the raw satellite data, which Willie Soon refers too soon after the 20 minute mark.

Willie is always a rapid fire presenter, getting a good response from the audience…

I’d like to know more about Pevensey Castle (7 mins). It was built in 300AD or so, and at the time was a Roman Fort. The sea surrounded it on three sides, now it is 1.5km from the sea. William the Conqueror landed there (or close to it) in 1066. Apparently the water was so high, they used to toss prisoners over the wall and the tide would take their bodies away. Now it is high and dry. Apparently the marshes around the castle have also been actively reclaimed as the land was so valuable. Obviously there are several factors at work. [Google images show how far the sea is now.]


Cherry-picking sea level rises in Perth (a city which happens to be sinking)

“Gale Force” cherries coming your way…

Two weeks ago, it was all over the news. The ocean near Perth (where I live) was rising at the terrifying rate of 9-10mm per year since 1993, which was, shockingly, “three times the global average”. (Since Perth is flatter than flat, at this rate, in a few years everything bar Kings Park and a few sky-scrapers would be washed away). The myth started because a government department that knows a lot about our roads, trains, and buses wrote a dot point in a Fact Sheet. That was the State of Australian Cities report, and a pollie (Albanese) raved. Then the West Australian newspaper headlined it, and it all got out of hand.

In contrast, Chris Gillham got the raw data (something you’d think The Department of Infrastructure might have thought of), and shows below why its nonsense on stilts. The rate is not measured from when records began, but from 1993, which (surely it’s just a coincidence) also happens to be the lowest level in local tide gauges since 1941. (See that second last “dip” near the right-end in the graph below?) If they’d started the “rate” from the year 1999, the headlines […]

Are sea-levels rising? Nils-Axel Mörner documents a decided lack of rising seas

We’ve all heard the dire prophesies: Rising seas will reshape the world’s coastlines, a one meter rise will inundate 7000 sq mi of dry land, and cost over $100 billion in the United States alone. Worse, we thought things were bad before, but now it’s even rising faster than we predicted. (“We” being the unvalidated computer simulations, and “rising”, as it turns out, being one interpretation of some highly adjusted, carefully selected data, all possibly “corrected” by one outlying tide gauge in Hong Kong).

Nils-Axel Mörner is here to point out that the raw satellite data shows barely any rise, and furthermore, the observations from places all over, like the Maldives, Suriname, Tuvalu, India, Bangladesh, Venice, and Germany show not much either. It’s close enough to zero to call it “nothing”. Oh.

But that’s only spots from The Atlantic, The Pacific and The Indian… there are other oceans. 😉

As we graphed before with Frank Lansner, most of the current “rise” is due to man-made adjustments, not man-made emissions. According to Mörner, it’s not that the sea levels are rising less than expected, it’s more like they aren’t rising much at all, and haven’t been for years . — Jo


Australian sea levels have been falling for 7000 years

It’s hard to measure sea levels, because land often moves up and down too (which is known as “isostatic“). But Australia is stable tectonically, so the Australian sea-level record is more useful than most. It preserves the holocene era and the rises and falls, and correspond more with glacio-eustatic (ice equivalent) sea-level changes, rather than changes in land masses.

During the coldest days of the last ice age (known as a glacial maximum) 20,000 years ago, the oceans were 125m lower than today. They peaked at around 1 -2 meters higher than present between 9000 and 5000 years ago, and have been trending down ever since. Our current rate of 30cm/century (if that continues) hardly seems unprecedented or highly unusual. And 10% of that is apparently due to an isostatic “adjustment”. Worse, if you look at the raw data, the rate is closer to zero. Hmm. Lucky we have all those adjustments eh?

If Australian sea levels keep falling at this rate, we might really need to save That Reef.

Clearly there are many details yet to be worked out about sea-levels.

That phenomenal rise out of the ice age:


WA and NSW coastlines are considered the […]