Sanity check: Chief Scientist’s prophecy worthy of Tim Flannery

And that’s not a compliment, by the way.

The IPA newsletter this afternoon dredged up this story which was reported early in ACM’s life:


Crystal ball cracked?

Well we are only five and a bit months away from December 2014 by which time it would be ‘too late’, but what has happened to global temperatures in the last five years? Pretty much nothing. Despite CO2 levels increasing significantly. Even if we had reduced our emissions to zero on 4 December 2009, the difference it would have made to global temperatures would have been too small to measure – by several orders of magnitude.

That she could have been Australia’s Chief Scientist is mind-blowing. Further from the cool level-headed academic dispassionately reviewing data she could hardly be.

There will be plenty more of these duff predictions proven woefully inaccurate, each one a nail in the coffin of climate change alarmism.

Catalyst’s catastrophism

In cinemas now!

In cinemas now!

Catalyst is supposed to be a science programme, but ends up looking more like a low-budget disaster movie.

Last night’s episode was a case in point:

… But fire is changing. Over the past decade, every forested continent has seen an alarming surge in large, uncontrollable fires. [pause for dramatic effect] Mega-fires.

Prof David Bowman
The sort of metaphoric equivalent of an atomic bomb, that’s what a mega fire is, it’s muscular, it’s mean, it’s big, it’s aggressive.

Prof Tom Swetnam
Really fast burning fires. And their local intensity is just amazing.… these are extraordinary fire events.

So extraordinary, they demolish the very ecosystems that have thrived with fire for millennia.

[Read more…]

‘Angry Summer’ gives way to ‘Abnormal Autumn’

Chief Alarmist

Chief Alarmist

I wonder if the propagandists, sorry, er ‘scientists’, at the Climate Council sit around all day thinking of these cheesy monikers?

According to head agitprop generator Will Steffen, the climate is in a foul mood. No, really:

The climate system is in a foul mood. From “angry summer” to “abnormal autumn” – we’re running out of words to describe the relentless extreme weather that Australia is experiencing as global temperatures continue to increase because of climate change. Now the exceptional heat has carried on into the autumn of 2014 in Australia.

What we are witnessing here is the final crazy rantings of a scare that is in its death throes. Nobody is listening any more and we have to scream, shout and throw tantrums to get any attention.

Yes, we have had a warm start to Autumn, but other parts of the globe are colder than average, meaning, surprisingly, that global temperatures have still barely changed since 2001. As for the climate being in a ‘foul mood’, the weather outside today is a beautiful Autumn day, thanks very much. The only ones in a foul mood are the hysterical alarmists who aren’t getting their way any more.

That won’t stop them, however. We will no doubt have Wild Winter, Stormy Spring, Sweltering Summer… all thanks to our crazy catastrophist climatologists.

Lindzen, Christy and Curry appointed to APS climate statement review panel

Realistic at last?

Realistic at last?

That faint noise you can hear in the distance is the sound of John Cook’s and Dana Nuccitelli’s heads popping.

The American Physical Society, which previously issued a highly alarmist statement regarding climate change, is to review it, and has appointed three climate realists to the panel of six. The news release states:

Preparations are under way by the APS Panel on Public Affairs (POPA) to review and possibly update the society’s statement on climate change. In the coming months, the APS membership will have a chance to weigh in on any proposed revisions before the society adopts a final draft.

“We intend to keep the membership informed at every stage in this process,” said Robert Jaffe a physicist at MIT and Chair of POPA. “We’re quite eager to make sure that the revision of the climate change statement is done in the most open and orderly way.”

The subcommittee of POPA that is conducting the review posted its background and research materials to the APS website, along with its charge. The research materials include the transcripts of the subcommittee’s January workshop, biographical information on outside climate experts who participated in the workshop, and their slide presentations. These materials are now available online.

The APS recognises that Richard Lindzen, John Christy and Judith Curry have a great deal to contribute to the climate debate. How long will the headbangers at Un-Skeptical Pseudo-Science continue to refer to them as ‘climate misinformers’ (i.e. people we disagree with)? Or perhaps they will simply add the APS to the list instead…! Nothing would surprise me.

Tony Thomas at Quadrant Online has much more here.

Climate apathy ‘a cause for celebration’

Climate sense

Climate sense

Brendan O’Neill, writing in the UK Telegraph makes the valid point that environmentalism is diametrically opposed to the ordinary human desires for wealth, health and happiness, and the rejection by the public at large of climate hysteria and alarmism is worthy of celebration:

But has the public really tuned out from eco matters because it doesn’t understand them, because it is perplexed by “expert discourse”? I don’t think so. I think the reason people are switching off from the enviro-agenda is because they disagree with it. They just don’t buy the idea that capping carbon emissions is the most important thing in the world, more important than growing the economy, increasing wealth, and being free to choose to live in a big house with the heaters permanently switched on and Tesco just a short 4×4 drive away. They see the mean-minded, sacrifice-demanding politics of being green as a challenge to the thing that has motored human communities for millennia – the desire to create a world of plenty, an overflowing “land of milk and honey”, a utopia filled with stuff and comfort – and they don’t like it.

Environmentalism is, by its own admission, a campaign against the public and our historic desire for more things and freedom. George Monbiot has stated this baldly. Environmentalism is “a campaign not for abundance but for austerity”, he says. “It is a campaign not for more freedom but for less… it is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves.” And that is precisely how most people experience environmentalism – as an extraordinarily elitist drive to reprimand and possibly even punish the people for daring to want more; as a top-down, hectoring effort to make us acclimatise to austerity and give up on that age-old dream of a “great production that will supply all, and more than all the people can consume” (Sylvia Pankhurst). If environmentalism is a “campaign against people”, then it makes perfect sense that the people bristle at it, even hate it and deny its “truths”. (source)

And just to be clear, this does not mean ‘denying’ the existence of climate change, or the contribution that man has made to it. It is about denying the environmentalists the free rein they desire to dictate the response.

Bondi shock: Fewer big waves due to climate change

Surfing at Bondi, circa 2100

Surfing at Bondi, circa 2100

UPDATE: The paper actually predicts less storminess, which is in direct contradiction to what is generally assumed will result from AGW.

Almost as iconic as the koala (threatened by climate change) is the surfing at Bondi, which is, er, threatened by climate change:

Bondi Beach surfers warned of fewer big waves due to climate change

Surfers in eastern Australia have been warned that large waves could become less frequent, as the number of days with waves of 12 feet or more will drop by up to 40 per cent by the end of the century.

Researchers have warned surfers along Australia’s east coast that the days of big waves are set to end, with climate change expected to cause a severe drop in the frequency of large ocean waves.

The study, published in Nature Climate Change, found the number of days with large waves of 12 feet or more on Australia’s east coast will drop by up to 40 per cent by the end of the century and about by 20 per cent over the next 30 years. The findings were based on measurements from five buoys in deep ocean waters located about four to eight miles off the coast of the state of New South Wales. These measurements were collated with storm data collected from the atmosphere.

“Results are remarkably consistent between different [climate models], allowing anthropogenic influences to be clearly demonstrated, with fewer days with large waves expected to occur in eastern Australia due to increasing greenhouse gas concentrations,” the study says. (source)

So there you have it, in black and white. I reckon a new (naturally occurring) ice age might have a similar effect, given sea levels would drop by hundreds of metres, and there isn’t much we can do about that either.

The abstract is here (if you really want to read it).

Yet another excuse for The Pause

Age-old excuses

Age-old excuses

UPDATE: One of the other ABC reports (and there are plenty) leaves no room for any doubt:

Stronger than normal trade winds in the central Pacific are the main cause of a 13-year halt in global surface temperatures increases, an Australian study reveals.

Note: “are” the main cause. Not might be, or perhaps, but “are.” And if that weren’t enough, we have a D-word alert:

The authors reject the study gives impetus to climate change deniers and instead suggest that when the winds ease, global warming will accelerate rapidly.

The ABC really is a piece of shite.

The ABC breathlessly reports that a well-known warmist has worked out yet another reason for The Pause, and another factor that the climate models apparently didn’t know about.

Matthew England of the University of New South Wales (see here and here, for example of his impartiality on the matter) proposes a variation on the ‘Dog Ate my Warming’ excuse, accepted uncritically as usual by the ABC:

Scientists have come up with an explanation for the pause in global warming, which has long been a point of contention raised by climate change sceptics.

Over the past 15 years the rate of global warming has slowed – and more recently almost stalled.

Sceptics say the slowdown suggests warming is not as bad as first thought, while most climate scientists say it is just a natural climate variability.

Now an Australian-led team of researchers has found strong winds in the Pacific Ocean are most likely to be behind the hiatus.

The University of New South Wales (UNSW) researcher Matthew England said oceans were much more dominant in terms of their heat uptake.

“Obviously we have implications of that such as sea level rise,” Professor England said.

Professor England led a team of researchers from around the world that has come up with an explanation for why the oceans soak up the heat.

Their research, published in the journal Nature Climate Change, has found the answer lies in stronger than usual trade winds whipping across the Pacific Ocean.

It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below.

“The phase we’re in of accelerated trade winds particularly lasts a couple of decades,” Professor England said.

“We’re about 12 to 13 years in to the most accelerated part of the wind field.

“It’s important to point out there’s a cycle we expect to reverse and when they do reverse back to their normal levels we’d expect global warming to kick in and start to rise.” (source)

Note how the day of reckoning, when warming is set to resume, has been pushed out to some unspecified point in the future. Personally, I think it’s the Flying Spaghetti Monster that’s tinkering with the climate, reaching out with his noodly appendage to fool the warmists… no more ridiculous than the above, I would say.

Add it to the list.

Australia warming at just 0.1C per decade, despite 2013 being “hottest year”

Catastrophic warming?

Catastrophic warming? Click to enlarge

The ABC/Fairfax media axis has been hard at work plugging the “hottest year on record” meme, my response to which is, so what?

The planet has been warming slowly since the Little Ice Age, and so it is hardly surprising that this decade is warmer than the last, and that individual years in the recent past are likely to be warmer than earlier years as well.

But to read the breathless reporting of this fact on the ABC and the Bureau of Meteorology websites, you would think that this is something shocking. The ABC:

Australia has just sweltered through its hottest year on record, according to the Bureau of Meteorology. Average temperatures were 1.20 degrees Celsius above the long-term average of 21.8C, breaking the previous record set in 2005 by 0.17C, the bureau said in its Annual Climate Statement.

All states and territories recorded above average temperatures in 2013, with Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia all breaking annual average temperature records. And every month of 2013 had national average temperatures at least 0.5C above normal, according to the statement.

The country recorded its hottest day on January 7 – a month which also saw the hottest week and hottest month since records began in 1910. A new record was set for the number of consecutive days the national average temperature exceeded 39C – seven days between January 2 and 8, 2013, almost doubling the previous record of four consecutive days in 1973.

The highest temperature recorded during 2013 was 49.6C at Moomba in South Australia on January 12, which was the highest temperature in Australia since 1998. Further, with mean temperatures across Australia generally well above average since September 2012, long periods of warmer-than-average days have been common, with a distinct lack of cold weather, the statement says. (source)

The BoM’s Annual Climate Statement is a picture of alarmism, with scary graphics implicitly linking every weather event during the year to man-made climate change.

Yes, 2013 was warm in Australia, but 2010, 2011 and 2012 were cooler – it’s what the climate does.

Despite all the hyperventilating, the BoM’s own data show a temperature increase of only 0.1C per decade since 1979, equating to a 1C increase over a century. In the same period, atmospheric CO2 has increased by 18%, from 340ppm to 400ppm. UAH data for the same period actually shows slightly larger warming of 0.16C (data here in the AUST column).

With the Sherwood paper predicting increases of 4C by 2100, the rate of warming would have to more than quadruple (to 0.44C/decade) to reach that level. And how likely is that?

What would you do if all your models overestimated warming and a ship investigating Antarctic climate change was stuck in ice?

That's the only consensus there is…

That’s the only consensus there is…

You’ve guessed it – come up with a new model which increases warming still further! As the Fairfax/Guardian/ABC media axis reports:

Climate change models underestimate likely temperature rise, report shows

Forecasts predicting less global warming fail to properly take into account cloud formation, say scientists.

The Earth’s climate is far more sensitive to carbon dioxide emissions than previously thought, heightening the likelihood of a 4C temperature rise by 2100, new Australian-led research of cloud systems has found.

The study, published in Nature, provides new understanding on the role of cloud formation in climate sensitivity – one of the key uncertainties in predictions of climate change.

Report authors Steven Sherwood, Sandrine Bony and Jean-Louis Dufresne found climate models which show a low global temperature response to CO2 emissions do not factor in all the water vapour released into the atmosphere.

As you can see from the graphic, the models are already overestimating warming. Sherwood, who is an Australian from the University of New South Wales (the shame, the shame…), said:

“Climate sceptics like to criticise climate models for getting things wrong, and we are the first to admit they are not perfect, but what we are finding is that the mistakes are being made by those models which predict less warming, not those that predict more.”

I’m having trouble seeing which of those models are predicting less warming that that which we have actually had in the last 15 years, since all of them comfortably exceed the satellite record. Wait, I forgot. Atmospheric temperatures don’t matter any more (despite being the most important measure of global temperature for centuries), having been replaced by the missing “ocean heat” – i.e. the “dog ate my warming” theory.

And ACM’s least favourite alarmist, David Karoly, gets hot under the collar (again) because Maurice Newman blamed manufacturing decline on “climate madness”:

From the UN down, the climate change delusion is a gigantic money tree. It is a tyranny that, despite its pretensions, favours the rich and politically powerful at the expense of the poor and powerless. But the madness of the crowds is waning and, as Mackay writes of the perpetrators: “Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.” We can only hope it comes before most of us descend into serfdom.

P.S. You can keep up with all the MV Akademik Shokalskiy hilarity at WUWT.

[Update 2 Jan: post title corrected]

Bush fires not a result of climate change

Natural processes?

Natural processes?

Some common sense from the normally moonbat state of California, in an analysis that would apply equally well in Australia:

For purposes of analysis, the history of wildfire in California can be loosely categorized into pre-European settlement fire regimes and post-European settlement fire regimes, especially the last fifty years where rigorous fire suppression efforts have been undertaken.

Natural fire regimes that existed prior to European settlement in California (pre-1700) involved a wide range of fire frequencies and effects on ecosystems; roughly one-third of the State supported frequent fire regimes of 35 years or less. Some areas likely burned on an almost annual basis. Pre-European settlement fire patterns resulted in many millions of acres burning each year, with fire acting as a major ecological force maintaining ecosystem vigor and ranges in habitat conditions. The pre-settlement period is often viewed as the period under which the “natural” fire regime standard for assessing the ecological role of fire developed.

In the suppression (modern) era, statewide fire frequency is much lower than before the period of European settlement. Between 1950 and 2008, California averaged 320,000 acres burned annually, only a fraction of the several millions of acres that burned under the pre-settlement regimes. Land uses such as agriculture and urbanization have reduced the amount of burnable landscape, and most wildland fires are effectively suppressed to protect resources, commodities, and people.

Before the twentieth century, many forests within California were generally open and park like due to the thinning effects of recurrent fire. Decades of fire suppression and other forest management have left a legacy of increased fuel loads and ecosystems dense with an understory of shade-tolerant, late-succession plant species. The widespread level of dangerous fuel conditions is a result of highly productive vegetative systems accumulating fuels and/or reductions in fire frequency from fire suppression. In the absence of fire, these plant communities accrue biomass, and alter the arrangement of it in ways that significantly increase fuel availability and expected fire intensity. (link – PDF)

Paul Homewood (h/t) summarises thus:

  • Large and frequent wildfires were the norm before European settlement.
  • Regular wildfires provide an essential ecological function and increase forest health and diversity.
  • Acreage burnt reduced drastically during the 20thC, as fire suppression methods took effect.
  • This fire suppression, though, had the calamitous effect of allowing a dangerous build up of biomass, that now makes fires larger and more intense.

Perhaps somebody might tell Obama.

Perhaps somebody might tell Flannery.

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