CSIRO: climate change to cause "fewer cyclones and smaller waves"

Al Gore's view…

From The Science is Settled Department. Three strikes for CSIRO today, and this last one is a peach, flatly contradicting all the Labor hype about more cyclones:

CSIRO research commissioned by the federal government suggests climate change could dramatically reduce the number of tropical cyclones in the Australian region and decrease wave heights on the nation’s east coast.

The surprise findings, which appear to contradict some common predictions about the impact of climate change, are contained in scientific papers on “Projecting Future Climate and its Extremes”, obtained under Freedom of Information laws by The Australian Online. [Why did it need an FOI request? Were the CSIRO hiding it under a filing cabinet somewhere? I wonder why… – Ed]

One paper, by CSIRO researcher Debbie Abbs, found rising temperatures could halve the frequency of tropical  cyclones.

“Climate change projections using this modelling system show a strong tendency for a decrease in TC numbers in the Australian region, especially in the region of current preferred occurrence,” Dr Abbs said.

“On average for the period 2051-2090 relative to 1971-2000, the simulations show an approximately 50 per cent decrease in occurrence for the Australian region, a small decrease (0.3 days) in the duration of a given TC and a southward movement of 100km in the genesis and decay regions.” (source)

So therefore, instead of imposing a carbon tax, perhaps the government should be paying us to burn coal and lessen the risk of damage from cyclones, right?

As usual, the science really doesn’t have the first clue about how the climate system works, and yet we are about to cripple our economy with a pointless carbon tax to “lessen the risks” from climate change? Facepalm.

Head of hopelessly politicised CSIRO "backs carbon price"

Scientist or politician? You decide.

CSIRO is no longer a respected, independent scientific advisory body, but a politicised mouthpiece for the Labor government and their efforts to “tackle climate change”:

The head of Australia’s leading science body says a carbon price should be a key part of the nation’s overall climate action.

CSIRO chief Dr Megan Clark will today join 600 of Australia’s top climate change scientists [environmental activists – Ed] at a meeting in Cairns to update the latest observations.

Dr Clark says global warming is one of the most challenging issues facing humanity and needs careful consideration.

“It’s an urgent issue, but it is also a very complex one and one that will affect us, not just in this country, in all aspects of society, but probably one of the most challenging issues we have ever faced as humanity.

“It does need careful consideration and it does need debate. [As long as the debate comes down in favour of a carbon price, right? – Ed]

“We need to debate the issue, come to grips with the issue, and it’s an important part of us coming to grips with it and stepping forward.”

Dr Clark has welcomed the pro- and anti-carbon tax rallies, saying she is not concerned the science may be overlooked as the political battle focused on the carbon tax.

Clearly we need a price on carbon and a policy response [do we? Please explain – Ed], but we also need sustainable technologies that will take us into a low-carbon future and also our change in behaviour,” she said. (source)

When even the WA Nationals are considering backing a carbon price (see here), there really is little hope that sanity will prevail.

"Poor information" hampers climate science

We need more climate scientists!! (click to enlarge)

It’s that old communication thing again. Nothing to do with the quality of the science, Climategate, wildly inflated scare stories, hysterical environmental groups desperate to cash in, the UN crusade for world government. No, people are too dumb to take any notice of that, it’s just that we can’t get the message across (despite the fact that two of the major news organisations in Australia, ABC and Fairfax, uncritically plug the alarmist line every hour of the day, every day of the week, every day of the year).

A LACK of “credible information” is one of the main reasons that 40 per cent of Australians do not believe that humans have a role in global warming, according to the head of the federal government’s Climate Commission, Tim Flannery.

And the fact that many Australians found the topic irritating [ha, I wonder why, with people like Flannery banging on about it every minute of the day – Ed], according to a CSIRO survey, was hampering efforts to communicate the science of climate change and to implement effective policy, he said.

“No enduring reforms will happen in this space until we get the weight of public opinion behind them,” Professor Flannery told The Australian [translation: “until we have successfully brainwashed the public into not thinking for themselves” – Ed].

“Climate scientists need to be more widely heard in the public debate.” [Please, no, anything but that – Ed]

He was commenting on the results of the most comprehensive study yet of Australians’ attitudes to climate change.

Most of the 5000 respondents to the survey thought Earth was warming. About half believed that humans were mainly to blame. But just over 40 per cent put the crisis down to natural causes, 5.6 per cent denied that the climate was changing at all and 3.8 per cent were unsure. (source)

I think that we should hear more from Tim Flannery. That will have the desired effect… In any case, CSIRO has ceased to be an impartial scientific organisation, and is itself plugging the alarmist line:

THE CSIRO will today launch a book highlighting the key economic, environmental and social concerns of climate change in Australia. [Note “economic” and “social” concerns. Gone are the days when CSIRO advised on science. Now it’s advising on policy as well – Ed]

The publication, Climate Change: Science and Solutions for Australia, will also provided up-to-date information on international climate change science and potential responses. [and responses – Ed]

CSIRO Chief Executive Megan Clark will launch the book at the Greenhouse 2011 climate change conference in Cairns.

She said the book draws on the latest literature from thousands of researchers in Australia and internationally.

“It seeks to provide a bridge from the peer-reviewed scientific literature to a broader audience of society, while providing the depth of science that this complex issue demands and deserves,” Dr Clark said. (source)

More of that communication thing again. A quick scan of the document reveals that it is heavily based on the IPCC 2007 AR4, of course, and the key section (on feedbacks) states the following:

The net effect of all these processes is a set of feedbacks that have an overall reinforcing effect. A doubling in CO2 from pre-industrial levels (280 ppm) to around 550 ppm without feedbacks would result in a global warming of about 1˚C. Factoring in the effects of water vapour and other ‘fast’ feedbacks, however, means that a CO2 doubling will amplify the long-term average warming to about 3˚C. This important number, called the ‘fast climate sensitivity’, is somewhat uncertain and could vary between 2˚ and 4.5˚C according to IPCC estimates based on a range of climate models. (source – 14MB PDF, page 21)

So basically, despite the fact that there is plenty of research questioning it, they have swallowed the IPCC’s conclusion of high climate sensitivity and everything else follows from that. And you don’t need to read the book to work out that it won’t contain any credible challenge to the consensus. If it mentions sceptical views at all, it will be in the form of straw men, set up to be blown over and then ignored. I will eventually get around to reading the rest, but really, that’s all that matters.

Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO referred to National Audit Office

National Audit Office

I’m not sure how far this will get [probably not very far, given how every public body you care to mention seems to be infested with climate alarmists – Ed], but we can at least thank them for their efforts and wish them the best of luck – they’ll need it. From Jo Nova’s site:

A team of skeptical scientists, citizens, and an Australian Senator have lodged a formal request with the Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) to have the BOM and CSIRO audited.

The BOM claim their adjustments are “neutral” yet Ken Stewart showed that the trend in the raw figures for our whole continent has been adjusted up by 40%. The stakes are high. Australians could have to pay something in the order of $870 million dollars thanks to the Kyoto protocol, and the first four years of the Emissions Trading Scheme was expected to cost Australian industry (and hence Australian shareholders and consumers) nearly $50 billion dollars.

Given the stakes, the Australian people deserve to know they are getting transparent, high quality data from the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM). The small cost of the audit is nothing in comparison with the money at stake for all Australians. We need the full explanations of why individual stations have been adjusted repeatedly and non-randomly, and why adjustments were made decadesafter the measurements were taken. We need an audit of surface stations. (Are Australian stations as badly manipulated and poorly sited as the US stations? Who knows?)

The NZ equivalent to the Australian BOM is under an official review

The New Zealand Climate Science Coalition found adjustments that were even more inexplicable (0.006 degrees was adjusted up to 0.9 degrees). They decided to push legally and the response was a litany of excuses — until finally The National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) was forced to disavow it’s own National Temperature Records, and belatedly pretend that it had never been intended for public consumption. But here’s the thing that bites: NZ signed the Kyoto protocol, arguably based very much on the NZ temperature record, and their nation owes somewhere from half a billion to several billion dollars worth of carbon credits (depending on the price of carbon in 2012). Hence there is quite a direct link from the damage caused by using one unsubstantiated data set based on a single student’s report that no one can find or replicate that will cost the nation a stack of money. NIWA is now potentially open to class actions. (Ironically, the Australian BOM has the job of “ratifying” the reviewed NZ temperature record.)

Thanks to work by Ken Stewart, Chris Gillham, Andrew Barnham, Tony Cox, James Doogue, David Stockwell, as well as Cory Bernardi, Federal Senator for South Australia.

Alarmist of the Year

Alarmist of the Year

Having awarded the Australian of the Year to alarmist Tim Flannery in 2007, whose wild predictions concerning the effects of the Green Climate Monster are well known, and almost always wrong, they have this year awarded the honour to another climate evangelist, Simon McKeon. McKeon was given the role of CSIRO chairman… despite not being a scientist, but it seems that being a warmist makes him even better qualified for the job. Miranda Devine does the business:

YOU don’t want to rain on the parade of a man who is so highly regarded that he has just been named Australian of the Year.

Nor do you want to detract from the charitable works for which Simon McKeon has been so honoured.

But the former Macquarie banker deserves censure for his pronouncements on climate change on ABC radio yesterday in which he enthusiastically described himself as a “100 percent believer” who wants to push Australia into a carbon trading scheme by stealth.

He deserves censure not least because last year he was appointed chairman of the CSIRO, despite having no background in science.

Asked by Melbourne radio host Jon Faine if he saw his role at the CSIRO as an opportunity to “shape and influence” its work on climate change, the 55-year-old lawyer said: “Oh, absolutely – it doesn’t need any encouragement from me.”

Why a non-scientist should be considered a suitable chairman of our pre-eminent scientific body is anyone’s guess, but it is another indication of the decline of a once great institution.

It is a tragedy that the CSIRO is a shadow of its former self, reduced by to a mouthpiece for climate alarmism.

McKeon, 55, should be careful about sullying his philanthropic name with warmist politics. More importantly, he should refrain from using his new platform to further damage the credibility of the CSIRO. (source)

New CSIRO boss has "no scientific pedigree"

Could they have chosen anyone worse?

By his own admission! In fact, he is a corporate banker from Macquarie, Simon McKeon. Words fail me. But in the end, who cares? CSIRO isn’t in the business of proper science any more, it’s just a mouthpiece for federal government funded climate change alarmism, and this guy, who knows nothing about science, is perfect for the job, announcing that he “wants climate change elevated to the top of the political and public agenda.” He is, of course, clueless on climate:

“We may not have all the answers to what is occurring, we may not have certainly all the solutions to how to fix it,” he said.

“But the point is, why wouldn’t one take out very strong insurance to at least do what we can to future-proof our well-being? I think it’s a no-brainer.”

Add CSIRO to the ever-lengthening list of scientific institutions that have disappeared down the pan.

Read it here.

Climate scientists meet to improve brainwashing skills

Washes away scepticism faster than other leading brands

Note that they’re not meeting to hang their heads in shame and discuss the shonky science, fudged data, blocking of FOI requests or intimidation of sceptical climate journals, which is all par for the course. No, this is all about communication – it’s just that they’re not getting their message across properly, obviously. The science is just fine, the public are just too stupid to understand:

REPRESENTATIVES of scientific organisations including the CSIRO and Bureau of Meteorology will meet today to discuss better communication of the science behind man-made climate change, in the wake of crumbling political and public consensus on global warming.

The conference in Sydney, organised by the Federation of Australian Scientific and Technological Societies (FASTS), is part of a long-term bid to develop a ”national communication charter” for major scientific organisations and universities to better spruik the evidence of climate change.

The conference will hear an address from Australia’s chief scientist, Penny Sackett [who is a fully paid up alarmist – see here]. Representatives of the CSIRO, Bureau of Meteorology, Australian Academy of Science and Department of Climate Change, among others, will attend [all on the alarmist bandwagon, of course, because without it, they would lose their juicy funding cheques].

FASTS president Cathy Foley said although public scepticism was on the rise, scientific evidence of man-made climate change had not changed, and it was sad the community was less and less trusting of scientists. [And who do you have to blame for that? The scientists themselves – think “Hockey Stick” and “Climategate”]

Dr Foley said a well-organised and funded climate sceptics’ movement had increasingly captured attention [That old chestnut again – a bunch of retired scientists and lone bloggers are better funded and better organised than the entire global warming industry? Yeah, right].

”We are concerned the debate around climate change has become a left-wing versus right-wing debate – or a kind of religious argument – when it should really be about the strength of the scientific evidence,” Dr Foley said.

The conference was not about politics or ”brainwashing” the public, she added.

The thought never entered my head. Oops, just noticed the title. Maybe it did.

Read it here.

UPDATE: Listen here to how the ABC treats this entire story with kid gloves, and allows Cathy Foley to misrepresent the science as having been settled for hundreds of years. Yes, the principle of greenhouse warming is settled, but the science of climate feedbacks (which is what we need to understand to determing whether we will get catastrophic warming) is most definitely not.

CSIRO has "breached trust"

Can't be trusted any more?

So says Terry McCrann, in an article comparing the cheerleading of the CSIRO for climate alarmism with the cheerleading of the Treasury for the resources super profits tax:

In March, [CSIRO] joined with the Bureau of Meteorology to produce a “snapshot of the state of the climate to update Australians about how their climate has changed and what it means”. Although the pamphlet had a neutral title, “State of the Climate”, it was clearly designed to bring the great weight of the apparent credibility of these two organisations to bear against, and hopefully crush, those pesky climate change sceptics.

But as one of the peskier of them, Tom Quirk — our version of Canada’s even peskier Stephen McIntyre — discovered, there was a very curious omission in one of the CSIRO graphs. It showed the rise and rise of concentrations in the atmosphere of carbon dioxide and its fellow greenhouse gas methane. It was an almost perfect replica of the infamous (Michael) Mann Hockey Stick. After being virtually stable for 900 years, concentrations of both CO2 and methane went almost vertical through the 20th century. But as the eagle-eyed Quirk noticed and wrote about on Quadrant Online, methane was plotted only up to 1990, while the plots for CO2 continued to 2000.Why so, when the CSIRO measures methane concentrations and has data up to last year?

Did the answer lie in the inconvenient truth that methane concentrations have plateaued since the mid-1990s? Yet here is the CSIRO, the organisation dedicated to scientific truth, pretending — even stating — that they’re still going up, Climategate style. This is bad enough, but just as with Treasury, real policies are built on this sort of “analysis”. The first version of the so-called carbon pollution reduction scheme included farming to address the methane question. But as Quirk has shown in a peer-reviewed paper, atmospheric methane is driven by a combination of volcanos, El Ninos and pipeline (mostly dodgy old Soviet) leakage.

A second curious, and even dodgier, thing happened after Quirk’s Quadrant report. CSIRO “updated” its main graph to include the more recent methane data. No admission was made and the graph’s scale made it all but invisible and did not show the plateauing. Further, the CSIRO published a more detailed second graph showing what has happened in the past 30 years, as opposed to the first graph’s 1000 years. But only for CO2, despite the fact that it had exactly the same data for methane.

In short, the CSIRO is a fully signed-up member of the climate change club. It wanted to project the horror story of continually rising greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. So it simply disappeared inconvenient evidence to the contrary, in the process announcing it cannot be trusted ever again to deliver objective scientific evidence.

CSIRO, The Bureau of Meteorology, the UK Royal Society, the American National Academy of Sciences and hundreds of other organisations have all nailed their colours to the climate change mast, abandoning objective scientific enquiry in favour of environmental advocacy. As the Royal Society has discovered, it only works for so long, before credibility starts to disappear. As he concludes:

In short and in sum, our two pre-eminent centres of knowledge and public policy analysis across the social and hard sciences spectrum are now literally unbelievable. It is not an attractive or an appropriate state of affairs.

Read it here.

McGauran: CSIRO is "political puppet"

Gloves off

Following on from our story yesterday, Liberal Senator Julian McGauran takes CSIRO to task for parrotting the government’s climate change agenda:

Senator McGauran says the organisation has been stripped of its independence and is doing the bidding of the Minister for Science, Kim Carr.

“Minister Carr without doubt has wandered through the CSIRO offices, intimidating the scientists and the executive to do as they’re told,” he said.

“This is now a political organisation. The executive have become compliant to the minister, utterly.” (source)

The rest of the ABC article is just the typical mish-mash of pro-Labor spin, and vacuous ad hominems from Carr. Actually, CSIRO probably don’t need any intimidation from Carr – they’re all fully paid up alarmists anyhoo.

CSIRO: climate change is "beyond doubt"

No-one's listening

The alarmists are hitting back, with more scary headlines from our national, taxpayer-funded AGW advocacy group, sorry, independent scientific organisation, which the ABC gleefully trumpets on AM this morning:

The head of Australia’s peak science body has spoken out in defence of climate scientists, saying the link between human activity and climate change is beyond doubt.

The head of the CSIRO, Dr Megan Clark, says the evidence of global warming is unquestionable, and in Australia it is backed by years of robust research.

Dr Clark says climate records are being broken every decade and all parts of the nation are warming.

“We are seeing significant evidence of a changing climate,” she said.

“If we just take our temperature, all of Australia has experienced warming over the last 50 years. We are warming in every part of the country during every season and as each decade goes by, the records are being broken.

Yep, agree with all of that. The world is indeed warming. So what about the cause? Solar fluctuations? Recovery from the Little Ice Age? ENSO? Cosmic ray cloud modulation? No, none of those of course:

Dr Clark says the evidence strongly suggests human activity is responsible for the rise.

We know two things. We know that our CO2 has never risen so quickly. We are now starting to see CO2 and methane in the atmosphere at levels that we just haven’t seen for the past 800,000 years, possibly even 20 million years,” she said.

“We also know that that rapid increase that we’ve been measuring was at the same time that we saw the industrial revolution so it is very likely that these two are connected.”

So temporal correlation = causation according to Dr Clark? And she calls herself a scientist.

Read it here.

UPDATE: From the Sydney Morning Herald:

The CSIRO’s chief executive, Megan Clark, said yesterday that while society would have a debate about the science underpinning climate change – much like previous debates about the link between smoking and lung cancer – the CSIRO’s role was to release ”unemotional” scientific data. (source)

From News.com.au:

AUSTRALIA’S leading scientists have hit back at climate change sceptics, accusing them of creating a “smokescreen of denial”. (source)

Gee, I’d hate to hear them if the ever did get emotional…

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