Two essays on ‘climate change’

I have come across two important essays on aspects of climate change, which I bring to the attention of readers. Each is by an eminent scientist of a sceptical bent. I can’t summarise them here, and that would be wrong anyway, because each is well-written, clear and sensible. They are worth reading in full.

The first is almost ten years old, and was written by Richard Lindzen, then the Alfred P. Sloan Professor of Meteorology at MIT. It was written in 2008, and you can read it in full here. I can give you much of the Abstract, which should whet some appetites, and I break it into paragraphs for easier reading.

For a variety of inter-related cultural, organizational, and political reasons, progress in climate science and the actual solution of scientific problems in this field have moved at a much slower rate than would normally be possible. Not all these factors are unique to climate science, but the heavy influence of politics has served to amplify the role of the other factors.

By cultural factors, I primarily refer to the change in the scientific paradigm from a dialectic opposition between theory and observation to an emphasis on simulation and observational programs. The latter serves to almost eliminate the dialectical focus of the former. Whereas the former had the potential for convergence, the latter is much less effective.

The institutional factor has many components. One is the inordinate growth of administration in universities and the consequent increase in importance of grant overhead. This leads to an emphasis on large programs that never end.

Another is the hierarchical nature of formal scientific organizations whereby a small executive council can speak on behalf of thousands of scientists as well as govern the distribution of ‘carrots and sticks’ whereby reputations are made and broken. The above factors are all amplified by the need for government funding. When an issue becomes a vital part of a political agenda, as is the case with climate, then the politically desired position becomes a goal rather than a consequence of scientific research.

Nothing much has changed since 2008. The orthodoxy is hanging on to its dominance, and making even more extreme statements about weather, especially recently. Simulation and ‘climate models’ are doing well in the climate science world, though their predictive power seems less and less impressive. Not only that, their predictions (projections), or at least the scary parts of them, have now been pushed well ahead into the latter part of this century, or next century. No one now alive will be alive to point out any  inadequacies.

Lindzen has some cogent things to say about what has happened to the relationship between governments and science. He points out, to repeat, that in organisations hierarchies are necessary and are powerful: positions and policies are determined by small executive councils or even single individuals. This greatly facilitates any conscious effort to politicize science via influence in such bodies where a handful of individuals (often not even scientists) speak on behalf of organizations that include thousands of scientists, and even enforce specific scientific positions and agendas.

Lindzen provides a dozen or so cases of the way in which individuals with no or little claim to scientific expertise somehow came to be not just the spokespersons for scientific bodies, but even the presidents of those bodies, apparently because of the great power of what I see as the contemporary religion for Westerners who are not Christian but want something ‘spiritual’ and virtuous — environmentalism.

He sets out examples of where … working scientists … make special efforts to support the global warming hypothesis.… Data that challenges the hypothesis are simply changed. In some instances, data that was thought to support the hypothesis is found not to, and is then changed. The changes are sometimes quite blatant, but more often are somewhat more subtle. The crucial point is that geophysical data is almost always at least somewhat uncertain, and methodological errors are constantly being discovered. Bias can be introduced by simply considering only those errors that change answers in the desired direction. The desired direction in the case of climate is to bring the data into agreement with models that attempt to account for the observations by means of greenhouse forcing, even though such models have displayed minimal skill in explaining or predicting climate.

I have seen many examples myself. Lindzen supplies more. In the nine years since this paper was written I have seen nothing that bolsters the case for AGW’s being potentially disastrous for humanity now, or in the lifetimes of ourselves and our children/grandchildren. I would be pleased where those who support the orthodoxy on this issue were able to point out to me where Lindzen (or I, for that matter) are wrong.

The second paper is a little longer and more recent. Dr Roy Spencer, who is no less eminent than Lindzen, and is the father of satellite temperature measurements, was so put off by Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, his latest attempt to show the world that he was right all along in his movie An Inconvenient Truth, that he has written a book about it — An Inconvenient Deception. I bought it on Amazon Kindle, and you can, too. Its sub-title is How Al Gore Distorts Climate Science and Energy Policy, and it has 24 chapters, which just about cover, lightly in some cases, the field of climate science.

His book offers two principal themes about Gore’s warnings. First, Most of his claims about weather disasters, melting ice sheets, and rising sea levels are either untrue, or the result of Mother Nature rather than human activities.

Second, Wind and solar power remain expensive, and so governments’ mandating their use as a way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions will make their citizens poorer and more vulnerable to real threats.

He goes to say that there is at least the possibility that humanity could suffer some harm from our greenhouse gas emissions. But I also believe that the benefits of more CO2 in the atmosphere will outweigh any harm. Published research demonstrates the Earth is undergoing global greening and increased agricultural productivity due to the fertilization effects of more CO2.

Amen to all that. Spencer‘s book is just as easy to read as Lindzen’s paper, and it is full of little points that I had forgotten, such as Gore’s remark at the launch of his first film that “Within the next ten years, the world will reach a point of no return”. What happened in the next ten years? Nothing much — perhaps a little less cooling than warming, the warming periods associated mostly with el Nino events.

He made other predictions too. There would be an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes. There wasn’t, at all. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were the first of great force since Gore’s announcement eleven years ago.And Harvey is not even the most powerful hurricane to hit that part of Texas. Gore: more and worse tornadoes. No. Summer sea ice would disappear in the arctic by 2014. Nope. Mt Kilimanjaro would lose its ice-cap. Not that one either. His primary tactic, says Spencer, is first to see something in nature that could be worrying, then to say it is unprecedented, then to assert that it is manmade. He does it again and again, and so do other members of the orthodox brigade.

Spencer reminds us that the production of icebergs is a natural process: snow falls, turns to ice, the ice moves down the glacier path and eventually arrives at the sea, where it will finally break off. It does this all the time, and has done it since there was ice on mountains. It does not require ‘global warming’.

Gore’s film was to a degree focused on the 2015 Climate Accord conference in Paris, with Gore pictured as the major player endeavouring to get India on board. Indian delegates seem to have no record or memory of his role, and Spencer reminds us (i) that the Paris Accord didn’t require most nations to do anything at all save to wait for the money the Accord sort of promised; (ii) that even if everybody did everything there would be no measurable effect on global temperature by 2100; and (iii) the cost, if everyone actually did everything, would be of the order of $1 to 2 trillion a year.

Gore has made a lot of money out of his crusade, and that makes me wonder how serious he is about the notion of ‘truth’, let alone ‘truth to power’. I haven’t seen either film (though I have seen plenty of clips of the first one), so I am not a competent judge of the visual stuff. But Spencer did see both, the second in a 750-seat cinema in which he was one of an audience of three. His account is not just a critique of the film, but a good account of the uncertainties in the great field of climate science.

I recommend both the Lindzen and Spencer texts — easy to read, thoughtful and important in understanding the climate issue.




Join the discussion 46 Comments

  • Neville says:

    I’ve read both essays by Lindzen and Spencer. But I can’t understand why the world’s govts, media and some scientists are not held to account over their lies about the Paris COP 21 climate mitigation BS and fra-d. ( Hansen’s claim)
    I’m sure they will happily waste 1 to 2 trillion $ annually for decades to come for no measurable change to temp, SLR, Polar bears numbers, hurricanes, tornadoes, bushfires, Greenland/Antarctic ice, the GBR, rainfall, frosts, snowfall, heatwaves, malaria, etc.
    If anyone thinks that Paris COP 21 is not a blatant fra-d and con I would like them to supply their data and evidence to disprove my claim. This isn’t rocket science it’s just very simple maths and science and yet few in the media have the nerve to challenge the fra-dsters and con merchants.

  • JMO says:

    I saw An Iconvienent Truth at the movies last decade and it planted the seed if doubt in my mind. I saw the preview of AIT part 2. I think the glacial ice crashing into the ocean scene looks quite similar to the Hubbard glacier in Alaska. It is an advancing glacier!

  • Michael Reed says:

    Once again I have to say that a lot of the reporting of the AGW meme is by scientifically illiterate journalists in the MSM.Why is Co2 referred to as carbon?
    How is it now that Co2 is a pollutant?Real
    pollutants include -particulate matter ,oxides of nitrogen and sulphur and carbon monoxide to name a few how has this ridiculous conflation of “harmful “Co2
    come about?
    Further to this ignorance we see the deceitful portrayal of steam from cooling towers (of power stations) being shown with orange yellow colours implying some
    sort of evil toxicity.
    I taught science and biology for 28 years
    and I am dismayed that one of the three most important elements of (along with water and sunlight)photosynthesis is that Co2 has now become demonized when
    in fact it is the basis of just about every life form on this planet.
    Added to all this is the unbelievable reporting of stupid alarmist predictions of extinctions and thermageddon
    that have so far not materialized .In all
    this type of reporting has led to a mis -informed public and expensive policy decisions that waste millions of dollars of taxpayer money with I might add no demonstration of any due diligence or wasted opportunity cost.

  • JimboR says:

    “Spencer reminds us that the production of icebergs is a natural process: snow falls, turns to ice, the ice moves down the glacier path and eventually arrives at the sea, where it will finally break off. It does this all the time, and has done it since there was ice on mountains. It does not require ‘global warming’.”

    Don, you seem to need repeated reminding of that:

  • Neville says:

    Ken Stringer has written many recent articles trying to make sense of BOM data. Here’s his latest attempt to unravel this mystery. BTW he had to purchase this data from Hervey Bay site to double check their claims.
    “Australian Temperature Data Are Garbage

    From the Bureau’s hastily published “Fast Facts”:

    “This means that each one second temperature value is not an instantaneous measurement of the air temperature but an average of the previous 40 to 80 seconds.”

    That is complete nonsense.

    At the end of each minute, the following data are recorded:

    Lowest one second reading of the previous 60 seconds
    Highest one second reading of the previous 60 seconds
    Reading at the final second of the minute.

    Firstly, 40 seconds is not one minute, the integration period recommended by the WMO in 2014 and by the Bureau’s own officers in 1997. Anything less than 60 seconds is not compliant.

    Secondly, consider this plot, which is from actual 1 minute temperatures recorded at Hervey Bay Airport on 22 February 2017. (Data purchased by me from the Bureau).

    Fig. 1:

    Hervey Bay 1 min 5 to7am 22 Feb

    Sunrise was at about 5:40 a.m. Temperatures do not increase until about 6:30 a.m. Note the strangely low temperature- the daily minimum- which was reported as occurring sometime in the 60 seconds before 06:00:00. The BOM would have us believe that each of the values in Figure 1, including the low of 23.2C, are “averages” of the previous 40 to 80 seconds.

    Next consider what happens in that minute from 5:59 to 6:00, as per the following plot.

    Fig. 2:

    Hervey Bay 1 min 0559 to 0600am 22 Feb

    We don’t know in which seconds the high and low readings for that minute occurred, so I have shown them for each of 59 seconds. I have shown the 5:59 and 6:00 readings: both were 25.3C.

    Consider how the value at 06:00 was obtained:

    If by an “average” (however derived) of less than 60 seconds, the methodology is non-compliant.

    If by an “average” of the previous 60 seconds, it must include values that contributed to the High of 25.4C and the Low of 23.2C.

    If by an “average” of anything greater than 60 seconds, it must include values that contributed to both the Low and High values, and as well, values that contributed to the 5:59 reading- which is the same as the 06:00 reading.

    Similar logic applies to the Low and High readings.

    It follows that the intermediate instantaneous atmospheric temperatures that contributed to all three reported “average” values must have ranged from much higher than 25.4C to very much lower than 23.2C.

    Look at Figure 1 again. The air temperature at Hervey Bay on 22 February must have spiked down very much lower than the 23.2C plotted.


    In the early morning there is very little near ground turbulence so temperatures do not fluctuate from one minute to the next by very much. In How Temperature Is Measured in Australia Part 2 I showed that 91% of low temperatures vary from final second temperatures in the same minute by 0.2C or less. A difference of 2.1C is extraordinary. Fluctuations greater than that are difficult to believe.

    However, in a comment at How Temperature Is Measured In Australia Part 1, Tony Banton, a retired meteorologist, says that the BOM explanation of cooler ground level air mixing upwards is correct. If we accept that explanation, we must then face the problem of “comparability”.

    In 61 seconds, the Hervey Bay AWS has reported temperatures of 25.3, 25.4, 23.2, and finally 25.3 degrees. The BOM asserts that a liquid-in-glass thermometer will be able to respond as quickly and show similar temperatures- and remember, 23.2C was the morning’s official minimum.

    My response: rubbish. The data for 22 February at Hervey Bay show that no averaging is used at all, and the Low Temperature of 22.3C 23.2C is an instantaneous one second recording from a rogue downwards spike, whatever the cause, whether a natural event or other (e.g. electrical) factor.

    Temperatures reported by the BOM are not fit for purpose of accurate reporting of maxima and minima, identifying records, or identifying warming or cooling by comparison with historic liquid-in-glass data.”

  • spangled drongo says:

    Thanks, Don, for pointing out the flawed reasoning of AGW alarmists.

    Like climate science, another of the soft sciences is religious science, and yet theologians claim that the more they study theology the more sceptical and the less convinced they become.

    IE, rationality tends to take control.

    Believers in the science of AGW, OTOH, who are mostly decidedly agnostic about theological science, become increasingly fervent about their new found soft science the more they are presented with contrary evidence.

    All sorts of evidence such as historical facts that show that not only has it happened naturally even more extremely in the past thereby disproving the “A” in AGW’s existence, but because of exponential population increases, which is warming us all in so many ways through the similar exponential development that went hand in hand with it, their reason for the past warming [ACO2] awa their projected future catastrophic warming, is becoming less convincing by the year.

    Could this lack of rationality be due to their innate need for a religion of some kind to fill the void?

    It is definitely motivated by more than politics and money.

  • Boambee John says:

    “Simulation and ‘climate models’ are doing well in the climate science world, though their predictive power seems less and less impressive.”

    Adage for the computer age: Simulation is a bit like m@st#rbation, a little bit every so often is OK, but too much and you forget what the real thing is like.

    Climate scientists have spent so long with computer simulations that they have lost touch with the real world outside the computer lab.

  • Ross says:

    I read that Trump is reconsidering pulling out of the Paris Agreement. Looks like even a star spangled goose like Trump can see the writing on the wall. Perhaps our little man is finally growing up. Here’s hoping.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “they have lost touch with the real world”

    Correct. The San Andreas fault will move, or there will be a major volcanic eruption, before we ever have to worry about climate change.

  • Neville says:

    Perhaps we should look again at Lomborg’s PR study of the Paris COP 21 agreement that created so much excitement in DEC 2015. Even if this agreement is followed to the letter by every country until 2100 it will have no measurable impact on the climate or temp etc at all. The link has some interesting graphs to show the lack of impact for the rest of this century, but it will cost/waste 1 to 2 trillion $ a year to implement. So what is the purpose of this agreement and why was there so much excitement at the time?

    “Paris climate promises will reduce temperatures by just 0.05°C in 2100 (Press release)

    “A new peer-reviewed paper by Dr. Bjorn Lomborg published in the Global Policy journal measures the actual impact of all significant climate promises made ahead of the Paris climate summit.

    Governments have publicly outlined their post-2020 climate commitments in the build-up to the December’s meeting. These promises are known as “Intended Nationally Determined Contributions” (INDCs).

    Dr. Lomborg’s research reveals:

    The climate impact of all Paris INDC promises is minuscule: if we measure the impact of every nation fulfilling every promise by 2030, the total temperature reduction will be 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
    Even if we assume that these promises would be extended for another 70 years, there is still little impact: if every nation fulfills every promise by 2030, and continues to fulfill these promises faithfully until the end of the century, and there is no ‘CO? leakage’ to non-committed nations, the entirety of the Paris promises will reduce temperature rises by just 0.17°C (0.306°F) by 2100.
    US climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.031°C (0.057°F) by 2100.
    EU climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.053°C (0.096°F) by 2100.
    China climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.048°C (0.086°F) by 2100.
    The rest of the world’s climate policies, in the most optimistic circumstances, fully achieved and adhered to throughout the century, will reduce global temperatures by 0.036°C (0.064°F) by 2100.

    Overview in Celsius and Fahrenheit by the year 2100


    The global temperature change from pre-industrial, for the Do Nothing (RCP8.5) scenario, for the global promises for Paris and for Paris extended for 70 more years, as run on MAGICC.
    Comments from Dr. Bjorn Lomborg
    What does this mean for the Paris Summit?

    Dr. Lomborg said: “Paris is being sold as the summit where we can help ‘heal the planet’ and ‘save the world’. It is no such thing. If all nations keep all their promises, temperatures will be cut by just 0.05°C (0.09°F). Even if every government on the planet not only keeps every Paris promise, reduces all emissions by 2030, and shifts no emissions to other countries, but also keeps these emission reductions throughout the rest of the century, temperatures will be reduced by just 0.17°C (0.3°F) by the year 2100.

    And let’s be clear, that is very optimistic. Consider the Kyoto Protocol, signed in 1997, never ratified by the US, and eventually abandoned by Canada and Russia and Japan. After several renegotiations, the Kyoto Protocol had been weakened to the point that the hot air left from the collapse of the Soviet Union exceeded the entire promised reductions, leaving the treaty essentially toothless.

    The only reason Kyoto goals were almost achieved was the global 2008 recession. Moreover, emissions were shifted from one country to another. The EU, the most climate-engaged bloc, saw an increase in its emission imports from China alone equaling its entire domestic CO? reductions. In total, 40% of all emissions were likely shifted away from the areas that made promises.

    Negotiators in Paris are trying to tackle global warming in the same way that has failed for 30 years: by making promises that are individually expensive, will have little impact even in a hundred years and that many governments will try to shirk from.

    This didn’t work in Kyoto, it didn’t work in Copenhagen, it hasn’t worked in the 18 other climate conferences or countless more international gatherings. The suggestion that it will make a large difference in Paris is wishful thinking.”
    What should countries do instead?

    Dr. Lomborg said: “Instead of trying to make fossil fuels so expensive that no one wants them – which will never work – we should make green energy so cheap everybody will shift to it.

    The Copenhagen Consensus on Climate project gathered 27 of the world’s top climate economists and three Nobel Laureates, who found that the smartest, long-term climate policy is to invest in green R&D, to push down the price of green energy.

    Subsidizing inefficient renewables is expensive and doesn’t work. The IEA estimates that we get 0.4% of our energy from wind and solar PV right now, and even in optimistic scenarios the fraction will only rise to 2.2% by 2040. Over the next 25 years, we’ll spend about $2.5 trillion in subsidies and reduce global warming temperatures by less than 0.02°C.

    Copenhagen Consensus has consistently argued for a R&D-driven approach. Fortunately, more people are recognizing that this approach is cheaper and much more likely to succeed –including the Global Apollo Program which includes Sir David King, Lord Nicholas Stern, Lord Adair Turner and Lord John Browne.
    You describe a 0.05°C reduction, but the UN Climate Chief, Christina Figueres, said Paris could lead to a 2.7°C rise instead of 4°C or 5°C. Why?

    Christiana Figueres quote: “The INDCs have the capability of limiting the forecast temperature rise to around 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2100, by no means enough but a lot lower than the estimated four, five, or more degrees of warming projected by many prior to the INDCs.”

    Dr. Lomborg said: “That entirely misrepresents the world’s options. The 2.7°C comes from the International Energy Agency and essentially assumes that if governments do little in Paris and then right after 2030 embark on incredibly ambitious climate reductions, we could get to 2.7°C.

    That way of thinking is similar to telling the deeply indebted Greeks that just making the first repayment on their most pressing loans will put them on an easy pathway to becoming debt-free. It completely misses the point.

    Figueres’ own organization estimates the Paris promises will reduce emissions by 33Gt CO? in total. To limit rises to 2.7°C, about 3,000Gt CO? would need to be reduced – or about 100 times more than the Paris commitments (see figure below). That is not optimism; it is wishful thinking.

    Background about the Paper
    What does the paper do?

    The peer-reviewed paper takes the greenhouse gas emission reduction commitments (INDCs) and runs a climate model with and without them. The paper uses the MAGICC climate model, which has been used across all five IPCC reports and was co-funded by the US EPA. It is run with standard parameters. Sensitivity analysis shows that different assumptions of climate sensitivity, carbon cycle model or scenario do not substantially change the outcome.

    The paper uses the same basic methodology of Tom Wigley, who analyzed the Kyoto Protocol in a much-cited paper in 1998. As with Wigley, the approach:

    Identifies the baseline of emissions
    Extrapolates the climate policy throughout the 21st century
    Runs the baseline and emissions through a climate model, evaluating the impact of the climate policy in terms of temperature rise reduction.
    Performs a sensitivity analysis across models and scenarios.

    The Lomborg paper uses the best baselines for the three major emission reducers (China, EU and US makes up almost 80%) and estimates the impact of the rest, including Canada, South Korea, Russia, Japan etc. from Boyd, Turner, and Ward (2015). The UNFCCC says in their summary report that the CO? equivalent reductions are between 0 and 7.5Gt with a 3.6Gt best estimate. Almost all models find similar numbers. This paper uses 6.8Gt, which is a very optimistic estimate for Paris.”
    Where is the paper published?

    The peer-reviewed paper is published in the upcoming issue of Global Policy journal (November 2015). You can access the article online here.”

  • Chris Warren says:

    I am not going into all the repeated errors here from our slow learners …

    However there is a standard tactic from various climate recusants, to avoid the evidence by distraction.

    For example Al Gore showed evidence of ice decline on Mt Kilimanjaro and suggested it would lose its ice-cap.

    So Don says; “Not that one either”.

    But the evidence is clear – Kilimanjaro is loosing ice.

    In fact:

    “The Northern Ice Field is near the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, on the west slope of the peak. The Northern Ice Field and Eastern Ice Fields were connected to the Southern Ice Field and formed part of a continuous body of glacial ice atop Mount Kilimanjaro when first scientifically examined in 1912. By 1962 the Southern Ice Field separated from the Northern Ice Field and then by 1975 the Eastern Ice Field did as well. In 1912, the glaciated areas atop Mount Kilimanjaro covered 11.40 square kilometres (4.40 sq mi); by 2011 this had been reduced to 1.76 square kilometres (0.68 sq mi), an 85 percent loss.[1] ”

    So our recusants are reduced to merely arguing about timing, and Al Gore wasn’t specific although he suggested that Kilimanjaro would be ice free in a decade. It may take longer – but the objective issue is the trend (based on data) – not the timing which is guesswork.

    In fact have seen other bloggists trying to protect their capitalist economy against environmental science by quibbling over timing. See John Quiggin’s “pollyanna” approach over the Club of Rome report. The Club of Rome (1970’s) also put a timeline on their predictions which have not occurred on schedule forty years later.

    The current prediction for Kilimanjaro is still entirely consistent with AL Gore and AGW but for the timing. Currently it appears:

    “The current state of retreat of the glaciers on Mount Kilimanjaro has been attributed to both warmer and drier conditions than were present during the Little Ice Age. Tropical glaciers tend to be more greatly impacted by moisture than those found in the mid-latitudes or polar zones and drier conditions can lead to higher percentages of glacial loss due to the higher amount of radiational heating in tropical zones, though most of the tropical glacial loss is still primarily attributed to a warming climate.”

    This pattern of retreat is not anticipated to change and most if not all the ice on top of Mount Kilimanjaro may be gone by 2040 or 2060.

    There was only a scattering of ice in 2012 see:


  • Ross says:

    Hello Don.
    Interesting article in the Guardian (I know, but since you enjoy reading) by Graham Readfearn regarding the slandering of climate scientists and its origins.
    I’d be interested in your perspective.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Given where I am, no chance for days and days.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Ross, you wouldn’t be talking about Graham Readfearn and the cli-sci [or is it cli-fi] industry getting subsidised with govt trillions that is now putting the rational, sceptic industry, you know, the one that keeps the world ticking over, progressively out of business?

      That industry which, based on an unfalsifiable theory that predicts climate catastrophe, is yet to provide any evidence to support it?

      That industry which, when asked to provide such evidence, flies into a tanty as witnessed by this article?

      And Ross, would these be the climate scientists Readfearn is referring to;

      For example, Climate Scientist Keith Briffa’s infamous 1999 letter to Michael Mann and others;

      Climategate Email 0938018124.txt;

      “… I know there is pressure to present a nice tidy story as regards ‘apparent unprecedented warming in a thousand years or more in the proxy data’ but in reality the situation is not quite so simple. We don’t have a lot of proxies that come right up to date and those that do (at least a significant number of tree proxies ) some unexpected changes in response that do not match the recent warming. I do not think it wise that this issue be ignored in the chapter.

      For the record, I do believe that the proxy data do show unusually warm conditions in recent decades. I am not sure that this unusual warming is so clear in the summer responsive data. I believe that the recent warmth was probably matched about 1000 years ago. …”

      I think Don has already commented on this hypocrisy many times in many ways.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Ross, you may also recall what that IPCC climate scientist, Stephen Schneider said:

      “We have to offer up scary scenarios, make simplified, dramatic statements, and make little mention of the doubts we might have. Each of us has to decide what the right balance is between being effective and being honest.”

      And that was AFTER he had written a book predicting an ice age on the way.

      I wonder who would be considered as committing the most slander in the name of cli-sci?

      • Ross says:

        I was interested in Dons perspective, Strangled Bongo. Sit down.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Just jogging your short memory, rossieluv.

          Expecting rationality from either the Graun or Readfearn [let alone combined] on that subject you have to be in a state of amnesia and/or self delusion.

  • Neville says:

    Chris have a look at these studies from Co2 Science covering Kilimanjaro glaciers etc. These glaciers and ice fields have been declining steadily since the 1880s and could well be the result of deforestation by the local people.

  • Neville says:

    When will the Climate Council and Flannery be called to account for their dud forecasts and level of stupidity. Here’s the Bolt update, well worth a read. The graph on OZ cyclones should be shown to every school kid.
    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    September 18, 2017 7:19am

    “Professional climate alarmist Tim Flannery first became famous for his dud predictions after predicting cities such as Brisbane and Sydney were likely to run out of water very quickly because of man-made global warming.

    For instance, in 2007 he predicted:

    So even the rain that falls isn’t actually going to fill our dams and our river systems…


    But it was another dud Flannery prediction. Back came the flooding rains, filling dams – some to overflowing.

    Now a new dud Flannery prediction has emerged.

    Two years ago Flannery could not resist trying to exploit another weather event to preach his warmist faith -and once again did it on the ABC, no doubt knowing it would not question him on his dodgy record:

    Vanuatu has a long road of recovery ahead after the category-five [Cyclone Pan] struck the country on Friday night, killing 11 people and displacing thousands…

    Chief Councillor Professor Tim Flannery tells ABC NewsRadio’s Laura Tchilinguirian that the number of severe cyclones is predicted to increase as the warming affects the ocean surface.

    “Elements of the damage wreaked by that cyclone [in Vanuatu] are being influenced quite strongly by climate change,” he says.

    “Sadly we’re more likely to see them more frequently in the future.”

    This was already a ludicrous claim, given the fall in number of cyclones here and overseas over the past few decades.

    But over the very next year something astonishing happened. We actually got not one strong cyclone in Australia for first time in many decades:
    Another Flannery

    With thanks to Liberal MP Craig Kelly, who notes:

    The BOM report, that for first time since regular satellite images became available, that the 2015/16 cyclone season (the first cyclone season after Tim Flannery predicted the number of severe cyclones would increase) was only season not to record even a single severe tropical cyclone (minimum central pressure less than 970 hPa) in the Australian region.

    This compares to 31 years ago, when 11 severe tropical cyclones were recorded in just one season.

    Yes, he’s done it again !”


    Chris Mitchell:

    “This paper’s environment editor, Graham Lloyd,… pointed out [this month’s Hurricane] Irma had formed in a part of the Atlantic with unusually cool ocean surface temperature averaging 26.5C, about two degrees less than usual for such an intense storm.

    He also skewered the latest bulletin from the Climate Council, led by palaeontologist climate ­activist Tim Flannery, titled: “Fingerprints of climate change all over Tropical Storm Harvey”. Climate Council chief executive Amanda McKenzie had claimed “climate change is now supercharging extreme weather events”.

    Lloyd cited the latest scientific paper from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that concluded it was premature to suggest human activities had ­already had a detectable impact on Atlantic hurricane or global tropical cyclone activity.

    Accept the science is the cry from green extremists, but they don’t really.”

    • Chris Warren says:


      My point was that Don’s quip against Gore was false in that only the timing was wrong. This is a common misunderstanding exploited by some who seem to adopt a rather lazy “pollyanna” approach to politics, economics, Australian indigenous people, and the environment. I have given two other examples, Quiggin and Miller. I could list others in different fields.

      This lackadaisical approach comes from the establishment – government officials, university staffers, lobbyists and journalists who are inspired by their love of our current lifestyle and artificially resistant to any science that calls it into question.

      Further, yet again you have posted links to material that does not support your claims.

      If you read your material you will see that scientists have attributed ice melt to abrupt climate changes ie:

      “Molg et al. note that “all data indicate that modern East African climate experienced an abrupt and marked drop in air humidity around 1880,” and they say that the resultant “strong reduction in precipitation at the end of the 19th century is the main reason for modern glacier recession in East Africa,” as it considerably reduces glacier mass balance accumulation, as has been demonstrated for the region by Kruss (1983) and Hastenrath (1984). In addition, they note that “increased incoming shortwave radiation due to decreases in cloudiness – both effects of the drier climatic conditions – plays a decisive role for glacier retreat by increasing ablation, as demonstrated for Mount Kenya and Rwenzori (Kruss and Hastenrath, 1987; Molg et al., 2003b).”

      Climate changes held responsible are:

      Humidity – precipitation

      Possibly the early changes were due to coming out of the Little Ice Age, the pattern seen recently is due to climate change that is not due to natural factors such as volcanoes or solar radiation (sun cycles or orbital swings). Ice melt continues as El Nino comes and goes.

      Deforestation may well be an additional agency of climate change but the trend seen here: is too large and long-seated to reflect local deforestation. This may only be a correlation not a causation. Although land use change does change the CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Blith, when are you going to admit that nobody, NOBODY!!! is claiming that climate doesn’t change.

        It is only the blitherers such as yourself that fake the claim that sceptics do this.

        The “Snows of Kilimanjaro” have changed for many reasons but until you can quantify the ACO2 factor, just pay attention and reserve your judgement. You could also study Steve McIntyre’s audits of the legendary Lonnie to get some specifics.

        Don’t forget that our 1,000% plus increase in population and the UHIE this has had on the world would likely account for the majority [if not more than the majority, which would be just too embarrassing to contemplate] of that 1c of warming that has occurred.

        If, for instance, you ever put a thermometer on either side of a brick fence you will get a temperature variation often well in excess of this 1c. And that happens in 5 minutes.

        In the meantime, always remember that global warming is still well below Nat Var and your local sea levels are not rising.

        So do try to improve your debate by bearing the bleedin’ obvious in mind.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Well, well, the mad frenzy of climate change may be inspected a little more closely.

    Climate sceptics may soon join a key science advisory panel at U.S. EPA:

  • spangled drongo says:


    It even looks like nat var :

  • Neville says:

    More BS and fra-d involving our clueless Aussie renewable energy stupidity. Thanks to the Bolter, Nick Cater and Ron Boswell for continuing to expose these con merchants.

    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    September 19, 2017 8:46am

    “Let me demonstrate how our politicians are spending billions to give you more expensive and unreliable electricity just to pretend to stop global warming that they pretend is catastrophic.

    We are paying a Saudi billionaire $300 million to pretend to make a difference to the climate by ruining our electricity supply:

    Australians are set to pay $300 million in subsidies to an outback solar farm owned by a Saudi Arabian billionaire in a new test of the federal government’s looming energy reforms, escalating a dispute over whether to cut the handouts to keep coal-fired power stations alive.

    AGL’s controversial Liddell coal power station in the NSW Hunter Valley generates 50 times as much electricity as the Moree solar farm in the state’s north, which stands to gain big subsidies from households from higher electricity bills until 2030, as the government vows to ease the pressure on prices.

    Former Nationals MP Ron Boswell says end these mad subsidies:

    In recent years, the renewable energy target has delivered subsidies of about $9 billion to renewable projects. And over the next 13 years, renewable projects will receive another $36bn…

    More than any other policy action before or since, the RET [renewable energy target] is responsible for today’s energy mess. Force-feeding high-cost, unreliable energy into the National Electricity Market killed off any investment in baseload energy and made the grid more expensive and more unstable…

    The simple fact is that a new clean energy target would simply be renaming and extending the RET… At a CET certificate price of $60 a megawatt hour, wind and solar will receive consumer subsidies of $60/MWh, while a new, ultra-supercritical coal plant would receive just $3.75/MWh.

    The problem is that a CET values emissions intensity but not security of supply. As a result a CET is heavily weighted towards unreliable renewable energy and fails to recognise the necessity of baseload energy. The Finkel review effectively conceded this, arguing that under a CET renewable energy would more than double to almost 42 per cent…

    If a wind farm gets guaranteed market share and an $60/MWh subsidy it is going to drive out lower-cost competitors such as gas and coal.

    A good example of the staggering scale of renewable subsidies is the Moree Solar Farm in NSW. This project has received a $102m taxpayer grant and a $60m taxpayer-funded concessional loan, and will receive $141m in production subsidies (by 2030) … In the next 13 years, the project will receive more than $300m in subsidies but deliver about 1/68th (or 1.45 per cent) of the output of the Hazelwood power station that closed in Victoria earlier this year.

    Nick Cater on the Renewable Energy Target:

    The hypocrisy of the compassionate class takes your breath away. On one page The Sydney Morning Herald wails about the plight of the vulnerable, on the next page it’s slamming them with demands to increase the RET.

    If there were a prize for most heartless headline of the year, Peter Martin’s column in the Herald last Saturday would have to be in the running. “Get real,” it read. “Electricity isn’t that expensive.”

    No word — obviously — in Martin’s column about the jobs being lost because of high power prices. Perhaps it is because energy-stressed sectors employ a disproportionate number of blue-collar workers. Few graduates take up careers in steel fabrication.

    Freezing the RET at the present level of 23.5 per cent will do little to ease the short-term burden, but it will at least send a signal that renewable energy must stand — or crumble — on its own two feet. The renewable sector must be made to carry the cost of its own instability instead of passing it on to mugs like us.”

  • Neville says:

    Some scientists are having second thoughts about climate sensitivity. Here’s a new study that admits the models were wrong about sensitivity.

    And Nic Lewis and others told them 3 years ago that sensitivity to a doubling of co2 would be less than older models were showing. Dr Pat Michaels compiled a list of the most recent modeling studies to show that sensitivity was lower than first thought. Here’s the link and summary.

    Reminder: How The IPCC And Climate Alarmists Hid The Good News On Global Warming.
    “A report published 3 years ago by the Global Warming Policy Foundation showed that the best observational evidence indicates our climate is considerably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than climate models are estimating.

    The clues for this and the relevant scientific papers are all referred to in the Fifth Assessment report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). However, this important conclusion was not drawn in the full IPCC report – it is only mentioned as a possibility – and is ignored in the IPCC’s Summary for Policymakers (SPM).

    For over thirty years climate scientists have presented a range for climate sensitivity (ECS) that has hardly changed. It was 1.5-4.5°C in 1979 and this range is still the same today in AR5. The new report suggests that the inclusion of recent evidence, reflected in AR5, justifies a lower observationally-based temperature range of 1.25–3.0°C, with a best estimate of 1.75°C, for a doubling of CO2. By contrast, the climate models used for projections in AR5 indicate a range of 2-4.5°C, with an average of 3.2°C.

    This is one of the key findings of the GWPF report Oversensitive: how the IPCC hid the good news on global warming, written by independent UK climate scientist Nic Lewis and Dutch science writer Marcel Crok. Lewis and Crok were both expert reviewers of the IPCC report, and Lewis was an author of two relevant papers cited in it.

    In recent years it has become possible to make good empirical estimates of climate sensitivity from observational data such as temperature and ocean heat records. These estimates, published in leading scientific journals, point to climate sensitivity per doubling of CO2 most likely being under 2°C for long-term warming, with a best estimate of only 1.3-1.4°C for warming over a seventy year period.

    “The observational evidence strongly suggest that climate models display too much sensitivity to carbon dioxide concentrations and in almost all cases exaggerate the likely path of global warming,” says Nic Lewis.

    These lower, observationally-based estimates for both long-term climate sensitivity and the seventy-year response suggest that considerably less global warming and sea level rise is to be expected in the 21st century than most climate model projections currently imply.

    “We estimate that on the IPCC’s second highest emissions scenario warming would still be around the international target of 2°C in 2081-2100,” Lewis says.”

  • Chris Warren says:

    The sheer incompetence of denialists is stupefying.

    These fools, courtesy Drongo, claim that the Jakobshavn Glacier is growing and that the terminus is moving closer to the sea.

    The opposite is true, and denialists do not know the difference between East and West.

    Drongo’s citing of the dirty website “realclimatescience” is a joke. They claim the sea is to the Right (West) when in reality it is to the Left (East). They state: “Note the position of the terminus (on the right side) has moved closer to the sea since 2012. The glacier is growing.”

    Just use Google maps to see how ridiculous Drongo’s mates’ claims are.


    In fact the calving front is moving away from the sea. The glacier is on the “West” of Greenland not the “East”.

    There are plenty of other resources on the web to see what is really happening to the Jakobshavn Glacier and to global ice generally – free of Drongo cherry picking.

    And of course the Petermann glacier may appear to be growing since 2012, but this change just replaces the huge loss in 2010.


    Yet another dirty trick from denialists. They will blindly switch East for West if it suits their propaganda.

  • spangled drongo says:

    You bed-wetters are sending us broke, blith:

    “Billions wasted. Desalination plants mothballed. Power prices through the roof. Pensioners unable to pay for their heating. It’s time to count the shocking price we’ve paid for listening to global warming scaremongers like Tim Flannery.”

  • Neville says:

    Another recent PR study of the Greenland ice sheet shows that there is nothing unusual, unprecedented or unnatural when compared to earlier times. Here’s a summary of the Vasskog et al study that supports many other PR studies about Greenland.

    And much higher SLs and temps than we experience today.

    A Historic Perspective on the Greenland Ice Sheet and its Contribution to Global Sea Level

    Paper Reviewed
    Vasskog, K., Langebroek, P.M., Andrews, J.T., Nilsen, J.E.Ø. and Nesje, A. 2015. The Greenland Ice Sheet during the last glacial cycle: Current ice loss and contribution to sea-level rise from a palaeoclimatic perspective. Earth-Science Reviews 150: 45-67.
    One of the most feared of all model-based projections of CO2-induced global warming is that temperatures will rise to such a degree as to cause a disastrous melting/destabilization of the Greenland Ice Sheet (GrIS), which melting is subsequently projected to raise global sea level by several meters. But how likely is this scenario to occur? And is there any way to prove such melting is caused by human activities? The answer to this two-part question involves some extremely complex and precise data collection and understanding of the processes involved with glacial growth and decay. Most assuredly, however, it also involves a scientifically accurate assessment of the past history of the GrIS, which is needed to provide a benchmark for evaluating its current and future trends. To this end, a recent review paper by Vasskog et al. (2015) provides a fairly good summary of what is (and is not) presently known about the history of the GrIS over the previous glacial-interglacial cycle. And it yields some intriguing findings. Probably the most relative information to the discussion at hand is Vasskog et al.’s investigation of the GrIS during the last interglacial period (130-116 ka BP). During this period, global temperatures were 1.5-2.0°C warmer than the peak warmth of the present interglacial, or Holocene, in which we are now living. As a result of that warmth, significant portions of the GrIS melted away. Quantitatively, Vasskog et al. estimate that during this time (the prior interglacial) the GrIS was “probably between ~7 and 60% smaller than at present,” and that that melting contributed to a rise in global sea level of “between 0.5 and 4.2 m.” Thus, in comparing the present interglacial to the past interglacial, atmospheric CO2 concentrations are currently 30% higher, global temperatures are 1.5-2°C cooler, GrIS volume is from 7-67% larger, and global sea level is at least 0.5-4.2 m lower, none of which observations signal catastrophe for the present. Clearly, therefore, there is nothing unusual, unnatural or unprecedented about the current interglacial, including the present state of the GrIS. Its estimated ice volume and contribution to mean global sea level reside well within their ranges of natural variability, and from the current looks of things, they are not likely to depart from those ranges any time soon. Posted 21 April 2016

  • Neville says:

    A 1500 year (2014) Millet et al study of SW Greenland found a highly variable climate over a long period of time. But during cold periods the climate was more extreme and more stable during warm periods. Dr Lindzen has been trying to explain this to the alarmists for decades and we know that even OZ cyclones were much more extreme during the LIA. See ABC Catalyst and the fact that the last super cyclone hit the coast of Qld over 200 years ago.

    Other PR Greenland studies show the early 20th century rate of warming was faster than the recent warming since about 1994 and there was a long period during the 20 th century when it cooled or remained flat. Co2 levels were probably about 290+ ppm in the early 20th cent and about 350+ppm in 1994.

    A 1500-Year Temperature Proxy from Southwestern Greenland Reference
    Millet, L., Massa, C., Bichet, V., Frossard, V., Belle, S. and Gauthier, E. 2014. Anthropogenic versus climatic control in a high-resolution 1500-year chironomid stratigraphy from a southwestern Greenland lake. Quaternary Research 81: 193-202.

    What was done
    Noting that “chironomid assemblages are widely considered to be a valuable climate proxy in the sediment record,” Millet et al. (2014) set out to reconstruct a 1500-year history of past temperatures in the Norse Eastern Settlement area of Greenland in an attempt to “provide new insights into the relationship between the Norse society and local climate change.” To accomplish this objective, they analyzed chironomid assemblages from sediment cores obtained from Lake Igaliku (61°00’N, 45°26’W, 15 m asl), a small lake located in southern part of Greenland. A relationship between the chironomid assemblage data and mean summer (JJA) temperature recorded at the Ivittuut weather station (AD 1873-1960) and at the Narsarsuaq weather station allowed the scientists to ultimately reconstruct a proxy for summer temperatures in this region.

    What was learned
    According to the authors, “several climatically different periods [were] identified throughout the record,” including “a phase of likely warmer climate until ca. 680 AD,” followed by slightly cooler conditions. A “short-lived warm event” ensued between ca. AD 1000 and 1060, whereupon the climate shifted “toward colder conditions, as “a strong cooling trend” occurred around the end of the 13th century up until the early 20th century. Buried within this long term cooling trend were two periods of relatively warmer temperatures, from AD 1460-1640 and AD 1780-1840. The record ends with “a strong warming” from 1920 through the end of the record.

    What it means
    The Lake Igaliku temperature proxy reveals the presence of the millennial-scale climate oscillation seen in many other records around the world, which produced the well-known Roman Warm Period, Dark Ages Cold Period, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age, and Current Warm Period. But that is not all the proxy record reveals. Quoting Millet et al., “the AD 1280-1920 time window” associated with the colder conditions of the Little Ice Age “is characterized by high climate variability,” which higher variability, they add, is also seen in reconstructions from the nearby Igaliku Fjord, where other researchers have shown “the Medieval Warm Period was [also] followed by a cooling that corresponded to the Little Ice Age and was [also] marked by a more unstable climate.” This latter finding pertaining to climate variability is significant, because it provides empirical data that suggest that warmer climates tend to be more stable and less variable than colder ones, which data-driven deduction is just the opposite of what some climate alarmists contend will occur in consequence of CO2-induced global warming.
    Reviewed 27 August 2014

  • spangled drongo says:

    How fixated with Trump-hate are the modern, lefty “logicals”. This is the same ideology that gives us the “facts” on climate change and wonders why people are sceptical:

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