I have something else to write about for next Monday, but in the last few days I have been involved in someone else’s website, that of John Quiggin, a respected economist. He has taken a pro-orthodox position on ‘climate change’ for a long time, and is a member of the Board of the Climate Change Authority. I remember his dismissing me and my Planning Institute of Australia speech in 2008, but otherwise I have not encountered him in the blogosphere, apart from my offering him space here a couple of weeks ago to put forward his own views on ‘climate change’ and why he held them. That is, until the other day, when commenter ‘David’ on this website pointed out that I was being attacked on the Quiggin website. What Professor Quiggin said there seemed a bizarre interpretation of my views, and I suggested he make suitable corrections. Professor Quiggin did a little.

A commenter over there, ‘Nick’, apparently decided to take my work apart. You can read what he said on the Quiggin website, but I decided to bring his first two sallies here, where I have the space to set out both sides. ‘Nick’ has been informed, and may visit. I hope he does. Why am I doing this? I think ‘Nick’ displays clear signs of the believer, and they are worth exploring. It also helps to explain why were is no serious debate about ‘climate change’. I can’t put in all the responses I would like to make, but there is enough, I think, to illustrate the problem. I apologise for the length of this whole essay. ‘Nick’ has kept going on the Quiggin site, but without adding light.

First, ‘Nick’s’ opening salvo.

‘Don, I cannot understand your arrogance, unless it’s to compensate for the woeful incomprehension evident in your musings on climate change and AGW.

Your essay #4 : Is the Planet Warming? completely avoids answering the titular question in a direct and coherent way. And there is no lack of information to provide such a clear and direct answer.

‘Is the planet warming’ in the industrial era? The answer is unambiguously ‘yes’. We have a useful thermometer network. We have evidence from long-term tide gauges. We have evidence from changes to the cryosphere, shrinking glaciers and ice caps. We have evidence from measured changes to the atmospheric temperature profile. We have evidence from the arctic, in widespread changes to permafrost and increase in methane outgassing. We have long term ice-in, ice-out records for lakes and rivers, and long term phenological records for cherry blossoms and grape vines. The planet is warming, and continues to warm.

Back to your essay#4

Your graphs sources are unacknowledged, not very good form on your part. The first looks at the past 450,000 years and is irrelevant to your titular question. Why? Because the human species was not numbering in the billions, and had no sophisticated agriculture and infrastructure to plan, build and maintain during the vast bulk of that period. No matter the extremes that the long past show, we don’t live back then…we live here, and now, and in an unprecedented state for our species. A state that is threatened by any enduring climate shift.

The second graph is a crude picture of the Holocene, apparently derived from an ice core program…extrapolating to a global picture from such data needs to be done with care and explanation. You provide none. You muse that maybe that illustrates we are in a long-term cooling trend, since the Holocene Optimum…indeed that is the view of the experts. Their view is also that the anthropogenic CO2 spike has cancelled that weak cooling trend for many tens of thousands of years, yet you do not discuss that.

You state:

But what seems almost indisputable to me is that there hasn’t been some kind of special ‘right’ climate for humans. Our species has had to cope with more and less warmth, as we do at the moment.

Yet your first graph clearly shows that there were long periods of special ‘wrong’ climates for human beings! The glacial maxima were apparently times of species contraction to refugia, and homo sapiens was one of those species… and the Holocene has been a time when our species could eventually prosper, the stability of the last 10,000 years allowing agriculture and technology to advance. Now we are warming beyond Holocene maxima..we’re in uncharted territory, obviously with some good tools…and good knowledge, if only so much of it was not being rejected by AGW pseudo-skeptics like yourself…but it’s not going to be easy to deal with several metres of committed sea level rise in the next century and a half.

You may not be aware that the arctic is warming at a faster than global mean rate, despite the insolation level at that latitude being in decline for the last ten thousand years. IOW, the Holocene Optimum was a lagged response to the peaking of high latitude insolation, the increase of which brought the planet out of the last ice age minimum.

So yes, we should be in a slow cooling trend: the data based on orbital calculations says so.

But your third graph shows global warming since 1900….and it is quite rapid warming. [Re your ice cores, surface temperatures at the GISP2 ice core site are now higher than they were estimated to be at any time during the Holocene….a fact that is vigorously ignored by climate change rejectionists who love to cite a certain fake graph]

In your essay #4, it’s evident that you clearly do not know what you’re doing with your material, Don…though you may have attracted an audience to make you feel comfortable about that.’

DA Response I didn’t respond to all of it, because his piece alone is nearly 700 words. And he is right that I did not say where the graphs came from. I normally do, but I don’t think that’s a substantial point, since the graphs are well known, and ‘Nick’ is not disputing their force.

The tone of Nick’s critique is lofty, authoritative and scornful, indeed, insulting. It required a response, which went like this (I have edited it a little):

‘What follows is a short reply to ‘Nick’ who starts his long attack abusively — he ‘cannot understand [my] arrogance unless it is to compensate for my ‘woeful incomprehension’. Wow! What a civil start to a discussion.

‘Nick’ says that in my Chapter 4 I avoided answering the question ‘Is the planet warming?’ in a direct and coherent way. What did I say? This — ‘The apparently simple question like the one in the title of this essay is in fact almost impossible to answer unless it is specified further.’ And I explained why and showed what I meant any further specification. ‘Nick’ says I ought to have asked a different question: ‘Is the planet warming’ in the industrial era?’ Well, if ‘Nick’ had written the essay he might have chosen such a title. But he didn’t write it. Blaming someone for not doing what you would have done is not a helpful contribution to a discussion.

Then ‘Nick’ has a go at answering his own question. I’ll quote the whole section.

Is the planet warming’ in the industrial era? The answer is unambiguously ‘yes’. We have a useful thermometer network. We have evidence from long-term tide gauges. We have evidence from changes to the cryosphere, shrinking glaciers and ice caps. We have evidence from measured changes to the atmospheric temperature profile. We have evidence from the arctic, in widespread changes to permafrost and increase in methane outgassing. We have long term ice-in, ice-out records for lakes and rivers, and long term phenological records for cherry blossoms and grape vines. The planet is warming, and continues to warm.

Now let’s look at the first four of these claims, or assumptions.

(1) When did the industrial era start? My economic history reading says the second half of the 18th century — 1760 or 1770. Wikipedia says 1760. Has the planet warmed since then? Possibly, and I’ve said so myself. Unambiguously? Well, it depends on what you are using as measurements. So what measurements is ‘Nick’ using?

(2) ‘We have a useful thermometer network’. Do we? Let’s look at the datasets. HADCrut4 is the standard, and it starts in 1850 not 1760, and its designers are at their most confident from 1951 on. There are real problems with sea-surface temperatures until very recently. (See https://crudata.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/). GISS is the US equivalent, and for much the same reasons, it doesn’t start in the 18th century either. Try 1880 (http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/graphs/). Now I’ve written about all this many times. Yes, there are temperature data, but no, they’re not great. Yes, the planet has warmed, but up and down, as you will see with any long-term graph of ‘global temperature’. The best data are from satellites, but they start in 1979. Unambiguously warming it doesn’t seem to be, other than it is higher now than it was then, though not by much. And of course the 18th century was at the end of the Little Ice Age. One might have expect some warming.

(3) ‘We have evidence from long-term tide gauges.’ What evidence is ‘Nick’ talking about? The Sydney tide gauge, which is one of the long-term ones, shows an average 6.5cm rise over a century. For those who wonder why such a metric is important, the assumption is that a warming world will produce warming oceans, which will expand in volume, and cause a rise in sea levels. There is argument at the moment about whether or not there is acceleration of the rate of warming, but the measured rate so far is tiny. The whole area of the measurement of sea-level rise is made difficult by differences in the rise and fall of land-masses, but Sydney is a stable region geologically. Unambiguous? Again, I’ve written about all of his. Did ‘Nick’ somehow miss it? He believes we are set to experience ‘several metres of committed sea level rise in the next century and a half’. Not even the IPCC says this. Evidence from ‘Nick’? None.

(4) ‘We have evidence from changes to the cryosphere, shrinking glaciers and ice caps.’ Do we? What does it show? I used ice-core data in my chapter and ‘Nick’ didn’t like my data, because they didn’t help with his answer to his question. They weren’t intended to, because I had no prior notion of ‘Nick’s’ question. What data exactly is he pointing to? No sign there. ‘Shrinking glaciers? Which ones? Does ‘Nick’ know how many glaciers there are in the world? A few short of 200,000. We know little about any of them, and our best knowledge has occurred since 1999. Unambiguous since the beginning of the industrial era? Hardly. The glaciers closest to us, Franz Joseph and Fox, in the South Island of New Zealand, have both advanced and retreated in the last fifty years. Unambiguous?

There are four more sentences/claims/assumptions in just the paragraph I quoted, and each of them is equally questionable. And ‘Nick’ provides no evidence, no data — he just makes a claim, as though all of this is somehow given. The rest of his critique is of the same quality — expansive, authoritative and empty of evidence. Can I make the point, as politely as I can, that when one is talking about major changes to policy, one has to do much better than vague claims?

I’ve looked hard through my Chapter 4, and I can find no ‘arrogance’ there. It is not arrogant to point out apparent errors or flaws in analysis. That was my job, in research policy and funding, for almost three decades. Nor can I find any ‘woeful incomprehension’, and ‘Nick’ has not shown any evidence of it. What I do find, both in his long complaint, and in the words of others on the Quiggin website, is a kind of indignation that someone of apparent standing could object intellectually to the CAGW orthodoxy. How dare he!

Tough. I was trained to find problems in what others were proposing, not to smile and let them through. I’m happy to argue the case on proper grounds, but to be called a ‘denialist’ is a bit too religious for me.’

Nick decided to go further, and posted a second critique. This one was shorter.

‘Deconstructing Don again: from his essay #5 ‘Are human beings causing the warming?’

Readers should note that ‘extremely likely’ in [the IPCC AR5 WGI SPM D.3 attribution discussion] means that those who wrote the statement assert that the probability of their being right here is more than 95 per cent (not that the probability of their being right is 95 per cent). I object to this sort of language, which gives the impression that real data show this to be the cause, and that it is not simply the opinion of the writers

…and the ‘opinion’ of the writers is drawn from a multitude of real data and observations, and synthesis of real data, evidence, theory and natural laws….not exactly a casual ‘opinion’.

Don makes no attempt to understand why and how attribution is decided then presented in such a report of unprecedented length and detail. Needless to say, it’s a complex and diverse process. It’s important to consider it…but Aitkin is completely uncurious, and prefers ignorance.

Then he offers:

Readers might also note that the baseline is now 1951, during a cooling period. Why not 1900, or 1850? My explanation is that starting at 1951 removes the need to explain a similar warming period between 1910 and 1940, when carbon dioxide is not thought to be important.

This has been plucked from his backside. 1951 was not during a ‘cooling period’, it was during a period of hiatus, and 1951-1980 is pretty much trendless, an ideal baseline. The reason for the baseline concept is discussed in the reports. The most important thing being that there is quality data, and thirty years of it. 1951-80 is ideal. His ‘explanation’ is deliberate rubbish. He could have cited the reports.

The question of the ‘attribution’ of global warming is perhaps the clearest case of the science not being settled. To begin with, there is no paper that clearly shows the link…

He wants one paper, and thinks it reasonable or necessary to demand it? There are so many papers that consider attribution directly or indirectly, and since attribution is fundamental to the ‘diagnosis’ and the strategies to deal with it, there is a chapter on it in the assessment reports. Don didn’t seem to think he could mention this…it might be too neutrally informative. Don should have no trouble understanding the concept of ‘synthesis report’…but again the aim is not to inform, but to pretend to consider.

That’s just the first few paragraphs of the essay…showing no respect for subject or reader, dispiriting, dull, and of no informative value.’

DA Response Well, there you go. I am dispiriting, dull and offer no informative value. The insults continue. But let’s look again at some of Nick’s critique.

(1) I did not say that the SPM statement was a ‘casual opinion’. Read it again. I said the the use of numbers here gives the impression that we are talking about real data, and we are not. Yes, there are no doubt some expert opinions here, but the numerical language gives the impression that we are talking about statistics. And we are not. We are talking about opinions.

(2) Things I pluck from my backside? No, by just looking at the data. There is indeed a slight cooling trend from about 1940 to about 1980. I don’t mind if ‘Nick’ wants to call it a hiatus. The important message, in the passage he objects to, is something else — that by starting at 1951 the writers did not have to deal with the cause of the warming trend from about 1910 and 1940, which is of much the same size and shape as that in the second half of the 20th century. It was simply ignored. Why? Why did not ‘Nick’ deal with it himself?

(3) ‘There is no paper that shows the link’. If ‘Nick’ thinks there is a paper that conclusively shows the link between increasing CO2 levels and increasing temperature, one that deals with the rises and falls in temperature alongside a steady increase in CO2, one that distinguishes CO2 ‘forcing’ from natural variation, and deals with the hiatus from the beginning of this century to last year, then I would be most happy to hear of it. There are many papers that have a go at aspects of this intractable issue, but no one has yet done it conclusively, to the best of my knowledge. Of course, if there were such a paper, ‘Nick’ could just have cited it. Yes, there is a chapter on attribution in WG1, which admits that this is a difficult problem, and makes a case. But that is all.

In retrospect I don’t know who ‘Nick’ is, but I would never use that sort of tone in debating anybody about anything. It is full of ad hominem, hand-waving, righteous indignation and scorn, but empty of data, real evidence and appropriate links. It is as though none of that is necessary. ‘Nick’ has the truth, and ‘Nick’ shall prevail.

It’s all really sad. We could benefit from a real discussion between Professor Quiggin and even a sceptic like me. But he does not need to do this because he is on the Board of the Climate Authority, along with other prominent orthodox believers like Professor Clive Hamilton, who says he knows who to believe. Whereas, I don’t think this a matter for belief at all, but for cool, rational consideration of data and argument. We don’t have it, let alone from the Climate Authority.

Later: I’ve added this graph at David’s request. I found it difficult to do it properly as a comment. The temperature data are from GISS, the CO2 from mauna Loa. The data stop at December 2014. The source is climate4you, the most comprehensive repository of official data on most aspects of ‘climate change’.


Here is another interesting graphs from a different source altogether. No CO2, but we can assume it will go on rising steadily for some time, I think.


Join the discussion 282 Comments

  • Ross says:

    Take it outside, Don. Or better yet, go on Q and A. You couldn’t do any worse than our very own Senator Malcolm Roberts. ( It’s all corrupted, see?!?)

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Ross, I set up the website so that I could build an audience interested in what I had to say. I have one, quite a large one as websites go. I have been writing and speaking like this since the mid 1960s, and have no wish at all — indeed, quite the contrary — to go on Q&A. Television is the worst possible environment in which to explain and work through ideas. I withdrew from The Conversation when it ceased to be one. The Quiggin site is a place for heckling, not for serious discussion. And I have many other interests. No, thank you.

      • michael mills says:

        Glad to hear someone else walked from the “conversation” My “sin” (we are talking religion not science) was to sue a report by the British met office of a 20% chance of a little ice age by 2050. Apparently i was spreading misinformation and taken down.A all too normal response from the those that support AGW.

  • JimboR says:

    I’ve always wondered what the deal is with you bloggers always trying to drag whatever debates you end up in, back to your home turf. Is there some home-ground advantage? Surely the important thing is the frank exchange of ideas, not which URL we have to click on to find them? But then we have:

    “I decided to bring his first two sallies here, where I have the space to set out both sides”

    So it’s a matter of space? I’m surprised. I would have expected JQ to give you all the rope you need.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      There’s a lot of sheer abuse on the Quiggin site, and very little attempt at argument. ‘Nick’ was really the only one who tried to argue, and I invited him here, where I doubt he’ll get the abuse that was dished out to me there. There’s no point at all intruding to argue to believers. They have faith.

      ‘Frank exchange of ideas’? There wasn’t any apart from ‘Nick’, and he didn’t try to argue, only to sweep me away as unworthy of consideration. Indeed, he was addressing his fellow commenters, rather than me.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        ‘Intruding’ is not the word I mean, but Autocorrect liked it. Probably ‘entering’. I simply don’t know, now.

  • Neville says:

    Don you’ve given a good response to Nick but don’t hold your breathe waiting for proper data or logic and reason in return. I’ve tried to supply PR studies that demolish the claims that we are living in unprecedented or unusual times.
    The HAD 4 data (IPCC preferred) shows about 0.8 c of warming since 1850 or about 0.5 c per century. GISS shows about 0.7 c and the Concordia Uni study shows about 0.3 c per century. The Lloyd study over the last 8,000 years shows that AVERAGE temp PER CENTURY changed about 1 c. He used ice core records from both Greenland and Antarctica to try and get a more accurate finding. And our slight warming since 1850 is about half his average.
    It also comes at the end of the coldest sustained period for thousands of years called the LIA. So surely part of this tiny temp increase would be an entirely natural recovery of the planet? The Le Clercqu world glacier study found that there has been a slowing of retreat since 1950. How is this possible if you believe in CAGW?
    Also why was the warming after the Younger Dryas cooling so extreme ? NOAA claims it warmed on Greenland by 10 c in just 10 years.

  • Alan Gould says:

    From the passages you quote of ‘Nick’ it seems he turns to ad hominem and sneer reflexively, so degrading both discourse and science itself. This disgraces his argument which otherwise I allow to be fair argument for all I do not accept it as good argument.
    In your responses to him, you remain trenchant without ever losing sight of courtesy. I think you pinpoint one weakness in the alarmist proposition generally, which is its insufficiency regarding the scale of the planet’s processes as against human processes in particular, and the insufficiency of that proposition’s consideration of the time-scale.
    I’ve scarce laid eyes on John Quiggin since, “scarce-bearded” we both edited a poetry journal in Canberra in the early-mid ’70’s.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, thanks for your mild mannered, measured summary. In stark contrast to the JQ site.

    I’d be very surprised if “Nick” sets foot over here. He is an abject denier of the real world. He would not answer my question; why he thought that current average climate variability measured since the end of the LIA of ~ 0.4c per century was anything to be alarmed about and how that indicated any contribution from ACO2.

    When you are convinced and happy with the “97%” consensus it’s just so comfortable for the alarmist philosophy and it’s too much of a shock to come here and face reality.

    But we can live in hope.

    Meantime, here are a couple of links from JM on SLR a while back on my claim that indicates that there has been no SLR in Moreton Bay for many years:



  • Patrick says:

    I cannot add anything specific to your dialogue with Nick. I would, however, like to post some general comments.
    Nick personifies the ‘true believer’ in the IPCC ‘consensus’ view of climate change .. implicit, unshakeable faith in the IPCC and the resulting ‘consensus’ propaganda. I surmise that such faith is based on some assumptions viz.

    that the IPCC comprises a group of objective, impartial, unbiased ‘experts’. Unfortunately these characteristics are not accurate descriptors of IPCC and its processes. One has only to read the report of the IAC Review of IPCC’s Processes and Procedures available at http://reviewipcc.interacademycouncil.net/. This documents a litany of problems including political interference, bias, failure to consider the full range of valid scientific views, failure to respond appropriately to critical review comments, use of reference material which had not been critically assessed, lack of transparency in the selection of personnel and technical material for consideration, vague statements not supported by evidence, and a lack of any policy to preclude conflicts of interest (lead authors reviewing their own work and excluding other views).

    Yes the IPCC reviews the literature BUT can anyone point to the IPCC protocol(s) which ensure that ALL relevant material is included for review? The IPCC continues to place credence in computer models of climate which are unverified and unvalidated . Those models have predicted a rate of warming 3 times greater than subsequenttly observed. They predicted a ‘hot spot’ at 10 km altitude in the tropical troposphere. Satellite and readiosonde observations have never detected any evidence for such a ‘hot spot’. Failed prediction = failed theory. Natural variation continues to dominate our climate while CO2 is a bit player. Water vapour is by far the dominant greenhouse gas being responsible for over 90% of the greenhouse effect.
    Consideration of Earth’s climate over geological time scales provides no evidence of CO2 being the main driver of climate.

    The above facts are either unknown or wilfully ignored by the ‘consensus’ proponents.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      The Canadian journalist, Donna Laframboise, has published her own investigation into the operations of the IPCC – ‘The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert’, with Ivy Avenue Press. It, and various reviews, are available on the Amazon site. Excerpts can also be read online.

  • spangled drongo says:

    That comment by Neil White BTW, is the same White from the Church and White papers on SLR that tell us, according to the satellites, SLR is serious mum!

  • Nga says:

    Don, you complain about the tone of others yet you adopt a snearing tone towards the great majority of scientists (eg. 87% in the USA according to Pew AAAS survey 2015) who believe the earth is warming because of human activity. You begin your series of essays on AGW by dismissing concerned scientists and members of the public as “Climate Botherers”. You frequently use such immature language.

    Amazingly, you also actually manage to face-plant in the very first sentence in your series of essays. I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone do that before. This is what you said:

    I have written a large number of essays on ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (AGW) and its later sister ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004, when dedicated Climate Botherers could see that warming was refusing to rise as it had done, while carbon dioxide accumulations in the atmosphere were indeed rising as they had done.

    It is not true that the term “climate change” came into to use in “about 2004”. This claim is either disingenuous or evidence of incompetent research skills. The US National Academy of Science’s Charney report used the term “climate change” way back in 1979. It also used the term “global warming” to describe the likely impact of GHG emissions. Generally speaking, in the peer reviewed literature, “global warming” is the term used to describe the increase in global surface temperatures due to GHG emissions while “climate change” is used to describe long term change in the climate of the Earth or some portion of the Earth.

    Moreover, the Intergovernmental Panel on “Climate Change” was established in 1988, which is 16 years prior to the coining of the term “climate change”, according to you!

    I’m sorry Don, but right from the outset you demonstrate such manifest incompetence that you forfeit the privilege of being taken seriously.

    • Peter Kemmis says:

      NGA, I disagree about how the term “climate change” has been used in many of the climate debates. In one instance, some few years back when I was posting some comments on the skepticalscience site, in my then innocence I used the acronym AGW or CAGW (“catastrophic global warming”), and was taken to task that the term was now considered pejorative, and that the correct (i.e. polite) term to use was “climate change”. The reason given was that CAGW had been sneered at by “climate denialists”. The writer did not go on to explain why the sneering had arisen. I can only assume there was some sensitivity that many dire predictions about sea level rise and atmospheric heating had not eventuated.

      My own perception is that the term “climate change” arose generally in the public arena (as distinct from the peer-reviewed literature) as a substitute for AGW and CAGW, during the last decade. Now I’m not a “climate change denialist”. As with most “climate sceptics” (and we’re not sceptical about the climate!), I accept that the climate has been changing for some 4.5 billion years. I suppose we can hardly call it a climate until about 500 million years ago. So the term “climate change” is actually a euphemism, and euphemisms are consistently used to soften some harsher or more accurate term. In the case of the climate debate, I think the use of the term is a subterfuge, hiding the real issue we are talking about, so leading to confusion.

      Another confusion in the debate is to assume that anyone questioning the extent of human influence on rising temperatures, is arguing that we have not seen warming since the LIA (Little Ice Age), or that humans have not had any influence since that time. I know quite a few “climate sceptics”, and have read many sceptical comments. I cannot recall any of any significance that asserted either of those positions. Most climate sceptics readily accept there has been a warming, note clearly how little it has been, how irregular it has been over the last century, and that there may well be a human influence on the climate.

      Meanwhile, I notice that the observational data keeps talking, and it will have the last word.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Nga, what is it you don’t understand about the difference between the honest expression “climate change” and the deceitful one?

      The deceitful expression is for the express purpose of conveniently confusing the two, where the first is a natural occurrence and the second can be anything you want it to be.

      This conveniently excuses the complete absence of evidence necessary for the “97%” consensuals to believe.

      Or otherwise known as Fakery at the Bakery.

      And you have the hubris to suggest that Don shouldn’t be taken seriously?

    • Alan Gould says:

      In the ‘forfeit of privilege’ stakes, how does ABC Spokesperson, Robyn Williams qualify with his equation of Climate Sceptics with paedophiles, I wonder. A fellow safe to leave with a nation-wide responsibility for fair discourse?
      Of course one loves the rigorous scientific method applied to Robyn’s 2012 remark, just as one loves the authentic grief of your “I’m sorry Don …” above. Personally I find the degradation of fair discourse disgusting in both instances, while impressed with Don’s focus, clarity and courtesy.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Where is there a source for this:

        “equation of Climate Sceptics with paedophiles,”

        Did you mean equating?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          As so often, it’s not quite as presented. You can find the original on the ABC on’ Attitudes to climate change’. But the text goes like this:

          ‘Robyn Williams: What if I told you that paedophilia is good for children, or that asbestos is an excellent inhalant for those with asthma? Or that smoking crack is a normal part and a healthy one of teenage life, to be encouraged? You’d rightly find it outrageous. But there have been similar statements coming out of inexpert mouths again and again in recent times, distorting the science.’

          So he didn’t equate climate sceptics with paedohiles, but the words were used in an introduction of an interview of Professor of Lewandowsky. Let me say that that I think the words were ill-chosen.

    • David says:

      Nga, to add a little empirical context to your post, another record month for temperature.

      And a spoiler alert to all Delcons, link to Guardian.


      • Peter Kemmis says:

        Hi David

        Thanks for the reference: I note these last two paragraphs in the article:

        “The El Niño itself has dissipated, but the effects on global air temperatures lag for between three and six months, Karoly said. As the El Niño declines, the size of the monthly anomalies has been decreasing, with February 2016 showing the biggest anomaly since records began, being an extraordinary 1.32C hotter than the average February between 1951 and 1980.

        Eventually, the monthly temperature records will stop, Karoly said. “We are still seeing the tail end of the El Niño warming in global temperatures,” he said. “We’re not going to set any records later this year.”

        So if we see a cooling, ever so slight as it may be, is that because of a La Nina? And do I conclude from this article, that the El Nino has contributed to the 2016 “highest ever” records? So if we see a small decline in 2017, should we all become alarmed that we are heading for another ice age?

        And a record for how long, David? Since we’ve been measuring in these more modern times? So what notice shouild we take of the Medieval Warm Period, the Roam, the Minoan? Do we just ignore these?

        I look forward to your response, and hope that it is more substantial than another URL to speak for you.

        Incidentally, why do you imply that all Delcons are climate sceptics?

        • dlb says:

          Peter, I think that is a reasonable assumption from David about Delcons from what I’ve seen on the internet.
          Similarly I think you could say most passionate Lefties would be AGW believers. Both groups aren’t into free thought, they just following the standard script.

      • Ross Handsaker says:

        If the increase in carbon dioxide levels is the cause of the rise in average global temperatures over the past 40 years we need to look at temperatures in the troposphere where the outward long-wave radiation is said to be absorbed by CO2. Neither UAH nor RSS satellite temperatures of the troposphere show July 2016 as the hottest on record.
        Moreover, if CO2 absorbs the OLR and then re-radiates it in all directions (including around half to space), the temperature in the troposphere should be warming faster than the surface temperature.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      Where does your lofty tone come from? Are you an expert in any of this? Have you published, sat on committees of review, advised Ministers? What, in fact, do you know?

      In my reading, which has been extensive, ‘global warming’ was the term of art until the beginning of this new century. Of course the IPCC was set up before that, but I stick to my view that the shift to ‘climate change’ as the term of art came in the early 20th century. If I have time, I’ll see if I can document the shift properly.

      There have been a few essays here on terminology. I objected to ‘denialist’, and disliked referring to ‘warmists’. A member of my extended family, having escaped from what he saw as a repressively religious upbringing, referred to such people as ‘God-bothers’, a term I liked. Because the whole CAGW issue has a religious tone to it, I thought ‘Climate Botherers’ was a good term. But I don’t use it much, except when I come across egregious examples of it.

      Are you sure about the Pew survey and its result? It doesn’t ring quite true to me. I have no doubt that human activity has been part of the warming of the planet since the mid 18th century, and in fact I don’t know personally any sceptic who thinks otherwise. That such activity is wholly responsible for the warming is plainly improbable, to say the least.

      I don’t sneer at climate scientists. I do think that those people who take the 97 per cent cent consensus are having themselves well and truly on. That they haven’t bothered to go and read the critiques of the three papers on which the claims is based suggests to me that they are believers, and you come across as one.

      Your sorrow at the end of your piece touches my heart.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I thought so. The Pew Report got a large majority of scientists agreeing to the statement that the warmth was ‘mostly due to human activity’, not ‘due to human activity’ as Nga set it out. Since ‘mostly’ covers the range 50.1 to 99.9 per cent, and the IPCC said so anyway, I’m not surprised. My view is open: human activity almost certainly has played a part, but whether it has been above or below fifty per cent is not clear to me from the evidence. Natural variability is in there too, and we know much too little about that.

        See http://www.pewinternet.org/2015/07/23/an-elaboration-of-aaas-scientists-views/

      • Nga says:

        Thanks, Don. This NASA article backs up my claims re the terms “climate change” and “global warming” :- http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/climate_by_any_other_name.html

        You now say:

        Of course the IPCC was set up before that, but I stick to my view that the shift to ‘climate change’ as the term of art came in the early 20th century. If I have time, I’ll see if I can document the shift properly.

        Actually you will do no such thing because no such change happened. The NASA article I’ve referenced very clearly shows you are wrong. What we have now is an opportunity to diagnose the content of your character; will you admit that you invented your claim or will you lash out with more insults?

        To justify your use of the childish term “climate botherers”:

        Because the whole CAGW issue has a religious tone to it, I thought ‘Climate Botherers’ was a good term.

        Actually, Don, I think you will find that the denialists are the one’s who are most guilty of behaving like religious fanatics. From a News Corp publication:

        The governor of Florida, Rick Scott, has reportedly disallowed his employees to use the phrase, “climate change” and “global warming” when speaking in public.
        In a perfect example of the farcical nature of such a policy, video has emerged of one Florida official having a hard time navigating the unspoken rule.
        Bryan Koon, Florida’s emergency management chief, testified before the state senate’s budget subcommittee last week. Throughout his testimony he was forced to employ some linguistic gymnastics in order to avoid uttering the outlawed phrases — much to the amusement of those in attendance.

        Isn’t it usually religions that establish taboos?

        • Don Aitkin says:


          First, my salutation to you as ‘Nag’ was not my doing, but that of AutoCorrect, which knows that I must have meant Nag. I didn’t, but I have to write ‘Nga’ in twice, or the error occurs.

          Now, did you read that NASA link carefully? Here’s part of what it says; read the last two sentences aloud, in particular. Incidentally, NASA is not a standard source on what people say or write about. But this is what the paragraph says.

          ‘But global warming became the dominant popular term in June 1988, when NASA scientist James E. Hansen had testified to Congress about climate, specifically referring to global warming. He said: “global warming has reached a level such that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause and effect relationship between the greenhouse effect and the observed warming.” Hansen’s testimony was very widely reported in popular and business media, and after that popular use of the term global warming exploded. Global change never gained traction in either the scientific literature or the popular media.’

          There are two other useful sources. One is Anderegg and Goldsmith in Env Res Letters 9 (2014) which shows a great predominance of references to ‘global warming’ over ‘climate change’ throughout the whole period. That is backed up by Lineman et al, in PLOS 2015 (10.1371/journal.pone.0138996) . Same results.

          None of this is especially difficult stuff, you know.

          • Nga says:

            Don, you have a unique habit of construing evidence that disproves your claims as vindication. I have checked the papers you cite and they do not help your case. Here is what you said once again:

            I have written a large number of essays on ‘Anthropogenic Global Warming’ (AGW) and its later sister ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004, when dedicated Climate Botherers could see that warming was refusing to rise as it had done, while carbon dioxide accumulations in the atmosphere were indeed rising as they had done.

            Another way to demonstrate that this claim is nonsense is to do a custom Google search on the term “climate change” prior to 2004. If you do so, you will see tens of thousands of results with sources ranging from science organisations, government departments, the media and so on.

            I’m sorry, Don, but the very first sentence in your series of essays contains a fabricated claim.

            FACT CHECK: Fail.

      • JimboR says:

        “In my reading, which has been extensive, ‘global warming’ was the term of art until the beginning of this new century. ”

        Term of the art? That suggests you’re talking about how the professionals working in the various fields use the two terms. The NASA article explains that quite accurately with:

        “Within scientific journals, this is still how the two terms are used. Global warming refers to surface temperature increases, while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas amounts will affect.”

        You only need to do a search for papers published pre-2004 that include “Climate Change” in the title to realise how inaccurate your statement: ” ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004″ is. Your latest two references on this thread discuss which terms people have been googling, not what scientists have been publishing. Oh, and I see “about 2004” has already crab-walked into “beginning of this new century”.

        To sum up, we have:
        Don AItkin: ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004

        “Climate change, drought and desertification” published October 1996

        “Carbon balance in the tundra, boreal forest and humid tropical forest during climate change: scaling up from leaf physiology and soil carbon dynamics” published October 1995.

        “Climate change, coral bleaching and the future of the world’s coral reefs” published 1999.

        “Comparative responses of EPIC and CERES crop models to high and low spatial resolution climate change scenarios” published 1999.

        “Mosquito-borne arboviruses in Australia: the current scene and implications of climate change for human health” published 1998.

        “Climate Change 1995. The Science of Climate Change” published 1996.

        I could go on and on and on, but you get the idea.

        “but I stick to my view that the shift to ‘climate change’ as the term of art came in the early 20th century. ”

        Of course you do…. we wouldn’t expect anything less.

        • Nga says:

          Don seems to be impervious to facts. Now that we have proved him wrong he is even more convinced that he is right! If I turn into a clueless old nag when I’m Don’s age, I hope some kind soul will euthanase me …

          • JimboR says:

            Nga, Don’s ability to stick to his views regardless of facts is what makes his contribution so special. I can kinda’ predict how this is going to roll.

            “‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004”

            What you’re looking at there is actually a very nuanced statement full of meaning not immediately discernible to an amateur. “about 2004” can easily be replaced by “beginning of this new century”. In geological ages, what’s 4 years between friends? Give it a day or two and it will encompass anything after 1970. Also, there’s “climate change” and there’s “climate change”, Don was referring to the former, not the latter. All your examples are of the latter, and so not relevant here. Finally, those cited papers are about climate change, not global warming, so they don’t count. If you’re having trouble keeping up, fear not, another of Don’s specialities is diagnosing reading disorders.

            At this stage I’d say you have two choices… spend a week in futile arguments that go nowhere (a week you’ll never get back) or do what many of us do these days and just shrug… “OK Don, whatever”. One thing you can be sure of is that in some universe somewhere:

            “‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004”

            is true, and any effort you put into reviewing Don’s work is wasted. Oh, and if you do take the “OK Don, whatever” option, expect a bit of abuse on the way out for not engaging.

        • Nga says:

          I’m replying to your last comment here since I can’t reply below. I no longer intend reviewing Don’s work since he I have already established to my satisfaction that he fabricates facts and has no genuine interest in truthfulness. Anyway, it has been fun seeing him try to cover up one fabrication with yet more fabrications, i.e. the claim that his links prove his case.

  • Neville says:

    Some of the responses to Don above are hopelessly inadequate and seem to endorse the same religious certainty of ” I’m a believer and I will not consider real DATA from pesky PR studies and I refuse to use logic and reason to support my case.”
    So let’s look at some of their popular CAGW icons using PR studies.
    NOAA finds that tide gauge SLs are rising by about 1.5mm to 2 mm a year. So zip change for the next 100 years or about 15 to 20cm or 6 to 8 inches by 2117.
    Dr Goklany has found that death rates from extreme weather events have fallen by 97% since the 1920s. His work has been used by the IPCC and US govt and he has worked for both over many years. In fact his work is quoted all over the world.
    According to Dr Susan Crockford polar bears are thriving and some colonies “are as fat as mud”. 1950s numbers were down to just 5,000 but have recovered to about 25,000 today. An increase of about 5 fold in the last 60+ years.
    Since the popular use of fossil fuels human population has boomed and everyone on the planet lives much healthier and longer lives. I’ve linked to this a number of times.
    Greenland warmed at a faster rate in the 1920s to 1930s and cooled until the mid 1990s. It seems that the AMO is a factor in this warming and cooling.
    And world glaciers have shown a slowing of retreat since 1950. See Leclercq study.
    The latest British Antarctic survey study has shown that the Antarctic peninsula has been cooling for the last 18 years. And the latest NASA study has found that temps at the base of Greenland ( sea bed) are 10 degrees higher than the surface temps.
    The study of Island nations by NZ has found that 87% of them have increased in size over the last 40 years. Even the ABC reported their findings. Of course a young Charles Darwin understood this fact in the 1840s.
    The world has been greening since about 1970, see even CSIRO study that backs this up.
    The satellite data shows no stat significant warming for 23 years UAH and 22 yrs 8 months RSS. Thisv is using Nick Stokes’s data. And the south polar region has been cooling since DEC 1978. See UAH data. I could go on but will leave it for now. But of course I haven’t started on Dr Hansen’s Paris COP 21 mitigation BS and fra-d.

  • There are those who cannot abide any admission of uncertainty and those who cannot lie to themselves that they know when they don’t. The former will always contort reason and evidence to declare certainty. Their response to conflicting evidence it to suggest it is being prompted by some moral turpitude and thus unworthy of examination. These true believers in absolute certainty seethe with righteousness and are responsible for over a hundred million deaths in the past century. If they succeed in their demands to fight climate change that toll will be exceeded multi-fold.

    Ironically the core demographic of true believers in the climate change cult are urban non-producers whose way of life must become among the most unsustainable in an energy deficient world unable to support the existing population. In the world of zero emissions and dependence on renewable energy which they propose their own personal contribution is most likely to be in the form of compost.

  • Chris Warren says:

    That is the problem with blog’s, they will talk back.

    You can always find problems with the level of discourse the further you move Right. For even worse discourse try the right wing Catallaxy.

    Even on this blog we see examples such as ” Fakery at the Bakery” [Spangled Drongo] or accusations of “religious certainty”.

    Quiggin and other ALP economists (eg John Langmore) would probably describe themselves as a “welfare-state” or “social democratic” capitalist and he seems quite capable of taking short run variations in volatile trends, combined with projections, as representing a turning point favourable to his own point-of-view. At least this was how he advertised the Paris stuff, puffed-up with a bit newspaper journalism. [Quiggin post 13 December 2015 “Turning the Corner” passim].

    You get these problems with all matters of social controversy.

    Having been alerted to the Q&A program, I watched the reply, and I fully support the view of Brian Cox. and his presentation of facts and data.

    You can avoid arguing at cross purposes, with evidence, but you can never avoid cross-examination also based on evidence.

    Lets not confuse the two.

    • spangled drongo says:

      ” and I fully support the view of Brian Cox. and his presentation of facts and data.”

      Well, good luck with that.

      If you don’t think NASA’s fakery at the bakery is real you haven’t been paying attention.


      “We can see NASA – GISS not-fudging temperatures below. They are very active at it.

      This graph shows how thermometers from 1910 still need to be adjusted, even 100 years later. They need constant correction (the bottom blue line is the month of Jan 1910). Strangely, even modern thermometers need correction too (the top red line is January 2000).

      Over the eight years since 2008, the anomaly for Jan 1910 was re-estimated in many steps to be 0.7C cooler than it was thought to be back in 2008. Meanwhile the anomaly for Jan 2000 was adjusted to be 0.09C warmer between 2008 and 2016. Presumably the original raw temperatures were already adjusted prior to 2008. Who knows?

      And you thought that temperature data was just a number on a page and once a calendar year was over it was finished. How naive. Turns out it’s a fluid entity traveling through the fourth dimension. Luckily NASA GISS are able to capture the way temperatures of the past are still changing today.”

      As all good Marxists say; “The future is certain, only the past is unpredictable”.

      This is where Brian Cox’s “facts and data” come from:


    • spangled drongo says:

      And Chris, if you care to balance your view with even more evidence after watching an incredibly biased and mostly evidence-free ABC:


  • Chris Warren says:

    IN the above:

    ” I watched the reply” should be ” I watched the replay”

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I must have read ‘reply’ as ‘replay’, because I didn’t notice the error. I have no objection to cross-examination, and I am prepared to concede when I see better argument and better evidence in what is a notoriously uncertain area. But I wouldn’t regard ‘Nick’s’ posts as ‘cross-examination’. Perhaps you didn’t mean that.

  • david purcell says:

    Hi Don
    There are a lot of bullies out there who will never concede any point you make. But take heart, for there are many who appreciate, agree, and enjoy your “Posts”.
    My thoughts are that until we know a lot more about natural climate change we will have much difficulty proving the latest warming trend is mostly due to human activity. Pretty obvious I would have thought.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    I think there is a certain comedic element in the spectacle of an historian/political scientist and an economist arguing about who has the superior understanding of climate science.

  • Louis Hissink says:


    Having experienced this acrimonious reaction from the Quiggin site some years back, on climate issues of course, and from personal experience with the younger generation of geoscientists when I edited the Aust. Inst, Geoscientists News, (also having survived one or two hatchet jobs to sack me as editor for politically incorrect editorial policies), i have to conclude we are dealing with religious and not scientific minds; perhaps pseudoscientific.

    Religious minds aways defer to authority, usually written in some official screed or as a theorem, and react excitedly from cognitive dissonance when their beliefs are questioned. The problem with the religious is that they can’t change their minds. Not won’t, but can’t. Hence the ad hominem approach since they can’t counter the argument itself; shoot the messenger is their standard OP.

    As a consequence I no longer waste time debating the issues. (I should emphasise I got involved in the Climate Change thing during 2005 or thereabouts, when Michael Mann had his hockey stick graph first published. Steve McIntyre at the time worked as a mining analyst, and both he and I, as I also worked in the mining industry, came independently to the same reaction – how did they do that? Construct the graph that is. The mining industry has had its fair share of dodgy projects and discoveries, BrEx being the latest at the time. I became suspicious when I looked at the vertical scale of the graph and saw that all the variation was confined within a +/- 0.5 Degrees Celsius, or if a thermometer is graduated in 1/2 degree intervals, then all the variation is centred on on scale mark and within the gap above and below the reference mark. Essentially variation that is unmeasurable using a standard meteorological thermometer. This observation triggered my mining BS radar, and the rest is history – Mann’s algorithm creates tail linearity from random data).

    There’s no point arguing with these technologically sophisticated priests; you will never change their minds.

  • Michael van der Riet says:

    Interesting article, Don. The point of studying the opponent’s point of view is to understand it. Then you can analyse the arguments and decide which are valid and which are not. We don’t learn much by rebutting invalid arguments, except to become more fluent in rebuttal.

    We learn from valid arguments because they can improve our knowledge. When we identify weaknesses in one of our own arguments we can strengthen it or perhaps see that our argument is invalid. Perhaps we have diverted too far from our core reasoning and are using poor examples. Then again there are arguments made by opponents which are just as valid as ours, and we need to recognise them. For example if they argue against coal, citing its high particulate emissions, we must acknowledge that as true instead of dismissing it entirely. Saying that coal is cheap and plentiful and an excellent way to uplift the poor who have no access to electricity, does not rebut the emissions argument.

    Some of Nick’s arguments are, as you pointed out, pure nonsense, but some of them have strong appeal. I believe it’s important to base the skeptic position on admitting that there has been warming, and that some of it can be attributed to humans. Then you don’t waste time arguing about contentious issues that you can’t prove. The entire case for skepticism should rest on challenging the claim that warming will be extreme and disastrous. From there it’s easy to show that the war on carbon is futile and that its economic effects make the cure worse than the disease.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      I agree with you completely about the reason to consider one’s opponents’s arguments, and indeed I said as much somewhere here.

      But which are the ones that have strong appeal to you, Michael, and why?

    • Peter Kemmis says:

      Good points, Michael.

      I have no disagreement about accepting the fact of particulates emitted from coal burning – not so long ago that London had those absolutely dreadful lung-busting fogs, in a time where there were no scrubbers, a story true for many parts in China today. The problem about emissions discussion is that emission of particulates is conflated with emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, and those emissions are in turn conflated with rising global temperatures. All this despite the last nearly twenty years of rising emissions and flat-lining atmospheric temperatures, with no acceleration in sea level rises (and perhaps a deceleration in the rates prevailing for much of the last century).

      And yes,, there has been warming, and yes, I’m quite prepared to accept that we humans have made some contribution, but argue that we do not know how much that has been.

      Good luck with demonstrating that the war on carbon dioxide is futile, and the economic effects worse than the disease; you may have some good fortune with that, in some rational world. But not this one. Not yet.

  • Neville says:

    The 2013 Eemian Interglacial study found that Greenland temp was 8 c warmer than today and SLs were 4 to 8 metres higher than now.
    This last Eemian Interglacial lasted from about 130,000 to 115,000 years ago. And they now say more melting at that time must have occurred on Antarctica for SLs to reach those much higher levels. The Petit et al Antarctic Eemian study found that when the temp dropped into the next full glaciation Co2 levels remained high for at least a further 6,000 years. And don’t forget that Co2 levels were about 290ppm at that time, not the 400 ppm we have today.
    Sort of stuffs up their mitigation of CAGW story that they try to spin today. Here’s the Greenland Eemian study.


  • Neville says:

    Dr Jennifer Marohasy questions Brian Cox’s conclusions on ABC Q&A. If you take the time to read this article you will learn a lot more about the BOM temp data-base and how they keep changing past temps at different sites. Sometimes these temp adjustments deliver a warming of 1 to 2 c over a period of time.


    Also another good post from Jo Nova on Bill Mc Kibben’s WAR on climate change. Bill is probably one of the more extreme people on the warmist side. Jo has some good links and graphs etc. That big temp spike on Antarctica from 1670 to 1700 is a mystery that shows up from the different core studies. Where did it come from and where did it go over such a short period? This big temp spike was included in the PAGES 2 K study that also found that Antarctica was warmer than today from 141 AD to 1250 AD. Note this shows another strong Med warm period from the SH.

    Here’s Jo Nova’s article.


  • PeterE says:

    I was struck by how similar was the kind of hand-waving, aggressively smiling, angry, and over the top shouting that characterizes Nick , with the display from Professor Cox the other night on Q&A. I detect a mood of panic there. ‘Take this seriously; we’re all going to perish!’

  • John Quiggin says:

    Comment also posted from my blog, to Don

    it’s pretty silly to think that a debate between a political scientist and an economist is going to tell us much about physical science. But, I have an adequate knowledge of time series statistics to address at least some of the issues. Given that Don makes claims about warming trends, he presumably thinks he has picked up enough statistics to speak knowledgeably on the issue.

    So, in the interest of discussion, Don, I suggest you propose a simple time series model incorporating a global warming trend and some measure of ENSO, then spell out the statistical test you would propose for a structural break around 2000 (the so-called hiatus). If you do that, I’ll be happy to respond.

    • Neville says:

      John here is the 2010 BBC interview with Phil Jones after the Climategate email scandal. The four warming trends are within one hundredth of a degree C. Do you really believe that these trends are not the same? This is using the IPCC preferred HAD 4data.


      Of course there has been no global warming using UAH satellite data since 1998. And there has been no stat significant warming using UAH V 6 data for 23 years and 1 month. For RSS the period is 22 years 8 months. And slight cooling over the South polar region since DEC 1978.

      • tripitaka says:

        It seems to me that Prof Quiggin has gone out of his busy and productive way to provide Don Aitkin with a good starting point for this putative debate.

        Amazing that a Neville would consider it appropriate to put himself forward in such a common and ill-mannered way with such a foolish question.

        Please note that I believe in free speech and that offence is never given, always taken. So if anyone does take offence please give it back. It is not yours to take.

      • John Quiggin says:

        Neville, since you are willing to use terms like “statistical significance”, I assume you are claliming some knowledge of time series statistics. Given that Don has declined my invitation to present a statistical analysis showing a break in the warming trend, i’ll extend it to you instead.

        • Neville says:

          John I have no interest in your request. I’ll just say that the HAD 4 warming trends are the same as conceded by Prof Phil Jones. Fairly easy to understand.
          Also the SS trend for the satellite data was calculated by Werner Brozek using Nick Stokes’s information. Both men are from your side of the ledger, so what more do you want?
          But please answer Don’s request, are you really interested in evidence, data and the scientific method?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      As I have already said on your blog, my invitation to you has priority, I think. Tell us what you think is the case about global warming, or climate change (with or without the inverted commas — I use the inverted commas to refer to climate change that has only been caused by human activity, the UNFCCC definition), and why you think so. I am referring to the data and the argument, not to what 97 per cent of climate scientists are supposed to say, or what learned academies say, or what governments say. Just the data, and the relevant argument. That is the basis of my position. What is yours?

      Incidentally, I am not supposing my knowledge is greater than yours. I simply have no idea how you come to the view you do. I know what Clive Hamilton thinks (he says he knows whom to believe) and I know what Ross Garnaut said at the beginning of his report (it was not for him to go down the science path). What about you? If yours is like theirs just say so.

      And I’m not interested at all in responding to your proposal. My position is that the data are too imprecise, and drawn from too inadequate a base, to justify the kinds of precision that we see in the the WG1 papers of the various ARs, let alone the confident statements made in the Summary for Policy Makers, let alone the carbon taxes and their counterparts that various governments have put in place or talked about..

  • John Quiggin says:

    “My position is that the data are too imprecise, and drawn from too inadequate a base, to justify the kinds of precision that we see in the the WG1 papers of the various ARs,”

    This is also a statistical claim. If you seriously want to maintain it, spell it out in quantitative terms, rather than bandying words. What measure of imprecision are you using, and how does it show that the scientific work summarised in WG1 is wrong?

    • spangled drongo says:

      JQ, to put it in to simple wording:

      We do accept that average global surface temperatures have increased by at least 0.5?C since pre-industrial times. Many of us think that the thermometer record is somewhat unreliable. It is a matter of official record that, in recent decades, old temperature data prior to the 1970’s have been adjusted down by as much as 0.3?C ( see my links upthread) and data after the 1970’s adjusted up, which has increased claimed net warming by a few tenths of a degree. NASA GISS and other official record-keepers say these “data adjustments” are valid, but many of us think they are self-serving. However, we could be wrong, and the net warming since 1880 might be as much as 0.8?C.

      We do accept that unprecedented burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, and some changes in land use, are likely responsible for a significant fraction of the actual warming. However, based on comparison of actual temperature observations with IPCC climate models, it is very likely, because this warming is still only ~ half natural climate variability during the Holocene and only a tiny fraction of nat var prior to that, that the majority of warming is due to natural causes and processes not under human control or influence.

      Without even dwelling on the possibility of any advantage for humans from this warming, please tell me if this is not a reasonable conclusion to draw from the current situation?

    • Don Aitkin says:


      Seventy per cent of the world’s surface is ocean, and we have never, ever, had good temperature data for that 70 per cent. In the 19th century and until after WWII what we knew came from ship-log measurements, which gave us a lot of data about very restricted sea lanes. We still, even now, have limited coverage of the oceans. We would need doubling or trebling of the Argo buoys to be comfortable. And Argo data are very recent.

      What measure of precision do you think we have about the oceans? And how do you sort out the differences between buckets of leather, steel buckets, engine intake measurements, and the rest?

      There is a large literature on sea surface temperature measurements, and I read a lot of it years ago. It didn’t fill me with any confidence. There are a few posts here you could read simply by searching for sea-level rise, or sea-surface temperatures. And there’s another anomaly. None of the measurements really measure the surface temperature. On land there is at least an agreed procedure.

      I’m not sure that what I said is strictly a statistical claim, but if it is, then the errors involved are large ones. And we are talking about increases in temperature of less than one per cent, globally. Do you wonder why I am sceptical?

  • John Quiggin says:

    “As I have already said on your blog, my invitation to you has priority, I think.”

    OK, I’ll state my view on the issues I can assess based on my own statistical expertise, views consistent with those of experts in other fields relevant to this topic. Since you also state that your views are based on “the data”, I assume we are arguing on the same ground.

    The time-series evidence indicates an upward trend in global temperatures, with fluctuations due to a variety of factors some of which are fairly well understood (ENSO, volcanoes) and some less well. There is no statistical evidence to suggest that this trend has stopped or permanently slowed.

    I suggest that we could test this with classical inference on a simple model, monthly data from (say) 1970 to the present, AR(1) error process, two dummy variables for El Nino and La Nina episodes respectively, a linear trend and a dummy for a trend break in 1997 (or whatever date you nominate), 95 per cent. I haven’t done the test, but I confidently predict
    (i) the trend variable will be significantly different from zero
    (ii) the structural break variable won’t be

    Do you disagree?

  • Don Aitkin says:


    But there is no dispute here, at least in general. I have said, in this set of comments or a recent one (and elsewhere, and for years) that the earth seems to be warming, though not spectacularly nor steadily. Inasmuch as we have reliable data, and we don’t have a lot of it, it seems to me probable than the earth has warmed, in general, since the mid 18th century. there appears to be a cyclic pattern to it, at least since about 1850.

    What I have doubts about are:

    (i) that such warming is ‘unprecedented’. There seems to have been equally warm , or warmer, periods in recorded human history;
    (ii) how much of this warming is due to human activity of all kinds;
    (iii) if the relationship between CO2 and warming is logarithmic, which seems generally accepted, why it is assumed that we could have runaway warming;
    (iv) why warming is not valued, since it leads to greening and greater food production;
    (v) why sea-level rises (which are complicated things to measure accurately) are thought to be really catastrophic, given that there has been very little sea-level rise in the last century or so, and do no conclusive sign that the rise is accelerating.

    Looking back at that list, I said it all in 2008. Nothing much has happened to make me think things have changed.

    I don’t have much faith in the productive power of the GCMs, if only because they have not been good at predicting. But I’m happy to leave that one to the future, along with the MAGICC indication that no carbon tax anywhere will have any effect on global temperatures.

    My experience has been in analysing large requests for money for research across the whole field of human endeavour, from 1981 to 2010. I don’t remember any request for funding for research about global warming up until I left ASTEC in 1992. There had not been any big ones coming to the ARC by the time I left at the end of 1990. If one were to come now I think I would find the problems with the proposed research really large. That wouldn’t stop our funding something, but I would be dubious about its long-term value. Still, we used to fund things that were problematic, and ASTEC did do work on issue problems, of which climate change is an excellent example.

    Does that help?

    • JimboR says:

      “But there is no dispute here”

      Don, you do claim “there has been very little warming over the last twenty years.” JQs experiment seems like a good chance to test that claim.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Do we really need a time-series to show us what the data show to the eye? What would we learn that we don’t already know? From 1996 to 2016 there has been very little warming. Not at all what the GCMs predicted. The rate of warming over the last 150 years has been neither unprecedented nor steady. It goes up and comes down. Overall there is a small increase. So?

        • David says:

          “Do we really need a time-series to show us what the data show to the eye? What would we learn that we don’t already know?”

          If you want to test the AGW hypothesis yes you do, Don. Analysis of time series is different from analysis of cross sectional survey data. At a minimum you should first test if your time series data are stationary before commencing any regression. You can’t just eyeball the time series data.

          JQ is offering to show you how and why. You should take him up on the offer.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            My last attempt. (i) I agree that the earth has warmed, in fits and starts over the last 150 years, and perhaps earlier. (ii) the question is how much of this is the product of of human activity. (iii) a time series will not show us anything conclusive about attribution, because we do not know enough about natural variation. (iv) if you think it will, then, since you claim to have knowledge of statistics, demonstrate it for me and others who read this website.

            Don’t provide me with more work to do. I have enough. Do it yourself.

      • JimboR says:

        “Do we really need a time-series to show us what the data show to the eye? ”


        I think a lot of your difficulty with all this stuff is you prefer to stay qualitative rather than go quantitative. JQ’s approach seems much more methodical than you casting your common-sense eye over a few graphs and declaring all is well.

        • Don Aitkin says:


          I have been trying to prune my language to avoid the use of ‘very’ (advice from both my first supervisor, Russel Ward, and my most recent editor). But, in your honour, I’ve replaced the ‘very’ that you thought was an example of crab-walking, whatever that is.

          Jimbo, there are several datasets, and they all seem to show a small amount of warming between 1996 and 2016. I f you think there is something wrong with them, you might say so, and explain why you think that is the case. You might also account for the differences between them, and explain why you prefer one to the others, if you do.

          If you think time-series analysis would show something that I should learn from, please demonstrate it. For my part, having come to the view that the earth has warmed up a little over the last century or so, I see no reason to use time-series analysis. What would I learn thereby?

          • JimboR says:

            So Don, I notice you haven’t answered JQ’s question yet. He proposed an experiment and without doing the experiment predicted a result, and then asked:

            “Do you disagree?”

            You give us….

            ” I see no reason to use time-series analysis. What would I learn thereby?”

            Don, do you understand the experiment JQ suggested, specifically all the details?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Jimbo, please explain how you think a time-series analysis will quantify AGW when there has been less rise in the more recent years of exponential emissions.

            But better still, as Don suggests, give us all the benefit of your wisdom in empirical evidence.

            And if JQ is so convinced, by all means go right ahead. His will be an interesting comparison.

            So, enough of the love talk, this is your big chance to strut your stuff.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            He is proposing a test to show one account of something with which I have no disagreement, that the earth is warming. Nothing in his test will show anything about attribution, or the variables that are aspects of
            ‘natural variability’. What is the point?

            Since I prefer satellite data to land-based, I regard the period 1979 to the present as giving the best account of global temperature trends. Those data don’t show anything of consequence.

            If you think otherwise, show me, don’t just propose new things for me to do!

          • David says:

            “…they all seem to show…” ??? Define seem.

            JQ is offering to teach us all how test for a trend, using climate time series as an example.

            It would be great to learn from him. And hear what he has to say. An opportunity to learn for us all.

          • JimboR says:

            “I have been trying to prune my language to avoid the use of ‘very’ ”

            My advice would be try numbers.

          • JimboR says:

            “Since I prefer satellite data to land-based”

            And I prefer campari to gin, if you’re mixing, thanks. But alas, in science our preferences don’t much matter. You need to look at all the data.

      • JimboR says:

        You’ve just demonstrated one of the issues with qualitative descriptions by crab-walking from “there has been very little warming over the last twenty years.” to “there has been a little warming”. That’s much harder to do when you’re dealing with numbers. You’re the guy who “likes data”and used to teach statistics at tertiary level. I can’t understand why you wouldn’t embrace JQ’s suggestion.

    • David says:

      “If one were to come now I think I would find the problems with the proposed research really large.”

      Really? So what methodology would you like to see in an ARC grant application to test AGW?

      1. Data ?
      2. Statistical model ?
      3. Statistical test ?

      • Don Aitkin says:

        You do love hypotheticals, David, don’t you. The ARC would await the application and see how the applicant proposed to deal with the issue.

        • David says:

          I am not exactly asking you to speculate outside your field of expertise. Surely, given your statement above, you can outline what you would need to see in a successful ARC grant application for climate research. You are an ex chairperson and have written on the topic for over 10 years.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            What would I expect, anywhere, in an application for money for someone to do something in climate research? A clear statement of what is intended, why it is important (i.e. why money should come to this project rather than to others), how it is to be done, what is already known, if uncertainty is important, how much of it there is and how the project could overcome it, where the advance in knowledge is likely to be, how quickly it is hoped to have results, how much will it cost? That’s the beginning. Then the proposal is sent out to referees, at least some of them not proposed by the applicant.

            Then the panel (three or more, depending on how much money is being sought) will look again at the proposal and the referees’ reports. If there is division among the referees there will be much argument. If all referees suggest that this is an excellent proposal from a top person, he or she will probably get funded. If they don’t like it, it probably won’t get funded.

            The panel members may themselves disagree about the worth of the proposal, according to their own knowledge and experience. The more experienced the members of the panel, the more effectively they will argue and judge.

            These processes were standard, with minor modifications, in both Canada and Australia when I was working there, and would apply across all fields of research.

  • Ross says:

    Exciting times for Science Sceptics. You finally have a political party to represent you in Parliament.
    One Nation.
    ….Oh dear.

  • Neville says:

    The 2014 McKitrick, Vogelsang study used the balloon data from 1958 to 2012 to look at warming trends in the tropical trop over a long period of time. Here is a summary of their findings and the link.

    Bottom Line

    “Over the 55-years from 1958 to 2012, climate models not only significantly over-predict observed warming in the tropical troposphere, but they represent it in a fundamentally different way than is observed. Models represent the interval as a smooth upward trend with no step-change. The observations, however, assign all the warming to a single step-change in the late 1970s coinciding with a known event (the Pacific Climate Shift), and identify no significant trend before or after. In my opinion the simplest and most likely interpretation of these results is that climate models, on average, fail to replicate whatever process yielded the step-change in the late 1970s and they significantly overstate the overall atmospheric response to rising CO2 levels.”

    Here is a review of their study from Climate Audit . Plenty of links to back up their study. Vogelsang is maths prof and like McKitrick is a stats expert as well.


    Here is the latest review of ECS ( Equilibrium climate sensitivity) by Michaels and Knappenberger. The new Bellouin study could sound the death knell for high climate sensitivity for a doubling of co2


    Bellouin summarizes his findings:

    “Radiative forcing is a measure of the imbalance in the Earth’s energy budget caused by perturbations external to the natural climate system, such as the emission of aerosols into the atmosphere by human activities. Our preliminary [research] estimate of radiative forcing due to aerosol-cloud interactions, based on satellite observations of aerosol amounts and cloud reflectivity, is –0.6 W m?2. The negative sign indicates a loss of energy for the climate system. The estimate of climate models for the same radiative forcing is stronger, typically larger than –1 W m?2. What causes that discrepancy? Over the past few months, I have discussed with experts in aerosol-cloud interactions, and there are reasons to expect that aerosol-cloud interactions are weaker than simulated by climate models – and perhaps even weaker than the preliminary [research] estimate.”

    Bellouin promises a more formal and detailed release of his team’s findings in August.

    As they stand, the results of this new study seem to confirm the results of an analysis published last year by Bjorn Stevens of the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology which also showed a much smaller anthropogenic enhancement of the cooling property of clouds.

    When the Stevens results were incorporated into a determination of the earth’s climate sensitivity made by Nic Lewis, the result was a best estimate of the earth’s climate sensitivity of 1.5°C with a narrow range of 1.2°C to 1.8°C. This is a significant lowering and narrowing of the IPCC’s assessed range (again, 1.5°C to 4.5°C). The lower the climate sensitivity, the less future warming will result from our greenhouse gas emissions, the smaller any resultant impact, and the less the “need” to “do something” about it. Also, Lewis’ narrow range of uncertainty increases our confidence that climate change will not be catastrophic—that is, will not proceed at a rate that exceeds our ability to keep up.

    At the time, we wrote:

    If this Stevens/Lewis result holds up, it is the death blow to global warming hysteria.

    The findings being reported by Nicolas Bellouin show, in fact, the Stevens/Lewis result to be holding up quite nicely.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Did you read the actual paper? If you look at the actual data you will see a rising trend.

    Check this out:


  • Chris Warren says:


    Here is a comparison of model vs observations.

    Do you see any increase in “observations” [Blue lines]?


  • Chris Warren says:


    Do you think it is reasonable to adjust the data by subtracting the impact of the Pacific Climate Shift?

    As here: http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/GreatPacificClimateShift1976.gif

    What do you think caused the Climate Shift?

    • spangled drongo says:

      “What do you think caused the Climate Shift?”

      Nobody seems to know but 40 years ago when it happened, the cyclones that had been crossing the coast south of the Tropic of Capricorn and plaguing SEQ and NENSW for decades just suddenly stopped coming.

      Not progressively, as would be expected with any correlation to increasing ACO2.

      They just stopped in 1976!

      As if Bob Newhart was in charge:


      Nobody has ever explained this except to say that it is the result of some cycle or other.

      Almost certainly to do with natural climate variability.

      So what do you think caused the climate shift?

  • Chris Warren says:

    Finally – it appears that in UK – there has been a warming event in recent years at least according to this presentation: [using actual temperatures not anomalies]

    http://climate4you.com/images/CentralEnglandTempSince1659 1100pixel.gif

    Not so long ago it was reasonable to expect a cooling tendency as we are due for another ice age based on solar system orbital cyclical mechanisms.

  • Chris Warren says:

    This may be a better link:


  • Neville says:

    I thought I should provide a link to the Leclercq world glacier study. There was faster retreat in the first half of the 20th century. Just more real world data that doesn’t help the alarmist’s cause. Also Greenland warmed faster in the early 20th century, then cooled until the early 1990s and then warmed at a slower pace until today. It seems that the AMO has a strong influence on warming in that area.


    Also here is a link to NOAA sea levels. Nothing alarming there as well. Sydney 0.65mm year, Brisbane 0.09mm year and world about 2mm a year . Little change compared to the last hundred years.


  • Neville says:

    Just more proof that SLs at Sydney were much higher at the end of the much warmer Holocene climate optimum. This quote is from ABC Catalyst program.

    “Dr Macdonald: The date came back at about 4000 years ago, which was quite spectacular we were very surprised.

    Narration: 4000 years ago when Narrabeen Man was wondering around this area the sea levels were up to 1.5 metres higher than they are today.”

    Here is the link, where you can read the transcript or watch the video. Very interesting violent death all those years ago.


    Also the Calvo et al study showed that sea surface temp has been falling off southern Australia for the last 6,500 years and this seems to agree with other Australian and Antarctic studies. Also ties in with NZ studies.


    And to just repeat that the latest British Antarctic Survey study has shown that temp of the Antarctic peninsula has been falling for the last 18 years.
    Also to repeat again, UAH satellite temps have shown that the South Polar region has been cooling since DEC 1978. That’s a fall in temp for the entire satellite record.

  • Neville says:

    The greatest fra-d involved with their so called CAGW is the mitigation con. Lomborg has used the same MAGICC software as used by the IPCC and found that if every country followed Paris COP 21 to the letter it would drop temps by 2100 by 0.05 c to 0.17 c. IOW no measurable drop in temp at all.

    But this would cost about 100 trillion $. Of course this calculation is made using a much higher ECS estimate than the latest calculations would justify. So the justification for such stupidity is even more nonsensical. Here’s the link to his group’s PR study.


    But even Obama’s EIA states that human co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. Also using !EA projections Lomborg found that Solar &Wind would only supply about 2.4% of world energy by 2040. At the moment it supplies about 0.5% of TOTAL world energy. That’s why Dr Hansen called Paris COP 21 just BS and fra-d and likened a belief in S&W to a belief in fairy stories. Here’s the link to the US govt’s 2016 EIA report. See page 3.


  • Chris Warren says:

    As Don has said:

    Since I prefer satellite data to land-based, I regard the period 1979 to the present as giving the best account of global temperature trends. Those data don’t show anything of consequence.

    I agree that satellite data is preferable so It would be useful if the actual data could be identified so we can all be on the same page.

    Although surely there is no issue with the Mauna Loa atmospheric CO2 data, is there?

  • Don Aitkin says:

    For Chris Warren,

    I hope this works. There are two global satellite datasets. This one of them.


  • Don Aitkin says:

    This (RSS) is the other.The yellow area is the predicted outcome from the CMIP models.


  • Neville says:

    The latest study by Michaels and Knappenberger looks at the divergence between climate models and observations. They have many figs to show how they diverge over the last 65 years and the latest scientific ECS studies all show that the sensitivity to a doubling of co2 is much lower than the models portray. Here is how they finish their latest study.

    “That the actual ECS (at least as assessed over century times scales) is likely much lower than the average
    value of the climate models incorporated in the IPCC’s AR5 is an efficient explanation for why climate
    models tend to over predict the amount of global warming which has taken place—which has huge
    significance in assessing the utility of climate model projections for future climate change.
    Based upon these and other lines of evidence (laid out in our numerous scientific publications, books,
    blogs articles, social media (see publications listed here and here for example)), we conclude that future
    global warming will occur at a pace substantially lower than that upon which US federal and
    international actions to restrict greenhouse gas emissions are founded.
    It is high time to rethink those efforts.”

    And here is the link http://object.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/working-paper-35_2.pdf

    The GWPF report by Lewis and Crok ( linked from above) has as its title, ” A Sensitive Matter , how the IPCC buried evidence showing good news about global warming”. There is a forward by Dr Judith Curry.


    Here is a part of their conclusion at the end of the study. Note the ECS of 1.5 c lower bound in the third line.

    “The IPCC process of being ‘comprehensive’ allows the authors to stay away
    from the clear statement that we have made in this report, namely that the
    best evidence suggests climate sensitivity is close to the reduced, 1.5?C, lower
    bound. Figure 2 (IPCC Figure 1 in Box 12.2) gives the impression that even
    just taking the observational studies,many support much higher values of climate
    sensitivity. We have shown the weakness in these studies. However, if
    their weaknesses have not been documented in peer reviewed papers, it is
    difficult for IPCC authors to reject individual studies out of hand. In this case
    ‘bad papers’ and those using model-based aerosol forcing estimates helped
    to obscure the issue, leading to a wider spread of observational estimates of
    climate sensitivity.
    In conclusion, we believe that, due largely to the constraints imposed by the
    climate-model-orientated IPCC process, the WGI report and the SPM failed to
    provide an adequate assessment of climate sensitivity – either ECS or TCR –
    arguably the most important parameters in the climate debate. In particular,
    it did not draw out the divergence that has emerged between ECS and TCR
    estimates based on the best observational evidence and those embodied in
    global climate models”.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Breaking NEWS!!!

    The world is WARMING!!!

    John Quiggin, Jimbo, Ross, Davey ‘n’ all, tell us something we didn’t know, that we’ve never heard of before!

    Give us a break!!!

    Do you really think this is what we’re sceptical about?:


    In case you hadn’t noticed, this has been around for a while [like, since the industrial rev] but what we all really ‘n’ truly want to know and we’re waiting for the “experts” to tell us [but they can’t] is how much of this 0.35c is the precise fault of our CO2e emissions.

    Now, are you all gonna stop blithering and tell us something we don’t know?

    Or just carry on trying to teach Don to suck eggs like a bunch of twits?

    I’m prepared to take bets on the answer to that one.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    for Chris Warren:

    Mauna Loa is the standard, though there is doubt the extent to which CO2 is well-mixed, as the satellite photo suggests:


    • Chris Warren says:

      Yes, so if there is this asymmetry, north and south in CO2, presumably one could test a hypothesis that CO2 causes environmental warming by comparing northern temperature changes to southern temperature changes?

      Unless there other factors, unrelated to CO2 emissions, that have similar, north south asymmetry. I think not.

      The amount of impact is a separate matter.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Again, I think it is generally agreed that most of the warming has taken place in the Northern Hemisphere, and that is where most of the people and industry are, whereas the Southern Hemisphere is where most of the ocean is…

      • dlb says:

        Chris, the southern hemisphere lags the northern hemisphere by a few ppm each year in CO2 levels. The bulk of the CO2 is produced in the north and takes a year or so to reach the southern hemisphere. Any difference in average temperatures between hemispheres would be more due to the asymmetry of land areas rather than a few ppm difference in CO2.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, Ken Stewart does a monthly update of UAH V6 at his site and comes up with all the graphs for the Globe and all the regions of the globe. OZ and USA also are covered by UAH data at their site. . Latest update is for July 2016.
    Even after the very strong natural el nino the pause is hanging on , but just misses out using monthly trend data. But the pause will return faster using monthly rather than annual trends. But looking at the recent cooling and warming trends is interesting for the different regions.
    The stand out warming trend is the NPolar ( about +1.5 c ) region and the stand out cooling trend is the SH. But OZ has the fastest cooling trend ( -0.8 c) of any region. South Polar region has a cooling trend since DEC 1978. Here’s the link. Note that without NP region there would very little Global warming at all. Of course this is measuring temp changes in the Tropical troposphere.

  • Chris Warren says:


    I will look at the satellite data and see what the story is.

    • dlb says:

      Worth looking at the “Climate 4 You” website, it graphs all the major temperature data sets and many other climate attributes as well.

  • margaret says:

    Oh boy! Man oh man! Oh brother! (No familiar expressions of opposite gender available) – I can’t even argue at cross purposes on this but I went over to look at John Quiggin’s site. There’s a seemingly lone woman’s voice over there too. She’s smarter than I am and I have no problems with that. Her recent comments regarding white male privilege resonate for me. Refreshing insights, climate change notwithstanding.

    • spangled drongo says:

      No need to be envious of her, Marg. She isn’t smart enough to rub two good climate ideas together and she loves insulting people particularly as a feeble defence for when she doesn’t understand what they are talking about.

      “It’s really weird the way people from this clusterf*k of quirky great white men who know things others don’t, want to lure you into their parlours before they can relax and concentrate on the issues and have a proper ‘debate’. Are they anxious out of their comfort zone?”

      Charming stuff. She simply can’t work out what is a reasonable Nat Var from all the paeleo data, to compare it with actual warming and come to any logical conclusion.

      It makes her very uncomfortable, apparently.

      You would play her off a break.

  • David says:

    Don you write to JimboR

    “He [JQ] is proposing a test to show one account of something with which I have no disagreement, that the earth is warming.”

    That is not correct. When JQ is also says “the structural break variable won’t be [significantly different from zero]” JQ is saying there has been no pause in global temperature.

    You have repeatedly stated that there has been, or seems to have been, a temperature pause. JQ is saying you are wrong.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      No doubt he’ll show us. What is unquestionable is that the rise in warming in the 1980s and 1990s subsided a great deal in the first two decades of the 21st.

    • JimboR says:

      Crab-walk Alarm! “there has been very little warming over the last twenty years.” has now turned into “the rise in warming in the 1980s and 1990s subsided a great deal in the first two decades of the 21st”. If that last statement was the extent of your commitment to this pause thing, we could just reply yes, curious isn’t it, but statistically insignificant. But instead, you build your other conspiracies on top of that:

      “its later sister ‘climate change’, a term which came into use in about 2004, when dedicated Climate Botherers could see that warming was refusing to rise as it had done”

      What you’re looking at there is a fabrication built on top of a statistically insignificant observation. Very little of this stuff withstands any serious scrutiny.

      You invite JQ here to express his views and he does so in a refreshingly detailed way (refreshing for this blog, no doubt standard practice at his). You wave them through with a: yes… no dispute here, now let’s talk about my list of grievances instead. The suggestion that you and JQ are as one on the data is ludicrous. For all the engagement you’ve given his response, he may just as well have written “I believe humans will be extinct by Thursday if we don’t act today”, to which you no doubt would have responded: yes… no dispute here, now let’s talk about my list of grievances instead.

  • spangled drongo says:

    But Marg, you surely don’t believe in the quota system?

    When Gail Kelly was CEO of Westpac collecting ~$13 million/year the only people you could talk to at branches were women. All the men were relegated to back rooms, particularly the smart ones.

    As a result, I have never had so many stuff-ups. To put it mildly.

    When it’s your hard earned at stake, merit wins out over quotas every day.

    Gail K was generally a good CEO but business is not about appearances.

    It’s about performance.

    • margaret says:

      Spangled I know it’s pointless even responding on this level. You have a closed mind.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “You have a closed mind.”

        And your much admired commenter at JQ doesn’t?

        I just happen to think that selection based on ability is a better way of getting a job done than selection based on gender.

        I’m happy to be shown to be wrong but please tell me how this represents a closed mind.

        • margaret says:

          Spangled, you presuppose that I am disposed to having heroes. I’m not. Words you use like envious and much admired are perhaps projections of your own inclination to have heroes. If you really read the article, if you could just walk in someone else’s shoes for a time, that would be mind expanding.

          • margaret says:

            Actually I do have some heroes and some of them are men.

          • spangled drongo says:

            ” Actually I do have some heroes and some of them are men.”

            But only if their “white male privilege” is not resonating too much?

            I not only reddit, I have lived it.

            Merit may be someone’s opinion but if it is based on runs on the board, as it should be, it is way ahead of quota.

  • Peter S says:


    I always enjoy your essays. They are cogent, well thought out and very incisive. Not sure why you bothered tomengage Quiggen. For a start he is not a scientist. But he is committed. Religious zealots aren’t worth the effort, and so many people pushing the climate change agenda are indeed zealots.

    Your nemesis Nick is certainly a zealot. He reminds me of one Mike Hansen, a zealot who haunts The Conversation continually. I wonder sometimes what these people actually do for a living. They have so much time to blog endlessly. And they are expert cherry pickers.

    Keep up the good work. For myself I was arguing a decade ago that the climate models were flawed – it is nice to be vindicated by observations. Ahter all, that is the basis of the scientific method.

    • john says:

      For some believers, no climate change = no job. They will argue climate change to the death because they have to.

  • margaret says:

    I think we are arguing at cross purposes.

  • john says:

    One day a couple of years ago, on J Quiggin’s website, there was a topic ‘how can we make right wingers believe in climate change’?
    A fair question since both the for and against camp can put forward strong intellectual arguments to suit their case. My suggestion was that the believers should put their money where their mouth was – travel around town using public transport and use Skype for international meetings rather than taxpayer-funded airfares.
    Needless to say I received a torrent of criticism for questioning the faith of climate change, which of course I did not actually do (even though I am a sceptic as it happens). All I did was answer Prof Quiggin’s question with the advice ‘stop being hypocrites’.
    After the reaction to my comments, I have never bothered going back to Prof Quggiin’s website and he is presumably no closer to answering his question..

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Dear Margaret, SD and Chris,

    You have all passed the three-posts-a-day maximum while I have been out and then dealing with the next essay. Fortunately, August 21st is nearly over…

  • Chris Warren says:

    Having now downloaded the data into an Excel spreadsheet it is clear that the satellite data shows a linear warming trend in the troposphere of 1.2C per 100 years overall, but 2.4C per 100 years for the north pole.

    There is no warming at the south pole in the data. Instead there is a miniscule cooling trend.

    There are 452 months in the sample or 37 years and 8 months.

    The data is so volatile, that it is hard to work with any other trendline.

    It is possible to get different results if you (carefully) select particular subsets of data.

  • Chris Warren says:


  • Neville says:

    More con tricks from the dendro mob. The greatest cheery pickers on the planet. Steve McIntyre should have a medal for his his hard work over many years exposing their corruption and fra-d.


  • Don Aitkin says:

    I am still in pursuit of the shift from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’ as a preferred term, a shift I think occurred in the early years of this century. I know I read an email from within the orthodox group arguing that this was better and more comprehensive, and I also read something from within the opposed group to the same effect, but for a different reason. I’ve come across a version of the second, a brief from within the Republican Party advising people how to argue with respect to environmental issues. A section goes like this:

    ‘The terminology in the upcoming environmental debate needs refinement, starting with “global warming’’ and ending with ‘environmentalism’. It’s time for us to start talking about “climate change” instead of ‘global warming’ and ‘conservation’ instead of preservation.

    ‘Climate change’ is less frightening than ‘global warming’. As one focus group participant noted, climate change ‘sounds like you’re going from Pittsburgh to Fort Lauderdale’. While global warming has catastrophic connotations attached to it, climate change suggests a more controllable and less emotional challenge.’

    I’ll provide the reference in a moment.

    • JimboR says:

      That all seems to be about you policy wordsmiths dancing around words. I’m more than happy to concede anything you like there, it’s not something I follow with much interest. When you said “term of the art” I assumed (perhaps incorrectly?) you were referring to scientific publications.

      Perhaps it reflects our different backgrounds. My idea of professionals working in the field are the scientists, yours may well be the policy spin-doctors.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        At the time I thought it was important — the steady rise in global warming had stopped and we had a ‘hiatus’, though it had not been there for long — and there seemed to be a coincident shift in public talk to ‘climate change’. I came across two versions of why that had happened, and i wrote about it somewhere. Challenged to show the source I’ve been digging round to it/them. One I’ve found (I think) the other not yet. In any case, in general, there have always been more references to global warming that to climate change.

        And there are at least two fields: one is science and the other public policy. Trying to persuade people about what is known through spin may be a third.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Some are using the term “moderate global warming”

    The moderate global warming that has already occurred

    see: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/28/science/new-study-links-weather-extremes-to-global-warming.html

    Moderate probably refers to the 0.85C warming already in the environment in the context of an increase to 2C in the Northern hemisphere that appears consistent with satellite data.

    The impacts have been explored here: http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v5/n6/pdf/nclimate2617.pdf

  • Neville says:

    Chris, Dr Goklany produced a study in response to the Pope’s stupid input into their so called CAGW delusion.
    Fossil fuels have been responsible for a much better outcome for human wellbeing and the planet’s biosphere over the last century. Everyone on the planet has longer life expectancy and certainly a healthier life as well. This applies to poorer countries as well as the wealthier developed countries.
    The earth is greening because of higher co2 emissions and deaths from extreme events have dropped by 97% since the 1920s. Our Bureau of Stats and lastest CSIRO data back this up.
    Here is Dr Goklany’s response to the Pope.

    Here is a recent study comparing death rates from hypothermia in South OZ compared to Sweden. More people die from the cold in SA( as a ratio) than in this northern European country. And SA has the highest use of very expensive Solar and Wind energy. Here’s a quote from the Adelaide Uni study.


    “Most of the deaths from hypothermia in South Australia involved elderly women indoors who were living alone, often with multiple underlying illnesses and limited contact with the outside world. Many of them had been dead for at least a day before they were discovered,” Professor Byard says.

    “This is in contrast with the majority of hypothermia deaths in Sweden, which usually occur outdoors and involve middle-aged males, commonly under the influence of alcohol. These bodies are often uncovered from snow drifts.

    The fact that South Australia has a much warmer climate than Sweden, with higher average temperatures and milder winters, does not stop people from being at risk of death from hypothermia. Elderly, socially isolated people are at greatest risk in this State,” Professor Byard says.

  • Chris Warren says:

    I cannot any issue here. One source suggests that IF CO2 concentrations increase then the consequences are dire. This is not contradicted by Pielke.

    I assume the Nature authors are aware of the arguments in AR5 cited by Pielke some time ago because they state (in the context of natural extreme events):

    “And that’s correct. But the odds have changed, and we get more of them.”

    So both are correct. AR5 is correct and statements about the future, with higher CO2 levels, do not contradict this.

    AR5, in summary, says “…the current assessment concludes that there is not enough evidence at present to suggest more than low confidence in a global-scale observed trend in drought or dryness (lack of rainfall) since the middle of the 20th century due to …”

    And the reasons are quite specific.

    1) lack of direct observations,
    2) geographical inconsistencies in the trends,
    3) dependencies of inferred trends on the index choice.

    This does not allow some to declare this issue as “Zombie science” as did Pielke.

    Maybe the impact so far has been a mere moving of weather patterns. AR5 says:

    “However, it is likely that the frequency and intensity of drought has increased in the Mediterranean and West Africa and decreased in central North America and north-west Australia since 1950”.

    The Nature study uses 0.85C as the measure for the current level of warming which seems consistent with satellite data except for the south pole. This was as CO2 concentration went from 300 to near 400 ppm with a bias towards the northern hemisphere.

    If one accepts global warming at low levels now, then one must be concerned at plausible dire impacts IF warming continues.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Well, I might agree if (a) the relationship between CO2 and increasing temperature were not logarithmic, and (b) the dire impacts did not come from the projections of GCMs, which have not been able to predict current temperature levels.

    It sounds to me that you are coming into this area in a fresh and enquiring way. There is an awful lot in ‘climate change’, which is why I tried to summarise my ten years of study in the Perspectives section. For what it’s worth I have read all the WG1s in AR3, AR4 and AR5. I would agree that IF the rise in temperature is unprecedented, and IF the CO2/warming relationship is not logarithmic, and IF the GCMs’ projections are right, THEN things might be dire for some people and places in a few hundred years. But there are so many rubbery assumptions, and such equivocal data, that is difficult to see why, other than the politics of it all, that governments would pay much attention to it, especially when no amount of carbon-taxing will have any effect in reducing global temperature.

    If I’m wrong about where you are, say so, and I’ll go back into my box.

    • Chris Warren says:

      So, from your document #4, do the various views boil down to firstly, yes, the climate is warming, but

      1) this is merely consistent with the Holocene Climate Optimum, the Roman Climate Optimum and the Medieval Warm Period or alternatively,

      2) it is not caused by such natural cycles. Instead human activity has introduced a new factor.

      That should not be too difficult to address – a simple email to a reference librarian (Science Reading Room at the British library or other) should produce what ever is needed.

      • Don Aitkin says:


        The reference librarian will give you his or her view based on what he or she has read. There is no simple answer to any of these questions. Is the planet warming? It depends on what timescale you are talking about and what data you are using.There are NO global temperature measurements earlier than 1979. Everything earlier than thermometers is based on proxies from one or more places. So everyone argues. Why do we argue? Mostly because the consequences of warming are said to be dire and governments are acting on that assumption (though not acting with any conviction, mostly appeasing, or trying to appease, the passionate minority, no more than 7 per cent in Australia, who see death and destruction coming, or at least see that possibility as a useful weapon for their own issue).

        I don’t want to repeat everything I have written about for the last four years, and that is why I wrote the Perspective series. May I suggest that you read them all, and then you will have a clearer i idea of what I think.

        I don’t claim I’m right about it all. There is too much uncertainty on almost everything in this issue for that. But it is a serious and data-based response to the orthodoxy.

    • dlb says:

      The logarithmic relationship between CO2 and temperature can be essentially described as linear going forward from current levels. I wish sceptics would not bring it up as argument.
      Don, I’m not sure whether your site allows postings of images anymore? So here is a link to explain my point http://barrettbellamyclimate.com/page28.htm

      • Don Aitkin says:

        I’ll see if I can do it for you, dlb.

      • David says:

        Spot on dlb. Don is confusing maths with science.

        If the dependent variable is CO2 is increasing expoentitaly then it’s effect on the log of temperature will be approximately linear.

        • dlb says:

          David, I think you have misunderstood. The dependent variable is temperature and the independent variable is CO2 which is rising linearly. Some “sceptics” make a big issue about the log relationship and how the affect on temperature decreases with increasing CO2. This is certainly the case for low levels of CO2, but going forward from our current level the decrease is almost negligible, hence we have a near straight line relation between 400 am 800ppm, with a rise of approx. 0.25C for every 100ppm increase in CO2. I shall put my climate sceptic hat on and say that is b all.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          CO2 is not rising exponentially, and as dlb points out the addition from the CO2 increase is by now tiny, and will get tinier until it reaches 560 ppm. If CO2 were to double again from 560 to 1120 ppm, what would happen, do you think?

      • spangled drongo says:

        dlb, your link to a graph as repeated by Don below tells us exactly what Don said, ie, ~ 1.0c increase for each doubling because of the logarithmic effect. All else being equal, of course [which it isn’t] and that is the basis of this whole “debate”.

  • Neville says:

    Chris Just tell us what to do about it. Dr Hansen started this catastrophic global warming crusade in 1988 and even he says that COP 21 is BS and fra-d.
    Everything is much better today so what’s the problem? I’ve used the US govt’s latest EIA report to show that they project 34% higher co2 emissions by 2040. Most of the increase will come from China, India and the developing world.
    Lomborg’s PR report shows that spending 100 trillion $ by 2100 will have no measurable change on temp. Even Flannery admits that there is likely to be no change to co2 levels or temp for hundreds of years or perhaps a thousand years. Backed up by the latest Royal Society and NAS report that claims there will be no change in co2 levels for thousands of years, even if we stop all co2 emissions today.

  • spangled drongo says:

    More essential reading for Chris if he wants to find out how “homogenising” has warmed the planet:


    • Chris Warren says:

      Jennifer Marohasy is not a reputable source and is just echoing the usual echos.

      She is from the IPA.

      However the position is put with data here [satellite and ENSO]:


      Unfortunately correlation is not causation.

      What would be the greater effect – ENSO on global warming or global warming on ENSO?

      Where is there any argument that ENSO causes global warming?

      I would expect El Nino events to occur at higher temperatures if the planet was warming.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “Jennifer Marohasy is not a reputable source”

        How about playing the ball, not the player?

        Not only is JM good at what she does in this auditing of questionable temperature adjustments by BoM that can turn long established cooling into strong warming but she, in association with Ken Stewart and other knowledgeable sceptics has brought up the huge necessity for an audit of the BoM and other “gatekeepers” data records to get to the truth of these well known, and admitted-by-the-gatekeepers, adjustments.

        Australian weather officials seem to share NOAA’s views. They reject full transparency in the face of informed criticism of their work. Stonewalling, and appeals to authority, are the defence. In any other field this would be a scandal.

      • Ross Handsaker says:

        “Unfortunately correlation is not causation” – agree but, could not the same be said about the correlation between the recent rise in CO2 levels and in global temperatures. Historically, ice cores from both Vostok, Antarctica and Greenland show changes in temperatures precede changes in CO2 levels – warming oceans tend to outgas CO2 while cooling oceans tend to absorb it. Experiment – take 2 containers of carbonated drinks, remove the caps, place one in the refrigerator and one on a table at room temperature and see which one loses its fizz first.
        Remember, the Greenhouse Effect theory has less than 1% of the atmosphere absorbing enough energy to increase the average surface temperature by 33C – from minus 18C (without greenhouse gases) to plus 15C (with greenhouse gases).

  • Neville says:

    Chris, here’s my links from a few days ago up page.

    The greatest fra-d involved with their so called CAGW is the mitigation con. Lomborg has used the same MAGICC software as used by the IPCC and found that if every country followed Paris COP 21 to the letter it would drop temps by 2100 by 0.05 c to 0.17 c. IOW no measurable drop in temp at all.

    But this would cost about 100 trillion $. Of course this calculation is made using a much higher ECS estimate than the latest calculations would justify. So the justification for such stupidity is even more nonsensical. Here’s the link to his group’s PR study.

    http://www.lomborg.com/press-release-research-reveals-negligible-impac t-of-paris-climate-promises

    But even Obama’s EIA states that human co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. Also using !EA projections Lomborg found that Solar &Wind would only supply about 2.4% of world energy by 2040. At the moment it supplies about 0.5% of TOTAL world energy. That’s why Dr Hansen called Paris COP 21 just BS and fra-d and likened a belief in S&W to a belief in fairy stories. Here’s the link to the US govt’s 2016 EIA report. See page 3.


  • Don Aitkin says:

    dlb, the graph you wanted to supply follows.

    It is similar to the one I used in Perspective:


    As I understand it, the doubling of CO2 has an immediate effect, then a smaller one, then an even smaller one, and so on until there is no apparent effect at all. If we assume that the pre-industrial level of CO2 was 280 ppm, then doubling will produce an increase of about 1 degree Celsius when the proportion hits 560 ppm, all other things being equal. We are presently at about 400 ppm.

    What is the point you want to make?

  • Neville says:

    Chris here is NOAA’s data for their 1000 year PDO reconstruction. The PDO warm phase usually delivers many more warm el ninos and cool phase more la ninas. This has happened over for sure over the last 100 years. You’ll note that droughts and floods must have been more extreme in the past compared to the last 200 years.


    Here’s the graph NOAA constructed from their data. 993 AD to 1996 ad. You can see the last cool phase ( more la ninas) from about 1946 to 1976 that delivered much higher rainfall over eastern OZ from the 1950s to the 1970s. But the last 250 years are more even and less extreme than the period 993 to 1750. Why is that I wonder? Certainly doesn’t help the extremist’s CAGW narrative of more extreme weather does it? But does back up Dr Goklany’s later research. Just more REAL DATA that adds food for thought.


  • Chris Warren says:

    Yes it is certainly vexed.

    However from my admittedly short probing of peoples various comments it seems that modern (post 1979) data is accepted by most people and there has been warming of around 1.4 – 1.5 C per century. This has occurred as CO2 has gone from 300 to 400 ppm with associated increases in other GHGs. The greenhouse effect itself (difference between short and long wave radiation) is based on sound science.

    At least fig 2 here: http://barrettbellamyclimate.com/page6.htm seems definitive as a long run trend’


    A long trend tends to cancel out issues such as ENSO and PDO.

    This is not catastrophic in my lifetime but leads to serious intergenerational issues.

    • Neville says:

      Chris the most recent trend is no statistically significant warming for UAH 23 years 1 month satellite and 22 years 8 months RSS satellite. And both show no warming for about 18 years and slight cooling for SP region since DEC 1978. I can’t see how this helps their CAGW theory.
      But more importantly what can we do about it? Most of South OZ has been cooling since the much warmer Holocene climate optimum. That’s for the last 6,500 years and according to the Calvo study this also agrees with other inland OZ studies and Antarctic as well. What more do you want?

  • Neville says:

    Here is OZ rainfall 1900 to 2015 from the BOM. This is the anomaly graph with a mid range trend over that 116 years.

    Obviously OZ is a much wetter place in the second half of that period than the first 58 years.


    Here is Eastern OZ for the last 116 years. The period from about 1921 to about 1947 was a much drier period. Since the IPCC’s claim that the impact from co2 emissions were due after 1950 this doesn’t help the warmist cause either. Flannery has made a goose of himself with his stupid forecasts.
    BTW the worst droughts in OZ were in the 12th century, with one .drought lasting 39 years. See the Vance et al study and co2 levels then were about 275ppm. Just perfect so they tell us.


  • Neville says:

    Chris,here is the south OZ rainfall from the BOM . Note that the moving trend line is under average rainfall for nearly 50 years in the early period or before 1950. And the most severe drought of 17 years started about 1921 to 1938. Low pre 1950s co2 levels didn’t help much at that time.


    Even NSW had a severe rainfall deficiency for the first 50 years of the record. What a pity Flannery didn’t look at the data before he displayed his ignorance. And 1950 co2 levels were just a little over 300 ppm. Something doesn’t add up.


  • Don Aitkin says:

    I came across part of a letter from Donald Rapp, a well-known American physicist, to the editors of SEPP, suggesting that they pay more attention to the views of those who think that CO2 is indeed a major climate variable, instead of dismissing the perspective. He also said this, which I thought worth passing on:

    ‘The biggest problem today (I think) in climate matters is that we, as a community of scientists, have succumbed to social pressures and have thereby given up on the scientific method, and instead, replaced it with a quasi-legalistic method in which each side cherry-picks data and skews the presentation to present a biased, one-sided view. The fact that the science is not settled and is full of uncertainties, allows this to go on, because no one on either side is able to definitively show the other is wrong. The alarmists mostly hold sway because they have more political power and funding. And so we have become relegated to something akin to the trench warfare that prevailed in WW-I when opposing forces were stalemated into probing attacks that went nowhere.’

    Since I have said something like that in the past, I cheered when I read it. I’ll provide the link in the next post.

    • Neville says:

      Don while I agree about the science arguments etc I think the sceptics have a much stronger case. Just look at the arguments above to justify my point of view. Flannery is probably the most well known person in the CAGW debate in OZ , yet his arguments are not scientific. As I said above about him ignoring historical rainfall data.
      He’s made arguments about rainfall that are nonsensical and certainly ignore data for OZ pre 1950s. His claims about our cities running out of water because of extended droughts ( brought on by higher co2 emissions) just doesn’t add up.
      In fact droughts were much worse in the past and seem to follow ENSO and the PDO changes. Just look at the shift in rainfall from the late 1940s to the 1970s. At least over Eastern OZ , South, Southern OZ, WA, NSW , Qld, Northern OZ etc. SE OZ and Vic are nearly line ball. But SW WA and Tassie have reduced rainfall patterns, but could be due to colder waters off southern OZ that have been cooling.
      Flannery’s claims about SLR are also ridiculous. Relative SLR is about the same as it was in the past 100 years. And of course SLs were much higher after the Holocene optimum when co2 levels were about 275 ppm. I could go on and on but I’ll just finish on the mitigation con. Lomborg believes in AGW but cannot see any benefit in wasting trillions of $ on silly renewables like S&W for ZIP impact by 2100. COP 21 is clueless and developing countries are still forging ahead with increased use of fossil fuels. COP 21 isn’t binding on any country, so just more evidence that we should save our borrowed money for important work.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Science and Environmental Policy Project

    If that doesn’t work, then simply search for SEPP.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Oh dear, it didn’t work at all. Go to SEPP and find The Week that Was 2016-08-20

  • spangled drongo says:

    Yes, here. All good, rational stuff:


  • spangled drongo says:

    Of course, it’s often worse than arguing at cross purposes.

    When scientists promote extreme situations in a very unscientific way and advocate for their “cause” as is happening with the GBRMPA, it’s not cross purposes.

    It’s manipulative, agenda driven, religious belief.

    “The discrepancy is phenomenal. It is so wrong. Everywhere we have been we have found healthy reefs.”


    More detail at Jo’s:


  • spangled drongo says:

    More misrepresentation by the usual suspects who specialise in making terms like Global Warming and Climate Change mean anything they want it to:


    Don is far too polite with his “cross purposes”.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I’ve added another graph, beneath the last one, which shows the cyclic nature of temperature over the past century or so.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Roy Spencer has just written a July 2016 PDF guide to understanding world temp data. He says that the UHI effect trend is highest at the lowest population density and points out that only 10 people per square klm can artificially increase temp by 0.6 c. He performed his study over the entire globe in the year 2000.


    Like Dr Richard Lindzen he still maintains that the response to warming by a doubling of co2 will be negative or less than 1 c. He says that cloud increases will drop temps below 1c. Here is his quote about spurious UHIE warming where more pristine rural stns are adjusted UP to agree with the warmer urban stns. Clearly it should be the other way around and urban stns should be adjusted DOWN. IOW we have a false global warming signal. Here’s his quote.

    “Clearly, to make meaningful estimates of global warming, the UHI effect must be taken out of the data. Unfortunately, the UHI effect is difficult to quantify at individual stations, many of which have obvious spurious heat influences around them like concrete or asphalt paving, exhaust fans, etc. In fact, there is evidence that the UHI effect has not been removed from the surface thermometer data at all. It appears that, rather than the urban stations being adjusted to match the rural stations, the rural stations have instead been adjusted to match the urban stations which then leads to a false global warming signal.
    Besides the UHI effect, older mercury-in-glass thermometers housed in wooden instrument shelters (Fig. 5) have been largely replaced with electronic thermistor-type thermometers in smaller metal housings. The newer sensors measure electrical resistance which is then related to temperature. Such instrument changes do not really affect their use for weather monitoring, but can have a significant impact on long-term temperature monitoring.”

  • Neville says:

    Is there any such thing as GLOBAL temperature? According to this 2006 study by Essex, McKitrick and Anderson there is no such thing. Here is the study and their conclusion.


    5 Conclusion
    “There is no global temperature. The reasons lie in the properties of the equation of state
    governing local thermodynamic equilibrium, and the implications cannot be avoided by substituting
    statistics for physics.
    Since temperature is an intensive variable, the total temperature is meaningless in terms
    of the system being measured, and hence any one simple average has no necessary meaning.
    Neither does temperature have a constant proportional relationship with energy or other
    extensive thermodynamic properties.
    Averages of the Earth’s temperature field are thus devoid of a physical context which
    would indicate how they are to be interpreted, or what meaning can be attached to changes
    in their levels, up or down. Statistics cannot stand in as a replacement for the missing physics
    because data alone are context-free. Assuming a context only leads to paradoxes such as
    simultaneous warming and cooling in the same system based on arbitrary choice in some
    free parameter. Considering even a restrictive class of admissible coordinate transformations
    yields families of averaging rules that likewise generate opposite trends in the same data,
    and by implication indicating contradictory rankings of years in terms of warmth.
    The physics provides no guidance as to which interpretation of the data is warranted.
    Since arbitrary indexes are being used to measure a physically non-existent quantity, it is
    not surprising that different formulae yield different results with no apparent way to select
    among them.
    The purpose of this paper was to explain the fundamental meaninglessness of so-called
    global temperature data. The problem can be (and has been) happily ignored in the name of
    the empirical study of climate. But nature is not obliged to respect our statistical conventions
    and conceptual shortcuts. Debates over the levels and trends in so-called global temperatures
    will continue interminably, as will disputes over the significance of these things for the human
    experience of climate, until some physical basis is established for the meaningful measurement
    of climate variables, if indeed that is even possible.
    It may happen that one particular average will one day prove to stand out with some
    special physical significance. However, that is not so today. The burden rests with those
    who calculate these statistics to prove their logic and value in terms of the governing dynamical
    equations, let alone the wider, less technical, contexts in which they are commonly
    6 Acknowledgement
    Thanks to Kirill Kondratyev for encouraging the publication of this work.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the abstract of the above 2006 McKitrick et al study.

    Physical, mathematical and observational grounds are employed to show that there
    is no physically meaningful global temperature for the Earth in the context of the issue
    of global warming. While it is always possible to construct statistics for any given set of
    local temperature data, an infinite range of such statistics is mathematically permissible
    if physical principles provide no explicit basis for choosing among them. Distinct and
    equally valid statistical rules can and do show opposite trends when applied to the
    results of computations from physical models and real data in the atmosphere. A given
    temperature field can be interpreted as both “warming” and “cooling” simultaneously,
    making the concept of warming in the context of the issue of global warming physically

  • Neville says:

    I just purchased a new car and last night I did a little experiment. I travelled home for about 35 minutes through Mallee scrub and watched the outside temp which was about 4c to 5c. After about 22 minutes I travelled through vineyards and the temp was 5 to 6 c . A few minutes on I crossed the river and drove through the edge of a small town and the temp went up to 7 c. I then travelled to my home for another 5 to 10 minutes and the temp dropped backed to 5c.
    This morning was frosty and about zero degrees c, so from about 10.30 last night to about 11.05 when I arrived home the outside temp was actually dropping. I now think that McKitrick, Lindzen and others are correct when they say that a lot of the modern warming is due to the UHI effect.
    I’ll drive into town later this evening and check this again.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Very educational, Neville.

      If you construct a short, wind proof fence 2 metres high in the bush and put a screened thermometer on either side of it, you will often reveal a greater change in temperatures between those thermometers than has been recorded as global mean change for the last 160 years.

      Imagine all the other myriad variations of man-made constructions that exist on earth that are rapidly being added to exponentially, yet the consensuals just refuse to get it.

      Global warming, like sea level rise, is a load of old shoes.

      • Neville says:

        I didn’t have as obvious a drop in temp after 7 pm last night. My temp at home was 14 c and it was about 15 c in the town. But I’ll be checking the temp from now on when I travel. I’m not claiming this is very scientific but it is interesting.

  • john says:

    Professor Quiggin was prominent in the media during the former (Newman) Government here in Queensland. Prof Quiggin insisted the Government did not need to sell assets in order to clear the debt and that we could rely on profits from government -owned business to pay down the debt.

    It so happened that Labor came to power on the back of his theory and, as any economist would have been expected, the debt can’t be paid down from government business profits after all. At last Budget, the Labor Government was even raiding the State Government employees’ superannuation fund just to achieve any debt reduction (A pointless endeavour because at least with the money in the superannuation fund, it was earning a return above interest rates).

    While Prof Quiggin was everywhere in the media during the Newman Government, he has gone very quiet over the issue since Labor returned to power early in 2015. I wish the media had not paid so much attention between 2012-2015 to his views on government financing and I certainly won’t be paying any mind to his views on climate change now.

  • Neville says:

    Here is the McKitrick , Michaels study on UHIE, that found that about 50% of warming was due to Urbanisation and other land use changes. Of course some thermometers are placed at terrible sites.


    Dr Spencer has written a Scepticism for Dummies post about global warming that answers a lot of questions and looks at some of the uncertainties.


    • Nga says:

      Dr Roy Spencer:

      “I finally became convinced that the theory of creation actually had a much better scientific basis than the theory of evolution, for the creation model was actually better able to explain the physical and biological complexity in the world.”


      • spangled drongo says:


        Scientific refutation from the “my religion is better is better than your religion” department.

        • Nga says:

          Wrong again, Spangled. I don’t claim to believe in CAGW, my claim is that is prudential and conservative for public policy to be formed on the basis of any long held scientific consensus. I do not claim to have the training, skills and experience necessary to look under the hood of any established body of science in order to determine its accuracy.

  • spangled drongo says:

    “prudential and conservative for public policy to be formed on the basis of any long held scientific consensus.”

    I understand exactly what you are claiming.

    But because your “scientific consensus” on the theory of AGW is no more reliable than Spencer’s theory of Creativity, you better check those lengths again.

    When you are convinced of any theory without evidence, ie, faith-based, length of time of belief may be your only gauge of superiority.

    • Nga says:

      I am not “convinced of any theory”, as I have already made clear. Since you are unable to comprehend a short paragraph written in plain English I’m beginning to think you’re a numpty. Let me guess, you are a bored geriatric (over 70) with minimal education and no record of achievement in anything, ever. Let me know if I’m wrong.

      • spangled drongo says:

        I think, Nga, it is you that has the comprehension problem. Firstly it was incorrect English and secondly you believe in consensual science unsupported by evidence and inflamed by conflict of interest.

        You certainly got it right about not being capable of looking “under the hood” if you are not capable of allowing your personal observations to give you some doubts about your new found “religion”.

        And if you think personal cred is relative to accomplishments, you show me yours and I’ll show you mine

        • Nga says:

          “you show me yours and I’ll show you mine”

          Just a minute, I’ll get my microscope.

          Firstly it was incorrect English ..

          It was perfect English. You are just plain old and dumb.

    • Chris Warren says:

      I think you overstate the issue. Scientific consensus is far more reliable than Spencer’s theory of Creativity. The problem is that there is still a lot of uncertainty and the arguments against global warming have a significantly weaker basis and have no consensus. They seem to be more interested in finding fault, sometimes through opportunism, than constructing a robust alternative scientifically refereed view.

      I would like the world to be free from any warming from Green house gases, but my limited excursion into these issues, using links on this blog, have shown a distinct warming trend in the Northern Atmosphere, a weak tendency overall, and zero at the South Pole. There is also a strong tendency for CO2 concentration in the atmosphere to increase.

      This is not a case of “your religion is better than my religion”.

      I also understand that the atmosphere traps long-wave radiation in at least some proportion to the amount of greenhouse gases.

      So it seems sensible to consider what would happen if these trends continue and not be put off by various forms of name-calling.

      • Nga says:

        I would like the world to be free from any warming from Green house gases …

        Your excursion must have very limited.

        “Without naturally occurring greenhouse gases, Earth’s average temperature would be near 0°F (or -18°C) instead of the much warmer 59°F (15°C).”


      • spangled drongo says:

        “The problem is that there is still a lot of uncertainty and the arguments against global warming have a significantly weaker basis and have no consensus.”

        As Nga says [though he is more selective] your excursion is certainly limited if you are not aware of the counter “consensus” and just how small the “consensus” really is.

        And when the signal for AGW is so lost in the noise, you have to be in denial of reality to believe in it.

        There is a lot of reading you still need to do, Chris. Particularly about GHGs.

        • Nga says:

          “She” not “he”, thanks dopey.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Well, at least that explains a lot, but doesn’t excuse anything.

          • David says:

            Nga your posts are most appreciated! And remember the patience, good grace and forbearance, that you are able to show Spang will be highly rewarded by Gia in your next reincarnation.

        • Chris Warren says:

          No this does not apply…

          “And when the signal for AGW is so lost in the noise, you have to be in denial of reality to believe in it.”

          The rising trend in the Northern Hemisphere exceeds and is not lost in the noise.

          The situation is different in the South and if the signal is lost in the noise we cannot say that temperatures are not being impacted by GHG or otherwise.

          I suspect the IPCC sources have the statistical techniques to separate noise from signal or tell us when they cannot. Fortunately noise tends to cancel itself out. Any relatively continuous trend does not.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Chris, the NH has a warming rate for the last 18 years of 0.28c per century +/- 0.1c.

            Natural climate variability is about four times this rate so even one of the earth’s strongest signal areas is being swamped by the noise.

          • David says:

            Chris, what you need to realize is that Spang does not “do” conventional statistical analysis. And when you say

            “I suspect the IPCC sources have the statistical techniques to separate noise from signal or tell us when they cannot.”

            I agree! When we regress CO2 on Temperature to get
            (i) a coefficient
            (ii) a p-value
            (iii) an R-squared.

            we are separating the signal from the noise. The coefficient tells us the strength of the relationship and the p-value the probability that the coefficient is in fact equal to zero. And the R-squared how much of the total variation can be explained by the explanatory variable.

            Signal and noise separated!

          • Don Aitkin says:


            David is a self-acknowledged expert in all this, though from time to time others wonder. Perhaps David could tell you how much of the variance is explained by CO2, why he uses a linear regression rather than multiple regression, and so on. Be carful, though. He is most likely to propose that you do a whole of work, rather than his doing it for you.

          • JimboR says:

            Hang on a minute Don. The scientists working on this stuff do exactly what Chris suspects they do and we get to read the results. Those of us that accept their techniques have no further homework to do. Those that don’t are going to have to do a lot better than mere hand-waving (examples below) if they want to be taken seriously.

            “When the IPCC says 0.6 ± 0.2 my hackles rise, because this is too precise, and is unlikely to be accurate.”
            “I just shake my head. What are these guys trying to achieve, and why are they trying to achieve it?”

            I’ll pay a lot more attention to your protestations re the data when you approach the subject with the same rigour as they do. It’s going to need maths and numbers, not English prose, to combat their analyses. The real problem here is not your ignorance in this topic (although that’s regularly on display), but your assumption that those working in the field are as ignorant as you are.

          • JimboR says:

            “how much of the variance is explained by CO2”

            I think David covered that in his description.

            “uses a linear regression rather than multiple regression”

            A multiple regression is a linear regression.

          • David says:

            That Don would infer from a post that simply outlines the very basics of ordinary least squares that the the author was claiming to be a “self-acknowledged expert” reveals quite a lot about Don’s level of statistical literacy, I would think.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Unfortunately I think we are beyond just stating opinions. This is not adequate. You need to provide sources. This is why people create tags such as denialist.

    In fact the northern hemisphere data is here:


    It shows a trend of 0.33 K per decade for the zone 60 N to 82.5 N.

    This is not 0.28C per century.

    The chart shows a trend that exceeds the variability – this is different to noise.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You will find that one of the problems in all this is that people throw data at each other as though the data actually say something, without saying exactly what that something is, and how we should interpret the data.

      Now, I looked up your source and I don’t know where it comes from. If you’re using RSS data, you ought to go to the original source. And you should also use the UAH (the other satellite set) as a comparison. I haven’t done this for some time, so what I remember doesn’t have the recent el Nino in it. But my memory is that the warming rate since 1979 is pretty small. If you can show that it is not I would be interested, and surprised.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Chris, please check the link you quoted upthread in reply to me which is:


    And go to the “Northern Hemisphere” graph which says exactly what I said above.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Just to clarify – the data was as linked via,


    The post was August 7 and it said:

    The complete UAH v6.0 data for July were released on Friday.

    The link is there.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, the trends per decade at the bottom of the UAH v 6 data since DEC 1978. Just move the decimal point to get the trend per hundred years.

    Globe-0.12c/ decade or 1.2 c/ 100 years.

    NH – 0.15

    SH- 0.10

    Trop- 0.12

    Nth ex trop-0.17

    Sth ex trop-0.08

    Nth Polar- 0.24

    Sth Polar- -0.01

    USA – 0.15

    OZ – 0.16

    These trends have changed over the last 18 years and OZ now has the strongest cooling trend.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Yes Neville is right.

    Over the period when CO2 concetrations increased up to near 400ppm, the Nortern hemisphere warmed at a rate of around 1.5 degrees per century.

    Anyone can graph the 38 years of data from 1978 to 2016. Cut and paste into Excel should work.



    It is worse at the North Pole which is warming at a rate of 2.4 degrees each century.

    the 38 years of data is:


    This trend will continue if GHG concentrations remain over 350ppm (or presumably fall back to whatever the average was during this 38 years of change).

    This trend will worsen if the concentration of GHGs increases.

    So the Cape Grim data does point to a grim future but not in sync with the Nortern hemisphere.

    • David says:

      Yes Chris that’s all very well but if you rotate the graph clockwise, about 45 degrees, the trend line is flat.

  • Neville says:

    But Chris the IPCC scientists don’t agree with your projections for temp and reduction of co2. The Royal Society and NAS report tells us that temp and co2 levels will not change for thousands of years. Even if we stop all human co2 emissions today. So no comparison at all. Also Flannery told Bolt the same thing and the Petit et al Eemian study found that co2 levels remained high for at least 6,000 years after temps dropped into the next full glaciation. And co2 levels than were about 290ppm, not the 400ppm of today.
    Interesting too that early Holocene studies show that sometimes temp went up and co2 levels dropped and vice versa. How can we explain this? Lomborg’s team of stats, maths and economists found that we could follow Paris COP 21 to the letter and it would not deliver any real stat significant difference in temp by 2100. Oh but it would cost all the countries about 100 trillion $ for essentially zip change. That’s if we’re stupid enough to actually carry this out for the next 84 years. Let’s hope not.

    • Chris Warren says:

      None of this conflicts with the warming trends introduced by the period of increasing GHG concentrations since December 1978.

      I have not made projections other than to expect that if GHG concentrations increase, that warming will continue.

      You have not provided a single reference.

      I have not read much IPCC materials and I doubt whether they conflict with satellite data. Where are these IPCC projections?

      My analysis of satellite data is not impacted by any of, Holocene studies, glaciation, COP21, Eemian stuff or whatever.

      I would be more interested in finding data on the trends of the other GHGs and at least recognising a need to ensure that the warming trend at the north pole of over 2 degrees per century does not accelerate or spread to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere.

  • Don Aitkin says:


    I am increasingly of the view that you are coming into this great bog with the assumption that you can sort it out with a little data. I did ten years ago, too. No longer. Wherever you turn there’s a new issue with new data, or quasi data, new claims, new assertions. You can’t really get into it without knowing what the IPCC has said, and what it didn’t say. Where are these IPCC projections, you ask.

    Go up to my provided graph at 21 August at 2002 am. The yellow area represents the predictions of the CIPM suite of models (yes those produced on behalf of and for the IPCC). They have been consistently above the observations for the past twenty or so years, and one reason may be that they give too much emphasis to the role of CO2 and of ‘climate sensitivity’. The one model that doesn’t over-predict assumes nothing about CO2. It is a Russian model.

    • Chris Warren says:

      I have ONLY been looking at the data various posters themselves have cited.

      I probably do think that this can be sorted out with data (not a little data).

      I wish I had found this resource previously. It allows you to browse the data every which way so you can get a good understanding of the different data sets (TLT, TTT, TMT, etc, etc) plus complementary impacts in the stratosphere. There is no need to download data and extract it into Excel.

      This exemplary site – http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html – shows maximum warming of 3.38 K per century at the North Pole.

      Because heat is being trapped by CO2, the stratosphere is not receiving the radiated heat it once did. So these outer temperatures are falling.

      As the incoming solar radiation is relatively steady, this seems to prove that heat is being trapped in the lower atmosphere.

      With this tool, I don’t think I need to even look at the IPCC work.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Aarrgh! The CMIP suite. Actually, the CMIP5 suite. You can find out about them at:


  • Neville says:

    Chris the trends for the later part of the UAH v6 record shows very little warming.
    The Globe 0.33 c/ 100 yrs since 1997
    NH 0.28c/ 100 yrs since 1998
    SH no trend since 1996, slight cooling trend?
    NP paused since 2002, but warming by 1.5c/century for 18 years.
    N Ext 0.34 c/ 100 yrs since 1997.
    Tropics paused since 1997.
    S Ext paused since 1995, or cooling trend?
    SP slight cooling since DEC 1978.
    USA paused since 1997, or cooling trend?
    OZ paused since 1995, or strong cooling trend?

    This is after a strong el nino for 2015/16 and much higher co2 emissions in the last 18 years. So why is this later part of the record showing a much reduced trend? If co2 emissions were the dominant driver you would expect the trend to be higher now and not in the earlier part of the record.

    I suppose you understand that nearly all the growth in co2 emissions have come from China, India and the developing world over the last 20 years? The developed countries emissions will nearly flat-line until 2040 and the developing countries will soar until then. Most of the 34% increase in co2 emissions by 2040 will come from China, India etc. So how do you counter these facts and what would you do about it? See Obama’s 2016 EIA report for the data, linked above.

    Also when the AMO changes to it’s cool phase ( 2020+?) we would expect the Nth Polar region to begin a cooling trend. What then?

  • Neville says:

    I’ll just repeat my comment from above. This proves our slight modern warming is well within natural variation.
    Don you’ve given a good response to Nick but don’t hold your breath waiting for proper data or logic and reason in return. I’ve tried to supply PR studies that demolish the claims that we are living in unprecedented or unusual times.
    The HAD 4 data (IPCC preferred) shows about 0.8 c of warming since 1850 or about 0.5 c per century. GISS shows about 0.7 c and the Concordia Uni study shows about 0.3 c per century. The Lloyd study over the last 8,000 years shows that AVERAGE temp PER CENTURY changed about 1 c. He used ice core records from both Greenland and Antarctica to try and get a more accurate finding. And our slight warming since 1850 is about half his average.
    It also comes at the end of the coldest sustained period for thousands of years called the LIA. So surely part of this tiny temp increase would be an entirely natural recovery of the planet? The Le Clercqu world glacier study found that there has been a slowing of retreat since 1950. How is this possible if you believe in CAGW?
    Also why was the warming after the Younger Dryas cooling so extreme ? NOAA claims it warmed on Greenland by 10 c in just 10 years.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, here is the Qld govt’s Long Paddock chart of rainfall over OZ from 1890 to 2016. This rainfall from April to March, not Jan to Dec. At the bottom of the chart is the IPO and El nino and La nina years. The IPO ( like the PDO) is the smooth lines and the spikes are Enso. Notice the climate shift to cool around 1945 to 1976 and the warmer shift from about 1977 to 1999, then a partial shift to cool again.

    McKitrick’s study of balloon data tells us about this natural shift to warmer conditions and many scientists also think these shifts explain a lot of the temp variability over this period. Since 1998 we have seen the satellite data move towards a pause in the temp record. And OZ has been cooling since this time as well. Even Dr Stephen Schneider believed in global ice age cooling in the 1970s but became a firm believer in CAGW after the strong but natural climate shift in the late 1970s. Here’s the link.


    Also here is the link again to the IOD and how it plays a natural part in the story of OZ droughts.


  • Neville says:

    Another big problem for their CAGW theory. Coastal land is increasing all over the globe, just the opposite to the scary fairy tale the con merchants have been feeding the sheeple for the last 30 years.

    Just more data and studies of our physical planet that should wake up even the silliest donkeys from around the world. But don’t hold your breath.


    BTW here is the Royal Society graph showing all the models for SLR projections over the next 300 years. Note that Antarctica is negative for SLR until 2300 and Greenland is positive. So where is that scary SLR going to come from? Antarctica holds 89% of Earth’s ice and Greenland about 10%. Combined with the study above this rather stuffs up one of the most important scares of their CAGW theory.


  • Chris Warren says:


    Rainfall, various weather cycles, land increases or various sea levels, or assumed short-run pauses etc. are interesting but do not provide convincing evidence either which way because if there is a problem, it is independent (or underlies) these trends.

    It is not clear where there is any statement of CAGW theory and it is possible that some earlier predictions were IN HINDSIGHT found to be too high.

    This does not change the data collected via satellites which shows warming in the lower atmosphere and cooling in the upper atmosphere.

    Satellites have shown that the amount of warming in the northern latitudes is radically different to the warming in southern latitudes. This exactly matches the distribution of CO2 shown here:


    These three trends, in combination, appear to provide definitive, reproducible proof that GHGs trap heat in the Earths ecosystem and cause some variable amount of global warming (from over 3K/century in the far north to zero in the far south).

    I have not seen any evidence that the recent rate of temperature increase is part of natural variability.

    So it seems clear we must reduce GHG emissions until ’emissions’ equal ‘sinks’, because if net increases continue, future generations will suffer CAGW.

    The balance known so far is here:


    • Ross Handsaker says:

      “This exactly matches the distribution of CO2 shown here:”

      Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere show a seasonal pattern – during the Northern Hemisphere growing season the level falls due to uptake of CO2 by vegetation and rises again during the NH winter months. Despite the slightly higher CO2 level in the NH winter the actual (not anomaly) average global temperature at that time is at its lowest for the year!

      Go to the NASA web site for Spaceborne Carbon Maps and note the averaged OCO-2 CO2 concentration for period Oct 1 – Nov 11 2014

      • Chris Warren says:

        Ross Handsaker

        During ‘cherry-picked’ months the CO2 in the northern hemisphere is “slightly higher” but why pick Oct-November?

        The annual spatial distribution over a year is modelled here:


        You will see a dramatic difference between the horthern and southern hemispheres that far, far exceeds your use of “slightly”

        Another clear example is here:


        And the annual pattern between in North (red dot) and South (blue dot) over time, is graphed here:


        and here:


        • Ross Handsaker says:


          The point I was trying to make is that despite human driven CO2 emissions, nature does at certain times of the year reduce the overall level in the atmosphere (the Keeling Curve). Again, despite most of the emissions occurring in the Northern Hemisphere, at times CO2 levels are actually higher in the Southern Hemisphere. My “cherry-picked” data reference merely shows this.
          The highest CO2 levels for a year normally occur in May when average actual global temperatures are falling – I find this to be somewhat ironical.

          Because of Earth’s geography any cause of warming will have a greater impact in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere.

          • Chris Warren says:


            OK. I see your point.

            I replayed the animation at:

            http://www.esrl.noaa.gov/gmd/ccgg/trends/history.html and there are certainly periods when southern CO2 (blue dot) is below northern CO2 (red dot).

            However if you look at the traces in the right hand panel you will see that this feature is strongest in the 1980’s but appears to be weakest later on to the point where the two lines representing north and south may be about to separate permanently.

            It is not clear why there are these differences between north and south although there is a radical difference in ozone over the north vs south pole shown here:

            SOUTH http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/SH.html (see chart on page re ozone hole)
            NORTH http://ozonewatch.gsfc.nasa.gov/NH.html

            IN all these issues – the situation at any point in time is not as relevant as the trend.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, I thought I’d covered all of your points over the last few days? But please tell us how you plan to reduce co2 levels. I’ve given you the latest projections for co2 emissions and the origin of those co2 increases ( developing world countries) until 2040. Also the latest satellite trends are much lower for the NP region ( 1.5 c/100 years) and the SH regions are cooling, plus OZ and USA. That’s since 1998 and that confirms the change in the PDO cycle.
    So why does satellite imagery show that coastal land is increasing? Why do even SLR models not show your dangerous SLR for hundreds of years?

  • Neville says:

    Another brilliant Flannery promoted scheme bites the dust. Rudd chipped in a lazy $90 million to this Flannery lemon. Is there anything that this fool predicted that hasn’t been a dud?
    BTW the ABC’s science guru’s comment to Bolt about SLR is starting to look even more doubtful.. Robyn William’s said it was possible that there could be 100 metres SLR by 2100. Unbelievable but true.
    The latest info from NOAA is showing about 2mm/year or about 8 inches by 2116. I think Robyn has big problems with his forecast. But don’t worry the lefties just love him and there is no risk of him losing his job.

    • Chris Warren says:


      ” But please tell us how you plan to reduce co2 levels.”

      Glad to oblige.

      I assume you referred to the link above so you are across the carbon sink around 5 GT (Carbon) per depending on seasonal variation.

      So when the global population is 10 billion then average per capita lifestyle has to equal around – a half tonne C per person per year.

      However warming of 1-3 K will still occur if CO2 levels are around 400ppm.

      So to bring CO2 levels down, we need to cut per capita carbon emissions below this figure.

      So far it looks like we have only achieved a 0.6% reduction in CO2 emissions according to this view:

      “Based on a 2015 GDP forecast of 3.1% by the International Monetary Fund, the Global Carbon Project projects a 2015 decline of 0.6% in global emissions.” [ https://www.co2.earth/global-co2-emissions ]

      We need a 50% cut or, continuous 0.6% cuts every year for 115 years.

      Presumably this means keeping GDP growth at moderate levels?

      • Neville says:

        Chris you can’t be serious? Lomborg’s expert team has completed the maths, stats and economic review and found there would be no measurable difference at all by 2100.
        The US govt expects a 34% increase in emissions by 2040, so that puts you further behind again. Lomborg used the same software as the IPCC uses and he found that we cannot make a difference after spending 100 trillion $.
        Also don’t forget that the IPCC scientists who wrote the RS and NAS study also don’t expect any change for thousands of years. And that’s after stopping all human co2 emissions today. It’s all nonsense and this mitigation fra-d is easily refuted. Don’t forget nearly all the reduction in co2 has to come from China, India etc. How would you convince all the developing countries to lower their standard of living for a zero return?

        • Chris Warren says:

          Thanks Neville

          However I have reached a conclusion that there is global warming that needs to be prevented and from the data it appears that humanity can only emit 5 GT of carbon per year as this is the size of carbon sinks.

          You have now launched into another diversion “what to do” and I am not going to probe this area to the same extent here.

          You cite Lomberg without proper references and without advising that he has been exposed because::

          “… Lomborg´s texts are systematically manipulated to fit a certain agenda. ”

          You can chase this up at: http://www.lomborg-errors.dk/

          It seems obvious that if we do not reduce annual carbon emissions to 5 GT that sooner or later the globe will be confronted with CAGW.

          If we cannot deal with the proven slight warming now, we will not be able to deal with greater warming in the future.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, the Lomborg smears are years old and don’t add up to a row of beans. You seem to want to see a reduction in co2 emissions but can’t tell us how that can happen and you also ignore the fact that this will deliver no measureable change in temp or co2 levels. Geeeezzzzz give us a break.
    Perhaps you’ll believe Dr Hansen the father of CAGW when he says that COP 21 is BS and a fra-d? He also said that a belief in S&Wind energy is like believing in the Easter bunny and the Tooth fairy IOW a belief in Fairy tales. Then you’re still left with the problem of China, India and the developing world’s soaring co2 emissions.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Yes, you are right, I cannot see how a reduction in CO2 emissions can happen.

    This is not the topic of this thread.

    I am quite satisfied by the information upthread on satellite data from 1979 which is my only interest here.

    I know there is a lot of oil-company funding to disturb the science as exposed here:


    So I am wary of much of the fuss that is not based on scientific data, or is not corroborated.

    The critical analysis of Lombord was not smears.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Oh dear. Chris, The Guardian is not a reliable source on almost anything. You need data. The current warming rate seems to be at the level that would produce an increase of about 1.2 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2, which is what the physics would suggest. It seems to me that you need to find out about ‘climate sensitivity’, which is the device used by the IPCC to expand the 1.2 degrees C warming to 4.5 degrees C. If you don’t know about this, you have a month or two’s reading to get through.

      • Chris Warren says:

        I do not place too much stock on newspaper reports.
        I do not want to get dragged into a Sahara of other issues.
        The trends shown in northern hemisphere CO2 data and satellite data are sufficient to twig my interest.
        I presume that the current global trend of around 1K per century is the result of CO2 levels reaching around 350ppm (plus moves in other GHGs concentrations).
        Personally I do not find a warming of 1K per century to be much of a threat IF THIS CAN BE MAINTAINED.
        However, due to the size of available carbon sinks @ 5 GT, this is not possible.
        Surely the earth must warm if we emit more than 5GT per year – if not initially – at least in the long-run?
        Is there any case for emitting more carbon than the available sink?

        • Chris Warren says:


          I agree with this

          “The current warming rate seems to be at the level that would produce an increase of about 1.2 degrees Celsius for a doubling of CO2, which is what the physics would suggest.”

          with a bit of additional impact from methane and water vapour etc.

          However the period of doubling is shortening.

          We went from 300 to 400 from early 1950’s to today (65 years).

          We are now increasing at around 1% per year.

          The figures are:

          402.63 (20 June 2015)
          407.02 (18 June 2016)

          This suggests we will double in 70 years.

          So the rate of warming in increasing and is worse than linear.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Chris, if you want to be alarmed by all this, I guess the alarm will outweigh your capacity to reason through. I went to NOAA and got this:

    July 2016: 404.39 ppm
    July 2015: 401.31 ppm
    Last updated: August 5, 2016

    It’s not as dramatic as your little factoid, and I wouldn’t bother extrapolating. I remember that a substantial proportion of all the CO2 that has increased since 1960 was emitted while the level of warming was virtually flat. Something else is going on. No, I don’t know what it is, and nor do those who accept the orthodox position. We just don’t know a lot about climate.

    But if you want to be alarmed, go for it.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Hmmm … different data?

    I used the SCRIPPS data from here:


    picking the weekly figure. The same rise around 1% also exists between first week in February 2015 [400.02] and the first week of February 2016 [404.98]. The file is:


    Using monthly data is just as appropriate and it also shows clearly that the rate of increase is increasing. NOAA puts this at over 3ppm for 2015. This extends the doubling time to: 92 years. Has anyone considered what life will be like if CO2 concentration hits 800ppm.

    If the rate increases to 3.5 ppm the doubling time drops back to 80 years. It will double over the next generations lifetime.

    In either case – there is an obvious acceleration in accumulation of CO2. Is there any intergenerational issue?

    It seems clear to me, and this is the substantial point, that we cannot continue emitting CO2 at a rate greater than the available sink.

    Maybe in the past, the globe could cope with one or two degrees of warming, but not as a compounding permanent feature of our economy and as embedded in the very nature of industrialisation being rolled-out throughout the so-called Third World or “LDCs”.

    This has nothing to do with “factoids” or “alarm”, just simple straightforward use of data that anyone can follow and vary with different assumptions.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      You are assuming that warming is bad. Why? And you are assuming that more CO2 must mean more warming at some kind of constant rate, though there are obvious signs that other factors than CO2 are no less important. Why? It is not a simple matter, and there are those who say that we will never properly understand the dynamics of climate. As for carbon ‘sinks’, there is not agreed account of the nature of the sinks nor of CO2 transfer between and among them. There is a lot more to learn.

      • Chris Warren says:

        This is a completely different purpose to this thread.

        I thought the issue was whether a CO2 warming effect could be distinguished from natural variation using (preferably) satellite data plus material from Climate4you website? ie whether todays warming was a mere bounceback from the Little Ice Age?

        Satellite data shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that extra heat is being trapped below the CO2 boundary, and consequently missing above the CO2 boundary [cited earlier].

        Satellite data, from the “climate4you” shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that sea levels are rising (currently) at over 33 cm each century [3.37 mm per year – http://climate4you.com/SeaTemperatures.htm#Sea-level%20from%20satellite%20altimetry .]

        Satellite data shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that there are cyclical variations and sinusoidal patterns but there is a underlying rising tendency. [This is illustrated here http://donaitkin.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/image021.jpg ].

        Satellite data shows, beyond reasonable doubt, that warming is greatest in the Northern hemisphere where most CO2 is released and Ozone is greatest, and is least in the Southern Hemisphere where less CO2 is released and there is less Ozone.

        The best information we have is that carbon sinks are relatively fixed at around 5 GT per year [cited earlier].

        I do not want to dive-off into some discussion of “You are assuming that warming is bad. Why?” if the dynamics of the above facts are not understood.

        • Don Aitkin says:


          As I’ve said before, there is a mountain of reading ahead of you if you want to get into this area seriously. I can’t find where you get the 5Gt volume for the available CO2 sink, but it doesn’t really matter. The area of sinks and sources is full of contestation and estimates. There are only estimates — as you might well imagine — and even the flows between them are estimates. Settled science? Oh dear, no.

          I can see why you might like to prefer satellite SLR data, but if you do, you need to be able to argue why they are preferable to tide-gauge measurements, which have the great advantage of going back much more than a century.

  • Neville says:

    Chris, this quote from Climate 4 you covers the satellite/ tide gauge differences. But the recent OBSERVATION by satellite imagery shows that there can’t be any relative SLR over the last 30 years. If the images are correct then there hasn’t been much warming to worry about. IOW the coastal land area is increasing.


    Also SLR via the tide gauges now show ZIP difference compared to 20th century rise. And you’re still left with just 0.8 c warming from HAD 4 over the last 166 years, after the end of a minor ice age. Something doesn’t add up. Here is the Climate 4 you quote.

    “Data from tide-gauges suggest an average global sea-level rise of 1-1.5 mm/yr, while the satellite-derived record suggest a rise of more than 3 mm/yr. The rather marked difference between the two data sets has still no broadly accepted explanation, but some of the difference is likely due to administrative changes introduced into the raw data obtained by satellites. Se the paragraph below on temporal stability of the satellite-derived data.

    Another factor that may explain some of the difference between tide-gauge and satellite data is probably that while any temperature-driven volumen expansion is recorded by the satellites, this change is not affecting tide-gauges at

    coastal locations, as the water depth here decreases towards zero”.

    • Chris Warren says:


      Yes the quote is interesting. I only use satellite data as land based measurements may be bias according to any shift in continental plates. Plates move horizontally and vertically.

      Also I think the sea-level rise is relatively small compared to other indicators.

      I feel satellite data is preferable.

      However above all these considerations, and duelling websites, and academic papers, is the one question (for me)…

      Can we keep emitting GHG’s in excess of the Earth’s sink?

      I cannot find anything on this and I say “No”.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Chris, what you need to keep in mind with the measurement of sea level by satellite is that the earth is not a sphere.

        It is a pear shaped geoid and a satellite that is making circular orbits around a sphere would have a big enough problem calculating precise altimetry with the usual orbital decay and endless variations in tides, waves, wind surges, bounce-back from solid objects etc, but around our earth with its irregular shape it is something that cannot be accurately measured and require endless, inconsistent corrections.

        Satellites are like GCMs. Every one will give you a wildly different answer unless only one organisation does all the homogenising required to make them believable.

        Tide gauges of the world likewise need a full geodetic and tectonic audit before they can tell you any truth but they are a long way ahead of satellites.

        You will find that if you put your head out the window and make personal observations over a long enough period you can asses SLR much more accurately than you can with temperature variation.

        Being a sea-front person for much of my life, my benchmark observations in my G&T stable part of the world tell me that SLR is not only not happening, it is actually falling slightly over the last 70+ years.

        Families that have been in the little ship slipping business for generations would kill for some SLR which would enhance their business considerably. I know several of these but have yet to find any that can confirm any SLR.

        • Chris Warren says:


          I am not putting much stock in sea-level variation until the science is clarified.

          However the real question is whether we can continue to emit GHGs beyond the Earth’s sink and iot degree of satuation?

          Some warming may be beneficial, but I do not think that continuous warming can be tolerated for intergenerational considerations.

          Away from the Quiggin-Aitkin stoush, I think this is the critical point.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Chris, we have warmed about 1.0c fairly steadily and progressively for the last 350 years.

    There is nothing happening today that has not occurred naturally in the past:



    While part of this 1.0c may be the result of ACO2 emissions, those emissions could just as easily have nothing whatsoever to do with our warming and could even be reducing the natural warming or the warming could be producing some of that increase in atmo CO2.

    There is simply no signal that isn’t getting buried in the noise of Natural Climate Variability.

    There is simply no critical point to be alarmed about.

  • JimboR says:

    Looks like we’re headed for an emissions intensity scheme in order to meet the targets Abbott/Hunt signed up for in Paris:


  • spangled drongo says:

    Another slice of climate uncertainty from the googly department. A regular pattern since first discovered suddenly changes.

    You mean there’s stuff out there we still don’t know about? I don’t believe it!

    The models will be furious:


  • Chris Warren says:


    This simply is not good enough.

    “I can’t find where you get the 5Gt volume for the available CO2 sink, but it doesn’t really matter. The area of sinks and sources is full of contestation and estimates. There are only estimates — as you might well imagine — and even the flows between them are estimates. Settled science? Oh dear, no.”

    I never presented 5GT for CO2 sink. This is the one of the most basic facts I can find in the global warming issue – I presented a 5 GT Carbon sink, and I posted the source to Neville on 28 August at 11.02.

    The science of the sink was presented in a paper here: http://www.tinyurl.com/2016-C-Paper

    I used data for 2002-2011 from Table 4, pg 174 and as represented in fig 1, pg 177.

    This science appears robust.

    The figures have been updated for 2004-2013 here:


    This validates the concerns of the mainstream scientific community as it seems undeniable that we cannot keep warming the planet and the planet will warm continually if CO2 concentrations increase.

    This has been an interesting sojourn here looking at all the claims and tactics being deployed by various interests. However we now have enough resources both on the Internet and in publicly funded scientific libraries who can provide additional materials to anyone interested in delving through all this.

    However there is a threat to life on earth if the temperature continues to increase and the only way to prevent this is to balance GHG emissions with GHG sinks. If there is alternative science (not blogs) where is it?

    I have not looked at methane or water vapour etc, but in the case of carbon it is around 5 GT per year.

    So just do a ‘back of the envelope’ calculation, and see what sort of lifestyle produces 5-7 GT per year when the population is 7 billion.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      I couldn’t find a post to Neville at 11.02 on August 28. I think you mean August 31, and I didn’t see it as a reference to sinks and sources.

      But I do know the paper you refer to, and it is just as I said. It is full of estimates, and relies on different kinds of models as well. And you say the ‘science appears robust’. The authors themselves say it is full of uncertainty, and they’ve done their best. I agree, but to say forthrightly that there is a figure of 5 Gt, and that is all there is gives far too much credibility to this extensive series of estimates. Just think about it for the moment. How would you measure correctly the amount of carbon in the topsoil of the whole world? What about the amount of carbon dioxide dissolved in the world’s oceans? What about the flow into and out of these oceans as warmer waters release CO2 and cooler waters gain it? These are estimates, and the authors are only prepared to talk about ‘likely’ — around 66 per cent. Even then, like the AR5 SPM, they finally rely on ‘expert opinion’.

      I keep saying that there is a hell of a lot to read and puzzle over in this area.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Spangled Drongo

    You have just repeated the claim earlier using the same chart from jennifermarohasy.com with no references.

    If you have used this to drive your own understanding of these issues then this is inadequate.

    The chart appears to show a gentle rise in regional temperatures in the UK over a long time which, in turn, tricks people into thinking about long-term natural variability.

    However the chart is bogus. The real data along with the necessary references is here:


    This shows a similar recent warming event that is consistent with every other relevant scientific data set.

    So it all boils down to one question. How to balance GHG emissions with GHG sinks.

    In the case of Carbon this is 5-6 GT for some 7 billion people per year.

  • Neville says:

    The Co2 Science site has a huge archive of PR studies that covers every aspect of the CAGW alarm. Their summary of Greenland temps over the Holocene up to the early 21st century is very interesting. Here is a few paragraphs at the end of the summary comparing early 20th century warming to the cooling up to the 1990s . This cooling took place after the warmest year of 1941, seen in other studies. Importantly the increase in co2 emissions during the 1920s to 1930s rapid warming was only about 3 to 4 ppm. Needless to say that the warming back then was must faster than the warming we’ve seen on Greenland since the mid 1990s.

    Here is the quote at the end of their summary and the link.


    “At the start of the 20th century, however, Greenland was warming, as it emerged, along with the rest of the world, from the depths of the Little Ice Age. What is more, between 1920 and 1930, when the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration rose by a mere 3 to 4 ppm, there was a phenomenal warming at all five coastal locations for which contemporary temperature records are available. In fact, in the words of Chylek et al., “average annual temperature rose between 2 and 4°C [and by as much as 6°C in the winter] in less than ten years.” And this warming, as they note, “is also seen in the 18O/16O record of the Summit ice core (Steig et al., 1994; Stuiver et al., 1995; White et al., 1997).”

    In commenting on this dramatic temperature rise, which they call the great Greenland warming of the 1920s, Chylek et al. conclude that “since there was no significant increase in the atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration during that time, the Greenland warming of the 1920s demonstrates that a large and rapid temperature increase can occur over Greenland, and perhaps in other regions of the Arctic, due to internal climate variability such as the NAM/NAO [Northern Annular Mode/North Atlantic Oscillation], without a significant anthropogenic influence.” These facts thus led them to speculate that “the NAO may play a crucial role in determining local Greenland climate during the 21st century, resulting in a local climate that may defy the global climate change.”

    In further contemplating the results of the study of Chylek et al., it is clear that the entire history of anthropogenic CO2 emissions since the inception of the Industrial Revolution has had no discernable impact on Greenland air temperatures, while the studies described in our Editorials of 10 Mar 2004 and 17 Mar 2004 demonstrate pretty much the same thing for the entire Arctic and Antarctic regions of the globe. Hence, it can readily be appreciated that there is absolutely no substance to the climate-alarmist claim that earth’s polar regions provide evidence for an impending CO2-induced warming of any magnitude anywhere. What these many studies of the temperature history of Greenland do depict is long-term oscillatory cooling ever since the Climatic Optimum of the mid-Holocene, when it was perhaps 2.5°C warmer than it is now, within which cooling trend is included the Medieval Warm Period, when it was about 1°C warmer than it is currently, and the Little Ice Age, when it was 0.5 to 0.7°C cooler than now, after which temperatures rebounded to a new maximum in the 1930s, only to fall steadily thereafter”.

  • Neville says:

    Here is a link to Co2 Science’s summary of the 2000 Palmer et al study of co2 levels and temp over the last 60 million years. There is little correlation between the two over that very long period. And temps actually increased after one period when co2 levels dropped from 3,600ppm to 500ppm. That’s after 13 million years.


    Here is their summary.

    “The Pathetic Relationship Between Atmospheric CO2 and Earth’s Temperature Over the Past Sixty Million Years Reference
    Pearson, P.N. and Palmer, M.R. 2000. Atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations over the past 60 million years. Nature 406: 695-699.

    What was done
    The authors used boron-isotope ratios of ancient planktonic foraminifer shells to estimate the pH of surface-layer sea water throughout the past sixty million years, which they then used to reconstruct a history of atmospheric CO2 concentration over this period, which they finally compared with oxygen isotope ratios of deep sea benthic foraminifera that serve as proxies for temperature.

    What was learned
    Supposedly, good records of both atmospheric CO2 concentration and oxygen isotope values were obtained for the past 24 million years and for the period from 40 to 60 million years ago.

    What it means
    The authors state that “change in the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere is commonly regarded as a likely forcing mechanism on global climate over geological time because of its large and predictable effect on temperature,” which “predictable effect” is that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentration cause higher temperatures to occur and that decreases in atmospheric CO2 concentration cause lower temperatures to occur. Their data, however, clearly demonstrate that this incredibly common assumption is just plain false.

    Starting 60 million years before present (BP), the authors have the atmosphere’s CO2 concentration at approximately 3600 ppm and the oxygen isotope ratio at about 0.3 per mil. Thirteen million years later, however, the air’s CO2 concentration has dropped all the way down to 500 ppm; but the oxygen isotope ratio has dropped (implying a rise in temperature) to zero, which is, of course, just the opposite of what one would expect from the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature that is commonly assumed.

    Next comes a large spike in the air’s CO2 content, all the way up to a value of 2400 ppm. And what does the oxygen isotope ratio do? It rises slightly (implying temperature falls slightly) to about 0.4 per mil, which is again just the opposite of what one would expect from the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature that is commonly assumed.

    After the spike in CO2, of course, the air’s CO2 concentration drops dramatically, declining to a minimum value of close to what it is today. And the oxygen isotope ratio? It barely changes at all, defying once again the common assumption of the “large and predictable effect” of CO2 on temperature.

    Between this point and the break in the record at 40 million years BP, the air’s CO2 concentration rises again to approximately 1000 ppm; and – need we say? – the oxygen isotope ratio rises slightly (implying a slight cooling) to 0.6 per mil. And once again, well, you get the picture: the common assumption fails miserably.

    Picking up the record at 24 million years BP, there are but relatively tiny variations in atmospheric CO2 concentration up to the present; but, of course, there are large variations in oxygen isotope values, both up and down, again in clear contradiction of the “common assumption.”

    The most interesting of these last oxygen isotope changes is the dramatic increase (implying a dramatic cooling) over the most recent two million years, when, of course, the air’s CO2 concentration has actually risen slightly.

    Now you tell us that you still believe in CO2-induced global warming. And if you do, we’d like to talk to you about a bridge we have for sale”.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Spangled Drongo

    I think you misunderstand my purpose. I only looked at CET issue because it was cited. I do not use it for assessing the current trends.

    You have also tried to divert attention to something called a Maunder Minimum and you have tried to implicate me in “cherry-picking”.

    This is false.

    My resources are not available at the moment and I do not rely just on internet stuff. In any case I am not convinced that it will bear close scrutiny. Warming under Maunder does not mean that all warming is caused by Maunder.

    If there is a significant, refereed, argument that current warming, shown by satellites, is caused by Maunder events, then please provide it.

    If you think there are other sources that produce different results using satellite data, then that would be useful.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Chris, go back and read what you said and stop claiming misrepresentation:

      “However the chart is bogus. The real data along with the necessary references is here:


      YOUR chart was bogus. It did not include the comparable warming period that made today’s warming look inconsequential.

      Regardless of what caused it, it was natural variability and there are so many unknowns, only some of which are being stumbled upon as time goes by, that you need to be a little less certain that you have any idea that humans are the cause.

      • Chris Warren says:

        All right – if you think presenting that chart – where is there the source cited????

        If it is used to support the trend that is overlaid, then due to the contradiction with modern data, this is bogus.

        You seem to be accusing the British MET office which does provide data and sources, was bogus.

        So just provide the source.

        If you have been paying attention, it has already been explained that the trend in the northern atmosphere is different to the southern atmosphere, so using whole of globe data (even modern data) may hide the real trends and therefore the impact of increased GHGs.

        You can avoid all this artificial fuss if you just focus on satellite data.

        There is not much point moving goalposts to Maunder or Medieval events because correlation is not causation.

        The science of CO2 and radiation by wavelength does propose a causal relationship.

        Do the causes of Maunder trends or Medieval Warming exist today? Or are the drivers completely different?

        Some time ago I did an intensive investigation of the British temperature historical record (since publlished) in another context, and it occurred to me then that the impact of the Little Ice Age (reported by Lamb) was very different in the Northern Hemisphere than in the South.

        • Neville says:

          Chris I can give you a much longer temp / co2 lack of correlation if you like? But I thought showing opposite trends over the last 60 million years is long enough.

          Also there are plenty of PR studies/evidence of the LIA and Med WP in the Southern hemisphere. Here’s the Co2 Science list . Just the Antarctic studies are very extensive for Med WP and LIA. The Med WP and LIA were global events and not just found in the NH.


        • spangled drongo says:

          Chris, if you had followed that link I provided you would have found out that this is the data for that chart I provided:


          “it occurred to me then that the impact of the Little Ice Age (reported by Lamb) was very different in the Northern Hemisphere than in the South.”

          You mean just like Spencer and UAH is telling us today?

          Neville, that’s interesting stuff about the 60million years of non-correlation of temps with CO2.

          If the ABC science shows, The Con, not to mention the MSM were doing their jobs they would tell us all about it.

          Chris might be able to tell us why they don’t.

          • tripitaka says:

            Spangled Drongo

            “Chris might be able to tell us why they don’t.”

            Why on earth, or anywhere else for that matter, would you think that Chris might know why the ABC science shows, The Con, and the MSN do not tell us all about ‘it’?

            Do you have something more to say about this suggestion that would clarify your statement or were you intending to create some sort of vague inference in the readers that there is a link between Chris and these organisations? I can’t imagine that you would be doing that.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Chris might be able to tell us why they don’t.”

            Feel free to offer him some assistance.

            Unless you don’t really know that warmists always use selected data [like hockey sticks and GCMs] that all have a dubious reputation and exaggerate any current warming and warmist/alarmist orgs never put the sceptical side of the AGW theory?

            That it’s always consensual science all the way down with no room for any doubt?

            Why would our ABC in Brisbane use an old BoM thermometer site that has been closed for the last 22 years for its mean max temp comparisons that was situated 30 meters higher and has a mean max that is 2c lower than the current one if they weren’t pushing an agenda?

            Please spare us the innocence and indignation and take note of what’s happening right under your nose.

          • tripitaka says:

            Spangled Drongo

            You say to me:

            “Chris might be able to tell us why they don’t.”
            Feel free to offer him some assistance.”

            That is just silly isn’t it?
            And…. you are digging yourself even deeper into a hole of your own making. This is a baseless and childish insinuation and is an indication that you have some sort of ‘bee in your bonnet’ as we used to say about people who ‘go off half cocked’ before we had the DSM.

            Why would I offer any assistance to Chris?

            I’m very impressed by his responses to you – unfailing courtesy and rational responses that stick to the issue at hand – so he certainly doesn’t need and I’d say just speculating that he would not want any assistance. Seems to me that Chris Warren has a superior grasp of the issue and he does not make any personal attributions that imply that you are ‘dodgy’, which is clearly not the way you have argued your case. You do like making negative personal remarks about ‘warmists’.

            You say: “Unless you don’t really know that warmists always use selected data [like hockey sticks and GCMs] that all have a dubious reputation and exaggerate any current warming and warmist/alarmist orgs never put the sceptical side of the AGW theory?”

            They call you a denier and you call them warmists? Childish or what?

            I really do not know anything about these things that you mention, hockey sticks and such. I am a student of human nature not climate science and you are increasingly a type that is interesting for students of human nature to study.

            I honestly and sincerely say to you that I do not get the impression that climate scientists have a dubious reputation and exaggerate anything. I simply cannot understand how this area of science that seems to me to be going on in the way that science has always gone on has become such a contested area. There is a clear consensus around climate science and as a person who aims to be rational despite the inherent inability of human nature to be rational and objective, to my mind there is no reason to believe that climate scientists are less honest and scientific than any other group of scientists.

            From my position as someone who has no qualifications to understand the science, the ‘denier’ case seems very strange and resorts to extra-ordinary ways of denying that science is progressing as usual. If the scientists are wrong, then it will come out in the wash.

            “Please spare us the innocence and indignation and take note of what’s happening right under your nose.”

            Why do you do that? I wonder about this sort of response, Particularly the “us” bit. Who is this “us”.

            Do you really think you have the ability to understand what motivations drive other people? Or do you say these things to elicit some sort of response from your ‘opponent’? Do you think that this ability you have to see the truth, is part of the package of superior cognitive ability with which you have been blessed, and is such that it provides you with the insight that climate change science is not real science and people who are convinced by the normal scientific progress that we are making in this area of enquiry are “warmists” and their motivations are suspect?

            And that leads me to another question. What do you think is the pay off for those of us who are willing to accept that climate science is normal scientific progress toward the truth? What do we get out of denying the truth that you see?

            I’ve thrown you a bone eh? You can ignore Chris and his impressive grasp of the data and go for me now. 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            Tripitaka admits he knows absolutely nothing about the science, propaganda or political machinations behind the promotion of the CAGW theory but he still gives Chris’ one sided, biased view full support anyway.

            And he doesn’t even get it.

            He really believes Chris has a balanced view.

            Yep, religion beats logic, rationality and scepticism everyday.

          • tripitaka says:

            Spangled Drongo,

            Tripitaka is not a “he”. 🙂


          • spangled drongo says:

            I suspected as much but I also know how Tripitaka types play their cards if they think males blame only females for having an evidence-free POV.

          • tripitaka says:


            Ooops wrong reply button. But what would else you expect from a Tripitaka? 🙂


  • Chris Warren says:

    spangled drongo

    The CET data you linked to is excellent. It shows that this region appears to be a hotspot in global warming.

    As I have repeatedly said above – you only get global warming when GHGs being emitted exceed the Earth’s sink. Consequently there is no point going back in time when global warming was not possible. This applies for the most of the period of the CET record. It is therefore fraudulent to present a long-term trend by adding in some 300 years when no human induced global warming could possibly exist.

    However your data is entirely consistent and corroborates satellite data.

    If you take a rigorous approach and just select those years for which we have satellite data, you can use Excel to demonstrate that CET warming trend (overall) is 2.56C per century.

    In 1979 – the average of the four seasons data you supplied was 8.65. [Average 1.6, 7.5, 15.0, 10.5]

    In 2014 it was 11.025. A vast increase. [Average 6.1, 10.0, 15.9, 12.1]

    In fact the 2014 figure was the highest it has ever been, and judging from the three months available for 2016 – the current year will be similar.

    If a phenonema is a hockey stick shape and you are interested in what is happening recently, you can infer anything by calculating a trend for the entire period.

    If you extract data for the seasons, for the period we have satellite data, we find that additional global warming may be hidden.

    This is complex, but if the average of winter minimum and summer maximum show no increase, the warming effect could merely be causing a lengthening of summer and a shortening of winter.

    Your data shows that this is indeed the case.

    Spring and Autumn are warming at rates over 3C per century.
    The winter and summer trends are 2.86C and 1.2C per century respectively.

    Anyone can redo this analysis and they will find a quite strong tendency for global warming hitting this region of the UK since 1979 (inclusive) including a world historical high temperature.

    • tripitaka says:

      Spangled Drongo,

      I knew you would know all about me. That was a given.

      What I want to know is how you know all this stuff that I don’t know. How did you get such a large share of wisdom and insight that sets you so far above the common man, never mind the common woman or indeed a tripitaka type.

      But you have to admit that this Tripitaka type accurately predicted that you would follow up any diversion rather than continue your discussion with Chris. Was I right or was I right? 🙂


  • Chris Warren says:

    The phrase: “you can infer anything by…”

    Should read “you cannot infer anything by…”

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