Heretical Thoughts about Science and Society

I have mentioned before, with great approval (here and here), the English-born mathematician, astronomer  and physicist Freeman Dyson, who is 94, and has spent most of his working life at Princeton’s Institute of Advanced Study. I have been to Princeton a few times, but did not meet him, though I have had supper in Albert Einstein’s house there (and that was eerie). Dyson is extraordinarily diverse in his interests, and that may explain why he never won a Nobel Prize, though he has won a stack of other prizes in several fields. His friend, the late Oliver Sacks, remarked that A favorite word of Freeman’s about doing science and being creative is the word ‘subversive’. He feels it’s rather important not only to be not orthodox, but to be subversive, and he’s done that all his life. Since I have had a similar somewhat maverick feeling about the research business, Dyson and his approach just appeal to me.

What is more, he writes beautifully. What follows are extracts from something he wrote eleven years ago but which I have just encountered. Its title is the title of this essay, and you can read it all here. This is how it starts.

In the modern world, science and society often interact in a perverse way. We live in a technological society, and technology causes political problems. The politicians and the public expect science to provide answers to the problems. Scientific experts are paid and encouraged to provide answers. The public does not have much use for a scientist who says, “Sorry, but we don’t know”. The public prefers to listen to scientists who give confident answers to questions and make confident predictions of what will happen as a result of human activities. So it happens that the experts who talk publicly about politically contentious questions tend to speak more clearly than they think. They make confident predictions about the future, and end up believing their own predictions. Their predictions become dogmas which they do not question. The public is led to believe that the fashionable scientific dogmas are true, and it may sometimes happen that they are wrong. That is why heretics who question the dogmas are needed. 

As a scientist I do not have much faith in predictions. Science is organized unpredictability. The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen. You might say that if something is predictable then it is not science. When I make predictions, I am not speaking as a scientist. I am speaking as a story-teller, and my predictions are science-fiction rather than science. The predictions of science-fiction writers are notoriously inaccurate. Their purpose is to imagine what might happen rather than to describe what will happen. I will be telling stories that challenge the prevailing dogmas of today. The prevailing dogmas may be right, but they still need to be challenged. I am proud to be a heretic. The world always needs heretics to challenge the prevailing orthodoxies. Since I am heretic, I am accustomed to being in the minority. If I could persuade everyone to agree with me, I would not be a heretic. 

We are lucky that we can be heretics today without any danger of being burned at the stake. But unfortunately I am an old heretic. Old heretics do not cut much ice. When you hear an old heretic talking, you can always say, “Too bad he has lost his marbles”, and pass on. What the world needs is young heretics. I am hoping that one or two of the people who read this piece may fill that role. 

 I think this is lovely stuff, and I encourage you to go the link and read the lot. I think it started as an address to PhD students. The main subject of the essay is ‘the problem of climate change’. This is a contentious subject, involving politics and economics as well as science. The science is inextricably mixed up with politics. Everyone agrees that the climate is changing, but there are violently diverging opinions about the causes of change, about the consequences of change, and about possible remedies. I am promoting a heretical opinion, the first of three heresies that I will discuss in this piece. 

My first heresy says that all the fuss about global warming is grossly exaggerated. Here I am opposing the holy brotherhood of climate model experts and the crowd of deluded citizens who believe the numbers predicted by the computer models. Of course, they say, I have no degree in meteorology and I am therefore not qualified to speak. But I have studied the climate models and I know what they can do. The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests. They do not begin to describe the real world that we live in. The real world is muddy and messy and full of things that we do not yet understand. It is much easier for a scientist to sit in an air-conditioned building and run computer models, than to put on winter clothes and measure what is really happening outside in the swamps and the clouds. That is why the climate model experts end up believing their own models. 

There is no doubt that parts of the world are getting warmer, but the warming is not global. I am not saying that the warming does not cause problems. Obviously it does. Obviously we should be trying to understand it better. I am saying that the problems are grossly exaggerated. They take away money and attention from other problems that are more urgent and more important, such as poverty and infectious disease and public education and public health, and the preservation of living creatures on land and in the oceans, not to mention easy problems such as the timely construction of adequate dikes around the city of New Orleans. 

 He goes on to discuss the slow rise of the oceans, the possibility of a new ice age, the possibility of a wet Sahara (there was one several thousand years ago, just as there was a much wetter Central Australia). The latter is his second heresy, and the last is his feeling that the USA is approaching the end of its globally dominant period. He finishes with a pleasant little story about Francis Crick, he of the DNA, who started as a physicist.

And let me finish with one of my own. Thirty years ago my research granting body was offered a project on an aspect of DNA. Quite a lot of money was involved, and that brought me, as the Chairman, into it. There was the usual scurry to find appropriate assessors, and I asked, perhaps more light-heartedly than was appropriate, why we didn’t ask Francis Crick. ‘Oh, he’d never reply,’ was the answer. ‘Well, let’s ask him anyway.’ So we did. Crick responded with an aerogramme, which contained the reference number of the project, and the words, ‘Don’t do it!’ and his illegible signature.

Freeman Dyson is courteous, perceptive and utterly readable. So much of what we read about climate change has to do with a new paper on this or that, mostly obscure and nibbling away at the edges of what is said to be a major problem of the world today. Dyson cuts through all the bumf. If only we had more like him!










Join the discussion 117 Comments

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, it’s wonderful to get such messages of common sense from old heretics. We can only hope he also inspires some young ones.

    If only they would listen to him about those models that predict more than twice the warming that is actually occurring.

  • Doug Hurst says:

    I believe that Freeman Dyson writes so clearly because he thinks so clearly and has deep knowledge of his subject. We all know how much easier it is to write about something we know very well and have the words to describe. He is smarter than most and has been around far longer than most, and I think it shows.

    Unfortunately, the days when we respected the wisdom of our special elders are waning. Add to that his choosing the sacred cow of climate as an example and I’m not surprised he has not had the impact he warrants. But that doesn’t mean we can’t appreciate him for his thoughts and the clarity with which he expresses them.

    So thanks, Don. Doubt and endless questions until it is gone has helped make the modern world and the Freeman Dyson’s of the world encourage non-scientists like me to stay sceptical when people who can’t tell us what 2018 will bring speak confidently about 2068.

    • David says:

      “Unfortunately, the days when we respected the wisdom of our special elders are waning.”

      What wisdom and which special elders? What ever happened to “growth of knowledge depends entirely on disagreement” ?

      • Doug Hurst says:

        These are the observations and opinions of someone well into his eighth decade, David, so it matters not to me what you think. However, I happily concede that ‘wisdom’ and ‘special elders’ defy precise definition, although I suggest most people will know what I mean.

        To me those like Freeman Dyson with long histories of research and of commitment to facts and reason are special because they provide some of the knowledge we need to progress our understanding of life, the universe and everything. The technological world we enjoy today owes much to the facts men like Dyson uncovered. In doing so, they seemed very wise to me and still do.

        Knowledge growth sometimes results from disagreement, but in my experience it has many sources, including simply trying things and seeing what works best. In many things, like the making of better houses, cars etc, knowledge growth is now often an iterative process, an accumulation of small step improvements that eventually create a much better product with no contribution to disagreement at all. In my field, aviation, knowledge grew through practical experience, experimentation, new knowledge in areas like computing and metallurgy, improved theoretical knowledge of almost everything and much more. Again, as far as I know, disagreement had little part in the process.

  • Chris Warren says:

    True scientists never end by saying “we don’t know”. True scientists start from what they “don’t know” to then build investigations and experiments to find out.

    Heretics are those who say “we don’t know” or “we can’t predict” or “you are a fraud” or your facts “are dogma”, without providing any robust evidence that survives peer cross examination.

    They claim the world is “messy and muddy” and accuse scientists of sitting in air conditioned offices when in fact true scientists are crawling all over Antarctica, Greenland and other sites such as coral reefs. There is nothing “messy and muddy” about the last (almost) 40 years of satellite data, 60 years of CO2 data and over 20 years of falling O2 data.

    Honest science starts from “we don’t know” and proceeds to find out. Heretics suggest we can’t know and sit in a stupor from where they castigate everyone else as frauds, dogmatists and as “crowds of deluded”. Unfortunately for our vain-glorious self-proclaimed “heretics” the face at the bottom of the well is their own.

    All a heretic needs to do is show that CO2 does not absorb longwave radiation, that burning fossil fuel does not emit GHGs and that the amount of heat exiting the top of the Earth’s atmosphere is not falling.

    • dlb says:

      ‘Honest science starts from “we don’t know” and proceeds to find out.’

      Bad science jumps to conclusions when only limited data is available.

      When the genetic basis of heritability was discovered it was thought that there was a gene for everything. Now after further study it has been discovered things are a lot more complex, with many genes often working in tandem and following complex interactions. No doubt as we learn more our current ideas will become outdated, if not incorrect.

      That is why we need heretics to question scientific assumptions and to convey to the public “it aint necessarily so”.
      The public aren’t stupid. After years of hearing contradictory dietary advice by scientific experts, no wonder they become sceptical.

      • Chris Warren says:


        Claims “it ‘aint necessarily so” need to be rational and based on evidence. This is science.

        Scientists do not jump to conclusions and data is always limited. For example you are limited to 24 data if you measure hourly temperature in a day.

        You do not jump to a conclusion if you state what the average was.

        You do not jump to a conclusion if you conclude one day was warmer or cooler than another.

        You do not jump to a conclusion if you explain differences based on different clouds, rain and wind.

      • David says:

        “Bad science jumps to conclusions when only limited data is available.”

        Scientists make conclusions based on limited data all the time. That is their job !!!!!!! What is the alternative? Flip a lucky coin?

        It is quite ok for a scientist to jump to incorrect conclusion based on limited information.

        What would not be OK is to stick with that an incorrect conclusion in the face of overwhelming data that suggests otherwise.

        What would not be good science is to continue to apply statistical methods that were acquired 30 years ago to contemporary scientific problems

        What is not good science is to go decades without opening a statistics book

        What is not good science is to confuse error and bias and make no effort to understand why this important.

        • dlb says:

          “Scientists make conclusions based on limited data all the time. That is their job !!!!!!! What is the alternative? Flip a lucky coin? It is quite ok for a scientist to jump to incorrect conclusion based on limited information.”

          The trouble is most people and journalists don’t understand this. Science is a work in progress, not a settled argument. Bad science is usually the spin put out by academic press release, activist hype and sensationalist journalism.

          Statistics is another weapon of spin. How often do we hear that you are statistically more likely to get cancer if you eat XX rather than YY every day. Yes, I don’t doubt the stats, but really the incidence is so low. There are better things to worry about such as North Korea or curing dementia.

          • David says:

            DLB people and journalists have a lot more intelligence than you give them credit for. Despite your claim about about statistics being “another weapon of spin” mainstream medical advice on diet remains eat widely from the 5 main food groups and drink lots of water.

    • Colin Davidson says:

      I don’t agree with Chris.

      1. Science is not about who says what. It is about the hypothesis. It is not about peer review (that ghastly process which has been proven flawed – in one recent study the conclusions of over 85% of the claims made by peer reviewed papers could not be confirmed by independent researchers re-doing the work. The only test is whether the data fits the hypothesis.

      2. Nobody I know claims that CO2 does not absorb longwave radiation or that burning fossil fuels (or breathing by human beings) emits Greenhouse gases. I certainly don’t. My objection is that the hypothesis does not fit the data:

      A. Dr Christie’s diagram, (see ) which has not been refuted, shows that the null hypothesis (that increased CO2 does not cause warming) fits the data better than the predictions of the Climate Models, which on average over-predict the temperature rise over the last 40 years by a factor of about 3. The data lie outside 2 standard deviations from the mean of the model predictions. This is serious evidence that there is something wrong in the physics used by the climate modellers, and that the models are scientifically useless in making predictions. It may be of interest that the only model which showed any close relationship to the data was a Russian one, one which did not use changing CO2 concentration as a parameter in its predictions.

      B. The current hypothesis predicts a hotspot in the tropical troposphere. That hotspot does not appear in the data. (incidentally and probably significantly, the hotspot is a result of positive water vapour feedback, which amplifies the temperature response by a factor of about 3. So that positive feedback feature has probability of being the error in the physics of the models.)

      C. Simple blackbody calculations assuming a uniform surface temperature of 15DegC give a surface temperature increase of about 1 DegreeC for a doubling of CO2 (assuming that the theoretical increase in absorption of surface radiated energy of 3.7W/m^2 is correct – some spectroscopic scientists do not agree that the assumed shape of the wings of the lines is correct). If it is bravely assumed that all the temperature increases in the last 40 years (since the last major cooling from 1950-1975) are due to increased CO2, then this calculated increase would be consistent with the temperature observations, unlike those made by the modelling community.

      D. Finally there is the number fudging, proven in the case of NASA Goddard Institute of Space Science. See for example and

      • David says:

        ” ,, It is not about peer review (that ghastly process which has been proven flawed – in one recent study the conclusions of over 85% of the claims made by peer reviewed papers could not be confirmed by independent researchers re-doing the work.”

        Colin was that un-referenced ” recent study” peer reviewed? A reference would have been nice. The peer review will usually nix unsubstantiated claims, like this.

        Assuming the study was well done, we now know that the 15% of results that were reproducible have more credibility than the 85% that were not. That is ghastly peer review in action, Colin. .

        • spangled drongo says:

          Davie, consensual cli-sci claims, whether peer reviewed or not, are often based on corrupted data such as this:

        • Colin Davidson says:

          David asked if the study on peer review was itself peer reviewed.

          See these articles from which I have quoted freely:

          The US National Science Foundation has restated a fundamental principle: ‘If a scientific finding cannot be independently verified, then it cannot be regarded as an empirical fact’. The editor-in-chief of the prestigious Lancet has declared that ‘science has taken a turn toward darkness’ and that ‘much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue’.

          But this is old news to venture capital investors. Bruce Booth of Atlas Ventures holds a PhD in molecular immunology from Oxford University. The unspoken rule’, he wrote in early 2011, ‘is that at least 50% of the studies published even in top tier academic journals…can’t be repeated with the same conclusions by an industrial lab’.
          That same year, employees of Germany’s Bayer Healthcare reported that attempts to reproduce the findings of 67 studies involving promising drugs had resulted in a 75% failure rate. An equally alarming report appeared in Nature in 2012. Amgen, an American pharmaceutical company, had attempted to verify the findings of 53 landmark papers connected to cancer research. It was unable to do so in 47 cases (89%). In other words, in a field where independent verification is the norm, a very high proportion of peer reviewed science is found to be incorrect.

          It would seem that the latter study, which appeared in Nature, was indeed peer reviewed.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          David wrote: “Assuming the study was well done, we now know that the 15% of results that were reproducible have more credibility than the 85% that were not. That is ghastly peer review in action, Colin.”

          I fear that David is missing the point.
          100% of the papers in question were peer reviewed and subsequently published.
          All were then re-examined and in 89% of the papers the original findings could not be verified. And this in a field where (unlike Climate Séance) independent replication is very likely.

          The point is that peer review is a lousy form of due diligence: it has a very high error rate. The other flaws in the peer review process – gate-keeping, self-promotion, suppression of alternate hypotheses – indicate to me that the process should never be relied on. Take the atrocious Hockey Stick paper for example. were the errors detected by the reviewing peers? No. It was a mining engineer and an economist who did the due diligence. Did the seancists assist by releasing their method and data? No. The seancists concerned were not interested in due diligence, only interested in being right, and only interested in their own prestige, not interested in truth or the scientific method.

          A whole book has been written on the opinions of other scientists of Dr Mann and his work: “A Disgrace to the Profession” by Mark Stein. Here is a sample quote: “It is strange that the climate reconstruction of Mann passed both peer review rounds of the IPCC without anyone ever really having checked it.” Dr Rob van Dorland PhD, IPCC lead Author

          • David says:

            Colin, you write

            “… indicate to me that the process should never be relied on.”

            They are not. Typically researchers will begin by conducting literature reviews. They are certainly not too afraid to attack each other’s ideas just because they have been published. Researchers will also publish systematic reviews, which synthesize the results of many publications.

            Publication is the beginning of an idea, not the end. Peer review does not start and stop with the over-sight required for a single publication. The role of the first review is to ensure that that the paper confirms with some broadly accepted scientific concepts ( i.e. not make up your own tests for statistical significance) and ensure that the Methods contain enough detail about the experimental design or statistical models so that the results can be re-tested if they are interesting.

            To put it in perspective some clinical trials can take up to 10 years and millions of dollars to complete. So what would you have the reviewer do? Replicate the study before the results are published? Would you really want the implications of potentially beneficial research being held up for years by one reviewer?
            IMO far better to allow the whole relevant research community read the paper, tyre-kick methods and results and try and replicate if they are interesting.

            What is your alternative?

          • Colin Davidson says:

            I would like to thank David for his response. In particular he asks what my alternative to peer review is.
            In the first place, let’s review the problems of the corrupt peer review system:
            1. It has been established by research that the majority (and possibly the great majority) of peer-reviewed published papers have serious deficiencies/errors/frauds which are not detected by pre-publication peer review. Pre-publication peer review amounts to little more than a spell check.
            2. The climate-gate emails and much other evidence shows that pre-publication peer review is being used to protect tenure and prestige, rather than to establish truth. The big problem is not so much that poor quality/fraud/bad scientific method gets published, but that papers critical of the establishment view are suppressed, and that scientific discourse is thereby curtailed. Nowhere is this more evident than in clymit séance, though there are strong indications that it also occurs in medical research. But there are many other examples which may be cited: The small comets hypothesis of Frank, the panspermia hypotheses of Hoyle and Wickramasinghe, Lamarkian evolution, Continental Drift.

            I think that as a first step in reforming the situation, there are several steps which must be taken.

            1. Papers should have the following classifications: Accepted for publication, rejected for publication, withdrawn. Then when accepted the following classifications: Verified, unverified, unverifiable, refuted, fraudulent.

            2. Any paper which is published must append the data used and the method used. (Unlike the Hockey Stick papers for example.) If that does not occur the paper should be classified as unverifiable.

            3. Any paper which cites an unverifiable paper as a source document should be classified as unverifiable.

            4. The paper submitted for review, all comments by the reviewing peers, and all responses by the authors, and the reasoning of the journal editors should be published, whether or not the paper itself is accepted by the journal.

          • David says:

            FYI Colin here are the data reporting requirements for publication in Nature


      • Chris Warren says:

        Colin Davidson

        Christie’s diagram is fake and I am unaware that it has been discussed in serious scientific journals. It has mainly been promoted as a device among denialist websites and blogs.

        Any disinterested observer looking at Christie’s diagram will see a depiction of unsourced vague “satellite data” that exhibits a temperature rise from 0.05 [1979] to 0.25 [2015].

        This is a mere 0.2. However if you use the real, sourced data, here:

        you see that 13-month average temperature has gone from -0.2 [1979] to +0.2 [2015].

        This is a rise of 0.4 – double Christie’s weird depiction.

        If you use RSS data here:

        you will see a rise from -0.2 [1979] to 0.5 [2015].

        This is a rise over 3 times Christie’s weird depiction.

        All satellite data sets I am aware of indicate that as CO2 increased from 1979 to 2015 the average global warming rate was over 1 degree per century.

        The latest 5 year trend [2012-2017] from satellite data is 10 degrees per century.

        And the chances are this will increase.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          I thank Chris warren for his response.
          “Christie’s diagram is fake and I am unaware that it has been discussed in serious scientific journals”
          Can Chris provide a link to the assertion that the diagram is a fake?

          Here’s what I know:
          1. Christie is a colleague of Dr Roy Spencer, who I believe supports the diagram.
          2. The data presented in the diagram are Satellite measurements (3 sets) and Weather Balloon measurement (4 sets). These are not surface temperature measurements, but Global Bulk Atmosphere (0-50kft) temperature.
          3. A really good discussion of the statistics is at . The conclusion: a model run will be warmer than an observed trend more than 99.5% of the time.)
          4. In a subsequent published paper in J. Climate entitled Comparing Tropospheric Warming in Climate Models and Satellite Data, Santer et al. use a combination of lesser-known satellite datasets and neglect of radiosonde data to reduce the model bias to only 1.7 times too much warming. But in doing so they ignore the other data from satellites and radiosondes.
          Christy comments: “My testimony in Dec 2015 and Feb 2016 included all observational datasets in their latest versions at that time. Santer et al. neglected the independent datasets generated from balloon measurements. The brand new “hot” satellite dataset (NOAAv4.0) used by Santer et al. to my knowledge has no documentation.”
          Spencer commented: “Overall, it looks to me like Santer et al. twist themselves into a pretzel by cherry picking data, using a new hot satellite dataset that appears to be undocumented, ignores independent (radiosonde) evidence (since it does not support their desired conclusion), and still arrives at a substantial 1.7x average bias in the climate models warming rates.”
          5. This was followed in May 2017 by a paper authored by prominent activist warmist scientists “… Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed; warming rate differences are generally outside the range of trends arising from internal variability. The probability that multi-decadal internal variability fully explains the asymmetry between the late twentieth and early twenty-first century results is low (between zero and about 9%). It is also unlikely that this asymmetry is due to the combined effects of internal variability and a model error in climate sensitivity. We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

  • Neville says:

    Dr Susan Crockford is probably the best known so called heretic on the subject of Polar bear science.
    But unfortunately for the extremists and con merchants she has been proven correct and now the Polar-bear-gate emails have been released that show disagreements over the years and certainly not a full consensus at all.
    They should withdraw the latest disgusting study that tells lies about Dr Crockford and critical omissions about her science and studies.
    Polar bear numbers are increasing and have been for at least the last half century. Here is a link to some of the emails etc.

  • spangled drongo says:

    A heretic is a free thinker.

    Who isn’t for more heretics?

    How else are we ever going to overcome mindless sci-groupthink that won’t admit to not knowing when it is plain to all that they, like the rest of us, would just love to know but in the meantime they can work the system and settle for cash instead.

    Plus [which amounts to scientific bankruptcy] manipulate data to make their projections agree with their ideology.

    The main question is; how do we turn blitherers in to heretics?

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    “The best scientists like to arrange things in an experiment to be as unpredictable as possible, and then they do the experiment to see what will happen.“
    …and when the experiment doesn’t work, they have to go back and eliminate the ‘unpredictable’ variables, one by one. Instead of which, they could have done a well-designed, and properly controlled experiment in the first place.

    I might have guessed he would be a theoretical physicist.

  • margaret says:

    I like some background about people of great achievement.

  • JimboR says:

    “I asked, perhaps more light-heartedly than was appropriate, why we didn’t ask Francis Crick”

    It’s a shame you don’t take the same approach to climate science. You seem more interested in running an amateur scientists’ debating club than seeking out the true state of the research.

    “‘Don’t do it!’ and his illegible signature.”

    Are you sure it was he?

  • spangled drongo says:

    This is the sort of lie told and relished by “climate science” today, to make their alarmist, evidence-free point:

    These heretical thoughts/facts just don’t count, no matter how rational:

    • Colin Davidson says:

      The Inuit refer to the present as “the time of most Polar Bears”. They ought to know.

      “Dr Crockford, of the University of Victoria in British Columbia added: “Polar bears are still a conservation success story. With a global population almost certainly greater than 25,000, we can say for sure that there are more polar bears now than 40 years ago.”

      “The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates that the polar bear population is currently at 20,000 to 25,000 bears, up from as low as 5,000-10,000 bears in the 1950s and 1960s.” (The estimate of 5000-15000 in 1970 is confirmed by the IUCN Red List, 15Nov2015.) “A 2002 U.S. Geological Survey of wildlife in the Arctic Refuge Coastal Plain noted that the polar bear populations ‘may now be near historic highs,'”

      The significant increase in bear numbers from 1970 is most likely due to the 1973 international agreement to limit bear hunting. Since that increase in the 1970s, numbers have apparently been stable or slowly increasing.

  • spangled drongo says:

    The BAS experts have just discovered that Mt Hope in Antarctica is 377 metres higher than previously measured.

    Doesn’t say much for their data and evidence on the melting of Antarctica:

    “As well as discovering Mount Hope is the highest mountain in the territory, we have identified several other interesting discoveries.

    These include new mountain heights, ranges in new locations by up to five kilometres and even some new peaks which hadn’t been surveyed before.”

  • Chris Warren says:

    Spencer, without mentioning it, has shown that the current anomaly of 0.63 well and truly exceeds the Medieval Warm Period and every temperature record for the last 2,000 years;

  • Neville says:

    Chris the latest Nov 2017 anomaly has dropped to 0.36 c from Oct 0.63 c.
    And I’d like you to provide a link to Spencer again that shows the full post about the last 2,000 years of global temps.
    But trees are not a good proxy anyway and there are other better proxies like ice cores etc. Here’s the Nov anomaly again.

    • Chris Warren says:

      If you look at the Northern Hemisphere, it is clear that current warming well and truly exceeds anything experienced during the MWP.

      Even Spencer’s data shows warming at the north pole already exceeding 2C per century. The north polar oceans are warming nearer to 3C per century.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Blith puts up a dodgy graph like that yet has the hide to criticise Christy’s data with a straight face.

        Or did you forget the sarc tag, blith?

        Even our group-think CSIRO admit that we have only warmed half that much since the LIA.

  • Chris Warren says:

    And now the trends towards a climate catastophe are becoming clearer.

    So much heat is being retained that the top of the stratosphere is cooling at 7.25C per century.

    The upper stratosphere is cooling at 6.47C.

    The mid stratosphere is cooling at 5.88C.

    The lower stratosphere is cooling at 2.56C.

    The Upper troposphere is warming at 0.79C.

    The mid troposphere is warming at 1.29C.

    The lower troposphere is warming at 1.89C.

    These are over 30year trends from 1979.



    Our true heretics, those who use science and are published in Nature and Scientific American, are now proposing that human-induced global warming may have started 8,000 years ago due to deforestation and agriculture.

    Science can distinguish between useful heretics and useless denialist faux-heretics.

    • Colin Davidson says:

      I would like to thank Chris Warren for his truly astounding numbers.

      Perhaps he would like to share the source reference with us, so that we can judge if the start points and end points of the data have been picked cherries, and what the error estimates are on the cited trends.

      I guess that the other interesting number is that every year Australia benefits from the amount of increased CO2 in the atmosphere by a minimum of 6.5 Billion dollars. Economists consider that any climate change damage will only kick in after 2 DegC of warming (some say 4DegC), ie for at least 100 years the benefits of increased CO2 outweigh the damage – even if we accept the unsourced numbers touted by Chris.

      So far we have had more rainfall, more vegetation, more coral reefs, more crops, more whales, more polar bears, less cyclones and hurricanes. We of course have to balance these against the negatives – more charlatans, snake-oil salesmen, and ignorant pressmen, to say nothing of the declining academic standards in Universities.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Colin Davidson

        Yes the numbers are astounding and as you dared even trying to impute cherrypicking by me – consequently you can well do your own homework. Maybe someone else can be bothered?

        I am stunned that you do not know the source of the data and do not know the start and end dates, as it is standard satellite data that has been used over and over again.

        The rest of your post was just the usual crap coming out of the general sewer of denial.

        • Colin Davidson says:

          I would like to thank Chris for his response, which I must admit I found to be quite rude: “The rest of your post was just the usual crap coming out of the general sewer of denial”

          As a general rule I try not to do name-calling (I’m not always successful). Name-calling exposes to the rest of the world that the name-caller has no substantive argument. He hasn’t the talent or the evidence to argue the case, instead he seeks to divert the argument by ad-hominem attacks. And it is a very frequent tactic of both the Left, and of the Climate Religion.

          I might add that I am prepared to back up my statements, should Chris want to seriously debate the issues. In a general spirit of providing him with assistance in these matters, I refer him to, and specifically the measurement data on wheat, rice, barley, sorghum, oats contained at that site. That will give him an insight into the economic advantage already being enjoyed by Australians due to the very fortunate 40% increase in CO2.

          Spencer states ( )”The linear temperature trend of the global average lower tropospheric temperature anomalies from January 1979 through November 2017 remains at +0.13 C/decade.”

          If sustained, this would give a temperature increase of about 1.3 DegC/century at the Surface. But look at the data! They could be interpreted quite differently to a linear increase (which is a highly unlikely outcome). Another equally – or more – valid interpretation, is that the temperature was stable at an anomaly of -0.2DegC from 1979 to 1997, and then jumped in 1997 to an anomaly of +0.25DegC and has been stable since. That interpretation fits the data much better than an assumption of a linear trend. But I wouldn’t bet anything on either being correct.

          I’d like to note three things:
          1. It is only the surface temperature which is important – we don’t live anywhere else.
          2. The interpretation of what drives temperature is very fraught. In particular any explanation which does not address the previous warming and cooling phases is deficient. (I note that Chris ignores or disputes the evidence that the MWP was warmer than now, and the Roman Warm Period even warmer than that – Ok but what caused the warming and cooling of these repeated events? What caused the warming in the 1930s and 40s and then the cooling in the 50s and 60s? What values are put on these non-CO2 drivers in the climate models?)
          3. The hotspot is missing. Why?

          Finally there is my post above on Christie’s diagram, which shows that the predictive tool being used, the climate models, are grossly divergent from the satellite and balloon measurements, and therefore cannot be relied on to make predictions – predicting no change at all is far more accurate than relying on the climate model predictions.

          In it I outline the scientific back-and-forth, ending with the published conclusion of climate scientists:
          “… Over most of the early twenty-first century, however, model tropospheric warming is substantially larger than observed; warming rate differences are generally outside the range of trends arising from internal variability. The probability that multi-decadal internal variability fully explains the asymmetry between the late twentieth and early twenty-first century results is low (between zero and about 9%). It is also unlikely that this asymmetry is due to the combined effects of internal variability and a model error in climate sensitivity. We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”

          • Chris Warren says:

            Colin Davidson

            Thanks for your bait and switch.

            If you think only the lower troposphere is relevant then you do not understand global warming.

            If you think the hotspot is missing then you are misinformed.

            The models are not grossly divergent to recent temperatures.

            All these issues have been canvassed previously.

          • Colin Davidson says:

            Chris Warren’s latest post does not advance the argument, but I will address his statements one by one:

            “If you think only the lower troposphere is relevant then you do not understand global warming.”
            I did not say that only the lower troposphere is relevant. I said only the Surface temperature is relevant – that’s where the plants, animals and ourselves live.
            I understand the science of CO2 reasonably well – well enough to be able to confirm that the effect is logarithmic, and that therefore that the warming we have experienced to date implies only a 1 – 1.5 DegC sensitivity. And that is supported by the study I cited above – the one where they say the models are wrong and consistently over-predict. What Christie said.

            “If you think the hotspot is missing then you are misinformed. ”
            I think Chris and I have debated this before on another thread. I apologise if it was not him. On that thread the alarmist failed to take into account the existing lapse rate and therefore missed that if there is a hotspot in the data it is tiny and is at most1/3 of what it should be.

            “The models are not grossly divergent to recent temperatures.”
            My previous posts on this thread cite (and link to) the results of 4 studies done on this subject:
            a. Christie’s diagram, reporting a threefold overestimation
            b. McIntyre’s statistical analysis of the underlying data confirming Christie’s conclusions
            c. The work by Santer et al, reporting a twofold overestimation
            d. The May 2017 paper published in Nature, reporting model estimates as being substantially higher than the measured trends.

            All 4 of these, 2 authored by activist scientists, report gross divergence. And we have Chris saying that it isn’t so, but providing no citations, no refutations. Who’s in denial?

  • Neville says:

    Chris the Petit et al ice core study found that today’s Holocene temps are cooler than the last four interglacials.
    And the Antarctic peninsula has been cooling since 1998 and Antarctica hasnt warmed for the last 39 years.
    And the reduction in Ozone is probably the main cause of any strat warming and there has been a pause in strat warming for at least the last 10 years and possibly longer. See Carl Mears of RSS statement on the slow down of strat warming. I’ll link later if you like, but their graphs show the levelling off of strat temps, while co2 continues to rise.

  • Chris Warren says:


    You are making too many errors and misunderstanding basic science.

    You cannot derive sensible trends by starting from 1998. Only denialists do this.

    The present warming has nothing to do with glacial cycles or Holocene events. These are caused by orbital cycles.

    The current rate of stratospheric cooling (over 7C century) is not caused by orbital cycles.

    This is obvious. Changes in orbital cycles would not produce cooling above a CO2 layer and warming below a CO2 layer.

    Previous warming and cooling never generated CO2 over 300 ppm, but were are skyrocketing over 400pp.

    The lower levels of the atmosphere at the Antarctica are warming slightly if you check the data here:

    If you use the data here:

    You will see that in fact the South Pole land is warming by 0.7C per century but nearby oceans are cooling. This is to be expected as melt water flows into nearby oceans.

    The rate is close to a third a degree per century. The much higher trends everywhere elsewhere are the relevant trends.

    There are enough cycles in global systems to allow for some variation in stratospheric cooling and it is cherry picking to focus on any such occasional subsets and pretend that they somehow contradict the underlying long-term trend using all the available data.


  • spangled drongo says:

    Poor ol’ blith has yet to learn the difference between a free thinker and a group thinker.

    But then cognitive dissonance has always been one of his handicaps. It’s his inner need to construct his own little safe spot in this chaotic world.

    However, maybe he really has some past data to compare with and justify all his wild alarmist theories.

    Instead of holding long conversations with dubious proxies.

    “Science can distinguish between useful heretics and useless denialist faux-heretics.”

    But maybe I have it wrong and he is finally doing the right thing and honestly classifying himself in the latter bracket.

  • spangled drongo says:

    So what about it, blith?

    Can you show us your empirical evidence?

    Or will you just keep blithering?

    • spangled drongo says:

      You’re a bit behind the times, blith, but what’s new?

      Please check my comment yesterday, December 11, 2017 at 2:23 pm.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Blith, I do hope you don’t indulge in bitcoin trading:

    ‘“Bitcoins are contributing to the warming of the atmosphere without providing a significant public benefit in return,” writes The New Republic’s Emily Atkin.”

  • Neville says:

    Chris here is the RSS quote from fig 6 at the link. Sorry about THEIR CHERRY PICK in last sentence.

    Figure 6. “Globally averaged temperature anomaly time series for the Lower Tropospheric Stratosphere (TLS). The plot shows the cooling of the lower stratosphere over the past 3 decades. This cooling is caused by a combination of ozone depletion and the increase of greenhouse gases. During the most recent decade, the rate of cooling has reduced substantially. (Click on the figure to go to the time series browse tool.)”

    Here’s fig 7. Again their cherry pick not mine. Notice that in the last 15 years they state that the TLS CEASED COOLING.

    Figure 7. ” Globally averaged temperature anomaly time series for the AMSU Channel 13, in the middle stratosphere. The plot shows the that middle stratosphere cooled during the most recent 15 years, even as the lower stratosphere ceased cooling. (Click on the figure to go to the time series browse tool.)”

    • Chris Warren says:

      Yes, there are periods with different trends. If you use the browse tool, as they suggest, you will see periods when stratospheric temperatures actually increased. But it would have been false to say “stratospheric temperatures will increase in the future.

      There are other periods when cooling ceased, and yet others when cooling was even greater.

      This represents must be normal patterns and the overall trend still applies.

  • Neville says:

    Chris I think you’re clutching at straws again. The RSS tool shows that the TLS has cooled at a much faster rate in the SP region compared to the NP region.
    In fact it has cooled at 1.95 times the rate, yet the TLT shows the very warm NP far outstrips the zero warming of the SP region.
    There is nothing consistent about these numbers and it certainly doesn’t match your co2 induced warming/cooling theory.
    But we’ve been told for decades that ozone depletion was much greater in the SP region.
    If you look at the global trend graph for TLS you’ll find that after the extreme warming of the two volcanoes ( warming in TLS after 1982 and 1991) the graph seems to level off since about 1995.
    Don’t forget you’ve claimed in the past that higher co2 levels in the NH are the reason the temps there are much higher in the TLT.
    None of this as simple as you think it is.

    • Chris Warren says:

      Rather – clutching at facts.

      There is no zero warming at the South Pole. The land is warming, melting ice which flows into the ocean, generating a local cooling of regional sea water.

      Cooling water – as a result of the intrusion of melted ice – is evidence of warming even though a local water temps may fall.

      The same applies for precipitation and snowfall. Global warming will increase water vapour in the atmosphere, which, when it falls as rain or snow may increase local ice levels or cool local environments. In this case such derived cooler temp readings are evidence of overall warming.

      You may need to think about this to understand the overall impacts of GHGs.

  • Jack says:

    Alfred Einstein? Who was that then?

  • Chris Warren says:

    25 years late, but better late then never …

    Will this decelerate CO2 emissions in the long run?

    • spangled drongo says:

      Blith as usual bases his confused logic on political correctness.

      Political correctness is thinking you can pick up a piece of sh1t by the clean end.

    • JimboR says:

      Not just the world bank, but the world’s holders of all the capital are starting to put serious shareholder pressure on the companies they own:

      “More than 200 of the world’s biggest investors, responsible for $26 trillion in assets, have signed up to the initiative. It includes Australian investment giants Australian Super, AMP Capital, VicSuper, First State Super, Hesta and Cbus.”

      I heard someone from Australian Super talk about this recently; it wasn’t that they were particularly green but rather they own a lot of infrastructure around the world (ports etc.) and are worried about the damage done to it by the increasing frequency of “1000 year” storm events.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “I heard someone from Australian Super talk about this recently; it wasn’t that they were particularly green but rather they own a lot of infrastructure around the world (ports etc.) and are worried about the damage done to it by the increasing frequency of “1000 year” storm events”

        And being the free-thinking heretic you are, jimb, you no doubt put him straight with this advice from Ryan Maue:

        Dr. Maue: ‘My own research, cited in a recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report, found that during the past half-century tropical storms and hurricanes have not shown an upward trend in frequency or accumulated energy. Instead they remain naturally variable from year-to-year.”

    • JimboR says:

      And then there’s poor ol’ Tim Nichols. He decided he wanted the Qld state election to be a referendum on a fast-tracked new coal fired power station for FNQ, VS Labor’s hydro plans. The result: ALP increased their majority, the LNP lost a suburban Brisbane seat to the Greens, and Tim lost his job. I see Anastasia has vetoed the federal $1 billion Adani loan and the banks don’t want a bar of it. Alas, the folks with the money believe in the science. Maybe Turnbull and Canavan can invest some of their own money in it if they think it’s a winner.

  • Neville says:

    Gosh I see the delusional nonsense still holds sway and the groupies still chase after their fantasy world.
    Just a pity it’s all BS and fra-d, but who cares about wasting trillions $ for a zero return? Here’s the latest WORLD data from the IEA AGAIN.

    Fossil fuels + bio and waste generate 91.2% of the REAL WORLD’s total energy and geo+ S&W just 1.5%. And the world percentage of coal generation is 28.6% compared to the US at 17.1% So as a percentage the world generates 1.6 times more of their energy from coal compared to the USA. Anyone see a problem with these numbers and I suppose they’ve forgotten that up to 1600 new coal plants are planned and being built in the non OECD countries?

    But why waste our time on logic and reason when some people just refuse to understand? Simple maths and science but they still prefer the BS and fra-d of Paris COP 21 so called mitigation.

  • Chris Warren says:

    First climate denier Trump gets excluded from world leaders in Paris, and now he gets kicked out of Alabama by proxy.

    Maybe he should emigrate to Israel?

    • spangled drongo says:

      Nothing to do with Trump. There was only a 37% voter turnout mainly because the Republican, Roy Moore, was accused just recently by the WAPO of sexually molesting little girls.

      A bit like your PC science for accuracy, blith.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Even if it’s only a blith built, shadowy, pathetic, PC caravan.

  • spangled drongo says:

    This is how desperate the alarmists are to promote their PC groupthink. Getting the kiddies to sue:

  • spangled drongo says:

    More detail on the caravan that our confused blith thinks is the future. What the alarmists don’t get is that our future will be so heavily indebted yet still ACO2 solution-free:

  • spangled drongo says:

    NOAA’s Arctic report card is out:

    But conveniently ignores the early Holocene when Arctic ice probably didn’t exist at all in summer:

    Arctic Ocean perennial sea ice breakdown during the Early Holocene Insolation Maximum:

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    No one has ever suggested that humans can control earthquakes, or volcanic eruptions, but no one has ever questioned that we can control the world’s climate.

    • Jack says:

      Then let me be the first.

    • JimboR says:

      I don’t know anyone who believes we can _control_ the climate. If we could our problems would be over, we could burn whatever we want and then simply set the climate dials to correct for any consequences. What’s in question is whether we can _influence_ the climate. There’s no physics I know of that says we can influence earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, but the physics does say that an increase in GHGs should alter the radiation balance. There’s a lot of evidence to suggest the physics is correct. Our ability to measure all the places where that increased energy could be indicated is less than perfect, and therefore so is the correlation between our measurements and theory.

      Even our Don believes “One of the main causes of warming is the increase of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere resulting from our burning of fossil fuels such as oil and coal and natural gas. “ (Dyson). Don even goes on to say “I don’t know many sceptics who would disagree.”. Are you such a sceptic Bryan?

  • Jack says:

    Then let me be the first.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Current rate of warming – 1C from 1970 to 2020?

    There is now no possibility of meeting the 2C goal.

    After 2070, if CO2 continues to increase – the rate of warming will be much greater.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Let me tell you one thing that is absolutely certain – nobody who owns a beach or waterfront cottage is going to sell it because it might be underwater in 100 years time.

      • Chris Warren says:

        Bryan Roberts

        You should try and demonstrate a bit more understanding and empathy.

        The damage to waterfront cottages is more to do with intensified El Nino events on top of a slight rise in sea level.

        Even in some coastal areas waterfront owners need climate adaption infrastructure paid out of taxes, to prevent being flooded out where local sea level rise is currently 9mm per year.

        “Sea level rise is global. But due to a variety of factors – including, for this part of the Atlantic coast, a likely weakening of the Gulf Stream, itself potentially a result of the melting of Greenland’s ice caps – south Floridians are feeling the effects more than many others. While there has been a mean rise of a little more than 3mm per year worldwide since the 1990s, in the last decade, the NOAA Virginia Key tide gauge just south of Miami Beach has measured a 9mm rise annually.”

        Local effects like this are due to changes in various climate-system oscillations on top of a general rise which will likely accelerate in the next 100 years.

        As a writer for Forbes asked:

        While we’ve well documented the steady rise in sea levels due to climate change, scientists aren’t great at accurately predicting localized changes in sea level due to atmospheric processes. This means places like Florida, which is likely to be the hardest hit by rising oceans, must also manage localized hot spots in sea level rise. Which begs the question, why are businesses continuing to invest billions of dollars on borrowed time?

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Could it be because “scientists aren’t great at accurately predicting localized changes in sea level due to atmospheric processes”?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Yes, although I assume that localised changes occurred in the past but starting from a slightly lower sea level.

            However as more energy is being trapped in the near surface atmosphere perhaps other changes are exaggerating previous weather events.

            I do not think that pre-satellite sea level data is useful for climate change analysis as any termo-expansion of water would be matched by similar thermal expansion of land.

            If land expands more than the ocean, global warming could produce a measure fall in sea level, using measuring sticks.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Chris Warren, did you actually read the article about Kiribati? It, itself, refutes your claims.

          • Chris Warren says:

            You are not following …

            What claims are refuted by the articles statements;

            “For the locals, there was nowhere to go as the waves left a trail of destruction, flooding the hospital in Betio,

            “But what causes the huge periodic variations in sea level at Betio and Kiritimati? As shown in Figure 4 the variations at Kiritimati are closely associated with the El Niño Southern Oscillation

            “..the variations they have the impact of raising sea  levels at Kiritimati by up to 250mm above normal for weeks on end,

            The there is a possibility of a larger than in the past King Tide destroying the source of fresh water which would be a catastrophe.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Stop cherry picking, blith and put your head out the window.

          Why is there no SLR in Sydney Harbour?

          Why is there no SLR in Moreton Bay?

          Why is there no SLR at the Gold Coast?

          Many places around the world like Miami have always had roads that flood at king tide. We have plenty around the Australian coastline.

          What a dumb article. It claims that the pipe won’t drain because it is below king tide level. All coastal city pipes in similar situations are below king tide level and they drain even at the top of the tide. Just as the one in that photo would.

          And your two Kiribati tide gauges are not indicators of SLR.

          They are simply the result of short term data.

          IOW, more cherry picking.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          Chris Warren, for cherry-picking references, you take the cake. From your own reference:

          “At this rate complete inundation of Kiritimati, which has a maximum elevation of 13m, will take 13,000 years.”
          “These king tides are claimed to be an impact of man-made climate change and they indeed pose a threat to Kiribati, but they are part of the natural cycle in atoll environments and have nothing to do with man-made climate change”
          “So are there going to be refugees from Kiribati? Quite possibly, although they won’t be fleeing climate change. They will be fleeing poverty. But we can be sure it won’t be presented this way at the Paris Climate Conference“

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            … And Chris, I have been to Tarawa. The aspect that strikes you immediately, is the number of children.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Chris Warren, do you dispute that those are direct quotes from the article you cited?

          • Chris Warren says:


            The 13,000 years refers to the underlying tend NOT the huge periodic variations, which was my topic.

            My statement w.r.t. periodic variations stands.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            The problem, Chris, is that the article you cited did not support your statement. In fact, its conclusions directly contradicted your avowed beliefs.

          • Chris Warren says:


            Are you a troll?

            What statement?

            I have explained to you that I was addressing “periodic variations”.

            You have gone off on some other wild goose chase and so have simply ended up chasing your own tail.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “The 13,000 years refers to the underlying tend NOT the huge periodic variations, which was my topic.”

            Do you deny that this is the factual underlying trend you are trying to present, blith?

            Looks like man has been responsible for a lot more cooling than warming:


    • spangled drongo says:

      “There is now no possibility of meeting the 2C goal.”

      Blith’s 2c goal is still probably 3c away:

      “New study puts the 1.5°C and 2.0°C temperature limits of the Paris Agreement into a historical climate context”

  • spangled drongo says:

    And you can bed-wet or celebrate:

    Global Agricultural Boom: A Million Thanks to Climate Change!

  • spangled drongo says:

    Bjorn Lomborg tries to point out the real cause of California wildfire and gets insulted for his trouble:

  • Neville says:

    Perhaps climate history is starting to catch up to Dr Roy Spencer . A few years ago he made the observation that a 1 to 2 % change in clouds could either cool or warm the planet and be a driver for their so called CAGW instead of their much promoted co2. It seems like something is in the wind. Here’s WUWT’s “quote of the week”.

  • Neville says:

    Lomborg’s latest article couldn’t be clearer, Paris COP 21 is indeed a fraud and BS. In fact it wouldn’t go 1% of the distance to reducing global temps by 2 C , but will waste endless trillions of $ to make no measurable change at all.

    Here’s a paragraph or two from the article. Will we ever wake up to their idiocy? And why aren’t more media and pollies exposing this fra-d and corrupti-n?

    “That seems hardly the point, though. The Paris Agreement is supposed to respond to global warming?and its ability to do so has always been overstated. Despite claims it will keep temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius, the United Nations body that oversees the Paris accord estimates that if every country were to achieve every promise by 2030, the total reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to just 60 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide. Keeping the global temperature rise below 2 C requires an emission cut during this century of almost 6,000 billion tons. Even with complete success, Paris makes only 1 percent progress toward the least ambitious target.

    But even this meager outcome won’t be met, as the Paris accord is unbinding. Recent research in Nature shows that “no major advanced industrialized country is on track to meet its pledges”. Not a single wealthy, major emitter is set to meet its promise.
    In June, Japan’s Environment Minister Koichi Yamamoto denounced the US decision to withdraw from the accord. Yet the research reveals that although Japan promised to cut emissions by 18 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, it is on-target to cut just 4 percent.”

  • Neville says:

    Mathematician and stats guru Dr Nic Lewis unravels the mistakes and problems with the much promoted Brown et al Study. This shouldn’t have passed the normal PR process. Here’s his conclusion and link.

    “Why BC17’s results would be highly doubtful even if their application of PLS were sound.”

    “Despite their superiority over BC17’s all-predictors-simultaneously results, I do not think that revised results based on use of only the OLR seasonal cycle predictor, over 30S–30N, would really provide a guide to how much global warming there would actually be late this century on the RCP8.5 scenario, or any other scenario. BC17 make the fundamental assumption that the relationship of future warming to certain aspects of the recent climate that holds in climate models also applies in the real climate system. I think this is an unfounded, and very probably invalid, assumption. Therefore, I see no justification for using observed values of those aspects to adjust model-predicted warming to correct model biases relating to those aspects, which is in effect what BC17 does.

    Moreover, it is not clear that the relationship that happens to exist in CMIP5 models between present day biases and future warming is a stable one, even in global climate models. Webb et al (2013) [ix], who examined the origin of differences in climate sensitivity, forcing and feedback in the previous generation of climate models, reported that they “do not find any clear relationships between present day biases and forcings or feedbacks across the AR4 ensemble”.

    Furthermore, it is well known that some CMIP5 models have significantly non-zero N (and therefore also biased OLR and/or OSR) in their unforced control runs, despite exhibiting almost no trend in GMST. Since a long-term lack of trend in GMST should indicate zero TOA radiative flux imbalance, this implies the existence of energy leakages within those models. Such models typically appear to behave unexceptionally in other regards, including as to future warming. However, they will have a distorted relationship between climatological values of TOA radiative flux variables and future warming that is not indicative of any genuine relationship between them that may exist in climate models, let alone of any such relationship in the real climate system.

    There is yet a further indicator that the approach used in the study tells one little even about the relationship in models between the selected aspects of TOA radiative fluxes and future warming. As I have shown, in CMIP5 models that relationship is considerably stronger for the OLR seasonal cycle than for any of the other predictors or any combination of predictors. But it is well established that the dominant contributor to intermodel variation in climate sensitivity is differences in low cloud feedback. Such differences affect OSR, not OLR, so it would be surprising that an aspect of OLR would be the most useful predictor of future warming if there were a genuine, underlying relationship in climate models between present day aspects of TOA radiative fluxes and future warming.


    To sum up, I have shown strong evidence that this study’s results and conclusions are unsound. Nevertheless, the authors are to be congratulated on bringing the partial least squares method to the attention of a wide audience of climate scientists, for the thoroughness of their methods section and for making pre-processed data and computer code readily available, hence enabling straightforward replication of their results and testing of alternative methodological choices.”

    Nic Lewis 15 December 2017

  • Neville says:

    More on the Dr Susan Crockford versus the liars and extremists saga. And note that Dr “upside down” Mann is right in the middle of their delusional junk science approach.

  • Neville says:

    Just for those fools who think that fossil fuels are on the wane. This graph should remove any doubt, even for the extreme fantasists. Also 1600 new coal plants to come in the near future. If they can’t understand these facts there is definitely no hope for them. And this data is backed up by the US EIA report.

    And a new study in China found the manufacture of EVs leads to much higher co2 emissions than the use of ICVs. What a waste of time and money just to further increase emissions.

  • Neville says:

    More polar bear studies that show no impact from their so called CAGW. In fact some Canadian Inuit think there may now be too many polar bears. But hey what would they know when compared to the likes of upside down Mann? SARC.

    And Germany will fail miserably to honour their co2 emissions reductions by a long way. What an absolute disaster for these big mouths who lecture the US and Trump and any other country they choose. These con merchants seem to have no shame at all.

  • Neville says:

    More on the BS story/photo about the starving polar bear. It could also be a very sick bear and could be suffering from an aggressive cancer. Who knows? But these very thin bears are not uncommon according to other bear experts.

    And Asian banks are pouring 600 bn $ into 1600 new coal plants, just as stupid western banks and govts force their citizens to use expensive and unreliable wind and solar. We in the west are barking mad and yet these fools tell you that we are fighting their CAGW.

  • Neville says:

    California’s wildfires are not due to their CAGW and Lomborg found that these fires had reduced by 400% since the peak period in the 1930s.

    But Gore and Brown preached their usual load of BS that was readily lapped up by the clueless mainstream media. Can’t these fools carry out simple historical research?

  • Chris Warren says:


    Inventing disease to explain damaged polar bears on Baffin Island is a form of denialism.

    Polar bear habitat is being damaged by ice loss in Baffin Bay.

    Other species may be impacted. As Nicklin (the photographer) wrote in a picture caption:

    A newborn harp seal pup rests on the sea ice with a belly full of milk. Like many seal species, Harp seals depend on sea ice for survival. As global climate change reduces the extent, duration, and thickness of sea ice, these seal species are threatened with extinction.

    The amount of sea ice in Baffin Bay is declining

    • spangled drongo says:

      “The amount of sea ice in Baffin Bay is declining”

      Are you talking about Baffin Bay, Texas or Baffin Bay, Greenland, blith?

      If the latter, please check again:

      Baffin Bay is above the long term average. Check NSIDC:

      “Sea ice extent remained below average in the Pacific sector of the Arctic and in the Barents Sea, but was slightly above average in Baffin Bay and Davis Strait towards the Labrador Sea.”

      You were trying to give me a lesson recently in the correct procedures on board old sailing ships. If you really do have any idea about them [and I’d love you to convince me] you will be aware that they could sail “narry an inch to windward”. How, then, do you suppose people like Frobisher and Davis explored the Arctic the way they did in those old clunkers if that area was iced up the way it is today.

      If they found themselves on a lee shore of ice they would be instantly wrecked, yet they survived their explorations of the North West Passage that even modern ships today have difficulty with.

      The Arctic was obviously more devoid of ice in the sixteenth century than it is today.

      What you are in stark denial of as usual, blith, is natural climate variability.

  • Chris Warren says:

    A reality check, now that Trump occupies the US presidency…

    It could be game over for the global climate system as we are stuck on RCP 8.5 which is the doomsday scenario.

    Other voices are seeing catastrophe if permafrost warms so that bacteria activate producing plumes of CO2 and CH4.

    • Neville says:

      Chris, the pop of polar bears are booming, so much for your ridiculous comments and yes top predators do sometimes die from sickness or injury, so stop believing your silly fairy stories.
      And it seems like I’ll have to repeat the data and evidence for you again. The US only produces 10% more co2 emissions than they did in 1973 and their pop today is 50% higher than 1973.
      Also the US generates just 17.1% of their total energy from coal while the world generates about 28% and China 66.7%. Very simple maths and data/evidence that you seem to either ignore or can’t understand. Which is it?
      Oh and coal use is booming among the non OECD countries ( 1600 new coal plants) while the OECD countries take up- more of your S&W idiocy.
      And no measurable change to temp at all. What is it you find so hard to understand about these very simple sums.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “And no measurable change to temp at all. What is it you find so hard to understand about these very simple sums.”

        Neville, what have measurements and sums got to do with blith cli-sci? Didn’t you read the heading?

        This is a faith and Science initiative.

        When you have faith you don’t need no steenkin’ sums!

  • Chris Warren says:


    If you want to standby your statement “And no measurable change to temp at all. ” without context or qualification the you are a perfect denier.

    We know temperatures are changing in th stratosphere and in troposphere.

    We know this is also happening the oceans.

    We know this is happening to the Earth’s land as well.

    The increase in US emissions (and other nations) is a disaster.

    The increase in coal generation is also disastrous.

    As the video suggested we need an economic paradigm shift,

    Did you understand the video?

    Here is a good demonstration of the impact of CO2.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Here is a good demonstration of the impact of CO2.”

      On what, blith?

      Do you seriously believe that has any bearing on the workings of a chaotic climate system in which CO2, if taken to the nearest 0.1%, would be zero?

    • Neville says:

      Chris your video is absurd and proves absolutely nothing about the real planet earth and the climate system. And I wonder if he increased the co2 in the chamber by exactly 0.01% of the air? (about 1 part per 10,000 or 100 parts per million) What a joker you are.

      • Chris Warren says:


        You appear to be denying science.

        There is nothing absurd about the video and the same effect is corroborated here:

        The CO2 in the chamber could have been well over 90% to completely block out the radiation of a candle at a distance of around 3 feet or so.

        This demonstrates enormous heat-trapping by CO2. The amount in the atmosphere in 2012 was equivalent to a solid band equal to a chamber 14 inches long. This traps infrared radiation as CO2 increases. This, with feedback effects, leads to dangerous global warming which you have read about.

        The CO2 in the atmosphere at the end of the last glaciation was around a half this.

        As NOAA says:

        “Based on estimates of fossil fuel emissions for 2011 and 2012 by the Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center (CDIAC), total global emissions increased from 9.4 billion metric tons of carbon in 2011 to 9.6 billion metric tons in 2012.

        “If this amount could somehow be confined completely to a global layer of pure CO2 at the surface, it would be 36 cm, or 14” thick everywhere.


        5 years later – the layer may well be thicker.

        • spangled drongo says:

          When you are a mindless, convinced, consensual groupthinker, blith, the only word you need to remember to save you from complete embarrassment is “feedbacks”.

          When you haven’t got a clue as to their value you are better off keeping mum.

          Or better still, put your mum on instead.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Here are some wonderfully direct and factual heretical thoughts on society.

    It’s easy to see why the current sci-stupid is allowed to flourish.

    But all “good things” come to an end, one way or another:

    • David says:

      Classy SD. Where did you find this, some password protected part of the dark-net no doubt? Reminds me that progress occurs one death at a time.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Did you find anything there that wasn’t factual, davie?

        Or is it just as Pat Condell says, simply that you are happy to be crapped on and won’t admit the truth?

        • margaret says:

          There’s no doubt that owm have a lot of sexual baggage they carry around. I could only watch half of this. I won’t blame only owm for the centuries of blaming women for their own inability to control their libidos but the reactionary proprietorial outrage is not the way forward because it’s based only on their own desires. A form of projection.

          • David says:

            Margaret, the trick is to convince Grandpa that staying away from the Inter-Webbie was his idea.

          • spangled drongo says:

            It’s sad, marg, that it takes an owm to point out the bleedin’ obvious yet you still don’t get it.

            And resort to all your isms to try and justify yourself.

          • margaret says:

            David, yes but I’m pushing seventy and a grandma myself. I don’t want to beat my head on brick walls erected by men my own age and older.

  • Murray Scott says:

    Part of Freeman’s essay summarises what he sees as shortcomings in climate models:
    “The models solve the equations of fluid dynamics, and they do a very good job of describing the fluid motions of the atmosphere and the oceans. They do a very poor job of describing the clouds, the dust, the chemistry and the biology of fields and farms and forests”
    Freeman is an eminent physicist and would not thoughtlessly omit mention of IR radiation transmission, the central feature of global climate models. Why? Has he assumed the role of greenhouse gasses as obvious to his readers, thus focussing on the awkward complicating factors in climate models? Or is it his way of dismissing the whole basis of concern over enhanced greenhouse gas concentrations?

    Either way I find that omission deeply unsatisfying and can find no way to engage with his critique of climate science.

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