Even before the election of Donald Trump I had begun to think that there seemed within the body politic to be a move away from the notion that some kind of catastrophic doom faced humanity unless we kept carbon dioxide concentrations to 350 ppm/reduced greenhouse gas emissions/stopped mining coal/all bought electric cars, and the like. Now that President-elect Trump has set out some of what he proposes to do in the ‘climate change’ area, it seems that even in the mainstream media statements are being made that would have been unlikely before that Tuesday in November.

What has drawn my attention are statements from a few well-known people. Judith Curry has drawn some of them together on her website, but you need to go to each of the original statements. I won’t even try to summarise them, for there are too many, and their content is rich. The first is from Roger Pielke Jnr, who wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal. I cannot regain access to the original story, but the essence of it is simple: he was pursued, unrelentingly, by Climate Botherers, politicians and the media, for having said that there was no real evidence that extreme weather events had increased in recent years.  What follows are his words.

I believe climate change is real and that human emissions of greenhouse gases risk justifying action, including a carbon tax. But my research led me to a conclusion that many climate campaigners find unacceptable: There is scant evidence to indicate that hurricanes, floods, tornadoes or drought have become more frequent or intense in the U.S. or globally. My conclusion might be wrong, but I think I’ve earned the right to share this research without risk to my career. Instead, my research was under constant attack for years by activists, journalists and politicians.

The scale of the attack on Pielke Jnr was just astonishing, and you need to read its compass in the extract. He finishes like this, and as an ex-academic, I have a good deal of fellow feeling: … the lesson is that a lone academic is no match for billionaires, well-funded advocacy groups, the media, Congress and the White House. If academics—in any subject—are to play a meaningful role in public debate, the country will have to do a better job supporting good-faith researchers, even when their results are unwelcome. This goes for Republicans and Democrats alike, and to the administration of President-elect Trump.

His father, Pielke senior, a senior and well respected climate scientist, took the opportunity to remind readers of what had happened to him rather earlier. Same sort of stuff. You can read that here. Of course, Judy Curry has herself been the focus of a lot of hostile treatment of the same kind, as has Matt Ridley, who is more a journalist than a scientist. He too joined in this season of revived confidence in saying what one believes in, with good argument and evidence. He is so quotable, and again, I have a strong fellow feeling.

I am a climate lukewarmer. That means I think recent global warming is real, mostly man-made and will continue but I no longer think it is likely to be dangerous and I think its slow and erratic progress so far is what we should expect in the future. This view . . . is even more infuriating to most publicly funded scientists and politicians, who insist climate change is a big risk. I was even kept off the shortlist for a part-time, unpaid public-sector appointment in a field unrelated to climate because of having this view, or so the headhunter thought. In the climate debate, paying obeisance to climate scaremongering is about as mandatory for a public appointment, or public funding, as being a Protestant was in 18th-century England.

The one whose thoughts were most striking, I thought, was Scott Adams, he who writes  the Dilbert cartoons, one of which I used at the end of an essay here some time ago. Adams predicted the Trump electoral victory, and what he said and had said was one of the reasons I was not surprised at the outcome of that election. He is another who writes clearly and sensibly and, once more, a lot of what he says resonates with me. Here’s how he starts.

Before I start, let me say as clearly as possible that I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change. If science says something is true – according to most scientists, and consistent with the scientific method – I accept their verdict. I realize that science can change its mind, of course. Saying something is “true” in a scientific sense always leaves open the option of later reassessing that view if new evidence comes to light. Something can be “true” according to science while simultaneously being completely wrong. Science allows that odd situation to exist, at least temporarily, while we crawl toward truth.

So when I say I agree with the scientific consensus on climate change, I’m endorsing the scientific consensus for the same reason I endorsed Hillary Clinton for the first part of the election – as a strategy to protect myself. I endorse the scientific consensus on climate change to protect my career and reputation. To do otherwise would be dumb, at least in my situation.

Here, at once, and again, is a pointer to one of the great evils of our time. It is not simply that the solidity of climate science seems to me not to justify carbon taxes or great subsidies for unreliable alternative energy sources. It is that if you have a job of some kind that brings you into the public gaze, you may not say so. It is more than your job is worth. Pielke Jnr discovered this, to the point where, at one stage, he wrote in his website that he would no longer write about climate science. It just wasn’t worth it. If I were a vice-chancellor today, I would be unable to speak out as I have done in the last four years. At my time of life I have no obligations to anyone or to any organisation. I can say it as I see it. I may be wrong about things — it would be astonishing to find anyone who was always right — but I can say it, and bear the criticism, because it rubs off on no one else.

Adams offers a set of of principles to guide people in assessing something like the ‘climate change’ issue. A lot of it looks pretty sensible to me.

It seems to me that a majority of experts could be wrong whenever you have a pattern that looks like this:

1. A theory has been “adjusted” in the past to maintain the conclusion even though the data has changed. For example, “Global warming” evolved to “climate change” because the models didn’t show universal warming.

2. Prediction models are complicated. When things are complicated you have more room for error. Climate science models are complicated.

3. The models require human judgement to decide how variables should be treated. This allows humans to “tune” the output to a desired end. This is the case with climate science models.

4. There is a severe social or economic penalty for having the “wrong” opinion in the field. As I already said, I agree with the consensus of climate scientists because saying otherwise in public would be social and career suicide for me even as a cartoonist. Imagine how much worse the pressure would be if science was my career.

5. There are so many variables that can be measured – and so many that can be ignored – that you can produce any result you want by choosing what to measure and what to ignore. Our measurement sensors do not cover all locations on earth, from the upper atmosphere to the bottom of the ocean, so we have the option to use the measurements that fit our predictions while discounting the rest.

6. The argument from the other side looks disturbingly credible.

This is how he finishes, and I call for three loud cheers:

As I said above, I accept the consensus of climate science experts when they say that climate science is real and accurate. But I do that to protect my reputation and my income. I have no way to evaluate the work of scientists. If you ask me how scared I am of climate changes ruining the planet, I have to say it is near the bottom of my worries. If science is right, and the danger is real, we’ll find ways to scrub the atmosphere as needed. We always find ways to avoid slow-moving dangers. And if the risk of climate change isn’t real, I will say I knew it all along because climate science matches all of the criteria for a mass hallucination by experts.

As it happens, I’ve had thirty years of assessing the work of researchers of all kinds, at least with respect to whether they should be given public money to do what they say they want to do. But with the rest of Adams’s conclusion I can only say that it is wonderful that people now feel they can say these things.

For a little gentle humour at the end, I offer a cartoon generated after Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill to force farmers to regulate the methane emissions from Californian cows, among other problems facing that State. As I understand it, regulations have yet to be drafted, and concerned cows are complaining that they weren’t consulted.


Endnote: The graph below shows carbon dioxide at Mauna Loa and a global average temperature estimate. I offer it, without comment, as a contribution to what is becoming a lengthy discussion in the Comments. The vertical axis shows the atmospheric CO2 concentration after removing the annual seasonal variation, while the temperature measurements are for the lower troposphere and are those of MSU v6.


Join the discussion 261 Comments

  • Neville says:

    Here is Pielke jnr’s response to Holdren about his absurd claims about Pielke’s testimony to the US Senate in 2013. Pielke jnr calls Holdren’s nonsense an epic fail and can’t believe this is coming from Obama’s so called top science adviser. But you have to read this yourself to understand what Pielke jnr calls sloppiness coming from the top climate adviser to the leader of the free world.

    What has happened to science over the last few decades?


  • Neville says:

    Landed in moderation again. Only one link and no FRA-D word. What’s the problem?

  • Nga says:

    To a climate realist like myself, this article comes across as disingenuous. However, as I’ve said before, I think Don really does believe his own propaganda. Don is highly active and esteemed in — snip — circles and evidently it forms some part of his social life, with Don even sparing a bed, so he tells us, for an  — snip — who was attending a gathering — snip — in Canberra. Don obviously thinks he is telling his — snip — brethren important things and we ought all heed his advice lest we commit the world to a disastrous train of follies. One imagines that for Don, leaving — snip — would be as gut-wrenching as Tom Cruise choosing to leave the Church of Scientology.
    In this essay, Don sets out to convince us that — snip — are brave warriors (possibly Vikings in the mould Ragnar Lothbrok), bucking the trend and finger-signing The Establishment, at great risk to career and reputation, if not life and limb. Don gives us a couple of sob stories as evidence. But the evidence clearly points the other way. Mainstream climate scientists are daily vilified and told they are frauds and fake scientists in various media outlets and online. They are subpoenaed by politicians and subject to vexatious FOI requests. Every move and utterance is pored over. They are plagued by unsolicited emails and phone calls from — snip — zealots. No other group of scientists, apart perhaps from those who work in genetic engineering, face anything like this. Many now choose to just keep quiet.
    The POTUS-elect is — snip — and he represents a party in which acceptance of the mainstream scientific view is heresy. The ranks of conservative political parties, right leaning media, think tanks and wealthy business interests are on — snip — side. That all seems like The Establishment to me. And contra the sob stories, — snip — cartoonists like Bill Leak and John Spooner make a pretty penny. Meanwhile, the few prominent — snip — in the climate science field, like Curry and Lindzen have kept their jobs.
    In truth, science is and always has been more like seagulls fighting over a chip than a dry and disinterested affair conducted by selfless scientists. Just ask Dan Shechtman, who was vilified by crusty old men like Linus Pauling, deemed dishonest and incompetent and even sacked from his job before he won the Chemistry Nobel Prize for his work on quasicrystals. Science is a messy process and you might like what you see but it has a habit of self-correcting and producing a fine sausage. To the Pielkes and all the others who feel hurt, my advice is suck it up princesses!.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      You really have no idea what you’re talking about.

      Scientists, like most people entering a career, are subject to all the normal human failings, including plagiarism and fraud. However, in my 40 odd years in the business, I had never previously heard of FOI requests, or refusals to share data. These appear unique to climate ‘science’, and give the lie to your assertion that “Mainstream climate scientists are daily vilified and told they are frauds”. The ‘climategate’ e-mails convicted them out of their own mouths…or were they manufactured by the denialists?

      Your arguments are getting more ridiculous by the day. In your own words, suck it up princess.

      • Nga says:


        However, in my 40 odd years in the business, I had never previously heard of FOI requests, or refusals to share data. These appear unique to climate ‘science’, and give the lie to your assertion that “Mainstream climate scientists are daily vilified and told they are frauds”.

        Obviously you do not pay anywhere near as much attention to science debates as myself. To give just one of many possible examples re FOI, an anti-GMO organic industry front group called USRTK, has:

        … sent Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) demands to more than a dozen public universities, targeting more than 40 scientists and science advocates, including Kevin Folta, Bruce Chassy, Richard Goodman and Jon Entine. According to mainstream scientists and many social scientists and journalists, the USTRK is using FOIA requests–each state has its own version echoing the federal law–to harass and intimidate scientists.

        www. geneticliteracyproject. org /glp-facts/us-right-to-know/

        The excruciating FOI harassment of Professsor Folta in particular has been widely covered in the media, so I’m stunned by your ignorance of the matter.

        Your claim about the sharing of data is even more bewildering given the plethora of obvious and well known examples, such as data hoarding.

        … [D]data hoarding prevents other scientists or patients from using clinical trial information to inform or accelerate their own research. The the problems caused by making research data inaccessible are not mere abstractions: they affect real people. One widely mentioned example is the case of the Italian scientist Alessandro Liberati, who was unable to obtain information from clinical trials that were relevant to decisions he had to make about how to treat his own cancer.

        theconversation. com /why-medical-journals-must-make-researchers-share-data-from-clinical-trials-44278

        As to subpoenas, the climate change contrarian (is that term OK Don?) and US congress Chair of the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology, Rep. Lamar Smith (R-Texas) dishes them out like confetti.

        www. slate. com /blogs/bad_astronomy/2016/03/07/lamar_smith_broadens_his_attacks_on_noaa_scientists.html

        As I previously noted, the praxis of science, just like every other human endeavour, is much like seagulls fighting over a chip. It is even more so for any field of science that is politicised. It could scarcely be otherwise.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          “an anti-GMO organic industry front group”
          A political organisation pursuing its political aims. What has it to do with climate scientists refusing to allow unrestricted access to their published data?

          The rest of your nonsense simply demonstrates (again) that you know nothing about science.

          • Nga says:

            Bryan, please try to keep track of the conversastion. You said:

            However, in my 40 odd years in the business, I had never previously heard of FOI requests, or refusals to share data.

            I gave you evidence of both.

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          You gave me ‘evidence’ of nothing. Two reports of political shenanigans and one opinion piece lifted from The Conversation.

          You’re laughable.

          • Nga says:

            And you are intellectually dishonest, which is far worse sin than your inbred manners, in my view. Accordingly I’ll go back to ignoring you.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            It would be more to the point if you went back to ignoring this blog, to which you make no positive contribution.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You sent three copies of this post, at different times, and another post with the letter ‘t’ only. I deleted the last, and two of the others. I couldn’t see any differences of consequence, but if you think there is one, let me know and I’ll retrieve the one you want.

      Then I thought I could accept one ‘denier’ in a post aimed at me, though it is an insult linking me to the Holocaust deniers. But there turned out to be nine of them or their equivalents, so I deleted them all.

      And when I had done it there didn’t seem to be anything of substance in your post at all. Let’s consider it:

      (1) ‘To a climate realist like myself, this article comes across as disingenuous. However, as I’ve said before, I think Don really does believe his own propaganda.’ I suppose an insult like ‘denier’ warrants self-praise like ‘climate realist’, but so far I haven’t found anything that looks like realism in what you write.

      (2) The rest of the first paragraph sets out an ignorant and empty account of the imagined life of the host of the blog.

      (3) The second paragraph contains a set of opinions of the poster. There is no evidence to back any of them up, and the poster has failed to recognise what Pielke Jnr said about the need for both sides of the debate to remain civilised and allow freedom of expression.

      (4) The third paragraph contains more opinions, mostly about what is the case in the USA. The poster apparently does not know that John Spooner was retrenched at The Age.

      (5) The last paragraph is close to incoherent, though it does mention a well-known account of two scientists disagreeing. What it has to do with the essay is unclear.

      As Bryan Roberts says above, Nga, it’s not at all clear that you understand what discussion is about. I am not in the propaganda business. I write essays, and give my readers access to material they might not otherwise know about. If I quote someone, it doesn’t mean I agree with every word, only that I think what is said is worth thinking about.

      There is nothing in your post that is in any way a contribution that will help others. It is simply a sustained diatribe against the blog host. If you don’t like what I do, go somewhere else. If you keep doing what you are doing, I’ll snip and snip until I can find something that a reasonable person would see as a contribution to discussion.

      • Nga says:


        The Oxford dictionary defines denialist as:

        a person who refuses to admit the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence.
        example: “the small minority of very vocal climate change denialists


        Why is Climate Botherer, a term you frequently use to denounce others in this debate, acceptable but denialist unacceptable? I certainly do not mean to imply anything as grotesque as Holocaust denial. I actually think we could achieve so much more if all such pejorative terms were banished from the debate.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          ‘Climate botherer’ is a term I use to denote the very small proportion of people who are exercised about ‘climate change’ — it seems to be about seven per cent in Australia and about three per cent in the world. They are bothered about climate. The great majority of people aren’t — they have more important things to worry about. All of that is well known, and I have used these data before. They are from public opinion surveys.

          ‘Denier’ is altogether nastier. It links the object to those who deny the travail of Jewish people before and during the second world war, especially those within the control of the Nazi regime. Its earlier reference was to those who denied the central tenets of Christianity, and so it has a religious overtone. To use it in the context of discussions about climate science and climate policy is egregiously wrong, and carries with it the notion that the orthodoxy is morally and ethically right, and therefore cannot be criticised. That position may have weight inside the Catholic Church, but it should be ignored in discussions of science and policy.

          I hope that makes the distinction clear. You say that you ‘actually think we could achieve so much more if all such pejorative terms were banished from the debate.’ Well then, show us the way. I don’t use these terms much myself. My other label is ‘orthodox’ as opposed to ‘dissident’. Occasionally I use ‘alarmist’, to refer to those who tell us stridently that we must do something about global warming/climate change right now. Al Gore is an alarmist. So are the people in the so-called Climate Council. So are a few of these who comment on this website. That’s OK. If they can argue and use real data and evidence, there is a possibility that I might learn something.

          But no one learns anything from the sort of snide stuff you wrote above. It’s just sludge.

          • PeterD says:

            Hullo Nga and Don

            The spectrum of labels to categorise various positions people adopt on climate change is laden with religious, philosophical and emotive associations that probably increases heat rather than light in discussion.

            Climate change believer, climate change supporter, climate change activists, climate change crisis thinker, climate change alarmist, climate change armageddon, end-of-world thinker, climate change agnostic, climate change sceptic, climate change denier

            The two labels that are contentious here in your discussion are ‘botherer’ and ‘denier’.

            Nga has frequently raised objections to the use of ‘botherer’. When the word ‘bothersome’ is used it suggests a small gnat or irritant; or ‘can’t be bothered…don’t bother me’. Essentially, the suggestion is that someone in this category may be worrying unnecessarily about climate change, that it is inconsequential or even unlikely to occur. My perception, unsupported by any evidence, is that many Australians do believe in the reality of climate change and would not like to be described simply as ‘botherers’. Nga’s objection to this term would have some support in my view from this spectrum of climate change believers because it seems to minimise or reduce their concerns. It is true, with this label, that many people who may be described this way, are not informed by science but may see floods, lightning or severe weather conditions and link it to ‘climate change’.

            Your point about ‘denier’ has a ring of truth: what is another term that could be used?

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Peter D,

            As I said, I don’t use the terms much, and am happy to keep to ‘orthodox’ and ‘dissident’ for the most part. With respect to your view that ‘many Australians do believe in the reality of climate change’, the evidence points away from you. While you will get quite high proportions of people agreeing with the proposition that something needs to be done about climate change, or various wordings of that kind, when people are asked to nominate the issues that really concern them, the proportion in Australia nominating global warming or climate change drops to seven per cent. Of course they would not like to be described as ‘botherers’. No one likes being described as inconsequential, just as nobody likes being described as a denier, a contrarian, a shill, a stooge or the like, just because he or she puts forward argument and evidence to suggest that the fuss about ‘climate change’ is overblown.

            You say ‘Your point about ‘denier’ has a ring of truth: what is another term that could be used?’ Why does there have to be a term at all? Nga self-described as a ‘climate realist’. I would use that term about myself. Plainly we are talking about different things. In my view the data and argument do not warrant carbon taxes or undue fuss about climate. Indeed, ‘climate’ is simply a term to denote what one might expect about the regularities of weather in a given area. Conventionally, weather people use it to account for thirty years of average weather. The nasty terms that are use in discussion rise because those who use them have much larger agendas, and don’t like being opposed by those who disagree with them.

          • PeterD says:

            Hullo Don and others,

            You wrote:

            “Why does there have to be a term at all[i.e. other than “climate denier”? Nga self-described as a ‘climate realist’. I would use that term about myself. ”

            Yes, I accept the logic of what you write above.

            You also stated: “when people are asked to nominate the issues that really concern them, the proportion in Australia nominating global warming or climate change drops to seven per cent. ”

            It is worthwhile asking why this is the case. Basically, there is a broad spectrum of interpretations and divergence around key scientific questions that baffle most Australians and that they are unable to resolve:

            Is global warming occurring?
            Is it true that the earth has not warmed for a decade(s)?
            Is the impact of additional C02 in the atmosphere – i.e. C02 that is not naturally occurring – having detrimental, measurable or beneficial effects?
            What of sea levels: rising or not?
            What about the credibility of the IPCC?
            In the published scientific papers, is there evidence of poor, collusive refereeing, faulty research methodology etc?
            What of the climate change models: how reliable are they?
            What of oceanic acidification: increasing or not?

            These and many other issues have been explored on this site but there are divergent views and in the community generally. I think it is true that many of the contributors who respond to your articles, Don, possess high expertise in one discipline or another although in some instances their comments do not always remain objective or indeed courteous.

            Many Australians, unable to draw certitude from science, are then open to influence by recognised groups such as IPCC, the CSIRO or indeed individuals such as Al Gore, Donald Trump or equivalents in Australia. They are guided by what they construe as trusted advice from expert sources but they are unable to nominate climate change agendas because the issues are complex and solutions elusive. My perceptions remain that many Australians are deeply concerned about climate change but I accept that this is certainly not supported by the survey findings you cite. Maybe that is the equivalent of relying upon anecdotal comments about climate change as a basis for one’s thinking!

            When you write that larger agendas are involved, it seems to me that many Australians adopt a personal, pragmatic perspective:

            * Will the cost of electricity rise in my household?
            * What about the cost of my home and property insurance: will it increase?
            * Is it worthwhile for me to adopt new technologies such as wind/solar etc?
            * Should I vote for a party that wants to transition away from coal, fossil fuels etc?
            * How do I make sense of the Greens, the ALP, the Libs, the Nets on climate change or even individual MPs such as Malcolm Roberts?
            * Are more extreme weather events occurring in my part of Australia and is this due to climate change or something else altogether?

            At the pure science or theoretical level, the fundamental issues need to be resolved. Some would argue that the sciences has already been settled whereas others would argue that there are far more important issues that our political processes need to address.

          • Nga says:


            “My other label is ‘orthodox’ as opposed to ‘dissident’. Occasionally I use ‘alarmist’, to refer to those who tell us stridently that we must do something about global warming/climate change right now.

            I know you aren’t fond of the term contrarian but I hope you can live with it. The “dissident” label has gravitas because it was frequently applied to those who, during the Cold War, fell foul of Communism in their land homelands and consequently suffered persecution, banishment, imprisonment or death. I escaped the Vietnamese Communists as a child. I remember the hunger, the fear, the dead bodies and the bombs. I remember my uncles who fought ( and in a couple of cases died) alongside the Australian and Americans. I find the thought of applying the label “dissident” to folk who shout out against “scientific orthodoxy” repulsive. I dry retch at the thought of it. You need to earn such a label with blood, sweat and tears. You don’t earn it by pumping out thought bubbles in upper middle class suburbia. I can’t stop you thinking of yourself as a dissident, Don, but I can say that it is at best, gauche.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            I respect your feelings, and ask you to recognise that others can have similar feelings about different matters. Long before you came to Australia, and long before you understood English, ‘dissident’ had the meaning that I use about myself in the context of ‘climate change’. It means someone who disagrees, and it is older in English than Shakespeare.

            You can’t own it or expect others not to use it because you find it unpalatable.

          • margaret says:

            “The noble title of “dissident” must be earned rather than claimed; it connotes sacrifice and risk rather than mere disagreement.”
            Christopher Hitchens, Letters to a Young Contrarian

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Margaret, I have indeed earned it, over a working lifetime.

          • margaret says:

            If you say so, but a man writing his own version of ‘chick lit’ is more contrarian than dissident.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Oh dear. First, ‘chick lit’ is fiction written for women, not necessarily by women. Second, I’m not a dissident about children, marriage, music, literature, painting etc, but about some aspects of public policy and some aspects of education.

          • Nga says:


            You seriously think you’ve earned the label dissident? As a well paid and pampered academic bureaucrat!!! This truly sickens me. My mother on a hunch suggested suggested we move from an abandoned building where we huddled in fear, dehydrated and hungry, not knowing if we would live or die, out into the open. Moments later, a bomb hit that building. One of my uncles, who was a captain in the SVN army, died two years ago. He was crippled after the war from the torture he received in a Reeducation Camp. Depending on who you believe, somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 prisoners died in those camps. He was a dissident. My family were dissidents. Can you tell us what happened in academia that makes you a “dissident”? To me you sound like a spoiled old man who lives a life of comfort in upper middle class suburbia. A tiny man, with one inch thoughts (to borrow a line from David Bowie), a lack of grace and a massive sense of superiority and entitlement. It is all I can do to stop dry retching.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Enge, there is a good saying: judge not lest you be judged.

            People who pass judgement on others the way you do, devalue their own virtue considerably.

            And BTW, a dissident is a dissenter.

            We are all dissidents.

            Get off your horse, your pomposity is embarrassing.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            for Nga @ 4.52

            This is a discussion site, and whatever your experiences you need to take proper part in what is for the most part a civilised and serious discussion.It is not the place for the sort of OTT language you are using. If you find what I write objectionable on personal grounds you should simply stop reading on the website.

          • margaret says:

            “The term “intellectual” was coined by those in France who believed in the guilt of Captain Alfred Dreyfus. They thought that they were defending an organic, harmonious and ordered society against nihilism, and they deployed this contemptuous word against those they regarded as the diseased, the introspective, the disloyal and the unsound. The word hasn’t completely lost this association even now, though it is less frequently used as an insult. (One feels something of the same sense of embarrassment in claiming to be an “intellectual” as one does in purporting to be a dissident, but the figure of Emile Zola offers encouragement, and his singular campaign for justice for Dreyfus is one of the imperishable examples of what may be accomplished by an individual.)”

          • Peter WARWICK says:

            Nga, with great respect, you appear to have been traumatized by events in Vietnam. One can only have great respect for you to have survived the ordeal, despite the very heavy baggage you carry. But your ad hominid attacks on DA are childish, stupid, irrational and completely unwarranted.

            Don has provided a forum at considerable expense (time and effort, and most likely monetary) for everyone to get up on their soapbox and express an opinion, which, if they are to be believed, should be supported by facts. We do live in an evidence based society. Whether someone agrees or disagrees is immaterial, but we owe it to each other to allow a posting to be considered without vile personal attacks on the writer.

            Given your past trauma, I suggest you seek treatment, if at least, to understand the Australian way of “a fair go”. I really do not care if a poster is 120 years old, male, female, undecided, yet to decide, LBGTQKDS, but I am interested in what is written, and the substantiation of it.

            I may be talking for DA here, but I suspect he would not be seeking an apology (he seems to have a huge amount of tolerance), but he would be seeking decent behavior on the site.

            Despite your traumatic past, you should count yourself lucky you ended up in Australia (if that is from where you are posting), where there is an huge ethos of freedom of expression and a fair go.

          • margaret says:

            I get the impression that owm’s are hugely uncomfortable with emotions. Damp them down, repress them let ‘the little woman’ express such dangerous and scary things as feelings. And then, because they are used to holding power, being in charge, acting as protector, patronise the woman for expressing something that they are threatened by.
            I’m with Nga on her position of what constitutes a dissident. I can’t imagine that any ‘fat cat bureaucrat’ in the history of Australia could be fairly called a true dissident. Nga doesn’t need to seek ‘therapy’. Her anger is justifiably aimed at the owm’s who have walked comfortably through the oh so white male friendly Australian landscape since the inception of the land where ‘women glow and men chunder’.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            for Margaret at 8.56 pm

            I don’t regard The Guardian as a reliable source on almost anything, and it is certainly wrong about the origins of the word. It’s been in English for several hundred years. Milton used it. You might argue that it became popular after the Dreyfus case in France, but that’s a different proposition, and we didn’t get the word from France in the late 19th century anyway. My Shorter OED gives lots = of examples.

          • margaret says:

            Don, you say: (oh dear, must I?)
            “chick lit’ is fiction written for women, not necessarily by women. Second, I’m not a dissident about children, marriage, music, literature, painting etc, but about some aspects of public policy and some aspects of education.”
            Do women want fiction written ‘for’ them? I don’t think so. Who writes fiction ‘for’ men? And what is it about?
            No, you are not a dissident about those aspects of life and culture that favour male dominance. Also, how can one be a dissident about children? Marriage? … not understanding, please explain.

          • margaret says:

            Wasn’t that Christopher Hitchens interpretation of the word, rather than The Guardian’s?
            The Dreyfus Affair is a fascinating historical event that still has its reverberations.


          • margaret says:

            The Australian Women’s Weekly is always there to maintain the status quo.

            “Anne Deveson said her husband was angry because she had become more famous and she earned more money yet the family war was hidden from view. After a storm, Blain “would then go and be on air and [be] absolutely calm and together” while the perfect family with three perfect little kids would feature in the Australian Women’s Weekly.

            We still find it hard to speak the truth about mental illness, motherhood and domestic violence but once it was almost impossible.

            Thanks to great truth-tellers like Anne Deveson and Georgia Blain, who found the courage to talk about their families, knowing they would be hurt, it is now easier for the rest of us to recognise, and deal with, the pain and violence in our own families.”

          • margaret says:

            Anne Deveson on Robert Theobald.
            I think he was an extraordinary person of great vision, of warmth, of energy, of intellect, who came into my life quite unexpectedly, with whom I found an enormous amount in common. Right from the moment we first met we couldn’t stop talking. I think there was an ability to communicate immediately, which we both recognised. And I think he gave me a sense of vision. I’ve probably, I’ve always been somebody who looks at the big picture rather than at the small. But Robert was a person of enormous optimism, who dealt with those big issues like the kind of values we choose to live by as a society. And he spoke as an economist when he said, the market should not be driving our choices in life. Have a free market by all means, but the market is there to serve people, not the other way around.

          • margaret says:

            She didn’t write for women. She didn’t write chick lit. She was a writer’s writer and The Transit of Venus, The Great Fire, The Bay of Noon and her short stories are phenomenal reading.

          • margaret says:

            That was Shirley Hazzard, my cuppa tea.


        • Bryan Roberts says:

          “if all such pejorative terms were banished from the debate”

          Then, darling, you can lead the way.

        • David says:

          Don, Nga raises an excellent point!

          To which I would add your refusal to invest in the time to learn the principles of time series analysis, also exposes you as a — snip —. You have been publishing on this topic for at least 10 years now but have made no effort understand the statistical methods which underpin it. I appreciate you are retired, but if you are going to publish in a public space I think a couple of courses in Time series analysis would be the bare minimum. Your unwillingness to engage with modern statistical methods (aka post 1980) does have the whiff of intransigence, imo.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            You know nothing about my knowledge of time series, and there is little in what you have written over the years to suggest that you are a statistician of any kind; there is no logical connection between time-series analysis and belief in ‘climate change’. I will not allow the use of ‘denier’ or its counterparts on this site.

          • dlb says:

            David, submit a post to this blog on time series, and demonstrate their relevance to understanding climate change over the last 160 years.

          • JimboR says:

            “You know nothing about my knowledge of time series,”

            Don, honestly? Your comments in this blog reveal way more than you realise about your knowledge in all sorts of fields.

        • JimboR says:

          “The Oxford dictionary defines …”

          Nice one Nga. Who knew… even the Oxford Dictionary are believers?. Somebody should get Andrew Bolt onto that. Bad enough that the loony left have taken over the ABC, but now they’ve got control of the Oxford Dictionary as well…. where will it end?

          “I will not allow the use of ‘denier’ or its counterparts on this site.”

          Wow! This from a man who considers himself a bit of a linguist? Whatever.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            This website is privileged to have not one but two omniscient seekers after truth.

            Like the other one, you rush to write before you have read properly. When a dictionary provides an example of usage, it does so from its store of contemporary examples, as in this case. It is sadly the case that those who want to provide counter argument and evidence in the area of ‘climate change’ are often referred to as ‘denialists’, but that does not mean the OED thinks so.

  • Mike says:

    I think climate change will have a bit of financial inertia. It scratches a lot of backs. Union superannuation has invested in windmills. Then the are the banks calling for cap and trade. The university’s and what’s left of the Protestant churches. None of these would tolerate the ridicule dished out to farmers by economic rationalists.
    At the end of the day the most cunning thing about global warming is a psychological thing. Reverence for nature is very deep in the human psyche. Only carbon credits will bring absolution .

    • Ross says:

      G’day Mike. Whilst on the subject of ‘scratching people’s backs’ financially, I wonder if there are any people who would gain financially, if Global Warming was erased from public debate?
      I can think of a few.
      A hint: They are already very VERY wealthy. They are very VERY powerful.

      • Mike Burston says:

        Hello Ross,
        Tell me ! Tell. me! Whoever are these very rich souls are who want to keep “mum” on AGW? Don’t say it’s the Royal Family.
        I think it’s intuitively true very rich people would support AGW because the community pays with a consumption tax, not the rich doing the heavy lifting.

      • Doug Hurst says:

        Ross, if Global Warming and all its influences was erased from public debate the entire country would benefit from cheaper, more reliable power as we went back to coal, huge savings as we cancelled the RET and existing subsidies to renewables, and the new jobs and better services that resulted from spending the savings on something that actually produced positive, measurable results, not just warm inner glows. We could have better schools, hospitals, roads etc as well as more competitive industry. And best of all, we would have a return to facts-based decision making.

        If we do have a problem. everything should be in the mix, including cleaner-coal, gas and nuclear. But after 20 years of failed predictions and no empirical evidence the massive expenditure on reducing CO2 has done any good at all for the environment, I think it is time to declare we don’t have a problem and spend the money on something else.

  • dlb says:

    Amazing that it has taken a change in US administration for Pielke and Adams to speak their minds. I wonder how many others will start to come out? Good Stuff.

    For those interested, Scott Adams is middle aged (59 years) and a Mensa member.
    Now I know why many of his cartoons go over my head !

  • David says:

    As atmospheric CO2 is currently at 402 ppm, I presume you meant to write a number like 450 ppm to illustrate your argument. But really, citing Donald Trump to support a policy position on climate change, or anything else for that matter, is imo “jumping the shark”

    • Don Aitkin says:

      David, you always seem to read what you think you read, rather than what was there. Nowhere did I cite ‘Donald Trump to support a policy position on climate change’.

      And you presumed wrongly, not for the first time. Check out 350.org, a climate policy think tank in the US whose aim it is to restrict CO2 ppm to 350.

  • PeterE says:

    For thirty years we have heard the siren song of ‘renewables.’ What is abundantly clear is that renewables can’t do the job. What is a sound bet is that renewables will never be able to do the job. Some energy from renewables is welcome, provided that it is in response to market forces and not subsidized by taxpayers’ money. The way to go is clear. coal, gas and nuclear energy must be increased and ways to reduce emissions from them can and should be found. This is to allay the confusion in the public mind about the difference between smoke (air pollution) and the supposed dangerous effects of an increase in carbon dioxide. In Australia, the Hazelwood power station should be replaced by a new state-of the-art coal-fired power station and work should be begun as soon as possible. The same applies in South Australia. That is the way forward. Dump all international obligations and never should a cent go from Australia to any overseas ‘carbon reduction fund.’

    • David says:

      So Pete, what do you make of a proposed $billion “loan” from the Turnbull Govt to Adani Coal, a foreign company, to pay for a railway line to export their coal?

  • Neville says:

    Even Dr James Hansen the father of CAGW has changed his mind about their climate change extremism. He now admits that there is no rush to try and mitigate change.
    Previously he said that a belief in S&W energy is like believing in the Easter Bunny and the Tooth fairy. Of course he also called Paris COP 21″ just BS and fra-d “and Lomborg has clearly shown by simple maths and science that this is the case.
    Yet we still have these extremists ( like Labor and Greens) telling the electorate that we MUST FIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE by reducing OZ co2 emissions by 40% or 50%. This is a pack of lies and yet hardly anyone challenges them to tell us how this can work.
    We know that China and India etc will blow out their co2 emissions for decades to come. Just read the latest US EIA report that forecasts that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040.
    All Aussies should be reminded that we only emit 1.3% of world co2 emissions and Labor exported record tonnages of coal , gas and iron ore under the Rudd, Gillard govts. These people are blatant con merchants and proved that they couldn’t care less about co2 emissions at all.
    The extremist’s so called mitigation is so easy to understand and expose yet very few people have the nerve to say or do anything about it. In fact they’ll repeat their lies and continue with their hypocrisy every chance they get.
    As I’ve said before, it took Harry Markopolous nearly 10 years to burst the Madoff Ponzi scheme bubble although he knew it was a fra-d after looking at the data for just 5 minutes. So how will this fra-dulent trillion $ mitigation con be exposed anytime soon?

    • Ross says:

      Perhaps one of those powerful coal or oil companies could expose the fra-d.
      The heartland Institute should expose busy scientists for the lying, Aussie hating, tooth fairy loving frauds that they are!
      I mean that’s what the Heartland was set up to do, for gods sake!
      Someone’s not doing their job, Neville.

  • PeterD says:

    Hullo Nga

    Don’s article touches upon some group-think patterns and also responses to those who challenge, partially agree with or divert from the established paradigms around climate change.

    Even as an occasional visitor to this site, I can see some recurring patterns in your posting. Whereas you are a ‘climate realist’, value intelligence, can draw upon relevant scientific literature, present pertinent scientific findings, you lambast Don for his ‘sob stories’, and how he ‘believes his own propganda’. There may be more subtle ways to disagree with someone and contest their interpretations. Your tree planting and contributions to a Vietnamese orphanage might attract, one might think, positive endorsement rather than criticism. I remember Harry Messell (?) valued scientific thinking but believed that communication to non-scientists was an area for upskilling.

    In the last week someone remarked that Robyn Williams, ABC Science Show presenter, might have been sacked in some firms if he had publicly disagree with the removal of ‘Catalyst’ and spoken against his CEO, Michelle Guthrie. How many ideas are stifled because of ‘commercial in-confidence’? There will be different views around figures such as Julian Assange. Even in federal politics, you can criticise from the back-bench but not if you are in Cabinet. Donald Trump resented Alex Baldwin’s satiric portrayals yet Donald slagged a young woman on Twitter for questioning his feminist thinking and she is still being assailed online by many of his more unattractive supporters [http://www.canberratimes.com.au/world/this-is-what-happens-when-donald-trump-attacks-a-private-citizen-on-twitter-20161209-gt86qb.html ] Take the case of Josh Fredenberg: it’s not unreasonable to put all ideas and options on the table and then rule some in or out in a discussion paper etc. Logic, evidence and a proper cost-benefit analysis rather than ideology might be the best way to develop policy positions. How do we deal with sceptics, naysayers, prophets, whistlblowers, climate agnostics//supporters etc. Even the terminololgy and language we use indicates our values.

  • Peter Kemmis says:

    Yes, I have come to this view during much of 2016, that we are seeing a turning of that tide, a tide that embraces more than opinion about changing climate causes and effects. It is a pendulum swing, one that started during the early 1960s with new and at the time radical views on how we should manage our societies. The pendulum swings not always at a steady rate – rather in fits and starts, pulsing its way through our politics, our wide-ranging media, and into our living rooms. At present we are seeing its last desperate lunge, fighting against a falling back to the centre; it won’t stop there, of course, but will continue to a far too conservative position, but not to the same place as the 1960s. The 2060s and 2070s will be a very different world, technologically and socially, but still have the same forces of radicalism and conservatism, with all their usefulness and their failings.

    Brexit was one of the earlier indicators. The US election another. Watching Europe unfold will be another.

    Meanwhile, the desperate fightback from the “radical” side will become more strident, from shark protection (the sharks or the humans?), to special facilities for LBTGXI (have I got that right?) in times of calamity . . . now insert your own favourite cause celebre . . . and of course to AGW. Ah well . . .

    • Chris Warren says:

      Actually it is the racid elements to the right that are becoming more strident and ludicrous.

      Did you hear them cry over imports of rapid fire shot guns?

      Did you hear them winge over moves for euthanasia.

      Have you heard their rants over minimum wages?

      And don’t get me started on Qld. Gallilee Basin coal.

      We have to put these folks back in their box.

  • Neville says:

    Here’s a couple of videos of Lomborg exposing the electric car con. Amazing that in the US EVs have a subsidy of at least $7,500 and the return is about $45. What a lousy investment and what a con . And of course ZIP change to the climate by 2100.


    And here’s another 5 min Lomborg video that tells much the same story.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry, here is that other electric car video. And I’m in moderation again.

  • Bryan Roberts says:

    You were taught by Harry Messel? I thought most of us were dead.

    • PeterD says:

      I was at USyd when he was in his prime and often heard him speak but I was not a Science student.

      He did a lot for bringing Science to public attention and this is still a great need to communicate scientific findings to those not well versed in the discipline.

      • Bryan Roberts says:

        He did nothing for my Physics, but I vividly remember him. As a member of the firm, I sometimes wonder how lecturers are remembered, or think they would be remembered.

        • JoH says:

          Messel taught me a thing or two about nuclear physics. I don’t rate him as great, but he was good as a teacher.

          • JoH says:

            PS unfortunately, Don’s cartoon confuses kilowatts with megafarts, which detracts from it’s impact somewhat.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Here is some long overdue turning of the tide:


  • chrisl says:

    The tide IS turning

  • Neville says:

    Let’s hope that Dr Michaels is correct and they really do have a scientific cat fight over the US EPA etc. Perhaps then we can say that the tide is beginning to turn. At least we can hope for some positive change based on proper scientific data and evidence. But I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Could you please stop channeling Lomborg’s stuff without looking at the evidence.

    Here is the other point of view: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/electric-cars-green

    Each estimate includes emissions from vehicle manufacturing, power station combustion, upstream fuel production and grid losses.

    • Neville says:

      I’m sorry Chris but when you look at total world energy you still find that Geo/S&W only make up just 1.3% of total world energy. Just S&W about 0.5%. But fossil fuels still make up the bulk of world energy production at 81%. And Obama’s 2016 EIA report tells us that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040.
      The number of EVs on the road today and in the future don’t add up to a row of beans anyway so it’s a non argument. Don’t forget that without taxpayer subsidies they would not be viable in the market place at all.

      • Chris Warren says:

        That is not the point.

        We have to make non-fossil energy viable.

        Otherwise CAGW is inevitable.

        • dlb says:

          It might me inevitable for you Chris, but others may think differently such as Scott Adams.

          “If you ask me how scared I am of climate changes ruining the planet, I have to say it is near the bottom of my worries. If science is right, and the danger is real, we’ll find ways to scrub the atmosphere as needed. We always find ways to avoid slow-moving dangers. And if the risk of climate change isn’t real, I will say I knew it all along because climate science matches all of the criteria for a mass hallucination by experts.”

          I’m afraid you need better evidence than dodgy computer projections, and minor sea level rise to put us sceptics and luke-warmers back in our boxes.

          • margaret says:

            Sorry Bryan, I know how this irritates you. Just grit your teeth and don’t, whatever you do, click on such an enormous URL.

          • Chris Warren says:

            I have never used computer projections and there is no need.

            I have already explained that melting sea ice does not cause sea level rise.

            I have never used sea level rise.

            All this is just is just a distraction. Creating artificial fuss over computer projections and the level of sea is a waste of time.

            The threat is increasing greenhouse gases and the continuous trapping of heat in the troposphere.

          • margaret says:

            Here you are warriors and contrarians, a blog that is right up your alley. I can’t see AGW as a mass delusion in the same vein as the ones described in the article on mass delusions and hysterias: highlights of the past millennium though.
            Language, words – so very powerful – take the words botherer and denier. “God-botherers” is used frequently to describe proselytising and narrow-minded people of Christian faiths. Deniers – well could not that term also cover those who said Australia was terra nullius and those who still today deny that there were eradication measures used to promulgate that lie.

          • margaret says:

            The conservatives will love this man. He speaks your language, AND is a self-proclaimed contrarian.


          • Don Aitkin says:

            for Margaret: Thanks for the link. Ive never heard of the website, or its host. Did you take in some of what he wrote about being a contrarian — in this case quoting Hayek in the 1960s:

            ‘To exaggerate only slightly, they [the New York/Columbia set] had never talked to anyone who really believed, and had thought deeply about, views drastically different from their own. As a result, when they heard real arguments instead of caricatures, they had no answers, only amazement that such views could be expressed by someone who had the external characteristics of being a member of the intellectual community, and that such views could be defended with apparent cogency. Never have I been more impressed with the advice I once received: “You cannot be sure that you are right unless you understand the arguments against your views better than your opponents do.’

            To a decent extent, I put up ideas and views on this website following the same principle — that it you only read the mainstream media you will get a quite distorted idea of what is actually happening, what people are saying (apart from what you read and hear), and what they are likely to do. The shock and horror at the Trump election is a classic example. Hillary Clinton won just 47 counties in the whole USA. Trump won several thousand.Of course, hers were in the major cities and were really very large. But those lived there had never really talked with people outside their own set, read only the NY Times or LA Times, and simply ignored anything else.

            All being well, you’ve picked up a little just by being here!

          • margaret says:

            Yes I did read the article and a contrarian can obviously be on either side of the political fence as America’s most famous historical contrarian Thomas Paine was on the other.
            I expect I have “picked up a little just by being here” – I’m not an actual pupil of yours or anyone here however so I often find the somewhat pompous tone hard to take, realising that a few at least of the commenters here likely meet up from time to time or have association with you, and form a not dissimilar set of men as you quote from the article.
            I expect also that I am providing some thought provoking links for those interested, despite lacking facility in cut and thrust hard-headed closed minded comments that I see here a lot of the time.
            Here’s another, and it references the gentleman who is the Manhattan Contrarian.


          • margaret says:

            … “the fundamental principle of falsificationism is this: any contradictory instance to a theory is sufficient to falsify that theory, regardless of how many positive examples appear to support it.”


          • margaret says:

            “Away from deep philosophical divisions, the influence of the right is becoming absurd, even on clear practical matters. There is no morality wrapped up in any of the methods to tackle climate change – they are all just different technical paths to reducing emissions. There may, however, be some morality wrapped up in price changes. Price increases have an impact on families – governments concerned about fairness need to take this into account.”


          • Don Aitkin says:

            for margaret @5.21

            I’m sorry you detect a pompous tone. If it is from me you might like to provide an example so I can learn from it. I try hard to make what I write accessible, and as an offering, not a text from the pulpit.

          • margaret says:

            Anne Deveson has died. She didn’t compartmentalise her life and tried to bring her whole self to what she did. Too many old white men were able to have public lives and private lives separated because they had a woman behind them not with them.

  • Neville says:

    Curry, Spencer, Lindzen etc have all talked about ocean oscillations and climate variability. Now Prof Vehrenholt and Dr Luning have looked further into warming periods during the last 100 years and found good correlation with the PDO/IPO etc. The IPCC seems to show little interest in the sun/ ocean influence on climate change, but the correlation does exist. Judith Curry expects that the AMO will enter its cool phase in the 2020s and this should prove interesting for future NH climate as well.


    Here is a graph of HAD 4 and PDO plus the 3 warming trends during 1910 to 2016. Also shown is the 31 year cooling trend from 1945 to 1975. The various periods of warming correlate closely with the PDO cycles. HAD 4 is the temp data base preferred by the IPCC. But why do they ignore these long sun/ocean cycles?


  • Chris Warren says:

    Lomborg’s dirty tricks.

    The PNAS paper Lomborg relies on states:

    ” We find that powering vehicles with corn eth-
    anol or with coal-based or “grid average” electricity increases
    monetized environmental health impacts by 80% or more relative
    to using conventional gasoline. Conversely, EVs powered by low-
    emitting electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar power
    reduce environmental health impacts by 50% or more. ”

    Notice how he just ignored the findings after and including the word “Conversely” in particular:

    .EVs powered by low-emitting electricity from natural gas, wind, water, or solar power
    reduce environmental health impacts by 50% or more.

    You cannot blame EV’s for the emissions of coal generation. This is a dirty trick.

    This is biassed politically motivated science as coal EV is an extreme case as illustrated by the authors:


  • David says:

    Don you wrote to Peter D

    “As I said, I don’t use the terms much [climate botherer], and am happy to keep to ‘orthodox’ and ‘dissident’ for the most part.”

    Really? Your search engine identifies 17 articles where you have used the term “climate botherer”

    • Don Aitkin says:

      OK, Mr Statistician Extraordinary, what does that show? How significant is the number? How important is it? What should it tell the reader?

      • David says:

        It tells the reader that you say one thing (I dont use the term much) and do another (use the term frequently).

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Oh dear, you’ve just outed yourself. You really are a pretence of a statistician aren’t you.

          Here is the way I would explain the problem to a 6th class child. ‘The term “climate botherer” has been used in 17 essays. Is that a ‘frequent’ usage, do you think?’

          The pupil replies, as he should, ‘Well, it depends on how many essays there actually were, doesn’t it?’

          ‘Yes, indeed it does. If there were 25 essays, would you think 17 usages would mean “frequent”?’

          The pupil replies, ‘Yes, I guess so.’

          ‘What if there were 250 essays — ten times as many — but still only 17 usages?’

          The pupil, ‘No way.’

          Actually, David, there have been 785 essays since the website started, and the 17 where the term ‘climate botherer’ appears represent just 0.02165 of the total. I know you like lots of numerals after the decimal point. But you could more simply say the term is used in one in fifty essays — it would be more meaningful to more people..

          Please don’t waste everyone’s time.

          • David says:


            You must think I came down in the last shower. I thought I could recall when you first used the term. And sure enough your helpful search engine reports that on December 14 2015 in “ After Paris — what now?” you announced your new idiom to the blogosphere in the following sentence.

            “…Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull won’t have lost any support among the Climate Botherers (my new term at this Christian time of the year).”

            You obviously felt pretty pleased with yourself. Because, like a boy with a shiny new toy truck- you went on to recycle your new phrase in another 16 posts over the next 12 months.

            I will leave it to you to calculate the percentages.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            ‘You must think I came down in the last shower’

            Not at all. I think you are (i) pretentious, (ii) uninterested in serious discussion, and (iii) a waste of time.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      David, I have a degree in Statistics, and I strongly suspect you have little or no knowledge of the discipline, apart from throwing around a few buzzwords like time series. You are welcome to prove me wrong, but you’ll have to work at it.

      I’m frankly sick of your derogatory bullshit. Put up or shut up.

      • David says:

        Putting up! Here is an Aitkin classic.


        (1) Is the earth warming, and has it warmed since the beginning of the 20th century? This question is essentially about measurement, ‘Average global temperature’ is a construct, not a real observation, and there is considerable uncertainty about the reliability and validity of the construct. In any case, the IPCC’s estimate of global warming in the 20th century is 0.60 C ± 0.20 C, which is unlikely to be greater than the error surrounding the measurements. It is not a large increase.”

        This clause
        ‘…which is unlikely to be greater than the error surrounding the measurements”
        reflects a profound misunderstanding of statistical analysis. By virtue of the fact that they have taken a large number of observations they report a confidence interval (presumably 95%) of ± 0.2. This confidence interval already includes ALL sources of error.

        Show me statistical method where, having calculated a confidence interval, one then goes back and makes some further ad hoc accommodation for
        the “error surrounding the measurements”, the way Don proposes here. Its voodoo statistics!

        When I get a little more time I gives Don’s understanding of Timer Series analysis they same treatment.


        • Don Aitkin says:

          This is tedious in the extreme unless you think Bryan Roberts is a simpleton who needs instruction. We have been through this at least twice, and I am not going to go through it again.

          You think that the IPCC’s ±0.2 includes all sources of error, and that it must be accepted.

          I think that the IPCC has no idea. The seas cover 70 per cent of the surface of the global and there are no accurate measures of the oceans’ temperatures until the Argo buoys in the early 21st century. Ergo, we lack good data for 70 per cent of the earth’s surface for a hundred years. On what basis the IPCC concluded that it knew ±0.2 was the right error estimate is not known to me or to you. The lack of knowledge confounds any simple ±0.2 estimate. But you don’t see this, and think it shows a lack of understanding on my part.

          Even the land estimates are subject to large errors, given that in the first half of the 20th century there were not many thermometers in large areas of the continents. And average global temperatures is a statistical construct to begin with.

          This is just pathetic stuff.

          • David says:

            Don your response illustrates my point, perfectly.

          • David says:

            The fact that you have not once in the 4 years I have been corresponding with you, indicated that you re-read a statistics book to re-check a fact suggests to me that your a SNIP (I will save you the effort of censoring) rather than a skeptic.

            You obviously have a lot of support on this site. But not one statistician has ever supported your interpretation of the error term. Smell the coffee!

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          David, I did not ask you further to question Don’s understanding of climate. I did, and still do, question your understanding of statistics.

          • David says:

            Bryan I understand, that Don does not understand what the error term represents. Which is is kind of fundamental to say the least. But by all means explain to us all why Don’s interpretation is correct.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Now that Davey has conveyed his understanding of stats, could you tell us, Davey boy, what you reckon the error in satellite altimetry of SLR might be?

            Here it is in relation to acceleration in SLR:

            Be afraid, it’s accelerating at 0.043 +/- 0.058 mm/yr2.

            The acceleration is so small it’s less than the errors. Normal scientists don’t get excited at this. They don’t issue press releases.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            But, my dear boy, you dissemble. It is far from clear that YOU understand what the error term represents. It is very simple, and a person with your advanced understanding of statistics and time series should be able to explain it in a couple of sentences. Please do so.

  • Neville says:

    Dr Tim Ball seems upbeat about the future for climate science under the Trump administration .I only hope he is right. We certainly shouldn’t be wasting countless billions $ on the mitigation con for no measurable difference to temp by 2100.


    • Chris Warren says:

      Your link seems to reflect the views of a Heartland nutter who believes there is some conspiracy for a “world government” and who is now launching some crusade to “deprogram the people” and to “counteract the notion that carbon dioxide from emissions was harming the planet”.

      All the signs of zealotry, not science, are there ie such claims as:

      political use and scientific abuse of climate for a political agenda.
      deceptive result
      limiting the research
      very limited number of variables.
      singular political objective
      the political objective
      weather bureaucrats
      Scientific bureaucrats
      political bosses.
      Global Governance Agenda.
      world government.
      controlled by a few people
      a very false picture.
      no accountability or incentive to improve.
      politically directed
      useless climate change research
      carbon footprint hypocrites
      deprogram the people,
      remove the exploitive agencies

      • Don Aitkin says:

        While I don’t pay particular attention to it, there is indeed an Agenda 21, which is an official UN action plan, which you can find out about simply by searching for it. I wouldn’t call it a conspiracy, but it is quite obviously a mechanism for transferring $ from rich countries to poor for environmental reasons.

        • Chris Warren says:

          The “UN mechanism for transferring $ from rich countries to poor for environmental reasons” is not what

          political bosses.
          Global Governance Agenda.
          world government.
          controlled by a few people


          On the other hand,

          “political bosses…Global Governance Agenda…world government…controlled by a few people”

          resembles conspiracy mindset to me.

  • spangled drongo says:

    When alarmists can’t be bothered to put their heads outside and observe things like SLR etc, even when the tide turns they will deny it.

    “Try this out as a thought experiment: what would happen if, tomorrow morning, we had definitive proof that catastrophic climate change was impossible, wasn’t happening, and would never happen. Would Al Gore breathe a big sigh of relief… Of course not. The general reaction from environmentalists and the left would be a combination of outrage and despair. The need to believe in oneself as part of the agency of human salvation runs deep for leftists and environmentalists who have made their obsessions a secular religion. And humanity doesn’t need salvation if there is no sin in the first place. Hence human must be sinners—somehow—in need of redemption from the left… Activist liberal elites always need a Grand Cause to satisfy their messianic needs, or for the political equivalent of a dopamine rush. For such people, the only thing worse that catastrophic climate change is the catastrophe of not having a catastrophe to obsess over—and use as an excuse to extend political control over people and resources… “

  • Neville says:

    A new GWPF report estimates that the UK will spend slash waste over 300 billion $ by 2030 on CAGW mitigation. Here is the summary and a link to the full PDF. And of course no measurable change to temp at all because we know that co2 emissions will increase by 34% by 2040. So how much will we waste in OZ over the same period of time?
    Report Reveals £300 Billion Cost Of Britain’s Climate Change Act

    Date: 11/12/16
    Global Warming Policy Foundation

    London, 11 December: A new report published today by the Global Warming Policy Foundation reveals the extraordinary £319 billion cost of Britain’s Climate Change Act.

    The report, which is based entirely on official figures, exposes the mischievous attempts by ministers to try and disguise the true cost to households.

    “Britain has been gulled by false assurances that decarbonising our economy would be costless into signing up to a stupendous bill of over £300 billion up to 2030,” said Peter Lilley MP, the study’s author and one of the few Members of Parliament who voted against the Act back in 2008.

    “Hardly anyone in Westminster is aware of this even though it is more than double the cost of HS2, Heathrow and Hinckley put together. Yet so far it has not reduced our ‘carbon footprint’ as we have outsourced our carbon emissions to developing countries such as China. Described by the PM’s special adviser as ‘an act of self harm’, our climate change policies are harming our standard of living, our jobs and our industry.”

    The report details the huge burden on every household, explaining how numerous devices have been used to hide the real price of decarbonisation, which is rising at a rapid rate.

    Peter Lilley warns that the Government can no longer be complacent about the rising cost of Britain’s unilateral climate policies, particularly in light of Theresa May’s expressed priority of supporting ‘just about managing’ families. After all, these costs “are borne disproportionately by the less well off, the elderly and the vulnerable.”
    Full report (PDF)

  • DonJA says:

    I have just noticed this article “Eminence-based medicine is not the exception, but the rule” about how, in the medical sphere, the “Orthodoxy” demands or is accepted as the unassailable truth. I was struck by how much this effect parallels the Global Warming discussions. (http://www.medpagetoday.com/Cardiology/CardioBrief/59481?xid=fb_p_ms) With the advent of Trump and Hansen I think there is now more acceptance of those having a dissenting view, but I wonder when the Million Year Ice Core is found will the core be analysed only by warmist scientists? What if it proved Global Warming to be not a problem?

  • spangled drongo says:

    The highest king tide this summer in Moreton Bay is 2.69 metres on the 15/12/16 [next Friday] and the theoretical highest astronomical tide is 2.73 metres.

    In 1946 the king tides were around 2.743 metres [9 feet] and the HAT higher again.

    In the 1930s the tides were higher still.

    Don, the tide has already turned but the deniers don’t want to know.

    Nils Axel Morner knows this when he says there is nothing happening with SLR but the deniers call him an idiot for his wisdom.

  • Neville says:

    There has been no significant net change in Arctic sea ice extent over the last 80+ years. Here are a number of PR studies that show this is the case. Also good news for Antarctica as well.


    Also German Prof Werner Kirstein says that CAGW is hyped and there is nothing unusual about today’s climate. And the media is corrupted and hyped.


  • David says:

    To SD

    “Be afraid, it’s accelerating at 0.043 +/- 0.058 mm/yr2.”

    SD, not sure where you found these numbers. But assuming they are correct (0.043 – 0.058 < 0) you would be correct is arguing there is "nothing" to worry about because the confidence interval crosses zero. That is there is a reasonable chance nothing is changing, which is your point, no doubt.

    But then look at the statistics Don is tyre kicking 0.60 C ± 0.20 C. Here the confidence interval does not cross zero 0.6 – 0.2 = 0.4. These are statistically significant results.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Indeed, they are statistically significant, always assuming that the data and the data sources are sound. If that is not the case, then the confidence interval is spurious. Perhaps you should look at the data and where they come from, rather than simply assume that if the IPCC says something, it must be so.

      • David says:

        Define “sound”

        Speak like the trained statistician you purport to be. If you think there is an issue with “bias” or systematic error”, say so. Outline your argument. We can all have a look at it. But as I have have mentioned on other occasions your public submission to this Commission

        “…which is unlikely to be greater than the error surrounding the measurements.”

        hangs like an albatross around your neck because it exposes the gaps in your understanding of statistical analysis. Others have made the same point. I recall Bobo taking the time to explain the error term to you and Bobo is the smartest person to have visited this blog. JimboR also.

        Go and find a statistician you trust. They will explain the error in your submission. You will learn something.


      • dlb says:

        I think I can see David’s argument. As an example you could have a situation where individual thermometers have a measurement resolution of 2 deg C., but if you use a large sample size of thermometers (say 100) the Standard Error could easily be as low as 0.2 deg. Using a 95% confidence interval this would give a mean with error of ± 0.4 C

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Without flogging what I think is a really dead horse, the problem is not in the confidence interval or the thermometers. It is that in large parts of the world there were no thermometers at all. Nonetheless, someone has decided that he/she/they were able to measure temperature where there was no measurement — not just down the road, but in most of the world’s oceans, and large parts of the land masses. How did they do it? By extrapolation from where they had measurements. Even today we are measuring the temperature of 100x100km grids with a single figure, then averaging those figures to purport to show that temperature of the surface of the sea. For the first half of the 29th century we had nothing like accurate measurements of the SST even where there were ships. Why should anyone accept even the ‘measurements’, let alone the supposed confidence interval?

          • Don Aitkin says:

            And, to repeat what I have said many times before, all this occurs because of the obsession to derive an ‘average global temperature’, the sole reason for which is to establish that the world is warming (it is due to CO2 and doom awaits us, and so on). The terrible intellectual contortions that result seem to be overlooked by so many.

            This is the downside of Bob Carter’s suggestion that I don’t go down this path, because to do so prevents my taking part in discussions about trends. David’s banging on about my supposed lack of understanding statistics (I do accept that I don’t know as much as my brother, a professor of Mathematical Statistics) when David and others simply can’t deal with the awful lack of real measurements just baffles me. But there it is.

          • David says:

            Don you are a dark horse. After 4 years you casually mention you have a brother who is a Professor of Statistics. For God sakes go and talk to him.

          • Don Aitkin says:


            When I have a problem I do ask him. But it’s not a problem — at least it’s not my problem.

          • Peter WARWICK says:

            I feel DA has a point about the absence of thermometers over large areas of land and sea.

            Here is an analogy I have constructed.

            Lets put 26 people in a room, and name them with the letters of the alphabet.

            Twenty one of them have birth certificates and thus their ages can be precisely determined. Lets say their ages range from 10 to 90.

            Five (A,B,C,D,E) do not have birth certificates and have no knowledge of their age (apart from their own personal guess, which is not revealed).

            I am not a mathematicians or statisticians bootlace, but I cannot see how, by analysing the ages of the 21 knowns, the ages of the unknowns can be extrapolated and an accurate age determined for each of them. If it can be done, can a mathematician on board here, please let me know the formula and process to do this.

            If there is NO DATA, no accurate result can be determined for anything.

            (Repeat this for just about anything – IQ, height, weight, ethnicity, car ownership, shoe size etc etc)

            Yes, I know that weather has some correlation in that if one thermometer reads X, then it could be assumed that a point 200kmm away may (repeat may) have some closeness to the known thermometer. But that would assume that the geography around both points is the same (and on the same latitude and elevation). But if the geography around the second point is not known or is not the same, I cannot see how a temperature can be accurately determined for the second point.

            I know “anything” can be extrapolated/ adjusted – why you can, with some good Photoshopping, create a new birth certificate and present yourself (with some hair dyeing) to the world as an older or younger person.

            I need enlightening by the experts.

          • JimboR says:

            Don, I’d be interested to hear what your brother thinks about this study:


          • dlb says:

            And what do you think about the study Jimbo?
            In layman terms please 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            Yes, jimbo, don’t be shy.

            We are just busting to know the outcome:

            “In this talk I will develop Bayesian dynamic linear model Gaussian processes for emulation of time series output for computer models that may exhibit chaotic behaviour. The statistical technology is particularly suited to emulating time series output of large climate models that exhibit this feature and where we want samples from the posterior of the emulator to evolve in the same way as dynamic processes in the computer model do. I’ll apply this methodology to emulating the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) as a time series output of the fully coupled non-flux-adjusted atmosphere-ocean general circulation model, HadCM3, and illustrate some methods of obtaining prior judgements required to build the emulator when working with a large ensemble of runs of a climate model. I will present a block metropolis-within-gibbs MCMC algorithm to obtain posterior samples for the parameters and discuss the value of such an analysis when an emulator is eventually adopted as part of wider analyses.”

            The results from the posterior of that emulator could just be the answer.

            The eminence would be overwhelming !!

            And you botherers could all go home happy.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            For Jimbo and his link to a paper at Durham

            I have no idea at all what is meant by a ‘a block metropolis-within-gibbs MCMC algorithm’, and while there is an article on which the paper appears to have been based, that too is above my head. My brother says it’s out of his comfort zone, too.

            But since you seem to have a sense of it all Jimbo, you might enlighten us all.

          • spangled drongo says:

            I don’t know if anyone read jimbo’s link in his reply to my comparison of Moreton Bay king tide levels with those of 70 years ago:

            JimboR says:

            December 16, 2016 at 9:13 am

            Drongo, tides in Moreton Bay are a little more complicated than you putting a mark on a rock every year.

            http://www.bne.com.au/sites/all/files/content/files/C3%20Coastal%20Pro cesses.pdf

            where they are now a foot lower than then but he is inferring that removing a few million cubic metres of sand from the huge sand banks of Moreton Bay to build the parallel runway could have caused that 300mm drop in sea levels ten years later.

            In other words, don’t raise the bridge, lower the river. LOL !!

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      David, a confidence interval is a measure of uncertainty, it is not a measure of validity.

      • David says:

        So how uncertain should we be when we see mean 0.6 +/- 0.2. ?

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          This means that the true value of the population estimate lies, with 95% confidence, somewhere between 0.8 and 0.4. It does not necessarily mean that it lies exactly in the middle, because the estimate is uncertain.

          If there is a book on Statistics for Dummies, I suggest you try and obtain it.

          • David says:

            Bryan, I agree with what you have written.

            My point has been, that having correctly interpreted 95% confidence interval (as you have done), that one would not then proceed to make some additional accommodation for the “…error surrounding the measurements” the way Don proposed in his submission to the Climate Commission. Do you agree?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            David, I have not read Don’s submission, and do not intend to do so – I have other matters of more concern.

            However, I invite you to consider the situation in which the data used to calculate the confidence intervals are themselves subject to uncertainty?

            I’ll leave it with you.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Artic sea ice trends


    Bottom panel.

    No 60 year oscillation and an apparent acceleration in fall.

    • Neville says:

      Chris I’ve given you a number of PR studies that dispute your IPCC findings . Here’s the 2006 study of Vinther et al that finds that there was nothing unusual about Greenland temp up to that time. This is the longest instrumental record for Greenland temps. Here’s a quote from Dr Michaels who did a review of the Vinther study.

      “However, of greater importance is the fact that the researchers found the warmest year on record to be 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the warmest decades on record. This represents very bad news for climate change alarmists, since the warmest period was NOT the last quarter of the 20th century. In fact, the last two decades of the 20th century (1981-1990 and 1991-2000) were colder across the study area than any of the previous six decades, dating back to the 1900s and 1910s (Table 1). When examining the instrumental records of the stations it is apparent that no net warming has occurred since the warm period of the 1930s and 1940s (Figure 1).”

      I think the Glacier Girl story is also an interesting study for nearly half a century of Greenland ice accumulation in that area. To find that plane under 82 metres of ice is remarkable and certainly seems to dispute a lot of the propaganda about dangerous CAGW SLR.

      Here’s Dr Michaels’ full review.


      Here is their 2006 conclusion at the end of the Vinther study. Note Phil Jones and Briffa are part of this study. It will be interesting to see the result after the AMO enters the cool phase in the 2020s.

      “7. Conclusion
      [49] Using old temperature observations from early
      observers, the existing Greenland temperature records have
      been extended back to the year 1784. Gaps remain, mostly
      during summer and autumn. In the process of creating the
      long record, a few inhomogeneities were identified and
      corrected. Most of the homogeneity problems were due to
      changes in the hours at which temperature observations
      were carried out.
      [50] Comparison against winter season ice core proxy
      data showed stable and highly significant correlations
      throughout the period covered by the extended Greenland
      temperature series. This marked consistency, r = 0.67/0.60
      for the extended/existing data, shows that both the ice
      core data and the extended temperature series are very
      [51] The warmest year in the extended Greenland temperature
      record is 1941, while the 1930s and 1940s are the
      warmest decades. Two distinct cold periods, following the
      1809 (‘‘unidentified’’ volcanic eruption and the eruption of
      Tambora in 1815 make the 1810s the coldest decade on

      Here is the study. https://crudata.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/greenland/vintheretal2006.pdf

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Judith Curry provides some interesting events and names in a piece with the metaphor ‘Shifting sands…’ at https://judithcurry.com/2016/12/12/shifting-sands-of-the-climate-debate/

    • dlb says:

      re. Judy’s paragraph on “changing their tune”.
      It looks like the grief about Trump has reached the bargaining stage.

  • Neville says:

    Lomborg has written a column for the Times of India and quoted the UN conclusion about the mitigation con that is part of the Paris COP 21 nonsense.

    “Even if it were to survive, the Paris treaty by itself would do very little to rein in global warming. The United Nations estimates that if every country were to make every single promised carbon cut between 2016 and 2030 to the fullest extent and there was no cheating, CO? emissions would still only be cut by one-hundredth of what is needed to keep temperature rises below 2°C”.

    This endorses everything I’ve been saying over many years. Not only is mitigation a fra-d and a con but it is even a greater con than most of us understand.

    Here is the Lomborg column. http://blogs.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/toi-edit-page/india-trump-and-climate-change-there-may-be-unexpected-opportunities-that-lie-ahead/

  • Chris Warren says:

    If you think there has been no global warming you are either cherry-picking short-run time periods or holding the chart upside down.


    If these trends continue or accelerate we end up in a global catastrophe.

  • Neville says:

    Chris I’ve just chosen the warming trends that Phil Jones used in his 2010 BBC interview. He chose 1860 to 1880, 1910 to 1940, and 1975 to 1998. I just used the post 1900 trends and they seemed to fit with the PDO, but it’s a puzzle why the 1900 to 2014 PDO seems to show a cooling trend. But is it really a sst index?

    Bob Tisdale has covered this years ago and warned that the PDO is not really a SST index and lags ENSO by about 3 months. Therefore a so called cool PDO is really a period with more la ninas and a warm PDO is a period with more el ninos. IOW ENSO comes first, not the PDO. Here’s a good post from Bob about the PDO.


  • Chris Warren says:

    Ho, ho, ho

    Drongo’s cherry-picking is really showing now.

    Anyone can pick a subset of data and cutoff at 1978.

    Just use the whole data and you get the true long-run trend.

    The opposite of Drongo.

    Ho, ho, ho.

    Maybe someone else can explain to Drongo, that deliberately selecting a linear trend, then rambling on about some supposed missing logarithmic pattern is blatant stupidity.

    Linear trend lines cancel out logarithmic trends.

    Cherry-picking denialists are science botherers.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Linear trend lines cancel out logarithmic trends.”

      You finally got something right, chrissie luv.

      Especially when they are heading in this direction:


      And go easy on the consensual “science”.

      Remember how you consensuals beclowned yourselves with Galileo [plus a million times since].

    • David says:

      SD CW speaks a lot of sense. You should take note.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Is that right, Davey?

        To use a term from DonJA upthread, is your claim evidence based or only eminence based?

        Is that your sceptical opinion or your consensual opinion?

        And please feel free to supply any supporting rhyme, reasoning and/or rationality.

  • David says:


    I have been looking at your brother’s profile in Google Scholar. He has published enough articles on statistics to choke a stray dog. You are very lucky to have access to such a great resource in your family. If I was you I would line your brother up after Christmas lunch and get him to run through any areas you feel a bit unsure about. I would suggest a refresher on error and bias.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      David, Don’t you think it would be more satisfactory if you laid out your qualifications, experience, and arguments, so Don could ask his brother whether he should take you seriously?

  • Neville says:

    Watts ans Eschenbach are presenting a new study today at the AGU conference in San Francisco.

    Here is the link and their press release. It looks like Lewis and Curry and nearly all recent studies are correct about a much lower ECS.



    Study at AGU 2016 challenges conventional wisdom on climate sensitivity

    ‘Observational Quantification of Water Vapor Radiative Forcing’

    December 14th, 2016 – San Francisco, CA – A new study about the role of water vapor in climate sensitivity is being presented at the 2016 Fall Meeting of the American Geophysical Union today by Willis Eschenbach and Anthony Watts in session A33B: Climate Sensitivity and Feedbacks: Advances and New Paradigms, in Moscone South Poster Hall at 1:10PM to 6PM December 14th, position A33B-0226.

    The study, using satellite measured water vapor data obtained from Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) of Santa Rosa, CA, suggests that the global climate sensitivity to increased carbon dioxide, and the potential feedback mechanism of increased water vapor in Earth’s atmosphere, is actually far less than postulated by the IPCC.

    An investigation was conducted utilizing the Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) 1°x1° gridded total precipitable water (TPW) dataset to determine the magnitude of upwelling long-wave infrared radiation from Earth’s surface since 1988. TPW represents the mass of water vapor in a 1 meter by 1 meter column from the surface to the top of the atmosphere. As referenced in IPCC AR5 WGI Box 8.1, the radiative effect of absorption by water vapor is roughly proportional to the logarithm of its concentration. Therefore it is the fractional change in water vapor concentration, not the absolute change, that governs its strength as a climate forcing mechanism. A time-series analysis utilizing a Loess decomposition filter indicated there is a clear upward trend in the RSS TPW data since 1988. The observed total change over the period is ~ 1.5 kg/m^2, centered around the long-term mean of 28.7 kg/m^2. Utilizing the observed relationship between water content and atmospheric absorption, the RSS TPW data indicates an increase in downwelling longwave radiation of 3.3 W/m2 over the period 1988 – 2015.

    Key finding:

    The finding of an observationally measured increase in downwelling radiation of 3.3W/m2 since 1988, in addition to the increase in downwelling radiation over the period as calculated by the IPCC, with little corresponding change in temperature, calls into question the applicability of the concept of “climate sensitivity”.

  • Neville says:

    Ken Stewart’s latest UAH V 6 satellite update for Nov shows 0.28 c per century global warming since Mar 1998. Using monthly anomalies this increases to 0.45 c / century since Dec 1997. And Werner Brozek’s use of Stokes’ data shows no stat sig warming for UAH V 6 for over 23 years. This data and evidence seems to call into doubt a lot of the true believer’s claims.

    Also this UAH V 6 data shows the NP trend since Feb 2003 is 0.7 c/century. SP trend is cooling at -0.21 c/century since Dec 1978. That’s about 38 years or well over a third of a century. What happens if this holds for half a century and beyond? There may well be a small AGW influence but their CAGW claims seem to falling apart.


    • Chris Warren says:


      This is the worst case of cherry picking I have ever seen – and all in colour too.

      It is cherry-picking of time scales and cherry-picking of data sources.

      There are 10 other channels and, as you move up the atmosphere – and the story is clear – heat is being trapped and dramatically less heat is escaping.

      The full data and all evidence destroys the project of denial that is being pushed at the moment by several “science botherers”.

  • Chris Warren says:


    You need to specify your data accurately – not vague “Ken Stewart’s latest UAH V 6 satellite update “.

    If you go to: http://www.drroyspencer.com/2016/12/uah-global-temperature-update-for-november-2016-0-45-deg-c/ you see that the data is better described as:

    “The Version 6.0 global average lower tropospheric temperature (LT) anomaly “.

    You cannot just use LT data to speak about the causes of climate change.

  • Neville says:

    Chris the Temp of the lower trop is where most warming will occur according to AGW theory. And it should be a higher trend than surface data. I suggest you go over to Ken’s site and try and convince him with your new theory.

  • Chris Warren says:


    That is not good enough – most warming IS OCCURRING in the lower troposphere. This is in accordance with AGW theory.

    Lower trop warming trends are 1.3 degrees (global per century); 1.8 degrees (northern hemisphere century); and 3.5 degrees (north pole century).

    The trends are different in the southern hemisphere where there is dramatically less CO2 in the atmosphere. This is in accordance with AGW theory.

    Ken’s problem is to convince the rest of the world of the relevance of his new theory.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      I’ve stayed out of your wrangle with Neville, but I couldn’t pass [in the southern hemisphere] ‘there is dramatically less CO2 in the atmosphere. This is in accordance with AGW theory.’ Would you enlighten me on where ‘AGW theory’ says this? My understanding is that global warming is predicated on the notion (among other notions) that CO2 is a well-mixed gas. Where have I got it wrong?

      • Chris Warren says:

        Good point.

        This is the NASA presentation, and you will see a dramatic difference between the northern and southern hemisphere.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syU1rRCp7E8 [Published 13 December 2016].

        I would add that this also negates the view of Howard Brady that the sun is a major factor in recent climate change (p131).

        If Brady’s sunspots theory ( pg 125ff) was relevant – there would be no radical difference north vs south – it would be a whole of globe effect.

        Brady’s approach is seriously flawed in other aspects as well – but the flaws are typical of many other similar commentators he cites as sources.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          But Chris, the difference is only between 390 and 408ppm. That’s not dramatic, at least, not in my terms — about 2 per cent on average. The colours used greatly exaggerate the difference that is there. It would be much more sensible, but much less dramatic to show the difference in lighter and deeper shades of red.

          Neville’s cited data, which I haven’t checked, are consistent with what I have read over the last ten years, that carbon dioxide is well mixed, even though we can now see that much of it seems to be generated in the northern hemisphere.

          I’d still like to know what AGW theory you are referring to. I’m not aware of it, but happy to learn.

          • Chris Warren says:


            The difference between 390 and 408 is 18 or 4.6% – not 2%.

            The difference between Cape Grim and Mauna Loa could be less than this because the difference increases as you travel north and Mauna Loa is not that far north. It is below the Tropic of Cancer. Consequently 2% is a reasonable difference between these two sites, but not between the two hemispheres overall.

            A 4% difference – year after year – is significant and would create a different temperature distribution/behaviours.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Yes the difference between 390 and 408 is indeed 4.6 per cent, but the average is 399, and the difference between the average and the extremes is half — 2.3 per cent. It depends what point you want to make, I suppose. Doesn’t seem big to me. No comment on the colours? Still no source for AGW theory and how the difference between the hemispheres is central?

        • Don Aitkin says:

          LAST TIME No further links-by-themselves will be published unless they have some kind of stated connection to the discussion.

    • Neville says:

      Chris here is the latest CSIRO co2 levels from Cape Grim in Tassie. AS at Sept 2016 it was 401.56 ppm. In fact overall it is a well mixed gas , but does vary a little around the globe. And Cape Grim is well located in a clean SH location to make their observations.

  • Neville says:

    There is probably only a little difference in co2 levels around the world. In 2015 the average level for the world was 399.4ppm and at Mauna Loa the level was 400.8ppm or a difference of just 1.4 ppm.


  • spangled drongo says:

    Today was the highest tide of summer in Moreton Bay so I went down to Cleveland Point to check the levels against my old benchmarks which are still there from 1946 [70 years ago].

    The net result was today’s king tide was 300 mm LOWER than 70 years ago. Barometric pressure was 1010 hpa which would extend that figure to 330 mm but why are SLs in an isostatically stable part of the world so low?

    I have sent details to Marine Security Qld to get an idea if the predicted levels agreed with the measured levels.

    • JimboR says:

      Drongo, tides in Moreton Bay are a little more complicated than you putting a mark on a rock every year.


      • spangled drongo says:

        They certainly are, Jimbo.

        Thanks for that interesting link BTW.

        You probably know where Cleveland Point is in relation to the major Moreton Bay Channels and the four entrances so you would know that the tide hydrodynamics in this area cannot possibly be affected by any changes that have taken place in recent years short of that 120 metre SLR 10,000 years ago.

        As they say in your link:

        “The Moreton Bay Sand Extraction Study (WBM Oceanics Australia 2002, 2003, 2004) showed that these
        changes would be confined to the local Middle Banks area and have no impacts either regionally in
        Moreton Bay or on the shoreline of Moreton Island.”

        That sand extraction would be an immeasurable blip and would normalise quickly.

        One of the things I base my SL observations on is the fact that between 1946 and 1953, fine weather king tides [as opposed to cyclonic storm surges, which would cover the whole land mass at the Point in white water] just covered our lawn, which was flat, next to the Lighthouse at Cleveland Point by about an inch and trickled into our well if we did not keep a levy bank around it.

        This is an occurrence that you don’t forget easily.

        On checking that same site for the last 6 years, those king tide heights have been consistently and considerably below those levels of ’46-’53.

        There are other similar reductions in SLs at the southern end of the bay at other benchmarks but the Southport Seaway has affected the hydrodynamics a lot more.

  • Chris Warren says:

    This is a somewhat dated NASA presentation on the different co2 patterns between the north and south.

  • Neville says:

    Here is some good factual info on co2 by Dr Patrick Moore and how important it is for all living things on our planet.


    BTW the York UNI Temp data-base shows reduced temp trends for RSS over the last 19 years. Although UAH V6 has been accepted by PR they still have UAH 5.6 only. But here’s a few interesting things about the satellite data.

    RSS V3 TLT shows a trend since 1979 of 1.35 c per century. But the trend since 1997 is just 0.64 c per century. So the later trend is less than half of the full 1979 to 2017 trend. At least over the last 19 years.

    The new beta RSS V 4 TTT shows a full trend of 1.79 c and a trend since 1997 of 1.40 c. So less again.

    Even the old UAH V 5.6 TLT shows a trend from 1979 of 1.53 c per century and a trend of 1.54 c /century since 1997. So no change for the old UAH V5.6 TLT data.


    • Chris Warren says:


      Your constant cherry-picking is futile.

      If you cherry-pick another juicy bit of the long term trend you get the exact opposite of your assertion.

      Using your link: http://www.ysbl.york.ac.uk/~cowtan/applets/trend/trend.html

      For 2008 to 2017 shows:

      RSS V3 TLT – 3.95 per century
      RSS V 4 TTT – 5.64 per century
      UAH V 5.6 TLT – 4.52 per century

      These results are more indicative as to what is happening recently and, if CO2 continues to accumulate – it could get worse.

      Please no more cherry-picking. You just mislead yourself.

      • Neville says:

        Chris, just a few points about your last post using the York UNI data-base. Your numbers are generated over a very short period of time. My period length is about 19 years so must be more accurate and my start date is before the full extent of the 1998 el nino. IOW I started from a low point ( start of 1997) and over a reasonable period of time that doesn’t help my case, to try and generate a lower trend.

        Also we know the full trend since 1979 is RSS 3 TLT 1.35 c/ century , UAH 5.6 TLT 1.53 c/ century and UAH V 6 TLT 1.2 c / century. My choice of 1997 is the mid point of the 1979 to 2017 data and doesn’t start at a high point like the 1998 el nino. I ‘ll repeat again that Stokes’ data shows no stat sig warming for UAH V 6 for 23 years. So I’ll stick with the Brozek and Stokes method.

        Using your inclination of longer periods of time we could say that the HAD 4 data frpm 1850 plus IPCC preferred are the most accurate. And that trend is only 0.5 c per century over the last 166 years.

        • Chris Warren says:


          There is no point of debating the veracity of my numbers.

          That is not the point.

          The point is that cherry-picking always misleads you (and anyone else).

  • Neville says:

    Co2 has now reached 400ppm at Antarctica according to NOAA. So for all practical purposes it is the same all over the world. Yet the SP region has been cooling since Dec 1978. Co2 levels were just 334.5 ppm in Dec 1978 according to the moving graph at CSIRO Cape Grim site. So about a 20% increase in co2 levels in the last 38 years and yet Antarctica has been cooling since that time.


  • David says:


    “David, I have not read Don’s submission, and do not intend to do so – I have other matters of more concern. “However, I invite you to consider the situation in which the data used to calculate the confidence intervals are themselves subject to uncertainty? ”

    Gee thanks for that insight Bryan. Try and focus! Of course the data are subject to uncertainty! The question is Bryan, is the uncertainty due to a random processes or is it due to some systematic process that is correlated with the explanatory variable (e.g. CO2) or with time series data, time.

    Bryan are you out of short pants yet? Grown-up statisticians will consider this question every time they analyse a data set. Imagine if scientists threw up their hands up in horror every time there was some “uncertainty” in the data?

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      David, you simply don’t understand what you’re talking about, and I can no longer be bothered arguing with you.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Chris thinks it’s cherry picking to have an el Nino at both ends of a graph but it is “scientific” to have it only at the hot end:


    • Chris Warren says:


      Just how wrong can you be. I do not think that cherry-picking data, the data I chose to illustrate Neville’s errors, was any example of scientific method.

      You have deliberately verballed me for your own ends.

      Quite disgusting.

      • David says:


        You must have the patience of Job to be willing to step SD and Neville thru the basics of the scientific method. Respect!

        • Neville says:

          Bob Tisdale’s graph ( thanks SD) showing the various trends since 1998.1 agree with the York UNI trends. Even the old UAH V 6 only has a trend of 1.4 c/ century since 1998.1. Leading up to the AR 5 IPCC release in sept 2013 everyone agreed about using the pause trends from 1998. But I suppose Davy is still good for a giggle.

      • spangled drongo says:

        spangled drongo says:

        December 13, 2016 at 9:07 pm

        ‘“The satellite data tells a clear, undeniable story.”

        Ya mean as in almost nothing in the last 20 years, chrissie?”


        Chris Warren says:

        December 13, 2016 at 10:32 pm

        “Cherry-picking does you no good.
        The satellite record is some 36 years.”

        Chrissie in denial again.

        Quite disgustin’.

  • Neville says:

    Sorry above should read UAH V 5.6 not V6.

  • Chris Warren says:


    What is your worry over AGW theory? Books have been produced?

    What are you not aware of?

    I see no real issue?

  • Don Aitkin says:


    I asked you what YOU meant by the following sentences:

    ‘The trends are different in the southern hemisphere where there is dramatically less CO2 in the atmosphere. This is in accordance with AGW theory.’

    What part of ‘AGW theory’ (your phrase) tells us that there is dramatically less CO2 in the southern hemisphere? As I explained, my understanding is that the whole notion of an average global temperature is based on the assumption that CO2 is ‘a well-mixed gas’. You provided a video with sharply contrasting colours to deal with variations of around 2 per cent from the mean measured concentration of CO2 in the global atmosphere, while the measured data show us that the proportion is currently around 400 ppm in both the southern and northern hemispheres. In short, what you say is quite confusing.

    I do have worries with ‘AGW theory’, but here I want to know why YOU think what you do.

  • Chris Warren says:


    I don’t know what “well-mixed” is meant to convey. I do not use this term. The use of the term “well mixed” probably indicates the “churning” and mixing from eddys and not necessarily “uniformity”.

    You cannot use Cape Grim and Mauna Loa to represent the overall difference in CO2 between the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. A representation of the NASA satellite CO2 data for 2013 is here:


    This difference is reflected in cooler southern temperatures and warmer northern temperatures and much cooler temperature anomalies at south pole and much warmer anomalies at the north pole.

    This is consistent with AGW because CO2 is a greenhouse gas and greater concentrations would produce a greater greenhouse effect ie. a temperature anomaly.

    There may well be more recent satellite CO2 data supporting the December 2016 NASA presentation I cited earlier, but I am not aware of it.

    The NASA 2016 presentation is the only one I know that depicts the vertical pattern hence the vivid blue at upper levels. I have no concern about what ever colours they use as it is all a matter of their convenience.

  • Neville says:

    Judith Curry wrote a very good post in Jan 2014, only about 3 months after the IPCC’s AR5 report. Here is a quote about the pause from 1998 compared to the temp trend from 1951. Using the IPCC’s own choice of 1998 they found a 15 year trend of just 0.05 c /decade compared to the much longer 61 year trend of 0.12 c/decade. The much longer earlier trend was 2.4 times greater than the 1998 to 2012 trend. Here is the quote from the IPCC AR5 report and the link. But note the IPCC chose 1998 at that time, so I presume it’s okay for the rest of us to CHERRY PICK their same start date to show a more recent trend? Let’s hear no more about 1998 being a so called cherry pick.


    The IPCC AR5 notes the lack of warming since 1998:

    “[T]he rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) [is] 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade)which is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012) [of] 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade.

    The significance of this hiatus in warming since 1998 is in context of comparison with climate model projections. The IPCC AR4 stated:”

    For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. (AR4 SPM)”

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Chris, I’m beginning to think that you are evasive!

    You didn’t answer my question — again! Instead, you ducked down a side street saying that you don’t use the term ‘well-mixed’. Maybe you don’t, but you’re the one who worries about increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. Why do you do that? The basis of the CAGW scare is that CO2 causes warming, everywhere, GLOBALLY, because CO2 is a well-mixed gas, meaning that it is everywhere is much the same proportion.

    Here’s the US EPA, explaining to Americans about greenhouse gases: ‘All of these gases remain in the atmosphere long enough to become well mixed, meaning that the amount that is measured in the atmosphere is roughly the same all over the world, regardless of the source of the emissions.’

    Now, I’ll ask again, YOU say that different proportions of CO2 on the two hemispheres is consistent with AGW theory.

    Where do you get this from?

    • Chris Warren says:

      “The basis of the CAGW scare is that CO2 causes warming” Yes.

      ” everywhere, GLOBALLY,” No or at least not evenly.

      ” it is everywhere is much the same proportion.” this is not so. I can accept vague statements that concentrations are roughly the same as long as this roughness encompasses the differences measured by NASA satellites.

      Of course the differences are consistent with AGW theory because the temperatures and human activity creating emissions (fuel, and land clearing) are also different between the populous northern hemisphere compared to the southern atmosphere.

      The three aspects – CO2 distribution, temperature patterns and human industrial and land clearing activity all combine in a consistent pattern that is consistent with AGW theory. The “A” is the cause in AGW, – CO2 is the initial result, and this leads to the final “GW”.

      Thus A-> G-> W. And this all differs between hemispheres.


      • Don Aitkin says:

        Oh, I see. It’s your theory. Perhaps you should read Chapter 2 of WG1 of AR5. I can’t find the IPCC agreeing with you.

        • Chris Warren says:

          It appears I am not as strong a user of IPCC as are you.
          I don’t reference IPCC directly but go to the actual data. This is where the evidence is.
          The argument for AGW is not “because the IPCC says so”.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Great. What data do you use? Could I have the links please? What exactly is your theory, exactly? You seem to be a new theorist on the block, and I’m interested to learn.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Chapter 2 talks about both temperature and well-mixed gases. Of course, the authors could be wrong about all this, but they are using real data!

  • Neville says:

    Here is co2 levels measured by the Canadian govt from the Alert stn in Nth Canada. 1986 348.5ppm and 2007 384.5 ppm.
    Cape Grim 1986 345ppm and 2007 381.5 ppm. So ZIP difference at all.


  • David says:


    JimboR has said he would be interested to hear what your brother thinks about this study:

    https://www.dur.ac.uk/mathematical.sciences/events/seminars/seminararc hives/?seminar=3079

    I agree with JimboR.

    Furthermore I suggest that you take advantage of your brother’s statistical expertise and invite him to write a guest post on how statistics and the science of climate change inter-related. I think it would be an interesting topic and we would all learn something I am sure.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      David, you may recall that a group of professional statisticians and commercial mathematical modellers in France did exactly that. Their report was referenced on this blog. If you didn’t believe them, why would you believe Don’s brother?

      You’re just fatuous.

      • David says:

        Welcome back Bryan.

        You mean that French mathematician argued that “average temperature’ has no meaning. It should be self-evident that is a silly statement.

        While you were away I dug up this simple discussion of error by someone called Siddharth Kalla. He provides a good simple explanation. I have BOLDED a few elements for you and Don to focus on.

        “A random error, as the name suggests, is random in nature and very difficult to predict. It occurs because there are a very large number of parameters beyond the control of the experimenter that may interfere with the results of the experiment.

        Random errors are caused by sources that are not immediately obvious and it may take a long time trying to figure out the source.
        Random error is also called as statistical error because IT CAN BE GOTTEN RID OF IN A MEASUREMENT BY STATISTICAL MEANS BECAUSE IT IS RANDOM IN NATURE. Unlike in the case of systematic errors, simple averaging out of various measurements of the same quantity can help offset random errors. Random errors can seldom be understood and are never fixed in nature – like being proportional to the measured quantity or being constant over many measurements.

        The reason why random errors can be taken care of by averaging is that they HAVE ZERO EXPECTED VALUE, which means they are truly RANDOM AND SCATTERED AROUND THE MEAN VALUE. This also means that the ARITHMETIC MEAN OF THE ERRORS IS EXPECTED TO BE ZERO.

        There can be a NUMBER OF POSSIBLE SOURCES OF RANDOM ERRORS and their source depends on the type of experiment and the types of measuring instruments being used.

        For example, a biologist studying the reproduction of a particular strain of bacterium might encounter random errors due to slight variation of temperature or light in the room. However, when the readings are spread over a period of time, she may get rid of these random variations by averaging out her results.

        A RANDOM ERROR CAN ALSO OCCUR DUE TO THE MEASURING INSTRUMENT and the way it is affected by changes in the surroundings. For example, a spring balance might show some variation in measurement due to fluctuations in temperature, conditions of loading and unloading, etc. A measuring instrument with a higher precision means there will be lesser fluctuations in its measurement.

        Random errors are present in all experiments and therefore the researcher should be prepared for them. Unlike systematic errors, random errors are not predictable, which makes them difficult to detect but easier to remove since they are statistical errors and can be removed by statistical methods like averaging.”


        • Bryan Roberts says:

          David, spare me this nonsense I graduated (with Distinction) in Statistics.

          • David says:

            What text book did you use?

          • David says:

            Which aspects do you disagree with? It is all pretty standard fare. The “error” includes all sources of error. Each recorded temperature will contain a little bit of human error, a little bit of instrument error, some seasonal variation etc. The list goes on. If the errors are random, then they will average to zero.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            David, I used the textbooks recommended for the course.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            H. D. Brunk. An introduction to mathematical statistics, Volume 2 Blaisdell Pub. Co., 1965 Elementary probability spaces; General probability spaces; Random variables; Multivariate distributions; The algebra of expectations; Random sampling; The law of large numbers; Estimation of parameters; Central limit theorem; Confidence intervals and tests of hypotheses; Decision theory and Bayesian inference; Regression; Sampling from a normal population; Testing hypotheses; Experimental design and analysis of variance; Other sampling methods; Distribution-free methods.
            Good enough?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, the tide may turn yet.

    It’s interesting what gets reported under Obama:


    Under Trump we might see some facts:


    For the length of Obama’s presidency there has been possible record snowfall in the NH but you would never know it from his spoutings:


    • spangled drongo says:

      Don, sorry for posting three links.

      But I actually posted them before Jo did this morning.

      The real world is nothing like what is being reported by gatekeeper “science”.

      Just like my king tide observations.

      Why don’t the botherers like chrissie put their heads out the window and see for themselves?

  • spangled drongo says:

    Don, the tide may turn yet.

    It’s interesting what gets reported under Obama:


    Under Trump we might see some facts:

    http://beta.dmi.dk/en/groenland/maalinger/greenland-ice-sheet-surface- mass-budget/

  • spangled drongo says:

    For the length of Obama’s presidency there has been possible record snowfall in the NH but you would never know it from his spoutings:

    http://climate.rutgers.edu/snowcover/chart_anom.php?ui_set=1&ui_region =nhland&ui_month=11

    “Alarmed that decades of crucial climate measurements could vanish under a hostile Trump administration, scientists have begun a feverish attempt to copy reams of government data onto independent servers in hopes of safeguarding it from any political interference.”


  • Chris Warren says:


    Do you agree that shortwave radiation transmits through greenhouse gases easily compared to longwave radiation, in other words that energy is trapped by greenhouse gases and that is somehow proportional?

    Do you agree that human agricultural and industrial activity is increasing greenhouse gases concentrations in the atmosphere?

    If so, then the theory is that increased human agricultural and industrial activity must trap increased energy.

    This is AGW and the only data (for the theory) you need is absorption spectra of gases by wavelength.

    This is well known. This is a typical source: http://clivebest.com/blog/?p=1169

    It may be a mistake to focus on CO2 as the greenhouse effect involves other gases as well.

    So ‘A’ in AGW is the cause
    ‘ G’ in AGW is the initial response
    ‘W’ in AGW is the result.

    Data is useful to measure the rate at which this science impacts on the planet.

    CDIAC and NASA produce data on ‘G’.

    There are a range of data sources for ‘W’ but the critical one is: http://images.remss.com/msu/msu_time_series.html

    The only data you need is – 1) absorption spectra, 2) gas emissions, 3) satellite atmospheric temperatures by height.


    If so then the only data you need for AGW is data on human greenhouse gas emissions

    • Neville says:

      Chris, you’ve got a few problems with your W. Your source is RSS TLT V3 and it shows a warming trend since 1998 of 0.45 c /century. Note the pause was agreed to in the AR5 IPCC report and they used 1998 as a start date, so no cherry pick on my part.
      The RSS 3 trend 1998 to 2012 trend was also just 0.045 c/ century, So no change in the last 18 years. But I can start at a low point in 1997 and still find only 0.64 c/ century trend using your data-set. And Nick Stokes’ calculations show there has been no stat sig warming from RSS V 3 TLT for over 22 years. Stokes is a maths and stats expert, it’s what he does for a living.
      I’ve used your data-set to show where you’re wrong and I’ve used the same start date 1998 as the establishment supporting the CAGW position.

      • Neville says:

        Sorry I’ve made a mistake. The trend for RSS 3 TLT 1998 to 2012 was MINUS -0.45c/ century . And if you start at 1997 to 2012 you get +0.02c/ century. Just proves how careful you have to be. Of course I’m using the York UNI data tool.

      • Chris Warren says:

        My source is not TLT, 1998 to 2012. There are some 10 channels and some have data from 1979 to 2016.

        How many times must this be explained again and again??? Warming of concern is the long-run underlying tendency not short run patterns established by other causes.

        You cannot build any sort of theory on just this segment?

        Maybe this will help you:


        • Neville says:

          Chris I’m not interested in your NEW theory. AGW theory maintains there should be more warming in the lower trop compared to the surface. And that there should be a hot spot 10 klms up in the tropical troposphere. So far no one can find any evidence of this hot spot after trying for many decades. So you’ve failed again and should be left to argue with yourself.

        • Neville says:

          Chris here’s the TTT measurement and summary from RSS. The TTT stands for the Temp of the TOTAL TROPOSPHERE. Here’s the quick summary and the link. And the TTT warming trends don’t make much difference either. Look for a new theory.

          TTT (Temperature Total Troposphere)

          TTT is a multi-channel combined product made by calculating a linear combination of TMT and TLS. TTT = 1.1*TMT – 0.1*TLS. This combination has the effect of reducing the influence of the lower stratosphere, as shown Figure 3. In the simpler TMT product, about 10% of the weight is from the lower stratosphere. Because the lower stratosphere is cooling at most locations, this causes the decadal trends in TMT to be less than the trends in the mid and upper troposphere. TTT was proposed by Fu and Johanson, 2005.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      I’m not here to answer people’s questions, as though I were in an exam. It’s your theory, you set it out.

      But are you really saying that your theory rests only on satellite data since 1979? If you are, then it seems we need sixty years or more of those data, rather than the 37 years of data we already have (in order to deal with various cycles — the short-term ones anyway). You do realise, I am sure, that the trend line you draw needs to go backward as well as forward in time. So if at the moment you are positing a rise of temperature of x for the end of the century, you need to extend that line back into the past as well also for 84 years. Now I grant that there are no satellite data going back into the 1920s, but there is sufficient similarity in the other datasets (see Climate4you) for you to at least have a look and see what that would tell you. It’s not my interest, but you could do it — it would give you a sense of how realistic it was. Every year, of course, you would have to adjust your trend to take account of a new data point. I don’t know how long it would take for you to become reasonably confident of the 2100 outcome, but I’d guess at thirty years or so.

      But you seem, from other comments you have made, to be quite confident now. Perhaps you could explain why. I am puzzled, to say the least.

      • Neville says:

        Don I’d like to know what you think of Judith Curry’s post of Jan 2014 and the two IPCC warming periods up to 2012. The IPCC conceded the hiatus/pause and used these two periods voluntarily. Here’s my comments from above. Just a couple of lines will do when you have the time.
        Judith Curry wrote a very good post in Jan 2014, only about 3 months after the IPCC’s AR5 report. Here is a quote about the pause from 1998 compared to the temp trend from 1951. Using the IPCC’s own choice of 1998 they found a 15 year trend of just 0.05 c /decade compared to the much longer 61 year trend of 0.12 c/decade. The much longer earlier trend was 2.4 times greater than the 1998 to 2012 trend. Here is the quote from the IPCC AR5 report and the link. But note the IPCC chose 1998 at that time, so I presume it’s okay for the rest of us to CHERRY PICK their same start date to show a more recent trend? Let’s hear no more about 1998 being a so called cherry pick.


        The IPCC AR5 notes the lack of warming since 1998:

        “[T]he rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) [is] 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade)which is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012) [of] 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade.

        The significance of this hiatus in warming since 1998 is in context of comparison with climate model projections. The IPCC AR4 stated:”

        For the next two decades, a warming of about 0.2°C per decade is projected for a range of SRES emission scenarios. (AR4 SPM)”

  • Chris Warren says:


    I am not aware that my theory is NEW. I have only used existing science. Nothing is new. Unlike Don’s Howard Brady’s book, I use satellite data. As I recall, Brady only used satellite data for sea-level discussion.

    Finding the cooling trend outside the troposphere is sufficient – assuming incoming energy is relatively stable.

    This may be “new” to some – but not to the well-informed.

    • spangled drongo says:

      So the only data chrissie uses to promote his theory is ~20 years at the end of the 20th C.

      And he reckons this is sound science.

      We all know about the GHG theory, chrissie, but now explain why there is no correlation in the geologic record between atmospheric CO2 and global temperature. EG, the Earth went into an ice age 450 million years ago despite a level of atmospheric carbon dioxide that is ten times what it is today.

      And it has been warmer many times, much more recently, with much lower levels of atmospheric CO2.

      But chrissie the “well informed” is certain that those 20 years of satellite data from 1979 hold the answer.

      Be tolerant with us for remaining sceptical, won’t ya, chrissie?

  • Chris Warren says:


    At the 40km altitude, I do not think there is any mechanism that will create cycles other then sunspots which come and go.

    Satellite data is not the only basis as this absorption chart is also key.


    Also the science of blackbody radiation is also relevant because the Earth will continue to warm if the amount of energy coming in is greater than the energy moving out. The key point is that energy comes in at one wavelength, but except for reflection, must escape at another radically different wavelength.

    This is demonstrated here: https://scienceofdoom.files.wordpress.com/2010/07/planck-300-to-5780-toa-log-typ-albedo-453.png

    If anything interferes with this process – the Earth’s habitability will be affected.

    Satellite data should calm the worries of true skeptics, but not those who are skeptical of the moon landing or the theory of evolution.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Also the science of blackbody radiation is also relevant because the Earth will continue to warm if the amount of energy coming in is greater than the energy moving out.”

      ‘E good, dis boy.

      ‘E know ‘is stuff.

      ‘E don’t just emulate time series output from ‘is posterior emulator, dis boy.

      Dis is dynamic process at its best.

    • dlb says:

      Chris, there has been a 10% decrease in water vapour in the stratosphere between the years 2000 and 2009. It could be still declining but I’ve yet to find the data. Unlike CO2, water vapour does absorb solar radiation. So this may be another reason why the stratosphere is cooling?

      • Chris Warren says:


        CO2 is not the only factor. I am surprised that water vapour is not included as a greenhouse gas by NOAA as here:


        However they explain this as:

        “Because we seek an index that is accurate, only direct forcing from these gases has been included. Model-dependent feedbacks, for example, due to water vapor and ozone depletion, are not included.”

        • dlb says:

          I did a bit more hunting around to contradict myself. “Science of Doom” refers to a paper from Solomon 2010, which indicates the greenhouse effect of water-vapour overrides the absorption of solar radiation i.e. decreasing H20 in the stratosphere equals warmer stratosphere & vice versa. All of this is modelled of course, the realty may be somewhat different.

          • Chris Warren says:

            I don’t know why water-vapour doesn’t get more attention as it si a strong greenhouse gas.

            Also when fossil fuel is burnt – water is produced – even more than CO2.

            Who knows?

  • Don Aitkin says:

    I have added a graph at the end of the essay — CO2 proportion at Mauna Loa and msu V6 temperature, from 1979 onwards.

  • Neville says:

    I still think the 2014 McKitrick and Vogelsang study of balloon temp data in the tropical troposphere from 1958 to 2012 is an eye opener. Using econometrics they were able to show that there was no stat sig temp increase over that 54 year period. Most of the temp increase came from a shift in pacific ocean temp in the late 1970s. Here is their summary from the Climate Audit post.

    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 an interesting reply by Tim Vogelsang to Steve McIntyre at that time in the blog comments.

    Tim Vogelsang
    Posted Jul 25, 2014 at 10:03 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for the kind words, Steve. Some of the best methodological work in econometrics comes about when an empirical researcher hits a snag with his/her data or needs to do something that can’t be accomplished with existing methods. My paper with Ross is a great example.

    I share your view that the empirical climate literature seems unaware of statistical (or econometric) methodology that could be directly applied in many settings they face with their data. Given that climate time series have similar features to macroeconomic and finance time series, you would think empirical climate researchers would look to other literatures for well-developed approaches. During the review process for our paper, referees would request that we reference various time series methodological papers in the climate literature. When I read these papers, it was nearly always the case that the authors were trying to tackle statistical problems that had already been addressed in the econometrics literature 10 or 20 years previously. There’s a lot of low hanging statistical/econometrics methodological fruit for empirical climate researchers willing to read literature outside of climate journals.

  • David says:

    Bryan Roberts says: December 19, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    “H. D. Brunk. An introduction to mathematical statistics, Volume 2 …………………Good enough?”

    Thanks Bryan.

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Failed to catch me out, eh?

      • David says:

        No, Bryan. I have ordered my self a copy. I will get back to you shortly. 🙂

        • Bryan Roberts says:

          David, Brunk is not ‘advanced’ basics for bloggers. It is mostly mathematics. I suspect you may have wasted your money.

      • David says:

        Bryan and Don,

        Here is another and perhaps better reference which outlines your misunderstanding of how to interpret a sample mean and confidence interval. What you and Don fail to understand. “Instrument error”, which is a form of random error is already incorporated in the reported confidence interval. What you are proposing is a a type of “double counting.”

        Neither of you can point to a study that would use the methods you propose.


        • Bryan Roberts says:

          David, I suggest you seek out you local university, and enrol in first year statistics. You can then bother someone who is paid to put up with you.

          It is not me.

          Merry Christmas

  • David says:


    At least we can agree the concepts we are discussing are elementary. So you should now be able to understand why your statement

    “However, I invite you to consider the situation in which the data used to calculate the confidence intervals are themselves subject to uncertainty? ”

    (and Don’s submission) to the Climate commission reflects a misunderstanding of what is included in an error term. You have offered nothing in the way a substantive defense. Instead have flipped between a bit of tired personal abuse and citing your academic transcript. Neither of which has help your cause.

    As I have already explained a couple of times above the error term, and the confidence intervals it generates, includes ALL sources of random error. The pair of you were wrong.

    Don objects to being labeled a denier. OK fair enough. I have pointed out your errors. It is now up to you both to decided if you will invest the time to understand what the issues are. Developing a better understanding of statistics wont mean that you will change your minds on AGW, but it will improve the quality of the arguments that you present.

    Merry Christmas

    • Bryan Roberts says:

      Give me a mathematical proof that your assertion is correct if the original data are subject to random or systematic error.

      A person who knows what he’s talking about doesn’t need to scour the web to make a point. If you explain how such uncertainties are addressed, I will be vastly impressed.

      Happy googling.

      • David says:

        Which data? There is no universal mathematical proof that the errors are normally distributed. It is an assumption. Each model and data set will be different.

        Typically, statisticians will conduct some post estimation tests to check if the residuals are normally distributed in their particular model and data set, to support their assumption of normally distributed errors. If the residuals are not normally distributed then you can argue that estimates could be biased.

        If you, or Don, want to construct and argument around bias be my guest. However, as stated Don’s submission to the Climate commission did not make statistical sense.

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