Would Red and Blue Teams be any use to us?

For those who don’t know the reference, a Red team is a team whose aim is to go past the defences of the Blue team. More generally, the terms have to do with testing more or less settled policies or positions mostly in defence, but increasingly in information technology, and the new target, cyber-security. There have been suggestions in the past that the model be used in the area of climate science, or more sensibly, climate policy. A pale equivalent in Australia is the use of ‘The Case for Yes’ and ‘The Case for No’ statements in our Constitutional referendums.

Scott Pruitt, the new Administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, revived the idea a little while ago. It was a throwaway passage during an interview, but the gist of it was this:

What the American people deserve, I think, is a true legitimate, peer reviewed, objective, transparent discussion about CO2. And, you know there was a great article that was in the Wall Street Journal, about a month or so ago called ‘Red Team/Blue Team’ by Steve Koonin, a scientist I believe at NYU. And, he talked about the importance of having a red team of scientist and a blue team of scientists and those scientists get in a room and ask what do we know, what don’t we know, and what risk does it pose to health, the United States, and the world with respect to this issue of CO2. The American people need to have that type of honest open discussion, and it’s something we hope to provide as part of our leadership.

All power to his elbow. There has been nothing since from Mr Pruitt. And indeed there are many different ways of organising such an encounter. I thought I would go to Mr Pruitt’s source, which was an essay published in April in the Wall Street Journal, to which I do not have access. But Judith Curry provided a large extract that contained the core of Koonin’s proposal.

Here’s how it might work: The focus would be a published scientific report meant to inform policy such as the U.N.’s Summary for Policymakers or the U.S. Government’s National Climate Assessment. A Red Team of scientists would write a critique of that document and a Blue Team would rebut that critique. Further exchanges of documents would ensue to the point of diminishing returns. A commission would coordinate and moderate the process and then hold hearings to highlight points of agreement and disagreement, as well as steps that might resolve the latter. The process would unfold in full public view: the initial report, the exchanged documents and the hearings.

A Red/Blue exercise would have many benefits. It would produce a traceable public record that would allow the public and decision makers a better understanding of certainties and uncertainties. It would more firmly establish points of agreement and identify urgent research needs. Most important, it would put science front and center in policy discussions, while publicly demonstrating scientific reasoning and argument. The inherent tension of a professional adversarial process would enhance public interest, offering many opportunities to show laymen how science actually works. 

Koonin served for two and a half years as the civil service head of the Department of Energy in the Obama Administration, and is sceptical of much of the hype about global warming, so he may look to be having a bob each way, But what’s not to like about his approach?

I am reminded that when politicians have asked august scientific bodies like the CSIRO for a simple and accessible explanation of why greenhouse gases, global warming and climate change are so important, they have never received anything of consequence in reply. Senator Roberts quizzed Dr Finkel about the latter’s view of climate change, and received (in my view) only a set of vague statements, which ultimately relied on models. Graham Redfearn, a journalist [my error — he is not an academic] and an espouser of the orthodox view, pooh-poohed Roberts for assuming that empirical evidence finally must test theory.

There are two very obvious problems with Roberts’ argument. The “real world data” is sending a clear message that the Earth is gaining heat at a rapid rate and that this is a long-term trend. Whether you look at global air temperatures measured in the real world by thermometers or derived from satellites, or the temperature of the oceans at multiple depths, or the increasing frequency of extreme temperatures, or the rising sea levels, the melting ice sheets, the disappearing Arctic sea ice, the increasing risk of bushfires … we could go on and on with a parade of “empirical evidence”.

At the same time, humans are adding CO2 to the atmosphere and oceans at a rate that groups like the Geological Society say are unprecedented “even in comparison with the massive injections of carbon to the atmosphere at the Palaeocene-Eocene boundary, which led to a major thermal event 55m years ago”.

Roberts’ argument that science is only about “empirical evidence” might sound all sciencey to his interviewees and the lay audience. But it’s bunk. If all you rely on is “empirical evidence”, and reject modelling and analysis that uses that data, then you basically throw out large swathes of modern scientific endeavours. 

‘It’s bunk?’ Without going into minute detail, I think I could show that Mr Redfearn’s claim about the ‘clear message’ is not as soundly based as he suggests. All those examples he cites have their own problems. To name just three, temperatures did not rise though CO2 accumulations did, for nearly twenty years, whether sea levels are rising at any other than the long-term rate is not at all clear, or whether the rising is accelerating at all, which was also being claimed, and the increasing risk of bushfires has more to do with the spread of human settlement into forested areas than anything to do with ‘climate change’.

Now I can say this and provide the evidence, to which I will be told that (i) I am not a climate scientist, and therefore know nothing, or (ii) some of what I put up as evidence has been ‘debunked’, even if what is meant is that the issue is somewhat complicated, or (iii) 97 per cent of climate scientists, not to mention the Australian Academy of Science, say we are all doomed (they don’t say that, but it’s the underlying message). We need  some kind of circuit breaker to deal with assertions and counter-assertions, which you can see on this website  endlessly.

As it happens the orthodoxy doesn’t like being questioned at all. When Dennis Jensen MP spoke a couple of years ago about the need for some sort of parliamentary inquiry into ‘climate change, twelve scientists belonging to the orthodoxy sent him a letter warning him against ‘wasting time and parliamentary resources’ on such an inquiry. They offered to brief him (and a colleague) instead!

In short there is a straightforward argument for the use of the kind of inspection that Koonin suggested, if there is the will to use it. Even if Mr Pruitt goes ahead with the Red team plan, I have doubts that Australia will do the same, much as we like to emulate the good ol’ USA. As I have said many times before, neither of the major political parties here wants to do anything decisive in this area. Talk about it, yes, but do something significant, no. The belief that humanity is endangered — well, other people, not the believers exactly — is still alive and well in our country.

A few blackouts may help to change attitudes, as will the September gas and electricity bills. To choose the Red team option is presently beyond our political leaders at the moment. It would never have occurred to Mrs Clinton had she won office. Even President Trump may have his doubts. But for me, it is the way to go.


Join the discussion 154 Comments

  • Mike says:

    The sceptics have nature in their favour without which the alarmists surely would have prevailed. Their propaganda is so relentless and shameless they would never allow any sensible and reasonable red vs blue team discussion to flourish. For examples one needs look no further than blog threads. The tactics are similar and must be learned at alarmist school.

    • Chris Warren says:

      A proper red team, blue team process comprised of appropriately qualified scientists, would be a useful exercise.

      We now have a lot of decent instrumental data since 1979 on CO2 levels, atmosphere temp trends, sea temps, even now Earth crust trends, plus data on ice loss and other gasses.

      There is nothing wrong with a scientific cross examination, so I also think this is the way to go.

  • JimboR says:

    Can’t hurt I guess… emphasis on “having a red team of scientists and a blue team of scientists”. That would immediately exclude the loudest and most ill-equipped proponents and opponents. My prediction for what would happen if you did set it up is that the scientists would mostly converge on broad agreement of what needs to be done, possibly even landing not a million miles from where Finkel et al landed. The skeptics would then start blogging their usual conspiracy theories: the red team was stacked with environmentalists, the red team are out to protect the prospect of future consulting fees, both teams only had scientists, what would they know about the real world… blah… blah… blah and so the cycle repeats.

    • Aert Driessen says:

      JimboR, I don’t think that you understand the scientific process in your take on how a red team/blue team scenario would work out. Scientific theories can never be proven, they can only be disproved. So knowledge progresses when a ruling theory is shown to be wrong, and the theory that showed it to be wrong becomes the new ruling theory, until that is proven wrong. In this process it is evidence that proves theories wrong. I can show you evidence that shows that CO2 has little (but some) effect on temperature. There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature in the last 18 years (and other previous periods).

    • Don Aitkin says:


      You raise an important point. Who is to choose the teams? There are plenty of sceptical scientists available (Kininmonth, Plimer, Rudd for example) and the Blue team could have Karoly, Hughes and Steffen. But who is to decide? There is no organised body of sceptics to whom an interested government might approach. Once again, the ‘Yes’ and ‘No’ cases at a referendum might provide a lead here.

  • Brad Wrightson says:

    Thank you for another interesting post Don. My initial thought in response to a Red Team proposal is that the concept is based on a political model of red v blue, labor v liberal, progressive v conservative tradition. Now, if it was intended to establish this in order to then have some kind of debate then who would moderate and how would that be moderated? To me this just sets up another adversarial Westminster style scenario that may generate more heat than light! *

    Science has always been, to my mind anyway, a collaborative/collective approach to revealing and describing nature, where one discovery sheds light and direction for others to explore. That endeavour must occur independently, free from political, agenda-driven influences – is that at all possible? Maybe the funding of the research could be more fairly provided/allocated?

    Certainly the peer review approach to establishing the quality benchmark has been the gold standard for a long time, but seems to me to be rather losing its lustre. Perhaps an improved quality benchmark would improve the value (integrity?) of the research that reaches the public domain; thereby restoring confidence of citizens in the realm of science.

    (*Pun intended!)

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Brad, I don’t agree. A red/blue team concept dealing with a scientific issue should consider only evidence. There is no ‘evidence’ to be had or seen in the virtue of political ideals, only value judgements. The peer review process should only deal with the interpretation of the evidence and how that might revise a current hypothesis or establish a new one. Evidence stands alone.

  • dlb says:

    Don, I think you are getting your Redfearns mixed up.

    James Redfearn who wrote that article in the Guardian is a journalist and climate activist, certainly no professor.
    Hence his liberal use of climate clichés.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      The author’s name, at the side, is Graham Redfearn. If it’s not the author, then there is no other name to go to. Have a look at the link again.

      • dlb says:

        It is certainly authored by Graham Redfearn, but he is no professor or scientist.
        see his webpage http://www.readfearn.com/about/

      • JimboR says:

        Yes, it was actually Prof Doherty, a noted scientist in an entirely different field (Nobel prize in immunology) who “pooh-poohed Roberts”, rather brilliantly I think:

        “I’ve never used the term ‘empirical evidence’, or heard any other working scientist say it. [Roberts] has no understanding of how science works.”

        • spangled drongo says:

          “I’ve never used the term ‘empirical evidence’, or heard any other working scientist say it…”

          Jimb, please explain how anyone could defend that statement at all, let alone “rather brilliantly”?

        • JimboR says:

          Prof Doherty goes on in detail to explain why, I just quoted his first sentence. Follow Don’s link above.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Jimb, I am quite aware of Doherty’s response but I would like your explication as to why it is brilliant.

        • Aert Driessen says:

          From what I have heard him say, Roberts has a much better understanding of the scientific process than you do JimboR.

          • JimboR says:

            Personally, I think Roberts is barking mad, but he may just be playing to his base. His biggest claim to fame is getting on the PHON’s Qld Senate ticket, and we all know how reliable their candidate vetting process is. In any case, take it up with the Nobel laureate, it’s his critique and I dare say he knows more about the scientific process than either of us.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          No Jimbo, I was the one to use the term ‘pooh-poohed’, and I applied it to Redfearn, whose whole article is intended to pooh-pooh Roberts’s concerns. I know Peter Doherty, and once worked with him on an important matter, but I don’t think Peter’s comment was either especially relevant to what Roberts was saying or particularly helpful to anyone else. Redferan wanted a name, and so he used Doherty. His other name in the article, Sherwood, was even less to the point.

      • Don Aitkin says:


        You were right about the profession, though you mentioned a James Redfearn, which threw me off the scent. I’ve made the correction in the text.

  • margaret says:

    I would like a red team and a blue team each comprising fifty percent women.
    I imagine Judith Curry and JoNova would love this “opportunity”.

  • JohnM says:

    It’s a very sensible idea. Claims are made and evidence presented, then the experts on the other side examine that evidence and challenge it. It’s like prosection v. defence, with in this case Co2 being charged with the “crime”.
    Review of evidence by experts is probably preferable to having people like judges involved in a judicial inquiry because experts better know the issues. (I didn’t say know them completely, just better than judges would.)
    Also, with decent balanced reporting of the two sides the public would be far better informed, but is decent reporting possible when the mainstream media might be shown to have been foolish for parrotting the alarmists rather than questioning them?

  • Neville says:

    A global warming Red team should have been set up when the IPCC was first established. Let’s hope we belatedly get a team of sceptics who challenge all of their past claims and any future nonsense they may try to con us with. We now know there are thousands of PR studies that challenge so much of the IPCC’s agenda.

    Remember there are trillions of $ of future spending to try and mitigate their so called CAGW and yet even even Dr Hansen knows Paris COP 21 is BS and fra-d and he is the father of their CAGW faith.

    Here’s Dr Roy Spencer’s ideas about such a Red team and some concerns to think about.

    “A Global Warming Red Team Warning: Do NOT Strive for Consensus with the Blue Team
    June 13th, 2017

    EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has advocated a Red Team approach to evaluating the climate science guiding CO2 regulations.
    Now that the idea of a global warming Red Team approach to help determine what our energy policy should be is gaining traction, it is important that we understand what that means to some of us who have been advocating it for over 10 years — and also what it doesn’t mean.

    The Red Team approach has been used for many years in private industry, DoD, and the intelligence community to examine very costly decisions and programs in a purposely adversarial way…to ask, what if we are wrong about a certain program or policy change? What might the unintended consequences be?

    In such a discussion we must make sure that we do not conflate the consensus on a scientific theory with the need to change energy policy, as is often done. (Just because we know that car wrecks in the U.S. cause 40,000 deaths a year doesn’t mean we should outlaw cars; and I doubt human-caused climate change has ever killed anyone).

    While science can help guide policy, it certainly does not dictate it.

    In the case of global warming and the role of our carbon dioxide emissions, the debate has too long been dominated by a myopic view that asserts the following 5 general points as indisputable. I have ordered them generally from scientific to economic.

    1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

    2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

    3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

    4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

    5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

    ALL of these 5 points must be essentially true for things like the Paris Agreement (which President Trump has now withdrawn us from…for the time being) to make much sense.

    But I would argue that each of the five points can be challenged, and not just with “fake science”. There is peer-reviewed and published analysis in science and economics that would allow one to contest each one of the five claims.

    The Red Team Approach: It’s NOT a Redo of the Blue Team

    John Christy and I are concerned that the Red Team approach, if applied to global warming, will simply be a review of the U.N. IPCC science on global warming. We are worried that it will only address the first two points (warming will continue, and it is mostly caused by CO2). Heck, even *I* believe we will continue to see modest warming, and that it might well be at least 50% due to CO2.

    But a Red Team reaffirming those points does NOT mean we should “do something” about global warming.

    To fully address whether we should, say, have regulations to reduce CO2 emissions, the Red Team must address all 5 of the “consensus” claims listed above, because that is the only way to determine if we should change energy policy in a direction different from that which the free market would carry it naturally.

    The Red Team MUST address the benefits of more CO2 to global agriculture, “global greening” etc.

    The Red Team MUST address whether forced reductions in CO2 emissions will cause even a measurable effect on global temperatures.

    The Red Team MUST address whether the reduction in prosperity and increase in energy poverty are permissible consequences of forced emissions reductions to achieve (potentially unmeasurable) results.

    The membership of the Red Team will basically determine the Team’s conclusions. It must be made up of adversaries to the Blue Team “consensus”, which has basically been the U.N. IPCC. If it is not adversarial in membership and in mission, it will not be a real Red Team.

    As a result, the Red Team must not be allowed to be controlled by the usual IPCC-affiliated participants.

    Only then can its report can be considered to be an independent, adversarial analysis to be considered along with the IPCC report (and other non-IPCC reports) to help guide U.S. energy policy.”

  • Neville says:

    Well I’ll ask my 2 questions again. 1. How do you mitigate your so called CAGW problem?
    2. Can you use any of their so called CAGW icons to prove that climate today is more dangerous, or unusual or unprecedented? Just asking, but surely this should be easy for the faithful?

  • David says:

    The idea might make sense if there was a red earth and a blue earth, otherwise we need to make a decision.

    It is not like skeptics can not get published or get funding. Proffessor Curry for example has won millions and millions of dollars in grants. Still out there looking for Factor X. Lots of publications and grants but what is missing from her CV is a meaningful result. But cant fault her for front. She still has her hand out.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      You’ve slandered her before David, and I’ve pointed out your errors. You have a poor memory as well as a failure to read carefully. Dr Curry is no longer an academic.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Our problem is that we have a big, bed wetting green team that always manages to tip the balance [into the bed].

  • Neville says:

    Al Gore, the high priest of the CAGW religion was in full flight promoting his new Sci-fi flick. During the sermon he told his flock that God wants them to fight against climate change etc, etc. Boy I suppose you don’t have to be delusional to accept this nonsense, but it probably is an advantage. See the following.
    Former Vice President Al Gore is now telling his climate disciples that God commands us to go forth and fight global warming.

    Engaging in some advanced publicity for his new global warming film spectacular, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” Gore told Interview Magazine that God didn’t create global warming and wants us to fix it.

    In his comments, Gore equated the fight against global warming to a religious-based, moral crusade similar to the civil rights fight, women’s suffrage, and the abolitionist movement during the Civil War era. Gore insisted that it is a moral imperative to fight against climate change.

    “Regarding the climate movement,” Gore said warming to his point, “there are people who say, ‘God is in complete control of everything that happens, and if the Earth is getting warmer, then maybe God intends that.’”

    Gore then rejected that conceit.

    “Well, no,” the million-dollar mansion-owing former veep insisted. “God intends for us to take responsibility for how we treat God’s creation, and if we choose to use the thin shell of atmosphere surrounding our planet as an open sewer for 110-million tons of global-warming pollution every day, the consequences are attributable to us.”

    He concluded saying, “And if you are a believer, as I am, I think God intends for us to open our eyes and take responsibility for the moral consequences of our actions.”

    Gore’s new film is a sequel to his famed “An Inconvenient Truth,” a shockumentary filled with mistaken assertions and failed predictions. Despite the many inaccuracies of his previous film, in an interview last year Gore still insisted that he “underestimated” how bad global warming is.

    “I wish the film had over-estimated the seriousness of the crisis, but unfortunately it actually underestimated how serious it is,” the one-time Tennessee Senator said.

  • JimboR says:

    Mike Sandiford, Chair of Geology at University of Melbourne has thrown out an interesting challenge to Malcolm “empirical evidence” Roberts, even offering to drill him his own bore hole. I suspect the condition he puts on the challenge means Roberts won’t want a bar of it.

    “But I’ll only do it on the condition that Malcolm agrees, that when we do (reproduce the signal), he will publicly acknowledge the empirical evidence of a warming world entirely consist with NASA’s surface temperature record.”


    • Chris Warren says:

      Interesting evidence. We always knew some of the trapped heat is being absorbed by the oceans and now, some by the earth itself.

    • Neville says:

      Gosh Jimbo you’re on a winner there, NOT. What about the SL studies. the world glacier studies post 1950, what about the Stein study showing high present day levels of Arctic ice,what about Antarctica cooling since 1978 and recently Ant peninsula showing cooling since 1998 and what about the Calvo study showing cooling across sth oz for the last 6,500 years?
      There has been some slight warming since the end of the little ice age. But the planet is also recovering from the coldest sustained period over the last 10,000 years. These claims of yours are ridiculous.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Jimb, give us a break! Even his own U of Melb together with the CSIRO have recently claimed 1c of warming since the end of the LIA and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in 1750.

      IOW, considerably less than natural climate variability.

      The Holocene is a period of almost constant climate change from natural climate variability as provided by proxy evidence in endless science papers with climatic stability being the exception.

    • David says:

      JimboR this is an interesting link.

      But what to do with a contrarian who not not accept that the concept of a mean temperature? “…the mean is just a construct etc”

    • Don Aitkin says:

      The Sandford article is mostly about his borehole, and doesn’t deal with the major issues, which Neville summarised quite well above. But Sandford could be added to the Blue team.

  • Thorfinn says:

    In time it will be noted that climate change and its catalyst- that of CO2 ,is based on misinformation, brainwashing and delusion.No evidence exists. In the meantime alarmists will keep it simple and on song;more scenes of evil black smoke emanating from cooling towers and ludicrous stories of species extinction and rising sea levels. A sad fact of life is that the majority are gullible and easily led by this fraud.

  • Neville says:

    The 2013 Box et al study finds a higher ice accumulation rate since 1840 than the earlier LIA trends.
    In fact they estimate this trend to be 30% higher. Here’s the abstract.


    Ice core data are combined with Regional Atmospheric Climate Model version 2 (RACMO2) output (1958–2010) to develop a reconstruction of Greenland ice sheet net snow accumulation rate, Ât(G), spanning the years 1600–2009. Regression parameters from regional climate model (RCM) output regressed on 86 ice cores are used with available cores in a given year resulting in the reconstructed values. Each core site’s residual variance is used to inversely weight the cores’ respective contributions. The interannual amplitude of the reconstructed accumulation rate is damped by the regressions and is thus calibrated to match that of the RCM data. Uncertainty and significance of changes is measured using statistical models.

    A 12% or 86 Gt yr?1 increase in ice sheet accumulation rate is found from the end of the Little Ice Age in ~1840 to the last decade of the reconstruction. This 1840–1996 trend is 30% higher than that of 1600–2009, suggesting an accelerating accumulation rate. The correlation of Ât(G) with the average surface air temperature in the Northern Hemisphere (SATNHt) remains positive through time, while the correlation of Ât(G) with local near-surface air temperatures or North Atlantic sea surface temperatures is inconsistent, suggesting a hemispheric-scale climate connection. An annual sensitivity of Ât(G) to SATNHt of 6.8% K?1 or 51 Gt K?1 is found.

    The reconstuction, Ât(G), correlates consistently highly with the North Atlantic Oscillation index. However, at the 11-yr time scale, the sign of this correlation flips four times in the 1870–2005 period.

    Keywords: Ice loss/growth; Paleoclimate; Water budget; Regression analysis

    Corresponding author address: Jason E. Box, Oester Voldgade 10, DK-1350 Copenhagen K, Denmark. E-mail: jbox.greenland@gmail.com

  • Neville says:

    The 2017 Olivia et al study also finds a cooling trend over the Antarctic peninsula. This agrees with other recent studies like Turner et al and the British Antarctic survey study.
    This cooling trend seems to be strong and extends from 1998 to the present. Here is Co2 Science’s summary of the Olivia study.

    The Antarctic Peninsula: No Longer the Canary in the Coal Mine for Climate Alarmists

    Paper Reviewed
    Oliva, M., Navarro, F, Hrbácek, F., Hernández, A., Nývlt, D., Pereira, P., Ruiz-Fernández, J. and Trigo, R. 2017. Recent regional climate cooling on the Antarctic Peninsula and associated impacts on the cryosphere. Science of the Total Environment 580: 210-223.

    Climate alarmists generally contend that current temperatures are both unnatural and unprecedented, as a result of global warming caused by anthropogenic CO2 emissions; and they claim that this “unnaturalness” is most strongly expressed throughout the world’s polar regions. In this regard, they often point to warming on the Antarctic Peninsula (typically the Faraday/Vernadsky station) as the proverbial canary in the coal mine, where over the past several decades it has experienced warming rates that are among the highest reported anywhere on Earth.

    However, in recent years two studies have challenged this assessment. Carrasco (2013) reported finding a decrease in the warming rate from stations on the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula between 2001 and 2010, as well as a slight cooling trend for King George Island (in the South Shetland Islands just off the peninsula). Similarly, in an analysis of the regional stacked temperature record over the period 1979-2014, Turner et al. (2016) reported a switch from warming during 1979-1997 to cooling thereafter (1999-2014). And now, in 2017, we have a third assessment of recent temperature trends on the Antarctic Peninsula confirming that the canary is alive and well!

    As their contribution to the debate, Olivia et al. (2017) report in the journal Science of the Total Environment how they “complete and extend [the study of Turner et al.] by presenting an updated assessment of the spatially-distributed temperature trends and interdecadal variability of mean annual air temperature and mean seasonal air temperature from 1950 to 2015, using data from ten stations distributed across the Antarctic Peninsula region.” And what did that assessment reveal?

    In describing their findings, the eight European researchers write “we show that [the] Faraday/Vernadsky warming trend is an extreme case, circa twice those of the long-term records from other parts of the northern Antarctic Peninsula.” They also note the presence of significant decadal-scale variability among the ten temperature records, which they linked to large-scale atmospheric phenomenon, such as ENSO, the Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Southern Annular Mode. Perhaps most important, however, is their confirmation that “from 1998 onward, a turning point has been observed in the evolution of mean annual air temperatures across the Antarctic Peninsula region, changing from a warming to a cooling trend,” especially over the last decade (see figure below). This cooling has amounted to a 0.5 to 0.9 °C decrease in temperatures in most of the Antarctic Peninsula region, the only exception being three stations located in the southwest sector of the peninsula that experienced a slight delay in their thermal turning point, declining only over the shorter period of the past decade. It is also pertinent to note that, coincident with the above findings, Olivia et al. cite independent evidence from multiple other sources in support of the recent cooling detected in their analysis, including an “increase in the extent of sea ice, positive mass-balance of peripheral glaciers and thinning of the active layer of permafrost.”

    In light of all the above, the evidence is clearly mounting against those who point to warming on the Antarctic Peninsula as proof of CO2-induced global warming. For in the most incredible manner, warming trends that were once among the highest recorded on earth have slowed and even reversed to show cooling.

    Figure 1. Temporal evolution of the difference between the mean annual air temperatures and the 1966-2015 average temperature for each station (3-year moving averages). Source: Olivia et al. (2017).

    Carrasco, J.F. 2013. Decadal changes in the near-surface air temperature in the western side of the Antarctic Peninsula. Atmospheric and Climate Sciences 3: 275-281.

    Turner, J., Lu, H., White, I., King, J.C., Phillips, T., Scott Hosking, J., Bracegirdle, T.J., Marshall, G.J., Mulvaney, R. and Deb, P. 2016. Absence of 21st century warming on Antarctic Peninsula consistent with natural variability. Nature 535: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature18645.

  • Chris Warren says:


    This is nothing but blatant, cherry-picking, false news.

    The authors, Turner, J., et al., specifically state:

    Our findings cover only 1% of the Antarctic continent and emphasize that decadal temperature changes in this region are not primarily associated with the drivers of global temperature change

    You have deliberately misused their paper to make your pet false assertions about global temperature changes.

    You should have mentioned that these temperature changes ARE NOT ASSOCIATED WITH DRIVERS OF GLOBAL TEMPERATURE CHANGE.

  • Neville says:

    Gee Chris you must be the world’s greatest joker. If this doesn’t count then why did Gore, other scientists, politicians and the majority of the media flog this peninsula to death for decades? The Ant peninsula was supposed to be one of the fastest warming areas of the planet. Have you been asleep for the last 20 to 30 years?

    But of course the WAIS is also an area that has strong volcanic activity under the ice and could cause future SLR. See this summary from their ABC about the Schroeder 2014 study.

    WIKI also provide a list of some of the Antarctic volcanoes.

    Antarctic volcanoes add to sea level rise

    Tuesday, 10 June 2014 Rachel Sullivan
    Antarctic ice

    The study provides the most realistic model to date of heat coming from beneath the ice (Source: NASA)
    Related Stories

    West Antarctic ice sheet collapse ‘unstoppable’, Science Online, 13 May 2014
    Could volcanoes be driving Antarctic ice loss?, Science Online, 18 Nov 2013
    ‘Cataclysmic’ explosion rocked Antarctic, Science Online, 21 Jan 2008

    Antarctic volcanoes Geothermal activity under parts of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is causing rapid glacial melting that impacts global sea level rise, a new study confirms.

    The study, published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, analysed the Thwaites Glacier, which is one of West Antarctica’s largest, most rapidly evolving and potentially unstable contributors to global sea level rise.

    The West Antarctic Ice Sheet (WAIS) lies on top of the vast, hidden West Antarctic Rift System where crustal expansion processes occur deep beneath the ice, and is losing ice faster than any other part of Antarctica.

    Although strong evidence has been found previously for the movement of magma and volcanism beneath the ice sheet, limitations in the available data have made it difficult to accurately judge what impact geothermal activity was having on the melting ice.

    Now, geophysicist Dr Dustin Schroeder from the University of Texas, and colleagues, are filling in the blanks.

    They have used new methods to get the most realistic picture to date of ‘geothermal flux’ and the pattern of the meltwater, which is carried downstream in large channels beneath the glacier.

    “Geothermal flux is the heat that flows from the Earth beneath an ice sheet into the bottom of the ice,” Schroeder explains.

    “So, if part of an ice sheet is located in a region of high geothermal flux (for example in a region with thin crust or nearby volcanism due to rifting) then it will lead to more melting at the bottom of the ice sheet than if that that ice sheet was located in a region with lower geothermal flux.”
    State of flux

    The researchers found that the Thwaites Glacier catchment experiences variable levels of flux, with the highest levels found the western-most tributary near the ice-covered, dormant Mount Takahe volcano.

    Other high flux areas across the glacier catchment are located in areas adjacent to topographical features that are thought to have volcanic origins.

    “The nearby volcanoes are an expression of the crustal thinning, magma migration, and volcanism associated with the West Antarctic Rift System,” Shroeder says. “The pattern of melting and geothermal flux we observed is also an expression of those same associated processes.”
    Realistic picture

    Schroeder says there have been several recent papers suggesting the melting of the Thwaites Glacier could spread to the rest of the WAIS over the next hundreds to thousands of years.

    “When ice sheet modellers try to simulate that process so that they can provide better estimates of the rate of sea level rise, one of the key inputs they need for their models is geothermal flux,” he says.

    “Before our paper, models tended to just assume a uniform geothermal flux value beneath the glacier because it was the best you could do with the observations available (even though the presence of nearby volcanoes and other geologic evidence suggested it was probably very non-uniform).

    In their study, Schroeder and colleagues combined airborne radar data with a subglacial water routing model.

    “Our results provide an observation-based set of geologically realistic geothermal flux values that modellers can use to make much more realistic simulations of the future behaviour and sea level contribution of Thwaites Glacier,” says Schroeder.

    Tags: climate-change, oceans-and-reefs, research

  • Chris Warren says:


    Antarctica is loosing ice at a rate of 125 GT pa.


    This is less than Greenland’s ice loss.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Hey blith! How many time do I have to enlighten you that the GRACE gravy meter reference frames are acknowledged by NASA to be flawed and in serious need of replacement which they intend to do with the GRASP system when they can afford it.


      If that ever happens we might even get some honesty in sea levels.

      In the meantime please restrain yourself from burdening us with fake facts.

  • Neville says:

    Chris here’s another Ant peninsula study that compared some recent warming to a similar warming period in the early Holocene that lasted for 6,700 years. I suppose that’s just a very, very long cherry pick as well? But now we have a cooling trend from 1998 to annoy the extremists.
    Here’s the Co2 Science summary and link.


    Recent Warming of the Antarctic Peninsula Reference
    Mulvaney, R., Abram, N.J., Hindmarsh, R.C.A., Arrowsmith, C., Fleet, L., Triest, J., Sime, L.C., Alemany, O. and Foord, S. 2012. Recent Antarctic Peninsula warming relative to Holocene climate and ice-shelf history. Nature 489: 10.1038/nature11391.

    The authors write that “the Antarctic Peninsula is at present one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth (Vaughan et al., 2003),” noting that “historical observations since 1958 at Esperanza Station document warming equivalent to 3.5 ± 0.8°C per century.”

    What was done
    In an attempt to determine just how unprecedented this warming might have been compared to the rest of the Holocene, Mulvaney et al. drilled an ice core to the bed of the ice cap on James Ross Island, which lies just off the northeastern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula, next to an area that has experienced a series of recent ice-shelf collapses. And based on deuterium/hydrogen isotope ratios of the ice (?D), they developed a temperature history of the region that spans the entire Holocene and extends into the last glacial period.

    What was learned
    The nine researchers report that “the Antarctic Peninsula experienced an early Holocene warm period followed by stable temperatures, from about 9200 to 2500 years ago, that were similar to modern-day levels [these italics and those following added for emphasis].” They also found that “the high rate of warming over the past century is unusual (but not unprecedented) in the context of natural climate variability over the past two millennia.” More specifically, they state that “over the past 100 years, the James Ross Island ice-core record shows that the mean temperature there has increased by 1.56 ± 0.42°C,” which ranks as one of the fastest (upper 0.3%) warming trends since 2000 years before present, according to a set of moving 100-year analyses that demonstrate that “rapid recent warming of the Antarctic Peninsula is highly unusual although not outside the bounds of natural variability in the pre-anthropogenic era.” And even though the temperature of the northern Antarctic Peninsula has risen at a rate of 2.6 ± 1.2°C over the past half-century, they say that “repeating the temperature trend analysis using 50-year windows confirms the finding that the rapidity of recent Antarctic Peninsula warming is unusual but not unprecedented.”

    What it means
    Even for what Mulvaney et al. describe as “one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth,” recent warming there has not been unprecedented within the context of the past two millennia.

    Vaughan, D.G., Marshall, G.J., Connolley, W.M., Parkinson, C., Mulvaney, R., Hodgson, D.A., King, J.C., Pudsey, C.J. and Turner, J. 2003. Recent rapid regional

  • Neville says:

    Chris the models used by the IPCC for Antarctic and Greenland SLR are shown by this Royal Society graph. For the next 300 years all models show Antarctica as negative and Greenland positive for SLR until 2300.

    Who knows what will happen over that period but there doesn’t seem to be much panic among the modelling groups for dangerous SLR until 2300.


    • spangled drongo says:

      But-but-but, Neville, you cherry picked peer reviewed science papers that are only many among a few more.

      And they actually dare to speak of natural climate variability which we all know is in total denial of climate alarmism.

      And you dare to quote Wm Connolley as a reference?

      The blitherers can’t have that.

  • PeterE says:

    Don, I agree. The shutting down of debate is wrong, dangerous and an indication of something sinister.

  • Thorfinn says:

    Well we were told 15 years ago that the science is in! It’s irrefutable!The debate is over! Trouble with that people is they did not debate.They didn’t bother applying the null hypothesis. Instead they corrupted the peer-review system so that honest scientists could not publish,whist utter rubbish got the shake down and was presented to a servile media in record time.This in order to validate a hodge-podge Paleo- climate reconstruction that underpins this whole fiasco. Yet, there are clueless people here that probably think it apodeictic.

  • spangled drongo says:

    In my regular though limited association with scientists, mainly attached to environmental groups but also ag and CSIRO, the honest ones admit we have climate questions that we don’t know the answers to but the consensual scientists who claim they know these answers invariably refuse to discuss the subject.

    Years ago they did but they didn’t fare well so now debate and discussion is taboo.

    They seem to have a terror of being forced to rationalise.

    It is also interesting that these same scientists in their everyday work seem to produce the more unreliable solutions to other everyday problems compared with those that are prepared to question.

    It would be interesting to be a fly on the wall when they talk amongst themselves.

    A red team and a blue team would extract the facts and the logical solutions better than the evasion we have at present.

  • Chris Warren says:


    Good, you should print this out and place it where you will get to read it each day:

    The authors write that “the Antarctic Peninsula is at present one of the most rapidly warming regions on Earth (Vaughan et al., 2003),” noting that “historical observations since 1958 at Esperanza Station document warming equivalent to 3.5 ± 0.8°C per century.”

    Don’t get confused with the Holocene (or medieval warm period etc) because these were natural changes that naturally reversed and were due to solar changes, orbit fluctuations or other cycles – not artificial permanent changes to the atmosphere.

    The current levels of greenhouse gases far exceed the levels during the Holocene.

    And the trend is for GHG levels to rise further.

    • Ross Handsaker says:

      Chris, the quote you provide about the Antarctica Peninsula is out of date. Try this one from Turner, Hua Lu, etc published in Nature 535, dated 21 July 2016 ” The absence of 21st century warming on the Antarctica Peninsula is consistent with natural variability.”

      Keep in mind that a good absorber of energy is always a good emitter of energy. Good insulators such as wool, glass, bricks, etc are poor absorbers and conductors of energy. Good gas insulators include krypton and argon (argon is used between glass panels to help trap heat within buildings) which are also poor absorbers of energy. At the same temperature, carbon dioxide cools faster than air.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Some reality of the historic record of scientific ignorance:


  • spangled drongo says:

    Why Trump [awa Turnbull] needs a red and blue team on the climate debate:

    Ms. Grifo was hired in 2013. Her position as scientific integrity official grew out of President Obama’s stated goal to “restore science to its rightful place,” as he put it in his 2009 Inaugural address.

    Like so many other titles and goals, it all sounds pretty harmless. But as Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberly Strassel recently pointed out, a political motive was at work. This was, she writes, Mr. Obama’s “way of warning Republicans that there’d be no more debate on climate change or other liberal environmental priorities.”


    • tripitaka says:

      hahaha there is nothing to debate drongo; deniers are in the same category as creationists. AGW is the dominant paradigm. This hypothesis has won the support of the majority and Denialism is a dead parrot that you can keep flogging all you like.

      If it floats your boat and keeps you busy for the rest of your life, maintain the rage, keep the comments coming, nobody who makes a difference to the way the world is going is reading and I get a laugh.

      You can’t stop the music and force us to live the way you want. 🙂

      • spangled drongo says:

        Tripluv, please get off the shrooms and produce a cogent debate or be honest and admit you haven’t got a clue and your pov is pure ideology.

        My boat has always floated on facts and evidence. That’s how things work.

        It’s only in a fools world supported by lifters that you can believe your foolishness and get away with it.

        Interesting that you appear to be aware that you just keep turning up the volume and ignoring reality.

        • tripitaka says:

          shooms drongo? I’ve wondered why right wing people use childish spellings and shortened terms for some words. Like ‘wussians’ and ‘waccist’. I see it all the time in comments and there isn’t any current research that explains why right wing people do this. Any thoughts about why rational people would do this?

          • NH says:

            I’ve wondered about that,too. E.g. “the sun don’t shine at night”. I think it may be an attempt to establish that you are a true son of the soil and not one of the hated professors or academics or liberals.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Trippiflip, you don’t know when you are doing a hippyflip?

            Pull the other one.

            What music do you trip to and flip to?

            It’s not the conservatives who call them shrooms.

      • Thorfinn says:

        Idiot.Devoid of reason.But,it’s what we have come to expect.

  • margaret says:

    Judith Curry:
    “The inherent tension of a professional adversarial process would enhance public interest, offering many opportunities to show laymen how science actually works.”
    This is the thing that we’re all conditioned to and that so many of we ‘laymen’ are so sick of about western capitalist society – the inherent tension of professional adversarial process. It’s all we ever see or hear from our ‘leaders’.
    It’s inherently embedded in The Westminster system of conducting political debate. Debating is taught and admired as a point scoring exercise in argument everywhere from secondary schooling onwards. Debating isn’t about getting to a truth of any issue – it’s about a Red and Blue team scoring the most points.
    I want a system that creates Purple teams.

    • spangled drongo says:

      The Westminster system may have its flaws but it is still the best.

      When we know we don’t know, it calls for honesty above all and full discussion to arrive at the best solutions.

      I thought you would have more brains than to be like trip, putting your fingers in your ears and turning up the volume.

      • Chris Warren says:

        When drongos talk, usually it is best to ignore it, but sometimes to understand the facts in exactly the opposite direction.

        The Westminster system consists of an unelected upper house, restricted franchise, first past the post voting, rotten boroughs, and a monarch.

        Over many years popular movements launched several attacks against the corruption inherent in the Westminster system and in the UK, a series of Reform Acts went through. The original Westminster system did not allow newspaper reports of its deliberations.

        The Westminster system produces a dictatorial, centralised, self-glorifying body, that makes a lot of noise but does not listen to the people. It listens to “interests”. As far as the masses are concerned, once they have voted, they are locked out of the political system except for useless petitions and remonstrances and hoping to gain attention from some so-called “local representative” who often is junketing overseas during breaks and busy purchasing real estate with their over $2000 a week parliamentary gift.

        The last thing Australia needs is a Westminster system. Instead we need a bicameral parliament elected by the people for the people where everyone has an equal right to vote with and responsibility to at least attend a polling place. Westminster has no place for representation of indigenous people, but plenty of room for the representation of Bishops.

        As government moves closer to the people in local areas we get non-Westminster Council systems. These have their problems as well. However the chief defect, voluntary “voting”, is an artefact of Westminster.

        Australia’s system has some features of a Westminster system but has been so modified that it hardly fits this mould. The biggest changes were compulsory “voting”, proportional representation (transferable vote, abolishing gerrymanders), and (in some cases) – fixed terms.

        Due to the increasing troubles simmering within Australia we need to develop a political system that really can claim to be “by the people”.

        • spangled drongo says:

          And when blitherers blither blithely the last thing you can expect is common sense.

          Australia’s system [which is what I was referring to] is based on the Westminster System.

          As yet we don’t have and don’t need any special place for “indigenous” people [what are they, blith] or bishops.

          Everyone is treated reasonably equally and it has stood the test of time, evolving over many centuries to be arguably the world’s oldest democratic system with a great monarchy that we get for free.

          As I said, It’s not perfect [how could any govt be that relies on politicians] but it’s better than everything else.

          There is even hope for blitherers under this system as history has repeatedly shown.

    • dlb says:

      Marg, The commission would be the “purple team” taking the best from each side.

      “A commission would coordinate and moderate the process and then hold hearings to highlight points of agreement and disagreement, as well as steps that might resolve the latter. The process would unfold in full public view: the initial report, the exchanged documents and the hearings.’

  • Boambee John says:

    The competing scientific papers/opinions cited above make it quite clear that the “science” is most definitely not “in”.

    PS there was a time when “flat earth” was the dominant paradigm. Knowledge has a way of destroying such dinosaurs.

    • tripitaka says:

      Really Boombee John? The papers cited above?!!! You have got to be joking. There has been nothing cited above that shows that the “science” is not “in”. Rather than rely on the ‘talented’ scientists who publish comments here rather than in journals as talented scientists in the real world do, explain, as you understand it, in your own words what the problems are with the current dominant paradigm that AGW is happening and if not halted could make our planet uninhabitable?

      And there are still flat earth believers actually, didn’t you know that? There are still creationists too and climate change deniers are now in that league; to be laughed at and politely ignored or humoured like mad old grandfathers at the dinner table.

      You might think that knowledge destroys dinosaurs but we now know that there are certain types of cognitive processes and certain types of personality that are incapable of changing their opinions in response to knowledge.

      We understand a lot more about the way the human mind works and this provides us with compelling evidence that explains why some people continue to deny what is obvious to most of us.

      But to play along with your delusion, how soon do you think the truth will be revealed. When will the conspiracy be unmasked and is it the Chinese as Trump said who started it?

      • Boambee John says:

        Trippi Tikki Taka

        Thanks, I knew I could rely on you for a diatribe in response.

        Pseudo scientists rely on a “dominant paradigm”, real scientists look at one and ask “Is that really true?”.

        Incidentally, I was referring to the scientific papers referenced by both sides, not the actual comments. Have you read every one of those papers, particularly those cited by sceptical commenters? If not, you are bluffing.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Boambee John

          So if normal folksI were to rely on the dominant paradigm that the earth goes around the sun – is this “pseudo science”?

          Is it really the true scientist who must ask “is it really true”?

          Is the dominant paradigm of gravity “pseudo science”?

          Do you believe in evolution – or is this pseudo science?

          Do NASA, CSIRO, Smithsonian, Royal Society propagate “pseudo science”?

          Or is your so-called “pseudo science” just more fake news from the climate clowns?

      • Boambee John says:

        “You might think that knowledge destroys dinosaurs but we now know that there are certain types of cognitive processes and certain types of personality that are incapable of changing their opinions in response to knowledge”

        Very true, Tripi. Looked in a mirror lately, have you?

        • tripitaka says:

          Bombadoodle John Have you read the papers referenced?

          And really I’m very interested in understanding who you think is behind the climate change scam? Where is the money coming from? Is it the Chinese?

          So many questions I have about how it all happened and all I get from the deniers here is obfuscation and childish name calling. Nobody seems to be able to explain how and why this state of affairs happened and how come we have such awesomely talented old men in our western civilisation who can see the truth and yet are so powerless to even make a dent in the current paradigm.

          What happened, how did the loony left manage to take control and destroy our way of life so badly that you blokes have not been acknowledged as the geniuses that you are. I can understand your pain and your need for hate speech that one of your heroes, Brendan O’Neill asserts. It must be so frustrating to be banging away with your truths with such energy and certainty and despite all this effort there are fewer and fewer ordinary people who believe in your story.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Trip – From wuwt

            “Christy’s research has shown climate models show 2.5 times more warming in the bulk atmosphere than satellites and weather balloons have observed.

            Now, he and Santer seem to be on the same page — the global warming “hiatus” is real and the models didn’t see it coming.”

            What are you going to do for an encore?

        • Boambee John says:

          “obfuscation and childish name calling”

          Pot meet kettle!

  • Neville says:

    Trips arguments are so silly and so devoid of content it make it impossible to engage in any relevant way. Marg also verges on always barracking for her side irrespective of evidence and data. Definitely not worth the effort.
    BTW here’s a neat bit of software that allows you to select a country and compare it to any other country on the planet. You will be shown a map comparing size and then a mixed list of better or worse conditions if you lived in that country. OZ compares very well to US, Canada and UK etc . Here’s the link.


  • Aert Driessen says:

    I think that Socrates would have argued along the following lines: The world’s major black coal deposits were laid down in the Carboniferous epoch about 320 million years (Ma) ago. Over the previous 50 Ma, there was a huge draw-down of atmospheric CO2 from around 4000 ppm to less than 1000 ppm, and this most likely represents the CO2 taken up by plants as they evolved to colonise the land to subsequently form coal . There is no evidence that climatic conditions were a problem to ‘life’ on the planet at that time. So why should it concern anyone that some of this same CO2 is now returned to the atmosphere when we burn this coal?

    • David says:

      ” There is no evidence that climatic conditions were a problem to ‘life’ on the planet at that time. ” Really?

      Aert, all sorts of species have come and gone during the last 320 million years e.g., dinosaurs. And soon to be followed by AGW skeptics.

      • Aert Driessen says:

        David, that is what I tried to say. CO2 wasn’t a problem, and life and evolution progressed normally. But you are right about the next extinction, but it will be the alarmists, not the sceptics. Logic is on our side. What problem do you have with CO2 being removed from the atmosphere by plants and then being returned in part only many eons later?

        • Chris Warren says:

          This is a dinosaur argument.

          • ianl8888 says:

            Wind Power across Australia for the last week. Percentage is Capacity Factor.

            Monday 12Jun – Average for the whole day – 600MW – 13.6%
            Tuesday 13Jun – Average for the whole day – 260MW – 5.9%
            Wednesday 14Jun – Average for the whole day – 810MW – 18.4%
            Thursday 15Jun – Average for the whole day – 420MW – 9.5%
            Friday 16Jun – Average for the whole day – 150MW – 3.4%
            Saturday 17Jun – Average for the whole day – 300MW – 6.8%
            Sunday 18Jun – Average for the whole day – 320MW – 7.2%

            Seven Day average – 410MW – 9.3%

            All this is actual (empirical) data from the AEMO aneroid website http://anero.id/energy/wind-energy

            Which dinosaur was that again ?

          • Chris Warren says:

            Drongo dinosaur.

          • margaret says:

            Drongosaurus Spangledomonarchistus

          • Neville says:

            Good accurate data Ian, but don’t expect the faithful to show much interest or understanding. Your data is the reason Dr Hansen called a belief in S&W energy as akin to a belief in the Tooth fairy and Easter bunny. IOW S&W energy is a super expensive, unreliable fairytale.

          • Chris Warren says:

            Drongosaurus Spangledomonarchistus

            The only dinosaur that barks and scratches itself.

        • David says:

          because a large proportion of the CO2 that took eons to be deposited as fossil fuel is currently being returned to the atmosphere in the space of a few hundred years. Its the rate of change that is the problem.

          • Aert Driessen says:

            David, you must be joking. All the CO2-emitting fossil fuels ever burnt are but a tiny fraction of the deposits laid down in the Carboniferous (and later) and still available or us to use for hundreds of years.

  • Chris Warren says:

    1962, before Exxon, Humble Energy proudly boasted about how they could melt glaciers.


    And so it has been.

    • David says:

      Aert, focus! What it important is the change the CO2% in the atmosphere. CO2 has increased by about 1/3 in the last 50 years.

      • spangled drongo says:

        What a good idea, davie, yes, focus!

        CO2 has been increasing in the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution since which time we have been warming at the rate of around 0.4c per century.

        Less than half the rate of natural climate variability.

        While any rational person accepts that correlation is not causation, please then enlighten us all about what this is telling us, any possible problems it poses and the evidence to support your claims.

  • Don A says:

    Hi Don,
    My first response was YES! YES!! YES!!!
    But with more consideration I think that your suggestion will not work as there will be far too many topics all at once and this will just cause confusion. The trolls will be all over it and it would degenerate into the usual bun fight.
    What is needed is a “Royal Commission” type venue where a single topic is examined.
    That must initially be the “Prime Cause” i.e. Is Carbon Dioxide a major contributor to whatever Global Warming is occurring?
    It can be mutually agreed that some warming is happening, some ocean rise is occurring, glaciers are retreating, The Arctic is currently retreating, etc., etc. so that the single point at issue can be addressed.
    If it can be convincingly shown that CO2 is not a major, or even a minor problem for global warming then all else will follow, collapsing CAGW, and hydrocarbons can be accepted as a fuel that will not cause catastrophic warming, and is not a pollutant and is not a poison. If blue win!
    Then select another problem.
    Anyone got any suggestions how contributors can selected for the blue or red side?

    • Aert Driessen says:

      Yes Don, for the red side the most outspoken alarmists and the most prominent scientists who have been shown to be wrong in their assertions and on the blue team the scientists who are best qualified to speak on the effect of CO2 on whatever — plants, the atmosphere, and the oceans, plus some physicists to explain how spectral bands work. In a second phase of this exercise the blue team could then turn to other scientists to offer some alternative hypotheses to explain Earth’s natural climate variability ranging from ice ages to greenhouse conditions.

  • Neville says:

    Here are hundreds of PR temperature studies from recent years and the majority show little change or cooling over long and shorter periods of time. These are studies from all over the planet and the graphs are available to quickly scroll through, BUT they do change from left to right , so the present day may be on the left and then change to the right. But each change is highlighted before the move.
    All are mostly Holocene studies or part Holocene studies, so some cover thousands of years, some hundreds and some are shorter studies. But certainly most show that there is nothing unusual or unprecedented about our slight modern WP. So why should we waste trillions $ on their fake Paris COP 21 BS and fra-d fiasco? And here I’m just quoting Dr Hansen’s opinion of this absurd agreement.


    • spangled drongo says:

      Good stuff, Neville. A bit [huge amount] of science showing that any climate variability we are enjoying is only natural climate variability.

      The consensuals and the blitherers just HATE that.

      • David says:

        Neville, when it suits, you have argued that NO ONE refutes that increased CO2 is causing SOME global warming.

        But here we have SD arguing, on your behalf, that all the variation we observe in global temperature is ALL due to natural variation.

        What have you got to say for yourself?

        The reason why skeptics like you, SD and Don are losing the AGW debate is not due to lack of oppotunity to express yourselves on a “Blue Planet” rather, its because of the hopelessly conflicted arguments you present.

        • Don Aitkin says:


          As so often, you miss the point. There is indeed a single orthodoxy, but there is no singe sceptical point of view. Sceptics take issue with any or many of the elements of the orthodoxy. They do not have to agree with each other, and sometimes they are at cross purposes. But that doesn’t matter. The issue is the validity of the orthodoxy.

          • tripitaka says:

            Don A seriously it is you and your fellow deniers who are missing the point.

            Talk to some of the many people who have backed away from their denialism. You must know some of these people because there are so many of them.

            The polls show this; some people adopted denialism as an integral part of their support for right wing political parties but now that the Liberals are supporting the science and Tony Abbott and his fellow wreckers are pariahs, the only denialist party left is One Nation and their support has fallen to around 10%.

            Ordinary people have accepted that the scientists are not liars and charlatans as you deniers keep saying.

            And the lack of coherence between and among you deniers does matter. The confusion makes it clear to people that you can’t make a rational case about the problems and since you can’t explain why so many intelligent and decent people are apparently too stupid to see what you see; the problem is you.

            Some people were unsure about the science for a while because of all the noise that was produced during the climate change war but this lack of creditable common sense story about why the science is wrong and why scientists are being so stupid is what has convinced them that denialists have some sort of ‘issue’ and are contrarians or have a vested interest in coal or just want to be wreckers.

            It is only deniers who have an issue with the validity of the dominant paradigm that man-made climate change is happening. The only discussion now is how we go about doing this. Face it you are irrelevant.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Stop tripping and blithering, trip and produce some supporting evidence for your CAGW case which you embrace so irrationally and ideologically as opposed to evidentially.

            You demonstrate perfectly why Don’s suggestion of a red and blue team to debate this complex issue is sorely needed.

            I find it interesting that all the people you express disdain for simply choose to make decisions based on evidence whereas your very questionable heroes are all of the alarmist tribe. Liars and charlatans are the words you choose.

            Your foolish immaturity is showing again.

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            The climate alarmists have conceded that their models are wrong.


          • Chris Warren says:

            Bryan Roberts

            The models have done a reasonable job.


            If you look at 2015, 2016 the Multi-Model Average, and RSS 4.0 are practically at the same level.

            They are not “wrong” at all. There are obvious discrepancies and both show a steady warming trend over time.

            This is corroborated by other work done here:


          • David says:

            True the skeptics don’t have to agree with each other, but at a bare minimum they should have the wit to realize their inconsistencies.

            But you are suggesting that Australian tax payers to fund a sheltered workshop for climate skeptics. So what if Nev and SD, cobbled together an application for ARC funding? You know some word salad consisting of Younger Dryas this,…… and natural variability that,……. fra_ud , fakery-iin-the-bakery etc etc. ……..etc . Exactly, how much of the ARCs limited research budget would you re-allocate from people like your brother, to Team Nev and SD?

          • Bryan Roberts says:

            Chris, we are not interested in the “trend over time”. The models that predicted ‘catastrophic’ global warming were wrong, and have been acknowledged to be wrong.

        • spangled drongo says:

          You don’t get it do you davie?

          There may well be some warming influence from the extra CO2.

          No one refutes that.

          But when we are at less than half natural climate variability for the last two or more centuries there could just as easily be a cooling influence.

          There is nothing “conflicted” about the two arguments.

          You have such little evidence that it could be either.

          The only thing conflicted here is your puerile logic.

  • Neville says:

    China’s life expectancy today is amazing and is only about 6.92 years less than OZ .( one of the world’s highest)

    Incredible to understand that in 1950 both India and China had about the same life expectancy that every country had in 1810 or not much different than humans experienced for the last 200,000+ years. ( Dawkins, Hitchens, Ridley etc agree on this data)


    But in less than 70 years China is close to catching up and with over a billion people to support. Incredible but true. Plenty of food for thought about the wonderful, modern world we inhabit in the 21st century.
    If China were your home instead of Australia you would…
    die 6.92 years sooner

    The life expectancy at birth in China is 75.15 while in Australia it is 82.07.

    be 3.3 times more likely to die in infancy

    The number of deaths of infants under one year old in a given year per 1,000 live births in China is 14.79 while in Australia it is 4.43.

    be 28.07% less likely to be unemployed

    China has an unemployment rate of 4.10% while Australia has 5.70%

    make 77.21% less money

    The GDP per capita in China is $9,800 while in Australia it is $43,000

    spend 94.76% less money on health care

    Per capita public and private health expenditures combined in China are $321.70 USD while Australia spends $6,140.00 USD

    consume 84.18% less oil

    Australia consumes 1.9110 gallons of oil per day per capita while China consumes 0.3024

    use 58.62% less electricity

    The per capita consumption of electricity in Australia is 9,485kWh while in China it is 3,925kWh

    experience 56.11% more of a class divide

    The GINI index measures the degree of inequality in the distribution of family income. In China it is 47.30 while in Australia it is 30.30.

    be 17.36% less likely to be in prison

    119 in every 100,000 people are currently imprisoned in China compared to 144 in Australia

    be 27.27% less likely to be murdered

    0.80 in every 100,000 people are murdered annually in China compared to 1.10 in Australia

    be equally likely to have HIV/AIDS

    The percentage of adults living with HIV/AIDS in China is 0.10% while in Australia it is 0.10%. 26,000 people in China and 100 people in Australia die from AIDS each year.

    have 0.16% fewer babies

  • Neville says:

    Matt Ridley’s article in the Spectator May 2017 is an eye opener for anyone who wants to understand about so called renewable energy. He uses IEA data to prove that S&W energy are fra-dulent, unreliable nonsense. Here’s a good point Ridley makes about the inability of S&W to even keep up with world energy demand.

    What a con and Fra-d and yet the true believers ignore the maths, science, data and evidence. This trillion dollar Ponzi mitigation scheme is so easy to understand but Pollies, journalists and so called scientists just continue to ignore the evidence decade after decade.


    “Even in rich countries playing with subsidised wind and solar, a huge slug of their renewable energy comes from wood and hydro, the reliable renewables. Meanwhile, world energy demand has been growing at about 2 per cent a year for nearly 40 years. Between 2013 and 2014, again using International Energy Agency data, it grew by just under 2,000 terawatt-hours.

    If wind turbines were to supply all of that growth but no more, how many would need to be built each year? The answer is nearly 350,000, since a two-megawatt turbine can produce about 0.005 terawatt-hours per annum. That’s one-and-a-half times as many as have been built in the world since governments started pouring consumer funds into this so-called industry in the early 2000s.

    At a density of, very roughly, 50 acres per megawatt, typical for wind farms, that many turbines would require a land area [half the size of] the British Isles, including Ireland. Every year. If we kept this up for 50 years, we would have covered every square mile of a land area [half] the size of Russia with wind farms. Remember, this would be just to fulfil the new demand for energy, not to displace the vast existing supply of energy from fossil fuels, which currently supply 80 per cent of global energy needs. [para corrected from original.]

    Do not take refuge in the idea that wind turbines could become more efficient. There is a limit to how much energy you can extract from a moving fluid, the Betz limit, and wind turbines are already close to it. Their effectiveness (the load factor, to use the engineering term) is determined by the wind that is available, and that varies at its own sweet will from second to second, day to day, year to year.

    As machines, wind turbines are pretty good already; the problem is the wind resource itself, and we cannot change that. It’s a fluctuating stream of low–density energy. Mankind stopped using it for mission-critical transport and mechanical power long ago, for sound reasons. It’s just not very good.

    As for resource consumption and environmental impacts, the direct effects of wind turbines — killing birds and bats, sinking concrete foundations deep into wild lands — is bad enough. But out of sight and out of mind is the dirty pollution generated in Inner Mongolia by the mining of rare-earth metals for the magnets in the turbines. This generates toxic and radioactive waste on an epic scale, which is why the phrase ‘clean energy’ is such a sick joke and ministers should be ashamed every time it passes their lips.

    It gets worse. Wind turbines, apart from the fibreglass blades, are made mostly of steel, with concrete bases. They need about 200 times as much material per unit of capacity as a modern combined cycle gas turbine. Steel is made with coal, not just to provide the heat for smelting ore, but to supply the carbon in the alloy. Cement is also often made using coal. The machinery of ‘clean’ renewables is the output of the fossil fuel economy, and largely the coal economy.

    A two-megawatt wind turbine weighs about 250 tonnes, including the tower, nacelle, rotor and blades. Globally, it takes about half a tonne of coal to make a tonne of steel. Add another 25 tonnes of coal for making the cement and you’re talking 150 tonnes of coal per turbine. Now if we are to build 350,000 wind turbines a year (or a smaller number of bigger ones), just to keep up with increasing energy demand, that will require 50 million tonnes of coal a year. That’s about half the EU’s hard coal–mining output.

    Forgive me if you have heard this before, but I have a commercial interest in coal. Now it appears that the black stuff also gives me a commercial interest in ‘clean’, green wind power.

    The point of running through these numbers is to demonstrate that it is utterly futile, on a priori grounds, even to think that wind power can make any significant contribution to world energy supply, let alone to emissions reductions, without ruining the planet. As the late David MacKay pointed out years back, the arithmetic is against such unreliable renewables.

    MacKay, former chief scientific adviser to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, said in the final interview before his tragic death last year that the idea that renewable energy could power the UK is an “appalling delusion” — for this reason, that there is not enough land.

    The truth is, if you want to power civilisation with fewer greenhouse gas emissions, then you should focus on shifting power generation, heat and transport to natural gas, the economically recoverable reserves of which — thanks to horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — are much more abundant than we dreamed they ever could be. It is also the lowest-emitting of the fossil fuels, so the emissions intensity of our wealth creation can actually fall while our wealth continues to increase. Good.”

  • Don A says:

    Although all this data is very interesting it would not be necessary if beyond all reasonable doubt it can be shown that CO2 is not the problem it is made out to be.
    Do that and all the rest will go away.
    Why are we not concentrating on this one vital issue?
    Try and keep our eye on the ball, forget being smart just do the one thing.

    • Neville says:

      Don A, Ben Santer now admits they were wrong about the pause and the models are running too hot. And Mann is part of this new study.
      The Bolter links to Delingpole and it is a very good read. Remember Santer once threatened to bash Dr Pat Michaels because he dared to tell the truth.


      • Neville says:

        This part of Delingpole’s Santer article now makes interesting reading. Why did they only listen to Santer and not the more cautious scientists? Oh and Carl Mears (RSS) is also a co author of this new study.

        “But perhaps Santer’s lowest point was the occasion where he effectively hijacked one of the early IPCC Assessment Reports and ramped up the scaremongering in a way that had rather more to do with political activism than it did to science.

        I describe it in my book Watermelons:

        Ben who? Well quite. Unless his name rings a bell as the guy from the Climategate emails who wanted to “beat the crap out of” climate sceptic Pat Michaels, you almost certainly won’t have heard of him. Yet in the mid-90s this climate modeling nonenity was somehow placed in the extraordinary position of being able to dictate world opinion on global warming at the stroke of a pen.

        He achieved this in his role as “lead author” of Chapter 8 of the scientific working group report on the IPCC’s Second Assessment Report (SAR). Nothing to write home about there, you might think, except that Santer was personally responsible for by far the most widely reported sentence in the entire report: the one from the Summary for Policy Makers (the only part of the IPCC’s Assessment Report most people actually bother to read) claiming “the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.”

        But was this line actually true? Was this really a fair summary – the kind of summary the IPCC purports rigorously and definitively to give of us – of the general state of scientific understanding at that particular moment? Er, well not according to some of the scientists who’d contributed to that chapter of the report, no.

        The original version of the chapter – as agreed on and signed off by all 28 contributing authors – expressed considerably more doubt about AGW than was indicated in Santer’s summary. It included these passages:

        “None of the studies cited above has shown clear evidence that we can attribute the observed changes to the specific cause of increases in greenhouse gases.”

        “No study to date has positively attributed all or part (of the climate change observed) to (man-made) causes.”

        “Any claims of positive detection and attribution of significant climate change are likely to remain controversial until uncertainties in the total natural variability of the climate system are reduced.”

        “When will an anthropogenic climate be identified? It is not surprising that the best answer to the question is “We do not know.”

        Strangely, none of these passages made it to the final draft. They were among 15 deleted after the event by Santer, who also inserted a phrase entirely of his own to the effect that “the body of statistical evidence” now “points to a discernible human influence on climate.” In other words the chapter did not represent the “consensus” position reached by 28 scientists. What it in fact represented was the scientifically unsupported opinion of one man, Benjamin D Santer.

        We climate rationalists do still get an awful lot of stick from the alarmists for our old fashioned belief that scientists should stick to the evidence and use actual data rather than plucking stuff from thin air based on their fanciful notions of what ought to be true or what might get them more grant-funding.

        How delightful it is to have it confirmed – albeit in the arid language of a science paper – that yet again are 100 percent correct”.

        • Thorfinn says:

          Of course Neville it had. Nothing to do with science.Malthusian/ grand world socialists had a plan- noble they thought, to reduce population and to rearrange the paradigm.Don’t forget Strong and Houghton in this matter. Catalyst: CO2..

    • Brian Austen says:

      Yes. But the fundamental underpinnings of arguments and policy positions are rarely addressed. Senator Roberts tried to make this point on his a.m interview but was ignored, or evaded.

      A similar question in my view needs to be asked of Finkel. Why do we have an energy market at all. We didn’t need one before and it clearly doesn’t work anyway.

  • Neville says:

    Don A, here is what I said at 11.49 am.

    “China’s life expectancy today is amazing and is only about 6.92 years less than OZ .( one of the world’s highest)

    Incredible to understand that in 1950 both India and China had about the same life expectancy that every country had in 1810 or not much different than humans experienced for the last 200,000+ years. ( Dawkins, Hitchens, Ridley etc agree on this data)


    But in less than 70 years China is close to catching up and with over a billion people to support. Incredible but true. Plenty of food for thought about the wonderful, modern world we inhabit in the 21st century”.

    Just think about this for a minute. Modern humans have existed for about 200,000+ years and their average life expectancy was under 40 years . And that applied up to 1810. Then after the Industrial revolution started we gradually increased our life expectancy to 80+ for Europeans, Nth Americans, OZ, NZ , Japan etc.

    IOW this has taken place over about 200 years and human pop was just 1 billion in 1810, but has increased to 7+ bn today.

    China and India still lagged in 1950 to under 40 years, the same as the previous 200,000 years. But today China through industrialisation has nearly closed that gap in under 70 years. AND THEY ARE NOW THE BIGGEST EMITTERS OF Co2 ON PLANET EARTH. And yet they have over 1 bn people , or the same as the world in 1800.

    Co2 emissions in 1950 were about 310 ppm and now are over 400 ppm and were about 280 ppm in 1810. Also the earth has been greening for the last 30 years, so I don’t think nature minds either.

    Here’s Dr Hans Rosling’s 4 minute video of 200 countries since 1810.


    Just watch 4 minutes or so of his next video and you’ll understand more than most people about the RECENT HUGE change that has taken place in our modern world. AND WE NOW GENERATE 80% OF OUR ENERGY FROM FOSSIL FUELS. So far I don’t see many problems with increased co2 emissions. Do you?

  • Davo says:

    new paper just released by Santer et al

    Quote in part

    ” We conclude that model overestimation of tropospheric warming in the early twenty-first century is partly due to systematic deficiencies in some of the post-2000 external forcings used in the model simulations.”


    Red and Blue would have a lot to discuss..

  • Neville says:

    Gosh, Rudd was about as good a forecaster as Flannery. If only the cost was just 1 $ a year, but Rudd was as lousy a projectionist as he was a PM. JUST LOUSY.

  • Neville says:

    Gosh, Rudd was about as good a forecaster as Flannery. If only the cost was just 1 $ a year, but Rudd was as lousy a projectionist as he was a PM. JUST LOUSY.

    • Neville says:

      Here’s the Rudd quote from Kerry O’Brien’s interview on their ABC.

      KERRY O’BRIEN: Then come back to my question, how will it impact on the coal industry in terms of jobs?

      KEVIN RUDD: In terms of the whole economy what the modelling from MMA demonstrates is that the total impact on the economy will be marginal over time. That is that they calculate that between now and about 2045 that you’d be looking at a total impact on the economy of somewhere between $600 and $800 million or something in the vicinity of $45 per person over that period of time or something like $1 per person per year.

  • Chris Warren says:

    Should a Red Team and a Blue Team ever meet I suggest they try somewhere in Arizona.

    Like here: https://psmag.com/environment/terrifying-heat-waves-in-arizona

    Of course some will interpret this as natural cooling.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Should a Red Team and a Blue Team ever meet I suggest they try somewhere in Arizona.”

      Yeah, blith, especially if you could turn off the aircon like your mate whinnying jimmy did in 1988.

      Never happened before, hey blith?

      You wouldn’t know nat var if it bit you [and it will very soon].

      Oh, how the fakery at the bakery comes naturally to the fakers:


      • Chris Warren says:

        Global warming is not measured by the number of days over any benchmark.

        Drongo charts draw lines which indicate a cooling.

        Does the Drongo believe its own scribbles?

        Does the Drongo believe in global cooling?

        • ianl8888 says:

          > “Global warming is not measured by the number of days over any benchmark”

          Is the timescale in this recent paper sufficient, one wonders ?


          Nature Geoscience | Article

          Causes of differences in model and satellite tropospheric warming rates

          Benjamin D. Santer, John C. Fyfe, Giuliana Pallotta, Gregory M. Flato, Gerald A. Meehl, Matthew H. England, Ed Hawkins, Michael E. Mann, Jeffrey F. Painter, Céline Bonfils, Ivana Cvijanovic, Carl Mears, Frank J. Wentz, Stephen Po-Chedley, Qiang Fu & Cheng-Zhi Zou

          Corresponding author

          Nature Geoscience

          23 December 2016
          22 May 2017
          Published online
          19 June 2017

          Tut tut, glibset.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Now the blitherer can’t even read charts and chooses to deny what they are telling him.

          Or that places like the Arizona dessert have often reached those temps.

          It’s called nat var, blith, check it out.

          Don’t gamble our future on that less-than-one-fifth-degree variation in the troposphere that you have no long-term comparison for.

          Try some rationality for a change.

        • Neville says:

          Geeezzzz Chris it’s shocking to see Santer, Mann and Mears etc resort to cherry picking isn’t it?
          Let’s hope you’ve learned a lesson and we don’t hear any more nonsense about cherry picking again.

        • spangled drongo says:

          Here, blith, read about some real nat var and improve your education no end:


    • spangled drongo says:

      “Of course some will interpret this as natural cooling.”

      And those of us with a rational mind will think it’s pretty normal.

      The June heatwave of 1896 was much hotter and longer than this year’s two day spike:


  • Don A says:

    Neville, http://newparadigm.schillerinstitute.com/media/carl-otto-weiss-le-changement-climatique-est-du-a-des-cycles-naturels/ This study at least raises the possibility that CO2 is not complicit, or at least only in a minor way, in atmospheric warming. Why is this theory not studied, examined and reviewed more? My only point is that the PRIME problem is the unproved assertion that CO2 forcing is up to 4.5. Lets prove otherwise.

  • Neville says:

    The Bolter shows how we were conned about their CAGW claims and how they blew out our electricity prices. This is nothing short of corruption and fra-d and they should be charged.
    And no measurable change to temp at all. Even Finkel admitted at the recent senate hearing that OZ could cancel all our emissions and it wouldn’t make any difference at all. Watch the Bolt video, definitely one of his best editorials.


  • Neville says:

    P:rof Michael Asten would also like to see a Red team Blue team approach to test their CAGW claims. Here’s the Bolter article and link.

    Andrew Bolt, Herald Sun
    June 22, 2017 8:27am

    Michael Asten, a retired professor of geophysics, wants “an adversarial ‘red team-blue team’ approach” to test warming science.

    See, the consensus may be wrong:

    My own studies of historical and ancient temperature records point towards a major component of natural cycles of global temperature variations on timescales of 64 years, hundreds of years and thousands of years. When such cycles over decades and centuries are considered, the magnitude of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or Lomborg’s) projected temperature rise to 2100 is probably reduced by a factor between two and four.

    Nicola Scafetta at the University of Naples has been prolific in analysing global temperature data and identifying dominant frequencies that can be related to natural frequencies of the solar system, of which a 60-65 year cycle is a dominant contributor to change over the past century. That same cycle was identified by Svetlana Jevrejeva of Britain’s National Oceanography Centre in sea-level tidal records going back to 1700. A similar cycle plus a longer one of about 200-250 years has been identified in 250 years of climate records in Germany and 11,000 years of Antarctic ice-core records by German and Chinese scientists led by Horst Ludecke of the University of Applied Sciences at Saarbrucken in Germany….

    And when we recognise that the 64-year cycle and the 200-year cycle were close to their maximums around 2010 we have a partial explanation for the global temperature increases of the past century, and for the slowdown of the past couple of decades. Rising CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere do contribute to temperature increases, but Scafetta, for example, calculates it to be only half of that observed. This scenario, founded on observational evidence of quantitative climate change, predicts that future anthropogenic warming will be at most half today’s IPCC estimates and will be offset in part by the onset of cooling associated with the 64-year and 200-year cycles.

    With the clean energy target espoused in the Finkel review calculated to cost Australia $5 billion over 33 years it is truly extraordinary that the nation does not have an independent source of information for evaluating differing scenarios, economic and scientific…

    John Christy of the University of Alabama and Judith Curry, former chair of the department of atmospheric sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology, … have argued that the huge national commitments based on climate science call for an adversarial “red team-blue team” approach to test the claims and counterclaims of mainstream and sceptical scientists. Scott Pruitt, US Environmental Protection Authority Administrator in the Trump administration, endorses the idea…”

    Professor Peter Ridd has long argued for the same approach – a kind of scientific audit committee.

    But this sane idea runs into religion. Too many journalists and politicians think it is a moral sin to even question the claims of warming alarmists.

    These are the people who ask that idiotically meaningless question: “Don’t you believe in global warming?” Just like people asked Galileo: “Don’t you believe in God?”

  • spangled drongo says:

    A red team and a blue team could bring out these truths:

    Senator Ian MacDonald: In Australia we emit about 1.3% of the world’s carbon emissions.

    Dr Finkel: About that.

    Senator Ian MacDonald: If we were to reduce the world’s emissions of carbon by 1.3% what impact would that make on the changing climate of the world?

    Dr Finkel: Virtually nothing.

    • Neville says:

      SD here is part of the 2016 EIA Co2 emissions report. This proves that the entire OECD could still be emitting the 1990 levels of co2 and it still wouldn’t make a difference. Why didn’t someone ask Finkel how much difference that would make or make a comparison between soaring NON OECD emissions and the small increase of the OECD?

      The OECD is forecast to only increase by 1 bn Ts by 2040, while the NON OECD are forecast to increase by 9.9 bn Ts. That’s from 2012, see figure 9-1 and table 9-1 etc on page one. But the graph shows just how stupid the OECD countries are today.

      And we’re also supposed to hand over a 100 bn $ a year gift to dictators etc every year as well? We’ve all gone troppo. Here’s the link.


      “Chapter 9
      Energy-related CO2 emissions
      Because anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) result primarily from the combustion of fossil fuels, energy consumption
      is at the center of the climate change debate. In the International Energy Outlook 2016 (IEO2016) Reference case, world energyrelated
      CO2 emissions331 increase from 32.3 billion metric tons in 2012 to 35.6 billion metric tons in 2020 and to 43.2 billion
      metric tons in 2040. The Reference case estimates do
      not include effects of the recently finalized Clean Power
      Plan (CPP) regulations in the United States, which reduce
      projected U.S. emissions in 2040 by 0.5 billion metric tons.
      Much of the growth in emissions is attributed to developing
      nations outside the Organization for Economic Cooperation
      and Development (OECD), many of which continue to rely
      heavily on fossil fuels to meet the fast-paced growth of
      energy demand. In the IEO2016 Reference case, non-OECD
      emissions in 2040 total 29.4 billion metric tons, or about 51%
      higher than the 2012 level. In comparison, OECD emissions
      total 13.8 billion metric tons in 2040, or about 8% higher than
      the 2012 level (Table 9-1 and Figure 9-1).”

  • Don Aitkin says:

    Another poster has referred to Roy Spencer’s summary of what is needed for there to be any great sense in staying with the Paris Accord. And a correspondent has pointed out to me a useful summary by Spencer:

    (at http://www.drroyspencer.com/2017/06/a-global-warming-red-team-warning-do-not-strive-for-consensus-with-the-blue-team/ )

    ‘In the case of global warming and the role of our carbon dioxide emissions, the debate has too long been dominated by a myopic view that asserts the following 5 general points as indisputable. I have ordered them generally from scientific to economic.

    1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

    2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by our CO2 emissions

    3) there are no benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic)

    4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level that we avoid a substantial amount of the expected damage

    5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions is low enough to make it worthwhile (e.g. mandating much more wind, solar, etc.)

    ALL of these 5 points must be essentially true for things like the Paris Agreement (which President Trump has now withdrawn us from…for the time being) to make much sense.’

    Roy Spencer is American, hence his use of ‘us’ in the last sentence. I have argued along the same lines for some years now, more generally than just the Paris Accord. And I still await conclusive evidence to support any of the five points above.

    • Chris Warren says:

      If you do not understand what others are saying, then you enter the dialogue of the deaf.

      1) is wrong. Global warming “may” have dangerous consequences, or “is likely” to have dangerous consequences.

      2) is wrong. Most sources I am aware of cite the warming effect of water vapour, methane and other gases.

      3) is wrong. Who says there is “no” benefit?

      4) It is better to express this as we “have tp” reduce GHG emissions ….

      5) is wrong. Depending on the extent of “dangerous consequences” cost may or may not be a factor.

      But there was a missing 6) and 7).

      6) all modern scientific data, properly interpreted, shows global warming

      7) the absorption spectra of gases proves that infra-red radiation will heat GHG’s.

      so we can now put the denialist position:

      1) global warming is only natural variation and we can all adjust

      2) the warming is mostly, if not totally, caused by natural causes other than fossil fuel CO2 emissions

      3) there are benefits to our CO2 emissions, either direct (biological) or indirect (economic) that outweigh any harm

      4) we can reduce our CO2 emissions to a level to avoid any future damage

      5) the cost of reducing CO2 emissions unaffordable and oil companies should develop as much resource as they like.

      6) we can pump as much GHG’s into the atmosphere as suits our lifestyle because the resulting heating is logarithmic.

      • spangled drongo says:

        “If you do not understand what others are saying, then you enter the dialogue of the deaf.”

        Pot, meet kettle.

      • Thorfinn says:

        Chris,you have a severe intellect deficiency. You have been brainwashed.In short, you have NO evidence .

        • Chris Warren says:

          You are unread, unqualified, out of time, out of context, all displayed with obviously being totally oblivious to any evidence right under your nose.

          Mind well your nose, lest you spoil your face.

          • Thorfinn says:

            Chris, me boy you are without a doubt a waste of time. Grow up lad and learn from your betters.

          • Chris Warren says:


            Unfortunately it is you who is wasting time – criticising things you clearly do not understand.

            Please check with your Mum or Dad before posting again.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        Chris, your response is quite astonishing. You simply assert, without evidence. What is the point of doing that?

        Spencer gave five statement which he said were central to to the CAGW theory.

        Here is the first:

        1) global warming is occurring, will continue to occur, and will have dangerous consequences

        To which you say:

        1) is wrong. Global warming “may” have dangerous consequences, or “is likely” to have dangerous consequences.

        This just fatuous. Spencer is saying that the CAGW proposition is that warming WILL have dangerous consequences. That is key. If it only MAY have then there is much less need for urgency, carbon taxes, and the like. He is also saying that the continuation of warming is also key. As you and other readers know, there are phases in the warming, insofar as we have reliable evidence. So on the evidence so far, 1) is not wrong.

        And on what basis do you assert that warming is likely to have dangerous consequences ? (Not the this is what Spencer was establishing as a key point.) All the evidence so far suggests that warming is beneficial, and is likely to be beneficial far into the future.

        The rest of your response comes across as anger, not reasoning.

        • David says:

          “All the evidence so far suggests that warming is beneficial, and is likely to be beneficial far into the future.”

          Don over the years I have found arguing with you about AGW is like shooting fish in a barrel. It’s a guilty pleasure.

          So, here you are hectoring CW about the need for moderation in the way he presents his arguments, and you follow up with this “pearl”.

          Not some, or even most, but apparently ALL the evidence suggests warming is beneficial.

          So next time we go snorkeling on the reef we wont be distracted by all those annoying blues and reds etc, instead we can enjoy the “benefit” of all that lovely beige coral.

        • Chris Warren says:


          The level of evidence was exactly the same as your post.

          It is not a good idea to rely on Spencer for what AGW theory is.

          I would expect, if the true position is an unqualified ” warming WILL have dangerous consequences”, then there will be a citation from an IPCC report making such an explicit point.

          AGW will only have dangerous consequences (NB) if certain things obtain (you can put in your own list).

          The position of Trump probably increases the probability of a catastrophe as does policy failures from Paris.

          Also it is not clear what the real thermal response is in the atmosphere due to increased CO2 levels, as some claim ( with little explanation) that the response is logarithmic.

          If the response to CO2 increases temperature within the bounds of past episodes or thereabouts, then AGW will have disruptive effects not necessarily catastrophic.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “…..then AGW will have disruptive effects not necessarily catastrophic.”

            Woo Hoo!! blith is having second thoughts.

            And there I was thinking he was impervious to reason.

            Or just having two bob each way, blith?

          • spangled drongo says:

            PSSST, blith, here’s some ammo you can arm yourself with [but just don’t ‘arm yourself too much]:


  • spangled drongo says:

    “Bill Gates’ nuclear company (TerraPower) has designed a traveling wave reactor that can run continuously for 40 years, eliminating the need for refueling as the reactor consumes all of its original fuel.”

    Here is another vital subject that we need a red and blue team to debate:


    • Chris Warren says:


      Drongo trying to be sensible !!!!

      That’s a first.

      • Neville says:

        Geeezzzz Chris it’s shocking to see Santer, Mann and Mears etc resort to cherry picking isn’t it?
        Let’s hope you’ve learned a lesson and we don’t hear any more nonsense about cherry picking again.

  • RockNRoll says:

    Science already as a far more sophisticated quality control system in place than a simplistic, binary “red/blue” perspective offers.

  • Don Aitkin says:

    For those still interested, Judith Curry has a detailed and inserting analysis of ‘red-teaming’ which is well worth a read.


    • tripitaka says:

      The article was interesting but not particularly informative or useful. This bit was good:

      “Clearly, not every red team is created equal. Superior red teams, for example, tend to

      View the problem of interest from a systems perspective;

      Shed the cultural biases of the decision maker and, as appropriate, adopt the cultural perspective of the adversary or competitor;

      Employ a multidisciplinary range of skills, talents, and methods;

      Understand how things work in the real world;

      Avoid absolute and objective explanations of behaviors, preferences, and events;

      Question everything (to include both their clients and themselves).”

      Seems to me quite clear that deniers like Malcolm Roberts are not capable of doing any of these things. So who would be on the red team?

      Richard Muller would have been eligible for a Red team in his pre-BEST IPCC-bashing days, but he’s no longer eligible now that he’s changed his tune. The thing about the idea of a Red team is that it’s great in the early days when evidence is suggestive but not conclusive, but if the evidence gets stronger and stronger, reasonable people leave the Red team, until only those who cannot do any of the above things remain as eligible for the Red team. And that is what has happened.

      Other claims that were made or repeated by Judith Curry int he article that I take exception to as needing red team examination are;

      “One can argue that the best red teamers are born, not trained. It seems that some people have an instinctive ability to red team, while others—despite extensive training—can never escape the secure but confining pen of convention.”

      Really? I’d want a red team to investigate this assumption; it’s clearly not based on evidence we have about how human abilities come about.

      “Red Teaming Law #20: If you defeat the red team, you still have to defeat the enemy.”

      Who is this “enemy”? What sort of an attitude is it that assumes that other humans looking for ‘truth’ are the enemy?

      “Red Teaming Law #35: Behind every successful red team stands a leader who will not bend to whim, coercion, or fear. We need this sort of leader as much as we need superior red teamers.”

      Again, where is the scientific or rational argument for the claim that a leader is a good thing? This is a demonstration of the cultural biases that a ‘superior red teamer’ needs to rid themselves of.

      The only thing that I think a Red team could do that would be useful and not just more of the same useless point scoring denialism that we see here, is to actually present some data or modelling that shows that humans burning coal is not the reason for the way the climate is changing and not just stupidly and repetitively point to isolated instances in which the denier with all their particular biases and inadequacies can see problems and anomalies.

      Really the only thing that I can see deniers are doing is complaining that climate science has not managed to convince them they’ve figured it out. So where is all the actual evidence that modelling can show anything? That is what a red team needs to do.

      And then just suppose a Red Team analysis concludes that the climate model predictions are highly uncertain but not falsifiable which is clearly what would happen. The question then is to decide what we should do; carry on as if there is no threat at all or do whatever we can to avoid the very small possibility of catastrophe. The decision to carry on as if there is no threat is a choice that only a psychopath or an adolescent would take.

      Cutting greenhouse emissions dramatically and pursuing alternatives like solar more aggressively make sense: It seems like a small premium for catastrophe insurance where the catastrophe is unlikely to occur but the large cost trumps the small but non-zero probability.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Poor confused trip doesn’t understand that the red team is to simply off-set the true believer team with evidence to counter the dumb ideology.

        When true believers like trip absolutely deny that a solar thermal plant in an off-grid town not so far west of her that cost possibly the value of the whole town to build and hasn’t reduced the diesel consumption at all [IOW, is a complete waste of money not to mention the emissions] doesn’t need a red team to debate the issue before the money is slaughtered and just regard the dumb exercise as a “small premium for catastrophe insurance”, we can see that the red team is overdue by at least 2 decades.

    • margaret says:

      It sounds like Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. Know your enemy.
      Typical adversarial corporate BS.

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