Unfortunately, some misuse science. Some of their intentions, are far from benevolent. They see science as a mechanism for political power and control. There is great danger from those who would use science for political control over us.

How do they do this? They instill, and then continuously magnify, fear. Fear is the most effective instrument of totalitarian control.

Chet Richards, physicist,


Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Straight Fs for the IPCC at Mother Nature's School of Climate Modelling

As the teacher's 'Notes' state, the climate models relied on by the IPCC 'show no skill' when it comes to the processes that dictate temperature and precipitation.  In other words, they add nothing at all when it comes to forecasting.

'Climate Models FAIL' is the title of a new book by Bob Tisdale, one which is aimed at a wide range of readers, and in particular those who may be unfamiliar with technicalities:

'Climate Models Fail is intended for readers without technical or scientific backgrounds. There are introductory chapters that provide basic information.'


'Climate Models Fail has been proofread and edited by someone without a technical background. She has taken the content of this book, originally written in my technical/scientific style, and made it much easier to read and understand, while leaving the content intact.'

A preview pdf is available here: http://bobtisdale.files.wordpress.com/2013/09/preview-climate-models-fail.pdf  The two quotes shown in italics are from this preview, as is this one summarising some of the hopes and fears of the author:

'Growth in climate science has been stunted by the IPCC’s politically-driven addiction to conjectures about anthropogenic climate change. Decades after it began, climate science is still in its infancy. Yet, it is portrayed as a well-established, noble, bastion of solid research, the flawless jewel of Earth sciences that can do no wrong. Worse, climate science has been ruthlessly exploited by environmental groups and politicians and even by many of the scientists themselves. 
The primary obstacles for the climate science community in the years and decades to come are: (1) the expectations of government funding agencies, which are obviously tied to political agendas; and (2) the anchoring effect of the fanatical beliefs of those members whose careers and funding skyrocketed as a result of their drum beating for the IPCC.
The people of the world rely on the findings of the climate science community, and in order for climate science to move forward, that community will have to be honest within itself and with the public. Hopefully, that will occur in my lifetime, but I’m not holding my breath.'

The book can be bought as a pdf ($9.99) (here) or as a file for Kindle ($10.29) (here).

I wonder if the 'people of the world' will trust the climate science community much longer?  Or will that 'community' be assigned to the dustbin of history where the IPCC itself belongs?  Donna Laframboise has studied the IPCC's behaviour and contrasted it with their claims and aspirations, and has found such large discrepancies that her two books on it justify their provocative titles 'The Delinquent Teenager', and 'Into the Dustbin'.  Read them to be convinced, like I was, that the IPCC is not to be trusted.  I have not yet read Bob Tisdale's new book, but it sure looks like it will not serve to improve my view of that organisation and those scientists who have actively supported the sorry saga of alarm over CO2 that it was formed to promote.  An alarm for which computer models of climate have provided the mainstay.  The very same computer models that FAIL according to Tisdale, and according to anyone else who chooses to compare their predictions with the observations.

Monday, 23 September 2013

'Climate Change Reconsidered II': a more realistic appraisal than the IPCC will ever be able to provide

Teachers wanting to dig more deeply into the study of climate variation have a new resource available for free download: the latest NIPCC reports entitled 'Climate Change Reconsidered II'.

Unlike the faith-based tone of the IPCC reports, in which marshalling of evidence to buttress their heartfelt and walletfelt beliefs in CO2 as a major driver of climate variation dominate, the NIPCC is free to be more scientific.  That means being sceptical of high-blown claims, being on guard against superficial reasoning, and ready to share counter-examples and failings of current models and theories.  The frontiers of science are usually ragged and untidy, and the genuine scientist working there should be willing to follow leads and go where the data takes them.  Their job is not to construct palaces in the sky that happen to suit powerful political and financial interests.  Their job is not to provide a front of respectability for the disgraceful campaigns of scaremongering that have suited so many individual and organisations in recent decades.  Their job is to speculate, to dig into the data, to entertain theories in an objective, semi-detached manner, and to seek new ideas and new observations that look the most promising for clarifying our understanding.  But when so many politicians have been misled, or are being misleading, about what is known about the causes of climate variation, some scientists will feel duty-bound to draw their attention to a broader view, and to contrary evidence.  Here is how they see themselves:

'The Red Team Reports 
A technique frequently used in industry, government, and law when dealing with complex or controversial matters is to deploy competing Green and Red Teams to pursue alternative approaches (e.g., Sandoz, 2001; Nemeth et al.,2001). A Red Team provides a kind of “defense counsel” to verify and counter arguments mounted by the initial Green Team (the “prosecution”) as well as discover and present alternatives the Green Team may have overlooked. 
 For many years, one team has dominated the global debate over climate change, the Green Team of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In 2003, however, at a meeting in Milan, a Red Team started to emerge composed of independent scientists drawn from universities and private institutions around the world. Since 2008 that team, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), has been independently evaluating the impacts of rising atmospheric concentrations of CO2 on Earth’s biosphere and evaluating forecasts of future climate effects (Singer, 2008; Idso and Singer, 2009; Idso, Carter, and Singer, 2011).'

Here are their main conclusions as presented in Figure 1 of the Summary for Policy Makers:

'• Atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is a mild greenhouse gas that exerts a diminishing warming 
effect as its concentration increases. 
• Doubling the concentration of atmospheric CO2 from its pre-industrial level, in the absence of 
other forcings and feedbacks, would likely cause a warming of ~0.3 to 1.1°C, almost 50% of 
which must already have occurred. 
• A few tenths of a degree of additional warming, should it occur, would not represent a climate 
• Model outputs published in successive IPCC reports since 1990 project a doubling of CO2 could 
cause warming of up to 6°C by 2100. Instead, global warming ceased around the end of the 
twentieth century and was followed (since 1997) by 16 years of stable temperature. 
• Over recent geological time, Earth’s temperature has fluctuated naturally between about +4°C 
and -6°C with respect to twentieth century temperature. A warming of 2°C above today, should it 
occur, falls within the bounds of natural variability. 
• Though a future warming of 2°C would cause geographically varied ecological responses, no 
evidence exists that those changes would be net harmful to the global environment or to human 
• At the current level of ~400 ppm we still live in a CO2-starved world. Atmospheric levels 15 times 
greater existed during the Cambrian Period (about 550 million years ago) without known adverse 
• The overall warming since about 1860 corresponds to a recovery from the Little Ice Age 
modulated by natural multi-decadal cycles driven by ocean-atmosphere oscillations, or by solar 
variations at the de Vries (~208 year) and Gleissberg (~80 year) and shorter periodicities. 
• Earth has not warmed significantly for the past 16 years despite an 8% increase in atmospheric 
CO2, which represents 34% of all extra CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the 
industrial revolution. 
• CO2 is a vital nutrient used by plants in photosynthesis. Increasing CO2 in the atmosphere 
“greens” the planet and helps feed the growing human population. 
• No close correlation exists between temperature variation over the past 150 years and human-related CO2 emissions. The parallelism of temperature and CO2 increase between about 1980 
and 2000 AD could be due to chance and does not necessarily indicate causation. 
• The causes of historic global warming remain uncertain, but significant correlations exist between 
climate patterning and multi-decadal variation and solar activity over the past few hundred years. 
• Forward projections of solar cyclicity imply the next few decades may be marked by global 
cooling rather than warming, despite continuing CO2 emissions. 
Source: “Executive Summary,” Climate Change Reconsidered II: Physical Science (Chicago, IL: The Heartland Institute, 2013).'

But whatever you do, don't just take their word for any of these - check them out for yourself.  Reproduced below are direct links to the set of pdf-files available in which their evidence is presented.  These deserve careful study in their own right, and may also prove to be worth having nearby when studying the next IPCC reports:

Chapter 1. Global Climate Models
Chapter 2. Forcings and Feedbacks
Chapter 3. Solar Forcing of Climate
Chapter 4. Observations: Temperature
Chapter 5. Observations: The Cryosphere
Chapter 6. Observations: The Hydrosphere
Chapter 7. Observations: Extreme Weather

Thursday, 5 September 2013

'Oh no! The Snow!' Cool Athletes Tell Kids about their Hot Planet - Snow Getting Harder to Find Say Some.

The article headlined on the left appeared in Sports Illustrated for Kids, SIKids, in June this year.

Here is the sort of thing they are doing:

"Protect Our Winters partners with The North Face and Alliance For Climate Education to visit schools through their Hot Planet/Cool Athletes program. Protect Our Winters educates students about the issue, using an interactive presentation with stories from professional winter athletes to inspire kids to make a difference. Jones says that paying attention to little things in your day-to-day life can help the environment, too. For example, he limits his "carbon footprint" by buying locally grown food. And instead of using snowmobiles and helicopters to get up mountains, he hikes for his snowboarding adventures. "This is the planet you are inheriting" Jones says."

It seems that Jones had a bit of an epiphany: "After seeing resorts closed and areas that once had great jumps for snowboarding shut down due to insufficient snowfall, Jones realized that climate change was a crisis that needed to be addressed."

Here's another one featured in the article sharing her wisdom with the young:

"Gleich says that she's seen how climate change can pose an immediate danger to winter athletes. Over the past two winters, Utah has seen a lot less snow, making the snow pack lower. In turn, this makes mountains more prone to dangerous — and sometimes deadly — avalanches. Additionally, with less snow, there are more rocks that could injure skiers.
Avoiding the hazardous areas has also taken away some of the fun of the sport. "When you don't have that snow pack, you can't ski the rad peaks you want to ski," Gleich says. "It's a bummer to have to stay on the smaller mountains."

Now, here is some data for 1972 to 2016:

Notice the variability in snow extent. Notice the lack of any dramatic trend.  Notice the simple straight-line fit is rising gently.  [the original chart here was not appearing, and has been replaced by the one shown, copies from http://www.climate4you.com/ - JS, 8 Mar 17]

I hope that some day, somewhere, a child in some school targeted for one of these Hot Planet/Cool Athletes extravaganzas will circulate this sort of chart ahead of the visitors arriving with their propaganda kits.

Once again, a look at the data is enough.

Inch by inch, row by row
We can make the rascals go
All it takes is to look, don't you know
For their claims are so unsound.

(to the tune of the Garden Song)



Note added later: readers might find this collection of duff winter-forecasts by those who wish to alarm us about climate quite amusing, if it weren't for the reality that the people behind them have been very influential and therefore harmful to society: http://notrickszone.com/2013/04/04/climate-science-humiliated-earlier-model-prognoses-of-warmer-winters-now-todays-laughingstocks/

Note added 03 April 2014. The C3 site notes

Newest Climate Research: Snow Extent Unaffected By Human CO2 Emissions, Contrary To IPCC "Expert" Predictions

See: http://www.c3headlines.com/2014/04/climate-research-snow-extent-unaffected-co2-emissions-ipcc-expert-predictions-those-stubborn-facts.html

Note added 17 April 2014.  Much of North America has been enduring a very cold winter, with record levels of snow.  According to this report, for example, 5 of the snowiest winters on record in Detroit have occurred in the last 11 years: http://notrickszone.com/2014/04/16/bastardi-detroit-sets-all-time-record-snowy-winter-5-of-the-snowiest-winters-occurred-in-last-11-years/

Note added 15 September 2014.  The foolishness of Jones and Gleich is further illustrated with this plot:
Real Science

Note added 8 March 2017.  The general trend of Northern hemisphere snowfall continues upwards:  https://notalotofpeopleknowthat.wordpress.com/2017/03/07/winter-snow-extent-continues-rising-trend/
Note added 17 March 2017.  Another silly 10-year forecast bites the dust re snow in Vermont: http://notrickszone.com/2017/03/17/shumlins-folly-burlington-buried-by-record-30-of-snow-vermont-gov-warned-end-of-skiing-in-2007/
Note added 08 May 2018.  More confirmation of the shallow, opportunistic, fatuous, ill-founded, irresponsible snow-alarmism: https://realclimatescience.com/2018/05/climate-scientists-versus-science/   An apt conclusion at the end: 'Most climate science is based around a superstition that CO2 controls the climate. It is one of the stupidest group think episodes in science history.'
Note Added 19 February 2019  The insanity is still with us in snowsports: 'A group of winter-sports athletes and the world’s biggest snowboard maker want the president of the International Ski Federation to resign after he spoke of “so-called climate change” and said he would rather deal with dictators than argue with environmentalists.

The climate advocacy group Protect Our Winters sent an open letter Friday urging 75-year-old Gian-Franco Kasper to step aside.'

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Conversation Pieces for the Climate Classroom Wall

Dramatically rising sea level is one of the Big Scares pushed at children to get them suitably conditioned about the C in CAGW (catastrophic anthropogenic global warming).  The cause is of course put down to the presumed dramatic effects of rising CO2 levels in the 2nd half of the 20th century, and their continued rise expected in the 21st.

These rises are held, by some, to be causing extraordinary rises in global mean temperature, as repeatedly implied for example by the IPCC's extensive use of the notorious Hockey Stick Plot in and around their 2001 AR3 report.   (For details of the sloppy nature of the work that produced this plot, and of the conniving that brought it to prominence, see 'The Hockey Stick Illusion'.)

But today, let us look at two other graphics recently highlighted at WUWT that could encourage both children and adults to develop a calmer perspective on climate change, and to be more more alert to the grossly irresponsible scaremongering that can be so readily found in this area.

(1) Our first graphic is a teaser. There was an overall rise in estimated global mean temperature in the 20th century, but the rising phase in the first half was remarkably similar in size and duration to that in the second half.  Cutting and pasting these phases to show them side by side on the same scale makes this quite clear, and is shown below.  In one we are told that 'natural causes' can account for the rise.  In the other we are told that only rising CO2 levels can explain it.  The observer is invited to guess which one is which:

Source: this graphic is presented here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/08/20/when-somebody-hits-you-with-that-new-ipcc-is-95-certain-talking-point-show-them-this/#more-91971 . (The C3 site also has many relevant plots, including one used in an earlier post on Climate Lessons.) (Note added 18 Sep 2013: the graphic is due to Richard Lindzen, Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 18 Number 3 Fall 2013)

(2) Our second graphic is also a teaser, but of a different kind.  The observer is invited to speculate as to the intentions of those who prepared it and of those who authorised it for use on the cover of the September 2013 issue of National Geographic magazine.  What were they thinking?  Do they want to frighten us by any chance?  Do they presume we are innumerate?  Do they think that most of us will fail to check it out?  Was it a grossly irresponsible action on their part to publish it?  What kind of standards do they have?  And so on:

Anthony Watts estimates the water height shown is about 214 feet above mean sea level.  There is a sea-level measuring station nearby showing that sea level there has been rising at a pretty steady 0.0091 feet per year over the last 150 years or so:
Source: NOAA

He drily notes that at that rate, it will take about 23,500 years to reach the water height shown. 

But what about projected rates for the oceans overall?  What does the IPCC say?   Their projections from the AR4 report in 2007 show between 20cm and 50cm rise in the 21stC.  Let us once again do a naive projection of that into the future to see what kind of time we'd have to wait before the waters were reaching towards the waistline of the statue: 2,720 to 1,090 years if the local sea level there changed at those global rates..

Sea level is a surprisingly difficult thing to define and measure, but one thing is clear - we are not competent to forecast reliably its behaviour over anything like these timescales of a thousand years or more.   One recent study by one of the world's leading experts suggests that 'Best estimates for future sea level changes up to the year 2100 are in the range of +5 cm ±15 cm.'  Note well that this range includes both zero, and sea level decreases.  He is not sure that there will even be a rise.

The National Geographic cover is therefore nothing but an extremely wild, and extremely implausible speculation.  As Watts notes at the end of his post on this:

'It is this sort of junk science sensationalism that causes me and many others not to subscribe to National Geographic anymore. '

Teachers everywhere should be on the lookout for such 'junk science sensationalism' in the teaching materials they are being asked to use on climate.  Please also consider sending me details of any examples that you find if you would like them to be recorded here.

Note added 22 August 2013.  The NoTricksZone blog notes the ignorance and stupidity of the National Geographic cover, and recalls Der Spiegel doing something similar 27 years ago.They note that since then, some sense has got through to the editors of that magazine: 'Spiegel has long since cranked back its global warming alarmism, and even occasionally publishes articles critical of climate alarmism claiming even 1 meter of sea level rise by 2100.'

Note added 25 September 2013.  Don Easterbrook has examined more assertions in the despicable article behind that despicable picture in the National Geographic.  He concludes 'Summary of conclusions: From the evidence presented above, the obvious conclusion is that the National Geographic article is an absurd fairytale, completely unsupported by any real scientific data and directly contrary to a mountain of contrary evidence.' http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/09/25/national-geographic-rising-sea-level-prophecycause-for-concern-or-absurd-fairytale/

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Green Bullies: frightening children is what they do

Is there any precedent for the childhood sacrifice being imposed on children by green fanatics?  Some are intent on spreading depression and dismay on to them while they are still at school.  Not only do they mislead them about the state of the world and of science, they also spread alarm.  If they are successful, this is what they will produce: ill-informed,  frightened children with dismal views of the future.  Ideal supporters-to-be for green causes on the one hand, but damaged victims of hyperbole and facile scaremongering on the other.

Here is a recent example from Australia (hat-tip Spiel Climate): 

Extract from this article by Tony Thomas (bold added):
'The best alarmist entry won $20,000 for Melbourne Girls College for school environmental projects, and the student won a $5000 study grant. The second prize was $12,500/$2500, to MLC, and the third prize of $8500/$1500 went to to Laverton P-12 College.
I do not, of course, begrudge the students their prizes for their talented art efforts. My complaints concern their elders, who see nothing wrong in indoctrinating kids with CO2 doomsterism. Student entrants were required to do an artwork on The Impact of Ocean Acidification and pen 100-word essays about their “inspiration”. It’s vicious, however well-meant, to blight kids’ optimism, as The Alliance’s does with its slogan, “Imagine losing all this colour and life”
The idea that a student should objectively survey the scientific controversies on this topic was unthinkable. Imagine an entry headed: “Probably not much CO2 impact”. The desired apocalyptic tone is captured in these briefing notes from the Alliance:
“The world's leading marine scientists are warning us that our current rates of carbon emissions are making our oceans more acidic. This is happening so fast that it poses a serious threat to biodiversity and marine life.
“Left unchecked, Ocean Acidification could destroy all our coral reefs by as early as 2050. It also has the potential to disrupt other ocean ecosystems, fisheries, habitats, and even entire oceanic food chains.,,
There are approximately 10,000 Coral Reefs and we are destroying one every other day...Left unchecked Ocean Acidification could trigger a Great Mass Extinction Event...
Greenhouse Gas Emissions must be cut dramatically by 2050 if Coral Reefs are to have any chance of surviving the next 50 years...”  '

The reality of course is that the oceans are alkaline, and will remain so even under the projected and imagined impacts.  The terminology of 'acidification' no doubt delights the propagandists because it has more scary overtones than talking about reductions in alkalinity.   But like the even more misleading term 'greenhouse effect', the use of 'acidification' is also widely used in scientific literature and is not likely to be replaced any time soon.

To get an idea of the one-sided view promoted for this brainwashing exercise, one can visit the invaluable CO2 Science website and its Subject Index.  There are many relevant entries under Ocean Acidification,  and under Calcification (Corals), all to research published in the science literature.  Let me reproduce some extracts here merely to make the point that it is by no means established that rising CO2 levels are a serious threat to marine life in general and corals in particular:

(1)  Loaiciga, H.A. 2006. Modern-age buildup of CO2 and its effects on seawater acidity and salinity. Geophysical Research Letters 33: 10.1029/2006GL026305.
    ' Loaiciga concludes that "on a global scale and over the time scales considered (hundreds of years), there would not be accentuated changes in either seawater salinity or acidity from the rising concentration of atmospheric CO2." Hence, any changes that might occur would have little to no negative biological ramifications, as we have reported repeatedly in Journal Reviews archived under Coral Reefs (Calcification) in our Subject Index.'
(2) Pelejero, C., Calvo, E., McCulloch, M.T., Marshall, J.F., Gagan, M.K., Lough, J.M. and Opdyke, B.N.  2005.  Preindustrial to modern interdecadal variability in coral reef pH.  Science 309: 2204-2207.
   ' Contrary to climate-alarmist claims that historical anthropogenic CO2 emissions have already resulted in a significant decline in ocean water pH and aragonite saturation state, Pelejero et al.'s 300-year record of these parameters (which, in their words, began "well before the start of the Industrial Revolution") provides no evidence of such a decline.  In addition, and also contrary to what one would expect from climate-alarmist claims of how sensitive coral calcification rate is to changes in pH and aragonite saturation state, they found that huge cyclical changes in these parameters had essentially no detectable effect on either coral calcification or skeletal extension rates. '
(3) Ries, J.B., Cohen, A.L. and McCorkle, D.C. 2010. A nonlinear calcification response to CO2-induced ocean acidification by the coral Oculina arbusculaCoral Reefs 29: 661-674.
'The three researchers, in their words, "propose that the apparent insensitivity of calcification and linear extension within O. arbuscula to reductions in ΩA from 2.6 to 1.6 reflects the corals' ability to manipulate the carbonate chemistry at their site of calcification." And it would further appear that that ability should serve the corals well, no matter how much fossil fuel is burned before various non-CO2-producing forms of energy generation become sufficiently developed to supply the bulk of the world's energy needs.'

This glimpse into the complexities of the science serves to highlight just how irresponsible and malevolent is the singling-out and promotion to children of exclusively alarmist claims in this area.  

Note added 18 Sep 2013.  Tony Thomas has written several other penetrating articles on climate matters.  See: http://tthomas061.wordpress.com/category/climate-unfrocked/