Archive

Archive for January, 2008

China and the BBC Warming Bias

2008/01/31 3 comments

(here and here and here some more thoughts on the all-too-apparent bias at the BBC towards global warming and doom-and-gloom news in general)

There is almost no need to comment the following at all…

(1) Almost six years ago
BBC News – Wednesday, 17 July, 2002, 07:53 GMT 08:53 UK
Seven die in Chinese heat wave

[…] The heat has intensified in recent years as a result of the increase in vehicles on the roads, which raise street temperatures.

(2) One year ago
BBC News – Tuesday, 6 February 2007, 12:34 GMT
Climate change ‘affecting’ China – Unseasonably warm weather in north China has been linked to climate change
(page is chock-full of climate change links)

At least 300,000 people in north-west China are short of drinking water because of unseasonably warm weather, which officials link to climate change. Parts of Shaanxi province face drought after January saw as little as 10% of average rainfall, state media say. Frozen lakes are melting and trees are blossoming in the capital Beijing as it experiences its warmest winter for 30 years, the China Daily reported.
[…] The country’s top meteorologist, Qin Dahe, said the recent dry and warm weather in northern China was related to global warming. […]

(3) January 2008
BBC News – Thursday, 31 January 2008, 13:53 GMT
Food warnings amid China freeze – Millions of people have been affected by the severe snow
(not one climate change link in sight)

China is struggling to cope with its worst snowfall in decades, with officials warning of future food shortages as winter crops are wrecked.[…]
Dozens are thought to have died as much of the country endures one of its harshest winters for half a century.

How many people died in the 2007 heatwave? Perhaps…zero.

(4) How about Shaanxi? Sadly, no space for it this year on the BBC (at least, so far). Here’s what is happening though:
rediff – January 30, 2008
Snowstorms paralyse China

[…] In northwestern Shaanxi province alone, 1,200 people were reportedly ill or injured in snow-related incidents […]

UPDATE: This particular post has become quite popular having been linked from “Biased BBC”

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)

2008/01/30 4 comments

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

This is the fourth posting in a series analyzing the information that can be obtained from the available HadCRUT data, recently updated to December 2007.

As in the previous blogs, the focus is on rank analysis, since it is widely claimed that global warming can be discerned by the fact that most of the warmest years have occurred very recently.

It is actually possible to obtain a rough indication on what is behind the recorded warming in the HadCRUT data by going one step below the usual globe-averaged, year-averaged figures.

(a) A strong hemispheric component is already visible in the yearly averages of the month-by-month ranks:

Yearly averages of the month-by-month ranks

Note how for example SST/Southern-hemisphere is much more similar to Land/Southern-Hemisphere than to SST/Northern-hemisphere.

(b) Similar considerations apply at a seasonal level. See the graphs for the January-March period:

January-March rankings

Obviously the Jan-Mar period is Southern Summer and Northern Winter. Let’s have a look at the Summer-to-Summer plots then:

Summer-to-summer graphs

I have computed the same graphs for all quarters, and for all seasons.

(c) It always looks more important to be in the same hemisphere, rather than in the same season or the same surface.

But visual inspection may be misleading, so a good round of correlations is in order (for the sake of clarity, the full list is at the end of this entry). These are the results:

(d) Correlation is highest intra-hemispherically (that is, when, say, the Northern Hemisphere’s land temperatures have placed near the top ranks, the NH sea-surface temperatures too have done the same) with a maximum of 98.6% (Southern Hemisphere, local Autumn) and a minimum of around 80% (Northern Hemisphere, local Winter).

(e) Same-season correlations are among the lowest, with a maximum of 74.5% (Spring) and a minimum of 68.8% (Summer).

(f) Among all the season-to-following-season correlations, the lowest values belong to the Oct_Dec-Jan_Mar periods (between 71% for Land, Northern Hemisphere and 80.5% for Land, Southern Emisphere).

(g) There is little, or perhaps even none, appreciable difference between Land and Sea-surface results

Conclusions and working hypotheses for the future will be discussed in next blog in the series.

Correlations

SH SST/Land (V3)
Jan_Mar: 98.40%
Apr_Jun: 98.58%
Jul_Sep: 98.17%
Oct_Dec: 98.28%

NH SST/LAND (V3)
Jan_Mar: 80.89%
Apr_Jun: 93.32%
Jul_Sep: 95.71%
Oct_Dec: 88.70%

SST NH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 89.06%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 89.17%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 90.54%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 73.89%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 76.04%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 83.51%

SST SH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 89.42%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 91.10%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 90.55%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 75.05%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 81.82%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 84.84%

Land NH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 80.78%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 88.93%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 85.48%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 70.99%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 74.35%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 79.26%

Land SH
Jan_Mar/Apr_Jun: 92.07%
Apr_Jun/Jul_Sep: 92.39%
Jul_Sep/Oct_Dec: 92.30%
Jan_Mar/Oct_Dec: 80.51%
Jan_Mar/Jul_Sep: 86.31%
Apr_Jun/Oct_Dec: 87.80%

SST Seasonal NH/SH
Winter: 73.52%
Spring: 74.47%
Summer: 68.76%
Autumn: 73.08%

Land Seasonal NH/SH
Winter: 75.87%
Summer: 71.33%
Spring: 78.98%
Autumn: 75.93%

SST NH/SH
Jan_Mar: 75.03%
Apr_Jun: 79.00%
Jul_Sep: 77.68%
Oct_Dec: 76.93%

Land NH/SH
Jan_Mar : 75.95%
Apr_Jun: 82.84%
Jul_Sep: 77.33%
Oct_Dec: 77.41%:

China: Quasi-Tropical Snowstorm

I know that weather is not climate but this is too good to pass…(thanks to D88 for pointing this out)

The extraordinary 2008 snowstorms in China may have to be remembered also for having reached so far south.

Look at the NOAA’s “current snow” picture for Asia and Europe as it is at the time of writing:

NOAA Current Snow as of Jan 29 2008

The southernmost tongue of white stuff is ominously pointing towards Hong Kong itself. Actually, it can be estimated to have reached the city of Guiyang (26.32N, 106.40E: around 200 miles north of the Tropic of Cancer).

In fact, the current weather forecast for Guiyang is light snow, between 1C and -6C between January 31 and February 2 at least.

Climate-wise, placed at an elevation of 1,100 meters, Guiyang is know for the occasional flurry, although the average January temperature is 10C.

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)

2008/01/29 4 comments

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

Let’s have a look now at the graphs for yearly averages, ranked from #0 (coldest) to #157 (warmest) for the period 1850-2007. Source is once again the HadCRUT data.

We are looking for trends, so instead of simply taking the published average temperatures for the year, I have averaged the monthly ranking for each year taken into consideration. There is anyway no considerable difference between the results of the two approaches.

Fig. 1: Yearly temperature rankings between 1850 and 2007

Figure 1 above shows the rankings for the whole period. Things to note:

(a) There is a clustering of warmer years during the past 20 years or so. This does suggest an overall warming. Taking the HadCRUT data for good (otherwise there would be no point examining them), it is also possible to say that the “warmest X years happened within the past Y years”.

(b) The steepest gradient IN TERMS OF RANKING  is by far between the cold years around 1910 and the warm years around 1938.

(c) All the graphs end up with a “cap”

Fig. 2: Yearly temperature rankings between 1997 and 2007

To investigate point (c), Figure 2 above shows the rankings for the past 10 years. Things to note:

(d) Only Land/Northern-Hemisphere gives any indication of continuous warming to date.

(e) Temperatures in the Southern Hemisphere have not been warming on a decadal scale.

I have been notoriously bad at making predictions but on the basis of figures 1 and 2 it is plausible that at least for now, and at least everywhere but on Land/Northern-Hemisphere, temperatures have reached a high and may not increase further.

AGW Countermeasures the Perfect Brew for “Unintended Consequences”

2008/01/27 1 comment

Is the fixation on regulating CO2 and in general all “greenhouse gases” a wise path to follow? Apparently not: as it falls exactly within what Alex Tabarrok via Freakonomics considers the domain of the law of unintended consequences:

The law of unintended consequences is what happens when a simple system tries to regulate a complex system. The political system is simple, it operates with limited information (rational ignorance), short time horizons, low feedback, and poor and misaligned incentives. Society in contrast is a complex, evolving, high-feedback, incentive-driven system. When a simple system tries to regulate a complex system you often get unintended consequences […]

The fact that unintended consequences of government regulation are usually (but not always or necessarily) negative is not an accident […]

Does the law of unintended consequences mean that the government should never try to regulate complex systems? No, of course not, but it does mean that regulators should be humble (no trying to remake man and society) and the hurdle for regulation should be high.

Repeat with me: no trying to remake man and society

no trying to remake man and society
no trying to remake man and society
no trying to remake man and society
no trying to remake man and society
no trying to remake man and society
no trying to remake man and society

The Critical Flaw with Catastrophic Global Warming Theory

From the Coyote Blog via Climate Skeptic:

“[…] In sum, to believe catastrophic warming forecasts, one has to believe both of the following:

  1. The climate is dominated by strong positive feedback, despite our experience with other stable systems that says this is unlikely and despite our measurements over the last 100 years that have seen no such feedback levels.
  2. Substantial warming, of 1C or more, is being masked by aerosols, despite the fact that aerosols really only have strong presence over 5-10% of the globe and despite the fact that the cooler part of the world has been the one without the aerosols. […]

When the AGW Revolution Will Come…

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)

2008/01/26 4 comments

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

The following contains a list of warmest/coldest year, by data set and by month, plus the ranking for 2007 (where #1=warmest).

Among the values to note :

(a) The year 2007 has seen the warmest month of January since 1850 for Land/Northern Hemisphere and Land/Global. It also ranked second warmest for Sea-surface/Northern Hemisphere in January and February.

(b) For Sea-surface/Southern Hemisphere, November 2007 has been the 29th warmest, and December 2007 the 34th warmest. That is, they were quite cool compared to the maximum values, achieved in both cases in 1997. The same can be said for Sea-surface/Global, ranked #20 in December 2007.

(c) In 2007, Land/Southern Hemisphere temperatures ranked #19 (August), #23 (November) and #33 (December)

MONTHLY TEMPERATURES

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #2

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #2

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #4

April
Warmest: 1878, 2004
Coldest: 1911
2007: #6

May
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1910
2007: #8

June
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

July
Warmest: 1868
Coldest: 1863
2007: #9

August
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1862
2007: #8

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1858
2007: #6

October
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1863
2007: #10

November
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1863
2007: #14

December
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #13

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1852
2007: #7

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #9

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #11

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #6

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #16

September
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1911
2007: #10

October
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1903
2007: #16

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #29

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #34

Sea-surface Global

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #4

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #4

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1850
2007: #7

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #8

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #7

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1857
2007: #9

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #10

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1859
2007: #9

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1903
2007: #10

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #17

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1862
2007: #20

Land Northern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 2007
Coldest: 1893
2007: #1

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #6

March
Warmest: 1990
Coldest: 1867
2007: #4

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1884
2007: #3

May
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1866
2007: #3

June
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1913
2007: #5

July
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1913
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1912
2007: #5

September
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1912
2007: #5

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1864
2007: #6

November
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #7

December
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1870
2007: #10

Land Southern Emisphere

January
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1864
2007: #8

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #7

March
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1850
2007: #9

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #8

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1858
2007: #10

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #11

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1909
2007: #11

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #19

September
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1911
2007: #7

October
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1903
2007: #11

November
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #23

December
Warmest: 1997
Coldest: 1910
2007: #33

Land Global

January
Warmest: 2007
Coldest: 1893
2007: #1

February
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #5

March
Warmest: 2002
Coldest: 1917
2007: #7

April
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
2007: #4

May
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1861
2007: #6

June
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1907
2007: #7

July
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1909
2007: #7

August
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1862
2007: #9

September
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1859
2007: #8

October
Warmest: 2003
Coldest: 1864
2007: #9

November
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1862
2007: #11

December
Warmest: 2006
Coldest: 1892
2007: #15

Categories: Data, Omniclimate, Science Tags: , ,

HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)

2008/01/26 3 comments

Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (I)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (II)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (III)
Click here for HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (IV)
Click here for Results of HadCRUT Data Rank Analysis (V)

PLEASE LOOK AT POST (V) FOR A DISCUSSION OF THE RESULTS

=============

Finally the HadCRUT data for the whole of 2007 have been published.

As we have been told time and again that the world has been the warmest most recently, I have conducted a rank analysis on those values.

Three things of note for now:

(a) The year 2007 has been the coolest this century in most data sets, apart from Sea-Surface Northern Emisphere (second coolest) and Land Northern Emisphere (third warmest)

(b) In all data sets, there has been considerable cooling in November and December (and partly, in October 2007)

(c) Sea-surface Southern Emisphere temperatures in December 2007 have been the coolest since December 1995

There is more to the HadCRUT data and I shall return to this shortly.

Here the first results:

(1) In terms of YEARLY TEMPERATURE AVERAGES:

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
Warmest: 2004
Coldest: 1910
#7: 2007

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#11: 2007

Sea-surface Global
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1910
#9: 2007

Land Northern Emisphere
Warmest: 2005
Coldest: 1862
#4: 2007

Land Southern Emisphere
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#10: 2007

Land Global
Warmest: 1998
Coldest: 1911
#8: 2007

(2) In terms of INDIVIDUAL MONTHLY TEMPERATURES:

Sea-surface Northern Emisphere
Warmest: Jul 1868
Coldest: Feb 1861
#45 Jan 2007
#55 Aug 2007
#57 Feb 2007
#58 Jul 2007
#66 Jun 2007
#70 Sep 2007
#81 Mar 2007
#87 Oct 2007
#95 Apr 2007
#105 May 2007
#144 Dec 2007
#147 Nov 2007

Sea-surface Southern Emisphere
Warmest: Mar 1998
Coldest: May 1858
#61 Feb 2007
#73 Jan 2007
#73 Jul 2007
#88 Jun 2007
#97 Mar 2007
#110 Apr 2007
#131 May 2007
#144 Sep 2007
#205 Aug 2007
#258 Oct 2007
#330 Nov 2007
#426 Dec 2007

Sea-surface Global
Warmest: Aug 1998
Coldest: Feb 1861
#56 Jan 2007
#58 Feb 2007
#63 Jul 2007
#77 Jun 2007
#85 Mar 2007
#93 Sep 2007
#95 Apr 2007
#97 Aug 2007
#104 May 2007
#126 Oct 2007
#195 Nov 2007
#246 Dec 2007

Land Northern Emisphere
Warmest: Jan 2007
Coldest: Jan 1893
#1 Jan 2007
#21 Feb 2007
#33 Apr 2007
#43 Mar 2007
#47 Aug 2007
#62 Jul 2007
#65 May 2007
#67 Sep 2007
#68 Oct 2007
#70 Jun 2007
#103 Nov 2007
#109 Dec 2007

Land Southern Emisphere
#Warmest: Jul 1998
#Coldest: May 1858
#52 Feb 2007
#75 Apr 2007
#78 Jan 2007
#93 Sep 2007
#96 Mar 2007
#110 Jul 2007
#120 Jun 2007
#137 May 2007
#161 Oct 2007
#209 Aug 2007
#297 Nov 2007
#396 Dec 2007

Land Global
Warmest: Feb 1998
Coldest: Jan 1893
#3 Jan 2007
#23 Feb 2007
#42 Apr 2007
#58 Mar 2007
#78 Sep 2007
#82 Jul 2007
#87 Jun 2007
#88 May 2007
#92 Aug 2007
#99 Oct 2007
#144 Nov 2007
#174 Dec 2007

Categories: Data, Omniclimate, Science Tags: , ,

Beyond Bufo Marinus

More examples of unintended consequences showing up when decisions are not made after careful considerations…

From the Freakanomics blog:

The Endangered Species Act is one of the most controversial U.S. laws ever passed. A paper by the economists Dean Lueck and Jeffrey Michael, “Preemptive Habitat Destruction Under the Endangered Species Act,” argues that the E.S.A. has actually hurt the plight of the red-cockaded woodpecker by incentivizing property owners to make their land uninhabitable to the bird. More recently, the economists John List, Michael Margolis, and Daniel Osgood found a similar dynamic in their working paper, “Is the Endangered Species Act Endangering Species?” Their animal of concern was the cactus ferruginous pygmy owl.

Nobel Abuse

scientists on the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

The text above (from AP’s Seth Borenstein, but he’s not alone…) should be denounced for what it is: a gross abuse of the term “Nobel”.

The _only_ acceptable text is “Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change“.

Everything else is just disgusting propaganda.

Who would try to give credibility this way to Kofi Annan, J. M. Coetzee, President Carter, Gabriel García Márquez for their opinions on scientific matters?

Not all Nobel Prizes are alike.

Bali: Gambling the Present for an Unknown Future

2008/01/23 1 comment

Very wise words about the results of the Bali “climate deals” in December 2007, from Dr. Sonia Boehmer-Christiansen (University of Hull, UK), editor of the journal “Energy and Environment“:

What the Bali agreements (i.e. a small adaptation fund, more CDM projects/policies, more negotiations on targets and timetables; technology transfer) are likely to mean for international efforts is simple to predict for a long-time observer. Great rhetorical efforts will continue with little effective actionother [than] more centralization of state power – in most countries […]

many agendas and several regions are likely to benefit from developments of less carbon intensive economies and lifestyles. The political consequences of such attempted developments may nevertheless be disastrous where economic growth or prosperity is undermined […]

Food, water, education and health are already more urgent ‘real’ global problems than climatic changes. Our primary (and more arduous) responsibility therefore is to current generations, though politics favors the future. People alive today are expected to pay for the implementation of an agenda too little concerned with conflict resolution but based on fear derived from computer model predictions generated and used by institutions that cannot be absolved of political motivations, however honorable.

For scientific reasons, all climate change policymakers and activists might familiarize themselves with the many voices – admittedly not proclaiming consensus – that are critical of the IPCC ‘scientific consensus’. More efforts needs to be devoted to observing climatic reality, understanding climate and only then, perhaps, on preparing for adaptation to real change. In the meantime, there are enough real problems to solve.

The above is from the Roundtable Forum “Tackling Climate Change” at IA-forum.org.

Corbyn Admits Being Wrong

2008/01/23 4 comments

The feeblest of minds will see this as a sign of failure.

The rest of us should instead take notice that WeatherAction’s forecasts can be and are at times falsified. The same cannot be said of the usual AGW predictions

Note 23 Jan from Piers Corbyn re letter 21 Jan and ‘on-line’ comments in The Times:

1. Our long range forecast for January particularly* in most of England and Wales has – exceptionally – been a failure for most of the month and two reasons for this are mentioned in the correctional update on our website www.weatheraction.com One reason was to do with the timing of events originating on the sun, the other was a data transfer error. The consequence has been – and independent monitors have said – this is exceptionally the largest forecast error we have made for years. In view of our data transfer error we will compensate forecast subscribers appropriately although please note the terms and conditions do not give us any duty to so do.

(* For Scotland and parts of Northern England and Northern Ireland the often cold and snowy weather is more in line with our forecast for southward shifts of the jet stream at times – which we had expected to shift further).

2. Observers should note that our forecast never said this January would be ‘more like 1740’ (than 1987) and concerning the end November / start December storm period we never said gales of the severity of the 1703 windstorm. In both cases we clearly said the weather would NOT be as extreme as then. People who claim we said such must please quote sources and say by whom such mis-information has been put about and for what purpose.

3. It is noteworthy that Paul Simons did not feel confident enough that our actual forecast would go wrong to wait for it to do so; and instead chose to make a false statement about our forecast (of an “apocalyptic freeze” in the first week) which he could instantly denounce since it wasn’t physically possible for such to occur after such a short duration in the British Isles. This we find doubly unacceptable since Mr Simons was sent forecasts in advance and could read what we actually had said.

4. Objective independent measures (by academics, subscribers and weather bets) of our Weather Action long range forecasts show they are much better than chance – ie significantly skilled – and much better than any others available anywhere in the world. For more about proven skill and priase from subscribers visit eg our British or european website www.lowefo.com )

5. We are an advancing science and a proportion of forecasts will go wrong and subscribers – in farming, business and commerce – recognise this and stay with our forecasts for years because they are profitable for their business. Our succes and sales enable ongoing research to improve forecasts so now they more skilled and include more detail. Indeed application of our Solar Weather Technique has been extended in trials to other parts of the world (see eg http://www.lowefo.com re our first trial forecast for tropical cyclones in the Bay of Bengal which correctly predicted the Cyclone which became the terrible storm Sidr last year).

6. It is sad that some seek to misrepresent our work (other than noting genuine forecast errors in a fair minded way) rather than say attacking – if they have a driving desire to attack long range forecasts – forecasts from others which are made at public expense and were so misleading to UKplc (eg) over the summer. The reasons for such extremely churlish behaviour must surely be about something other than forecasts and I suggest often are more to do with the desire of proponents of ‘man made global warming’ to claim all weather extreme events as “theirs”. Our success at predicting extreme events and long periods of high risk of extreme weather variations using solar-based methods is not something they want to countenance.

Thank you, Piers Corbyn

Four Categories of Skepticism

According to American sociologist Marcello Truzzi, as reported by Hilary Mantel on The London Review of Books:

First there are ‘proponents’, […] single-track obsessives […].

Anomalists’ […] seek to enhance scientific knowledge. Confronted with puzzling phenomena, they are willing to take an interdisciplinary approach, and realise that what is under investigation may not fit existing paradigms. They apply Occam’s razor, and try to test claims using existing methodology. They put the burden of proof on the claimant.

A third category, ‘mystery-mongers’, are ‘fundamentally unscientific’. They don’t really want explanations. What they are sceptical about is the scientific consensus. […]

Then there is another category, the large and familiar category of ‘scoffers’. Scoffers begin by assuming that anomalous phenomena are invalid. They are mentally rigid and doctrinaire, and insist that science – that wilting flower – is under threat from those who are not as good as they are at critical thinking […]

The crudity of public discourse means that the mystery-mongers and the scoffers get all the attention. The anomalists have history on their side

Mark Lynas, or the Translation of the Militant Warmist

2008/01/22 2 comments

What had resident AGW alarmist, I mean “environmental correspondent” Mark Lynas to say when New Statesman dared provide space to the skeptical words of award-winning science journalist and writer David Whitehouse?

Let’s see…:

Whitehouse got it wrong – completely wrong [hopefully he managed to get his data right? or his surname]

you won’t, by definition, see climate change from one year to the next – or even necessarily from one decade to the next…Note, however, the general direction of the red line over this quarter-century period [translation: “if it goes down it’s too short a period. if it goes up, it’s the right time window to see climate change“]

Whitehouse, and his fellow contrarians, are going to have to do a lot better than this if they want to disprove (or even dispute) the accepted theory of greenhouse warming. [translation: “I am not going to listen to anybody thinking different than I do“]

Newspapers and magazines have a difficult job of trying, often with limited time and information, to sort out truth from fiction on a daily basis [translation: “if it’s contrary to what I believe, it’s fiction“]

I give contrarians, or sceptics, or deniers (call them what you will) short shrift [translation: “I have so much faith in global warming, I cannot tell the difference between a sceptic and a denier…let’s offend the whole lot…“]

 as a close follower of the scientific debate on this subject I can state without doubt that there is no dispute whatsoever within the expert community as to the reality or causes of manmade global warming [how can anybody seriously believe “manmade global warming” is the most solid area of Science in the history of humanity, it escapes me…]

Good journalism should never exclude legitimate voices from a debate of public interest, but it also needs to distinguish between carefully-checked fact and distorted misrepresentations in complex and divisive areas like this [translation: “I will decide what should and should not be debated“]

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There definitely is one thing that distinguishes global warmers from sceptics. Sceptics do not get upset when something contrary to their belief is aired.

January Warmth Weakens BBC Meteorologist’s Logical Skills

How many times have we been told that “weather” is not “climate”, that a heatwave or a cold front or heavy winds or hurricanes or the lack thereof, can say absolutely nothing about the state of the global climate?

Lo and behold, here comes the BBC’s John Hammond in the current “Monthly Outlook” for the UK:

The predominance of south or southwesterly winds kept temperatures at or above average in many parts in the early days of 2007. This theme looks set to continue for a greater part of the next month.
This comes on the back of recently released figures for 2007, which showed that on a global level 2007 was the seventh warmest on record since 1850.

Should it really be necessary to tell a meteorologist that if local above-average temperatures are due to “south/southwesterly winds” THEN the only way to connect the temperatures to global warming would be by demonstrating a link between those winds, and that warming?

Furthermore: the Hadley Centre has not published yet the final figures for 2007. Data so far show sea-surface temperatures for 2007 to be the 9th on record, globally (the southern oceans have actually recorded in December the coolest value in 13 years).

UPDATE JAN 26: HadCRUT data now available up to December 2007

Crackpots, Quacks, Baloney and Quotes on Skepticism

With the understandable, almost militant enthusiasm around AGW, I would like to remind everybody (skeptical or not of AGW) of three insightful lists of signs of a “scientific” theory being something “baloney” made up by “crackpots” or “quacks.

Plus some quotes by Carl Sagan on skepticism.

(1) “Trademarks of Crackpot Theories

(2) “Are you a quack?

(3) Sagan’s “Baloney’s Detection Kit

I am not saying anybody pro- or against AGW is espousing deranged hypotheses with no basis on reality. Still, it would be so much simpler if everybody (and I mean, everybody) compared their pet and/or collective thinking to the lists above.

No need to reinvent the wheel.

For example it would be nice to read that so-and-so theory is “baloney according to Sagan” because of this or that claim or behavior.

Or that persons supporting a particular theory are usually guilty of quack-signs number m, n and p.

And now with the quotes:

You can get into a habit of thought in which you enjoy making fun of all those other people who don’t see things as clearly as you do. We have to guard carefully against it.” – Carl Sagan, 1987 CSICOP meeting

People are not stupid. They believe things for reasons. The last way for skeptics to get the attention of bright, curious, intelligent people is to belittle or condescend or to show arrogance toward their beliefs.” – Carl Sagan

The chief deficiency I see in the skeptical movement is its polarization: Us vs. Them — the sense that we have a monopoly on the truth; that those other people who believe in all these stupid doctrines are morons; that if you’re sensible, you’ll listen to us; and if not, to hell with you. This is nonconstructive. It does not get our message across. It condemns us to permanent minority status.” – Carl Sagan

The Toad vs. The Climate

This was my summary posted at the NERC debate, last year, before it was closed off:

Thursday, 25 Jan 2007 – 02:52:10 GMT (post 364)

Proponents of AGW have to rely also on models as evidence, depend in part on “attribution-by-exclusion“, show little tolerance of scepticism and let political representatives mingle in their field of work.

Not really signs that AGW is a “strong” scientific theory

And now for the details:

1- Scepticism

Colin Prentice (CP) in #355: “There isn’t any contradiction. Of course, ‘sceptics’ can say what they like

Leaving aside attacks to individuals and institutions, NERC imply scepticism of AGW is not valid and anti-scientific, as per text (A) “...there are STILL sceptics who dispute the data… If you don’t BELIEVE the science…” (my emphasis).

But CP writes in #351 “Without sceptisism, there would be no science! I would defend your right to be sceptical!

If that is true, considering also that “the best evidence comes from a combination of models and observations” (CP, #265), shouldn’t we _expect_ plenty of valid scepticism of AGW?

Therefore, (A) should change to “…there are OF COURSE sceptics who dispute the data…

2- Attribution-by-exclusion

CP in #355: “The GHG explanation for climate change is not attributed ‘by exclusion’

Steve Schulin #362 answers that.

But my point is that a scientific discipline should abhor attribution-by-exclusion as a matter of principle: unless anybody here wants to support Intelligent Design as “science“.

3- Science and Government

AGW is unique as it mysteriously has to go through an “Inter_GOVERNMENTAL_ Panel“.

In the words of Associated Press (Jan 23), the upcoming IPCC report is written and reviewed by 1,200 scientists and then “edited by bureaucrats from 154 countries“.

Note that the IPCC report is not just a policy document: it collates and presents the science of AGW.

If I were a climate scientist I’d find the whole setup upsetting and humiliating. I wonder what “bureaucrats” had to say about evolution or particle physics.

Does this mean the people at NERC are victims of their own prejudices?

I wouldn’t be that harsh.

Climatology is a science, only it’s too young to be immune from the work of well-meaning people currently busy (1) paving the proverbial way to hell (without realising it), and (2) trying to find out how to convince us to use that road.

Sort of like anthropology in the XIX and early XX century, when the misguided aim of a just-founded science was to classify and rank human races: that too, honestly done to improve humanity and the world.

I always point to what happened when extremely well-meaning and knowledgeable people decided to introduce the Cane Toad (Bufo Marinus) to Australia to combat beetle infestations. ..with worst-than-disastrous results…

Penn Jillette: Al Gore, the Weather Opportunist

2008/01/16 5 comments

Another short video by Penn on his Crackle “Penn Says” channel: “I want to see an article by Al Gore that says ‘if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming’. Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…”

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

…article in the New York Times about weather opportunists (1)…everything is caused by Global Warming…whether it is hurricanes, whether it is warmer, whether it is colder, more storms or fewer storms…

The important thing in the article is that there are these “weather opportunists” that are making anything…ice-cap melting, polar bears, they all look like they are caused by the same thing.

But I remember an article…several years ago…on the New York Times, an op-ed thing by Al Gore where Al Gore talked about how hot it was in New York…and how that showed there was global warming…and that’s insane. Even if you believe in global warming (I still scratch my head but it seems everybody does) it wouldn’t be enough that you could notice it in New York City that there would be a hot summmer because you wouldn’t notice that walking down the street.

And it struck me that the New York Times article just wasnt’ enough. because the real question is what weather could come along that would show us we were wrong about global warming. I want to see an article by Al Gore that says “if we have 8 hurricanes next year…or we have zero hurricanes or we have something that means that I was wrong about global warming”

Because if you don’t have something that can disprove what you believe than you are believing in anything…it must be falsifiable, you know, if something causes everything than it causes nothing.

I am not coming out, I am not crazy enough to come out against global warming or even man-made global warming (I just don’t know enough) but man! I wish they would try to convince me, stop exaggerating in order to clarify because all it does is give me less trust, and I also wish they would stop saying that everything is because of global warming because if everything is because of global warming then nothing is

(1) I cannot find any relevant article on “weather opportunists” on the New York Times archive. Perhaps he is referring to the Tierney Labs blog “Are There Any Good Weather Omens?“. Or perhaps the NYT article used a synonym.

Penn Jillette: Bill Gates Cares About Children, Not Global Warming

2008/01/16 2 comments

Penn of Penn&Teller fame wonders on his Crackle channel “Penn Says” why hasn’t Al Gore been able to convince Bill Gates to speak out against global warming. “Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries

Excerpted transcript below is mine:

[…] Al Gore didn’t get science classes in college and Bill Gates even if he didn’t finish college took science classes. And Bill Gates knows about numbers, knows about the world. and yet he hasn’t talked about global warming.

Al Gore had his guys go in for a 7-h meeting with Bill Gates with snacks and everything and gave him don’t just the slide show AIT, gave him everything he could.

You know that must have happened (doesn’t Al Gore want to convince Bill Gates) and yet Bill Gates still thinks that the most important thing to worry about in the world is children starving, AIDS spreading, dissenteria, suffering, of children in developing countries. Bill Gates didn’t say anything about Global Warming…[…]

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