Science Archive


The One Tree

Everyone in the world must have seen the climate hockey-stick graph. A history of global temperature over a thousand years derived from tree ring data used as proxies for temperature.

It has taken time, but the hockey stick is no more. The credit for the first nail in the coffin goes to Steve McIntyre who demonstrated that the statistical methods (mis-)used to generate the graph created by Michael Mann and made famous by Al Gore would generate a hockey stick shaped graph if fed with random data. There  was also the question of a downturn in temperature in recent years being hidden by replacing the tree ring data with data from thermometers (the famous “hide the decline” trick).

The next version of the hockey stick graph was generated by good statistical methods, but some detective work by Steve McIntyre (again) showed that to create this graph most sample trees had to be excluded from the data, and that the uptick at the end was due to a very small number of trees from a specific area of Russia (Yamal), of a type that are known not to be good to use for temperature proxies, and to one tree in particular. Remove that tree and the hockey stick disappeared.

However, the climate gang at the University of East Anglia hung onto this tree for dear life.

yamal_chronology_compare-to-b13Now, a new paper has been published in which they have finally dropped The One Tree from the data, and show a graph generated from a much better sample of trees.

The graph to the left illustrates the original hockey stick graph, including The One Tree (red) overlaid with the new version.

Surprisingly, the hockey stick is no more.

In addition, if we compare the new graph to the one that Steve McIntyre generated in 2009, and a second analysis from 2011 using a broad sample of tree ring data, we yamal_chronology_compare4see remarkable agreement.

That one of the scientists involved in generating the first (and second) hockey stick graphs finally comes around to agreeing that the Earth is not flat is a huge step forward in bringing some sense and credibility to climate science.

Kudos to Keith Briffa for having the integrity (and the courage) to do some real science and publish the results, even if it does contradict previous work (as well as the frantic cries of the “climate change” doomsayers).

Of course, none of this would have happened without the work of Steve McIntyre, and his dogged persistence in getting people to see the truth.

See his article on this topic here:


Global warming cools

Things are not going well for the purveyors of doom and gloom, otherwise known as Cataclysmic Anthropogenic Global Warming (CAGW).

Their climate models continue to show increasing temperature, but reality  continues to disagree, as global temperatures remain stubbornly flat, or even to fall slightly depending upon how you look at the numbers (see graph on left), while the evil CO2 concentration continues to rise. According to the models, more CO2 means higher temperatures, but its not happening. What to do?

Well, initially refusal to acknowledge reality seemed to work, but only for so long. As the gap between the virtual reality of the models and actual reality continued to grow, cracks began to appear in the CAGW wall of “settled science” and “consensus” .

The first indication was a leak of the next report from the IPCC. This appears to be a deliberate leak, to test the reaction to them beginning to back off from their predictions of the imminent fiery demise of the world if humanity doesn’t go back to living in caves and eating grass while paying huge taxes to finance a world-wide carbon market.

The leaked IPCC report suggests that previous predictions may have been overly pessimistic, and that the next 30 years or so may actually see flat temperatures, if not declining temperatures. Apparently, the natural climate variations that CO2 was supposed to be completely overriding is, in fact, the dominant determinant of climate temperature, masking any CO2 effect. But don’t worry! eventually (when the current generation of “climate scientists” are retired or dead and buried) CO2 will prevail!

However, another study, which was even reported by the BBC (who typically publish nothing which contradicts the CAGW orthodoxy), claims that the CO2 sensitivity, that is, the temperature rise for a doubling in CO2 concentration, is much lower than that being used in climate models. It did so by taking the models themselves, and the CO2 concentrations from ice cores covering time back to the last ice age, and determined that with the sensitivity set to the values currently being used, the ice sheets would have extended way past the 40 degree lattitude that it actually reached, right down to zero degrees (the equator) and that recovery would have been impossible, the world would still be one big ball of ice. Since that didn’t happen, the models are obviously wrong. They could be adjusted to reflect reality by reducing the CO2 sensitivity drastically, to something in the range of 1.7 to 2.0 degrees, which actually agrees with what many of the more skeptical climate scientists have been saying all along, rather than the previous claims of up to 11 degrees C.

The graph to the left shows the temperature record for central England, which is the longest continuous temperature record in the word, plotted with the CO2 concentration. The CO2 effect is rather difficult to pick out from the gradual temperature rise which os recovery from the cold “little ice age” temperatures. Actual temperature readings are not showing anything like the CO2 sensitivity used in the climate models.

To add to the discomfort of the CAGW merchants, both the public, and governments, who were stampeded into action my stories of doom, and the idea of being able to levy a tax on the air we breath were starting to get a little twitchy. The IPCC, once seen as a rock solid institution of scientific research has shown itself to be anything but, using scare stories from non-scientific sources and heavily filtering the actual science it does use, selecting only that science which backs its cause. For a really good explanation of  how badly the IPCC is broken, see the book by Donna LaFramboise – “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert“.

With a meeting coming up in Durban to discuss what to do when the Kyoto protocol expires, this could not have come at a worse time. Combined with economic problems and the dismal failure of those carbon markets which have been established, various countries have made it clear that they will not be signing up for more of the same, let alone a stronger version. The real kicker was Japan, who hosted the original Kyoto discussions, announcing that it will not be signing up to a renewal.

Then bad news from the USA, which now refuses to back the UNFCCC, the parent organization of the IPCC, disagreeing with its funding and structure.

The only light in the CAGW universe seems to be the suicidal decision of the Australian government, alone amongst all countries in the world, to introduce a carbon tax. They rammed this through in time for a G20 meeting. At that meeting, they fully expected their lead to trigger many other countries to pledge to follow. Instead, they received pats on the back, and comments about how brave they were. The Australian labour party committed political suicide for “the cause”, and “the cause” reciprocated by doing … nothing.

The bottom also appears to be falling out of the renewable energy pipe-dream. Prince Philip going so far as to call the UK’s windmills “absolutely useless“. The Solyndra affair continues to fester in the US, and there are hints from China that they may be closing some of the solar pannel factories which are uneconomic to continue to run.

To top things off in the run-up to Durban, the same person (or persons) that released the original “Climategate” emails, released another batch of 5,000, now referred to a Climategate 2.0. These not only reinforce the case for the unacceptably bad and unscientific behavior of the IPCC scientists, but also adds some more light into the relationships with and behavior of various other institutions. This includes the BBC, who are seen to be anything but impartial in their reporting, pre-existing relationships with the “independent” investigators of the original climategate emails, and somewhat surprisingly, evidence that Professor Phil Jones, far from being a simple bumbling, absent minded professor, is, in fact a rather unpleasant and scheming character. Michael Mann just looks even worse (if that’s possible). If there is any justice in the world, this batch of email will result in a few lost jobs, and possibly a few prison sentences. Traction in the MSM is,as to be expected, somewhat limited, but it is there, and they are obviously finding it much harder to ignore these emails than they did the first batch.

As an added bonus, along with the 5,000 emails, is another zip file, which is heavily encrypted, but contains an additional 220,000 emails. Presumably, at some point in the future, the password to unlock there may/will be released. The most current theory is that the first batch of emails centered on the IPCC and its behavior. The second set has centered on relations with, and behavior of certain institutions, and that the final batch may well expand the net to include political figures. If that is the case, they are potentially dynamite. A ticking time-bomb under highly placed politicians and civil servants.

What we are seeing, is quite probably the beginning of the end of the CAGW scam. Rats are deserting the sinking ship, but still trying to do so without endangering their huge cashflow (government grants).


The Delinquent Teenager

If you don’t know much about the IPCC and why you need to worry about it even if it is broken, then you must read this book.

If you think that global conspiracy to rob whole countries of trillions of dollars and subjugate  (almost) the entire population of the world are only the province of James Bond or Jason Bourne you are wrong. There is one in progress right now that WILL affect you, your children and your children’s children (unless you are one of the privileged few).

If you believe that thousands of the world’s top scientists all agree that global warming is attributable to man, and that all life on earth is in danger because of it, then you need to read this.

Donna has taken the time to fully document every claim she makes, unlike those who simply urge you to “Move along, nothing to see here” and tell you that “The debate is over”. Reading the book itself is easy and you can get through it in a couple of days (or even one day if you get hooked), however, you will almost certainly find yourself going back to re-read some sections, and if you start to follow the references, there is a huge amount of background material to get through.

If you need an example of the sort of lies and character assassination that those behind the IPCC employ, you have to go no further than to look at the the single one-star rating in the Amazon reviews. It was written by someone who had not bothered to read even the first page of the book, who is using what he sees as his position of authority due to his qualifications to attempt to stop people reading this book. Compare those claims against what you read yourself and can validate from multiple sources, many of which are given as references in the book itself and you begin to get a tast of the vicious conspiracy that this book lays bare. Buy and read this book. Your future and those of your decendents may depend upon your being educated on this subject.

At the moment, the book is only available on Kindle, or as a PDF download (see Donna’s website for links to the PDF). A paper version should be available in the very near future.


Faster than the speed of light

There have been lots of headlines and quotes from various people about the press release from CERN about observations that indicated that they have observed neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. There have been a number of “authorities” claiming that these results must be wrong, because its absolutely certain that nothing can travel faster than light.

Of course, most of the media coverage more or less completely ignores the content of the press release from CERN. What they actually said was that over three years and many (thousands) experiments they have consistently observed that the time taken for the neutrinos to travel the 730km between CERN and Gran Sasso the time taken has been 0.00000006 seconds shorter than light takes to cover the same distance. This is equivalent to the distance being 20m shorter than it actually is, so the difference is actually very small, but measurable and consistent.

The scientists at CERN are doing what all good scientists do when their observations clash with accepted understanding. First, they look for errors and alternative explanations to account for their measurements. After exhausting all the explanations that they can think of, and not finding any of them account for the discrepancy, before announcing the demise of one of the cornerstones of current physics, they have made their methodology and data available to others, and asked them to verify the methodology and to examine the data for alternative explanations. Only when heir results are confirmed, and quite possibly replicated (or not) by others, will they feel somewhat confident in claiming that there are indeed some particles which can exceed the speed of light.

Its good to see that at least in some quarters, the scientific method is alive and healthy, with scientists freely and voluntarily sharing their methodology and data with others, and asking them to validate or disprove their findings.

Contrast this with so-called “climate scientists” who, along with the organizations that employ them, spend millions of dollars to avoid having to share any of their methodology or data, and famously wrote to somone asking for a copy of the data: “Why should I share my data with you when I know that all you will do with it is look for problems”.

Of course, looking for problems is exactly how real science works, not by having a few mates read a publication, declare it good, then claiming that the science is settled.


Just when you thought life couldn’t get any worse.

In a previous post, I described some of the setbacks that those pushing the idea of man made global warming (or whatever today’s name is) were facing. Things have continued to go downhill at an ever increasing rate. If you are committed to the idea of man-made global warming (AGW) life sucks.

First came an opinion poll in the UK which showed that the British Government faces a backlash to their AGW policies caused by the rapid and steep increases in energy prices, with the prospect of worse to come.

Only 25% of the population are in favor of continuing the current policies if it means increased energy prices.

Reuters, 25 July 2011

This was accompanied by a paper published in Remote Sensing, which shows that satellite measurements and those of the global warming models have huge discrepancies. Of course, the discrepancies are in the direction of showing that some of the basic assumptions used in the models are vastly exaggerating the potential for future warming.

The paper is available here.

The reaction was predictable – when there is a clash between the models and reality, then there has to be some problem with reality.


Then there is another paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences which tackles the idea that the reason that global warming has been absent for the last 10 years while CO2 levels continue to rise is because of all those coal-fired power stations (you know, the ones that we have to shut down and replace with windmills!) that China is firing up (about one per week).

Of course, claiming that more coal-fired power plants reduces global warming while saying that we have to shut down coal-fired power plants to reduce global warming strikes even the dimmest minds as maybe a rather strange idea. So to explain this, the claim is that Chinese coal is different. Very special coal, which creates lots more sulfate particles which reduce incoming sunlight intensity.

Well, this paper knocks that idea firmly on the head.

Again, this research is based upon actual observations and measurements, so again it is refuted on the basis that models must be right, and reality is obviously flawed.

That argument is used a lot, isn’t it?

Next, comes a paper published in Nature Geoscience,  which looks at the AGW proponent claim that hydro-electric reservoirs are huge emitters of greenhouse gasses (CO2 and methane). The Green Lobby doesn’t like hydro-electric generation, because it falls under the heading of “renewable”, but actually produces large quantities of cheap electricity, whereas their view of the world requires small quantities of hyper-expensive electricity, so they came up with the idea that the reservoirs cause global warming. Somehow, these reservoirs are aware that the water is intended to produce electricity, as opposed to be for drinking, washing etc.

Anyway, this paper takes a real scientific look at the idea and determines that the actual emissions are approximately 1/6 of those claimed.

Next comes a report from the university of Copenhagen, which examines the claim that there is a “tipping point” for Arctic ice, beyond which there is no possibility of recovery, and once reached, will ensure that the Arctic becomes totally ice free, forever.

This is patent nonsense, of course, because the Arctic has been ice free in the past, and since we have ice there now, obviously “recovered” — of course, recovery implies that there should be ice at the North pole, which is a bit of a stretch. There is absolutely no such requirement.

Anyway, this study, to be published in Science, looks at the last 10,000 years and determines that there is no “tipping point” for Arctic ice.

Next, a poll by Rasmussen finds that 69% of people believe that Climate Scientists have very likely falsified global warming research data and findings.

Another nail in the coffin comes from Prof. Murry Salby  the Chair of Climate, of Macquarie University. He takes a look at the claim that the rise in CO2 that we see is all due to man. The argument was that it is possible to deduce that CO2 comes from fossil fuels rather than other sources by looking at the ratio of two carbon isotopes (C12 and C13). Prof. Salby takes a close look at this and comes to the conclusion that atmospheric CO2 is most likely increasing due to increasing temperature, not increasing temperature increasing due to rising CO2 — which is agrees with observations based upon ice cores covering many thousands of years, which have always shown a CO2 rise lagging a temperature rise. This was even visible on Al Gore’s graphs, which were actually shown reversed, to make it appear that CO2 led temperature rises unless you paid very close attention to the graphs X axis.

There is a very good write up on Prof. Salby’s work on Jo Nova’s website.

Perhaps the most telling comment he made after doing his research is this one:

“Anyone who thinks the science of this complex thing is settled is in Fantasia.”

All this almost makes you feel sorry for those who have hitched their fortune, credibility and finances to the AGW hype.




Back to the dark ages

The world was on an upwards path. The hand to mouth existence of the past was just a memory for many. Cities were being built, universities were spreading knowledge and libraries were storing that knowledge for future generations. Trade was spreading, and publicly financed sanitation projects were driving disease and pestilence back into the darkness. War was something that happened far away, at the edges of the empire.

Then something happened. The Roman empire collapsed and was overrun by barbarians. The world descended into an age of ignorance, superstition and fear. The Dark Ages had begun, and would last for 1,000 years before the renaissance (around 1500 AD) slowly re-established civilization, and put the world back on course.

Exactly what caused the collapse is not entirely clear because much of the written history of the period was destroyed.

This was not a unique event. Previous great civilization in Egypt and Greece had gone the same way. Undoubtedly the people alive even as the descent into chaos began never thought that it could happen to their civilization. Too much invested, a world class army, trade and influence covering unthinkable distances.

There was no single event that triggered the fall, it was a long term degeneration. The lack of political will in Rome allowed the military to degenenerate to the point that when the Huns forced the Visigoth migration, there was nothing to stop them flooding the empire’s borders and ending up with the sack of Rome in 410 AD. In 476 the last Roman emperor, Romulus Augustus, abdicated. Not a big deal in itself, since he held no real power either politically or militarily, but effectively he was the last one to leave who put out the lights on the Roman Empire.

Modern historians like to play down how bad things were, even to the point of rejecting the name “Dark Ages”, but in fact it truly was darkness that descended.

But that is just ancient history. There is no way the world can go any direction but onward and upward, is there?

Well, I might argue that we are already on the downwards slope.

Lets look at a bit more history. When Victoria came to the throne in 1837, it was in an England that had not really changed for the last 1,000 years. Someone transported from an earlier period would not find much changed. People lived off the land using the same farming techniques that previous generations had used. Trade was carried by wind powered ships.

By the time of her death, Victoria had seen the rise of England to dominate the globe, driven by an industrial revolution which had replaced wooden ships with iron, sails by steam, muskets by rifles, machine guns and artillery. Medical practices began to actually become effective. Electrical power distribution was on the horizon. The internal combustion engine was being fitted into cars, trucks and busses. Radio was in its infancy, one year after her death the first trans Atlantic radio transmission was made by Marconi. Three years after her death the first powered flight was made by the Wright brothers.

A huge change in one lifetime.

In the next lifetime, even more changes took place. Antibiotics meant that previously fatal disease could now be cured, immunization bought plague outbreaks under control,  electricity was in most people’s homes, radio and television became ubiquitous, the power of the atom was harnessed producing weapons capable of leveling entire cities and generating limitless power, jet engines made mass air travel possible, Yuri Gararin orbited the Earth, starting a new exploration phase that ended with men walking on the moon, computers began to become truly general purpose and available as consumer items, faster than sound commercial flight began, the network which would evolve into the Internet was created.

The rate of change was exponential. Science fiction became reality, or shown to be hopelessly short-sighted.

So where are we now?

An image by a FaceBook friend (on left) probably illustrates this quite well. The thing to notice is that really isn’t anything new there. The cell phone has become smaller and offers more features, but its not really that much different, its still a cell phone. The car hasn’t changed much, more bells and whistles and clear-coat paint, but essentially the same, the game console is still … well .. a game console. The PC has evolved into a laptop, and has much more power, but is still just apersonal computer.

The space shuttle has … well … gone.

Where are all the new things wich didn’t exist in some form or other 30 years ago?

The stream of new inventions has dried up and been replaced by “innovation”, which is basically just re-applying or adding bells and whistles to already existing things.

Not only has the creation of new inventions and concepts dried up, but in some cases we are actually moving backwards.

We used to have supersonic commercial air transport. It is no more.

We used to have the means to put men on the moon. But no more, it was replaced with something that could only reach low earth orbit, destined to be itself replaced with what is actually little more than a glorified bottle-rocket. The people that knew how to put men on the moon have retired or died. The methods used to produce some of the materials they used is now unknown. The programs they used are stored (if not destroyed) on media that readers no longer exist for, and if the media could be read, the processors on which it ran no longer exist.

There are even a number of people that now believe that there never were people walking on the moon.

Malaria was under control, and heading for extinction. Its now back in full swing, killing millions every year, and making the lives of millions more a living hell.

Cheap farm machinery allowed third world countries to begin to produce enough food to keep their populations fed and healthy, even to build up stocks to see them through lean times. The rising cost of fuel will soon stop that.

We had cheap and abundant power, slowly but surely the power systems are degrading with power outages becoming more rather than less common. We also have the prospect of power becoming so expensive that we will go back to the time when people dreaded the onset of winter with the prospect of illness and death from the bone-chilling cold and damp.

We are moving from the age of atomic power to the age of windmills, a technology that never really worked, and won’t now.

We had the possibility of personal transport which we could use to drive from one side of a continent to another. It is now rapidly coming to the stage where using that transport simply to get to and from work may be no more than a dream.

We have gone from walking into a room, flicking a switch to instantly light the room, to sutumbling around in the semi darkness waiting for the feeble glow of our CFLs to grow into the harsh monochromatic light that we are now forced to live with. The supposed savings they produce burned up (and more) by leaving them on to avoid the long warm-up time, and having to replace them seemingly more frequently the old incandescent bulbs due to them expiring if turned on and off too frequently.

The evidence is all around that technologically and sociologically thing have come to a halt, and may even be going backwards.

The great armies built to maintain peace are disintegrating. The USSR is no more, England is finding it difficult to provision even minor engagements on the middle East. The US military power is more and more dependent upon technological superiority, at a time when domestic technology is on the decline. The US doesn’t even have the capacity to manufacture its own LCD displays.

The Visigoths may no longer be a threat to civilization, but their modern barbarian counterparts are continually present at the fringes, and announce their continued presence with random acts of terrorism.

Invasion is taking place, destabilizing societies. Continual influx from external societies is necessary for any healthy civilization, its the sociological equivalent of new DNA in the gene pool, but just as infusing new DNA by mass rape is not a good idea, there is a maximum rate at which foreign culture and people can be absorbed. Western society is well beyond those limits, building up tinder-box conditions which once ignited will be very difficult to suppress.

When the Roman Empire faded, its place was taken by the Church, which was not the warm and welcoming Church of today, but an organization typified by the Spanish inquisition and brutal suppression of any ideas of which they didn’t approve. They were responsible for holding back scientific progress as Galileo and his compatriots discovered.

The Church’s likely equivalent in the event of a new Dark Age may well be the transnational corporation. Failing that, there are many other pseudo religions (Green, Gaia etc.) who see their role as being to reduce the world population to what they consider manageable proportions, and to ensure that those population employ only green-approved technology.

Pray to whatever gods you believe in that its the transnationals that take over. If its the other group, Pol Pot’s Cambodia is going to look like a holiday camp.



The invisible battle

For a subject which is supposedly critical to the future of not only humanity, but the Earth itself, the media silence on the latest IPCC blunder is, to say the least, surprising.

Not that misinformation based upon hype rather than science is anything new from the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), but one might think that with enough black eyes from basing its scientific credibility on non-scientific, non-reviewed papers written by non-scientists for “green” pressure groups in the past, and being censured for the practice in the past, that they would have learned their lesson.

Sadly, it appears not. Of course, all the hype they based upon this non-science was immediately picked up by the media and blasted out of every media outlet as the top story, for days on end.

The latest news is that about a month ago, the IPCC released a press statement claiming that it had been shown that 80% of the world’s energy could be obtained from renewable sources. The report on which this press release was based was not available at the time. A month later, with no fanfare at all, the report appeared.

Steve McIntyre
Steve McIntyre

Various people had been intrigued, and a little skeptical about how such a high proportion of energy could be derived from renewable resources, including Steve McIntyre of destroying the hockey-stick fame.

After digging through the report, Steve discovered that the 80% number quoted actually wasn’t 80% at all, but 77%. A small thing in itself, but exaggerated claims have no place in science.

But that wasn’t the worst part. A bit more digging, and it appears that … well, I will quote Steve’s own words:

Here’s what happened. The 80% by 2050 figure was based on a scenario, so Chapter 10 of the full report reveals, called ER-2010, which does indeed project renewables supplying 77% of the globe’s primary energy by 2050. The lead author of the ER-2010 scenario, however, is a Sven Teske, who should have been identified (but is not) as a climate and energy campaigner for Greenpeace International. Even worse, Teske is a lead author of the IPCC report also – in effect meaning that this campaigner for Greenpeace was not only embedded in the IPCC itself, but was in effect allowed to review and promote his own campaigning work under the cover of the authoritative and trustworthy IPCC. A more scandalous conflict of interest can scarcely be imagined.

The IPCC must urgently review its policies for hiring lead authors – and I would have thought that not only should biased ‘grey literature’ be rejected, but campaigners from NGOs should not be allowed to join the lead author group and thereby review their own work. There is even a commercial conflict of interest here given that the renewables industry stands to be the main beneficiary of any change in government policies based on the IPCC report’s conclusions. Had it been an oil industry intervention which led the IPCC to a particular conclusion, Greenpeace et al would have course have been screaming blue murder.

So, we have, yet again, Greenpeace writing a report based upon little more than speculation, having the author of the document set up as lead author for the IPCC report, review his own work, and include it as scientific fact in the report.

Given the past problems for the IPCC where, based upon similar pieces of imaginative literature, they claimed that 50% of Holland would flood, 50% of the crops in Africa would fail, 40% of the Amazon rain forest would die because of drought, and, of course, the famous claim that the Himalayan glaciers would be gone by 2030, it would be reasonable to assume that they would be incredibly careful to avoid such stupid issues again.

Apparently not.

So what happens when the claim is questioned, and the IPCC asked to explain how and why this happened? The usual. The AGW crowd come out in force and attack the people asking the questions. They have done this before when one of their own, Professor Judith Curry asked some awkward questions about some of the “science” behind AGW. The non-answers accompanied by personal attacks has turned her from an AGW proponent to someone who is willing to believe, but needs convincing evidence, and hasn’t seen any yet.

Mark Lynas
Mark Lynas

The same is happening this time, with Mark Lynas, who was a strong advocate of AGW and author of a book on the subject, beginning to question some of the foundation of his beliefs:

Well. You can imagine the furore this would cause at Greenpeace. The IPCC would be discredited forever as an independent voice. There would be pious banner-drops by Greenpeace activists abseiling down Exxon HQ and harshly criticising the terrible stranglehold that fossil fuel interests had achieved over supposedly independent science. Campaigners everywhere would be up in arms. Greenpeace would feel doubly justified in taking direct action against new oil wells being opened up in the Arctic, and its activists could demonstrate new feats of gallantry and bravery as they took on the might of the world’s oil industry with some ropes and a rubber dinghy somewhere near Greenland.

How is the Exxon scenario different from what has just happened with the IPCC’s renewables report? And why – when confronted with this egregious conflict of interest and abuse of scientific independence – has the response of the world’s green campaigners been to circle the wagons and cry foul against the whistle-blowers themselves? That this was spotted at all is a tribute to the eagle eyes of Steve McIntyre. Yet I am told that he is a ‘denier’, that all his deeds are evil, and that I have been naively led astray by him. Well, if the ‘deniers’ are the only ones standing up for the integrity of the scientific process, and the independence of the IPCC, then I too am a ‘denier’. Indeed, McIntyre and I have formed an unlikely double-act, posing a series of questions – together with the New York Times’s Andy Revkin – to the IPCC report’s lead author Professor Ottmar Edenhofer, to which he has yet to respond.

If there is any justice in the world (which may be a vain hope), the IPCC may have just put the final nail in its own coffin, and governments can turn from spending vast sums on “alternative energy”, which just doesn’t work, and plans to levy crippling “carbon taxes” to facing the prospect of cold and starvation as the sun begins one of its periodic quiet periods.


The rapid decline of global warming

An announcement by the American Astronomical Society probably  not only puts a final nail in the coffin of AGW, but sets up a lot of people for a big U-turn.

It has long been a claim of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) advocates that the sun has no significant effect on the temperature of the earth, that the Sun’s output is constant never changes. This assumption is one of the fundamental constants in climate models in current use.

Reality tells a different story. The Sun is a horribly complex system, not really well understood by scientists. it is much more than just a big ball of (fusion) fire in the sky. It undergoes many dynamic events on regular cycles. The one that most people are at least peripherally aware of is the sunspot cycle, which is an approximately 11 year cycle where the number of sunspots varies, and along with that particle emissions which cause Aurora and radio propagation changes on Earth.

There have been variation in this cycle that have been documented now for around 400 years. During that time there have been observed variation in the intensity of sunspots. There are two well documented minimums, where there were no, or very few sunspots, even at what should have been the height of the 11 year sunspot cycle.

From Wikipedia

The biggest of these was known as the Maunder Minimum, which lasted from roughly 1645 to 1715, and another known as the Dalton Minimum, running from1790 to 1830.

These minimums have coincided with some very cold periods (which AGW proponents have tried very hard to pretend never happened) – a period known as the Little Ice Age corresponding to the Maunder Minimum.

Paintings from the period document cold not seen in modern times, such as this painting by Pieter Brugel in 1565:

and this painting of the frozen river Thames in 1677:

The Dalton Minimum was not as deep and lasted a much shorter time. However, there were cooling effects such as a measured 2.0°C decline over 20 years measured at a weather station in Oberlach, Germany, and also the “Year Without a Summer” (1816) during which 1,800 people are reported to have frozen to death in New England.

Back beyond the earliest records of sunspot observations, there are indications, based upon analysis of C14 in tree rings, of another minimum, known as the Spörer Minimum, which lasted for approximately 90 years and coincided with abnormally low temperatures.

So what, you may ask, does this have to do with the AAS and today?

The AAS announcement included this:

Some unusual solar readings, including fading sunspots and weakening magnetic activity near the poles, could be indications that our sun is preparing to be less active in the coming years.

The results of three separate studies seem to show that even as the current sunspot cycle swells toward the solar maximum, the sun could be heading into a more-dormant period, with activity during the next 11-year sunspot cycle greatly reduced or even eliminated.

The evidence for this is fairly clear. The predictions for the maximum number of sunspots for the current cycle (24) has been reduced again and again. There are also measurements of magnetic effects of the quietening sun such as this graph showing the weakening magnetic field of the Sun.

Another interesting observation is the following pair of graphs. They basically show the weakening of the observed sunspots.

The brightness of the sunspots is increasing, and the magnetic field they produce is weakening. When the intensity reaches 1, and the magnetic field reaches 1500, sunspots will no longer be observable.

Based upon the past experiences, it is reasonable to assume that if/when the sun does go quiet, we can expect to see some significant falls in temperature.

It may take a while to sink in, but rather than concentrating policy on making energy too expensive to heat homes even now, and developing crops to produce ethanol, energy should be going into build energy resources that will actually work and produce far more energy that currently available, and crop development should be concentrating on crops which can successfully be grown in lower temperatures ans growing season which may be as much as 60 days shorter.

Failure to do so, and continuing to build solar farms that stop working when covered by snow and windmills that will freeze (and wouldn’t produce enough energy even if they did turn) will doom many millions of people to starvation and death by freezing.


As an afterthought, here are the NASA predictions for the current sunspot cycle, starting in 2007 through to today.

Note how not only does the amplitude drop, but things get pushed further and further out into the future:



Germany leading Europe to disaster again?

A recent article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, one of the leading newspapers and probably the most mainstream political commentary publication in Germany was by any standards a rather negative and stinging commentary on the growing “Green Tyranny” in Germany.

The source of their concern is  one Winfried Kretschmann being sworn into office as a State Minister. Herr Kretschmann is a very hard line Green proponent, and upon taking office made no conciliatory noises at all, simply stated that the ways of doing business are going to change.

Perhaps unrelated to Herr Kretschmann’s elevation (or perhaps not), we now have news that the German government has decided to close down all of its nuclear power generation by 2022. This is a complete reversal of policy, which was to increase nuclear capacity at the expense of coal, oil and gas powered generation (and so reduce CO2 emissions). Exactly what is going to replace this capacity, as well as expand upon current capacity over the next 10 years isn’t mentioned, only that it will be “renewable”. This much capacity may be feasible from hydro electric generation, but for reasons never clearly explained, the “renewables” crowd refuse to recognize hydro electric generation as being “green” or “renewable”.

One of the disturbing aspects of this nuclear decision is that it is directly in line with a document published recently by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), which appears to be a self-appointed “advisory council” consisting entirely of academics involved in climate research.

In this document they propose that within the next 40 years the world must abandon all nuclear power as well as all fossil fuel based power generation and transport systems.

The proposal to abandon all nuclear power is based upon a rather hand-waving explanation pointing to Fukushima, and spent fuel problems. Of course, they don’t take into consideration the fact that the Fukushima failure was the result of an earthquake of a scale not taken into account in the (40 year old) design, which the plant actually survived, or the tsunami which followed, which was not taken into account at all in the design, and that so far, there has not been a single fatality related to the nuclear nature of the plant. On the spent fuel issue, they do not acknowledge that the “problems” are mostly political. Nor do they consider alternative nuclear technologies which are not only cheaper and safer, but produce much less (if any) waste to deal with. It is simply assumed that nuclear = bad, and that it must go.

Similarly, there is no discussion of the problems with their assumptions on man made global warming and its implications.

They do not acknowledge that all the computer models upon which their impending catastrophe is based predict a direct relationship between atmospheric CO2 and temperature and that although CO2 has continued to rise, there has been no rise in temperatures for the past 12 years, perhaps even a slight decline.

They do not acknowledge that these same models have as an unavoidable consequence a rise in tropospheric temperature, and that no such rise has ever been detected, no matter how hard they have tried, and that, in fact, tropospheric temperatures have actually declined.

They do not discuss why they assume that the effects of temperature rise are all negative and catastrophic.

They talk about not only limiting CO2 emissions, but employing technologies to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. Carefully ignoring the fact that current CO2 levels are at one of the lowest points ever in the history of the Earth, dangerously close to the point where plant life cannot exist. That increased CO2 improves harvests (which is why CO2 levels are artificially raised in commercial greenhouses).

They also talk of the need to change dietary habits, to remove meat from the diet. At first glance, this may seem consistent with the need to use vast tracts of arable land to produce bio-fuels, but a closer reading seems to imply that even bio-fuels are not acceptable, since they still produce CO2.

Then there is the discussion on the need to reform urbanization. Presumably this involves re-deploying city residents who no longer have jobs in the “carbon economy” to the land to grow crops. Its hard to say, there is a lot of hand-waving around exactly what they mean in this area.

But the real killer in this document is the admission that even with “agents of change” in place in all appropriate positions of power – which, by the way, they claim is already the case, people will need to be “educated” to accept these changes and help move them forward. Also that the democratic process doesn’t lend itself to such rapid change in fundamental sociological and lifestyle changes, so a “strong liberal government” is required, along with a (presumably un-elected) steering body driving appropriate legislation.

The steering committees are needed at national  and supra-national level (e.g. EU and UN).

Democracy has to take a back seat for a while.

You have heard tales of “A New World Order”. This is your first glimpse of what it looks like, and more worryingly, that it seems to be actually starting to take shape.

The sudden rush appears to be perhaps recognition of the fact that their whole excuse for having to take drastic action is based upon the man made global warning theory, and that reality is rapidly disproving the model results. Without impending doom, there will be no stampede down their carefully prepared path. In fact, people will begin to see the whole operation for what it really is – a power grab by a small group of eco-fanatics.

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Scientists say … Part II

Doing the very quick review of press articles with headlines including the phrase “Scientists Say” was so illuminating last time I did it, that I thought that I would repeat the exercise  to see what new stuff out intrepid scientific researchers have been up to recently – mostly with our money.

Here are a few of the choice headlines:

I wonder if I can get a research grant for this?