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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Chance of El Niño drops to 50%

Sou | 4:51 AM 3 Comments - leave a comment
From the Bureau of Meteorology (the pdf report for the record):

Despite the tropical Pacific Ocean being primed for an El Niño during much of the first half of 2014, the atmosphere above has largely failed to respond, and hence the ocean and atmosphere have not reinforced each other. As a result, some cooling has now taken place in the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean, with most of the key NINO regions returning to neutral values.

While the chance of an El Niño in 2014 has clearly eased, warmer-than-average waters persist in parts of the tropical Pacific, and the (slight) majority of climate models suggest El Niño remains likely for spring. Hence the establishment of El Niño before year's end cannot be ruled out. If an El Niño were to occur, it is increasingly unlikely to be a strong event.

Given the current observations and the climate model outlooks, the Bureau’s ENSO Tracker has shifted to El Niño WATCH status. This means the chance of El Niño developing in 2014 is approximately 50%, which remains significant at double the normal likelihood of an event.

Read the latest full report here.

Australia's wine industry is moving south to escape the heat

Sou | 4:18 AM 6 Comments - leave a comment

Climate change is already happening as you know. So do wine growers in Australia. Tasmania produces some rather nice boutique wines. It's going to produce a lot more.

Some of the big wine growers are setting up more vineyards in Tasmania, replacing the ones on the mainland where it's getting a tad too hot for wine grapes. From the ABC yesterday:
Climate change is helping to drive a boom in Tasmania's wine industry with interstate investors seeking cooler growing conditions, the state's peak body has said.
The industry is expected to benefit from the long-term effects of climate change, attracting interstate investors and boosting production.
Warmer weather conditions are already causing major mainland wine producers to invest in the state after seeing potential in Tasmania's cooler climate.
Wine Tasmania, the state's peak wine body, said there had been growing interest from major winemakers who were finding mainland conditions challenging.
The trend looks set to continue with figures from the Tasmanian Climate Change Office showing wine production in the state was growing by about 10 per cent a year.

I ventured a bit further and found some other articles on the subject. This one is from three years ago at, quoting Ross Brown of Brown Bros, one of Australia's more noted wineries from my region:
Brown Brothers Wineries CEO Ross Brown said he was sufficiently alarmed by climate change to have started relocating production of cooler varieties to Tasmania’s Tamar Ridge winery.
"Basically we are in the coolest part of Victoria (for wine) and that won't be cool enough to produce some of our main wines - for sparkling and pinot noir," Mr Brown said. 
"As the vineyards warm up a few degrees some of the varieties we are currently growing won't be viable in those vineyards in 10 to 15 years time."
Mr Brown said warming also presented a major challenge for wines that are suited to warm climates - like shiraz and cabernet - which would lose quality.
"In a warmer climate that heat and earlier ripening period creates richer and fuller bodied wines," he said. "But we are seeing a consumer demand for finer wines, more elegant wines and that does not augur well for people who are already making those rich fuller bodied wines." 

Other parts of the grape-growing world are also feeling the heat. In a few years, regions now covered in grape vines will look quite different and new regions will emerge. Think what that will do to the character of places like Tuscany and Bordeaux. From in February this year:
According to these projections, by midcentury Bordeaux could reach the upper temperature limits for growing red varieties, and will fall outside the ideal climate for its white grapes. Other areas are threatened too. Last year an international team of scientists showed that by 2050, some of the world’s most famous wine-making regions, including Tuscany in Italy, will shrink by nearly 70 percent.
That doesn’t mean the end of sauvignon blanc or merlot. But in the not-so-distant future, these well-recognized French wines may not come from France. Some wine producers in Champagne or Bordeaux already are moving north and setting up vineyards in southern England. There the soil is similar to the chalky substrate of Champagne, offering a hospitable environment for growing quality grapes. In other parts of the world, growers are expanding into areas previously not known for wine, setting up vineyards in India, Brazil and China.

Enjoy your favourite wine while you still can. The next bottle will be different.

400ppm CO2 and Oh Dear! Another humungous blunderous blunder by Anthony Watts

Sou | 1:30 AM 14 Comments - leave a comment

Update: see below for how Anthony shifts the blame!

A short while ago Wondering Willis Eschenbach wrote about Anthony Watts at WUWT:
So it is not Anthony’s job to determine whether or not the work of the guest authors will stand the harsh light of public exposure. That’s the job of the peer reviewers, who are you and I and everyone making defensible supported scientific comments. Even if Anthony had a year to analyze and dissect each piece, he couldn’t do that job.

Anthony Watts seems to agree that it's not his job to see if articles have any merit or not. And Willis is on the ball when he says that Anthony couldn't tell anyway.

Anthony Watts - big, huge, spectacular fail in climate 101

There's another example of that today (archived here). Anthony copied and pasted an article from another blog, which was itself taken from yet a third blog. (Deniers are into recycling in a big way.)  His claim this time is encapsulated in his headline:

EPA document supports ~3% of atmospheric carbon dioxide is attributable to human sources

Three per cent? 3%? WRONG - it's 30%!

Remember, Anthony Watts has been blogging about climate science or weather for more than seven years now. To not know that human activity has added more than 40% to atmospheric CO2 is amazing, even for someone as blockheaded as Anthony Watts. It makes you realise that Willis Eschenbach has hit the nail on the head. Anthony Watts doesn't know the first thing about climate. [Corrected phrasing/arithmetic, thanks Robert.]

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Strange bedfellows at WUWT - the tin foil hat brigade and the pseudo-religious cult

Sou | 6:22 AM 12 Comments - leave a comment

Anthony Watts keeps very strange company. Remember last year when he boasted of giving one of his rare, wrong and excruciatingly boring lectures to the Doctors for Disaster Preparedness? Wondering Willis got to go this year and he loved it (archived here). Who'd have thought that they would boast of such a strange alliance.

The denialist doctors are a very weird mob. They are tied in with this mob. They are pro-DDT and are anti-vaxxers. They seem to be a survivalist group. I have images of them hoarding lentils and rice in their garages, checking their ammunition and stoking their back up generators while they wait for the apocalypse.

Then there's the Cornwall Alliance. That's that wacky cult who thinks that their god will protect them from all natural disasters and they have sworn to deny climate science. Today Anthony's hosted one of their mob, Paul Driessen (archived here), complaining that deniers are being scorned and vilified by, well, Greenpeace from what I gather. Not sure when or where. But Pat Michaels (of Pat'n Chip fame, who's not a member of the Cornwall cult AFAIK but often cited by them) and David Legates (who is a member of the Cornwall cult and coauthors papers with the potty peer, Christopher Monckton) are feeling a mite depressed and must've asked Paul to stand up for their right to reject science. You might remember David. He's the one who told a US Senate committee that CO2 is animal food!

Survivalists and a religious cult. What better company could Anthony Watts ask for?

Monday, July 28, 2014

Food and climate change and hypersensitive deniers at WUWT

Sou | 2:34 PM 24 Comments - leave a comment

In my experience, prolonged exposure to severe sharp pain can make a person hypersensitive to pain, at least temporarily.  Well I'm seeing the same effect with Anthony Watts at WUWT when it comes to fear.

Studies have suggested that some people process information via the amygdala more and they are hypersensitive to fear. That goes a long way to explaining the following. In fact it explains a lot about deniers. Deniers (ie the plebs as opposed to the disinformers) do appear to react strongly against anything that causes them to be scared. Their brain gets overloaded so they claim "it can't be true". I see it time and time again at WUWT. The words "scare" and "fear" come up a lot whenever climate science is discussed, with claims like "they are just trying to scare us".

Christopher Monckton knows very well that the threshold of fear among the denialati is much lower than average. He drafted an email which traded heavily on the scaredy cat tendency, you may recall (email here, which I discussed here). Any normal person would laugh or groan or tsk upon getting an email like that. I don't know how most deniers reacted. What I do know is that he managed to attract people to his events, so it's likely there were some people who didn't consign his email to the spam or trash folder.

Two days in a row Anthony's picked on perfectly normal headlines and claimed they are "hype".

Now hype happens all the time. Editors want to attract readers so they pick a headline that will scream for attention. Yet that wasn't the case in these two situations.  Here are the two cases (click read more if you are on the home page).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Denier weirdness: Anthony Watts at WUWT predicts major imminent global cooling

Sou | 9:25 PM 23 Comments - leave a comment

Not a lot of time today but I just couldn't pass this one up.

Anthony Watts has gone full-on denier in an article about global surface temperatures (archived here). At the very end of his article he puts up this chart:

Source: WUWT
And he writes:
To my eye, I see a natural sine wave, which I’ve traced below on the same graph in solid grey, with extrapolated segments in dashed grey:
It seems to me that our current “pause” might simply be that we are at the top of that sine wave I see, and that we might actually see some cooling ahead, assuming it isn’t all adjusted away by the next “improvement” from NCDC.

First up, I'd say his eye is out a bit if he thinks it's a natural sine wave. Second up, did you notice his conspiratorial thinking? But lets leave all that aside and assume that the Anthony's "wave" will be repeated. Here's the result:

Oh my! It looks as if Anthony Watts has become a greenhouse effect denier. He speculates that global temperatures will drop by more than 1°C before the end of this century.

Addendum: How Anthony Watts "disappears" the Little Ice Age

Since Anthony bothered to put in some dotted lines for "extrapolated segments", you might like to see how well his hindcast matches up with the instrumental record. I've superimposed HadCRUT4 and "extrapolated" Anthony's wave. It's not looking too hot. Or should I say it is looking too hot. Has Anthony decided to "disappear" half the Little Ice Age? :)

Sources: WUWT and HadCRUT4

(Added by Sou 10:48 pm 27 July 2014)

Now compare Anthony's prediction with IPCC temperature anomaly projections for different cumulative total anthropogenic CO2 emissions. If we're not careful, by 2100 the world will be more than 3 or 4°C hotter than this year and maybe 5°C or more hotter than it was in 1870:

Adapted from source: IPCC AR5 WG1 Summary for Policy Makers

Click "read more" to see what WUWT deniers have to say.

Alec Rawls and WUWT deniers fail Christopher Keating's global warming challenge

Sou | 7:24 PM 9 Comments - leave a comment

Alec Rawls is one of the conspiracy theorists who pops up at WUWT from time to time. Alec has written a two-part entry (archived here and here) into a competition you may have heard about. (He is promising a Part 3 as well, but don't hold your breath if these two are anything to go by.)

Christopher Keating has announced he will pay $30,000 to anyone who can prove, scientifically, that global warming isn't happening. (If you're thinking of entering, the $30k competition closes at the end of this month. He's got another easier comp, with a prize of $1,000 for the first correct entry.) Christopher Keating is a retired scientist who has written a book on the subject of climate change.

About the competition

The prize of $30,000 will be given to the first person who "can prove, via the scientific method, that man-made global climate change is not occurring".

The prize of $1,000 will be given to the first person who "can show there is valid scientific evidence indicating man made global warming is not real. It doesn't have to prove man made global warming is not real, it just needs to be valid scientific evidence against it".

Alec ponders nefarious intent

Now quite a number of people, like Alec, have decided to enter the $30k competition. However Alec, being the deeply suspicious person that he is, thought it could be what he called a bait and switch. You'll see how his mind works by the following.

Alec has announced that most fake sceptics don't dispute the fact that humans have caused at least a teensy weensy little bit of warming. He wrote that the $30k challenge as described above was "ridiculous". I guess he wanted another challenge. Alec wrote:
Ridiculous. There is hardly a skeptic alive who doesn’t think that human activity is causing some climate change, and in particular, some amount of warming. The question is whether one accepts the IPCC’s claim of extreme certainty that the human release of greenhouse gases is responsible for most late 20th century warming, and is on course to cause a dangerous amount of warming over the next century. Skeptics see this as unlikely, or as unsupported by the evidence, but it all comes down to the size of the human warming effect.