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Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Hot enough for you? The faster it warms the hotter it gets

Sou | 3:25 PM Go to the first of 5 comments. Add a comment
An interesting if ominous paper was recently published in Nature Climate Change. It came out just before Christmas, at the height of the holiday season here in Australia while fires were raging. For some weeks I've been meaning to write about it. That moment has finally arrived.

The authors of the Nature Climate Change paper, Andrew D. King, Todd P. Lane, Benjamin J. Henley and Josephine R. Brown (from The University of Melbourne) tell us that it's up to us to a large degree (excuse the word play). We know that already, and we also know that recent history and current weather-related events in Australia, the UK, Africa and elsewhere demonstrate we've not yet been willing to take enough action.

However the authors weren't writing about our reluctance to do enough to save ourselves. They were in effect exploring what will happen if we can slow down global warming compared to if we let it continue to warm as quickly as it is. It probably won't surprise HotWhopper readers that the rate of warming makes quite a difference.

Friday, February 14, 2020

Judith Curry's temperature predictions - charted

Sou | 7:27 AM Go to the first of 15 comments. Add a comment
It's been brought to my attention that there's another set of projections guesses about global surface temperature floating about, this time from Judith Curry.

I don't have time to go into her "arguments" in detail. Suffice to say she seems to be hanging on to the failed "stadium wave" theory and has maybe tossed in a few other ideas as well such as the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation flavoured with a smidgen of "it's the sun".

Judith has put up three options for the temperature change over the next 30 years: warmest +0.7C, moderate +0.11C and coldest -0.5C.

What I will do is what she hasn't (for reasons that seem obvious to me). I'll put up some charts showing her guesses. I can't tell from her post what she's used as a baseline, so I've taken it as the average global surface temperature for 2019. I've also made the assumption her predicted change relates to the last year of the prediction. That is, her prediction of 0.5 cooling is that in 2050 the average global surface temperature will be 0.5C colder than it was last year.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Willis Eschenbach radiates more nonsense at WUWT

Sou | 3:31 AM Go to the first of 18 comments. Add a comment
I sometimes wonder at the shameless way deniers boast about their ignorance, particularly their lack of understanding of basic science. Willis Eschenbach is a prime example. He doesn't understand science and doesn't make any real effort to understand it. He balks at reading a basic textbook and I doubt he could bring himself to read a science website let alone scientific papers. Yet every now and then he'll decide he's come up with some brand spanking new notion that none of the hundreds of thousands of people who've studied a subject in depth have ever thought of.

Some time ago he figured out what every student (and interested layperson) knew long ago, that storms carry heat from the surface upwards into the atmosphere, thereby cooling the surface; his thunderstorm theory.

This week he's decided there are three what he calls "theories" to the greenhouse effect, demonstrating that he doesn't understand that radiation is the emission or transmission of energy. He was trying to attack a tweet thread by Gavin Schmidt and his attack was laughable (and very very longwinded).

Monday, January 20, 2020

Paul Driessen at WUWT suggests Australia remove its forests

Sou | 10:57 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
Wildflowers & snowgum
The weird get weirder. A bloke called Paul Driessen, whose job includes telling lies about climate change and bringing back smog to the USA, has come up with a wild idea and it's been posted at WUWT. This time he's really gone bananas. What he's saying is that Australia should get rid of all its trees, or those of the eucalypt species which is pretty much the same thing, and that would stop fires. In other words, he's suggesting we get rid of almost all our forests. That's one solution to stopping fires, though not original.

Don't believe me? Here's what he wrote:
In both California and Australia, people bemoan the loss of eucalyptus trees in fires. But many don’t want them removed or even thinned out.

Friday, January 17, 2020

More than 10 years on, Anthony Watts at WUWT is still befuddled by temperature anomalies

Sou | 11:05 PM Go to the first of 10 comments. Add a comment
It's hard to believe but poor Anthony Watts, despite all the help offered him over the years, is still totally befuddled, perplexed and bamboozled by the notion of temperature anomalies. You know he's not the brightest spark in deniersville yet you'd have thought that by now even he might have learnt something about temperature charts. But no.

The oddest thing is that he's unashamed of being numerically illiterate. He might even regard it as a strength. It means his readers have found someone, somewhere, who's dimmer than they are, and that could be why they keep coming back for more.

Today Anthony wrote about the global average surface temperature for 2019, saying at least in the USA it wasn't another "hottest year". That's a classic conspiratorial diversion tactic, by the way: focus on a detail and try to dispute the big picture.

2019 was the second hottest year on record despite no El Nino

Sou | 4:38 PM Go to the first of 8 comments. Add a comment
Summary: 2019 was the second hottest year on record. December 2019 was the second hottest December on record. The last decade was the hottest decade on record.

According to GISS NASA, the average global surface temperature anomaly for 2019 was 0.98 °C, which is just 0.04 °C cooler than the previous hottest - 2016.

Below is a chart of the average of 12 months to December each year. 2019 was 0.06 °C hotter than the 12 months to December 2017, which is the third hottest year.

Figure 1 | Annual global mean surface temperature anomaly - 12 months to December each year. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA


Wednesday, January 8, 2020

It's climate change on top of drought, heat and wind, not arson, that's behind Australia's fires

Sou | 12:43 PM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
Know what? If I see another know-nothing denier try to claim "it's not climate change it's arson" or "backburning" or "not enough prescribed burns" or "it's not happening", I'll scream.

I was going to deal quickly with "it's arson", then move onto prescribed or controlled burns. However, I'll now devote this article just to the arson furphy, because the false meme is appearing all over the place, even being insinuated in mainstream media. Some people are suggesting it's an organised disinformation campaign. I don't know about that, but it is being fanned by the usual crowd of deniers, including many from the USA and other places outside Australia. [Edit: I've added a tweet below, which expresses my disdain for the people spreading this meme.]


Let me be clear. Arson is not the reason for the catastrophic fires this summer. There has always been arson but never a fire season as bad as this one. These major fires are there because the bush is so dry and because it's been so hot. Fires need ample fuel, wind and an ignition. The fuel is ample, because even though there's not been much growth in vegetation because of the drought, what's there is dry and easily ignited. There've been enough windy days to fan the flames and spread the fires further. And there's been ignition, obviously. Mostly (in the case of the major fires), the ignition has been lightning.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

2019 goes out with many bangs - Australia's hottest year and hottest decade on record

Sou | 9:22 AM Go to the first of 16 comments. Add a comment
Australia has just had another "hottest year" on record beating the last by quite a way. The average mean annual temperature was a huge 1.52 C above the 1961-1990 mean. The average maximum was a whopping 2.09 C above and the average minimum (not a record) was 0.95 C above the 1961-1990 mean.

I've plotted all these on the same vertical axis for comparison. Scroll over the charts to see the data labels:

Australia is burning

Sou | 12:47 AM Go to the first of 2 comments. Add a comment
Fires in East and Far East Gippsland and the high country exploded on Monday. We were warned.

Some people who I thought would have known better were sceptical of the warning from Emergency Services to leave Far East Gippsland. After all, it's a huge area, was jam-packed with holiday-makers, and it's on the coast (water puts out fire, right?). They may have neglected to factor in a number of things:

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Season's greetings to all

Sou | 1:31 PM Go to the first of 3 comments. Add a comment
A short, sweet and old-fashioned greeting to everyone.

I'm sorry I've not been blogging much this past couple of years, but fear not (or fear, depending who you are), I shall return in 2020.

Here is a picture of my most Christmas-y plant - Little John Callistemon, which keeps getting better and better each year and thrives on very light pruning and general neglect.



And another, this time a snapshot of the next door neighbours' decorations. They have been entertaining the local children (large and small) and raising money for local charities for decades and continue to do so despite the fact that Santa suffered a stroke some time ago, which has been quite debilitating for him. The photo doesn't do justice to the lights, which look amazing. Santa's daughter made the kangaroos :)



Happy holidays wherever and whoever you are, especially to all the courageous men and women fighting fires around the country and not forgetting all the people supporting them.

Stay safe.