Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Robert Balic at WUWT tries to downplay Australia's Angry Summer - but who's fooling who?

Sou | 4:49 AM Go to the first of 99 comments. Add a comment

I'll only comment on this protest at WUWT because it's about Australia. Anthony Watts has posted a "guest essay" by someone called Robert Balic (archived here).

Robert is writing about Australia's Angry Summer of 2012-13. I've written about that myself, for example here.

It was a doozy. Here again is the animated graphic showing twelve days of the extraordinary coverage of the heat wave that hung about. Look closely (you can click on the image to enlarge it). See what temperatures the dark red, light brown and dark brown are. Australia can get hot, but it's never been that hot everywhere before.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

The graphic that Robert complained about was from Wikipedia. Here it is:

"Extreme heat locations 2013" by Squidman18559 - Own work.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons

I don't know what the different colours symbolise. Each point marked got to 45°C or hotter at some time during January 2013, according to Squidman18559, which wouldn't surprise me, looking at the chart above.

What does Robert have to say? Well, he's trying to find evidence that it's happened before. The closest he seems to have found is 1906, when he's dug up some hot temperatures in the southern half of the nation. He didn't manage to prove that it was the same as last year though. He also admits that 1939 (when Victoria had a mammoth bushfire) it wasn't as hot as in 2013.

His closing paragraph is:
This is only a small corner of the continent so I can’t claim that the angry summer of 2013 was not exceptional for the country as a whole but do remember that nowhere was the temperature recorded above 50°C, and the mean temperatures have risen just 0.4°C in the southern hemisphere since 1940. It would be no surprise that the latest spate of angry summers would carry an extra bitch slap but that they occur is due to weather patterns that occurred before and so cannot be explained by global warming. They certainly aren’t a hand print of climate change but this propaganda is a good example of the shilliness coming

What Robert didn't do was put up a chart showing temperatures over time. Here is one showing the annual maximum temperature anomaly from the 1961-1990 mean.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology
 Look at the last year - 2013. Wow! you say. And rightly so. Look at how hot it's been getting since the 1970s.

Here's another chart for good measure. It's the mean summer temperature for all of Australia. This one includes the latest summer (2013-14) so you can see the one just prior, the summer of 2012-13 was quite extraordinary.

Source: Bureau of Meteorology

Look at how it's been getting hotter and hotter as each decade passes. Do you think it might just have something to do with global warming? I sure do. And so do the people who study this sort of thing. For example in the recent BAMS supplement there are a number of papers on the subject. Some headline quotes:
CMIP5 simulations suggest that the extremely warm year observed over Australia and the far western Pacific during 2013 was largely attributable to human forcing of the climate system.
Anthropogenic climate change has caused a very large increase in the likelihood of extreme events such as the record Australia-wide average temperatures in September, spring, and the 2013 calendar year 
Human activity has increased the risk of experiencing the hot Australian summer of 2012/13, as measured by simulated heat wave frequency and intensity, by two- and three-fold, respectively.
The record heat of 2013 across inland eastern Australia was caused by a combination of anthropogenic warming and extreme drought

From the WUWT comments

Very predictable they are.

hunter is responding like a gullible fool.
October 7, 2014 at 4:14 am
So once again climate fear promoters are deceiving the public.

Lazlo is a Class 1 WUWT conspiracy theorist.
October 7, 2014 at 4:14 am
BoM were determined to make 2013 the “hottest ever” in early January 2013. Using adjustments and homogenisations they have now made sure of it.

Alan the Brit describes WUWT down to a T
October 7, 2014 at 4:51 am
Would it be possible to suggest that there is an element of “cherry-picking” going on, associated with some good old plain not telling the whole truth? 

Nick Stokes tries to set one thing straight.
October 7, 2014 at 5:33 am
“The Wikipedia article states that “Sydney beat the January 1939 record of 45.3°C (113.5°F), recording 45.8°C (114.4°F) on January 18” but neglects to mention that this station is in the middle of a circular on-ramp for the Sydney Harbour Bridge.”
It was hot everywhere in Sydney. The BoM has many weather stations around Sydney. Riverview Observatory, 45.4°C. Penrith Lakes 46.8°C. Parramatta North 45.5°C. Prospect Reservoir 45.1°C. 

M Courtney mutters some nonsense, which is contracted by the charts above.
October 7, 2014 at 6:15 am
But it has been getting warmer. The pause is a pause on warming.
You would expect temperatures to be wobbling around the near high end of their measured range.
2013 may well have been angry just not getting angrier (stupid Aussie metaphor).

That's enough.  You can read more here if you can be bothered. I haven't.

I sometimes wonder if you took Nick Stokes and any rare stray science enthusiast out of the equation and summed the brainpower of the people who comment at WUWT, would you get one brain working when it comes to climate change? (Ha ha - what a garbled mess that would be.) I mean some of them are probably normal intelligent people on any other topic but their brain turns to mush when it comes to anything climate.


  1. see this is why realists like myself are so fed up with these science deniers. it's not that they have a different opinion. it's not that they don't accept the mainstream science. it's the fact that they literally believe every piece of peer-reveiwed research and everything about the mainstream science can be instantly dismissed with a blog article.


    1. Yes. The Skeptical Science website sums it up thus:

      "Scientific skepticism is healthy. Scientists should always challenge themselves to improve their understanding. Yet this isn't what happens with climate change denial. Skeptics vigorously criticise any evidence that supports man-made global warming and yet embrace any argument, op-ed, blog or study that purports to refute global warming"

  2. ...some of them are probably normal intelligent people on any other topic but their brain turns to mush when it comes to anything climate.

    Part of me wants to agree with that, while another part looks to yesterday's ultimate behavior over the indigestible dinner. Still, where there's dissent there's cause for hope. Clearly while the ideological bent* of WUWT binds people together over climate change, it's not superglue and can't override disgust over some forms of prejudice.

    *See the WattMeter on right sidebar here.

    1. dbostrom - I've reposted your comment replacing the live link to the comment with one to the archived version (comment policy).

  3. "I sometimes wonder if you took Nick Stokes and any rare stray science enthusiast out of the equation and summed the brainpower of the people who comment at WUWT, would you get one brain working when it comes to climate change?"

    You might get a dim glow of a handful of watts. In IQ terms, it would be hard to see anything registering.

  4. Sigh. The article in WUWT seems to be a combination of "it's cold/hot in Wagga Wagga" (Australian theme :-) ) and lack of appreciation of averages. The author's closing paragraph is correct up to the point where he then concludes it's not evidence of global warming!

    I am not sure about the remark in the comments about a weather station being situated in the middle of the on-ramp to the Sydney harbour bridge. As far as I am aware there is station located at nearby Observatory Hill, and it is left out of the ACORN-SAT record due to concerns about an urban heat island effect.

    1. A correction to what I posted. The station in question is number 066062 and it is included in the ACORN-SAT dataset. They have verified that UHI effects are not an issue. From the station description:

      "The area is heavily built-up and has been since at least the late
      19th century. An analysis of minimum temperature trends in the ACORNSAT data showed no evidence of an abnormal warming trend relative to nonurban sites in the region, indicating that any urban influence on the data was already fully developed by the time ACORN-SAT begins in 1910."

    2. Yeah I was sure it was on the hill too but I Googled Earthed last night it and the station is clearly visible (on grass) in the middle of the circular on-ramp.

    3. Nick Stokes pointed out that it was hot all over Sydney.

      Another thing, even if there were a UHI effect it doesn't just make one day hotter than all the rest. UHI exhibits as a slight warming trend over time as the area gets built up. Obviously that isn't happening at Observatory Hill, which has been built up for decades.

      Even if it were it wouldn't happen on one day and no other. It's like Anthony thinking an airport in Greenland caught UHI disease on the very same day the temperature broke the record.

    4. Anthony and Crew have done a wonderful job with vandalizing perceptions when it comes to UHI. Here's a particularly fine example, from Cliff Mass' blog today:

      Don't trust NOAA statistics as they are measured only at certain sites typically around cities with more thermal mass than rural areas.

      Not only has this poor person been deluded into thinking that UHI is an excuse to ignore temperature trends but he's also been suckered into thinking that somehow NOAA isn't aware of any potential problems with siting. Of course, simultaneously we'll find Watts fostering distrust of any methods employed to account for siting issues by NOAA (and any other observational agency).

      In general, the comment thread at Mass' site for that post reads like a recitation from Watts (I'll link each of these to a rebuttal on Skeptical Science):

      "Seriously, forecasters can only predict measurable precipitation yes/no probabalistically tomorrow, but know with certainty how much it will rain half a century in the future?"

      "There is now overwhelming evidence that the AGW believers have vastly overestimated the feedbacks."

      "Antarctic sea ice is at near record levels and arctic sea ice is above normal as well. "

      "I am not a blind skeptic but do have serious questions about the actual scientific proof regarding how a trace gas, absolutely essential for life on earth, is going to in the end destroy us! "

      "It's called climate change and it has been going on since the earth was created."

      Notice how all of these have been debunked already? In Denier World there's very little new under the sun but simply loads of gullible repetition of wrong opinions.

    5. I checked the location too, I have jogged passed it dozens of times I realised. It is inside the grounds of the primary school. I had a look at the Watties comments and some have posted Steven Goddard's image of the site so he must have a file of sites that he considers dodgy in his expert opinion - a bit of license to be sure as just reading his description you would think it was located in an expanse of concrete.

      I cross-referenced the nearest ACORN-SAT for reference (Richmond 067105) at the temp there on the day was 46.4C.

    6. dbostrom, You gave me a start. I thought you were quoting Cliff Mass himself. Thank goodness you aren't.

      The comments are classic denierisms, aren't they. Thank heavens for SkS :)

  5. "...and the station is clearly visible (on grass) in the middle of the circular on-ramp."

    This is not exactly a realistic description of the site.

    The 'circular on ramp' is a very deep road cutting opened in 1958 that isolates the school site from the older buildings at Observatory Hill. Really, it is a prominent feature that has nothing in the way of influence on the site. The station is on grass with nearby bitumen within the school grounds. It's a well documented site, as Harry says, UHI is a long known factor and the record has been analysed for extraneous influences.

    A non-issue...just the kind that keeps WUWTers exercised.

    1. I dared to comment over on the WUWT page. They head off into Conspiracy Theory pretty quickly so it is hard to have a sensible discussion.

  6. Hello Sou,

    It's acknowledged that temps in Oz have gone up by an average of about 1 degC over the last century. It would therefore be very surprising not to get an occasional new record high temp, as we certainly did in 2012-2013.

    However, the way you are handling the subject, you are not quantifying, which is very unscientific. You are just saying, it’s a record heatwave, therefore it is very bad, and we have to take urgent action to stop it. But good policy requires that we balance the costs of global CO2 remediation against other uses of valuable financial assets. Policy response is not black and white, there are shades of grey in execution.

    The important analysis here is exactly how much hotter it was than previous extreme events. Was it 1 degC hotter, 0.1 degC hotter, or 0.01 degC hotter? This is an approximate measure how bad AGW is relative to a stable climate, (presuming this is what we would have without AGW). That is what Robert Balic is trying to do – put the heatwave in perspective - asking the question: “Do we really face dire consequences?” and hence the important policy question: “Do we really need to spend $billions locally ($trillions globally) to try to solve this problem? How much should we be investing in remediation?”

    It’s also a bit disappointing that you assume that Balic is trying only to prove there is no global warming, ie you counter him by showing temperature trend graphs. Yet Balic has already acknowledged these with his comment: “temperatures have risen just 0.4°C in the southern hemisphere since 1940”.

    In short, I think you have (like the WUWT commenters) missed the point, perhaps motivated by your desire to categorise Balic as a denier rather than someone keen to add valuable quantification and scientific credibility to the subject.

    1. Anonymous,

      I will leave it to Sou to reply as you addressed the post to her.

      But I will make one point: what makes Baltic think an increase of 0.4C is nothing to worry about, as shown by the use of the pejorative "just" ?

    2. Hello to whom it may concern,

      Your concern is noted.

      It is also noted that you regard trend charts with specific numbers and dates as "not quantifying".

      It is also noted that you regard an unknown who goes by the name of Robert whatever, who writes for a well-known anti-science blog, who claims (as I quoted above) that the Angry Summer "cannot be explained by global warming" as someone who is "keen to add valuable quantification and scientific credibility to the subject". Your opinion was met with disdain, I'm afraid (boredom is probably a better word. I've heard it all before from deniers over the years), and I'm not sure that is the reaction you were hoping for.

      I also note that you criticise my article as being "not scientific" despite the much more robust and orderly evidence I provide, together with a link to three scientific papers on the subject. Yet you don't seem to have any similar categorisation of Robert whoever, who didn't look at trends at all, but simply picked a few days here and there in a few random places and asserted "it got hot in Bourke back in 1906" as if that's got some meaning. (Reminds me of someone talking about record flash floods in Europe saying they are nothing unusual because there was a flood there 800 years ago.) And Robert writing such scientific phrases as:

      - carry an extra bitch slap
      - this propaganda is a good example of the shilliness (sic) coming

      Also, it's interesting that you seem to endorse Robert asserting that it "cannot be explained by global warming", and yet neither you nor Robert mention the three scientific papers that examined the subject using science rather than random glances at old weather data, and found that indeed global warming was highly likely to almost certainly to have been a factor in the Angry Summer. It's an odd view of science that you hold.

      Thank you for visiting and for sharing your concern that HotWhopper doesn't take science deniers seriously. It's true. We don't.

    3. Correction - I referred to four scientific papers on the subject in the BAMS supplement, not three.

    4. In case I come across as a bit negative, here are some suggestions you can pass on to Robert next time you see him. Not in any particular order. I expect a practicing scientist would have different suggestions. These are free and are probably worth that much too.

      1. Read some related science before uttering certainties about a subject with which you are not familiar. Some people say it's okay to start from scratch and there is some merit in that, but the downside is much greater IMO.

      2. Avoid denier platitudes if you're aiming to be taken seriously.

      3. Avoid posting your articles on pseudo-science and anti-science blogs. Better to start your own blog or post on a general science blog. (You may not get to post on a proper science blog until your scientific skills/results have been polished.)

      4. Think about a hypothesis and what would be required to test it out. For example, even if there were a random year hotter than this year, if it were an isolated event would it mean much? What could have caused the hottest year in the past compared to now? I'm sure he can come up with more questions.

      4. Don't write the article as if you were trying to disprove science, without being able to disprove science. It shows, and it makes you sound like a science denier. If you can disprove science then write it up as a paper and get it published. It would be well worth it.

      5. Don't assume that you are the first person to have an idea or hypothesis. There are now more than 7 billion people in the world and a lot who have lived and died in the past few decades. The chances are that someone has already thought of your idea and tested it (if the idea was worth testing). That's not necessarily the case, but it's worth checking just the same. You might not agree with their work or the results but you'd probably learn something by finding out about it.


    5. Hello again Sou, and thanks for your reply.

      I agree your orderly argument with scientific citations certainly demonstrates well that AGW will contribute to future heatwaves, and the trend graphs provide some quantification of warming (averaged) in a specific global location, and so confirms AGW. However it does not provide a relative quantification for the event itself against historical occurrences of extreme weather. And so your analysis certainly does not lead automatically to your previously stated conclusion that we need to take immediate and urgent action to stop future heatwaves. Simply: you haven’t summed all of the positives and negatives, you haven’t quantified the impacts that would lead to policy (action).

      Similarly, the scientific papers you are citing in the BAMS supplement are making qualitative statements that AGW will cause more and hotter heatwaves like the 2012-2013 event, which is in my opinion is self –evident. But that is not the same as saying that the 2012-2014 event is proof of climate change which is what Balic is referring to when he states: “cannot be explained by global warming. They certainly aren’t a hand print of climate change”. Balic is not trying to prove nor disprove climate change, merely showing that the 2012-2013 heatwave, whilst being a record extreme, is not abnormal relative to climate variability, and so not proof of anything. (Or to put it another way: extremes would happen all the time even without AGW.)

      If you cannot understand the difference, then I must say that “It's an odd view of science that you hold.” What is more if you cannot see the level of complexity inherent in formulating policy on this subject, then “it’s an odd view of politics that you hold”.

      Finally, I don’t take people who call other people “deniers” seriously. It’s true. Really, I don’t. In fact I tend to ignore what they have to say and dismiss them. I think it’s a personality problem in being unable to comprehend other people’s viewpoints, when for me there is always at least two sides to an issue.

    6. Hello again Sou,

      In response to your second post at 1.07pm, I will make the following observations :

      1. Implying that people are ignorant by saying they need to “read some related science” isn’t making a point. It is empty abuse.
      2. I don’t know what a “denier platitude” is, sounds like mumbo jumbo.
      3. You obviously have a serious issue with Watts blog. I find it silly and entertaining, a bit like 60 Minutes.
      4. Robert doesn’t need an hypothesis, because he is not trying to prove nor disprove anything.
      5. Robert wasn’t trying to disprove science, that’s your perception, I suspect motivated by wanting to prove Robert is a denier because he posted on WUWT.
      6. I found Robert’s article dry, but unique, so I for one am glad he wrote it and Watts published it. Sorry you didn’t get anything out of it, but to each their own.

      Anyway, hope that all makes sense. Toodles…

    7. No it does not make any sense at all.

      I much prefer science to anecdotes masquerading as "evidence".

      "Today we released a study that shows quantitatively that anthropogenic climate change substantially increased the likelihood of the record-breaking Australian summer of 2013. Indeed, human influences on the climate system increased the chances of our record hot, “angry” summer by more than five times."

      Paper here

    8. 1. I wasn't "meaning to imply". Robert *is* ignorant of climate and weather. His article makes that obvious.

      2. Most people here recognise denier platitudes like "it's not global warming" and calling science "propaganda". Stick around denier blogs and after a while you may recognise them yourself. You used denier logic in your previous comment so you probably use denier platitudes all the time yourself without knowing it. (Paraphrased: Yes the science shows that 2012-13 was influence by global warming but it wasn't influenced by global warming.)

      3. Yes, Anthony Watts' blog is a joke. I don't find pseudo-science and anti-science and deliberate disinformation blogs "silly and entertaining". They can be downright harmful. Eg anti-vaxxers, climate science deniers. You would find WUWT less amusing if you were a scientist or science communicator, like Michael Mann, Ben Santer, John Cook, Stephan Lewandowsky, Bill McKibben or any of the other people he's defamed or whose work he relentlessly mocks.

      4. and 5. Robert would be disappointed to read that his message didn't get through to you. He was clear enough. He is trying to prove that 2013 was not an extraordinary year in Australia weather-wise and that even if it was he wants to pretend that it's not because of global warming.

      6. I'm guessing you are in the same mould as Robert.

    9. In fact I tend to ignore what they have to say and dismiss them.

      There's your problem. Right there.

    10. >However it does not provide a relative quantification for the event itself against historical occurrences of extreme weather

      Ha ha - I just read that bit. Did you not see the second time series chart above? It was a direct comparison of the 2012-13 summer with every other summer from 1910 to the latest summer, 2013-14. You couldn't get a better "relative quantification for the event itself" in a simple diagram if you tried.

      (Thanks to BoM)

    11. >Finally, I don’t take people who call other people “deniers” seriously. It’s true. Really, I don’t. In fact I tend to ignore what they have to say and dismiss them.

      Fair enough. Odd that you've commented here so much. A blog that demolishes disinformation from science deniers and doesn't much care for euphemisms.


      I think it’s a personality problem in being unable to comprehend other people’s viewpoints, when for me there is always at least two sides to an issue.

      Don't get me wrong. I comprehend deniers' "viewpoints" only too well. They are often based in wilful ignorance, egged on by people who want to protect a short term vested interest.

      Why do you think I run this blog? It's certainly not to endorse the unethical and/or ridiculous "viewpoints" of disinformers and deniers.

      BTW - Can you tell me, just out of curiosity, what's the second "side" of 2+2=4?

    12. "a ridiculous conspiracy theory"

      Whoa - are you saying the fossil fuel companies are filling in fraudulent tax returns?


    13. @Lou "Why do you think I run this blog?"

      A sense of empowerment I suppose. On other people's blogs you'd have your ass handed to you on a plate in an open debate. But here you can just *pop* delete any responses that are a bit too challenging for you.

    14. Hi Millicent,

      I wonder if you were aware of the vested interests in the renewable energy industry that are desperate for policy and legislation to favour them. How much do they influence the media, how much do they influence you directly? I am sure in your mind you have a rock solid rationale for your views on climate change. Do you think those so-called “deniers” with a differing view to yours are not similarly certain of the rational basis for their opinion? This is why I say connecting “deniers” with evil vested interests is ridiculous.

      I think this site articulates the scientific basis of climate change very well. But it is utterly ruined by discussion of people motives for holding alternative views on the subject. People often hold these views because they are influenced by other disciplines like politics, economics, and engineering, which are just as legitimate as science to discussion of policy. Dismissing those views with name-calling and simplistic conspiracy theories is childish and unproductive.

    15. RR to 'Lou' - 'arse handed on a plate': hah! this from someone who, in debating terms, couldn't find his with both hands! The 'seven at one blow' self importance of trolls never ceases to amaze...

      And then there's the menace of 'Big Solar'! Woooooo! Skewwy! Has it warped our minds? As opposed to, say, the most profitable businesses that have ever existed, that stand to lose biiiig if we actually do something about AGW?

      Oh anonymous concern troll, the industry's penetration into this argument is a matter of fact, not cod-psychology. Accept it and move on...

    16. Hi Bill,

      Your retort comprises the following assumptions:

      - Anyone who opposes bullying and group-think and supports diverse views is a “concern troll” (I presume that’s bad).
      - Big business and profits are evil.
      - In a democracy, political lobbying by big business is unethical
      - Political lobbying by some smaller, less profitable businesses is OK.

      Since this is a blog dedicated to science, and your response is based solely on a self-righteous political viewpoint, perhaps Sou would be tempted to delete your post.

    17. Great example of confirmation bias and distorted thinking. Bill said nothing about big business and profits in general. His remarks were about some fossil fuel companies spending money to spread disinformation about climate science, so as to protect their own business interests. Like tobacco companies who paid for disinformers to lie to the public about tobacco smoking.

      Do you believe that it's ethical for businesses (or anyone) to lie about science in an attempt to deceive the general public and protect their business interests? That's not ethical.

      Political lobbying is not bad as such. It is how things work. It is bad when it is based on lies and disinformation. That's unethical.

      BTW, did you oppose Bob Tisdale and Anthony Watts' attempts at intimidation and group think at WUWT the past few days? Is that how you discovered HotWhopper? Did you take part in intimidation and group think? Were you part of the lynch mob? Perhaps you are highly selective in what you regard as "bullying and group think" :(

      I'll leave your comment, even though it seems to be merely a self-righteous viewpoint, probably based on your particular ideology. It's a good example of how some people discard any critical thinking skills they might have had in order to defend the indefensible.

    18. "Hi Millicent,

      I wonder if you were aware of the vested interests in the renewable energy industry "

      Not being clueless I am aware there is a renewable energy industry Don't confuse me with the clueless pricks you find at WUWT. The renewable industry does not need to produce pseudo scientific gobshite to counter the science.

      Are you aware of the manner in which venal politicians in the UK favour fossil fuel interests over renewable energy? If you are worried about the environmental impacts of fracking on your land tough shit. In fact frackers can even tresspass on your land, tough shit. You think a distant wind turbine might spoil your view? Oh there, there, now the politicians are listening!

      So I suggest you go spread your crap about the renewable energy lobby someplace where people are as clueless as yourself.

    19. "..... discussion of people motives .... simplistic conspiracy theories"

      But I already linked you to the evidence that shows that fossil fuel industry funded climate change denial is a matter of fact with conclusive evidence in the public domain. So it is not a conspiracy theory, it is an established fact.

      So you want to know why we question your motives? It is because we cannot believe that you can possibly be as stupid as your posts suggest. We cannot see how you can continue bleating 'conspiracy theory, conspiracy theory' even after you are shown that the data is all there in the tax returns filed by the fossil fuel companies.

      If you don't want to be called a fossil fuel industry shill then stop behaving in a manner that makes that conclusion inevitable.

    20. Sou, anyone can see that my response to Bill contained no opinion other than that Bill’s retort was obviously based on a slanted political view, and not science. I note your reply is also full of political views and other trivial nonsense, as is Millicent’s. I really don’t think this blog is about science at all. You all seem to be ideologically driven by green politics.

      And no, I have not been engaged with any bullying or group-think at WUWT, not sure even what you are referring to. But if they were attacking Hot Whopper, I am not surprised. You have not exactly hidden your venom toward that site.

    21. Dear Anonymous Concern Troll,

      You're hoping that if you assemble enough strawmen you'll be able to stack them along our coasts and hold back the rising tide, right?

    22. So you're arrival here was pure coincidence. Interesting. FYI Venom isn't a word I'd have used. I hold in contempt any blog that specialises in anti-science and pseudo-science and conspiracy theories, whether about climate or vaccinations or GMOs or whatever, and particularly blogs that favour smearing people. (BTW WUWT didn't attack HotWhopper as such. Nor did anyone there dispute the science written here, or not in a manner that could be taken seriously. WUWT-ers are not interested in science.)

      Bill's comment was "based on a slanted political view"? You think? Seriously? Even someone with a "slanted political view" would be hard-pressed to explain what was political about Bill's comment. I'll allow this to go on a bit because I'm mildly interested, from a cognitive science perspective, in what you read into it that no-one else could have.

      Please tell us what in his comment you regard as "political" and why (in 25 words or less).

    23. Bill, I don’t think you know what a strawman is. I also looked up “concern troll”, and I don’t think I fit that category either. You are just name-calling (and doing it badly), it’s poor form and just illustrates your inability to engage in rational discussion.

    24. Sou, I have already explained October 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM what I see as political slant in Bill’s response. From a “cognitive science” perspective, I suspect you do not see Bill’s views as slanted nor political because your own personal ideological bias accepts them as facts i.e. “confirmation bias”. Note: I am not saying I agree/disagree with the view, only pointing out that the subjectivity exists. The inability to recognize such opinions, and the way it colours the climate change issue, ruins the scientific objectivity of this site.

      Further, I think it’s a bit rich that you accuse WUWT of “smearing people”. Both you and they seem to delight in the practice.

    25. Anonytroll, do you have anything beyond handwaving and cod-psychology? The comment you refer to is risible. By all means remain in your epistemic bubble...

    26. I disagree, Anonymous. All you did before was draw on your confirmation bias. You made up stuff that you though Bill said which he didn't say. Some might call it "reading between the lines", except your reading skills were off. Others might cal it "putting words into his mouth" - that he didn't say and more than likely didn't intend to say.

      What I was hoping you would do was copy one of Bill's actual sentences, parse it, and explain why you thought it was political.

      You didn't do that. You waved your arms around and claimed a whole lot of stuff that only someone with a very warped mindset could possibly read into his few words.

      Yes, what you've demonstrated is popularly known as confirmation bias. It's a particular form of cognitive impairment.

      Anyway, no need to continue. You've given me enough evidence to support my initial response and it looks as if that's all you are capable of.

      You failed critical thinking 101.

      Finally, if you think what was written at WUWT wasn't beyond the pale, then you are no longer welcome here.

    27. In case anyone else isn't aware of why Anon's silliness is known as a straw man, here is the explanation.

      First a definition: By exaggerating, misrepresenting, or just completely fabricating someone's argument, it's much easier to present your own position as being reasonable, but this kind of dishonesty serves to undermine honest rational debate.

      Bill wrote: "And then there's the menace of 'Big Solar'! Woooooo! Skewwy! Has it warped our minds? As opposed to, say, the most profitable businesses that have ever existed, that stand to lose biiiig if we actually do something about AGW?"

      Anon deviously turned that into:
      - Big business and profits are evil.
      - In a democracy, political lobbying by big business is unethical
      - Political lobbying by some smaller, less profitable businesses is OK.

      Exaggerating - not really - it bore no resemblance to what Bill wrote so it can't really be called exaggeration.
      Misrepresenting - tick, Bill said no such thing. He was comparing solar companies to fossil fuel companies.
      completely fabricating - tick. Bill did not say political lobbying is unethical. Nor did he suggest in any way that big business and profits are evil. Nor did he compare political lobbying of small to big business. Nor did he suggest that solar companies are bigger or smaller than fossil fuel companies.

      It's why I and others conclude that Anonymous has a severe case of confirmation bias. Actually it goes beyond mere confirmation bias. Anon sticking to his view despite the flaws in his logic being pointed out shows he is incapable of thinking rationally about the subject, particularly as he was unable to engage in any further discussion. All he did was double down and refer back to his original straw man. (And he didn't recognise it as a straw man, which is arguably as bad an error as building the straw man in the first place.)

    28. Anonymous October 9, 2014 at 2:03 PM

      “Hi Bill,
      Your retort comprises the following ***assumptions:***


      plural noun: assumptions

      A thing that is accepted as true or as certain to happen, without proof.

      Sou, you have a bias blind spot and so you are making a fundamental attribution error. The fact that you accept that Bill’s comment is an “argument” (which in it’s own right, it isn’t) is because you also acknowledge his assumptions as facts. i.e. “confirmation bias”.

      And I certainly do not approve of what has been written about you at WUWT, I think this kind of smearing is exactly what I am arguing against.

    29. Anon, you might claim this, yet you've still not been able to demonstrate that Bill's comment was based on any such assumptions. You cannot. You made them up out of thin air. That's what's called a straw man. Read my earlier comment again, then read what Bill actually wrote and what "assumptions" you think he made. You'll see that he didn't make any such assumptions. Then look up straw man elsewhere. Maybe it will sink in eventually.

      It's good that you are arguing against smearing at WUWT.

      Ironically, you seem unaware that you yourself made up stuff about what Bill wrote, which was not exactly honourable. You "assumed" that there were "assumptions" he made, which didn't follow from what he actually wrote. I don't get why you can't see that.

      It strikes me that you have a vivid (if skewed) imagination and are incapable of critical thinking. You read into things what isn't there.

      You've done something similar in the above comment when you made assumptions about what you call my "blind spot", which probably refers to this comment. I wasn't acknowledging your imputed assumptions as facts. On the contrary, I was pointing out your assumptions were way off base, and asking if you condoned unethical behaviour. You didn't respond. I took that to mean either you do condone unethical behaviour or you refuse to accept the fact that some fossil fuel companies have fostered the spread of disinformation about climate science. I didn't expect you to double down on your flawed thinking.

      Your assumptions were broad brush. You stretched Bill's comment way beyond what Bill wrote and "assumed" that Bill and I are against big business. Bill's and my comment were quite specifically aimed at the few fossil fuel companies that have been engaged in unethical behaviour. I cannot speak for Bill. I don't know his view on that unrelated subject of your "assumptions" and neither do you. I can say that I am most definitely not against big business or profits. I support business and wealth generation.

      As I said, it's been quite fascinating to see the mental block at work. It was an interesting little bit of cognitive science research in action :)

      (Apologies to Bill for unwittingly contributing to the experiment. Anon chose your comment to demonstrate the effect.)

    30. Bluster all you like. The assumptions here are yours. It is you that is being shown above to be putting arguments that have not been made in the mouths of others. I.e. creating strawmen.

      (And, I might add, blatantly smearing.)

      You then run off into ad absurdum territory with asinine assertions like 'bill is saying political lobbying by big business is unethical'. Others only have to scroll up to read your performance, you know.

      You have no access to the interior of my head and your prejudices hardly form a satisfactory substitute. You have achieved nothing beyond making strawman assertions, generating quasi-hysterical absurdities, and tossing around half-baked psychology.

      As Lotharsson would say 'it's always projection'.

      And big oil's toxic impact on this debate remains a fact. Albeit one you don't want to acknowledge...

    31. Sou, you left out the key comment:

      Bill: “the industry's penetration into this argument is a matter of fact”

      Actually, the industry’s engagement in political lobbying to protect it’s interests is a fact. That they use political lobbying to deliberately disseminate lies and distortions is debatable (yes I have read Oreske’s compelling “Merchants of Doubt”, but I remain open minded). To assume deliberate intent (rather than simply a coalition of interests) is a conspiracy theory or it relies on the assumption that political lobbying is unethical. One or the other. Either way an assumption is being made that converts Bill’s statement into an argument.

      Anyway, Sou, you clearly are unwilling to accept some constructive criticism. I can see we don’t agree on this, and happy to leave it at that.

    32. Some fossil fuel players have been funding disinformation campaigns.


      It is on the record and some companies have publicly admitted it.


      The fact you refuse to believe it is all about you playing the proverbial ostrich. It's nothing to do with Bill or I.

      If you think your making up stuff out of thin air to try to discredit another guest here, is what passes for "constructive criticism", then we definitely don't agree. I am not happy with your bad behaviour.

      You've said more than enough on the topic.

    33. Just one example. A recent profile of Koch bagman Richard Fink explains a Koch Industries intervention from the Clinton era.

      It is interesting to speculate how different the US energy mix might be today with policy made in the interests of society rather than who has the biggest bag of cash.

      "Clinton had pushed to tax fuels based on their heat content, giving a leg up to sustainable energy sources such as wind and solar power. Koch Industries considered killing the energy tax a matter of vital importance. (“Our belief is that the tax, over time, may have destroyed our business,” Fink later said.) According to a consultant who worked for Citizens for a Sound Economy in the 1990s, Fink approached the leading oil industry lobby and trade group with a plan to deep-six the BTU tax. “Rich walked into the American Petroleum Institute with a lump sum and said, ‘Will you match it?’” he recalls. “API and the oil companies matched it with a very specific targeted campaign aimed just at knocking out the BTU tax from that budget bill.”

      Read more: http://www.politico.com/magazine/politico50/2014/charles-kochs-brain.html#.VDdMCGdxns0#ixzz3FhvJEppr

    34. Carter slams the Koch brothers for spending $67 million over 14 years on organizations working on anti-climate agendas with this information provided by Greenpeace. Guidestar shows Greenpeace's latest form 990 reporting $33 million of revenues for the year.

      $67 / 14 = $5 million/year for Koch

      I'd look at the linked Koch brothers slam as an issue of free speech. Both organizations are exercising theirs. I am hearing somehow the Koch's speech is suspect. That they shouldn't even be doing it. It's unfair.

      I think the Koch brothers are playing the role of, the reason why things are not as we want them to be. They explain our shortcomings and failures.

    35. Yeah, well I can see that different people place themselves on different points on a spectrum when it comes to morality and ethics. Some people condone deliberate campaigns to deceive the general public, some of us don't. (Just as some people defend defamation, hate speech, inciting racial riots and similar - and some of us don't.)

    36. And some people try to pass off peddling deceptive information as 'Free Speech™', and look the other way when anyone points out that people with rather a lot of money and rather heavy connections tend to get rather more in the way of 'free speech', some animals being rather more equal than others, after all...

      Anyone who'd deny that is so lost to rationality that 'debating' them is a waste of time.

    37. Ragnar said:
      "Both organizations are exercising theirs"

      Your post seems a bit confused. The Koch bros. are not an organisation. They are just two individuals which makes your comparison a bit silly. I see that Sou and Bill have pointed out the other problems with that comparison.
      Anyway I doubt that $67 is a true figure. The Koch's spend hundreds of millions of dollars on American elections. How much of that money filters down to candidates who are for taking action to protect future generations from AGW.


  7. the graphs appear to show an increase of about 0.8 deg or 0.28% over 100 years. Is that a concern?

    1. It's only the bottom of the curtains on fire, a mere 1% increase over the flames in the fireplace. No need to fret.

    2. Yes. Because global warming is not going to stop any time soon.

      It's the pace of change that is the big problem. Species will not have time to adapt. If we do nothing, global warming is likely to continue ten times faster than any time in the past 65 million years.

      Rapid climate change (albeit much slower than what we're causing) is what brought about many of the major extinction events. I guess it depends on whether you place any value on the future or not. Most people probably don't think about much beyond their retirement, let alone the legacy we are leaving people over coming centuries and millennia.

      For thinking people, it is a very big concern.

    3. 1.0 C a century doesn't sound that hard to adapt to. Choices need to made as to what we're concerned enough about to spend money on. As well as how economically effective that spending is.
      What we seem to have is a lack of concern.
      Climate change is rated 14th on list of 15 concerns in the U.S.

      Republicans concern about Climate change: 10%
      Republicans concern about Availability and Affordability of energy: 32%
      Democrats concern about Climate change: 36%
      Democrats concern about Availability and Affordability of energy: 40%
      Have the Democrats been mesmerized by the Koch Brothers Machine into caring more about affordable energy? How come the Koch Brothers didn't make Gallup's list? Are they that good at concealing what they do?

    4. Doesn't it? How does a rise of 4C sound to you? That's what we are probably headed for by the end of this century. (Remember that at the rate we're going we're heading for a doubling of CO2 by half way through this century.) And it won't stop heating up on the 31st of December 2099. It could be a rise of six degrees or more after that if we don't switch to clean energy. It's even feasible to heat up the planet by 10 degrees or more, meaning vast areas will be intolerable for mammalian physiology.

      How does a rise of three metres (nine feet) or more of sea level over the coming two or three centuries sound? Too far ahead for you to contemplate - or even care about perhaps? How about a rise of one or up to two metres even this century?

      And what do you think of all the efforts in the USA to try to make sure the public doesn't appreciate what we are doing to the climate. Do you get all your science from polls of public opinion in the USA? No wonder you have been mesmerised by disinformation from the Koch Bros and the lobby groups they fund.

      What you seem to have is a lack of concern about anything except to "prove" there's nothing to worry about.

    5. "s that a concern?"

      Let me ask you something...

      If your core body temperature increased by 0.28% would you be concerned?

      And what it it plateaued at 1.25%? Or 1.5%?


    6. “How does a rise of 4C sound to you? That's what we are probably headed for by the end of this century.”

      Probably? No. That is the upper bound of projections, and is not at all confirmed as “what we are probably headed for”. Science also suggests a lower bound of a about 1 degC warming which is as just as probable as a 4 degC warming. To choose only the upper bound to illustrate a view on climate change shows bias, and a lack of regard for the uncertainty inherent in projections. An objective scientific approach is to quote the range of projections, and the source of the science which leads to those projections, and confirmation of the uncertainty in those projections.

    7. On the contrary, the upper bound is more like six degrees. You are confusing transient climate response with what's going to happen over the next 86 years. A doubling of CO2 is likely to get us to between one and 2.5 degrees of warming at the time of doubling, which will be around mid-century at the rate we are going. Not only will the world keep warming after that if we keep adding CO2, the world will keep warming after that because the TCR is transient. It will keep warming until it reaches equilibrium.

      There are many scientists who have estimated we cannot now avoid four degrees of warming by the end of this century.

    8. @Anonymous

      Where do you get your lower bound of 1degC from? A (real) citation needed I think. To choose only an incorrect lower bound shows a bias.

    9. @Anonymous

      An objective scientific approach is to quote the range of projections, and the source of the science which leads to those projections

      Only just noticed the hypocrisy. Wow!

    10. Jammy, point taken, noting I am not making any claims, merely pointing out a lack of accuracy. My point is that picking a number 1°C or 4°C or 6°C, and assigning a timeframe is wrong due to uncertainty in the ECS and also in the rate of doubling the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere. The scientifically credible way to accurately convey projections is to quote the range and source (convey the uncertainty), e.g. the IPCC AR5 conclusion on climate sensitivity: Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence

    11. You are wrong if you think that an estimate of 4C by the end of this century on the current rate of emissions is "inaccurate". It's what scientists themselves are expecting to happen if we don't cut emissions. In fact on the current pathway the IPCC projects a rise of 4.5 degrees C by 2100. See figure SPM.10 in AR5 WG1.


    12. “Where do you get your lower bound of 1 deg C from?”

      Also at Real Climate as Swanson's opinion: http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/07/warminginterrupted-much-ado-about-natural-variability/

      This is not a study as you asked for, it's a diagram. Around 1.0 C per century. We might ask what to do we think of Swanson?

      This one seems to be related to Swanson, around 1.0 C per century:

      SkS attempts to I am not quite sure what with Swanson:

      One of the simple pleasures of the climate debate is watching people unable to decide if they should with spiritedly disagree with Tsonis and Swanson.

      This shows maybe a bit more than 1.0 C per century:

      Sou, I can not prove there is nothing to worry about. We are doing an experiment with CO2. We may see how fragile and unstable the climate is? My opinion is that it is both stable and unstable. Stable enough to stay in a glacial or interglacial and unstable enough to transition between the two. Stable enough for a hiatus, unstable enough to step shift to slightly warmer as in about 1998. I think we are still trying figure out what it is we have with the climate, while projecting the future at the same time.

      With the obvious sea level rise, that's something we can do something about, but not by erecting windmills in Minnesota or shipping wood chips to England. Cities can look at long term solutions of not living so close to the oceans. They are already looking at storm water runoff, but in a paved over New York City that's not going to be easy. The runoff adds to the storm surge height. To me that's where to apply resources, directly at the problem rather than reducing CO2 by a percent or two.

    13. Sou, your linked graph shows a range of outcomes. No credible scientist would interpret that graph saying we are expecting 4C of warming, let alone ignore the uncertainty in the projection and future emissions rates.

      It should also be pointed out that the solid line in the linked graph does not match observations, but that’s another topic.

    14. Remember, the comment of mine that you are criticising was:

      "How does a rise of 4C sound to you? That's what we are probably headed for by the end of this century."

      I showed you the IPCC chart. How about Professor Steve Sherwood:


      If you prefer "we're heading for somewhere between 3.5C and 6C by 2100" (using the outer boundaries of the IPCC chart on our current trajectory), that's fine by me. I'd call it nitpicking.

    15. "No credible scientist would interpret that graph saying we are expecting 4C of warming, let alone ignore the uncertainty in the projection and future emissions rates."

      No credible scientist would say that expecting a mere 1C of warming is reasonable in the next century or so. The credible ones would generally say that 4C is a lot more likely based on current expectations than 1C. Your own line of argument strongly rebuts your own claim.

      Also, since you're citing Swanson to try and argue something about century-scale global warming you might want to take note of his comments at that article:

      "What do our results have to do with Global Warming, i.e., the century-scale response to greenhouse gas emissions? VERY LITTLE, contrary to claims that others have made on our behalf. Nature (with hopefully some constructive input from humans) will decide the global warming question based upon climate sensitivity, net radiative forcing, and oceanic storage of heat, not on the type of multi-decadal time scale variability we are discussing here. However, this apparent impulsive behavior explicitly highlights the fact that humanity is poking a complex, nonlinear system with GHG forcing – and that there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond."

      This does not display that "aw, shucks, it's probably only 1C per century which won't be so bad" sanguinity you're offering here. That's a good thing, because "1C per century doesn't sound that hard to adapt to" is awfully ignorant of both the human cost and the limits of adaptability of the ecosystem and the impacts to it of adapting, which Sou already alluded to in the comment you were replying to. Your argument to that effect appears to rely on the Fallacy of Personal Ignorance.

    16. Lotharsson remarks on Kyle Swanson. Real Climate has decided Swanson's 'much ado' post along with its graphs is Okay on that website. As I understand that, the key graph shows what he considers to be the underlying trend. Some commenters have suggested he cherry picked to get such a low rate of warming, about 1.0 C per century.

      Looking backwards has its advantages. We can call that historical accounting. What happened in numbers. Looking forward, we have projections. The prior is many times more certain than the future. The 1.0 C per century would have a lot of weight as it is what happened. The projections may happen.

      “...and that there are no guarantees to how the climate may respond."

      So we turn to our strongest pieces of information, the past. When we want to say something we can predict the future with suitable caution of 'no guarantees' or we can say we've seen 1.0 C per century and expect that to continue in the long term.

    17. Ragnaar, you are still playing that silly game, like when you where going all ice-age cometh and claiming, despite all available evidence to the contrary, that the Arctic sea ice will recover. Your ignorance knows no bounds. For a start, you can't project that the temperature rise over the next century will be around 1C based on recent temperature trends. WHY? Because the forcings that induced the temperature change were quite low compared to today and will be considerably higher in the forceable future. With your accounting background you should understand this more than most. If you have a rapidly growing successful company, and it made a profit of 1 million dollars, in 10 years time will the profit still be 1 million dollars?

      The same thing is occurring with our climate. For your assertion to be valid, the levels of greenhouse gases would not only need to stabilise now, but actually go in reverse. This is not happening, so your assumption that the temperature trends will be the same in the future as has been in the past is totally invalid.

      Think of it another way. If I put on a pot of water on the stove with the heat level set to 1, and measure the rate of increase in temperature, what will the rate of increase be when I slowing crank up the heat level up to 5? It certainly won't be the same as when it was at 1. Yet you are trying o argue that it will be the same as when it was at 1, totally throwing out the law's of physics.

      Look, it is patently obvious that you are a complete fool when it comes to understanding the climate and the underlying physical constraints and processes. You will make a ludicrous claim without regard to basic physical laws, and then when you are shown to be wrong, you will not concede and admit your error, but will bluster you way forward with even more ludicrous claims. This sheer arrogance and ignorance on your part is not a unique feature, but seems inherent in the denier psychology. The way you can just blissfully carry on without the acknowledgement of your bountiful ignorance and misunderstanding is absurd.

      What I would really like to know is why are you even here? You seem intend on a flagrant display of your complete incomprehension of climate science and your inability to learn even the most simplest of concepts. These sorts of attributes are more than welcome on sites like WUWT, in fact they are encouraged and supported, but on this site they are abhorred and loathed. So I will ask again. What is your motivation for this type of behaviour?

    18. Ragnaar wants to compare today to the past, which is a great idea. A lot of scientists study past climates. There is an entire field of paleoclimatology.

      Here are a few articles about past climate. (Warning: some are classified "Adult Only" and not suitable viewing for science deniers.)





    19. "Looking forward, we have projections. The prior is many times more certain than the future. "

      No, it's absolutely not "many times more certain" if what you mean (and you seem to!) is to simply extrapolate the prior without accounting for what is known about the system and what is changing about the system. Doing so is exceedingly stupid because it requires you to ignore all kinds of fairly well understood physics and all kinds of fairly well understood changes in factors (e.g. forcings) that affect the physics in favour of "how physics played out in the past given the factors of the past".

      If anything is "many times more certain" it is that taking into account as many factors and as much physics as possible is going to be a much better projection than extrapolating the past.

    20. I corrected that to something like I expect the total area of the Arctic sea ice to increase in the future. I think you are reaching a bit with the ice age cometh remark. Doing a simple exponential growth curve is one way of looking at things. I prefer something like this: http://royalsocietypublishing.org/content/roypta/367/1890/871/F1.large.jpg
      I would like to link to the Ghil post on Curry's website but I am unsure about doing that. The linked Z curve above can be used for a control parameter and temperature. If someone where to tell me that the Acme company is going to see continuing exponential I wouldn't believe them. Use exponential growth as a template and see how many things you can fit that to? Exponential growth is I think actually related to a positive feedback collapse: http://jbruhl.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/dragon-king.jpg
      On Sornette: http://law2050.com/2014/02/10/beyond-black-swans-the-dragon-kings-of-climate-change/
      Sornette illustrates ideas of factors possibly involved with regimes changes as mentioned in the PDO description by Sou.
      Exponential growth would almost by definition require a collapse as it often does in nature. The ENSO region spends most of its time in a positive feedback condition and we assume that that has collapsed every time and afterwords tended to an El Nino.

    21. I don't get whatever point you are trying to make (as usual), Ragnaar. I did notice the last para of your linked article is ominous, though not all true. Still, given we've chosen to rapidly shift into unchartered territory who's to say it won't happen:

      "We don’t really know much about how the global climate’s feedback systems could rearrange as temperatures rise. If they were to begin to harmonically align, some small tipping point–the next tenth of a degree rise or the next ppm reduction in ocean water salinity–could be the pin that pops the bubble. That Dragon King could make a financial crisis look like good times…."

    22. Sou:
      I will try again. Assuming a 0.1 C per decade increase for the past 100 years, I expect that to continue. Arguments can be made for how we are going to deviate from that. That 10 or 20 years from now something really big is going to happen if it doesn't happen sooner. We are trying to understand the system and cautious, historically based projections may have their place.

    23. Ragnaar, as other people have pointed out, your argument from personal incredulity doesn't carry any weight.

      It's good that you are "trying to understand", but don't use the Royal "we" to imply that your level of ignorance is shared by the scientific community. Historically based projections (ie from paleo studies) indicate that the world is going to get much hotter very quickly if we don't cut CO2 emissions.

    24. Lotharsson:
      The IPCC AR5:
      "Equilibrium climate sensitivity is likely in the range 1.5°C to 4.5°C (high confidence), extremely unlikely less than 1°C (high confidence), and very unlikely greater than 6°C (medium confidence)"
      The IPCC AR5:
      "[T]he rate of warming over the past 15 years (1998–2012) [is] 0.05 [–0.05 to +0.15] °C per decade)which is smaller than the rate calculated since 1951 (1951–2012) [of] 0.12 [0.08 to 0.14] °C per decade."
      The above are banner statements. Such uncertainty. That warming could be 1X or 3X. Why tell policy makers what happened in the last 61 years? It's natural to give weight to them doing that. And seeing as how they are only policy makers, what do we think they'll do with this 0.11 C per decade?

    25. Sheesh, more meaningless mutterings from Ragnaar. You will end up in the HotWhoppery quick smart if you don't shape up.

      Honestly. Why do you keep regurgitating the same old denier talking points and take not a whit of notice of the science itself or of any of the people who've made the effort to reply to you, Ragnaar. HotWhopper is not your personal notice board. Give it a rest. Go read some climate science for a change.

      Or do something else - anything that's more productive than rejecting science - like go read a comic book or watch a soap opera.

  8. Australia's angry summer of 2012-13 was just the entrée to a year of records.


  9. How much of the temperature spike in 2013 was due to the spike in the PDO at that time? In fact Australian temperatures in general broadly follow the PDO (not surprisingly).


    From data:

    1. What spike in PDO? Here is the PDO index. It was negative most of 2012 and 2013 if I'm using the right data.

      Here is a chart of Australian mean temp vs PDO with data from BoM and jisao.

      There are four articles in the BAMS supplement I linked to that examined the spring/summer of 2012-13 and/or 2013 as a whole.

    2. BTW, your own chart is hard to read, but it shows the same thing. The PDO index was negative in 2012-13 and only turned positive in 2014, 12 months after the Angry Summer.

      Here's the woodfortrees data you used, to help you see more clearly what your chart is telling you:

      The PDO would have some influence on Australian weather, but it isn't causing it to heat up over the medium to long term. (The big clue is in the word "oscillation" aka what goes up must come down.)

      And as the charts show, any influence is mixed up in the long term warming. The overall rise in Australia's temperatures is caused by the increase in GHGs.

    3. "What spike in PDO?"
      November 2011 the PDO is -2.33
      By May 2014 it's risen to +1.8

      That's a difference of +4.13

      You are right that my graph isn't the easiest to read. It's not helped that the Aus BMO figures are yearly anomalies, while the PDO data is monthly, but it was just to get the general idea.

      "Here is a chart of Australian mean temp vs PDO with data from BoM and jisao."

      Your chart is pretty, but is too heavily smoothed to show the detail of one summer. The raw data does.

      And of course the PD OSCILLATION is an oscillation. We can see it's effects quite clearly on Aus temperatures (e.g. PDO falls in the '50's => temp falls in the '50's. PDO rises in the 70's => temps rise in the '70's).

      What hasn't been shown is that the rise in temps in the 2010's is not due to the PDO, but to ACO2. The range of the PDO is very large (~6C), so to 'prove' that the steady forcing from ACO2 is 'responsible' (or made it more likely) for the recent rise you would need to show that the spike is outside the normal variation of the PDO. This has not been shown. Any anthropogenic temperature signal is simply dwarfed by the PDO.

    4. Are you trying to argue that the spike in May 2014 influenced the Angry Summer of 2012-13? How does that work?

      You didn't read the BAMS supplement did you. Otherwise you'd have had to acknowledge that global warming, caused by us, had a strong influence on the summer of 2012-13 and 2013 as a whole.

      The PDO is a long term influence, it doesn't work in short spikes. Nor can it cause long term warming.

      You are mixing up the signal with the noise. Shorter term things like ENSO have a bigger effect on year to year weather.

      The PDO is an index. It isn't degrees Celsius.


    5. "What spike?"

      In case you prefer a graph of the data: http://oi59.tinypic.com/11w8rom.jpg

    6. O...k...ay. So a change in the index in May 2014 caused Australia to have its hottest summer, year, spring etc on record in 2012-13.

      Got it.

      Do you time travel much yourself?

    7. @Rum Runner

      Come on Rum Runner, it is a very reasonable point. You started by saying there was a spike in 2013 that must have been something to do with the hot Australian summer of 2013. When you eventually agreed your spike was in 2014 it is quite reasonable for others to expect a follow up explanation of how that affected the previous year.'s temperature Or just gracefully admit you need a bit of time for a rethink.

    8. Jammy, RR's followup comments are in the HotWhoppery, FWIW.

    9. All this talk of the PDO may be a straw in the wind as the AGW denial cult positions itself for the post-Pausal world, which may be close upon us. While they have studiously ignored the shift from warm-phase PDO in the 90's to cool-phase in this century (in service of their Pause) they will be highlighting the shift back to warm-phase to "explain away" the coming Surge. Just you see if they don't ;)

    10. "And of course the PD OSCILLATION is an oscillation. We can see it's effects quite clearly on Aus temperatures (e.g. PDO falls in the '50's => temp falls in the '50's. PDO rises in the 70's => temps rise in the '70's). "

      PDO falls in the 2000's and temps don't fall. If the PDO influence is "quite clear" then there must be some countervailing influence. We call it "the enhanced greenhouse effect"; you may know it as Force X.

    11. Too much rum. Better stick more to running. :-)

  10. "In fact Australian temperatures in general broadly follow the PDO (not surprisingly)." What is surprising is that from your own graph of PDO and Australia's temperature anomalies, temperatures don't in general broadly follow the PDO. On your graph, sometimes they lead it (approx. 35 per cent of the range), sometimes they follow it (approx. 45 per cent of the range), sometimes they're synchronous (approx. 10 per cent), sometimes they move in opposite directions (approx. 10 per cent). There has to be an explanation for this other than monthly versus yearly data because this effect is not uniformly the same on your graphs. Tweeking the alignment better of the time scales of both data sets is not going to fix it either. There has to be another factor or factors that you've overlooked or ... If you used the same program that Bill Johnston incorrectly used on the BOM data you might find the years where the points of divergence occur between both sets of data and there is a problem with your "temperatures broadly following the PDO". The same program is used in factories to save costs, etc by trying to anticipate problems with plant equipment before its output exceeds acceptable tolerances around specifications.

    Just another point. You've got the scale of the temperature anomaly on the left hand side of your graph but you need to put the scale that you've used for the PDO on the right hand side of your graph.

  11. Sou we male undergrads used to joke about div grad and curl as a plot to describe fundamental differential evaluations of a function that we barely understood, We thought it had more to do hair. We were idiots! Forgive me!


  12. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. The link on the HotWoppery post to the UAH summer temperature did not work. I am surprised that the UAH dataset includes Australia, I wonder how they deal with the edge problem and stuff like that - must research it when I have time.

    2. I'm sorry about that. I forgot to upload the file. It's up now. They are quite different. Could be that the air in the layer in the troposphere moves up and down and sideways, so isn't the same temperature as the surface, while the surface stays still :) Or it could be that the UAH estimate is off. I wouldn't know. I think that BoM data would be fairly solid.

    3. Thanks. All good. The RSS website has a lot of technical detail about how they derive a temperature from the oxygen microwave glow in an air column kilometres deep. I recall someone said the measurements are thrown off by cloud.


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