Monday, May 16, 2016

Force X = Force N + Force D, and a Notch (maybe)

Sou | 7:06 PM Go to the first of 36 comments. Add a comment
Over at Jo Nova's blog, the Rocket Scientist from Luna Park, David Evans, and his long-suffering partner Jo Nova, ran into a spot of bother. They'd written something like 30 articles about Force X and The Notch, promising a big freeze is about to hit the world. Then they hit a brick wall. They couldn't figure out where to go next, how to string things out a bit longer.

David has been looking for a magical mysterious invisible Force X from an imaginary notch he thought he'd found. He's creating this alternative theory of climate for science deniers of the extremely gullible kind. His Force has magical and conflicting properties:
  • it's undetectable
  • its effect is delayed by the length of the solar cycle that comes after the Force is with us
  • it appears as flickers of sunlight
  • it comes out of the sun
  • it is ten or twenty times stronger than incoming solar radiation
  • it controls how much sunlight is reflected to space from earth, without changing the temperature on Earth
  • it also controls how much sunlight comes into Earth
  • the mechanism could be by UV, magnetic field effects, solar wind, or other form of electrical field.
We will feel the effect as major cooling either in 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 or 2024. The drop in temperature will be 0.3 C, or it will drop to that of the 1950s, or maybe it will drop to that of the 1920s.

The reason we know it's there is because "the dog didn't bark". That is, it's because we can't see it, we can't hear it, we can't smell it, we can't feel it, and we've no way of detecting it, that we know it has to be there.

The big problem confronting David and Jo, apart from the obvious, was how the heck could an imaginary force delay itself by a solar cycle that hasn't happened. That is, the force doesn't know how long it needs to wait before it cools the planet until the next solar cycle is complete. Assuming Force X isn't sentient (which can't be ruled out), David came up with what he probably thought was a clever solution. He decided to split Force X into two (archived here).

Force X is now Force N and Force D. Or for those in the know, from this point forward it will be known as the Force-ND Hypothesis, unless Jo and David change their mind. David proudly announced Equation 1, "schematically":

Force X = Force N + Force D

Force N is synchronised with the sun and happens at the beginning of the solar cycle. I think that is shorthand for saying it acts at the same point in every solar cycle. It might or might not have the effects of Force X. That is, it might affect the amount of sunlight reflected from Earth or it might not. Maybe by changing clouds or maybe not. It does cause notching, which means nothing at all according to Lubos Motl.

Force D is also synchronised with the sun. It is delayed by one solar cycle, meaning I know not what. Does it start at the beginning of the same solar cycle as Force N, but get delayed? Or does it start at the end of a solar cycle at the same time as the next Force N?  Force D, we're told solemnly, does affect how much sun is reflected out to space from Earth, through means mysterious and undetectable. It knows when to pop out by getting a signal from David Evans' smoothed TSI graph. (Let's hope David hangs about for a while or Force D might trot off to another planet.)

I've no idea what David has in mind, but here's a guess:

I don't know what part if any David's Force N plays in all this or what form it takes. David seems to think it comes from the sun. Does Force D come from the sun, or is it triggered by Force N after Force N lies dormant somewhere for a solar cycle? In which case, what's the difference between his magical Force X and his new-found Force N and Force D?

There are other questions of course, such as why hasn't there been any sight, sound, smell or touch of these magical forces before now, or now? In thousands of years of sun watching, there's not one person who has so much as hinted at these magical invisible undetectable forces.

Never mind. As David and Jo say, we'll know when the cold hits. It didn't hit in 2014, which was the hottest year on record until 2015. Maybe it will be felt in 2017 after the effects of this current El Nino wear off. Or in 2018 or 2019 or 2020 or 2024 or for however long David and Jo can string along their suckers donors.

From the HotWhopper archives


  1. Ha, you're still reading that tripe too. "Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity", sigh. I eagerly await the two new forces in turn splitting into two, until we end up back a Phlogiston or somesuch.

    1. He he. I go over there every so often to see how things are going. Poor old David's not just stuck, he's racing backwards :(

    2. "I eagerly await the two new forces in turn splitting into two"

      Maybe. I'm expecting the next ones to be Force E, Force I, Force A and finally, Force L.

      And then it would make sense again.


  2. Mind you, a cooling of 0.3 degrees in the aftermath of a major el Nino is perfectly feasible, in which case Nobel Prizes all round.

  3. "That is, it's because we can't see it, we can't hear it, we can't smell it, we can't feel it, and we've no way of detecting it, that we know it has to be there."

    Hmmm I think you may have quote the IPU:

    Invisible Pink Unicorns are beings of great spiritual power. We know this because they are capable of being invisible and pink at the same time. Like all religions, the Faith of the Invisible Pink Unicorns is based upon both logic and faith. We have faith that they are pink; we logically know that they are invisible because we can't see them. — Serah Eley[8][9]


  4. Yesterday upon the stair
    I met a force that wasn’t there
    It wasn’t there again today
    I wish, I wish it'd go away

    Apologies to Hughes Mearns

  5. Force X sounds like a dragon I keep in my garage ;)

  6. So it's David "funny sunny" Archibald? Should Evans & Codling be "even funnier sunnier"?

    1. :)

      David Archibald is a fan of Jo and David Evans. They come from the same town I think, so probably know each other.

      David Archibald wrote about Force X some time ago and predicted that by 2020 "The projected temperature decline of about 2.0°C is within the historic range of the CET record. "

      It's not clear if he meant just the temperature in England or the world. He probably means the world. Like a lot of deniers, he thinks the temperature in any spot he fancies is a proxy for the world as a whole.

      He also said:

      "Climate variability will see spikes up and down from that level. The spikes down will be killers. The biggest spike you see on that record, in 1740, killed 20% of the population of Ireland, 100 years before the more famous potato famine.

      I consider that David Evans’ notch-filter model is a big advance in climate science. Validation is coming very soon. Then stock up on tinned lard with 9,020 calories per kg. A pallet load could be a life-saver."


    2. Hell's teeth. 2 degrees in 4 years, or even 10 years would be absolutely stunning. (I really can't remember when this malarkey first appeared, I suspect my memory banks sort of ffzzzt a bit on this topic. It might be more than 10 years.)

      Do these people read what they write or listen to what they say? 2 degrees!

      I just checked back on your April graph. 2 degrees less for April would be off your graph. Dug around a bit and found this Berkeley Earth decadal average graph with a _big_ dip in the 1810s. http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-w2tuUoqX9hQ/TqEnNJAkskI/AAAAAAAAAqg/WnQKsKAbtDk/s1600/_56174211_climate_change_624gr.gif

      That _would_ make the 2 degrees lower. Once. 200+ years ago. Makes some kind of sense in one of those parallel universes I s'pose.

    3. Archibald mentions 1740 : in 1739 there was a major eruption in Japan, Tumarae, which messed up weather the way these things do. Not a great example to hang one's hat on, but I doubt Archibald looked into the matter in such, um, depth. No deeper than the graph, in fact. Heaven forfend he wonder what's behind it.

    4. That should be "Tarumae", for those who want to investigate in more depth. Estimated at VEI 5 so it was capable of injecting appreciable material into the stratosphere.

  7. Formerly aka Climate Elves: perhaps we need to make that Elves and Pixies now.

  8. it's a better title for a movie, Force X

    much better than Climate Hustle

    1. As soon as Evans gets Netflix, he will divide Force X into two noncommunitive explanatory components, Force IX altered cloud cover by driving Plan IX from Outer Space , while Force 10 from Navarone lowered sea surface temperature during WWII

    2. Coming in 2017, a second Notch: O-Libre.

  9. How did I miss this one? They must be Star Wars fans and probably eagerly awaited the last installment of the film.

    Thanks for pointing out another idiocy.

  10. Horror of horrors, I find myself in partial agreement with Lubos Motl. The 'Notch' is an entirely unremarkable result of Evans approach, which is simply to smooth all the data and define the relationship of solar activity and temperatures as:

    Solar [*] ForceX = Temperatures (where [*] is a convolution)

    In frequency space this becomes:

    (Fourier) Solar * ForceX = Temperatures (where * is a multiplication)

    All well and good, if Evans had derived the filter from physical principles. But no, it's a tautological definition, because he derives ForceX by:

    (Fourier) ForceX = Temperatures / Solar - solely by definition

    And since solar inputs to the climate have a strong 11-year cycle, 'ForceX' has a notch to cancel it out - that's where it comes from. Since there's no strong 11-year cycle in temperatures, ForceX has a notch to remove it.

    I could do the same sort of definition to relate cicada populations, or the relative numbers of gray and black squirrels in North America, or the number 17 , to global temperatures, and derive my very own ForceCicada, ForceSquirrel, or Force17 (Force17 = Temperatures / 17). But just like ForceX, none of these would have any physical climate meaning.

    As Lubos pointed out, the ForceX theory matches at the very least the crackpot indexes 1 (several times), 10, 11, 12 (emailing Lubos), 19, 26 (no physical mechanism), and definitely 37 (claiming you have a revolutionary theory but giving no concrete testable predictions - his critical dates keep shifting).

    1. KR,


      "One should also be shot in the head if they divide time series with a TSI time series (with a known spectral peak ~11 years) and starts seeing low amplitude 'notches' at, yes, you guessed it, ~11 years."

    2. Yup. You can't characterize a transfer function without either an absence of any other influences (which means in this case circular reasoning to claim CO2 has no effect), or a complete characterization of ammo other influences and their transfer functions so that can be removed. Neither is the case for Evans and ForceX.

      As a result he's starting a trivial and nonphysical identity, a tautology with absolutely no relevance to cause and effect.

      His claims of being an expert in transfer functions are not supported by his blog postings. And I say that as someone with considerable personal experience in characterizing system frequency responses and transfer functions...

    3. Sorry, that should be 'all', not 'ammo' - autocorrect in action...

  11. But this tweet.
    AU electricity board chief thinks Jo Nova is a scientist.

    1. Well she work on that Science Circus stuff a while back, didn't she. So her life has gone from informer to disinformer.

  12. As Sou knows, a key weakness of Force X is it invokes nuclear tests having a large impact on global temperatures (indeed, far larger than that of volcanoes). Codling and Evans(?) have hand-waved that this may be caused by dust in the atmosphere, but measurements of atmospheric dust show nuclear tests produced very dust atmospheric dust relative to volcanoes.

    Codling is now aware of this issue (https://twitter.com/MJIBrown/status/715139715679199232) but thus far I don't believe Force X has been modified to accomodate the negligible impact of nuclear tests on global temperatures.

  13. Force N(ova) & Force D(avid)?

  14. In this case, Force is a one-letter typo away from a better word.

    Really, consider calling this Farce X = Farce N + Farce D

    1. I am wondering if this farce subdivision hasn't been necessitated by the recent record temperatures. Perhaps it was no longer possible, no matter the quantity of mathturbation, to obtain a prediction of cooling using a single farce.

    2. Farce, indeed.

      And when the day comes that the Arctic Ocean is ice-free, sea levels are flooding the streets of some of the world's megacities, coral reefs are crumbling wrecks, megadroughts and megafloods are scourging large swathes of the planet, and extinction rates are decimating biodiversity, you can be sure that Codling and Evans will be claiming that it's still not carbon dioxide, but that climate scientists around the world all conspired to leave their oven doors open in order to warm the planet and prove their sciencey "theories".

  15. Force X(AKA N+D) is an integral component of the tiger deflector I keep in my front yard. You may scoff, but I tell you it works a treat!...

  16. This should, of course, be painfully obvious, but I don't know if anyone has stated it outright. If someone has, please forgive the repetition.

    The problem with the ridiculous "Farce X = Farce N + Farce D" climate "model" is that it is based on absolutely nothing. It is an attempt to fit observed temperature changes (obtained apparently by somehow combining a bunch of disparate data sets) to various randomly-chosen natural cycles and some both periodic and non-periodic phenomena (ex: nuclear tests), with no theoretical structure or physical analysis that specifies the possible relationships.

    One might as well relate the absurdly-combined temperature data with rugby scores or theorize an inverse relationship to the declining sales of hooped skirts.

    Observe that there is a priori no physical connection either known or theorized between the randomly-chosen "causes" and the mashed-together data sets that are imagined to be "caused". In the absence of any physics linking these unrelated things, one is forced to conjure the spirits of the mysterious gnomes that steal socks from the laundry and thus create mismatched pairs.

    Jo Nova has decided to name one of these gnomes "Force X", and said gnome has recently birthed (perhaps by mitosis) two further gnomes, "N" and "D". There still is no actual physics being proposed, and no testable theory other than the typical Ice Age Cometh proposal. Since no visible link has been hypothesized between the mashed-up temperature series and the randomly-chosen "causes", we cannot rationally expect any predictions to have any particular relationship to future events.

    The difference between this and actual science should be at once obvious. AGW theory is not based on a mindless statistical effort to match previous observations with a trendline or with some random ongoing process (i.e., increased emissions of a faddishly unpopular gas). No, AGW theory is based on the known and proven physical process of infrared absorption by certain gasses, specifically CO2 (also water vapor, methane, and others), coupled with fluid dynamics, knowledge of ocean currents and prevailing winds, calculated changes in albedo and atmospheric particulates, and so on.

    What Nova et al are committing is a parody of science, an attempt to ridicule science, by pretending climate scientists are engaging in activities as transparently absurd and superficial as what Nova herself is doing. As such, being a mere parody, there is no expectation nor desire to produce any accurate predictions, or even anything approaching a viable "theory". It's a joke, a cartoonish bit of Dada-ist jabborwocky, and isn't intended to be seen as anything more than that. If it manages to bilk some gullible denialists out of money, so much the better, but it isn't intended to be taken seriously.

    1. What I meant to say, in short, is that this fantastical "theory" is an attempt to find correlations between random events, and to then claim one of those events is caused by the others.

      This differs from scientific activity which attempts to actually explain connections and causes, not merely to document random coincidences.

      It's the difference between understanding orbital mechanics, and believing that turning the pages on my wall calendar causes the change of seasons.

    2. In essence Pseudoscience

      Word salad with zero explanitary powers

    3. It would seem that Force N has much in common with N rays.

    4. "It is an attempt to fit observed temperature changes (obtained apparently by somehow combining a bunch of disparate data sets) to various randomly-chosen natural cycles and some both periodic and non-periodic phenomena (ex: nuclear tests), with no theoretical structure or physical analysis that specifies the possible relationships."

      With the sole constraint that a conclusion satisfactory to the fossil fuel industry must be obtained.

  17. What are the climate-cranks going to do when the funding and tip-jar contributions dry up? I don't think there is much profit in newsletter subscriptions these day - everyone wants stuff to be free.


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