Saturday, November 3, 2018

Norman Page, the ice age comether, is back at WUWT

Sou | 11:47 PM Go to the first of 27 comments. Add a comment
There are a few strange climate cranks who still resurface from time to time. Today Anthony Watts is host once again to the ice age comether, Dr Norman Page. (Despite being a sun-worshipper, he is, or was, an oil consultant of the fossil fuel type, not suntan oil.)

No Re-evaluation from Norman

Five years ago, Norman had another one of his spurious articles at WUWT proclaiming a coming ice age. At the time he qualified his prediction, writing:
If there is not a 0.15 – 0.20. drop in Global SSTs by 2018 -20 I would need to re-evaluate.
If he did re-evaluate, it doesn't show.

Below is a chart of global average sea surface temperature anomalies. There is no sign of a drop, let alone a drop of 0.15 to -.2 C. You can hover over the chart to see the year and temperature anomaly.

Figure 1 | Annual global mean sea surface temperature anomaly - ERSST v4. The base period is 1971-2000. Data source: NCDC NOAA (ERSST V4)

Here is the same data with the 12 month average to September each year.
Figure 1 | Global mean sea surface temperature anomaly, 12 month average to September - ERSST v4. The base period is 1971-2000. Data source: NCDC NOAA (ERSST V4)

It's the sun, says Norman Page

Norman is one of those "it's the sun" deniers.  The sun-worshippers believe that if there's a dip in solar output, there will be an ice age, despite the fact that neither solar nor climate experts would agree with them. It's like the flat earthers not believing astronauts who take photos of earth, showing its round shape.

Not even his fudge factors give him an out this time. Norman wrote:
Because of the thermal inertia of the oceans there is a varying lag between the solar activity MTP and the varying climate metrics. The temperature peak is about 2003/4 – lag is about 12 years. The arctic sea ice volume minimum was in 2012 +/-  lag = 21 years. Possible sea level Millennial Turning Point – Oct 2015  lag = 24 years +/- (see https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/ ) Since Oct 2015 sea level has risen at a rate of only 8.3 cms/century. It will likely begin to fall within the next 4 or 5 years. For the details see data, discussion, and forecasts in  Figs 3,4,5,10,11,and 12 in the links below.
I think "MTP" is meant to stand for "Millennial Turning Point" which means I know not what. Not to worry. Add 12 years to 2003/4 and you get 2015/6 - by coincidence two of the three hottest years on record so far. Last year (2017) was the second hottest. This year will probably be the fourth hottest, just after 2015. There's no sign of any turning point away from global warming.

Figure 1 | Annual average global mean surface temperature anomaly. The base period is 1951-1980. Data source: GISS NASA

I really don't know why WUWT posts this sort of nonsense. It only looks sillier as time goes on and the world keeps warming. Imagine how far ice age comethers' credibility will have to be stretched by say, 2030, particularly if the world hasn't made a substantial cut in greenhouse gas emissions by then.

Further reading from the HotWhopper archives


  1. "particularly if the world hasn't made a substantial cut in greenhouse gas emissions by then"

    An irritating thought. If we do manage to cut greenhouse emissions effectively and temperatures stabilise the climate deniers will just claim it was all a natural cycle. The only time they may admit they were wrong is when we are all going to hell in a handcart.

    1. Given the inertia in both human emissions and the climate, it would be very hard for any action starting now to show up in the temperature record 12 years later. Still worth trying, though.

  2. Yes, it's irritating. Just like when the anti-environment crowd scoff at warnings given decades ago - not admitting that without people heeding those warnings the world would be much worse off.

    Still, I'd rather be irritated than have society and the natural world destroyed.

    I can't see us achieving a stable climate by 2030 - that's only 12 years off. We'll be lucky to avoid 3 or 4 C of warming IMO, and probably won't the way the world is going. It's definitely worth trying because 2, 3 or even 4 degrees is way better than 6-10 C.

    1. "We'll be lucky to avoid 3 or 4 C of warming ..."

      Depressingly I think the same. My understanding is that would be nearly unbearable.

      There seems to have been a shift to more pessimism lately. (I know - not surprising given the lack of progress).

  3. I just can't believe these people actually believe what they are saying. I suspect they are retired so they are OK with making a fool of themselves in public, they are just doing their bit for their Cause against the environmentalists as it were. They might have other incentives as well, who knows?

    I have gotten to the point where I do not even bother analysing their claims for the obvious flaws. It's like someone claiming the earth is flat or evolution is only a hypothesis. You know in the bottom of your heart they are only pretending.

  4. "I really don't know why WUWT posts this sort of nonsense. It only looks sillier as time goes on and the world keeps warming."

    Desperation breeds more folly. If you're already desperate to being with - and you categorically refuse what the evidence actually shows - and if you're so obtuse that you simply don't care how silly and ridiculous you look and sound - and it makes for more website hits - and their readers don't care either, so why not? It's not like the facts actually matter.

  5. They print garbage like this because it works. Recent political events have shown that complete and utter nonsense will be accepted by the majority of the population. Any attempt to point out the lies no longer embarrasses: it can be rejected as "Fake Science" ("Fake News").

    But I love the way Dr Page cannot find any sine curve to suit the fossil fuel industry's needs. So now we can enjoy: "The cycle is asymmetric with a 650 year +/- down-leg and a 350 +/- year up-leg"

  6. Off topic.

    Another example of extreme weather to add to the list of places that have been hit this year. This river had never caused a problem like this before.


    It sounds like there may have been other factors perhaps? Poor flood control?

    "Town mayor Giovanni Di Giacinto spoke of a "frightening tragedy" - given the Milicia was only a small river that had never had much water."

    "It has never presented a threat to Casteldaccia, and it wasn't a very rainy day, anyway," he added.

  7. The GFS global temperature is trending down ,with the lowest temperature since 2014 occuring a few montha ago .
    This graph shows the 365 day moving average clearly trending down. Obviously the upcoming 2019 El Nino will cause the green line to curve up though...

    1. Here is a chart featuring most major datasets. Some are trending down more than others , but the overall trend is not up right now. The El Nino will (probably) push the anomaly much higher in a few months,and who knows whether it will set a new step-up level from there.

    2. https://oz4caster.files.wordpress.com/2018/11/m0-gta-2014-2018-10a.gif

    3. What I think you're trying to say, jmr, is that now the 15/16 El Nino has subsided, global surface temperatures have almost gone back to those before it emerged.

      Why pick the four hottest years on record, as a matter of interest?

    4. You cannot really claim the temperature is "trending down" when you do not show a trend line. Redo your calcs including a trend line and see what results you get.

      You do not make it clear where the data you are using is coming from - is it reanalysis data? I don't know if this data is homogenised or not.

      Another thing to consider is the confidence interval of any "trend", this is something you need to take into account.

    5. Sou: I haven't intentionally picked the 4 hottest years -just the last 4 years ,as these are what the graph I posted is looking at.

      Frank: the 365 day trendline is on the graph I posted. Yes I think it is GFS reanalysed data. I know that 4 years does not really indicate much but at least it the anomaly isn't increasing(yet)!
      Source: https://oz4caster.wordpress.com/monthly-trends/
      Thanks for replies.

    6. The link to the daily GFS reanalysis doesn't work if a specific date is part of it.This link should work ,and does show a 365 day trendline:-

    7. JMR.

      There is no trend line on the chart you gave a link to. Personally I would not not use reanalysis data if homogenised observation data is available for picking climate trends. Regardless four years is not long enough to pick a reliable trend.

    8. @ jmr - I expect you didn't pick the four hottest years intentionally. Funny that the most recent four years are the hottest, though, isn't it.

      I believe it's got something to do with global warming causing climate change, which is all caused by us.

      In other words, despite what you and Norman Page may think, an ice age isn't imminent. It's the increasingly hot age that we're facing (and causing).

    9. wouldn't you expect temps to decline after an El Nino peak (or any peak ftm - hence the term "peak") - otherwise temps would simply go up in a straight line

    10. Tadaaa.
      Thanks for reply.
      Yes I would expect temperatures to decline after an El Nino peak,usually due to La Nina conditions for several months. The point I am making , is that the GFSR data ,at least, *seems* to indicate a bigger drop than usual. A few months ago, the global surface temp. anomaly hit zero (baseline 1979-2000) which basically wiped out all of the warming at that point. It is back up to 0.4C right now( Climate Reanalyser data).

    11. Sou.
      Thanks for reply.
      I don't think an Ice Age is coming due to a deep solar minimum. I do think that all of the modern warming will be reversed as the oceans respond to a large decline in UV insolation. According to NASA, the Earth's thermosphere is already contracting rapidly due to reduced solar activity. I know that during the last prolonged solar minimum, Jupiter's Southern Equatorial Belt disappeared for a few months. Obviously correlation is not causation but interesting anyway. It will be interesting to see if it happens again.
      Still,we will see what actually happens re. global temperature anomalies vs deep solar minimum/ weak upcoming solar cycle 25 in the coming years. A giant live science experiment!

    12. jmr:
      Sorry, but UV changes do not have the power to drive climate. It varies by ~ 6 mW/m^2 over the course of a solar cycle. Milliwatts (1/1000 W).
      You may be confusing regional cooling in parts of the NH at times of solar minima - this is due to a "top-down" process whereby the stratosphere influences the troposphere (more than usually) to, in a NH winter, contribute to SSW events (Sudden Stratospheric Warming) which allow HP to form over Arctic regions and plunge cold air southwards. It balances out with warm tropical air being pushed north and warming the Arctic. A stirring of the pot and not a removal of heat.

    13. Tony.
      Thanks for that. I'm learning more every day.

    14. JMR.

      "Jupiter's Southern Equatorial Belt disappeared for a few months."

      You have NO idea what you are talking about. I treated your previous comments in good faith, but I now see I have wasted my time.

      You are just repeating the Grand Solar Minimum hoax that is doing the rounds. I know a bit about solar physics and the GSM is bollocks. And even if there were a GSM, it affect on the global temperature is around zero.

    15. Tadaaa.

      I expect the global mean temperature to decline after a El Nino spike due to "regression to the mean" ie it is statistical. Physical reality might be more complicated, I guess it is possible the El Nino spike does release a pulse of heat to space so the earth does have to cool down a bit in response.

    16. Frank Rosser.
      Err What? I said correlation does not mean causation. I just mentioned it as it did actually happen. The explanation at the time was that the Reddish cloud band was obscured by opaque lighter clouds for some reason.
      I'm saying whatever big Jovian meteoroligical event caused the SEB to dim/be obscured/effectively vanish could happen again if ,say, diminished solar wind caused it? Or higher gamma ray influx?
      FPS, I imaged Jupiter's missing SEB at the time.
      We will see what happens in a few years as regards the GSM and our climate surely. Or lets igore reality and have 100% belief in GIGO computer models.
      Cheers for the aggressive comment anyways. This isn't WUWT ,is it?

    17. @Frank
      yes that's my point, which is essentially temperatures don't up in straight lines - why would they, why would you expect them too - they will peak and trough (on decadal timescales) I mean they don't even go up in a straight line on a monthly basis from Jan to July (NH), it is the long term trend that is important - and that is relentlessly upward it is getting hotter), what the deniers have to show is what is responsible for that upward trend that matches what we know about basic physics

  8. The use of "the ocean's thermal inertia" to explain why the system hasn't responded to the sun yet is one of my favorites. There literally isn't any single aspect of the physical system they can't get upside-down in their quest of rejecting anthropogenic climate change. I've heard contrarians insist that the cooling is coming even if ocean heat is rising because of "thermal inertia in the oceans". Meaning there is some inertia somewhere you can't measure it building up that's gonna kick in.

    Let's "pause" and remember that this giant rolling dung ball of conspiracy theories and pseudo-scientific crankery has successfully attached itself to major conservative party platforms in the U.S., U.K. and Australia.

    The Austrian economist Friedrich Hayek pointed to exactly this "propensity to reject well-substantiated new knowledge because [the conservative] dislikes some of the consequences which seem to follow" as the most objectionable feature of conservatism".


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