David Stockwell and Anthony Cox reply to Lewandowsky and His Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics

COGNITIVE science is about the action and process of knowing, that is about intelligence and rational and non-rational intellectual processes. Professor Stephan Lewandowsky is a professor of Psychology specialising in cognitive process. He thinks the cognitive processes of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) sceptics is deficient and on the same level as “truthers” and other “conspiracy theorists”.  Furthermore, he is not backward in telling anyone who will listen that sceptics are “damn liars”.

Lewandowsky’s fulminations against sceptics continues a sinister trend in the AGW debate with a number of prominent AGW supporters casting aspersions about the moral legitimacy of scepticism and calling for sceptics to be jailed or prosecuted or at the very least banned as Senator Bob Brown advocates for leading sceptic Andrew Bolt.  However,  Lewandowsky’s diatribes go beyond legal and political action and calls into doubt the sanity of the sceptical position.

This is serious, for merely questioning the ‘science’ of AGW one now faces the opprobrium of having one’s mental ability questioned.

Lewandowsky has been very active, having several articles published at the ABC’s Unleashed. His most recent one is  cunning.  Apparently realising that the old stand-by of arguing from authority is not having any success in converting an increasingly cynical public, Lewandowsky has attempted to directly involve the public in the scientific process of validating the evidence for AGW. This process is described in his latest ABC article:


Because Lewandowsky is an award winning statistician and uses statistics in this latest paper another award winning statistician, Dr David Stockwell, thought having his sanity queried was worth the risk of highlighting the egregious statistical errors of Lewandowsky’s article.

While prepared to publish Lewandowsky’s offensive opinion, the ABC refused to publish the following rebuttal: 

Lewandowsky and the Statistics of Global Warming

Professor Lewandowsky says: “Statistics, when done properly, provide a robust and revealing tool to understand reality.”

He is right; statistics can help us understand the why and how of our physical world; good statistics can even help us prepare for our future. Have the statistics of anthropogenic global warming [AGW] helped us understand our physical world and helped us prepare for our future?
Lewandowsky warns us that “Single events carry little information” and to use single events to prove AGW is untrue is “cherry-picking”. In Lewandowsky’s opinion, one cold British winter [actually there have been three] does not a summer make. Rather it is the long-term changes which prove AGW, the reduction in the Arctic ice-cap, the rising seas and the increasing temperature.

This is true. The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change [IPCC] says that a minimum of 30 years have to be taken into account before any conclusions about changes in the physical reality of climate can be made. But the Arctic ice-cap was smaller in the 1930’s, and warmer, according to researcher Professor Petr Chylek. Sea levels have been rising for the last 10 thousand years, since the current interglacial or warm period began, at rates of increase much more rapid than the rates of today. And temperature has been increasing in the modern era since 1850, well before AGW is supposed to have begun.

This is the point about statistics; they are only as good as the information or data: the raw numbers. “Cherry picking” a section of data is not the only way of corrupting a statistical analysis; omitting or changing the data can do it as well. For instance Lewandowsky says “the Arctic icecap has shrunk by an area roughly equivalent to the size of Western Australia since 1980”. It sounds bad doesn’t it? It must be AGW. But this is the statistical technique of omission. What the Professor has not mentioned is that the Antarctic has increased in size since 1980 by an area roughly equivalent to two Western Australias. So, overall ice levels have increased.

Lewandowsky used two graphs to prove that the full range of data will reveal the truth and allow people to so readily see the trend that they can predict the future. The two graphs show identical data but with different headings; one an imaginary share price and the other the official temperature record of the IPCC, NASA GISS.

Even if we accept the NASA GISS temperature record as accurate the important issue is whether CO2 caused the trend. CO2 alone can’t have. CO2 has been increasing during the 20th Century at a constant rate but the temperature anomalies show many periods with cooling. Is it “cherry-picking” to focus on these cool periods?

No.  And for two reasons. Firstly, some of the cooler periods are longer than 30 years and so represent a climate period. It is legitimate to regard a cooler period as a contradiction to AGW and that some other factor is affecting the climate.

Secondly, Lewandowsky has not considered that there may be a better statistical explanation for the temperature record; choosing an inferior explanation is hard to justify. In fact there is a better explanation than CO2.

The better explanation is the Sun. One measure of the Sun’s influence on the Earth’s climate is called the Total Solar Irradiance [TSI]. TSI is a measure of the absolute intensity of solar radiation, integrated over the entire solar irradiance spectrum incident on the Earth’s atmosphere, that is, the sunlight reaching the atmosphere. Proxies of TSI such as sunspots go as far back as 1600. Figure 6.5 of the last IPCC report, AR4, shows the derived variations in TSI over this period according to a number of studies.

How can a comparison of whether TSI is a better explanation than AGW for the temperature anomalies of NASA GISS be done?

It can be done through statistics. Dr Jeffrey Glassman has compared the correlation between TSI and the temperature record over the 20th Century and found a 90% correlation. By comparison meteorologist Joseph D’Aleo calculates a statistical correlation between CO2 and temperature of only 42%.

Both the science of the Sun and AGW are supposedly well established yet the amount of money being invested in AGW is vastly greater than that being spent researching the Sun with less than half the statistical justification. This may be good business but it is not good science.

Lewandowsky says that for statistics to be effective one should use “All the data, for the entire globe, and for all available years.”

But Lewandowsky has not met his own criteria of “All the data”. The NASA GISS record is NOT the complete temperature record of AGW. The complete record is much longer.

Take Michael Mann’s hockey-stick.  The hockey-stick is a 2000 year temperature record based on dendro-climatic or tree-ring data. The hockey-stick purports to show an even temperature until the 20th Century when temperature increases at the same time as CO2.

 We have already seen that TSI is a better statistical explanation for the 20th Century but what is the best explanation the rest of the 2000 years?

The best explanation is not CO2. A new paper which was published with the honour of occupying the entire edition of a major research journal, The Annals of Applied Statistics, shows this. The paper is by two expert statisticians, Blakeley McShane and Abraham Wyner, who show the hockey-stick is based on flawed statistics and the Medieval Warm Period [MWP] was as warm and probably warmer than today.

In the spirit of Lewandowsky’s study we showed his graphs to David Stockwell’s school-age daughters who also thought the trend would be up. However, when the girls were shown a 2000 year temperature record consistent with McShane and Wyner’s analysis, they extended the graph downwards. The conclusion? Perception of trend direction depends on the duration examined.

More importantly, when asked if this was a good way to predict the future global temperature of the planet they said “Of course not!” Smart girls.

McShane and Wyner’s study is a major contradiction to AGW. Real data, and a variety of statistical methods, including those relied on by AGW proponents, fail to show anything unusual about the present temperature; and that includes Lewandowsky’s record extremes which the IPCC has shown to have occurred nine times over the last 1000 years.

With the past and the present statistically defeated for AGW what can AGW do? As Lewandowsky shows, like any fortune teller, it looks to the future where, statistically, anything is possible.

Predictions are the stock in trade of AGW.  All the AGW experts have used statistics to tell us what the future climate will be. The results have been statistically improbable in that they have been wrong at both the short term and the long term. For instance, in the short term the MET, England’s national weather service, has predicted mild winters from 2008; the winters have been some of the coldest in the last century. In 2005 the MET predicted a cold winter; it was mild.

In Australia, the Bureau of Meteorology [BoM] and CSIRO have predicted on the basis of climate model projections that the severity and intensity of droughts will double by 2050. David Stockwell has published a peer-reviewed statistical comparison of their models with the observations, which shows droughts decreasing over the last century, while the models showed droughts increasing last century.  The claim of an increasing drought trend in Australia was based on invalid model simulations. This is a classic case of the statistical method of garbage in, garbage out.

In 2007, CSIRO and BoM scientists Power and Smith published a paper claiming that due to increasing greenhouse gasses the Southern Oscillation Index [SOI] has shifted to a permanently lower level. This echoed a claim by NASA scientist Jim Hansen that one of the consequences of AGW might be permanent El Niño (hot, dry) conditions, leading to persistent droughts in Australia. However in a 2008 paper Professor Neville Nicholls showed that the change in the SOI was not statistically significant and the apparent decrease was largely due to a run of El Niño events during the late part of the 20th Century.

The recent strong La Niña (cool, wet) and high SOI conditions contributing to flooding in Australia has shown Nicholls’ statistical analysis is correct. Despite comments by prominent AGW scientists like David Karoly, Ian Lowe and Tim Flannery these are entirely natural conditions; the flood records for Queensland show that in the past, before AGW began, there were bigger and regular floods. As Professor Stewart Franks notes natural variability is creating the weather not AGW.

Lewandowsky in his study has gone to the public, for vindication. One can only hope his study instructions were not as forthcoming as the condemnation in his article of the “damn liars” who “deny climate science”.

The general public is the ultimate arbiter and that is as it should be in a democracy. Science and statistics are the handmaidens of public decision making and they should be transparent and honest, “crystal clear” as Lewandowsky says. If they aren’t then the numbers will not stack up.

The numbers of AGW don’t stack up and Lewandowsky’s test subjects will be left to decide whether lies, damned lies OR statistics best describes AGW.

83 Responses to David Stockwell and Anthony Cox reply to Lewandowsky and His Lies, Dam Lies and Statistics

  1. val majkus January 28, 2011 at 7:31 pm #

    cohenite this is a timely post; I’ve read a couple of Prof Lewandowsky’s posts on The Drum and what struck me as incorrect is that the ABC is a publically funded entity and why is it publishing an article on AGW by a person who has no expertise on the subject but is passionate about its existence
    that reflects badly on the ABC and on the Prof – just because he’s a professor are we supposed to give him more credibility;
    my view is that his university should discipline him for speaking out of turn – AGW has nothing to do with his expertise which is the science of mind and behaviour and he and his university should be ashamed of his using that expertise and his professsorship in this propoganda process

    for an example of what can happen when an expert speaks out against the settled govt line see
    It’s no coincidence that Johnson, a world-leading mathematics professor has been silenced in the very week his co-authored climate skeptic book, ‘Slaying the Sky Dragon: Death of the Greenhouse Gas Theory’ stormed has stormed the science best seller listings after rave reviews.

    Johnson is among 22 leading international experts who have dared to join forces and speak out in a blockbuster of a book that exposes the fraudulent science and calculations built into the theory of man-made global warming. The two-volume publication skillfully shreds the lies of government climatologists that faked the warming effect of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by falsely multiplying the numbers three times over.

    Cynics are claiming the teaching ban is a knee-jerk panic reaction to these startling revelations that Johnson had dared to explain in depth to his inquisitive students.

    Academic Censorship Gone Mad

    but lewandowsky is encouraged by our national publically funded broadcasted to speak about something about which he has no expertise

  2. cohenite January 28, 2011 at 7:51 pm #

    Yes val, censorship is stock and trade of AGW with the latest being Trenberth’s calls for the suspension of the Null Hypothesis and of course Miskolczi was censored by NASA.

    Frankly I don’t understand why the ABC didn’t publish David Stockwell’s rebuttal; unlike Lewandowsky Stockwell is a genuine climate scientist.

  3. Neville January 28, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    Interesting paper by Stockwell and Cox, but what if you had for example a 1000 year study of the PDO that seemed to track the extreme centuries long drought in the SW USA. ( just one example )

    This PDO reconstuction using tree rings from North America and Asia shows just how extreme the climate can be and in two opposing multi century events.

    The first shows almost a total negative PDO period from 1000 to 1160 without any change to positve in that 160 year period.

    This negative PDO then continues on for another 140 years to the year 1300 with only 4 small positive events of about 0.3 on the scale.

    So for 300 years we can see a giant negative PDO period showing enormous size on the scale and this super extreme event couldn’t have any human influence.

    We then find a super positive period of the PDO that runs from 1450 to 1575 with only a couple of tiny negative PDOs.

    Unfortunately for the warmists this all occured well before the 1750 to 1800 period starting the Ind. Rev.

    Just think of the super la ninas and El ninos that must have occured during those many centuries and climatic events from those massive changes must have dwarfed anything we have observed in the last 100+ years.

    Here is that graph from NOAA / Mac Donald.

    If anyone can explain this I’ll be very surprised.


  4. el gordo January 28, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

    Anthony Cox (comments at ‘Unleashed’) is illuminating.

    ‘Globally SST is also declining as is ocean heat content [OHC]. The higher SST around Australia now is entirely consistent with the –ve PDO and La Nina conditions where colder upwelling ocean water pushes the warmer surface water towards Australia. This changes the point of ocean evaporation and the location of the Indian Ocean Dipole [IOD]; it is this which determines the location of precipitation.

    ‘All this is evidence of natural cycles, in both form and extent. It is reprehensible that these tragic events should be twisted to prop up the theory of AGW.’

    Heard a rumor that PM Julia Gillard believes the floods had nothing to do with AGW? We can only hope she grow-up quickly and becomes a damn lying sceptic.

  5. val majkus January 28, 2011 at 8:31 pm #

    I also recall there was a scientist censored by (I think but I may be wrong) by CSIRO or a WA Uni
    does anyone recall that
    that scientist is now teaching in Sweden
    and el gordo Gillard will be forced to introduce a carbon tax

  6. Luke January 28, 2011 at 8:32 pm #

    So here’s the dynamic duo again – was saying Nicholls was rubbish the other day – now quoting him. What hypocrisy. Bagging Power who has done seminal work on the IPO which they’re love with. Totally misrepresented Scott and Power.

    Dismissing trends in SST which span PDO periods.

    Sunspots – what a load of dross. The last refuge of scoundrels.

    And not a serious publication between them on climate science (unless you’re desperate to quote the E&E)

    And WTF – Neville is actually quoting (choke – gasp) tree rings as PDO paleo-evidence – HAHAHAHAHA

    CSIRO and BoM must be giggling themselves to death.


    Licence sceptics not gun owners.

  7. val majkus January 28, 2011 at 9:11 pm #

    got to go; look forward to seeing what you’ve had to say tomorrow
    and check out David Stockwell’s blog Niche Modelling

  8. Alexander K January 28, 2011 at 9:27 pm #

    Very impressive article, and thanks. I am a regular reader/lurker at your blog but usually have little to contribute, but Lewandowsky’s arrogance and dishonesty has goaded me to comment.
    It amazes me that the ABC’s board, which is accountable to the Australian public, is not becoming nervous about supporting Lewandowsky and AGW, as the tide of public awareness that AGW is based on an idea which has no real-world evidence to support it is growing apace. The rebuttal of Lewandowsky’s specious and dishonest article is excellent and it is scandalous that the ABC has refused to run it. A publication with a credible set of editorial policies would have given the rebuttal equal space to Lewandowsky’s article, thus allowing the readers to exercise their own judgment.
    Just this morning, the UK’s Daily Mail ran an article about the huge and accelerating shrinkage in AGW support/belief by the public in the UK and it is apparent that a world-wide political search for a credible exit from looming disgrace is underway.
    As a Kiwi currently living in the UK, I have am constantly irritated by the bias of the BBC, which blatantly favours AGW and gives the sillest AGW views and proponents air time. I once thought the NZBC was a bit shonky, but I now see it as a model of impartiality by comparison. The BBC and the UK’s Guardian newspaper, which is Green to the point of self-parody,are firmly linked; the Guardian’s ‘Comment is Free’ is a sour joke.
    The UK’s Met Office, which seems to operate from the same ethical and tactical base as the BOM and NIWA, has been caught telling porkies about the lack of complaints about their woefully inaccurate winter forecasts, when Local bodies who the Met Office gave misleading advice to about the possible severity of this current winter and thus left those local authorities with inadequate equipment, grit and labour for dealing with major snowfalls and freezing conditions. The Met Office seems to regard their obligations very lightly and the consequences for getting forecasts so badly wrong has been a huge cost to the local and national economy, huge disruption and loss of life in motor accidents on ice-bound roads.
    The Met Office’s senior scientist, Julia Sligo, wants the UK public to stump up an extra £20 million NOW to improve their forecasting. The sceptical view of that request is that it would only result in the speedier delivery of inaccuracy.

  9. el gordo January 28, 2011 at 9:30 pm #

    ‘Sunspots – what a load of dross. The last refuge of scoundrels.’

    You are referring to Gavin Schmidt and Michael Mann? They seem to think solar forcing has a major impact on the NAO, which is more negative during times of low solar activity. The duo got that right.


  10. cohenite January 28, 2011 at 11:08 pm #

    luke, in respect of Nicholls, if there is any inconsistency it is entirely his; anyway here is his paper:


    And his recent Unleashed article:


    And how have Scott and Power been misrepresented?

  11. hunter January 29, 2011 at 12:07 am #

    The bottom line is that today’s climate science has made only one contribution to the world:
    Their increased buying power from receiving huge amounts of public and NGO money, as well as book and movie deals.
    Nothing to do with actually helping people. Nothing that predicts anything outside the normal range of historical variability.
    Not one weather event has been predicted before it has happened with any accuracy by the climate science community.
    Indeed, as the UK Met demonstrates, focusing on modern climate science damages predictive ability.
    Climate scientists piled on the Brisbane tragedy after it happened, not before, and are asking otherwise intelligent people to not notice the history of flood and drought in the region.
    The best climate scientists can do is to rig the game by lowering the null hypothesis so much that it is unfalsifiable.
    And take our money. The climate science community always seems to need more of our money.

  12. Neville January 29, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Well then Luke you’re the wunderkind who believes in CAGW, so tell us what caused the mega drought or extreme climate over western USA and Canada that lasted for centuries?

    If we’re supposed to believe via this Lewandowsky fool that sceptics have some sort of cognitive problem because they won’t accept that the last 100 years of climate has been unusual or unprecedented,( it obviously hasn’t ) then what about extreme centuries long droughts that show up in numerous proxy records? ( presumably not just tree rings)

    I don’t know if the MacDonald/ Case study is valid or not but it does give some validation for the extreme drought record for western USA and Canada, or are all the proxy records wrong for that region, just because it suits your argument?

    Btw here is a reference for that study from UCLA Geography Dept.


  13. Luke January 29, 2011 at 8:18 am #

    Neville – if you remember doofus it was actually I who told you about USA mega droughts but you don’t listen do you. What caused them – oh a warming most likely (any origin will do).

    As for MacDonald – you never see your own double standards do you – so after being up Mann about tree rings for years you’ve uncritically adopted MacDonald as gospel. While your own beloved Tisdale says about PDO proxies http://i40.tinypic.com/14c6zpg.png

    QUOTE” The longer-term dataset from MacDonald and Case (2005) skews the graph, so I’ve started the comparison in 1700 in Figure 3. There does not appear to be a persistent 60-year cycle in any of the PDO reconstruction datasets. If fact, there appears to be little agreement between the reconstructions prior to the early 1900s, but the datasets were, of course, based on different proxies and from different continents.”

    LITTLE AGREEMENT ! So you see if had posted MacDonald you would have scoffed about tree rings. But anything you like you’ll swallow immediately with no question.

    Cohenite – Scott and Power is much more nuanced than your political rant suggests. And you know it. And fancy having the temerity to quote Nicholls after the slag-off the other day.

    Just reminding you how dangerous the moral high ground trail can be.

    Hey who’s Lewandowsky anyway – is he important?

  14. Luke January 29, 2011 at 8:28 am #

    And again on a thread about moral high ground we have from hunter “Climate scientists piled on the Brisbane tragedy” piled on ? – what – 1or 2 comments ? That’s piled on is it? Again more faux sceptic nonsense.

    And this takes the cake why hunter must rank as the single most stupid commentator here of all time “Not one weather event has been predicted before it has happened with any accuracy by the climate science community.”

    What a stooge – useful weather forecasts just happen most weeks actually ! I am even shocked at a comment like this – simply shows hunter is without the slightest shred of credibility and is simply ranting. What dross.

    And “Nothing to do with actually helping people. Nothing that predicts anything outside the normal range of historical variability” – so in one breath taking pig ignorant comment this filth has dismissed all aviation and defence forecasting. Dismissed the entire cyclone alert and monitoring system. Dismissed the severe weather for agriculture system. Dismissed the national flood warning system.

    And then we have “as well as book and movie deals.” Surpasses all

  15. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 8:40 am #

    You can’t get away with this luke; Scott and Power nuanced my foot; their paper said that SOI would be on permanent low while Nicholls said no it was not; where’s the nuance in that?

    And as you know the relationship between SOI and weather is slightly more complex but the point is the ususal coterie of alarmist scientists, and it is more than 1 or 2 comments, have come out during and post floods and made the usual hysterical connections between AGW and catastrophe; not only has this been wrong scientifically but it is wrong in terms of precedence and the classification that these floods are the worst ever; this is what Dullard is saying and the only reason she is saying this is because our friends at BoM and CSIRO are whispering their incantations in her dumb ears.

  16. Bruce of Newcastle January 29, 2011 at 8:48 am #

    Luke – try to be polite, your case is better argued that way.

    Having said this, your position appears compromised by ignoring data such as the correlation between solar cycle length and temperature. The correlation is quite strong and explains most of the temperature record over the last 350 years. I am aware that correlation is not causation, but it also dovetails well with the Svensmark hypothesis (which has recently got a kick along in India).

    Regarding mega droughts and 50 year el Nino’s an interesting paper is Bond et al’s from 1997.

  17. Luke January 29, 2011 at 9:14 am #

    Bruce – hunter’s comments are an affront to decency. Your point noted however.

    Cohenite. Scott and Power in conclusion “While plausible, further research is needed to
    help quantify the extent to which global warming has in fact
    driven the unprecedented recent decline in the 30-year
    average value of the SOI.”

    And the real reason these scientist are interested – possible movements in SST and SOI baselines which should be of interest to any seasonal forecaster

    “Consequently, past
    experiences of ENSO impacts, and past inter-relationships
    underpinning statistical forecast systems, have probably
    become less accurate guides to the future. Taking these
    changes into account has the potential to increase the
    accuracy of seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts”

    In fact Cohenite – pretty well much serious AGW comment on rainfall in Australia is nuanced if you read the papers.

    So in your political rush to crush all establishment science you guys continue to trip over yourselves. Babies thrown out with bathwater.

  18. Neville January 29, 2011 at 9:25 am #

    Luke says “a warming causes mega droughts, any origin will do”, but of course a small warming for the last 100 years has to be caused by co2.

    Any other extreme historical events are just different, but this small warming has to be co2.
    What a nut case, it can’t be part LIA recovery, part solar variation, part UHIE and part bad temp measurement can it ?

    No this has to be a miniscule change of co2 in the atmosphere and that has to then lead to a positive feedback not negative.

    Fancy having such a compartmentalized brain that believes in this nonsense, I mean these people have no shame at all.

  19. TonyfromOz January 29, 2011 at 9:27 am #

    I owe you a debt of gratitude.
    You’re never going to change the way I think, but at least now I’ve worked out what you’re doing, so thanks for that!


  20. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Alexander above referred to the Met Office
    Here’s the latest about the cold or average winter forecast scandel http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2011/01/28/the-met-office-winter-forecast-lie-is-finally-nailed/
    links at the article
    We now have the truth. It is what many people have suspected since the story materialised. It’s now time for those who engineered the deception and those who allowed it to happen to pay the price for their actions.

    O/T but why does this Fed Govt always speak in hyperboles. In respect to the flood or ‘mateship’ levy which Gillard says results from ‘a natural disaster of unprecedented economic proportions still unfolding in our country’ have a look at Not quite so unprecedented a disaster
    at http://blogs.news.com.au/heraldsun/andrewbolt/
    There’s some informed comment by Risk Frontiers, an independent research centre at Macquarie University devoted to the understanding and pricing of catastrophe risks for the insurance and emergency management sectors.
    There’s a comparison of the insurance losses to date from these floods with those of previous years in Australia
    and a table showing insurance losses from natural disasters in the past

    As Bolt says costs will go up as more claims are processed – Some estimates say the insurable losses will be closer to $3 billion. This will also not include a lot of government-owned infrastructure.
    Gillard may yet be right, but for now the media should be slower to repeat the claim, so useful for the Government, that the floods are already the worst natural disaster we’ve ever faced.

  21. debbie January 29, 2011 at 9:40 am #

    Well done Cohenite,
    It constantly amazes me how public officials in particular can argue 2 completely different cases from the same set of statistics.
    The most telling example for me was the raging debate in parliament over the mining tax. They had exactly the same set of statistics and used them to argue completely different cases.
    While statistics are and should be objective, unfortunately in politics they are interpreted subjectively and then become immediately compromised.
    I suffered through 2 years of statistics at university. I respect their use if done objectively. The major lesson I learned was:
    The science of statistics has been disgracefully compromised by self interested and greedy public officials who torture the figures rather than analyse them.
    It also completely annoys me that many “scientists” dismiss credible primary source information as “anecdotal” and unreliable.
    What they really mean is that these observations mess up their statistics!
    As Jen clearly pointed out in an earlier post, anomolies must be recognised and treated in a proper statistical and scientific manner if we want to come up with truthful and useful answers rather than tortured and politically expedient answers.
    It seems that nearly everything to do with AGW these days has been tortured beyond repair.
    Everybody is cherry picking and using the statistics in a completely unreliable manner.
    It would be so much more productive if we allowed our scientists and statiticians to go back to the start and try again. All their figures have been compromised either by public officials or by anomolies and questionable data. There really isn’t much point in trying to defend them or poke holes in them anymore.
    They’ve been tortured and will now happily admit to just about anything.

  22. Luke January 29, 2011 at 9:46 am #

    Cohenite – the floods are not the worst in history. Clearly and by a mile. No contest.

    However the way they occured was most interesting in Brisbane. An incredible supercell(s) dropping an amazing amount of rain in a very short period. And thank heavens it stopped raining mid-event.

    Those who study I15 rainfall rates have been gob-stopped. Only a few events are above 160mm/hr.

    And if you’d like some serious discussion.

    Interestingly (and get yourself a SPOTA logon) – http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/ahead/archive/rainfall/index.shtml was for generally above average rainfall but changes quite a bit from month to month.
    Spota forecast last June was for above average rainfall across state. Each successive month the amount of rain forecast kept increasing http://www.longpaddock.qld.gov.au/spota1/reports.php.
    Anyway for this summer with high rainfall totals across the state Spota 1 looks to have done much better job than BoM system (both in terms of consistency and forecast ability)…..based just on looking at the maps.

    But BoM are still suspicious of the IPO/PDO – well for use in forecasting – which controversially SPOTA does use – Scott Power in Fin Review – Bureau not satifisied the pattern can be used to forecast. Although pattern of El Ninos and La Ninas could be distinctly different over different decades or generations – but then repeated coin tosses could show similair patterns with more heads than tails before the pattern reverses. (paraphrasing)

    And just to show Franks hasn’t got a monopoly on the PDO – http://www.agu.org/journals/ABS/2009/2008GL037049.shtml – towards the end of a warm cycle the Murray reaches historic low flows – although the recent episode was the lowest in 500 years. (Warmists may guess why or could just be a bad run). McGowan et al nuance their conclusion. And again PDO isn’t the end of it – they also bring up SAM and IOD.

    And in terms of some non-AGW commentary on extreme rainfall……a random comment – for record daily rainfall totals in Queensland, largest values are in south east Queensland. Observation was that these records have nothing to do with topography/ dew point temperatures. Could have something to do with shape of coastline?? Could that have any effect on how low pressure systems can remain stationary there.

  23. Luke January 29, 2011 at 9:57 am #

    Neville – you’re putting me over my daily comment limit – but you’ve asked the question. All your points are valid to raise but

    (1) you don’t have a solar driver in terms of TSI -for recent decades – in fact you have high temperatures, a quiet Sun and a La Nina (should be freezing)
    (2) temperature records are an issue – that’s why I say look at all land, ocean, satellite, reworked land records – http://www.skepticalscience.com/news.php?n=287 , and species behaviour – I think a warming is unequivocal. You’ll even find trends at Marion island and Heard Island of all places. Why a warming is an issue?
    (3) recovery from LIA – is almost anthropomorphic – the climate doesn’t “recover” – it’s moved by forcings – which surely are based on science

    The CO2 hypothesis based on known physics and the absence of other drivers.

    You will note I haven’t espoused alarmism. Simply concern.

  24. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 10:38 am #

    luke, some comparisons between 2011 and 1974:

    “Brisbane’s three-days and one-day totals were 600mm and 314mm in 1974, compared with 166mm and 110mm in 2011″


    “peak rainfalls from the 1974 event were substantially heavier than those in 2011″.

    But, “in 1974 the heaviest rains were closer to the coast whereas in 2011 heavy rains spread further inland.”

    The difference, therefore, apart from greater intensity and total in 1974, was the slight difference in location.

    Now, this is the point you ignore: all the notable climate scientists wheeled out post flood, Karoly, Nicholls [despite his earlier paper], Flannery, all of them have still said AGW was present in some way, more evaporation, SST or something which meant this event was the harbinger of doom in the form of more frequent extremes. Now it is true that there has been a slight increase in very heavy precipitation days over the 20thC:


    But if you note the time scale between the precipitation and the temperature extremes you will see that the temperatures are based from 1960:


    Why is that?

  25. spangled drongo January 29, 2011 at 10:41 am #

    “We then use the PDO to reconstruct annual inflows to the Murray River back to A.D. 1474. These show penta-decadal and quasi-centennial cycles of low inflows and a possible 500 year cycle of much greater inflow variability. Superimposed on this is the likely influence of recent anthropogenic global warming. We believe this may explain the exceptionally low inflows of the past decade, the lowest of the previous 529 years.”

    Be interesting to know if Balz, one of the authors was in charge of the nuancing.

  26. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 10:43 am #

    here’s an article on the wicked weather which has some great photos as well

  27. Debbie January 29, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Actually those climate models used in the MDBP draft are seriously questionable. They extrapolate 40 years from 1990 to 2030. Note that they were completed in 2009. This means over half of their ‘actuals’ were drawn from the drought years and they’re missing the figures from 2010. I would suspect if 2010 was added to the models, the results would be quite different.
    Their conclusion was that we would be in for a run of very low inflows and therefore it will be necessary to slash irrigation so that we can keep our rivers alive.
    So far in 2010/11 in our part of the MDB we have had 3 floods.
    Actually I don’t think there’s a single river system or feeder system left in the MDB that hasn’t been in flood at least once in the last 6 months.
    Except for the storage systems that our state governments deliberately emptied (Eucumbene being the most obvious) nearly everything is chokkers or overflowing. There’s 1000′s GL flying through the ‘end of systems’ (read Murray Mouth in particular) every single day as well.
    I wonder if they’re courageous enough to add the latest figures to their models and paint a current statistical analysis of the MDB system?
    hmmmmm unlikely.
    Is that what you mean by nuancing?

  28. Luke January 29, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    Sigh – we’re not talking about daily or Brisbane are we. You’re not getting any better. I was talking intensity – 15 minute rain rates – which is what gives you flash flooding.

    Lockyer Ck exceeded 1893 heights. They also had a 1 in 5000 event above Wivenhoe (different catchment).

    Bigger floods have happened. The basics in 2011 were a super La Nina and PDO – however in an AGW world theory says more moisture in these circumstances, heavier storms, supercells – simply a muse. Don’t get too excited. My 2nd last post provided some context.

    As for BoM’s analysis:

    “A comparison of the 2011 southeast Queensland rainfall with previous events
    While all of the data is yet to be compiled, a preliminary comparison can be made between the
    three-day rainfall totals from the 10-12 January 2011 event with those of 25-27 January 1974 is
    shown in Figure 5.
    Peak rainfalls from the 1974 event were substantially heavier than those in 2011. A number of
    stations had three-day totals from 25-27 January 1974 in excess of 1000 mm, the highest being
    1215.0 mm at Mount Tamborine, compared with the 2011 event peak of 648.4 mm. Many stations
    in the 1974 event experienced daily totals which exceeded 400 mm; the highest were 563.2 mm at
    Mount Tamborine and 561.5 mm at Wundurra, in the Gold Coast hinterland, while in the Brisbane
    area 475.8 mm fell on 26 January at Enoggera Reservoir. 1974 also saw much heavier rainfall in
    metropolitan Brisbane than 2011, with Brisbane’s three-day and peak one-day totals of 600.4 mm
    and 314.0 mm in 1974 comparing with 166.2 mm and 110.8 mm in 2011. However, in 1974 the
    heaviest rains were close to the coast, whereas in 2011 heavy falls spread further inland, and on the
    western fringe of the Brisbane River catchment and on the Great Dividing Range 2011 was the
    wetter of the two events (Figure 5, right). The weeks prior to the 1974 event, whilst wetter than
    normal, were also less wet than the equivalent weeks prior to the 2011 event. Over the Brisbane
    River catchment as a whole, average three-day rainfall in the 1974 event was 348.5 mm, compared
    with 286.4 mm in 2011, and all four major sub-catchments were also wetter in 1974 than in 2011,
    although by small margins in the cases of the Bremer (1974 442.1 mm; 2011 417.1 mm) and
    Lockyer (1974 331.3 mm; 2011 292.0 mm) sub-catchments.
    Insufficient rainfall data exist for a comprehensive assessment of the 1893 event. However, the
    available station data indicate that peak rainfalls in the region during the 1893 event were much
    heavier than those during either the 1974 or 2011 events. Crohamhurst, in the Glasshouse
    Mountains inland from the Sunshine Coast, received 907.0 mm on 3 February 1893, which remains
    an Australian daily record, whilst three-day totals included 1715.0 mm at Mooloolah and 1680.3
    mm at Crohamhurst”

    As for 1960 – well 1957b actually. Gee dat’s a hard un – hmmm – maybe coz dat’s when the computerised daily temp records started. http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/how/climarc.shtml

  29. lmwd January 29, 2011 at 11:06 am #

    Val – thanks for your reply to Alexander. Was wondering what was happening re the MET office predictions.

    I’m wondering if we’ll see court action against the MET office? Surely there has to be some consquences for making dodgy predictions, on which people, Govt and business base decisions. Certainly I heard a rumour that one of the European based airlines was considering it, though haven’t seen anything to confirm this.

    BoM and CSIRO should be taking note! A couple of years back they were predicting on-going drought because of AGW. I do wonder how much this ‘official position’ contributed to our being ill-prepared, in every sense and including psychologically, for the return of these weather patterns?

    Interesting now they are predicting what scientists like Franks have said all along is likely, based on history. Their cause though is AGW, which no doubt is to help Gillard out.

    The theory of AGW has become a monster of Chimerical proportions – it’s ugly and feeds on fear (and govt funding).

  30. el gordo January 29, 2011 at 11:10 am #


    Looking at the PDO graph the impression is that it was very negative during the MWP and positive throughout the LIA.

    Which indicates to me that the PDO is probably not a driving force in the NH.

  31. Luke January 29, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    ” A couple of years back they were predicting on-going drought because of AGW” no there weren’t. WRONG

    Pls cite the report that said La Nina was gone and it would never ever rain again.

    In fact from a report quoted here recently on CSIRO and other science – key finding “longer dryer periods interrupted by more
    intense rainfall events” http://www.climatechange.qld.gov.au/pdf/climate-change-in-queensland-2010.pdf

    “Climate change is also likely to affect extreme
    rainfall in south-east Queensland (Abbs et al.
    2007). Projections indicate an increase in two-hour,
    24-hour and 72-hour extreme rainfall events for
    large areas of south-east Queensland”

    So on a thread about moral high ground – when are sceptics going to misrepresenting?

  32. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 12:09 pm #

    crikey luke, you remind me of when I used to go eel trapping; they were slippery too; you say:

    “As for 1960 – well 1957b actually. Gee dat’s a hard un – hmmm – maybe coz dat’s when the computerised daily temp records started.”

    Give me a break; take a stroll through the RCS network:


    And count the number of pre-1957 sites. And what about this:


    The annual mean and maximum temperature graphs cover the 20thC; of course they show warming but that is problematic:


    What do the boys and girls at BoM and CSIRO have to say about the Stewart analysis?

  33. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 12:48 pm #

    The CSIRO http://www.climatechange.qld.gov.au/pdf/climate-change-in-queensland-2010.pdf
    relevant page is page 31 copied below:
    Extreme rainfall is defined as the amount of rain
    falling in the top one per cent of rainfall days.
    Projections based on 15 climate models and a
    medium emissions (A1B) scenario indicated that
    Cape York can expect up to a four per cent increase
    in extreme rainfall across all seasons, and that
    western Queensland and the Gulf Region can
    expect up to a four per cent increase in summer and
    autumn (CSIRO & BoM 2007).
    Climate change is also likely to affect extreme
    rainfall in south-east Queensland (Abbs et al.
    2007). Projections indicate an increase in two-hour,
    24-hour and 72-hour extreme rainfall events for
    large areas of south-east Queensland, especially
    in the McPherson and Great Dividing ranges, west
    of Brisbane and the Gold Coast. For example, Abbs
    et al. (2007) found that under the A2 emissions
    scenario, extreme rainfall intensity averaged over
    the Gold Coast sub-region is projected to increase
    by 48 per cent for a two-hour event, 16 per cent for
    a 24-hour event and 14 per cent for a 72-hour event
    by 2070. Therefore despite a projected decrease in
    rainfall across most of Queensland, the projected
    increase in rainfall intensity could result in more
    flooding events.’

    Don’t know where that takes us; the point is whether the recent rainfall was more ‘extreme’ than historical rainfall events

    Warwick Hughes in his post Australian Bureau of Meteorology report conceals details of high rainfall in February 1893
    has done monthly tables
    he says ‘First I would say – there is plenty of rainfall data from 1893 to allow the Feb 1893 floods event to be realistically compared in various ways with 1974 and 2010/11 – for example on maps – or as I show below with a few examples – by way of a table.’
    check out his table linked here
    Warwick’s conclusion in many stations in SE Qld and in the Brisbane catchment – rain in Feb 1893 was higher than that for Dec 2010 and was often the highest monthly rain on record.

  34. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 12:55 pm #

    lmwd thanks for your comment; doubt if we’ll see any action against the MET office; no doubt they have disclaimers on their site – in short ‘rely on this at your own risk’
    If you’re interested in the NIWA action results the latest post is here

  35. el gordo January 29, 2011 at 12:58 pm #


    Enjoyed reading Bond et al. and it cleared-up a question of whether the LIA was a Bond Event.

    ‘Whether the climatic amelioration since the Little Ice Age marks the onset of a warm phase of the cycle is, however, unclear. The series of climate events we have identified were not strictly periodic, and brief warmings often punctuated the cold phases of the millennial-scale fluctuations.’

    Certainly the LIA fitted the bill, particularly regarding the ice rafting.

    So at this point I’m assuming we are in the warm phase of the cycle, which poses a new question. Can you give me three separate dates of where we might be in the cycles? I’ll be searching.

  36. Luke January 29, 2011 at 1:08 pm #

    Val – you obviously don’t know the first thing about rainfall intensity. Get some pluvio data ! And mateyI have just given you BoM’s analysis above. They’ve said as much. Nothing has been hidden except your integrity for pushing sheer nonsense.

    Cohers – For that sort of analysis they’re looking for substantial station numbers. Jeez they’ve just analysed what they had on hand in Adam. Sheesh !

    The boys and girls have done their own analyses, as many others have, and they’re happy.

    Actually instead of being a fringe dweller go down and see David Jones and discuss your problems.

  37. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

    Luke you’re being very defensive; I merely linked the para to which you referred about extreme rainfall (which I might say you should have done yourself) and gave some other pertinent links

    Now here’s a discussion which we might all be interested in following http://www.slayingtheskydragon.com/latest-news/100-top-scientists-in-heated-debate-over-slaying-of-greenhouse-gas-theory
    starts next week at Dr Curry’s blog
    I’m going to keep an eye on it

  38. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    You can’t help yourself luke, you just have to be provocative:

    “Actually instead of being a fringe dweller go down and see David Jones and discuss your problems”

    You mean this David Jones who was intoning this rubbish a little while ago:


    Noteworthy excerpts from Professor Jones:

    “NSW’s mean temperature was 1.13 degrees above average. “That is a very substantial anomaly,” Dr Jones said. “It’s equivalent to moving NSW 150 kilometres closer to the equator.”

    Obviously with the recent rains we have now moved to just offsure beside Lord Howe Island.

    “”There is a debate in the climate community, after … close to 12 years of drought, whether this is something permanent. Certainly, in terms of temperature, that seems to be our reality, and that there is no turning back.”

    Do these guys have any shame?

  39. Geoff Brown January 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm #

    Originally posted on the TCS blog as Lies, damn lies, and Stephen Lewandosky -


  40. Bruce of Newcastle January 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm #

    el gordo – I don’t think the LIA was one, as there seemed to be no big cold extended drought in the Middle East, as appears to happen with these things. The ‘Bond’ or ‘D-O’ events look to be a century or two long and also correlate with bad Indian monsoon failures. I don’t see this in the historical record in India around that time either. Could have been an early weak event I guess, since the ~2800 BP event also wasn’t all that strong.

  41. Luke January 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    Cohenite – So I take it you’d rather just stir than achieve anything serious. Typical faux sceptic.
    BTW pls clean up your party web site. I think the election is over. And try to to get disentangled from the property rights crowd. They’re only using you.

  42. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 5:28 pm #

    Luke you have no argumentative skills
    sorry …..
    I noticed on your last post (can’t remember what it was called something like ‘looking for AGW in a sea of variability’ you failed to link your references to your post) and unfortunately you have not learned that requirement since then
    at this stage you’re just yelling; you’re offering no arguments (and if you believe you are you’re offering no links, I had to find your CSIRO link for you)
    how lazy is that????
    how persuasive is that????
    not to me; not at all
    Luke if Jen if provides a post for you in the future then give a link to your references in the text as well as the referenes below
    It’s only that’s because we’re so courteous that we have not pulled you up on that before
    Your previous post (I’m sorry) was not written in an appropriate way
    Link in the post (you didn’t do and then references below)
    Jennifer is kind and I too am hopeful that you will learn
    Eventually …..

  43. el gordo January 29, 2011 at 5:31 pm #

    Thanks Bruce, in that case we may have reached a tipping point, because the Mass Migration Period began around 1470 years ago – after the Roman Warming.

  44. David Stockwell January 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Nuanced? Judge for yourself…

    Power&Smith said in 2007 http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2007/2007GL030854.shtml “However, our results, together with results from climate models forced with increasing greenhouse gas levels, suggest that the recent apparent dominance might instead reflect a shift to a lower mean SOI value.”

    Nicholls said in 2008 http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2008/2008GL034499.shtml “There is no evidence of trends in the variability or the persistence of the indices, nor in their seasonal patterns.”

    I said in 2009 http://landshape.org/enm/files/2011/01/walkerarticle.pdf (unpublished) “We find no significant long-term changes in the indices, although the SOI appears to have recovered from an anomalously low period from 1976 to 1998.”

    But apparently Power doesn’t anymore believe that GHG caused lower SOI (and by association El Nino droughts either).

    Power&Kochiuba 2010 http://www.springerlink.com/content/r5281417u3776164/
    “Our results also indicate that the observed decline in the SOI in recent decades has been driven by natural, internally generated variability.”

  45. Luke January 29, 2011 at 6:21 pm #

    Now Val – I have been abused here for providing too many links. Too much “link link” they said. So now you’d like links would you.

    You see Val – just maybe – perhaps and I know this really really hard – where my previous post said SPOTA, McKeon, Helman, and Chiew – do you think that possibly (and I know this is a long shot and hard to conceptualise) that where it says SPOTA, McKeon, Helman, and Chiew in the reference URLs that they might actually be the substantiating links to the text. And that would leave two references which is a lot and if you dared to what we call “click” on them or “tap” if you’re using a touch pad – that they might reveal the words Folland and Power which just possibly could link to their mention in the text. Isn’t that amazing.

    Nah – too hard.

    Now Val – just between you and me while nobody else is looking – are there any substantiating links for the bold assertions in this lead story on this thread. Nope !

    And in terms of yelling – read the lead story here. Honestly.

    As I said Val – some sceptics have strange double standards – it’s my job to point that out to you. But yes I will provide a gaggle of embedded references should I rise again to write the volumes 2, 3 and 4 of accompanying posts.

  46. lmwd January 29, 2011 at 6:24 pm #

    Thanks for the links Val.

    Luke, I don’t have the actual report but quite happy for you to assert that either major newspapers are misquoting these scientific bodies with the aim of scaring people (if Timbal’s quote is incorrect and a false representation was given, did these bodies ask for a correction that you are aware of? Or perhaps the scientists are telling the public something different from what they put in their resports? Which is it?

    From The Age, August 30, 2009:

    SCIENTISTS studying Victoria’s crippling drought have, for the first time, proved the link between rising levels of greenhouse gases and the state’s dramatic decline in rainfall. A three-year collaboration between the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO has confirmed what many scientists long suspected: that the 13-year drought is not just a natural dry stretch but a shift related to climate change. “It’s reasonable to say that a lot of the current drought of the last 12 to 13 years is due to ongoing global warming,” said the bureau’s Bertrand Timbal. “In the minds of a lot of people, the rainfall we had in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s was a benchmark. A lot of our [water and agriculture] planning was done during that time. But we are just not going to have that sort of good rain again as long as the system is warming up.”

    Given the above, think I’ll go with Franks on why we can expect more frequent/intense La Ninas over the next 20 years or so.


    Great to see Jennifer quoted in The Australian and the IDO mentioned.

  47. Malcolm Hill January 29, 2011 at 6:31 pm #


    Another variation on the same theme of Lies, Dam lies and Statistics.

    Same result …reflecting poorly upon the AGW fraternity.

  48. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 6:33 pm #

    Luke if you have an assertion and you are not a scientist THEN you HAVE TO provide a link other wise your assertions have no credibility
    An excuse that ‘i’ve been abused for providing too many links’ contains no credibility for me
    IF you’re not a scientist and you want to rely upon some paper THEN provide a link
    it’s lazyness to do otherwise
    when you get to David Stockwell’s qualifications and you have your own blogg with articles then well maybe we’ll accept your comments without links
    OTHERWISE links (and embedded references in your comments AND your posts) are required otherwise you have no credibility – unlike David Stockwell

    sorry …. I know this is really hard

  49. Neville January 29, 2011 at 6:41 pm #

    A 10% drop in stratospheric water vapour since 2000, see Pielke Snr.
    Shouldn’t be happening should it?


  50. Luke January 29, 2011 at 6:44 pm #

    So again on a thread about moral high ground the boys just cannot help themselves with quote mining. Yes you be the judge indeed.

    A selective little snippet from Power and Smith was offered. We’ll let that go as commented on above.

    So let’s have another little snippet missed by David from Power and Kociuba who actually ALSO said further on ” So while the
    SOI is an excellent indicator of interannual variability in
    both the equatorial MSLP gradient and the WC, it is a
    highly misleading indicator of long-term equatorial changes linked to global warming. Our results also indicate that
    the observed decline in the SOI in recent decades has been
    driven by natural, internally generated variability. …………..

    The 2010 global
    warming signal is already a major contributor to interdecadal variability in the SOI, equal to 45% of the standard
    deviation of 30-year running averages of the SOI. This
    figure is projected to increase to nearly 340% by the end of
    the 21st century. Implications that these discoveries have
    for understanding recent climatic change and for seasonal

    You guys just can’t help yourselves can you?

    And Val – I know it’s – but this refers to the URL links above in case you’re having any trouble.

  51. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 6:54 pm #

    Luke and where’s your link? it’s certainly not in your reply … so how can we check it … link it and tell us where it is and we’ll check
    otherwise you’ve got no credibility
    what does this mean without links
    (your words) And Val – I know it’s – but this refers to the URL links above in case you’re having any trouble

  52. manalive January 29, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

    Lewandowsky’s Drum piece is a sample of the extent to which the matter has descended to the level of schoolyard name-calling. It reminds me of the serial westerns I used to enjoy at the local flea house in the 40s, the black hats vs. the white hats.

    In Australia, as a political instrument, AGW (in the revolutionary sense) is either dead or in a deep coma and for that we have to thank Bolt in particular for his relentless exposure in the MSM of the lies and exaggerations used to promote it as a pretext for an unprecedented extension of the dead hand of government into our lives.

  53. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 7:12 pm #

    Luke try to replicate your replies upon David Stockwell’s reply (above)

    an assertion
    (a link)

    an assertion
    (a link)


    that’s the way to make your comments robust

  54. Luke January 29, 2011 at 7:25 pm #

    Gee Val – it’s sooooooo hard – click Stockwell’s 1st and last links

  55. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 8:04 pm #

    No Luke you’re making no sense;
    read my comment above again
    I know you don’t want to learn but when you’re not a scientist (and even when you are) you have to rely upon links as well as assertions
    an assertion
    (a link)

    an assertion
    (a link)


    otherwise your comments make as much sense as your recent post did

    Just a link without an assertion makes no sense

  56. val majkus January 29, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

    and an assertion without a link when you’re not an expert makes no sense either
    so repeat again
    an assertion
    (a link)

    an assertion
    (a link)


  57. hunter January 29, 2011 at 9:04 pm #

    The climatologists have provided crap advice at great cost and to their personal aggrandizement long enough.
    Time for the weathermen, civil engineers, property owners and political class to get to things that actually work.
    Enough bs from over paid bureaucrats dancing the CYA tango.

  58. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 9:57 pm #

    So luke, Power and Kociuba think that AGW will cause 340% of the standard deviation of the SOI during the 21stC? Can that be translated to temperature change?

  59. Luke January 29, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Cohers – so while we’ve been squabbling Scott’s been hard at it. So it’s the Walker not the SOI after all eh… false gods.

  60. cohenite January 29, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    luke, David’s WC paper is an empirical paper:


    And finds this:

    “Generalized changes in WC are unsupported
    given our results and findings: no evidence for weakening of the
    Walker circulation, disagreements over upper troposphere humidity levels,
    inconsistency of various feedbacks in the ENSO region, and low sensitivity
    of horizontal transport to the radiation budget changes.”

    Power and Smith’s alternative paper is based on model simulations with projections into the 21stC based on an anomalous period of El Nino’s which finished in 1998. Did you even read the above response to Lewandowsky which noted that estimating future trends on the basis of inadequate data length is statistically unsound? This is what Power and Smith have done.

  61. Alexander K January 30, 2011 at 6:59 am #

    Luke, your arm-waving is tiresome, mate. Take some time out to do some solid reading then when you come back, follow the excellent advice you have been given by Val Majkus and others. If you wish to raise your blood pressure arguing that model simulations are relevant to anything in the real and chaotic world of climate and weather, that’s your choice – if others won’t listen to your fallacious arguments and rudeness, that’s their choice.

  62. val majkus January 30, 2011 at 10:49 am #

    OMG….Maximum CO2 Will Warm Earth for 20 Milliseconds
    To explain the complete Earth energy flow that is expressed as short-term weather and long-term weather requires two, not easily approachable science subjects: Thermodynamic and Particle Physics. Identifying the forces and interactions is a complex subject for those with lifetimes of scientific study. It is first important to establish the heat flow that is in question, the Infrared (IR) emission of electromagnetic energy, absorbed by exposure to the Sun and continuously radiated back into space.

    The Warmist claim is that this energy is ‘captured’ by CO2 which then warms the planet. When the predicted warming ended in 1998, was modified to ‘change’ and then ‘disrupts’ the climate. The term ‘greenhouse’ is a focus group selected word with emotive connotations. The correct term is insulation, which does not WARM you, but only slows the rate of temperature change.

    This is more than a question of semantics. This term and this Faux Science have been intended to create a Faux Commodity Market, a Faux Energy Tax and unnecessary Faux Energy Use Controls. This is the ultimate power grab by out-of-control monopolists who are intent on controlling all human behavior.

    All substances absorb and emit electromagnetic energy in discrete spectrum bands. The Earths outgoing Infrared energy is in a narrow band and can be absorbed by CO2 only in the 5 and 15 micron wavelength range. There is a finite amount of this IR energy, so the absorption is not directly connected with the amount of CO2. The term ‘absorption’ is misleading also, for the amount of time that this IR flow is ‘interrupted’, called the lapse rate is a fraction of a millisecond.

    The majority of the space around an atom is void. Most IR energy passes through the CO2 molecules with no impact. The further you go above the surface of the Earth, the less air and the less CO2 you and outgoing IR waves will impact. Professor Nasif Nahle of the UA de Nuevo Leon has done the ‘mean free travel’ calculations on the IR escape rate. Outgoing IR energy is delayed by at most 22 milliseconds.

    That is the total extent of ‘global warming’. All of the Planets CO2, the 97% from natural and the 3% from man delay temperature change by an immeasurably small amount of time. And this ‘delayed’ heat transfer is NOT radiated back to Earth. It is leaving a ‘hot’ Earth at the speed of light for a ‘cool’ outer space and is only delayed momentarily.

    Joseph A. Olson, PE,

    AND how much warming are we talking about?

    post by Ira Glickstein which includes a chart for the a graphic of the NASA GISS Global Land-Ocean Temperature Index that indicates the official climate Team estimate of about 0.8ºC net warming since 1880 the majority of which they allocate to human activities

    Hmmm…I don’t feel endangered by AGW … does anyone else?

  63. Luke January 30, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    Honestly Val – are you some sort of fool for denialist crap. If you want to play scientist and use references – it’s not standard practice to espouse utter fanciful bullshit without comprehensive referencing of the current consensus position and then illustrate where it’s wrong. And try to use the peer reviewed literature eh? Not some blog comment.

    And does it ever occur to you that you can measure this supposedly non-existent radiation any night in your backyard. Man have you no discriminating ability. Not even Lindzen or Spencer would give any truck to this sort of dross.

  64. cohenite January 30, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

    luke, we spoke about the relative energy transfers of back radiation at night, which is a measure of the “pure” greenhouse effect, and insolation, and I believe Gavin was going to put out saucers of water to illustrate the point. He has never got back; I bet he put out saucers of milk instead and has measured his neighbourhood cat population and is too ashamed to admit it.

  65. val majkus January 30, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

    Luke your comment is a bit like what I expected; didn’t think you’d like it; don’t get too defensive now – you’ll give yourself an ulcer

  66. Luke January 30, 2011 at 12:38 pm #

    Just make with the references Val as per your gold standard.

  67. val majkus January 30, 2011 at 6:18 pm #

    I have my doubts about you Luke; you scream and shout too much; sorry … and you never come with a credible response (or at least you might have done I just haven’t seen it)

    When in difficulties when in doubt
    run in circles scream and shout

  68. gavin January 30, 2011 at 7:42 pm #

    cohenite; that must have been some trivia way back, I don’t even recall the context but you can go dig it up again.

    Since I can’t touch my toes (not for the usual reason) saucers of water are out quite out order so we use the odd po goezunder type or something just as deep in the garage and in the make shift storage area under the house in case a cat gets shut in. They last only a few weeks before becoming bone dry in either place regardless of mishaps.

    BTW its the potted tomato plants that use their pan water quick as and most of them now reach the gutters above hence we are too busy watching for killer wilt to be watching too much blog nonsense.

    37C days and 19-20 nights


  69. el gordo January 30, 2011 at 8:17 pm #

    Let’s try and get some backbone into the blog with articulate, intelligent and witty comments. Restrict waffle and abuse, if possible, otherwise we lose credibility.

    Hello Gavin, could you direct me to a link showing sea level between 1250 BC to 800 BC?

  70. val majkus January 30, 2011 at 8:24 pm #

    Let’s try and get some backbone into the blog with articulate, intelligent and witty comments

    Totally agree El gordo

  71. Luke January 30, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

    Did you say articulate and intelligent?

    That’s witty !

  72. gavin January 30, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    el gordo; let’s focus on the here now with agw hey

    note; the “anomaly” that impacts most downunder this season


    get the animated view here


  73. cohenite January 30, 2011 at 9:01 pm #

    I quite agree; in the article the recent paper of McShane and Wyner is referred to; this paper simply decimates the historical basis of AGW; this paper is given a full review at its publication as shown at the bottom here:


    The McKitrick and McIntyre comment says this:

    “It also needs to be clearly recognized, that, even though MW results are rather discouraging for the reconstructions using the Mann et al 2008 network, they are, in a sense, a best case as they assume that the quality of the data set is satisfactory (thereby not taking a position on prominent controversies over the proxies within this data set. For example, the Korttajarvi sediment series have been contaminated in their modern portion by bridge and other construction sediments, a point made in the original publication (Tiljander et al 2003).”

    In fact, from a statistical viewpoint M&W completely dismantle Mann’s statistics; if the problems with the data [and only the most doozy AGW supporter could possibly claim that Mann's samples are good] then AGW must rest on the temperature and climate period from ~1850.

    In that period from 1850 it is clear that CO2 is not a dominant player, if a player at all. I defy luke and Gavin the cat man, or indeed anyone to present any evidence from the modern era to substantiate AGW.

  74. gavin January 30, 2011 at 9:21 pm #

    every now and then we see a whole load of bs “science” dumped here by those who have never done a physics course or measurement job.

    This week I met a Phd student from Vietnam who is experimenting with light speed circuit design so we had a little chat about wave guides in general. The previous day it was a chance meeting with a former agency boss who for a time managed the ITU so we had a quick bash at the NBN from opposite sides of the track. Today it was a book customer who wished not to believe in human progress so I borrowed from the other two. Denial come in many disguises.

    I leave this link for val


  75. el gordo January 31, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    Gavin walks into the shed and throws down a paper on Val’s desk, knowing it’s a narrow field. Although our mate is no longer exactly a scientist, he does exhibit the arrogance and pride of the AGW fraternity. Has interesting conversations with people of worth….

    ‘Let’s focus on the here now with agw,’ said Gavin. No, we haven’t found the AGW signal amid the noise and as the ice cores tell us, CO2 lags temperature rise by around 800 years.

  76. val majkus January 31, 2011 at 6:28 pm #

    thanks el gordo; I must admit I have been fascinated by Charles Anderson (a materials physicist)
    “It appears that if any “greenhouse effect” occurs due to CO2 in our atmosphere, that effect is very small compared to the 3-dimensional effects of distributed heat with convection heat transfer. That this is so has long been known by NASA, which nonetheless has played a very major role in the promotion of AGW alarmism on the basis of greenhouse gases!”

    I’m no physicist but …

  77. cohenite January 31, 2011 at 6:30 pm #

    el, our gavin is a master; take this paragraph:

    “This week I met a Phd student from Vietnam who is experimenting with light speed circuit design so we had a little chat about wave guides in general. The previous day it was a chance meeting with a former agency boss who for a time managed the ITU so we had a quick bash at the NBN from opposite sides of the track. Today it was a book customer who wished not to believe in human progress so I borrowed from the other two. Denial come in many disguises”

    Wading pass the usual studied ‘aw shucks’ tone and lack of artiface the inherent subtlety becomes apparent; for instance, what are we to make of “from opposite sides of the track”? Does gavin support the NBN or oppose it; or is this a symbolic reference to gavin’s love of nature and dislike of civilisation; are the tracks the tracks which divide us from our true natural selves?

    And what does this mean: “who wished not to believe in human progress so I borrowed from the other two. “? Human progress? Borrowed what? And what disguises?

    Sinister and complex? On the other hand maybe he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  78. Louis Hissink February 1, 2011 at 8:57 pm #


    night time downwelling of IR does not necessarily mean it’s due to a greenhouse effect. The usual Stephan Boltzmann equation posits that the earth should be 0 degrees Celsius at its surface but the physical error is in the assumption that the earth’s objective surface is the rocky and liquid bit; wrong, its the limit of the atmosphere and that is the stratopause. There is therefore no thermal anomaly to explain, and no need for a greenhouse gas theory to explain poorly understood physics.

    As for the downwelling IR, electric currents produce those too and the earth’s atmosphere is dominated by them, usually in the dark current mode, often as arc mode discharges, (Lightning) or occasionally as glow discharges of the polar auroras. The existence of an ambien electric field implies the existence of electric currents as well, and all electric currents passing through matter generate…….

  79. el gordo February 6, 2011 at 9:53 am #

    In the absence of a Tip thread, I’ll just drop this here.


    Congratulations on being there and I hope the Sceptics win.

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