Open Thread

“ONLY beliefs are true or false, or sentences that express beliefs.” That’s according to Marianne Talbot, University of Oxford, explaining “critical reasoning” in a course available for download through iTunes. A theory, like anthropogenic global warming, is of course, meant to be scientifically-based so it should be open to logical argument and falsification.

Jennifer Marohasy outside Trinity Chapel in Melbourne for a wedding early August 2014.  Wearing a possum and sheep skin coat: it was very cold.

Jennifer Marohasy outside Trinity Chapel in Melbourne for a wedding early August 2014. Wearing a possum and sheep skin coat: it was very cold.

38 Responses to Open Thread

  1. Neville August 20, 2014 at 8:47 am #

    A new SL study has found that some parts of the coast of Thailand have experienced SLR because of ground water extraction and recent earthquake activity in the area. Certainly not because of thermal expansion and melting glaciers etc.

    They also found a 1 to 1.6mm per year global SLR or about 4 to 7 inches per century and that is 100mm to 175mm per century. Flannery and their ABC’s Williams have a lot of catching up to do. Certainly Robyn Williams claim to the Bolter would require well in excess of 1000 mm rise per year until 2100. Good luck with that Robyn.

  2. Neville August 20, 2014 at 10:47 am #

    The world’s largest solar plant is just another fraud and con. How much longer can this go on?

  3. Peter C August 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm #

    I have a question that others may be able to help with:
    Does the Greenhouse Gas Effect Theory make any predicitions which can be tested empirically?

  4. Peter C August 20, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    On a related topic. An alternative theory to the Greenhouse Gas Effect Theory is the Gravitational Atrmpospheric Compression Theory.

    The Gravitational theory had a stunning success when its predicitions were tested against NASA measurements of planetary atmospheres.

    The ideal gas law successfully predicts atmospheric temperatures for every planet in out solar system which has an atmosphere.

  5. Neville August 20, 2014 at 3:02 pm #

    Peter C I’m not sure if you can run a test of the theory of AGW that makes any real sense. The proof in CAGW should be obvious since 1950 but doesn’t seem to show up in any of the iconography.

    Like SLR, global sea ice, droughts, floods, hurrica, tornadoes, polar bears, Antarctic temps, glacier retreat, snowfall, the hot spot, relative humidity etc. 1950 is 64 years ago and you would think that would be long enough to see a trend in some of the above. And there has been SFA SS warming in the data sets for about 18 years.
    BTW Steve McIntyre is keeping the pressure up on Mann. He has an extended series exposing the porkies told by him over the years and this is his most recent post.

  6. Peter C August 20, 2014 at 7:38 pm #

    The Chapel at Trinity College, University of Melbourne, is an impressive building. I have been past it many times and have even been inside a few times. Dr Marohasy makes a fine adornment at the front door. I expect she kept her warm coat on when she entered as it is not much warmer inside. A big shock from the barmy climate of Noosa at this time of the year.

    Is Dr Marohasy by any chance a graduate of the University of Melbourne?

  7. davefromweewaa August 20, 2014 at 8:44 pm #

    Possum and sheepskin coat, wow!
    Great coat Jennifer, where are they sold and who makes them?

  8. jennifer August 21, 2014 at 4:32 am #

    Peter C

    Yes, many aspects of Greenhouse Gas theory are falsifiable…

    Here is one…

    Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases have been shown to absorb more of the sun’s energy – become more energized than other gases. Therefore more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more warming.

    The climate models predict that the warming will be most obvious as an observable ‘hot spot’ in the troposphere. In particular the climate models predict an increased greenhouse effect, a hot spot, about 10 kilometres into the atmosphere directly over the tropics (Bengstsson and Hodges 2009).

    But measurements from weather balloons have found no hot spot (Trenberth and Jones 2007). Should we toss out global warming theory? Not necessarily. According to the 2007 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) the apparent absence of a hot spot is because of likely errors in all the existing measurements of troposphere temperatures relative to the surface. 😉


    Bengtsson, L, Hodges KI, 2009. On the evaluation of temperature trends in the tropical troposphere, Climate Dynamics 36: 419-430. DOI: 10.1007/s00382-009-0680-y

    Trenberth, KE, Jones PD. 2007. Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change. In Solomon, S, D. Qin, M. Manning, Z. Chen, M. Marquis, K.B. Averyt, M. Tignor and H.L. Miller (eds.) Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, 2007. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  9. jennifer August 21, 2014 at 4:36 am #


    It’s the best coat… from BONZ in New Zealand…

    Possums, of course, are a pest in New Zealand. And rather than sheep skin I should have written ‘Broadtail/Karakul Lamb’… More here…

  10. jennifer August 21, 2014 at 4:37 am #

    Peter C

    I’m not a graduate from Melbourne Uni… the groom was. My degree and PhD is from Queensland University.


  11. egg August 21, 2014 at 8:01 am #

    ‘THE Coalition faces a $120 million-a-year budget hole on its Murray-Darling Basin plan beyond 2017, sparking calls by irrigators to use the current review of water laws to reform the roles of key agencies.

    ‘The National Irrigators’ Council is concerned that underfunding beyond 2017 — based on current budget forward estimates — could spark another shake-up in the system. This would create uncertainty for the industry or tempt governments to increase user charges for a program aimed at environmental outcomes.’

    Sid Maher / Oz

  12. davefromweewaa August 21, 2014 at 8:02 am #

    Thanks Jennifer.
    Great use for those pesky possums too.

  13. Neville August 21, 2014 at 8:27 am #

    Once again the nutters and extremists hope for more human misery from NATURAL weather events.

  14. Neville August 21, 2014 at 8:50 am #

    Shock horror a new study shows that warming in big cities can be up to 20F higher than surrounding rural areas. BIG SURPRISE NOT.

  15. Neville August 21, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    Very sound advice from the Bolter. Just cut the oxygen from the hypocrites in the senate and their stupid,windbag leader.

  16. Neville August 21, 2014 at 9:06 am #

    More on the new study that finds a correlation/link between Greenland climate and solar activity.

  17. Neville August 21, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    Jo Nova also has a post on the solar /Greenland climate change link. Well worth a read.

  18. Peter C August 21, 2014 at 10:07 am #

    Thanks Jennifer 21 Aug @4:32am,

    The example of a fasifiable test of the Greenhouse Gas Effect Theory (GHGET),ie the missing tropospheric hot spot, is in fact a fail for the theory. However we can get around that by noting that the hot spot is not a test of the GHGET itself. It is a predicition of Global Circulatuion Models which are somehow based on the GHGHET. Epicycle No 1.

    Quoting Jennifer:”Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases have been shown to absorb more of the sun’s energy – become more energized than other gases. Therefore more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere means more warming”.

    I am not denying the first part of this, ie Greenhouse gases have been shown to absorb more of the suns energy. The second and third parts are amenable to empirical experiment:
    1.Climate 101 with Bill Nye

    2. Greenhouse in a bottle by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

    Both of these Science Communicators purport to demonstrate that CO2 in a plastic bottle absorbs IR from a light or heat lamp and becomes warmer that a similar bottle containing Air. But they have both fudged their experiments. That predicition of the GHGET cannot be demostrated by this simple experiment. How do I know this? Because I have tried it myself using high concentraions of CO2 supplied by the British Oxygen Company, which is our local supplier of gases.

    Fail number two for the GHGET. But we can get around that as well,by proposing that perhaps the IR is all absorbed by the plastic bottle, which then warms the inside gas by conduction. Epicycle No 2.

    However I did not come here to debate the issues over again. What I am seeking is information. Specifically, what proportion of Infrared Radiation spectrum emitted by a Black Body at 80-100C is absorbed by CO2.

    If there is an agreed value for that I am proposing a better experiment which I will outline below.

  19. Neville August 21, 2014 at 10:30 am #

    Analysis of the top quality 23 stations in the USA show only an average of 0.16c warming in a century. I hope Jennifer and Ken Stewart etc have a look at this.

  20. Peter C August 21, 2014 at 11:51 am #

    Most skeptics have moved on from debating the Green House Gas Effect Theory (GHGET). However as far as I can see the GHGET has not passed any empirical tests.

    If the GHGET makes any predicition it is surely that it partially insulates a black body against loss of heat by radiation. The mechanism involves absorbtion of IR by Green house gas, rerediation, then absobtion of the reradiated IR by the surface of the black body.

    Any simple experiment to test the theory gets confounded by heat loss by conduction and convection, which are powerful causes of heat loss. The proportion of heat loss by conduction, convection and radiation can usually not be quantified.

    My proposed experiment involves a vacuum (thermos) flask.
    1. Initially the flask retains heat very well and its heat loss is measured by filling it with hot water and recording the temperatute over time.
    2. The vacuum is released and the chamber filled firstly with Air, and later with CO2, Once again the rate of heat loss is measured. The difference between the vacuum and the gas in the chamber is due to conduction. Convection plays little or no part since the gas in contained in a small space.
    3. The silvering is removed. Radiant heat loss is much larger than before. The radiant heat loss is the difference between 2. and 3. Once again the rate of heat loss is compared between CO2 and Air. If CO2 insulates against radiant heat loss the difference may be measureable.

    I am puitting this proposed experiment here in order that it can be critisissed.

    One issue I have is that I am not sure how much IR shouls be absorbed by 5mm thickness of CO2 at 99% concentration.

    The experiment takes quite a while to do, henmce I would like to see if it has fundemental flaws before I start it.

  21. handjive of August 21, 2014 at 5:59 pm #

    ‘Sell the water back’: Irrigators frustrated by Gwydir wetland environmental water management

    “Irrigators in the Gwydir Valley say they are victims of water “theft”, the wetland is as healthy as it every was, and that environmental water should be sold back to industry.

    The Murray-Darling Basin Plan was created to save one of the worlds great river systems and food production areas from environmental disaster.

    This year it is pretty dry in the region and most of the irrigators, whose businesses drive the local economy in Moree, haven’t got an allocation of water.

    They are looking longingly at the water in the dam.

    Two thirds of it is earmarked for the environment and will be released downstream later this year …”

  22. jennifer August 21, 2014 at 11:32 pm #

    Peter C,

    If the GHGET has not passed any empirical test, and can be easily falsified, why continue to waste your time on it?

    If you are interested in doing experiments, why not think about experiments that could contribute to a new theory of climate and support the ‘Slayers’ arguments? But to be useful, I believe you need to move beyond couching these arguments in terms of the falsification of AGW.

  23. Debbie August 22, 2014 at 7:26 am #

    Egg & Handjive.
    Perhaps the real issue is the Water Act 2007 & the MDBP?
    Both have made some shonky assumptions about the Aussie wetland environments and both are pretending that our storage & regulatory systems can operate in a manner that they were not designed for and therefore incapable of achieving.
    The principle behind the design of our systems was to store water in times of excess to be wisely used for production, electricity production, humans & the environment in the inevitable dry cycles.
    Now they’re attempting to put water on the back of floods and keep the estuary as a fresh water system. . .at the expense of production and, very sadly, at the expense of upstream environments.
    The result is a profligate waste of water for a nefarious ‘feel good’ political environmental goal.
    Whatever they thought they could achieve is simply not working.

  24. Peter Champness August 22, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    Thanks Jennifer,

    The GHGET is not easily falsifiable because it does not seem to make any numerical predictions. It seems to be an article of faith, as you referred to in the introduction to this thread.

    I am not smart enough to be a theoretical physicist. However for an alternative paradigm see my comment above at 20 Aug 2014 1:00pm. The Gravititional,theory has passed a test of planetary atmosphere temperatures at certain pressures.

    I am still hoping that someone can help a figure for actual,absorbtion of CO2 and other Greenmhouses gases at I R wavelengths.

    I don’t think performing experiments is a waste of time. If I can think of any experiments to test alternative paradigms I am happy to try them

  25. egg August 22, 2014 at 10:21 am #

    ‘Perhaps the real issue is the Water Act 2007 & the MDBP?’

    Yes, this whole debacle will need to be settled politically, so I imagine when they eventually realising global warming is a fraud, everything will return to normal.

  26. Debbie August 22, 2014 at 5:28 pm #

    I hope you’re right egg. There is a lot of time, money & opportunity being wasted atm.

  27. egg August 22, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

    Unravelling the whole mess will take time and in a financial sense it has
    been an expensive fraud, but after the global cooling tipping point we should see some positive action.

    In other nooze…

    ‘Just last week, Mexico cleared its final legislative hurdle ending 76 years of state monopoly and approved rules outlining the framework under which foreign companies will invest and drill for oil and natural gas in Mexico.

    ‘The recent expansion of oil and gas production in Northern Mexico is expected to top $1 trillion in investment over 10 years and create over 2.5 million new jobs by 2025 creating a new energy paradigm for North America. By combining the United States, Canada, and Mexico, oil and gas production in North America will be bigger than OPEC.’

    Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa, Bakken News

  28. Neville August 22, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    Global relative humidity has been declining since 1948. So how does this decline make sense when we should have seen a rise due to rapid increases in co2?
    And here is the link to the graph for relative humidity over the last 60+ years at different levels.

  29. jennifer August 22, 2014 at 9:34 pm #

    Peter C,

    We might have to agree to disagree. I think that Greenhouse Gas Theory has made many predictions of a numerical nature. And many of these have already been falsified.

    Your experiment seems to be outside the immediate sphere of this theory, because it assumes a physics not actually endorsed by Greenhouse Gas Theory.

    So I’m not sure what you are actually testing in terms of theory.

  30. Peter C August 23, 2014 at 7:32 am #


    We agree to disagree then, although it seems that on a lot of points we are in furious agreement.

    I would like to run the experiment past you one more time, since either:
    a. I have not explained myself well, or
    b. My understanding of the GHGE Theory is faulty.

    1. A thermos flask, after the silvering has been removed, consists of a vessel, with a narrow neck and a double glass wall separated by a gap of about 5mm.

    2. Heat loss from the flask can be measured by filling with hot water and recording the temperature over time with an alcohol thermometer.

    3. For heat to escape from the inner flask it must pass the gap between the 2 walls, either by conduction or radiation or both. The heat loss is the sum of conduction and radiation.

    4. When the gap is filled with a non radiative gas (eg O2) the radiative component of heat loss can be calculated from the surface area of the inner flask and the Stefan Boltzman equation. Q=es(T1^4-T2^4), where e is the emissivity of glass (0.9), s is the SB constant, T1 is the temperature of the inner glass wall and T2 is the temperature of the outer glass wall.

    5. If the gap contains a radiative green house gas the GHGE theory says that the radiative heat loss should be reduced. Specifically radiation is absorbed by the gas and re-radiated, approximately 1/2 outward and 1/2 back to the inner wall. In the best case of a gas which absorbs all the radiation before it gets to the outer wall the radiation heat loss should be reduced by 1/2.

    6. A variety of green house gases are readily available, including CO2, CH4(natural gas) and water vapour. Perhaps a mixture of these gases would cover the majority of the IR spectrum.

    Any comments are welcome.

  31. Neville August 24, 2014 at 8:55 am #

    Antarctica continues to set all kinds of records. Record cold measurements, record ice extent, etc.

  32. Neville August 24, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

    Mann thought it was quite okay to call McIntyre and McKitrick frauds, but is suing Steyn for calling him a fraud. How does that work? Surely Steyn should be able to use this info to his advantage in his court case? And Mann was supported by the US EPA. Just incredible.

  33. Neville August 25, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Just another look at Hansen’s projections A B and C in 1988. Since then co2 emissions have soared ( 95% due to non OECD emissions) but temp is still below scenario C. So how does that work?

  34. Robert LePage August 25, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    ‘Incredible’ rate of polar ice loss alarms scientists
    A European satellite has shown ice sheets shrinking at 120 cubic miles a year in Antarctica and Greenland
    Robin McKie 24 August 2014
    The planet’s two largest ice sheets – in Greenland and Antarctica – are now being depleted at an astonishing rate of 120 cubic miles each year. That is the discovery made by scientists using data from CryoSat-2, the European probe that has been measuring the thickness of Earth’s ice sheets and glaciers since it was launched by the European Space Agency in 2010.
    Even more alarming, the rate of loss of ice from the two regions has more than doubled since 2009, revealing the dramatic impact that climate change is beginning to have on our world.
    The researchers, based at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research – used 200m data points across Antarctica and 14.3m across Greenland, all collected by CryoSat, to study how the ice sheets there had changed over the past three years. The satellite carries a high-precision altimeter, which sends out short radar pulses that bounce off the ice surface and then back to the satellite. By measuring the time this takes, the height of the ice beneath the spacecraft can be calculated.
    It was found from the average drops in elevation that were detected by CryoSat that Greenland alone is losing about 90 cubic miles a year, while in Antarctica the annual volume loss is about 30 cubic miles. These rates of loss – described as “incredible” by one researcher – are the highest observed since altimetry satellite records began about 20 years ago, and they mean that the ice sheets’ annual contribution to sea-level rise has doubled since 2009, say the researchers whose work was published in the journal Cryosphere last week.
    “We have found that, since 2009, the volume loss in Greenland has increased by a factor of about two, and the West Antarctic ice sheet by a factor of three,” said glaciologist Angelika Humbert, one of the study’s authors. “Both the West Antarctic ice sheet and the Antarctic peninsula, in the far west, are rapidly losing volume. By contrast, East Antarctica is gaining volume, though at a moderate rate that doesn’t compensate for the losses on the other side of the continent.”
    The researchers say they detected the biggest elevation changes caused by ice loss at the Jakobshavn glacier in Greenland, which was recently found to be shifting ice into the oceans faster than any other ice-sheet glacier, and at Pine Island glacier, which like other glaciers in West Antarctica, has been thinning rapidly in recent years.
    The discovery of these losses of ice is particularly striking and represents yet another blow to claims by some climate-change deniers, who argue that the rapid loss of ice in the Arctic currently being observed is being matched by a corresponding increase in Antarctica. CryoSat’s measurements show that Antarctica – although considerably colder than the Arctic because of its much higher average elevation – is not gaining ice at all. Indeed, it is – overall – losing considerable volumes, and in the case of West Antarctica is doing so at an alarming rate.
    This point was stressed by Mark Drinkwater, the European Space Agency’s CryoSat mission scientist. “These results offer a critical new perspective on the recent impact of climate change on large ice sheets. This is particularly evident in parts of the Antarctic peninsula, where some of the more remarkable features add testimony on the impact of sustained peninsula warming at rates several times the global average.”

  35. Robert August 25, 2014 at 11:22 am #

    It’s okay, RLP. The Antarctic peninsula is volcanic and active, very common knowledge which the klimatariat is trying to forget in a hurry. Greenland is doing its long term thing (even according to some NASA scientists in unguarded moments).

    In spite of ups and downs of that variable thing known as polar ice – including recent low minima in the north – there happens to be lots of sea ice around at present…especially in Antarctica. Lots! Sea ice globally is running above average and Antarctic sea ice has been running on or near record levels (post 1979 running mean by sat). I guess you secretly know that but don’t like talking about it?

    Did I mention that the Guardian is volcanically silly? Really, RLP, just don’t read that infantile tripe and you’ll have a better day.

  36. Neville August 25, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Antarctic sea ice has been above normal for a long time and still growing. Plus record cold temps recorded over the last year or so.

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