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Friday
Jun052015

Don't Ever Name It A Lull - Josh 331

 

There is lots of news about science ending The Pause - so I am guessing they will call it a lull next and then shortly after that we will be told the one thing we cannot call it is... a lull.

As an extra bonus distraction why not think up what D.E.N.I.A.L. might stand for?

Cartoons by Josh

[Typo fixed, many thanks Leo!]

Thursday
Jun042015

Obamas housekarls dance to his warming tune

Over the last few days I have been copied in on a great deal of correspondence about a new paper in Science from Tom Karl and colleagues, which has "blatant act of political propaganda" written all over it. The claim is that the pause in surface temperature rises is an artefact of the data and that a great deal of jiggery pokery is peformed on the numbers it is possible to get a graph that shows continued warming. The pause is no more.

This could only be written with Paris in mind.

Fortunately, Science distributed the paper to journalists sufficiently early for it to be widely circulated and quite a few people have now had a look. Some of them have even stopped laughing for long enough to write down their thoughts.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jun042015

Carbon Brief on the Sahel

The Carbon Brief is doing one of those "news management" pieces that inevitably follow anything that could reasonably be construed as representing good news on the climate change front. As readers are aware, a recent paper pointed to increases in rainfall in the Sahel, seeking to link these to global warming.

This of course was rather off-message and such heterodoxy has to be dealt with. Step forward Roz Pidcock and Robert McSweeney whose factcheck (a monicker that is presumably facetious) put forwards a corrective from the paper's lead author:

...claims that climate change is "helping Africa" are misleading and that a temporary respite from the Sahel drought is no reason to slow action on tackling climate change.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun032015

The APS taken to task

This was emailed to me this afternoon. The contents are self-explanatory.

What follows is a letter that we sent to the current President of the American Physical Society (APS) with a copy to members of the Society’s Presidential Line Officers. Because of the serious issues pertaining to the integrity of APS — one of the world’s premier scientific societies (with upwards of 50,000 members) — we have decided to make the letter public.

SIGNATORIES (2 June 2015)—

Roger Cohen Fellow, American Physical Society
Laurence I. Gould Past Chair (2004) New England Section of the American Physical Society
William Happer Cyrus Fogg Professor of Physics, Emeritus Princeton University

May 8, 2015

Samuel Aronson
President, American Physical Society
One Physics Ellipse College Park, MD 20740-3844

Dear Dr. Aronson,

As three members of the American Physical Society, we are writing on behalf of the nearly 300 other members who signed our 2009 and 2010 petitions to the APS taking strong exception to the 2007 Statement on Climate Change. Those petitions called for an objective assessment of the underlying science, leading to a more scientifically defensible Statement.

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun032015

Texas models

There has been a bit of flooding in Texas and, with weary inevitability, the activist-inclined press are wondering about connections to climate change. The Conversation US has invited Texas state climatologist John Nielson-Gammon to explain and to be fair he makes a reasonable fist of it, but there is still the usual tendency to discuss climate model outputs in their current state of disarray as if they were meaningful. Take this for example:

Studies have shown the odds of very intense rainfall in this part of the country have gone up substantially over last century. The cause and effect with climate change and surface temperature is fairly direct. There’s definitely a connection there.

No there isn't. Climate models have little ability to predict rainfall, and none at all at local levels. Even the IPCC describes their abilities in this area as "modest". If there is "definitely" a connection, if the thermodynamics are so simple, why do climate models do so badly?

Tuesday
Jun022015

Stinking rich - Josh 330

 

H/t Paul Homewood on an interesting story in the LA Times about the subsidies Elon Musk receives. Well worth a read - if you dont mind the niff.

Cartoons by Josh

Tuesday
Jun022015

Why do people believe stupid things?

Jose Duarte continues to mine a productive seam on the shameful behaviour of, on the one hand John Cook and his team, and on the other Stephan Lewandowsky. His post a couple of days ago was on the subject of the true value of the climate consensus and he puts the proportion of climate scientists who think that most warming is caused by carbon dioxide at 80%. I had previously thought that the true figure was around the 75% mark, so we are in the same ballpark.

But as Judith Curry points out in an update to Jose's post, this is all slightly beside the point. Many or even most of the the people who call themselves climate scientists are not actually working on anything relevant to the question at hand - they are specialists in impacts and responses and the like. They only believe that most warming is caused by carbon dioxide because their colleagues specialising in the atmospheric sciences tell them so.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun022015

A favour

Readers may have noticed that I am a bit quiet at weekends these days. This is because I decided to fight an expanding waistline by taking up hockey again after a gap of ten years or so and weekends are therefore often filled with games and coaching and things like that. (This is field hockey, for North American readers).

I now find myself involved in a campaign to raise funds for a new astroturf pitch for my club, the current one nearing the end of its life. If anyone fancied helping out, you can do so in a small and relatively painless way by voting for us at the Mars Milk Play Fund website. You just have to give them your age to show you are over 13 (I think most BH readers are), click the vote button and tick a couple of boxes (which don't seem to do anything much - I certainly haven't been indundated with spam).

This will keep your host fit, healthy, and hopefully blogging for longer than otherwise. And if enough of you vote for us I'll post a picture of me in action for Kinross Hockey Club. How about that for temptation?

Tuesday
Jun022015

Climate sensitivity - just as we thought

Nic Lewis has a new paper out at Climate Dynamics, which provides new estimates of effective climate sensitivity and transient climate response. This is in essence an update to Lewis 2014, with better data. The results are very similar, with ECS at 1.66 and TCR at 1.37.

There's a technical post about the paper at Climate Audit and a preprint here.

 

 

Tuesday
Jun022015

They blather to deceive

Levelized cost comparisons are a misleading metric for comparing intermittent and dispatchable generating technologies...

Paul Joskow, MIT

The standard way of comparing the cost of different types of electricity is to look at the levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) per MWh.
From "Annex: How competitive is renewable energy" from the Global Apollo Programme, a new scheme from Lord Stern, Lord Rees, David King, Adair Turner and others.

 

Tuesday
Jun022015

Whither DeSmog?

One of the very first briefing papers issued by GWPF was on the greening of the Sahel. The Foundation's then deputy director Phillip Mueller put forward the idea that rather than making droughts on the fringes of the Sahara more severe, climate change was, if anything, actually making things better. This observation was suitably couched in caveats that noted, quite correctly, that we really couldn't say one way or the other what would happen in the future.

I don't remember the paper garnering a lot of attention at the time, but there was a typically wild-eyed response from those mini-Ehrlichs at DeSmog, which included this shot from the hip:

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun022015

Looking back at Ehrlich

Yesterday saw a flurry of articles about Paul Ehrlich's magnum opus, The Population Bomb. It's fair to say that, although it brought Ehrlich fame and a career, history has not been kind to the book and there is no shortage of people lining up to point out what a disaster it was for people in poor countries. Matt Novak at Gizmodo is a case in point:

Ehrlich’s predictions led to real action. In India, millions of people were sterilized by the government, sometimes forcibly. His views were embraced by wealthy people in the developing world who could insist that the poor were poor because they were having too many children — an argument that’s not uncommon here in 21st century America.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Diary dates, hit or miss edition

Mark Lynas points us to an event at Bristol's Cabot Institute tomorrow.

Cultural cognition vs. consensus messaging: Challenges of climate communication in a polarized world

2 June 2015, 6.00 PM

Dan Kahan/Stephan Lewandowsky

3.31 Coutts Lecture theatre, Wills Memorial Building

The debate will be moderated by Dr Adam Corner.

Mark reckons this is an event that is not to be missed. Each to their own I suppose.

Details here.

Monday
Jun012015

The BBC and its experts

The BBC, which claims to agonise over neutrality in matters environmental, has come unstuck again. In the comments at Biased BBC comes an amusing story from reader Fred Stubber, who explained in a letter to the editor that an interviewee on the corporation's Look North Leeds show, was not quite what he seemed:

Your package on the closure of part of Ferrybridge Power Station was severely biased because of the follow-up interview, which was with John Grant, who was described as ‘an expert in renewable energy and climate change’. Why didn’t you describe him as a hard line environmentalist, which is what he is? Then the viewers would have known where he was coming from and could have adjusted their credibility accordingly. And why did you chose this man anyway, with his known bias on the subject? Why didn’t you interview someone who was a true expert in the whole field of energy production; someone who would take a more balanced and broader view? John Green gave totally one-sided answers which were narrowly focused on the conventional environmentalist mantra. He is absolutely committed to the environmentalist cause, unsurprisingly because he makes a good living from it.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun012015

Faking it

The news that a group of European oil majors wants to open negotiations with governments about the creation of a global carbon tax has all the hallmarks of a public relations campaign.

In a sign of the rising pressure on fossil fuel companies ahead of a UN meeting in Paris to seal an international climate deal, the chief executives of groups including Royal Dutch Shell and Britain’s BP have sought direct talks with governments on creating a global carbon pricing system.

“We owe it to future generations to seek realistic, workable solutions to the challenge of providing more energy while tackling climate change,” the executives say in a letter to the FT revealing their plan.

Click to read more ...

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