Friday, January 02, 2009

Denialist stupidity

I am astonished at the The Australian newspaper for suggesting that cool temperatures in 2008 might provide a ‘serious blow to global warming alarmists’. It is my bolding on the word ‘alarmists’ – an unusual turn of phrase since it includes almost all figures in climate science and the Australian Bureau of Meteorology.

The Australian's judgement is wrong on two counts. First, climate is not determined by a single year’s average observed temperature. To suppose otherwise is just incorrect. Keith Colls and Richard Whitaker’s excellent, The Australian Weather Book, Second Edition, 2001 define climate as the probability distribution of the various elements of day-to-day weather. To determine this probability distribution, for weather patterns as variable as those for Australia, the authors suggest that it is necessary to draw on rainfall records dating back 150 years and temperature records drawing on 50 years (page 156). Second, there may well be medium term deviations from warming trends due to climatic effects related to cooling of the oceans. This is the reason I am strongly opposed to viewing the current drought as a reflection of climate change. If the public come to accept that medium term droughts reflect climate change they may falsely believe that medium term reductions in average temperatures imply that anthropogenic global warming arguments are false.

The difficulty with the foolish reasoning presented in The Australian is that it may cast sufficient doubt in the minds of the public and in politicians to forego activist climate change policy particularly given the current economic difficulties.

In fact the current cooling trend has been analysed at length by the Bureau of Meteorology. Their December 23, 2008 ENSO Wrap-Up states:
The equatorial Pacific has continued to cool during the past fortnight, with large areas in the east and centre of the basin between 0.5°C and 1.5°C cooler than normal. This raises the possibility of indicators reaching La Niña levels, even if only briefly, if the cooling persists. In the atmosphere, Trade Winds have been persistently stronger than normal for some months across the western half of the basin, cloudiness is suppressed along much of the central and eastern equatorial Pacific, and the SOI remains strongly positive, with an approximate 30-day value of +13 as of 21st of December.

Given current conditions and recent trends, the development of a La Niña during the southern summer cannot be ruled out. However, for the first quarter of 2009 the majority of climate models forecast neutral conditions, but with a cooler than normal equatorial Pacific. Historically, it is unusual for La Niña thresholds to be reached during the southern summer, though this did occur as recently as the summer of 1999/2000.
Thus there is the possibility of a cooling related to a La Niña event during the current summer.

Further comments on The Australian’s arguments are provided at Deltoid.

23 comments:

observa said...

Problem is the warmenistas were so intent on 'making the community more aware' they used every inclement weather event to further their cause and are now crying foul. They need to understand that Adelaide has just gone through its coldest December this century and get over it.

Sinclair Davidson said...

Picking up on Observa's point, its not the denialists who were stupid. I think this is called being hoist on your own petard. Well, enjoy the view :) I am.

Tim Lambert said...

SD says "its not the denialists who were stupid". I beg to differ

Sinclair Davidson said...

Beg as much as you like - btw 2000 isn't the current century. How did your claim of academic misconduct against me go? Go on tell the readers...

Bob said...

"It hasn't got any warmer since 02. Perhaps you want to explain why when the world's emissions have never being so high."

2002-2003 contained the strongest el nino of this century.

2007-2008 contained the strongest la nina of this century

hc said...

Bob is responding to a comment by JC:

"It hasn't got any warmer since 02. Perhaps you want to explain why when the world's emissions have never being so high".

Unfortunately the comment contained insulting remarks about me and another commenter so I had to delete it.

i am uninterested in perso0nal feuds being played out on this blog and will delete posts that are insulting.

hc said...

Another comment by JC deleted. I am tiring of this.

jc said...

Lambert says:
"SD says "its not the denialists who were stupid". I beg to differ"

Harry later says, ignoring the above:


"i am uninterested in perso0nal feuds being played out on this blog and will delete posts that are insulting."


LOL, yea, right harry. Only the right kinds of insults get a pass.

jc said...

BOB

2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 contained what then, the smallest nino and nina events this century.... LOL



I presume you're suggesting 100 years. So in 1903 climate scientist were calculating the strength and weakness of nino and nina.

You jokers are treating this crap like it was a religious experience.

observa said...

Caught this typical report on the 29th Dec-

‘LONDON (Reuters) - London-based CF Partners will launch early next year[2009] a new 50 million euro ($70.06 million) hedge fund aiming to profit from volatility in carbon markets.’…..

“To date in the carbon space the majority of the players from a fund point of view have been long-only guys,” said Simon Glossop, one of CF’s founders. “That’s been a workable model up to this year, but carbon has now become an asset class in its own right instead of a compliance tool.”

Even if you're a hook line and sinker AGW theory fan, could you really put all your faith in cap and trade with the global financial sector looking about ravenously for the next big thing in derivatives trading? If you can you seriously need to read Markopolous' submission to the US SEC alerting them to the 'Madoff Scheme' (you're history now Ponzi)and with all the analysis, leads and direction he gave them a decade before, the SEC completely stuffed it. Basically move along, nothing to see here folks and now $50bill down the gurgler. What chance policing global carbon credit and offsets I ask you?

Tim Lambert said...

observa, it may not be possible for human beings to build a system to restrict carbon emissions. But that makes no difference to the physics of climate. Nor does it excuse the denialist stupidity that the Australian regularly publishes.

Tim Lambert said...

If you use Firefox, the killfile script works a treat -- with one click you can zap all the comments from a particular person forever.

Tim Lambert said...

Sinclair, most people celebrated the start of the new millenium at the beginning of 2000. If you are one of those pedants who waited another year, more power to you. But for everybody else (including the Australian), this century started in 2000.

Oh, and I didn't accuse you of academic misconduct. But you knew that.

observa said...

'observa, it may not be possible for human beings to build a system to restrict carbon emissions.'

Whilst I take your other points on board then are you suggesting adaptation or moves to straight carbon taxing with say income tax relief may be more sensible approaches? It is after all possible for countries to move to total reliance on carbon taxing for revenue. That is a theoretical maximum price effect for AGW fans to consider. I certainly don't think they've considered the possibility that say 60-80% reduction caps could see carbon effectively taxed even higher and furthermore that taxing power transferred to private agents.

Sinclair Davidson said...

...most people celebrated the start of the new millenium at the beginning of 2000. ...

Kind of sums it all up.

jc said...

If you use Firefox, the killfile script works a treat -- with one click you can zap all the comments from a particular person forever.

Hahahhahahaha.

Mummy says just block your eyes, Timmy. LOL. Or use a kill file....

jc said...

Harry

You still refuse to answer the question.

Is lambert allowed to abuse Sinclair?

Remaining silent on this issue says a lot, Harry.

civitas said...

Harry, your comment about how this creates doubt in the minds of the public is very reasonable. What most people with little direct knowledge of climate change will take away from this is that global warming hysterics will claim that a record cold year is a sign of global warming the same way a record warm year would be. And to most people, thatseems unreasonable.

jc said...

Civitas

Hysterics like harry would be using a warm year to use as evidence there's AGW, like they do with pretty much everything else.

Isn't that right, harry?

Be honest, Harry. If it was warmer you would be the first up on the soap box feeling vindicated.

hc said...

Civitas, I have discussed these issues many times. AGW depends partly on long-term trends in climate and partly on basic theory from physics. Even hockey-stick results are not the only source of support for AGW - certainly temperature trends from individual years are irrelevant given El Nino and other ocean temperature related effects.

jc, Given the accumulated scientific consensus supporting AGW the word 'hysteric' applied to my views on this matter is inappropriate.

I refuse to be drawn into discussions that are primarily attacks on other individuals I respect - either Tim or Sinc. Keep it friendly.

jc said...

Well you are being hysterical, harry.

AGW seems to be real alright but it hardly deserves the emergency reaction you're suggesting.

I wouldn't be too worried about Lambert's sensibilties as he won't see it. He's now running a kill file so he won't be reading all the things I say about him. LOL.

Isn't that right Tim?

civitas said...

Harry, I know you have discussed these issues many times. But the fact remains this will create doubt in the minds of the public. That's really all I was saying. It's actually what you said as well.

I don't think it's unreasonable for the average Joe to see this as AGW folks claiming that no matter what happens, a cold year, a warm year, it's all signs of global warming. What AGW proponents must do is present what's clearly a complicated case in more easily understandable terms. If you hope to have some success outside of very narrow communities. Is that too much to ask?

Bob said...

"BOB
2003, 2004, 2005, 2006 contained what then, the smallest nino and nina events this century.... LOL"

I think i was quite clear, but I will put it another way:

2002/2003 contained a strong el nino. 2007/2008 contained a strong la nina.

Therefore the influence of ENSO has a negative effect on temperature over the period 2002-2008.

You asked why there had been no warming over that period. Ta-da! I provide you with an answer you didn't want.