Tag Archives: junk science

The Australian Temperature Record

There is a great piece over on Jo Nova, which tackles the Australian temperature record. This is a quote from the start of the post:

A team of independent auditors, bloggers and scientists went through the the BOM “High Quality” (HQ) dataset and found significant errors, omissions and inexplicable adjustments. The team and Senator Cory Bernardi put in a Parliamentary request to get our Australian National Audit Office to reassess the BOM records. In response, the BOM, clearly afraid of getting audited, and still not providing all the data, code and explanations that were needed, decided to toss out the old so called High Quality (HQ) record, and start again. The old HQ increased the trends by 40% nationally, and 70% in the cities.

I have added one of the findings of the independent audit at the end of the post. I am not as familiar with this case as with the New Zealand temperature record, so only include it as additional information. Nevertheless, here is the fun bit of the post, if ‘fun’ is the correct word:

To make it all look o-so-convincing, the BOM asked three experts (from NOAA, NZ, and Canada) to look over it all, and score the BOM against its peers. But the peers standards are not too high in the first place: NOAA was caught with 89% of it’s own thermometers in the wrong spots near air conditioners and whatnot, and NZ’s records were so bad, they disowned them themselves. (NZ adjustimongered their temperature trends from 0.06C right up to 0.9C, got caught, and their response under legal pressure was to say but it’s ok, “There is no “official” or formal New Zealand Temperature Record”.)

It’s all too wonderful to be true. Discredited institutions vouch for the work of other discredited institutions, and thereby give credibility to each other. Bearing in mind that the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) has given lukewarm support for the New Zealand temperature record, it is more than a little worrying. More to the point, when confronted with the problems in their records the BOM simply moved the goalposts, and did so to avoid an audit. Why would they do this? I will leave you to work out that one for yourselves (as I am guessing it is not too difficult).

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More Hockey Stick Tricks

For those that have seen Al Gore’s (in)famous film on global warming, they will no doubt remember the hockey stick chart, where Al Gore ascends on a forklift. The hockey stick chart was promoted by Al Gore and the IPCC as a ‘smoking gun’ of climate change, and perhaps still resides in popular imagination in this role.

Unfortunately, for the anthropogenic global warming thesis, the hockey stick chart was long ago discredited by Steve McIntyre and Ross McKitrick ( see here for a peer-reviewed paper, here for a summary, and here for a presentation to the US government). Then came climategate, and the notorious attempts to hide and block skeptic views from being published and the attempts to block McIntyre and McKitrick (here for a summary of some of the revelations), and the attempts to manipulate results to create the hockey stick.

Following climategate, there were whitewash investigations of the ‘scientists’ involved in the dodgy practices revealed by the climategate emails (see here for Ross McKitrick’s summary). There is more though, with Steve McIntyre’s tirelessly unearthing new evidence of the ways in which the investigations were a whitewash, which can be found at the Climate Audit website. It all makes rather depressing reading.

As if this rather sordid story of scientific misconduct, and attempts to cover up scientific wrongdoing, were not enough, there are yet more revelations on data manipulation in the construction of the hockey stick chart. This from the climate audit website:

The day before yesterday, I reported that Briffa and Osborn (Science 1999) had not just deleted the post=1960 decline (see also CA here), but had deleted the pre-1550 portion as well – the deletions contributing to an unwarranted rhetorical impression of consistency between the reconstructions, an impression that was capitalized upon in the commentary in the running text of Briffa and Osborn 1999.

However, the best way to view the problem is with the chart that is supplied along with the text:

 

As you will see from the chart, there are two sections of data that have been deleted without any explanation – the deleted data on the right is the ‘hide the decline’ that is discussed in the climategate emails, and the central deleted data is the latest revelation. Anthony Watts, on the Watts up with that blog, reasonably has the following to say of this new example of misleading use of data.

As I’ve written elsewhere, this sort of truncation can be characterized as research misconduct – specifically falsification. But where are the academic cops? Any comment from Science magazine?

This is yet more evidence of the shabby behaviour on the part of so-called climate ‘scientists’. How many exposures of these kinds of ‘tricks’ will it take before the academic institutions and journals finally do something about this kind of misconduct? Thanks to the tireless efforts of those at Climate Audit, there will no doubt be further revelations to come….

Earthquakes Caused By Climate Change?

There is a rather pathetic inevitability about this. It seems that, whatever the natural disaster might be, it must be down to climate change. I suspect that, if an asteroid was to crash into a city, one way or another, it would be blamed upon climate change.

Well, here it is. The recent earthquakes that have caused so much devastation are now being blamed upon climate change. The Calgary Herald offers a story under the title of ‘Could global warming be causing recent earthquakes?‘ and have the following to say:

Some scientists theorize that the sudden melting of glaciers due to man-made climate change is lightening the load on the Earth’s surface, allowing its mantle to rebound upwards and causing plates to become unstuck.

These scientists point to the historical increase in volcanic and earthquake activity that occurred about 12,000 years ago when the glaciers that covered most of Canada in an ice sheet several kilometres thick suddenly melted.

It is notable that these so-called ‘scientists’ are not actually named in the article. I suspect that it would be a very brave scientist who might put their name behind the nonsense in the article. However, others are also managing to link the natural disaster in Japan with climate change. Stephen Stromberg of the Washington Post reports on some other examples:

Friday, the day an 8.9 earthquake struck off the northeast coast of Honshu, the president of the European Union’s Economic and Social Committee released this puzzling statement:

The earthquake and tsunami will clearly have a severe impact on the economic and social activities of the region. Some islands affected by climate change have been hit. Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity — not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming? Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do.

Ah, there we have it – ‘mother nature’ is speaking to us and giving us signs. If only Canterbury people had not used their log burners, then there would have been no problem. ‘Mother Nature’ would have been at peace with the world. Here is another example of quasi-religious discourse from Jim Garrison in the Huffington Post:

What makes matters even more ominous is the fact that what is happening in Japan can happen anywhere, particularly in geologically fragile areas like the California coast where four nuclear reactors operate. Moreover, the probability that another accident will happen is escalating. The Japanese disaster is not an isolated event. It is but the latest incident in the most serious and potentially devastating megatrend in the world right now — the escalating turbulence in our natural systems. In the past twenty five years, extreme weather events have quadrupled in frequency and escalated in intensity. Climate change is morphing into climate shock as month after month natural disasters pile up and wreak havoc on societies everywhere, overwhelming our most sophisticated technologies.

For the moment, we will ignore the suspect figures on disasters, but Garrison goes on to say that “Nature is reminding us that as powerful as we think we are, we are not the Prime Mover. She is. In the face of nature, human technology is but chaff in the wind.”

James Delingpole, in the Telegraph, likewise reports on another tenuous linkage between climate change and the earthquake at Grist, which it seems led to some embarrassment at the site:

The eco website Grist had a valiant stab too with a headline “Today’s Tsunami: this is what climate change looks like.” After getting a roasting from some of its more scientifically scrupulous readers it then modified its position with a couple of updates. (But still decided to have its cake and eat it – as you’ll see from the last line of update 1) (H/T Chris1966)

Update: The intent of this piece isn’t to attribute today’s tragedy to climate change. Apologies to those whom I misled with the headline. It was meant literally, as in: Tsunamis are inundations of shorelines and therefore have impacts that resemble storm surges, which are one of the most immediate threats of a warmer planet. In addition, climate change may cause tsunamis directly, so it’s possible we’ll someday see more images like this as a result.

Update 2: Changed the headline (it originally read “Today’s tsunami: This is what climate change looks like”) and updated the text to reflect the discussion of the science and the framing in the comments.

In my trawl around the Internet for linkages between earthquakes and climate change, I have found the following and must eat my earlier words about scientists putting their name behind linkages between climate change and earthquakes. This is from the Brookings Institution website:

Scientists and research organizations have warned that climate change can result in more earthquakes and tsunamis, in part due to global warming. In 2009, University College London Professor Bill McGuire addressed a conference of scientists researching the changing climate’s effects on geological hazards and noted that “climate change doesn’t just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust as well…the whole earth is an interactive system.”

So, there you have it. It was climate change that did it for Japan and Christchurch, because Professor McGuire said so…..Here is a quote from the original article cited by Brookings:

The vulcanologists, seismologists, glaciologists, climatologists and landslide experts at the meeting have looked to the past to try to predict future changes, particularly to climate upheaval at the end of the last ice age, some 12,000 years ago.

“When the ice is lost, the earth’s crust bounces back up again and that triggers earthquakes, which trigger submarine landslides, which cause tsunamis,” said McGuire, who organized the three-day conference.

David Pyle of Oxford University said small changes in the mass of the earth’s surface seems to affect volcanic activity in general, not just in places where ice receded after a cold spell. Weather patterns also seem to affect volcanic activity – not just the other way round, he told the conference.

These are not isolated. If you want more, there is an article at Clean Technica, which is…well, just take a read, and maybe leave a comment when you are done.  I started with the post with the comment about the asteroid, and can only wonder how long it will be before we find that asteroid impacts are increasing due to climate change. I wait with high expectations….