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Through gritted teeth, climate scientists admit Wong tells porkies March 6, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Deception, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 3 March 2010

Here Andrew Bolt accuses Senator Penny Wong of lying and says he is holding her to account for her “outrageous deceits”. Why and what is her deceit?

Although Bolt doesn’t provide any link to what Wong said or the origins of the claim, it’s obvious from the inference and from past Bolt blogs that he believes Wong has claimed that the drought in the Murray Darling was caused or exacerbated by global warming when that is not true.

Firstly, let’s look at the first insinuation from Bolt. For Wong to be lying, there’d have to be no evidence of scientists having said or claimed the drought was exacerbated by AGW. Following the links back to the previous Bolt post No, Prime Minister. That drought wasn’t man-made, either, we eventually find a source for Wong’s claim:

14 Jan 2003

SYDNEY: A new scientific report by WWF-Australia and leading meteorologists has shown that human-induced global warming was a key factor in the severity of the 2002 drought. The report compares the 2002 drought with the four other major droughts since 1950 and has found higher temperatures caused a marked increase in evaporation rates from soil, watercourses and vegetation.

The report, Global Warming Contributes to Australia’s Worst Drought, warns that higher temperatures and drier conditions have created greater bushfire danger than previous droughts. Drought severity also has increased in the Murray Darling Basin, which produces 40% of Australia’s agricultural product.

So, setting aside the scientific validity of this particular report from which the claim originated, it’s clear that Wong is not lying as there is indeed evidence and a belief by some scientists that the drought was exacerbated by AGW.

Bolt is wrong to accuse Wong of lying.

Now let’s look at Bolt’s claim that the Wong has been contradicted by Prof Neville Nicholls:

When you follow the link to the Weekly Times Now article we see that Nicholls is quoted as saying (my emphasis):

“The current dry period (in the Murray Darling Basin) might still be just a fluke, or natural variability,” Prof Nicholls said.

“We cannot confidently attribute it to global warming.”

The article then says:

Yet Federal Climate Change and Water Minister Penny Wong has repeatedly claimed the basin’s drought is due to climate change.

“Research shows that this severe, extended drought is clearly linked with global warming,” Senator Wong said in November last year.

Professor Nicholls is talking about the current dry period. But in November, as we have seen above, Wong was speaking in reference to an article that was referenced to the  severity of the 2002 drought.

And, whilst Prof Steven Sherwood, of the University of NSW Climate Change Research Centre, said that:

 “sceptics here are (for once) technically correct, in that there is no proven link – yet – between Murray Darling drought and climate change”.

The article Bolt links to also says:

However, lead SEACI researcher Bertrand Timbal said his work was not at the stage where he could confidently say the drought was due to climate change in southeast Australia.

Dr Timbal said he was confident the decline in the basin’s autumn rainfall went beyond what any of the computer climate models could naturally produce.

Clearly there are scientific differences of opinion on whether there is proof that the drought(s) in the M-D basin have been exacerbated by global warming. This is evidenced by Timbal himself who was quoted in this article from May 2008:

A group of Australian researchers claim to have found further evidence that lower rainfall and reduced run-off in the south-east of the country are linked to global warming.

The findings released by the South Eastern Australian Climate Initiative (SEACI) show increased temperatures have caused rapid evaporation and reduced inflows to the Murray-Darling Basin.

Again, evidence that, whilst the scientists claims and work on which Wong relies could be proven wrong, Bolt is merely resorting to abuse and smear in accusing Wong of lying.

In his update, Bolt then produces a startling and stunning piece of scientific illiteracy when, via a reader, he asks:

…just what evidence there is that the recent rainfall in the Murray Darling basin is unusually low, and proof of a heating world:

with this graphic from the Bureau of Meteorology:

Let me ask: Can Bolt find a period in this graphic with such an extended period of low rainfall over a decade like that evident from 2000 to 2010?

I think the farmers and irrigators in the M-D might also be able to reassure Bolt and his reader that only a fool would attempt to argue that this drought is not severe and the resultant rainfall not “unusually low”.

As for it being proof of a heating world, no one argued that it was.

Arctic ice was pushed out, rather than melted February 21, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Deception, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 21 February, 2010

Here Bolt criticises “Serial Alarmist” Marian Wilkinson for the fact she:

hailed the big Arctic melt of 2007 as evidence the world was heating disastrously and man was to blame:

If you want to see climate change happening before your eyes, scientists will tell you: “Go to the end of the earth”, and that’s why we’re here, in the Arctic Circle.

But Bolt reckons, the Antarctic is the place to go to see sea ice increasing:

Wilkinson never explained why the end of the earth we had to go to for evidence was the top, and not the bottom, where sea ice was actually increasing:

He then links to a site providing data for the Arctic. But the graph he provides is for the Antarctic – not sure where it was sourced from.

No trend and no test for the significance of the increase.

But Bolt doesn’t explain that scientists know that sea ice in the Antarctic is increasing whilst land ice is decreasing. The data and the explanation is provided at SkepticalScience:

While the interior of East Antarctica is gaining land ice, overall Antarctica is losing land ice at an accelerating rate. Antarctic sea ice is growing despite a strongly warming Southern Ocean.

Then  Bolt does yet another cherry-pick in which he claims that:

… the Arctic has since increased its ice cover.

What Bolt means is, if one considers just the Arctic sea ice extent since 2007 it will show an increasing trend. True. But why would you do that when you can look at a historical trend for the summer melt over a much longer period (as you would surely want to do when talking about climate) where we find this:

Once again, Bolt is unable to see the wood (long-term trend) for the trees (cherry-picked short-term).

And what of the apparent thrust of the story? That:

…part of that big melt of 2007 was caused not so much by a warmer world melting that ice where it lay, but, NASA now concedes, but by currents pushing the ice down to warmer seas

No one has ever claimed that the whole of the Arctic summer melt is due to AGW – that is and would be patently foolish as the summer melt in the Arctic has always occurred – even before AGW.

And would the fact that part of the record melt of 2007 may or may not have been due to global warming change that long-term trend we see above? No.

Once again Bolt attempts to lead us up a well-worn garden path to deception and misrepresentation.

Flannery flunks again February 19, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Deception, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 19 February, 2010

Here Bolt thinks he’s countered some of Flannery’s

Ten predictions about climate change that have come true

[By the way, follow the link and the headline is actually: Ten predictions made by climate scientists that have come true (or are becoming true) – a small oversight on Bolt’s part, I’m sure.]

The predictions:

The ten biggest changes to the weather wrought by climate change

  1. Shorter winters
  2. Less runoff into dams and reservoirs in many regions of the world
  3. More violent and longer hurricanes
  4. Less chilly nights
  5. Less predictable seasonal conditions
  6. Less snow
  7. More heat waves
  8. Less rain in many regions at various seasons
  9. More severe storms in the North Sea and parts of the southern Ocean
  10. Generally warmer conditions

So what has Andrew got to counter Flannery with:

Rains now flood parts of Australia

Now, which of the 10 does that counter? Presumably Bolt is claiming 2 and 8?

I follow the link via Tim Blair to get at the story that “proves” the point and I find a link to the Sunshine Coast Daily that reports:

THERE is so much water in Sunshine Coast dams this morning that if another 100,000 people arrived tomorrow, and it did not rain for another three years, no one would go thirsty.

Rain during the past two weeks and heavy catchment downpours in the past 48 hours have filled most Coast dams to capacity and would guarantee four years’ supply for the present population of 300,000.

There has been flooding rainfall on the Sunshine Coast. So, you’d have to assume this would at least be an area of Australia that is predicted to be affected by lower rainfall. What does the IPCC say?

Precipitation is likely to decrease in southern Australia in winter and spring. Precipitation is very likely to decrease in south-western Australia in winter….Changes in rainfall in northern and central Australia are uncertain. Extremes of daily precipitation are very likely to increase. The effect may be offset or reversed in areas of significant decrease in mean rainfall (southern Australian in winter and spring). An increase in potential evaporation is likely. Increased risk of drought in southern areas of Australia is likely.

Sunshine Coast part of south-east or south-west Australia? And even over-looking that mistake, the decrease over south-east Australia specifically refers to winter and spring.

Strike 1 against Bolt.

Bolt goes on:

…and the snow has rarely been deeper:

According to Rutgers University Global Snow Lab, last week’s Northern Hemisphere winter snow extent was the second highest on record, at 52,166,840 km2.

Bolt is talking about a single winter but climate is about longer term so let’s check longer term snow coverage for the norther hemisphere via Tamino:

The decline is much stronger for summer months than for winter months. The January numbers don’t really show any significant trend.

Cherry-picking leads to strike 2.

Bolt up to the plate again:

Hurricane activity is at a low

Follow the link and we get to Watts. No surprise there but what does Watts actually report in relation to the NH hurricane season for 2009?

2009 was the quietest year since 1997 (ACE= 41) and the 16th slowest since 1940. Interestingly, 2009 saw 1/5th of the activity of 2005, the most active ACE season on record.

So, Bolt claims “the quietest year since 1997” equates to “at a low”. Strange.

And yet still we know that even a sceptic’s analysis that Bolt linked to has shown that:

Hatton’s data analysis does actually corroborate the IPCC and concludes that:  

…there is strong evidence that the Atlantic is becoming more active in both number of hurricanes and number of major hurricanes (≥ 3 on the Saffir-Simpson scale)… 

Strike 3.

Ordinarily, in the spirit of the sporting analogy, we could stop there but, let’s give Bolt some clearly much-needed additional batting practice:

He goes on to cherry-pick again via Watts:

…and record low temperatures are being set at many places in the US.

Now, you’d think that record low temperatures, if significant in the context of countering global warming, would translate to some form of signal in the global temperature series. Well, let’s even use Bolt’s global temperature analysis of choice to check on global temperature via Roy Spencer which actually indicates:

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature anomaly soared to +0.72 deg. C in January, 2010. This is the warmest January in the 32-year satellite-based data record.

Strike 4 and Bolt is back in the dugout.

Suzuki snows the gullible February 12, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 13 February, 2010

Bolt starts his post with abuse of David Suzuki:

Ah, that old shonk Suzuki can’t miss this opportunity to mislead.

The bolded text was a link to a Bolt column that presumably proves Bolt’s right to abuse Suzuki – a standard underhand tactic of Bolt’s.

But, in this post, Bolt is referring and referencing a post by Watts that clearly wants the reader to believe that, the fact that Northern America has had excellent and widespread snowfalls this winter, is evidence enough to debunk the scientific claims that snowfalls have declined over the past 50 years.

As has already been pointed out, a single season does not serve to disprove the science that has established the snowfall decline that is likely to be associated with climate change and global warming:

 TRENDS AND VARIABILITY OF SNOWFALL AND SNOW COVER ACROSS NORTH AMERICA AND EURASIA. PART 2: WHAT THE DATA SAY, David A. Robinson* , Rutgers University, Department of Geography, Piscataway, New Jersey, Richard R. Heim Jr. NOAA / NESDIS / National Climatic Data Center, Asheville, North Carolina

The results presented in this paper represent a first look at what promises to be a valuable database of historic station snow observations. The addition of satellite-derived snow extent data only further strengthens our evaluation of snow variability and potential trends. Results show that snowfall and snow cover was more pervasive in the 1960s and 1970s than in the 1950s or in the past 20 years. In particular, recent decades exhibit the lowest spring snow values observed in the past half-century.

No, Prime Minister. That drought wasn’t man-made, either February 11, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Post February 8, 2010.

Bolt links to the abstract of a paper that claims to show that:

Previous studies of the recent drought in the Murray-Darling Basin (MDB) have noted that low rainfall totals have been accompanied by anomalously high air temperatures. Subsequent studies have interpreted an identified trend in the residual timeseries of non-rainfall related temperature variability as a signal of anthropogenic change, further speculating that increased air temperature has exacerbated the drought through increasing evapotranspiration rates. In this study, we explore an alternative explanation of the recent increases in air temperature. This study demonstrates that significant misunderstanding of known processes of land surface – atmosphere interactions has led to the incorrect attribution of the causes of the anomalous temperatures, as well as significant misunderstanding of their impact on evaporation within the Murray-Darling Basin.

Bolt himself makes the following claims based on this paper:

What’s causing the evaporation and temperatures is not (man-made) warming. It’s kind of the other way around: more sunshine, through lack of cloud cover, and lack of rain and therefore evaporation is causing higher temperatures.

From this Bolt is clearly making the claim that the drought is completely independent of global warming and he repeats this claim in a subsequent post where he claims that:

Marc Sheppard says it’s bad enough that the IPCC bought the theory of warmist Professor David Karoly that man-made warming was causing the higher temperatures and evaporation in the Murray Darling basin.

After all, new research suggests almost the very opposite – that the higher temperatures come from a natural fall in cloud cover, and a lack of rain and a subsequent lack of evaporative cooling. Drought causes higher temperatures, and not vice versa.

And Bolt uses this paper and his assumption to make the following condemnation of Professor David Karoly and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

Melbourne University alarmist David Karoly once claimed a rise in the Murray Darling Basin’s temperatures was “likely due to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere from human acitivity” and: This is the first drought in Australia where the impact of human-induced global warming can be clearly observed.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd grabbed the scare and exploited it.

What Bolt did not do was check the validity of this paper before using it to attack Karoly and Rudd and it turns out that the findings of the paper have been subsequently discredited:

A spurious trend in sunshine hour duration over the Murray-Darling Basin. Comment on “On the recent warming in
the Murray Darling Basin – land surface interactions misunderstood” by Lockart et al. Wenju Cai, Tim Cowan, Karl Braganza, David Jones, and James Risbey.

The conclusion of this paper:

The trend in SSH over the MDB as reported in LKF (the paper Andrew Bolt cites) is
not real, and is an artefact of their analysis. By including
various records of differing lengths and locations in an arithmetic
average taken as representing the entire MDB, and by
not removing the mean at each location, their study creates
a timeseries that is inhomogeneous in terms of climatology
over time. It is the difference in climatological values over
time that gives the apparent trend. After appropriately adjusting
for climatology, there is no statistically significant
trend in SSH. There is no evidence that increases in maximum
temperature in the MDB over the last 50 years are
explained by increasing sunshine hours.

Bolt has been told of his error. He has not acknowledged the error or retracted his claims.

Column – Al gored February 4, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Hypocrisy, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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One of the most absurdly smearing and abusive columns from someone that claims he does not indulge in such and chastises others for doing so:

WHAT a shame Al Gore has left town, trailing gassy contrails…

But, alas, I see the old fraud…

…Nobel Prize-winning guru of global warming…

…I guess there were just too many sponsors Gore had to chat to instead – the green carpetbaggers of wind power, solar schemes and carbon trading who’d paid for him to come scare up more business of the kind that’s made Gore so rich…

So when the Great Green Profit…

…damn Gore as a loose-with-truth fear-monger…

But what of the actual content and context of Bolt’s abusive attacks on Gore?

Two years ago Stuart Dimmock, father of two and school governor, asked England’s High Court to stop education authorities from giving Gore’s film to schools as a teaching aid, since it was political indoctrination and not the mere teaching of science.

True, Justice Michael Burton did technically rule in Gore’s favour by letting the film be sent out, albeit with advice to teachers on its many errors. But Gore deceived the ABC audience by implying the judge ruled “in my favour” on the errors Ewart mentioned.

It’s many errors? 9.

It’s pretty clear that Gore in saying that “Well, the ruling was in my favour”, was actually referring to the fact that the film was not withdrawn.

 I don’t think you have quite told the truth. Not all of it, at least.

Really? Because that’s what Bolt does without fail. Doesn’t he?


Unscheduled Earth Hours likely February 4, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Hypocrisy, Smear.
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Picture of Al Gore working in front of several computer monitors:

Al Gore works out on one of his computers fresh ways to cut even more power:

Absurd smearing and abuse.

Chicago Chills February 4, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Deception, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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No, weather is not climate. But could someone please eplain that to warming hysteric Professor Barry Brook?

Brook, director of climate science at Adelaide University’s Environment Institute, freaked over Melbourne’s hottest day since 1851, claiming it was caused by global warming:

Bolt’s use of cherry-picked cold weather events to try and act as a counter-argument to hot weather events is one of the chief proofs that Bolt does not have any understanding of even the basic science.

It’s clear that Bolt doesn’t understand that cold weather events occur because of the heating at the equator by the sun. Essentially and very basically, heating causes cold weather. The exchange of cold and warm air between the equatorial regions and the poles arises out of the earth’s attempt to reach thermodynamic equilibrium.

Whilst Bolt mocks climate science when it says that severe cold weather is part and parcel of AGW, his mockery only serves to demonstrate and reinforce his lack of understanding of the science.

The hypocrisy of complaining about the cherry-picking of AGW-advocates whilst he time after time indulges in the very same practice with cold weather events leaves him looking hypocritical and foolish.

Warming Hysteric, Barry Brook? That’s be abuse and smearing.

Note, incidentally, that the sole period of warming which the IPCC concludes shows a human influence – that rising carbon dixoide concentration – amounts to just 25 years. Bear that in mind when alarmists tell you that eight years of cooling since is, of course, far too short a period to make any conclusions about climate trends.

This is a false claim. The IPCC concludes that most of the observed temperature increase since the middle of the 20th century was caused by increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases resulting from human activity such as fossil fuel burning and deforestation.

No to Gore February 4, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Hypocrisy, Smear.
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Not everyone at green millionaire Al Gore’s latest Melbourne mass for global warmings believers will be a carpetbagger or dupe:

A carpetbagger? A dupe? But smearing and abuse is the domain of the “Left” is it not?

The post links to another post of Bolt’s which in turns links to a Foundation Watch article which sets out how Gore has invested in and made money from “green enterprise”.

Bolt constantly claims that funding sources and smearing are not to be tolerated from his opposition.