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Double the doubt March 7, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Author Comment, Deception.
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Bolt’s Post 7 March 2010

Here, Bolt recounts the results of a recent poll of 609 NSW voters that shows:

A Sun-Herald/Taverner poll of 609 NSW voters shows 8 per cent of people do not believe climate change is real and another 29 per cent think it is real but not caused by humans and 60 per cent of people believed in man-made climate change.

Last year, only 3 per cent said climate change was not real and 18 per cent said it was happening but not caused by humans. In 2008 2 per cent did not believe and 14 per cent said it was real but humans were not responsible.

But then he does a very curious thing and reiterates what he claims is his current position on climate change, which is apparently encapsulated by:

 what I said on the Science Show as far back as 2007:

Andrew Bolt: I’m certainly pretty sure that there has been global warming, 0.7 of a degree over the last century, which is the IPCC’s latest report. I am pretty sure, given the consensus of science, that man has some role to play in that… (But) how much is man responsible?

He then says that his doubts are related to the questions:

…how bad would warming really be?

and

Is it really worth the pain of trying to stop?

Really? If Bolt really believes that global warming has occurred and that some component of it is due to humans (which presumably ranges from a small amount to 100% due to humans), I think it’s reasonable to expect the following from him; that he:

  1. Provides equal weighting on his blog to arguments for both sides (after all, he demands this of others);
  2. Wouldn’t refer to the science or scientists as fraudulent, a hoax or a scam;
  3. Apply scepticism to counter arguments and theories for both sides; and
  4. Would not seek to deceive people or misrepresent the science.

Let’s have a look at the first. I don’t think any objective and sane person could possibly believe that Bolt gives any weight whatsoever to the pro-AGW side of the debate. As evidence, I give you his columns and his blog.

The second: Sadly, a fail that is very easily graded by searching his blog with the words: fraud, scam, hoax and con. Now of course, the vast majority of these will be proffered by Bolt’s commenters but here are some that are directly attributable to Bolt from the print media or his blog:

“Any day now, global warming will change from the world’s biggest scare to the world’s biggest joke.” March 2nd 2007

“pagan cult”, “neo-pagan gospel”, “giddiest ideology of all” “great sham” 12th May, 2009.

“This mad global warming scare could at last be over.” 7th October 2009

“Belief in man-made global warming will soon be laughed out of existence” 8th Oct 2009

To the 3rd. Well, we know and it is very clear that Bolt applies a form of scepticism to the pro-AGW side of the science. What of scepticism of and for those that put forward anti-AGW theory and views? Given that Bolt is not a scientist and can therefore claim no ability to test scientific hypotheses himself, an appropriate test of this would be to look at Bolt’s record of providing corrections and updates detailing when he has highlighted views or theories that are later, or have already proven to be false or even doubtful. I have myself many times provided feedback to Bolt’s posts and columns with links to evidence that have shown that theories, hypotheses and papers that he has referenced have been debunked, or he has provided an erroneous summation or slant or he has misrepresented the author. Without fail, Bolt has refused to acknowledge or update posts with such information. And, as this blog demonstrates, Bolt clearly never checks, references or puts forward himself, counter arguments or positions to anti-AGW material he references.

On the fourth, this blog again shows how Bolt has deceived his readers and misrepresented climate science and scientists. After only one month of compiling this blog, I have published 52 posts in which I have shown, with references and links, that Bolt has made mistakes, has misrepresented the science, has abused or smeared scientists or opponents in the debate or has set out to deceive.

Based on this analysis, I can come to only two possible conclusions in relation to Bolt’s statement about his position on AGW: Either the statement is (now) false – in which case he would appear to be highlighting this statement in order to have a cover upon retreat; or, he is purposely adopting a more extreme anti-AGW stance in his columns and on his blog to attract the support and readership of the full range of the anti-AGW market.

Warming again March 6, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation.
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Bolt’s Post 6 March 2010

Finally, Bolt has the courage to put up the graphic he has long touted as being “evidence” that the globe was cooling and it hadn’t warmed for a decade, etc, etc.

No similar claims being made here now that deception is obvious even to his own readers especially seeing that Spencer is forced to acknowledge that:

The global-average lower tropospheric temperature remained high, at +0.61 deg. C for February, 2010.

I wonder if Bolt has thought to put this fact together with his evidence of the NH cold and snowy winter as supporting evidence that the IPCC and “warmists” are right that global warming and extreme weather events are completely compatible? I suspect not.

But Bolt does claim it’s evidence of:

The long post-mini-ice-age warming may be resuming after a break of a decade.

So he’s given up on the cooling idea he’s falling back on another tried and true deception. Already debunked of course (SkepticalScience).

Followed by another go at Flannery and Qld rain. Already debunked.

El Nino maybe?

Why doesn’t Bolt just go with Spencer:

trends since 11/78: +0.132 +0.132 deg. C per decade

Arctic puts Wilkinson’s alarmism on ice March 6, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Misrepresentation.
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Bolt’s Post 5 March 2010

Here Bolt again creates deception about the state of Arctic sea ice.

As the first part is merely a rehash of a previous post, which has already been debunked, no need to re-demonstrate the deception practiced.

There’s an amazing amount of irrelevant hogwash to wade through at Watts Up With from where Bolt takes his lead here but what Watts wants to say can be summarised very succinctly where he says:

The Arctic continues to recover.
All those graphics and yet Bolt and Watt just can’t bear to put up the only one relevant to such a discussion and his assertion:
Recovery?
 
This post is also well covered at Crikey by Tobias Ziegler.

Snowing on warmists’ parade March 6, 2010

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

Here, Bolt reckons:

I don’t think global warming is working out quite as warmists predicted:

He then links to a graphic via Watts via Steven Goddard demonstrating that:

2001-2010 was the Snowiest Decade on Record

Of course, as is usual with Bolt and his cohorts, they don’t actually tells us just what the “wamists” did actually predict. But if that’s what they wanted to do, why didn’t they show or quote the predictions that have been contradicted by this weather? Because, the IPCC predictions are not contradicted.

Fortunately, this has already been debunked when Bolt previously alluded to this misrepresentation about the northern hemisphere winter and snowfall.

 the IPCC has said in relation to snowfall (amount and coverage):

In general, snow amount and snow coverage decreases in the NH (Supplementary Material, Figure S10.1). However, in a few regions (e.g., Siberia), snow amount is projected to increase. This is attributed to the increase in precipitation (snowfall) from autumn to winter (Meleshko et al., 2004; Hosaka et al., 2005).

And Goddard has already been caught out on his misrepresentation of NH winter snowfall data, from my previous post:

Then, via Watts, via Steve Goddard, Bolt claims:

Any sign of those models being right?

Bolt reproduces Goddard’s plot of data from Rutgers University Global Snow Lab purportedly attempting to show that “winter” snowfall over the northern hemisphere has significantly increased.

But look: Tamino has clearly demonstrated that:

Goddard purposely truncated the snowfall data before 1988 back to1967 (ignoring 21 years of data) and used only January & February (claiming this represents winter – what happened to December?) data, to produce a classic cherry-picked trend. Use the whole data series, i.e. all months and all years and:

If we look at monthly snow cover anomaly for all months of the year covered by the Rutgers data we see a long-term decline of 37,000 km^2/year, which is statistically significant.

But what happens when data from all years for just the winter months are used:

If we fit a line to all the winter-season data, we get a t-value of 0.211 — nowhere near significant.

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.

Gore promises the Warmist Inquisition February 28, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 1 March, 2010

The first part of Andrew Bolt’s post relating to Gore is, as usual, not even worth a response.

However, the update relating to tropical storm activity, via The Australian via The Times, requires refuting. No surprise that it’s this paper that is the source of yet more misinformation and deception.

The claim is that:

RESEARCH by hurricane scientists may force the UN climate panel to retract its claims that greenhouse gas emissions have caused an increase in the number of tropical storms.

Again, let’s see what the IPCC said in relation to tropical storms in its Summary for Policymakers (my emphasis):

There is observational evidence for an increase in intense tropical cyclone activity in the North Atlantic since about 1970, correlated with increases of tropical sea surface temperatures. There are also suggestions of increased intense tropical cyclone activity in some other regions where concerns over data quality are greater. Multi-decadal variability and the quality of the tropical cyclone records prior to routine satellite observations in about 1970 complicate the detection of long-term trends in tropical cyclone activity. There is no clear trend in the annual numbers of tropical cyclones. {3.8}

In relation to projections for tropical storm activity, the IPCC said:

Results from embedded high-resolution models and global models, ranging in grid spacing from 100 km to 9 km, project a likely increase of peak wind intensities and notably, where analysed, increased near-storm precipitation in future tropical cyclones. Most recent published modelling studies investigating tropical storm frequency simulate a decrease in the overall number of storms, though there is less confidence in these projections and in the projected decrease of relatively weak storms in most basins, with an increase in the numbers of the most intense tropical cyclones.

The writer of The Times article (author’s name is not provided) says:

The IPCC added that the world could expect a big increase in such storms over the 21st century unless greenhouse gas emissions were controlled.

This is completely untrue as can be clearly seen from the IPCC excerpt above.

Then the author refers to the paper, paraphrasing it (apparently) to say:

It suggests the rise in cyclone frequency since 1995 was part of a natural cycle and that several similar previous increases have been recorded, each followed by a decline.

It draws on computer modelling to predict that the most likely impact of global warming will be to reduce the frequency of tropical storms. The research predicts a fall of up to 34 by 2100.

It does, however, suggest that when tropical storms occur they could become stronger, with average wind speeds rising by 2100.

A fall of up to 34? 34 what? Where? Per year?

And guess what? It actually turns out all the paper does (assuming that The Times author’s paraphrasing is accurate and reasonable) is confirm that the IPCC was right to say exactly what they did say: They couldn’t discern a trend in the “annual number of tropical cyclones” observed and , in the Atlantic, the intensity of tropical storms had increased. They also stated that the modelling suggests an increase in tropical storm intensity and some modelling even confirmed a decrease in the frequency of tropical storms overall.

So, the paper actually corroborates the IPCC, whilst Andrew Bolt and The Australian have again misrepresented the IPCC and deceived their readers. Again.

Would you buy a used temperature record from these guys? February 28, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 28 February, 2010

Here Andrew Bolt claims that:

The university which tried to trick us on temperature records now tries to trick the parliamentary committee investigating its deceits.
So, the University of East Anglia tried to trick us on a temperature record, did they?
 
To trick us, this presumably would have to mean that they altered data and then published it either as data or as a graphic. Which data was it? Or, which graphic was it?
 
If there is no such data or graphic, then Bolt is clearly being, at best, misleading and deceptive, at worst defamatory.
 
Here’s what Phil Jones had to say:

Until the inquiry is over, he will stand aside from his directorship of the CRU. On the question of the science, however, he remains bristlingly defiant. He may have tripped up over the FoI requests, but nobody has laid a glove on the science. To prove his point, he spreads the table with graphs, tracing the outlines with his fingertip. He shows how the warming trend plotted by the CRU precisely matches the plots from two independent sources in America. “There, you see!” The three coloured lines precisely overlay each other, proof positive of scientific probity.

“I am obviously going to be much more careful about my emails in future. I will write every email as if it is for publication. But I stand 100% behind the science. I did not manipulate or fabricate any data, and I look forward to proving that to the Sir Muir Russell inquiry [the UEA’s independent review into allegations against the unit].”

And then, let’s look at the work done by one of Andrew’s own favoured academics on global warming, Dr Roy Spencer:

Spencer has done some New Work on the Recent Warming of Northern Hemispheric Land Areas:

Since it is always good to immerse yourself into a dataset to get a feeling for its strengths and weaknesses, I decided I might as well do a Jones-style analysis of the Northern Hemisphere land area (where most of the stations are located). Jones’ version of this dataset, called “CRUTem3NH”, is available here

Similar to the Jones methodology, I then averaged all station month anomalies in 5 deg. grid squares, and then area-weighted those grids having good data over the Northern Hemisphere. I also recomputed the Jones NH anomalies for the same base period for a more apples-to-apples comparison. The results are shown in the following graph.

What does he find:

I’ll have to admit I was a little astounded at the agreement between Jones’ and my analyses, especially since I chose a rather ad-hoc method of data screening that was not optimized in any way. Note that the linear temperature trends are essentially identical; the correlation between the monthly anomalies is 0.91.

One data set only, certainly.

And the investigation will go on and provide either vindication or condemnation of Jones.

Bolt claims he provides facts and evidence for his assertions. Yet none is provided here. Why? If a data set or a graphic has been “tricked up”, why doesn’t he say which one? Because he doesn’t have any and none exists. In other words, Bolt has deceived and misrepresented yet again.

Africa might actually love that warming rain February 24, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation.
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Bolt’s Post 24 February, 2010

Here Andrew Bolt claims:

Yet another climate alarmist on Jon Faine’s ABC Melbourne morning show was allowed this morning to claim, unchallenged, that global warming would cause devastating droughts in Africa.

No sooner claimed than disproved:

Bolt goes on to reproduce excerpts from an article claiming that:

Scientists are now seeing signals that the Sahara desert and surrounding regions are greening due to increasing rainfall. If sustained, these rains could revitalize drought-ravaged regions, reclaiming them for farming communities.

I have no issue with the study or indeed the claim that, should this be true, some areas of Africa might become more viable for farming but, yet again, Bolt is wrong that this is any proof against or refutation of the fact that AGW is predicted by the IPCC to cause or exacerbate drought in Africa:

All of Africa is very likely to warm during this century. The warming is very likely to be larger than the global, annual mean warming throughout the continent and in all seasons, with drier subtropical regions warming more than the moister tropics.

Annual rainfall is likely to decrease in much of Mediterranean Africa and northern Sahara, with the likelihood of a decrease in rainfall increasing as the Mediterranean coast is approached. Rainfall in southern Africa is likely to decrease in much of the winter rainfall region and on western margins. There is likely to be an increase in annual mean rainfall in East Africa. It is uncertain how rainfall in the Sahel, the Guinean Coast and the southern Sahara will evolve in this century.

What Bolt fails to acknowledge or perhaps doesn’t understand is that, the fact that climate is changing and will continue to change with increasing global temperatures, means that it creates extreme economic hardship and instability. Bolt seems to believe that it will be a snap to move agriculture, industry and even settlements and cities in pursuit of or necessitated by changing climate.

And that doesn’t take into account the lower-probability or longer-term but more severe risks associated with AGW.

Put Gore in the dock February 24, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Lie, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 24 February, 2010

A second lie appears on Bolt’s blog. This time, Bolt isn’t the one making the untrue statement:

In [Gore’s] science fiction movie, every assertion has been rebutted,”

But, Bolt clearly agrees with US Senator James Inhofe given that, in relation to the statement, he agrees that:

Al Gore must indeed be held to account

But, Bolt only recently made clear in a column that, in relation to Gore’s film, An Inconvenient Truth:

  • 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…

And then Bolt concedes the “many errors” actually numbered nine.

That’s nine “errors” in a film that lasts 94 minutes?

So, the result of the court case was that the film was not withdrawn, which it surely would have been had every assertion been rebutted or, indeed, had it even contained what could objectively be described as a “significant” number of errors.

Moscow buried in the snows that were meant to vanish February 23, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Lie, Misrepresentation.
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Bolt’s Post 24 February, 2010

I haven’t yet encountered an AGW post where Bolt actually provides a headline that is an outright lie – until now. Bolt claims to have “studied” the climate science. Accepting that he has done so to even a small degree therefore means that this is undoubtedly a purposely made lie.

Has a climate scientist somewhere…anywhere said Moscow’s snow or snow in general would “vanish”.

Let’s remind ourselves – yes, even those that have “studied” the climate science – what the IPCC has said in relation to snowfall (amount and coverage):

In general, snow amount and snow coverage decreases in the NH (Supplementary Material, Figure S10.1). However, in a few regions (e.g., Siberia), snow amount is projected to increase. This is attributed to the increase in precipitation (snowfall) from autumn to winter (Meleshko et al., 2004; Hosaka et al., 2005).

So, not only does it not say snow will vanish – as Bolt well knows – but it does say that there are areas where snowfall can actually increase.

And then, via Watts:

At a meeting on Monday of about 150 climate scientists, representatives of Britain’s weather office quietly proposed that the world’s climatologists start all over again to produce a new trove of global temperature data that is open to public scrutiny and “rigorous” peer review.

Follow the link and we see how Watts frames this story (my emphasis):

In other words, conduct investigations into modern global warming in a way that the Met Office bureaucrats hope will end the mammoth controversy over world temperature data they collected that has been stirred up by their secretive and erratic ways.

The “mammoth controversy” that Watts is talking about relates to Watts’ dismally failing efforts to try to discredit the climate surface temperature record that he claims is due to poorly sited or exposed weather stations.

Unfortunately, as is often the case when one creates conspiracy theories to explain one’s own irrational beliefs, Watts’ attempts and claims are already being shown to be completely unfounded:

In relation to Watts’ “work” in particular see SkepticalScience here.

In relation to the surface temperature data and its validity see SkepticalScience here.