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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.

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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.

Gore’s Katrina con exposed February 26, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 26 February, 2010

Andrew Bolt uses the summaries and extracts of Roger Pielke Junior made from a scientific paper to claim proof that:

Al Gore cynically exploited Hurricane Katrina to sell his warming scare…

And:

Most shamelessly, Gore even seized on the cyclone which devastated Burma in 2008 as proof of a warming world.

Let’s see if Bolt is correct in his assertion that he is justified in accusing Gore of a con and lying.

Firstly, what was it that Gore actually claimed in relation to the Burma cyclone? Bolt quotes Gore as saying (in a linked post) by Bolt that this cyclone and others indicated that:

we’re seeing consequences that scientists have long predicted might be associated with continued global warming.

As I’ve said before, there are times where Gore appear to say more than he is qualified to say and, given the large uncertainties in the cyclone and hurricane data, there are certainly limitations in the statistical confidence that can be discerned from trends – particularly with data from the 1800s through to the 1950s before the advent of satellite data and improved accuracy and spatial resolution of measurement of relevant surface and upper air parameters.

However, if Bolt were the least bit concerned with being fair to Gore, rather than attempting to misrepresent him, we might expect that he’d have included this statement by Gore, also in the same article Bolt linked to, which provides qualification of the first statement:

“It’s also important to note that the emerging consensus among the climate scientists is that even though any individual storm can’t be linked singularly to global warming – we’ve always had hurricanes,” Gore said. “Nevertheless, the trend toward more Category 5 storms – the larger ones and the trend toward stronger and more destructive storms appears to be linked to global warming and specifically to the impact of global warming on higher ocean temperatures in the top couple of hundred feet of the ocean, which drives convection energy and moisture into these storms and makes them more powerful.”

So, clearly, Gore did not claim the cyclones were caused by global warming but was making the point that the intensity (i.e. the strength) of such cyclones and hurricanes (clearly already devastating) was predicted to increase as a result of global warming and he even provides a bit of the science behind why this is the case – perfectly reasonable.

Note that Gore does not appear to have mentioned anything in relation to the frequency of hurricane or cyclone events in general (i.e. overall numbers of events). The statement about the category 5 cyclones is merely a statistical consequence of the fact that, if the intensity of tropical storms increases, more are likely to fall within the higher severity categories.

To scientifically expose Gore as a liar (albeit in a very loose sense, given Gore’s qualification and the fact that the paper wasn’t around when Gore made the statements!), Bolt and Pielke would actually have to prove that global warming had no influence on the intensity of the particular storms mentioned and that would be virtually impossible to do as they would have to show that global warming had not in any way effected those parameters critical to cyclogenesis in the areas in which the storms evolved.  And, given that global sea surface temperature increase and low-level atmospheric warming is an established scientific fact, an argument couched in probabilistic terms would certainly favour Gore.

So, Gore has actually correctly stated the scientifically based projections of climate scientists and modellers.

To contradict the scientists and the models upon which Gore and the IPCC have based their claims, Bolt and Pielke would have to prove that there has and will be no increase in the intensity of tropical storms arising out of global warming.

Both Bolt and Pielke provide a link only to the abstract for the paper which Bolt claims proves Gore a liar and therefore makes it impossible to determine the context and validity of the statements made relating to the extracts used.

The paper is:

Tropical cyclones and climate change, Thomas R. Knutson , John L. McBride , Johnny Chan , Kerry Emanuel , Greg Holland , Chris Landsea , Isaac Held , James P. Kossin , A. K. Srivastava & Masato Sugi

In relation to analysis of historical data for storm intensity (not frequency – which is irrelevant given that Gore talked only about intensity) Pielke provides only this extract:

The short time period of the data does not allow any definitive statements regarding separation of anthropogenic changes from natural decadal variability or the existence of longer-term trends and possible links to greenhouse warming. Furthermore, intensity changes may result from a systematic change in storm duration, which is another route by which the storm environment can affect intensity that has not been studied extensively.

Whilst the first statement says that the length of the data record does not allow sufficient confidence in trends in storm intensity associated with changes due to global warming, it certainly does not conclude that global warming has no effect or that there has been no increase in intensity due to AGW. The second statements says that there is the possibility that the increase in the energy levels of storms may actually be manifested in longer-lasting storms rather than or in addition to more severe storms. In other words, strong winds associated with some storms could blow for longer instead of winds being stronger  (only).

The paper (from Pielke’s extract) then says this in relation to projections for storm intensities and the ability to detect or measure the change due to global warming:

The intensity changes projected by various modelling studies of the effects of greenhouse-gas-induced warming (Supplementary Table S2) are small in the sense that detection of an intensity change of a magnitude consistent with model projections should be very unlikely at this time, given data limitations and the large interannual variability relative to the projected changes. Uncertain relationships between tropical cyclones and internal climate variability, including factors related to the SST distribution, such as vertical wind shear, also reduce our ability to confidently attribute observed intensity changes to greenhouse warming. The most significant cyclone intensity increases are found for the Atlantic Ocean basin43, but the relative contributions to this increase from multidecadal variability44 (whether internal or aerosol forced) versus greenhouse-forced warming cannot yet be confidently determined.

The first part says that the intensity changes due to global warming currently are likely to be relatively small and difficult to separate or distinguish. It does not say that intensities will not increase as a result of global warming.

The second part repeats what even Bolt must know by now: there have been significant increases in hurricane intensities in the Atlantic but, again, the component due to increase in greenhouse gases cannot be confidently determined and separated from other natural climate variability. Again, no contradiction of the IPCC science or Gore.

And from the abstract itself we obtain this:

However, future projections based on theory and high-resolution dynamical models consistently indicate that greenhouse warming will cause the globally averaged intensity of tropical cyclones to shift towards stronger storms, with intensity increases of 2–11% by 2100. Existing modelling studies also consistently project decreases in the globally averaged frequency of tropical cyclones, by 6–34%. Balanced against this, higher resolution modelling studies typically project substantial increases in the frequency of the most intense cyclones, and increases of the order of 20% in the precipitation rate within 100|[nbsp]|km of the storm centre. For all cyclone parameters, projected changes for individual basins show large variations between different modelling studies.

So, the paper backs up Gore’s claim that tropcial storm intensities are projected to increase over the period to 2100.

Conclusions:

  • The paper, Pielke and Bolt do not contradict scientists or Gore in relation to the projected increase in intensity of tropical storms due to AGW;
  • The paper does not conclude or allow the conclusion that AGW does not affect the intensity of tropical storms;
  • Bolt misrepresents Gore and is wrong to accuse him of a con or of lying.

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.

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.

Broke Flannery just can’t resist another bet February 20, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 20 February, 2010

Bolt has another go at Flannery claiming that:

Even with a trail of dud predictions to haunt him, the unembarrassable Tim Flannery can’t resist another:

Iconic Australian beaches such as Bondi in Sydney and Bells Beach in Victoria are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, environmental scientist Tim Flannery says…

“It’s hardly surprising that beaches are going to disappear with climate change,” he told reporters outside the National Climate Change Forum in Adelaide.

Bolt at least doesn’t try to refute the claim based on current or past cherry-picked information as he has done previously. Which is not to say that he won’t do so in the future of course…

But Bolt posts a series of updates that require scrutinising.

Update 1:

Meanwhile, a real climate expert – Richard Lindzen, Alfred P. Sloan professor of atmospheric sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology – says climate models of the kind that Flannery and other alarmists rely on are just not working:

…at this point, the models seem to be failing.

Wow, what a definitive proof from the expert. “Seem to be failing”. Bolt turns this into “just not working”.

Are they failing? No. From Skeptical Science:

While there are uncertainties with climate models, they successfully reproduce the past and have made predictions that have been subsequently confirmed by observations.

Update 2:

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.

I think Bolt needs to get himself some better sources.

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.

IPCC revealed as blowhards February 16, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Deception, Doesnt Understand, Misrepresentation, Smear.
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Bolt’s Post 16 February, 2010  

As is typical of the way Bolt works, here a reader alert him to someone else’s work (usually a blogger running a site that is running a “sceptical” agenda). As this blog demonstrates, Bolt does not appear to do what one would expect of a good journalist – to thoroughly check the reference and for the claims made. It has an anti-AGW bent, so Bolt puts it on his blog. Is that real scepticism at work?  

To the post referenced by Bolt.  

Andrew says:  

Now the IPCC is accused of telling untruths in its fourth assessment report about hurricanes, too.  

If Bolt had stopped there, he might have been able to claim it was only an accusation but Bolt is clearly convinced:  

Every IPCC error revealed so far exaggerates fears of global warming. That alone says plenty.  

Andrew Bolt references a post from The Register* which does contain the reference to the paper on which The Register and Bolt make their conclusions.  

I have no problems with the actual data analysis carried out in Hatton’s paper. Hatton claims the paper is “unpublishable” – the inference being that the paper is controversial in some way or uncovers some wrong-doing on the part of “the establishment”.  

In his conclusions, Hatton makes the claim that:  

Over the periods 1999-2007 or 1999-2009, it can be concluded that is no evidence to support that the average number of tropical storms, hurricanes, major hurricanes or proportion of hurricanes which mature into major hurricanes has changed in the last 60 years.

But, 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)…    

Why does Hatton make the first statement, when his own paper does indeed contain exactly the same evidence that the IPCC used to make one of its statements? The Atlantic is evidence and Hatton’s paper confirms it.  

Hatton’s paper does not carry out an analysis with all the data for the various hurricane areas combined. I suspect and hope the reason he does this is that, as the IPCC says:  

…there are concerns about the quality of data in these other regions…
 Therefore, any analysis done using this data (i.e. a global data set containing all areas combined) could not be scientifically conclusive as a result of the poor data quality from areas other than the Atlantic. 

And yet, Hatton himself is quoted by The Register as saying:  

“When you average the number of storms and their strength, it almost exactly balances.” This isn’t indicative of an increase in atmospheric energy manifesting itself in storms.”  

But Hatton’s paper does not provide the results of such an analysis and, more importantly, the data cannot be relied upon in any area other than the Atlantic. Hatton and The Register have therefore misrepresented Hatton’s own work and make a conclusive statement which, if it is based on data, is based on data of poor quality.  

The Register paraphrases this to say:  

 He found that North Atlantic hurricane activity increased significantly, but the increase was counterbalanced by diminished activity in the East Pacific, where hurricane-strength storms are 50 per cent more prevalent. The West Pacific showed no significant change. Overall, the declines balance the increases.  

Hatton’s paper does not show that the declines balance the increase between the Atlantic data and the other areas. Not at all. Not only that – if he did, he is using poor quality data to make such a claim.  

So, what statements of the IPPC is Hatton left with to dispute?  

Here are the statements with Hatton’s comments, based on his paper (IPCC claims first, followed by Hatton’s claims in parentheses):

1. There has been an increase in hurricane intensity in the North Atlantic since the 1970s (that the increase correlates with increases in sea surface temperature, (corroborated here and highly significant), and not tested).

 2. The observed increase in hurricane intensity is larger than climate models predict for the sea surface temperature changes we have experienced, (climate models are corrupted by unquantifiable errors, not tested).

3. There is no clear trend in the number of hurricanes, (corroborated).

4. Other regions appear to have experienced increased hurricane intensity as well, but there are concerns about the quality of data in these other regions, (Only the Atlantic has experienced statistically significant increased hurricane intensity in this period. All other datasets show no significant change. This is a worryingly incorrect statement.)

5. It is more likely than not (> 50%) that there has been some human contribution to the increases in hurricane intensity, (Since there hasn’t been any significant increase in hurricane intensity, its hard to see what human contribution has got to do with it. Statements like this do not enhance confidence in the quality of the IPCC report).

6. It is likely (> 66%) that we will see increases in hurricane intensity during the 21st century, (Pure speculation based presumably on the same model used for the previous inaccurate statement).

And here we can see why Hatton’s paper really is “unpublishable”. 1 to 3 either corroborate the IPCC or are irrelevant to Hatton’s analysis. In relation to 4, Hatton claims to contradict the IPCC through his own data analysis which is carried out on poor quality data. He cannot therefore make the claim at all. The paper does not say on what basis the IPCC makes the claim but the IPCC does make the clarifying statement relating to the data quality. In relation to 5, Hatton indulges in speculation. In relation to 6, Hatton speculates that the IPCC bases this claim on speculation but provides no evidence and then admits to making a presumption about a statement that he has not proven to be inaccurate.

So, Bolt has referred to an article which in turn references a paper that:

  • Misrepresents the scope of the data analysis made;
  • Uses poor quality data to make inaccurate conclusions;
  • Finds no contradiction to the IPCC statements made;
  • Makes unfounded conclusions;
  • Resorts to speculation and presumption;
  • Is unpublished and is “unpublishable”, not because of any scientific conspiracy but because of the previous points.

Poor work Andrew Bolt.  

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Suzuki snows the gullible February 12, 2010

Posted by BlueGreen in Abuse, Misrepresentation, Smear.
comments closed

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.