Hunter’s Moon

Image Credit : iammarlon

Gazing up at the Full Moon this evening in Central London, I noticed the strong corona as light, high clouds wafted across its face.

Later in Outer London, I looked up again, and saw the Moon Ring was wider, and perhaps more brown.

I saw a man eating an apple on the train platform who also looked up.

“It’s going to be a cold night tonight”, I ventured, “there’s ice clouds around the moon.”

“It’s not ice”, he intimated, “…it’s the gases….”

An exceptionally chilly English October, and yet still the Earth is heating up, on average :-

  

  

More pictures of lunar corona :-

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/1f/2010.01.31_Lunar_Corona.jpg
http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/p_VGEENd_iAfpwK4K9sNig
http://www.astronet.ru:8104/db/varstars/msg/1201568
http://epod.usra.edu/blog/2010/06/aureole-around-full-moon.html

Mini Hockey Sticks (4)

Totally new data set – totally new temperature proxy – totally the same Hockey Stick.

Michael Mann, Phil Jones and all the experts are more than vindicated.

Steve McIntyre, Marc Morano, and your “tribes”, will you stand aside, please ?

You’re just getting in the way of the true course of discovery.

Northern Anomaly Snow Job

Data Credits : Inverse ENSO, AO Index and NAO Index

Earlier this year, many weather-watchers were theorising that unusual conditions in the Arctic atmospheric pressure patterns could be behind the deeply cold and snowy winter :-

http://www.nasa.gov/topics/earth/features/coldweather-2009.html
http://www.dailykos.com/story/2010/1/6/822520/-Freak-Current-Takes-Gulf-Stream-to-Greenland
http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2010/01/weakening-of-polar-vortex-in-arctic.html

The anti-science mob just jumped up and down and yelled at it, calling it “global cooling”, but that’s what you’d expect from a one-dimensional crowd trying to “snow job” the truth about Global Warming.

However, it has now been reliably demonstrated that a combination of a moderately strong El Nino and a very low North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index locked in cold conditions and higher than usual precipitation leading to general whiteout in medium latitudes :-

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2010/2010GL043830.shtml

Continue reading Northern Anomaly Snow Job

Let’s Read the IPCC (1)

If there’s one thing about Climate Change nobody could be able to disagree on, it’s that there’s a huge amount of literature on the subject.

I figure it would be impossible for any one person to have a good grounding in the totality of the Science, spanning, as it does, most of humankind’s discoveries about the physical world.

It would be hard too to have an exceptionally well-rooted understanding even of the Synthesis of the conclusions of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports.

A human mind is surely not capable of remembering all the facts and figures and how everything relates. My personal forgettery is quite active in selecting what to drop after not using it for a while, and I’m sure others experience the same thing.

For example, I’m sure Dr Judith Curry, accomplished as she is in Earth Sciences, does not remember the entire field, and does not have the tools to look everything up quickly. Which is why she gives shorthand vague, answers on web logs which annoy other people so much :-

http://scienceblogs.com/stoat/2010/08/curry_jumps_the_shark.php

I reckon, though, people should give her a break for a while to let her compose herself, and get over the shock of the Anthony Watts “tribe” eating her heart out with steak knives after she published a proper piece of Science.

Continue reading Let’s Read the IPCC (1)

Make Me a Model

Statistical analysis of the raw data on Global Warming suffers from two major pitfalls :-

1. You are looking at the combined effects from several causative sources. Unless you have the means to distinguish the various factors, you cannot apply statistical techniques to the data and expect to get anything truly meaningful out. All that can be said, at best, is, “The Globe. Still Warming.”, as the warming trend over a long enough period of time has managed to stand out over the short-term variations.

2. Looking at the data purely by eye, some of the warming or cooling effects are clearly short-term, others longer-term; so picking a range of years/months/seasons at random, or according to some bias, is likely to distort the analysis. This is known as “cherry-picking”. The results of cherry-picking include the fallacious and discredited claim that, “Global Warming stopped in 1998”, or the much more crafty and misleading, “There has been no statistically significant Global Warming since 1998”.

Some researchers are content just to point to the overall effect of the raw data – global temperatures on land and at sea are rising sharply and the charts should be sufficient to understand the basic problem.

However, some people still contest that Global Warming is taking place, or that if it is, it isn’t serious. This then, is the cue to do an in-depth analysis into the known factors in global temperatures, and to attempt to “deduct” obvious short-term warming and cooling features in order to eyeball the underlying trends :-

Continue reading Make Me a Model

Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Jaw-droppingly, the BBC have apologised for the contents of a Today Programme. Not the one that caused poor, deceased Dr David Kelly so much embarrassment, God rest his soul. No, the one that featured the breaking of the “Climategate” e-mail scandal :-

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/08/bbc_apologizes_to_university_o.php

The BBC picked the wrong scandal story to run with, it appears.

The real scandal of Climategate is how the scientists’ e-mails were “liberated” from the University of East Anglia, and then annotated to give heavily biased interpretation, then released to the general public via the Internet, and how the Media were taken in.

Certain people at the BBC chose to go with the fake scandal, it seems – the narrative fabricated and dictated to them by Climate Change deniers.

Anyway, now the BBC have made an apology, of sorts. Better late than never, but all the same, it would have been better earlier rather than later.

Thankfully, despite the late apologies, this particular alleged witch-hunt didn’t end with a suspected suicide. Although it did include reports that Professor Phil Jones had, in fact, contemplated suicide; the reporting of which just added to his completely groundless public humiliation at the hands of the Press. Which they should apologise for, in my humble opinion. Just as good (old) George Monbiot had the good grace to offer some regret for :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/jul/07/russell-inquiry-i-was-wrong

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7180154/Climategate-Professor-Phil-Jones-considered-suicide-over-email-scandal.html
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7017922.ece

http://www.uea.ac.uk/mac/comm/media/press/CRUstatements/rebuttalsandcorrections/johnhumphrys

“BBC apologises to University of East Anglia for “incorrect” remark”

“The BBC has apologised for an “incorrect” remark made by John Humphrys that UEA researchers had “distorted the debate about global warming to make the threat seem even more serious than they believed it to be”.”

Continue reading Hell Freezes Over : BBC Apologises

Phil Jones : Back At Work

Glad to see Professor Phil Jones is back at work and enrolling students for the autumn on the Climate Change MSc postgraduate degree programme at the University of East Anglia (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) :-

http://www.uea.ac.uk/env/courses/msc-climate-change

This course would probably be useful for a number of mainstream media journalists to follow. Even if they don’t have an appropriate background in Physics, Chemistry, Geography, Environmental studies or similar, it could be of benefit to ameliorate their world view.

They could learn something from the lectures and coursework – that the Science of Climate Change is a serious and rigorous endeavour – unlike the apparently lax behaviour of their own profession over the last year or so.

Investigative journalism without the “investigation” part appears to be a mishmash of unverifiable facts and unfounded opinions. You need to know who is credible at the very least, and you can’t get that from following the vindictive views of public contrarians.

If you want to understand Climate Change, you need to study the Science, not just read denier-sceptic web logs or talk to Steve McIntyre, Benny Peiser, Marc Morano, Anthony Watts, Doug Keenan, Nigel Lawson or Christopher Monckton, and think that you have thereby become sufficiently informed.

“Climategate”-style attacks on Climate Change Scientists by negatively-motivated commentators are completely unacceptable. Media workers need to learn to identify those whose opinions they cannot trust.

The New Media-Free Phil Jones

The scandal of the Media puff-and-guff affair known as Climategate looks set to have one lasting effect – extreme reticence to talk to the Press on the part of Climate Change Scientists.

Stolen and maliciously-interpreted electronic mail did not betray corruption at Ivory Climate Science Towers; nor provide evidence of professional misconduct; nor give wings to the narrative that the world’s scientific academies were all in cahoots to deceive, fabricate or create any kind of unwarranted slant on Climate Change.

I wrote to the University of East Anglia’s (UEA) Climatic Research Unit (CRU) to convey my felicitations that Professor Phil Jones has been fully reinstated with no dishonour after his token “stepping aside” as the Climategate invective heatwave started rolling off the (virtual) printing presses.

Continue reading The New Media-Free Phil Jones

George Monbiot : Bunkum Masquerading As Insight ?

[ CORRECTION FROM JOABBESS.COM : David Adam has had his name struck from the list of journalists at The Guardian who have given the impression of blaming the quality and speed of UEA media relations for the Climategate pseudo-scandal. ]

I was in telephone conversation with somebody in the Climate Change policy arena in the last two weeks (names will remain unnamed for obvious reasons), and they complained to me about George Monbiot’s position on Climategate.

I could sense incandescent rage, even at the other end of the phone line, as the person expressed extreme displeasure with George Monbiot, and asserted that he was a “nasty little man”.

I don’t agree with that summary. For a start, George Monbiot is probably taller than the average Briton, so the epithet is literally inaccurate. I don’t even agree that George Monbiot is “little” in terms of influential, public figures, either. I think George Monbiot is very smart, usually highly accurate and incisive, assiduous in his research.

His pieces are factually rich, and he is often on the money. But on this particular train of events I believe he is most assuredly wrong, even after backtracking from his original position.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Bunkum Masquerading As Insight ?

Retraction City

I’m still waiting for some notable reporters, web loggers and commentators to retract, to take it all back on Climategate, which was a “pseudo-scandal”, according to Chris Mooney, in reviewing “The Climate Files”, a book on the stolen University of East Anglia e-mails, written by Fred Pearce :-

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20727671.300-the-climate-scandal-that-never-was.html

Continue reading Retraction City

BBC Panorama on Climategate

The BBC risk ending up with yet more egg on its face after broadcasting a Panorama “investigation” with more errors than you can shake a pepper grinder at at :-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/panorama/hi/default.stm

But it’s worse than merely embarrassing.

Entitled “How ‘climate-gate’ turned nasty”, it was a genuinely nasty piece of work in my view, showing images out of place, endorsing the work of non-experts, overlaying poor and inaccurate narration and editing interview comments inappropriately.

I feel that some of the mistakes made by the reporter, Tom Heap, were laughable.

I will mention just one thing here, out of all those that riled me. Several times during the programme, the “reporter” mentioned that Renewable Energy was expensive. At one point the film showed an offshore wind turbine and said that the electricity produced by wind power was three times more expensive than conventional sources.

He did not mention that the price of onshore wind power is comparable in price to fossil fuel generation but blocked by recalcitrant Planning authorities.

He didn’t mention that it is to be expected that Wind Power will be somewhat expensive at present – the investment phase in the new infrastructure is still ongoing.

He neglected to mention the high levels of return on investment, and solid asset base with continuing value, that a fully operational Wind Power network would provide, as outlined by the Offshore Valuation study :-

http://www.offshorevaluation.org

And he also neglected to mention that ongoing research and developing into Wind Power is dragging the prices down.

From this, I take it that the BBC can clearly not be trusted to provide accurate and complete information on the development of Renewable Energy.

As for the Science, I’ll probably get round to digging into this mess at some point, but one thing needs to be emphasised here : the views of John Christy and Bjoern Lomborg (a non-scientist) are at the very end of the spectrum.

Bjorn Lomborg’s work has been discredited, and he cannot be trusted in my view :-

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/06/the_lomborg_deception_1.php

John Christy has had to retract some of his scientific claims :-

http://climateprogress.org/2008/05/22/should-you-believe-anything-john-christy-or-roy-spencer-say/

They are in no way representative of the main caucus of Climate Change Science, and I feel it is extremely poor of the BBC to allow its viewers to be propagandised into believing that there is a serious debate about how significant and serious Climate Change is.

There isn’t. The governments of the world have invested public money in trying to find out the problems that could arise from Global Warming and the Climate Change it can cause, and the results are that we are at serious risk.

I think it is immoral and unethical to leave Panorama viewers with the idea that Climate Change might not be happening, or might not constitute a major threat to their way of life and the lives of those they care about.

In summary, I think the BBC cannot be trusted to relay Climate Change Science to us.

This bumbling attempt to cover all bases as if they were all relevant is going to confuse the public even more than they are already. The BBC is therefore complicit in mass deception, according to my analysis.

Oh, and Tom Heap, people breathing out Carbon Dioxide doesn’t add to the sum total of Carbon Dioxide in the Atmosphere – it merely recycles it. On the other hand, digging up Fossil Fuels from the ground and burning them, they do increase the amount of Carbon Dioxide in the air. How little you know about the basic science. You are in my humble opinion entirely unqualified to broadcast on Climate Change.

Once again, the Media have failed to communicate the facts.

Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

Last Wednesday’s “Sceptic Backlash” meeting ended with a lively Question and Answer session. Here it is as I recorded it :-

http://www.campaigncc.org/scepticsmeeting


Q. (from Christian Hunt, a plant in the audience from Greenpeace)

– You say it’s just the journalists who are the sceptics. What happens if another Government comes in and scepticism gets political footholds ? [ reference to Conservative Party Climate Change sceptics ]

A. (Phil Thornhill, Campaign against Climate Change)

– People shy away from the problem if they can’t find solutions. We propose a million Climate jobs – there are lots of ways of dealing with the crisis. That’s the kind of thing we should be emphasising.

Q. Andrew Neill interviewed Caroline Lucas and asked her about the Phil Jones interview with the BBC where he said there had been no “statistically significant” warming in the last 15 years. Has there been no statistically significant warming or not ? Why wouldn’t Caroline Lucas, head of the Green Party, say “you’re wrong” ?

A. (Phil)

– I wrote her a rather long e-mail. You can’t really debate Science in the popular Media. Most people don’t understand.

– The tip for answering this kind of question is – in 15 years, it’s hard to spot a trend against the background noise. It’s a difficult thing to explain.

– It’ a clear case of how once you start debating the Science it gets twisted. She should have said “this is a typical case of the misrepresentation of Science”.

A. (Ben Stewart, Greenpeace Media)

– She was fine to say “I’ll take a pass on that”.

Continue reading Sceptic Backlash : Questions Answered

George Monbiot : Wrong Call

There was a long time during my life when I refused to read British newspapers. They irritated me. The stories hinged on the opinions of a few unresearched writers; facts were dubious; the ideological cultures distinguishing the publications were artificial; and the constructed narratives offended me.

I distinctly recall the day I decided I needed to read the newspapers again. It was a chance glance at the Guardian Weekly, on the shelf in an international bookshop in Brussels. In there, I read a piece by George Monbiot, and my reaction was, in paraphrase, “how can he be allowed to write such a thing for publication ?” I was impressed, both at his audacity and his plainspeaking, and the facts to back up his position looked credible.

In overview, it was a good thing that I started to read the newspapers again, even though I have had to wade through interminable barrelloads of rotten opinions and poor research in following the public story of Climate Change and Energy Revival. I have traced the emergence of some almost acceptable Science and Environment writing in the Press, but there has been a remarkable turnaround just recently.

Continue reading George Monbiot : Wrong Call

Phil Jones : My Hero

Phil Jones – untarnished, innocent, heroic. Clean as a recently, cleanly, cleaned clean whistle.

The Media are beside themselves. No longer do they have a public victim to hold up, for us to mourn. No longer can they build the case for Phil Jones as scapegoat. No longer than they dangle Phil Jones out over the evil toothy fishes from the end of the sweating, shaking, rickety gang plank.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article7081921.ece

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8595483.stm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/environment/climatechange/7538446/University-of-East-Anglia-refused-to-share-information-on-global-warming.html

http://news.sky.com

Continue reading Phil Jones : My Hero

Fear and Loathing in Sceptico-Vision

I still cannot get my head around exactly why we need a House of Commons Inquiry into the “goings-on” at the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

It’s not as if Professor Phil Jones has done anything wrong. In fact, he’s been behaving like any other productive and fruitful researcher, getting on with the work and trying to brush off unhelpful distractions, including a deliberate smear campaign.

OK, so he wrote a few contentious e-mails, using casual language and a frustrated tone. This was not Science, and should not be considered representative of his work. Take a look at his work, results of painstaking and in-depth analysis of raw data :-

http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2004/2003RG000143.shtml

Continue reading Fear and Loathing in Sceptico-Vision

Bringing Physics Into Disrepute

I first commented on the suspected link between the Institute of Physics and the noted Climate Change “sceptic” Piers Corbyn in a previous post :-

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/03/02/fred-pearce-still-crucifying-phil-jones/

One of my commentators challenged what I had written, so I edited it out, awaiting the opportunity to discover more.

More has now been uncovered; not my me, I hasten to add, but by another commentator :-

http://www.joabbess.com/2010/03/06/institute-of-physics-nosedive/#comment-600

Continue reading Bringing Physics Into Disrepute

Open Season on Science

Like several commentators, I am picking out a trend in Internet communications that indicates that there is a tribe of “doubt believers” out there, proselytising for their cause : bringing down the Science of Climate Change.

These evangelists often write and reply to web posts with statements of alarmingly high confidence levels, assuming authority they cannot possibly claim, sometimes using anonymity to cloak their network connections.

Continue reading Open Season on Science

How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

Poor (middle-aged) old George Monbiot ! He really feels like he’s been wasting his time trying to get through to people to communicate about Climate Change :-

http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2010/03/08/the-unpersuadables/

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cif-green/2010/mar/08/belief-in-climate-change-science

I don’t think that he should despair. What the ordinary, Tabloid-reading , Daily Telegraph-reading, Times of London-reading or even Guardian-reading man-or-woman-in-the-street thinks about Climate Change Science doesn’t really matter in the end, as long as the policymakers know the direction of travel required. That is, towards strong regulation on Carbon Emissions.

And anyway, I think that the problem of Climate Change “doubt” can be resolved relatively easily – by educating those who work in the Media.

Let me begin my argument by asking a question : is it right and fair and balanced to pitch Dr Benny Peiser against Professor Phil Jones on the subject of the Science of Global Warming ?

I ask this, because this is effectively what happened during the hearings of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee on 1st March 2010, when Dr Benny Peiser and Lord Nigel Lawson were first in the seats, and then Professor Phil Jones and Professor Edward Acton sat in the seats later on :-

http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmsctech/uc387-i/uc38702.htm

Continue reading How You Were Taken In : Media “Balance”

Institute of Physics Nosedive

Is the Institute of Physics “prestigious” ?

Well, of course, they are highly honoured, and have prestige, but I’m talking about the other meaning, of a sense of cunning, that lingers on in the French word for conjurer or magician : prestidigitateur : the speed of thinking gives capacity to move the fingers almost undetectably to create an illusion.

Several commentators have remarked on the similarity between the Institute of Physics submission to the Science and Technology Committee on “Climategate” and the arguments of several noted Climate Change sceptics.

The fact that James Delingpole loved it up should have been a clue to all the bug hunters out there that all was not well with the submission from the IoP :-

Continue reading Institute of Physics Nosedive

Fred Pearce : Still Crucifying Phil Jones

[ CORRECTIONS FROM JOABBESS.COM : ON THE ADVICE OF inel CERTAIN INFORMATION PREVIOUSLY GIVEN ABOUT THE INSTITUTE OF PHYSICS HAS BEEN REMOVED. ]

I’m sorry to note that Fred Pearce, writing for The Guardian newspaper is still hanging Phil Jones out on a crucifix to bake in the burning Sun :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/cif-green/2010/mar/01/phil-jones-commons-emails-inquiry

Fred Pearce quotes the withering “coruscating” evidence submitted by one or more members of the Energy sub-group of the Institute of Physics, and demands us to accept that it is adequate commentary on Phil Jones’ behaviour (behaviour that we don’t accurately know, but has been described to us by people misinterpreting his e-mails, which were stolen).

Continue reading Fred Pearce : Still Crucifying Phil Jones

The Media Cannot Be Trusted

When the BBC’s Roger Harrabin arranged a set of questions recently for Phil Jones, the unjustly smeared head of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA), I just wish he had asked for advice from an expert on countering Climate Change denier tactics before answering :-

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/8511670.stm

The questions made my Public Relations nerves twitch with embarrassment for Phil Jones. The trajectory of events was entirely predictable.

A friend or colleague with experience of having to face down the Climate Change deniers would have strongly advised Phil Jones to answer the questions with extreme care, especially the first one, and demand that anyone who quoted his answer quote him in full, in context.

Continue reading The Media Cannot Be Trusted

We Love You, Phil Jones

Phil Jones, we are a small, but growing, group, who just want you to know that we love you, respect you, and we think you should not only keep your job, but be awarded an honour for bravery in the face of a huge and nasty smear campaign.

Pay no attention to The Guardian newspaper. They just want to sell more newspapers, and they’ve worked out that giving off an insouciant whiff of Climate Change scepticism is edgy and popular, so they’re playing the field. It’s a dubious game in my view.

Don’t listen to George Monbiot either. He called for your resignation not once, but twice, adding to your woes. He really shouldn’t have. He should have had more respect for your mental condition. He’s been most unfair.

The “liberal” Media trying to take the high moral ground on Science is fine if they know what they’re talking about; but for journalists to mete judgement on scientists is not valid, when the journalists have no clue as to the context in which scientists are forced to work, and no proper appreciation of what the Science means.

Continue reading We Love You, Phil Jones