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

BBC : Licence to Manipulate ?

Another Earth-shatteringly ridiculous piece on the practice of Climate Change science has dribbled from the loudspeaker of the BBC :-

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11574503
“Doubts over scientists’ climate change debate claims”

Why am I surprised that they seem content to repeat falsehoods and rehearse a patronising tone ?

Where’s the proper investigative journalism ? Why get somebody so young and fresh-faced as Adam Fleming to tear up his good reputation so soon into his career ? I mean, he’s only done kids’ TV before now, as far as I know. Why was he only briefed with Climate Change “sceptic” fantasy nonsense ? And what will the University of East Anglia Press Office do to react ?

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Date: Tue 19 Oct 2010
From: Jo Abbess
Subject: The BBC Gets It Completely Wrong Once Again
To: Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia Pres Office

Dear Press Office at CRU UEA,

I am completely astonished at the paucity of the latest
offering from the BBC on so-called “Climategate” (see
forwarded e-mail I have sent to Professor Phil Jones).

I would see this as a prime moment to correct the BBC
publicly, and you could be the people for the job, which is
why I am drawing this to your attention.

I’m sure you don’t need me to pinpoint the inaccuracies in the
BBC piece, but I can offer comments if you would like to hear
them.

Regards,

Jo Abbess

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Date: Tue, 19 Oct 2010
From: Jo Abbess
Subject: The BBC Gets It Completely Wrong Once Again
To: Professor Phil Jones
Cc: Dr Ben Santer, Dr Gavin Schmidt

Dear Professor Jones,

I can’t help asking myself why it is that the BBC has got
Climate Change science so, so wrong yet again.

Can’t they read ? And who have they been listening to ?

This is a really appalling re-write of recent history from the
BBC (see below). It’s insulting, judgemental and just plain
inaccurate.

They couldn’t have done worse if they had been deliberately
trying to be annoying, in my view.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-11574503
“Doubts over scientists’ climate change debate claims”

I counted at least 10 “revisions of history” in a piece of
film shorter than an ad break.

Surely some of your colleagues have the energy left to
complain ?

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TEXT ON WEB PAGE

19 October 2010
Last updated at 13:48

Press coverage has cast further doubt on climate scientists’
claims that man-made global warming is real and adversely
affecting the planet.

Polls show that the public are becoming increasingly confused
about the issue. Adam Fleming reports.

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TRANSCRIPT OF AUDIO IN FILM PRESENTATION

It’s the year that “uncertainty” became the buzzword in the
climate change debate, even for scientists who are convinced
that human activity is warming the planet.

Last year saw the publication of private e-mails written in
these buildings, the Climatic Research Unit at the University
of East Anglia. Experts spoke of doing “tricks” with numbers.
They hinted at the deletion of data that didn’t fit their
theories.

This summer, an inquiry, the last of three, left the
scientists’ reputation intact, but told them that they had to
be more honest about how they reach their conclusions.

Then came “Glaciergate”. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel
on Climate Change, the group of international scientists that
inform global environmental policy, had written a report
saying that most of the glaciers in the Himalyas could melt by
2035, but that was proved to be wildly inaccurate.

The head of the IPCC, the Indian academic Rajendra Pachauri
came under pressure to quit. In future [the] chairman will
serve just one term, and again the academics were told to be
more honest about the question marks in their research.

Back at home, David Cameron has pledged the “greenest
Government ever”, but there are limits This week the Coalition
announced it wouldn’t fund tidal power in the Severn Estuary
because the bill was too high.

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Met vriendelijke groeten,

jo.

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

Tim Holmes : Wrong on Balance

PLEASE IGNORE ANY ADVERTISEMENT THAT MAY PLAY AT THE START OF THIS VIDEO. Video Credit : The Guardian

At risk of tumbling after The Guardian newspaper journalists into a deep dark rabbit hole of possible intellectual compromise falls young Tim Holmes, who attended the Guardian’s “some parts of the debate have been edited out for legal reasons” Climategate event on 14th July 2010 :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/video/2010/jul/15/climategate-guardian-debate

What on Earth were The Guardian thinking, inviting Steve McIntyre and Doug Keenan to share a platform with Professors Trevor Davies and Bob Waston at a public meeting ?

Don’t The Guardian know that the general public have had their views so seriously warped by the Climate Change sceptic-deniers that no serious, open discussion/debate would be possible ? All you seem to get from sceptic-deniers is hot-and-cold insults, sniping and over-detailed analysis of minuscule slithers of Science. Their position is rock-solid anti-Science, from my analysis. There is nothing to be gained from talking to them in my opinion.

Continue reading Tim Holmes : Wrong on Balance

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

The Guardian : Uninformed Arbiter ?

I don’t want to write these words, but I have to. The Guardian newspaper, for me, has ceased to be trustworthy on Climate Change Science and the culture of Climate Change Science :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/jul/08/climate-change-climategate-emails-editorial

Here, the editorial seeks to establish a position as an arbiter over the Climategate pseudo-scandal, that was only ever a scandal because of Media overreaction to the theft and malicious interpretation of e-mails from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The Guardian takes the position of judge, jury and prison guard, without seeming to be adequately informed on the subject under discussion.

The editorial accuses the University of East Anglia (UEA) of “scientific stupidity” and “excessive secrecy”, which would be laughable if it were not so biased, in my view.

Continue reading The Guardian : Uninformed Arbiter ?

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 ?

Fred Pearce : Scorned Again

I’m sorry to say that my general opinion of Fred Pearce’s work has taken a sharp tumble. I found his latest New Scientist piece disappointing, and for me he has continued to be uninspiring today in The Observer newspaper, Sunday sister to The Guardian :-

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2010/jul/04/climatechange-hacked-emails-muir-russell

“Climategate was ‘a game-changer’ in science reporting, say climatologists : After the hacked emails scandal scientists became ‘more upfront, open and explicit about their uncertainties’ : Fred Pearce : Sunday 4 July 2010”

His style is robustly “journalistic” and suffers from a basket of semantic fuzziness, but I’m just going to highlight a few phrases and words here.

Continue reading Fred Pearce : Scorned Again

The Network of Factuality

Visualizing the East Anglia Climate Research Unit Leaked Email Network from Michael J Bommarito II on Vimeo.

I found this vimeo video on a webpage describing a Climate Change sceptic’s attempts to get data from NASA using Freedom of Information requests :-

http://www.examiner.com/x-28973-Essex-County-Conservative-Examiner~y2009m12d3-NASA-may-be-Americas-CRU

Continue reading The Network of Factuality