Posts Tagged 'Science'

Dr Phil Jones and supreme Spanish honorary irony

Oh the irony of it.  A regular reader in Norfolk kindly submitted this scan of a piece in the Norwich Evening News about University of East Anglia’s Dr Phil Jones dating back to last week (sorry for my delay in spotting the email).

So Dr Jones is ‘delighted’ at this recognition from such a ‘prestigious institution’.  Well, it’s great news that Dr Jones is feeling so much better than he was in 2010, when he told journalists he had considered suicide after the Climategate emails were released into the public domain.

But in giving Jones this honour, the faculty at Rovira i Virgili University now have some serious question marks hanging over them concerning their judgement when it comes to matters scientific.  It must have been a huge leap of faith to give Jones an honorary doctorate to recognise his work to ‘document global warming’ when Jones is noteworthy for having ‘lost’ the weather data he… erm… documented.  Either that or the academics at Virgili are paid up climate alarmists just doing their bit for the ’cause’ which sees the alarmist community giving each other feel good awards.

Also noteworthy is the Norwich Evening News’ determination to shill for UEA by repeating the demonstrably false assertion that Jones was cleared of hiding or manipulating data to back up his science.  The scope of the MPs ‘investigation’ was so limited and examination of the facts so cursory it would have been impossible to make any such declaration.

These people are seriously beyond parody.

Where are you, great Oden?

For all the huff and puff from the bought scientists about Antarctic ice supposedly melting away, reality has bitten once again in the shape of Australia’s Antarctic supply ship Aurora Australis being stuck fast in ice near Casey Station.  Richard mentions the situation on EU Referendum.

The first thought in such a situation is that surely an ice-breaker will be sent in to dig Aurora Australis out of the frozen stuff.  But minds should cast themselves back to a story from last year here on this blog, where one of the best ice-breakers on the oceans, Oden, was withdrawn from Antarctica by the Swedish government in order to deal with ice problems in the Baltic Sea.

With the usual climate scientists arguing global warming hasn’t abated perhaps we could expect Oden to be back down south breaking up all that apparently fast melting Antarctic ice.  So where is the great Oden?  Let’s take a look…

I guess that means we can expect plenty more ice in the Baltic this winter.

My climate change argument in a nutshell

The following is a comment left on the Bishop Hill blog post about the latest paper from scientists on Antarctic ice melt.

It neatly sums up why I am a man made climate change sceptic – sceptical of so many of the increasingly outlandish claims made by some climate scientists about mankind allegedly being absolutely and certainly responsible for the changing climate, which are then breathlessly relayed as given fact by agenda-serving hacks in the media.

My head is going to explode! After six or seven years of following the global warming/climate change debate I think I have reached my saturation point. But I believe I have come to one conclusion…Mankind simply does not have the data nor the understanding to reliably say what the climate is doing, is going to do, or what is causing it to change or will cause it to change. I am no scientist but if we built and repaired airplanes with the same level of robustness and arrogance that I have seen in climate science nobody would fly.

Eric H

The fatuous arguments that we can prevent the climate changing – something that would be unnatural – if only we spent billions of pounds, dollars, euros, yen etc on reducing CO2 emissions and redistributed money to the ‘developing world’ should be enough to make any reasonable person sceptical. But surely if that we’re not enough the faith placed in ‘climate modelling’ by scientists, whose previous models have singularly failed to predict the current lack of warming now stretching to 16 years, should be.

In years to come I have a feeling the way in which science and scientific method have been abused and corrupted will be looked upon by those who follow us as a period in human history where reason was turned on its head for the sake of a political agenda. It’s a fairly safe assumption given there still remains no causal link between mankind, CO2 and changing climate.

Climategate 2.0 and a Mann with a cause…

So, thousands more emails leaked from the servers of the University of East Anglia (there is still no evidence of hacking despite two years of police investigation) have been released into the public domain.

It is being described on Watts Up With That? as Climategate 2.0.

Interestingly, even before they have had a chance to see what has been released and what is being focused upon by AGW sceptics, UEA and Michael Mann have already declared that extracts of the emails are being taken out of context.  As Jeff Id of the Air Vent puts it:

Out of context before we put them in context.  I suppose that if you aren’t a certified UEA climatologist, you can’t read.

One wonders what alternative context this quote could possibly be in:

What if climate change appears to be just mainly a multidecadal natural fluctuation? They’ll kill us probably

Several Climategate 2.0 emails that stand out were sent by Mann and are note worthy for refering to the his efforts to push the man made global warming narrative as a cause.

It seems strange because I was led to believe that it was about science.  No wonder Michael Mann is so desperate to prevent other emails of his falling into public hands.  There is also more evidence in the leaked emails of Phil Jones encouraging people to delete emails in order to evade scrutiny through Freedom of Information requests, which possibly accounts for the ‘missing’ data he is unable to produce.

There are also some interesting Climategate 2.0 emails on the Air Vent originating from those chaps at our old friend, the Met Office.  These include:

Observations do not show rising temperatures throughout the tropical troposphere unless you accept one single study and approach and discount a wealth of others.

And there’s:

My most immediate concern is to whether to leave this statement ["probably the warmest of the last millennium"] in or whether I should remove it in the anticipation that by the time of the 4th Assessment Report we’ll have withdrawn this statement

Is this a ‘temporary warming’ phenomenon we have not been told about?  There’s also:

would you agree that there is no convincing evidence for kilimanjaro glacier melt being due to recent warming (let alone man-made warming)?

This ‘evidence’ lark seems to be a real pain, especially when it torpedoes some of the most frequently used anecdotes, such as Kilimanjaro’s icecap melting due to human activity.  And another warmist shibboleth, the supposedly irrelevant Urban Heat Island effect  gets a kicking with this observation:

By coincidence I also got recently a paper from Rob which says “London’s UHI has indeed become more intense since the 1960s esp during spring and summer.

There is much more besides.  It is worth a few minutes of your time to sit down and read the selection of emails.  Some of the responses are eye opening.  Enjoy!

A new twist in the Wolfgang Wagner resignation saga

Following on from the previous post about the Spencer and Braswell paper… In an ideal world journalists like Richard Black at the BBC and Leo Hickman at the Guardian would try to find out if there was something more to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, which they reported in their traditionally biased fashion.

But given the BBC and Guardian acolytes, among others in the media, have an agenda  favourable to those who assert the world is warming and humans are to blame, what else can we expect? From to chairing conferences to delivering speeches and filing copy derived unquestioningly from press releases that enjoin people to accept at face value what they say, the BBC and Guardian.

Anything that raises questions about the actions of their friends in the alarmist ‘consensus’ is ignored or quietly shoved out of sight under the nearest convenient floor covering. Anything that goes beyond regurgitating the

This is why the blogosphere, so often derided by the oh-so-grand churnalists, is so important today.  This latest example of defacto censorship by the Guardian and outrageous bias exhibited by the UK’s taxpayer funded public service broadcaster, the BBC, can again be partially countered by bloggers who put the journos to shame and act in the public interest by searching for information and sharing the salient facts and background the media has deliberately omitted or tried to leave buried.

The lastest example of this can be found at the end of this post on Watts Up With That? which reveals information about a previously unmentioned relationship between Wolfgang Wagner and arch-alarmist who has been most affronted by the Spencer and Braswell paper - to the extent that Wagner issued an apology to him for publishing the paper – Kevin Trenberth.

What has been uncovered has the capacity to shed a somewhat different light on the motivation for Wagner’s resignation as editor in chief of Remote Sensing.  Yet the collective eyes, ears and mouths of the BBC and Guardian alarmists such as Richard Black and Leo Hickman will no doubt remain utterly immobile as they decide the information to be irrelevant and inconvenient to their agenda.

Dr Roy Spencer, adding to his previous thoughts on this incredible story and the reaction to the paper he co-authored, makes this comment (hat tip: Bishop Hill):

We simply cannot compete with a good-ole-boy, group think, circle-the-wagons peer review process which has been rewarded with billions of research dollars to support certain policy outcomes.

And as our focus on the media’s behaviour shows, it is an even more difficult proposition when those supposedly noble men and women of the news media – tasked with uncovering and reporting all the facts – are complicit in that group think and relay a distorted story to the general public.

How reaction to Spencer & Braswell underlines the corruption and politicisation of science

I want to tell you a story.  Are you sitting comfortably?  Then I’ll begin…

Once upon a time there was a big, shiny, expensive computer system upon which programmes were run.  The programmes were written by very clever scientists to create projections of what things might be like in the future.  They called these projections ‘models’.

Some places had got very dry over the years so the very clever people wrote a programme to see what the models said was going to happen.  After the very clever scientists entered all the information and parameters they thought were important, they ran the models.  When the models came back they suggested that unlike in the past, the rain would no longer make anything outside wet.

Now, because the models were developed by a small group of some clever very scientists in very big universities who had been given a lot of public money to carry out research, they were accepted as actual fact by politicians who said there was a big problem that only they could solve.  Being part of the establishment, the media wrote lots of stories about this endorsing what the politicians said and telling people things would have to change.

Because of what the computer models had suggested, the government decided that everyone must install complex and expensive systems to use water from a brand new source to irrigate grass, trees, flowers, crops and bushes because lots of places were drier and the rain won’t make anything wet in future.  So with other governments around the world they made lots of new laws and created big plans and spent billions and billions of pounds, dollars, euros, roubles and yen to convince people of the need for this expensive change to watering things.

They also gave lots of peoples’ money to a lot of new campaign groups and businesses to go into schools and companies to tell them to had to change the way everything is watered.  It also gives lots more money to other scientists to start from what the small group of very clever scientists has already decided and find more reasons to agree with them and arrive at the same conclusion.

But all this seemed strange to a lot of people who thought there was still lots of rain and it was still making everything outside wet.  A lot of people were not convinced and they were called sceptics and they started to point out problems with the claims from the very clever scientists.  The governments were very angry because they were making lots of deals to spend money on big corporations they were friends with to develop solutions that everyone would have to use, making owners and shareholders very rich while ordinary people were left with less money. The media wrote lots of nasty things about the sceptical people and because the media was so clever and always right about everything they called those people ‘deniers’.

Not all very clever scientists agreed with each other.  Some of them became sceptical and started to examines in detail the real world observation of what happens when it rains.  Amazingly, when they looked outside and examined lots of data records, they found that not everything was drying up after all and the rain was still making things outside very wet and therefore the basis for everyone installing the government mandated water systems was flawed.

The sceptical scientists wrote a paper about this, and it was examined and tested by other very clever scientists in their discipline in a process called peer-review, before being accepted and published by a journal called ‘Remote Sensing’.  Those people who were not convinced by the need for watering change pointed at the paper as evidence that not everything was as the government and their very clever scientists made it seem.  They argued that the small group of clever scientists supported by the government might be getting things wrong and government should wait for more evidence before taking such sweeping, expensive and draconian action.

The media largely said nothing about the paper because after spending so long saying rain wasn’t making things outside wet anymore they don’t want to be proved wrong.  And besides, some of their pension plans depended on money made from investments in the new watering processes being made by the government’s corporate friends.

A little while later, the editor of the paper-publishing journal ‘Remote Sensing’ said he didn’t agree with the paper because of all those very clever scientists who believed rain wasn’t make things wet anymore because their computer models had been saying so for a long time now. So the editor resigned in protest and the media attempted to discredit the sceptical scientists, citing that one of them once had to alter a previous paper many years previously, and that he is in some way odd because he is a committed Christian.

The media agreed with another very clever scientist who said that the paper must by defintion be flawed until it satisfied all of the observations, agrees with physical theory, and fit the computer models.  He said this even though computer models are only as good as the data put into them by humans who are nowhere close to understanding all the complex relationships that causes nature to do what it does.  Although common sense and science in years gone by would have it that real world observation is the only reliable measure of any changes in nature and has the capacity to invalidate computer models, this very clever scientist and his friends had turned science on its head by claiming computer models have the capacity to invalidate observed reality.

It would have all been very confusing if one of the very clever scientists had not been caught out saying that even if they had to redefine what scientific peer-review is, they would somehow close down any views from sceptical scientists, even though doing so would utterly corrupt science and the correct way of furthering it.  But after putting complete faith in computer models and using them as the basis for lots of incredible projections that have never become reality, he had to put his own interests before his duty to science.

And for the ordinary people, nothing changed.  The governments continued to press ahead with their financially ruinous plans.  The media continued to exaggerate every story that fitted their narrative while refusing to cover any story that contradicted them.  The computer models continued to churn out projections that did not reflect observed reality.

——————————–

The real story is carried in the words of the sceptical scientist, Dr Roy Spencer on the excellent Watts Up With That? blog.  The media hatchet job is most prevalent in the Guardian and on its broadcast arm, the BBC.  Dr Spencer goes on to explain the findings in layman’s terms on his own website.   In response to the resignation of Wolfgang Wagner, Dr Roger Pielke Snr puts the politicisation of science into context.  And the ludicrous position on observations having to fit in with computer models as advanced by Dr Pete Gleick, and Dr Phil Jones’ comment about keeping sceptical papers out of the public domain, are both covered by Indur Goklany on WUWT.

What we are seeing is anti-science.  We are experiencing pseudo science that aims not to question or challenge, but to reinforce the validity of a body of opinion that is yet to make the jump from theory to fact.  It is being done to fit a political agenda.  It is a corruption of science and the latest example of why people should be sceptical of the claims made about climate change and its causes and effects

In closing, one comment left on Watts Up With That? sums up the situation superbly and deserves to be repeated widely to help others understand what really is going on:

This is all part of the same pattern that has characterized the warmists’ approach to climate “science” since the last century. They come up with models and use these to produce predictions which are then baptized as sovereign truth. In real science, they would have been required to demonstrate the predictive validity of their models before their predictions would be granted any confidence – and when observations contradicted predictions, they would have been expected to revise their models instead of beating the data until it fit the model outputs. Instead, thanks to Algore, Hansen, left-wing politicians looking for regulatory and legislative mechanisms to control the polity and extract more tax dollars, and a compliant left-leaning media hungry for “imminent disaster” headlines, the burden of proof has been shifted to those who challenge the modellers instead of being left where it belongs: with the modellers who still have not demonstrated the validity of their models. I simply cannot believe we are still discussing a theory that, 20 years after it went mainstream, has yet to produce a single scrap of confirmatory empirical evidence.

The extent to which the AGW true believers have warped the scientific method to serve their pecuniary and political ends is simply breathtaking. Climate science represents the greatest perversion of the scientific method since the Enlightenment. It is phlogiston, phrenology and Lysenkoism all rolled up into one big, fat, corrupt boil desperately in need of lancing.

Reality of sea ice is starting to bite

One problem with ‘global warming’ that scientists and journalists seem to gloss over is that it doesn’t seem to be, well, global. Some areas have exhibited more warming than others.

The Arctic is one area that gets a lot of focus.  Each summer the media makes a big deal of the extent of Arctic sea ice melt during the warmest months of the year, focusing on navigation passages and often proclaiming that before long the summer will see all the Arctic ice melt away. The BBC never misses an opportunity to relay the story, even if it is barely mentioned elsewhere, and rolled out the latest iteration of it last week.

However there seems to be a lack of coverage about the increasing extent of sea ice in the winter.  With the non stop global warming narrative burned onto the subsconscious of decision makers, it the therefore of little surprise that there has been barely any investment in new maritime icebreaking capability.

Always ahead of the game, EU Referendum pointed to this problem in March this year. Richard North reported the former Prime Minister of Estonia Tiit Vähi arguing that the country should urgently order a new icebreaker, “Instead of spending money on buying icebreaking services.”  The reason? The country’s two existing icebreakers cannot cope with the “difficult ice conditions” in the Gulf of Finland.  Elsewhere, North was an almost solitary voice in the western blogosphere as he reported on shipping trapped in the Sea of Okhotsk by a huge volume of thick sea ice and the subsequent challenging rescue effort.

So it is that a reader used AM’s Tips/Stories link to draw our attention to a little reported story about the way increasing sea ice in the Northern Hemisphere has resulted in Sweden withholding an icebreaker from US use in Antarctica.   After increasingly bitter winters that have resulted in more iced over navigation passages, the Swedish government wrote to US Secretary of State, Hilary Clinton, to announce that the icebreaker Oden (pictured) will be kept at home and not be made available to support the work of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) in Antarctica, for the first time since 2006.

Update: This morning, AM contacted the press office of Sweden’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Carl Bildt, and requested a copy of the letter sent to Hilary Clinton.  In less than one working day the press office has located it and forwarded it to me (below). Compare that level of service to the often grudging response we in this country are subjected to when submitting Freedom of Information requests…

It validates the story published in the journal Science two weeks ago which explained:

Last month, the Swedish government abruptly ended an ongoing agreement with the U.S. National Science Foundation that allowed NSF to lease Oden, the pride of the Swedish icebreaking fleet and also the world’s most capable polar-class research vessel. NSF has used the ship each winter since 2006–07 to clear a path through the sea ice to resupply McMurdo Station, the largest scientific outpost in Antarctica and the hub for U.S. activities on the continent. The Swedish government decided that the Oden needed to stay at home this coming winter after two harsh winters disrupted shipping lanes in the region.

However, the decision was not abrupt. The move had been mooted for months and such was the concern among the Americans, Earth and Space Research (ESR) wrote to the Swedes in early May in a bid to influence them not to withdraw Oden:

And the Subcommittee on Polar Issues (see page 12 of the Minutes) of the National Science Foundation’s Committee on Programs and Plans (CPP) was also aware in May that Oden had not been secured for use.   The ESR letter above highlights the importance of Oden and underscored the lack of icebreaking capability that could be drawn upon to cut a passage for supply vessels to the US Antarctic Program’s McMurdo Station on Ross Island.

In July the Swedes confirmed Oden would be needed at home and therefore not be available for use in the Antarctic.  The increasingly difficult ice conditions have affected commercial shipping around Sweden and the Baltic nations and the Swedes plan to keep their sea lanes more open this year using their premier icebreaker.  Following the confirmation the NSF laid bare the serious implications of the icebreaker not being available to its programme in an internal letter to colleagues engaged in Polar research:

But it seems the National Science Foundation only has itself to blame for the position it found itself in, for the NSF is responsible for managing the U.S. icebreaking fleet.  Under NSF management the US icebreaking fleet has been ‘emasculated’.  The American fleet of icebreakers numbers three – for now. It boasted two of the most powerful non-nuclear icebreakers on the seas, Polar Sea and Polar Star, but that changed some years ago.  Polar Sea  is to be decommissioned next month and Polar Star has been undergoing a re-fit since 2006, but there is speculation it might never to return to service. The third, Healy is not designed for heavy icebreaking of the nature required in Antarctica.

This begs the question, why did the NSF not properly maintain the US icebreaking fleet?  Could it be the faith in its own belief that global warming is reducing ice cover and therefore spending money on icebreakers would be a waste?  No matter, the NSF was forced into an embarrassing and desperate search for a suitable icebreaking replacement.

Having already said it would need to find and engage a suitable replacement by mid-August, or else implement contingency plans that would curtail activities in Antarctica, it seems the NSF experienced a near-run thing.  Indeed, it was only last week they announced they had agreed a contract for a smaller and less capable icebreaker, the Vladimir Ignatyuk (pictured):

The press release from the NSF, when explaining this replacement Russian vessel had been drafted in because Oden would not be available, avoided mentioning the reason for the Swedish decision.  You can see how the two icebreakers measure up on Wikipedia – Oden / Vladimir Ignatyuk.

The story may seem trivial in isolation.  But the fact that no newspaper appears to have picked it up so far tells its own story.  Maybe it is because there is a media agenda to avoid covering stories that could lead to people questioning commonly made assertions about global warming.  Which is why the news and the more important issues underpinning it exist behind paywalls, in house journals and little read snippets from entities such as the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office

In Estonia and Sweden at least reality is starting to bite. How long before it takes hold elsewhere?


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