March 2015 saw a new low in public discourse about what changes, if any, to expect in climate over the 21st Century with The New York Times running a high-profile article attacking a scientist who is skeptical about the dangerous manmade global warming alarm. The article suggested that the scientist, Dr Willie Soon, should have provided information about his employing institution’s funding arrangements. Say what?
Was the article part of a larger investigation by NYTimes reporters that found that all scientists routinely report the details of their institutions’ funding, and any other arrangements or relationships that readers of their papers might find interesting… except Willie Soon? If they did, they must have forgotten to mention that in their article.
Is there any reason that Dr Soon was singled out for this “special” treatment, other than the unpopularity of his conclusions about the global warming alarm with the NYTimes reporters and their friends in alarm? We can’t think of any.
It appears that the alarmists are alarmed that the wider public are no longer alarmed. They have no response in science, and so resort to personal attacks.
In his recent article in The Washington Times, Professor Scott Armstrong challenges those who still fear global warming to test whether their fears are justified by following good scientific practice, and replicate the research that they find so unsettling. Perhaps their findings would be different. Now that would be a story!
Scott Armstrong’s Washington Times article, titled “Missing the mark on climate change skepticism: It’s not about the money, it’s about the science”, is available here.
With 86 months of the 120 month Climate Bet behind us, we are still waiting for the “tipping point” Mr Gore promised us. We hope you haven’t been holding your breath, or planted bananas in your wheat field. While the actual temperature has been cooler than Professor Armstrong’ no-change forecasts for more than half of all bet months (51%), the Gore-IPCC forecasts ran hotter than the actual temperature for 81% of months to date.
The global average average temperature anomaly ticked up a tad to reach 0.36°C in January, enough to get past half-way to the IPCC “dangerous warming” trend line that is standing in for Mr Gore’s bet. Mr Gore has now won 26 out of the 85 months of The Climate Bet so far; less than half of the 59 months that Professor Armstrong has won. We hope that Mr Gore wins a few more months to keep The Bet alive for the remaining nearly three years that are left to run.
In case you, and we, needed reminding, Christopher Booker describes the latest stories to break on the dubious adjustments and revisions that government agencies make to the sparse measured terrestrial temperature record in his The Telegraph article titled “The fiddling with temperature data is the biggest science scandal ever.” The adjusted data are used to derive the global average temperature series used by the IPCC and others who promote warming alarmism.
Reading Booker’s article leaves the reader with the impression that the use of the term “fiddling” in the title amounts to a classic case of British understatement. The term “rewriting history” is perhaps closer to summarising the violence that is still being done to the official temperature records.
A picture is sometimes worth a thousand words. Steven Goddard’s changing temperature history charts on this page of his blog very effectively illustrate some of the adjustments that have been made to the official series. It is possible, one might suppose, that better data might become available decades or even centuries after the event, or that better methods for analysing data might be developed. But such developments would not explain why every round of adjustments to the older data has resulted in a stronger warming trend.
Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong tested the predictive validity of the United Nations’ IPCC global warming hypothesis of +0.03°C per year due to increasing CO2 against the relatively conservative hypothesis of natural global cooling at a rate of -0.01°C per year. The errors of forecasts from the global warming hypothesis for horizons 11 to 100 years ahead over the period 1851 to 1975 were nearly four times larger than those from the global cooling hypothesis.
Forecasts from the no-change model, however, were substantially more accurate again than those from the global cooling hypothesis. Findings from their tests covering a period of nearly 2,000 years support the predictive validity of the no-change hypothesis for horizons from one year to centuries ahead (Green and Armstrong, 2014). A pre-publication draft of their “Forecasting global climate change” chapter is available, here.
Green, K. C. & Armstrong, J. S. (2014). Forecasting global climate change. In Moran, Alan (ed.). Climate Change: The Facts 2014, pages 170-186. Published by the Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia.
It may be hard to believe with the rhetorical bombardment of the warming alarmists and their supporters in the media that we are exposed to, but global average temperatures over the last seven years averaged less than the 2007 base year of the Armstrong-Gore bet. Yes, you did just read that!
The average of the monthly temperature anomalies in 2007—as calculated by the University of Alabama at Huntsville scientists from satellite observations—was 0.21°C. The average for the seven years since then was 0.20°C.
That doesn’t seem like a tipping point, Mr Gore!
The updated graph, to the right, shows not a tipping point, but lots of turning points. The net result? You guessed it, a sideways drift that is just what followers of this site and the evidence-based Green, Armstrong, and Soon no-trend forecast would expect.
The Institute of Public Affairs have published a collection of works on the physics, economics, and the politics of climate change (a.k.a. the alarm that dangerous manmade global warming is and will continue to occur.) The 21 chapters by leading researchers and commentators include Willie Soon’s “Sun shunned”, and Kesten Green and Scott Armstrong’s “Forecasting global climate change”. The book is available, here. We suggest sending Mr Gore a copy.
Update: Kindle versions of Climate Change: The Facts 2014 are now available on Amazon. Either search Amazon.com for the title or click the link to the book on your country’s Amazon site from the following list: US, UK, CA, AU, DE, FR, ES, IT, NL, JP, BR, MX, IN.
A small pleasure of the passing of time is that another batch of unscientific long-term predictions comes to full term and are exposed for what they always were: worthless. Fox News’s Maxim Lott has this New Year provided the service of reminding us of “Botched environmental predictions for 2015″. The first of the list is “UN overestimated global warming by 2015″. Another treat is “Arctic sea ice will disappear by 2015″. Maxim Lott’s article is available here.
There seems to be an endless supply of unscientific environmentalist alarms, as the Global Warming Analogies Forecasting Project has identified, here. Why? In part because forecasters of environmentalist catastrophes ignore the Golden Rule of Forecasting and assume that things are different now. In other words, they ignore cumulative knowledge about the situation they are making forecasts about, and about forecasting, in order to make extreme predictions. For more information on the Golden Rule of Forecasting, see goldenruleofforecasting.com. If you don’t have the time to check out the Golden Rule, remember to treat forecasts of dramatic unprecedented changes in the same way you would treat last week’s newspaper horoscope.
We imagine that Barbara Boxer will be particularly pleased that she did not respond to Professor Armstrong’s 2008 challenge to back her belief that the polar bear population was threatened with rapid decline by accepting his bet, based on scientific forecasting in Armstrong, Green, and Soon (2008), that polar bear numbers would remain at current levels or better.
It seems that modellers at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature agree with Armstrong, Green, and Soon that the models of polar bear biologist Steven Amstrup and colleagues, upon which Senator Boxer based her belief, are not fit for the purpose of forecasting the polar bear population. For more on this story see the article titled “Amstrup knows his polar bear predictions are flawed – but continues to promote them” on the polarbearscience.com site, here.
Looking only at the nearly 7 years of The Climate Bet, with one month of 2014 to go any talk of record warmth looks to be a big stretch. For the average temperature anomaly for 2014 to exceed the relatively warm 2010 average, December’s anomaly would need to come in at an unprecedented 2°C or higher. We think Mr Gore and the IPCC should not count their chickens before they’ve hatched. For the latest graph and numbers on the Bet, see the updated chart to the right.