Saturday, 20 September 2014

global warming is a religion

Yet another embarrassing  petition by the Cornwall Alliance emerged:
As the product of infinitely wise design, omnipotent creation, and faithful sustaining (Genesis 1:1–31; 8:21–22), Earth is robust, resilient, self-regulating, and self-correcting. Although Earth and its subsystems, including the climate system, are susceptible to some damage by ignorant or malicious human action, God’s wise design and faithful sustaining make these natural systems more likely—as confirmed by widespread scientific observation—to respond in ways that suppress and correct that damage than magnify it catastrophically.

the ‘scientific’ part of the petition is nothing but a bunch of non sequiturs and red herrings.

The petition calls for :


  • We call on Christians to practice creation stewardship out of love for God and love for our neighbors—especially the poor.


  • We call on Christian leaders to study the issues and embrace sound scientific, economic, and ethical thinking on creation stewardship, particularly climate change.


  • We call on political leaders to abandon fruitless and harmful policies to control global temperature and instead adopt policies that simultaneously reflect responsible environmental stewardship, make energy and all its benefits more affordable, and so free the poor to rise out of poverty.


  • Signed by the usual suspects like Lord Monckton, Roy Spencer and a whole bunch of other familiar sounding names (webcited)

    These are the people crying global warming is a religion…

    Sunday, 29 September 2013

    A lesson in critical thinking

    The Georges Lemaître Centre for Earth and Climate Research of the Univsersity of Louvain-La-Neuve made a brilliant webpage on critical thinking (in French though) (UPDATE linkfix)

    They took a random presentation of a pseudoskeptic, and demonstrate what happens if you to take at least the following steps

    For every reference used in the presentation:critical-thinking
    • check if the cited article hasn’t been retracted/corrected
    • check if the ‘conclusion’ used in the presentation actually is the conclusion of the original author
    • check if the reference used is an op-ed or a peer review paper
    For every graph used in the presentation
    • check if the source is a scientific paper or not
    • check if the presentation uses the original legend of the graph
    • check if the axis are labelled correctly
    • check if the graph actually supports the message of the presentation
    • check if the graph is not taken out of context
    • when there are several graphs used:
      • check if all graphs use the same units and scale
      • check if all graphs represent the same time period
      • in case of doubt: look for the original data and replot the graph
    For every statement made in the presentation
    • check if that statement is referenced
    • check if the statement isn’t taken out of context

    For every time-period used in the presentation
    • check if the time-span used is long enough to be speaking about climate instead of noise (so, no conclusions of a one-year time span etc.)

    With just a little critical thinking, you stumble upon issues like this:
    critical thinking
    critical thinking2
    critical thinking3
    There’s some more slides on the TECLIM-page left as an exercise. Enjoy.

    Sunday, 9 June 2013

    Hans Labohm bereikt een absoluut nieuw dieptepunt: muilkorf de wetenschap.

    Suppression-of-free-speech-e1367873373335Onlangs postte Hans Labohm, die zichzelf de officieuze coördinator van de Nederlandse klimaatpseudoskeptici noemt, een stukje over de tropische hotspot.

    Een onderwerp waarvan al veel mensen hebben aangetoond dat ze niet begrijpen waar het over gaat. Uiteraard vormt de econoom Labohm hierop geen uitzondering, en getuigt zijn blogpost van een stuitend gebrek aan kennis (terwijl het onderwerp basiskennis is… en de man toch altijd verklaart dat hij al tien jààr bezig is met het onderwerp klimaat)

    Hans Custers postte een aardig antwoord op Labohm’s stukje op de blog Klimaatverandering van Bart Verheggen.

    Uiteraard (duh) had Hans Labohm hierop geen énkel inhoudelijk verweer. En na enkele wel erg opzichtige pogingen van onderwerp te veranderen, haalde hij er dan maar Arthür Rörsch bij. Die ook van toeten of blazen kent, eveneens onmiddellijk van onderwerp trachtte te veranderen en bovenal weer maar eens aantoonde welke gekke conclusies pseudoskeptici soms trekken.

    Het onderwerp van Custers’ blogstukje: de tropische hotspot. Rörsch: “Dit blog begon met een discussie over de wetenschappelijke integriteit van Santer en Mann.”

    Nou nee. Het gaat over de tropische hotspot.

    Maar ik heb al wel eerder vastgesteld dat zelfs gewoon  maar lezen wat er staat voor Arthur Rörsch soms een onoverkomelijk probleem is

    Kortom: Athur Rörsch kon Labohm ook niet helpen om op zijn minst te doen uitschijnen dat de heren ook maar een flauw benul hebben waarover ze spreken.

    Labohm gooide dan ook de handdoek met de woorden: Als econoom/publicist concentreer ik mij vooral op de politieke, economische en sociale aspecten van de klimaatdiscussie.

    (dit klopt overigens niet, in minstens de helft van zijn posts stelt hij dat de klimaatwetenschap incorrect is, maar Labohm’s zelfkennis is even groot als zijn natuurkundige kennis: onbestaande)

    Uit de discussie blijkt duidelijk dat Hans Labohm met de woorden ‘ik ben een econoom/publicist” vooral bedoelde: “ik heb geen flauw idee waarover ik het heb”.

    Waarop enkele commentors de vraag stelden of hij dan niet beter gewoon zou zwijgen ?

    Het antwoord hierop van Hans Labohm moet zowat het laagste zijn dat ooit in de Nederlandstalige blogosfeer is gepubliceerd.

    Labohm postte een stuk op de Dagelijkse Standaard dat begint met een lange jeremiade waarin hij mekkert dat “ze” hem willen muilkorven met een Nuerenberg-proces. Wat incorrect is. De enige die over Nuerenberg-processen spreekt is Labohm zelf

    Om vervolgens – want zo consequent is hij dan weer wel- de vrije meningsuiting te willen smoren door het volgende schrijven:
    Als ik Maarten Hajer (directeur van het PBL) (de werkgever van Verheggen) was, zou ik medewerker Bart Verheggen maar eens uitnodigen voor een openhartig gesprek.
    Yep, als je in een discussie inhoudelijk belachelijk gemaakt wordt, vraag dan aan de broodheer van iemand die zijn vrije tijd blogt (en die niet eens de comments maakte) om hem te muilkorven.

    Hans Labohm, die eerder al intellectuele fraude pleegde door wetens en willens  een misleidende halve waarheid te presenteren, die eerder al wetens en willens loog over de financiering van S. Fred Singer is er toch nog in geslaagd een nieuw dieptepunt te bereiken.

    Faut le faire.

    Marco de Baar heeft ook een stukje over het onderwerp geschreven: De hutspot van de hotspot 

    Sunday, 5 May 2013

    De Groene Rekenkamer - oude wijn in nieuwe zakken

    De Groene Rekenkamer is een organisatie die zichzelf onterecht een onafhankelijke kritische auditor van ecologisch getinte onderwerpen noemt, maar in realiteit een organisatie is die vooral overal tegen is, omdat het niet past binnen een politieke ideologie. De organisatie heeft een lange geschiedenis van het publiceren van ronduit belabberde wetenschappelijke onzin (één voorbeeld uit een lange reeks),

    De Groene Rekenkamer lanceerde recent een nieuwe website. Tijd om eens te kijken of dit betekent of de organisatie ondertussen al wat meer kaas heeft gegeten van wetenschap.

    De nieuwe website oogt visueel beter. Maar daar houdt het goede nieuws helaas meteen op.
    De sectie over klimaat toont vooral nog steeds aan dat De Groene Rekenkamer nog steeds geen ernstig
    verhaal weet te brengen. Laten we eens een snelle blik werpen op de klimaatpagina's:

    Invloed van de zon
    Op talloze pseudoskeptische websites tracht men de invloed van de zon op het klimaat te overroepen. Dat er een invloed is, is nogal evident (duh), maar de meetgegevens tonen aan dat de zon de afgelopen 50 jaar vooral redelijk stabiel is geweest, terwijl de temperatuur op aarde in dezelfde periode toenam
    eerst toont De Groene Rekenkamer een grafiek die het aantal zonnevlekken toont. Er is echter iets merkwaardigs aan de hand.

    Hieronder presenteer ik eerst de grafiek met het aantal sunspots tot 2010, en erna de grafiek op de site van De Groene Rekenkamer.


    En de grafiek van De Groene Rekenkamer:


    Merk op hoe de gafiek op De Groene Rekenkamer stopt omstreeks 1950, zodat de indruk gewekt wordt dat de zonne-activiteit de afgelopen tijden enkel maar toenam. De daling van na 1950 wordt "verzwegen". Dit is een schoolvoorbeeld van een cherrypick : een deel van de data wordt bewust achtergehouden  om een misleidend beeld op te wekken. Dat is niet erg netjes.

    Vervolgens post de Groene Rekenkamer een grafiek die een verder rechtstreeks sterk verband moet suggereren tussen de zonne-activiteit en de temperatuur.

    De juiste vergelijking tussen beiden wordt weergegeven in de eerste onderstaande figuur  (bron: skeptical science):


    In plaats van dit globaal beeld te presenteren, tracht De Groene Rekenkamer een andere indruk te wekken door middel van een grafiek afkomstig van Willie Soon, een man met een bedenkelijke reputatie op het creëren van misleidende wetenschappelijke nonsens.

    Dit is het beeld dat ze presenteren:


    Het verschil met de grafiek die ik hierboven heb gepost ?
    De eerste grafiek hierboven vergelijkt de invloed van de zon en de temperatuur op aarde.
    De grafiek van Soon vergelijk de invloed van de zon op het temperatuursgradiënt tussen noordpool en evenaar. En zegt niets over de relatie tussen de gemiddelde temperatuur en aarde en de zon.
    Weerom wordt getracht een misleidend beeld op te roepen.

    Klimaatgevoeligheid
    De Groene Rekenkamer betwist dat de klimaatgevoeligheid en verwerpt de gevestigde orde door het citeren van één paper, zonder aan te halen waar de andere studies foutief zouden zijn.

    De paper (On the Misdiagnosis of Surface Temperature Feedbacks from Variations in Earth’s Radiant Energy Balance) van Spencer en Braswell was zo ondermaats dat dat hij nooit gepubliceerd had mogen worden. Wat editor-in-chief Wolfgang Wagner ook erkende, waarop hij prompt zijn ontslag indiende. Wagner schreef:
    Peer-reviewed journals are a pillar of modern science. Their aim is to achieve highest scientific standards by carrying out a rigorous peer review that is, as a minimum requirement, supposed to be able to identify fundamental methodological errors or false claims. Unfortunately, as many climate researchers and engaged observers of the climate change debate pointed out in various internet discussion fora, the paper by Spencer and Braswell [1] that was recently published in Remote Sensing is most likely problematic in both aspects and should therefore not have been published.
    After having become aware of the situation, and studying the various pro and contra arguments, I agree with the critics of the paper. Therefore, I would like to take the responsibility for this editorial decision and, as a result, step down as Editor-in-Chief of the journal Remote Sensing.
    Hij vervolgt:
    With this step I would also like to personally protest against how the authors and like-minded climate sceptics have much exaggerated the paper's conclusions in public statements, e.g., in a press release of The University of Alabama in Huntsville from 27 July 2011, the main author's personal homepage, the story "New NASA data blow gaping hole in global warming alarmism" published by Forbes, and the story "Does NASA data show global warming lost in space?" published by Fox News, to name just a few.
    Uiteraard vertelt De Groene Rekenkamer de kritiek op de paper er niet bij.

    De conclusie is duidelijk: de vernieuwde website van de Groene Rekenkamer bestaat uit oude wijn in nieuwe zakken. Voor accurate informatie over klimaatwetenschap moet je echter nog steeds niet bij deze lobbygroep zijn.

    Niet verwonderlijk, omdat De Groene Rekenkamer nog steeds een organisatie is die vooral tracht wetenschap te politiseren. De oude website bevatte niet toevallig volgende passage:



    Thursday, 18 April 2013

    Belgian climate pseudo skeptics address ten issues, score zero goals. Or how to disagree with yourself !

    The global warming policy foundation, a British astroturf group unwilling to disclose its funding, published an article of four Belgian climate pseudo-skeptics: Istvàn Marko, Alain Préat, Samuele Furfari and Henri Masson.

    The article starts with complaining they don’t get the attention they want in the very biased media.
    There are lot of internetsites full of climate skepticism, but in the scientific press this skepticism evaporates:
    Peer reciew

    Research has shown there is a strong misrepresentation in the media. But not in the way the gang of four claims, contrary: pseudo skeptics receive much more media-attention than they deserve !

    The number of peer review articles related to climate change written by the four Belgians: exactly zero.

    If they want more media attention, there’s a solution: maybe they might start with … contributing to this scientific topic. Giving a presentation is not enough to do science. Especially when the presentation is very substandard

    Their GWPF-article continues with ten points of which they claim they rebut climate science. This is not true, and actually the ten points are often the opposite of what the very same people said elsewhere. yes you read it right: they themselves have rebutted several of the ten points of 'evidence' they present.


    Check this out:
    1. The climate has always changed. This was true during ancient times and it has also been true since the beginning of the modern era. These climate changes have always been, and still are, independent of the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere;
    A rather strange point if you ask me, as nobody claims it never changed. And an incorrect one. There are several reasons why climate can change (Milankovic cycles p.ex.), but CO2 always has been one of the components influencing earth's temperature. Of course it has, physical laws have been the same back then as.

    The Vostok ice-cores clearly show that, contrary to what they write, in the past there *has* been a correlation between CO2 and temperature.

    Vostok ice core
    Vostok Ice Core: CO2 and Temperature


    Actually, in the same text, they do refer to this Vostok-core. So they are aware themselves there's a correlation between CO2 and earth's climate. So their 10 points aren't very consistent...

    Remarkably, Istvàn Marko agrees CO2 is a greenhouse gas: "Le CO² est considéré comme étant l’un des principaux responsables de l’effet de serre et il est impératif de réduire sa concentration dans l’air."

    In English: ”CO2 is considered to be one of the main causes of the greenhouse effect and it's absolute necessary to reduce the atmospheric concentrations of CO2".

    In other words: Marko himself disagrees with the GWPF-text he signed.

    2. During Roman times and the Middle Ages temperatures were observed well in excess of those currently experienced. From the 16th till the 19th century a cold period referred to as the “Little Ice Age” predominated. All these changes took place without mankind being held responsible. We believe that the increase in temperatures that occurred during a certain part of the 20th century is the result of a recovery from this cold period. These various events can be explained by a combination of warm and cold cycles of different magnitudes and duration. Why and how this happens is not yet fully understood, but some plausible explanations can be put forward;
    This a non sequitur. A non-influence in the past, doesn't automatically mean present day climate cannot be influenced by mankind.

    A nice analogy is the forest-fire one: even though this kind of fires occurs naturally, this does not imply a pyromaniac cannot burn down a forest.

    Earth's atmosphere contained no free oxygen during the first billion years or so. Free oxygen only emerged in the atmosphere as a *result* of ....life on earth ! That's how dramatic the influence of life can be on our planet's atmosphere.

    If we look at the anthropogenic impact on the atmosphere, we see that, just like other species have done before, we are altering earth's atmosphere:

    anthropogenic rise greenhouse gasses
    Anthropogenic rise of some greenhouse gasses

    The graph clearly demonstrates man *significantly* altered the concentration of several greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere.

    3. The so-called “abnormally rapid” increase in global temperatures between 1980 and 2000 is not unusual at all. There have in fact been several such periods in the past, during which temperatures rose in a similar manner and at comparable rates, even though fossil fuels were not yet in use;
    A non sequitur similar as the one above. The pyrmonaniac still burned down the forest.

    4. Temperature measurements do not necessarily correlate with a building up or a decrease in heat since heat variations are energy changes subject to thermal inertia. Apart from heat many other parameters have an influence on temperature. Moreover the measurement of temperatures is subject to numerous large errors. When the magnitude and plurality of these measurement errors are taken into account, the reported increase in temperatures is no longer statistically significant;
    Oddy Alain Préat stated the following in this presentation (p. 37):

    "Réchaufement modeste mais INDISCUTABLE de 0,4 à 0,6 °C depuis le début du XXème siècle"

    Or in English: "there's a small but INDISPUTABLE heating (his emphasis !!!!) of 0,4 to 0,6 °C since the beginning of the 20th century".

    Again, one of the authors disagrees with what's written in the GWPF-article....

    5. The famous “Hockey-stick” curve, known as the Mann’s curve and presented six times by the IPCC in its penultimate report, is the result among other things of a mistake in the statistical calculations and an incorrect choice of temperature indicators, i.e. proxies. This lack of scientific rigour has totally discredited the curve and it was withdrawn, without any explanation, from subsequent IPCC reports;
    There have been several temperature reconstructions since the original MBH99 paper, demonstrating the original paper, even though there were some statistical flaws, wasn't all that bad.
    Do notice the conspiracy theory they launch between the lines stating 'withdrawn, without any explanation'.

    Scientific knowledge increases, and it's just normal new reports look at the newest scientific body of evidence. This is the way it should.

    On top of that, the statement is completely false, the AR4 clearly and explicitly discusses the problems with MBH99. On top of that the graph is still there. So apparently, none of the four authors actually read the IPCC report they are criticizing ?

    Do have a look at the graph presented in the AR4. Are you able to spot the MBH99 one without looking at the legend ?
    AR 4 hockeystick
    AR4 Paleoreconstructions temperature

     6. Even though they look formidably complex, the theoretical models employed by the climate modellers are simplified to the extreme. In fact there are far too many (known and unknown) parameters that influence climate change. At the moment it is impossible to take them all into account. The climate system is extremely complex, containing not only chaotic components but also numerous positive and negative feedback loops operating according to various different time scales. Which is why the IPCC wrote in its reports that: “…long-term prediction of future climate states is not possible” (page 774, Third report). This is very true. To this day all the climate predictions based upon these models have turned out to be totally incorrect. Strangely, nobody seems to care;

    They seem to be a bit confused here: the quote they use clearly says "climate states". And while yes this increases uncertainty (hey, no one ever said climate models are perfect) as there are feedback processes, this does not mean as they want to try to suggest, that it is impossible to make any predictions of the future.

    Saying climate predictions based on models are totally incorrect is a false statement, as this skeptical science post demonstrates:
    climate model versus reality
    climate models versus  reality


    The AR4 comes to this conclusion on the reliability of climate models:
    "In summary, confidence in models comes from their physical basis, and their skill in representing observed climate and past climate changes. Models have proven to be extremely important tools for simulating and understanding climate, and there is considerable confidence that they are able to provide credible quantitative estimates of future climate change, particularly at larger scales. Models continue to have significant limitations, such as in their representation of clouds, which lead to uncertainties in the magnitude and timing, as well as regional details, of predicted climate change. Nevertheless, over several decades of model development, they have consistently provided a robust and unambiguous picture of significant climate warming in response to increasing greenhouse gases."
    7. The relationship between CO2 and temperature, obtained from the Vostok ice cores, shows that a building up of CO2 occurs 800 to 1000 years after an increase in temperature is observed. Hence the increase in the concentration of CO2 is a consequence of the warming of the climate, not its cause;
    Ah, another non sequitur. And one that is perfectly explained here
    8. But the coup de grâce to the “warmists’ theory” – certainly not yet visible in the French and Belgian media – comes from the observation that for the past fifteen years or so the global temperature of the Earth has remained constant. During the same period CO2 emissions have increased by far more than in the past, reaching an unparalleled record this year. Honest climate scientists admit that this observation is an embarrassing inconvenience for their theory. However, attempts to make us believe that the Earth is continuing to warm up persist. Will we have to wait for another twenty, twenty-five or thirty years for the global warming advocates to finally admit that there is no unambiguous correlation between the global temperature of the Earth and human-generated CO2 emissions?
    There's a lot of noise on a temperature, that's why you cannot use short terms to say *anything* about climate.

    The WMO defines climate as the weather averaged over a 30 year period. Not shorter.
    Alain Préat is aware of this: "Le climat est défini comme l’état moyen, sur une période d’au moins 30 ans" so it's a mystery why he is using a time period he knows to be too short.

    On short time intervals other factors can mask the influence of the rise due to CO2. Especially the ENSO-phenomena, having a large influence on the distribution of the heat content between surface and
    ocean.

    The four authors do acknowledge there are several components influencing temperatures in their 4th point, so they should be aware it's not very useful to talk about the influence of CO2 on such a short time scale. So in my opinion, again, they are not being very consistent.

    The ENSO index is shown in the image below
    Enso index 2013
    ENSO-index


    When we look at both surface and ocean, it's clear there's no pause in the warming of the earth.
    earth is not warming
    No pause in the rise of earth's heat content

     
    9. The claim that Hurricane Sandy is due to human CO2 emissions is totally unfounded and has been vigorously contested by numerous meteorologists. This regrettable distortion of the facts has been denounced in an open letter, addressed to the General Secretary of the UN and signed by more than 130 world-renowned scientists, including one of the present authors;
    It's impossible to attribute a single extreme weather event to climate change. So attributing Sandy to global warming is nonsense.

    Nevertheless predictions are there will be more severe storms, so more storms *like* Sandy.
    10. Finally the “abnormal” melting of the Arctic Sea ice, that made the headlines of numerous journals during this summer, was also observed during previous decades. Amazingly the record high increase in Antarctic Sea ice that occurred at exactly the same time has been completely ignored by the very same media. Moreover, no mention has been made of the current, particularly rapid, regeneration of the Arctic Sea ice.
    I'm not really which rapid regeneration of arctic sea ice they are talking: here are the arctic ice extents, as presented (p. 39) by ... Alain Préat István Markó

    Arctic ice extent istvan marko


    sea ice extent 2013
    steady decline of the arctic sea-ice extent


    I'm really not sure what rapid regeneration they are talking about... Once again, one of the four authors is debunking the GWPF-article. Unless they mean ice is growing in winter. Of course it is.
     
    My conclusion is that the ten points they raise do not rebut climate science at all. And remarkably they often are in conflict with what the authors themselves said elsewhere. Implying there’s an odd and strong inconsistency in the entire article they’ve written for the GWPF.

    jules

    kudos to Sylvain for helping me with some of the references.

    update: several typos corrected

    Wednesday, 10 April 2013

    Een koude winter ?

    Nog al te vaak zie je mensen stellig beweren dat de opwarming van onze planeet moeilijk te verzoenen valt met de koude temperaturen die West-Europa afgelopen winter kende.
    Nu is de planeet natuurlijk net dat tikkeltje groter dan enkel West-Europa, daarom kan het eens nuttig zijn te bekijken hoe de temperatuur de afgelopen maanden eigenlijk lagen ten opzichte van het gemiddelde:

    201301
    201302
    De gegevens van NOAA maken het duidelijk: de koude in januari en februari was een lokààl fenomeen.
    Wordt naar de mondiale gegevens gekeken, dan blijkt dat de zogenaamd koude februarimaand, in realiteit de 9de warmste februarimaand was sinds het begin van de metingen.
    Dat is dan ook weer duidelijk.
    Overigens zou de koude West-Europese winter paradoxaal genoeg wel eens een direct gevolg kunnen zijn van de smelt van arctisch ijs ten gevolge van … de opwarming van onze planeet.