Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A fitting reputation for the UEA

UEA hosts the Climate Research Unit, where Phil Jones & Co hang out.  The CRU is notorious for producing much fiction about the climate.  A comparison of leading British universities mentions the UEA and says where its strengths lie:

For example, the University of East Anglia tends to drop in and out of the top 20 in terms of overall reputation, yet is considered the best university in the UK for Creative Writing.


European meteorological satellite shows global COOLING, 1982-2006


Andries Rosema, Steven Foppes, Joost van der Woerd

EARS Earth Environment Monitoring Ltd, Delft, the Netherlands

Kanaalweg 1, 2628 EB Delft, the Netherlands, Email:


24 year of Meteosat hourly thermal infrared data have been used to study planetary surface temperature change. Thermal infrared radiation in the 10.5-12.5mm spectral window is not affected by CO2 and only slightly by atmospheric water vapor. Satellite thermal infrared data have been converted to brightness temperatures as prescribed by Eumetsat. Hourly brightness temperature images were then composed to corresponding noon and midnight temperature data fields. The resulting data fields were cloud filtered using 10, 20 and 30 day maximum temperature substitution. Filtered data were subsequently averaged for two 10 yearly periods: 1986-1995 and 1996-2005. Finally the change in brightness temperature was determined by subtraction. In addition nine locations were selected and data series were extracted and studied for the period 1982-2006. Our observations point to a decrease in planetary temperature over almost the entire hemisphere, most likely due to an increase of cloudiness. Two small areas are found where a considerable temperature increase has occurred. They are explained in terms of major human interventions in the hydrological balance at the earth surface.

ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT VOLUME 24 No.. 3 & 4 2013 (Not yet online)

Global warming has 'paused' because of natural causes but will continue to rise, scientists claim

Same old, same old claim that heat sinks when everywhere else it rises.  Furthermore, deep ocean temperatures are exceedingly stable, varying by as little as thousandths of one degree.  They are therefore the last place to have suddenly become significant heat stores

Global warming has 'paused' but this is not unexpected and temperatures will still continue to rise, climate scientists have claimed.

Heat going into the deep ocean is part of the reason global average surface temperatures have increased at a lower rate in the past 10 to 15 years than in previous decades, they explained.

Recent low solar activity and volcanic eruptions, which send particles into the atmosphere that reflect heat, have also contributed to a slowing in temperature rises, while natural climate variations also play a part.

But Met Office experts and climate scientists say global warming has not stopped but paused - with the average rate of warming just 0.04C per decade between 1998 and 2012, compared with 0.17C per decade from 1970-1998.

They say recent measurements of deep-ocean temperatures indicate heat is being absorbed at lower levels, which the researchers suggest could be due to a period of more circulation within the ocean, taking heat into the deep where it is 'hidden from view'.

The scientists added that periods of slow-down or 'pauses' in surface warming are not unusual in temperature records and are predicted in climate models, which suggests such periods could occur at least twice a century because of natural variation.

Computer models for how the climate could change have not predicted the current slow-down, although Dr Richard Allan of the University of Reading said long-term projections do show decades of slower warming but could not be expected to exactly match when they occur in real life.

Over a 50-year period, the world could expect to see one period of extra rapid temperature rises, Dr Allan said.

The temperatures seen in recent years fall within the range previously predicted, and if models for future rises take into account temperatures from the last 10 years, the most likely warming is reduced by 10 per cent, the experts said.

This would mean that the world would see rises of 2C above pre-industrial temperatures, beyond which the worst impacts of climate change are expected to occur, and only around five to 10 years later than currently predicted.

Professor Piers Forster, at the University of Leeds, said: 'If we do continue on this emissions trajectory we're currently on, we'll reach 2C in 2060 or so. I think it puts it back by five to 10 years.'

Dr Peter Stott, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: 'We expect to get periods of slower warming. This is absolutely what we expect.  'Global temperatures remain high: 12 out of the 14 hottest years on record have occurred since 2000.'

The evidence of human influence on the climate has become stronger, including melting Arctic sea ice and reduced northern hemisphere snow cover, he said.


97 per cent of climate activists in the pay of Big Oil shock!

By James Delingpole

Unless you're a reader of the Guardian Environment's recently added section "Sacrifice your children to Mother Gaia. It's the only way!", you'll probably never have heard of the man who co-edits it, Dana Nuccitelli. But you'll certainly be familiar with his most famous bogus statistical artefact: the one he created with fellow climate alarmist John Cook to prove that 97 per cent of climate scientists really DO believe in global warming.

The claim has been roundly debunked. Apart from the problems with its statistical methodology, its findings are essentially meaningless. As Ben Pile points out in this characteristically measured, thoughtful piece,

    "Nuccitelli’s survey results are either the result of a comprehensive failure to understand the climate debate, or an attempt to divide it in such a way as to frame the result for political ends."

Indeed, adds Pile, they represent:  "a cartoonish polarisation of positions within the climate debate."

How so? Well, as (climate sceptical) Bishop Hill once asked on Twitter: "Isn't everyone in the 97 per cent? I am." When the question was repeated at the Bishop's website by Met Office's Richard Betts, almost all those present agreed that they were. I would have done too, depending, of course, on precisely how you interpret the "consensus position" that "humans are causing global warming."

Well of course they are. Even if it's only down to the Urban Heat Island effect or the methane from beef cattle, humans almost certainly have an influence on climate. But so what? It always astonishes me when I see climate alarmists – even nice, well-meaning ones like Richard Betts – get all excited about this, as if somehow it represents a sudden concession by sceptics to the cause of warmism.

If the alarmists spent any time paying attention to Watts Up With That, Bishop Hill or any of the myriad other sceptical websites out there, they would realise that this is what we've always thought. Our beef with the alarmists is not over the issue "Do humans contribute to climate change?" It's over "Do humans significantly contribute to climate chnage?" "Is there any evidence that this climate change is catastrophic or unprecedented?" "Do we need to do anything about it?" "Can we do anything about it?" "And are we sure that the cures currently being proposed aren't worse than the problem they're supposed to solve?"

But see, here we go again: here I am getting bogged down in a tedious and irrelevant non-argument of the kind the Warmists are always setting up in order to distract lay readers from more pertinent issues: like the fact that wind farms are just crap; that the evidence for catastrophic man-made global warming just hasn't materialised; that the polar bears aren't endangered; and so on.

Props to Dana Nuccitelli – he is, like his fellow climate activist Bob Ward – an absolute master of this straw man distraction technique. The term for it is "Clown Dancing" and Nuccitelli is the veritable Coco-and-Ronald-McDonald-in-a-sticky-embrace-with-Nureyev of the coulroterpsichorean art.

Anyway, all this is by the by. Another of the techniques used by Nuccitelli and his ilk is the "funded by Big Oil" meme. This is the silly notion, popularised by the likes of Al Gore and Michael Mann, that the main reason we climate sceptics say the pesky sceptical things we do is because we're paid to say so by various oil interests. Here is Nuccitelli in his Guardian column only last week on sceptical stalwart Pat Michaels:   "Michaels has admitted that his funding comes heavily from the fossil fuel industry"

(Something which, incidentally, Michaels denies. Since August 1 all of his salary has been paid by the Cato Institute. So, add "great fact-checking" to Dana's list of non-skills).

In truth, the exact opposite is more commonly the case. Few corporate interests are quite so heavily in bed with Big Green as Big Oil – as you'll shortly be seeing when I do a number on Shell and its highly dubious behaviour re the UK shale gas industry – and it seems the hypocritical and disingenuous clown-dancer extraordinaire Nuccitelli is no exception.

He has tried to keep it quiet. But there's no – what's the word? Oh yeah…. – denying it: green activist Dana Nuccitelli is in the pay of Big Oil.


How to impress like Clive Hamilton

Tony Thomas on phony Greenie credentials

A bit of a loser myself, I like perving on the credentials of my betters. For example, I noticed last year that the official biography of the chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Dr Rajendra Pachauri, said that he “obtained...a Ph.D. in industrial engineering and a Ph.D. in economics.”

Wow, I thought, not one but two Ph.Ds, both from North Carolina State University, and both in 1974! I emailed the university to check, and got a prompt reply saying, “Yes, he earned two Ph.D’s.” Silly me, to have doubted it.

But 24 hours later, I got a follow-up from the uni press officer, obviously a decent chap, saying that he had checked more closely and his first reply was wrong . In fact Dr Pachauri was awarded only one Ph.D., for combined study in industrial engineering and economics, he said.

I alerted the IPCC about its misleading claim that Pachauri earned two Ph.D’s but the IPCC has, 18 months later, still not got around to correcting it. Busy people, I guess.

My next foray into credentialism involved everyone’s favorite guru, Dr Clive Hamilton AM FRSA.

Dr Clive AM FRSA is an Australian public intellectual, according to his own website and a host of other sources, including his publisher Allen & Unwin.

As a global warming alarmist, he is part of the Weber-barbecue-like tripod of Australian public intellectuals, the other two kettle legs being of course Dr Tim Flannery and Professor Robert Manne. I wondered, re Clive, who  ‘public intellectuals’ were. I guess Jean Paul Sartre’s definition, “the moral conscience of their age” seems the best fit. After all, Clive stood for the Greens in 2009 and his “AM” [Medal of the Order of Australia] is a clear-cut 2009 honor for his service to the Left on climate-change policy, sustainability and societal trends.

But what’s with that “FRSA”? It looks a bit like that top science gong, “Fellow of the Royal Society” but actually stands for “Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts”, a different UK body. Being an FRSA seems like something special, since it always seems to be tagged to Clive’s profiles.

However, FRSA is a title you can actually buy on-line. About 27,000 people have done this, the current fee being $A123 as a one-off and $A255 a year.

Last March I put in a test application for an FRSA, for convenience using the name Kim Jong Un, of Pyongyang. The RSA website promised a confirmation within 12 working days.

I got emailed back a form from a Michael Ambjorn, Head of Fellowship at the RSA London headquarters, saying “Although we don’t contact all referees, some may be contacted for a character reference request.” I nominated Clive, his bestie Robert Manne and  Ray Finkelstein QC, without knowing of course whether they would support or criticise Mr Kim’s application. “Watch this space”, I told Quadrant Online readers.

“So then what happened?” I hear you cry.  I’m afraid I baulked at the first hurdle, which was remitting the required $378 (Quadrant Online tends to be dismissive of its contributors’ expense claims).

The RSA however remained keen to get the money, and after a pause, I got a pleading letter from its Fellowship Development Coordinator Mark Hall:

“Dear Mr Jong Un,

We noted that you downloaded an application form to become a Fellow of the RSA, and I am just following up to find out if there is anything we can do to help you with your application.

I have included a reminder about the RSA below, but please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss Fellowship in more detail... "

There followed some hard-sell for Mr Jong Un about the advantages of meeting the other 27,000 Fellows, sharing skills for charity, generating ideas “that aim to have a positive social impact”, and so on. Again, I baulked at remitting the $378.

Then  I got a further RSA begging letter for Mr Jong Un, “just following up”, as Mark Hall put it. He invited Mr Jong Un to connect with recent Fellows such as Antoinette Saxer FRSA, who is “currently working on the upcoming Good Fashion Show which focuses on eco-ethical and responsible fashion. She talks about why eco-fashion inspires her and what she would like to connect to other Fellows.”

Well, OK, Mr Jong Un is a bit of a fashion icon with his funky, centre-parted hair-do, and he did star in a production of Grease when a teen at Berne International School.  He would doubtless appreciate my signing him up as a FRSA, but I felt guilty about further wasting Mark Hall’s time. I sent Mark a reply:

“Hi, Mark,

Thanks for your reminder. I have decided not to join your RSA after all as I am very busy smiting the double-dealing imperialist  running-dog lackeys in the United States.


Kim Jong-un, Dear Leader of the People's Democratic Republic of Korea.”

As Hamlet put it, the rest was silence.


Britain Scaling Back Wind Power As Shale Revolution Shakes Green Energy Policy

Tim Webb

Gas prices in Britain could halve after 2030 because of the global shale gas revolution, according to a report that is at odds with the latest government forecasts.

Surging shale gas production in the United States and China and lower oil prices mean that gas prices will fall from nearly 70p a therm today to 60p by the end of the decade and then rise gently, according to a report by Navigant.

The consultancy was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to study the impact that booming global unconventional gas production will have on UK prices over the next 20 years.

Its findings contrast with DECC forecasts, also published yesterday, in which prices will rise to 73½p over the same period. Under Navigant’s best-case scenario, in which Britain and other parts of Europe become leading shale gas producers after 2020, gas prices would fall to 50p by 2030 and to 35p soon thereafter.

Analysts said that the findings further undermine the Government’s economic justification for building expensive wind farms and nuclear reactors, which is based on an assumption that fossil fuel prices will keep rising so consumers will eventually save money.

DECC’s publication of the forecasts coincided with additional details on how it plans to subsidise a new wave of low-carbon forms of electricity generation to meet ambitious environmental targets and keep the lights on.

Ministers have argued that despite the high upfront cost of building nuclear reactors and wind farms, they will work out cheaper in the long run compared with gas because they believe that prices will rise.

But if Navigant is correct and prices fall, consumers will not fully benefit through cheaper energy bills because under the Government’s plans gas plants will mainly be used as back-up for wind farms when the wind does not blow.

Peter Atherton, a Liberum Capital analyst, said that the Government had failed to take into account properly the impact of the shale oil and gas phenomena of the past few years.

“The Government’s economic case for decarbonising has not changed,” he said. “It’s based on the premise that fossil fuels are becoming increasingly scarce and will push up prices. This argument now looks perilously weak.

“The chance of it not being the case has maybe gone up from 20 per cent to 50 or 60 per cent because of the impact of shale oil and gas. But despite this development, the policy has not changed one iota.”

A DECC spokesman stuck by the Government’s official forecasts, pointing out that its scenario for gas prices is as low as 42.2p by the next decade. “Forecasting gas prices is extremely challenging,” he said. “Most analysts say that gas prices will remain firm over the long term.”

The Government also appeared to scale back its offshore wind programme, which spooked the industry. Last month officials forecast that Britain’s capacity of 3.3 gigawatts could increase to between 12GW and 16GW by the end of the decade. But under one scenario published yesterday, only 9GW would be in operation by the end of 2030.

Even under a central scenario, only 18GW would be installed by then, suggesting that the Government believes the construction of new offshore wind farms will slow markedly in the next decade.

Maf Smith, deputy chief executive of RenewableUK, an energy trade association, warned: “The Government risks undermining confidence by scaling back on its ambitions. The scenarios set out today show that Government is still in mixed minds about the role of renewables.”




Preserving the graphics:  Graphics hotlinked to this site sometimes have only a short life and if I host graphics with blogspot, the graphics sometimes get shrunk down to illegibility.  From January 2011 on, therefore, I have posted a monthly copy of everything on this blog to a separate site where I can host text and graphics together -- which should make the graphics available even if they are no longer coming up on this site.  See  here or here


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