Archive for December, 2012

Interesting thoughts at Klimaforskning

Posted: December 31, 2012 by tchannon in Uncategorized


Talkshop contributor Jostemikk linked in Suggestions to Klimaforskning (a Simple Machines based Forum) where astute work is being done on climate problems.

Several of the recent threads there very properly look at the complex regime of climate data, cause and effect with their lead/lag, the way to sort out chicken or egg.

Real-world climatic significance of ’the enhanced greenhouse effect’ – a straightforward test toward potential falsification.

There is more there in a similar vein.


Dating the Eiffel Tower

Posted: December 31, 2012 by tchannon in Analysis, methodology


Images (c)Google and providers, usage non-commercial and for education

This is a pair of aerial photographs of the Eiffel Tower, Paris. I am going to demonstrate how to estimate the height and also estimate the date of a photograph.


The Talkshop wishes everyone a Happy New Year for 2013

Well, I didn’t expect this. A hockeystick has been found in Talkshop data as well as in Josh’s Christmas card. See below the break for details…



Guest post by Roger Andrews on the IPCC’s sea level rise attribution:

by Roger Andrews : Dec 2012

According to the recently-released draft of the IPCC AR5 global sea levels rose by about 0.17m in the 20th century and are projected to rise by 0.29 to 0.96m more in the 21st. This projection is based on the assumption that the warming generated by man-made greenhouse gases causes ice to melt and sea water to expand, thereby raising sea levels. Here we will review the supporting data the IPCC presents in the AR5 draft to see whether this assumption stands up to scientific scrutiny.

If the assumption is correct then there has to be a time-dependent relationship between sea level rise and AGW, so the first question to be addressed is; when did man-made greenhouse gases begin to have a significant impact, or in other words, when did AGW start? According to the following statements in the AR5 draft Summary for Policymakers it didn’t start with the Industrial Revolution. In fact it didn’t start until quite recently (the boldface is mine):

It is very likely that more than half of the ocean warming observed since the 1970s is caused by external forcing, mainly due to a combination of both anthropogenic forcing and volcanic eruptions (see Figure SPM.4). It is extremely likely that this warming has resulted in global mean sea level rise due to thermal expansion during this period. 


Well, this is good to see. Prof. Richard Parncutt, who previously advocated the execution of ‘prominent global warming ‘deniers”  on one of his personal pages at the University of Graz website has retracted his article and replaced it with the  text below the update.

UPDATE: The University of Graz has issued the following statement:

Die Karl-Franzens-Universität Graz ist bestürzt und entsetzt über die Ansicht und distanziert sich davon klar und deutlich. Die Universität legt größten Wert, dass die Wahrung aller Menschenrechte zu den obersten Prinzipien der Universität Graz gehört und menschenverachtende Aussagen mit aller Entschiedenheit zurückgewiesen werden. Die Universität weist zusätzlich mit Nachdruck darauf hin, dass eine rein persönliche Ansicht, die nicht im Zusammenhang mit der wissenschaftlichen Arbeit steht, auf universitären Webseiten nicht toleriert wird.

The University of Graz is shocked and appalled by the article und rejects its arguments entirely. The University places considerable importance on respecting all human rights and does not accept inhuman statements. Furthermore, the University of Graz points out clearly that a personal and individual opinion which is not related to scientific work cannot be tolerated on websites of the University.

Helmut Konrad
Dean, Faculty of Humanities and the Arts

Global Warming

smugcuntI wish to apologize publicly to all those who were offended by texts that were previously posted at this address. I made claims that were incorrect and comparisons that were completely inappropriate, which I deeply regret. I alone am entirely responsible for the content of those texts, which I hereby withdraw in their entirety. I would also like to thank all those who took the time and trouble to share their thoughts in emails.


Strong comment from Chris Booker in the Telegraph:

A Shameless Lack of Blame at Patten’s BBC

bbc_logo1Once you’re at the top, it seems your very incompetence will be rewarded

One of the more conspicuous features of British life nowadays is how many people who are, in one way or another, found seriously at fault, such as by failing to do their job properly, are nevertheless allowed to get away with it without having to pay any penalty. We see almost daily examples, as when the head of a major news organisation, forced to resign in what should be disgrace, walks away with £11 million; or a senior council executive fired for incompetence is then given a grotesquely inflated pay-off, such as the former head of Haringey social services compensated with £1 million for her wrongful dismissal after the Baby P scandal.

Even more familiar are the cases of people who make every kind of mess of a job they are overpaid for and never get sacked at all, such as those “quango queens”, who move effortlessly from one post to another, hopelessly out of their depth in every one. “What does it take to get sacked,” we may ask, “if you are at the top of an organisation in modern Britain?”


Posted: December 27, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in solar system dynamics


Prof. Richard “death sentence for deniers” Parncutt, is an avid supporter of the World Future council. Time to deal with this illogical (and dangerous) nonsense.

Originally posted on NOT A LOT OF PEOPLE KNOW THAT:

By Paul Homewood




Lord Deben, the politician formerly known as John Gummer, has recently been appointed as Chairman of the UK’s Committee on Climate Change.

The Committee was established under the Climate Change Act (2008), and advises the UK Government on setting and meeting carbon budgets and on preparing for the impacts of climate change. As such, it carries a good deal of influence on UK government policy and action.

Prior to his appointment, concerns were expressed about some of Gummer’s outside business interests, such as being chairman of Forewind Ltd, (the consortium who are hoping to build the Dogger Bank wind farm), and Sancroft International Ltd, (a lobbying firm, that specialises in advising businesses how to make money out of climate change).

(James Delingpole has more details here.)

Both of these chairmanships were acknowledged in the press announcement by the Dept of Energy, (DECC), which…

View original 1,317 more words

Here’s an image of the Sun taken yesterday:




From the ‘time to pull your thumbs out of your arses’ dept. This from the Daily mail via GWPF:

Up to 70,000 British jobs are at risk as a direct result of European carbon reduction targets, according to a report. The policies have pushed up the cost of energy, threatening the vital mineral industries which deal in materials such as  cement, chemicals, glass, ceramics and steel, the study claims.

It says the aluminium industry has been ‘virtually eradicated’ after closures in Anglesey and Northumberland, and blames policies which penalise ‘energy-intensive’ industries for emitting too much carbon dioxide.

As a result, firms in such industries, which employ 70,000 people, could be driven abroad where there are less stringent targets, costing jobs on our shores with no overall environmental benefits.


Posted: December 26, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in solar system dynamics


Great post from Judith Curry at Climate Etc

Originally posted on Climate Etc.:

by Judith Curry

Philosophers known as “virtue epistemologists” claim that the goods of the intellectual life—knowledge, wisdom, understanding, etc.—are more easily obtained by persons possessing mature traits of intellectual character, such as open-mindedness, teachability, and intellectual courage, than by persons who lack these virtues or who are marked by their opposing vices.  - Jay Wood

View original 1,532 more words

My thanks to Michele Casati for alerting me to this model run result from the French Meteo Service.




Christmas Puzzle: Fibonacci spirals and the third dimension

Posted: December 26, 2012 by Rog Tallbloke in Measurement

Here’s an interesting brainteaser I’d like some help in confirming the answer to. The Fibonacci series is of interest because it crops up in all sorts of disparate natural phenomena such as snail shells, flower seedpods, leaf growth around stems and the arrangement of the inner planets. It is a series of numbers which is easily generated by adding the previous number to the current number to obtain the next number. So, if we take the first pair to be 0 and 1 we get:


The ratio between adjacent numbers settles down to be around 1.6180399:1 if you divide the larger number by the smaller, or around 0.6180399:1 if you divide the smaller number by the larger. The fraction after the decimal point is the same in both cases. These two numbers are designated as the greek letters Phi and phi, the upper case being used for the bigger number. The ratio is known as the Golden Section. Kepler believed this ratio and pythagoras’ theorum held the great secret of the universe. Together they form the Kepler triangle, which has interesting properties.


fibSpiralANIMWe can make another picture showing the Fibonacci numbers 1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,.. if we start with two small squares of size 1 next to each other. On top of both of these draw a square of size 2 (=1+1).

We can now draw a new square – touching both a unit square and the latest square of side 2 – so having sides 3 units long; and then another touching both the 2-square and the 3-square (which has sides of 5 units). We can continue adding squares around the picture, each new square having a side which is as long as the sum of the latest two square’s sides. This set of rectangles whose sides are two successive Fibonacci numbers in length and which are composed of squares with sides which are Fibonacci numbers, we will call them Fibonacci Rectangles.


An interesting piece in the Guardian by Jack Stilgoe marred by the use of the phrase “climate change denier”. Why do otherwise clearly intelligent people make fools of themselves like this? Perhaps as well as  “a new humility on the part of science in the face of public attitudes”, a  “a new humility on the part of the media in the face of public attitudes” wouldn’t go amiss either.

Science and politics need counselling, not a separation
Jack Stilgoe : 21-12-2012

piece by Brian Cox and Robin Ince in the New Statesman has excited that corner of the Twittersphere concerned with things scientific. Their argument is that, because science has been twisted and undermined by politicians, there needs to be clearer separation between scientific truths and political values.

I think it’s worth spending some time thinking about what’s going on here. As corroborative evidence, I’d also like to submit Royal Society presidentPaul Nurse’s recent anniversary address (pdf).

I welcome the recent involvement of Cox and Ince in a debate that has long been dominated by scientific grandees. They and Nurse are thoughtful people interested in the relationship between science and society, and they work hard to improve it.


After exposure of his death-penalty dissertation on several sceptical blogs yesterday, Prof. Richard Parncutt took down and rewrote the page on the University of Graz website. I have reproduced  his reconsidered Christmas message to the climate debate below. He makes much of his membership of human rights organisation Amnesty International. (I’ve been a member in the past too).  Gone is the link to DeSmogBlog’s ‘little list’ of deniers. Prof. Parncutt now acknowledges there are areas in which he is no expert. So what’s left?  Has he recognised the logical and ethical fallacies in his original? Does he recognise that advocating the killing of people for the views they hold is itself a crime in many civilised countries? Has he ever heard the advice “When in a hole – stop digging” ?

You be the judges.

Death Penalty for Global Warming Deniers?
by Professor Richard Parncutt
An objective argument…a conservative conclusion
last updated 25 December 2012

smugcuntI have been a member and financial supporter of Amnesty International Austria since 1998. Previously, I was a member and financial supporter of Amnesty in the UK from 1994 to 1998. Like Amnesty I have consistently opposed the death penalty in every case, and this is still my opinion.

In discussions about  the death penalty, it is important to acknowledge that it may be inconsistent to completely reject the death penalty in all cases. Imagine a situation where one person or a small group is in a position to kill millions of people. Imagine that there is also clear evidence that they intend to do so. Murder of that person or that small group could be justified on the grounds that it would save the lives of a large number of people with a high probability.


Reposted from Clive Best’s blog. Merry Christmas and a Cool Yule to everyone!

The Central England Temperature data is the longest continuous instrument measurements in the world from 1650 – 2012 [1].  Do they show evidence of Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW)? Likewise detailed UK station temperature measurements since 1940 are available through  Hadcrut4 dataset[2]. Do these show recent enhanced temperature rises due ever increasing CO2 levels?  The answer to both questions is a definitive nope!  There is no AGW signal present in either  dataset  - see figure 1.

Fig 1:  Above - Annual average temperatures from 1650-2012. Red line is a linear fit, blue line is a Fourier low pass filter. Overlaid in purple is Hadcrut4 for UK stations.Below: Monthly average temperature anomalies for all Hadcrut4 UK/Ireland stations. In blue is a Fourier low pass filter. Red is a linear fit showing zero trend.

Fig 1: Above – Annual average temperatures from 1650-2012. Red line is a linear fit, blue line is a Fourier low pass filter. Overlaid in purple is Hadcrut4 for UK stations. Below – Monthly average temperature anomalies for all Hadcrut4 UK/Ireland stations. In blue is a Fourier low pass filter. Red is a linear fit showing zero trend.

The only significant continuous trend is an apparent  0.026C/decade recovery from the little Ice Age over the last 360 years. This has not changed or accelerated. There is no hockey stick!  In fact there has been no change whatsoever in UK average temperatures since 1940 !


It’s Christmas, what a year

Posted: December 25, 2012 by tchannon in Blog


(c)1981 T N Channon

Rog (Tallbloke) and myself (Tim) wish readers and contributors well for the season and coming year.

Photo, you are looking at part of Mt Blanc, France, in September, no other reason than it’s a good photo worth sharing. Monte Rosso to the Italians, white or red, cheers. (more…)

From the ‘Oh! the irony! dept. Guest poster Martin Cohen blows the lid off NYT alarmism. Their major investors profit from their climate doomstering. I’m old fashoined and I just call this sort of thing by its old fashioned name: corruption. It seems ‘big oil’ prefers to do business with big selling papers rather than sceptical climate scientists and bloggers. You’ll see the mainstream media and warmist ranters averting their gaze from this story.

Investors in the Times milk the Profits of Doom

Posted by Martin Cohen, December 2012

One of the mysteries about the New York Times is why a paper so dedicated to accuracy and objectivity has for many years thrown all pretence of ‘reporting’ to the winds in its efforts to stop global warming.

The Times regularly claims that:

*melting Arctic Ice will cause sea levels to rise (drowning New York) – even though this is ruled out by the laws of physics (as ice displaces more water than it releases when melted)1;

*carbon dioxide is the major component in the Earth’s Greenhouse Effect (whereas by far and away the most important element is water vapour, and CO2 is responsible for a mere 20% of the effect) 2

* and that ‘the science is settled’, whereas only the NYT view is. (In fact the science is not only not settled but is unlikely ever to be as climate is fiendishly complicated and key elements are logically impossible to settle, involving non-linear relationships not amenable to prediction.)

UPDATE: This isn’t a WordPress issue, so apologies to them. Google Chrome told me to restart to complete an update and enabled an ads generator plugin called ‘coupon companion’.

Hey! WordPress!! I pay you $30 per annum not to have advertising displayed on my blog. You seem to have broken the contract.


My readers made donations a year ago to pay for the no-ads upgrade. You are making me look bad.


While I was over in Spain I spent some time in the company of Tim ‘MalagaBay’ Cullen whose generous help and hospitality made my transport and accommodation arrangements a pleasure rather than a chore. We also got to spend a good amount of time brainstorming climate ideas and discussing this post, which I found very interesting and, as always with Tim’s work, thought provoking.

What a Wonderful Water World
Tim Cullen : December 2012


Having survived the End of the World [on Friday] and having started a new Mayan Long Count [on Saturday] it seems appropriate to celebrate our Wonderful Water World [on Sunday] by splashing a few ideas around for consideration [on Monday]. (more…)

Hat tip to Richard Tol for alerting me to this nice example of eco-fascist thinking from Richard Parncutt, a Professor at the University of Graz, Austria. Parncutt, an expert on the psychology of music, originally from Australia, has an interesting take on combining the precautionary principle with David Hume’s  John Stuart Mill’s  Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ (in this case the as yet unborn), and  Adolf Hitler’s ‘final solution’ and its potential application to ‘the denier problem’. Richard Tol wryly refers to Parncutt’s DeSmogBlog denier list link as ‘Death Row’. I’m one of those on it.  

UPDATE: I’m behind the curve, having been away for a week, Jo Nova already has a big discussion going on this story, as does WUWT.

UPDATE 2: Prof. Parncutt has taken down and re-written his death-penalty for sceptics manifesto. See the new version here.

UPDATE 3 29-12-12: Prof. Parncutt has backed down and apologised .

Death Penalty for Global Warming Deniers?

An objective argument…a conservative conclusion
Richard Parncutt : last updated 25 October 2012


The smiling face of fascism.
Professor Richard Parncutt

In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.

For years, hard-nosed scientists have been predicting global warming (GW) and its devastating consequences. For a reputable summary of arguments for and against GW, see

Some accounts are clearly exaggerated (more). But given the inherent uncertainty surrounding climatic predictions, even exaggerated accounts must be considered possible, albeit with a low probability. Consider this: If ten million people are going to die with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.

When the earth’s temperature rises on average by more than two degrees, interactions between different consequences of global warming (reduction in the area of arable land, unexpected crop failures, extinction of diverse plant and animal species) combined with increasing populations mean that hundreds of millions of people may die from starvation or disease in future famines. Moreover, an unknown number may die from wars over diminishing resources (more). Even if that does not happen, thousands of plants and animals will become extinct. Islands, shorelines and coastal communities will disappear.

So far, the political response to the threat of GW has been lots of talk and little action (more). But action is urgently needed. We are in a very real sense talking about something similar to the end of the world. What will it take to get people to sit up and listen?