Highlights Of David Leyonhjelm On The Young IPA Podcast

Senator David Leyonhjelm was our guest on The Young IPA Podcast this week. Listen to the full interview on iTunes, SoundCloud and our website.

Here’s some of what Senator Leyonhjelm had to say:

On energy

“No one cares about poor people [in this debate]”

“There are bound to be deaths…as a result of higher electricity prices and people not keeping warm in the wintertime [as a result of rising prices].”

On free speech laws introduced surrounding debate over same sex marriage survey

“I actually feel a bit guilty that I didn’t kick up more of a fuss about that.”

“I hadn’t even looked at the Bill until Monday morning in the Senate [when I saw it included] harassment and vilification…so I wasn’t too happy about it.”

“It went through with no opposition whatsoever…and I thought ‘well, what hope have I got of doing much about it?’”

“It’s a crack in the door for anti-vilification and anti-blasphemy laws”

On libertarianism in Australia

“Not many people are prepared to apply [the harm principle]. They might say ‘well, I’d like to have lower taxes because I’m better at spending my money myself, but on the other hand I’m too stupid to ride a bicycle without smashing my head or knowing when to fall off, so therefore the law should make me wear a helmet.’”

“A lot of people equate disapproval with the law. You can disapprove of people riding a bicycle without a helmet, and that’s fine… but when you invoke the law, that’s when you step over the line. And then you go from being a libertarian to an authoritarian.”

When non-libertarians debate libertarians on free speech “they omit the fact that there’s no obligation to listen. You can turn your head, or walk away, or block on Twitter…but you shouldn’t invoke the law to prevent a person from saying something [offensive] in the first place.”
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Process is still the punishment under section 18C

Despite the federal government’s amendments earlier this year, the process is still the punishment under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. The Australian’s legal affairs editor Chris Merritt today explained the latest instance of baseless litigation under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act that is proceeding into the federal court system – against him and others at The Australian:

The Federal Circuit Court is about to deal with a claim under section 18C of the Racial ­Discrimination Act that could well be the last involving accusations that have already been found to be baseless….

The complainant, Sokhom Prins, alleges that a March 10 column of mine in The Australian, and subsequent email ­exchanges involving Hedley Thomas and Janet Albrechtsen, breached section 18C’s ban on speech that offends, insults, ­humiliates and intimidates ­people on the basis of their race, colour, nationality or ethnic background.

The column was a response to being accused by Ms Prins of being part of a “white racist posse”. I wrote that I was offended and insulted on the basis of my race and ethnic background and “I feel sure that my Tamil ­antecedents from southern India would share that opinion”.

Ms Prins wants the column removed from the internet and $1.6 million in damages.

The Australian Human Rights Commission terminated the complaint in July for being without substance, and the Federal Circuit Court will undoubtedly throw the complaint out in due course. But under laws like section 18C the process is the punishment. According to Merritt, The Australian will incur “possibly tens of thousands of dollars” in legal fees and wasted time defending itself against the frivolous litigation.

But will this really be the last instance of a baseless 18C complaint reaching the courts? The federal government’s procedural amendments to the AHRC that were passed in April intend to ensure that complainants no longer have an automatic right to take their terminated complaints to the courts, but must first persuade a judge to allow it to be heard. As the complaint against Merritt and the others at The Australian was made in March, the new rules do not apply, and as Merritt explains, the complaint is one that “could well be the last involving accusations that have already been found to be baseless.”

However, that presupposes that the complaint is actually terminated by the AHRC for being trivial, vexatious, misconceived or lacking in substance. In the legislation, there are three ways to take a complaint to the courts:

  • the court concerned grants leave to make the application; or
  • the complaint was terminated under paragraph 46PH(1)(h); or
  • the complaint was terminated under paragraph 46PH(1B)(b).

The first requires complainants to convince a judge to allow the case to be heard. The second (Section 46PH(1)(h)) refers to complaints that involve issues of public importance that should be considered by the courts. The third (Section 46PH(1B)(b)) refers to complaints where the AHRC president is satisfied that “there is no reasonable prospect of the matter being settled by conciliation.”

That is an exceptionally broad exception. In fact, the vast majority of terminated complaints at the Commission are terminated for this reason. It was for this reason that the infamous complaint against the students at the Queensland University of Technology was terminated by the AHRC in August 2015.

The government’s procedural amendments do not resolve the chilling effect of the 18C regime. The main effect of the law is not to directly punish offensive speech but to cause people to avoid the risk of legal repercussions by silencing themselves from engaging in lawful activity. This has a profound effect on freedom of speech undermines our democracy.

It is only a matter of time until another QUT – or another Merritt case – happens under the new laws. The only way to stop the assault on free speech is to repeal section 18C and similar laws altogether.

Socialism. Always. Ends. Badly.

After first praising Venezuela, the left now claim it’s ‘not real socialism’

According to Jim Mciloy at  Green Left Weekly, I’m part of a global imperialist conspiracy aiming to bring down the Venezuelan government.  Mcilroy’s was writing in response to my piece in The Australian, about the Australian government’s conspicuous silence on Venezuela. The socialist country is facing an extraordinary humanitarian disaster, assaults on democracy, violence towards and, even, the murder of opposition members or supporters.

Despite this deteriorating situation and their recent statement by the UN that the regime should be investigated for committing ‘crimes against humanity‘, there has been no condemnation from the Australian government. Recently our foreign minister, Julie Bishop, sent a letter to Venezuela’s representative in Australia to distance the government from criticism of the regime by a Greens senator.

The response by some to the situation in Venezuela is nothing beyond extraordinary. The Australian left has a long history of backing the regime. In 2007, dozens of Australian unionists, journalists, and Labor, Greens, and Democrat politicians wrote an open letter to Venezuelan socialist leader Hugo Chavez inviting him to visit Australia. “We have watched developments in Venezuela with great interest,” they wrote. “We have been impressed by the effort your government has taken to improve the living standards of the majority of Venezuelans.” This letter was signed by Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon, former Democrat Leader or politician Natasha Stott-Despoja, commentator Phillip Adams, and academic John Pilger.

Rather than admit their stupidity, sections of the left refuse to give up the cause – and some even use the trope that its ‘not real socialism’. Mcilroy’s piece claims there has been a “concerted attack” on the regime, including currency manipulation, hoarding, and corruption. In late July, as the situation was worsening, the CFMEU and the Maritime unions unanimously passed resolutions backing the conspiracy line in support of the totalitarian government.

They’re absurd, patently false claims aim to deflect blame from the real cause of the problems in Venezuela: socialism. They ignore that the beginning of food and other shortages began after the introduction of price controls, the loss of productivity in nationalised sectors and the widespread corruption. In the short term the regime was popped up by its oil revenue – however when the oil price went down, drying up the rivers of gold, the government could no longer afford to import goods.

(And yes, there is a perfect irony in a supposedly green publication backing the Venezuelan government  – who could only ever stay themselves afloat by selling oil. Or, hopefully, its a sign that the left is finally starting to appreciate the benefits of cheap reliable energy.)

The result of Venezuelan socialism has been sadly predictable: mass starvation, political unrest, and crackdowns on any opposition. You don’t have to be part of a global conspiracy – just a sensible human being – to be concerned about a spike in child morality, the contraction of an economy by 40% and nine-in-ten households not having enough food.

Socialism, the ever encroaching power of the state on people’s lives, is responsible for countless humanitarian and political disasters. The Black Book of Communism estimates that as many as 94 million people have died as a result of failed socialist policies.

Venezuela is the modern exemplar of what happens when government gets too big, tries to regulate too much, and strangles business and society in the process.

The concern here shouldn’t be the false claim of a global conspiracy – the shame is that there is not a global outcry.

NBA Star Andrew Bogut Unleashes On Political Correctness, Australia Day And More

NBA champion Andrew Bogut last week appeared on The Young IPA Podcast. Here is a sneak peek of what he had to say:

On why his outspoken political views mean he could never be AFL player:

“It gets to a point sometimes where players are kind of forced to feel robotic. I have a few friends who play in the AFL and have expressed that they never want to go against the team or the coach. So if they have a certain opinion or thought on things you can’t really go against [the grain] if you believe in it or not. And I think that’s a dangerous slope to tread. You always want to have open discussion on whatever.”

On councils choosing to abandon Australia Day:

“Are we in a democracy or are we not?…You can’t poll 200 people and then come to an agreement.”

On political correctness:

“I don’t think [political correctness] is ever going to end. A lot of these politicians are employed to just push social agendas and they’re going to have jobs for life because social policies have no end. It has no finish line.”

Growing up, I learned “I’m proud to be a wog, and I’m proud to be an Australian. I’m not going sit here and demand this and demand that because someone called me a wog on a high school playground.”

Political correctness “pushes people into thinking they’re victims all the time.”

“To say that things haven’t progressed from the 80s and 90s…you’d have to be an absolute idiot. Is there a way to go? Absolutely…[but] we’re a multicultural country.”

On why there are so many Australians in the NBA now:

“We’re influenced to be team orientated at an early age. If you have one good player on a team of 22 in footy you’re not doing much, but if you 22 good blokes that are doing well you’re usually going to win…[because of that] Australians are very comfortable being told ‘we’re going to change your role a little bit’ or ‘we need you do to this better for us’.

Americans can be flashier scorers, but “if what you need is a good rebounder, or if you need a good passer, or someone who’s a great guy in the locker room, I think Australians will pull their weight.”

Listen to the rest of the interview on iTunes, SoundCloud and our website. Don’t forget to subscribe on iTunes and SoundCloud so you never miss an episode.

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A Politically Correct Walking Tour of Ballarat

Calls for the removal of statues or other historic monuments have been a feature of identity politics for some time, but recently this movement has taken a darker turn. The toppling of the statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee in Durham, North Carolina is just one example of a trend gathering momentum. The persecution of stone and metal monuments for the real and imagined sins of those so depicted is at times violent if not anarchic.

Unfortunately, this fanatical crusade which seeks to re-write history by destroying and removing inanimate objects, has also found expression in Australia’s public spaces with the vandalism of iconic statues of Captain Cook, Lachlan Macquarie, Queen Victoria and even an Anzac memorial by an one or more individuals  clearly offended by their very presence.

This made me wonder what our cities would look like if the history erasers in Australia got their way, and the trend to not only vandalise, but also destroy statues, arrived in Australia. So I went on a politically correct walking tour of Ballarat’s statues and monuments to find out, and then made a film about it.

It was not overly difficult to apply the ‘logic’ of the new determinists as to what is right and wrong to every single statue and monument which grace Ballarat’s streets, as all can offend or be said to represent something offensive, to someone, in some kind of way.

For example, it could be argued that the statue of King George V should be removed because he is representative of Western Cultural imperialism; he is descended from George III, who instructed Captain James Cook to chart the east coast of Australia, leading directly to its settlement by Europeans shortly thereafter. You could also claim that the statute of Hebe, the Greek goddess of Youth should also go because she is clearly perpetuating the female beauty myth and is thus part of a system that reinforces male dominance.

This light-hearted satire should be viewed in the light of last week’s Newspoll, which finds that 58% of those polled believe that statues should be left alone. This should be indication enough that this movement to rewrite history and sacrifice our heroes and symbols does not have the support of the majority of Australians.

Vindicated: Bureau Not Following WMO Guidelines

Two decades ago the Australian Bureau of Meteorology replaced most of the manually-read mercury thermometers in its weather stations with electronic probes that could be read automatically – so since at least 1997 most of the temperature data has been collected by automatic weather stations (AWS).

Before this happened there was extensive testing of the probes – parallel studies at multiple site to ensure that measurements from the new weather stations tallied with measurements from the old liquid-in-glass thermometers.

There was even a report issued by the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in 1997 entitled ‘Instruments and Observing Methods’ (Report No. 65) that explained because the modern electronic probes being installed across Australia reacted more quickly to second by second temperature changes, measurements from these devices need to be averaged over a one to ten-minute period to provide some measure of comparability with the original thermometers.

This report has a 2014 edition, which the Bureau now claim to be operating under – these WMO guidelines can be downloaded here:
http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/IMOP/CIMO-Guide.html .

Further, section of Part 2 explains how natural small-scale variability of the atmosphere, and the short time-constant of the electronic probes makes averaging most desirable…  and goes on to suggest averaging over a period of 1 to 10 minutes.

I am labouring this point.

So, to ensure there is no discontinuity in measurements with the transition from thermometers to electronic probes in automatic weather stations the maximum and minimum values need to be calculated from one-second readings that have been averaged over at least one minute.

Yet, in a report published just yesterday the Bureau acknowledge what I have been explaining in blog posts for some weeks, and Ken Stewart since February: that the Bureau is not following these guidelines.

In the new report, the Bureau admits on page 22 that:

* the maximum temperature is recorded as the highest one-second temperature value in each minute interval,

*the minimum is the the lowest one-second value in the minute interval, and

* it also records the last one-second temperature value in the minute interval.

No averaging here!

Rather than averaging temperatures over one or ten minutes in accordance with WMO guidelines, the Bureau is entering one second extrema.

Recording one-second extrema (rather than averaging) will bias the minima downwards, and the maxima upwards. Except that the Bureau is placing limits on how cold an individual weather station can record a temperature, so most of the bias is going to be upwards.


The Bureau’s new review can be downloaded here: http://www.bom.gov.au/inside/Review_of_Bureau_of_Meteorology_Automatic_Weather_Stations.pdf

I’ve also posted on this report, and limits on low temperatures, here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/2017/09/vindicated-bureau-acknowledges-limits-set-cold-temperatures-can-recorded/

This originally appeared on Dr. Jennifer Marohasy’s blog

Vindicated: Bureau Acknowledges Limits Set On How Cold Temperatures Can Be Recorded

The Bureau has a network of 695 automatic weather stations (AWS) across Australia. In a report released late yesterday it acknowledged issues with the performance of just two of these: Goulburn Airport (Goulburn) and Thredbo Top Station (Thredbo). These are the same two weather stations that I reported at my blog were not recording temperatures measured below minus 10 degrees on the 5th and 18th July, respectively.

While the Bureau strenuously denied it was setting limits, the Minister Josh Frydenberg nevertheless insisted on a review of the entire AWS network.

The Minister phoned me late yesterday to let me know that the report had just been published, and that the Bureau’s investigations confirmed that Goulburn and Thredbo were the only sites where temperature records had been affected by the inability of some Bureau AWS to read low temperatures.

What are the chances? Of the nearly 700 weather stations, I stumbled across the only two with problems.

Goulburn was discovered because my friend Lance Pidgeon lives nearby and was up early on the morning of 2 July concerned his pipes were going to freeze and burst – while watching the live AWS temperature readings tick-over on that weather station, then letting me know when the record for July of minus 10.4 was reached: only to see it rounded up to minus 10.0.

Thredbo was discovered because, after making a fuss about Goulburn, I wanted to check that the Bureau had actually lifted the limits on readings below minus 10. So, two weeks later I decided to get up early and watch the one-second reading at one of the stations in the snow fields on the Sunday morning of 16th July thinking it might be a cold morning. Why did I choose Thredbo – of all the weather stations in the Australian Alps? Simply because my school friend Diana Ainsworth died in the landslide there twenty years ago.

Never mind – I’m vindicated!

The Bureau has now acknowledged that it had inadvertently set limits on how cold temperatures could be recorded at Goulburn and Thredbo.

To be clear the equipment has a general operating range to minus 60 degrees Celsius, but smart card readers – with a nominal range to only minus 10 degrees Celsius and that stop reading all together at minus 10.4 – were inserted placing limits on the actual recordings, not the measurements.

According to the report published late yesterday, the cards were inserted into the Goulburn weather station in September 2002, and into the Thredbo weather station in May 2007. So, for a period of nearly 15 years there has been a limit on how cold temperatures can be recorded at Goulburn, and for nearly 10 years at Thredbo.

This Goulburn weather station was first opened in 1990, and had previously recorded temperatures below minus 10 degrees Celsius in 1994,1999 and 2000 – with a record cold minus 10.9 recorded on 17 August 1994.

The Thredbo weather station opened in 1966, and recorded an average of 2.5 days below minus 10 degrees until 1996 when an automatic weather station was installed – replacing the previous liquid-in-glass manually-read thermometers.

Since the AWS was first installed, back in April 1997 there has been a reduction in the average number of days when temperatures have fallen below minus 10 degrees Celsius, as shown in the chart.

Further, since May 2007 when the MSI2 sensor interface card was replaced with the MSI1 card (see page 50 of the new report from the Bureau) there has been no potential to record below minus 10.4. Yet not far from this location, at Charlotte Pass, an all-time record low temperature of minus 23 degree Celsius was recorded on 29 June 1994; this was with an old style liquid-in-glass thermometer – not with an AWS.

How can this review possibly conclude that there are no problems with the other 693 automatic weather stations – and there has been no impact on official temperature records from the limits it now acknowledges were placed on recordings from Thredbo and Goulburn?

Surely, there is now evidence enough for a proper external review to be initiated, this should be a Parliamentary Enquiry, through the House Energy and Environment Committee.

The Bureau’s report can be downloaded here: www.bom.gov.au/inside/Review_of_Bureau_of_Meteorology_Automatic_Weather_Stations.pdf

Originally published on Dr. Jennifer Marohasy’s blog

Most of the Recent Warming Could be Natural

AFTER deconstructing 2,000-year old proxy-temperature series back to their most basic components, and then rebuilding them using the latest big data techniques, John Abbot and I show what global temperatures might have done in the absence of an industrial revolution.  The results from this novel technique, just published in GeoResJ [1], accord with climate sensitivity estimates from experimental spectroscopy but are at odds with output from General Circulation Models.According to mainstream climate science, most of the recent global warming is our fault – caused by human emissions of carbon dioxide.  The rationale for this is a speculative theory about the absorption and emission of infrared radiation by carbon dioxide that dates back to 1896.  It’s not disputed that carbon dioxide absorbs infrared radiation, what is uncertain is the sensitivity of the climate to increasing atmospheric concentrations.

This sensitivity may have been grossly overestimated by Svante Arrhenius more than 120 years ago, with these overestimations persisting in the computer-simulation models that underpin modern climate science [2].  We just don’t know; in part, because the key experiments have never been undertaken [2].

What I do have are whizz-bang gaming computers that can run artificial neural networks (ANN), which are a form of machine learning: think big data and artificial intelligence.

My colleague, Dr John Abbot, has been using this technology for over a decade to forecast the likely direction of particular stock on the share market – for tomorrow.

Since 2011, I’ve been working with him to use this same technology for rainfall forecasting – for the next month and season [4,5,6].  And we now have a bunch of papers in international climate science journals on the application of this technique showing its more skillful than the Australian Bureau of Meteorology’s General Circulation Models for forecasting monthly rainfall.

During the past year, we’ve extended this work to build models to forecast what temperatures would have been in the absence of human-emission of carbon dioxide – for the last hundred years.

We figured that if we could apply the latest data mining techniques to mimic natural cycles of warming and cooling – specifically to forecast twentieth century temperatures in the absence of an industrial revolution – then the difference between the temperature profile forecast by the models, and actual temperatures would give an estimation of the human-contribution from industrialisation.

Firstly, we deconstruct a few of the longer temperature records: proxy records that had already been published in the mainstream climate science literature.

These records are based on things like tree rings and coral cores which can provide an indirect measure of past temperatures.  Most of these records show cycles of warming and cooling that fluctuated within a band of approximately 2°C.

For example, there are multiple lines of evidence indicating it was about a degree warmer across western Europe during a period known as the Medieval Warm Period (MWP).  Indeed, there are oodles of published technical papers based on proxy records that provide a relatively warm temperature profile for this period [7], corresponding with the building of cathedrals across England, and before the Little Ice Age when it was too cold for the inhabitation of Greenland.

I date the MWP from AD 986 when the Vikings settled southern Greenland, until 1234 when a particularly harsh winter took out the last of the olive trees growing in Germany.  I date the end of the Little Ice Age as 1826, when Upernavik in northwest Greenland was again inhabitable – after a period of 592 years.

The modern inhabitation of Upernavik also corresponds with the beginning of the industrial age.  For example, it was on 15 September 1830 that the first coal-fired train arrived in Liverpool from Manchester: which some claim as the beginning of the modern era of fast, long-distant, fossil-fuelled fired transport for the masses.

So, the end of the Little Ice Age corresponds with the beginning of industrialisation.  But did industrialisation cause the global warming?

In our just published paper in GeoResJ, we make the assumption that an artificial neural network (ANN) trained on proxy temperature data up until 1830, would be able to forecast the combined effect of natural climate cycles through the twentieth century.

We deconstructed six proxy series from different regions, with the Northern Hemisphere composite discussed here. This temperature series begins in 50 AD, ends in the year 2000, and is derived from studies of pollen, lake sediments, stalagmites and boreholes.  Typical of most such proxy temperature series, when charted this series zigzags up and down within a band of perhaps 0.4°C on a short time scale of perhaps 60-years. Over the longer nearly 2,000-year period of the record, it shows a rising trend which peaks in 1200AD before trending down to 1650AD, and then rising to about 1980 – then dipping to the year 2000: as shown in Figure 12 of our new paper in GeoResJ.

Proxy temperature record (blue) and ANN projection (orange) based on input from spectral analysis for this Northern Hemisphere multiproxy. The ANN was trained for the period 50 to 1830; test period was 1830 to 2000.

Proxy temperature record (blue) and ANN projection (orange) based on input from spectral analysis for this Northern Hemisphere multiproxy. The ANN was trained for the period 50 to 1830; test period was 1830 to 2000.

The decline at the end of the record is typical of many such proxy-temperature reconstructions and is known within the technical literature as “the divergence problem”.  To be clear, while the thermometer and satellite-based temperature records generally show a temperature increase through the twentieth century, the proxy record, which is used to describe temperature change over the last 2,000 years – a period that predates thermometers and satellites – generally dips from 1980, at least for Northern Hemisphere locations, as shown in Figure 12.  This is particularly the case with tree ring records. Rather than address this issue, key climate scientists, have been known to graft instrumental temperature series onto the proxy record from 1980 to literally ‘hide the decline’[8].

Using the proxy record from the Northern Hemisphere composite, decomposing this through signal analysis and then using the resulting component sine waves as input into an ANN, we generated a forecast for the period from 1830 to 2000.

Figure 13 from our new paper in GeoResJ shows the extent of the match between the proxy-temperature record (blue line) and our ANN forecast (orange dashed line) from 1880 to 2000.  Both the proxy record and also our ANN forecast (trained on data the predates the Industrial Revolution) show a general increase in temperatures to 1980, and then a decline.

Proxy temperature record (blue) and ANN projection (orange) for a component of the test period, 1880 to 2000.

The average divergence between the proxy temperature record from this Northern Hemisphere composite, and the ANN projection for this period 1880 to 2000, is just 0.09 degree Celsius. This suggests that even if there had been no industrial revolution and burning of fossil fuels, there would have still been some warming through the twentieth century – to at least 1980.

Considering the results from all six geographic regions as reported in our new paper, output from the ANN models suggests that warming from natural climate cycles over the twentieth century would be in the order of 0.6 to 1 °C, depending on the geographical location. The difference between output from the ANN models and the proxy records is at most 0.2 °C; this was the situation for the studies from Switzerland and New Zealand.  So, we suggest that at most, the contribution of industrialisation to warming over the twentieth century would be in the order of 0.2°C.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) estimates warming of approximately 1°C, but attributes this all to industrialization.

The IPCC comes up with a very different assessment because they essentially remodel the proxy temperature series, before comparing them with output from General Circulation Models.  For example, the last IPCC Assessment report concluded that,

“In the northern hemisphere, 1983-2012 was likely the warmest 30-year period of the last 1,400 years.”

If we go back 1,400 years, we have a period in Europe immediately following the fall of the Roman empire, and predating the MWP.  So, clearly the IPCC denies that the MWP was as warm as current temperatures.

This is the official consensus science: that temperatures were flat for 1,300 years and then suddenly kick-up from sometime after 1830 and certainly after 1880 – with no decline at 1980.

To be clear, while mainstream climate science is replete with published proxy temperature studies showing that temperatures have cycled up and down over the last 2,000 years – spiking during the Medieval Warm Period and then again recently to about 1980 as shown in Figure 12 – the official IPCC reconstructions (which underpin the Paris Accord) deny such cycles.  Through this denial, leaders from within this much-revered community can claim that there is something unusual about current temperatures: that we have catastrophic global warming from industrialisation.

In our new paper in GeoResJ, we not only use the latest techniques in big data to show that there would very likely have been significant warming to at least 1980 in the absence of industrialisation, we also calculate an Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity (ECS) of 0.6°C. This is the temperature increase expected from a doubling of carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere. This is an order of magnitude less than estimates from General Circulation Models, but in accordance from values generated from experimental spectroscopic studies, and other approaches reported in the scientific literature [9,10,11,12,13,14].

The science is far from settled. In reality, some of the data is ‘problematic’, the underlying physical mechanisms are complex and poorly understood, the literature voluminous, and new alternative techniques (such as our method using ANNs) can give very different answers to those derived from General Circulation Models and remodeled proxy-temperature series.

Dr Jennifer Marohasy is a Senior Fellow at the Institute of Public Affairs, this was origally published at her blog.

Key References

Scientific publishers Elsevier are making our new paper in GeoResJ available free of charge until 30 September 2017, at this link:


1. Abbot, J. & Marohasy, J. 2017. The application of machine learning for evaluating anthropogenic versus natural climate change, GeoResJ, Volume 14, Pages 36-46.   http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gf.2017.08.001

2. Abbot, J. & Nicol, J. 2017. The Contribution of Carbon Dioxide to Global Warming, In Climate Change: The Facts 2017, Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, Editor J. Marohasy, Pages 282-296.

4. Abbot, J. & Marohasy, J. 2017. Skilful rainfall forecasts from artificial neural networks with long duration series and single-month optimisation, Atmospheric Research, Volume 197, Pages 289-299. DOI10.1016/j.atmosres.2017.07.01

5. Abbot, J. & Marohasy, J. 2016. Forecasting monthly rainfall in the Western Australian wheat-belt up to 18-months in advance using artificial neural networks. In  AI 2016: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Eds. B.H. Kand & Q. Bai. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-50127-7_6.

6. Abbot J., & J. Marohasy, 2012. Application of artificial neural networks to rainfall forecasting in Queensland, Australia. Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, Volume 29, Number 4, Pages 717-730. doi: 10.1007/s00376-012-1259-9 .

7. Soon, W. & Baliunas, S. 2003. Proxy climatic and environmental changes of the past 1000 years, Climate Research, Volume 23, Pages 89–110. doi:10.3354/cr023089.

8. Curry, J. 2011. Hide the Decline, https://judithcurry.com/2011/02/22/hiding-the-decline/

9. Harde, H. 2014. Advanced two-layer climate model for the assessment of global warming by CO2. Open J. Atmospheric Climate Chang. Volume 1, Pages 1-50.

10. Lightfoot, HD & Mamer, OA. 2014. Calculation of Atmospheric Radiative Forcing (Warming Effect) of Carbon Dioxide at any Concentration. Energy and Environment Volume 25, Pages 1439-1454.

11. Lindzen, RS & Choi, Y-S. 2011. On the observational determination of climate sensitivity and its implications. Asia-Pacific. Journal of Atmospheric Science Volume 47, Pages 377-390.

12. Specht, E, Redemann, T & Lorenz, N. 2016. Simplified mathematical model for calculating global warming through anthropogenic CO2. International Journal of Thermal Science, Volume 102, Pages 1-8.

13. Laubereau, A & Iglev, H. 2013. On the direct impact of the CO2 concentration rise to the global warming, Europhysics Letters, Volume 104, Pages 29001.

14. Wilson, DJ & Gea-Banacloche, J. 2012. Simple model to estimate the contribution of atmospheric CO2 to the Earth’s greenhouse effect. American Journal of Physic, Volume 80, Pages 306-315.