Rafe Champion’s chapterwise review of Climate Change The Facts 2017

Written by:
10 July 2018
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Over at Catallaxy Files, the estimable Rafe Champion has embarked on a chapter by chapter appreciation of the Climate Change The Facts 2017, which is published by the IPA and Connor Court Publishing and available here. Rafe’s posts invite further consideration of the issues raised, and much of value can also be found in the accompanying comments threads.

Rafe himself has many good things to say on the uses and abuses of the scientific method, and has defended and explored the approach of Sir Karl Popper through a range of accessible publications which can be purchased from Amazon in paperback and ebook, here.

An overview of Rafe’s approach to the book is in this  this post, A carbon-constrained future? Climate Science: The Facts

The chapter headings of the book appear below, followed by, where available, an extract of Rafe’s commentary and a link to the relevant post.

Introduction and Table of Contents

Dr Jennifer Marohasy (Editor)

1 The Extraordinary Resilience of Great Barrier Reef Corals, and Problems with Policy Science

Professor Peter Ridd

That means that the extra half a billion allocated to save the reef is just a piece of virtue -signalling by the Turnbull government at our expense. Of course it is an ill wind that blows nobody any good and a deal of good will fall to the marine scientists at James Cook.

Peter Ridd and the Death of Science

Peter Ridd and the death of science continued

2 Ocean Acidification: Not Yet a Catastrophe for the Great Barrier Reef

Dr John Abbot & Dr Jennifer Marohasy

Looking at the “acidification” that causes so much alarm and comment, it turns out to be a shift that is very small compared with the natural variation recorded daily, seasonally and geographically. It would be more appropriately called neutralization. Daily variations can range from 9.4 to 7.5 and there are seasonal variations which exceed the margins in the order of 0.1 or 0.2 that prompt “alarm”.

The Great Barrier Reef and neutralization

3 Understanding Climate Change in Terms of Natural Variability

Dr Nicola Scafetta

“The cycles of temperature that Dr Scafetta is talking about are oscillations of 9.1, 10.5, 20, 60 115, 900-1000 and 2100-2500 years. These are cycles in solar activity, tidal effects of the Sun and Moon and (as) I expected the various Milankovitch cycles…The bottom line is that he claims his analysis of cycles gives a very good match with the temperature record since 1860, very much better than the IPPC figures, and a projection through the 21st century that is less than 2C.”

Understanding Climate Change in Terms of Natural Variability

4 The Role of the Moon in Weather Forecasting

Ken Ring

Ken Ring wrote a chapter on “The Role of the Moon in Weather Forecasting”. He learned the hard way, coached by Maori fishermen on the wild east coast of New Zealand where he set fishing nets every day for ten years. He was lucky that he got interested just as the moon was entering a period when the three main cycles were aligned and the effects were more defined than usual. The three cycles are the phase, the perigee and the declination.

The moon and the weather

5 Creating a False Warming Signal in the US Temperature Record

Anthony Watts

“He provided some graphic examples of the way the data are misleading. The Chicago O’Hare International Airport became the busiest port in the world in 2014, a big change from the time it was the Orchard Place/Douglas Field. The initials ORD persist as the International Civil Aviation Organization identifier. It was surrounded by farmlands for miles until over the decades it morphed into suburban megacomplex of concrete and tarmac. The average annual temperature increased by 2.35C per century from 1961 to 2013 but the method of measurement did not change while the immediate surrounds of the weather station changed out of recognition.” 

Watts on the US temperature record

6 It was Hot in the USA – in the 1930s

Tony Heller & Dr Jennifer Marohasy

“The bottom line of Chapter 6 of Climate Science: The Facts 2017 is that the frequency, extent and duration of US heat waves have declined since the 1930s and the adjusted NASA record is false.”

It was really hot in the 1930s

7 Taking Melbourne’s Temperature

Dr Tom Quirk

“The point of the paper is to explain why there was a jump of 0.6C recorded after 1998. This is attributed to a combination of the urban heat island effect (indicated by the difference of 0.6 compared with the country town of Laverton) and specific factors affecting the microclimate in La Trobe Street.”

Inflated temperature record in Melbourne

8 Mysterious Revisions to Australia’s Long Hot History

Joanne Nova

“Joanne Nova described mysterious revisions to Australia’s long hot history that were located by a team of well qualified and experienced volunteer citizen scientists. The story really has to be read to get the full flavour. For example they found that thermometers accurate to a tenth of a degree were being adjusted by as much as two degrees. The records now indicate that the hottest day recorded in modern history was at Albany on the coast of WA rather than in the baked arid zones of Oodnadatta or Marble Bar. The temperature reported in Albany on 8 February 1933 was 44C and 8 decades this was adjusted by 7C to 51. This pipped the 50.7 that was recorded for Oodnadatta on 2 January 1960.”

Dodgy data from the Bureau of Meteorology

9 The Homogenisation of Rutherglen

Dr Jennifer Marohasy

“Jennifer Marohasy described the homogenisation of Rutherglen, a town in the Victorian wine country a little west of Albury. The temperatures were recorded at the agricultural research station since 1912 in a Stevenson screen, a wooden structure designed to standardise the immediate environment of the equipment. Very strange things happened in the course of homogenising the data for the new ACORN-SAT system. A cooling trend of 0.3C at the station is converted into a statistically significant warming of 1.6C per century, ignoring trends at nearby stations. The story is complex involving tables of data and helpful charts so I will not try to tell more of it here – just beg, borrow or steal the book if you are too poor or mean to buy it.”

Dodgy data from the Bureau of Meteorology

10 Moving in Unison: Maximum Temperatures from Victoria, Australia

Dr Jennifer Marohasy & Dr Jaco Vlok

“The work in this chapter does not call for sophisticated mechanical or electronic analysis, merely the technique known as “eyeballing” in the technical language of the trade, using the neural network connected to your eyes. This involves more charts and I strongly suggest that you eyeball them. They simply show all the raw data for maximum temperature series in Victoria that are available, starting with some in 1860. To summarize, all the series move together suggesting that they are all reflecting the same reality, the same variations and changes over the many decades. “But there is no long-term trend. There are, however, cycles of warming and cooling with the warmest periods corresponding with times of drought.

Dodgy data from the Bureau of Meteorology

11 A Brief Review of the Sun–Climate Connection, with a New Insight

Dr Willie Soon & Dr Sallie Baliunas

“They regard the total atmospheric water as a much neglected key variable. Given that water vapour is the dominant greenhouse gas (if you are concerned with them) this neglect would appear to be unsatisfactory. It may be explained by the difficulty of handling the complex relationship with clouds and so it is hard to make rapid progress and the pressure to obtain short-term research grants for quick results rules out some of the important work that needs to be done.”

Soon and Baliunas on the sun and water vapour

12 The Advantages of Satellite-Based Regional and Global Temperature

Dr Roy W Spencer

“(Spencer) is a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama and he previously worked with John Christy at NASA developing satellite-based recording….With the phasing out of old-fashioned mercury thermometers the three basic measuring systems are now: First, surface-based thermistors giving continuous readings with (apparently) great precision. Second since the 1950s there are radiosondes carried in weather balloons. Their coverage is sparse but they have the benefit of giving readings at different altitudes. Third, satellites systems including two independent groups that are routinely cited in warming studies. “

Roy Spencer on satellite-based monitoring systems

13 Carbon Dioxide and Plant Growth

Dr Craig D. Idso

“This is an amazing paper and it falls right into my original ballpark – Agronomy…You all know that the level of CO2 is seriously sub-optimal for plant growth and a revelation in this paper is that the temperature is arguably sub-optimal as well…The trend in CO2, from a preindustrial baseline a bit under 300 ppm we are now about 400 and we could reach 800 by the end of the century …(results) extra growth of plants with 300ppm extra CO2 … Average for herbaceous plants is 33% extra biomass. Especially strong performers are fruit of all kinds including grapes and also carrots and turnips near 70% extra.  Trees do even better, woody plants average 50% more biomass with the extra CO2.”

The joy of extra CO2

“The outcome is that even the most extreme warming projected by the IPCC will not adversely impact the majority of the plants on earth.”

The joy of CO2 part 2

14 The Poor Are Carrying the Cost of Today’s Climate Policy

Dr Matt Ridley

Essentially, the poor pay for the virtue-signalling of the rich.

Matt Ridley on climate policy and the poor

Ridley went on to criticise biodiesel programs and the promotion of diesel cars. Then he mentioned one of the most outlandish schemes – the clearing of forests on the west coast of the US to convert into wood pellets to burn in British furnaces instead of coal to generate electricity.

More on the human disasters of the war on CO2

15 The Impact and Cost of the 2015 Paris Climate Summit, with a Focus on US Policies

Dr Bjørn Lomborg

The most powerful case against the war on CO2 is to accept some of the premises of the alarmists and show that even by their own standards the emission control policies make no sense in the light of cost/benefit analysis. Bjorn Lomborg can be described as a “lukewarm alarmist” because he considers that warming will cause non-catastrophic problems in the somewhat distant future. Still his cost/benefit analysis points the need to adjust to the change rather than persisting with the current (failing) efforts to achieve a “carbon constrained” future.

Lomborg on the cost and benefits of the Paris Summit

16 Re-examining Papal Energy and Climate Ethics

By Paul Driessen

“Dreissen’s critical comments address four main topics, first the Papal perspective on climate change, the gulf between the Pop’s call for dialogue and the reality of his dogmatic diatribes, his failure to appreciate the reasons for the advancement of human welfare that we have seen in recent times and the way that the Vatican “solutions” would inflict more harm than climate change under the IPCC projections.”

The Pope on Energy and Climate Ethics

17 Free Speech and Climate Change

Simon Breheny

“Democrat Senators in the US have hounded firms and think tanks for information about their role in funding research and publicity related to climate policy. 22 think tanks were asked to provide information on their donors. Lawfare was waged against Mark Steyn in Canada by Michael Mann following some vigorous debate on their differences of opinion.”

Help wanted re attacks on climate sceptics

18 The Lukewarm Paradigm and Funding of Science

By Patrick J Michaels

At the technical level he explains how the computer models and cherry-picking of data have been used to exaggerate the amount of warming that we can expect. He notes that the pathology of science that Thomas Kuhn described as “normal science” has become distressingly common.

Michaels on lukewarming and the funding of science

Peer review is not working; see the East Anglia emails and copious reports around the water coolers, not to mention the alarms sounded by the editor of Lancet and others cited by Michaels and also by Ridd in this paper, notably John Ioannidis at Stanford.

Peter Ridd and the death of science continued

19 The Contribution of Carbon Dioxide to Global Warming

Dr John Abbot & Dr John Nicol

The authors describe recent theoretical investigations suggesting that the warming effect of CO2 may be an order of magnitude (a factor of ten) smaller than the numbers used by the IPCC. 

In his testimony to the US congressional committee in 1988 (James Hansen) used the number of 4.2C from doubling CO2. The authors note that the IPCC has been adjusting the number downward in small steps from 3.8 in 1995 to 3.5 in 2001 and 3.26 in 2007…Remarkably they report a statement by Hansen that it might need to be reduced further to 2.5.

CO2 and warming, a fun chapter for nerds

20 Carbon Dioxide and the Evolution of the Earth’s Atmosphere

Ian Plimer

There was no runaway warming when CO2 exceeded 5% of the atmosphere so it is hard to account for serious warming while CO2 is a trace gas. There were higher temperatures in the past and Plimer provides a deal of argument and evidence to indicate that the cycles of temperature and the coming and going of ice ages did not correlate with the level of CO2. 

Ian Plimer and Bob Carter on CO2 and the geology of climate change

21 The Geological Context of Natural Climate Change

Dr Bob Carter

Ian Plimer and Bob Carter on CO2 and the geology of climate change

22 Mass Death Dies Hard

Clive James

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