07 September 2014

"The Conversation" claim contradicted by BoM press release

In a Conversation article about Jennifer Marohasy's claim of temp fudging at Australia's Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) (1,2,3) authors Lisa Alexander and Andy Pitman claim that BoM's homogenisation adjustments are to reduce the extremes of Australia's temperature trend. 
Exactly what "reduce the extreme temp trends" means is not 100% clear, but I assume it means that the slight increase in temp from 1910 to 2014 is lessened post-homogenisation.
No, the Bureau of Meteorology is not fiddling its weather data
From the article:
"Far from being a fudge to make warming look more severe than it is, most of the Bureau’s data manipulation has in fact had the effect of reducing the apparent extreme temperature trends across Australia. "
That article was on 1 September 2014. Then four days later, on 5 September 2014, BoM releases a graph showing that the post-homogenised red line (ACORN-SAT) had in fact increased the upward trend over the raw data of the blue line (AWAP).  Hence directly contradicting the claim made by authors of The Conversation article.

22 July 2014

Cooling is natural; warming is AGW

Those familiar with AGW theory will know that since industrial times, all warming is caused by CO2, while all cooling is natural. There's a paper to that effect described on WattUpWithThat explaining that the current pause in warming is, of course, all natural and merely masks the AGW warming that would otherwise occur. 

...links to this paper:
But actually it's warmed naturally many times before since significant human CO2 emissions from 1950, such as 1859 to 1879, and 1910 to 1945:

There was a slight warming from 1976 to 1998 that was supposed to be due to human emissions of greenhouse gases.

But there's nothing to suggest that the temperature increase is entirely natural and not related to human emissions which, as I say, have only been significant since about 1950.
I noticed this dubious graph on page 20:
The authors claim it proves the logarithmic nature of CO2-induced warming. The problem is, CO2 emissions haven't risen linearly since 1880 when this graph starts.
Humans have only been adding relatively modest amounts of carbon dioxide since about 1950:

There were no significant human greenhouse gas emissions before 1950, so the idea that these emissions were responsible for any temp rise from 1880 to 1950 is just plain wrong.

Putting a line on a graph like that, whether it's on a log scale as this one is, or is linear, is dodgy anyway because the choice of starting and ending points completely influences the slope of the trend line.

I could choose different start and end points, especially if we had more data, and come up with an entirely different result. Temperature just varies up and down, naturally. That's what temperature does.

The trend lines they have chosen amount to wishful thinking on the author's parts; they're going to show global warming at all costs!

The above graph is based on another dubious equation, equation 1:

They've arbitrarily made up the values of natural warming Tnat and the amount of human-made warming. Then they say there's a 20 year lag in warming because the oceans have to warm up first before the air can actually warm up. Hard to believe.

Then they subtract the arbitrary level of greenhouse warming together with the also arbitrary 20-year ocean lag, and get this graph:

See? The warming's all AGW, and not natural at all! When you can just arbitrarily determine the level of natural warming, based on assumption, science becomes easy!

I wish I could be payed to come up with this sort of stuff too. But unfortunately I'm not on the climate science gravy train.

04 July 2014

Climate Institute's curious 2014 online survey

The Climate Institute of Australia's new glossy brochure is based on an online survey of 1,145 Australians. These 1,145 participants were selected by invitation by email and/or by selecting the survey from a list provided (and tailored) on the user's home page (example below). 

The 1,145 are selected from 180,000 panel members of MyView.com.au, a site where you earn points for answering surveys.
I decided to join MyView.com.au to see what the selection process is. To my surprise the surveys weren't completely without description. For example one survey involving air travel was labelled as such. E.g.:
As soon as I answered that I will not travel by air within the next year, the survey was terminated. I suppose I won't be sent any air travel surveys in the near future.

Here's another poll in my selection list stating description "in the home":

The site also explained that my answers would be used for tailoring what surveys would be sent to me. For example I said I wouldn't buy a new car in the next three years, or that I bought one in the last three.  Therefore I guess I won't be getting those surveys any time soon.

And every question answered is irreversible and recorded against your record. I got this message after answering a few questions from the "in your home" survey -- it seems I don't buy the kind of product they were surveying for:
Are these filtering methods are legitimate?  Supposedly the site is certified to international standard  ISO 20252.   Whether that means every survey meets that standard...I don't know, but it would seem not.
If I ever made the statement that I was not interested in climate, or was a sceptic, it may be held against me, and I may not get sent the climate-related poll invites.
So what's the bet that an invite to do a climate-related survey has the label climate, and that therefore only people who are interested in climate -- or even joined myview.com.au just to do climate surveys -- are the main people to respond and do the survey?
The 2014 poll results were very alarmist-oriented in my opinion.  E.g. this alarmist headline from the Guardian:

Australians want renewable energy target retained by big margin

Polling shows 72% of Australians want to keep or expand RET, as Abbott government considers abolishing it

Really 72%? That seems a lot. It would be interesting to see the exact question asked in that case.

So, could this poll be merely a survey of people who know in advance what the topic is, bringing automatic bias with it? I can only tell you in a year or so when the next Climate Institute poll comes up and I do, or don't, get an invite, and how such an invite is phrased at the outset.
I haven't been part of the site for long enough to get one of these invites, but so far that's the impression I get. If true, that would seriously throw the idea that it is a random survey into doubt.
Imagine this analogous scenario. You get a telephone call like this: "hello, would you like to complete a survey on the climate?"  "..Click!" comes the response, as many who aren't interested in climate hang up the phone.

Or even worse: "hello I'm from the Climate Institute of Australia, I'm wondering if you'd like to answer..." "..Click!"
Many warmists and perhaps a few keen sceptics would stay on the phone for the survey, but many wouldn't. Plus, some people won't answer survey's on any topic; how does that skew the results of these polls?  Does the very makeup of the myview panel skew results?
I guess to keep it truly random you'd have to express it as something like a "science survey", perhaps keep it obscure for as long as possible.
Then there's this curious statement on page two of the brochure:
"..an online panel. The data collected was then weighted according to the most recent Census data for location, gender and age."
Weighted? Why? For example with age, let's say there are more answers from young people. So does that mean answers from old people should receive more weight? Or does it mean they should receive less?
And weighted for what? I don't see any reason for weighting by age, location or gender. It's all very odd.