Saturday, 2 March 2013

Can the Climate Commission ever get it right?

Australia's $180,000 part-time
Climate Commissioner.
Cartoons by Josh

The Climate Commission: latest report; can they ever get it right?

by Anthony Cox

The Climate Commission [CC] has been dogged by controversy since it was set up to explain the certainty of AGW. Its latest report is no exception. The report begins by saying:

“the physics [of AGW] are very well understood”

And then:

“The vast majority of the extra heat does not go into the atmosphere and thus raise the air temperature but rather into the ocean.”

But back-radiation of infra red radiation at CO2 absorbing and emitting wavelengths [IR-CDLR], the deus ex machina of AGW, CANNOT penetrate the oceans.

For those more technically inclined the “basic physics” were presented to the US Senate by Dr Roy Clark in his EPA Submission ‘A Null Hypothesis for CO2′. In short, IR-CDLR from greenhouse gases [+clouds] in the 4 – 16 micron range of the EM spectrum [the CO2 relevant spectrum] is an ineffective ocean heating agent or insulator because it only penetrates 10 microns and absorbency DECREASES 1000 times relative to IR-B in the solar range. See H&Q73:-

An insulation effect at the cool-skin layer of the ocean [as promulgated by Peter Minnet, Real Climate and Rob Painting, Skeptical Science and obviously agreed with by the CC] would be ineffective because energy would still be lost radiatively and evaporatively even if conduction was inhibited (it isn’t).

If heat from the atmosphere is “transmitted” to the ocean the temperature gradient must be atmosphere => ocean but global average atmospheric temperature is about 3ºC COOLER than the ocean.
So even if the oceans are warming they are NOT warming due to AGW, even if AGW exists, and there is very strong evidence it doesn’t. So much for "the physics being very well understood".

Are the oceans warming? The CC says yes and shows this in Figure 1.

This is wrong and the CC's information is superseded by ARGO data from the NOAA Pacific Marine environment Laboratory (PMEL).

Next the CC makes the claim that temperature adjusted to remove natural factors is still increasing as shown in Figure 3. To prove this they link to Foster and Rahmstorf's paper from 2011.

This paper is bad and even amongst AGW science represents a nadir. F&R attempt to isolate the AGW temperature signature by removing the natural factors; so they remove MEI [ENSO], volcanoes [AOD] and the sun [PMOD]. According to their 2nd equation as scientist and blogger ferd berple observes:

GISS = -91.43 + 1.024Trend + 0.0761MEI(4m lag) + 0.06694TSI.PMOD(1m lag)- 2.334AOD (7m lag)

(1) GISS = 1.024Trend + bx + c

(2) GISS = 1.0Trend + 0.024Trend + bx + c

(3) GISS = (GISS + d) + 0.024Trend + bx + c

(because y = mx + d, where m=slope=trend, d=y intercept)

(4) 0 = 0.024Trend + bx + e

(5) Trend = -(bx + e)/0.024

F&R have not solved for GISS. By including Trend (GISS) as an independent variable they have eliminated GISS. What they have shown is that the Trend in GISS can be fully explained as a linear result of MEI, TSI, and AOD, without any reference to CO2.

In other words, F&R have proven that Climate Change is fully explained by the Multivariate ENSO Index (MEI), the Total Solar Irradiance (PMOD), and the Volcanic Aerosol Optical Depth data (AOD).

In other words, F&R have proven that CO2 has no role in climate change.

Removing natural factors to establish a 'pure' figure for AGW is a tautology because it is based on assumptions about the existing temperature forcings by the IPCC which have been proven to be wrong.

Perhaps with this in mind, the CC, and Foster and Rahmstorf have been trumped by Pachuri who has made it plain that temperature has not changed in 17 years.

This is manifestly clear from a comparison between all the major indices which show no temperature rise ranging from 11 year and 7 months for GISS to 16 years and 1 month for RSS.

In short the CC report is the usual mixture of half truths, no truths and incompetence. Given its considerable cost and expertise the public has a right to expect at least the basics to be right.

Inconvenient Truths re China and Coal.

Image: Larry Pickering
The Institute of Public Affairs revealed that Greg Combet, the Minister for Climate Change misled Australians about China's price on carbon (link)

'The FOI documents show that despite Climate Change Minister Combet arguing China's carbon tax rate is nearly three times higher than Australia's his Department knew it was less. 
'After the release of the Vivid Economics report Climate Change Minister Combet claimed 'the myth that Australia is acting ahead of the world is just that - a myth'.'These FOI documents show the only myths are those promoted by the Minister and he now needs to come clean about why his Department knew he was misleading the public but kept doing so. 
'Since breaking its 'no carbon tax' pledge the government has continually promoted misinformation to justify the introduction of its economically harmful tax. It's time the government came clean.

Heartland Institute's James Taylor, writing for, exposes some inconvenient truths re China And Coal.

  • China emits more carbon dioxide than any other nation on earth.
  • China emits more carbon dioxide than all the nations in the Western Hemisphere combined
  • China’s emissions have more than tripled since 2000
  • China produces 70 percent of its electricity from coal
And now China is pledging to enact a modest carbon tax (which may or may not actually be enforced, even if it is enacted.)