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That was quick

Anthony Watts records the release of a new paper by Shaun Lovejoy of McGill University, which claims to have shown that the chances of recent temperature change being natural are close to zero.

With 99% certainty claimed for the results, all sorts of alarm bells are sounded, and sure enough holes are being picked in the results already: Monckton here and Matt Briggs here.

I think it's fair to say that this particular paper is going to sink without trace.

Booker on Climate Control

Christopher Booker covers the Climate Control report in the Sunday Telegraph, recounting a story from his column a few years back that is a stunning indictment of what is going on.

In 2012, I described an A-level general studies paper set by our leading exam board, AQA, asking for comment on 11 pages of propagandist “source materials”, riddled with basic errors. A mother wrote to tell me how her intelligent son, after getting straight As on all his science papers, used his extensive knowledge of climate science to point out all their absurd distortions.

In related news, Richard Betts tweets his conclusions on the report:

...GWPF have form on distorting the science - which makes me sceptical of their school report.


Targetted rebuttal

Here's another interesting snippet from Julia Slingo's appearance on The Life Scientific. This is where Slingo is asked about the kerfuffle over her apparent linking of this winter's storms and floods to climate change. Readers will no doubt recall that this blew up when David Rose published an article in the Mail on Sunday which noted the contradiction between Slingo's remarks, as reported by Roger Harrabin, and conventional understanding of what was behind the storms, namely a shift in the jetstream, with no known link to AGW.

According to Slingo, her remarks had been "taken out of context" and all she had been trying to say was that warmer air will hold more water thus leading to more rainfall. So if she is to be believed, when asked if there was a link to between this winter's series of  storms and AGW, her remark that "all the evidence points to a link" was meant to mean that the storms had been made marginally worse by AGW.

I'm not convinced that this is the message that most people would have taken away with them.

And just as surprising is that when Rose reported Slingo's remarks as reported by Harrabin, the Met Office decided to issue a criticism of Rose.

Slingo 3


Fence sitting

Last week, Lord Judd, a Labour life peer, asked ministers about the government's determination to continue on the path of insanity that it has chosen (for the avoidance of doubt, with the cliff edge in sight Lord J was keen to keep right on ahead).

The question exchanged an interesting set of responses, with Baroness Verma trying, David Cameron style, to agree with everyone about everything.

Watch from 11:23.30 mins.

Direct link here.


All over at Barton Moss

With iGas having completed their work at Barton Moss - they have extracted the required samples, with very encouraging preliminary results it seems - the protestors are now shutting up shop and heading home (or more likely to some other demonstration that might provide them with a "ruck").

Mindful of the criticism they received for the sea of detritus they left behind in Balcombe it seems that they are going to organise a clean-up party this time.

In related news, Mr Putin is hinting about supply problems in future and wholesale gas prices are on the rise.


Some more responses

A couple more responses to the Climate Control report have appeared, of decidedly variable quality.

Left Foot Forward's take is, as you might expect the kind of thing you would expect from that less than august organ, mostly written without reference to the report at all and not really addressing anything we said in it. Author James Bloodworth has this to say for example

According to the GWPF, telling kids to “avoid polluting the world”, “recycle” and “reduce their carbon footprint” is “brainwashing” carried out with the express intention of turning children into “foot soldiers of the green movement”.

But hang on a minute. What exactly is objectionable about teaching children to safeguard the environment? If you can avoid doing so, don’t go around polluting the world – it’s hardly revolutionary advice.

Click to read more ...


Climate Control in the Mail

I'm a bit busy with Easter hols at the moment, but this is a thread to record the Mail's coverage of the Climate Control report, which can be seen here.

I'm aware of one very feeble critique of the report here and there have been tweets from Doug McNeall, who seems to think some things that I objected to are "hilariously neutral" (although I haven't quite worked out what yet) and Alice Bell who found it "badly researched".



Fleshing out the cosmoclimatogy hypothesis

A new paper in Environmental Research Letters fleshes out Henrik Svensmark's cosmoclimatology hypothesis, by which the suns influence on galactic cosmic rays affects cloud formation on Earth. The paper attempts a theoretical quantification of changes in the numbers of cloud condensation nuclei that might be caused by changes in the cosmic ray flux:

The impact of solar variations on particle formation and cloud condensation nuclei (CCN), a critical step for one of the possible solar indirect climate forcing pathways, is studied here with a global aerosol model optimized for simulating detailed particle formation and growth processes. The effect of temperature change in enhancing the solar cycle CCN signal is investigated for the first time. Our global simulations indicate that a decrease in ionization rate associated with galactic cosmic ray flux change from solar minimum to solar maximum reduces annual mean nucleation rates, number concentration of condensation nuclei larger than 10 nm (CN10), and number concentrations of CCN at water supersaturation ratio of 0.8% (CCN0.8) and 0.2% (CCN0.2) in the lower troposphere by 6.8%, 1.36%, 0.74%, and 0.43%, respectively. The inclusion of 0.2C temperature increase enhances the CCN solar cycle signals by around 50%. The annual mean solar cycle CCN signals have large spatial and seasonal variations: (1) stronger in the lower troposphere where warm clouds are formed, (2) about 50% larger in the northern hemisphere than in the southern hemisphere, and (3) about a factor of two larger during the corresponding hemispheric summer seasons. The effect of solar cycle perturbation on CCN0.2 based on present study is generally higher than those reported in several previous studies, up to around one order of magnitude.
The wider variation of changes in CCNs that the authors find makes the cosmoclimatology hypothesis more plausible since the effect on clouds would be expected to be proportionately larger too.



Ethical confirmations

As if any confirmation were required that Lewandowsky's papers were ethically compromised the expressions of dismay from the wilder fringes of the green movement provide it in buckets.

Ugo Bardi, an Italian chemist who seems to have something to do with the Club of Rome, has resigned from the editorial team at Frontiers in disgust, penning a long protest article here. In it we learn that although he has no opinion on the ethical or legal aspects of the paper he is convinced that Frontiers has let Lewandowsky down.

It is not for me, here, to discuss the merits and demerits of this paper, nor the legal issues involved (noting, however, that the University of Western Australia found no problems in hosting it on their site). However, my opinion is that, with their latest statement and their decision to retract the paper, Frontiers has shown no respect for authors nor for their own appointed referees and editors. But the main problem is that we have here another example of the climate of intimidation that is developing around the climate issue.

And, as if to put the seal on the conclusion that the paper was bunk, support for Bardi's decision comes from Peter Gleick, a man with long and deep experience in the area of ethical compromise:

Not retracting academically flawed papers is bad for a journal; so is retracting academically sound ones.


+++Michael Gove responds to Climate Control+++

According to Breitbart London, Education Secretary Michael Gove has issued a statement in response to the Montford/Shade report on climate change education:

A spokesman for Michael Gove, has said that teachers who do not offer a balanced view on issues like climate change are breaking the law. The Department for Education's comments came after a report from The Global Warming Policy Foundation raised serious concerns about the lack of balance in British classrooms.

Read the whole thing.


Shindell on Lewis

Nic Lewis's Climate Audit piece on Drew Shindell's TCR paper (BH discussion here) has engendered a response at Real Climate.



Climate Control coverage

The Voice of Russia has covered the Montford/Shade report on climate change education in schools...

Andrew Montford, blogger and author of a new report on climate change in education, says children in England and Scotland are being brainwashed over climate change. He blames the United Nations for setting an agenda which has been blindly adopted in schools. VoR's Scott Craig asked him to explain

as has James Delingpole at Breitbart.

British schoolchildren are being brainwashed by a deep green environmental curriculum which fills their heads with "confusion, ignorance and fear", says a new study by the Global Warming Policy Foundation.


Slingo on The Life Scientific

Julia Slingo was interviewed on The Life Scientific this morning. The show is very much about a friendly chat  rather than a penetrating interview, so expectations were low, but there were nevertheless a couple of interesting moments.

One of these concerned the pause in global warming, Dame Julia putting the blame on deep-ocean heat transport and in particular the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. Unfortunately, interesting followup questions were not put, for example

  • the corollary effect of the PDO on late-twentieth century warming
  • what this means for the IPCC's claim that most of that warming was manmade
  • the risk to mankind from heat located in the deep ocean.

There was also a wonderful bit of footwork when presenter Jim Al-Khalili asked whether the climate models had predicted the pause and was told "yes these models have these periods of slowdown", which I think, on referring to Ed Hawkins' famous graph, means "no".

Slingo 1


Climate control

The following press release was issued by GWPF yesterday:

London, 8 April: A new report published by the Global Warming Policy Foundation is calling for Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Education, to institute an official inquiry into the way environmentalism and in particular climate change are being taught in schools.

In the report, authors Andrew Montford and John Shade describe how environmentalism has come to permeate school curricula across the UK, featuring in an astonishing variety of subjects, from geography to religious education to modern languages. Passing examinations will now usually involve the ability to recite green mantras rather than understanding the subtle questions of science and economics involved.

The authors review in detail the climate change teaching materials currently used in British schools, with disturbing results. There is ample evidence of unscientific statements, manipulated graphs, and activist materials used in class and even found in textbooks.

The report also describes how activist teachers try to make children become the footsoldiers of the green movement, encouraging them to harass their schoolmates and pester their parents to bring about “behaviour change”.

The use of fear of climate change to alter children’s behaviour is also highlighted. This is undoubtedly having harmful consequences on children’s development and surveys indicate that fear of the future is widespread. The report quotes one child as saying:

"I worry about [global warming] because I don’t want to die."

Author Andrew Montford says: “The brainwashing of our children for political ends is shameful. Those responsible for education in the UK need to take action and take it quickly”

The report has been the work of many months and I must say I think the results are an appalling indictment of what is going on in schools. I just hope people take notice.

The full text is here.


Diary dates: Laframboise European tour

From Donna's blog

This Thursday, I’ll be addressing the International Conference on Climate and Energy, which is being held in Mannheim, Germany (info here).

Also on the program: meteorologist Richard Lindzen, geologist Sebastian Lüning, astrophysicist Nir Shaviv, and solar physicist Henrik Svensmark.


Click to read more ...