A Decadal Global Climate Bet – three years down the track

Three years ago, early 2011, a decadal global climate bet was made.  At that time, December 2010 marked the end of a 10 year period.  January 2011 marked the beginning of the next.  The transition stimulated the formation of a decadal global climate bet.  Would the next decade be hotter than the decade just past?  Would it be cooler?  Or would the difference be so little to be statistically insignificant?

And so the coolists (led by Pierre Gosselin – NoTricksZone) and the warmists (led by Rob Honeycutt – Skeptical Science) are having a bet.  They agreed to use a composite of Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) lower troposphere temperature – close to the earth’s surface.  The result will be accepted without quibbling, as it was agreed between them that those series are the best that we’ve got.  The average of the two series will decide the bet!

I’ve tried a couple of ways of picturing the comparative ‘race’ between the decades.  The first way is here, and the second way is here.  I prefer the second method, and this is what I have shown below.  It uses an accumulating total, adding 1/120th of the average of the UAH and RSS monthly global anomalies month by month.  The sum of these numbers after 120 months (10 years) is the global decadal average.

Tonight I downloaded the data to December 2013 from UAH and RSS and the graph shows the race position after three complete years.  After three years the coolists are in the lead.

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A Decadal Global Climate Bet – a second view of the race

About six months ago I posted a short article and a graph attempting to show the progress of a global decadal climate bet.  The graph compared the temperature of the two decades Jan 2001 through Dec 2010 and Jan 2011 to Dec 2020.  I wanted to compare the two decades and make it like a horse race.  To do that, I needed to track progress to date.  Admittedly there’s not much scientific merit in this, but as it is still more than 7 years to the finish line, and that seems like a long time, I thought it might add amusement.

Rob Honeycutt (the leader of the warmist team) kindly visited here a few days ago and left some comments querying the validity of my graph.  They were good comments that got me thinking.  While I reckon the graph is technically correct, it does have some peculiarities which need consideration.  I’ve checked the calculations are correct and they are based on directly downloaded data from UAH and RSS.  The method shows the position between the decades by calculating a running average to date.  Both decades were treated equally and fairly.

But Rob raised a valid point.  The early stages of the graph show a lot of variability, ie: the left side is noisy.  It makes the left side of the graph messy and possibly misleading to some.  The variability is caused by the low number of elements in the sample to date.  As time goes on the noise movement in the average to date diminishes.  And of course, in the end it is the finish line that matters.  The ups and downs only having been interesting along the way.

So thanks Rob, with all that in mind, I have tried another way to look at the race.

The new way does not use an average to date.  It uses instead a simple accumulating counter, adding 1/120th of the average of the UAH and RSS monthly global anomalies to a running total.  The sum of these numbers after 120 months will be the global decadal average.

So take a look at the graph.  Use your eye to extrapolate to the green line to the finish point.  It is still a close race and I’m not game to pick a winner … yet.

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Advocating for CO2

Typical newspaper and TV articles which refer to CO2, malign it as a pollutant and some sort of horrible gas that we should do our utmost to get rid of, by not making it, or burying it deep underground.  It is inferred that we’d be far better off without it.

Therefore, as I am able, in any discussion on global warming and the ‘warming’ effect of CO2, I try to frame our perspective of CO2, making reference to the absolutely essential part it plays in the natural life cycles of both plants and animals.  Simply put, without CO2 life would not exist.  It is an essential part of both photosynthesis and respiration.

For instance, on 1 May I was privileged to be able to address a New Plymouth club on global warming.  Early in the presentation, before getting into global warming, I made a few points about the importance of CO2.  Here are the talking point bullets from the slide.

  • CO2 is essential for life
  • Solar energy, CO2 and water, photosynthesis
  • Carbon atom is the building block of life
  • Atmospheric CO2 is where plants get all their carbon
  • Plant growth increases with increased CO2
  • With increased CO2 plants require less water
  • CO2 is not a pollutant, lemonade bubbles, cooking

Recently I was pleased to stumble across a few more instances along these lines.  I recommend them to you.

On 8 May the Wall Street Journal, published an item titled Harrison H. Schmitt and William Happer: In Defense of Carbon Dioxide.

The article starts

“Of all of the world’s chemical compounds, none has a worse reputation than carbon dioxide. Thanks to the single-minded demonization of this natural and essential atmospheric gas by advocates of government control of energy production, the conventional wisdom about carbon dioxide is that it is a dangerous pollutant. That’s simply not the case. Contrary to what some would have us believe, increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere will benefit the increasing population on the planet by increasing agricultural productivity.”

One of the points made by Schmitt and Happer is that increased CO2 causes increased plant growth.   A week later, on 15 May, a post at The Hockey Schtick highlights a New paper finds a large CO2 fertilization effect greening the globe since 1982.

The abstract of the paper is here  CO2 fertilisation has increased maximum foliage cover across the globe’s warm, arid environments.

“… Using gas exchange theory, we predict that the 14% increase in atmospheric CO2 (1982–2010) led to a 5 to 10% increase in green foliage cover in warm, arid environments. Satellite observations, analysed to remove the effect of variations in rainfall, show that cover across these environments has increased by 11%. Our results confirm that the anticipated CO2 fertilization effect is occurring alongside ongoing anthropogenic perturbations to the carbon cycle and that the fertilisation effect is now a significant land surface process.”

Lubos Motl at The Reference Frame added an interesting perspective with an article titled Why we should work hard to raise the CO2 concentration.

And Andrew Montford at Bishop Hill shared a video of Professor Happer being interviewed by CNBC.

So there you have it.  The most maligned gas in our atmosphere; is essential for life, there is very little of it, and without doubt it ought to be treasured instead.

Posted in Climate Science, CO2, Environment | 3 Comments

The Decadal Global Climate Bet

Just over two years ago, early 2011, a decadal global temperature bet was made.

At that time December 2010 marked the end of the last 10 year period.  January 2011 marked the beginning of the next.  The transition stimulated the formation of a decadal global climate bet.  Would the next decade be hotter than the decade just past?  Would it be cooler?  Or would the difference be so little that the result is statistically insignificant?

And so the warmists and the coolists are having a bet.  It has been agreed to use a composite of Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and University of Alabama Huntsville (UAH) lower troposphere temperature – close to the earth’s surface. The result will be accepted without quibbling, as it is agreed that it’s the best we’ve got. The average of the two will decide the bet!

The bet started out over at Pierre Gosselin’s site, No Tricks Zone.


So how is it going now that we are now almost a quarter of the way through the race?

Its a close race!  The light blue line shows that the average of Jan 2011 to April 2013 is a whisker cooler than Jan 2001 to April 2003.

(Update note, as at 31 May 2013 the running average is 0.06 deg C cooler)

(Update note, as at 30 June 2013 the running average is 0.051 deg C cooler)


(Note: when I updated the graph with May 2013 data I noticed there was an error with the running average calculation.  This has now been corrected) (Now updated with June 2013 data)

The graph is based on the average of satellite measurements collected and recorded by scientists at the UAH and RSS.  If you want to check the data for yourself, here are the links to the raw data; UAH data and RSS data.



Posted in Climate Science | 15 Comments

Scientific Heresy

‘Excellent’ – ‘well written’ – ‘impressive’ – ‘superb’ – ‘devastating’ are just a few of the comments describing it.  I’ve read it.  It is absolutely impressive.

The article is a speech given by Matt Ridley on 31 October, to the Royal Society of Arts in Edinburgh.

Can I encourage you, dear reader, whoever you might be, if you have 20 minutes, to click the link and read the article?


It’s excellent, well written, impressive, superb and devastating.

Posted in Climate Science, Economics, Environment, Human cost | 3 Comments

New Satellite Data Contradicts Carbon Dioxide Climate Theory

This article is by John O’Sullivan. I repeat it here completely. I would not normally do this but John has just been fired and his articles have been removed from the internet. I am a tad sceptical about the satellite findings – but here’s a copy for you to read anyway my friends …

New Japanese Satellite Data – NHK World

Industrialized nations emit far less carbon dioxide than the Third World, according to latest evidence from Japan’s Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA).

Global warming alarmism is turned on its head and the supposed role of carbon dioxide in
climate change may be wrong, if the latest evidence from Japan’s scientists is to be believed.

Japanese national broadcaster, NHK World, broke the astonishing story on their main Sunday evening news bulletin (October 30, 2011). Television viewers learned that the country’s groundbreaking IBUKU satellite, launched in June 2009, appears to have scorched an indelible hole in conventional global warming theory.

Standing in front of a telling array of colorful graphs, sober-suited Yasuhiro Sasano, Director of Japan’s National Institute for Environmental Studies told viewers, “The [IBUKU satellite] map is to help us discover how much each region needs to reduce CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions.”

Industrialized Nations World’s Lowest CO2 ‘Polluters’

Indeed, the map at which JAXA spokesman Sasano was pointing (see photo above) had been expected by most experts to show that western nations are to blame for substantial increases in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, causing global warming. But to an officious looking TV interviewer Sasano turned greenhouse gas theory on it’s head.

According to UN science the greenhouse gas theory says more CO2 entering the atmosphere will warm the planet, while less CO2 is associated with cooling.

Gesturing to an indelible deep green hue streaked across the United States and Europe viewers were told, “in the high latitudes of the Northern hemisphere emissions were less than absorption levels.”

Sasano proceeded to explain the color-coding system of the iconic maps showing where regions were either absorbing or emitting the trace atmospheric gas. Regions were alternately colored red (for high CO2 emission), white (low or neutral CO2 emissions) and green (no emissions: CO2 absorbers).

Bizarrely, the IBUKU maps prove exactly the opposite of all conventional expectations revealing that the least industrialized regions are the biggest emitters of greenhouse gases on the planet.

Yes, you read that correctly: the U.S. and western European nations are areas where CO2 levels are lowest. This new evidence defies the consensus view promoted by mainstream newspapers, such as the New York Times.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had long claimed that, “there is a consensus among scientists that manmade emissions of greenhouse gases, notably carbon dioxide (CO2), are harming global climate.”

The Japanese satellite map shows regions colored the deepest leaf green (net absorbers of CO2) being predominantly those developed nations of Europe and North America; thus indicating built up environments absorbed more CO2 than they emitted into the atmosphere.

By contrast the bulk of the regions colored red (so-called ‘carbon polluters’) were in undeveloped, densely-forested equatorial regions of Africa and South America.

Huge Headache for Climate Policymakers.

JAXA boasts that, “we can reduce the error of the estimated values when we introduce IBUKI’s observation data compared to that of the values calculated in a conventional way based on ground observation data.”

To all policymakers who study the Japanese maps it is apparent that the areas of greatest CO2 emissions are those regions with least human development and most natural vegetation: Equatorial Third World nations.

The Japanese evidence also disproves the often-cited hypothesis that Siberia and other areas of northern Russia were natural vents for large scale CO2 outgassing, exacerbating global warming fears.

In effect, this compelling new data appears to show that the ashphalt and concreted industrial nations are ‘mopping up’ carbon dioxide faster than their manufacturers and consumers can emit it. If this is confirmed, it means a cornerstone of man-made global warming may be in serious doubt.

Can Western Nations Still Proceed with Carbon Taxes?

But now that these so-called “global warming gases” have been precisely measured across the planet the quandary for international policymakers is what to do about plans to further implement international targets for CO2 reduction.

World leaders are getting set to face the latest round of UN climate change talks in Durban next month and must discuss a replacement for the soon to expire Kyoto Protocol, which binds nations to limited CO2 emissions.

The dilemma is whether the established UN global warming policy of the ‘polluter pays’ can any longer be sensibly upheld. Conventional political thinking at previous UN climate conferences was to ‘offset’ carbon emissions by making the worst polluters pay higher ‘carbon taxes.’ But that theory now appears to be rendered redundant being that western economies, believed to be the worst offenders, are in fact, contributing either negligible or no measurable CO2 emissions whatsoever.

Indeed, the IBUKU data indicates that the areas of highest CO2 emissions are precisely those regions with most vegetation and least industry and thus less able to pay.

Thus, the unthinkable could be made real: the greenhouse gas theory of climate change may collapse in the face of empirical evidence that industrialization is shown to have no link to global warming.

For more information the IBUKU achievement is published in the Scientific Online Letters on the Atmosphere (an online thesis magazine) issued by the Meteorological Society of Japan.

Sources: JAXA, Japanese Aerospace Exploration Agency, Greenhouse Gas Observation Satellite ‘IBUKI’ (GOSAT), accessed online: October 30, 2011.

Gillis, J.,’Study Affirms Consensus on Climate Change,’ New York Times, (nytimes.com: accessed online: October 30, 2011)

Posted in Climate Science, Environment | 4 Comments

The low carbon economy winding down in the UK?

“Tories tear green credentials to shreds”, is the headline of an item at BusinessGreen.  The article starts:

“Has there been a more anti-environmental political conference at any point over the past decade than this year’s annual Conservative party jamboree in Manchester?

The answer is almost certainly not, and after a week of high-carbon policy announcements and sidelining of environmental issues, the hard-fought political consensus on the urgent need to create a world-leading, low-carbon economy seems under serious threat for the first time in a decade.”

Meanwhile New Zealand continues with it’s pointless emissions trading scheme and Australia decides what it’s going to do very soon.



Posted in Politics | 7 Comments

Huge shale gas find in UK, reported by BBC Northwest evening news

There could be enough gas to save the UK from their death spiral of increasing energy costs.  People are wondering if its too good to be true.  Well it sounds very much to me that its real enough alright.  Very similar to what is happening in other parts of the world. The UK government should do its best to harness this resource and help bring the country back to the great nation it once was.

As far as the fire from taps is concerned; that was happening at that place in the US a long time before they did any fracking there.  And what’s more; the guy who made that video knew that.  He just ‘decided’ not to mention it.


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Another two professors resign, protesting their institutions’ stance on global warming

Following in the footsteps of Hal Lewis …

Prof Ivar Giaver, 82, an elected fellow of the American Physical Society, has resigned from the society; protesting its stance on global warming.  He is a US based Norwegian physicist and is chief technology officer at Applied Biophysics and a retired academic at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

The APS declares in its policy statement,

Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth’s climate.  They are emitted from fossil fuel combustion and a range of industrial and agricultural processes.  The evidence is incontrovertible: global warming is occurring.  If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur.  We must reduce emissions of greenhouse gases beginning now.

In an email to APS’s executive, Prof Giaver said he “cannot live” with its official statement on global warming.

Prof Dr Ir Henri Masson has resigned from the European Society of Engineers and Industrialists.

Dr Masson was event co-ordinator of an upcoming conference.   Among the line-up of speakers were Fred Singer and Claes Johnson.  Both speakers hold ‘skeptical’ views on climate change.  This came to the attention of IPCC Vice Chair van Ypersele who moved quickly to demand the ‘disinvitation’ of these two distinguished speakers.

The attitude by SEII leadership was so intolerable to Masson, that they would not allow scientific debate on this important scientific topic, he chose to resign.

More detailed articles at The Telegraph and NoTricksZone:


Posted in Climate Science, Politics | 4 Comments

Fiddle or Fumble at NIWA

It is reported at the Climate Conversation blog that New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research Ltd (NIWA) have not properly followed their approved process for making temperature adjustments (for legitimate things like the urban heat island effect and station movements).  NIWA seems to have done whatever they liked to continue to show ‘global warming’ in New Zealand.

“It seems incredible that this agency has a monopoly on advice to the government on global warming when they’ve blatantly cooked the books to inflate the New Zealand temperature record. Who’s going to call them to account? Is their Minister paying attention?”

I highly recommend the article.


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