Monthly Archives: January 2020

This is NOT natural

This graph should be on every billboard in the U.S.

Paleo from PAGES2K:

combined with the surface temperature from Cowtan & Way


We will not give up without a fight

Scientist Strike for Climate

I saw a story about a professor at Indiana University who was arrested for joining Jane Fonda’s “Fire Drill Fridays” climate protests.

How about us? How many of us are scientists and (unlike me) physically able to march? I did once (a few years ago when I still could) but as far as I know, I was the only scientist there.

Why aren’t we? Why are James Hansen, this guy at Indiana U., and I the only scientists I can say with certainty have marched in the streets in a climate protest, or gone on strike, or done the things that make students and people who don’t read climate blogs see.

I’m sure many of you (maybe even most) might be thinking, “Of course I’ve marched — you just don’t know about it.” Well … I don’t know about it. Maybe it’s time for a lot of people know about it.

Who here is a scientist who is willing to go on strike every Friday? Who will sit in inclement weather holding a sign saying “Science Strike for Climate”?

You think one person holding a sign won’t accomplish anything? Tell it to Greta.

Stupidest Climate Denier Comment Ever?

… came from Eric Worrall at the WUWT blog. He objects to claims that wilfire/bushfire will become worse in the future, even horrific. He objects that there’s just not enough trees to burn! To quote him exactly:

“Not only would these predicted superfires fairly rapidly run out of trees to burn …”

Apparently, Eric Worrall’s reason we shouldn’t worry about horrific wildfires/bushfires is that before long, there won’t be any trees left to burn.

Isn’t that a comforting thought?

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Ranges Overlap

In the last post I mentioned that when we have two different estimates, each with its own uncertainty range (note: I use the 95% confidence interval almost all the time, or to be precise the ±2σ range), the fact that their ranges overlap isn’t the proper statistical test for whether the estimates are significantly different. Somebody asked about that.

Just for a gut feeling: I know that when error ranges overlap, there are values that fall in the “plausible range” for both estimates, which suggests that the estimates may well be in agreement. But sometimes, those “plausible in both ranges” values are unlikely in both ranges. Unlikely isn’t so implausible, but unlikely for both is unlikely squared, and that’s too implausible to be plausible.

What follows is some of the math, and it’s really simple, really, but I know that turns off some readers. Others want it; feel free to skip it and enjoy the remainder of the day.

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Is the apparent recent acceleration in temperature significant?

Reader nzcpe wants to know. At the RealClimate blog, reader Robert McLachlan wants to know. So do a lot of people.

According to the data from NASA, it is:

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-2% of Global Warming Since 1979 Due to “Other Things”

Global temperature is affected by a lot of things, not just humans and their greenhouse gases. We know what some of those things are, and we can even estimate their impact over the last 40 years or so (since 1979 let’s say). Then we can subtract that effect from temperature data, to estimate how hot Earth would have been without those “other things.”

What other things, you wonder? Known factors include the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), volcanic eruptions, and variations in the output of the sun; published research outlines the method I used (although I’ve tweaked it a bit). Let’s take, for instance, the global temperature from NASA (monthly averages from January 1979 through December 2019):

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Australia Rain: Seasonal by State

I recently looked for trends in precipitation in New South Wales, searching for a regional rather than continental trend. There wasn’t much to find, no real evidence of change in the yearly average rainfall. But we can also look for trends on a seasonal rather than annual basis, and we can do so for all seven Australian states for which the BoM kindly provides precipitation data.

When we isolate seasons, we find some patterns strong enough to rise above the noise. For example, Victoria has been getting dryer during Autumn:

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Australia: Choose your Future

In recent posts I’ve featured graphs of the average daily high temperature in Australia during summer. Here’s one of temperature throughout the entire year; black dots show each year’s average, while the red line with pink shading around it shows an estimate of the trend and its uncertainty range (just an estimate, mind you, but it’s based on math, not on “looks like”)

The trend line emphasizes two things Australians need to know:

  • 1: The trend is going up — overall, Australia is hotter than it used to be and getting hotter.
  • 2: Temperature doesn’t just follow the trend. In addition to its “overall” pattern it also fluctuates, incessantly.

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  • TREND Australia TREND summer TREND temperature TREND

    Some people have wondered about the trend in Australia’s summertime daily high temperatures.

    The last post discussed Australia’s hottest summer (the latest) and Jennifer Marohasy’s attempt to pervert the truth. But I didn’t talk about the trend, which must have surprised regular readers because I tend to emphasize that. A lot. I did show this graph:

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