Category Archives : Theory


Page-Proofs of the DECR Paper 14

Corrected the page-proofs of my drought paper today. CRITIQUE OF DROUGHT MODELS IN THE AUSTRALIAN DROUGHT EXCEPTIONAL CIRCUMSTANCES REPORT (DECR) ABSTRACT This paper evaluates the reliability of modeling in the Drought Exceptional Circumstances Report (DECR) where global circulation (or climate) simulations were used to forecast future extremes of temperatures, rainfall and soil moisture. The DECR […]


Watts Tour at Emerald 4

Anthony’s Tour continues at a breakneck pace this week — with only four venues to go. The talks at Emerald that I organized went quite well, considering this is a small regional town. About 80-100 people attended an teaser session during the Property Rights Australia meeting during the day, and around 40 attended at night. […]


Niche Logic 7

The ‘strongest male’ is itself a highly variable component. How to formalise this as a niche? Preamble. All we have, really, are observations. To put niches into a statistical framework, we only have the expected distributions of those observations (both singly and jointly). Selection (either natural or through our study design) changes the distribution of […]


Niche Theory 28

A couple of questions from the last nichey post prompted this post. Geoff said that: I’m not even sure what is meant by an optimal environment for a species/genus/whatever. while Andrew said that: it wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of species tend to live at the margins of their “ideal” habitat. We need a […]


No evidence of global warming extinctions 6

My rebuttal of Thomas’ computer models of massive species extinctions has been mentioned in a statement by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch before the United States Senate, on June 10, 2010. 1. Stockwell (2000) observes that the Thomas models, due to lack of any observed extinction data, are not ‘tried and true,’ and their doctrine of […]


What is Scepticism? 16

Sceptic – from the Greek skeptikos one who reflects upon, from skeptesthai to consider. Scepticism is variously described as a doubting or questioning attitude, a person who uses their mind creatively, or even someone who demands physical evidence in order to be convinced (especially when this demand is out of place). To consider carefully with […]


Lessons from La-La Land 6

Is the anthropogenic climate change controversy just an episode in an ongoing drama, and if so what is the main theme? The Catallaxyfiles in RSPT in la la land review a number of biting newspaper editorials on the Resource Super Profits Tax (RSPT), providing a possible answer by replacing a few words. Funny thing is, […]


Super Taxes and Hauser's Law 9

Will a 40% tax on mining profits increase government revenue from the sector? If you apply the theoretical perspective of Hauser’s Law, maybe not. Hauser’s Law is based on an empirical observations that no matter what the tax rates have been, in postwar America tax revenues have remained at about 19.5% of GDP.


Problem 2 of Climate Science 15

Problem 2. Cointegration was developed in economics to deal with a problem of spurious correlation between series with stochastic trends. Why should spurious correlation be a concern if the trends in temperature and GHGs are deterministic? Sometimes I’ve been accused of over-simplifying, but I do try to make models as simple as possible, because it […]


Problem 5 of Climate Science 40

Problem 5. Why do most of the forecasts of climate science fail? If climate science had a history of accurate forecasts, it would have a foundation for greater credibility. That is what is expected in other fields. Instead, it is “denialist” to say that climate science has a lousy record of predictions. When I started […]


Problem 3 of Climate Science 23

Problem 3. Why is the concept of ‘climate’ distinguished from the concept of ‘weather’ by an arbitrary free parameter, usually involved in averaging or smoothing or ’scale’ transformations of 10 to 30 years? The recent article on Question #9 by Meiers and response by Stephen Goddard used a coin toss analogy to answer this question. […]


Cointegration 45

So now the fun starts. We have established the integration order of the variables in the RadF file, we impose the rule that only variables of the same order can be combined, and in particular that they cannot be cointegrated with temperature which is I(1). In this case all the anthropogenic variables in RadF are […]


Integration Order of RadF.txt 29

The test of integration order from the previous post is applied to the major atmospheric forcings used in the GISS global climate models in recent years. These are available for 1880 to 2003 in a file called RadF.txt The codes for the forcings are self explanatory: W-M_GHGs, O3, StratH2O, Solar, LandUse, SnowAlb, StratAer, BC, ReflAer, […]


editorial 69

I try not to pen editorials. OK here goes. I respect the attention given to this blog, as there are plenty of other great blogs on climate change, politics, finance, etc to read. I try to stay an ‘on message’ advocate for numeracy. Everyone has something to offer from their experiences though. Right at this […]


Rahmstorf Reamed 32

The Australian reports a major new controversy after Britain’s Met Office denounced research from Stefan Rahmstorf suggesting that sea levels may increase by more than 1.8m by 2100. Jason Lowe, a leading Met Office climate researcher, said: “We think such a big rise by 2100 is actually incredibly unlikely. The mathematical approach used to calculate […]


Recent Climate Illogic 9

Environment minister Peter Garratt claimed recent figures on Australian temperature prove Opposition leader Tony Abbott was wrong to claim that the world had stopped warming. Substitute Australia for the World, and the last 100 years for 10 years, and you might get close to the actual claim, similar to that made by respected climate physicist […]


EMD Estimates of Natural Variation 59

Our approach so far has been to model natural climate variation of global temperature with sinusoidal curves, and potential AGW as increasing trends. A new algorithm called EMD (Empirical Mode Decomposition) promises to more robustly identify cyclical natural variation (NV), showing the contribution of NV and AGW to global temperature, and testing the IPCC claim […]


Magnetism Science Exercise 7

This numeracy exercise for schools can be adapted to grades pre-up. You need: 1. A number of strong magnets, at least two per group 2. Iron filings 3. Selection of nuts of various metals: iron, copper, brass, some lead sinkers. The hour long exercise is presented as an introduction to scientific thinking in the higher […]


Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature 115

A potential AGW buster, attributing decadal temperature variation largely to internal oceanic effects, ENSO and over the longer term the 1976 Great Pacific Climate Shift, as we did here, is a new paper by Australian John McLean, with New Zealander Chris de Freitas, and Australian ex-pat Kiwi Bob Carter. That mean global tropospheric temperature has […]


Smooth Operator 13

The replication of the highly influential Rahmstorf 2007 A Semi-Empirical Approach to Sea Level Rise, one of the main sources of projected sea level rise, was reported in the previous post. In a now discredited (and disowned) Rahmstorf et al 2007 publication, Steve McIntyre showed that Rahmstorf had pulled an elaborate stunt on the community […]