The Australian has a printed a response by Plimer to some of the criticism he has received. Plimer opens with:

In Heaven and Earth – Global Warming: The Missing Science, I predicted that the critics would play the man and not discuss the science.

Then he proceeds to play the man and not the ball, calling his critics “arrogant pompous scientists”, saying that they lack “common sense” and the scientists who criticised him on Lateline were merely “an expert on gravity, a biologist and one who produces computer models”.

And how does he respond to the numerous specific criticisms of all the science he got wrong? He simply denies that it exists:

No critic has argued science with me.

He even then goes on to refer the Age story which lists several problems with his science:


Some questions Plimer can’t answer. His book challenges claims that six of the warmest years since industrialisation were between 1998 and 2006, instead quoting NASA figures that the hottest four years were in the 1930s. He fails to say in the book that this data is for the US alone.

Some of his critics say they are surprised that a former head of the University of Melbourne geology department, with more than 120 published papers to his name, would include unsourced graphs in his book. Asked where he found one graph showing temperatures across the 20th century differing markedly to the data used by the IPCC or the world’s leading climate centres, Plimer says he can not recall.

David Karoly, also an IPCC author, says there are other examples of misleading use of data. The first graph in the book contrasts temperature over the past two decades with climate models used by scientists, but averages the models together, removing the variation they factor in.

Here’s what he says about the Age piece:

In The Age (Insight, May 2), David Karoly claims that my book “does not support the answers with sources”. Considering that the book has 2311 footnotes as sources, Karoly clearly had not read the book. Maybe Karoly just read up to page 21, which showed that his published selective use of data showed warming but, when the complete set of data was used, no such warming was seen.

Well, yes, he has a lot of footnotes, but all too often they don’t say what Plimer says they do, for yet another example look at the very footnotes he refers to. In his book Plimer writes:

[Santer] added references to his own work which showed warming from 1943 to 1970.[17] However, when a full set of data from 1905 to after 1970 was analysed by others, no warming was seen.[18]

Plimer didn’t just one thing wrong here, he got everything wrong.

Footnote 17 is Santer et al Nature 382, 39 – 46 (1996). It did not show “warming from 1943 to 1970″. It looked at the spatial pattern of temperature change in the atmosphere from 1963 to 1987 and this didn’t just show tropospheric warming, it showed stratospheric cooling. And the point of the study was not to the existence of warming as Plimer implies but the attribution to human influences on carbon dioxide, sulphates and ozone. That’s four mistakes about his footnote that Plimer made in just half a sentence.

Footnote 18 is Michaels and Knappenberger Nature 384, 522-523 (1996). They analysed a different radiosonde data set that went from 1958-1995 (not 1905 to after 1970). By calling it a “full” data set Plimer implies that it was superset of the data Santer analysed and that Santer et al cherry-picked, but it was not. In their reply, which Plimer does not mention at all in his book, Santer et al state that the the data set the Michaels used has instrumental biases and spatial deficiencies. Finally, Michaels’ analysis did not find that there was no global warming. Rather he found no warming for the 850-300-hPa layer between 30 and 60° S latitudes. That’s four more mistakes in Plimer’s next sentence.

And his whole book is like this. Everyone I’ve spoken to about it has been shocked by the sheer number of errors Plimer packs onto every page.

Comments

  1. #1 Richard Simons
    May 16, 2009

    Peter Smith wrote:

    In other words….of course CO2 levels go up with rising temperatures. It gets released from the warming oceans and as ice melts!

    In that case, the CO2 content of the oceans will be decreasing by an amount sufficient to account for the increased quantity in the atmosphere. Are you quite sure about that? Have you looked at the actual data?

    (It is, of course, nonsense.)

  2. #2 Former Skeptic
    May 16, 2009

    Isn’t it quite funny how from 1998-2007 we had the biggest worldwide boom in economic activity, released more man-produced CO2 than ever before…and the world cooled!!!

    Why start at 1998? Why use old data? Try analyzing 1999-2008 temperature data instead! Temperatures during these period were *warming* at a rate *much faster than before!!!!!!11111oneoneone!!!* (http://newscenter.lbl.gov/press-releases/2009/05/01/climate-experts-warn/)

    Tsk Tsk. If you want to be taken seriously, Sally, do read up on science from the IPCC and not swallow crap from denialist blogs/newspapers. There’s no point in rehashing stupid falsities like the one your brain just farted out. It only stinks up the forum.

  3. #3 Peter Smith
    May 17, 2009

    Ho ho ho! Your sense of humour is exceeded only by your free time.

    Sally makes a good point about the last decade. We are constantly told by AGW alarmists of rapidly impending rising sea levels of 60-100 ft and other nonsensities and here most everyone admits temperatures are cooling in the last ten years.

    But for arguments sake, lets get back to more meaningful statistical analysis and look at global temps over the last 1500 years. How would you explain away the Medieval Warm period, which was as warm or warmer than today’s temperatures?

    AGW arguments might make some folks feel in some way more relevant in today’s world, but we are not experiencing it. We are experiencing ‘Modern Global Warming’. It is a natural occurance and it is as simple as that.

  4. #4 Chris O'Neill
    May 17, 2009

    Peter Smith:

    How would you explain away the Medieval Warm period, which was as warm or warmer than today’s temperatures?

    Blatant lie.

  5. #5 sod
    May 17, 2009

    here most everyone admits temperatures are cooling in the last ten years.

    no one here admits anything like that, because temperature actually was WARMING over the last 10 years!!!!

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1999/plot/wti/from:1999/trend

    your talking point is over 1 year old. the “cooling for a decade” claim was sort of true then, because the period would start in 1998, which was a warm OUTLIER. the claim is simply false today!

  6. #6 Peter Smith
    May 17, 2009

    So ten years of data is better than 11? I doubt it.

    But you conveniently hide from the real point I made that we have enjoyed warmer periods than now over the last 1500 years without the doomsday scenarios predicted by today’s alarmists and without the human produced levels of CO2 production. How do you explain it?

  7. #7 Sally Johnson
    May 17, 2009

    Sod: I have already debunked your woodfortrees chart. It relies on NSAS data which is widely considered manipulated for political gains in the AGW debate. See my other posts.

  8. #8 bi -- IJI
    May 17, 2009

    Shorter Peter Smith:

    The globe was cooling over the last 10 years, and even if it wasn’t, it was cooling over the last 11 years, and in any case this is just nothing but a distraction from the Medieval Warm Period!

    Shorter Sally Johnson:

    Any and all evidence supporting the global warming theory can be debunked by my handy conspiracy theory.

  9. #9 sod
    May 17, 2009

    So ten years of data is better than 11? I doubt it.

    doubt whatever you want. yes, 10 years of data NOT starting with an outlier is better than 11 years that DO start with an outlier.

    anyway, it wasn t me, who brought up the 10 years claim. you brought up the claim that 10 years show a cooling trend. your claim was false.

    man up and admit it.

    we have enjoyed warmer periods than now over the last 1500 years without the doomsday scenarios predicted by today’s alarmists and without the human produced levels of CO2 production. How do you explain it?

    the evidence that GLOBAL temperature were warmer during the “MWP” is slim at best. but i ll look at your data. when you finally provide some.

    Sod: I have already debunked your woodfortrees chart. It relies on NSAS data which is widely considered manipulated for political gains in the AGW debate. See my other posts.

    Sally, i doubt that you will debunk anything that i write during this life.

    if you don t like the NASA GISS data, try the satellite UAH data. it shows WARMING as well, over the last 10 years.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/uah/from:1999/plot/uah/from:1999/trend

  10. #10 Brian D
    May 17, 2009

    So ten years of data is better than 11? I doubt it.

    So eleven years of data (starting with an outlier) is better than 12? I doubt it.

    http://www.woodfortrees.org/plot/wti/from:1997/plot/wti/from:1997/trend

    Sally: We use Woodfortrees because it’s a handy way to express and compare multiple datasets. As Sod notes, the satellite data from UAH concurs with GISS’s, and has ever since UAH’s arithmetic error was uncovered ages ago.

  11. #11 Chris O'Neill
    May 17, 2009

    Peter Smith:

    But you conveniently hide from the real point I made that we have enjoyed warmer periods than now over the last 1500 years without the doomsday scenarios predicted by today’s alarmists and without the human produced levels of CO2 production. How do you explain it?

    You’re telling a lie. There is no evidence that this is true. Tell us what you think it is and I’ll point out where it is wrong.

  12. #12 Barton Paul Levenson
    May 18, 2009

    Sally Johnson writes:

    Of course more CO2 is released as ice melts and oceans warm!

    The oceans currently give off 90 gigatons of carbon per year and take in 92. They are a net SINK for carbon dioxide, not a net SOURCE. You could have looked this up. Please do some research before posting next time.

  13. #13 Sally Johnson
    May 18, 2009

    If you believe such theories then a little ice melting and raising the sea levels will also increase oceans’ abilities to take in CO2, the cause of global warming according to the alarmists, thus bringing everything back into equilibrium and giving so-called AGW no long-term net effect.

  14. #14 Chris O'Neill
    May 18, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    thus bringing everything back into equilibrium and giving so-called AGW no long-term net effect

    “long term” meaning around 100,000 years.

  15. #15 Paul Levinson
    May 19, 2009

    Wow! An AGW Alarmist who now wants to risk talking time periods longer than 150 years. This puts you on very thin ice my friend because it will force you to acknowledge the Medieval Warm Period, the 1500 year climate cycle and a lot of evidence you alarmists are consistently attempting to debunk in your one-eyed AGW proclamations.

  16. #16 Bernard J.
    May 20, 2009

    Tim Lambert.

    Can we lose the troll who used a portion of Barton’s name to say nothing sensible at all?

  17. #17 jemima
    May 20, 2009

    Sally Johnson is … Graeme Bird in drag, funnier and with feathers.

  18. #18 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    You stick to childish name calling and I’ll focus on facts.

    Fact: Australia has not experienced a significant warming trend in the last 100 years. Check stats at the National Climate Centre.

    Fact: The USA has not experienced a significant warming trend in the last 100 years.

    In fact, the opposite is true. It was warmer in the first half of the 20th century. Even James Hansen admits this much.

    So called “global temperature averages”, are devised in arbitrary ways by folks such as James Hansen at NASA, who have been provenn to massage their numbers with subjective formulas to create a trend favouring global warming.

  19. #19 bi -- IJI
    May 20, 2009

    Shorter Sally Johnson:

    “Global average temperature” is obviously an arbitrary construct. But “Australian average temperature” is obviously not an arbitrary construct. And, it’s a conspiracy.

  20. #20 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Not a conspiracy. Just a bunch of sheep blindly following James Hansen’s global temp formula.

  21. #21 Chris O'Neill
    May 20, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    You stick to childish name calling and I’ll focus on facts.

    Fact: Australia has not experienced a significant warming trend in the last 100 years.

    Check stats at the National Climate Centre.

    This graph is a joint product of the National Climate Centre and the Bureau of Meterorology. Anyone who thinks it has no significant warming trend is plainly delusional.

    Fact: The USA has not experienced a significant warming trend in the last 100 years. In fact, the opposite is true. It was warmer in the first half of the 20th century. Even James Hansen admits this much.

    James Hansen admits that 1934 in the contiguous US was within 0.01 deg C of 1998. i.e. they cannot be distinguished. This does not amount to 1934 being warmer than 1998. The graph of this data clearly shows that there was no sustained period in the first half of the 20th century that was warmer than recently.

    This Sally Johnson is a delusional nutcase who can’t even read a graph.

  22. #22 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Quoting James Hansen: “The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.”

    Hansen continues: “Yet in the U.S. there has been little temperature change in the past 50 years, the time of rapidly increasing greenhouse gases — in fact, there was a slight cooling throughout much of the country.”

  23. #23 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Nutcase who cannot read a graph? Why do you continue to post graphs of temperature anomalies when perfectly fine graphs of min/max temperature averages are available based purely on hard data and not subject to someone’s idea of a formula for averaging to make it look the way they want it to.

    Chris O’Niel: Using your own Met Bureau as a source, it is obvious average temperatures have not changed. For example, looking at raw data of annual highest temps from Gayndah Post Office in QLD from the late 1800s through till recent years you can see there is NO INCREASE in average highs.

    http://www.bom.gov.au/jsp/ncc/cdio/weatherData/avpdisplaytype=dataGraph&pstnnum=039039&pnccObsCode=40&pmonth=13

  24. #24 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    You may have to look up the max temp averages directly yourself. This blog does not appear to permit cutting and pasting of web links to well.

  25. #25 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Click on my name and you will see the graph. You will get similar results for any weather station in Australia (outside of a city).

  26. #26 Paul Levinson
    May 20, 2009

    Just popping in here to say I’m most decidedly not the Paul Levinson above who thinks people who are concerned about global warming are “alarmists” – I in fact think global warming could be a serious problem that needs addressing.

    See, for example, http://paullevinson.blogspot.com/2007/02/gore-nomination-for-nobel-prize-poetic.html

  27. #27 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    Sally Johnson @136.

    That Hansen quote is from August 1999. That was 10 years ago. It was true then – it is not true now, 10 years later. The decade since Hansen said that has been clearly and substantially warmer than the decade of the 1930s.

    Why do you denialists keep quoting decade-or-more old comments on recent results, as if they are current comments or recent results?

    Oh, yeah….

  28. #28 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    Sally Johnson is a Poe, yes?

    She is seriously using a data record consisting of the high temperature only from the one hottest day in each year? Throwing away the high temperature data from the other 364 days, and throwing away all 365 days of the low temperature data, and reducing the entire year’s worth of temperature records to a single datum reflecting a couple hours of the one day with the highest high temperature, and then arguing that the data analyses that include all this data are inferior to hers?

    Is it really possible for anyone to be that anive or sttupid?

  29. #29 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Fine – click on my name to get the “mean maximum temperatures” graph then.

    Lee, please work on your spelling (or typing skills, but I know you are feeling very alarmed right now so it must be difficult).

  30. #30 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    One station? Throwing away all the data from every other station? And still throwing out the low temp data?

    Why are you so devoted to throwing out so much of the data?

  31. #31 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    Because the more you mix and convolute data the less meaningful it becomes.

    The AGW Alarmists claim the earth is getting hotter. What better data to look at than mean maximum temperatures to prove this is not the case?

  32. #32 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    Shorter Sally:

    It is more meaningful to deduce Australia climate trends by looking at a single measure from a single station in a single location, than to use all the data from all the stations in Australia.

    snicker.

  33. #33 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    Meanwhile, for anyone who wants to see what is really happening in Australia, click MY name.

    You can select the data used, and the analysis, in that page. Look at mean minimum temperature, and it become really clear why Sally doesn’t want to use minimum temps.

  34. #34 Sally Johnson
    May 20, 2009

    That graph is the result of the Bureau’s “weighted average scheme” as it likes to call it. This ‘scheme’ also includes “reconstruction” of data not actually available.

    I’ll take the hard data results of individual stations to draw my conclusions.

  35. #35 Lee
    May 20, 2009

    Sally, that ‘weighted average scheme’ is simply a gridded averaging, to make sure that trends in regions with a lot of stations in a small area, don’t swamp trends with fewer regions in a larger area.

    You are taking an amazingly anti-science position, that analysis of data is impermissible. That is an absurd position.

  36. #36 Brian D
    May 20, 2009

    Sally:

    Stations, plural?

    Aside: Your rhetoric is virtually identical to the SurfaceStations.org crowd, who in one moment decry any form of data adjustment but in the next shout loudly about the urban heat island effect or other siting problems (which are adjusted for with publicly-available methods). This would seem to be a double standard — preferring raw data from individual stations over amalgam data weighted according to geographic impact practically requires you to demonstrate why the SurfaceStations.org complaint is wrong.

    Of course, mutually contradictory claims have never been a problem for those who deny reality. After all, there is no global warming and we’re not the ones doing it and stopping it would hurt the economy and it’s too late to try anyway.

  37. #37 jemima
    May 20, 2009

    “Sally Johnson”, “age 20″, at #132: “You stick to childish name calling and I’ll focus on facts”.

    Sally Johnson can’t _handle_ the facts, it’s nothing but denialist talking points gleaned from antiscience websites for her. Arguing that max temp data from _one_ location is in some way significant in the context of global climate change? It isn’t “fact” it’s delusion, as everyone with any training in science would know.

  38. #38 sod
    May 20, 2009

    Aside: Your rhetoric is virtually identical to the SurfaceStations.org crowd, who in one moment decry any form of data adjustment but in the next shout loudly about the urban heat island effect or other siting problems (which are adjusted for with publicly-available methods). This would seem to be a double standard — preferring raw data from individual stations over amalgam data weighted according to geographic impact practically requires you to demonstrate why the SurfaceStations.org complaint is wrong.

    very strong point. shouting: “why are they adjusting their data at all?” and “they don t adjust their data for UHI!” at the same time, is a trademark of the denialist crowed.

    that is, why they deserve the denialist name..

  39. #39 Chris O'Neill
    May 21, 2009

    Sally Johnson:

    Quoting James Hansen: “The U.S. has warmed during the past century, but the warming hardly exceeds year-to-year variability. Indeed, in the U.S. the warmest decade was the 1930s and the warmest year was 1934.”

    This is an out-of-date quote mine that was written in 1999. The warmest decade in the US in or around the 1930s was 1930 to 1939 inclusive which had an average anomaly of 0.49 deg C. The warmest decade on record was 1998 to 2007 inclusive which had an anomaly of 0.76 deg C or 0.27 deg C WARMER THAN 1930 TO 1939.

    Sally Johnson is dishonest or delusional or both.

  40. #40 Don Cooper
    May 24, 2009

    Another example of bias in “The Australian”: Christopher Pearson’s “Chairman Manne’s no to climate of dissent” is arguably full of half truths at best. Quoting from the mid-April Rasmussen poll, he says “…belief in global warming primarily caused by human activity is falling fast. For example, a mid-April Rasmussen poll tells us that in the past 12 months the number of Americans who say they believe it has fallen from 47% to 34%. Given that Australians have historically been more temperametally inclined to a sceptical attitude, its likely that we’ll be seeing an even greater swing locally.”

    What Pearson failed to tell his readers is that:
    The poll was of 1000 “likely voters.” In other words it was already significantly filtered before it was carried out.
    At the time of the poll, Americans were just coming out of one of the coldest winters since 1995 (ref http://www.climatelogic.com/system/files/forecasts/winter09/Reg110Dv00Elem02_12022009_pg.gif), hardly an auspicious time to poll them on global warming. Incidentally, although cold, this was still significantly above their mean winter temperature for the period 1895 to 2009. Australians, on the other hand, have had some very severe weather (floods in Queensland and unprecedented drought, high temperatures and bushfires in Victoria). As such, they may understandably be somewhat less sceptical of global warming.
    The Rasmussen poll also reported that “64% of voters now regard global warming as at least a somewhat serious problem, with 41% saying it is very serious.”
    58% of the respondents in the Rasmussen poll were of the opinion that “more nuclear power plants should be built in the United States.” This begs the question that if they don’t believe that coal fired power stations are significant in contributing to climate change, why go to nuclear power?
    In a separate American poll “Climate Change in the American Mind” of mid March 2009, researchers from Yale and George Mason Universities published results from a poll of more than 2164 Americans which indicated that “despite the economic crisis, over 90 percent of Americans said that the United States should act to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs.”
    The statistics quoted by Pearson from the Rasmussen poll are arguably worthless, and as a professional journalist, Christopher Pearson has clearly failed in his duty to supply objective and unbiased information to his readers.

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