Jennifer writes to the Minister.

Many Australians go along with the catastrophic climate change myth because they find it hard to believe the sheer scale of the bureaucratic and scientific corruption necessary to maintain it. If you are one of them read this.

Jennifer Marohasy is a research scientist specialising in weed control and environmental management. The need for accurate meteorological data in her work has led her to question the current practice of “adjusting” historical Australian meteorological records. She recently wrote about this to the new Parliamentary Secretary for the Minister to the Environment, Mr Bob Baldwin MP.

Her letter concludes:

In conclusion, while the Bureau professes to use world’s best practice in the construction of temperatures series that ostensibly show run-away global warming, the techniques employed could perhaps be better described as designed to exclude the hot years of the Federation drought, negate the cooling evident across much of the continent from 1910 to 1950, and exaggerate recent warming from at least 1970 to 2000. That many senior managers at the Bureau have built their careers on the notion that temperatures will continue to increase, and are recorded in the Climategate emails as believing in the need to continually reinforce to the public that temperatures will continue to increase irrespective of the evidence, means the committee has a mighty job restoring some integrity to the official national temperature record. Indeed, I believe this will only be possible when there is cultural change at the Bureau, and within the climate science community more generally. I nevertheless wish you, and the new panel all the best in this most important endeavour.

The full text can be downloaded here.

Note that this “world’s best practice” in massaging records is precisely the same as that used by NASA in bringing us the “record hot year” of 2014.

Vocal Climate Change Denialism

We recently came across the following Web page:


2013 MSSI Seed Funding Project: Climate Change Deniers

Coordinating Investigator: Dr Raymond Orr, Social & Political Sciences, Arts

Project Team:
• Prof Robyn Eckersley, Social & Political Sciences, Arts

We propose a pilot study on the attitudes of vocal climate change deniers. Through the use of a Q Study we will conduct an in-depth examination of the epistemologies of climate deniers in order to determine whether their claims are falsifiable according to their own knowledge-frameworks and what informs their environmental knowledge. The study will contribute to the growing research on climate change denialism and strongly position us for funding towards a larger project that examines the statistical representativeness of different types of denialism among political elites compared to the general public.

(Wikipedia states: Q-methodology is used in clinical settings for assessing a patient’s progress over time.)

Could this be the first step toward listing VCCD, Vocal Climate Change Denialism, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5)? So far there appear to be no qualified psychiatrists on the project team but surely that it is only a matter of time once funding becomes available.

It has been suggested that VCCD is closely associated with VCD, Vocal Communist Denialism, which was once widespread in the Soviet Union where it became so virulent that Stalin’s doctors found it necessary to incarcerate patients in psychiatric institutions for their personal safety.

Note the inclusion of the word “vocal” in the definition. It will not be sufficient to front up to your GP looking for a sickie with the words “I don’t believe in climate change, Doc”. The symptom has to be an impulsive, Tourette-style, vocal outburst like saying “Climate change is crap” while on national television.

This promises to be a very fruitful field of research. There are ample historical precedents, viz.:
vocal phlogiston deniers, vocal phrenology deniers, vocal aether deniers, vocal astrology deniers and vocal Lamarck deniers.

We include a diagram of the solar system once widely used in the treatment of VGDs (vocal geocentric deniers) in the sixteenth century in much the same way that graphs of global average temperature and CO2 concentration are used in the treatment of VCCD today.

The Solar System according to Ptolemaic astronomy.
The Solar System according to Ptolemaic astronomy.


An Inconvenient Truth

An Inconvenient Truth

John Reid

A new satellite, OCO-2, shows that most CO2 is coming from the rain forests and rice paddies of the Third World.

This is what was expected:

GEOS-5 predicted CO2 concentrations for 13 November 2006
GEOS-5 predicted CO2 concentrations for 13 November 2006

This is what was observed:

OCO-2 observed mean CO2 concentrations for the period 1 October to Nov 11 2014 (see previous post).
OCO-2 observed mean CO2 concentrations for the period 1 October to Nov 11 2014 (see previous post).

After three decades of breast beating, a single set of observations by NASA satellite OCO-2 has shown that the conventional wisdom about CO2 is fundamentally wrong. Prior to launching the satellite NASA developed a numerical model called GEOS-5 to predict where concentrations of CO2 were likely to occur and to help interpret the satellite data. A super-computer used the model to generate daily maps of the expected global distribution of CO2 . These were compiled into a 3 minute video which can be seen in full at .

The diagrams shown here are screenshots from that video.

The above image is, admittedly, a worst case. A better fit occurred three weeks earlier in model time:

GEOS-5 predicted CO2 concentrations for 25 October 2006
GEOS-5 predicted CO2 concentrations for 25 October 2006

The comparison is better but still cannot be described as “good”. Obviously something is happening in the real world which is not accounted for by the model.

This good science. The GEOS-5 model is almost as important as the satellite observations themselves. The model tells us what to expect based on current knowledge of both CO2 production and atmospheric circulation and explains some of the features observed in the satellite map, e.g. the high levels of CO2 observed near the southern tip of Greenland resemble the plume from industry in Eastern USA and Canada seen in some of the GEOS-5 maps

But the important thing is that the model greatly underestimates CO2 production in South America and central southern Africa and none of the frames in the video indicate any significant production in Indonesia at all. NASA lamely attributes the Indonesian hot-spot to Australia. Australian industry is confined to the diagonally opposite corner of the continent and winds generally blow from Indonesia towards S.E. Australia.

We must conclude that CO2 production is closely associated with subtropical vegetation and that the magnitude of this source has hitherto been greatly underestimated.

Of course this does not in itself account for the rising trend in globally averaged CO2 observed observed over several decades at atmospheric baseline monitoring stations such as Mauna Kea and Cape Grim but it does imply that we may need to re-examine the glib assumption that this is entirely due to Northern Hemisphere industrialization. These observations suggest increasing CO2 could be just as readily attributed to vegetation changes associated with increasingly intensive rice cultivation in S.E. Asia.

The 2013 Climate Change Conference (COP) in Warsaw, Poland was a critical step in obtaining financial commitments from industrialized countries for the ‘loss and damage’ that global warming has already caused to poor nations (also known as ‘climate debt’ or ‘climate reparations’). This thrust is expected to continue at the Paris Climate Convention commencing November 30, 2015.

It will prove much harder to win this blame-and-liability argument if it becomes evident that Western industrial activity may not be the sole cause of elevated CO2 levels.

Mapping Carbon

NASA/JPL-Caltech. Click to enlarge.
NASA/JPL-Caltech. Click to enlarge.

Mapping Carbon

John Reid


After ten years in the planning and numerous technical setbacks and glitches (which included a rocket failure) NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory – 2 (OCO-2) is finally sending high quality data back to earth. The satellite makes continuous, precise measurements of atmospheric CO2 concentrations over most of the planet by means of absorption spectroscopy. The diagram is a compilation of mean atmospheric CO2 concentrations for the 6 week period period commencing 1st October 2014.

Hopefully this satellite is likely to be returning similar data for many years into the future so these results are only a tentative “sneak preview” of what is to come. They were obtained during northern fall and southern spring. Since CO2 concentrations are most likely influenced by biological processing in plants, animals and fungi, future measurements in other seasons will be of prime importance in understanding the earth’s carbon cycle.

World Vegetation Map
World Vegetation Map

Nevertheless there are already some real surprises, viz.:

  1. Over land, CO2 concentrations are dominated by vegetation type – the high concentrations over South America, Southern Africa and Indonesia correspond closely to tropical evergreen rainforest and tropical deciduous forest and scrub (click on global vegetation map above).
  2. There are unexpected but significant concentrations over the oceans. The concentrations in the South Atlantic and near Madagascar may well be due to an eastward drift from the nearby continental concentrations due to the general easterly trend in atmospheric circulation. However the concentrations east of Japan and north of New Zealand cannot be explained in this way, nor can the concentration near the southern tip of Greenland. Some of these have been attributed to tectonic acivity in an article by Prof. Martin Hovland of the University of Bergen.
  3. There is little evidence that CO2 from industry plays much part in the total scheme of things. Western Europe as a whole shows little evidence of excess CO2 production apart from the Eastern side of the Adriatic Sea where there is little industrial activity.  England appears to have been a net sink for CO2 in autumn.
  4. The high concentrations over China may well be due to industrial activity but it could also be attributed to excess emissions from subtropical broadleaf rainforest at this time of the year. We will have to wait another six months to get a clearer picture. A similar argument applies to the SE corner of the United States

It is already obvious that these observations are a serious embarrassment to NASA’s front office. NASA’s caption to this map reads as follows:

Global Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

Global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations from Oct. 1 through Nov. 11, as recorded by NASA’s Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2. Carbon dioxide concentrations are highest above northern Australia, southern Africa and eastern Brazil. Preliminary analysis of the African data shows the high levels there are largely driven by the burning of savannas and forests. Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialized Northern Hemisphere regions in China, Europe and North America.

This cannot go unchallenged:

above northern Australia,

er, that country is called Indonesia, I-n-d-o-n-e-s-i-a. Perhaps it is politically incorrect to name a third world country in this context.

high levels driven by burning of savannas and forests

Indeed? Levels that massively exceed the industrial emissions of Western Europe? I look forward to the peer-reviewed paper on this one. That certainly is a lot of grass.

Elevated carbon dioxide can also be seen above industrialized …Europe Where? I must be looking at a different map.

The situation may well change as more data becomes available – new ideas will certainly emerge and it may be decades before it is all understood.

The fact remains that in six weeks this satellite changed the face of climate science. NASA should be proud of the people who carried this through and not seek to obfuscate their findings.