Tag Archives: Penn & Teller

TV Sets and Global Warming – a Ground-breaking Study

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Climate scientists have developed new models which plot natural oceanic temperature cycles, solar activity, and cathode-ray-tube (CRT) television household penetration against average global temperatures over time.  They show a surprising an unexpected result.  The recent unprecedented change in climate appears to be closely related to the number of cathode ray television sets in use.

At the beginning of the second world war, there were only about 8000 sets in use.  By 1949, there were over 3,602,872 in the US alone, and by 1959 accumulated sales in the US totalled more than 67 million.  Sales continued through the 70s and 80s at over 10 million sets per year.  As the global economy flourished, the trend was replicated all over the developing world.  The studies showed that the globe warmed more and more rapidly, matching the rising numbers of TV sets, until around the turn of the millennium, when it paused for ten years, and now appears to be in decline.

Interestingly, the models hind-cast the temperature variations since 1950 with astonishing accuracy. And critically, when the CRT penetration is removed from the models, we cannot explain those temperature variations.  There is no other acceptable conclusion, no other factor that can achieve the match with temperature variations.

Ah, I hear you object, China and India, the new Asian super-economies, are booming.  The number of TV sets sold is sky-rocketing again.  If Global Warming has ceased, how could it possibly be related to TV sets?  Right now, the number of sets in use in the world is 1416338245.

Pay attention!  TV technology has undergone a sea change.  The cathode-ray tube is out.  In the twenty-first century, flat-screen TFT and LED screens have taken over.  These do not emit the same radiation as the older, earth-warming monsters that sat in the corner of the room and heated our planet.  And as the old CRT screens sputter, distort and die, they are being replaced by the new, green, tree-hugging, polar-bear-loving flatties.  We are saved!

Earlier climate models achieved a reasonable match using global CO2 atmospheric variations, enough to give cause to speculate that the reason for the rise might be CO2.  But only to speculate.  CO2 concentrations are still rising at an increasing rate, but the global temperature since 2000, initially flat, is now declining.

And that, dear readers, should be the end of the argument.  I defy you to show me that this little analysis is any less robust or scientific than all of the scientific reports used by the IPCC, Al Gore, the EU or Skeptical Science.  The data behind my reasoning shows a closer match to world temperature fluctuations than any of the computer models used by NASA, GISS or UEA.

Trust the science on this.  Using our model, we can predict with 98.73% certainty that the temperature will decline for the next thirty years to at least the same level as it was in 1970.  More likely it will be even lower, as by 2040 there will be very few CRTs still in use.

What’s that?  You want to examine my data?  You have a confounded cheek.  It’s commercially sensitive and the TV companies have placed it under an embargo.

And I didn’t archive it, and seem to have lost it.

Say “Climate Change” and You get Funding

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“A New Way to Understand what`s changing the Earth`s Climate?”

According to the Spacedaily website,”a new study led by Nadine Unger of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York City offers a more intuitive way to understand what’s changing the Earth’s climate. Rather than analyzing impacts by chemical species, scientists have analyzed the climate impacts by different economic sectors”.  In a paper published online by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Unger and colleagues described how they used a climate model to estimate the impact of 13 sectors of the economy from 2000 to 2100. They based their calculations on real-world inventories of emissions collected by scientists around the world, and they assumed that those emissions would stay relatively constant in the future.

Inventories of emissions.   This study purports to be about “climate impacts by different economic sectors”.  It is nothing of the kind.  It studies only the proportions of man-made CO2, methane and aerosols introduced to the atmosphere by each sector.  Proportions, incidentally, that are only a fraction of what nature itself introduces.  But it sells itself as an analysis that “shows that emissions from the power, biomass burning, and industrial sectors of the economy promote aerosol-cloud interactions that exert a powerful cooling effect, while on-road transportation and household biofuels exacerbate cloud-related warming”.  How do they reach that conclusion?  By calculations based on the “climate impacts” of the emissions that they have studied.  It seems that they have assumed rather more than just the constancy of the emissions.

No impact has actually been measured.  The climate impacts are assumed from computer modelling that assigns climate impacts in the model parameters.  So if the present temperature variations of the earth are within a bull’s roar of the variations predicted by the models, it is assumed that the assigned impacts must be correct.   If the temperature variation cannot be explained without those assigned impacts, the impacts must be true.  That is argument from ignorance.  Nevertheless, “studies” like this one accept those impacts as the truth, and base their analysis on those assumptions.

There are many analyses that discredit those assumptions, but none from the AGW camp that actually test them.

Now, if the study had collected the data, verified it, classified it and produced an inventory of emissions by economic sector as its output, it would have been worth while.  It would have provided potentially valuable information about the emissions of the identified economic sectors.  We actually need the data.  Pollution was a problem long before the emergence of the AGW spectre, and will remain a concern long after AGW goes the way of Y2K and all the other false Armageddons.

But of course, it would not have obtained the necessary funding.  So instead, it calls itself a climate study and presents its results in the form of advocacy for the IPCC agenda.  And that makes this “study” nothing but propaganda using the language of scientific jargon.  We are seeing too much of this from GISS, the CRU, the IPCC et al.  Tragically, this study will swell the vast pool of so-called “overwhelming evidence” relied upon by evangelical AGW advocates, television pop-science presenters and tax-hungry politicians.  But then, that was why it was commissioned.



Phil Jones on modern Global Warming Rates

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Q&A Part Two: Prof. Phil Jones on Global Warming Rates

Phil Jones is director of the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA).  The BBC’s environment analyst Roger Harrabin interviewed Professor Jones recently.  Professor Jones’ answers to the first two questions reveal that there is nothing unusual about the rate of warming in the twentieth century.  They also reveal strength of character.

Here’s the question about latest rates of warming compared with other known rates:

Do you agree that according to the global temperature record used by the IPCC, the rates of global warming from 1860-1880, 1910-1940 and 1975-1998 were identical?

Here is Phil Jones’ answer:

The warming rates for all 4 periods are similar and not statistically significantly different from each other.

Here are the trends and significances for each period:

Period Length Trend
(Degrees C per decade)
1860-1880 21 0.163 Yes
1910-1940 31 0.150 Yes
1975-1998 24 0.166 Yes
1975-2009 35 0.161 Yes


Here’s the question about global temperature change since 1995:

Do you agree that from 1995 to the present there has been no statistically-significant global warming?

Here is Phil Jones’ answer:

Yes, but only just. I also calculated the trend for the period 1995 to 2009. This trend (0.12C per decade) is positive, but not significant at the 95% significance level.

Jones is obviously uncomfortable about the implications of the questions (“Yes (I agree), but only just..”).  But he has the integrity to answer truthfully, knowing that the answers cast yet more doubt on the AGW cause, and especially on the IPCC, the CRU and the other organisations that promote AGW.

Because the first proves that there is nothing unusual about the rates of warming we have observed, even though there are now much higher levels of atmospheric CO2 that there were in 1880.  And the second confirms what skeptics have been saying for years – there has been no statistically significant global warming since 1995.  This is in spite of increased atmospheric CO2, and contrary to the exaggerated, repeated claims of accelerated global warming by NASA, the CRU and the IPCC.  So much for the need for urgent action.  We do have time to investigate properly the climatic effects of CO2, methane and whatever other demons are conjured up.

Now, if we could show that the Medieval Warm Period was as warm or warmer than present-day temperatures, and that it was global in extent, we could finally establish that the present global temperature is nothing out of the ordinary.  And that would mean that there is no need for any action at all – at least, not in respect of climate change.  Refreshingly, Phil Jones does not deny the MWP, and is aware of its impact on the debate.  See “References” section below for another blog on Phil Jones answers to the MWP question in the same interview, and how we can test the its extent and temperature during that period.

There are other real environmental issues with which we should deal, and other concerns about depending on diminishing commodities for our energy.  We don’t need global warming baloney to help us recognise those real issues – on the contrary, all the AGW noise has obscured them.


Phil Jones on the MWP: http://www.herkinderkin.com/2010/02/phil-jones-on-the-medieval-warm-period/

BBC Interview with Phil Jones: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/8511670.stm