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Cross your heart, hope for pride

Crikey readers talk the provenance of putting one's hand on one's heart and the problem with solar panels.

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Crikey writes: Re. “China Trip an all-star affair“. Yesterday we stated Jennifer Westacott was the outgoing CEO of the Business Council of Australia. Of course, she’s not going anywhere; it was recently announced Catherine Livingstone would replace Tony Shepherd as president. We’re happy to correct the record.

Heartfelt gesture

Ian Wright writes: Re. “Hand on heart” (Friday). I remember, back in the late ’50s, when hats were worn by most men and the WWI diggers were still marching strongly (most only in their 50s) on Anzac Day, my late father (served in both WWI and WWII) instructing me in this same gesture of civilian respect for military ritual.

It’s not purely an American custom, it used also to be seen in the UK, and I have read anecdotes of its enforcement by British Military Police in the British Occupied Zone of Germany as regimental colours were paraded through the streets of occupied towns and cities before the establishment of the Federal Republic (West Germany) in (I think) 1953 (or was it ’57?).

It was during the “Youth Rebellion” of the late ’60s and early ’70s that the custom, like standing in flm theatres for the British national anthem, fell into disuse. I’m no advocate for its return, but let’s get the history and provenance right.

Shining a light on impending Solargate

Ken Lambert writes: Re. “Risk? What risk? The fossil fuel industry walks both sides of the street” (yesterday). Giles Parkinson totes out the predictable mantra of the green industry. The consensus is a nonsense — the basics of climate science are not settled as evidenced by the recent discovery of an amazing symmetry of the Earth’s hemispheric albedo — a result not predicted by any climate model, and poised to rewrite the “science” of climate modelling.

There is plenty of something else going on in the earth’s climate system producing the stasis in surface temperatures despite steadily climbing CO2 emissions, little of which is explained by current models.

Climate science robustness is a fiction heavily oversold by the alarmist climateers to frighten the crowds and keep the grants flowing.

Solar energy successful — yes, for the owners with heavy government subsidies paid for by the non-solar panel consumers of inflated electricity costs. Cheap Chinese panels have exploded all over Australia — with no redeemable warranties because most of the solar spivs have hit the toe or are buried in a maze of trusts and legal entities under the expert supervision of the likes of the Gillard-Rudd government.

Will these panels last 10, 15 or 25 years?  What is enough life to justify their real cost? What testing did Rudd-Gillard government do to establish the quality and durability of all the multitude of Chinese panels subsidised in Australia? What happens if they and their cheap inverters start cracking up prematurely?  Will Gillard be able to help — a pro bono legal case run from Adelaide Uni against the solar spivs perhaps? Will Rudd run a Harvard Business seminar on his experience with batts, boats and solar panels? Tune in for the entirely predictable Solargate fiasco coming soon to a roof near you.

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57 thoughts on “Cross your heart, hope for pride

  1. Ken Lambert


    If you think that Hansen’s 0.6W/m2 is wrong, here is a more recent update not by Hansen – it comes up with 0.6W/m2 as well. VIZ


    Note that the TSI is updated to 1360.8W/m2 – the SORCE number. Energy balance diagram also updated to 0.6W/m2

    And here is the Hansen, Sato, von Schukmann paper from 2011:


    A relevant quote:

    “Lyman et al. (2010) and Levitus et al. (2009) find smaller
    heat gain in the upper 700min the Argo era than that found in
    the upper 2000m by von Schuckmann and Le Traon (2011),
    as expected3. Although the accuracy of ocean heat uptake
    in the pre-Argo era is inherently limited, it is likely that heat
    uptake in the Argo era is smaller than it was during the 5–
    10 yr preceding full Argo deployment, as discussed by Trenberth
    (2009, 2010) and Trenberth and Fasullo (2010).
    Heat uptake at ocean depths below those sampled by Argo
    is small, but not negligible. Purkey and Johnson (2010)
    find the abyssal ocean (below 4000 m) gaining heat at rate
    0.027±0.009Wm−2 (average for entire globe) in the past
    three decades. Purkey and Johnson (2010) show that most
    of the global ocean heat gain between 2000m and 4000m
    occurs in the Southern Ocean south of the Sub-Antarctic
    Front. They estimate the rate of heat gain in the deep
    Southern Ocean (depths 1000–4000 m) during the past three
    decades4 to be 0.068±0.062Wm−2. The uncertainties
    given by Purkey and Johnson (2010) for the abyssal ocean
    and Southern Ocean heat uptake are the uncertainties for
    95 percent confidence. Additional observations available for
    the deep North Atlantic, not employed in the Purkey and
    Johnson (2010) method of repeat sections, could be brought
    to bear for more detailed analysis of that ocean basin, but because
    of its moderate size the global energy balance is not
    likely to be substantially altered.”

    Note that the estimated deep 2000m – 4000m is in the southern ocean south of the Sub-Antarctic front and an order of magnitude smaller than the estimated global imbalance.

    So far the missing heat (about 0.3 W/m2) ain’t there, probably because it was never missing to start with.

  2. Ken Lambert


    So we agree there is a ‘stasis’ in surface temps – not cherry picking?

    Sequestering of Trenberth’s missing heat in the 2000 – 4000m range was proposed because it was not being measured elsewhere.

    Tell me where ‘downwelling’ can occur to this depth?

    I am not talking about downwelling in surface waters to 700m or even to 2000m where Argo is the main source of measurement – far less than perfect for temperature measurement, where a system of fixed location buoys all reporting the same time would be accurate. We are talking about measuring to hundredths of a degree C here.

    “Anyhow. The Antarctic isn’t as important as the Arctic for driving climate.”

    Really? with 90% of the planet’s ice?

    “You still haven’t answered my points that if insolation was slightly less and albedo was slightly greater, then according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, without greenhouse gases, the average global temperature would be slightly less than the current accepted -18 degrees Celsius, in which case greenhouse gases are causing more rather than less warming to get to 15 degrees Celsius.”

    So what is your point? I was never arguing that the greehouse effect did not exist.

    The greenhouse effect can be likened to insulation of your house in winter. It slows down the heat loss, and raises the average temperature through the diurnal cycle. More insulation increases the T1-T2 temperature difference until a new equilibrium is reached. Because SB heat loss is proportional to T^4 in degrees K, (negative radiative feedback in IPCC table of forcings) it will outpace CO2 positive forcing which is logarithmic at which point a new equilibrium is reached. (That is a simplification ignoring several other heating and cooling forcings which include aerosols, black carbon on snow, ozone and solar cycles).

    “Half of the Antarctic is losing ice. Half is gaining it.

    I’d actually be concerned if climate scientists agreed 100%. There’s consensus and there’s consensus…”

    Indeed, precisely my point – the science is not settled. Scientific truth is not concluded by ballot.

  3. wayne robinson


    I finally found the comment you’re referring to. Trenberth is noting that increasing aerosols isn’t the cause of the lower atmosphere temperature stasis (stasis is a good term, because it describes the fact that there’s no increased heat going into the atmosphere from 1998 to 2012, because the data set was cherry picked to start with a warm El Niño year in 1998 and finish with a cooler La Niña year in 2012).

    Trenberth dismisses Hansen’s suggestion that increasing aerosols from China’s and India’s industrialisation increasing albedo is the cause of the stasis, because of direct top of atmosphere measurements.

    Hansen’s explanation can be dismissed too, just because global warming hasn’t stopped. Hansen’s explanation just is unnecessary. The oceans continue to warm. The Arctic icecap continues to melt.

    Antarctic sea ice continues to grow? References? The Antarctic is a special case, being a high continent surrounded by an ocean with a strong circumpolar oceanic current, isolating it from the rest of the world. The Antarctic became frozen around 30 million years ago, instead of 3 million years ago for the Arctic.

    Half of the Antarctic is losing ice. Half is gaining it.

    I’d actually be concerned if climate scientists agreed 100%. There’s consensus and there’s consensus…

    You still haven’t answered my points that if insolation was slightly less and albedo was slightly greater, then according to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, without greenhouse gases, the average global temperature would be slightly less than the current accepted -18 degrees Celsius, in which case greenhouse gases are causing more rather than less warming to get to 15 degrees Celsius.

    And also that your confident assertion that the only place that down welling of warm surface water occurs is near the poles where sea ice forms is just 100% wrong.

    I’m typing this at 1:30 am because it’s hot, and I can’t sleep. Perth has just had a 36 degree Celsius day in April! (OK, weather isn’t climate…)

  4. Ken Lambert


    Without getting too complicated, here is a pretty reasonable reference on global oceanic heat flows:


    The oceans are responsible for about a third of global heat flow, which is generally from the equator to the poles.

    Very little heat transport occurs below 2000m, and most of the transport is in the surface layers.

    The mechanism of getting significant heat sequestered down below 2000m in decadal time frames remains obscure.

    As to the Insolation and Albedo issues, if the outgoing LW radiation is unchanged as a function of the Earth’s radiating temperature and emissivity, and the Incoming radiation reduces, then the putative warming imbalance reduces or disappears – stasis in temperatures or cooling.

  5. wayne robinson


    My reading is that there’s no missing heat. The oceans are still warming, including 0 to 700 metres.

    It doesn’t take hundreds to thousands of years for currents to carry heat from the equator to the poles. If that was the case, ocean currents (such as the Gulf Stream) would be moving water at a rate of 10km a YEAR (even I can move faster than that). That’s just silly – ‘proofiness’ again?

    Agreed; the thermohaline circulation for a full circuit takes around 1500 years, but that’s because when the warm water has dropped to the ocean floor it has a much larger area (compared to surface currents) to meander.

    Global warming didn’t ‘officially’ start in 1975. The AGW doubters are right in noting that climate changes, always has changed. Global warming has occurred in the past – sometimes as a result of increased greenhouse gases, such as the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum.

    What is happening today is no different to what has happened in the past. In the long term, there’s no problem – life will persist on Earth as it has in the past. The trouble is we live in the short term.

    Anyway. Your reading comprehension skills still haven’t improved. You haven’t answered my questions. In particular, why do you think a slightly lower insolation and slightly larger albedo invalidate climate models, when actually they’re inputs into the models and not part of the models themselves?

    And why you trust Columbia climate scientists with their models of sea ice formation as support for your discredited claim that the only place where there’s downwelling of warm surface oceanic water is near the poles where sea ice forms?

  6. wayne robinson



    You have problems with reading comprehension. You’d claimed that the only place where there’s downwelling of warm surface water was near the poles where ice is being formed and I noted two places where down welling of warm surface water does downwell. I didn’t claim that that’s where the heat is being transferred to the deep oceans.

    Anyway, the Gulf Stream does drop to the bottom of the Atlantic basin south of Greenland in the world’s largest waterfall as I stated. And what is the depth of the Atlantic there?

    You’re changing the goal posts again, trying to get back to solar panels, when my objection to your comment was concerning the science. There was no ‘pause’. I find it interesting that you threaten that you have plenty of data you can ‘mine’ (reminds me of quote miners of creationists).

    Anyway. I have solar panels too. When I was offered a German inverter at an extra $500 I accepted it. I’ve had the panels for 4 years and they’re a benefit and not a liability. They cost $3000, and since then I haven’t had a power bill and still have a credit of $1000 with the electricity supplier.

    A motor car on the other hand is a liability. No one complains that most manufactured products have lost most of their value and function after 5 years. Concerning German reliability; remind me again of the German car manufacturer which refused to issue a car recall to rectify a major safety problem on one of its models? Despite doing it in other markets.

  7. Ken Lambert

    Wayne & Russ,


    Tell me the depths of the Gulf Stream and Strait of Gibraltar? I think you will find these are less than 1000m with the bulk of the warm water well within the 0-700m range. This is surface water.

    When sea ice is formed (due to sub-zero air temperatures cooling the seawater), latent heat is given up to the air and water. The fresh frozen ice ejects brine which is denser and and sinks against the temperature profile. (downwelling)

    Here is a quote from Columbia which explains:

    see; http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~louisab/sedpage/basics.html


    Sea-ice affects ocean circulation in two main ways. The first involves the salt/freshwater budget of the ocean. Sea ice holds a large amount of freshwater, forcing salt into the surface layer of the ocean. This increases the density of the water (along with heat loss), and in the North Atlantic Ocean causes it to sink, forming North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). If this freshwater were to be added to the ocean through melting sea-ice, many people believe that the strong density stratification would be enough to prevent NADW from forming. As NADW is a major part of the ocean conveyor circulation, this could greatly impact the ability of the ocean to take up CO2 from the atmosphere, transport nutrients, and transport heat to high latitudes.

    A gap in sea-ice cover, called a polynya, can also influence ocean circulation. There are two varieties of these holes- coastal and open-ocean polynyas. Coastal polynyas generally form around the Antarctic continent when strong winds blow ice offshore for 50-100 km (University 2001). Open-ocean polynyas occur in pack ice, and can range from a few kilometers across to 1000 x 350 km, the size of the Weddell Polynya in the Weddell Sea near Antarctica (University 2001). Open-ocean polynyas occur in the Arctic Ocean as well, but are not linked to any water mass formation there. In the Southern Ocean, however, open-ocean polynyas potentially allow enough cooling of surface water for deep convection to occur. Coastal polynyas are also linked to circulation, since they are associated with sea-ice formation near the coast. As ice is blown offshore, cold air forms new sea-ice near shore, which is also blown away. This leads to an area of high salinity water due to brine rejection, which sinks once the density is higher than the surrounding water.” endquote

    So you have your downwellings and upwellings mixed up. The 2000m action happens off the coast of the big ice shelves, not in the ice free oceans.

    BTW, I have never claimed that GHG don’t slow down heat transfer and produce the greenhouse effect forcing. The issue is how much, and what are the other cooling forcings.

    I never said solar panels are bad. I got some at home. Where did you think I got the cheap Chinese story? …direct experience old son, and talks with others. If you read the fine print, the warranties on these panels and inverters redeemable in Shanghai!! Try ringing Shanghai in 5 years when your $2000 inverter cracks up.

    The Chinese panel spivs have already hit the toe with the Gillard and Rudd taxpayer handouts.

    Since State Govts started dropping the heavy subsidies, and the consumer started getting educated without the rush to get the big feed-in tariffs, suppliers are now offering Europanels and German Inverters. If you know anything about electronics, the quality of the components is critical. Chinese have to be minutely supervised to ensure they don’t slip in cheap components. The Germans are a lot different.

    Happy to quote you Kevin Trenberth on the ‘pause’ – I have lots of emails and links to Realclimate, Skeptical Science and other data which I can mine.

  8. wayne robinson


    I now see how your mind works. The models of climate are wrong, so therefore AGW isn’t happening.

    I actually agree with you in part. All scientific models are wrong to some extent, being simplifications of complex physical systems. And that applies to all science, not just climate. Models are used to make predictions if certain certain conditions occur, which can then be used to compare to reality, assuming of course that the certain conditions did occur.

    A slightly smaller insolation and a slightly greater albedo should also mean a slightly smaller emission of heat from the Earth. When the revised figures are included in the models, then it should balance out – in the models.

    Anyway – there was no ‘pause’ in warming of the lower atmosphere. You’re just repeating the lie again. The ‘pause’ was manufactured by cherry picking the data by starting with an abnormally warm El Niño year in 1998 and finishing with a cooler La Niña year in 2012.

    ENSO should average out over the long term, but 15 years isn’t long term – and starting with an El Niño and finishing with a La Niña isn’t averaging.

    We might be at a solar maximum at the moment, but it’s a very weak one, the last time I looked, with very few sunspots.

    My reading is that the heat is also going into the upper 700 metres of the oceans too. I’m scratching my head about your assertion that ‘down welling warmer water can only happen where ice is formed close to the poles’. I thought it was a net upwelling there – contributing to the high productivity of Arctic and Antarctic oceans.

    Anyway – you have heard of the Gulf Stream haven’t you? The northern end of it finishes as the world’s largest waterfall south of Greenland (not much ice being formed there) as warm very salty water drops beneath the surrounding colder and less salty North Atlantic water.

    Also, there’s the Straits of Gibraltar in which the warm salty water of the Mediterranean flows out into the Atlantic beneath a current of colder surface water flowing in the opposite direction from the Atlantic.

    I’m not claiming that these are the two places at which heat is being transferred to the deep ocean. I’m just noting that your confident assertion of where down welling of warm surface water occurs is just 100% wrong.

    Geothermal heat? Agreed – 0.1 Watts per m^2 is an enormous amount of heat. But it’s still only 0.1 Watts per m^2, compared to the 250 Watts per m^2 (on average) coming from the Sun. It’s irrelevant.

    In all your comments on AGW, I’ve never seen you refer once to the well known and well understood properties of greenhouse gases. How about addressing that for a change? You seem to be relying on ‘proofiness’, throwing around seemingly plausible numbers, which are irrelevant.

    And anyway. There’s consensus and there’s consensus. I would be extremely worried if the 97% of climate scientists who agree that AGW is occurring, agreed 100% in all the details. If that ever happened, I’d be suspecting a conspiracy.

    No wait – the climate scientists are involved in a conspiracy to get funding. They’ve agreed to disagree so as to obscure the conspiracy. Let’s see; the less evidence there is for a conspiracy, the more likely is a conspiracy; if there’s no evidence of a conspiracy, it’s evidence of a very successful conspiracy; the fact that these points aren’t generally known is evidence of yet another conspiracy.

  9. Ken Lambert

    Wayne Robinson

    Pretty sensible comment Wayne, we might end up agreeing.

    My thesis is that climate scientists have made claims to 97% (you know – 97% of us agree) certainty which the emerging evidence does not support.

    I conducted an extensive dialog on Realclimate with Gavin Schmidt, which resulted in him agreeing that the TSI from SORCE (4.5W/m2 lower than the accepted number) was in fact correct and that the new number of 1361.5W/m2 would ‘work its way through the scientific literature’.

    It turned out that earlier satellites had an aperture problem which overestimated the TSI. SORCE design fixed this unknown problem and was reading the lower figure since 2005. In 2009 correspondence with Trenberth – he told me that SORCE was rubbish on their attempt at the energy balance which used their 2005 TSI data.

    French satellite data presented at the DEC 2011 AGU meeting confirmed that the SORCE data was right.

    Why is this important? Well when you are trying to find a 0.6W/m2 imbalance in a incoming/outgoing radiation flux of 240W/m2, then small changes in the albedo and TSI can easily smother the putative imbalance. The 100W/m2 reflected by the Earth’s albedo depends a lot on the estimate of that very albedo used in climate models. All climate models to date have used a different NH and SH albedo because of the much different land/ocean area ratio in the southern hemisphere. Hence the significance of the Voight data. No current model uses it.

    In fact we cannot measure the energy imbalance directly with any accuracy – not even if it is positive or negative. The 0.6-0.9 W/m2 imbalance is derived from MODELS, chiefly Hansen from 2005.

    Any then we come to the ‘pause’. Trenberth’s missing heat can only be sequestered deep in the oceans – because it is not measured in the top 700m.

    Explanations; Funny succession of ENSO cycles. But ENSO is supposed to be an internal redistribution of heat – not a cyclical external forcing. ENSO should be heat neutral unless it is a cyclical external forcing which no climate scientist claims.

    Deep ocean warming; This is the fantastical one. Downwelling of warm water on a vast scale against the density profile of deepeningly colder seawater, and in the opposite direction to geothermal heat rising from the ocean bottom at an average 0.1W/m2 across the planet.

    Don’t forget that the equilibrium energy balance of the planet is about -0.1W/m2 at top of atmosphere which is the geothermal heat rising from the bottom of the ocean. If this heat did not exit through the TOA, then the oceans would boil off over thousands of years.

    Downwelling warmer water can only happen where ice is formed close to the Poles and the salinity overwhelms the thermal density profile. Where is the evidence of this in the open ice free oceans?

    Does this rising geothermal heat wave hello to the passing downwelling climate change heat driven by ‘stronger surface trade winds’ at say 2000m below the surface as they pass in the water column in time frames of a few years? Where is the evidence that surface trade winds affect anything but the surface layers?

    Asian aerosols; Trenberth doesn’t believe this reason and Hansen does! Scientific concensus?

    Quiet Sun: Well according to SORCE, the 11 year solar cycle bottomed out in about July 2009, so we have had a full 11 year solar cycle since 1998. The pause is now 15 years – longer than an 11 year solar cycle. We are looking at a solar maximum around the end of 2014-early 2015, so temperatures should have been rising for the last 4-5 years.

    So there are a few good reasons to be skeptical of the ‘settled concensus’.

  10. Ken Lambert

    Wayne Robinson

    Last week’s Economist – a mildly warmist in climate change comment will tell you about the ‘pause’. So will Trenberth et al in a range of quotables over the last couple of years.

    Here are a few new facts. Hansen’s original 0.9W/sq.m global warming energy imbalance from 2005 – assumed and built into many climate science papers has been reduced to 0.6W/sq.m by the man himself and others who have recently supported a similar figure or less. This a one third reduction in global warming over what was assumed until recently.

    There is no coherent explanation for the ‘pause’ in warming evident over the last 15 years despite ever growing CO2 emissions and a theoretical increasing warming imbalance from CO2 and other GHG.

    Asian aerosols, natural variability, funny ENSO cycles strong trade winds (yes it is more windy all over the oceans driving the heat down 2000m) are all being thrown around in current debate – definitely unsettled.

    Last week’s Economist came up with a couple of explanations – at least one too many…..both can’t be right. How silly of climateers to produce too many explanations for the ‘pause’…they don’t realize that one right explanation is enough; and a surfeit of explanations to defeat the skeptics confirms that the science is far from settled.

    Recent satellite data has confirmed that the TSI is indeed reduced by 4.5 W/sq.m originally posed in 2005 – and poo-pooed by leading climate scientists until last year. This recasts all the calculation of actual warming imbalance and particularly the true value of the Earth’s albedo or reflectivity to solar radiation.

    And lastly, the very recent data on the albedo and emissivity of the northern and southern hemispheres which controls the incoming SW and outgoing LW radiation has shown an amazing symmetry within very tight tolerances. This result is not reproducable in current climate models due to the large differences in ocean and land areas and other factors between the hemispheres.

    This fact alone is a non trivial discovery which will probably blow all of the current modelling out of the water.

  11. wayne robinson


    Care to elaborate on why the symmetric hemispheric albedo to short wave radiation discovered by Voigt et al is a problem for AGW?

    Anyway. There’s no stasis in surface temperatures (I take it you mean lower atmosphere temperatures, because global temperatures also include the oceans, the cryosphere and the ground).

    The ‘pause’ was manufactured by cherry picking the data, starting with an abnormally warm year in 1998 due to a strong El Niño event and finishing with a cooler year in 2012 due to a moderate La Niña event.

    As an analogy, suppose you have a coin rigged to give ‘heads’ on 60% of tosses. Suppose you toss it 60 times and record the result with each toss. You’d expect around 36 heads. If you divide the 60 tosses into sequential ’10s’, you’d expect 6 heads in each 10, but you wouldn’t be surprised if you got 5 or 7. Perhaps you’d be surprised if you got 4 or 8 heads.

    Suppose you scan the results and note that ‘tails’ came up on the 44th throw. And on the 60th and last throw. And count heads or tails in the intervening 15, which happened to divide 60/40 as expected (9 heads and 6 tails) resulting in 9 heads and 8 tails for the last 17 throws, near enough to an even distribution.

    You wouldn’t argue that the coin is fair based on the last 17 throws would you? Or note that in two of the 10s, you got 5 heads (so the coin’s fair) or 4 heads (indicating that the coins rigged towards tails) would you? Perhaps you would.

    That’s precisely what happens with cherry picking data. Despite cherry picking, global lower atmosphere temperatures still increased by 0.01 degrees Celsius from 1998 to 2012 – statistically insignificant. But statistically insignificant only applies when the data analysed is randomly selected.

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