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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.



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


    Coal will be around for some time yet, Abbott has the 5% direct action target.

    This is appropriate for Australia with less than 1.5% of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, until a comprehensive international agreement binds the big emitters to firm targets.

    Remember Gillard’s carbon tax? Well it was designed to shut down ‘dirty brown coal’ plant like Hazelwood – and ended up making it more valuable. The brown stuff is so cheap that it was still cheaper than other base load generation WITH the carbon tax.

    Renewables all need cheap efficient storage and proximity to the load. Solar PV and Wind (Australia isn’t near as windy as NZ) are great when the sun shines and wind blows, and the taxpayer pays.

    Anyway China will probably stop burning coal because of air pollution before that and turn to nuclear (and maybe some viable renewables when they run out of subsidised Solar PV customers in the rich countries).

    The US and Europe will get the frack on with gas at half the emissions of coal.

  2. Russ Hunter

    Ken. Your stated position on emissions is so far from the tone and tenor of your arguments as to make you a walking hypocrisy. Given the Abbott government is embracing coal over renewables and giving science the finger, it makes no sense that you seem devoted to attacking any part of the green movement. Your position and actions can’t be reconciled. It begs the question of your stated position being an exculpatory device or that you are a very confused individual.

    Less power to you.

  3. wayne robinson


    Agreed – you’ve given an answer several times. The trouble is is that it’s the answer to a completely different question. Answer why you made the statement I’ve listed above.

    And the ‘pause’ doesn’t exist. It was manufactured by the Daily Mail by cherry picking the data set.

    For what it’s worth, lower atmospheric temperatures for the period of the ‘pause’ are above the trend line of the past century.

  4. Ken Lambert


    I did not enter this debate for your appreciation.


    I have answered the question several times Wayne – your harping is just a cover for your own lack of knowledge.

    ‘The pause doesn’t exist’ is a mantra of faith Wayne, a mantra of a Green religion which can’t stand the idea that its exaggerated frights are not scaring the public any more.

  5. wayne robinson


    I’m quoting what you actually asserted:

    “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’.

    You’re just tap dancing, providing references that have nothing to do with your assertion. I provided two examples where you’re wrong – the northern end of the Gulf Stream south of Greenland and the Mediterranean pouring out into the Atlantic beneath the colder less salty surface water.

    Your defence that the Gulf Stream is a surface current and the Mediterranean is a shallow sea has nothing to do with my statement. I was noting where downwelling occurs, not where the water comes from.

    You’re not as knowledgeable as you claim.

    Anyway. The ‘pause’ doesn’t exist. It was manufactured by cherry picking the data set. Trenberth and Hansen might be arguing about aerosols and deep oceanic temperatures, but I don’t think that it changes the fact that the ‘pause’ doesn’t exist.

  6. Russ Hunter

    This is a strange dance you are putting on, Ken. I don’t appreciate it.

  7. Ken Lambert


    The problem I have with climate alarmists is that as soon as someone expresses a skeptical or contrary opinion, the climate religionists start screaming ‘denier’ (with holocaust connotations), coal industry or tobacco lobby stooge et al…

    My position is that there is evidence of warming, but significantly less than predicted, and the other effects are not as well defined as claimed. You might note that the Stephens paper I quoted at 42 has in fact widened Hansen’s error bars to 0.6 +/- 0.4 W/m2 as the imbalance. This should be getting tighter with better measurement.

    Its a bit like quoting your height as 1.8 +/- 1.2m. You could be a giant or a midget.

  8. Russ Hunter

    My goodness, Ken. If that’s what you believe you’ve got a funny way of showing it.

  9. Ken Lambert


    I would work on economic and rational measures to reduce CO2 emissions (CO2 is a greenhouse gas and does have some warming effect); energy efficent buildings, lighting etc, Gas, Nuclear and Solar water heating. When storage is cheap enough large scale Solar PV.

  10. Ken Lambert


    Your boxing from memory Wayne,

    For the third time your downwelling answer is here:

    “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.””

    Hansen and Trenberth and others recognize and try to explain the ‘pause’.

    Your blind faith in the propaganda about cherry picking and no pause is just that – dodgy climate science as religion.

  11. wayne robinson


    And your assertion that downwelling of surface water only occurs near the poles where sea ice forms? For about the millionth time.

    I don’t recognise authorities who are right all the time. A lower heat balance doesn’t explain the ‘pause’ because the ‘pause’ doesn’t exist. It was manufactured as I’ve explained to you many times by cherry picking the data set.

    As you’ve noted, the thermohaline circulation takes a very long time, about 1500 years. The deep oceans don’t mix instantly. A measurement from the deep ocean today doesn’t reflect today’s heat balance. An average from all all the abyssal ocean reflects an average of the heat balance for centuries.

    Anyway. Now we’re getting somewhere. You don’t think global warming is as serious as feared it could be.

    Anyway. It’s fruitless continuing this discussion. You aren’t as knowledgeable as you claim.

  12. Russ Hunter

    and your position on CO2 emissions, then, Ken.

  13. Ken Lambert


    These are the same ‘authorities’ which are quoted by the AGW proponents like yourself, mate!!

    Their data strongly supports a LOWER warming imbalance than previously thought, which does explain the ‘pause’.

    You have hit it on the head Wayne….”Or isn’t as serious as feared.”

    “In other words, how do you know that the temperature of the abyssal oceanic water being measured in a particular area doesn’t reflect the climate of centuries earlier with a lower level of greenhouse gases? And too much weight is being given to these areas in calculating heat imbalance?”

    Betrays your ignorance of the Law of conservation of Energy. All temperatures reflect the energy state of the mass measured at the instant in time they are measured. If you can’t measure it somewhere in the huge storage system of the oceans Wayne – IT ISN’T THERE.

  14. wayne robinson


    You’re still quoting authority. How do you know that the papers you quote are right, and won’t be revised as further data comes in? Has there been any discussion regarding Hansen’s papers? Has Hansen changed his opinion concerning whether AGW is likely to be serious or not?

    Anyway. As you yourself noted the thermohaline circulation is long in duration- one circuit takes around 1500 years. Surface currents, some of which are warm transporting heat around the globe, are relatively fast (such as the Gulf Stream). Deep oceanic currents, however, are slow because they spread out over a larger area.

    In other words, how do you know that the temperature of the abyssal oceanic water being measured in a particular area doesn’t reflect the climate of centuries earlier with a lower level of greenhouse gases? And too much weight is being given to these areas in calculating heat imbalance?

    You still haven’t admitted that your assertion that the downwelling of surface water only occurs near the poles where sea ice forms is just wrong. You’re not as knowledgeable as you claim. You’re just relying on ‘proofiness’ citing selected papers you think bolster your case that AGW isn’t happening. Or isn’t as serious as feared.

  15. Russ Hunter

    Ken, I don’t feel obliged to “go and learn a bit more about the subject” because there are experts in the field with qualifications who publish their work in peer-reviewed journals. I am happy to take advice from these people over agents of the fossil fuel lobby or other individuals, trying to influence the public through other media, which I detest.

    The experts reveal a body of evidence around AGW and its consequences which should not be ignored. Common sense calls for action to mitigate the consequences.

    Let’s have your position on reducing C02 emissions then, for the record.

  16. 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.

  17. wayne robinson


    I missed a comment from you. ‘Stasis’ in lower atmospheric temperature refers to the cherry picked data from 1998 to 2012.

    My reference to the Stefan-Boltzmann law and the slightly smaller insolation and the slightly larger albedo was in answer to your assertion that Voigt’s paper on hemispheric albedo and the reduction in insolation by 4.5 Watts per m^2 impacts on the calculated heating effect on heat imbalance.

    If I had to give an example of a place where heat is carried below 2000 m in the oceans, I’d nominated the northern end of the Gulf Stream – the largest waterfall on Earth.

    The Antarctic isn’t important for driving climate for the reasons I noted. The Antarctic has been covered with ice for at least 30 million years. The Arctic only for 3 million years. The Antarctic ice has never disappeared so its effect on albedo has been constant. The Arctic ice is much more variable causing changes in albedo and feedback loops.

    It’s good that you admit that the greenhouse effect exists? How about AGW? What would cause you to reach the position that it’s worth mitigating AGW?

  18. wayne robinson


    I doubt that you’re as knowledgeable as you claim. You still haven’t corrected your assertion that the only place where there’s downwelling of surface water is near the poles where sea ice forms.

    It’s a pretty basic error.

    I think you’re cherry picking the literature, picking papers that you think support your position, as you did the Voigt paper on hemispheric albedo.

  19. Ken Lambert

    Wayne, Russ

    Accusations of lack of good faith (ad hominem attacks) are are not usually allowed on blogs and really outside your pay scales boys.

    Go and learn a bit more about the subject.

    Suggest you check out von Shuckmann & Le Traon (2011) for a number of about 0.42W/m2 as best estimate of ocean sequestration of heat globally and as you know this is more that 90% of the imbalance because the atmosphere and land accounts for only about 10% of heat storage. Lyman, Purkey & Johnson add a bit more.

    Hence Hansen’s number of about 0.6W/m2.

    Get back to me when you find the missing heat.

  20. Russ Hunter

    So, Ken, you want to be spared the “moral highground”; it seems you also want to be spared counterarguments.

    Spare us all your specious and misleading rhetoric, disparaging scientists and renewable energy advocates.

    You’re exchange with Wayne is further evidence you are not acting in good faith.

  21. wayne robinson


    The mechanism for getting heat to the deep ocean is certainly obscure to you after you claimed that the only place that there’s downwelling of warm surface water is near the poles where sea ice forms…

    Hansen was just wrong in proposing that aerosols were the cause of the ‘stasis’ in lower atmosphere temperatures. The ‘stasis’ as I’ve noted to you several times was manufactured by cherry picking the data set, starting with a warm El Niño year in 1998 and finishing with a cool La Niña year in 2012.

    There’s no missing heat. The oceans are continuing to warm. The arctic icecap continues to melt.

    It’s settled science that greenhouse gases cause global warming. I’m not worried that Hansen and Trenberth don’t agree on everything. There’s consensus and there’s consensus…

  22. Ken Lambert


    Spare me the view from the moral high ground.

    I have never claimed that CO2 has no effect. I have questioned how much effect when all the other forcings of the Earth’s climate are considered.

    CO2 forcing is claimed about 1.6W/m2 depending on Log Co2 concentration. Total aerosol cooling about -1.2W/m2. Aerosols are poorly measured.

    If you want all the numbers have a look at the IPCC tables from AR4.

    Hansen is saying that higher aerosol cooling is dropping the warming imbalance by 0.3-0.4 W/m2 to about 0.5-0.6W/m2, and Trenberth is saying that is not so – and the ‘missing heat’ causing the ‘stasis’ in surface temperatures is really buried deep in the oceans. The mechanism to get heat down deep in decadal time frames is obscure and the measurement by Argo limited.

    We have two of the world’s leading climate scientists disagreeing over the cooling effect of aerosols in relation to the ‘stasis’ in surface temperatures.

    That is a very significant issue when great claims are made for ‘settled’ science, and dire warnings made to scare the public.

  23. 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.

  24. wayne robinson


    I looked at the Antarctic sea ice story again this morning. It’s true that Antarctic sea ice is increasing marginally, but not in all areas. Land ice is decreasing though, although in areas it’s increasing marginally and in other areas decreasing markedly.

    There are good reasons why the Antarctic sea ice is increasing. The hole in the ozone layer allows clearer winter skies and a colder climate to allow ice formation. And the increased melting of the land ice causes a slightly less salty ocean allowing ice formation at a higher temperature.

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

    I looked at some of the other comments on the thread you referred to. Trenberth is honest and follows the evidence, as he understands it to be, to where it goes. Someone suggested that some of the ‘missing’ heat is going into melting the permafrost. He dismissed it as being negligible as far as the heat balance is concerned (although the melting permafrost is a source of more greenhouse gases in the form of methane from rotting buried vegetation – as shown by the videos of burning methane coming from holes in the ice covering Arctic lakes).

  25. Russ Hunter

    Ken. Even I, a humble health care professional who peruses the odd piece on climate change, am aware that the growth of Antarctic sea ice is not at all inconsistent with global warming.

    Do Trenberth and Hansen, whom you presumably defer to on climate science, say we needn’t worry about increasing CO2 levels? Why do you dodge or distract from Wayne’s questions and points after he answers yours? Your attitude and mode of argument makes it seem like you are not interested in the truth, at all.

    By all means ask questions, but when you are given explanations and evidence, intellectual honesty requires you to take them into consideration.

    And moral integrity requires you to be an expert in the field with a body of evidence behind you before calling for no/less action on CO2 emissions, considering the attendant risks which the experts are saying, based on best current evidence, will be disastrous.

  26. 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…)

  27. Ken Lambert


    Trenberth and Hansen aren’t just any old climate scientists – they are probably with Mann and one or two others, the most well known and published in the field.

    And Antarctic sea ice continues to grow.

  28. wayne robinson


    Now you’re arguing from authority.. Individual scientists may actually be wrong at times. There was no ‘pause’ or ‘stasis’. Just cherry picking the data set to start with a warm El Niño year and finish with a cool La Niña year.

    And the ‘pause’ was only in the lower atmosphere. The Earth as far as temperature is concerned also includes the oceans, the cryosphere and the ground.

    The oceans continue to warm. The Arctic ice cap continues to melt.

    And my other 2 points?

  29. Ken Lambert


    You should read this from the selling climate change thread:

    Just to put the stasis in temperatures to bed and explain the disagreement between leading climate scientists Kevin Trenberth and Jim Hansen over the causes, here is a direct Trenberth quote from responses on Skeptical Science website:

    Kevin Trenberth at 02:29 AM on 25 July, 2011

    “There is discussion in the comments of the supposed finding that increasing aerosol (pollution) from China may be the explanation for the stasis in surface temperatures and I do not believe this for a moment. Similarly, Jim Hansen has discussed the role of aerosol as a source of discrepancy. However, the radiation measurements at the top of the atmosphere from satellites (CERES) include all of the aerosol effects, and so they are not extra. They may well be an important ingredient regionally, and I have no doubt they are, but globally they are not the explanation.” endquote

    Dr Trenberth is clearly saying that the imbalance (presumably ARO 0.9W/sq.m) “include all of the aerosol effects, and so they are not extra”.

    Why are leading climate scientists Trenberth and Hansen debating the causes of the ‘stasis’ when there is no ‘stasis’???

  30. wayne robinson


    According to the Stefan-Boltzmann law, if insolation is reduced slightly and albedo is increased slightly, then the average global temperature will decrease slightly. Instead of being -18 degrees Celsius, it will be a little less than that, at which point the emission of heat in the form of long wave radiation will match the incoming energy.

    Greenhouse gases trap some of the outgoing long wave radiation, resulting in warming to a global average of 15 degrees Celsius, at which incoming and outgoing balance.again.

    You’re getting excited about a 4.5 Watt per m^2 revision in insolation? Don’t forget the Earth’s orbit is slightly eccentric with a 5 million km difference between closest and most distant (around 3%) which corresponds to a difference of insolation of 6% (around 60 Watts per m^2).

    I don’t know where the downwelling of warm surface to below 2,000 metres is occurring, but:

    It’s you who claimed that the only place downwelling occurs is near the poles where sea ice forms,

    And, the upper ocean above 700 m continues to warm,

    And, the ‘pause’ doesn’t exist. It was manufactured by starting with a warmer strong El Niño year and finishing with a cooler La Niña year. Cherry picking.

  31. Ken Lambert


    Well you tell me Wayne what greenhouse gases are doing to LW radiation when Insolation is down and albedo is up? Hansen clearly thinks the imbalance is reduced by about 0.3W/sq.m due to the Asian aerosols increasing the albedo.

    Tell me where downwelling occurs from 2000 – 4000m below the surface.

  32. wayne robinson


    Now you’re being silly. If insolation is adjusted downwards slightly and albedo is adjusted slightly upwards (because new revised measurement are made), then the calculated emission of heat from the Earth in long wave radiation must also be reduced to equal input – otherwise the Earth would be getting cooler.

    You can’t assume that the calculated emission of heat stays equal to the previous old calculation of solar input, when you’ve recalculated the input to give a new lower input.

    The calculated emission must be reduced too. Then you have to consider what greenhouse gases are doing to emission of long wave radiation.

    You still haven’t noted that your assertion that the only place where downwelling of warm surface water occurs is near the poles where sea ice forms is just 100% wrong. You aren’t as knowledgeable as you claim to be.

  33. 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.

  34. 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?

  35. Ken Lambert

    Wayne Robinson,


    The flow of solar gained heat is from the equator to the poles. Check up some references on the thermohaline circulation which is the major movement of deep seawater below 2000m.

    This is where the ‘missing heat’ is supposed to be.

    The warmer surface waters flow toward the poles (Greenland included) and give up heat to get cold enough to form sea ice or be salty enough to cool, densify and sink at high latitudes. This thermohaline circulation takes hundreds to 1000’s of years.

    Nowhere near quick enough to explain the missing heat since global warming officially started around 1975.

    If the models diverge from the observations – fix the models.

  36. Russ Hunter

    Good point Ken. It would be more accurate to say these people are peddlers of BS for money, and the natural enemies of science, and the biosphere.

    Doubt is always a part of science. But science seeks, literally, “to know” about the world through repeatable observations and testable hypotheses or discovery, not to obfuscate.

    Those interested in the truth publish their theories in relevant journals; they don’t wage misinformation wars in media forums.

  37. wayne robinson


    Even so – it isn’t necessary to have links with the fossil fuel industry to have ideological not scientific grounds for doubting that AGW. Many older individuals are conservative or libertarian in outlook, disliking the possibility that their lifestyle might be impeded by any action to mitigate global warming (read – reduce the use of fossil fuels).

    Anyway – what is your honours degree in? Is it a BSc(hons)? Your 30 years experience in thermodynamics – was it engineering based or other?

    I’m still bemused by your reference to the sea ice from Columbia. It’s very interesting, but you do realise that the research is being done by climate scientists? Using models to make sense of their results? Think about that for a few minutes.

    It also doesn’t support your confident assertion that the only place down welling occurs is near the poles where the sea ice is being formed.

    Anyway – you still haven’t responded to the observation that if insolation is a little less and albedo is a little greater, it doesn’t affect climate models much. They’re just slightly different inputs which will change the outputs to a similar slight degree.

  38. Ken Lambert


    The doubt does not have to be manufactured. I have no connection with or any support from the fossil fuel lobby or any other group.

  39. Russ Hunter

    Sounds like you should have no trouble publishing something in a respected peer-reviewed journal for consideration by experts in the field then Ken, before you risk leading people astray, seeing as our future climate is on the line.

    In your reading I presume you have come across the massive misinformation campaign covertly funded by fossil fuel companies through ‘think tanks’ (and every other means they can think of) to try and manufacture doubt and delay action that is not in their financial interest.

    You wouldn’t want to be confused with being part of that mob, Ken.

  40. Ken Lambert

    Actually Russ, I have an honours degree and 30 years experience with thermodynamics.

    I have spend the last 4-5 years reading Climate Science papers, and doing a lot of the sums myself to get a good idea of the numbers. I have also spent some time conversing with the likes of Kevin Trenberth and Gavin Schmidt, being kicked off Skeptical Science and a few other blogs which don’t like my exposure of some of their errors and inconsistencies.

  41. Russ Hunter

    Ken, I think it’s great you take an interest in climate change and solar panels. However, if you have no qualifications you should qualify your opinions accordingly and reconsider authoriative assertions like “the consensus is a nonsense”.

    You might get mistaken for someone who knows what they are talking about.

  42. Ken Lambert

    I am just a humble piano player in the whorehouse of climate change Russ.

  43. Russ Hunter

    Ken, I must take issue with your reading comprehension as well, I’m afraid. Or did you ignore my question about your qualifications and published work?

    I think it’s fair question to ask under the circumstances.

  44. 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.

  45. 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.

  46. Russ Hunter

    It’s really disappointing to see Crikey become a platform for the rubbishing of climate science.

    Looks like the basis of Ken Lambert’s meanderings are that climate science is not “settled” to his satisfaction. Oh, and that scientists can’t be trusted. And, to top it all off, solar panels are bad.

    There are some problems here, Ken. 1) Science is a process of inquiry, it doesn’t involve settled facts, and the experts in the field are not telling us to relax about CO2 emisisons. 2) You call into question the motives of scientists but leave out the well-established corporate funded misinformation machines, and who it may be wiser for the public to trust. 3) Most importantly, your crux, Ken, appears to be to encourage less/no action on climate change.

    Climate change is a serious issue, Ken. I hope you have some qualifications in the area and have extensively published in peer-reviewed climate science journals. I’m sure you wouldn’t be so irresponsible as to call for less action on climate change, otherwise, and try to influence members of the public to this end.

    Your reference to “hemispheric albedo”, and the like, is obviously designed to make people think you are an expert.

    Let’s have your qualifications and list of published articles, Ken Lambert.

  47. 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.

  48. 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’.

  49. wayne robinson


    We do know the factors that influence climate! We just don’t know with 100% certainty how the various factors interact with the complex system that the Earth is.

    Claiming that because we can’t ever with 100% certainty know what’s going to happen, that we shouldn’t do anything about AGW is just silly.

    Anyway. We know Creationism is bunkum. We know Life on Earth evolved by natural means. We don’t know all the details, and we can’t predict with any certainty or even possibility what is going to evolve. We can with 100% certainty predict that something will evolve on Earth.

    Similarly, we can predict with 100% certainty that the Earth’s climate will change. It has in the past, sometimes due to changes in greenhouse gases, sometimes due to Milankovitch cycles, sometimes due to large volcanic eruptions.

    What is happening today is nothing special. A raise in greenhouse gases due to burning fossil fuels is no different to the ‘burp’ of methane from deep sea deposits of methane clathrate sat the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum, in which global temperatures were 7 degrees C higher than today.

    Over the long time there’s no problem. The trouble is – we live in the short time.

  50. Ken Lambert

    Wayne Robinson

    “Science progresses. So, climate scientists review their estimates of the radiative forcings of increasing greenhouse gases?”

    Yeah, review their estimates DOWN. Why would their estimates be DOWN when CO2 emissions are going relentlessly UP.

    “It just indicates that climate is complex.”

    Yeah, too complex to be ‘settled’. In other words, we don’t know all that is really going on.

    If you allow that there is stuff going on in the climate which renders predictions wrong and estimates too high , then you must be a Creationist!!

  51. form1planet

    Rather hilarious that in the same issue of Crikey where Ken suggests that climate science is “oversold” to “keep the grants flowing”, it’s pointed out that the Federal Government is almost entirely ignoring the issue of climate change in agriculture. Somehow I doubt the federal grant money is flowing freely to climate science these days. If you were the type of scientist to skew your findings to support the most lucrative conclusion (like, well, none of the scientists I know), you’d do better on the other side of the fence.

  52. wayne robinson


    There’s no pause. Just cherry picking starting with an abnormally warm year and finishing with an abnormally cooler year. One good reason is enough. Having additional reasons makes your case worse not better. Increasing aerosols due to China’s and India’s industrialisation and a ‘quiet’ Sun just make the warming in the lower atmosphere of 0.01 degrees Celsius for your case even more fatal.

    Science progresses. So, climate scientists review their estimates of the radiative forcings of increasing greenhouse gases?

    And anyway. Voigt explained the reason for the symmetrical hemispheric albedos. It’s due to a shift in tropical clouds altering the average albedos in the two hemispheres. Doesn’t alter the effect of greenhouse gases. It just indicates that climate is complex.

  53. Ken Lambert

    Onya Tamas.

    Love the Elmer Fudd analogy from ‘extra’ – could be my logo from now on…

  54. 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.

  55. extra

    Another Elmer Fudd-style shotgun spray from Ken. His hand-waving in the direction of ‘the symmetric hemispheric albedo …’ sounds like the kind of argument frequently raised by proponents of Intelligent Design- ‘there’s something going on that proves our point, but we don’t know what it is’.

    As Wayne Robinson has already asked, can we have an explanation as to how this is a problem for AGW.

    Some facts to back up your assertions in para 3 would be useful, too.

  56. 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.

  57. Tamas Calderwood

    Well said Ken Lambert.

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