But, Penny, if the Seas are Cooling….

Posted on Sat 01/08/2011 by


Andrew BoltBy Andrew Bolt

The Penny mentioned in the title is Senator Penny Wong, the former Minister for Climate Change in the previous Kevin Rudd led Government, before a party room coup saw Julia Gillard installed as the new Prime Minister. Senator Wong has moved sideways out of the troubled Climate Change Ministry, and I’m willing to wager she’s a lot happier with her new portfolio…..TonyfromOz.

Climate Change Minister Penny Wong had an excuse worked out back in 2009, to explain why the world’s atmosphere had not warmed over the decade as the warmists had predicted.

No, no, no, she said when finally pressed for an explanation by Family First Senator Steve Fielding. The best evidence for global warming was not to be found in air temperatures but those of the seas:

(I)n terms of a single indicator of global warming, change in ocean heat content is most appropriate.

Small problem. The evidence even then suggested the seas weren’t actually warming.

Now Professors Robert Knox and David Douglass of Rochester University’s Department of Physics and Astronomy have even more bad news for Wong and the rest of the warmist Gillard Government. According to their latest paper, in the International Journal of Geosciences, the seas have been cooling, not warming, as measured by the Argo floats:

A recently published estimate of Earth’s global warming trend is 0.63 ± 0.28 W/m2, as calculated from ocean heat content anomaly data spanning 1993–2008. This value is not representative of the recent (2003–2008) warming/cooling rate because of a “flattening” that occurred around 2001–2002. Using only 2003–2008 data from Argo floats, we find by four different algorithms that the recent trend ranges from –0.010 to –0.160 W/m2 with a typical error bar of ±0.2 W/m2. These results fail to support the existence of a frequently-cited large positive computed radiative imbalance.

So what’s the Government’s argument now?

This actually confirms a trend in Wong’s style of arguing the case – a trend of very dodgy, if not downright deceptive, behaviour.

For instance, Wong has also been far too eager to exploit any hot summer day as corroboration of global warming theory, while pooh-poohing the naturally corollary – that cold and wet summers must tend to contradict that same theory:

ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: South-eastern Australia endured another scorching day today with temperatures in the 40s across South Australia, Victoria and southern New South Wales… Federal Climate Change Minister Penny Wong says the heatwave is consistent with global warming predictions; bad news for those sweating through the week.

She has also been far too eager to ascribe the usual changes in the weather – especially the recent drought – to global warming:

AUSTRALIA’S top climate scientist has contradicted Federal Government claims the drought in the Murray Darling Basin is due to global warming.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change lead author, Prof Neville Nicholls, said the claim was not backed by science.

“The current dry period (in the Murray Darling Basin) might still be just a fluke, or natural variability,” Prof Nicholls said.

“We cannot confidently attribute it to global warming.”

Yet Federal Climate Change and Water Minister Penny Wong has repeatedly claimed the basin’s drought is due to climate change.

“Research shows that this severe, extended drought is clearly linked with global warming,” Senator Wong said in November last year.

“There is nowhere that this challenge is more serious than the Murray Darling Basin.”

Closely allied to that trick has been Wong’s participation in heads-I-win, tails-you-lose argumentation. A recent example:

Last year brought drought:

“Research shows that this severe, extended drought is clearly linked with global warming,” (Climate Minister Penny) Wong said.

This year brought rain:

GLOBAL warming may have given Australia its wettest September in more than 100 years, but “extreme dry years” lie ahead, the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) says.

And then there was her use of dodgy data to support the wildest scare-claims:

As we noted yesterday, Climate Change Minister Penny Wong this week released a suspiciously-timed report claiming 250,000 Australian homes could be drowned by rising seas by 2100, thanks to global warming.

Her much-publicised report claimed warming could cause the seas to rise not by the 59cms that the most gloomy IPCC model put as the upper limit, but by 1.1 metres – or even 1.90 metres.

Yesterday, with the help of reader Lazlo, I showed how Wong’s report, produced by her own department, in fact actually told untruths about the IPCC predictions and relied on a discredited paper to justify its much more alarmist figure.

Then in a second post, Kris Sayce, editor of Money Morning, showed even more flaws: the misrepresention and use of Bureau of Metereology data which the bureau itself said was unreliable, the use of data guaranteed to exaggerate recent rises in sea level, and a false claim that these recent rises were unprecedented.

Now reader Cohenite points out yet more flaws which turn Wong’s report into a farce

Does this really strike you as the record of a warmist driven scrupulously by science, with a keen eye for evidence? Is this the kind of case on which should rest a colossal new green tax and the complete reorganisation of the Australian economy?

Andrew Bolt is a journalist and columnist writing for The Herald Sun in Melbourne Victoria Australia.

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Andrew Bolt’s columns appear in Melbourne’s Herald Sun, Sydney’s Daily Telegraph and Adelaide’s Advertiser. He runs the most-read political blog in Australia and is a regular commentator on Channel 9′s Today show and ABC TV’s Insiders. He will be heard from Monday to Friday at 8am on the breakfast show of new radio station MTR 1377, and his book Still Not Sorry remains very widely read.