University College London Professor Of Climatology Mark Maslin Claims Mankind Now Able To Control Climate!

This past weekend I wrote two posts about a recent two-part German ZDF Television documentary on climate change and its impact on the development of human history: here and here.


Image Mark Maslin, cropped from ZDF

At the very end of Part 2, the otherwise excellent German public television documentary abruptly descends into sheer lunacy in claiming that the globe has “strongly heated up” recently and that it is now wresting with “global warming” – and to drive the point home, it inserts an amazing comment by University College London Climatology Professor Mark Maslin at the 42:27 mark (translated from the German voice-over):

We are now at the point where we can decide how the climate of the future will look. When we as a collective world community, all nations working together, are able to really prevent global warming, that would be fantastic. That would be the first time that the climate doesn’t control us, but rather us controlling it. We could make sure that all future generations will have a stable climate.”

Maslin clearly suggests humans collectively have the power to override the global natural climate factors and to tame and steer the world’s climate in any desired direction, and to do so for “all future generations”.

Throughout previous 88 minutes the documentary looked at earlier climate changes that were greater than those experienced today and attributed them to natural factors such as solar activity, volcanoes and ocean dynamics. These natural climate change events included the “very rapid changes in climate” during the last ice age, the end of the last ice age, the 8.2 kiloyear event, the green Sahara, ancient Egyptian warm period, the Roman warm period, and the Little Ice Age.

Strangely, according to the documentary, the sun as a climate driver in the past seem to have just disappeared since 1250 AD. Now we are supposed to believe that humans took control of the climate some 100 years ago.

Physicist: “blatant silliness”

Luxemburg physicist Francis Massen also reacts sharply to Maslin’s bold claim at his website:

This is blatant silliness, probably forced upon the professor to include at least a sentence seen to be politically correct and Zeitgeist aware. This last conclusion is the more silly, as all previous examples clearly have shown that the changes of the climate were not caused by human activity. And today, never mind our technological achievements, we are still unable to change the tilt of the axis of the globe, modify solar activity or put a lid on volcanoes to avoid their eruptions.”

Indeed. In fact governments aren’t even able to control their runaway spending and deficits, let alone the world’s temperature and climate.


Part 2 Of Documentary Totally Dismisses/Contradicts Michael Mann’s Claim Of A Steady Climate Since 1000 A.D.

Yesterday I posted on Part 1 of German ZDF television’s Terra-X series two-part documentary on climate and human history appearing on January 11  and 18. Part 1 covered the world’s climatic changes that occurred during the last ice age and up to the time of the Roman Empire.

Part 1 clearly showed that the earth’s climate changed naturally, at times very dramatically within a matter of a decade or two. Warm periods were accompanied by rains and periods of vibrant human prosperity. Cold periods saw droughts, crop failures, mass migrations and deadly political and societal instability.

Warm Roman Empire

Today the focus is on Part 2, which looks at the earth’s climate since the Roman Empire until today. It starts by stating how the “paradise-like” warmth during peak period of the Roman Empire was brought on by the optimal orientation between the earth and sun. The warm Roman period was marked by “stability” says Mark Maslin (3:10).

Tree ring studies from oak trees show that “the temperature 100 year before Christ indeed rose. On average the temperature was 2°C warmer than 100 years earlier” (3:37). Clearly such an increase is more than double today’s increase the globe has seen since 1900. That high Roman temperature level stayed some 300 years, the documentary tells us, allowing for “stable and strong growth“.

At the 4:30 mark the documentary tells us that glaciers in the Alps melted and allowed the Romans to expand their empire all the way to Scotland. The warm period also took hold globally, says the ZDF documentary, and was not a regional phenomena. The ZDF documentary shows at the 5:40 mark how the Chinese Empire blossomed at around 200 BC. All thanks to the sun.

Finally at the 8:24 mark German researcher Gunther Hischfelder of the University of Regensburg tells that the Romans eventually ran into an enemy they even could not vanquish: “Over the long-term there was one opponent that became so strong that even the Romans could not conquer it, and that was climate change.”

Always the sun

Surprisingly at the 8:38 mark, the ZDF documentary tells viewers something that has long been taboo in Germany:

Every climate change is controlled from outer space. It depends on the earth’s orbit around the sun, the tilt of its axis and on the predominant solar activity. After the change in times the solar activity was probably weaker and the Gulf current delivered less heat.”

This, the documentary says, led to a “clear [natural] cooling (9:00)“. Already in Part 2 we see that climate temperature changes of 2°C over a matter of decades were nothing unusual – and were all owing to natural factors that scientists today refuse to acknowledge are in play.

Cold…fall of Roman Empire

As the cooler temperatures began to take over during the Roman period, catastrophic droughts took hold and crop failures led to starvation. Rome was under pressure to supply food to its remote territories and outposts.

To illustrate the degree hardship, scientists analyzed the bones of a north German teenager uncovered from the swamps(10:10). DNA analysis of the arm and leg bones showed severe malnutrition. Twelve of the child’s 14 years were spent in a state of “severe hunger”. As had happened many times over the course of history, mass migrations occurred as cold led to crop failures.

Just before the end of the Roman Empire, these migrations were facilitated as natural borders and barriers such as large rivers and marshes froze over and allowed people easily walk across them (11:40).  For example in the year 406 AD, 90,000 Germanic tribespeople crossed a Frozen Rhine river and into Roman territory (11:58) in a single day. Bit by bit the Roman Empire was invaded before collapsing ushering in the post Roman dark ages.


This dark period was exacerbated further by the mega-eruption of llopango in El Salvador (13:02), which led to written records of extreme cold and darkness in the year 536 AD. Scientists believe the eruption ejected 84 cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere, destroying everything within a 1000 km radius and darkening the skies over Europe and even China. Ash from the llopango eruption is even seen in ice cores from Antarctica (15:55). The material reached into the stratosphere and caused an “18-month long climate anomaly of cold and darkness“. Millions of people of people died as a result.

As fear gripped the planet and nature regained the upper hand, the conditions became ideal for religions to thrive, warning of the wrath of God and offering the hope of salvation (20:00).

Rise of Central American civilizations

While war and fear plagued Europe, climate conditions were however ideal in Central America, and civilizations there blossomed (22:00). At the 22:30 mark we see the Nazca Lines (before they were ruined by Greenpeace). By 900 AD, natural climate change struck the Central American region again as prolonged droughts ground down the once mighty Latin American cultures (22:45). What was behind the sudden change? At the 23:20 mark the documentary again points at the sun.

Responsible was solar activity.”

Medieval Warm Period by the sun

But the documentary dances around about how solar activity impacts the earth, hinting at basic solar irradiance, and avoiding Svensmark’s theory.  At the 24:15 mark:

That also applies to the year 800 AD. The sun is at a maximum activity. It’s irradiance especially strong. The blue planet gradually begins to heat up.”

The warmth, the documentary says, “opened up the Arctic from North America to Europe” and allowed explorers to venture out and the Vikings to settle in “an almost ice-free” Iceland and in Greenland (25:30) 1050 years ago. Lief Ericson reached Newfoundland at about the year 1000 AD (26:30). In Europe the warming took hold with a vengeance. The documentary says at the 26:50 mark:

On average the temperature was 3°C warmer than the years before.”

Europe was transformed into a rich bread-basket (27:20). The weather was once again stable and planning was possible. At this point we get hints that the documentary is trying to tells us that normal weather in warm times is stable. Yet history tells us that storms also occurred during the warm Medieval Period.

Gunther Hischfelder tells that the warm period of the Medieval Period had consquences (29:25):

The creation of cities was a response to climate change and provided the spark for a take-off for human history, an explosion in culture and civilization, and is thus the reason it is the cornerstone for the creation of our modern world.”

All thanks to the Medieval Warm Period (MWP), which was as warm and even warmer than today. At the 29:50 mark we see that “three quarters of Germany’s cities were created during the Medieval Warm Period”. Growth exploded all over Europe. By the year 1250 AD, “Europe’s societies were as strong as never before” (31:35).

Strangely, and probably on purpose, the ZDF documentary focusses only on Europe for its look at the Medieval Warm Period, and presents no examples of it occurring at other locations on the globe – as it did for the earlier warm periods. Is the ZDF trying to have us believe that MWP was regionally isolated in Europe? Scientific proxy data tell us it was warm all over the globe.

Sun strangely disappears as a climate factor in the year 1250

At the 32:00 mark the documentary looks at the beginning of the end of the MWP: “In the second half of the thirteenth century it got markedly colder in Europe“. The reason was a number of erupting volcanoes at various locations around the globe, the documentary says (32:10) that it cooled the global climate for almost 500 years. So according to the ZDF, the sun stopped playing a role in climate change 800 years ago. Strange that all the other climate changes before that, the sun was always to blame.

No matter what the real reason for the post MWP cooling may have been, the ZDF tells us that it was warm during the Medieval Warm Period and that it then cooled substantially after 1300 AD. That de facto refutes the bogus claims of a steady climate made by Michael Mann.

Longest cold period since the last ice age

In fact, the ZDF documentary calls the Little Ice Age, which had a solid lock on Europe by the year 1500 AD, “the longest cold period since the last ice age” (33:15).  And there’s a huge magnitude of literature available from the times clearly documenting the extreme weather and hardship endured by Europe during this time. Here old records describe extreme storms and harsh weather, crop failures, starvation, pestilence and widespread death (36:00). In just 100 years, the population reduced by one third. Fear gripped the continent and sorcerers were blamed (36:50). (Sound familiar?) 60,000 people were burned at the stake for “cooperating with the Devil” in brewing bad weather. Today we have crazed lawyers wanting to put industries on trial for the same thing.

Clearly the ZDF documentary tells us that cold periods are disasters, and warm ones, like the one we are witnessing today, are hugely advantageous.

At the 37:30 mark the ZDF describes how glaciers advanced over North America, Scandinavia and the Alps, where entire villages were swallowed by the ice. Things got so bad that Europe plunged into war and mayhem (38:20), eventually culminating in the French Revolution (39:10). The final icing on the cake was delivered by the Indonesian volcano Tambora in 1815, which gave the world the year without a summer in 1816 (40:30).

Modern warming – sun nowhere near in sight

The Little ice Age ended around 1850 with what the ZDF suprisingly calls the “beginning of a period with moderate and stable temperatures. It characterizes the weather until today.” (41:30).

At the 42:00 minute mark the ZDF finally deviates from reason, claiming that for the first time in history, with industrialization, man has changed the climate of the earth. No more mention of the sun as a factor, which made its last appearance on the climate stage 800 years ago. Now it’s mankind’s fault. I was expecting the documentary to end in this silly way, and I was not wrong in doing so.

Mad Maslin

Mark Maslin at the end puts the icing on the cake, making a totally insane comment at the 42:30 mark where he proclaims that man actually now has the chance to take control of the climate – away from the sun, oceans and other forces of nature. Try not to burst out laughing:

We are now at the point where we can decide what the climate of the future will look like. When we as a world community, all nations working together, are able to really prevent global warming, that would be fantastic. That would be the first time that the climate doesn’t control us, but rather us would control it. We can make sure that all future generations will have a stable climate.”

Wow! Just pay them indulgences. Apart from Maslin’s and the ZDF’s sheer nonsense in the last two minutes, an excellent documentary on the climate since the last ice age.


German Television Shocks…Outstanding Documentary On Historical Sudden Climate Changes Driven By Natural Factors

As part of its Terra-X series, ZDF German television presented a two-part documentary on January 11  and 18 on climate and human history. Rather than pushing senseless alarmism, the ZDF series did an excellent job looking at the powerful natural factors that drive climate, and how they can do so abruptly.

Hat-tip: Die kalte Sonne.

In Part 1 “Climate makes history“, the documentary looks at how abrupt climate changes indeed occurred in the past and how they had profound impacts on the development of our civilization, thus dumping cold water on the naïve notion that climate used to be more or less steady before humans began industrialization. Part 1 looks at the period of the last ice age and through the events leading up to the Roman Empire 2000 years ago.

Part 1 begins by telling us that extreme cold, heat and prolonged droughts are nothing new and that life comes and goes with the sudden changes in climate. More than once did very early man face extinction, “especially during the last ice age,” says the documentary. It wasn’t until the world’s climate warmed up during the Holocene that the human species truly prospered.

At the 3.30 mark we see a planet deep into an ice age, with northern Europe covered in ice and sea level over 100 meters below today’s levels. The species best suited to take the cold during this period was the meat-eating Neanderthal.

At the 6:20 mark the documentary points out that the climate changes dramatically, and that the main driver of the ice ages is the sun, principally the Milankovitch cycles. But also the ocean currents play an important.

At the 8:00 mark the documentary explains how the history of the climate could be reconstructed from sediment cores. These cores, the documentary shows, tells us that there were extreme temperature changes some 60,000 years ago. According to Prof. Frank Sirocko of the University of Mainz at the 9:40 mark:

We see that there were very rapid changes in climate. The warm phases and the cold phases changed abruptly, and in just 10 years, it jumps here.”

At the 10:22 mark Sirocko continues:

At this time the Neanderthals lived in a forest type vegetation. And in 10 years they found themselves in the middle of open steppes and the wild animals they were accustomed to hunting were no longer there. Such extreme climate changes in just 10 years were a real challenge for their hunting-oriented society.”

As the Neanderthals migrated, they soon clashed with homo sapiens, who eventually emerged victorious with the last Neanderthal disappearing 24,000 years ago.

Some 17,000 years ago, the earth’s position relative to the sun led to a thawing, with warm and moist conditions taking hold, allowing civilization to eventually prosper, especially though the development of agriculture, which allowed humans to specialize. Ten thousand years ago the city of Jericho was founded (18:45).

But at about this time, a major catastrophic event was developing in North America. A huge sea on the continent created by melting ice sheets broke through a barrier of ice and flowed like a tidal wave into the Atlantic at about 6200 BC (19:35)…(see graphic at 20:05 mark). This event disrupted the North Atlantic current and caused yet again another major climate disruption. Europe plunged into any icy phase and the Middle East cooled and entered a protracted period of drought – causing Middle Eastern and North African societies to collapse and unleashing a wave of “climate refugees” to Europe and Asia.

At the 22:00 mark, ZDF makes the misleading claim that sea level rose by 120 meters as a result of this event, when in fact most of that rise had already taken place from about 18,000 BC to 8,000 BC, and not all at once around 6200 BC. Moreover Noah’s Ark was built because of rains lasting “40 days and 40 nights”, and not because of the sudden sea level rise. At the 23:30 mark the documentary shows the uncovering of ancient cities that today are located underwater.

At the 24.30 mark we see that at about 6000 BC the Sahara was green and human life flourished, as evidenced by paintings uncovered by archeologists. The Sahara, the documentary says, was a savannah rich with wildlife. At the 26:45 mark British scientist Mark Maslin tells that they found archeological finds throughout the Sahara indicating a green, life-rich Sahara.

All of that came to an end, however, because of “sudden” natural climate change about 7000 years ago – caused by a tilting back of the earth, the documentary says. At the 28:00 mark archeologists studying human remains dated the green Sahara downfall at 3500 BC. Drought and expanding deserts were not restricted to the Sahara, but they also expanded across the globe, the documentary tells us at the 28:40 mark (see yellow areas on the graphic at the 28:57 mark)…The documentary says it was “caused by a slight shift in the earth’s axis”. As a result once again history witnessed huge exoduses of “climate refugees”, especially to the Nile River region, where the technology of irrigation was eventually developed (30:30) and the great Egyptian civilization was born. Not only Egypt prospered during the Bronze Age (3000 – 2000 BC), but so did many other civilizations (33:40 mark).

By now the global warming skeptic viewer begins to sense where the ZDF is leading: “Minor changes can have huge impacts”.

So prosperous were the warm times of the Bronze Age that many societies worshipped the sun (34:45).

But the prosperity of the Bronze Age also crashed at about 1200 BC (35:25) as marauding armies pillaged and plundered wave after wave. What was the cause of the Bronze Age collapse and all the war? At the 36:15 mark the documentary looks at some scientific theories, showing that it may have all been sparked by a climate change. Clues are found in caves in Turkey (37:00). German researcher Dominik Fleitmann examines stalactites for clues telling us about the climate of the past, at the time of the Bronze Age.

Indeed an examination of a stalagmite shows that the Bronze Age coincided with a period of severe drought at 1200 BC. At this time the stalactite shows a significant reduced growth rate due to a lack of water (38:45). The documentary concludes:

That means that at 1200 BC, there was no longer any heavy precipitation in the Mediterranean region. A period of drought took hold over the entire region.”

Fleitmann summarizes: All indication point out that it was dry and cold. A recipe for a disaster.” Massive climate change over to cold and dry conditions caused mass migration and destabilized the surrounding civilizations the documentary then explains.

At 40:39

Likely a climate anomaly was to blame. The world’s climate reached the coldest temperature since the end of the ice age. Precipitation dropped off massively.”

The cold period after the Bronze Age persisted for hundreds of years. The documentary tells how the cold eventually dissipated at about 350 BC, giving way to warm temperatures and more precipitation (41:00) and thus transforming the Middle East and North Africa into “a paradise of crops” – all culminating with the Roman Empire, which ZDF erroneously characterizes as a society where “every citizen enjoyed the same rights” when in fact half of Rome’s population were slaves.

But the ZDF got the last sentence of Part 1 right on why the Roman Empire prospered: “The climate was optimal“. It was warm – even warmer than today.

Overall Part 1 of this ZDF documentary is outstanding and should be presented in English. A rare hats off to the German ZDF television for this effort.

I’ll write something up about Part 2 tomorrow, which I surmise will be about the last 2000 years until today. We’ll see if Mann’s hockey stick gets confirmed or not.


German Scientist Calls For Founding And Funding Of Independent Climate Research Institute To Counter Alarmist Climate Claims

Geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning believes it’s high time for the skeptic side to respond more forcefully to the often hyper-exaggerated claims launched by the government funded global warming alarmists and is calling for the founding of an independent Germany-based climate research initiative.

Lüning DkS

Dr Lüning co-authored together with professor Fritz Vahrenholt the leading skeptic book, Die kalte Sonne, which subsequently was translated in English as The Neglected Sun. Their book clearly provides overwhelming scientific evidence of governing natural factors like the sun and oceans driving climate change throughout history.

Lüning’s idea is dubbed the KlimaForschungsInitiative (KFI) – Climate Research Initiative – which he feels is necessary because the criticism of the apocalyptic end-of-world visions is coming from only a few courageous shoulders and citizens who have recognized the “faulty development” in climate science. The debate is completely lopsided, Lüning writes.

These climate realists as a rule receive no financial support for their work. To the contrary it is highly risky to challenge the IPCC line because positions outside the political mainstream are punished by scientific and societal marginalization. Inconvenient criticism of the climate alarmism line is undesirable. The German Federal Ministry of Environment even published a blacklist of [German and American] climate realists. It’s a real career blocker for scientists at the state-supported research institutes. A University of Graz music professor even suggested the death penalty for people who do not tow the IPCC line.”

Under such a hostile and intolerant climate, who on earth would want to raise a finger?

Climate of political intimidation and fear

Lüning says the pressure is in fact so strong that also western industry is visibly intimidated: “Too large is the fear of upsetting those with political power by presenting inconvenient facts.” Rather than rocking the boat, industry has opted to play along –  and to ship jobs overseas instead, or to shut down complete parts of their company, as is the case with German power giant E.On, Lüning says.

Recently the media reported that lawyers are gearing up to sue the major fossil fuel companies for causing extreme weather, like tropical storm Haiyan“ in the Philippines. Such claims, Lüning writes, are fully based on junk science which he describes as resembling superstition and Medieval witch-hunting.

Lüning comments that the world seems to have gone a bit hysterical. The Philippine tropical storm is a good example. From s scientific view it can be excluded that Haiyan resulted from climate change, a view that is supported by scientific literature. Yet, there are plenty demands being made for industry to pay for the damage.

Too often, Lüning writes, false scientific arguments and outright tricks are allowed to go insufficiently challenged. The German geologists says it is essential that an independent climate research initiative be founded by qualified climate-related scientists who are skeptical of the alarmist scenarios in order adequately to respond to the “wild climate claims” through the use of factual and scientific arguments.

Lüning writes that the main activities of an independent Climate Research Initiative would be determine:

1) The real value of CO2 climate sensitivity.

2) The real role of ocean cycles for the 1977-1998 warming phase.

3 If the correlation between solar activity and the temperature development over the last 10,000 years is just a coincidence, as the climate models like to suggest.

4) If extreme weather events are part of natural variability.

The German maverick geologist writes that here more climate-historical scientific studies are needed in order to better document natural climate variability over the past decades, centuriesand millenia. Important: “Which trends and cycles are really detectable and could they be useful for making climate forecasts?”

Lüning envisions a climate research initiative supported by private individuals and the business sector who are truly interested in finding out what really drives the climate. Lüning proposes the six main responsibilities:

1) Identifying the open, disputed climate issues.

2) Targeted support of research projects, publication of results in peer-reviewed journals.

3) Systematie evaluation of existing climate literature on natural variability and compilation of results.

4) Intensive communication with institutes and media concerning the results. Internet communication with the public.

5) Participation in German and international scientific conferences and workshops.

6) Training seminars for non-scientists, advising.

Lüning is convinced that what is required for a sustainable and rational debate is a “structured cooperation with an independent team of experts with a solid financial foundation” in order to address what the real fears are and which scenarios are unrealistic.

Parties interested in working for or supporting an independent German climate research initiative should contact or


Alice Springs Automatic Weather Station Inflated Temperature By 4.5°C, Producing False “Record High”!

Not only has siting of weather stations near urban heat sources have been a real issue for weather measurement stations worldwide, but so maybe has the recently implemented automatic electronic weather measurement instrumentation.

Reports are appearing that the new automatic system may be producing exaggerated temperature readings. For example this may be the case in Germany: read here and here.

Now we find another example, this one coming from the Alice Springs, Australia station.

According to the Australian ABC news site, the new electronic thermometer measured a scorching 46°C (an all time high) last Tuesday. However an adjacent mercury thermometer showed only 41.5°C, i.e. a huge 4.5°C less! It turns out that the 46°C reading was a “spike” that lasted only a minute before disappearing.

As a consequence, the ABC writes, the “Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has withdrawn its advice Alice Springs recorded its hottest day on Tuesday, blaming a faulty thermometer for an incorrect temperature reading.

The old record of 45.2°C was set 55 years ago, in 1960. The ABC quotes climatologist Joel Lisonbee:

It looks like we had an instrument fault with our automatic weather station at the Alice Springs Airport. […] We have some mercury and glass thermometers that did not show that spike to 46C. […]

They showed the maximum temperature yesterday to be only 41.5C.”

According to the ABC, the station is located right next to a “scorching” airport tarmac. So how could the new automatic thermometer produce such a faulty reading?

It seems that these new automatic systems are highly sensitive. As reported here at NTZ, one German weather instrumentation expert conducted an 8.5 year side-by-side comparison test of the new automatic electronic temperature measurement system and the former mercury glass thermometer. That test showed that the new automatic thermometers produced a mean temperature for the period that was a whopping 0.9°C warmer than the mercury thermometer. That result could possibly in part explain why Germany’s annual mean temperature jumped by a similar amount from 1985 to 2000, i.e. the period that Germany transitioned over to automatic measurement.

The Alice Springs inflated reading is an indication that the new measurement system indeed may be overstating temperature readings all over the world, thus adding uncertainties on top of those created by the urban heat island effect.

With the Alice Springs Station, the error was caught and the “record high” was withdrawn. Yet the question remains if this is the case all over the world. How many recent records are in fact not records at all, but rather are merely faulty readings produced from instrumentation and siting issues?


Al Gore’s Serial Extreme Climate Exaggerations Now “100 Times More Common Than 30 Years Ago”

If anyone needed more proof showing that former US Vice President Al Gore is a pathological serial exaggerator, look no further. He has proven it yet again, this time at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a location where dozens of world economic leaders have flown with private jets.

The Guardian reports here, quoting Mr Gore:

I think that these extreme weather events which are now a hundred times more common than 30 years ago are really waking people’s awareness all over the world [on climate change], and I think that is a gamechanger.”

This gaffe is even worse than his remark claiming that the core of the earth is 1 million degrees hot. It’s truly embarrassing that a vice president of the United States could say such a dumb thing.

In Gore’s view we can only assume that a 100-fold increase in extreme weather events is what it would take to get policymakers to take real action. The reality, however, is that there has been no detectable increase at all. Thus it all means we are light years away from “the climate crisis” Gore likes to hysterically bellow about.

And let us recall what the last IPCC report concluded on the subject of extreme weather event trends: No data exist showing extreme weather events have become more frequent. That’s from the IPCC itself.

Gore is obviously a very desparate man trying to get attention. He’s beginning to appear like the village marketplace fool.

Now responsible journalists are shaking their heads at Gore’s doozy of an exaggeration.


For example Spiegel science journalist Axel Bojanowski has reacted in a head-shaking way at Gore’s mega-whopper, calling “curious” and sarcastically commenting at Twitter:

Why have there been 5 IPCC reports?

Gore delivers another blow to the global warming science. Let him keep talking.


Shown On German ZDF Television! Walter Cunningham: “One Of The Greatest Scientific Fiascos Of All Time”

A few days ago the German ZDF national television late evening news presented a profile of the 2014 Starmus Festival in Tenerife, which featured distinguished Nobel prize scientists and astronauts (last September).

Hat-tip Wolfgang Neumann at

Example of those in attendance were Harold Kroto, Steven Hawkins, and astronauts Charlie Duke, Walter, Alexey Leonov, and Apollo 7 Astronaut Walter Cunningham.

ZDF Cunningham

Former astronaut Walter Cunningham. Image cropped from ZDF “heute journal”.

A video of the ZDF newscast is posted here at the network’s website. The part of interest begins at the 16:10 mark where the ZDF begins its the segment on Starmus. The really interesting, and unexpected, part begins at the 18:05 mark where ZDF British Nobel prize chemist Harold Kroto comments on CO2 and climate, which follows (in part translated from the German voice-over):

Even if there is no global warming, it is still in the interest of humanity to find an alternative to fossil fuels. As a chemist I’m telling you that it is almost criminal to burn them.”

But former astronaut Charles Duke doesn’t buy Kroto’s view:

A single volcano emits more climate gases into the atmosphere than man does. I don’t think we are responsible for the global warming.”

And neither does astronaut Walter Cunningham buy into the global warming theory:

Those who are sounding the alarms have corrected their claims multiple times. It is one of the greatest scientific fiascos of all time.”

It’s quite a surprise that Germany’s leading politically correct national television, ZDF, showed that sound byte, and did so in an untypically neutral way. Too late now – millions of Germans heard what undoubtedly will serve as seeds for doubt.
Readers here who are familiar with German climate politics of course are expecting certain PIK scientists to pick up the phone and to vigorously scold the ZDF for their “irresponsible” journalism, for giving a few seconds time to highly qualified skeptics.


Is 2014 The Warmest Year?

According to the news (the Associated Press, Seth Borenstein) 2014 is the hottest year on record. His numbers come from NOAA and NASA, so of course they are correct (sarc off).

And of course the record Seth is quoting only goes back to the last half of the Nineteenth Century, so that leaves out the Medieval Warm Period, the Roman Warm Period, the Minoan Warm Period, the Holocene Climate Optimum, and previous interglacials, but I digress.

Several things are left out of most of the discussions on the relative warmness of 2014:

  • Statistically, averaging thermometer readings that are accurate to 1 degree and sussing out a record that differs from another year by 0.01°C is one problem.
  • Spatially, averaging grid boxes that have as few as one thermometer, (and more than a few have zero!) with grids boxes that have scores of thermometers is another problem.
  • Correcting (homogenizing) a city thermometer by adjusting adjacent rural thermometers upwards to “correct” for the urban heat island is a whole different problem.
  • Pretending that changing the measuring instrument type and numbers, as well as the measurement times world-wide in the 1980’s and 90’s, didn’t change the resulting readings is also a large problem. See here and here.
  • This report is also guilty of “cherry-picking”. If it is the Meteorological Year that is picked, December to November, the record is still held by 2010, by 0.01°C. If it is satellite data (UAH) that is picked, 1998 is still the record, 0.15°C warmer than 2014.

Global GHCN & UHA Temps

Figure 1 is the latest GHCN and UAH Meteorological Year (December through November) data, along with the difference plot when the data are matched (normalized) at 1979.

In Figure 1, except for El Niño years, satellite data is not warming nearly as fast as the GHCN global data. The difference is now averaging more than 0.1°C.

GHCN adjustments

GHCN is constantly changing their data. Every time they get new data, they completely recalculate the whole database all the way back to 1880. This gives ample opportunity for confirmation bias to adjust the numbers. Here is an example. I had downloaded the global data last September, with numbers updated through August. Just now, I downloaded the current data with the numbers through December, completing both the meteorological and calendar years. Here is a chart of the monthly differences between the two data sets for the last 17 years Beware. This data will change every time they get new data and recalculate. The chart shown was from data downloaded at 1 PM eastern time on January 18th, 2015, today. It is different from the data I downloaded last Friday.

Adjustments since 1998

Figure 2 is a plot of the changes in GHCN data for all the months since 1998 up to August of last year. The vertical scale is in 1/100 degree C.

The changes are small, but they are nearly all in one direction, warmer. One would think that data corrections would be in both directions, some warmer, some cooler, but in the last 17 years, a total of 200 months, only three months were corrected in the cooler direction. Note that in the last year the corrections were mostly in the warmer direction by .02° or more. Only one, August in the September update, was cooled. It was completely offset by the July change. All the changes in the first six months of 2014 were sufficient to make 2014 the warmest calendar year.


German Met: Climate Change Nothing New…”We Do Not Know What Will Be 30, 40, Or 50 Years In The Future”

German skeptic site Die kalte Sonne here directs our attention to an article on Germany’s record warm 2014 year in German national daily, Die Welt.

The Die Welt article quotes German commercial meteorologist Dominik Jung of, who is often quoted in the German print media. Here’s the Die kalte Sonne post in English!

Dominik Jung warns of uncertain climate forecasts: “Us meteorologists know just how difficult forecasts for the next 5 to 10 days are. So how certain can 50-year trends be?”
By Sebastian Lüning and Fritz Vahrenholt
(Translated/edited by P Gosselin)

Exemplary reporting on the 2014 German temperature record appeared on December 30, 2014 in Die Welt. The daily allowed meteorologist Dominik Jung to get a word in. Jung puts the temperature trend in important context: 1000 years ago during the Medieval Warm Period it was at least just as warm in Germany as it is today. One needs to be careful when using the word “record”. What follows is an excerpt from the Die Welt article:

For the first time we have the number ten before the decimal point for Germany’s annual mean temperature. The mean temperature was around 10.2°C. ‘That’s a one hundred year record. Never has it been so warm in Germany,’ says meteorologist Dominik Jung at the weather site […]

‘One must clearly state: The temperature trend for Germany is clearly upwards over the last 130 years. And naturally this is climate change,’ said Jung. He then adds: ‘But: Climate is always changing. The earth’s climate has been subject in part to large fluctuations. During the Medieval Period there were both warm and icy times. So this pattern isn’t really anything new. However, there’s a lot of controversy in the ongoing discussion concerning what impact man has on the on the current increase in the mean temperature. Today that still has not yet been adequately determined.’ […]

‘We are a long way away from the severe drought summers, or winters without ice and snow – just a look out the window is already enough. These extreme scenarios help very little. They only serve to spread uncertainty. We do not know what will be 30, 40, or 50 years into the future. Chill out: Us meteorologists know just how difficult forecasts for the next 5 to 10 days can be.’ Jung has doubts on ‘How accurate the 50-year trend will be.'”

You can read the entire German article at Die Welt.



2005 James Hansen: No Agreement On What Is “Surface Air Temperature”…Few Observed Data Filled In With “Guesses”

NASA has an interview with James Hansen (still) up at its site here.

Here we see that “surface air temperature” (0 to 50 feet) is not even yet defined, let alone can it be determined. This does not only present lots of uncertainty in its determination, but also plenty of opportunity for measurement and interpretation mischief. Hat/tip: Reader Dennis.

Here The NASA interview (my emphases added):

GISS Surface Temperature Analysis

The Elusive Absolute Surface Air Temperature (SAT)

The GISTEMP analysis concerns only temperature anomalies, not absolute temperature. Temperature anomalies are computed relative to the base period 1951-1980. The reason to work with anomalies, rather than absolute temperature is that absolute temperature varies markedly in short distances, while monthly or annual temperature anomalies are representative of a much larger region. Indeed, we have shown (Hansen and Lebedeff, 1987) that temperature anomalies are strongly correlated out to distances of the order of 1000 km.

Q. What exactly do we mean by SAT ?
A. I doubt that there is a general agreement how to answer this question. Even at the same location, the temperature near the ground may be very different from the temperature 5 ft above the ground and different again from 10 ft or 50 ft above the ground. Particularly in the presence of vegetation (say in a rain forest), the temperature above the vegetation may be very different from the temperature below the top of the vegetation. A reasonable suggestion might be to use the average temperature of the first 50 ft of air either above ground or above the top of the vegetation. To measure SAT we have to agree on what it is and, as far as I know, no such standard has been suggested or generally adopted. Even if the 50 ft standard were adopted, I cannot imagine that a weather station would build a 50 ft stack of thermometers to be able to find the true SAT at its location.

Q. What do we mean by daily mean SAT ?
A. Again, there is no universally accepted correct answer. Should we note the temperature every 6 hours and report the mean, should we do it every 2 hours, hourly, have a machine record it every second, or simply take the average of the highest and lowest temperature of the day ? On some days the various methods may lead to drastically different results.

Q. What SAT do the local media report?
A. The media report the reading of 1 particular thermometer of a nearby weather station. This temperature may be very different from the true SAT even at that location and has certainly nothing to do with the true regional SAT. To measure the true regional SAT, we would have to use many 50 ft stacks of thermometers distributed evenly over the whole region, an obvious practical impossibility.

Q. If the reported SATs are not the true SATs, why are they still useful ?
A. The reported temperature is truly meaningful only to a person who happens to visit the weather station at the precise moment when the reported temperature is measured, in other words, to nobody. However, in addition to the SAT the reports usually also mention whether the current temperature is unusually high or unusually low, how much it differs from the normal temperature, and that information (the anomaly) is meaningful for the whole region. Also, if we hear a temperature (say 70°F), we instinctively translate it into hot or cold, but our translation key depends on the season and region, the same temperature may be ‘hot’ in winter and ‘cold’ in July, since by ‘hot’ we always mean ‘hotter than normal’, i.e. we all translate absolute temperatures automatically into anomalies whether we are aware of it or not.

Q. If SATs cannot be measured, how are SAT maps created?
A. This can only be done with the help of computer models, the same models that are used to create the daily weather forecasts. We may start out the model with the few observed data that are available and fill in the rest with guesses (also called extrapolations) and then let the model run long enough so that the initial guesses no longer matter, but not too long in order to avoid that the inaccuracies of the model become relevant. This may be done starting from conditions from many years, so that the average (called a ‘climatology’) hopefully represents a typical map for the particular month or day of the year.

Q. What do I do if I need absolute SATs, not anomalies ?
A. In 99.9% of the cases you’ll find that anomalies are exactly what you need, not absolute temperatures. In the remaining cases, you have to pick one of the available climatologies and add the anomalies (with respect to the proper base period) to it. For the global mean, the most trusted models produce a value of roughly 14°C, i.e. 57.2°F, but it may easily be anywhere between 56 and 58°F and regionally, let alone locally, the situation is even worse.

Return to GISTEMP page.


Freedom Of Deception…”Brave” Leaders Not In Front Row, But Cowered Behind Over One Million Paris Demonstrators

Never the trust the media, let alone political leaders.

When they tell us global warming is real while sea ice at the poles is at normal levels and snow is falling in Jacksonville, Florida and in the Arabian desert, should we believe them?

Probably not – especially when one looks closely at the climate data. And certainly not at all when one looks at how they report the news on how world leaders “bravely” demonstrated in Paris “alongside” more than a million people in response to the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attack.

Most readers by now are aware of the STAGED photos and images of the 50 or so world leaders standing and “marching united with” the more than one million demonstrators in Paris last Sunday. In reality it was all staged to deceive television viewers all over the world.

Charlie Hebdo demo

World leaders stage their Paris, Charlie Hebdo, demonstration. Image cropped from here.

German Television’s mass deception

Now someone has just put up a montage of various news clips from some German public television news networks, showing how they used the stagecraft to deceive viewers into thinking our leaders were bravely demonstrating at the front row against terrorism in the Paris march of last Sunday.

At the 0:40 mark the video informs the viewers up ahead of the deception the media used:

Observe the targeted deception of the viewers through the use of camera angles, sound clips (the side streets were dead quiet) and the audacious lies of the news anchors and correspondents”.

What follows are some examples I’ve translated in English.

At the 0:55 mark Germany’s ZDF describes how more than a million people demonstrated in Paris to “send a clear signal of unity and to march for freedom of expression, tolerance and against terror”.

At the 1:12 mark, the ZDF anchor tells its millions of viewers:

And among them, arm-in-arm, the leaders and countries from all over the world.”

The reality is that these world leaders were in fact too afraid to appear “arm-in-arm, should-to-shoulder” with the masses. In effect they actually demonstrated their capitulation to terrorism, admitting the terror worked and that they are now too afraid to appear with the public. Congratulations terrorists, your aim has been achieved – at least among our leaders. Obviously real courage is something only for the masses.

At the 1:32 mark the ZDF switches to a correspondent “on location”, and shows how the world leaders seem to be marching along with the one million-plus demonstrators.

At the 1:34 mark the correspondent reports on the leaders:

These here are also demonstrators. More than 50 government leaders and high officials from all over the world march together.”

Looking at the video image, one sees Angela Merkel and others even seemingly waving at people. The sad truth is that it was all an act.

At the 2:00 mark, the same ZDF correspondent describes:

The world’s political elite on the street, side-by-side, with the people.”

Sorry, but they weren’t “with the people”. It’s just the media willfully disseminating organized deception to millions of viewers all over Europe and the world.

Later in the video a ZDF Special Report shows more of the same: brave world leaders marching hand-in-hand with the people, “to send a signal against terrorism“.

At the 2:52 mark there are more images deceiving the viewers into thinking the world leaders were marching with the people. Even Bibbi Netanyahu is getting in on the act. The deception continues at the 3:38 mark…courageous leaders seemingly risking their lives to demonstrate in unity in public with their people.

Truth: leaders were cowering behind the demonstrators

The aspect that annoys me in particular is that these leaders found the situation to be too dangerous, yet had no qualms about letting the more than a million and half demonstrators put their lives at risk on the street. Bravery for you, but not for me.

The truth is that the world leaders, by staging in an empty highly secured street, were in effect cowering in the last rows behind the demonstrators, and not bravely leading them in the front row as we were misled to believe.

At the 4:30 mark the video shows how Germany’s flagship ARD Television also uses the same mass deception, the news anchor announces:

More than 40 world leaders participated in the march.”

At the 6:40 mark the ARD in a special report again showed “world leaders marching with the people“.

At the 7:51 mark viewers see world leaders in the “front row”, seemingly bravely leading the million-plus person march. Here we notice audio of people cheering and demonstrating in the background, when in reality the footage was recorded on a secluded street where the side streets were completely empty and silent!

At the 8-minute mark the correspondent reports the names of the important figures present in the front row: Merkel, Hollande, Netanyahu and Abbas.

At the 8:06 mark the correspondent declares that it’s:

“A front row who are declaring: ‘We will not be intimidated!'”

These are the very people who send our sons and daughters to the battlefield.

At the 9:08 mark yet another ZDF report shows world leaders marching with the people, labeling them at the 9:20 mark: “Politicians as demonstrators.”

The topping on the cake comes at the 10:00 mark, where the ZDF correspondent even asks:

When was there ever a time where government leaders, or leaders of 50 nations, have come onto the streets as demonstrators, over a kilometer-long stretch that was not even completely safe? That was something particularly special.”

The mainstream media cannot be trusted. Little wonder that demonstrators in Germany refer to them as the “Liar Press”. I guess we should sarcastically start calling them “the Truth Press”.


German Scientist Slams, Mocks PIK’s Use Of Tacky Madison Avenue-Style Marketing To Sell (Junk) Climate Science

When a science finds itself having to resort to using professional marketing campaigns to get the public to buy it, then you can be reasonably sure something is awfully wrong.

Geologist Dr. Sebastian Lüning responds to and mocks the Potsdam Institute’s report released together with the World Bank.

Learning from the PIK means learning how to win: Clever Climate Marketing 2.0
By Dr. Sebastian Lüning
(Translated by P Gosselin)

When it comes to the business of climate change, we are dealing with lots of money. Thus it is only natural that the World Bank is getting into the act and playing the climate doomsday music. But to do this, it needs an ally. Fortunately there’s the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), which is sort of a mill that regularly churns out and markets new, entertaining horror scenarios.

The World bank has contracted the PIK to conjure up an entire series of climate alarms. Part 3 of the cooperation came to light in November 2014. Of course here one finds nothing new. Yet again the attempt was made to shock a climate-weary public with the usual old Biblical extreme-weather cocktail: hellish heat, huge floods and giant cyclones descending from the heavens.

Their efforts seem to have been accompanied by a professional marketing department that took on the task of coming up with hard-hitting marketing slogans and catchy messages. And so this is how they got the title ‘Turn down the heat 3‘, which also could be the name of a rock album. Hats off. The same can be said for the slogan: “Confronting the new normal”. Sounds great.

So why can’t us climate skeptics do the same? In our reports we all too often use ineffective terms, calling the other side names like “stupid alarmists”, “swindlers”, or “senseless”. What if instead we used terms like “Let’s get back to reason 5.0″ or “Accepting and understanding the Medieval Warm Period”?

Overall the structure of the PIK press release and the psychological fundamental elements used are carefully considered and crafted. The claim “Climate change impacts foremost the world’s poor” really does play on the heart strings:

‘Global warming impacts in the next decades are likely to hit those hardest that contributed least to global greenhouse gas emissions: the global poor.’ Developing countries are expected to experience the most severe climate impacts, notably in the tropics, while lacking the means to build resilience. And within these countries, again those parts of the population with the least means are most vulnerable to additional stress.”

A great marketing gag: the evil westerners are destroying the climate, particularly in developing countries. From a scientific point of view, it is totally baseless, yet it sounds really good and almost no one will dare to challenge the claim. That simply does not befit the rich westerner. Here for example the coral horror would be of much worth. Here’s how it’s written by the PIK:

In the Caribbean, coral reefs are threatened of significantly higher probabilities of annual bleaching already at 1.5-2 degrees warming… .”

Apparently knowledge of the latest literature on that subject is quite lacking at the PIK. Otherwise the Potsdam scientists would have known that the coral reefs have turned out to be far more warmth-resistant than previously feared. Yet the cooperation between the World Bank and the PIK has far less to do with facts, and much more with moral declarations formulated in catchy language that makes for good prose. The PIK director puts on his best act to mislead:

‘Tackling climate change is a matter of reason, but also of justice,’ says the report’s lead-author Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, director of PIK.”

This method would also work effectively for the climate realists side. For example we could write:

‘Recognizing the climate’s natural variability is a matter of reason, but also of justice,’ says Sebastian Lüning, DkS website director and number 2 lead author of the sustainable climate report ‘Die Kalte Sonne’.”

As is known since the discovery of the motion picture in Hollywood, a good story has a happy ending and allows for a bright outlook. Thus it is no surprise that this technique also gets used by the PIK and the World Bank:

‘The good news is that we can do something about it’
[…] The good news is that we can take action that reduces the rate of climate change and promotes economic growth, ultimately stopping our journey down this dangerous path. World leaders and policy makers should embrace affordable solutions like carbon pricing and policy choices that shift investment to clean public transport, cleaner energy and more energy efficient factories, buildings and appliances.”

A positive call to action is simply far more effective than making threats. The phrase “Good News” has been successfully employed in religions for a very long time, and also by cults. “The good news: You can transfer one third of your income to the account of our religion founder, and so cleanse yourselves of all your sins.”

Us skeptics should do as the PIK does and band together with a top performing team of marketing experts and psychologists so that we too can promote our scientific messages in the suitable format.

This step is not only a matter of reason, but also of justice. Learning from the PIK means learning how to win.

Sebastian Lüning is a geologist who has published numerous papers in his field. He is co-author of the climate science skeptical book: The Neglected Sun.


Catholic Church On The Road To Hell? Following Junk Climate Science, Deception And Climate Fortune Telling

Awhile back I announced I was disassociating myself from the Catholic Church because of their growing acceptance of the wacky man-made global warming theory. How can it be that the Church, symbol of truth and morality, would accept a science that is built on outright lies, flakey theories, deception and fortunetelling? That’s no Church for me.

Pope_TO DO LISTSome readers thought that I may have acted to hastily, and advised me to at least wait until the Pope releases his upcoming encyclical on the topic. Maybe the Vatican is not really quite going in that direction.

Unfortunately that hardly seems to be the case. All signs are pointing to a Vatican that is ready to accept the bogus science. One can only speculate about what earthly benefit they may be getting in return. Even the Vatican’s soul can be bought.

For example the Vatican writes in a December 11 press release concerning the Lima Conference that climate protection is “a grave ethical and moral responsibility” and that “the consequences of environmental change […] remind us of the grave consequences of mismanagement and inaction.” and that “The time for seeking global solutions is running out” claiming there exists a clear, definitive and unpostponable ethical imperative to act”.

I’d say the Vatican’s position is quite clear. The press release continues:

Pope Francis thus emphasised that an ‘effective battle against global warming will be possible only through a responsible collective response that sets aside particular interests and behaviours and develops free from political and economic pressures’.”

Other Vatican press releases on the subject use the same language.

Today the reports on the Pope’s upcoming visit to the Phillipines. It writes: “A worldwide campaign is emerging among Catholic individuals and organizations concerned about climate change and protecting the environment. The Global Catholic Climate Movement went public Jan. 14, coinciding with the visit of Pope Francis to the Philippines.”

Okay, this does not appear to be a direct initiative from the Vatican, but it is one that is awfully close to it. As more Catholics adopt global warming, it is only a question of time before the Church becomes divided.

Also new today is that Catholics in Australia are joining global movement to curb climate change. Great, these Catholics now believe in rain-dancing and indulgences.

They write:

We accept the findings of scientific leaders, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), that humanity’s greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to widespread and mostly harmful changes to planetary systems. We are certain that anthropogenic [human-made] climate change endangers God’s creation and us all, particularly the poor, whose voices have already spoken of the impacts of an altered climate.”

It’s one thing when the members leave the Church, but it’s quite another when the Church leaves its members – and joins up with a flakey movement that is based on phony data, deception, slimy politics and fortunetelling. I have no desire to follow the Vatican in this folly. The Church has to come back to the truth, and not the other way around.

The Vatican would be very wise make an immediate course correction and to take a neutral position on the issue.

PS: My “Pope’s “to-do list” is meant to be satirical.

Germany’s Warming Happens To Coincide With Late 20th Century Implementation Of Digital Measurement

The last couple of days I posted on an 8.5 year side-by-side test conducted by German veteran meteorologist Klaus Hager, see here and here. The test compared traditional glass mercury thermometer measurement stations to the new electronic measurement system, whose implementation began at Germany’s approximately 2000 surface stations in 1985 and concluded around 2000.

Hager’s test results showed that on average the new electronic measurement system produced warmer temperature readings: a whopping mean of 0.93°C warmer. The question is: Is this detectable in Germany’s temperature dataset? Do we see a temperature jump during the time the new “warmer” system was put into operation (1985 – 2000)? The answer is: absolutely!

1900 to 1985: almost no warming

Josef Kowatsch, an independent scientist and regular contributor at EIKE, has looked at the German temperature dataset and discovers that Germany’s mean temperature indeed coincidentally jumped by a similar 0.9°C during the same period. First he sent me a chart depicting Germany’s annual mean temperature from 1900 to 1985, measured using the old glass mercury thermometers:


For 85 years the trend was pretty much consistent, hovering at about 8.2 or 8.3°C. As indicated by the bold black line, there was an increase from 1900 to 1935, followed by a slight decrease from 1935 to 1985, i.e. in a time when CO2 emissions were rising strongly worldwide.

1986 – 2000: massive warming

Next Josef sent me a second chart depicting Germany’s mean temperature trend while the country was transitioning over to the new electronic measuring system, described here, from 1986 to 2000:


Here we see the trend for the period rising strongly, from about 8.4°C to 9.3°C, i.e. precisely during the instrumentation transition period! This too happens to be a rise of 0.9°C, which coincides precisely with the results of the side-by-side temperature measurement test Hager conducted over 8.5 years comparing mercury thermometers to electronic ones. That could be a sheer coincidence, but on the other hand it is screaming to be investigated.

2000 to present: no warming

Next Kowatsch provided a chart showing Germany’s mean annual temperature for period 0f 2000 to present, i.e. the period that has been using the new electronic measurement system:


Here we see there is no longer any rising trend, but that the mean temperature is at a new, higher plateau. As a result, almost the entire mean annual temperature rise Germany has seen since 1900 occurred during the single short 1986-2000 period. Josef Kowatsch commented (by e-mail):

In these 15 years, did CO2’s greenhouse gas effect suddenly go into action? Who switched on the CO2 greenhouse gas effect for these 15 years?”

Moreover, didn’t Germany’s national DWD Weather Service check and calibrate the new electronic system to be sure it would produce results similar to the earlier used mercury thermometers and thus ensure the recording of reliable data? Hager says they never did, and it seems they were quite content to adopt the warmer readings.

The following chart is a plot of Germany’s mean annual temperature over the entire 1900 to present period:


Chart adapted from here.

To me this all appears to have all the elements of an epic instrumentation debacle that is as bad and sloppy as any could get. Again, I repeat: Hager writes that the DWD never conducted any systematic comparison tests in order to be sure the new electronic ones were producing reliable daily data.

If this is really the case, then we can be happy that the DWD is not in the business of calibrating altimetry systems for commercial jets.

Of course the 1986 – 2000 rise likely is not solely an artifact of poor instrumentation calibration, as part of the warming is surely due to the natural ocean cycles which pushed global temperatures up during the end of the 20th century. However, the results of Hager’s comparison test are difficult to ignore and raise lots of questions.


Weather Instrumentation Debacle? Analysis Shows 0.9°C Of Germany’s Warming May Be Due To Transition To Electronic Measurement

Yesterday I wrote a post about how a 44-year veteran German meteorologist poured cold water on the hypothesis of a man-made global warming and pointed out that a change in temperature instrumentation is probably behind much of the reported warming that Germany has supposedly since the 1980s.

Klaus Hager also has a website. At this website he posted a meteorological bulletin, which he authored and was published as an annex to the Berliner Wetterkarte (Berlin Weather Chart).

That bulletin was about the results of his eight and a half year study where he compared in a side-by-side test the former glass mercury thermometers with the newer electronic thermometers, which were installed during the 1980s and 1990s by Germany’s DWD German Weather Service.

Earlier mercury thermometer method

Earlier temperature measurement was done using a mercury/alcohol glass thermometer, where readings were taken ten minutes before each hour. The daily mean temperature was computed using the “Mannheimer” hourly values 07h, 14h, and 2 times 21h, all divided by 4. The DWD used this formula until March 31, 2001. The extreme temperatures were read at the glass thermometer at 7 a.m. as the low, and 9 p.m. for the maximum. Temperature was measured inside an “English” weather hut.

New electronic system

The new electronic system, however, employs a completely different sensor technology, known as the Pt 100, where temperature is measured with two measurement sensors that check each other. Each second a value is generated and measured for an entire minute, i.e. minute mean. The daily mean temperature is calculated from 24 values, each at 10 minutes before the hour (e.g. at 8:50 for 9 a.m.) The extreme is calculated from the minute mean values between 00 h and 24h. Today they are recorded inside a plastic hut with slats (at first made of aluminum).

The advantages and disadvantages are listed in the annex below.

Hager writes that although electronic sensors and the comprehensive IT networking implemented by the German DWD Weather Service do offer many advantages, there are also a number of disadvantages which he says are of importance with respect to assessing climate change, especially when comparing old datasets from the mercury thermometers to the new datasets recorded by the electronic sensor technology. He writes that it’s close to comparing “an apple and an orange”.

Results of 8.5 year side-by-side test

Hager compared the two different measurement systems side by side at the GeiInfoAdvisory Office of Fliegerhorst Lechfeld from January 1, 1999 to Jul 31, 2007. The following is a plot of the differences between the two measurement methods:


Figure 1: Differences in the daily maximum temperatures from the Pt 100 compared to glass thermometers for 3124 days (ca. 8.5 years) conducted at the GeiInfoAdvisory Office of Fliegerhorst Lechfeld (from 4) – mean difference 0.93°C.  Figure from Rengelink, 2012)

Clearly the electronic thermometers produced warmer readings than the mercury thermometers.

Worse, Hager says, the German DWD Weather Service did not adequately investigate the two different measuring systems and compare them, writing that:

Although the DWD set up so-called climate reference stations at (way to few) locations and published the studies from the comparison measurements, the results unfortunately were not satisfactory. Here not the “old data was compared to the new data”, instead only the electronic thermometer was investigated in various locations, but were not compared with the glass thermometers, which are readily at hand.”

Hager provides an example illustrating why one must be very wary when comparing data from the new electronic instrumentation to data taken from the old mercury thermometers. The following chart depicts an example comparison for the temperature measured using the two different methods on a single day, 12 November 2005:


Figure 2: Pt 100 measurements taken on 12 November 2005 at Fliegerhorst Lechfeld (WMO 10856) station. Red curve (upper) is the measurement sensor of the aluminum enclosure, showing daily mean temperature of 5.9°C. Blue curve (lower) is the Stevenson screen, showing daily mean temperature of only 5.2°C.

Hager writes:

Differing daily measured values from the old and new sensors for temperature measurement spurred the author [Hager] to conduct a comparison spanning from January 1, 1999 to July 31, 2006 at Fliegerhorst Lechfeld (WMO 10856) 8-1/2 years long, daily without interruption, among other comparison tests of mercury maximum glass thermometers in a Stevenson screen and a Pt 100 resistance thermometer inside an aluminum enclosure, both unventilated. The 3144 days yielded a mean difference of +0.93°C; the Pt 100 was higher than the mercury thermometer. The maximum daily difference even reached 6.4°C!

You can see the maximum difference in Figure 1, occurring in early 2006.

Hager also writes that the difference was between 0 – 1°C on 41% of the days, 1 – 3°C on 26% of the days, and over 2°C on 15% of the days [Here we assume that Hager made a typographical error and meant “1 – 2°C”]. Only on 15% of the days did mercury thermometers show higher mean temperatures.

Hager attributes the wide range of differences on factors such as cloudiness, sunshine duration, wind speed and air mass changes. The results, Hager writes, show that:

Earlier measured values cannot be compared to the values measured today for longer term temperature datasets without having interruptions in the overall dataset.”

Not only is the temperature sensing method very different than it was before, Hager writes that also the method for determining the daily mean temperature is different and thus another source of discrepancy. Earlier the “Manheimer” hours (7h +14h + 2 times 21h divided by 4 was used. Today the daily mean is comprised of 24 hourly values from 00 h to 23 h divided by 24.  “This too falsifies the quality of the recorded values,” writes Hager.

Hager concludes:

This all should give the current science something to think about, because actual practice tells us that there is a necessary rethinking when it comes to the theoretical and numerical approaches used for assessing the swings in climate.”

Advantages/disadvantages of electronic measurement

– Considerable personnel costs savings due to elimination of visual readings.
– Possible densification of the measurement network through new sensor locations.
– Up-to-date and immediate availability of measured values.
– Extending the spectrum of measurements, e.g. radiation measurement.
– At times high measurement accuracy due to minimal sensor inertia.

– Lack of comparability between the old measurements and those of the new sensors.
– Thermometer: formerly glass thermometer, today Pt 100 sensor.
– Precipitation measurement unit: formerly Hellmann pan, today with the teetering unit or the new weight measurement of precipitation.
– Humidity: formerly using the hair hygrometer, today it is the dew-point sensor or capacitive sensor.
– Wind speed: formerly using the cup anemometer, today with an ultrasound unit.
– Snow depth measurement: formerly measured by hand, today with laser or ultrasound device.
– Precipitation type and weather appearance of snow, rain, hail, and cloud observation are done by visual observation.
– Increased maintenance requirements for the sensors done by a maintenance center.
– Sensor downtime of various types with disruptions in the climate dataset.
– Onset of measurement techniques through other evaluations of daily means, see: Temperature Measurement at the DWD “Formerly and Today”.