What Mullan actually says

In Renowden’s latest apologia at Hot Topic it is quite difficult to discern Brett Mullan’s arguments through the thicket of abuse and misdirection created by Renowden. But I think these are the debating points he’s trying to make, lined up with the passages in which he makes them.

Point 1

When he says:

Let me pose a question. What does Dedekind think Rhoades and Salinger were doing in their 1993 paper? Indulging in a purely theoretical exercise? In fact, they developed their techniques by working on what became the Seven Station Series (7SS), and from 1992 onwards the 7SS was compiled using RS93 methods properly applied.

We’ll call that Debating point 1. From 1992 onwards the 7SS was recalculated using the Rhoades & Salinger (1993) measurement techniques.

Continue Reading →

Hot Topic of hatred

First foray against Renowden’s latest polemic. There’ll be more.

Hot Topic keeps its hands grubby with another poisonous piece of writing. In Danger Dedekind! Heartbreak Ahead (still wrong, still digging, NZ still warming fast) Gareth Renowden first attacks Chris de Freitas:

Given de Freitas’ track record, it is unsurprising that I queried the peer review process at Environmental Modelling and Assessment.

No, it IS surprising, since it’s a completely different journal and Chris is not the editor. Continue Reading →

Paper adds interesting perspective on NZ temperature trend

Today a paper on the New Zealand temperature record (NZTR) was accepted by the journal Environmental Modeling & Assessment. Submitted in 2013, we can only imagine the colossal peer-review hurdles that had to be overcome in gaining acceptance for a paper that refutes the national temperature record in a developed country. The mere fact of acceptance attests to a fundamental shift in scientific attitudes to climate change, but expect strident opposition to this paper. Continue Reading →

It’s climate denial all right

I have just been referred to this savage attack on Chris de Freitas by student Lola Thompson published in Craccum last July (thanks, Andy). It’s a fact-free romp through the ad hominem glories of Real Climate and Hot Topic, commissions the scientific skills of the Herald’s Chris Baron [sic], adds some insipid remarks from Martin Manning and learns from Gareth Renowden that Lord Monckton “doesn’t have a single climate science qualification.” Of course, neither does Renowden — and de Freitas is a professor in “climate science” — but that doesn’t slow Renowden down. With breath-taking irony, Renowden has the gall to claim that de Freitas doesn’t mention the IPCC “or current climate information” in his lectures (which I know is untrue). But he doesn’t reveal that the IPCC reports omit current (inconvenient) climate studies and that the IPCC has never investigated whether DAGW might be falsified — they take it as a fact without looking. So Lola quickly and easily learns about climate “denial” and how to write (and craft it well, I must say) a poisonous polemic but finds it hard to learn the objective science of geography, poor thing. She does not know, and is maybe too young to know, that scientific scepticism is the single attribute most likely to keep a scientist at the top of his field for a very long time. However, she so much doesn’t like having to learn climate skepticism [sic] that she insists on misspelling it. Her article reveals plenty of climate denial, but not where she claims it to be. Where is her refutation of de Freitas’ course? Where, for heaven’s sake, is even her description of it? Where is the science?

Should we be paying to be taught climate denial? | Craccum Magazine.

By Lola Thompson · In Columns, Eco-Matters, Issue 01 2012
On July 3, 2012

Craccum

Chris De Freitas is an Associate Professor at the University of Auckland employed by the School of Environment as a lecturer in Climatology.

I encountered De Freitas during the first semester last year when I took Geography of the Natural Environment (101), a compulsory course for all geography majors.

After the first few lectures taught by De Freitas I became increasingly concerned about what I was being taught. Prior to attending the class I was under the impression that the debate around climate change was no longer in questioned and anthropogenic climate change is now a scientific fact.

However, De Freitas presented the changing climate as a natural cycle, to which fossil fuels were not a contributor.

I found what I was learning incredibly alarming, as it went against all the information I had ever read about climate change. I began expressing my concerns to other students, who had previously taken courses taught by De Freitas and found I was not alone in my concerns. Continue Reading →

No evidence no reason for complacency

Chris de Freitas is a proper scientist with a wonderful sense of humour — just wait until you see his conclusion! His articles are easy to read and I always read them.


Regrettably, the Herald has turned comments off, but that’s why blogs exist — leave your comments here where influential people will see them!


Newspapers

This is an adopted article.

Chris de Freitas: Science proves alarmist global warming claims nothing but hot air

Several aspects of Jim Salinger’s op-ed “Climate hurtling towards a hothouse Earth” Herald 24/5/13 are quite misleading. It is true most climate scientists would agree that rising carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel use could affect global climate. The basic physics is there to support this view. But there is no evidence that the putative change would be large or damaging. Output from computer models is not evidence unless model performance has been validated. So far, it has not. Continue Reading →

Court no substitute for science

Professor de Freitas from time to time advises the NZ Climate Science Coalition, but he does not speak for it. Nevertheless, this op-ed in today’s Herald gives such a clear view of the issues touching our court case that it deserves a hearing here.

One assumes scientific analysis is objective, so it may come as a surprise that this was challenged in a New Zealand High Court case, the results of which were released last week.

The New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust (NZCSET) contested the claim by the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (Niwa) that New Zealand air temperatures had climbed by 0.9°C over the past century. The trust maintains that objective analysis of the data shows a trend closer to 0.3°C per 100 years. Continue Reading →

Barton earns Canadian rebuke

Chris de Freitas

This post could be considered tardy. However Donna Laframboise’s illuminating comments lose nothing with the passage of time. They deserve circulation and Auckland’s possibly best-known sceptical climate scientist deserves her thoughtful and eloquent support.

Four weeks ago, on July 16, the Herald published Chris Barton’s attack on Chris de Freitas’s integrity. The next day I posted a defence of a scientist who has given a lot of help to any number of keen climate amateurs like myself and has the courage to say out loud that things are not scientific if to him they appear in fact to be unscientific.

About a week later the uncompromising Laframboise posted a perceptive analysis of Barton’s attempted “critical thinking”. I encourage you to read the whole thing if you have a few minutes. Continue Reading →

Renowden misdirects in a septic meander

misdirection

de Freitas feeds his students sceptic propaganda …

So says the radical Renowden, he of the non-sceptical “believe everything they say” warmist persuasion. But read what he says about Chris de Freitas’ crimes and you’ll realise he says nothing, because no crimes exist.

Gareth Renowden is himself guilty of attempting to abridge the academic freedom to study and teach inconvenient facts.

It’s all arm-waving, and Renowden cites nothing in the Geography 101 course that’s untrue. He says many unkind things about the graphs and their provenance, but he never says they’re wrong, and that’s a strange thing to forget, which means he didn’t forget it — he omitted it, because they’re not wrong. Continue Reading →

de Freitas on solid ground

what is weather

(h/t Bob D for most of the references)

Journalist Chris Barton has a story in yesterday’s Herald titled The climate dissenter holds his ground. After looking at Barton’s alarmist arguments I’ll stand with Chris de Freitas on the solid ground.

The story begins with the implication (not that the journalist says it this plainly) that, even with the planet battling weather extremes, that is not enough to convince an Auckland climate scientist (Associate Professor Chris de Freitas, at the University of Auckland) of the truth of human-induced global warming. We’re supposed to feel exasperation: “What will it take to get that man to see sense?”

But Barton is dead wrong. For why should “extreme” weather be an indication of man-made global warming? How could we get more extreme weather out of global warming? Continue Reading →

Computer model is not evidence

NZ Herald crest

Letter sent to the Herald on 7 Jan, 2011
quill pen

Dear Sir,

It has come to my attention that you published a (further) letter from a Dr Doug Campbell, again challenging Professor Chris de Freitas’ recent article about the science of global warming. Dr Campbell said: “The facts support anthropogenic global warming with a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide resulting in warming of between 2 °C and 4.5 °C.”

I wish to point out that, as a matter of fact, that is not a fact.

Dr de Freitas was talking about an expected temperature increase from carbon dioxide alone of about 1 °C, and he mentioned that was, “by itself, relatively small” and “not controversial.”

Dr Campbell, if he disagrees with that, should cite his authority for doing so. The only source of temperature increases greater than one degree is various computer climate models. These models give different results on each run. Continue Reading →

Many surprised to learn global warming basics

From the pen of Chris de Freitas comes this short but compelling narrative, inspired and inspiring, and calming, like a cool balm on an inflammation. Read it and watch the heat from the global warming debate dissipate and important issues clarify. Reprinted here with Chris’ kind permission.

Chris de Freitas: Emotion clouding underlying science of global warming

First published in the NZ Herald, 5:30 a.m. Wednesday Jan 5, 2011
Professor de Freitas

Professor de Freitas

Unlike most other hot-button environmental issues, global warming is widely misunderstood. As a climate scientist, thinking about this, it struck me that it was not surprising, since accounts of the scientific basics of global warming almost never appear anywhere in the press.

There is not space here to include all the charts and numbers that might accompany such an account. In their place is a necessarily brief summary.

Most people are not shocked to learn that global warming discussions evoke polarised views, but many are surprised to discover that the scientific basics are not contentious. An awareness of these is helpful in building an understanding of the extent to which there is a problem and how it might be addressed. Continue Reading →

Bias or Blindness… de Freitas lets fly

Chris de Freitas

Chris de Freitas takes aim at decision-makers who should know, but apparently don’t know, what they’re doing. If they don’t squirm on reading this stinging criticism, then surely they possess no conscience. Let us hope they’re strong enough to honestly re-evaluate their position. I’m posting his article in toto; crafted with the best possible reasoning, it deserves the widest possible circulation.

Published in Energy New Zealand, Sept 2009.
by Chris de Freitas

Bias or blindness… emission targets

THE KYOTO PROTOCOL, an icon of the global environmental movement, is soon to be replaced by a more radical international treaty to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

What it will involve depends on the outcome of negotiations that begin this December in Copenhagen. In preparation, the Government has committed New Zealand to cut up to a third of current emissions by 2020.

The economic, social and moral implications are immense, since carbon taxes and tradable emissions alone cannot make such a massive reduction. Sweeping legislation restricting the use of oil, coal and natural gas would be required, along with far-reaching reforms in pastoral farming to cut methane release. Continue Reading →

Nature, not man, responsible for recent global warming

Now the cat is put among the pigeons.

Research recently completed by two Kiwis and an Aussie reveals that natural forces are the dominant influence on climate. They say little or none of the late 20th century global warming and cooling can be attributed to human activity.

John McLean, Chris de Freitas and Bob Carter published their paper, “Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature”, in the prestigious Journal of Geophysical Research on July 23, 2009.

“The surge in global temperatures since 1977 can be attributed to a 1976 climate shift in the Pacific Ocean that made warming El Niño conditions more likely than they were over the previous 30 years and cooling La Niña conditions less likely” says co-author de Freitas, quoted at Climate Depot.

“We have shown that internal global climate-system variability accounts for at least 80% of the observed global climate variation over the past half-century. It may even be more if the period of influence of major volcanoes can be more clearly identified and the corresponding data excluded from the analysis.”

That’s all for now; more later.

UPDATE: 24 July 2009, 23:59

This is one of those (apparently) rare things in the climate debate: a peer-reviewed paper that casts doubt on the theory of strong anthropogenic global warming. Here’s hoping the alarmists note this new paper and grant it the respect it deserves without heaping the authors with ad hominem insults, though I’m not holding my breath. Please note that by ‘respect’ I mean refuting it with observation and reason, not hyperbole and obfuscation.

Abstract

J. D. McLean, C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter
Received 16 December 2008; revised 23 March 2009; accepted 14 May 2009; published 23 July 2009.

Time series for the Southern Oscillation Index (SOI) and global tropospheric
temperature anomalies (GTTA) are compared for the 1958–2008 period. GTTA are
represented by data from satellite microwave sensing units (MSU) for the period
1980–2008 and from radiosondes (RATPAC) for 1958–2008. After the removal from the
data set of short periods of temperature perturbation that relate to near-equator volcanic
eruption, we use derivatives to document the presence of a 5- to 7-month delayed close
relationship between SOI and GTTA. Change in SOI accounts for 72% of the variance
in GTTA for the 29-year-long MSU record and 68% of the variance in GTTA for the
longer 50-year RATPAC record. Because El Niño Southern Oscillation is known to
exercise a particularly strong influence in the tropics, we also compared the SOI with
tropical temperature anomalies between 20S and 20N. The results showed that SOI
accounted for 81% of the variance in tropospheric temperature anomalies in the tropics.
Overall the results suggest that the Southern Oscillation exercises a consistently dominant
influence on mean global temperature, with a maximum effect in the tropics, except
for periods when equatorial volcanism causes ad hoc cooling. That mean global
tropospheric temperature has for the last 50 years fallen and risen in close accord with
the SOI of 5–7 months earlier shows the potential of natural forcing mechanisms to
account for most of the temperature variation.

Citation: McLean, J. D., C. R. de Freitas, and R. M. Carter (2009), Influence of the Southern Oscillation on tropospheric temperature, J. Geophys. Res., 114, D14104, doi:10.1029/2008JD011637.