A review of Professor Matthew England’s ‘say anything’ past failed claims

Readers of course recall the latest claim in a series of excuses about “the pause” in global warming with the new paper from Professor Mathew England of the University of New South Wales (home of the award winning Chris Turney “ship of fools”) that is getting media attention, where he concedes there has indeed been a pause, and offers “trade winds” as the explanation. But if there was a pause in “climate change” , why then back in 2011 did he blame it for flooding?

And you knew it would be said…Oz floods due to global warming

“I think people will end up concluding that at least some of the intensity of the monsoon in Queensland can be attributed to climate change,” said Matthew England of the Climate Change Research Center at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.

That’s about as scientific as saying my cat produces more hairballs in winter due to “climate change” But wait, there’s more! He’s part of the Lewandowsky alternate universe of made up data correlation:

Australian Research Council (Linkage Grant, with Federal Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency). Creating a climate for change: From cognition to consensus. (Ben Newell, Brett Hayes, Marilyn Brewer, Stephan Lewandowsky, Andy Pitman, Matthew England, Chris Mitchell), A$216,000 (plus matching contribution from DCCEE), 2012-2014.

From Stephan Lewandowsky’s vita here:
http://websites.psychology.uwa.edu.au/labs/cogscience/documents/SLvita.pdf

Back in January in a Eurekalert press release, England claimed that there would be more heat waves in Australia due to El Nino:

“This latest research based on rainfall patterns, suggests that extreme El Niño events are likely to double in frequency as the world warms leading to direct impacts on extreme weather events worldwide.”

“For Australia, this could mean summer heat waves, like that recently experienced in the south-east of the country, could get an additional boost if they coincide with extreme El Ninos,” said co-author, Professor Matthew England from CoECSS.

That’s some trick in the middle of “a pause” where the winds just aren’t cooperating per his recent press release.

“Scientists have long suspected that extra ocean heat uptake has slowed the rise of global average temperatures, but the mechanism behind the hiatus remained unclear” said Professor Matthew England, lead author of the study and a Chief Investigator at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science.

The impact of the trade winds on global average temperatures is caused by the winds forcing heat to accumulate below surface of the Western Pacific Ocean.

“This pumping of heat into the ocean is not very deep, however, and once the winds abate, heat is returned rapidly to the atmosphere” England explains.

It seems this guy will say just about anything, as long as he gets press and the press are too stupid to start asking him questions.

Andrew Bolt also takes him to task.

Why did warmist Matthew England deny the dud predictions he now concedes?

image

April 2012: Warmist Professor Matthew England accuses sceptics of telling untruths when they say the planet hasn’t warmed as the IPCC predicted:


What Nick just said is actually not true.  The IPCC projections from 1990 have borne out very accurately.

December 2012:  England accuses sceptics of lying when they say the rise in global air temperatures has paused:


And so anybody out there lying that the IPCC projections are overstatements or that the observations haven’t kept pace with the projections is completely offline with this. The analysis is very clear that the IPCC projections are coming true.

February 2014 – England now admits there has been a “hiatus” in warming, after all, which the IPCC did not predict:

Lead author Professor Matthew England, a climate scientist and oceanographer at the University of New South Wales, says since 2001 global surface temperatures have remained steady despite an increase in atmospheric greenhouse gases…

“Even though there is this hiatus in this surface average temperature, we’re still getting record heat waves, we’re still getting harsh bush fires … it shows we shouldn’t take any comfort from this plateau in global average temperatures.”

And England suggests an excuse for this warming pause:

England said …  the answer lies in stronger than usual trade winds whipping across the Pacific Ocean.

It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below…

“We want the community to have confidence in the climate models,” he said. “They are very good but in this instance the wind acceleration has been that strong and that much stronger than what the models projected.”

Those models have actually vastly overestimated the warming, but England still wants us to have “confidence” in them. Could his own “wanting” explain why England vilified sceptics as liars for saying what he now admits is true: that the warming of the world’s atmosphere has paused for at least 13 years, contrary to the IPCC predictions?

How can we trust him? And will he say sorry?

(Thanks to readers wiley, isobar and Straight Talk.)

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41 thoughts on “A review of Professor Matthew England’s ‘say anything’ past failed claims

  1. These people will never admit failure Anthony. They will go to the grave believing that they are right. True believers, I call them “intellectual bigots”. So don’t be waiting on any, “I’m sorry’s”, from England or any other of his brethren.

  2. “How can we trust him?”

    We never did. The problem is that there are a lot of people out there that do trust him and his ilk.

  3. THere is currently a strong UK media campaign to say it is VERY LIKELY that the current floods are ‘due to climate change’.

    They are very careful not to say that it IS due to climate change, though.

    Presumably because they can’t come up with any physical model to explain it which fits their carbon dioxide agenda??

  4. It is a shame these academics masquerading as “intellectuals” put a bad name to the legitimate professors and researchers.

  5. From “The Independent”—–
    “This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade winds continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate,” the scientists say in their the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

    It is not the first time that the Pacific Ocean has been suggested as a possible explanation for the levelling off of global surface temperatures, which have failed to rise since the late 1990s as fast as computer models had predicted.

    Previous studies have suggested that huge amounts of heat are being carried and stored at the colder depths of the Pacific. However, the stronger trade winds could now explain how the warmer surface water – which is lighter than the colder, denser water below – is forced deeper into the ocean.”

    As a lowly peasant who has now retired from 40 years of science, I was always under the impression that the “less dense” warm water would settle on top of the “more dense” colder water.Looking at the various graphs of sea temperatures at different depths, there doesn’t seem to be any extra Warmth lurking down there but what would I know.
    I really do get pissed off with these attempts to “con” the general public. They should at least get the truth which I believe goes something like this:-
    “Climate is very complicated & we really don’t understand it”

    Thank you WUWT for providing facts rather than fiction.

  6. When something changes then on average 50% of it will be good and 50% will be bad. But for Climate Change it’s all 100% bad which doesn’t make any sense at all.

  7. ‘It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below…’

    Was it the hand wash cycle? The gentle cycle? Was it agitating properly? Are we now in the rinse phase? Or approaching the spin phase? Is this all a way to launder the research money of climate change? Is this dirty laundry?

  8. Rhys Jaggar says:
    February 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

    THere is currently a strong UK media campaign to say it is VERY LIKELY that the current floods are ‘due to climate change’.

    They are very careful not to say that it IS due to climate change, though.

    Presumably because they can’t come up with any physical model to explain it which fits their carbon dioxide agenda??

    The rain this winter is very heavy and causing a lot of problems to UK but has not yet broken records set 250 YEARS ago. Anyone who tries to blame the current floods on ‘Climate Change’ whatever that means, needs to also explain why the rain and flooding were worse 250 years ago well before there was Anthropogenic Global Warming.

  9. So what exactly is the difference between what England is claiming, and an El Nino? Why would the El Ninos of the 1990s and since not have liberated this supposed warm water to the surface in their own times?

  10. How can one not be excited by the potential of Dr. England’s new streamlined mode of scientific inquiry? a) Make predictions. b) When predictions fail, posit new unanticipated phenomenon to explain failure. c) Confirm predictions are confirmed by new discovery!

    Huzzah!

  11. Ian W says:
    February 10, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Rhys Jaggar says:
    February 10, 2014 at 11:20 am

    ‘The rain this winter is very heavy and causing a lot of problems to UK but has not yet broken records set 250 YEARS ago. Anyone who tries to blame the current floods on ‘Climate Change’ whatever that means, needs to also explain why the rain and flooding were worse 250 years ago well before there was Anthropogenic Global Warming.’

    In Australia when we had the 100 year flood in 1991, the State Government in NSW started strengthening the dams for a 200 year flood.
    It seems they don’t do that sort of thing in England.
    It has been suggested by some on these boards that another period of cooling like the LIA is upon us.
    To us the much maligned pattern recognition,does this flooding indicate a cooling of England?

  12. @Ian,

    ” Anyone who tries to blame the current floods on ‘Climate Change’ whatever that means, needs to also explain why the rain and flooding were worse 250 years ago well before there was Anthropogenic Global Warming.”

    The Alarmists will just adjust past floods downward and recent floods upward, and Bingo! problem solved.

  13. Can it be a cosmic accident that a man whose name is an anagram of New Tangled Math appears in juxtaposition with one whose name is an anagram of What Lysenko Spawned?

  14. Prof. Matthew England coordinated and led the 2007 Bali Climate Declaration by Scientists, the primary aim of which was not to get involved in politics. Nay, oh fracking frack! quite the contrary. To send a strong political message to policymakers. Buzz. To the People, that’s it.

    The 2007 IPCC report, compiled by several hundred climate scientists, has unequivocally concluded that our climate is warming rapidly

    If it is, who is England to claim otherwise? Ehrr… It is not. In fact. But wait… several hundred climate scientists could not all be wrong, could they? Therefore it must be warming still, somewhere. In a hidden place, where it escapes measurement. Somewhere deep below… Nope. It could never come back from there in vengeance… Sooo… it is lurking in the shallow, just below something.

    In the meantime we have plenty of droughts, floods, blizzards, all kinds of weather due to… umpf, umpf, what’s not to like?

    Ah, one more thing of utmost importance.

    “The weapon of criticism cannot, of course, replace criticism of the weapon, material force must be overthrown by material force; but theory also becomes a material force as soon as it has gripped the masses. Theory is capable of gripping the masses as soon as it demonstrates ad hominem, and it demonstrates ad hominem as soon as it becomes radical. To be radical is to grasp the root of the matter.”

    Sorry.

    O, I die, Horatio;
    The potent poison quite o’er-crows my spirit:
    I cannot live to hear the news from England;
    But I do prophesy the election lights
    On Fortinbras: he has my dying voice;
    So tell him, with the occurrents, more and less,
    Which have solicited. The rest is silence.

  15. Why are you shooting the messenger? Professor England is merely a messenger; if his scientific prediction is wrong, it is clearly the science’s fault.

  16. Money is power. But the greater risk is unearned, gifted money which can turn a decent person into an addicted person, constantly seeking the next hit. These oscillating study results from the same person (who seems to have acquired Bieber-like AGW stardom), reminds me of an addicted person seeking his/her next hit. “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Need I say more?

  17. The correct descriptive term for England is ‘whore ‘ , selling his scientific sole for bucket full of research grants and some ego boosting media spotlight time. In other words normal practice for climate ‘science’ that still does not and may never have the right to be consider itself a step above homeopathy.
    However, at least those selling magic shaken water do not call for massive world wide changes based on their BS then ‘just’ want your cash . So perhaps I am being unfair to homeopathy.

  18. Dive into the ocean (or a swimming pool, or a lake) on a summer’s day. Swim out until it’s a couple of metres deep, then dive down to the bottom. Is it hotter at the bottom, or cooler?

  19. What I find amazing is that they report this as a new finding when Professor Easterbrook and Joe Bastardi, among others, have been screaming that the global warming observed was related to a warm PDO and would turn into cooling when the PDO turned negative. Am I missing something?

  20. “‘It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below…’

    Was it the hand wash cycle? The gentle cycle? Was it agitating properly? Are we now in the rinse phase? Or approaching the spin phase? Is this all a way to launder the research money of climate change? Is this dirty laundry?”

    Obviously, it was the spin cycle.

  21. Prof Mat England’s stuff in connection with the “pause” is a perfect example of Taleb’s Black Swan Theory. Verbatim from Wiki:

    “Based on the author’s criteria:

    1) The event is a surprise (to the observer) (“the pause”).
    2) The event has a major effect.(on the climate and the climatologists)
    3) After the first recorded instance of the event, it is rationalized by hindsight, as if it could have been expected; that is, the relevant data were available but unaccounted for in risk mitigation programs. The same is true for the personal perception by individuals.”

    England even says (after years of denying there was a “pause”):
    “Scientists have long suspected that extra ocean heat uptake has slowed the rise of global average temperatures, but the mechanism behind the hiatus remained unclear”

    ‘Long suspected': this was also similar to wording by other climate scientists (Trenberth? Met Office folks?) that not only didn’t long or short suspect a thing. It crept up on them, hence the flailing around to explain how global warming caused the “pause”. Talk about ‘rationalization by hindsight..’

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory

  22. “‘It was found the winds were churning the Pacific like a washing machine, bringing the deeper colder water to the surface and pushing the warmer water below…’

    Was it the hand wash cycle? The gentle cycle? Was it agitating properly? Are we now in the rinse phase? Or approaching the spin phase? Is this all a way to launder the research money of climate change? Is this dirty laundry?”

    “Obviously, it was the spin cycle.”
    Yep. The one at the end of the fuzzy [logic] cycle.

  23. So why hasn’t the ‘churning’ of the oceans bought forth deep waters ‘equilibrated’ with pre-industrial CO2 at 280 ppm and taken down ‘saturated’ water ‘equilibrated’ with post-industrial CO2 at 400 ppm ?
    If what we are told about the CO2 saturated surface waters is true, then we should see a dip in the Keeling curve during the time period 2002-2013.
    Unless of course either the CO2 ocean uptake and/or the ocean-trade wind models are wrong.
    I am going to go with both.

  24. C’mon, give the guy a break. He had to cover for his colleague Chris Turney’s glorious cock-up, and he had to do it fast. I think this a pretty good effort for a hasty lash-up job. Certainly provides a bit of distraction from the Antarctic ice debacle.

  25. I prefer the team explanation, when observations differ from the modelled expectations, reality must be at fault.
    Is anyone compiling a list of explanations?
    Seems to me that soon the list of awkward explanations will start to reach the length of the list of things global warming causes.

  26. A few years ago on WUWT i suggested that tropical cyclones stored ocean heat, rather than dissipating it, by mixing up the warm surface waters with the colder layers below (through and into the upper thermocline). It produced mix reviews and a bit of abuse.

    It now looks like I was right. Please send a grant application form to the enclosed email address, and make sure the grant amount has at least seven boxes. Ideas like this don’t come cheap, you know…….

    /sarc

  27. Curious George says:
    February 10, 2014 at 1:15 pm

    Why are you shooting the messenger? Professor England is merely a messenger; if his scientific prediction is wrong, it is clearly the science’s fault.
    —-l
    I think this is more a case of querying the the soothsaying abilities of the high priest :)

  28. It is not inherently implausible that stronger winds would produce more churning of the upper levels of the ocean. The effect would be to lower the temperature of water at the surface (by mixing it with colder water from below) while increasing the temperature lower down. Whether or not this is actually happening is a matter of observable fact. Is the average temperature at a suitable depth below the surface higher now than it was before the winds allegedly strengthened? I can’t at the moment access the paywalled article, so I don’t know what evidence it presents, but presumably some of the commenters here can. Either the article presents no evidence, in which case it is pretty much worthless speculation, or it does present some evidence. If the latter, commenters would be better occupied in evaluating the evidence than in name-calling.

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