Nova Lacks Evidence

Joanne Nova claims that Global Warming has been disproved and lists 9 “Major Flaws” – or so she says.

  1. The missing heat is not in the ocean.
  2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space.
  3. The models get core assumptions wrong – the hot spot is missing.
  4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms.
  5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale.
  6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C.
  7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think.
  8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero — disaster averted.
  9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago. Models can’t explain that. It wasn’t CO2.  The models can’t predict past episodes of warming, so why would they predict future ones?

It’s the usual stuff from Nova, so lets take a quick look at why Nova is wrong on all nine points.

1. Missing Heat

Nova claims the heat is missing, but she fails to use all available data. She refuses to look at older XBT data, refuses to use more recent Argo data and refuses to use any data below 700 meters because she can’t understand how heat can be transported to depth. For those that follow the science, then yes, there are ways for the heat to be transferred to depth.

As noted earlier, even with her extreme cherry picking, the graph still shows the ocean gaining heat. Nova confirmed her belief that the deeper heat is likely coming from a subterrainean source rather than from downwelling of warmer water (“I find subterranean heating more believable. Whatever.“) despite the science that says otherwise.

2. Satellites show a warmer Earth is releasing extra energy to space.

Joanne Nova’s second argument has a strange title. In physics, a warmer body, by definition, will emit more radiation so it’s no surprise that a warmer Earth emits more energy. The energy balance is what matters, and the Earth is gaining energy (as even Jo agrees).

Jo believes that one paper counters the entire IPCC works, however there are two problems with Jo’s argument. Firstly, by using this paper from Lindzen, she is also conceding that the planet has warmed, something that contradicts many of her posts casting doubt on the temperature record.

Secondly, the paper has serious flaws when it was first published (and the authors agreed), and the more recent version has yet to address most of those problems.

3. The hot spot is missing

As discussed before, Nova ignores evidence of the hot spot and relies on only one set of data, which comes from weather balloons that were not designed to examine climatic changes. The data is scarce for long term trends, calling it missing is premature.

Nova also misplaces the importance of the hotspot, it is not critical to climate models, nor to the theory of AGW, but instead critical to the physics of the adiabatic lapse rate, the shape of the warming of the atmosphere in response to any surface warming.

4. Clouds cool the planet as it warms

The impact from clouds is uncertain at best, however there is good evidence to show that clouds might have a positive feedback effect and are unlikely to be strongly negative.

Nova relies on just a few climate skeptics for her information and unfortunately for them, their research was shown to be incorrect. In essence they confused the tail with the dog …

the heating of the climate system through ocean heat transport is approximately 20 times larger than the change in top of the atmosphere (TOA) energy flux due to cloud cover changes.  Lindzen and Choi assumed the ratio was close to 2, while Spencer and Braswell assumed it was close to 0.5.

5. The models are wrong on a local, regional, or continental scale.

Nova missed out on the most important one, GLOBAL scale. Global Climate models (GCM’s) are designed to work out what will occur GLOBALLY to the CLIMATE on long timescales. As Real Climate point out, it’s no surprise to climate modellers that Koutsoyiannis found that a single run in a model didn’t replicate local weather.

The models do replicate global warming, but only if man-made forcgins are considered. Natural forcing alone cannot explain the recent change in climate.

Nova and her Ouija board have yet to provide a projection.

6. Eight different methods suggest a climate sensitivity of 0.4°C

Idso’s old climate sensitivity again. Nova’s desperate. The silliest part of Nova’s argument is that we’ve already warmed about 0.8°C and that’s without even doubling CO2, nor allowing enough time to come to an equilibrium state.

7. Has CO2 warmed the planet at all in the last 50 years? It’s harder to tell than you think.

Actually it’s not. Attribution has been calculated and we know that our greenhouse gases, especially CO2, are mostly responsible.

Joanne Nova thinks by breaking the graph into two sections, it reduces the warming. Hmmm. It does also leave a rather large unexplained one-off jump in temperatures, that occurred globally. The heat involved in such a jump would be the equivalent to several million nuclear weapons going off in the one year, but somehow Nova can’t explain exactly what might have caused this sudden jump.

8. Even if we assume it’s warmed since 1979, and assume that it was all CO2, if so, feedbacks are zero.

Nova’s problem start with her idea of “generosity” within her very first statement. If you assume one thing caused all of the warming, then of course there’d be nothing else that could contribute.

But we’ve already covered this.

9. It was as warm or warmer 1000 years ago.

No,, it’s not Nova.


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25 Responses to “Nova Lacks Evidence”

  1. john byatt Says:


  2. uknowispeaksense Says:

    Reblogged this on uknowispeaksense.

  3. Mark F Says:

    Nova says “Observations from every angle point to a similar conclusion” then ignores all but a few cherry picked pieces of science/data. In the ocean data, she excludes deeper and more recent warming. Of the hotspot she ignores some data that does show it may exist. On climate sensitivity she ignores all of the studies showing higher values and selects Idso’s (which as you point out is obviously wrong because we’ve exceeded it already!). On models she fails to list all of the things models do get right and fails to make her own projections – when “skeptics” have done so in the past they have failed. Assuming CO2 did all the warming since 1979 is wrong because the warming inherently contains the short term feedbacks and excludes the longer term feedbacks. The MWP thread contains a lengthy debate ending with Nova going silent as the person points out her flawed reasoning.

    Nova exists as a Merchant of Doubt rather than a real contributor on how best to tackle climate change. She has not published or practised science since leaving university and her advice and articles are based on web-bloggers rather than from experts in the field of climate science.

    Glaciers are melting, sea ice diminishing, animals migrating poleward and to higher latitudes, global sea level are rising/accelerating, satellites and ground based thermometers show the planet is warming and the full set of ocean data shows the ocean is warming down to 700m and beyond! Yet Nova’s ABC video shows her trying to cast doubt on the thermometer record because of a few poorly sited weather stations that may not even be part of the set used to monitor climate change.

    Time-wasters like Nova, in her Merchant of Doubt role, serve only to delay proper, well planned action.

  4. Dan Pangburn Says:

    An equation based on rational physics that, without considering any influence from CO2 whatsoever and using only one independent variable (the sunspot number), has calculated average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 88% (R2 = 0.88, correlation coefficient = 0.938). Including the influence of CO2 (a second independent variable) increased the accuracy to 88.5%. This demonstrates that atmospheric CO2 has no significant influence on average global temperature.

    When calibrated to measurements thru 1965 and using actual sunspot numbers, it predicted the average global temperature trend value in 2005 within 0.054°C. When calibrated thru 1995 and using actual sunspot numbers, it predicted the average global temperature trend value in 2011 within 0.004°C. The analysis includes the flat temperature trend of the last decade. The equation, links to the methodology and source data are at No one else has been anywhere near this accurate.

    That the equation is valid is demonstrated by accurate calculation and prediction including the flat temperature trend since 2001. Results are shown in graphs. When calibrated through 2011 and using predicted sunspot data, the equation predicts an average global temperature downtrend for at least two more decades.

    • itsnotnova Says:

      I’ll be brief. Your method is about as stupid as they come. One of the inputs to your result is the change in Sea Surface Temp (SST).

      You are using the changes in SST, to calculate Surface Temp anomolies (which are themselves changes in Surface Temps). It’s little wonder the figures come out close but unfortnately you’d be a fool to believe your work. I’m sure the Nova fans will lap it up.

      But I will also wager that you aren’t even close to publishing in peer reviewed litereature.

    • John Havery Samuel Says:

      Pangburn cites Pangburn in ultimate pal review fallure. Sigh. Another Galileo.

  5. Sou Says:

    Jo Nova contradicts herself saying ‘man made global warming is disproved’, then saying it’s real but it isn’t going to be all that bad. She sounds awfully like Bob “agnostic” Carter. Two bob each way.

    And this after Australia’s disaster-filled decade (record drought, record heat, record fires, record wet) plus the weather disaster records broken all around the world.

    Wonder how many deniers will be able to keep it up for another ten years?

  6. George Montgomery Says:

    Based on the political content and lack of science at Nova, Joanne Codling (aka Nova) could easily be the equivalent of Andrew Bolt in drag.

  7. Dan Pangburn Says:

    Itsnotnova- You are apparently unable to grasp the method in spite of the detailed procedure included in the pdf made public 11/24/11 at the link in my previous post. Perhaps the following will help.

    The warming that took place since the depths of the Little Ice Age and ended about 2001 is readily explained. Reliable records of sunspot numbers go back to at least 1700 (Wikipedia reports the first in 364 BC by the Chinese). Svensmark considered the magnetic field associated with sunspots affecting galactic cosmic rays which influenced average cloud altitude. Clouds, which consist of ice crystals or liquid water and cover over half of the planet at any time, have an average emissivity of about 0.5 and radiate to space. If average cloud altitude is higher, then average cloud temperature is lower, there is less radiation to space and the planet warms.

    Thus sunspots act as a proxy for whether the planet is warming or cooling. The duration of a solar cycle is as important as its peak magnitude. Both are accounted for in the sunspot time-integral. This accumulation of energy must be offset by the integral of radiation leaving the planet. Applying the first law of thermodynamics, the law of conservation of energy, results in a net energy change, which, through effective thermal capacitance and necessary scaling, leads to the average global temperature anomaly.

    That ocean temperatures oscillate has been known for years. The PDO, AMO and el Nino are reported for certain areas. Much ocean area is not reported but is included in the global effective ocean oscillation which is part of the prediction of average global temperature. It was found to be about +/- 1/6 °C with a period of about 64 years. As an oscillation, it contributes no net energy to the planet (and thus no average global temperature change) over any 64 year period but adds to or subtracts from the average global temperature calculations for a particular year.

    • itsnotnova Says:

      Thanks. I grapsed the bit of your equation where you try to explain surface warming using surface warming as one of the inputs. Daft at its extreme. Sorry I destroyed it in minutes. If you don’t understand why by now, after spending many hours on your “theory”, then I doubt anything I can say will help you.

      Remind us again, when do you publish? LOL!

  8. Dan Pangburn Says:

    itsnotnova- so you don’t understand how an oscillation works . . . either. It results in just as much cooling influence on reported average global temperature measurements as warming.

  9. itsnotnova Says:

    I am well aware of hte major ocean ocillaitions work having posted about them on occasion. Whilst they can, especially in the case of ENSO, explain short term variability, they do not explain the long term trend.

    Your use of SST as an input to the equation to get ST is flawed. SST is NOT a measurement of those cycles, it is the ocean surface temperature which represents 71% of the entire planet.

    Please stop avoiding my question, when are you going to publish in a well established peer-reviewed journal?

  10. Dan Pangburn Says:

    “…it is the ocean surface temperature which represents 71% of the entire planet.” Exactly! You accept that Enso is an oscillation. Also, you should know that PDO is an oscillation with a period of about 60 years. But you apparently cannot accept that the effective oscillation for all of the oceans combined could be +/-1/6 C° with a period of 64 years in spite of the fact that, when combined with the temperature anomaly factor that is determined using the integral of sunspot numbers, results in the calculation of average global temperatures since they have been accurately measured world wide (about 1895) with an accuracy of 88%.

    As to publishing in a ‘name’ journal, That won’t happen. The usual journals, Nature, etc. are hopelessly biased on articles regarding climate. They would need to admit that they have been wrong about AGW for many years. They won’t even publish articles by a renowned Climate Scientist like Dr. Roy Spenser so what chance does a lowly engineer have?

  11. Nice One Says:

    Hi Dan,

    You’ve got several problems with your formula.

    Firstly, the most serious flaw (as pointed out by INN) is that you are using SST as the input, rather than the measures of each Cycle. You need to remove the reliance upon SST and instead feed your formula using each of the the Cycle’s values.

    At the moment you are NOT using the Cycles as input.

    Secondly, The oscillations have all cycled several times during the last 100 years. Once you make the correction to your formula you will find it can’t account for the warming; you’ll need to a fudge, something akin to Nova’s “Step” where the surface temperature just jumps in one year for some mysterious reason.

    Here are the oscillations, please use these as inputs instead of SST if you wish to be taken seriously.

    Thirdly, You’re correct about journals being biased. It prevents stupid errors (such as using SST instead of the Cycle’s measures) from entering the mainstream scientific consensus.

    Thousands of Experts in peer-reviewed journals vs You and your mistake. I suggest you publish at Nova’s web-blogger site, she’ll accept anything!

  12. 2013 SkS Weekly Digest #1 Says:

    […] A post on itsnotnova referenced several SkS posts and rebuttals in demolishing a Jo Nova myth. […]

  13. Dan Pangburn Says:

    You appear to be unaware that the three cycles that you refer to are SSTs of particular areas and nothing is reported for the rest of ocean area. What is needed is one effective cycle (I call it ESSTA for Effective Sea Surface Temperature Anomaly) that accounts for all of the ocean areas since about 1895. You are probably unaware that reported SST measurements have random fluctuations that are absolutely prohibited by the effective thermal capacitance of the oceans and therefore are artifacts of the measurement process.

    This is further explained on page 5 of the pdf made public 11/24/11 with “The use of ESSTA replaces the fluctuating temperature measurements with smoothly changing values that are more representative of the actual effective temperature [change].” A comparison of PDO and ENSO3.4 with ESSTA is graphed on page 6 of that pdf.

    Failure to account for the influence of the sunspot time-integral and assuming that CO2 has no influence results in predicting temperature for 2005 of about 0.5 C° less than actually occurred. Assuming that the warm up of the 20th century was caused by CO2 underestimates the 2005 temperature by only about 0.05 C° but results in the poor correlation with measurements as shown on the graph on page 4 of the pdf made public 9/24/11.

    I described what I did and have made public the results of that process. The equation has been validated by making accurate predictions of current temperatures after calibration using measurements as long ago as 1965. I have used it to predict temperatures through 2020 using the projected solar cycle. Actual measurements will further demonstrate its validity.

    • Nice One Says:

      By using SST you are also including ALL warming that is caused by greenhouse gases as well. That you seem oblivious to this, despite being shown on a number of occasions demonstrates your inability to cope with reality. That’s denialism!

      Roy Spencer has published in peer-reviewed journal, although the journal’s editor later resigned confessing “it should not have been published”. Dessler showed why his work was flawed.

      But Roy Spencer at least understands the basics of climate science. His words:

      It has been calculated theoretically that, if there are no other changes in the climate system, a doubling of the atmospheric CO2 concentration would cause less than 1 deg C of surface warming (about 1 deg. F). This is NOT a controversial statement…it is well understood by climate scientists. (As of 2008, we were about 40% to 45% of the way toward a doubling of atmospheric CO2.)

  14. Dan Pangburn Says:

    Nice- Commenting on your statement “By using SST you are also including ALL warming that is caused by greenhouse gases as well.”

    That is precisely why MEASURED sst or any of the named oscillations should NOT be used when trying to determine the cause of climate change. They are all comingled with (and contaminate) that which is needed; the effective natural ocean temperature oscillation (which has a period of about 64 years and conveys no net energy to the planet). The named oscillations do, however, demonstrate that ocean temperature oscillations actually occur.

    If you had understood my stuff you should have noticed that I did NOT use MEASURED sst. ESSTA conveys no net energy (global temperature change) over its period. Its period is obvious from looking at any of the reported average temperature trajectories for the planet for the last century. Its magnitude is a RESULT of finding the highest coefficient of determination of the equation.

    Although the equation is computationally fairly simple, realize that everything that was not considered must find room in that 12% that the equation does not explain.

    • Nice One Says:

      So your ESSTA is simply made up and bears NO correlation to the real world ocean cycles? Great. I feel so much better.

  15. mandas Says:

    Oh God. It looks as though I have rediscovered Dan Pangburn, after trying in vain to debate him logically at another website (AFTIC).

    And it looks as though nothing has changed, and he is still peddling his nonsense. Look Dan, I know you think you are correct, and that everyone else is wrong – notwithstanding all the feedback I gave you over a year ago, and all the feedback you are getting here.

    If you really think you are so right, then stop blogging about your ideas and try to get them published. You said you were doing that over a year ago when you falsely claimed a paper was being considered – even though, as I pointed out to you – you did not have the slightest idea how to write a science paper.

    Either publish your stuff, or give it up.

  16. Dan Pangburn Says:

    Nice- ESSTA is the BEST assessment that anyone has made so far of the effective “real world ocean cycles” as demonstrated by the equation having calculated all average global temperatures since 1895 with an accuracy of 88%. I say again, no one else has been anywhere near this accurate.

    Paraphrasing Richard Feynman: Regardless of how many experts believe it or how many organizations concur, if it doesn’t agree with observation, it’s wrong.

    The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), some politicians and many others stubbornly continue to proclaim that increased atmospheric carbon dioxide was the primary cause of global warming.

    Measurements demonstrate that they are wrong.

    CO2 increase from 1800 to 2001 was 89.5 ppmv (parts per million by volume). The atmospheric carbon dioxide level has now increased since 2001 by 23.9 ppmv (an amount equal to 26.7% of the increase that took place from 1800 to 2001) (1800, 281.6 ppmv; 2001, 371.13 ppmv; November, 2012, 395.01 ppmv).

    The average global temperature trend since 2001 is flat. (Some agencies say flat since 1997 see–chart-prove-it.html?ito=feeds-newsxml )

    That is the observation. No amount of spin can rationalize that the temperature increase to 2001 was caused by a CO2 increase of 89.5 ppmv but that 23.9 ppmv additional CO2 increase had no effect on the average global temperature trend after 2001.

    It might not be realized by some, but average global temperature actually has little to do with meteorology so the wrong experts have been trying to figure it out. The so-called Global Climate Models (aka General Circulation Models) are actually weather models and they do a pretty good job of predicting weather for a few days. However, their predicting ability declines into computational noise within days. It is profoundly naive to perceive that a weather model can be turned into a climate model by running it longer.

    Average GLOBAL temperature anomalies are reported on the web by NOAA, GISS, Hadley, RSS, and UAH, all of which are government agencies. The first three all draw from the same data base of surface measurement data. The last two draw from the data base of satellite measurements. Each agency processes the data slightly differently from the others. Each believes that their way is most accurate. To avoid bias, I average all five. The averages in Celsius degrees are listed here.

    2001 0.3473
    2002 0.4278
    2003 0.4245
    2004 0.3641
    2005 0.4663
    2006 0.3930
    2007 0.4030
    2008 0.2598
    2009 0.4022
    2010 0.5261
    2011 0.3277

    A straight line (trend line) fit to these data has no slope. That means that, for over a decade, average global temperature has not changed. If the average thru November, 2012 (0.3809 °C) is included, the slope is down.

    Trenberth (of IPCC, etc. fame) has called it a “travesty” that the climate models have failed miserably to predict the flat temperatures following the rise that ended in about 2001.

    I wonder how much wider the separation between the rising CO2 level and not-rising average global temperature will need to get for some people to recognize that the consensus AGW theory was a mistake.

  17. itsnotnova Says:

    Feynman published in peer-reviewed journals. You seem incapable.

    Oh and Trenberth was referring to Earth’s global energy, not to surface temps and certainly not to a cherry picked 2001 year.

    Your “theory” fails to explain the TOA energy imbalance or OHC figures.

    Like Akasofu, your theory is simply banging enough pieces of data into the equation, set the right coefficient, add in a “make your own SST cycle” data and voila, it matches existing data, sort of. But there is no reasoning behind the formula except that you eventually achieved something that looks like surface temps.

    Like Akasofu, I expect your projects will fail in the same way your pre-1895 data fails. You might need to add some more fudges to keep up.

  18. Dan Pangburn Says:

    Itsnotnova & mandas- The concept made public in June 2009 at led to the equation made public 3/10/11 that calculates all average global temperatures for the last 117 years with less than 12% error. The equation has been validated by accurately calculating temperature anomalies after 1965 after being calibrated to measurements prior to 1965. The equation was calibrated using measurements through 2011 to make predictions through 2037 as shown in Figure 4 in the pdf made public 10/24/12

    When it becomes apparent that someone is either unwilling to accept or incapable of understanding the science and engineering that resulted in that equation the discussion ends and the validity of the equation will be further demonstrated with measurements.

    • itsnotnova Says:

      You have not addressed my previous comment. Correlation is not causation. Banging together a bunch of data and getting it to match temps is nothing but persistence with maths and there are an infinite ways to achieve similar results to yours. Adding a FUDGE into the calculation, as you do, is a sure way to get it to match.

      Working out the ACTUAL forces each component has based on REAL physics is the proper way to perform attribution. You don’t do this, but when it has been done, by various different teams of CLIMATE scientists, the results show greenhouse gases are the main cause of warming.

  19. john byatt Says:


    complete list of where Australian politicians stand on climate change

    please re post on any blogs which you vist


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