Chinese navy disproves global warming

Christopher Monckton has a lengthy article in the Daily Telegraph where he attempts to debunk the notion that there is significant anthropogenic global warming. The main problem with his article is that he doesn’t know what he’s writing about it. He offers up an untidy pile of factoids, some of which are true but out of context, some of which are not at all true, and some of which he seems to have conjured up out of thin air. What they all have in common is that they support his position. Monckton seems to be unable to separate the wheat from the chaff. My favourite factoid is this one:

There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.

What was that again?

There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.

Not according to the historians they didn’t. Monckton offers us a big PDF of supporting material, but this does not contain the source of this remarkable claim. Fortunately I was able to figure it out — it’s from Gavin Menzies’ book 1421, which is absolute rubbish. Monckton must have read it and believed it. Hey, if you are going to ignore the consensus view of scientists, you might as well ignore the consensus view of historians.

Monckton goes on to offer this silliness:

Even a 0.6C temperature rise wasn’t enough. So the UN repealed a fundamental physical law. Buried in a sub-chapter in its 2001 report is a short but revealing section discussing “lambda”: the crucial factor converting forcings to temperature. The UN said its climate models had found lambda near-invariant at 0.5C per watt of forcing.

You don’t need computer models to “find” lambda. Its value is given by a century-old law, derived experimentally by a Slovenian professor and proved by his Austrian student (who later committed suicide when his scientific compatriots refused to believe in atoms). The Stefan-Boltzmann law, not mentioned once in the UN’s 2001 report, is as central to the thermodynamics of climate as Einstein’s later equation is to astrophysics. Like Einstein’s, it relates energy to the square of the speed of light, but by reference to temperature rather than mass.

The bigger the value of lambda, the bigger the temperature increase the UN could predict. Using poor Ludwig Boltzmann’s law, lambda’s true value is just 0.22-0.3C per watt. In 2001, the UN effectively repealed the law, doubling lambda to 0.5C per watt. A recent paper by James Hansen says lambda should be 0.67, 0.75 or 1C: take your pick. Sir John Houghton, who chaired the UN’s scientific assessment working group until recently, tells me it now puts lambda at 0.8C: that’s 3C for a 3.7-watt doubling of airborne CO2.

But there are multiple independent pieces of evidence that the climate sensitivity (how much warming you get from doubling CO2) is 3 degrees. This doesn’t contradict Boltzmann’s law because the Earth is not a simple black body. Nor is a sensitivity of 3 degrees a new number produced by the IPCC in 2001 — it’s been the scientist’s best estimate for twenty years.

Monckton also gives us the usual “hockey stick is broken” stuff, ignoring, of course, the National Research Council report that basically vindicated the study.

And Monckton has so little understanding of his subject matter that he doesn’t realize that his two major arguments (that the climate sensitivity is very low and that there was a large variation in temperatures over the past thousand years) contradict each other. If there was a big variation in temperature it implies a high sensitivity.

Via Tim Worstall.

Comments

  1. #1 frankis
    November 5, 2006

    Monckton’s Wikipedia bio makes him sound an interesting, not so easily dismissable character. Pity about the Chinese navy then :)
    It’s also remarkable that the Wikipedia entry is already updated with yesterday’s Telegraph article.

  2. #2 frankis
    November 5, 2006

    Before the silliness about lambda Monckton also has this:

    “The UN expresses its heat-energy forcings in watts per square metre per second. It estimates that the sun caused just 0.3 watts of forcing since 1750. Begin in 1900 to match the temperature start-date, and the base solar forcing more than doubles to 0.7 watts. Multiply by 2.7, which the Royal Society suggests is the UN’s current factor for climate feedbacks, and you get 1.9 watts – more than six times the UN’s figure”

    I don’t know, count the instances of gibberish in there I suppose.

    Skip two short sentences and he then offers

    “Next, the UN slashed the natural greenhouse effect by 40 per cent from 33C in the climate-physics textbooks to 20C, making the man-made additions appear bigger”

    At this point life beyond the wide-eyed world of Christopher Monckton’s fantasies beckons too fiercely for me to resist any longer. Good luck, thou modest Thatcherite smiter of ugly physical reality sir.

  3. #3 wacki
    November 5, 2006

    You should just show a picture of the rings in the ice cores.
    :-D

    1421 disproved!

  4. #4 frankis
    November 5, 2006

    Aarhh, how can you concentrate on real work in the real world in times like these when distractions like this kind of mainstream media buffoonery are always in the back of your mind, distracting, diverting and belly-laugh entertaining you? What’s just sprung unbidden to my mind is that Monckton reminds me of Blomberg. It’s probably unfair to compare the former to the latter who though dishonest, underhanded and spectacularly underqualified seems to be far brighter than Monckton, but the connection occurs to me because Monckton apparently offers a pdf download of his “references and detailed calculations” to support the published gibberish. I’m not going to look at those because I’ve suffered enough already by Monckton’s fell hand, thus all the greater shame on my head if in fact he is right and it is wrong to dismiss his best efforts as conspiracy theoretical, Dick Lindzen fuelled nonsense. But it’s Blomberg, with his hundreds of pages of references (“The Skeptical Envirohater”) lending that ineffable air of truthiness even as the author tries so hard to lay waste to all science about him, that springs to mind. Seems post modernism continues to gnaw away at its misconception of modern science, Monckton and Blomberg being but two of its champions.

  5. #5 David Graves
    November 5, 2006

    I am sure everyone who has worked with Lonnie Thompson Of Ohio State U. will be surprised to hear that all their tropical ice cores date to after the supposed Medieval Warm Period. All that work in Peru, Bolivia, Africa and Tibet and Monckton makes that thirty years of work melt away with one decisive sentence! And I see a foreshadowing of a headline: “Precautionary principle kills millions”. It will be a rehash of the bogus “malaria-DDT-nasty environmentalists kill millions in Africa” canard . Anyone want to bet a couple of quid/euros/dollars on that?

  6. #6 John Quiggin
    November 5, 2006

    Frankis, I agree with your comments but either you have a typo (Blomberg for Lomborg) or there is a joke I’m missing.

  7. #7 frankis
    November 5, 2006

    Thanks John, I’m afraid that ever since accusing Jet in jestiness one day on CT of being “Blomberg” himself, I’ve been unable to resist the temptation to downplay in my own childish way the media attention that he so craves, of which he enjoys so much, and not mess with at least my own mention of his name. It’s a childish joke in reaction to the negative way I mostly view his flawed contribution to consciousness in the world today and my innate resistance to duped media hero-worshipping and name dropping of, shall we say, antiscientists like him. I’m probably wrong to do it, you’re right.

  8. #8 Paul
    November 6, 2006

    There is definitely more fodder within Monckton’s PDF. On page 13 he begins referring to Southern hemispheric temperature proxy studies, but the trouble is he only uses summaries given by CO2science.org. I checked their website and got better info on the set of references:

    http://www.co2science.org/scripts/CO2ScienceB2C/data/mwp/mwpp.jsp

    I wasn’t going to take their word for it and automatically believe their reviews. So, I picked one at random – Rein’s study off the coast of South America.

    CO2science say:

    “The authors derived sea surface temperatures from alkenones extracted from a high-resolution marine sediment core retrieved off the coast of Peru (12.05°S, 77.66°W). The results indicated that the warmest temperatures of the past 20,000 years occurred during the late Medieval Period (AD 800-1250), and that they were about 1.5°C warmer than those of the Current Warm Period.”

    IMO, CO2science get things wrong, I really feel the science has been misrepresented. Chiefly, it would seem that the Rein reconstruction halts in 1960, so how can this study be used to compare MWP to the 20th Century warming? Shouldn’t they qualify that statement with an “except the last 46 years”, or people like Monckton will blunder in and take it as read.

    There is more, they claim that the peak in SSTs during the last 20,000 years occurs during the MWP, by my reading they say this occurs during the 2nd millenium before present. There is no explicit declaration of when this occurs. Wouldn’t the authors have deemed that worth mentioning in the section where they discussed landbased Northern Hemispheric proxiy reconstructions?

    I get the feeling that many of these “reviews” will be equally as dodgy.

  9. #9 Carl Christensen
    November 6, 2006

    it’s funny to see that Steve McIntyre has successfully aspired to greatness — he’s now up there with other crackpot “references” such as the Idso’s & Fred Singer!

  10. #10 Dano
    November 6, 2006

    IMO, CO2science get things wrong, I really feel the science has been misrepresented.

    I long ago stopped pulling up the actual refs vs what see-oh-too said the ref said. See-oh-too is full of sh*t and selectively quotes whatever they can get their hands on to defend their position.

    Best,

    D

  11. #11 mark
    November 6, 2006

    Was that the year the Chinese Navy sailed through the polar opening into the interior of the hollow Earth?

  12. #12 Steve Bloom
    November 6, 2006

    The giveaway about CO2science is that they recast abstracts but don’t link to the originals. I too have gone through the exercise of backtracking some of those and finding major discrepancies.

    Speaking of the lovely Steve M., this seems as good a place as any to mention that I find that I’m now being consistently censored on Climate Audit. Apparently he accomplishes this by setting Spam Karma (or allowing it to retain a setting) to whack anything beyond a single comment from me, which makes it hard to carry on a conversation. When I complained about this in the past, he claimed that it was something about Spam Karma that was beyond his control. I believed that for a while, but kept noticing a certain inconsistency in the fate of my comments versus those of some of the more content-free flying monkies. The upshot is that when I checked the documentation for Spam Karma v2, it turned out that to the extent a particular commenter may be having problems, the software can be set to eliminate the problem. Censorship by any other name… All of which wouldn’t matter except that he claims to not censor.

  13. #13 Gareth
    November 6, 2006

    What’s really funny about CA is the uncritical reception they give to Monckton’s gibberish. “John A” says:

    The backgrounder in particular is a pretty good overview of the current state of the science, such as it is, and covers the salient points from MM03, MM05GRL and MM05EE pretty well.

    So, because Monckton of Brenchley is nice to MacIntyre, they’ll ignore his faults. And they do!

  14. #14 Tim Lambert
    November 7, 2006

    The CA scam is that John A censors your posts and then Steve M pretends that Spam Karma did it. They’ve completely banned me from commenting there.

  15. #15 Pinko Punko
    November 7, 2006

    John A really needs a new initial. He’s just setting up a hyphenated platter.

    Don’t make me type it.

  16. #16 Carl Christensen
    November 7, 2006

    CA is an odd beast, if you dare cross the ego of McIntyre you will be dragged through the mud by his pseudo-intellectual lackeys (look at the latest assaults on Martin Juckes; and look back to how they lambasted Judy Curry recently for daring to say the emperor’s new clothes aren’t so great under a PCA ;-)

  17. #17 Chris O'Neill
    November 7, 2006

    “look back to how they lambasted Judy Curry recently”

    They say some funny things at http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=857 . For example “Along comes Judith Curry saying that, although she is a professional climatologist, she hadn’t heard of Climate Audit before” and “At least here you get both sides” of the story.

    Talk about living in a parallel universe.

  18. #18 Dano
    November 7, 2006

    Talk about living in a parallel universe.

    Nah.

    As long as you understand that there will be much teenage-boy ululating there at CA if they see anything that doesn’t comport with their worldview, you’ll be fine.

    As long as they have numbers but no wisdom to do anything with them, you’ll get the lambasting.

    Defending the worldview from attack is serious business, after all.

    Best,

    D

  19. #19 Carl Christensen
    November 7, 2006

    They’re getting pathological on poor Martin Juckes at CA, esp that they found out he’s a “Green Party” member and wrote some “Letters to the Editor.” All this over a tame, overview paper at EGU; hardly some Nature paper claiming that we’re all gonna die in 5 years.

  20. #20 Dano
    November 7, 2006

    I find that when folks focus on little, unimportant things and spend lots of time on them, it is because they are avoiding bigger things.

    Best,

    D

  21. #21 hank
    November 7, 2006

    Hmmm, I’ve been looking for Dr. Curry’s evaluation that she posted at climateaudit of the “CO2Science” website months ago (April?) — and can’t find it. Hmmmmm.

  22. #22 Dano
    November 7, 2006

    Hank,

    ya gotta take screenshots. Take it from one with regrets.

    Best,

    D

  23. #23 Steve Bloom
    November 7, 2006

    Hank, that was at most two months ago.

  24. #24 Paul
    November 8, 2006

    I’ve been in email contact with Christopher Monckton over the past few days, and I can say its been a real test of sanity as well as a complete waste of time.

    He seems to be saying that he isn’t assuming the Earth is a perfect Black Body in his calculation of his very low value of lambda ie. 0.303. Eh?? I really think he more or less is assuming this as he discounts the possibility of the oceans having a heat capacity and thinks its wrong to include feedbacks in his calculation.

    Black bodies don’t have feedbacks and heat capacities so how could we ever use such a simple treatment to describe the real Earth? Yet, he thinks it’s OK to compare his value to those from the IPCC who do take into account these considerations? I made this patently clear to him.

    He’s in denial or one crazy kook. Can someone just confirm that I’ve got the right idea?

  25. #25 Oliver
    November 8, 2006

    Worth noting that he is also Dominic Lawson’s daughter-in-law’s brother

  26. #26 RobertHume
    November 11, 2006

    Can anyone comment on Monckton’s statements that the historical record over several 100,000 years shows that warming preceeds CO2 increase by several 100 or a few 1000 years?

    If this were true then an interpretation would be that warming releases sequestered CO2.

  27. #27 NR
    November 11, 2006

    Did nobody tell you that if you want to win an argument you should attack your opponents strong point, not waste time in self-congratulatory indulgences like this?

    Tell me about the impact of sun spots on climate change.

  28. #29 Darwin
    November 12, 2006

    So you cite a web site in your defence as though it were irrefutable dogma: http://www.1421exposed.com/

    That’s like the logical fallacy of saying “hey, I heard it on TV – it must be true!”

    Consider this: Someone might one day quote this web site as a credible source, and that would be just as fallacious.

  29. #30 Ian Gould
    November 12, 2006

    “So you cite a web site in your defence as though it were irrefutable dogma:”

    And how does this differ from your citing of the C02science.org website in another thread?

  30. #31 darwin
    November 12, 2006

    In principle, it there is no difference Ian – so I guess that puts us on even ground then doesn’t it? Except for the one inescapable little fact that your side gets all the government-funding courtesy of my tax dollars, and mine doesn’t.

  31. #32 darwin
    November 12, 2006

    There is another inescapable little fact that I have also become aware of Ian – the beloved author of this “blog” – Tim Lambert – has removed most of my other posts because they challenge his beliefs, undermine his position and cause him embarrassment, whereas he leaves those from the likes of you in place. I guess Tim is afraid of honest debate.

  32. #33 frankis
    November 12, 2006

    I wouldn’t mind if Tim had removed them just because you’re an idiot, darwin, the market’s already well enough supplied with those thanks anyway.

  33. #34 Adrian
    November 13, 2006

    If you read through the website http://www.1421exposed.com/ you’ll find plenty of good references for disputing the content of the book.

    Alternatively you can try reading it. I bought the book, regrettably, a couple of years ago. After only reading a few chapters I could tell it was complete garbage, and that was without knowing the book’s content was being questioned by academics. Anyone using 1421 to support an argument is a complete joke.

  34. #35 Keith Farnish
    November 14, 2006

    I was passed the Monckton article last week by a work colleague of mine, and read it seriously and openly, and just couldn’t work him out. Here were my comments at the time:

    I don’t know what his agenda is, but there are an awful lot of layman’s phrases, such as “probably” and “most likely” in the text, which points to either a lack of understanding of the scientific texts he references or a lack of data. While the superficial argument suggests uncertainty in the science of climate change, the detailed text actually jumps around tremendously, plucking examples from here and there rather than carrying out a methodical breakdown of the science. The attack on the “hockey stick” model (which has recently come out as being viable again based on more powerful 3-dimensional simulations) is typical of that used by many climate change sceptics – but the hockey stick model tends not to be used by the IPCC as it is just one possibility against a huge range of projections.

    I looked at one example he picked out, just randomly, so it might not be representative. John Lyman of NOAA apparently refutes ocean warming; well no, actually he doesn’t. If you look at the figures in Lyman’s paper, there is still a clear warming trend, but there appear to be short cooling cycles emerging, such as in the very early 1980s and 2003-2005. I don’t have time to check the current status of the sun’s tilt, but this suggests a 22 year cycle, which is a classic Milankovitch cycle, sitting within an overall warming trend.

    The article will be picked up by thousands of sceptics as “proof” that anthropomorphic global warming is a myth, but you will never see it in a scientific journal because it would be summarily rejected for lack of scientific rigour. If he is able to get a friendly scientist to verify his figures and doubts in a tenable manner, and accepted by a reputable journal then I will be delighted to have been proven wrong.

    Just now I glanced at his references. One thing that really hit me is the article’s referral to a “CENSORED” folder, which I tried to find in the reference data – but again, the reference data just refers to this strange “CENSORED” folder as though it was fact; there is no source for this statement! Had I been accused of hiding data in this way I would have filed for libel.

    I would laugh if so many people weren’t taking this guy seriously.

  35. #36 Tim Worstall
    November 14, 2006

    Just for the sake of accuracy: He’s Nigel Lawson’s son’s wife’s brother. The son is Dominic Lawson who is married to Rosa Monkton, who is I think Cristopher’s sister.

    It’s also true that Dominic was the editor of The Sunday Telegraph: but he left in somewhat strained circumstances a few months back.

  36. #37 Petrus Vectorius
    November 15, 2006

    Tim, you wrote:

    Before the silliness about lambda Monckton also has this:

    “The UN expresses its heat-energy forcings in watts per square metre per second. It estimates that the sun caused just 0.3 watts of forcing since 1750. Begin in 1900 to match the temperature start-date, and the base solar forcing more than doubles to 0.7 watts. Multiply by 2.7, which the Royal Society suggests is the UN’s current factor for climate feedbacks, and you get 1.9 watts – more than six times the UN’s figure”
    I don’t know, count the instances of gibberish in there I suppose.
    Monckton might have more factual mistakes, but so has the UN pame arctic council.

    ==============

    Mockton he is using UN data which are – partly faulty or wanting . For instance, his table of greenhouse gases lacks water vapor, a gas that has 10 to 50times more greenhouse effect than CO2 (in terms of ratiation forcing).

    Now the 0.3Wm^-2 data comes from UN climate council http://pame.arctic-council.org/climate/ipcc_tar/wg1/245.htm
    . Quote: “…uncertainties in the assumptions made about the state of the Sun during that period could imply a range of between 1 and 15 Wm^-2 reduction in TSI less than present mean values although most estimates lie in the 3 to 5.5 Wm-2 range”

    See the figure 6.5 which shows that solar forcing has changed about 3Wm^-2 since 1700. While the paragraph 6.11.1.2 ends with extimatie of 0.3wm^-1 and that is put into the picture 6.6 . So while their data have shown that less known solar forcing is likely dwarfing any greenhouse effects, their presention pictures show solar effects as likely insignificant .

    =============

    If you are serious about CO2-induced greenhouse effect, stop breathing out or start paing CO2 tax your for every exhalation.

  37. #38 Tim Lambert
    November 15, 2006

    Petrus, the error is yours. TSI (total solar irradiance) is not the same as solar forcing. Because the earth is not flat and not completely black, you have to divide TSI by 4 and multiply by the Earth’s albedo to get the solar forcing. They did not make a mistake here — you did.

  38. #39 Doug Clover
    November 15, 2006

    Petrus I suggest you read a bit about carbon cycles and note the important difference between short and long term cycles on the climate.

    Here is a could place to start

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Library/CarbonCycle/

    PS I and my wife’s respiration are in balance with our garden. It is the rest of our lifestyle that the planet is having trouble with.

  39. #40 frankis
    November 16, 2006

    And for some kind of trifecta Petrus – Tim didn’t write that, I did.

  40. #41 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    “But there are multiple independent pieces of evidence that the climate sensitivity (how much warming you get from doubling CO2) is 3 degrees. This doesn’t contradict Boltzmann’s law because the Earth is not a simple black body. Nor is a sensitivity of 3 degrees a new number produced by the IPCC in 2001 — it’s been the scientist’s best estimate for twenty years.”

    “This doesn’t contradict Boltzmann’s law because the Earth is not a simple black body.”

    What do you mean by this?

    Earth is not a simple black body in what way? Because it has oceans and an atmosphere?

  41. #42 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    You say that there are multiple sources of evidence that doubling CO2 would lead to 3 degrees of warming. Well thats a good thing and something to be grateful for.

    But I’m calling bullshit on that anyway.

    BULLSHIT!

    Lets here the evidence for that fella.

  42. #43 Eli Rabett
    November 18, 2006

    1. Because nothing on the surface is perfectly absorbing.

    2. Because IR active gases can only emit on specific molecular lines.

    3. Because your understanding of science is perfectly catastrophic.

    Your ignorance is your problem.

  43. #44 sneezy
    November 18, 2006

    First study subject of choice, then take to podium to sermonize grateful masses catastrophic. Get it right!

  44. #45 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    No you guys have messed up.

    The law is still relevant when the body is not a perfect radiator with an e of 1. This law cannot be dismissed the way this thread has done.

    And the writer shows no evidence for this idea that doubling the CO2 will increase the temperature by three degrees. For such an estimate to be made the Stefan-Boltzmann law would have to be used in some way or other.

    The writer simply links to a blog where someone else is making that claim. Yet the person on that blog making the claim that doubling increases the temperature 3 degrees does not himself give any evidence. And does not say that Stefan Boltzmann is irrelevant to his calculations.

    Monkton’s got it right. And you people are just ignoring the issue.

  45. #46 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    Its notable that no-one was game to make a comeback on the issue I called bullshit on.

    Thats a bit of a giveaway methinks. These strident comments on Stefan-Boltzmann. Or strident excuses more like it.

    But where is the evidence that doubling CO2 will lead to 3 degrees warming?

    I put it to you that none of you have any such evidence.

  46. #47 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    “And Monckton has so little understanding of his subject matter that he doesn’t realize that his two major arguments (that the climate sensitivity is very low and that there was a large variation in temperatures over the past thousand years) contradict each other. If there was a big variation in temperature it implies a high sensitivity.”

    I’m calling bullshit on this one too.

    BULLSHIT!

    Because this implies that the output of the sun is uniform. Now clearly Monkton doesn’t think this so he’s not contradicting himself.

    Is it the view of the posters here that the suns output is uniform over time?

    Is that your view sneezy?

    You too Rabett.

    Speak up.

  47. #48 bigTom
    November 18, 2006

    Back to that Stefan Boltzman thing. If albedo, and emmisivity are held invariant, then it would hold. The problem is that both are affected by tempurature changes. Higher temperatures mean less surface area of ice/snow, so albedo decreases. Higher temps also mean more water vapor (a very potent GHG), which effectively reduces emmisivity.
    The net result is the climate sensitivity is much greater simple minded use of the law would imply. Of course anyone who took Climate-101 would already know this!

  48. #49 Eli Rabett
    November 18, 2006

    Tell you what bucko, take a look at the Earth’s emission seen from satellites which is not a S-B curve. If you want to see how it compares you can look at these modelled spectra. Pay particular attention on the right, where you can see the effect of the water vapor continuum absorption.

    If you want more, here are a bunch of high resolution spectra from the AIRS instrument on EOS-Aqua.

    Now, with that out of the way, let us move on to the climate sensitivity. There are two threads to this. The first is studies of past climate. You want to read about those go here and here is another and here is a whole damn book

  49. #50 Eli Rabett
    November 18, 2006
  50. #51 llewelly
    November 18, 2006

    Eli, your AIRS link somehow acquired an erroneous ‘scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2006/11/’ prefix – maybe you forgot the ‘http://’ ? I think this is the right link.

  51. #52 Catastrophic
    November 18, 2006

    Right Big Tom. Well Monkton isn’t saying that the Earth is a perfect black body is he? Otherwise why would he have a range for Lambda of 0.22 to 0.3C per watt? Thats a pretty big range there. If he was misusing the law as you suggest then he could hit it much closer then that.

    Right Rabbet. So solar variability is 0.1 over the past 20 years.

    Of course that means that its also been 0.1 over the past 1400 years right Rabbet?

    Zero points for logic champ. Monktons logic holds up and the writers goes down like a Lead Zeppelyn.

    Here is what the writer says again:

    “And Monckton has so little understanding of his subject matter that he doesn’t realize that his two major arguments (that the climate sensitivity is very low and that there was a large variation in temperatures over the past thousand years) contradict each other. If there was a big variation in temperature it implies a high sensitivity.”

    But it doesn’t imply this at all unless the Sun is uniform in its output. And its output is not uniform is it Rabbet.

    So far Monkton is looking goog. And you guys not so good.

    Furthermore the writer appears to be trying to eliminate the medieval warming period as well as the little ice age. He’s hinting at it at the very least.

  52. #53 Catastrophic
    November 19, 2006

    Now I notice that, despite this wild goose chase that Rabbet threw at me I’ve still not got the evidence that a doubling in CO2 would lead to a 3 degrees increase in temperature.

    The lack of such evidence is getting to be a recurring theme.

    Actually if you went with the Big Tom approach of only including positive feedbacks, then 3 degrees wouldn’t do it. The whole place would start spinning right out of control in an upward spiral to Venusian conditions.

    Now its been a lot hotter then it has today. So why haven’t Toms positive feedbacks kicked in and destroyed everything already?

  53. #54 Eli Rabett
    November 19, 2006

    Thank you llewely. As to cat, you get three whys. You got your answers. If you don’t understand them, that’s your problem. I provided you links that show the mean and range of the pdfs for climate variability.

    If you want to find solar variability over longer periods (it is not very much, but we only have proxys) google it. Here is a hint, Judity Lean is a very good name to use.

  54. #55 Catastrophic
    November 19, 2006

    What I got is an unwillingness by you guys to admit the writer has no basis for his super-confident claim that the temperture will increase three degrees when the CO2 is doubled.

    Models that don’t backtest don’t work and aren’t evidence. The first link you gave me was only a simulation.

    We need real evidence here.

    And what is this unwillingness to share your knowledge oh high-priest?

    You get three why’s hey?

    How much are you getting off the taxpayer for such a niggardly attitude?

    I can see I’ve caught you guys on a raw nerve here. Your analysis isn’t holding up.

  55. #56 Catastrophic
    November 19, 2006

    “If you want to find solar variability over longer periods (it is not very much, but we only have proxys) google it. Here is a hint, Judity Lean is a very good name to use.”

    But thats not the point Rabbet. The point is that the writers claim is bogus. Here it is for the third time.

    “And Monckton has so little understanding of his subject matter that he doesn’t realize that his two major arguments (that the climate sensitivity is very low and that there was a large variation in temperatures over the past thousand years) contradict each other. If there was a big variation in temperature it implies a high sensitivity.”

    Now I don’t need to google Lean or anyone else to know this is bogus. Since the writer assumes that the sun is invariant which is not Monktons assumption.

    You keep dodging this one Rabbet. Why not just admit that the logic behind this statement is totally flawed.

    Wild goose changes just won’t do here.

  56. #57 Tim Lambert
    November 19, 2006

    cat, pretending that the evidence does not exist does not make the evidence go away. I linked to a post by James Annan who desrcibed his recently accepted paper. If you want more details, he has a link to his paper. How about you read that and tell us what you think the referees missed?

    I do not assume that the sun is invariant. Indeed, my statement would make no sense if the sun was invariant.

  57. #58 Catastrophic
    November 19, 2006

    I didn’t pretend the evidence doesn’t exist. What I’m saying is if it exists you guys ought to be able to show it and not merely link to a blog wherein some other fellow is repeating your assertion.

    No your statement makes no sense unless the sun is invariant. If the suns radiance oscillates a lot then what Monkton said is fine. And your criticism makes no sense.

    It was as if you were saying that the CO2 drives the whole system.

  58. #59 Catastrophic
    November 19, 2006

    “I linked to a post by James Annan who desrcibed his recently accepted paper.”

    Well isn’t that funny. Before you were claiming that this 3 degrees for a doubling of CO2 was a twenty year consensus. Now it appears you got it from a recent paper.

    Why don’t you come up with the evidence in your own words instead of sending folks on wild goose chases?

    This idea that I have to go to a single researcher and find where he got it wrong is a bit silly. I mean there are other guys out there who I could link who disagree. Then you’d be up in the air entirely. And you’d have to fall back on the standard abuse of anyone who disagrees.

    So lets hear your evidence in your own words.

  59. #60 sneezy
    November 19, 2006

    Is it darwin by another name, or maybe an entrant in the Darwin Awards, or a different kind of comments critter entirely? “Monckton is looking goog” indeed but sorry, catass, I’m not interested in playing with you. This really isn’t a high enough profile place for you to publish your paradigm upsetting opinions, but there are plenty of journals for you or Monckton to tackle.

  60. #61 guthrie
    November 19, 2006

    Hey catastrophic- you do know the difference between evidence and opinion, don’t you? If I say that catastrophic must be inhabiting another planet, thats just my opinion. IF I can back it up with photos of them on Mars, thats evidence. So why do you want them to say things in their own words, when other people have already marshalled the evidence?

    Heres something from 29 years ago about doubling of CO2;
    “1979
    U.S. National Academy of Sciences report finds it highly credible that doubling CO2 will bring 1.5-4.5°C global warming.=>Models (GCMs”
    Now, you do understand that since that time the scientists have been busy reducing the error margin?
    Anyway, the known solar irradiance from the past 20 years, added to the modelling and data on warming show that the current warming is effectively man made.

  61. #62 Ian Gould
    November 19, 2006

    Catastrophic: “So far Monkton is looking goog.”

    I couldn’t have phrased it better myself.

  62. #63 Tim Lambert
    November 19, 2006

    Catastrophic is a sock puppet of notorious troll Grame Bird. He’s not interested in discussion, he just wants to annoy people. Please ignore him.

  63. #64 Ian Gould
    November 19, 2006

    To expand on Guthrie’s point:

    “Arrhenius made a calculation [1n 1896] for doubling the CO2 in the atmosphere, and estimated it would raise the Earth’s temperature some 5-6°C.(3)”

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/co2.htm

  64. #65 z
    November 19, 2006

    “Can anyone comment on Monckton’s statements that the historical record over several 100,000 years shows that warming preceeds CO2 increase by several 100 or a few 1000 years?
    “If this were true then an interpretation would be that warming releases sequestered CO2.”

    Positive feedback, In no way counters the fact that CO2 absorbs near IR. Similarly, the carbonaceous materials of which a house are built, if monitored over thousands of years, will be seen to slowly oxidize and produce heat; but that in no way counters the hypothesis that if the result of human activity were to heat some portion of them up very rapidly with nothing more than an itty bitty match, which is just an infinitesimal amount of oxiding carbon compared to the total in the house, nevertheless the house would then begin to oxidize very rapidly and get into a positive feedback loop known as “your house is on fire”.

  65. #66 guthrie
    November 19, 2006

    Nuts, I forgot the attribution for the quote I used- it was from SPencer Wearts book:
    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/

    Anyway, looks like my opinion was right after all…

  66. #67 Neal J. King
    November 19, 2006

    wrt the Stefan-Boltmann law, and its abuse by Monckton:

    - The S-B law relates total thermal radiation, integrated over all wavelengths, to the temperature of the body.
    - There is a relevant parameter: epsilon, which is the ratio of absorbed to incident radiant power. Generally speaking (i.e., in any normal situation), epsilon is a function of frequency. In the case that epsilon = 1 independently of frequency (body absorbs all light that falls upon it), you have a blackbody; or if epsilon = a constant less than 1, independently of frequency, you have a gray-body.

    - The S-B law ONLY applies for gray- or blackbodies, when epsilon has no dependence on temperature. Otherwise, you can’t even define the value of epsilon to be used in that equation. Which of the infinite number of values do you choose?

    - In the case of the earth’s atmosphere, we don’t have a blackbody or a graybody. Proof? Take one earth atmosphere, shine visible light on it. It absorbs almost nothing. Now change the frequency: shine infrared radiation, within the absorption bands: it absorbs all of it. Therefore, in one part of the frequency range, epsilon = 0; in another, epsilon = 1. Epsilon is NOT CONSTANT, and the Stefan-Boltmann law cannot be applied to it.

    - In particular, there is no way to calculate an “epsilon” that would fit the formula, except to use the formula to define an “epsilon”: it would be defined as
    “epsilon” = (total radiated power per unit area)/(sigma*T**4)
    Of course, using this equation as a definition for one of its terms removes its utility in relating anything to anything else.

    - Monckton has ungraciously tipped his hand that he realizes he’s all wet on this:
    i) In his first newspaper article, he proclaimed that the IPCC had ignored the S-B theorem;
    ii) In his second newspaper article, he stated “They said I’d assumed the system to be a blackbody. I didn’t.”;
    iii) In the third article (a rejoinder to a critique in a different paper, The Guardian), he said “I didn’t assume it’s a blackbody. It’s a badly-behaved graybody.” My understanding of that is that “badly behaved graybody” means “damn it, it’s not a graybody at all, but I’m not going to admit I didn’t know what I was talking about.”

    - I am still studying the remainder of what he does in that section of his backgrounder, to see what other whoppers he’s pulling. I expect that there will be quite a few.

  67. #68 c8to
    November 20, 2006

    has the correlation between CO2 and temperature been fully researched…

    the latest info i had was that the temp increases precede the CO2 rises…

    so my current understanding is the temp warms (probably for solar cycle reasons) and then because of this warmer temperature biomass for example increases and more CO2 is produced…

    further, what is the actual temp sensitivity of CO2 concentration. has anyone put a couple of greenhouses out, one with 280ppm CO2 and the other with 320ppm CO2 and looked at the temp difference…

    would be interested in these papers, tim if you know of them…

  68. #69 Danø
    November 20, 2006

    so my current understanding is the temp warms (probably for solar cycle reasons) and then because of this warmer temperature biomass for example increases and more CO2 is produced…

    Yes, but past cycles are inadequate to describe our current condition.

    The CO2 ppmv never exceeded ~280 ppmv in our (and our ancestor’s) time on earth. Thus we are in a new condition.

    HTH,

    D

  69. #70 guthrie
    November 20, 2006

    Thanks Neal, your post has cleared up my general confusion over black bodies and their relevance to the climate.

    c8to- doing experiments with greenhouses with different amounts of CO2 would be tricky, due to the effects of the Earths atmosphere upon the incoming radiation, i.e. what reaches the greenhouses would not be the same as what reaches the earth. Also the glass absorbs certain wavelengths. Rock salt would I understand be better, since it absorbs different wavelengths.
    But the thing with CO2 is that it is all calculable, since it depends upon the physics of the molecule. (I’m not a physicist, so I cant elaborate very well)

  70. #71 Ian Gould
    November 20, 2006

    c8to: “the latest info i had was that the temp increases precede the CO2 rises…

    so my current understanding is the temp warms (probably for solar cycle reasons) and then because of this warmer temperature biomass for example increases and more CO2 is produced…”

    People who are much better informed than me about this, point out that the warming cycles typically last several hundred years. Rising CO2 levels appear on some of the cycles at least do seem to start after the warming starts – but that doesn’t mean that the CO2 doesn’t reinforce and extend the warming.

    If rising temperatures do lead to higher CO2 levels and higher CO2 levels in turn lead to higher temperatures then putting more CO2 into the atmosphere when warming is already underway may reinforce that positve feedback.

    As Gutrhrie sort of alludes to, the absorption spectrum of CO2 is a pretty well-defined physical fact. Carbon dioxide gas abosrbs radiation at certain frequencies. That means more CO2 in the atmosphere means more reabsorption of reradiated solar energy unless there’s some other mechanism at work which no-one has been able to find.

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