Monckton on the SPM

William Connolley is somewhat bemused by Christopher Monckton’s review of the IPCC’s Summary for Policy Makers. Because the IPCC changed the way sea level rises were reported, critics seem to inevitably misunderstand them and claim that the IPCC has substantially reduced its projections.

Monckton:

Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches.

Connolley:

And after that, the sea level rise? The TAR SPM pic is here. The SLR is 0.88 top-of-range and this is presumably what M is using for 3 feet. But thats all-models all-SRES plus land ice uncertainty (except for the WAIS). The value sans land ice uncertainty (which is what the AR4 uses) is 0.7 in the TAR against 0.59 in the AR4. But hold on, 0.7m is 27″. 17″ is 0.43m. Where has M got that from? Top of the B2 range? Average of the A1F1 range? Why would he choose either of those? Also I’m told, but have not verified, that the TAR range is 95% but the AR4 range is 90% uncertainty. So perhaps its better to look at the mid value for which AR4 sez “For each scenario, the midpoint of the range in Table SPM-2 is within 10% of the TAR model average for 2090-2099.”

A Wall Street Journal editorial:

Take rising sea levels. In its 2001 report, the U.N.’s best high-end estimate of the rise in sea levels by 2100 was three feet. Lord Monckton notes that the upcoming report’s high-end best estimate is 17 inches, or half the previous prediction.

There’s more, but let me pick out some more good bits from Monckton:


There was almost certainly less Arctic sea-ice in the early 1940s than there is now, and there may have been none in Summer in the middle ages.

Because, according to Monckton a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.

The UN’s simulations omitted the important El Niño ocean oscillation which has been more prominent in recent years, and underestimated urban heat-island effects: thermometers are mostly near towns.

Except for the ones that aren’t.

Comments

  1. #1 Heather
    February 5, 2007

    FYI – You can access those Wall Street Articles for free with a Netpass from: http://news.congoo.com

    My daily free tip!

  2. #2 Ian Gould
    February 5, 2007

    Sea level rise is the new hockey stick.

  3. #3 Tim Curtin
    February 5, 2007

    Tim: science moves on, when linking to Parker’s dismissal of urban warming, you should also reference the more advanced analysis of his data by Matsui and Pielke SEN (J. Geophys. Res. Letters 2005): “Parker’s conclusions require further analysis and intepretation before they can be used to conclude whether or not there is an urban influence of warming on the largescale temperature trends”. At the least IPCC ought to do multi-variate analysis of combined roles of atmospheric CO2 and urban heat effects. If the latter are irrelevant, why does the UK’s Met Office adjust its own series for Central England to take them into account, somewhat inadequately, as their adjustment factor is a constant although it has an upward trend of its own.

  4. #4 Ian Gould
    February 5, 2007

    I don’t know Tim, why would the Meteorological office of a highly industrialised and densely populated island take into consideration effects that are likely t be much less pronounced in their effect elsewhere?

    (There is a punchline coming isn’t there?)

  5. #5 tom
    February 6, 2007

    “Because, according to Monckton a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.”

    But Monckton quickly acknowledged that the Chinese naval squadron claim was apocryphal and apologized and withdrew it in the second of his two part Telegraph series.

    Have the UN-IPCC done the same with regard to Michael Mann’s discredited hockey stick study?

    No, they have not!

  6. #6 Millimeter Wave
    February 6, 2007

    But Monckton quickly acknowledged that the Chinese naval squadron claim was apocryphal and apologized and withdrew it in the second of his two part Telegraph series.

    …and then reintroduced it in his latest piece, in which he again makes the claim that there “…may have been [no arctic ice] in summer in the middle ages.”

  7. #7 tom
    February 6, 2007

    “…and then reintroduced it in his latest piece, in which he again makes the claim that there “…may have been [no arctic ice] in summer in the middle ages.”"

    Well I’ve got Monckton’s latest piece in front of me, but I’m unable to find any mention of a Chinese naval squadron.

    What he actually says is this:

    “Almost all the Arctic is sea-ice. There was almost certainly less Arctic sea-ice in the early 1940s than there is now, and there may have been none in Summer in the middle ages.”

    That there may have been no ice during the summer months in the middle ages isn’t at all unreasonable, bearing in mind it was several degrees warmer then than it is today – ignoring Mann’s discredited hockey stick study, of course.

  8. #8 llewelly
    February 6, 2007

    Well I’ve got Monckton’s latest piece in front of me, but I’m unable to find any mention of a Chinese naval squadron.
    What he actually says is this:
    “Almost all the Arctic is sea-ice. There was almost certainly less Arctic sea-ice in the early 1940s than there is now, and there may have been none in Summer in the middle ages.”
    That there may have been no ice during the summer months in the middle ages isn’t at all unreasonable, bearing in mind it was several degrees warmer then than it is today – ignoring Mann’s discredited hockey stick study, of course.

    Where ‘discredited’ means supported by the NRC and the IPCC AR4 SPM.

  9. #9 guthrie
    February 6, 2007

    Tom, do you have any positive evidence to back up the idea that the middle ages was several degrees warmer than today? I am afraid that Monckton isnt a good enough source. Where did he get his data from?
    After all, if it really was warmer than now, then why can’t people seem to demonstrate this?

  10. #10 Dano
    February 6, 2007

    you should also reference the more advanced analysis of his data by Matsui and Pielke SEN (J. Geophys. Res. Letters 2005): “Parker’s conclusions require further analysis and intepretation before they can be used to conclude whether or not there is an urban influence of warming on the largescale temperature trends”

    Tim Curtin,

    RP Sr has not dismissed the Parker et al. nor the dozens of other papers that have found the same thing.

    That is, unless you think a handful of examples is a robust enough sample for you to blow up to the entire planetary network.

    It’s a thin reed, but in your position, you have to grasp anything, I guess.

    Best,

    D

  11. #11 Lee
    February 6, 2007

    tom,

    Monckton withdrew his alleged evidence, but continues to make the claim that he supported with that evidence.

    I’m not sure repeating the unsupported claim originally based on bad evidence he was forced to withdraw, is better than when he originally made the claim with its absurd alleged supporting evidence.

  12. #12 Gareth
    February 6, 2007

    There was almost certainly less Arctic sea-ice in the early 1940s than there is now, and there may have been none in Summer in the middle ages.

    Where does he get this stuff? If you look at this century long data set for sea ice extent, the 1940s look to have notably high sea ice levels – perhaps 1.5 million km^2 more on the annual average than at present.

    And if he’s not basing his middle ages claim on “the Chinese”, where is it coming from? The Arctic Climate Impact Assessment certainly doesn’t support that claim.

    In other words, it’s made up, and it’s nonsense. It’s tragic that mainstream media are willing to play his game, but I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised…

  13. #13 Millimeter Wave
    February 6, 2007

    Lee,

    Quite. Monckton apparently has learnt the lesson that it’s best not to indicate the sources for any of his claims; it makes them too easy to refute.

    It’s rather striking to me that in the plethora of assertions of fact he makes, he provides not one single citation. He either just makes bald assertions or attributes them to nebulous sources such as “Most researches (sic)”, “scientific papers worldwide” or (my personal favourite), “leading scientists”.