For the second time, the FalseClimate propaganda blog, founded by two co-authors of
the now-discredited “hockey-stick” graph by which the UN’s climate panel tried
unsuccessfully to abolish the mediaeval warm period, has launched a malevolent,
scientifically-illiterate, and unscientifically-ad-hominem attack on a publication by me.
Monckton goes on to make many more ad hominem attacks on Schmidt. And what are the ad hominem attacks that Monckton alleges that Schmidt makes?
I shall replace all comments by him that are
purely ad hominem with “+++”. I shall refrain from any ad-hominem remarks of my
own, and shall answer what little science there is in his blog ad rem. Schmidt’s text is in bold face: my response is in Roman face.
Schmidt: “+++ … the most egregious error is a completely arbitrary reduction by 66% of the radiative forcing due to CO2. He +++ justifies this with reference to tropical troposphere temperatures …”
M of B: Schmidt somehow fails to point out that my division of climate sensitivity by three to take
account of the failure of observed tropical mid-troposphere temperatures to increase at thrice the
surface rate as predicted by all of the models relied upon by the UN, far from being “completely
arbitrary”, was taken from a paper by Lindzen (2001), read together with the lecture-notes and drafts
that preceded the paper. Here are two quotations from Professor Lindzen, …
… we can reasonably bound the anthropogenic contributions to surface warming since 1979 to a third of the observed warming, leading to a climate sensitivity too small to offer any significant measure of alarm …
Let’s see what the “purely ad hominem” bits were:
As Deltoid quickly noticed the most egregious error is a completely arbitrary reduction (by 66%) of the radiative forcing due to CO2. He amusingly justifies this with reference to tropical troposphere temperatures
So it was “purely ad hominem” to link to my post where I wrote:
But Lindzen (2007) (which was published in Energy and Environment rather than in a proper journal) does not say that CO2 radiative forcing is too high by a factor of three. In fact, he specifically says that Î”F2x “is about 3.5 watts per square meter”. As far as I can tell, Monckton has misunderstood this statement from Lindzen:
we can reasonably bound the anthropogenic contributions to surface warming since 1979 to a third of the observed warming, leading to a climate sensitivity too small to offer any significant measure of alarm
This is a statement about sensitivity not CO2 forcing.
So far from failing to point out that the alleged source of the 66% reduction in forcing was Lindzen (2007) (not Lindzen (2001) as Monckton now claims), Schmidt did so and Monckton deleted it from his quote of Schmidt on the grounds that it was “purely ad hominem”. And note that Monckton seems to have conceded my point that Lindzen was arguing for a lower sensitivity, not for a lower forcing. Of course, he hasn’t admitted that his paper was wrong to use Lindzen to justify dividing the forcing by three.
Monckton continues with more confused arguments:
The evaluation of final climate sensitivity is of course left entirely unaffected whether one chooses to divide the forcing, the feedbacks, or the no-feedbacks climate sensitivity by three, since climate sensitivity is the product of these three parameters.
But you can’t just arbitrarily choose one of them to divided by three and then go on to reduce the others. From a premise that sensitivity is too high by a factor of three, Monckton manages to conclude that sensitivity is too high by a factor of six, thus contradicting his premise.
Anyway, Monckton goes on in this vein for a while, with lots of bluster and failing to prove Schmidt wrong.
So, Monckton felt that an argument that proved him wrong was an ad hominem, and says that he himself refrained from any ad hominem remarks. I can only conclude that Monckton thinks “ad hominem” means “an argument that proves your opponent wrong”. He is mistaken. Ad hominem, from the Latin “to the man”, refers to an argument that attacks the opponent personally rather than addressing that person’s arguments. You’d think that someone who read classics at Cambridge would be a bit better with Latin.
And Arthur Smith is putting together a thorough list of all the mistakes in Monckton’s paper.