Monckton’s McLuhan Moment

You know that famous scene in Annie Hall where a bore is going on and on about Marshall McLuhan’s work and Allen produces McLuhan who tells the bore that he got McLuhan all wrong? Well, that’s kind of what happened in my debate with Monckton. Based on what he had identified as his most important argument in previous talks I was pretty sure he would argue that climate sensitivity was low based on his misunderstanding of Pinker et al Do Satellites Detect Trends in Surface Solar Radiation?. And sure enough, he did.

If you read the title of Pinker’s paper, you’ll see that it’s about changes in surface solar radiation, not climate forcing as Monckton would have it. In ideal world I could have had Rachel Pinker appear from behind the curtain to tell Monckton that he was wrong about her paper, but I was able to do the next best thing. I first played a recording of Monckton’s building up Pinker as good scientist who was not interested in the global warming debate, and where he got her gender wrong again and again. Then I played a recording of a female colleague with an American accent reading out Pinker’s message to me on how Monckton had misunderstood her work. It was as if she was there.

I finished off by correcting his climate sensitivity calculation by comparing the current climate with the last Ice Age. The fun bit here was that I got all the information about the Ice Age from “Heaven and Earth”. Plimer’s book + Monckton’s calculation proves climate sensitivity is about 3.

My slides are here and audio of the first part of the debate (our talks and questions to each other) is here. Update : Video is here.

The only new argument he had was that Snowball Earth proves that climate sensitivity is low because it was really cold despite high CO2 levels. Apparently Plimer had shown some rocks from that period earlier in the week. I think that if you showed Monckton a duck, he would argue that because the duck’s quack doesn’t echo, climate sensitivity must be low. I wasn’t ready for this argument (the Snowball Earth one, not the duck’s quack one), so I didn’t have the best counter. I pointed out that it didn’t make his case because the cooling from the huge ice sheets countered the warming frm the CO2. I should have pointed out that it proved that CO2 must have a strong warming effect, otherwise we would never have escaped from the snowball state.

The second part of the debate, questions from the audience, was, err, less focused. It wasn’t until well into it that I realized that answering the questions concisely was not the best tactic and you could get away with a wave at answering the question and then a speech on whatever you could connect with it.

The last part, our closing arguments is also available as video. Monckton went back to Pinker and claimed that her graph showed forcing and solar radiation. Fortunately, we each had a screen that we controlled, so I put up my slide of a direct quote from Pinker contradicting Monckton’s claim.

The folks I talked to afterwards (which may, perhaps, be a biased sample) say that I wiped the floor with him. Which is a pretty good result since I’ve never done anything like this before.

Debate with Monckton

Here’s Lotharsson commentry, lifted from comments in previous post:

So Monckton’s first point is that Haiti couldn’t feed its population turning into severe food riots because they converted to biofuel production.

And he’s turning that into “millions of deaths resulted” from “not applying the precautionary principle” to mitigating measures.

Apparently that may not be entirely true.

Now he says CO2 is beneficial for agricultural yields, and for power generation to lift people out of poverty.

And he claims CO2 emissions are correlated with life expectancy, and negatively correlated with child mortality.

Now the “if we shut down the CO2 emissions for a year it would forestall 0.02 degrees C of warming” argument that IIRC Tim showed was fundamentally flawed some time ago.

“Australia’s emissions would make virtually any difference because China is emitting so much”.

“Focused adaptation to climate change … is orders of magnitude more effective than trying to prevent it”.

“And he claims CO2 emissions are correlated with life expectancy, and negatively correlated with child mortality.”

Per capita emissions might, but so does pretty much anything that scales with per capita GDP. Pick anything that you find more of in developed countries than developing countries, and you can say the same thing. Though Europe has higher life expectancies and lower per capita emissions than the US, so it’s only useful for separating developed from third world.

Now the key scientific question – “How much warming will we get for a given level of CO2″.

Looking at a curly mallee (sp) tree in the Flinders Ranges, which grows only on a type of rock that is 40% CO2 (750M years ago), and there was a glacier there at 300,000ppm CO2.

UN is using a bogus graph to demonstrate that “acceleration in temperature” is occurring. (UK Government said to confirm no acceleration.) Some relatively rapid periods of warming; looking at satellite data; graph from Pinker et al 2005 (sp?) showing reduction in cloud cover leading to radiative forcing of 3.04 W/m^2 over 19 years. Compare with UN saying entire human effect from 1750’s is just over 1 W/m^2.

Climate sensitivity – his back of the envelope calculation gives him about 0.2 degrees C per doubling of CO2.

More detailed calculation “by a mathematician” gave even lower numbers.

Tim begins…I’m a computer scientist with my 1st degree in maths, as much an amateur at climate science as Lord Monckton.

1st thing to note – CO2 levels shot up from about the 1950’s. 2nd thing – radiative forcing. Incoming shortwave radiation; outgoing longwave radiation. If more energy coming in than going out, planet will warm. Difference in energy is “radiative forcing”.

Agrees with Monckton – climate sensitivity is most important question. But “in the long run” is the important caveat. Full amount of warming due to forcing may take a couple of hundred years. Low sensitivity, no big problem; high sensitivity gives us real problems.

Going through calculation of sensitivity from simple equation.

Does Monckton think climate scientists are fools?

Monckton breaks in [I think this was a recording from another Monckton presentation, can't hear very clearly] – they made a fraud in order to ignore the implications of Pinker’s paper.

Monckton breaks in again – Pinker is a satellite nerd who only cares about that, not global warming.

Pinker speaks [recording] – you can’t compare these two numbers in the way Monckton does; the IPCC did it right.

Pinker’s detailed description will be up at the website.

Summary from Tim: clouds have two effects on radiative forcing. They block some incoming shortware radiation; they block some outgoing longwave radiation. Monckton’s mistake was only looking at blocking incoming radiation; not blocking outgoing.

Let’s look at last Ice Age – best way to get a handle on climate sensitivity is to look at a very different climate; bunch of factors (drawn from Plimer’s Heaven & Earth) – ice albedo, vegetation cover, dust, CO2, and so on…

Monckton’s 1st question: how can the 750M year-ago ice age have 300,000ppm in the atmosphere and still have huge mile thick ice sheets at the equator?

Tim Lambert: you have to do the calculation with all of the factors, not just CO2.

Tim’s 1st question: if Pinker’s correction is accurate, how will you correct the record?

Monckton: I will firstly check with Pinker and the IPCC, but her conclusion is to do with low clouds and theirs is high cloud. Let’s look at other ways to determine that we have low climate sensitivity. Argo buoys, ocean surface cooling over last 6 years.

Douglas and Knox 2009 (sp?) analysing last 68 years finds no accumulation of energy in the ocean. If that’s true, doesn’t that raise questions about the magnitude of the radiative forcing [?].

Tim: new papers need looking at; probably will turn out to be wrong; surface/air[?] temperatures clearly going up.

Looking at several lines on Monckton’s trend line graph.

[Jones: you didn’t say “lies” did you [hard to hear the rest]].

When you calculate trend lines you need to calculate uncertainty…as you go to shorter and shorter time period, the trend gets more and more uncertain.

Monckton: I’m calling the IPCC graphs “The Great Lie” because you may not apply multiple trend lines to a stochastic data set and then draw conclusions about an acceleration in the warming rate from the trend lines.

Look at this data set starting from 1993/1997/2001/2005; these four trend lines show we’re heading for a new ice age, so the method is wrong.

Could start in 1905 vs 1945 and show slowdown in warming.

[Can't see the graph, but he's saying 3 parallel warming periods, but no acceleration].

Between 1695 & 1735 central England went up 2.2 degrees C vs 0.7 degrees C in 20th Century.

Tim’s response: you’re statistically wrong. Need 20-30 years to have a statistically valid trend.

Monckton: there’s extreme uncertainty over the last 25 years [25 years' data?]

Alan Jones: what percentage of CO2 present in atmosphere is naturally occurring vs manmade; given our piddling population isn’t our contribution infinitesimal?

Tim: About 30-40% is human activity. [Monckton?: 39%]

AJ: Does Monckton agree?

M: Up to a point. There used to be heaps (dolomite, curly mallee). But if you count the CO2 elsewhere (not in the atmosphere) the manmade level is tiny.

TL: The stuff in the ground is not relevant; it’s the level in the atmosphere.

M: Back to 750M years ago when that level of CO2 was in the atmosphere; that gives 22 degrees C.

TL: You’re ignoring every other forcing.

M: The ice albedo isn’t enough of a countervailing effect.

AJ: Manmade CO2 is infinitely less than 39%.

M & TL: agree in atmosphere it’s 39%.

M: repeats previous position to cut off debate

Q to TL: How much CO2 is in the ocean; [M: 70 times as much in the ocean as the atmosphere]. How much bearing does the CO2 in the ocean have on clouds and radiative forcing. [Somehow this is supposed to show that cloud factors are wrong.]

TL: [very confused with questioner who is not clear - who thinks clouds are formed from CO2(!)]

Q to M: Is it true CO2 in atmosphere in Mars is also increasing despite lack of industrial revolution.

M: Haven’t recently looked; some dry ice which probably evaporated – NASA SUVs ;-)

Q to ?: Local council actually/preparing to spend money predicated on ETS (plus carbon market)

M: No. ETS can set so low a price that it makes no benefit to climate; or so high a price it shuts down industries all over Australia [what, no middle ground? Tut, tut - fallacy of the excluded middle.] If so you’ll be transferring your industries to China which is just not going to have an ETS (despite their letter to the Secretariat of the UN Convention).

EU Commissars now make “90%” of the laws in UK, mandated an ETS. Closing down a steel factory gives government carbon credits; industry will go to Pachauri’s India…

You’re going to shut down Australia’s economy for no climate effect.

Q: 1976 UN Treaty on weather modification technology; why aren’t we using it to deal with climate change?

AJ: Bit removed, anyone have a comment?

M: Very briefly, no :-)

Q to TL: If ocean levels rise by several metre & glaciers melt, isn’t the good news that one of the first impacts will be the submersion of the desalination plant? ;-)

Q: Skeptical about gov’t using environment for [can't hear - extra tax?]

M: Extra tax goes to making pollies & bankers richer.

Q to both: 7 natural warming/cooling cycles since 1018[?]; why is this one the only one that’s attributed to man when natural cycles are ignored (based on sunspot cycle).

TL: Sunspot activity affects climate; right now lowest sunspot activity for 100 years. We should be “back to temperatures of 1900″. Last Jan warmest ever in satellite record.

M: Back 600M years (beginning of Cambrian). From then till now most of time temp has been up to 7 degrees C warmer than now.

Each of previous 4 inter-glacial periods; up to 6 C warmer than now; no SUVs or power stations.

Holocene (current interglacial) at end of Younger Dryas; optimum (warmest point) 6000 years ago [etc.] Hundreds of papers by lots of scientists from countries claim MWP was worldwide and warmer than now.

Hence today’s warming is nothing to worry about.

Q: GISS – that’s adjusted data. Compared to BOM[?] data. [Mackay?] Adjusted lower in ’30’s/40’s; higher in 80’s/90’s to make it look warmer.

TL: People used to complain about this graph because the data wasn’t adjusted (for UHI). Now they’re complaining that they are adjusting the data.

And you can do the whole graph without adjustments without significant change.

Looking at all the stations in total shows definite warming. Details all publicly available – data and code. A team has reimplemented it and it checks out.

M: Watts has checked 1200 US stations and adjusted data changed between 1999 and 2008 to match what questioner says. Major inquiry going on into this around the world (including Australian stations). To-be published paper says satellites more or less reliable, but [Joe Daleo[sp?]] concludes 1850-1980 ground records are unreliable.

TL: Watts’ group claimed number of stations is changing which is used to make it look warmer. Those guys made fundamental programming errors; don’t understand how it’s done.

Q: [hard to hear] data on rising sea levels over last 40 years? [T: 20 years, 3.2mm per year] I know from reliable sources that 40 year increase admitted by government has only been 1cm.

TL: Interesting, but this graph comes from CSIRO…

Q: [can't hear] [When did authorities start saying humans were causing warming]

M: 1938, Calendar[sp?] ;-)

TL: …

M: History…1958 onwards Mauna Loa CO2 measurements.

Q: I met people designing carbon credit package in 1985 who weren’t talking about global warming, so they were more concerned with money than science… [Not really a question]

Q to both: Since Copenhagen, can we limit global increase in temp to 2 C like pollies claim was agreed?

M: Canute.

Q to both: when can I buy a seaside house? How much is ocean going to rise [translation]?

TL: need to allow for 90cm this century

M: Hasn’t worried Gore.

TL: His > 90cm above sea level.

M: Central UN estimate 43cm over 100 years compared to 20cm last 100 years. Niklaus Merner [sp?] wrote a lot of papers and expects 10+/-10cm.

TL: UN did not say their estimate was 43cm; up to 59cm not counting accelerating icesheets – if they start to melt at much faster rate we don’t really know how much impact they will have.

Q: With M’s 300,000ppm -> 22C isn’t that implying a non-linear relationship.

M: Yes [...] natural logarithm.

Q: I’m naval architect, freak waves are increasing frequency over 30-40 years. Moved from 100 year [?] to 200 year? What is reason for freak waves frequency increasing?

M: First largely thought to be mythical until too much evidence accumulated. Mathematicians have concluded Schroedinger wave equation predicts/models freak waves.

Q: Didn’t come here to primarily discuss climate; more concerned about totalitarian way governments treat discussion and suppress opinion. Spent my youth under very totalitarian government. Any government wants to get as much power as possible and take over media & education. My teacher friend doesn’t believe about CO2 but scared to tell it to his students…many others?

AJ: many Aussies concerned about failure to listen to alternative viewpoint; virtually an intellectual scandal that this is the only debate that has occurred on this issue in Australia.

Request was made to appear at National Press Club it was denied which gives validity to [censorship/suppression].

Worry about children being taught that CO2 is a pollutant.

Freedom that people died for to exchange views.

M: You come from Czech Republic – have seen Hitler & Communism, and Vaclav Klaus’s book Blue Planet in Green Shackles – “it’s not about climatology, it’s about freedom”.

Q: Pleased to see it’s not womankind being blamed for issues ;-) NY winter and London winter have been really cold, so where’s the global warming.

TL: Doesn’t mean we don’t get winter anymore. Difference between weather (day to day) and climate (long term average). Snowstorm is about precipitation (questioner interjecting). Can I speak? [Q: no! You've changed the terminology from global warming to climate change.]

Winter snow came from warmer weather in Manitoba; a big snow storm is because you have lots of precipitation.

M: Merely 3 miserable northern hemisphere winters in a row don’t make a climate trend, nor do several hot summers Down Under.

But there has been no statistically significant global warming for 15 years; begins to be long enough to raise questions of magnitude of climate sensitivity.

Global cooling for 9 years.

ClimateGate e-mail – can’t explain no global warming for decade and it’s a travesty.

El Nino 1998-2001; falling back since then; can’t read too much into it – but it does raise sensitivity questions; raise an eyebrow and keep watching.

Q to both: Ehrlich, Population Bomb, his view is humans are the problem so we need fewer humans. To M are you worried about the conflation of the two issues. To TL do you agree that population is a problem when my wife and I want to have lots of kids?

TL: Controlling population is bad idea, against human rights and nature. It’s an engineering problem – redesign our economy to have same lifestyle without the emissions.

M: If you stop people burning fossil fuels in poorer countries to have cheap electricity; that keeps them in poverty; population will increase beyond capacity of land to sustain them. So have to raise standards of living. Therefore the developing countries must burn as much fossil fuels as they need to stabilise population by lifting them out of poverty.

In 1990’s[?] UN predicted 16-18 billion by 2080; now thought ~9B in 2050 – but limiting poor countries – or limiting to the point of poverty in rich countries – will give us more people and more CO2 overall.

Q: economics; suggested Australia should wait for rest of world to do something. What happens if other countries have developed renewables later this century and we’re left to import it from them? Why shouldn’t we lead the world in these technologies?

TL: [garbled on my feed]

M: No. Every economic analysis but Stern shows that going to low-carbon economy is one of most destructive actions you can take.

More than 5% wind power means you have to turn it off because it’s destabilising the grid. Denmark stopped subsidising wind power…

Only as fossil fuel prices rise naturally without alternative subsidies, only then it makes sense. And wind farms damage wildlife. So subsidising alternative energy puts up electricity prices for everyone for no benefit.

Q: Tectonic plates shifting; does this impact sea level [and something I couldn't hear]

TL: Yes, but only over (say) hundreds of millions of years.

M: Island of Lobna Chaura [sp?] suddenly disappeared a few years ago, so can get local effects. Bangladesh. Shifting makes it difficult to measure sea level; satellite altimetry, more accurate than tide gauges. Eastern Pacific basin gets clusters of undersea earthquakes which always seem to precede El Nino…

TL: [cut off by AJ]

Q: Seems that measurements are disputed; Lindzen; sea level rise; what confidence in them?

M: How good are our measurements? Lindzen & Choi vs “ClimateGate” researchers. Enormous disputes going on; staggering uncertainty in measurements. Tools woefully inadequate. Climate mathematically chaotic therefore long run prediction is impossible by definition. Can still take some view on relationship between CO2 and warming, but no consensus on sensitivity.

TL: Lindzen and Choi wasn’t about uncertainty in measurement. It was interpretation of data – their choice of cooling and warming periods seemed an artifact of an arbitrary choice [which wasn't robust].

It’s a mistake to say chaotic system means you can’t predict it. Weather is unpredictable long term; climate is reasonably predictable. Initial value problems vs boundary condition problems. That is doable.

AJ: one consequence of debate is apologies for being skeptical; but better to be skeptical than gullible.

Q: Wouldn’t many places benefit from global warming?

TL: Sure, a little bit of warming – some places better, some worse. A lot of warming – the bad stuff outweighs the good stuff a lot. Sea levels & buildings; agriculture.

M: Warming is a good thing; the more (within reason) the better. Climate sensitivity. Until we know, making damaging and murderous decisions that we’ve already rushed into is an extremely bad idea.

Q to TL: If so much is driven by CO2, why did it go up so fast in 1910-1940 (down in 1970’s)…when there wasn’t that much CO2? And 1970’s warnings about ice age warnings?

TL: CO2 not the only thing to affect climate; remember my climate sensitivity calculations. Graph [can't see it - IPCC model graphs showing natural factors only?] Talking about predictions/calculations using only natural factors and all factors…must look at all factors[etc]

Ice Age, don’t trust newspapers writing about science. Two schools of scientific thoughts back then – increasing CO2 vs increasing pollution; which one is stronger.

AJ: nothing’s changed in reporting.

M: These three warmings over the last 150 years can’t be CO2; must be chiefly natural. These ups and downs are natural events that overwhelm the overall trend. But CO2 isn’t doing much.

Ice Age – natural apocalypticism particularly in journalists – next might be the impossible issue of ocean acidification.

TL summing up:

Climate sensitivity is the important point. Unless you think Plimer’s book is wrong about the Ice Age, then the conclusion is pretty much that sensitivity is about 0.75 (2.8C/double).

Pinker’s graph heavily relied on by Monckton, but Pinker says his interpretation is wrong.

Ad for blog.

M summing up:

Pinker’s graph. Top left 90S -> 90N means she took satellite data from geostationary equatorial orbit plus polar orbital satellites. [Lost feed twice here] I think he’s saying the measurements allow you to determine shortwave and longwave, and graphs showing separate parts of the world. Overall effect – no point saying otherwise – is that you’ll get more sunlight on surface and temperature will increase. …which raises questions about climate sensitivity.

Other tests. Santer rewrote IPCC to say now discernible influence on human climate; his 2008 paper says atmospheric hotspot will come from ONLY anthropogenic forcing [I thought it was ANY warming?] Only one dataset shows this but the dataset is defective. Lindzen & Choi disputed by Trenberth; changing start dates/end dates criticism; Lindzen & Choi updating. Paper after paper demonstrating by measurement, not modeling, that climate sensitivity is low. UN models did not forecast 15 years without global warming. Huge departure from IPCC’s projections; they’ve revised projections downwards. Climate is responding as low climate sensitivity implies.

No sound conclusion that we’re causing serious problems. Spend money on deforestation, overfishing, rare wildlife habitat, better healthcare in 3rd world…wait and see.

No Copenhagen gives < 0.25C over next 10 years.

AJ:

Thanks Tim for debate.

Apparently it’s an indictment of freedom of speech that we [somehow?] want to deny expression of them.

ETS architects have refused to come on AJ’s program. Variation of viewpoints (which is healthy [teach the controversy!]), therefore implies shouldn’t be legislating yet.

Thanks Monckton for sponsoring the debate (in the sense of his presence has triggered it to happen), and for going anywhere for an audience.

Monckton found himself at an Australia Day political function [sounds like AJ brought him] and was “treated as pariah”.

Claims atmosphere of suppression [what planet is he on? Read any newspapers lately?]

Smeed’s wife is introduced & presents a token gift to AJ for introducing Monckton & “preaching the word[?!]“. She’s horrified to see what’s going on in this country, because she comes from a Communist country.

FWIW, apart from his closing comments, for the most part I think AJ moderated reasonably well. And he did help weed out the rambling commenters and irrelevant questions from the audience.

On the video feed seems like Monckton is off to one side out of shot with camera flashes going off – sorry Tim, you don’t have the same celebrity cachet ;-)

Comments

  1. #1 cohenite
    February 13, 2010

    jakerman and Lotharsson at 84-86; you 2 are verballing me; at 72 I acknowledge that LM mistook cloud SW forcing for extra insolation which is one of Pinker’s points; but Tim adds to the confusion by his slide 12 because there is not an equivalence of forcing between the cloud SW forcing and the cloud LW forcing as the Ramanthan paper I linked to shows. Pinker also goes onto to state that LM ostensibly confuses the extra forcing from the extra SW reaching the surface with the radiative forcing from the extra CO2 which is a TOA effect. But LM did not do this; he used Pinker’s findings about the extra forcing from the extra SW, 0.16W/m2 per year [which was the average annual increase over the whole period despite the decrease upto the early ninties as Pinker says], to state that the forcing from extra CO2 and therefore its CS, was lower than IPCC estimates. This can be measured in 2 ways; one is through temperature variation and the other is TOA OLR variation; jakerman has thrown up some temperature graphs at 93 as evidence that there has not been a temperature signal to reflect the extra SW; is this serious? Are you saying the measured substantial increase in SW is having no measureable heating effect? Here’s a clue for you jakerman: what were the measurements of OLR upto 1990 and what were they after 1990?

  2. #2 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    PZ Myers has a post about both an iPhone app from Skeptical Science and this thread.

  3. #3 Tim Lambert
    February 13, 2010

    >was Monckton taking long term equilibrium into account when calculating lambda? Or was he doing it using two non-equilibrium data points?

    Yes, he got that wrong, too. This also was his mistake in version 1.0 of his argument for low sensitivity, way back in 2006.

  4. #4 Chris O'Neill
    February 13, 2010

    Ricardo Villa:

    he absolutely destroyed you in the debate.

    Yet another detailed, point-by-point analysis. I wonder what Tim did to deserve so much detail.

  5. #5 Tim Lambert
    February 13, 2010

    Well, if cohenite is our guide, Pinker will directly tell Monckton that he has misunderstood her paper, and Monckton will conclude that he got it right.

  6. #6 Jeremy C
    February 13, 2010

    “M: First largely thought to be mythical until too much evidence accumulated. Mathematicians have concluded Schroedinger wave equation predicts/models freak waves”

    Did Monckton really say that Schroedinger’s wave equation shows that ocean waves will get bigger….!!!!!???? Did he really say such a stupid thing. Did no one pick him up on it?!?

    As an engineer I cannot believe he had the hide to say such a thing. What a howler!

  7. #7 Jeremy C
    February 13, 2010

    I only came into this 24 hours after the event so I see lots of people did call Monckton on schrodinger’s equation. Good!

    I notice that Ilajd’s use of the non linear Shrodinger equation doesn’t answer the original question put during the debate.

    BTW. Luminous Beauty at 66….beautiful comment.

  8. #8 Hey! Get This . . .
    February 13, 2010

    You have “…never done anything like this before.”? That’s not really correct. You have been preparing for such a cogent presentation throughout your career. I would have learned a lot! The best that I can do (which is also valuable) is to appeal to the low-science-literacy public to maintain perspective about science and expertise in general. It’s the ‘get a grip’ argument (at the link).

  9. #9 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    Cohenite, maybe I’m confused, but I looked at 86 again and I don’t see how I verballed you. Your comment implied that Pinker saying “it can pass” meant his analysis can pass when it seems rather clear she did not mean that.

    As I stated in 86, go read the final couple of paragraphs and tell me how you can reconcile her words there with (what I believe is) your claim that she implies his climate sensitivity calculation is correct.

    Perhaps you could post a description of Monckton’s climate sensitivity calculation and show how it is correct – because it sounded to me like Monckton was picking and choosing which forcings to include and exclude. (I was typing hard at the time and I could not see the slides.)

    And perhaps you could explain whether or not you are doing the same, given you said:

    …which has featured the lowest sunspot activity in over 100 years; but this is irrelevant [my emphasis] because less cloud means more insolation and SW forcing.

    Even better, do the same description and analysis for Tim’s calculation and see which one is more rigourous.

    FWIW I don’t see the “equivalence” you say is implied on Tim’s slide 12. I also don’t recall hearing Tim claim they were equivalent. Didn’t he say something like if the net of all forcings is positive things get warmer; if it’s negative they get cooler? If so, do you have a beef with that statement?

  10. #10 Nick
    February 13, 2010

    We need a Monckton error count posted on YouTube. It’ll be a thirteen-part series. At least.

  11. #11 cohenite
    February 13, 2010

    Lotharsson; slide 6 shows LM’s graph with the effect of what he terms cloud forcing; according to Pinker this is incorrect because it is due to extra SW reaching the surface not because of cloud forcing but because, well, Pinker explains:

    “however, if we give Christopher
    Monckton the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant “the impact of clouds on the
    surface shortwave radiation” than it can pass.”

    This concept is certainly not clear as this paper by Clement et al demonstrates;

    http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/observational-and-model-evidence-for-positive-low-level-cloud-feedback.pdf

    Clement state:

    “The only model that passed this test simulated a reduction in cloud cover over
    much of the Pacific when greenhouse gases were increased, providing modeling evidence for a
    positive low-level cloud feedback.”

    The conclusion is that the absence of low level cloud is a positive feedback to an increase in GHGs but only because it allows more SW to reach the surface. By this standard LM’s description of more SW through less cloud cover is, if it isn’t caused by GHGs, which is a supposition of the Clement paper, a forcing.

    In respect of Tim’s calculation at slide 14 which from the debate I took to apply to the pre-Cambrian ‘snowball’ Earth the equivalence between the heating from an atmospheric content of 300,000 ppm of CO2 [sic] and the cooling effect from an almost complete surface of ice and therefore increased albedo is assumed; you can make what you want of that.

  12. #12 Dave Johnson
    February 13, 2010

    Sorry Time, I was rather disappointed in your performance

  13. #13 Tim Lambert
    February 13, 2010

    Pinker says that Monckton isn’t necessarily wrong to label her graph “cloud forcing” — she thinks that the term “cloud forcing” is sufficiently vague that it could be used that way. But what it certainly doesn’t do is measure radiative forcing which is the way Monckton uses it.

    As for Snowball Earth: here’s the calculation that I challenged Monckton to do.

    If you cover the entire planet with ice, you change the albedo from 0.3 to 0.7. The forcing is 340 (incoming solar) * (0.3 -0.7), or about -130 W/m2. 1000 times as much CO2 is ten doublings for a forcing of 10*3.7 or 37 W/m2. I’m not sure that the logarithmic relationship holds up to concentrations that high.

  14. #14 bluegrue
    February 13, 2010

    In addition, from Pinker:
    >The CO2 “radiative forcing” value that Mr. Christopher Monckton is quoting refers to the impact on the Earth’s Radiative balance as described above. The numbers that we quote in our paper represent the change in surface SW due to changes in the atmosphere (clouds, water vapor, aerosols). __These two numbers cannot be compared at their face value.__

    And Monckton is doing exactly that, comparing the two numbers _at their face value_.

  15. #15 Brendon
    February 13, 2010

    Sounds like a great debate to listen to but I can’t download the mp3 file either. Initially I was getting google’s “technical error”, but now the link won’t even bring that up. Is there somewhere else it can be found?

    From reading the comments above it doesn’t appear that techincally you were all over him; that doesn’t really surprise me though.

    Are the audience/general public climate-educated enough to understand Monckton’s whole argument is flawed because of his basic assumption is wrong? I doubt it; certainly not in the timeframe of a debate.

  16. #16 SFW
    February 13, 2010

    Hi Tim
    I still think you are on the wrong side of things but I do admire and appreciate your standing up for what you believe to be right.

  17. #17 Shawn Wilkinson
    February 13, 2010

    Okay … I know I’m a dumb yank, but isn’t Western Australia suffering from a 12-year long drought and a (record?) heat wave? Isn’t the desertification of sub-tropic regions one of the red flags of a changing climate system?

    Forgive me for any ignorances… and for all the dumb people in the Northern hemisphere thinking a bunch of (predicted) snow in a localized region somehow deflates decades of work in climate science.

  18. #18 You ARE Kidding, Right?
    February 13, 2010

    You!?! Wiped the floor?!? With Moncton!!?!!

    You are a JackAss. Not to mention a Liar.

    And there’s quite a few jackAsses braying along with you in here.

  19. #19 truthseekr
    February 13, 2010

    Hi Tim Lambert

    I saw the AGW debate and was looking forward to hearing your argument and sources. Sorry Tim, how can you be taken seriously when you base your arguments on the fraudulent hockey stick graph?

    McKitrick and McIntyre have proven (beyond any doubt) that Mann’s hockey stick was contrived.

    You must know that Mann not only used an algorithm which always resulted in the hockeystick but that he cherry picked the data as well. Since the outcome was predetermined – it is INVALID and thereby is not a reliable source to underpin your arguments.

    http://climateaudit.org

  20. #20 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    >*there is not an equivalence of forcing between the cloud SW forcing and the cloud LW forcing as the Ramanthan paper I linked to shows.*

    Ramanthan provides a snapshot period in 1985 not the constant relationship between LW and SW for all conditions. I.e. ΔFN ≠ ΔFS.

    Cohnite writes:

    >*jakerman has thrown up some temperature graphs at 93 as evidence that there has not been a temperature signal to reflect the extra SW; is this serious? Are you saying the measured substantial increase in SW is having no measureable heating effect?*

    What would an [empiricist say](< http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2270312) cohnite?

    Perhaps looking at the size of the signal you could question how substantial the ΔSW is? Keeping in mind . ΔFN = ΔFS + ΔFL

    And ΔSW is [associated with](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/olr.php?num_months=12&view=View#num_months_form) ΔLW

    >*Positive OLR [anomalies] are indicative of suppressed convection and hence less cloud coverage typical of La Niña episodes. Less convective activity in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific implies lower, warmer cloud tops, which emit much more infrared radiation into space.*

  21. #21 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    ilajd said:
    >”The question, skillfully constructed, was this “Does AGW endanger mankind?” Monckton condensed this at the start to three points – Moral questions, Economic issues and Scientific issues and provided good points and data for all.”

    Well as I have already pointed out, he got his data wrong on biofuels and food shortages. He was using media stories as his source of information.
    Based on this poor information, he then proceeded use it to justify that doing anything to reduce CO2 would kill people.
    When in reality, it is the economics and politics that he supports that caused the food shortages he was discussing.

    If he gets his data wrong, he is hardly in the position to criticise scientists.

  22. #22 Stu
    February 13, 2010

    With the exception of Cohenite (who has been shown to be defending Monckton on semantics – face it, he used Pinker’s stuff incorrectly), all the other voices in the wilderness have been quick and to the pointless.

    118 above is a prime example.

  23. #23 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    ilajd said:
    “Monckton was full of facts while Lambert was full of farce.”

    The so called ‘facts’ were from media sources.

    Why did he not explain the discrepancy between what he claimed about biofuels/food shortages and the fact that there have been 30 years of huge global wheat surpluses??

    Why did he not mention that most environmentalists campaigning to cut carbon emissions are also campaigning to reduce the use of many biofuels?

  24. #24 Chris O'Neill
    February 13, 2010

    truthseekr:

    You must know that Mann not only used an algorithm which always resulted in the hockeystick

    It’s a pity no-one uses that method anymore. Of course, that doesn’t make any difference to you.

  25. #25 jack horner
    February 13, 2010

    When you talk about ‘winning’ a debate, be clear what your mean between: * winning the hearts and minds of the audience; * being correct.

    A lot this thread is at cross purposes.
    A: ‘Monckton won because he was more entertaining’. B: ‘No, Tim won because he was more right’. Really, it depends what you mean by ‘won’.

    How much a truth-seeker should adopt the tricks of the PR trainers in an attempt to be right and persuasive is an interesting ethical question.

  26. #26 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    ilajd said:
    >”Tim nice to see your knuckle dragging groupies in action. And this is what passes as comments on a science blog these days, deary me.”

    You haven’t responded to my picking holes in Moncktons initial claims, so you are hardly one to pass judgements.

    Also as you claimed in your first comment, Monckton chose to use moral and economic arguments for a chunk of his talk. So one has to ask why are you here? If you want science, I suggest you ask Monckton to discuss it in his next debate, rather than using emotional blackmail and alarmism based on poor data research about food shortages.

  27. #27 froggy
    February 13, 2010

    yeah way to go tim, great to see your intellect in your article shining through, the way you used cheap insults which had nothing to do with the debate was devestating,be-littling somebody because of their breeding & accent was really a piece of itellectual wizzardry, then follows it up by referring to the de-bunked hockey stick was a total triumph on your part showing how really”on the ball” you are, oooh & please tell me tim, how many thousands of dollars have you been financed in your studies just to use obsolete de-bunked material?,you know the tax payers dollars who are entitled to a proffesional unbiased view in which im affraid you lack on both counts, & just a final note to ponder on, why is it that the australian government have put blocks on websites that do not subscribe to this new religion?,sensorship by definition denotes something they dont want you to see which is hardly a democratic stance is it, this is how dictatorships operate by suppressing its inhabitants with control tactics.

  28. #28 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    …slide 6 shows LM’s graph with the effect of what he terms cloud forcing;…

    OK, but you can’t just plug that into an equation for climate sensitivity, not even with the other two forcings he uses on slide 7. You have to include the OTHER effects of clouds which are normally part of the term “cloud forcing”.

    The conclusion is that the absence of low level cloud is a positive feedback to an increase in GHGs…

    So…increasing GHGs leads to changes in cloud cover that amount to positive net feedback, not negative? You implied the Ramanathan paper showed that it was net negative (21 years of additional research notwithstanding):

    cloud SW forcing is a negative forcing as Ramanathan found [link] … And cloud SW forcing is much larger than cloud LW forcing.

    Which is it? Or was this use of the term “positive feedback” not meant to be “net positive feedback due to clouds”; just “a positive feedback mechanism” that may or may not be offset or exceeded by other feedback mechanisms?

    … the equivalence between the heating from an atmospheric content of 300,000 ppm of CO2 [sic] and the cooling effect from an almost complete surface of ice and therefore increased albedo is assumed.

    I don’t think this is true, probably because of semantics.

    I’m not sure that “assumed equivalence” is the most precise term, but I think you’re saying that the two effects coincidentally had the same (change in) value in that timespan. When you say “equivalence is assumed” people can read it to mean that two factors are assumed to always balance each other in general, not necessarily in just one specific instance.

  29. #29 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    froggy, take your medication. Your paranoia is showing ;-)

    Did anyone else note Tim engaging in any “belittling because of accent or breeding” during the debate? I don’t remember it, but as I said I was busy typing. Monckton is quite prepared to slander his opponents – check out videos easily found on the Internet where he calls protesters Hitler Youth, for one example. But in this debate he also seemed quite civil.

    oooh & please tell me tim, how many thousands of dollars have you been financed in your studies just to use obsolete de-bunked material?,you know the tax payers dollars who are entitled to a proffesional unbiased view…

    As far as I’m aware, Tim does Deltoid as an unpaid hobby.

    As far as I’m aware, Monckton is paid quite well for his appearances throughout the world.

    So…on your logic that makes Monckton the biased one, does it?

    why is it that the australian government have put blocks on websites that do not subscribe to this new religion?

    References, please. Name a couple of those websites.

    Because I suspect you’ll find most people here are just as much against censorship as you.

  30. #30 jakc horner
    February 13, 2010

    On rhetorical tricks: once long ago, as a nerdy self-righteous university student, I sought an interview with the dean of the faculty to complain about something to do with the examination system.
    He was obviously well experienced at batting off disgruntled students. He was polite, slick, and above all, talkative. If I tried to make a point, he’d be off again for another two minutes. I guessed later that this was quite deliberate. The more he talked, the less I could. While he’s talking, he’s in control: I am distracted by trying to take in what he’s saying, and have less time to marshall my own thoughts.

    Similarly on the question: ‘Is continental drift relevant?’ Tim’s answer was concise and to the point; Monckton then took the floor for several minutes of Gish Gallop [bamboozling with irrelevant detail]. Principle: be in your audience’s face for as much of the time as possible.

  31. #31 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    Another misleading part of Moncktons presentation is the bit about CO2 and improvements to peoples lives.

    He is shifting the benefits of using resources over to emissions?

    You could use the same argument about nuclear energy, making spears, the invention of the wheel and wind farms.

    Is he suggesting that if nuclear energy is used, we are all going to be much poorer?

    Sounds like Monckton has a religious belief in the benefits of CO2.

  32. #32 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    Paul, I suspect Monckton largely believes his own bulldust, and he is mostly a black and white thinker who only sees evidence that confirms his existing biases – including (roughly speaking) that anything business wants to do is ultimately good for the world – so get out of their way.

  33. #33 John
    February 13, 2010

    @ 119:

    What is this “Climate Audit” site of which you speak?

  34. #34 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    Regarding Tims answer to Moncktons first question.
    I think he could have made more of the ‘faint young sun’ issue.

    The suns output would have been more then 4% lower than it is today. The solar radiative forcing would be about -13.7 W m-2
    This combined with increased albedo would have been enough to counter the effects of dramatically high CO2.

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-higher-in-past.htm

  35. #35 cohenite
    February 13, 2010

    Look jakerman and Lotharsson, I referred to the Clement paper to illustrate that the difference between a forcing and a feedback is a pretty fine one and that a temperature or radiative effect from a variation in cloud cover can apparently be a forcing; apply the gist of this paper to what Pinker says:

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037527.shtml

    And google Kump and Pollard when you work that out. The Clement paper found that only when a reduction in clouds was simulated that a positive feedback could occur, and that was due to more SW reaching the surface. A couple of things about this; firstly it is not inconsistent with Ramanthan who did not find just a “snapshot period” [ie read the Trenberth paper and K&P] but found that negative cloud forcing through reflection of SW was greater [in W/m2] than positive cloud forcing through LW forcing and the “The shortwave and longwave components of cloud forcing are about ten times as large as those for a CO2 doubling.”

    Monckton only claimed 7 times.

    The 2nd thing is according to the NOAA OLR charts which jakerman linked to OLR has been predominately anomalously positive in the Pinker years; if CO2 CS was the dominant forcing during these years how could that be?

    And Lotharsson, if you reckon it is just matter of semantics consider this critique of L&C and their findings of low CS and increased OLR;

    http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/comments-on-lindzen-choi-2009/

    In the section “Forcing the feedback” the comment says:

    “Why would Earth’s reflectance change directly in accordance to changes in SST? There is a known feedback effect that affects the reflectance; the amount of high level clouds changes and causes a negative feedback, but remember that here we are not dealing with feedbacks yet, we are dealing with direct response.”

    Never mind that the radiative coupling of the SS and OLR has a lag of no more than 3 months, the issue is how is a feedback different from a “direct response”?

  36. #36 Joel
    February 13, 2010

    Can someone post the MP3 version somewhere else, Google Docs doesn’t work for me either.

  37. #37 Tim Lambert
    February 13, 2010

    truthseekr:

    >I saw the AGW debate and was looking forward to hearing your argument and sources. Sorry Tim, how can you be taken seriously when you base your arguments on the fraudulent hockey stick graph?

    How can you be taken seriously when in fact I never even mentioned the hockey stick?

  38. #38 Peter A. Lord
    February 13, 2010

    Tim, it seems to me Plinker’s paper is like nerd number one saying; my data supports the proposition the sun rises in the east and sets in the west once a day. Nerd number two comes along and says; the data reveals the earth spins on its axis once every 24 hours. Nerd number one jumps up and says; I never said that! Nerd two is telling lies. Data is open to interpretation once published, critical or otherwise, and any personal views of the writer don’t count, or at least shouldn’t be enforced over another’s views. At least you had the force of your convictions to share a platform with Milord, unlike many in the establishment scientific community who preferred a low profile. By the way, proof the Co2 scare is a total fraud rests with the beverage industry use of Co2 as an effervescing agent. Whole supermarket isles are dedicated to carbonated soft drink product. Brewed beverages like ales, beer, stouts, etc. also rely on Co2 for presentation and preservation, not too mention those sections of the wine industry that employ the Champagne method and artificial carbonation to enhance their sparkling and alcopop products. Ask yourself, do people who refer to Co2 as a “pollutant” (like Rudd) really expect the great mass of the Australian people to believe they are polluting the environment every time they ‘pop a cork’, ‘crack a coldy’, or ‘rip a tinny’. What tonnage of Co2 does Coca Cola contribute to GW I ask?

  39. #39 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    …if you reckon it is just matter of semantics…

    Not exactly. I reckon understanding the semantics you intended is a prerequisite to me understanding whether you have a reasonable argument or not. I don’t think your descriptions are precise enough to determine what your argument really is. I note you haven’t clarified your use of “assumed equivalence”, so I still don’t know which of at least two reasonable interpretations I could apply to that term you actually meant. See my problem?

    I referred to the Clement paper to illustrate that the difference between a forcing and a feedback is a pretty fine one and that a temperature or radiative effect from a variation in cloud cover can apparently be a forcing…

    How did you reach that conclusion from that paper? It present a potential feedback mechanism – that forcing increasing GHGs leads to decreased cloud cover, which in turn has an impact on the radiative balance. Based on a quick scan, the authors only use “forcing” in the context of GHGs, and only describe cloud effects as “feedback”.

    Maybe you meant that … ultimately the change in cloud cover due to another forcing factor is itself a factor that changes radiative balance and that one must take into account – if so, I doubt too many here will disagree with you.

    To a first approximation, I reckon you might think of “forcing” as a direct change to the state of the climate system and/or its inputs; you might think of “feedback” as any response of any part of the climate system to any forcing factor – that tends to amplify or reduce the effects of a forcing. But you can also use “forcing” as you did – calculate the change in radiation balance due to a factor (such as clouds) without looking at feedback effects between clouds and other climate system parameters. That’s what can make it difficult to discuss clearly.

    I agree there’s a fine line between the two terms, depending on how you construct your models or what you’re talking about at the time. You could build a model where you force changes in cloud cover to see what happens – in that case if CO2 levels changed as a result that would be a feedback responding to a forcing. (Anyone who knows more about this than me is welcome to jump in!)

    …the issue is how is a feedback different from a “direct response”?

    If you’re talking about the effect of GHGs on climate, then I would suggest cloud cover changes in response to GHG changes are clearly feedbacks (in my definition above), not forcings. And the SW radiation blocked/LW radiation absorbed at a given level/distribution/composition of clouds would be a direct response to those clouds.

    But it may not matter that much what they are called – as long as all significant effects are accounted for.

    Let me try and put the core issue I’ve been talking about yet another way. What I and others have been saying is you can’t pretend one factor of the net energy flux change due to (say) a change in cloud cover is the total change in net energy flux due to (say) a change in cloud cover. Based on available evidence, Monckton seems to have done this and Pinker seems to be pointing it out, noting that I might be mistaken.

    “The shortwave and longwave components of cloud forcing are about ten times as large as those for a CO2 doubling.”

    Here’s an apparent example of not reporting the net, noting that I may have misunderstood you.

    Haven’t had time to look at that paper, but if as you say both components are “about 10 times” as large as something else, then they approximately cancel each other out – because one is positive and one is negative. The “about 10 times” itself is irrelevant. You need to determine the net of the components, not just the approximate magnitude of each component. (And that’s disregarding the changes in cloud cover due to other forces – i.e. feedback, but let’s leave that aside for now.) Do you have any data on the net impact?

    Since Monckton didn’t seem to determine the net either, his “7 times” is just as irrelevant.

    I note you say that the negative cloud forcing (SW reflection) is greater than the positive cloud forcing (LW absorption), which means the net effect is a negative forcing (but not how large).

    At the same time you say cloud cover seems to decrease as GHGs increase. This seems to be a positive feedback, because forcing more GHGs means less clouds means less of the negative cloud forcing (SW blocked, LW absorbed) which means a positive change in forcing.

    if CO2 CS was the dominant forcing during these years how could that be?

    I’m no climate scientist, and it’s getting late so I’m thinking poorly, but based on the paper you quoted cloud level changes are clearly feedbacks, not forcings. Did you mean CO2 was the dominant factor (either forcing or feedback) affecting OLR (or affecting temperature or some other climate variable?) during those years (and if so on what basis)?

    One short answer – if that CO2 forcing caused lower cloud levels via the feedback mechanism you point to, then you’d expect more OLR too, no? And when the surface temperature increases you also expect more OLR. Why then is the observed OLR anomaly surprising to you? Would it help to determine the total radiative flux change over those periods, not just one component (OLR)?

    Longer answer – I’d guess that feedbacks have to be accounted for as well as forcings, and what jakerman quoted, and natural variability, and non-equilibrium states, and (all other things being equal, which they’re not ;-) more incoming SW ultimately means more outgoing LW, and (all other things being equal, which they’re not) it’s been getting hotter the last few decades which drives increased OLR levels? (This largely seems to have been pointed out to you before, so I’m not sure it’s going to help.)

    Seems like until you take all those things into account in some fashion you can’t draw the conclusions you seem to be looking for…

  40. #40 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    Some comments (see paragraph “LC09 misinterpret air-sea interactions in the tropics” for starters) on the difficulty of untangling the relationship between SST and OLR. There are more factors interacting than have appeared on this thread.

  41. #41 Frank O'Dwyer
    February 13, 2010

    In Tim’s slides, what is the slide with ‘different warming trends’ actually graphing?

    What are the three curves?

  42. #42 TrueSceptic
    February 13, 2010

    119 truthseeker,

    Wow, what an ironic name. Not only are you a blatant liar but you are desperately stupid too, in thinking that lies so blatant as the “Hockey Stick” one would allowed to pass.

    Just how bad can you scumbags get?

  43. #43 guthrie
    February 13, 2010

    Ilajd #44 – so not only are you incompetent at quoting things online and attributing the quote appropriately, but you carefully ignore that the result for Monckton is still wrong…

  44. #44 froggy
    February 13, 2010

    Lotharsson, if you had taken the time to read what i put regarding the accent & breeding insults it obviously escaped your mind that i was refering to this article & not the debate, but then thats what AGW sheep or shills are all about,dont proof read before opening mouth, unfortunately for you you ARE suppresed in oz which i find a shame, also being brainwashed by the likes of rudd & penny “the parrot” wong who has never given a straight answer to anything is sad,wong just rattles off the same old nothingness with zero evidence or figures like a scratched record,perhaps this is due to the fact she is just a bandwagon puppet or a demented “yoghurt knitter” as she certainly isnt crammed with intellect,& in answer to your question regarding sensorship, it would be inane of me to even contemplate you actually looking for these sites in the first place,dont worry though all is not lost, as here in the U,K we were fed this propaganda years ago & the majority had no reason to doubt the scientific community, but as the years have gone by people have taken it onto themselves to investigate the claims, we now are aware of the manipulation from not only scientists but also the likes of GREENPEACE & WWF ( these are not charities but registered as businesses)to name but two who are feeding the IPCC fraudulent data for their reports(for financial gain naturally),in fact due to their 4th report being so dramatically bogus even the pro AGW scientists are calling for the head of the IPCC (dr pachauri)to resign or be dismissed, mind you with no climatology qualifications can you blame them?, but the question has to be asked why the IPCC made a railroad engineer head of climate science let alone writing reports he has no clue about, oh & a final note, pachauri`s steel company that he is a chairman of is one of the worst polluters in india!, now how ironic is that!!!

  45. #45 Ed Darrell
    February 13, 2010

    Congratulations! It seems obvious to me that you scored points with all thinking people within earshot.

    I note also that Joanne Nova has yet to mention the debate’s outcome. I took that as a good sign.

    And, did you see her post, in which she claims science on warming is dead — illustrated with a photograph of Glen Canyon Dam, with Lake Powell’s warming-dessicated visage behind the dam?

    There is some quiet panic in Denialland. Let’s hope it becomes noisier, and more people get it. Bet you don’t get invited to debate Monckton again soon.

  46. #46 Ian Forrester
    February 13, 2010

    Froggy, does your key board not have any ………..’s on it?

    Seems to be lacking in the “return” key too.

    For your information, Pachauri was placed in that position by none other than G W Bush who didn’t want anyone chairing the IPCC who knew too much about the science he wanted to hide.

  47. #47 David S
    February 13, 2010

    I watched the entire debate. IMHO, Monckton clearly won, and the audience thought so too.

    Unlike Mr Lambert, Monckton received numerous rounds of applause when making his points. I realize this isn’t science. But it is a debate, and if you want to win a debate like this, you have to convince the audience.

    Also, I must agree about the use of Mann’s Hockey Stick chart as a putative authority. To use something so discredited calls everything into question. The IPCC absolutely LOVED that hockey stick chart. It was much better visually than any of its subsequent, inferior replacements. They would not have gotten rid of it without a very good reason.

    The IPCC no longer uses Mann’s chart in its assessment reports, and they will not use it in AR-5. The can’t, because it has been so thoroughly debunked. Any algorithm that puts out a hockey stick shape when random baseball scores are entered cannot be taken seriously.

    But my compliments for being willing to debate the masterful Lord Monckton, who has defeated all comers, and who remains willing to enter into any formal debate. It’s sad that other well known believers in AGW run and hide from debating him. At least you were willing to take the chance.

  48. #48 Paul UK
    February 13, 2010

    David S said:
    >Unlike Mr Lambert, Monckton received numerous rounds of applause when making his points. I realize this isn’t science. But it is a debate, and if you want to win a debate like this, you have to convince the audience.

    erm yes, it isn’t science.
    Nice of you to notice the lack of science presented by Monckton.

    BTW, I ask again of a Monckton lovey (no response so far). Why did he get his data wrong regarding biofuels and food shortages?
    Why did he not say that environmentalists campaign against many biofuels?

  49. #49 carrot eater
    February 13, 2010

    [David S](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2271602)

    >”But it is a debate, and if you want to win a debate like this, you have to convince the audience.”

    The audience was mostly unconvinceable, and judging from the questions, scientifically illiterate.

    >”The IPCC no longer uses Mann’s chart in its assessment reports”

    Look on p467 of Chapter 6 of AR4, WG1. Do you see the MBH99?

    >”The can’t, because it has been so thoroughly debunked. ”

    And yet there it is, and the controversy is discussed on p466. And it hasn’t been debunked; the statistical methods used have been improved, and more proxies have become available, but that’s scientific progress. To the extent their use of PCA had a flaw, it’s importance has been shown to be minor.

    >”Any algorithm that puts out a hockey stick shape when random baseball scores are entered cannot be taken seriously.”

    You’re so far behind.

  50. #50 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    >*The 2nd thing is according to the NOAA OLR charts which jakerman linked to OLR has been predominately anomalously positive in the Pinker years; if CO2 CS was the dominant forcing during these years how could that be?*

    One answer was in [my post](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2270710):

    More ΔSW is associated with ΔLW:

    >*Positive OLR [anomalies] are indicative of suppressed convection and hence less cloud coverage typical of La Niña episodes. Less convective activity in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific implies lower, warmer cloud tops, which emit much more infrared radiation into space.*

    This is also the reason why Monckton is wrong use ΔSW as ΔFN.

    I.e. ΔFN ≠ ΔFS.

    Which is why Pinker corrected Monckton.

    if CO2 is the dominant forcing over timespans greater than 15 or 20 years, then the temp rises in response to a rise in [Back Radiation](http://www.cgd.ucar.edu/cas/Trenberth/trenberth.papers/EnergyDiagnostics09final2.pdf).
    OLR and Back Radiation can rise simultaneously.

  51. #51 froggy
    February 13, 2010

    @Ian Forrester, Im sorry if my punctuation lacks clarity for you but i just thought it would save space on the page,
    what it has to do with the topic i find a trifle vague & immaterial, its just that i find it easier as im partially sighted,,,,,so thanks for the immature retort anyway,
    Anyhow, you are telling me that dr pachauri despite of his lack of knowledge but financial business interests kept his job due to G W BUSH?,
    Going on your assumption i can only conclude that the IPCC is run on political bias & not scientific as you have rightly stated which is common knowledge anyway,
    At least you admit its nothing to do with science so you are half way there,,,,WELL DONE!.

  52. #52 Arthur Smith
    February 13, 2010

    Interesting that people see Mann’s hockey stick graph everywhere.

    The famous “hockey stick” is a reconstruction of the past 2000 years of northern hemisphere or global *temperatures*. To those claiming that Tim used it – as he notes above, he didn’t!

    What he did show was measured CO2 concentrations (from ice cores and Mauna Loa), the data for which can be downloaded free on the internet, if you want to check it yourself. Very straightforward to plot. Of course CO2 concentrations (along with human population, energy use, global GDP, etc.) do look like a hockey stick, with very sharp incease over the last century, the present increase looks almost vertical on a 2000-year plot.

    *That’s why scientists are alarmed!* Not sure how we can sound the alarm any louder and still be understood. Apparently people are having a hard time understanding when it’s presented right in front of them, according to the evidence of comments here…

  53. #53 finbar fortesque
    February 13, 2010

    Tim Lambert, Reading this egotistical bravado makes you sound like a little schoolboy boasting about a fight he had in the playground,
    Yet we are supposed to take you seriously? it is a pathetic, infantile & far from a professional article,
    Act your age for god sake (unless you are a 10 year old that is).

  54. #54 pauly
    February 13, 2010

    Of course CO2 concentrations (along with human population, energy use, global GDP, etc.) do look like a hockey stick

    The hockey stick trope reveals how denier ideology functions. From the echo chamber of the denier blogosphere, they’ve heard over and over again that Mann’s hockey stick graph is fundamentally flawed, broken, discredited, etc. Taking this to heart, they begin frothing at the mouth at the sight of any graph which resembles Mann’s. In their minds, it is not Mann’s use of certain statistical techniques which is problematic, it’s the shape of the graph itself. The hockey stick has been broken, therefore all graphs showing hockey stick like trends are discredited.

  55. #55 pauly
    February 13, 2010

    Say what you will about Tim reveling in his Marshall McLuhan moment, but at least he doesn’t run around telling people he has a “Nobel Prize pin.”

  56. #56 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    finbar thanks for your evidenced based critique. Though I find it a bit empty, could you perhaps drag a single fact into the discussion?

  57. #57 carrot eater
    February 13, 2010

    Arthur: I didn’t see the presentation, but I find it rather hilarious if David S did, thought the hockey stick was in there, when in fact it wasn’t.

  58. #58 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    Not as funny as David S’ error in claiming that Tim used Mann’s hockey stick, But David S also gets this other bit wrong:

    >*They would not have gotten rid of it without a very good reason.*

    David the IPCC didn’t get rid of Mann’s hockey stick, they just [added 8 years worth of further research to it](http://www.ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/global-warming/myths/the-hockey-stick). And that put into context the scale of the flaws in Mann’s earlier work, i.e. errors were small and the the signal was largely confirmed by the latter work.

  59. #59 EoR
    February 13, 2010

    I’m joining the ranks of those who can’t download the first part of the debate – like the others Google Docs initially warned that it was ‘unable to scan the file’ and now nothing happens. Can you repost it Tim? Can someone else repost it somewhere else?

  60. #60 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    if you had taken the time to read what i put regarding the accent & breeding insults it obviously escaped your mind that i was refering to this article & not the debate,

    I read what you wrote, but that was hours if not days after I read the article – there are a LOT of comments on this thread. It wasn’t obvious to me what you were referring to because you didn’t quote anything. That’s rather different to “escaping my mind”, no?

  61. #61 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    And froggy, for the record, just WHAT were the insults about accent and breeding in THIS article that you took exception to? I just re-read the article and I don’t see them. Perhaps that is why it “escaped my mind” that you were referring to this article and not the debate – because there weren’t any insults about breeding or accent in this article in the first place?

  62. #62 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    …in answer to your question regarding sensorship, it would be inane of me to even contemplate you actually looking for these sites in the first place…

    Ah, yes, the old “I make accusations that I can’t back up gambit”, which permeates much of what you say. Doesn’t make your accusations look credible now, does it?

    Anyhow, you are telling me that dr pachauri despite of his lack of knowledge but financial business interests kept his job due to G W BUSH

    No, you misread it. He was essentially placed in the job by the Bush administration.

    And he is an administrator of the IPCC, so qualifications in climatology (or any of the related sciences) are not strictly essential.

    And since you hold that the IPCC is a political organisation whose reports were perhaps intended to be biased, Pachauri’s appointment by Bush implies that bias would be against the case for AGW – i.e. the report would be weaker than the science indicates.

    Hmmm, that doesn’t seem to be in line with your brainwashing narrative, or your idea that the IPCC is alarmist, or your triumphant conclusion that “you’re halfway there!”

    Better trolls please.

  63. #63 cohenite
    February 13, 2010

    jakerman, you say: “This is also the reason why Monckton is wrong use ΔSW as ΔFN.” Prima facie this is correct but as you also say, per Pinker, ” Fnet (cloud) = FSW (cloud) + FLW (cloud)”; the Ramanthan paper shows that Fnet is -44.5W/m2 [FSW] + 31.3 W/m2 [FLW] = -13.2W/m2 [Fnet]. As Pinker states: ” Fnet (cloud) => Clouds have a cooling effect on Climate if < 0"

    Fnet is therefore a -ve forcing to temperature increases [and what pro-AGW commentators don't seem to be able to grasp is that Fnet would also be a -ve forcing to temperature decreases] so while Monckton [and I don't know how many times I have to say this] was wrong to equate ΔSW as ΔFN he was right to assert that Fnet was a -ve forcing.

    You are right to say that OLR and back-radiation can rise simultaneously but for purposes of AGW the EEB at TOA must be +ve; in effect BR > OLR; which brings us back to CS and Lindzen and Choi. A final point about CO2 cycle CS; it is low as Frank et al found;

    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v463/n7280/abs/nature08769.html

    If the CO2 cycle is unresponsive to climate change why is it a reasonable assumption to assume that the climate is sensitive to ^CO2? BTW what is “ΔFS.”?

  64. #64 TrueSceptic
    February 13, 2010

    153 finbar fortesque,

    Nice name, old chap, tootle-pip and all that.

    But really, you find fault with Tim and ignore the continued antics of the Preposterous Perfidious Posturing Potty Peer?

  65. #65 P. Lewis
    February 13, 2010

    Pachauri’s appointment by Bush implies that bias would be against the case for AGW – i.e. the report would be weaker than the science indicates.

    Ah yes … see The WP.

  66. #66 TrueSceptic
    February 13, 2010

    159 EoR,

    I suggest [Media Fire](http://www.mediafire.com/) for anyone who can upload it.

  67. #67 Lotharsson
    February 13, 2010

    Fnet is therefore a -ve forcing to temperature increases…

    That statement does not parse. Did you mean Fnet is therefore a -ve feedback in response to temperature increases? Or that it’s a negative forcing, full stop, i.e. regardless of temperature increases, or it is broken into both forcing and feedback contributions?

    Can you clarify?

  68. #68 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    cohnite writes:

    >*Fnet is -44.5W/m2 [FSW] + 31.3 W/m2 [FLW] = -13.2W/m2 [Fnet]. As Pinker states: ” Fnet (cloud) => Clouds have a cooling effect on Climate if < 0"*

    cohnite this is mixing up terminology. [Ramanathan et al](http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/243/4887/57) were using a different definition for ‘forcing’ compared to the current [convention used by the IPCC](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/upload/2010/02/debate_australia_tim_lambert.pdf).

    Ramanathan 89 is measuring the Fnet = Fs + FL ; and not measuring the ΔFnet = ΔFs + ΔFL.

    Ramanathan 89 found:

    >*For the April 1985 period, the global shortwave cloud forcing [-44.5 watts per square meter (W/m2)] due to the enhancement of planetary albedo, exceeded in magnitude the longwave cloud forcing (31.3 W/m2) resulting from the greenhouse effect of clouds. Thus, clouds had a net cooling effect on the earth.*

    That is a specific finding for the conditions prevalent in April 85. A period of rising trend in global temperature and falling trend in surface SW. i.e. Pinker finds ΔFs for the period of 1983 to 1990 is <0.

    Fnet (cloud) changes with the conditions at the time, i.e, lower (warmer) clouds typical of La Niña episodes have a [higher FL](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2270710):

    >*Less convective activity in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific implies lower, warmer cloud tops, which emit much more infrared radiation into space.*

  69. #69 Bernard J.
    February 13, 2010

    By the way, proof the Co2 [sic] scare is a total fraud rests with the beverage industry use of Co2 as an effervescing agent… What tonnage of Co2 [sic] does Coca Cola contribute to GW I ask?

    Well, as you asked, [Peter A Lord](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2270936), and on the off-chance that you are not a Poe, the answer, with respect to the carbon dioxide itself in the drinks, is “no net addition”.

    The carbon dioxide that is used to carbonate drinks is obtained from fractionation of atmospheric air, so it is essentially already accounted for: in practical terms it is being subtracted and added back to the atmosphere over a period insignificant to the overall process of global warming.

    Fermented drinks, on the other hand, use carbon fixed by photosynthesis to produce carbon dioxide, which is basically the same route as occurs with soft drinks, of atmosphere to drink to atmosphere (via plant carbohydrates for fermented drinks).

    There is one important difference though – fermented drinks use carbon fixed by solar energy during photosynthesis, whereas soft drinks use carbon fractionated with the use of fossil fuels. Thus the production of soft drink effervescence results in more carbon dioxide being produced than would occur with fermentation.

    Of course, the production and transportation stages of both soft and fermented drinks have many other (fossil) energetic requirements, so overall there is a carbon dioxide increase, but pointing it directly at the bubbles effervescing from the drink is a red herring of enormous proportions.

  70. #70 TrueSceptic
    February 13, 2010

    167 Lotharsson,

    Cohenite is a lawyer. He has been shown before to use sciency language in an attempt to convince when he barely understands the terms he uses.

    (I must say, however, that Cohenite is one of the most polite AGW “sceptics” you will find anywhere.)

  71. #71 Lee A. Arnold
    February 13, 2010

    No one mentioned the rather crucial part of Monckton’s closing argument that states that there is an opportunity cost of mitigating climate change, which is that we cannot also help the world’s poor to get out of poverty. (This is also a big hinge of Lomborg’s argument.) It is nonsense. These are not mutually exclusive categories, and there is no reason we can’t do both.

  72. #72 jakerman
    February 13, 2010

    >*Monckton’s closing argument that states that there is an opportunity cost of mitigating climate change, which is that we cannot also help the world’s poor to get out of poverty. (This is also a big hinge of Lomborg’s argument.)*

    And what are Lomborg and Monckton’s plans to relieve the burden borne by the poor that are suffering under our current situation of rich countries wasteful consumption of fossil fuels?

    Nothing? Business as usual? If they do advocate a plan to solve the inequity, then they seem to leave it out of their public addresses.

  73. #73 cohenite
    February 13, 2010

    jakerman, this is becoming circular; you say: “Ramanathan 89 is measuring the Fnet = Fs + FL ; and not measuring the ΔFnet = ΔFs + ΔFL.” But Pinker in her paper is doing neither; she is measuring ΔSW as a proposed response to ΔF as well as other factors [volcanoes, aerosols etc]; Pinker finds that ΔSW/ΔFs declined from 1983 – 1992 but from 1983-2001 was >0 by 0.16W/m2 PA. Pinker’s paper does not deal directly with ΔLW/ΔFL but she does look at TOA flux anomalies for the 1983-2001 period; she finds a decline rate of 0.17W/m2 for the 20S-20N TOA compared with SW surface increase rate of 0.18W/m2 [fig 4]. That is, for the period 1983-2001, over the tropics, the EEB increased by almost the same rate as the increase in SW. Surely this works against any conclusion that the greenhouse effect has caused temperature increase for this period.

    Lotharsson; as I’m sure you know, a forcing is an additional or increasing factor to a system and a feedback is a response, usually expressed in temperature, to that forcing by the system; the Clement et al paper simulated a GHG forced decrease in clouds so the clouds effect on temperature would be a feedback. AGW only recognises 2 forcings, CO2/GHGs and solar; however if the reduction in clouds was not due to either GHGs or ΔSW [as per Pinker] but due to stochastic or cyclical reasons then the cloud change itself would be a forcing; personally I cannot see how AGW treats ACO2 as a forcing because it releases CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels and how WV variation and cloud variation based on evaporative cycles is treated as a [usually +ve] feedback.

  74. #74 Fred
    February 13, 2010

    Tim,

    In reading the site comments, I now understand the science is not settled -Take the Pinker paper comments as a example

  75. #75 Ed Darrell
    February 13, 2010

    The IPCC no longer uses Mann’s chart in its assessment reports, and they will not use it in AR-5. The can’t, because it has been so thoroughly debunked.

    David S., can you quote for me the journal paper that “debunks” any of Mann’s work?

    No?

    Can you explain why Mann’s work is cited more than a dozen times in AR4?

    I suppose, then, we should take your claims with a few grains of salt?

  76. #76 Lotharsson
    February 14, 2010

    …however if the reduction in clouds was not due to either GHGs or ΔSW… ΔSW/ΔFs …

    Wasn’t the ΔSW (at least at the surface) believed to be DUE to the reduction in clouds? Is “ΔSW/ΔFs” a division of two different quantities or shorthand for two equivalent terms for the same quantity?

    You need to carefully define your terms (especially to distinguish between TOA and surface measurements.) And then ideally stick to them ;-)

    As various climate scientists have pointed out – some in response to Lindzen and Choi as I pointed to earlier – you can’t JUST look at the incoming & outgoing radiation at the tropics to determine climate sensitivity because the tropics are not a closed system. Energy fluxes to other parts of the earth are significant; not accounting for them is … well, fiddling the books. Rather like saying “we got 3W/m^2 more incoming radiation at the surface due to fewer clouds and NOT measuring the extra outgoing radiation. You can even see this in your Ramanathan numbers – in that case the LW absorption effect was about 75% of the SW blocking effect. You can’t do any useful calculations of sensitivity by just looking at the (change in) SW blocking.

    …personally I cannot see how AGW treats ACO2 as a forcing because it releases CO2 from the burning of fossil fuels and how WV variation and cloud variation based on evaporative cycles is treated as a [usually +ve] feedback.

    When you model a system (at least in most engineering disciplines) you draw a (conceptual) boundary around it and treat factors that are external to it as inputs or forcings, and responses generated entirely within it as feedbacks or system dynamics. The choice of boundary depends on how you define your system and what sorts of questions you want to ask about its behaviour. This choice may also affect what you consider to be an input (and forcing) and what you consider to be a feedback. I’m not aware of any significant differences in climate modeling; someone will hopefully set me straight if there are.

    ACO2 is a forcing because we’re modeling the climate system and want to know how ACO2 has/will affect it, and because it is an input to the climate system (exogenous variable) that can be controlled independently of, or that changes regardless of system behaviour. Contrast this with (say) CO2 released to the atmosphere by the climate system in response to a long term warming – this is not a forcing because it is not an independent variable, it is endogenous. (Yes, there are gray areas and potential confusion – I believe climate scientists sometimes force an exogenous variable, e.g. change its initial value and then run the model, in order to see what contribution that variable is having on the system dynamics. But in terms of AGW, the primary question is what effect does the ACO2 have…)

    Water vapour is (generally) a feedback because in the model we define to answer the questions we are interested in, it is not an exogenous variable. Its behaviour is largely generated within the system in response to other factors.

  77. #79 jakerman
    February 14, 2010

    cohnite writes:

    >*for the period 1983-2001, over the tropics, the EEB increased by almost the same rate as the increase in SW. Surely this works against any conclusion that the greenhouse effect has caused temperature increase for this period.*

    Lotharsson responds:

    >you can’t JUST look at the incoming & outgoing radiation at the tropics [20N to 20S] to determine climate sensitivity because the tropics are not a closed system. Energy fluxes to other parts of the earth are significant;

    Furthermore surface SW has not tracked steadily up as the average implies. Surface SW has trended down from 1983 to 1990, then trended up (more than 0.16 W/m2) from 1990 to 2001. This change in trend provides and opportunity for a distinct signal in a direction opposite (83 to 90) to growth in CO2. And [what was the temperature signal](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2270312) particularly with this change in direction?

    The invisibility of the signal puts into perspective how big the net fluctuations are.

    All of which may be why Pinker didn’t not reach same conclusion that cohnite hopes for (and which I wish were correct too).

  78. #80 Paul Wilson
    February 14, 2010

    I believe the ice age forcings figures you are using are inaccurate.

    Your ice sheet, dust and vegetation forcing estimate is -5 watts/metre2 which would only translate into reduction (reflection) of solar irradiance of just over 2%.

    All the estimates show the Albedo impact on solar irradiance in the ice ages to be between -5% to -10%. Do you really think all that extra ice and desert only increased the planet’s Albedo by a few percent?

    It is a significant error that has continued to be cited over the last dozen years or so but it is clearly wrong.

  79. #81 Ambitwistor
    February 14, 2010

    Did Monckton really claim that the atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Sturtian glaciation was 300,000 ppm?!? IIRC, it was more like 3000-4000 ppm.

  80. #82 Paul UK
    February 14, 2010

    >Did Monckton really claim that the atmospheric CO2 concentration during the Sturtian glaciation was 300,000 ppm?!? IIRC, it was more like 3000-4000 ppm.

    I believe he did, I was wondering where that came from.
    Maybe he got confused with Venus?

  81. #83 KT
    February 14, 2010

    Dr Lambert, your performance was so embarrassing in that debate I can only pity you. You could barely answer a single question from the audience, it was up to Lord Monckton to step in and help you out with every single one. If you really think you won then you really do need to watch a replay.

  82. #84 Stu
    February 14, 2010

    Ah KT, but did he get them right? That’d be what matters, so have you checked out his answers?

  83. #85 Lotharsson
    February 14, 2010

    KT, for example, I believe “No!” is the correct answer to whether evaporation from an ocean containing dissolved CO2 adds CO2 to the atmosphere, and “water!” is the correct answer to the question of what evaporates from that ocean. Did you think Tim didn’t answer those questions, and did you think his answers were wrong?

    Monckton’s “stepping in” was generally not to help answer the question, it was to get the last word in and try to make Tim’s answers look wrong and then to pivot to whatever message he was trying to push that wasn’t strictly related to the question. It’s a standard PR technique, and Monckton does it very well.

  84. #86 Ian Forrester
    February 14, 2010

    Stu said:

    Ah KT, but did he get them right? That’d be what matters, so have you checked out his answers?

    I wonder if anyone will do a detailed listing of all the errors in Monckton’s talk and answers in the same way Arthur Smith tore apart his “scientific paper”.

  85. #87 Bernard J.
    February 14, 2010

    [Ian Forrester](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2274725).

    [I thought](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/debate_with_monckton.php#comment-2268350) that it would be interesting to see Tim join forces with Peter Sinclair and produce a series for Denial Crock of the Week. What I’d really like to see it a page with lots of links arranged like an advent calendar, and using a list a la john Cook at Skeptical Science. On each linked page there might be a Greenman3610 video, and accompanying technical material such as summary graphs, tables and explanations.

    Such a resource would be accessible both to the numpties who need 30 second TV soundbites, and to more serious folk like Tim himself who could summon up a counter in real time in a forum like the encounter with Mr Monckton.

    If every one of Monckton’s errors of fact was thus compiled, sooner or later he’d be trapped like a rat in a corner.

    Just imagine Monckton trotting out his 30% CO2 line, only to have a graph appear above him that shows the concentration over geological time not reaching any higher than orders of magnitude less…

    Sweet!

  86. #88 Dave
    February 15, 2010

    I think your take on who won this debate is based overwhelmingly on your position on AGW to begin with.

    If you firmly believe Monckton is wrong, it does not matter what he says or what he produces in data, you will see it as wrong.

    Likewise, if you firmly believe in what Monckton has to say, anything produced to the contary will also be met with skepticism.

    We need open debates on this subject. That is clear.

    Comments like “one that reinforces my view that it is a mistake to give people like him oxygen” are by no means productive and simply enforces the view that those who deny AGW (but not climate change itself) are vilified and the underdogs.

    If you want to prove a point, do it with data and facts, not with slander and attacks.

  87. #89 Lotharsson
    February 15, 2010

    If you want to prove a point, do it with data and facts, not with slander and attacks.

    Funny, that’s essentially what the IPCC did for many years. How’s that working out in the court of public opinion?

    Funny, that’s NOT what many of the deniers (as opposed to genuine skeptics) do. How’s that working out for them in public opinion?

    Your recommendation doesn’t seem to work very well in the real world, at least at first glance. This is in part because a debate is generally a poor medium for correcting widely held erroneous beliefs – as you appear to admit – but there are other factors too.

    Furthermore, a debate about science presupposes that both sides are interested in getting at the truth. That does not seem to me to be the case. If you look at why creation scientists are generally not debated by evolutionists, it is because the creation scientists are clearly seeking to use the debate to imply to the gullible that their work is serious enough to be considered and debated, i.e. that it might actually be something other than utter tosh. And that strategy works with many people. Debate after debate can show that the creation scientists have no idea what they’re talking about, but they still use it to build their influence and win new/retain existing converts to their position.

    Where it might make a difference is where people spouting seductive nonsense already have a fair bit of oxygen. Monckton got an awful lot of sympathetic (and a little bit of unsympathetic) coverage on his tour Down Under. I’m in two minds about this – it still gives the message to the true believers that his message must be taken seriously, and as you point out they won’t change their mind. Maybe it will persuade some people on the fence to think more critically and so forth? That would be a useful outcome.

  88. #90 jakerman
    February 15, 2010

    >If you want to prove a point, do it with data and facts, not with slander and attacks.

    >*Funny, that’s essentially what the IPCC did for many years. How’s that working out in the court of public opinion?*

    Given the power and platform of the culture warriors who are attacking the IPPC, my judgement is that Lotharsson is correct that the IPPC have been hammered, and that Dave is correct that data and facts do a better job in the long run than slander and cheap shots.

    The culture warrors attacking the IPPC would have already won if the IPCC reports were not overwhelming supported by good science.

    Perhaps it is up-to another source of power to take head on and expose the sophistry of the anti-science and anti-green cultural warriors (ASAG-CW)?

    However its a sign of the power differential we are up against, given that the ASAG-CW have achieved so much rageing against so much good science. Perhaps its a short term thing? Perhaps we don’t have the luxury of time?

  89. #91 jakerman
    February 15, 2010

    Perhaps a better acronym is AGAS Culture Warriors?

    Its got gas, and many are only anti-science because they are anti-green.

  90. #92 Lotharsson
    February 15, 2010

    jakerman, to me it seems a key issue is that opinions are divided on what the data and facts are, let alone on what they mean.

    After all, in the US facts have a well-known anti-Republican bias ;-) (as I think Jon Stewart put it).

    So what you believe the data and facts are depends on which sources you trust, especially – as many have been keen to point out on Deltoid lately – you aren’t equipped to understand the ins and outs of the science yourself.

  91. #93 Bernard J.
    February 16, 2010

    One of the big problems in the “we need a debate” meme is that far too many lay people, whether it be Joe and Jane Public, cynical and/or ideologically-blinkered politicians, agents for vested interests, or whoever, think that science is a democratic institution.

    It ain’t.

    Scientific fact is not determined by taking a vote on who wants to believe what, and then counting hands. Scientific fact is established by objective testing of hypotheses, and critical appraisal of the resutlant analyses and interpretations. Where clarification is required (leading to disputed interpretations), this is a reflection of the incompleteness of the available data, and not of the validity of deciding an outcome by a public show of uninformed hands.

    The public should be told explicity what the data say, and be objectively told what the uncertainty in interpretations are, but they should not be led to think that they can ‘polish’ the science by what they spoke with their mates about over a beer at the footy.

    What the public can and should debate is exactly how they want to respond to the objectively-assessed weight of scientific evidence. To this end they should be confident as a society that the scientific information provided to them is trustworthy.

    From a scientific point of view the IPCC summaries are exactly this – the problem is that political, corporate and ideological vested interest has been insisting on the ‘democratisation’ of science, so that they can hijack it for their own gain, when ‘democracy’ is not how science works.

    If it were, Darwin would never have managed to have his ideas of evolution take hold, and generations of Western children would have ensured that the tooth fairy is now as real as the deciduous teeth it is purported to harvest.

    By all means, we should debate the implications of science, but never delude ourselves that we can conduct science itself by public debate.

  92. #94 Brendon
    February 16, 2010

    Monckton’s Argo data graph didn’t include adjustments for the cooling bias fault found in the bouys. That’s why he still thinks the ocean is cooling.

  93. #95 TerjeP (say tay-a)
    February 18, 2010

    I have not watched it yet. However I think it is good that you choose to debate rather than to do what some have suggested which is to sit it out and declare that the debate is over. Debate is good.

  94. #96 Chris O'Neill
    February 18, 2010

    TerjeP:

    declare that the debate is over

    The scientists stopped debating with each other years ago. The political types are still debating.

  95. #97 John Coochey
    February 19, 2010

    I have to agree with one point of Tim’s if he think he wiped the floor he was indeed speaking to a select group. But I thought the object was to inform the public and find solutions if there is actually a problem. Like persuading India and China to stay in poverty for much much longer. I have debunked many paper where the authors conclusiosn were not actually supported by the results, for example Andrew Leigh’s findings that the probability of being killed by a friearm is inversely proportional to the time since it was destroyed.

  96. #98 jakerman
    February 19, 2010

    John Coochey meet [Chris Edwards](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_on_stovepiping_and_p.php#comment-2280506).

    If you disagree with Chris, comeback and we can debate Monckton’s [crocodile tears for the poor](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#comment-2272511).

    PS. Can you cite where you believe Tim says he wiped the floor with Monckton. I believe you are incorrect and in fact that assessment was made by a scientist who was there and latter made that point to emphasize the weight of Pinker moment.

  97. #99 John Coochey
    February 19, 2010

    As requested

    “The folks I talked to afterwards (which may, perhaps, be a biased sample) say that I wiped the floor with him. Which is a pretty good result since I’ve never done anything like this before.”

    Comprehension 101 if you state something to be “a pretty good result” you obviously think it is correct. The basic issues remain that there are huge opportunity costs in cutting CO2 to little if any benefit and China and India are not going to do that and Chinas growth each eight months equal Australian total emmissions.

  98. #100 Lotharsson
    February 19, 2010

    Comprehension 101 if you state something to be “a pretty good result” you obviously think it is correct.

    Logic 101. A “pretty good result” in a debate might indeed be that audience members think you wiped the floor with someone, even if you don’t think so yourself.

    Comprehension 102. “…which may, perhaps, be a biased sample…” indicates a lot less certainty than “think it is correct” implies.