Andrew Bolt responded to my debate with Monckton by defaming me, calling me “vituperative, deceptive, a cherrypicker, an ideologue, a misrepresenter and a Manichean conspiracist only too keen to smear a sceptic as a crook who lies for Exxon’s dollars”. You’ll be glad to hear that Bolt now says I take back my nice words about Lambert. Even though he admitted that “Many of these issues are over my head” he is now utterly convinced by a dishonest post from Joanne Nova that I somehow tricked Monckton.
Nova quote mines Pinker’s explanation for this phrase:
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.”
And claims it means exactly the opposite of what it does:
An honest look at the Pinker statement says Monckton may have gotten the terminology wrong, but allowing for this, his analysis “passes”:
An honest look at the Pinker statement says that his terminology can pass but that his analysis is wrong, because as Pinker writes:
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.
Nova then tries to explain away the fact that Pinker wrote
Our work was properly interpreted in the latest IPCC Report (2007)
Watch the spin here:
Monckton never claimed the IPCC misrepresented Pinker. He said they actively ignored the bigger meaning; so Monckton agrees with what the IPCC said about the paper, but not with what it omitted to say. Pinker has not addressed this point at all.
Pinker was responding to this, from my email to her:
Later he [Monckton] accuses the IPCC of a fraudulent cover up of the implications of your paper.
Which was my summary of this statement from Monckton:
[The IPCC admits] that they don’t really understand clouds. One of the reasons why they are willing to make that extremely rare admission that they don’t understand something is that they want to conceal that they understand perfectly well the implications of Dr Pinker’s paper and of a number of other papers like it, Wild et al is another one, the early satellite results is another, there’s several of these papers out there all of which show for that period exactly what caused the warming which is a reduction in cloud cover. And when you see the conclusion of the chapter on Observations and the sub-chapter on Clouds in chapter 3 of the IPCC report. The only conclusion that you can come to is that they were deliberately avoiding the very clear implications of Dr Pinker’s paper. They knew perfectly well that if they took proper account of that paper they would have to evaluate climate sensitivity as low by the remarkably simple calculation that I showed you on the screens or something very very close to it. And they simply fudged it because if they did that and admitted that all their previous reports were wrong they’d be out of business before you could say “Jack Robinson”.
I suppose we should Nova points for trying, but there is no wiggle room there. And notice that Monckton is citing Wild et al as well, so we should also look at Wild says on the subject in Global dimming and brightening: A review: (my emphasis)
The decadal changes in SSR found in the dimming/brightening literature are at first sight often unrealistically large from a radiative forcing viewpoint, as, e.g., presented by IPCC . Therein, radiative forcings altering solar radiation between preindustrial (year 1750) and present day are on the order of minus 1-2 W mâˆ’2 on a global average, while some of the surface-based estimates show similar or larger changes already within a decade (Tables 1-3). Indeed, under the assumption of a climate sensitivity of 0.5-1Â°C per W mâˆ’2 radiative forcing as suggested by current climate models, a change of several W mâˆ’2 decadeâˆ’1 as inferred from surface observations would imply enormous decadal variations in surface temperature which are not observed. However, one should be aware that the radiative forcing concept as used in the IPCC reports applies to changes at the tropopause, which cannot be directly compared to changes at the surface. Scattering and absorbing processes in the atmosphere are additive with respect to their effects on SSR at the surface, but may be opposed at the tropopause. Scattering aerosols enhance the reflectance of solar radiation back to space and reduce the solar flux to the surface. Absorbing aerosols also reduce the solar flux to the surface, but at the same time may reduce the reflectance back to space, opposed to the effects from scattering aerosols at the tropopause. Therefore, surface changes can expected to be larger than tropopause changes, and consequently are also not necessarily representative for (tropopause) radiative forcing estimates (this would only be valid in a purely scattering atmosphere). SSR change estimates based on surface observations should therefore not be used to challenge the IPCC radiative forcings [Liepert et al., 2007], even if these SSR changes would be free of biases from upscaling the surface point observations to global numbers.
Nova then quotes this confused email from Monckton
The only point that Lambert scored was that I had gotten Pinker’s sex wrong in my Melbourne presentation (which, from memory, is the only one in which I mentioned her sex). Otherwise, his stuff was gibberish, as the audience swiftly understood when I explained it to them. During the debate, I had kindly done the calculation on the basis that the change in surface radiance mentioned in the Pinker paper would be the same at top of atmosphere, from which a climate-sensitivity calculation using the UN’s method follows.
However, since Pinker insists that it is the surface radiance that her paper addresses, one must of course use the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation to evaluate the temperature change corresponding to the change in radiance caused by the reduction in cloud cover. And that means just about zero climate sensitivity, which, within the usual error margins, is about the same as the 0.12 K/W/m2 that my previous method had calculated. The common-sense point, as I explained to the audience, is that with that amount of warming from a natural source there was not much room for CO2 to have made much of a contribution.
Presumably by “use the Stefan-Boltzmann radiative-transfer equation to evaluate the temperature change” Monckton means that you should treat the Earth as a black body, ie ignore the fact that the Earth has an atmosphere. But it does have an atmosphere so such a calculation will not give the correct value for climate sensitivity.