Lord Monckton seems to have decided that he is an expert on climate change, and has released his own review of the SPM. Such fun.

He starts: FIGURES in the final draft of the UN’s fourth five-year report on climate change show that the previous report, in 2001, had overestimated the human influence on the climate since the Industrial Revolution by at least one-third. Also, the UN, in its 2007 report, has more than halved its high-end best estimate of the rise in sea level by 2100 from 3 feet to just 17 inches.

Interesting if true… but is it true? Oddly enough, no. The first he amplifies as the 2001 report showed that our greenhouse-gas emissions since 1750 had caused a “radiative forcing” of 2.43 watts per square metre. Our other effects on climate were shown as broadly self-cancelling. In the current draft, the UN has cut its estimate of our net effect on climate by more than a third, to 1.6 watts per square metre. Note the apples-and-oranges juxtaposition of 2.43 and 1.6. The correct value to compare to 2.43 is 1.66 (CO2) + 0.98 (other GHG) = 2.64. So the GHG forcing is assessed as larger not smaller which is unsurprising as we have another 6 years. *Net* anthro is 1.6 in AR4, but should be compared to… there isn’t quite a comparable value from the TAR SPM. Sulphate is about -0.5 in both; land use about -0.2. In the AR4, most of the rest of the negative comes from aerosol indirect, as -0.7 (range -1.8 -0.3); whereas the TAR only gives a range (-2 to 0), but this is about the same as before. So the negatives are pretty well the same as before (though their certainty is now “low” rather than “very low”), the positives a bit bigger, Moncktons supposed reduction is nonsense.

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

[Update: I'm told that 17" = 43cm *is* from the A1F1 mean, which was in an early draft but later removed. But of course that can't be compared to a top-of-range estimate from the TAR]

Thats M’s first two points disposed of. What else? The UN’s draft Summary for Policymakers contains no apology for the defective and discredited “hockey-stick” graph… Indeed no, to the contrary, it reaffirms it: “Average Northern Hemisphere temperatures during the second half of the 20th century were very likely higher than during any other 50-year period in the last 500 years and likely the highest in at least the past 1300 years.”

Even less sanely: Globally, temperature is not rising at all, and sea level is not rising anything like as fast as had been forecast. The temperature bit just relies on cherry-picking a start point of 1998 and is just silly. The sea level assertion is incomprehensible: current SLR is 3 mm/yr from satellite; the mid-range value for 2100 from the TAR was 0.4m which is 4 mm/yr. But since the graph is convex the “prediction” was clearly for about 3 mm/yr which was spot on.

You should also, of course, read the RC post.

[Forgot to include: The UN's best estimate of projected temperature increase in response to CO2 reaching 560 parts per million, twice the level in 1750, was 3.5C in the 2001 report. Now it is down to 3C. Is not clear what he means by this so you have to guess. AR4 doesn't give a single value. But the A1B best-estimate is 2.8 which is the closest number to 3 in the table. In the TAR it was... 2.9 reading of fig 5. Where M gets 3.5 from I don't know. Oh hold on... what does he mean "560 ppmv"? Thats not A1B at 2100. Is he confusing climate sensitivity with warming-at-date?]

[Update: sadly those clever chaps at the WSJ have been taken in by Moncktons nonsense :-(. I suppose its too much to ask for them to understand any of this well enough to even look up the numbers... -W]

Comments

  1. #1 Luboš Motl
    2007/02/03

    Do you know how many Connolleys would it take to write a document that would be at least remotely comparable to the precious work of Lord Monckton? Complete this joke as a homework exercise. ;-)

  2. #2 Hank Roberts
    2007/02/03

    Email your homework to that blag Exxon’s hired to do PR; if your work passes, supposedly, they pay you $10,000.

    I wonder if Monckton’s done that?
    environment.guardian.co.uk/climatechange/story/0,,1947976,00.html
    “This wasn’t gibberish. I got my facts right on global warming …”
    Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is a former adviser to Margaret Thatcher. bikerbikerbiker@hotmail.com

  3. #3 Thom
    2007/02/04

    William, Lubos’ posts have become sufficiently juvenile that they should be screened out. They don’t even function as a decent troll.

    Please maintain some baseline standards for comments.

    [Welll... Lubos has been far worse -W]

    [Actually, looking at the last few of his silly posts I'm inclined to agree he is getting worse again. I'll send him a warning -W]

  4. #4 Lubos Motl
    2007/02/04

    Dear Gentlemene,

    the award is by AEI, not ExxonMobil, and AEI’s president has a very decent and deep reaction to the shoddy journalists who have misreported the award:

    http://www.physics.harvard.edu/~motl/aei-president-responds-to-attack.doc

    Thom: William knows very well that if he were erasing comments like mine, his blog would end up with individuals like you only, and even these people would evaporate soon.

    Sincerely
    LM

  5. #5 Jeff Harvey
    2007/02/05

    This is the same LM who gave Michael Chrichton’s appallingly bad (and equally funny in the worst sense) book “State of Fear” a top rating for Amazon.com. Like most of the denialists I have come across, his take on climate science reflects his own political views (e.g. far right bordering on libertarian). Thus, for people like him, it doesn’t matter if 2,500 of the world’s leading climate scientists take one position (AGW is a scientific fact and is of serious concern) and the tooth fairy takes the other (its all a myth promoted by lefties). He’ll side with the tooth fairy.

    Some advice Lubos: stick to string theory.

  6. #6 Brian S.
    2007/02/05

    National Review Online, in what passes for conservative thought today in the US, repeats Monckton’s nonsense about a one-third reduction:

    http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=MGMyZWY4NjMxOWUyNDExMTMwMTUxYzNjMjE4N2ZmNjg=

    I doubt either Monckton or NRO thought it up – credit probably goes to a poor, unrecognized flack at a PR firm consulting for Exxon.

  7. #7 Eli Rabett
    2007/02/05

    Jeff, 2500 of the world’s leading climate scientists have never given me a nickel. The tooth fairy was there when I really needed her. Besides, I have reason to believe that she is funding AEI since Exxon says it isn’t.

  8. #8 Millimeter Wave
    2007/02/05

    Wow… thanks for posting this. (I arrived here via Deltoid, btw).

    Based on what you wrote here, I thought I’d go and read Monckton’s piece, and also the two summary reports from the IPCC to which he is referring. I’m not a climate scientist, of course, but I thought I might at least go and check the basic factual assertions he makes about the content of the summaries.

    I must say I was rather shocked. I was expecting to find maybe a little bit of subtle misrepresentation here and there, but the wholesale blatant dishonesty was way beyond anything I had expected. I don’t think I’ve found a single assertion of fact he makes which has stood up so far.

    What’s most disturbing about this is that Monckton is very widely read in the UK via columns in publications like the Daily Telegraph, and the readership will typically not think that such detailed numerical assertions would be simply made up. My father is one such reader, and he has regularly quotes various factoids at me whose source I’ve been struggling to pin down. Now I know… I think I’ll have to have a chat with him and point out the discrepancies ;-)

  9. #9 guthrie
    2007/02/06

    William, re the WSJ, it is widely recognised that the news side of things is well and intelligently done, but the editorial pages, as this looks to be from, is full of barking weirdos with no common sense.

  10. #10 ChrisD
    2008/07/20

    Just a note that the link to the SPM in the first paragraph is no longer valid. The new link is:

    http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar4/syr/ar4_syr_spm.pdf

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