The Australian's War on Science 42

Christopher Monckton will trouser $20,000 for an Australian Tour with Ian Plimer on backing vocals. To celebrate both The Australian and The Daily Telegraph printed extracts from Monckton's letter to Prime Minister Kevin Rudd generously offering to brief Rudd about climate science. Monckton always makes lots of errors when he writes about science, but this letter may have broken his previous record for quickest mistake with one in the very first word:

His Excellency Mr Kevin Rudd

Rudd's correct title is

The Hon. Kevin Rudd, MP

The editor at The Daily Telegraph didn't notice the mistake and started their extract with the the incorrect title.

Monckton, of course, doesn't do any better at science than titles. The heart of his letter is this calculation:

The IPCC's bureaucrats are careful not to derive a function that will convert changes in CO2 concentration directly to equilibrium changes in temperature. I shall do it for them.

We derive the necessary implicit function from the IPCC's statement to the effect that equilibrium surface warming ΔT at CO2 doubling will be (3.26 ± ln 2) C°. Since the IPCC, in compliance with Beer's Law, defines the radiative forcing effect of CO2 as logarithmic rather than linear, our implicit function can be derived at once. The coefficient is the predicted warming at CO2 doubling divided by the logarithm of 2, and the term (C/C0) is the proportionate increase in CO2 concentration. Thus,

ΔT = (4.7 ± 1) ln(C/C0) | Celsius degrees

We are looking at the IPCC's maximum imagined warming rate, so we simply write

ΔT = 5.7 ln(C/C0) | Celsius degrees

But if you read the fine IPCC report, you can find that function that Monckton claims is not there:

i-ad5b3fef9f8a35ddb767822fa32780a1-ar4-wg3-fig338.png

Figure 3.38: Relationship between global mean equilibrium temperature change and stabilization concentration of greenhouse gases using: (i) 'best estimate' climate sensitivity of 3°C (black), (ii) upper boundary of likely range of climate sensitivity of 4.5°C (red), (iii) lower boundary of likely range of climate sensitivity of 2°C (blue) (see also Table 3.9).

Notes:

  1. IPCC (2007a) finds that the climate sensitivity is likely to be in the range 2°C-4.5°C, with a 'best estimate' of about 3°C, very unlikely to be less than 1.5°C and values substantially higher than 4.5°C 'cannot be excluded' (IPCC (2007a, SPM).

  2. The simple relationship Teq = T2xCO2xln([CO2]/280)/ln(2) is used (see Meehl et al. (2007), Section 10.7, and Table 10.8), with upper and lower values of T2xCO2 of 2 and 4.5°C.

As well as missing the formula in the IPCC report, Monckton got the IPCC estimate for climate sensitivity wrong: it's 2-4.5, not 3.26 ± ln 2 as Monkton would have it. Consequently the coefficient in Monckton's last equation should be 6.5, not 5.7. But this error is trivial compared to what follows. Monckton continues:

Thus, if and only if every Annex 1 party to the Copenhagen Accord complies with its obligations to the full, today's emissions will be reduced by around half of that 15%, namely 7.5%, compared with business as usual. If the trend of the past decade continues, with business as usual we shall add 2 ppmv/year, or 20 ppmv over the decade, to atmospheric CO2 concentration. Now, 7.5% of 20 ppmv is 1.5 ppmv.

This understates the difference since the alternative is for emissions to increase, but this error is also trivial compared to what comes next.

We determine the warming forestalled over the coming decade by comparing the business-as-usual warming that would occur between now and 2020 if we made no cuts in CO2 emissions with the lesser warming that would follow full compliance with the Copenhagen Accord. Where today's CO2 concentration is 388 ppmv

Business as usual: ΔT = 5.7 ln(408.0/388) = 0.29 C°
- Copenhagen Accord: ΔT = 5.7 ln(406.5/388) = 0.27 C°
= "Global warming" forestalled, 2010-2020: 0.02 C°

Monckton is wrong to suggest that this is the warming forestalled over this decade, since climate sensitivity is defined as the eventual warming rather than the immediate warming, but this, too, is trivial compared to his main error -- he ignores everything that happens after 2020. In as much as his calculation is valid, he is comparing stabilising CO2 at 408 ppm with stabilising it at 406.5 ppm. And, yes, there isn't much difference between the two scenarios. But stabilising at 408 in 2020 would require an immediate 50% cut in world-wide emissions, which would be much more expensive than the alternative of a gradual 15% reduction and then an immediate 35% cut in 2020. Of course, neither scenario is realistic. If you want to be realistic, the sort of policies that Monckton favours could result in CO2 stabilising at 1000 ppm and 8 degrees of warming as compared to the Copenhagen agreement to keep warming under 2 degrees.

There are of course many more errors in Monckton's letter. Of note is this:

Peer-reviewed analyses of changes in cloud cover over recent decades changes almost entirely unconnected with changes in CO2 concentration show that it was this largely-natural reduction in cloud cover from 1983-2001 and a consequent increase in the amount of short-wave and UV solar radiation reaching the Earth that accounted for five times as much warming as CO2 could have caused.

This is a reference to Lindzen and Choi's recent paper, which would seem to have gotten its results by cherry-picking the comparison periods. See here and here.

You'd think that the denialists would have cottoned on to the fact that Monckton doesn't have a clue about climate science, but they continue to promote him as their champion. For example, James Delingpole with an inadvertantly accurate title to his post: If any of your idiot friends still believe in AGW, make them read this letter. Well yes, only an idiot would be persuaded by Monckton's nonsense.

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DISCO SCIENCE: Cooling Causes Warming
Real environmentalists saw the smoking icebergs of truth from Climate Gate as a good thing, those with other agendas didn't. We the majority now know the climate emergency is called off so you can stop TRYING to scare our children like "climate cowards" as the history books will call you climate changers.
Be happy! Is that possible?
Finally this modern day witch burning is over so now we can be civilized environmentalists who "Preserve, Protect and Respect Nature" and who face the future energy challenges with courage, not the old fear factor from an old CO2 mistake.
Get ahead of the curve doomers because promising a dead planet for another 24 years is not sustainable in support from "WE" the people, the voters. Voters decide science policy, not paid consultants in lab coats who somehow strangely out number climate change protestors by thousands. So how come it wasn't your scientists marching instead of you flat earthers of Climate Change?
Al Gore and others will be arrested for leading the planet to an Enviro WMD war against itself, a non existent enemy so don't look like the last fella to show up at the party with disco duds on.
This cultural and scientific and political mistake was a growing pain and it's about time this advanced society grew up.
Remember, environMENTALism caused globull warming.

By Meme Mine (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

Nice one Tim.

I think the 'meme mime' means you did a good job.

That should have been:

I think the 'meme mime' response means you did a good job.

Rear-Admiral Monckton is always a strong contender for Denialist twit-of-the-month, but I think Lindzen has him beat for January.

That any mainstream media organisation could imagine Monckton's rantings deserve any notice at all ought to be cause for alarm; the treatment of arguably the most important issue of our times by mainstream media as circus entertainment seems to indicate deep flaws in how our global society deals with reality.

Got to go - there's Hollywood Gossip on TV and I wouldn't want to miss anything!

By Ken Fabos (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

EnvironMENTALism

Well, Meme Mine's superior knowledge of etymology has convinced me.

By RedGreenInBlue (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

Thanks Tim. An excellent demolition job on Munchausen's nonsense. Any chance of submitting this as a letter to the editor? I know that there isn't a snowball's chance in hell that it will be published, but you never know.

In other news, I see that Faux News has signed the gun-toting hockey Mon, Sarah Palin, as a political commentator for the next umpteen years. As if they need someone else from the far-right on their payroll:

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/fox-news-hires-sarah-palin-a…

In other news, I see that Faux News has signed the gun-toting hockey Mon, Sarah Palin, as a political commentator

I guess Obama will save some money in the next campaign, not having to contribute to her war chest. So to speak.

Best,

D

My favourite thing about Monckton's letter is that he models the climate system with back-of-the-envelope phenomenological equations. Aren't we always hearing from denialists how you can't predict anything about climate that way?

By rossn2282 (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

Wow, loonies on tour! I think I will go to the Melbourne leg of this tour just to fathom how much damage this may cause.

And, of course, to listen to two old men rant about government conspiracies in order to sell a few copies of their own books.

Here's a comment from the Telegraph blog you linked to:

It is not enough to expose the hidden agenda of this NWO cabal, there must be prosecutions for treason! This government has imposed a cultural genocide on England no different to what the Chinese have done in Tibet. Since our Police force and Judiciary answer to Europe now we need a peoples court to apply the justice they refuse to implement.I want to see them incarcerated in the Tower of London, I want to see heads on pikes!

Must scientific disagreements end with heads on pikes?

The worst part is if Rudd and other world leaders are trying to set up a New World Order they are doing a remarkably bad job at it (and I suppose Mockton will take credit it for this.)

BTW, I had a nice conversation today with a US colleague who was in NZ for 6 months on a fellowship. They stated the Mayor of Auckland was a denialist, and his staff has to talk around his denialism in order to get certain things done.

Eh?

Is it the water Down Under?!? The ozone hole cooking bald, conservative white men's brains?!?

Best,

D

What's with all this "we" crap Monckton uses?

He's neither royalty nor a newspaper editor.

Either he has a tapeworm or a mouse in his pocket.

My money is on the tapeworm.

You'd think that the denialists would have cottoned on to the fact that Monckton doesn't have a clue about climate science, but they continue to promote him as their champion.

Fine by me. If the he and Plimer are the best the denialist movement can come up with, then they ain't got much hope. Let them speak, I say. Give them as much rope as they want.

Also, the timing of their tour is not so good (from their perspective), with massive heat waves sweeping across the country.

Re #14

"...Also, the timing of their tour is not so good (from their perspective), with massive heat waves sweeping across the country."

Perhaps it's the anti-Gore effect.

Once Monckton set his pompous incompetence upon the satellite record, and Spencer (or Christy, I forget which) had to set the record straight, you'd think the denier crowd would have started taking the guy with a grain of salt.

I can't tell if he's just stupid, or dishonest. And I don't use such terms lightly; I like to give people the benefit of the doubt, and questioning intelligence is a bit below the belt. But this man leaves little choice.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

Hopefully in his presentation he'll enlighten us on how to subdue the natives at no extra cost!

Monckton's math errors compound beyond what Tim says.
Potty states:
"the Annex 1 parties, who will account for
about half of global emissions over the period, will commit to reducing current emissions by 30% by 2020, or 15% on average in the decade between now and 2020. Thus, if and only if every Annex 1 party to the Copenhagen Accord complies with its obligations to the full, todayâs emissions will be reduced by around half of that 15%,
namely 7.5%, compared with business as usual."

He has halved reductions (because of Annex 1 accounting for half of all emissions) twice instead of once (or he thinks there are two decades between now and 2020, calendars clearly being a crypto-catholic-communist plot). His correct comparison (on his terms) would be 408 ppm to 405 ppm over a decade.

Now if you extend that out to 2100 (90 years), with BAU adding 20 ppm/decade and Copenhagen adding 17 ppm/decade and use Monckton's formula (wrong, as Tim points out), you get:

BAU: 5.7 * ln (568/388) = 2.2 degrees celsius
Copenhagen: 5.7*ln (541/388) = 1.9 degrees celsius.

This demonstrates that the Copenhagen accord will keep temperature rise below 2 degrees by the end of the century, which is what we want in order to avoid further positive feedbacks. Thanks, CM!

Of course, in reality as opposed to Lord Privy Cesspool's imagination we want to compare to the CO2 level before the industrial revolution, 280 ppm, in which case the results look rather grimmer.

By James Haughton (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

James, actually that calculation seems correct. The second halving comes from averaging the reduction over a decade (and assuming a linear reduction).

And of course BAU is increasing emissions, not constant emissions.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

Happy new year Tim, and keep up the good work! Monckton's always good for a laugh.

but this, too, is not is trivial compared to his main error

Typo there.

The pomposity of Mr. Monckton's writing is astounding. I cannot imagine any sane civil servant wading through all that verbose dreck.

Dang! Outcalculated, oh the shame.

By James Haughton (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

I doubt Rudd will take up the offer to be "briefed" on climate change by Monckton but it will be interesting to see if Abbott can resist the urge to do so. Not that Rudd's efforts on climate change look much more than greenwash funded by fossil fuel royalties.

By Ken Fabos (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

To book a ticket to see Plimer or Monckton you have to [contact](http://joannenova.com.au/2010/01/monckton-plimer-tour-australia-dates-v…)

Daphne Dimitri for Gina Rinehart, daphne_dhimitri@Thancockprospecting.com.au

..Ms Nova tells us.

And what's Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd (HPPL) do?

Well, among other things, according to its [web site](http://www.hancockprospecting.com.au/index2.html)

HPPL is currently progressing two major thermal coal projects in the Galilee Basin, Central Queensland. The Alpha Coal Project (held by Hancock Coal Pty Ltd) and Kevin's Corner Coal (held by Hancock Galilee Pty Ltd) are located approximately 400 kilometres from the coastline, near the town of Alpha. The tenements contain more than 5 billion tonnes of JORC compliant thermal coal, with low sulfur and low ash by Australian and International standards.
The Alpha Coal Project will be an open cut mine with 30 mtpa production.
Kevin's Corner will also be a 30mtpa mine utilising both open cut and underground long wall operations.
Subject to approvals first coal exports are planned for late 2013.

5 billion tonnes!

They're not being very subtle, are they?

Monckton is wrong because he used a computer model! (Well, a formula, but technically it is a model). Doesn't he know that climate models are irredeemably flawed and don't do clouds properly?

Hurrumph! I'll never trust him again :-)

By Donald Oats (not verified) on 11 Jan 2010 #permalink

The big danger with this duo is outrageous pomposity and getting the science wrong, but if they get their act together and the msm give them time and space, they will get some traction in an election year.

16 carrot eater,

Lord Munchkin is, of course, highly delusional, so it's difficult to assume actual dishonesty. How can we tell if he really believes what he writes?

Surely you know that it makes no difference how contradictory various denialist claims are, or if one "sceptic" corrects another? We see over and over that they are absolutely impervious to awareness of this obvious fact; they do not even suffer cognitive dissonance.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

You'd think that the denialists would have cottoned on to the fact that Monckton doesn't have a clue about climate science

No, actually, I wouldn't think that at all.

TrueSceptic: It's one thing when different sceptics put forth mutually exclusive hypotheses. I thought it'd be another matter when one blatantly misrepresents the other's work.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

No, actually, I wouldn't think that at all.

Exactly. Denialist and pseudoskeptic mission statement:

Grasp any straw, misrepresent any citation, mine any quote.

Best,

D

I have this mental image of them doing a road picture like Bob Hope and Bing Crosby. I can see them now in ON THE ROAD TO AUSTRALIA and doing all kinds of slapstick routines.

By Berbalang (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

30 carrot eater,

Very similar. The one who's being misrepresented obviously knows this, but no other "sceptic" will even notice or, if they do, they simply ignore it.

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

Meme Mine: "Voters decide science policy,"

That's one of the scariest assertions I have ever heard. Good job by all the anti-intellectuals the last two decades.

Berbalang:
I can see them now in ON THE ROAD TO AUSTRALIA and doing all kinds of slapstick routines.

So can I. ;-)

RE 12: Dano, I wasn't aware of John Banks' (Mayor of Auckland) opinions on climate change, but he's a populist conservative who used to be a talkback host, so what can you expect?

Yes, we do seem to have more than our fair share of denialists here, don't we?

If they had done this tour a few months ago it would have been spoof, but they are now riding on the crest of a major climate shift.

Good theatre, his Lordship will utter that more people will die from this freeze than the 67,000 civilians killed during the Second World War, and he will blame it on Gormless Brown.

For politically-based mitigation to work, you don't just have to cut emissions by 10% or 15% in some number of years. You have to keep cutting emissions on an ongoing basis.

I'm skeptical this is ever going to work, however. I think scientific/technological solutions should be prioritized.

Isn't it unseasonably warm in Australia now, El Gordo? I doubt the people there will be much impressed by tales of cold in a few regions.

I think some sceptics will be surprised when the Jan global numbers come out. They've been fed this story about a cold snap, when it's clearly only regional.

Joseph: I don't understand your point about political and technological. If a technological silver bullet existed (for reducing emissions at little to no cost), it'd already be implemented. The whole reason for the political process is that this hasn't happened, nor is it likely to happen in the short term.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

[i]I think some sceptics will be surprised when the Jan global numbers come out.[/i]

Nah - they *know* the "data" has been doctored.

[i]They've been fed this story about a cold snap, when it's clearly only regional.[/i]

When you can't see past the end of your nose, what more *is* there than regional?

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

Aren't we missing the point here? Its that Monckton and Plimer are undertaking a tour and will be addressing lots of people across Australia. Some of those people wil already believe what they hear and feel their belief has been confirmed and some will come to believe it.

Job done!

Its not only Monckton and Plimer but Bob Carter has been doing this sort of thing energetically across Australia and New Zealand for the past few years. Again, some people who hear him will already believe and have their belief strengthened and some will come to believe what he says.

Again, job done!

We can ridicule these guys and say its all down to hubris and ego but this sort of activity is what helps keep denialism alive and growing in the two countries (alongside various blog sites which reach a particular audience).

Is there any comparable effort by climate change experts and highly knowlegeable lay people? Do they undertake long boring ongoing journeys from country town to country town where any public meeting will gather an audience so as to put the problems of climate change directly to people?

Monckton and Plimer are being very smart. Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders wont have seen Tony Jones and George Monbiot demolish Plimer on Lateline and incessantly posting on blogs like this is not going to reach the people Monckton and Plimer will convince on their tour.

Job done!

Can we say the same?

The NH isn't exactly regional.

It's the political consequences of doing nothing about global cooling, no UK politician will have the bottle to defend AGW after this debacle.

Plimer and the good Lord will have lots to say about the lack of grit, looks like negligence or ignorance. The Met will get a roasting and the politicians will try to squirm off the hook.

Can we say the same?

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.

I don't buy the line that the climate science community has not been sufficiently diligent in presenting and publicising this info. There is a limit to how much you can simplify info about complex situations, and present it to the public for them to take it on board.

There is a tidal wave of high quality, readily accessible, (genuinely) science based info out there for those who choose to seek it. Despite their mixed track record, the main results of climate science are being reported in the main stream media.

We cannot make the ignorant and ill informed open their eyes to things they do not want to believe in.

The only reason the denialists like Plimer and Monckton get away with it is because they are selling a simplistic and false and ideologically and emotionally comforting message, which is easy to do when you are not dealing with the more subtle and complex and challenging realities.

A lie can be out of the house and half way around the world before the truth has had time to even get its shoes on. Propagandists have know this since time immemorial, and that is not going to change.

A lot of this is just the inevitable and understandable emotional backlash against the horrifying truths that climate science is telling us. It is very difficult to this stuff take on board.

no UK politician will have the bottle to defend AGW after this debacle.<?i>

Bullshit.

no UK politician will have the bottle to defend AGW after this debacle.

Bullshit.

Plimer has his own graphs, going back millions of years. In the fulness of time he will point out that this small blip is nought to worry about.

Monckton will explain how the Russians scientists predicted in 2005 that we were heading into cooler climes and then he will discuss Climategate and its ramifications.

None of this will see the light of day if the msm don't pick it up, the tour will only be preaching to the converted in drafty halls. But if the debate goes mainstream the commonsense and natural scepticism of the Australian people will show up in the ballot box.

Now I may have missed it (I have had a few beers this arvo)and it's been a while since I've done chemical/pressure/temperature equations (or even fancy mathematical equations) but, umm, shouldn't these be done in degrees Kelvin rather than Celcius? Often does make a fair difference to the end result.

*The NH isn't exactly regional*

...and the NH has not uniformly experienced below normal temperatures this month; check out temperatures in the western USA, as well as in the Arctic and (as usual) they are well above the norm. The US midwest, which is often an ice-box at this time of year is very mild - temperatures of up to 10 C expected over the next few days in North Dakota. Ontario and Quebec have also been above normal - heck, its expected to be about -2 C today in parts of the area adjacent to James Bay which is some 5-10 C above normal for this time of the year.

Moreover, temperatures over much of south-central Asia are certainly not below normal - Japan is having a very mild winter, for example, as is the Middle East, Iran, etc. And the month is only half over. As for conditions in Britain, it has not been the cold but the snow, as temperatures in England have hovered around 0 for a few weeks now - certainly below normal but not a "deep freeze" by any means. Only the media is hyping the snow as a proxy for an Arctic climate, but the main issue has been the snow.

So El Fatto is off on a tangent again. And one that carries little weight (excuse the ironic pun).

By Jeff Harvey (not verified) on 12 Jan 2010 #permalink

> Plimer has his own graphs, going back millions of years

Does he also have graphs showing human society going back millions of years?

The Met will get a roasting and the politicians will try to squirm off the hook.

?? What are London's police force going to get a roasting for? Not prosecuting those squirming, now impecunious, MPs whose expenses have had to be returned to the public coffers?

But if the debate goes mainstream the commonsense and natural scepticism of the Australian people will show up in the ballot box.

So what will be your take if their side of the debate does go mainstream*, and yet the Oz public still don't elect the denialist Abbott Coalition? Will we still possess common sense and natural scepticism. Or do we do so only if we agree with your view?

*Let's be honest here, EG, their nonsense already commands a substantial amount of mainstream media space, far more than it deserves, so I don't buy your premise that they are being shut out of opportunities to put their view. That is pure spin and playing the victim.

Plimer and Monckton might be ignored, but the debate will go mainstream at election time. If the conservatives fail to convince the electorate of their argument, then they deserve to lose.

JH: The circumpolar vortex has gone wobbly, the Northern Annular Mode is negative and the jet stream has changed direction. A kind of random walk. That is why Alaska and Greenland are a lot warmer than normal.

What, 50+ comments and still no Hooterville Gazetteer?

43 el gordo,

It's the political consequences of doing nothing about global cooling, no UK politician will have the bottle to defend AGW after this debacle.

Well done. A new benchmark. "The most idiotic claim by el gordo"!

But, I must ask: what would anyone do about "global cooling" if it were happening?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Joseph: I don't understand your point about political and technological. If a technological silver bullet existed (for reducing emissions at little to no cost), it'd already be implemented.

There are basically 3 things that drive climate long term:

1) Solar irradiance.

2) Emissivity / greenhouse gases.

3) Albedo / aerosols.

You can't change #1. The current focus is to change #2 by political means. I think it might be more feasible to change #3 by technological means.

42 Jeremy,

People like Carter, Plimer, and Munchkin are on a mission. They either have private means for this or are being supported by industry via thinktanks.

Who would pay for anyone to present the real science on tour?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

"Who would pay for anyone to present the real science on tour?"

Fidel Castro, the estate of Karl Marx and Al Gore's Jenny Craig advisor.

60 John,

I love your shining wit. ;)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

If you don't want to decimate the oceans (more than they've been already, that is), then you have to attack the "2) Emissivity / greenhouse gases" point.

Increased ocean pH isn't going to go away by technologically treating the oceans (well, no doubt it could, by pumping equivalent amounts of material to counter CO2 dissolution, but that would be a complete folly).

> Increased ocean pH

Surely you mean "decreased"

By Martin Vermeer (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Yes. I meant to write "increased acidity" but got lazy.

I happened to see Jesse Ventura's CONSPIRACY THEORY program on Global Warming. Of course Monckton was interviewed in the program's quest for the "Truth". The "Truth" they found was that Global Warming is a hoax perpetrated by the Rothschilds to, dare I say it, RULE THE WORLD! In other words, an Illuminati conspiracy! The episode is available on YouTube.

By Berbalang (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

El gordo: If you put any effort into looking at it, you'd see the current cold snap is regional. High pressure there, low pressure here. Pretty much by definition, this is weather, with nothing to do with climate. The Arctic and Greenland are unseasonably warm; parts of the US and Europe are unseasonably cold. You don't even have to leave the NH to find the balance.

Joseph: I see you're a geoengineer, and of the sulfate aerosol sort. You weren't around for the panning of that idea when Superfreakonomics came out? Save it as a last resort, and a rather unpredictable and unsatisfactory one. How much aerosol? How to get it up there? Where to put it? Who pays for it? Who makes these decisions? What do you do when it changes temperature and rainfall patterns? What do you do about other unintended consequences (maybe you will get acid rain, I don't know much about that)? Does somebody get paid compensation for that? What do you do about the ocean pH? Is it really sensible to keep putting more and more stuff up there, to balance out ever increasing CO2?

You see, it's a total illusion that this is a purely technological fix. It has just as many political problems, in terms of reaching agreements between countries. Along with the rather greater uncertainty of what impact it will have.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

North-central Ontario (Canada) also unseasonably warm...one day Florida had colder temps than we did. We seem to be on on the edge of the Arctic air. Temps drop to -20 or -25 C for a few days, then shoot back up to near zero, up and down like a yo-yo as the air flows moves back and forth across our region. Hm, just checked and we may have rain coming in this weekend.

Of course, this is just regional weather. Anyone thinking the areas affected by a cold snap demonstrates global cooling (or lack of global warming) is grasping at straws (leftover from all the strawmen they make, no doubt). Doesn't say anything about climate.

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Gee,
I hope Kev's got better advisers than you lot, or Monckton'll be running rings around them.

By Joe Spencer (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Save it as a last resort, and a rather unpredictable and unsatisfactory one. How much aerosol? How to get it up there? Where to put it? Who pays for it? Who makes these decisions? What do you do when it changes temperature and rainfall patterns? What do you do about other unintended consequences (maybe you will get acid rain, I don't know much about that)? Does somebody get paid compensation for that? What do you do about the ocean pH? Is it really sensible to keep putting more and more stuff up there, to balance out ever increasing CO2?

Dumping aerosols into the atmosphere is not a good option right now, I agree. I was thinking that we don't know enough about their precise impact, so what if we get ourselves into an ice age by mistake? (A real one.) Later, CO2 might start to decline on its own due to peak oil, so what do we do then? It's probably much easier to dump aerosols than reclaim them.

We would need to change the albedo of Earth by some means we can control. I'm estimating that to decrease Earth's temperature by 1C, you need to increase the albedo by about +0.01. (Maybe less, because there should be albedo feedback.)

How to do that seems a little tricky a problem, but that's what engineering is for. You basically need more white surfaces and less dark surfaces.

60 Joe,

We love irony here. Thanks :)

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

> Has anyone had a look at Munchkin at Watts? Get the vomit bucket out if you read too many comments.

Too late. So much for breakfast.

Are these commentors auditioning to be Munchkin's Royal Bottom Wiper or something? I've heard of fawning, but these dorks come across as cultish worshippers.

By Derecho64 (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

I also noted that WFTWT had the wrong graphic to go with an NCAR press release - and no-one has commented on the disparity. Clueless gits.

My favorite comment on that thread is someone complaining that the graphic is done on a Mercator projection (it isn't) but that using that particular projection is indicative of some sort of deliberate fudging. WTF is that?!? Talk about reaching!

By Derecho64 (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Posted by: Joseph | January 13, 2010 12:44 PM

"It's probably much easier to dump aerosols than reclaim them. "

Actually, people like the aerosol idea because they have a limited lifetime in the atmosphere. They fall out over relatively shorter lifetimes, so the primary effect is reversible if you change your mind.

"You basically need more white surfaces and less dark surfaces."

Those ideas get tossed around now and then; most famously Stephen Chu considered it. It's an idea, but it's not the whole solution. Do some math, and see how far you can get with it. You also have an issue with the oceans.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

> You also have an issue with the oceans.

Easily solved. Just keep dumping light-coloured plastic at sea.

TrueSceptic

It's criminal negligence not to order more grit.

You'd think that the denialists would have cottoned on to the fact that Monckton doesn't have a clue about climate science

No, actually, I wouldn't think that at all.

Jeff |Harvey,

Happy New Year!

I'll let you in on a big secret - there is no such thing as 'global climate' there is only local and regional weather.

Some say they can discern trends in this weather over time that they call 'climate'. The UK Met Office' for example, is one such.This year they predicted a mild winter, so much so that Local Authorities did not stock up on grit to treat the roads. Now we are experiencing our worst winter for 30 years the grit is running out. ( What cost that to the local population in terms of accidents, slips, broken limbs etc?).

Of course the Met Office also predicted a "barbecue summer" during 2009 - it was a total washout, just like their predictions of summer for 2007 and 2008.

When they are taken to task about their poor forecasting the Met Office retreat beyond the headlines of their press releases and say the forecasts were hedged around with all kinds of caveats.

Yet the Met Office is also a major player in the IPCC and wants us to believe that its models are sophisticated enough to predict the 'climate' in 20, 30, 50, 100 years time. They never seem to mention the caveats that must surely apply to these 'forecasts' as well!

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Not heard of confidence intervals eh Dave?

Besides, forecasting 'climate', while tricky (and, indeed, smothered in caveats), may be easier than seasonal forecasting because it's averaged over a longer time.

You wouldn't expect a climate model to get the weather right for July 22nd 2021 would you? Nor would you expect it to get a regional seasonal forecast right for summer 2021. You wouldn't expect it to get 2021's global anomalies right. It might get global anomalies reasonably correct for 2015-2025 though.

Dave Andrews,there is no need for you to remind readers of your unfamiliarity with the content of the IPCC reports.

At risk of having to bring out the vomit bucket for all those with sensitive stomachs, over at CA McIntyre is looking at Climategate in technical detail. Just love who dunnits!

My guess, and its only a guess, is that some young UEA admin person collecting emails for an FOI request (in an unguarded moment) left the file laying about and a whistleblower did their duty.

Gee,that's fascinating,El Gordo. I suppose they're all consenting adults. BTW,where's the 'technical detail'?

Aaah thats the problem KRudd things hes royalty and rules as a dictator! Id be surprised if the buffoon lasts till the end of the year and once hes out of power you watch how the real stories about him come out!

Same with the global warming stupidity - its gonna freeze to death!

72 Derecho64,

They are. Just as they are cultish worshipers of The Reverend Anthony and Saint Stephen (The Blessed Lady Jennifer seems to have gone walkabout).

There's lots more if you can take it...

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

82 el gordo,

Wanna bet? I say it's a hack from outside and always have.

And "file laying about" and "doing their duty"? Do you have any ****ing idea? Have you looked at the hacked zip, the files it contains, and the timestamps?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

78 Dave,

I took your recent absence from Deltoid as evidence that your resolution was to stop being stupid in public but...

Doh!

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

It's an idea, but it's not the whole solution. Do some math, and see how far you can get with it.

Yeah, it's complicated. I'm estimating you'd need about 1.5 million km2 of a mirror-like surface around the equator, for a 1C drop, even with 50% help from feedback. That could be 350,000 patches of land 2kmx2km. Or perhaps 1,500 artificial islands of 1,000 km2 each. The biggest artificial island in the world is close to that size, so it's doable in principle.

twawki (@84) is just trolling for traffic on his own hyperbolic delusion soaked site.

You know the type, enviro-fascism, leftoids' plan to dominate the world, CRU are frauds, the new ice age is just around the corner, AlGoreAlGoreAlGore,...

IOW, don't waste your time.

88 Joseph,

Yes, but, how do you know how much of "anything" it will take? Is this some simple formula that tells us the answer in one (or a few) lines, or a "model"? How will it pan out over 1, 5, 10, 20, 50... years?

And how about the the whole "unintended consequences" issue?

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

A whistleblower? That's a good one. Every place I've ever worked, you don't gather information for an FOI(A) request unless it's a valid request. If it was a valid request - someone will legally get the requested information and be able to release it without hiding their identity.

I've also never heard of a whistleblower who only releases a sample of what they have - something this hacker admitted. A Whistleblower wouldn't need to hack into RealClimate to place the file there. A whistleblower should also be willing to step forward and cooperate with the authorities once an investigation has begun.

My own guess, and it's just a guess, is that some people may be worried about the hacker being linked to them in some way, so they'll try and divert attention elsewhere. It's curious that CA and WUWT haven't been demanding that the whistleblower release all the code and data he has with the same intensity that they demand the code and data from Scientists - even when they have the data, and interestingly it seems only make demands from those that support AGW while being quite when it comes to those who deny it.

How does someone hack a secure system? Must be the FSB.

Charles (WUWT moderator) has just posted his version of events as they unfolded.

el gordo,

Take your off-topic fantasising somewhere else. Why do your random musings and thought-bubbles keep appearing outside open-threads?

Whilst the "barbecue summer" tag line designed largely for the media was a "touch unfortunate", behind that headline the UKMO in their seasonal forecasts actually issue probabilities on temperature. The actual UKMO summer seasonal forecast (issued in April 2009) is here. In that forecast the following probabilities are given for temperature: 50% above average (>14.4°C), 30% average (13.6-14.4°C) and 20% below average (<13.6°C). For rainfall the probabilities are not presented in the same manner as temperature in the linked report (p. 10). They just give a graphic where they suggest the probabilities are "likely average or above average" or "likely average or below average".

Behind that headline, what their summer forecast message said was:

* Summer 2009 is expected to be âbetterâ than the last two summers with times when temperatures will be above 30°Celsius and much lower rainfall.

* Rainfall For the UK and much of northern Europe rainfall is likely to be near or below average. A repeat of the wet summers of 2007 and 2008 is unlikely.

* Temperature For the UK and much of Europe temperatures are likely to be above average.

For comparison, the UKMO's analyses of JJA temperature and rainfall are as follows:

JJA temperature (°C)

200914.7+0.6

200814.4+0.4

200714.1+0.1

200615.8+1.7 (July anom +3.0°C)

JJA rainfall (mm, % of norm)

2009318.5140

2008327144

2007357.8158

2006188.383

The England/Wales rainfall % of norms for June, July and August were 88/90, 239/275 and 88/90 respectively.

The Scotland/NI rainfall % of norms for June, July and August were 87/80, 161/173 and 183/176 respectively.

In their "end of season assessment" the UKMO note the following:

Figures released today confirm that for much of the UK the summer has been both warmer and wetter than average, in what has been a summer of mixed fortunes with wide contrasts across the UK, and through the season.

* UK mean temperature over the three months of June, July and August was 0.6 °C above the long-term average at 14.7 °C.

* UK rainfall reached 318.5 mm, 40% more than average.

* Summer 2009 was warmer than both 2007 and 2008.

* Unlike 2008, each summer month saw temperatures in excess of 30 °C.

* In the south-east of England rainfall was very close to normal and temperature was 0.6 °C above normal.

* In western Scotland 60% more rain than normal fell through the summer months, although it was almost a degree warmer than normal.

So actually, neglecting the stupid headline, the UKMO were correct on their summer temperature forecast. And the rainfall forecast wasn't as bad as it appears either, at least for England and Wales in 2 out of the 3 months. The figures were distorted by a very wet July over the whole of the UK (that pesky jet stream again not being where it should be wasn't it?).

How does someone hack a secure system?

And with seven words the fat boy shows his complete ignorance of (amongst so many other things) what hackers are capapble of, and of the nature of university IT 'security' systems.

Fatso, you are your own parody.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

Thanks for the advertising, I might check it out.

>*Thanks for the advertising...*

Was that Ryan's misguided attempt to compare the public exposure to Deltoid with the global media hegemony of oligarchs like Murdoch.

Janet, I achieved my ambition of having the last word on a Deltoid 'open thread', but I'm not going to talk to myself.

I want to find the culprit who hacked UEA.

Hey Tim. Why don't sea levels rise every Northern Summer?

By Ol' Sancty (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

>*I'm not going to talk to myself. I want to find the culprit who hacked UEA.*

Well el gordo, this ain't your blog and you need to respect the owner and others bloggers. Your musings are spam to most readers.

If you havn't noticed the blog moderator is already deleting some your off topic raves.

Well, maybe its time for another open thread.

I'm not going to talk to myself. I want to find the culprit who hacked UEA.

"Culprit", huh?

Trying the concern troll angle again, fat boy? Yeah, right... You shouldn't - the pretense doesn't play well to those you know you even a little bit.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 13 Jan 2010 #permalink

>*Well, maybe its time for another open thread.*

The last open thread is open, you just need to write something interesting and worthy of a response. Spamming is not an appropriate attention seeking behaviour.

89 your name wotwot about sums you up - clueless! - if you cant argue with facts then dont both. KRudd only has 20% support in his own party - thats not even sustainable!

I was tired of the Australian's war on climate change science so I cancelled my subscription. Now I can get my daily dose of self inflicted masochism on line with the opinions, editorials, the lead letters to the editor etc swaying overwhelmingly into the denialist camp.

The culprit is not one of us, it's Vlad Putin.

Rupert Murdoch believes in AGW, but he gives his editors the freedom to do what they like on this question. The Courier Mail is pro and the Oz is not.

The SMH and The Age are not part of his stable and they are pro AGW. The Third Estate is in your pocket and yet, you won't be happy until all debate is gagged.

Why?

Someone is twawking out of his own arse:

KRudd only has 20% support in his own party...

Please provide your evidence that indicates this: I am sure that it does not come from anyone with any skill nor understanding of political surveying.

And if you were trying to induce me to follow you link, it didn't work. I guess this makes you are not-very-good troll.

How sad.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 14 Jan 2010 #permalink

Rupert Murdoch believes in AGW, but he gives his editors the freedom to do what they like on this question.

That's a good one.

This is it! I am officially calling Poe's Law on Christopher Monckton. His claims and manner are so bedlam and outlandish that he HAS to be an IRL troll! On the outside chance that I'm actually right I can then proceed to brag to my friends about it....

@Dave Andrews #78:

Of course the Met Office also predicted a "barbecue summer" during 2009 - it was a total washout, just like their predictions of summer for 2007 and 2008.

Really; you got some figures for that? Here was me thinking that temperatures for the summer months in 2009 were significantly above average, and that August (and September as well) particularly was pretty dry and sunny as well. July was the wettest on record, which skews perception; but interestingly the Met Office was misled by past experience in the UK which suggests that wet summers are colder than normal. I wonder whether there's been a change in climate that might explain that mistake?

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 14 Jan 2010 #permalink

el gordo said: "How does someone hack a secure system? Must be the FSB."

you mean like gary mckinnon, who single-handedly hacked into almost 100 DoD and NASA computers in 2 years? was he perhaps working for the FSB too? i think we should be told.

as a sysadmin myself, i can confidently say there's not much you can do to keep a hacker with enough ability, dedication and incentive out of your system.

all of these traits can be bought if you don't have them in-house.

and i can guarantee that servers at small UK universities will be *way* less locked down than US govt systems, since they're (usually) way less interesting to hackers.

el gordo writes:

>*The Third Estate is in your pocket and yet, you won't be happy until all debate is gagged.*

Read the title of this thread el gordo, what number is is up to. Then go back over all 42 examples of the Australian's war on science and tally up all the distortions, misrepresentation and bogus claims. Then tell us how the third estate is in our pocket.

Then tell us why Murdoch's media is so hard right wing? And Berlusconi?

Then tell us who is [pushing for reform](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Concentration_of_media_ownership) of [media consolidation](http://www.freepress.net/resources/ownership) and who is not.

Here is a clue, have a look how hard all those hard-right anti science "think tanks" are pushing to reduce media consolidation.
Your assertions are laughable.

>*you won't be happy until all debate is gagged.*

Bollocks el gordo, All I ask is that scientific debate should be in proportion to evidence and not high-jacked by concentrated wealth and their PR machines.

For this it is essential that journos are prepared and call people out when they [spout rubbish](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/12/plimer_exposed_as_a_fraud.php).

And el gordo, since you are standing in defense of Monckton's rubbish, I wonder, who is the giant that best represents your views, Plimer or Monckton?

Thanx ligne, insightful.

Yes, but, how do you know how much of "anything" it will take? Is this some simple formula that tells us the answer in one (or a few) lines, or a "model"?

@TrueSceptic: The thing about albedo is that its effects are much easier to quantify than those of greenhouse gases and aerosols. (The bond albedo of Earth is just about 0.29, and that's the portion of solar irradiance that is reflected out. The albedo of different types of surfaces is measurable.) But it would require manipulation of substantial surface area.

Stu,

You mean the totally bogus 'confidence intervals' that the IPCC came up with in the AR4 Summary for Policy Makers?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 14 Jan 2010 #permalink

Dave,

first you claim that there are no caveats on the models, and when the caveats are pointed out, you claim they are bogus. Well which is it? No caveats or bogus caveats?

Hey, at least the IPCC model suite has reasonable and physically consistent confidence intervals. Monckton's graph supposing to demonstrate that the IPCC TAR's model suite had gotten the last few years wrong was the very definition of a strawman, as it didn't include the real projections and had genuine 'bogus confidence intervals'. See http://www.realclimate.org/index.php/archives/2009/05/moncktons-deliber…

It's easy to tear down something fragile that you made yourself. For example I very much enjoyed rugby tackling a snowman I made last week. Hmmm, I seem to have wandered off topic.

KRudd only has 20% support in his own party

Oh, really?

[Read it and weep, baby...](http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/2009/12/23/essential-report-christ…)

Kevin Rudd is preferred [PM] by 91% of Labor voters

I think you are confused with Rudd's approval rating [from Coalition supporters...](http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/files/2009/12/Essential-Report_141…)

18% of Coalition voters approve of the job Kevin Rudd is doing as Prime Minister.

If Monckton puts up one of his dodgy graphs the msm will eat him alive. Deservedly.

Stu,

The Met Office and others do not put caveats against their climate models, they do put them against their forecasts - read what I actually said.

The IPCC 'confidence intervals' in AR4 were a joke, totally unscientific but designed to achieve a political outcome.

Unfortunately for them it all went belly up in Copenhagen, because people realised the UN process itself was also a bit of a joke.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 15 Jan 2010 #permalink

Robin,

" The Met Office was mislead by past experience"

Wow, but aren't they stuffed full with supercomputers, super scientists and all other kinds of technological knowhow?

And don't they base their climate models in part on 'past experience'?

If they can be so easily mislead over summer 2009 perhaps they can be similarly mislead over many things don't you think?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 15 Jan 2010 #permalink

Dave, never has there been a clearer case not knowing what the hell you're talking about.

You say "The Met Office and others do not put caveats against their climate models, they do put them against their forecasts - read what I actually said."

Directly from the Met Office web site at http://meto.gov.uk/climatechange/science/projections/

"It is important to be aware that projections from climate models are always subject to uncertainty because of limitations on our knowledge of how the climate system works and on the computing resources available. Different climate models can give different projections. More on using computer models (external page)"

Well, that's basic caveats isn't it? And it's the most important ones too - we don't know everything, and the computing power isn't there to calculate it perfectly even if we did.

So there you go Dave, I hope you will never claim the Meto don't attach caveats to their climate projections again. Because it's demonstrably false.

The Met should just stop publishing the seasonal forecasts. They don't serve any useful purpose, they're wrong as often as not, and through guilt by association they make people think the climate projections (a totally different enterprise) are off, too.

By carrot eater (not verified) on 15 Jan 2010 #permalink

carrot eater

The Met should stop publishing seasonal forecasts and so too the BOM, then free enterprise like Accuweather would live or die on their seasonal predictions.

A good example is the weather Almanac which predicted this year's cold snap in the US midwest, while NOAA saw a mild winter.

The Australian is doing it again today with an article of pure dribble on Darwin and evolution in the Magazine.

Let alone the snarky little comment in the Magazine's Heads Up about the "trouble with telling the future, as many a climate scientist will attest, is that eventually time catches up with the prediction".

May the editor of the Weekend Australian Magazine be nibbled to death by rampaging physicists. Honestly, they are just insanely terrified of, and vengeful about, science.

A

And to clarify (now that I've restored some blood sugar) the article basically says that Darwin himself is responsible for high-school massacres,which I have to say is drawing a long bow. It appears to be a re-print of something written in a far-right US newspaper (put it this way, it quotes Ann Coulter approvingly).

And to finish the quote re: climate scientist "eventually time catches up with the prediction, and can leave the prophet red-faced." Apparently climate scientists are on par with religious loonies across time who've randomly predicted the end of the world as happening in the new day/week/year/soonish really.

I tend to find this little snidiness that The Oz indulges in far worse than publishing rot by Screaming Lord Monckton. Which at least is (a) for a purpose and (b) good for a laugh. The snide comments just demonstrate a weaselly viciousness that is rather disturbing.

A

A

Stu,

You know as well as I do that the Met is engaged in politics with regard to the IPCC. It has invested so much energy and resource in the latter that it has to continue to support it come what may.

When Vicky Pope stands up and makes her regular announcements to the media about the latest Met climate projections, does she start off by talking about the limitations of the models? Of course not. They are hidden away, to paraphrase Douglas Adams, in a locked filing cabinet at the bottom of a deep mine on a different planet.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 16 Jan 2010 #permalink

Care to give any examples Dave? I've obviously provided one example already. What does Vicky Pope herself say about climate projections?

http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/climatechange/science/explained/explained1…

"Like any 'expert' trying to project into the future, scientists cannot give precise predictions of what will happen in 100 years, or even in the next 10 years. However, we are able to give a range of possible outcomes of the world's actions and to assign probabilities to these, and climate projections should be treated as an assessment of risk."

This is obviously what Vicky Pope wants to say on the matter. One Timesonline article I have already come across mentions 'most likely' scenarios, but attaches no quantitifying statement to that term. Is it the fault of the Met Office when media outlets don't quite give the full story? I don't know, but I think the material on the Meto page itself gives the clearest view - and that view is that climate projections do have uncertainties for various reasons.

Maybe somebody should point out to gordo, AKA Fat-head,that it is still January.
A cold snap does not a winter make.
Let us know at the end of March if this winter has been mild or not.

NOAA is addicted to the illusion that their programs are accurate. There is more snow and ice on the way, so I'm quite happy to wait until March.

@Dave Andrews #125:

Wow, but aren't they stuffed full with supercomputers, super scientists and all other kinds of technological knowhow?

They are.

And don't they base their climate models in part on 'past experience'?

No. Have you read anything at all about climate models?

If they can be so easily mislead over summer 2009 perhaps they can be similarly mislead over many things don't you think?

Do you know the difference between weather and climate?

Weather forecasts are a mix of science and craft; and past experience plays a(n often significant) part in them.

More specifically, historically a warm summer in the UK has been a dry one; a cold one a wet one. As the amount of energy in the system increases, however, the atmosphere holds more water, so a warm summer in the UK can mean a wet one. The change in behaviour is therefore more evidence for GW; and we know that the CO2 causing the GW comes from fossil fuel combustion.

By Robin Levett (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

Robin Levett,

So they don't hindcast with the models to see if they are ok? Isn't that using past experience?

As for reading about climate models, I;ve done tons of that. I'll give you one little quote from someone, see if you can guess who before the end

" The modelling community leaders are probably as skeptical about our paleo-reconstructions as we are of their sulphate aerosol parameterizations, flux corrections (or more worrying, supposed lack thereof in some cases!), and handling of the oh-so-important tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere interface"

None other than hockeystick Mann himself, email 0906042912 of the CRU emails. (Did you guess it?)

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

The Australian has launched what it seems to believe is a devestating broadside in its ongoing War on Science. I'd be interesed to know the truth, rather than what The Australian claims, as they're totally untrustworthy.

By David Irving (… (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

Dave, I would like you to address the exposure of your persistent misinformation about the Met Office's caveats.

What gives?
Are you a liar who hopes nobody notices, or are you an opinionated ignoramus?

Either way, do you still feel there is any value in you continuing to share with us your embarrassingly useless opinions?

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

@ Dave Andrews, 136.

You dishonest little shite.

That out-of-context Mann email you quoted from stolen documents, is from 19 freaking 98. It is 12 years out of date, in a field where there has been intensive progress over the last decade. For starters.

That snippet is part of a longer discussion of an AMS meeting that was coming up shortly afterwards. Mann goes on to discuss how important it is that the Paleo community fairly and accurately represent what they are sure of, what they think is probably true, and what they simply don't yet know.

It then discusses Phil Jones desire foe the data in Mann's reconstruction, detailing Mann;s efforts to make that all available at NGDC and his goal to do so as quickly as possible, and the complication that some of the data is restricted by his access agreement, and some unpublished.

Man and Jones come off really well in that interchange. You,on the other hand, come off as a dishonest twit.

David Irving,
It's an interesting exercise to compare the story in today's Australian with the original in the Sunday Times: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6991177.ece?to….
Notice that The Australian has inserted irrelevant material about 'climategate' (obviously ignoring the article in the Weekend Australian) and omitted the fact that the IPCC error was uncovered by Graham Cogley, who doesn't sound like a denialist.

By Graham Coghill (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

As Dave Andrews has already been [called](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…) on his [misrepresentation of Mann](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…), I won't belabour that point any further.

I would make an observation, however...

The climate change denialists, to a person, take a single mistake by a professional climatologist to spell the end of his/her career, and yet they will happily spout a stream of discredited/untrue/slanderous/otherwise despicable garbage, and they will do so repeatedly and without blinking.

Is it just me who smells a whiff of hypocricy and double-standard?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

Thanks, Graham.

It's not quite the body blow The Australian claims, but (if true) it's not a good look.

On the bright side, it means that India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Indo China and southern China aren't going to run out of water as early as I feared.

By David Irving (… (not verified) on 17 Jan 2010 #permalink

"

The Australian has launched what it seems to believe is a devestating broadside in its ongoing War on Science. I'd be interesed to know the truth, rather than what The Australian claims, as they're totally untrustworthy.

"
Posted by: David Irving (no relation) | January 17, 2010 6:32 PM

Seems to be an almost verbatim copy of the article from the Sunday Times, which they credit.

Another article they publish today explains how it was all an innocent mistake 'though.

UN glacier blunder a 300-year mix-up

By Joe Spencer (not verified) on 18 Jan 2010 #permalink

Lee,

In what way was I being dishonest? Those were the words Mann used - you might not like it but so what?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 18 Jan 2010 #permalink

Bernard J,

Interesting remark about 'mistakes'. Can't say I've ever taken that approach myself. But when you look into it, it really doesn't seem to be too different to all the opprobrium that was heaped upon Plimer at very great length on this blog and elsewhere re 'mistakes' in his book.

So your remark is a bit like the kettle calling the pot black.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 18 Jan 2010 #permalink

... it really doesn't seem to be too different to all the opprobrium that was heaped upon Plimer ...

The comparison would be valid if there were a mistake on every other page of the IPCC reports, Dave Andrews (#147).

The other big difference is of course the response.

Has Plimer acknowledged the sun isn't really made of iron, for example? Has he backed down on the volcano issue? Has he disowned The World's Dodgiest Graph?

Admitted any of the other [errors](http://www.complex.org.au/tiki-download_file.php?fileId=91) he made?

No?

I didn't think so.

[Dave Andrews](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…).

You're just the (unwanted) gift that keeps on giving, aren't you? [Gaz](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…) has already pulled you up well and truly on your logical train wreck, but the immortal words of a long-dead disciple (or his ghost-writer) might serve to drive another nail in your coffin...

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

(Matthew 7:3, KJV)

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 18 Jan 2010 #permalink

Gaz,

A question for you. Do you know what the interior of the sun is like?

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 19 Jan 2010 #permalink

Bernard J,

A minor family crisis prevented me from ending my comment to you last night as I intended.

re Mann and his statistical manipulations, if you don't understand that he keeps using custom statistics that have little or no verification then you need to get out a bit more.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 19 Jan 2010 #permalink

Dang!,

Should be 'customised statistics'

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 19 Jan 2010 #permalink

Dave, I already told you how you're dishonest. You presented a 12 year old quote in the midst of a response about the models of today, as if it is somehow relevant to the state of the models today, as if it somehow tells you something about what Mann or the Paleo community think abuot the models today. That, sir, is either blatantly dishoesnt, or it is blitheringly idiotic. Or both.

Oh,and re: your questioon for gaz. We are reasonably certain, Dave, that the interior of the sun is not iron. But please go ahead and argue taht point. Please.

Do you know what the interior of the sun is like?

Dave Andrews, the people who spend their lives studying the composition and structure of stars - as opposed to, say, people like Ian Plimer - say it's mostly composed of hydrogen and helium.

[Here](http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/ask_astro/answers/961112a.html) is some information that might help you.

[And here](http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l2/sun_parts.html) is a lovely picture.

Was your ignorance genuine, or were you trying to imply something with your question?

154 Gaz,

Dave Andrews is a denialist. He will make any claim, no matter how idiotic, and tell any lie, no matter how obvious, to support his denial.

But perhaps he's a Poe...

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 19 Jan 2010 #permalink

150, Dave Andrews: oh my god, you're right! since no-one has been in there to check, for all we know the centre of the sun might be full of delicious snacks! as well as the iron, natch.

i'm writing a letter to NASA right now, to persuade them to launch a missile into the sun so it bursts and we can all enjoy a glorious future filled with snacks. i hope you'll sign it.

everyone else: why do you hate our snacks so much? have you no shame?

156 ligne,

I believe the whole thing is a giant Terry's Chocolate Orange. Prove it's not!

By TrueSceptic (not verified) on 19 Jan 2010 #permalink

[Dave Andrews](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…):

re Mann and his statistical manipulations, if you don't understand that he keeps using custom statistics that have little or no verification then you need to get out a bit more.

Tell me - what type of people do you think develop the procedures that we humble folk refer to as 'statistics'?

Did none of the techniques that we use (I don't mean to assume that you, specifically, are included as such a user) at no point enter the statistical lexicon as a "custom" method?

What process do you imagine occurs in order to develop the stone tablets upon which the body of kosher statistical techniques are inscribed?

Do you actually understand what Mann's bona fides are, that permit him to "custom[ise]" statistical techniques?

What are your particular bona fides that permit you to pontificate about what constitutes appropriate statistical methodology?

I suspect that you need to pull your head in a bit more.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

Bernard J,

Consider:

Mann is not a statistician nor is he a dendrochronologist. Nevertheless he used dubious statistics and BCPs to remove the MWP from the shaft of his hockey stick.This despite the fact that the dendro who collected the original BCP tree rings said they were not suitable for temperature reconstructions.

Mann also used decentering but got it wrong according to the statistician (Jolliffe) who devised the method.

He later used an 'inverted' Tijander sediment series in not one but two papers.When this was pointed out he claimed it didn't matter!

He also resisted releasing his codes for many years so that it could not be assessed by others.

Apart from that presumably to you his statistical bona fides are probably ok.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

Lee,

I'm sure I've mentioned Stainforth et al, 2007, to you and many others in the past. They present serious and detailed criticisms of the models, many of which still, apparently. are unable to overcome the points that Mann was making.

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

I notice Dave Andrews has failed to address the exposure of his persistent misinformation about the Met Office and has gone on to other things.

Just like Plimer.

By Vince Whirlwind (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

Ducky,

For all of Stainforth's talk of uncertainty and inadequacy of models, he is not saying they are absolutely uncertain and inadequate, but only relatively and marginally compared to what they might be with improvements. As he says in [concluding remarks](http://rsta.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/365/1857/2145.full):

>There is much to be done but information from today's climate models is already useful. The range of possibilities highlighted for future climate at all scales clearly demonstrates the urgency for climate change mitigation measures and provides non-discountable ranges which can be used by the impacts community...

Many of the improvements he prescribes have been [implemented](http://www.vets.ucar.edu/vg/T341/index.shtml) and confidence boosted.

Ian Jolliffe confirms that MBH98 does not use de-centered PCA, but short segmented PCA, in which all the data is used and compared for improved quantification of uncertainty, refuting McKittrick & McIntyre's bogus claims.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

Andrews:

Care to tell us what exactly you imagine Stainforth et al 2007 is about and what it concludes? It shouldn't take more than a paragraph - I could do it in two sentences, but I'm not disposed to alleviate your embarassment.

While you're at it, why don't you tell us where it addresses the "sulphate aerosol parameterizations, flux corrections (or more worrying, supposed lack thereof in some cases!), and handling of the oh-so-important tropical Pacific ocean-atmosphere interface" that Mann mentions, in the quote you failed to tell us was from TWELVE FREAKING YEARS AGO!!!!!

Ducky,

PCA wasn't developed as a statistical tool, but as a multi-variate analysis tool, a discipline in which Micheal Mann is expert. Co-author Malcolm Hughes is a dendrologist. As pre-eminent as they come.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 20 Jan 2010 #permalink

luminous b,

Jolliffe said he didn't understand what MBH were doing with the statistics.

Lee,

I don't imagine what Stainforth et al said in the paper, its there for all to see.

Plus, are you trying to say that what Mann was talking about 12 years ago is no longer relevant, that all the issues have been sorted out? It would seem that Nature, no less, does not necessarily agree with you

http://www.nature.com/news/2010/100120/full/463284a.html

By Dave Andrews (not verified) on 21 Jan 2010 #permalink

This quote from Francis Bacon (1620) turned up on another blog recently.

âThose who have taken upon them to lay down the law of nature as a thing already searched out and understood, whether they have spoken in simple assurance or professional affectation, have therein done philosophy and the sciences great injury. For as they have been successful in inducing belief, so they have been effective in quenching and stopping inquiry; and have done more harm by spoiling and putting an end to other menâs efforts than good by their own.â (Bacon)

Just about sums it up, really. Thank heavens we are still inquiring.

He later used an 'inverted' Tijander sediment series in not one but two papers.When this was pointed out he claimed it didn't matter! - Dave Andrews

Hey Dave, you do know you're just regurgitating a bit of McIntyre's misunderstanding of maths with this, don't you??

No? Oh well, just keep cutting and pasting in blissful ignorance.

He later used an 'inverted' Tijander sediment series in not one but two papers.When this was pointed out he claimed it didn't matter

For the analysis he was doing, it doesn't.

Hint: what is the value of 1*1. what is the value of -1*-1.

What a load of tripe. Jo Nova has slammed this for what it's worth.
I guess you alarmists haven't got much ammunition left. I can sense your panic

By Baa Humbug (not verified) on 28 Jan 2010 #permalink

Oh dear Humbug has followed me here and now in context my post looks like I'm a loony tune skeptic! not guilty your honur!

Thanks Bernard - glad to know I'm not the only person who notices such obscure things.

I did the ill-advised thing and followed MattB's link to Jo Nova... erk!

Marohasy has left the troops in 'safe' hands it seems - Jo has enthusiastically donned Jen's mantle as postergirl for the lunatic pseudoscience-pushing numpties who have wandered in homeless after the drying-up of the Bog.

She's not even proficient at constructing her points-of-view, but this doesn't slow the numpties one little bit. They'll take whatever Jo tells them without blinking... It reminds me of [the scene from The Holy Grail](http://www.sacred-texts.com/neu/mphg/mphg.htm#Scene 5) where the crowd enthusiastically accepts the 'evidence' that an old lady is a witch.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 28 Jan 2010 #permalink

Yeah sorry Bernard:) I just thought Tim may be interested.

Whilst it is easy to attack people with mathematics when most of your readers are not scientists it is a fact that not a single scientist has been able to show a direct link between CO2 and global warming. Only computer models from a now discredited group of left wing scientists has declared this link. Until someone produces real evidence I shall, like all resonable people say ' Case not proven'. Until then we should do nothing which hinders efforts to help the starving people of this world. I saw a car sticker recently which said "Help the starving. Maximise your CO2" Maybe he/she has got it right.

By Ferdinand (not verified) on 28 Jan 2010 #permalink

"You'd think that the denialists would have cottoned on to the fact that Monckton doesn't have a clue about climate science,"
And Al Gore does?
I think Monckton knows just a little bit more than Gore.
Maybe all this hostility coming from you warmists is because you know Monckton is right and your climate change religion is slowly coming to an end. Sorry guys but that's the truth and you all know it. Because if your religion was safe you wouldn't even talk about him.

Only computer models from a now discredited group of left wing scientists has declared this link.

LOL

>*it is a fact that not a single scientist has been able to show a direct link between CO2 and global warming.*

Try again Ferdinand

>*Until then we should do nothing which hinders efforts to help the starving people of this world.*

Um, Ferdinand, you do realize that we had sufficient food to feed the world for decades, that is if there were the political will to distribute it justly.

Yet people still starve. And they starve without internalization of the cost of carbon with is wastefully used by the rich.

So I agree with the statement that:

>*Until then we should do nothing which hinders efforts to help the starving people of this world.*

But it doesn't mean what you think [it means](http://www.time.com/time/specials/packages/article/0,28804,1929071_1929…).

Thanks, MattB, I guess. Does anyone want me to address Nova's post, or are her errors obvious to all?

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 29 Jan 2010 #permalink

Rod #179 - how would you act if someone claimed for a decade that you were lying? You might get a little pissed off about it. Thats whats happening here. People like MOnckton and others have been calling scientists liars and charlatans for years, and everyone who has any understanding of the science at all is getting fed up with it.

Jakerman. Oh dear here we go again. I repeat There has not been ONE SINGLE PIECE OF EVIDENCE DIRECTLKY LINKING CO2 to significant planetary warming. I have read over two hundred papers now and none of them - not one, has shown any link.

By ferdinand (not verified) on 29 Jan 2010 #permalink

ferdinand ['the bait' @178](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…)

>*it is a fact that not a single scientist has been able to show a direct link between CO2 and global warming.)*

ferdinand ['the switch" @184](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/01/the_australians_war_on_science_…):

>*I repeat There has not been ONE SINGLE PIECE OF EVIDENCE DIRECTLKY LINKING CO2 to significant planetary warming.*

Spot the difference? ferdinand, why did you find the need to insert your addition of "*significant planetary warming*"?

Ferdinand, your disingenuous tactics excludes you from serious debate. You are not behaving as a truth seeker, when you employ sly shifter tactics.

You can try and argue black is white and that there is no evidence linking CO2 with warming but you just look dishonest in the face of overwhelming evidence that link the global temperature and the enhanced greenhouse effect. You keep denying it, and I'll keep presenting evidence of [the links](http://www.skepticalscience.com/empirical-evidence-for-global-warming.h…).

Sorry, His Excellency is the correct honorific for Rudd. Check the UN whenever Rudd is speaking there and you will find he is called His Excellency, an honorific he earns by virtue of being the Australian head of government. It is how he was described on the UN list of Copenhagen delegates. That Rudd prefers "The Hon." doesn't alter the fact that internationally, he is "His Excelelncy"

Any chance of a retraction or apology?

Doesn't work for the prez of the US either.

It's not just under [Kevin Rudd](http://www.aph.gov.au/Library/TUTORIAL/address.htm) that the Australian Prime Minister is addressed as _The Honourable_, it used to be the same under his predecessor [John Howard](http://web.archive.org/web/20060620213026/http://www.aph.gov.au/Library…). Various earlier PMs were also appointed to the Privy Council and their title was _The Right Honourable_.

It's simply that the UN adresses each and any head of state as _His Excellency_, irrespective of the countries own customs.

Tim Lambert said

"Thanks, MattB, I guess. Does anyone want me to address Nova's post, or are her errors obvious to all?"

I wonder if you could explain it in very simple terms for very simple people to understand (ie. me)

At first look, it appears that she simply is allowing monckton a few small errors cos, well, they don't matter (although if an IPCC article contained the same, AGW is diproven)

But I am more interested in her claim "and accuses him of getting a figure wrong (which Monckton got right)"

Well, did he or didn't he?

Its hard for the untrained to muddle through the fog sometimes.

By Ben Breeg (not verified) on 01 Feb 2010 #permalink

>*I am more interested in her claim "and accuses him of getting a figure wrong (which Monckton got right)".

Well, did he or didn't he?

Tim writes:

>*As well as missing the formula in the IPCC report, Monckton got the IPCC estimate for climate sensitivity wrong: it's 2-4.5, not 3.26 ± ln 2 as Monkton would have it. Consequently the coefficient in Monckton's last equation should be 6.5, not 5.7. But this error is trivial compared to what follows*

Tim explains that Monckton wrongly suggest that this is the warming forestalled over this decade, since climate sensitivity is defined as the eventual warming rather than the immediate warming,

The Earth system is [out of radiative balance](http://www.skepticalscience.com/Measuring-Earths-energy-imbalance.html). It takes time for the current enhanced greenhouse forcing to raise temperatures to their equilibrium temperature (where radiation in and out are in balance).

The warming resulting from stabilising CO2 at 408 ppm is not the warming in the first year or decade of reaching 408 ppm CO2. It is the warming required to return the earth sytem back to radiative balance at 408 ppm CO2.
Tim points out that this error is trivial compared to what follows.

>*his main error -- he ignores everything that happens after 2020. In as much as his calculation is valid, he is comparing stabilising CO2 at 408 ppm with stabilising it at 406.5 ppm.*

So there is 80% of the century of either action or inaction that Monckton dodges. Monckton game is a total farce!

Tim explains:

>*the sort of policies that Monckton favours could result in CO2 stabilising at 1000 ppm and 8 degrees of warming as compared to the Copenhagen agreement to keep warming under 2 degrees.*

Thanks for the summary jakerman

Now I have read it, I can see it through the article, but some of us need things simplified.

I have been a reader of this site for a while now, but readily admit that most of the technical details are WAY over my head. But generally I can follow along with the argument. This one however left me confused, particularly when obfuscation like that from Nova's post just adds to the confusion (which I am sure is entirely the point)

Thanks again for taking the time to reply to me.

By Ben Breeg (not verified) on 01 Feb 2010 #permalink

No worries Ben,

Also of note regarding Monckton's misleading claims of the magnitude of forestalled warming; is that the current temperature anomaly is not the equilibrium temperature anomaly. We haven't yet reached the temperature rise that we are forcing with our current enhanced greenhouse concentrations (389 ppm CO2).

From memory I think there is still about 0.6 degree C rise yet to be realised from current GHG forcing. That is if we stabalised GHGs at current levels.

[Someone please correct me if this is not the most up-to-date figure].