Monckton's McLuhan Moment

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Debate with Monckton

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

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

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

Apparently that may not be entirely true.

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

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

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

"Australia's emissions would make virtually any difference because China is emitting so much".

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

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

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

Now the key scientific question - "How much warming will we get for a given level of CO2".

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

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

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

More detailed calculation "by a mathematician" gave even lower numbers.

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

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

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

Going through calculation of sensitivity from simple equation.

Does Monckton think climate scientists are fools?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jones: you didn't say "lies" did you [hard to hear the rest]].

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ: Does Monckton agree?

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

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

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

TL: You're ignoring every other forcing.

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

AJ: Manmade CO2 is infinitely less than 39%.

M & TL: agree in atmosphere it's 39%.

M: repeats previous position to cut off debate

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ: Bit removed, anyone have a comment?

M: Very briefly, no :-)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hence today's warming is nothing to worry about.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TL: Interesting, but this graph comes from CSIRO...

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

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

TL: ...

M: History...1958 onwards Mauna Loa CO2 measurements.

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

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

M: Canute.

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

TL: need to allow for 90cm this century

M: Hasn't worried Gore.

TL: His > 90cm above sea level.

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

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

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

M: Yes [...] natural logarithm.

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

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

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

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

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

Worry about children being taught that CO2 is a pollutant.

Freedom that people died for to exchange views.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Global cooling for 9 years.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TL: [garbled on my feed]

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

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

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

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

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

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

TL: [cut off by AJ]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AJ: nothing's changed in reporting.

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

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

TL summing up:

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

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

Ad for blog.

M summing up:

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

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

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

No Copenhagen gives < 0.25C over next 10 years.

AJ:

Thanks Tim for debate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tags

More like this

The most damning thing about Christopher Monckton's testimony to the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming on global warming science (video here), is the fact that the Republicans could not or would not get a single scientist to testify. His main argument is based on the…
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…
On top of the 21 climate scientists correcting the numerous errors in Christopher Monckton testimony to Congress, we also have Rachel Pinker and Ellsworth Dutton correcting Monckton's misunderstanding of Pinker, Zhang and Dutton (2005): 1 Viscount Monckton attempts to directly link the change in…
This is the very first paragraph of Monckton's response to Gavin Schmidt's demolition of Monckton's paper on climate sensitivity. For the second time, the FalseClimate propaganda blog, founded by two co-authors of the now-discredited "hockey-stick" graph by which the UN's climate panel tried…

I have a different reading of the debate; one that reinforces my view that it is a mistake to give people like him oxygen. He was the better showman, whereas all you had was facts and arguments. My guess is that the undecided will be swayed by the show and merely bored by the facts.

Very glad you did this Tim - I hope you consider repeating it with Monckton or other denialists. They shouldn't be the only ones who get the benefit of practice and repeat experience.

Neil: I disagree. I thought that Tim gave an excellent performance and that Monckton came across as a slicker who is very polished but doesn't understand the issues.

Tim: I thought you did wipe the floor with him and your McLuhan moment is an instant classic.

Regards,
John

By John Cross (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Tim, great job! You are a very brave man: Debating a liar, horribly biased moderator and a hostile crowd who at times were rude and refused to let you speak. You were in the lion's den.

So, IMHO the debate (from your perspective) went as well as we had all expected under the circumstances. You did a great job. I think you nailed it on the head when you say " It wasn't until well into it that I realized that answering the questions concisely was not the best tactic and you could get away with a wave at answering the question and then a speech on whatever you could connect with it."

An appropriate title for the talk would have been 'Folklore meets science'. His is quite the court jester. But other than that, crickets.

I am still blown away by Munchkin's ludicrous and fallacious claim as to what causes El Ninos! OMG, he loses all credibility right there!

Thanks for doing this.

By MapleLeaf (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

@Tim: I think the link to the audio of the concluding remarks is wrong, it points to the second mp3.

Here are direct links to the videos on SMH

The Debate live feed (seems to be defunct, may or may not revive)

The concluding remarks

Breaking Monckton's reading of the Pinker paper was brilliantly done, Tim. :) Using Plimer to discredit his low sensitivity, too.

Score!! Can't wait to watch the vid. You're a brave man, Tim!

You just know there's gonna be a big scandal when someone 'discovers' that wasn't actually Rachel Pinker's voice.

Thanks to Tim, but also a huge thanks to Pinker as well, for providing such a clear and detailed explanation of her paper and of cloud forcing and radiative forcing. Very interesting and informative.

Absolutely brilliant! Hopefully, other people facing charlatans like Monckton will follow your lead, and line up experts to publicly reject pseudoscientific misinterpretations of their work.

My guess is that Monckton was not at all happy with this turn of events. Well done!

My view from Scotland is you won by a mile Tim. On Moncktons concern for the third world I was in the Tory party back in the 80s, follies of youth I know but he was an advisor then. The concern he shows now was conspicuously absent then. All we have to do for him to change on the science is to wait a while, perhaps that is a hope too far?

Not to stroke your ego, but it was a pretty brilliant move. Kudos.

Tim,

Just watched the summing-up ... you were much more effective. Congratulations. Monckton took about three times as much time as you and was therefore less effective in the same proportion. I was astonished at his brazen lying!!

He should be careful going on about helping the poor of the developing world - he might piss off some of his rich backers. They won't think that ending bilharzia or inestinal worms are very profitable investments.

Monckton is really brazen with lies like these. I think he lost acquaintance with the truth (or with reality) some time ago. Maybe be believes this himself.

"Paper after paper demonstrating by measurement, not modeling, that climate sensitivity is low. UN models did not forecast 15 years without global warming. Huge departure from IPCC's projections; they've revised projections downwards. Climate is responding as low climate sensitivity implies."

Tim, can you get in on another stop of Monckton's? Experience and practice can be useful (I agree with Brian Schmidt in #2), but also there are fresh droppings by Monckton that should be cleaned up in another debate.

So Monckton didn't know that a snowball earth would have a high albedo, which would require a substantial drop in emissivity to compensate?

He must have read up on the hypothesis. Surely, he must be aware of the runaway cooling mechanism and so forth. Methinks he just hoped he could 'get' Tim with that question.

Just downloaded the mp3.

erm Monckton got the upper hand at the start by suggesting he was in control and had invited Tim.

1. First lie, biofuels mitigate climate change etc. The only truth put forward by Monckton was that governments wanted them. But he knows that environmentalists have campaigned against them because corn and wheat ethanol give a poor energy gain. Btw. I have just spent weeks on a top UK environmental message board, arguing about corn/wheat ethanol with a AGW skeptic (and a conventional arable farmer) who has the opposite view to Monckton.

2. Second Monckton lie. Food shortages caused by biofuel production. erm there has been a world wheat surplus for the last 30 years! (as much as 4 months carry over. It can be handy having arguments with farmers, they make you do research to back your case). Good grief I have only listened to about 1 minute of the mp3. Any food shortage has been largely because of logistics, political and economics problems.

I'm not a great fan of biofuels from food crops, but at least Monckton should get the facts right.

I'll listen to it some more and maybe post other responses.

Addition to my post @17

Ironically, my data about wheat surpluses came from the Australian Government:

http://www.wea.gov.au/Publications/FactSheets/091016_World%20Wheat%20Tr…

Monckton was using environmentalist tactics in his opening point. Probably won brownie points for that. He was wrong with his data, but he was clever in using an environmentalist POV for making his 'selfish' ethical case.

Further in to the discussion Monckton does the usual crap of claiming CO2 is plant food and crops will improve.

Well maybe not in Africa:
http://environmentalresearchweb.org/cws/article/research/41670

Different species react differently to CO2, temperature, drought etc.

But of course, spinning the positive about CO2, fits in with his myth about no warming. Your on a win, win situation if you can go around convincing people that increased CO2 has no negative impacts, you're just left with positive outcomes.

Tim, yes, the McLuhan moment - well done.

You definitely won the debate on the substance. Even on the question of style, your Australian accent and direct answers to questions suited an Australian audience. Monckton sometimes appeared too slick for his own good - more of a showman than a substantial debater. Monckton appeals to a certain kind of Union Jack boxer-shorts wearing lickspittle who still gets turned on mouthing the words "My Lord," but everybody under 65 knows a smooth-talking, unctuous salesman when they see one.

I think what impressed me most was the generally cordial atmosphere. Although the format of a 'public debate' about science is somewhat antiquated - sort of a 19th century roadshow with Powerpoint slides - perhaps it's more effective at reaching certain kinds of people than the interwebz....

By Mercurius (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Monckton sprinkles in jokes and populism, but he also drones on and on when he doesn't know what he's talking about to make it appear that he does. He sounds like a meandering dolt to me, but from the crowd's reaction I can tell that he's well-adapted to his niche. He seems to have three prongs to his attack: make things up and attribute support to anonymous experts, obscure any understanding of causality so he can wander around the timeline, and sow the idea that when it warms (always incrementally) it's for the better anyway. To this he sprinkles in some red meat about free dumb, think-of-the-poor-foreigners, and piss-your-pants-the-foreigners-will-steal-your-jobs.

If you spent too much time with Monckton eventually he would convince you that, because of ice ages, you can't be sure your freezer is why your meat is cold. A little longer and he would have you believing that our understanding of physics prevents you from knowing how long to cook an egg or bake a cake.

Well done Tim, and thanks for doing this!
Now I'd like to see Monckton hounded with questions wherever he goes about whether he's talked to Pinker yet about her paper as he claimed he would.

Hapless fish in a barrel.

One wonders how the fish will spin it.

Best,

DDa

You certainly clobbered him with the science and I think he came across as a pompous arrogant bore, but oh, those questions... particularly that madman who prattled on about CO2 in the oceans... Rather you than me Tim.

I think you are right about how to deal with the questions. It's the old "Yes Minister" approach. Answer the question you want to answer, not the question that the person is asking, particularly when the questioner is that incoherent.

I'm looking forward to your next appearance. It would be great if it could be in Melbourne next time :-)

congratulations Tim, really well done.

Well done Tim - both on the debate and correctly anticipating that the Pinker moment would happen.
That was a real matador's sword-through-the-neck occurrence.

I have to say I was ambivalent about the value of the event - after all, science isn't a stand up debate, yada yada yada - but you showed unequivocally that these buffoons can be shown up as the frauds they are right there, live on stage, for all to see. That you have to have the eyes to see was the problem with the live audience.

Given that the audience would have been mostly Munchkinesque fans, it's a pity it wasn't televised in order to reach out over their pointy little heads to a larger audience comprising normal, reasonably informed people.

I think we can safely predict that The Viscount (remember, pronounced 'discount' - how telling) won't be requesting a repeat performance, no matter what His Grovelship's supporters may try to imply otherwise.

I hope a full version will be available at some point (c'mon you streaming receiver guys - get that .flv file uploaded to Youtube soon, please)!

I don't know if you'd do it again Tim, but short of getting Robert de Niro up there with cogent, quick witted and super well-informed answers (and debate tactics), I'd be perfectly happy for you to be recognised as a spokesperson, based on your live performance today.

You're a brave man, Tim. Debates like this are usually a lose-lose situation for the guy with the facts, whether it be in evolution vs creationism or AGW vs pseudoskeptics/denialists. Well done in such a hostile situation (heck, that'd be well done in a friendly situation too).

That Pinker moment was fantastic, btw.

--dan

By Daniel J. Andrews (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

So his source for the snowball earth/30% CO2 thing was something Plimer showed him last week? Is it even published anywhere?

If you had a do-over on that, it would have been neat to reprise some of the information in Richard Alley's lecture, or Royer's work. I don't think either goes back as far as snowball earth (?), but as far back as they go, things fit nicely.

And somebody could tell him that the orbital forcing is different from interglacial to interglacial. All else being equal, the previous interglacial would indeed be warmer than this one.

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

Well done!

Great stuff Tim.

I have no doubt that the conflicts you exposed in Monckton's arguments will be totally lost on the largely unintelligent and uncritical audience (which includes the moderator). However, perhaps people who are a bit brighter and were fence-sitting might at least have cause to re-examine what Monckton is saying.

I can't wait to see the video either.

Using Pinker's own words like that was a genius move. All of my colleagues who watched agreed too. What an ace that was to play.

On your "Hot Spot" slide: is the picture on the left warming due to an arbitrary amount of GHG forcing, and the picture on the right warming due to similar amount of solar forcing?

-Marcus

I was there also. Lambert's fatal mistake from the start was not to address the question and instead go for cheap points. The question, skillfully constructed, was this "Does AGW endanger mankind?" Monckton condensed this at the start to three points - Moral questions, Economic issues and Scientific issues and provided good points and data for all. Lambert did not address the question throughout the debate, indeed his closing argument was to advertise the Deltoid blog. (Well that worked I'm briefly back). Monckton was full of facts while Lambert was full of farce. The attempt to use audio from Monckton's previous lectures and Pinker's audio failed due to audio feedback and was barely audible. And Powerpoint 101 states "avoid large chunks of text" no one read the slides! Monckton effectively nullified the argument in his summation. At about 13:12 Lambert shows a graph that confirms Monckton's contention of bias by the IPCC in showing accelerating warming. The audience gets this but Tim misses the point. At numerous stages Tim forgets questions from the audience and had to be prompted from the chair. Lambert stumbled over Monckton's use of recent work by Douglas and Know 2009 on ocean heat build up, apparently unfamiliar with it. One of the killer moments for Monckton came when he quickly came up with a figure of 39% for the amount of CO2 from anthropogenic CO2 while Tim was apparently fumbling in his pockets for a calculator. Not a great look when at the start you claimed expertise in mathematics. Another stumble came in trying to explain adjustments in temperature data. People around me scoffed at Tim's attempted explanation. The problem is the way gross generalisations about station citing end up producing adjusted results that bear little relation to observed reality...the audience was certainly not convinced. Slides showing IPCC models that do not match the 1940 warming another blunder that many in the audience picked up on. The question was specifically about the 1940 temp rise and none of the IPCC charts Tim displayed show a match to observations.A nice black triangle visible above model projections for all charts!

As stated in the previous post I think Tim needs some public speaking lessons and based on his performance today I dare him to disagree. I don't mean to be mean but face the facts, maybe David Karoly could have had a better chance.

Ilajd:

The attempt to use audio from Monckton's previous lectures and Pinker's audio failed due to audio feedback and was barely audible.

None so deaf as those who will not hear.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

@34 Oh dear, Ilajd you posted the same entry on the previous thread, where everything you said there was comprehensively rebutted. So you post the same guff here again? I hate to be the one to tell you this, but when your argument is refuted, it *stays* refuted. Re-posting the same guff a second time doesn't work like hitting the 'reset' button.

But since denialists specialise in re-posting discredited arguments without elaboration, I guess mindless repetition is all you've got.

Since you've already forgotten that everything you've said has been rebutted, here's my reply again...

Nit-picking at Tim over rhetorical mis-steps is meaningless: the substance of his scientific presentation was spot-on, whereas Monckton hadn't even investigated the paper upon which his entire (flawed) scientific calculation rested well-enough to know that the author happened to be female.

Monckton was pwned on his scientific thesis; he has independently calculated a variable measurement for climate sensitivity with which not one other working scientist in the world agrees, and even Monckton's mathematician mate said he'd got the number wrong.

Monckton's moral and economic points were also a false dichotomy - it is not an either/or choice between lifting the developing nations out of poverty and reducing carbon emissions. That chart correlating high per capita carbon-emissions with high life expectancy was spurious. One could make the same argument that we should lift taxes, because countries with high income tax rates are correlated with high life expectancies. It's nonsense on both counts.

Lambert's audio recordings were perfectly audible, you need to get your hearing tested.

As for 'Powerpoint 101', since you seem to be in the mood to nit-pick, Monckton's slides looked like they'd been composed by an 8 year old girl. Complete with brightly coloured 3-D effect typefaces, different fonts all over the place, and that ridiculous faux House-of-Lords logo that looks more like it's from an album cover for Ministry of Sound. And that bloody coronet/crown thing on the front slide. What kind of clip-art travesty is that? Lambert's slides were clear, clean, and if you had trouble reading the words perhaps you need to get your eyes tested too.

Finally, there were three occasions on which Lambert asked to be prompted for a reminder of what was the second part of double-barrelled questions he'd been asked. So what? Mate, they had 90 minutes of open questions from the floor, and there were dozens of questions thrown at both speakers from all directions. Do you know what it's like going on the spot like that and having questions thrown at you? Alan Jones as moderator was gracious enough to thank Tim for making himself available for the debate, you would do well to emulate Jones' courtesy. I'd like to see you get through that barrage without asking the moderator for a reminder, especially since you seem to have difficulty with both your hearing and your eyesight.

By Mercurius (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Inactivist headline:

Aussie Computer Scientist's Recorded Testimony Faked, Agrees Ian Plimer Credible Source

Anyone want to bet when that, or something like it, shows up? It is, after all, part of the chart.

Brilliant effort, Tim. Naturally, Monckton was proven wrong to those who can understand the nuances of your argument. Unfortunately, Monckton is a very impressive speaker and the audience was clearly IQ challenged (probably Jones' listeners), so you did not come off all that well.

Keep it up and please attend some public speaking classes.

By Trevor Wilson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Nice to see you cherry picked Pinker's response Tim.
5. While our work dealt only with the variability of solar radiation reaching the ground at a global scale, it is legitimate to interpret the results in a new direction, as was
attempted by Mr. Monckton.

Why no re-enactment with cheesy accent of this section?

Nice to see Tim's echo chamber reverberating with the usual suspects. As some are wont to say Stay safe and enjoy the interglacial!

Hey Iljad, got a calculator? CO2 is about 388 ppm, now, and was about 285 in pre-industrial times. Calculate (388-285)/388 and tell us what percentage that is.

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Gee Tim, It only took you 12 hours to come up with that one! And you the maths PHD. Pity the room is empty now...make sure you stack the chairs on your way out, mate!

Ilajd - our work? Do tell.
If you are really involved in the work, perhaps you could comment on the relevance of Moncktons take on it?

Guthrie old chap they are Pinker's words, not mine.

Tim, I think you did a really good job considering you havent been put on the spot with forums such as that before, whereas its the main forum in which Monckton operates.

It would be good if we could have some more debate here in Australia with a 2 on 2 or 3 on 3 panel with a moderator that is agreed by both sides that is non partisan. It was good that you spoke up & interjected at points of obvious error like the Anthony Watts surface stations debarcle. I like guys like Barry Brooks, but in my opinion, he tries to get TOO scientific & he is also too polite & not willing to interject at obvious points of error. Like other debates staged for Monckton, Allan Jones gave him more air time, let him have the last word & even backed him up in certain places "some of the stations didnt even exist" chimes in Jones.

David Karoly would be a good partner in another debate as he will interject if he hears nonsense & has lots of TV & radio exposure, so is used to those on the fly questions.

Karl Kruszelnicki is another one that is getting great exposure on radio & tv. While he is not as polished on the facts & history as Tim, Barry or David. Karl does have the ability to break things down into laymans terms by using logic & analogies to transcend that scientist/layman barrier.

We need more people like Tim out there on the radio, joining Barry, David & Karl in heading off the endless rounds of misinformation tours that people like Bob Carter & Ian Plimer seem partake in on Australian AM radio. The more exposure you get to these mediums, the more polished & responsive your performances will become. Maybe if we write to the various AM stations to get them to call you for an interview, might help.

Hearing some of the questions people asked in the Lambert debate makes you realise how little the average public knows & how badly they get it wrong & why people like Monckton, Carter & Plimer are able to capitalise on this by inserting into the debate things the public WILL understand. "Its all a communist plot, the government wants to take over everything, they want to raise taxes & need an excuse, governments want to redistribute the wealth, they want to bring down capitalism, deindustrialise the west" etc etc.

The average joe six pack might not be able to get his head around climate science, but he CAN understand "its a big new tax" & "a plot to deindustrialise the west". The lack of basic logic & simple googling was illustrated with the suggestion from the guy in the crowd that the oceans are full of Co2 & a lot of evaporation occurs on the oceans so isnt it plausible that the Co2 is getting sucked up with the water vapour? I bet scientists never realised what me joe six pack was able to conceptualize from my back porch.

You could hear the incredulity in Tims voice, haha. Congrats.

I have to admit, I was skeptical.
Not of the scientific basics of AGW, far from it, but skeptical about the wisdom of engaging in a debate with Monkton.
I think you did well and I think, on reflection, that we need more of the same. The deniers and concern trolls are dictating the terms of the public debate and there needs to be more authoritative and sober input from people like yourself to balance the rhetoric and blatently political advocacy.
Well done and thanks.

Ilajd, if you had a brain of your own and accessed the Pinker paper,you can see Monckton has deliberately misread it. This is not a matter of opinion,simply a fact establishable by comparing Monckton's claims with Pinker's paper. 'legitimate to interpret the results in a new direction' is only saying Monckton can try,not that he has succeeded.

#46 "Allan Jones gave him more air time" ... only because Tim was apparently reluctant to contribute. He didn't take the opportunities when they arose. I mean in the end Tim couldn't even be bothered rising up out of his chair to answer questions. This was in stark contrast to Monckton who was enthusiastic throughout. Tim's reply to a question regarding plate tectonics was a classic. Yes virtually zero effect on human timescales. Tim dismissed the question with an impolite wave of the hand but Monckton produced an answer that showed how it could produce regional climate effects. Tim left Monckton's left Monckton's assertions of links between El Nino and submarine volcanism which came from Plimer's Heaven and Earth unchallenged.

It's clear Tim's ego got ahead of him on this one.

Poor old ilajd, he does not have the scientific ability or moral upbringing to distinguish between Monckton's lies and scientific facts. Monckton's initial presentation was full of lies (I will not call them mistakes because they have been pointed out numerous times before).

I got a kick out of him saying that rogue waves can be explained by the Schrodinger wave equation. As far as I am aware SWE refers to quantum mechanical properties of energy not macroscopic waves found in the seas. However, it sounded very knowledgeable and imposing to a scientific illiterate audience. No wonder his ideas about warships for the Royal Navy were dismissed as wrong. Can you imagine warships floating along Schrodinger waves:-)

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

49. Gee Ian Forrester even wikipedia suggest use of Schrödinger equation to explain rogue waves. What was that you said about scientific ability?

Nonlinear effects â It seems possible to have a rogue wave occur by natural, nonlinear processes from a random background of smaller waves.[7] In such a case, it is hypothesised, an unusual, unstable wave type may form which 'sucks' energy from other waves, growing to a near-vertical monster itself, before becoming too unstable and collapsing shortly after. One simple model for this is a wave equation known as the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLS), in which a normal and perfectly accountable (by the standard linear model) wave begins to 'soak' energy from the waves immediately fore and aft, reducing them to minor ripples compared to other waves. The NLS can be used in deep water conditions. In shallow water, waves are described by the Kortewegâde Vries equation or the Boussinesq equation. These equations also have non-linear contributions and show solitary-wave solutions.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rogue_waves

Given Tim was so quiet in response to Monckton's nuanced answer i guess Tim was aware Monckton was correct. If not he must be lacking a certain moral up-bringing.

@34 I was there too, and, judging by his comments, Iljajd was in a different universe. The audio of the disCount was clear if a bit too loud and the Pinker slap-down was so effective that even a couple of the rabble might have been a bit uncomfortable with it. Monkton himself just grinned his pasted-on grin a little bit wider and his eyes popped out just a little bit more. He's a pro.

The most telling moment of the debate came in Monkton's summation. Even after his Pinker evidence was completely demolished he came back to use exactly the same "evidence" to finally "prove" that there is very little sensitivity. He clearly decided that he and his mystery mathematician understood Pinker's data on a deeper level than Pinker and the IPCC ever could and so there. He clearly demonstrated the difference between a skeptic and a denier. A skeptic looks at the evidence and is willing to change his position if the evidence leads her there. A denier is never persuaded by anything as mundane as evidence.

Iljajd was right that Tim didn't persuade the audience, but the audience was, on the whole, unpersuadable. They could not hear anything that didn't confirm the opinion they arrived with. For much of the audience Tim didn't really exist. For me and anyone who actually listened to what was being said, Tim Lambert is a hero.

By chaostica (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

What ilajd pretends we don't already know is that, just like the McIntyre and McKitrick performing circus, we know that The Fraud Squad are ... um ... "incentivised" to come up with ludicrous interpretations of the data.

That a minority like ilajd are fully prepared to contort themselves into impossible positions to accommodate the spin from their like, says enough.

51..Tim is a hero...has all the credibility of a T-shirt slogan. I guess Monckton's could read "I'm with Stupid". You know where the arrow is pointing, and it ain't at Alan Jones.

ilajd:

And you the maths PHD.

People like ilajd think mathematics means little more than mental arithmetic.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

ilajd, might I suggest reading Hardy's A Mathematician's Apology or perusing The Princeton Companion to Mathematics? At least consider looking at something in that department before sending your third grader's homework to Terry Tao for checking.

Ian, look up the "nonlinear Schrödinger equation".

ilajd, go and read about the Schrodinger Equation.

What you are referring to is the "non-linear Schrodinger Equation.

In science, but not obviously in whatever you are involved with, details and accuracy are very important.

You are just a pathetic AGW denier who is upset because scientists are showing Monckton to be an arrogant, ignorant and selfish person who is incapable of telling the truth (in fact he has been quoted as saying he knowingly tells lies) and insults scientists.

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

55 Ian, look up the "nonlinear Schrödinger equation".

Ian it comes just after "nonlinear Foot in mouth"

Ah, I see someone got there before me.

Anyway, Munchkin's use of "Schrödinger" was mere window dressing for his dissembling talk. It has nothing (most likely) to do with climate. I believe the rogue wave idea (in a "climate context" -- huh!) likely derives from a piece on DimWatts' blog a while ago where they tried to explain the 1998 El Niño temperature anomaly magnitude.

56 Ian careful, you might burst a vein.

Tim nice to see your knuckle dragging groupies in action. And this is what passes as comments on a science blog these days, deary me. I suspect that anyone showing up in response to your advertising yesterday will be more than a little disappointed with what they find.

Still the graphics are great, nice also to see those computer qualifications weren't entirely wasted.

Ilajd, since you seem to want to perform science via Wikipedia, here are two extracts from the Schrodinger equation entry.

"the Schrödinger equation is an equation that describes how the quantum state of a physical system changes in time. It is as central to quantum mechanics as Newton's laws are to classical mechanics."

on the NLS

"It must be noted that this is a classical field equation. Unlike its linear counterpart, it never describes the time evolution of a quantum state."

and from the actual NLS page:

"In theoretical physics, the nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLS) is a nonlinear version of Schrödinger's equation. It is a classical field equation with applications to optics and water waves."

They're not quite the same thing, really. Maybe Monckton said NLS? I heard it without the NL, but I'm not sure. Which did you mean?

By andersand (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

ilajd here is why you are wrong:

"The Schrödinger equation itself can be applied to classical fields in some contexts, such as for a coherent matter wave of a Bose condensate or a superfluid with a large indefinite number of (noninteracting or weakly interacting) particles and a definite phase and amplitude. This cannot be done with interacting systems, however, since this would violate the linearity postulate. Fields and wavefunctions are not the same thing".

(Tim, my apologizes for dragging this off topic but I can't stand people like ilajd who are suffering from ASS)

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

61 Ian, It was quite clear that Monckton knew what he was talking about, while "I've got a Math PhD" Tim just sat there like part of the furniture.

Interesting, the difference between Monckton's approach to climate science and to economics. On the former, he projects the idea of a nuanced debate - CO2 might be warming the atmosphere but not as much as some people say, let's wait and see, etc - but on the latter he was straight down the line forceful: attempting to curb emissions will wreck the developed world's economies and keep the others in poverty, all economists other than Stern say this. Not true, of course.

The obvious inference is that the economics is his real agenda (no surprise there), but also he might be made to lose his cool on that subject.

Meanwhile, great theatre; it'll be interesting to see how it's spun (if at all) over the next few days.

Monckton's credibility rested on his argument about climate sensitivity. This was the basis of his APS article.

As Monckton says (from the Lotharsson commentary) "Now the key scientific question - How much warming will we get for a given level of CO2".

On that issue Monckton was well and truly skewered by Tim.

Monckton's incoherent monster wave theory and ilajd's defence of it bears a remarkable resemblance to Jacques Derrida's use of quantum dynamics terminology in semiotic literary criticism, except Derrida was aware he was creating physically nonsensical metaphors.

By luminous beauty (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

@61
Ilajd said: "It was quite clear that Monckton knew what he was talking about..."

See what I mean about different universes? There is a significant difference between sciency babble and actual information. I'll grant that Monkton speaks his sciency nonsense authoritatively, but that does not mean he knows what he's talking about. There is a great deal of evidence that he does not.

By chaostica (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

ilajd... You can spin it all you like but the fact is the good ship Monckton was powered by his argument on climate sensitivity. Tim launched a torpedo that hit amidships. Monckton is still looking for survivors but it is clear that it sank with all hands lost.

Lord Monckton (LM) apparently believes that freak ocean waves can be understood by means of the Schrodinger wave equation. As mentioned earlier in this thread, the equation comes not from oceanography but from quantum mechanics (QM), and describes the energy state of electrons in a hydrogen atom. Apart from the fact that QM is probabilistic and canât identify outliers, LMâs application is many thousand million times larger than the QM scale. Think, digging the Channel Tunnel with a toothpick.

There is a tendency in many sceptics to apply the wrong scale to climate issues. To define what may be a pathological condition, I will call it a Dimensional Understanding Mistake, and suggest it deserves to be quantified. For example, someone thinking that a 5- or 10-year trend can define the presence or absence of AGW is suffering from deca-DUM. LMâs error would constitute giga-DUM.

Although innocent bystanders get infected, they may be more easily treated than the sources of DUM-ness who are incurable. Any ideas?

By Concerned reader (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Look like we can add memory problems and mathematical reasoning problems to Ilajd's aforementioned hearing and vision problems.

No wonder the message isn't sinking in.

By Mercurius (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Here's a huge surprise, the error message on the GoogleDocs page for the first part of Tim's debate (linked by Tim above) reads:

Sorry, we are unable to scan this file for viruses.
We are experiencing technical difficulties.

and clicking on Google's "Download anyway" link isn't working as I type this.

So no access to the your audio file Tim.
Prime suspect? - conspiracy by Monckton and Jones delusionists of course. Somebody call in the climate change world government police state paratroopers to open the gates to FREEDOM for Tim's excellent information!

I have seen the debate.

Tim, give up public speaking. Compared to the Lord,you are a child in nappies.

If LM had his McLuhan moment than Tim has had his Woody Allen one. The Pinker direct testimony was a smart tactical move; I was sitting with John Smeed and Stewart Franks and we all thought this was a good start; but it was just a stunt; Pinker's own comments indicate that:

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

In fact this is what LM spoke about; the forcing of less cloud in the 1983-current period; this is a period, as Tim noted, which has featured the lowest sunspot activity in over 100 years; but this is irrelevant because less cloud means more insolation and SW forcing. If radiative forcing from extra SW is as high as Pinker found than 2XCO2 CS must be lower than the IPCC figure given the ^Temperature during that period. Pinker has some further insight in response to Tim's slide 12:

"The statement: âis not forcing at allâ because âit only accounts shortwave
radiationâ is not the key problem here. As said before, we can talk about shortwave cloud
forcing and LW cloud forcing, as long as it is clear what we mean. The problem is that it
is not the accepted definition of SW cloud forcing and should have been labeled as
âimpact of clouds on the surface downwelling SWâ.The net values of both SW and LW
is:
Fnet (cloud) = FSW (cloud) + FLW (cloud)"

This was LM's error in saying the extra SW reaching the surface was cloud SW forcing; cloud SW forcing is a negative forcing as Ramanathan found:

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/243/4887/57

And cloud SW forcing is much larger than cloud LW forcing. So, while LM has muddled these terms as Pinker says, LM is still right about the CS issue because the 0.16Wm2 PA is sufficient to explain ^T.

2 other points; Tim fell down in explaining the temperature manipulation issue; the public understand the ramifications of CRU and GISS data 'adjustment'; motherhood statements about scientists just doing their job don't wash and the point from the floor that the adjustments are always up cannot be dismissed by an assertion that as many adjustments are down as up.

Secondly the LM trend slide which presented an alternative to the IPCC chart showing an increasing trend over shorter periods coming to the most recent times; LM's alternative slide showing the 3 PDO temp increases is valid and Tim's dismissal on the grounds that you cannot validly assess trends over shorter periods actually lost him a lot of the ground that the initial Pinker revelation established, because the short period trend invalidity applied to the IPCC trend acceleration graph as LM pointed out.

Still, the debate was pretty good and Tim did better than I expected him to.

It wasn't until well into it that I realized that answering the questions concisely was not the best tactic and you could get away with a wave at answering the question and then a speech on whatever you could connect with it.

You would benefit from a day or three of media/PR training. This is a point they hammer in to you early on and make you practice, practice, practice. And you barely even need a connection to what you want to talk about - if done smoothly, most people won't even notice you failed to answer the question. (I note this is bad for public debate and public understanding of contentious issues.)

If you see an unedited interview with any politician or corporate representative you will see their PR training at work. No well-run enterprise will let someone without PR training talk to anyone in the media under any circumstances.

That goes for my employer and me. I've had one day of training - but that's not enough training and not enough practice to be competent. That, and I have the kind of scientific worldview that makes it hard for me to spout confident simplifications, which is what you need to do to be convincing. This is why most scientists do poorly in debates - to be a good scientific communicator to other scientists you need to communicate the level of uncertainty in whatever you're claiming; the public sees that and think you don't believe what you're saying.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Tim,

I have seen the debate on A-PAc.

You may have a PhD , but you wre beaten hands down by a skilled debater with a better knowledge of the complete field

Cohenite,was that a rogue wave or a rogue handwaving?

Dear Tim Lambert of Maroubra (I really loved that one - bet he did not notice).
Tim, I really liked what you said. I am familiar with a lot of it, but some of your details were great. However, to the context of the talk for a moment.
I suspect it was ordained that you ended up where you did, as I saw it, and you make appropriate comment early in your personal piece.
My observations are as follows. Irrespective of your personal and professional qualifications, the audience, mainly, was not there to hear you. They were there to hear what they wanted to hear, not what you wished to say.
It is my experience when speaking to the 'public' that the whole concept of sustainability and climate change (CC), it too large, AND too threatening. Sustainability is about challenging the status quo. It is about challenging our lifestyles and institutions and the paradigms that control and govern them. People to not wish to told that they are responsible for the situation in which we find ourselves. I could go on but won't here.
I was watching Jones' visual and body language. He was just not interested in what you had to say. Finally towards the end I believe he actually tried stop you or deny place to speak - in fact to side-line. This occurred on more than one occasion as the session continued.
At the earlier talk I went to, Jones' closing comment was: 'LM thank you for giving us those incontrovertible facts.'
He is just a Monkeyton lapdog.
Anyway well done. If only your opponent was honest with himself and the data he was using.

By Patrick Longfield (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

I managed to catch about half of the debate, on and off (thanks to a screaming baby!). But it was great fun to watch and here are a few observations:

[a] Tim, you had gonads of steel to walk into the lions' den with two such accomplished media performers as VM and AJ. All power to you!

[b] I very much doubt the debate did a lot to change perceptions. I know you perceive your Pinker audio to have been the slam dunk. And, of course, to many it will have been. But they already believed your case. To the uninitiated it will have been negated, for instance, by VM's "mile of ice on the equator while 30% of the atmosphere was CO2". It would only have been a real slam dunk if VM had admitted he was completely wrong, or at least had looked visibly ruffled. But he's a very accomplished performer.

[c] It was great that you managed to maintain your good manners, and resisted getting annoyed. The more that you do this, the more you'll learn rhetorical skills that allow you to put in the knife in a 'nice' way. You didn't use the word 'denier' and that's great. It should never be used by anyone trying to persuade, because it gets a lot of people's backs up.

[d] What many people don't yet understand is that the paradigm has shifted completely in the last few months. It is going to be essential to go back to global warming/climate change 101 and rebuild the case and the public's trust in the issue. It will be extremely tedious and it will feel like groundhog day - but that is exactly what will be needed if the political aspects of climate change policy are to move forward in most western democracies.

[e] So, get ready for lots more media events! An English teacher at my school resigned in order to become a sports correspondent on radio. His first transmission was one of the most embarrassing things I've ever heard. Forty years later, he is now one of the most eloquent and highly regarded commentators in his field. You have a massive head start on him, Tim!

All the best - from someone with gonads considerably smaller than yours!

By Atticus Finch (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Lenny wote:

Now I'd like to see Monckton hounded with questions wherever he goes about whether he's talked to Pinker yet about her paper as he claimed he would.

Based on my experience with creationists and anti-vaxers, don't get your hopes up. The mainstream news media will ignore it. The deniers will over-rides it.

Ron:

You may have a PhD , but you wre beaten hands down by a skilled debater with a better knowledge of the complete field

Let's thank Ron for his point-by-point, detailed analysis.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

"It was quite clear that Monckton knew what he was talking about..."

That illustrates my point about confident simplifications (or even misdirections and actual lies) being read by (scientifically) unsophisticated observers as "knowing what they are talking about".

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

>*Ian, It was quite clear that Monckton knew what he was talking about,*

Like Pinker's "forcing" and the fact she measured surface SW which is just half the of the equation required for cloud net forcing?

Opps no thats the bit he that he got wrong. Pitty it was his central argument.

...because the short period trend invalidity applied to the IPCC trend acceleration graph as LM pointed out.

I'm not convinced Monckton wasn't waving red herrings on that point.

I don't particularly care if the temperature increase is accelerating or not; I care whether the total increase can be constrained to a level that won't have significant negative impact.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Assuming there's a reasonably good video available, I reckon it would be useful to go through it bit by bit, do a proper transcript and then analyse the arguments Monckton put forth as a series of blog posts. He threw quite a lot out there, and I suspect much of it doesn't stand up to a bit of reflection.

If you really want to give him enough rope, give him right of reply ;-) I believe he tends to get a bit ... shrill when pressed to defend the indefensible away from a real-time performance situation.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

cohnite writes:

>*but this is irrelevant because less cloud means more insolation and SW forcing. If radiative forcing from extra SW is as high as Pinker found than 2XCO2 CS must be lower than the IPCC figure given the ^Temperature during that period*

Cohnite you're leaving out half the equation of ÎFn = ÎFs + ÎFL, which was the point Pinker wanted to set Monckton straight on.

Cohenite says the Pinker quote was "just a stunt" because Pinker also says:

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

Er, no, this comment does not prove that Pinker's comments were "just a stunt" as you claim. Go read the PDF again. "...it can pass" means that the terminology that Monckton used "can pass" because it's one definition in use, even though it's not the primary definition and may be confusing.

Her final couple of paragraphs indicate rather clearly that Monckton is comparing one quantity to another unrelated quantity in his calculations, which is ... well, just plain wrong. Apples and oranges!

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Shorter Monckton business manual:

1) Buy more advertising, don't record cost
2) Measure extra revenue generated = X$
3) Declare X$ additional profit!
4) Go to step 1

;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

BTW, is this the second, third, or more'th attempt Monckton has made at finding a very low climate sensitivity?

Using Pinker he's claiming 8x smaller than the IPCC (although given the width of the IPCC uncertainty band I'm not sure how to interpret that ratio).

Before that he was saying 6x smaller using equations that Tim and others found did not stack up.

I even think I have a vague memory of an earlier attempt made by badly mauling the concept of black body radiation (badly enough that I could see the core error, and my physics was decades ago now...). I have a suspicion that was 4x - but I could be conflating that vague memory with one of his other calculations.

It's almost like Get Smart - "Would you believe...4x? No? Would you believe...6x? No? Would you believe ... 8x?".

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

I was busy typing at the time - was Monckton taking long term equilibrium into account when calculating lambda? Or was he doing it using two non-equilibrium data points?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

I am most impressed by Ilajd's revelation (@48) that the strength of an argument depends on whether you are sitting or standing, and in what manner you wave your hands.

I am always looking for ways to make my arguments more robust and factual without changing their content.

Secondly the LM trend slide which presented an alternative to the IPCC chart showing an increasing trend over shorter periods coming to the most recent times; LM's alternative slide showing the 3 PDO temp increases is valid and Tim's dismissal on the grounds that you cannot validly assess trends over shorter periods actually lost him a lot of the ground that the initial Pinker revelation established, because the short period trend invalidity applied to the IPCC trend acceleration graph as LM pointed out.<.blockquote>We didn't see the slides from the internet feeds but I'm prepared to bet that there is significant difference between the number 3 and however many years Tim was showing in his graph.

However, my response to Monckton presenting the PDO would have been, 'so what?'. Climate response to PDO doesn't invalidate other climatic influences.

My collection of double-posts here is becoming embarrassing...

Secondly the LM trend slide which presented an alternative to the IPCC chart showing an increasing trend over shorter periods coming to the most recent times; LM's alternative slide showing the 3 PDO temp increases is valid and Tim's dismissal on the grounds that you cannot validly assess trends over shorter periods actually lost him a lot of the ground that the initial Pinker revelation established, because the short period trend invalidity applied to the IPCC trend acceleration graph as LM pointed out.

We didn't see the slides from the internet feeds but I'm prepared to bet that there is significant difference between the number 3 and however many years Tim was showing in his graph.

However, my response to Monckton presenting the PDO would have been, 'so what?'. Climate response to PDO doesn't invalidate other climatic influences.

If as Monckton claims, changes to surface SW is the key driver of current global warming, then a change in surface SW should send quite a signal in the global temperature.

Pinker finds a trend switch in 1990. Pinker finds a downward trend in surface SW from 1983 to 1990; then a switch to upward trend from 1990 to 2001. How did the switch in trend express itself in the global [temperature anomaly](http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/gissdata.jpg)?

With current noise to signal ratios we can confidently calculate the current rates of warming with about 15 years of data. Given the switch in SW trend occured 20 years ago what singal did we see in the [rates of warming](http://tamino.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/gissrat2.jpg)?

This comment on the earlier thread seemed worthy of wider distribution - never let it be said that Deltoid doesn't attract quality ... er, something ;-)

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

With regard to Snowball earth, recall that the sun brightens about one percent every hundred million years, so given a snowball earth 600 million years ago, the sun would have been six percent cooler. I've done simulations of snowball earth (e.g. Hyde et al, Nature 405 (6785): 425â9. ) and nothing remotely resembling a snowball can be simulated without this lower solar output. Even then, you need active ice sheets to arrive at a such a climate - without their effect no snowball occurs until CO2 is lowered to to about 40 ppm.

And in particular, there is a hysteresis in snowball climate (e.g figure three of this paper: http://www.atmosp.physics.utoronto.ca/~peltier/pubs_highestimpact/T.J.%… - that is the first hit when googling for Hyde hysteresis snowball) For the same CO2 level more than one equilibrium climate may be possible, a snowball, a slushball (a snowball with an area of open ocean) or a mere ice age. It is entirely possible to have a snowball earth at high CO2, provided that snowball began in an era of low CO2. Even with the sun six percent colder than today's, a snowball earth will not arise in an era of high CO2. Though, to repeat, once a snowball earth exists, it's high albedo allows it to survive high CO2.

By William Hyde (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

You looked good, Tim. I admire your courage.

The duck's quack does echo...

Good job. I'm pretty new to the climate debate and still feeling my way around, haven't payed much attention till recently. Nice to know good quality thinking exists.

I think Tim's take on population is very wrong.

On snowball Earth, two things:

First, there's not conclusive evidence on how extensively how much of the Earth was iced over during how long of the Cryogenian era. So Snowball Earth is still a hypothesis that's about 60-40 in terms of acceptance, even some Snowball Earthers think there was open water most of the time.

Second, we do suspect strongly for evidential reasons that CO2 depletion by bacteria led directly to the Snowball, assuming always there was one, or the major icing up of a great deal of the Earth if not. Almost all the CO2 was gobbled up and replaced with oxygen and we lost our blanket. So that's CO2 all the way, the most major temperature change and albedo change and glaciation in Earth's history, and done by living creatures. And Monckton wants to trumpet it as proof that climate sensitivity is low! Or that climate change comes from physical processes.

It's a pity Tim didn't have that on his radar, Monckton must have meant it as a surprise, but it's a batshit insane thing to bring up. It's probably the single greatest CO2 greenhouse (in this case lack of) effect in the entire geological record.

By Marion Delgado (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Tim, I appreciate you are one of the few to have the courage to deabate Monckton, as much as I hate to say it, he absolutely destroyed you in the debate.

By Ricardo Villa (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Ricardo Villa:

he absolutely destroyed you in the debate.

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

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

BTW. Luminous Beauty at 66....beautiful comment.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

http://thingsbreak.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/observational-and-model-…

Clement state:

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

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

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

Sorry Time, I was rather disappointed in your performance

By Dave Johnson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Shawn Wilkinson (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

You are a JackAss. Not to mention a Liar.

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

By You ARE Kiddin… (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

Hi Tim Lambert

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

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

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

http://climateaudit.org

By truthseekr (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

Ramanthan provides a snapshot period in 1985 not the constant relationship between LW and SW for all conditions. I.e. ÎFN â  ÎFS.

Cohnite writes:

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

What would an [empiricist say](N = ÎFS + ÎFL

And ÎSW is [associated with](http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/teleconnections/enso/indicators/olr.php?num_mo…) ÎLW

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

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

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

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

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

118 above is a prime example.

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

The so called 'facts' were from media sources.

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

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

truthseekr:

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

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

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

By jack horner (not verified) on 12 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References, please. Name a couple of those websites.

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

By jakc horner (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

@ 119:

What is this "Climate Audit" site of which you speak?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monckton only claimed 7 times.

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

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

http://agwobserver.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/comments-on-lindzen-choi-20…

In the section "Forcing the feedback" the comment says:

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

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

truthseekr:

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

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

By Tim Lambert (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By Peter A. Lord (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

...if you reckon it is just matter of semantics...

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

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

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

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

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

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

...the issue is how is a feedback different from a "direct response"?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Since Monckton didn't seem to determine the net either, his "7 times" is just as irrelevant.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

119 truthseeker,

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

Just how bad can you scumbags get?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Seems to be lacking in the "return" key too.

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

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[David S](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#co…)

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

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

>"The IPCC no longer uses Mann's chart in its assessment reports"

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

>"The can't, because it has been so thoroughly debunked. "

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

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

You're so far behind.

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

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

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

More ÎSW is associated with ÎLW:

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

This is also the reason why Monckton is wrong use ÎSW as ÎFN.

I.e. ÎFN â  ÎFS.

Which is why Pinker corrected Monckton.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By finbar fortesque (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Better trolls please.

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

153 finbar fortesque,

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

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

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

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

Ah yes ... see The WP.

Fnet is therefore a -ve forcing to temperature increases...

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

Can you clarify?

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

cohnite writes:

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

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

Ramanathan 89 is measuring the Fnet = Fs + FL ; and not measuring the ÎFnet = ÎFs + ÎFL.

Ramanathan 89 found:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

167 Lotharsson,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tim,

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

...however if the reduction in clouds was not due to either GHGs or ÎSW... ÎSW/ÎFs ...

Wasn't the ÎSW (at least at the surface) believed to be DUE to the reduction in clouds? Is "ÎSW/ÎFs" a division of two different quantities or shorthand for two equivalent terms for the same quantity?

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 13 Feb 2010 #permalink

cohnite writes:

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

Lotharsson responds:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Paul Wilson (not verified) on 14 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By Ambitwistor (not verified) on 14 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 14 Feb 2010 #permalink

Stu said:

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

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

By Ian Forrester (not verified) on 14 Feb 2010 #permalink

[Ian Forrester](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/moncktons_mcluhan_moment.php#co…).

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

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

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

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

Sweet!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 15 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

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

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

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

Perhaps a better acronym is AGAS Culture Warriors?

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

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 15 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

It ain't.

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

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

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

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

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

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

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 15 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

By TerjeP (say tay-a) (not verified) on 17 Feb 2010 #permalink

TerjeP:

declare that the debate is over

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

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 17 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

By John Coochey (not verified) on 19 Feb 2010 #permalink

John Coochey meet [Chris Edwards](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/leakegate_on_stovepiping_and_p…).

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

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

As requested

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

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

By John Coochey (not verified) on 19 Feb 2010 #permalink

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

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

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

By Lotharsson (not verified) on 19 Feb 2010 #permalink

John Coochey:

Chinas growth each eight months equal Australian total emmissions

Australia's emissions are about 6% of China's so from the above, eight months growth of China's emissions is about 6% or an annual growth of 9%. According to this, China's carbon emissions might double from 2008 to 2030, which means an annual growth rate of about 3.2%.

3.2% per annum growth is a lot less than 9% per annum growth so as long as the news article is correct, the main issue at this point is why is John Coochey trying to mislead us all?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 19 Feb 2010 #permalink

Shorter John Coochey:

*If I don't mis-attributed other peoples quotes to Tim, then no one will listen.*

***

So if Tim is pleased that the weight of the Pinker moment was not lost on elements of the audience, that means you can pretend that other people's quotes were Tim's own?

I see [a pattern here](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/shorter_andrew_bolt.php#comment…) in the denialist approach to fidelity.

And that pattern includes [failing to correct mistakes](http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2010/02/akermangate_piers_akerman_caug…).

And John, what is your plan to address the terrible burden borne by the poorest billion under our current inequitable business as usual, where the richest are so wasteful with limited resources?

Tim, you're a brave man!

I thought the debate was great and you both argued well.

I have a few comments that might help in future debates.

Firstly although the 'Pinker tape' was fun and dramatic it looked like you were trying to embarrass Monckton. That may be the Aussie style but it didn't sound kind when he had been more gracious to you from the start.

Also on investigation Pinker says in conclusion:

"if we give Christopher Monckton the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant âthe impact of clouds on the surface shortwave radiationâ than it can pass.â

So now you look like you were using a " trick to hide the increase" - again it makes you look less than honest.

Also you declared that your argument was the only argument worth debating which might be a useful way of ignoring your opponents points but makes you look less able to debate.

My last point would be to show how the science affects people. Monckton scored well here. Quite a few of your points were about calculations that none of us could do as we were listening so it became your word against his. If you can show that what you are arguing about has an impact on the audience then your points will be easier to understand.

But well done for joining in the debate. I hope there are more of them.

Si:

"if we give Christopher Monckton the benefit of doubt and assume that he meant âthe impact of clouds on the surface shortwave radiationâ than it can pass.â

This quotation out of context comes from science denial websites.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 22 Feb 2010 #permalink

Si, its only Monckton's terminology that Pinker gives a conceded pass to. She fails his conflation of different forcing. Monckton is wrong because he substitutes SW radiation changes for net forcing.

>*The CO2 âradiative forcingâ value that Mr. Christopher Monckton is quoting [from the IPCC] refers to the impact on the Earthâs Radiative balance as described above [Net forcing]. The numbers
that we quote in our paper represent the change in surface SW due to changes in the atmosphere (clouds, water vapor, aerosols) [SW forcing only]. These two numbers cannot be compared at their face value. To the best of my understanding this is the source of the misunderstanding.*

>*In summary, the âfree styleâ of terminology usage created confusion but is not the major problem here. The fundamental issue is related to the concept of âradiative forcingâ as
used in climate research and as related to CO2 and its comparison to a quantity that is something else. The CO2 âradiative forcingâ value that Mr. Christopher Monckton is
quoting refers to the impact on the Earthâs Radiative balance as described in:
Page 101...* [Net forcing due to change in balance]

>*The numbers that we quote represent the change in the surface SW due to atmospheric effects (that include clouds).* [SW forcing only]

Thanks Chris and Jakerman, I will check out the quote. I don't believe in your religious terminology i.e. 'Denial websites' - sure there are good sites and bad sites but lets keep to trying to tell the truth rather than get too insulting.

Jakerman - quoting from the IPCC? There are enough holes, deceptions and biases in the report that it is difficult to trust anything it says. To be honest I find Lord Monckton more plausible.

Actually I only just managed to listen to the questions from the audience and the summing up.

A couple of observations. Lord Monckton knows his stuff doesn't he.There didn't seem to be a question he couldn't sum up and and answer eloquently and succinctly. He was very impressive and it sounded like he got the mood of the house as well - his closing remarks were brilliant.

Tim had a few lapses in concentration which didn't help but at least he kept to his guns and, as I said before, gave a really good shot at a debate.

The best moment was when Tim said "don't trust the stuff you read in newspapers"

Amen to that.

>*I don't believe in your religious terminology i.e. 'Denial websites*

Its not a religious definition is a procedural one.

>Jakerman - quoting from the IPCC? There are enough holes, deceptions and biases in the report that it is difficult to trust anything it says. To be honest I find Lord Monckton more plausible.

Really, says a lot about the process that impress you. The IPCC are self correcting, denialist are not.

Si, imagine if the IPCC pulled anything like Monckton or other denialist pull?

Or compare the ratio of errors in several thousand pages of IPCC reports with the ratio from Monckton:

Jakerman - most amusing. Your reference complains Monckton isnt really a Viscount. Oops! Maybe Tim can correct that.

I am not going to agree with you on terminology. I find the whole warmist/denialist mud slinging to be unhelpful - fun possibly, but I prefer the key science arguments. And my thanks to Tim for doing just that in his debate - it was good stuff.

I dont know enough about how inaccurate Monckton is or isn't but he came across well in the debate which is the subject here. His heart seemed to be in the right place, something, again that came across in the debate.

I am sure Tim's is too and you could glean that from some of the things he said. My point is that by relating science to humanity it becomes more readily understandable - something that is key to this debate.

An email from Rachel Pinker (not to me but to someone called amortiser)

âThank you for your communication. Indeed, the topic of the debate between Lord Christopher Monkton and Dr. Tim Lambert is of a very serious nature. Yet, I cannot escape the âlightâ side of the event.
Lord Monckton did not try to verify my gender and Dr. Lambert did not try to verify my accent. As a matter of fact, I have a âKissingerâ
accent!
Now, about the serious side of the topic. Here is the sequence of
events:
Dr. Lambert informed me about his upcoming debate with Lord Monckton and the nature of Lord Moncktonâs interpretation of my paper. He also provided his own interpretation. In my response to Dr. Lambert I tried to explain briefly the correct interpretations. Subsequently, Dr. Lambert asked me to prepare a video clip of my statements, which I declined to do. The following day after the debate (I missed the direct broadcast) I saw the comments from the viewers of the debate on Dr. Lambertâs blog and was surprised to realize that some of the viewers may have believed that it was me speaking. The following day (February 14) Dr. Lambert explained in his blog the âMcLuhanâ Moment ( I guess, American accent was the right one for the âmomentâ!).
With best regards,
Rachel Pinkerâ

Si writes,

>*Your reference complains Monckton isnt really a Viscount.*

Please cite where.

Also I note the contrast in you comments:

>*"I prefer the key science arguments..." vs ..." I dont know enough about how inaccurate Monckton is or isn't but he came across well in the debate*"

Si:

I don't believe in your religious terminology i.e. 'Denial websites'

By "science denialist" I am referring to the fact that these people are denying what the vast majority of scientists in the discipline are saying. They are breathtaking in their arrogance. If they were honest they would be happy to admit they are denying the science.

quoting from the IPCC? .. To be honest I find Lord Monckton more plausible.

If you want to find out more about Monckton, check this very blog where he first came to our attention when he tried to suggest that the Chinese Navy sailed over an ice-free north pole in 1421. Does that sound plausible to you?

A couple of observations. Lord Monckton knows his stuff doesn't he.There didn't seem to be a question he couldn't sum up and and answer eloquently and succinctly.

If you don't know the subject, he's very good at sounding like he knows what he's talking about. As I said, start here and find out some of his history.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

>*I saw the comments from the viewers of the debate on Dr. Lambertâs blog and was surprised to realize that some of the viewers may have believed that it was me speaking.*

Possibly the commenters who failed to comprehend (or read) Tim's introduction:
>*Then I played a recording of a female colleague with an American accent reading out Pinker's message to me on how Monckton had misunderstood her work.*

By Anonymous (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

JK - you gave me the ref to scienceblogs and the logo and a quick google on Lord Monckton (3rd Viscount of Brenchley ) gives you some idea of his status in the UK - and yes he does ask questions in the House of Lords (for what that is worth!)

And, yes, I prefer the science arguments to mud slinging. To keep this post on topic, that is what I liked about the Lambert Monckton debate - both argued well and were interesting to listen to, and they kept to rational argument rather than point scoring.

Good stuff.

BTW Si,

In case you get the wrong impression via my neglecting to mention it, the evidence gained through scrutiny of several years has demonstrated how very reliable the IPCC reports have been. Especially the key WG1 report.

Si, your link didn't work, can you describe where you believe the "*reference complains Monckton isnt really a Viscount.*"

Yes if someone paid me $100,000 my heart "would be in the right place" as well. As for Monckton "knowing his stuff" - were we watching a different debate? The Monckton I witnessed droned on more the less he knew about a topic. I actually had to dip in and out because his empty verbosity was eating away my bandwidth.

One of the links did not 'take'

Here it is again

Also JK

Is not this the one you sent me to?

http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/2009/05/monckton_caught_making_things.php

And the comment it

"He's replaced the royal crown with a viscount's coronet, produced a logo that would only be appropriate if he was a Viscount with a seat in the House of Lords."

Sorry did I read that wrong?

Si.

Permit me to phrase this as politely as I am able - you are a concern troll.

The very fact that you give credit for the seeming competence of Monckton's replies is a big warning sign to anyone with a basic competence in the underlying physics, and the fact that you happily make such pronouncements whilst simultaneously admitting that you "dont know enough about how inaccurate Monckton is or isn't" indicates the serious lack of objectivity and/or of education in matters pertaining to human-induced global warming.

However you might protest your wish that all people discussing the science should hold their pinkies out whilst supping their tea, it does not alter the fact of Monckton's flagrant misrepresentation, and indeed bastardisation, of the science. In the face of such distortion and lying, one can hardly weep tears when professional frustrations overspill at the vested interests' support of, the tabloid media's promulgation of, and the credulous ideologically-susceptible public's ignorant acceptance of rubbish science.

You may think that you are presenting a clever and reasoned approach, but those of us with half a clue see you for the smugly patronising ideologue that you are, a tissue's depth beneath the surface.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Si,

>*"He's replaced the royal crown with a viscount's coronet, produced a logo that would only be appropriate if he was a Viscount with a seat in the House of Lords."*

Si: *Sorry did I read that wrong?*

Yes I believe you have misconstrued this. (But had some amusement while you thought it lasted?)

;)

Concern troll...I like that term! Roger Pielke...now he's definitely trolling.

Bernard, nice try.

Again I don't think the insults work - I am not sure if I am smug or not but clearly I have touched a rather raw nerve on this site.

Here in the UK we have a semi-independent inquiry into some emails which allegedly show criminal intent to deceive.

Chinese Navy, Chris? Gosh I dont know. Am I supposed to be defending Monckton or commenting on the debate?

I have seen some great satellite 'video's' of the sea ice expanding and retreating over time tho and I am guessing that has happened in the past.

Inquiry

Sorry I missed off the point of mentioning it.

So there is a debate going on here. That means there are two sides.

Which ..er means...some people have different ideas and opinions.

And some of those ideas and opinions are based on diligent research, and others are based on Christopher Monckton's personality and speaking style.

JK - same ref

"He again implies he has a seat in Parliament. Which he doesn't."

Actually he does. (still amused here btw)

Actually he does.

Well...case closed then.

Those watching the video only, without the accompanying slides would have been unaware, but Tim's slides (which I presume were the same as shown at the "debate") made it clear that it was not Pinker talking.

And no he, Monckton, doesn't have a seat in Parliament, neither in the Commons nor the Lords. Perhaps he's got a reserved berth in the public gallery.

You are right! Nice. Poor chap.

Trooooooooooll.

Si.

Give it up.

You're not even a moderately clever troll, nor anywhere remotely near being an up-to-date one, and you certainly have no grasp of even the most basic of facts.

You're simply pushing your own barrow-load of poop, in an attempt to 'get' up the noses of those with whom your ideology clashes.

And speaking of 'getting' up people's noses, Tim Lambert has certainly 'gotten' up Jo Nova's. She's having a hissy fit about the Pinker tape, but I won't dignify her post with a link - it's merely more of the same conservative tripe that the unthinking armchair experts love to gorge upon.

Trolls and intellectual dwarves... it's like being dropped into a Middle Earth, but without the magic - unless it's the magical thinking of the Denialati.

Perhaps this is Lower Earth?

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

BJ. again, why the vitriol? My guess is that that is all you have.

I enjoyed the debate and hope there are more. It will certainly help those of us with low IQs to gain a bit more knowledge about the subject.

In the meantime I am happy to troll about. Let me troll over to Jo Nova's and see what she has to say.

Si:

Chinese Navy, Chris? Gosh I dont know. Am I supposed to be defending Monckton or commenting on the debate?

I might be wrong but it looked like you were defending Monckton when you said "I find Lord Monckton more plausible".

I have seen some great satellite 'video's' of the sea ice expanding and retreating over time tho and I am guessing that has happened in the past.

For your information the claim is absolute rubbish. It came from Menzie's deceptive claim about the Chinese navy sailing around most of the world in 1421. So you have found someone who propagates absolute rubbish to be more plausible than the IPCC. Perhaps you should be more careful in future. You could start by reading more about Monckton's claims here.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Q. E. D.

By Bernard J. (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Chris, defending Monckton? No way.

But Monckton did come across well in the debate. In contrast Tim stumbled, had to be reminded of the subject, and had to have questions explained to him - I dont think that spoilt his basic arguments which I thought were well put.

Si:

Let me troll over to Jo Nova's and see what she has to say.

As if he hadn't been there already. A likely story. Nova's hissy fit is just dredging up cohenite's comment from earlier in this thread.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

I am perpetually amused that people with no scientific training often think scientific issues have more politics and culture involved in them than they actually do. I don't for a moment give a shit about how many gestures or jokes a debater used; if they have no substance, they're just a smarmy idiot.

By Katharine (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

From Monckton to Jo Nova, H/T to Bernard.

"The only point that Lambert scored was that I had gotten Pinkerâs 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 UNâs 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."

yrs Troll

Si:

Chris, defending Monckton? No way.

Then what, pray tell, does "I find Lord Monckton more plausible" mean?

BTW, how's your reading on Monckton's history going? Have you got to the part yet where it says:

I (Tim Lambert) exchanged a few emails with Monckton. He conceded that:

the 1421 claim was rubbish

that the graph in his article was bogus (he said the the Telegraph insisted on its inclusion and that they were the ones who sexed it up)

that Hansen did not predict temperature rise of 0.3 degrees and a sea level rise of a few feet by 2000

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Chris, nice, but no response to what I said? Did you think Tim came over as well?

Myself:

As if he hadn't been there already.

Oh well, there was another blog he could have likely come from. Either way, he's a friendly regurgitating troll.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Monckton seems to be a colourful character. The SPPI blog looks good.

Actually he reminds me a bit of Al Gore - another brilliant speaker.

.

Si:

Did you think Tim came over as well?

I'm sorry, but I just can't get past the part where you said:

I find Lord Monckton more plausible.

The credulousness is just staggering which you would soon realize if you started reading about Monckton's history. Monckton's history shows that he has no plausibility.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Chris, listen to the debate and discussion again, especially the question and answers.

If you still think Tim came over better then fair enough.

I dont have all the back story on Monckton that you have so maybe for you anything he says is implausible before he even says it. Ouch. A bit like us brits and the IPCC then.

A bit like us brits and the IPCC then.

Speak for yourself!

Si:

If you still think Tim came over better then fair enough.

If I thought it was worth saying anything, I would have said it long ago. You are placing far too much importance on how they came over in a debate. If you want to find out something that really matters and avoid appearing credulous in the future, then stop wasting your time writing and start reading something about Monckton's history of appalling false claims which he himself acknowledged were false in some cases.

I dont have all the back story on Monckton that you have.

Well it's pretty easy to remedy that isn't it?

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Chris, I take that as a 'yes' then. To be fair Tim is not as experienced at debating and he did better than people expected, I read here.

I will certainly look at Monckton's history (if I must) but so far he looks like a very entertaining guy - but like Tim he is not a climatologist.

Si:

I will certainly look at Monckton's history (if I must)

No=one's saying you're not allowed to look credulous when you talk about Monckton. That's entirely up to you.

By Chris O'Neill (not verified) on 23 Feb 2010 #permalink

Actually, following on from Tim's comments to Monckton, clouds don't only just block (reflect) incoming SW radiation and 'block' (reflect) upwards LW radiation.

Most importantly they also lead, roughly pro rata, to rain or ice. This releases latent heat (LH) which has been lifted off the surface (BOA) by evaporation (E) or evapotranspiration (ET).

It is very, very interesting to note that for the:

* SW radiation absorbed in the atmosphere (call it F); and

* Latent Heat released in the atmosphere by clouds (call it LH); and

* Sensible Heat released in the atmosphere largely between clouds (call it SH); and

* LW IR emitted from the surface which is absorbed in the atmosphere (call it AA just like the Miskolczi twit),

* almost exactly 62.6% (of EACH) radiates back to BOA to be absorbed by the surface and almost exactly 37.4% (of EACH) radiates through TOA.

Thus OLR = 0.374*(F+LH+SH+AA) + transmitted LW IR from BOA

This seems to apply for at least the range of Bond Albedos between ~0.35 and ~0.25 i.e. cloud covers between ~86% and 46%.

Only by 'forcing' this assumption can one match typical published all-sky SW cloud radiative forcings and their all-important rates of variation with cloud cover (~+1.0 W/m^2/%) and the equivalent typical published rate of LW cloud radiative forcing with cloud cover variation (~-0.6 W/m^2/%).

Why? Perhaps the ratio 0.626:0.374 is, in effect a near constant geometric indication of the global average (radiatively effective) cloud height?

All it then takes is a simple Excel spreadsheet and voila!

Then, one only has to look at the variation in global average cloud cover between say 1983 and 2001 (warming) and between 2001 and 2010 (slight cooling) and suddenly all is revealed:

Blows AGW right out of the water! Roy Spencer put his finger right on it on 9 January:

http://www.drroyspencer.com/

Monckton is right, even if for the wrong reasons - it is the clouds.

(spreadsheet provided free of charge).

Even better, over at Joanne Nova's blog:
"After the debate, Lambert admitted it was not Pinkerâs voice in the recording, and he appears to have had an acknowledgement of that in fine print on his slide used in the debate. But, he did not make it clear on the day, and many onlookers mistakenly thought it was Pinker speaking (like Lucia). Does this matter? Maybe; maybe not."
http://joannenova.com.au/2010/02/lamberts-pinker-tape-ambush-pr-stunt/

infernalis - good spot, that's both hilarious and depressing at the same time. I was half joking in #9. Clearly, that half of me gave Nova too much credit.