Or so says Gavin in How Climate Change Denial Still Gets Published in Peer-Reviewed Journals via Retraction Watch. Dountless Monkers will welcome yet another chance to bluster and threaten to sue1. The paper has been "harshly criticized by physicists" (who knew ATTP was plural, eh?) and "climate scientists" though to be fair ATTP only really skimmed it for errors, and RT just pointed out that the palaeo bits were a bit crap.
[Update: I've just noticed what I should have seen immeadiately: a fatal flaw in Gavin's words that totally vitiates his argument: it should be et al. not et. al. Obvs. Another good English boy gone to bad over in the land of the illiterate.]
I was conversing with a friend who would probably rather be nameless, and I said
I confess, I didn't even bother reading it, or even the few blog posts that have mentioned it, because it seemed so obviously drivel. We expect no less from M'Lord. I'd also assumed that it was *uninteresting* drivel - do let me know if I'm wrong about that.
To which I got the reply "I'm not sure it's coherent enough to count as drivel. There's quite a bit where I had no hope of working out what it means or what the point of saying it was." Anyway, you get the idea: we were competing to be as disrespectful as we possibly could, even if we didn't give it its due - which would have been to ignore it. But, alas, my friend also gave some insight into what was wrong with it, which I'll share with you. In the spirit of showing contempt for the paper, however, I must point out that I haven't actually thought about this very hard, and I still haven't read the paper. Also, these aren't his exact words.
The flaw that underlies most of it is that the r_t in the equation ATTP quotes is taken from Roe et al. applying a step change in CO2 to a 1D model. A standard one, though of course there are a range of responses; anyone competent would consider this. At one point MSLB do say their r_t is observed, but that's a page or so after they correctly describes its origin (consistency from page to page is not this paper's strong point). So it is a Green's function that needs to be convolved with the forcing history but MSLB multiplies them, and then tickles a weasel. Naturally, 164 years after their start year of 1860, we must be so near equilibrium with all the CO2 in the atmosphere that the remaining warming is a tiny fraction of the warming so far, as they calculate precisely.
Well, there you have it. Discuss.
Update: there's also Monckton, Soon, Legates, and Briggs falsely claim to have presented a new climate model by Jan P Perlwitz [archive]. Thanks to ATTP for the link. Don't miss the appearance of Scrotum. [Comments there are good. Its complex at first, but by about Bode Monkers has made it clear that like so many others of his ilk he (a) hasn't got a clue how the GCMs are built, and (b) thinks the CS is built in.]
There's more analysis in a comment at JP's by tilting@windmills.
And The Monckton equation by apsmith.
And With climate models, simpler isn't necessarily better - Grantham Institute Co-Director Professor Joanna Haigh. Note how Monkers, in the comments, praises Alexandra Cheung for her thoughtful critique, having failed to realise that the words are JH's, merely posted by AC.
Vaguely on topic - the topic being the reputation of the journal that MSLB published in (which is the little-known "Science Bulletin", formerly the "Chinese Science Bulletin". It seems very arrogant, to me, for them to so rename their journal, especially if they're not even going to publish science in it); going off to the far side of the world does seem rather odd, when you could be publishing in Pattern Recognition in Physics right at home - we have Did A Romanian Researcher Successfully Game Google Scholar to Raise his Citation Count? - thought I should say that I have no reasons to think that MSLB have done this. Read the post, and the update at the end.
Update: furtively anonymous paid thermo-Fascist troll
furtively anonymous paid thermo-Fascist troll
James Rowlatt (who is, it appears, the only person being paid to post to the thread, being apparently an employee of Monkers and has been for a while):
It seems to me, on reviewing this thread, that Lord Monckton has been exemplary in his courteous replies
Well, naturally enough, your paid employees will judge you kindly. Its a touch odd that JR doesn't explicitly disclose that he is being paid to post; you'd kinda expect that he would, were he being good.
1. Well, that didn't take long:
In view of the libels in the Carbon Brief piece, I shall be asking my lawyers whether they recommend insisting that it carry a response from me. If not, I shall put it in a national newspaper, where it will reach a far larger audience than the Carbon Brief, subsidized though it is by a shady foundation.
To me embarrassment and, possibly, my detriment, I've been involved in a discussion with Monkers on Jan Perlwitz's blog. The discussion - which has included Monkers calling me pompous - has now evolved to the point where - apparently - his Lordship's Clerk is now responding to my comments as His Lordship is currently otherwise engaged.
[You mean http://climateconomysociety.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/monckton-soon-legate… I think. Looks like lots of popcorn there. As to pompous: is "His Lordship is currently otherwise engaged" deliberate ironic self-parody (I find that hard to believe) or is he just totally lacking in self-consciousness? -W]
I can't seem to download the Roe et al. (2009) paper, but from what you've said above, I think they introduced r_t to try and introduce a lag to compensate for the fact that the oceans' well-mixed layer and the atmosphere don't equilibrate instantly when a change in forcing is applied. Monckton et al. (2015) introduce it to try and represent the transient fraction, relative to the equilibrium response (i.e., at time t the transient response is r_t of the final equilibrium response). If so, that's another error in their paper. No great surprise and it is possible that there isn't actually enough time available to find all the errors.
> [As to pompous: is “His Lordship is currently otherwise engaged” deliberate ironic self-parody (I find that hard to believe) or is he just totally lacking in self-consciousness? -W]
I did do a quick search and the name of the person commenting as his Clerk does appear to be a name associated with Monckton. I didn't, however, search very hard.
[I'm getting to the good stuff now, where he starts to lose his rag:
Those who post furtively under craven pseudonyms, and are unable to make scientific points, and do nothing but snipe and sneer, are very likely to be paid climate-Communist trolls. Large sums of money are spent by various Communist front organizations doing their best to denigrate those of us who have the guts to ask serious scientific questions about the Party Line. One of their techniques, which is cheap, is to pay anonymous trolls to disrupt threads like these.
Go Monkers! The stuff with S Graves is boring though, just ignore him -W]
There is also a longer article at The Carbon Brief on this "Study". They actually kept some scientists from their work by asking them for their opinion. Seems to be too much honest for this, this, my vocabulary fails me, I hope WMC is better at finding good words for it.
>[I’m getting to the good stuff now, where he starts to lose his rag:]
He wrote so much that I hadn't actually seen that particular comment (or part of a comment). Quite classic. Although now that I've been outed by good old Watts and Tol, "craven pseudonym" is maybe not quite strictly true any more. I had, however, noticed his other rant about "climate-communists" and "thermo-fascists".
[You've been outed? I missed that. Go on, do tell, or provide a link. If involves Tol being a tosser, that would just be the icing on the cake -W]
Elsewhere, Phil Clarke has noted that the paper misrepresents the FAR predictions by taking just one single scenario (of course the highest one, with forcings that are considerably higher than actually happened, ignoring the other scenarios that had forcings closer to what happened) and presenting it as *the* prediction:
I love the bits where His Lordship's "clerk" pops in to comment - sometimes using Monckton's log in. Is James Rowlatt the real Scrotum, or a mere sock-puppet? I think we should be told.
We may find out more, if I can find the time to decode the messages arriving on the secure line... ;-)
> [You’ve been outed? I missed that. Go on, do tell, or provide a link. If involves Tol being a tosser, that would just be the icing on the cake -W]
Poptech has an entire post, that I haven't really read. Tol also choose to do it through the comments on my blog and in a comment in the Guardian. He also managed to include a bit of a whine about libel (I think I may have compared him to Christopher Monckton, but can't remember if I posted that comment or not). Given that it was a combination of Tol and Watts, it really couldn't have gone any better if I'd planned it myself :-)
[Pfft, I will preserve your anonymity in my mind by not looking. Meanwhile, from JP's blog (following on from Monkers-goes-wild: What is funny is that he calls his opponents "climate-Communists" but then has the audacity to publish in a journal in a Communist country -W]
>[ I will preserve your anonymity in my mind by not looking. ]
Very wise, it's really not worth knowing.
Monkers on JP's blog may keep us entertained for quite some time.
[He's as indefatigable as you are. That's, um, not a compliment BTW :-) -W]
"What is funny is that he calls his opponents “climate-Communists” but then has the audacity to publish in a journal in a Communist country"
And he calls out thermofascists, forgetting he was once high up in Little Britain's latest attempt at a fascist political party. Can you buy Monckton's shirts in all colours?
>[He’s as indefatigable as you are. That’s, um, not a compliment BTW :-) -W]
Yes, I'm working on my "step away from the keyboard!" :-)
"So it is a Green’s function that needs to be convolved with the forcing history but MSLB multiplies them, and then tickles a weasel."
Well, there you have it. Discuss.
Well, it doesn't surprise me: the most normally-used symbol for convolving looks a lot like that for multiplying, and most people without a lot of math experience don't know what a convolution is, nor what it does. Once you have that experience, sure, you know when a convolution is appropriate vs a multiplication, but they represent very different operations or relations between two different equations. They mean very different things, in relation to how the world works. If anybody had bothered to check the units for the math, this discrepancy should have been obvious.
But this is exactly what you'd normally expect from "citizen science". Folks like Monckton think that science is just something anyone can do, experience be damned. You plug equations in and make results come out! It's cargo cult science: if you beat the numbers together in the right way, they'll produce something truthy.
Or maybe it's just a stunning example of Dunning-Krueger: Monckton et al are literally unaware of how bad their paper is. They lack the background and knowledge they need in order to critically analyze their paper - or anyone else's.
I have never seen monkton's scrotum before but it seems to have the same writing style as monckers himself. Is it actually a sock-scrotum? Does anyone know if it's an actual person? Or is this already established?
Worth noting that this is the second time folks associated with the Heartland Institute have got into a dustup with the Chinese Academy. Recall the "Climate Change Reconsidered" incident. I have emailed a couple of ass eds from the Bulletin and it sounds like this will be investigated "internally".
It isn't normally a junk science venue. I think they got took somehow. It has happened to others (IOP, and etc.)
Well, it doesn’t surprise me: the most normally-used symbol for convolving looks a lot like that for multiplying, and most people without a lot of math experience don’t know what a convolution is, nor what it does.
"It seems to me, on reviewing this thread, that Lord Monckton has been exemplary in his courteous replies"
I noted on the WUWT thread that, contra von Neumann, MSLB has used "five tunable parameters" to fit a straight line. The reply started:
"Astonishing how the true-believers in the climate-Communist party line, such as Mr Stokes..."
I felt obliged to point out that he had chosen a journal of the People's Republic to publish his theory.
Nick: there is good precedent for this.
A fellow named Fred Koch denounced Communism, cofounder the John Birch Society ... But not after establishing the family fortune building refineries for Stalin's USSR.
Senior Members of the Chinese Academy are often deferred to when they propose articles for publication or translation in its journals
This is a professional courtesy easlily imposed upon - , but only at risk of loud indignation when dubious material appears in print
And further down the same page at Retraction Watch is a link to
"Five modes of science engagement explained" from Roger Pielke, Jr.
Okay, I'll summarize without reading:
You're Doin' It Wrong!
How'd I do?
Now someone is complaining that Soon didn't disclose relevant conflicts of interest as required by the journal.
Stuck at home in the snow - I couldn't resist adding my 2 cents-worth:
A recent paper by climate skeptic politician Viscount Christopher Monckton claimed scientists' model-based projections of climate change are overstated. But Prof Piers Forster, climate scientist at Leeds University and co-author on the new paper, tells Carbon Brief:
"Our paper completely refutes this. We find no evidence that models are too responsive. In fact, we find the model range is an excellent predictor of observed trends and their uncertainty due to random chaotic processes in the atmosphere and ocean."
While it might be tempting for some to focus on what's occurred recently, today's research shows why taking the long view is important when it comes to assessing how well models are performing. Doing so shows no evidence that models are predisposed to higher or lower temperatures than we're seeing in the real world.
Marotzke, J. and Forster, P. (2015) Forcing, feedback and internal variability in global temperature trends. Nature http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature14117
also thrashes Monckton pointing out a cupidity error.