This is a response by Christopher Monckton to the comment on the Nurse anti-science thread yesterday by anonymous commenter “The other Brian” who in typical troll style, tries to distract away from the post and point being made with noise.- Anthony
By Christopher Monckton
I seem to get more than my fair share of ad-hominem attacks from trolls. One such has recently posted up a lifetime list of my supposed “errors”, and has made some nasty allegations. May I for once reply? The troll’s allegations are in bold face: my replies are in [italics].
Monckton said he advised Margret Hatcher on climate change – HE DIDN’T.
I have never met anyone called “Margret Hatcher”. However, like it or not, I did advise Margaret Thatcher on many scientific and other matters, including climate change. However, it was my successor, George Guise, who helped her to write the speech that announced the funding for what became the Hadley Centre for Forecasting. At that time (1988) she predicted that the world would warm at 1 C/decade. I certainly wouldn’t have gone that far.
He said he wrote a peer-reviewed paper – HE DIDN’T.
In the summer of 2008 Jeffrey Marque, the then commissioning editor of Physics and Society, which at that time advertised itself as publishing “reviewed” papers, asked me to write a paper about climate sensitivity. As was usual for Physics and Society at the time, the journal’s review editor, Professor Alvin Saperstein, reviewed the paper. After my revisions (chiefly to explain the derivations of several new equations) both editors strongly endorsed the paper. It was published and Dr. Marque wrote a supporting editorial. Within days, the usual suspects Remote-Sensinged me. Both editors resigned, and a mendacious disclaimer was added to the online version of my paper, saying it had not been peer-reviewed. Besides, has Al Gore written any peer-reviewed papers?
He said the earth has been cooling – IT HASN’T.
In 2008, I said the Earth had been cooling since the turn of the millennium on 1 January 2001. So it had, at that time: do the linear regression for yourself and see. Recent warming, however, means there has been little change in temperature since 2001.
He said a leading Danish expert found that overall Greenland ice has not been melting – HE DIDN’T.
Johannessen et al. (2005), whom I cited, reported a substantial net accumulation of snow, firn, and ice on Greenland from 1992-2003. In 2009 Johannessen published a further paper saying that since 2003 some 273 bn tonnes of ice had melted in Greenland. A simple calculation shows this represented one-quarter of the ice that had accumulated over the previous 12 years, and it raised global sea level by 0.7 mm, restoring a quarter of the 2.8 mm drop caused by the previous ice accumulation on Greenland.
He said there has been no systematic ice loss in the artic – THERE HAS.
One assumes the troll means the Arctic. In 2009 I reported that the summer sea-ice minima in 2008 and 2009 had both shown greater ice extents than in 2007. The same also now applies to 2010 and (on most datasets, and subject to final confirmation that the summer sea-ice minimum has passed) to 2011 as well. Arctic ice has certainly declined ever since the satellites have been watching, but there is some evidence that there was less Arctic ice from the 1920s to the 1940s (and even into the late 1950s in Northern Greenland) than there is today.
He says there has been no correlation between CO2 and temperatures over the past 500 million years – YES, THERE IS.
There has indeed been a remarkable correlation between CO2 and temperatures over the past 500 million years – but repeated reanalyses of the data have shown that it was temperatures that changed first and CO2 concentration change that followed. Though it is possible that the additional CO2 concentration reinforced the original warming in each of the past four interglacial warm periods (all of which were warmer than the present), it plainly did not trigger the warming, because the warming occurred first.
He says a pre-Cambrian ice planet shows that CO2 has no effect on the climate – SHOWS THE OPPOSITE.
In the Neoproterozoic era, some 750 million years ago, sea-level glaciers a mile high came and went – twice – at the Equator. There are no sea-level glaciers anywhere near the Equator today. At that time, CO2 was 30% of the atmosphere: today it is 0.04%. The reasonable point that I made, quoting Professor Ian Plimer, a geologist who has made a particular study of the period, was that even allowing for the fact that the Sun was 5% fainter in the Neoproterozoic than today, and for the fact that the planet’s albedo was much greater then than now, equatorial sea-level glaciers could not have come and gone twice if CO2 had the very large warming effect that is now imagined. Of course CO2 has some warming effect. The central question, however, remains how much warming CO2 will cause. My best estimate is 1 Celsius per doubling of CO2 concentration.
He says there has been no change in Himalayan glaciers for 200 years – THERE HAS.
Professor M.I. Bhat, of the Indian Geological Survey, whom I consult regularly and cite on the state of the glaciers, has consistently said that except in areas of local geological deformation the pattern of advance and retreat of the glaciers is much as it has been over the past 200 years since the Raj first kept records.
He says only one Himalayan glacier is retreating – NO, LOTS OF THEM ARE.
The Ronggbuk glacier has disappeared altogether; the Gangotri glacier has been receding for 200 years; and many other glaciers are receding. Merely because I mentioned one glacier as receding, it is not legitimate to infer that I said or implied that only one glacier was receding.
He claim that CO2 forcing is 1.135 watts per square meter when it is three times higher.
A finding of low climate sensitivity in Lindzen (2007) suggests that the warming exercised by CO2 is equivalent to assuming a forcing of 1.135 W m–2. In saying that, I explicitly referred to the forcing of 3.7 W m–2 at CO2 doubling that is the IPCC’s current estimate (interestingly, down from 4.4 W m–2 in its first two assessment reports).
He confuses forcing with sensitivity.
A radiative forcing is a change in the net (down minus up) flux of radiation at the tropopause resulting from some perturbation of a presumed pre-existing equilibrium in the climate object, such as a doubling of CO2 concentration in the air. The resultant warming, or “climate sensitivity”, is the product of three parameters: the radiative forcing, the Planck or no-feedbacks sensitivity parameter; and the overall temperature-feedback gain factor (Monckton of Brenchley, 2008). Dividing any one of the three factors by, say, 3 to take account of an important discrepancy between models and observations, such as that which Lindzen identified, has precisely the same effect as dividing any of the others by 3.
He says a leading climate researcher found a loss of cloud cover is responsible for recent warming – SHE SAYS IT SHOWS NO SUCH THING.
The researcher in question had demonstrated that the loss of cloud cover between 1983 and 2001 had caused a very substantial radiative forcing, which, I hypothesized, was the main reason for the rapid warming between 1976 and late 2001, since when there has been no warming. Many papers (e.g. Tsonis et al., 2006) note the links between the Pacific and other oceanic oscillation indices, variations in cloud cover, and variations in global temperature, on a timescale of approximately 60 years. This cyclicity – which long predates our influence on the climate – is startlingly visible in the global instrumental temperature record. In an invited presentation to the World Federation of Scientists’ annual seminar on planetary emergencies in 2011, I drew some legitimate conclusions about climate sensitivity from the researcher’s observations. I did not, of course, ascribe these conclusions to her: I merely used her result as an input to a determination of climate sensitivity. My paper has now been published in the Proceedings of the seminar, and separately in a book of scientific papers about climate sensitivity.
He misquotes scientists to mislead his audience.
No instances are given to support this libel, so I cannot comment. This unpleasant allegation was originally made by an associate professor in a non-climate-related field at a Bible college in Minnesota: however, he had repeatedly misquoted my words and had put then his misquotations to third-party scientists, using their understandably furious responses against me. He will be dealt with firmly in due course. Serious academic dishonesty of this kind, wilfully persisted in, is not something to be encouraged.
He says planets with a high albedo are cooler than planets with a low albedo – WRONG.
If all other parameters be held constant, increasing a planet’s albedo (for instance, by covering it with ice) will act as a mirror reflecting more of the Sun’s radiation back into space, rather than allowing the radiation that reaches the ground to be displaced from the visible spectrum to the near-infrared, where – on its way out – it can interact with greenhouse gases. Or has the troll decided that there is no such thing as the greenhouse effect? Since there is, ceteris paribus a more reflective surface makes for a cooler world.
He gets information in peer-reviewed science papers wrong.
Not a single instance is cited. This is pure yah-boo.
He says some planets are warming because of the Sun – NO THEY’RE NOT.
There has indeed been evidence of simultaneous warming in many planets of the Solar system, and I have mentioned this. However, given the difficulties of reliable measurement and imaging, I have not sought to draw definitive conclusions about the role of the Sun in “global warming” from such observations.
He said the International Astronomical Union has declared that the Sun is responsible for the recent warming – IT DIDN’T.
I cited a paper given by Dr. Habibullo Abdussamatov at the 2004 symposium of the IAU in St. Petersburg, Fla, but put “IAU” at the foot of the slide rather than Dr.
Abdussamatov’s name. Dr. Abdussamatov, like other researchers in the field (e.g. Solanki, 2005; Shaviv, 2008, 2011; Svensmark, 2011; Kirkby, 2011), offers evidence to the effect that the role of the Sun may be rather greater than is found congenial by those who would like to blame nearly all recent warming on CO2.
The moderators should perhaps be more vigilant in banning contributions from trolls who state in terms, as this one does, that I “misquote scientists to mislead [my] audience”. One understands the trolls’ increasing desperation as their scientific and economic case collapses: but lying about those of us who have long seen through the nonsense is not going to help them now.
The science is in, the truth is out, the game is up, and the scare is over. Get used to it, get real, get a job, and get a life.
And now a response from Anthony to the second to last paragraph about moderation.
As Mr. Monckton knows, I don’t always agree with him.
That said, it is an unfortunate truth that people that haven’t the courage to use their own full names when publicly criticizing others (“The other Brian”) spend so much time trying to beat down others while not having to worry about consequences. Unfortunately, that is the reality of the Internet today. The best choice is dealing with such individuals is to take their claims head on, which you’ve done.
WUWT does not approve a few comments that fall outside of our commenting policy, but as a recent analysis by Ian Rons Further Down the “Bore Hole” shows, we do in fact publish the vast majority of comments compared to other blogs, even some that are not necessarily fair. This is by design, because having a debate with opponents is something other blogs refuse to have. Otherwise, we’d be no better than RealClimate, “Tamino” aka Open Mind, or Joe Romm, all sites which heavily censor opposing viewpoints. [Update: Another example is Skeptical Science, which invoked a grade school level tactic (strikeout) in attempting to refute Dr. Roger Pielke Senior - see here]
While there’s always something in an endeavor that can be criticized, the fact is that our moderation policy is one of our best strengths, and why WUWT consistently outperforms these other blogs in traffic, reach, and total number of comments. Therefore I think we’ll keep the policy that has worked so well. Besides, if those comments had been deleted, we’d not be having this entertaining discussion now.