Monckton responds to Peter Hadfield aka "potholer54" – plus Hadfield's response

UPDATE: Below is Peter Hadfield’s response in entirety, submitted Feb 7th, 2012. I’ve made only some slight edits for formatting to fit. Comments are open. – Anthony

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

Various You-Tube videos by a former “science writer” who uses a speleological pseudonym “potholer54” sneeringly deliver a series of petty smears about artfully-distorted and often inconsequential aspects of my talks on climate change. Here, briefly, I shall answer some of his silly allegations. I noted them down rather hastily, since I am disinclined to waste much time on him, so the sentences in quote-marks may not be word for word what he said, but I hope that they fairly convey his meaning.

For fuller answers to these allegations, many of which he has ineptly and confusedly recycled from a serially mendacious video by some no-account non-climatologist at a fourth-rank bible college in Nowheresville, Minnesota, please see my comprehensive written reply to that video at www.scienceandpublicpolicy.org. The guy couldn’t even get his elementary arithmetic right – not that the caveman mentions that fact, of course.

The allegations, with my answers, are as follows:

“Monckton says he advised Margaret Thatcher on climate change. He didn’t.” I did.

“Monckton says he wrote a peer-reviewed paper. He didn’t.” The editors of Physics and Society asked me to write a paper on climate sensitivity in 2008. The review editor reviewed it in the usual way and it was published in the July 2008 edition, which, like most previous editions, carried a headnote to the effect that Physics and Society published “reviewed articles”. Peer-review takes various forms. From the fact that the paper was invited, written, reviewed and then published, one supposes the journal had followed its own customary procedures. If it hadn’t, don’t blame me. Subsequent editions changed the wording of the headnote to say the journal published “non-peer-reviewed” articles, and the editors got the push. No mention of any of this by the caveman, of course.

“Monckton says the Earth is cooling. It isn’t.” At the time when I said the Earth was cooling, it had indeed been cooling since late 2001. The strong El Niño of 2010 canceled the cooling, and my recent talks and graphs have of course reflected that fact by stating instead that there has been no statistically-significant warming this millennium. The caveman made his video after the cooling had ended, but – without saying so – showed a slide from a presentation given by me while the cooling was still in effect. Was that honest of him?

“Monckton says Greenland is not melting. It is.” Well, it is now, but for 12 years from 1992-2003 inclusive, according to Johannessen et al. (2005), the mean spatially-averaged thickness of Greenland’s ice sheet increased by 5 cm (2 inches) per year, or 2 feet in total over the period. The high-altitude ice mass in central northern Greenland thickened fastest, more than matching a decline in ice thickness along the coastline. Since 2005, according to Johannessen et al. (2009), an ice mass that I calculate is equivalent to some six inches of the 2 feet of increase in Greenland’s ice thickness over the previous decade or so has gone back into the ocean, raising global sea levels by a not very terrifying 0.7 millimeters. According to the Aviso Envisat satellite, in the past eight years sea level has been rising at a rate equivalent to just 2 inches per century. Not per decade: per century. If so, where has all the additional ice that the usual suspects seem to imagine has melted from Greenland gone? Two possibilities: not as much ice has melted as we are being told, or its melting has had far less impact on sea level than we are being invited to believe.

“Monckton says there’s no systematic loss of sea-ice in the Arctic. There is.” No, I said that the 30-year record low ice extent of 2007 had been largely reversed in 2008 and 2009. The caveman, if he were capable of checking these or any data, would find this to be so. In fact, he knew this to be so, because the slide I was showing at that point in his video, taken from the University of Illinois’ Cryosphere monitoring program, shows it. Of course, the slide was only in the background of his video and was shown only for a few seconds. Since that particular talk of mine the Arctic sea ice has declined again and came close to its 2007 low in 2011. But it is arguable from the descriptions of melting Arctic ice in 1922 that there may have been less sea ice in the Arctic then than now.

“Monckton says there has been no correlation between temperature and CO2 for the past 500 million years. There has.” Well, there has in the past few thousand years, but the correlation since the Cambrian era has been spectacularly poor, as the slide (from a peer-reviewed paper) that the caveman fleetingly shows me using at that point demonstrates very clearly. For most of that long period, global temperatures were about 7 Celsius degrees warmer than the present: yet CO2 concentration has inexorably declined throughout the period.

“Monckton says a pre-Cambrian ice-planet shows CO2 has no effect on climate. It doesn’t.” No, I cited Professor Ian Plimer, a leading geologist, as having said that the formation of dolomitic rock 750 million years ago could not have taken place unless there had been 300,000 ppmv CO2 in the atmosphere: yet glaciers a mile high had come and gone twice at sea-level and at the Equator at that time. Professor Plimer had concluded that, even allowing for the fainter Sun and higher ice-albedo in those days, the equatorial glaciers could not have formed twice if the warming effect of CO2 were as great as the IPCC wants us to believe. At no point have I ever said CO2 has no effect on climate, for its effect was demonstrated by a simple but robust experiment as long ago as 1859. However, I have said, over and over again, that CO2 probably has a much smaller warming effect than the IPCC’s range of estimates. The caveman must have known that, because he says he has watched “hours and hours” of my videos. So why did he misrepresent me?

“Monckton said there had been no change in the Himalayan glaciers for 200 years. There has.” No, I cited Professor M.I. Bhat of the Indian Geological Survey, who had told me on several occasions that the pattern of advance and retreat of these glaciers was much as it had been in the 200 years since the British Raj had been keeping records. That is very far from the same thing as saying there had been “no change”: indeed, it is the opposite, for advance and retreat are both changes. Why did the caveman misrepresent me?

“Monckton says only one Himalayan glacier has been retreating. Many have.” No, I mentioned the Gangotri and Ronggbuk glaciers as being notable examples of glacial retreat in the Himalayas caused by geological instability in the region. To discuss one or two retreating glaciers is not the same thing as to say or imply that only one or two glaciers have been retreating. Why did the caveman misrepresent me? It is this kind of intellectual dishonesty that permeates the caveman’s cheesy videos. He has not the slightest intention of being accurate or fair. If he had, he would surely have mentioned that the IPCC tried for months to pretend that all of the glaciers in the Himalayas would be gone by 2035. The IPCC’s own “peer-reviewers” had said the figure should be “2350”, not “2035”, but the lead author of the chapter in question had left in the wrong figure, knowing it to be unverified, because, as he later publicly admitted, he wanted to influence governments.

The caveman says I misquoted the lead author who had left in the erroneous date for the extinction of the Himalayan glaciers, but here is what that author actually said in an interview with the Daily Mail: “We thought that if we can highlight it [the erroneous date], it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” For good measure, he said I had misquoted Sir John Houghton, the IPCC’s first science chairman, who had said that unless we announced disasters no one would listen.

Sir John, too, tried to maintain that I had misquoted him, and even menaced me with a libel suit, until I told him I had a copy of the cutting from the London Sunday Telegraph of September 10, 1995, in which he had said, “If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster”, and that I also had a copy of an article in the Manchester Guardian of July 28, 2003, in which Sir John had luridly ascribed numerous specific natural disasters to “global warming”, which he described as “a weapon of mass destruction” that was “at least as dangerous as nuclear, chemical, or biological weapons, or indeed international terrorism”. Perhaps the caveman didn’t know any of this, but here’s the thing: I do not recall that he has ever bothered to check any of his “facts” with me (though, if he had, I wouldn’t have known because he lurks behind a pseudonym and, even though I am told he has revealed his identity I have no time to keep track of the pseudonyms of people who lack the courage and decency to publish under their own names).

“Monckton says Dr. Pinker found that a loss of cloud cover had caused recent warming. She disagreed.” No, I drew the conclusion from Dr. Pinker’s paper, and from several others, that cloud cover does not remain constant, but waxes and wanes broadly in step with the cooling and warming phases respectively of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation. I did not misrepresent Dr. Pinker’s paper in any way: I merely used it as a source for my own calculations, which I presented at the annual seminar on planetary emergencies of the World Federation of Scientists in 2010, where they were well received. Less cloud cover, particularly in the tropics, naturally warms the Earth: the point is surely uncontroversial. If one removes the influence of this natural warming phase from the record since 1976, it is reasonable to deduce that climate sensitivity based on that period is much lower than the IPCC thinks. Strictly speaking, one should study temperature trends in multiples of 60 years, so as to ensure that the warming and cooling phases of the PDO cancel one another out.

Frankly, that’s quite enough of these dull allegations. There are others, but they are all as half-baked and dishonest as these and it would be tedious to deal with each one. You get the drift: the caveman is a zealot and we need not ask who paid him to watch “hours and hours” of my YouTube videos to realize from these examples that his videos are unreliable. More importantly, it would interfere with my research: I hope shortly to be in a position to demonstrate formally that climate sensitivity is unarguably little more than one-third of the IPCC’s central estimate. My objective is to reach the truth, not to distort it or misrepresent it as the caveman has done.

He concludes by challenging his small band of followers to check the scientific literature for themselves to establish that the Earth has been warming and that CO2 is “largely responsible”. Of course the Earth has been warming since 1750: I have at no point denied it, though that is the implication of the caveman’s statement.

And of course there are scientists who say CO2 is “largely responsible” for the warming: that is the principal conclusion of the IPCC’s 2007 report, reached on the basis of a fraudulent statistical abuse: comparison of the slopes of multiple arbitrarily-chosen trend-lines on the global-temperature dataset falsely to suggest that “global warming” is accelerating and that it is our fault. Not that one has ever heard the caveman utter a word of condemnation of the IPCC’s too-often fictional “science”. But it is also reasonable to mention the growing band of scientists who say CO2 may not be “largely responsible” but only partly responsible for the warming since 1950. Would it not have been fairer if the caveman had pointed that out?

Climate skeptics have come under intensive attack from various quarters, and the attacks have too often been as unpleasantly dishonest as those of the caveman. Also, there is evidence that someone has been spending a lot of money on trying malevolently to discredit those who dare to ask any questions at all about the party line on climate.

For instance, after a speech by me in in the US in October 2009 went viral and received a million YouTube hits in a week (possibly the fastest YouTube platinum ever for a speech), a Texan professor who monitors the seamier side of the internet got in touch to tell me that someone had paid the operators of various search engines a sum that he estimated at not less than $250,000 to enhance the page rankings of some two dozen specially-created web-pages containing meaningless jumbles of symbols among which the word “Monckton video” appeared.

These nonsense pages would not normally have attracted any hits at all, and the search engines would normally have ranked them well below the video that had gone platinum. The intention of this elaborate and expensive artifice, as the professor explained, was to ensure that anyone looking for the real video would instead find page after page of junk and simply give up. The viral chain was duly broken, but so many websites carried the video that more than 5 million people ended up seeing it, so the dishonestly-spent $250,000 was wasted.

At one level, of course, all of this attention is an unintended compliment. But no amount of sneering or smearing will alter two salient facts: the Earth has not been warming at anything like the predicted rate and is not now at all likely to do so; and, in any event, even if the climate-extremists’ predictions were right, it would be at least an order of magnitude more cost-effective to wait and adapt in a focused way to any adverse consequences of manmade “global warming” than it would be to tax, trade, regulate, reduce, or replace CO2 today.

The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

==========================================================

Note: for anyone who wishes to see what this is about, you can see “potholer54” aka Peter Hadfield on Monckton at YouTube here  – Anthony

UPDATE: Here is Peter Hadfield’s response in entirety, submitted Feb 7th, 2012. I’ve made only some slight edits for formatting to fit. – Anthony

Response from Peter Hadfield:

In January, Christopher Monckton criticized me on WUWT after I made a series of videos exposing errors in most of his claims. I have asked Anthony Watts for the opportunity to respond in kind, so that we can put Mr. Monckton’s verbatim assertions up against the documentary evidence he cites.

At first I was puzzled as to what Mr. Monckton was responding to in his WUWT guest-post, because he failed to address any of the rebuttals or the evidence I showed in my five videos. Then I realized he must have watched only the last video in the series, including a light-hearted 30-second ‘mistake count’. So in this response I am going to deal with what Mr. Monckton actually said, as shown and rebutted in my videos, rather than what he thinks I think he said, and what he thinks I rebutted.

Mr. Monckton doesn’t claim to be an expert, and neither do I. All I can do is to check and verify his claims. So the question is whether Mr. Monckton has reported the sources he cites accurately in order to reach his conclusions. I have made it very easy for you to check by playing clips of Mr. Monckton making these assertions in my videos, then showing images of the documentary evidence he cites. Since this response is text I will write out Mr. Monckton’s assertions verbatim and quote the documentary sources verbatim (with references in the body of the text.)  References to the relevant video (linked at the bottom) and the time on the video where they are shown, will be shown in square brackets.

ON THE COOLING EARTH:

Since Mr. Monckton failed to address the evidence, but implies I was duplicitous in my timing, let’s see what my video actually showed. In a speech given in Melbourne in February 2009, Mr. Monckton said: “We’ve had nine years of a global cooling trend since the first of January 2001” [Ref 1 – 4:06] —  and St. Paul in October 2009: “There has been global cooling for the last eight or nine years” [ibid.].

So in my video, the period Mr. Monckton was talking about was clearly identified in his own words, as well as in the graphs he showed, and I showed the dates the speeches were made, and the studies I cited covered the same period.

[“Waiting for Global Cooling” – R. Fawcett and D. Jones, National Climate Centre, Australian Bureau of Meteorology, April 2008]

[“Statisticians reject global cooling” — Associated Press 10/26/2009 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33482750/ns/us_news-environment/]

ON THE MELTING OF GREENLAND:

Again, let’s deal with what Mr. Monckton actually said, which is what I rebutted. In a speech in St. Paul in 2009, Mr. Monckton cited a paper by Ola Johannessen, and told the audience: “What he found was that between 1992 and 2003, the average thickness of the vast Greenland ice sheet increased by two inches a year.” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbW-aHvjOgM 11:40)

No, he found no such thing. Johannessen said he only measured the interior of Greenland above 1,500 metres [1 – 11:59] In fact, he specifically warns that the very conclusion Mr Monckton reaches cannot be made: “We cannot make an integrated assessment of elevation changes… for the whole Greenland Ice Sheet, including its outlet glaciers, from these observations alone, because the marginal areas are not measured completely…. ” [“Recent Ice-Sheet Growth in the Interior of Greenland” Ola M. Johannessen et al, Science November 2005]

ON THE LOSS OF ARCTIC ICE:

Mr. Monckton claimed there is no long-term systematic loss of ice in the Arctic, and I rebutted this with studies showing a decline in Arctic summer sea-ice extent since satellite measurements began in 1979. [1 – 8:20 onwards]

Mr. Monckton’s response: “I said that the 30-year record low ice extent of 2007 had been largely reversed in 2008 and 2009.”

So, as I said, he did not tell his audience there had been a 30-year decline. Quite the opposite – he said there was no long-term decline. Mr. Monckton showed his audience a slide covering just three years, referring to the 2007 low as a “temporary loss of sea ice” which had recovered by 2009. Then he told them: “So we’re not looking at a sort of long-term systematic loss of ice in the Arctic.”  [1 – 8:27]

ON THE CORRELATION BETWEEN CO2 AND GLOBAL TEMPERATURES SINCE THE CAMBRIAN:

Mr. Monckton’s conclusion about a lack of correlation rests entirely on a graph showing CO2 concentration and temperature over the last 500 million years [3 – 0:04]. The graph uses temperature data from Scotese and CO2 data from Berner. Neither researcher supports Mr. Monckton’s ‘no correlation’ conclusion. On the contrary, Berner writes: “Over the long term there is indeed a correlation between CO2 and paleotemperature, as manifested by the greenhouse effect.” [“Geocarb III: A revised model of atmospheric CO2 over Phanerozoic time” — R. Berner and Z. Kothavala, American Journal of Science, Feb 2001]

How so? Because paleoclimatologists have to factor in solar output, which has been getting stronger over time [3 – 4:45]. If the rising curve of solar output is compared to global temperatures over the phanerozoic (500 million years) there is a similar lack of correlation. But it would be absurd to draw the conclusion that the sun therefore has no effect on climate.

So when gradually rising solar output is taken into account there is a very clear correlation between CO2 and global temperatures, and the source of Mr. Monckton’s data points that out. So does another senior researcher in the field [“CO2 as a primary driver of Phanerozoic climate” — D. Royer et al, GSA Today, March 2004].

ON THE PRE-CAMBRIAN ICE PLANET:

Again, let’s look at what I showed in my video, which was a clip of Mr. Monckton himself, speaking in a debate:

“750 million years ago, a mile of ice at the equator, ice planet all round, therefore at the surface 300,000 ppm of CO2. Will you tell me how that much CO2 could have been in the atmosphere and yet allowed that amount of ice at the equator?” [3 – 5:17]

Since Mr. Monckton thinks this is a puzzle for climatologists, let’s go through the well-understood explanation step by step.

Mr. Monckton agrees with the experts that the frozen planet was due to very weak solar output (about 8% less than today.) And he agrees that the high albedo (reflectivity) of this white surface would have reflected most of what little solar warmth the Earth did receive.

But he doesn’t seem to accept that volcanoes would have continued releasing CO2 into the atmosphere of this frozen planet over millions of years, and that this eventually warmed the planet enough to unfreeze it [“CO2 levels required for deglaciation of a ‘near-snowball’ Earth” T. Crowley et al, Geophysical Research Letters, 2001]. He cites no peer-reviewed research showing why paleoclimatologists are wrong. (No, the opinion of “a leading geologist” is not the same thing.)

ON HIMALAYAN GLACIERS:

Mr. Monckton writes in his WUWT response:  “the pattern of advance and retreat of these glaciers was much as it had been in the 200 years since the British Raj had been keeping records. That is very far from the same thing as saying there had been “no change””

Then let’s look at what Mr. Monckton actually said to his audience in St. Paul:

“The glaciers are showing no particular change in 200 years. The only glacier that’s declined a little is Gangoltri.” [3 – 10:20]

So is it a pattern of advance and retreat? Or no particular change? Or only one glacier retreating? Which?

In his WUWT resp  onse, Mr. Monckton went  on to say: “To discuss one or two retreating glaciers is not the same thing as to say or imply that only one or two glaciers have been retreating.”

But you DID say it, Mr. Monckton. Here it is again: “Only one of them [Himalayan glaciers] is retreating a little and that’s Gangoltri.”

ON MISQUOTING MURARI LAL:

Speaking about Murari Lal, the man behind the IPCC’s 2035 disappearing glaciers fiasco, Mr. Monckton told his audience there was: “….an admission that he [Lal] knew that figure was wrong but had left it in anyway because he knew that the IPCC wanted to influence governments and politicians.”[4 – 3:50]

This is not even borne out by Monckton’s own source, cited in his response, which is a quote from Lal in the Daily Mail about the 2035 date: “We thought that if we can highlight it, it will impact policy-makers and politicians and encourage them to take some concrete action.” Nowhere does Lal say he knew the figure was erroneous.

MISQUOTING SIR JOHN HOUGHTON:

Mr. Monckton claims Houghton wrote this in the Sunday Telegraph of September 10, 1995:  “Unless we announce disasters, no one will listen.” [4 – 5:50]

And I maintain Houghton wrote:  “If we want a good environmental policy in the future, we’ll have to have a disaster. It’s like safety on public transport. The only way humans will act is if there’s been an accident.”

Who is right? Well, both Mr. Monckton and I have exactly the same source [Sunday Telegraph, September 10, 1995],  but I actually show an image of it in my video [4 – 7:24]. Take a look. Even though it turns out my quote is correct and Mr. Monckton’s is clearly a gross misquote, he still insists in his WUWT response that he got the quote right.

ON HIS CLAIMS ABOUT THE ROLE OF THE SUN…

Mr. Monckton showed and quoted an extract from a paper by Sami Solanki: “The level of solar activity during the past 70 years is exceptional, and the previous period of equally high activity occurred more than 8,000 years ago. We find that during the past 11,400 years the sun spent only of the order of 10% of the time at a similarly high level of magnetic activity and almost all of the earlier high-activity periods were shorter than the present episodoes on to come.” [5 – 1:21 onwards]

That could suggest the sun is a likely culprit for recent warming. But why didn’t Mr. Monckton tell or show his audience what Solanki wrote in the very next line?

“Although the rarity of the current episode of high average sunspot numbers may indicate that the Sun has contributed to the unusual climate change during the twentieth century, we point out that solar variability is unlikely to have been the dominant cause of the strong warming during the past three decades.” [“Unusual activity of the Sun during recent decades compared to the last 11,000 years” — S.K. Solanki et al, Nature Sep 2004]

ON THE ROLE OF THE SUN IN RECENT WARMING:

Mr. Monckton said: “The solar physicists – you might take Scafetta and West, say, in 2008, they attribute 69% of all the recent global warming to the sun.” [5 – 3:48]

No, they don’t. In my video [5 – 4:32] I showed the actual document Mr. Monckton refers to (an opinion piece) where Scafetta and West wrote: “We estimate that the sun could account for as much as 69% of the increase in the Earth’s average temperature.” [“Is climate sensitive to solar variability?” Nicola Scafetta and Bruce J. West, Physics Today March 2008]

I hope we all understand the difference between “69%” and “as much as 69%.” But what about all those other “solar physicists” who purportedly support Monckton’s position? Well, they don’t. Solanki’s figure is up to just 30%, Erlykin less than 14%, Bernstad 7%, Lean ‘negligable’and Lockwood –1.3% [5 — 4:40]

[4:41 “Can solar variability explain global warming since 1970?”– S. K. Solanki and N. A. Krivova, Journal of Geophysical Research, May 2003]

[“Solar Activity and the Mean Global Temperature”

A.D. Erlykin et al, Physics Geo 2009]

[“Solar trends and global warming” — R. Benestad and G. Schmidt, Journal of Geophysical Research” July 2009]

[“How natural and anthropogenic influences alter global and regional surface temperatures: 1889 to 2006” J. Lean and D. Rind, Geophysical Research Letters, Sep 2008]

[“Recent changes in solar outputs and the global mean surface temperature. III. Analysis of contributions to global mean air surface temperature rise” — M. Lockwood, June 2008]

Mr. Monckton then asserts that the International Astronomical Union (IAU) agrees with this conclusion  (that the sun is largely responsible for recent warming.)  After he had been confronted during a TV interview with the plain fact that it didn’t [5 – 5:49 “Meet the Climate Sceptics” BBC TV Feb 2011], Monckton gave a reason for the error in his WUWT response:

“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.”

Maybe so. But that doesn’t explain why Mr. Monckton continued to make exactly the same claim elsewhere. At St. Paul he said:

“Most solar physicists agree [that the sun is largely responsible for recent warming]. The International Astronomical Union in 2004 had a symposium on it, they concluded that that was the case.” [Monckton rebuttal – WUWT 16:27]

And in his film ‘Apocalypse No!’ a slide headed ‘International Astronomical Union Symposium in 2004’ was shown to an audience, along with its main conclusions. Third on the list, Monckton read: “The sun caused today’s global warming.”

Monckton  told the audience: “This is not my conclusion, this is the conclusion of the International Astronomical Union Symposium in 2004. This is what they said, this is not me talking here.” [Monckton rebuttal – WUWT 16:34]

Mr. Monckton has to accept that this claim is completely spurious. This is why he dislikes detailed examinations of his sources. While he takes every opportunity to debate on stage, where his speaking skills are essential and his assertions can’t be checked, an online debate is far tougher, because every paper and fact CAN be checked. So come on, Mr. Monckton, let’s debate this on WUWT to see which of us has correctly read your sources.

The rebuttals I made are not “inconsequential aspects of my talks” as Mr. Monckton claims; they include almost every major topic he covers, from the melting of Arctic and glacial ice, to the role of the sun and the correlation between CO2 and temperature. His only recourse in his WUWT response was therefore to call me names, attack my character and my competence, and question my financing and my motivation… anything but answer the documentary evidence I presented. And then he adds one more error — a ridiculous claim that I asked my “small band of followers” to “check the scientific literature for themselves to establish that the Earth has been warming and that CO2 is “largely responsible.”

Since I can’t establish that myself, I certainly wouldn’t advise other amateurs to have a go. So I ask Mr. Monckton to cite the source for this claim, sure in the knowledge that once again we will see a yawning gap between what the source actually says (in this case, me) and what Mr. Monckton claims it says.

References: (Hadfield’s own videos)

1 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fbW-aHvjOgM

2 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTY3FnsFZ7Q

3 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fpF48b6Lsbo

4 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C3giRaGNTMA

5 — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TRCyctTvuCo

Advertisements

  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
trbixler

Christopher
Funny how “potholer” has not taken the time to go after Mann and YAD061. Funny how he has not gone into Mann’s splicing techniques Funny no mention of GISS adjustments. No mention of CRU’s dog eating the data under Jones direction. Just a no fact attack on you via YouTube, He seems to pine for the limelight.
Thank You for all of your efforts.
Terry

nofreewind

Regarding Greenland melting. Rutgers U seems to think it is turning white.
http://notrickszone.com/2012/01/10/rutgers-university-greenland-snow-cover-expanding-since-1967-turning-white/

newtlove

Lord Monckton,
I realize that you’re a Peer, or a Blue-Blood line Royal, but you are a bona fide Lord.
So, how many peers does The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley have, and could they muster a decent peer review for a science mag? I don’t want to spark class envy or class warfare in the scientific ranks, but few have enough standing to hold your coat tails.
As a tough-as-nuts US DoD scientist specializing in Modeling, Simulation, & Analysis, and also a (former active duty) US Marine, I salute you! You are a valiant warrior!

newtlove

Oops! I meant “not a Peer, or a Blue-Blood Royal” My lost word throws the whole post out of whack!

R. Gates

Lord Monckton said:
” I hope shortly to be in a position to demonstrate formally that climate sensitivity is unarguably little more than one-third of the IPCC’s central estimate.”
______
I shall very much enjoy reading or watching your demonstation of this. Especially, I will be interested in how you can conclude that transient sensitivity is “nearly equal” to equilibrium sensitivity, and hope that you show all your various research into the various potential long term earth systems that will affect eventual equalibrium sensitivity. As we don’t yet even know (and likely won’t, as CO2 levels continue to climb as several ppm per year) what the equalibrium sensitivity is to 390 ppm, we can’t possibly know what the equalibrium sensitivity will be to a doubling of CO2. Certainly there no simple scaling factor that you can plug into a formula that will let you know what a final equalibrium sensitivity is as the respsonse to each little nudge that we give the atmosphere is non-linear, and likely to be, much like the entrance to and exit from the Younger Dryas, a jump to a new state.
At any rate, I shall look forward greatly to your paper on sensitivity, and hope greatly that you are not simply talking about transient sensitivity, as it not the most important part of the issue.

Ralph

The potholer-caveman would not be called ‘A Physicist’ would he? Sounds like the same level of expertise to me….

DirkH

It’s a propaganda war, probably financed by Big Green.
German subsidized wind energy broke a record in electricity production in NOV/DEC 2011, nearly toppling the Czech grid over as we were swamping them with the surplus production. A lot of vested interests.(*)
Warmism is a billion dollar business due to the renewables subsidies; and they will keep fighting tooth and nail against anyone who threatens their revenue.
(*) German pro-wind power article celebrating it:
http://www.feelgreen.de/stuermische-tage-rekord-fuer-die-windenergie/id_52945244/index
Lubos with the Czech perspective:
http://motls.blogspot.com/2012/01/canada-greece-iran-germany.html#more

perlcat

Lord Monckton, you don’t suffer fools gladly, and it is a pleasure to watch you open the can of logic whoop-ass on the caveman. I’d say you nuked him back to the stone age, but I believe that was his starting point.

Why do I find potholer so hard to listen to?

JeffT

Just brilliant (as usual) Lord Christopher,
There are two visuals that spring to mind, that throws mud in the eyes of the warmistas when the melting of Greenland is brought up:-
Glacier Girl, a P38 ditched in 1942, buried under 25 storeys of ice in Greenland
http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm
DEW line stations buried under ice in Greenland (Watts Up With That)
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/30/the-ice-in-greenland-is-growing/
Jeff

Only $250,000 to silence Lord Monckton! seems much too small an amount. Cheap skates will have to try harder. 😎 pg

RockyRoad

R. Gates says:
January 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm

… As we don’t yet even know (and likely won’t, as CO2 levels continue to climb as several ppm per year) what the equalibrium sensitivity is to 390 ppm, we can’t possibly know what the equalibrium sensitivity will be to a doubling of CO2. Certainly there no simple scaling factor that you can plug into a formula that will let you know what a final equalibrium sensitivity is as the respsonse to each little nudge that we give the atmosphere is non-linear, and likely to be, much like the entrance to and exit from the Younger Dryas, a jump to a new state.

So R., you’re telling us NONE of your sacred models attempt this? I can’t believe it!
(Note: if they do not, then those models are worthless, are they not?)

Christopher, well done as usual. Of course, most of this has already been rebutted. Potheader was never taken seriously, at least by rational people.
Now, I’ve come up with something which may interest you and the people here. Using Colorado University’s technique, to wit, integrating various scientifically derived datum, to give us sea level rise, We can see it manifested here….. http://sealevel.colorado.edu/files/2011_rel4/sl_global.png, I’ve devised a true decadal temp signal using the same methodology. We can see it here….. http://suyts.files.wordpress.com/2012/01/image_thumb11.png?w=574&h=420 My goodness! There must have been a shift of some sort and now the earth’s temps is inversely correlated to atmospheric CO2!!!!!
Seriously though, if the ice in Greenland is melting as they claim, then [that] water went somewhere. I believe many of us have been looking in the wrong place for the answers. Now, I’ve heard that some scientists have posited that the extra water manifested itself as rainfall, but only on terra firma and that we’ll see the sea level rise later. I don’t believe this to be the case. I think the atmosphere holds a variable amount of water. And I believe it is held in different forms in the atmosphere. Sadly, I’m at a loss as to how to proceed with the hypothesis.

R Gates – you say “As we don’t yet even know (and likely won’t, as CO2 levels continue to climb as several ppm per year) what the [equilibrium] sensitivity is to 390 ppm, we can’t possibly know what the equalibrium sensitivity will be to a doubling of CO2.“.
BS. It’s given in the IPCC report.

tokyoboy

R. Gates says: January 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm
“equalibrium sensitivity.”….”equalibrium sensitivity”…….”equalibrium sensitivity”….
Even in Japan nobody around me (in chemistry/chemical engineering) writes “equalibrium” for “equilibrium”. Let me suspect that your major is far from natural science/engineering, though that doesn’t affect the quality of your comments.
[Usually, readers try not to criticize/criticise misspelling errors.. 8<) That is, unless you want to pay the mods more …. Robt]

J.H.

Once again Christopher Monckton is both informative and entertaining…… He is the bane of the ecofascists. They handle the truth so poorly, that any mention of it offends them greatly. As for poor ol’ Caveman, he digs his pothole ever deeper in desperation…. Facts young fella, you need facts. No point digging past them…..;-)

I think you may have to wait in line — it sounds like a number of studies are finally being actually accepted for publication that indicate that the data so far already suffices to exclude the extreme limit of the climate sensitivity, and at this point the only question is determining the new best upper bounds. 1/3 sounds about right, given recent WUWT publications and discussions. But that’s still just an upper bound, pending models that actually work.
I also completely agree with your final conclusion. Even if you are wrong, and climate sensitivity is larger, doing “nothing” except continuing to support the technological development of improved e.g. solar technologies is enough to stave off almost any plausible future disaster. Solar PV technology is within a decade of break even to win a bit in favorable geographical zones already, and sheer economics will push carbon-based fuel utilization long before we hit any critical point if we do nothing but help the basic science and pilot projects along (the same way that we do many other areas of potential value in science and engineering).
rgb

Richard Graves

Hi pothoer54,(who must read this blog) Please consider changing you name to mm54 (monckton’s mincemeat54) Mind 54 is an underestimate of course but we can’t get everything right can we?

R. Gates

Mike Jonas says:
January 11, 2012 at 9:44 pm
R Gates – you say “As we don’t yet even know (and likely won’t, as CO2 levels continue to climb as several ppm per year) what the [equilibrium] sensitivity is to 390 ppm, we can’t possibly know what the equalibrium sensitivity will be to a doubling of CO2.“.
BS. It’s given in the IPCC report.
——–
That was a good one…funny stuff.

Anna Lemma

Sneering at bible colleges is just a ….cheap, cheap shot. Ditto the reference to “Nowheresville”.
I wish Monckton would let us know which American “bible colleges” are the sources of criticism against him. Last time I checked, such criticism has come from such secular and high-toned schools as Harvard, Yale, Princeton, etc.
When “Mr. Blifil” gets done sniffing into his perfumed hanky, I hope he will deign to reply.
Methinks the learned and lordly Monckton does not understand that we colonials do not take kindly to HEREDITARY (aka genetically debilitated and socially/politically) English “nobility” pissing all over us Yanks.
So FRACK YOU, sir! by which, of course, I mean “inject copious amounts of high-pressure water up your anus, sirrah!”
(which is a shame, inasmuch as Monckton’s arguments “on the merits” against the AGW crowd are spot-on).
but — next time you folks here on WUWT deal with him, remember this: he’s a snob. A solid-gold electro-magnetic English upper-class-twit snob. Genuflecting in his direction only makes him despise you more.

r.murphy

As a committed believer that freedom of religion, speech, conscience etc is a human right I am obligated to participate in this debate. Daily the media inundates us with a campaign of fear that the climate future, and thus the world, is doomed by human success. While pollution, gluttonous consumerism, and the incredible greed of the elite class are serious threats, the efficient use of fossil fuels possibly leaving us with a slightly warmer and more productive planet, should properly be regarded as blessings. The debate is deadly serious, if the UN are permitted to lead us to their future, humanity can only weaken and diminish. It is our duty to always fight for our childrens future.

R. Gates

RockyRoad says:
January 11, 2012 at 9:36 pm
R. Gates says:
January 11, 2012 at 8:34 pm
… As we don’t yet even know (and likely won’t, as CO2 levels continue to climb as several ppm per year) what the equalibrium sensitivity is to 390 ppm, we can’t possibly know what the equalibrium sensitivity will be to a doubling of CO2. Certainly there no simple scaling factor that you can plug into a formula that will let you know what a final equalibrium sensitivity is as the respsonse to each little nudge that we give the atmosphere is non-linear, and likely to be, much like the entrance to and exit from the Younger Dryas, a jump to a new state.
So R., you’re telling us NONE of your sacred models attempt this? I can’t believe it!
(Note: if they do not, then those models are worthless, are they not?)
———–
They do not do so exceptionally well, IMO, but it doesn’t make them “worthless”– except perhaps in the minds of skeptics. Earth-system or true equilibrium sensitivity taking all slow feedbacks into account along with any potential jumps to new climate states is impossible, as even the full feedbacks of just one part- such as clouds, is so impossible complex that we may never get a handle on all the details. But the models are still useful. Personally, I think the best combination is looking at any data we can from time periods with similar CO2 levels to our own, and the comparing those finding to what the models say might exist in such time periods. By studying the paleodata, we are in essence aleady looking at the final equilibrium sensitivity to a given forcing. We may not know the exact path the climate system took to get to the equilibrium point, but if the paleodata begins to merge with what the models say, we might be capturing most of the feedbacks.

Anna Lemma

A minor correction: I should have said , “Genuflecting in his general direction only makes him despise you more.”

a jones

Anthony I am going to be fairly blunt here and if you or the Mods choose to strike this post I will not take it amiss. It’s your blog.
Before starting I would remind you that in most jurisdictions based on English law, which includes the USA, there is a distinction between defamation, I cannot call XYZ a crook, it is against the law, but I can say XYZ is a twerp because that is mere Vulgar Abuse and is not actionable.
So I am going to choose my words very carefully.
It happens that I know both these persons although of course of latter years we only meet occasionally in passing in some bunfight or another in London Town. And I seldom visit London Town these days.
Monckton is actually a very clever man, perhaps too clever for his own good. He always had a rather inflated view of his own importance.That he now goes about the world preaching his doctrine does not bother me. Did not Al Gore do it before him? And if he makes a penny or two, well that is show business.
As for potholer 54. Do you not love that beautiful BBC accent?. And the splendidly polished manners? Not to mention his elegant nitpicking and supposed precision. The epitome of a balanced report you might say. If you belong to the BBC, or possibly the Guardian.
Well let me tell you this boy is a **** of the very first water. A nastier piece of work you would have to go a long way to find. Forget the superb diction, the apparent courtesy, the overall air of being reasonable. There are such creatures upon the face of the earth, I imagine there have always have been, and always will be.
It reminds me of a wonderful Punch cartoon,a humorous English magazine, some hundred years ago, At that time there was much concern amongst the upper and middle classes about what you in the USA would call the yellow press. In England it was called the gutter press.
Anyway there is a Journalist standing in the effluvia which ran down the streets in those days saying to the passers by ‘ Another halfpenny and I’ll roll in it for yer.’
And you think times have changed?
Kindest Regards.

Anna Lemma says:
January 11, 2012 at 10:09 pm
Sneering at bible colleges is just a ….cheap, cheap shot. Ditto the reference to “Nowheresville”.
=========================================================
Anna, don’t get all huffy…… It was a professor Abraham, and it was a horrible misrepresentation of Christopher’s statements. It was vile, but Abraham’s video went virile in the alarmist world, and that was back when there were more than just the handful that remains. I believe the college is called St. Thomas….. at any rate, its old news, but like most of us, Christopher probably doesn’t forget unwarranted personal attacks. It was quite a time. It ended with the professor being forced to delete some of his more egregious misrepresentations. About 10 minutes worth as I recall.
You can read about it here…… http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/07/14/abraham-climbs-down/

Eric

Must have been tough to decide whether to respond to this guy. The threshold was met, and you gave back more than you got. Nice one.

Crispin in Waterloo

Caveman is praised at http://www.good.is/post/peter-hadfield-has-an-excellent-youtube-channel where it is claimed he is converting skeptics. “Converting”? Is Caveman building a Jonestown for the faithful to flock to?
That is was a writer for New Scientist is one of the reasons I stopped reading it after 40 years. Absolutely unbearable warmist bilge.
R Gates: why to you persist in tapping the keys when you have nothing to say? You apparently have learned enough to be able to say that the sensitivity is unknown, yet you hardly ever fail to promote rising CO2 as the primary driver of temperature. 40% and all that. Methinks you should seek a new audience who does not about that putative connection.
Your own noosed petard now hangs over you: ‘several ppm per year’. That is your forecast, is it? How many is ‘several’? Let’s see what happens in the coming years. And the temperature implications? Got a figure there too, or just generalised warmist porridge?
Monckton: as always I look forward enthusiastically to your written works. Thanks for rolling a rock across the troglodyte’s door.

DirkH

R. Gates says:
January 11, 2012 at 10:19 pm
“We may not know the exact path the climate system took to get to the equilibrium point, but if the paleodata begins to merge with what the models say, we might be capturing most of the feedbacks.”
Getting the right number for the wrong reason out of a model that you have tweaked to achieve exactly that is
a) futile
b) tautological
c) something that the people inclined to do that should fund out of their own pockets.
d) one should stop calling them scientists. Crackpots is nice, snappy, easy to remember and fits the bill perfectly.

andyd

Let me guess Anna, you attended a fourth-rate bible college in some nowheresville. feeling a bit touchy?

DirkH

DirkH says:
January 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm
“Getting the right number for the wrong reason out of a model that you have tweaked to achieve exactly that is”
Or to clarify further: There is an infinite number of models that will deliver you the right hindcasting.

Robert Brown says: ………….Solar PV technology is within a decade of break even to win a bit in favorable geographical zones already, …………..
==================================================
lol, good one! It sure is! In thinly populated desert areas, and it will produce electricity when the need is at the lowest! Sorry, just couldn’t help myself……….. but, yes, I agree, long before atmospheric CO2 would do anything drastic, our fuels and energy will have changed to where it won’t be a problem anyway.

phlogiston

“Monckton says there has been no correlation between temperature and CO2 for the past 500 million years. There has.” Well, there has in the past few thousand years, but the correlation since the Cambrian era has been spectacularly poor, as the slide (from a peer-reviewed paper) that the caveman fleetingly shows me using at that point demonstrates very clearly. For most of that long period, global temperatures were about 7 Celsius degrees warmer than the present: yet CO2 concentration has inexorably declined throughout the period.
Perhaps the “correlation” between historic CO2 and temperature is the REALLY strong one shown in this data:
http://img801.imageshack.us/img801/289/logwarmingpaleoclimate.png
(Note the idiotic curve-fits – the real regression here is clearly zero except at the far left end. The problem for humanity is not too much CO2 but too little.)

Glin

[snip. Clean up the language. ~dbs, mod.]

Col

Jas Sexton …
“Seriously though, if the ice in Greenland is melting as they claim, then [that] water went somewhere. I believe many of us have been looking in the wrong place for the answers. ”
Ever thought about the moisture holding capacity of the (co2 induced) expanding biosphere ?
e.g. all those peat bogs !, sahel, my garden !

John Mason

I see you repeat Plimer’s Neoproterozoic dolomite/CO2/mile-high glaciers connection yet again.
a) his CO2 estimate is wayyyy too high
b) the dolomites are cap carbonates. They lie with unconformity upon the tillites (the glacial deposits). What they record is sea-level rise following deglaciation. If you or other readers here wish to discover more, use Google Scholar and “cap carbonates” for an interesting afternoon of reading.

David

Anna Lemma says:
January 11, 2012 at 10:35 pm
A minor correction: I should have said , “Genuflecting in his general direction only makes him despise you more.”
Anna, I have seen no indication of his despising any group, but after reading your comment he may feel inclined to do some French Monte Python something, in your general direction.
Cheers, and points to you Anna for dislikeing someone but still seeing the veracity of their comments.

Col

should be Biomass not biosphere !

The bit about temperature and CO2 levels being correlated gave me a thought: Given that there’s an 800-year time lag and that Temperature leads CO2 timewise in this correlation — perhaps we can blame the Medieval Warming Period on the Industrial revolution!

R. Craigen

MODERATOR: Can you kill the above post under WISE Math, or switch the user to my name [OK, I’ve tied myself in knots over this one. Please just submit the comment again. -REP]

zefal

JeffT says:
January 11, 2012 at 9:32 pm
Just brilliant (as usual) Lord Christopher,
There are two visuals that spring to mind, that throws mud in the eyes of the warmistas when the melting of Greenland is brought up:-
Glacier Girl, a P38 ditched in 1942, buried under 25 storeys of ice in Greenland
http://p38assn.org/glacier-girl.htm
DEW line stations buried under ice in Greenland (Watts Up With That)
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/12/30/the-ice-in-greenland-is-growing/
Jeff
Back in 2001 I had Directv installed after not having cable for about 5 years. I gravitated towards National Geographic channel. I remember three instances where the programs (none having nothing to do with climate) as an aside would attribute some event to global warming. If someone’s ice was melting in their drink it was global warming. Slight exaggeration but only slight. This occurring only in two or three weeks of having cable again. Well then comes the documentary on the melting out of the P-38s of 250 feet of ice. As I recall they said 30 feet of snow a year for fifty years. The 30 feet a year eventually compacts into five feet of ice. Not one friggin mention of global warming! I recounted this on a news forum probably about 2 years later. Recently (last couple months) I saw someone mention the P-38 documentary on fark.com and the lack of any mention in the documentary about global warming. As we know now it’s now called climate change and what that is is anything they find advantageous to attribute to it.
I usually stay away from NatGeo now for that reason but I was watching a documentary on the Eskimos hunting Bowhead whales. I knew at some point they would proselytize about climate change and they didn’t fail. The first mention was the obvious; ice is melting. Apparently, ice never melted before in the warming season. Second was the whales that the Eskimos rely on are doing quite well after nearly being hunted to extinction. I knew they weren’t going to leave it there less someone get the wrong impression that climate calamity wasn’t sticking its nose into their survival. They brought up something about Killer whales and Walruses migrating further north due to their climate bogeyman and are impinging on the whales’ territory. Stay Tuned!

david

O/T from South Africa: http://sawdis1.blogspot.com/2012/01/storm-over-weather-law.html
Quote: “A storm is brewing over the government’s bid to severely punish those who issue severe weather warnings without official sanction.
The proposed SA Weather Service Amendment Bill makes it illegal to issue such warnings without written permission from the weather service, and those found guilty could face fines of up to R5 million or five years’ jail.
In the case of a second or subsequent conviction, a fine of up to R10m or 10 years’ jail will apply.”
Nothing in government works, and privateers such as SAWDOS are the only reliable warnings many could receive if needed. The proposed law is stupid and will kill people, how can we undermine this silliness?
Any ideas would be appreciated.
Back to regular programming, thanks 🙂

Lew Skannen

So who is the snob anna lemma?
You are the one attacking someone on the basis of his social class.
” solid-gold electro-magnetic”
errm … is that even possible?

Roger Knights

Monckton wrote:
The IPCC’s own “peer-reviewers” had said the figure should be “2350”, not “2035”, but the lead author of the chapter in question had left in the wrong figure, knowing it to be unverified, because, as he later publicly admitted, he wanted to influence governments.

You’re referring, as your next paragraph makes clear, to Lal. But he held a higher rank than lead author in the Asia Group; he was a co-ordinating lead author, one of four. There were many more lead authors. The lowest rank is author, aka contributing author. Donna Laframboise explains the hierarchy in chapter 4 of her book, “The Delinquent Teenager …”, at page 10, location 142.

A Lovell

zefal says:
January 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm
I, too, wait for anything and everything in most programmes on the subject to include some reference to global warming, climate change or the general evils of mankind and am seldom disappointed.
However, on the discovery channel last Sunday (in the uk), I watched, with amazement, a programme called ‘What’s Under America’. It was enthusiastically presented by Martin Sheen, and was an unashamed celebration of the part coal, oil, steel and industrial style wheat production play(ed) in the success of America as a nation. NO mention of climate change, or even pollution. Workers in these industries were interviewed and shared their pride in bringing power, construction and food to their fellow countrymen. Astonishing stuff! I am still wondering how it got aired………….

Charles.U.Farley

Mike Bromley the Canucklehead says:
January 11, 2012 at 8:48 pm
Why do I find potholer so hard to listen to?
Probably because he talks out of his pothole? 😉

John Brookes

“Monckton says there’s no systematic loss of sea-ice in the Arctic. There is.” No, I said that the 30-year record low ice extent of 2007 had been largely reversed in 2008 and 2009. The caveman, if he were capable of checking these or any data, would find this to be so. In fact, he knew this to be so, because the slide I was showing at that point in his video, taken from the University of Illinois’ Cryosphere monitoring program, shows it. Of course, the slide was only in the background of his video and was shown only for a few seconds. Since that particular talk of mine the Arctic sea ice has declined again and came close to its 2007 low in 2011. But it is arguable from the descriptions of melting Arctic ice in 1922 that there may have been less sea ice in the Arctic then than now.
Why, Mr Monckton (shall I call you “trogolodyte”, in keeping with your use of “caveman”?), did you even bother making the statement about the supposed reversal of the 2007 minimum in 2008 and 2009? Didn’t you think to yourself, neanderthal, that perhaps you should wait until an actual trend emerged instead of going off half cocked about a recovery? Or did you think about it, apeman, and then decide to do it any way?

Mydogsgotnonose
Disko Troop

Anna Lemma is suffering from what used to be called “inverted snobbery” in the UK. It was largely because the ill educated working classes were not allowed a sense of their own value in the nineteenth century, through oppression by the moneyed classes. As money invariably led to elevation to the peerage this inferiority complex was was transferred to those who held titles. Happily since then, education has become universal and people from all areas of life can be educated and have a sense of their own self worth. Unhappily, some people, such as Anna Lemma, never acheived any appreciation of their own value as a human being and continue to denigrate others as a substitute for their own lack of acheivement.. Shame really.

In the mud, all around. Move along.

Martin

“Monckton says he advised Margaret Thatcher on climate change. He didn’t.” I did.
In order to be believed you will need to show proof.
“And of course there are scientists who say CO2 is “largely responsible” for the warming: that is the principal conclusion of the IPCC’s 2007 report, reached on the basis of a fraudulent statistical abuse:”
An allegation of fraudulent practice by the IPPC.
Prove it.
“comparison of the slopes of multiple arbitrarily-chosen trend-lines on the global-temperature dataset falsely to suggest that “global warming” is accelerating and that it is our fault.”
Prove it. Show proof that the data was used falsely.