Monckton asks IPCC for correction to AR4

4 May 2013

IPCC Secretariat, Geneva


Request for correction of a serious inaccuracy in the contribution of Working Group 1 to the IPCC’s Fourth Assessment Report


As an Expert Reviewer for the Fifth Assessment Report, 2013, and in accordance with the IPCC Protocol for Addressing Possible Errors in IPCC Assessment Reports, I am writing to report a serious inaccuracy in the contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report, 2007. As a result of the inaccuracy, one of the report’s central conclusions was inappropriately drawn. The inaccuracy could have been avoided in the context of the information available at the time the report was written. It does not reflect new knowledge, scientific information, additional sources or a mere difference of opinion. I request that the inaccuracy be corrected and the correction published in the Errata for Working Group I’s contribution to the Fourth Assessment Report. No such correction currently appears in the Errata.

The error lies in a graph of the HadCRUt global temperature anomalies from 1850-2005, which appears twice in the Fourth Assessment Report. The graph purports to show, but does not show, that the rate of global warming has been accelerating and that the accelerated global warming is anthropogenic.

I understand that the graph as submitted to the IPCC Secretariat in the scientists’ final draft of the Fourth Assessment Report was substantially as it appears below (though axial notations are mine):


The above graph appears correct. It should be restored in place of the seriously inaccurate version that was substituted for it in at least two places in the Fourth Assessment Report.

The inaccurate version of the graph first appears in Chapter 3, Observations: Surface and Atmospheric Climate Change, of the contribution of Working Group 1 to the Fourth Assessment Report, where it is labelled “Frequently Asked Questions FAQ 3.1, Figure 1”. It is reproduced below:


The caption (in part) reads as follows:

“… Annual global mean observed temperatures from the HadCRUt3 dataset (black dots) along with simple fits to the data. The left hand axis shows anomalies relative to the 1961 to 1990 average and the right hand axis shows the estimated actual temperature (°C). Linear trend fits to the last 25 (yellow), 50 (orange), 100 (purple) and 150 years (red) are shown, and correspond to 1981-2005, 1956-2005, 1906-2005, and 1856-2005, respectively. Note that for shorter recent periods, the slope is greater, indicating accel­erated warming. The blue curve is a smoothed depiction to capture the decadal variations. To give an idea of whether the fluctuations are meaningful, decadal 5% to 95% (light blue) error ranges about that line are given (accordingly, annual values do exceed those limits). Results from climate models driven by estimated radiative forcings for the 20th century (Chapter 9) suggest that there was little change prior to about 1915, and that a substantial fraction of the early 20th-century change was contributed by naturally oc­curring influences including solar radiation changes, volcanism and natural variability. From about 1940 to 1970 the increasing industrialisation following World War II increased pollution in the Northern Hemisphere, contributing to cooling, and increases in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases dominate the observed warming after the mid-1970s …”

The text accompanying the defective diagram says, inter alia –

“An increasing rate of warming has taken place over the last 25 years …”

The diagram also appears in the Technical Summary, where the accompanying text says, inter alia –

“The rate of warming averaged over the last 50 years (0.13°C ± 0.03°C per decade) is nearly twice that for the last 100 years.”

My note of a lecture by Dr. Rajendra Pachauri at the University of New South Wales five years ago indicates that he displayed the offending diagram, explained that it showed “surface temperature going back to the beginning of industrialization” [actually only to 1850], and commented as follows –

“… In recent years this graph has become much steeper. If you draw a line through the last 100 years, the slope is a 0.74 C° line. But if you look at the last 50 years, [it is] almost twice as steep as the total 100-year period. So it would be appropriate to conclude that we are now at a stage where warming is taking place much faster … So I’d like to emphasize the fact that we are at a stage where warming is taking place at a much faster rate, and clearly if we don’t bring about some changes we’d have much faster changes in future.

Dr. Pachauri’s citation of and commentary upon the graph indicate that it is at the very heart of the IPCC’s central message that the rate of warming is itself accelerating. By implication, Dr. Pachauri attributes the acceleration to us when he says that we shall have to “bring about some changes” or there will be “much faster changes in future”.

This particular message of the IPCC has been widely reproduced in the news media and, in particular, in the science journals. For instance, the December 2007 edition of Physics Today displays this diagram, and only this diagram, when praising Al Gore and the IPCC for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

The defective graph has also been relied upon by agencies of government, such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, which displays it prominently in the Technical Support Document accompanying its December 2009 finding, carefully timed to coincide with the Copenhagen climate conference, that CO2 and five other classes of greenhouse gas are an “endangerment” to human health.

The EPA continued to rely upon the graph even after having received the following plainly-worded warning from the South-Eastern Legal Foundation, acting on behalf of clients –

“The graph, like most others in your documentation, was lifted from a document of the IPCC – its 2007 assessment report. The graph purports to demonstrate, but does not in reality demonstrate, that the rate of “global warming” is itself increasing. No reasonable agency of government, acting responsibly and with due scientific competence and impartiality, would have unquestioningly reproduced such a graph. No competent and genuinely independent peer-reviewer would have sanctioned the use of this graph. However, not one of the 11 ‘Federal expert reviewers’ whom you chose informed you that this graph was an instance of a well-known statistical fallacy. One of the ‘expert’ reviewers was the lead author of the IPCC document in which the defective graph first appeared.

“It is instances such as this that underline the lack of wisdom of your repetition of the defective and highly-politicized analyses issued by the IPCC, and of your failure to ensure that genuinely independent scientific reviewers were invited to scrutinize your documentation to prevent you from merely repeating bad scientific errors such as that which the IPCC’s bogus graph represents.”

As the EPA’s Technical Support Document itself admits (though with characteristically self-serving illogicality it ignores its own admission in the remainder of the same sentence) –

“Trends may be sensitive to changes of start date in a time series …”

The EPA refused to remove the defective graph, as it should have done.

Be that as it may, the EPA’s citation of the defective graph illustrates the considerable influence it has had on public policy. Indeed, it has also had an adverse influence on the standing of the IPCC. When I showed the graph to the Republican caucus of the Ways and Means Committee of the US Congress when giving testimony before the Committee some years ago, the then ranking member of the Committee said at once, “They can’t have done that!” He turned to his colleagues and said:

“Gentlemen, we have seen all that we need to see about whether any reliance can be placed on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

That was the moment when the Republican Party in the US decided that it would no longer support the Democrats in their belief that the IPCC’s science could be relied upon and that, therefore, Man was exercising a potentially damaging influence on global climate.

The reasons why the graph as published is defective follow. Much of the analysis may seem trivial, but the aim is to make the argument as accessible as possible to officials of the IPCC and of governments who finalize the IPCC’s reports but may not have a background in elementary statistics.

On any curve of a time-series representing stochastic data (from the Greek στόχос, “a guess”, since stochastic data are inherently volatile and unpredictable, following no discernible pattern), an artful choice of endpoints for a set including more than one least-squares linear-regression trend permits fabrication, at will, of any desired spurious acceleration or deceleration in the trend.

It will now be shown, using the same IPCC technique on the same data but carefully selecting different endpoints, that it is possible to generate opposite results, demonstrating the technique to be defective.

In the diagram below, the slope of the IPCC’s trend-line for 1905-2005 (here shown as an arrowed green line) is half the slope of the trend-line for 1905-1945:


It would be as inappropriate to draw from the carefully-chosen trend-lines on the above graph the conclusion that the rate of global warming has decelerated as it was for the IPCC to draw from its artfully-chosen trend-lines the opposite conclusion that the rate of global warming is accelerating. The example is given to illustrate the falsity of the IPCC’s technique, and to show how easily one may obtain any desired result by a capricious but careful choice of endpoints for multiple trend-lines.

By way of a heuristic to demonstrate why the technique used by the IPCC is an abuse of statistical method, consider a sine-wave, propagated horizontally from left to right ad infinitum. A segment of the wave is shown here. The slope of the curve is by definition zero –


Or is it zero? We take a short segment of the sine-wave terminating at some local minimum (at right, above), and calculate four overlapping least-squares linear-regression trends on the data in that segment, each terminating at that rightward minimum.

The first trend-line in the graph below covers the whole segment that is displayed, but the starting-points of the three remaining trend-lines are carefully chosen, starting successively closer to the endpoint of the displayed segment of the curve:


Each successively-commencing trend-line – the red, the purple, the orange and the yellow – has a steeper slope than its predecessor, just as in the IPCC’s graph. On this evidence, the curve of the sine-wave seems not merely to be following a falling trend, but a falling trend that is in an accelerated and ever-more-precipitate decline.

Yet it is self-evident that the true long-run trend of a sine-wave is zero by definition. For this reason, the statistical technique is unquestionably false, as may be confirmed by shifting the phase of the sine-wave by half a cycle to right or left:


If the trend-lines are repositioned, the graph now appears to exhibit not merely a rising trend but an ever-more-rapidly climbing trend, the opposite of the (equally false) result that was obtained previously.

Where, then, lies the truth about the trend in mean global surface temperatures over the past century and a half? Remove most of the trend-lines from the IPCC’s deceptive graph, and replace them with trend-lines marking the periods of the most rapid warming during the period that persisted for more than a decade.

This technique is legitimate: a narrow and straightforward question is being asked about which periods exhibited the fastest supra-decadal warming rate during the instrumental record.

The rate of warming in the 26 years 1975-2001 (during which, at least in theory, humankind’s emissions of CO2 might have been sufficient to exercise some small influence on the global temperature trend) is not unique. During two previous periods – 1860-1880 and 1910-1940 – the warming rate was identical, within the measurement uncertainty shown on the graph, to that from 1975-2001. Yet it is agreed among all parties that we cannot have had any measurable effect on temperature trends in the two earlier periods.

On 23 April, 2009, Lord Leach of Fairfield asked Her Majesty’s Government –

“… whether the rate of increase in global mean surface temperatures between 1975 and 1998 [His Lordship chose that date rather than 2001] was similar to the rates of increase observed between 1860 and 1880 and between 1910 and 1940 …”

Lord Hunt of King’s Heath replied –

“Observations collated at the Met Office Hadley Centre and the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit indicate that the rate of increase in global average surface temperature between 1975 and 1998 was similar to the rates of increase observed between 1860 and 1880 and between 1910 and 1940 (approximately 0.16 C° per decade).

“This observation has no implications for our policy on anthropogenic warming. Little can be deduced from relatively short trends in the temperature record taken in isolation from the overall picture. …”

Yet the IPCC, in its defective graph, had indeed sought to deduce from a “relatively short trend” in the data – namely, the last 25 years – that the magnitude of the trend was exceptional, when, as Her Majesty’s Government were compelled to admit upon questioning, the trend over that period had two previous precedents occurring at approximately 60-year intervals in the 150-year instrumental record:


Surely the correct conclusion is that – so far, at any rate – there is no discernible human influence on global temperature: merely a continuation of the recovery of global temperatures from the Little Ice Age (a recovery that began 300 years ago), overlaid by a ~60-year periodicity in global temperature that appears to exhibit some correlation (not necessarily causative) with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index.

None of these considerations rule out a gentle (though not yet plainly detectable) influence on global temperature from rising CO2 concentrations. However, examination of the 163-year record of global mean surface temperature anomalies does appear to indicate –

Ø that there has been no acceleration in the warming rate, which, at its supra-decadal maximum from 1976-2001, was no greater than in 1860-1880 or 1910-1940;

Ø that most of the warming from 1950 to date must have been caused not by us but by natural variability in the climate, perhaps including the Pacific Decadal Oscillation; and

Ø that the mean decadal warming rate of 0.38 C°/decade that the IPCC predicts for the next 87 years as its central estimate on the A2 emissions scenario is almost two and a half times the maximum decadal warming rate observed over the past 161 years, which was just 0.16 C°/decade.

The last conclusion raises questions about the reliability of the IPCC’s perhaps excessive central climate-sensitivity estimate. The trend on the arithmetic mean of the RSS and UAH satellite monthly global mean lower-troposphere temperature anomalies from January 2001 to April 2013 shows no acceleration in the rate of warming. Instead, for 12 years the trend has been statistically indistinguishable from zero:


Dr. Pachauri, the science chairman of the IPCC, admitted in Melbourne early in 2013 that there had been a 17-year “pause” in global warming. I reported the defective IPCC graph in person and in writing to him some time ago, but, though he could not fault my analysis, he has not had the graph corrected.

Bearing in mind the very substantial sums that the IPCC is receiving on the pretext inter alia of its inappropriate conclusion from the defective graph that the rate of warming is accelerating and that we are to blame for the acceleration, the IPCC’s continued reliance upon the defective graph in its Fourth Assessment Report, on its website and in several lectures by its science chairman may constitute fraud.

On the advice of a barrister and also of a judge of the New Zealand Supreme Court, police are shortly to be invited to consider whether the continued use of the IPCC’s defective graph by the Victoria University of Wellington on its public website constitutes fraud. Therefore, I should be grateful if you would let me know if I have misunderstood anything, and, if so, explain why the IPCC considers it justifiable, on the basis of the relative slopes of multiple arbitrarily-chosen trend-lines, to draw the conclusion that the rate of global warming is accelerating and that we are to blame, when the observed data suggest no such acceleration. Otherwise, I should be grateful if you would simply correct the defective graph.

The IPCC cannot be expected to be taken seriously if apparently criminal dishonesties of this magnitude are persisted in and widely cited both by senior IPCC officials and by third parties allied to or supportive of the IPCC even long after the dishonesties have been drawn to its attention.

Copies of this letter go to the Minister for Climate Change in the House of Lords and to the Economic Affairs Committee of the House, which has taken an active interest in the errors of scientific rigour which have arisen because the IPCC is not a scientific body but a political entity whose founding document obliges it to act upon the questionable assumption that Man’s influence on the Earth’s climate will prove catastrophic unless it be radically abated.

Yours faithfully,

Viscount Monckton of Brenchley


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Thanks, Christopher. FAQ 3.1, Figure 1 from AR4 is laughable. I’m away from my computer right now, but I seem to recall something similar in the second order draft of AR5.
Unfortunately, there are those–the press and alarmist websites–who fall head first for its flawed logic and then parrot the acceleration nonsense for the world to hear.


It’s the exact type of cherry-picking they always accuse skeptics of – such as the example from a recent post about SkS’s escalator graph.

Village Idiot

Fine joust, Sir Christopher of Belchey. Calling the IPCC ‘criminals’ was the death thrust by your broadsword. Some may say this joust was petty hairsplitting, and that you ought to find something more constructive to do with your time, but here in the Village we’re proud to have you as our most verbose Champion.

A request, Christopher: In the future, please use the term Pacific Decadal or Multidecadal “Variability” instead of “Oscillation”. That will help to reduce confusion with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) dataset, which many people misinterpret or misunderstand.


Excellent. Clear enough to a dumb ol’ engineer like me, Viscount Monckton.
I particularly liked your illustrations of the slopes at various points on a sine wave. Those were clear enough for the Fine Arts, History, and Journalism majors and, well, anyone who made it out of the 4th grade to get the point. But I’m afraid the EyePeeSi`Si` will just tell you to go pound sand.

Village Idiot:
Your post at May 4, 2013 at 5:34 am demonstrates that your name is well chosen.
It says

Fine joust, Sir Christopher of Belchey. Calling the IPCC ‘criminals’ was the death thrust by your broadsword. Some may say this joust was petty hairsplitting, and that you ought to find something more constructive to do with your time, but here in the Village we’re proud to have you as our most verbose Champion.

The Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (whose name and title are clearly beyond your intellect to understand) has understated the case.
Viscount Monckton omits to mention the following damning facts:
The graph was not put to peer review for the AR4.
It was added to the AR4 after all rounds of peer review were completed.
I was one of the reviewers who was shocked to find it in the published AR4.
At the text approval stage the Chinese Delegation objected to the addition of the graph in the AR4.
They pointed out that it is statistically improper to compare different lengths of time. This was over-ruled and the offensive graph was included.
Objections to the graph were immediate upon publication of the AR4.
I was one of the reviewers who objected.
The graph can be used to show the opposite of what the AR4 claims it shows.
I also used the sine wave illustration in my objections posted in many places across the web. (Indeed, although I have not checked, I suspect I used it on WUWT.) But there is a more important point. The indication of “accelerating warming” is obtained by comparing increasing lengths of time from the right-hand end of the graph. But an indication of DEcelerating warming is obtained by comparing increasing lengths of time from near the left-hand end of the graph.
The graph is a deliberate fraud.


the rules of IPCC have been softened to the point that in this way the IPCC is not any more an assessment of published science (which is its proclaimed goal) but production of results. The softened condition that the models themself have to be published does not even apply because the Japanese model for example is very different from the published one which gave results
not even close to the actual outlier version (in the old dataset the CCC model was the outlier). Essentially, I feel that at this point there are very little rules and almost anything goes.

John Blake

Given the IPCC’s manifestly erroneous, if not criminally fraudulent, reliance on this grotesquely misleading graphic, Lord Moncton’s definitive refutation of AGW Catastrophism in all its junk-science aspects may yet get Railroad Bill Pachauri’s attention. Though Tata Industries retains this peculiar soft-core creature for good reason, and Ban Ki-moon appreciates a confrere, neither Pachauri nor his abject propagandists have any shred of scientific credibility.

Jim Simpson

Well said Christopher Monckton! Thank you for your dedication toward the scientific method.
The growing disparity between the UN IPCC’s global temperature predictions over the past 15 years or so in favour of stable, albeit declining global temperatures, will no doubt stimulate the ‘Climate Deceivers’ to even greater levels of anguish and frenzied excitement to try and find fault and discredit your findings.
Unfortunately (for them) the final arbiter will be our planet where observations indicate we have entered a cooling cycle in keeping with natural solar influences. Sounds like an ‘Inconvenient Truth’ that the Climate Deceivers will find less than palatable to digest!

There is slightly shorter version of this issue, by a mathematician, (Paul Mathews, 3-4 years ago) it also highlights the controversy of how the reviewers did NOT see the ‘accelerating graph’
“The IPCC reports are subjected to careful review by scientists. So how did this blatant distortion of the temperature trends get through this rigorous review process? The answer to this question can now be found, because the previous drafts of AR4, and the reviewer comments, can now be seen on-line. (The IPCC was reluctant to release these comments, but was forced to do so after a number of freedom of information requests).
The answer is quite astonishing.
The misleading graph was not in either the first or the second draft of the report that were subject to review. It was inserted into the final draft, after all the reviewer comments. It is not clear who did this, but responsibility must lie with the lead authors of chapter 3, Kevin Trenberth and Phil Jones. Here is the version of the graph that the reviewers saw in the second draft” – Paul M
It was discussed a while back (2012) at Bishop Hill
another extract:
“It is the same story with the misleading comment in the SPM mentioned above (“The linear warming trend over the last 50 years is nearly twice that for the last 100 years”). This statement was not in the original version reviewed by the scientists. It was inserted into the final draft that was only commented on by Governments.
The Chinese Government suggested deleting this, pointing out that ‘These two linear rates should not compare with each other because the time scales are not the same’. Well done to the Chinese Government for spotting that. Too bad their valid comment was ignored by the IPCC.” – Paul M


Pointing out the obvious will have little effect on vested political interests until the direction of vested interests change with the cooling global climate. OK that point is now almost upon us and before too long the vested political interests will start shouting: “We was scammed”.
This could be the last straw or a useful one that will be picked up at some politically opportune moment in the not too distant future.

Similarly, as Lord Monckton highlights above, Paul refers to this work:
I have pointed out time and time again, to Skeptical Science, with respect to their misrepresentation of how sceptics think, their ‘Escalator’ graph, that a sceptic would draw ALL trend lines of similar lengths, not cherry pick a few, to ‘claim accelerating’
The Sks misrepresentation of how sceptics think:
My point is, that how many times do sceptics have to point out these blatant scientific falsehoods with respect to the IPCC. Just when will ‘science’ take notice, and take action, to preserve ‘science’s ‘ reputation
‘Science’ has ignored this issue for years (see wayback above) so what chance again?


“overlaid by a ~60-year periodicity in global temperature”
Agree, we should filter out that 60-year periodicity
and then we clearly see no acc…- ehm..

IPCC gets even most basic things wrong.
Look at this illustration
and observe that the south of Iceland cold Arctic current ‘releases’ heat to the atmosphere.
Totally wrong; here is corrected version
Of course, they ignored it.

Dr. Pachauri, the science chairman of the IPCC, admitted in Melbourne early in 2013 that there had been a 17-year “pause” in global warming
Using the logic of the IPCC, the 17 years of no significant warming is clearly a sign that whatever we have done over the past 20 years has fixed the climate and it is no longer warming.
Probably the Chinese or the Indians have saved the world from Thermal Armageddon, through their rapid industrialization as the US and EU have shipped millions of jobs overseas, having found that they were oversupplied with work for people at $10/day, but rather short of work for people that needed $100+/day to pay the high cost of living in the US and EU.
Every resourceful the politicians in the US and EU have solved the economic problems of unemployment through the miracle of debt. Rather than creating work for the unemployed, they simply print money as though everyone still had a job. No doubt they will solve the problems of climate change using an equally creative and effective mechanism.
Since we can solve the unemployment problem by printing money to make up the shortfalls in revenues, why not apply the same logic to temperature? Rather than solve the temperature problem, why don’t we (similar to printing money) simply manufacture temperatures to suit our requirements?

Alec M

I have just come to the end of a bit of research looking into the real GHE and what controls climate. The real GHE is <~9 K and is set by GHG thermal emission turning off net surface IR in those bands thereby reducing surface operational emissivity and increasing convection. You prove this coupling very simply by erecting a windbreak on a beach. Because convection is reduced, the sand temperature and your skin temperature increase to keep radiation plus convection equal to the solar SW input!
The rest of the surface temperature rise is from Lapse Rate and it operates by close coupling between lower and upper atmosphere processes which ensure SW energy IN = LW energy out, a powerful negative feedback control system using CO2 as its working gas.
There is no net CO2 ~15 µm IR emission from the surface. Therefore, by definition, there can be no CO2-AGW. This has to be the case because 450 million years ago we had ice ages whilst CO2 was 12 times present level. Also the Earth was able to retain liquid water at the Equator 4 billion years ago when we had 70% of present solar output. The separate temperature control system involves clouds.
What the IPCC sets out as recent temperature rise is primarily from variation of cloud cover with solar variation in the EUV plus its interaction with the 60 year ENSO. Your sinusoidal analogy is accurate but you have lots of sine waves interacting, a sort of Earthly biorhythm!
I have suggested to DECC that they plan to have inshore icebreakers by 2020 to keep the Northern ports open in Winter. So far, I have had no reply! PS did you know that rats are leaving the DECC's sinking ship:

re your post at May 4, 2013 at 6:42 am
Please explain how you generated the spurious graph in your link.
Thanking you in anticipation.


ferd berple says:
May 4, 2013 at 6:52 am
“Since we can solve the unemployment problem by printing money to make up the shortfalls in revenues, why not apply the same logic to temperature? Rather than solve the temperature problem, why don’t we (similar to printing money) simply manufacture temperatures to suit our requirements?”
But that is what they do. By manufacturing a temperature record at GISS, they solve the political problem of uniting us into a fight against humanity itself, as prescribed by the Club Of Rome.
BTW, any news about Gavin? If he as good as his ex master Hansen in rewriting history?

I commend the good Viscount. His fine
And simple example, a sine,
Shows that “swings” that depend
On their start and their end
Do not make any valid trend line.

Climate Science is if nothing else consistent. They consistently demonstrate a complete lack of familiarity with the most basic of mathematical fundamentals.
If the “trend” changes as you change the end points, then what you have is not a trend.
Every morning the temperature locally rises about 10C over a period of 6 hours. This works out to an alarming rate of 1.5 million C per century. Surely we must work to prevent mornings if we are to save the world from certain doom.
Ask yourself this simple question. Have you not, at some point in the past, dreaded the thought of what would happen the next morning? Haven’t you secretly wished that morning would never come? What you feared is better known as Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Morning. Please give generously.


Hey Kevin Trenberth and Phil Jones. You both are frauds. Why in the world would you stoop to inserting this piece of information without the benefit of review by the review team? You have condemned your names and scientific reputations to the scrap heap of history. Shame and scorn will follow you into your graves.

Thanks Christopher, Lord Monckton.
The IPCC has criminally mislead the governments of the world for many years now.
This is the new “Hockey Stick” to maul mankind and punish us for raping Gaia.
This is the inquisition all over again, this time from the Church of Global Warming.
The IPCC represents the governments they deceive, so the only way to break the vicious circle is to change the governments, while we still can.

Christopher Monckton is of course you are right.
He highlights a typical trick used by the AGW advocates to mistake a climatic oscillation for a acceleration trend. The same trick is commonly used to “predict” devastating sea level rise as I demonstrate in this paper of mine:
Scafetta, 2013. Multi-scale dynamical analysis (MSDA) of sea level records versus PDO, AMO, and NAO indexes. Climate Dynamics. in press.
The paper can be downloaded from my web-site here:
In this paper I propose a novel methodology that allows to quantify natural oscillations and separate them from a background acceleration in tide gauge records. One of the results is that the real sea level accelerations are quite small, far smaller than what other studies that ignore the natural oscillations of the climate system have claimed. Some of the major papers claiming catastrophic sea level rise for the 21 century (e.g. in New York City), which ignore the effects of the natural oscillations of the climate system such as the quasi 60-year oscillation, are strongly questioned.
Herein I propose a multi-scale dynamical analysis to facilitate the physical interpretation of tide gauge records. The technique uses graphical diagrams. It is applied to six secular-long tide gauge records representative of the world oceans: Sydney, Pacific coast of Australia; Fremantle, Indian Ocean coast of Australia; New York City, Atlantic coast of USA; Honolulu, US state of Hawaii; San Diego, US state of California; and Venice, Mediterranean Sea, Italy. For comparison, an equivalent analysis is applied to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) index and to the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO) index. Finally, a global reconstruction of sea level (Jevrejeva et al. in Geophys Res Lett 35:L08715, 2008) and a reconstruction of the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO) index (Luterbacher et al. in Geophys Res Lett 26:2745–2748, 1999) are analyzed and compared: both sequences cover about three centuries from 1700 to 2000. The proposed methodology quickly highlights oscillations and teleconnections among the records at the decadal and multidecadal scales. At the secular time scales tide gauge records present relatively small (positive or negative) accelerations, as found in other studies (Houston and Dean in J Coast Res 27:409–417, 2011). On the contrary, from the decadal to the secular scales (up to 110-year intervals) the tide gauge accelerations oscillate significantly from positive to negative values mostly following the PDO, AMO and NAO oscillations. In particular, the influence of a large quasi 60–70 year natural oscillation is clearly demonstrated in these records. The multiscale dynamical evolutions of the rate and of the amplitude of the annual seasonal cycle of the chosen six tide gauge records are also studied.
I am keeping a comparison between the forecast made with my proposed astronomical based model of climate variation vs. the IPCC GCMs projection at my web-site where my proposed model outperforms until now the IPCC GCMs.


Thank you, Lord Monckton, for your relentless efforts to prevent the world from being thrown back into the dark ages. These IPCC-cultists need a total defunding and the exposure of their scientific fraud may be the key to their demise.
In the mean time, maybe you can also force them to show a graph with global temperatures on a linear scale and with CO2 concentrations on a logarithmic scale. That would give the MSM some food for thoughts about the alleged effects of CO2.

richardscourtney says: May 4, 2013 at 7:04 am
In the webpage’s ‘Value’ column enter 1, then change to any higher number.

It is hard to take these highly technical concepts and put it into language us mere mortals can understand, but you have accomplished this. Good job Lord Monckton!

Steve Oregon

richardscourtney says on May 4, 2013 at 6:18 am
“The graph is a deliberate fraud”.
With the graph being a deliberate fraud and so widely used by so many who know it to be then they are fraudsters and AGW is conclusively the global fraud they have long mocked as being a foolish conspiracy theory.
“Deliberate” is a nail in the coffin of AGW. “Knowingly” circulating the false graph is another nail. Acknowledgement is another.
The fraudsters can handle many nails.
Correcting the graph would be an admission of the death of AGW..
Therefore they cannot and will not correct it unless they are ordered to do so by a court..

Rud Istvan

Lord Monckton’s observations are not new, as pointed out above. What is perhaps new is the set of actions specifically being taken in New Zealand that cause potential real consequences.
An interesting question is what set of ‘force multiplying’ actions can be taken more generally to provide negative consequenctandoor such behavior ( inserting blatantly unscientific charts post peer review) and incentives against future repetition? This is plainly necessary, since present incentives mostly run in directions reinforcing such disingenuous conduct. Gergis is arising zombie like in the PAGES2K paper despite selection bias. Kaufman has done it again with a contaminated 20th century varve. Marcott has not yet been retracted despite blatant redating that violates his own methodology statements. Lewandowsky just got a Royal Society stipend. And so on.
Surely country by country, case by case, there are points of real leverage to be applied by individuals and small groups beyond mere exposure of all this nonsense in cyberspace, to which exposure most of the perps seem quite immune. What is needed is more bite and less bark.

Monckton says
“Surely the correct conclusion is that – so far, at any rate – there is no discernible human influence on global temperature: merely a continuation of the recovery of global temperatures from the Little Ice Age (a recovery that began 300 years ago), overlaid by a ~60-year periodicity in global temperature that appears to exhibit some correlation (not necessarily causative) with the Pacific Decadal Oscillation Index.”
He is entirely right.The entire IPCC AWG meme is based on the gross stupidty and scientific incompetence of the British and American climate science establishment. CO2 is now approaching .0004 % of the atmosphere.The idea that this small factor is the main climate driver should have been treated as a joke when first promulgated.The natural CO2 levels are driven by the temperature.It is only by assuming the reverse and then illogically adding on the main greenhouse gas water vapour as a feedback to any CO2 increase that the data can be tortured into producing the 3 degree sensitivity to CO2 required by the IPCC policymakers on behalf of th power grabbing western governments and the ecoleft.
The recovery from the Little Ice Age can reasonably be correlated with a climb back to a warm peak in the solar millenial cycle sometime in 2003-6 .This just happens to coincide with a peak in the 60 year cycle at about the same time.For future temperature forecasts at centennial scales the level of CO2 can be conveniently ignored as being too small to calculate at the present state of our knowledge. I made a forecast of future temperature trends based on these perfectly reasonable assumptions of where we are in the solar cycles in my post “Global Cooling Methods and Testable Decadal Predictions” on my blog at
which was reposted earlier on WUWT
here is a summary of the results.
1 Significant temperature drop at about 2016-17
2 Possible unusual cold snap 2021-22
3 Built in cooling trend until at least 2024
4 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2035 – 0.15
5 Temperature Hadsst3 moving average anomaly 2100 – 0.5
6 General Conclusion – by 2100 all the 20th century temperature rise will have been reversed,
7 By 2650 earth could possibly be back to the depths of the Little Ice Age.
8 The effect of increasing CO2 emissions will be minor but beneficial – they may slightly ameliorate the forecast cooling and help maintain crop yields .
9 Warning !! There are some signs in the Livingston and Penn Solar data that a sudden drop to the Maunder Minimum Little Ice Age temperatures could be imminent – with a much more rapid and economically disruptive cooling than that forecast above which may turn out to be a best case scenario.

Thanks very much for your post to me at May 4, 2013 at 8:21 am.
Yes, that does it by some smoothing function. Thankyou.
But it does not answer my question as to what was done. Or, to rephrase that,
What is the smoothing function?
Please note that I am grateful for your help, but it does not provide what I wanted; i.e. how was the 60-year cycle removed?
The system says the processing is “mean samples” whatever that means.
If the processing was merely by some smoothing then the apparent “acceleration” could be end effects of the smoothing, especially when most (all?) of the acceleration is near the start of the time series.

Phil Ford

Some excellent commentary here – but fascinating to a mere lay-person such as myself. How on earth the IPCC continues to get away with such questionable ‘scientific’ methods in order to influence public policy around the world is baffling beyond words. Who do I complain to?

Phil Ford:
at May 4, 2013 at 9:03 am you ask

Who do I complain to?

If you find out then please tell me.
I have yet to discover anywhere that takes note of complaints concerning the IPCC and its procedures.


“overlaid by a ~60-year periodicity in global temperature”
Agree, we should filter out that 60-year periodicity
and then we clearly see no acc…- ehm..

Well done! Now one can very clearly see that there really almost no warming that can be attributed to CO_2, as the slope of the resulting curve is essentially flat from 1950 flat, and does all of its “accelerating” back before changes in anthropogenic CO_2 levels could possibly be the cause. Monckton should surely have pointed this out with the support you so ably generated.
If anything, the curve you generated suggests that the Earth’s climate — or at least, HADCRUT’s thumbs-on-scale representation of the Earth’s climate — underwent a significant non-anthropogenic change around the time of the minimum in this curve (which was, not particularly coincidentally, very nearly the eleven thousand year minimum in the extended thermal record of the Holocene) from a cooling trend to a warming trend that continues today.
Now I would be tempted to say that this proves that there is no global warming due to CO_2, but of course this would be just as fallacious as the claim that there is. The fact of the matter is that we cannot predict or explain one single bit of this curve, with or without CO_2. We do not know why the Earth had a minimum temperature in the late 1800’s following an even deeper minimum in the 1600’s. We do not know why it then started to warm up. We do not know why the warming accelerated. We do not know what fraction of the current rate of warming — which is neutral to quite possibly cooling following the removed 60 year periodicity — is due to CO_2 and what fraction is due to a continuation of the natural cases that we cannot identify or whose effect we cannot predict or hindcast to explain the MWP, the LIA, the Dalton minimum, or the maxima and minima in global mean temperatures that weren’t as pronounced as these named excursions.
No matter how you slice it, attributing any fraction of the behavior of this curve to CO_2 concentration is a form of intellectual fraud unless and until one can predict and explain all of the curve from the time before CO_2 became a factor. Wouldn’t you agree?


You will have to ask woodfortrees how they do the mean function but it would surprise me if it’s not a moving sum of in this case 730 samples (months) divided by 730.
If you don’t like it you can do a simple detrend
and you get the same result. Around 0.04 C/dec the first ~60-yrs period and around 0.075 C/dec the last period. Still acceleration but of course nowhere near what the IPCC is claiming.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

To Alec M, regards your post on May 4, 2013 at 7:00 am:
Please stop. We cannot defeat the unscientific nonsense perpetrated by the catastrophicists by producing and propagating our own flavors of idiocy.

The rest of the surface temperature rise is from Lapse Rate and it operates by close coupling between lower and upper atmosphere processes…

I had once hoped the nonsense about gravity and lapse rates being responsible would be quickly stamped out by simple devestating rebuttals such as Willis Eschenbach’s Perpetuum Mobile piece from Jan 2012.
Maddeningly, some people will not admit a car without wheels cannot get them to the store until after it runs out of gas, then they’ll look to borrow a gallon as that’ll be just enough to get it to the gas station.

…which ensure SW energy IN = LW energy out…

It’s generally true regardless that energy in = energy out when temperature is stable, not including other processes at the level of a rounding error, and the Sun gives us shortwave while the planet radiates the absorbed shortwave as longwave.
So that’s just basic physics which doesn’t need to be “ensured” by anything.

…a powerful negative feedback control system using CO2 as its working gas.

This part is such complete unintelligible nonsense, it’s not even right enough to be declarable as wrong.

There is no net CO2 ~15 µm IR emission from the surface. Therefore, by definition, there can be no CO2-AGW.

Before you embarrass yourself further, please review the excellent Ira Glickstein (PhD!) series of WUWT articles, Visualizing the “Greenhouse Effect”:
Now then, if the greenhouse effect is 100% effective at ~15µ (micron, micrometer), absolutely completely saturated, then all of it emitted from the surface would be returned due to GHE, which would yield no net ~15µ emission from the surface. If any of it escaped into space, then there would be a net positive amount of emission from the surface.
However greenhouse gases like CO₂ and H₂O could return the energy of absorbed ~15µ radiation as ~7µ, ~10µ, or ~15µ radiation, with H₂O also absorbing ~7µ and returning those wavelengths.
Thus for there to be “no net CO2 ~15 µm IR emission from the surface” is… Well first you’d have to show the differences between “CO2 ~15 µm IR emission” and “H₂O ~15 µm IR emission” and some others too, and how the measuring accounted for that.
Then there’s a question of how high up they did the measuring. From far enough out in space, since ~10µ is the atmospheric window, it’s expected you won’t see much ~7µ and ~15µ emitted. With no net emission of ~15µ, well… You’re actually stating a level of perfection that’s physically impossible.
Stop trying to refute their misapplied and incorrect science with pseudo-science, as it makes us all look bad.

Thanks for another well thought out comment.
One thing that might be missing: a reference to Occam’s Razor [“One should not increase, beyond what is necessary, the number of entities required to explain anything.” ~William of Ockham, 1285-1349].
CO2 is not necessary to explain anything we observe. There is no measureable evidence showing that CO2 has any effect whatever on global temperatures. But there are plenty of empirical measurements showing that ∆CO2 is caused by ∆T. The Warmists have cause and effect reversed, so naturally their conclusion is wrong.
Per Occam’s Razor, CO2 should be eliminated as a controlling entity. Real world evidence simply does not support the conjecture that CO2 is the cause of global warming.

Thankyou for your reply to my question at May 4, 2013 at 9:26 am.
OK. That is an honest answer: you don’t know how it was done and you say you don’t know.
I wish more AGW-believers were as honest. Thankyou.
For sake of argument, let us assume your supposition of the smoothing is right. Then some of the apparent “acceleration” is probably an artifact of the smoothing.
Whether or not that assumption is true, the graph presents the excellent point made by rgbatduke in his post at May 4, 2013 at 9:16 am
However, I would not be willing to make that point unless and until I learned how the data was actually processed because there is a risk that a more appropriate processing would significantly alter the curve.

The notion that there is a “trend-line” is scientifically illegitimate, for each point along a trend-line states a claim regarding the mean global temperature in the underlying statistical population but the claim is untestable because the population does not exist.

This is Lord Monckton’s best work to date: clear, factual, easy to follow, cross-referenced and without excessive use of Latin!


All good. It could be the Sun for instance
In fact I can ‘prove’ half of the 0.075 C/dec of real warming is the Sun 🙂
but for the remaining 0.03 C/dec I don’t find any better explanation than man made.

Terry Oldberg:
re your post at May 4, 2013 at 9:39 am.
Please do not interrupt the thread with another of your interminable ‘discussions’ based on your assertion that there is some missing “population” which you cannot define.
There is a time series. Each datum in the time series is part of the total data set which forms the statistical population which can be calculated to have a trend with specified confidence. END OF.

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

New system, whitelisting in effect, most comments go right through without waiting for moderation.
Apparent result, “awaiting moderation” is the new spam filter, if a comment gets caught then it can wait for moderation as long as one in the old spam filter might have waited to be cleared.
Oh well, it is progress, of the good kind for once.


Well, usually I don’t define myself as an AGW-believer. You will see from my last comment I’m at most 15% IPCC-believer, lgl/IPCC=0.03/0.2


Just as “Words are used to shape reality rather than report it,” we now how have graphs shaping ‘reality’ rather than reporting it. This is what happens when science embraces the tactics of social engineering.

Gary Pearse

Some points:
1) if CO2 has any appreciable effect and it is insignificant before 1950, then the slopes of the recent cooling periods should be greater than those of 1860-1880 and 1910-1940, not the same. This in itself is a good illustration of no acceleration and should limit the possible climate sensitivity of CO2 to a maximum of ~0.2C (I don’t buy that the physics demands more).
2) The marked divergence of CO2 levels and temperature are a fairly direct measure of the relative weights of whatever CO2 effects vs natural variability there are. The present hiatus in temperature rise will conclusively underscore CO2’s zero to minor effect if it cools for a significant period. Has anyone done the obvious – leave CO2 out of the models, give best estimates of other parameters and see what happens. The departure of the observed temp trace to outside the projected 95% confidence limits shows ignoring CO2 or giving it a minor role, 10-20% of the warming is at least closer to reality.
3) The “staircase” upward-adjusted local and global temperatures need an autopsy by independent scientists. We have seen the 1936 record temp deep-sixed to make 1998 a new record. Despite tilting the early temps lower and the latest temps higher (I’d like to see if the pre1998 curve was tilted using a thumb tack at the change over point – that would be very telling), we are still talking only +0.7C in a hundred years. Without this chicanery the hiatus may already be 20 years or more and the increase in temp only 0.4C..

kadaka (KD Knoebel)

From lgl on May 4, 2013 at 9:54 am:

You will see from my last comment I’m at most 15% IPCC-believer, lgl/IPCC=0.03/0.2

Believing only 15% of “Cyanide is an excellent food seasoning” may still be harmful. Is that limited to cooking veal, or for spinach salads? In any case, I would accept no more than 0% of anything such a believer would offer me. Even less if they offer a glass of Kool-Aid, with ice cubes.

Monckton puts his finger on why the IPCC has relinquished credibility yet again.
But aren’t the old ones the best ones ? Why hasn’t this been corrected long ago ? It’s still being used to support one of the most commonly trotted out myths , that of acceleration of warming, to misinform the policy debate.
Many politicians are beginning to realise though, and the IPCC is just left to look silly for not correcting it.

lgl says:
“…but for the remaining 0.03 C/dec I don’t find any better explanation than man made.”
That is an excellent example of the Argumentum ad Ignorantiam fallacy: “Since I can’t think of any other explanation, then global warming must be due to CO2.”
lgl, there is a lot we do not understand about the climate. There are things we know that we don’t understand, and then there are unknown unknowns. For example, it wasn’t very long ago that ENSO was unknown.
I am a measurements kinda guy. If something cannot be quantified with empirical measurements, then it is nothing but a conjecture. It is almost [but not quite] non-science. FYI, there are no verifiable, empirical measurements of AGW. Give me measurements. Not assertions.
You will have to provide testable measurements if you want to convince skeptics that your CO2 conjecture is real. Scientists have been searching intensely for an ‘AGW fingerprint’ for decades, with no success. It would seem that the reasonable conclusion should be that there is no “there” there. AGW either may not exist, or it’s effect is too small to measure. Either way, “carbon” should be completely disregarded when making policy. It has proven to be a baseless scare.

Steve Oregon says on May 4, 2013 at 8:39 am
” With the graph being a deliberate fraud and so widely used by so many who know it to be then they are fraudsters and AGW is conclusively the global fraud “.
Is Monckton keeping a list of all those he’s written to over the years about their persistent use of this misrepresentation ?
When the climate of turning a blind eye to such behaviour changes, the inquisition will be much greater than any the BBC has been enduring lately.

Unfortunately, all the facts in the world shoved in their faces still won’t deter fanatics from piling lie upon lie.
I don’t believe the fanatics will back off until they are physically forced to. You can’t reason with unreasonable people.