Guest essay by Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
In 1990, the IPCC’s First Assessment Report showed a schematic demonstrating the then understanding that the medieval warm period had been appreciably warmer than the present and that the Little Ice Age had been colder. However, in 1995 Dr. Jonathan Overpeck, an IPCC scientist, wrote an email to Dr. David Deming to say, “We have to abolish the medieval warm period.”
By 2001, the IPCC’s Third Assessment Report had obliged; and, notwithstanding my Expert Review of the draft Fifth Report, in which I had listed some 400 papers from the medieval warm period database at www.co2science.org establishing by measurement that the medieval warm period was real, was global and was almost everywhere warmer than the present, the IPCC defied the evidence and preferred the models that had been shown to be defective (McIntyre & McKitrick, 2005).
In the autumn of 2013, the Government of Colombia invited me to Bogota, where, after several university lectures and two addresses to Simón Bolívar’s anti-corruption department, the Procuraduria, I was also asked to give a lecture to 200 trainees at the Army School of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence.
I began with a quotation from Sun Tzu, the earliest strategist to write about how to win a warm. Sun Tzu wrote: “All warfare is based on deception.” I explained to the trainees that I was going to demonstrate to them by various examples a method by which a lay intelligence officer could identify deception even in a field of study that was not his specialism.
My first illustration was the absurd “hockey-stick” graph that had falsely abolished the medieval warm period by a series of flagrant statistical dodges. I said that before the modelers had worked their gloomy magic to abolish the medieval warm period attempts to reconstruct global temperatures had concentrated on studying the measurable effects of temperature change. And the most obvious effect of temperature change on the environment was sea level.
Water expands a little as it warms. This thermosteric expansion makes sea level rise in warmer weather and fall in cooler weather. I looked for a reconstruction of sea level rise over the past millennium and, thanks to Dr. Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian, who reads everything, I came across a graph from Grinsted et al. (2009).
The Grinsted graph is a poor match for the hockey-stick graph. However, it matches the IPCC’s earlier schematic to a very high correlation. I told the trainee intelligence agents that this simple but robust method, which demanded of the intelligence agent nothing more than what our British James Bonds call “the Mark I Eyeball”, indicated that the Middle Ages had indeed been warmer than the present, and the Little Ice Age cooler.
I also pointed out that, notwithstanding the pronounced fluctuations in temperature over the past millennium, including the cold weather that had frozen the Thames in London and the Hudson in New York during several winters at the end of the 17th century (Fig. 1), global sea level had varied by as little as ± 20 cm throughout the millennium. With a graph (Fig. 2) from the inimitable Willis Eschenbach, I showed that in the past 420,000 years absolute global temperature had fluctuated by as little as 3 Cº, or 1%, either side of the long-run median. It is difficult to get global temperature to change much.
With this small fluctuation in temperatures, how had sea level risen by 400 feet (130 m) in the 11,400 years since the end of the last Ice Age? The mean rate of rise was almost 4 feet/century. The answer is ice-melt. Once temperatures become warm enough to cause the ice on great northern-hemisphere land masses such as North America to melt, sea level will rise sharply, as it did after the end of the Younger Dryas cooling event that brought the last Ice Age to an end. In fact, global temperature rose by 5 Cº in just three years, according to the ice cores.
However, I said, in the past millennium the changes in the cryosphere had been comparatively small. The main reason for sea-level changes was thermosteric expansion, so the changes over the past 1000 years were in centimeters, not meters.
Nevertheless, it was clear that the weather had been warm enough in the Middle Ages to push sea level up by 20 cm, and cool enough in the Little Ice age to push it down by 20 cm. This profile did not fit the hockey stick (Fig. 3), but it did fit the IPCC’s 1990 schematic showing both the MWP and the LIA (Fig. 4).
The Director of the Intelligence School, who had been nodding enthusiastically throughout this part of my talk, quietly slipped out of the room and came back some minutes later clutching something.
At the end of my lecture, after several more than usually perceptive questions had come from the audience, the Director came on to the stage and presented me with a magnificent gong, the Medal of the Army School of Intelligence and Counter-Intelligence, that now has pride of place on my neo-Classical mantelpiece beneath the handsome portraits of my ancestors.
On returning to Scotland I told a friend of the award. He replied, “Intelligence medal? You?” That is what friends are for.