Dr. Richard Lindzen's talk at EIKE

Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT speaks at EIKE in Germany on Models vs. Measurements in April 2014, the video was just recently made available on YouTube.

His conclusion: Real science in any case it is not what many climate modelers present as science. It’s more a kind of religion. Watch the video lecture below, it is well worth your time.  (h/t to Bernd Felsche)


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I pulled out two good quotes right off the bat:
“For the advocates of policies allegedly addressing global warming, the role of models is not to predict but rather to justify the claim that catastrophe is possible. As they understand, proving something to be impossible is itself almost impossible.”
“That said, it should be recognized that the basis for a climate that is highly sensitive to added greenhouse gasses is solely the computer models. The relation of this sensitivity to catastrophe, moreover, does not even emerge from the models, but rather from the fervid imagination of climate activists.”
— Dr. Richard Lindzen


Unfortunately, he goes wrong from the start. The 255 deg K emission temperature of the atmosphere does not exist. it is the flux-weighted mean of three main zones; +15 deg C H2O, -50 deg C CO2, ~0 deg C H2O.
This means that as CO2 IR changes, it can be offset by emission from the iuppwer cloud level:
Discuss…….the atmosphere self-controls so there is no CO2-AGW!


and the “affable”, “not controversial”, Michael Mann talks to Joshua Holland at BillMoyers.com!
12 June: Bill Moyers.com: Joshua Holland: Six Things Michael Mann Wants You to Know About the Science of Global Warming
There is nothing controversial about the work of climatologist Michael Mann, director of Penn State’s Earth System Science Center…
It’s another story in the realm of politics, where Mann, an affable scientist, has been dragged into the fray by diehard climate change deniers. He was a central figure in the trumped-up “climategate” scandal, accused with other scientists of fraud by conservative bloggers and pundits before being vindicated by eight separate independent investigations. He was later the subject of an “academic witch-hunt” by former Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli until a circuit court judge ruled that Cuccinelli had provided no “objective basis” for his crusade.
But if he began as an unwilling combatant in the public debate, he has since become a fierce defender of scientific discourse. He’s currently suing for defamation the National Review, right-wing columnist Mark Steyn and the Competitive Enterprise Institute — a libertarian think tank dubbed “a factory for global warming skepticism” by The Washington Post that has received funding from ExxonMobil, the American Petroleum Institute and Arch Coal, among others.
Mann believes that climate change “skepticism” could not exist if the public had a better understanding of how science works — if they got that climatology is based on the same scientific method as any other field of knowledge.
BillMoyers.com spoke with Michael Mann, and here are six things he’d like you to understand about the scientific consensus on global warming…BLAH BLAH BLAH…


I’ll add one more quote from Dr. Lindzen concerning extreme weather:
“This is one of the crazier things. ‘Extreme weather’ is pure propaganda. The IPCC itself acknowledges no relation. That’s important to understand. They have said that.”


Thanks for this Anthony. It was well worth the time, even if I only understood 60% of it. (and I’m an engineer since 1970, with a physics degree)
Wonder if Al Gore would like to debate Dr. Lindzen ?

Good presentation. Dr Lindzen drags a bit, but he is very understandable.


hahahahaha…anyone who thinks the baby boomers’ retirement funds haven’t been earmarked for CAGW looting, isn’t paying attention. from $16 trillion to $48 trillion to $53 trillion – whatever. desmog’s Sharon doesn’t blink!
13 June: Desmogblog: Sharon Kelly: Over $48 Trillion Energy Investment Needed by 2035, IEA Report Concludes
That’s a massive jump from the $16 trillion predicted the last time the report was fully updated in 2003.
“The headline numbers revealed by this analysis are almost too large to register,” the IEA World Energy Investment Outlook special report notes…
***The report was written with input from officials from some of the world’s largest and most powerful investment firms, including Deutsche Bank, Morgan Stanley and Barclay’s Capital, along with major energy companies like Shell, Schlumberger and General Electric…
The report concludes that it would cost a total of $53 trillion to shift to an energy policy that would allow the world to keep climate change below the critical 2 degree threshold…


Louis says:
June 13, 2014 at 10:47 pm
Indeed. But the volcano’s not meaning a strong feedback is more in line with observations. All climate theories overturned.

Dr. Lindzen’s grasp of the atmospheric process is amazing. I learn a great deal every time I listen to him. I loved the part about the PDO, “it is neither decadal nor an oscillation”. LOL


Warmists love to proffer that they can make sense of the changes in climate and add a measure of finite predictability – morons all, or at least they must think everyone they preachi to are.

Snapshot of the lecture’s slide can be downloaded here. https://db.tt/638fD1Ys


Still not close to reality.

Thanks Anthony. Thanks Dr Lindzen.


Many thanks for providing the link to Lindzen’s very fine summarising lecture. Do you know of a link to the remainder of the lecture, please? It stops at ~49 minutes and my searches have failed to find a link to a second part or a longer version.
There is much to like in the lecture.
My personal favourite is his statement that climate changes by amounts similar to putative AGW without any change to forcing but as a result of variations to thermal distributions induced by oceanic effects. Of course, my liking for this is probably prejudiced by it being the main point I have been arguing (including on WUWT) since the early 1980s about why the AGW-scare is an exaggeration.
Again, thanks for informing about the lecture and presenting the link to it.

pat says:
June 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm
Maybe the costs will not be so much.


I’ll have to go through this a few more times to really appreciate it.
But, on first pass, why does he talk about “x” Kelvin?
Pedantic, I know, but it really grates for me.


Sorry, seem to have got my basic HTML wrong.

John Coleman says: “I loved the part about the PDO, ‘it is neither decadal nor an oscillation’. LOL”
“At least it’s in the Pacific.”


I’ll try a third time then go away.
“x” degrees |Kelvin?

The Old Crusader

If you are objecting to them saying ‘kelvins’ instead of ‘degrees kelvin’ that seems to be the new ‘correct’ way of speaking.
Don’t think you are alone – I still want to say (and often do say) centigrade instead of celsius.


@Old Crusader
“Kelvins” is correct. “degrees Kelvin” is not.
The “new correct” is incorrect.
But then again I’m just a”old” fart 🙂
Perhaps someone might give me a job as a line editor. But probably not. 🙁

Nick Milner

> Still not close to reality
I’ll pop back later and see if you’ve backed that up with something that makes you look less like a petulant child.


Lindzen also made an interesting talk for a group called Doctors for Disaster Preparedness
linked below :
How Science can be Politically Useful


PDO “At least it’s in the Pacific.”
…..but what about volcanoes?
Cooling? short-term burst, well understood and documented.
Warming? yes, for highly productive eruptions, some in the immediate years, and some decades, centuries even millennia later, cumulative.
Well understood but not documented.

John W. Garrett
Alan Robertson

LevelGaze says:
June 14, 2014 at 3:41 am
@Old Crusader
“Kelvins” is correct. “degrees Kelvin” is not.
The “new correct” is incorrect.
But then again I’m just a”old” fart 🙂
Perhaps someone might give me a job as a line editor. But probably not. 🙁
Perhaps you would like to expound on “Carbon” pollution…

“In the democratic processes of the UN all models are equal”…..and therein lies the alarmists’ most alarming lie regarding predicted catastrophe. The average of all garbage = garbage.

Alan Robertson

Nick Milner says:
June 14, 2014 at 3:41 am
> Still not close to reality
I’ll pop back later and see if you’ve backed that up with something that makes you look less like a petulant child.
Do come back. Drive- by ad homs would be ever so much more entertaining without being as vague as one which a petulant child might make.

Steve in SC

I like the fact that he uses Centigrade instead of Celsius.

Doug S

Excellent presentation of the Physics involved, at least as we understand it today. Have you noticed how the scientific method requires a careful, step by step treatment of the subject as Dr. Lindzen presents here and yet when you try and learn about the subject from the people promoting catastrophe all you get is hand waving and gross assumptions.
The difference in approaches to solving this very complex system of forcings and feedbacks is a key differentiator for me. We need to get a Dr. Mann or someone similar to work along side Dr. Lindzen to narrow the uncertainties in the calculations. If this cooperation by Dr. Mann and Dr. Schmidt is not embraced then the believers in the “cause” are simply promoting a brand of religious faith complete with sin (CO2 emissions) and salvation (Pay More Tax).
In my opinion.


LevelGaze says:
June 14, 2014 at 3:41 am
@Old Crusader
“Kelvins” is correct. “degrees Kelvin” is not.
The “new correct” is incorrect.
But then again I’m just a”old” fart 🙂
Perhaps someone might give me a job as a line editor. But probably not. 🙁
Probably not, since not only are you wrong but you insist when you are corrected. Neither good qualities for a line editor.
“Kelvins is correct.” NO IT’S NOT.
The units is kelvin , not capitalised. Abbreviation is K (capital) , the unit is without plural in both forms. This is generally ( but not exclusively ) the case in S.I. system of units.
You may be a little surprised that Lindzen knows more about this sort of thing than you do , but hopefully you will find less “irksome” once you’ve read up on the standards.

Greg Goodman

Very good explanation by Lindzen. I think his paper: Lindzen and Choi 2011, he refers to may end up being the most accurate estimation of (tropical) climate sensitivity yet, despite being the outlier.


What is the justification for continued funding of bad models if they aren’t predictive and only serve to keep the possibility of catastrophic consequences for human CO2 emissions alive? If weather modelers took this approach we would have models that suggest that we can all die from catastrophic hurricanes rather than models that forecast hurricane activity and the path of danger which helps humans avoid surprise and allows time to take action to avoid catastrophic consequences. Why isn’t this the focus of climate models If it where we would be weeding out models with lousy results as Lindzen suggests is done in engineering when real problem solving is the goal.


That was a great presentation. Thanks for sharing it.
I did feel it ended abruptly. Is there a part 2 or do we have to wait for next weeks episode?


Greg says:
June 14, 2014 at 7:51 am
Well, you are partially right Greg in that the names of SI units should always be written in small letters, e.g metre, second, watt etc. Kelvin with a capital ‘K’ is wrong. However, the plural form is metres, seconds, watts, kelvins etc. The abbreviations for these units are m,s,W and K respectively.
For unit values more than 1 or less than -1 the plural of the unit is used and a singular unit is used for values between 1 and -1.
The point that Latitude is making is that Lindzen (whom I admire) gets it wrong throughout his presentation. He speaks of ‘degrees Kelvin’ which used to be acceptable but has not been part of the SI convention for about 50 years.

Reblogged this on gottadobetterthanthis and commented:
Reblogging to keep track. Very well spent 3/4-hour.

Pamela Gray

Saying something wrong is a point worth making? I still say pi-an-er for piano but have managed to publish.

Geoff Shorten

mikeB, I don’t think a singular unit is used for the value 0, e.g. 2 seconds, 1 second, 0 seconds.

Rud Istvan

Steve in SC
Lindzen and Choi 2011 has some interesting points. But you note that his PDO response frequency highlighted in the lecture did not agree with that cited on an immediately preceding slide (6 months versus about 15 months observed IIRC). Remember that in this lecture, Lindzen makes the point several times that higher sensitivity means slower response time (due to atmosphere-ocean coupling, as Lindzen nicely explains). So his fast response therefore low sensitivity is probably too low a sensitivity.
You look at VEI 6 volcanos (Pinatubo in the satellite era consistent with S=1.5 per Lindzen in this lecture), you look at Nic Lewis’ body of work (S=1.5-1.8), you look at Annan’s under appreciated informed priors (S mode=1.9). Or bottoms up, look at the likely degree of overstated water vapor feedback (UTrH is not constant as all models produce (AR4 Black box 8.1), echoed less boldly in AR5. It declines even though UTsH does increase, the Garth Paltridge point). Look at the likely 0 or slightly negative net cloud feedback inferable from Forster and Grant 2006 of from Dessler 2010 data, not his stupid conclusion as repeated on the NASA website (rather than substantially positive in both CMIP3 and AR4 and CMIP5 and AR5). Bottoms ups the amplifier gain 1/(1-f) notion of feedback sensitivity is about net positive 0.3, not the f= 0.65 that IPCC S=3 (AR4, AR5) says. In my 2012 book I used a variety of different approaches to conclude from F~0.3 that S~1.9 or a bit below. The most informed present judgments suggest between 1.5 and 1.8. Robust convergence. The models are obviously running hot (the pause). So they are too sensitive.
The f and S portion of that book chapter was also posted in two guest essays (one each on f and S) over at Climate Etc in 2012 if you don’t want to read the book. It is mostly about government, union, media, and other organizations with agendas using misinformation (aka propaganda) in a wide range of subjects including energy, healthcare, education, class action lawsuits, fiscal policy, creationism, even ‘science’. There is something to offend almost everyone who practices “The Arts of Truth” (meaning untruth, the book title being itself a deliberate illustration). Climate just made a nice summation chapter of all the technique categories, since they were all present in easily illustrated forms.

I have followed a similar presentation of Dr. Lindzen at the University of Louvain last month. The most interesting point I heard by him is that the change from a glacial to an interglacial needed about 100 W/m2 to melt a lot of the circumpolar land ice as happened in that time frame. That is far beyond the few W/m2 help that the increase of CO2 provided.
James Hansen’s estimates for a 60/40 % albedo / CO2 change for the warming to an interglacial now seems far from reality, as good as most of the current climate models…

Pamela Gray

High sensitivity means tiny incremental changes can cause the system to meet its maker but the system gets there slowly because the tiny changes are, well, tiny and incremental (therefore the system also recovers slowly because tiny events would tend to undo themselves slowly). Low sensitivity means that the trigger must be big and sudden (aka Pinatoba) but because it is big the system acts quickly as well as recovers quickly. Since oceans are big, changes in SST temperature would be necessarily big. This explains the rather quick response to an ENSO change. And especially the quick step wise response to a series of warm ENSO events.
By the way, I loved Prof. Lindzen’s slow, even paced delivery and his nearly colorless graphs, in addition to his tone, nearly devoid of emotional suprasegmental features of speech. Just the opposite of catastrophic doomsday proponents as they run from the kitchen, apron overhead, screaming “EEK! Mouse! A mouse!”

LevelGaze says on June 14, 2014 at 2:23 am:
“x” degrees |Kelvin?
= = = = = =
And The Old Crusader says on June 14, 2014 at 3:15 am:
= = = = = = = =
Well, —
When it comes to measuring temperatures, Celsius and Kelvin are bo7h “Centigrade measures”
It is just the staring-point that ‘differs’.
Kelvin starts at ‘0’ K – which is also known as “Absolute Zero” i.e. nothing, even the depth of space can get any colder than that,. –
Temperature measured in degrees Celsius, are used by us “Earth-dwellers” and starts at the ‘melting point’ of ice – or 0 deg. C and ends at ‘the boiling point of water, or 100 deg. C.
– Of course, for simplicity, the calibration in Celsius can carry on – and on – to many thousands of deg. C in order to measure T in molten iron, volcanic lava etc. etc. – Even Ts Sun is in Deg. C – so I cannot readily explain why Kelvin (K) has snuck in. Well maybe it easier to explain CAGW using K

John Coleman says on June 14, 2014 at 12:05 am:
Dr. Lindzen’s grasp of the atmospheric process is amazing.
Yes John, I tend to agree with you – but – and there is always one of them but words around.
In the “Old Days”, Lindzen was one of my “Climate Heroes” – Well, he still is along with Dr. Roy Spencer, Christy, Ball, Carter and others.
But as I have learnt more about this CAGW “shenanigan” I tend to ask more questions. And the question I have on this occasion is this: “Why does Lindzen need to know the “Size or Cross-section of the Earth to work out the (it’s) Global Temperature (GT)??
If, as Trenberth assures us, in 1997, the incoming Solar radiation is 1368 W/m² then the size of the planet should not matter as it was divided by 4 to account for both the “Day Lit” and the “Dark Side” of the planet. In other words every square meter of this planet received 342 W/m². In other words each square meter of this planet had the same energy input. The Antarctic South Pole and The Sahara desert and “Farawaystan” had the same energy input. This – to my astonishment – has been accepted by “All Climate Scientists” even amateurs like Willis, and others – but not by me.
I say; when Mathematics is used to prove a scientific point, one has to be careful that Math’s does not take over.

Pamela Gray

O H Dahlsveen says: June 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm quotes from Trenberth: “…every square meter of this planet received 342 W/m². In other words each square meter of this planet had the same energy input.”
No, it AVERAGED to 342 W/m squared. Meaning that some parts received more, some less.

Lindzen is a voice of calm reason in the climate discourse. I thank him.

Pamela Gray says:
June 14, 2014 at 5:18 pm
O H Dahlsveen says: June 14, 2014 at 2:32 pm quotes from Trenberth: “…every
= = = = = = =
Yes Pamela. That is what the science should be all about.
– But that would be too complicated.
“Trenberth’s Energy Budget Plan” clearly states Watts per square meter and the word average does not come in to it anywhere. His 1997 “edition” is called; “Earth’s Annual Global Mean Energy Budget” and he clearly states that incoming Solar Radiation is 342 W/m-2 which must mean that the “average Solar Irradiation” at the top of the Atmosphere – in The Earth’s Orbit is 1368 W/m-2. This, in my opinion – after having looked at the “Solar Irradiation Data” available – is a bit on the high side.
However, in any case, as far as I can tell; – according to Trenberth 1997; – during one complete orbit (or one year) every square meter of the Earth’s surface absorbs, (constantly, I suppose) 168 W/m2.
67 W/m2 is absorbed by the Atmosphere and 107 W/m2 is reflected, or is the combined Albedo from both Atmosphere and Surface.
My usual Computer has died and I am not used to this one yet
But in any case, I do not agree with Trenberth


The Old Crusader says:
June 14, 2014 at 3:15 am
If you are objecting to them saying ‘kelvins’ instead of ‘degrees kelvin’ that seems to be the new ‘correct’ way of speaking.
Don’t think you are alone – I still want to say (and often do say) centigrade instead of celsius.

It has always been misspoken because it has always been kelvins, not degrees kelvin. THe confusion comes from degrees F and degrees C but kelvins is the unit for absolute temperature in the SI system and has been that way for quite some time. Just like Newtons for force, Joules for energy, Watts for power. When Lord Kelvin got the honor for absolute temperature, he wasn’t demoted by having to share it with the word degrees.

So it’s now Kelvins is it? Not degrees Kelvin any more?
So is it now Celsiuses, or is it Celsii?
Can I buy an umlaut?

Lindzen’s elegant comments, excerpted from his letter to the WSJ in 2001, are worth repeating:
“We are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future…”
“Science, in the public arena, is commonly used as a source of authority with which to bludgeon political opponents and propagandize uninformed citizens. This is what has been done with both the reports of the IPCC and the NAS. It is a reprehensible practice that corrodes our ability to make rational decisions. A fairer view of the science will show that there is still a vast amount of uncertainty – far more than advocates of Kyoto would like to acknowledge…”

Sorry Richard, but the lousy recorded sound quality we received does not enabled us, to continue the video further than minute 47. Michael Limburg EIKE