# A reply to Born: How to represent temperature feedbacks in a simple model

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, David Legates, Willie Soon and Matt Briggs

Mr. Born has had another go at our paper Why models run hot, published in January 2015 (PDF here) in the Science Bulletin of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. Go to scibull.com, click on “most read articles”. and ours is the all-time no. 1 by a factor of ten. It’s a good read.

Let us begin by putting Mr. Born’s criticism into context. In essence, he is saying he would have liked our simple model to be more complex. Well, he is of course free to write his own model and get it into the reviewed literature. But our simple model, when calibrated against IPCC predictions, reproduced them faithfully when we adopted its parameter values, so, given that we made it quite explicit in the paper that we were adopting a rough-and-ready approach, we saw no reason to introduce pointless complications that would, without much increase in accuracy, have reduced the utility of our model, which is that it is accessible to anyone with a pocket calculator.

Keep it simple, stupid.

Mr. Born says the equilibrium feedback sum seems to be the only feedback sum our model uses. Well, of course it is: the impact of transient feedback values is represented in a simplified fashion by the transience fraction. That is what it is for. That is one of the many innovations in our paper, and one which is found by many to be a useful simplification.

Mr. Born draws a plot of “step responses” implied by our table of values for the transience fraction. The plot rather untidily reproduces the relevant portion of the graph from Roe (2009) from which we derived the values of the transience fraction, with one important exception. Roe’s y axis is temperature change. Mr. Born’s y axis is inadequately labeled “step response”, and it is not made explicit whether he is using a simple or normalized step response, or what the units (if any) are. He then argues with some of the points on his own graph. However, the inadequacy of the labeling and the confusing text make it difficult to understand what he means, so we cannot comment further.

In the absence of any information from the IPCC about the evolutionary profile of temperature response to different feedback regimes, we had simply used, and stated we had used, Roe’s evolutionary profile. We did not warrant it as unassailable, and we did say that people were free to take their own values, and we did additionally provide worked examples so that, at least for the next century or two, values sufficiently close to the IPCC’s values could be readily reproduced, and in our own centennial worked examples on all six RCP scenarios we used values close to those implicit in the IPCC’s transient-sensitivity predictions.

Next Mr. Born has a long and unnecessary excursus on whether the Planck parameter is a feedback or not. As our paper explains, echoing Roe, with whom our lead author had discussed this question, it is better understood as part of the reference frame for climate-sensitivity calculations.

In particular, Mr. Born would have liked a more complicated treatment of our transience fraction – i.e., the fraction of equilibrium climate sensitivity achieved in a given year after a stimulus has been applied to the climate. He would have preferred us to convolve entire time sequences instead of carrying out the simple multiplication that is at the heart of our model. However, the IPCC itself uses the simple multiplication method from time to time, and we provided worked examples to show that that method reproduced the IPCC’s climate sensitivity when its own parameters, specifically including feedback values, were input to our model. And we cited IPCC passages where the simple multiplication method was used. Indeed, it is often used in determining sensitivity from general-circulation models too: see e.g. Hansen (1984). Once again, Mr Born’s quarrel is not with us but with the IPCC and with the modelers. The point about a simple model is that it does things the simple way, for better or worse.

In logic, a model is a simplification and a simplification is an analogy, and every analogy breaks down at some point. Mr Born should feel free to make the model more complex if he wants: our paper is the manual for it, so he can simply read the manual and replace anything he does not like with something more complicated of his own. But his entire post would make scarce a jot or tittle of difference to equilibrium sensitivity, which was the principal focus of our paper.

Equilibrium sensitivity is the warming that might be expected to occur by the time the climate had settled back to a steady state in response to a direct forcing followed by the complete action of all temperature feedbacks consequent on that forcing. Now, it is a matter of definition that at equilibrium the transience fraction must in all cases be unity. So the vast majority of our paper that treats of equilibrium sensitivity is entirely unaffected by any doubts about the values one might choose to adopt for the transience fraction at various points before equilibrium is reached.

The remainder is not much affected either, for our centennial transience fractions are very close to those of the IPCC. If Mr. Born does not like them, yet again his quarrel is with the IPCC and not with us.

Mr. Born’s post, therefore, deals with a secondary aspect of our paper, and one in which just about any defect caused by what he may consider to have been an inappropriate choice of transience fractions by us (or by Roe before us) would in all realistic circumstances be dwarfed and swamped by uncertainties as to the values of both forcings and feedbacks. The recent news that the models and the IPCC have been artificially boosting climate sensitivity by adopting very large but unphysical negative aerosol forcings – something I have long suspected – is a case in point.

In the climate, a temperature feedback is an additional forcing, denominated in Watts per square meter per Kelvin of direct temperature change caused by the original forcing. The classic temperature feedback is the water-vapor feedback. As the atmosphere warms, by the Clausius-Clapeyron relation it can carry near-exponentially more water vapor, a greenhouse gas.

So the IPCC assumes that merely because the atmosphere can carry near-exponentially more water vapor it must do so. That is a convenient assumption, because it allows the IPCC immediately to double the direct warming expected from adding CO2 to the atmosphere. However, it is by no means clear that the water vapor in the atmosphere is increasing. For instance, the ISCCP satellite data show no change at all in recent decades except in the climatically crucial mid-troposphere, where the column water vapor appears to have declined somewhat – precisely the opposite of what the IPCC would like us to believe ought to happen.

Another example: Spencer and Braswell (2010, 2011) found cloud feedbacks negative, not – as the IPCC thinks – quite strongly positive. Both they and Lindzen & Choi (2009, 2011) found the feedback-sum net-negative. Considerations like these simply drown out any supposed defects in the choice of the transience fraction.

The point here is one that we made in the paper: the values of individual feedbacks, and even their signs, cannot be either directly measured by any empirical method or inferred to a sufficient precision for climate-sensitivity calculations by any theoretical method. They are guesswork. They cannot be empirically distinguished from one another or even from the forcings that generated them.

And the curve along which the influence of feedbacks on temperature is expected to evolve is likewise guesswork – and guesswork so problematic that the IPCC does not even attempt to plot it, except in graphs the size of a postage stamp in AR4, p. 803, Table 10.26. The IPCC would have us to believe that half of the warming caused by a forcing amplified by feedbacks should have occurred in the first century after the forcing, with the rest of the warming coming through only after hundreds (or, in the high-sensitivity case) thousands of years. They may – or may not – be right. But our values for the transience fraction are broadly in line with this consideration, after appropriate allowance has been made for the fact that time to equilibrium increases with the feedback sum.

We took, and said we took, a rough-and-ready approach, using a profile of feedback evolution over time taken from Roe (2009). And, notwithstanding a snidish comment from Mr Born that scientific papers ought to be rigorous, implying that ours was not, we had made it quite plain that Roe was using a pulse, not a growth of forcing over time. Rigor, in any paper concerning a model, requires up-front disclosure of what was done. We did that.

So having nailed down the upper bound of the transience fraction, which is by definition unity, let us look at the lower bound, which – if feedbacks are net-positive – is simply the ratio of the Planck sensitivity parameter 0.31 Kelvin per Watt per square meter and the equilibrium sensitivity parameter, which is in turn simply the equilibrium climate sensitivity in Kelvin divided by the original direct forcing in Watts per square meter.

All the user of our model has to do is set the transience fraction at 1 for equilibrium, run the model with all other parameters chosen by him to determine equilibrium sensitivity and hence the equilibrium sensitivity parameter, divide the Planck parameter by the equilibrium sensitivity parameter and, bingo, the instantaneous or initial value of the transience fraction in response to a direct forcing may be determined.

We actually provide handy equations in the paper for understanding these relationships. You will not find anything like so clear in the IPCC’s documents.

But what about the years in between instantaneity and equilibrium? Now, the IPCC has been criticized by its expert reviewers for not providing an explicit evolutionary path for climate sensitivity. However, one can deduce from the IPCC’s values for transient sensitivity that after 100 years about half of the equilibrium sensitivity will have occurred. We provided worked examples in our paper to demonstrate this. Indeed, that consideration alone is enough to show that the transience fractions in table 4 of our paper, about which Mr Born also seems to complain, are in the right ballpark.

Mr. Born, however, expects us to have done what the IPCC has not done. As so often, his quarrel is not with us but with the IPCC. For he has repeatedly complained that we had not explained how we had determined our values for the transience fraction. Nor does the IPCC.

Well, at least Mr. Born now knows what the instantaneous, 100-year and equilibrium values of the transience fraction are, for any given situation. And all of this was explained in our paper.

But what of the values in between? Mr Born opens his article by saying our lead author had “turned down” his “request” to explain how we determined the values of the transience fraction. He had said much the same in a very late-in-the-day and not very courteously expressed comment on our lead author’s response to his earlier article:

“Many of us were interested in precisely how Monckton et al. inferred the Table 2 values from the Gerard Roe paper. The explanation should have been easy to give. Yet the authors, or at least Lord Monckton, insisted on withholding that information.”

To allege that authors of a scientific paper have deliberately withheld requested information is to make a very serious allegation of professional misconduct. That is the allegation that Mr Born has now made twice, and in the bluntest terms.

So let us be clear as to the facts. Mr. Born at no time contacted any of us to ask for the information he now says we are “withholding” and “refusing to provide”. He must withdraw that allegation, and be very careful in future not to repeat it.

Notwithstanding Mr. Born’s discourtesy, we now provide the information requested.

Not all temperature feedbacks operate instantaneously. Instead, feedbacks act over varying timescales from decades to millennia. Some, such as water vapor or sea ice, are short-acting, and are thought to bring about approximately half of the equilibrium warming in response to a given forcing over a century. Thus, though approximately half of the equilibrium temperature response to be expected from a given forcing will typically manifest itself within 100 years of the forcing, the equilibrium temperature response may not be attained for several millennia (see e.g. Roe, 2009; Solomon et al., 2009).

In our model, the delay in the action of feedbacks and hence in surface temperature response to a given forcing is accounted for by the transience fraction. For instance, it has been suggested in recent years that the long and unpredicted hiatus in global warming may be caused by uptake of heat in the benthic strata of the global ocean. The construction of an appropriate response curve via variations over time in the value of the transience fraction allows delays of this kind in the emergence of global warming to be modelled at the user’s will.

In Roe (2009), a simple climate model was used, comprising an advective-diffusive ocean and an atmosphere with a Planck sensitivity 1.2 , the product of the direct radiative forcing 5.35 ln 2 = 3.708 Watts per square meter in response to a CO2 doubling and the zero-feedback climate sensitivity parameter 0.3125 Kelvin per Watt per square meter. The climate thus defined was forced with a 4 Watts per square meter pulse at the outset, and the evolutionary curve of climate sensitivity was determined and plotted.

In our paper, Table 2 gives approximate values of the transience fraction corresponding to equilibrium feedback sums f ≤0 and f = 0.5, 1.3, 2.1 and 2.9. Where the equilibrium feedback sum is less than or equal to about 0.3, the transience fraction may be safely taken as unity: at sufficiently small f there is little difference between instantaneous and equilibrium response. For f on 2.1 [1.3, 2.9], the value of the transience fraction is simply the fraction of equilibrium sensitivity attained in a given year after the initial forcing, as shown in Roe’s graph, reproduced at fig. 4 of our paper.

It is not possible to provide a similar table for values of f at equilibrium given in IPCC AR4 or AR5, since IPCC provides no evolutionary curve similar to that in Roe’s graph.

There. All is now explained, and in quite some detail. Mr Born may be tempted to ask why I did not explain all this before. The answer, of course, is that we did. All five of the preceding paragraphs are taken straight from our paper. He has been asking us to explain what is already explained, fully, in our paper. He has alleged, time and again, that we did not explain how our values for the transience fraction were arrived at. But it will be seen that we had taken considerable trouble over that, so that everyone could understand the basis for our own approximate values of the transience fraction, and could choose their own values if they preferred.

Mr. Born then takes us to task for basing our values of the transience fraction on Roe’s model, on the ground that that model was forced by a pulse rather than by small annual increments. Over the short term (i.e. the next couple of hundred years), our values of the transience fraction are manifestly consistent with those of the IPCC – see the worked examples in our paper. Yet again, therefore, Mr Born is arguing with us when he should be arguing with the IPCC. We are using its methods. It uses pulse analysis as well as step-by-step forcings in its modelling. Each method has its merits and demerits. If our model has what Mr Born considers to be defects at the margins, welcome to modeling.

If you want perfection, wait and do a hindcast. Even then, disentangling the natural from the anthropogenic contributions will be no easy task.

Mr. Born says we were not right to assume that for negative feedbacks the transience fraction could be safely taken as unity. Do the math. For a feedback sum on [-1.6, +0.32] Watts per square meter per Kelvin, equilibrium climate sensitivity falls on the remarkably narrow (and remarkably harmless) interval [0.8, 1.3] K.

Look at the curve of equilibrium sensitivity against loop gain in our paper. See for yourself. It at once becomes apparent that little error can arise from assuming the transience fraction is unity in such circumstances. But Mr. Born is free to adopt his own more precise values if he wants. They will make scarcely any difference to climate sensitivity – and, of course, all sensitivities in response to a net-negative feedback sum will be a third of the IPCC’s sensitivities, or even less. Respice finem.

Mr. Born says users of our model should adopt our transience values with caution. Well, of course they should. We made it quite clear once in the text and twice in Table 2, that the values for the transience fraction were stated to be “approximate”. Given the unknowns, of course they were approximate. How useful to be able to end on a note of agreement.

An anonymous contributor, one “Phil.” [a professor at Cornell -Anthony], has twice alleged in comments that the appendix to our paper, which was cut at the last minute by the editors on grounds of space, and which among other things provided a more explicit but still simple mathematical discussion of feedback-induced non-linearities, had never existed.

Now, our lead author had invited “Phil.” to email him if he wanted a copy of the appendix. Instead, “Phil.” merely repeated the allegation that our lead author had lied in saying there was an appendix. We can now confirm that neither “Phil.” nor anyone contacted any of us to ask for a copy of the appendix before he repeated his allegation. We can also confirm that the appendix has not been hastily cobbled together ex post facto but was indeed submitted with our paper and approved by our three diligent reviewers.

The serious and unfounded allegations both of Mr. Born and of “Phil.” are the sort of thing that those of us who have dared to question the party line they cherish must endure daily. Just ask our distinguished co-author Willie Soon, who has been hounded unmercifully throughout the media in the months following publication of our paper for having allegedly failed to disclose the identity of one of his funders, when the contract between his observatory and the funders, negotiated by them and not by him, obliged him not to mention the funder’s identity. He was blameless, but that has not prevented the usual suspects from mounting an expensive, organized, and persisting campaign of vilification against him.

Neither he nor any of us will be discouraged by the continuous nastiness to which we are subjected. So vile has been the treatment of sceptical researchers by the climate extremists that third parties looking in on this debate can see that on the skeptical side there is at least an attempt at rational discussion, while from the true-believers there is little but hate speech and false allegation piled upon false allegation.

That is no small part of the reason why the climate extremists are losing the argument. They are not conducting one.

APPENDIX 1

Further development of the model

The model may readily be further developed to increase its sophistication, though such developments are beyond the scope of the present paper. For instance, an additional factor might be included in Eq. (1) to represent any desired contribution from anthropogenic forcings.

The model might also be made one-dimensional, by representing the latitude. One-dimensional energy-balance models (see [49] for an overview), originally developed by [50-51] and extended by [52-53], have been widely used to introduce students to climate modeling and to examine some peculiarities of the climate system. Some of the more interesting issues that appear when latitude is taken into account are polar amplification of sensitivity to a forcing, the snowball/snow-free bi-stability [54] and the small ice-cap instabilities [55] that arise from the positive ice-albedo feedback.

A one-dimensional model starts with (1) and, at each latitude φ, expresses the albedo α of the Earth and its clouds, its effective temperature TE, and the distribution of solar irradiance S as functions of x = sin φ. The one-dimensional model also implicitly assumes that the northern and southern hemispheres are reflections of one another with no net heat flux across the equator. To resolve the latitudinal dimension, the model may be grid-based, as in [52-53], or based on Legendre polynomials (as in [54]).

The model, however formulated, requires a further equation to describe the meridional or poleward transfer of heat. This energy-flux divergence D is proportional to –2T. Using Fick’s Law of Diffusion in (A1.1), it is expressed by

, | x = sin φ (A1.1)

where the diffusion coefficient, , representing the poleward transfer of energy via oceanic and atmospheric advection, is a tunable parameter that yields a realistic equator-to-pole temperature gradient and can be simplified to render it independent of latitude, with a customary value ~0.65 W m–2 K–1. In [56] a diffusion coefficient is suggested that is dependent on x2 (consistent with the diffusion coefficient in [50]) so that tropically-averaged motions are better described,

, (A1.2)

where is the second Legendre polynomial and , are tunable parameters [see also 57]. Use of the second Legendre polynomial is fortunate in that should decrease toward the pole, as it does in (A1.2). Given the complicated motions of the atmosphere and ocean that transport the energy poleward, such diffusive approximations are conceptually appealing but may not be entirely physically-based [54]. Formulation of diffusion using (8) introduces a term that varies as a function of the equator-to-pole temperature distribution which, necessarily, will alter the temperature response ΔTt to anthropogenic radiative forcings, thereby changing the response in Eq. (1). Specifically, addition of latitudinal diffusion will affect not only the transience fraction, rt, since the impact of diffusive heat transport and its response to ΔT will change the response time to anthropogenic forcing, but also the equilibrium climate-sensitivity parameter, λ.

The model may also be developed to represent non-linear temperature feedbacks. Where feedbacks are non-linear (see [38] for the derivation), Eq. (4) becomes Eq. (A1.3):

. (A1.3)

In the general case, therefore, the linear-feedback system-gain relation Gt = (1 – gt) –1 becomes Eq. (A1.4):

| ξ = 0 where feedbacks are linear. (A1.4)

References

38. Roe G (2009) Feedbacks, timescales, and seeing red. Ann Rev Earth Planet Sci 37:93–115

49. Bódai T, Lucarini V, Lunkeit F et al (2014) Global instability in the Ghil-Sellers model. Clim Dyn [in press]. doi:10.1007/s00382-014-2206-5

50. Budyko MI (1969) The effect of solar radiation variations on the climate of the Earth. Tellus 21:611–619

51. Sellers WD (1969) A global climatic model based on the energy balance of the earth-atmosphere system. J Appl.Meteorol 8:392–400

52. North GR (1975) Theory of energy-balance climate models. J Atmos Sc. 32:2033–2043

53. Ghil M (1976) Climate stability for a Sellers-type model. J Atmos Sci 33:3–20

54. North GR, Cahalan RF, Coakley JA Jr (1981) Energy balance climate models. Rev Geophys Space Phys 19:91–121

55. North GR (1984) The small ice cap instability in diffusive climate models. J Atmos Sci 41:3390–3395

56. Lindzen RS, Farrell B (1977) Some realistic modifications of simple climate models. J Atmos Sci 34:1487–1501

57. Schneider EK, Lindzen RS (1977) Axially symmetric steady-state models of the basic state for instability and climate studies, Part I, Linearized calculations. J Atmos Sci 34:263–279

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Doug Proctor
April 5, 2015 10:30 am

A simple technical response would have sufficed.
I’m sure they are sorry your feathers were ruffled

April 5, 2015 10:52 am

Ruffled feathers? That’s a matter of a pinion.

Bill H
April 5, 2015 11:21 am

I believe that mucking up the waters was their intent, creating doubt, misdirection, etc. My grandfather would call it splitting hairs to create the perception of dishonesty or malevolence where none exists. As Mr Monckton has so eloquently stated, paraphrasing, if you dont like it, expound on it in your own way using science. That is the correct way to go about it, in my humble opinion. Quit sqwaking and show your own work..
The feathers were not so much ‘ruffled’ as clarity was needed given the false accusations or misinformation was being spreed. Shedding light on those who would create chaos is an excellent disinfectant and might simply cause them to do science as a side effect.

April 5, 2015 11:52 am

It i not entirely clear whether “Bill H” is accusing us or Mr Born and the Princeton professor “Phil.” of “mucking up the waters”. But, on any view, we have provided a detailed scientific answer here – an answer which was also, of course, in our paper, which its few critics have not always read, thought about or understood as carefully as they should have done before rushing to criticism.
If “Bill H” would like clarity on this issue, he may like to start by reading our paper and running slowly through the numerous worked examples. We had something of a head-to-head with the editors, who wanted fewer tables for reasons of layout. However, we insisted on keeping nearly all of the tables, because we expected that people new to the determination of climate sensitivity would be surprised by some of our conclusions and would want to see every step of the calculations for themselves in a series of worked examples.
Once “Bill H” has run the model himself several times, he will come to understand the freedom that the actually very clearly-explained transience fraction gives to the modeler to allow for any pattern of non-linearities in the climate response in quite a simple fashion with nothing more complex than an array variable and a table of values of the transience fraction read into the array.
Though the model is correctly labeled as a “simple” model, it is in fact a good deal more sophisticated than it looks. The skill in assembling it lay in reducing the climate sensitivity equation to a form that could not be simpler, and was therefore easy for everyone to use. This is of particular value in China, where the climate sensitivity question has not been as much studied as in the West, which is one of the reasons why we published there.

Mark T
April 5, 2015 12:32 pm

I’m quite certain Bill H was criticizing Phil. and Born, not you.
Mark

Bill H
April 5, 2015 1:01 pm

My Apologies to Mr. Monckton if I was unclear. I was criticizing Mr Born and Phil. I felt their criticism could have been handled much better had they show their own work and how it might have changed yours.
Bill

April 5, 2015 10:53 am

So serious allegations of scientific misconduct should just be ignored? Have you stopped beating your wife, Doug?

John Endicott
April 6, 2015 4:52 am

Indeed, Jack.
and A simple yes or no response from Doug would suffice 😉

April 5, 2015 11:21 am

When a lawyer says, not once but twice, that we have “withheld” or “refused to provide” information that he had “requested”, and yet he had not been in touch with any of us to request that informtion, and in any case the information was already published in our paper, that is not the sort of allegation a lawyer should be making. In the academic world, in which perhaps Mr Proctor does not live and move and have his being, such accusations – unless very firmly and swiftly dealt with – can be reputation-destroying and career-ending. In fact, we have done our best to reply fully, twice, to Mr Born’s points, most of which are either insubstantial or incorrect. We had also provided very large amounts of information in our paper.
When a Princeton professor, furtively cowering under a pseudonym, accuses us not once but twice of lying, that too is a serious allegation. In the UK, there is a presumption long established in case law that if you accuse someone of “lying” and are unable to prove they have lied you have perpetrated the tort of libel – and one of the most serious libels at that. If I could be bothered, I’d find out who that “professor” is and have him up for professional misconduct as well as libel, but life’s too short. Besides, Anthony – to whom all of us are grateful – has kindly given us this right of reply precisely so that the falsehoods of Mr Born and the sneakily anonymous “professor” can be answered. If Mr Proctor did not like our addendum, he need not have read it.
Remember, too, that one of us – Willie Soon – has been under relentless and vicious attack for two months on the ground that in 11 of his hundreds of papers published from 2008 to the present he had had grants from Southern Company but had not declared a conflict of interest. The facts are that, although he had approached Southern Company for grant aid for his research, the contract and all terms therein were negotiated between Southern Company and his employer, the Smithsonian Astronomical Observatory, without any involvement from Willie. One of the terms of that contract – a term to which the Smithsonian should never have agreed – was that the identity of Southern was not to be published. Willie Soon, therefore, is entirely blameless in this affair. As an employee of the Smithsonian he was bound by that contract whether he liked it or not, and it is significant that the only papers for which he did not disclose the source of funds were the 11 papers (not including ours, which we all did on our own time) that were funded by Southern Company.
The Smithsonian was solely to blame: yet it issued a series of repugnant public statements doing its best to shift the blame on to Willie, where it does not belong. The Smithsonian is fully aware of how much trouble it is in, but the Marxstream media continue to attack Willie when the documentary evidence available to them shows quite clearly that it is the Smithsonian, and only the Smithsonian, that is to blame.
That is the highly-charged environment in which we have all been having to operate ever since we first published our paper, against which no serious scientific argument has yet been made. No doubt it will be made – that is how science advances. Instead, there have been various artful nonsenses dressed up as though they were science and, if Mr Proctor emails me, I shall send him our note listing each of those we’ve heard about and answering them. In that way, he will get all the technical information he appears to be asking for.
Now, Mr Proctor should recall that those of us who have tried each in our fumbling way to uphold scientific integrity and truth against the exaggerations and dishonesties being peddled by the profiteers of doom have been subjected to continuous attacks of this kind for decades. If from time to time we speak up in our own defense against these usually inappropriate and sometimes downright unlawful attacks, he should not in future be graceless enough to take us to task for it.

Brute
April 5, 2015 12:28 pm

Monckton. I appreciate your efforts on many fronts and have said so openly in the past. However, it is fact that you intermingle scientific discourse with personal diatribes. This is your right, of course. What I and others point out is that the value of your scientific contribution is diminished by the anger, frustration, etc you demonstrate. I cannot pretend that I understand the difficulty of your position and do not intend to do so. If this is your best, it is still welcome and still thank you for it.

April 5, 2015 2:20 pm

In response to Brute, I am well used to being criticized by people who, somehow, fail to criticize those on the other side in this debate when they behave as badly as Mr Born and the Cornell professor have behaved. If Brute wants science free of any commentary, let him read my growing body of reviewed papers.

April 5, 2015 3:39 pm

I read the critique. Skepticism is recognized by disagreement. This response has obvious emotional content intellectually expressed, but nonetheless present. We disagree with the disagreement and this is why: beyond that it is ruffled feathers.
The alarmists display rfs regularly. Fair to point out when our side does also.

April 5, 2015 3:56 pm

Sir,
Your reply speaks to the points I make. You argue eloquently and passionately and do fine work. I have worked with others who have the benefit of a classical education and respect them for what they can do also. However, when the passion of one’s cause or position rises sufficiently high, as a Hansen or a McKibben demonstrates, the technical worth diminishes in world of the public mind.
Taking umbrage is what parliamentarians use against each other as their battles are for opinions. You might say it is a tactic of the rhetoritician. For a logician, perhaps less valuable.
Colour is interesting and an arresting style in debate. It does bring questions, however, into boardroom discussions when only facts are supposed to be relevant. That’s all I’m saying.

April 5, 2015 4:09 pm

Mr Proctor is a little too preachy for his own good. It is all very comfortable out of the firing line. If genuine scientific criticisms are put forward, I am always happy to deal with them straightforwardly. If, however, the climate extremists make allegations of professional misconduct or of outright lying or of failing to declare alleged conflicts of interest, as they routinely do, and if those allegations are baseless, as they routinely are, I shall not be frightened to say so, whether Mr Proctor from his pulpit likes it or not.

April 5, 2015 7:23 pm

Brute wrote:

Monckton. I appreciate your efforts on many fronts and have said so openly in the past. However, it is fact that you intermingle scientific discourse with personal diatribes. This is your right, of course. What I and others point out is that the value of your scientific contribution is diminished by the anger, frustration, etc you demonstrate. I cannot pretend that I understand the difficulty of your position and do not intend to do so. If this is your best, it is still welcome and still thank you for it.

I know things move on fast on WUWT, and Lord Monckton has already given his own reply, but I think something more is needed.
I was one of those “taken in” by Joe Born’s statement: “Lead author Christopher Monckton turned down my request for further information …”
“Turned down” is idiomatic, but to me at least, it has only one meaning: an application was made and a reply was issued denying it. When Born said that, I believed him, and thought “Hey, I’m very disappointed that Monckton would start acting like, say, Phil Jones, who said ‘Why should I make the data available to you, when your aim is to try and find something wrong with it.’ ”
In other words, despite my positive personal assessments of Monckton’s work, made from the basis of a sound grounding in physics, this ad hominem still made an impression upon me. And this is the problem: Brute assumes that we are dealing with a genuine scientific dispute – such as that between Einstein and the advocates of quantum mechanics – in which the real issues are the scientific ones.
But in this case, it is only on our side that the real issues are scientific. On the other, the real issue is to win at all costs, whether by winning a scientific battle, or by defaming one or more of us, or by passing laws against us, or shutting down our voices, or by any other means possible, regardless or morality or decency.
So when Born writes “turned down” when no reply was received expressing the negative, I am offended to have been misled in such a way. It is entirely proper for Monckton to himself be offended and express as much, and perfectly correct to answer both the mischaracterisation and the scientific questions in the same post. Failing to do so, and to do so in just the right mix of outrage and logic, as Monkton used, would be to leave one or other misapprehension in play in the public sphere.

April 5, 2015 7:56 pm

“When a Princeton professor, furtively cowering under a pseudonym….”

Hear, hear. This is embarrassing. Or ought to be.

ATheoK
April 5, 2015 8:04 pm

I read Lord Monckton of Brenchley’s article above as all rebuttal.
He rebuts technical aspects that mostly arise from false strawmen distractions.
Lord Monckton also rebuts specious falsehoods spread about the article, Lord Monckton and his co-authors.
Lies that must be fully rebutted so that the liars and their fallacies are exposed.
Truth may hurt, but minimally to the honest.

April 5, 2015 8:11 pm

“Monckton. I appreciate your efforts on many fronts and have said so openly in the past. However, it is fact that you intermingle scientific discourse with personal diatribes.”

I see your point but on the other hand if he’s been raked over the coals for not providing material he hasn’t been asked to provide and is perfectly willing to provide to the extent that he has not already provided it, that would be irksome, no wouldn’t it?
So are you criticising the right person’s behaviour here?
And as Monckton may or may not remember, I’m not shy about criticising him for this or that. But here, if what Monckton is saying is true, then he’s got every right to be POd and … defend their model, which he was very open about the limitations of.

April 5, 2015 8:11 pm

*now

Phil.
April 5, 2015 8:41 pm

When a Princeton professor, furtively cowering under a pseudonym, accuses us not once but twice of lying, that too is a serious allegation.
I use my name not a pseudonym.
I did not accuse you of lying about the appendix.
Phil. January 21, 2015 at 7:43 am
Monckton of Brenchley January 21, 2015 at 4:45 am
We also cited Roe (2009) with approval and specifically credited him with the derivation of the system-gain equation for non-linear feedbacks.

Really, where?
Phil. January 21, 2015 at 11:16 am
Monckton of Brenchley January 21, 2015 at 8:10 am
“Phil.” should read the paper before criticizing it. The derivation of the system-gain relation as it applies to non-linear temperature feedbacks is acknowledged in the appendix in which the derivation appears.

I did, I even asked you a couple of questions about it which you have avoided answering.  Can you give us a link to the appendix you refer to, since there’s no link to one at Scibull.com.
Monckton of Brenchley January 21, 2015 at 12:39 pm
Try the supplementary material. If the appendix was inadvertently deleted, I’ll send a copy.

Phil. January 22, 2015 at 7:30 am
There is no accessible supplementary material at scibull.com, so contrary to your earlier statement there is no acknowledgement of that aspect of Roe’s contribution in the paper.
_____________________________________________________________
So in reality I pointed out to Monckton that there was not an Appendix nor Supplementary material associated with the paper, something he was unaware of at the time, and he undertook to “send a copy”.
Recently I posted this in the Born thread:
Phil. April 2, 2015 at 9:35 am
I guess it’s part of the non-existent appendix which Monckton promised to provide?
___________________________________________________________
I assume this is what Monckton is referring to when he says I accused him of lying?
There is no appendix to the scibull paper as detailed above
In response to a question about the above I wrote:
Phil. April 2, 2015 at 6:53 pm
BobG April 2, 2015 at 12:23 pm
Phil, did you email Monckton or co-authors about not getting the appendix?

No he declined to answer and ran away. He knows there is no appendix.
______________________________________________________
Which is correct, Monckton knows there is no appendix because I told him so (see above).
Following that post:
Monckton of Brenchley April 3, 2015 at 3:53 am
In response to Phil., if he emails me I will send him the appendix.

Too which I replied:
Phil. April 3, 2015 at 9:28 am
————————————————————————————
Thank you for finally doing so.

Doug Proctor
April 5, 2015 8:42 pm

Sir,
In my own defense, I suggest it is you, not I, who stands in the pulpit. I am more the parishoner listening to your words, wondering why you spill such elegantly worded venom on the preacher down the street who questions – rightly or wrongly – what you say.
It is not for one to place the anger on another for injuries inflicted by a third party.
Be that as it may, I am actually on your side …. technically. But I find myself uncomfortable with the excess of the skeptics as I am of the warmists. Temperatures will out the truth, nothing less. Until then, emotions get in our way more than in theirs.
I am sorry you have been so unjustly treated. I just think it is not germane to the discussion.

April 5, 2015 9:05 pm

“I use my name not a pseudonym.”

[???? .mod]

Brute
April 5, 2015 9:08 pm

An argumentation becomes clouded when its logical evolution skips a step in order to insert value judgments.
Some of us can claim that these detours are necessary, appropriate, relevant, or, in my case, distracting. No one of us can claim these detours do not exist in the blog post under scrutiny.
Again. Monckton (as our host and many others) are personally involved in the public debate. They take in a lot of damage for speaking out and they respond to this set of circumstances as each on of them considers fitting. McIntyre, for example, chooses not to editorialize. This has consequences.
I value Monckton’s contribution. It is the reason why I respond to it with overt gratitude. I also add a commentary that, while I consider pertinent, perhaps should be accompanied with an apology. Thanks again.

April 5, 2015 9:26 pm

Christoph Dollis,
Yes, there are lotsa folks named Phil.

April 6, 2015 12:02 pm

OK, for the timebeing at least, I’ve lost all respect for this “Phil” guy.
It’s one thing to use a pseudonym. It’s another thing to use a real first name that could easily be confused for other people with reputations and not clarify that (such as Phil Mason who was affiliated with Cornell for a while).
It’s still another thing to take credit for not using a pseudonym while then not clarifying who you are. That’s rich.

Stephen Richards
April 5, 2015 11:27 am

Technical response to an ad hom attack is an impossibility. The response is adequate offering everything the reviewers demanded. Technical responses are for technical arguments.

Michael Spurrier
April 5, 2015 11:52 am

I think you’re right Doug – whatever the quality of the science Monckton ( assumimg he’s the lead author) is an awful waffler and seems intent mainly in his posts on trying to show how smart and eloquent he is – its puts some people like me off and others obviously like it.
I have asked before for long, technical posts to have a conclusion so its more accessible to the common man.

April 5, 2015 11:59 am

Mr Spurrier is of course free to describe differential equations as “waffle” and demand a simpler way of expressing things. If he wants the simpler way, he is welcome to read our paper, which covers a great deal of ground in a very short space and almost entirely succeeds in avoiding differential equations, except in the appendix. But the translation of that differential equation is this: non-linear feedbacks may be boiled down to a single additional term in the Bode system-gain equation, or you can simply use an array of transience-fraction values instead, and avoid calculus altogether. It’s your choice.

MCourtney
April 5, 2015 10:46 am

We actually provide handy equations in the paper for understanding these relationships. You will not find anything like so clear in the IPCC’s documents.

True.
But inelegant prose.
As for Phil, just remember “You don’t throw mud until your ammunition has given out”.

April 5, 2015 11:27 am

Mr Courtney has not said what is his quibble with the English in the passage he has quoted. If he is objecting to “so”, where he might have preferred “as”, the former is a construction long used in the North of England, and particularly in Yorkshire, from which the junior branch of our family comes. In formal, grammatical terms, we had already talked about some equations for understanding the relationships between various climate modeling parameters, so, when a Yorkshireman says, “You will not find anything like so clear in the IPCC’s documents,” the phrase “… as our equations” is understood (i.e. assumed but not stated) after the words “anything like so clear”. I don’t know when this construction first came into use, but it was certainly around in the Middle Ages and is in regular use to this day, for instance, in the Yorkshire apophthegm “There’s nowt so queer as folk”.

MCourtney
April 5, 2015 11:42 am

That was my quibble. And I respect your claims of dialect heritage. It still doesn’t appeal to my ear but that is hardly important.
My point of substance was that the bar for clarity is set far higher for sceptics than for believers.
It is right to point that out. And even more right to reach for the higher bar rather than letting standards fall.

Andrew S
April 5, 2015 4:16 pm

This prose is both clear and easy to understand. I enjoy reading this writing style. It comes from an age where writers enjoyed communicating with their readers and readers obtained pleasure from reading well crafted sentences. The most easily understood technical books and papers all contain those hints of humour and sparks of life – that Lord Monkton’s writing exemplifies. Change nothing. Nothing need be changed.

Philip Mulholland
April 6, 2015 3:43 am

So: In the way or manner indicated, described, or implied.
Just so.

Phil.
April 6, 2015 5:03 am

No doubt also picked up during your time writing for the Yorkshire Evening Post, lots of interesting variations in Yorkshire english usage, particularly in the Sheffield area with many archaic forms such as ‘thee’ and ‘thou’ in common use.

John Law
April 6, 2015 5:56 am

It is difficult, as a Lancastrian, to defend the use of “Yorkshire” language. I make an exception, where the criticism of the English usage, comes from the USA.
Lord Monckton’s, writing is, despite the shortcomings of his ancestry, most pleasing and informative

mebbe
April 5, 2015 11:56 am

Regional, colloquial turn of phrase. ‘E shoulda knew better.
When automated railway crossings first appeared in Lincolnshire, motorists were warned to not cross while red lights were flashing. Problem was, in Lincolnshire vernacular, “while” means “until”. It is one of the least populous of the English counties.

Brett Keane
April 5, 2015 12:56 pm

Brilliant!

Joel O’Bryan
April 5, 2015 1:32 pm

I just imagine the WWI soldiers from Lincolnshire being told by their officer-in-charge, “Now boys, don’t run out in front of a German machine gun position while they’re a firin’ .”

John Law
April 6, 2015 6:00 am

No edit* “writing, is,”

Phil.
April 6, 2015 6:42 am

Since Monckton is the one ‘throwing mud’, are you implying that his ammunition has run out?
Monckton claimed that he had cited Roe in the paper on a particular point, being unable to find it I asked where in the paper I could find the citation. He told me to read the paper, it was in the appendix. I then said there was no appendix, could he give me a link to it. He then referred me to the ‘supplementary material’ (which also doesn’t exist) but said “If the appendix was inadvertently deleted, I’ll send a copy”. After being reminded of that in Born’s post three months later he has provided a copy (above). At no point did I accuse him of lying about it, I took him at his word that he was not aware at that time that the appendix was missing. Readers of the paper at scibull.com will still not see an appendix, only by reading this post will they see it.

MCourtney
April 6, 2015 9:49 am

The accusation is that you claimed publically that the reference and appendix didn’t exist without actually asking for it.
Are you saying that you did ask for it?

Phil.
April 6, 2015 3:20 pm

Monckton said that I should read the paper, specifically the appendix, I told him that the paper didn’t have an appendix. To which he replied “If the appendix was inadvertently deleted, I’ll send a copy”.
So I don’t know what your point is, I said the paper doesn’t have the appendix that Monckton claimed it had, and it does not. When reminded by me three months later in Born’s thread that he had offered to send a copy he asked me to email him so that he could send me a copy, I replied that it would be better to make it available here, which he has now done. So yes I did ask him for it and he obliged, it just took him a while.

ferdberple
April 6, 2015 5:54 pm

We actually provide handy equations in the paper for understanding these relationships. You will not find anything like so clear in the IPCC’s documents.
============
Here is what the online grammar checker re-wrote this as:
our suggestion
We actually provide handy equations in the paper for understanding these relationships . You will not find anything like so clear in the IPCC’s documents.
https://www.nounplus.net/

April 5, 2015 10:54 am

get thee to an editor

April 5, 2015 3:12 pm

Or maybe Mosher should try saying what he means, for a change.

April 5, 2015 6:09 pm

If even I can spot how horrible it is that should tell you something.

Will Nitschke
April 5, 2015 6:14 pm

He may not actually know what he means. One way to make the banal sound profound is to make it cryptic.

April 5, 2015 2:37 pm

“get thee to an editor”
A fine example of a small minded, bitter comment by one who has so little to offer in reasoned debate on most any issue. I have been baffled for a long time as to why our host allows you to make so many space-wasting remarks.

April 5, 2015 3:26 pm

…says the man who can’t/won’t capitalize or punctuate.
Methinks thou art egregious.

April 5, 2015 8:23 pm

Yes.

AndyG55
April 5, 2015 4:20 pm

Get thee back to your used car yard, shonky salesman.

Green Sand
April 5, 2015 4:25 pm

Yes, some do see editing to be more important than comprehension.

xyzzy11
April 5, 2015 7:01 pm

Steven Mosher April 5, 2015 at 10:54 am
get thee to an editor

..pot calling the kettle black.

mebbe
April 5, 2015 7:33 pm

Steven Mosher April 5, 2015 at 6:09 pm
If even I can spot how horrible it is that should tell you something.
…………………………………….
Okay! Now, we’re getting somewhere!!

Streetcred
April 6, 2015 12:34 am

Alas, poor Yorick !

MichaelS
April 6, 2015 2:10 am

From Climategate: The Crutape Letters: Steven Mosher, Thomas W. Fuller
“Whereas the IPCC is a centralized, rule governed body with policies and procedures, with aims and missions, with guidelines for publications and timelines for publication, and with budgets, the blogs are loosely organized, affiliated by common interests and readers, with varied emergent rules for conduct, with individualistic charters, with no guidelines for publication and most often no budgets at all.”
Comma, comma, comma, comma, comma, chameleon…

xyzzy11
April 6, 2015 5:52 am

Strangely, I get that.

Man Bearpig
April 6, 2015 11:48 am

He has got himself to an editor and the paper has been published. Keep up!

April 5, 2015 11:03 am

get thee to an editor
Words fail.

Bill H
April 5, 2015 11:07 am

“The point here is one that we made in the paper: the values of individual feedbacks, and even their signs, cannot be either directly measured by any empirical method or inferred to a sufficient precision for climate-sensitivity calculations by any theoretical method. They are guesswork. They cannot be empirically distinguished from one another or even from the forcings that generated them.”
This simple paragraph is the problem, in a nut shell, the alarmist will exploit, simply because there is no definition which is empirical and provable showing what man has actually contributed and what that contribution has actually changed within our atmosphere and to what extent.
!8 years 3 Months (or is it now 4?) of zero trend or no warming while CO2 has risen shows the purported coupling to be nonexistent. I wish those who are charged with climactic data storage would quit adjusting the numbers to fit their agenda.
Thank You Mr. Monckton for your precise explanations. It clears up any doubt these people have placed on the work presented, for me at least.
Bill

Werner Brozek
April 5, 2015 2:44 pm

!8 years 3 Months (or is it now 4?)

With the March anomaly of 0.255, it is now 18 years and 4 months. The present average would rank RSS in fifth place.

Bill H
April 5, 2015 3:52 pm

Considering the debate about solar influence, this could go very badly for alarmists should our current weak warm ocean turn cold. If some are right, in about two years we will know if we have peaked and cooling has set in or if this was just a step pause. I personally do not see a step pause due to our current set of variables. I think we have turned a corner and cooling is now the predominate pattern. Since 2002 we have declined about 0.05 deg C globally according to RSS.
Just my opinion., but I see things getting cooler at a much faster pace very soon.

Don Perry
April 5, 2015 7:31 pm
Kevin Kilty
April 5, 2015 11:14 am

I have been trying to split the baby with regard to the contributions of Monckton et al on the one hand, and Joe Born on the other. I rather liked the paper by Monckton et al. It made me think about the problem in ways I had not considered before and it is a simple explanation except for the transience fraction r. Mr. Born did a nice job of pointing out the non-intuitive nature of the transience fraction. His argument, that the proper way to handle the problem would have been a convolution integral of the various responses against impulse response, is correct and valid in a strict sense; but, we often look for simple functions of time to represent what should be a convolution in many mathematical models with (1-e^(-bt)) being one example.
For some purposes, the non-intuitive nature of r leads to potential misinterpretation of results. Mr. Born’s figure 4, for instance, shows how badly one might be lead astray by using an observed temperature rise to estimate a parameter of future climate response. However, I pointed out some days ago on another thread, Fig. 4 shows an inverse problem, and inverse problems are rather tricky at times. I don’t know that Monckton et al considered such problems, or otherwise they might have given some suggestions about avoiding the sort problem Born’s Fig. 4 illustrates. My impression was that they advocated their algorithm for forward calculations. Still, Born is right to say that such calculations might be quite wrong in intermediate times because r is not very intuitive in a wide variety of circumstances.
I’m sorry to see the acrimony that has developed here. I feel both sides have contributed much that is positive and have provided a lot of fuel for interesting debate.

JamesD
April 7, 2015 9:03 am

“I rather liked the paper by Monckton et al. It made me think about the problem in ways I had not considered before…”
====================================================
That was the goal of the paper and model.

Kevin Kilty
April 5, 2015 11:16 am

“I’d”? Oh, for a go-back editor like on some sites.
[Fixed by your friendly local go-back editor … w.]

April 5, 2015 11:42 am

In answer to Mr Kilty, whose contributions to this debate have been impeccably civilized, repeats Mr Born’s query about the difference between a model forced with a single pulse (the method used by the IPCC, Hansen 1984 and a number of other authorities, including us) or with small increments (a method also used by the IPCC).
As my math teachers used to say, don’t complicate things if, across the interval you’re dealing with, the complications – however perfectly polished – would not materially affect the result. We consider, for good reason, that temperature feedbacks are very probably net-negative, and near-certainly so in the short term – witness the temperature record (I’m still waiting for this mohth’s RSS, delayed by Easter, but I am reasonably confident that it will shorten the pause because the el Nino is now affecting the temperature). In that event, the IPCC’s inferred evolutionary curve of climate sensitivity, and that of Roe, on both of which we relied in our paper, will be incorrect in that they will overstate climate sensitivity very considerably in the short term.
However, as our paper shows, climate sensitivity is also exaggerated in the long term by the IPCC. If we are right that temperature feedbacks are net-negative, then it follows that the transience fraction is very close to unity, a point explained in the head posting. In that event, messing about with convolutions is not going to make much more than 0.1 K difference at any point on the time-curve of temperature change.
As to the “acrimony”, we have done our level best to answer everyone in a civilized and kindly fashion, but the climate extremists are not really willing to play by those rules, which is why, since our paper came out, we have variously and falsely been accused a) of not supplying requested information, when we had received no request and the information was already in our paper; b) of lying to the effect that we had prepared a non-existent appendix that in fact exists; and c) of improperly failing to disclose a funding source.
The truth is that there is, as Mr Kilty has spotted, not a lot wrong with our paper. The transience fraction does take a bit of getting used to, but it is an elegantly simple way to model non-linearities from whatever source and over whatever evolutionary profile. The very fact that this discussion has taken place indicates that people are looking at our paper, thinking about it and beginning to understand the complexities that prevent any credible claim that “the science is settled”.
But let me stick my neck out just like the proprietors of the big models and make my own prediction. Manmade warming will be around 0.9 K by the end of this century compared with the beginning. Is that a problem? I don’t think so. And our model will help people to understand why that low sensitivity estimate is more plausible than the IPCC’s values.

whiten
April 5, 2015 4:15 pm

Monckton of Brenchley
April 5, 2015 at 11:42 am
“But let me stick my neck out just like the proprietors of the big models and make my own prediction. Manmade warming will be around 0.9 K by the end of this century compared with the beginning. Is that a problem? I don’t think so. And our model will help people to understand why that low sensitivity estimate is more plausible than the IPCC’s values.”
————————–
My “Lord”, by your own word and admission you are an AGWer after all..:-)
By some coincidence the GCMs support the 3C CS, and therefore any other lower value for CS will contradict the AGW “science”….that is why these other AGWers, you disagree with, are so obsessed and unattached with 3C CS.
That is the only good thing about your AGW simple model, showing and claiming that the warming projections of GCMs may not actually be supporting the 3C CS if the CS much lower than that, as per your model.
The amount of warming projections of GCMs must be explained another way.
There is no any measurable manmade warming yet, unless you consider Mannmade warming.
As per your “by the end of this century warming” I really wish you being correct with your AGW “science”, but from my point of view that will be a wishful thinking……
cheers

ferdberple
April 6, 2015 6:24 pm

Manmade warming will be around 0.9 K by the end of this century compared with the beginning.
===============
The warming trend from 1910-1940 is nearly identical to the trend 1970-2000. Only one of those can be the result of CO2.
The similarity tells us that both trends are likely from the same cause, and the difference tells us that it is unlikely that either is due to CO2.

Mark T
April 5, 2015 11:43 am

Since when is Phil. a professor at Princeton? AFAIK, he is Phil Plait, serial fool and mis-representer (if not an outright liar). The man’s sole claim to fame is the ability to use high school physics and science (true HS physics, actually) to debunk the silly moon landing hoax claims. Oh boy. He regularly references Mann as a statistical expert (apparently his own skills in that regard are sub-par, otherwise he wouldn’t need to reference anyone directly).
Mark

April 5, 2015 2:21 pm

In reponse to Mark T, “Phil.” is a professor of chemistry at Cornell, not Princeton. Sorry for the error.

April 5, 2015 2:35 pm

Ah. Cornell, home of the late, great Prof Richard Feynman.
How times have changed.

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 3:01 pm

Now – Now, db. How could you forget Cornell’s greatest of the great: “Bill Nye the science guy”. I duck-and-cover every time his name comes up – which is why I like to mention it myself before anyone else does! As for Feynman, if he were still alive, there would be no CAGW BS. He would not have permitted such foolishness. And he really had the cachet.

Mark T
April 5, 2015 8:13 pm

No, he is not. He is Phil Plait, the guy that runs badastronomy.com. He has been a regular poster here for years.
Mark

Bernie Hutchins
April 6, 2015 12:02 am

I don’t know who Phil might be if he were here at Cornell. But he does get around! Princeton, Cornell, and becoming Phil Plait all in a few hours. Plait is an (Amaz!ng) Randi regular. Seems like a very level-headed guy and Randi-class skeptic – except for global warming (both Randi and Plait). Remember that Randi originally came out against AGW. Got beat up by the alarmists.

Phil.
April 6, 2015 4:33 am

When I think of Feynman I think of Caltech and Princeton (where he did his PhD) not Cornell although he did spend a few years there. To clarify I have never been a professor at Cornell nor am I Phil Plait, whoever he is.

April 5, 2015 12:11 pm

Lord Monckton,
1) Modeling is art. The choices made are up to the artist. Yet the narcissism of viewers knows know bounds. Make the model simple, and people will tell you to make it more complex; make it complex, and they will tell you to make it more simple. But as you so rightly pointed out, if Mr. Born doesn’t like your artwork, he is free to create his own — it’s not as there is a canvas shortage.
2) While an infinite number of models can be had for a given phenomenon, there is usually great insight to be had in the simplest, even if the simplest is not the best fit. So good for you for the little KISS.
3) From where I sit, the claim that your refused to provide requested information about your model — which on the face of puts you in a terrible light — when in truth a request was never made, is unconscionable. Boo.
4) If the gentle readers of WUWT will again permit me to link to a cartoon I’ve posted here before, perhaps you will find it apropos.
The Art of Modeling Dynamic Systems
http://www.maxphoton.com/straight-talk-on-art/
Keep up the great work (and thanks Anthony for bringing Lord Monckton’s efforts to us).
Max

FrankKarrvv
April 5, 2015 1:51 pm

+1.
Monckton et.al. deserve credit for developing their simple model. Is it the last word? probably not, but at least it gives a more credible ‘upper bound’ than the IPCC.
At the other end of the scale we also now have a ‘lower bound’ given by Salby:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com.au/2015/03/a-recent-seminar-presentation-by.html
“Because of the saturation effect in the energy absorption of CO2 molecules with increasing concentration and short residence time, the further increase in temperature could be therefore only at most a few tenths of a degree, if at all. However, the known fossil reserves would be exhausted by then.”
So we now we have a range of 0.9 Deg C and a “few tenths of a degree, if at all”.
So what is all the fuss about?

Andrew
April 5, 2015 8:28 pm

I too have a simple model. Mine too calculate 0.9K over a century. And when I calibrated it to data known at 1990 is has almost perfectly hindcast the last 25 years!
Someone named whiten sneers that “Lord” Monckton is a warmie. Not sure why the quotes were needed, but this is hardly news. Lord M and 97% of the people here are perfectly comfortable with the 1K per doubling property of CO2. It is a novelty only to people believing the “d@n!@r” caricature.
Good paper and explanation. It should be mandatory teaching in unis.

April 5, 2015 2:36 pm

Good one, Max.
[FrankKarrvv, Lord M wrote 0.9K, not 0.9ºC. That’s a considerably smaller change than 0.9C.]
(Typo fixed. -mod)

HAS
April 5, 2015 4:11 pm

delta 0.9ºK = delta 0.9ºC It’s where you start that’s different.

FrankKarrvv
April 5, 2015 4:13 pm

Thanks for picking up my misreading db.
I think you mean smaller than 0.9 C. Yes 0.9K . Well not much different from Salby’s estimate.

April 5, 2015 4:28 pm

HAS,
Lord M said:
Manmade warming will be around 0.9 K by the end of this century compared with the beginning.
So it appears that the start is at year 2000, unless there’s something I mis-read. In any case, a rise of that small amount would be entirely beneficial, IMHO. The planet has been through much warmer times with no apparent harm:
[Click in images to embiggen]
http://whatreallyhappened.com/IMAGES/GeoColumn.gif
http://www.climate4you.com/images/SummitAndCulture.gif
http://www.kogagrove.org/sams/agw/images/paleomap.png
http://www.newscientist.com/data/images/archive/2839/28392301.jpg
As we see, we are at the cold end of global temperatures. Some moderate warming would be very beneficial.
. . . . . . . .
[FrankKarrvv. D’Oh! I did the same thing in my post above. ☹]

HAS
April 5, 2015 8:35 pm

My point was much simpler than that. It seemed we had a confusion between Kelvin and Celsius and perhaps kilo-

Phil.
April 6, 2015 7:40 am

dbstealey April 5, 2015 at 4:28 pm
The planet has been through much warmer times with no apparent harm:

According to your graphs, not since the evolution of C4 plants.

toorightmate
April 5, 2015 4:51 pm

The French do not like the models to be anorexic.

April 5, 2015 6:01 pm

Giorgione’s Venus is quite plump.

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 12:26 pm

Lord Monckton –
Why does your second graph show the region from g=0.1 to g=+1 as “unstable”?
Instability starts at g=1. Below g=1 (including of course g=0 and negative g) the loop IS stable. True that drifts and noise could make operating NEAR g=1 problematic (100 years ago, people who enjoyed listening to Edwin Armstrong’s “regenerative” radio receivers with its feedback “tickler coil” also knew the annoyance of a neighbor’s receiver drifting into oscillation – transmitting!). But such enhancement of “Q” by means of positive feedback is used still, for example the “Deliyannis” band-pass active filter which I recently exampled here:
http://electronotes.netfirms.com/ENWN25.pdf
and the positive feedback resonance was the heart to Bob Moog’s electronic music synthesizers of the 1970s).
Usually an EE will call g1 unstable. It is true that an electronic circuit for any g can bang against the power supply limits, depending on input level (“distorts”), and it will if g>1. Even g=1 can linearly ramp upward to the supply rail in response to a step input.
Perhaps g +0.1 is usually not a stability problem in EE until you get very close to g=+1. Your graph is unfortunate.
This is just offered as engineering – not intended to enrage anyone!

kim
April 5, 2015 12:39 pm

Engaging not enraging, eh?
===========

Mark T
April 5, 2015 12:40 pm

I have to agree on this point. However, a simple plot with a statement regarding “closed loop gain” in reference to a Process Engineer’s Limit is not really sufficient to assess what is truly being claimed. Do they mean gain in the feedback path? Or overall input to output gain? I would assume the former… but you never know.
Mark

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 2:35 pm

Mark – thanks. You said “….. but you never know.”
Actually, I think one DOES know! The CURVE IS CLASSIC (same as mine in Fig. 8 of the link above). Here my “AF” is the “g” and I have A=1 for that graph, and in Fig. 9, hence g=F there. Later A=2 for a better illustration, allowing g to pass through +1 (Fig. 13). Note the simplicity – what blows up exponentially (lower right of Fig. 13) is unstable.
In full disclosure, I don’t know what a “process engineer” is supposed to be, and I taught engineering for 40 years. I guess it is a very timid control engineer!!! Control Engineering of course uses feedback loops and is a well-known field of EE and ME, and probably of ChemE.
I’m not sure how important this is. The concern is that when one uses a basic graph in an unusual way (wrong interpretation?) it it hard to be taken serious about more involved issues that follow. Never a good start.

April 5, 2015 6:05 pm

Closed-loop gain is a standard term of art in electronic engineering. In the climate, it is the product of the Planck, instantaneous or zero-feedback climate sensitivity parameter 0.3125 Kelvin per Watt per square meter and the feedback sum.
Open-loop or system gain, again a standard term of art, is the reciprocal of (1 – the closed-loop gain), and, in the climate, is the factor by which the direct warming caused by a forcing is multiplied to obtain post-feedback or final climate sensitivity.
If Mark T were to read our paper, he would see why we mention process engineering and the process engineers’ upper bound on designed-in feedback in circuits intended not to oscillate under any operating conditions.

Mark T
April 5, 2015 8:18 pm

I don’t need to read your paper to understand stability in feedback systems. You have it wrong, or as Bernie suggests, the way you present it is incorrect.
Mark

Phil.
April 7, 2015 7:26 am

Monckton of Brenchley April 5, 2015 at 6:05 pm
Closed-loop gain is a standard term of art in electronic engineering. In the climate, it is the product of the Planck, instantaneous or zero-feedback climate sensitivity parameter 0.3125 Kelvin per Watt per square meter and the feedback sum.
Open-loop or system gain, again a standard term of art, is the reciprocal of (1 – the closed-loop gain), and, in the climate, is the factor by which the direct warming caused by a forcing is multiplied to obtain post-feedback or final climate sensitivity.

In application to electronic circuits ‘open loop’ gain is the gain in the absence of feedback, in an ideal op-amp it is infinity. The ‘closed loop’ gain is the gain when feedback is applied.

Bernie Hutchins
April 7, 2015 4:10 pm

To Phil at April 7 7:26AM
I believe you are quite correct. In EE/Control-Theory there are THREE notions of “loop gains” (all usually dimensionless) associated with feedback, open-loop gain and closed-loop gain (as you say) and ordinary “Loop Gain” as in this figure:
http://electronotes.netfirms.com/FeedbackGains.jpg
It would seem that Lord Monckton is conflating these somewhat at random. It’s NOT easy after all.

April 5, 2015 2:54 pm

Bernie Hutchins’ point is interesting, and has been the subject of much discussion. The reason why process engineers set an upper limit of (usually) 0.01 and (very occasionally) as much as 0.1 for closed-loop gain is that otherwise externalities such as variabijlity in the performance of the components or in ambient operating conditions can drive the loop gain to unity, causing instability. However, if Mr Hutchins will read our paper he will see that we have looked at the past 810,000 years of global temperature, which, after allowing for polar amplification, has not varied by more than 3.5 K either side of the long-run mean – about the same variability as a common domestic thermostat.
The climate, being a thermostatic object, has not shown any signs in 810,000 years of the runaway feedback that would arise from such a concatenation of circumstances. It is not illegitimate, therefore, to infer that in the climate object thermostasis predominates, rather than strongly net-positive and hence potentially volatile feedback. Certainly, thermostasis is what one would expect given that the atmosphere is sandwiched between two giant heat-sinks – the oceans and outer space.

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 4:04 pm

I have consistently and exclusively confined my remarks to engineering, and to being accurate, and if possible to being informative, about the way methods and terms are used in EE and signal processing (even physics). And I do know electrical circuitry fairly well.
I agree that the climate, based on geologic history, is almost certainly a strong net negative feedback. I have said so before.
But in view of how many folks believe that “positive feedback” of ANY tiny degree spells “runaway disaster” (conceptually easy to “sell”) we don’t need graphs implying “unstable” beyond g>+0.1. It’s just wrong, and will alienate anyone who knows the field – from square one. They won’t bother to even suppose there might be a more nuanced viewpoint.

April 5, 2015 6:10 pm

Mr Hutchins is entitled to his opinion, but it was a process engineer (with three doctorates) who explained to us why his profession is so careful to limit the closed-loop gain to an absolute maximum barely above zero. Over a long enough period under operating conditions, circumstances that lead to a runaway feedback can arise unless the loop gain is at most barely above zero,.
Furthermore, a professor with whom I debated this issue before a European learned society some years ago has now concluded I’m right about the inapplicability of the Bode system-gain equation to the climate, and is struggling through peer review at present. His conclusion, like ours, is that climate sensitivity is likely to be less than 1 K per doubling, because the stability of the climate is a powerful indication that feedbacks are net-negative. If we’re agreed that they probably are net-negative, then worrying too much about the process engineers’ limit is arguing about angels on pinheads. However, our paper had to be written for people who actually believe the IPCC’s exaggerated feedback estimates. So we had to cover that base.

Mark T
April 5, 2015 8:26 pm

As with anybody else, appeals to authority are meaningless. If your tri-PhD colleague has a specific proof that a system with gain that lies within the unit circle is unstable, please show it. This is not simply Bernie’s “opinion,” it is well established control theory. The math is quite straightforward.
Mark

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 8:58 pm

(1) I think there is a remaining difficulty with a worry about gains g in the range of +0.01 to +0.1 being destabilized by component fluctuations and variability (noise). That is one heck of a disturbance! Why not worry about the range -0.01 to -0.1 for example. It is g=1 NOT g=0 that is the relevant reference gain. Both g=0.01 and g=-0.01 are essentially the same (and the same as g=0).
(2) But we do agree that there is overwhelming evidence of strong negative feedback. Most EEs I think suspect this, and just can’t get their minds around the notion that everyone else does not. Rather perhaps, they suppose that there is something going on that THEY have not taken the time to examine, and don’t suppose that any of the mainstream climate scientists are really book cookers. Aren’t we all looking to find how things really work? Anyway, the skeptical community has no better allies than engineers who use feedback everywhere.

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 11:17 pm

Above I tried to make the point that worrying about positive feedback of g=0.01 or g=0.1 was unwarranted unless one also worries about g=0, and g=-0.01, and g=-0.1. It is the value of g RELATIVE TO g=1 and NOT relative to g=0 that matters as far as stability is concerned. The curve is, after all, offset to the right by 1 – not centered at 0. Below is a step of height 1 through an amplifier A=2 with +4% (positive) feedback and -4% (negative) feedback. Kind of similar! Could you worry about the (positive) and not the other (negative)? Both are about the same NEGATIVE feedback RELATIVE TO g=+1. (Is this what “process engineers” with three PhDs worry about?)
Any objections?

Bernie Hutchins
April 5, 2015 11:47 pm

Having shown the very small effects around g=0, I probably should show the large effects: amplification by 7 for 85.7% positive feedback, and blow up for g>1
http://electronotes.netfirms.com/LargeG.jpg
That’s it.

ferdberple
April 6, 2015 10:48 pm

I don’t see the point of arguing positive feedbacks between 0 and 1. The IPCC and consensus climate science sets the water feedback at 3!!! Here is what wikibible has to say on this:
Hysteresis
In the real world, positive feedback loops typically do not cause ever-increasing growth, but are modified by limiting effects of some sort. According to Donella Meadows:
“Positive feedback loops are sources of growth, explosion, erosion, and collapse in systems. A system with an unchecked positive loop ultimately will destroy itself. That’s why there are so few of them. Usually a negative loop will kick in sooner or later.”[9]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Positive_feedback

Bernie Hutchins
April 6, 2015 11:23 pm

Ferd –
Engineers talk about positive feedbacks in terms of the “loop gain” g being between 0 and 1. But this corresponds to an amplification factor between 1 and infinity. Thus the “whole show” with regard to positive feedback is between g=0 and g=1. The gain (amplification) DUE TO a given g is 1/(1-g) so an amplification of 3 would be positive feedback of g=2/3. As another example, my third graph above shows g=0.857 so the amplification is 1/(1-0.857)=7, and the original amplifier A=2 becomes 14 on the far side.

Bernie Hutchins
April 7, 2015 5:17 pm

Ferd –
It is also helpful to look at the second graph in the head post as this shows the amplification that results from a feedback loop gain, and is “calibrated” in Kelvin anomaly. Look where g=2/3 is. I take it to be about 2.5K. Now, you observed that the IPCC was claiming a water feedback of about 3. The CO2 contribution is usually taken as 1.1K, so 3 times that is close enough to 2.5K.
So that graph is helpful. However, the double yellow arrow region (g=0.1 to g=1) is erroneously labeled “Unstable” while it is stable. The red double-arrowed region is not so much “Unphysical” as it is unstable and soon “fuel limited”. This is the region a PA system enters when it squeals – instability. It is quite physical for a short region into oscillation (your ears do hurt). But exactly as you noted from your references, the blow-up is limited (by the power supply levels in the PA system). And while you will reach for the volume knob to correct the feedback, the automatic limit was faster.
The “That’s why there are so few of them” in your quote is a good joke. I guess mathematically.

Phil.
April 6, 2015 7:35 am

My experience in a lab, where the students build a Wien-bridge oscillator, is that failure to get it to oscillate is because they have chosen resistors which give a gain slightly less than unity (~0.99). Change the value to give a gain of 1.01 and it will oscillate like a charm.
I pointed this out to Monckton but he pooh-poohed it.

Bernie Hutchins
April 6, 2015 10:05 am

Yes – the Wien-Bridge works because g>1, but only slightly greater. This means that while it is trying to blow up, at the peaks of each and every cycle a tiny sliver is shaved off when it just reaches the power supply rails. (Quite like a cautious adult subtly tapping down the amplitude of an energetic child pumping like mad on a swing.) The price is a small amount of harmonic distortion in the oscillator waveform.
Ironically, a close relative (the Twin-T oscillator) was the first hit when I entered the exact search terms (something about from the positive to the negative rail ?) that Lord Monckton invited us all to look at a week or so ago.
Good historical stuff here.

Phil.
April 6, 2015 4:45 pm

Yeah it’s really difficult to get a ‘pure’ sine wave, as you say you get a slight clipping, those who chose to go significantly over unit gain end up with a sort of square wave.

April 5, 2015 12:47 pm

Well done, Chritopher, Lord Monckton. Thanks for explaining your simple model once again. Thanks also for Dr. Briggs, Soon and Legates good modeling work.

Bob Weber
April 5, 2015 12:48 pm

Mr. Monckton, is there an actual output in terms of a temperature plot for your model somewhere else other than your paper that represents your model output vs the actual, as measured, temperatures seen since 1850? I’d like to see how well it reproduced the temperature history. Please forgive if that wasn’t part of it or I missed it somehow. Of course the GCM outputs are junk, no argument there.

“9 How skillful is the model?
Remarkably, though the model is very simple, its output
proves to be broadly consistent with observation, while the
now-realized projections of the general-circulation models
have proven to be relentlessly exaggerated. If, for instance,
the observed temperature trend of recent decades were
extrapolated several decades into the future, the model’s
output would coincident with the observations thus
extrapolated (Fig. 6).”

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2015/01/clip_image0021.png
From http://static-content.springer.com/esm/art%3A10.1007%2Fs11434-014-0699-2/MediaObjects/11434_2014_699_MOESM1_ESM.docx
SUPPLEMENTARY MATTER: The cause of the pause
My answer to that, which some @WUWT will remember I’ve been saying for over a year:
The cause of the pause was the cause before the pause. The Sun.
Just curious, how much did it cost to make your paper “open access” at Springer?

April 5, 2015 2:58 pm

Mr Weber asks the cost of making our paper open-access. Heartland very kindly agreed to pay for this, and it was 3000. He also asks whether we ran our model from 1850 to the present. No: our calibration runs were done in two ways: first, by carrying out two equilibrium-sensitivity analyses comparable to those of the IPCC, to ensure that we got broadly the same results, and secondly, by doing a run from 1990 and comparing it to various projections (our fig. 6). We extrapolated the temperature trends and warming projections out to 2050 to show how rapidly the projections diverge if observed temperature trends continue. Bob Weber Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 5, 2015 3:21 pm Thank you. Appreciate it Heartland. The models definitely diverge! What if the IPCC equilibrium-sensitivity analyses turn out to be the completely wrong way of doing things? A plot from 1990 would be interesting… Reply to Bob Weber April 5, 2015 8:30 pm Your graph should have included the rise of co2 along with the projected temperature increases. That is what this is all about, When viewing the relationship now it is very apparent that something is wrong with AGW Theory. And going even further, doing the math that the IPCC has assigned for the relationship between co2 and temperature falls apart. That is which the projections are based. That top vector of Hansen’s is the minimum that temps should have risen according to AGW. Roy UK April 5, 2015 1:05 pm I love the fact that Lord Monckton is addressed as “Monckton” by those who wish to undermine his work. Followed by some trivial point that may/may not diminish the correctness of his work. When these posters (trolls?) post, they expect people to believe what they say because they call a Lord by his family name. So come on Brute, What is your family name, so we can address you with the same reverence that you accorded Lord Monckton. Steven Mosher please explain why Lord Monckton needs an editor, His explanation/paper proves what he needs to prove. The odd grammatical error does not disprove his theory or paper. Come on Steven, show us where the paper is incorrect. (possibly in a post of more than ten syllables which is understandable to everyone, and not quite as cryptic as the Times Crossword.). ad Reply to Roy UK April 5, 2015 3:19 pm He posts here as ‘Moncton of Brenchley’. responding to him simply as ‘Moncton’ is quite correct. I’ve seen many firendly responses do so. Referencing him as ‘Lord Moncton’ is simply crawling. Reply to ad April 5, 2015 3:40 pm ad, I think our UK cousins see it differently. I certainly don’t see it as “crawling” (whatever that means) to address him as Lord Monckton — anymore than it would be ‘crawling’ to address Mr. Washington as Leroy (the King). FrankKarrvv Reply to ad April 5, 2015 4:23 pm Monckton et.al. that I used is certainly the correct way authors are referenced in scientific papers and shows no disrespect. Bernie Hutchins Reply to ad April 5, 2015 8:34 pm I recall Lord Monckton quite a few years back on the Boortz radio show (WSG) out of Atlanta (discussing motorcycle riding!) and Neal asked the Lord if he should bow down and touch his forelock (as though Neal would ever do that for anyone). Great fun. I think the reply was a very refreshing assertion that the Lord preferred to be called Christopher. I would hope it is still so. Mark T April 5, 2015 1:08 pm Plait is not a professor at Cornell, either. Maybe he has a Cornell address, but that is not due to being a professor there (at least, it is not listed in his bio anywhere). Mark Reply to Mark T April 5, 2015 2:59 pm Then “Phil.” with a full point is not Phil Plait. It shouldn’t be too difficult to track him down from the information I’ve been able to gather about him. Reply to Mark T April 5, 2015 3:42 pm It’s not Phil Plait. Anthony knows his identity. Mark T Reply to Mark T April 5, 2015 8:22 pm Then there is yet another Phil. posting with the same moniker… He and I have argued many times both here and long before WUWT existed. Mark Mike April 5, 2015 1:13 pm Much talk of Roe 2009, so a direct link may be helpful. http://earthweb.ess.washington.edu/roe/Publications/Roe_FeedbacksRev_08.pdf h/t to Judith Curry who provided a discussion in 2010 that seems to have inspired at least some of what went into this paper. http://judithcurry.com/2010/12/29/climate-feedbacks-part-i/ Reply to Mike April 5, 2015 3:01 pm Indeed, Judith Curry and I have discussed these matters. Her knowledge, understanding, and intellectual honesty are formidable. Wish there were many more like her: this climate mess would not have happened. Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 5, 2015 5:35 pm True that. +1 April 5, 2015 1:30 pm Climate models will not work until the natural variability is understood. HERE is a short and simple graphic overview of a direct link to the solar cycles. Joel O’Bryan Reply to vukcevic April 5, 2015 2:11 pm Thanks for the link to your graphs and explanations. I have a much more cynical view of the climate models. They do work. Just not for predictive skill most people would assume, but for fueling a quite profitable cottage industry of “modelleers” and supercomputer crony capitalist supporters feeding on government largess to satisfy a political quest. Joel O’Bryan Reply to Joel O’Bryan April 5, 2015 2:13 pm quick addition: That would be for the supercomputer GCMs, not Lord Monckton’s KISS model. Mike Reply to vukcevic April 5, 2015 2:17 pm Nice. Model errors in rate of warming ( dT/dt ) seem to bear a notable similarity to SSN, also pointing to a misdiagnosis of solar effects on climate: https://climategrog.wordpress.com/?attachment_id=1321 Mac the Knife April 5, 2015 1:37 pm A clear and elegant rebuttal, tout de suite, with some deserved ‘nose grating’ applied to named detractors. The ‘Simple Model’ stands up well to critique… and attack. Well Done. John Catley April 5, 2015 2:51 pm If only the ring leaders of the infamous 97% club were as willing to discuss their work in as much detail, we might see some progress. As it is of course, they cannot, dare not and will not expose their work to such detailed scrutiny. ………… and they are still supported by other brain dead scientists and the media! Lord Monckton I salute you. Reply to John Catley April 5, 2015 3:03 pm Many thanks to several kind commenters. As we say in our paper, our model is not perfect, but it has its uses. Ian Macdonald April 5, 2015 3:19 pm Anyone who thinks that positive feedback could significantly increase the sensitivity to any given climate forcing, should have a go at adjusting the ‘reaction’ control on an early vacuum-tube radio. It will soon become apparent that positive feedbacks have to operate within extremely tight parameters in order to provide gain. Too little feedback and the gain is negligible, a tiny amount too much and the system breaks-out into oscillation. Or, try to sustain a note on an electric guitar by feedback. Again you will realise that it takes a fair amount of skill, and that the feedback could not possibly remain at the required level, no more no less, without a controlling influence. Yet, both the radio and guitar are working in relatively stable environments compared to the chaotic nature of the Earth’s localised weather. The odds of the Earth’s atmosphere having exactly the right amount of positive feedback to produce, say, a doubling of greenhouse gas sensitivity just by random chance rather than design, must be vanishingly small. There is after all no equivalent of a radio listener or guitarist here to provide a controlling influence. If the amount of feedback were fractionally less than required the effect would be negligible, if it were a tiny bit more the whole climate system would begin to oscillate uncontrollably between hot and cold. Your graph in fact shows this point. Come to think of it the climate does oscillate between hot and cold, as in ice ages. However, the period of such oscillations is much longer than we are considering with regard to manmade effects. So, my feelings based on experience are that the whole idea of a positive feedback producing a controlled increase in the greenhouse effect of anthropogenic carbon dioxide are nonsense. Either there is no measurable gain increase, or the climatic system would have gone into a condition of huge, rapid temperature swings long ago without any help from us. Reply to Ian Macdonald April 5, 2015 6:15 pm Mr Macdonald has it exactly right. Once the feedback sum is much above 0.1, trying to prevent extreme oscillation is very difficult. We strongly suspect that the vicious blowback from the climate extremists about our paper (accusations of lying made by chemistry professors at Cornell, etc.) is because they know full well that their understanding of feedbacks is a lot less than Mr Macdonald’s and ours, and they are genuinely frightened that we are right to say the Bode equation – without heavy modification – is simply inapplicable to the climate, in which case – for precisely the reasons impeccably set out by Mr Macdonald – climate sensitivity cannot be more than a third of the IPCC’s central estimate – i.e. around 1 K per CO2 doubling, or 2.2 K to the total exhaustion of all recoverable fossil fuels. Bernie Hutchins Reply to Ian Macdonald April 5, 2015 8:19 pm Ian – sounds as though you know the design. Weren’t those fun! Those original “regenerative” receivers with the “tickler coils” were often highly crafted, rotating coil within a coil, and lovely to behold. They worked very close to a loop gain of +1. As I said above, they were likely to transmit to your neighbors. The idea was to get the most out of a single vacuum tube. Some time in the 40s they were replaced by TRF receivers (beautiful upright furniture in many cases) and then by 5-tube superheterodyne (beautiful engineering). By then, people could afford five tubes. Then in the 50s the transistor came along, and people could afford one transistor – barely. Anyone remembers the 2N107 or the CK722? So the regenerative design had a brief comeback – for the hobbiest at least. My boyhood! TYoke Reply to Ian Macdonald April 5, 2015 9:02 pm Ian McDonald explains the problem with positive feedback very clearly. He also notes that the earth does appear to veer back and forth between hot and cold, which may imply imply that positive feedbacks do exist. Two points. First, temperature oscillations that have occurred don’t necessarily require a positive feedback explanation if the forcings are large enough. Perhaps we just don’t yet understand the forcings sufficiently. Secondly, no positive feedback can continue indefinitely for the reasons explained by Mr. McDonald. Even the yowling from an electric guitar’s feedback does not become infinitely loud. It quickly tops out when some bottleneck is reached. That is the point. In Hansen’s runaway catastrophe model, no provision is made for a limiting mechanism. What this means for climate modeling is that perhaps positive feedback is in fact present but is quickly limited by some bottleneck (like cloud albedo for instance). Unless the bottleneck and limiting factors are also properly understood and part of the model, the model will be inescapably un-physical. I.e., it is absolutely crucial to understand the nature of the inevitable limiting factors to any putative positive feedback mechanism, since limit mechanisms certainly are present for all positive feedbacks and may actually overwhelm the feedback at a very early point. Without a clear understanding of the important limiting mechanism(s), any positive feedback model is plainly garbage. Reply to TYoke April 6, 2015 12:44 am TYoke is right. Plainly, if feedbacks are net-positive, there is some adymptote beyond which temperature cannot be driven. Ian Macdonald Reply to TYoke April 6, 2015 1:03 am Having talked with various climate science students, it seems that (worryingly) they do not understand the behaviour of positive feedbacks in other engineering disciplines, and when confronted with this point they reply that the term ‘positive feedback’ does not have the same meaning in climate science as it does in, for example, electronics. To which I would say that in the absence of a formal (re)definition their use of the term is entirely meaningless. April 5, 2015 3:23 pm Lord Monckton: I believe you have extremely elegant English prose and, in addition to that, do wonderful work in the field of climate science. Neville April 5, 2015 4:08 pm Would Lord Monckton or Mosher or anyone care to comment about the so called mitigation of CAGW? This is the big elephant in the room according to the MSM, Obama, IPCC etc, so why doesn’t someone explain where Trenberth, Solomon etc are wrong? Too hard or too afraid? The latest Royal Society and NAS report informs us we could cease all co2 emissions today and we wouldn’t see a fall in temp or co2 levels for thousands of years. Sop who’s right and who’s wrong and why all the fuss about Paris in December if point 20 is correct? https://royalsociety.org/policy/projects/climate-evidence-causes/question-20/ FrankKarrvv Reply to Neville April 5, 2015 4:42 pm You must be new to this site Nev. Its all been explained many times. In a nutshell scary outcomes to force a political agenda coupled with bags upon bags of spondulicks if one shouts louder and louder about extreme weather and catastrophe and excuses galore if predictions don’t eventuate. Neville Reply to FrankKarrvv April 5, 2015 5:11 pm Frank you’re missing my point about Paris and Obama’s” taking action on climate change “BS. Plus heaps of other leaders around the world and the MSM. Trenberth and Solomon’s RS and NAS report etc actually believe that the mitigation of CAGW is not possible for thousands of years, so why the panic and extremism about fossil fuel use leading up to Paris Dec 2015? ( Their projection) And don’t forget that over 90% of new co2 emissions until 2040 will come from China, India etc. The western OECD countries will nearly flat line until 2040 according to the EIA. So we waste hundreds of billions dollars on useless solar and wind etc for zero change to co2 levels and the climate. And for what? If you believe the extremists even they don’t believe in the mitigation of CAGW either? Certainly the sums proves there is zero change until 2040 anyway. My question is , what do these people really believe. Reply to Neville April 5, 2015 5:40 pm Neville – We are waiting for Trenberth, Solomon, etc. to provide evidence that they are right. Evidence, not models, Evidence, not conjecture. Evidence, not allegory. Evidence, not a compendium of logical fallacies. Joel O'Bryan Reply to JohnWho April 5, 2015 7:36 pm Which underlies why Trenberth wanted to reverse the Null hypothesis on the AGW – aCO2 linkage. And that’s the mark of a true Pseudoscientist. Phil. Reply to Neville April 7, 2015 4:57 am The latest RS report doesn’t say that, what it actually says is: “Even if emissions of greenhouse gases were to suddenly stop, Earth’s surface temperature would not cool and return to the level in the pre-industrial era for thousands of years. If emissions of CO2 stopped altogether, it would take many thousands of years for atmospheric CO2 to return to ‘pre-industrial’ levels” Justthinkin April 5, 2015 4:16 pm Wow. Don’t know about anybody else, but totally turned off by this thread. To many trolls. But HEY…two more geese back today and a nesting pair of mallards, already trying to build from the still 75% frozen pond. Pond across the road, geese in back yard, four now. Cats going nuts…heh. Oh. And thank you Lord Monckton et.al for trying to bring out the truth. xyzzy11 Reply to Justthinkin April 6, 2015 5:59 am Trolls add a little unwitting humor (as well as some minor aggravation) to the thread, as they attempt to defend the CAGW myth. So it’s not all bad Peter Miller April 5, 2015 4:18 pm So without the extra moisture predicted in the atmosphere and those pesky clouds producing negative feedback (if the clouds didn’t and produced positive feedback instead as the IPCC insists they do, then life as we know it could not exist) then the whole global warming theory is reduced to an elaborate scam, perpetuated by dodgy computer models, third rate ‘scientists’ and gullible, greedy for power, politicians. Yet, the western world continues hurtling headlong towards economic suicide (the eastern world, as the largest producers of carbon ‘pollution’, will ensure they are exempt from the suicide clauses) in Paris at the end of this year. KevinK April 5, 2015 4:56 pm Dear Lord Monckton, With all due respect, I would just like to remind you and your current antagonists that none of the feedback theories used by electrical engineers can be applied to the climate with any useful results. While your prose is quite lengthy and I do believe that you (and your esteemed co-author’s) have produced a simpler “model” of the expected future temperature of the climate, it is just a curve fitting exercise with no predictive skill. Granted that it matches the most recent temperature data, but that in no way guarantees your model’s (or the comical IPCC model’s) ability to predict the future temperatures. And your stated “gain less than 0.1 for a stable system” guideline is not a universal rule for systems with feedback. It is a rule of thumb for some systems. For example, I can easily design an electrical voltage amplifier with closed loop feedback that produces a gain of 10, or 100, or 3.1415. If properly designed with most attention paid to the phase margin (a topic way too complicated to discuss here) such an amplifier can be very stable. In fact millions of electronic devices from radar systems to cell phones have instances of closed loop gains larger than 1. There are other cases (like your “process engineer”) where large gains can be problematic. For example, when trying to control the temperature of a volume of water with a temperature sensor, some electric heaters and a controller it is true that a large gain (approaching 1) can cause the temperature of the water to oscillate around the target (now it’s too cold, now it’s too warm, now it’s just right). This is where the “art” of designing closed loop feedback systems comes into play. There are a vast number of considerations that come into play, first the “load” and the “force” (i.e. the volume of water and the capacity of the electric heaters) must be appropriately matched. You have no hope of controlling the temperature of a thousand gallons of water with a 10 Watt electric heater. Likewise, if you try to control the temperature of 10 gallons of water with a 1000 Watt heater it will hopelessly oscillate. Once the “load” and the “force” are aligned, then a “control loop gain” less than 1.0 will likely yield a stable system. The climate on the other hand has no “forcing”, yes I know, I’m a lunatic since everybody in the climate science community “knows” that “GHGs” “force” the climate to respond. But that is simply a failed hypothesis; see the lack of warming as CO2 increases. In an electrical circuit with closed loop feedback the “forcing” actually comes from the output of the amplifier (which requires an external source of energy), this forcing “pushes” current back through the feedback resistors to create a condition where stability is maintained. This forcing comes from the external energy source (a power supply, or battery) that enables the amplifier to do its job. Since there is no external energy source in the climate system (other than the original sunlight which warms things up) there is no way that the classical electrical engineer’s feedback equations can be used to predict anything. Cheers, KevinK Reply to KevinK April 5, 2015 6:41 pm “Kevin K” says none of the feedback theories used by electrical engineers can be applied to the climate with any useful results. If he would do us the kindness of reading our paper, he will find that that is precisely the point we are making. The Bode system-gain equation, whose deployment provides two-thirds to nine-tenths of the total warming predicted by the complex models, is – as we pointed out in our paper, and as I discuss in further detail in a separate paper published later this month – inapplicable to the climate. That is why we consider the feedbacks in the climate system – which is dominated by various forms of homeostasis – to be net-negative. As to the length of my prose, I can’t win. Mr Born says there is not enough detail. You say there’s too much. Sort it out among yourselves and don’t bother me with trivialities like this till you’ve reached agreement – and, even then, don’t bother me. If you want a shorter or simpler paper, write your own. When one is doing science, one has to be more precise and, therefore, often more lengthy than in ordinary discourse. Get over it. And no, our model is not any sort of curve-fitting exercise. Mr Svalgaard got into trouble for vexatiously persisting in that silly suggestion. Curve-fitting means you start with the answer and tweak the equation till it fits, then hope it works as well pointing forward as it did because you fudged it so that it works pointing backward to what has already been observed. We did not, repeat not, do that. The equation at the heart of our model is constructed from first principles; the values of the individual parameters are tunable at will; and, therefore, our model is what it says on the tin – a model, not a curve-fitting exercise. It could only become a curve-fitting exercise if we used it to try to push the answer in a particular direction. But we didn’t. Indeed, all of Fig. 6 except our model’s output had been prepared for another purpose a year previously. All we did was run our model with parameters we thought realistic and, first time, the trend we added to the pre-existing Fig. 6 came out. Like it or not, that is not curve-fitting. So let’s have no more of that. Anyone who had read our paper with due care and attention would not have made such a suggestion. Merely because our model correctly represented actual temperature change first time around, that is of course no guarantee that it will continue to do so. However, we make no such claim. There are appropriate reservations expressed at several different points in our paper, and Kevin K would have come across at least some of them if he had read it carefully enough. Nor did we make any claim that the process engineers’ design limit for electronic circuits is of universal application to dynamical systems. Indeed, we went to some pains to point out that pinching an unsuitable equation from electronic circuitry and expecting it to work in the climate had led to absurd exaggerations of climate sensitivity. We also went to some trouble in the paper to explain why a feedback sum much above 0.1 was as implausible in the climate as it is in an electronic circuit (for this exercise, we did not consider other dynamical systems in general, for they were not relevant). As to whether such things as forcings exist in the climate, they do. A forcing is a change in the net down-minus-up radiative flux at the tropopause (or, in practice, in the mid-troposphere) arising from some perturbation of a presumed pre-existing steady state. The fact that such perturbations exist is undeniable: one can measure them, though – in the climate – not very accurately, which is why the IPCC was forced to reduce the CO2 forcing by more than a sixth between 1995 and 2001. Finally, yes, the only exogenous energy sources large enough to reckon with are the heat from the Sun and from the Earth’s mantle (I suspect the latter has quite a bit to do with el Ninos). However, interference with the flux of energy is also a forcing that can change temperature, even if the sources of temperature are not affected. All of this is elementary, and was measured by John Tyndale in 1859. There is no point in arguing against an experiment that has often been replicated unless one can demonstrate that everyone who replicated the experiment made some fundamental procedural error. Since no one has identified such a universal error, the greenhouse effect exists. There are, however, “slayer” websites where those who like to ignore experimental results can talk to one another. This website, though, is not one of them. We do science here, not voodoo. KevinK Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 5, 2015 7:40 pm Dear Christopher, “All of this is elementary, and was measured by John Tyndale in 1859. There is no point in arguing against an experiment that has often been replicated unless one can demonstrate that everyone who replicated the experiment made some fundamental procedural error. Since no one has identified such a universal error, the greenhouse effect exists.” Mister Tyndale measured the response of gases to IR radiation in a CLOSED environment, an easy experiment to do. Now, lets remove the containment vessel and add some free flowing air currents (as exists in the climate of the Earth), please repeat the experiment and report your results…. Your work is simply a curve fitting exercise with no fundamental observations of the “alleged” forcing…. If I allege that the presence of unicorns on the interstate highway system present in the United States of America reduces the current “average” forward velocity of the vehicles on said highway I would be remiss if I had no evidence that unicorns where actually slowing the vehicles. “We do science here, not voodoo.” Well, if you say so, but none of the climate “science” predictions match any unbiased observations, sounds like voodoo to me. Cheers, KevinK. Kristian Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 9:51 am KevinK, you point out: “Mister Tyndale measured the response of gases to IR radiation in a CLOSED environment, an easy experiment to do. Now, lets remove the containment vessel and add some free flowing air currents (as exists in the climate of the Earth), please repeat the experiment and report your results….” It quite amazes me how they manage to ‘forget’ mentioning this little detail every single time. If you heat the air inside a closed box, then the air will … warm. If you heat the open air, it will warm, expand, rise and cool. It will not remain warmer and at the same level as when you heated it. In other words, it will do nothing to reduce the natural temperature gradient up through the atmospheric column. It will rather spontaneously position itself according to it, along the gradient. And thereby maintain it. If you heat the surface of the Earth (only the Sun can do this), you enhance the convective/evaporative heat transfer from the surface to the troposphere above. By increasing the temp difference (gradient) sfc>atm. The troposphere thus warms, expands and the tropopause lifts as a consequence. There is no rigid, immovable lid on top of our atmosphere, blocking the upward movement of the tropopause (the expansion of the troposphere) upon warming. The troposphere is no closed glass box in a laboratory … So the only real question is: Will extra CO2 in the atmosphere work towards flattening or steepening the average global tropospheric temperature gradient (the environmental lapse rate) away from the solar-heated surface? If it works towards flattening it, more atmospheric CO2 would – in and of itself – suppress the mean surface convective heat loss and thus promote rising sfc temps. If, on the other hand, it works towards steepening it, then more atmospheric CO2 would – in and of itself – boost the mean surface convective heat loss and thus promote falling sfc temps. In a closed box, the air is not allowed to rise and bring the input energy up and away, so eventually conduction/diffusion would render the internal environment isothermal, any natural convective temp gradient ultimately erased. In such a setting, it would seem plausible that more CO2 in the air, confined by six rigid walls, would theoretically be able to delay somewhat its total heat loss to its surroundings. However, even this is not necessarily a given thing. – – – For instance, a thorough study was conducted in 1989 by researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, assessing the effectiveness (usefulness) of IR-absorbing gases like CO2, filling the gap between the two glass surfaces of a double-glazed window, at impeding the (total) heat transfer from the ‘inside’ to the ‘outside’ of the window (their ‘U-value’, see below): “The Effects of Infrared Absorbing Gasses on Window Heat Transfer: A Comparison of Theory and Experiment.” (Reilly, Arasteh & Rubin; 1990) http://gaia.lbl.gov/btech/papers/29389.pdf They looked both at windows placed in a horizontal position and heated from above so as to eliminate convective transfer, leaving only radiation and conduction to do the job, and at windows in an upright position to introduce convection into the mix. The experimental observations were all compared to the calculated output from a couple of heat transfer models. “Windows are rated by U-value, U (W/m^2 * K), and the total flux through a window equals: Q = U (T_in – T_out) [T_in and T_out being the ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ air temps respectively, with T_in > T_out: Figure 1. This is a modified version of Figure 1 from the paper, its caption stating: “Schematic of a horizontal, double-pane window, where T_out < T_in. The window is divided into N temperature nodes."] The U-values for air, CO2, and SF6, as calculated by WINDOW 3.1 (no infrared absorbing effects) and the finite-element model (includes infrared absorbing effects), are compared to Glaser’s findings for a horizontal window. He set up a 10 ± 0.5 K temperature difference across the window with a mean temperature of 283 K and ran tests with assorted gas-fills for both vertical and horizontal positions. The windows are heated from above in the horizontal position to eliminate natural convection in the gas layer. (…) The difference in the results of the finite-element model and WINDOW 3.1 can be attributed to infrared absorption and emission by the gas since WINDOW 3.1 assumes all gasses are non-absorbing. Fig. 3 shows that the effect of the infrared properties of CO2 is unnoticeable, while fig. 4 shows a noticeable effect with SF6.” “… the effect of the infrared properties of CO2 is unnoticeable …” In other words, a pure CO2 (100%) gas-fill did nothing to impede the total heat transfer through the horizontal window beyond that of common dry air (0.035% CO2). Kristian Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 10:20 am Funny detail: The surface air pressure on Venus is 92 times that on Earth. Its surface air density, however, is ‘only’ 51 times Earth’s. If the Venusian atmosphere had the same composition as Earth’s atmosphere, and the surface had the same average temperature as on Earth, 288K, its sfc air density would’ve been about 92 times Earth’s. However, being composed almost exclusively of CO2, its 288K sfc density would’ve been even much higher, 141 times what we experience here on Earth, because CO2 gas is ~1.5 times denser than regular air. So how come the sfc air density on Venus is only 51 rather than 141 times Earth’s with a sfc air pressure of 92 bar? Because, as we all know, the mean Venusian sfc air temp isn’t ~288K, but rather ~737K. So the Venusian atmosphere has been vastly thermally expanded against its own weight, thus substantially lowering its mean density below what one might expect from atmospheric pressure alone. April 5, 2015 6:01 pm I find the concept of atmospheric molecular residency the most outrageous and unsupported assumptions of the whole Greenhouse theory. A neat little piece of amateur magicianship to allow particles measured in parts per trillion to be as significant as particles measured in parts per million. It is also the underlying assumption of the feedback models. Increase a GHG into the atmosphere today and watch it perform it’s magic 100 years from now. By the logic of this idea all we need to do to stop global warming is identify the CO2 that was released 100 years ago and breathe it in. Of course we will breathe out much more, but those molecules will have only just entered the atmosphere as so it will take 100 years for them to have full effect so we buy ourselves some time! Sounds absurd doesn’t it? Yet this is the premise we blindly accept when we also accept that a molecule will take many years to fulfil its heat trapping potential. If you wish to believe the assumption that increasing CO2 of the past 160 years has caused the recorded rise in temperature then the only reliable way to model the future is on the basic data of this period. A rise of 120ppm and a temperature rise of <1C. That's it! Nothing else. This has all the "feedback mechanisms" contained naturally within it. This is the data. Extrapolate the future from this. A linear projection or a logarithmic one. Reply to wickedwenchfan April 5, 2015 6:48 pm Professor Salby uses the bomb-test curve to demonstrate that molecules of CO2 with 14C in them have a mean residence time of around 5-10 years. This result is widely supported in the literature with dozens of references. The IPCC, however, tries to pretend that the mean atmospheric residence time is 50-200 years, because of exchanges between the atmosphere, biosphere and ocean. Dick Lindzen, who has a better understanding of these things than the IPCC, reckons that the mean residence time for CO2 is about 40 years, allowing for various in-and-out exchanges. One cannot simply say that 120 ppmv = 1 K global warming. For solar activity has increased since 1750; there have been various changes in volcanism; etc. The IPCC says there will be (central estimate 713 ppmv in the air in 2100 compared with 368 ppmv in 2000. That would give 3 K global warming by 2100, which is quite close to the IPCC’s central estimate. However, for one thing the warming influence of CO2 is logarithmic: each additional molecule has less warming effect than its predecessors. So such crude metrics would not work a priori, even if we could be sure that all of the warming since 1750 was manmade – and we can’t. Welcome to the unsettled science. Will Nitschke April 5, 2015 6:18 pm I distinctly recall Mr. Born’s article where he stated that the authors of this paper were withholding information he had asked for. If it is indeed true that Mr Born did not even bother to email the authors for the information, then such behaviour is utterly contemptible. I’d be very upset also. Reply to Will Nitschke April 5, 2015 6:50 pm Worse, if the information he alleges was being withheld IS actually in the paper… mobihci April 5, 2015 6:44 pm The water vapour column graph from the climate4you site is an interesting one and shows more about feedbacks than the models ever will. first the graph shows a net loss in water vapour in the higher troposphere, so yeah sure there is no hot spot etc, but the 1000mb show a slight increase in recent years (see other graphs on the climate4you site climate/clouds page/specific humidity). the question here is, where is the temp increase in the lower troposphere? RSS etc show no increase in temps in the TLT for the past 18 years, and there is MORE water vapour there. if you look at the other graphs on the page, the answer is clear. recently the cloud cover has increased, especially in the tropics. Reply to mobihci April 5, 2015 6:51 pm Mobihci is quite right about cloud cover. From 1983-2001, according to Pinker et al., 2005, there was quite a dramatic reduction in cloud cover, causing a forcing that dwarfed any anthropogenic forcing. However, when I wrote a paper pointing this out, the revisionists got to work and now say there was more cloud cover than Pinker thought. However, the ISCCP data again agree with Pinker, showing quite an appreciable increase in cloud cover at the beginning of the new millennium, since when there has not been much in the way of global warming. whiten Reply to mobihci April 5, 2015 9:54 pm mobihci April 5, 2015 at 6:44 pm “RSS etc show no increase in temps in the TLT for the past 18 years, and there is MORE water vapour there. if you look at the other graphs on the page, the answer is clear. recently the cloud cover has increased, especially in the tropics.” ——————————– Hello mobihci. A very good point. Now if I had to try and understand this, I have to consider the link or the coupling between warming and humidity by a simple approach. More energy more of what can contain it, the humidity. More energy introduced and circulating in the system more humidity to allow for as such. Considering the tropics in a climate atmospheric angle the humidity varies but very little, and the lower humidity will happen to be at the very point that the end of the Ice Age kick-starts with the higher humidity reaching when the end of the Interglacial Optimum kick-starts, hypothetically. In between these two points in time the RF goes up, atmosphere warms (not only because of RF) and the humidity goes up. But funny enough there seems to be a point where the increased humidity does not support or allow any more warming……..many here explain it as through a negative feedback of humidity to the RF, if I am not wrong……..contrary to a positive feedback of humidity to the atmospheric warming as claimed in the case of AGW. No matter how big, Atmosphere is not limitless, it has his limit, therefore so does the humidity and the warming, in principle. Meaning that at a certain point the further increase of humidity will prohibit the accumulation of warming in the system, regardless of how much energy the Atmosphere is subjected to. It will lead to a balancing out first, where for any unit of energy “entering” at that point in time one energy unit will leave and depart to the space out there. Then beyond that point further increase of humidity it will cause cooling by leading to a loss of more than one energy unit for each end every energy unit “entering” the system, getting at somewhere of the max of two lost for each one “entering” till it gets to the point that humidity starts lowering. My guess is that the relation of humidity to RF by this angle suggest that at 360 ppm due to the humidity the warming stops, and according to our present situation the cooling solely due to the RF-humidity relation will last till somewhere the 460 ppm is reached. I could go on and on with this rumblings but I would not like to be boring …… cheers mobihci Reply to whiten April 6, 2015 12:25 am hi whiten, yeah, it is probable that there is an upper limit, however recent history (last 100k years) shows much warmer temps than now with little difference in continental arrangement. I tend to believe that the modulation of the cloud cover feedback is the main reason for climate shifts. what is modulating the cloud cover is probably the main question there. eg sun, ocean cycles etc. whiten Reply to whiten April 6, 2015 1:19 am mobihci April 6, 2015 at 12:25 am I tend to believe that the modulation of the cloud cover feedback is the main reason for climate shifts. what is modulating the cloud cover is probably the main question there. eg sun, ocean cycles etc. —————————————– Perhaps you misunderstood my point. I was not arguing or trying to show my believe or my opinion on what the actual cause or main reason for climate change or climate shifts, even that it may look that way. Let me paste copy from my above reply to you : “……..and according to our present situation the cooling solely due to the RF-humidity relation will last till somewhere the 460 ppm is reached.” As I said “the cooling solely”, which actually means a temporary cooling due to RH-humidity relation. At most it can be considered as a climate response to the condition we are in recently, the last 300 years. As I tried to explain it in my previous reply, once that condition reached, the limit of humidity, regardless at what actual warming point the Atmosphere is (less or more than anywhere of the last 400K years), there will be no further warming, and even cooling may be starting, depending on the RF and mainly in the initial cause or initial main reason for such a condition to arise. For some reason in the last 300 years the CO2 emission has sharply risen and has reached a ~400ppm and also the temp has sharply risen up by ~more then a 1.0C. Normally for such a sharp CO2 increase it takes about a 5K years and for the temp increase at 1.C it will take about 3K years. Now I am not claiming I am right and you are wrong, just kind of expressing my thoughts. Sorry that we are on different opinions…….and of course you could be right……or we simply could both be wrong……but I think it will be difficult to expect that we both right with our opinions. Thank you for your reply, appreciated…:-). cheers Venter April 5, 2015 7:42 pm Excellent reply Lord Monckton. Absolutely crystal clear. Shame on Joe Born and Phil for their dishonest allegations and deliberate misleading attempts. And contempt for Mosher who has as usual shown what a waste of time he is. Reply to Venter April 5, 2015 8:39 pm If Mosher has anything to say he should say it, but he never seems to say anything. He types a lot of words, but they never say anything. Phil. Reply to Venter April 5, 2015 8:51 pm I pointed out to Monckton that there was no appendix to the scibull paper in January and he said that he would “send a copy”. Nothing dishonest or misleading, we now have the appendix. Venter Reply to Phil. April 5, 2015 10:58 pm So now that your wild goose chase is over care to have anything intelligent to say about the paper? Phil. Reply to Phil. April 6, 2015 7:04 am Clearly it was not a ‘wild goose chase’, since Monckton has provided the appendix in response to my request. Venter Reply to Phil. April 6, 2015 8:08 am It was a wild goose chase as you dodged the question about whether you have anything intelligent to say about the paper. That’s something which has been conspicously absent from your posts on this subject. Phil. Reply to Phil. April 6, 2015 2:32 pm Apparently you don’t know what a ‘wild goose chase’ is. I had my say in January. Joe Born April 5, 2015 9:30 pm Let’s try that again: Let’s review the bidding, shall we? The title of my first post on the subject was “Reflections on Monckton et al.’s ‘Transience Fraction.’” I said in that post’s first paragraph that their paper “obscures the various factors that should go into selecting that parameter.” I further said that Monckton et al. had inferred their Table 2 $r_t$ values from the Roe paper “[in] a manner that their paper does not make entirely clear.” It taxes even my credulity that this left unobvious my belief that Monckton et al.’s determination of the transience fraction $r_t$ wasn’t clear enough. But no explanation was forthcoming, so I wrote another post. Fig. 1 of that post illustrated the implausible consequence of the authors’ assuming $r_t=1$ for $f<0.3$: a higher early-year temperature response to a forcing could imply a lower equilibrium response to it. Specifically, the $f=0$ curve intersected the $f=0.5$ and $f=1.3$ curves. I brought the reader’s attention to that problem as follows: Consider that plot’s various values for $t=25$ years. Suppose that 25 years after a $1.0\,\textrm{W/m}^2$ step in forcing we have observed a 0.24 K temperature increase. By consulting that plot, we conclude that the feedback is a modest $0.5\,\textrm{W/m}^2/\textrm{K}$, implying an equilibrium climate sensitivity of 1.4 K. If the increase were 0.29 K instead, we would infer a rather larger $1.3\,\textrm{W/m}^2/\textrm{K}$ feedback coefficient, which implies a larger equilibrium climate sensitivity, 2.0 K. But if the temperature increase were still greater, 0.31 K, we would infer—no feedback at all. And that implies equilibrium climate sensitivity of only 1.2 K. How’s that again? A higher current temperature increase implies a lower equilibrium climate sensitivity? Rather than address that issue, the authors quibble about nomenclature: Mr. Born’s y axis is inadequately labeled “step response”, and it is not made explicit whether he is using a simple or normalized step response, or what the units (if any) are. He then argues with some of the points on his own graph. However, the inadequacy of the labeling and the confusing text make it difficult to understand what he means, so we cannot comment further.” It’s hard to escape the conclusion that the authors are being willfully obtuse. “Step response” is a concept well known to those qualified to lecture us about feedback, as Lord Monckton repeatedly does. Still, If it really was foreign to them, they could have Googled it. Moreover, the text accompanying that plot described it in the following manner: Fig. 1 depicts the step responses of which Monckton et al.’s Table 2 are normalized versions. That is, it shows the results of multiplying each row’s entries by the corresponding $\lambda_\infty=\lambda_0/(1-\lambda_0f)$, where $1/\lambda_0=3.2\,\textrm{W/m}^2/\textrm{K}$ and $f$ is the value their table lists as $f_\infty$ And don’t forget that the stimulus was explicitly referred to as “a $1.0\,\textrm{W/m}^2$ step in forcing.” All that leaves little to the imagination regarding what “step response” meant in that case. Now, by contending that I misrepresented things in saying that the authors had not been forthcoming about Monckton et al.’s transience fraction, the authors have endeavored, with some success apparently, to divert attention from their again evading the issue. But let’s consider the facts. That post was hardly the first time that the issue of implausibler_t$values had been raised. Zeke Hausfather reported several weeks ago that he had raised it at Climate Etc. Lord Monckton merely responded with an oh-no-you’re-wrong type of argument: “We assume, correctly, that the transience fraction is unity where temperature feedbacks are zero.” To help him see his error, I responded thus to his statement: A useful exercise in this context would be to plot on a common graph the product of each row of Monckton et al.’s Table 2 and the $\lambda_\infty$ value that the corresponding feedback value implies; i.e., to compare the step responses that their Table 2 represents. The result will help assess that statement’s accuracy. Note that I again told him what a “step response” was. Note also that this occurred on March 15, at least nine days before the closing of comments on which the authors blame their failure to respond. Then, perhaps putting too fine a point on it, I actually supplied code by which a plot similar to that in the subsequent post could be created, explicitly using the “step response” nomenclature and moreover inviting Lord Monckton’s attention to the specific issue by asking, “Doesn’t it seem odd that the f = 0 curve intersects the f = 0.5 and f = 1.3 curves?” Note that this was March 16, at least eight days before the closing of comments. And Lord Monckton was commenting on the same thread days later. Tell me again, who’s misrepresenting things here? Now, there were one or arguably three curves on the Roe plot from which the authors ostensibly obtained their Table 2 $r_t$ values, yet that table gives values for five curves. One might therefore speculate that the implausible $r_t$ values resulted from the way in which the authors changed three into five. But why should we speculate? The authors presumably know how they got the curves. Why make that an exercise in pulling teeth. Why insist that inquirers jump through hoops to get the answer? How might they have answered? Well, perhaps they could have said that, yes, that result seems implausible, but here’s why it really isn’t. Or they could have said that, yes, that was a transcription error; the real values should have been such and such—and, by the way, our §8.4 conclusion based on unity $r_t$ should be revised accordingly. Or they could have said something else. What did they say in the event? Well, apparently all four authors put their heads together and, astonishingly, this seems to be the best they could do: “In our paper, Table 2 gives approximate values of the transience fraction corresponding to equilibrium feedback sums f ≤0 and f = 0.5, 1.3, 2.1 and 2.9. Where the equilibrium feedback sum is less than or equal to about 0.3, the transience fraction may be safely taken as unity: at sufficiently small f there is little difference between instantaneous and equilibrium response. For f on 2.1 [1.3, 2.9], the value of the transience fraction is simply the fraction of equilibrium sensitivity attained in a given year after the initial forcing, as shown in Roe’s graph, reproduced at fig. 4 of our paper. It is not possible to provide a similar table for values of f at equilibrium given in IPCC AR4 or AR5, since IPCC provides no evolutionary curve similar to that in Roe’s graph. There. All is now explained, and in quite some detail. Go ahead, read that again. What did they say? All they said, after all this time, is that they got three of the curves from Roe, they got the $f<0$ value by blandly assuming that “Where the equilibrium feedback sum is less than or equal to about 0.3, the transience fraction may be safely taken as unity,”—even though doing so gives a higher equilibrium response for a lower transient response—and they are silent about their $f=0.5$ curve. No explanation of how they inferred from Roe that unity-$r_t$ values could “safely be taken as unity.” No explanation of where the $f=0.5$ curve came from. No explanation of how a higher transient response could, as the $f<0$ curve implies, result in a lower equilibrium response. That’s what in their circles passes for a complete explanation “and in quite some detail”? That’s what passes for rigor? That’s the best they can do? Dr. Strangelove Reply to Joe Born April 5, 2015 11:26 pm For the sake of transparency, are you “Phil” the professor at Cornell? What is your real name and profession? Venter Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 5, 2015 11:56 pm Good question, Dr.Strangelove. And I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a straight answer. Phil. Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 5:44 am The irony of two people who post under pseudonyms asking that question! As I have said here on more than one occasion, I stopped posting to blogs under my full name after a denial of service attack rendered my email communication unusable and caused significant problems (not WUWT). dbstealey April 5, 2015 at 9:26 pm Christoph Dollis, Yes, there are lotsa folks named Phil. Indeed, but as far as I know I’m the only one who posts here as ‘Phil.’? To repeat, I am not, and never have been, a professor at Cornell. Dr. Strangelove Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 8:16 pm I have never asked Anthony Watts to post my paper on this website. Since you did, it is only proper to give your real name and profession, unless that would discredit your reputation. The people you are accusing to be wrong have real names (Monckton, Legates, Soon, Briggs) and real professions (professor and physicist) Non-technical readers cannot follow the technical arguments of both sides and would want to know if they are hearing from Phil the professor or Phil the troll. Hiding your true identity would only boost suspicion of the troll and his gibberish jargons. Phil. Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 9:01 pm Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 at 8:16 pm I have never asked Anthony Watts to post my paper on this website. Since you did, it is only proper to give your real name and profession, unless that would discredit your reputation. What on earth are you talking about, what paper of mine did I ask Anthony to post here? The people you are accusing to be wrong have real names (Monckton, Legates, Soon, Briggs) and real professions (professor and physicist) So do I, but I didn’t accuse them of anything here Non-technical readers cannot follow the technical arguments of both sides and would want to know if they are hearing from Phil the professor or Phil the troll. It isn’t that technical, Monckton told me to read the Appendix to the paper, I told him there wasn’t one (go look at the paper: http://www.scibull.com:8080/EN/abstract/abstract509579.shtml). Monckton offered to send me a copy of the Appendix, I asked him to post it here instead, which he did. For some reason the authors posted here today: An anonymous contributor, one “Phil.” [a professor at Cornell -Anthony], has twice alleged in comments that the appendix to our paper, which was cut at the last minute by the editors on grounds of space, and which among other things provided a more explicit but still simple mathematical discussion of feedback-induced non-linearities, had never existed. That is not true, I did not claim that the Appendix never existed, merely that there was not a published Appendix so I couldn’t take Monckton’s advice and read it! I actually asked Monckton for a link to it, Monckton seemed surprised that it wasn’t in the journal, so I assumed he hadn’t been told. Now, our lead author had invited “Phil.” to email him if he wanted a copy of the appendix. Instead, “Phil.” merely repeated the allegation that our lead author had lied in saying there was an appendix. Again not true, Monckton did indeed post: Monckton of Brenchley April 3, 2015 at 3:53 am “In response to Phil., if he emails me I will send him the appendix”. To which I replied: Phil. April 3, 2015 at 9:28 am “Please just post it here so that everyone can have access to it”. Which is what he did. Dr. Strangelove Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 9:42 pm So ‘Phil’ a.k.a. ‘Joe Born’ is denying he is Joe Born. And ‘Phil” or ‘Joe Born’ is denying he wrote the Guest Essay by Joe Born. How many Joe Borns are there anyway? And ‘Phil’ or ‘Joe Born’ is denying he accused Monckton et al of anything. Perhaps the guy was just writing gibberish that has no bearing whatsoever on the paper of Monckton et al. I’m a bit confused why ‘Phil’ is answering on behalf of ‘Joe Born.’ Perhaps one or both are fictitious trolls and this whole thing is just a prank. Phil. Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 7, 2015 4:50 am Dr. Strangelove April 6, 2015 at 9:42 pm So ‘Phil’ a.k.a. ‘Joe Born’ is denying he is Joe Born. And ‘Phil” or ‘Joe Born’ is denying he wrote the Guest Essay by Joe Born. How many Joe Borns are there anyway? And ‘Phil’ or ‘Joe Born’ is denying he accused Monckton et al of anything. Perhaps the guy was just writing gibberish that has no bearing whatsoever on the paper of Monckton et al. I’m a bit confused why ‘Phil’ is answering on behalf of ‘Joe Born.’ Perhaps one or both are fictitious trolls and this whole thing is just a prank. You appear to be very confused, you addressed questions specifically to me and now it appears you thought you were addressing them to ‘Joe Born”! Just to clarify, I am not ‘Joe Born’, as far as I know he is exactly who he says he is. Since Anthony requires people who contribute articles on WUWT to be properly identified I am sure that’s his correct name. Dr. Strangelove Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 7, 2015 8:21 pm My first post was addressed to Joe Born. For some mysterious reason, you answered it. Perhaps you also thought you were Joe Born. I’m not the only one confused. Apparently Anthony thought ‘Phil’ is a professor at Cornell, which you denied assuming you are really Phil or Joe Born. Sure you are not Joe Born. You are just a mysterious guy answering on behalf of Joe Born. Phil. Reply to Dr. Strangelove April 8, 2015 7:19 am Dr. Strangelove April 7, 2015 at 8:21 pm My first post was addressed to Joe Born. For some mysterious reason, you answered it. So you asked Joe Born “For the sake of transparency, are you “Phil” the professor at Cornell? What is your real name and profession? Since Anthony responded: “Phil.” [a professor at Cornell -Anthony] why on earth would you address your question to Joe, particularly given the site policy on transparency for guest posters? Since you were making such a radical departure perhaps you should have actually addressed the question to Joe to avoid confusion? Reply to Joe Born April 6, 2015 12:58 am Mr Born continues to be unsatisfactorily disingenuous. He said we had withheld, et separatin turned down his requests for, information. He had not written to any of us with any such request. In our paper, and again in the head posting here, we explain why a transience fraction of unity is a respectable approximation for negative or barely positive closed-loop gains. In both places we even provided a clear diagram. As many have pointed out here, Mr Born owes us an apology. Joe Born Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 3:12 am “As many have pointed out here, Mr Born owes us an apology.” Yes, Lord Monckton has gulled the easily led into embracing his novel rule of etiquette that blog conversations must turn to email whenever a request for information is involved. That’s the level of independent thinking that explains the last U.S. presidential election results. Again we see Lord Monckton flee to form when he gets outmatched on substance. Will Nitschke Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 5:42 am Joe, Let me get this straight. So you accuse the authors of the paper from withholding information in a way that is clearly mischievous. You then admit you never bothered to write directly to the authors. On top of that you now boldly declare that what you’ve done is perfectly acceptable. Irrespective of any technical merits there may have been in your arguments it’s become perfectly clear you’re something of a weasel. Phil. Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 6:57 am Venter April 6, 2015 at 1:58 am Lord Monckton, the second line of your reply has come scrambled with parts cut off.. It looks like Monckton has made a typo for the legal term, ‘et separatim’, that cell phone again. Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 6, 2015 3:35 pm Mr Born continues to be lamentably disingenuous. I am not taking him to task for not having emailed me: I am taking him to task for having falsely alleged that I had “withheld” information or “turned down” a request from him for information, when he had not in fact made any request for that information to any of us and when the information was available in our paper in the first place. He has lost a great deal of credibility by not apologizing as he should have done. Bernie Hutchins Reply to Monckton of Brenchley April 7, 2015 8:09 pm In view of your saying “barely positive closed-loop gains” and your second graph at the top, I think you are still confusing “closed-loop gain” with “loop gain”. Venter April 6, 2015 1:58 am Lord Monckton, the second line of your reply has come scrambled with parts cut off.. Tenuc April 6, 2015 2:14 am Don’t myself think that Lord Monckton was wrong to point out the unjustifiable claims of his detractors. It is a sure sign of weakness in a debate when those unable to produce a suitable reasoned scientific counter argument to a paper have to resort to personal attacks. Perhaps Lord Monckton should reconsider the possibility of perusing litigation, as this would deter others from using this bad practice in the future. The case would also gain even more publicity than has already been successfully achieved. BTW, have you read the latest paper by Ferenc Miskolczi, published in Development in Earth Science Volume 2, 2014 – “The Greenhouse Effect and the Infrared Radiative Structure of the Earth’s Atmosphere”, which broadly supports your neutral assumption on climate feedback. Full paper here… http://www.seipub.org/des/Download.aspx?ID=21810 A paper published in Journal of Climate, 2012 “Surface Water Vapor Pressure and Temperature Trends in North America during 1948-2010”, by V. Isaac and W. A. van Wijngaarden shows that real data from north America indicates that the level of water vapour has declined while CO2 has increased. ferdberple Reply to Tenuc April 6, 2015 11:30 pm real data from north America indicates that the level of water vapour has declined while CO2 has increased. ============ partial pressure law predicts this. add more CO2 and in response H2O will condense out of the atmosphere to maintain the same atmospheric pressure. Joe Born April 6, 2015 2:42 am Monckton of Brenchley: “Next Mr. Born has a long and unnecessary excursus on whether the Planck parameter is a feedback or not.” This is just the latest of Lord Monckton’s Roseanne Roseannadanna episodes: he inappropriately raises an issue I never did, gets it wrong, and then, when I show the error, he treats it as a quibble or an unnecessary response on my part. Either that or he complains that I used e-mail rather than a blog comment or takes umbrage at some word I used. Anything to avoid addressing the actual substance. In this case, for example, I had never criticized his not treating the “Planck parameter” as feedback. I’m comfortable with his encompassing it in a forward block. Merely as an expedient for showing time dependence, though, my first post dropped to a lower level of abstraction, in which radiation into space is indeed treated as feedback. In response, as he has many times with others, Lord Monckton criticized that treatment, calling my “assumption that the Planck parameter is a feedback just like all the others” a “misinterpretation.” That comment betrayed a misunderstanding of mathematics that my “unnecessary excursus” was required to dispel. Lord Monckton is fond of saying, “Do the math.” When he encounters someone who can actually do the math, though, . . . “Oh, never mind.” Joe Born April 6, 2015 3:01 am Well, the amusement value of this exercise has long since been exhausted for me. Let me just tell you where I’ve come out: I don’t have confidence in the Monckton et al. paper. Oh, I’m inclined to believe its conclusion that the IPCC’s failure to revise its equilibrium-climate-sensitivity estimates requires explanation. And I do think that parsing a linear system’s step response in the way it does can afford insight. But, although their approach of approximating a convolution with a simple multiplication no doubt has some limited range of applicability, they haven’t bothered to define what that range is. And the authors’ poor performance in defending their paper gives me little reason to take their word on the aspects I don’t independently know. Over the years I’ve had the misfortune of having to read a great many technical papers, most on subjects I knew little about. When I did so, I rarely had the time to double-check everything, even when I knew how to. But I did look into what I could. If that didn’t check out, it raised my suspicions about the parts I couldn’t investigate. In this case, Monckton et al. made numerous statements about what the IPCC says and how they use terms. I didn’t go back to determine whether the IPCC said what Monckton et al. said it did and whether they characterized it correctly. What I did do was check the paper for internal consistency and consider Lord Monckton’s subsequent explanations. Neither inspired confidence. Soon after I initially downloaded the Monckton et al. paper, I put it down in frustration. I was unable to make much sense of, for example, exactly how the subscript $t$s were being used. In particular (for reasons I will spare you here) I found that subscript’s use on the feedback parameter $f_t$ puzzling in light of the purpose the authors gave for the transience fraction $r_t$. (The authors now say “of course” they always meant $\f_\infty$, but their use of $f_t$ in some places and $\f_\infty$ in others hardly a clear way of showing that.) Also, their reference to $r_t$ as a “parameter” seemed odd; that “parameter” actually seemed to be an entire normalized step response. Did I get that wrong? A separate head-scratcher was their statement that their “five parameters permit representation of . . . any combination of feedbacks, positive or negative, linear or nonlinear,” whereas their model aft of the conversion to forcing appeared linear. An inference about “committed but unrealized warming” that Monckton et al. drew from their Table 4 didn’t make sense. And, of course, the comparison with electrical circuits was hopelessly muddled. However, many at this site had so gushed over that paper that I eventually resolved to slog through it to the bitter end. It was torture. And my attempts to find guidance in the various discussion threads was of limited help. Most of the responses were either too impressionistic to be of much use or merely directed the questioner to read the paper. So I resorted to writing a post that showed why more specificity was needed about one aspect in particular: that transience fraction $r_t$. Why $r_t$? Well, if I read the paper right, Monckton et al. got their Table 2 values for that factor by normalizing a step response provided by Gerard Roe. If that was the case, then Monckton et al.’s Equation (1) merely says that, to get the difference$\Delta T_t$between the temperature today and what it would have been if there had been no forcing change since $t$ before today, you figure out the change since then in CO2 forcing, add it to other forcings’ changes, and multiply the result $\Delta F_t/q_t$ by the time-$t$ value $\frac{\lambda_0}{1-\lambda_0f_t}r_t$ of the step response you’ve assumed for the feedback level of interest. This differs from the conventional linear-systems approach only in that, instead of simply multiplying today’s forcings by a single, time-$t$ value of the step response, the conventional approach convolves the entire forcing history with the entire impulse response you’ve assumed for the feedback level of interest or, equivalently, convolves the derivative of the entire forcing history with the entire step response. (To experts outside of climate science I’ve talked to, an “impulse” signal is not a step but instead is the derivative of a step: a Dirac delta function.) Now, to get the convolution $y$ of a stimulus $x$ with an impulse response $h$, you integrate thus: $y(t)=\int\limits_{-\infty}^{t}x(t-\tau)h(\tau)d\tau$. This becomes $y(t)=\int\limits_{0}^{t}x(t-\tau)h(\tau)d\tau$ for a causal system if $x=0$ for $t<0$. Equivalently, $y(t)=\int\limits_{0}^{t}\dot{x}(t-\tau)h_{-1}(\tau)d\tau$, where $\dot{x}$ is the time derivative of $x$, and$h_{-1}(t)\$ is the step response chosen for the assumed feedback level. Obviously, the conventional result $y(t)=\int\limits_{0}^{t}\dot{x}(t-\tau)h_{-1}(\tau)d\tau$ does not in general equal the Monckton et al. result $x(t)h_{-1}(t)$. (Substitute their $\Delta F_t/q_t$ for $x$ and $\frac{\lambda_0}{1-\lambda_0f}r_t$ for $h_{-1}(t)$.) So to me it seemed important, in a “user manual” for the model, to distinguish between the circumstances in which the results would be serviceable and those in which they wouldn’t. And central to this, it seemed to me, was the “transience fraction” $r_t$.
Hence my first post, which was intended to elicit more information about its selection and use. And, in doing so, I treated Monckton et al.’s model as charitably as I could:

If one keeps in mind that various factors Monckton et al. do not discuss affect the $r_t$ curve, their model can afford insight into various effects that we laymen hear about. In particular, it can help us assess the plausibility of various claimed feedback levels. A particularly effective use of the model is set forth in their §8.1. If the authors’ representation of IPCC feedback estimates is correct, their model helps us laymen appreciate why the IPCC’s failure to reduce its equilibrium climate-sensitivity estimate requires explanation in the face of reduced feedback estimates. And note that §8.1 doesn’t depend on $r_t$ at all.

Unfortunately, that post did not elicit the information I’d hoped. Still, (between the non-answers, red herrings, and irrelevancies) Lord Monckton apparently did confirm that Monckton et al.’s Table 2 values were based on a step response. I therefore submitted the second post, in which I illustrated that the Monckton et al. approach of simple multiplication instead of convolution can result in large errors.
Eventually, Lord Monckton then attempted to justify the Monckton et al. approach with the following statement:

One can of course, as Mr Born is prone to do, find extreme examples where the difference a convolution and a pulse make a difference. but in the real world the rest of us live in, and over the relatively short timescales we’re concerned with, the difference is unimportant.

Now, I have no doubt that there are situations in which the Monckton et al. approach gives reasonable results. But Lord Monckton’s reasoning in this regard does not inspire confidence. It has three problems.
First, Lord Monckton has it exactly backwards. As Fig. 7 of my second post shows, it is precisely in the earlier years that the difference between convolution and Monckton et al.’s simple multiplication by the “pulse” (step) response’s most-recent value is most pronounced (and, incidentally, that the differences among the various feedback levels are hardest to distinguish). Second, although there probably are regimes in which Monckton et al.’s approach could produce a serviceable result, Monckton et al.’s paper doesn’t tell how to distinguish among them; to do that you’d have to do the convolution yourself.
Third, in dismissing “extreme examples,” Lord Monckton was presumably referring to the discussion that accompanied my Fig. 7. That discussion was directed to inferring equilibrium climate sensitivity (“ECS”) from transient climate response, and it showed that the Monckton et al. approach would infer an ECS value close to 3.4 K when the conventional approach infers something more like 12 K.
Was that an extreme example, one to which Monckton et al. never intended their model to be applied? If so, it is curious that §10 of their paper, which they claimed was a “user manual” for their model, characterized it as “narrowly focused on determining the transient and equilibrium responses of global temperature to specified radiative forcings and feedbacks in a simplified fashion.” That doesn’t strike me as the best way to wave the user off from inferring ECS from transient climate response.
Moreover, Lord Monckton misapprehended the nature of the resultant error: “Using a pulse tends to overstate climate sensitivity, for obvious reasons. So if, even using a pulse, we obtain low climate sensitivities, then if we had used a convolution the sensitivity would have been still lower a fortiori.” Again, he got it backwards. Monckton et al.’s $r_t$ values are based on the step response, which is higher for a given climate sensitivity. So Monckton et al.’s approach would infer a lower climate sensitivity than the observed transient climate response warrants.
Again, I can’t double check everything in a technical paper; I check what I can. If what I do check doesn’t make sense, I wonder about what I haven’t checked out. In this case the lead author repeatedly got things wrong.
From the red herrings about effective radiation altitude and “Plank parameter” $\lambda_0$ to the implausible values for $r_t$ to his thinking I has misapplied the notion of feedback when I had actually used it more fundamentally than he to his clear misunderstanding of how the “Bode equation” is applied to electronic circuits to his contention that the Table 2 values make their model nonlinear, Lord Monckton managed to deal incorrectly with almost every issue.
No, I don’t know about all the conclusions in the Monckton et al. paper; I don’t have all the facts. But the facts I do have do not inspire confidence.

April 6, 2015 3:26 am

Mr Born is fond of saying I have “got it wrong”. However, on the Planck parameter I have cited Roe’s paper as one that recommends treating the Planck parameter as part of the reference frame of the climate-sensitivity equation rather than as a feedback. Once again, Mr Born uses me as his punchbag when his quarrel is with someone else – in the present instance Gerard Roe.

Joe Born
April 6, 2015 5:31 am

And once again Lord Monckton mischaracterizes what I said. I was responding to his lecturing me and many others that we had used the “Planck parameter” incorrectly; I never said that he had been doing so. I had no problem with his using it in a forward-block sense as he does, and I never said I did; as far as I can tell that introduces little inaccuracy, at least at the time scales he’s dealing with. My treatment does appeal more to me, and I do believe it’s more correct for time shorter scales, but I was searching for information, not trying to make debating points, so I never raised that that issue, and I don’t now. In this context it doesn’t matter.
In short, I wasn’t saying that either he or Gerard Roe were wrong; I was merely saying that I wasn’t wrong, either. How Lord Monckton sees this as a quarrel with Gerard Roe–and how he similarly sees other aspects of my request for information as quarrels with the IPCC–are obscure.

April 6, 2015 3:58 am

While it is true that science is a demolition derby in which inadequate hypotheses are knocked to pieces, Mr Born;s attitude here, detected by others than me, has been one of desperately trying to find fault where there is really none to be found, and even of picking nits when there are no nits to be picked. In essence, he objects to our adopting particular values for our transience fraction. As is made plain in the paper and elsewhere, this is a model, so he is free to choose his own transience fractions. We fairly and correctly and in detail stated the basis on which we had derived our approximate values for the transience fraction, explained that they were approximate, and demonstrated by worked examples that the centennial values we had used in our paper were those implicit in the IPCC’s own central estimates of climate sensitivity. He doesn’t like those values. Tough t*tty. Let him debate the matter with the IPCC: his quarrel, here as elsewhere, is with them and not with us. Let him choose his own values. It’s a free country. Not a lot in our paper depends on this, even if he were right. And he’s wrong.
Has he gone through our worked examples using a sub-unity transience fraction, as someone who was genuinely interested in the truth might do? Has he tried to propose values for that fraction as we have applied it centennially to the six RCP scenarios that are markedly different from ours? No. Has he attempted to re-determine centennial sensitivity using his own preferred values rather than ours? No, because he knows perfectly well that he will find himself pinned between our values of the transience fraction and the near-identicalk implicit values in the IPCC’s climate-sensitivity estimates. Here as elsewhere, he has set up an interminable series of petty straw men and then knocked them down. Just read BobG’s comment towards the end of the previous thread on this subject. He called Mr Born’s approach “mean-spirited”.
Mr Born now talks of “red herrings about the effective radiation altitude”: but that was a fundamental error in his own understanding of the science. It was not an error that could be allowed to confuse readers of this blog. And he is plainly insufficiently familiar with the literature to understand that the zero-feedback climate-sensitivity parameter is also known throughout the journals as the instantaneous parameter or the Planck parameter. It needs none of his pejorative quote-marks.
Finally, as Mr Born will by now have realized, this blog requires of its participants a certain minimum of intellectual honesty. Several commenters here have expressed their disappointment that at the end of the previous thread Mr Born accused us of “withholding” information that he had requested when he had not in fact written to any of us to request it, and when the information was in our paper all along, and that he has repeated that allegation by saying at the beginning of the post to which the head posting here is a response that we had “turned down” his requests for that information, which they rightly took to imply that he had actually sent us a request by email and we had refused.
And he has wriggled and quibbled disfiguringly throughout on this point. He wails that Roe’s paper has only one (or maybe three) curves but our table 2 had not one or three but five sets of values. It is plain to anyone looking at Roe’s graph that there are three curves on it. And it is also plain – and explained in the text of our paper – that our fourth set of values – unity where the feedback sum is sufficiently low – is an approximation that will not lead to significant error. As to the fifth set of values, it falls between Roe’s least curve and the very-low-feedback case.
So let us summarize. Mr Born made several errors in his original posting. When we had dealt with those, he decided to have another go, and made further errors, not the least of which was his nasty statement that he had requested us to supply information that we had withheld, and even that we had “turned down” his request, when everything that a reasonable man might have needed to help him understand our approximate values of the transience fraction was in our paper in the first place. Then he spins up some theoretical instances that are nothing to do with any of the worked examples in our paper. Then he relentlessly overlooks our surely reasonable point that this is a model and he is free to choose his own transience fraction values if he wants.
However, he is unable to overlook the fact that the ultimate concern of climate-sensitivity modeling is to determine equilibrium climate sensitivity, and in that circumstance it is a matter of definition that the transience fraction is simply unity. Had there been the slightest doubt about this, our paper makes it explicitly plain.
Finally, Mr Born skates around the fact that at the net-negative feedbacks and consequent very low sensitivities our own model runs suggest the transience fraction will be little different from unity at all points on the time-curve. As BobG has rightly pointed out, Mr Born has made a mountain out of what was not even a molehill, and, in giving the false impression that he had asked us to supply information when he had not in fact got in touch with any of us, and in then failing to apologize, he has lost all credibility not only with us but with many others here.
In the end, the purpose of science is a moral purpose: it is to search for the truth. Mr Born, in departing from the truth by saying we had refused to give him information that he had not contacted any of us to ask for, has demonstrated – to this observer, at any rate – that his interest is not in the truth but in attempting – and, thank Goodness, failing – to divert attention away from our model’s conclusion that climate sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 concentration is very likely to be low.

Non Nomen
April 6, 2015 4:33 am

@Lord Monckton
@Joe Born
Gentlemen, thanks for discussing the issues openly. This is, up to now, a pretty unusual thing amongst those who are, at a scientific level, doing “climate research”. I am glad Lord Monckton did not refrain from dealing out his side blows, for which he is notorious for those under the spell of the IPCC and far famed for those who have a more sceptical approach to the matters. Joe born came in -imho- as second winner. As far as I am concerned, I found this discussion very interesting and helpful to me. It shows that platforms like these are absolutely vital to exchange opinions in a civilized manner. I wouldn’t give a sou for that being possible at other places.

ulriclyons
April 6, 2015 5:53 am

“Equilibrium sensitivity is the warming that might be expected to occur by the time the climate had settled back to a steady state in response to a direct forcing followed by the complete action of all temperature feedbacks consequent on that forcing. Now, it is a matter of definition that at equilibrium the transience fraction must in all cases be unity.”
Increased GHG forcing in theory will cause a bias in atmospheric teleconnections that dictate oceanic modes, and hence rates of longer term upper ocean heat content loss or gain. An increase in forcing should increase La Nina conditions, cool the AMO and Arctic, and thereby increase OHC. It’s more like a permanent positive bias on a floating point.

ulriclyons
April 6, 2015 9:18 am

IOW, as regards surface temperatures, oceanic negative feedbacks to an increase in forcing imply TCS to be negative at up to interdecal scales, and only ECS to be positive because of increases in ocean heat content.

DB Wood
April 6, 2015 5:56 am

Just a note, for many browsers the “clickable link” scibull.com in your article does not resolve. It would seem they do not have an appropriate A record for www . To be helpful to other readers (not that they can’t just type it in) just change the link to point to http://www.scibull.com

Joe Born
April 6, 2015 6:02 am

As to apologies:
Since I hyperlinked the word “request” to my previous post, which showed why further information about transience fraction was needed, and since I hyperlinked “turned down” to Lord Monckton’s purportedly responsive post, one would have to be transcendently dense to interpret “request” as something other than the post that word was linked to.
Frankly, I don’t think either BobG, who dreamed up that theory, or Lord Monckton, who thereupon seized upon it, seriously believes it. I think that they’re using a willful misinterpretation to imply that I had done something nefarious; they probably thereby intend to divert attention from the substantive issues I raised.
If anyone is owed an apology, it is I.

April 6, 2015 12:40 pm

Joe Born, I can tell you were good at being a lawyer. But you are being deliberately obtuse and deceptive. You wrote, “Lead author Christopher Monckton turned down my request for further information about how the Table 2 “transience fraction” values in Monckton et al., “Why Models Run Hot: Results from an Irreducibly Simple Climate Model,” were obtained from a Gerard Roe paper’s Fig. 6.”
In a blog – how do you know that the person actually read any request you made and if they read them, did they do so before the comments were closed? Answer, you don’t unless you contact them outside the context of the blog.
If I read that someone turns down something, this means that someone requested something and the other party said no. That is why when I read what you wrote, I thought that this must have been what happened. You asked Monckton et. al. for more information about the paper and he said no.
Given what I’ve noticed about Lord Monckton over time, I thought this was extremely odd behavior on his part. Since it seemed so odd, I thought about it further trying to figure out what could have happened. Then I remembered you mentioned you were a retired lawyer and the pieces fell into place.
I think that most of the people on WUWT when they read what you wrote also believed that Monckton et al explicitly turned down a request from you. Nor, do I believe that this meaning was something that a retired lawyer would miss in a million years.
Note, your response is close to exactly what I thought you would write except it didn’t occur to me that you would request an apology. My mistake and I apologize for underestimating you.

commieBob
April 6, 2015 6:04 am

The term “feedback sum” is used in many places in the article and comments. When I google for “feedback sum” (in quotes), nothing useful comes up.
What precisely is “feedback sum”?

Joe Born
April 6, 2015 6:08 am

Monckton of Brenchley: “Mr Born;s attitude here, detected by others than me, has been one of desperately trying to find fault where there is really none to be found.”
Essentially the only innovation in their model outside of its parsing the step response into magnitude and shape factors is its use of simple multiplication in the time domain rather than the more-accurate convolution. And the applications to which they said their model is “narrowly focused” was “determining the transient and equilibrium responses of global temperature to specified
radiative forcings and feedbacks.” So it is hardly a “nit” that when this simple-multiplication approach is used to infer equilibrium response from transient response it confuses a 12 K equilibrium response with a 3.4 K one.
Kevin Kilty has suggested that, despite its avowed focus, the model should not be used for drawing such inferences. As I demonstrated, obviously not. Since the authors contended that their model “allows a rapid but not unreliable determination of climate sensitivity by anyone even at undergraduate level,” though, it hardly seems unreasonable to ask that they inform those undergraduates just what range of applications it actually can be used for.
That would have been a more-constructive response to my last post than to pretend that they have been misled by the way I referred to the previous post.

April 6, 2015 3:30 pm

Mr Born continues to pick nits. Meanwhile, our model is perfectly serviceable and, on the evidence of the download count, a lot of people are using it. The paper is quite explicit that the values in our Table 2 are approximate; it is quite explicit that they are based on a pulse and not, therefore, a convolution; it is quite explicit that the IPCC has its own centennial estimates, which we used (and, as expected, they were not vastly different from the values using a pulse rather than a convolution); and we were quite explicit that people were free to adopt their own parameters. Our paper was written for a scientific audience, and we did not need to teach it to suck eggs by explaining the (in the real world) rather trivial difference between the forcings from a convolution and the forcings from a pulse.
And if Mr Born wants constructive responses in future, then he should a) make serious and substantial points rather than picking nits; and b) not allege, falsely, that we had withheld information that was already available to him, and for which he had not written to any of us to ask. If he had done it once it would have been bad enough, but he did it twice. A far more professional standard is expected in future. He is in no position to pick nits after having behaved as badly as that.

Venter
April 6, 2015 7:35 am

After reading through all this, it is pretty clear that it is Joe Born who has shown bad faith and wriggled around like a typical lawyer. If he doesn’t buy the paper’s results, so be it, nobody cares. All of us who have seen the long draw out posts of his over this whole issue can make up our own minds on who is correct and certainly it is not him.

commieBob
April 6, 2015 10:37 am

They’re talking past each other (ie. not even talking the same language). I wouldn’t impute malice to either party.

Chris
April 6, 2015 10:38 am

That is correct, we have made up our own minds about who is correct. It is amusing that for all the criticism about authors of AGW papers not being open and transparent with their data and calculations, when the shoe is on the other foot, the levels of obfuscation are astounding.

April 6, 2015 3:24 pm

In answer to Chris, what data and calculations did we obfuscate or not disclose? Read our paper: everything is explained. Mr Born chose to pretend we had not explained how we derived our values in Table 2: but we did. And, in order for us to have supplied further information, Mr Born would have had to explain what further information he wanted, rather than saying he wanted us to explain what is already quite well explained in the paper, and he would have had to email at least one of us to ask for it.

David A
April 6, 2015 9:38 pm

Chris, your accusation of a lack of openness and transparency is sheer nonsense.
I have never seen any author of a pro CAGW paper, either regarding attrition or causation, so openly discuss on a blog as Christopher Monckton has done here. I have my own thoughts and limitations regarding the technical merits, yet as part of the purpose of the paper is, IMV, an illustration of the models failings, I consider it successful.
In areas of fuzzy persuasion, I learned more from Christopher Monckton’s responses, and I am in good company in crediting the ability of an adept to communicate to lay person constructive understanding, as also being a reflection of the adepts true grasp of cogent material.
In areas and criticisms beyond my capacity, then I must consider the post of Bob G, linked here, quite well stated. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/04/05/a-reply-to-born-how-to-represent-temperature-feedbacks-in-a-simple-model/#comment-1899014

Jean Parisot
April 6, 2015 9:56 am

If we suddenly had substantial warming, without the water vapor growth, wouldn’t the CAGW hypothesis also be disproved?

jeanparisot
April 6, 2015 10:16 am

Argh, this was meant to be in reply to the water content discussions ….

Dan Pangburn
April 6, 2015 11:09 am

Assessments using recent data, such as this paper, have produced progressively lower estimates of Climate Sensitivity. Eventually, IMO, Climate Sensitivity will be found to be zero.
Proof has been hiding in plain sight that change to the level of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) does not cause climate change. Only existing data and the relation between physics and math are needed or used. The proof and identification of the two factors that do cause climate change are at http://agwunveiled.blogspot.com .

Gary Pearse
April 6, 2015 12:20 pm

KevinK
April 5, 2015 at 4:56 pm
“Dear Lord Monckton,
..there is no way that the classical electrical engineer’s feedback equations can be used to predict anything.”
This is too dogmatic a statement for an engineer to make. There are important examples of tools used in one discipline having much broader application than anticipated. When my daughter graduated with a PhD in physics, her first job was as a financial research analyst at the headquarters of a major bank (jobs were scarce at the time). Her boss informed her that equations used in physics have proved to have excellent application in econometric and financial analysis. She was surprised to find the department employed several physicists and mathematicians doing fourier stuff, radioactive decay type stuff, etc.
My favorite (and my climate model) is the Le Chatelier Principle (LCP) which was recognized in the realm of chemistry by its namesake. Essentially it is: that given equilibrium (or really any) conditions a change in temperature, concentration, pressure, volume…..or any perturbation in the system will cause the equilibrium to shift in a direction so as to resist the change (partly). I.e., the direction of change can be predicted from it. Unbeknownst to Le Chatelier, the principle had very broad application across systems. A gyroscope or moving bicycle resists attempts to push it over; stretching a spring, friction…. it is applicable to thermodynamic systems (like climate) – heating invokes mechanisms to cool and vice versa (I believe LCP makes it necessary to invoke entropy of an action). It even has proven useful in exploring price/supply/demand relationships in economics.
Now I don’t know much about feedback in electronic circuits but I dare to say that LCP could be a useful principle to assess what one should expect to happen with increasing gain (an agent will attempt to resist it until overpowered by magnitude). Certainly back EMF in motors is such an idea…..Homeostasis is term that is used in its stead. Newton’s third law (when a body A exerts a force on body B, B exerts and equal an opposite force on body A – when you push against a wall, it pushes back with equal force until you exceed the strength of the wall – the “partly” part of the LCP.
Nature is most economical with its tools and insists on sharing.

April 6, 2015 3:39 pm

A very interesting comment from Gary Pearse on the Le Chatelier principle. The climate has proven near-perfectly thermostatic for the past 810,000 years and – for all we know – longer. Unfortunately, the Bode feedback system gain equation models objects that are very far from homeostatic, which is why we say it should not be applied to the climate – at least, not at high net-positive feedbacks, and not without modification.

davidmhoffer
April 6, 2015 3:46 pm

Well I’ve been thoroughly entertained by this thread. I’ll not weigh in on either side, I’ll just make an observation and then ask the obvious question, which to my surprise nobody has yet voiced.
Observation: The accuracy of a model can only be ascertained by its ability to predict the future. Hindcasting is of limited value as a correct answer could easily be a consequence of curve fitting. Only by predicting the future, and then seeing what actually happens, can the model be validated. Which brings up two questions, one for Born and one for Monckton:
J Born => For how many years into the future must the model prove accurate for you to admit it is valid?
C Monckton => For how many years into the future must the model prove inaccurate for you to admit it is invalid?

Dudley Horscroft
April 7, 2015 12:57 am

As I understand it – and I am probably wrong, someone has ideas, which he sets out as a theory. He tests this theory by proposing hypotheses which, if the theory is correct, must be true, or, better, if the theory is wrong will be shown to also be wrong. He uses past data to construct a model of his theory, to test one or more hypotheses. He ‘calibrates’ it by using data from the recent past (say, 20 years). He then ‘validates’ it by using data from a previous period, say 100 – 20 bp. If the model works within certain limits he trumpets to the world that his theory is correct. If the results do not pan out, he then shuts up and thinks, was my idea wrong, was my model wrong, is the data wrong (plausible!).
What he rarely does is to go back further, to say 500 – 100 bp, or 2000 – 500 bp. If his data that he used to calibrate the model and the model he constructed are both correct, hindcasting should work equally well back into the dim and distant past. So all these climate models should be able to hindcast the mediaeval warm, the Roman warm, the hypsothermal. If they cannot, they are not worth tuppence.
And if the hindcasting shows they are not worth tuppence, who would expect them to be useful for predicting the future?

Joe Born
April 7, 2015 7:06 am

That’s not as incisive a question as you may think; there will always be arguments in retrospect about what is meant by “accurate” and what tunable parameters were assumed. So I can’t really answer it.
But I can tell you this. If (1) the Table 2 values (interpolated, say, in accordance with the estimates I set forth in my previous post) do correctly represent the systems’ step responses, (2) CO2 concentration increases 1% per year over the next thirty years without changes in any other forcings, (3) you know what the temperature thirty years from now would be if no forcing change occurred, and (4) you apply the model under the assumption that equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.4 K and the forcings grow as they turn out to, then the model will “correctly” predict the temperature thirty years from now–but only if the equilibrium climate sensitivity is actually about 3.4 K instead of the 1.4 K you assumed. If the equilibrium climate sensitivity instead actually is the 1.4 K you assumed, your prediction will be 0.1 K too high.
In other words, if you make a prediction for thirty years from now based on the assumption that the equilibrium climate sensitivity is 1.4 K and your prediction comes out right on the money, you will sit fat and happy enjoying your conclusion that you were right to think equilibrium climate sensitivity will be only 1.4 K–even though the real equilibrium climate sensitivity will actually prove to be 3.4 K.
In other words, you can’t conclude much about the model’s accuracy in general from the fact that it gets it right in some interval. That’s why I ignore the conclusions various disputants base on alleged skill; they’re built on sand.
You can prove this all this to yourself by applying the equations and coefficients in my previous post.

davidmhoffer
April 7, 2015 9:07 am

Nonsense. The further out in time we go, the more data we have. The more data we have, the more narrowly constrained the tunable parameters become to actual reality. At some point you are left with a sensitivity estimate that is either commensurate with observational data (within some margin of error) or you don’t.
You say the model is wrong. You cannot falsify it by arguing the math. You can only falsify it be setting out conditions in the future that it fails to predict, which you seem loath to do. I can understand that. Jones and Santer probably regret doing the same.

Joe Born
April 7, 2015 11:01 am

davidmhoffer: “The further out in time we go, the more data we have. The more data we have, the more narrowly constrained the tunable parameters become to actual reality. ”
How much time are you willing to take before you’ve decided you’ve constrained the tunable parameters adequately? Obviously, if forcing changes stop and you wait millenia, then you’ll know what the equilibrium climate sensitivity is and what the $r_t$ value are that go with it. If you want them constrained adequately during your lifetime or those of your children, though, good luck.
But none of that matters. Because what I’m saying is, Let’s assume Monckton et al. have already gotten the $r_t$ values exactly right for absolutely every possible equilibrium climate sensitivity value; we don’t have to wait millenia to tune $r_t$. Moreover, let’s assume you can predict the above-mentioned forcings with absolute accuracy and that with absolute accuracy you know what warming is already in the pipeline and what the random variations will be. In other words, give Monckton et al. every possible break.
Even then, the model as they’ve described it will give you an on-the-money prediction only if you assume too low an equilibrium climate sensitivity.
And, yes, that conclusion can indeed be reached by doing the math. I’ve done it, and my previous post tells you how to do it. If you don’t think so, tell me your problem is specifically, and I’ll help. I’m willing to discuss the issues honestly.
If you’re just going to argue, though, I’m not interested.

davidmhoffer
April 7, 2015 11:24 am

Joe Born;
If you’re just going to argue, though, I’m not interested.

I’m not arguing, I’m asking a question which you are avoiding answering. Mind you, Christopher hasn’t said a peep, so you get points for at least responding.
Obviously, if forcing changes stop and you wait millenia, then you’ll know what the equilibrium climate sensitivity is and what the r_t value are that go with it. If you want them constrained adequately during your lifetime or those of your children, though, good luck.
First of all, I didn’t say I wanted it within my lifetime or that of my children. I said I wanted to know how long it would take, period. Second, forcing changes don’t have to stop to arrive at conclusions regarding sensitivity and r_t. One only needs enough data regarding what the forcing factors and their changes are for a sufficient period if time compared to temperature over that same period of time to calculate them. I think if the problem was putting a warm beer in a cold fridge and calculating from the temperature changes in the first few minutes what temp the beer would cool to and how long it would take, it would be comparatively easy (for example). But it isn’t and I expect it would take much longer. But it certainly doesn’t have to stop in some steady state to wait for us to calculate the end result.

Joe Born
April 7, 2015 2:25 pm

davidmhoffer: “But it certainly doesn’t have to stop in some steady state and wait for us to calculate the end result.”
In theory, no. In practice, though, if large, slow feedbacks do exist, the difference in the short term between the response without the slow feedbacks and with them is hard to detect.
Suppose you think the step response is 2 / 3.7 * (1 – exp(-t/10)), i.e., the equilibrium climate response is 2 K and there’s no slow feedback. To distinguish that in thirty years from a step response of 2 / 3.7 * (1 – exp(-t/10)) + 2 / 3.7 * (1 – exp(-t/1000)), i.e., from an equilibrium climate response of 4 K with slow feedback, when the carbon-dioxide concentration is increasing at 1% / year, you’d have to resolve a difference of 0.013 K.

davidmhoffer
April 7, 2015 2:28 pm

@ Joe Born April 7, 2015 at 2:25 pm
>>>>>>>>>>
I understand all that. I even agree with all that. But you still haven’t answered the question. How long? 100 years? 1,000? etc?

Joe Born
So why do I have an opinion about the Monckton et al. model’s use of their $r_t$? Because, as I explained above, we know it will predict too high a near-term temperature change for a given assumed equilibrium climate sensitivity; the math tells us that. And the discrepancy can be significant.