Political science: a response to 375 concerned members of the National Academy of Sciences

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley, William M. Briggs, David R. Legates, Anthony Lupo, Istvan Marko, Dennis Mitchell and Willie Soon

With acknowledgement to breitbart.com

Some 375 political activists attached to the National Academy of Sciences, supporting the totalitarian view on the climate question, have recently issued an open letter saying we “caused most of the historical increase in atmospheric levels of heat-trapping greenhouse gases.”

In fact, the extent of our influence on climate is not “settled science.” Only 0.3% of twelve thousand papers published in learned journals claimed that recent warming was mostly manmade. The 375 activists are entitled to their opinion, but the scientific community’s peer-reviewed results overwhelmingly fail to endorse their narrow view that recent warming was predominately manmade.


True, we influence climate, by returning to the air some of the carbon dioxide that was there before. But so do termites, by emitting more methane than all the world’s farm animals combined. So do plants, by taking carbon dioxide; storing the carbon in leaves, stems, and trunks; and returning the oxygen to the air. So does the Sun, by supplying nearly all the Earth’s radiant energy. So do volcanoes, by emitting hot rocks that warm the air and ejecta that shade the Earth from the Sun and cause cooling. So do the oceans, by helping to keep the Earth’s temperature within a few degrees either side of the period mean for more than 800,000 years.

The activists say we are warming the oceans. But in the first 11 full years of the least ill-resolved dataset we have, the 3500+ Argo bathythermograph buoys, the upper mile and a quarter of the world’s oceans warmed at a rate equivalent to just 1 Celsius degree every 430 years, and the warming rate, negligible at the surface, rises faster the deeper the measurements are taken. The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.


The activists say we are warming the lower atmosphere. Yet on all datasets, the atmosphere is warming at less than half the rate originally predicted by their fellow-activists at the error-prone Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change — who have a vested interest in overstating the supposed extent of our influence on climate. For, otherwise, the Panel would be – as it should now be – abolished. The Panel is political, but science is not science unless it is scientific, and unless it is free, in particular, from the political totalitarianism that sullenly insists that only one opinion – the Party Line – may be uttered.

The activists say the oceans are “acidifying.” The truth is that, aside from a few transects and a few local studies, science has no idea whether or at what rate the oceans are “acidifying.” What is known, however, is that the oceans are not acid (as rainwater is): they are pronouncedly alkaline. It is also known that, under anything like modern conditions, they are so powerfully buffered that alkaline they must remain.

The activists say our influence on climate is evident in “altered rainfall patterns,” but in this they are at odds with their fellow-activists at the ill-fated Intergovernmental Panel, whose special report on extreme weather (2012) and whose fifth and most recent (2013) Assessment Report on the climate question find little or no evidence of a link between our industries and enterprises on the one hand and global rainfall patterns on the other.

The activists say we are to blame for retreating Arctic sea ice. But Arctic sea ice variations, if objectively quantified with proper error estimates, are fully within the large natural range of changes that have no need of any unique explanation by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide. In addition, Antarctic sea ice, which they somehow do not mention, has largely offset the loss of Arctic ice.


True scientists, like any other citizens, are entitled and even encouraged to take part in the political process, and to state their opinions. This applies to non-USA-citizens, which many of the 375 are. What true scientists must not do, however, is pretend, as the activists did, that their totalitarian point of view is unchallengeable. In all material respects, unfolding events have proven their extremist viewpoint prodigiously exaggerated at best, plain wrong at worst.

Specifically, the activists complain that, during the presidential primary campaign, “claims were made that the Earth is not warming.” Yet early in the primary campaign it was correct to say the Earth had not been warming for almost 19 years.


The graph displayed by Senator Ted Cruz at a Senate hearing late in 2015

More recently there has been a naturally-occurring El Niño event, which has raised the trend a little, but it remains true that the early predictions of medium-term warming were badly exaggerated.


The activists declare their faith in the doctrine “that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks” to everything from national security via health and agriculture to biodiversity. But this statement is based wholly on faith and is unsupported by reality. We know this because of the serially failed predictions made by alarmists.


The activists say, “We know that the climate system has tipping points.” Yet, revealingly, “Tipping point” is not a scientific but a political term. The activists say that “rapid warming of the planet increases the risk of crossing climatic points of no return,” but there is no evidence for rapid warming of the planet today. At the end of the Maunder Minimum, the Earth’s atmosphere warmed more rapidly in response to the naturally-occurring recovery of solar activity from 1695-1735 than it has warmed in any subsequent 40-year period. There is nothing unprecedented either about today’s global temperatures or about the rate at which those temperatures have been changing.

The activists say warmer weather will “possibly” set in motion “large-scale ocean circulation changes.” The scientific truth is that, while the wind blows, the Earth rotates and its land-masses are approximately where they are, the ocean circulation must remain much as it is now. To suggest otherwise is mere rodomontade.

The activists say warmer weather will cause “the loss of major ice sheets.” But if the great ice sheet that covered most of North America to a depth of two miles had not melted owing to naturally-occurring global warming 10,000 years ago, where would the United States be today? Antarctic snowfall accumulation has not exhibited a massive meltdown over the past 40 to 60 years, and there has been no change to speak of in northern-hemisphere snow cover. There is little evidence that the tiny global warming that has occurred is at all likely to have major effects, whether on the cryosphere or on anything else, and still less evidence that those effects would be deleterious, and still less that, even if they were deleterious, the proposed measures to prevent them would make any detectable difference, and still less that, even if proposed measures might work, the imagined benefits would exceed the extravagant cost of their implementation.

The activists are also wrong in their assertion that any appreciable human influence on the climate will be detectable for many thousands of years. Their fellow activists on the Panel say that very nearly all of the feedbacks from the small warming that may be caused by our enriching the atmosphere with plant food act over timescales of hours to – at most – decades.


The activists are wrong to state that “it is of great concern that the Republican nominee for President has advocated U.S. withdrawal from the Paris Accord.” On the scientific evidence to date, it is abundantly clear that the original predictions made by the totalitarians were extreme exaggerations.

It is also clear that, though the world may warm a little, it will not warm a lot; that adding CO2 to the air will be of benefit to plants in reducing their need for water, which is why the world’s desert regions are beginning to green; and that the cost of futilely playing Canute with the climate is 10-100 times greater than the cost of any realistically foreseeable net disbenefit from warmer weather.

It would, therefore, be entirely proper for a presidential candidate to argue that the United States should withdraw from the Paris climate treaty, except for one inconvenient truth. The United States has not ratified the treaty. Any such ratification requires a two-thirds majority of the Senate, and the collapse of the totalitarians’ scientific case for “climate action” now renders any such two-thirds majority impossible to achieve.

Though the activists have attempted – falsely and improperly – to convey the impression that it is somehow illegal, immoral or damaging to the planet to vote for the Republican party’s candidate in the forthcoming presidential election because he disagrees with the totalitarian position on the climate question that they espouse with such religious fervor and such disregard for science, in truth it is not the business of scientists to abuse the authority of their white lab-coats by collectively suggesting that “Science” demands the voters should or should not cast their vote in any particular direction.

Therefore, the signatories hereto repudiate the letter issued by the 375 activists as reflecting not scientific truth but quasi-religious dogma and totalitarian error; we urge the voters to disregard that regrettable and anti-scientific letter; and we invite every citizen to make up his or her own mind whom to elect to the nation’s highest office without fear of the multifarious bugaboos conjured into terrifying but scientifically unjustifiable existence by the totalitarian activists who have for decades so disrespected, disgraced and disfigured climate science.


Those who are eagerly awaiting the next installment in the Feet of Clay series about climate sensitivity may like to know that I had the honor of presenting the principal ideas, including the central error in the models that has caused such large exaggerations in the high-end predictions of climate sensitivity, at the recent London climate conference.

It is now clear that the central error – which was about to be revealed in the Feet of Clay series – is indeed an error. Several electronic engineers who were present have confirmed its seriousness. I have been advised that, although it was permissible to discuss the error at a scientific conference, publication in a learned journal would be prejudiced if I were to post a detailed consideration of the error here at WUWT.

However, readers can obtain an idea of the nature, scope and effect of the error by going to the following YouTube link to the full broadcast of my talk at the London conference: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=58MEotH79rg.


I gave a short impromptu piano recital during the closing-night party. A link to a recording of one of the items on the program – Schubert’s Sechs Ecossaisen der Ehemaligen, a semi-strophic suite of six little Scottish dances written on a visit to Scotland when he was just 18, and nowadays seldom heard furth of the Highlands – is below.


The piece is much loved in the Highlands, where we tend to play it, as here, languidly and meditatively in the fashion of an oran talaidh or lullaby. It is affectionately known to bairns all over the Highlands as the “Sleepy Woodpecker”, after the simple but very beautiful woodpecker’s chorus between each of the dances, which is written to be played staccato but is here played legatissimo in the Highland fashion. Played resonantly (the Bösendorfer helps here), the piece will usually send even the most insomniac baby to sleep within minutes.

Many of the ideas that Schubert would incorporate into his music throughout his life are represented in this early work. He went on to write several dozen Ecossaises, though all of the others, in the modern fashion, were in 2:4 time rather than in the old-style 3:4 time of this work. The composer takes a few simple figures and weaves them together into a tonally complex though harmonically simple skein, exploring them from every angle.

The closing Ecossaise, “In the moonlight”, which serves as the coda, is remarkable in that, after a few initial bars linking to the preceding chorus, the melody consists of just two notes, the tonic and its leader. It is one of the loveliest codas in the entire Classical canon. Enjoy!


151 thoughts on “Political science: a response to 375 concerned members of the National Academy of Sciences

    • Tom
      “Global warming is, and has been. politics all the way down.”
      Global warming is, and has been Socialism all the way down.


  1. It’s a nice speech Chris, but the off axis stickers and wild colours don’t do anything at all to advance your argument unless you’re aiming for the Mail or some other British tabloid. Seriously; I strongly suggest working on your graphics.

      • It was a suggestion Chris. Nothing more. A concerned reader expressed an opinion on your presentation. It’s very much like the question about serving the fish with or without the head. Not rocket science?

      • I saw the graphic as an advertisement .
        Thus I skipped it and ignored it.
        I concur with Mr Bartleby.
        I am just a mundane, but thought my observation pertinent.

      • So my only disagreement, with this distinguished panel’s essay, is regarding this:

        “””””….. So do the oceans, by helping to keep the Earth’s temperature within a few degrees either side of the period mean for more than 800,000 years. …..”””””

        I would place the time frame at closer to 600 million years than 800 thousand years.

        But I will grant his Lordship, that the authors do say ” for more than “, and I also will stipulate that 600 million is indeed more than 800 thousand.

        I just think they awarded themselves an excessive measure of elbow room.


      • And I plead total ignorance of MofB’s recitation from the Classics.

        I would respond in Maori, but I don’t want to embarrass myself, in case I get the grammar wrong.


      • Well now Christopher you have gone and impressed the hell out of me, with your Schubert recital.

        And also with your choice of piano.

        I have to confess that I never ever learned to play the piano; so I can’t replicate your recital.

        But I did semi learn to play a pipe organ. Yes I mean the whole nine yards with four manuals, and a full 32 pedal board. And I literally started that learning process from F-A-C-E etc.

        And I didn’t stop until I could play without error, and actually quite musically, the Cesar Franck Opus 16 Fantasy in C, which is the first of his six pieces of 1862 (I believe).

        Not only did I play it on a full four manual organ (actually a double organ (two organs played from one console), but I also could play it on an electronic organ that only has two manuals plus 32 pedals. And that was tricky, because , since it is a French piece written for a French Organ (St Clotilde) it has parts for three manuals plus pedals, so I had to fake three manuals out of two manuals, which I actually accomplished by turning two manuals into four manuals, which I achieved electronically by making two copies of the missing third manual; one for each real keyboard.

        Also learned to play some pieces of Widor and Liszt, but sadly all that is now forgotten. And I still can’t play a piano.

        I just don’t have the skill for it, and I can’t read music, so I had to learn those pieces by heart, because I sure as hell couldn’t read the score while playing.

        My electronic two manual is sadly in need of some new innards of the electronic kind.


    • No doubt about it the graphics, although splendidly accurate, and indeed dramatic, are not pleasing to the eye mainly due to the garish colours imo.

      • I agree with you, MarkW. I like the graphics as they are – anything less and there would be complaints about them being too bland. So, my own (woefully belated) message to Lord Christopher Monckton, is to stick with what’s eye-catching and let those who think otherwise do their own thing their own way. There will always be those who don’t like something. There always is.

    • ” off axis stickers and wild colours don’t do anything at all to advance your argument”

      Doesn’t that depend upon who is taking notice of them? He doesn’t need to convince the choir and nothing is going to persuade the lying purveyors of doom to change their tune either. That leaves us with the unwashed masses who need to be convinced and yes, they read tabloids.

      • OK. But I was once a scientist and in my mind it didn’t play well. It looks sensational, most especially the off axis “tilted” sticker-like commentary. It looks cheap.

        It’s an aesthetic I don’t care for. Good enough? It’s OK to do it, I personally find it repellent. That’s it. Professional opinion. Oh well. I wish Chris the best. I agree completely with his message. I simply think the presentation could be improved.

      • I suppose this is peer review Lord Monckton? I’ll be very pleased if you were to consider me a peer. Otherwise it’s just freely given? No strings attached? I have always enjoyed your studied contributions to this site and I will continue to follow your writing.

      • If it helps at all, I own several horses and a large estate. I’m partial to Porsches and Ferraries. I enjoy Tequilla and fine pipe tobacco (Mac Baren’s Scottish Blend). We can’t be all that different? :)

    • Christopher Monckton of Brenchly–I disagree with Bartleby. IMO you make the most easily understood graphs of any I’ve ever seen.

    • I fear you are correct as to the sad, short, but highly productive life of Franz Schubert, dead at 31 from tertiary syphilis and treatment thereof.

      • Even his fellow Austrian composer, the famously self-destructive Mozart, managed to survive five years longer than Schubert.

      • Oh dear. Here we go.

        – Lord M, Nick Stokes and I are talking of Écossaise – a DANCE form styled ‘Scottish’. Nothing whatever to do with Mendelssohn’s ‘Scottish SYMPHONY’, Symphony No. 3. AFAIK Mendelssohn didn’t write them – he was far too posh to do that.

        – Schubert died of typhoid fever. The diagnosis is relatively clear. There is no evidence at all that his (probable) syphilis had reached the tertiary stage.

        – ‘Self-destructive’, whether famously or not, is about the last thing you can call Mozart.

      • Yes, Franz Schubert was never in Scotland, just like Beethoven who did nevertheless compose Ecossaise music pieces for piano as well. It was just a popular dance in the early 19th century…

        The (much too) early death of Schubert was maybe promoted by the fact that he died during the Dalton solar minimum with its very cold winter conditions. This is the kind of “delightful” pre-industrial climate, which our climate-alarmist friends love so much that they want it back so eagerly…

    • Many thanx for the music history lessons.

      Unfortunately, my local classical radio station does not play a lot of music that is less than 300 years old. Every morning, their announcer threatens to barrage our ears with six centuries of “classical” music.

      And on the rare occasions when they actually play some 19th century music, it is usually some bleeding chunk; not a full work, and to be followed immediately by some elevator music by somebody named Vivaldi. Well most often they play his “One Season” piece. They NEVER play his “Four Seasons”.

      They can’t ever bring themselves to play Elgar’s Enigma Variations. But every couple of days they do play his “Variation Number IX” which they say is an alternative British National Anthem. I believe the Composer called it “Nimrod.”

      I can’t listen to them for very long, before they start playing some 400 year old “flute” concerto, that is probably written for a recorder. That’s when I turn them off. Beethoven was sensible enough to not write any flute concertos. Totally boring sound.

      Well I ramble. But both Schubert, and Mendelsohn are favorites of mine.

  2. I have been advised that, although it was permissible to discuss the error at a scientific conference, publication in a learned journal would be prejudiced if I were to post a detailed consideration of the error here at WUWT
    I think that is bad advice. Who gave you that?
    I personally have never had any such problem.
    Posting a preprint, either here or on arxiv.org is perfectly permissible and widely done with no ill effects.

  3. So do plants, by taking carbon dioxide; storing the carbon in leaves, stems, and trunks; and returning the oxygen to the air.

    The Oxygen released by plants comes from water not carbon dioxide.

    • Quite true, but not relevant to the fact that more CO2 in the air is good for plants and other living things. IMHO.

      The fact is that most plants, including most crops and all trees, greatly benefit from more CO2 in the air, and would gain even more at 800 or 1200 ppm rather than the near-starvation diet of current measly 400 ppm.

      • They do. But the O2 comes from H2O via their roots rather than from CO2 via their leaves.

        The complicated photosynthetic operation (water and carbon dioxide into sugar and oxygen gas) may be simplified thusly:

        6CO2 + 6H2O ——> C6H12O6 + 6O2

      • Ehmmm… Chimp, how do the 6 oxygen atoms from 6 water molecules of water become 6 oxygen molecules, that is, 12 oxygen atoms on the right side of the reaction? The more I look at it, the more convinced I am that at least half of the oxygen of the CO2 must be becoming O2.

      • Plants do photosynthesis in the day, and respiration (like animals do) at night. This is how they ake food (carbohydrates) then use (burn) food for energy.

      • Chimp,
        I’m an engineer, not a chemist, but it sure looks to me like the CO2 is split with the C joining the water to form a sugar (?) and the O2 remaining as a byproduct.

      • Chimp, I notice that the sugar produced by photosynthesis, and the cellulose built up from the sugar, retains the hydrogen-oxygen ratio of the source H2O, ie 2 to 1. The oxygen released as gas equals the oxygen taken in as CO2. Since the oxygen released as gas is twice the oxygen taken in as H2O, even if every atom of oxygen taken in as H2O was subsequently released, a matching number of oxygen atoms taken in as CO2 would have to be released. The net oxygen retained at the end of the photosynthesis process equals the oxygen taken in as H2O. The net oxygen released as gas equals the oxygen taken in as CO2.


      • Stevan Reddish September 27, 2016 at 10:46 am
        In other words, I agree with Nylo.

        Well you’re both wrong then. The error of looking at a simplified equation for the synthesis of sugars rather than the overall process.

    • Phil, I don’t interpret that remark to suggest O2 is originating from CO2. It’s merely stating some very basic and correct features re plants. It’s also understood that the oxygen is not being released from the trunks…

      • I got a chuckle out of it. But then again, I waste my time how I choose to, and perhaps a sense of humor is “wasted” on some people bazzer. :)

        Oh, and it’s Knock, knock, knock “Penny”. Three, not two.

      • I had no problem with the initial joke, and I got it. But when he used Dr S “not getting it” to further add insult and act as if it was a measure of the man, that is what triggered my response.

      • No, you’re wrong again, Tom. It wasn’t really to measure the man. Oddly, just as in the TV series, where he thinks he knows about everything and has a eidetic memory, Dr S had forgotten Dr Cooper’s amusing exhibition of his (Dr Cooper’s) autism; as a year ago it was plain that he (Dr S) was/is a fan of the series – or at least watched it enough to know the character names. Either that or he just Googled it to be able to mention Amy’s name. You are tilting at a windmill that isn’t necessary. Seeing Dr Cooper in everything Dr S writes is very vivid to me – and I know it is to others, as they have commented such. So when he said “Blah, blah, blah” (as Dr Cooper does in at least one episode – can’t remember which) then that made it even more amusing – and even more amusing that Dr S didn’t say it for the reason which made it amusing!

        Aphan, my thanks to you for the correction. Having seen it enough times, I should have known it was three, not two.

  4. Such changes in ozone are the result of strong ionization of the polar circle. Is the lack of hurricanes in the Atlantic is not proof enough?

  5. I hope you take it in the constructive way I mean it, but graphic #1 on science vs politics, should be redone to highlight the 0.3%, not the 99.7%. It makes the contrast bigger: 97% claim vs 0.3% reality.

  6. I had no idea that Franz Schubert had left Austria and travelled to Scotland, and have never heard his 6-Ecossaisen-der-Ehemaligen D.421 before. A nice performance, with all the usual Schubertian charms, thank you, Lord Monckton.

    • No one had to visit Scotland in order to write an ecossaise; Chopin and Beethoven wrote them, the former long before his brief and sad visit to the British Isles, the latter never having visited there. If you check Baroque dance suites, you find dances from all over Europe in them, written by composers who never left their native land (Bach, among others). Such dances observed certain salient qualities of the national dances but did not require the composer to go to the country of origin (did Tchaikovsky visit Poland before writing his famous Polonaise?). Sometimes a given dance form represented more than one country of origin (the courante was the French form of the Italian corrente, for example). As for Mendelssohn and his grand “Scotch” Symphony (#3 in A Minor), that work is less an immediate result of the composer’s visit north than is his glorious “Fingal’s Cave” (or “Hebrides”) Overture (though his Italian Symphony, #4 in A, which preceded #3 by many years, ends with a blazing Tarantella, Italian to the core). One goal of many European composers of the16th through the 19th centuries, from the Renaissance through the late Romantic eras, was to write in a cosmopolitan manner, adapting forms from many countries to their own use and style.

  7. “In general, when I say something, you should take my word for it.”

    You arrogant arse. The lack of sarc tag compounds my emerging view of you. Once held in high regard for your obvious knowledge but blighted by obvious arrogance towards others.

    “You can have a certain arrogance, and I think that’s fine, but what you should never lose is the respect for the others”. Steffi Graf

      • Inclined to agree. You don’t need to trust his scientific views or opinions, but you shouldn’t doubt his personal experience, as you are, indirectly, accusing him of lying.

      • I have every reason to doubt anyone and anything I myself did not witness or cannot examine and establish as fact. I could tell you that I have birth twice on a subway, but that doesn’t make it true. And a rationally skeptical person SHOULD entertain some doubt about it.

        You may not actually BE arrogant, or intend to come across as arrogant, but if someone here says they “personally experience” your responses as arrogant, you have no reason to doubt that. Unless some kind of double standard is in effect….

  8. Excellent and entertaining post. The challenge is always to see how far one gets without having to look something up. ‘Rodomontade’ this time, word of the week definitely.

  9. I really like Christopher Monckton’s contributions to this blog, if only because there’s always at least one word I have to look up in the dictionary, thus improving my vocabulary.

    • Indeed! But it is quite sad that he is needed, when you think about it, as essentially the vast majority of what he says is just more eloquently pointing out and stating what is already known.

    • I know what you mean, he is a wonderful wordsmith, that’s why I keep my 1925 Pocket Oxford Dictionary by my puter!

  10. I see Monckton’s graphs at play again.

    It is deceptive to display ocean heat increases in degrees Celsius.
    As of course we know that due to the SH and mass of the oceans we need to multiply by 4000 to arrive at an equivalent to atmospheric heating.
    Now let me see…

    0.023 x 4000 = 92C
    Divide by 2 as 1900m is ~ a half of average ocean depth = 46C
    In ten years = 4.6C/year

    Note: that would not equate to a permanent rise of that magnitude.
    That is merely the response to that magnitude of heat if it could be transferred instantaneously from ocean to atmosphere.

    Shall we try J (10^22) ?

    “The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.”

    The air is not warming the oceans.
    Almost universally water warms air.
    BUT the GHE is back-radiating terrestrial IR to the ocean surface, and as the air above is warmer (but still cooler – generally) than the ocean SST, there is a smaller deltaT and so heat flux is reduced.

    Would Monckton care to supply us with the obvious evidence that this heat comes from the ocean floor?
    I mean it would be obvious with massive convective plumes rising to the surface.
    Unless he proposes that the ocean floor magically just turned up the thermostat evenly over it’s entirety.

    • As of course we know that due to the SH and mass of the oceans we need to multiply by 4000 to arrive at an equivalent to atmospheric heating.

      What utter cock. Go an learn some real physics.

    • Pure nonsense Toneb. You seem to have totally lost the perspective of how energy transfer takes place. No, 0.023C for the sea is not equivalent to 92C in the atmosphere under any perspective. The energy required for such an increment is. But a 0.023C increase in the ocean temperature can only cause a 0.023C increase in the atmosphere’s temperature. The remaining energy will be in the ocean to stay. Energy transfer’s direction depends on temperature difference.

      • “Pure nonsense Toneb. You seem to have totally lost the perspective of how energy transfer takes place. No, 0.023C for the sea is not equivalent to 92C in the atmosphere under any perspective. The energy required for such an increment is. But a 0.023C increase in the ocean temperature can only cause a 0.023C increase in the atmosphere’s temperature. The remaining energy will be in the ocean to stay. Energy transfer’s direction depends on temperature difference.”

        First of all I said 46C not 92.
        2nd I said “Note: that would not equate to a permanent rise of that magnitude.
        That is merely the response to that magnitude of heat if it could be transferred instantaneously from ocean to atmosphere.”

        Meaning: it’s not possible BUT IF it were, then the ENERGY imputed into the OCEANS by the SUN (and not the seabed as Monckton bizarrely surmises) would raise the atmosphere’s temp by ….

        I converted the ocean’s deltaT into energy needed (to raise it’s temp) by reference to SPECIFIC HEAT and MASS.
        Let me state the physics…..

        The ENERGY required to raise a quantity of water 1C is 4 TIMES that required to to raise the same quantity of air 1C.
        Note the conversion to ENERGY.

        The mass of the oceans is 1000x that of the atmosphere.
        So it therefore takes 4000x as much ENERGY to to raise the oceans (say 0.23C in 10 years)

        So doing the sum: 0.23 x 4000 (energy units) = 92C DIVIDE by 2 (as 1900m is around 1/2 of the oceans depth)
        And we have 46C in 10 years.

        Of course water cannot raise the temp of the air above it by more than itself.
        You total missed the thrust of what I said.
        It was HYPOTHETICAL.
        Referencing Monckton’s comparing temperature rise in the oceans to that of the atmosphere as being deceitful by comparing apples to oranges.

        No wonder Monckton has denizens in thrall.

      • “The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.”

        Aproximately a meter of sea evaporates each year and now returns as rain at 0.6 deg C warmer than it used to. Is not that a mechanism by which the ocean is warmed from above?

    • Toneb says: “It is deceptive to display ocean heat increases in degrees Celsius.”

      Nonsense. Temperature is a metric with which most persons are familiar.

      Toneb says: “As of course we know that due to the SH and mass of the oceans we need to multiply by 4000 to arrive at an equivalent to atmospheric heating.”

      More nonsense. All of the reported global ocean heat gain cannot magically be dumped to the atmosphere. Your exercise is meaningless.

      Why are you wasting your time and the time of others, ToneB?

      • “More nonsense. All of the reported global ocean heat gain cannot magically be dumped to the atmosphere. Your exercise is meaningless.”

        For the reasons I stated – read again (here)..
        “Note: that would not equate to a permanent rise of that magnitude.
        That is merely the response to that magnitude of heat if it could be transferred instantaneously from ocean to atmosphere.”

        I started out by saying the graph was deceptive.

        That I am “wasting my time” on here (and elsewhere) talking to most denizens has been entirely obvious to me for many years.
        I do it to deny ignorance of the science (where I know it – and you will find none that is not in the text books) for the impressionable who may be swayed by by the usual on here.

        That “Temperature is a metric with which most persons are familiar” is precisely the point – Monckton, and it seems you, want to confuse by letting them think that temperature rise in the oceans is comparable with that in the atmosphere.
        It’s NOT
        HEAT IS – as measured in Joules.
        Do you deny that it takes 4x as much heat energy to heat a comparable amount of water than that of air?
        Do you dispute that the mass of the oceans is ~1000x that of the atmosphere?

        Which is why NON deceptive graphs of temperature rise in the oceans and in the atmosphere is depicted in J(10^22).
        As I posted above.
        And it speaks for itself.

  11. That Argo graph labelled ‘The Ocean is barely warming’ caused me to go hunting in the marine atlas. I did not find all of the answers to my concerns. These are –
    1. The graphed temperature change from one time to the adjacent time seems to be plotted with a resolution of 0.001 deg C. This is an extremely small quantity that is difficult to measure even in a controlled laboratory built for the purpose.
    2. The graph averages a number of measurements at different times (from year 2006 to 2015) and different depths (0-1900 m) and different places (0 – 360 degrees longitude, -70 to + 70 degrees latitude). Therefore, those classes of error that are random have ample opportunity to cancel negative with positive to leave a smoothed graphical depiction.
    3. The graphical depiction is not smooth. We must therefore assume that increments of 0.001 deg C have existed over those several years and would be expected to be forecast if the next data point was to be measured and plotted.
    4. That is an absurd outcome.
    5. A likely cause of the impossibility of this graph is a common mistake of climate science in presenting measurement error. A reading of parts of the marine atlas confirms that the alleged error is based on statistical noise and is a precision error treated with statistics using variance. The other main form of error, bias, seems hardly to be addressed, but I am willing to admit ignorance on this if corrected plausibly.
    6. In comparison with laboratory experience at measuring small temperature increments, my subjective impression would be that the smallest resolvable difference between any two points on this graph would be of the order of +/- 0.01 deg C for one sigma (if that type of expression is valid for this application).
    7. Therefore, much of the presented graphical variation would fall within uncertainty bounds and so patterns have little meaning.
    8. The cyclic annual nature of the data shown is not evidence of better resolution than that. It could well be an artefact of using a method of climatology and anomaly. It simply seems to be false and unattainable.

    Please correct me if you have plausible evidence of bias elimination to the 0.001 deg C level claimed.

    • Excellent post but you are wasting your time. There is one reason why the official
      graphs for OHC are in Jx10^22 and not K.

    • Mr Sherrington is of course right that the precision of the bathythermographs arises from averaging thousands of measurements and hoping that errepors will largely self-cancel.

      Some of the instruments have been found to display errors of up to 5 K.

  12. Re-Chimps’ comments on the source of plant O2 release doesn’t add up. On the left hand side of his own equation water contributes 6 oxygen atoms while carbon dioxide contributes 12 oxygen atoms. On the right hand side of the equation 6 oxygen atoms are sequestered in the sugar molecule while 12 oxygen atoms are released as part of the 6 oxygen molecules. Numerically it is the absorbed CO2 which is the source of the released O2.

    • Chimps’ comment is fine. It can be explained in more detail but it is not easy to write chemical equations on wordpress.

      The fact is that the oxygen (O2) released by plants comes from the hydrolysis of water.

      2 H2O —> O2 + 2 H2

      or even more exactly:

      2 H2O + 2 NADP —> O2 + 2 NADPH2

      (living organisms store hydrogen as NADPH2 or NADH2 rather than as H2

      The fate of the oxygens that come from CO2 is more complicated to explain, In the equation:

      6 CO2 + 6 NADPH2 —> C6H12O6 + 6 NADP

      out of the 12 oxygens in the 6 CO2 molecules, 6 of them end up as part of the sugar molecule. The fate of the other 6 is more complicated to follow. 3 of them end up as part of phosphoric acid ions, and the rest may end up as phosphoric acid as well or as water molecules, I am not sure but iI think it depends on tautomeric effects. You can read about the Calvin cycle if you want to figure it out.

      ( I tried to use subscripts but It seems I did not succeed.)

      • Thanks,
        Are you suggesting that the reaction releasing O-2 is not dependent on CO-2 in the atmosphere? What would happen w/o CO 2?
        If CO 2 is required, is it academic where the O-2 Molecule comes from?

      • The reaction releasing the O2 (photolysis of water), is totally independent of CO2, that is used in the Calvin cycle to synthesize sugars.

      • TMT, unfortunately, the referenced Ruben et. al. science publication only demonstrated water as the source of photosynthesis-released O2 for aquatic algae. This is indicative of, but not proof, that plants growing on land—especially large trees such as redwoods and sequoias—have the same metabolic cycle. However, given that O2 dissolved in water is readily accessible for algae but not for many dry land plants such a desert cacti and sagebrush, one can question if land plants don’t instead have a slightly different photosynthesis metabolic pathway that instead uses the much more available atmospheric CO2 as the source of their released O2.

        I could not find a similar scientific study where radioisotope tracers were used to evaluate land-based plant photosynthesis in establishing water versus air as the source of plant-release of O2. Do you have such a reference?

      • Robert Hill demonstrated in 1937 that isolated chloroplasts released oxygen even in the absence of CO2.
        In 1941 Ruben et al. used O18 to prove that the source of O2 in photosynthesis is the photolysis of water.
        Land plants use the choroplasts in their cells for photosynthesis, it doesn’t matter how big the plant is.

  13. The “global warming” of this article exhibits the logical deficiency of being multi-valued, as I have proved on several occasions in this blog, The graphic misleads by implying it to be single-valued.

  14. Erm, what interests me is the power of the blogosphere these days. Is the readership of the ‘375’ more or less than this posting? It could mean a lot in pushback terms.

  15. “The activists say we are to blame for retreating Arctic sea ice. But Arctic sea ice variations, if objectively quantified with proper error estimates, are fully within the large natural range of changes that have no need of any unique explanation by rising atmospheric carbon dioxide.”


    Available historical evidence clearly shows that post 2007 arctic ice levels are well below any seen in the last apparent cycle in the 1920s-1940s… see:


    which concludes:
    ” there is no point in the past 150 years where sea ice extent is as small as it has been in recent years. Second, the rate of sea ice retreat in recent years is also unprecedented in the historical record. And, third, the natural fluctuations in sea ice over multiple decades are generally smaller than the year-to-year variability.”

    • Recovering faster than any time in recorded history (see what I did there?), despite the August storms, now back in the +/- 2 standard deviations 1981-2000 zone.

      Already it is greater than at the same date in 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2015. Put another way, it is the fourth highest extent in the last ten years.

      90hp Perkins diesel and a 2000 litre tank with regular top ups will get you a long way!

    • Sorry, mixed up two graphs, NSIDC says it’s back into +/- 2 standard deviations 1981-2010 zone (not 1981-2000).

    • What about the letter written in 1817 by Sir Joseph Banks, President of the Royal Society, to the Lords of the Admiralty about a new source of warmth in the Arctic to explain the ice that was “much abated”?

      • Oh Alan!

        1817? special case due to the mega eruption of 1815…


        “One of the paradoxical effects of a major tropical eruption is that while the planet in general is cooled by the blanket of volcanic dust that drifts from the equator to the poles, the Arctic itself is drastically warmed owing to changes in wind circulation and north Atlantic ocean currents…. In 1817 and 1818, the British Admiralty began to receive exciting reports from whaling captains of a remarkable loss of sea ice around Greenland. Huge icebergs from a broken icepack were spotted floating as far south as Ireland and New York… The British could not have known then, of course, that Tambora had caused the Arctic to melt, and that the climatic impacts of a tropical eruption persist for no longer than three years. The Arctic refroze just in time for the arrival of Britain’s first polar expedition under Captain John Ross in 1818”

    • Yes Nigel – come the end of summer it freezes – freezing first and quickest near the pole, where this year there was plenty of open water…

      and that is so not the point.

    • Griff is like a broken record. No matter how many times it’s been explained to him that the pre-satellite data cannot be compared to satellite data, he continues to do so. It’s almost as if he knows he’s lying, but just doesn’t care.

      • The pre satellite data tells us about the pre-satellite ice extent. In considerable detail.

        It is detailed enough to make a comparison.

      • The lie is expanded upon.
        The pre-satellite era only tells us the extant in a small handfull of spots, many miles apart, and for the most part, different spots for each record.
        Only a total moron would conclude that they can determine what the total extant in all years was from this data.

    • Well, wel, well, another clueless bunch wondering about Arctic ice. Had they bothered to read my 2011 article in Energy and Environment they would know what is going on. What happened is that thanks to a re-arrangement of the North Atlantic current system at the turn of the twentieth century Atlantic currents began to direct the Gulf Stream water directly into the Arctic Ocean. Spielhagen et al. measured the temperature of water entering the Arctic Ocean in 2011 directly and found that it exceeded anything the Arctic had seen before. Tor 2000 years prior to the turn of the century nothing much happened in the Arctic except for a slow, linear cooling. The newly created warming that followed was interrupted in mid-century by thirty years of cooling. Warming then returned in 1970 and has been fairly steady since then. All measurements of Arctic warming you see start in the seventies and these guys who take them have no idea what causes it. Your “apparent cycle of 1920-s to 1940s…” is part of the original warming before the mid-century cold wave hit. That cold wave is very likely a temporary return of the original Atlantic flow pattern. Remember this: what nature has done it can do again. It is not out of the question that it may send us another cold wave, or, worse yet, bring back the original flow pattern for good. No research has been done on this since I discovered the situation. The US contributs 2.6 billion dollars each year for “climate research.” Apparently global warming propaganda is more important than research to them. Oh, and I forgot: this Arctic warming cannot possibly be greenhouse warming because no carbon dioxide was added to the atmosphere when it started. (Check your Keeling curve,)

    • The scientifically challenged Griff appears unaware that we have no definitive evidence for sea-ice extent before the satellite era, but that numerous historical facts suggest greater sea-ice loss in earlier times than what has occurred recently in the northern – but not in the southern – hemisphere.

      The US meteorological service report of unprecedentedly low sea ice extent in 1822 is just one of these. There are many others. The land which became covered by the North Sea 9000 years ago was originally sub-tropical, for instance.

      It is also significant that the total elimination of summer sea ice that has so often been predicted has somehow again failed to occur on cue.

      • A close run thing for ‘Northabout’ nonetheless despite a 90hp Perkins diesel and 2000 litres of frequently topped up tanks. Griff keeps describing her as a ‘tiny sailing vessel’ despite the fact that she is only just less than half the length of HMS Terror with nearly four times the engine power and four times the fossil fuelled range (between top ups!).

  16. And you play the piano!!! Fantastic. We are supposed to make fun of civilization and act like animals these days. Being able to deliver a clear speech and then play a piano is a rapidly disappearing skill set.

    • I dare say he knows the proper form of address for a Viscount and which fork to use at dinner…

      Things of absolute worth in science (not!)

    • I had the pleasure of being a speaker at the London Conference and can assure all of you that Lord Monckton is an engaging and very entertaining speaker. He is a true Renaissance man, well-versed in many subjects and on the side of the angels when it comes to CAGW. We are fortunate, indeed, to have him playing on our team!

  17. The oceans are warming not from above, which they would if we were warming the air and the air was warming the oceans, but from below.

    I’ve noticed more of this. link

    Here’s a story which states that the 2015 El Nino was caused by geothermal energy. It claims the source of the energy has been found.

    If geothermal energy is warming the ocean and we get the data to prove it, that may be the stake through the cagw vampire’s heart. Having found a heat source and having done the measurements, the physics of heating water is waaay simpler than that required to figure out what is going on in the atmosphere.

    • Right:
      So, there’s a geothermal source below the E Pacific equator (that we’ve missed for centuries) that pulses heat into the ocean at the exactly the same cycle as the Pacific trade winds change direction, and shove the warm waters west?
      It’s the Trades that create the ENSO cycle in a complex interaction between SST’s and upper (wind) forcings.

      Aside from the enormous amount of energy required, and the short time-scale for it to do the heating and then switch off again – you’re not going to get that volume of water heated even 2C by a very HOT sea-bed over a vast area, without obvious signs on the surface.
      Convective overturning/churning.
      Debris stirred up from the seabed.
      Yeah, sure.

      • The furtive but scientifically inept and politically prejudiced Mr Banton (who lurks here under the pseudonym Toneb and snipes petulantly but ineptly from behind a curtain of cowardly anonymity) may care to explain why, if manmade warming is the cause of the tiny ocean warming, the ARGO bathythermographs – in the first 11 full years of their operation – show the surface as warming hardly at all and each lower layer warming at successively greater rates.

        He also appears ignorant of the fact that the array does not measure ocean heat content but temperature. Taking the entire 1.25-mile slab as one, in the first 11 full years ocean temperature rose at a rate equivalent to 1 K every 430 years – hardly terrifying.

        The climate Communists like to convert this tiny warming from below to Joules because a large and apparently scary number results. The sillier climate Communists then ensnare their feeble-minded supporters with futile and mathematically and physically challenged notions that the world would be 46 K warmer but for the oceans – which are not, however, in danger of boiling off anytime soon. And we know how much warming woul result without an ocean: the answer, in the absence of temperature feedback, is about 1 K per CO2 doubling.

        Mr Banton (aka Toneb) also appears ignorant of the 20,000 miles of mid-ocean tectonic divergence boundaries where high-temperature magmatic extrusions occur, to say nothing of the 3.5 million subsea volcanoes that are so little monitored that, only a few years ago, the largest volcano by ground footprint in the entire solar system, larger even than Olympus Mons on Mars, was discovered in the ocean just a few hundred miles off the Japanese coast.

        Perhaps significantly, the mid-ocean divergence boundary beneath the tropical and sub-tropical eastern Pacific is spreading at a rate 20 times greater than the global mean, suggesting (though not proving) a potential causative connection with the incidence of el Ninos. Since neither the subsea volcanoes nor the divergence boundaries are systemically monitored, one can only speculate.

        There are more things in heaven and Earth than Mr Banton wots of. He is entitled to his climate-Communist opinions, of course – tolerance of nonsense is at once the weakness and the iron strength of Western civilisation. But here we do science, not prejudice. He is woefully out of his league.

      • “But here we do science, not prejudice. He is woefully out of his league.”

        That’s interesting Monckton.
        So your degree in Classics (MA in classics, 1974; diploma in journalism studies) gives you more knowledge than of climate science than I with 32 years in the UKMO ( of course having the necessary qualifications to be a Meteorologist there).
        “Whoefully out his league”?
        Nah, that’ll be you my friend.
        That you come on here and attack a critic of yours is the mark of the man, Monckton.
        It is your MO.
        The way you fight off your critics, along with such comments as “your scientific point is”.
        No answer in other words.
        And that’s when you’re being polite.
        WUWT is your last resort in spreading your deceptive *science* my friend.
        And are you surprised?
        Even the Plebs can be civil.
        Any *scientist* (as you purport – but plainly and by training aren’t to anyone who is), uses peer-review to converse with similar to discover their errors.
        That’s how science works.
        It’s not you coming on here and being bombastic and arrogant to anyone who criticises your *science* by giving the real science as reported in reputable journals and in the text books.
        Feel free to come back and be petty and nasty … as I said – it is the mark of the man.

  18. Since the notice of the “Open Letter … ” I saw headlined Stephen Hawking being a signer , I assume there must be a fair number of pedigreed physicists among the 375 signers . Therefore , my open letter in response asks specifically for the quantitative and therefore experimentally testable equation enabling and explaining the “trapping” of heat in excess of calculated radiant equilibrium by some spectral phenomenon .

    It remains the fact that I have never seen such an equation from either side within the GHG paradigm .

      • No . It is lack of a quantitative equation and any experimental demonstration of the asserted effect .

        It seems this field is so divorced from the classical analytical methods of normal branches of applied physics that few even know how to calculate the equilibrium temperature for an arbitrary spectrum heated by an arbitrary spectrum an just , for decades now , parrot the special case of producing the 255K meme as shown by the “alarmist” spectrum in this graph from http://cosy.com/Science/RadiativeBalanceGraphSummary.html .

        Precise values can be calculated for any arbitrary spectra , and even the computations for any varicolored spectra over a ball is not much more difficult to express in an APL . And the variation for the small change in overall spectrum due to changes in CO2 at these level is de minimis .

        NO equation exists explaining how some spectral effect “traps” kinetic energy to a higher average density in the interior of a ball than that calculated by the computations outlined above . That is why their has been no convergence in this cargo-cult imitation of real physics in decades .

        People can play around in complex Navier-Stokes chaos all they want , but until they can demonstrate and quantify and explain by equation the effect in simple 1 dimensional analog with source on one end and sink on the other , it’s not physics .

  19. Re Sherrington’s comment.He is correct in noting that a common mistake in climate science temperature evaluations is to confuse precision (measurement) error with bias error.Using modern sensors and data acquisition systems,precision errors are usually negligible.The concern should be with bias error,which is seldom properly discussed in climate science.Bias errors that are understood can be corrected for.The problem is the bias errors that are not understood,or not even recognized–the “unknown unknowns” made famous by Donald Rumsfeld.

    • A Mills,
      One might look at that first graph from Christopher’s header and wonder why the annual peak happens before and during the Southern Hemisphere summer. Of course, the NH ocean area is smaller, but lacking immediate access to the numbers of floats used in each hemisphere (and even disregarding the tropics where the sun is overhead twice each year) one might have expected to see some bumps from the NH summer.
      But that graphical granularity showing increments of 0.001 K is what has me laughing the most. What worries me the most is the cavalier attitude to bias, be it systematic or occasional that must be present in the data to some degree, but not found on this graph in a form able to be seen and explained. Bias is like that.
      Remember how quickly the XBT float design was dropped when Argo was thought to have showed XBT bias? You should be prepared for ARGO to be dropped when the next magic black box is introduced ‘because of unexpected errors found in the Argo floats… .. but able to be reconstructed and homogenised to match the latest measurements.’ or some such news release.
      There is a pressing need for climate researchers to use error estimation formally and correctly. At present, apart from a few papers, error quantification is a joke, a bad joke, written by ignorant fools.

      • In response to Mr Sherrington’s excellent points about the claimed precision of the ARGO floats, one reason why they have to use thousandths of a degree is that the ocean is only warming in thousandths of a degree.

        The only global temperature dataset that presents a separate accounting for bias uncertainty is UAH, which publishes monthly data for both coverage and bias uncertainties.

  20. Bob Armstrong:

    Equations that explain are worthless for the purpose of controlling a system. Needed for control of a physical system is a model that predicts the outcomes of those events whose outcomes are to be controlled.Today’s climate models make no predictions. They make “projections” and though projections are frequently conflated with projections the two concepts differ.

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